Five Things: June 19, 2020

It’s Juneteenth, and for probably the first time, almost everyone seems to know that. Here’s five things I’m thinking about today:

Trump sure seems to want a riot: His “warning” to potential protestors of his Tulsa rally is very much of the “please actually do this, I need to shore up my support with the racists” sort; it would be his dream to have a lot of BIPOC people thumped on by the police while he ranted in an arena. Tulsa for its part seems to be wanting to avoid giving the president what he wants, although if there’s actually a curfew how is anyone going to go to his rally? So many questions. Also, no one’s gonna be wearing masks at that rally and Oklahoma went from 67 new cases reported on June 1st to 450 new cases reported yesterday, so, uhhhhh, yeah, maybe the protestors should stay away regardless; it’s not likely to be a safe environment. Speaking of masks:

AMC Theaters says no masks required when they reopen, then changes course a day later: Possibly because they were being widely mocked and criticized for it on Twitter, but more likely because someone in their legal department sidled up to the executives of the organization and handed over “A Child’s Book of Liability Issues,” and read it to them very slowly. Note that Regal and Cinemark, the other two major theater chains in the US, still aren’t requiring moviegoers to wear masks; hopefully they have seen what happened to AMC and will reverse course. For my part, and this I expect will come as no surprise, I’m not in a huge rush to go back into a movie theater right away, or if I do go I’ll go to a 10:30 showing on a Wednesday night three weeks into a movie’s run, i.e., when I am likely to be the only person in the theater. This will not be encouraging to the movie studios, but, you know. I like my lungs as they are.

Major League Outbreak: Five Phillies players, and three staff members, have tested positive for the coronavirus at the teams’ facilities in Florida. I understand Major League Baseball is still trying to get a season together this year, but, well. Seems kinda iffy. Honestly for most everything involving crowds, on a field or off one, we should all agree that 2020 is a lost year and roll things up until 2021. I do understand there is money involved, but… meh? I sound like a broken record on this stuff, I know. Sorry, let’s move on.

Meanwhile, John Bolton: It seems unlikely that the Trump administration will get to block Bolton’s book, because, you know, the First Amendment is an actual thing. Which on one hand is as it should be, because, you know, the First Amendment. But on the other hand John Bolton is a shitty person for not actually detailing what’s in the book to Congress, where it could have done some good other than making him money. So: Hooray for the First Amendment! Also, fuck John Bolton.

Juneteenth moon: I took this picture on Juneteenth in 2004. It’s one of my favorite photos. I hope you like it too.

54 thoughts on “Five Things: June 19, 2020

  1. Re. Trump’s Tulsa meet-and-greet:
    I see 20.000 or more people vying for the coveted Darwin award!

  2. Two “thinky bits”:

    1. For a company teetering on the edge of bankruptcy, you’d think AMC would be thinking more carefully about liability issues and potential PR fiascos. But maybe that’s just me.

    2. Bolton is clearly all about the Benjamins, and is a selfish and unpatriotic prick. But he said in an interview that he didn’t think testifying would have changed anyone’s vote, and he’s not wrong. He may have had new examples of Trump’s misbehavior, but Trump is a known commodity at this point. I can’t imagine anyone is surprised by the revelations we’ve seen from Bolton’s book so far.

    And following up on that second point, in some ways the timing of Bolton’s book release may do Biden a favor. Trump had pretty much recovered from the low in popularity he suffered during impeachment, but these new revelations (combined with his gross incompetency in handling both COVID-19 and the BLM protests) have served to remind everyone just what a self-centered, shitty human being he is.

  3. Funny, I still have my “Hurray 1st Amendment, Fuck John Bolton” bumpersticker from when he was UN Ambassador. What’s old is new again.

  4. Well, since police antagonized, beat and teargassed protesters in New York, Seattle and Minneapolis, maybe when he says it will be a different scene he means they will be treated with respect and dignity. (And then we laughed and laughed…)

  5. My university certainly has liability issues front and foremost. My worry is that the state legislature will do a reverse campus carry law except not allow state unis to require masks.

  6. I won’t read Bolton’s book (I’m so glad he didn’t influence Trump more), but I do see that he is saying the same things that all of Trump’s “very best people” say about him once they leave.

  7. Dear John,

    I’ve been thinking about the mask “thing,” and there’s so much resistance to wearing masks. I have a few insights I didn’t have before (they might even be correct insights, it’s been known to happen).

    The following is not directed at anyone, it’s a general observation applicable to most of us (but I want to thank Craig and others for getting me to think more on the topic).

    (Also, it is a possible explanation, NOT an excuse. Explanations are not excuses— some people seem to have a lot of trouble with that distinction. )

    Why is there this resistance to wearing masks? Not just people who absolutely don’t want to, but the so-many-of-us who are discomforted by it, although we do it. After all, wearing a mask is the LEAST onerous thing that has been asked of us to suppress the plague. Compared to sheltering in place, not being able to travel or vacation with friends… or at all, not being able to go to a movie or restaurant, and so on. Wearing a mask is a minor inconvenience.

    So, why is it so bothersome?

    Because — possibly — it is a constant reminder that we are living in a plague. That you might be sick, that I might be sick, that all of us are at risk of dying, even if the risk is small. When the mask is on, there’s that little constant physical knowledge, a psychic finger poking us in the side irritatingly repeating “don’t forget, don’t forget, don’t forget, you could die.”

    That’s not a psychologically healthy way to live. Most of us are not well-equipped to constantly think about maybe dying. Probably none of us are (although some have to). Health professionals, who are the best trained for this, they are being mentally battered by being constantly in the midst of infection. The rest of us? We are for the most part amateurs, not having to go through life thinking every goddamn moment about dying.

    I said for the most part — there are plenty of people who live with chronic or acute-but-long-term illness or potentially life-threatening disability. And they — for the most part — don’t have anywhere is much trouble, psychologically, following the health recommendations. What I’m considering here is why people are resistant to masks, not why they are not resistant.

    That’s my food for thought for the day. I hope it is both digestible and nourishing.

    – pax \ Ctein
    [ Please excuse any word-salad. Dragon Dictate in training! ]
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    — Ctein’s Online Gallery. http://ctein.com 
    — Digital Restorations. http://photo-repair.com 
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  8. I know I shouldn’t be thinking this but I secretly think the ideal outcome on Bolton’s book is 1) it gets published and 2) the government gets to take all his profits. Not ideal from a Constitutional perspective but so much just deserts for everyone involved. Trump takes all the hits politically. Bolton burns all his bridges to Fox News and the GOP but doesn’t get any of the money he was holding out for. He also doesn’t get any credit from anyone for courage in coming forward when it’s too late. The rest of us get to sit back, eat popcorn, and enjoy the show.

  9. John Bolton is a neocon nutjob who never saw a war he didnt like. He’s been itching to have young americans fight Iran on his behalf since 1979.

    And his stint on Trump’s administration show the man is a traitor who betrayed his country for a book deal.

    FUCK John Bolton.

  10. I am hoping baseball comes back; I would like to see it (just not live) or hear it. Apparently, one of the major issues (as to why they aren’t playing yet) is that they will likely be playing to empty stadiums for a while (and thus not reaping ticket costs and concessions), and so while they can’t make as much money, most of the crowd issues shouldn’t be there.

    Trump’s character and lack of concern for his office (and anyone who is not him) are overdetermined at this point. I don’t like Bolton, and he has the level of moral courage that is par for this Administration, but I can see his point about anyone (who could hear him) not caring. On the other hand, the more data that’s out there, the more data that Trumpites have to explain away (or at least, the larger the weight they have to lift mentally to maintain cognitive dissonance). Plus, it might be nice to have for the intellectual (cough) indictment of his party and fellow travelers.

  11. As far as the AMC thing goes, good for them for making the obvious correct decision (even after coercion from the internet mobs), but I’m still in no rush to sit in a theater with strangers. Looks like the only theatrical movie experience I’m likely to have for a bit is going to a drive-in. I’m lucky I live in a part of the country that has relatively easy access to those. I guess we’ll see how my area’s infection rates fare over the next few months. I’m not optimistic.

  12. Yeah, I’m with Kevin. I think there’s a distinct possibility that the book being revealed NOW will do more harm to Trump’s re-election prospects.

  13. 1:30 in the afternoon on a Tuesday for me, if and when. And yes, Bolton is a monster, but he’s always been outspoken, and he’s never been accused of being a liar, just grievously wrongheaded.

  14. Trouble with movie theaters is they make their profit off of concessions. Hard to eat popcorn and drink a soda with a mask.

    I’ll be staying away,

  15. @Ctein I think you may be on to something with your mask ponderings, but I’ll say in my part of the world (down here in cracker-ass-cracker Georgia), there’s a healthy dose of “I’mma make a lib lose his/her mind” by not wearing masks in public.

    I went up to the local grill store today to pick up charcoal and a few other things. This is the same grill store that flies a “thin blue line” flag and hosts BBQs every Saturday for local police. They’re nice people and it’s a fabulous grill store … but it’s clear where they stand. I wore my mask and was wearing my “Neverthless She Persisted” Warren t-shirt. I got my fair share of glares and snickers from staff and other customers. No one said anything to me, but there was one pointed comment from an aisle over of “I’m so sick of SOME people and their fear mongering.”

    I smiled, paid my bill, and left. But .. yeah. Welcome to Georgia.

  16. Yeah, I think the Bolton book is going to remind everyone that Trump’s an immoral bastard, and it may help to defeat him.

    And then there’s the next Bob Woodward book calling Trump an immoral bastard due out seven weeks before the election.

    Most of us don’t need to be reminded that Trump’s an immoral bastard, but I guess it never hurts to pile on, right?

  17. Apparently, some of the anti-mask activists are followers of this guy who has made a point of never being seen with a mask on, even when literally in a mask factory.

  18. John, thank you for being a broken record about prevention of disease transmission.
    My private re-opening is going to be way later than many people’s, given that I’m sixty-something with more than one underlying condition. And even here in Oregon I’m getting a glimmer of what it’s going to be like when “all the other kids can go out and play.” Will all the curbside pickups go away? Will I ever see another physical library book? (ebooks are great, but I miss old books and art books.) Will my friends understand why I turn down invitations?
    So I appreciate your moral support!

  19. and, Ctein, I think you’re right about masks and awareness of mortality. Perhaps they affect me less because I was already made very aware by the pile of snailmail from insurers about Medicare (more than a dozen pieces), timed to my recent half birthday of 64.5. It’s weird, because I’m 37 (although I’ve been married 42 years).

  20. One of the local Marcus theaters has turned their parking lot into a drive-in, with a screen mounted on the side of the building. Unfortunately it’s the one across town from me, and they start the first film at 9 PM due to that whole waiting for sunset thing. Pity, because this weekend’s double feature is Raiders of the Lost Ark and Last Crusade.

  21. @Nancy M, fellow Oregonian here. **waves** I’m so glad Gov. Brown is making masks mandatory when indoors in public as of next week. The reaction when I mentioned it to my husband and adult children was the same as my own: finally! We’ve been wearing them since March whenever we leave the house, but I still see too many people without them at the grocery store. Since I’m over 60 as well, it’s scary. As for library books, my Washington county library has a policy where you call to place a hold, they let you know when it’s ready, you call when you get to the parking lot and they put it on a cart for you. But the library has to have it already as they’re not transferring anything between branches. I suppose you could go to the branch that has it if necessary.

  22. In re theaters: The last movie I saw was “The Color Out of Space.” My son wanted to see it & I introduced him to Lovecraft 30 years ago, so…
    That theater folded with no pretense of trying to stay in business. It was a bit of a labor of love, rather than a profit center.
    Other than that trip, I can’t recall my last trip to the movies, and I don’t watch many on Netflix or Amazon Prime. So… Hollywood, have a nice life. I can, literally, live without you.

  23. Someone over at the never-Trumper “The Bulwark” agreed with those above who say that anything Bolton has to reveal would not have swayed a single Republican Senator to vote differently in the Senate trial of the president. There still would have been the 1 vote on 1 count from Romney.

    They made their deal with the devil, and it’s totally up to voters to make them pay in November.

  24. I can somewhat empathize with the first woman, but the rest are dangerous, irresponsible and selfish creeps.

  25. ctein, interesting points about masks, I would add that they make communication very difficult because we all ‘read’ faces to some extent, and this is so fundamental to human socialising. I’m dreading further opening up (UK, here) because I’m severely deaf and rely on lipreading to understand what people are saying … :( . So – I expect I will be carrying a notebook and pen around in future as well as a mask!

    (By the way, you’ve had the sign-off about Dragon Dictate in training for quite some time, surely it knows what it’s doing by now? ;) )

  26. You know, if people around the world can appreciate the importance of wearing masks to protect other people, and other people wearing masks to protect them, then I really don’t understand Ctein’s point. Nobody wants to die but the virus isn’t interested in our opinions and won’t be taking a poll on our preferences anytime soon. And you just wear the thing, nobody has to have it stitched to their faces. The perpetual toddler whine of “I don’t wanna!!!!” that is so American will result in many people getting very sick.

  27. It is so expected that the anarchist led Dem’s and their multimedia cohorts are complaining about a rally in these days of COVID19.. They were silent during weeks of riots (and some peaceful demonstrations) about the risks of COVID19 spreading. These were happening over dozens of cities and involved anywhere from small groups to many thousands. The hypocrisy, frequently on both sides of issues, is always apparent and predictable.

    So far as the antifa mob causing problems at the Trump rally, I would hope if they instigate violence that the Tulsa police step in to remove them .. and not retreat as they have been commanded to do at so many riot locations. A police retreat would likely result in the Trump crowd protecting themselves. That would not be a pretty site but the MSM would eat it up.

  28. @Gary: Speak for your own locale.

    As a resident of the Minneapolis area I can say that the COVID19 problems were not forgotten for the protesters, nor in the media coverage. Steps were taken then, and still are, to mitigate the risks. Obviously, the added risk couldn’t be erased. But as a local health care worker observed, being Black under the regime of the MPD was and is already dangerous and life-threatening, even more than the pandemic.

    I suppose you haven’t seen all the coverage of the actual rioters here — whites, many from out of state, vandalizing and destroying businesses, libraries, post offices, and people’s homes.

  29. I am old enough to remember the Cold War. If someone wanted to book the community hall to speak advocating communism, and someone else spoke to advocate anarchy, the two would book on two different nights. The public could attend both nights, and do some due deliberation.

    I don’t remember simultaneous meetings to counter advocate.

    Hence I can’t “get into” simultaneous counter demonstrations. It feels too much like the magical thinking of children who believe the last word or the loudest word is somehow best. Not for me, not when I practise due deliberation.

    Come to think of it, children also believe in the “rightness” of peer pressure, so maybe that is somehow connected.

  30. Something to remember about Bolton, as much as anyone, he resurrected the North Korean nuclear program, because he wanted to break something Jimmy Carter did.

  31. @ Gary:

    I love it when white supremacist Trumpsmen deliberately miss the point of an antiracist argument, especially when their own arguments point to their *own* hypocrisy.

    Were the thousands upon thousands of bare-faced, stay-at-home order violating white people practicing anarchy when they armed themselves to the teeth and stormed the capitals of their blue states?

    I didn’t hear or see white wingers ranting or shaking their fingers at their anarchy.

    Oh, wait, those “peaceful” protests were *by* white people and *for* white people and, more importantly, about protecting privilege and ensuring that Covid did its job of wiping out the elderly, infirm and anyone from communities who would hurt Trump’s reelection.

    Talk about predictable arguments. LOL!

    I wish racists would quit being so damn disingenuous and just admit that the covidiot protests were A-Okay because they served the end of keeping their people in power and eliminating demographics they hate.

    At least we’d know for sure where you stood.

    And there is no excuse for ignoring the following:

    https://www.salon.com/2020/06/05/authorities-seized-thousands-of-dollars-of-masks-intended-to-shield-protesters-from-covid-19-report/

  32. Re AMC,

    My feeling is that movie theaters are going the way of the video store; the ability to have good viewing at home has been improving, and the last few months have started breaking our ‘let’s go to the show’ habits. I would love to see the return of drive-ins, though.

  33. Tulsan here, and first thing off I have to set one thing straight here – THEY RESCINDED THE CURFEW. Typically, Trump announced via tweet that there would be no curfew, and the mayor’s office only confirmed this a couple of hours later.

    I wasn’t especially worried about outbreaks of violence before then, but I am now. We’ve seen a lot of violence instigated by police in connection with protests, and this possibility is what worries me most here. White power types have been attempting to infiltrate American police forces for years, and we know members of the Trump administration have links to white power activists/organizations. I have no direct evidence that there’s any kind of backchannel communication going on here, but the possibility can’t be ruled out, and if the bad guys are setting a trap I hope the good guys are too wary to walk into it.

    Even now, however, I still think the bigger threat to Tulsa is the spread of COVID-19. There’s a lot of joking about gunning for Darwin Awards, a lot of “let them wipe themselves out” comments, and while I sympathize with the impulse behind them they ignore the fact that it won’t be just the rallygoers who suffer but people they encounter who might not have any choice in the matter, including children, homebound older and disabled people, and “essential workers” who have to face the public. As a gig economy grocery shopper/delivery person, I belong to the latter class.

    In the context of COVID-19, I’m fortunate to live alone (mostly – I’m also the faithful human companion to the Yorkie who runs the house). Already I’ve taken measures to limit my viral exposure, including consistent use of PPE and practice of social distancing, avoiding shopping at the busiest times, and only taking orders with a certain minimum on commission and/or bonus. (I hate having to do the latter, as it shortchanges customers who can’t spend as much money and heightens competition among shoppers for lucrative orders, but I still have to make a living and I have to do so with a minimum of shopping time if possible.) After the rally, though, I’m afraid these measures won’t be enough.

    There’s a lot of disgusted comment in the social media I follow about the number of Americans who go out in public without masks, and I encounter a lot of those people while I’m working. Not only maskless folk, but people who violate recommended “best practices” in other ways – people who wear masks but leave their nose uncovered, or wear their masks pulled down, or who will pull their masks down to talk to you; people who shop in groups, or bring their kids into the store (giving slack to single parents who can’t get childcare, but still…); people who block the aisles while they’re browsing; people who go against the arrows marked on the floor, and you can’t just tell them to turn around and go the other way (not if you want to keep your job, anyway). I suspect a lot of conscientious people limit their store trips, which is good, but it just means people like me are more likely to encounter the ones that don’t. (And that’s not even getting into the numerous violations of mask protocol and social distancing I’ve seen among store workers….)

    I’ve done the best I could, but I’m afraid that after this rally it’s not going to be nearly enough. I’ll have to limit my orders even more (bonuses only, especially since the firm I work for doesn’t do hazard pay), and possibly take all or most of the next few weeks off. I think I can beg, borrow or scrounge enough money to get by for a while, and consider myself fortunate to be able to do so. I also worry for the ones who aren’t.

  34. ctein is giving anti-maskers way too much credit for their ability to engage in connected thought. To them, wearing a mask is giving up “freedom” as a precaution against something they don’t see themselves as personally experiencing. It’s viscerally no different from denial of climate change, structural racism, measles vaccines, etc etc.

  35. Dear just,

    I’m sure you’re partially right. And Paula had an observation, which is that these include the same people who object to everything else. But expressing the other objections generally requires a group effort. This can be a personal rebellion.

    Not that I care all that much about what bothers them, much more interested in what bothers *us*.

    I was thinking abut it more as an unconscious emotional reaction rather than a conscious thought. It came out of wondering why I, and others who are good about mask-wearing, dislike it so much. As compared to all the other stuff I am being forced into (not) doing. It felt like a disproportionate reponse.

    My “bother” for today is that I can’t figure out why the hospitalization rate is steadily going down, even as the case numbers seem to be modestly going up. I know it’s not due to less vigilance by doctors. Nor undercounting. Maybe it’s something different in how we’re handling newly diagnosed cases or a substantially higher percentage of the new cases are the asymptomatic kind?

    pax / puzzled Ctein

  36. Then there’s this. Can Tulsa get enough evil portents already: ktul.com/news/local/trump-campaign-says-6-staffers-test-positive-for-coronavirus-in-tulsa

  37. Re Bolton’s book, I suspect I was not the only publishing or publishing adjacent person who was amused by the fact that Barr did not seem to know that Bolton’s book had been off-press for weeks, and that copies of it had already been sent to reviewers So continuing to ask him to make more changes in the manuscript was kinda moot….

  38. Let us not forget that it was Bolton who undid the CDC’s pandemic readiness programs. Let us never forget that, along with his many other despicable acts and ambitions.

  39. Re movie theaters – I still prefer seeing movies in our local theater, and pre-epidemic there seemed to be plenty of other people feeling the same. Ours is a non-profit, supported by contributions. They’re still closed, but selling tickets for streaming, which I haven’t taken advantage of (for no particular reason, apart from the fact that there are many competing options).

    I hope they survive. One of many businesses at risk at the moment. I’d much rather lose one of my favorite local restaurants, if I could choose. It’s something of a miracle we still l have this in town.

  40. @ctein

    On hospitalization rates. Nate Silver tweeted yesterday that hospitalizations seem to be increasing in the South and West.

    (Which I gather is also where the new cases are increasing, even after accounting for testing.)

  41. @Sarah Marie, the first woman in that Covidiots compilation is describing a panic attack – that hand tingling, heart racing, feeling like you can’t breathe is very classic (the hand tingling’s actually due to low CO2 rather than high CO2!).

  42. That makes sense.

    I don’t doubt that she and others like her comb Web MD for anything that might validate their case against wearing masks.

    Her physical reaction might not be mask related but, it does lend a bit of credence to Ctein’s theory of the covidiot.

    The mask is a compulsory thing made necessary by a reality she can neither control nor understand.

    She breaks down when lamenting the absence of human contact and, most importantly, wants very badly to return to the relatively safe world she knew before face coverings were compulsory.

    This comes through loud and clear in her speech.

    She isn’t alone in her desire for normality.

    She isn’t alone in her anxiety, either.

    As I said, I can empathize with her, but I still expect her to either observe the rules by which we all must live or take the necessary steps toward getting her essential business done in a way that neither exacerbates her condition nor endangers others.

    The objective reality is that we are in the grip of a global pandemic that has and continues to claim hundreds of lives a day.

    Covid 19 is a deadly, highly contagious and easily transmitted virus.

    Things aren’t normal and aren’t likely to be for the foreseeable future.

    They really won’t be normal so long as people continue to downplay the severity of this situation, cite and validate Fox News /Trump generated numbers and flout pandemic-related laws.

    If she and others like her don’t come to terms with this reality, they won’t make it. It’s just that simple.

    The truly tragic part of all of this is, the natural consequences of their stupidity are going to fall on others.
    We’ve been heaved into a situation we didn’t choose and which we can’t control and have to figure out how to protect us and ours while at the same time ensuring the health and safety of people we don’t know.

    It’s complicated as hell and sucks sideways, but it’s what we’ve got.

    I expect people like that woman to be adults and either develop adaptive coping mechanisms or seek professional help for what they are experiencing.

    These never-maskers and covidiots are behaving as if they’re the only ones being told to sacrifice comfort and normality for the sake of strangers.

    They labor under the misapprehension that the constitutive criteria for patriotism are sociopathy, science denial and racism.

    They cite “the numbers” as if they somehow make this virus less contagious and deadly than it is.

    I get that they’re angry and running scared, but they don’t get to endanger other people because they can’t deal with the fact that the world is burning.

    They need to do their part like the rest of us.

    Those who don’t are going to be dragged and beaten to bits on social media and all over the internet.

    They’ll be recorded and have their antics posted on YouTube so that people around the world can have a much-needed laugh at their expense.

    Some of them are terrified people who are either in denial or just aren’t coping very well.

    Still more are a bunch of anti-intellectual, white supremacist far-right extremists who know the truth and are determined to use the science to their advantage.

    I’m in the group they’re coming for, so I’m all out of patience and understanding.

  43. Dear Michael,

    It would be very surprising if that weren’t the case. 3,000 counties in the US, each a different Petri dish. I mostly don’t track the county data because there’s too much and it’s too hard to acquire. A handful of Bay Area counties and ones in other parts of the country where my sweeties live. We’re seeing small upticks for a couple of counties here. Not big enough to be troublesome, but worrisome.

    I wish I were more optimistic about a vaccine. I’m not. No, I don’t know anything special, no authority in this matter– just relating my feelings. All I’ve got to pin my future on is the effectiveness of social controls. And hoping the critical numbers nationally continue to decline.

    pax / Ctein

  44. This is CA overall at the moment.

    Three more states of interest: California, Oklahoma, and Georgia.
    (GA had reporting problems during that May 24 w… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…— The COVID Tracking Project (@COVID19Tracking) June 20, 2020

    (3rd photo, bottom right)
    Quite a bit of detail at LA times, such as
    https://www.latimes.com/projects/california-coronavirus-cases-tracking-outbreak/#patients
    And for general reference, in case someone is interested who has still not seen the site,
    https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/us/
    and in particular
    https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/usa/california/

  45. Well. So the Tulsa trump rally was pretty much a bust – thank you, Kpop stans and TikTok folk – and incidents of violence and disorder were relatively few.(The 4.2 earthquake last night was probably bigger local news in the immediate aftermath of the rally.) Still, with attendance in the thousands and very little masking or social distancing – ironically, seating more people in the mostly empty upper deck would have permitted the latter – the rally still qualifies as a major potential superspreader event, even if the aftereffects won’t be as immediate or dramatic as we thought when we believed attendance would be nearly 20,000. I’m still curbing my public space activities for a while.

  46. 1) The idea of masks being an awareness of limits that people don’t like makes sense to me. A book series my wife liked and I read had a scene where some of the characters complained about people’s cabin fever (in parallel Buffalo) and that they just went outside when it was appropriate. I thought that the cabin fever in people was because people expect to be able to do what they want and don’t like being unable to do so. The series also had a Trump-like group of people with a rabid unawareness of its limitations for whom things did not go well.

    2) I would not expect a vaccine for a while – even with the lots of new vaccine types being tried, most things don’t work. In addition, the testing takes time and can’t be rushed – a vaccine that either has lots of bad side effects or doesn’t work will be worse than no vaccine. (Derek Lowe’s blog discusses a lot of the issues in detail – he’s a drug chemist with a broad background). So, if COVID’s going to be controlled, it’s up to social measures to do it for a while.

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