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Member since: Mon Sep 28, 2015, 01:41 PM
Number of posts: 123

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Why I think that petulant child states re-opening won't be successful

Note: not every item will apply to every business. Some may be a big deal, others not at all. Just some morning thoughts.

1) What percent of the population is raring to go back and sit in a crowded restaurant or bar? Enough to sustainably keep it in business from here on out? Is 50% of an eatery's former throughput enough to keep it afloat? People are getting used to cooking and eating at home more - how many of them are just craving a Bloomin' Onion so much that they'll risk COVID to get it? How many past workers are going to show up for a call back, making sub-minimum wage, a fraction of their former tips, no benefits and dealing with a bunch of non-mask wearing, loud, nobody-tells-me-what-to-do, spittle-spewing COVID-carrying clientele? Some will - they won't have a choice - but others, and a lot of the former customers - will view it like playing Russian Roulette.

2) Will the business insurance industry balk at continuing coverage for businesses that are knowingly putting their workers and patrons at heightened risk? We've seen churches get their policies yanked for defying stay-at-home orders. Will it be different for businesses now that there won't be an official stay-at-home order, or will the insurance companies rely on their own definition of risk? That is one industry that's probably not doing too bad right now, so why ruin a good thing by getting saddled with about a billion new claims and litigation possibilities?

3) Are airlines going to magically go back to a full roster of flights that are going to be full? Who's going to want to jet off to (or out from) one of these states if they don't feel safe from getting sick by sitting in an airplane for N hours? The majority of workers at Atlanta-Hartsfield won't be going back to work any time soon.

4) Gyms - see restaurants. "Hey, hon. Look how ripped I am. Make sure the mortician takes my shirt off when he gets my casket shots so everyone can see my lily-white six-pack." If your business involves packing a bunch of people in an enclosed space, you better think twice about how awesome re-opening is going to be. Will it make economic sense to pay all of those fixed costs that being open requires, for 5 or 6 numb-nuts a week to wander through your place, cough on you, and walk out?

Anyway - just a few examples. Plus, the amount of time for these snap re-openings and meager operating levels to really do anything meaningful for the economies of the participating states will be WAYYYY longer than the amount of time it'll take for COVID-19 to come back to life, worse than before, because there are so many more people running around that carry it. The number of asymptomatic carriers, at least at this point, has never been higher. So, some states let the genie out of the bottle, put themselves on a path to almost certainly overwhelm their hospitals, at which point mortality goes way up from the comparatively low level it is now. Then they hem and haw for a while, trying to not look like the idiots they are, and ultimately have to shut the whole thing down again, with what gain? They probably just hastened the death of a lot more businesses that had to add to their woes the cost of a re-opening and re-closing, with a populace that's sicker than ever before and a medical system at or beyond its breaking point. I'm failing to see the obvious gain in all of this.

What the ignorant, impatient and immature don't get is that, when you make a decision to radically amp up your exposure to other people, it's not just yourself that could suffer the consequences. It's your spouse, your aged parent, your kids, the kid at the tire shop, the Hooters waitress, etc, etc. Silent carriers are much worse than those with symptoms because they're impossible to identify and they behave like they're healthy, and interact how healthy people would, but they're really like lawn-sprinklers of contagion. Dumb, selfish people don't get this and never will, unfortunately.

Off to work.

Here is a great timeline of the warnings and related actions by Trump, et al. re: pandemic prep


Starts out with this entry:

"Jan. 13, 2017: The joint Obama-Trump transition teams run an exercise for pandemic preparedness. Attendees include: Steven Mnuchin, Rep. Mike Pompeo, Wilbur Ross, Betsy DeVos, Dr. Ben Carson, Elaine Chao, Stephen Miller, Marc Short, Reince Priebus (resigned), Rex Tillerson (fired), Gen. James Mattis (fired), Rep. Ryan Zinke (resigned), Sen. Jeff Sessions (resigned), Sen. Dan Coats (fired), Andrew Puzder (not confirmed), Dr. Tom Price (resigned), Gov. Rick Perry (resigned), Dr. David Shulkin (fired), Gen. John Kelly (resigned), Rep. Mick Mulvaney, Linda McMahon (resigned), Sean Spicer (fired), Joe Hagin (resigned), Joshua Pitcock (resigned), Tom Bossert (fired), KT McFarland (resigned), Gen. Michael Flynn (awaiting criminal sentencing), Gary Cohn (resigned), Katie Walsh (resigned), and Rick Dearborn (resigned). "

It gets much more damning after that. This is what happens when "All government is bad / Do the opposite of Obama / Fuck everybody but me" myopic ideologues get their hands on the reins of the federal government.

Finally grokked Bob Dylan

Took several decades. Kept going back, every few years, or even a decade or more. Listening to a song or two - trying to identify what people thought was such a big f-ing deal. Was never really impressed - just wasn't doing it for me. (Similar to my reaction to the material of Miles Davis music from the 60s.)

Up until last week, that is. I listened to his JFK piece - Murder Most Foul. Something clicked - I finally got it. I had always been listening with the bias of expecting some sort of superstar musician. Wrong. The dude's a poet, who happens to set his work to musical notes. Went back to some of his early tunes, forgot about the music and concentrated on the lyrics.

Yeah... Dylan.
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