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+4 votes
I'm asking about this because how people react to the coronavirus pandemic is really controversial right now, there's lots of morality, misinformation, confusion, etc.

People in the U.S. and even Germany are gathering in the streets to protest the lockdown directly (in the U.S. a lot of people tie it to "the trumpees") and there's also the concurrent labor oriented protests, rent strikes, etc.

I personally don't want to be a part of any of this activism at the moment, yet I sympathize both with the people who want the lockdown to end, and those who don't think it's a good idea to go back to work, using this as an opportunity to counteract the things that rich folks and property owners want from society. I feel the most generous thing I can do at the moment is shrug and admit I don't really know what the right way to respond to this crisis is.
by (2.0k points)
i missed this in in the queue, so it's been waiting for a month or so.
"...shrug and admit I don't really know what the right way to respond to this crisis is."

i hear that loud and clear.

the (false?) dichotomy between "health" and "economy" seems to have become the political linchpin of the moment (wrt the covid pandemic). anyone that claims to know the "right" way to respond is almost certainly on one side or the other of that dichotomy.

is a "mask mandate" considered a "lockdown"? i guess i mean this: in protesting "lockdowns", is the issue:

- the principle of being told what to do (general rejection of authority)

- the specific activity/ies being constrained (assuming overreaction to the risks)

- both

- neither

- other possibilities...?
the question of protests in general is one that many anarchists i know struggle with, as it usually ends up as no more than a symbolic gesture. a few blm murals, etc.

as to the lockdowns, i completely understand opposition to them. in many ways, they are completely authoritarian and economically counter productive. while i live largely on the outskirts of mass society, it is undeniable that urban concentration of humans creates problems for "society" as a whole (it also creates some benefits). when many people - for whatever reasons - ignore suggestions related to health and cause wide spreading of the virus in population centers, it is understandable in the context of mass society (which i despise and consider a root cause of authoritarianism in many of its forms) to impose restrictions that "protect" the most people. that is at least theoretically the very purpose of the government/authorities (ha!). the fact that such restrictions inherently impact the economy is obvious. the strategic question would seem to be: is it "better" to hurt the economy in the short term for assumed long term health, or let the virus run its "natural" course, take the health hit now in hopes of herd immunity and/or scientific control (vaccines etc). leaving aside any death rates, letting the virus run rampant will (and has) cause huge numbers of sickness and hospitalizations, which impact both the economy (many people can't work or be a customer even if businesses can be open) and the health care system (overwhelmed in dealing with the virus, limiting access to care for other health issues that normally would not result in death but do so due to lack of health care resources).

imo, folks that don't follow the simple guidelines that seem to make sense to most people (avoid crowds, distance, wear a mask, wash your hands) should be denied health care when they catch it.

and if folks want to protest lockdowns, go for it! just don't complain to me when nothing changes as a result.
@fa: i overall am not supportive of the state controlling people, because it always seems to have so many other consequences, and as i saw people talking with edward snowden on the internet, states around the world are using the pandemic to "build the architecture of oppression", this is not really happening in the U.S. though, as there's a huge portion of population that has a very reactionary take on caution and control ("people who wear masks are pussies" for example)

"imo, folks that don't follow the simple guidelines that seem to make sense to most people (avoid crowds, distance, wear a mask, wash your hands) should be denied health care when they catch it."

that's a pretty bold statement! I see what you mean, i personally would go even further and say that medical systems do more harm more than good overall, keeping miserable people alive, giving people pain killers so they get addicted, doctors overall being snobby/ignorant specialists, the list goes on in terms of the harm the medical system does to the human race and the planet.

IMO, Overall i think we should all be careful in making judgements about what certain should/shouldn't be done from a bureaucratic perspective, and that's overall what bothers me about talking to dems and repubs. For example, directing a comment at what you said, if someone shows up at an ER and has medicaid (this is kind of an interesting question to me because i have medicaid), how would they even know whether they "should be denied coverage"? Band t-shirt they bought at a concert? Overall the evidence based court system has taught me a lot about the general issue of control, especially when it reaches out of your very tiny sphere of influence...

nihilist: "IMO, Overall i think we should all be careful in making judgements about what certain should/shouldn't be done from a bureaucratic perspective, and that's overall what bothers me about talking to dems and repubs"

my sentiments exactly. i would only quibble with the "we should" portion of your statement...in that i only know i don't want to think in terms of what authority should/shouldn't do - i desire their absence, not them doing the "right" thing. when i catch myself thinking like that, i remind myself of how i've been conditioned to think what people "in authority" should/shouldn't do...and to think more of what i would do in a given situation while i observe with interest what happens within all the various organizations...

nihilist: just to be clear, i wasn't saying that those people should somehow be denied health care based on policy of authorities. that was just a personal desire.

also, of course i don't support the health care system, the government, or any institution of authority and oppression. i make certain observations based on the actual world as it is, as compared to the world i wish i lived in. there is a state, there is mass society, there is a massive and complex economic system, etc. i do my best to keep them all out of my life (including the health care system), but at times i cannot avoid them. many (if not most) people in the u.s., including some i care deeply about, do not share my perspective. once in a while i engage with them in conversations, and they know very well where i stand. telling them to just avoid the government, the economy, doctors and hospitals, etc, is not a useful talking point. so i find myself trying to consider their context in those discussions, and use their own complaints about "the system" to bring up alternative perspectives.

plus i find the left and right to be so pathetically absurd, especially at this point in time, i can always find humor in mocking both.

the bottom line for me is: do what the fuck you want, and know that there are consequences. that applies to protesting, mask wearing, and basically everything. i can only understand (somewhat) potential consequences if i have a decent understanding of the context in which i am acting.

funky: "people in the u.s., including some i care deeply about, do not share my perspective. once in a while i engage with them in conversations, and they know very well where i stand. telling them to just avoid the government, the economy, doctors and hospitals, etc, is not a useful talking point. so i find myself trying to consider their context in those discussions, and use their own complaints about "the system" to bring up alternative perspectives."

well said. i have difficulty with this sort of thing all the time...and have tried similar approaches...without much satisfaction most of the time i must admit....i'm glad that we have each other here on this site where we can speak in different ways about the same "problems"...

ba@: i can't say i get much satisfaction from those discussions either. :-)

"my sentiments exactly. i would only quibble with the "we should" portion of your statement...in that i only know i don't want to think in terms of what authority should/shouldn't do - i desire their absence, not them doing the "right" thing. when i catch myself thinking like that, i remind myself of how i've been conditioned to think what people "in authority" should/shouldn't do...and to think more of what i would do in a given situation while i observe with interest what happens within all the various organizations..."

I agree that "should" is a problematic word, because it's essentially a human/authoritarian projection of imagination. However, the only way i can really change what said is to say something like "i try not to" or "it's better not to", which basically accomplishes the same thing. I guess could help me think of a better way to critique funky's political opinion so that i can get better at this stuff in real life ;-)

nihilist: "I guess could help me think of a better way to critique funky's political opinion so that i can get better at this stuff in real life "

what "political opinion" of mine are you looking to critique? i wonder if i have been unclear about my perspective. do you think i support government mandates for anything? or government in any way?

1 Answer

–1 vote
In the beginning of the "pandemics" I believed that there was real danger. But then I started analyzing the health data, making my own statistics, crossing them with what the media say, studied the subjects and so I concluded, among other things, the following:

1) the virus is quite harmless, causing fewer victims than the flu;
2) a substantial part of the excess mortality is not explained by covid19 - the lockdowns caused more victims than the virus;
3) the media and politicians of our so-called democratic societies are blatantly lying and actively seeking to terrorize populations.

I imagine people who protest may have reached the same conclusions. I have not yet participated in any protest because these are not taking place where I live, but I will carry out civil resistance actions if they want to force me to wear a mask on the street.
by (500 points)
i also have compiled my own statistics.

in the county where i live, as well as two neighboring counties, the icu beds are filled to near capacity. one county has only 5 icu beds available out of 400 (where normally close to 50% are available) in a population of nearly 2 million people. this according to the hospitals themselves, not media or politicians. i know personally three people who work in hospitals in these counties, and have told me stories of the icu and emergency rooms filling up with covid patients - nearly 40% of all icu beds in some hospitals.

i don't see the virus as "quite harmless" at all. that doesn't mean i want the state forcing anything more on me though.
well whatever, it's good to know more about you. context is helpful.

and i'm not sure what anarchist doesn't think that media and politicians are not lying (or at minimum manipulating information and framing to mislead) ever. oops triple negative. don't you think that media and politicians are frequently/always untrustworthy? what makes this situation different enough to emphasize that point?

do you think that the entire world is part of a plot? or that the u.s. media is lying about what is happening in other countries?
"the media and politicians of our so-called democratic societies are blatantly lying and actively seeking to terrorize populations."

i second dot on the media/political expectations.

based on your post, you must think trump (and his cadre) are the only ones NOT lying? they sure aren't trying to scare folks - regarding the virus, that is.
f@, i think it's possible that someone would not trust the over-arching media story and not trust trump either, right?

(also, nice to see folks! thanks nihilist for the question bringing folks out to chat :) )
also, even the politicians within given areas contradict each other, so the idea of a mass effort to terrorize the population seems highly unlikely to me. in many places, the mayors, governors, county officials, and sheriffs don't agree with each other and put out conflicting orders.
dot, for sure! in fact i would think most critical thinkers would mistrust both, as a starting point. i was just pointing out the overlap in perspective related to the virus.

ba@, exactly.
Some context: I live in Portugal, southern Europe: I don't care about Trump or any other American politician; I don't watch TV - they feed you with what they want and I don't like people playing ping-pong with my brain; I'm an engineer; I don't trust most people or the state; I always felt closer to the political left which here, as you know, is a real left, with communists and Trotskyists, not like the democrats in the US, which are not that different from the republicans.
When the coronavírus madness started I was peacefully taking care of my own life. I resisted for a long time, surprised, to the madness that took over the people that let themselves be controlled by the media, who are the majority. But at a certain point also I was caught up in the fear wave. It was only when they locked us down in our homes that I began to suspect, as the measures were totally disproportionate. So I started analyzing the data myself, instead of getting my information from the media. Here in Europe, health agency data are more or less reliable. I compared the data on covid deaths with those from other illnesses and realized that covid19, even in the worst case scenarios, is at most equivalent to seasonal flu. Then I compared the excess mortality that occurred during the pandemic and realized that covid19 explains only a very small percentage of the excess deaths (the containement measures caused more deaths than the virus itself). Also, the lockdown and it's removal, as in other countries, do not show an effect on the curves but the politicians and the media keep saying otherwise, lying and lying. There was also the violence of the accusations. I was even accused of being a supporter of Trump and Bolsonaro, see how ridiculous it is. ... I'll continue tomorrow ...
And thanks dot for opening this one up for discussion.

Whatever, i see your approach to take a look at the evidence yourself as being as being the best thing to do, the news is all about, i only seem repetitive because i see it on the online news constantly, moral hyperbole and games to scare and shift attention.

However, i think your opinion on covid is too one-sided. I do think its pretty serious,yet the seriousness in some locations is exaggerated. There are lots of variables and some say it's "bogus" and others say you are terrible if you dont wear a mask, social distance etc. I dont agree with either of these perceptions.

I take precautions(mostly just avoid crowds of people), wear a mask sometimes (only to protect my mother, otherwise i wouldnt do it except maybe to gain access to buildings). Theres a lot of consensus between scientists that if you avoid going inside buildings that removes a lot of the risk. I only know one person so far that has gotten the virus. I at this point feel more confident in how to avoid getting it since now about 3 months have passed since it hit the us. But i still dont know, i could be dead soon and i look forward to the learning experience!

I will say to the credit of the doubters that i still wouldn't completely buy in to the numbers and statistics, the tests have been shown to be fairly inacurrate in theres a little over estimation as far the real cases go in order to get financial support, which is somewhat understandable and honestly doesnt fase me because how am i to know anything anyway, im not on the battlefield.

Overall the way people are emotionally reacting to everything right now is a little troubling, people fighting about masks, and jumping on social media to judge people and rally support for _________. Such a wierd time to be alive.

EDIT: oh and funky, what I meant by the lockdown is the state shutting down businesses and making assembly illegal, i wasnt talking about masks at the time.
whatever: i understand your position, and i agree with most of it. nobody should be trusted, especially those in positions of power (politicians, media, pundits, etc). i don't have a tv, i look at alternative global (and some mainstream) news sources online; and i've only started doing that since this all started. i tend to be rather willfully ignorant of typical "news".

but saying the virus is "quite harmless" is saying exactly what trump says, even if that isn't where you got it, and i find that statement a bit out of touch. i know 2 people who have died from it, and 3 people who have been sick with it for over 3 months, not getting much better but not dying. i also know at least half a dozen people who have tested positive and had only mild symptoms. people like the latter might agree with you, but i promise you the others do not. so maybe you meant harmless to YOU?

at least in the u.s., flu numbers, especially flu deaths, are known to be manipulated by the cdc before publishing totals for a given year. their website even describes that process of number-fudging. an emergency room doctor not long ago compared the experience of actual er doctors with flu cases and deaths, with the numbers released by the cdc, and the cdc numbers are MUCH higher than could possibly be supported by er admissions and deaths.

the flu doesn't result in refrigerated trucks piling with dead bodies because there is no room for them in the morgues. i saw that in nyc, and it is supposedly happening again in florida now. not to mention italy several months ago.

i base my perspective primarily on what i can reliably observe (i saw nyc through my friend's camera as he walked around). i don't see this as like the flu at all. i have never taken a flu shot, and i will not take a vaccine for this virus. but that doesn't mean i don't take this shit seriously. i am old enough to be at risk, and my landmate/best friend is even more at risk.

one thing i have observed is that younger folks seem to be less - or not at all - concerned about the virus and its impact beyond themselves. some older folks too, but they seem to be more in line with the deniers (its a hoax).

if you think the numbers have been untrustworthy up until now, let's see how the u.s. numbers suddenly dip like crazy now that hospitals in the u.s. have to report directly to the trumpettes instead of the cdc (which is bad enough as is).

stay healthy, all who care to.
funky, I think we should leave Trump out of the discussion. That is pure manipulation from the media. What if what he says was correct in this case? Is it impossible? As I said I'm not very aware of American politics and Trump always seemed a horrible political alternative to me and I never understood how people could have elected such a character. But that has nothing to do with this virus! And, man, the amount of lies I see coming from the other side, which I always considered more trustful, is simply shocking.
In relation to the numbers, I don't think they are untrustworthy, here in Europe at least, the US is a whole different story. The problem is that they are presented to people completely out of context. People are shocked by the daily count of deaths because they don't know what is normal in terms of mortality. That's manipulation. The refrigerated trucks piling with dead bodies are not real - they said the same about Italy but now it's known that the problem was that the bureaucratic rules implemented in the sequence of the OMS declaration of pandemics (1) made it mandatory to concentrate all the deaths in specific areas which were not ready to handle them and (2) made the whole process of taking care of the bodies much more difficult. It's all lies.
Look around you, how many people do you know that have died BECAUSE OF covid19, or even had this disease? I live in an area that was one month under emergency law and I don't know a single person. And the same happens to all the people I ask about it. It's a big lie. I have a theory about it and I'll tell you about it later.

Nihilist, everything about health is serious. For that we have hospitals and doctors, there is no need to destroy democracies, wages and people's  mental health...

"Look around you, how many people do you know that have died BECAUSE OF covid19"

maybe you missed my mention that i know 2 people that have died, and 3 more that are very sick (unable to carry on with their normal life) with the virus, long term.

there is no question that democrats in the u.s. often overplay the numbers, mostly to fuck with trump. exactly like republicans often underplay the numbers, mostly to fuck with trump's opponents. another dichotomy that just highlights the absurdity of politics and mass society. it looks similar in other countries where the virus is rampant.

one thing that seems to be ignored by those that consider the virus harmless: the medical system that (supposedly) provides health care to the entire population, is under siege as a result of the virus. regardless of how many deaths there are from the virus, hospitals and medical providers are overwhelmed, making them unable to provide basic health care to those without the virus but with other health issues. many people seem to be dying not from the virus, but from basic health issues (heart attacks, strokes, auto accidents, etc) that would normally be handled by the health system and result in death far less often.

it is not a choice between health and economy (let alone "democracy" - as if that wasn't a sad joke). that is the false dichotomy that has been completely politicized.

when you say that it is "all lies", you sound like a climate change denier. your credibility is highly questionable, to me.
f@ i'm so sorry to hear that you've been so closely touched by this pandemic.

whatever: i hear your argument that the way things are being framed is the problem, more than (or instead of) the disease. we're also so inundated by trump's bullshit here that it's jarring to think that he could be right about anything, even accidentally, but it's certainly possible.

i am another person who doesn't trust the media or politicians, and tends towards not following the news (partly because it seems like such a toss up about what they report on and how, and because they are very good at manipulating opinion).

my tactic for information is i guess different from either of yours? i attend to my friends, anarchists all and mostly very skeptical, who are paying more attention than i am to the world (not just the media), and/or working in medical fields. and they are very worried. i also believe (perhaps for no good reason) that people don't know why some people show symptoms and other people don't. i also believe that it's pretty horrible even if people officially recover ie don't die (that is based on media though).

i think it's highly likely that we're all going to get it eventually, maybe because i'm fatalistic and/or living in the u.s. and/or believe that it's either going to be this or something else coming out of the invaded and pillaged areas of the world that capitalism won't stop fucking with.

and i also think that in the face of the unknown, it's not that big a deal to wear a mask in public, something that combats facial recognition, and so seems like a good thing for us, and it might be helpful to people i care about, and so the better of the options. i guess i also believe that it's the poorest folks who are hit the hardest (this could be my bias, but it certainly seems like the way things always work, right?) and so if i'm not participating in that, that's my preference.

just musing, i guess.
I was writing this while you posted, so I'll answer you afterwards.

As I see it, what happened to us was as follows. China is a totalitarian dictatorship that seeks to dominate every aspect of everyone's life and uses terror to control its population. Confinements under the guise of threats to health have long been part of their strategy. This is not immediately clear to us in Western societies, it is totally outside of what we are used to, but we have to make an effort. If you think about it, do you believe that the Chinese regime really worries about the well-being and health of its population?
What happened this time, was that the horror film they created captured the attention of Western media. Perhaps because of the images of the construction of hospitals in a few days, or because the world is increasingly globalized and it was inevitable that one day it would happen. We BELIEVED in their history because we don't have many defences to filter out totalitarian propaganda like that of China. And when we saw that the vírus had reached Italy we panicked. The media took advantage of the attention, already so rare because of the internet, escalating people's panic, politicians followed and made mountains of mistakes, including destroying economies and causing many collateral deaths due to the deactivation of health services. At a certain point, politicians started to see reality and that's when they really panicked, entering a headlong rush to cover their mistakes. We are still here, although more and more people are starting to notice that the mainstream narrative doesn't make sense...
The USA, the UK and Brazil have radical right-wing governments that are less sensitive to people and more to the economy, which therefore have not responded so much to panic. But in these countries, the opposition-aligned media took the opportunity to launch a heavy attack on governments (the UK government did not resist and changed their politics). These media increased the panic of their population to incredible levels, with lies and exaggerations of all kinds. I used to read the Guardian and the New York Times but I stopped doing so because they became toxic ...
I hope that no one here is offended by these things that I am saying. They are my personal view of the events. As I told you, I prefer the left to the right and I would never vote for Trump. But the truth is worth more to me than politics. Don't let them polarize you. In reality, and this is an outsider's view, your Republicans and Democrats are more or less the same. It's mostly a matter of aesthetics ...
thanks for this WE. helpful to have your analysis in one chunk.

that said, "became toxic" isn't very clarifying, it just says that you didn't like what they said, right? this analysis also doesn't address what funky's actually lived through.

i definitely think that, among other things, we're wading through alienating jargon and emotional associations, or, at least i am.
"toxic" means that they were lying a lot more than acceptable even for a newspaper, I stopped trusting them... I'll address what you and funky said as soon as I'm able too
dot, thanks. only one of those people i mentioned is someone i am really close with (one of the sick ones, not dead yet).

i ultimately feel the same way you do: we will all likely get it, and wearing a mask is just too easy and has other potential benefits like you mentioned.

i am lucky that i live very rurally, and i don't have to worry about distancing or crowds unless i am going into town for supplies. so wearing a mask is a no-brainer for me when i am in town.

it is great to have multiple perspectives chiming in on this. i may disagree with whatever, but glad to have an alternative view without the mainstream stupidity.
whatever: one more general point. i completely agree about media, politicians, etc. i would just caution against assuming that folks here on this site are the typical american dolt that believes whatever the public relations machines spew out. politicians (or the media) are not likely to polarize anarchists. at least not any i have affinity with.
whatever, most of the information i've received comes from the hospitals themselves, especially the ones closest to where i live, including from a couple of people i know personally.

i'm not saying that the government doesn't manipulate, of course i know they do. and trump, well, enough said about him already. but none of that explains why localities have suddenly full icu beds. in the places i know about specifically, the hospital beds have gone from less than half full to 100% full, with overflow beds being created.

in many places, like arizona and florida, the state politicians downplay the virus, while doctors at hospitals are saying they're completely inundated with patients, the likes of which they've never seen before. i have no reason to think the nurses and doctors are trying to  scare people. on the contrary, i can see why the politicians want to minimize the virus so that shopping and the economy can continue.

so my perception of the virus doesn't come from any media outlets, whether supported more by one political party or the other, but rather from people i know, what i've seen personally, and the reports coming from the hospitals themselves.

of course, the numbers are still relatively low in terms of likelihood of knowing many people who have the virus. 1 out of 100 in the u.s. since the whole thing began according to the reporting.  and as before this virus, i try to stay as healthy as i can, and rarely go into large crowds anyway. so not much has changed in my daily life, nor do i feel panicked at all, but i do see the virus affecting people where i live, and know that the spread of it has a lot to do with the way humans have lived under a world of authority and monetary "growth". i'm actually surprised the politicians have taken as many steps as they have to "shutdown" places in terms of economic activity.

like funky and dot mentioned....as far as becoming polarized from political views, i think there's zero chance any of us posting on this thread have fallen into that. you're not talking with liberals and conservatives here...we're anarchists and nihilists! :)
"funky, I think we should leave Trump out of the discussion. That is pure manipulation from the media."

Whatever, this is the really funny type of thing that republicans say sometimes! I actually don't even think it's possible to just leave trump out of discussions anymore, the media put him in power for $$$ and he basically terrorizes the national psyche everyday with his stupid and race-baiting comments. I'm normally laughing about it, but i sympathize with people who are scared to death that such a man has the authority to launch a nuclear missile.

"...everything about health is serious. For that we have hospitals and doctors, there is no need to destroy democracies, wages and people's  mental health..."

Yup, mental health is an enormous concern i've had as someone who has a limited amount of it X-D. There were a lot of people who help victims of domestic abuse who were complaining about the "stay at home" order at the beginning of the pandemic.

But don't rant about it destroying democracies, because democracy is an illusion anyway. People rant about "preserving democracy" unknowingly at the expense of people at the very bottom of the socio-economic ladder, who live very hellish lives scrounging around for money. Does democracy help them?
Funky, I'm sorry you have someone close with covid19. I'm not saying that the virus doesn't exist. It does and some people do get sick. But that is why we have hospitals and doctors, and this situation is no more serious than other seasonal respiratory outbreaks, both in relation to the number of people affected and the severity of the disease.
Be careful with the history of "flattening the curve to not overwhelm the health care services". That's how they tricked us here ... Hospitals were always far bellow the saturation point (which is not always the case during the flu season), although the media were always trying to convey the opposite idea. Always verify what they say, the level of lying is unbelievable, I've never seen anything like this.
Now we are at a statistical zero in relation to deaths and hospitalizations, but the measures and fear remain and are eroding democracy, as well as people's lives and mental health. The health system is still partially closed, which is very problematic for those who have really serious diseases like cancer. I think many people are mentally trapped in the initial scare, showing symptoms of post-traumatic stress. They remain terrified, despite the fact that there is no longer anything objectively happening, and the measures are never enough to appease their terror. It does not help that our health service, which has long forgotten the initial objective of flattening the curve, is on an irrational hunt for asymptomatic people and that the media, as they no longer have deaths or hospitalizations to count, are always counting these "cases" despite the fact that they do not even correspond to illness. At this moment we are in summer, a hellish heat, but many people are still wearing masks on the street, although heat is a much more important cause of death than the virus, although the masks aggravate these situations, and although they are totally unnecessary outdoors. Some people are trying to impose a widespread use of masks on the street, as is it happens in Asian dictatorships. I started feeling truly threatened by them, that's not the future I want for myself or my daughters. There is so much more to say but this text is already too long...
whatever, i share your concern about more government mandates and restrictions, and do not want that.

however, the reality of several hospitals close to where i live overflowing at more than 100% of icu bed capacity, far from zero, has not come from information provided by politicians, and is something the several hospitals i've checked on have never experienced before, ever, according to the people who work there.

obviously, the number of people with the virus varies a lot from place to place, and the reactions by governments and people as well...but from the places i know well, the cases are affecting a lot of the hospitals and the people in those areas.

so perhaps where you live, the situation is "no more serious than other seasonal outbreaks", but it is very much more so where i live in terms of people affected and the impact on hospitals.
Nihilist, in relation to Trump I cannot help you because I am not sufficiently aware of American politics. In relation to democracy, I agree it's a very imperfect system, which in fact is why we are here... Especially because what we have in many countries is not democracy. This includes, as far as I know, the USA, where elections serve to choose between two equal parties, and also my country. The situation is better for example in Nordic countries. In relation to those at the bottom of the social ladder, well, those are the ones who will suffer most from all this. Or who do you think will lose their salary?
bornagainanarchist, I don't know what's going on everywhere, obviously, but I think we always have to check with our own eyes. There are a lot of people lying. And administrative reasons, like the ones I mentioned in relation to the case of Bergamo, Italy, can also distort the situation. They may be concentrating patients in some hospitals or reducing services, you have to consider those possibilities too. I also have information, from fellow health researchers who have projects with American colleagues, that some hospitals in the USA are artificially increasing covid numbers for financial or political reasons, I don't know if this is also a possibility.
whatever, i know administrations distort things all the time. i don't disagree with you there. anything could be possible.

but i've researched fairly in depth into the two counties closest to me right now in california, that includes well over 100 hospitals, the majority of which are overflowing...and some of that information comes from people i know personally.

i also don't think my local areas have artificially inflated numbers, as just weeks ago they showed the numbers going down, and all the politicians from state to local seemed more motivated to "re-open" more than "re-close"....so i can't see why they would artificially move the numbers down only to move them back up again.

i've looked into even smaller subsets of the population where i live, and found that, generally, the higher the concentration of people, the higher the outbreaks of the virus. in the small rural place where i live for example, there have only been 4 reported cases out of around 2,000 people, whereas about 90 miles away, in a city densely populated, where i know a lot of people, there have been approximately 1 out of 60 people reported to have had it. and i know from personal sources that the hospitals there are overwhelmed with people who live in that city sick with the virus.

this all points out to me that the way we live - concentrated thickly into cities, with consumption and stress at high levels, all contribute to things like viruses, degradation of health of humans and all the earth....regardless of whatever politicians say or do.
bornagainanarchist, A good way to check is through the mortality curve. Here is a graph that I made for my country's data during the most difficult phase, when I was still trying to understand what was really going on https://drive.google.com/file/d/1Anawd5sk3kzectDQSpkgmwMj9kJR2Xl-/view?usp=sharing. It showed me that coronavírus deaths are not just less than they said but explain just a tiny part of the excess mortality. You can probably do the same for your county...
whatever, i do see the mortality curve flattening where i live too, but also that the people getting sick enough to be in intensive care units has gone way up....i've expected something like this to happen for quite a while now, so i'm not surprised, nor that much more afraid of getting sick...what has surprised me most is the willingness of politicians to close businesses down....the opposite of what they want...but either way, i see this thing continuing, and other disruptions of all types happening along the way as a result of capitalism and the mindset of authority....
"Nihilist, in relation to Trump I cannot help you because I am not sufficiently aware of American politics."

Well i'm happy that you want to help me, but overall i was basically just saying that you can't remove trump from the situation in american politics, and i hope you didn't think i was trying to say you were a republican, it's just the republicans/conservatives here often will often try to jump around when you criticize the things they say, i remember one time i flipped out at this guy in a bar because he didn't appear to even be listening to what i was arguing or thinking about what he was saying at all.

Yeah and i hear you about salaries too, this is why i don't prefer to talk to people in mainstream politics often, is they fail pretty enormously in having a holistic perspective. Like there are people on the internet who just jam on their keyboard "STAY AT HOME!! STAY AT HOME!! DON'T DO THIS, DON'T DO THAT." And it just seems absurd: so you are some person, on the internet, telling me what to do, while i'm already in my house!! Not fair!
whatever: "Now we are at a statistical zero in relation to deaths and hospitalizations"

i assume you are talking exclusively about your locality? because that is demonstrably not true in the u.s.

the wife of one of my oldest friends is a rn at a large hospital in nyc. she still cries every night when she gets home from work. she has serious chronic anxiety from her continued daily experiences working with covid patients. that is not coming from politically motivated statistics or financially motivated hospital administrators. that is first hand, feet on the ground experience.

sorry if i missed this in your posts (my brain gets foggy easily these days), but what is the source for your information regarding the numbers of cases/hospitalizations/deaths?
that's very disturbing, she's probably going to develop some sort of post traumatic stress disorder where she feels guilty about having "failed" people and what not.

I'm gonna try to stay out of all metropolitan areas like DC and NYC for a year!
funky, yes, I'm talking about my country and the same is true about other European countries. The US are not yet there, as the pandemics went from east to west. My sources are the official numbers of our health agencies for covid and daily mortality. I'm sorry about your fiend. Here there was a lot of anxiety too but we ended up understanding it was more due to fear than any other thing. People who watch TV regularly panicked a lot because of all the fear they inject, all the out-of-context horror stories. And then we have that kind of people that enjoy spreading panic (yes, they exist... and they are one of the reasons why I prefer to first look at numbers). Due to all that fear, which I think traumatized a lot of people, we are still at a very difficult situation even though deaths and hospitalizations are at the mentioned statistical zero.
Nihilist, many people here did the same and I'm preparing to do it also if things continue like this. Rural areas are not as crazy as cities, for sure. I also hate being told what to do, why should I obey a bunch of people I don't trust and whose choices in life I don't agree with?
whatever, is it possible that it makes sense for people to be more concerned in the u.s. (and some parts of the u.s. more than others) than in your (part of your) country? that there is (or could be) a different enough situation that people are right to be so worried?

you're sounding very sure of yourself about something that is a world-wide phenomenon, that i would absolutely expect to have profound regional (etc) differences.

and anyone talking about "obeying" anyone in this conversation is missing the point (or using inflammatory language to make their own point). none of us are talking about obeying anyone, as far as i can tell.
dot, you can't imagine how much I have researched and thought about this. Although in the end it's just my point of view, of course... Yes there are regional differences, as it happens with the flu. But the best is to look at the mortality data and draw your own conclusions. It also helps to compare the number of people that die each year from different types of diseases. Because how can we evaluate the seriousness of covid without putting it in the overall mortality context?

Yes, I know people here are not prone to obey, of course, that sentence is something I say to people that shout the stayat home messages...
im of the opinion that if there was no internet, this situation would be way better altogether. Not only would people not be spreading disinformation and panicking, but it would also be harder to buy plane tickets...

maybe more would have died out of ignorance, but i'm very strongly of the opinion that death > trauma, and even if the side effects of the pandemic aren't always serious enough to be considered "trauma" (i kinda hate that word tbh cuz it's so vague), civilization has a way of taking people's misery and perpetuating it...
The mortality rate is more or less an edujamacated guess. In the US, only around 5-6% of people that have died have had autopsies performed to determine the cause of death.  The next of kin has to request one and usually pay for it unless the death was suspicious. So, like a person that tested positive for the rona-19 and then later on died from a heart attack would get counted as a person that died from the rona-19 rather than the heart attack. I imagine the percentage of autopsies done on people that died during my sha-rona-19 hoe-down rose slightly but probably not too much. I have no idea if Portugal is similar in that regard.

I would agree the lockdowns likely caused more people to die. In the US, afaict, none of the states ever implemented actual quarantines. I know in the state I live in people initially had to be special to get tested, like knocking on deaths door or rolling in that cash money to get tested for it. The rest that were sick and may have had it, weren't tested for it or anything, but instead were told to just stay home and basically have my sha-rona-19 parties. I think now the state is offering drive-thru rona-19 tests to anyone that wants to get a test done.

However, the freezer truck morgues did exist. Well at least the ice skating rink morgues existed. There was one like a mile away from my home.
whatever: My sources are the official numbers of our health agencies for covid and daily mortality.

so, you get your information - upon which you are basing your entire argument - from sources that you claim are not trustworthy ("official"). while you tell everyone here that the "official" numbers are complete bs. did i get that right?

confirmation bias is a real problem, for everyone.
"But the best is to look at the mortality data and draw your own conclusions."

why is mortality data the only data you think is relevant? to me, positivity rates and hospitalizations are far more useful and, i would think, reliable.

but going with mortality: one reason the effects of the actual virus - particularly mortality - may be worse in the u.s. than in many other places is the overall rate of poor health in the u.s. population. it is claimed (with seemingly good evidence) that most people who die from it already had serious underlying health issues. the rate of obesity, athsma and diabetes alone in the u.s. would raise immediate concerns. not to mention all the variations of heart disease, lung issues and neurological problems.
nihilist, i agree that my friend's wife will almost certainly have ptsd, if she doesn't already. my more pressing concern - and hers - is that she will catch it and bring it home. 2 of her colleagues have caught it, one of them is still very sick, the other only got mild symptoms and seems to have recovered (for now at least), but has not gone back to work.

"I'm gonna try to stay out of all metropolitan areas like DC and NYC for a year!"

lol! i heard that. but you might shoot for the rest of your life if you think that's the answer. how long before the next nasty virus hits? especially when many developed countries are storing and experimenting with viruses for weaponization. many people i love still live in cities, but i definitely think massive clusters of humans on that scale are going to continue to prove unhealthy (among other things).

come on SMOD!!!!
Funky, As I said in the beginning I accept the official mortality numbers here as sound. Covid deaths are overestimated, of course, which has been acknowledged by the health agency, because of the criteria they use: all people that die and have had a positive test are counted as a covid death regardless of wether covid was the cause of death. But that only makes my analysis err by excess. I'll answer the rest in the evening.
@funkyanarchy: i think in a year covid will be spreading at negligible levels, which i guess could make it theoretically more threatening to someone like me who doesnt make that big of a deal about being clean and washing hands. However, my fears are more or less of the perfect storm right now:

-epidemic proportions of covid, which can prevent you from getting medical treatment even if you are having toruble breathing.

-civil unrest which can threaten you in unpredictable ways.

Overall i dont like cities having spent a good deal of time within them. They're based on money and status more so than rural areas. Anxiety tends to run high and you are surrounded by concrete instead of wilderness and animal sounds. I particularly dont like washington dc because their gentrification projects have marginalized a lot of people and people on the streets are particularly hostile and aggressive about trying to get you to take pity on them and give them money....and everyone else is obsessed with their job politics and image.
whatever: it sounds like i did get it right. you trust numbers from your "official" source, but other "official" sources are about creating panic.

the last thing i'll say about this aspect of it is that raw numbers will always be fudged somewhat (purposely or not), the real usefulness is in spotting *trends*. right now, hospitalizations in many parts of the u.s. are *trending* seriously upward, as are positivity rates. do you think that is just a lie being perpetrated by the powers that be for the purpose of spreading panic?

just because one's perspective results in them acting in a way that is promoted (or even mandated) by the state, does not mean they are doing what the state says *because the state says so*. sometimes it just makes sense to that individual in their context. my life has been saved more than once by my wearing seatbelts in a vehicle; i don't wear them because the government says i have to, i wear them because it make sense to me knowing what i know about cars and drivers.
one thing i know for sure...

we're all going through and witnessing a lot of shit we've never experienced or seen before........never in my lifetime, anyway....
i think it's important to point out one of the ways a certain expert got his estimations completely wrong at the beginning of the pandemic...

Bill Gates said that the coronvirus case numbers would peak in the teens of april, when we are in the middle of the peak right now, and it probably won't go down until October or the winter.

Only trust your own experiences when it comes to making decisions, if you're making decisions based on something that you have no experience in, take many factors into account. I've always found that the most important factor is what i feel. I hold pretty religiously to that, even though sometimes i just do shit like always...

whatever, I don't understand your claim that your sources are more credible vs other sources. You mention the media and politicians lies, which they do. Butt! It doesn't give me much on why your sources are more credible and how do you know your sources aren't fudging the data? You say there is zero statistical evidence of people being hospitalized from the my sha-rona-19. Is that because you won't accept that data?

The stuff you write about China comes off as ironic to me. You're doing fairly similar to what you point out the media does. Butt! It's China panic rather than rona panic. An all around panic party. You know Asians wore masks far before the rona-19 was an issue. There are various different cultural and others reasons for wearing a mask depending on their ethnicity and/or nationality. They didn't start wearing masks because the state told them to do so.

The mortality rates are too iffy for me too. Butt! The amount of people that the state says have it is lower than the amount of people that actually have it me thinks. I know in Baltimore for residents of the city have to jump through so many hoops just to get tested now. I imagine it's like that for other folk living in the inner cities in the US. In the burbs of Bmore and DC, people can just get tested without given the run around. They have to show they're a resident of the county to get tested. Glad i'm nowhere near Bmore or DC atm because that would put a hamper my plans on adapting into a dude-bro whew. There's someone on anews that claims viruses aren't real so hopefully you're not that person when you say the rona "is a big lie."

One of my brothers caught the my sha-rona-19. He thought it was a bunch of BS too up until he got it like a week or two ago. I texted him a bunch of altered Gordon Gekko quotes like "Ever wonder why you caught covid-19? Cause you're sheep and sheep get slaughtered."

you sure got that right, ba@. these be some rather interesting times.

i can only hope that ever more people are becoming ever more aware of the lies and hypocrisy of every institutional authority, and how that impacts their daily lives as well as their ideological loyalties.
dot: "i definitely think that, among other things, we're wading through alienating jargon and emotional associations, ....."

i had missed that earlier, and i have to say i think that is spot on.
Funky, in relation to the indicators, I don't consider that the so-called "cases" are reliable because: (i) they don't distinguish between sick and "asymptomatic" people; (ii) the PCR tests detect viral ADN that does not necessarily correspond to viable viruses; (iii) the enormous amount of these cases that are constantly reported by the media end up never being reflected in an increase of what really matters, which are hospitalizations and especially mortality.

Guys, this discussion came up because I answered the initial question. I don't have time and, frankly, I no longer have the patience to present documents about this or that. I look mostly at the official numbers (directly, not through the lenses of the media). So do your own research and be skeptical. We live in strange times when even some anarchists defend restrictions on our freedom. One thing I tell you, every freedom we lose will have to be regained. And democracy is terrible, but there are alternatives on the horizon which are much worse. Perhaps some of you have read Arendt's essay The Origins of Totalitarianism and are also recognizing the patterns... Here, we were persuaded to abdicate from several freedoms to "flatten the curve" but the curve has already disappeared on the horizon and we have never regained our freedoms. On the contrary, apps have been launched to control our movements and some groups want to impose a widespread use of facemasks... outdoors. I am focused on all this because that is not the kind of society I want for myself and my daughters.
again, thanks for explaining yourself, whatever. despite your dig about "some anarchists."

doesn't seem like we got to the core of the disagreement, but sometimes that takes time and review. (and of course, sometimes it never happens.) good luck, regardless.

whatever: "when even some anarchists defend restrictions on our freedom."

i haven't read anyone doing that here....so those anarchists you're referring to must be somewhere else.

and this: 

whatever:  "One thing I tell you, every freedom we lose will have to be regained. And democracy is terrible, but there are alternatives on the horizon which are much worse.."

sounds like you mean freedom is gained by the state granting it, rather than individuals taking it for themselves however, whenever, wherever they can, as i try to do in my own life.

funky: "i can only hope that ever more people are becoming ever more aware of the lies and hypocrisy of every institutional authority, and how that impacts their daily lives as well as their ideological loyalties."

same here....i thought i would already have seen more people gaining awareness of it, but so far not so much...but i'm still alive, maybe the time will still come for me to see it....

"So do your own research and be skeptical."

but of course! why would you think that is not what i (and others here) do? because we disagree with your dismissal of the dangers of the virus? because you were challenged on your seeming hypocrisy about the sources of "numbers"?

the only reason i have engaged this much with you is that much of what you have posted in this thread appears to have embedded assumptions about who you are engaging with; as if those on this website buy into mainstream media/political narratives, simply accepting whatever numbers or other crap is being put out by the pr machines. knowing that this is an anarchist website - and with the assumptions you seem to be making - makes that seem rather condescending, if not downright dogmatic.

do correct me if i am wrong.
also, whatever, as i mentioned previously i don't consider "cases" to be a very meaningful number in any case (no pun...), and i only view numbers - even from from official sources - as indicators of trends.

since death rates appear to be trending down in general (except for new hotspots) as the health care system learns more about how to better treat patients with the virus, positivity rates and hospitalizations are the trends that seem most reliable and verifiable to me.

but like you, i am getting bored with this discussion. :-)

I want to say to everyone, i really enjoy people's participating and arguing about my question, so thanks to everyone for taking an interest in talking about what they think and feel concerning the coronavirus, public outrage (the crux of the discussion), and the tensions between caution and liberty.

"Guys, this discussion came up because I answered the initial question. I don't have time and, frankly, I no longer have the patience to present documents about this or that."

Maybe you could try just speaking a little more clearly and specifically though, then you would find a little bit less contradiction and resistance. The whole time you've basically just been saying "my numbers are correct, my sources are correct, the mainstream numbers are wrong, the virus isn't that bad" but you haven't substantiated anything.

Overall i would just like to end my part of this discussion by saying that i don't trust numbers and statistics, however i do trust anecdotes and what people say about their experiences in a limited way. And like funky, the fact that hospitals in certain places like NYC are filling up and morgues are running out of space:


is enough to tell me your narrative about the coronavirus "not being that bad" to mostly just be bullshit. As we all talked about before, a lot of the stories of the media and politicians have an element of fabrication, but they simply are not capable of just making stuff like this up. I think encouraging people to not be concerned at all more or less just makes things confusing, as does moral outrage. I feel like we have humans have completely lost touch with how to best use fight-or-flight reactions to real things.

Yes, I think you (funky and Nihilist) buy the official narrative, but good luck with that and with your bourgeois newspaper articles about piles of dead bodies. We can talk again in a few months.
nihilist, it was a good and timely question.
not sure what you even mean by "the official narrative". would that be the narrative coming from the right, or the left? from politicians, or health care professionals? from the media, or from hospitals?

"your bourgeois newspaper articles about piles of dead bodies"

lol! that is hysterical!!!

notwithstanding that good laugh (which was obviously unintentional), you've turned out to be far less interesting in this discussion than i thought you would be.

i can't understand your comment about funky and nihilist "buying the official narrative"....they both have mostly written about their experiences, people they know, and what they've learned from the hospitals, as have i. i don't know where you got the "bourgeois newspapers" either.  and as funky pointed out earlier, just because sometimes what the hierarchy does happens to coincide with what i would do anyway, that doesn't mean i support their existence or "believe" everything that comes from the state. not even close. and i think if you'd read enough of what most of us have written here, you would see that. but not if you don't want to, i guess.

anyway, one more comment here about the idea of not knowing anyone who has the virus. as of yesterday, i did not. but through a series of conversations, i found out that two people in my partner's immediate family have tested positive for the coronavirus. one in his 40's who feels sick and has multiple symptoms, the other 19 years old with body aches, and both of them not knowing how much worse it will get.

but here's the thing....they kept it completely quiet to the entire family. only because a friend of the family found out by accident - the restaurant closed down where the younger person who got the virus worked - and eventually his brother found out, and now the family knows.

i think this happens a lot. people get sick and/or test positive, and don't want anyone to know. so even if you think you don't know anyone who has it (or did have it), i think there's still a good chance you do, but haven't found out yet.

nihilist, i'm glad you started the conversation too. i'm working on "an answer", which really includes my thoughts about everything happening now, from the virus to the protests.
ba@, sorry to hear that.

i think you are right on about some folks being hesitant to share that they have it. i'd be hesitant to even get tested, since a positive result is immediately shared with the cops, at least in this nanny fucking state. then again, all gov is nanny gov.
but if that's the truth, then the cops might be afraid of you!


Geez Louise!  Some of whatever's responses remind me of the way flat earthers and other zany conspiracy theorists respond when people query their thoughts.

  1. Point out the media and governments lies quite often. Make it clear that some of these states are even authoritarian dictatorships. This is an attempt to make other people more susceptible into believing their "theory."*
  2. Claim only their sources are reliable with no explanation whatsoever.
  3. When an article is posted that doesn't adhere to their narrative. They respond by dismissing it as a bourgeoisie newspaper or fake news.
  4. Since the media lies often then that means everything else the media/newspapers publishes are just all lies. Well, unless the media/newspapers publishes something that adheres to the conspiracy theorist's narrative.
  5. Just claim the person is so naive and/or dumb that the person believes the "official narrative" without explaining how the conspiracy theorist came to that conclusion.
  6. Make a vague statement about the state taking our freedoms.
  7. Tell people to do their own research without pointing them in any helpful direction.
  8. Rinse and repeat

It would've been nice if whatever's comments were more substantial instead of repeating things over and over. I should know because I'm someone that's in the top percentile of writing repetitive text-walls that don't really say much of anything. TIL a new term "bourgeoisie newspaper."

I imagine the number of people with the rona will go up since a lot of states are making it easier to get tested for it and with that the rate of mortality will decline.

let's face it, there is another illness running rampant, and some folks are more at risk than others.

it's called the morona virus.
i'm very curious about what Whatever's thoughts are about covid now. any change? no change?

... wonder wonder wonder...