The real cost of covid19

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    • #329686
      David the Gnome
      Participant
      • Total Posts: 2,604

      The dead cannot recover.  Whether people are dying at home, in nursing homes, hospitals or prisons, it is the most vulnerable of our society that are suffering the most during this time.  We know, for example, that Native Americans and African Americans are getting hit damned hard by this thing – in my state, their chances of death skyrocket – because of poor access to healthcare, income and so on and so forth.  Oh, they might very well have “access to care”, but if they can’t pay for it, well… they might show up at the ER of a public hospital and get treated there – over time, should they require ICU care, their bills once it is all over are going to be laughable.  A million dollars – for a person who’s never made more than minimum wage, for people who have even less.  Might as well be a fucking trillion – they can’t pay it.

      The stock market rises and falls, seemingly on a whim, or, more likely, because the government of the United States just keeps throwing hundreds of billions of dollars at them.  Meanwhile, older Americans are dying at an alarming rate – sacrificed on the altar of economic comfort.  I see white people holding up signs that demand haircuts, or waving around their confederate flags, swatstikas and guns – these are on one side of the political fence.  I see other white people at one protest after another in pursuit of some kind of racial justice.  While some demand Governors resign or be impeached for passing lockdown and/or mask measures, others are saying simply “stop killing unarmed black people”.  Damn, you would think that, in the year 2020, our supposedly advanced society could better handle shit.  That, maybe, just maybe, we would realize that if by wearing a mask we can help protect the elderly, we would fucking do it and stop bitching.  That, maybe, politicians would look at the hundreds of thousands of people protesting and say “well, shit, maybe we should do something meaningful…”  No.  They want to shut people up, but they don’t really give a fuck about their well being.  Why should they?  However Americans suffer, their income and benefits remain very high.

      Now, consider those millions of people of varying ages living with their parents or grandparents.  What happens to them when their parents or grandparents die?  Most of them aren’t going to have enough life insurance to do more than cover their own funerals.  If they die of Covid19 – there is also going to be an absurdly high medical in many cases.  Their homes, such as they are, are rented, or have a mortgage, in most cases.  Given the current state of the economy, the lack of decent jobs and so on, those who depended upon their parents and grandparents are going to be left with very little, maybe nothing.  Now I can already hear the right saying “So they should get some god damn jawbs and take care of themselves” – I think they would, if they could.  Minimum wage doesn’t pay much – and college will cost you more than most can repay.

      There is also the fact that those “elderly” people being sacrificed on the altar of economic comfort spend a fuckton of money in the U.S., considering what little most of them have.  They pay their taxes for schools, fire departments, police departments, roads and so on and so forth.  Now perhaps taxing the rich or corporations could make up some of that – except that no one is trying to do that.  It is the opposite, in fact, a dramatically reduced corporate tax even as most of the fortune 500 companies were already paying less (considerably less) than the 15% Trump dropped it to.  Of course, we’ve also got the give away of over a trillion dollars (or is it two trillion?  Absurd either way) to the wealthy in tax breaks.

      Is the money trickling down?  Fuck no.  The rich, like people who can do so, are sitting on their money, investing in gold, their own security, their own yachts or mansions, maybe a bunker.

      So who is going to do most of the working and paying and living and dying when tens of thousands – and in time, hundreds of thousands and perhaps millions of the oldest of us are gone?  Who can?  The middle class?  They are going to be buried with their own debt and caring for their families.  Gen X?  Same problem.  Millenials?  Never made enough money to begin with, buried in debt from student loans.

      Sooner or later, those debts will not be able to be collected on.  Most are going to be (or already are) unable to pay them.  Mortgages and rents will go unpaid, people will go hungry, hospitals will close for want of funding and staff.

      All of this contributes to the likelihood of the collapse of the system.  While the system may suck, I don’t think most anarchists have a clue what actual anarchy would look like.  Most of the academic anarchists would shit their pants at such a thing.  I disagree with them for the same reason I disagree with libertarians – it never was – and never will be a working “everyone for themselves” system.  Simply put, humans need each other.  In this modern age, we seem to have forgotten that… as the death toll climbs… and still… there is pathetically little action to do anything for the majority.

      You can check the numbers from yesterday here: https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/

      Those numbers primarily come from the CDC and world health organization – which, while imperfect, are better than nothing.  That’s over thirty eight thousand Americans diagnosed with covid19 in a single day.  Over eight hundred dead.  As the cases have climbed to over 25 thousand and over thirty thousand in recent days, the death rate (of those diagnosed that had a final outcome) is approximately (in the U.S.) 11%.  So… what is 11% of thirty eight thousand?  Perhaps the numbers will be lower, perhaps only about half of them will die – how many is that?  From a single day?  If/when the number of cases rises to fifty thousand?  More?  That’s a lot of fucking dead people – and it won’t just be the elderly, either.

      Read a story not too long ago that broke my heart… 16 year old black kid with autism died of the virus – was overwhelmed damn quick.  It may not be as common as the elderly dying – but it happens.  It will happen with increasing frequency as the virus spreads.  We do not know yet, what the damage will be to each person’s internal organs, shit, we don’t even know exactly what its doing yet.  What is known is that it is causing damage that – up to now – people just aren’t recovering from fully.

      How many more grandparents must be lost?  How many more tax payers?  How many more black people?  How many more of the poor?  How many must suffer, how many must die, how many must declare bankruptcy before this fucking disaster is faced?  The problem is that we live in the Country with the most willfully prideful and ignorant people on earth.  Those among us with comforts have grown too comfortable, the rich dont give a shit – and the poor… well, society in general prefers to ignore them.  This is why the media is focused on racial injustice and not, say, the fact that tens of millions don’t have enough food.  Or the tent cities springing up for years in which people have no running water.  That sort of thing.

      In the end, the cost is our humanity.  As the suffering is ignored – as the cost is denied, it will grow, it will grow (if it is not stopped or at least addressed) to consume the many.  How many cases must we see in a day?  How many dead?  What will it take for people to realize… gee, maybe I should wear a fucking mask?  Hey, maybe it isn’t a bad idea to be more careful in public.  Or – shit, maybe we should be more worried about the people sick and dying than about our god damn haircuts?

      It ain’t pretty – and it is going to get a fuck of a lot worse if things continue as they are.  As such, I think people need to point this shit out.  I make no fucking apology for my terrible fucking language.  This is some of the most vulgar shit the world has ever seen – and it isn’t in the number of the dead, though that is considerable.  It is in the number of people who simply don’t give a fuck.  It is in the reaction, the response, the people saying “I’ve got an immune system, I’ll be fine!  So what if your dad dies?  He’s old”

      Time to do something to save our Country while we still can.  Time to tarr and feather the politicians and the wealthy alike.  Time to shame the fucking right wing dickbags with their confederate flags and swatstikas, even if we have to do it using social media.  Shit isn’t just getting real – it already is.

      The real cost of covid19… is our humanity, it will be in the millions of lives from the disease itself – and from everything touched by it.  Poverty and overwhelmed hospitals will lead to more deaths.  Food insecurity will add to it, come winter with hundreds of thousands who no longer have homes, more will die.  As the older citizens among the middle class die, their children and grandchildren will be left trying to tread water in an economy that does not give a shit about whether they live or die.

      The cost to all of us is simply too great.  It cannot be sustained.  The center is not going to hold.  The sooner we all realize that, the sooner we might all open our eyes… I hope.

    • #329691
      ravensong
      Participant
      • Total Posts: 2,137

      Bravo, David.

      “A lie doesn't become truth, wrong doesn't become right, and evil doesn't become good, just because it's accepted by a majority.” ~ Booker T. Washington

      The truth is, there’s no such thing as being “anti-Fascist.” Either you are a decent human being with a conscience, or you are a fascist.
      ~ Unknown

    • #329700
      Fasttense
      Participant
      • Total Posts: 844

      Due to the coronavirus here in East TN.

      So, the very upset owners of the antique trucks put out fliers and face book posts to get everyone to come to the show anyway. They organized it themselves without going through the antique truck organization.

      The flyer called the antique truck show the “kill your grandmother” rally. They thought this would be the way to get people to come out.

      I can’t imagine anyone going to it. It’s mostly older people who own these trucks. They are so filled with hate and self loathing they think telling people to kill their grandparents is going to be a big draw.

      Driving your antique truck up and down the road is not going get you infected. So, the sad advertisement of killing your grandmother was unnecessary and simply loathsome.

      They do not understand the implications of what they are doing.

       

    • #329702
      Ohio Barbarian
      Moderator
      • Total Posts: 14,635

      National health insurance. Temporary UBI in combination with closures. A national policy for testing and tracking. None of those are going to happen. Not only that, but there’s so much misinformation out there about Covid-19 that many people don’t know what to believe, and I don’t believe everything that’s being said about it, either.

      For example, medical authorities are saying people can catch the virus twice. I don’t believe it, for in order to believe it, I have to believe that this common cold virus doesn’t act like other colds, or influenza, or smallpox for that matter. With any of those, if you’ve had it, you won’t get it again. You may get another strain, and have better resistance to it when you do. I don’t believe this virus has overturned two centuries of epidemiology.

      There’s also the fact that no one is asking whether or not elderly people, and some others, are dying of the virus because of the side effects of immunosuppressant drugs. How many of them were on these profitable prescription drugs and died because their immune systems had been compromised? I don’t know, but I suspect it’s a large minority, maybe even a majority. I have noticed that TV commercials warning of lung infections as common side effects are no longer on the air.

      Meanwhile, the kleptocracy is taking advantage of the situation to force the permanent closure of up to half of American small businesses because they think they can profit from it. This is classic disaster capitalism. Not only that, but we’re headed for a catastrophic wave of evictions and foreclosures if people cannot pay their rents or mortgages; and then what? I’ll put it this way, all the coronavirus deaths so far will seem a pleasant memory compared to what could be coming.

      Plus, the lockdown orders often make no sense. In Ohio, I can go into a Barnes & Noble, no mask required, and browse and put books back on the shelves, but the public libraries remain closed. Does that make any sense? We can cram into grocery stores and bars, but don’t you dare walk into a park ten feet away from anyone else without a mask or people will wag their fingers at you!

      I know my perspective is different from many here, but it’s one shared by tens of millions. My family’s either had the virus and recovered or is naturally immune. That’s not a bold statement. Lots of people are nearly always immune to these things. Three out of four of us work with the public every day, and over three months after the last of us recovered from it exhibit no symptoms whatsoever. We’re far more concerned about pay cuts and being able to pay bills that were no problem four months ago.

      We’re no longer afraid of Covid-19 because it is nothing for us to fear. We’re no threat to anyone, and are under no obligation to cater to the unjustified fears of others. Most of my neighbors and coworkers, mostly African-American, feel and act the same way, and we’re mostly not Trump supporters. This, in short, is the city.

      So when I see hopeful posts about Trump supporters dying in large numbers because they showed up at a rally(which won’t happen), or righteous indignation about people going out in public with (gasp!) no masks, it strikes me as virtue-signaling. It also makes me wonder if elements of the government are trying to find out just how far they can go in controlling people’s movements and associations by stoking fear. Fear of terrorists, fear of disease, fear of whatever.

      In the short term, this country has limited itself to two choices–continued lockdowns of damned near everything and disruptions of innumerable supply chains, including food, while failing to provide needed medical care and disposable income, or reopening everything, hopefully doing something to protect the most vulnerable of us. Both are bad, but the first option will lead to suffering that can, and likely will, trigger a real revolution with all of the uncertainties and bloodshed that accompany such things.

      The second leads to hundreds of thousands of Covid-related deaths. So what will it be? Another two or three hundred thousand mostly elderly people gone, or real privation and desperation that could easily lead to a couple of million gone? All you Lesser of Two Evils folks out there, here’s your choice. That’s the way it is, unless the federal government actually does something like temporary UBI, and I don’t see that happening unless skyscrapers start getting torched, and maybe not even then.

      We live in one of the more imperfect countries in an imperfect world, but it is what it is. Complaining we shouldn’t have to make one of those two choices won’t accomplish anything in the few months we have left before the shit really hits the fan.

      It is better to vote for what you want and not get it than to vote for what you don't want and get it.--Eugene Debs

      Show me a man that gets rich by being a politician, and I'll show you a crook.--Harry Truman

      • #329708
        MizzGrizz
        Participant
        • Total Posts: 2,022

        ..I still don’t see what the big libertarian deal is about wearing masks in public,or avoiding crowds in enclosed spaces.

        I still don’t see how protecting oneself,not to mention others,limits anybody’s freedom.

        The only conclusion I can reach from it is that this shithole country is  largely populated by a bunch of overgrown teenagers whose concepts of everything begin and end at the end of their nose.They can’t comprehend that this is a monumental problem and requires massive effort to solve.That means from the government,too.Trump’s attitude toward it all has been pure laissez-faire.

      • #329715
        incognito
        Participant
        • Total Posts: 3,843

        Two sailors stationed on a ship on the coast of Guam, had the virus during the first wave (February? I think) and were quarantined on Guam until they tested negative TWICE, 2 days in a row. They both passed the test, were sent back to the ship and both of them got it again… tested positive again and were sent back to Guam for quarantine.

        That article was posted here on JPR a couple of weeks ago.


        @ohiobarbarian

    • #329722
      David the Gnome
      Participant
      • Total Posts: 2,604

      @ravensong thanks.  I know we often disagree about some things, but on the heart of the matter, I think we have a lot in common.


      @fasttense
        Most of them probably don’t really get the implications of what they are saying and doing.  Some do.  Some understand it perfectly well – some are eager for an apocalypse, some like to stir shit up… and others… they will do anything at all for a profit – even kill their own grandmothers.


      @ohiobarbarian

      I hope that you are right about your immunity and that of your family.  I know that you are pretty set on some things – but consider the possibility that you could be wrong.  Perhaps, for whatever reason, you haven’t come into contact with the virus yet – or perhaps you or another who lives with you is an asymptomatic carrier.  Not much we can do right?  We still have to live, pay the bills and so on and so forth… but I fear that too many are entirely disregarding the possibilities of this virus.  Right now, as of this moment, the death rate in the U.S. (again, out of confirmed cases that had an outcome) is at 11%.  Now, some will argue with that for various reasons – but here is the thing – these numbers are coming from the organizations created with the intended purpose of managing such pandemics.  They are coming from medical experts, doctors, nurses, people on the front lines of this shit.  So, until given a damn good reason to do otherwise – I will maintain some trust in them.  It is not complete – because like most, they are motivated by profit as well, but it is better than nothing.  Plenty of people working for these organizations are decent – and for the most part honest.

      There are colds and there are colds, my friend.  One can be a minor thing that lasts a few days – another can kill you, or damn near kill you.  It can become bronchitis, or something even worse.  Without proper care, fluids and so on and so forth, without proper nutrition, the immune system is weakened.  Weakened quite dramatically, as is often the case, the working class and poor aren’t going to be buying all the most nutritious stuff – they are going to buy what they can afford.  Many continue to get by on soda and chips – maybe a bucket of KFC or fast food in general.  For those of us who aren’t quite there – but close – it remains a temptation.  Shit, I still eat mcdonalds cheese burgers when we are too lazy to cook, I know I shouldn’t, I know its bad for a variety of reasons – but it is a cheese burger, it is cheap – and I’m hungry.

      My point is that… as my sociology professor would have said.. the “mcdonaldization” of everything in our Country makes us a great deal weaker.  We are rather less prepared and rather less well armed against this pandemic than most.  Most of these places are now requiring masks, frequent hand washing and so on and so forth – at least for their employees.  Yet their employees have to serve countless assholes who refuse to take any precautions (another place where the virus is likely growing).  This was pretty well demonstrated to my fiance the other day when one of her customers at work coughed all over the place, no mask, no nothing.  Did he have covid19?  Probably not – but if he did, he just exposed the office to it because he didn’t want to wear a mask.  That’s fucked up man.

      Now I don’t want people to die (though some might be doing humanity a favor if they did – nazis, Trump, Pence, Bolton, etc.) but I do want to encourage who ever I can to wear that mask in public.  To wash their hands frequently.  To be – not afraid – but aware of and respectful towards the danger of this virus.  As it spreads in places like South Africa, Egypt, India and so on and so forth, there is a strong probability of mutations, perhaps even many mutations.  You might be immune to this strain – but what about the next?  Of course, I could what if all day – but it is likely that we will face mutated strains over time, much like with influenza – that does kill a lot of people.

      Given that there is no vaccine or really effective treatment (as far as I know) we are in a situation where sheltering in place and taking certain precautions is both wise compassionate.  The same is true of wearing masks and so on.  Can we all do it?  Nope.  Some few can’t wear masks for health reasons – but they are few, generally speaking.  Hell, none of us can live in isolation (or at least very of us) indefinitely.  We still need food, water, medication, the basic things.  Yet every time we go out, we are exposing ourselves and others to a considerably graver risk than in years before.

      IMO – we need to be utilizing our work force and our technology, such as it is, to deliver goods and services as safely as possible.  In carefully controlled environments, the virus is less likely to spread.  Consider waiters, waitresses, bar tenders, even fast food workers.  Every day they are exposed to many of the public as businesses reopen.  Most of them have little choice – they need what little money they get to keep on going.  Yet plenty of those dining in could have used the drive thru, or had any number of other options available to them.

      Simply put – local restaurants and such are fucked.  There is no way around that now.  Unless they are doing really well with take out orders and deliveries and such, most of those that relied on dining in are struggling.  I am sad for those who will truly face hardship from it – I am not sad for the millionaires who always treated their employees like shit anyway.

      I get it man.  I spent much of my life near a small town where my parents took me out to the local restaurant often.  Everyone knew our names, there was a lot of good conversation, laughter – and the occasional drunken idiocy, but for the most part, it was good food and good company.  Then the owner got cancer – and her shitbag of a boyfriend somehow managed to cut her out of the business entirely after dumping her.  So we stopped eating there.

      Sorry, ranting.  Your concerns are valid, not that you need me to say so – but so is the concern that you could very well be wrong.  For your sake and mine, be careful with your god damn life eh?  I have the highest of respect for you – and intend to meet up at some point before either of us kicks the bucket.

      You are a good man – but a lot of the people ignoring and downplaying this thing really are not good people.  Their take is entirely selfish and ignorant.  I know that you have a heart and a concern for the common good.  The right, in general… not so much.  Hell, politicians in general…

      I’m not for any sort of “boogaloo”, but I think we should tarr and feather these fuckers until they decide to start taking their jobs seriously.  For the most part, the federal government (and most state and local governments, too) have so completely failed in their obligations that they should be deeply ashamed.  The wealthy should be even more so.

      You are right about the shit coming down… and that is fucking scary.  It is scarier than the virus itself – but we still do not know how this god damn thing is going to evolve.  It could eventually become much like influenza – or it could become like some apocalyptic type shit.  We just don’t know.  So many good ideas and solutions.. all happily ignored for the sake of profit for the few.  You and I aren’t at rock bottom yet – but those who are… man, pretty soon there are going to be millions more.  You and I could be among them.

    • #329726
      David the Gnome
      Participant
      • Total Posts: 2,604

      @mizzgrizz

      It is, apparently, too much to ask of Americans that they wear a mask to protect those around them.  It is an assault on their liberty!  It is socialism!  It is authoritarianism!  The government is coming to get you to put you in “re-education” camps and make you gay!  They’re going to take away your guns and put chips in your brains!

      The real shit is bad enough – these people who think wearing a mask is an assault on their liberty do not fucking know what liberty is.  Life, liberty – and the pursuit of happiness – it applies to all or to none.  In their concern for their own personal “liberty” (more like convenience – those masks are hot and sweaty, WAAH) they are costing others their lives.  Seems to me, that if anyone should be complaining about liberty, its not the fucking idiots who don’t believe in science.  I’d call them fucking idiots though, not teenagers.  Most teenagers I’ve known have better sense.


      @incognito

      I vaguely recall reading that one, but I think there was some debate about whether they were re-infected, or if it was still the initial infection.  Re-infection or not, the damn thing is bad enough.

    • #329757
      ThouArtThat
      Participant
      • Total Posts: 3,295

      @davidthegnome

      Hi david,

      Nice rant.  Hold on as it only gets worse from here.  Between global resource depletion and climate change, the virus will be seen as a warmup for the chaos to come.  The social unrest, economic pain, racism, fascism, authoritarianism will only escalate as the 1% pit the proles against one another in the ultimate cage match.  Think of TV and you tube as an electronic Roman Coliseum where the 1% watch each death match with glee as their portfolios and bank accounts grow ever greater.

      Where or when will it end?  No one knows for sure.  Smart observers suggest society will collapse sometime before 2050 from either social devolution, resource depletion or climate change – or all three in one form or another.  Those same smart observers also agree we will not save ourselves since logic and reason cannot overcome base reptilian instincts.  With each passing year the whole human enterprise will grow ever coarse and mean.  Welcome to the future.  It will be one helluva ride.

      TAT

      Sooner or later we all sit down to a banquet of consequences.

      - Robert Louis Stevenson

      Politics is the entertainment division of the Military Industrial Complex.

      - Frank Zappa

    • #329772
      not4sale
      Participant
      • Total Posts: 251

      They’re outing “fucking right wing dickbags with their confederate flags and swatstikas” every single day.

    • #329808
      closeupready
      Participant
      • Total Posts: 1,337

      And my thought on that is typically, “I like life, and I like SOME people, just not most of the people in my community.”  Most of them (currently) seem to be on drugs, heavily tattooed, smoke cigarettes, they are needy, rude, presumptuous – and I’m talking men and women both.

      Ironically, social distancing is something I could have probably written the textbook for.  I mean, even before Coronavirus.  I haven’t always been like that, but what I know about people comes mostly from first-hand experience.

      At any rate, as I’ve stated before, this is a country with a modern economy in which human slavery featured heavily in the beginning.  Protections for it were even written into the US Constitution.  They endured for 100 years, and then there had to be a massively bloody Civil War to end those protections, and even AFTER the Civil War, half the country continued supporting white supremacy.  150 years later, things have changed, but how much?  How long does it take for something like that to be expunged from the larger culture?

      There was an article in the Guardian the other day (if I can find it, I’ll post the link) about the racial justice protests, and among her MANY brilliant insights was that …  Oh, I remember now – she is half-French, half-German, has lived in Berlin for decades and sees reminders of Nazism every day.  Anyway, her point was that the kind of racial poison that lied at the heart of Nazism also lied at the heart of human slavery in the 18th and 19th Centuries, and it would have NEVER happened without the complicity of millions of people and a great number of nations which traded in slaves.

      Long-winded way of saying (sorry!) keep your expectations low as to how much positive social change can happen peacefully in the US.  Hopefully, things happen more quickly, but this is not a magnanimous culture – more miserly, IMO.  (Sorry for rambling, hope it’s relevant, I’ll delete if you want.  Cheers.)

      The opinions and personal views expressed herein are solely those of the author, and should never be taken seriously.

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