I am waiting for the jobs numbers out of the US as I begin this post. On Wednesday, we got a preview via the private sector unemployment numbers released by ADP. They showed a loss of more than 20 million jobs, which was pretty much in line with estimates. Consensus estimates for the official numbers in a few minutes are for a loss of 22 million jobs and an unemployment rate of 16%. Both of these numbers would be the worst since this kind of record keeping began in the US in 1939.
A Federal government that has abdicated its responsibility to its people, and states that are going broke and can't assume that they will get bailed out, now responsible for a nearly impossible task. That task made way more challenging by the Federal government basically telling people in so many tweets and mask-less gestures, not to comply with the social distancing or even the wishes of their own sane state and local governments. So how would they ever be bothered to participate in test and trace, if we could even get that done?
I'm sorry, but this is the most colossal failure of our country's history, and it cannot be fixed while the current administration continues to blithely trade deaths for stock market gains. And by the time there is a new administration (which is no guarantee, seeing how the current one is undermining the rule of law and will undermine the election) it will be far too late.
I wish I could be more optimistic about the situation, and I'm rooting for the states to do the best they can, but this really looks like it's turning into every man woman and child for themselves. I've never felt so disillusioned about the future of this country. It's really not remotely the United States anymore, and the level of sheer ignorance being exposed about hundreds of millions of people in this country is absolutely soul crushing. I have been using structure and exercise an as many things as possible to try to stay sane about this, and one thing that would help immensely would be a break from the non-stop bad news, but I cannot do that due my job requiring that I be on top of all such things economic and political. But I do strongly agree that staying busy is one of the best antidotes to insanity. This situation will drive you mad if you sit and dwell over how unbelievably horrible it is. It's extremely dispiriting to have the curtain pulled back and to see just how low our country has sunk. So many great people are trying so hard to keep this keeling ship from sinking, but each day, we seem to go a bit further down below the waterline as those that should be leading are in fact only barely going through the motions, and more likely, just looking at this as a great opportunity, where a crisis allows all sorts of other horrible things to pass under the radar (the legal system and surely unimaginable amounts of financial market grifting being two obvious cases.)
I apologize to the world in advance for our nation's failure, and to the good people that are trying to keep their families safe and sane, for the pain that is surely still to come. Our current policies are madness, so we must fight to stay sane, and help those we know that are struggling. The NYTimes, despite its failures on political reporting, still occasionally has some useful articles, and this one on the topic of how to try to stay optimistic was pretty good :
I have to say not much seems to make sense about this virus. It seems to have a multitude of symptoms, some bizarre - "Covid toe" anyone? Many people seem to get the virus and be completely asymptomatic. Many of those who die seem to die from some kind of respiratory distress related to immune response. For reasons that are not clear it seems to be particular dangerous to BME populations. At the same time there's an atmosphere of information out there that in time the mortality rate of this virus will be much less than initially thought.
I suspect much of the west's response was initially down to the optics that initially came out of Italy, a health service overwhelmed by people is respiratory distress, but consider this, is it possible for this virus to have a relatively low mortality rate but it's particular severity amongst certain groups and fast transmission rate lead to the initial wave being particularly devastating? If so that may be hopeful for more medium term herd immunity.
Also can we have some reality about China, i.e. clearly nothing information wise that comes out of official sources there can be trusted. Finally all these virus's seem to come from there, can we and they learn a lesson from this?