Coming Soon to a Planet Near You

We think we can say now, with some certainty, that things are going to get much, much worse before they get better.

We’re not, collectively, paying attention to the science. We’re not paying attention to the circumstances. We’re not paying attention to the reality.

Nothing new there. We’ve been ignoring global warming for thirty years.

Americans have a problem with reality. We’re so large and powerful a country, we’re able to live in a bubble of our own chatter, blocking out anything that displeases us. We can even get away with that for a time, but sooner or later, reality catches up.

And then what do we do? Continue ignoring it, of course. Right up until the moment it kills us. Oops!

Here’s what reality is telling us, near as we can tell at this moment: Coronavirus is aggressively virulent and deadly. There is no vaccine, and likely won’t be one for well more than a year. Post-infection immunity is unproven.

We know that our healthcare system cannot handle everybody at once, and is easily overwhelmed in an outbreak — in the best of circumstances. We also know that these aren’t the best of circumstances, given the lethal incompetence of our national leadership and the consequences of their stupidity and capriciousness.

We don’t even know how many of our nation’s 330 million souls are infected, nor where, and we have only a third of the needed testing capacity to find out.

Which is why we’re all stuck at home. Given what we don’t know, given our inability to know, that’s the best we can do.

And that’s why things are going to get much, much worse before they get better. People are already getting cabin fever.

Those who aren’t also going broke.

Much of this could have been avoided, or significantly ameliorated, but we’re well past that now. We’re seeing how this plays out, all the foolishness and ugliness, and we don’t see an end to it, not until — at best — next January 20, at which point god knows what condition we’ll all be in. This is the world we’re living in now, day after grueling day, and the year is still young.

The “protests” we’re seeing may be getting more attention than their sizes merit, they may be as legitimate as the Brooks Brothers Riot of the 2000 Florida recount, but the reality is that the idiots on the ground are being egged on by idiots in media and idiots in government.

One way or another, the country will be forced to “reopen” — whatever that means in practice — and when it does, all the work put into “flattening the curve” of infections will be tossed out the window. Without the means to track infections and respond to hotspots, we’ll just go through all this again, but it will be even worse because resources will be depleted, and what remains will continue to be exorbitantly priced and poorly distributed.

Everything we’re seeing now, and more. Over and over. Because we just can’t accept the reality of it.

We had thought, given our advancing age, that we would long since be mulch before global warming really kicks in later this century. We had some hunches how it would ultimately go down, at least in America, given the profound collective denial of our nation’s predominant demographic group.

But it turns out we don’t have to wait for the afterlife to watch the calamity unfold from the heavens. We’re seeing it now. Everything we’re living through now is a preview for what people half our age will witness — will endure, will suffer — thirty, forty, fifty years from now.

Presuming we get past this first. Which, at the moment, is far from a certain bet.

11 Comments

That 15-20% of (mostly white) people are why US Amercia can’t have nice things.

A mere $1200 for ten weeks ain’t gonna cut it.

What keeps me up at night is that we have six people and their families depending on us to make payroll for my hubby’s business. We made it this month, however two of my hub’s largest clients couldn’t pay, and they both owe us very large checks. No small business can survive months on end without revenues. We’re fortunate in that we have the resources to hang on ’til around Memorial Day, but after that we’ll have to file for bankruptcy along with everyone else if they can’t get current. (The courts will have no problem processing tens of millions of bankruptcies in the next few months, ha ha. I’m about to get real familiar with bankruptcy law, which is something I sure as hell hoped I’d never need to know much about).

We applied within hours of the Paycheck Protection Program’s launch. We got a mass email stating that the bank received our application, but no loan number, reference number, or really any way to check the status. About a week later, we received another mass email stating that they funds were already gone, thanks for playing. Apparently, they funded loans for ~1.6 million of the nation’s ~30 million small businesses, a “stampede through the eye of a needle” as one Chase exec described it. We never received any CARES Act direct deposits or checks from the IRS, even though we qualify for relief funds, nor am I expecting anything from our malevolent, destructive, incompetent federal government.

Thank the FSM that I cashed our tax refund check before the ones with Tr666p’s signature start bouncing.

I don’t even want to think about what’s going to happen to all of the tens of millions of business owners and their employees whose jobs are going to cease to exist next month, along with their health insurance during a pandemic. How can they “reopen” the economy when there’s nothing to go back to?

It’s supremely ironic that capitalism celebrated the 172nd anniversary of the publication of the Communist Manifesto by dropping dead. The stock market will surge through the stratosphere once all the small businesses are gone! For 25 years, Wall $treet has lied to us that profits don’t matter, well now revenues and customers don’t matter either, since the despicable billionaire oligarchs that’ve looted and ruined the country are now sucking trillions of dollars directly from the Treasury’s teats with QE Infinity. They can just pay each other billions of Steve buttMunchin’s Magic Munnie for stocks, yachts, and shopping mall-sized houses.

/good news/

1. Spring has been gorgeous so far, and the weather this past week was especially sunny.
2. Washington State now has the most diverse Supreme Court in national history. (Justice Mary Yu married me and my hubby, she rocks!).
3. People are fostering and adopting animals in record numbers, hooray!
4. I haven’t been stuck in a traffic jam in… over a month. In fact, I can count the number of times that I’ve driven our car on one hand since the shut downs began.
5. I’ve seen more people than ever before in my neighborhood outside working on their landscaping, playing with their kids, walking their dogs, talking with each other (at a distance).

“They call it a Depression, but people don’t seem all that depressed.”
—Max, Dark Angel

@¡Andrew!: JPMorgan Chase exec on SBA relief fund: “We didn’t even get through the first five minutes of applications.” It was exhausted that quickly.

@nojo: In fairness, no amount of munnie will be enough; the scale of the disaster is beyond comprehension, and very soon the economy’s problems will begin fueling each other and spiraling exponentially, especially after half the country can’t make their next rent/mortgage payment on May 1/May Day(!).

Absolutely no one had “total economic collapse” on their bingo card six weeks ago.

I can’t recall which of us wrote this back in 2008, but it’s even more true now that we’re all Wile E. Coyote, we’ve run off the cliff, and we just haven’t looked down yet.

/more good news/

I’ve found a lot of comfort in Chinese philosophy lately, which has to be the most Seattle thing I’ve ever said.

The Art of Effortless Living

The narrator of this Taoism documentary has an absolutely beautiful voice; I could listen to the man’s OMG sexy Australian accent all day. Very soothing.

*****5 star Yelp review; highly recommend.

@¡Andrew!: We’re on thin ice as well. I’m currently fortunate enough to be paid to work from home–on a catalogue of wildly expensive rare books that I fear no one will buy–but I don’t know how long we can hold on without some serious sales. My boss had his application quickly approved by our community bank, but no idea if it will be funded. Fingers crossed for you guys to get paid! At least people are still buying wine–Mr Cyn’s winery had its biggest March ever.

NYT: “At a White House briefing, President Trump theorized — perhaps incorrectly, in the view of experts — that throwing people in a volcano would kill the coronavirus & end the pandemic.”

Oh wait, let me get the actual NYT headline on Twitter:
“At a White House briefing, President Trump theorized — dangerously, in the view of some experts — about the powers of sunlight, ultraviolet light and household disinfectants to kill the coronavirus.”
https://twitter.com/nytimes/status/1253556794405896192?s=20

Let the Darwin Awards commence.

On the other hand, we should be encouraging anyone who’d take medical, business, ethical, legal, or moral advice from Prezinazi AntiChrist to drink bleach immediately. We’d all be better off.

Hope everyone enjoyed Infrastructure Week!

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