21 votes

Now is not the time to lose our humanity: Some DOs and DO NOTs

I've seen a lot of different attitudes towards the virus and I want to talk about one of the more toxic ones.

You might think I'm referring to people attending lockdown parties or other dumb things like that; no. I am referring to those who usually mean well, but forget to remain human in the process. Please read on, because this might be something you yourself are doing without realizing it.

The last few weeks have been, and the coming months are going to be, a time of careful balance. You might hear politicians say they "want to fight the virus without creating a bigger problem"; usually it's about the economy, but it applies to everyone on a personal level as well.

  • DO: Treat this virus seriously. Through collective action, we can limit its spread and its deadliness.

  • DO NOT: Become selfish. I'm not just talking about "fuck you, got mine" hoarding. I am talking about prioritizing your own health above everyone else's. (Caveat: this obviously applies to different people, differently. Especially if you are at risk, now may the time to be a little selfish, without being ungrateful to those who would help of course.)

  • DO NOT look down on people you see going out; you don't know why they're out. Maybe they have to be because they're part of the ones who still have to go out to keep the world running right now. Maybe it's the first time they go out in two weeks and they direly need it not to become depressed. The virus, and the measures to tackle it, affect many people differently.

  • DO NOT deprioritize mental health. Yesterday, I've heard someone laugh when I mentioned that. In the past decade, the world has made great progress towards accepting mental health as important. It still is; the virus does not change that.

  • DO: Check up on your friends, family and neighbours. Ask how you can help and be there for each other. Be neighbourly, as they say. If you're out and see someone else, give them a smile, they very likely need it right now.

  • DO NOT treat health workers like they have the plague. You know those people clapping at their windows "for health workers" at 8PM every day? Maybe you're part of them. Yet I've heard several stories of people not-at-risk who aren't willing to be in the same room as a nurse or doctor. Obviously, this doesn't just go for health workers, but they are those most affected by it. So be careful.

  • DO: Read up on (or maybe simply remember) the AIDS scare of the 80s. There is a lot to learn from the way humans treated each other at that time. A lot of lessons to learn so that we don't repeat them. I know it's scary for a lot of people, but right now, the world needs kindness.

  • Most of all: DO NOT stop hugging your loved ones when they need it. I don't want to live in a world where this statement is controversial. Be careful, but be human.

37 comments

  1. [24]
    Algernon_Asimov
    Link
    I understand your sentiments, and I support most of what you've written here, but this point really needs to be clarified: It's okay to hug people you live with. It's not okay to hug people you...

    I understand your sentiments, and I support most of what you've written here, but this point really needs to be clarified:

    Most of all: DO NOT stop hugging your loved ones when they need it.

    It's okay to hug people you live with. It's not okay to hug people you don't live with. Each separate household is its own little defensive enclave. The whole point of lockdown is to keep those enclaves apart. If the coronavirus invades one household, it needs to be stopped at that household, and not be carried to another household. We need to surround and contain the virus, not share it. Our only weapon against this virus for now is distance. We need to keep our distance.

    11 votes
    1. [23]
      Adys
      Link Parent
      This is where the "be careful" comes in, and where there is also a balance to strike between mental and physical health. Quite obviously: Don't be daft by rubbing yourself in the metro and then go...

      This is where the "be careful" comes in, and where there is also a balance to strike between mental and physical health.

      Quite obviously: Don't be daft by rubbing yourself in the metro and then go around hugging people. But if you're careful and wash your hands & face before and after, yes you can still hug your loved ones. And you absolutely fucking should, because everyone needs it more than ever right now.

      I mentioned a close friend's grandfather died. She's a nurse. She's fucking overworked right now and very likely has the virus. Did I hug her when she told me that? OF COURSE I did. I still washed my hands and face afterwards. And if I still catch the damn thing? Well then what, will I really regret hugging one of my closest friends in her time of greatest need?

      The virus as a whole is greatly slowed down by social distancing, and as a whole that is the goal. But individual, measured action does not greatly affect that (once again: it doesn't mean you shouldn't be careful).

      Think of climate change: It's depressing how individual action cannot greatly affect the world as a whole, right? The upshot being that if the world as a whole is actually pushing through that collective action, then your individual action still doesn't greatly affect the world as a whole. For once, there's a good side to that story.

      Yes it's different, because in this case, individual action can have a direct individual consequence, hence why you should still be careful. And yet, it's so deeply important, because that one point is where I feel most people lose their humanity.

      5 votes
      1. [21]
        Algernon_Asimov
        Link Parent
        Who do you live with? Who else are you in contact with? If you have the coronavirus, who else will you infect? You might not care if you get sick but will you care if you infect someone else? Once...

        And if I still catch the damn thing? Well then what, will I really regret hugging one of my closest friends in her time of greatest need?

        Who do you live with? Who else are you in contact with? If you have the coronavirus, who else will you infect? You might not care if you get sick but will you care if you infect someone else?

        Once the virus is in a household, it's very hard to stop it spreading to the other people living there - especially when the infected person has no idea they're infected.

        Don't let the coronavirus inside your house. If it's already in, don't let it out. Be the dead end. Be the missing link in the chain.

        8 votes
        1. [20]
          Adys
          Link Parent
          I feel like the rest of my post covers those aspects pretty well, and regardless all fall under the "be careful" and "treat this virus seriously". I would highly advise you that if you find that...

          Who do you live with? Who else are you in contact with? If you have the coronavirus, who else will you infect? You might not care if you get sick but will you care if you infect someone else?

          I feel like the rest of my post covers those aspects pretty well, and regardless all fall under the "be careful" and "treat this virus seriously".

          I would highly advise you that if you find that particular point to be controversial, you are one of the people I am writing this post for, and should consider every point very closely. This isn't a bad thing mind you, and I've refrained from telling people not to be overly careful, but quite frankly I've been more and more shocked the last two days at how some close friends have behaved towards me and towards a few of my friends to the point that I can't not bring this up.

          3 votes
          1. [19]
            Algernon_Asimov
            Link Parent
            If even my own father moved in for a hug right now, I would step back. I love him, so I don't want to expose him to any possible risk. Other family members, close friends, colleagues, everyone,...

            If even my own father moved in for a hug right now, I would step back. I love him, so I don't want to expose him to any possible risk. Other family members, close friends, colleagues, everyone, will get similar treatments. I'll wave at them from 1.5 metres away, but that's it.

            I will not follow advice that will put people I care about at risk. I don't care how well-meaning that advice might be. Even strangers deserve better treatment from me than to possibly expose them to a potentially fatal virus. Treating this virus seriously means not exposing myself or others to the risk of infection.

            You mentioned the AIDS epidemic. I remember that. I lived through it as a sexually active gay man (and am still HIV-negative). I know all about protecting myself and others from infections. I've had decades of practice. The method of protection these days might be distance instead of condoms, but the principle is the same.

            9 votes
            1. [18]
              Adys
              Link Parent
              I'm not telling you to hug strangers. And I'm certainly not telling you to put high-risk people at risk of dying. But I will remind you that the people you care about might be in the situation...

              I'm not telling you to hug strangers. And I'm certainly not telling you to put high-risk people at risk of dying.

              But I will remind you that the people you care about might be in the situation where they'd gladly risk a week in the hospital for some normal human affection. Especially given the risk.

              Maybe I'm wrong and they all are lucky enough not to be in that situation. But don't dismiss this, please.

              4 votes
              1. [14]
                Algernon_Asimov
                Link Parent
                Let them get their affection and their infection from someone else. I'm not going to be responsible for putting someone in hospital.

                But I will remind you that the people you care about might be in the situation where they'd gladly risk a week in the hospital for some normal human affection.

                Let them get their affection and their infection from someone else. I'm not going to be responsible for putting someone in hospital.

                8 votes
                1. [13]
                  Adys
                  Link Parent
                  I'm sorry but this is what I'm getting at: You don't seem to care about what they want, you just don't want to be personally responsible for what happens to them. A lot of parallels I could draw...

                  I'm sorry but this is what I'm getting at: You don't seem to care about what they want, you just don't want to be personally responsible for what happens to them.

                  A lot of parallels I could draw here. Once again, asking you not to dismiss this just because it makes you uncomfortable and disturbs beliefs you've held for only a few weeks.

                  1 vote
                  1. [6]
                    Algernon_Asimov
                    (edited )
                    Link Parent
                    Actually, this belief goes back much longer than that. It was first codified by Hippocrates in his oath for doctors: "First, do no harm." And then there's my namesake's First Law of Robotics:...

                    because it makes you uncomfortable and disturbs beliefs you've held for only a few weeks.

                    Actually, this belief goes back much longer than that. It was first codified by Hippocrates in his oath for doctors: "First, do no harm." And then there's my namesake's First Law of Robotics: "[Algernon] may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm." That principle is the central tenet of my entire personal philosophy.

                    When I was in my late teens / early twenties, a friend of mine described me as an "ethical hedonist": I'm here to enjoy myself, but never if it harms others. Even before I consciously adopted this as the core of my personal philosophy in my 30s, I was doing it subconsciously.

                    Sure, the coronavirus and its associated doctrine of social distancing might only be weeks old, but the principle which causes me to adhere so strongly to that doctrine is decades old for me, and millennia old for humanity: it is wrong to cause harm to other people.

                    4 votes
                    1. [5]
                      Adys
                      Link Parent
                      Obviously neither of us wants harm to happen to those around us. My point being though that "harm" may also encompass psychological harm. To come back to the example from earlier: My friend is in...

                      Obviously neither of us wants harm to happen to those around us. My point being though that "harm" may also encompass psychological harm.

                      To come back to the example from earlier: My friend is in tears and told me she just lost her grandfather. I am very unlikely to have the virus, but she is more likely than not to have it as she is a health worker. Do I hug her?

                      Yes: I risk physical harm to my own health.

                      No: I guarantee psychological harm.

                      It's the trolley problem, except that if you do nothing, you are guaranteed to hit someone. If you do something, you might hit someone (more likely yourself than the other person, in that instance).

                      2 votes
                      1. [4]
                        Algernon_Asimov
                        Link Parent
                        To me, there's something missing from this side of the equation. If I get infected, I will also infect others. I've read articles which say the coronavirus is most contagious just before the...

                        Yes: I risk physical harm to my own health.

                        To me, there's something missing from this side of the equation. If I get infected, I will also infect others.

                        I've read articles which say the coronavirus is most contagious just before the infected person develops symptoms. So I won't know I'm contagious until it's too late. That means that, at the very least, I'll infect my housemate. I might also infect some random worker at my local supermarket. And then there's the people they might infect (my housemate is unable to work from home due to the nature of his work, and because he's a semi-essential worker). And so on, out along the multi-branch exponential tree of infections with me as the starting point. It's not just me who's at risk of harm if I get infected.

                        So, in your analogy of the trolley problem, there's two outcomes:

                        • Causing physical harm to at least one other person, possibly exponentially more.

                        • Causing psychological harm to one person.

                        I can eliminate a whole tree of possible infections by keeping my distance. The numbers are therefore in favour of not hugging.

                        5 votes
                        1. [3]
                          Adys
                          Link Parent
                          I don't think it's correct to assume you will infect others, if you take even basic precautions. I also don't think it's correct to say that should you infect others, you're personally responsible...

                          I don't think it's correct to assume you will infect others, if you take even basic precautions.

                          I also don't think it's correct to say that should you infect others, you're personally responsible for every case in your tree: If on average the virus reaches X% of the population over a period T (where X very certainly will be high and T hopefully will be high), then that tree will likely form, whether you have any involvement in it or not. If Dave infects 10 people, the person who infected Dave isn't responsible: Had Dave not caught it from that person, they may have caught it from another.

                          The question is, after it's all said and done, will you have lost your humanity in the process?

                          Look, I'm trying to say there's a balance to strike, and going to one extreme is as irresponsible as going to another. I'm not trying to say "you should be careless, you should hug random strangers and kiss people at risk on the mouth".

                          I don't think "complete avoidance" is "condoms". Complete avoidance is complete avoidance of everyone for fear they're HIV positive. I'm suggesting condoms: Do what you do, but do it safely. And sure, don't have irresponsible sex contacts if at risk / with those at risk, especially at a time like now. Nethertheless, don't stop having sex hugging the people you love entirely, especially those who need it.

                          2 votes
                          1. [2]
                            Algernon_Asimov
                            Link Parent
                            I think we've reached the end of this discussion. I've made my point and you've made yours. I feel like anything I say from now on will just be repeating myself. Take care.

                            I think we've reached the end of this discussion. I've made my point and you've made yours. I feel like anything I say from now on will just be repeating myself.

                            Take care.

                            5 votes
                            1. Adys
                              Link Parent
                              I agree, thanks for chatting :)

                              I agree, thanks for chatting :)

                              1 vote
                  2. [6]
                    cfabbro
                    (edited )
                    Link Parent
                    Yeesh... if this continues on its current trajectory it might end up being the first time a topic gets locked even though it's only two people participating in it. Y'all both should just walk away...

                    Yeesh... if this continues on its current trajectory it might end up being the first time a topic gets locked even though it's only two people participating in it. Y'all both should just walk away from this particular interaction IMO, since your argument here is clearly escalating, it's getting personal now, and neither of you is looking like you will ever see eye to eye here.

                    @algernon_asimov too.

                    2 votes
                    1. vivaria
                      (edited )
                      Link Parent
                      🤔 Curious ↗️ Off-topic I wonder if this could be helped if there were easier ways to indicate tone/emotion through text. A radical suggestion: Add a mood/tone option for each comment. Just, a...

                      🤔 Curious ↗️ Off-topic

                      I wonder if this could be helped if there were easier ways to indicate tone/emotion through text.

                      A radical suggestion: Add a mood/tone option for each comment. Just, a little selector of feelings before you submit each comment, kind of like the status updates on old school messenger clients. Maybe an emoji and/or descriptor shows up somewhere.

                      It would add clutter and probably wouldn't be the highest-priority feature, but I like the idea of experimenting with communication for the sake of community-building.

                      🔄 Edit: Eh, maybe not a selector. Self-tagging comments could be neat for this, though.

                      4 votes
                    2. [3]
                      Algernon_Asimov
                      Link Parent
                      What? I'm fine. I'm not offended or upset or angry, and I'm not likely to be. @Adys and I are expressing our different opinions politely, civilly, and calmly. I understand his point of view. I...

                      What? I'm fine. I'm not offended or upset or angry, and I'm not likely to be. @Adys and I are expressing our different opinions politely, civilly, and calmly. I understand his point of view. I respect his argument. I just happen to disagree with it.

                      3 votes
                      1. [2]
                        cfabbro
                        Link Parent
                        Fair enough... you're a better man than I.

                        Fair enough... you're a better man than I.

                        1. Algernon_Asimov
                          Link Parent
                          I think we've seen time and time again here that I'm not a better man. ;) But this debate isn't one of those times. I'm fine. And so is Adys. Back off, Dad! :P

                          I think we've seen time and time again here that I'm not a better man. ;)

                          But this debate isn't one of those times. I'm fine. And so is Adys.

                          Back off, Dad! :P

                          3 votes
                    3. Adys
                      Link Parent
                      @algernon_asimov's arguments are valid and he's not the only one holding them, which is why I'm trying to continue addressing them directly. If I was too abrasive addressing them, I'm sorry.

                      @algernon_asimov's arguments are valid and he's not the only one holding them, which is why I'm trying to continue addressing them directly. If I was too abrasive addressing them, I'm sorry.

                      2 votes
              2. [3]
                DanBC
                (edited )
                Link Parent
                1% risk of death for all ages over 18. That risk significantly increases for all ages who are hospitalised. You need to re-assess your understanding of the risks of being hospitalised for covid-19...

                situation where they'd gladly risk a week in the hospital for some normal human affection. Especially given the risk.

                1% risk of death for all ages over 18. That risk significantly increases for all ages who are hospitalised.

                You need to re-assess your understanding of the risks of being hospitalised for covid-19 because you've got it badly wrong. The reason we're commandeering ice-rinks to act as temporary morgues, and we're getting car makers to build healthcare ventilators, is because the prognosis for hospitalised covid-19 patients is not good.

                You're going by the Wuhan data, but it's likely a lot of that is wrong.

                "All of our ICU patients are in their 50s or younger": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ejlbCmRJMW4

                3 votes
                1. Adys
                  Link Parent
                  I'm not going by Wuhan data (I've pretty much ignored Chinese data altogether); I've been knee-deep doing volunteer covid19 data work for the past two weeks and have talked extensively to health...

                  I'm not going by Wuhan data (I've pretty much ignored Chinese data altogether); I've been knee-deep doing volunteer covid19 data work for the past two weeks and have talked extensively to health care workers here in belgium.

                  The reason we're commandeering ice-rinks to act as temporary morgues, and we're getting car makers to build healthcare ventilators, is because the prognosis for hospitalised covid-19 patients is not good.

                  The reason some countries are commandeering ice rinks to act as morgues (and similar measures) is because they have an influx of covid-positive corpses at a time where a lot of the world is shutting down.

                  The reason we're requiring car makers to build ventilators is because there's a mass, worldwide, surge in the need for ventilators.

                  Neither of those things say much about mortality rate, and certainly not about what I wrote. When I say "given the risk", let's be clear about what risk I'm talking about: Touching a covid-positive person is not a 100% risk of infection. And with proper precautions, it's actually fairly low. The data you can look at: Health care workers treating COVID-19 patients all day long, and how long it takes them to get sick with proper precautions (In my friend's hospital, they're beginning to see sick workers now, 4 weeks into it; and it has more to do with the increase in patients and decrease in precautions taken than anything else from what they tell me).

                  COVID-19 is contagious, don't think I'm trying to twist that. But the problem with it is when you don't take precautions at all, which is why it's overwhelming countries right now.

                  1 vote
                2. Adys
                  Link Parent
                  By the way, this was an excellent video, thank you.

                  By the way, this was an excellent video, thank you.

      2. DanBC
        Link Parent
        PLEASE DON'T. People can be infectious without knowing it, partly because we've focussed on new persistent dry cough or fever, and ignored diarrhoea or anosmia . People can transmit covid-19...

        Quite obviously: Don't be daft by rubbing yourself in the metro and then go around hugging people. But if you're careful and wash your hands & face before and after, yes you can still hug your loved ones. And you absolutely fucking should, because everyone needs it more than ever right now.

        PLEASE DON'T.

        People can be infectious without knowing it, partly because we've focussed on new persistent dry cough or fever, and ignored diarrhoea or anosmia . People can transmit covid-19 before they have symptoms, and after those symptoms have ended, and they can transmit covid-19 if they have no symptoms.

        Lots of people will get infected with covid-19 and will suffer mild symptoms. But lots of people will be hospitalised, and that will create enormous pressure on hospitals who'll have to stop doing elective surgeries or stop other treatment (eg, cancer treatment has just stopped for lots of people in the UK and we're not even at peak covid-19 yet). Some of these hospitalised people will need intensive care -- intubation, ventilation, sedation -- and these are not trivial things, they are heavy duty interventions that cause harm as well as sometimes (but not always) saving life. And lots of people will die. They will die alone, in hospital or a care home, away from their loved ones.

        STAY HOME

        3 votes
  2. [2]
    sharpstick
    Link
    While some of this may be controversial (reading the comments) it is an important point to keep in mind. We cannot let this virus be one more issue that fundamentally changes are attitude about...

    While some of this may be controversial (reading the comments) it is an important point to keep in mind. We cannot let this virus be one more issue that fundamentally changes are attitude about each other, that we use to divide ourselves into "camps." The most damaging effect of social media spaces is not that it makes us hate each other, although it does do that, it is that it can make us feel disgust for other groups of people. We can often times be around those that they hate, we can even respect people that we hate to some degree. But disgust is a visceral need to distance ourselves and have no further contact. It is a dehumanizing emotion.

    Because this virus is already a natural path to this emotion, it is important to use our more rational and compassionate faculties to counteract this impulse. On top of that, our forced social distancing can exacerbate this human tendency to create an "other" in our own minds that motivates these dehumanizing emotions, but bears little semblance to reality.

    We must take active steps to stay connected to our own humanity and the humanity of others while at the same time reducing the spread of the virus. Taking into account the negative influence of social media on the world's population over the last few years, this is not a given, but takes an active remembrance and so it is good to have posts like this that remind us of the bigger picture even though we can rightfully disagree about the particulars.

    5 votes
    1. Adys
      Link Parent
      Exactly what I'm trying to communicate. Thank you.

      Exactly what I'm trying to communicate. Thank you.

  3. [5]
    vakieh
    Link
    Where are you getting your info? This seems like you're spouting off platitudes without really having anything to back it up. Aside from the hugging, there are issues with: What does this even...

    Where are you getting your info? This seems like you're spouting off platitudes without really having anything to back it up. Aside from the hugging, there are issues with:

    [Don't] prioritise your own health above everyone else's

    What does this even mean? You should prioritise your own health, nobody else is going to. If everyone prioritised their own health the net effect would be good for everyone. I don't really think anyone is going out of their way to make others ill in some attempt to keep themselves healthy.

    DO NOT deprioritise mental health

    A lot of the issues people and entire nations are facing is because people prioritised mental health over physical health. This is dumb. The virus will kill you much quicker than depression will - deal with the most pressing issue first This does not mean do nothing for your mental health, but given the choice between going to the beach where you are happy or staying indoors where you are depressed - you get to be depressed.

    DO NOT treat health workers like they have the plague.

    Yes. Treat EVERYONE as if they have the plague. That's literally the point of all this.

    The biggest "DO NOT" to do with coronavirus is "don't spread bullshit". All the points I've raised:

    • don't go to the beach
    • stay inside
    • self-isolate

    you can find in pretty much every country's official releases. Where has your info come from?

    3 votes
    1. [4]
      Adys
      Link Parent
      Sorry but wow. That's an incredibly aggressive post.

      Sorry but wow. That's an incredibly aggressive post.

      1. [3]
        vakieh
        Link Parent
        Yes, it is. Because misinformation at a time like this can quite literally kill people.

        Yes, it is. Because misinformation at a time like this can quite literally kill people.

        3 votes
        1. [2]
          Adys
          Link Parent
          How is it misinformation? I don't make any medical assertions. Frankly I'm tired of people justifying their utterly awful behaviour towards others and especially towards health workers with "If...

          How is it misinformation? I don't make any medical assertions.

          Frankly I'm tired of people justifying their utterly awful behaviour towards others and especially towards health workers with "If I'm not an asshole to you, it could quite literally kill people".

          THIS is an assertion, and it's wrong:

          "Treat EVERYONE as if they have the plague. That's literally the point of all this."

          The "point of all this" is to decrease the load on the health care services. We won't eradicate the virus; not with the current measures, it is way too late for that, and you can ask any health expert that (and I'm sure you figured it out for yourself either way).

          And I didn't say "go to the beach to feel good about yourself", I said don't be an ass to others. Don't stop thinking about other people's mental health.

          I'm not discussing this with you any further, you're far too angry and I frankly should have ignored your reply in the first place.

          1 vote
          1. vakieh
            Link Parent
            You are telling people to do things that directly conflict with medical advice that has been given to save lives. You are talking as if coming from a position of authority - someone is very likely...

            You are telling people to do things that directly conflict with medical advice that has been given to save lives.

            You are talking as if coming from a position of authority - someone is very likely to read this, follow it, and kill someone. It is that serious.

            No, we won't hit zero transmissions, but for every 20 people who don't get infected, you save 1 life. That should be far more prominent than any of the misleading recommendations in this post.

            3 votes
  4. [5]
    Kuromantis
    (edited )
    Link
    How much responsibility/pressure do you think we should put on politicians and (more importantly) their voters? I, being terribly judgemental politically, have personally held this crisis as an...

    The last few weeks have been, and the coming months are going to be, a time of careful balance. You might hear politicians say they "want to fight the virus without creating a bigger problem"; usually it's about the economy, but it applies to everyone on a personal level as well.

    How much responsibility/pressure do you think we should put on politicians and (more importantly) their voters? I, being terribly judgemental politically, have personally held this crisis as an indictment for modern conservatism and a clear example as to why Republicans should either demand better of their politicians or own up to it and say that yes, their politicians are indeed representing them when they make religious activities essential or say we should be back to work by easter. We vote for politicians to represent us so we should hold them accountable for most of their actions or at least some of these more blatant statements right?

    1 vote
    1. Adys
      Link Parent
      I think one clear thing that this virus has shown is who of our politicians are true leaders, and who are useless suits. The true leaders don't need to be pressured, they've done just fine on...

      How much responsibility/pressure do you think we should put on politicians

      I think one clear thing that this virus has shown is who of our politicians are true leaders, and who are useless suits. The true leaders don't need to be pressured, they've done just fine on their own. The pointless idiots … I don't know how much responsibility and pressure changes them.

      and (more importantly) their voters?

      Whe the time to vote comes, these actions need to be remembered, and the pressure needs to be real. This is how you hold them accountable.

      3 votes
    2. [3]
      Diet_Coke
      Link Parent
      I think the problem is that this is basically what Republicans want. A central tenet of their political ideology is that government can't solve problems. As St. Reaganicus said, government is not...

      this crisis as an indictment for modern conservatism and a clear example as to why Republicans should either demand better of their politicians or own up to it and say that yes, their politicians are indeed representing them when they make religious activities essential or say we should be back to work by easter.

      I think the problem is that this is basically what Republicans want. A central tenet of their political ideology is that government can't solve problems. As St. Reaganicus said, government is not the solution to the problem, government is the problem. And so they've stacked the government with vacancies and incompetents and left the great majority of responsibility on states and individual businesses. In my city, a group of restaurant owners who collectively own dozens of restaurants, got together and decided to all close at the same time - before anyone at any level of government ordered it. We're seeing so many examples of outright ineptness it's hard to even list them all. To a dyed-in-the-wool Republican, that's just the government doing what it does and further reinforces their beliefs.

      I think that, as the dust starts to settle, it's going to be important to point out governments around the world that handled this crisis well. It never had to get this bad. It only got this bad because of the unique awfulness of Donald Trump. If he weren't incompetent in a thousand different ways, it would be better. Unfortunately there's an American resistance to emulating success from around the world.

      3 votes
      1. [2]
        Algernon_Asimov
        Link Parent
        Ironically, that proves the Republicans' point in their eyes. Those restaurateurs didn't need any interferin' gummint to tell them what to do. They just did it. Why do people need a government to...

        In my city, a group of restaurant owners who collectively own dozens of restaurants, got together and decided to all close at the same time - before anyone at any level of government ordered it.

        Ironically, that proves the Republicans' point in their eyes. Those restaurateurs didn't need any interferin' gummint to tell them what to do. They just did it. Why do people need a government to tell them what to do when people are so capable of doing the right thing without being told?

        Of course it's not that simple. But like partisans of all stripes, they see what they want to see.

        2 votes
        1. Diet_Coke
          Link Parent
          Exactly. And the profiteers hoarding and reselling basic necessities for profit? They're just entrepreneurs, eliminating inefficiencies in supply chains. Every example of bad behavior just...

          Exactly. And the profiteers hoarding and reselling basic necessities for profit? They're just entrepreneurs, eliminating inefficiencies in supply chains. Every example of bad behavior just reinforces their beliefs. It makes me less than hopeful there will be meaningful accountability when the dust has settled.

          3 votes
  5. Staross
    Link
    A colleague actually asked me to go to her place to "party" (wasn't a real party I guess, just having a drink) yesterday evening. I only saw the message this morning, so I didn't have to decide,...

    A colleague actually asked me to go to her place to "party" (wasn't a real party I guess, just having a drink) yesterday evening. I only saw the message this morning, so I didn't have to decide, but honestly I would probably go if she asked me again, even though I think it's a dumb idea. I'm usually a model or rationality and measure, but when it comes to her I'm dumb af.

    1 vote