A perfect storm of COVID-19 (Update #6)

Updates

  1. Originally published, October 26, 2020, 11:33 pm.
  2. October 27, 2020, 9:49 am:
    • Landlords are finding ways around the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention eviction ban as renters are unlikely to be able to catch up on the rent. Meanwhile, it’s a real good time to be selling a home,[23] as fortunes diverge widely between the well-off and the poor in a “K-shaped recovery.”[24] That latter point strikes me as crucial: Sure, landlords can evict those they see as “deadbeats,” even get a gig economy company to help with those evictions,[25] but I don’t know where they hope to get replacement tenants from when millions are being evicted[26] because they already don’t have the money to pay rent and therefore can’t come up with move-in deposits.[27] All they’re accomplishing is an increase in suffering both from the evictions themselves and from the pandemic as the evicted move in with friends and family and live in closer quarters,[28] while the housing remains empty.
  3. October 27, 2020, 9:31 pm:
    • If you’re wondering how to bridge the gap between “liberals” and conservatives, there are a few points I should bring to your attention:
      • You’re far, very far, from alone. A lot of folks treat this as a doable thing.
      • You’re also likely with the Democratic Party and their neoliberal project which, being utterly discredited intellectually,[29] can reasonably exist only as an outreach to Republicans.
      • There’s a pretty good chance you’re up against neuroscience, which according to Scientific American, is suggesting that conservative and “liberal” brains really are different, though we really don’t know the causal relationship: Do political differences exist because of brain differences or do brain differences develop from political differences?[30] That last question touches on the question of nature versus nurture, where the social science bias is very strongly toward nurture as explaining most character or behavioral traits, which is probably one reason why I’m skeptical that brain differences are causative. Another is that I don’t actually see myself in the examples offered in this article, which I guess shouldn’t be too terribly surprising, but, not having actually dug into the research, leads me to suspect something else might be up.
  4. October 28, 2020, 6:59 am:
  5. October 28, 2020, 9:30 am:
    • “When you come to a scene where somebody is in a mental crisis, and the only tool you have to deal with it is a gun… where are the proper tools for the job?”[31] Police have shot and killed yet another Black man, this time in Philadelphia. Walter Wallace, Jr., apparently was armed with a knife, but was in the company of his mother, and was likely experiencing a mental health issue. Police didn’t bother with deescalation.[32] People there are furious, they are rioting and looting.[33] This isn’t getting much mainstream attention; I actually first caught wind that anything at all might be up via the National Review where the headline was all about the looting (their story itself is a little better).[34] The National Review is mostly neoconservative, but their headlines in the run-up to the election have sounded more authoritarian populist; they have been awful, sensational, and heavily slanted in favor of Donald Trump, which is not at all the way to get my eyes.
  6. October 28, 9:57 am:

Pandemic

It’s the very scenario the lockdown earlier this year was meant to avoid as hospitals face what is soon likely to be overwhelming numbers of patients:[35]

New reported infections nationwide surpassed 80,000 for the first time ever Friday and again Saturday, as hospitalizations push past 40,000 and daily death tolls begin to climb. This new wave of infections, expected to intensify as winter draws closer, is spread wider than the spring surge that devastated East Coast states and the summer wave that slammed the South and the Southwest. And it comes as some Republican leaders are leery of renewed shutdowns, as Americans grow wearier of restrictions and as the Thanksgiving travel season threatens to supercharge the virus’s spread.

“We are set up for just a perfect storm — a conflagration,” said Megan Ranney, an emergency medicine professor at Brown University. “Right now, you can talk about there being lots of little burning fires across the country. And then Thanksgiving will be the wind that will whip this fire up into an absolute human disaster for our country.”[36]

But you know, remember all those excuses for not wearing fucking masks.[37] Oh, and how the security of the whole free world depends on going to bars.[38] Remember! It’s your patriotic duty to spread the novel coronavirus and kill people.[39]

Hannah Knowles and Jacqueline Dupree, “Full hospitals, talk of rationing care: New wave of coronavirus cases strains resources,” Washington Post, October 25, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2020/10/25/coronavirus-cases-hospitalizations-surge/


Donald Trump

George Conway[40] is back with more.[41] Because, god help us, somebody has to do it.

George T. Conway, III, “I believe in the president, now more than ever,” Washington Post, October 26, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2020/10/26/george-conway-i-believe-in-trump-more-than-ever/


Supreme Court

Just as the Democrats handed Donald Trump the presidency with their insistence on neoliberal dogma in 2016,[42] they have now handed a 6-3 Supreme Court majority to conservatives in 2020.[43] But by all means, blame the folks who want decent jobs, peace, and a better environment and who want to see actual progress towards these ends. Just like the Democrats always do.[44]

Seung Min Kim, “Senate confirms Barrett to Supreme Court, cementing its conservative majority,” Washington Post, October 26, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/courts_law/senate-court-barrett-trump/2020/10/26/df76c07e-1789-11eb-befb-8864259bd2d8_story.html


Housing

Will Parker, “Struggling Rental Market Could Usher in Next American Housing Crisis,” Wall Street Journal, October 27, 2020, https://www.wsj.com/articles/struggling-rental-market-could-usher-in-next-american-housing-crisis-11603791000

Kyle Swenson, “Renters thought a CDC order protected them from eviction. Then landlords found loopholes,” Washington Post, October 27, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/dc-md-va/2020/10/27/trump-cdc-eviction-moratorium-loopholes/


Neuroscience

Lydia Denworth, “Conservative and Liberal Brains Might Have Some Real Differences,” Scientific American, October 26, 2020, https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/conservative-and-liberal-brains-might-have-some-real-differences/


Walter Wallace, Jr.

Ximena Conde, “Disbelief and unanswered questions after fatal police shooting of Walter Wallace,” WHYY, October 27, 2020, https://whyy.org/articles/disbelief-and-unanswered-questions-after-fatal-police-shooting-of-walter-wallace/

Darryl C. Murphy, “Grieving Walter Wallace Jr. and seeking justice, West Philly wonders what’s next,” WHYY, October 27, 2020, https://whyy.org/articles/grieving-walter-wallace-jr-and-seeking-justice-west-philly-wonders-whats-next/

Brittany Bernstein, “Hundreds of Looters Ransack Philadelphia Businesses in Second Night of Unrest,” National Review, October 28, 2020, https://www.nationalreview.com/news/hundreds-of-looters-ransack-philadelphia-businesses-in-second-night-of-unrest/


  1. [23]Kriston Capps, “Landlords Challenge U.S. Eviction Ban and Continue to Oust Renters,” CityLab, October 22, 2020, https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-10-22/landlords-launch-legal-attack-on-cdc-eviction-ban; Will Parker, “Struggling Rental Market Could Usher in Next American Housing Crisis,” Wall Street Journal, October 27, 2020, https://www.wsj.com/articles/struggling-rental-market-could-usher-in-next-american-housing-crisis-11603791000; Kyle Swenson, “Renters thought a CDC order protected them from eviction. Then landlords found loopholes,” Washington Post, October 27, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/dc-md-va/2020/10/27/trump-cdc-eviction-moratorium-loopholes/
  2. [24]Heather Long, “The recession is over for the rich, but the working class is far from recovered,” Washington Post, August 13, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2020/08/13/recession-is-over-rich-working-class-is-far-recovered/
  3. [25]Ashwin Rodrigues, “Gig Economy Company Launches Uber, But for Evicting People,” Vice, September 21, 2020, https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/ep435n/gig-economy-company-launches-uber-but-for-evicting-people
  4. [26]Regina Garcia Cano and Michael Casey, “Wave of evictions expected as moratoriums end in many states,” Associated Press, August 4, 2020, copy in possession of author; Michelle Conlin and Christopher Walljasper, “Time’s up: After a reprieve, a wave of evictions expected across U.S.,” Reuters, October 19, 2020, https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-housing-eviction-insight/times-up-after-a-reprieve-a-wave-of-evictions-expected-across-u-s-idUKKBN27415U; Sam Levin, “California landlords are locking out struggling tenants. A ‘tsunami of evictions’ may be next,” Guardian, July 30, 2020, https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/jul/30/california-covid-19-evictions-landlords-tenants; Renae Merle, “Evictions are likely to skyrocket this summer as jobs remain scarce. Black renters will be hard hit,” Washington Post, July 6, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2020/07/06/eviction-moratoriums-starwood/
  5. [27]Kriston Capps, “What Happens When the Eviction Bans End?” CityLab, May 29, 2020, https://www.citylab.com/equity/2020/05/pay-rent-eviction-ban-coronavirus-housing-crisis-landlord/612277/; Sam Levin, “California landlords are locking out struggling tenants. A ‘tsunami of evictions’ may be next,” Guardian, July 30, 2020, https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/jul/30/california-covid-19-evictions-landlords-tenants; Will Parker, “Struggling Rental Market Could Usher in Next American Housing Crisis,” Wall Street Journal, October 27, 2020, https://www.wsj.com/articles/struggling-rental-market-could-usher-in-next-american-housing-crisis-11603791000
  6. [28]Kyle Swenson, “Renters thought a CDC order protected them from eviction. Then landlords found loopholes,” Washington Post, October 27, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/dc-md-va/2020/10/27/trump-cdc-eviction-moratorium-loopholes/
  7. [29]Mark Blyth, Austerity: The History of a Dangerous Idea (Oxford, UK: Oxford University, 2013); David Fickling, “The Gig Economy Compromised Our Immune System,” Yahoo!, July 25, 2020, https://finance.yahoo.com/news/gig-economy-compromised-immune-system-000048670.html; Amir Fleischmann, “The Myth of the Fiscal Conservative,” Jacobin, March 5, 2017, https://jacobinmag.com/2017/03/fiscal-conservative-social-services-austerity-save-money; Jason Hickel, “Progress and its discontents,” New Internationalist, August 7, 2019, https://newint.org/features/2019/07/01/long-read-progress-and-its-discontents; Daniel Stedman Jones, Masters of the Universe: Hayek, Friedman, and the Birth of Neoliberal Politics (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University, 2012); Robert Kuttner, “Austerity never works: Deficit hawks are amoral — and wrong,” Salon, May 5, 2013, http://www.salon.com/2013/05/05/austerity_never_works_deficit_hawks_are_amoral_and_wrong/; Dennis Loo, Globalization and the Demolition of Society (Glendale, CA: Larkmead, 2011); Thomas Piketty, Jeffrey Sachs, Heiner Flassbeck, Dani Rodrik and Simon Wren-Lewis, “Austerity Has Failed: An Open Letter From Thomas Piketty to Angela Merkel,” Nation, July 6, 2015, http://www.thenation.com/article/austerity-has-failed-an-open-letter-from-thomas-piketty-to-angela-merkel/; John Quiggin, “Austerity Has Been Tested, and It Failed,” Chronicle of Higher Education, May 20, 2013, http://chronicle.com/article/Austerity-Has-Been-Tested-and/139255/; David Stuckler and Sanjay Basu, “How Austerity Kills,” New York Times, May 12, 2013, http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/13/opinion/how-austerity-kills.html; David Stuckler and Sanjay Basu, “Paul Krugman’s right: Austerity kills,” Salon, May 19, 2013, http://www.salon.com/2013/05/19/paul_krugmans_right_austerity_kills/
  8. [30]Lydia Denworth, “Conservative and Liberal Brains Might Have Some Real Differences,” Scientific American, October 26, 2020, https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/conservative-and-liberal-brains-might-have-some-real-differences/
  9. [31]Shaka Johnson, quoted in Brittany Bernstein, “Hundreds of Looters Ransack Philadelphia Businesses in Second Night of Unrest,” National Review, October 28, 2020, https://www.nationalreview.com/news/hundreds-of-looters-ransack-philadelphia-businesses-in-second-night-of-unrest/
  10. [32]Ximena Conde, “Disbelief and unanswered questions after fatal police shooting of Walter Wallace,” WHYY, October 27, 2020, https://whyy.org/articles/disbelief-and-unanswered-questions-after-fatal-police-shooting-of-walter-wallace/
  11. [33]Darryl C. Murphy, “Grieving Walter Wallace Jr. and seeking justice, West Philly wonders what’s next,” WHYY, October 27, 2020, https://whyy.org/articles/grieving-walter-wallace-jr-and-seeking-justice-west-philly-wonders-whats-next/
  12. [34]Brittany Bernstein, “Hundreds of Looters Ransack Philadelphia Businesses in Second Night of Unrest,” National Review, October 28, 2020, https://www.nationalreview.com/news/hundreds-of-looters-ransack-philadelphia-businesses-in-second-night-of-unrest/
  13. [35]Hannah Knowles and Jacqueline Dupree, “Full hospitals, talk of rationing care: New wave of coronavirus cases strains resources,” Washington Post, October 25, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2020/10/25/coronavirus-cases-hospitalizations-surge/
  14. [36]Hannah Knowles and Jacqueline Dupree, “Full hospitals, talk of rationing care: New wave of coronavirus cases strains resources,” Washington Post, October 25, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2020/10/25/coronavirus-cases-hospitalizations-surge/
  15. [37]Priya Elan, “The data is in: men are too fragile to wear Covid-19 masks. Grow up, guys,” Guardian, July 3, 2020, https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/jul/03/covid-19-masks-men-masculinity; Marc Fisher, Clarence Williams, and Lori Rozsa, “Will Americans wear masks to prevent coronavirus spread? Politics, history, race and crime factor into tough decision,” Washington Post, April 18, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/coronavirus-masks-america/2020/04/18/bdb16bf2-7a85-11ea-a130-df573469f094_story.html; Christine Hauser, “The Mask Slackers of 1918,” New York Times, August 3, 2020, https://www.nytimes.com/2020/08/03/us/mask-protests-1918.html; Amelia Thomson-DeVeaux and Likhitha Butchireddygari, “For Black Americans, Wearing A Mask Comes With Complicated Anxieties,” FiveThirtyEight, June 30, 2020, https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/for-black-americans-wearing-a-mask-comes-with-complicated-anxieties/; Griff Witte, Ariana Eunjung Cha, and Josh Dawsey, “At the heart of dismal U.S. coronavirus response, a fraught relationship with masks,” Washington Post, July 28, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/at-the-heart-of-dismal-us-coronavirus-response-a-fraught-relationship-with-masks/2020/07/28/f47eccd0-cde4-11ea-bc6a-6841b28d9093_story.html
  16. [38]Talal Ansari, “Texas Governor Rolls Back Reopening as U.S. Virus Cases Hit Record,” Wall Street Journal, June 26, 2020, https://www.wsj.com/articles/coronavirus-latest-news-06-26-2020-11593159630; Annie Gowen, Arelis R. Hernández, and Lori Rozsa, “Young people urged to take virus more seriously as pandemic worsens in U.S.,” Washington Post, June 27, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/young-people-are-driving-a-spike-in-coronavirus-infections-officials-say/2020/06/27/3654638c-b7b4-11ea-a510-55bf26485c93_story.html; Thomas Heath and Hannah Denham, “Dow tumbles 730 points as covid-19 flare-ups force states to push back reopening,” Washington Post, June 26, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2020/06/26/stocks-markets-today-texas-coronavirus/; Claire Lampen, Hannah Gold, and Amanda Arnold, “Everything to Know About the Coronavirus in the United States,” Cut, June 24, 2020, https://www.thecut.com/2020/06/which-states-have-coronavirus-and-how-do-you-minimize-risk.html; Christina Maxouris, “Officials say states like Arizona and Texas reopened too quickly after soaring Covid-19 cases,” CNN, July 6, 2020, https://www.cnn.com/2020/07/06/health/us-coronavirus-monday/index.html; Toluse Olorunnipa, Josh Dawsey, and Yasmeen Abutaleb, “With Trump leading the way, America’s coronavirus failures exposed by record surge in new infections,” Washington Post, June 27, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/with-trump-leading-the-way-americas-coronavirus-failures-exposed-by-record-surge-in-new-infections/2020/06/27/bd15aea2-b7c4-11ea-a8da-693df3d7674a_story.html; Meg Wagner et al., “Fauci, Redfield testify on Covid-19 reopening as cases rise,” CNN, June 30, 2020, https://www.cnn.com/webview/politics/live-news/covid-19-school-work-reopening-testimony-06-30-20/h_cc7cf09eae87064e72f75af30984acd3
  17. [39]Moriah Balingit, “Armed militia helped a Michigan barbershop open, a coronavirus defiance that puts Republican lawmakers in a bind,” Washington Post, May 12, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/coronavirus-michigan-republicans-whitmer/2020/05/12/54975e1a-9466-11ea-82b4-c8db161ff6e5_story.html;
    Eric Cortellessa, “US far-right extremists are now calling social distancing a Nazi policy,” Times of Israel, April 17, 2020, https://www.timesofisrael.com/us-far-right-extremists-are-now-calling-social-distancing-a-nazi-policy/; Ryan Deto, “Photos: About 120 protest in Downtown Pittsburgh, calling for Pennsylvania to reopen during coronavirus pandemic,” Pittsburgh City Paper, April 20, 2020, https://www.pghcitypaper.com/pittsburgh/photos-about-120-protest-in-downtown-pittsburgh-calling-for-pennsylvania-to-reopen-during-coronavirus-pandemic/Content?oid=17167012; Bryan Armen Graham, “‘Swastikas and nooses’: governor slams ‘racism’ of Michigan lockdown protest,” Guardian, May 3, 2020, https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/may/03/michigan-gretchen-whitmer-lockdown-protest-racism; Fred Kaplan, “Is America in the Early Stages of Armed Insurgency?” Slate, September 8, 2020, https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2020/09/america-insurgency-chaos-trump-violence.html; Robert Mackey, “Neo-Fascist Proud Boys Exult Over Trump Telling Them to ‘Stand By,’ Not Stand Down,” Intercept, September 30, 2020, https://theintercept.com/2020/09/30/neo-fascist-proud-boys-exult-trump-telling-stand-not-stand/; Jamie Martines And Tom Davidson, “Protesters in Pittsburgh demand Gov. Wolf to reopen businesses amid coronavirus pandemic,” Tribune-Review, April 20, 2020, https://triblive.com/local/pittsburgh-allegheny/protesters-gather-in-pittsburgh-demanding-gov-wolf-reopen-businesses-amid-coronavirus-pandemic/; Luke Mogelson, “The Militias Against Masks,” New Yorker, August 17, 2020, https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2020/08/24/the-militias-against-masks; Joshua Partlow, “Politics at the point of a gun,” Washington Post, July 28, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2020/07/28/conservative-armed-militias-protests-coronavirus/; Rashawn Ray and Rebecca Shankman, “How COVID-19 is changing the gun debate,” Brookings, June 17, 2020, https://www.brookings.edu/blog/fixgov/2020/06/17/how-covid-19-is-changing-the-gun-debate/; Tony Romm, “Fake cures and other coronavirus conspiracy theories are flooding WhatsApp, leaving governments and users with a ‘sense of panic,’” Washington Post, March 2, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2020/03/02/whatsapp-coronavirus-misinformation/; Isaac Stanley-Becker and Tony Romm, “Pro-gun activists using Facebook groups to push anti-quarantine protests,” Washington Post, April 19, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2020/04/19/pro-gun-activists-using-facebook-groups-push-anti-quarantine-protests/; Kelly Weill, “Sixteen ‘Boogaloo’ Followers Have Been Busted in 7 Days,” Daily Beast, October 9, 2020, https://www.thedailybeast.com/with-the-gov-gretchen-whitmer-busts-16-boogaloo-followers-have-been-busted-in-7-days/; Matt Zapotosky, Devlin Barrett, and Abigail Hauslohner, “FBI charges six who it says plotted to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, as seven more who wanted to ignite civil war face state charges,” Washington Post, October 8, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/michigan-governor-kidnap-plot/2020/10/08/0032e206-0980-11eb-9be6-cf25fb429f1a_story.html
  18. [40]George T. Conway, III, “I believe the president, and in the president,” Washington Post, February 5, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2020/02/05/george-conway-trump-i-believe/; George T. Conway, III, “I (still) believe the president, and in the president,” Washington Post, August 10, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2020/08/10/i-still-believe-president-president/
  19. [41]George T. Conway, III, “I believe in the president, now more than ever,” Washington Post, October 26, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2020/10/26/george-conway-i-believe-in-trump-more-than-ever/
  20. [42]David Benfell, “Democrats must own Donald Trump,” Not Housebroken, November 14, 2016, https://disunitedstates.org/2016/11/13/democrats-must-own-donald-trump/
  21. [43]Seung Min Kim, “Senate confirms Barrett to Supreme Court, cementing its conservative majority,” Washington Post, October 26, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/courts_law/senate-court-barrett-trump/2020/10/26/df76c07e-1789-11eb-befb-8864259bd2d8_story.html
  22. [44]David Benfell, “Voting for complicity,” Not Housebroken, October 1, 2020, https://disunitedstates.org/2020/09/20/voting-for-complicity/

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