The novel coronavirus’ origin is still unknown (update #4)

Updates

  1. Originally published, May 16, 2021, 12:06 am.

  2. May 16, 2021, 9:20 am:

    • While the U.S. is basically doing nothing about vaccine passports,[1] largely due to conservative objections,[2] the rest of the world is moving forward, seeing them as a necessity to reviving the tourism business, and the United Nations has issued recommendations.[3] It seems to me like something’s gotta give here: If you like capitalism, indeed, if you like freedom to travel around the world, you now support them with vaccine passports, but the particularly stupid among conservatives have been crying “freedom” to object to vaccine passports,[4] lockdowns,[5] and mask requirements.[6]

      Now, more than ever, it is apparent that for some conservatives, “freedom” is about spreading disease. On the other hand, self-contradiction doesn’t really seem to be a problem for Donald Trump’s supporters.

  3. May 16, 2021, 10:15 am:

  4. May 17, 2021, 12:05 am:

    • So if you’re feeling morbid, here’s a dashcam video of a collision I witnessed today. A young lady was speeding down Forbes Avenue in Pittsburgh going the wrong way and smacked right into a car entering the intersection at Jumonville Street whose driver was presumably only looking in the direction traffic was supposed to be coming from. Apparently, no injuries.

      Because it’s a dashcam, it’s a wide angle lens, so the cars appear very small. Really, it was only a couple short blocks ahead of me.

      Rewatching the video, I see the intersection is controlled with a traffic signal. The wrong way driver, however, would not have seen a signal since none would have been pointed in her direction. I do not know if the other driver had a green light; the light in my direction had turned red by the time I reached the intersection.

      This is the joy of driving in Pittsburgh: Shit like this happens all the time because it really is a terribly confusing place to drive and stuff isn’t always marked the way it should be.


Pandemic

I’ve been inclined to discount the notion that the novel coronavirus responsible for the COVID-19 pandemic “escaped” from a Wuhan lab as bigotry against Asians and as a conspiracy theory[7] intended to exonerate our abuse of nonhuman animals. But while the virus was clearly not artificially developed, as some conspiracy theorists have claimed, even in my car, there apparently is insufficient evidence to say just how the pandemic started among humans.[8]

Deborah Netburn, “Did the coronavirus escape from a lab? The idea deserves a second look, scientists say,” Los Angeles Times, May 13, 2021, https://www.latimes.com/science/story/2021-05-13/did-coronavirus-escape-from-lab-scientists-urge-second-look

Shannon McDonagh, “Here is what every country’s vaccine passport should have, according to the UN,” EuroNews, May 14, 2021, https://www.euronews.com/travel/2021/05/14/here-is-what-every-country-s-vaccine-passport-should-have-according-to-the-un


  1. [1]Kathryn Watson, “White House leaves vaccine ‘passports’ to private sector,” CBS News, March 30, 2021, https://www.cbsnews.com/news/biden-vaccine-passports-private-sector/
  2. [2]David Benfell, “On ‘vaccine passports,’” Not Housebroken, May 14, 2021, https://disunitedstates.org/2021/03/31/on-vaccine-passports/
  3. [3]Shannon McDonagh, “Here is what every country’s vaccine passport should have, according to the UN,” EuroNews, May 14, 2021, https://www.euronews.com/travel/2021/05/14/here-is-what-every-country-s-vaccine-passport-should-have-according-to-the-un
  4. [4]David Benfell, “On ‘vaccine passports,’” Not Housebroken, May 14, 2021, https://disunitedstates.org/2021/03/31/on-vaccine-passports/
  5. [5]David Benfell, “The capitalist death cult,” Not Housebroken, March 22, 2021, https://disunitedstates.org/2020/03/27/the-capitalist-death-cult/
  6. [6]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; 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
  7. [7]Helen Davidson, “WHO says it has no evidence to support ‘speculative’ Covid-19 lab theory,” Guardian, May 4, 2020, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/may/05/who-says-it-has-no-evidence-to-support-speculative-covid-19-lab-theory-pushed-by-us; Joby Warrick et al., “Chinese lab conducted extensive research on deadly bat viruses, but there is no evidence of accidental release,” Washington Post, April 30 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/chinese-lab-conducted-extensive-research-on-deadly-bat-viruses-but-there-is-no-evidence-of-accidental-release/2020/04/30/3e5d12a0-8b0d-11ea-9dfd-990f9dcc71fc_story.html
  8. [8]Deborah Netburn, “Did the coronavirus escape from a lab? The idea deserves a second look, scientists say,” Los Angeles Times, May 13, 2021, https://www.latimes.com/science/story/2021-05-13/did-coronavirus-escape-from-lab-scientists-urge-second-look

2 thoughts on “The novel coronavirus’ origin is still unknown (update #4)

  • May 16, 2021 at 9:06 am
    Permalink

    That link from the LA Times gives me a paywall; while it might be a good idea to subscribe, do you instead have any other source for this article?

    Reply

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