10 More Things About This Mess

1. Good gravy, the national media gaslighting over hydroxychloroquine is fucking unbearable at this point. I honestly think some of these people would sooner eat a turd sandwich than admit that maybe, perhaps that President Trump had a hunch about this stuff that might, maybe prove to be correct. (I say 'might, maybe' because it goes up and down: anecdotal evidence keeps building that it does something- but another study that leaked out seemed to indicate it was a load of hockum- but dig a little bit on that study and you find out some things that make you wonder: the sample size was small- 11 patients and apparently they were all carrying co-morbities and were pretty severely ill by the time they started on the protocol.)

Do I think hydroxychloroquine + Z-Pak is a thing? I don't know. We need actually randomized clinical trials and a lot more data to even begin to say for sure-- but I think data is going to start to come in over the next month or so that will solidify the picture in one direction or another. (It's also worth noting that covalescent plasma, remdesivir and a whole bunch of other things are being tried right now as well- so hydrox/ZPak may not be the answer, but there's too much evidence to dismiss it out of hand.) Should people be drinking fishtank cleaner? No. Should people be hoarding hydrox? No- people legit need it for lupus, RA and other legit conditions.

But should we be trying to figure out if it's legit or not? We absolutely should. And instead of pissing all over the President's foot like an incontinent poodle, it'd be helpful to all concerned if the media would bend a little of their time towards figuring the question out. (BTW, it's not just hydroxy/ZPak out there either-- this one looks interesting and this one would be absolutely hilarious.)

2. Well, the IMHE model that everyone is so hot about finally was updated to reflect at least the fact that the schools are closed and Iowa's outlook- at least per the model, improved greatly. I don't know if IMHE is going to be right or not, but it's a widely used one- and right now, I'm going to hang my hat on any good news I can- and right now, it seems like good news.  91-DIVOC provides some pretty good visualizations on how things are going. And they're...  going.

3.  How's Kim doing? I don't think the Governor is the problem, to be totally frank. I know that's a minority view in certain corners of the internet- and she has been a little conservative now and again and not as proactive as I'd like, but she has been following the data and relying on the numbers and consulting heavility with the IDPH. So, she's listening to people who know what they're talking about- at least on the face of it. Given the shall we side, wide spectrum of responses by Governors across the nation, I'd say we're not doing half bad even if everyone is screaming bloody murder for a shelter in place on a daily basis. (Like, if all y'all stopped complaining and actually stayed home we wouldn't be having this conversation. Hashtag just sayin.)

4. Sports, baby. MLB is working on a plan to maybe start up early next month. It hasn't been made official yet and people are kind of giving it side-eye at this point, but it's a glimmer of something at least. (Also, the Master's moved to November. So there's that as well.)

Do I think there's going to be college football in the fall? Cautious answer: maybe. I think it depends on treatment protocols and if any of them have been proven to be effective by then. I saw a crazy proposal out there to do just a nine game conference only season split between fall and spring semester, which would be delightfully bananas-- (Natty in May? I'd be okay with that.)- but again, that would open up a whole lot of other issues as well, given how smaller schools depend on non-conference paycheck games. I'm assuming those discussions are proceeding quietly behind closed doors as well.

5.  Bernie is out. I don't think this comes as a surprise to anyone at this point- and I think it's far too early to be thinking about November just yet. I think a lot of it is dependant on when/how we exit this and start clawing back to normal. I'm not seeing a lot of enthusiasm for Biden out there now. More like...  resignaiton. But that assessment could be flawed- at this point, only time will tell us one way or the other.

6. Schools. Home schooling is becoming a bit more formalized thanks to new online resources from the school. Teletherapy for Team Little is up and running again and Zoom therapy is underway as well. It's... an adjustment. We're getting better at it. Part of me is really hoping that mid-to-late May a return to school to mid-June may well be possible, but I think the reality of the situaiton is probably we ain't going back until the fall.

7. There's some talk about a great 'spiritual awakening' because of this...  on the one hand, it sort of makes sense. Whatever your flavor of faith or spirituality, this has been a rude awakening to the fact that there are still things we have no control over. Science and technology can't save us with a magic pill to make it all go away, they've got to work at it. And they may well succeed, but until they do, it's kind of scary out there, so people turning back to faith or spirituality makes perfect sense to me. (I'll be honest: I'm reading Rumi, doin' a little Rosary and making time to meditate when I can. Developing some form of personal spiritual practice wasn't on my agenda at the start of this year, but that's what I find myself doing now. And I feel like it's a good thing. It helps.)

On the other hand, you've got Governors exempting churches and megachurches and churches all over the place that just don't care about no lockdown and are having church anyway. At some point, that will make sense. Right now, it makes no sense whatsoever and borders on immoral. Go online. Keep your congregation safe and secure.

8. China. Let's talk about *Trump voice* "CH-EYE-NA".

Xi Jinping is an idiot. That's really my only conclusion and if my blog is detonated via DDOS attacks that emantate from East Asia, you'll know that I've touched a nerve- and I'll be honored that the priorites of the PRC have reached to all the way down to little old me.

But President Winnie The Pooch changed gears and moved away from collective leadership and back towards one-man rule and so far if I'm an apparatachik in the CCP I'm probably thinking very quietly in my head where no one can hear me: "Fuck, this guy's a moron."

Their whole Belt and Road Initiative looks cool, I'll grant you, but it's expensive as hell. He fucked up the Hong Kong protest thing. And now this.

In contrast, if Taiwan was looking to take on  few new states, I'd vote to join. Their government was on the ball, on top of this whole virus from the word go- and for a refreshing change of pace: they were competent about it. I tell ya, if it wouldn't start a damn war, I'd recognize Taiwan tomorrow.

China's got a shitload of investment tied up in the national media/entertainment structure, which is why the media is so loathe to criticize them. But I think if this crisis does anything, it's going to reveal to multiple countries around the world the folly of putting their eggs into the same basket. If President Trump is re-elected, let's assume that 'de-coupling' will continue.

It's going to be fascinating to watch.

9.  This is interesting, but I want to know what the 77 things are.

10. When do we open back up? Or start too? I'm less than thrilled by this projection- but... right now, I'm guessing mid-May we'll start crawling out from behind the bushes and June might see a return to something that could be considered normal.


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