America Breaking Bad

Here’s all we really know right now:

It’s gonna take eighteen months to get through this.

That’s the time it takes to discover, test, manufacture, and distribute a vaccine.

Eighteen months.

Best case.

It’s the testing that chews up most of that time — more than a year. You don’t just test to make sure it works. You test to make sure it doesn’t kill you in the process. You test to make sure your baby doesn’t get born with fins.

Hydroxychloroquine can kill you. Two grams of it. Also not recommended for pregnant women, because, y’know, Flipper.

Within prescribed limits, it may well ameliorate symptoms. It’s been approved for lupus. It’s been tested for lupus. And arthritis. And malaria.

That would be ideal, something we have on hand, something we know, something we can prescribe safely. But we can’t rely on that right now. We can’t rely on hope. We’re staring down those eighteen months until known otherwise.

We can’t rely on post-infection immunity, either, on one-and-done. We don’t know this yet. What we do know is maybe, sorta, depends. We know antibodies are produced, but not whether enough or for how long. New word for 2020: “Reinfection”.

And so, eighteen months.

That’s a hard number to accept. It involves consequences, serious consequences, lasting consequences. It means we’re stuck indoors for the duration, perhaps with periods of respite as we ride the waves of contagion. It means a long-term disruption — disaster, really — of a market economy based on our social habits. We just can’t freeze local businesses for eighteen months and warm them up again when the danger has passed. What the world looks like coming out of the tunnel will be much different than the world going into it.

And that’s the best case.

We’re not living the best case. We’re already seeing how much worse things can get. Charlatans spreading false hopes. Profiteering, from toilet paper to securities. Theft of testing kits. Defiant public gatherings. Criminal incompetence.

America is breaking bad.

That’s what’s gonna kill us in the end, taking an impossibly bad situation and making it worse. We can do better, and many of us will. But too many of us won’t. We’re seeing that already, and it’s only been a week or two, the work-from-home jokes still fresh. What happens after a month? After two? After six? After eighteen?

But hey, maybe it settles in after a time, the New Abnormal. Maybe we collectively get used to it, find our footing. Maybe we get this burst of panic and desperation out of our system, and get to work Dealing With It. Maybe we learn to live with Impossibly Bad, until it gets better.

Problem is, we don’t know that either.

21 comments:

2:24 pm • Sunday • March 22, 2020

Uh-oh, looks like Randroid aPauling has tested positive after voting against a coronavirus relief just last week.
Here’s hoping he french kissed Bitch McCONnell on his way out the door on Friday.

2:47 pm • Sunday • March 22, 2020

Regardless of whatever billionaire debt-rich-quick smash ‘n grab Congress green lights to loot our country one last time, there is no way that our status quo kleptocracy can continue after this.

Absolutely no one had Total Economic Collapse on their bingo card a month ago, and the next year-ish is gonna be a total fustercluck, at the end of which:

1. We’ll have to declare a debt jubilee and end the absurd fiction that all these trillions of dollars of debt will ever be repaid, which is mathematically impossible;
2. We’ll either have to significantly revalue the dollar or introduce some kind of new currency based on hard assets;
3. The cruel, insatiably greedy sociopaths at the apex of our political, business, news, and eCONomic Ponzi scheme are finished. After 40 years of abusive attacks, lies, and treasonous thievery, they’re either gonna be removed from power peacefully via elections and regulations, or by mass protests, but either way they all have to go. Even starving, hate-crazed Tr666p-humpers can’t eat lies and sneering racism.
With any luck, the virus will do the job for us.

3:18 pm • Sunday • March 22, 2020

@¡Andrew!: Compare that to what you might have said at the end of 2008. I have no confidence that we’ll get out of this without falling into it again.

Remember, the Tea Party was born from opposition to mortgage relief. Well, that and opportunistic racism.

3:24 pm • Sunday • March 22, 2020

@nojo: At the time, I mused that we’re about to see what happens when people are too stupid to achieve class consciousness, and here we are.

Regardless, we’re in the eye of the hurricane now, and there’s about to be an unprecedented wave of bankruptcies and insolvencies after both consumers and businesses begin missing loan payments next month.

Desperate, enraged voters are gonna turn the crooks out. If nothing else, the players are going to change.

3:49 pm • Sunday • March 22, 2020

/fur babies/

Supposedly, Betsy Devoid is suspending payments for student loans. She’s just as much of a soulless liar as Prezinazi AntiChrist, so it’s not clear yet if this is true, however I’m donating my payment this month to local animal shelters. If you have any means to do so, please consider donating to help feed and house these innocents. Anything helps, FSM bless you.

4:57 pm • Sunday • March 22, 2020

@¡Andrew!: Well, there are pictures of him having lunch with the entire Rethuglican caucus on Friday, and apparently even though he’s a M.D., he went to the Senate gym this morning while awaiting his test results.

The money quote was when Tammy Duckworth was asked on CNN today if she was afraid she might have caught it from him, and she said no, because the Senate gym is not wheelchair accessible, and so she has to work out at home.

I assume he’ll forego his paid leave and health insurance, since he was the sole Senator to vote against the coronavirus relief package two weeks ago.

12:17 am • Monday • March 23, 2020

I don’t know tonight how we make it to January 20.

12:30 pm • Monday • March 23, 2020

/good news/

Air pollution is down 30% – 50% as Earth begins to heal at least a little bit.
Car accidents are down 67%.
Will post more… if there are any.

7:57 pm • Monday • March 23, 2020

IOC placed people over grift. 2020 Olympics delayed.

11:19 am • Tuesday • March 24, 2020

I don’t mean to be indelicate, but anyone who’d take medical, business, legal, moral, or ethical advice from Prezirapist AntiChrist is just a Darwin award waiting to happen.

12:04 pm • Tuesday • March 24, 2020

And to think Cannibal Anarchy was once but a distant dream.

7:13 pm • Tuesday • March 24, 2020

Got my tax refund check today.

Sure will cash it asap before it bounces.

7:52 pm • Tuesday • March 24, 2020

@nojo:
It’s not far away in communities that believe Trump.

8:08 pm • Tuesday • March 24, 2020

@ManchuCandidate: If your Yahoo email still works, you should check it. Or email me from whatever does work.

8:09 pm • Tuesday • March 24, 2020

Denver now on lockdown until April 10. Spring has truly sprung!

8:22 pm • Tuesday • March 24, 2020

@nojo:
I got the email

6:53 pm • Wednesday • March 25, 2020

I just bought six fat joints from my local weed store while (muted) on a staff conference call.

Working “from home” could turn out to be the best thing that ever happened to me ; )-~

9:27 pm • Wednesday • March 25, 2020

Man, I miss baked. I wish she coulda been with us last night. Hope she’s raisin’ hell in another reality.

9:37 pm • Wednesday • March 25, 2020

/classic/

U.S. Economy Grinds To Halt As Nation Realizes Money Just A Symbolic Mutually Shared Illusion

WASHINGTON—The U.S. economy ceased to function this week after unexpected existential remarks by Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke shocked Americans into realizing that money is, in fact, just a meaningless and intangible social construct.

“It’s just an illusion,” a wide-eyed Bernanke added as he removed bills from his wallet and slowly spread them out before him. “Just look at it: Meaningless pieces of paper with numbers printed on them. Worthless.”

According to witnesses, Finance Committee members sat in thunderstruck silence for several moments until Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) finally shouted out, “Oh my God, he’s right. It’s all a mirage. All of it—the money, our whole economy—it’s all a lie!”

As news of the nation’s collectively held delusion spread, the economy ground to a halt, with dumbfounded citizens everywhere walking out on their jobs as they contemplated the little green drawings of buildings and dead white men they once used to measure their adequacy and importance as human beings.

The realization that money is nothing more than an elaborate head game seems to have penetrated the entire country.”

10:07 pm • Wednesday • March 25, 2020

If I get one more damn email that starts with
“Hello, our records indicate that you purchased items from WXYZ company 20 years ago. Our COVID-19 policy is…”
I’m gonna flip out.

12:19 am • Friday • March 27, 2020

As mentioned during the chat, I’m amazed at his ability to disgust me beyond what I’ve already acclimated myself to almost daily.

Add a comment