Lots of people will die who didn’t need to

Coronavirus

From what I can see, coronavirus is now pretty much out of control.[1] Draconian measures are being taken to attempt to contain it in lots of places.[2] By all means blame Donald Trump for making the situation worse.[3] But remember also that there are structural factors at work that are probably more to blame.[4]

Most people will suffer only mild symptoms.[5] But apparently, when the disease migrates into the lungs, the consequences become a lot more serious, including possible death.[6] That most folks might not even realize they’re infected helps its spread, which will increase aggregate mortality.[7] That functional testing for the virus has gotten off to a slow start[8] means more people will be unaware they were infected.[9] When they speak of “community” spread of the disease, where they don’t know how or from whom sufferers were infected, this is at least part of what they’re talking about: Lots of people will contract coronavirus, think little of it, and unwittingly spread it to others.[10] And as David Von Drehle points out, official disinformation exacerbates the problem. So yes, this is going to be bad.[11]

How bad remains to be seen. But it’s a solid bet that people will die, and probably have already died, who didn’t need to.

On a related note, on March 7th, I reported an email I’d received from Lyft regarding coronavirus.[12] on the same day that Mark Warner had requested gig economy companies take care of their drivers.[13] Tonight, I’ve received a similar email from Uber. This one promises cleaning supplies for cars but notes that these items are in short supply. Again, there are no details on compensation for missed work.

David Von Drehle, “If Trump doesn’t like the coronavirus news now, he’ll hate what comes next,” Washington Post, March 10, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/global-opinions/if-trump-doesnt-like-the-coronavirus-news-now-hell-hate-what-comes-next/2020/03/10/e478c314-62ea-11ea-acca-80c22bbee96f_story.html


Bernie Sanders

Sometimes the irony is just too rich.

I happened to notice a new Bernie Sanders campaign office opening in Pittsburgh, which according to an email I received, is at 831 East Warrington Avenue. The email includes a map (figure 1)[14] which contains the irony I noticed:
unnamed
Fig. 1. Map of Bernie Sanders campaign office via their email.[15]

Brosville Street runs downhill from East Warrington, just on the other side of Arlington Avenue, which is very near the new office. Yes, Brosville, as in Bernie Bros.


  1. [1]Colby Itkowitz, Ashley Parker, and Seung Min Kim, “Coronavirus continues its rapid spread, confounding efforts by global leaders,” Washington Post, March 7, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2020/03/07/coronavirus-continues-its-rapid-spread-confounding-efforts-by-global-leaders/
  2. [2]James Hamblin, “You’re Likely to Get the Coronavirus,” Atlantic, February 24, 2020, https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2020/02/covid-vaccine/607000/; David Von Drehle, “If Trump doesn’t like the coronavirus news now, he’ll hate what comes next,” Washington Post, March 10, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/global-opinions/if-trump-doesnt-like-the-coronavirus-news-now-hell-hate-what-comes-next/2020/03/10/e478c314-62ea-11ea-acca-80c22bbee96f_story.html
  3. [3]Dana Milbank, “For Trump, a reckoning has come,” Washington Post, February 28, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2020/02/28/trump-reckoning-has-come/; Ashley Parker, Yasmeen Abutaleb, and Lena H. Sun, “Squandered time: How the Trump administration lost control of the coronavirus crisis,” Washington Post, March 7, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/trump-coronavirus-response-squandered-time/2020/03/07/5c47d3d0-5fcb-11ea-9055-5fa12981bbbf_story.html; Paul Waldman, “How coronavirus has deeply flummoxed conservative media,” Washington Post, February 28, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2020/02/28/how-coronavirus-has-deeply-flummuxed-conservative-media/
  4. [4]Sara R. Collins and David Blumenthal, “Without universal healthcare, coronavirus puts us all at risk,” Los Angeles Times, March 5, 2020, https://www.latimes.com/opinion/story/2020-03-05/op-ed-time-to-ramp-up-medicaid-to-pay-for-universal-coronavirus-care; Mariel Garza, “Why aren’t we paying people with the coronavirus to stay home?” Los Angeles Times, March 6, 2020, https://www.latimes.com/opinion/story/2020-03-06/opinion-why-arent-we-paying-people-with-the-coronavirus-to-stay-home; Amy Goldstein, “Worries about medical bills and lost pay may hamper coronavirus efforts in the United States,” Washington Post, March 2, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/worries-about-medical-bills-and-lost-pay-may-hamper-coronavirus-efforts-in-the-united-states/2020/03/02/75825be0-5c9c-11ea-9055-5fa12981bbbf_story.html; Nitasha Tiku, “Gig workers face the spread of the new coronavirus with no safety net,” Washington Post, February 29, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2020/02/29/gig-workers-face-spread-new-coronavirus-with-no-safety-net/
  5. [5]James Hamblin, “You’re Likely to Get the Coronavirus,” Atlantic, February 24, 2020, https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2020/02/covid-vaccine/607000/
  6. [6]Frank Chung, “Chinese doctors say coronavirus ‘like a combination of SARS and AIDS’, can cause irreversible lung damage,” News, March 5, 2020, https://www.news.com.au/lifestyle/health/health-problems/chinese-doctors-say-coronavirus-like-a-combination-of-sars-and-aids-can-cause-irreversible-lung-damage/news-story/f58f19c5eeae99b845c54e2d2b9305ca; Richard Read, Soumya Karlamangla, and Colleen Shalby, “Coronavirus deaths in U.S. increase as officials send alarms about spread,” Los Angeles Times, March 3, 2020, https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2020-03-03/six-dead-coronavirus-kirkland-seattle-california-cases
  7. [7]James Hamblin, “You’re Likely to Get the Coronavirus,” Atlantic, February 24, 2020, https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2020/02/covid-vaccine/607000/
  8. [8]Jon Cohen, “The United States badly bungled coronavirus testing—but things may soon improve,” Science, February 28, 2020, doi: 10.1126/science.abb5152; Julia Belluz and Brian Resnick, “The coronavirus diagnostic testing snafu, explained,” Vox, February 29, 2020, https://www.vox.com/science-and-health/2020/2/28/21155917/preparing-for-coronavirus-in-the-us-cdc-diagnostic-testing
  9. [9]James Hamblin, “You’re Likely to Get the Coronavirus,” Atlantic, February 24, 2020, https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2020/02/covid-vaccine/607000/
  10. [10]James Hamblin, “You’re Likely to Get the Coronavirus,” Atlantic, February 24, 2020, https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2020/02/covid-vaccine/607000/
  11. [11]David Von Drehle, “If Trump doesn’t like the coronavirus news now, he’ll hate what comes next,” Washington Post, March 10, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/global-opinions/if-trump-doesnt-like-the-coronavirus-news-now-hell-hate-what-comes-next/2020/03/10/e478c314-62ea-11ea-acca-80c22bbee96f_story.html
  12. [12]David Benfell, “Pieties for gig workers,” Irregular Bullshit, March 7, 2020, https://disunitedstates.com/2020/03/07/pieties-for-gig-workers/
  13. [13]Megan Rose Dickey, “Senator urges Uber, Lyft, Instacart and others to offer gig workers financial security in light of COVID-19 concerns,” TechCrunch, March 6, 2020, https://techcrunch.com/2020/03/06/senator-urges-uber-lyft-instacart-and-others-to-offer-gig-workers-financial-security-in-light-of-covid-19-concerns/
  14. [14]Bernie 2020 to supporters, “[RSVP] Bernie 2020 Office Opening in Pittsburgh → can we count on seeing you there?” March 10, 2020, https://events.berniesanders.com/event/260500/
  15. [15]Bernie 2020 to supporters, “[RSVP] Bernie 2020 Office Opening in Pittsburgh → can we count on seeing you there?” March 10, 2020, https://events.berniesanders.com/event/260500/

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.