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Saturday, June 27, 2020

Several Rangers employees test positive for COVID-19, less than two weeks after mandate to return to office

Earlier this month, CBS Sports reported that the Texas Rangers had become the first known Major League Baseball team to bring workers back into the office—and had done so despite surging COVID-19 cases in Tarrant County. Not even two weeks have passed, yet CBS Sports can confirm a report by ESPN’s Jeff Passan that “several members” of the organization have tested positive for the coronavirus in recent days, according to an internal announcement.

CBS Sports has since obtained and reviewed the internal memo issued to Rangers employees on June 11, days before the mandate to come back went into effect.

The memo, entitled “Front Office Re-Opening Guidelines,” does not explicitly require employees to return to the office, but the section on remote work leaves little room for interpretation. “We are excited to invite everyone back to work,” the memo reads. “Remote work may be offered depending on the circumstances to employees who have child care issues or who have a medical condition and are in need of an accommodation.”

The memo then identifies an employee in the human resources department to contact for “approval of that request,” indicating two things: 1) returning to the office is not a voluntary arrangement; and 2) the team is retaining the right to deny requests as it sees fit.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 27, 2020 at 09:54 AM | 113 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: coronavirus, rangers

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   1. JRVJ Posted: June 27, 2020 at 01:07 PM (#5959834)
The risks of the pandemic are just as large (arguably larger in Texas, Arizona and Florida) than they were some months ago.

Will we get an actual season in? Don't know, but the law of averages is not very favorable.

P.S. I tested positive yesterday, so it's no longer a hypothetical thing for me.
   2. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: June 27, 2020 at 01:07 PM (#5959836)
There are so many complications (baseball and non-baseball related) as the summer unfurls, and the cases continue to rise. I'm no lawyer, but based on the language of the Rangers' memo, it sure sounds an employee would be discouraged from saying they were uncomfortable going back to the office, right? And then if you go back, and then you get the virus, is there a legit lawsuit to be had against the Rangers? If you make a request to work remotely, and it is denied, and then these cases come out, and you say, "I'm working remotely," and the team says, "your request was denied, we've figured out the problem, please come in to work," would the team be in legal trouble at that point?

Here's the thing pretty much all the professional sports are going to have wrestle with:

As the number of cases explodes through the summer - which is when it was supposed to quiet down - it is also true that the number of deaths has dropped significantly. Some of this is due to improvements in understanding the virus, as well as technology and treatments, which is awesome. But a lot of it is that we are finding out that millions of people have also contracted the virus, with few or no symptoms. Almost all of them are relatively young people (especially under age 40). The CDC said a few days ago that they now believe that, in addition to the ~2.5 million cases, there are another 25 million that have yet to be confirmed, and that almost all of them were mild symptoms or asymptomatic. This means the mortality rate isn't ~5%...it's under 5/10ths of a percent, and dropping. This is all really good news, in most ways, but...

...it also means we have to decide, as a society, if we can largely open up society and the economy with a fast-spreading virus that will kill very, very few people below the age of about 60, but is pretty darned serious business for a subset of the population (60+, people with weak lungs, immuno-compromised people, etc.). We try to keep all of that subset far away from most of everyday society until a vaccine is found, and then give it to them first.

Meanwhile, for the rest of us? Try to be smart about masks, social distance, going to bars, or restaurants, etc.,. If there's a birthday or graduation party, or a wedding or something, everybody in the subset will have to watch it online, and the rest of us will have to put the chairs further apart. We won't go to ballgames until maybe later 2021, just to be safe, and we should work from home if we can.

But if three players on the Sacramento Kings, or the Texas Rangers, or the Miami Dolphins get the virus, it is likely that most of them will not skip a beat, and we should just try to make sure they isolate until they are no longer contagious...but the virus will pose a serious threat to almost no professional athlete. So play ball.

Are we comfortable with that scenario? How comfortable are you that this is largely accurate? Is it sending a bad message to society at large? And is this where we are quickly going as a country, whether it is stated or not?
   3. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: June 27, 2020 at 01:26 PM (#5959840)
How bad are your symptoms, JRVJ? Best wishes for hopefully a mild and short case.

And I hope those Rangers employees sue the #### out of them.
   4. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: June 27, 2020 at 01:34 PM (#5959841)
Take care and best wishes,JRJV.
   5. SoSH U at work Posted: June 27, 2020 at 01:40 PM (#5959842)
Best of luck, JRJV.

   6. The Yankee Clapper Posted: June 27, 2020 at 01:40 PM (#5959843)
And I hope those Rangers employees sue the #### out of them.
The article is pretty vague on the timing (“in recent days”), so it’s not at all clear that the virus was transmitted to any employee from their workplace. With the temperature checks and mandatory mask wearing, some Rangers employees may be at less risk at work than they were when elsewhere, depending on their activities. That’s been the case with some of the athletes who were working out on their own but have now tested positive as teams ramp up for the resumption of organized activities.
   7. JRVJ Posted: June 27, 2020 at 01:41 PM (#5959844)
3, nothing yet.

4/5, thanks
   8. Ziggy: social distancing since 1980 Posted: June 27, 2020 at 01:50 PM (#5959845)
Good luck JRJV. We're pulling for you!

As for lawsuits: ElRoy is the lawyer, not me, and he seems to think that they can sue, so I guess I need an explanation of how. To win a suit wouldn't you need to show that you got it due to something that the Rangers did (or maybe due to their negligence)? But this is a thing that millions of people have, that's very contagious, and takes a couple weeks to show up symptomatically. Wouldn't it be darn near impossible to show that you got it at work?
   9. Mayor Blomberg Posted: June 27, 2020 at 01:52 PM (#5959847)
Good luck w/ that, JRVJ. Texas is definitely at higher risk.
   10. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: June 27, 2020 at 02:13 PM (#5959848)
As for lawsuits: ElRoy is the lawyer, not me, and he seems to think that they can sue, so I guess I need an explanation of how.
I should clarify that I’m not an employment lawyer and don’t know the facts beyond what was in the excerpt, so my reaction was an emotional one, not a legal analysis :).

I meant that I hope the employees are able to sue the #### out of the team, and that comes from my disgust with the dinosaur “work must happen in person at an office” mentality. At a time like this, it’s literally toxic. There’s no legitimate reason that the Rangers’ front office couldn’t continue to operate remotely.
   11. Ron J Posted: June 27, 2020 at 02:17 PM (#5959849)
Best wishes JRJV
   12. The Yankee Clapper Posted: June 27, 2020 at 03:45 PM (#5959858)
3, nothing yet.
So what caused you to get tested? I’m wondering if tests are now sufficiently available that they’ve become a routine part of most medical exams. Seems like we’re headed in that direction based on the reports of how many cases are asymptomatic.
   13. VCar Posted: June 27, 2020 at 04:23 PM (#5959860)
YankClap, I went for annual physical last week and they did the usual blood work. I asked if a Covid test was included as standard now, and doc told me 'no'.
   14. winnipegwhip Posted: June 27, 2020 at 05:03 PM (#5959867)
Hopes and prayers with you JRJV.
   15. depletion Posted: June 27, 2020 at 05:29 PM (#5959870)
Hang in there J.
   16. JRVJ Posted: June 27, 2020 at 05:34 PM (#5959872)
Thanks guys.

12, An attorney from my law firm (who is in fact the associate that works the most with me) lives with her mother. Her mother got tested at her bank (as part of an employee testing program) on Monday morning. Her result came back positive late Monday morning.

So the female attorney called me so I would know and they went and got tested (PCR test). Just in case, I home quarantined from Tuesday morning (didn't even see my kids, really), as a precaution.

Her result came back positive Thursday morning (nobody in her house, not her mother, not her husband nor her, are showing any symptoms).

In an abundance of caution, I went to get tested Thursday at noonish. The first test came back inconclusive and they had to run the test again. Second time (4:30 P.M. on Friday) it came back POSITIVE.

So that's how it shakes. I have no symptoms, my doctor (who is in fact, an pneumologist) is monitoring me, my wife and kids are at my parent-in-laws house (my parent-in-laws have been sheltering at a summer home for a couple of weeks, so their house is empty), just in case I have not infected them already.

They'll get tested Monday or Tuesday.

   17. Kiko Sakata Posted: June 27, 2020 at 05:43 PM (#5959874)
Good luck, JRVJ! Sorry to hear that you're positive, but that sequence of events is actually pretty reassuring that they're able to do that kind of tracing and testing. I hope everybody stays asymptomatic!
   18. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: June 27, 2020 at 05:44 PM (#5959875)
This means the mortality rate isn't ~5%...it's under 5/10ths of a percent, and dropping. This is all really good news, in most ways, but...
The CDC is not credible on this point, as they estimated 0.26% IFR 6 weeks ago (a figure way too low, buy scientific consensus). Serological studies, which the CDC is apparently relying on here for this estimate, are famously inaccurate at low percentages as well. Serological surveys (due to the delay of the survey and the delay of the antibody showing up) also wouldn't cover the last month of swab testing, where the US has been on a relative blitz compared to the prior months, and assuredly we are finding more than 1 in 10 cases in the last month (probably closer to 1/5 or 1/3).

Even if the CDC's estimate of 10x were correct, the CDC's own estimate of excess deaths is 160,000 as of 3 weeks ago (so close to 180,000 today), and there are many more people, currently infected, that will die even if the last person got infected in the US as of midnight last night, Put that together and the CDC's estimate of 10x the current cases (unlikely to be correct still, but for the sake of argument) and you get an IFR of about 0.8. Is that "very low"? If you assume only a low 20% (also, unlikely) of the country ends up getting it in a scenario where we just basically go about our business with a nod to precautions, it's 500,000 dead, with maybe another 2 or 3 million americans with lifelong conditions. (Considering the CDC's assumptions are suspect, I would put the number higher than this.)

To get around this you have to assume the IFR is really dropping significantly now. That is possible, but the evidence for a significant drop is pretty weak. The evidence mostly consists of many more cases now with few recent deaths (so low CFR), but this is very misleading as has been pointed out. The broad testing we are doing recently means we are identifying many more of the asymptomatic or weakly symptomatic cases, generally younger people, who would never have been tested or counted as cases two months ago. With broad testing we are also generally identifying cases much earlier, meaning it now takes longer between identification as a case and death. Most of the cases that have been identified in the last 3 weeks (600,000+) wouldn't have had a chance to die yet anyway.
   19. JRVJ Posted: June 27, 2020 at 05:52 PM (#5959877)
17, Well, at least it won't spread on my end.
   20. Mayor Blomberg Posted: June 27, 2020 at 06:05 PM (#5959878)
...it also means we have to decide, as a society, if we can largely open up society and the economy with a fast-spreading virus that will kill very, very few people below the age of about 60, but is pretty darned serious business for a subset of the population


Not true, Steve. It may not kill as many people on their 20s and 30s but they are showing up in ICUs and it's a serious mistake to assume that they won't have ongoing issues from it, whether you want to look at it as quality of life or as economic costs (health care, lost productivity) down the road.

I believe I posted this in another thread

[Mark Escott, Austin’s medical director,] said increasing numbers of young people are ending up in the ICU and on ventilators because so many are infected with the virus. Escott said some young people will be forever changed by the virus, unable to return to a normal life or work.
“This is a devastating disease, and this is not something you want to take chances with because the impact is just so variable that it’s very hard to predict who’s going to do well and who is not,” he said.
   21. Walt Davis Posted: June 27, 2020 at 06:30 PM (#5959884)
I hope all goes well JRVJ.

that sequence of events is actually pretty reassuring that they're able to do that kind of tracing and testing

We read that passage differently. "They" (as in public health authorities) didn't do the tracing here, JRVJ was called by his co-worker. (They might have done tracing of course and she said "I've already told these folks"). And for tracing and testing to work, you have to have your level of "initial" testing high enough that you are catching enough of the new cases.

JRVJ what was your experience with this? Has anybody come to collect your recent contacts? Is everybody at your workplace getting tested now? Is that being done by public health authorities or were employees just told to get a test on their own? (If you know). I know your #1-#100 priorities right now are your family so please ignore all of our questions if you want.

The CDC estimate ... 10x is probably about right. That would be about 25 million total or around 7.5%. Antibody studies of random population in other countries that didn't shut down heavily (UK, Sweden) put the antibody rate at about 7%. The US is of course spiking again so if it's not "ahead" of those countries yet it likely soon will be. One of the things those studies demonstrate is that herd immunity (without a vaccine) is a pipe dream. We don't even know if these folks are immune or how long it will last but you'd need about 10 times the mayhem to get to 70% herd immunity.

By the way, the ongoing UK study so far detects no significant difference in current infection (not antibody) rates by age (the sample is as young as 2) and the highest point estimate was actually for 30-49 year-olds. (I don't think the sample size on the antibody-tested group is large enough to do sub-group statistical testing yet.) That's not surprising but in case there's anybody out there still confused about that point.

EDIT: And JRVJ, has anybody from public health contacted you to ask if you got tested ... or is this handled at the clinic? Or... ?
   22. Walt Davis Posted: June 27, 2020 at 06:37 PM (#5959886)
Further on #20 ... you guys are reading the same stuff I am so redundantly preaching to the choir but ... this thing can really do a number on the lungs and apparently in very unusual ways. Who knows what might happen even for asymptomatic infections and whether that might have some longer-term consequences in terms of lung function.
   23. PreservedFish Posted: June 27, 2020 at 06:46 PM (#5959887)
We try to keep all of that subset far away from most of everyday society until a vaccine is found, and then give it to them first.


Sweden tried this.
   24. Astroenteritis Posted: June 27, 2020 at 07:19 PM (#5959890)
Maybe I'm on the fringes, but frankly I think it's crazy for any league to start playing in these conditions. Crazy, and irresponsible.
   25. Ron J Posted: June 27, 2020 at 07:50 PM (#5959894)
#23 And Canada did a really terrible job on this too.

Interesting commentary on the "only the elderly" that you hear so often. Canada has a lower death rate per million than the US (by a pretty fair margin) but did a substantially worse job than the US at protecting people in care homes of various types.
   26. JRVJ Posted: June 27, 2020 at 07:55 PM (#5959895)
21/22, I don't think that my co-worker has had much tracing done with her case. Nobody has called me (yet), though I did report my positive result last night.

My law firm had been working with a skeleton crew, so on our floor there've been only a handful of people the last two weeks (we were about to reopen this monday, though that got pushed back to the week afterwards). We (and by we I mean my law firm's COVID-19 committee, of which I am ironically a part) managed to confirm who had been on that floor during the days where my co-worker was there.

Everybody has been advised of what happened, and it is highly unlikely that anybody else got infected (because of times at common parts of the floor, etc), but some people have already gone ahead and gotten tested for their mental health.

I do know that we will be doing a thorough cleaning of the premises early next week and of all the HVIAC fixtures, just in case that it's in A/C ducts.

   27. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: June 27, 2020 at 09:18 PM (#5959903)
Maybe I'm on the fringes, but frankly I think it's crazy for any league to start playing in these conditions. Crazy, and irresponsible.
Seconded.
   28. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: June 27, 2020 at 09:36 PM (#5959906)
Say well, JRVJ. Hopefully, yours is a lighter case.
   29. frannyzoo Posted: June 27, 2020 at 10:15 PM (#5959908)
Maybe I'm on the fringes, but frankly I think it's crazy for any league to start playing in these conditions. Crazy, and irresponsible.


Thirded.

I'm chalking it up to sports is a helluva drug, because these re-starts, in the United States anyway, make zero sense logically/epidemiologically.
   30. PreservedFish Posted: June 27, 2020 at 10:32 PM (#5959910)
I'm chalking it up to sports is a helluva drug, because these re-starts, in the United States anyway, make zero sense logically/epidemiologically.


It's not just sports, it's everything. It seems like Americans just decided that they deserve regular life again, whatever the state of the pandemic. Not just the insane anti-mask contingent, either. Practically everyone has increased their risk tolerance over the last month or so.
   31. Ron J Posted: June 27, 2020 at 10:34 PM (#5959911)
#29 Athletes as a group a not very risk adverse and there's a lot of money on the line. It doesn't make much sense to me but I expect a serious attempt to play some kind of season. With plans evolving. It's be insane to attempt to play in certain states right now but there are powerful vested interests so I expect them to try to stay the course and have to change at the last minute.
   32. Howie Menckel Posted: June 27, 2020 at 11:00 PM (#5959913)
It seems like Americans just decided that they deserve regular life again, whatever the state of the pandemic. Not just the insane anti-mask contingent, either. Practically everyone has increased their risk tolerance over the last month or so.


well, again, countless small businesses being on the brink of bankruptcy - and the millions of workers there who would be financially devastated - ain't nothing, either.

I have no problem with anyone offering an honest balancing of that, versus the risks - even if they ultimately say, with all the cards on the table, they conclude that bankrupting these businesses and ending those jobs is not as important in the longterm for the country due to the number of potential pandemic deaths (even minus suicides of those losing their jobs, businesses, and homes based on that decision).

but it's kind of useless to ignore, or seem to ignore, that very real dilemma.

there are plenty of people on the brink right now who would accept both a very unlikely risk of death and an unlikely risk of longterm damage in return for getting to keep their businesses, jobs, and homes.

and if you find that unfathomable - well, trying walking 100 yards, if not a mile, in someone else's shoes.

sometimes life creates impossible decisions. at least let's admit when we arrive there.
   33. frannyzoo Posted: June 27, 2020 at 11:11 PM (#5959915)
Howie: Wrapping your comments back to sports, that is what's so crazy about it. Essential businesses, jobs, homes, and all that, the need to go back is exceedingly strong in a capitalist country with pretty much zero safety net. Understood. But sports is bread & circuses. We don't need sports, although my sense is that such a statement is almost blasphemy, not necessarily here at BBTF, but "out there." And while the economic crunch on some, minor league players, e.g., is considerable, we're not talking economic ruin and bankruptcy for the folks involved, by and large.

Bringing back sports in this country with these current/near-term rates of infection, just doesn't make sense.
   34. The Yankee Clapper Posted: June 27, 2020 at 11:25 PM (#5959916)
Practically everyone has increased their risk tolerance over the last month or so.
There’s a difference between temporarily locking down to flatten the curve, which had pretty broad support, and keeping such measures fully in place for an extended period until there is a vaccine or cure, which few believe is practical.
   35. Lassus Posted: June 27, 2020 at 11:39 PM (#5959918)
The lying, "no tear gas!" bootlicking POS should not be believed any time he opens his mouth to talk, because he is as worthless as his leader, and probably more so:

COVID-19 has not surged in cities with big protests, but it has in states that reopened early. Here are possible reasons
   36. Howie Menckel Posted: June 27, 2020 at 11:46 PM (#5959920)
Howie: Wrapping your comments back to sports, that is what's so crazy about it. Essential businesses, jobs, homes, and all that, the need to go back is exceedingly strong in a capitalist country with pretty much zero safety net. Understood. But sports is bread & circuses. We don't need sports, although my sense is that such a statement is almost blasphemy, not necessarily here at BBTF, but "out there."


frannyzoo,

I appreciate that comment.

the counterargument is that "frontline workers are exhausted and sports returning help them go the extra mile" - which is obviously somewhat true, but it hardly erases your point - particularly when this isn't about part-time concession workers finally getting by, thanks to sports.

I once attended an announcement of a major sports venue closure. more than 100 of those blue-collar workers - on only about 18 hours notice - packed the public hearing to express their anguish about losing those part-time/second jobs.

they explained how those jobs had enabled their families to get by, and as they reached near-retirement, they hoped that they could make enough part-time money to never have to ask their grown children for a handout.

the 1 percenters who had to vote were in private session for nearly an hour. they didn't really have a choice, politically, but not all of them had descendants from the Mayflower, either.

the workers' stories didn't change their votes, in the end - but at least they heard the message, I think. the leader of the band, as it were, later told me it was the worst moment of his life.

anyone who claims to care about "the little guy" can't ignore their voices in these impossible times.
   37. Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network) Posted: June 28, 2020 at 12:07 AM (#5959921)
Practically everyone has increased their risk tolerance over the last month or so.

Mrs. PRD and I are still very much hunkered down, and last Monday I started a new job that is and will remain work from home. She's been working from home for the last 9 years. Now with grocery delivery we don't have to leave the house for much of anything. Good thing we like each other's company!
   38. bookbook Posted: June 28, 2020 at 12:52 AM (#5959922)
Between age, asthma, weight, diabetes, etc. more than 60% of the country is high risk. I don’t think we can have bars or indoor dining at restaurants, or movie theatres or bowling until we get a vaccine. (yeah, this probably means baseball, which is a more containable risk is not worth it)

The good news is that lower mortality rates might be real, if we can slow the rate of infection spread. Dexamethasone and even Pepcid and vitamin D might actually save lives.

And man, wearing masks isn’t a political position. We gotta do it as much as possible with anyone outside our family bubble.

   39. Mayor Blomberg Posted: June 28, 2020 at 01:25 AM (#5959924)
COVID-19 has not surged in cities with big protests, but it has in states that reopened early. Here are possible reasons


And then you compare photos from protests and the revelers. Notice who responsibly wears masks, and who are mouth-breathing fools and it becomes even more obvious.
   40. Walt Davis Posted: June 28, 2020 at 04:27 AM (#5959926)
Maybe I'm on the fringes, but frankly I think it's crazy for any league to start playing in these conditions. Crazy, and irresponsible.

I more agree than disagree. I think it's at least theoretically possible to do something like the NWSL tourny -- one month tourney, 8 teams, all in Salt Lake to my knowledge. If people are clear on the way in, you're only asking folks to maintain the bubble for a month, you have testing capacity to test them regularly. The NBA plan might work. Something like golf could probably work fine (do you really need caddies? Under the circumstances, can't these guys just cart from hole to hole with their won clubs?)

I understand the desire to return to normal, believe me. I consider myself very lucky to live in a country that both got lucky and handled things well. I was saying the other day to a friend (remember those?) that those 10 weeks moved very slowly yet I can barely remember a single thing about them and certainly don't have a clue what happened when ... and she agreed.

What I don't get is that there is a lot of room between lockdown and "normal." Wear masks, keep socially distant, keep washing your hands. Why is any of that hard? If you get to the beach and have trouble finding a parking spot -- go home, it's too crowded. Want to do that sort of stuff? See if your employer will let you shift your workdays so you have Tuesday off to go to the beach. Or skip the beach and drive a couple of hours to a national park and hike -- they're more crowded than they used to be but it's not like you're gonna have trouble keeping distance.

Which brings us back around to Djokovic's moronic tennis tournament. Tennis is a sport that you should be able to run with social distancing. But these morons are out partying, palling around in the stands, keeping no distance whatsoever -- can't even ####### wear masks when they're sitting around. That's not the economy, that's not the mental stress of lockdown (you can talk to your friends from 6 feet away and/or with a mask), that's not a civil rights issue.

This overlaps with another thread but here in Oz, other than an outbreak in Melbourne, we're doing really well. The main issue are Aus residents returning from overseas. They're required to isolate in hotels under govt supervision. Somewhat oddly, they can be forced to isolate but they can't be forced to take a test. Some states have handled this by requiring them to stay an extra 10 days in isolation if they refuse testing. That wasn't the case in Victoria until today. Which is what brought out this factoid -- of the returning travellers isolated for 14 days in Victoria, THIRTY PERCENT of them refused a test.

That's got nothing to do with the economy. It's got nothing to do with the mental stress of isolation. It's not really got anything to do with civil rights.

(The article did not have stats for what refusal rates are in the states that require an extra stay without a test.)
   41. The Duke Posted: June 28, 2020 at 09:26 AM (#5959934)
Yes, I know, the media is in the middle of a second wave of fear porn over increased cases in Florida, Texas, and Arizona, among other states, but it remains to be seen whether these cases, which are mostly in people in their twenties and thirties as opposed to in people in their sixties, will translate into an increased death count. While deaths are a lagging factor, Florida posted its lowest Saturday death total in eight weeks today. 26.

And the nation as a whole posted its lowest Saturday death total since March 21st. Indeed, while 506 people died of the coronavirus, an average day in America sees 7500 people die. This would mean the coronavirus, at least on Saturday, represented just 6.6% of all American deaths in the country. The coronavirus received, conservatively, 99.99% of all the death coverage on the news, however.

Why is this CDC finding significant?

Well, it means nearly one in every ten Americans have already had the coronavirus, which is a fairly gigantic finding. It also means many of these infected people had such mild cases they felt no need to receive treatment. In fact, it probably means the majority of the people who have had the coronavirus in this country never even knew they had it.

The above is from Clay Travis, sports journalist

   42. PreservedFish Posted: June 28, 2020 at 09:40 AM (#5959936)
Either you truncated an important part of that quote, or Clay Travis should stick to sports.
   43. PreservedFish Posted: June 28, 2020 at 09:56 AM (#5959937)
Howie:
but it's kind of useless to ignore, or seem to ignore, that very real dilemma.

there are plenty of people on the brink right now who would accept both a very unlikely risk of death and an unlikely risk of longterm damage in return for getting to keep their businesses, jobs, and homes.


Undoubtedly. However, despite your anecdote about the aggrieved blue collar second-jobbers, I believe that this concern represents approximately zero percent of the thinking of the billionaire owners and the millionaire players that negotiated the details of baseball's return.

YC:
There’s a difference between temporarily locking down to flatten the curve, which had pretty broad support, and keeping such measures fully in place for an extended period until there is a vaccine or cure, which few believe is practical.


I agree.

I didn't mean my comment in #30 to imply that anyone that has changed his or her risk tolerance is stupid. Far from it - I've changed my own risk tolerance. Compared to March, we now have a greater understanding of infection risks and also of the precise geography of the infection. A full lockdown for the foreseeable future seems impossible and is probably undesirable.

My hunch is that sports should be able to come back, but that in-person attendance probably should not. But this second wave ... I don't know. I'd be nervous as hell if I were MLB right now.
   44. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: June 28, 2020 at 10:22 AM (#5959940)
Florida's weekly deaths have been pretty flat since early April, and while last week was in line with earlier weeks, it was also the highest in 6 weeks. The same applies equally to Texas. Arizona's deaths have actually increased more significantly last week.

But guess what has increased very significantly in all three states over the 2 and a half weeks, and especially over the last week? Cases, and over the last week or two, hospitalizations. As everyone should know by now, deaths lag cases, and because are now being found earlier than ever due to broad testing, it's probably by at least 3 weeks. Do you really expect that deaths will not follow? The officials of these states themselves, very notably reluctant to take action about this, have all taken pretty dramatic steps in the last week.
   45. greenback used to say live and let live Posted: June 28, 2020 at 10:58 AM (#5959947)
There’s a difference between temporarily locking down to flatten the curve, which had pretty broad support, and keeping such measures fully in place for an extended period until there is a vaccine or cure, which few believe is practical.

Closing down restaurants, bars, overseas travel, and venues for large-scale gatherings isn't a ####### lockdown. There's no reason why this condition could be maintained for a longer duration. And the sick part of this whole argument is that the duration would be shortened if a bunch of morons would wear masks at the grocery store.
   46. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: June 28, 2020 at 11:13 AM (#5959950)
Yes, I know, the media is in the middle of a second wave of fear porn over increased cases in Florida, Texas, and Arizona, among other states, but it remains to be seen whether these cases, which are mostly in people in their twenties and thirties as opposed to in people in their sixties, will translate into an increased death count. While deaths are a lagging factor, Florida posted its lowest Saturday death total in eight weeks today. 26.
Citing one day's reported death total is always stupid, but while we are at it, today Florida posted its highest Sunday death total ever.
   47. Mayor Blomberg Posted: June 28, 2020 at 11:41 AM (#5959952)
I assume that's Clapper quotes in 46? Going by the utterly fact-free nature of the post.
   48. Misirlou cut his hair and moved to Rome Posted: June 28, 2020 at 11:45 AM (#5959953)
No, it's Duke's. see #41
   49. frannyzoo Posted: June 28, 2020 at 12:14 PM (#5959961)
Yeah, the arguments tending toward "it's good the number of cases are going up," implying/directly stating a goal of herd immunity, and "the mortality rate is down, so we have little to worry about" are mystifying on many levels. Just to pick two mysteries, what about long-term effects of severe Covid that fortunately does not lead to death and what about the medical costs? As it seems some generally making the two arguments above don't seem to be swayed much by counter-arguments around empathy, there is also the financial/govt expenditure angle that somebody is gonna pay for these hospitalizations. For a long time.

Also, +1 to Greenback in #45. 95% of the country has yet to be anywhere close to a true lockdown.
   50. KronicFatigue Posted: June 28, 2020 at 12:16 PM (#5959962)
And the nation as a whole posted its lowest Saturday death total since March 21st. Indeed, while 506 people died of the coronavirus, an average day in America sees 7500 people die. This would mean the coronavirus, at least on Saturday, represented just 6.6% of all American deaths in the country. The coronavirus received, conservatively, 99.99% of all the death coverage on the news, however.


Floyd was just 1 of the 7500 deaths that day. Why all the hub-bub? /s
   51. The Duke Posted: June 28, 2020 at 12:19 PM (#5959965)
It is not a guarantee that deaths will follow a rise in cases. Why? The vast majority of new positives are younger people many who won’t even get sick much less need hospitalization. people go on and on about how dangerous this all is without any regard to how the virus impacts various demographic groups. Death rates for people over 90 are 1 in 6. Under 50, small, under 40 exceedingly small.

https://ourworldindata.org/mortality-risk-covid

Go down a handful of pages to view the death rate by age group.

Number 44 is wrong on both counts. Florida’s death rate is declining and the group that is testing positive isn’t going to die. They might not even get sick

Florida Saturday deaths for past eight weeks in May & June: 50, 47, 47, 43, 31, 47, 40, 26.
   52. Mayor Blomberg Posted: June 28, 2020 at 12:28 PM (#5959966)
No, it's Duke's. see #41


Thanks.

what about long-term effects of severe Covid that fortunately does not lead to death and what about the medical costs?


Seems hard to believe that the ghouls at Hoover haven't modeled the break-even point between reopening and medical costs + amortization of human capital.
   53. PreservedFish Posted: June 28, 2020 at 12:29 PM (#5959967)
The Duke, is it your impression that old people and young people make up discrete segments of the population that never intermingle? Or that the authorities in Florida/etc are doing something novel to keep old people segregated and safe from infection?
   54. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: June 28, 2020 at 12:38 PM (#5959970)
51 is one of the most willfully ignorant posts I've read on the coronavirus since the dot disappeared from the site.

We don't know if Florida's death rate is declining, because we are testing far more broadly now, and identifying all the cases in young people that used to sail by undetected. We do know that Florida's death count is not declining--it has been flat, and we also know that looking at Saturdays only is an idiotic way to determine whether deaths overall are declining. It's a transparent attempt to hide the real trend by selectively choosing data.

No one's getting sick? Why are hospitalizations way up in all 3 states over the past week or two?
   55. JimMusComp likes Billy Eppler.... Posted: June 28, 2020 at 12:38 PM (#5959971)
51 - there are reports that asymptomatic folks STILL have permanent lung damage that might not compromise them until later in life.

Just keep running around thinking it’s the flu, no worries. SMH.
   56. JimMusComp likes Billy Eppler.... Posted: June 28, 2020 at 12:38 PM (#5959972)
[double post]
   57. Howie Menckel Posted: June 28, 2020 at 12:39 PM (#5959973)
nvm
   58. base ball chick Posted: June 28, 2020 at 12:42 PM (#5959974)
it doesn't matter if the hospitals are full of sick people, it only matters if they die. also doesn't matter if they are sick as adog at home for weeks, especially if they got no one to look after them, and young people should have the freedom to catch anything and infect anyone they want to

besides, the more old and sick and poor we get rid of, the better. same thing with the young ones that get it and die. not good breeding stock anyhow
   59. PreservedFish Posted: June 28, 2020 at 12:44 PM (#5959976)
I used the word "deleterious" here a few days ago and I feel like I've seen it half a dozen times since then. You guys get your own sesquipedalian words!

(Howie edited his post, probably out of shame)
   60. Hot Wheeling American Posted: June 28, 2020 at 12:47 PM (#5959978)
I have no problem with anyone offering an honest balancing of that, versus the risks - even if they ultimately say, with all the cards on the table, they conclude that bankrupting these businesses and ending those jobs is not as important in the longterm for the country due to the number of potential pandemic deaths (even minus suicides of those losing their jobs, businesses, and homes based on that decision).

but it's kind of useless to ignore, or seem to ignore, that very real dilemma.

Who is ignoring this? The serious among those discussing this once in a century global pandemic recognize those costs. What would help coming from the other side is a specific and consistent message from our federal government combined with a consistent and reasonable safety net for those affected. I see no 'balancing' from the federal government, just some ghoulish combination of ignoring things, winging it when attempting any response, and generally lying about everything. And tax credits!! from the party in charge.

sometimes life creates impossible decisions. at least let's admit when we arrive there.

Those in charge don't want to make decisions.

And I type this from within the 'belly of the beast'.
   61. Howie Menckel Posted: June 28, 2020 at 01:04 PM (#5959980)
I'm not talking about the federal government.

I'm talking about this board, where some posters here who have plenty of extra cash and a fat 401K seem to be trying to decide that millions of people in desperate financial distress should, well, take it like a man and shut down their businesses and, oh, too bad about those lost jobs.

they may "recognize those costs," but they don't to bring 'em up much. maybe a mention now and then would be in order, and then I'd have an easier time believing it.
   62. Greg K Posted: June 28, 2020 at 01:16 PM (#5959987)
What about the costs of prematurely opening up, and having to do the whole exercise over again? They've already had a few false starts in Latin America that are just prolonging the economic disaster.
   63. Mayor Blomberg Posted: June 28, 2020 at 01:24 PM (#5959989)
So, Howie, you heading out to bars and restos to do your part? Most of what I recall is your reports of unsafe condidtions during drive-bys. But they're keeping hard-working americans at work.
   64. Starring Bradley Scotchman as RMc Posted: June 28, 2020 at 01:37 PM (#5959991)
Yes, I know, the media is in the middle of a second wave of fear porn over increased cases in Florida, Texas, and Arizona, among other states, but it remains to be seen whether these cases, which are mostly in people in their twenties and thirties as opposed to in people in their sixties, will translate into an increased death count. While deaths are a lagging factor, Florida posted its lowest Saturday death total in eight weeks today. 26.

Don't be silly. Everybody in the entire country is currently dying from the virus, with women and minorities dying twice. And it's all Trump's fault, which is why Biden is currently leading by 137 points. Oh, and you're a racist. Suckers!
   65. The Yankee Clapper Posted: June 28, 2020 at 02:15 PM (#5959999)
Or that the authorities in Florida/etc are doing something novel to keep old people segregated and safe from infection?
Florida did make a major effort to keep the coronavirus out of nursing homes, long-tern care facilities & senior citizen residences. Maybe that can’t be sustained forever, and just delays the inevitable, but thus far it has worked a lot better than the states that required those facilities to accept covid positive patients.
   66. The Yankee Clapper Posted: June 28, 2020 at 02:23 PM (#5960004)
I'm talking about this board, where some posters here who have plenty of extra cash and a fat 401K seem to be trying to decide that millions of people in desperate financial distress should, well, take it like a man and shut down their businesses and, oh, too bad about those lost jobs.
To be fair, they’re OK with businesses being sufficiently open to deliver goods to their door, and their own employer doing what’s needed to keep the paychecks coming.
   67. bigglou115 is not an Illuminati agent Posted: June 28, 2020 at 02:24 PM (#5960005)
Why is that just mentioning that this sucks for people on a financial level always has to lead back to some attack? My job puts me in close contact with the heads of lots of small businesses, what's happening right now is legitimately heartbreaking. It's possible to be concerned about both things at once while recognizing one is a more imminent risk.

The other day I talked to a guy who was filing 7, that's full liquidation. He'd built his restaurant over years and finally got to the point were he could open a few more locations, then Covid. Started with nothing, no college degree.

Last week the owner of a vendor came to me to ask about divorce attorney, he'd had to drain their retirement funds to stay afloat and now that wasn't going to be enough. He'd inherited the business from his dad as an operation with 5 guys and a truck, last year they did $2M in gross.

I bet I've personally talked to owners/managers who have combined had to send over 1k employees home permanently.

And these guys won't be back, it took them a lifetime to get there the first time. This isn't 1% type people, this is what we're supposed to be aiming for, self made men and women creating jobs in their communities.

Matter of fact, I haven't heard a single one say, "what's going to happen to me." They know they have skills and a history. They'll get jobs. They'll make it. 90% of my conversations with them are about their employees. The restaurant guy was talking about this married couple he employed. Paycheck to paycheck supporting the wife's mom in hospice, but hoping to start a family. He cried in my office.

It's ok to recognize these moments as tragic without saying, "but it's for the greater good." Everytime someone responds with "jobs come back, lives don't," I want to punch them. You don't have to compare it to anything, it just is. Maybe it's unavoidable. I don't know.
   68. Ben Broussard Ramjet Posted: June 28, 2020 at 02:30 PM (#5960006)
It really does suck. I'm one of those overrepresented on this forum who haven't materially suffered from the suppression techniques needed, but people close to me have.

The unfortunate irony is that those countries where the long-term economic damage is likely to be lower are those where suppression techniques - lockdown, testing, and so on - were implemented soonest. South Korea, New Zealand, and so on. New Zealand re-opened to the extent that they had full crowds at sporting events recently (I know a couple of cases re-emerged from travellers; I don't know if that's affected the decision to cease all lockdown measures).

Which means that it's not just a balance between preserving life through lockdowns and preserving wellbeing through keeping the economy going - it also needs to be an acknowledgement that resisting lockdown measures isn't necessarily trying to preserve economic activity while accepting some greater risk to life. It's also putting at risk future economic activity by accepting the risk of a deeper, longer, and more damaging lockdown in that future.
   69. Howie Menckel Posted: June 28, 2020 at 02:54 PM (#5960007)
What about the costs of prematurely opening up, and having to do the whole exercise over again?

Absolutely, that's Step 3, after we acknowledge the dilemma of safety vs economics - both of which are extremely serious issues.

   70. Mefisto Posted: June 28, 2020 at 02:59 PM (#5960009)
Another potential future concern about Covid is that it may cause diabetes.

A big part of the problem is that we simply don't know what to expect.
   71. SoSH U at work Posted: June 28, 2020 at 03:55 PM (#5960018)
I'm talking about this board, where some posters here who have plenty of extra cash and a fat 401K seem to be trying to decide that millions of people in desperate financial distress should, well, take it like a man and shut down their businesses and, oh, too bad about those lost jobs.


Could you possibly identify these posts, preferably by quoting them, as they happen? That would be helpful.
   72. Mayor Blomberg Posted: June 28, 2020 at 03:55 PM (#5960019)
And tax credits!! from the party in charge.


well-targeted tax-credits is a scratching of the surface of what US society (if it still exists) needs. The idea that caring for the well being of people means deliberately putting them at risk because "the richest country in the world" can't afford to care for its afflicted is sickening. As if there were no alternatives.
   73. Ron J Posted: June 28, 2020 at 04:07 PM (#5960023)
#68 South Korea has extremely good contact tracing measures. They've coped pretty well with targeted shutdowns and aggressive quarantine measures.

There was an article today that said that the New Zealand quarantine measures really can't handle much more. They've had a lot of people come in to the government run quarantine setup in recent weeks. Evidently more than expected.
   74. Mayor Blomberg Posted: June 28, 2020 at 04:23 PM (#5960027)
Federal district courts in Houston and Galveston have been ordered to close to the public amid a regional surge in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations.

Lee H. Rosenthal, the chief judge of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas, signed an order Friday closing the Bob Casey Courthouse in Houston and the U.S. Post Office and Courthouse in Galveston, citing the need to protect staff and the public “from exposure to or spread of COVID-19.”

The closure begins Monday and continues through July 10. It does not affect remote or virtual proceedings, which the order encourages “when feasible and in the interests of justice.”
   75. Mayor Blomberg Posted: June 28, 2020 at 04:26 PM (#5960029)
Question: Why do you think Texas is experiencing such an significant uptick?

Hotez: "It's a combination of our size. We are one of the most populated states in the country. We have four of the largest cities in the country. We opened up a month too early. We didn't have a public control system in place. We also have a fringe element that campaigns against social distancing, contact tracing. We also have a significant level of poverty. Poverty means that it's much more difficult to do social distancing."
   76. Starring Bradley Scotchman as RMc Posted: June 28, 2020 at 04:44 PM (#5960032)
Why is that just mentioning that this sucks for people on a financial level always has to lead back to some attack?


Because it makes you one of those type of people, the kind of people we can't have in a decent society.

We opened up a month too early.


When people say things like this, they act like every business went from "completely closed" to "wild orgies on the cash register" overnight, preferably at gunpoint. (There's more than one step to the re-opening process, ya know...)
   77. Ben Broussard Ramjet Posted: June 28, 2020 at 04:54 PM (#5960035)
#68 South Korea has extremely good contact tracing measures. They've coped pretty well with targeted shutdowns and aggressive quarantine measures.

There was an article today that said that the New Zealand quarantine measures really can't handle much more. They've had a lot of people come in to the government run quarantine setup in recent weeks. Evidently more than expected.


And these are good points towards why complete elimination of the virus is unrealistic and an absolutist 'we can't re-open if any lives at all are at risk!' position was never on the cards. Which is why no-one serious was making that argument, as far as I can tell. South Korea's got a population that is rather well-trained towards managing state-level threats, I would think, given their neighbour and previous experiences with infectious diseases. New Zealand has advantages of remoteness and being an island nation.

But those were never the standards to which the US should have expected to be held. I'm still unclear exactly why Germany has gotten off relatively lightly (I've heard theories), but as the most populous nation on its continent with a large amount of international travel, and almost no border infrastructure with its neighbours, it can clearly teach some lessons in how major developed nations can weather the storm and work towards re-opening. Germany reported 614 new cases and 14 deaths yesterday - EDIT, Friday, actually. 290 new cases yesterday. Restaurants and bars are open (I walked past both today). People are wearing masks on public transport and when shopping, almost 100% compliance, but hardly any when outside.
   78. Dag Nabbit at ExactlyAsOld.com Posted: June 28, 2020 at 04:57 PM (#5960037)
Best of luck to JRJV.
   79. The Duke Posted: June 28, 2020 at 05:06 PM (#5960039)
Florida has spent more time in the early days protecting nursing homes. New York did not. And yes, the bottom line is that young people need to stay way from older people. I want young people (anyone under 55, ie the working population) to get on with their lives. Those of us who are older need to wait either for this thing to run out or a vaccine or some combination. The economic cost from the crazy quarantine logic is killing us. It’s just one of those things where there is no good answer - we’ve been conditioned that there is a solution for everything. Sometimes there’s only bad choices and worse choices.
   80. The Duke Posted: June 28, 2020 at 05:09 PM (#5960040)
https://tallahasseereports.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/DEATHS6028.jpg

Here’s a nice chart showing deaths in Florida.
   81. Mayor Blomberg Posted: June 28, 2020 at 05:13 PM (#5960043)
I'm still unclear exactly why Germany has gotten off relatively lightly [...]. People are wearing masks on public transport and when shopping, almost 100% compliance


That's inconceivable to me I didn't see that yesterday in Houston despite an exponentially higher case rate. That's the difference I'm interested in hearing about.
   82. Eric L Posted: June 28, 2020 at 05:36 PM (#5960044)
I’ve been reading about the role of social cohesion, or lack of it, on the rise and fall of empires. I feel as if I’m watching it play out in real time.
   83. Hot Wheeling American Posted: June 28, 2020 at 05:38 PM (#5960046)
Hugo’s Tacos closes in Studio City and Atwater Village, citing ‘constant conflicts’ with guests over masks
A local taco restaurant closed both its locations in Atwater Village and Studio City Sunday, citing harassment from customers who refused to wear masks while ordering or picking up food.

In a message to customers, Hugo’s Tacos described the majority of their guests as respectful and kind as the restaurant operates with some restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the message said, “staff have been harassed, called names, and had objects and liquids thrown at them” as employees enforce the mask requirement.

“Our Taco Stands are exhausted by the constant conflicts over guests refusing to wear masks,” the announcement said.

Signs about the facial covering rule are displayed on the premises.

“When you ask some of the customers, they get upset, they get mad. They don’t like to do that,” Executive Chef Nabor Diaz told KTLA. “At this point, it’s really important for us to put the safety of our crew first.”
   84. Snowboy Posted: June 28, 2020 at 06:03 PM (#5960049)
PFish -
I used the word "deleterious" here a few days ago and I feel like I've seen it half a dozen times since then. You guys get your own sesquipedalian words!


Watching Homeland on Netflix. Word was just used on screen. (Yeah, it's from 2012, but it's new to me. And eerily coincidental, as above quote is from today. Deja vu?) [Season two, episode two, ~27:00]
   85. Ziggy: social distancing since 1980 Posted: June 28, 2020 at 06:22 PM (#5960051)
'Deleterious' isn't especially exotic. 'Sesquipedalian', on the other hand...

Related: a few months ago (back when it was safe to see our families) my three year old was talking to his four year old cousin, who used the word 'environment', to which Ziggy Jr. responded: "What does 'environment' mean? You just made that up."
   86. Tony S Posted: June 28, 2020 at 06:48 PM (#5960053)
well-targeted tax-credits is a scratching of the surface of what US society (if it still exists) needs. The idea that caring for the well being of people means deliberately putting them at risk because "the richest country in the world" can't afford to care for its afflicted is sickening. As if there were no alternatives.


And there were/are PLENTY of alternatives, but the news media quickly echoed the leadership and presented the issue as a stark, binary choice -- if we went all the way to protect citizens from this deadly disease, surely the economy couldn't handle the shock. The idea that the government could subsidize working people while we worked out a way to get things going again while minimizing health risks was never seriously considered in the US -- even that token one-time $1200 grant involved a lot of tooth-pulling. And today, now that we have more knowledge of how this virus spreads (and we've realized that mask-wearing makes a big difference), we're being sabotaged by elements who have taken mask usage as a personal affront to their manhood.

An intelligent policy would have been to (a) quarantine and subsidize working people while we gathered more knowledge, and (b) use that acquired knowledge to re-open as safely as possible. That would have required some real leadership, though.
   87. Walt Davis Posted: June 28, 2020 at 06:56 PM (#5960054)
There's really no reason to think the new cases are "concentrated" in younger people. Their %age of new cases has most likely been essentially constant the entire time. With expansion in testing, more asymptomatic and barely symptomatic people get tested. In the early days, younger people weren't getting tested; now they are. Back when they tested 500 symptomatic people, they would have been mostly older people, most tests positive and of those 500, 10 would die. Now they may have 10,000 tests, they still pick up those 500 older people and many more positives ... and you still expect 10 of those 500 older people to die. Those 10x estimates from the CDC -- those are all the young (and old and middle-aged) people who had it and were asymptomatic, mildly sympomatic or just never felt it got bad enough to get it checked out.

It's a spike because testing hasn't expanded greatly in the last few weeks and they're finding more positives. It's a spike because Fla's positive rate per test went from about 4-5% to about 15% over the last 2-3 weeks. It's a spike because hospitalizations are way up. There have been some improvements in care so hopefully the mortality rate after hosptialization will be lower.

Positive test rates by state
   88. PreservedFish Posted: June 28, 2020 at 07:06 PM (#5960056)
I’ve been reading about the role of social cohesion, or lack of it, on the rise and fall of empires. I feel as if I’m watching it play out in real time.


Imagine how the Chinese must feel, watching us fumble.
   89. The Yankee Clapper Posted: June 28, 2020 at 07:08 PM (#5960057)
   90. RJ in TO Posted: June 28, 2020 at 07:26 PM (#5960059)
Imagine how the Chinese must feel, watching us fumble.
Roughly the same way everyone else feels, watching you fumble.
   91. Mayor Blomberg Posted: June 28, 2020 at 07:50 PM (#5960060)
I’ve been reading about the role of social cohesion, or lack of it, on the rise and fall of empires. I feel as if I’m watching it play out in real time.


In my darker moments I agree; in my more hopeful, I see fragmentation as a force on one side against new forms of cohesion struggling to be born. So there's three poetics of history.

On the third hand, Hofstadter would remind us that anti-intellectualism and paranoia are as American as apple pie.

(RJ: took me a minute to realize your "you" was collective.)
   92. RJ in TO Posted: June 28, 2020 at 07:52 PM (#5960061)
(RJ: took me a minute to realize your "you" was collective.)
Yeah, that wasn't directed specifically at PreservedFish.
   93. SoSH U at work Posted: June 28, 2020 at 07:57 PM (#5960062)
(RJ: took me a minute to realize your "you" was collective.)


Once again proving the need for y'all to gain widespread acceptance.
   94. Dr. Vaux Posted: June 28, 2020 at 08:20 PM (#5960064)
I wonder why countries that invest in their citizens would have social cohesion!
   95. Mayor Blomberg Posted: June 28, 2020 at 08:35 PM (#5960067)
“Reopening this economy, which began in early May, is a tribute to your leadership and the steady progress in putting Texas back to work is something every Texan can be proud of. But with the development of these new cases … we’re grateful, Governor, that you’ve taken the steps that you’ve taken to limit the kind of gatherings and meeting in certain places in communities that may well be contributing to the community spread that we’re seeing.”

-- Mike Pence



Because these things have nothing to do with each other,
   96. bigglou115 is not an Illuminati agent Posted: June 28, 2020 at 08:47 PM (#5960069)
It occurs to me I never weighed in on the article in question here.

I doubt they could successfully sue. For one thing, most of the GOP states are pushing for laws to prevent people from suing businesses for COVID related injury.

Second, if I represented the Rangers I would ask anyone suing if they actually asked to work from home. The answer will probably be no because the rangers were pretty smart in encouraging people not to ask in that memo. If they did and we're denied it's still almost impossible to prove were they caught it, at least not to the satisfaction of the proverbial "12 people too dumb enough to get out of jury duty."
   97. Greg Pope Posted: June 28, 2020 at 09:00 PM (#5960070)
Germany ... People are wearing masks on public transport and when shopping, almost 100% compliance, but hardly any when outside.

And today, now that we have more knowledge of how this virus spreads (and we've realized that mask-wearing makes a big difference), we're being sabotaged by elements who have taken mask usage as a personal affront to their manhood.

An intelligent policy would have been to (a) quarantine and subsidize working people while we gathered more knowledge, and (b) use that acquired knowledge to re-open as safely as possible. That would have required some real leadership, though.


These are the things that I just don't get. Maybe in retrospect the complete shutting down was an overreaction. But we didn't know. We shut down to flatten the curve and it seems to have worked. Also to gather more information. And the result is that we actually know what to do. We're not going to eliminate it, but with social distancing, masks, cleaning protocols, and extra defenses like the plexiglass at stores, we can slow the spread and get back to something resembling normal. It's knowledge that we've gained.

But some people have decided that wearing a piece of cloth over your nose and mouth is a violation of their rights. It's unbelievable. "For the public good, everyone needs to wear a mask when you can't social distance" is not a hardship. But we're going to be idiots about this for no real reason.
   98. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: June 28, 2020 at 09:15 PM (#5960071)
On the third hand, Hofstadter would remind us that anti-intellectualism and paranoia are as American as apple pie.


After all, the US briefly had an influential Know Nothing Party.
   99. Tony S Posted: June 28, 2020 at 09:22 PM (#5960072)
But some people have decided that wearing a piece of cloth over your nose and mouth is a violation of their rights. It's unbelievable.


Yes, and it's a complete mystery where some people got that idea. It's not the kind of belief that people develop organically, so there must be some external influence that led to it. I can't think of any, though.

The thing is, it's not even THAT much of an inconvenience. Masks are really not that critical outdoors (though they don't hurt, and it's still a good idea to keep your distance from others). Is it really all that traumatic to wear a mask when you're indoors someplace other than your home?
   100. Mayor Blomberg Posted: June 28, 2020 at 09:26 PM (#5960073)
I agree with 99 percent of what you say, Greg. I'd note only that it's not just that "some people decided ..." it's that some national and state leaders declared and Fox (along with AON and fringier sites)was happy to run with it.

These are influential people and institutions who actively resisted learning anything.

Was today Pence's first day photographed in a mask?

A Fizzy to Tony.
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