Done With Coronavirus Magical Thinking

This is part of a comment from another post.

It’s still three months away, but for right now most of America wants to know why, if baseball, with all their resources and financial motivation to do so, can’t figure out a way open safely like sports are elsewhere in the world, how are the rest of us ever going to get back to some form of normalcy. The “pretending this isn’t happening” strategy doesn’t even seem to be working any more in the Trump states. I know, I live in one. (from => https://citizentom.com/2020/07/28/mostly-peaceful-protests-for-what/comment-page-1/#comment-94955)

Read Tricia’s post. Consider Tricia’s anger. Consider all the people we have seen who don’t even bother to wear a face mask properly. When people are so angry and indifferent, are “social” distancing and wear a mask really all that helpful? How many problems are we creating as we supposedly stop the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19)? Jobs lost. Loneliness. A sour economy with jobs made more difficult by myriad and often senseless COVID-19 regulations.

Is persuasion a lost art? Isn’t America about life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness? Then why are we shutting down the country and twisting people’s arms? If preventing the spread of the virus is in everyone’s self interest, what is wrong with voluntary cooperation?

Are our objectives too unrealistic? Note that we are trying to prevent EVERYONE from getting COVID-19, but it is too contagious, and that was not part of the original objective. The shutdown was just about keeping our hospitals from being overloaded. We moved the goalposts, and a large percentage of the population knows this has more to do with politics than the danger posed by COVID-19.

The best is the enemy of the good. — Commonly attributed to Voltaire (from => https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Perfect_is_the_enemy_of_good)

The virus is highly contagious, but it is not particularly dangerous unless you are nearing 78 years old. If we let everyone decide for themselves what they want to do about it, COVID-19 would not be a big problem for our government. Those who are unafraid could take their chances, and those who are afraid could self-isolate, wear a mask and a face shield, put on surgical gloves and a hospital gown, tote around their own air supply, move to the moon or the bottom of the sea, ….. Well, the fearful can do whatever they want, but do they have the right to make their fears everyone else’s problem. Why? So they can run Trump out of office?

We obviously need to protect nursing homes, and we can help those who don’t feel safe self-isolate. The damn virus would then spread among those who don’t fear it. Since we cannot stop COVID-19 from spreading anyway, that is the best alternative.

Would some people get sick? Yes, and some would even die. Nevertheless, COVID-19 will eventually do what viruses do, fizzle out because there are not enough people left to infect. Then we could reopen the nursing homes a bit, and even paranoid grand parents would feel safe enough to hug their grand children.

If we let Democrats deliberately turn a virus into an election issue and use it to discredit Trump, we are just dumb.

Freedom Through Empowerment

Fear

The final straw came rather suddenly.

I’d just spent an hour navigating one way grocery aisles, doing my best not to get close to others, the wild eyed ones especially, as they can be unpredictable.  “No ma’am, I’m not trying to give you Covid, I merely want some tomatoes and your cart is in the way.”  Of course I can’t communicate this effectively with my stupid,  muzzle mask garbling the words and hiding my kind expression.

As I move up the now routine mile long checkout line I notice the cashier power washing the conveyer belt as if covered in raw sewage.  Wouldn’t it be ironic if conveyer belts soaked with sanitizer chemicals turned out to be more dangerous for us to put grocery items on than the Covid germs they are deployed to destroy?

So there I stood, rather appropriately on my red social distancing marker…

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96 thoughts on “Done With Coronavirus Magical Thinking

  1. “Never will get these guy to explain what exactly the economic shutdown is supposed to accomplish.”

    Tom,

    Was this my and Doug’s shutdown?The last time I checked, Republicans control two and a half branches of the federal government and many of the worst hit states right now. I don’t remember anyone asking for my opinion, but maybe they called Doug. You act like there has been some kind of National “plan” and that somehow Democrats are exclusively responsible for making that plan and then changing It. You’re like the guy who gets bit by his own dog, so he kicks his neighbor’s cat.

    How did the country close down? I just read newspapers and magazines. It seems like a year ago, but I think it was really only April that I called you and the rest of our siblings with what I hoped would be a wasted warning.

    Over the centuries China has seen famines and repression like we can’t even imagine. They have the most people under strict totalitarian control in the history of mankind. They can impose and put up with a lot of suffering without so much as a peep out of the population. After SARS, the Chinese are also now world class when it comes virology and epidemiology. And yet, after covering it up for a month or two, the Chinese Communist Party had become so terrified of this virus that they essentially shut down trade and travel out of their major industrial and commercial hubs, and voluntarily imploded the second largest economy in the world. Other countries in Asia, who had been through the SARS epidemic and had prepared responses afterward, soon followed suit.

    Next, I read that Washington State had had its first case of community spread (meaning that they could not connect the sick person to anyone who had been to China. To me that meant that the virus was loose in the country now and we no longer had any idea where it was. Given the thousands of flights nationally and long haul truckers, it’s was probably everywhere. Finally, one of the CDC doctors (while Trump was in India) warned the country to start preparing for schools and businesses to close and for family life to be severely disrupted.

    That’s when I called you and said that it might be a good idea to stock up on food, drugs and other essentials because I thought that we were about to be locked down just as China and other Asian nations had locked down.

    Remember, I had been an airline pilot for the past 20 years. AIDS patient zero was an airline flight attendant. The airlines are economically sensitive to pandemics, and mine was effected by SARS and H1N1, and others. For years, I had been telling the Survivalists who I flew with (don’t ask, it’s an Alaska thing) that they could have their year’s supply of guns and ammo in the woods, but they were the ones most likely to bring Armageddon home to their family bunker in the form of a deadly pathogen. (No, they didn’t believe me either, but it made for great conversation on long flights).

    Within a month, my fears came true, but it has been different from what I expected. The bug determines the game. The virus is the one “moving the goal post”. Mostly the governors of red and blue states are just badly trying to keep up with the virus, and without a coordinated strategy, successes and failures are spotty and short lived. As we have learned, the states have adapted their strategies. But we still don’t actually have a national “plan” and it doesn’t look like we will until we get rid of Trump.

    We can argue about mortality versus lethality rates until we are blue in the face and neither one of us knows what we are talking about. We simply do not have the social safety nets to actually isolate fragile communities, even if it were just 78 years olds, which it is not. I do not believe millions of people unnecessarily dead or severely ill and permanently injured will be a politically or morally acceptable sacrifice for any state leadership faced with it, red or blue, and the economy won’t come back until people feel safe regardless. (Although it seems that one of the reasons that Trump and Moscow Mitch were so ambivalent about the virus early on was that they erroneously thought this would just be an urban blue state Democrat virus, so why worry -they aren’t “real” Americans).

    I don’t know why one anti-malaria drug foments such snake oil conspiracy mongering by people like the good Reverend who should know better because there actually are several other Therapeutic drugs that are working and there is no one out suppressing them, Democrats or Republicans. These new treatments are lowering mortality rates. There just isn’t “a cure” and I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to spend a couple months in intensive care, permanently ruining my health and abandoning my wife who has her own health problems, just to roll some dice with a little better odds. Do you? And, if you really think that there is “a cure” and Dems and elite experts are conspiring to keep it from the world, then you really do need to get off the internet and get some fresh air – Democratic politicians couldn’t keep a secret to save their lives. Nobody could keep such a secret. Get a grip people.

    Notwithstanding all that, I have read that, if we can work together as communities, as a country and then as a world to get the virus spread rate below an R factor of 1, then the virus rather rapidly ceases spread and practically disappears. It’s quite possible that masks and simple social distancing could (again “could”) do that. Even if the R factor is greater than one but less than the exponential rate of 3 to 5 (meaning each infected person on average infects 3 to 5 others) then we could slow spread and save tens of thousands of folks from severe sickness and/or death with these mitigations until we can get adequate testing, tracing and isolation going or or we actually get a cure.

    Does that answer your question, or if you have to blame one of us for Trump’s dithering, I say let’s throw Doug under the bus.

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    1. @tsalmon

      You want it both ways. There is an economic shutdown, but Trump is not responsible because he dithers? Trump has a reputation as a germaphobe. When he cut of air travel with China, he was taking the virus seriously before anyone else did.

      When the news media realized they could use the virus to shut down the economy indefinitely, they started scaring everyone. Trump, however, realized that the virus was not as dangerous as he first feared, and he did not like the tradeoffs associated with the economic shutdown. So, he is trying the end the shutdown, but the states have control, and lots of people are scared.

      Have Republican governors shutdown their states? To some extent, but they have been more reluctant. Their concern is generally focused on protecting the capacities of their state’s hospitals, not completely halting the spread of the virus, which is a pipe dream. You want to starve?

      Stop. Think. What do you think happens to the flu in the summer? Look up Virus latency. Consider the fact that we would have to get below an R fact of 1 all over the world.

      Think about the fact that COVID-19 and the flu are not especially lethal. If they were, the R factor would be below 1. People who are dead don’t spread viruses.

      Trump mentioned that anti-malaria drug, and the news media and some in academia immediately started trying to discredit it. Just show bias is everywhere. “Experts” are not immune.

      We have elections so that we don’t throw anyone under the bus. When are you and Doug going to accept the results of the last one?

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      1. “You want it both ways.“

        Again, this is me? You seem to be the one who believes that, if something works, the guy in charge gets all the credit (the China block, which BTW, didn’t block that much, but at best slowed the spread and bought some time that Trump squandered), but since it has all gone to crap and the ship of state is on the rocks and floundering, the buck stops everywhere but with the captain. No, as the ship takes on water while the captain dithers, let’s give the Captain a medal and another four years to make sure it sinks completely. That’s the both ways you’re trying to have. Can you imagine what you’d be screaming if Obama captained this kind of national fiasco?

        Supposedly Lincoln famously said:

        “You can fool all the people some of the time and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time.“

        This isn’t just me. People are just not that stupid forever Tom. I don’t think that there have ever been poll numbers this low for an incumbent at this point in an election. Swing states are double digit for Biden (really just against Trump) and many deep red states are in the margin. Odds makers are giving the Dems the Senate and even more seats in the House. A certain core group will stick with Trump no matter what (“some of the people all of the time”), but Republicans are in complete disarray. Biden doesn’t have to run negative ads because lifelong Republican are running the most effective ones for him. And as Trump gets more desperate, he gets more pathetic and isolated.

        He tweeted that we should delay the election hoping to steal some of the attention from the funeral of a national hero, but then when he saw that everyone, even Faux News, thought it made him look weak and pathetic, Trump came out and blustered that we should move the election up which looked even more weak and pathetic. This while the virus rages in Republican states and the economy collapses. Trump fiddles and the Republicans head home to cry in their beers.

        “Think about the fact that COVID-19 and the flu are not especially lethal.“

        I don’t believe you. The governors of red states (like my own) don’t believe you. The people who study this their whole life don’t agree. The hospitals brimming with COVID patients don’t agree. The doctors and nurses exhausted and themselves dying don’t agree. The flu doesn’t sicken people in these numbers or target certain vulnerable communities this way. Its like saying black bears kill more people than Grizzlies so we shouldn’t avoid pissing off Grizzly Bears – just let them in the house and let your kids play with them until they get bored. It’s a false equivalency. like saying that, because more people die in car wrecks, just let the heart attacks die at home, no treatment necessary. It’s junk science.

        As for tradeoffs, who on Earth is arguing against tradeoffs, but you? Instead of seeing it as a “tradeoff” you and Trump have made masks a dumb political issue. Even if masks and social distancing help enough to make people feel safe enough to allow them to cautiously go to the bike store or the coffee shop or on a camping trip or to some hygienicly modified church services, why would we not support it? It’s because Trump is incapable of such simple leadership. So rather than just unite people behind a cause and against a deadly virus, it’s got to be all or nothing political Armageddon. That’s the scam Tom, and Trump may fool some of you forever, not “all the people” anymore. Now it’s just a matter of whethee we are going to have to throw our bodies at his wall around the White House just to get Trump to leave when he loses.

        It’s only the whole concept of institutional democracy and representative government at stake . . . but you don’t like our government anyway, right?

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        1. @tsalmon

          Actually, we measure success relative the challenges. Abraham Lincoln won the Civil War, but that war left the South wrecked. People understood Lincoln could not stop the war. Therefore, his contemporaries measured his success against the challenges of winning the war, and everyone understood the Rebels fought win both valor and tenancy.

          Can someone fool the people all the time? How would we know?🙄

          Politicians flatter us. Lincoln did it too, but I suppose if we believe in God and trust Him there is some justification for Lincoln’s words. Otherwise, don’t count on it.

          The rest of your comment is a news media inspired rant.

          The hospitals are brimming with COVID-19 patients? No. Earlier you made a remark about Texas. So check this (dashboard from https://dshs.texas.gov/coronavirus/additionaldata.aspx) => https://txdshs.maps.arcgis.com/apps/opsdashboard/index.html#/ed483ecd702b4298ab01e8b9cafc8b83

          This view, https://txdshs.maps.arcgis.com/apps/opsdashboard/index.html#/0d8bdf9be927459d9cb11b9eaef6101f, allows you to get the hospital usage. Even on the border they have plenty of space.

          Note that hospitals try to keep full. It is profitable, but emergencies go to the head of the line and the elective stuff has to wait.

          I chuckled at the remark about Biden not having to run negative ads. With a biased news media? All the news about Trump is campaign ads for Biden. Biden’s team is just trying figure out how to keep him shut up in his basement.

          You still don’t get the issue with the 20th Amendment? I suppose I will do a post, but this just about covers it => https://www.foxnews.com/opinion/postpone-election-trump-hans-von-spakovsky

          Frankly, the thought that Nancy Pelosi might be President should scare anyone.

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    2. That would make for a pretty large bump on that bus. I’d sit in the back for the greatest effect. 🙂 Although, if anyone here is of the black persuasion.. sit anywhere you want.

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      1. Ha! Ok, let’s throw MW under the bus. Germans are so stoic, he probably won’t even notice – just think it’s raining busses and put up an umbrella.

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  2. We’ve got an expression for this where I live. It’s called whistling through the graveyard.

    My governor in Mississippi couldn’t be more Trumpy. He and his Republican Primary opponent’s biggest issue seemed to be which one could crawl the farthest up Donald J. Trump’s butt. You’d think that Mississippi’s response to the Pandemic would mirror Trump’s off and on again feckless excitement followed by feckless ambivalence, but it hasn’t. As the numbers of infections, sickened and dead to Coronavirus has climbed, Mississippi has been uncharacteristically transparent, especially concerning the sickness and deaths of its old and its vulnerable black communities. Unlije Trump, the governor has been incredibly honest about mistakes and systemic failures.

    In the course of the Pandemic, Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves has increasing imposed, retracted and then reimposed stricter, both mandatory and precatory, viral mitigation’s. He has put the State’s chief health official front and center at daily updates that have sounded an alarm somewhere between dire hair-on-fire prediction to bent knee pleading, pretty much to no avail because the national leadership is dithering at best and at worst, actually works toward the virus’ sickness and death with too many of our science denying residents, many of which are our dear friends – Kate and I fear for them terribly.

    I compare that to the military base next to my house where I am blessed to be able shop and receive health care. Nobody is opposing masks or distancing there. There is no scoffing and childish whining about minor inconsistencies. I actually had a retiree scold me for going down the commissary aisle the wrong way. The base leadership has been mostly excellent as they’ve risen to the challenge of the new AF Basic Training that has moved here. Everyone is mission oriented to protecting the troops, the community and especially the retired veterans and their families, a duty of honoring their legacy of service that the Base Commander has called sacred. Politics are not even considered, just the best scientific recommendations from experts.

    When we’ve got Godly men like Mel here whining about wearing a mask that might save his neighbor’s life and pushing snake oil, while our real patriots just do the right thing, well, as a nation, we may be lost in the wilderness for a while.

    Good luck Doug, but I think that the whistling is drowning you out.

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    1. The military bases (as you know) can do this because the installation commander is a de facto king, and the base is literally under martial law. Communities in a free society are run differently.
      This isn’t really anything new (though it is new to us).
      There were cholera riots in the 1800s. Masses of them, throughout Europe and Russia.
      People are social animals and extreme isolation leads to other problems. It’s hard to balance physical health concerns with mental health concerns during a pandemic.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. All very true. In fact, if the “de facto kings” on all the military installations are using their mask wearing/social distancing mandates have been so effective, perhaps that’s a hint about how to manage it off base. Duh. One reason perhaps some of the authoritarian societies have been more effective in containment than we have.

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      2. Liz,

        I agree with all of that, except for one thing. Our Base Commander isn’t being some kind of Fascist ruler because she has the power to do so. She’s doing the right thing because it’s the right thing to do, based on the science and on a high sense of service, I looked up her background and I follow her briefings on Facebook. She’s a highly educated, consummate professional and an excellent leader. As you know, you don’t get these jobs in the Air Force if you’re a happy-go-lucky slouch like I was in the military – you have to be motivated toward excellence in every way. She screws thus up and she’s gone with a dozen other fantastic overachievers just waiting to take her place. She accountable and she responsible, and she obviously thrills at being so – how refreshing is that?

        Also, for the personnel, this isn’t a case of “just following orders” no matter how dumb they are. The troops, the community and especially the retirees like myself, genuinely appreciate the breath of fresh air (literally) that we have on base where everything isn’t governed by some weird, blind political slant, but just the best science and the mission to protect and serve the country. It’s completely different from the endless tribalism and political demagoguery that seems to motivate both extremes right now, but especially the gaping hole of bottomless grievance that is Trump and his following right now.

        I’ve never seen my country so divided nor have I ever seen my country so desperate for leadership, except when I’m on base, then it all disappears.

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        1. I loved living on base, and agree there was not the divisiveness one sees in the civilian world. That’s…because political divisiveness is/was not tolerated.
          That isn’t what one finds in a free society.
          They literally measure the grass, check for dust on the light bulbs when you move out. Base housing makes the most authoritative and restrictive HOA look like Burning Man.

          But, again, there is a social component to some of these measures that cannot be ignored. The USAF academy did have two cadets commit suicide during their confinement.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. There’s also the economic aspect. Military members don’t have to worry as much about their next paycheck. That base commander doesn’t have to worry her installation won’t be profitable and go out of business due to the shut down.
            They have other problems, but that isn’t one of them.

            Liked by 1 person

          2. Since we’re on the subject, at a commander’s course a while back, one of the former commanders mentioned a big social media outrage problem because a picture was taken while he was on the way to work. A kids bike broke down on the way to school and he picked him up since it was on his way. It was the staff car, this was all on base. He nearly lost his job over it.
            Imagine what thousands of people, some very well financed, all set out to ruin one commander’s life could do. This is a rough approximation of what I imagine it must be like to be president right now.

            Liked by 1 person

          3. Liz,

            Unlike so many other things that I don’t pretend to understand, this, like the Law and flying airplanes (and cooking good Gumbo), is something that I’ve had a little education and experience in. I actually used to teach this stuff in the military for a while before I retired.. Three things:

            1. Leadership is not about being perfect, it’s about modeling and promoting an ethos of professional excellence. The mission field is rarely static; it is almost always dynamic, changing and kinetic. Good leadership takes risks and allows mistakes. It takes responsibility and accountability for those errors and learns from them. If you want to give me anecdotes about where a good leader made a mistake in planning or implementation, even during this crisis, I’ll could give you a dozen more (like my Governor) where they have assumed responsibility, adapted and moved forward always looking for that excellence that only some risks and setbacks can actually train.

            2. The essence of leadership is integrity. However, you would be mistaken if you think integrity is something a leader just has. Instead, integrity is endlessly aspirational. If a leader aspires to integrity (loyalty, honor, honesty, courage, teamwork, etc.) men and women will literally die for that leader. If a leader lacks the aspiration toward integrity, followers will pretend to go along to get along, and like everyone around Trump, they will turn on him as soon as they have to for the sake of their own integrity (Mattis, Kelly, Bolton, etc., etc).

            3. Related to 2., leadership is about service to others in a cause greater than each our own individual self interest. Ambition toward individual excellence is as integral to the military as it is to every other area of human endeavor. The military is very much a meritocracy in that sense. However, if that individual ambition is not subsumed into and ultimately devoted to the mission and the team, especially the weakest members of the team, then it is worse than useless. In this way, the military is very much a meritocracy within a tight collective.

            While I don’t disagree that military service and leadership is unique amongst other areas of human endeavor such as politics, citizenship, business, etc., I think that the basic values are applicable and adaptable to every aspect of human endeavor that requires leadership and followership.

            Trump fails on every criteria. I feel sorry for him in a way because his psyche is such a bottomless hole of need for love that, as a matter of basic personality, he is incapable of leadership. Leadership is a learned skill, but for most of us, it takes much introspection and epiphany in order to receive these gracefilled skills.

            I was a terrible leader at the start of my military career, but I slowly figured out that the common denominator to all my problems wasn’t my grievances with an unfair world, or my perception that my CO had flaws. I learned that the common denominator of all my grievances was just plain old me. I got better at leading throughout all my careers, but it was something always that I strived toward rather than perfectly achieved. My great admiration is for people like John Lewis who learned these skills so very, very young and lived them lovingly throughout his life.

            The problem with Trump is not that he is flawed. It is that he is incapable of such an epiphany, or even that he is in need of that grace.

            Obama, Biden, McCain, Romney, W, Reagan, and perhaps especially GW Bush all were/are natural leaders to one degree or another and/or they learned those skills. We are so screwed right now until we can retire this pathetic child from our Presidency.

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          4. @tsalmon

            Everything you write is a PERSONAL attack on Trump. You don’t know the man, and you don’t even say what he has done wrong. It is all vague generalities. That is not honest, and it is not necessary. When you judge the PRESIDENT your modesty reeks of falseness.

            Politics doesn’t require us to attack someone personally. We can disagree with what a politician wants to do. We can attack the ethics of what a politician wants to do. We can complain about the wrongness of specific actions. But we don’t have to judge a politician except with respect to his or her fitness for office with respect to another candidate.

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          5. In February, 1971 I was in basic at Lackland. My lottery number was 53 so I was destined to be drafted so I opted to select my own branch of service before that. My complete determination as to what branch was made entirely by the easiest basic training I could find… not being a physical guy by nature nor all that willing to have someone screaming in my ear on how to do a push-up (I had that in high school ROTC). So USAF basic was pretty easy. One day while on duty as a “dorm guard” while the rest of the flight was off doing their thing somewhere, I heard someone sniffling inside the bunk area. Searching it out I found a lone airman sitting on his bunk crying his eyes out. When I asked what the problem was he replied, “I can’t take this anymore.” I empathized with him a bit.. and reminded him of the avenue he can take to take care of his issues, essentially, follow the chain, seek a meeting with a religious officer, etc. I left kinda perplexed. I had enlisted in what I thought was the easiest basic training of all the branches and was going through it all just fine. This kid had a nervous breakdown. Point being on all of this… life’s quandaries, problems, misadventures.. are all relative to the person experiencing them.
            Fast forward 10 1985. I was married, three kids. We were visiting my mother over a weekend, and was chatting with her neighbor.. a single mom who had a son herself, but had recently entered USAF and I had provided some tips on what he might expect at Lackland. This visit was across the fence was different. Her son couldn’t face basic training and killed himself during training.
            My whole point here is to present the idea that suicides will happen for any and all reasons and is entirely dependent on the individual coping/adopting with change. It also happens in “normal” times. It should be a mandatory statistic within any health system, but it is not. Just saying “suicides are up” with trying to contain the pandemic contains zero substance unless there are breakdowns as to reasons. If we are that concerned with suicides then we need a mental health program. I knew damn well suicides would increase over the pandemic lifestyle shifts. It’s human and it happens when our world changes. This is why behavioralists should be part of these task forces.

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          6. I knew damn well suicides would increase over the pandemic lifestyle shifts. It’s human and it happens when our world changes. This is why behavioralists should be part of these task forces.

            What role would these “behavioralists” have on the task force?
            We already know extremes of social isolation lead to mental breakdown. This is a foregone conclusion, nothing we need a “behavioralist” to tell us.
            Suicide is just one variable (but an important one). People are social animals and things go wrong in all sorts of ways under isolation. Isolation itself lowers the immune system and increases cortisol levels.
            FWIW, my oldest brother committed suicide when I was 13 and my father in law committed suicide two years ago. It’s not a small issue for me…but I’m not monomaniacal about it either.

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          7. When there’as going to be talk of a national shutdown/stay indoors that’s a political decision and should be made with a measure of planning and anticipation for the unexpected.. along with some level of anticipatory human social reactions in order to prepare as best as is possible. In other words, a “real” pandemic task force would be made up of various elements.. compartmentalize in some ways. The health people.. the scientists.. make recommendations based on best-science available at the time. If universal or regional… or state action is required, the compartment makes the recommendation for action. The next section takes into consideration the ramifications to.. the general public, the economy, social, regional, etc. The whole idea of a task force is to get the best course of action with the knowledge available QUICKLY.. this isn’t a putzing along bureaucracy…. and the boss of it all decides having been armed with all this input. There should be a communication section ready to communicate policy and process down the line. There is none of this… and we are suffering for it all. It’s been a hodge-podge comedy of errors.

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          8. @Doug

            Planning for a national economic shutdown? Something that has never been done? Something implemented at the state government level? So, governors could blame Trump for their decisions?

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          9. Tom,

            “Everything you write is a PERSONAL attack on Trump.”

            So? I don’t think that he has the PERSONAL character to be president. That’s the point. It’s kinda like asking how Lincoln was doing after he went to the theater that night: “Other than being dead, President Lincoln is doing fine”. Trump’s lack of basic leadership skills is not only objectively measurable under any number of criteria during these crises, it is fatal to his presidency (and to a lot of other Americans). It’s also apparent every time he opens his lying mouth or his bottomless Tweet hole, but other than that, he’s doing fine.

            “When you judge the PRESIDENT your modesty reeks of falseness.“

            So are you saying that I have false modesty or that I’m immodest? I’m sure that I am often guilty of both. 🙂 However, I’m not pretending to be an expert and dangerously lecture everyone on potentially fatal things that I know absolutely nothing about. On those things, I just listen to the experts; I don’t constantly say I know more than the experts or parrot harmful conspiracies that the experts all have secret “Deep State” agendas. So which kind of immodesty is worse? False pretense or false unpretentiousness? Which one are you guilty of? Which one is more dangerous when you are advising people on life or death decisions?

            “But we don’t have to judge a politician except with respect to his or her fitness for office with respect to another candidate.“

            Why do you get to decide for me or anyone else how we decide if Trump is fit for office? What kind of immodesty is that?

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          10. @tsalmon

            You accuse the man of everything under the sun, but it has become a joke. That’s why you stay away from specifics and just spout cutesy emotional, meanspirited BS. Your talk is more appropriate to a ridiculing of high school bully than a serious discussion of politics, but I suppose you are just imitating the Liberal Democrat news media. We become what we dwell upon.

            The notion that Trump lacks leadership skills is preposterous. He IS the PRESIDENT, and he beat the best politicians in the country to get the job. Moreover, he has survived constant attack by vast array of forces and implemented much of his agenda. So, to put it politely, you don’t make sense. Reality is in direct contradiction with your words.

            Do I get to decide for you or anyone else whether Trump is fit for office? No, but the Bible tells us not to judge others. You are not evaluating Trump’s fitness for office. You don’t even compare him to any alternatives. You just relentlessly attack the man personally, and that is wrong, and you know it.

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          11. Not hardly the same. Trump would have tossed the kid a MAGA hat from the car window as he passed the kid by.

            Since the commander was in trouble for using a government vehicle for non-work related purposes (driving a civilian child three miles to school), he would have been better off doing the above. That is the new paradigm with social media.
            I do not disagree with TSalmon on the qualities of good leadership, but I do not think he understands the current situation and how much social media has changed the equation.
            It has strong armed leaders and everything is (potentially) personal and political now.

            Liked by 1 person

          12. “I do not disagree with TSalmon on the qualities of good leadership, but I do not think he understands the current situation and how much social media has changed the equation.
            It has strong armed leaders and everything is (potentially) personal and political now.“

            That’s fair Liz. For several years, I was the Communications Chairman at my airline’s union. I was an ALPA national spokesperson for a while after 9/11 and did dozens of local and national press interviews, including on Dateline and the BBC. I’m a little rusty though. Enlighten me about how modern social media works.

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          13. Just to add (completely off topic, but on the subject of leadership and staff cars), when my spouse took over the last assignment the maintenance people were very behind. He’d work all day and then visit them during the night on his off hours to ask questions.
            One of the biggest issues was vehicles. They spent so much time going from one area to another and didn’t have enough vehicles. So he asked the person in charge of maintenance about it, and the staff just kind of slow leaked everything and never got the vehicles.
            After several weeks and no sign of maintenance vehicles my spouse announced that he would procure all staff cars on the base and they would be used by maintenance, if other vehicles could not be found. They got their vehicles.

            Liked by 1 person

          14. TSalmon: I’m a little rusty though. Enlighten me about how modern social media works.

            I guess you’re being facetious?
            Imagine fame without the money.
            Everyone knows who you are, everywhere you go…and you don’t know them. Some of them don’t like you, and you know that at any time in public you can be caught on film and everything taken out of context. And the truth doesn’t matter, it’s all perception.
            That pretty much sums up what it is like to be an installation commander right now.

            Liked by 1 person

          15. “I guess you’re being facetious?
            Imagine fame without the money.
            Everyone knows who you are, everywhere you go…and you don’t know them. Some of them don’t like you, and you know that at any time in public you can be caught on film and everything taken out of context. And the truth doesn’t matter, it’s all perception.
            That pretty much sums up what it is like to be an installation commander right now.“

            Ok Liz, you got me there. I didn’t know that. And Tom would say that I was being “pretentious” rather than “facetious”, and he’d probably be right. But I still don’t understand what (as our Dad used to say) that has to do with the price of rice in China.

            The managing partner at my old law firm once said, that if it weren’t for the clients and the judges and the other lawyers, this would be a great job. I realized he was right and soon after that, I left to become an airline pilot.

            I loved every moment that I was flying in the Navy. I loved the mission, I loved the people, I loved the whole ethos of excellence. If they would have let me just keep flying and fighting bad guys, I would still be doing it, but I got too rank, and it was move up or move out. I moved out.

            No one makes someone become a base commander just as no one makes someone become president. You got to want it and the fact that leadership is hard and often political does not relieve someone who chooses that role of accountabilty for trying to perfect all the skills that I meantioned above. Some people are just unlucky and some people really are thrown into unfair, no win situations. It’s awful, but that changes nothing about assuming the role and living up to the character standards. I’ve had some ups and downs in life too, but, maybe I’ve just been blessed, but I think that, in the most basic ways, we create our own fates by our attitudes in the unfairness more than our blessings. Does that make sense?

            As a side note, I can’t imagine what you and your family are going through right now given what is happening with the airlines. I’m not being facetious at all when I say my heart breaks for you and all my airline family. I don’t blame Trump for any of that, but I do blame him for making it longer and worse than it has to be. The man is self centered and feckless. If I actually hated him for anything, it would be what I see happening to people that I love from all the airlines that I worked with and knew. But hate is sooo exhausting. It’s not worth it, even for that. Like I said, I’m blessed.

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          16. As a side note, I can’t imagine what you and your family are going through right now given what is happening with the airlines. I’m not being facetious at all when I say my heart breaks for you and all my airline family.

            Thank you. We’ll get through it, but I appreciate it. 🙂
            Hard to say what the future holds, but I suspect travel will never be the same.
            The airlines are trying to make ends meet by shipping cargo (you probably know this, but others might not).
            Ugh, interesting times.
            On the bright side, we are going to Yellowstone and Grand Teton in the morning!
            We’ll be without internet for about five days. Not even cell coverage out there, should be interesting!
            Hope you all have a great week.
            🙂

            Liked by 1 person

          17. Just to add, we’ve been very very blessed in life too.
            But I wouldn’t have wanted that job for more than two years. It was a stresser.
            One of the best experiences of our life. Mike liked the opportunity to help people, and helped a lot of people. But a longer assignment would’ve killed us. 😆

            He’s lost about 15 pounds of stress fat, best shape he’s been in in years.
            Worked for, and with, some phenomenal people. I’ll do a plug for General Mike Holmes (who is retiring). He was up for a chief of staff position he didn’t get. The guy who got it has to be unbelievable. There are fantastic people in these positions. We are blessed as a nation to have them.
            -Liz out

            Liked by 1 person

          18. “Do I get to decide for you or anyone else whether Trump is fit for office? No, but the Bible tells us not to judge others.”

            You keep saying these things like they make any sense. Of course I’m judging the heck out of Donald J. Trump. But I’m not judging whether he’s pretty enough to win a beauty contest. And I’m not judging whether God will let him into Heaven or whether his soul can ultimately be redeemed. I’m judging whether I think he stinks as President and whether we should hire him to stink up the country some more.

            When, as a flight instructor, I was evaluating a student for fitness to solo, I was “judging” whether he might kill himself and others. Why, if I have absolutely no intention of feeling bad about that, should I possibly feel bad about “judging” a corrupt fool who I believe has been and could be responsible for the unnecessary deaths of hundreds of thousands, maybe millions of Americans?

            There are only two possibilities here, and either way Trump has failed as a leader: (1) the scientific experts are right and Trump should have and should be taking this virus as seriously as the leadership of every other nation that has stopped and slowed the contagion’s spread; or (2) the scientists are totally wrong, the conspiracy theorists are right and it’s all a big hoax perpetrated by the amazingly capable Democrat Illuminati, and Trump should have squelched that fraud before it wrecked our economy into an increasing, Great Depression level, downward spiral. Either way, Trump has been the putz in charge while my friends and neighbors lose their careers.
            Trump is worst than worthless as a leader.

            And that’s just the most flagrant example of Trump’s unfitness. You want to go lie by lie, embarrassing and discussing tweet by Tweet. You want to talk about how he illegally paid off porn stars to hide the adultery that would have probably squelched his election chances? You want to talk about how he lied to voters about his business connections in Russia (and the Russians knew he was lying). Trump won by something like 30,000 votes in three states. Hell, we didn’t elect Trump, the Russians did.

            These are not “rumors” and gossip Tom. They are the facts in evidence of crimes that people plead guilty to. Even if you don’t believe these facts, then they keep piling up like the cars of a derailed freight train.

            But no, you’ve got a cool conspiracy theory about everything that somehow makes the diabolical Democrat Deep State responsible for every dumb, corrupt thing Trump does. Did they make Trump cheat on all his wives? Damn the Dems are good at diabolicalling. Do know you how impossible it is to disabuse people of their conspiracy theories if they really, really, really want to believe them? There is no end to it and before I know it, you’ve got a web of red yarn wrapped around everyone and everything that ever happened. So I just say Trump is an incompetent, corrupt clown who obviously lacks the basic basic character to be elected court jester, and let Trump and the unmitigated and unprecedented catastrophe that is the Trump Presidency speak for themselves.

            One of these days I may have to so some study on whether deeply religious people are also more likely to be gullible to conmen and conspiracy theories. We already know that they can be scammed by TV preachers. Maybe, it’s because at heart I am a believing skeptic who has come slowly to a deeper and deeper faith that I have some immunity? Or maybe I’m the craziest one here because the fact that Trump has no basic character seems like a no brainer to me. Really, knowing what you know about Trump l would you buy into Trump University or invest in one of his casino adventures? Why would you trust the country to him?

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          19. @tsalmon

            Using your ground rules I judge you incompetent to vote.

            I write a comment, and you pick and choose what you want to respond to. And what is your response? Cutesy, emotional, meanspirited BS. But you don’t hate Trump? 🤨

            Is is about the facts? No, Just entirely unsubstantiated assertions. Repetition of what talking heads have said as if it all must be true.

            Here is a clue. Life expectancy in the USA is 78. The median age of a COVID-19 death is 78. This is a crisis? BS!

            So, what are you going to do? Vote for Biden? That’s the honorable alternative to Trump? Why? Before you rail against or anybody else’s choice, why is your choice better? Duh! Is that too much to ask?

            All you do is attack Trump with utter nonsense, and most of your nonsense is as personal and hurtful as you can make it. You are not judging the man? Hogwash! If that is the way you judged your students you would have been fired.

            Then you start in on the psychobabble. How dare anyone disagree with you? It is that Bible reading! Got to be that!

            Tony, I come from the perspective that the Bible is truth. What is says about good and evil is truth. What it says about man is truth. Because none of us seek God — because it is God who saves us — I don’t expect Trump to be perfect. Far from it. I also don’t expect Biden to be perfect, far from it. Still, I have to pick someone. So, I look at the candidate’s records, pray, make my pick, and pray some more.

            Because I cannot see into another man’s heart, when I vote I don’t know if I have made the right choice. I just know that God works all things to the good of those who love Him. We can all do our best, but without God’s grace it is not good enough.

            I think Trump the better candidate. Is he the better man? God knows.

            John 21:18-23
            New American Standard Bible
            Our Times Are in His Hand
            18 Truly, truly, I say to you, when you were younger, you used to gird yourself and walk wherever you wished; but when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands and someone else will gird you, and bring you where you do not wish to go.” 19 Now this He said, signifying by what kind of death he would glorify God. And when He had spoken this, He *said to him, “Follow Me!”

            20 Peter, turning around, *saw the disciple whom Jesus loved following them; the one who also had leaned back on His bosom at the supper and said, “Lord, who is the one who betrays You?” 21 So Peter seeing him *said to Jesus, “Lord, and what about this man?” 22 Jesus *said to him, “If I want him to remain until I come, what is that to you? You follow Me!” 23 Therefore this saying went out among the brethren that that disciple would not die; yet Jesus did not say to him that he would not die, but only, “If I want him to remain until I come, what is that to you?”

            Because of what He told Peter, I try to follow Jesus and leave the judgment of others to Him. And I don’t do that all that well. Still, because He told us to leave the judgement of others to Him, we have to try.

            Liked by 1 person

    2. I know, T… it’s all rather like, why do I bother.. and the followers here also would prefer I become more scarce, I’m sure. But.. hope springs eternal. We are way, way past debating any of his agenda.. that’s gone nowhere and to listen to them it’s a grand list of accomplishments.. yay MAGA. Trump is a sick puppy and he has to go… and the next 90+ days are gonna be hell for the country.. and that’s not just regarding the pandemic.

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      1. Doug,

        Probably, I just scare up more pushback here than I change minds as everyone doubles down on their coronavirus hoax conspiracies and magical miracle cure thinking. You’d just think that there might be some objective, nonpartisan approach (like the military’s) that could make people stop and think outside their tiny information bubbles. But then I get that military leaders are doing this because they can do it, not because it’s simply the right thing to do. Like you, I wonder where does this madness end, and how will history judge the role we each played at this moment.

        I don’t know about you, but I was inspired by John Lewis’ posthumous NYT oped. I can’t imagine the radical courage it took to walk into the face of snarling police dogs and state troopers wielding billy clubs while remaining aggressively peaceful, putting his life in God’s hands in service of a justice for others he may not survive the encounter to see. He purposely sought the beating he took just to make a statement. Wow! How rare! I’ve never done anything in my whole life that brave, and I probably never will. I don’t personally know anybody that brave. The least that I can do is stand up and say something every now and then.

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        1. Well, said, my friend. On top of that, we are getting no younger and the urge to find some relevancy in which to promote being alive, at least for one last time, seems to become important. In a heartbeat I would walk willing into a frontal assault of machine gun fire with the idea that it means something greater than myself… than suffer the indignity of dying alone, listening to the monotonous rhythm of my breathing machine hour on end, waiting for time to pass, wondering if I live what parts may be missing or what form of diminished capacity I will inflict onto family, when, if, I wake up. As I blurbed to your bro elsewhere, I’d am ok in living long enough to witness Trump’s departure, fate and the Almighty permitting, knowing my vote helped somehow along the way. In the meantime…. it hasn’t hit me.. yet… so we press on with a hope for the future of the nation. Lewis’ op-ed was inspiring.
          In my small way I spend time just trying to keep up the spirits of others along life’s path, especially the young. Maybe that’s where the national leadership comes from, Tony… each one of us as we pass hope along in some way… one person at a time.

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        2. Good grief.
          But then I get that military leaders are doing this because they can do it, not because it’s simply the right thing to do.

          There is more than one component to “right thing to do”.
          There is economic collapse, mental and societal breakdown.
          The variables on military bases are simply different.
          If one ignores all economics, the importance of social connections to mental health…well, then there’s only one “right thing”.
          We should all stay inside until pathogenic germs are gone from the earth.
          Think there was a movie about this (AI kept us all safe in this fashion)

          Reality and wishes don’t always match up. They actually seldom do.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. @Liz

            Never will get these guy to explain what exactly the economic shutdown is supposed to accomplish.

            Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety. — Benjamin Franklin (from => https://founders.archives.gov/documents/Franklin/01-06-02-0107)

            Are we going to eradicate the virus? No. Are we certain of a vaccine? No. Then when does the shutdown end, and why don’t we do this for the flu?

            Liked by 1 person

    3. @tsalmon

      So, the solution for the Coronavirus (COVID-19) in the politically correct direction in the supermarket.😷 I thought it was a mask. Both, maybe? But to what end?

      The original idea was to keep the hospitals from being swamped. Since then we have experienced an absurd amount of misson creep.

      Frankly, all we have to do is listen to you and Doug to know what this is about, removing Trump from office. What is Trump doing wrong? That is never actually stated. What is the shutdown supposed to achieve? That too is never explained.

      Don’t bother to suggest Conservatives are brainwashed, mind-numbed robots. Just consider that you have the command of lots of words that express emotion, but almost none that relate to facts or logic.

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  3. Our state just required face masks in all public buildings. What’s frustrating and absurd about this whole thing is that it’s 100% politically motivated. It’s based on bad science and there’s actually a cure that doctors have been suppressed from using. As one expert said, trying to stop the virus with a face mask is like trying to stop a mosquito with a chain-link fence. And we have a cure if we get the virus. Why are we not using Hydroxychloriquine? Because Trump is for it!

    Also, there are ZERO documented cases in the whole world of any student passing COVID-19 to a parent or teacher, yet we’re closing down schools? Why? Why is the teacher’s union in LA demands they de-fund the police before they’ll return to work? What does that have to do with teaching our children? I think people need to wake up to what’s really going on.

    I just posted the video from the doctors in front of the Supreme Court building that what shut down by the “Newspeak” media, We’ll see how long mine stays up. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. @Mel Wild

      This is high school stuff from Liberal Democrats. They are the cool kids against bullying who bully everyone else.

      The teachers unions are an example. They are not going to teach our children until we give in and become good, obedient Liberal Democrats happily wearing our chains just like the teachers they force to join their unions.

      Liked by 2 people

    2. In Germany tests with hydroxychloriquine have been stopped and donated drugs have been returned to the manufacturer by the federal government. I do not think, we are doing this to spite Trump, but rather because hydroxychloriquine has turned out ineffective against covid-19 and accompanied by dangerous secondary effects.

      As for cloth facemasks, they are not worn to protect yourself, but to protect others from you, in case you unknowingly have been infected and are in the infectuous stage. They do not have to be perfect at their job; it is enough, if they catch major parts of the droplets that you breath out naturaly, as that will catch most of the virus load, as well.

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      1. The thing to understand about hydroxychloroquine is that there are studies that show it to be a very effective Covid treatment and ones that show it not to be. The media bias towards promoting only anti hydroxy ones though, along with big tech’s outright censorship of anything showing otherwise, does a major disservice to the public. It may or may not be a good treatment option for some, but people should have information from all sides in order to make informed healthcare decisions along with their doctor.

        https://www.henryford.com/news/2020/07/hydro-treatment-study?fbclid=IwAR36Ufxkr-fCRtewqLlZWwW8Bc_e0NXJuwEq_J1m7oBvNhXizihgsJgh6Xw

        https://www.newsweek.com/key-defeating-covid-19-already-exists-we-need-start-using-it-opinion-1519535?fbclid=IwAR16jMub87zspSvG6RlgmjLEHIGGyBMb3ze0xfO_6AdcqQUzEUH2WQlfEdE

        https://aapsonline.org/new-study-shows-that-hydroxychloroquine-saves-lives-states-aaps/?fbclid=IwAR0aW7IHPvhMu-W38rAYdB0gDoQNUkIAZDLCc5G4QU2oP9WJ2n7Q3CUtLgI

        Liked by 3 people

        1. Whoops, links are disabled. If CT wants to add them you’ll see studies that do show the drug to be effective. Not saying it’s true in all cases but it’s certainly a very viable treatment for some.

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        2. As far as I can tell, all studies showing positive effects for hydroxychloroquine have crumbled under scrutiny. As I have just commented in the “My vent …”, the Henry Ford study is the most recent example of this trend. Keep in mind, that supposed “mediabias” happens worldwide, irrespective of the political systems. The German government went so far as to return donated hydroxychloroquine drugs to the manufacturer. On the brighter side, I hope you are aware of e.g. dexamethason and remdesivir, which while not being a cure, help to reduce the severity of the symptoms.

          Newsmedia filter and assess the information they forward to the reader/viewer, it is part of their job and if done properly and responsibly, it is a benefit to the recipient. We both will obviously have to agree to disagree, whether that is the case with US media or other, however I do not consider that filtering as evil/detrimental in itself.

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          1. Sorry for repeating the “returned by the German government” bit, I missed that you were responding to the comment where I already stated that part.

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          2. No worries at all and no apology needed. We all know about Germany returning donated hydroxy back to the manufacture as they should if the science has proven it not effective with the patients there. It seems very different here in the U. S. though as I know 2 doctors who use it with a lot of success but this requires it to be started early on in treatment and in conjunction zinc and ZPac. The three studies I linked to mention this too but Tom’s WP settings prevented them from showing up.

            Liked by 2 people

          3. On the brighter side, I hope you are aware of e.g. dexamethason and remdesivir, which while not being a cure, help to reduce the severity of the symptoms.

            I hope Trump never mentions that it might be effective. If he does there will be thousands of op ed pieces claiming Trump said folks should inject anabolic steroids and lick paint chips.

            Liked by 1 person

  4. Random people dying, random people making it through the experience with diminished capacity, hospitals filling up with the “two week” patients staying for weeks and months on end and unable to meet normal community health needs, the numbers being exposed and infected, asymptomatic or not, staying home from their jobs.. or having to quit them completely….. jeez, Tom…… and you think this is all a Liberal plot to dump Trump?? He’s doing it to himself every single day.
    Here’s my biggest fear, and it ain’t the damn virus. Trump catches this thing and IMMEDIATELY Trump supporters will ASSUME the Deep State :Liberals weaponized it to infect Trump intentionally.. and if that will not be bad enough, Trump dies.. and you can be assured future demonstrations in the streets will not be as “peaceful” as they have been so far.
    This is a sick nation because of Trump.. and you, old buddy, are an enabler of all that. So.. kick back, relax, and embrace the horror.

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    1. Oh my God, we’re all gonna die!!!

      While you my friend may be part of the vulnerable population and have reason to to take extra precautions, which I respect, the majority of us are not. We may suffer through a bad flu or maybe get lucky and be asymptomatic and 99.5% of us will survive, so why on earth are things still shut down? Hospitals are not overrun, deaths are down considerably since the April peak, so much so that the CDC downgraded it from a pandemic to an epidemic.

      As of today almost 75,000 business have permanently closed, the economy had an enormous 2nd quarter contraction of 32%, suicide deaths outnumber those by Covid (as per CDC Chief) and kids have not been in a classroom for 4 months with no end in site. We cannot keep doing this.

      I daresay the selfish ones are those who keep insisting we remain locked down.

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        1. You are correct, sir, my bad! Still a 9.5% drop is nothing to smile at. From today’s Wall Street Journal, “The Commerce Department said U.S. gross domestic product—the value of all goods and services produced across the economy—fell at a seasonally and inflation adjusted 32.9% annual rate in the second quarter, or a 9.5% drop compared with the prior quarter. The figures were the steepest declines in more than 70 years of record-keeping”

          Liked by 2 people

      1. You really need to understand how to interpret data tossed you way before readily accepting “suicides outnumber covid deaths per CDC” as some justification for anything that fits your pro-Trump politics.
        You need to evaluate inside those suicides the individual reasons. A fair number were represented by front line people… many from just the waiting for the test results (obviously brooding over the result delays were too much), and other issues.. not just people despondent over losing the family restaurant or gym.

        https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/media-spotlight/202006/are-we-facing-post-covid-19-suicide-epidemic

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        1. @Doug

          And then he references …..

          That article did not make your case.

          That 150,000 number people keep repeating is probably inflated, and it will get more so since there is more testing it will get more so. All you have to do is die and test positive, and you are a COVID-19 stat.

          4 – 5 million die every year. Economic and social chaos will cause people to die for a variety of reasons.Those deaths combined will easily outnumber COVID-19 deaths.

          Liked by 1 person

        2. “But there has been another cost that we’ve seen, particularly in high schools,” Redfield said. “We’re seeing, sadly, far greater suicides now than we are deaths from COVID. We’re seeing far greater deaths from drug overdose that are above excess that we had as background than we are seeing the deaths from COVID. So this is why I keep coming back for the overall social being of individuals, is let’s all work together and find out how we can find common ground to get these schools open in a way that people are comfortable and their safe.”-CDC Director Robert Redfield

          “More than 35 states have reported increases in opioid-related mortality as well as ongoing concerns for those with a mental illness or substance use disorder in counties and other areas within the state.”-American Medical Association

          The emotional toll of job/income loss from the economic shutdowns where 40 million jobs have been lost has created a mental health crisis that’s no doubt contributed to these skyrocketing suicides and overdoses. The closest comparable event was the 2008 Great Recession which killed 2.6 million jobs.

          Liked by 2 people

          1. So.. what you are saying is that we just ignore the virus.. open it all up… toss out the masks.. and go back to partying (like many already have which is why things have gotten worse).. let those who are going to die.. just plain die because this is nature thinning the herd.. so everyone can get back to “regular” deaths.. like suicides, opioid use, drug use, auto accidents… the “good” deaths… yada, yada… and having that wonderful economy Obama started.

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          2. No of course not, I’ve never said that. I think we should open most things up, keep sensible distancing and mask policies in place but let counties decide what works best. Then instead of spending trillions of dollars in unemployment and propping up a zombie economy we could use funds to truly protect nursing homes by providing weekly testing and building special facilities that covid positive patents being discharged from hospitals could be transferred to instead of them being sent to nursing homes. I wouldn’t be opposed to funding for those in the workforce too who because of pre existing conditions don’t feel safe going back to work.

            It’s actually the duty of healthy low risk folks to get out there and get the virus so we can get on with getting to herd immunity. That’s really the best way to protect the vulnerable.

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          3. But you have a good percentage of the country opposed to mandated masking because it offends peoples’ freedoms; it’s political. There’s a lot of folks who just plain object to any sort of being told what to do and subscribe to the idea that it’s all a deep state conspiracy from Trump haters. Unless most people sign on then there’s going to be problems controlling the spread.
            I know you guys are tired of my anti-Trump meandering when all you want to do is address a given event or issue as if it stood alone in some vacuum. No… it all relates to his inability to act like a president. Just pick any issue… and it’s him to directly blame, indirectly blame, or just fail to accept responsibility to lead the country past a calamity. Each day is something new. Today he’s doing the invalidating the election that hasn’t even happened yet to position himself for contrived voter irregularity litigation. What president even thinks of that nonsense? He still lies and has no credibility. We’re all biding time until the election. So.. yes.. sadly it’s all about Trump and his gross mismanagement. Boring as hell, huh? He’s a real sick puppy…. and each day it’s worse.
            Ok.. you have a plan.. who is going to carry your plan forward? Governors? There’s 50 of them. Even if they were all GOP.. they still would run things 50 different ways. Who is going to rally Congress to your plan? Pence?
            Right now the only thing “ruining” the economy is fear. How does your plan address that?

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          4. I’m really against mandated masking but feel if there must be rules about it they should come from counties which know the situation on the ground better than governors and where officials can be held more accountable for overreach. I’d prefer actually it be up to store owners to decide. Outside there should be no mask requirements at all as the chance of transmission is extremely low and I believe much psychological harm is done by encouraging people to fear others walking by them when there is no basis for it.

            You keep talking about increased spread but keep ignoring that I could care less about this. In fact as long as deaths and hospitalizations remain stable I believe it’s a very good thing for this to happen, especially if it’s among younger and healthier populations. Let’s burn through this thing before flu season hits and colder weather pushes people back indoors.

            What’s needed with leadership at all levels of government is a spirit of courage to tell people the truth about this virus; that the spread is inevitable, many of us will get it and most of us will be fine. We need to come together to keep society functioning and strong both economically and psychologically, help those that need it most and comfort the fearful in to leading lives of purpose over just living to avoid death.

            Liked by 2 people

          5. @Tricia
            @Doug

            First Federal officials were against masks.
            Now we are mandating masks.

            Frankly, when get into the mode of twisting arms and threatening people with fines and jail time, don’t you think we ought to have people in charge who know what they are doing? Yet, who would that be? Trump? Let’s give Trump more power. Wouldn’t that be a great idea? Doug?

            Liked by 2 people

          6. This constant lament about “at first they said no masks” lasted about 5 minutes in the entire timeline of this pandemic… yet you, et all, continue as if this is some reasoning to avoid science.

            Like

          7. @Doug

            I don’t much care about the masks one way or the other. Nuisance. I am not much of a social creature.

            Surgical masks were designed to prevent surgical personnel from infecting their patients. How well they work with viruses is debatable. The would stop the spread of droplets of moisture coming from one person to another, but not individual virus in the air. So we have to guess the relative importance, and studies would be somewhat difficult.

            The whole economic shutdown thing is actually a vast experiment. People will be doing studies of it for years.

            Like

          8. @Tricia

            And that’s why the mass media is stoking our fears.

            No mother wants their children to accept the risk, but we accept the risk, because we don’t have a choice. Here is the same problem, but we insist we have a choice, when we don’t. Fortunately, the virus has little affect on children.

            Liked by 1 person

          9. Children are carriers, Tom. You wanted the country to re-open.. thinking all this was nothing. It re-opened and now we are far worse. Now you want to try the same stunt with children?

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          10. @Doug

            Here is what the Director of the CDC said.
            https://www.wlox.com/2020/07/22/cdc-director-i-would-absolutely-send-my-grandkids-back-school-fall/

            The stuff on the CDC website is more wishy-washy, but that’s our government.
            https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/schools-childcare/decision-tool.html

            Really, everyone should be making their own decisions and accepting the consequences. That is just the nature of liberty. Without personal responsibility, we cannot be free.

            Liked by 1 person

          11. No… no. no. no! There are legitimate emergencies where we.. the “We the people” we… have chosen leader(s) to take charge and act with decisiveness outside the normal function of a democratic republic. This is the reason we voted for them! (Oh.. you never thought of that? A border wall was more important?) In fact, Congress has bestowed certain take-charge measures a president can use in emergencies… and some of this do not conveniently follow the Bill of Rights. You should know this already. This is a run-amok pandemic that’s spreading. Trump doesn’t want the responsibility then we have 50 different governors doing things their own way. I am more than happy to surrender any of my rights that would meet any immediate country-threatening national emergency… with the idea that we are doing it to get back to normalcy. But Conservatives are making it all about politics. and surrendering of liberty nonsense. And because you don’t want to wear a mask you start parsing peripheral scientists and extrapolating convenient reasons…. dragging out calculators and working numbers all over the place. Trump created a task force and for some reason his supporters don’t care what they say. But let’s listen to Tucker Carlson!! He’s the voice of reason! Ugh.

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          12. @Doug

            You are hyperventilating. Get a paper bag. People generally die in this country by age 78. The media age of the COVID-19 deaths is 78. Think about that.

            We have a federation. It is in the Constitution. That is just the way it is. You want to do it your way? Well, there would be some Constitutional issues.

            Liked by 1 person

        3. Doug, do you really deny that social isolation does not increase depression and suicide risk? I understand your TDS is strong, but it is a well established fact (we’re talking centuries) that humans need social interaction for their emotional well being. They don’t do well in isolation, which is why solitary confinement is a harsh punishment. It’s also why they keep interogees (sp) under isolation while they are attempting to “break” them.
          Your denial is absurd.
          It’s one thing to suggest cost to gains wise it is worth the risk to everyone’s emotional, physical (isolation also impacts the physical…as physical and mental are closely connected), economic (see mental and physical) wellbeing to ultimately get the virus under control (though it would be nice if you had some measurable standard for what that means, other than “Trump is doing it wrong”)
          But to just deny this exists is beyond the pale.

          What happened at the USAF academy was preventable and easily foreseeable. And after two cadets killed themselves (which must’ve been horrifying to the parents receiving messages of their mental decline in correspondences) they changed their policy to be less restrictive and allow some social interaction.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. The area we lived in a couple of assignments ago had a tragedy pretty recently.
            A emotionally disturbed 17 year old killed his 13 year old brother, and attempted to kill his father. He hadn’t been able to see a counselor in months due to the lockdown. His father is convinced this precipitated the incident.
            Lockdowns have a cost.
            Those costs have to be weighed honestly, and I just don’t see that happening with TDS. It’s like a bug in the programming where anything Trump says the answer is to do the opposite and then blame Trump for whatever happens.
            And then expect to be taken seriously.
            It’s nuts.

            Off to see some geysers now. Hoping to blow off some steam.

            Liked by 1 person

          2. “Doug, do you really deny that social isolation does not increase depression and suicide risk? ”

            Geez.. Liz, where in my entire reply ever suggest that? I suppose our little clique on Tom’s blog here allows for everyone to vent to whatever their preference is to meet our own little social inclusion needs…. but no one is bothering to read for comprehension anymore. Everyone here is frustrated, tired, and the same old arguments just solicit the same old replies.

            Like

      2. Tricia (and others), this is probably my main pet peeve about the whole thing. Why the lockdown? Why the draconian measures? It’s unwarranted. And it’s causing all kinds of negative side-effects. This is from a May 2020 article from the Washington Post (a liberal newspaper, btw):

        “Nearly half of Americans report the coronavirus crisis is harming their mental health, according to a Kaiser Family Foundation poll. A federal emergency hotline for people in emotional distress registered a more than 1,000 percent increase in April compared with the same time last year. Last month, roughly 20,000 people texted that hotline, run by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.”
        https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2020/05/04/mental-health-coronavirus/

        I would like to see if anyone would dare show the total death toll caused by the lockdown itself.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. On the other hand, auto accident deaths and injuries are way down. As I mentioned to Liz earlier, just shouting suicides are on an increase says nothing unless you know the reasons. A fair percentage has been the stress from the medical responders, ER, and intensive care people. That’s PTSD gone wild for sure. Nothing to do with a lockdown. Then you have suicides from people stuck in the limbo of waiting days and weeks for test results… the not knowing actually killing them. Then you have the suicides from people who find out they have caught the virus.. or are getting to the point of having to need to go to the hospital, and they off themselves. Add to those suicides family members, spouses, who lost a loved one.. or an entire family. None of those reasons are shutdown related. Sorry.. sounds like you are just trying to find some excuse that supports the pandemic is some Deep State Liberal anti-Trump plot.

          Like

        2. Agreed Mel, there’s a large cognitive dissonance with people who feel keeping the economy closed is better for people but are not comprehending the horrible negative effects and suffering that will only compounded exponentially for many years, perhaps a generation. Really it’s unprecedented what we’ve done, no one knows how things will end up.

          What’s essential to understand is nobody can say at all that lockdowns will prevent a single Covid death. Stop spread, yes, but this comes back because you have to open up eventually. Serious cases and deaths only get backloaded to later in the year and now you have a crippled economy to boot and are competing with flu season. Hooray for us.

          Liked by 3 people

        3. @Mel Wild

          The news media raves about the economic damaged caused by the economic. Somehow stifling the economy and putting mostly low wage workers out of work is a great thing (Good for the environment, don’t you know?). Somehow shutting down our schools, even though COVID-19 is less dangerous to children than the flu, shows how much teachers unions care. Somehow printing endless streams of money without any increase in productivity is a great thing too. Somehow we are supposed to believe that the people seizing more power than they are suppose to have both know what they are doing and that they are doing it for us. Not themselves? Yeah! Sure!🙄 Somehow we have to be conspiracy theorists to believe otherwise.

          Like

  5. “what is wrong with voluntary cooperation?” It seems that, except where the mandates have been challenged and overturned- or where they never were instituted- it’s a case of unnecessary manipulation and a coordinated approach- in my opinion

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree, jeffw5382. I’m all for voluntary cooperation. Most people do this already. We don’t need the state forcing everyone into the same mold and arresting people for not complying (while not arresting people for looting and beating up people on the same street). It’s just insanely hypocritical. We’re all grownups. And if we catch it, there’s treatment. If we’re unhealthy and vulnerable we probably should be out and about anyway right now.

      Liked by 2 people

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