Note: This thread is related to #Coronavirus #COVID19

Follow the World Health Organization's instructions to reduce your risk of infection:

1/ Frequently clean hands by using alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water.

2/ When coughing and sneezing cover mouth and nose with flexed elbow or tissue - throw issue away immediately and wash hands.

3/ Avoid close contact with anyone that has fever and cough.

Cory Doctorow #BLM+ Your Authors @doctorow Pre-order the audio- and e-book for ATTACK SURFACE, the third Little Brother book, on my first-ever Kickstarter: Sep. 11, 2020 3 min read + Your Authors

More than 200k Americans have died of covid - about 70 9/11s, with no end in sight. Indeed, things are getting worse, as the US enters a "Pandemic Spiral," as @edyong209 writes in @TheAtlantic. Yong identifies 9 factors driving the spiral: 


I. Serial Monogamy of Solutions: we only pay attention to one thing at a time: isolating, masks, plasma. Some of that is driven by Trump's short attention span and addiction to distraction tactics, but it's also science's methodological isolation of one variable at a time.


We especially struggle with "necessary but insufficient." Masks aren't effective - on their own. Neither is distancing. Neither is ventilation. All three? Pretty good, actually.


II. False Dichotomies: "We save lives or the economy," "It's like a flu, no it's like a plague." Actually, we CAN partially reopen the economy (most retail, with precautions, but not, say, nightclubs), and it IS a mild flu for some, and a death-sentence for others.


III. The Comfort of Theatricality: Hygiene theater (like sanitizing surfaces) provides the appearance of diligence and the comfort of DOING SOMETHING, but it distracts from taking steps that address the most recent science, like mitigating aerosol spread.


IV. Personal Blame Over Systemic Fixes: You can't recycle your way out of climate change, you can't shop your way out of monopoly capitalism, and your personal health strategies won't stop the systemic problems exacerbating the pandemic.


Without sick leave, workplace safety, child care and transit, people will do things that put themselves and others at risk. Americans love to moralize, but they're terrible at systems thinking.


V. The Normality Trap: We want things back the way they were, and this can overpower our commonsense: we want to re-open tattoo parlors or movie theaters because that tells us it's finally over.


VI. Magical Thinking: Remember Trump's "Maybe this goes away with heat and light?" I confess that I get up every morning, make a cup of coffee and think, "Maybe today's the day this ends." It's impossible not to have these daydreams - but in America, they become policy.


VII. The Complacency of Inexperience: If you come from a privileged group with few cases and few comorbidities, you assume that if we just "let nature take its course," things won't be so bad.


Countries that have had recent experience with epidemics did SO MUCH BETTER than the US. That's why poor African countries - who survived ebola - are kicking America's ass when it comes to addressing the virus.


VIII. A Reactive Rut: We suck at understanding exponential growth, and this deficit is worsened by the time-gap between infection and symptoms, which makes it hard to emotionally grasp the connection between "superspreader" events and outbreaks weeks later.


This confounds our ability to do long-term planning, as we just keep expecting things will be OK in a month or two, and we don't need to (for example) figure out how schooling will work when the virus is still raging.


IX: The Habituation of Horror: Remember the movement to "not normalize Trump?" It was always doomed to fail. Human stimulus response always regresses to the mean - that is, if you're exposed to the same thing all the time, no matter how terrible, you get used to it.


Just ask children of abusive parents, or prisoners in solitary, or Auschwitz survivors. EVERYTHING becomes normal over time.

Yong: "The U.S. might stop treating the pandemic as the emergency that it is. Daily tragedy might become ambient noise.


"The desire for normality might render the unthinkable normal. Like poverty, racism, school shootings, police brutality, mass incarceration, sexual harassment, widespread extinctions and changing climate, covid might become yet another unacceptable thing the US accepts."


You can follow @doctorow.


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