You Are Killing Me!

From award winning BBC Earth documentary

I need to get his off my chest.

If I get the Covid-19 virus, I have a 10% chance of dying.

This is because of a combination of my age along with with other medical conditions.

That is right, 10%.  On the positive side, that is much better odds than my parents have.

I do what I can to reduce my risk. I am not going to be a complete hermit, but I will certainly avoid situations where my risk is eleveated.

Certain things I will not do until there is a vaccine:

  • Eat inside a restaurant.
  • Attend a church.

Things I will do until there is a vaccine:

  • Wear a mask indoors
  • Avoid crowds.
  • Practice social distancing.

The thing is,  I need others to do their part as well.

When you participate in activities that can spread the virus, you are increasing the likelihood of me, or someone like me dying.  Maybe it won’t be you spreading it, but it will be someone acting like you.

When you encourage others in these activities, you are increasing the likelihood of me, or someone like me dying.

When you don’t wear a mask, and I need to get groceries, you, or those like you, are increasing my risk of dying.

When you don’t wear your mask properly as expose me to whoever you have been exposed to, you make a mockery of the rules that have been established.

When you say it’s just like the flu, and spread that lie on social media, you are not only lying, but participating in a campaign to kill other.

When you say you won’t get a vaccine.  I might be okay, because I can get one.  But you might be the one killing the immunocompromised one who can’t get the vaccine.  Sure, maybe not directly, but others who follow your lead, buy into your social media statements, or act in the same manner.  But maybe it will be you.

When you visit a crowded beach, and don’t immediately turn around and head home or for an alternate location, you are increasing the risk to my life.

When you let your kids hang out with a small group of friends… and they are not wearing masks or practicing social distancing… you are helping to kill me, or someone like me.

When your church doesn’t follow health guidelines or interprets them as loosely as possible, you are setting a poor example for those in your congregation, and encouraging them to do the same.  Again, risking lives, needlessly.

And when you misinterpret data to fit your own social or political agenda, you are being deceitful, and potentially contributing to my death, or those like me.

I hope you can live with the guilt.

208 thoughts on “You Are Killing Me!

  1. If I get the Covid-19 virus, I have a 10% chance of dying.

    This is because of a combination of my age along with with other medical conditions.

    Online COVID Mortality Calculators give me anywhere from a 1 to 5% chance, but during my D&D days I was known as the group’s “Dice Implosion”, a “Dice Futz” who always rolled on the “Fail” side. If there was even a 1-in-20 chance of failing a Saving Throw, I’d fail it.

    “Make a Saving Throw vs COVID…”
    This makes me very paranoid about even 1% odds.


  2. If some relatives of that person who was threatened by the pastor decide to have “have a good talking too” with Greg – which is a polite way of saying beat the shit out him, I would not shed a tear.


  3. This when the asshat gets arrested for criminal trespass. His rights do not extend to private property such as a Dunkin’ Donuts. Maybe a bunch of people should doxx him to find out where he lives and stand his front yard with signs showing proper ways to wear a mask or his church. He just threatened assault and battery so a criminal complaint with trespass should have already been filed.


  4. And a few weeks ago, one San Francisco-based online newsmag (SFGate?) called for stories of “Lockdown Housemates from Hell”.

    The one that stood out was one story about one guy in a shared-rent household who was going out to Party almost every night while the others tried to stay distanced. His attitude was “Hey, everybody’s gonna get Corona sooner or later. PARTY!”


  5. Latest news from morning Drive Time:

    In Maryland, Private and Church schools are suing their county/state to Reopen NOW. Claiming that the across-the-board school closures by public health authorities was NOT due to public health but out of [librul] jealousy of Superior Private and Church Schools. Culture War Without End, Amen.


  6. Justin, I think you held up extremely well under the onslaught. I was a bit shocked and embarrassed at the vitriol hurled your way. I don’t think you need apologize for anything.

    Q. What is the difference between the heretic and the conformist? A. The Conformist won the discussion and labeled the heretic as such (and maybe torched them).

    It doesn’t mean there is no truth in the differing opinion. It doesn’t even mean there isn’t a huge amount of truth there. We need to love our neighbors and guests even when (or especially when) we disagree with them.

    I wear a mask in public. I social distance. I wipe things down when I bring them home. I wash and clean and hope. That doesn’t mean that Justin is wrong. Just my $0.02…


  7. I looked up his church. It’s NOT a Mega, but a small country church of recent construction (looks like industrial steel-frame sheet-metal sheathing construction). The only thing “Mega” about it is Pastor’s Facebook Followers. So I doubt he has the local lawmen in his pocket like so many GigaPastor Superapostles.

    And to this MoG, screaming in rage sounds like his default mode. If he were a superhero, he’d be “The Spleen” from Mystery Men (whose only superpower was flying into a screaming rage).


  8. “THERE IS NO ‘YOU’ –
    — Nine Inch Nails


  9. Like AIDS, this is a disease in which you’re a CARRIER long before you show any symptoms. (And even “no symptoms at all” can be a symptom.) You can spread it without even knowing you have it, and COVID spreads a lot easier than AIDS.


  10. My writing partner (the burned-out preacher with several co-morbidities) has survived two contacts/quaranties.


  11. Justin, your comment prompted a longer response in myself which I have started putting together for next week.

    No problems from my end and no apologies needed.


  12. And COVID-19 is also CONTAGIOUS. More so than flu.
    With known asymptomatic carrier “Silent Spreaders” and Super-Spreader outbreaks.


  13. I said, ‘If you call me a liar one more time, I’m going to take these work boots and I’m going to kick your teeth down your throat.’ Yes, I said it. And in the moment, I meant it.

    I said, ‘Sir, listen to me very closely, I will be back at 5 o’clock tonight to get my two medium coffees, seven creams, and five sugars and I will be back tonight and I will not be wearing a mask.’”

    I’ll go to jail over this. It is the golden calf. I’m sick of Christians saying things like this: ‘Well, it’s just a mask.’ You know what they used to say? ‘Oh, it’s just a baby, it’s just a zygote, it’s just a growth in the mother’s womb so let’s kill it.

    “No, it’s not just a mask, it’s a compliance device. This is not about safety, this is about surrendering of our rights.

    Can I remind you? This is still the United States of America. This is not communism. This is not China, this ain’t North Korea, I don’t live in Haiti. Trump 2020! I’m a pastor and I approve this message.
    — PASTOR Greg Locke

    The only “Pastor Greg Locke” that comes up on searches is the Founder and Lead Pastor of Global Vision Bible Church, Mt Joliet, TN. Some of the search results definitely ID him as the one in the above online meltdown. Here’s his bio:


  14. Thanks for the added details. Which why I recommend against reading Ayn Rand if one wants study this particular political philosophy. Learning about libertarianism from Rand is like learning how to become a cat whisperer and the proper way to nurture them from the crazy cat lady.


  15. Nah, you showed yourself to be what you are. You try to use a false equivalency and I called you on. Please don’t try to make yourself the victim.


  16. Oh no, now I’m part of the evil “they”. Not really sure what gave you the idea that I unconditionally support Trump, maybe the fact that I’m able to find fault on both sides. I know the ability do to such is frowned upon these days. But thanks for your keen ability to judge me and folks like me anyway. But do be careful or you might find yourself in the same camp as the fundamentalists.


  17. Mike Bell: I want to apologize. My comment was the spark that burned down your post. I seem to have marred what I thought was a thoughtful piece worth discussing, and caused much offence, not least of which against you. I am sorry for that.

    Chaplain Mike: I want to apologize for bringing your blog down. I caused offense and it resulted in what we see here. I am sorry for that.

    To everyone else: I apologize for offending you, that is not what I set out to do. I wish you all peace. I concede.


  18. Clay: Folks like Jon have little to no credibility. They unconditionally support the Liar-in-Chief-Trump–being extremely sarcastic, but the only time Trump is not lying is when he is sleeping or not talking. He lies and then his die-hard supporters repeat his lies.


  19. Sorry, Jon, it doesn’t work that way. The buck stops with Trump. The science deniers and conspiracy theories are coming from the right, and right out of Oval Office. Maybe you should expand your news sources.


  20. Jon: Totally false equivalency. There is no way in H-e-l-l to compare the Trumpies to the democraties in lying. Trump and his supporters have just about cornered the market on lying IMO. It is not even close. Nice try!


  21. From my observation mostly older people attend Mass, are responsibly social distancing and are few.

    That’s because they’re Apostate Romish Popery, not REAL TRUE CHRISTIANS(TM)!


  22. How interesting. I’m not sure any of you actually read what I wrote. TL;DR I suppose.

    Note the gaslight blame-shift, putting all the rest of us on the defensive.
    And presenting himself as Poor Poor Misunderstood ME.


  23. And you saw similar pushback from a lot of smokers. “FREEDOM!!!!!”
    My parents in retirement were the smoking equivalent of Anti-Maskers deliberately coughing in your face.


  24. Prominent skeptic Michael Shermer falt out called Rand a Cult Leader; dedicated an entire chapter in his book Why People Believe Weird Objectivism under the title “The Most Unlikeliest Cult of All”.

    One site called “Daylight Atheism” has been snarking her Masterpieces page-by-page like Slacktivist is Left Behind. Amazing the similarities between Objectivist SCRIPTURE and Bad Author Self-Insert Fanfic. From comparing the two, Rand’s writing hits ALL the same tropes and metrics as CHRISTIAN Fiction(TM). Just pitched for Brights instead of Born-Agains.

    Incidentally, Rand titled herself “The Only Completely Rational Mind Which Has Ever Existed”. Like a televangelist titling himself “Apostle and Prophet”.


  25. I didn’t say anything about the protests in my comment, and *some* churches were the last in a long list of bad behaviors I cited. So I’m not sure screaming “hypocrite” at me is valid or helpful. But to get specific, JMac had about 3,500 people gathered indoors without distancing or masks. That’s a bad idea no matter who is doing it.


  26. And the people who complain about Trump supporters are the same ones who lap up lies from the democrats. Part of the problem is everything has become political, and the truth doesn’t matter, only my side winning. Trump has a lot of faults, but there is plenty of blame to go around. How about we take a minute and try to see things from the other person’s perspective without assuming the worst.


  27. Arizona is known for A-hole governors with delusions of Caesarism.
    Remmeber Evan Meacham in the Eighties?
    Made it into Doonesbury (the South Park of its day).


  28. Screaming until they turn purple and pooping their diapers:

    And I am SICK of always having to be the Grown-Up.
    Time for Atlas to Shrug, and Shrug HARD.


  29. And “this crowd” worships him with Praise and Adoration.


  30. Said much better than my short post about all the things impacted by Covid. The title’s claim “You’re Killing Me!” just left me cold rather than garner sympathy and empathy, especially as the author could claim I’m killing him through some of my actions. I’m just not buying into that, given the devastation I’m seeing in all facets of life and living.


  31. Let’s face it, before the pandemic, no one really cared about children living in abusive homes. Then we needed an excuse to go to a massive house party, and then it was all, “What about the children?” None of these realities (families in poverty, small businesses closing, people trapped in abusive homes, inequitable education, etc.) have anything to do with why we should wear masks in public, or why we shouldn’t have massive beach parties or concerts. A better approach would be to acknowledge that we have to do both at the same time: protect as many people with compromised health issues as possible,, by reducing large gatherings and wearing masks in public, while also addressing the socioeconomic collapse and personal safety issues which we should have addressed before the pandemic, but didn’t.

    And, to be fair, while Michael’s post seems hyperbolic, given how calloused folks are to hundreds of thousands of deaths, I don’t think he could get anyone to listen by just arguing, “But people could get sick, then recover to varying degrees. Let’s protect them.”


  32. You are doing an incredible distortion of reality.

    Those things you mention are the minimum. Not the complete “package”. Not going out if with symptoms is the minimum, not the max.

    Since we don’t have a “spit in the tube and see if it turns blue” test yet (and may never) what you describe is the minimum of “if you have these symptoms go home”. That does NOT replace mask wearing recommendations to prevent spread for when people are not symptomatic.

    If you have CDC recommendations otherwise, please let us all know.


  33. Jon,

    Those same people who are upset about Fauci lying to them are, for the most part, the same people who lap up the president’s lies every day.

    And in the 4th year of the reign of Trump, why didn’t we have enough masks? Why didn’t we have a pandemic response team? Why didn’t we have enough ventilators? Why didn’t we have leadership at the top guiding the country through this? Why did Trump pass all of the blame to his predecessor? Why did Trump claim COVID wasn’t a big deal?


  34. Risking I may get piled on…. I am a Catholic that is observing what’s happening. I am also responding to this particular person and Mike Bell because I want to call out hypocrisy. Over and over I hear attending church being called out. Now personally I am watching it on TV so I am not going (although I have participated in a first holy communion and Confirmation activities as a director of religious education). From my observation mostly older people attend Mass, are responsibly social distancing and are few. Looks pretty safe to me. Yet, from my subjective viewpoint, the same folks yelling about church attendance, are fully supporting the protests (and that is a whole subject I could have a lot to say on). Hypocracy, HYPOCRACY!!!


  35. The answers to this commentary sounds like 5 minutes on MSNBC. This person has a difference of opinion. While I may not go all the way with this thought process specifically, its still another point of view. What a huge pile on from folks who will not put up with differing opinions. And also what assumptions and inference we make. No where does it say he will not wear a mask.

    I wear a mask every time I go out. I am sensitive to other’s higher anxiety and try not to feed it. Yet inwardly I still have my own opinion, an opinion that gets harder to share because I don’t want to get beat down as I see here.

    Just sharing my thoughts (and running for cover).


  36. So many “Christians” with Jesse’s spirit today. They are so outspoken and do not seem to care about anyone but themselves.


  37. If death from Covid was the only possible result of our actions during this time, than maybe the author would have a point. However, there are so many other bad things that are happening:

    The single mother who works as a waitress at the restaurant you avoid doesn’t get enough income to feed her family (if she can work there at all).

    The owners of the restaurant don’t sleep, lying awake at night worrying about the fate of their restaurant. Years of hard work ruined in a few months.

    The child stuck in an abusive home. Normally he could go to school and escape his abusive family; normally a teacher or social worker would notice the bruises and investigate. But now he’s stuck at home with no one to help and his abusive parent is around more than usual due to being out of work. And drinking more, …

    The girl who really likes learning in school, but now she’s supposed to learn with no internet and no home computer. No teachers to help her out with homework (her parents can’t/won’t help her). Her future looks a little bleaker now.

    All the people suffering mental illness (depression, etc.) due directly to the lockdown (this would include me by the way).

    And there are so many more sad stories out there. But before someone replies, “At least they’re not dead from Covid!”, don’t be so sure. Many of these stories will result in people choosing death by suicide as the easier option.

    I wish it was as simple as the original post implies. But if we react too strongly to one bad result (death from Covid), we may cause so many other bad results. There is no easy answer.


  38. Is that really the best you can do Robert? No I’m not. I’ve seen a few clips from his show, but I’ve never actually seen one live or watched an entire episode.


  39. Dr. Fauci admitted that they told people we didn’t need to wear masks because they were afraid we would run out of the masks medical personnel need. You can look it up. I believe wearing a mask does help. It never made sense to me why they wouldn’t. But I can understand why some people don’t want to listen to someone who has already lied to them.


  40. “Suppose a brother or sister is in a high-risk category for COVID. If one of you tells him, “Go in peace; stay safe and trust God,” but does not wear your mask, what good is that? So too, faith by itself, if it does not result in action, is dead.” – James 2:15-16 applied to today


  41. “Suppose a brother or sister is in a high risk category for COVID. If one of you tells him, “Go in peace; stay well and be happy,” but does not wear your mask, what good is that? So too, faith by itself, if it does not result in action, is dead.” – James 2:15-16 applied today


  42. Those are a lot of words to say that you don’t want to do the minimum to love your neighbour.


  43. Michael Spencer would not have taken such a patronizing tone in addressing Mike Bell’ fear. You’re not channeling him; you’re channeling some other spirit.

    Incidentally, “People cross the street when they see me coming now” sounds like you’re bragging about not wearing a mask.


  44. And what takes the cake is that so-called “Christians” which in their Scriptures which they claim to believe and follow talks about denying self, living peaceably with others, and considering others more highly than yourselves do the complete opposite in the name of their liberties and freedoms.

    “WE WON!


  45. “The careful text-books measure
    (Let all who build beware!)
    The load, the shock, the pressure
    Material can bear.
    So, when the buckled girder
    Lets down the grinding span,
    The blame of loss, or murder,
    Is laid upon the man.”
    — Rudyard Kipling, “Hymn to Breaking Strain”, 1935


  46. Same kind of those folks who bring their “emotional support” dogs/pets and try to pawn them off as guide dog/disabled assistance dogs with official looking cards or dog clothing/collars/etc.

    An old, old game called “Beat the System”.


  47. I am not surprised at the coarseness of the non-christian Republicans, but absolutely shocked at the millions and millions of born again believers who almost worship him.

    And they Marvel, and Worship, saying “WHO IS LIKE UNTO THE TRUMP? WHO CAN STAND AGAINST HIM?”
    — Rev 13:4, 2020 Application

    And “Christian” will mean “Trump Worshipper” unto the next four generations.


  48. Health officials didn’t lie, although they were proved to be wrong by later information. They gave out the best info they had at the time, and when they learned more about a brand new virus, they corrected themselves. That’s what science is about–learning from your mistakes. The masks they were originally talking about were N-95 medical masks, which should have been, and should be, reserved for front-line personnel, and people who have actually tested positive for COVID-19, because they are the best available.

    Mask-wearing in general, even if it isn’t an N-95 mask, proved to be beneficial in keeping people from passing on the virus, especially if they didn’t know they had it because they didn’t feel sick, and also helped somewhat to avoid catching it. Everybody wearing a mask when in each other’s company is the best protection we have. We should all do it. We learned that from experience. It is not a lie.


  49. I planned to not visit this site again.

    Mike Bell. You sound terrified.
    Let me try and channel the other Michael
    who did face death.

    Jesus has been there and done that,
    and He will give you the grace you need
    when you need it.

    Don’t be afraid.

    Christianity is about Resurrection.
    Its its our central hope.

    Many have tried so hard to distance
    themselves from evangelicalism that they
    have landed in the democratic party and
    in the process left the gospel behind.

    Please don’t do that.

    I think what Justin means is that we should
    not be driven by fear.
    I don’t have the medical expertise to weigh
    in on any of this, but I can tell when the
    authorities are trying to frighten me into
    submission. Not all of them. But enough.

    People cross the street when they see me coming now.

    Fear of death is normal.
    And its a way to control people.

    But Jesus has conquered death.

    Life is a bitch and then you die…
    and after that the Resurrection!


  50. Same kind of those folks who bring their “emotional support” dogs/pets and try to pawn them off as guide dog/disabled assistance dogs with official looking cards or dog clothing/collars/etc. It is bullsh*t like this that makes it an order of magnitude tougher for the people who have legitimate disabilities. Why don’t these asshats park in a handicapped parking spot while they are at it?


  51. I am quite familiar with that engineering failure. Interestingly in wake of that disaster, future bridges were built much stiffer and designed not like an airfoil. I suspect if all what we have discussed about playing catch up and the early mistakes was presented, things would have been more palatable regarding the guidelines, mandates, etc. But it does not help when the POTUS and his acolytes (Governors, Senators, etc.) are always trying to weasel out of responsibility.


  52. I love how the word lie has been distorted over the last decade or so.

    A lie is knowingly telling something that isn’t true. Knowingly is the key.

    Offering best advice (with all the messiness that involved) then saying we were wrong, here’s better advice.

    This is not lying. At all.


  53. While that may be how some cable and other commentators portrayed it that is NOT how it went down.


  54. Thanks everyone for their comments. It has been a busy day for me today, so I haven’t been able to interact much. Celebrating my 30th Anniversary Tuesday (which was almost the topic of this post).

    There is much to chew on in the comments here.

    Look for a follow up post on Rights, Responsibilities, and Risk next Monday.


  55. Willing to bet but you didn’t make a wager. Really it went more like this:
    General public: Should we wear masks?
    Experts: No, masks don’t help
    Experts: (two months later) Just kidding, masks do help, in fact they help a lot. We just didn’t want you guys buying all of them. But now you have to wear them whether you want to or not.

    Now, I understand their legitimate fear that PPE wasn’t going to be available for those who need it the most, but when you start out with lying, and make public statements that are deliberate lies, it’s kind of hard to trust you.


  56. Yeah, if I had a loved one who died or was permanently harmed by this thing, Justin’s comments would have ripped my heart out and crushed them.


  57. I’m willing to bet what you refer to as lying went more like this:

    Pandemic becomes reality.

    General public: Give us answers, right now, that we like.
    Scientific community: Actually, science doesn’t work that way. It takes years of well-funded research to have a concrete solution…
    General public: ANSWERS. NOW!!!
    Scientific community: Fine. Here’s where we’re at so far…
    Public health agencies: Well, we have to do something…

    Inaccuracies discovered.

    General public (on social media): You lied.
    Scientific community: We gave you the best conclusion we could given where we were at in our research…
    Public health agencies: …and we had to make some really tough judgment calls…
    General public: We can’t trust anyone anymore. Nothing is real!

    End Scene


  58. “The people you know are very different from the ones I do.” Every time I see the comments on this website about Trump supporters and Evangelicals that very thought goes through my head.

    But you skipped over the first half of my comment. While there would have always been a number of people who would object to wearing a mask or being in lock down, I believe many more have objected because they simply don’t trust the experts and politicians who have lied to them and and set up arbitrary and hypocritical rules.


  59. The people you know are very different from the ones I do. For instance, the ones I know, of all ages, will not be going to a restaurant to eat for a good, long time, a more normal life be damned.


  60. I didn’t really participate in that heated exchange, but Justin came out of the chute snarky in his first comment.

    >If you are honest with yourself, you will agree….
    >So, why not mind your own business and get on with living? Before it’s too late?


  61. Perhaps if the health officials didn’t lie people to begin with, telling us masks wouldn’t help, more people would trust what they say now. Perhaps if government officials would be consistent in their rules, more people would comply. But when you start out with lies, and you show blatant hypocrisy in your regulations, then is it any wonder that people don’t trust them? And then you add on the other consequences of a crashed economy, people losing their businesses, and just the general depression many have, is it any wonder many are willing to take the risk of getting sick and even dying in order to get back to a more normal life?


  62. I have a partner with asthma, Rick. He was exposed to COVID-19 a few months ago because his former employer didn’t feel like it was conducive to the company’s welfare to notify employees. I don’t have the luxury of taking patently reckless approaches to public health with curiosity and “grace.”

    I extend grace to people who are trying to understand. Justin wasn’t trying. Trust me, on this topic and a few others, this is as civil as I get.


  63. I do not think Mike Bell meant what he was saying to be taken literally, but I think Justin did. Why should we be gracious to Justin? His justifications for not caring about COVID-19 were pathetic IMO.


  64. I would’ve thought our FB interactions would’ve generated a bit more gracious response, Marcus. Justin was jumped on pretty hard, much harder than his thoughts warranted. I thought the IMonk community needed to be called out on that.

    The deaths and risk of death and potential for death is horrifying. Equating behavior that Mike Bell might not feel comfortable in participating in as “killing him” is a stretch, however.


  65. Contagiousness certainly plays a part in how the data is used. Since cancer is not contagious, mitigation efforts aimed at reducing transmission are not used to prevent it. I don’t understand how you can say that contagiousness should make no difference to the degree and kind of effort utilized to address diseases in a community.


  66. It probably does not help that Trump has 80 some million followers himself-salivating at every one of his “God” given words. I am not surprised at the coarseness of the non-christian Republicans, but absolutely shocked at the millions and millions of born again believers who almost worship him.

    Nah, I can not go 50-50 with the metastization of coarseness.


  67. The problem here comes from you reducing a worldview that justifies unsafe behavior that contributed to the deaths of 600K people as a “counterpoint.” Just like discussing racism, or women’s right to be safe in the workplace, some ideas lead to unsafe, deadly situations for people you may not care about or know. Getting angry, getting mean, and giving no quarter to those ideas is much more human than sitting back with a curious look and saying, “Really? Tell me more.”

    It also says something that you seem more concerned about Justin’s feelings from being chided than you are about Michael Bell’s concerns that he or the people he cares about could die. Oh, and the economy. Let’s not forget about our economy.


  68. Leading Causes of Death (Data are for the U.S. 2017)
    Number of deaths for leading causes of death
    Heart disease: 647,457
    Cancer: 599,108
    Accidents (unintentional injuries): 169,936
    Chronic lower respiratory diseases: 160,201
    Stroke (cerebrovascular diseases): 146,383
    Alzheimer’s disease: 121,404
    Diabetes: 83,564
    Influenza and pneumonia: 55,672
    Nephritis, nephrotic syndrome, and nephrosis: 50,633
    Intentional self-harm (suicide): 47,173

    Justin, Justin, Justin…

    If and when you get hospitalized for COVID-19, check back with us and we’ll see if you sing a different tune.

    Doesn’t matter how “insignificant” the death rate of something is compared to other causes if YOU’re one of the numbers.


  69. “You Are Killing Me!”

    Well, the virus is technically the one doing the damage, and it’s killing people and other stuff…

    -The travel industry – DEAD
    -The restaurant industry – on life support
    -Many small businesses – DEAD
    -The psyches and mental health of many, many people – shot to pieces.


  70. well Justin,
    start with yerself, there

    mind your own business

    telling people to ‘shut up’, ‘look the other way’, ‘nothin goin on here’, sounds more like stuff coming out of Russian security services trolling our social networks


  71. If you use the figures for the 1918 Spanish Flu, Two Million in the USA alone.

    Maybe South Africa’s strategy of “Just Dig Mass Graves” is just ahead of its time.


  72. Part of why covid-19 mitigations have become so divisive is because people keep seizing on one single action as the silver bullet (e.g. masks) and then passing moral judgment on others based solely on whether they conform in that one way.
    Virtue-Signalling their Moral Superiority to their Inferiors.

    “New England Puritans, minus the God-talk but retaining all the Righteous Moral Fury.”


  73. I also mask up when outside (except in a situation where I know I’m going to be alone), as much to get used to masking up so I don’t forget to when I need to.

    And I do relax a bit when I’m outdoors (95 F heat though…); outdoors (or even open-the-windows ventilation) will disperse any viral aerosol plume quickly.

    Legitimate conditions such as you described are one thing; those fake-official Mask Exemption cards from the FTBA (“Freedom to Breathe Agency”) threatening you & me with Federal ADA Violations, though…

    And there will be toddlers in adult bodies who WON’T contribute to bringing that rate of transmission down because “YOU CAN’T MAKE ME!”


  74. if jonny-mac keeps this trumpian bravado up
    more than likely he’ll get to lie in state on the Lincoln Catafalque

    how many innocent people will follow these guys over a cliff?


  75. one spoiled-brat, draft-dodging ‘anointed one’ is calling the shots for this crowd because HE didn’t think he looked good in a mask

    good grief

    they think this guy is a ‘strong’ leader? he wouldn’t even serve his country – five-times draft dodger


  76. +1 also. The nasty rhetoric I hear from some of the left, especially here in Seattle (many on the City Council are borderline insane), has been around for a while.


  77. No. The data is deaths, period.

    It doesn’t matter what I think about the data. All of the measures taken thus far were decided based on no data. Plenty of opinion and models, but no facts. Fine, the horse is out of the barn.

    Based on my observations (layperson that I am), I don’t have evidence to believe it would exceed heart disease levels. I admit I don’t have evidence it would not. So I’m left guessing like everyone else.

    Therefore I’m willing to do what many are not: give people the benefit of the doubt.


  78. Hello out there in Australia, Susan!

    Take heart in that even if your dear husband does not respond physically in recognition of your visit, that his spirit may have known you were there and taken some comfort. I don’t ‘know’ this, but I know that God, in His mercy, finds ways to help us beyond our own limitations.

    Sending hug


  79. Indeed, we are chasing our tail. Also, Tacoma Narrows Bridge comes to mind.

    Still, I don’t believe the situation justifies public servants calling citizens under his oversight “bastards” on TV for not following guidelines (not even policy orders) differently than he might wish.



  80. You don’t think contagion is a significant factor making a difference between diseases on the CDC list? You don’t think COVID-19 could’ve surpassed heart disease in numbers of annual deaths, if not for the limited mitigation efforts taken, due to coronavirus’ extreme contagiousness? COVID-19 has already surpassed the annual total for deaths due to lower respiratory illness, even with the limited mitigation efforts, has it not?


  81. Trump metastasized a coarsening of public discourse that had already been well under way for decades, and then made exponentially worse by the advent of social media. That coarsening cannot be laid solely at the feet of conservatives. Ridicule and lampooning were powerful rhetorical weapons of the counterculture left from the 1960s forward.


  82. First of all, not my list; the CDC’s. Year 2017. Its public record.

    Second, lower respiratory illnesses are contagious.

    Answering your question: when whatever it is kills more than heart disease, let’s talk. But why do people with heart disease get dismissed as “it’s their own fault?” Why no extraordinary measures against an obvious, perennial public health threat? If such measures had been taken, perhaps some of the heart disease victims would have a puncher’s chance at surviving Covid.


  83. Another thing is we are playing catch-up BIG TIME. Because things were FUBARed early on, we are doing all this stuff in an attempt to prevent a runaway condition. Think of it as being down by 4 touchdowns in the Superbowl (and you are not Tom Brady and the Patriots) and it is the end of the 3rd quarter. What that means, is you make even more risky and aggressive plays to catch up. Everything from having to put the brakes on reopening when the car is going 100 miles a hour and then slam into reverse, the madness of the Trump cult with hydroxycholoroquine, and so on are reflective of this. Places that opened carefully and worked smarter like New England and the Upper Midwest, so the there is no over-reach and any strict measures are being carefully dialed back in line with the data.

    The problem is most of the country FUBARed the re-opening and as result they have no choice but to hit the brakes and dial thing back even harder AND stricter. As it is now, we are probably looking at around 300K dead this year (which will be even higher if the states that FUBARed don’t get things under control.

    If you know something about PID tuning, feedback and control, this is oddly familiar.


  84. +1. His style of leadership has permeated the fabric of our country. We are all basically a-holes now, self included. I have such a visceral reaction to pro-Trump statements that I can hardly contain my contempt.

    Lord have mercy.


  85. COVID-19 has killed more people in half a year than most of the items you’ve included on your list do in a whole year. As far as the one contagious disease you’ve included on the list, influenza/pneumonia, COVID has killed nearly three times as many in half the time, and that with a degree of mitigation. Without mitigation we’d have millions of deaths from COVID by the end of the year, and continuing transmission followed by more deaths. I have an honest question for you: how many deaths in a year, from a highly contagious disease, would it take before you would say that we should take special extraordinary measures to mitigate, and the measures would not be out of proportion to the threat?


  86. If that is the fallacy, someone better notify our public health leadership. That is verbatim from their policy, which I follow. I haven’t denied anything except the priority others seem to demand I place my energy toward.


  87. Is it possible to agree that if the Trump leadership had not mishandled this virus and had not tried to wish it away does-we might be more civil to each other? Yes that includes me. I will readily admit I am not as ‘nice” a person now as I was in 2016.


  88. I mostly agree, and I personally wear a mask any time I’m outside the house (even if I’m outdoors and not near anyone else) just to set a good example. And obviously anyone refusing to wear a mask *indoors* outside their home is being irresponsible and childish.

    But here’s where the nuance comes in: what if someone is walking down a not-crowded sidewalk with no mask on, in 95-degree heat? Being outdoors apparently reduces the rate of transmission by as much as 20 times. Or what if someone has a legitimate condition that makes it hard for them to wear a mask, like mental illness or dementia or intellectual disabilities? Do we rush to judge them too?

    The pandemic will end when enough members of our society take enough precautions to keep the transmission rate below 1.0 for a prolonged period of time. There are going to be some people who, for whatever reason, just don’t have the capacity to contribute as much as the rest of us to bringing that rate of transmission down, and part of being in community together is accommodating them by pulling more than our own weight. (When we do that, we may discover that the people who lack that capacity are, in fact, victims of other public health problems and injustices that need to be addressed.)


  89. And don’t get me started on malaria.

    Thanks. I survived my first coronavirus contact and 14-day quarantine. Off to… well… you already know what.


  90. The Catch-22 of pandemics is that if you respond appropriately, the number of deaths will be low and everyone will think you over-reacted. The best estimates are (still) that with no mitigations, covid-19 would have killed 1-2 million people in the US. Locking down to prevent that was perfectly justified, and if people had the strength of character to actually obey the lockdown orders and mask mandates, we’d have such low case counts right now that we’d be able to fully reopen our economy and just test and trace to keep the virus at bay.

    Instead, what we’ve got is a half-hearted lockdown followed by a somewhat mitigated pandemic – probably looking at closer to half a million deaths by next spring instead of 1-2 million. In the process the pandemic is going to do far more economic damage, as well, than it would have if we’d succeeded at locking down.


  91. Justin,

    The point is you can petition for redress to your local or state authorities. Not saying you can’t but if your local health department issues a mandatory mask requirement and they determine otherwise, what is next logical option?

    In regards to fatalities in the case you listed on needs to normalize to the number of people diagnosed with said condition to determine a mortality rate first. If one does that many of those other death causes drop lower than COVID. Second, since this was a novel coronavirus, there was very little history to go on. SARS is much more lethal that COVID-19, but doesn’t spread as easily, same thing with MERS, those were the only other examples we really had to work with.

    The response especially at the Federal level has been piss poor for the most part since January 1st and that falls squarely on the shoulders of Trump and the people in his administration. If they had not screwed up from January to March we would not be in as bad as shape. Worker smarter, not harder.

    That being said, personal responsibility goes a long way. Japan and South Korea were able to flatten the curve without any real mandates from government officials. As soon as the announcements were made, they social distanced, self-quarantined and put on masks without any prodding. Why is that? Maybe because their culture and society makes them realize they are part of a community. Of course, American selfishness, me, me, me self-absorbing materialism didn’t help. But then how many people nowadays was their hands after taking a leak? It is a sad commentary of society, manners, and such that people have to be reminded. And what takes the cake is that so-called “Christians” which in their Scriptures which they claim to believe and follow talks about denying self, living peaceably with others, and considering others more highly than yourselves do the complete opposite in the name of their liberties and freedoms. To the point a POS “pastor” pulls this crap:

    If I was the manager of that Dunkin’ Donuts, I would criminally trespass him from that store (and ask the district and regional managers to the same for all Dunkin’ Donuts in the area).


  92. At the start of this mess, when guidance was conflicting and unclear, I’d have more sympathy for that kind of nuance. We’re past that. Wearing masks cuts down risk. Period. Not perfectly, but if everyone wore them the risks would plummet. So, yeah, let’s start getting judgy about masks. Because we are only getting to the middle of this, and it’s going to get a hella lot worse before it gets better.


  93. I don’t go to work or out when I’m sick. Funny, those things are effective for Covid, too.

    And that’s the fallacy.

    If you don’t know you’re spreading how can you be effective?

    And without any lock downs every infection seems to create 4 or more new cases. Which early on doesn’t seem like much as those 4 are spread over a week or more. But it soon grows to a crisis. You’re in denial as to how Covid-19 works. So be it. Live in your denial. I pity the people you get near.


  94. @Rick Ro.,

    You are probably right. So, in that light I offer this:

    When a limited and conditioned view of “good” is erected to the level of an absolute, it immediately becomes an evil, because it excludes certain complementary elements which are required if it is to be fully good. To cling to one partial view, one limited and conditioned opinion, and to treat this as the ultimate answer to all questions is simply to “obscure the Tao” and make oneself obdurate in error. –Thomas Merton on Chuang Tze


  95. I think Rick Ro. has a point, to some degree. When we choose to apply moral judgment to actions instead of pragmatic judgment, we tend to immediately jump to extremes in a way that is not particularly helpful in this sort of situation:

    From a public health standpoint, it would be far better if we each weigh the relative risks of each of our actions and find ways to reduce the total risk, rather than taking an absolutist stance where we treat any failure to eliminate risk completely as an immoral act. That might mean, for example, that one person chooses to wear a mask whenever they’re interacting with anyone outside their household, and another chooses to form a “bubble” of 10 or fewer people who all agree to have no social contact outside that bubble, and another might live in one of the few parts of the country where the risk really *is* still lower (e.g. northern Maine).

    Part of why covid-19 mitigations have become so divisive is because people keep seizing on one single action as the silver bullet (e.g. masks) and then passing moral judgment on others based solely on whether they conform in that one way.


  96. @David L,

    Where does this policing of behaviors end? Any given year, the CDC reports 2-5 causes of death that are preventable by better collective behavior that exceed Covid-19 (granting your 3rd place prediction). Let’s just take heart disease.

    It is established fact that what we eat and how much exercise we get, smoking, drinking, etc. causes heart disease and kills people. What is offered down the aisles of your local grocery or convenience store? Who is waking us up for our morning walk? What fare is being offered at the local “greasy spoon?” What is the motivation for doing or not doing any of these things?

    Our collective behaviors (demands for cheap material to fill our bellies, the demands for profit, our demands to not suffer) are killing us. Why isn’t the local government issuing lockdowns and quarantines, universal cholesterol testing, mandatory morning calisthenics, and collective food distribution, and making beer illegal? We could save 600k lives every year. And maybe even few Covid deaths, too!

    I really am disgusted at our combined, selective self-righteousness about everyone else’s behaviors (not mine, of course). It’s a flavor of the month. If we really, truly cared about one another in our communities, we would be addressing the other things, too, in a much more intentional way.



  97. “so now I have to follow someone else’s practices or potentially be charged with killing them?”

    That’s what happens when you’re dealing with a communicable disease. When you engage in risky behavior, it endangers others as well as yourself. And the practices Mike asks of others weren’t invented by him out of thin air – it’s the concensus of experts. Because people AREN’T engaging in those practices, people are getting sick. Getting chronically ill. And dying. So no, I don’t see Mike’s tone as being provocative just for provocation’s sake. This is, in every sense of the term, a matter of life and death. Those of us in hgh risk categories have an understandable lack of patience with those who are still, at this late hour, throwing shade on the matter.

    So, if you haven’t been wearing a mask or taking other due precautions, then you *should* feel uncomfortable for it, even if you are delivering food. You can deliver food while taking precautions – it’s hardly an either-or.


  98. @David L,

    Okay, I’ll repeat this one last time (because I tire of repeating myself): My first post was not a commentary on good or bad Covid-19 behavior. Of course our behavior matters, I said as much. Please, I beg you all, read it again.


  99. Now you’re taking what Mike Bell said way out of context. And ignored his and my point.

    Poor behavior of some people is killing other people. Mike Bell may not live next to you or in your town. But there are lots of equivalent “Mike Bells” that do. And people who are not dealing with the FACT that they are may be spreading Covid-19 are killing the people around them. Because at the end of the day you just don’t know if you are spreading it or not.

    And the problem is too many people refuse to deal with this.


  100. I didn’t see Justin denying the seriousness of the situation, but we’ll probably have to agree to disagree on that perception.

    Let me share a few thoughts at the risk of a stoning by my fellow iMonkers…

    Mike Bell’s title – “You Are Killing Me!” That’s a great, provocative title. Maybe some rhetoric itself, perhaps. Why do I say that? Because he proceeds to say…


    –> “Certain things I will not do until there is a vaccine:

    Eat inside a restaurant.
    Attend a church.

    Things I will do until there is a vaccine:

    Wear a mask indoors
    Avoid crowds.
    Practice social distancing.
    The thing is, I need others to do their part as well.”


    Okay, fine. He sees the need to protect himself. I do similar thing, but I also:

    -Have eaten at an indoor restaurant, twice.
    -Gone to church, once.

    So his practices aren’t mine. I would think we could live with that, but instead, he says…


    –> “The thing is, I need others to do their part as well.

    When you participate in activities that can spread the virus, you are increasing the likelihood of me, or someone like me dying.

    When you participate in activities that can spread the virus, you are increasing the likelihood of me, or someone like me dying.”


    Umm… wait a second, so now I have to follow someone else’s practices or potentially be charged with killing them? Would that include those rioting in the streets for racial justice? How about the fact that two days a week for thirteen of the past sixteen weeks I’ve been participating in a community outreach “food distribution for the needy” alongside 20-25 other people? Am I to be charged with killing Mike Bell or someone else because I’ve decided to participate in that?

    Commence stone throwing and belitting. I’m ready.


  101. @David L,

    I live 2000+ miles away from Mike Bell. I will likely never come in contact with him personally. I know the risk I pose to him–zero.

    My [good or bad] behavior will have zero effect on Mr. Bell, period. Unless I’ve angered him with my rejoinder, here. But in that case I pose no Covid risk, it’s something else on the list.

    And, yes, I have tried to minimize that risk, too.


  102. Let’s see. You list the top 10 various causes of death in the US. (I’m assuming these are annual numbers.)

    Nine of the items in your list are not caused by others in any way like Covid-19.

    Accidents – maybe some of them but most are not.

    So you list 10 things and only one has any relation (but only in a subset) to the way someone’s behavior can cause serious harm to others the way Covid-19 can. And even within that list Covid-19 will be at least #3 after a year. (It may be #3 now I haven’t checked the daily numbers.) And if we keep being careless it just might beat out #2 or even #1.

    Again, it all has to do with how with Covid-19 poor behavior on the part of a few can wreak the lives of the rest.


  103. @CM,

    So you may want to read up those and get back to me.
    I am well aware of the case history. I never said government’s didn’t have the authority to do what they have done… I agree they do.

    Whether they overreacted is a different question
    This is exactly my question. I say they did and have acted poorly during it. Much at the behest of the public, much not. So if I don’t like it, I’m free to leave? That is an interesting response. Can I not have any redress of my grievances? Do I have any right to petition for better?

    You will notice how far down the CDC list influenza is. I get my flu shot yearly. I wash my hands and cover my mouth when I cough or sneeze. I don’t go to work or out when I’m sick. Funny, those things are effective for Covid, too. That addresses maybe 10 of my 1000+ death risks.


  104. And no, Mike Bell, I am not killing you

    The problem is you do not know if you are killing him directly. Unless you are tested daily with results in hours you just don’t know. So your position is “since I’m ignorant of the risk I pose individually I get to pose the risk.”

    This is a really cruel and selfish way to look at the world.

    If I can’t see a direction connection from my bad behavior to the harm to a specific person, my behavior is OK and I’ll just keep doing it.


  105. A couple of things.

    For starters, there is ample SCOTUS and court precedent that give local and state authorities wide leeway in quarantines and for public health:

    In the landmark 1824 case Gibbons v. Ogden, striking down a New York law regulating steamboats, Chief Justice John Marshall described laws “most advantageously exercised by the States themselves “ include “inspection laws, quarantine laws, health laws of every description.”

    Compagnie Francaise de Navigation a Vapeur v. Louisiana Board of Health, 186 U.S. 380 (1902)

    Jacobson v. Massachusetts, 197 U.S. 11 (1905)

    So you may want to read up those and get back to me.

    Second, under the principle of federalism, enforcement of quarantine laws is left to the states and localities. If you don’t like it, you are free to move to another state or city.

    Whether they overreacted is a different question. But to say they don’t have the authority to do so, is clearly incorrect.

    Another thing is how many people are tested or come down with the flu compared to deaths. You will find that the proportion is much higher. The deaths compared to cases needs to be compared.


  106. I’m not in the mood to play rhetorical games with someone who denies the seriousness of the situation.


  107. I read some of Ayn Rand’s stuff, but deep philosopher she wasn’t. You really need to read your Burke, Mill, and others. She herself was quite contrarian given that she took Social Security in her later years.

    If conservative (or rather libertarian/classical liberal) political philosophy was a steak, then Rand would be the mystery meat you had when you were eating school lunch in elementary school (or the meat in any gas station packaged sandwich).


  108. If the manager of the Dunkin Donuts and his regional manager file a criminal complaint, you bet they will. Especially if the asshat pulls the same stunt.

    Remember this is a Dunkin’ Donuts. So it is pretty easy to get the local LEO attention. 😀


  109. @CM, @Stephen:

    A careful reading of my first post will show you that I did not/do not suggest no precautions. Precautions are not my point. Further, in no case of the CDC list, nor smoking, nor any other “public health threat”, did the government demand we suddenly and willingly surrender our livelihoods, homes, and liberties, and allow a bunch of unelected officials and bureaucrats to start acting like unaccountable despots. The elected ones are no better, BTW.

    Finally, in the end, I get to wear it from many who willingly ignore what I actually wrote and declare me [insert favorite ad-hominem here]. This is all for having the audacious temerity to dare to posit that the the current pandemic response is disproportionate to the risk, when compared to other of life’s risks.

    And no, Mike Bell, I am not killing you and I feel no guilt in rejecting your scold, or anyone else’s. I am no, nor will I be ever a, threat to you or anyone else here or anywhere. Do what you gotta do.

    Fire away.


  110. The response many of you have had to Justin strikes me as reprehensible. A person shares his counterpoints and gets blasted and beyond blasted. What happened to letting people dissent freely, without the kneejerk reaction of shaming?

    I was going to share some of my own thoughts, but will hold them in. And no, I’m not a Trumper, and I’m not a conservative, and I’m not whatever else you would think you am if you knew my thoughts, but I don’t want stones thrown at me…

    Some of you here are as bad as you claim the right is.


  111. Justin, you’re not nearly as smart as you think you are.

    Yes He Is!


  112. Ayn Rand made a whole philosophy out of callousness and indifference. And it’s telling that a lot of conservatives (and all too many Christians) are huge fans.

    The Gospel of Personal Salvation and ONLY Personal Salvation is at heart a very Selfish gospel.


  113. In response to specific mitigation efforts for those preventable causes, I submit there are several.

    1) Better nutrition information requirements on food packages.
    2) The various health studies that confirmed the risk factors for heart disease, stroke, etc.
    3) Insurance policies that provide better rates for people who do not smoke, etc.
    4) OSHA workplace safety rules, DOT car crash specifications, etc. which have all reduced accidental death.
    5) Annual flu vaccines which has reduced flu deaths.

    Those are all the protocols set up which do have an economic effect, are governmental rules, etc.


  114. Justin,

    Of course much of that list is tied into lifestyle and YES that pesky thing called personal responsibility that conservatives supposedly champion. Much of the risk of COVID-19 is cause by a lack of personal responsibility (like wearing masks, hanging out with crowds indoors, etc.).

    If somebody wants to smoke 2 packs a day or eat nothing but fried food and donuts, then that is their responsibility. Which means if they get cancer, heart disease, diabetes, etc, then it is their responsibility (or rather lack of personal responsibility).

    Of course all those conditions are chronic and build-up over the long term. COVID-19 is an acute disease which can be mitigated at the onset.


  115. I’m not sure anything changed. They just came to the point of choosing between those principles and a last grab for cultural and political power… And made their choice.


  116. Can you say criminal complaint? Can you say criminal trespass warning? I knew you could.

    Have the local LEOs come by and inform him he is criminally trespassed from all Dunkin’ Donuts and if he shows up on any of their property, arrest him for criminal trespass.


  117. Justin, you’re not nearly as smart as you think you are. Tropical Storm Isaias is bearing down on where I live this very evening.. We expect upwards of 65 mph winds. Should I not take precautions simply because way more people will die from cancer this year than will die from the storm?


  118. I spent 40 or more years as a Southern Baptist. When I was in my formative years the Church leaders taught me and others certain life principles that obviously are no longer taught. What changed? I feel deceived!


  119. “I intentionally did not write what I do or don’t do regarding virus protocols and masks.”

    Anyone who *would* wear a mask would have no need to write what you did, either in content or length. Your attempt at evasion has failed.


  120. Trump has done his best to make callousness and indifference into virtues denoting “strength.” Too many Christians seem to have been convinced.


  121. That would be the only good that I can see out of the fundy Evangelical determination to get people killed for “defending their religious rights.”t


  122. Spoken like a true Trumper–you sure wasted a lot of your time trying to make a false equivalency. You do not care about other’s dying-I get it.


  123. How interesting. I’m not sure any of you actually read what I wrote. TL;DR I suppose.

    I intentionally did not write what I do or don’t do regarding virus protocols and masks. You’ve already decided what I do to suit you, so the facts don’t matter. With all that nasty reality out of the way, the sight-picture is clear to paste whatever convenient label onto me that, again, suits you.

    Now, with my complaints out of the way, actual readers of my post will note that I addressed a few statements from the OP that I think have gone with much too little pushback: You Are Killing Me!, and I hope you can live with the guilt. Read the post if you care about what my response is.

    FWIW, I follow my local governments’ health policies (masks and social distance, etc.), I follow my workplace’s policies (remote work, masks, disinfection, social distance, etc.) and I encourage others to do the same. My post’s statements can be summed up in this way: the response is out of proportion for the risk, especially when compared to other daily risks. From the CDC:

    Leading Causes of Death (Data are for the U.S. 2017)
    Number of deaths for leading causes of death
    Heart disease: 647,457
    Cancer: 599,108
    Accidents (unintentional injuries): 169,936
    Chronic lower respiratory diseases: 160,201
    Stroke (cerebrovascular diseases): 146,383
    Alzheimer’s disease: 121,404
    Diabetes: 83,564
    Influenza and pneumonia: 55,672
    Nephritis, nephrotic syndrome, and nephrosis: 50,633
    Intentional self-harm (suicide): 47,173

    Where is the global, governmental, health departmental response, protocols, and suspension of liberties and economic shutdown, to these preventable causes of death? 2.1M people in the USA.

    Again, FWIW, I have had family, friends, and close loved ones die from each of these top 10. Multiple for some. Covid-19, too. And I have my own case of Type-1 diabetes along with my son.

    Bottom line: I have bigger fish to fry than Covid-19. I would argue that the rest of you do, as well.


  124. I am ashamed of myself that I did not figure out how callous and indifferent many conservatives and or conservatives were to around 2016. IMO prior to 2016 these folk at least kept these views hidden, but now they seem prideful about being callous and indifferent.


  125. The position you’ve taken in your comment had been used to argue against banning smoking in public spaces. Banning smoking in public spaces was nevertheless legislated throughout the country, and the health benefits from that ban have been immense and life-saving.


  126. Funny how people like this only get cavalier about death and fate when called upon to make even small sacrifices on behalf of others…


  127. Ayn Rand made a whole philosophy out of callousness and indifference. And it’s telling that a lot of conservatives (and all too many Christians) are huge fans.


  128. > We fool ourselves to think we can control any of it.

    Fallacy of the Disambiguated Middle.

    You certainly do have control, you admitted it:”””Some I bring upon myself, others are completely random. Some threats I take on for recreational purposes, others to secure a livelihood”””

    Lacking absolute control does not leave at inability to “control any of it”.


  129. In the long run I suspect we will be grateful for the likes of MacArthur. They revealed the truth about Evangelicalism which will make it so much easier for many to move on.


  130. More than 150,000 fellow Americans are dead and that is his best response-pitiful! Maybe that is how that number got to 150,000 and will get to an even higher number if some people are this callous. I sincerely hope he or someone close to him does not die of Cov-19 because they would not take even basic precautions.


  131. I am just waiting for him to get COVID-19 and die actually. I can nominate him for a Darwin Award just like Herman Cain. Which reminds me of a Herman Cain joke I found online:

    What did Herman Cain say when they tried to put a mask on him?

    “Nein, Nein, Nein”


  132. Next time the Space-X will not send out the landing coordinates. So this will never happen again.

    Second, I would not be surprised if an armed security detail will be on the recovery ship next time.


  133. Indeed. I have been watching John MacArthur and others of his ilk standing up for “religious freedom” by defying authorities and holding in-person church services. He and the others belong in jail for what they’re doing to their congregations. “Depraved indifference,” maybe? They’re the worst examples of Christians, while patting themselves on the back for being the best.


  134. Justin are you so unwilling to be even slightly inconvenienced to lower the risk of somebody dying? Don’t try to mask your own callousness and indifference in philosophy, please! (Pun intended.)


  135. This. So much this! And I’d recommend a recall campaign for the governors of every state who makes similar demands for their schools to re-open in person this Fall. There is NOWHERE in this country where that is safe, and the results of such a policy would be catastrophic–more catastrophic than our current policies are already.


  136. Unfortunately, Dr. Brix is right. We’re not even trying to control our share of the pandemic.We need timely testing. We need national policies at this point, and we’re not going to get them with our present “leadership.” We need to enforce what the experts say we need to do: wear masks when we go out, keep social distance, avoid crowds, isolate if you’ve been exposed–it boils down to “care about each other, not just yourself.” But we seem to have become selfish children, led by a selfish child, determined to do what we want to do when we want to do it. Far too many of us, for a variety of reasons–youth, faith, too much Fox News, whatever–refuse to believe in the seriousness of COVID-19 until it makes someone we know, or someone we love, terribly sick, or kills them. We have to do better than this. If it takes serious punishment, rather than persuasion, for not following the rules–and at this point, or as soon as we can enact them,those rules need to be national in scope–so be it. Freedom must not mean the freedom to risk the lives of other people.


  137. Justin: Who removed your heart and are you channeling The Great and Wonderful Oz-Trump. Are you just trolling today? Do you consider yourself a “Christian.”


  138. Thank you for speaking truth. This is a much needed message.
    Personally, I have lost what little confidence I had in America and Americans as a result of the pandemic. A certain callous selfishness and impatience seems to be pervasive among a sizable number of Americans.
    And this certainly includes many in positions of power and authority.
    My employer just told us 18 employees tested positive in July but they are continuing to make almost everyone return to the work site. I am able to work from home only because I have a strongly worded letter from my doctor verifying my high risk status, but my colleagues have to return and risk their lives needlessly (we have jobs that can easily be done completely remotely).
    A friend was called a snowflake for wearing a mask.
    Another overheard a man in a store telling his son, “Real Americans don’t wear masks.”
    Almost every day I hear about churches in our state defying the government’s order and meeting indoors. JMac’s church is probably the most blatant but there are numerous others.
    The isolation is difficult but necessary. But what is really depressing is to watch such a complete social failure on every level and be able to do little or nothing about it.


  139. So all of this is basically a long way of saying, “COVID is just another risk, and although it’s simple to mitigate I won’t because it’s too inconvenient”?


  140. I live a life where a thousand things can kill me and those around me, all day every day. If you are honest with yourself, you will agree that so do you. Some of those threats can be mitigated, but most cannot. Some I bring upon myself, others are completely random. Some threats I take on for recreational purposes, others to secure a livelihood. To now, I have just simply been incredibly incidental/lucky/ fortunate/blessed–call it whatever you want. And generally speaking, I don’t lose a wink of sleep over any of it. I wake up every morning, and on particularly pensive days, I might spend a second or two evaluating those risks before rolling out of bed to have a cup of coffee and expose myself to death all over again.

    We fool ourselves to think we can control any of it. Covid makes the number of threats reach 1000+1. I check off several of the high-risk factors myself, so the number soars to 1007.

    No one is killing anyone else (except the gangs in Chicago and jilted lovers everywhere). Wearing masks slows the droplets carrying SARSCoV2. Wearing masks does not stop fists, knives, or bullets, or bad brakes on a semi-tractor trailer, or bad electrical wiring hidden in my house. Social distancing doesn’t hold back flooding, or prevent carotid aneurysms. I–we all–live a contingent life. Me making it through today is contingent that the right butterfly flaps its wings in Singapore. The great lie is not that Covid is a hoax or [insert favorite lie here], it is that all of this scientific information and policy, and people following it, will save you.

    You may not die of Covid-19… so what? You still will die, and sooner than you think. All of this policing, enforcement, hand-wringing, virtue-signaling, and guilt tripping will have absolutely no effect on that.

    So, why not mind your own business and get on with living? Before it’s too late?


  141. Has anyone but me been watching the spectacle of John McArthur “standing up to the government”?

    Ouch. What do you do after that? Beat your head with a ball-peen hammer? Gargle with vinegar? Attend a Pauly Shore revival film festival?


  142. “Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest you be like him yourself. Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own eyes.”

    Decisions, decisions…


  143. >> I hope you can live with the guilt.

    I slept like a baby last night and will sleep even better tonight.

    You’re incredibly selfish. Get over yourself.


  144. Has anyone but me been watching the spectacle of John McArthur “standing up to the government”?

    Might have a little more impact if his church (like a lot of Megas) didn’t worship Caesar Trump above Christ.



    I was watching the splashdown and recovery of Crew Dragon yesterday on YouTube livestream. A lot of civilian boats had mobbed the recovery side off Pensacola; while most of them kept their distance and let the recovery crew do their thing, one or two photobombed the camera, getting between the camera and the capsule. Like the John 3:16 Guy, except with a big TRUMP 2020 flag.

    Which caused wild cheering in the live chat log, which was already running around 1/3 to 1/2 of the chat tweets being THANK YOU PRESIDENT TRUMP… THANK YOU PRESIDENT TRUMP… THANK YOU PRESIDENT TRUMP…

    I finally had to hid the chat log because of all the MAGA spamming.


  146. And don’t forget “the Long Tail”, permanent damage to the heart, liver, circulation…

    Just on the radio now, confirmation of permanent heart damage; three months later, some still have the virus active in their heart muscles and coronary arteries.


  147. The country has no control over this, now we have to depend almost completely on the goodness of our average follow Americans to take necessary personal measures to protect their neighbors….



  148. It’s America’s favorite pastime: Personal Comfort vs.Collective Responsibility! Two enter, one leaves, and no one asks any deep questions about why the loser never had a chance in the first place. American History, an all-new episode (and by “all-new,” we mean it’s the exact same episode, because no one ever learns anything).


  149. The problem with the masks is that usage was framed incorrectly right from the start. While they do provide a modicum of self-protection they are primarily intended to protect OTHER PEOPLE from US. Here’s where the process breaks down. Asking Americans to put their fellows ahead of themselves is just one bridge too far. Is there a more self-absorbed people on the face of the earth?

    Has anyone but me been watching the spectacle of John McArthur “standing up to the government”? It would be amusing if it wasn’t so reckless and dangerous. But his flavor of belief defines itself as “persecuted” anyway and this is just another opportunity to exploit that mindset.

    What worries me is all the folks taking a perfect opportunity to not learn from our mistakes. Surely this will not be the last of these diseases spread because of the ubiquity of international travel. There is nowhere to hide anymore. What about NEXT TIME/


  150. That’s what happens when you allow a predatory health care system to strip rural areas of hospitals and medical facilities because no profit.


  151. > Almost everyone talks about the death vs. recovers to live rates

    It is also deeply “unfair”; in a baffling way.

    Comparing my deep-blue urban zip codes to those not that far away blood-red rural zip codes – – – their mortality rate is 4X, that’s 400%, higher. It’s just wild. Like, come on people.


  152. Let’s see how I remember comments my 2nd cousin made to my brother on FB over the last month or so across several posts

    I’ll never take a Covid-19 vaccine. Well at least not for 5 or 6 years. Until it has be vetted. (and by implication his wife and kids)

    Everyone knows the flu vaccine causes the flu.

    The only thing I’ll take are natural things that enhance my body immune system. Like hydroxylquine.

    My brother just metaphorically walked away.


  153. I totally agree with this post.

    But I want to make a point. Almost everyone talks about the death vs. recovers to live rates as if it is a binary thing. Just because you don’t die doesn’t mean your life isn’t wreaked for a year or the rest of your life.

    I’d take that 10% and say somewhere north another 10% will have terrible outcomes and another 10% be much worse off than a case of the flu. (I’ve not come across the stats for this just summaries. Maybe there are no stats yet. And yes, it will vary by age.)

    Anyone want to voluntarily go on a ventilator for a week or few, maybe in an induced coma, then tell us how great you life is afterwards?


  154. On top of all this, you have the governor of Arizona saying that any school district that does not fully open this fall will get it’s state subsidies cut by 5%.

    If I were an Arizona resident, I’d be organizing a recall campaign right now.


  155. This pandemic is spreading precisely because so many people in the US are not capable of an adult level of maturity, responsibility, self-denial, or morality. It’s spreading because so many people feel like such failures when measured against the yardstick of grown-up behavior that they’ve fled into childishness as a way of telling the world, “Don’t make grown-up demands of me.” And it’s spreading because many US subcultures and much of the media we consume support and defend that sort of childish adulthood.

    The idea that someone else’s life could depend on our actions is, quite simply, too heavy a moral burden for many people in the US to bear.


  156. Dr. Birx is giving apocalyptic-like warnings re: the virus in the US at this point. She says it is throughout rural areas now, not just urban ones. She says people who live in multi-generational homes should assume they have it, and wear masks even in their homes, and that 300,000 deaths by end of year is possible, or even worse. The country has no control over this, now we have to depend almost completely on the goodness of our average follow Americans to take necessary personal measures to protect their neighbors — but I don’t place much trust in that goodness, it’s more legendary than actual.


  157. This goes for Australia too!
    Keep us alert Michael.

    Some folks can say ‘what if’.
    ‘What if’ can be illess or death to those we love the most and the passer by on the street, who we do not know personally but who deserves our best consideration.
    Small price to pay for our good efforts.

    I saw John today but the nursing home thinks it will go into lockdown again this week.
    I blew him kisses and told him I loved him.I am not allowed to go close or touch him.
    What more can I do, not much.
    I received no response. Just a vacant stare.

    May we all take care of each other treating each other as we would wish to be treated.
    I think I have heard that refrain before?!



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