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Author Topic: A Journal of the Plague  (Read 608 times)

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A Journal of the Plague
« on: April 06, 2020, 07:13:16 am »

That-Was-The-Week-That-W-That-Was-The-Week-473964From the keyboard of Surly1
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[caption id="attachment_42263" align="aligncenter" width="700"]Art by Anthony Freda[/caption]

Originally published on the Doomstead Diner on April 5, 2020

"The taverns are fair full of gadabouts making merry this eve. Though I may press my face against the window like an urchin at a confectioner’s, I am tempted not by the sweetmeats within. A dram in exchange for the pox is an ill bargain indeed."

-- Samuel Pepys, 1665

Watching Covid-19 unfold is like watching the approach of a slow motion catastrophe. We cannot run, nor hide. We can only wait. The math is immutable, and inexorable. The confirmed infection counts and death tolls double every three days. Tick-tock.

We are told to practice "social distancing," to wear masks, to wash our hands continuously, to not touch our faces, and most of all to #Staythefuckhome. Most do. Some, including notorious ignorami, assorted MAGATs, and fundamentalist preachers whose addiction to positive cash flow depends on filling their megachurches, do not. These people should be treated as if they want you dead, judging from their actions, they do.

On a warm spring day last weekend they could be found packing cars going God-knows-where, on sidewalks with kids in tow, even going house-to-house to talk to neighbors! Amidst all the people on their bikes taking advantage of a sweet spring day to go out and provide disease vectors for the unsuspecting, I noted that a friend posted on Facebook that the parking lots down at the Virginia Beach Oceanfront  were absolutely packed. Leaving the cynical person to wonder, "what the hell is wrong with people?" 

We are linear thinkers; we do not do the exponential function very well. (Part of the reason Einstein, when asked to identify the most powerful force he had seen in a lifetime of discovery, replied, “Compound interest.")

The very next day, Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam issued a stay-at-home order for Virginia in an effort to further stop the spread of the coronavirus. Better late than never. 

Being first to lock the state down seems to have worked for California. I saw a clip by Gavin Newsom on TV saying as much, that the lockdown flattened the impact. He/they just had the good sense to employ the only weapon available. California bought themselves time, and kept the outbreak from swamping their health system. The less the infection penetrates the population in advance of a vaccine, the better.

My inner hunchback is waiting for karma to arrive in Arkansas, Missouri, Mississippi, and the other states that insist on staying "open for bidness" in the face of the trump Plague. I wish I were a better person. I am not.

In a recent book review, Charles Baxter observes, 

Mania rules in many American classics. Like it or not, in what has been taken to be our national literature, the notable white male characters are often in the grip of obsession. From Captain Ahab, to Frank Norris’s McTeague, Fitzgerald’s Gatsby, Faulkner’s Thomas Sutpen, Nabokov’s Humbert Humbert, Philip Roth’s Portnoy, and James McBride’s John Brown, we are in the presence of men who want only one thing and have sold their souls to get it.

We are all maniacs now: maniacs to stay alive, to remain beyond the reach of a silent killer with near universal reach, and whose lethality will disproportionately affect the elderly and the infirm. And while we may not sell our souls, we have certainly turned our vigilance up to "10."

Samuel Pepys (pronounced: "Peeps"), a capable administrator of British naval affairs and Member of Parliament in the seventeenth century, kept a diary as a young man. He recorded his daily life for almost ten years, and his record is often regarded as Britain’s most celebrated diary.

Historians have for years been mining Pepys' insights about details of everyday life during the seventeenth century, as he documented the coronation of King Charles II and the Restoration, the Anglo-Dutch war, the Great Plague, and the Great Fire of London.  It is his descriptions of the London plague years of 1655-66 that we care about here.

The Great Plague of London killed between 75,000-100,000, roughly 20 per cent of the population. Pepys' diary is filled wth what might today be called, "hot takes:"

On hearing ill rumour that Londoners may soon be urged into their lodgings by Her Majesty’s men, I looked upon the street to see a gaggle of striplings making fair merry, and no doubt spreading the plague well about. Not a care had these rogues for the health of their elders!

As noted above, on a clear weekend day I noted cars filled with people leaving the neighborhood... going where, exactly?  And beheld the sight of a neighbor working out on another neighbor who had the good sense to hide behind a storm door while the sputum-deliverer held forth. I swear, had he crossed the street I'd have used a rake to oblige him to keep his distance.

Great fears of the Sickenesses here in the City, it being said that two or three houses are already shut up. God preserve us all.

We are all shut up in our houses now. Aside, that is, from a few states in the south and west who wish themselves part of the Neo-confederacy. Persuading an entire country to voluntarily stay at home is not easy, and without clear direction from an unwilling White House, mayors, governors, and business owners have rolled their own.

Thus this month ends, with great sadness upon the public through the greateness of the plague, everywhere through the Kingdom almost. Every day sadder and sadder news of its increase. In the City died this week 7496; and all of them, 6102 of the plague. But it is feared that the true number of the dead this week is near 10000 - partly from the poor that cannot be taken notice of through the greatness of the number, and partly from the Quakers and others that will not have any bell ring for them.
As to myself, I am very well; only, in fear of the plague, and as much of an Ague, by being forced to go early and late to Woolwich, and my family to lie there continually.

The death toll in the US as of this writing is over 9100. The number of US confirmed cases is over 321,000. Look for these rates to double every three days until the disease peaks. Soon, most everyone in the US will know someone who has been infected. Like 9/11, the pandemic has already imprinted itself upon our psyche as a defining moment.

The pandemic has shattered the myth of American "greatness." As the first among equals of rich, strong, developed nations, the supremacy of American health care is held as an article of faith. That illusion has been shattered. In spite of months of advance warning as the virus tore through other countries, when America was finally tested by COVID-19, it failed.

Countries like South Korea, Singapore, and Hong Kong followed the playbook: develop a test, use it to identify the infected, isolate them, and trace those they’ve had contact with. Wash, rinse, repeat. As Alexis Madrigal and Robinson Meyer reported, the CDC developed and distributed a faulty test in February. No one could have imagined that as the American caseload shot into the tens of thousands, only hundreds of people would be tested. This created an epidemiological hole from which we have never emerged. Lack of a reliable test deployed early enough is the single point of failure that undermined every other countermeasure, and that has led to the immutable, exponential math.

Bet your mortgage that the impacts on economic, social and political aspects of our lives from coronavirus will be long lasting. And   compounded, given the chaos, corruption, and cronyism that heralded our blundered entry into this crisis. Few have ever seen anything like this, and only a few cranks and miscreants (aside from professional planners) have even bothered to contemplate it.

The London plague continued into 1666.

Thanks be to God, the plague is, as I hear, encreased but two this week; but in the country in several places it rages mightily, and particularly in Colchester, where it hath long been, and is believed will quite depopulate the place.

Italy and Spain offer grim warnings about an American future. Hospitals are rapidly running out of room, supplies, and staff. Health-care workers are already seeing dwindling equipment, growing waves of patients, with doctors and nurses themselves becoming ill. And they are operating without a gaunt, shiny-faced, porcelain-doll wannabe-Dauphin to bollix up supplies of medical equipment, and to MBAsplain coronavirus to the nation's Governors. Trump and Bolton terminated the Pandemic staff and have given the portfolio to Richie Rich for on-the-job training. God help us all.

By 1667 Pepys' plague had burnt out, but still lived in recent memory:

One at the table told an odd passage in this late plague: that at Petersfield, I think, he said, one side of the street had every house almost infected through the town, and the other, not one shut up.

During a time of "social distancing," we are reduced to staring off the porch or out the window. Like the denizens of Plato's cave, we watch the electronic shadows dance off the wall, while we attempt to make sense of them. Even more difficult is imagining how we might begin to recover from a virtual shutdown of economic life. As we try to restart an all-but-stopped economy dependent upon an engine of ceaseless consumption, we run the risk of renewed disease flareups as seen in China, Singapore, and other Asian countries that briefly seemed to have the virus under control. All it takes is one case to reignite fresh infections.

My best guess is that until a vaccine can be produced (probably 18 months), we'll continue to play a protracted game of whack-a-mole with the virus, stamping out outbreaks as they occur.

The slow response to the virus by some Trumpophile governors will be telling. Virus hot spots in are South poised for disproportionate suffering. With many Southern states only recently implementing stay-at-home orders, there is a chance that a later wave of infection could swamp local facilities. Even sparsely populated counties could soon have more cases than their health care systems can handle. 

“There is no city anywhere in the world that can withstand the outbreak that would occur if there isn’t rigorous social distancing,” said Tom Frieden, a former Centers for Disease Control and Prevention director.

In Virginia, the governor is both a Democrat and a physician, so he imposed social distancing earlier than some. But some children of privilege and exception haven't taken it seriously.

The Columbia University model also identified the area around Hampton Roads and Newport News, Va., at risk of having its health infrastructure swamped. Though the number of cases in those counties is currently low, Virginia is not expected to experience peak conditions until late May, and has so far received just a tiny fraction of the medical equipment requested from the federal government.

On Friday, state leaders confirmed that the tidewater region has some of the highest community spread in the state, and that it would be one of three areas designated for a field hospital to take pressure off the local medical system. The “alternate care” site in the Hampton Roads Convention Center will be able to hold up to 360 acute care beds or 580 non-acute beds, Gov. Ralph Northam said.

This Week in Doom:

Like the pandemic itself, the economic effects are just getting started. Strap in. Nobel-winning economist Paul Krugman sees unemployment soaring to 20% in a matter of weeks.

WE'RE NUMBER ONE!  The US just recorded the highest single-day death toll in the world

Just when you thought it might be safe to peek out off your bunker... this ****, again. Robertson Blames Coronavirus On Oral Sex, ‘Lady Chemicals’

Amid reports that the federal stockpile of medical supplies is “nearly exhausted” and production of new equipment is unlikely to come soon enough, it now appears that the Trump administration may be playing favorites, distributing supplies to political allies and states important for the president’s reelection campaign. How bad will the fallout be? Frank Rich: Trump’s Potemkin Recovery

Karma Comes to Cousinfuck Country. Mississippi Now Has the Highest Rate of Coronavirus Hospitalizations in the United States

Are there no lampposts? No nylon rope? New disclosure reveals Sen. Kelly Loeffler and her husband dumped retail stock and bought shares in a company that manufacturers medical supplies. Loeffler and her husband dumped hundreds of thousands in stocks before the market dropped over the coronavirus outbreak.

Trump's budget director stands by plan to cut CDC budget by 15 percent during the coronavirus pandemic  The acting director of the OMB seemed unperturbed when asked about if it was wise to cut the CDC during a pandemic.

Karma, your table is ready. Liberty University Brings Back Its Students, and Coronavirus Fears, Too

Americans are doing what they do best: buying guns









For unbiased information, Just found this. No interpretations, no politics. Just data, visualized: https://covid19.healthdata.org

Stay informed and protect your own. 

banksy 07-flower-thrower-wallpaperSurly1 is an administrator and contributing author to Doomstead Diner. He is the author of numerous rants, screeds and spittle-flecked invective here and elsewhere. He lives a quiet domestic existence in Southeastern Virginia with his wife Contrary. Descended from a long line of people to whom one could never tell anything, all opinions are his and his alone, because he paid full retail for everything he has managed to learn.


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What It's REALLY Like to 😷 Care for COVID ICU Patients: 👩‍⚕️ Dr. Gordon, NYC Surgeon, Interview
117,962 views•Apr 5, 2020

Duc C. Vuong
284K subscribers

1) Are young patients really dying from COVID-19?
2) Are refrigerated trucks really being used for dead bodies?
3) Are patients really dying alone and without family around them?
4) Is there enough PPE?
5) Will there be enough ventilators?
6) Are doctors and nurses getting sick too?

This interview is a real EYE-OPENER! Anyone who tries to discredit this surgeon should be throat punched (figuratively speaking, of course...)
Category People & Blogs
Light is sown for the righteous, and gladness for the upright in heart. Ps. 97:11


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By Sarah Waddington

UPDATED 20:26, 6 APR 2020

That should get Mr. Trump's attention.
Light is sown for the righteous, and gladness for the upright in heart. Ps. 97:11


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COVID-19 Will Kill More People Worldwide Due to Water Shortages


You can't wash the virus off your hands if you don't have water.
Read the Article →

Trump Silenced Own Infectious Disease Expert to Peddle Unproven COVID Treatment


Trump refused to let Dr. Fauci speak when a reporter asked about hydroxychloroquine at a COVID-19 briefing Sunday night.
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Trump's Former 😈 Lawyer Had Million-Dollar Contract With Hydroxychloroquine Maker


Is there a financial reason why the president may be pushing an unproven drug for coronavirus treatment?
Read the Article →

As COVID-19 Spreads Behind Bars, Will Officials Release Pregnant People?


Some prison officials are releasing pregnant people and new mothers early; advocates say this needs to occur nationwide.
Read the Article →
Light is sown for the righteous, and gladness for the upright in heart. Ps. 97:11


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Corona and Our Mental Health
« Reply #4 on: April 06, 2020, 11:58:38 pm »
Economic Update: Corona and Our Mental Health
8,512 views•Apr 6, 2020

Democracy At Work
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[S10 E14] Corona and Our Mental Health

**We make it a point to provide the show free of ads. Please consider supporting our work. Become an EU patron on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/economicupdate

The Corona virus's threat to physical health is clear. Far less well known are the virus's serious impacts on mental health (loneliness, depression, feelings of isolation, anxiety) worsened by the total failure of private and government leaders to anticipate, prepare for, or cope with the pandemic. With Dr. Harriet Fraad we explore the psychological costs of the  pandemic and some ways we can better cope with them.
Prof. Wolff's latest book "Understanding Socialism"

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Shop our Store: http://bit.ly/2JkxIfy[S10 E09] When Stale Debates Distract
Category News & Politics
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Agelbert NOTE: Milk dumping is now happening in Vermont. The problem is that over 30% of dairy product sales normally is to hospitality, fast food and chain restaurants and school cafeterias. Most of that product demand evaporated because of COVID-19 required social distancing.

Apr. 7, 2020 12:47 PM ET


🚨 Store closings outnumber store openings by a wide margin.

🚨 2020 will be a year where store closings rise well above average levels, we could see 15,000 stores being closed down this year across the US.

► Not all retailers are create equal. Some retailers will struggle, others will perform well operationally.

Full article: 🦇

Light is sown for the righteous, and gladness for the upright in heart. Ps. 97:11


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Are Hospitals Criminally Endangering Nurses & Doctors?
3,265 views•Apr 6, 2020

Thom Hartmann Program
218K subscribers

Doctors and nurses are dying from Corona Virus, and it could all be prevented but for profit hospitals are not protecting their workers.
🔴 Subscribe for more clips like this: https://www.youtube.com/user/thomhartmann

Are for profit hospitals following Donald Trump's lead and putting profits over the well being of doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals who are now dying from Corona Virus?

⭐ Join our Membership and Support the Channel:  https://www.youtube.com/user/thomhartmann

Mr. Fish's Catch of the Day: Time to Reflect
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Mr. Fish's Catch Of The Day: But I Play One On TV

Activists Place Symbolic 🏴☠️ Body Bags At Entrance To 🦀 Trump Golf Course
By Refuse Fascism. Pine Hill, NJ - “The Trump/Pence response to the COVID-19 pandemic – the actions, lies and inaction – is killing people and threatening humanity,” said Samantha Goldman, Refuse Fascism after helping place symbolic body bags at the entrance to the Trump National Golf Club in Pine Hill, New Jersey following a car caravan throughout Philadelphia demanding Trump/Pence Out NOW! “This is an emergency. This fascist regime poses a danger to humanity. Trump has blood on his hands.” They said, “Most importantly, we demand the immediate removal of Trump & Pence.RefuseFascism.org calls for...
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The United States Is Where COVID-19 Deaths Are Being Under-reported 

By Margaret Flowers, Popular Resistance.


When the COVID-19 pandemic started, China responded quickly by reporting the novel disease to the World Health Organization and taking steps to identify and study the virus. Within a matter of weeks, it was clear that the virus was a serious public health matter. China then mobilized its resources and took an aggressive public health approach to contain the spread and care for those who became ill. For this, the US chastised China, calling it "authoritarian" and "draconian," instead of learning from the success of China. So far, China has controlled the virus, keeping the total number of cases..

Full article: 😷😬
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April 6, 2020 COVID-19, United States

Leading 👩‍⚕️👨‍⚕️ Health Professional Associations Call for Safeguards Amidst COVID-19 Crisis

As more and more reports surface of health workers being fired or reprimanded for speaking out about unsafe conditions or using their own personal protective equipment, medical associations and advocates have rallied to call for their immediate protection: this week, 10 leading U.S. health professionals associations – representing tens of thousands of physicians, nurses, and other health workers – joined PHR to deliver a collective demand to protect health workers’ safety and voices amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Read the new coalition statement here.

Signatories as of April 6, 2020: Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) (Convener) American Medical Students Association (AMSA) American Medical Women’s Association (AMWA) American Nurses Association (ANA) American Public Health Association (APHA) Doctors for America (DFA) National Medical Association (NMA) Society of Adolescent Health and Medicine (SAHM) Society of Behavioral Medicine (SBM) Society of General Internal Medicine (SIGM) University of Washington Housestaff Association (UWHA)
Light is sown for the righteous, and gladness for the upright in heart. Ps. 97:11


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The New Style For Grocery Shopping...
« Reply #10 on: April 09, 2020, 04:25:33 pm »
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security defines a hazmat suit as “an overall garment worn to protect people from hazardous materials or substances, including chemicals, biological agents, or radioactive materials.”

Agelbert NOTE: Left out of this video is the fact that encapsulated suits have an air hose socket for the air hose that connects to the air supply.

I expect some clever person (probably a woman because they will want something that is both functional AND stylish 👉 See: a "Jetsons" type 360 degree clear sealed helmet to show the hair style ;D with an air tank) to come up with a more portable version of the following for COVID-19 protection.

Here's the Real World 2020 "version" of the above (Minus an air tank):
Tychem 5000 Hood
They are going like hotcakes now, so don't plan on placing your order anytime soon.
Item #: C3651T TN 00
MFG: DuPont
UOM: Case of 6
Lead Time: 1-2 weeks
Returns: This item may not be returned or cancelled once the order has shipped.

Due to extreme demand caused by the COVID-19 Coronavirus, this item is allocated for the US government only.
$347.67 Was: $425.71

With the coronavirus, you just have to avoid breathing the air in a possibly COVID-19 infected area. You then disinfect the sealed helmet and air tank when you get home. So, you don't need a full suit, but an encapsulated suit does boast the convenience of not having to disinfect your clothing. The OCD types will probably do the full encapsulated suit thing, but most will just go for a sealed helmet and air tank with a two or three hour supply of air from your home pumped into it. For these suits, Hazmat Level B is sufficient for COVID-19 protection and even LEVEL C will keep you safe, though you won't have your own air supply to guarantee your safety. The suit demonstrated below is a Hazmat LEVEL A suit. That is the highest level of protection and also the most expensive suit you can buy.

I'll just add one more thing for you to think about that I learned from reading about CDC doctors on the African Ebola front lines. If you aren't in a comfortably cool environment, or in an air conditioned building, you sweat. If you are in summer temperatures, you sweat, A LOT. CDC workers in the tropics are always in danger of passing out from dehydration. Wiping a sweaty forehead to keep the dripping sweat from stinging the eyes is impossible so they wear a type of absorbent cloth, inside the suit, over the forehead. It is something like what tennis players wear.

Also, being hot and sweaty can blur your judgement as well as your vision. This can cause you to be infected with the virus you are trying to protect yourself from because you rushed to remove the suit in order to get a drink of water.
Remember that this summer. If you live in the tropics, remember that ALL THE TIME.

Design improvements for the DuPont™ Tychem® 10000 encapsulated suit
3,985 views•Apr 13, 2017

DuPont™ Tyvek®
2.03K subscribers
DuPont uses voice of customer input to both develop new products and improve/enhance existing garments. Recent customer feedback has led DuPont to make a number of significant design improvements to Tychem® 10000 suits.

For more information, learn more here: http://www.dupont.com/products-and-se...
Category Science & Technology

Agelbert added NOTE: Here's everything you want to know about encapsulated suit technology and what it will cost you for each type of suit:

Due to high demand from the COVID-19 Coronavirus, most respirators and coveralls are out of stock and/or facing supply restrictions. No returns on PPE.  
« Last Edit: April 09, 2020, 05:41:04 pm by AGelbert »
Light is sown for the righteous, and gladness for the upright in heart. Ps. 97:11


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