That settles it — I’ll be cowering in my bunker

I do believe I’ll be staying home for Thanksgiving. I definitely wouldn’t be attending any 10-person get-togethers, but if I got together with my daughter, who lives in the center of the dark red infection zone in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, I’d be facing a somewhat unacceptable risk. I’m not going anywhere near the death zones of Fargo or Sioux Falls. In fact, the whole Midwest looks like a disaster, but I’m trapped in the middle of it.

You know, if I huddle alone in Morris, Minnesota for the entire holiday season, looking like a dork, and do everything the epidemiologists tell me, I am going to be so pissed off if I get COVID-19 and die anyway. I’m going to haunt all those Republican motherfuckers for eternity if that happens.

I don’t care that there is no such thing as an afterlife. My rage will not be contained.


  1. says

    Oregon went into second lock down today in anticipation of holiday travels and family gatherings. It’s nice living in a state where they take efforts to prevent bad things BEFORE they happen. Also Kayleigh McAnnie called us Orwellian today so we must be doing something right.

  2. says

    I see a red square in Missouri that sure looks like my county…

    Erg. I was planning to visit my parents for the holiday. I live alone with my cat, rarely go out for more than drive thrus and groceries put in my trunk, and can drive to the parents’ place with no more than a bathroom stop. Where it would just be the three of us. So it seems like a special enough circumstance to not be much risk.

    But it’s still looking really concerning.

  3. Bruce Fuentes says

    I am two hours north of Eau Claire, just out side of Superior. We are a little lighter color, but the rural counties around us are blowing up. Friends of ours are a professor and a doctor in Eau Claire. I need to ask him how teaching is going. Our wives are both doctors they talked the other day and expressed their frustrations to each other. Unfortunately, WI is not far behind the Dakotas. The Rethuglicans are doing everything they can to tie the hands of our governor.

  4. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I’ve been wanting to do a “dark beer, preferably oatmeal stout” run to a grocery store across the border in Kenosha, but have put it off since Kenosha County has a worse Covid problem than I do just south of the border in Lake County, IL (which is not good).
    I’m staying put for Turkey Day, and probably Xmas, without receiving a vaccine. I’ve got a frozen turkey dinner for T-Day, with a couple of extras for the “leftovers” to round out the Holiday. I”m also a nerd wearing my industrial (from 2017) N-95 mask when out.
    Stay safe out there.

  5. PaulBC says

    I wasn’t planning to do any traveling. The only question is if we need to do one more shopping expedition. I’m surprised California looks as good as it does. It’s still the worst it’s been in many places.

  6. nomdeplume says

    Thought it was a map of Trump voters for a moment, then realised that it was…

    Stay safe PZ, stay very very safe.

  7. PaulBC says

    nomdeplume@7 Heh. My first COVID morning freakout occurred in early March when I looked at an NYT graphic and saw clusters of the illness represented by red circles of various sizes all over a map of the US. It’s After about 15 seconds, I realized it was a map of Mike Bloomberg’s ad spend before he dropped out fo the primary.

    My judgment was not inaccurate as much as premature. I have seen similar maps since then that look nearly the same but are COVID maps.

  8. hemidactylus says

    Hmmm.., Florida doesn’t look so bad after all, despite the let it rip herd immunity mentality of our COVIDiot Trump bootlicking weasel of a jackass governor.

  9. hemidactylus says

    I’m getting a Publix rotisserie bird and chilling with my dog for Thanksgiving. Maybe I’ll give her a little piece, but worried about salt and flavoring. She’s 15 years old and blind so deserves a tiny treat. No skin.

  10. microraptor says

    Ray Ceeya @1: It’s not actually a lockdown, it’s just a rollback of restrictions. Restaurants and bars went to takeout only and gyms, pools, and theaters closed but nonessential businesses are still open. They just tightened the restriction on how many people are allowed in at a time.

  11. Pierce R. Butler says

    hemidactylus @ # 9: Florida doesn’t look so bad after all…

    The people who made that map apparently use official state numbers from Ron DeathSentence, not an honest source.

  12. wzrd1 says

    Well, I’m back from shopping, picked up my “free” turkey from Giant, a fine 15 pound bird for my wife and I to share. All told, around 350 – 400 pounds of groceries.
    Checked my email and what appears? An email from a duck farm, mentioning that my order for two ducks was overlooked and I could either have a refund or free expedited shipping. Went for the shipping, as finding Buddhist style duck in these parts is essentially a lost cause.
    I use head, neck and feet, at a minimum for soup base, add in leftovers to the prepared base and get a gallon of soup per bird.
    I’d use the bird’s final quack, but I found it was too airy.
    And we’re getting into soup weather here, another freeze warning coming and had flurries last night.

    Might pull the “needs more barley”. A family in joke, as I managed to successfully pull it off twice, converting the soup into a fine stew. :)
    Inventory shows 25 pounds of flour, so fresh bread isn’t a problem.
    Down to a half gallon of pasta sauce, but I found a source for #10 cans of roma tomatoes, so canning up a case won’t be a problem.
    I think that my dual induction cook top unit is going to be looking forward to a spring vacation.

    Now, to curl up for a while. Sprained my back the other day and shopping in three stores has it rather miffed at me.

  13. wzrd1 says

    Oh, as for the virus…
    I say that we take off and nuke the site from orbit. It’s the only way to be sure.
    Now, just where did I put my Ronco MagicNuke again… Think it was with my Schwartz…
    Crap, think they’re in the other battle wagon and the grandkids are using that over the holidays.

  14. magistramarla says

    We live in the relative safety of Monterey, Ca. However, we are very, very careful. The local stores have a difficult time keeping the local “I refuse to wear a rag on my face” idiots from roaming the aisles mask-less, so we buy our groceries at the military commissary. The commanders are very strict about the mask mandate, and I’m thankful.
    My washer decided to die three weeks ago, and the delivery date has been delayed, so we will have to risk a trip to the launderette this weekend, or go naked for a while! Luckily, there is one on post, so we’ll go there.
    As for Thanksgiving, we’re delighted to stay in for a nice, private Turkey Day. The past several years, we’ve had to spend Thanksgiving at a daughter’s home. The family is gluten-free and pescetarian, so she serves salmon for every holiday.
    Other kids are vegan and/or gluten-free, and we are definitely not.
    We’re planning on enjoying our turkey with all of the trimmings, as well as the pumpkin and mincemeat pies that I will bake. My husband is even more excited for the leftover meals – turkey enchiladas, turkey divan, and turkey soup.
    He already requested flank steak for Christmas, and that is already in the freezer, next to the turkey.
    We are going to have some nice cozy holidays for two this year. We’ve already stocked up on German holiday wines, Scotch and Rum, so we will be extra-cozy!

  15. hemidactylus says

    @15- magistramarla

    Salmon done right doesn’t sound like a bad deal. Better than turkey by far but ham is a close competitor. Flank steak sounds good too.

    I’m going with supermarket chicken. Cuban style mojo pork would be my 2nd choice. Maybe both? I’ll keep the pork from my dog. Too many flavorings.

  16. says

    @11 microraptor
    It’s pretty much the same rules we had back in March and April. Really we are rolling back to phase zero. Take out only and advisement to restrict travel. We aren’t actually restricting people from traveling to their families for the holiday, but we are telling them it’s not a good idea. Not really that Orwellian when you think about it. I figure we’ve been living like this for months anyway so what’s the problem? Oh yeah, Trump hates Oregon.

  17. hemidactylus says

    @17- Ray Ceeya

    Some here, including me, may have reservations about Biden, but it will be nice to have a less embarrassing President who doesn’t make “decisions” (impulses really) out of spite.

    Make America Better Again

  18. numerobis says

    I’m going for a Zoomsgiving party myself.

    It’s not going to be the same, for sure. But the alternative is sitting alone in my apartment with my two cats for company.

  19. robro says

    Note: Assumes actual case prevalence is 10 times as high as laboratory-confirmed case count.

    Are they doing that because they assume many cases are not confirmed? Is 10 times a reasonable number? I’m seeing 11-to-12 million cases in the US, so they’re basing their estimates on the assumption that a realistic case count is 110-to-120 million?

  20. John Morales says


    Salmon done right doesn’t sound like a bad deal. Better than turkey by far […]

    Fish is particularly prone to pollution via things such as microplastics and other contaminants. Globally, the oceans and the rivers are well and truly polluted, these days.

    (Welcome to 2020)

  21. dorght says
    A link to the source. Website has a slider so you can set the gathering size. Only takes a 100 person gathering to generate 98% risk in my area (5 Ascertainment Bias).
    Also the ascertainment bias is explained at the link. “Based on seroprevalence data and increases in testing, by default we assume there are five times more cases than are being reported (5:1 ascertainment bias). In places with less testing availability, that bias may be higher. We are evaluating the inclusion of lower ascertainment biases based on increased testing.”

  22. VolcanoMan says

    Rebecca Watson did a good Youtube video on this map (or at least it appears to be the same map, or perhaps an updated one for American Thanksgiving – the methodology of assuming 10X prevalence compared to the actual lab data is the same at least), and highlighted its MANY problems. Please Americans. Just…stay home this Thanksgiving (actually…just stay home…maybe don’t take any unnecessary trips or throw any parties until…June at the earliest). Don’t think “oh, there’s just a 1% chance that someone will be CoViD positive at my get together” and decide the risk is worth it. Because it really isn’t.

  23. Who Cares says

    Oh boy. The birthday paradox problem (how many students do there need to be in a class to have a 50% chance that two have the same birthday? answer is 23) applied to corona. Basically ignores that clustering of cases does not happen at county level. The 10x actual cases they us indicates no way to get accurate data, no way to predict growth, etc.

    That chart is a an excuse generator for people who do not (want to) understand risks and do not understand that they are forming a risk cluster if they continue with their get together, but want to have the ability to point to someone/something and say they/that said it was safe to have that extended party/family diner/whatever.
    Because there will be plenty of people out there who go “it was only a 5% chance and we had 19 people so no chance of getting infected.” after the whole group gets COVID.

  24. PaulBC says

    It’s not like there’s anything to think through. Thanksgiving and Christmas will still exist as holidays next year. Why put yourself at an unnecessary risk?

    All I can think is: poor, poor extroverts. It must really be tough, like being heroin addicts or something. It’s not that I dislike other people, or never get lonely. But seriously…

  25. brightmoon says

    New York is at 3% but they closed the public schools yesterday. We’ve already lost way too many people. Restaurants were at limited seating and takeout only for a while . If the number of cases go up we’re going back to takeout only . I started stocking up on alcohol gloves and masks, just in case . Last winter and spring were horrific . They’re still closing the subways at night and wiping them down . You can’t go into a store without a mask , period . No one here argues about that either! Fifty dollar fine if you go on public transportation without a mask but the MTA will give you one for the asking. I think you get the fine just for being a stupid asshole ;)

  26. says

    I am glad to live in the Western States Pact which is doing as good a job or better than anywhere else in the country. Granted, it’s still part of crappy, stupid America, but we’re trying. Meanwhile in disease as in politics it looks like we’d be better off returning the Louisiana Purchase to France for $15 million.