2:00PM Water Cooler 12/30/2021

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

A blackbird, or “calling bird,” or (originally) “colly bird.”

* * *

Here are a couple Covid charts. Case count by United States regions:

Jaw-dropping. Dumbfounding. Flabbergasting. Impressive. The anti-triumphalist black “Fauci Line” seems beside the point. We are in unknown territory on cases alone. (Worth noting the case count is probably an undercount. Home tests don’t get counted, and not everybody can go get a test.)

NOT UPDATED 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.

* * *

Christmas (1):


Christmas (2):

Gorgeous manuscripts!

* * *

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 (Re Silc):

Re Silc writes: “Pear blossom. Never in December before. Chapel Hill, NC.”

* * *

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About Lambert Strether

Readers, I have had a correspondent characterize my views as realistic cynical. Let me briefly explain them. I believe in universal programs that provide concrete material benefits, especially to the working class. Medicare for All is the prime example, but tuition-free college and a Post Office Bank also fall under this heading. So do a Jobs Guarantee and a Debt Jubilee. Clearly, neither liberal Democrats nor conservative Republicans can deliver on such programs, because the two are different flavors of neoliberalism (“Because markets”). I don’t much care about the “ism” that delivers the benefits, although whichever one does have to put common humanity first, as opposed to markets. Could be a second FDR saving capitalism, democratic socialism leashing and collaring it, or communism razing it. I don’t much care, as long as the benefits are delivered. To me, the key issue — and this is why Medicare for All is always first with me — is the tens of thousands of excess “deaths from despair,” as described by the Case-Deaton study, and other recent studies. That enormous body count makes Medicare for All, at the very least, a moral and strategic imperative. And that level of suffering and organic damage makes the concerns of identity politics — even the worthy fight to help the refugees Bush, Obama, and Clinton’s wars created — bright shiny objects by comparison. Hence my frustration with the news flow — currently in my view the swirling intersection of two, separate Shock Doctrine campaigns, one by the Administration, and the other by out-of-power liberals and their allies in the State and in the press — a news flow that constantly forces me to focus on matters that I regard as of secondary importance to the excess deaths. What kind of political economy is it that halts or even reverses the increases in life expectancy that civilized societies have achieved? I am also very hopeful that the continuing destruction of both party establishments will open the space for voices supporting programs similar to those I have listed; let’s call such voices “the left.” Volatility creates opportunity, especially if the Democrat establishment, which puts markets first and opposes all such programs, isn’t allowed to get back into the saddle. Eyes on the prize! I love the tactical level, and secretly love even the horse race, since I’ve been blogging about it daily for fourteen years, but everything I write has this perspective at the back of it.


  1. AndrewJ

    Google News (“All the news you’re supposed to need!”) popped up something genuinely useful for me today, courtesy of the NYT: a preprint, 12/28, “Vaccine effectiveness against hospital admission in South African health care workers who received a homologous booster of Ad26.COV2 [J&J shot] during an Omicron COVID19 wave: Preliminary Results of the Sisonke 2 Study.” N=227,310.

    Good VE against hospitalization (85%) at 1-2 months.

    I got the J&J in May, I’ve been putting off the booster because I remain leery of the mRNA technology. This settles it for me.


    1. ChrisFromGeorgia

      So just out of curiosity are you gonna go with a second J&J shot?

      That would be my approach as I was of a similar mind. I did have some odd side effects after my initial J&J, including a low blood platelet count that seems to have resolved now. I also had some weird swelling/soreness in my neck glands that lasted for about 45 days after the 2-week immune response kicked in. Debating whether or not I should risk a booster. I will probably wait for more blood work.

      1. AndrewJ

        I had 24 hours of the flu after the first one – high temperature, sweats, all that. I was not excited about doing that again, especially if J&J was ineffective for more than a couple weeks against O. I’ve waffled on whether or not to boost at all, first hell no, then yes, then maybe not, then yes again. Short answer, yes, off for another J&J today. It’s the devil I know.

        1. Josef K

          Ha I’ve been in the exact same predicament. J&J’ed early May, had two days of real unpleasantness I’m also not keen to repeat.
          A couple of days ago I went online to schedule a booster but there was no availability for more than 2 weeks, so I retreated to waffling over it some more.
          I also hope to hear you report back…..iow “you first, I’m right behind you!”

        2. John Zelnicker

          AndrewJ – Thank you for the info.

          I got the J&J jab in July and have been debating which booster to get. I had zero side effects. Like you, I’m still leery of the mRNA vaccines.

          I think this info has made the decision for me.

        3. petal

          I had to get a booster by Jan 31 in order to keep my job(and housing). Ran into another ugly brick wall on an exemption. Got the J&J again after a nightmare experience the first time, as I’d like to avoid the mrna options. Colleague suggested pre-treating with my favourite pain killer(she did this and it helped) so I did it(24 hours before and 24 hours after). So far so good after 1 week, surprisingly. The first time around was so bad I was having anxiety attacks just thinking about the prospect of a booster being required. Same colleague has ordered omicron protein to run an elisa(to test if my antibodies bind it), and will be testing my before and after blood samples along with those of others, so we’ll see what that looks like. Should be interesting. But at least now I won’t lose my job or housing. Am continuing with the Vit D3, etc, though. Not going to let my guard down. Good luck!

          1. Nikkikat

            You would lose your job and a place to live? Holy cow, these people running the show are beyond cruel! So Sorry you are put thru that nonsense.

          2. The Rev Kev

            Good to hear that you are having a better time of it this time around, petal. But having your job and housing dependent on taking a vaccine is pretty low.

          3. HotFlash

            My dear petal, so happy to hear you have had a (fairly) happy resolution. Good luck w/minimal side effects, apparently the D3 helps with that, too.

        4. Josef K

          Ha I’ve been in the exact same predicament. J&J’ed early May, had two days of real unpleasantness I’m also not keen to repeat.
          A couple of days ago I went online to schedule a booster but there was no availability for more than 2 weeks, so I retreated to waffling over it some more.
          I also hope to hear you report back.

          1. Nikkikat

            I had the J&J last May. Husband, sister and my Mother also got J&j. None of us had more than a slight case of the chills about 8 hours after injection. None of us had any side effects at all.
            Not sure whether I will do it again. However, if I do that’s the one I would do again. Other family members went for Pfizer and Moderna.
            All had horrific side effects for 2 to 3 weeks after second shot. Very ill for at least 3 days.
            Not a chance I will ever take either of those shots.

          2. ambrit

            Since the “vaccine” rollouts are technically the Third Phase trial, are you sure that you didn’t get a placebo, and are really one of the “Controls?”

            1. Phil in KC

              Can you cite some sources or evidence for the assertion in your question? Specifically, where did You learn that some vaccines are placebos? I don’t believe this to be true.

      2. redleg

        First dose J&J in April knocked me out for 30 hours.
        Brutal severe breakthrough Covid in early October (0 stars, don’t recommend).
        Booster 2 weeks ago and the worst part was removing the bandaid.

        I’m not sure if the Covid made the booster less sleepy for me or not, so buyer beware.
        Looking at this study I’m happy with my choice. Thanks for posting it.

    2. Eloined

      Thanks. Would love for the boosters to have lasting efficacy. That said, median follow-up time from boost for the “1-2 months” period of this study: 32 days (page 4).

        1. Eloined

          That’s from the summary, which appears to be an average across brands. From the body:

          Among those who received an AstraZeneca primary course, vaccine effectiveness was around 60% 2 to 4 weeks after either a Pfizer or Moderna booster, then dropped to 35% with a Pfizer booster and 45% with a Moderna booster by 10 weeks after the booster. Among those who received a Pfizer primary course, vaccine effectiveness was around 70% after a Pfizer booster, dropping to 45% after 10-plus weeks and stayed around 70 to 75% after a Moderna booster up to 9 weeks after booster.

          Moderna Magic.

          But my favorite part of the UK study is this one:

          Those who reported recent foreign travel were excluded from the analysis due to differences in exposure risk and possible misclassification of vaccination status in this group.

          Makes statistical sense, can’t be muddying the data and all. But boy is this true to form.

    3. rowlf

      I anticipate that the mRNA-technology-is-the-only-path-to-salvation stories will appear soon in the US media to show the errors in this study.

      Disclosure: I am J&J vaccinated to get my first (and only) ticket punch on my I’m A Team Player card. At this rate house pets and plants will be recommended to be vaccinated.

  2. allan

    How it started: Apple’s Tim Cook Samples Bollywood, Cricket, in Bid to Woo India [WSJ, 2016]

    Apple Inc. Chief Executive Tim Cook met with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi Saturday, the most high-profile engagement yet on Mr. Cook’s dayslong charm offensive in a crucial but challenging market for the company’s growth. … A senior government official who declined to be named said that Mr. Cook was asked to explore the possibility of setting up a local manufacturing unit in India to meet the growing demand for its products. …

    How it’s going: Women force change at Indian iPhone plant, sick from bad food, crowded dorms [Reuters, 2021]

    For women who assembled iPhones at a Foxconn plant in southern India, crowded dorms without flush toilets and food sometimes crawling with worms were problems to be endured for the paycheck.

    But when tainted food sickened over 250 of the workers their anger boiled over, culminating in a rare protest that shut down a plant where 17,000 had been working. …

    Remembering fondly a B-school dean talking about how capitalism naturally leads to ethical outcomes …

    1. Josef K

      Go Tim! Exploit Chinese workers for years, when that situation sours, move on to another country with an even more deeply unequal society and large population. He probably thinks of time in terms of iphone iterations at this point, so he’s figuring he’ll get to iphone 22 before the India gig sours and he has to move production elsewhere. Sooner or later the US working class may be sufficiently immiserated that he can patriotically announce the iphone 33 will be Made in USA.

    2. ChrisRUEcon

      Man … compare that to the recently announced $180K bonuses for Apple’s “top talent” (via HypeBeast) … #MadreDeDiós

      So Apple can’t afford a cushy Indian campus for its iPhone assembly folks?! #FamilyBlogOuttaHere

      So who’s gonna [@] Cook on #Twitter? (probably me)

    3. lance ringquist

      and they wonder why trump won, and may win again because not one of nafta billy clintons disastrous policies have been reversed.


      “Globalization has made the financial elite who donate to politicians very wealthy. But it has left millions of our workers with nothing but poverty and heartache. America became the world’s dominant economy by becoming the world’s dominant producer … creating the biggest middle class the world has ever known. But then America changed its policy. … We allowed foreign countries to subsidize their goods, devalue their currencies, violate their agreements, and cheat in every way imaginable.”

  3. Darius

    I’m fully aware NC has no control over ad content, but the community should be aware that the Chamber of Commerce ads all over this page decrying the FTC are aimed at defanging trustbuster Lina Khan, one of the very few bright spots of the Biden administration. Tell the Chamber to go back to f#%$ing up the Biden administration’s COVID response.

    1. Harold

      Nothing here. Maybe you recently clicked on something mentioning her and the algorithm decided it was a particular interest of yours and is showing you more of the same. That kind of thing has been my experience.

    2. IMOR

      Those are all over the free tv services like Pluto and Samsung TV, and have been for several weeks. 80% of Americans are concerned by recent proposals that would weaken our most innovative companies!

    3. HotFlash

      They wanna sell me mining equipment, emerging tech stocks, and a really weird bra (at least I think it’s a bra). YouTube wants to sell me a Harley and a ‘masterclass’ with Bill (barf) Clinton. The only thing that advertising has ever been proven to sell is advertising — and those who pay Google ads for ‘targeted placing’ are being rooked. But Yves gets a bit of $$ so I’m willing to click one for the team. The rook-ees may eventually learn : )

    4. Lost in OR

      I used to us Safari. Got lots of ads. Including some very sexy ladies ( and I don’t do porn). I’m using Brave now. No ads. None. Same with Utube.

      My one complaint about Brave is that once when I did a search, somehow the search went through Camcast. So now I have Safari as my default browser but use Brave for my daily browsing.

    5. Alex Morfesis

      Darius…The ads come from your browsing history and koo-keys into your interests… somewhere in your existence you have read or wandered enough into the world of yellow brick roads to suggest to the magic carpet ad bidding databases you are ripe for a yeehaw anytime you see a chamber message….

    6. Anon

      It’s interesting… ads are the only way one can can glean what The Machine thinks of us. I often wonder what my dossier claims about me.

  4. Tom Stone

    I’ve been trying to think of an American President who looked as weak and inept as Joe Biden does right now,less than a year into his term.
    I can’t.
    There’s blood in the water and I’ll be watching the coverage of “The People’s Choice” to gauge how good the odds are that we’ll have our first Female President this year.
    Harris is clearly reaching out to “The right People” and letting them know she’s a team player and fully on board with the program, but is that enough?
    Or will she need to be retired to make room for someone who has the right stuff?
    Good hair,good teeth and a handle big enough for comfort.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      The story is about early year meetings. It would be odd for her not to. My guess is the stories about Pete are big donors are looking for someone else as Harris is just so…Harris. A less polished Hillary without the two presidents for the price of one line or the crazy attacks from the GOP over the years kind of giving her a gleam.

      Re: Biden.

      Besides being the heir to Obama who is not deemed a tough guy, Biden plays a tough guy on tv, so the fecklessness of the former Vice President is particularly noticeable when he isn’t yelling at random people when he is trying to get ice cream. Since he is so aligned with Obama, he can’t really say he was giving being a doormat a reasonable try because we’ve seen it.

      The GOP isn’t even really trying.

      Though, I noticed Hillary slithered out from her hiding spot. Its been unseasonably warm, so I’ve seen suggested she is selling something. She droned on about how Team Blue needs to “run to the right for a change”. I almost wonder if Biden is planning on making personnel changes. His Presidency has been in freefall since Neera joined the staff. Rahm brings no constituency, donors that aren’t accessible to the WH, or even expertise, but Biden has fought for a guy who covered up a child murderer.

      I’m sure Biden knows he’s been emasculated, so what contingent in the White House has likely been advocating dealing away everything and promising leftier types would fall in line? Terry Mac went down. Weird, Hillary didn’t mention him at al.

      1. Amfortas the hippie

        aside from the occasional maintenance nip, i’ve been avoiding that whole strata of our civ for almost a week.
        came back for talk of the farm bill(https://www.politico.com/news/2021/12/28/climate-disaster-relief-farm-bill-democrats-526183).
        your narrative reminds me of that other Tocqueville book…something about the Ancien Regime…
        we haven’t seen our quils mangeant moment, yet…but i reckon it’s coming.

        (and happy new year…when i’m paying attention to the gala set, your comments are one of the things i search out)

      2. Hepativore

        Another problem with Biden is his rather obvious mental decline. I know that his handlers have tried to keep him out of sight for the most part to try and minimize the perception that he is experiencing senility, but I am not sure if he can make it through another presidential campaign as his outbursts seem to be becoming more common.

        Still, I think the Democratic leadership has probably accepted it will lose the presidency in 2024. At this point, they probably feel that it is more important to lose with the right candidate which will preserve and reinforce their donor structure rather than win with the wrong one which would topple their fundraising objectives as no presidency is worth the cost of their donor rolodex.

      3. JBird4049

        >>> She droned on about how Team Blue needs to “run to the right for a change.”

        What is this? Is she getting senile, trying to finish her murder of the Democratic Party(if I can’t have it, nobody can!!), or is being paid again some ungodly amount of money for this bonkers advice?

        I know in the fevered fantasies or delusional thinking of some reactionaries that the Democratic Party is socialist, if not communist, but it has been conservative or right of center for over thirty years now; unless she is talking about the Woken Ones who do espoused anti-liberal ideas, but are ostensibly socially of the left instead of moon barking crazy, albeit with some well funded,
        effective propaganda.

        Enough of my rants. I need to be sure to have some beer and popcorn ready for 2022 Midterms and 2024 General Election Nights. It will be like the Super Bowl.

    2. Huey Long

      I’ve been trying to think of an American President who looked as weak and inept as Joe Biden does right now,less than a year into his term.
      I can’t.

      Buchanan! Between Bleeding Kansas, Dred Scott, and the Utah War he was up to his ears in ess aych eye tee. From there it continued to snowball out of control until secession occurred when he left office.

      1. thoughtfulperson

        This is an important metric as it is hard to fudge it up. Looks like 7 day moving average now 7x the previous peak, single day spike copies/ml now about 3x last winters highest. This is a leading indicator…

        With cases, and so may using unreported instant test strips, both cases and positivity rates are probably incorrect. We’ll see what happens with hospitalization rates etc. Needless to say the calls for more masks make sense, the US CDC looks like they need to go back to school. Pre-school.

    1. ambrit

      I feel like Slim Pickins riding the bomb in “Dr. Strangelove.”
      Aren’t the wastewater readings considered a ‘leading indicator?’

      1. Hana M

        Yup! (to continue the Y axis theme). That was my mental image precisely. And yes, the wastewater readings are a leading indicator and probably the best one we have since it is independent of the increased testing variable. The main confounding variable is that it cannot distinguish between the number of people infected and the degree of viral load per person. Given the wild numbers my guess is that right now it has to be reflecting BOTH more people and more viral load.

      1. Henry Moon Pie

        I caught a couple of minutes of Michael Osterholm, the Minnesota epidemiologist, on CNN. I’ve found him to be pretty reasonable during the past two years. He said to prepare for widespread shutdowns, not by governments but by businesses and institutions shutting down from lack of workers. They didn’t want to hear much from him after that.

        No wonder the CDC shortened quarantines without even trying some data cover.

          1. Harold

            He’s still very much worth listening to. In fact I was thinking what he said today is what Biden should have said. I don’t know why he doesn’t talk much about ventilation. Maybe someone should ask him.

        1. Jason Boxman

          And when considered in this light, the shortened quarantine without any exit gating makes a lot more sense. It’s all about protecting American style neoliberal capitalism. Indeed, from this angle, the vaccine mandates begin to make sense as well. Vaccination means fewer workers out sick, and when out sick, out for less time.

          It’s never been about public health.

        2. The Rev Kev

          Congratulations, businesses. You pushed for “living with the virus” and this is what it looks like. Don’t worry about having most of your staff out sick. Even if they weren’t, most of your customers would be out sick too.

          1. Kfish

            Premier Domicron (Dominic Perrotet, the new New South Wales premier) told us all to use personal responsibility in dealing with Covid. The people of New South Wales promptly stayed home over Christmas. Now he’s encouraging them to go out for New Year’s.

        3. redleg

          Osterholm was one of my MS thesis advisors. I’d trust him with my life. He understands that there are psychological and biological components to public health emergencies, and all kinds of economic issues that affect both of those components. Based on my experience, I wouldn’t classify him as a corporate shill by any stretch. Instead look at it as recognition that people need to pay their bills (my bias is showing). I don’t agree with him on all things, but he doesn’t peddle BS like some “experts” who take dictations from airline execs.
          This, meaning SARS that only kills some of the infected and leaves others asymptomatic, was his worst-case scenario back in 04-05.

  5. dcblogger

    I have been thinking about the Rube Goldberg program for rent relief. It seems that both tenant and landlord needed to complete this long application and then there was a long process after than and almost no rent relief has been paid out. I just assumed that this was a show program so that middle class people would think that something had been done, when in fact nothing has been done. I also assumed that the federal government had a fund available to states and that they then need to apply for it, but there wasn’t actual $, just the idea of it. But now I am beginning to wonder if there was actual $ given out to states that they were supposed to pay out of rent. IF so, what happened to that money? Is it sitting around in a bank, waiting to be spent? Was this some disaster capitalism scam to boost the reserves of politically connected banks with no actual thought that any of the $ would go to rent relief? And if so, how would one find out.

    Or am I being to cynical?

    1. Amfortas the hippie

      i find that–increasingly, over time– cynicism is an adaptive trait, and to be cultivated, wherever possible.
      it has the additional feature of being—also increasingly– predictive…barring gamblers fallacy, etc.

      way back when W was gubernator of texas, somebody gave me a weather rock(it was south austin, early 90’s; the weirdness was at it’s peak).
      i used it as a political devining rock, of sorts.
      when a problem rears it’s head(z), assume the answer(x) forthcoming will be couterproductive.
      when gubmit functionary proposes x, assume x is the worst thing to do.
      and that a negative continuum of consequences will follow.

      aside from a general disappointment with city life, this was a major factor in deciding to go on and run to the hills(texas hill country).

      i don’t regret that decision one bit…and the one bit gets further into the negative every other day or so.
      be Leibowitz, if you can.

  6. The Rev Kev

    Mary had a midwife? Good grief. It is always the obvious things that you never think about. Of course she would have had a midwife – or another woman acting as one. I guess that she never made the final cut in the bible when it was put together to keep things simple. Sort of like how nobody hears much about Jesus’s brothers, even Jimmy Christ.

      1. scott s.

        Well, I suppose there is some question if “Jimmy” as Bishop of Jerusalem was in dispute with Paul, and at least for some Protestant theologians is considered an outlier.

    1. HotFlash

      The Doubting Midwife is a character in medieval Mystery Plays (wonderful, wonderful, hope you have a chance to see some). More here.

      1. The Rev Kev

        Interesting that article. I wonder if to a large extent the Doubting Midwife got pushed aside for Doubting Thomas in the bible. Then again, maybe the religious establishment was uncomfortable with having JC’s life book-ended by two doubters – one at his birth and one after his death. May not have been a good look that. But at least medieval people knew the importance of the midwife in society. That is, until they got pushed aside by credentialed doctors.

        1. Synoia

          I regard the life of Jesus as apocryphal at best, and used to keep the peasants in their place.

          A bit like the Jordan River, which is less wide than many unnamed streams in the rest of the world.

          1. The Rev Kev

            Probably true of all the great religious figures. We see what we want to see and will twist the facts to suit it. Though not a particularly religious person, I cannot help but think that if JC could lived long enough to see what Paul was turning his teachings into, that he would have whumped Paul’s a** like he did the money changers in the temple. Hmmm. That would make a funny short video that.

    2. NotTimothyGeithner

      Legolas wasn’t in “The Hobbit”, but Tolkien confirmed he was hanging around the Elf King’s court. Bilbo just didn’t write about him.

  7. Kevin Carhart

    about general strike

    Idea: it would be interesting to take Gene Sharp’s list of techniques:

    Which I learned about from the sidebar on Corrente with invaluable, brilliant hand-annotations to press coverage showing specific examples of when and how they were used…

    And think through adapting them. I know everybody went out anyhow for the George Floyd demos – I didn’t go, my peers went – but there is no particular followthrough on who got covid because of it, and it was wild-type covid back then. It’s ambiguous what happens out of doors, especially now. People can just rely on non falsifiability and say if I get it oh well. But neuro effects can knock out activists just as much as anyone.

    The tendency towards slow deliberate movements and thinking in advance about what situations are going to be like is at odds with what fast-paced and chaotic demos are like sometimes. One answer is “Go! Do it anyhow!” Self-immolation has kicked a lot of things off, but then that person’s contribution is knocked out for the next time.

    173. Nonviolent occupation
    If this is in an enclosed room, it spreads covid but

    110. Slowdown strike
    111. Working-to-rule strike
    134. Nonobedience in absence of direct supervision
    WFH may have implications for these…

    This is just at a glance. It’s exciting that Kellogg’s and John Deere just happened which means a lot of people were just exposed to fresh concrete examples of a strike.

    Nurses, flight attendants, Kellogg’s and John Deere is substantial and that is nowhere near the end of the groups that may have objections to the new example of CDC pandering to Delta and the deference to capital generally.

    Hybrid forms are interesting. I don’t think much of consumer roles for doing action, and I’m not impressed with “shorting” and securities-centric approaches. But a combination of a strike and something else is different than the two things separately.

    The tenant/renter role in combination with worker strikes is interesting also.

    In what way are we less able to coordinate multiple prongs in the new contours? In what way are we more able?

    Osterholm just said “We are going to see the number of cases in this country [meaning U.S.] rise so dramatically, we are going to have a hard time keeping everyday life operating.”

    Drumlin W might be interested in this, if you see it.

    1. Noone from Nowheresville

      In the US reported number somewhere around 35% unvaccinated.

      Let’s just say 1/3 of the US population is free-range. One third of 330 million is 110 million. Then add in all the countries without the proper financing to pay for the Covid drugs. Other individuals who refuse or can’t get the drugs for whatever reasons – obviously not a monolith group across many different cultures and environments.

      I’d say the un-vaccinated global person is the majority and most likely will be for years to come. And that will be the case even if every single resident of the US took some current form of the Covid minimizing and hopefully preventive drugs.

      The mind boggles that a number around 100 million in the US can so easily be boiled down to Bubbas without any critical thought. It is all about the dog whistles on all sides of the aisles. Perhaps too many aisles to count.

      Speaking of scapegoats, there was a Miles Teg entry about them. Didn’t find it but found a long passage about Honored Matres and depravity… Too long to quote. But a reminder for me that I should re-read Heretics and Chapterhouse. Been way too long.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      I don’t usually like the age excuse because Biden has always been awful, but Pelosi’s response was so gross. I’m leaning towards Botox affecting her.

  8. eg

    Yesterday Ontario gave up public PCR testing except for at-risk inhabitants of congregant settings and hospitals. Everyone else who is symptomatic is to assume that they are infected with Omicron and isolate.


    So all data comparisons here across this decision point will be meaningless in terms of case counts. Hospitalization counts are also changing to differentiate between those in BECAUSE of Covid vs those in who HAPPEN TO HAVE Covid.

    It’s also adopted the Delta CEO, er CDC’s, 5 day quarantine time frame for vaccinated adults and children under the age of 12. Students will go back to school next Wednesday instead of next Monday — not sure what that 48 hours is going to accomplish?

    So, basically giving up, really …

  9. Old Sarum

    Tweet of the Day:

    As I am probably not going to Europe in the coming year I welcome the recording of the blackbird. I think that it sounds best in Italy for some reason. It almost makes me feel homesick.

    Pip pip!

  10. griffen

    The above Christmas holiday tweet with Reagan. Chesterfield was my late father’s brand of cigarette, which he finally quit after some 30 years. He ventured into Chapel Hill,NC as a clean young freshman who didn’t smoke, I think in fall of 1949. Glad I never started.

    Sadly for Dad and all living Tar Heel fans, the UNC football squad forgot to start playing at 11:30 yesterday morning in the excellent, well themed Duke’s Mayo Bowl. Still not sure about taking that bath of Duke’s mayo, for the South Carolina head coach.

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