Post-Quarantine: Day 106

Hey. How’s it going? Cool. Me too.

I fixed the images on the last 6 months of posts. In the last version of WordPress, images were automatically set to enlarge when clicked. In the current version, you have to manually do this for each picture via time consuming unnecessary steps. Now you can enlarge those twitter post images and read all that small print. You’re welcome.

Covid19 is making its triumphant return, and the media can’t decide whether it wants to do actual journalism, or tow agendas. Let’s take a look.

So, was Covid19 spread among people at the various protests? That wouldn’t seem to be the case according to these two outlets:

Both are deliberately misleading headlines. Based on the replies under these tweets, people seem to be of the mind that the virus was not spread at these events. They evidently didn’t bother to read the article. This is an excerpt from the BuzzFeed article:

The protests themselves have resulted in an increased spread of Covid19. The overall numbers haven’t jumped as high as expected because during the protests, non-protesters overwhelmingly stayed home. Essentially, there were less people out and about, so the infection rate wasn’t as high as if everybody who would normally be outside, was outside. Both articles also should have included a “yet” in their titles.

California has tripled its daily Covid19 cases since the start of the protests. Keep in mind, this is with most people largely staying in during this time as stated in the article above.

this data is from June 24th

So, yes, it appears there have been spikes in Covid19 cases over the last 2 or 3 weeks.

Media outlets are fighting over who is worse, the red states or the blue states. Those trying to paint the red states as worse are deliberately ignoring the spikes in blue states, and vice versa. Meanwhile, most states are doing rather poorly in containing the virus, with Texas up there in the top 3, along with California and Florida. There are about 30 states that have had spikes over the last few weeks.

Beaches are another potential factor in some of these spikes. As of the first week in June, about half of California’s beaches were open. As of the first week in May, all counties in Florida had their beaches open except 3. Most of these beaches merely require social distancing guidelines, but obviously that does no good if those guidelines are ignored or not enforced.

This isn’t only a problem in the US. This is the current situation in England:

We’re gonna end up on quarantine again, aren’t we?

🏴‍☠️ CHAZ Update 🏴‍☠️:

The CHAZ has evidently changed its name to the CHOP, removing the “Autonomous Zone” and replacing it with “Organized Protest”. This is likely due to the fact that the CHAZ was in fact not autonomous in any capacity. Most folks still call it the CHAZ though, because it’s still the CHAZ in our hearts. Meanwhile, the official CHOP twitter account has been posting goofy stuff like this:

In addition to mostly being nonsensical word salad, most of the “facts” in these posts don’t debunk, let alone have anything to do with the “myths” they are attempting to debunk. It’s like the account is run by a badly programmed artificial intelligence. The above posts are both wrong regardless, seeing as how businesses affected by the CHAZ are suing the city:

The mayor of Seattle is finally coming to her senses after the rampant nightly crime in the CHAZ finally became too much to ignore. Only ten days prior to this she was downplaying concerns about this very thing stating “Seattle is fine. Don’t be so afraid of democracy.”

Someone on twitter jokingly pointed out that technically the CHAZ has a higher per capita shooting rate than any place on Earth currently. We did it guys! We solved police violence by shooting more people than the police do!

Nooses! Nooses, Everywhere!

Finally, in “when all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail” news, there have been not one, but two hoaxes involving nooses in the last week alone. The first happened prior to my last post, but I held off posting about it, figuring the other would inevitably ended up being a hoax as well. Noose hoaxes tend to be one of the most prevalent types of hoaxes these days. Jussie Smollett anyone?

First up, a few “nooses” were found around Oakland. Except it turns out they were literally just regular ropes that were commonly used for exercising. The two look nothing alike, but once again… when all you have is a hammer.

The second noose hoax of the week was NASCAR related. The racing team of Bubba Wallace moved into a new garage and promptly reported a hate crime pertaining to a noose hanging in said garage. Bubba himself never even saw this “noose”, but that didn’t stop the outrage machine from shifting into high gear. Somewhat unsurprisingly, it turned out the noose was just a rope to pull the garage door down.

It’s extremely hard to believe that anyone who works in a garage for a living could possibly have mistaken a garage door pull cord with a noose, but it sure was great publicity for everybody involved, and the media got their clicks and sold their ads. So all is well, and we can repeat the process again countless times, and nobody will ever learn not to jump to conclusions.

Post-Quarantine: Day 99

Whoa! I finally changed the look of my website after like 5 years. It’s about time. I’m still messing around with it a lot and trying different things out, so it might look completely different later on, or it might not. WHO EVEN KNOWS.

Who cares though, bro. We’re in the middle of a *reverb engaged*…

Remember the pandemic? The pandemic the media somehow forgot about for the last two or three weeks? There’s an explanation for that. You see, evidently the virus went away as a sign of solidarity for the protests, as viruses are wont to do. Granted, there are still huge protests going on right now, but according to the media, these people are magically safe. People gathering for any other reason are still in danger and endangering other people though. That’s just how science works. Deal with it, dude.

It was a mere 2 months ago that people were being arrested for things like walking or paddle-boarding alone on the beach. Both activities have a 0% risk of infection. You can’t infect anyone else if there’s nobody around you. Ironically, police intervention actually increases the chance of infection. Can’t arrest anyone while also observing the 6 foot rule. These types of arrests were gross government overreach, and completely not in line with the science on the matter.

Now we’re at the point where these arrests have all but ceased as the number of violations has become astronomical. Nothing has changed as far as how viruses thrive. Not wearing masks and not maintaining a distance of six feet are still the prime spreaders. Every protest has been in gross violation of both of these rules. From a moral standpoint, most would argue that these transgressions are justifiable. The law doesn’t always operate on morality however. If anything, this just shows that if enough people violate a mandate, the government will just shrug its shoulders and move on. They can’t arrest everyone after all.

A common argument for the protests is that “everyone is wearing masks” and that “the virus is worse indoors”. Both of these are half-truths.

First off, not everyone at these protests has been wearing masks. Not even close.

A decent amount of people in the above photo aren’t wearing masks, quite a few have their masks down, and there’s no way of telling if those currently wearing masks left them on for the duration of the protest. It’s hot outside most places, and it’s hard to breathe through a mask in the heat. Six feet of distance obviously isn’t being observed here either. It does you no good to have a mask if it isn’t covering your nose and mouth, especially in a crowd where people are chanting and/or yelling, which spreads the virus. The above photo might in fact be a viral disaster. It’s also fairly par for the course given the number of photos I’ve seen from different cities, states and countries.

Once again, you can acknowledge that these protests might be disastrous from a transmission standpoint, while also holding the stance that they are warranted.

Protests are also primarily safer outdoors than indoors. One of the reasons Covid spreads easier indoors is due to the fact that it’s harder to engage in social distancing outdoors, i.e. the six-foot rule. If people are standing shoulder-to-shoulder outdoors for extended periods, this benefit is largely negated however. The only safety measure you have in place at that point are masks. Unless there is a breeze, the virus really isn’t going to be dispersed upward. The particles can remain in the air for quite a while; most reports I’ve seen say up to 3 hours. -6/15/2020

During an indoor gathering, air conditioners merely blow the particles around without decent re-circulation and filtration. This is partly why most of the initial spread took place in office buildings, churches, and other indoor areas. It also turns out that sunlight does kill the virus to a degree, a point that was initially disputed: – 5/19/2020

Which brings us to now.

Trump is about to have a rally in Tusla, and it’s most likely going to be a disaster. Trump has made it a point to downplay the virus at every opportunity and avoid wearing masks because it’s become a part of his “too cool for school” image. Predictably, a lot of his die-hards have also become anti-mask and sometimes even downright conspiratorial about the severity (or existence) of Covid19. The BOK center holds almost 20,000 people, and the place will probably be packed. Between the lack of distancing (6 feet) and masks being optional, we’re about to witness an experiment in viral transmission.

Not to take responsibility off of Trump, because he has all the latest information at his disposal, and should know better at this point, but once again, the medical authorities have dropped the ball countless times during the last few months. I’ve posted numerous instances of people within the medical community downplaying the effectiveness of masks, including the US Surgeon General. Here’s one more instance of the mask flip-flop in effect:

This type of flip-flop is fueling the conspiratorial nonsense. Masks have always been effective. That’s why they’ve been common-place in parts of the world for decades. They help reduce the spread of airborne diseases, from the common flu, to past epidemics, like the swine flu. It’s pretty damning that any doctor was downplaying the effectiveness of masks at any point during the last few months. People who saw masks being downplayed initially are probably more prone to disregard further information from these sources, or any medical source for that matter.

In addition, you have non-science based policies like this:

The virus doesn’t care about why people are gathered together. It’s not only going to infect people who are having a backyard BBQ. These arbitrary policies aren’t making anything better. They should be reinforcing the importance of masks, soap, and the six feet rule, not pulling random numbers out of a hat. Also, what’s to stop any random gathering of people from merely stating that they are protesting something? 100-person protest-BBQs, here we come.

On top of that, we’re implementing pointless contact tracing measures:

New York is at it again.

It does absolutely no good to implement contact tracing unless you’re being thorough about it. Ignoring that someone potentially spent all day out in a crowd of 1000+ people completely defeats the purpose. This is why this type on contact tracing will never work. It isn’t going to be thorough enough. Contact tracing works in places like South Korea because it’s done via GPS, not a people filling out questionnaires and purposely ignoring critical info. -4/30/2020

It’s unlikely that the U.S. could ever implement contact tracing of this type because it would be seen as invasive and unconstitutional. I doubt too many people on either side of the aisle want our shady government tracking our every move and peeping in on our credit transactions. Probably wouldn’t be a problem if we stopped electing people we can’t trust into office, but then it wouldn’t be America. *sick guitar riff plays*

Post-Quarantine: Day 92

After two weeks, the protests are still going strong.

We’ve (mostly) moved on from torching fast food restaurants and throwing bricks though Verizon windows, to pulling down any statue that even vaguely resembles a person. Thus far, most have been confederate statues, but we’re already on the cusp of losing the plot.

A bunch of statues have already been defaced that somewhat undermine the point of the protests, including these two abolitionists:

This is why aimless destruction for the sake of mob justice usually isn’t the best policy. There’s always plenty of people willing to jump though hoops to justify this kind of thing though, because the ends justify the means, or some such platitude.

25 actual confederate statues have been removed by state governments thus far, with Virginia and Alabama leading the pack, and many more are slated to be removed on the horizon. It’s also worth noting that despite it making for a rad photo op, it’s probably better to pressure the government into removing statues, otherwise something like this could happen:

On a more whimsical note, a bunch of kids in Seattle have taken advantage of the almost non-existent police presence in the area to create a utopia of sorts. They call it the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone, or CHAZ for short.

For the most part, it seems to be kids hanging out, watching movies, eating pizza, and living out their Lord of the Flies fantasies. The people within the community who are taking it a little too seriously are providing an unlimited source of memes however.

As is the scenario in every Communist utopia that has ever existed since the dawning of time, inevitably someone steps up to install themselves as the de facto leader, and immediately starts abusing their authority. In the CHAZ, this someone is called Raz, and he’s evidently a soundcloud rapper. A mere 24 hours after the CHAZ was founded, it’s already embroiled in a power struggle.

Another problem in the CHAZ is that absolutely nobody has any discernible life skills, outside of spray painting, rolling blunts, and setting things on fire. This is a substantial hurdle when attempting to create a new society. Their reddit page is full of comedic gold including pictures of a “garden” that was planted.

Yes, that’s just dirt poured on top of cardboard, with plants that were no doubt yoinked from a nursery somewhere planted in that two inches of dirt. Unfortunately you can’t just plant HotPockets™ trees.

Overall, it seems pretty harmless though. As long as the revolutionary LARPers trying to live out their Che Guevara fantasies are kept at bay, it might remain chill. There are quite a few dubious types with guns within the CHAZ.

Finally, Minneapolis has decided to “abolish the police”.

That’s quite a bold move. It’ll be interesting to see how this plays out. I keep seeing people using Camden, New Jersey as a model for police reform, but evidently that city isn’t necessarily the success story it’s being propped up as.

Good luck Minneapolis.

Here’s one final nugget before I leave:

Post-Quarantine: Day 85

So apparently quarantine is over, and boy is it over in grand fashion.

We went from: “Covid-19 is a pandemic, how dare you go out in public, I hope the police arrest these people putting everyone else at risk”, to: “Oh well, fuck it”, in the matter of like 24 hours. Now the police are suddenly the bad guys again, and the people gathering outside are the heroes. What a plot twist to end all plot twists.

Obviously there’s a reason for all of this, namely continued police brutality and the subsequent lack of accountability that always seems to follow. That series of events that happens over and over again like in that movie Groundhog Day ™ starring Chris Elliott and also Bill Murray. Cop uses excessive force, civilian dies, cop gets put on paid leave, people get outraged, cop is finally held accountable, cop only gets a slap on the wrist, it turns out the cop had a long history of bad conduct, repeat the process again next month.

Now we’re gathering outside in cities across America as if Covid-19 was nothing more than a fad or meme that had lived past its expiration date.

Which bring us to now. When I originally started writing this post a few days ago, it was merely chronicling some of the events that had transpired. I wrote about the peaceful protests, the opportunists hijacking the movement to “smash capitalism” and steal shit, and how the different media outlets were choosing to portray these events.

When I was almost done with the post, I realized something. For all the tweets and pictures of gatherings and destruction, I had like 3 times as many pictures of outright police brutality that had occurred in the just the span of a week. So I scrubbed what I had already written, and am posting this instead.

I’ll write about some of the other goings on later, but for now I’m just going to catalog some of the more egregious instances of police overreach. This entire situation started over police brutality, so it’s ironic that so much brutality has transpired during protests against said brutality.

* the woman above was actually 21, not 15
The initial report from the police was that the man above tripped, until video was released showing that he was actually pushed.
This reporter ended up losing the eye.

And now for some bonus police shenanigans:

Good times.