Coronavirus is the Real World, and It Came Knocking

New York City has turned in a disaster area for Coronavirus. It is overwhelmed with cases and hospitalizations – and it is overwhelmed because it simply wasn’t prepared. Let us pause for a moment and review some salient facts:

The 2020 fiscal year budget for New York City is $92.5 billion. That’s about $11,500.00 in government spending for each person in the city. That is quite a lot of money, don’t you think?

Prior to the crisis, an N95 mask could cost less than one dollar. One dollar. So, for 8 million dollars out of the 2020 budget, NYC could have provided a mask for every man, woman and child in the city. After spending that 8 million dollars, NYC would still have $92,492,000,000.00 left over. If you want to have your eyes glaze over, you can read the entire NYC budget – I went through it a bit and found millions of dollars being allocated for such crucial things as replacing the skylights in the Metropolitan Museum of Art and providing illegal immigrants funds to defend themselves against deportation.

In addition to that, the directory of New York City is handy for you to see what the city is up to – among many, many other things, they have:

NYC Mayor’s Office of Climate Policy and Programs
New York City Department of Cultural Affairs
Four different listings for housing departments
New York City Commission on Human Rights
New York City Loft Board
New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission

And on and on like that – and, rely on it, these things are staffed to the gills with people who make high salaries and get excellent health and retirement benefits. None of these things, though, provide a mask for a nurse working a Coronavirus ward. What is a city government supposed to do? Easy:

Water supply.
Police protection.
Fire protection.
Waste disposal.
Maintain public thoroughfares.
Non-Police/Fire Emergency services.

That’s pretty much it. Anything beyond that isn’t necessary for the city to function. That you might want to have it do other things is all well and good, but the purpose of the city is those six things – and only after those six things are completely done do you have anything left over for additional wants. New York City – like most governments – has got this all backwards. They act as if their primary function is to provide economic opportunity, to end bigotry, to make art – to do just about anything but what the government is supposed to do. The city has been living in a world of make-believe – a world in which the bad things simply won’t happen and so the crucial things can be slighted in favor of fashionable vanities.

Coronavirus has changed that. The real world does, indeed, exist and it is very insistent that we deal with it.

I’m not here just to knock New York City – as worthwhile as that exercise is – but the whole attitude of a world which has been whistling past the graveyard. It isn’t, after all, New York City’s fault that it can’t just make masks in the city. New York used to be a manufacturing powerhouse…but various taxes, regulations and trade policies over the years moved that capacity out of New York. And out of the United States, of course.

What Coronavirus is teaching us is that we have to act like adults and do the important things – and only after the important things are done can we spare any thought or effort to other desires. We have to build back our manufacturing capacity. We must stockpile the necessary equipment for emergencies. We have to make sure our transportation system is durable. That our water supplies are secure. That, at need, we can live for an extended period of time without one thing coming in from outside the United States. In other words, we have to start being adults, again. Cruel as that might seem.

One of the crucial parts of getting back to reality is to directly ask the people in charge just what the heck did they think they were doing? DeBlasio can be raked over the coals – and should be – but he’s not the only one out there spending money trying to keep immigration laws from being enforced. He and a host of others – including many Republicans – have prioritized all sorts of useless garbage over the necessities of American survival. To put it as bluntly as I can: because our leaders have had us spending on trivialities, Americans are dead of the Coronavirus. It is that one for one here, guys: because if we had been as prepared as possible for this – and had acted like adults at the first sign of trouble – many people now dead would still be alive. And many who are going to die wouldn’t. The vanity project of having a green new deal in your home town might have produced a glowing editorial, but it also produced a corpse. Or dozen.

And we had better get serious about this soon – because Coronavirus, by all historical standards, is mild. This is the alarm in the middle of the night waking us up to the threat…and if we don’t take it seriously, then we will pay a very high price in blood.

39 thoughts on “Coronavirus is the Real World, and It Came Knocking

  1. Retired Spook April 5, 2020 / 5:33 pm

    Hopefully NYC is a one off. The national death toll from COVID-19 is still doubling slightly more than every 3 days. NYC is doubling significantly more than ever 2 days. Doubling every 2 days since the first death on March 14th would put NYC at 1,024 as of today, and the actual death number is 2,256. By all accounts the rate is expected to increase for the next week or two, but even staying the same, NYC is probably looking at around 70,000 dead by April 15th.

    • Amazona April 5, 2020 / 5:43 pm

      Is NYC using any of the drugs we have been hearing about, at least with the most severely ill patients? The NYC figures don’t jibe with the reports from many doctors in other parts of the country, like the one who said he treated 700 patients with hydroxychloroquine and none had to be intubated. Something isn’t matching up.

  2. Retired Spook April 5, 2020 / 7:23 pm

    Remember a couple weeks ago when Dr. Fauci (I think) said that as the number of tests increased, the death rate would decline, probably well below 1%. Exactly the opposite has happened. The U.S. death rate currently stands at 2.85% while the world death rate is 5.48%. The rate in NYC is in between at 3.8%. In this country the death rate is increasing substantially faster than the number of new confirmed cases.

    The one constant in all of this is the number of lies and erroneous predictions that have been foisted on the public.

  3. casper3031 April 5, 2020 / 7:47 pm

    Two other states that were hit early on, California and Washington have done a pretty good job of slowing the spread down. If NYC had closed everything down two or three days earlier, it would have peaked this week and saved thousands of lives. The states that will probably be hit the hardest in the next couple of weeks are Florida and Texas. large populations, waited too long to do anything about it.

    • Amazona April 5, 2020 / 8:22 pm

      Any reason you feel compelled to serve up old “news” and vapid recycled observations?

      • casper3031 April 6, 2020 / 1:15 am

        So here is an observation. Within a month we will be at over one million cases and 100,000 deaths. Understand, I pray this isn’t so, but sadly that is the direction this is going. New York is being pummeled right now, but in a month, their numbers will be going down while the states that haven’t taken the measures needed (Mississippi, Texas, Florida, Alabama, etc.) will be getting hit the hardest. You mentioned Wyoming on an earlier thread. Wyoming has less than 1300 hospital beds for the entire state. If 20% of the state catches this, over 10,000 people will need to be hospitalized. Hawaii is in a similar situation. I expect that within a month that Trump will claim he is doing a great job if deaths are kept below one million. After all, he went from “it will all be over in a week” (paraphrasing) to “I’m doing a great job if only 100,000 Americans die.” in a month and a half.

      • Amazona April 6, 2020 / 1:43 am

        That’s a lot of words to build up to your inevitable Trump bashing. Yeah, you had to lie to do it, but hey, a basher’s gotta do what basher’s gotta do. Of course, no one here pays any attention to you anyway. We still remember your insistence that anyone who believes we should follow the Constitution as it is written is in favor of returning to slavery and denying women the vote. Of course, the Constitution doesn’t even mention slavery or women voting (till later amendments said no to the first and yes to the second) and Trump never said “I’m doing a great job if only 100,000 Americans die.” Like your fellow Libs, you just don’t let the truth get in the way of a good snarl.

        And as a teacher you should know it is “fewer than 1300 hospital beds” not “less than”.

  4. casper3031 April 6, 2020 / 2:03 am

    As I said, I was paraphrasing. That is how many people interpreted it. If you think my numbers are wrong, please say so and while you are at it I would love to hear your predictions. And seriously playing grammar police? You really didn’t refute anything I said, Sad.

    • Pke42 April 6, 2020 / 6:11 am

      You presume everyone is going to follow New York even if they are not the same as New York.

    • Amazona April 6, 2020 / 8:54 am

      Well, first of all, if you knew anything about the construction of an English sentence you would know that the way you phrased your comment the “paraphrasing” part referred to what came before the disclaimer, not what came after, which was presented as a quote.

      Second, you can’t just invent a scurrilous lie and weasel out of responsibility for it by calling it a “paraphrase”. That is how many people interpreted it. So? Who cares what kind of utter crap comes out when your “many people” run things through their Hate Filters until they come up with something so vile and nasty they finally hit upon a taste they love?

      And seriously, you’re damned right I will play “grammar police” when dealing with something a purportedly educated TEACHER is writing, for the purpose of showing that he is in fact a poorly educated ignorant doofus. Keep trotting out examples and I will happily keep pointing them out to you.

      I don’t need to try to “refute” anything you say, because I don’t care. You are a pathetic little man (though inhabiting a quite sizable skin sack) with a pathetic petty little distorted worldview formed by a toxic brew of ignorance, hatred and general spitefulness, which you carefully nurture by immersing yourself in the sludge produced by people who are like you. So you go right ahead and be “sad” that I find you and your blather so insignificant it doesn’t need to be addressed. What IS sad is your lack of a virtual mirror in which you could see yourself as others see you, though I can understand how crushing that would be.

      What you presented in your posts was nothing but filler, to provide a pretense for posting so you could get to your real purpose—-to flaunt your hatred of the president.
      Because that’s the kind of thing that motivates people like you.

      • Cluster April 6, 2020 / 9:21 am

        Yes, Casper, I am the only one allowed to butcher the English language and I do regularly lol.

        Casper is the poster child for Progressivism and it appears he was rewarded nicely as he is now living in Hawaii on tax payer money. All throughout his career, Casper had the ability to just stay at home and never had to worry about losing his job, missing a paycheck, paying a power bill, or meeting payroll. He lived in the lap of protection from the government all the while lecturing those of us who paid his way.

  5. Cluster April 6, 2020 / 9:16 am

    Excellent analysis Mark and that’s exactly where the focus should be. How does a high paid assistant secretary to the NY Chief of Cultural Affairs help the tax payers? In fact our governments at both the State level and at the Federal level have FAILED their constituents and the media has covered for them, and still is covering for them. You will never see any analysis like this in the complicit media. The Bush’s, McCain’s, Romney’s, Clinton’s, Obama’s, Kerry’s, etc. etc., have sold our country out over the last 30 years for power and profit. We have farmed out much of our manufacturing base and now we are once again wholly dependent on foreign entities for much of our needs in pharmaceuticals, electronics, etc., at a time when we need it the most and if many of our current elected leaders have their way, we will no longer be the worlds largest energy producer either.

    And I will say again, this is where the focus should be.

    I hate to still be the skeptic in the crowd but let’s keep this in mind:

    CDC estimates that influenza has resulted in between 9 million – 45 million illnesses, between 140,000 – 810,000 hospitalizations and between 12,000 – 61,000 deaths annually since 2010.

    This happens EVERY YEAR. And no one even notices. You know what will be noticed and will have a much worse impact? All the small business’s that go out of business. All the unemployed people standing around, and all the eager liberals who want a bigger government to take care of them.

    We are a country of 340-350 million people and currently .096% of our country is infected with the virus yet we have shut everything down. I don’t mean to sound cold, but we could lose a million people and not many of us would even notice. Sometimes I wonder how this current generation would have fared during the early 1800’s when the west was explored. A lot of people risked their lives building this country and keeping it going for future generations but somehow the “selfie generation” thinks they are exempt. We are Americans, let’s act like it.

    • Amazona April 6, 2020 / 11:13 am

      “selfie generation”. I love it.

  6. Cluster April 6, 2020 / 9:40 am

    How many of us remember this about small pox in the 1950’s?

    Between 20 and 60% of all those infected—and over 80% of infected children—died from the disease. During the 20th century, it is estimated that smallpox was responsible for 300–500 million deaths. In the early 1950s an estimated 50 million cases of smallpox occurred in the world each year.

    And yet that generation continued to go to work to build a better future. What’s changed?

  7. Amazona April 6, 2020 / 11:11 am

    There are those secretly thrilled that this virus came along, as nothing else has taken Trump out and they hope this will. Oh, they cry their crocodile tears and claim (as Casper did) that they “pray” it will not be too bad but then they use the situation to lie about what Trump has said, lie about what he has or has not done, and in general attack him. These ghouls also seem to be the ones steadfastly remaining grim and sour, but a lot of people are finding ways to inject a little lighthearted humor into our lives.

    Case in point:

    The station has different ways of telling people what day it is, which is actually helpful to people stuck at home who can lose track. The comments are great. My favorite:

    I’ve watched all the days of the week. My favorite was Wednesday. Can you do Wednesday more often?

    • Cluster April 6, 2020 / 3:13 pm

      It feels like everyday is Wednesday now lol. Groundhogs day all over again and it’s only April 6. I don’t know how much longer I can stand this and yet I still go to the office everyday.

  8. Cluster April 6, 2020 / 3:19 pm

    So this news should make someone like Casper happy, although I am sure Casper would criticize Trump for not doing it sooner:

    The Trump Administration has designated a white supremacist group a terror organization, marking the first time the U.S. has ever made such a move, according to the Associated Press.

  9. Cluster April 6, 2020 / 4:50 pm

    Another swing and a miss (I miss baseball)

    The model projected that New York would need 65,400 hospital beds by April 4, but only 15,905 were actually used, according to former New York Times reporter Alex Berenson.

    Have you seen reporters standing outside of completely empty make shift hospitals. This is absurd.

  10. Cluster April 6, 2020 / 5:17 pm

    This is a must read everyone

    Government policy influenced by models whose predictions can change by a factor of 25 from one day to the next is a reality that is most uncomfortable to contemplate. The fact that predictions from such fickle models find their way into government policy affecting the lives and livelihoods of millions is ominous. While the coronavirus is the current focus of expert advice regarding massive government intervention in the lives of citizens, it was but a few months ago that hardly a day went by without calls being issued for drastic governmental measures to avert a climate catastrophe claimed to threaten us on the basis of models that climatologists such as MIT’s Richard Lindzen regard as woefully incomplete.

    Read more:

    • jdge1 April 7, 2020 / 9:44 am

      Gee, what a surprise.

      ”U.S. Coronavirus Hospitalizations Lower than Predicted: NY Marks 75% Drop

      While tens of thousands are hospitalized across the United States due to COVID-19, the numbers are a fraction of what experts predicted just a few days ago. The main reason appears to be that the [IHME] projections were already off the day they were released.

      Statistical models attempting to predict the impact of the Chinese coronavirus, including the ones created by IHME, rely, at least in part, on polluted data from the Chinese Communist Party, Breitbart News confirmed last Friday.”

  11. jdge1 April 7, 2020 / 10:13 am

    Is this REALLY the democrats front presidential nominee?

    Joe Biden: “One, we have to uh, depend on what the president’s going to do right now. And first of all, he has to, uh, tell uh, uh—wait til the case is before anything happens. Look the whole idea is he’s got to get in place things that were shortages of.”

    • Cluster April 7, 2020 / 1:10 pm

      Yup, that’s him. A 79 year old career politician with early dementia who has been a public servant his entire life and yet worth millions.

    • jdge1 April 8, 2020 / 1:54 pm

      Sleepy Joe wrecking train or train wreck? Guess it depends on who you ask.

  12. Retired Spook April 7, 2020 / 11:25 am

    As you all know, I’ve been tracking COVID-19 deaths for over a month. Since the first U.S. death on February 28, the number has doubled every 3 days up to last Saturday. In fact through Saturday it was actually a little ahead of the doubling every 3 days trend. For the first time since I’ve been tracking it, the rate appears to be not only slowing down, but slowing down substantially. The number today (which is the end of a 3-day period) should be 16,380. Instead, it’s 11,773. We’ll have a better picture by this evening, but it appears we may have gotten over the hump. Good thing, too, because doubling every 3 days would result in everyone in the country being dead by May 20th.

    • Cluster April 7, 2020 / 12:04 pm

      I think there is a light at the end of the tunnel …… and it’s not a train

  13. Cluster April 7, 2020 / 12:51 pm

    In the YCMTSU pile, I present MSNBC:

    MSNBC’s Heilemann: Trump Will Refuse to Accept Election Result If He Loses

    Their self awareness is abysmal

    • Retired Spook April 7, 2020 / 12:54 pm

      If it wasn’t so pathetic, it would be entertaining.

      • Cluster April 7, 2020 / 1:20 pm

        MSNBC is now doing a story on the “disproportional impact” the virus is having a “communities of color”

        The intent of the story … more white people need to die.

    • Amazona April 8, 2020 / 7:36 pm

      MSNBC’s Heilemann: Trump Will Refuse to Accept Election Result If He Loses

      They said the same thing about George W. Bush–first that he would cancel the election, then that if he lost he would not leave the White House.

      As we remember, he and the First Lady were gracious to the incoming Obamas, welcomed them and offered their assistance in getting settled, etc. This was a stark contrast to the “welcome” they got when Bill Clinton nearly had to be dragged out of the White House and the Bushes found the offices vandalized, including finding the “W” key removed from the keyboards.

      Now they have dragged out this stupid claim, again. Basically, everything about the Left is recycled, from the tired old always-failed political philosophy to its slanders, libels and “predictions”. The Left has had no new ideas for decades.

  14. Cluster April 7, 2020 / 1:51 pm

    I don’t even know what to say other than we have all lost our f**king minds

    Van Jones, a CNN host and the CEO of the REFORM Alliance, has some important information for Black Americans during the dark days of the pandemic. The short version of it is, don’t be complacent. Black people can catch COVID-19 just like anyone else.

  15. Cluster April 7, 2020 / 2:13 pm

    I want to remind everyone that 3 weeks ago, Governor Mike DeWine of Ohio predicted over 100,000 cases in his state alone. As of this morning, 4,046 cases are reported in Ohio.

  16. Cluster April 7, 2020 / 5:17 pm

    Why has Bernie Sanders completely stopped his campaign? Or am I not seeing it? Almost half the delegates are still up for grabs and less than half the states have voted I think yet Bernie is no where. No social media campaign, no tv ads, no radio?? WTH?

    • Amazona April 8, 2020 / 7:37 pm

      He finally made if official—he is out.

      But he is hanging onto his delegates. Just how does that work?

  17. Cluster April 7, 2020 / 5:24 pm

    So I just went to the CDC to look up influenza numbers which are below. Read into what you want but I would have never guessed that we incurred this every year. These numbers are for the 2019-2020 flu season

    The percent of deaths associated with pneumonia and influenza is above the epidemic threshold. The increase is due to an increase in pneumonia deaths rather than influenza deaths and may be associated with COVID-19.

    162 influenza-associated deaths in children have been reported so far this season. This number is higher than recorded at the same time in every season since reporting began in 2004-05, except for the 2009 pandemic.

    CDC estimates that so far this season there have been at least 39 million flu illnesses, 400,000 hospitalizations and 24,000 deaths from flu.

  18. jdge1 April 8, 2020 / 12:43 pm

    ”White House officials and congressional leaders worry $2.2T isn’t nearly enough”

    They haven’t even spend a small portion of the last allocation and they’re already wanting more? On top of that, there are many indications that the virus has starting to decline and recoveries are stepping up with more aggressive treatment as well as the far fetched projections not being anywhere near where models suggest. Perhaps we should wait a bit longer before we totally trash out fragile economy. As it is, this will already take quite some to to recover from especially with large numbers of people out of work and likely to be so for an undetermined duration.

  19. jdge1 April 8, 2020 / 1:42 pm

    ”There is a difference between dying from something and dying with something. In the US, anyone who dies with “COVID-19” is counted as having died from the virus. If a patient is admitted to a hospital who has the virus, along with another aliment such as a heart condition or kidney condition, they’re automatically being counted as a COVID-19 death should they die, which is in many cases a distortion of the truth.”

    We really have no true basis from which to establish a fatality rate. Given the classification of death problematically skews the rate, overestimating the actual percentages. This distortion is magnified even greater given that there are likely a significant number of people who have never been tested largely due to having mild symptoms or totally asymptomatic, and therefore never considered in the calculations.

    I get there is the possibility that this virus is more dangerous than others that have come before it, in both the rate of infection and the potential for death. But until we start with some basic honest facts, throwing scads of money at it (or other unnecessary expenditures attached to spending bills) and playing politics trying to score “gotchas”, all we’re doing is setting that stage for a REAL crisis.

    Most of us are patiently dealing with recommendations, staying home from typical everyday activities, including earning an income. But this tolerance has a limit. Tensions will build. As each piece of the puzzle continues to play out, when people believe there is a continued hysteria, invented largely by media, politicians and the health profession as a means to garner personal importance, people will eventually revolt. The economic ramifications along with personal and family difficulties will at some point win out over, where people will begin to ignore government orders and mandates, regardless of the potential of fines and jail time.

    Is China vastly downplaying the devastation this virus has done to its own country? Is China involved at some level in hyping up US media hysteria? Is the US media by itself creating invented hysteria for the purpose of self-importance? It’s difficult for the average citizen to guess the answers to these questions. Be wary however when the “fix” becomes more damaging than the problem.

  20. jdge1 April 8, 2020 / 2:29 pm

    Chalk up 3 more deaths to COVID-19. Guess I shouldn’t be surprised when this largely the only thing on the news these days.

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