We have too many important things to do all at once!

Too true. When we defund the police, could we redirect the money saved to education?

Also, important reminder: THE PANDEMIC IS NOT OVER. I know we’re getting distracted by other important issues, but WEAR YOUR MASK or STAY HOME. I’m dreading the coming months.

How are you feeling, America? You’re developing a fever.


  1. jrkrideau says

    So police officers should buy their own pepper spray and batons?

    Mask at the ready. We are at stage two now and if we don’t get invaded by the Toronto crowd we not be too bad.

    While I realize toronto is not the source of all evil….

  2. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I will wear a mask when out in public until I either get vaccinated or the herd immunity causes the number of cases to be near zero. Both are a ways off.

  3. raven says

    Texas records its highest number of COVID-19 hospitalizations so far in outbreak

    Covid-19 cases surge across 20 states.
    The number of people in Texas hospitalized from the coronavirus hit a record high of 2,287 on Sunday, an increase from the previous record of 2,242 cases on Saturday. The state has continued to move forward with its reopening plan, with restaurants being allowed to increase capacity to 75% and almost all businesses allowed to operate with 50% capacity on Friday.

    As PZ notes, the number of Covid-19 cases is going up rapidly in at least 20 states.
    This isn’t even a hypothetical second wave, we are still in the first wave of the pandemic.

    It’s dismal.
    Around 1,000 people a day are dying of Covid-19 in the USA.
    We are on track to have 200,000 dead by the end of the summer September.
    Then it gets cold outside, we all spend more time indoors, the primary and secondary children’s schools open, and the universities open.
    That is when the pandemic can really get going again.

  4. says

    Multnoma County was supposed to enter phase 1 on Friday, but we locked down again after indications of a sudden rise in infections. We’re still within the safe zone as far as hospital resources go, but we aren’t taking any chances here. So back to phase zero. We still don’t have enough test kits. We still are barely doing any contact tracing.

    If Trump and the RNC want the economy reopened then why aren’t they paying for the basic testing every healthcare professional deems necessary? Oh yeah, gross incompetence.

  5. Dunc says

    If Trump and the RNC want the economy reopened then why aren’t they paying for the basic testing every healthcare professional deems necessary? Oh yeah, gross incompetence.

    Well, that’s one possibility… Another possibility is that they’re afraid of what a better level of testing would reveal. Limited testing means systematic under-reporting, which is one way to make the stats look better than they really are.

    It should be noted that these possibilities are not mutually exclusive.

  6. raven says

    The Trump/GOP response to the Covid-19 pandemic was a complete failure.
    They didn’t do anything.
    Mostly Trump issued a few orders that weren’t enforceable with no followup.
    The states were left to deal with all the problems with varying but often a great deal of success.

    Then about a month ago, with the first emergency about over, the federal government just lost interest and started ignoring the pandemic.
    Which was another huge mistake.
    We are still in the first wave of the pandemic.
    And this pandemic is on track to last for years, how many years no one knows yet.

    It is possible to deal effectively with this pandemic though.
    We just didn’t bother to do it.
    New Zealand, Iceland, Australia, China, South Korea, some of the European countries and so on have all done a far better job than the USA.

  7. raven says

    Paul Krugman NYTimes June 2020
    edited for length

    The marshmallow test is a famous psychological experiment that tests children’s willingness to delay gratification. Children are offered a marshmallow, but told that they can have a second marshmallow if they’re willing to wait 15 minutes before eating the first one.

    One way to think about the Covid-19 pandemic is that it poses a kind of marshmallow test for society.

    At this point, there have been enough international success stories in dealing with the coronavirus to leave us with a clear sense of what beating the pandemic takes. First, you have to impose strict social distancing long enough to reduce the number of infected people to a small fraction of the population. Then you have to implement a regime of testing, tracing and isolating: quickly identifying any new outbreak, finding everyone exposed, and quarantining them until the danger is past.

    And America is failing that test.

    Here is Paul Krugman’s take on the pandemic.
    He is stating the obvious.
    We have the knowledge and resources to fight this pandemic effectively.
    What we lacked and still lack was anything resembling leadership among the current GOP federal government in Washington DC.

  8. says

    @7 raven
    “And this pandemic is on track to last for years, how many years no one knows yet.”
    I’m on the same page. There’s no guarantee a vaccine is even possible. It’s bleak but this could be the permanent new normal. I grew up during the AIDS epidemic. No vaccine and the only solution was to modify human behavior. No more casual sex, and aggressive sex ed in schools.
    We all might be wearing these masks for the rest of our lives. It wouldn’t be the first time such a thing has happened. For example, the Romans started cutting their hair when fleas and lice became a problem. To this day, men tend toward close cropped hair.

  9. microraptor says

    raven @7: Let’s remember that Trump not only did anything to combat the virus, he actively prevented the federal government from doing so. He classified documents about the virus’s projected threat level via executive action and fired people who wouldn’t support his narrative that it wasn’t a threat.

  10. says

    jrkrideau@2 at least some US police forces do make their officers buy their own equipment. Specifically Chicago police have to buy most of their equipment, including their sidearms. They don’t have to buy Tasers or their radio equipment.

  11. Pierce R. Butler says

    Do other people feel the same distrust I do about the extreme rush and probable insufficient testing for SARS-CoV-2 vaccine candidates (especially with J. Kushner apparently involved in the process)?

  12. jenorafeuer says

    jrkrideau @2:
    If you look at the neighbourhood breakdown of cases within Toronto, sadly (and not at all unexpectedly to anybody familiar with the city’s geography and history) the cases within Toronto are highly localized, with the two biggest concentrations being in the Jane-Finch and Rexdale areas. These are both among the poorest neighbourhoods in Toronto as well, too many people (many of them working minimum wage ‘essential’ jobs) and nowhere near enough support. (And more on topic, Jane-Finch has its own rather messy history with policing.)

    The Covid-19 map of Toronto maps really closely to the poverty map of Toronto.

  13. whheydt says

    And if all that weren’t enough… Think about (a) Trump’s rally in Tulsa, OK next Saturday, and (b) the plans for him to deliver an acceptance speech in a packed–indoor–facility in Jacksonville, FL on 27 Aug. How far are people going to travel to those events? What happens when they return home? Look for infection spikes all over the place next month and in Sept./Oct. over and above what looks to be already expected.

  14. says

    “When we defund the police, could we redirect the money saved to education?”

    Dunno. Since Biden, Pelosi, Schumer, and Sanders have all said they’re not going to do it, and the Republicans sure aren’t, it’s not going to happen until a third party gets into power, and most people are just too damn stupid to vote third party even when both parties have committed to destroying the country and/or the world, so that’s apparently not going to happen. Nice topic for hypotheticals, though — like “when we discover an inexhaustible energy source, could we make an eternal chocolate fondue fountain?” or maybe “when we develop immortality, could we turn football into hide-and-seek like that story?”

  15. says

    I don’t want to brag, but the total number of new infections in my neck of the woods (1 Million people) today is 1. Yesterday it was 2, the three days before that it was zero. Masks are everywhere, and even though people don’t always keep their distance, we seem to manage. We can even meet friends again. That’s the reward we’re getting for having had some quick and thorough responses and a government that is mostly anchored in reality.
    Of course, the rich got richer, the poor got poorer, but most people got so while staying alive.

  16. says

    Also, we should defund the police (and reduce the military budget) for so many reasons, and YES, that money should be put towards education, infrastructure, and a national health care system.

  17. canadiansteve says

    Amazing what closing borders, maintaining physical distancing and reality based policies can do!

    I’m just north of the border with Minnesota/North Dakota. The rate of infections in ND is ten times what it is here. We haven’t had a case of community transmission in a few weeks and we are slowly but safely starting to open up. Still don’t agree with my provincial government on many things, but at least in this one case they listened to the experts and have been successful.

  18. hemidactylus says

    I live in a state governed by Duhinsanity, Trump’s #1 bootlicker. The rest pretty much tells itself. Jackass wants to open the schools full capacity in the fall. We’re so fucked. Florida…we win the race to the bottom every time.

  19. jrkrideau says

    @ 13 jenorafeuer
    I am not surprised that the covid-19 and poverty maps pretty well match. Jane-Finch is well known.

    My main reason for slaging Toronto, well besides the fact that any patriotic Ontarian must, was that our chief officer of health was on the radio yesterday mentioning our last few identified cases were were due to travel, mainly to/from Toronto.

    Currently we have no active cases as of the update at 2020-06-15 13:30. I think our last new case was in the last week of May.

    We have been very lucky to have a well-prepared public health unit and top-class front-line medical staff.

  20. Doug Redecopp says

    I can tie these two threads together with my own Blake equation:
    10,000 show up to the rally, about 500 of them presymptomatic or asymptomatic. About 50-100 sick, but hiding symptoms. They infect about 2000-5000 who go home and infect 4000-20,000. We could have 1000-4000 extra dead by the end of this.

  21. chrislawson says

    As well as teachers, you can add nurses and child care workers…in fact, just about every job that is primarily about making other people’s lives better has been treated to this economic squeeze over the last 20+ years.

  22. unclefrogy says

    the fact that that is true and it adversely effects all of the problems that end up having to be dealt with by law enforcement seems to have been overlooked by all of the politicians in my lifetime.
    the basic fact that it is more costly to handle things in this way and does not even work is too obvious I guess.
    I can’t help getting swept up in the open up the economy thing and second guessing my “decision” to continue with the separation and masks and all the other precautions and then I read more current information and hear some experts explain things and I feel reassured that I am doing my best and doing the right thing.
    watching a slow moving invisible storm on a sunny day it is hard not to forget it is still there.
    to the vicker it ain’t never been some leader or party that was going to lead us and take care of us and do the right thing.
    When MLK met Johnson in the WH Johnson told him that he “make him do it” because Johnson knew how Washington worked he was a peerless expert at work it. he knew he would need external pressure to accomplish the goal. MLK did and Johnson got the Civil Rights bill passed into law!
    To get the desired results in washington or any other capital or with any other government requires constant pressure without that pressure the politicians will fall back on the basic lazy habits that humanity loves so well.
    so shut the fuck up about how bad “they ‘ all are and start advocating solutions.
    I am reminded of a comment Malcolm X made about people who were loudly complaining without advocating or doing anything positive. He compared them to the prostitute who stood out on the street complaining about how bad her Pimp was treating them but when he showed up went right along with him

    uncle frogy

  23. DanDare says

    Australia here. Total deaths per million to date is 4. Active cases in the country a couple of hundered and shrinking rapidly. Opening up internally but hard lock out and quarantines at the borders.
    It has cost us but we are mostly alive and recovering rapidly

  24. says

    Yes, Doug Redecopp
    That’s the problem. People protesting for their right to live. That’s what is driving Covid cases in the US, even retroactively.
    Here’s a question : if that’s the problem, then tell me why we aren’t seeing those news spikes in other countries that also have/had huge protests?
    But yeah, we got those v people who are suddenly very concerned about protests spreading Covid here as well. I can assure you, we practised much better hygiene and distancing at our protest than the people walking by doing their shopping.

  25. rietpluim says

    Hey cops, since you are using funds to habilitate lower standards, then yes, we can cut your funds and hold you to a higher standard.

  26. JustaTech says

    chrislawson @24: An interesting connection between those three professions – they’re all industries/careers associated with women (although becoming less so).

    I’m sure that couldn’t possibly have anything to do with a lack of funding and respect, could it? /s