March 13, 2020

"Mid-morning and still no new Althouse post. I'm beginning to feel isolated."

Said Sebastian at 8:52 a.m. in last night's café... which was just as I was finally getting around to working up a post — published, below, at 8:58.

It wasn't just a matter of needing to get out to see the moon refuse to set...

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It was also the news itself. I was reading around in my usual manner and not finding anything suitable (not until that one thing you see below). There's a great deal about the coronavirus, but I'm not just doing news updates here, I don't repeat things I've already done, and there's the ineffable feeling of blogginess, without which I won't blog. Please consider the absence of posts in that light.

Sebastian's comment struck me, because it's either sad or funny. We are taking on isolation, and, in fact, one of the articles I read this morning and rejected as non-bloggable was something about how going on line and engaging with social media would not work in the context of isolation taken on in response to coronavirus. It felt concocted out of old material about how social media isn't a good enough substitute for in-the-flesh relationships. Just add coronavirus, and you've got another coronavirus article. I'm not a vector for that.

Anyway, good morning.

92 comments:

Temujin said...

I don't freak out when you don't post. I just figure you have a life.

Howard said...

That has a South African feel to it.

tcrosse said...

Our grandparents, at least the ones who were literate, would deal with isolation through letter-writing. Whiz-bang social media are just the short form of that.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

The moon is beautiful right now. We have solid glass/wooden framed french doors on our bedroom that face east. Because it is so cold outside and comparatively warm in the room,..... if we draw the drapes at night we get a lot of condensation on the edges of the double pane glass. Open drapes no condensation.

The bonus of having the "open" windows is that at certain times of the monthly cycle the moonlight comes streaming into the room. It is so bright you could even read by it. To get up and use the bathroom at night you don't need a night light.

Sometimes I stand and look out the window at the landscape and river below, brightly illuminated by the moon and feel a connection with nature and with our ancient ancestors who didn't even know what the moon was. It is magical....then and now.

Sometimes I see a fox or raccoon moving across the deck or yard. They don't know I can see them.

Other times I stand and look at the stars when there is no moon.

I don't believe we will ever draw the drapes again.

henry said...

Social isolation makes sense. So does social media isolation. Just for different plagues. Our luck to face both at once.

rehajm said...

That has a South African feel to it.

That's funny. I thought that too. I'm expecting to see a klipspringer pop out on to that rock.

Fernandistein said...

Nation's Nerds Wake Up In Utopia Where Everyone Stays Inside, Sports Are Canceled, Social Interaction Forbidden

mccullough said...

This is Super Bowl Sunday for preppers.

They are battening town the hatches until Elon Musk can whisk them away to Mars.

rhhardin said...

Scott Adams contemplates a future where you can 3-D print toilet paper.

Fernandistein said...

ADVISORY
"If you are reading this blog on a computer, be sure to wash the screen with soap and hot water for at least 20 minutes, then flee the area."

Hazy Dave said...

Good morning.

Owen said...

Great pic, with that white speck looking back at us. And yes, something African in the scene: and in the tawny light.

DBQ: great word-picture. Thanks.

rhhardin said...

I'm seeing less of a divide between the caring professions and the not-caring professions. They're all going not-caring.

traditionalguy said...

Friday the 13th and the world is doing a Chik Fil A Sunday.. interesting times.

narciso said...

remdesvir seems to be having some effect, according to an account in the journal,

narciso said...

other considerations

Howard said...

You make me homesick for California, DBQ.

Howard said...

Klipspringer... Perfect call. I love how they mash up words to describe a different thing.

narciso said...

go on

Curious George said...

What I haven't seen noted is how many people will die from this virus response. This lasts any length and we will be in recession mode. People will lose jobs and health care from employers, or the ability to pay for their own. Some of those in the lower economic stations will become homeless. Most certainly crime will go up as will substance and alcohol abuse. How many lives permanently affected or lost?

I see moronic comments like:

"Initially, I was really bummed and angry about shutting down all the college and professional sports seasons. Thought it was stupid and unnecessary. So, it put me in a bad mood for the afternoon.

Now, I'm zen-ing with it. More guitar, more hikes, more golf, more books, hopefully lose 10 pounds, maybe write a bit more, maybe a few house projects, so it will work out fine."

Yeah, because the only affect of the cancellations is that you can't watch the event and you now have more free time for other things. What idiocy.

Leslie Graves said...

Good morning! I'd love it if a journalist were to measure the extent of people's commitment to social isolation by checking out things like whether salon and gym visits are down, and whether people are giving their housecleaners a break.

Oso Negro said...

This blog is a substitute for an irl community for me because I travel so much. I will not be traveling for awhile, but it seems to me that my ods social isolation will continue uninterrupted

BleachBit-and-Hammers said...

the rusty landscape is Utah-esque.

Ice Nine said...

>>Howard said...
That has a South African feel to it.<<

Wow, that's interesting. That's the first thing that popped into my head when I saw it, too. Well, OK, I was thinking Zimbabwe, out around Inyanga, but SA works too.

Birches said...

Great post and some great comments.

Browndog said...

I'd like to talk sports but...you know.

Carol said...

I've been reading a UK blog and I guess it's Bring It On there. We have 10x ICU beds per capita than they have and theirs are 90% occupied at any given time anyway.

Planning to clear out the old useless eaters apparently.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

RE: Narcisco's link about smoking and air pollution.

I feel (relatively) lucky. I have never smoked cigarettes and where we live, unless there is a big fire nearby, air pollution is almost non existent.

Low humidity and clear clear skies.....I can see for miles and miles and miles.

Owen said...

Althouse digs a little watering hole in the bush, and one by one we shy but thirsty creatures edge in and draw something essential to our daily life.

Lurker21 said...

Internet interactions don't compensate for the loss of face-to-face real-life interactions, but they may help people from going stir-crazy, or in some cases, from actually going crazy. Much psychological advice is based on some idea of human thriving or flourishing that may not have much to do with everyday life. That idea of what is truly fulfilling may be a good and noble ideal, but the reality is often just muddling through and trying to get by. Or is that too pessimistic? Or is it the ideal itself that makes the reality look so unsatisfying?

hhhhh said...

Althouse still hasen't gotten around to stating contingency plans should the Althouse Blog ever go dark. Can the Althouse Blog continue without Althouse? I'm assuming in the absence of Althouse ---perish the thought--- a) One of the sons will take over --or-- b) Althouse is stockpiling enough future posts so that the Blog can continue even with Althouse in abstentia.

When Charles Schulz passed away, the Peanuts comic strip was able to continue because he had been working on posthumous posts. I know it's morbid and macabre to even discuss, but there are certain inevitabilities, and not discussing won't change it.

Dave Begley said...

Good morning to Ann and Meade.

Badger men's basketball won its final game but didn't win the NCAA tournament. Trivia question. Same deal for Creighton and other schools.

Mike (MJB Wolf) said...

Better than nothing is a high standard. A cruel ‘net reality.

Dave Begley said...

CWS, NCAA bb tournament and BRK meeting all cancelled in Omaha. $100m hit to City of Omaha tax revenue and way more in the service sector.

I really disagree with the cancelling the JUNE CWS.

Owen said...

Re hhhh post on blog continuity: a deep question. But I take comfort in the fact that with proper curation in a dry climate, blog posts have a shelf life of at least 500 years. Just don’t forget to remove the dessicant pack before you add the boiling water.

Fernandistein said...

Can the Althouse Blog continue without Althouse?

Sure. Look at the last few days of posts: they just excerpts of news, oops, MSM articles, sometimes with a couple of insubstantial sentences added. This blog is the commenters.

mockturtle said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
mockturtle said...

All the school closures, sports suspensions and work from home measures are really more about liability than about health precautions.

bagoh20 said...

If you zoom in far enough, you can see a gang of Corona virus hanging out on those rocks with a tiny trebuchet loaded with a bunch of their gang members. I think it wise for you to just go out in the middle of the lake and wait this thing out... for the children.

Francisco D said...

Mrs. Francisco and I went to an HOA meeting last night where we are focused on stopping a big commercial development in our neighborhood. (Yes. I am now a NIMBY). Several HOAs did not allow us to use their meeting rooms because of the coronavirus scare.

I met a lot of new neighbors because this community is only a few years old. I shook a lot of hands and challenged our obnoxious and dishonest HOA President.

It was a good night. Once we got in the car, we sanitized our hands, came home and drank wine in order to kill any lingering coronavirus germs. I don't know if I touched my face, but if I get sick I will fight through it.

It is still Morning in America.

bagoh20 said...

The school closure are funny, becuase the kids are just going to get together outside of school and infect each other anyway, as well as spend more time in contact with others outside their classmates at the mall or wherever the hell kids go now days.

Guildofcannonballs said...

Adapt to drinking hard liquor. You may say you want to lick things you would never want to lick if you were sober. You may say you want to eat things you would never want to eat if you were sober.

This is a link telling you how to
Deal as it were, so by God do it.

mockturtle said...

Liability, bagoh20. One school closes, they all have to close, otherwise...

Browndog said...

Blogger mockturtle said...

All the school closures, sports suspensions and work from home measures are really more about liability than about health precautions.


Presumed liability.

Watching a report right now on why baseball cancelled and postponed, "MLB didn't want to be the only one".

I think it's more of a herd mentality, maybe fueled by whispers from lawyers about "liability" which is BS in my book.

Ann Althouse said...

"Yeah, because the only affect of the cancellations is that you can't watch the event and you now have more free time for other things. What idiocy."

People decline into passivity. Entropy is the way of the world. Why do people watch sports on television? Yes, all that time was there to claim and to use for more active, more alive and soulful things, but that doesn't mean people could rouse themselves to live. But if sports are taken away, the rousing will be done for them. More passivity, yes, and you can denounce them as idiocy to need to be forced out of passivity, but if good comes of it, it's not stupid to notice the good and to speak admiringly of it.

Ann Althouse said...

"Good morning! I'd love it if a journalist were to measure the extent of people's commitment to social isolation by checking out things like whether salon and gym visits are down, and whether people are giving their housecleaners a break."

I'm taking a break from my Pilates lessons, even though I do these in a place that only has, at most, 2 clients at a time (and 2 instructors).

We're getting some work done on the house, and we're adding extra precautions for the part that requires entry into our home interior.

Browndog said...

How are you going to prove when, where and how you contracted corona virus?

One person files a lawsuit against a school or venue, it instantly becomes class action, and we sue ourselves into oblivion.

It's about caving to the threat of a lawsuit, not the lawsuit itself. As it always is.

Curious George said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
bagoh20 said...

The odds of getting the virus have got to be very low in the United States, and then diminished by 50 to 100 times for the fatality rate to get the odds of it killing you somewhere close to the chances of being hit right in the eye with lightning.

bagoh20 said...

Despite what I write above, I must admit that I do have some anxiety about getting it, but much more about it shutting down my business out of an "abundance of caution."

Curious George said...

Curious George said...
"Ann Althouse said...
"Yeah, because the only affect of the cancellations is that you can't watch the event and you now have more free time for other things. What idiocy."

People decline into passivity. Entropy is the way of the world. Why do people watch sports on television? Yes, all that time was there to claim and to use for more active, more alive and soulful things, but that doesn't mean people could rouse themselves to live. But if sports are taken away, the rousing will be done for them. More passivity, yes, and you can denounce them as idiocy to need to be forced out of passivity, but if good comes of it, it's not stupid to notice the good and to speak admiringly of it. "

More idiocy. And it ignores totally my point, which is the harm that the financial loss of these event will bring to millions of Americans. Maybe you just don't care.

Browndog said...

PGA spokesman on why they cancelled: We don't think anyone has corona virus, or anyone will get corona virus at our events, but we couldn't justify being the only ones (playing sports).

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Mockturtle has it. Liability is the driving factor. Princess Cruises suspends. Airlines stop flying. Sporting events canceled. Work from home.

Although... suppose the sporting events could just go on, without the live crowds. I never watch sports so that is a big MEH issue for me.

The economic disruption of all this cancellation is going to be huge and longer lasting than the actual virus.

Most of what people are doing in their panic mode is just trying to pile up sand against the tide. It isn't going to really work. Do your best to avoid but be realistic.

IF we are quarantined, without being really sick, it wouldn't change our lives all that much. There is still plenty to do outside on the property and lots of deferred maintenance/honey-do's inside and out to be taken care of. I need to spray the fruit trees again when they are in blossom. Rototill the garden area and turn the dirt in the raised planter beds. The windows need to be washed and the decks should be pressure washed. To start with.

Many books to be read and unfinished craft projects that can be taken care of.

Of course..If we are sick.....not much will be done.

Owen said...

Now that we (this country; the entire world) are entering Total Lockdown You Guys, what is the “all clear” signal? Who will issue it? It can’t be the President, we have been convinced by CNN et al. that he has no clue. Who, then? And based on what information?

Serious here: we have no agreed protocol for this process of crashing our social and economic lives, let alone re-starting them. There is no playbook. If to thus point we have been following each other toward quiescence, thanks in no small part to hyper-hypothesizing risk managers and bureaucratic CYA and media-fueling shaming of the laggards and doubters, how then do we turn it all around?

Just asking. And now I am going back to counting cans of Dinty Moore and wondering if too much ain’t enough.

BleachBit-and-Hammers said...

anyone notice the virus isn't attacking kids?

Sebastian said...

Well, good morning. Feeling more connected already.

Inga said...

Madison elementary and high schools are closing my Madison daughter tells me. Also my Waukesha County daughter tells me she got a notice to get ready for online classes for grade school and high school. Granddaughter at U of MN on extended spring break, then online classes.

Yancey Ward said...

"Although... suppose the sporting events could just go on, without the live crowds. I never watch sports so that is a big MEH issue for me."

I think the issue of playing in empty arenas/stadia vs just cancelling, rested on two factors:

(1) The visiting teams have to fly to the venues on aircraft;
(2) You still have to pay to rent the facilities for use.

I think the various leagues did the financial calculations, and decided cancellation was the better option overall.

Yancey Ward said...

The loss of the sporting events doesn't affect me- I don't watch hardly any sports at all- college basketball was really the last one for me, and I have stopped watching altogether the last two years. At most, I am going to miss watching the last rounds of The Masters, The Players' Championship, the US Open, and the British Open.

Browndog said...

Owen said...

Now that we (this country; the entire world) are entering Total Lockdown You Guys, what is the “all clear” signal? Who will issue it?


I've been saying this for 3 days.

No worries. They're just suspending everything for 3 weeks. Then, according to the "experts", everything will resume when corona virus is at it's peak.

Nobody is thinking anything through. We're just following each other over the cliff.

Chi-coms couldn't have designed a more efficient bio-attack if they tried.

StephenFearby said...


ISIS issues tips on how jihadists can avoid getting coronavirus

'...A religious decree also tells them to “put your faith in God and seek refuge from him” – adding that “illnesses do not strike by themselves but by the command and decree of God.'

https://nypost.com/2020/03/13/isis-issues-tips-on-how-jihadists-can-avoid-getting-coronavirus/

Browndog said...

Blogger Yancey Ward said...

The loss of the sporting events doesn't affect me-


When they move on from that, and into the next phase, maybe something will.

bagoh20 said...

What we are seeing is the real cost of lawyers in a litigious society, and it may well be 100 times more crushing with Corona than it normally is. There is something deeply immoral and stupid about our legal system.

Inga said...

“No worries. They're just suspending everything for 3 weeks. Then, according to the "experts", everything will resume when corona virus is at it's peak.”

What makes you think that things are written in stone? I’m pretty sure that people and organizations are evaluating and will not just resume activities at the three week mark.

bagoh20 said...

I have not been worried about the virus much, but the response whether justified or not is scaring the shit out of me. We are in the process of destroying a lot right now.

Browndog said...

Talked to a guy this morning that works for a frozen food supplier that supplies frozen pizzas and what not to retail. Says his company is closing 2 plants in Indiana, and laying off 75 drivers.

Says next week the layoffs will begin up in Michigan.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

I reiterate: The economic disruption of all this cancellation is going to be huge and longer lasting than the actual virus.

Hotels, motels, restaurants, sports teams, all associated businesses by the multitudes are losing business and revenue that they will never recoup. People who work at those businesses are losing their jobs or being severely cut back because the companies cant afford to employ people to do nothing.

Large businesses like Marriott or Apple can probably weather this panic and hysterical canceling. Small companies will be going under.

Even IF the government steps in to provide some financial relief, it will not help everyone. Independent contractors, self employed.... who work by the job and not by the hour are going to be left out in the cold. Look at how they are already being gutted by California's new law on contract labor.

The ramifications of this unconsidered cancel everything mode are going to be lasting for decades. Stupid.

n.n said...

Social distancing of photons and electrons through moderation.

Browndog said...

What makes you think that things are written in stone? I’m pretty sure that people and organizations are evaluating and will not just resume activities at the three week mark.

What makes me think I heard and read what I heard and read? Is that the question?

Yancey Ward said...

Inga, that reply to Browndog would be hilarious if I thought you had any sense of irony.

Yancey Ward said...

"When they move on from that, and into the next phase, maybe something will."

I don't doubt this for an instant. The lemmings are on the move, and it isn't easy to get out of their path.

Marc said...

Oregon's governor has emergency-ordered that the schools be closed from Monday. The local Catholic elementary school is following the public schools' lead while the private Catholic high school here has gone to online classes on a week-to-week basis, evidently. My guess is that when the end of the month arrives, unless instead of <50 deaths nationwide there have been 5,000, people will be ready to warmly embrace a return to normality no matter what media nonsense may be in the ether.

Guildofcannonballs said...

"Nobody is thinking anything through. We're just following each other over the cliff."

True, because anytime in history anybody thought anything, you were informed about it. If you haven't been informed somebody somewhere is thinking of something, nobody anywhere is thinking anything (through).

Courage.


Michael K said...

What we are seeing is the real cost of lawyers in a litigious society, and it may well be 100 times more crushing with Corona than it normally is.

Yup, and guess who they vote for.

n.n said...

The ramifications of this unconsidered cancel everything mode are going to be lasting for decades. Stupid.

The contagion is common to life on Earth, and has been managed prudently in the past. The unprecedented factor is Trump, who has been deemed a warlock and/or witch, and hunted and judged for more than 16 trimesters by special and peculiar interests, foreign and domestic. That said, their current target is Trump, but their hostility to Americans and Western people generally has been progressive.

bagoh20 said...

A lot of people are making a big deal of the testing not being sufficient as if getting a test is some kind of cure in itself. Of course getting tested has some value, but let's say you get tested and come out negative. That does nothing to prevent you from being infected on the way home or the next day, and now you are mistakenly confident that you are not infected. Not really much benefit at that point, and some negatives.

If you show as positive, then of course your behavior needs modifying severely, but I think most people are looking for the test as a way to clear them, ease their fears, but it should not really do that. It can only do that for one moment in time.

bagoh20 said...

Courage is the rarest human virtue, and possibly the most valuable.

Howard said...

Ice nine, Zim is close to the northern transvaal where I was thinking of. We hunted around Thabazimbi and Warmbad

Inga said...

“Inga, that reply to Browndog would be hilarious if I thought you had any sense of irony.”

What is ironic about it? Brown dog assumes that what organizations are saying now won’t change with changing scenarios.

Yancey Ward said...

It would interesting to look in on that hypothetical world where Clinton won the 2016 election. How would the media be treating this exact same pandemic at this point in time? I imagine it would be very, very different even though the facts on the ground would be identical.

I mean, it is truly the height of stupidity to think Clinton and the exact same CDC would have done anything differently that affected this for the better. The people on the ground would have been the exact same people- it isn't like the health departments were all fired and replaced on January 20th 2017. Structurally, the only thing that would probably have been very different in D.C. would have been that the Republicans would still in control of the House given the nature of mid-term elections.

Yancey Ward said...

Inga, I would explain it to you if I thought you were capable of understanding the point. However, if you want to give it a try, try to think through Browndog's counter.

Francisco D said...

A little perspective:

God gives us life and then kills us all. It is his job. (Translation for atheists: Mother Earth will kill us all. It's her job).

The modern civilized world has delayed that date quite a bit, but we are all going to die.

Before we die, we try to find meaning in as many aspects of our life as possible. One of those aspects is fighting off death and decay.

The coronavirus is just one more challenge that allows us to find meaning.

Leslie Graves said...

I have a salon visit next week and even though in my own mind I am highly committed to something close to social quarantine, I suspect I will go to it. I am making excuses (which is not a bad excuse) that she needs to keep earning money. But still I find myself making this kind of excuse when I really want to do something.

Inga said...

“Inga, I would explain it to you if I thought you were capable of understanding the point. However, if you want to give it a try, try to think through Browndog's counter.”

Meh, sorry, I’m not in the mood to get into the weeds with you over what you thought I meant and what you thought Browndog meant. I liked you better when you were calling the election night shots. So many more important things to think about.

Stay healthy, peace, out.

Yancey Ward said...

Ok, here goes, Inga- what is the endpoint that will get anyone to be the first mover? What have the experts promised?

Yancey Ward said...

Really, have you been following the rationales being offered for cancellations? The explanations are lemming-like at this point.

Browndog said...

Now they're "postponing" elections.

I joked this morning democrats are going to demand we postpone the census.

Owen said...

bagoh@0: "...I think most people are looking for the test as a way to clear them, ease their fears, but it should not really do that. It can only do that for one moment in time."

You nailed it. Yes, I think many people will not understand the role and limit of the test. Never mind the false positive/false negative issue: assume perfect information. It's information that is a time-sensitive snapshot and can't protect you or those around you against future contamination or predict your future state. It should be used to triage/sort people into "OK right now" and "Not OK right now" and keep the two groups separate and/or treated differently. And if you have to wait for test results to come back a day or two later, it's not very helpful.

I am not sure if somebody who gets the illness and recovers, is thereafter going to test positive or not. What do we really know so far about the time trajectory of viral presence in and on one's person, as well as on door-knobs and countertops?

Owen said...

Sorry, that should be "bagoh20". *Hangs head*

Curious George said...

"Yancey Ward said...
The loss of the sporting events doesn't affect me- I don't watch hardly any sports at all- college basketball was really the last one for me, and I have stopped watching altogether the last two years. At most, I am going to miss watching the last rounds of The Masters, The Players' Championship, the US Open, and the British Open"

This is just dumb. The financial loss will affect you....it will affect everyone.

Howard said...

Yeah that's a great point gentleman people are too stupid to be provided with scientific facts. It's much better to stay in the dark and pray with the cray cray

wildswan said...

What will I do on isolation ward? I'm thinking: is it OK to go places - knowing others aren't, so that the places will be empty so I am not violating social distancing? I think it's OK to drive around anyhow. And I'm thinking about raking the lawn which is huge but maybe I have time.

In some the colleges they are telling the kids not to come back after spring break, classes will be online. So, for the seniors, college was suddenly over - they all had to to go out and drink the pain away.

Until today there was no sign of trouble here in New Hampshire but this afternoon the store had all its paper towels and toilet paper swept from the shelves. The rumor is that people from Massachusetts are coming up to here and snatching up supplies.

I think that in two weeks of social distancing, the number of cases will begin to decline - at least the Chinese say it happened there. In any case spring will make the days brighter, and increased UV, she said obsessively, will cause flu and corona virus to decline. Let the sun shine in.