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Federal government to halt funds for COVID-19 testing.

We have a President who thinks the numbers make him look bad so he wants less people to get tested.

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Congratulations everyone! We beat coronavirus! At least, that’s what I would assume since the federal government will no longer offer support and funding for coronavirus testing sites after June 30th.

Half the country is experiencing spikes in COVID-19 infections after reopening earlier than any scientist would recommend. We’re not on the precipice of a second wave because we never hit a valley after the first wave. If you don’t live in NYC/the Northeast, Seattle, or California, your area saw a steep increase in coronavirus infections followed by a slower increase, but that’s it. There was no downward trend in the United States at all, and the only reason the US graphs show any semblance of a decrease is because half of the initial infections were in NYC and NYC did a better-than-average job of flattening the curve, so our results brought brought down the rest of the country.

Now we have a President (and his braindead supporters in every comment section all over the internet) saying we should be doing less testing because more tests equal more infections.

So, great news for potential teenage moms everywhere: if we sell fewer pregnancy tests, there will be fewer babies!

As we’ve seen the past four years, nobody in government will stand up to the idiocy of this barely sentient sack of pepperoni juice, so now areas of the country will see even less testing when they desperately need more.

The federal government will stop providing money and support for 13 sites across five states which were originally set up in the first months of the pandemic to speed up testing at the local level.

Local officials and public health experts expressed a mixture of frustration, resignation, and horror at the decision to let federal support lapse.

Texas will be particularly hard hit by the decision. The federal government gives much-needed testing kits and laboratory access to seven testing sites around Texas. But in the state, which is seeing new peaks in cases, people still face long lines for testing that continues to fail to meet overwhelming demand.

(cont. TPM)

I was talking about “social bubbles” on Facebook with some of my friends earlier this morning, and I hadn’t realized how parts of the country are in such different places with regard to testing. She lives in Northern Michigan. I live in NYC. My social bubble probably has about 10 people in it, because both of my roommates have partners and we have a few other people we hang out with. I feel safe with that, because testing is so readily available here. It’s free, the lines are short (if there’s any line at all), and the NYC website encourages everyone to get tested, and to get re-tested if you think you might have been exposed:

corona

And there are testing sites everywhere. Everybody is in walking or biking distance to a site (and the subway is empty and clean, which means the train is perfectly safe), so we get tested a few days before hanging out or a few days after a protest, and it’s peace of mind to go along with our usual social distancing protocol.

That’s a far cry from the situation in Michigan.

corona2

There should be a federal program for widespread, free, and fast coronavirus testing. We should all be able to drive up to a window, have someone collect a sample, and get a text later that day that says positive or negative. When someone has a positive test result, we should be able to trace the origin of that infection, and we should be able to isolate that person away from the public. We should have access to all of this without insurance.

Instead, we have a President who thinks the numbers make him look bad so he wants less people to get tested.

Wear your masks. Wash your hands. We have a long road ahead of us.

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There are more new coronavirus cases in TX and FL than Italy at its peak.

Capitalism is COVID-19’s best friend.

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Back in March, every other coronavirus story started with Italy.

Look at all the cases in Italy.

Look at all the deaths in Italy.

Italy is the center of the pandemic.

Italy is in dire straights.

Italy waited too long to lockdown their residents and now they’re paying the price. 

At its peak, COVID-19 infected over 6,000 people a day in Italy.

italy

So I hope the newspapers and media outlets are churning out endless headlines about Florida and Texas now.

florida

texas

Here in New York, we saw over 10,000 new cases a day back in April because we were unprepared. The government ignored the writing on the wall for a few weeks longer than they should have, and when they finally read it, the response was too weak. The numbers skyrocketed because we didn’t learn our lesson from Italy, and NYC was depicted as the most dangerous place in the US all over cable news. Friends and family from across the country asked me about bodies piling up and outdoor hospitals.

But we got it under control. We’re under 400 new cases a day. NYC has a <1% infection rate. I don’t know how long these numbers will last now that the city is opening up again, but everyone on the subway is wearing a mask, restaurants are taking social distancing seriously with their outdoor seating arrangements, and testing is free and widely available.

If you live in Texas or Florida (or anywhere really), you have to be upset at your government for not learning from New York the way we didn’t learn from Italy. In Italy, the peak was March 20th. In New York, the peak was April 14th. We had less than a month for the situation to settle in. The rest of the country has had three and a half since Italy, and two and a half since New York.

There is no excuse. None of this had to happen and the onlyreason the caseloads in Florida and Texas almost four months after we knew exactly what would happen are now higher than the peak caseload was in Italy is money. The federal government doesn’t want to give it to you to keep you safe and local government wants you to go out and generate it to keep the most abusive segments of the population happy.

Capitalism is COVID-19’s best friend.

 

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US hits record for new coronavirus infections.

When we decided to flatten the curve, someone should have specified horizontally or vertically, because we’re going straight up at this point.

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Across the United States, 38,115 new infections were reported by state health departments on Wednesday — surpassing the previous single-day record of 34,203 set on April 25. Texas, Florida and California led the way, with all three states reporting more than 5,000 new cases apiece.

Three states — California, Florida and Oklahoma — reported record highs in new single-day coronavirus cases, while hospitalizations hit a new peak in Arizona, where intensive care units have quickly filled.

(cont. Washington Post)

** Quick note about the Washington Post. Most of their articles are behind a paywall but they’ve made COVID-19 information free. If you want to keep up with developments, you can subscribe to their coronavirus newsletter.

Not much to add here, but I want to drop two graphs, because words are cute, but everybody can tell UP from DOWN on a picture.

corona

I showed this graph to a Pandemic Denier (imagine believing that concern over a whole virus that has killed hundreds of thousands of people is just the result of shock journalism and fake news!) and his immediate response was “The US has way more people than any of those countries…”

I don’t have the bandwidth to explain how “cases per million” is not the actual number of cases, but the cases in relation to population because I don’t get paid to teach anybody 6th grade math. So I just hit him with this graph.

coronavirus eu

The population of the European Union is 446 million.
The population of the United States is 328 million.

Of course the next argument from all of them is “but the US is doing WAY more tests than every one else.”

Fine. Let’s just say we are leading the world in coronavirus testing because I’m tired. There’s a pandemic going on and we’re having a week of 90 degree weather in NYC. I’m too irritable to go back and forth with anyone.

Are we doing seven times as much testing as the European Union? If you’re a person truly believes the US is really at the forefront of testing (when there are people around the country who only have one testing site that’s only open to essential workers and only available if you have insurance), do you really think we’re doing seven times as much testing, because we definitely have seven times as many new infections daily.

And you know what? Fine. Believe that too. I accidentally bought the wrong kind of cheese today for my chicken parm and I couldn’t find the leave in conditioner I like for my twistout so, like I said, I’m too irritable to go back and forth with anyone.

The number of tests we’re doing relative to anyone else wouldn’t account for an upward swing here and a steady pace elsewhere.

Let’s say the EU does 10 tests today with 1 positive result. Tomorrow, the EU does 10 tests again, with 1 positive result. That’s flat. The curve is flat. They don’t have more infections one day than the day before.

Let’s say the US does 70 tests today (seven times as many as the EU, because these people believe we’re at the forefront of testing…) with 7 positive results. Tomorrow, the US does 70 tests again, but with 9 positive results. That’s an upward curve because we have more infections one day than the day before.

It’s as simple as that. Up is up. Down is down. Some numbers are bigger than other numbers. The US trajectory is skyrocketing and it’s even more embarrassing when you compare it to the European Union. When we decided to flatten the curve, someone should have specified horizontally or vertically, because we’re going straight up at this point.

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A mask is a seatbelt is a helmet is a meat thermometer is a…

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I wear a seatbelt in a car in case I get into an accident.

I wear a helmet on a motorcycle to protect my head in case I get thrown off.

I check the temperature of the meat before I take it out of the oven in case there was any bacteria that could make me sick.

I put on sunscreen when I’m going to be outside for awhile in case I get just the right amount of exposure for skin cancer.

I wear a mask when I go to the grocery store in case I have COVID so I don’t give it to anybody else.

The only one that offends Republicans is the one Fox News says infringes upon their civil liberties. They don’t have a problem with preventative measures designed to protect yourself but a mask is just a step too far because it’s there to protect others from you.

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