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Thread: Different coronavirus thoughts

  1. #1
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    Different coronavirus thoughts

    More is going on than just fear and inconvenience. Here is a trio of pieces that offer differ perspectives, realistic and encouraging.

    The Coronavirus Will Save America

    Gordon Wysong, March 16.
    . . . Will America be stronger, and will other nations take a cue from our success? The answer is a surprising yes.

    Imagine what the world will be like when 2022 arrives. The coronavirus's effects will become so small that they will be lost in the noise of the day, but what will remain of its lessons? First and foremost is that many lives will have been saved.

    The hand-washing and sanitation precautions that will be permanently incorporated into American culture will diminish flu deaths in 2020, in 2021, in 2022, and perpetually. Rather than 25,000–70,000 flu deaths annually, the numbers may drop by tens of thousands, even in 2020. The spreading of America's sanitation obsession will impact not only its own population, but that of many nations, in a way that educators and health professional could never accomplish.

    This saves lives — lots of lives. Stubborn resistance to the onerous habits of sanitation will be broken down by this one virus's actions on the psyche of people. These changes will pass to future generations, lasting not just a few years, but lifetimes and longer, and each year, more lives will be saved.

    These benefits are undeniably going to happen. . . .
    Wysong also highlights our dependence on China for antibiotics particularly, and says this crisis will give us the necessary will to change that situation.
    The most obvious answer is to relocate advanced technology manufacturing to secure nations, including America.

    China's stealth war against America has been exposed, inadvertently, but it is no longer flying below the radar. The overt threat to cut off shipments of antibiotic medicine and medical supplies, and the delay in shipping that may actually be taking place, has brought the issue to the people of America. To say there is anger over such threats and actions is to understate the consequences. Here is China, willing to send America a virus and then debilitate its supply chains to exacerbate the effects. No longer is this a stealth war. The American people are on to them, and no rebuttal will return the status quo.

    Other strangleholds that the Chinese have engineered will also fall. For instance, rare earth minerals have been a strength in Chinese trade. . . .
    Wysong finishes:
    A full alteration of cultural norms will ensue in the aftermath of the coronavirus. It will be industrial, health, intelligence, educational, military, financial, strategic, and emotional. The upside will never be entirely appreciated, but China's government and its plans will be a loser in all this, and the balance of the world will benefit immensely. The regrettable loss of life, and a short-term financial cost, unfortunately cannot be avoided, but the benefits of the coronavirus will prevail and endure — more so if Americans take the initiative.
    George Parry piggybacks on Wysong's piece, adding historical perspective and numbers:

    Apocalypse No
    March 18.

    . . . All of the foregoing comes down to this: compared to other pandemics, COVID-19 is relatively benign in that it poses a threat primarily to persons 65 or older and persons with co-morbidities. It’s not a catastrophically fatal 1918 Spanish flu that wiped out young and old alike and appears to be about as statistically fatal as the seasonal influenza A. And although it could possibly threaten to overwhelm our medical facilities, that’s a problem that our nimble free-market system is particularly well-equipped to solve.

    So, take a deep breath and relax. This isn’t the zombie apocalypse, and we’re well on our way to getting on top of COVID-19.
    But Parry saves his big finish ("But wait! There’s more!") to underscore the consequences of our "discovery" of China's control of certain manufacturing (italics in the original):
    . . . we should thank the thugs who run the Chinese Communist Party, who got the brilliant idea to threaten to cut off America’s supply of antibiotics because our government had criticized China’s lack of transparency in dealing with COVID-19. This imbecilic threat highlighted the fact that 95 percent of our antibiotics are manufactured in China. This astounding fact, coupled with the alarming prospect that our supply of vital pharmaceuticals can be cut off, should serve as a wake-up call and spur the repatriation of all critical manufacturing and supply chains. Thanks to the pandemic, the handwriting for bringing our manufacturing base home is on the wall.
    As if picking up on this last point (but posted a day earlier), historian Victor David Hansen lays it out simply: "[China's] bad behavior in the wake of COVID-19 will leave it in its weakest global position in memory. And the U.S. will emerge stronger."

    China Boomeranging
    March 17.
    . . . To the degree that we are suffering death and economic hurt from COVID-19, we can also attribute the toll to the Chinese Communist Party. Had it just called in the international medical community in late November, instituted early quarantines, and allowed its own citizens to use email and social media to apprise and warn others of the new disease, then the world and the U.S. would probably not have found themselves in the current panic. The reasons China did not act more responsibly may be inherent in communist governments, or they may involve more Byzantine causes left to be disclosed.
    . . . Yet the government initially hid all that knowledge from its own people in particular and in general from the world at large. Translated into American terms, that disingenuousness ensured that over 10,000 Chinese nationals and foreigners living in China flew every day on direct flights into the United States (Washington and California especially) from late November to the beginning of February, until the Trump travel ban of January 31.

    All this laxity was also known to the Communist apparat in Beijing, which must have been amused when Trump was roundly damned by his liberal critics as a xenophobe and racist for finally daring to stop the influx on January 31 — the first major leader to enact such a total ban.

    Yet, no thanks to the Chinese, America, so far, has been comparatively lucky — despite the grave risks of damaging a multi-trillion-dollar economy with the strictest quarantining, isolation policies, and social distancing in its history. Half the country lives in the interior away from ports of entry on the coasts. Medical care, sanitation, hygiene, and meat markets operate on different premises than in China, the supposed fated global hegemon. Transparency in a consensual society together with a free-market economy is encouraging tens of millions of citizens to work in tandem and independently to figure out creative ways to ameliorate the epidemic, politically, medically, socially, and economically. The result is that as of mid-March, the U.S., the world’s foremost immigration destination and among the most visited of nations, had suffered fewer virus fatalities than some European countries a fifth or sixth of its population size.

    No doubt when mass testing begins, the figures of known cases will soar, and fatalities will rise. Yet while we know pretty well the number of Americans who have died from the virus, we have in truth little idea of how many now carry it or how many have recovered from it, without knowing what sickened them or even whether they were ostensibly sick at all. In other words, the rate of new cases identified by testing may exceed the rate of new deaths, apprising us of a more precise — and perhaps lower — degree of viral toxicity.

    Whereas annual flu toxicity is adjudicated by modeling case numbers, and by sophisticated and learned guesses at the number of likely infections, so far the death rate of the coronavirus is calibrated a bit differently — apparently predicated both on known deaths and known cases. When we make facile comparisons between the flu and coronaviruses, they may prove valid, but for now it’s still wise to remember that annual flu cases could be fewer than what is guessed at through modeling each year, and corona infections may be higher than the current known numbers of confirmed positives. The former reality might mean that the flu is at times a little more lethal than we think and the corona virus a little less deadly. That is not to suggest that most strains of flu are as lethal as the coronavirus, only that for the vast majority of Americans the current U.S. COVID-19 case-to-fatality ratio of 2 percent may eventually prove less, and influenza’s commonly cited 0.01 lethality rate may prove higher. In any case, 98–99 percent of Americans may well recover from the coronavirus — a rate that is not typical of most of history’s plagues.

    The realities are paradoxical: If the coronavirus infects as many Americans as an average flu strain, then ten times more Americans could die — mostly over the age of 65 — even as the vast majority of all Americans will not. Statistics change hourly, but the CDC as of the afternoon of March 16 reports that there are currently 3,437 cases of known coronavirus infections and 68 deaths attributed to the virus, or about two deaths per 100 infected — the majority of them again likely over 65.

    To the degree that we are suffering death and economic hurt from COVID-19, we can also attribute the toll to the Chinese Communist Party. Had it just called in the international medical community in late November, instituted early quarantines, and allowed its own citizens to use email and social media to apprise and warn others of the new disease, then the world and the U.S. would probably not have found themselves in the current panic. The reasons China did not act more responsibly may be inherent in communist governments, or they may involve more Byzantine causes left to be disclosed.

    Add in the proximity of a Level 4 virology lab nearby Ground Zero of COVID-19, which fueled Internet conspiracy theories; the weird rumors about quite strange animals such as snakes and pangolins birthing the infection in primeval open meat markets stocked with live animals in filthy conditions in cages; and pirated videos of supposed patients dropping comatose in crowded hospital hallways. With all of that, we had the ingredients of a Hollywood zombie movie, adding to the frenzy.

    Plus, 2020 is an election year — echoing how the 1976 swine flu was politicized. The Left and its media appendages saw COVID-19 as able to do what John Brennan, James Clapper, James Comey, and Andrew McCabe, the Mueller team, and impeachment could not: destroy the hated Trump presidency.

    China will rue what it begat.

    That is, it will come to appreciate fully that the supposed efficiency, ruthlessness, and autocracy of the Communist Party — what had so impressed foolish American journalists who once marveled at Beijing’s ability to enact by fiat liberal pet projects such as high-speed rail and solar industries — were China’s worst enemies, ensuring that the virus would spread and that China’s international reputation would be ruined.

    The coronavirus could be the straw that breaks the proverbial back of the Chinese camel, stooped under the recent weight of a trade war with the U.S., the revelation of 1 million Uighurs in reeducation camps, the crackdown on Hong Kong democracy protesters, and news of the sprawling Chinese internal-surveillance apparat. The world is now both terrified and put off by China, and such anathemas will only harm its already suspect and misbegotten Silk Road neocolonial schemes.

    Here in the U.S., COVID-19 will create bipartisan pressure to adopt policies of keeping key U.S. industries — such as medical supplies, pharmaceuticals, and military applied high-tech — in America. Americans will not again wish to outsource the vast majority of their chemotherapy-drug, antibiotic, and heart-medicine production to a government that cannot be trusted and that sees such globalized output as a weapon to be used in extremis.
    Although we cannot see it now, spin-off effects from the panic and frenzy will eventually fuel more economic recovery. Oil prices are nearing record modern lows, ensuring cheap gas for spring and summer American drivers. Cheap mortgages and car loans likewise will spur buying, as will relief once the virus wanes and splurging ensue.

    It will be salutary for Americans to once again appreciate the value of muscular labor, as those who grow food, transport it, and provide us energy and sanitation while protecting us from danger, foreign and domestic, have allowed millions of Americans to stay home, sequestered and quarantined but safe with plenty of food, water, and uninterrupted sanitation and public safety. In these days of crisis, we should not forget that millions of often unmentioned Americans have made us the world’s greatest energy and most diverse food producer — a singular position that China, with over four times our population, envies.

    Before the outbreak, China was trying to game its trade war in terms of how best to hurt the hated Trump administration. Ironically, its abhorrence only strengthened the U.S. in ways no one in the pre-COVID-19 days could have imagined.

    Call it paradox, irony, karma, or even tragedy, but China emerges from its deceit about the coronavirus outbreak in its weakest position since its Westernization began under Deng Xiaoping. And the U.S., after some rocky months ahead, if it stays calm, will likely reemerge in its strongest state in memory vis-ŕ-vis its rivals.
    So we must set our teeth, be patient and optimistic. Suits me.
    • "The Constitution is not suspended in times of crisis." — AG William Barr.
    • "We hold these truths to be self evident. All men and women created by the, you know, you know, the thing." —Joe Biden, explaining the Creator.
    • "The way I see it, there's always, c'mon, there's always money. It's there." —Elizabeth Warren, explaining socialism.
    • “The interesting thing about the Green New Deal is it wasn’t originally a climate thing at all.... We really think of it as a how-do-you-change-the-entire-economy thing.” —Saikat Chakrabarti, then AOC's Chief of Staff.
    • "We have to stop demonizing people and realize the biggest terror threat in this country is white men, most of them radicalized to the right, and we have to start doing something about them." —CNN's Don Lemon, showing how to stop demonizing people.
    • "I was not elected to do small things or shy away from big problems.” —Donald Trump.


  2. #2
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    I like your post but am somewhat more pessimistic about the permanent hygiene change concept. One of my Grandmothers was a nurse trained in Sweden. She trained as the hygiene thing really took off and she was manic about it which meant everybody had to be manic about it. I'm sure I grew up in the cleanest house in the county. I'm also sure my first words were, "Lava soap" instead of "Mama".

    While I am sort of indelibly imprinted with her concepts, the culture as a whole certainly isn't despite this stuff being a routine concept back in the 60s. Somehow, it just fell through the cracks.

    Heck, I've seen women change babies on restaurant tables.

    I'm not sure this thing will get Americans to pay more attention to that stuff.
    "Alexa, slaughter the fatted calf."

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gingersnap View Post
    I like your post but am somewhat more pessimistic about the permanent hygiene change concept. One of my Grandmothers was a nurse trained in Sweden. She trained as the hygiene thing really took off and she was manic about it which meant everybody had to be manic about it. I'm sure I grew up in the cleanest house in the county. I'm also sure my first words were, "Lava soap" instead of "Mama".

    While I am sort of indelibly imprinted with her concepts, the culture as a whole certainly isn't despite this stuff being a routine concept back in the 60s. Somehow, it just fell through the cracks.

    Heck, I've seen women change babies on restaurant tables.

    I'm not sure this thing will get Americans to pay more attention to that stuff.
    I'm uncertain, and I think it's a weak point in Wysong's essay. Social norms are stubborn things.

    But they do change. Heck, I was intentionally teaching firm handshakes to children in my last years in school, because they weren't learning it anywhere else. Everything was high fives and such. But I was rehearsing it with them, saying, "One day somebody's going to shake your hand, look you in the eye and say, 'You've got the job!' "

    Of course now it's verboten.

    Social isolation is being reinforced not by disease as much as by our technology. Phones are the obvious culprits, but even electronic games played by kids are affected. They aren't gathered together around a card table, such as I remember, but playing at different TV/monitors, each kid alone in the room.

    That sort of thing will reinforce new habits.

    I'm not happy about it at all. I don't think we were meant to be solitary creatures, and I believe a lot of serious problems will emerge if we pretend we are.
    • "The Constitution is not suspended in times of crisis." — AG William Barr.
    • "We hold these truths to be self evident. All men and women created by the, you know, you know, the thing." —Joe Biden, explaining the Creator.
    • "The way I see it, there's always, c'mon, there's always money. It's there." —Elizabeth Warren, explaining socialism.
    • “The interesting thing about the Green New Deal is it wasn’t originally a climate thing at all.... We really think of it as a how-do-you-change-the-entire-economy thing.” —Saikat Chakrabarti, then AOC's Chief of Staff.
    • "We have to stop demonizing people and realize the biggest terror threat in this country is white men, most of them radicalized to the right, and we have to start doing something about them." —CNN's Don Lemon, showing how to stop demonizing people.
    • "I was not elected to do small things or shy away from big problems.” —Donald Trump.


  4. #4
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    The handshake will survive but maybe just among men (as it was intended). I can do it and do it with a level of eye contact and assertiveness but I have to say, I dislike it. It doesn't make me feel like I've made any kind of connection. It's awkward.

    Is the hand sweaty? Will I get the limp shake? Will I get the bone-crusher? Will my ring get smashed into my fingers? Will I get the 4 finger aristocrat shake?

    It's all so confusing.

    Although I'm not Buddhist, the wai seems like a good substitute. It's respectful without any touching and easy for even people who are disabled to execute. No bowing or scraping, either at least we wouldn't have to add the head nod. Just a graceful gesture.

    "Alexa, slaughter the fatted calf."

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    We already have a problem with people's immune systems not being able to cope with simple viruses because their mothers were clean freaks, and we have a problem with doctors over prescribing antibiotics which only causes more drug-resistant strains to form. Why would want people to get even more clean than they are now?

    Unless you are a food worker of some type, isn't a little dirt a good thing?

    Now, if you'll excuse me, I've got a nose to pick and balls to scratch.
    “Any sufficiently advanced capitalism is indistinguishable from rent seeking.” ~ =j

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    Gingersnap:
    The handshake will survive but maybe just among men (as it was intended). I can do it and do it with a level of eye contact and assertiveness but I have to say, I dislike it. . . .
    Maybe the handshake, like an open-hand wave, was a gesture to show an absence of weapons drawn, but in our culture it's a means of physical contact for men. Here men don't do the hugging thing women do.

    I remember reading that Russian audiences laughed at a scene in the old movie Dr. Zhivago in which men greeted each other at a train station with handshakes, no hugs, American style. In their culture there would be bear hugs all around.
    • "The Constitution is not suspended in times of crisis." — AG William Barr.
    • "We hold these truths to be self evident. All men and women created by the, you know, you know, the thing." —Joe Biden, explaining the Creator.
    • "The way I see it, there's always, c'mon, there's always money. It's there." —Elizabeth Warren, explaining socialism.
    • “The interesting thing about the Green New Deal is it wasn’t originally a climate thing at all.... We really think of it as a how-do-you-change-the-entire-economy thing.” —Saikat Chakrabarti, then AOC's Chief of Staff.
    • "We have to stop demonizing people and realize the biggest terror threat in this country is white men, most of them radicalized to the right, and we have to start doing something about them." —CNN's Don Lemon, showing how to stop demonizing people.
    • "I was not elected to do small things or shy away from big problems.” —Donald Trump.


  8. #7
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    Tom:
    We already have a problem with people's immune systems not being able to cope with simple viruses because their mothers were clean freaks, and we have a problem with doctors over prescribing antibiotics which only causes more drug-resistant strains to form. Why would want people to get even more clean than they are now?
    I'm sure you and I aren't the only ones to have pondered that cul-de-sac. We become even more vulnerable.
    • "The Constitution is not suspended in times of crisis." — AG William Barr.
    • "We hold these truths to be self evident. All men and women created by the, you know, you know, the thing." —Joe Biden, explaining the Creator.
    • "The way I see it, there's always, c'mon, there's always money. It's there." —Elizabeth Warren, explaining socialism.
    • “The interesting thing about the Green New Deal is it wasn’t originally a climate thing at all.... We really think of it as a how-do-you-change-the-entire-economy thing.” —Saikat Chakrabarti, then AOC's Chief of Staff.
    • "We have to stop demonizing people and realize the biggest terror threat in this country is white men, most of them radicalized to the right, and we have to start doing something about them." —CNN's Don Lemon, showing how to stop demonizing people.
    • "I was not elected to do small things or shy away from big problems.” —Donald Trump.


  9. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Newman View Post
    Gingersnap:Maybe the handshake, like an open-hand wave, was a gesture to show an absence of weapons drawn, but in our culture it's a means of physical contact for men. Here men don't do the hugging thing women do.

    I remember reading that Russian audiences laughed at a scene in the old movie Dr. Zhivago in which men greeted each other at a train station with handshakes, no hugs, American style. In their culture there would be bear hugs all around.
    Female clutching and smacking is vastly overrated outside of strip clubs.
    "Alexa, slaughter the fatted calf."

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    I am no fan of the handshake either. I'll bet that quite a few people stopped going to church when the Catholics instituted that practice some time ago. And sharing the wine chalice??? Nope.

    Mark
    Race Card: A tool of the intellectually weak and lazy when they cannot counter a logical argument or factual data.

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  12. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by 80zephyr View Post
    I am no fan of the handshake either. I'll bet that quite a few people stopped going to church when the Catholics instituted that practice some time ago. And sharing the wine chalice??? Nope.

    Mark
    We don't do the 'sign of peace' except maybe at Easter (and not that is required) but we do the communal wine cup. Whenever there is some disease scare, the priest reverts to just the wafer after somehow making it two species combined in one species (I'm unclear on how this works and I don't want to know since our theology is confusing enough).

    Moot point at the moment since we are on virtual services until the crisis is over.
    "Alexa, slaughter the fatted calf."

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