Darke County and COVID Contradictions

A map of Ohio with each county colored by incidence of community transmission

Cases of COVID are on the upswing again, in Ohio as well as nationwide, so I thought I would check in with the CDC and see how my county is doing. Darke County, Ohio is not particularly well vaccinated — we have something like a 31% vaccination rate (I and my family are of course vaccinated) — so I was curious to see if we’d had a notable uptick in COVID cases recently.

The answer: Not really! Or at the very least, not yet. Darke County is one of the few Ohio counties at the moment with a low incidence of community transmission, with two reported new cases of the virus in the last week. There was one COVID-related death reported yesterday; prior to that the last recorded COVID-related death was six weeks ago. The virus is still in Darke County, but it’s small hotspots at the moment, not a forest fire.

This is good news in that most of the people who live near me appear to be at a reasonably low risk for COVID, despite their current unvaccinated status. It’s less good in that, in a county that already suffers from vaccine hesitancy, it doesn’t seem likely to me that anything is going to move the needle (so to speak) to convince folks around here to get a shot. Yes, it’s nice that the GOP and FOX News have begun, incredibly begrudgingly, to tell people to get a shot, but it may be too little, too late for that, for Darke Country and other rural, conservative counties in the US.

I am vaccinated, along with my family; I’m not too worried about having a breakthrough infection thanks to the Delta variant, and if I am infected, I’m not too worried about getting very sick from it (for values of “very sick” that mean “hospitalized and possibly intubated”). I do worry for my neighbors who haven’t, by choice, been vaccinated, not only because they can get sick but because they can more easily transmit to others, some of whom can’t get vaccinated, even if they want to.

Likewise, I worry that the longer people avoid getting vaccinated, the more variants will pop up. Delta is already more transmissible than earlier versions of the virus; it’s entirely possible we’ll eventually hit on one that the vaccines won’t be effective against. I like my house; I’d still like to leave it occasionally.

Basically, Darke County is currently lucky, with regard to COVID. I sincerely hope it remains so. I would also like to suggest to my fellow Darke Countians that luck favors the prepared, and in this case, “prepared” means “vaccinated.” It’s just a thought.

— JS

42 Comments on “Darke County and COVID Contradictions”

  1. Note: Anyone posting anti-vaccine bullshit will see their comment malleted into oblivion as soon as I see it. Don’t do it; save us both the effort.

  2. Honestly, it feels like we’re going through what will be at best a short respite, before delta or some other variant (or, more likely, more than one) comes roarin’ through again.

    I worry mainly about those who would get vaxxed, but can’t, esp. in big cities and poorer countries. They are all at risk from the selfish, ignorant antivax aholes, and the lack of leadership.

  3. My attitude basically is:

    a) Kids aren’t vaccinated.
    a1) They don’t seem to die when infucted
    a2) I’m old and don’t hang around kids much.
    a3) Not my problem.

    b) Some people can’t get vaccinated
    b1) This is some 1% of the population
    b2) They should be taking precautions on their own.
    b3) No my problem

    c) Some 30-40% of folks refuse to vaccinate
    c1) I’m not wearing a facemask to protect these idiots
    c2) There are 2 ways to herd immunity:
    c2a) Get enough people to get the vaccination
    c2b) Kill off enough idiots who refuse the vaccination

    I hate to see c2b be the solution, but I refuse to wear a face mask to protect idiots.

  4. You’re pretty spread out there, what about the schools? Are they in your county or do you have a regional system? Not that the next county over is likely to institute a mask requirement either.

  5. I am so worried about schools opening up with mask mandates not being allowed (yes, people in Blue states, some state governments have made K-12 mask mandates illegal), even places with kids under 12. Especially since the news is now saying they won’t be getting vaccinated until winter now instead of fall, which they’d been saying until like two weeks ago.

    Called the governor’s office today about it, but I’m guessing he’s only going to lift the prohibition if other ultra-right governors are doing it too. But worried “soccer moms” will hopefully have some influence on that switch getting flipped?

  6. This exactly:
    “Likewise, I worry that the longer people avoid getting vaccinated, the more variants will pop up. Delta is already more transmissible than earlier versions of the virus; it’s entirely possible we’ll eventually hit on one that the vaccines won’t be effective against. I like my house; I’d still like to leave it occasionally.”

  7. When Delta comes to town, the low vaccination rate is a serious problem for you. The more infections, the more opportunities you have for exposure. And with vaccines that are 95% effective, eventually the law of averages will catch up. We do know that breakthrough infections are possible, we just don’t know how possible because there are not usually followup tests of people who have been vaccinated. Personally, I decided to start wearing the mask again whenever I go indoors.

  8. The worst case is the combination of low vaccination rate and high population density. You only have one of those in Darke County.

  9. I fired the guy who had been mowing my rental properties. I noticed lawns not getting mowed for over three weeks and when I called him to see what’s up, he told me that he had Covid and pneumonia (many months after the vaccine – the FREE vaccine became available!). Oh, thanks for letting me know earlier!

    I have the bad combination of a quick mind with poor filters and tend to spew out whatever I’m thinking and what popped out was, “I think there two major groups of people who refuse to be vaccinated: politically ideological folks who maintain limited access to facts, and stupid people. And you never struck my as very political.”

    Honestly, I don’t think it occurred to him that I was calling him stupid so that was a waste. The very same day I saw a mowing crew in my neighborhood that had a Biden/Harris sticker on the back of their pickup and after asking the two guys if they’d been vaccinated (“Hell yeah!” they replied together), I hired them on the spot.

  10. Luck is not a plan. Neither is hope.

    Vaccination? THAT’S a plan.

    Honestly? I think the delta variant is just the tip of the iceberg. Covid 19 is a RNA virus, a retrovirus, a super mutator (most retroviruses, like HIV or Ebola, are supermutators. No DNA mechanisms to excise errors in transcription.) We created environmental conditions to favor Covid 19 variants that were more infectious, by social distancing, masking, hand washing, etc AND by having a LARGE portion of the population that refused to do any of those things, thereby guaranteeing a host reservoir to continue the production/population of Covid 19, including the variants.

    Sooner or later, we will encounter a variant that will have mutated to blow right through the current vaccinations, which are actually excellent at doing what they were designed to do, which is prevent illness and to a lesser degree, transmission of the Covid 19 pathogen.

    If the Trump troglodytes and antivaxxers hadn’t provided the host reservoir, we might have actually been able to permanently eliminate the pathogen. Unfortunately, that no longer looks to be an option. This thing is now with us forever, barring some epic new medical breakthrough.
    For anyone going “no, that’s impossible”, I suggest reading The Demon In The Freezer by Richard Preston. Makes the movie Jaws look like a kids’ movie.

    Given that the majority of the infected and dead are now the unvaccinated, I couldn’t stop thinking about how the Republicans, conservatives and religious right bawl predictably, publicly and tiresomely about how deeply the care about children and the unborn but won’t get vaccinated. Exactly what kind of cognitive dissonance has to take place for both ideas to occupy the same mental space? Because right now, the dead are something like 93-99% unvaccinated and children under 12 can’t get vaccinated.

    The other thought that kept running through my mind was the Pied Piper story. The piper asks for what is reasonable, fair (& previously negotiated) and when the townspeople refuse to do the right thing, the piper tells them that he will take their children instead.

    Far too many people refused to do what was right and reasonable. And now the pandemic is taking their children.

  11. Thank you for this!

    I am fully vaccinated but I would almost certainly die if I acquired one of the variants doing the rounds; I am therefore following medical advice and isolating myself now that almost all restrictions have been lifted here in England. Meanwhile scientists around the world are a) expressing extreme concern about the effects on the population of England and b) expressing extreme concern about the effects on the population of the rest of the world, since the pursuit of so-called herd immunity via people catching the virus – as opposed to by vaccination- gives perfect conditions for the virus to mutate into even nastier forms.

    Viruses don’t care about the opinions of people they infect; they just want to reproduce themselves. My daughter is a consultant physician in an Acute Medical Unit who is put at risk by idiots who refuse to get vaccinated, or imagine that vaccination is a form of magic which ensures that they can’t catch it, and thus are convinced that they can’t possibly end up in her resuscitation room.

    Those are almost as irritating as the people claiming that Covid is a hoax created by the pharmaceutical industry and therefore there must be some other reason for their relatives ending up in her resuscitation room and she should be investigating some other possible reason, presumably in her copious free time whilst trying to establish a supply of oxygen to the brain in the four minutes before irreversible brain damage occurs.

    She is in Kent where the Alpha variant kicked off; she has, for obvious reasons, very extensive experience of diagnosing and treating people with Covid-19. She’s also the vaccine lead, running clinical trials on one vaccine in particular. Naturally a fairly small but very loud group of people are convinced that reading posts on Facebook is an adequate preparation for making the judgement calls she makes. Unfortunately there is no vaccine for stupidity.

  12. I am fully vaccinated and wish everyone were. I will go back to social isolation, wear a mask indoors, etc to protect myself and others.

    I rarely tout his work, but Ross Douthat at the NY Times has a good opinion piece on vaccine hesitancy. Some of it is ideology, some foolishness or ignorance, and some is way more complicated than that. Worth a look, after one stops screaming at his omission of the GOP’s role in all of this.

  13. I also see a contradictory image for the county in which I live, although the values are opposite to Darke County. According to the CDC, community transmission in my county is considered moderate, despite the fact that the same county has the highest vaccination percentage of total population (70% with one dose, 67% completed the series) of all counties in the state.

    The county in our state with the lowest vaccination percentage – a bit less than 27% of the county population – is also classified by the CDC as having a moderate level of community transmission at this moment.

    The biggest difference between those two counties, I suspect, is more numeric than percentage-based.

    The county with 27% of its population vaccinated has fewer than 15,000 unvaccinated residents. Meanwhile, my county, which likes to brag about its 67% vaccination rate, still has over 180,000 residents who have not been vaccinated.

    And viewed through that lens, it seems a bit less mysterious that my county’s community transmission rates are roughly equal to those of a sparsely populated rural county with slightly more than a quarter of its population vaccinated.

    I hope that enough of the remaining unvaccinated folks will have a change of heart in time to ward off another COVID surge. But if the next variant is already out there quietly proliferating, it may already be too late. Which is why, when I was told earlier this month to return to my office to work, I didn’t bring back any of the tschotschkes I took home from my cubicle when the first lockdowns started in March 2020. I don’t expect in-person work to continue much past this summer, and possibly not even that long. I’d love to be wrong. But I don’t think I will be.

  14. One of the things the conspiracy fans point out is actually a clue to one possible future. “Disinfectants that were already on shelves before the pandemic with statements that they kill coronavirus.”
    The common cold can be caused by a variety of different viruses, a couple of them are actually coronaviruses that became endemic in humans. One of them, that came from cows, is now suspected to have been responsible for the last big pandemic of the 1800s.
    What often has happened in the past, is after killing some percentage of the population, a mutation shows up that is more contagious, but less deadly, and the virus joins the ranks of “common cold” causers.
    The problem is how many other mutations show up in the meantime, and how many people die is unpredictable.
    The republican response legitimized people’s hesitation is a big part of the problem. What should have been a unified front on “everyone should get vaccinated as soon as it’s available” and leading into the scale of vaccination administration used for polio vaccines was undermined by people who secretly got vaccinated when only first responders and medical personnel were supposed to have access, while casting doubts on the vaccines.
    The living past presidents got vaccinated on TV to boost confidence in the vaccine, while Trump got it in secret and talked about disinfecting lungs.

  15. Is there a novel waiting to be written about a virus that decimates (maybe literally, _i.e. _ kills one out of ten) of the more strident adherents to one particular political movement?

    Perhaps the current (or future) variant should be renamed “hemorrhoid-19” based on its present disproportionate rate of infection and transmission among assholes.

  16. I think Peter, above, is on to something.

    I think “hesitancy,” such a tactful word, is from social media.

    I guess I could tactfully say, “Social media is not always as ethical as journalism,” as a start towards consciousness raising.

    For more on TV’s six o’clock “infotainment” as compared to newspapers, see the works of Neil Postman. For more on what “journalism ethics” are I don’t know what to tell you, since we live in an Information Age and so everybody already knows. Then again, maybe ethics ain’t common sense.

  17. Over here, we’re at 80% with one shot and 62% with both, but cases per 100k have quadrupled from the low point to 8, and community outbreaks have done the same. Big county, high density though

    I was thinking about going out to some indoor events this week, then went “nah, not yet” (fully vaccinated here)

    I’m not sure what has got into Faux Noise and the GQP today, but it’s far too little, too late. If they’d actually pushed the vaccine to start with (even if they falsely credited TMFWWNBN) then we wouldn’t be in this mess. The damage one corrupt orange imbecile (and his corrupt useless son in law and assorted bottom feeders) can do is incredible. At least he can correctly claim he’s killed more Americans than anyone else, bigly.

    Though BoJo the clown is running a close second in idiocy in the UK.

  18. I had a thought.

    We all here all know, right down to our bones, that getting vaccinated is the right thing to do, and find the hesitancy reasons incomprehensible. Yet so many people believe those reasons, and just cannot see how wrong they are.

    It bears thinking that perhaps we too hold such wrong ideas just as firmly, and cannot see how wrong they are, no matter how many people try to show us the error of our ways.

  19. Old enough here to have seen adults with smallpox scars in Calcutta. Smallpox is gone now in the wild; it took worldwide coordination and a massive vaccination effort to wipe out the last few smallpox reservoirs. Many people who are older than I am lost relatives to polio, They got vaccinated ASAP, disregarding their politics, and so did I.

    Peter, there was a novel, The White Plague, where a disease was designed to infect men but killed 90% of women and was deliberately spread in countries that supported terrorism (Libya and Ireland were targeted in the book), The designer’s family had been killed by terrorists.

    Designing a disease to attack political factions would only be possible if there’s an isolatable genetic factor in politics, like fear-based brain vs empathic brain or authoritarian vs egalitarian – which I’ve seen brought up occasionally in popular media, but have strong doubts about the reality of. As an example, West Virginia is a deeply reactionary state these days, but used to be a union stronghold. Was this change genetic?

  20. Jim, above, is wrong: there are not two ways to herd immunity. There’s one way: vaccinating enough of the population. Letting the disease run free among the unvaccinated will not result in herd immunity; it’ll only result in emergence of a series of variants, and people getting reinfected, and a pandemic that never ends.

    It is your problem, Jim.

  21. @Hyman Rosen:

    “We all here all know, right down to our bones, that getting vaccinated is the right thing to do, and find the hesitancy reasons incomprehensible.”

    I don’t know anything “right down to my bones”. I know that getting vaccinated is the right thing to do because that’s what factual evidence indicates.

    Likewise, I don’t find hesitancy reasons “incomprehensible”. Political tribalism, conspiracy theories, swinish selfishness, and resentment due to self-perceived intellectual inferiority among uneducated, ignorant, and/or dumb people, all play a factor. There’s nothing mystical or mysterious about stupidity.

    “It bears thinking that perhaps we too hold such wrong ideas just as firmly, and cannot see how wrong they are, no matter how many people try to show us the error of our ways.”

    It is always good to be self-aware. But I can’t remember the last time I dismissed a rational argument based in fact, even if I didn’t agree with the conclusion. That’s the nice part about science – it doesn’t care about personal preference.

  22. I let myself grow a huge pandemic moustache. I’m too shy of going out in public and showing it to everyone. So I never leave home without my mask! Haha!

  23. @Jim….you realize even if you’re vaccinated, you can still get it….and long haul syndrome is terrible too….wear the face mask…. @JScalzi….until it mutates into ebola like symptoms(eyes bleeding); i doubt certain people will take this seriously at all….the only thing that saves us is if it starts targeting stupid people exclusively….or sterilizing them.

  24. One of the things we have to remember about “herd immunity” – whether through vaccines or through enough people getting sick, recovering, and developing antibodies, is that the theory inherently requires everyone mixing together AS “the herd.”

    If enough people in a population that interacts are immune, the people who are still susceptible are less likely to encounter it at all, and less likely to successfully spread it to another person who is susceptible if the they get it.

    That doesn’t work if the pockets of people who are vaccinated and the pockets of people who aren’t don’t intermingle. I think that’s what we’re seeing, and why the “what percentage of the population is vaccinated” is only a part of the story. If the unvaccinated people tend to spend their time together, it’s going to still spread among them, since the people who might buffer them aren’t in among them. Add in the mutations, and it’s a nightmare scenario.

  25. I have a smallpox vaccination scar. My husband’s cousin was one of the last to contract polio before a vaccine was available. She spent her childhood in Shriner’s hospitals. My son was one of the first eligible to get one of the first vaccines available for H. flu. My kid get meningitis? “Give it to him. Now!” I am a critical care nurse. Surprised?

  26. Here’s to hating to be right. Sigh.

    Also, looks down at Fatman’s handywork and asks, “you couldn’t have saved me even one little scrap?!”

    Nicely done.

    I’m sick to death (no pun intended) of folks trying to both-sides an issue and equate objective correctness with the objectively stupid.

    As for the recent spike in infections and deaths, the decency in me demands that I empathize with the human beings who are dying, even if it’s as a result of their own partisan “herd mentality,” but I just can’t work up even a quarter of an ounce of sorrow for them.

    For me, it’d be like my heart going out to mass shooters dying by the dozens and hundreds when their weapons explode in their hands.

    My response to the news of their plight is not unlike the one for drunk drivers who kill themselves in auto accidents.

    I’m always more concerned about anyone they may have endangered or harmed.

    Finally, cue a run on the vaccine supply now that the right quarters have been given leave to take things seriously.

    It’ll be just like last year, when the jeers at those stocking up gave way to snarls over the last box of wipes on the shelf the very second that it became apparent that they and theirs were going to be impacted.
    The “me first now that it matters to me” mindset is why finding common ground with them will always and forever be a major struggle for me.

  27. This is the latest paper on how the Alpha variant spread so rapidly across England:

    https://science.sciencemag.org/content/early/2021/07/21/science.abj0113

    And for those unfamiliar with the nitty gritty of research papers this is a good article in the Financial Times about it: the FT’s coverage of Covid is free to access. It underlines the fact that new variants can arise and spread very rapidly indeed:

    https://www.ft.com/content/08cd2879-4a0d-4f89-9b49-8f50ce9d6633

  28. I’m fully vaccinated but I take a medication that suppresses my immune system, so I have probably 80% protection from serious disease and death. I live in a community with <40% vaccination rate. The local hospital has had the number of Covid infected inpatients double in the past week.
    School starts in three weeks with no mask mandates.

    I’m masking in public indoor spaces and we’re back to eating outside if we go to a restaurant. I really hope that national and local vaccination rates improve.

  29. As much as I think it is insane and terrible for people in the US to be causing “vaccine hesitancy” for political/financial reasons, I’d like to note that to stop variants, we don’t just need to get the US fully vaccinated, we need to get the world fully vaccinated or go for an Australia/New-Zealand style hard-core enforced quarantine whenever anyone travels to our vaccinated-no-variants-no-spread utopia, and this seems extremely unlikely.

    (although it’s true that the US could build its own variant! And that would also be bad! But there’s plenty of overseas variant production, so this is not a “the Republicans have ruined our one shot at killing the virus via vaccinating enough of its hosts before it mutates” thing. The Republicans have done a pretty good job of ruining the idea that we should wear masks and do some social distancing for the sake of other people in general.)

    I’d also note that while yes, many people are taking their own heightened precautions due to people not wearing masks, the immunocompromised also sometimes need to go outside, either for in-person medical care or because they have to go to work, and it’d be kind of great if they could do that more safely because enough other people were willing to wear masks when in indoors “public spaces” even if they’re vaccinated since there is now this fairly-transmissible-by-vaccinated-people variant going around.

  30. Vaccination rates are reasonably high in my state and county. Unfortunately this is also a coastal tourist area and is now flooded with tourists. Many of them have license plates from vaccine averse states. So we look good in the statistics concerning residents yet we are flooded with the walking petri dishes. Yes I am wearing my mask and trying to avoid indoor crowds .. and sidewalk crowds.

  31. Has FOX News actually changed course about telling its viewers to get vaccinated? I know that story has been making the rounds, but I understand that they have all along been quietly dropping some valid recommendations, surrounded by noisy nonsense. This is a classic deniability technique. Howard Zinn points this out with Samuel Eliot Morison’s biography of Columbus, which gives a passing mention of the genocide bits, amid all of Chris’s awesomeness. So if someone were to say “Sam, how can you say he was awesome, what with the genocide?” he could respond “I talk about that. See the third paragraph of page 278. So what is the problem?” I wonder if Fox News hasn’t been using this same technique, and someone happened to notice the true bit and over-interpreted it.

  32. I am in a deep blue area so I am talking from a place of ignorance, but I can’t help but feel that so much of the anti-vaxx/covid is a hoax stuff comes, in part, from the fact that american conservatives don’t have much else going policy-wise other than being contrarian and trying to rile up their base. It is deeply frustrating to me.

    I listened to the dream’s podcast about MLM’s recently, and I was really struck by the confluence of conservatism, christianity, capitalism, and charlatanism in which MLM’s thrive. Many key MLM figures are huge donors/political figures in the republican party. It unlocked something in my brain – like this has always been at least partially about conning the rubes and preying on good people so that you can exploit them. The myth of the american dream that you can be whatever you want so long as the government gets out of your way, sold to you by people that are exploiting you so they can buy yachts and go to space while you don’t have health insurance.

    My only hope (as someone with zero background in disease) is that, given that i am in a highly vaccinated area, the delta variant will soon run out of new hosts and peter out around here and those alarming numbers will level off before it gets too horrible. But has others said, a 70% vaccinated rate in a city of 1M still means there are 300,000 unvaccinated people who might get sick and die.

  33. I have been reveling in buying my own groceries, the sense of being able to just run to the supermarket, or whereever. to pick up something I’d like to add for dinner, and not needing to plan meals way ahead, because I had to get groceries delivered, and did that at most twice a month.

    I have always been aware this wasn’t going to last past the summer, if that long. Sigh.

    Ordered a buncha new, and supposedly better masks, which were delivered today.

    And barely just two weeks ago my zip code was as close to zero as one can get for positive tests, new infections. hospitalizations and deaths. By the end of this week we’ve crawled up past 1.08 per 100, 000 for positive testing and new cases. Granted here the hospitalizations and deaths were always far lower than the hottest spots during the hottest period of our city being the world’s HOTTEST SPOT for covid. But I just hate this. Tourism, masks decreed not mandated at all for any public space, no distancing, and everything completely open — including libraries, entertainment and sports.

    Reversal, if ever, will come only because the markets here and everywhere else see that Delta (and what will likely follow) force national governments to mandate both masking and vaccination.

    Too late already to keep us from going through all this yet again.

  34. By the way, on top of Delta and the insane tourists and others out of control here, the Nile Virus is showing up in animals in New Jersey, which means, They Say, it’s inevitable to show up in the human population, maybe even before this summer is finished.

    And we’ve got the enhanced particulate from the West’s wildfires blanketing us so much of the time. This particulate is even more dangerous after time traveling in the atmosphere and age than it is back in the West closer to the burning. Partner is quite ill from it today. Our respiratory systems are already compromised due to the months of particulate from 9/11, as we live so close to ground zero,

  35. I was wrong; by today’s end, our zip code is up 2.8 per 100,000 for new cases, and one death.

    Testing of course here has always been a bad joke. And no trace and follow either. “Too many people from other cities, states and countries coming and going every day.”

  36. Richard Hershberger: Has FOX News actually changed course about telling its viewers to get vaccinated?

    FWIW, one of the Fox news personalities telling people to “go get vaccinated, right now” (as of yesterday) is SEAN HANNITY. That’s either a sign that something has (belatedly, and barely) changed at FOX, or it’s a sign of an impending apocolypse (other than the apocolypses–apocolypsi? no, apocalypses–we are already facing, that is).

    All kidding aside, I have a feeling that the shift is temporary, anyway–possibly another result of various legal people screaming at on-air personalities that they were playing with fire, or something like that. I may being unfair, but I honestly find it difficult to accept anything Certain People on FOX have to say as a result of genuine conviction or even a return to common sense, period.

  37. The pandemic will peter out when the antivaxxers have wizened up or just died.

    Honestly I don’t care which one it is, but I’d rather not lose friends who got an organ transplant. I hope we get a variant that is outrageously deadly to unvaccinated people, so they change their mind when their friends start dying. I can hole up at home for another 6 months if I have to, and I’ll get a booster shot when it shows up (which it will).

    Sooner or later the antivaxxers will start dying.

  38. I actually pulled state vaccination/population and recent cases/population data off the CDC website a few weeks ago and plotted them. (What can I say, I’m a geek; data has been a coping mechanism for me.)

    The resulting graph was kinda wedge-shaped: high vaccination rate definitely goes along with low case rate, but states with low vaccination rates were all over the range of case rates. So, in the absence of vaccination, a zillion other factors come into play. (South Dakota: social distancing since before it was cool!) A similar plot at the county level might be interesting.

  39. We live in a semi-rural county a couple of hours NW of Seattle, on the Olympic Peninsula. It’s a blue area overall but there are plenty plenty of red pockets.

    A month ago we stopped for lunch at a cafe in Quilcene, WA (great foos stop if you’re heading south on US 101) and were eating on the back deck. Another couple sat down and the woman asked us if we’d heard the latest news. No, we replied, what is it?

    “The whole virus thing was political. They just proved it.”

    It went on but I stopped paying attention after this.

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