Brace Yourselves for a Long, Hot Summer

It’s been fifty years since the Kent State shootings.

The angry mobs brandishing firearms who oppose pandemic restrictions are another massacre waiting to happen, IMO. Yes, many states are ending restrictions now. But for how long? The deaths are not going away.

As President Trump presses for states to reopen their economies, his administration is privately projecting a steady rise in the number of cases and deaths from the coronavirus over the next several weeks, reaching about 3,000 daily deaths on June 1, according to an internal document obtained by The New York Times, nearly double from the current level of about 1,750.

The projections, based on government modeling pulled together in chart form by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, forecast about 200,000 new cases each day by the end of the month, up from about 25,000 cases now.

The numbers underscore a sobering reality: While the United States has been hunkered down for the past seven weeks, not much has changed. And the reopening to the economy will make matters worse.

The calculation appears to be that people will be so happy about going back to work they won’t notice the death part. We’ll see.

Today there are reports that a security guard in a Family Dollar store in Flint, Michigan, was shot in the head and killed by an angry customer. The customer, according to social media, was confronted by the guard because he wasn’t wearing a mask. Police are investigating.

Also, too:

A Colorado man arrested after federal agents allegedly discovered pipe bombs in his home had also been helping organize an armed protest demanding the state lift its coronavirus restrictions, an official briefed on the case tells ABC News.

It’s going to be a nasty summer, folks. Long and hot.

I’ve been watching the estimated death toll kind of obsessively. It keeps going up faster than anyone, including me, calculates. Remember last week when I wrote about a guy in the Washington Times predicting that we’d reach 70,000 dead by the end of August? We’ll pass 70,000 later today or early tomorrow.

Aaron Rupar writes at Vox:

President Donald Trump’s “America Together: Returning to Work” Fox News town hall event was a remarkably dishonest affair, replete with lies about topics ranging from the efficacy of hydroxychloroquine on Covid-19 to the trajectory of new coronavirus cases in the country to how tariffs work. At one point, Trump whined that he’s treated worse than Abraham Lincoln — a president who was assassinated.

But one moment of unusual honesty stood out.

With the US coronavirus death toll approaching 70,000 as of May 4 — a grim milestone significantly beyond the “50 or 60,000” number that Trump said the country was “going toward” on April 20 — Trump revised his estimate upward. And he acknowledged he was doing so.

“I used to say 65,000. Now I’m saying 80 or 90, and it goes up and it goes up rapidly. But it’s still going to be, no matter how you look at it, at the very lower end of the plane if we did the shutdown,” Trump said, alluding to the 100,000-to-200,000 death estimate cited in late March by public health experts like Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

Especially with so many states loosening restrictions, we could reach 200,000 or more deaths before Labor Day. At 3,000 a day, make that before July 4. We’ll likely be halfway there some time this month. By August Trump will be congratulating himself it’s not 500,000 dead.

The epidemiologists say the virus is going to be with us for a long time. One new report says it will be around for a couple of years and won’t be halted until there is at least 70 percent herd immunity. People who assume it’s almost over — which could be a majority of Americans, for all I know — are going to be very disappointed.

When we do get through this, we will be in a very different place from where we were in January 2020. A great many small businesses are not going to survive, thanks in large part to the inability of our government to do anything but feed the corruption monster. Annie Lowrey writes at The Atlantic,

The government is engaged in an unprecedented effort to save such companies as pandemic-related shutdowns stretch into the spring. But Washington’s policies are too complicated, too small, and too slow for many firms: Across the United States, millions of small businesses are struggling, and millions are failing. The great small-business die-off is here, and it will change the landscape of American commerce, auguring slower growth and less innovation in the future.

Small businesses went into this recession more fragile than their larger cousins: Before the crisis hit, half of them had less than two weeks’ worth of cash on hand, making it impossible to cover rent, insurance, utilities, and payroll through any kind of sustained downturn. And the coronavirus downturn has indeed been shocking and sustained: Data from credit-card processors suggest that roughly 30 percent of small businesses have shut down during the pandemic. Transaction volumes, a decent-enough proxy for sales, show even bigger dips: Travel agencies are down 98 percent, photography studios 88 percent, day-care centers 75 percent, and advertising agencies 60 percent.

Lowrey goes on to explain all the ways the stimulus/relief programs have failed to do what they were intended to do, which was to keep small business on life support until it was safe to open up again. I’m not going to repeat all that here; you know much of it already, I’m sure. Washington is a machine fine-tuned to funnel money to the monied, and when it came time to send money to people who really needed it to survive, it did what it did best — send it to those with connections.

Indeed, loans of $1 million or more soaked up half of the initial $350 billion allocated by Congress. Whiter, less populated states got more loan money per capita, with Vermont, North Dakota, and Minnesota overrepresented and Nevada, Florida, and California underrepresented. Researchers found no evidence that money went to the places and industries hit hardest, as measured by business closures and declines in hours worked. The accommodation- and food-services sector accounted for two in three jobs lost, but received just 9 percent of federal aid dollars.

When this is over we’re going to need a New Deal to get the economy going again.

We’re already a much-diminished nation. The world is learning it doesn’t need us. For example, see The world came together for a virtual vaccine summit. The U.S. was conspicuously absent in WaPo.

World leaders came together in a virtual summit Monday to pledge billions of dollars to quickly develop vaccines and drugs to fight the coronavirus. …

…The conference, led by European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and a half-dozen countries, was set to raise $8.2 billion from governments, philanthropies and the private sector to fund research and mass-produce drugs, vaccines and testing kits to combat the virus that has killed nearly 250,000 people worldwide.

With the money came soaring rhetoric about international solidarity, and a good bit of boasting about each country’s efforts and achievements, live and prerecorded, by Germany’s Angela Merkel, France’s Emmanuel Macron, Britain’s Boris Johnson, Japan’s Shinzo Abe — alongside Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu and Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

The U.S. could not provide a reason why it did not participate. It just didn’t. Russia and India also were absent.

IMO the future balance of power will be between the EU and China. Indeed, if the 20th was the American Century, the 21st may end up being the Chinese Century. See Anne Applebaum, The Rest of the World Is Laughing at Trump. “Whoever replaces Pompeo will have only four short years to repair the damage, and that might not be enough,” she writes. And if Trump wins another term, the world will know we are no longer a serious nation.

So we’re screwed. But we’ve got the next few months to get through. Stay home as much as you can. Wash your hands. Don’t touch your face. Wear a mask. Outlive the bastards.



11 thoughts on “Brace Yourselves for a Long, Hot Summer

  1. Your closing suggestions I will mind.  Right now I am busy minding your title, and bracing myself.  WAPO is headlining mental health problems including substance abuse which Americans seem to be their primary cognitive defense to the virus, though essence of black cat is always a plan B.  For the moment, sour mash with sour soda and a liberal splash of lime is my temporary respite.  I have a stiff upper lip, but this is a hell of a character test.  


  2. A long, hot, and potentially bloody, summer.

    No matter how much some some Governor's, and the presiDUNCE, want the economy to resume, and hopefully return back to some semblence of normal, it just won't be possible.  Too many small businesses, employing millions and millions of people, are either closed, or soon to close.  Places like Mom & Pop restaurants, bars, and pubs may open, but how, with social distancing, can they make money on 1/4 or 1/2 full houses?  And even if the leaders decide to tell people they no longer need to keep a decent distance, how many people will decide to still stay on the safe side, and keep their distance from crowds?  How does a restaurant, bar, pub stay in business even in a looser environment, except to let go of half, or more, of their staff.

    Right now, we're in a recession.  30+ million people are out of work.   Sure, some will go back to their jobs, and others may find jobs in places where the original workers left, but how will those people afford anything besides what they and their families need to survive, like dinner out, or trips to the movies, ballgames, etc.

    And soon, that recession will turn into a full-blown depression!  I believe we're in an economic death-spiral!

    I could go in, but that's enough word-turds from the likes of me tonught.

    One last thing – the crowds of angry, bearded, armed fat white guys with long guns will increase.  And they will be looking for blood, for some sense of revenge from their now even more diminished status!

    Our pandemic may morph into a KKKLANdemic!


  3. Before I get to blotto, let me boldly claim, we have enough right minded Americans to deserve what the wingers have exploited.  I have worked with them and I trust them.  This is their day.  They will and must prevail.  

  4. I never wrote that, I think that is total bull shit, and I do not know how that appeared otn this post.  

  5. I never wrote that, I think that is total bull shit, and I do not know how that appeared otn this post.  

  6. The New Deal never would have happened without the Great Depression. Now life is the product of pain and labor. Some people will gravitate to blind support of the nitwit in the WH, but he has no answers. Most are coming to realize that.

    I really like Maha's final statement. Should have been the lead. Outlive the Bastards. I intend to live long enough to bury their foul philosophy and see the start of a better world.

  7. Imperial College has just released its new modelling effort on the Italian experience. It does not look really encouraging to end lock-down early though they do say they are erring on the side of pessimism.


    The Atlantic article mentions a rather crude Chinese cartoon. I would not call it crude but certainly it is simple and funny and makes its point very clearly. And if we assume a lot of viewers have English as a second,, or third,…, language, I'd say it plays well.

  8. Longish time reader, first time commenter with a minor point: you can calculate the point at which herd immunity sets in if you know R0 (remember that this says nothing about case fatality rate).

    For herd immunity you need the mean number of people infected by each case to be less than 1, or, in other words, when the proportion of people with immunity is > (1 – (1/R0)). I've seen R0 quoted as between 2.5 and 3, so herd immunity would need to be between 60 and 66.6 percent, so that 70 percent is just a conservative statement of herd immunity (R0 for measles is 8-15, by way of contrast, so herd immunity needs to be in the high 80s at least). Social distancing is a way to simulate herd immunity

    Sorry if this is a bit hand-wavy but I trained as a mathematician and find this obvious and therefore incredibly difficult to explain.

Comments are closed.