Monday, November 2, 2020

2020 Hope Street

Today is the day, ELECTION DAY. It's been a while since I posted. The Coronavirus has claimed 235,000 American lives and infected almost 10 million. I think if Biden gets elected we can probably keep this death toll under half a million by the time it dies down late next year. But if Trump is re-elected I'm thinking it will be closer to a million Americans. And if that's the case there will be a good chance someone close to me will time. America is at a crossroads. Over the next 24 hours (and maybe several days thereafter) we'll find out a lot about America and democracy.

My "official" prediction is Biden will win. I just filled out my map on fivethirtyeight. 409 Electoral Votes for the former Vice President. I'm sure I won't get all the states right but I'm confident that he's going to win handily. I HAVE TO BE OPTIMISTIC. I love this country and refuse to believe that we could re-elect this monster. The title of this post is my actual street address. I have a wonderful, simple life. I have great landlords who have a couple cats that hang out at my place. I have a great girlfriend. I have a great job. I live in America's "Happiest" city, in the BEST state and BEST country in the history of the world. I'm confident that my fellow Americans will affirm that tomorrow.

Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Hannity

I just turned on Sean Hannity tonight for literally less than a minute. He had three "guests" on asking what Trump's chances were in November. They all thought Trump would win. Two thought Trump would win easily (one predicted 400+ Electoral Votes) and Geraldo Rivera said he could only lose if there's no vaccine by October.

What world are these people living in? It's amazing what has happened to my country. We're a bunch of idiots. There's almost 3.5 million confirmed Coronavirus cases (and probably 6-10 times that in reality) and almost 140,000 deaths in this country. WTF? We're the "shithole" country. Even in my county of San Luis Obispo cases there were 72 cases! That's the equivalent of 81k for the country.

I still haven't gotten the virus but it's only a matter of time. If it's this bad in mid-July just imagine November to February during the traditional flu season.

Sunday, May 31, 2020

Exceptionalism

Day after day, it seems, things get WORSE in America. Demonstrations, protests, riots, looting, violence in response to another black man being murdered by police. And then there's the Coronavirus pandemic we're all living through too. I almost don't know what to say anymore.

In regards to the civil unrest, it's terrible, on so many levels. Obviously the death of George Floyd was murder, plain and simple. Do I think that officer set out to murder a black man that day? No. But I do think he had blatant disregard for Floyd's life. He used his power to keep his neck down and it resulted in death. And those few minutes of terrible police action had now resulted in several days of protests and rioting. And more loss of life. And billions of dollars in property loss and damage. Our country is fucked up. Don't know what else to say.

As for the Pandemic, that ain't going much better either. We're at about 105,000 deaths in this country and nearing 2,000,000 confirmed cases. The real number is probably at least 8x that with all the asymptomatic people out there. Yes, the spread has slowed a bit. And now businesses are starting to "re-open". It may not lead to massive outbreaks because I believe in the Summer that will slow the spread a bit also. But it's pretty clear this virus isn't going away on it's own. The characteristics of it lead me to believe it's going to be around for a LONG TIME. We may never get below 10,000 daily cases again. And I highly doubt we'll get below 1,000. Maybe late Summer if we're lucky. But I'm telling you come November things are going to get BAD. I just know it.

Sunday, May 17, 2020

The "Re-Opening" of America

It seems every blog post I make my mindset about the future gets more dire. It's mid May and almost every state is in some sort of "re-opening" phase. Yet average daily cases accross the country haven't really trended downward if you exclude New York (and have BARELY trended downward if you don't). So... what's going on here? It's quite obvious. People are suffering. Many small business owners want to open up shop and get some revenue flowing. But, it's way bigger than that. Loud voices on the Right are clamering to open up the economy. Like we can "go back to normal" if only Democratic governors would give people their "freedom". To be fair, there are many arguements for re-starting the economy. But not a lot of folks are saying what's obvious. If there's upward momentum this Fall then Trump has a better chance of winning election. Of course the problem with all this is that an extra few hundred thousand Americans will die. Right now we're sitting at about 90,000. I'd be SHOCKED if by the end of the year that number isn't norther of 300,000. And I'm revising my long term prediction to 500,000-1,000,000 by the end of next year. And these are only Americans mind you. Worldwide maybe 5 million? Hard to say what the "official" numbers could be because so many nations aren't reporting deaths accurately (including my own).

So, where does all this leave us? I think as a society we're going down the path of so many other societal issues. Basically, as long as it happens to SOMEONE ELSE than I'm fine with it. But if it effects MY FAMILY, then "Why didn't someone do something!" Thousands of elderly people will die. Thousands of minority people will die. Thousands of essential workers will die. Yes, some of those people would have died of other things this year. But most not. But that's the price we're going to pay as a society so we can go to the beach I guess. And when this virus comes "back" (it still hasn't left) with a vengeous later this year the economy will suffer even more.

What I have to do is somehow focus on living my best/healthiest life. I'm not doing too well at that. Despite the fact that my life on the surface seems pretty well equiped to deal with something like this, I'm still struggling a bit. I just too the paid leave from my work because all the folks on the bus were stressing me out. I need to do what I did almost four years ago when Trump first got elected. Soon after that I started running and doing races. And I got in the best shape of my life. But in the last couple years I've put on about 60lbs and hardly run anymore. I'm literally shaking my head as I type this. We'll see what tomorrow brings I suppose.

Saturday, May 2, 2020

Government

It's May 2, 2020. There's now over 66,000 dead Americans due to COVID-19. And that's probably an under count because of all the people who died in their homes at the beginning of this Pandemic.

States have started "opening up". No, not because the virus is going away. It's because white people are getting restless at home and their "way of life" is threatened. They want to go to the beach, or hang out with friends, go to the salon. And some, want to actually work. (Although I think this is a small minority because I think most don't actually have jobs to go back to, nor do they really like working. Many of these "protesters" are just privileged a-holes that are using the moment to promote their Trumpian beliefs.) Anyway, I digress. We are really screwing this up. Do I have all the answers? Obviously not. There are so many factors to take into account in every action we take. That goes for government and individuals. But overall, the United States government (especially the Federal gov't) has been screwing this up day after day. The number of Corona Virus cases has stayed relatively steady the past month yet several states are trying to "get back to normal". They're only going to make things worse. I think if we had a national stay at home policy that had went into around mid-May or so we could have really slowed the spread down. And the "opening up" could have been more robust. The way we're doing it now is going to lead to a lot of going in and out of lockdown.

And I'm not even talking about what's likely coming in the Fall. This virus is not going away this Summer. Best case scenario is that it dies down to relatively low numbers and it takes a while to ramp up again in the Fall. But honestly, it looks like it's going to stay steady for a while so when the weather turns again it's going to come back with a vengeance. Meat plants and factories. Nursing homes, schools, large gatherings. They are all going to be prime targets for this thing. Americans aren't good at planning for the unexpected. Hell, we're not good at planning for the EXPECTED, which is what this is. I'm sticking to my prediction that this thing will kill over 200,000 Americans by the time this is all said and done.

And guess who might still be President when that happens? Right now I'd say Joe Biden is a slight favorite to win but who really knows what's going to happen in six months. Will we even have an election? One thing is for sure, Donald Trump will not go quietly. Even if he loses he'll be bitching and moaning the whole time that people are trying to convince him to leave. He'll make up shit about a "rigged" election or "inconsistencies" in voting. He's already laid out the playbook. I wouldn't be surprised if there is an armed rebellion and many Americans are killed because of him. He will be judged by history as the worst President of all time. I guess that's my saving grace?

Friday, April 17, 2020

My Country

I'm really worried about the good 'ole U.S. of A. The amount of disinformation, lies, falsehoods etc that's spreading is astonishing. It really shouldn't be though right? I think we've always had an anti-intellectualism faction in this country. Not only that, there's a lot of tribalism going on, especially with folks on the right. And to be fair, there's a lot of liberals that are taking things to the other extreme.

What I would give to have George W Bush as President right now. I'm confident he would be a calming voice and do his best to look out for the health and safety of the American people. He probably wouldn't make all the right decisions but he would be working with the states to accomplish goals. And he would calm the fears about government that so many on the right have. I bet his approval rating would be 80%. Obviously, any President other than the blustering idiot we have now would be better. He's so terrible in so many ways. And I see this whole situation getting worse. The comparisons to the "flu" and other things that kill Americans each year are starting to be talked about. And to be honest, a few months ago you may have seen me talk about the virus in that way.

They're now saying Covid-19 will "only" kill around 60,000 Americans. I guess that "good"? I still think the death toll is going to be much higher when it's all said and done hopefully a year or so from now. Conservatives are throwing out all these numbers about how the flu, or pool drownings, or car accidents all cause comparable amounts of death. Well, sort of. The problem with all those other things is that they can pretty much be avoided with reasonable precautions (yes, I'm aware they ALL can't be avoided). But with Covid-19 unless we're all in this together it really can't be avoided. If we hadn't done any mitigation deaths would be in the MILLIONS. And even if you don't die, many people get really sick. And even if you don't get sick, you can spread it to innocent people that are more vulnerable than you that might die. If you had a bad flu, would you visit your Grandma? Probably not. If you were drunk, would you take your Grandma for a drive? Probably not. If you had kids, would you let them swim by themselves? Probably not. But without mitigation this is the more realistic comparison.

Now there are "protests" spouting up in many states. And they are being fomented by Trump. This is beyond disgusting. Chances are no one is going to get hurt, but it's a pretty ugly sight when you see all these small dicked (an assumption) white dudes with they're guns walking around "protesting" that they want to work. I'm sure some of them actually do work, and work hard. But imagine if thousands of black men and guns were doing the same thing to a female Republican Governor? I think a lot of them would be dead.

What's going to happen over the coming weeks and months? Who knows. The drumbeat on the right is getting louder though. I don't think they even know what they want. We're not going back to "normal" that's for sure. Even if we tried there's plenty of cautious people out there that just aren't going to go to large public gatherings anytime soon. That world we lived in is gone.

Saturday, April 11, 2020

"Opening Up" the Economy

We're screwed. This CoronaVirus is one thing Trump can't lie his way out of. He'll try, but the terrible actions he has taken and will continue to take will cost many thousands of lives. Not to mention set this country back several years. This isn't a 9/11 where we just have to get back out there and spend. There is a DEADLY VIRUS in our mist. Several industries, including travel (airlines, hotels, trains, international, etc), restaurants, sporting events, concerts, etc are going to take YEARS to bounce back. That's a huge chunk of the economy.

The only way I see this economy bouncing back quickly is if Conservatives do a Jedi mind trick on a majority of the population and somehow convinces people (including the media) that this virus really isn't that bad. They'll take a number of tactics to do this I'm sure. Trump will play the race card and blame Democrats/minorities for not wanting to get out and work. (Meanwhile white collar whites will be able to work from home). And he'll throw out stats about how a lot of the people who died would have died from flu or something else this year anyway. A change in the collective conscious of how we view the threat will have to take place. I can see anchors on Fox News going back into studio and not "social distancing" so they can tell their viewers that it's OK to do the same.

I've been thinking about my beloved sports too. Baseball wants to come back next month and play all their games (at least in the beginning) in Arizona. Supposedly they'd test everyone involved before each game. That's still a few hundred people. And what happens when just ONE contracts the virus? Are you going to quarantine the whole league then? How can you possibly schedule hundreds of games when just one case throws everything into chaos? I think as far as baseball is concerned they need to shoot for June 1 at the earliest. If everything goes PERFECT and cases fall dramatically by then maybe they can have games. And honestly, I think NBA and NHL are toast. It's hard to imagine scenarios where they can safely play hundreds of games (even without fans) and not have a real possibility of someone getting infected. Because let's say a no name camera man gets the virus from regular contact outside of the games. What do you do then? Keep it hush hush? What if that guy dies? What about lawsuits?

We're in unprecedented times and who knows how all this is going to play out. I'm just trying to stay alive myself to be honest.

2020 Hope Street

Today is the day, ELECTION DAY. It's been a while since I posted. The Coronavirus has claimed 235,000 American lives and infected almost...