Thoughts & Essays

Quarantine Notes: 5/6/20

The Trump administration and the GOP intends to spend your lives like dollar bills at a strip club in order to goose the economic numbers in a mad attempt to get re-elected this fall. Please, for the love of whatever you believe in, don’t let them get away with it come November.

💰 One of the more appalling things to watch, in a hellscape chock full of appalling things, is members of the GOP blithely accepting tens of thousands more American deaths in service of the economy. Chris Christie said recently, “Of course, everybody wants to save every life they can—but the question is, towards what end, ultimately? Are there ways that we can…thread the middle here to allow that there are going to be deaths, and there are going to be deaths no matter what?” In other words, “Fuck your suffering, what about my money?”

🤡 Jared Kushner mobilized a group of volunteers to organize the finding and dispensing of personal protective equipment, which sounds inspiring. Until you realize that what that means is that Kushner, a total incompetent, put together a gang of kids with no experience or knowledge of the job or the government, to hand out PPE, a task they screwed up so completely that it’s almost kind of funny. It’s especially galling in light of the fact that we have experts to do that job. Jared was just all, “Nah, these noobs I found can do it better than all these government guys who are trained and experienced in managing disasters.”

🚇 Read Sujatha Gidla’s story about how the MTA is being sacrificed to COVID-19.

🚇 Speaking of, New York’s subways will now start shutting down every night for cleaning.

🏭 Meanwhile, in San Luis Obispo, CA, the city was about to vote in a climate change policy that would have required all city buildings be completely electric. Until the local gas company threatened to bus in hundreds of protestors. Eric Hofmann, president of Utility Workers Union of America Local 132, wrote, “If the city council intends to move forward with another reading on a gas ban I can assure you there will be no social distancing in place. I strongly urge the city council to kick this can down the road to adhere to public health safety measures. Please don’t force my hand in bussing in hundreds and hundreds of pissed off people potentially adding to this pandemic.” Which, Jesus Christ, isn’t germ warfare illegal? Like I get you want to save your jobs, but fuck, man.

🦠 They were apparently having coronavirus parties in Washington.

💉 A new study shows that anti-vaxxers plan to refuse any COVID-19 vaccine we manage to develop, which might jeopardize, y’know, everybody.

🦠 Texas governor Greg Abbott admitted that reopening the state would definitely lead to the spread of COVID-19, on a private call with Texas lawmakers. They’re planning to go ahead and end their stay home orders anyways.

💉 There are a lot of organizations working on different vaccines. A few are in human trials or about to start human trials. A few look promising. But none of them are guaranteed. So… what does life look like if we don’t get a vaccine to COVID-19?

💰 “U.S. businesses cut an unprecedented 20.2 million jobs in April, an epic collapse with coronavirus outbreak closing the offices, factories, schools, construction sites and stores that propel the U.S. economy.” Read it.

🇷🇺 Two Russian doctors are dead and one is in an ICU. All three “fell out of a window.” All three were criticizing Russia’s response to COVID-19.

🦠 COVID-19 is coming to rural areas, and they are in no way, shape, or form ready for it. Here’s some more about that.

🍊 Trump went to Arizona yesterday and toured a plant making PPE. They blasted “Live and Let Die” while he did his tour. No, for real.

🍊 Speaking of Trump, watch for him to start claiming the number of deaths from COVID-19 in America are a hoax.

🤡 Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has been claiming that COVID-19 originated in a Chinese lab. There is not a single bit of evidence that this is true, and also, literally all of the experts say that COVID-19 was not made in a lab. It’s a regular old virus found in nature.

🦠 Andy Slavitt explains how we can scale up testing quickly, a vital step in safely re-opening America.

🦠 Re: that BS story in the LA Times yesterday about the scary new extra-contagious strain of COVID-19 that is almost certainly bullshit: The Atlantic’s Ed Yong explains why that probably isn’t a thing.

And that’s all for today, folks. It’s time for some Stardew Valley. Or possibly some Tropico 5. Anyway, enjoy this adorable rescued bat nomming a nanner.