My Blog Week: May 10 to May 16
This week, between gardening and nuisance headaches, I didn’t get enough drawing done, so here’s an older cartoon, some nostalgia for what everyone was watching and obsessing on last year, more or less at this time. (For no good reason, I gave the characters 70s fashion stylings, the striped shirt/overalls combo, and the sweater poncho.)
A Word on the Week
Changing Horses in Mid-Stream
Per Reuters, the United States has nearly 1.5 million cases of Coronus (what seems to me the sensible thing to call it; COVID-19, formally). The death toll has been worse (far) than any recent accident, weather-event, armed conflict.
The Trump administration feels victimized when people mention deaths at all, and don’t somehow see “only” nearly ninety thousand as a victory. Now, for half-assing their way through shutdown (many of them), our states, in piecemeal, want to reopen. That 1.5 million figure is significant. It is a small percentage of our population, infected when a degree of control had been applied. Assume (per CDC) that the infected person will become symptomatic in six to fourteen days, with an average of five days.
At about the ten day mark from infection, as shown by this helpful chart from the Canadian Broadcasting Co., if it’s going to be bad for you, you will find yourself needing to go to the hospital. If you’re going to die, it will be around the two-week mark from the development of symptoms, and around five days after admission to the ICU. As far as I can locate a statistic, the peak day for deaths in the United States was May 2, with 2909. Taking two to three weeks back from May 2, we get an earlyish to mid-April date. That’s worth considering—that these fatal cases were contracted at the height of closed businesses and stay-at-home orders.
In this weekend’s beautiful weather, with government restrictions relaxed, the spread of infection could be (have been) tremendous. We are at the time when going about your normal activities: grocery shopping, for example, will actively carry a danger for you. The virus is everywhere now, in the rural parts of America as well as urban concentrations. After Memorial Day, so much the more everywhere. Are hospitals better equipped for a June surge, than they were for the April surge? Some have lost more money over the past month, due to cancelled elective surgeries. Without social distancing the danger for patients may be worse, even if these surgeries technically become permissible.
Companies whose employees can work from home can do something about the economic stress, by developing a new model, accepting this as the New Real. Government can do something it has the power to do, commandeer supplies and distribute them, reducing the cross-traffic of individuals making supply runs on their own. In such a system are the makings of a New Deal get-people-back-to-work program. Those problems applicants have had with small-business loans, and learning whether they’ll get a stimulus check, indicate plenty of clerical jobs need filling…
(The devaluation of clerical work has been a driver of income inequality, and an unnecessary drain on jobs available that pay living wages. In fact, businesses badly need office support staff. Look how many clumsy accidents with email we’ve seen in high places lately. It’s time to create those jobs and fill them.)
We definitely have a leadership crisis…the biggest ever, if you like…and an enabling of cultural behaviors viewed as rights. An optimism bias, maybe…that it will always happen to someone else, and not to the hateful, shouty person. When the reopening began, we saw a thing rarely seen…as the press is ginger with the working class, typically. Pictures of average people lying on their backs like Romans on couches, with some poor service worker crouched at their feet, wearing a mask, doing their toes.
And that’s no joke.
On Monday, the sixth German Spy episode from The Folly, Falco dwelling on his resentments, which have a fatal tendency. Tuesday, the conclusion of “The Blue Bird”, a contact for Gitana from the underground. Wednesday, the next Eight, “Loaded Language”; Thursday, Frédéric Boutet’s “Berthe”, in which a naif learns a worldly lesson. Friday, a new Yoharie, part seven of “What It Takes to Fly”, Savannah’s options narrowing. Saturday, “Doctrine”, another Eight, ends a busy, not as productive as I’d like, sort of week.
Images on my posts often have a link to related information (click first image), sometimes serious, sometimes whimsical, sometimes in answer to a direct reference. Since people can be leery about links, I include them here: what they are, what sites they point to.
My Blog Week: May 10 to May 16
Short Story: The Blue Bird (conclusion)