Doom doom doom doom.

Stevens County, where I live, used to have 0 cases of COVID-19. Then it went up to 1, then 4, then 8, and now it’s 11. Yet still no one is taking it seriously, the local grocery store is making excuses about not enforcing reasonable precautions (they’ve met the minimal standards required by the law, don’t you know), and the students are still due to arrive in about a month.

Fuck me. Fuck us all, every one.

Also, I don’t want to be this guy. Sad as his story is, this guy was killing other people with his behavior.

There are just too many Richard Roses around, and they’re going to claw us down into the grave with them.

Or this:

COVID parties? What the hell is wrong with people?


  1. doubter says

    We’ve been a lot more fortunate in my part of the world. The four provinces of Atlantic Canada (Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, and Newfoundland) initiated the Atlantic bubble on July 3rd. People can travel freely between the four provinces, but anyone coming from outside must quarantine for 14 days. Nova Scotia is hosting 8 people in its quarantine facility right now.

    In Nova Scotia, we went for almost three weeks (June 10th to 29th) without a new case, but have had 4 or 5 since then. They are all related to travelers from outside the region, and it looks like they were caught early enough to prevent community spread (fingers crossed!)

    There’s not as much mask wearing as I’d like. We may think we have no community transmission right now, but can you ever be certain? On the plus side, the universities will all be staying virtual for the fall semester at least.

  2. R. L. Foster says

    Mr. Rose had a terrifyingly fast disease progression. From quarantine on 7/1 to death on 7/4. His obit doesn’t say if he had any underlying medical conditions. He was only 37. So, when someone tries to gaslight me about Covid not being a big deal my response will be a ‘Wear your mask you fucking halfwit.’

  3. microraptor says

    My county has more than doubled the number of confirmed cases since lockdown was lifted and we entered Phase One reopening. We’re so short of testing ability that people who’ve been exposed to people who tested positive are being turned away and told to come back in a week.

    And yet most people are trying to act like absolutely nothing is wrong.

  4. mnb0 says

    This is exceptionally stupid indeed. Suriname did very well for many weeks (just 10 infection with a population of 550 000), but went from 10 to over 100 within four days. Now it’s over 600.
    Time for extreme measures; stay away from everyone and anyone in Stevens Country and surroundings. Actually you’d need a taser.
    Btw according to Dutch experts masks don’t protect you – they protect bystanders from you, in case you’re infected but not ill (yet).
    I wish you and your loved ones all the strenght you need; it’s going to be tough.

  5. unclefrogy says


    blockquote>There are just too many Richard Roses around, and they’re going to claw us down into the grave with them.>/blockquote>
    I have been feeling like that for since May. I am doing my best with help from family but I am awash in a sea of ignorance and it can’t happen here, it’s the flue I hope. I make it to at least see the election!
    uncle frogy

  6. jrkrideau says

    @ 1 doubter
    My small part of Eastern Ontario has been doing fairly well thanks to some fast early prep work by the health authorities and a pretty cooperative population.

    We had one nasty hot spot at a newly reopened nail salon but the health unit jumped on it hard and seems to have it under control. No new cases reported in over a week as of 2020-07-10 13:30, nobody hospitalized, no deaths.

    Masks in enclosed public spaces are mandatory since the hot spot. Retail stores limit the number of customers (Lululmon always seems to have a line-up!), hand sanitizer at the door of each store and two metre markings on the floor at cash registers which have plexiglass shields, and so on.

    Now if we don’t get too cocky as we open up more….

  7. raven says

    Welcome to the real world, PZ.
    My local area on the west coast hasn’t been too hard hit considering but we have hundreds of cases a day.
    What is more worrying is the numbers are steadily going up, not down.

    It’s also the case that the newest patients are much younger that the first batch.
    According to NIH, the average age now is 15 years younger than several months ago.
    There are a lot of reasons for that but my theory is that the Boomers and older went through a selection process.
    The clueless, reckless, or trapped (in nursing homes) old people have already gotten the virus and lived or not.
    Leaving the careful and wiley survivors to watch everything while sheltering at home with their stockpiles of food and internet acces.

  8. blf says

    Discipline is breaking down here in the S.France Mediterranean seaside village where I live — distressingly few masks, hand sanitising stations which used to be outside most shops are disappearing, the 1-metre distancing in queues is getting shorter (and the marks on the floors are not being maintained), very little social distancing elsewhere, the restaurant / cafe / bar staff are frequently not wearing masks (they are supposed to, as are others when, e.g., visiting the toilet) albeit some places are still very good about it, the (usually now unmasked) police foot patrols don’t seem to be encouraging or enforcing compliance, and it’s July meaning it’s now visitor / vacation / tourist season has started, i.e., lots of potential for “importing” cases…

  9. raven says

    I don’t see how they are going to reopen the schools and universities.
    The Covid-19 pandemic is rapidly getting worse rather than better.

    The “at risk” are the kids and young adults of course.
    Also their parents, grandparents, and anyone else they come in contact with.
    The highest risk group is probably…the teachers, many of which are older. And professors.

    The school districts are drawing up plans for the fall.
    A lot of them are also including a Plan B, for if and when they have a Covid-19 outbreak.

    We will have to learn how to educate the younger people without setting off clusters of Covid-19 cases.
    We aren’t there yet.

  10. fishy says

    We are required to wear masks at the place I work. The face shield without the mask is also acceptable. Too many people wear the mask under their noses. Far too many people pull them down to talk to each other. People seem to think break times are mask-free times. People go to the rest room and remove them while doing their business.
    There is no enforcement or education.
    We have about 600 people at the plant where I work and I think we’ve been damned lucky so far.

  11. blf says

    @13, “Too many people wear the mask under their noses.”

    Weirdly(?), I haven’t seen too much of that recently — that, and variations, used to be too common — perhaps because the much smaller number of people now who are wearing masks (see @11) are serious / concerned / vulnerable and attempting to protect others and themselves.

  12. jrkrideau says

    @ 13 & 14
    The only mask worn below the nose I saw yesterday was on a mannequin outside a shop.

    People seem to be learning.

  13. laurian says

    My governor Jay Inslee signed an Ex order that holds businesses financially accountable for not requiring their customers wear a ventilator aka face mask. Overnight compliance went to 100%. What I want to scream at the fuckers who went unmasked for months: “IS WEARING A MASK SO FUCKING HARD? NO IT IS NOT!!!!!” Then I remember I’m here for eggs and a six pack and screaming at other H. sapiens doesn’t really work.

  14. TGAP Dad says

    Sayeth PZ:

    What the hell is wrong with people?

    You live in a country that elected Donald “Tiny Hands” Trump, and you can still ask that question? Steel yourself first, then look up the 2016 election results from your own county.

  15. fishy says

    @14, I live in Iowa. The virus has gone away by governmental decree. People are bored with it and just want to watch sports.
    I really don’t wish to spend my remaining days despising my fellow humans.

  16. Who Cares says

    I can give you a consolation prize. It isn’t just the US where you got people like this. A group here has been suing the government because according to them the measures to control the spread of the virus are not just against the constitution but also an attempt to permanently invalidate the constitution. And they’ve been trying to organize outsized protests (as in bigger as considered safe to do with the virus still out there) while explicitly stating that they’d only accept limitations on the protests as per the normal rules not the ones that take the virus into account, so they sued when they got a nope back.

  17. says

    Our little state of South Australia has once again reached the envious position of no active cases. Those few cases we had recently were from flights of returning citizens and occurred during their enforced quarantine. A few large hotels have been converted into virus quarantine accommodation, patrolled by police and medical staff.

    Next door in the state of Victoria however it’s very different. A new wave of infections is rising rapidly amongst the poor, the young and the recent migrants. Quarantine hotels involved poorly paid private contractors some of who worked without masks and slept with the guests. They have reapplied a lockdown on the city of Melbourne and surrounds for another 6 weeks. No-one from Victoria (other than “essential travellers”) is welcome in neighboring states which have the virus under control. Every person let in is subject to strict protective conditions.

    One enterprising couple, when turned away at the border to SA, tried a little known back road and promptly got their van bogged. Now they have a huge fine to add to their collection of dumb deeds. Another traveller was allowed in on the condition that he isolated at a pre booked accommodation for 14 days. Unfortunately for him he only booked one night’s stay and the next morning was followed by police and arrested at a traffic light. He’s now in jail.

    Such is the fragility of a virus free existence. Keep a lid on idiot behaviour and we’ll get by. Tourism venues will have to subsist on locals rediscovering their own back yards for the next year or two. I heard recently: “I can’t wait for Bali to reopen”. Yeah, you can go but don’t expect a wide armed welcome back.

  18. tacitus says

    The problem is, for every Richard Rose, there’s a dozen who behave the same way and don’t catch it the first time, the second time, even the tenth time they do it. Some of those will catch it, but will be asymptomatic or minimally affected, and will spread it unwittingly.

    As a species, we are bad enough at assessing risk at the best of time, and the nature of this virus — its ease of transmission and its mortality profile (weighted to the elderly) have compounded the “Richard Rose” problem.

    Of course, if we had a government that put lives before profits (and reelection), things might be a little different.

  19. tacitus says

    One enterprising couple, when turned away at the border to SA, tried a little known back road and promptly got their van bogged.

    New Zealand had to put the military in charge of quarantining returning travelers after a bunch of gaffes, and even after that three people haven chosen to break out of their confinement to shop for groceries or alcohol. At least one of them tested positive for the virus. Imagine putting an entire country at risk again for the want of a bottle of booze…

  20. robro says

    My son and I just took a drive through San Francisco. It’s a warm, sunny day. The parks are full of people, some are wearing masks but hardly all. The potential consequences are terrifying.

  21. whheydt says

    At least in the US, the Weather Underground site now includes COVID-19 data and a link to a map of cases/deaths by county.

    The San Jose School District has announced that there will be no in-person classes when the Fall term starts up. Why? Because the teachers union said , “Hell no, we won’t go.”

    Locally (per Weather Underground) Solano county–where I live–has a cumulative 1950 cases and 28 deaths. Total county population is a bit under 450K.

    When I have to go out to do the shopping, I’ve noticed that most people wear masks. I’d say that about 5% wear them “under the nose”.

    And in other news… Trump finally appeared in public wearing a mask. It was for a visit to Walter Reed Hospital to see wounded military. No idea what the troops thought of him, though.

  22. says

    I am in Tucson fucking Arizona weeeeeeeeeeee!
    I’ve been very busy on the facebook pages of local news and other groups. Asking questions about disparaging characterizations, accusations, partisan sniping, bigotries of many types, fearmongering about testing, masks…

    And then there’s the new “red scare”, “satanic panic” type social reaction, “Antifa” as some organized threat. I’m thinking about how to describe it. “A political response to the political disposition antifascism” is one way I’ve described it but there may be other features to this to be discovered.

  23. magistramarla says

    I’ve hears of these COVID parties in Texas. My daughter and her husband, who both seemed to have mild cases, have been living their lives as usual in San Antonio. They’ve gone to a huge party and they went camping over the 4th with a large group pf people. She tried to convince me that it’s nothing worse than the flu, and now they and all of their friends have herd immunity. She simply won’t listen to her old mother.
    I also worry about my kids who live in Houston, even though they are being extremely careful. My son and his wife have two young sons. My son works from home and he’s the only family member who goes out for supplies, properly masked.
    My daughter and her husband have 3 kids. Her son just turned 21, and the poor guy is stuck at home with the family, taking college classes online. My daughter and the two little girls are both very immuno-compromised. They have something called Mast Cell Activation Syndrome. My son-in-law is the only person in the family who goes out to shop, and he is extremely cautious. Luckily, my daughter is able to work from home.
    We’re thanking our lucky stars that we left Texas last summer, but it’s very rough having kids and grandkids who still live there.

  24. says

    @4 R. L. Foster when someone tries to gaslight me about Covid not being a big deal my response will be a ‘Wear your mask you fucking halfwit.’

    Here’s a catchier version you can play for them:

  25. says

    @27 Cool, a fellow Tucsonan. Stay safe out there Brony. Better yet don’t go out! I’m trying out a grocery pickup service outside the store for the first time today.

    Ask the antifa haters if antifa has killed 130,000 people. We know who the real threats to our lives are here. Trump and Ducey.

  26. leerudolph says

    Lofty@22: “poorly paid private contractors some of who worked without masks and slept with the guests.”

    Is that “slept with” as in “shared sleeping quarters with”, or in the sexual sense? (I am not making a joke; I really want to know.) If it’s (only) in the first sense, then the “quarantine hotel” seems to have been doing a half-assed job, since if the quarantinees are sharing sleeping quarters even with each other, any non-symptomatic infected person among them could become a source of infection. If it’s (only) in the second sense, it’s confirmation (if it were needed) that “safe sex” during a pandemic is all the more necessary (and should be strongly encouraged at a “quarantine hotel”). If it’s in both senses, oy vey.

  27. says

    I’ve been asking the antifa haters to show me the shadowy organized antifa that they’re fomenting fear regarding.
    No link drops, they quote and cite time points if they care.
    No indirect characterizations, they tie those accusations to real relevant people and situations.
    I point out that as an antifascist I have a fair interest since it looks like they’re spreading fear of antifascism in general.

    I had one really good confrontation to post about where one local paranoid person was trying to pin a white supremacist flier on antifa, but they deleted everything. My responses might still be useful but it feels a little weird to post a one sided confrontation.

    It might be worth it though. I came up with a comparison where it’s not right to claim all second amendment supporters are organizing and plotting to shoot schools just because some do. So even though this person had some videos of violent people (that they didn’t pull any evidence from so who are they?) they couldn’t or wouldn’t describe how they had anything to do with antifa generally.

  28. KG says

    Cross-posted from “Political Madness”:

    Just eyeballing the graphs at the link, it looks like confirmed cases are rising in the UK, and deaths have stopped falling. Completely unsurprising, as Johnson has greatly relaxed the lockdown while there are still on the order of 100 deaths and several hundred new confirmed cases per day. The map indicates that Scotland (where the relaxation has been more cautious) is doing considerably better than England (Northern Ireland was never so badly affected), although to be fair the Welsh government has also been more cautious, and still looks about as bad as England.