Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

Archive for April 2nd, 2020

The Malicious Irresponsibility of Rush Limbaugh

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Jonathan V. Last writes in the Bulwark:

1. The Reckoning

On March 31, over a 24 hour period, 1,049 Americans died from COVID-19.

That’s the official number for now—as we’re seeing in Italy, the real number may be higher, because it’s not clear that deaths are being tabulated as caused by COVID-19 unless there is either pre- or post-mortem testing for the virus.

But let’s just pretend that the 1,049 number is right. Put in context, that makes it one of the deadliest single days in U.S. history. But put it in another context and you’ll see that this isn’t some crazy one-off, like most of the other bloodiest days in American history—it’s part of a trend that is increasing.

This is the geometric progression I kept shouting about weeks ago: The number of deaths per day doubles roughly every three of four days.

Doubling. That’s the key to understanding how virality functions. We will soon be at 2,000 deaths per day.

Just try to get your head around that.

This New York Times piece does a nice job trying to hold to account some of the people from Conservatism Inc. who worked to prevent Americans from taking COVID-19 seriously. But honestly, it’s not enough. When this is all over, there should be a reckoning—a very real, very thorough reckoning—for all of the people who made this pandemic worse by pushing disinformation and lies in the service of making it harder for the country to quickly respond to the crisis.

But why wait? Let’s talk about Rush Limbaugh, because what this man has said over the last month ought to mark him for the rest of his life.

  • February 24: “Folks, this coronavirus thing, I want to try to put this in perspective for you. It looks like the coronavirus is being weaponized as yet another element to bring down Donald Trump. Now, I want to tell you the truth about the coronavirus. You think I’m wrong about this? You think I’m missing it by saying that’s — Yeah, I’m dead right on this. The coronavirus is the common cold, folks.”
  • February 25: “Why couldn’t the coronavirus get Donald Trump reelected? What if the United States comes up with a dramatically great policy to deal with it—and the number of cases in the United States dwindles, goes down, or does not expand like the cases around the world? Then why wouldn’t that be beneficial to Trump? Notice: Here we are in February, and they’ve already got this virus ruining the economy by November, in time to take out Trump. This is proof they’ve got nothing. They know they can’t beat the guy, folks…. Donald Trump has survived every coup attempt, every assault on him, that has been made up and now the coronavirus, they’re trying to lay it at his feet and make him responsible for it and they’re doing irresponsible news reports claiming that the coronavirus is gonna destroy the US economy by when? November! Isn’t it magical? The coronavirus is the new Russians…”
  • March 9: “Democrats out the wazoo are showing up at Trump rallies. This is why they want these rallies stopped. This is why — it’s not because of public safety, not because of public health.”
  • March 11: “This coronavirus, they’re just — all of this panic is just not warranted. This, I’m telling you, when I tell you — when I’ve told you that this virus is the common cold. When I said that, it was based on the number of cases. It’s also based on the kind of virus this is. Why do you think this is “COVID-19”? This is the 19th coronavirus. They’re not uncommon. Coronaviruses are respiratory cold and flu viruses. There is nothing about this, except where it came from, and the itinerant media panic…”
  • March 13: “We’re shutting down our country because of the — the cold virus, which is what coronaviruses are. This is COVID-19, the 19th version of the coronavirus. We’re shutting it — can you imagine our enemies watching this? You think the Chinese are not laughing themselves silly over how easy this has been?”
  • March 27: “We didn’t elect a president to defer to a bunch of health experts that we don’t know. And how do we know they’re even health experts? Well, they wear white lab coats, and they’ve been in the job for a while, and they’re at the CDC and they’re at the NIH, and they’re up, well — yeah, they’ve been there, and they are there. But has there been any job assessment for them? They’re just assumed to be the best because they’re in government. But, these are all kinds of things that I’ve been questioning.”

There was another moment on March 11 where Limbaugh claimed that “medical professionals” weren’t overly concerned and then did a little rant against the very idea of suppression and mitigation protocols: . . .

Continue reading. There’s more.

Limbaugh is one of the reasons conservatives are so misinformed.

Written by Leisureguy

2 April 2020 at 8:44 pm

Doctors Say Hospitals Do Not Allow Them To Wear Masks

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Leila Fadel reports for NPR:

Neilly Buckalew is a traveling doctor who fills in at hospitals when there’s need. So in the midst of this pandemic, she feels particularly vulnerable to contracting the coronavirus — not just in hospitals but in hotels and on her travels.

When she got an assignment last week at Saint Alphonsus Regional Rehabilitation Hospital in Boise, Idaho, she packed her own personal protective equipment and drove to town. She disinfected her hotel room and stayed away from other guests but worried about the coughing person in the room next door. So she donned her own fitted N95 mask that she uses for work.

“I wanted to protect myself,” she said. “I wanted to protect my patients.”

That first day at work, Buckalew said she was told to take off her mask.

When she asked hospital administrators why, the reasons kept changing. First Buckalew said she was told it was against hospital policy for health care workers to bring their own gear. Then, she said, administrators told her if she wore her own N95 mask, others would want to wear the masks as well and the hospital didn’t have enough. Finally, Buckalew said, it was that CDC guidelines don’t require the mask at all times.

“I said if I can’t wear it, then we have a problem,” she said.

Refusing to take off her mask, she said, got her terminated. Then, she said after complaining she was reinstated and then terminated again — all within three days.

“I’m raising a huge big stink because it’s wrong. It’s unsafe. We’ll never flatten the curve if hospital systems keep acting this way,” she said, adding that she’s speaking now because she’s already lost her assignment and wanted to speak on behalf of those who can’t. “A lot of people can’t speak out because they’re afraid, or they know that they’ll be fired.”

The rehabilitation hospital is a joint venture by the Saint Alphonsus Regional Medical Center and Encompass Health. A spokesman at the medical center referred NPR to Encompass Health. Repeated calls to Encompass Health for comment were not returned. Buckalew said she filed a formal complaint with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

Buckalew’s account lays bare tensions between some hospital systems and health care workers on the front lines of this disease. Many doctors, nurses and other hospital workers say they don’t feel protected and are afraid in the midst of a shortage of masks and other protective gear. Some are bringing their own supplies donated by friends and family or purchased at hardware stores. Meanwhile, some hospitals are instituting strict policies that bar medical workers from bringing their own personal protective equipment, or PPE, to work, or limiting how much protection a person can wear because of a shortage in supplies.

Leaders at the American Academy of Emergency Medicine says they have heard accounts like Buckalew’s from health care workers across the country.

“We’re hearing a lot of people saying that ‘I’m not getting adequate PPE at my job, so I was able to buy PPE and I’m using what I buy,'” said Dr. Lisa Moreno, the president-elect of AAEM.

But when they wear it to work, she says doctors have told her, “‘I’m being yelled at. I’m being told to take it off. I’m being told that I’m scaring patients and that I’m scaring other people.’ We’ve had people who had their jobs threatened.”

Moreno said about two dozen people have formally complained to her organization. She said they’ve also received hundreds of calls from health care workers who are afraid to lose their jobs if they complain, but also feel that hospitals aren’t letting them do what they need to do to protect themselves against an infectious and new virus. . .

Continue reading. There’s much more.

So hospitals are cutting benefits for doctors and nurses and now are not allowing them to wear masks. Perhaps soon we’ll see hospitals not allowing doctors and nurses on the premises — hospitals seem already to be doing everything they can to get them to stay away.

Written by Leisureguy

2 April 2020 at 9:35 am

Reprise of the Fine slant

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I like the Fine slant so much, now that I dialed in the correct angle, that I had to use it again. A good lather from Wholly Kaw’s Monaco Royale, thanks in part to the Fine Classic brush, and then another wonderful shave. This really is a terrific slant. I know the design work was challenging, but the end result is a marvel (though not the Fine Marvel, a different razor). The key for the user is the angle: handle rather far from the face.

Three passes, a perfect result, and a splash of Hâttric to finish the job.

Written by Leisureguy

2 April 2020 at 9:29 am

Posted in Shaving

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