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From iSteve commenter Seth Largo responding to my new Taki’s Magazine column:

Seth Largo says:
April 15, 2020 at 3:10 pm GMT • 200 Words(Edit-3839176)

Thanks for clearly laying out what few people (Trump included) seem to understand about re-opening the economy: you need say-so not just from state entities but from consumers and companies (and, as your movie co. and movie theater example shows, usually more than one company must give the say-so for any economic sector to reboot; if Disneyland says “re-open!” but whatever mechanics union fixes the rides says “not yet,” then Disneyland stays closed).

And, oddly enough, it really was companies and organizations who led the economic shutdown. No one told the NBA or MLB to shut down. Nearly every university and K-12 district in the nation shut down well before any state mandates. Ditto a lot of restaurants. And the movie theaters and production companies. Etc etc etc.

I’d like to see the state and federal directives lifted. That’s the easiest blockage to clear. Then each sector can figure out what works for itself, with businesses leading and consumers shortly following.

Government officials do play an important role in opinion generation, but there are a lot of moving pieces.

For example, consider barbershops and hair salons. They aren’t terribly essential, but I wish their owners and employees well and would like to see them back at work.

I think what they might need are some public guidelines that they can post in their shop window and ostentatiously follow, such as that both employees and customers must wear masks and each haircut should start and end with handwashing. This may all be Health Theater, but without some Health Theater it will be hard to rebuild consumer confidence.

We really need to publicly identify the most dangerous activities, so that we can get a sense of less dangerous activities. Here, for example, is Lion of the Blogosphere’s list of what he thinks are the riskiest activities, which overlaps to a considerable degree with things he doesn’t like to do (such as go to a religious event). But it seems like a fairly plausible list. What we need in America is the equivalent of the Heinsberg study in German where various Herr Professors are claiming that their study shows some activities are much more risky than other activities, which hopefully will build consumer confidence in the other activities.

Unfortunately, I have no idea if the Heinsberg study is on the money or not: their preliminary finding is that talking to people is more dangerous than touching things. Early advice from the authorities was that hand-washing would do the bulk of the good because this virus is spread by touching things rather than talking to people. But that might just have been a lie to keep people from buying masks needed by hospitals.

It’s frustrating to still be wondering about the divide between Talking to People vs. Touching Things after all this time. But once we get a consensus on that, reopening much of economic activity ought to be feasible.

 
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  1. Barbers and hairdressers provide a fairly important service and should be allowed to reopen soon. While their services involve very close contact with customers it mostly isn’t face to face contact so the risk shouldn’t be too bad. A couple of complicating factors is that the providers may not be able to work well if they’re wearing gloves, and it’s impractical for the customers to wear masks.

    • Replies: @Anonymous

    Barbers and hairdressers provide a fairly important service
     
    It's true. Who even knows how many people have died from overlong hair.
    , @The Last Real Calvinist
    It's absolutely possible to have a haircut while wearing a mask. My last two have been conducted in just that condition.

    Barbers/hair salons here in HK have not shut down at any point during the COVID-19 saga. There's no indication they have been behind any spread of the virus.
  2. Just open it and it will take care of itself. I’m out and about all the time and most people I see are just like me. Most people just aren’t as afraid as you seem to think, ie don’t need health theater.

    Once us brave leaderly types are out and about without masks and not dying in droves, the meek follower types will follow (hesitantly, with masks and hand sanitizer ready at hand, no doubt).

    • Replies: @Tono Bungay
    Sure worked for Boris Johnson, that.
    , @ganderson
    I think people like you and me are not, but there a lot of people out there who are petrified. Going to my local Stop N Shop today, I noticed the women were practically in burkas: welcome to Saudi Arabia. Heard a report on NPR this AM (my wife's clock radio, not mine) about Teaneck NJ, if was as if they were describing the first couple episodes of the Walking Dead. I'm not buying it, but lots of people are.
  3. The NYC stats have absolutely cratered over the past few days …

    So they roll out 3700 deaths that occurred at home and were never tested but MARKED DOWN COVID.

    PROJECT FEAR understands concepts like narrative and momentum.

    • Agree: Hail
    • Replies: @Hypnotoad666

    So they roll out 3700 deaths that occurred at home and were never tested but MARKED DOWN COVID.
     
    At least now they have officially run out of available dead bodies to count. Unless the New York Times starts killing people itself, they will never have the body count they need to sustain their narrative.
  4. Easy to shut down a school disrict when you get no push back from contracturally paid teachers and administrators. Parents didn’t have a say.

    • Disagree: Jack Armstrong
    • Replies: @SimpleSong
    I think shutting down schools was probably the right thing to do, but I am hearing some serious grumbling from my kids (who all have grade school kids now.)

    All of the schools are trying to do distance learning with some combination of zoom/google classroom/etc. This...has pretty much no value for anyone.

    While education is the central purpose of schools, the true value proposition of schools is that they can provide education while simultaneously taking custodial responsibility of the kids for 8 hours a day. This frees up mom and dad to work, get stuff done around the house, etc., and allows the kids to get some socialization, and is a big part of why the school system is so important to society (although it is usually left unsaid--everyone of course claims it is solely or primarily about education.)

    Now those aspects are gone: it is as if a restaurant still served its usual menu but required the customers to gather the ingredients and wash the dishes afterward.

    Right now mom and dad have to keep an eye on the kids as well as provide tech support. Schools can still provide educational content over the internet, but to be frank the stuff they threw together in a few weeks does not compare very favorably to online sources who have specialized in this sort of thing for years.

    When schools initially closed my kids were able to piece together a reasonably good curriculum for their kids (my grandkids) using free courses on Coursera, Khan academy, etc. They actually felt like they were doing better before school was 'restarted' online. Now, with the district's online program in full swing, mom and dad complain that they spend half their day doing tech support--everyone is using different systems (sometimes multiple overlapping systems), different logins, etc. It would actually be easier for them to homeschool with free online resources at this point and the quality would likely be better. The local school district has gone from making their lives easier to making their lives harder. If this keeps up for much longer...

    , @ganderson
    Joe- I agree that schools shouldn't have been shut, but depending on the demographics of the school there may be more parental support for the shutdown than you'd imagine. And we, the teachers, were not asked, either. Speaking only for myself, I'd rather be in school. Although, not having to get up at 4:45 is kinda nice...
  5. V says:

    My best guess is that both talking to people and touching things are bad, and one of the big problems we’ve had has been “how it has been spreading so far” vs. “how it could spread.” Like, if it can spread through food, surfaces, talking, and coughing, in worlds where you aren’t doing any mitigation, most of the spread will be from coughing. Then you isolate everyone coughing, and now most of the (reduced!) spread is through asymptomatic people talking to each other. Everyone wears masks, and now most of the (even more reduced!) spread will be through surfaces.

    I think doctors have mostly been taking the “evidence-based” approach, and also not reasoning about this in the “security mindset” way. The only way to get rid of all the restrictions is to not have any active reservoirs of the disease anymore, or to have herd immunity (in worlds where immunity to this thing is long-lasting, which we can’t assume; see ‘security mindset’ again). Otherwise you just have exponential growth again as soon as somebody starts coughing.

  6. I really don’t think small businessmen were keen to close their places down for weeks or months. For Big-Biz, I see another aspect to this:

    Let’s take the airlines for example. People do not want to go to airports and ride in planes* right now, even with lots of empty seats for space. I don’t blame them. Think about this though – when the loads went way down on the flights back and forth to Europe, for example, the airlines were losing money on each flight. For customer good-will, keeping the schedule is very important. Maybe there are only 5 people in 1st class and 45 people in steerage, but these people paid good money to go that day! Some may be high-paying frequent fliers (up front, that is), and the airlines depend on their loyalty.

    If the US Government were to MAKE THEM quit flying (Oh, no, don’t throw me into the briar patch!), then they have an excuse. There is no loss of customer goodwill. “Dear valued customer, this is a mandate from the US Government. We are sorry to not be able to operate the flight to ABC on your travel date due to this ruling”, the emails would read.

    Along with that, after they saw what happened in ’08, the big shots in these Big Businesses know that the US Government will bail them out in some form. That’s what’s happening, in fact.

    No, Big-Biz doesn’t have near as much to lose in staying shut down as small business does. That’s why this Infotainment Panic-Fest has been a disaster for what remains separate from the Crony Capitalist system.

    .

    * with the false idea, BTW, that the air inside is re-circulated only and not changed out throughout the flight.

    • Replies: @Kaz
    People were happy to fly until the government made people wait hours in lines for health checks that only spread disease and quarantine measures.
    , @epebble
    Emirates has a creative way to run their operations in view of skeptical public; they run a blood test pre-flight and allow only those who test -ve.

    https://www.emirates.com/media-centre/emirates-becomes-first-airline-to-conduct-on-site-rapid-covid-19-tests-for-passengers/

    The question is, how does an airline in a place not known for high degree of science expertise do it and we are, like 4th month into the pandemic with dead people being classified Covidees retrospectively?

  7. Anonymous[277] • Disclaimer says:

    The federal government can’t force businesses to reopen, but it can create conditions under which at least parts of the economy can be reopened with relatively limited pubic-health impact. Steve Hsu has made a few posts about how this could be done. I think a reasonable program would look something like this:

    1. Allow/encourage high-risk individuals to continue quarantining–with stipends for expenses and FMLA-type assurances for those who are employed–at home or even in hotels if they live with individuals who won’t also be quarantined

    2. Encourage/require masks in high-volume public areas

    3. Ramp up testing, and be more aggressive in contact tracing and quarantine for those infected. Doesn’t the German data say a large percentage of cases are due to within-family spread? Don’t the Chinese deliberately quarantine infected individuals away from their families? I’ve seen no indication that we are even attempting to do this

    Not perfect, but I think it could work. Of course some businesses (bars, theme parks) are still going to be destroyed in this model but at this point I think that’s inevitable regardless of what we do.

    • Replies: @Seth Largo
    Bars have been around for at least two thousand years. "Bars are done for" is an unserious take.

    Sure, some bars may go under, but there will be plenty of people waiting in the wings to buy them and reopen them.
  8. We really need to publicly identify the most dangerous activities, so that we can get a sense of less dangerous activities.

    I’m sorry, Steve, but this is what I have a problem with, regarding all the ridiculous emergency power-grabs that Americans have allowed to happen due to their being scared shitless by their smartphones. Every time I read we, I know it means “the Government”. Even if all the governments involved WERE doing a bang-up job with this, I still don’t want them jerking me around like a Commie peasant.

    How about actually WE, the people (customers, employees, and owners) of the businesses in question, decide what we feel is safe? Can we handle that, or are we all not weaned off of Uncle Sugar’s breast? Got a store and are pretty worried, but not freaked out? “Face masks required.” sign. Working at a store that doesn’t have that rule? Wear your face mask, call in sick, or quit if it comes to that. Scared about germs on the playground equipment? Keep your toddler off the playground equipment. Not? Don’t.

    That was easy.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    "How about actually WE, the people (customers, employees, and owners) of the businesses in question, decide what we feel is safe?"

    OK, so people decide that if nobody who acts like they have a clue will advise them on whether or not going to the barbershop is safe, they'll play it safe and not go, so all the barbers go broke...

    , @Redman
    I’ve been going to work every day in midtown NYC for the past 3 weeks. After I recovered from the Wuflu. I’ve noticed that businesses have started to reopen already. Only in the last couple of days. Some are relatively busy.

    People are starting to question the bs of this shutdown. Slowly, but it’s happening.

    BTW- most cops aren’t wearing masks, even after Generalissimo Cuomo released his diktat today.
  9. Anonymous[227] • Disclaimer says:
    @prosa123
    Barbers and hairdressers provide a fairly important service and should be allowed to reopen soon. While their services involve very close contact with customers it mostly isn't face to face contact so the risk shouldn't be too bad. A couple of complicating factors is that the providers may not be able to work well if they're wearing gloves, and it's impractical for the customers to wear masks.

    Barbers and hairdressers provide a fairly important service

    It’s true. Who even knows how many people have died from overlong hair.

    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman

    Who even knows how many people have died from overlong hair.
     
    Well, there were a couple of guys ...

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qf1rZ8E3ToM
    , @MEH 0910
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Absalom
    , @ganderson
    Those two guys from Easy Rider come to mind...
  10. @Achmed E. Newman

    We really need to publicly identify the most dangerous activities, so that we can get a sense of less dangerous activities.
     
    I'm sorry, Steve, but this is what I have a problem with, regarding all the ridiculous emergency power-grabs that Americans have allowed to happen due to their being scared shitless by their smartphones. Every time I read we, I know it means "the Government". Even if all the governments involved WERE doing a bang-up job with this, I still don't want them jerking me around like a Commie peasant.

    How about actually WE, the people (customers, employees, and owners) of the businesses in question, decide what we feel is safe? Can we handle that, or are we all not weaned off of Uncle Sugar's breast? Got a store and are pretty worried, but not freaked out? "Face masks required." sign. Working at a store that doesn't have that rule? Wear your face mask, call in sick, or quit if it comes to that. Scared about germs on the playground equipment? Keep your toddler off the playground equipment. Not? Don't.

    That was easy.

    https://www.peakstupidity.com/images/post_1150A.jpg

    “How about actually WE, the people (customers, employees, and owners) of the businesses in question, decide what we feel is safe?”

    OK, so people decide that if nobody who acts like they have a clue will advise them on whether or not going to the barbershop is safe, they’ll play it safe and not go, so all the barbers go broke…

    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
    I really don't think most American will act in that ignorant a fashion, were they not incentivized to act ignorant by government dependence. You, I, or the next guy, could rightly say that there are a lot of stupid Americans, but you'd be surprised how people wise up and make an effort to learn when it's all up to them.

    I'll speak just for me here, but if I needed a haircut right now, and the hair-cut place were open, I'd be right on down. (I can't say it's a real barber, cause the last guy was getting the shakes and banging my head, and this chain place is just very convenient.)
    , @Anonymous
    Steve
    I know this is weird but there is a whole genre of pornography known as "glory holing" where there is a solid partition between where the part of the customer being "serviced" and the "servicer" is located. As a result there is no face to face contact between the giver and receiver.

    I wonder if such an arrangement would work for legitimate service related industries where there is usually a high level of contact and "face to face" interaction between client and provider. In other words you stick your head or hand through a vacuum sealed partition in a wall and you receive a hair cut or nail pedicure. The partition can by some sort of transparent material like glass or polycarbonate but the essential element of the system is that bodily fluids that can transmit the corona virus are in two separate environments. Basically, a glovebox arrangement:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glovebox
  11. I notice one of Lion’s recent posts proclaims that he hasn’t been posting much because his commenters are such morons. Do you worry that you coddle your commenters too much, Steve?

    • Replies: @Polynikes
    Steve has kept an open dialogue going to his credit.

    Gotta be tough to start blogging again and reopen those comments for a guy who was wrong and called everyone else morons. I wouldn't want to read those comments either, if I were him.
  12. Steve, your are still not getting it. Your street smarts level is about zero.

    Governors PARTICULARLY Newsom do not want, DO NOT WANT, small businesses to ever reopen. Not ever.

    That’s the whole point of this charade.

    Newsom just gave a speech today, preening before the camera, where he laid down impossible conditions for re-opening: a vaccine, perfect contract tracing, lots more hospital beds, more ventilators (why did he send some away to other states then?). Presumably everyone will have to be implanted with an RFID chip with prefix serial number “666” and tied to your smartphone.

    He does not want to re-open. Not ever. Why would he?

    Newsom knows he will get bailed out massively by the Feds/Congress just like California was in 2009. So he’s got that going for him. Which is nice. Punishing White people especially DIRT PEOPLE is a must for every government person, and is what motivates their daily lives, as it does for the media.

    The Fed will just print more money. Pelosi and Feinstein will make sure plenty of it goes to California. If he wants to, Newsom can cancel elections for the next ten years and just rule by emergency. Why wouldn’t he? He could be living the dream — no relelection required, in front of cameras every day, making dirt people miserable!

    Of course he’s stupid and short-sighted. Trump is likely to try to cut off any money, and raise the issue of reparations from China which Dems including Newsom will oppose. And he’s going to be fighting big corporations while falsely feeling his oats. Disney, Apple, Target, every car dealership, Ford, GM, all of them depend on consumer spending. People without jobs don’t go to Disneyland, they don’t go to theaters, they don’t buy cars, they don’t buy refrigerators. They just don’t buy much of anything and even a gibs of $1,000 a month won’t pay for the kind of consumer purchases that Apple and Disney in particular depend upon.

    Then there is the Federal GIBS. Even Congress will run out of money from their “stash” and a collapse of consumer income and spending means a collapse of receipts and the collapse sooner rather than later of the dollar as international exchange medium. So the printed money or fiat electronic money becomes as useless as the Weimar Deutschmark.

    But hey, sticking it to dirt people and making sure they have nothing is worth it for Newsom. If things don’t go right he can always jet away to New Zealand. He’s got no skin in the game unlike us.

    • Replies: @Alexander Turok

    Newsom just gave a speech today, preening before the camera, where he laid down impossible conditions for re-opening: a vaccine, perfect contract tracing, lots more hospital beds, more ventilators (why did he send some away to other states then?). Presumably everyone will have to be implanted with an RFID chip with prefix serial number “666” and tied to your smartphone.
     
    Don't forget to connect it to how 9/11 was an inside job.

    Of course he’s stupid and short-sighted. Trump is likely to try to cut off any money
     
    What makes you think that? Trump's all in for the bailout. He either doesn't know or doesn't care that these corporate leaders are his enemies.

    Trump is likely to try to cut off any money, and raise the issue of reparations from China which Dems including Newsom will oppose.
     
    He'd be right to "oppose" that fairy tale for grown-up children. Xi ain't paying, nor should he.
  13. @Achmed E. Newman
    I really don't think small businessmen were keen to close their places down for weeks or months. For Big-Biz, I see another aspect to this:

    Let's take the airlines for example. People do not want to go to airports and ride in planes* right now, even with lots of empty seats for space. I don't blame them. Think about this though - when the loads went way down on the flights back and forth to Europe, for example, the airlines were losing money on each flight. For customer good-will, keeping the schedule is very important. Maybe there are only 5 people in 1st class and 45 people in steerage, but these people paid good money to go that day! Some may be high-paying frequent fliers (up front, that is), and the airlines depend on their loyalty.

    If the US Government were to MAKE THEM quit flying (Oh, no, don't throw me into the briar patch!), then they have an excuse. There is no loss of customer goodwill. "Dear valued customer, this is a mandate from the US Government. We are sorry to not be able to operate the flight to ABC on your travel date due to this ruling", the emails would read.

    Along with that, after they saw what happened in '08, the big shots in these Big Businesses know that the US Government will bail them out in some form. That's what's happening, in fact.

    No, Big-Biz doesn't have near as much to lose in staying shut down as small business does. That's why this Infotainment Panic-Fest has been a disaster for what remains separate from the Crony Capitalist system.




    .

    * with the false idea, BTW, that the air inside is re-circulated only and not changed out throughout the flight.

    People were happy to fly until the government made people wait hours in lines for health checks that only spread disease and quarantine measures.

    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
    Whaaa? Not domestically. Do you mean for international flights, Kaz?
    , @Achmed E. Newman
    Sorry, Kaz, that comment of mine WAS about international travel, so I get what you're saying. That may very well have been part of the reason the loads were way down. That said, when they were losing money, the airlines may have been glad for the Feds to shut things down for them.

    (Actually, yeah that first reply of mine to your comment makes ZERO sense. NEVER MIND!)

  14. @Steve Sailer
    "How about actually WE, the people (customers, employees, and owners) of the businesses in question, decide what we feel is safe?"

    OK, so people decide that if nobody who acts like they have a clue will advise them on whether or not going to the barbershop is safe, they'll play it safe and not go, so all the barbers go broke...

    I really don’t think most American will act in that ignorant a fashion, were they not incentivized to act ignorant by government dependence. You, I, or the next guy, could rightly say that there are a lot of stupid Americans, but you’d be surprised how people wise up and make an effort to learn when it’s all up to them.

    I’ll speak just for me here, but if I needed a haircut right now, and the hair-cut place were open, I’d be right on down. (I can’t say it’s a real barber, cause the last guy was getting the shakes and banging my head, and this chain place is just very convenient.)

    • Agree: RichardTaylor, Redman
    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    Well, let's let the commentators discuss getting a haircut. What do they think it's less dangerous than and what do they think it's more dangerous than?

    I suspect there would be some disagreement.

    Uncertainty is bad for business.

    , @Reg Cæsar

    I can’t say it’s a real barber, cause the last guy was getting the shakes and banging my head
     
    You get your hair done by someone with Parkinson's? Do you have an affinity to William Tell's son? Or Icarus?


    https://i.etsystatic.com/5051962/r/il/cb7c11/109563103/il_570xN.109563103.jpg

    , @BN
    I got a haircut yesterday. Barber set up shop in his backyard and texted me to let me know. It was great, same haircut except without any other customers waiting and CA sunshine all over. It's absurd to think this couldn't have been done in his shop while maintaining risk levels at nil. At most, there are 2-3 clients in his shop at any given time, being worked on from more than 6 feet apart.
  15. I would be happy merely with the pool, hot tub, sauna, and gym in my building re-opening.

  16. Leon is normally pretty insightful but I think he’s making a grave error re “testing is irrelevant now”. He implies half or more of the problem – enough to warrant the #1 spot – is people coming into work sick and the factors that encourage them to do that. True, that’s a problem, but it’s not the problem when as much as 50% of the corona spread has been from asymptomatic carriers.

    And in the other half, he seems to be implying that churches should just close their doors forever. Or if not forever, then until some indefinite and arbitrary time in the distant future. I don’t go to any religious services, but I know enough about other people to know that’s never going to happen. We have a constitution, and while I’m usually the first to say “muh constitution” and “bring on the martial law”, shutting down religious gatherings quasi-permanently would fly with the public about as well as shutting down every school and university quasi-permanently. Even if it were the right thing to do, half the country would revolt. Not to mention, this decision really is up to the individual states and not the federal government.

    We need practical solutions. Contact tracing and random testing need to be a part of that because of asymptomatic transmission; making existing businesses safer and identifying high-risk activities is also important. But even if an activity is deemed high risk, there’s a solution: test everyone on the way in, which can take less than 5 minutes per person. Not by uselessly deploying a bunch of IR thermometers, but actual tests for the virus. Doesn’t matter how crowded the venue is if you know that no one’s carrying the disease. In extreme cases you could even take the Infectious Disease Ward approach of mandatory PPE and negative-pressure rooms. This is hideously expensive, but still less expensive than shutting it down permanently just because it might spread disease. And if demand for these things were sufficiently high, production would rise to meet it and make it cheaper – as long as it’s not socialized.

    At some point you have to allow people to decide on the level of risk they feel is worth taking. You just have to take measures to prevent them from putting everyone else at risk by making poor decisions.

  17. @Kaz
    People were happy to fly until the government made people wait hours in lines for health checks that only spread disease and quarantine measures.

    Whaaa? Not domestically. Do you mean for international flights, Kaz?

  18. @Whiskey
    Steve, your are still not getting it. Your street smarts level is about zero.

    Governors PARTICULARLY Newsom do not want, DO NOT WANT, small businesses to ever reopen. Not ever.

    That's the whole point of this charade.

    Newsom just gave a speech today, preening before the camera, where he laid down impossible conditions for re-opening: a vaccine, perfect contract tracing, lots more hospital beds, more ventilators (why did he send some away to other states then?). Presumably everyone will have to be implanted with an RFID chip with prefix serial number "666" and tied to your smartphone.

    He does not want to re-open. Not ever. Why would he?

    Newsom knows he will get bailed out massively by the Feds/Congress just like California was in 2009. So he's got that going for him. Which is nice. Punishing White people especially DIRT PEOPLE is a must for every government person, and is what motivates their daily lives, as it does for the media.

    The Fed will just print more money. Pelosi and Feinstein will make sure plenty of it goes to California. If he wants to, Newsom can cancel elections for the next ten years and just rule by emergency. Why wouldn't he? He could be living the dream -- no relelection required, in front of cameras every day, making dirt people miserable!

    Of course he's stupid and short-sighted. Trump is likely to try to cut off any money, and raise the issue of reparations from China which Dems including Newsom will oppose. And he's going to be fighting big corporations while falsely feeling his oats. Disney, Apple, Target, every car dealership, Ford, GM, all of them depend on consumer spending. People without jobs don't go to Disneyland, they don't go to theaters, they don't buy cars, they don't buy refrigerators. They just don't buy much of anything and even a gibs of $1,000 a month won't pay for the kind of consumer purchases that Apple and Disney in particular depend upon.

    Then there is the Federal GIBS. Even Congress will run out of money from their "stash" and a collapse of consumer income and spending means a collapse of receipts and the collapse sooner rather than later of the dollar as international exchange medium. So the printed money or fiat electronic money becomes as useless as the Weimar Deutschmark.

    But hey, sticking it to dirt people and making sure they have nothing is worth it for Newsom. If things don't go right he can always jet away to New Zealand. He's got no skin in the game unlike us.

    Newsom just gave a speech today, preening before the camera, where he laid down impossible conditions for re-opening: a vaccine, perfect contract tracing, lots more hospital beds, more ventilators (why did he send some away to other states then?). Presumably everyone will have to be implanted with an RFID chip with prefix serial number “666” and tied to your smartphone.

    Don’t forget to connect it to how 9/11 was an inside job.

    Of course he’s stupid and short-sighted. Trump is likely to try to cut off any money

    What makes you think that? Trump’s all in for the bailout. He either doesn’t know or doesn’t care that these corporate leaders are his enemies.

    Trump is likely to try to cut off any money, and raise the issue of reparations from China which Dems including Newsom will oppose.

    He’d be right to “oppose” that fairy tale for grown-up children. Xi ain’t paying, nor should he.

    • Replies: @Mr McKenna




    Trump is likely to try to cut off any money, and raise the issue of reparations from China which Dems including Newsom will oppose.
     
    He’d be right to “oppose” that fairy tale for grown-up children. Xi ain’t paying, nor should he.
     
    Reparations are a fairy tale, but cancelling the debt might be fun.

    Why shouldn't they pay? So far all they've offered is a big F.U.
  19. @Buffalo Joe
    Easy to shut down a school disrict when you get no push back from contracturally paid teachers and administrators. Parents didn't have a say.

    I think shutting down schools was probably the right thing to do, but I am hearing some serious grumbling from my kids (who all have grade school kids now.)

    All of the schools are trying to do distance learning with some combination of zoom/google classroom/etc. This…has pretty much no value for anyone.

    While education is the central purpose of schools, the true value proposition of schools is that they can provide education while simultaneously taking custodial responsibility of the kids for 8 hours a day. This frees up mom and dad to work, get stuff done around the house, etc., and allows the kids to get some socialization, and is a big part of why the school system is so important to society (although it is usually left unsaid–everyone of course claims it is solely or primarily about education.)

    Now those aspects are gone: it is as if a restaurant still served its usual menu but required the customers to gather the ingredients and wash the dishes afterward.

    Right now mom and dad have to keep an eye on the kids as well as provide tech support. Schools can still provide educational content over the internet, but to be frank the stuff they threw together in a few weeks does not compare very favorably to online sources who have specialized in this sort of thing for years.

    When schools initially closed my kids were able to piece together a reasonably good curriculum for their kids (my grandkids) using free courses on Coursera, Khan academy, etc. They actually felt like they were doing better before school was ‘restarted’ online. Now, with the district’s online program in full swing, mom and dad complain that they spend half their day doing tech support–everyone is using different systems (sometimes multiple overlapping systems), different logins, etc. It would actually be easier for them to homeschool with free online resources at this point and the quality would likely be better. The local school district has gone from making their lives easier to making their lives harder. If this keeps up for much longer…

    • Replies: @Buffalo Joe
    Simp, my daughter lives in Bucks County, Pa which is pretty high end. After being closed for two weeks, then sputtering through a week of on line classes, the schools are now on Spring Break. Next week they resume with two hours of class Monday through Thursday and Fridays off. Parents have a right to be upset if this is the best they can do. Buffalo News has the prerequisite article about how on line teaching is negatively affecting minorities but that is just a continuation of their mantra.
  20. @Anonymous

    Barbers and hairdressers provide a fairly important service
     
    It's true. Who even knows how many people have died from overlong hair.

    Who even knows how many people have died from overlong hair.

    Well, there were a couple of guys …

    • Replies: @Mr McKenna
    Having never seen that movie, I had no idea it had such a happy ending!

    PS: Those rednecks sure are good shots.

    , @JMcG
    Thanks. I smile every time.
  21. both employees and customers must wear masks and each haircut should start and end with handwashing. This may all be Health Theater

    Health theater = Heat the lather.

  22. Re-open?

    Are you f–ing kidding? This is just getting started! Cuomo just ordered the entire State of New York to start wearing masks in public!!!

    https://www.cnbc.com/2020/04/15/new-york-gov-cuomo-to-order-all-people-to-wear-masks-or-face-coverings-in-public.html

    • Replies: @The Last Real Calvinist
    But wearing masks is an aid to opening things up, not a hindrance.

    If everybody's wearing a mask, many public activities are likely to be safe enough to restart.

    You may assume, with good reason, that your own individual mask provides imperfect protection against airborne viruses. But widespread masking should inspire more confidence, i.e. you're reassured that the masks everybody else is wearing protect you because they keep everyone's exhalations and expectorations inside their masks.

    But this only works if the great majority of people cooperate and wear masks. Reaching acceptance of this need is a huge psycho-social hurdle. I don't know if a sufficient number of people in the USA will be willing to sacrifice their personal comfort in order to help their cities/states get past the current lockdown conditions more quickly and safely.

    I know quite a few of my friends and acquaintances in the USA are now wearing masks when they go out, but I've also come across several who say 'Oh, I would feel so claustrophobic and weird! There's no way I can do that!' That's bullshit, of course; almost anybody can wear a mask for hours on end if they really have to.

    I still don't have a clear idea of how widespread masking actually is in the USA. Are most people wearing them now? Can you get your hands on anything other than home-made ones?

  23. @Achmed E. Newman
    I really don't think most American will act in that ignorant a fashion, were they not incentivized to act ignorant by government dependence. You, I, or the next guy, could rightly say that there are a lot of stupid Americans, but you'd be surprised how people wise up and make an effort to learn when it's all up to them.

    I'll speak just for me here, but if I needed a haircut right now, and the hair-cut place were open, I'd be right on down. (I can't say it's a real barber, cause the last guy was getting the shakes and banging my head, and this chain place is just very convenient.)

    Well, let’s let the commentators discuss getting a haircut. What do they think it’s less dangerous than and what do they think it’s more dangerous than?

    I suspect there would be some disagreement.

    Uncertainty is bad for business.

    • Replies: @Redman
    But why does that have to come from the government or experts? Why can’t people make those decisions for themselves?

    When one or two people start going to get their hair cut, others will notice that and soon follow. They don’t need a study of experts to figure out what’s ok to do. Seems to me we’ve become overwhelmed by public guidelines to the point we want to get rid of all of them. That’s part of the Trump phenomenon and why people seem to like his penchant for slashing regulations.
    , @Andrew
    People who want a haircut should be able to get them and barbers who want an income should be able to work.

    Wearing a mask at a haircut is ridiculous, you'll get hair snippings all over it. The barber can't wear gloves either, that won't work with hair.

    Same as businesses. Businesses should be allowed to be open and take whatever precautions they want to take, and customers can then decide if they want to do business.

    Basically Sweden.

    Confidence will come from normal behavior not causing problems, which it won't. What we most need to avoid is further invasive stupid government mandates like mandated mask wearing and other panic inducing measures.

    Government can then focus on solving the mass gatherings problem.
  24. This may all be Health Theater, but without some Health Theater it will be hard to rebuild consumer confidence.

    1000x no. If there’s one part of the American economy that we don’t have to worry about it’s marketing. As long as government allows the commercial activity i have no doubt customers will return.

    Heck, i read that the cruise industry already had good bookings for 2021 sailings. If they’re doing ok, barbers will be fine.

    If there’s a range of risk tolerance among consumers it works to everyone’s advantage. The adventurers head out and do stuff. If they start dying, then we pull back. If they don’t then the more conservative people see it’s ok and start going out too.

    This was parody at the time it was made:
    ( it’s a South Park TSA (toilet safety adminstration) clip. NSFW in that it involves private parts (in a non-sexual way).

    [MORE]

    we don’t need to bring it to life.

  25. @Kaz
    People were happy to fly until the government made people wait hours in lines for health checks that only spread disease and quarantine measures.

    Sorry, Kaz, that comment of mine WAS about international travel, so I get what you’re saying. That may very well have been part of the reason the loads were way down. That said, when they were losing money, the airlines may have been glad for the Feds to shut things down for them.

    (Actually, yeah that first reply of mine to your comment makes ZERO sense. NEVER MIND!)

  26. @Achmed E. Newman

    Who even knows how many people have died from overlong hair.
     
    Well, there were a couple of guys ...

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qf1rZ8E3ToM

    Having never seen that movie, I had no idea it had such a happy ending!

    PS: Those rednecks sure are good shots.

    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
    Oh, right, uhh guys, Spoiler Alert!

    (Well, you've had 51 years to see this movie, so ...)

    .

    Right, people think a shotgun need not be aimed.

  27. Here in Florida, which is supposed to be one of the worst hit areas, it looks like the curve has been not just flattened, but squashed, and is headed back down towards the x axis, although a couple more days of lower numbers would be needed to confirm the trend for sure and make sure it was not distorted by reduced testing over the Easter holiday weekend.

    In Gainesville, which has 2 large hospitals with the regional medical center for acute cases at the university hospital, they have had 196 cases, only 28 hospitalizations, and still 0 deaths so far. Good job, doctors!

    One thing that is not being reported is the number of deaths in nursing homes, but anecdotally I can tell you that they account for a lot of the cases, both among staff and patients. With the work being low paid, many employees work more than one job and carry the virus with them from one facility to another–at least that is the word on the street, and I tend to believe it.

  28. @Alexander Turok

    Newsom just gave a speech today, preening before the camera, where he laid down impossible conditions for re-opening: a vaccine, perfect contract tracing, lots more hospital beds, more ventilators (why did he send some away to other states then?). Presumably everyone will have to be implanted with an RFID chip with prefix serial number “666” and tied to your smartphone.
     
    Don't forget to connect it to how 9/11 was an inside job.

    Of course he’s stupid and short-sighted. Trump is likely to try to cut off any money
     
    What makes you think that? Trump's all in for the bailout. He either doesn't know or doesn't care that these corporate leaders are his enemies.

    Trump is likely to try to cut off any money, and raise the issue of reparations from China which Dems including Newsom will oppose.
     
    He'd be right to "oppose" that fairy tale for grown-up children. Xi ain't paying, nor should he.

    Trump is likely to try to cut off any money, and raise the issue of reparations from China which Dems including Newsom will oppose.

    He’d be right to “oppose” that fairy tale for grown-up children. Xi ain’t paying, nor should he.

    Reparations are a fairy tale, but cancelling the debt might be fun.

    Why shouldn’t they pay? So far all they’ve offered is a big F.U.

  29. Anonymous[552] • Disclaimer says:
    @Steve Sailer
    "How about actually WE, the people (customers, employees, and owners) of the businesses in question, decide what we feel is safe?"

    OK, so people decide that if nobody who acts like they have a clue will advise them on whether or not going to the barbershop is safe, they'll play it safe and not go, so all the barbers go broke...

    Steve
    I know this is weird but there is a whole genre of pornography known as “glory holing” where there is a solid partition between where the part of the customer being “serviced” and the “servicer” is located. As a result there is no face to face contact between the giver and receiver.

    I wonder if such an arrangement would work for legitimate service related industries where there is usually a high level of contact and “face to face” interaction between client and provider. In other words you stick your head or hand through a vacuum sealed partition in a wall and you receive a hair cut or nail pedicure. The partition can by some sort of transparent material like glass or polycarbonate but the essential element of the system is that bodily fluids that can transmit the corona virus are in two separate environments. Basically, a glovebox arrangement:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glovebox

    • Replies: @Stan Adams
    People reveal themselves constantly.
  30. @Achmed E. Newman

    We really need to publicly identify the most dangerous activities, so that we can get a sense of less dangerous activities.
     
    I'm sorry, Steve, but this is what I have a problem with, regarding all the ridiculous emergency power-grabs that Americans have allowed to happen due to their being scared shitless by their smartphones. Every time I read we, I know it means "the Government". Even if all the governments involved WERE doing a bang-up job with this, I still don't want them jerking me around like a Commie peasant.

    How about actually WE, the people (customers, employees, and owners) of the businesses in question, decide what we feel is safe? Can we handle that, or are we all not weaned off of Uncle Sugar's breast? Got a store and are pretty worried, but not freaked out? "Face masks required." sign. Working at a store that doesn't have that rule? Wear your face mask, call in sick, or quit if it comes to that. Scared about germs on the playground equipment? Keep your toddler off the playground equipment. Not? Don't.

    That was easy.

    https://www.peakstupidity.com/images/post_1150A.jpg

    I’ve been going to work every day in midtown NYC for the past 3 weeks. After I recovered from the Wuflu. I’ve noticed that businesses have started to reopen already. Only in the last couple of days. Some are relatively busy.

    People are starting to question the bs of this shutdown. Slowly, but it’s happening.

    BTW- most cops aren’t wearing masks, even after Generalissimo Cuomo released his diktat today.

    • Thanks: Achmed E. Newman
  31. @Steve Sailer
    Well, let's let the commentators discuss getting a haircut. What do they think it's less dangerous than and what do they think it's more dangerous than?

    I suspect there would be some disagreement.

    Uncertainty is bad for business.

    But why does that have to come from the government or experts? Why can’t people make those decisions for themselves?

    When one or two people start going to get their hair cut, others will notice that and soon follow. They don’t need a study of experts to figure out what’s ok to do. Seems to me we’ve become overwhelmed by public guidelines to the point we want to get rid of all of them. That’s part of the Trump phenomenon and why people seem to like his penchant for slashing regulations.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    "When one or two people start going to get their hair cut, others will notice that and soon follow. They don’t need a study of experts to figure out what’s ok to do."

    I suspect they wouldn't mind a study.

    Haircuts are pretty low-priority, except for barbers, so people are more likely to let their local barbershop go broke, especially if they aren't doing any socializing.

    If haircuts are actually pretty safe, it would be sad if every barbershop in the country went broke out of an excess of caution. On the other hand, if haircuts are dangerous, it would be sad if brave customers paid the price.

    Knowledge is good.

  32. @Redman
    But why does that have to come from the government or experts? Why can’t people make those decisions for themselves?

    When one or two people start going to get their hair cut, others will notice that and soon follow. They don’t need a study of experts to figure out what’s ok to do. Seems to me we’ve become overwhelmed by public guidelines to the point we want to get rid of all of them. That’s part of the Trump phenomenon and why people seem to like his penchant for slashing regulations.

    “When one or two people start going to get their hair cut, others will notice that and soon follow. They don’t need a study of experts to figure out what’s ok to do.”

    I suspect they wouldn’t mind a study.

    Haircuts are pretty low-priority, except for barbers, so people are more likely to let their local barbershop go broke, especially if they aren’t doing any socializing.

    If haircuts are actually pretty safe, it would be sad if every barbershop in the country went broke out of an excess of caution. On the other hand, if haircuts are dangerous, it would be sad if brave customers paid the price.

    Knowledge is good.

    • Replies: @UK
    They've left hairdresser's open in Brazil. I've been once during lockdown and will go again this week. Nonetheless, custom has fallen for then a bit. The people I know who live with the elderly won't go. People make their own decisions according to the risks. Risks are not one size fits all and never were.
    , @Achmed E. Newman
    Late reply here, Steve: OK, were the US government CDC, BLS, ABC, you-name-it, to do lots of statistical or other type studies to get this information, I'd have no problem with a few quarters of my tax money being used in that way.

    That's not what happens though. The information will be used to write laws with, or worse yet, emergency orders of various types. Sure, put up a massive web site, with stats and recommendations for all kinds of retail business, social functions, and such so that the public can be made aware.

    ... Oh, wait, I am operating under the really stupid assumption that the US Government is not filled with AA hires, other deadbeats, and incompetence of all kinds. NEVER MIND!
    , @Old Prude
    ”Haircuts are pretty low-priority, except for barbers.” Way off. I really like my barber a happy brassy blonde. I’ve been concerned for her business ever since our dope governor closed it down. When I need another haircut I will visit her shop without concern and give her a big tip. It’s decent hard working folks like her I care about. CEOs, celebrities, lawyers and politicians can blow.
    , @epebble
    In a way this crisis may be serving as a step function for new technology. I am not likely to go to a barber for a while and let my wife cut my hair (what little there is), she cuts her own. We will get to know telemedicine better; used it once and quite happy. In modern medicine, they don't use stethoscope and other observational skills much, it is mostly lab work for anything that matters. Movie theaters are pretty obsolete with streaming etc., I did two grocery shopping trips with pickup service and may make it my default habit. Newspapers, magazines, postal service (other than for package delivery) are mostly obsolete anyway.

    I think a good infrastructure project would be to invest in a NASA type project to provide everyone a minimum 1 gigabit link anytime/anyplace, and let Virtual Reality develop well enough that travel becomes increasingly rare and obsolete for most purposes. This will obviate the need to invest constantly in physical transport infrastructure, save energy, improve environment.
  33. @Anonymous

    Barbers and hairdressers provide a fairly important service
     
    It's true. Who even knows how many people have died from overlong hair.
    • Replies: @Ian M.
    I see your Absalom, and raise you a Samson.
  34. Here, for example, is Lion of the Blogosphere’s list of what he thinks are the riskiest activities

    Hmm, let me mosey on over … >click<

    Lion of the Blogosphere
    An April 14th virus update

    I haven’t written a blog post in a while, because the commenters were such morons I couldn’t take it.

    Steve, I like your style. 🙂

    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
    Haha, Gen-Am, and that "Thanks" to Mr. McKenna was brilliant!
    , @Achmed E. Newman
    Hehe! I see you change the "Thanks" below to an "Agree". Same joke, but still funny!
  35. … each haircut should start and end with handwashing. This may all be Health Theater

    Watch out for the spray bottle to the back-of-the-neck fake sneeze prank!

    “Hahaha don’t freak out, gurrrl—it’s just HIV, ain’t no ching-chong lung bung DAMN put down the scissors, bitch!

    KTLA 5 News Live:

    Tragedy at Supercuts on the first day lockdown is lifted—controversial blogger Steve Sailer was arrested after allegedly stabbing his barber after a prank gone wrong. Wurlitzer Monteverde is on location …

    • LOL: JMcG, Jim Don Bob
  36. It think the likelihood of the barber to infect the customer is higher than the other way round, because the customer coughs at the mirror while the barber coughs at the customer. Still with many customers a day the barber has a certain risk, thus being risky for the other customers again.

  37. @Achmed E. Newman
    I really don't think most American will act in that ignorant a fashion, were they not incentivized to act ignorant by government dependence. You, I, or the next guy, could rightly say that there are a lot of stupid Americans, but you'd be surprised how people wise up and make an effort to learn when it's all up to them.

    I'll speak just for me here, but if I needed a haircut right now, and the hair-cut place were open, I'd be right on down. (I can't say it's a real barber, cause the last guy was getting the shakes and banging my head, and this chain place is just very convenient.)

    I can’t say it’s a real barber, cause the last guy was getting the shakes and banging my head

    You get your hair done by someone with Parkinson’s? Do you have an affinity to William Tell’s son? Or Icarus?

    • LOL: Achmed E. Newman
  38. @Anonymous
    The NYC stats have absolutely cratered over the past few days ...

    So they roll out 3700 deaths that occurred at home and were never tested but MARKED DOWN COVID.

    PROJECT FEAR understands concepts like narrative and momentum.

    So they roll out 3700 deaths that occurred at home and were never tested but MARKED DOWN COVID.

    At least now they have officially run out of available dead bodies to count. Unless the New York Times starts killing people itself, they will never have the body count they need to sustain their narrative.

    • Replies: @Jonathan Mason

    At least now they have officially run out of available dead bodies to count.
     
    Soon they will be buying in cadavers from China.
    , @Stan Adams
    Don't give them any ideas.

    Years ago, there was a rumor that a woman's dog had been killed by a Sunday edition of the Los Angeles Times - i.e., the delivery guy threw the paper on the lawn and accidentally hit the dog. (This was back in the days when a Sunday paper typically ran several hundred pages.)

    Supposedly, someone at the Times looked into the story and determined that the dog had been run over by the delivery truck.
  39. @Jenner Ickham Errican

    Here, for example, is Lion of the Blogosphere’s list of what he thinks are the riskiest activities
     
    Hmm, let me mosey on over ... >click<

    Lion of the Blogosphere
    An April 14th virus update

    I haven’t written a blog post in a while, because the commenters were such morons I couldn’t take it.
     
    Steve, I like your style. :)

    Haha, Gen-Am, and that “Thanks” to Mr. McKenna was brilliant!

  40. @Mr McKenna
    Having never seen that movie, I had no idea it had such a happy ending!

    PS: Those rednecks sure are good shots.

    Oh, right, uhh guys, Spoiler Alert!

    (Well, you’ve had 51 years to see this movie, so …)

    .

    Right, people think a shotgun need not be aimed.

    • Replies: @David
    Used to be a black lady in my neck of the woods who'd lob shot at anyone who crested her hill. Hearing the shot fall down around you like rain focuses the mind marvelously. She also ran a two-ho brothel (herself and her half-sister), called, "Looking for Eggs." Being the only blacks around, they named a road after her and preserve her shack/place-of-work as a sacred shrine.

    I got a question, Mr Newman, Sir. A commercial pilot friend keeps insisting his (well-known) airline has only parked half their planes. But I have big sky view and have the clear impression that air traffic going over southern Vermont is off by more than 90%. What gives?
  41. UK says:
    @Steve Sailer
    "When one or two people start going to get their hair cut, others will notice that and soon follow. They don’t need a study of experts to figure out what’s ok to do."

    I suspect they wouldn't mind a study.

    Haircuts are pretty low-priority, except for barbers, so people are more likely to let their local barbershop go broke, especially if they aren't doing any socializing.

    If haircuts are actually pretty safe, it would be sad if every barbershop in the country went broke out of an excess of caution. On the other hand, if haircuts are dangerous, it would be sad if brave customers paid the price.

    Knowledge is good.

    They’ve left hairdresser’s open in Brazil. I’ve been once during lockdown and will go again this week. Nonetheless, custom has fallen for then a bit. The people I know who live with the elderly won’t go. People make their own decisions according to the risks. Risks are not one size fits all and never were.

  42. @prosa123
    Barbers and hairdressers provide a fairly important service and should be allowed to reopen soon. While their services involve very close contact with customers it mostly isn't face to face contact so the risk shouldn't be too bad. A couple of complicating factors is that the providers may not be able to work well if they're wearing gloves, and it's impractical for the customers to wear masks.

    It’s absolutely possible to have a haircut while wearing a mask. My last two have been conducted in just that condition.

    Barbers/hair salons here in HK have not shut down at any point during the COVID-19 saga. There’s no indication they have been behind any spread of the virus.

  43. @Dr. X
    Re-open?

    Are you f--ing kidding? This is just getting started! Cuomo just ordered the entire State of New York to start wearing masks in public!!!

    https://www.cnbc.com/2020/04/15/new-york-gov-cuomo-to-order-all-people-to-wear-masks-or-face-coverings-in-public.html

    But wearing masks is an aid to opening things up, not a hindrance.

    If everybody’s wearing a mask, many public activities are likely to be safe enough to restart.

    You may assume, with good reason, that your own individual mask provides imperfect protection against airborne viruses. But widespread masking should inspire more confidence, i.e. you’re reassured that the masks everybody else is wearing protect you because they keep everyone’s exhalations and expectorations inside their masks.

    But this only works if the great majority of people cooperate and wear masks. Reaching acceptance of this need is a huge psycho-social hurdle. I don’t know if a sufficient number of people in the USA will be willing to sacrifice their personal comfort in order to help their cities/states get past the current lockdown conditions more quickly and safely.

    I know quite a few of my friends and acquaintances in the USA are now wearing masks when they go out, but I’ve also come across several who say ‘Oh, I would feel so claustrophobic and weird! There’s no way I can do that!’ That’s bullshit, of course; almost anybody can wear a mask for hours on end if they really have to.

    I still don’t have a clear idea of how widespread masking actually is in the USA. Are most people wearing them now? Can you get your hands on anything other than home-made ones?

    • Replies: @Callmeal
    “I still don’t have a clear idea of how widespread masking actually is in the USA. Are most people wearing them now? Can you get your hands on anything other than home-made ones?”
    When I went to the grocery store today (in medium sized city in Fly-over) I would estimate about half the customers were wearing masks and almost all looked to purchased (ie not home-made). I am not sure where these are sold or available; initially we were told not to wear masks because from what I remember 1) they were not effective in preventing the wearer from getting the virus and 2) there was a shortage and masks should be left for medical professionals (for whom they are apparently at least partially effective). Now a distinction is being made between the medical masks for which there is still presumably a shortage and ever other kind of mask including home-made. I don’t know where people are supposed to find masks, so it is possible that the people who disregarded the original guidance and rushed and purchased masks are now the most able to follow the latest guidance. For the rest of us it will be bandana with coffee filter.
  44. @Achmed E. Newman

    Who even knows how many people have died from overlong hair.
     
    Well, there were a couple of guys ...

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qf1rZ8E3ToM

    Thanks. I smile every time.

  45. The highest risk activity is math homework. I read it in a study.

  46. For my company, working from home seems to be working fairly well. We are beginning to tax the company’s internal system bandwidth some, but most everyone is being surprisingly productive, and problems have been much scarcer than I’d imagined. We are making real progress on my project.

    I’m hoping the executives see the benefit of downsizing their real estate costs, while adding just a little to the IT overhead. It could really be a huge cost savings for the company. I’m saving money in gas and food. It’s cheaper to feed myself at home. Biggest benefit for me is not having to brave I-85 traffic twice a day on a notably dangerous stretch of interstate.

    • Replies: @Jonathan Mason
    It really depends on what kind of work you do. If everyone stayed home in my field of work, other people would die.
  47. @Jedi Night
    Just open it and it will take care of itself. I'm out and about all the time and most people I see are just like me. Most people just aren't as afraid as you seem to think, ie don't need health theater.

    Once us brave leaderly types are out and about without masks and not dying in droves, the meek follower types will follow (hesitantly, with masks and hand sanitizer ready at hand, no doubt).

    Sure worked for Boris Johnson, that.

  48. The dude who was on Joe Rogan early on said handwashing doesn’t help. I think he also said that masks were good for stopping outgoing but not incoming viruses. Or virus load. Or whatever you call the concrete little thingies.

  49. @Achmed E. Newman
    Oh, right, uhh guys, Spoiler Alert!

    (Well, you've had 51 years to see this movie, so ...)

    .

    Right, people think a shotgun need not be aimed.

    Used to be a black lady in my neck of the woods who’d lob shot at anyone who crested her hill. Hearing the shot fall down around you like rain focuses the mind marvelously. She also ran a two-ho brothel (herself and her half-sister), called, “Looking for Eggs.” Being the only blacks around, they named a road after her and preserve her shack/place-of-work as a sacred shrine.

    I got a question, Mr Newman, Sir. A commercial pilot friend keeps insisting his (well-known) airline has only parked half their planes. But I have big sky view and have the clear impression that air traffic going over southern Vermont is off by more than 90%. What gives?

    • Replies: @res

    Hearing the shot fall down around you like rain focuses the mind marvelously.
     
    Shot or rock salt? I always thought hearing the ka-chunk of a pump shotgun being racked was more than sufficient for focusing the mind.
    , @Achmed E. Newman
    A shrine to that HBH, that's a hoot, David! (Oh, in case you somehow don't know what that stands for, that would be: Historically Black Ho-house.)


    He may be right that ~ 1/2 only are parked, but it depends where you mean by "parked". The big hub airports are using all the gates for parking, even with no arrivals/departures to said gates. It's the most convenient. Airliners are being parked all over the country, and they just take up a lot more room that one would think. Maybe it's 50% now for another reason too, some optimism. It still takes effort to go get them, and when you put them into long-term parking in the desert, then even more effort is involved on both ends.
  50. @Anonymous

    Barbers and hairdressers provide a fairly important service
     
    It's true. Who even knows how many people have died from overlong hair.

    Those two guys from Easy Rider come to mind…

  51. @Jedi Night
    Just open it and it will take care of itself. I'm out and about all the time and most people I see are just like me. Most people just aren't as afraid as you seem to think, ie don't need health theater.

    Once us brave leaderly types are out and about without masks and not dying in droves, the meek follower types will follow (hesitantly, with masks and hand sanitizer ready at hand, no doubt).

    I think people like you and me are not, but there a lot of people out there who are petrified. Going to my local Stop N Shop today, I noticed the women were practically in burkas: welcome to Saudi Arabia. Heard a report on NPR this AM (my wife’s clock radio, not mine) about Teaneck NJ, if was as if they were describing the first couple episodes of the Walking Dead. I’m not buying it, but lots of people are.

  52. @Buffalo Joe
    Easy to shut down a school disrict when you get no push back from contracturally paid teachers and administrators. Parents didn't have a say.

    Joe- I agree that schools shouldn’t have been shut, but depending on the demographics of the school there may be more parental support for the shutdown than you’d imagine. And we, the teachers, were not asked, either. Speaking only for myself, I’d rather be in school. Although, not having to get up at 4:45 is kinda nice…

  53. @SimpleSong
    I think shutting down schools was probably the right thing to do, but I am hearing some serious grumbling from my kids (who all have grade school kids now.)

    All of the schools are trying to do distance learning with some combination of zoom/google classroom/etc. This...has pretty much no value for anyone.

    While education is the central purpose of schools, the true value proposition of schools is that they can provide education while simultaneously taking custodial responsibility of the kids for 8 hours a day. This frees up mom and dad to work, get stuff done around the house, etc., and allows the kids to get some socialization, and is a big part of why the school system is so important to society (although it is usually left unsaid--everyone of course claims it is solely or primarily about education.)

    Now those aspects are gone: it is as if a restaurant still served its usual menu but required the customers to gather the ingredients and wash the dishes afterward.

    Right now mom and dad have to keep an eye on the kids as well as provide tech support. Schools can still provide educational content over the internet, but to be frank the stuff they threw together in a few weeks does not compare very favorably to online sources who have specialized in this sort of thing for years.

    When schools initially closed my kids were able to piece together a reasonably good curriculum for their kids (my grandkids) using free courses on Coursera, Khan academy, etc. They actually felt like they were doing better before school was 'restarted' online. Now, with the district's online program in full swing, mom and dad complain that they spend half their day doing tech support--everyone is using different systems (sometimes multiple overlapping systems), different logins, etc. It would actually be easier for them to homeschool with free online resources at this point and the quality would likely be better. The local school district has gone from making their lives easier to making their lives harder. If this keeps up for much longer...

    Simp, my daughter lives in Bucks County, Pa which is pretty high end. After being closed for two weeks, then sputtering through a week of on line classes, the schools are now on Spring Break. Next week they resume with two hours of class Monday through Thursday and Fridays off. Parents have a right to be upset if this is the best they can do. Buffalo News has the prerequisite article about how on line teaching is negatively affecting minorities but that is just a continuation of their mantra.

    • Replies: @Jim Don Bob
    I see your "...how on line teaching is negatively affecting minorities..." and raise you this piece of stupidity from the Peoples' Republic.

    Arlington Schools Shut Down New Learning: http://www.jeffersonpolicyjournal.com/arlington-schools-shut-down-new-learning/

    tl:dr: if the NAMs have such f**ked up homes that they can't learn anything new, then the white kids shouldn't either.

    We are so screwed as a country when people like this, our asshole Governor KlanRobes BlackFace, and that crazy Michigan bitch are in charge.

    But the GoodWhite soccer moms voted for all these morons, and now they're going to get it good and hard.
  54. “I think what they might need are some public guidelines that they can post in their shop window and ostentatiously follow, such as that both employees and customers must wear masks and each haircut should start and end with handwashing. This may all be Health Theater, but without some Health Theater it will be hard to rebuild consumer confidence.”

    I guess one of the upsides of these little artificially induced public scares is that it allows closet central planners to self identify.

    How about instead we let businesses decide for themselves how to best operate their business, and then potential consumers can decide which type of operating model best suits them.

    Freedom of choice: it’s not just for abortions anymore.

  55. I’m admittedly biased (as is the introverted homebody known as Lion of the Blogosphere), but keeping Vegas closed seems unwarranted. Vegas hasn’t been hit hard at all. 115 deaths as of today. And they were one of the last cities to shut down. “Casino worker” would appear to be way down the list of risky employment options, even if we assume all 115 deaths were casino workers (which they surely aren’t).

  56. “No one told the NBA or MLB to shut down. ” This is where inner party knowledge helps. They were told to shut down. The ski resorts in the US didn’t magically wake up one day and all decide to shut. They were told to.

    Believe it or not, things happen which random citizens aren’t consulted on or told about. In the US it’s called “guidance” which is roughly “we recommend you do this or your organizations life will be incredibly miserable for a very long time.”

    • Agree: Johann Ricke
  57. @Steve Sailer
    Well, let's let the commentators discuss getting a haircut. What do they think it's less dangerous than and what do they think it's more dangerous than?

    I suspect there would be some disagreement.

    Uncertainty is bad for business.

    People who want a haircut should be able to get them and barbers who want an income should be able to work.

    Wearing a mask at a haircut is ridiculous, you’ll get hair snippings all over it. The barber can’t wear gloves either, that won’t work with hair.

    Same as businesses. Businesses should be allowed to be open and take whatever precautions they want to take, and customers can then decide if they want to do business.

    Basically Sweden.

    Confidence will come from normal behavior not causing problems, which it won’t. What we most need to avoid is further invasive stupid government mandates like mandated mask wearing and other panic inducing measures.

    Government can then focus on solving the mass gatherings problem.

    • Replies: @JMcG
    The girl who cuts my hair moved from the shop where she leases a chair to her garage, where she doesn’t. I’m surprised the biddies in her neighborhood haven’t shut her down yet. She did her usual splendid job on me the other day.
    That said, to say that barbers can’t wear gloves while neurosurgeons do so successfully seems a little strong.
  58. Well, to Steve’s main concern here:

    Circa 1955 one Albert Anastasia found getting a haircut and shave in tony downtown Manhattan was pretty dangerous. Though not pandemic related. So risks do exist.

    I’m getting that John Davidson look (circa 1980) with my hair (still safely attached, thanks for noticing) so I want hair-cutters back in business. While in college I didn’t get it cut at all for quite a while but that’s a huge washing problem. Looks bad on, ahem, mature guys. No manbun for me either (which takes a ponytail type lock, so I’m told.)

    Medical places have someone at the door taking your temp with one of those guns, why not at the barber/hairdresser? Also, with the mask wearing now Officially Recommended (ah, remember back in March, when they were Useless?) how come you can’t find any masks?

    If they are going to be made mandatory or necessary to get certain normal things done (hair, shopping, etc.) Big Brother should ship boxes full of “free” masks to hand out at these places. As it is I have to use a “dust mask” which probably is Health Theater. I have so far resisted drawing a black marker toothy grin on that, but I’m weakening…

    • Replies: @JMcG
    I favor the Flying Tigers shark mouth. Tiger mouth? Hmm, off to Wikipedia.
    , @ganderson
    https://i.pinimg.com/236x/91/94/bb/9194bbd5ad58526a79d847a0fe585afc--hockey.jpg

    And notice, JD is wearing a mask!

  59. @Anonymous
    The federal government can't force businesses to reopen, but it can create conditions under which at least parts of the economy can be reopened with relatively limited pubic-health impact. Steve Hsu has made a few posts about how this could be done. I think a reasonable program would look something like this:

    1. Allow/encourage high-risk individuals to continue quarantining--with stipends for expenses and FMLA-type assurances for those who are employed--at home or even in hotels if they live with individuals who won't also be quarantined

    2. Encourage/require masks in high-volume public areas

    3. Ramp up testing, and be more aggressive in contact tracing and quarantine for those infected. Doesn't the German data say a large percentage of cases are due to within-family spread? Don't the Chinese deliberately quarantine infected individuals away from their families? I've seen no indication that we are even attempting to do this

    Not perfect, but I think it could work. Of course some businesses (bars, theme parks) are still going to be destroyed in this model but at this point I think that's inevitable regardless of what we do.

    Bars have been around for at least two thousand years. “Bars are done for” is an unserious take.

    Sure, some bars may go under, but there will be plenty of people waiting in the wings to buy them and reopen them.

  60. @Steve Sailer
    "When one or two people start going to get their hair cut, others will notice that and soon follow. They don’t need a study of experts to figure out what’s ok to do."

    I suspect they wouldn't mind a study.

    Haircuts are pretty low-priority, except for barbers, so people are more likely to let their local barbershop go broke, especially if they aren't doing any socializing.

    If haircuts are actually pretty safe, it would be sad if every barbershop in the country went broke out of an excess of caution. On the other hand, if haircuts are dangerous, it would be sad if brave customers paid the price.

    Knowledge is good.

    Late reply here, Steve: OK, were the US government CDC, BLS, ABC, you-name-it, to do lots of statistical or other type studies to get this information, I’d have no problem with a few quarters of my tax money being used in that way.

    That’s not what happens though. The information will be used to write laws with, or worse yet, emergency orders of various types. Sure, put up a massive web site, with stats and recommendations for all kinds of retail business, social functions, and such so that the public can be made aware.

    … Oh, wait, I am operating under the really stupid assumption that the US Government is not filled with AA hires, other deadbeats, and incompetence of all kinds. NEVER MIND!

  61. @Steve Sailer
    "When one or two people start going to get their hair cut, others will notice that and soon follow. They don’t need a study of experts to figure out what’s ok to do."

    I suspect they wouldn't mind a study.

    Haircuts are pretty low-priority, except for barbers, so people are more likely to let their local barbershop go broke, especially if they aren't doing any socializing.

    If haircuts are actually pretty safe, it would be sad if every barbershop in the country went broke out of an excess of caution. On the other hand, if haircuts are dangerous, it would be sad if brave customers paid the price.

    Knowledge is good.

    ”Haircuts are pretty low-priority, except for barbers.” Way off. I really like my barber a happy brassy blonde. I’ve been concerned for her business ever since our dope governor closed it down. When I need another haircut I will visit her shop without concern and give her a big tip. It’s decent hard working folks like her I care about. CEOs, celebrities, lawyers and politicians can blow.

  62. @Hypnotoad666

    So they roll out 3700 deaths that occurred at home and were never tested but MARKED DOWN COVID.
     
    At least now they have officially run out of available dead bodies to count. Unless the New York Times starts killing people itself, they will never have the body count they need to sustain their narrative.

    At least now they have officially run out of available dead bodies to count.

    Soon they will be buying in cadavers from China.

    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
    Knowing the cheap China-made Crap* I've seen throughout the years, I wouldn't be surprised if even imported cadavers would be defective, Jonathan. You think you've got a normal cadaver, and it turns out to be a Zombie. Armed coroners, bitchez!


    .

    * Just today, a kid's putter that we used at the park (dug our own solo cups into the ground), broke on a 8 y/o boy's putt! The handle is very nice, made like a break-apart pool cue. The head broke at one of 3 notched-out lines that were to represent guide marks, I assume. This was not just a Q/A thing but a (purposeful?) design problem, as the notch did not need to be 2/3-way through the thickness. What crap!

    With the work we did, digging into the clay, we may know more about golf-course architecture than you do soon, Steve!
    , @Achmed E. Newman
    Oops, sorry, LOL!
  63. @Andrew
    People who want a haircut should be able to get them and barbers who want an income should be able to work.

    Wearing a mask at a haircut is ridiculous, you'll get hair snippings all over it. The barber can't wear gloves either, that won't work with hair.

    Same as businesses. Businesses should be allowed to be open and take whatever precautions they want to take, and customers can then decide if they want to do business.

    Basically Sweden.

    Confidence will come from normal behavior not causing problems, which it won't. What we most need to avoid is further invasive stupid government mandates like mandated mask wearing and other panic inducing measures.

    Government can then focus on solving the mass gatherings problem.

    The girl who cuts my hair moved from the shop where she leases a chair to her garage, where she doesn’t. I’m surprised the biddies in her neighborhood haven’t shut her down yet. She did her usual splendid job on me the other day.
    That said, to say that barbers can’t wear gloves while neurosurgeons do so successfully seems a little strong.

  64. @Muggles
    Well, to Steve's main concern here:

    Circa 1955 one Albert Anastasia found getting a haircut and shave in tony downtown Manhattan was pretty dangerous. Though not pandemic related. So risks do exist.

    I'm getting that John Davidson look (circa 1980) with my hair (still safely attached, thanks for noticing) so I want hair-cutters back in business. While in college I didn't get it cut at all for quite a while but that's a huge washing problem. Looks bad on, ahem, mature guys. No manbun for me either (which takes a ponytail type lock, so I'm told.)

    Medical places have someone at the door taking your temp with one of those guns, why not at the barber/hairdresser? Also, with the mask wearing now Officially Recommended (ah, remember back in March, when they were Useless?) how come you can't find any masks?

    If they are going to be made mandatory or necessary to get certain normal things done (hair, shopping, etc.) Big Brother should ship boxes full of "free" masks to hand out at these places. As it is I have to use a "dust mask" which probably is Health Theater. I have so far resisted drawing a black marker toothy grin on that, but I'm weakening...

    I favor the Flying Tigers shark mouth. Tiger mouth? Hmm, off to Wikipedia.

  65. @Keypusher
    I notice one of Lion’s recent posts proclaims that he hasn’t been posting much because his commenters are such morons. Do you worry that you coddle your commenters too much, Steve?

    Steve has kept an open dialogue going to his credit.

    Gotta be tough to start blogging again and reopen those comments for a guy who was wrong and called everyone else morons. I wouldn’t want to read those comments either, if I were him.

    • Replies: @Alexander Turok
    If someone's argument is "your claim offends me, therefore it is wrong" or "your claim contradicts my holy book, therefore it is wrong," I don't see much of a point in having a "dialogue." The corona-is-the-flu people are at that level of illogic, believing that they do not have to provide evidence for their claims. I've compared them to 9/11 truthers, but I must apologize, as it's unfair to the 9/11 truthers who at least provided pseudo-rational arguments for their claims.
  66. @Hypnotoad666

    So they roll out 3700 deaths that occurred at home and were never tested but MARKED DOWN COVID.
     
    At least now they have officially run out of available dead bodies to count. Unless the New York Times starts killing people itself, they will never have the body count they need to sustain their narrative.

    Don’t give them any ideas.

    Years ago, there was a rumor that a woman’s dog had been killed by a Sunday edition of the Los Angeles Times – i.e., the delivery guy threw the paper on the lawn and accidentally hit the dog. (This was back in the days when a Sunday paper typically ran several hundred pages.)

    Supposedly, someone at the Times looked into the story and determined that the dog had been run over by the delivery truck.

    • Replies: @Joe Stalin
    Reminds me of WIND-AM(560) Dan Proft's co-host Amy Jacobson who lives near now ex-Mayor Ron Emanual. She said she thinks her cat got run over by one of Emanual's CPD security detail SUVs because they were always going up and down her street. Don't think she ever got an admission of this though.
  67. @Steve Sailer
    "When one or two people start going to get their hair cut, others will notice that and soon follow. They don’t need a study of experts to figure out what’s ok to do."

    I suspect they wouldn't mind a study.

    Haircuts are pretty low-priority, except for barbers, so people are more likely to let their local barbershop go broke, especially if they aren't doing any socializing.

    If haircuts are actually pretty safe, it would be sad if every barbershop in the country went broke out of an excess of caution. On the other hand, if haircuts are dangerous, it would be sad if brave customers paid the price.

    Knowledge is good.

    In a way this crisis may be serving as a step function for new technology. I am not likely to go to a barber for a while and let my wife cut my hair (what little there is), she cuts her own. We will get to know telemedicine better; used it once and quite happy. In modern medicine, they don’t use stethoscope and other observational skills much, it is mostly lab work for anything that matters. Movie theaters are pretty obsolete with streaming etc., I did two grocery shopping trips with pickup service and may make it my default habit. Newspapers, magazines, postal service (other than for package delivery) are mostly obsolete anyway.

    I think a good infrastructure project would be to invest in a NASA type project to provide everyone a minimum 1 gigabit link anytime/anyplace, and let Virtual Reality develop well enough that travel becomes increasingly rare and obsolete for most purposes. This will obviate the need to invest constantly in physical transport infrastructure, save energy, improve environment.

  68. @Achmed E. Newman
    I really don't think small businessmen were keen to close their places down for weeks or months. For Big-Biz, I see another aspect to this:

    Let's take the airlines for example. People do not want to go to airports and ride in planes* right now, even with lots of empty seats for space. I don't blame them. Think about this though - when the loads went way down on the flights back and forth to Europe, for example, the airlines were losing money on each flight. For customer good-will, keeping the schedule is very important. Maybe there are only 5 people in 1st class and 45 people in steerage, but these people paid good money to go that day! Some may be high-paying frequent fliers (up front, that is), and the airlines depend on their loyalty.

    If the US Government were to MAKE THEM quit flying (Oh, no, don't throw me into the briar patch!), then they have an excuse. There is no loss of customer goodwill. "Dear valued customer, this is a mandate from the US Government. We are sorry to not be able to operate the flight to ABC on your travel date due to this ruling", the emails would read.

    Along with that, after they saw what happened in '08, the big shots in these Big Businesses know that the US Government will bail them out in some form. That's what's happening, in fact.

    No, Big-Biz doesn't have near as much to lose in staying shut down as small business does. That's why this Infotainment Panic-Fest has been a disaster for what remains separate from the Crony Capitalist system.




    .

    * with the false idea, BTW, that the air inside is re-circulated only and not changed out throughout the flight.

    Emirates has a creative way to run their operations in view of skeptical public; they run a blood test pre-flight and allow only those who test -ve.

    https://www.emirates.com/media-centre/emirates-becomes-first-airline-to-conduct-on-site-rapid-covid-19-tests-for-passengers/

    The question is, how does an airline in a place not known for high degree of science expertise do it and we are, like 4th month into the pandemic with dead people being classified Covidees retrospectively?

    • Replies: @Jonathan Mason
    The question is, how does an airline in a place not known for high degree of science expertise do it and we are, like 4th month into the pandemic with dead people being classified Covidees retrospectively?

    Emirates is oil-rich. We are not a world leader any more. We have a lot of natural resources, but we don't always use them well for the common good. No one ever said democracy was the most efficient form of government.
    , @Kratoklastes

    a place not known for high degree of science expertise
     
    Explains why they would choose a mechanism that has about the same odds of getting the right answer as a coin toss.

    The story is slightly dated, and ignores more recent research that shows that blood tests for antibodies are now proven to have woeful test characteristics, even when used as intended - i.e., to attempt to detect past asymp or pauci-symp infection.

    The problem with trying to find public commentary on the shithouse inaccuracy of such tests, is that the media is being swung full-force behind the "Unchain The Economy" narrative (I agree with the new narrative, even if I abhor the manipulative and dishonest way it's being promulgated).

    If the blood test produces a large number of false negatives (i.e., "you've never had it" when you actually have it at sub-clinical levels) and a large number of false positives (i.e., "you've had it and are over it"), then a lot of people get a license to behave normally (and you have a large and growing stock of people 'certified' to have gotten over 'low-dose' covid19, who are currently - falsely - presumed immune).

    In the context of the current volte-face - as the global political class stares into the abyss they created - the pin-prick test has all the right characteristics... it's quick, it seems familiar (pinprick), and it's biased in the right direction.

    I'm writing up some stuff on this 'pin-prick test' now - checking the stats on three papers.
  69. Talking of health theater, did anyone see Trump’s burlesque performance at the outdoor press conference last night? Jumping the shark is not the half of it!

  70. @Anonymous
    Steve
    I know this is weird but there is a whole genre of pornography known as "glory holing" where there is a solid partition between where the part of the customer being "serviced" and the "servicer" is located. As a result there is no face to face contact between the giver and receiver.

    I wonder if such an arrangement would work for legitimate service related industries where there is usually a high level of contact and "face to face" interaction between client and provider. In other words you stick your head or hand through a vacuum sealed partition in a wall and you receive a hair cut or nail pedicure. The partition can by some sort of transparent material like glass or polycarbonate but the essential element of the system is that bodily fluids that can transmit the corona virus are in two separate environments. Basically, a glovebox arrangement:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glovebox

    People reveal themselves constantly.

  71. @Muggles
    Well, to Steve's main concern here:

    Circa 1955 one Albert Anastasia found getting a haircut and shave in tony downtown Manhattan was pretty dangerous. Though not pandemic related. So risks do exist.

    I'm getting that John Davidson look (circa 1980) with my hair (still safely attached, thanks for noticing) so I want hair-cutters back in business. While in college I didn't get it cut at all for quite a while but that's a huge washing problem. Looks bad on, ahem, mature guys. No manbun for me either (which takes a ponytail type lock, so I'm told.)

    Medical places have someone at the door taking your temp with one of those guns, why not at the barber/hairdresser? Also, with the mask wearing now Officially Recommended (ah, remember back in March, when they were Useless?) how come you can't find any masks?

    If they are going to be made mandatory or necessary to get certain normal things done (hair, shopping, etc.) Big Brother should ship boxes full of "free" masks to hand out at these places. As it is I have to use a "dust mask" which probably is Health Theater. I have so far resisted drawing a black marker toothy grin on that, but I'm weakening...


    And notice, JD is wearing a mask!

  72. @David
    Used to be a black lady in my neck of the woods who'd lob shot at anyone who crested her hill. Hearing the shot fall down around you like rain focuses the mind marvelously. She also ran a two-ho brothel (herself and her half-sister), called, "Looking for Eggs." Being the only blacks around, they named a road after her and preserve her shack/place-of-work as a sacred shrine.

    I got a question, Mr Newman, Sir. A commercial pilot friend keeps insisting his (well-known) airline has only parked half their planes. But I have big sky view and have the clear impression that air traffic going over southern Vermont is off by more than 90%. What gives?

    Hearing the shot fall down around you like rain focuses the mind marvelously.

    Shot or rock salt? I always thought hearing the ka-chunk of a pump shotgun being racked was more than sufficient for focusing the mind.

  73. @RebelWriter
    For my company, working from home seems to be working fairly well. We are beginning to tax the company's internal system bandwidth some, but most everyone is being surprisingly productive, and problems have been much scarcer than I'd imagined. We are making real progress on my project.

    I'm hoping the executives see the benefit of downsizing their real estate costs, while adding just a little to the IT overhead. It could really be a huge cost savings for the company. I'm saving money in gas and food. It's cheaper to feed myself at home. Biggest benefit for me is not having to brave I-85 traffic twice a day on a notably dangerous stretch of interstate.

    It really depends on what kind of work you do. If everyone stayed home in my field of work, other people would die.

  74. @epebble
    Emirates has a creative way to run their operations in view of skeptical public; they run a blood test pre-flight and allow only those who test -ve.

    https://www.emirates.com/media-centre/emirates-becomes-first-airline-to-conduct-on-site-rapid-covid-19-tests-for-passengers/

    The question is, how does an airline in a place not known for high degree of science expertise do it and we are, like 4th month into the pandemic with dead people being classified Covidees retrospectively?

    The question is, how does an airline in a place not known for high degree of science expertise do it and we are, like 4th month into the pandemic with dead people being classified Covidees retrospectively?

    Emirates is oil-rich. We are not a world leader any more. We have a lot of natural resources, but we don’t always use them well for the common good. No one ever said democracy was the most efficient form of government.

  75. @David
    Used to be a black lady in my neck of the woods who'd lob shot at anyone who crested her hill. Hearing the shot fall down around you like rain focuses the mind marvelously. She also ran a two-ho brothel (herself and her half-sister), called, "Looking for Eggs." Being the only blacks around, they named a road after her and preserve her shack/place-of-work as a sacred shrine.

    I got a question, Mr Newman, Sir. A commercial pilot friend keeps insisting his (well-known) airline has only parked half their planes. But I have big sky view and have the clear impression that air traffic going over southern Vermont is off by more than 90%. What gives?

    A shrine to that HBH, that’s a hoot, David! (Oh, in case you somehow don’t know what that stands for, that would be: Historically Black Ho-house.)

    He may be right that ~ 1/2 only are parked, but it depends where you mean by “parked”. The big hub airports are using all the gates for parking, even with no arrivals/departures to said gates. It’s the most convenient. Airliners are being parked all over the country, and they just take up a lot more room that one would think. Maybe it’s 50% now for another reason too, some optimism. It still takes effort to go get them, and when you put them into long-term parking in the desert, then even more effort is involved on both ends.

  76. @Jonathan Mason

    At least now they have officially run out of available dead bodies to count.
     
    Soon they will be buying in cadavers from China.

    Knowing the cheap China-made Crap* I’ve seen throughout the years, I wouldn’t be surprised if even imported cadavers would be defective, Jonathan. You think you’ve got a normal cadaver, and it turns out to be a Zombie. Armed coroners, bitchez!

    .

    * Just today, a kid’s putter that we used at the park (dug our own solo cups into the ground), broke on a 8 y/o boy’s putt! The handle is very nice, made like a break-apart pool cue. The head broke at one of 3 notched-out lines that were to represent guide marks, I assume. This was not just a Q/A thing but a (purposeful?) design problem, as the notch did not need to be 2/3-way through the thickness. What crap!

    With the work we did, digging into the clay, we may know more about golf-course architecture than you do soon, Steve!

  77. @Jonathan Mason

    At least now they have officially run out of available dead bodies to count.
     
    Soon they will be buying in cadavers from China.

    Oops, sorry, LOL!

  78. BN says:
    @Achmed E. Newman
    I really don't think most American will act in that ignorant a fashion, were they not incentivized to act ignorant by government dependence. You, I, or the next guy, could rightly say that there are a lot of stupid Americans, but you'd be surprised how people wise up and make an effort to learn when it's all up to them.

    I'll speak just for me here, but if I needed a haircut right now, and the hair-cut place were open, I'd be right on down. (I can't say it's a real barber, cause the last guy was getting the shakes and banging my head, and this chain place is just very convenient.)

    I got a haircut yesterday. Barber set up shop in his backyard and texted me to let me know. It was great, same haircut except without any other customers waiting and CA sunshine all over. It’s absurd to think this couldn’t have been done in his shop while maintaining risk levels at nil. At most, there are 2-3 clients in his shop at any given time, being worked on from more than 6 feet apart.

    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
    The great thing about it is, if this guy has a lot of customers that know him well, he can KEEP doing this at his house, shutdown or not. I'd love to see the country head in this direction. Starve the Feral Beast!

    BTW, BN,, are these local government and State ones aware of how little tax money they will take in soon? Collecting property tax will just take some strong-arming (unless you are a vocal minority). As Peak Stupidity noted in Tax Starvation under the Kung Flu lockdown, the sales tax take will be very low, along with their being a serious drop in State income tax (if it's levied), and then what about all the little stuff?
  79. @BN
    I got a haircut yesterday. Barber set up shop in his backyard and texted me to let me know. It was great, same haircut except without any other customers waiting and CA sunshine all over. It's absurd to think this couldn't have been done in his shop while maintaining risk levels at nil. At most, there are 2-3 clients in his shop at any given time, being worked on from more than 6 feet apart.

    The great thing about it is, if this guy has a lot of customers that know him well, he can KEEP doing this at his house, shutdown or not. I’d love to see the country head in this direction. Starve the Feral Beast!

    BTW, BN,, are these local government and State ones aware of how little tax money they will take in soon? Collecting property tax will just take some strong-arming (unless you are a vocal minority). As Peak Stupidity noted in Tax Starvation under the Kung Flu lockdown, the sales tax take will be very low, along with their being a serious drop in State income tax (if it’s levied), and then what about all the little stuff?

  80. Here, for example, is Lion of the Blogosphere’s list of what he thinks are the riskiest activities, which overlaps to a considerable degree with things he doesn’t like to do (such as go to a religious event).

    I haven’t read it, but I assume that he doesn’t think that saying or writing the word “proles” incessantly or proclaiming how Trump is in idiot constitutes a risky activity. No offense, but I rate the Rabbit of the Blogosphere’s opinion almost as lowly as that of Max Boot.

  81. I’m calling the Theatre closed.

    Early partial data from remsidivir trial: 2 deaths out of 113 severe patients in a Chicago hospital. (severe means on oxygen, i think but not necc respiraror)

    https://www.statnews.com/2020/04/16/early-peek-at-data-on-gilead-coronavirus-drug-suggests-patients-are-responding-to-treatment/

    Between this and hydroxychloroquine cocktail and antiserum therapy I think we can just call it done in the US over the next few weeks and go back to normal and mostly forget about this whole thing.

    No testing, no masks, no gloves, no perpetual social distancing, no temperature police, no immunity passports, no contact tracing.

    The vast majority will get it and have no or mild symptoms. People who get really sick go to the hospital where doctors test them, give them drugs, and they leave a week later. Some small number will still die.

    The virus will probably be around as a cold virus forever but nobody will really notice because everyone will have some level of immunity.

    There probably won’t even be a widely used vaccine except maybe in seniors (like the bacterial pneumonia vaccine they push nowadays), but probably not even that.

  82. @Stan Adams
    Don't give them any ideas.

    Years ago, there was a rumor that a woman's dog had been killed by a Sunday edition of the Los Angeles Times - i.e., the delivery guy threw the paper on the lawn and accidentally hit the dog. (This was back in the days when a Sunday paper typically ran several hundred pages.)

    Supposedly, someone at the Times looked into the story and determined that the dog had been run over by the delivery truck.

    Reminds me of WIND-AM(560) Dan Proft’s co-host Amy Jacobson who lives near now ex-Mayor Ron Emanual. She said she thinks her cat got run over by one of Emanual’s CPD security detail SUVs because they were always going up and down her street. Don’t think she ever got an admission of this though.

  83. @Polynikes
    Steve has kept an open dialogue going to his credit.

    Gotta be tough to start blogging again and reopen those comments for a guy who was wrong and called everyone else morons. I wouldn't want to read those comments either, if I were him.

    If someone’s argument is “your claim offends me, therefore it is wrong” or “your claim contradicts my holy book, therefore it is wrong,” I don’t see much of a point in having a “dialogue.” The corona-is-the-flu people are at that level of illogic, believing that they do not have to provide evidence for their claims. I’ve compared them to 9/11 truthers, but I must apologize, as it’s unfair to the 9/11 truthers who at least provided pseudo-rational arguments for their claims.

  84. We really need to publicly identify the most dangerous activities, so that we can get a sense of less dangerous activities.

    What would be far far more useful, is giving people information that enables them to form a decent guess at their excess mortality risk (and the mortality risk of people they care about), so that they can make informed decisions.

    If people are too stupid to pay attention to semi-good guesses about knowable risks… well, that’s a nice Darwinian Filter.

    So replace the current messaging…

    If you go outside for any reason other than the ones we say are OK, then you and everyone you love are going to fucking DIE gasping for breath and gurgling bubbly pink sputum on one of our Respirators of Death. Your disgusting self-inflicted excretions will get on an ICU hero, and they’ll die too. It will be your fault, you heartless, irresponsible, hero-murdering terrrrrist cunt. OBEY.

     with the following age-appropriate bits of advice (DISCLAIMER: these are EXAMPLES ONLY, not formal health advice)

    Are you under 40? This is less-than-meh. Stay way from old sick people, unless they’ve explicitly told you they’re conscious of their own risk and are OK with it.

    If you get covid19 you’re probably not going to notice (or you’ll think it’s a cold). More importantly: right now, you’re awash in hard evidence that government is incompetent. Take that on board and you will be less shocked by the rest of your life.

    Are you 40-49? Bro! Your excess risk if you contract covid19 is fuck-all – even if you’re a hypertensive obese diabetic. You might get very very unlucky, but you might also die in a fall… and you wouldn’t blame covid19 for that.

    Stay away from old sick people – unless they tell you they know their own risks and are OK with that.

    While we’ve got you here… if you are a hypertensive obese diabetic: lose some weight you fat cunt.

    Are you 50-59? Dude! Your excess risk if you contract covid19 is fuck-all – unless you have significant chronic cardiovascular, respiratory, or kidney disease. It’s very slightly more than fuck-all if you’re diabetic, and it’s about 5% if you get COVID19 and you’ve got 2 or more of those things.

    If you’re that sick, your risk of dying is about 4% anyway, so even then your excess risk is like 1%.

    Are you 60-69? Your excess risk if you contract covid19 is almost-certainly fuck-all – unless you have significant chronic cardiovascular, respiratory, or kidney disease.

    Diabetes by itself causes 508 deaths per million in your age group. Note: that’s not 508 per million diabetics – only 16.6% of your age group have diabetes, so your direct mortality risk from diabetes by itself is 1253 per million.

    covid19 causes 289 deaths per million in your age group (most of those are way sicker than you, even if you have diabetes).

    Are you over 75? Your excess risk if you contract covid19 is surprisingly low – maybe even zero – unless you have significant chronic cardiovascular, respiratory, or kidney disease.

    Diabetes by itself causes 3500 deaths per million in your age group. Note: that’s not 3500 per million diabetics; only 17.9% of people in your age group have diabetes. So if you’re diabetic, your diabetes-related mortality risk is 19500 per million – without covid19.

    At its worst, covid19 has caused 2100 deaths per million in your age group (most of those are way sicker than you, even if you have diabetes). If you’ve got 2 or more of of the important chronic illnesses mentioned, you probably already know the writing’s on the wall, right?

    The great thing is, if you contract covid19, you pose no risk to your kids & grandkids. They’re a risk to you, but if you’re suitably sanguine about what time you have left, you’ll agree it’s better to embrace them as often as either of you feel like, and let the cards fall where they may. If that’s what you decide, be sure and tell them – because they’ve been told to avoid you for your own good.

    NB: I wrote these based on the most recent Italian data for age-cohort comorbidity risk. I haven’t looked at the NYC data for a couple of days, but I doubt that NYC’s death rates by age cohort are worse.x

    • Replies: @anon
    What would be far far more useful, is giving people information that enables them to form a decent guess at their excess mortality risk (and the mortality risk of people they care about), so that they can make informed decisions.

    In some places that would be deemed "unfair" because we all must be treated the same, that's true equality. Unequal outcomes could result, and we all know that unequal outcomes are solely and purely the result of discrimination.

    Besides, no one can be told to use their best judgement because not everyone's judgement is the same, due purely to environmental factors.

    If we lived in a real, serious nation then things would be different. But...

    If people are too stupid to pay attention to semi-good guesses about knowable risks… well, that’s a nice Darwinian Filter.

    Insert "that's raccyss!" gif here.

  85. @epebble
    Emirates has a creative way to run their operations in view of skeptical public; they run a blood test pre-flight and allow only those who test -ve.

    https://www.emirates.com/media-centre/emirates-becomes-first-airline-to-conduct-on-site-rapid-covid-19-tests-for-passengers/

    The question is, how does an airline in a place not known for high degree of science expertise do it and we are, like 4th month into the pandemic with dead people being classified Covidees retrospectively?

    a place not known for high degree of science expertise

    Explains why they would choose a mechanism that has about the same odds of getting the right answer as a coin toss.

    The story is slightly dated, and ignores more recent research that shows that blood tests for antibodies are now proven to have woeful test characteristics, even when used as intended – i.e., to attempt to detect past asymp or pauci-symp infection.

    The problem with trying to find public commentary on the shithouse inaccuracy of such tests, is that the media is being swung full-force behind the “Unchain The Economy” narrative (I agree with the new narrative, even if I abhor the manipulative and dishonest way it’s being promulgated).

    If the blood test produces a large number of false negatives (i.e., “you’ve never had it” when you actually have it at sub-clinical levels) and a large number of false positives (i.e., “you’ve had it and are over it“), then a lot of people get a license to behave normally (and you have a large and growing stock of people ‘certified’ to have gotten over ‘low-dose’ covid19, who are currently – falsely – presumed immune).

    In the context of the current volte-face – as the global political class stares into the abyss they created – the pin-prick test has all the right characteristics… it’s quick, it seems familiar (pinprick), and it’s biased in the right direction.

    I’m writing up some stuff on this ‘pin-prick test’ now – checking the stats on three papers.

  86. anon[171] • Disclaimer says:
    @Kratoklastes

    We really need to publicly identify the most dangerous activities, so that we can get a sense of less dangerous activities.
     
    What would be far far more useful, is giving people information that enables them to form a decent guess at their excess mortality risk (and the mortality risk of people they care about), so that they can make informed decisions.

    If people are too stupid to pay attention to semi-good guesses about knowable risks... well, that's a nice Darwinian Filter.

    So replace the current messaging...


    "If you go outside for any reason other than the ones we say are OK, then you and everyone you love are going to fucking DIE gasping for breath and gurgling bubbly pink sputum on one of our Respirators of Death. Your disgusting self-inflicted excretions will get on an ICU hero, and they'll die too. It will be your fault, you heartless, irresponsible, hero-murdering terrrrrist cunt. OBEY."

     

     with the following age-appropriate bits of advice (DISCLAIMER: these are EXAMPLES ONLY, not formal health advice)

    Are you under 40? This is less-than-meh. Stay way from old sick people, unless they've explicitly told you they're conscious of their own risk and are OK with it.

    If you get covid19 you're probably not going to notice (or you'll think it's a cold). More importantly: right now, you're awash in hard evidence that government is incompetent. Take that on board and you will be less shocked by the rest of your life.
     


    Are you 40-49? Bro! Your excess risk if you contract covid19 is fuck-all - even if you're a hypertensive obese diabetic. You might get very very unlucky, but you might also die in a fall... and you wouldn't blame covid19 for that.

    Stay away from old sick people - unless they tell you they know their own risks and are OK with that.

    While we've got you here... if you are a hypertensive obese diabetic: lose some weight you fat cunt.
     


    Are you 50-59? Dude! Your excess risk if you contract covid19 is fuck-all - unless you have significant chronic cardiovascular, respiratory, or kidney disease. It's very slightly more than fuck-all if you're diabetic, and it's about 5% if you get COVID19 and you've got 2 or more of those things.

    If you're that sick, your risk of dying is about 4% anyway, so even then your excess risk is like 1%.
     


    Are you 60-69? Your excess risk if you contract covid19 is almost-certainly fuck-all - unless you have significant chronic cardiovascular, respiratory, or kidney disease.

    Diabetes by itself causes 508 deaths per million in your age group. Note: that's not 508 per million diabetics - only 16.6% of your age group have diabetes, so your direct mortality risk from diabetes by itself is 1253 per million.

    covid19 causes 289 deaths per million in your age group (most of those are way sicker than you, even if you have diabetes).
     


    Are you over 75? Your excess risk if you contract covid19 is surprisingly low - maybe even zero - unless you have significant chronic cardiovascular, respiratory, or kidney disease.

    Diabetes by itself causes 3500 deaths per million in your age group. Note: that's not 3500 per million diabetics; only 17.9% of people in your age group have diabetes. So if you're diabetic, your diabetes-related mortality risk is 19500 per million - without covid19.

    At its worst, covid19 has caused 2100 deaths per million in your age group (most of those are way sicker than you, even if you have diabetes). If you've got 2 or more of of the important chronic illnesses mentioned, you probably already know the writing's on the wall, right?

    The great thing is, if you contract covid19, you pose no risk to your kids & grandkids. They're a risk to you, but if you're suitably sanguine about what time you have left, you'll agree it's better to embrace them as often as either of you feel like, and let the cards fall where they may. If that's what you decide, be sure and tell them - because they've been told to avoid you for your own good.
     

    NB: I wrote these based on the most recent Italian data for age-cohort comorbidity risk. I haven't looked at the NYC data for a couple of days, but I doubt that NYC's death rates by age cohort are worse.x

    What would be far far more useful, is giving people information that enables them to form a decent guess at their excess mortality risk (and the mortality risk of people they care about), so that they can make informed decisions.

    In some places that would be deemed “unfair” because we all must be treated the same, that’s true equality. Unequal outcomes could result, and we all know that unequal outcomes are solely and purely the result of discrimination.

    Besides, no one can be told to use their best judgement because not everyone’s judgement is the same, due purely to environmental factors.

    If we lived in a real, serious nation then things would be different. But…

    If people are too stupid to pay attention to semi-good guesses about knowable risks… well, that’s a nice Darwinian Filter.

    Insert “that’s raccyss!” gif here.

  87. @Buffalo Joe
    Simp, my daughter lives in Bucks County, Pa which is pretty high end. After being closed for two weeks, then sputtering through a week of on line classes, the schools are now on Spring Break. Next week they resume with two hours of class Monday through Thursday and Fridays off. Parents have a right to be upset if this is the best they can do. Buffalo News has the prerequisite article about how on line teaching is negatively affecting minorities but that is just a continuation of their mantra.

    I see your “…how on line teaching is negatively affecting minorities…” and raise you this piece of stupidity from the Peoples’ Republic.

    Arlington Schools Shut Down New Learning: http://www.jeffersonpolicyjournal.com/arlington-schools-shut-down-new-learning/

    tl:dr: if the NAMs have such f**ked up homes that they can’t learn anything new, then the white kids shouldn’t either.

    We are so screwed as a country when people like this, our asshole Governor KlanRobes BlackFace, and that crazy Michigan bitch are in charge.

    But the GoodWhite soccer moms voted for all these morons, and now they’re going to get it good and hard.

  88. @The Last Real Calvinist
    But wearing masks is an aid to opening things up, not a hindrance.

    If everybody's wearing a mask, many public activities are likely to be safe enough to restart.

    You may assume, with good reason, that your own individual mask provides imperfect protection against airborne viruses. But widespread masking should inspire more confidence, i.e. you're reassured that the masks everybody else is wearing protect you because they keep everyone's exhalations and expectorations inside their masks.

    But this only works if the great majority of people cooperate and wear masks. Reaching acceptance of this need is a huge psycho-social hurdle. I don't know if a sufficient number of people in the USA will be willing to sacrifice their personal comfort in order to help their cities/states get past the current lockdown conditions more quickly and safely.

    I know quite a few of my friends and acquaintances in the USA are now wearing masks when they go out, but I've also come across several who say 'Oh, I would feel so claustrophobic and weird! There's no way I can do that!' That's bullshit, of course; almost anybody can wear a mask for hours on end if they really have to.

    I still don't have a clear idea of how widespread masking actually is in the USA. Are most people wearing them now? Can you get your hands on anything other than home-made ones?

    “I still don’t have a clear idea of how widespread masking actually is in the USA. Are most people wearing them now? Can you get your hands on anything other than home-made ones?”
    When I went to the grocery store today (in medium sized city in Fly-over) I would estimate about half the customers were wearing masks and almost all looked to purchased (ie not home-made). I am not sure where these are sold or available; initially we were told not to wear masks because from what I remember 1) they were not effective in preventing the wearer from getting the virus and 2) there was a shortage and masks should be left for medical professionals (for whom they are apparently at least partially effective). Now a distinction is being made between the medical masks for which there is still presumably a shortage and ever other kind of mask including home-made. I don’t know where people are supposed to find masks, so it is possible that the people who disregarded the original guidance and rushed and purchased masks are now the most able to follow the latest guidance. For the rest of us it will be bandana with coffee filter.

  89. @Jenner Ickham Errican

    Here, for example, is Lion of the Blogosphere’s list of what he thinks are the riskiest activities
     
    Hmm, let me mosey on over ... >click<

    Lion of the Blogosphere
    An April 14th virus update

    I haven’t written a blog post in a while, because the commenters were such morons I couldn’t take it.
     
    Steve, I like your style. :)

    Hehe! I see you change the “Thanks” below to an “Agree”. Same joke, but still funny!

    • Replies: @Jenner Ickham Errican
    Thanks. I realized later that responding to your generous compliment with “Agree” was more deadpan ‘in character’. :) I will admit I was surprised to see the changed tag instantly leapfrog to the top of the order in my comment history.
  90. @Achmed E. Newman
    Hehe! I see you change the "Thanks" below to an "Agree". Same joke, but still funny!

    Thanks. I realized later that responding to your generous compliment with “Agree” was more deadpan ‘in character’. 🙂 I will admit I was surprised to see the changed tag instantly leapfrog to the top of the order in my comment history.

  91. @MEH 0910
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Absalom

    I see your Absalom, and raise you a Samson.

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