COVID-19: Finding Fault (Part 4)

(CONTINUED from Parts 1 to 3)

“Okay, fine.  But why is that my fault?”  I can hear you thinking this, perhaps a bit angrily, suspecting some sort of bait-and-switch.  Don’t worry, it’s still your fault.

Oh, not the virus.  That’s nature; that’s what nature does.  There’s a reason we invented doors and windows and walls and things; it’s because otherwise nature will kill us.  Plagues are just one of the more colorful weapons in its arsenal.

No, what’s your fault is that society has been continuing blithely along (more…)

COVID-19: Finding Fault (Part 3)

(CONTINUED from Part 1 and Part 2)

The natural next step to this reasoning has dawned on some of you — the ones who are still reading, who haven’t moved on in horror and self-loathing, or alternately who aren’t so pissed off at me they’ve dropped their subscription (or would have done if only they’d not been too cheap to pay for one in the first place).

What I’m talking about isn’t a matter of fighting COVID-19 so much as it is sweeping cultural change of a sort that’s not merely necessary but long overdue.  The fact that we’re in a crisis right now only makes it more obvious that our society is seriously broken; it’s not like it wasn’t broken before the virus came along.

People in the United States need to (more…)

COVID-19: Finding Fault (Part 2)

(CONTINUED from Part 1)

In China, they halted the spread by shooting people who broke curfew.  Doors were locked for months, and if you went hungry, too damn bad.  It still got out because there’s a privileged upper class that habitually ignores the laws, and now there’s new outbreaks because it’s a sneaky bastard of a virus, but for a while it worked.

In New Zealand, they beat the epidemic by sealing the borders.  Anyone that came in was put up in a hotel room for three weeks and tested repeatedly, and health care workers lived in quarantine.  But they did well primarily through stopping it at a few dozen cases at a time.

In the United States, when we (more…)

COVID-19: Finding Fault (Part 1)

(Editor’s Note:  This is closing on 3000 words and growing, and even the best rants start losing people around the 1500 mark, so I’m chopping it into its component parts.  Expect further installments.)

I have evidently been guilty of failing to express myself plainly.  To be clear, then:  When I say “This is all your fault”, I’m not implying that it might be someone else instead.  I blame you.

I’m saying that all this is your fault.  You personally.  Yes, you, the one reading this right now.  I know you don’t believe me, and if you’re starting to… no, it’s too farfetched, and you just think I’m nuts.  Too damn bad, because it’s all your fault.  You’re the one (more…)

The Not Fake News Update: 08 July 2020

If watching the news gets you down, but you feel (rightly) ashamed of yourself for getting most of your information from Trevor Noah, Twitter, and Facebook, you’re in luck.  Here’s the latest guilt-free info dump from The Not Fake News, aimed to make you feel less stressed in these fraught times.

So sit back, relax, and let the guilt fade as you learn more about the world around you than any ten minutes of CNN could ever provide. (more…)

Al-Hashemi: A Promontory Fell

We lost one of our own yesterday.  Dr. Hisham al-Hashemi was shot to death outside his house, gunned down by assassins who fled on motorcycles.

You won’t see his face on CNN, or any major outlet in America.  It took some serious digging to find the wire service reports, which were thoroughly buried.  Nobody on this side of the world seems to care.

There are a few of us, people who followed him, who watched for him to make sense of the apparently incomprehensible.  For that was his gift: (more…)

COVID-19: Goggles And Gloves?

There’s a great deal of information available on protective gear and its recommended use during the present pandemic.  In a healthcare environment, full gowns, face shields, masks, and gloves are frequently used when there’s any great chance of exposure.  The general public, on the other hand, is advised to wear cloth masks, wash their hands, and stay away from people.

But there a lot of essential workers out there who have no choice but to deal with the outside world and (more…)

Summer 2020: The Gathering Storm

Today is the fourth of July, 2020.  As of this writing, the CDC reports 128,648 cumulative deaths due to COVID-19 in the United States, with over 2.7 million total cases reported.  The present trend is rising numbers diagnosed, presently in excess of 50,000 new patients per day and increasing — this compared to 500 in mid-March.  Some take comfort in the fact that COVID deaths per day are trending down.  This would be a grievous error.

First, let us deal with the more optimistic myths.  Remember, there’s (more…)

The Not Fake News Update: 03 July 2020

During these fraught times (Syn: anxious, disquieting, distressing, nerve-wracking, tense, unsettling) it’s easy to lose track.  Besides, sometimes it’s nice to just leave the television off and ignore the news.  It can get overwhelming out there.

So whether you missed things accidentally or were wisely saving up your spoons, here’s today’s update of the actual news (not fake!) with special focus on what’s getting missed by major media.

So.  Are you sitting comfortably?  …Good.  Let’s begin. (more…)

Masks, Handwashing, and Social Distancing: The Science

The following is basic medical knowledge backed by science, and I’ve linked the science for you.  Very little of this is new; the concepts have been around for quite a while now, and we’ve spent decades refining our knowledge.  Most is not a matter for discussion; it is factual rather than opinion, and should be treated as such. (more…)