Thoughts & Essays

Quarantine Notes: 4/29/20

As of about 11am (PDT) this morning, the United States has 1,027,295 confirmed cases of COVID-19. We have 59,392 deaths. We’ve conducted not quite 6 million tests. There are precious few signs that the situation will be improving anytime soon. In fact, considering some states’ and Trump’s push to lift restrictions and re-open the economy, things are likely to get worse.

Notes below. Updates through the day.

🛏️ If you’re exhausted and wandering around in a brain fog all the time, here’s why.

🐕 A pug in North Carolina has tested positive for COVID-19. His owners have it, and it’s pretty likely he caught it from them. He’s experiencing mild symptoms. So, we seem to have proof that dogs and cats (and probably some other pets; I think I read something about ferrets a few weeks ago) can catch COVID-19 from their humans. We don’t have any proof so far that pets can pass it to their humans. Also, I’m pretty sure we haven’t seen any evidence that they’re passing it to each other, yet, either.

⚰️ There are some people on this godforsaken rock that want to write off the COVID-19 deaths of the elderly, the already-sick, and the disabled because “they would have died anyway,” and those people are garbage people who should feel bad about themselves.

📈 Half of the entire country has been hit economically by the pandemic. Half. Of the whole country. Despite that, an overwhelming number of Americans think the country should stay shut down. Also, the majority would prefer that Joe Biden be in charge of both the country and the economy. (NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist Poll)

📱 Google and Apple are working together to develop an app to track COVID-19 infections. Most Americans either can’t use it because they don’t have a smartphone, or won’t use it because they don’t trust that shit.

☠️ Hey, remember how America is running internment camps for immigrants? Yes, those are still happening. Nope, they never stopped. Yes, they’re probably full of COVID-19. And yes, we’re apparently just fucking letting people die in there.

☠️ We’ve also basically abandoned everyone in prison to COVID-19. I could go on a long rant about privatized prisons and the school-to-prison pipeline and lots of other reasons why our prison system is a hot, evil mess that’s packed full of people who shouldn’t be in prison, and what a bunch of rotten bastards we are for letting that happen and then letting them all sit in there and die of the coronavirus, but instead I’m just gonna warn everyone that I’m spitting on the next person who trots out that “Murca’s the best!” bullshit in front of me.

⚰️ COVID-19 deaths in America have just surpassed the 60,000 mark. For those of you playing from home, “60,000 deaths” was the optimistic, lowballed prediction everyone’s been talking about.

🌞 Well, this has been a whole pile of bad news, hasn’t it? Let’s end on something good, today. For starters, the preliminary results on the antiviral drug remdesivir are looking promising, so we may have a COVID-19 treatment on the horizon. Also, the race to develop a vaccine is moving along, with one vaccine very nearly ready to enter human trials already. Scientists at Oxford University’s Jenners Institute think they might have a vaccine by September. If that ends up working out, I vote we all buy those guys a pint.

All right, I think I’m about done with this today. It’s only Wednesday, and it already kind of feels like it’s been a long week. Ug. Here, check out this kitty who thinks she’s a horse.

Featured image: Screencap from the Johns Hopkins COVID-19 dashboard.