The Week Of Social Distancing

March 14, 2020

All Posts, News

The Week Of Social Distancing

Well there goes the right of the people to peacefully assemble. Except to panic-buy the contents of entire big box stores. Did you know, there are no more pro-democracy demonstrations in Hong Kong? In case you have not yet heard, there is an uncontrolled pandemic of a new disease called Covid-19. The nerd name is an acronym for COrona VIrus Disease – discovered in 2019.

China, where the disease probably originated, claims to be controlling its spread by declaring that every home should be a prison. Maybe it is working, maybe not. South Korea seems to be controlling the new disease by testing everybody and isolating everybody who tests positive. Italy, has virtually shut down the entire nation.

The United States is combating the disease by trusting the wisdom of Donald Trump’s gut.


This is a new, or “novel.” disease. Nobody has any immunity to it. Everybody will get it. That is about as much as anyone can say for sure. The initial administration response was that the virus is a foreign invader that can be kept out of the United States by vigilance at the borders. Plan B for dealing with this is variously called “flattening the curve” and “social distancing.”

We, as a people, got to Plan B quickly because there are probably already one million people infected with the disease in the United States and it spreads exponentially – as leaves appear on a tree in Spring. The point of testing was to only quarantine those people in those areas where the disease was rampant. That is beside the point now. We are rushing toward total quarantine and then anarchy. Serge Kovaleski, who some of you know, had a piece in the New York Times the other day in which he wondered what might happen when all the police get sick.


Covid-19 is a big deal because we are a big country. There are between 325 million and 330 million Americans. About 80 percent of us, about 260 million people, will largely skate through this. An independent journalist in Los Angeles named Jessica Yellin has done some journalism on what we can expect. Just about everybody will have a dry cough, a slight fever and a slightly sore throat. Some people will also get an upset stomach. For 260 million Americans, that will be it.

A “moderate” case of Covid-19 will also include extreme fatigue. People may want to take a couple of days off. I think I had a moderate case this week. I survived. You will too. Or maybe I had a mild case of the flu. Who knows? I heard “anybody who wants to be tested can be tested.” Unfortunately, I missed the secret password.

The younger you are, the more likely you are to not have any symptoms at all. Nobody knows why. But a big number of people, 48 million, will get very sick and also have trouble breathing. With a healthcare systems that works, they should all survive. But we do not have a healthcare system that works. We, the people of the United States, have within our borders fewer than one million hospital beds.


Hence the phrase “flattening the curve.” The “curve” is a bell curve tracking infections. The center is a big peak. If everybody gets sick at once, which is where we appear to be headed, there will be a place in a hospital for one patient in 40. If we can slow the exponential spread of the disease and keep everybody from getting sick at once, we might have one bed for every 10 patients and fewer people will die.

Experience in both China and Italy suggests that about five percent of patients, about 16 million people in the United States, will need a ventilator to breathe. Depending on who you ask, this nation now has between 110,000 and 160,000 ventilators. Arithetic says that works out to one ventilator for every 100 people who need one.

So this week everything is shutting down. People are panicking. People have no idea how long they will be virtually imprisoned in their own homes so that the curve might be flattened. Nobody knows when there will be toilet paper again. If there ever is toilet paper again, nobody knows if there will be someone at the store to sell it to you. Nobody knows how many people will be thrown out into the streets because they were imprisoned in their own homes and could not work to pay the rent on their prisons.

Very. Very. Very

I just watched another news conference in which the President said “very, very soon” a lot and the Vice-President pulled his tongue out the Presidents ass just ong enough to thank him for his “leadership.” I read that eventually Jared Kushner will save us. Actual details of our deliverance are kind of sketchy.

There is no vaccine for Covid-19 and there is unlikely to be one until 2021. There is no treatment for Covid-19 yet. A drug named Remdesivir, which flopped at treating Ebola, may prove to be effective against Cpvod-19. Or it might work best at getting money from the feds.

The big motorcycle run in the West, the Laughlin River Run, is still scheduled to begin April 23.

That is what happened this week.


58 Responses to “The Week Of Social Distancing”

  1. Anonymouse Says:

    @Sig45, thanks for being out there. I hope you stay safe as well as sane.

    I’ve been trying to get my info from the medical community but even so much of that is conflicting. I’m in a hard hit state but, so far, a relatively unaffected county as far as numbers and severity. I’ve been thinking of volunteering. I’m not licensed anymore to do any patient care, but I can toss equipment in Cidex and clean other equipment to free up others for patient care. With a husband with COPD and 80+y/o mother living with me, I’m not so sure that’s a great idea for what I could bring home…

    It’s all so mind boggling… Thanks again for being out there.

  2. SIG 45 Says:

    @ Anonymouse I am not a RT though work with them obviously constantly as they are in high demand. Regardless of how or why this began, we are in uncharted water. New York Now has more cases alone than the nation had just 4 days ago. Locally Ohio jumped almost 50% from just yesterday to today. It is being spread communally and by the healthy. Best estimates 1 ventilator for every 50 needed when this is at its peak. Hospitals are being creative but plan on this running 12-18 months. What is reported daily from Washington is a lot of bullshit. Governors and states are carrying the load. My scoot keeps me sane.

  3. Penguin Says:

    Pardon, but…They say quinine is helpful in the pneumonia – so Penguin’s doin’ gin an’ tonic. Mama’s got a jar of the bark. I mean from the tree. Yes, Moma kin bark as well. You guys notice how clear the skies are? We may be screwed, but it’s really pretty. Remember the Far Side about nukwar? No license and no limit, Norman.

    Now Penguin will leave y’all in peace, such as it is, again…

    Carlin said we have a front row seat at the freak show. He wuz right.

  4. Anonymouse Says:

    @Sig 45,

    Totally off topic, but maybe helpful… Do I recall correctly you mentioning you’re an RT? I haven’t practiced in years. Medical just wasn’t for me and I went into law.

    Anyway, whenever I hear about the potentially deadly ventilator shortage, I remember every hospital I worked in having a shitton of Bennet PR2s and TV2Ps in storage. Clearly not ideal or state of the art, but if it comes to an MD deciding who gets a ventilator and who doesn’t, they could save lives. They work for more than outdated IPPB treatments.

  5. Gandalf Says:

    @ed Yes, Rod was Light Heavyweight State prisons champ. Every year he fought a guy named T-Bop from Dallas… in the yard or theater. I remember being ringside watching my friend and T-Bop fucking kill each other “Rocky” styl. Blood and sweat rained on the 1st row.… Rod always won every year. Rod was G-block. PRs, Italians and Irish K&A boys were all Catholic so we turned the Chapel into a “Social Club” and transfer point for commissary. Rod was a part of that. Father O’Hara was in on the “game”. Funny, some people here think that I think I’m hard??? I look at everyone thinking, “Could he have gone through what I went through at age 15?” I have no need to prove anything to anybody and that fact makes it easy for me to just walk away. I learned a lot of things there. Not how to steal hubcaps but lessons like, “Crazy beats hard every time” and “Anyone can be had.” X-Inmates have a 6th sense. “Spider senses” that keep us safe out here. We know danger even in a crowd. We can almost read the minds of criminals and pick them out easy. Then watch them without notice. I’m 100% legit for years. If I were not I wouldn’t post/comment anywhere on the Internet. That’s why I think everyone who comments here is “suspect”… Sometimes “the real” will comment but “the regulars” seem to me to be ???? whatever.

  6. Shovelhead Says:

    Erudite Hillbilly,

    That’s funny, Chairman Cheeto? LOL!!

    I’m with you, Glad I’m in the Country where we know how to survive. City life is a death trap.

    Never understood how Outlaws (here anyhow) could support & defend any of our Politicians. They are not our friends, they don’t give a fuck about us and will screw us any way they can.

    Protect yourself, your Brothers and Family. All Feds can go to Hell. I’m proud to be an American, not proud of our Government.

    Fuck, now I want to eat some Cheetos.

  7. Penguin Says:

    Jus’ droppin by…and interrupting you church meeting, again, so…well, Penguin hopes for tolerance. Thanks.

    Penguin thinks that when they deny something, then it’s probably true….but that they also show their cards directly.

    They are denying any “danger of martial law” – so they say.

    On topic see>

    Inter alia, glad to see my associated fellas at ag still kickin’ an’ bitchen’

    For the record, you guys said there was trouble ahead. The Penguin agreed. We were looking down at the pit, standing on the rim.

    Now we’re sliding down the glacis.

    And Penguin’s going back out to the shop, working on an antique flat-belt drill-press. An art project, occupational therapy. Then maybe swap the belt for chain on the old FX.

    fyi “Moon of Alabama” , curated by “b”, supposedly a kraut – but of course see eye eh and DNB have focus…they’re not stupid, just delusional azholes. Anyway at Saker and MoA lots a stuff of some probity and interest in re the process we’re going to live. The Imperial Zuswang ist ended. Now Every Thing’s gunna change in an instant…

    Hoffer would say that creates, perhaps defines, revolution. Chit! Penguin just wants to screw around, he doan a wanna war… But yes, WW whatever…

    Later, Friends… And best of luck.

    (Yeah, all my old pals are either dead or dying too. And Penguin lives…despite…well…you doan know…well, he never worries…it’s whatever ya git, and then it’s over.)

    Thanks for the visit. Best to all ya’

  8. SIG 45 Says:

    Paladin is out of his league on this one. After living on the government tit you would think he/ she could see by now the utter failure from the Trump administration. Our health care system is not even close in being able to handle this issue and Trump sat on the info for months. Period. I work in health care and masks are being rationed, elective surgeries ceased, shortages of ventilators in the hundreds of thousands and Trump is worried about the stock market. We are 10-15 days behind where we should be and 1000s will die because of it. Whenever I see people use MSM and pull it like a pistol I always note they have a losing argument, because their argument is that somehow the MSM (main stream media) is the cause when in actuality it is the ineptitude of DJT. Now go back to Fox News and the real danger to our country, Hannity, etc.

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