By Lambert Strether of Corrente.
Bird Song of the Day
At reader request, I’ve added this daily chart from 91-DIVOC. The data is the Johns Hopkins CSSE data. Here is the site.
I feel I’m engaging in a macabre form of tape-watching. I’ve been thinking of new charts to monitor to alert us to the next outbreak, assuming there is one, but for now, the data from the South means I’ll stick to the status quo.
Now all rising together. Kamala did the trick? Hard to believe.
“Expert says new COVID-19 outbreaks will be ‘very dense’ in certain parts of the country” [The Hill]. “The former head of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Scott Gottlieb said on Sunday that impending COVID-19 outbreaks stemming from emerging variants will be hyper-local and hamper communities with low vaccination rates. ‘It’s not going to be as pervasive,’ Gottlieb told CBS’s Face the Nation. ‘It’s going to be hyper regionalized…there are certain pockets of the country [where] we can have very dense outbreaks.’ The former FDA commissioner continued that potential outbreaks could resemble previous surges that began in the nation’s rural communities and that governors should ‘build out health care resources in areas of the country where you still have a lot of vulnerability.’… When asked on Sunday how to mitigate vaccine hesitancy, Gottlieb placed his focus on empowering local leaders and physicians, saying that people who could be persuaded by Anthony Fauci or the surgeon general ‘probably are already vaccinated.'”
“As variant rises, vaccine plan targets ‘movable middle’” [Associated Press]. “Thrown off-stride to reach its COVID-19 vaccination goal, the Biden administration is sending A-list officials across the country, devising ads for niche markets and enlisting community organizers to persuade unvaccinated people to get a shot. The strategy has the trappings of a political campaign, complete with data crunching to identify groups that can be won over.” • What Democrats do so well…. More: “It’s unclear how well the levers of persuasion are functioning. Vaccination rates have dropped below 1 million a day, and there’s no sign yet of a turnaround. The administration has acknowledged that it will fall short of its goal of having 70% of adults vaccinated by July Fourth….. Analysts at HHS have developed a rough sketch of those in the movable middle. They tend to be younger, mainly 18-29. Most are not college educated, and political independents predominate. Black and Latino adults are more likely to fall in this category than people of other backgrounds. It can be a hard sell.” • Good read,
TX: “Not taking it: Remote West Texas COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy plain to see” [Reuters]. “[Emily Herrera’s of the Cochran Memorial Hospital] was not alone as she watched vaccine demand dry up beginning in early April. Public health experts say vaccination drives around the United States began to fall off sharply at the same time, resulting in President Joe Biden missing his stated goal of having 70% of Americans aged 18 and older at least partially vaccinated by July 4…. Reuters interviewed 14 unvaccinated people aged 36 and younger in Cochran County and neighboring Hockley County this week. Concerns about the speed with which vaccines were developed and a general view that younger people were less likely to fall ill were the most cited reasons for not taking the shot.” But: Rebecca Weintraub, faculty director of the Global Health Delivery Project at Harvard University, said that even before COVID-19, vaccine hesitancy had been steadily increasing. The best weapons in wooing people into taking the vaccine were local physicians, along with church and community leaders, and having easy, constant access to the shots. ‘The vaccine should be on the menu at all times, including when you’re seeing a primary care provider or any other provider in a health care setting,’ she said. ‘We haven’t done that yet.'”
Case count by United States regions:
Decline now flattening. Delta? See World, below. (The increase in Delta would still swamped by the decrease in Alpha, etc. For awhile.)
Here are the case counts for the last four weeks in the South (as defined by the US Census: Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia):
Texas and Florida, capital of Latin America, neck and neck.
Covid cases top ten (hat tip, alert reader Lou Anton):
Tourist states disproportionately represented, IMNSHO. Readers?
South bounces back.
Continued good news.
Deaths (Our World in Data):
Continued good news.
Covid cases worldwide:
“But what is government itself, but the greatest of all reflections on human nature?” –James Madison, Federalist 51
“They had one weapon left and both knew it: treachery.” –Frank Herbert, Dune
“They had learned nothing, and forgotten nothing.” –Charles Maurice de Talleyrand-Périgord
UPDATE “Joe Biden Whispers Again During Speech After White House Video Went Viral” [Newsweek]. “President Joe Biden whispered on stage as he promoted the $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure deal, only days after a similar low volume approach went viral on social media. On Tuesday, at the Municipal Transit Utility in La Crosse, Wisconsin, Biden outlined his hopes to give tax breaks to ordinary families before dropping into a hushed tone. Leaning forward on the platform, Biden whispered: ‘Hey guys, I think it’s time to give ordinary people a tax break. The wealthy are doing fine,’ as those gathered burst into applause…. This vocal approach mimicked the one he employed last Thursday during a White House press conference, in which he gave whispered responses to reporters’ questions about the infrastructure plan. After he was asked about additional relief for families reeling from the COVID-19 pandemic, Biden whispered over the lectern: “I got them $1.9 trillion in relief so far.”
UPDATE “In Wisconsin, Biden says infrastructure plan would create millions of jobs” [Reuters]. “Biden is attempting to keep up the momentum for a legislative proposal that Democratic congressional leaders believe will reach a critical stage in the second half of July. ‘I expect the last two weeks of July to be very busy weeks, when we will deal with the president’s proposals,’ the No. 2 House Democrat, Steny Hoyer, told reporters on Tuesday. House and Senate Democrats hope to have infrastructure legislation done and on its way to Biden’s desk by the end of September, a Democratic aide said.” • All the time in the world….
The Hill keeps running clips like this:
YESTERDAY: President Joe Biden arrived back at the White House, following his trip to Wisconsin. pic.twitter.com/9JDKDqUG1l
— The Hill (@thehill) June 30, 2021
Proving that Biden can walk?
Universal concrete material benefits:
NEW poll from Morning Consult.
Support for health care items in reconciliation package.
Adding dental/vision/hearing to Medicare: 84-9%
Expanding home health: 77-11%
Coverage for non-Medicaid expansion: 68-19%
Negotiating Drug Rx Prices: 66-18%https://t.co/9jmUvGZmD3 pic.twitter.com/K5euWpzko9
— Jesse Ferguson (@JesseFFerguson) June 30, 2021
Democrats en Deshabille
“NYC Board of Elections Reported False Results: Updates” [New York Magazine]. “The mayoral election descended into chaos on Tuesday when the city’s Board of Elections admitted it published erroneous results from the Democratic primary showing a dramatic shake-up at the top of the field. The board said in a late-night statement that it accidentally left test votes in a computer system, giving the appearance of 135,000 more votes than had actually been cast. The board said it will retabulate voters’ choices and report the results on Wednesday.”
“Dysfunctional NYC Elections Board Staffed Through Pay-to-Play System” [ReadSludge]. “The New York City Board of Elections (BOE) has long been a target of invective for the pervasive nepotism and rank incompetence that it displays nearly every election cycle. In the 2020 cycle, the Board mailed incorrect ballots to thousands of voters and bungled early voting badly enough to leave many waiting on hours-long lines across the city. In 2012, it initially forgot to count dozens of precincts in a competitive Democratic primary, and in 2018 it illegally purged 200,000 voters from its rolls. What accounts for its gross mismanagement of the most basic function of a democracy? Various political observers say that the explicitly partisan nature of the BOE is to blame. Since 1894, New York’s constitution has placed responsibility for staffing the election bureaucracy in the hands of the Democratic and Republican parties of each of the state’s 62 counties. Surrendering control of staffing decisions to the tight-knit party organizations leads to connections and favor-swapping being the main criteria for employment, as opposed to competency, some say. ‘So much of county politics seems to be about access and personal relationships rather than qualifications and abilities,’ said Josh Skaller, a Democratic district leader in Brooklyn. ]Those Board of Elections jobs are chips that can be traded.'”
UPDATE “Dems Launch Proxy War On Medicare For All” [The Daily Poster]. “Now, U.S. Rep. James Clyburn — one of the Democratic Party’s most outspoken opponents of Medicare for All — is intervening to try to halt Turner’s rise in the polls. Clyburn has vacuumed in more than $1 million from donors in the pharmaceutical industry — and he previously made headlines vilifying Medicare for All during the 2020 presidential primary. When a Medicare for All bill was first introduced in 2017, Clyburn signed on as a co-sponsor. But two years later, Clyburn removed himself as a sponsor and turned against single-payer health insurance, arguing that it would hurt the party in congressional elections.”
“A New Darkness Falls on the Trump Movement” [Politico]. “And yet, there were signs this rally was different. During past rallies, Trump’s supporters applauded Trump as he trashed immigrants, demonized the media, and echoed his calls to lock up his opponents. But they also felt hopeful the real estate magnate was giving them a voice. There was a sense that this charismatic outsider would empower them to change Washington, and a joyfulness that came with being part of a movement. Now, they felt cheated. ‘WE THE PEOPLE ARE PISSED OFF,’ one popular rally T-shirt read. Their champion was no longer in office, which means he had been stripped of any real power. It seemed to feed a sense of desperation, even from Trump himself. ‘The subject matter is somewhat depressing,’ he said of his own speech.”
“Trump Organization expected to be charged with tax crimes on Thursday” [CNN]. “The Manhattan district attorney’s office is expected to charge former President Donald Trump’s namesake company and its chief financial officer, Allen Weisselberg, as soon as Thursday with tax crimes in connection with an array of perks and benefits awarded to employees, a person familiar with the matter tells CNN. Though Trump faced multiple federal and state prosecutorial inquiries during his administration, the district attorney’s indictment would be the first to charge his company, the Trump Organization, with allegedly criminal conduct. Trump himself isn’t expected to be charged, his lawyer has said.”
Realignment and Legitimacy
Incredible that 600,000 Americans died from COVID, tens of millions more lost their livelihoods, and hundreds of millions sacrificed their lives for more than a year – and absolutely nothing changed. No universal healthcare, no basic income guarantee. Nothing.
— Gravel Institute (@GravelInstitute) June 13, 2021
Given the vast increase of squillionaire wealth during the pandemic, it’s almost as if capitalism is not resilient, but anti-fragile, a depressing idea.
“Vermont Senate overrides vetoes of noncitizen voting measures, approves housing bill” [VT Digger]. “The Vermont Senate on Thursday narrowly overrode Gov. Phil Scott’s vetoes of charter changes that allow noncitizens in Winooski and Montpelier to vote in local elections. ‘Voters in Montpelier and Winooski came out in favor of legal resident non-citizen voting, and the Legislature, after rigorous debate and deliberation, supported their ability to regulate their own local elections in this way,’ Senate President Pro Tempore Becca Balint, D-Windham, said in a statement. ‘Today’s veto override votes continue Vermont’s track record supporting strong citizen engagement, and uphold the tradition of local control in our towns and cities,’ she added….
Employment Situation: “June 2021 ADP Employment Grew 692,000” [Econintersect]. “ADP reported non-farm private jobs growth of 692,000 which was within expectations…. Last month’s employment gain was revised downward.”:
Tech: “This one email explains Apple” [TechCrunch]. “[T]his exchange is a wildly important bit of ephemera that underpins the entire app ecosystem era and an explosive growth phase for internet technology. And it’s also an encapsulation of the kind of environment that has made Apple an effective and brutally efficient company for so many years.” • Interesting email exchange, almost as terse and effective as the exchange between Jobs and Adobe CEO Bruce Chizen on wage collusion.
Tech: “Mobile phone ban plan to improve school behaviour” [BBC]. “Mobile phone bans and other ways to create ‘calm classrooms’ are to be considered to help improve discipline in England’s schools. Education Secretary Gavin Williamson said he wants to make the school day mobile-free, describing the devices as ‘distracting’ and ‘damaging.’ A consultation will ask the views of teachers and parents on how to promote good behaviour.”
Tech: “Ms. Categorized: Gender, notability, and inequality on Wikipedia” [New Media and Society]. “Drawing on ethnographic observations, interviews, and quantitative analysis of web-scraped metadata, this article demonstrates that biographies about women who meet Wikipedia’s criteria for inclusion are more frequently considered non-notable and nominated for deletion compared to men’s biographies. This disproportionate rate is another dimension of gender inequality previously unexplored by social scientists and provides broader insights into how women’s achievements are (under)valued.”
Labor Markets: “Some companies are turning to technology to address concerns over working conditions in warehouses. The U.S. supply-chain arm of supermarket-owner Ahold Delhaize is rolling out new wearable robotic technology…. that workers strap on to help ease the physical strain of lifting heavy items. The devices known as exosuits are the latest tool that retailers and logistics companies are deploying in distribution centers where demand is off the charts and hiring workers is harder than ever” [Wall Street Journal]. “The warehousing sector has been coping with worker safety and health questions in operations that have boomed during the pandemic. Designer Verve Motion says its battery-powered exosuits are a step beyond the back belts workers often wear, with sensors and algorithms helping them perform often-grueling jobs. The grocer says making its operations a “more compelling” place to work was critical in its move to the technology.”
Today’s Fear & Greed Index: 41 Fear (previous close: 43 Fear) [CNN]. One week ago: 35 (Fear). (0 is Extreme Fear; 100 is Extreme Greed). Last updated Jun 30 at 12:43pm.
“CDC Director Addresses Confusion Over Mask Policies Amid Delta Variant Spread” [NBC New York]. “Walensky said Wednesday on NBC’s ‘Today’ show that ‘we’ve always said that local policymakers need to make policies for their local environment,’ but added CDC guidelines broadly indicate those who are vaccinated don’t need to wear masks. ‘Those masking policies are not to protect the vaccinated, they’re to protect the unvaccinated,’ she says. ‘If you are vaccinated, you are safe from the variants that are circulating here in the United States.’ Walensky said there are areas of low vaccination in the country where cases are rising, and in that situation, the CDC is suggesting that policies be made at the local level.'” • Throwing in the towel on masks, good job.
“Protecting The Immuno-Compromised Against COVID Could Be Key To Ending The Pandemic” [Iowa Public Radio]. “There’s mounting research to suggest that protecting people who are immuno-compromised from getting COVID is important not just for their sake – it could be critical in the effort to end the pandemic for everyone…. ‘So essentially this HIV-positive woman became a cauldron for the creation of a whole lot of new variants,’ [Dr. Salim Abdool Karim of South Africa’s Centre for the AIDS Programme of Research] says. ‘She literally re-created the steps.’ Abdool Karim, who also co-chairs South Africa’s advisory committee on COVID-19, says his takeaway is this: “Immuno-suppressed individuals are really important in this pandemic.’ Protecting them needs to be made a top priority — to keep them safe and to slow the emergence of variants, he says.” • The Alpha/B.1.1.7 variant originally emerged in Kent in the UK, a “cauldron” of immune-compromised people.
“Iowa Rivers 1 to 45: The Fair, the Marginal & the Ugly” [Chris Jones, IIHR Research Engineer]. “Streams flowing to the Missouri River are far worse than Upper Mississippi tributaries. There are some real lost-cause rivers in Western Iowa. I used to hate it when I heard people talk like that, but my thinking has changed. A lot of this has to do with the Missouri River itself. Channelization and flood control on the Missouri have destabilized the outlets of these Iowa streams, many of which have been channelized themselves, all so that we could get a few more acres to farm. The Little Sioux River above Larabee is still a beautiful meandering stream, and the water quality there is far better than the other Missouri tributaries. Lesson: hydrology matters. And manure matters. If you don’t think it does, look at the livestock-dense Floyd River, which somehow managed to have the highest N and the highest P in the state over the past five years. It also has the 3rd-worst turbidity and the 6th-worst E. coli. There is no question this is the worst stream of its size in Iowa. Which is why I do an eye roll every time I hear the ag propagandists say ‘but manure is not allowed to enter streams.’ While that surely must be a joke, folks, water quality in the Floyd is no joke. That is one bad river. If you haven’t yet, see for yourself the Floyd watershed. This is the Iowa the livestock industry wants for you. At the other end is the Upper Wapsi, Bloody Run Creek, and headwater tributaries of the Cedar River. While these streams all carry nitrate (N) on the high side, they have relatively low turbidity and low E. coli. If you’re looking to visit a decent Iowa stream that is reasonably clear and relatively feces-free, draw a line from Webster City (Boone River) to McGregor and go someplace north of it. But don’t wait too long, because the livestock industry has their eye on the area too.”
Our Famously Free Press
“1ST NEWSPAPER DELIVERED TO THE MOON” [USA Today]. • It’s an auction for a [family blogging] NFT.
Pinning this from Adam Tooze:
….. Whatever our choice of terms, we can hardly avoid the conclusion that if there is to be an energy transition, under prevailing conditions (an assumption some may wish to challenge), it is this social class that must make it, simultaneously as decision-makers, consumers and investors. And it must be made across the entire world. .
“‘People are so burned out’: US essential workers struggle as restrictions lifted” [Guardian]. “Workers who were deemed essential during the coronavirus pandemic and publicly praised for continuing to work in-person are now fighting for permanent improvements to working conditions, wages and benefits as safety protections are lifted and they still grapple with the impact of working through the long crisis. Millions of essential workers contracted Covid-19 while working through the pandemic. Thousands died as a result or lost co-workers, friends and family members to the virus. Many who caught the virus still experience long-term symptoms and Covid-19 cases and deaths are still a concern in many areas of the US. This is especially true in low-income, predominantly Black and Latino communities where vaccination rates have been lagging despite these communities being hit hardest by the virus. Now, as Covid-19 restrictions have lifted across swaths of America and the economy has come back to life, many essential workers are still fearful for their safety and angry at their working conditions.” • Remember the HEROES Act? Good times.
“Leaked Memo Shows No Evil Foods Justifying Laying Off Workers With No Severance” [Paul Blest, The Flashpoint]. “At the time, No Evil portrayed the layoffs as necessary in order to ensure the company had a future. Now, new talking points distributed throughout the company by co-founder Sadrah Schadel and obtained by Discourse Blog are trying to explain what the talking points call ‘one of the hardest, most painful decisions our leadership has had to make’: not providing No Evil’s newly unemployed workers with severance.” • Oh, brother.
“Our Endless Dinner With Robin DiAngelo” [Matt Taibbi, TK News]. “You did, because the rule, “If you wrote it, don’t write it again,” has an exception: “Unless it makes money, in which case write it as many times as the market will bear.” Telling affluent white progressives they’re racists and explaining they can buy absolution for $24.95 is fishing for cash with dynamite. DiAngelo is monetizing white guilt on a grand scale, and there’s an extraordinary irony in the fact that she’s got a home-field advantage in this game over someone like, say, Ibram Kendi, because she’s more accessible to people like herself, the same phenomenon she decries. Normally I’d salute the capitalist ingenuity. Unfortunately, like Donald Trump, DiAngelo is both too dim-witted and too terrific an entrepreneur to stop herself from upselling a truly psychotic movement into existence. Nice Racism’s central message is that it’s a necessity to stop white people from seeing themselves as distinct people. ‘Insisting that each white person is different from every other white person,’ DiAngelo writes, ‘enables us to distance ourselves from the actions of other white people.’ She doesn’t see, or maybe she does, where this logic leads. If you tell people to abandon their individual identities and think of themselves as a group, they sooner or later will start to behave as a group. Short of something like selling anthrax spores or encouraging people to explore sexual feelings toward nine year-olds, is there a worse idea than suggesting — demanding — that people get in touch with their white identity?”
News of the Wired
“Conspiracy: Theory and Practice” [Ed Snowden, Continuing Ed]. “It took years — eight years and counting in exile — for me to realize that I was missing the point: we talk about conspiracy theories in order to avoid talking about conspiracy practices, which are often too daunting, too threatening, too total…. Ultimately, the only truly honest taxonomical approach to conspiracy-thinking that I can come up with is something of an inversion: the idea that conspiracies themselves are a taxonomy, a method by which democracies especially sort themselves into parties and tribes, a typology through which people who lack definite or satisfactory narratives as citizens explain to themselves their immiseration, their disenfranchisement, their lack of power, and even their lack of will.”
Readers, feel free to contact me at lambert [UNDERSCORE] strether [DOT] corrente [AT] yahoo [DOT] com, with (a) links, and even better (b) sources I should curate regularly, (c) how to send me a check if you are allergic to PayPal, and (d) to find out how to send me images of plants. Vegetables are fine! Fungi and coral are deemed to be honorary plants! If you want your handle to appear as a credit, please place it at the start of your mail in parentheses: (thus). Otherwise, I will anonymize by using your initials. See the previous Water Cooler (with plant) here. Today’s plant (TH):
TH writes: “Lavender, Tesoro Adobe Historic Park in Valencia, California.”
Readers: Water Cooler is a standalone entity not covered by the recently concluded and — thank you! — successful annual NC fundraiser. So if you see a link you especially like, or an item you wouldn’t see anywhere else, please do not hesitate to express your appreciation in tangible form. Remember, a tip jar is for tipping! Regular positive feedback both makes me feel good and lets me know I’m on the right track with coverage. When I get no donations for five or ten days I get worried. More tangibly, a constant trickle of donations helps me with expenses, and I factor in that trickle when setting fundraising goals:
Here is the screen that will appear, which I have helpfully annotated.
If you hate PayPal, you can email me at lambert [UNDERSCORE] strether [DOT] corrente [AT] yahoo [DOT] com, and I will give you directions on how to send a check. Thank you!2:00PM Water Cooler 6/8/2021
Infuriating that the Public Health kakistocracy is still perpetuating nonsensical masking advice, but at this point I must admit there’s no scope for a reset. Too much terrible advice rendered; too much trust erased.
‘If you are vaccinated, you are safe from the variants that are circulating here in the United States.’
Wrong! You are “safer”, not “safe”. Can the CDC just be straight with us?
Is that a trick question?
Professional/non-professional dichtomy at work.
(Paraphrased from Jeff Schmidt’s Disciplined Minds)
Non professionals get explicit instructions and procedures at work (for the most part) ‘do it this way, because we say so’. Professionals get general goals, and it’s up to them and their ideological upbringing/training to do the job in a way that lines up with the organization’s priorities.
Among people who have deeply internalized ‘because The Economy’ attitudes, a nuanced report of vaccine / antivirals / NPI efficacy is not a problem, because you can trust them to take Mr. Market’s needs into account when (somehow) “calculating their personal risk tolerance”.
Everybody else, with suspect credentials, just gets marching orders, lest they feel that prioritizing short/long term health is a better call.
Curly Dan — Wrong is right.
For example, of the 15 positive Covid cases at an Oregon nursing home, 60% were among residents and staff who were fully vaccinated.
From the subhead of that story: “Only the two unvaccinated residents were hospitalized.”
I’m curious if these cases were discovered because they were displaying symptoms or if they were asymptomatic and only discovered by frequent testing.
It’d be even more interesting to know if tracing indicated that vaccinated individuals caused the in outbreak.
It fits with what I hear. The vaccines do not cause sterilizing immunity in the upper respiratory region. They do seem to prevent severe disease. But that means the vaccinated can be effective spreaders. Especially since the CDC in its infinite wisdom,, has told them they don’t have to mask anymore.
It would indeed be helpful to know the issues you raise. LA County in Calif is now telling people to wear mask in doors even if vaccinated.
I understand Illinois is also asking all to mask. It is terrifying me to see how many elderly people I have seen out and unmasked in the store.
No one really knows how protected the elderly or immune compromised are by the vaccine. I
I also see many young adults not masking. The CDC and Walensky are going to get a lot of people killed.
Could it be that the CDC’s secret goal is to keep covid alive?
reckon there’s a few steps left in the Reset, yet.
the last year and a half have been one long, slow , rolling 9-11…on top of the previous(2015-present) long, slower, rolling 9-11 that was/is trump.
chaos is a ladder.
however…where i roam in texas, from northwestern(rural) hill country to san antonio, around the medical center….general sentiment seems to be that it’s over.
being contrary,i keep my bandana on, and pull it up when i enter a crowded place…and give not one damn who doesn’t like it, or gives me the stink eye.
luckily, most places i go are relatively sparsely populated…if not entirely empty.
(big hardware stores in fancypants “The Rim” at 9 or 10 AM)
wife’s having trouble scheduling vax…due to coordinating it with chemodays…can’t overlap, apparently.
and, she must have a couple of days afterwards to set aside and be sick…which, since she had the virus, we are assured will happen with the second dose.
youngest wants a vax…but so far, to my knowledge, the pfizer is the only one approved for 15.75 year olds.
(i mean, i’ll sign a waiver for the moderna…i just loathe pfizer, and wouldn’t loan them a stick)
eldest shrugs it off…19.74 YO and working all the time.
Mom(79) will only contemplate getting a vax if she’s physically in the hospital(history of panic attacks/some weird vagus nerve thing when poked thus)…which is, predictably, impossible out here, right now(with all the chaos in our lives right now).
(and she’s currently suffering from delusional parasitosis—diagnosed, by me, with as much scientific rigor as i can muster(including yellow stickytraps and a microscope)—which, let me tellya…is just what i needed right about now).
The headlines about the Delta variant make it out to be scary stuff but then I came across an article that mentioned a June 25 report from Public Health England entilted SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern and variants under investigation in England that lists the fatality rate of Delta at 0.1% vs. 1.9% for Alpha. See page 8 here: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/997418/Variants_of_Concern_VOC_Technical_Briefing_17.pdf
Can anyone with better skills in public health tell me if this is not as good news as it sounds?
Here is the table on page 8:
Delta could be hitting a younger and healthier population (and death/hospitalization should not be the only metrics).
Alt Covid sites are saying the virus is doing what all viruses do and becoming more infectious but less deadly. If that’s true should we really be fretting about younger people not getting a vaccine that is still experimental even if millions have been jabbed?
What about long covid? Mild cases leave large percentages (20% or more) of sufferers with very long-lasting damage to major organs. So yes, they don’t die right away. But the fact that very large numbers may be permanently disabled should be foregrounded as one of the principal metrics to be concerned about.
Source for your statistic? And if Delta is indeed new then such a statistic based on a different variant may not be relevant.
I’d say “precautionary” should definitely apply to giving vaccines just as much to speculations about the long term effects of Covid itself–especially given that being vaccinated is no guarantee that you won’t still get the disease.
Source: How Common Is ‘Long Covid’? New Studies Suggest More Than Previously Thought
Persistent symptoms, even from mild infections, is a real phenomenon and one not to dismiss so easily.
I guess it’s too early to know but my follow up question would be: what are the rates of “long” covid amongst fully vaccinated “breakthrough” cases?
And side effects and death from the vaccines are real as well. NC’s IM Doc has suggested that the heart damage to some young men from the vaccine will be a lifetime event, not coughing and fatigue a few weeks later.
The problem as always is that the medical authorities speak with certainty while knowing all too little.
Viruses do not have a tendency to become less lethal Hasn’t happened for Ebola. The second wave of the Spanish flu was more deadly.
I think the correct answer is “It’s too early to tell” Cases of delta have only recently been rocketing vertically upward in the UK. In about 2-3 weeks we should know more. It takes a while for the infected to get sick enough to go to hospital, and then some will linger on a ventilator for up to months before dying. So it will take time for the whole thing to settle out.
The UK will give us the answer.
I’d watch Dr John Campbell’s you tube for updates.
My friend the Sage modeller says that Delta has double the morbidity (makes you ill). We do not have stats on mortality yet. The demographic profile (15-25 year olds) of cases means that deaths are rare now. Wales just recorded a death free week despite spiking cases.
The Indian expat communities of the English North and Midlands may be more informative, because it spread like wildfire among vaccine “hesitant” over-occupied multigenerational households with communal prayer practices. However, these data will likely be confounded by ethnicity – the CFR in Indo-Pak-Bangladeshi households has been 3-4x white CFR according to the ICNARC data on patients admitted to ICU.
For the record, he correctly inferred / predicted Re of 2 which is what is observable here in the SW where infection rates have been very low. This is in populations that are 85% immunised – Re in the young must be astronomical.
Our primary age children had their schools closed for a case on Monday (9yr old) and Tuesday (6yr old). We wait with trepidation lest we all go down with it. Meanwhile, “school’s out”: when their isolation ends, term is over. University terms are already over so, apart from an infection wave when students return home, the spreading via student parties (we hear them singing at the Wetherspoons and on their way back up the hill every night) is finished.
The only big driver in play is the European cup and what a driver: case rates have spiked three times higher in the key football supporting audience of 20-40yr old males in Scotland….
This is apparently all fine: even SAGE is advocating for further relaxation. It is basically let it rip among the robust younglings and devil the the immunocompromised or vaccine resistant.
All this with 85% first doses among adults. Delta is going to knock places with lower Vax rates for six when it hits. Watch out, Europe and USA and Australasia….
uptrend for 5 weeks now. still too early?
Likely the vaccines doing their jobs (we hope)
Notable immunologist Trevor Bedford recently estimated that, based on the currently susceptible population and r0, this Delta+ wave could infect 32,000,000 in US before it’s done.
What’s 0.1% of 32m? Would the people working for “alt covid sites” think that was something to worry about?
Wow, businesses are loving this “new COVID normal” of not bothering about customer needs.
I walked into a small coffee shop in town. They have five by ten foot accordion windows open on two sides of the shop. Since restrictions ended today in Washington, and they had these huge open air windows, I asked them if they were going to offer inside seating again. He LITERALLY responded; “Maybe after the summer but maybe not. Why would I, we have been busier than ever”. I replied saying that was a weird thing too say and a woman behind the counter was trying to be cool said I should “flow with the weird”. I told her it was dismissive and she seemed to freak and was suddenly “compassionate”.
He said things like, well I do not want to have to close it all back down in the fall if it comes back. There were literally five tables in the business. Do you know how hard this makes it fro me to meet people? Do they know what this is doing to us as a culture? Instead of listening to any of the reason why I thought it would benefit me as a customer the owner kept responding with why it benefitted him.
Greed rules this country, not science or compassion.
The county I live in has the highest vaccination rate in the entire country. Something like 98% of senior citizens are vaccinated. We had 9 cases today out of a population of over a million people. My mother’s assisted living facility is still not doing any outings with the residents, “Due to the covid situation.” Or is it maybe because for a year they haven’t had to pay to take residents on outings and don’t plan on doing it ever again?
THIS! My grandmother (age 98!) was able to leave the assisted living facility for lunch with us last weekend. They had NO COVID cases at all during the last year and I believe that most of the residents have been vaccinated. However, they are still wearing masks inside the facility unless they are in their rooms. They just now are allowing the dining room to be used (instead of delivering to the rooms) but it is 2 people to a large table so they are 6 feet apart which is awesome (not) for people who are hard of hearing. They still aren’t doing “shopping” outings like they used to or allowing any group activities inside the facility.
My grandmother is still pretty sharp although she has mobility issues, and she has a large support network. For the last year, my aunt called her on the phone multiple times/week and dropped off “care packages” for her. My Dad called her once a week. I wrote her letters a couple of times/month and shipped her a box of books for her reading every month. She pays extra to have cable tv in her room and rejoiced when baseball started back up. She seems to have come thru the whole experience ok. However, she was talking about some of her friends that she is just seeing now after a year of isolation to their rooms. Her comment was “they’ve aged 10 years in the last 1 year, they can’t carry a conversations anymore, and some of them are like zombies.”
It is so very sad.
We have an amazing little sandwich & salad place here that has been in the top 100 of all restaurants in the USA for a couple years on Yelp, and they bought new digs in 2019 scheduled to open in April 2020 after remodeling in what can be looked at as classic bad timing, and when they finally did open, it had more the feel of a food truck, as you ordered outside and couldn’t eat inside. They had their biggest week ever last month, as tribute to their fare.
They’ve got a 2 level outside patio near the river where 20 can eat, but the owner told me they were in no hurry to open indoor dining area for say 20 people as they didn’t want to be arbitrating mask disputes between customers and laying down the law.
That’s the issue, is it cost effective for just one customer? Another item, it also prevents loitering and keeps people moving. I recall in preCovid all the drama when a coffee shop would kick people out for not making a purchase or having to put locks on bathroom doors to keep away the homeless, which is another thing most customers don’t like.
With all the talk of delta and flu season coming in a couple of months, what’s the incentive to go all in on the “dine in” experience when govt has shone they will happily shut you down all willy nilly.
I agree that many people who run businesses run them from their own perspective and needs rather than trying to meet their customers’ needs. I too wonder where customer service has gone and did long before the pandemic hit. But, and this is not both sides-ism, owners are people too and have suffered from the pandemic as individuals (some more than others obviously). Restaurants and coffee shops in particular suffer often from unreasonable, demanding people (e.g. I know a youngster who works at Starbucks part-time and the verbal abuse people throw her way astonishes me). So, I do not blame small business owners for not wanting to change and then have to make more changes down the road, or to be the mask police or to check for proof or residency or vaccination status or whatever other unknowns might be coming down the pike. It is still scary times for everyone, confidence has been shaken and I think it is a little early to expect people to be calm and rational. I don’t know when I will finally start making plans to visit friends and family who are far enough away that overnights and/or flights are required but I am not ready to do it yet and if had a restaurant, I’d still be running take-out and patio only.
I cannot imagine any business willing to check ones papers or demand to see medical records for proof of anything. That will likely induce a lot of hostility among the public. Limiting indoor access avoids that issue entirely.
Good point about people. Masking, allowing people to be invisible, has allowed people to go feral. Everything from hello to holding doors open has gone by the wayside. Big problem with masking is allows people to feel anonymous and act in a way that is not civil but more savage. Perhaps this may explain what we see happening during air travel now.
be the palliative:
i open/hold doors for everyone, everywhere i go, and never stopped.
shun assholes, and ally with their targets behind the counter.
after all, i haven’t heard the Nword uttered in public in over 30 years(in rural texas and the south in general through all that time=it’s a faux pas, now)
as a part of a civilisation, each member thereof has at least a vote of one in all situations.
I like your word choice palliative Amfortas! You are right, there is no need to stop the civilized gestures. I have to say though, I go back and forth on holding doors. Some people genuinely don’t want to get that close. I have to try to remember that they’re being cautious, not rude.
Almost all the places to eat here are still doing take out with some tables outside but from what they telling us, they are not opening back up either. Mostly they do not feel safe. Others have just opened and people are all inside unmasked. Most of the Starbucks around here are still keeping drive through and online pick up orders. No inside eating. Grocery stores still have cashiers masked. It’s a mixed bag.
I drove from NC to WA and very Starbuck was open for inside seating.
If I had a business I certainly would want to please my customers, but would not want to accomodate one customer by alienating many other customers. I definitely would not want to make my own life harder than I needed to. I also would do my best to accept that I am not able to please everybody, so some people will not choose to be my customer. If I had too few customers to pay my staff well, I would have to consider closing my business, but if I had enough customers to prosper I would decide that I was doing pretty much the right thing.
The following comment is one I left here at NC back on May 10th.
Listened to a very interesting story on NPR last week, long story, short, a group of stubborn anti-vaxers was influenced to soften their stance when Chris Christie told his story of catching Covid in the White House, which included the fact that a couple people related to WH staff died of Covid brought home from the WH.
IIRC, they were surprised by the fact that these people actually died.
All this after three failed focus group attempts to find a way to influence those with anti-vax attitudes.
I imagine that having a spouse die a horrible death on a ventilator would do the trick too.
I say put Chris Christie on TV to tell his story.
Re: Morning Consult Tweet/Universal concrete material benefits
Scanned Washington Times op-ed section today and found the following authored by R Senator Tuberville. Someone in his state may want to send a DM and alert him to the direction of this wind in light of the 56% of conservative voters who support Medicare-negotiated drug prices. His main contention seems to be (from the link), “Pharmacy Benefit Managers are essentially middlemen in the prescription drug supply chain. More often, PBMs use their bargaining power to bring the cost of a drug down but pocket the difference for themselves.” I did not read about big pharma’s profit margins, so no biggie (/s).
His solution is to sponsor a bill to empower local, independent pharmacies to set prices. Notice the use of “marketplace” at the end of the quote below.
Quotes from the Senator’s piece:
Our great country was founded on hard work and competition. That sense of grit is the main principle in our free-market economy where consumers have choice…That’s why I’ve cosponsored the Prescription Pricing for the People Act. This bipartisan bill requires the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to study anticompetitive practices by PBMs within the pharmaceutical supply chain. Independent pharmacy owners and the patients they serve deserve better. I firmly believe we can bring back free and fair competition to the health care marketplace that will benefit consumers and providers alike.
similar argle-bargle around climate and ag policy:
nowhere is antitrust mentioned when lamenting the lead weights applied by Big Ag to actually doing anything meaningful.
I mean…i’d happily accept a government check to grow grass and trees in a sustainable, regenerative manner(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dehesa)…but that’s too simple, it seems.
and as far as the gop creatures who get up on their back legs about gubmint checks to ordinary farmers…seems like handing out large sums in the hinterlands might cause a few folks out this way to think twice about straight ticketing R’s all the time.
Might even give some rural Dems something to yell about during their campaigns.
it’s stupid to do it the way they’re doing it.
(unless the goal is for the issue to fall off the edge, unnoticed…in which case, it’s working perfectly)
Anyone waiting to dance on Donald Rumsfield’s grave, get your dancing shoes ready:
Do you suppose he’s exploring a few unknown unknowns?
More likely the geology of the holly acres.
It will be interesting to see if the liberal media give him the John McCain treatment. This CNBC obit does mention that he was “criticized” by some for his Iraq policies, but it is pretty mild.
I’m saving my dancing shoes for his buddy Cheney. I’ll be channeling Gene Kelly that day.
Sadly missed – by nobody that got sent to Iraq or Afghanistan.
Rumsfeld is dead!
One certainty: he and Gravel will not cross paths in their afterlives.
Into the unknown unknown he goes
And wishing the opposite of RIP
But this clip stops a few seconds too soon. It was just about to reveal that even more evil sibling survived and would have to be overcome. See my comment above.
Not so long ago, Rumsfeld was the principal and officially designated Team D Folk Devil.
Now watch them live up to praise him as a “statesman”, “patriot”, “visionary” , etc..
Oh No! I wonder is they will give him a big funeral in DC. They seem to love to do that for evil Jerks like HW Bush and McCain. Oh and of course the NBC historian our ever sanitizing history reviser Mr. Meechim.
Another opportunity for W to slip candy to Michelle
Maybe they can invite Bill Cosby to the funeral now-
The Rev Kev
June 30, 2021 at 7:17 pm
I wonder how many POOR people who are in PA prisons who have suffered procedural irregularities far, FAR greater than Cosby languish there….because the supreme courts in this land only pay attention to the pleadings of the wealthy….
And the funny thing about this is – how is it, just LIKE with Epstein, the deals that prosecuters make are never examined? NO REPERCUSSIONS EVER for poor prosecutoral judgement or stupidity??? NO consequences ever for letting the rich get away with things. Explains a LOT.
Epstein doesn’t get any serious prosecutions, and neither does Cosby.
Mere coincidence /s
fresno dan – I can’t see it in the news at the moment but there was an image of him giving a black power salute so you can see that this is the way that he is going to play his prosecution. That it was because of his colour. Dozens of women coming forward with their stories and he gets out on a technicality? Will we be reading soon of how Harvey Weinstein is getting released because a prosecutor “forgot” to touch second base?
His co-star Phylicia Rashad is copping a lot of flack over a tweet of support for him. She is apparently taking up a university job soon so back-peddled on that tweet but the internet never forgets-
The AP is first out of the gate:
Rumsfeld, a cunning leader who oversaw a ruinous Iraq war
Hard as it is to believe, the AP’s motto is Advancing the power of facts.
 The poor thing.
 Many of whom were wounded because they were sent into battle with inadequate protective armor.
Wasn’t Rumsfeld the one that defended the use of stress positions in “enhanced interrogations” by saying “I stand all day and it doesn’t bother me.” Good stuff.
Maybe they can make NFTs on his “snowflakes” to cash in on him now that he is dead-
You go to Limbo with the life you’ve led, not the life you wish you had led.
‘Teen Vogue’ schooling the main stream media on how it is done-
That Gravel Institute tweet is right on. Many, many business functions are going right back to normal. Most have set the Normality date as around 9/1 or 10/1. That’s when most of these aid programs end, except for child tax credit.
I don’t think that it will stay that way, however. The evictions, the work from home pressure, the shortages and inflation means that we will be seeing the Covid long tail for the next few years, at the least.
9/11 wrecked America for about a decade and a half, until around 2017 when Trump apparently became the bigger threat than terrorism. Seems to me Covid stuff will be around for two decades, until the next crisis.
and why not? Trillions to be made overnight!
Bret Weinstein and Heather Hayer, DarkHorse clip, utube ~14 minutes. Myth, martrydom, and big tech
DeSantis vetoes bipartisan bill that would have expunged minors’ criminal records [Tampa Bay Times]
The road to 2024 is paved with bad intentions.
Can they override the veto?
Just want to apologize for my state’s Jim Clyburn and his crusade against Nina Turner. Clearly the black misleadership class (ht BAR) brooks no rivals.
In my ranking of despicable politicians, there is a lot of competition at the top. But I have to say that Clyburn is way up there these days.
Here’s hoping Clyburn and company are as unsuccessful as the backers of Michelle Caruso-Cabrera.
Do you know how long it took Boston Dynamics/Google to get the gait almost looking natural? It’s worth celebrating
Next week he’s scheduled to twerk and do back flips. Look for it on the MSNBC special.
Greg, what impressed me was the fruit salad on that Marine’s chest.
I have an aunt and an uncle who reached the rank of Gunnery Sergeant and have had quite a few ex and retired Marine friends.
Biden doesn’t deserve it but he Marines are sending their best.
I could say the same for most presidents…
Boston Dynamics? The White House has used Disney Animatronics to “animate” a President ever since Reagan was killed by Hinkley in 1981. Disney got so good at it that Firesign Theatre had a ‘bit’ about it a decade before Reagan was shot.
1 Any NC COVID experts have an estimate on when Novavax will be available here in USA?
2 Would it be advisable for someone who already is fully vaccinated with Johnson, to also get Novavax when it becomes available?
Given the great work you do day in and day out, I feel weird complaining, but the “wage collusion” link for Bruce Chizen and Steve Jobs does not work for me.
“SORRY, WE CAN’T FIND THAT PAGE!
You tried to find: bruce%20chizen
We can’t locate the page you’re looking for. Try some of the options below to find what you want:”
I tried some options, but couldn’t find the magic words.
Biden outlined his hopes to give tax breaks to ordinary families before dropping into a hushed tone. Leaning forward on the platform, Biden whispered: ‘Hey guys, I think it’s time to give ordinary people a tax break.
Wouldn’t it be ironic if the senile Joe Biden was so demented that he models himself after FDR, the only president he can actually remember? Obama will have effectively screwed up everything the Democrats gave him to fix.
This will be like watching a real life episode of Bullworth. Can’t wait until 2024 when senile FDR runs against senile Mussolini. I hope I’m dead by then.
“Joe Biden Whispers Again During Speech After White House Video Went Viral”
I have seen this whisper in previous video clips going back years. It’s his style. Usually it will be to say something like that (whisper) we are going to have to cut social security (/whisper) or some other piece of evil.
Not sure why it’s news, really. It’s slightly bizarre I suppose.
Travel to Hawaii is coming back. Here’s a press release from the Hawaii Tourism Authority. Heard about this on local TV news this morning.
Hawaii Visitor Statistics Released for May 2021
A complete ban on all campfires means no more s’mores, which are kind of icky & messy anyhow. I’m relieved that we’ll leave it to the electric company up top to be the cause of mayhem when lightning its load, instead of some touron flicking his or her Bic.
It was 94 degrees in the Giant Forest on Sunday @ 6,500 feet, the heat dome doesn’t care if you are at altitude, edge to troglodytes.
In some bizarre news, CNN’s Jim Acosta followed Trump to his rally and shouted a question from the press area, asking Trump if he intended to “apologize” for the January 6 riot at the US Capitol. Hilarity ensued-
You wonder about Acosta’s thought processes where he thought that this would be a really good idea. It may have made him feel good about himself but all it did was to galvanize more support for Trump. Just like old times.
Did CNNs head honchos tell Acosta to do somethiong along this line to try to get the old TDS lightning to strike their ratings? I wouldn’t put something this cynical past that congeries of cretinous catamites.
Unbelievable. 121F in Canada. This broke a couple of records.
It does seem almost impossible. It’s truly shocking. It is significantly hotter than our all time high in Tucson, and this town’s pretty hot.
Rev, the thing that struck me as bizarre today were the revelations of Sig Thordarson about his false testimony in the Assange Case.
The fact that the FBI enlisted and protected a registered sex offender and accused embezzler was no surprise, nor that he was allowed to continue his criminal activity under their protection.
That is the state of the Nation as the 4th of July approaches.
Even more bizarre Tom is the media blackout on this story as pointed out by Caitlin Johnstone-
To clarify, I’m surprised Thorvardson came forward, not that the FBI would suborn perjury or allow a criminal under their nominal control ( Whitey Bulger comes to mind) to commit Heinous criminal acts with impunity.
It’s nothing new, just more overt.
I shouldn’t laugh. It is awful that it is this way. But your clarification did make me laugh.
Oh, Free Julian Assange.
Go take a hike dept: Big Pine Lakes & Palisades Glacier.
The eastern flank of the Sierra Nevada is much more dramatic than the western slopes here where it passes many lifezones before finally giving way to treeline with granite predominating.
Its more of a whoomp, there it is approach and suddenly you’re encircled by many spired cathedrals on high after only exiting your car @ the trailhead, its no wonder this area was called ‘America’s Switzerland’ as it has the look with 3 of the Big Pine Lakes displaying turquoise water from glacial melt of the Palisade Glacier on high-the southernmost glacier in North America.
Aside from mossies in V-pack formations descending upon us on fire and forget missions, an unforgettable walk.
This glacier and all others in the Sierra were formed in the little ice age when the Earth dipped a couple of degrees in temperature, and now we’re going the other way. What surprises does Mother Nature have planned for us?
Delta variant confusion my experience.
Just adding this because this latest Covid shape shift has basically the same symptoms of the common cold & by coincidence just over a week ago I started by way of one very runny nostril a dose that developed into a continuous cough that felt as though my lungs were going to have an out of body experience. As it had only been a week rather than the 2 weeks needed to gain the full effect from my 2nd dose of AZ, I rang my Doctor who urged me to get a PCR test which was negative. It doesn’t help of course that the GP’s are only dealing with patients over the phone, as I would have liked a stethoscope examination of my wheezing lungs.
I dosed myself up as per the FLCCC i-mask protocol minus the Ivermectin as it’s not available in the UK, while zombie like stayed in bed. A week later I’m on the mend while still occasionally coughing & sneezing up green stuff. Pretty much overdoing it for a few weeks prior to getting it, but I can’t recall getting something that bad during the Summer, although I am now heading to the stage when I will fit the Beatles song When I’m 64.
Dr. John Campbell expressed doubts about the latest Health secretary’s assertion that the vaccines give full cover for the Delta, as IMO Sajid Javid is a pretty loathsome creature who could be capable of policies that would lead to an eventual Omega, I would agree with that, but hopefully there will be some clarification of the truth of it.
Perhaps much ado about nothing but if it becomes widespread in the US, I think the latest disguise particularly as the weather edges towards Winter might be a cause for concern & something to look out for.