Plague Update: What Does COVID Do Anyway?

COVID-19 a thrombotic disease that can be caught again, and again, and again if the first bouts are survived, and isn’t confined to a “season” because it’s so much more contagious than influenza. It has multiple waves that sweep through a community each year. Governments are using ‘magical words’ to convince people there’s a “mild”, “new normal” that is acceptable and survivable so the people will willingly return to economic activity compatible with consumptive capitalism. That locust-style capitalism also happens to be ending our habitat’s economic viability and then our survivability sometime this decade or the next.

@nytimes

“The coronavirus has become more adept at reinfecting people as Omicron and its many descendants seem to have evolved to partially dodge immunity. Waves of infections two, maybe three times a year may be the future of Covid-19, some scientists now fear.”

BESS Battery project at Regina by SaskPower

Back in February I asked SaskPower how this project was going.

Our Progress So Far

In Fall of 2020, we engaged with neighbouring communities to discuss the proposed BESS plans. We’re now moving to the next phase of the project including project design and procurement. Other milestones include:

  • Infrastructure Canada conditional funding received: early 2021
  • Procure technology: mid 2021
  • Construction: late 2021
  • Energization: end of 2022

They replied today noting my email to their public enquiries address had been caught in their spam filter.

They’ve since updated the page as it’s behind schedule, but construction is now intended to begin this season.

Plague Update: Moevid

Plague Premier Moe has COVID-19. He spent the last few days improperly using a substandard mask in public crowds, wiping his bare nose, and coughing.

This is fine…

Stonks Game Stops At This Stop

Hedge funds that bet against Game Stop are crying foul as they lose a fortune, because the crowd noticed their weakness and exploited it. Sounds very Wall Street. Is it against the rules? How could it be in a market that has too few rules. The difference now is that the crowd has the power instead of the billionaires, so it can’t be fair, right?

Hedge funds basically borrowed money to buy stocks for Game Stop that shouldn’t even have been available for sale (136%??), and a crowd of investors very publicly noted this situation, explained publicly what they were going to do, and the hedge funds didn’t immediately back down and take a small loss, and so lost the entire amount. As a result of not being able to cover their loss, they were forced to buy the stock they bet against, pushing the price up even further. A short squeeze happened with Tesla in the past year too, part of the reason for its stock price meteoric rise.

Billionaire CEO defends Redditors; CNBC host sounds like a whiner sad that his team made a bad bluff and got called.

Can’t tell if joking… @theserfstv · “lol Gamestop just became an S&P top 500” If true and it qualifies, that would require it be included in the S&P list of the top 500 stocks, like Tesla, pushing its price up further.

@IGN · “Amidst ongoing GameStop stock fluctuations, WallStreetBets has been banned from Discord for allowing “hateful and discriminatory content after repeated warnings,” and has gone private on Reddit.” https://bit.ly/3t25EEC

@JuddLegum · “Funny no one mentions that the primary “victim” of the GameStop trading, Gabe Plotkin, worked for SAC until the firm pled guilty to insider trading in 2013 and paid $1.8B in fines to the SEC and this week, Plotkin got a 2.75B bailout from his old boss, Steve Cohen, SAC’s founder.”

Memes are flowing:

“You said crypto was too volatile? Mmhmm… (Woman tipping hand)

Wall Street: Crypto is volatile.
GameStop: Hold my Beer (mug)”

“GameStop, AMC, Tootsie Roll, BlackBerry: there’s a theme here and it’s elder millennial nostalgia.”

“Hold the line, “They can take our subreddit, but they can never take our $GME”

– Actually they can take it, and will probably try. These folks need to learn about Bitcoin, badly.

ADDED:

Plague Update: Sociopathy Of Contemporary Conservativism

There are economic solutions to harms caused to livelihoods by pandemic public health responses. Yet Conservatives oppose public health measures with the idea that the economic harms are worse than people dying from a preventable plague.
It is sociopathic.

Big Financial Enforcement Failure Leak

If you wondered why not many bankers went to jail for the 2008 financial collapse they caused, this might be part of why:

Obama and the Democrats are beholden to these criminals too. Electing Biden won’t do much to punish the people making American a great burning disaster, but maybe there will be a greater chance of fighting them than with Republicans in charge of the Senate and White House.

$2T happens to be the first amount requested by Justice Democrats to stabilize the American economy through emergency payments to all Americans as a sort of Basic Income.

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Meanwhile Julian Assange has lawyers fighting for his life in a UK courtroom the past week. He founded WikiLeaks, and made possible the sort of leaks that reveal these oligarchic crimes. American oligarchs are pushing for him to die in an American gulag for committing journalism by branding it espionage instead. Funny how criminals consider someone a spy if they reveal their crimes to the world.

Plague Update: Booster Shot For The Economy

I am so not impressed by the Sask Party’s response to COVID-19. Slow Moe took days to shut down schools in March after a pandemic was declared, and now he’s charging ahead without a plan to roll back to Stage 1 of a lockdown when kids start getting sick in the schools he’s forcing to reopen.

Meanwhile reports suggest the virus is airborne. There goes the idea that washing your hands is able to stop infection. Social Distancing with mask use while gathered indoors, is our best chance to wipe out the plague before a vaccine is in widespread use.

Plague Update: Post-lockdown

Even though everything isn’t re-opened, the Saskatchewan Government very much wants people to think and act as if everything is back to normal. They’ll deny that if asked. There’s no evidence of the Premier wearing a mask though to set a good example in public.

As a result, the infection rate started spiking upward here, and in BC and Alberta too. Infamously, the Texan and Floridian Goveronors who Right-Wing media were heaping praise onto for reopening their states, are faced with stuffing bodies into freezer trucks as there is a shortage of morgue space in the Lone Star State. Go to Disney World? Maybe not such a good idea.

Even though masks and lockdowns have been shown through science to save lives from COVID-19, what are the pressures on political leaders, particularly far-right ones, to reopen and oppose the use of masks?

I can think of the following reasons:

  1. Capitalist Greed
    -Professional sports leagues intend to force most of their players through peer pressure to participate in games that are unsafe. Some notable players have opted out, they’ve the financial means no doubt to forego a year or two of play, to give them and their family a better chance at remaining healthy until a vaccine is available to protect them instead of social distancing.
    -You’ve probably noticed that COVID-19 Deniers have popped up, and there’s a Venn diagram of them with Climate Deniers, yielding a near perfect circle. My theory for why this is, despite the Climate Deniers at first participating in lockdowns, is it took a few weeks for the Climate Denial Machine to be turned to the pandemic. As it became more clear that an economic crisis was underway, the kind not seen in generations or more, the capital holders who stoked the sort of misinformation that has manipulated people thinking CO2 is harmless “plant food”, changed gears to create doubt about the pandemic so people would go back to work rather than demand a Universal Basic Income so they could stay safe at home.
    Many people are back to making useless doo-dads, traveling around on vacations in fuel burning vehicles, and going to restaurants and bars. Larger realignment of daily life will need to take place to build a carbon negative economy, and having a taste of what it could look like in the polluted skies of our major cities like Los Angeles, Mumbai, and Paris was re-energizing opposition to fossil fuel supremacy. California has made more electric trucks and vans a requirement by 2024. That’s one election cycle away, and before the #carbonbudget is used up (we hope). That’s real legislative progress, except they don’t require a complete switch until 2045, which is too late.
  2. Male Chauvinism
    -From Brazil’s fascist leader, to Great Britain’s Brexit nationalist Tory leader, the countries that are faring the worst so far, have notably terrible leaders. These men like to project an air of male superiority and bravado, and their latest way of puffing up their chest is to heartily shake hands, and appear to be stronger than the virus. BoJo narrowly missed having his chest puffed up manually by a ventilator a few months ago.
    I don’t think you could describe Elon Musk as a Climate Denier, but he certainly has made really questionable comments during the plague in North America, so I’d chalk up those to this latter reason.

Plague Update: Are We Going To Give Up?

WHO wants people to be aware that there’s no assured victory against COVID-19. I still think it’s possible to eradicate it, but it will take a global effort that surpasses what we’ve tried thus far.

We, for one thing, definitely have to figure out what’s going on in cases of apparent reinfection:

Plague Update: Frugality Saves Itself

It’s become trendy to be thrifty. Frugal, even.
There’s always been a case for being frugal, but now it’s more apparent to a society facing supply chain disruptions from an unsure labour market and contracted globalism.

Have you started a Victory Garden this year? When there were social events, did you ever attend a Repair Cafe, to fix your slightly broken electronic device, or sew a tear in a jacket (like I have at the Regina Public Library)? As the article points out, there are many ways to be frugal, and not all of them lead to actual hording which obviously needs to be avoided for various reasons.