Thoughts & Essays

Pandemic Notes: 5/27/20

Hey nerds, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is back on tonight. This is their final season, by the way. Last season suffered a bit from being canceled, then uncanceled, then it was their last season, then it wasn’t, yadda yadda yadda, so I’m hoping this season is more coherent. It certainly looks like fun! Here’s the trailer.

COVID-19 News

โ˜€๏ธ So, summer’s coming on and your state’s decided to go ahead and open up. What, exactly, is safe to go do this year? Can you get a haircut? Go swimming? Let your friend into your house to use the bathroom? Nothing? Anything? NPR had some experts assess the risks on various summer activities. You can read about it here.

๐Ÿ… Speaking of safety, what about farmers markets? Are those safe? Probably, as long as your local market is being cautious and following various safety guidelines.

๐Ÿ“ฐ Amazon is making basically all the money right now because so many of us are stuck at home, and so many places were closed, so we were all ordering off the Internet. Meanwhile, the workers in Amazon’s warehouses are getting screwed sideways, catching COVID-19, and dying. To offset the bad press and keep making all of the money, Amazon’s public relations people put together a whole free news broadcast and script for your local news station, to sing the praises of Amazon. And a bunch of stations ran it.

๐Ÿ“ฐ “Americans would take the Coronavirus more seriously if they saw the true impact of the disease on those who suffer most.” Read it.

โšฐ๏ธ As of today, over 100,000 people in America have died of COVID-19. The first recorded death of COVID-19 in America was on Feb. 29. On April 23, 54 days later, the death toll was 50,234. Today, May 27, 34 days from the “halfway” mark, our death toll stands at 100,276. Or, to put it another way, in less than 100 days, over 100,000 Americans have died. (Info from the Johns Hopkins dashboard and the Coronavirus stats.)

๐Ÿ’‰ About half of Americans say they won’t get a COVID-19 vaccine if one becomes available. Worse, when you break it down further, only about a quarter of black Americans would get the vaccine, even though COVID-19 is ravaging the black community. This is probably because the American health system treats black people like shit. And also probably because we used to use black people in deadly medical experiments, so now, for good reason, they don’t trust us.

๐Ÿคก Some of the 335 first-time contractors to whom the US government awarded 1.8 billion dollars in no-bid contracts to find and deliver medical supplies to fight COVID-19 include a former telemarketer who settled millions in fraud charges, a vodka distributor who’s getting sued for lying about his business projections, and a wannabe weapons dealer working out of his house.

Non-COVID-19 News

๐Ÿ’ฐ The Guardian and OpenSecrets have been investigating a dark money network and the organization it funds, called the “Honest Elections Project.” The dark money network is funded by the Koch brothers, the DeVos family, and other, similar rich right wingers. The Honest Elections Project got Brett Kavanaugh and Neil Gorsuch on the Supreme Court, and now they’re heavily behind the GOP’s voter suppression and voter disenfranchisement efforts.

๐ŸŠ Twitter added their fact-checking flag to Trump’s tweets yesterday and Trump lost his entire goddamn mind about it. ETA: Trump’s so pissed about two (2) of his many, many lying-assed tweets getting the fact-check flag that he’s going to sign an executive order “on social media” tomorrow. No word what’s actually in the order.

๐ŸŠ Trump has been pushing the conspiracy theory that news pundit and former congressman Joe Scarborough killed one of his interns twenty years ago. For the record, Scarborough did not kill his intern 20 years ago.

๐ŸŠ Trump did a press conference on Medicare yesterday, where he wandered off on a tangent and mused for awhile on whether or not he should try taking insulin. Trump is not, so far as anyone knows, diabetic.

โ˜ ๏ธ The House of Representatives finally moved to allow proxy voting, which means the congresspeople can stay home or in their offices or whatever, where it’s safe, and do business via telemeeting and remote voting. Of course, the Republicans sued to stop that, because the GOP is a death cult.

Okay, folks, that’s enough BS for one day. Go forth and watch Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. There oughta be one good thing about today, after all.