A mixed bag. This morning we sallied forth to stock up on the essentials of life in time of plague, such as throat sanitizer–Wild Turkey serves well. In the liquor store, employees wore face masks. At Walmart there was a hand-sanitizer squirter that all had to use before entering, and the PA system exhorted us to viral countermeasures, but the checkout people did not wear masks. In most of Lakeside, bars and restaurants were closed, but in Chapala a couple of waterfront restaurants loudly were not. In Guadalajara there are hand wipes to use before entering big stores, six foot spaces in checkout lines, and employees masked like highwaymen. Also gloves. .
As I write–I am not going to try to keep up– Johns Hopkins says the US has 76,000 confirmed cases, and Mexico, a bit north of 500. At least one White Nationalist site celebrates the closing of the border as an admirable measure to prevent infection by an abominable Third World country. Which abominable Third World country, I wonder, is infecting which?
Still, all in all, it doesn’t look good. The virus is here. In East Asian countries governments can make decisions and the people will abide by them for the common good but Western individualistic confusocracies seem unable to do this. And Mexico is not remotely prepared for massive numbers of the badly sick.
Up north, in the headwaters of exceptionalism, chaos reigns. How is this? I don’t know. It seems to me that the United States thrashes in a severe case of Incremental Third-Word Creep, hereinafter ITWC. Remember when the country built astonishing airplanes like the SR-71, sent men to the moon, and had a government distinguishable from that of Guatemala? Uh, what happened?
“COVD 19 Testing Blunders Cripple US Response
WASHINGTON – A series of missteps at the nation’s top public health agency caused a critical shortage of reliable laboratory tests for the coronavirus, hobbling the federal response as the pandemic spread across the country like wildfire, an Associated Press review found.
President Donald Trump assured Americans early this month that the COVID-19 test developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is “perfect” and that “anyone who wants a test can get a test.” But more than two months after the first U.S. case of the new disease was confirmed, many people still cannot get tested.”
Trump was either lying or ignorant of what was going on in America. Maybe he had more-important things to think about.
By contrast, South Korea is producing 350,000 tests per day, will ramp up to a million.
ITWC began at least as far back as Katrina. The world looked on astounded as the planet’s richest and Most Exceptional Country spent months swinging wildly about to little effect, unable to do anything quickly or, often, at all. Meanwhile the looting went on, ignored because of who was doing it. How did this happen?
ITWC likewise appeared after the Puerto Rico hurricane, also mismanaged, but the Creep is not limited to disastrous disaster response. Lockheed-Martin is mother to the F-35, a dismal aircraft with an unending supply of birth defects. Boeing gave us the 737 MAX, which it knew to be dangerous and sold anyway. Now it seems that other Boeing models are peddled with debris in their fuel tanks. What could be a better idea? Why didn’t Airbus think of this?
And when the US does make virus test-kits, they don’t work. A few decades back America would have been the world’s leader in plague response. Now it receives charity from–Russia and China?
“Huge shipment of donated COVID-19 test kits, masks moves through Memphis”
From Jack Ma of China’s Alibaba. It seems that the Baffled Galactic Superpower can’t make masks. These immensely complex intricacies consist of a piece of cloth and a few strings. Puzzled, America turns to China. Did Trump say thanks?
Incremental Third-World Creep, I tell you.
It isn’t just America that receives help from the grownup countries to the East:
”Earlier this week a delegation of Chinese medics arrived at Malpensa airport near Milan from Shanghai on a special China Eastern flight carrying 400,000 masks and 17 tons of equipment. The salutation banner the visitors rolled out on the tarmac, in red and white, read, “We’re waves from the same sea, leaves from the same tree, flowers from the same garden.”
In Washington, Congress engages in a dynamic program of linger, loiter, dawdle, and fumble, but vows to employ “quantitative easing” to save the corporations and banks. The proper term is “counterfeiting.” (Anyway, what linguistic vandal came up with “quantitative easing”? It has a dort of bathroom ring to it.)
Now you, gentle reader, being a financial naif, as am I, might ask, “Instead of just printing money, and hoping nobody catches on, why not take funds from some bloated and useless money sump run by scamps, perhaps one associated with explosions in other people’s countries, and thus pay for the bailout with real money?”
Charity of the sort of aid flowing from the East will have consequences. The entire planet except for Israel and American conservatives is sick of America and its constant bombing, bombing, bombing, invading, sanctioning, tariffing, embargoing, threatening, attempting to destroy economies, and murder of officials. When the plague finally ends, Italy (et al) will remember plane load after plane load of supplies from eastwards, and that America provided nothing.
And that America blocked delivery of medicines and respirators to Iran. President Pompeo is a goddam monster, pulling Vice President Trump’s need-for-masculinity strings, and Pompeo is the face America presents to the world. Pop quiz. What country will Italy (and the others) regard as the desirable ally?:
Just checked John the Hop. One hundred thousand plus and climbing. Excuse me. I am going to sanitize my throat.
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