Trumpublicans have failed Americans dying in this pandemic

Covid-19 has created a crisis throughout the world. This crisis has produced a test of leadership. With no good options to combat a novel pathogen, countries were forced to make hard choices about how to respond. Here in the United States, our leaders have failed that test. They have taken a crisis and turned it into a tragedy.

The magnitude of this failure is astonishing. According to the Johns Hopkins Center for Systems Science and Engineering,1 the United States leads the world in Covid-19 cases and in deaths due to the disease, far exceeding the numbers in much larger countries, such as China. The death rate in this country is more than double that of Canada, exceeds that of Japan, a country with a vulnerable and elderly population, by a factor of almost 50, and even dwarfs the rates in lower-middle-income countries, such as Vietnam, by a factor of almost 2000. Covid-19 is an overwhelming challenge, and many factors contribute to its severity. But the one we can control is how we behave. And in the United States we have consistently behaved poorly.

Read it and weep, people. As great is the capacity of Americans to care for their neighbors, our government has been an absolute failure at providing protection against this plague. The responsibility for that lies with Trump and his obedient flunkies in the Republican Party. They shouldn’t even be elected as school crossing guards.

Moral bankruptcy in the face of the pandemic

They are among the greatest victims of coronavirus, yet elderly people continue to be dismissed, despite growing evidence of the devastating effects the pandemic has had on them…

Earlier this week, World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said he had heard people describing high Covid-19 death rates among older people as “fine.”

“No, when the elderly are dying it’s not fine. It’s a moral bankruptcy…”

WHO figures from last week show that almost 88% of all deaths in Europe were among people aged 65 and over. And almost half of all deaths linked to Covid-19 globally have taken place in care homes…

But despite vast numbers of elderly people dying of coronavirus — and a significant drop in the quality of life of many of those forced to self-isolate — the global response to the risks they face in the era of Covid-19 has often been chilling.

RTFA. I think it likely you already know this. Ain’t nothing wrong with reinforcing the point.

Help children respond to the pandemic affecting their lives

For parents, helping children cope during the COVID-19 pandemic may be as simple as listening, Steven Marans argues.

Children are struggling with difficult issues, says Marans, a child and adult psychoanalyst at Yale University Medicine and chief of the Trauma Section at the Child Study Center…

In a year marked by COVID-19, discussions around racial justice, a crashing economy, and a divisive presidential election, he says parents need to first acknowledge their own emotions and stress reactions in order to be most attentive to their child’s responses to recent events.

“Then, if children are having ‘big feelings’—or showing signs of their distress—it’s an opportunity to hit the pause button and help them recognize and reflect on those feelings,” Marans says.

Not solutions to everything; but, a lot to offer about individual questions children will be asking themselves and the adults important to their lives.

Wearing a mask, breathing in less coronavirus, means you get less sick


Greg Baker/AFP

Masks slow the spread of SARS-CoV-2 by reducing how much infected people spray the virus into the environment around them when they cough or talk. Evidence from laboratory experiments, hospitals and whole countries show that masks work, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends face coverings for the U.S. public. With all this evidence, mask wearing has become the norm in many places…

When you wear a mask – even a cloth mask – you typically are exposed to a lower dose of the coronavirus than if you didn’t. Both recent experiments in animal models using coronavirus and nearly a hundred years of viral research show that lower viral doses usually means less severe disease…

No mask is perfect, and wearing one might not prevent you from getting infected. But it might be the difference between a case of COVID-19 that sends you to the hospital and a case so mild you don’t even realize you’re infected.

Being less likely to die isn’t just a discussion for medical records, examination of procedures in hindsight. Let’s work at better odds of staying alive, folks. We are always more likely to get useful information from science – than gossip.

Trump flails/fails in pandemic — Army Corp of Engineers comes through

The commander of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is Todd Semonite, a stocky three-star general who recently turned sixty-three. Every workday for the past forty-one years, he has served in uniform. On his left wrist is a FitBit; on his right, the kind of Casio calculator watch that he has worn since he was a teen-ager. In high school, in Vermont, Semonite wasn’t the biggest guy on the football team, but he played varsity center; he told a newspaper that size is “not really a disadvantage if you work hard.”…

He knows how to work hard.

George Washington created the position of chief engineer at the outset of the Revolutionary War, to oversee the design and construction of military batteries and fortifications. The Corps was formally established in 1802. Combat engineers solve problems through math and physics: they move troops (build the bridge) and protect them from attack (blow up the bridge). The military runs the Corps, but ninety-eight per cent of the agency’s thirty-six thousand employees are civilians: geographers, biologists, ecologists, architects…

…This past spring, when covid-19 overran the United States, Semonite was determined to provide vital infrastructure quickly. He told me, “America needs a capability to step up when something gets really, really hard.”

The article is about what he and the Corp, did, how they did it…and, most of all, it’s a tale written for readers of the NewYorker. We expect damned good writing and a thorough knowledge of the subject – to educate us on the topic.

Done.

Four ways the pandemic might end


Akos Stiller/Bloomberg via Getty

As major cultural events are forgotten, workplaces, bars, and restaurants close, and prominent politicians around the world have been sickened, two simple questions about the novel coronavirus pandemic seem to rise above the rest: How long will this last? And how will it end?

William Haseltine, president of the global health think tank ACCESS Health International, who recently chaired the U.S.-China Health Summit in Wuhan, where the virus likely originated, has a theory.

There are four ways,” the doctor told The Daily Beast. “One, it peters out with the weather. Two, everybody gets infected, so it’s got no new places to go… so it ends—but that’s a pretty horrible ending. Three is a vaccine, which is about a year away. Fourth way is the most likely: We’re going to have a few drugs, within a few weeks to a few months, that prevent people from getting infected—like PrEP for HIV—and for treatment.”

Decent article. Not as stellar as listening to a thorough discussion with Dr. Haseltine. Happened to catch 10 minutes or so of an interview, yesterday, on BloombergTV. He’s almost as long-winded as me. His medical facts, his science is spot on.

There are at least 3 very readable articles on this coronavirus at his website [link in the paragraph above].

Furry and Furious!


New Orleans street scene/Getty Images

They are furry and they are furious – and they may be the most desperate of diners to yearn for restaurants to unlock from shutdown…Rats, it seems, haven’t been satisfied with curbside pickup or delivery during the coronavirus pandemic.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is warning that rodent populations – which rely on a banquet of scraps and waste in restaurant dumpsters – are spiking in certain areas. Restaurant trash bins are no longer overflowing, and the famished creatures are scrambling for new sources of food.

“Jurisdictions have closed or limited service at restaurants and other commercial establishments to help limit the spread of COVID-19. Community-wide closures have led to a decrease in food available to rodents, especially in dense commercial areas,” the CDC said. “Some jurisdictions have reported an increase in rodent activity.”

Environmental and health officials may witness an increase in service requests amid reports of “unusual or aggressive rodent behavior.”

That’s about as politely as anyone might describe the situation. Rats can be scary and dangerous. The more rats in action, the more dangerous they become.

Trump lies like a rug – what must the fools who voted for him do next?

Our fake president declared Monday, May 11, 2020, that “all throughout the country, the numbers are coming down rapidly.”

That was just another lie.

Just 3 days before, he received a report from his coronavirus task force that explained to him that coronavirus infection rates are spiking to new highs in several metropolitan areas and smaller communities across the country…according to undisclosed data the White House’s pandemic task force is using to track rates of infection, which was obtained by NBC News.

The 10 top areas recorded surges of 72.4 percent or greater over a seven-day period compared to the previous week, according to a set of tables produced for the task force by its data and analytics unit. They include Nashville, Tennessee; Des Moines, Iowa; Amarillo, Texas; and — atop the list, with a 650 percent increase — Central City, Kentucky.

On a separate list of “locations to watch,” which didn’t meet the precise criteria for the first set: Charlotte, North Carolina; Kansas City, Missouri; Omaha and Lincoln, Nebraska; Minneapolis; Montgomery, Alabama; Columbus, Ohio; and Phoenix. The rates of new cases in Charlotte and Kansas City represented increases of more than 200 percent over the previous week, and other tables included in the data show clusters in neighboring counties that don’t form geographic areas on their own, such as Wisconsin’s Kenosha and Racine counties, which neighbor each other between Chicago and Milwaukee.

The spiking infection rates suggest that the pandemic is spreading quickly outside major coastal population centers that were early hot spots, while governors of some of the states that are home to new hot spots are following Trump’s advice to relax stay-at-home restrictions.

I still remember the hit song from my teenage-bopper years, “Why do fools fall in love?” Do Trump voters love this idjit so much they’re willing to sit around and watch him kill off more and more Americans just because he can do it?