All right, that’s quite enough nonsense from you, 2020

I’m about fed up with the crap going on this year.

A troop of monkeys in India attacked a medical official and snatched away blood samples of patients who had tested positive for the novel coronavirus, authorities said on Friday.

The terrible thing is that every year since 2016 has been an escalating nightmare, and there’s no reason to expect 2021 to be better.


  1. says

    Oh, but surely, electing a budget hawk law-and-order candidate who is best buddies with the same Republicans now running the show, and who wants to ignore the science on climate change for fear of harming the economy, will fix all our problems!

    Seriously, can anybody imagine Joe Biden coping with anything that’s going on and actually doing even an adequate job? Whether things would have become this bad without Trump is debatable, but even if Trump is voted out and goes quietly, the mess in January is going to be way beyond the ability of Biden — or any “centrist”, for that matter — to deal with; their whole stated goal is “stay the course” and “the course” they’ve been staying for the last 40 years has led us to Trump and disaster and riots and unemployment. Amy Klobuchar actually said on CNN “I just can’t do politics right now”. Great to know that one of the people on the short list of VPs for Biden thinks that when times get tough our leaders get to throw up their hands and just say “I can’t cope”. Typical. If you supported Biden, or any of the people who dropped out of the race early to support him, screw you.

  2. wzrd1 says

    I had actually asked them on their Twitter feed, where they thought that losing a BSL-3 set of samples that the monkeys then nibbled upon, “What do you do with BSL-4 samples? Spread them on sandwiches?”.
    Which would you enjoy on your sandwich, Ebola or smallpox?

    I’m just ever so inspired with confidence in their handling of dangerous biological samples!

  3. says


    It is already a trilogy. I weird trilogy that makes a left turn but there are 3 films. 28 Days, 28 Days Later and 28 Weeks Later.

  4. raven says

    PZ has stated the obvious that we all notice and feel.

    Trump’s campaign slogan was to “Make America Great Again”.
    It is 3 1/2 years later and how did that work out?

    .1. We are in a recession that will be severe with no end in sight.
    .2. Unemployment is around 20%.
    .3. Over 100,000 Americans are dead of a virus that no one knew about a year ago.
    The US federal response was all but nonexistent.
    .4. The rest of us are all “social distancing”, meaning going nowhere and seeing no one unless we absolutely have to.
    .5. The trade war with China that was going to be easy to win is still on and still accomplishing nothing.
    .6. There is more, a lot more.
    The rest of world considers us a failed state.
    So do many of the people who live here.

    Are you better off now than you were when Trump was elected in 2016?
    Instead of America being Great Again, we are a total mess going nowhere.

  5. davidc1 says

    Judging by the snatch snatchers latest comments ,i think he knows he is going to lose in Nov ,and wants America to go postal
    on it’s self .And the die hard rednecks who still think (hahahaha) that he is the bestest POTUS ever are already afondling their guns .

  6. davidc1 says

    @2 Hi ,i did dun do clicked on the link ,don’t know what Nyarlathotepism. is .But this Charles Stross bloke ,what are his books like ?Ever since Sir Terry Pratchett ,had the crass bad taste to go and die on us without our permission ,i have been on the lookout for stuff like what he used to write .I have read a couple of Toby Frost’s” Space Captain Smith” books ,and the first Jasper Fforde book” The Eyre Affair” ,they are funny ,not as funny as the Discworld books .

  7. Artor says

    Davidc1, Charles Stross is a great read. It’s completely worth your time to check him out, but he’s no Sir Pterry.

    Raven, the federal response was worse than useless, it was completely counterproductive. First there was the “You’re on your own,” then there was the theft of vital supplies ordered by governors following that advice. And don’t forget the pushing of untested, deadly and useless drugs, or “inject yourself with bleach.” And now it’s “pretend everything is normal, even though people are still dying like rats.”

  8. imback says

    @6, you’re surely joking, but “28 days” is not Danny Boyle’s but a 2000 Sandra Bullock tearjerker about 28 days of rehab. I know this very well since my son insisted there was a great zombie movie on, and we started watching and halfway through were wondering when the zombies would show up. True story.

  9. raven says

    …and there’s no reason to expect 2021 to be better.

    PZ has a point here.
    No matter how bad it gets, it can always get worse.
    Trump might well be reelected for a second term and even more Americans could die of one thing or another.
    We are about due for another pointless war somewhere, maybe Iran, maybe China, or who knows.

    Charles Stross has this covered in his Laundry covert government organization books.
    CASE NIGHTMARE GREEN is the Laundry’s codename for an “end-of-the-world” scenario in which a number of factors contribute to a higher occurrence of cross-universe activity and thaumaturgic phenomena, with potentially cataclysmic results.

  10. says

    It’s official. Mother nature is trying to exterminate our species. Should have just done it ourselves during the Cold War. Now all that plutonium is just going to waste.

  11. John Harshman says

    The Laundry books are fine, but I prefer his parallel world traveller stories. Start with The Family Trade.

  12. petesh says

    The original sin of this country still stains our nation today, and sometimes we manage to overlook it. We just push forward with the thousand other tasks in our daily life, but it’s always there, and weeks like this, we see it plainly that we’re a country with an open wound. None of us can turn away. None of us can be silent. None of us can any longer, can we hear the words “I can’t breathe” and do nothing. We can’t fail victims, like what Martin Luther King called “the appalling silence of good people.”

    Every day, African-Americans go about their lives with constant anxiety and trauma, wondering who will be next. Imagine if every time your husband or son, wife or daughter left the house, you feared for their safety from bad actors and bad police. Imagine if you had to have that talk with your child about not asserting your rights, taking the abuse handed out to them so, just so they can make it home. Imagine having police called on you just for sitting in Starbucks or renting an Airbnb or watching birds. This is the norm black people in this country deal with. They don’t have to imagine it. The anger and frustration and the exhaustion is undeniable.

    But that’s not the promise of America. It’s long past time that we made the promise of this nation real for all people. You know, this is no time for incendiary tweets. It’s no time to encourage violence. This is a national crisis, and we need real leadership right now. Leadership that will bring everyone to the table so we can take measures to root out systemic racism. It’s time for us to take a hard look at the uncomfortable truths. It’s time for us to face that deep open wound we have in this nation.

    —Joe Biden, yesterday. I approve this message

  13. vucodlak says

    @ The Vicar (via Freethoughtblogs), #3

    Seriously, can anybody imagine Joe Biden coping with anything that’s going on and actually doing even an adequate job?

    Yes, Vicar, I can imagine Joe Biden competently handling the pandemic, because I can admit that not absolutely everything the previous administration did was shit. Specifically, we might not even have a pandemic were Biden the current president (or Clinton, as would be the case). The Obama administration had a decent system set up to prevent something like this from happening, and Trump tore it down out of spite and greed.

    Trump and his supporters are the reason that more than a hundred thousand lives have been lost in this plague, to say nothing of the tens of thousands of lives lost around the world. The US used to be a global leader in dealing with epidemics and, by the time the rest of the world realized just how badly the Trump administration has fucked everyone, it was too late. Everything about the effects this pandemic has had on US soil was foreseeable, preventable, and manageable, and Trumpco has failed to do all three. Trump is guilty of genocide, pure and simple.

    Christ crapping in a coconut but I’m sick of your bullshit. I despise Biden, but I hate you more for making me defend that asshole.

  14. davidc1 says

    @16 Wow ,if they are Joe ‘s own words ,he seems very lucid .But i suppose a speech writer did dun do thunk them up .

  15. KG says

    Yes, Vicar, I can imagine Joe Biden competently handling the pandemic, because I can admit that not absolutely everything the previous administration did was shit. – vucodlak@17

    The Vicar, in addition to his other idiocies, suffers from a bad case of OWHITUSAC* syndrome. If he didn’t, he might possibly have noticed that many centrist governments (Taiwan, South Korea, New Zealand, Germany, Greece, Czech Republic, Denmark, Norway…) and even some we might call far right (Australia, Poland, Japan, Thailand, even FFS Hungary) have coped reasonably well with the Covid-19 pandemic. It really wasn’t that fucking difficult to work out that, faced with a highly contagious and dangerous virus, with huge unknowns (infection fatality rate, immune response, long-term effects on survivors, possible treatments) the only rational strategy was to buy time by minimising the number of people infected. There is absolutely no reason to assume Obama, Clinton or Biden would not have realised this, acted promptly, listened to the relevant experts, and refrained from suggesting injecting bleach. The rich countries that have done really badly are the USA and UK (Italy, Spain, France and Belgium have high death rates but some excuse as they had sizeable early outbreaks); poor countries, where most people can’t work from home or stop work, governments can’t readily magic huge sums of money into existence and health systems are much more limited, have a much harder job, but many of them seem at least to be engaged in serious attempts to contain the epidemic – Brazil has probably done worst among them. What the USA, UK and Brazil have in common is government leaders who, their gigantic egos deeply involved in prosecuting “culture wars”, were unable or unwilling to recognise the urgency of the situation. The pandemic is in fact, in itself, a complete refutation of The Vicar’s position, but he’s too stupid to realise it.

    *Only What Happens In The USA Counts

  16. says

    @The Vicar
    Honestly, what are you hoping to achieve with this? Voting for Biden isn’t going to fix everything, but NOT voting for Biden will just get us more Trump.
    I get the “I’m tired of the lesser evil” sentiment, but I don’t see how actively choosing the greater evil is much of a solution.

  17. Saad says

    The Vicar,

    Whether things would have become this bad without Trump is debatable


  18. Saad says

    Vicar might well be a bot. I think it saw the “2016” and “2021” in PZ’s post and spewed that load of drivel in response.

  19. microraptor says

    Monkeys steal coronavirus blood samples.

    That headline just sums up 2020 so well.

  20. raven says

    We actually have US examples of what competent leadership can do when faced with novel disease pandemics.
    Obama was president when the USA faced the Ebola pandemic that started in West Africa.

    Ebola is a scary, very contagious virus that kills over half the people it infects.
    The US death toll from that pandemic was…(Wikipedia) Nine of the people contracted the disease outside the US and traveled into the country, either as regular airline passengers or as medical evacuees; of those nine, two died.
    Two people died of Ebola in the USA! Two people!
    We also worked with WHO and helped a lot with the African effort to end that Ebola outbreak.

    Obama was also president when we faced the 2009 Swine flu pandemic.
    The death toll was low and lower than expected due to the rapid development of a flu vaccine directed against that version of H1N1 influenza.

  21. numerobis says

    vucodlak: in addition to the 100k dead in the US there’s about 4500 dead in Quebec. Our outbreak came from the US. Also, we weren’t testing much but feeling smug because we were testing way more than the US. People still looked to the US for best practices; the US was a total shit-show.

    And then there’s that obsession with hydrochloroquine. Thanks to Trump’s idiot endorsement, it was probably much more heavily used than if it were just some idiot doctor in Marseille that was pushing it. Turns out it increases the risk of death. So that’s dead people worldwide because the US is a kakistocracy.

  22. Allison says

    Re: WWBHD (= What Would Biden Have Done)

    I don’t think it would have required an especially brilliant or thoughtful leader to respond effectively to Covid-19.

    All they would have had to do was to (a) not gut all the agencies that have anything to do with health or science and (b) parrot the advice of the medical leaders.

    I live in New York State, and while Cuomo deserves some credit for being willing to act relatively decisively, I’m sure that he was not the one who came up with the recommendations. Most of them are no-brainers, anyway.

    The problem is not that Trump didn’t Do The Right Thing. It was that he deliberately did the wrong things, in many cases the worst possible things. There might have been a more destructive course of action than what he did, but I’m having a hard time thinking of one. We would have been a heck of a lot better off if he had done nothing at all. And, however little respect I have for Biden’s leadership qualitites, I think that “doing nothing” is not beyond his capability.

    Remember: no matter how bad it gets, it can ALWAYS get worse.

  23. blf says

    Saad@22, “Vicar might well be a bot.” Not entirely a Putin-bot, albeit one much of the time. Some of its responses have been slightly too specific (albeit mostly non-factual) to fit easily within known botdom, yet seem sufficiently robotic to not exclude the possibly. I myself suspect this alleged “human” commentator, and also another goofy contrarian sometimes commentator here, to be a collection of ‘bots and paid Putin trolls. I now ignore both of them, even when they try to provoke me — which they usually(? often?) do, and which I expect at least one will do in response to this concurrence with your hypothesis.

  24. says

    It was that he deliberately did the wrong things, in many cases the worst possible things. There might have been a more destructive course of action than what he did, but I’m having a hard time thinking of one. We would have been a heck of a lot better off if he had done nothing at all.

    Precisely. It would have been ridiculously easy to do better. In fact, it would have been easier to do it right than to do it wrong. You could literally have replaced Trump with a shiny rock and it would have done a better job. It wouldn’t even need to be particularly shiny.

  25. jack16 says

    What the heck is OWHITUSAC* ??? Meaning is lost when you don’t define your acronyms. This is an annoying time waster!

    Check the Silver report for the expose of the Rothenberg backing of hydrochloroquine. (With Trump’s collaboration and profiting.)

  26. says

    Vicar might well be a bot. I think it saw the “2016” and “2021” in PZ’s post and spewed that load of drivel in response.

    Na, the Vicar is just like all those Maga hats and Tory voters on the other side who would have to do some introspection into their own past actions if they changed their mind and take some responsibility. Since that doesn’t go well with their self-image they just decide to escalate the wrong and dig deeper.

  27. John Morales says

    jack16, the asterisk is an indicator of a footnote, the which defines it.

  28. wzrd1 says

    @24 raven, Ebola isn’t really all that lethal with a well functioning, well equipped medical system. One fatality in the US was due to it being completely misdiagnosed until it was too late to provide supportive care.
    Currently, Ebola has around a 10% morbidity and mortality rate in the US and that number was skewed by the abovementioned misdiagnosis.
    Of course, the current God-King, Emperor Trump during that time had stated that nobody with Ebola should be allowed into the US, citizenship be damned, screw that damned fool Constitution, he knows all. Thankfully, competent minds prevailed and infected citizens were repatriated and treated in US hospitals.
    And taught that basic PPE training isn’t much good if it isn’t practiced, which has helped quite a bit with this pandemic.

    @John Morales, I look at one known hydroxychloroquine side effect – QT prolongation. That doesn’t sound like a truly grand idea in a patient with COVID-19 endocarditis. That’s enough to put that drug into my circular file for this infection.
    There just are some dice one should never even consider rolling.