This is going to be Bad Ep. 10
There are two America’s
They see Covid-19 and how to respond to it very differently
The news this week has been at a surreal level of dystopian scariness. American citizens have been snatched off the street by men in paramilitary uniforms, forced into unmarked vans, and hauled away. Without probable cause, without identification by the men kidnapping them (because it was not an arrest, detaining someone in this fashion is by definition kidnapping), without advisement of their Miranda rights, without any of the due process of law that supposedly distinguishes the US from a police state or third world dictatorship.
When did ICE and CBP build an army that’s under the personal control of the President? Who authorized this? Where did the money to pay their salaries, train, and equip them come from? How many of them are there? How long has this been going on and why did anyone think these units were necessary? The implications of these units are deeply disturbing, and their existence should be a major topic of discussion in the upcoming election. The Republicans need to be called to account for this and DHS needs to be purged of everyone involved in this proto-Gestapo. Because what it looks like to me, is that they are doing unit shakedowns in anticipation of needing to do post-election riot suppression.
While this has been happening Covid-19 death tolls have started climbing again. Today was another day that they have been over 1,000. The basic outlines of C-19 are clear at this point. We know how infectious it is. We know what the time lags between infection and illness, illness and death are. We know roughly how many who get infected will get seriously ill and roughly how many of them will die. We understand the basics of the virus now.
So we know, that since we are starting at a much higher base of infections in this wave, the death toll could be much higher than in April. We know that the only thing that might lower the death toll in this wave is demographics. If most of the infected in this wave are under 45 the death toll might stay under 200,000. If the infections are more evenly distributed among the population then the death toll is probably going to be closer to 250,000 by the end of August.
Either way, the same number of people are going to get seriously ill. Our hospitals our now filling up with people in their 20’s, 30’s, and 40’s. Just because fewer of them will die doesn't mean that a C-19 infection will not put them in the hospital. Or put them in an ICU. Or leave them with permanent damage to their lungs, kidneys, or brain. It just means that fewer of them will die. We know this, because we know the basics of how the virus works now. We know what we need to do in order to crush the virus, minimize deaths, and get the economy moving forward again.
Instead of doing these things, we are trying to force people back to work by cutting off financial assistance from the government and exposing them to eviction. We are trying to force schools to reopen so that these workers have childcare when they go back to work, even though there are studies showing that kids will get C-19 and some will die if we reopen schools now. We are passing laws like the “Covid-19 Business Liability Protection Act” so that workers will not be able to sue their employers when they get sick and some of them die from getting infected at work. This is what we are doing instead of finding a way to be able to take the steps we need to crush the virus.
These things are the Republican response to the Covid-19 pandemic. They tell us that the only real Republican priority is restoring the economy. No matter what they say, their actions tell us that nothing is more important to them than the economy. Not the lives of the elderly, not the lives of workers, not even the lives of children.
If schools reopen, expect a massive flareup of the virus in September as the virus moves from workplace, to one household, to classroom, to twenty households.