Thursday, March 12, 2020

We Live In A World Of Morons

Coronavirus. F*ck.

Before I begin, let me assure you that I take the Coronavirus seriously so I made sure to wipe down my keyboard before I wrote this for your safety. I'm sure you all feel better. Also, to protect a third-rate generic beer brand, I will not be calling this the "Coronavirus." There was an obvious BS poll claiming that 38% of Americans will buy less Corona beer because they associate the two names, so I will do my duty to protect the beer company and call it something else from now on.

So what shall we say about the CoronaLiteVirus? Is it dangerous? That depends. If you're old (over 50) and in ill health, it has a slightly higher chance of killing you than the flu does. If you're between 20 and 50, it sounds like the flu. For some, it's a strong flu. For some, it's a mild cold. If you're under 20, most people apparently won't even notice the symptoms. So does that make it a reason to panic? Hardly. There is no greater reason to panic over this than there is when you hear "it's going to be a hard flu season." AND YET...

Panic is in the blood of morons. And there are people who prey on panic, like media and Democrats. It's all on display now.

Let's start with the media. The media is filled with fear-monger junkies who combine their retard-grade ignorance with their get-off-on-shocking-people fetish to try to scare the crap out of people. No claim is too ridiculous to push. Some random computer scientist claims that 20 million people will die... good enough to run with it! A skeptic of the panic gets sick... rush out the "told you so" articles. I need a piece on someone who is suffering terribly! Forget the people who recovered. Always avoid the facts that kill the buzz. More people were in Chicago last weekend than have died of the conornavirus, but don't let that calm you! Almost everyone who gets it will be fine, but don't let that calm you. JUST F*CKING PANIC!! PANIC NOW B*TCHES!! NOBODY'S DOING ANYTHING!! THEY COULD SAVE YOU, BUT THEY WON'T!! IT'S UNDER YOUR BED!!

These idiots don't even educate themselves on the symptoms or how to protect yourself. Apparently, symptoms include cough, body aches, runny nose, sore throat, nasal congestion, low fever, high fever, diarrhea but not cough, rarely runny nose, never diarrhea, never fever. It will take 14 days, or maybe 2 or maybe 5 for the symptoms to show. In that time, you could be carrying it to everyone you know and KILLING THEM!!! Why not educate themselves? Because reporters haven't done that in years. They just spout off and if they're wrong, they're wrong.

I read this amazing article on Yahoo the other day by a doctor who wanted to debunk the idea that only old, sick people are in danger. He pointed out that he was treating "three young people who were in good health, who got it while skiing in Italy. One is in intensive care." So don't think that young people are safe you fools! That was his point over and over and the journalist not only repeated this uncritically, he buffed up this idea with all kinds of innuendo. Here's the problem though. If you read on, you eventually find this statement: "these people are in their 50s and 60s, they are young people!" No, they're not. They are exactly in the stereotype of victims. So the whole article was a fraud. Moreover, the one in ICU was in his 70s and had a pre-existing respiratory condition. The other two were fine. Again, the stereotype. This article was pure fearmongering, pure misinformation.

This is the crap the media does. They sell fear.

The Democrats are, of course, exploiting this like mad. They want sheer terror because they think people will turn to them if they are scared enough. So they are spending their time attacking Trump no matter what he does. They have no solutions themselves -- they don't actually care -- they just want to smear Trump. And their bleating followers are all screaming that somebody needs to so do something! The rallying cry of the incompetent.

Take a look at the stupid ideas governments have come up with to placate these losers. France banned gatherings of more than 7,000 people, because the virus can't affect groups of 6,999 or less. German had its doubts, so it reduced that number to 1,000 because the virus stops at 999. Washington State's democrats bid this down to 250. Of course, this is all nonsense, but it sound like "somebody's doing something!" Then Italy put in a curfew closing restaurants at 6pm, because the virus can't strike after dark apparently. Andrew Cuomo sent the national guard to a city in New York where some people have it, apparently so they can shoot it if they see it. Italy will now be shutting down all commerce because people couldn't possibly need anything from commerce and it provides another chance to spread the disease. Trump stopped travel from Europe because Europeans could be carriers, but not those from Britain because the British apparently can't carry the virus. Immigration is asking people if they are sick at airports and doing nothing if they are. The critics want them to administer a test which takes 5 days to those people before letting them into the country, which stop it spreading in those five days how? It's all for show and the fact that people accept this as meaningful just shows you how stupid the "won't somebody do something" crowd is. This is taking nail scissors from little old ladies on airplanes all over again to appease the same retards.

And in case any of them are listening, rest assured that not only did I wash my keyboard, but I'm only letting 999 people read this article at any one time. Feel safer?

Here's the tragedy. The damage these idiots are doing to the economy will kill people. Shutting down travel. Ending the NBA season. Doing the NCAA tournament without fans. Italy forcibly closing all businesses (with New York and California looking enviously on). These things will destroy millions of jobs. Small business vendors. Independent hotels. Restaurants. All the little shops that service employees and other businesses will close. They will lay people off. They have no ability to keep them on sick pay while they are closed. Many of those businesses will never reopen because they need to keep swimming or they drown... closing for a month or two will drown them. The people who lose their jobs will find no other jobs with a contracting market. What are they going to do to pay their bills? Unemployment doesn't cover your income. Many of them are contractors anyways. Welfare? Hardly. This is going to devastate the lower working class. They can't pay for rent, food or medicine, and things aren't going to recover for years. Do you think someone on welfare is going to get their heart pills? And the government is making this happen because they are afraid to be seen not doing something... not because there is any valid reason to do what they are doing.

Moreover, the disruptions will hurt people who need it. If you need a mask because you have cancer, you can't get one. Need to see a doctor for that bronchitis you just caught? Good luck getting an appointment. Supply chain disruptions are going to be a problem with things closing.

So what should the government do? It should do what Trump was doing until the Democratic smears began: giving advice. And that advice should be (1) wash your hands, don't touch your face, (2) know the symptoms, (3) if you are worried, work from home, (4) for the love of God stop panic buying toilet paper! That's it. Anything else doesn't help and only spreads panic.

Our local grocery store is doing it right. They sent out a letter explaining that they are sanitizing their stores more often, they've put out hand sanitizer everywhere, they are wiping carts a lot and they are keeping sick employees home. And if you're still worried, use the grocery pick up option. Perfect. They even put limits on certain items to prevent panic buying. Life goes on.

The truth is this: you can't stop a virus from spreading. It can live on any surface. It can float in the air. There's just nothing you can do. But there's no reason to freak out either. The government and its idiot enablers are doing it all absolutely backwards and that is going to kill people. So be afraid of them, not the virus.

As an aside, get some cash while you can. You never know how far these idiots will take things, but I can totally see us following Italy and shutting down everything... including banks.

Thoughts? Does this seem like the worst zombie movie ever to anyone?


AndrewPrice said...

BTW, the market has a lot more to go, so don't buy yet. (1) a lot of businesses haven't announced their problems yet and (2) I track several stocks, including Apple, and they are all still in the top 1/4 of their 5-year ranges. So don't be fooled.

ArgentGale said...

That's an excellent summation of the Kung Flu, its actual effects, rational ways to react and prepare, and the galling amount of stupidity that's cropped up around it, Andrew. Shame that so many people have decided to take the stupid route and that we're all going to be paying for that long after the virus has run its course. Your reads on the general public have always been good, Andrew, so I'm wondering if you have any ideas as to how it got to this point, especially with the media's credibility at an all time low. And for the burning question, do you think this (both the virus and the economic impact) is going to give the media and the Democrats the blue wave they want so badly in November? The Democrats have been absolutely shameless in their exploitation and politicization of the issue for sure but the GOP hasn't exactly shown themselves to be competent in this matter either.

Patriot said...

Posted on an earlier thread:

I’m curious as to what people expect our gov’t to do about this health scare? Provide more face masks? (China controlled supply chain) Provide free vaccinations? (China controlled manufacturing). While the US still R&D’s many pharmaceuticals, the actual building up of the supply is mainly accomplished overseas and getting them here takes time through regular shipping channels (China controlled supply and logistics). Perhaps if there was enough of whatever drug was found effective that wasn’t being used in hard hit countries, the US could fly air cargo jets full of the vaccine, but no vaccine has been developed yet.

Short of using Chinese containment tactics (dragging people out of their homes and putting them in camps with other affected people) and declaring martial law, what should our omniscient politicians do?

How have we contained the flu virus (my understanding this covid-19 virus is another cold virus, albeit, newer strain) that the government helped out on?

My point is we shouldn’t ever rely on government to help us out on these health scares. Broad based, national directives don’t ever seem to work. What works is people taking responsibility for their health (washing hands, avoiding airports and cruise ships) and local/state governments putting in place appropriate measures to contain (we can never prevent) any “pandemic” possibility.

I believe many pharmaceutical companies are furiously working to develop some remedies for this new virus (the profit motive). It’s obvious existing vaccines aren’t working.

One final point...why do we have the WHO and CDC? It appears they’re good for repeating existing health actions and what to do and not do whenever we’re hit with a health scare. Rather than relying on the President to address the problem, why doesn’t he state that we give billions already to these organizations that are supposed to have response teams and or preventive measures in place already! Look to them to address it, not politicians!

tryanmax said...

The press has made a talisman of the tests, which aren't sufficiently accurate and only work on people who are symptomatic, that is, people who should stay home. My theory is that, in order to cover for the fact that they pooh-poohed Trump when he restricted travel from China, the press is acting sooper serious about whatever is going wrong. They latched onto the tests because the CDC rushed the first batch and, no surprise, mistakes were made. If something else had gone wrong early, that's what we'd be hearing about today, but as it happens, it's all about testing, testing, testing.

To help understand why testing is a stupid point to keep hammering, I whipped up an infographic: How Would You Like Your COVID-19 Test?

Another reason it's stupid is because we're past that phase in most regions. Testing is most effective in the containment phase. You focus on those most likely to have it and test those people. Then you isolate those individuals and find out who they came in contact with. You know, exactly what the CDC did but the press criticized because, lo and behold, there was a case of community spread. You know, exactly like the CDC said would happen.

In fact, the running theme of this outbreak has been the government trying to communicate to the public, the press mocking it, then pretending what the government said was their own discovery, no thanks to that lousy, no-good government that should be running everything.

But I digress, the reason it's stupid past the containment phase is because testing works against social distancing, which is the recommended course of action now. Testing encourages people to congregate and spread their germs to each other. So you've got the same bunch of morons telling us we need to cancel everything, stay away from one another, but also report to the local testing center and wait in line with strangers coughing on you.

But, but, but they tested everyone in China! Not even close. Those they tested were in mass quarantines and they were tested with shoddy tests. It was theater to keep the unrest down. If you quarantined a major city in the US, that would spark unrest.

But, but, but they tested everyone in S. Korea! Yes, they tested a lot of people there, but still not everyone. What they did do is give the rest of the world a very good picture of the virus thanks to both their preparation (due to their proximity to China) and some naturally existing controls: S. Korea is a small, densely populated peninsula bordered only by an isolated state, meaning their border controls are spectacular. You couldn't ask for a better test case to study the outbreak, and thank you S. Korea for all you've done. There's no good reason to dismiss they achieved by reinventing that wheel.

I've been telling everyone I can that the tests are no good, so don't worry about the tests. When I do that, hilariously, they slot me into the overly optimistic column, because the tests are the only thing most people know to worry about.

AndrewPrice said...

Add Disneyland and the Met to the list. At this point, this is all momentum. This is companies who are afraid to be sued shutting down so they don't become the focus on haters and lawyers.

AndrewPrice said...

Daniel, I think it got to this point quite naturally:

1. Event
2. Media scaremongers
3. The weak minded freak out and panic
4. Their panic opens the door to predators -- politicians, lawyers, sellers of snake oil
5. Society is forced to respond to avoid the panicked from destroying everything.
6. You are here.

In terms of the future, I don't know if this will help or hurt Trump. To his credit he's doing lots of pointless things, which people will like. But the Democrats are trying to destroy the world -- better to reign in hell... and all that. It's too early to tell how the public will react in the end.

The people I use as weathervanes of stupidity are split on the issue right now. They blame Trump AND the Democrats right now.

AndrewPrice said...

Patriot, There's really nothing they can do. That won't stop them from trying stuff, but none of it will help short of a vaccine.

Biden wants the CDC to build temporary hospitals, which is utter nonsense. I think he got the idea from China. At least he didn't suggest exploding hotels.

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, People who want to panic are going to panic regardless of the facts. And there will always be people who are ready to encourage that panic, stoke it, and exploit it. Of course, when it's all over and none of their fears proved true, they will have known it all along and people like you then will be dismissed as fear mongers. You can't win with fools.

As for the media, I think you are absolutely right. They criticize everything, no matter how smart. Then they come around to it and adopt it and criticize a second time, this time for the admin not thinking of it first (which of course they did). It's a rigged game.

What's more no matter what you do, it is never enough because it's easy to whine that it should have been done earlier, faster, more or better without ever specifying how. It's dishonest armchair quarterbacking, the game of choice in our society.

AndrewPrice said...

March Madness (basketball version) is canceled. Two cruiselines are shutting down for two months.

Critch said...

What a day.....we had a tornado on the ground about a mile north of my house and my 4th grandson was born today..about a mile north of my house...I think I'll nickname him Stormy.
People are acting so stupid with this virus scare...or stoopider than usual...there was a well known local druggie (we call them Tweakers) at WalMart last night wearing pantyhose over his head, instead of a germ mask...I guess they were out...

I really don't get it. The media is using this to scare people, it's nothing but Yellow Journalism all over again. This stuff isn't the Black Death, it isn't Typhus, it isn't Yellow fever...I'm hoping the market settles a little bit then I'm going on a buying spree...While I'm at it. What do people think Trump should do? Cure it all by himself? If he shuts the borders down completely then the libs go crazy...Oh yeah, the French shut down their borders....Why are so many Italians dying? I thought socialized medicine was the answer to everything. You would think that this virus would have already gotten into the detention facilities along the Southern border, if it were so bad. BTW, these seizure meds are kicking my butt. I have problems getting thoughts from the brain to my fingers..stay safe, wash your hands, drink plenty of fact, I think I may just go to the pub and have a Guinness until this crap blows over..

AndrewPrice said...

Some thoughts.

1. The fear mongering continues. The Daily Mail wants you to believe that 150 million people will get this in the US. That's 10,000 the current number worldwide.

2. They are running articles from some quack who says we need to ban all social gatherings. Totally irresponsible.

3. At the same time, we learn that Tom Hanks and wife have it... and aren't dying. Canada's prime minister's wife has it... and isn't dying. Somehow, all these people seem to get better, but the media doesn't care about that.

As an aside, our schools are closing for two weeks. Ug. I mean, yay. Two weeks... no school, no homework. I predict a run on NyQuil and dark-gun-shootable horse tranquilizers.

AndrewPrice said...

Critch, I'm sorry to hear that the medications are such a problem for you! I hope it gets better!

The Italians are dying because Trump //somethingsomething. After all, he did that thing and said those things. All very terrible.

tryanmax said...

Why won’t Dictator Trump declare martial law?

Anthony said...

Regarding the White House I'll restate an old theme 'Having a meeting and getting everyone on the same page would have been great. When you have the President saying one thing (a month ago a vaccine was only a month away), the CDC saying another, the VP a third thing, and the White House Press Secretary a fourth, uncertainty and fear go up rather than down. Honesty and coordination wouldn't have solved all problems but they would have given the fire less fuel.

I'll repeat another theme. We live in a world where everyone has a mass communication device in their pocket. Big media companies make an impact but they do not control debate\thinking. That is demonstrated constantly. The media declares X, the public does Y. When the media doesn't give people what they want when and how they want it people go elsewhere. Random people who address popular interests or fears have tremendous impacts on the thinking of the average person. In China citizen journalists who contradicted the initial party line that everything was great were quickly disappeared by the government. Even there the state and big media companies could not determine the narrative.

tryanmax said...

Anthony, the apocryphal "vaccine in a month" line was derived from a press-attended White House meeting with all the experts around the table. No one at that table actually said there'd be a vaccine in a month. There was a discussion about what could be done in a month, a few months, a year, two years. The press turned questions into statements, inquiries into arguments, and banter into declarations. What I'm trying to say is, all this "not on the same page" business is increasingly revealed to be a media fabrication.

A clearer example. Trump was said to have contradicted CDC's Nancy Messonnier on whether something to do with coronavirus (it's unclear exactly what) was "inevitable." Messonnier never used the word "inevitable" in statements to the press, but it was splashed around headlines and eventually posed as a question to the president using the word "inevitable." Trump responded that he didn't think it (whatever it was) was "inevitable" but that coronavirus would probably continue to spread. This rejection of the word "inevitable" was reported as disagreement despite the fact that both parties chose to avoid that characterization.

When CDC Director Robert Redfield attempted to clarify the incident before Congress, the press then reported Redfield as saying his subordinate "misspoke." Redfield did nothing of the kind. Rather, he affirmed her message that the risk posed by coronavirus remains low with precautionary measures. This, of course, was characterized as further disagreement with the President. If anything, he told Congress that the press misspoke, if not in so many words.

Anthony, I hate to break it to you, but your understanding of media steering narrative is unsophisticated. What are you talking about today? The same general subject as everyone else: Coronavirus and whether the government's response was adequate. What are you not talking about? A whole host of other things. Where are you not looking? Forward, toward the end of the epidemic. Your attention (my attention, Andrew's attention, almost everyone's attention) is exactly where the press wants it to be. Here, now, centered on problems and conflict. Both are essential parts of any narrative. Contrarians are merely antagonists in the narrative. Or maybe they're your protagonists--the narrative doesn't judge, just the other half of the audience.

AndrewPrice said...

Anthony, If there's one thing I've learned about the media, regardless of the subdivison – sports, business, politics, entertainment, etc. – it’s that you cannot take anything they say at face value. They report what they want to believe, not what the facts tell them. To get there, they cherry pick their facts, they cherry pick their “experts” and witnesses, they ignore logic and reasoning and obvious contradictions, and they shorten or lengthen distance, time and even redefine success to make sure that the articles they write reach the conclusion they want. And when it comes to Trump, they are particularly unreliable. In fact, if they say it, you can basically assume it’s not true.

Anthony said...

Andrew and Tryanmax,

Trump and his administration have made numerous conflicting or outright false statements about the Corona virus. I don't see how that is arguable.

You have in the past claimed such contradictions are part of a deliberate strategy Trump has when dealing with the press/public (of course that was in the context of stuff of less direct concern to the public like military actions abroad and treatment of foreigners).
After Trump sparked panic by announcing a 30-day ban on travel from Europe to the US to limit the virus' spread, his own Department of Homeland Security clarified that the ban would exempt US citizens and permanent citizens and exclude major regions, including the United Kingdom and Ireland.

Trump made another major announcement in his speech by telling Americans — many of them anxious about affording coronavirus testing or treatment — that many major health insurers would not only cover the costs of coronavirus treatment in insurance plans, but also waive co-payments for all coronavirus treatments.

In his speech, Trump said: "Earlier this week, I met with the leaders of health insurance industry who have agreed to waive all co-payments for coronavirus treatments, extend insurance coverage to these treatments, and to prevent surprise medical billing."

Not long after his address, however, a representative for the insurance-industry group America's Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) told Politico that major health insurers had largely agreed to waive co-pays only for coronavirus testing, not the far more costly coronavirus treatments.

Anthony said...

I fully agree that media has a narrative which is focuses on feeding, but as I said earlier in this thread I think the public demands such narratives of the media. If you don't give people what they want (and different groups of people want different things) then they will just go elsewhere.

So the press isn't reliable but they are consistent.

tryanmax said...

Anthony, please stop being so credulous. I know it's impossible to check every source of every piece of information, but you can at least check on the things you choose to comment on.

You said: "After Trump sparked panic by announcing a 30-day ban on travel from Europe to the US to limit the virus' spread, his own Department of Homeland Security clarified that the ban would exempt US citizens and permanent citizens and exclude major regions, including the United Kingdom and Ireland."

Here is what Trump said in his announcement: "To keep new cases from entering our shores, we will be suspending all travel from Europe to the United States for the next 30 days. The new rules will go into effect Friday at midnight. These restrictions will be adjusted subject to conditions on the ground.

There will be exemptions for Americans who have undergone appropriate screenings, and these prohibitions will not only apply to the tremendous amount of trade and cargo, but various other things as we get approval. Anything coming from Europe to the United States is what we are discussing. These restrictions will also not apply to the United Kingdom."

So, you see, DHS clarified nothing, they only reiterated.

Yes, Trump did err in announcing insurers would waive copays for both testing and treatment, but you do yourself no service when you lead by calling out errors that were never made. Glass houses and such.

Anthony, Nobody wants to fight for toilet paper. Nobody wants to be out of work for up to two months. Nobody wants to juggle working from home with administering their children's online learning. The media knows that if you give people something to worry about, they will keep tuning in to know when it's over. The fact that the media knows how to string that along does not mean it's giving their audience what it wants. As the old showbiz adage says, keep them wanting more. In other words, never satisfy them. Don't give them what they want.

tryanmax said...

Here’s another example of what I’m talking about.

Mara Gay, NYTimes, reported “Trump told governors this morning they are on their own: ‘Respirators, ventilators, all of the equipment — try getting it yourselves,’ Mr. Trump told the governors during the conference call.”

What Trump actually said: “We will be backing you, but try getting it yourselves. Point of sales, much better, much more direct if you can get it yourself.”

The more times I run across this sort of thing, the more I doubt that Trump is lying and the more I think the press is lying about Trump lying.

Nobody speaks perfectly all of the time. Calling someone a liar primes confirmation bias to interpret mixups and honest errors as “lies.” It’s basic manipulation and there’s no reason to be proud to be on the butt end of it.

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