Monday Mood Reads: It’s getting real out there

Image result for white people hoarding toilet paper images

Good Day Sky Dancers!

The weirdest news of the day continues to be the lines at Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods as white burbies do their panic hording of toilet paper. Did I miss the memo on the magical impact of Northern and Scott to keep them ensconced in the white burbie bubble? Panic buying is just one of things that make us human, I guess.  I’ve stocked up on a few things myself now but only because I’m convinced they’ll run the store empty and my plan is to go out as little as possible.

There’s nothing quite like the behavior of panicky humans—especially when it comes to hoarding. Let a blizzard approach or a hurricane churn toward shore, and we descend on stores, buying up more batteries, bottled water and canned foods than we could use in a lifetime. We’re seeing the same thing again as America hunkers down against the novel coronavirus, and of all of the products that are being snatched up the fastest, there’s one that’s in special demand: toilet paper.

The Washington Post reports a run on the rolls, with both Costco and the Giant supermarket chain stripped all but clean. Even Amazon’s physical stores “appeared to be down to single rolls of novelty toilet paper in some places Friday,” the Post said. The New York Times similarly reports from a Whole Foods supermarket in Somerville, Mass., where shoppers had to be limited to two packages of toilet paper each, lest they strip the store bare.

But why? What is it about toilet paper—specifically the prospect of an inadequate supply of it—that makes us so anxious? Some of the answer is obvious. Toilet paper has primal—even infantile—associations, connected with what is arguably the body’s least agreeable function in a way we’ve been taught from toddlerhood. Few, if any of us, remember a time when we weren’t acquainted with the product.

USA TODAY

Ir’s no wonder that I just got emails from my German students telling me their government has told them to get out of the US.  That’s right, the German government has decided it’s not safe for them to be here.  I’m assuming they fully believe that it’s just a matter of time before US hospitals are overwhelmed.  It hasn’t stopped US college students from partying on dude.

A lot played out this weekend but the adult playpen areas like Bourbon Street, Nashville, and Ft Lauderdale continued to party on dude even as the major events for the tourist traps of America were shut down.  Student in Tulane were filling the campus’ dumpsters with furniture and home appliances as they were tossed out of their dorms.  Still, the first death in New Orleans of Covid19 didn’t stop wall to wall humanity on Bourbon Street or the Irish Channel despite that St Joseph’s an St Patrick’s parade being cancelled and all sporting events were cancelled.  The mayor finally sent the police in to clear the crowds.

By day, lower Magazine Street was packed with people in kilts and green shamrocks Saturday despite the cancellation of the city’s official St. Patrick’s Day parades, with many revelers appearing to hope that the luck of the Irish would be enough to keep the new coronavirus at bay.

By night, New Orleans police broke up a bustling party at a local bar, and Mayor LaToya Cantrell issued a strong statement, imploring people to practice “social distancing” to stop the spread of coronavirus. Around 6 p.m. Saturday, New Orleans officers arrived at Tracey’s Original Irish Channel Bar, one of the traditional epicenters of the St. Patrick’s Day holiday in the city, to break up a large party there.

Public officials have taken steps to limit gatherings in an effort to keep the virus from moving quickly through the population. Gov. John Bel Edwards has closed schools for several weeks and barred events where 250 people or more gather. But warnings from the governor and Cantrell about avoiding close contact and large gatherings were scarcely heeded Saturday along Magazine Street, through the Irish Channel and Garden District, where the streets were bustling.

Cantrell said that to fight this virus required social distancing, carried out in all seriousness.

USA TODAY Network

So, while some people spend endless time in lines buying cans of tuna, peanut butter, and toilet paper others day drink with their closest 500 or so friends.  Right.  This is America.  They’re also hoarding guns and panic buying guns.

Some further local news that’s surreal from any vantage point.  The French Market has been open continuously for over 300 years and it will be closing down today for an undetermined period.

Probably the most profoundly disturbing image yesterday was the Trumperz suprise visit to Pence’s attempt to bring some gravity to a Presser.  It’s been evident that number of cases is on the rise and the number of deaths have just started to look disturbing.  But hey, Trumperz was just a happy camper as the Board of Governors at the FED sent prices at the zero bound.  And, I ask you again?  Who is going to get a loan and like, buy something like a car right now?

So, Trumperz said “investors should be thrilled.”

Investors this morning to Trumperz (via the WSJ) :“Stocks Open Sharply Lower After Fed Slashes Rates. U.S. stocks drop 8%, while bond yields plummet again.”  He just doesn’t get anything right ever.  Oh, and then there’s this via CNBC: “Stock futures drop — hit ‘limit down’ — even as Fed slashes rates; Dow futures off 1,000 points   Stock futures plunged Sunday night even after the Federal Reserve embarked on a massive monetary stimulus campaign to curb slower economic growth amid the coronavirus outbreak.”

USA TODAY Network

The real real is getting serious too.  From the Seattle Times: “EvergreenHealth doctor tests positive for coronavirus, in critical condition”.

An emergency room doctor at EvergreenHealth in Kirkland is in critical condition with COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus.

The hospital at the center of the coronavirus outbreak in King County confirmed that the doctor was ill Sunday afternoon.

“EvergreenHealth is providing care for one of our physicians who has a confirmed case of COVID-19. He is in critical condition but stable. Out of respect for our patient’s privacy and that of his family, there is nothing more we can share at this time,” says a brief statement issued by the hospital on Sunday.

The physician, who is in his 40s, has been admitted to the intensive-care unit and could be the first front-line health care worker in the state to test positive for the disease, said Dr. Liam Yore, the immediate past president of the Washington Chapter of the American College of Emergency Physicians.

Yore is an emergency room doctor who works primarily at Providence Regional Medical Center in Everett but is also on staff at EvergreenHealth. He spoke to The Seattle Times on behalf of his professional organization and not as a representative of the hospitals.

“There was an initial test on Tuesday and that came back negative,” Yore said of his EvergreenHealth colleague, who he described as “a dedicated and selfless physician.”

 

 

USA TODAY Network

That’s not the hospital where my daughter practices but it is damn close.   USA’s headline today is the best advice these days: “The best thing everyday Americans can do to fight coronavirus? #StayHome, save lives ” That’s certainly my plan. I’m facing down 65 in November and while I’m relatively healthy, I will not be tempting fate.

I did watch a bit of the debate last night but was just overwhelmingly depressed especially after seeing parts of that stupid Presser.  Old White men will be the death of us all.  We’re going to have to vote for Biden to save what’s left of our country, but damn, I wish it didn’t come down to this.  Here are some headlines.

“Trump finds his MAGA movement fracturing over coronavirus  —  Just two weeks after President Donald Trump rallied conservatives to focus on the threat of socialism, his followers are splintering over the coronavirus pandemic. ”  via Politico.

Biden leads Trump by 9 points in a one-to-one matchup  with Trump:  via MSNBC.

Biden and Bernie face off: Key moments from Sunday’s debate”  also via Politico.  They even elbow bumped.

Under the cloud of the coronavirus pandemic, they talked about bailouts — and hand sanitizer. Biden said he washes his hands—a lot—”God knows how many times a day!”

Biden and Sanders met Sunday night, with Biden looking to open up a commanding lead for the nomination Tuesday and with the nation struggling to contain the fast-moving coronavirus.

The debate comes amid escalating spread of the disease that is dramatically altering Americans’ way of life and the normal rhythms of a campaign. In-person rallies and fundraisers have gone digital. Staffers are working from home. And Sanders’ chances to shift the dynamic in his favor have become even more limited.

Image result for image hillary SNL he will kill us all

The last thing you should try to read today is from David Leonhardt and the NYT. It’s really a depressing dose of reality but we need it. “A Complete List of Trump’s Attempts to Play Down Coronavirus  —  He could have taken action.  He didn’t. ”

President Trump made his first public comments about the coronavirus on Jan. 22, in a television interview from Davos with CNBC’s Joe Kernen. The first American case had been announced the day before, and Kernen asked Trump, “Are there worries about a pandemic at this point?”

The president responded: “No. Not at all. And we have it totally under control. It’s one person coming in from China, and we have it under control. It’s going to be just fine.”

By this point, the seriousness of the virus was becoming clearer. It had spread from China to four other countries. China was starting to take drastic measures and was on the verge of closing off the city of Wuhan.

In the weeks that followed, Trump faced a series of choices. He could have taken aggressive measures to slow the spread of the virus. He could have insisted that the United States ramp up efforts to produce test kits. He could have emphasized the risks that the virus presented and urged Americans to take precautions if they had reason to believe they were sick. He could have used the powers of the presidency to reduce the number of people who would ultimately get sick.

 

What’s on your reading and blogging list today?

 


44 Comments on “Monday Mood Reads: It’s getting real out there”

  1. dakinikat says:

    And this is undoubtedly a gift from Trumperz old friend Vlad …

  2. dakinikat says:

  3. dakinikat says:

    This is why I am so depressed among other things:

    DISCUSSING CORONAVIRUS RESPONSE, SANDERS ACCIDENTALLY CALLS IT EBOLA AND BIDEN ACCIDENTALLY CALLS IT SARS

    https://www.newsweek.com/discussing-coronavirus-response-sanders-accidentally-calls-it-ebola-biden-accidentally-calls-it-1492425?fbclid=IwAR3bbtGsdXEOfmjCHxiJEnlK6D8UwvtpwxFnw4XLrQZWoU-j0hjUwNfnU7g

  4. bostonboomer says:

    Sorry, but it’s not just white people that are hoarding toilet paper and it’s not just Whole Foods and Trader Joes. BTW, I live in a suburb and see plenty of people of color in my Whole Foods. I’ve seen multiple videos on Twitter of representatives of several ethnic groups fighting over the stuff. We’re all human.

    • dakinikat says:

      Guess my TV stations are hanging out in white enclaves or something. Down town here stuff’s still available but uptown stuff is gone .

      • bostonboomer says:

        We aren’t so segregated here, I guess. My town is middle class but very diverse and has been for years.

    • Enheduanna says:

      I ventured in to TJoe’s yesterday for laundry detergent – wasn’t nearly as busy as usual for a weekend. They sold out most of their cases of Two-buck Chuck – lol. Priorities.

      • NW Luna says:

        Trader Joe’s here seemed to have most of its usual items a couple of days ago. I saw toilet paper at the local drugstore.

        • bostonboomer says:

          You can’t buy it on Amazon or at Walmart on line either. I usually buy it in bulk on Amazon because it’s cheaper. It will be back in stock in a week or two. I’m not worried about it.

  5. bostonboomer says:

    Last night our governor closed all the schools in the state and restaurants can’t serve food–only take out. No gatherings of more than 25 people. They’ve set up sites for kids to get meals if they need them.

    My town was already shut down last week. We have 4 confirmed cases here in this small town and one waiting for confirmation. We now have 164 confirmed cases in MA, 108 linked to the Biogen conference–not one of those people had symptoms during the conference. Scary.

    I’m starting to think that the bad “flu” I had in Feb. might have been Covid-19. The experts are saying the virus has likely been spreading in pockets around the country since January. I caught the thing from my 17 year old nephew, who just had a brief illness. Mine was worse. Of course I’m going to keep taking precautions anyway.

    I had to go out today to get some prescriptions. The streets are dead, almost no traffic. The store wasn’t crowded, but there was no toilet paper. LOL. People are weird. Everything else was well stocked.

    I hope all of you are safe and healthy and that you stay that way!

  6. Enheduanna says:

    A spectacular picture of the moon for Luna!

    https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/astropix.html

  7. bostonboomer says:

    Trump doesn’t give a shit if Americans die.

    NYT: Coronavirus Live Updates: Trump Tells Governors to Seek Out Respirators on Their Own

  8. NW Luna says:

    I hope the ER doc at EvergreenHealth pulls through. 40 y.o. and in critical condition? That’s not good. Helluva time to be in healthcare. I’m in clinic again Thurs, and hope I can do the visits via telephone or televideo. Bad enough to be walking through the halls there. At least I take stairs instead of the elevator — a good habit which keeps me from small crowded limited-air spaces. But people with ambulatory conditions can’t take stairs, though.

    I had the common ‘crud’ URI a couple of weeks ago, and when I got over that a few days later I got another URI which I still have but is getting better. I really doubt it’s corvid-19 since I have no fever or signs of a lower respiratory illness. But I’ve never gotten hit again so close to recovery from an earlier URI. The weather’s been cold but sunny lately and I hate being sick in nice weather! whines

  9. bostonboomer says:

  10. NW Luna says:

    O. M. G.

  11. dakinikat says:

    Got home from a quite empty campus and very empty roads to this:

  12. dakinikat says:

  13. By nature, I’m a Pollyanna … a quality definitely challenged by most news in the last three + years! However, this article in today’s TO Star, showcasing who is in charge of Canada’s CoVid-19 response, has improved my sense of security and optimism in difficult times.

    https://www.thestar.com/politics/federal/2020/03/16/the-10-people-leading-ottawas-fight-against-covid-19.html

    It may be gullibility, but it’s a long time since I’ve felt a sense of trust in government. (Maybe because I mostly follow US news, being an ex-pat and all.)

  14. palhart says:

    Rep. Gohmert R-TX alone is holding up the House relief bill from moving to the Senate. He and 40 Republicans voted against the bill that overwhelmingly passed the House Saturday.

    My dem. governor declared a state of emergency last week with 33 COVID-19 patients. My city and county were declared in coronavirus state of emergency with 4 ill individuals. Schools have been ordered closed and a ban has been placed on “mass gatherings” of 100+. Bars and restaurants remain open with many owners reporting thorough cleaning and multiple hand washing policy.

    There are no longer words to describe my disgust for the Republican Party who are putting my and 330M Americans’ lives at risk.

  15. dakinikat says:

    Um, me … serious economics professor lecturing on line from home.

  16. palhart says:

    I just completed my 2020 census form. It took 5 minutes. I recall more questions in previous years. Before, haven’t we been asked about education level, income, etc.?

    • NW Luna says:

      Don’t recall. I have never gotten a census form until 2010, and can’t remember the questions on that. You’d think education, income would be good to know in a census.