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COVID-19 Response, aka: Stupid is as Stupid Does
Author: BobR    Date: 03/18/2020 13:34:00

As COVID-19 continues its world tour, those left in its wake (and trying to tamp down its growth) have had to make hard decisions. Italy - which has seen 7% of its citizens who contracted the illness die from it - is warning the world "Don't be like us!" The question remains to be seen - will we heed their advice?

As of this writing, the number of infections worldwide has surpassed 200K. China accounts for 81K of those, and 3100 of the deaths (just slightly more than Italy, who had less than half as many infections as China). China has "flatlined" in terms of new cases. The rest of the world is still on the rising wave.

Here in the U.S., most people who can have been told to work from home (myself included). We've been asked to practice "social distancing" by avoiding crowds and large gatherings. Those with common-sense are doing so. Some state governments are enforcing it, by closing restaurants, nightclubs and bars, and cancelling sporting events and concerts. There is worry about how this will affect the economy, and the economic security of some Americans. Of course - there will always be those who ignore these warnings, for various reasons.

Conservatives view such restrictions and advice with suspicion
When Deborah Frank Feinen, the mayor of Champaign, Illinois, drafted an emergency powers declaration Thursday to confront the coronavirus pandemic, she was proud of her city’s early preparation. But by the time she got to work the next morning, the National Rifle Association had blared a “national alert” saying “anti-gun extremists” were moving “to undermine our firearms freedom.”

The city government was soon under siege.

“We were talking about how to get food to kids when schools were closed, and suddenly I’m getting Facebook messages about how I’m violating the Constitution and taking away people’s rights,” Feinen said in an interview. Now, in addition to working on plans for fire and police departments, emergency supplies, and helping small businesses weather state-mandated closures, “I’m obsessively looking at my email, checking for threats.”
Trump’s Republican loyalists, including Rep. Devin Nunes of California, Gov. Kevin Stitt of Oklahoma, Gov. Jim Justice of West Virginia and others, have made statements contradicting or flouting public health experts’ guidance.

“If you want to go to Bob Evans and eat, go to Bob Evans and eat,” Justice said Monday.

And of course there's Devin Nunes telling people to go frequent their local pub as always. There is also a surge in gun sales, as the terminally-scared prepare for a zombie apocalypse that will never happen.

In Florida, the beaches are open, and Spring Breakers are flocking to the usual party areas. Even in Canada, people attended a St. Patrick's Day street party, despite warnings not to. Can't people just set it aside for one year?

It may not even last that long. Scientists are expecting it to finish running its course by the end of April. By then, the smart people will have avoided catching the disease, and the idiots will have suffered it's consequences (and - sadly - 4% will no longer be with us). Maybe that's what it will take for the country to make strides in the right direction.


9 comments (Latest Comment: 03/18/2020 17:30:40 by Will in Chicago)
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