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ithanos

For WHOm the Bell Tolls - Covid-19 #11

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No man is an island entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main; if a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as any manner of thy friends or of thine own were; any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind. And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee

Translation of John Donne's Meditation XVII: Devotions Upon Emergent Occasions, and several steps in my Sickness, 1624 
  
So apparently Donne composed this after an illness - its even in the full title, thought to be relapsing fever or typhus. What insights into the human condition can we expect after Covid-19 passes? What prose and works of enlightenment will result from this?

An invisible agent carrying no passport yet freely travels across borders by our means is drawing out the best and worst in us. The first and last phrases of Donne's passage are the most well known, but we should not lose sight that - 'any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind'.

Carry on.

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A tiny, tiny shoot poking out of the ground - look at Greenland in Worldometers. Greenland had 11 cases and they are all free of the virus, so Greenland is colored in green, as having resolved all cases.

The word Dreamland just popped into my head.

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6 minutes ago, Fragile Bird said:

A tiny, tiny shoot poking out of the ground - look at Greenland in Worldometers. Greenland had 11 cases and they are all free of the virus, so Greenland is colored in green, as having resolved all cases.

It is good news, although we maybe have to wait a couple of weeks before celebrating since they could have asymptomatic cases they haven't found yet.

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40 minutes ago, Fragile Bird said:

A tiny, tiny shoot poking out of the ground - look at Greenland in Worldometers. Greenland had 11 cases and they are all free of the virus, so Greenland is colored in green, as having resolved all cases.

So Plague Inc got it right then...

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What insights into the human condition can we expect after Covid-19 passes?

considering the NYT's editorial today that plague is a carpe diem moment, one insight might be something like

Quote

why plague great till it gotta be great?

better that than camus' priest, however, who trots out the ancient jeremiad:

Quote

Calamity has come to you, my brethren, and, my brethren, you deserved it.

 

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So the US has passed Italy for the worst outbreak in terms of deaths. It was clearly coming for a while but not a great landmark.

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11 minutes ago, ljkeane said:

So the US has passed Italy for the worst outbreak in terms of deaths. It was clearly coming for a while but not a great landmark.

It will be interesting to see if the US death toll is 5.5x higher in the end. I hope not.

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1 hour ago, ljkeane said:

So the US has passed Italy for the worst outbreak in terms of deaths. It was clearly coming for a while but not a great landmark.

 

59 minutes ago, Fragile Bird said:

It will be interesting to see if the US death toll is 5.5x higher in the end. I hope not.

Those sound like bigly numbers. We're winning, right?

(basketball rules, not golf rules, right? Right? RIGHT???)

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Okay, jokes aside, does anyone else think the people on the news wearing masks look a bit silly? Like, they're not by anyone, and they just keep touching their faces. It just seems like a slightly smarter version of Idiocracy. 

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I have not seen anyone on tv wear masks. They all seem to be in seperate places, often at home.

One month ago there were 38 deaths in the US. Right now there have been about 20,577. One month.

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In a bit of a sign of the fragility of the situation, my brother had to drive from Hamilton to Wellington (530km, 330mi) and back on Saturday to deliver a pallet of hand sanitiser to the Wellington Ambulance service. Not because there was no hand sanitiser anywhere in Wellington, but he was selling it so much cheaper than any supplier in Wellington that even the cost of him driving to and fro just to deliver one pallet still made him cheaper than Wellington suppliers.

As my brother is the business owner, it meant he didn't have to pay a driver 14+hrs of overtime rates to make the delivery which might have been the difference. He got pulled over by the cops half way to wellington and grilled as to why he was on the road, but as an essential service they soon waved him on his way.

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7 hours ago, Tywin et al. said:

Okay, jokes aside, does anyone else think the people on the news wearing masks look a bit silly? Like, they're not by anyone, and they just keep touching their faces. It just seems like a slightly smarter version of Idiocracy. 

Yeah, I guess they're doing it to get people used to the idea, but they constantly keep adjusting them. One even finally just pulled hers off her face.

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8 hours ago, Fragile Bird said:

It will be interesting to see if the US death toll is 5.5x higher in the end. I hope not.

I suspect not. If the US is imminently close to reaching the peak (which they may be) then, using my brilliantly complex mathematics, I guess you double the number at the peak and that might give the roughest of estimates as to how this could all wash out in the end.

The thing to be worried about for the US is that it's such a large place with so many people and so much interstate travel, the potential for lots of second wave pockets is very high once things start opening up again.

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Not sure if anyone's posted yet, but I heard a podcast today with a doctor who had predicted a bit back that in the next pandemic that men would be hit harder.  It had to do with the X chromosome carrying more genes that aid the immune system but also estrogen being a better immune supporting hormone than testosterone.  

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I got a cold. How the fuck is that possible? I barely have been outside, only this week to start jogging again. And yet that was enough for me to get a sore throat. No, I doubt it's virus related due to my nose also giving me some trouble the last two days, but I am just too stumped how fucking compromised my immune system is after four weeks of vegetating at home. Fuck... How the fuck am I supposed to survive going back to school?!?

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Do they get the seasonal flu at different rates too? It feels like there are a few steps missing in going from that hypothesis to the conclusion.

 

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Posted (edited)

We've had a lot of posts/ talk about therapies that might work for covid19, there was recently a New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) paper on Remdesivir, to be clear, this wasn't a clinical trial, but I thought I'd share this post so people had an idea on how even research published in a big journal like NEJM needs to be critically evaluated ( and how that is done) before drawing *any* conclusions from it - imo the NEJM shouldn't even be putting stuff like this out

 

Edited by Raja

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13 hours ago, Triskele said:

Not sure if anyone's posted yet, but I heard a podcast today with a doctor who had predicted a bit back that in the next pandemic that men would be hit harder.  It had to do with the X chromosome carrying more genes that aid the immune system but also estrogen being a better immune supporting hormone than testosterone.  

the NYT carried a bit about covid and purported quantitative gender differential.

 

today's times had an editorial by ross douthat, regarding the hermeneutics of plague:  "here is a need for narrative, for integration, for some story about what the pain and anguish meant," in response to which "Christian tradition offers not one but many different explanations for how suffering fits into a providential plan." after considering multiple plausible doctrinal interpretations, his peroration posits, "if there is any message Christians can carry from Good Friday and Easter to a world darkened by a plague, it’s that meaningless suffering is the goal of the devil, and bringing meaning out of suffering is the saving work of God."

although i kinda like douthat otherwise (he was interviewed by dissent this quarter), this diminishment of  actual trauma in favor of the significance of trauma strikes me as semiurgical nihilism, something that theology normally risks in drawing inferences from events, such as a plague's meaning is itself soteriological.

RSB, by contrast, is of the devil's party, perhaps while knowing it:

Quote

It is strange the way trauma deadens curiosity. To suffer cruelty in excess is to be delivered from care. The human heart sets aside its questions when the future is too capricious. This is the irony of tribulation.

both might find camus' physician inexplicable:

Quote

"I now can picture what this plague must mean for you."

"Yes. A never ending defeat." [...]

"Who taught you all this, doctor?"

The reply came promptly: "Suffering."

 

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2 minutes ago, sologdin said:

douthat

He's a dweeb idiot right wing racist sexist xtian.

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