It was a few days later that I did the math — very rough math, mind you; I’m no statistician, and The Not Fake News is a long long ways from The New England Journal of Medicine. (On the other hand, toss dice against me at your peril. Wargamers take note.) And, in the intervening weeks, the answer has changed a bit.
Masks don’t help you much. They help other people, but not you.
The numbers on wearing a mask to protect yourself aren’t very good, unless it’s a fitted N95 surgical ventilator. Plain cotton or paper? Maybe 10%. What protects you is goggles (30%), and washing your hands (25%), and not touching your face (20%). Notice how people aren’t wearing goggles? Strange, isn’t it?
The charts are curving up again. Diagnoses are starting to spike; daily hospital admissions are on the rise. This new Delta variant of COVID is going to be nastier than the last one, and vaccines won’t stop it. The time has come to lock down again.
One of my newer acquaintances recently asked why it is that Tucker Carlson is considered unreliable by even his allies and in turn hated, despised, and reviled by those who oppose him politically. And it struck me that, while I’ve long stated his unreliability as fact, I’ve never taken the trouble to detail my reasons.
I’m going to be frank with you, and I want you to know why.
The thing is, we spend so much time pussy-footing around dangerous thoughts and ideas these days because we feel we can’t discuss them openly. Cancel Culture has taken its toll; the list of former celebrities only ever grows. Attrition is less among politicians, but pundits and journalists vanish almost daily, because they say something that society refuses to accept — there’s invisible lines, and they cross them, and that’s just something that cannot be borne.
Without judging this phenomenon, I want to acknowledge it and explain in terms accessible even to the meanest understanding why it does not dissuade me from being brutally open and honest about this topic.
October 31st, 2020 falls on a Saturday. It’s far too soon to know the weather, but the fact that there’s a full moon is pretty unlikely to change. In other years, this would be a Hallowe’en-lover’s dream. And I, as you know, am a Hallowe’en lover.
“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…)
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.
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