The Good & The Bad, as of 4/25/20

Bad news about Covid-19 seems to spread as fast as the virus itself. But there’s also been good news. So I’ve combined the latest good and bad news, to help us keep a balanced perspective:

Good News:
On April 23rd, U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres warned that the pandemic is fast turning into a human rights crisis, and he warned that any emergency measures must be “legal, proportionate, necessary, and non-discriminatory, have a specific focus and duration, and take the least intrusive approach possible to protect public health.” At last, we finally have a world leader advocating for human rights!

Bad News:
Everyone seems to have ignored the U.N. Secretary General, in my view, except Sweden and the state of South Dakota. Also, the weather is damned cold in Sweden and South Dakota. If you lived there, you’d want to stay at home anyways.


Bad News:
A test of antibodies in residents of New York City indicates that 21% of the population have had the coronavirus. Apparently, it’s been spreading all over the place.

Good News:
The virus spreading all over the place could very well increase herd immunity, reducing the likelihood of a major second wave of infections.

Also, the population of New York City is over 8 million. If 21% of NYC residents have had the coronavirus, that equates to about 1,680,000 infected residents. As of this writing, NYC’s death toll from the virus is about 10,000. This equates to 1 death for every 168 infections, or a death rate of about 0.6%. This is far lower than many alarming death rates that have been reported, such as 2.1% or 6%.

And given that those age 50 or older are dying at about 27 times the rate of those under 50, it would appear that young, healthy people have little to fear from the coronavirus. Yes, there are news stories of young people dying, but these cases seem to be rare exceptions.


Bad News:
President Trump recently suggested that injecting disinfectant into the body might kill the coronavirus.

Good News:
According to subscribers of the theory of Social Darwinism, this suggestion by Trump could result in the culling of millions of idiots from our country’s population. This will improve the overall intelligence of our nation, and ensure Trump’s defeat in November.

Memento Mori:
I’m not a doctor nor the president, but I have this medical advice for those inclined to regard our president as a doctor: Do NOT ingest or inject yourself with disinfectant! It will kill you! No matter how much you may love the president, please acknowledge that at least occasionally he can be wrong. It will kill you! I repeat, it will kill you! 💀💀💀

55 comments

  • Thanks for the updates, Tippy. Looks like you’re on the fence, as usual. If there are people who would drink or inject bleach because Trump said to, maybe the herd needs culling. No body in power listens to anyone advocating for human rights. There is no way of knowing how many people have (or had) COVID, hence, no way of figuring out the mortality rate. We yak and yak about these things. When you boil it down, money comes first, old people are more likely to become infected with and die of COVID, ingesting bleach is bad. End of story.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m not sure if money has come first, in this crisis, given that we’ve shut down the economy. But I would be willing to agree that politics has come first. I think the politicians are afraid they’ll be blamed for large losses of life, and this fear leads them to close down economies and restrict our movements. I doubt they’ll budge much until they’re sure it’s politically okay to open things back up.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Politician will be blamed either way, for loss of life and/or the tanking economy. I think a lot of people will continue to self-isolate, even when the restrictions are lifted. You can give people a stimulus check but you can’t force them to go out to eat or spend it on other crap they don’t really need. Most will have to use it to pay for rent, utilities, and food.

        Liked by 2 people

  • The accuracy of those anti-body tests has been called into question, so it is still a big unknown out there.

    Liked by 2 people

  • As a bit of good news, perhaps the President’s mystifyingly stupid remarks will sway some fence-sitters that he really is a disaster of a President and should be sent back to reality TV where he belongs. I know the type. They vote Republican because they have always voted Republican. They make mental excuses until they can look at Trump from a contorted angle and still support him. Maybe this will serve as a come-to-reality moment for those people and shake them into analyzing this for a minute.

    I’m no historian with a perfect memory, but this has to be the stupidest thing Trump has ever said, or at least in the top three.

    Liked by 2 people

    • It’s definitely up there in level of stupidy, and I’ll bet we’ll be constantly reminded of it as we approach November. It’s Jim Jonesish, in a way. It will be interesting to see how many people try this technique Trump has suggested.

      Liked by 1 person

      • What is just as ridiculous is the people who are trying to say Trump didn’t mean it… that he was just reading from a script, etc. His followers will excuse him in any way that they can! It just makes that the whole “shooting someone on 5th avenue in NY” scenario not quite as outrageous as it may seem!

        Liked by 1 person

        • It also must be very challenging for Trump supporters to keep coming up with excuses. Biden has his problems, but I don’t have to search my mind through a file cabinet of excuses, just to express my support for him. Given that I’m lazy, and that Biden is the easier candidate to support, I’m with him.

          Liked by 1 person

  • Damn. Now you tell me?! I’ll finish this comment when I finish chewing and swallowing the Lysol wipe…

    Liked by 2 people

  • I especially like your last ‘good news’ section, about the culling of the nation’s idiots! If only 🙄

    Liked by 1 person

  • It’s your innate human right to inject yourself with disinfectant if you want, you know.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Absolutely. It’s also ethical to warn people that it will kill them. But don’t worry, some people never read warnings.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Wait wait… ethics? Isn’t it also ethical to try to prevent people from spreading a virus? Ethics and human rights are not the same thing, but they are colliding right now. I think you’re identifying it here. The issue isn’t really about human rights specifically. It’s about the place of ethics and morality, which is a more difficult question.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Oh man, we’re getting deep now. It seems to me that ethics and morality can become an impossible question. It always seems to devolve into circular logic. It kind of goes like this: Why should I do this? Because it’s moral. Why is it moral? Because it’s for the greater good. Who determines it’s for the greater good? The authorities. And what do the authorities rely upon? God (or Higher Conscience, or you take your pick). And why does God want this? Because it’s moral.

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          • I agree with your logic, except for one point. Who determines it’s for the greater good… it’s not the authorities. It’s us. The authorities are us, in the end. They’re people. we’re people, we put them there. It’s a collective decision, as clunky and murky as it is at times. We make this decision collectively about what’s important, in terms of how we message out to the world. My message on this issue is this: I believe life is more important than economy. Yes, economy leads to living as well, but are we really willing morally to openly sacrifice people? I don’t think we should be like that. That’s my personal message.

            Liked by 1 person

            • Okay, so you place your faith in the collective decision of the people. But don’t forget, the collective decision of the Germans in the 1930s and 40s was to kill Jews. The collective decision of Americans was, at one time, to enslave blacks.
              Whatever moral authority you rely upon, you are still relying upon circular logic.
              To me it’s more safe to say, “I believe this is right because it seems right to me. I can’t put my finger on why it seems right, but it just seems that way. This is my own personal decision, and I recognize that things may seem different to others.”
              I believe we’ll have more deaths in the short run, but less deaths in the long run, if we follow Sweden’s example. I could be wrong. But it seems to me like you and I want the same thing: less deaths. We just differ on strategy.

              Like

              • No that’s wrong. Comparing collective decision making to truth is incorrect. That’s like people who say “we are a country of laws” to justify anything that’s on the books. Just because something is on the books doesn’t make it right. That’s why we have the ability to change things. Segregation, slavery, all abhorrent things that were changed because collectively they were changed by will – and occasionally conflict. No point in time is perfect. The imperfection comes from those who don’t speak up, the people who stay silent when something clearly needs to change. It comes from the people who waiver and quiver when choosing a side. Choose a side. Fortunately, we have our heroes who do that. Sure, let’s talk about it, we have to. These are the discussions that are important. But eventually, if you want to change things, you have to choose your side.

                I totally disagree on your theory about the best approach for dealing with the pandemic because you’re just spitballing. No trained practitioner of science would suggest what you’re saying, so in addition to putting my trust (not faith, mind you – that’s a different thing, there’s nothing that can’t be true if you have faith in it) in people, I put it in trained scientists and doctors, those people. It’s not our strategies that differ, it’s where we get our information. I think yours comes from your own judgement from what I can see. I’m not smart or trained enough to have any kind of valid approach to the right thing to do in this situation, so I trust in people who do. As I’ve said to you before, I would prefer people who have an engineering background design my bridges (people like me) rather than people on the internet who are positive they know how to build the perfect bridge just cause. Everyone is entitled to opinions, and we should talk about them, because that’s important. But that’s not the same thing as what’s reasonable. As you say, you believe more deaths in the short run but less in the long run… that’s fine, but just an opinion built on what? And what is the ethical approach to saying just open things up and let people die now? 50,000 in US now. Open things up and bump it up to a couple of million, is that okay? I understand that your point is that if you don’t do that, maybe ten million or something die, but you have nothing to support that.

                Liked by 1 person

                • I’m no expert at this, and don’t pretend to be. But even the experts are contradicting each other a lot. It will take several years of research to understand this virus. In the meantime, the best the experts can do is spitball.
                  I don’t know how many extra people would die from lifting lockdowns. Sweden’s death rate seems to be double that of their European neighbors. But they also will likely not have any second or third waves. Plus, people needing so-called “elective” surgery can have their cancerous tumors removed, etc. Businesses can stay in business. People can keep their jobs. Poverty will not threaten lives. They do practice social distancing in Sweden, but they haven’t closed down so-called “non-essential” businesses. I like what they’re doing, because to me it seems to be the safest, wisest, and most humane approach to dealing with this disease. I could be wrong, and perhaps time will tell. But this is my current opinion.

                  Liked by 1 person

                  • No totally wrong, I’m sorry. Experts aren’t spitballing. Science is inherently open to questioning itself. It’s a process, not a goal. Part of that process is the realization that you’re wrong, and then adjust your approach. That’s exactly the way it’s supposed to work. It’s not a bastion of absolute truth, it morphs itself. I’ve published scientific papers that have gone through the wringer and I’ve had to adjust my findings. That’s the process. So you’re wrong, I’m afraid. Or you don’t understand the process, but it’s an important one and much of what we’re built on depends on trust in that process.

                    Your comment on second and third waves makes no sense. You and no one else knows if antibodies are developing to prevent you from being reinfected. This is just an idea, and it’s very dangerous. Wait until you hear that antibodies are developing and will protect people from being reinfected. Otherwise, this is not good science.

                    Maybe you should move to Sweden and expose yourself to the virus, if you really believe this is the way to go. I’m kidding there, but hopefully you get my point.

                    Liked by 1 person

                    • I see we remain in disagreement. The fact that no one else knows if antibodies prevent reinfection is one of the things that leaves me feeling wary of the experts. Common sense tells me that it’s likely the antibodies do prevent reinfection. If not, the Chinese would still be dying in large numbers. I think that sometimes it’s better to rely upon common sense until the science comes in.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • Bullshit. Sorry, I just can’t stay silent on this. Your statements aren’t common sense. They’re just fairy tales and I’m calling them out as such. You think your common sense somehow trumps all these experts? That’s so laughable and sad. If you think you’ve got this figured out, speak up and exert your common sense where it can make a difference, but you’d not be taken seriously because you are just voicing your personal opinion and as smart as I think you are, Tippy, you just don’t know what you’re talking about. I’m free to admit that myself. What you’re espousing is called pseudo-science and it’s incredibly dangerous and reckless and utterly meaningless. I mean, I could say that the Chinese aren’t dying in huge numbers because they’re genetically predisposed not to, but I don’t know that to be the case, so what’s it matter until someone shows it. You’re just grabbing one possible explanation that’s unproven.

                      Feel wary of the experts if you want, but those types of experts helped build the civilization we live in. You trusted them then, didn’t you. An expert, or a scientist, isn’t an absolute truth-teller. I want to emphasize that. You’re distrusting them because they don’t know for sure? I don’t know, shouldn’t they actually do the work to make sure before they say something? Or do you think because they’re experts that just because they spitball something that it’s true? That’s NOT the way it works. They do the studies, the trials, they do it properly, and then they make a conclusion. I’m sorry that’s not fast enough for you, but this stuff is far far more complicated than you’re making it out to be. Your ‘common sense’ is a faster way to a conclusion, sure. Because it’s easy. It doesn’t have to be based on anything but your conjecture. But real science is far harder than that, and takes time to follow the process. Please believe me, I live in this world, and your common sense is not even close the equivalent of what these hardworking people are trying to achieve. It’s incredibly mind-breakingly difficult and often heartbreaking to go through this process and I think you’re not seeing that. But it’s the basis of much of our lives already.

                      Anyway, I think enough of this discussion, I’m clearly not going to explain myself in any plain way, I’m just a bit flabbergasted by this discussion but it’s healthy to have such discussions.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • Alright, agreed. We’ve both said enough. It’s clear to me that your feelings are very strong on this matter, and that you may also feel frustrated when the opinions of experts are not heeded.
                      We’re not the only ones who are not in agreement. There are many differing opinions on this subject, throughout the world. But I think everyone wants the same outcome. However the world emerges from this crisis, I hope it does so with the least loss of life, livelihoods, and liberty, possible.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • I am one of those experts, in a couple of areas. And I hear this stuff all the time. How basically anyone can tell me I’m wrong, under the guise of ‘common sense’. I use a different term than ‘common sense’. Sorry, this kind of offends me when this happens. I’ve worked long and hard to do hard work in my field. People in the science and medical field are the same. I urge that we listen to them.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • Final word, and I’ll shut up now. Your logic is not dissimilar to someone saying that we should inject ourselves with disinfectant, because it sort of makes sense and science doesn’t have an obvious solution in the short term so why not. I don’t at all compare you to your idiot of a President, mind you. But I see a parallel in thought process between this and the other internet theorists who are magically developing solutions to this very complicated problem. I believe that you would have a healthy regard for science, at least I hope so. Your President clearly has none and is swayed by everything, including the incredibly wondrous contents of his own legendary big brain.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • Alright, well I’ve already provided my final thoughts in my last comment. I do think there’s one thing we can strongly agree on. And that is we would not want Trump to win a second term.

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