Author Topic: Plague Diary  (Read 6295 times)

Doktor Howl

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Plague Diary
« on: March 23, 2020, 07:17:36 pm »
3/23/20

If I hear one more person bitch about how "entitled" millenials and Gen Z are and how easy they have it one more time, I am going to have someone's spleen for a tennis ball.  So far, they have lived in post-911 America, had the recession shit on them, no recognizable career path, school shootings every 10 fucking minutes, and now the pandemic.  I feel perfectly comfortable saying that my generation, gen X, had it far easier than these kids do.  The worst we had to deal with was boredom and shitty weed.

Also, the drive to work this morning was spooky as fuck.  Normally, interstate 10 is packed at 6:00 AM.  Today it was me and half a dozen trucks.  That's it.  I had a lot of ideas of how the world would end, but I never expected an apocalypse based on the common cold's ugly big brother.  On the other hand, I am absolutely unsurprised that attorney general Barr wants to "suspend" constitutional rights in this crisis and in future events.  Which means that "crisis" will be redefined as hilariously as "terrorism" was.

We're sending everyone who can work from home to work from home, and I gotta ask:  Why not leave it that way?  This is the 21st century.  We have Skype.  Why pay for office space? 

More later.
"Daisy had syphilis, Tom died of genital warts, and Nick Carroway watched it all in mounting horror, then made off with the silverware and the maid."
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Evil doesn't work without good people. Good people will do the most repugnant, nasty shit for what they think are "the right reasons"

Cain

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Re: Plague Diary
« Reply #1 on: March 23, 2020, 08:19:27 pm »
Seriously, the older half of the millenial cohort managed to hit every global crisis pretty much perfectly. I was 14 when the War on Terror started. 17 when Iraq was invaded. 22 when the subprime mortgage crisis tanked the world economy. 24 when the Tories took power. 29 when people decided fascism sounded really fucking cool again. And now 34 and the planet is under a lockdown due to a virus.  My best friend, he's having his second kid, and while his wife can't even go out (because of the risk from the virus to pregnant women), his work hours are being reduced. He's in a fairly well compensated profession, but they've gone from a 2-person income household to a 0.75% household, with one kid to look after and another on the way. I'm lucky in that I have a huge amount of savings to fall back on and can work from home, but most people don't have either of those options right now.

And of course, there has been the steadily increasing global warming crisis, which will inevitably hit a tipping point in like...well, probably 5 years ago to be honest. But we probably won't start to see the fallout for another 10, not on a systemic level.

Doktor Howl

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Re: Plague Diary
« Reply #2 on: March 24, 2020, 04:33:30 pm »
3/24/20

People still aren't taking this seriously.  Instead of a common sense approach (by which I mean read the CDC guidelines and accept them as your new religion), people are either "Shut everything down until cannibalism is a thing" or "Don't let the cure be worse than the disease" (ie, do nothing at all.)

Americans have been largely living free of consequences for 75 years.  The universe is not allowing that anymore, but people refuse to believe that the rules are now being enforced without regard to privilege.  Americans are not used to being told "no", but now reality is saying "no" with Richterian finality.  There is no argument, there is no appeal, and this includes your spring break party that you wouldn't cancel because you've been planning it for two whole months OR you continuing to shake hands and slobber all over people just because you're the president OR because you live in Idaho and you will not close your bars down (Idaho has 15% of their population over 60.  For now.).
"Daisy had syphilis, Tom died of genital warts, and Nick Carroway watched it all in mounting horror, then made off with the silverware and the maid."
~ The Good Reverend

Evil doesn't work without good people. Good people will do the most repugnant, nasty shit for what they think are "the right reasons"

Doktor Howl

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Re: Plague Diary
« Reply #3 on: March 24, 2020, 04:39:55 pm »
Seriously, the older half of the millenial cohort managed to hit every global crisis pretty much perfectly. I was 14 when the War on Terror started. 17 when Iraq was invaded. 22 when the subprime mortgage crisis tanked the world economy. 24 when the Tories took power. 29 when people decided fascism sounded really fucking cool again. And now 34 and the planet is under a lockdown due to a virus.  My best friend, he's having his second kid, and while his wife can't even go out (because of the risk from the virus to pregnant women), his work hours are being reduced. He's in a fairly well compensated profession, but they've gone from a 2-person income household to a 0.75% household, with one kid to look after and another on the way. I'm lucky in that I have a huge amount of savings to fall back on and can work from home, but most people don't have either of those options right now.

And of course, there has been the steadily increasing global warming crisis, which will inevitably hit a tipping point in like...well, probably 5 years ago to be honest. But we probably won't start to see the fallout for another 10, not on a systemic level.

That has once again become a long range problem.  Not because it's any better, but because bad shit is here, right now.

"Daisy had syphilis, Tom died of genital warts, and Nick Carroway watched it all in mounting horror, then made off with the silverware and the maid."
~ The Good Reverend

Evil doesn't work without good people. Good people will do the most repugnant, nasty shit for what they think are "the right reasons"

Doktor Howl

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Re: Plague Diary
« Reply #4 on: March 24, 2020, 04:40:37 pm »
By the way, this thread isn't just for me.  Anyone who has thoughts to capture is perfectly welcome to add their own stuff.
"Daisy had syphilis, Tom died of genital warts, and Nick Carroway watched it all in mounting horror, then made off with the silverware and the maid."
~ The Good Reverend

Evil doesn't work without good people. Good people will do the most repugnant, nasty shit for what they think are "the right reasons"

Zenpatista

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Re: Plague Diary
« Reply #5 on: March 24, 2020, 05:15:55 pm »
3/24
The news is painful. And it's not going to get better. The outlook for mortality, mental health and the economy will worsen by waffling. Stay at home. We're at home. My neighbors are at home. We're trying to work from home. But I hear the cars roaring around the roads still. Where are you going? I hope it's because you're an essential worker and you're washing your hands.

The structural biologists online have been going nuts. There's tons of new collaborations. Everyone wants to be a computational biochemist or a bioinformaticist. Most of us can't get back to the lab. My research may be shot. My student's are writing theses or review articles from home. But for those who can get to the lab, precious X-ray beamtime has been opened up for solving SARS-nCov-2 protein structures. I'm stuck at home wondering if I couldn't have holed up in my lab instead. I have a cot and a fridge and a microwave there, right? Or maybe I should've brought the lab home. Would the university freak out if I brought home about $20k of equipment to set up a lab in my garage? We've organized collections of gloves, masks, reagents and PCR kits for donation. It's inspiring to see people help out. Why hasn't the gov't done more? Much of the US gov't is unreliable, mostly at the federal level. Either way, it looks like the way out is to clamp down, stay home, stay safe and slow the spread - not a little slowing but a drastically enforced slowing. Transmission rate below one. I can do without the moccacinofrappelatte or make one at home. Out of rice flour, carob and chickory I guess.

Junkenstein

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Re: Plague Diary
« Reply #6 on: March 24, 2020, 09:32:01 pm »
24/3 (note the correct order)

UK essential under lockdown with indication that this will only escalate.

Police given powers to fine. Police seriously understaffed. Army Ill equipped. Strong suspicion that this is where facial recognition tech will start coming along nicely. You have been fined 100 for being outside twice.

Honestly though, it's the best driving I've dealt with, ever.
Nine naked Men just walking down the road will cause a heap of trouble for all concerned.

Cain

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Re: Plague Diary
« Reply #7 on: March 24, 2020, 09:49:30 pm »
UK essential under lockdown with indication that this will only escalate.

Well, depending on who you listen to. The Health Secretary is now saying if you can't work from home and your employer says so, you have to come in.

So much for the lockdown.

Doktor Howl

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Re: Plague Diary
« Reply #8 on: March 24, 2020, 10:14:02 pm »
Arizona's actual cases just blew because we have test kits now, and the governor decided to not implement any measures at all, but rather to give Pence's arse a good licking.

"Daisy had syphilis, Tom died of genital warts, and Nick Carroway watched it all in mounting horror, then made off with the silverware and the maid."
~ The Good Reverend

Evil doesn't work without good people. Good people will do the most repugnant, nasty shit for what they think are "the right reasons"

The Wizard Joseph

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Re: Plague Diary
« Reply #9 on: March 24, 2020, 11:09:06 pm »
3/24/2020

Bitterness and incalculable grief have been my constant bedfellows for a month and a half now with daily increasing intensity and no respite in sight. That's not me being dramatic, it's just the facts. I'm quite sure at this point that I have gone mad, was so shortly before I even knew of this goddamn virus. But I am walking wounded. I can still function... It's more accurate to say that WE can still function. I am no longer "alone" in my head. He is always there now, right next to me like we're sharing a loveseat while I play a video game He is mostly content to watch and make snarky commentary about... At the moment. I capitalize the h in He the same way I do for I. I have known Him for many years, but He was always an occasional and often unwelcome guest in my reality. Now He's like a radio without a control knob for station or volume, and He's an asshole.

I need psychiatric care, but because of circumstances I am unable to even get state healthcare. I called the assistance line several times and it just told me in English and Spanish that it could not take my call right now and hung up. There isn't going to be a psychiatrist. I won't be getting pillz of any sort. I'm quite sure that pillz wouldn't "fix" us anyway, and everything is in hardcore mode now. We have come to accept our situation. It's no reason to give up on trying to do whatever is necessary in these times, but I do somewhat fear His demonstrated ability to take over "playing the game" if I'm passed out from exhaustion. He doesn't have a morality as we humans think of morality, He's truly alien in some ways, but He does seem to keep His agreements.

We have agreed
That I should lead
And He only
Handle the wheel
If dire need be.
... We shall see.

My life has very often been a surreal exercise in pretending to be ok, but these days I'm far from alone in that. Today my good father had men come to the house to pour concrete. He's spending thousands of dollars on "finishing" his house even as his 401k took a 40% nosedive about a week after I warned him about the virus and an immanent collapse, urging him to pull it all, pay the damn taxes, and reinvest in hard assets, imperishable food, and potential trade goods. He believed Trump over me even though he knows better than anyone that I can often see the future with preternatural seeming clarity. "I told you so" has become more bitter in my mouth than anything eating oranges ever did.

I am fortunate to have a roof, table, and loving family. We are all four of us doing our best to "self isolate", but dear old dad just doesn't seem to get it. I presume at this point that one of us or the other is eventually going to bring 'Rona home one day and infect us all, probably before even being symptomatic. In this realization I have become a bit fatalistic in lieu of allowing paranoia to take hold.

It's about to be dinner time. We're having tacos. Something tells me, flatly, that I had better appreciate the shit out of them. A day will come soon when I will dream of tacos with my family to keep out the pain in my belly, lungs, and heart and count myself fortunate to even have the blessings of such memories.

I've never kept a journal before. It's actually really soothing to see it in writing. Until the next entry, then. Have a fine evening folks.
You can't get out backward.  You have to go forward to go back.. better press on! - Willie Wonka, PBUH

Life can be seen as a game with no reset button, no extra lives, and if the power goes out there is no restarting.  If that's all you see life as you are not long for this world, and never will get it.

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- Doktor Hamish Howl

tyrannosaurus vex

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Re: Plague Diary
« Reply #10 on: March 24, 2020, 11:48:12 pm »
3/24
Got laid off yesterday, have been talking to other potential employers all day. Old job was in the travel/hospitality industry, so that place is as good as cooked anyway, even if the 50% of workers who got to stay on (with a 25% pay cut) don't realize it. Other places are still hiring, but so far they are "waiting til the situation eases up" so they can continue their preferred face to face interviews. Basically no one seems to have realized the depth of the economic hole we just pitched over into, which is less "find the bottom and start climbing back out" and more "Alice goes to Wonderland," I suspect.

Outside, at least here in northern Virginia, everything is noticeably quieter. It's peaceful. I like it, but it puts a lot of other people on edge. Life is supposed to be busy, loud, bustling, and frantic. It isn't supposed to be peaceful, and it sure the fuck isn't supposed to be quiet. Granted, this maybe the calm before the storm, but what better reason to enjoy the stillness?

Personally, I am riding waves of psychosomatic symptoms. I am too aware of everything about my sinuses. It isn't debilitating, but it's annoying. I am also running out of patience with people who can't handle long term disruptions to their routines, but for now I am treating that as a problem that will sort itself out on its own somehow.

The president and a lot of governors are talking about how we need to hurry up and get back to normal, even though the US hasn't even come close to peak infection rate yet. I hate that so few people can see this for the obvious intention to sacrifice possibly hundreds of thousands of people on the altar of the status quo that it is. I hate how shortsighted the news headlines are, too: today the markets crash, today the markets bounce back, today they crash again, and nobody seems to notice the pattern. I assume the narrative is engineered, because nobody could be dumb enough to miss that, right?
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Junkenstein

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Re: Plague Diary
« Reply #11 on: March 25, 2020, 12:24:09 am »
UK essential under lockdown with indication that this will only escalate.

Well, depending on who you listen to. The Health Secretary is now saying if you can't work from home and your employer says so, you have to come in.

So much for the lockdown.

Give it another couple of days. Fully expecting measures to be beyond draconian to mitigate fallout. Huge and excessive fines and sanctions ahoy to pay for all this shit. The fine figure I've heard touted is 30 to unlimited. If someone gets clever it'll be a percentage of income.
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Doktor Howl

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Re: Plague Diary
« Reply #12 on: March 25, 2020, 12:57:10 am »
3/24
Got laid off yesterday, have been talking to other potential employers all day.

I may be taking a position with filthy investment capitalists next month.  They're coast to coast.  I could slide your resume their way if you like.

JOIN US.  DON'T BE AFRAID.  UNNNNNNG.

Hamish,
Continuing his moral collapse.
"Daisy had syphilis, Tom died of genital warts, and Nick Carroway watched it all in mounting horror, then made off with the silverware and the maid."
~ The Good Reverend

Evil doesn't work without good people. Good people will do the most repugnant, nasty shit for what they think are "the right reasons"

The Wizard Joseph

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Re: Plague Diary
« Reply #13 on: March 25, 2020, 01:37:30 am »
3/24
Got laid off yesterday, have been talking to other potential employers all day.

I may be taking a position with filthy investment capitalists next month.  They're coast to coast.  I could slide your resume their way if you like.

JOIN US.  DON'T BE AFRAID.  UNNNNNNG.

Hamish,
Continuing his moral collapse.

The thought "Ethical Transition" came to mind. Moral collapse is just too on the nose for Corporate America.

Yesterday evening I caught myself toying with the idea of infiltrating The Man once the jackboots are on and They bring the iron fist down. I didn't even realize what I was doing until the prospect of watching sick people get abused by mercenary guards presiding over a concentration camp posing as a MASH unit hit me as a deal breaker spiritually.

The Chinese straight up used medical and social media technology to abduct people based purely on whether or not they were running a temperature, and then likewise test everyone they may have contacted, and throw them all into 16 makeshift "hospitals". The WHO recently praised China for the effectiveness of its efforts while conspicuously ignoring the details of their methods, which are a matter of public record at this point. I think I started down the rabbit hole when I realized that I couldn't even be mad if it worked, and despite the fact that I know better than to entirely trust their published numbers it seems to have indeed worked to at least mitigate the damage, to flatten the curve as They say.

Questions like "Would you kill one person to potentially save 100?" and "What would you REALLY do to keep your own kids from starvation?" are no longer armchair musings for a self entitled dipshit with pretensions of philosophy. They are a matter of hard numbers and immediate future outcomes.

In light of that, Vex, I suggest that if Dok can in fact hook you up that you take it. Get all Benjamin Sysko about it and live with it for the sake of your personal alpha quadrant.
You can't get out backward.  You have to go forward to go back.. better press on! - Willie Wonka, PBUH

Life can be seen as a game with no reset button, no extra lives, and if the power goes out there is no restarting.  If that's all you see life as you are not long for this world, and never will get it.

"Ayn Rand never swung a hammer in her life and had serious dominance issues" - The Fountainhead

"World domination is such an ugly phrase. I prefer to call it world optimisation."
 - Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality :lulz:

"You program the controller to do the thing, only it doesn't do the thing.  It does something else entirely, or nothing at all.  It's like voting."
- Billy, Aug 21st, 2019

"It's not even chaos anymore. It's BANAL."
- Doktor Hamish Howl

tyrannosaurus vex

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Re: Plague Diary
« Reply #14 on: March 25, 2020, 02:05:31 am »
there is no ethical consumption under capitalism anyway, so why not
Evil and Unfeeling Arse-Flenser From The City of the Damned.