By Lambert Strether of Corrente.
Patient readers, I will be taking a holiday breather, and running an abbreviated Water Cooler though January 3, 2022 (may it be a better year). Please consider this an open thread, and talk amongst yourselves. –lambert
Bird Song of the Day
From the media notes: “Calls and eventually crowing from a group of four hens and one rooster foraging in the shade at the edge of a field.” So, a bonus hen.
Here are a couple Covid charts. Case count by United States regions:
We’re gonna need a bigger chart. I have helpfully added an anti-triumphalist “Fauci Line.” Worth noting the case count is probably an undercount. Home tests don’t get counted, and not everybody can go get a test.
Because hospitalizations and deaths lag, we won’t have a complete picture for the United States population — which is different from South Africa’s, the UK’s, and indeed every country, both demographically, and with respect to vaccination and co-morbidities like obesity — for another two weeks or so. I would be happy indeed if we lucked out, and Omicron indeed did turn out to be “mild.” However, I’n brain-meltingly enraged at our political class, which allowed the notion that Omicron would be “mild” to take root and flourish before the evidence for the United States was in. It’s the very reverse of the Precautionary Principle, and insanely dangerous in the midst of a pandemic, at least to public health, if there is such a thing anymore. Couldn’t these purveyors of hot takes have waited two weeks?
Here are the CDC’s rapid riser counties as of 12/23/2021:
Thanks to the sharp eyes of alert reader ChrisFromGeorgia, I have helpfully dotted the major cities that are also rapid riser counties — in blue (plus Denver and Nashville). Looks like those Blue Cities have some sort of Enemy Within thing going on…. (Chicago isn’t red, but pink, so no dot.)
Today looks worse, especially in the lower Mississippi.
Looking on the bright side:
The CDC shortening isolation time to 5 days should be taken as evidence of how quickly US businesses' would collapse under a general strike if one were to ever to manifest. If they can't afford to wait 5 days, they certainly won't be able to sustain a month long strike.
— Joseph R Reagan (@JosephRReagan) December 29, 2021
Contact information for plants: Readers, feel free to contact me at lambert [UNDERSCORE] strether [DOT] corrente [AT] yahoo [DOT] com, to (a) find out how to send me a check if you are allergic to PayPal and (b) 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 (KS):
KS writes: “Anghiari, Italy, Tuesday morning. There are plants.” There are indeed; it’s a lovely landscape.
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