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What the Coronavirus Says about Us

Originally published at http://www.commondreams.org/views/2020/03/20/what-coronavirus-says-about-us

“It’s mourning in America.” --President Ronald Reagan

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This is not what we have become, it is what we have turned ourselves into since the Great Depression. When you see an adult that is a fucking moronic, stupid, ignorant POS grabbing everything in a grocery store just because he/she is fucking selfish and doesn’t give a shit about anyone else. Yes, this is who we really are, and why we have a President like Trump.

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"Why is it so difficult for us to appreciate the scale of what an unchecked global pandemic could do? The answer may have something to do with how difficult it is to intuitively understand abstract concepts like exponential growth."

“This difficulty has been appreciated since at least 1256, when an Islamic scholar recorded what is known as the wheat and chessboard problem. The problem appears in a parable about the inventor of chess, whose king demands to purchase the new game. The inventor names his price, to be paid in wheat. He suggested that one grain of wheat should be placed on the first square of the chessboard, two grains on the second, and so on, with the sum doubling in this way over 64 squares. The king thinks this a great bargain, and is stunned when his treasurer informs him that the sum would bankrupt the kingdom. The total number of grains comes to 18,446,744,073,709,551,615.”

ttps://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/mar/20/er-doctor-coronavirus-exponential-growth - Essay and plea from a Boston ER physician.

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I hope that this pandemic causes the american people, regardless of color, creed, religion,or political affiliation, to finally see and understand who their true enemy is - the corrupted scum that has populated most of washington, DC.

The inaction, the lack of care, the “protect” wall street at any cost, the corporate “bailouts”, the profiteering, the “get it yourself” attitude - watch closely what these people are choosing to do during this dangerous time. They are not making decisions based on the common good or saving American lives. They are doing the bidding of their donors who will most likely profit greatly from the suffering that is about to befall our country.

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On a more hopeful note, it is starting to bring people of the world together in some odd ways. I saw this article today and plan to go there and look/chat later today.

~https://globalvoices.org/2020/03/19/st-petersburg-firm-creates-online-bar-for-self-isolating-russians/?utm_source=Global+Voices&utm_campaign=086dde4fd7-Daily_Digest_COPY_01&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_633e82444a-086dde4fd7-290378293&ct=t(Daily_Digest_COPY_01)

It is called the “Stay the F*ck Home Bar” and people from all over the world hang out and chat about life and what is happening to all of us. English accepted as noted in the article, though it is based in Russia.

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On a less hopeful note, the whole world has been horrified by Spring-break down there in Florida. My heart goes out to people in more oblivious states. Governor Newsom just shut all of California down, no fooling around. We’re all fairly freaked out by the isolation – interacting even with close family relations, living nearby, only electronically – It’s a very strange new life. By and large, Bay Area folks have been cooperating in trying to limit the damage, now that the bug is epidemic. But nobody knows when this ends. It’s less than a week of “shelter-in-place” so far. The mass-psychological prospects for widespread, long-term isolation are unfathomable.

New York hasn’t been as with-it as California, led by the Bay Area. Florida is near the other end of the scale. Just as more prudent countries do better, so will more prudent states. God help the Deep South. Nobody knows what kind of country might emerge from the other end of this meat-grinder.

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Yeah, I am in Tampa and on the news they show all of the partiers complaining that the bars close at 10pm. And the beaches (at least near me) are packed with oblivious teens and 20+ spring breakers.

All of the amusement parks are closed, Ren faire cancelled, but party life goes on… Ybor area (historic Cuban/Italian district know for party life) is still going strong as of yesterday.

Sigh…

My wife and I are just about to run to the store and hope we can get a weeks supply without running into any crowds.

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We’re going one at a time around here – even though we’re both likely infected if one of us is.

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a lot of our people have been living in “uh oh” stage since 1968.

But by all means, pin this all on Trump.

This is a system failure at the most fundamental level. Trump will never be smart enough to engineer this much chaos all by his lonesome.

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Stores in our area are allotting their first hour of operation to seniors/risk individuals only as the viral load in a busy store rises through the day…

We really need to a get a youth mutual-aid brigade together to buy groceries for the at-risk groups who are the majority of the 20 percent of cases that will be overwhelming hospitals.

Payment needs to be figured out. The aid group can set up a PayPal account for which the payment for the groceries can be done remotely from home.

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Banks Pressure Health Care Firms to Raise Prices on Critical Drugs, Medical Supplies for Coronavirus
(snip)
Over the past few weeks, investment bankers have been candid on investor calls and during health care conferences about the opportunity to raise drug prices. In some cases, bankers received sharp rebukes from health care executives; in others, executives joked about using the attention on Covid-19 to dodge public pressure on the opioid crisis.

ttps://theintercept.com/2020/03/19/coronavirus-vaccine-medical-supplies-price-gouging/

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If your separating results in twice as many necessaries gotten on each ‘shopping day’ thus reducing the amount of visits to the store then fine but just separating really won’t help because it ends up being the reverse which is twice as many exposure windows each ‘shopping day’ since twice as many stores get visited. Taking turns doesn’t help as you both get exposed to the germs from every store as soon as either one of you come home. Better more necessaries by two people to carry them on each visit than twice as much exposure for the same amount of stuff.

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Basic necessities check off lists picked up by school volunteers bought and then delivered to the doorsteps of non internet seniors. School volunteer shoppers pick up and deliver online orders?

You’ve got the right idea. I hope people listen to you in your area. Call a radio call in or TV news reporter and see? Schools and civic groups and church group volunteers around the country could respond in big numbers if the initial kinks were worked out for the young people who’d always be willing to help. Grocery stores could register their official volunteers etc.

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This is like the first health induced Great Depression. If so many stores and restaurants, sports events and even religious services stay closed or cancelled and people are just told to stay at home generally then what happens?

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That is the “other shoe we are waiting for to drop”.

I wish I had an answer… as do you I am sure. Tourism is what has kept this area alive. In fact it was favored over other long term investments in the infrastructure. Low pay jobs were at least jobs. Now they are all going away

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Yeah I keep hearing calls for shutting things down which is a desperation move. A societal ‘Hail Mary pass’ (hopefully the sports kind or both)! This shows just how incapable people like Trump are in an emergency where we all have to work together. They literally don’t know how! Their brains think of personal profit schemes instantly but an everybody working together and sacrifice a little to help each other just stumps them. We need a nationwide work together volunteer solution to help those at risk. Young people volunteers should be coordinated to help out seniors with shopping etc.

As for the general economy, we could keep things going but do things differently. How about not too crowded restaurants or ‘take out only during the emergency’ hours of operation etc. we should be making it easier for seniors and the at risk people to avoid unnecessary contact. We all have cell phones, how hard could it be if it were organized locally by stores and churches and restaurants? Trump is oblivious. This kind of helping others never occurs to him.

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It would have helped a lot if we had known earlier, and once we knew what was happening, encouraged to take it seriously. I think a lot of what we see is people still clinging to hope that it isn’t that bad. And the more selfish saying “Hey, I am young, it won’t hurt me”.

One of the spring break group, obviously drunk, was saying this as he complained how us wanting to live had ruined his vacation.

As you said, it is up to us to find what we can do to help, even in little ways, and band together with others to help each other (and ourselves). It is obvious it isn’t going to come from above.

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Stage Six: most of us run around frantically, shouting for anyone to Help and Save Us. A few brave people do what they can and the noisy cowards don’t get in the way only because they have no idea where the way is!
Stage Seven: Those who were formerly the most arrogant and puffed up now blubber for mercy as the scope of not our common losses, but their particular losses, come home to them.
What a pack of no-goods most of my fellow American palefaces are!!!

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…or effective leadership.