Surviving the black swan of coronavirus

By fir0002flagstaffotos [at] gmail.comCanon 20D + Canon 400mm f/5.6 L - Own work, GFDL 1.2, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=7631884

Coronavirus is a black swan event, unpredictable and unforeseen with extremely bad, consequences. Oh, some might have thought it could happen, but they were mostly ignored. And the black swan absolutely upsets everything, derailing our normal day-to-day existence.

Most of us are isolating at home now, wondering how to cope, and when and how it will end.

  1. Welp, no one knows how and when it will end, or how many will be dead, and what the damage will be. So, as we say in recovery programs, one day at a time. Don’t spend time fretting about what will happen two months for now. Just concentrate on today.
  2. I’ve been self-employed for years and am used to working at home. My advice: Get a regular schedule. Stick to it. Don’t spend all day in your bathrobe. When you wake up, put on street clothes.
  3. A regular schedule could involve working at home (if you can.) Start at the regular time and end at the regular time.
  4. If you are laid-off or lost your job, a lot of places like Walmart, Amazon, and grocery stores are hiring temp labor. Might not be the best of jobs but will pay the bills.
  5. Use the internet to stay in touch. Social media, texting, and especially Zoom meetings can be essential to staying connected with people. Just because we may be physically isolated now doesn’t mean we have to be socially and mentally isolated too.
  6. Eat healthy and exercise. Resist the temptation to say screw it and sit in front of Netflix for month eating junk food. Because then you’ll gain weight and won’t be eating what you need to stay healthy. And the healthier you are, the better your chance of not getting infected.
  7. Yes, get exercise. Even if it’s just fifteen minutes a day walking. Do it. I use TRX training, dumbbells at home, and run as well. It makes me feel better.
  8. This is probably not a good time to drink and smoke weed until you’re in a coma. It’s never a good time to do that, but it’s even less of a good time for that now because surviving this will be better if we are clear-headed.
  9. And wash your hands. But you already knew that!

Microcosm of what’s coming. Conference cancelled. Tonopah NV

Sue and I attend a statewide conference twice a year in Tonopah NV, a town of 3,000 halfway between Reno and Las Vegas. It was scheduled for the end of this month and just got cancelled because of coronavirus. I called the Best Western there to cancel our reservations. The person who answered clearly had been getting these cancellations all day and was a bit shell-shocked. It’s an excellent hotel, walking distance to the venue, and is generally sold out on the convention dates. Now, it’ll be crickets.

Not only does Best Western lose the bookings, they would have scheduled extra staff to help out. Those people now will have their hours cancelled. Ditto for all the other Tonopah hotels. Local restaurants and casinos that expected a boost to business will now be empty (due to no conference and to most everyone now not traveling.) The conference is about 150 people, which is considerable for a small town.

Here in Las Vegas, the Wynn CEO just said they expect 15% occupancy for a while. Ouch. Normal occupancy is 90%+. Restaurants, clubs, stores, buffets, clubs, events. conventions, sports books at Wynn and in every other casino here will be on reduced schedules or closed. This means thousands of workers will be laid off or have drastically reduced hours. This will severely impact the local Vegas economy.

However, Vegas has much deeper pockets than Tonopah. It can survive better. Give a thought to areas like Tonopah who may get clobbered by what’s coming.

Standard socialist organizing message unchanged for 45 years

Yes, capitalism has huge structural problems. Way too many people are getting mangled by it. However, the standard radical response is some type of socialism, generally saying “we must organize the people now” for something nebulous we hope happens decades from now.

Now only does that not help those in trouble now, it isn’t working. Osawatomie and Prairie Fire were from the Weather Underground in the mid-1970s. They pretty much were saying the same thing that that itty bitty Marxist parties in the U.S. are saying now. Organize for the future. Smash capitalism. Power to the people. Rah rah!

Except, Osawatomie was 45 years ago. Socialism has made few inroads in the U.S. since then. Yet the standard message from the hard and progressive left remains the same. And it clearly not working, not resonating with the public at large.

So maybe we need a new message, a new way of framing things, new ideas. Because what we are doing isn’t working.

You say you want a revolution? Well, many Democrats said nope

So, a Democratic primary candidate who is not a Democrat, who ran mainly against the Democratic Party, got whacked upside the head on Super Tuesday. How… not surprising. Apparently lots of mainstream Democrats weren’t real excited about the prospect of four years of a cranky socialist ranting at them and trying to rule by edict. Especially after four years of a deranged criminal howling at everything.

Trump tries to insult Biden by calling him Sleepy Joe. I’m thinking many might view a lowkey presidency as a feature not a bug.

California is the last big-delegate state that Sanders can easily expect to win. From now on it’s hard slogging for Bernie, and the path to win is easier for Biden.

(rant mode on)
Some of you need to give up the socialist cosplaying. Because socialism isn’t what you think it is and your lack of knowledge about it is embarrassing. Example: Bernie Sanders was an SWP elector in 1980. Republicans will absolutely weaponize that against Sanders. Because SWP wasn’t then and isn’t now weak tea democratic socialism. It’s Marxist-Leninist, Trots to be exact. Communists. Real ones. If doesn’t matter what you think of them. Know that Republicans will attack Sanders mercilessly and effectively on this. And the attacks will be damaging. Because most Americans don’t want socialism. They just don’t

Norway is not socialist nor is it democratic socialism (which apparently can now be defined as whatever the person wants it to mean.) If anything, Norway has a fine and wonderful New Deal-like safety net. And the biggest sovereign wealth fund on the planet. This isn’t even slightly socialist.

Nor will the US ever be socialist. Full stop. We can have a great safety net, affordable healthcare and education. But we won’t ever be socialist.
(rant mode off)

Sanders has had a wide open shot at selling his brand of democratic socialism and at remaking the Democratic Party in his own image. All he had to do was get enough votes to overcome the built-in advantage for the moderate, non-socialist candidate favored by the party’s establishment. Ultimately, most Democratic primary voters have said no thanks.

Healthcare and paid sick leave would slow coronavirus spread in US

Unlike most countries, the US does not mandate paid sick leave. So, workers infected with coronavirus might well continue working because they have to pay the rent. Also, many workers have crappy or nonexistent insurance. Thus, they probably won’t seek medical help until they are in desperate condition, because they can’t afford thousands of dollars in bills.

This seems like a near-perfect way for coronavirus to spread. Which it is indeed doing now, worldwide too. Countries like France have 20 days paid sick leave and a serious plan to stop coronavirus. They say don’t go to a hospital, instead, call a special number and care will be provided. This is a rational, well-thought-out plan.

The US has none of that. Instead Trump babbles about the stock market and Pence is silencing scientists in the government from speaking. Because for them it’s all about gaslighting and PR spin. The Trump Adminstration appears completely unconcerned that people may die in the US from coronavirus.

Most of the following links are from BNO News. They are reliable. Check their Twitter and Coronavirus mini-site (which has links to all news items)

Coronavirus spread

Iceland, Wales, Azerbaijan, Belarus, New Zealand, Lithuania, Nigeria report first cases of coronavirus

Moscow’s deputy mayor says 88 foreign nationals who violated coronavirus quarantine measures will be deported

British passenger of the Diamond Princess cruise ship dies of coronavirus

2 hotels in Abu Dhabi have been put on lockdown after 2 Italians tested positive for coronavirus. Guests are being screened.

Switzerland bans all events with more than 1,000 people to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

Hokkaido in northern Japan declares state of emergency due to coronavirus, urges people to stay at home this weekend

Economic impact

Air traffic is way off. Multiples reports of nearly empty airports and no waits.

Geneva Motor Show just cancelled, 600,000 normally attend. Many more trade shows cancelled too.

BTS (who are ginormous) and many other performers have cancelled concerts in Asia.