Random Thoughts About the Corona Virus Crisis

March 16, 2020

Random Thoughts About the Corona Virus Crisis

corona virus crisis

Mark Rubin

It’s week — (who knows) in the annals of the Corona Virus Crisis. Some random thoughts are on offer here.

Bad Math

I love my Wingnut friends. They’re mostly in their 60s, 70s and 80s, but they still drink Kool-Aid every day. Flavor? Trump-Aid. Have you read or heard from one of them, comparing the 20K deaths per year from influenza with the double-digit deaths in the United States of America in the first few weeks of the pandemic? (Think: Week 5 v. Week 50. One might be bigger than the other, and it’s an irrefutable fact that death after Week 5 will be no less than death after Week 50.)

The same corps likes to focus on confirmed cases, as if unconfirmed cases are … what, sick people Fox News doesn’t count? Bad numbers for POTUS? As I write, I think we have less than 10 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Arizona, with a population of more than 7M people. If you think, really, that only one in 1.42857E-06 people – that’s the quotient, in Excel, of =10/7000000 – in AZ have the Corona Virus, call me. I have several properties I want you to buy. (None are bridges, by the way.)

The Rear View Mirror

We know, as well, that if social distancing and good fortune and … whatever else limits the effects of the pandemic, those who minimize will tell us they were right along. Humans like to look back, picking and choosing what matters; it’s in our DNA. But, here, I’m focused on willful blindness for partisan purposes. Government = bad and useless; ergo, anything government suggested = bad and irrelevant.

For Expertise? Call Jared!

The Trump Administration furthers demonstrates its contempt for expertise in its handling of the virus crisis. Public health agencies have worked hard for many decades to keep us healthy, collectively. (Wait. What? It’s all about me and my doctor, says my friend.) Now, though, we have Jared on the job. Jared? Job?

President Trump assigned to Jared Kushner some sort of role. And what does Sir Smarts do? He calls on Kurt Kloss an ER doctor and his brother’s wife’s father, to provide advice. And Doc Kloss? Does he tell the nitwit he’s not an epidemiologist? That the CDC has very competent people who ought to be left alone to do their jobs? No. Not at all. Instead, the doctor goes to Facebook, crowd-sourcing his friends for advice he can provide for Jared and The Prez. (Dr. Kloss must know more. He doesn’t work for the government, he’s a real doctor, and his daughter Karlie is very beautiful.

Final Thoughts

Calvin Trillin, one of my favorite writers, wrote Obliviously On He Sails about a dozen years ago. The subtitle: The Bush Administration in Rhyme. Not kind! For sure, if we look back into the recent past, we stems and roots. Contempt for government. Scorn for the community. Disdain for expertise. Still, I imagine Mr. Trillin contemplates a sequel or, perhaps, feels like he punched out a president, too soon!

Finally, We’re trying to arrange a dinner date with old friends of mine. I mentioned the plan to Leigh last night, in the context of an evening, soon. “Very soon,” she suggested, for we can’t assume restaurant availability.

Day by day, and I expect we’ll get to the other side, safely (with years’ worth of cleanup.) But, we ought to be better than this. Really! And, I write from a privileged place: I have options too many others cannot fathom, or ever get. Those among us who can: give your Uber driver and your server a few extra dollars, for what you provide makes a real difference. Send the food bank and other charities a little extra. Generate economic activity if you can.


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