The Republicans want to kill us


I could not believe the headlines on the Minneapolis Star Tribune yesterday. One was that several bars in the city were opening in defiance of the state restrictions on dine-in service, which is just incredibly stupid. Another was that Governor Walz was easing some of the current restrictions, which is just incredibly chickenshit.

I presume all the renewed stupidity/chickenshittery is a consequence of two things: the appearance of vaccines, and the fact that our state statistics had a recent decline in incidence. However, we don’t have the vaccine yet — at least, I don’t have the opportunity to get it yet — and even when it is available, it’s going to require one shot, followed by a 3 week wait before you get a second shot, and then you have to wait a couple more weeks before it is effective. So even if the vaccine was in our hot little hands right now, you’d still be expected to avoid hanging out in bars for 5 or 6 weeks longer.

As for the recent improvement in our numbers, that’s because the lockdown was working. Why do you want to abandon a strategy that is having a positive effect?

Yes, the numbers are going to go back up, inevitably, because people are getting lazy and selfish. So what has the governor done?

“You brought the curve down. You made the sacrifices necessary,” Walz said.

Due to the drop in case counts, Walz said, the state will now permit outdoor social gatherings with a maximum of 15 people between three households and indoor gatherings with a maximum of 10 people between two households. Gyms and fitness centers will be permitted to open at 25% capacity, and youth and adult sports will resume on January 4. Elementary schools will be permitted to reopen on January 18.

Walz did not loosen the ban on indoor dining, one of the more controversial provisions of the four week pause, but did allow outdoor dining to resume at 50% capacity. Bars, restaurants and breweries will continue to be closed for indoor dining through January 11.

Jesus, WHY? You brought the curve down by making sacrifices, so now we’re going to do the experiment of bringing the curve up by making fewer sacrifices? Why, why, why? This makes no sense.

Part of the answer is that the Republicans in the state legislature applied pressure and made threats.

We’re also getting pointed to by the right-wing press. Laura Ingraham, for instance, singled out the upper Midwest showing signs of a modest recovery to tell her viewers that the doctors know nothing, go out and celebrate Xmas with your families, there’s nothing you can do, the virus has a “natural cycle”. This is a case where if we do something that works, the idiot media will tell us all to stop doing the thing that works.

She has Scott Atlas on, the incompetent doctor who was a puppet for the incompetent Trump administration, who thought the best policy was “herd immunity”. They totally politicized Health & Human Services to pursue this strategy.

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has sought to distance itself from one of the agency’s former advisors—personally installed by President Trump—who the results of a watchdog investigation published Wednesday show repeatedly advocated for allowing millions of young and middle-aged Americans to become infected with Covid-19 over the summer in a push for the HHS to pursue a controversial “herd immunity” strategy.

The infuriating thing is that these hacks don’t even understand the concept of “herd immunity” — they used the phrase as an excuse to justify doing nothing. You don’t get herd immunity by letting an active virus run rampant; the point of herd immunity is to use a vaccine to prevent a virus from getting a toe-hold in the community in the first place. Do they think we had herd immunity against smallpox because it spread unchecked, killing people and disfiguring others, because the survivors had immunity? That’s like using the principle of firebreaks to advocate for controlling wildfires by burning down the whole damn forest ahead of time.


The good news, at least: the Minnesota attorney general is suing those bars that reopened, and has also issued restraining orders to shut them down immediately.

Comments

  1. raven says

    Herd immunity is a myth right now anyway.

    .1. We don’t know what percentage of the population needs to get the virus (60-90%?).
    .2. We don’t know how long it will take (3-10 years?).
    Current estimates are that 15% of the US population, one year into the pandemic have caught the virus.
    .3. We don’t know if it is even possible since the duration of infection mediated immunity is unknown. It could be like other Coronaviruses at a year or so.

  2. raven says

    Livescience: “You can endure a horrendous pandemic at a level that destroys societal infrastructure with a massive death toll, and still not achieve herd immunity,” Altmann said.

    The whole idea of naturally occurring herd immunity is a lot more complicated when you look at it closer. Before vaccines, we never achieved herd immunity to smallpox, measles, influenza, polio, chicken pox, mumps, whooping cough, diptheria, etc.. This is despite the fact that most of these diseases provide long term to lifetime immunity.

    The reasons are somewhat known. In natural pandemics, quite often, the virus never gets to everyone. In the current case of Covid-19, there are huge numbers of people like PZ and others, carefully hiding out and avoiding getting…Covid-19. Plus every day, a new group of susceptible humans appear, better known as newborn babies. And even durable immunity can wear off over years. Some people may mount a weaker immune response that fades over time.

    livescience
    What is herd immunity?
    By Joshua A. Krisch – Live Science Contributor July 13, 2020

    The sobering takeaway is that it would require orders of magnitude more carnage than we have already seen to even approach the possibility of herd immunity naturally occuring for COVID-19, if it’s even possible at all.
    “You can endure a horrendous pandemic at a level that destroys societal infrastructure with a massive death toll, and still not achieve herd immunity,” Altmann said.

    We very likely could wait years and kill millions to achieve herd immunity with Covid-19 and never get to it.
    The best way we know to get to herd immunity is the same way we did it with smallpox, polio, measles, etc., i.e. with…vaccines.

  3. kenbakermn says

    Of course they want to kill us. There is nothing Republicans like more than the deaths of other people.

  4. sqlrob says

    @raven

    You’ve missed one thing that I’ve seen bandied about by doctors

    We haven’t naturally achieved herd immunity for anything. It’s all been vaccines.

  5. wzrd1 says

    JAMA has a newly published paper examining excess mortality figures in the 25 – 44 age group. Typical majority cause of excess mortality in that demographic is opioid overdose. Now, 38% of the excess mortality cause of death is COVID-19.

    In other news, states had their vaccine shipments, after going into detailed distribution planning being submitted to Operation Ward Speed (OWS) by 30 – 40% with no warning or explanation. Meanwhile, Phizer is reporting millions of unclaimed doses in their warehouses.

    Southern California hospitals are reporting 0% ICU beds available.

    Feel free to feel ill, I’m on the verge of vomiting. :(

  6. brucegee1962 says

    @4 sqlrob
    The ONLY cases I’ve heard cited of naturally occurring herd immunity are the Black Death in the 14th century and the Spanish Flu in 1918.
    With the Black Death, apparently everybody who was susceptible to it in Europe just died. Fortunately, covid 19 isn’t quite that deadly.
    Apparently nobody entirely understands why the Spanish Flu went away. But that isn’t much to pin hopes on.

  7. raven says

    “We haven’t naturally achieved herd immunity for anything. It’s all been vaccines.”

    Read what I posted in the second comment.
    That is what I just wrote.

  8. raven says

    Southern California hospitals are reporting 0% ICU beds available.

    It’s not much better in northern California.

    The governor has ordered 5,000 body bags and 60 refrigerated trucks and declared a mass fatality event. Every day is a record number of deaths.
    It’s not clear what can be done to stop the mass death event.

    With the vaccines now being slowly and haphazardly distributed, this is not the time to get sick.
    Death is a permanent solution to a temporary problem.

    California Orders Body Bags, Activates ‘Mass Fatality’ Program …people.com › Health
    2 days ago — California Orders Thousands of Body Bags as State Activates ‘Mass … hit its fifth consecutive day of more than 30,000 new COVID-19 cases.

    California orders 5,000 body bags as COVID deaths surge …www.sfchronicle.com › politics › article › California-or…
    3 days ago — Coronavirus Map: Tracking COVID-19 cases across California … In addition to body bags, Newsom said the state has 60 refrigerated storage units … said the full impact of the current surge of cases won’t be felt for two to three …

  9. chrislawson says

    sqlrob@4–

    The term “herd immunity” was coined by veterinarian George Potter in the 1910s based on observational evidence from contagious abortion disease in cattle and sheep. Potter overturned the usual farming practice of culling infected animals, showing that farmers should be keeping the previously-infected, now-immune animals for the next breeding season.

    The concept was expanded to humans in the late 1920s and 1930s based on Topley’s work on typhoid contagion in mice (where he found that putting immunised mice in the same cages with unimmunised mice reduced the spread of infection), and Dudley’s observational data on diphtheria contagion in ships and schools (this study was prior to diphtheria vaccine).

    https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(20)31924-3/fulltext

    Note that I am NOT defending the herd immunity strategy for COVID19. While it is possible for herd immunity to develop naturally, there has never been a shred of evidence that it would work for COVID19 and plenty of evidence that implies it cannot succeed without a broad population immunisation program. The herd immunity argument in this setting is nothing more than a cover for “I’d rather let the poor and marginalised die than put any resources into public health or pandemic management.”

  10. says

    It’s ironic that a common claim on the fringe right that the “the Insiders,” or whoever the boogeyman is that week, have a plan to kill off a large portion of humanity, because reasons. Yet the same sort of fringe right people believe the pandemic is exaggerated, or even an outright hoax, or that the methods to fight the pandemic are actually intended to harm or kill people.

  11. whheydt says

    ABC News had an article up yesterday (and it’s probably still there, but I haven’t looked yet today) that had way to determine where one is on one’s local immunization queue, both by percentage of population and local numbers.

    Between age and existing conditions, my wife and I come in behind the first 5%, or 20K people in out county. No idea when it’ll actually happen, though.

  12. robert79 says

    The black death still exists, although it’s treatable with antibiotics nowadays.

    Another reason we have gotten herd immunity to the black death is behaviour change. Increased hygiene, less living with rats and fleas, means R<1 for the black death nowadays. Most infections don’t spread.

    Unfortunately with covid, many people appear to be resistant to behaviour change…

  13. unclefrogy says

    it sure loos like there are some who are trying very hard to maintain “the right level” of infection by their actions and the clear results.
    I had a discussion with a friend once about science education and the need for it. He said everyone did not need any science education we could just hire scientist when we needed some, I pointed out that we all needed some science education to enable us to know when we needed science and scientists.
    he had no answer for that. Clearly the result that lack of much if any understanding of science and how it works is playing out before our eyes.
    uncle frogy

  14. consciousness razor says

    One was that several bars in the city were opening in defiance of the state restrictions on dine-in service, which is just incredibly stupid.

    It’s incredibly stupid how little support we’ve provided for people during this entire mess. And it’s incredibly stupid to be surprised by the desperate choices some have had to make as a result. And it’s incredibly stupid to spend so much time obsessing over Trump’s latest bullshit, while hardly noticing that our economy is a disaster and most of our government is at best uninterested in doing anything about it.

    If this fucking country didn’t have its incredible stupidity, what would we have left?

  15. chesapeake says

    PZ “ So even if the vaccine was in our hot little hands right now, you’d still be expected to avoid hanging out in bars for 5 or 6 weeks longer.”
    “…getting vaccinated should change very little about one’s behavior. While waiting for new data to come in, or for those around me to get vaccinated, I’ll continue wearing full protective gear when caring for patients. And I’ll keep avoiding close contact with friends and loved ones who aren’t vaccinated. I’ll become less worried for myself, but stay worried for everyone else.

    How Getting Vaccinated Will (and Won’t) Change My Behavior | The New Yorker
    https://www.newyorker.com/science/medical-dispatch/how-getting-vaccinated-will-and-wont-change-my-behavior

  16. KG says

    And it’s incredibly stupid to spend so much time obsessing over Trump’s latest bullshit – consciousness razor@15

    Well, quite. I mean, how could an ongoing attempt to establish a dictatorship be of any real significance?

  17. consciousness razor says

    KG:

    an ongoing attempt to establish a dictatorship

    That’s what you call some nonsense lawsuits that never had a chance of succeeding? Of course such bullshit is still an effective fundraising tactic, which you could reasonably worry about, but that doesn’t mean it should command our attention at the expense of everything else.

    By “our attention,” I probably have to clarify that I mean people who have to live in this country. Because when tons of people are suffering here, it doesn’t actually affect you very much, does it? I mean, you may sort of care on some abstract level, but you can still be quite comfortable in the UK.

  18. PaulBC says

    Any competent medical doctor knows the distinction between an acute and chronic condition, and treats them accordingly.

    If you accuse me of ignoring chronic economic and social problems by supporting Hillary Clinton in 2016, you’re absolutely right. But allowing Trump to be elected was worsening an acute condition (GOP congressional stranglehold) at a time when the US was vulnerable: the open SCOTUS seat and other judicial openings, the predictable gift to the very wealthy in 2017 with further destruction of our revenue base, and the small progress we had made towards increasing health coverage with ACA.

    This time around, the election went about as well as could be expected, though the down-ballot results were a disappointment. Unless Warnock and Ossoff win in Georgia, we’re stuck in a painful holding pattern (and a tenuous majority if they do). Maybe progressives came along to the side of pragmatism. I won’t bother guessing. Getting Trump out was the most important goal, and his continued attempts to stay in office need to be taken seriously even if it’s clear he’ll fail. It shows a major weakness that a president can use a lame duck session to lobby to stay in office. Others may apply this precedent more successfully.

  19. KG says

    consciousness razor@18,

    That’s what you call some nonsense lawsuits that never had a chance of succeeding?

    Easy enough to say now – but what if Trump had succeeded in persuading Republican-controlled legislatures to appoint their own electors? Or the far right members of SCOTUS had decided it was enough in their interest to keep Trump in office to make ruling in favour of the Texas suit worth the risk? And you’re a fool if you think Trump and his cronies didn’t hope that would happen, at the same time as relying on the tactic to raise money and to delegitimise Biden’s Presidency – the latter is in any case clear preparation for the next attempt to establish the de facto one-party state, in four years’ time. But I must admit I think you are a fool, unable to distinguish conservatives from fascists as you repeatedly show yourself to be.

    By “our attention,” I probably have to clarify that I mean people who have to live in this country. Because when tons of people are suffering here, it doesn’t actually affect you very much, does it? I mean, you may sort of care on some abstract level, but you can still be quite comfortable in the UK.

    Maybe I’m a bit less parochial than you – people outside the USA with any political awareness tend to be, because what happens in the USA affects the whole world far more than is the case for any other country. I also have personal friends in the USA. But in any case, while new cases are not occurring as fast in the UK as in the USA, the cumulative death rates per capita are comparable, we’re still getting over 20,000 new cases per day, hospitals in some areas are reaching capacity, NHS staff are exhausted and in increasing numbers off sick, and regulations have foolishly been relaxed for Christmas. “Quite comfortable” is not how I’d describe it.

  20. consciousness razor says

    PaulBC:

    the predictable gift to the very wealthy in 2017 with further destruction of our revenue base

    It’s also predictable that you assume the federal government, which unlike you and me is the only thing entitled to create more dollars, actually needs to get its dollars from us in order to pay for the things our society needs. The point being, in the real world, this reflexive scare-mongering about the deficit that conservatives love to engage in is also a gift to the very wealthy. Why?
    (1) We simply don’t need to match incoming tax dollars with those which are spent. State and local governments do, since they have no other option, but not the federal government.
    (2) It’s almost always the case that we do in fact run a budget deficit. So if for whatever reason you just couldn’t believe it a moment ago when I said we don’t “need” to, you definitely should now. The surplus for a few years during Clinton’s second term was pretty exceptional in this respect, and it’s nothing to cheer about….
    (3) A deficit is a good thing, because that means more money wound up in the private economy (where we are) than went out of it. So among other things, our own private debts (which are certainly a cause for concern) don’t increase indefinitely until things eventually collapse, which is the sort of thing you’d get if more went out than went in.
    (4) When you buy into this conservative austerity nonsense and argue that we can’t afford it because the federal government didn’t get enough money (that its revenue base was destroyed, etc.), then invariably the budget cuts which are made, ostensibly in order to “correct” this, hurt the poorest of us and not the wealthiest of us. That is of course because the rich assholes are the ones running the fucking place, the only ones who really have a voice or any substantial power in our purported democracy.

  21. consciousness razor says

    KG, I’m talking about the economic crisis. Do you agree with me or not that we should be focusing on that, or is it not “of any real significance” in your opinion? And are you struggling to pay for food, rent, or anything of note?

  22. jrkrideau says

    @ 13 Intransitive

    For a Tory, Brian Pallister seems to be doing pretty well. Some preliminary data seems to suggest that the infection rate is dropping a little bit.

    Now if Doug Ford our local village idiot here in Ontario takes some strong action this weekend things may be looking up. The province needs some stronger measures.

    Our local rates have jumped horribly and we even have 3 people in hospital plus one in the ICU. Interestingly all our recent cases are travel related, probably mainly from that plague-pit called Toronto. Our local medical Officer of health would like to see regional travel restrictions.

    In Alberta, I get the impression that Kenny is delusional and not just about Covid-19.

    In Alberta, I get the impression that Kenny is delusional and not just about Covid-19.

  23. PaulBC says

    consciousness razor@21 Fine, but it was a regressive tax change that gave corporations a huge windfall that they mostly used for share buybacks. I agree that money is a social construct, but the tangible effect here is that our shared delusion of asset ownership is more heavily weighted to superrich individuals than it was before 2017. For that matter, I probably benefited, though the SALT cap is a nuisance, my stock portfolio went way up. It’s unsurprising. If a stock price related to price-to-earnings and you goose the after tax earnings, then the market will assign a higher stock price.

    So look, you can lecture me all you want, and I don’t know what your investments are like, but as far as I can tell, I got a pretty serious windfall. It is real money that I could spend if I so choose. Actually, I would like to retire early, and I will take that opportunity at some point. Do I “deserve” it? Fuck no. While I’m not superrich, I am on the happy side of this shell game at least for now.

    Sure, the government could simply go into massive deficit spending to redistribute wealth in the other direction. They’re highly unlikely to do so. Also, some of that debt is still technically held by wealthy individuals who collect yet another rent as the government services that debt. (So why the fuck don’t we tax them instead of “borrowing” from them?) This is a point my oldest brother, who’s very leftwing convinced me of more than 30 years ago. The whole point of the Reagan administration was to switch from taxing to borrowing. You used to be able to demand that wealthy people pay their share to benefit the public. This was uncontroversial. Now you go hat-in-hand “borrowing” from them. On the surface, you can support some of the same public programs, but there’s a cost to it. You should tax them. Period. That used to be a thing governments just did. Now it’s “communism.”

    I have read enough Paul Krugman to know I am not supposed to worry about the deficit, but in practice, Republicans always use it as an excuse to say “we can’t afford it.” The scariest thing to them was the mirage in 2000 or so that we might have a surplus for long enough to get it under control. They fixed that easily with Bush’s tax cuts.

    They will continue to fix this problem as it occurs. They will make sure that we continue to be a nation where they superrich are as wealthy as can be and the share of assets considered to be public wealth continues to diminish. So yeah, it’s a shared delusion, but funny how that shared delusion benefits the very wealthy.

  24. PaulBC says

    I said

    Sure, the government could simply go into massive deficit spending to redistribute wealth in the other direction.

    To be clear, the US is always willing to go into debt to kill people abroad or to make sure the very wealthy hold onto every penny they dubiously claim to have earned. If we were going into debt to provide universal health coverage or apply it to infrastructure for that matter, it would be different, but in practice that is almost never the case.

  25. says

    What, you’re expecting Democrats to suddenly stand up to Republicans after decades of caving in to them (or explicitly siding with them) on just about everything, and getting rewarded for it by voters?

    What’s that? You think they should be braver now because it’s American lives on the line? Well, so what? It was American lives on the line when the social safety net was gutted — and “the end of welfare as we know it” was a Democratic slogan, not a Republican one. It was American lives on the line when the economy crashed in 2008 and people started starving — but it was a Democratic President who refused to prosecute bankers or traders and made Bush’s tax cuts for the rich permanent in exchange for nothing of lasting value.

    This is slightly more visible, but they know they’re safe — every single one of them has personal wealth in at least the high eight digits, and often up into the nine digits, so they will be getting Trump-level healthcare if they catch coronavirus, unlike the rest of us — and since the party has actively rewarded middle fingers towards the poor since Clinton, they know they’ll get away with it again. Hell, Biden’s policy re: coronavirus is, from a practical “what are you going to do about it” perspective, more or less identical to Trump’s, keep businesses open and don’t do any lockdowns or legal mask mandates, but with a statement on the front about how important science is so the rubes will think there’s a difference. Centrists, as always, will happily cooperate with the right to kill us all.

  26. says

    Just think of Covid as the Japanese navy at the start of WW2. What would happen if some media minion talked out of their backside and told everyone in May 1942 there was no need to fight the Battle of Midway because the USA had already won the Battle of the Coral Sea.
    Treat Covid like it’s the Japanese Navy headed for Midway and treat the media pundits like the traitorous fifth columnists that they are.

  27. Rich Woods says

    @consciousness razor #15:

    If this fucking country didn’t have its incredible stupidity, what would we have left?

    Some nice scenery.

  28. forensical says

    Correction to the the OP. The Pfizer vaccine starts being effective about 10 days after the first dose.

  29. PaulBC says

    Vicar@26 I’m well aware that “the end of welfare as we know it” was Bill Clinton’s slogan. I also hated him for it. But I am still not sure what we were supposed to do to get anything better. Obama was the only presidential candidate in my lifetime who won by claiming to be progressive (but anyone who had read his two books–written before he was president–would know he’s the textbook definition of a centrist, and even has a kind word or two about Ronald Reagan).

    I don’t think we would have been better off with HW in ’92, with Dole in ’96, with McCain in ’08, with Romney in ’12. And if we had just given Trump the green light to redefine the presidency as an autocratic office with no accountability, we’d be in deep shit indeed right now (deeper than we are anyway).

    You can tell me I’m spreading the lie that there’s no choice and we’re stuck with this dichotomy. But as far as I can see, it is not a lie at all. Power wins. The people who grasp this the best are not silly white liberals like me, but those who have faced their whole lives as a series of choices between bad and worse.

  30. PaulBC says

    Rich Woods@28 Let’s see, we’d have Henry David Thoreau, Walt Whitman, Frederick Douglass, Mark Twain, Thomas Edison, Nikola Tesla, George Gershwin, Louis Armstrong, J. Robert Oppenheimer, Richard Feynman, Grace Hopper, William Faulkner, Kurt Vonnegut, Ursula K. Le Guin, and probably a lot of people who are still among the living. I’d say we have an awful lot left, and that just scratches the surface.

    Sometimes I really do get tired of US-bashing, because great people have come from here. I grant that our history is stained by the atrocities of genocide and slavery. I’ll also grant that we’ve had our share of anti-intellectuals and religious nuts through our whole history. The stupid Americans don’t even like most of the Americans I revere, even if they’ve heard of them. Fuck them. They do not get to say what is “real” America. There’s a lot I love and a lot that couldn’t have happened anywhere else.

  31. KG says

    KG, I’m talking about the economic crisis. Do you agree with me or not that we should be focusing on that, or is it not “of any real significance” in your opinion?

    So 300,000+ dead of Covid-19 are not “of any real significance” so far as you’re concerned? In reality, of course, the public health, economic and political crises are closely interconnected (in the USA, the UK, and elsewhere), and it makes no sense to dismiss any one of them as not “of any real significance”. In the USA, it’s clear that Trump knew early on how dangerous the virus is, and let it spread because he thought it was politically advantageous to do so. His supporters in the Senate blocked – and continue to block – effective relief from the economic effects of the epidemic, for the same reason; they are now doing their best to ensure things will get worse under Biden’s administration, and will continue to do so after his inauguration.

    And are you struggling to pay for food, rent, or anything of note? – consciousness razor@22

    I’m not personally (I have time to worry about catching a disease that would have a significant chance of killing or permananetly disabling me – very comfortable), but literally millions in the UK are – about one in four households have had problems meeting bills in the last year, UNICEF is currently providing food for distribution to children in London, and we’ve got the prospect of a no-deal crash-out from the EU on 1st January (even if there is a last-minute trade deal, there will be disruption of supplies due to all the extra checks and form-filling). Seems you really don’t have any idea what’s going on outside the USA, or don’t consider it “of any real significance”.

  32. says

    Meanwhile, “Minnesota State Sen. Jerry Relph dies from COVID-19 complications”:

    Minnesota State Republican Sen. Jerry Relph has died due to complications from COVID-19.

    The 76-year-old began serving in the Minnesota Senate in 2017 and represented the 14th district that includes St. Cloud.

    Relph contracted the virus at a Republican Caucus meeting on Nov. 5, where other senators were also infected, KSTP reported. He began quarantining on Nov. 10 and started seeing symptoms three days later. It’s unclear when his condition began to worsen.

  33. birgerjohansson says

    The logistical challenges mean the vaccines will not be available until late spring for most people.

    To cheer you up, let me share with you ‘Ode to COVID” from Jeff Dunham show, as performed by Achmed the Dead Terrorist-
    a guy more reasonable than many current Republicans (the character dates from an era when we thought foreigners were the greater threat to USA).

    ‘Up on the housetop is where I’ll be
    Up here no one can cough on me!
    Can’t go to restaurants or even bars
    I miss the days when we only had SARS!
    Ha ha ha! COVID blows !
    Ha ha ha! Swab up my nose!
    Sitting on the housetop, tick tick tick.
    Avoiding all the folks who are sick sick sick!

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