What we have here is a shocking failure of imagination

The poor man. Jimmy Flores came down with a serious case of COVID-19: life-threatening symptoms, hospitalized, breathing tube, the works. He’s getting better now, fortunately, but he was mystified about how he got into this state.

“I would never have imagined in a million years that I would get this virus the way that I did,” becoming so sick about a week after, Flores said.

Before his collapse, he had chosen to attend the reopening of a bar in Scottsdale — a packed bar with 300-500 people.

Totally mystifying.


  1. Matt G says

    We will probably never know the answer. If only we had a way to understand the causes of disease and disease transmission.

  2. says

    Well, y’know, his governor said it was okay. I would point the finger in that direction, not at this guy who is a victim.

  3. kome says

    I feel like all the medical resources used to keep that man alive were wasted.

  4. says

    I watched half an hour of Karens in Florida complaining about mask orders at a city council meeting. It’s on YouTube. It’s hilarious and depressing. Their reasons and excuses are beyond absurd. They invoke things like “God’s beautiful breathing” and 5G, the “deep state” and things even less related to human or any biology.
    It’s not hard.

  5. says

    Can you really call it a failure of imagination when he’d been told, repeatedly, that this is exactly the way people would get the virus?

  6. mnb0 says

    The USA need quite some more of such examples to silence the anti-lockdown crowd.

  7. brucegee1962 says

    mnb0, unfortunately, it seems as if these people are impervious to third-person accounts. It doesn’t matter how many stories like this come out in media — if it doesn’t happen to someone they know personally, or themselves, it is “fake news.” The natural human tendency to ignore information they don’t want to hear has been reinforced by the president and Fox to such an absurd degree that they are, to all intents and purposes, living in a fantasy world.

  8. says

    Well said Bruce.
    It’s like we’re living in alternate realities. One of my co-workers told me the other day that I was the first person he heard “coronavirus” from. We had a morning meeting back in February and I said that “We also have coronavirus to deal with now”. Kind of off hand and flippant, but I recognized the threat. He perked up and asked me about it. Totally forgot about it until he mentioned it the other day. He’s taking it seriously now. That was February. The fact we have COVID deniers in July is a real problem.

  9. blf says

    @10, Based on the number of empty bottles still in the lair (most accumulated during France’s 8-week lockdown, when there was no recycling), there should be no SARS-CoV-2 virus anywhere inside the orbit of Neptune. The village I live in was not badly hit, whilst there were some deaths, several nursing homes managed to have no cases at all. So it must’ve worked!

    (But seriously: WEAR A MASK !)

  10. says

    Reminds me of a Robot Chicken sketch. The reptaloid aliens needed to ingest alcohol to keep the dangerous bacteria from killing them. All I remember is Paris Hilton and Lindsy Lohan were two of the aliens and they were hopelessly drunk all the time. Never thought I’d wax nostalgic about the Bush years, but here we are.

  11. nomdeplume says

    In Australia the upsurge of cases in Melbourne has seen an increase in cases of people refusing to be tested. Among the reasons seemed to be a belief that the government was using the basal swabs to insert tracking devices into their noses. The rise and rise of human idiocy in the face of climate change and coronavirus is the kind of maladaptation that can cause species extinction.

  12. blf says

    basal swabs to insert tracking devices into their noses

    Ah yes, the famous basal swab. The give-away is in the name, brian A.S.A.L. swab — brian automatic sensing Australian’s location. Wired directly to your brian’s neutróns, it transmits the location, thoughts (if any), sights, sounds, smells, and intentions to the GPS satellites, from which all of the 5 Eyes member governments can keep a very very close eye on you. However, it’s only one-way, They™ can’t transmit to the implant and hijack your neutróns (the virus was released prematurely, before that functionality was ready).

  13. nomdeplume says

    @17 Nasal swabs of course, my keyboard is failing.

    And they don’t hijack your neutrons, or your neurones, just zapp them with the temperature measuring device…

  14. says

    @#16, nomdeplume:

    The only problem is that that’s actually neither impossible nor implausible nor even cost-ineffective these days. We’ve just spent weeks seeing English-speaking governments beating up and mass-arresting their citizens in the name of protecting the status quo and ultimately the rich, and there’s the Five Eyes organization, and (in the US and probably elsewhere) the government collecting identity data via Stingray fake cell phone towers in order to drive post-protest arrests and other revenge. It’s pretty clear that if English-speaking governments could give us all tracking devices, they would — and RFID tags are tiny, don’t require power, and permit a large number of tags in a relatively small area to be identified directly. Technology has finally caught up with dystopian fantasy, and our governments have not given us any reason whatsoever to believe that they aren’t hoping to use it. The only argument you can make is the weak one that right-wingers aren’t the sort of people they want to track — but nobody says that would-be dystopian nightmare jackbooted thug governments would mind tracking everybody.

  15. drew says

    Liberals can blame the victim. He was probably asking for it, dressed that way. Ridicule him anyway – he’s the other.
    Concerned citizens can use this as ammo against certain media outlets that led people to believe this wasn’t a real threat.
    You can choose which you want to be.

  16. anat says

    Ray Ceeya @$:

    For some reason, on NextDoor the people calling on others to wear masks are getting called ‘Karens’.

  17. dianne says

    nom de plume @16: At first I thought you meant a probe of the basal layer of the skin, which really would make it a bit easier to insert a tracking device, but virtually no chance that a device could be inserted undetected.

  18. unclefrogy says

    I feel for this guy and a lot of others who are in the same boat, they have been ill lead and ill advised buy people who do not give a damn about them dear or alive but whose job was to.

    It has occurred to me that the paranoid fear of tracking devices being implanted in some secret plot of some evil force is so 1950’s.
    This is 2020 we live in a highly interconnected technological world. There is a vigorous competitive market offering devices which have the ability to do way more then simply track location with the added benefit of people paying good money to buy them all out in the open, nothing secret at all and much of the information is available to almost anyone with the money.
    the amount of people needed to carry out the secret plot would make it near impossible to conceal for very long It would make the East german Stasi look like a mom and pop org.
    uncle frogy

  19. chrislawson says


    Sometimes they can be impervious even to direct first-hand experience. I remember one of my paediatric colleagues venting to me about a family of vaccine deniers who were refusing to get their kids immunised while two of them were in intensive care with pertussis.

  20. chrislawson says


    He is not a passive victim. He chose to believe blatant lie-mongerers over well-established and reliable information sources that used the available evidence to make recommendations. I empathise with his situation. Self-inflicted pain is still pain. But trying to construct a victim narrative for him so you can pwn ‘liberals’ is pathetic.

  21. KG says

    The only argument you can make is the weak one that right-wingers aren’t the sort of people they want to track — but nobody says that would-be dystopian nightmare jackbooted thug governments would mind tracking everybody. – The Vicar@19

    Er, no, that isn’t the only argument. Let’s assume, which is fair enough, that governments would like to track everyone all the time. So as far as sticking RFID trackers up noses is concerned, we need to ask: what would they risk, and what would they gain. The risk (in fact, the certainty) is that this would be detected and, in all but very efficiently totalitarian states, publicised. People are going to have things wrong with their noses, andor be suspicious of what was put up there, and get examined. RFID trackers are going to fall out. Once the programme is detected, it’s going to be a huge scandal, uniting people across political opinions in outrage. So, any government going to do this would either have to have full totalitarian powers already, or be ready to impose them as soon as the matter becomes public. None of the “Five Eyes” states are in that situation. Now, what would they gain? Most people voluntarily carry a phone all the time they are out of their homes, and as you point out, governments have ways of tracking those, either directly, or by leaning on or bribing commercial companies; and these options are only going to get better. Many people have voluntarily installed listening devices in their homes, and that is almost certain to become more common. Then there’s CCTV with facial recognition, use of credit/debit cards, all the information people voluntarily put online… In short, the risk/reward balance for sticking RFID trackers up people’s noses is utterly hopeless. That’s why we can be sure they won’t do it, without making any assumptions at all about their motivations.

  22. KG says

    I see unclefrogy@24 made much the same points as I did @27.

    Reminder to self
    Read the whole thread!

  23. KG says

    However, I will make the point that The Vicar not only wants Trump to win the election, he’s now giving credence to an utterly doolally right-wing conspiracy theory which impedes testing for SARS-CoV-2. Hmm…

  24. antigone10 says


    Pretty sure “Karen” is on it’s way out. The right-wingers have heard it and are using it wrong, so it’s going to lose all useful linguistic value.

  25. davidc1 says

    Anyone remember the film “The Conversation ” with Gene Hackman and that bloke wot was in The God Father and The Deer Hunter ? The final scene has our Gene playing the sax in his apartment which he has torn apart looking for a listening device .

  26. captainjack says

    Yes, I saw The Conversation on a small black and white tv with bad reception and poor sound sometime in the 80’s. It was as scary as seeing the original Invasion Of The Body Snatchers when I was a kid. It fed my paranoia for years until I realized I was so boring that nobody was interested.

  27. chrislawson says


    The difference is that in The Conversation, Caul knows he is in the middle of a conspiracy because (i) he is a professional surveillance expert who is being paid to record people surreptitiously, (ii) he is still guilt-wracked over a previous job that led to the murder of his targets, (iii) he uses his technical skills to figure out the truth about his current job. He is not, to put it mildly, the same as the idiots thinking they’re having RFID chips put up their noses.

  28. chrislawson says

    Also, unknown to Coppola at the time of filming, the surveillance techniques in the film were actually being used by Nixon apparatchiks against their political opponents. So it turns out it’s a more realistic film than Coppola intended.

  29. davidc1 says

    @34 Didn’t mean to suggest he was the same as the idiots who think the govt is planning to track their every movement ,but he was paranoid about everyone ,his girlfriend humming the same tune as the girl he was recording for example .

  30. Saad says

    drew, #20

    Liberals can blame the victim. He was probably asking for it, dressed that way. Ridicule him anyway – he’s the other.

    I don’t think you quite grasp the idea of victim blaming.