Lion of the Blogosphere

Archive for April 2020

Response to Dreamer’s comment

Dreamer writes:

Thanks for re-opening comments. I don’t comment much but I do lurk and read. When it comes to trying to read conservatives viewpoints. This is one of my listening posts. In theory, regardless of my own views, I try to keep an ear to various venues. To pick up points which becomes litmus tests and proxies to the core tenets of the group.

But once comments here got shutdown, I lost a major area to follow discussions for the area of what’s used to be called the manopshere, I had to look for other venues. And so much I can’t listen and place some kind of litmus test at all that doesn’t already fail to me.

What I mean by that are things like masks – I am suppose to not agree with masks when the data say the countries that wear masks has much less infections? Am I suppose to want reopenings when no other country has reopened with anywhere near the same numbers? Then there’s the discussions about hospitals are faking it or even the disease itself. It’s takes me 5 minutes to text a few friends who works in the hospitals – including a close friend who’s sister is a doctor in NYC and the responses that it’s chaos in there. Where do I even start with 5G? And I see where the vaccines discussions is gonna go.

Yes, it’s here too, and that’s why you closed it. But at least there’s a discussion. I might actually see disagreements and people would actually make arguments with various points to each other. It’s actually a semi-marketplace of ideas. Not just a bunch of accepted “facts” that all I can gather are lines being drawn in the sand that I can tell the long-term implication are we are going have to pick sides.

1. I don’t think this blog is part of the “manosphere.”

2. Masks do a lot to protect other people from catching the virus from the wearer. Thus I totally support requiring people to wear masks in indoor places like supermarkets. Originally, our CDC said NOT to wear masks. The total incompetency from our government is unbelievable.

Wearing a crappy mask does little to protect you from other people. A lot of people seem to think they have lots of protection by wearing a mask. I suppose that people believing that is a beneficial lie, because some people are too selfish to wear a mask for altruistic reasons, but they would wear one because they think it makes them safer.

3. Re-opening: it depends on what’s being re-opened. I don’t agree that parks should have been closed, because the virus is very hard to catch outdoors with brief contact between people. Except for super-crowded New York City parks which were NOT closed. Go figure.

I don’t think it’s a good idea to open barbershops or hair salons right now. Not while there are more people being admitted to the hospital every day with the virus.

4. No matter how often people are wrong with conspiracy theories or other dumb theories (like it only affects Asians, or it will magically go away in April), they just latch onto new dumb theories.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

April 29, 2020 at 4:37 PM

The future economy

MASSIVE government debt, who pays that off?

Many companies out of business because of bankruptcy.

People without jobs don’t spend money.

Employers lay off more people because there’s no demand, creating even more people without jobs who don’t spend money.

People become used to ordering stuff online, lots of demand for retail never returns.

People become used to a lifestyle of more saving and less spending. The Great Depression of the 1930s created a generation like that. Will probably happen again. This further reduces demand.

Democrats take over House, Senate and Presidency in January 2021, with mandate to do radical stuff. What will they do?

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

April 29, 2020 at 10:51 AM

Posted in Economics

April 27 Coronavirus update: No light at the end of the tunnel

Too many people are taking about re-opening the economy soon. Let me remind you that nothing has changed:

Not enough people with antibodies to have herd immunity. Not even close. Not even in New York City where it’s estimated that 21% of the population caught the virus. And we don’t even know for sure that antibodies guarantee immunity. Scientists are unsure.

No proven scalable cure. (But it’s been proven that the malaria medicine that was hyped by the bozo in the White House doesn’t work.)

No vaccine.

We have not totally eradicated the virus like China was able to do. It’s all over the United States, and no state has locked everyone down to the extent that the virus could disappear as much as it did in China.

Massively incompetent leadership, and they are not being replaced until January 2021. The massive incompetency at the top goes beyond just the bozo in the Oval Office. Even Dr. Fauci, the seemingly wisest member of the coronavirus team, said on March 9th, that it’s OK to go on a cruise, when clearly it was not OK. On February 8th, I wrote “all cruises need to be canceled immediately.” As you can see, I was more than a month ahead of Fauci on the virus, and Fauci is considered the best of the team. There was total incompetency at the CDC which couldn’t test anyone and denied tests to anyone who hadn’t traveled to China even when it was obvious to me that the virus was silently transmitting. Total incompetency at the FDA which wouldn’t let anyone create their own tests. Total incompetency all over, and those same people are still running things.

* * *

Also, I hold to my previous statement that the need for more testing, at this stage, is being overstated. Anyone who has any sort of flu-like symptoms should be assumed to have the virus and be required to quarantine. Even if it’s another less deadly virus, it’s not acceptable at this time to allow any respiratory viruses to spread around. And for people without symptoms, it’s impossible to test everyone every day. At least I can’t imagine how that would be possible within the next year.

Although, ideally, we should be able to test medical workers every day so they don’t infect other staff members and patients. Yes, that would be very valuable if we could do that.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

April 27, 2020 at 9:28 AM

An April 14th virus update

I haven’t written a blog post in a while, because the commenters were such morons I couldn’t take it. But I feel it’s important at this time to write an update about the coronavirus.

Good news is that the virus turned out to be on the lower end of the estimates of its deadliness. This is not a surprise to me. Back on February 3rd I suggested that the virus could have a total infected fatality rate of as little as 0.5%, but that would in turn mean that the virus was actually more contagious and much more likely to become a global pandemic, which is what did happen.

Throughout February and into March, I beat the drums about our total failure to test anyone. The reason we needed to test back then was because the coronavirus was hiding amongst people who had normal flu and other previously existing and less deadly viruses.

The situation with testing is totally different now. Based on the U.S. health map from Kinsa we see that we’ve almost eliminated all contagious illnesses. Normally, at this time of the year, approximately 2.41% of the population is sick with something that would show up in the Kinsa data, but that is now down to 0.17%. And probably, most of the 0.17% have the coronavirus because it’s the most contagious virus out there. Enforced and voluntary social distancing has eliminated more illnesses than just the coronavirus.

So this means that there is no longer any benefit to testing people. It’s more sensible to assume that anyone with illness has the coronavirus. Not only because probably most people who are ill right now do have the coronavirus, but also because (1) false negatives and positives means that the tests aren’t totally reliable anyway; and (2) it’s better to prevent all viruses from spreading to prevent the deadly coronavirus from hiding amongst the less deadly flu and other viruses as it did in January through early March.

So a lot of news articles I see saying stuff like “in order to re-open the economy we must be able to do mass testing,” those articles are totally wrong. It’s another example of people being reactive instead of proactive. Trying to do what we should have been doing two months ago instead of doing what we should be doing today.

So what should be doing today?

(1) We need to totally abandon the social norm we used to have that it’s OK to go to work or leave the house to do other activities if you’re sick. We need a new norm that sick people stay home. Ideally, we should enforce it by using those high-tech IR thermometers that can measure your temperature by just pointing it at your forehead.

Ideally, we need to change some things about our system of labor that encourages people to work while sick. Most people don’t have an adequate number of sick days or vacation days or whatever. Many work as non-regular employees and get no time off from work at all, for whatever reason, without losing pay. If everyone had six weeks of discretionary paid time off each year, they wouldn’t feel the need to go to work if they are sick.

(2) Initially, we need to keep closed the things that were the biggest vectors for spreading the coronavirus, and I’ve previously identified what they were:

Religious gatherings. This was the single biggest vector for spreading the virus, but the hardest to get Western countries to actually restrict. Even in Muslim countries, where they take their religion very seriously, the governments shut down mosques while stupid Western countries left their religious places open.

Travel and tourism. Crowded tourist attractions like theme parks and museums and Las Vegas casinos need to stay shut.

Conferences and conventions (really a subset of travel and tourism)

Cruise ships. Also a subset of tourism, but such a big risk factor for spreading infectious diseases it needs its own mention. Even when it was blindingly obvious back in February that cruise ships were a very bad idea when there was a dangerous virus on the loose, governments refused to shut them down.

Business meetings, because crowding a bunch of people into a small meeting room is a bad idea with respect to preventing the spread of contagious diseases. Meet on Zoom, god damn it. Without in-person business meetings, most white collar workers can work from home as well as they can at the office.

Crowded restaurants, bars and nightclubs. It’s hard to imagine bars and nightclubs being able to open in a way that’s safe, but restaurants would be pretty safe with rules like no one standing inside the restaurant either at the bar or waiting for a table. Close bar areas and make people wait outside of the restaurant if there are no tables to seat them.

Weddings and funerals.

(3) Public transportation is going to spread contagious diseases because people squeezed together in a subway or bus for an extended period of time is just not good. But we can require people to wear face masks in order to ride public transportation. Anyone not wearing a face mask should be kicked off, and given a fine. Of course, that means we need to actually be able to provide face masks for people, and they are still in short supply. We’re sending everyone a stimulus check, why can’t the government also send everyone some face masks?

Will the pandemic mean that, going forward, dumb liberals will stop promoting public transportation as being superior to personal automobiles? (Although it should be acknowledged that car accidents are a serious risk that we have chosen to ignore. We can’t get safer self-driving cars soon enough.)

(4) Schools. All the evidence we have so far is that schools are not as big risk factors as the things I mentioned above. Young people seem to be less likely to catch the virus and less likely to spread it compared to adults. I would have thought that college dorms, with young people living together and foreign Chinese students returning to classes after winter break, would be the first places where there would be virus outbreaks, but it didn’t happen. Instead, there are big virus outbreaks wherever old people live together, like in nursing homes. It seems that the older you are, the more likely you are to catch it and spread it.

So in a world with sane virus-prevention policies, schools would be re-opened before religious services. But I don’t think we live in a sane world so I predict it will not happen that way.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

April 14, 2020 at 12:47 PM

Adam Schlesinger dead at 52 from Coronavirus

Adam Schelsinger, founding member of the group Fountains of Wayne, died from the Coronavirus.

According to Wikipedia: “Stacy’s Mom” was written by bassist Adam Schlesinger and vocalist Chris Collingwood, both of whom produced the song alongside Mike Denneen. Its subject matter was inspired by a friend of Schlesinger’s when he was young who had a crush on his grandmother. It was a power pop song with which the group hoped to emulate the sound of The Cars.

I hold the opinion that the kid is stupid, Stacy is way cuter (from the perspective of a 12-year-old kid) than her mom.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

April 2, 2020 at 1:16 PM

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