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Self Assured Destruction

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In the 1960s, our Cold War strategy evolved into Mutual Assured Destruction, a dangerous but stable relationship with the Soviet Union.

In 2020, our Covid-19 War strategy devolved into Self Assured Destruction, a dangerous and utterly unstable relationship with the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

As the story goes, a few weeks after JFK was inaugurated in January 1961, his new Secretary of Defense – Robert McNamara – was briefed by the head of Strategic Air Command on US nuclear warfare strategy. Under the “Massive Retaliation” doctrine of the day, there were two options: go and no-go. Any provocation by the Soviet Union sufficient to trigger a go action would result in the immediate launch of all US nuclear warheads – about 1,500 at the time – against 650 targets, mostly in the Soviet Union, but also anywhere in the world where SAC thought the Russians had military assets. As McNamara remembered General Power (yes, that was his real name) telling him, “I sure hope you don’t have any relatives in Albania, Mr. Secretary, because we’re going to have to wipe them off the face of the earth, too.”

At the end of the presentation, the oh-so-pleased-with-themselves generals asked McNamara what he thought. His angry response:

You don’t have a war strategy. You have a war spasm.

Same thing today.

We don’t have a Covid-19 strategy. We have a Covid-19 spasm.

We launched all of our warheads against ourselves in a massive overkill of a lockdown, where our domestic equivalent of a noncombatant Albania was hit just as hard as our domestic equivalent of a Soviet missile base, and now we’re done. Our arsenal is gone. There will never be another coordinated national effort to control the spread of Covid-19. Not with this President, at least.

But that’s the problem with spasmatic policy and the blowhard leaders who administer it. You end up with neither a war-preventing strategy nor a war-fighting strategy. You end up neither containing the enemy nor defeating the enemy.

First, you ignore the initial small provocations and the warning signs of trouble because you’re not prepared with actions you can take short of all-out war. At first you minimize and you excuse.

Sound familiar?

Then, when you finally respond, you act in an incredibly heavy-handed, all-or-nothing fashion that inflicts maximum damage on both the true war-fighting targets AND targets that have nothing to do with the fight at hand.

Sound familiar?

Finally, if your spasmatic attack fails to wipe out the enemy – if the enemy retains an offensive attack capacity after your all-or-nothing effort – then your population is held hostage by the enemy’s threat. You have no choice but to surrender and hope for a merciful/lucky outcome.

Sound familiar?

Our leaders have botched this war, and we are defenseless against a still potent and now endemic enemy, left only with the deus ex machina hope of a truly effective vaccine.

Here, let me say that again.

Covid-19 is now endemic in the United States.

That means it is everywhere. That means it is something to live with rather than something to eliminate. That means Covid-19 is now being “handled” as a chronic disease rather than an acute infectious emergency, a chronic disease where – every day while it remains endemic – 15,000 to 20,000 Americans will get so miserably sick that they will seek treatment and be officially diagnosed, and 500 to 1,000 Americans will die.

15,000 to 20,000 Americans really sick. 500 to 1,000 Americans dead.

Every day.

By the way, these numbers would be a significant improvement over the numbers today. Over the past two weeks, the United States has averaged 22,089 newly diagnosed cases of Covid-19 and 1,118 deaths per day, even as cases and deaths from New York have dropped more than 80% from their peak (New York now adds about 1,200 new cases and 100 deaths per day). Frankly, I think 15,000 to 20,000 Americans officially sick and 500 to 1,000 Americans officially dead every day is a pretty optimistic scenario for an endemic Covid-19 in the months ahead.

Other countries, allies even, countries like South Korea, Taiwan, Japan and Germany, have waged their war against the virus much more effectively than the United States, so that a nationally coordinated policy of testing and contact tracing to manage an endemic virus without suffering ruinous daily casualties is at least possible.

We don’t have that possibility. We have botched this war so miserably that the only solution to an endemic Covid-19 available to the United States is a vaccine. Other systemically crucial countries, like Russia, Brazil and India, are in exactly the same boat. We’ve all followed a strategy of Self Assured Destruction.

And so we wait. We wait to see if we get an effective vaccine by the end of the year. If we do, then maybe we win the war, despite our absurd strategy and incompetent leadership. Maybe. If we don’t, then we lose.

By win, I’m not saying that our markets or our politics go back to “normal”, whatever that means. I’m saying that our markets and our politics can survive if there’s a viable vaccine developed in the next six months. I’m saying that the “bridge loan” narrative driving trillions of dollars in economic support for corporations and some measly fraction of that for unemployed workers can only work if there is a similarly-functioning domestic economy on the other side of this bridge.

But if it’s a bridge to nowhere …

If there’s no vaccine in the near future …

If Covid-19 persists as an endemic disease where 15,000 to 20,000 Americans get really sick and 500 to 1,000 Americans die every freakin’ day for a couple of freakin’ years, and where the situation is worse – MUCH worse – in countries like Brazil and Russia and India and Indonesia and Iran and Egypt and Mexico …

The free world does not easily survive a globally endemic Covid-19.

[first lines]

Newsreader:    Day 1,000 of the Siege of Seattle.

Newsreader:    The Muslim community demands an end to the Army’s occupation of mosques.

Newsreader:    The Homeland Security bill is ratified. After eight years, British borders will remain closed. The deportation of illegal immigrants will continue. Good morning.

— Children of Men (2006)

After the global flu pandemic of 2008, mankind loses its ability to conceive children, and the world begins a long, gradual descent into anarchy and despair. By 2027, Britain is the one civilized nation remaining, although it has transformed itself into a brutal police state to manage not just a fin de siècle, but a fin to … humanity.

That’s the premise of Children of Men, a great book by PD James and an even better movie by Alfonso Cuaron. It’s a premise that’s ringing pretty loud in my ears right now.

And I don’t know how to make the ringing stop.

See, I’ve been writing this note for the better part of a month now, unwilling to take my thoughts to their logical conclusion. And maybe we WILL get lucky. Maybe we WILL develop a truly effective vaccine in the next few months. I really do have faith in our technological prowess. Because I have to.

But here’s the problem with that faith. Whether or not there really is an effective vaccine, we will be TOLD that there is an effective vaccine. Our government policies and our personal behaviors will go forward over the next year AS IF there is an effective vaccine. The overwhelming narrative from both Wall Street and Washington will always be that an effective vaccine is “in advanced tests” or “showing great promise” or “ramping up production” or “available now for emergency personnel”. Maybe this will be true. God, I hope it will be true. But we won’t KNOW if it’s true … we won’t KNOW if there’s an effective vaccine for billions of human beings … until, what, Q3 of 2021?

If it’s NOT true, if there is not in fact a vaccine that can eliminate Covid-19 as a globally endemic illness, then I think we’re in a full-bore Children of Men scenario. All capital markets become political utilities in this future. Only national champion corporations remain, and the line between State and Oligarchy becomes nonexistent. Democracy? LOL.

The form of social organization that “works” with 15,000 to 20,000 Americans getting really sick and 500 to 1,000 Americans dying every freakin’ day for a couple of freakin’ years, combined with massive political instability and violence abroad, is national socialism with American characteristics. It’s a fetishization of the State and its provision of order, such that all economic and political behavior is funneled exclusively through the State and its crony capitalist “Yay, military!” and “Yay, stock market!” narratives. It’s smiley-face fascism. And not-so smiley-face fascism.

But even if it IS true, even if there is in fact a vaccine that can eliminate Covid-19 as a globally endemic illness, what happens during the months-long period between the announcement of this effective vaccine and its broad distribution? There will still be 15,000 – 20,000 Americans getting really sick and 500 – 1,000 Americans dying every day from this now preventable disease! What would your political response be if your mother or your husband or your brother died from Covid-19 because your government administered this vaccine to someone else first? There will be tens of thousands of such deaths in the United States, and hundreds of thousands of such deaths around the world. Will you accept a loved one’s death under these circumstances with equanimity, comforted by your faith that the Trump II or Biden I administration did everything possible to distribute this life-saving treatment with justice and fairness to all?

Or will you rage?

Forget about the United States for a minute. Let’s say you live in India. Do you trust the Modi government to administer whatever vaccine stock they acquire with justice and fairness? Will you shrug your shoulders if your town or state is passed over and your brother dies? How do you think the Modi regime will respond to your righteous anger? Will they say “oops, our bad” and make amends?

Or will they find someone to blame?

Now do Brazil. Now do Egypt. Now do Mexico. Now do Indonesia. Now do Iran. Now do Russia. Now do China. Now do the United States.

Maybe these regimes will blame you for their mistakes and unjust actions. Maybe these regimes will blame the Muslims or the Jews or the Uighurs or the communists or the imperialists or the Republicans or the Democrats or the immigrants or the “thugs”. Maybe these regimes will blame China. Maybe these regimes will blame the United States. One thing’s for sure, they won’t be blaming themselves.

I’m having a hard time seeing how we get from here (globally endemic Covid-19, incompetent and/or pseudo-fascist leaders in the most powerful countries on earth) to there (a non-outright burning, non-outright fascist world) even if we get a truly effective vaccine into production by the end of the year.

I’m having a hard time seeing how we get from here to there because I know how incompetent and/or pseudo-fascist leaders ALWAYS respond to this sort of domestic unrest and threat to the maintenance of their incompetent and/or pseudo-fascist regimes.

They start a war.

Not an allegorical “war” against a virus, but a real war against an Other. Sometimes that Other is a group or region inside their country. Sometimes that Other is another country. But it’s ALWAYS a war.

There are two ways to read the title of this note: Self Assured Destruction.

One way is how I led off the piece, as a play on Mutual Assured Destruction, as the consequence of having a war spasm rather than a war strategy, as an assured destruction brought down on yourself.

The other way to read it is as the self-assured destruction that incompetent and/or pseudo-fascist regimes visit upon their human enemies in real war, as they confidently propagandize and violently blame another country or group for their own failings.

The first interpretation is in the past. We can’t change the abysmal way in which our government and so many other governments have waged this “war” against Covid-19. We can’t do anything about that now.

The second interpretation, though, that’s in the future. And yes, we CAN do something about the tragic way in which our government and so many other governments will try to lead us down the path of real-world war.

Back in 1997, I wrote a book called Getting To War, about how all governments – democracies and dictatorships alike, in the 20th century or any other century – attempt to mobilize public opinion before taking on a risky action like starting a war. The book’s long out of print (although you can read big chunks of it on Amazon for free if you’re so inclined), but it’s time to dust off that 30-year old methodology and use the modern technology of the Narrative Machine to identify getting-to-war propaganda in today’s major powers.

Thirty years ago, I had no ability to do this narrative research in real-time, and no megaphone to communicate my findings to the world. Today I’ve got both.

Next up … Part 2 of this note – not Self Assured Destruction, but Self-Assured Destruction – where I’ll walk you through the getting-to-war process that all governments use to create a war-supporting narrative, how we can use the Narrative Machine technology to track this process, and what we can do to jam or subvert those war-supporting narratives. If you haven’t yet read the Epsilon Theory note Inception, now would be a good time to do that.

Act I of the Covid-19 War is over. The high-functioning sociopaths who have used us as fodder and feed for decades were caught unawares by this new enemy, and they thoroughly bungled the response of State and Oligarchy. Now the pleasant skins of “Yay, Democracy!” and “Yay, Capitalism!” – false narratives, not the real thing – have been ripped off to reveal the naked sinews of power beneath.

Act II will be the story of high-functioning sociopaths trying to re-establish their system of control through narratives of Other-blaming and war … and how we beat them at their own narrative game.

As for Act III … we’re going to change the world, you know. You and me.

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  1. “500 to 1,000 Americans dead.
    Every day.”
    Sorry Ben, but your numbers, are pathetically on the fan the panic side……
    Something maybe be killing more people in the US rather than in Far east Asia [ex Communist China], but it isn’t the Covid 19…….

  2. Either side it’s still garbage in, garbage out, except compost (after a time).
    Addendum after reading below: apologies for being flip - I should have realised you had been impacted so personally. I’m just looking for something other than death to be true. Sincere apologies

  3. Avatar for bhunt bhunt says:

    More than 1,000 Americans died yesterday from Covid-19.

    I personally know four people who have died from Covid-19 over the past month alone, including my best friend from childhood - 56 year old in excellent health. Like you, he was a Covid-19 denier … then his lungs filled up, threw off a clot, and he was dead of a stroke within 5 days of the first symptoms. So I say this with as much of a full heart as I can muster, which isn’t much: you’re pathetically wrong about this, and you make me very, very sad.

  4. Avatar for bhunt bhunt says:

    All good, and I understand “looking for something other than death to be true”. My reply wasn’t directed at you, but at the parent comment here.

  5. Hong Kong - This is my hometown, I live here, was born here.

    1087 cases since January.
    4 fatalities.
    No lockdowns, & quarantine only on those tested positive .

    Bali, Indonesia - I have been here since mid February 2020

    Since numbers are suspect, we can look at proxies instead.
    No increase in hospitalisation, no additional traffic at crematoriums, so far everyone seems healthy and fit.
    No lockdowns, quarantine for those tested positive.

    I can only speak about my own experiences and draw my conclusions from them.
    I don’t trust mainstream media, & in Hong Kong it is a firm part of the long now.

    You speak from your experiences, including one of personal loss….fair enough… [and my condolences]

    Rusty said it best in his “First the People” as did you, very eloquently in “A truth that’s told with a bad intent”

    The entire government bureaucracy has failed you.

    Your Oligarchs and Best & Brightest are attempting to take advantage of the chaos and fear to impose well meaning but misguided ‘solutions’ upon your people.

    As long as they can engender fear in you, and then take advantage of that fear, your system will not change, it will get worse.

    Perhaps the ‘Covid Deniers’ can demonstrate that there is another side to this, that you as a father with responsibilities cannot afford to take a chance on [ I get that, I have married friends with kids who may agree with me but nevertheless stay on the safe side –indoors]

    No need to feel sad for me, I’m doing just fine so far….

    What I feel sad for,is the hollowing out and downward spiral of the greatest country in the world, the United States of America.
    It mirrors the descent [possibly into oblivion] of my hometown – I have always believed it to be the greatest city in Asia.

    Gentlemen & ladies – It doesn’t have to be this way…….

  6. Avatar for bhunt bhunt says:

    I’m truly happy that the Covid-19 experience of other cities and regions has been largely benign. That is not the experience of most countries in Europe, the United States, and Latin America. Don’t tell me that this disease is not killing thousands of people, all over the world, every day. Don’t tell me that Covid-19 is all just way overblown and an excuse for the gov’t to put one over on us. It’s insulting and just wrong.

    Yes, gov’ts are putting one over on us. AND this is a horrible, deadly disease.

  7. I’ve noticed among the people I work with there is a distinct proximal cognitive dissonance. For those of us that are fortunate to not have close loved ones affected (I’m one for now), brace yourself, it’s coming. Ben, I feel for you man. Something I’d like to see you write about that will be helpful for all of us is how lockdown and quarantine have unhealthily interrupted the grieving process with potentially devastating consequences: Can’t visit in hospital, no large group event’s, etc. Maybe too personal, but I don’t see this story being told anywhere.

    It’s my thought that government officials establishing the “Yay! Vaccine!” narrative from T = 0 in the US was patently irresponsible because we baked in a politically expedient low-risk expectation nationwide that is inherently fragile. Think of the panic and instability when the officials have to publicly announce “so we have a vaccine, but the virus has mutated into a strain that the vaccine we produced is not effective on. We have to start over from zero.”

  8. God this was good.
    Or Bad.
    I’m not sure.
    But this sucks either way . . .

  9. Thank you Ben. It will take a while to digest that one! Thank you for everything that you do.

    For some reason I hear David Bowie singing in my head: “We could be heroes, just for one day”.

  10. Observations and conclusions:
    First the shill doctors on the news said covid patients make antibodies. Then: antibodies produce immunity. Then there are different kinds of antibodies. Then we don’t know if antibodies confer immunity. THEY NEVER KNEW!!! They are bureaucrats. Even kindly Fauci. The childish naivete of the public is ever increasing in pubescent ignorance. It shows no signs of improving.
    The only catalysts for change are war and economic devastation. Read 1984. Read Brave New World. Read The 4th Turning. The right and the left rationalize their viewpoints but never address the problems or solutions. The pack is ?more than 100,000 strong. The masses are hundreds of millions. Resolution will be as it always has been. Succeeding generations making changes to assuage their emotional needs with minimal care for consequences. And time will move on.

  11. I know how you feel about hesitating to write out such ‘crazy’ thoughts. I too have hesitated for a long, long while and perhaps should continue still to wait. But, I’ll share.

    I have thought for a good long time that we are in a war. We, the liberals, the progressives, the thinking masses; they, the conservatives, the republicans, the traditionalists, yesterday’s defenders, the deplorables.
    They will not hesitate to use whatever means to achieve their ends. We are careful to analyse and plan for the best end available.

    They are single-minded in their pursuit; dogmatic, relentless, inexorable, rabid. They cannot be reasoned with, they cannot be convinced. In the end, all that works is a bullet to the head (BTTH). In the end there is blood in the streets.
    One side wins, the other loses.

    The only question is, who starts the actual war-fighting? Do we let them bring it to us? Or do we usurp the first mover advantage?
    For planners and thinkers the wrong choice has mortal consequences.
    For liberals and progressives even to consider the choices brings a level of moral decay and an ethical conundrum.

    As you say, clear eyes, full hearts! If we do not give this question a full-throated airing, they will foreclose on any debate.
    We will be in the trenches literally, not figuratively, fighting for our lives.

    I do not see a third way.

  12. All I can say is stay tuned and take a peek at history while you wait. The timing of this pandemic is very similar to that of the 1918 so-called “Spanish flu.” And the second wave in the Fall of 1918 was the most deadly by far.

  13. I like her except that her use of profanity is past poetic and is just plain profane.

  14. Kimpton,
    Reading your comments makes me think you haven’t spent much time reading the rest of Ben and Rusty’s extensive catalogue. If I were you I’d take a second to reflect on what you’ve said.
    1) “us” vs. “them”
    I can assure you that “they” love their family, friends, community and country as much as you do. An “other” will always be offered up as a scape goat for you to project the anger, fear, and anxiety you feel as part of the long now. The other could be another country or it could be a fellow citizen, but a clear eyed individual will reject this faux conflict for what it is, nothing more than a shield our betters use to deflect the very justified feelings you have away from them and onto someone else (usually a weaker or somehow marginalized group but in your case a political party as equally corrupt as the one you identify with). A full heart is seeing the humanity you share with those who will be presented to you as enemies but whom you know are just as scared, angry and anxious as you are.

     2) "..... who starts the actual war-fighting?  Do we let them bring it to us? Or do we usurp the first mover advantage?"

    I don’t know what to say other than, WOW. Intentionally or not you’ve done a wonderful job of showing the ET community what it looks like when what I’m sure was once a kind, open-minded, intelligent individual turns into a rhino.

    “Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate, hate leads to suffering…” - master Yoda

    “Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the lord your god goes with you; he will never leave nor forsake you.” - Deuteronomy 31:6

    Kimpton, it’s a crazy messed up world we live in but you still have time to lose the fear and come back to the light.

  15. No amount of common knowledge about the present’s inequities (racism, crony capitalism, government embezzlement, buffoonish leadership, etc.) will catalyze change. Managers, employees, contractors, media missionaries, and politicians will continue to perform the instrumentalist functions necessary to sustain the status quo, and no amount of street protest or voting will change their behaviors, unless and until such participation stops being remunerative.

    We’ve gotten here by allowing misaligned incentives to fester and metastasize. Money has become our society’s sole divining rod and moral arbiter. There is no alternative system being imposed from without (thank goodness), so the only path to progress lies through leveraging this one misaligned incentive.

    Vote with your dollars. Boycott. When we all do that, as a tool of first resort, change will come fast. Oh sure, you say, as far as the private sector goes that’s straightforward. But what about when the bad actor is sustained by tax-dollars? I hope someone smarter than me is working on that, because I don’t know. There’s no line-item veto on my tax return. In the meantime, I’ll keep voting for people who at least profess Enlightenment principles, rather than those who actively defile them.

  16. Standing there in your saffron robes with your thumb and forefinger pinched together while experiencing the exquisite bliss of stillness and peace is not a prophylactic against the world’s events.

    That my better’s love whom they love will not prevent them from attacking if they or theirs is threatened. You call them my better’s; I call them conservatives but in either case there is a group, a cadre, a population that runs contrary to my way of thinking - and importantly, are out to eliminate any opposition to Their way.
    I am happy to live and let live; I’m happy to oblige those that want to go their own way. This is the fundamental difference between me and them. This is why I am not just as scared, angry or anxious as they are.
    I’m not willingly to go to war. They are.
    It’s enough that I find some way to accommodate, even, if possible on occasion, to celebrate. They do not.

    They, the conservatives (but you use whatever nomenclature suits you) are going to attack. That is the point of this piece. They have been waging a war on progressive society for the last 40 years, only using money instead of bullets.

    The question is; Before the lights go out are we smarter to be just defensive or is there some wisdom in a first response? Answers, gleanings and experiences from favorite movies will be of little utility.

  17. *I didn’t call them YOUR betters but OUR betters and by that I meant the leadership of this country; politically and economically, republican and democrat alike. This is not a party thing but a POWER thing and bringing party language (republican, deplorable, etc) into any conversation on the matter detracts from the conversation immensely.

  18. How about an autopsy on why testing and contact tracing failed?

    Keeping in mind we are a vast and open federation of hundreds of millions over 2 million square miles and not Hong Kong, south korea or Japan - but still it would be interesting.

    It would also be typical of the nation since the French and Indian Wars, really always. We never have and never could respond as a small city state or a unified, homogeneous nation or people could.

    Yes this does include what really happened in WW2, as opposed to the myths that we were one marching machine. Had we been reversed - say at Normandy - we’d get the non Capra, non Spielberg version of history. We’d hear about record strikes, the fighting in industry over resources, and all the rest.

    But I’d still love to see the autopsy.

    We must note that the CDC and FDA, the latter in particular were more interested in their prerogatives from the outset. But again this is typical.

    Now you can blame Trump because he’s in charge, its unlikely we would have gotten much different from any public figure I can conceive of; it simply takes us time to mobilize.
    Same with India, same with Brazil.

    You’re comparing us to very conformist, homogeneous societies that really are in truth SPARTA but with a focus on business and order.
    You can add Israel. Sure - Japan is business oriented; they’re still Sparta.
    They just switched to industry (coincidentally after being overwhelmed by ours).

    We are much closer to Athens; and this is a plague.

    The Fate you curse Sir, with all sympathy for the loss of your dear ones is; being American.

    We never move instantly, but move mightily over time we do.

    So we may get that vaccine, after all.

  19. I think your spasm is about to start Ben.
    It looks like the orange retard in the white house wants to declare the Insurrection Act of 1807 so he can “mobilize the military” from “Coast to Coast”.
    Good luck.

  20. Avatar for roro roro says:

    Via @carlquintanilla
    · 59m
    With protests in 75 cities, "the outcome could be 1 of several:

    • USA cases explode in the next two weeks;
    • USA cases remain flat
    • USA cases collapse
      “If this last one is what we see, this by far, the biggest development for COVID-19 anywhere in the World.” - @fundstrat
  21. Dude —it might be time to delete your social media accounts.

    That would make a great note for Ben because I think they are a huge reason we find ourselves where we are. I had to delete my Twitter app it’s far to easy to find yourself in an echo chamber of half truths swirling around you. But I digress …what I really wanted to say is this.

    I have a good friend named Billy , Billy is as liberal as I am conservative —which is pretty darn conservative . Billy and I have met in the last 10 years so we are not life long friends , we met during the long now.

    He has had grandchildren for a while , I have for only about two years. Billy loves his grandchildren as much as I love mine , we both want our grandchildren to grow up in an America that is very similar. Ok maybe I want equality of opportunities as much as possible and he is bit more focused on equality of outcomes. We don’t them to experience racism , hatred all the things that are so prevalent in the moment.

    Every time we see one another we hug …I feel the love whenever he hugs me —it’s a warm long embrace. Then we always get around to showing each other the most recent pictures of our grandchildren. Then we share a meal with other friends and we don’t discuss politics—as much as is possible in the current environment.

    Maybe it’s a good time to remember that our friends on the other side of the aisle love their grandchildren too , just as much as we do.

  22. Avatar for bhunt bhunt says:

    Rusty is off Twitter. Says it’s made his life immeasurably better. We’ll talk about it on ET Live today.

  23. What does “polite society” and constructive discourse even look like when there is widespread PTSD ? Lots of folks “just not right” currently for understandable reasons. Peace out folks. Fonzi time.

  24. What time does the 2pm meeting start ? ?

  25. Hey Ben just listed to the ET live and 1 observation and 1 question.

    Since I am ADD during the call I started doing searches on past pandemics and how they ended the three that I could recall were Spanish Flu , The Bird Flu , and SARS —all three just disappeared with a vaccine some faster and some like Spanish flu took a full year. These are very similar to COVID 19 and then data from Worldometer is suggesting a very normal looking bell curve that has been flattened, you know they told us the curve should look like when this all started —best case. Why do you not think this virus will take the same path? There is also evidence in Italy that the virus is mutating to a much more non lethal state.

    Question - in the proportional democracy that you and Rusty advocated at the end , I suppose then that people would vote for a party and not a person?

    Good job to both of you on the ET live


  26. Without a vaccine lol changes the meaning a bit

  27. One other possibility- cases spike but deaths fall…this is what is happening worldwide and it supports what the Italian doctor said.

    The virus has mutated to a much less lethal form.

  28. Avatar for jdr jdr says:

    Beautifully written and perfect message.

  29. Is it okay to root for more people to die and the numbers skyrocket? That wouldn’t be okay, would it? If that happens, I think I might survive covid-19. Otherwise, I think I probably have max 18 months before getting it. Not sure why I choose that timeframe, just random. But I do have a wife and 2 kids and I know life will go on. I have a C4/5 spinal cord injury (quadriplegic) from a fall 21 years ago. No sympathy necessary, I was on a ventilator (lungs collapsed) in the hospital for 175 days, have had pneumonia too many times to count, but have this strange feeling I couldn’t survive Covid-19 now. I am relatively healthy 5’10", 180 pounds, have occasional infection but usually very treatable with oral antibiotics. I do still have a trach since my stomach muscles don’t work. I know, TMI. If though, more people die and the numbers skyrocket, I have this feeling our governments would go back to the urgency and have another spasm, maybe we do find a REAL vaccine. If the virus is indeed endemic, a real vaccine is the only answer for a cripple. And as long as I don’t know those people that die, it should be okay if I root for more people to die, right? I mean, all the people that are saying “we gotta go back to work”, aren’t they saying we don’t really care what happens to you?

  30. Per Worldometer deaths the last 2 days in the US have been 300 and change on Sunday and 565 yesterday—-not every state reported on Sunday so likely about 425 per day last two days —-almost a perfect bell shaped curve since the start of the pandemic and we appear to be far along on the left side.

  31. Avatar for O.P.A O.P.A says:

    15,000 to 20,000 Americans getting really sick and 500 to 1,000 Americans dying every freakin’ day for a couple of freakin’ years”
    Today was the first day in over a year that the United States reported fewer than 500 COVID deaths (7 day average). Cases reported (7 day avg) are still just north of 15,000. Many days in the past year have been above 1,000, and there’re still some concerns about undercounting.
    It seems the US at least should avoid the “couple of freakin’ years” part. That’s a bright spot, albeit not a very large one.

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