Should I laugh or cry?

Over the last 20 months people have been arguing about what is being done right or wrong in the pandemic response.

Over and over people have been labeled “conspiracy theorists” and “spreading misinformation” for stating something that went against the mainstream beliefs on the subject, been banned from social media, had family deride them, and in some cases had family disown them and friends disappear.

Only to have that same statement, months or a year later, be proved to have merit, or even be true, by the media and politicians.

And here we go again.

As recently as 6 months ago people were banned from social media for stating that cloth masks were not useful in stopping the C19 virus.

And yet, just this week, on CNN! Dr Leana Wen, one of CNN’s top talking heads about medical issues and the pandemic, stated that “cloth masks are little more than facial decoration“!

I’m waiting for Dr Wen to get canceled.

Oh wait, she’s one of the GOOD guys, so its ok when she says it.

Seriously though, if you’re counting on a mask to help protect you from the virus you need to be wearing a N95 mask. And you need to wear it properly, making sure there’s no gaps. If its fogging up your glasses when you breath its not fitted correctly.

The more overweight you are the worse Covid is

I mean, we’ve known this practically since day 1. Overweight to obese people have been significantly more likely to get seriously sick and/or die from Covid-19 right from the start, even if they were otherwise healthy.

But instead of encouraging people to exercise and get more fit the .GOV scared people into hiding at home, shut down parks, beaches, play areas. Arrested people exercising alone or in household groups. Shut down gyms.

Now researchers have found that the coronavirus infects both fat cells and certain immune cells within body fat, prompting a damaging defensive response in the body.

Here’s a link to the actual study.

Instead of taking advantage of this to encourage people to get healthy the .GOV did their damndest to convince people to get sicker instead. Instead of making people healthier the .GOV scared them into huddling into small indoor spaces, spaces that might have well been designed to SPREAD respiratory disease. Forced them to avoid one of the very things that would make it less likely for them to get sick. And obesity has spiked hard during this whole mess. In both children and adults. Along with mental health problems. And its not getting better. Not to mention the damage done to immune systems by being terrified of sniffles.

People are STILL scared of being around other people. Terrified of being too close to other people while getting exercise that they NEED to stay healthy. So they’re choosing NOT to exercise, which in turn is making them more likely to get seriously sick from Covid. I see it every day on social media “I tried to go to the gym today but when I got to the gym there were more than X number of people there so I couldn’t stay away from people so I went home”.

The UK is looking at an expected 700,000+ extra cases of cancer JUST FROM MISSED APPOINTMENTS over the last two years. Because we terrified people into not going to the doctor, shut down “non-emergency” treatments, shut down urgent cares.

Everyones freaking out because people aren’t getting the Covid vaccine, and meanwhile children are missing out on their childhood shots because they weren’t able to get into the doctors offices for any one of those many reasons. Are we TRYING to get additional cases of measles? Cause it sure looks like it.

Deaths from TB are continuing to spike due to lack of treatment in the 2020 shutdown. Malaria.

And the .GOV is STILL freaking out at every rise in cases, regardless of actual hospitalization increase numbers. And at the same time is taking steps to REDUCE hospital bed availability across the country. Millions and millions sent to every state for “Covid relief” and how much of it went towards increasing hospital bed availability and nurse/doctor availability?

But on no, we have to shut down “elective” procedures, we have to spread out the number of patients seen in a day, we have to……resulting in people not being able to get treatment for cancers, heart problems, joint repairs….anything that is “scheduled ahead of time” rather than “has to be done right now to save a life” is considered elective. And yet here we are again, killing more people cause god forbid we chance exposing them to a respiratory virus they’re going to get ANYWAY at some point in their life.

Can we please just stop the fear porn??

Yes it MIGHT be more transmissible. But we don’t actually know that yet. What few indications we do have so far is that its probably NOT more deadly. But all that is just speculation and fear porn at this point. Attempting to stop travelers from some countries doesn’t stop transmission, we knew that BEFORE 2020 and 2020 just reinforced that. And screaming into the void about how everyone must now be scared of the new version is really no better than constantly crying wolf. There comes a point where people just stop paying attention and start getting annoyed. And we’re WAY past that point.

And I find it really really interesting that this particular jolt of fear porn is getting so much attention JUST as the courts are trying to argue out the OSHA stupidity, and the .GOV is trying to insist that they can ignore the courts and do what they want anyway…..

Please tell me this is out of context

I don’t have time to go listen to the whole panel, but really??

“We’re never gonna learn about how safe the vaccine is until we start giving it. That’s the way it goes.”

Dr. Ruben on the FDA panel

Because yes, that’s going to make already vaccine hesitant parents want to give this vaccine to their children who are already at such low risk from Covid19….

The study on this age group was less than 3000 kids, meanwhile we KNOW that for teens some of the side effects risks are approx 1 in 10,000, so the study group flat out isn’t large enough to have an actual idea of actual safety. They literally just confirmed that it induces apparent antibody defense.

But meanwhile, now that the EUA has been approved for this age group, multiple states and municipalities are prepared to MANDATE it for that age group in order to just go to school. Without any actual safety data.

And if you REALLY think that giving kids this vaccine will result in less Covid restrictions you’re dreaming. They’ve used that carrot for the last year and it hasn’t been true yet.

Does anyone running this have ANY clue what they’re doing to the kids??

Yes, lets have the kids eat lunch in the rain because god forbid they might be exposed to a virus thats less damaging to them than the bugs they’ve been exposed to for YEARS.

Following the negative reaction from concerned Californians, the Davis Joint Unified School district released a follow up email stating that children will be allowed to eat inside “whenever possible” and stressed that the district is facing “unique challenges as we seek to maintain our students’ health and safety and minimize the risk of COVID-19 infection.”

Following that email, Principal Bourguignon sent parents a third email reversing course and acknowledging that some people were upset with the decision to force kids to eat in the rain.

“Some parents are very happy with our decision to have students eat outside and others are concerned,” Bourguignon wrote. “Our campus is not ideal for eating outside due to the lack of a solid walkway cover. In collaboration with our District staff, we looked at all of the alternatives. If during lunchtime, we have a heavy downpour of rain it will be challenging to eat under the covered walkways. “

“During a heavy downpour, we will have a staggered lunch with one grade level at a time in our MPR for 15 minutes with all 10 doors open and 2 air purifiers running. After 15 minutes, students will be dismissed to their classrooms for inside recess. If you prefer that your child remains outside to eat please inform your teacher and we will make accommodations to support your request.”

Quote from here.

I swear to god, if today’s kids grow up to murder us all in our beds I won’t even blink.

Edited to add: The AAP, American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP) and Children’s Hospital Association have declared a national emergency in children’s mental health, citing the serious toll of the COVID-19 pandemic on top of existing challenges. DUH!

Supply chain woes

I get so many comments from customers at work who don’t understand why the supply chain broke the way it did. In addition I see ALOT of comments online in the same vein.

I’ve been slowly trying to come up with an analogy that explains it, but there’s no short explanation. The answer is complicated no matter what. But here’s my best try so far. Note, all numbers and many of the dates used here are made up. In some cases it’s because I don’t know the exact numbers. In others its because I DO know, but that info is likely proprietary to my job. And regardless nice round numbers are easier to work with when typing up examples.

So, I work at a local Home Depot. Lets say that in March of 2020 we’d JUST gotten in our first shipment of lawnmowers. Lets say that shipment is a grand total of 50 mowers. And that 50 mowers was expected to last us till the end of April. Instead the shutdown hit, and that 50 mowers were sold out before April 1.

So the store calls the warehouse and says that not only do we need another 50 lawnmowers a month early, we want you to ship us an additional 50 cause holy crap sales!! (ok, this is all automated, but work with me here)

The warehouse says holy crap! I can send you another 50, but we weren’t expecting you to need them for another month, so I REALLY don’t have that extra 50. I’ll see what I can get! The warehouse ordering person calls the manufacturer (again, this is all automated in RL) and says sales are through the roof, we need to at least double our order!

The manufacturer says I’d love to double your order, but we’re not an essential business so you’re out of luck till we’re allowed to run again.

So two months later, the stores and warehouses are all sold out of lawnmowers and the manufacturer is finally allowed to start running their lines again, but they have to do it with extra social distancing, which means at a slower pace, and they’re at risk for being shut down every time someone tests positive, but at least they can start building lawnmowers!

Except that they only have enough of the various parts on hand to build the originally expected orders of lawnmowers, not this more than doubled sales orders of lawnmowers. So they start making what they can, and in the mean time they call the parts manufacturers and say Hey! We need to at least double our orders!!

The parts manufacturers look at their supply of raw materials and say well, we have enough on hand to make up the parts for the originally expected orders, but we don’t have enough to do double, much less more than double! Plus we’re at risk of the same slowdowns/shut downs you are, but we’ll do our best! And THEY call the raw materials peoples and say hey! We need to at least double our orders!

And the raw materials peoples say geez people, we haven’t been able to mine the raw materials in 3 months! I don’t have it! And we’re at risk of the same shutdowns and slow downs you are, but we’ll do our best!

Meanwhile the store is sold out of lawnmowers again, and the manufacturers are dribbling them in because holy shit no one predicted anything like this mess.

And the orders just keep rolling in.

And the transport between raw material people, to the parts manufacturer, is clogged all to hell, cause covid, and restrictions, and no one expected to have to ship double the number of containers with no warning.

And the orders keep coming.

And the raw materials finally make it to the parts manufacturers, who rush to make the parts, and then the transport between parts manufacturers gets clogged, because now we’re not only running double the containers of raw materials but we’re running double the containers of parts, all with no warning.

And the orders just keep coming.

The parts finally make it to the machine manufacturing line, and they rush to build the actual mowers. And now the transport from them to the warehouse is clogged and backlogged all to hell, cause now we’re running double containers of raw materials, parts, AND finished machines and holy shit we don’t have that many drivers, much less chassis to put the containers on!

And the orders just keep on coming.

AND all those mowers still need to get from the warehouse to the store, with is yet ANOTHER layer of transport doubling.

And by this time the orders have continued to the point where we need to actually TRIPLE our order back here at the store. And we’re not sure THAT’S going to be enough. So go back to the beginning of this and substitute “triple” for all the word “double”.

And then do it again for the word quadruple.

Now do the same math for something like half the products that a store like Home Depot sells.

And multiply by the number of stores that Home Depot has around the country.

And multiply again by all the other stores LIKE Home Depot who found themselves stuck in the same holding pattern.

Add in that the internal USA materials transport system has been running a bit short since well before 2020 for a variety of reasons including the generalized panic over air pollution from the trucks and lack of drivers and constant added restrictions from states, counties, and towns.

Add in that when Covid hit the media did their damndest to panic the world into refusing to work and hide at home. And then the .GOV paid them MORE to stay at home than to work.

And the ones who did work found themselves burning out at an even faster rate than normal. AND not receiving that additional pay that the folks sitting at home were getting. AND doing so while dealing with the same materials shortages that everyone else was dealing with.

And the orders just keep rolling in.

And now we’re short on the parts needed to FIX the trucks and chassis and keep them on the road.

And the costs for the parts we do have keep going up.

And the manufacturers also have to have parts to keep THEIR machines going.

And people are still ordering and ordering and ordering.

This is so over simplified its not even funny, and I KNOW I’m missing out on all sorts of aspects. There’s bottlenecks all along the transport lines for various things. The ships backing up at cargo points is the one currently making news, but keep in mind it’s not JUST a matter of getting all those ships unloaded. Those containers have to go somewhere, and the ports can only hold so many at a time. And while huge portions of that process is automated you still have to have people to keep an eye on the machines. And chassis to put the containers on, and trains and trucks and machinery all need parts to run.

And people won’t stop ordering more things.

I keep seeing people saying that “if we made more things here in the USA we wouldn’t be in this problem!!!”, and while I agree with the underlying concept its not realistic. First of all a huge portion of the raw materials have to come from overseas no matter what, unless we want to open up ALOT of mines here in the USA, and trust me, you don’t want to (plus there’s things we can’t mine here, so yah). So there would still be international transport bottlenecks. Second, we shut down EVERYTHING that the various politicians decided wasn’t “essential” for 3 months. And since politicians are idiots their definition of “essential” had no bearing on reality. Plus the US public is madly materials oriented, I don’t think we could have enough internal manufacturing to keep up with demand these days. I really don’t.