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.

Thursday, April 9, 2020


So... today is April 9, 2020. I wanted to get my thoughts down on the goings on in this world so I can look back and see how I viewed things. Anyone reading this obviously knows there's a Pandemic going on right now. And the effects of it will shape how humans live FOREVER. Hopefully we can all learn a few things to avoid the missteps... but I doubt it.

With the prevalence of media and virtually EVERYONE being on the internet there will be plenty of content for historians to peruse to get a feel for what this time was actually like. From a personal perspective I consider myself VERY lucky. So far (as far as I know) I have not contacted COVID-19. We seem to be in a "peak" time so there's still a good chance I'll get it. I give it a greater than 50% chance of that happening. But... at least I have a secure job. There were nearly 17 million unemployment insurance applicants in the past three weeks. That is a TON. This economy is going into a Depression. And we have a buffoon as a President that doesn't know basic math, much less human decency. I'm worried about my fellow Americans and this country. I also know that there's enough good people in America that we'll survive. But it's going to be a bumpy ride for the next several years.

As of this moment there are nearly 1.6 million cases worldwide and 465,000 in the United States. estimates that testing is only "catching" around 12 percent of actual cases in the U.S. If that's the case there is closer to 4 million Americans that have been/are infected. Right now almost 17,000 deaths in this country. If the 4 million number is accurate that means the death rate is less than 0.5% in reality. And if you do the math with regards to elderly and people with underlying conditions that means the likelihood of someone under 60 in relatively good health of getting COVID-19 AND actually dying is probably less than 1/1000. Now, what does that REALLY MEAN? I don't know, but I'm pretty sure the Trump administration has at least a couple of math people that are going to roll out these statistics in the coming weeks. Throw in the fact that African-Americans are WAY MORE likely to die that European-Americans and Trump's "base" will be feeling pretty "safe" that they won't die (at least the youngish ones and those who don't have chronic disease). None of this is to say that we shouldn't take this SERIOUSLY. We ALL should. This virus is a KILLER. I'm worried about my Mom. But knowing her, she'd probably get it and then beat it. She's a tough lady.

This whole time in history is crazy. It's hard to believe a month ago I was in Las Vegas watching my Aztecs in the Mountain West Tournament. And now we're on "stay home" orders from the governor. I'm trying to limit my time out as much as possible. But seeing that I'm a bus driver that's kind of hard.

I try not to think too much about our "President" but it's hard not to. He sucks. This is PRECISELY the reason why we shouldn't have elected him. He's going to cost this country tens of thousands of extra lives lost and will take NONE of the blame (he's never taken responsibility of anything, so he's definitely not going to start now). He's also going to try and "open up" the country soon. This is going to get really ugly. Because Trump thinks that his re-election hinges on the economy. I don't know how he thinks he's going to get progressive states like California and New York to "open up". How does that even work? Force people to go to restaurants? Even IF somehow the "curve" was flattened enough to where most people felt safe going out again life has CHANGED. A good chunk of people are not (and maybe never) going to go to a concert of sporting event again. And many people will be hesitant to even go out to eat until we have herd immunity or a vaccine. And that's not coming for at least a year.

I see Trump totally turning racist on this whole thing. He'll frame his argument with his usual dog whistles of "lazy" blacks not wanting to work. Or blame progressive states for not "opening up" when he wants them to. And even if he loses in November will he leave? If it's close then no way. Just like Bill Maher says he'll blame "irregularities" and claim he's "seeing things". And Moscow Mitch and the GOP will go along with him. It's all going to be a shit show. And what if he actually loses and leaves? Say hello to MAGA part Two in 2024!

Anyway, who knows how this all plays out? I know it's exhausting. And scary. I think that this virus isn't going to magically go away. I do think in the coming weeks there will be a lot of conservative voices downplaying it's terribledness (is that a word?) And that will lead to more and more of our most vulnerable to their death. Social distancing will go by the way side and we'll see spikes in communities when it does. And then I see in the Fall it coming back strong again. The Trump administration is now predicting around 60,000 deaths. It will be more. But he'll LIE in a way to make it sound like he was accurate. He'll say that was for June 1 or August 1 only. Or he'll go back to their earlier estimates of 100,000-240,000 deaths and say that a "WIN" because it wasn't 2.2 million. I think by the end of the year the death count will be in the 100-200k range and by the time this thing is all OVER (sometime in mid 2021, God willing) the American death toll will be well over 200,000 and maybe even half a million. I'm just going on gut feel here based on models I've seen and how the media is framing things. And how the politicians are slowing trying to get people out there again. Obviously, I'm hoping as few people get this thing and die as possible. It would be nice to get back to "normal" one day. Fingers crossed...


Tonight I lost a friend. His name was Peanut. He was a really sweet cat. His original name was Zero. But when I first met him I thought his ...