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Thursday, May 21, 2020


Silverfiddle Rant!
Forty-seven youth baseball teams gathered for a tournament in Missouri over Mother’s Day weekend, USA Today reported.

Roughly 550 kids between the ages of 7 and 14 participated in the Mother’s Day Classic, which was split between two venues west of St. Louis, according to the outlet. (
Kansas City Star)

The organizers set up social distancing rules, but the joyless scolds are wagging their fingers off and sprouting blisters on their tongues from all their clucking at the flagrant disobedience of the "New Normal"...
However, the Post-Dispatch reported that during the tournament, more than three boys were seen huddled in the dugout and that players stole bases, tagged each other out and leaned in to discuss the game with coaches and other players.
Boys huddling! Stolen bases! Sliding! Tagging each other out! The horrors. I bet there was shameless bubblegum popping and bubble-blowing, too.
Lynelle Phillips, the vice president of the Missouri Public Health Association, told the newspaper. “To hold a huge baseball tournament, even the most optimistic of us have to cringe at that.”
She added that the tournament could burden local health officials if someone from the tournament tests positive for the virus...
“It comes down to the poor contact tracer,” Phillips told the Times. “It’s just an added complication.”
We’ll know the outcome in a few weeks. If one covid-19 case can be traced to this event, the national media will blare it out like like Satan's bagpipes. 

Theory, Meet Reality

Contract tracing is not the panacea the propagandists tell us it is.  In the early stages of an outbreak, as part of a disciplined strategy, it can slow a disease and prevent an uncontrolled epidemic, but we are beyond that.  Implemented now, with a large cohort of new bureaucrats on a broad, federally-funded scale, it would be one more flailing appendage of our multifarious federal public health bureaucracies, an expensive federal jobs program whose greatest accomplishment is augmenting the membership roles of public workers unions.

Lord help the “poor contact tracer” if the sick person has been shopping at Sam’s Club, or riding public transportation.


  1. Huh. It's good to have social distancing measures, but if they're (totally predictably) not complied with, all they do is give a false sense of security. That's not a joyless scold, it's a realistic observation. We all want to get back to normal ASAP; consider the possibility that premature contact is prolonging the agony.

    1. "prolonging the agony."

      You really think we're going to stop this? I don't hear any responsible scientist or expert saying that. It flies in the face of what we know about this class of virus.

      The only solid argument based in science is we don't want to create a huge spike. We can proceed with all caution, but the cases and deaths will continue until the virus runs out of hosts.

    2. "we don't want to create a huge spike."

      This is what I'm backing, I hope I've been consistent about that.

    3. Legislatures passing laws which predictably cannot or will not be enforced is part of the breakdown of social order. When one law is not enforced, whether or not it reasonably can be, it weakens respect for law in general.

      I'm not sure I understand the meaning of "premature contact is prolonging the agony." Are you suggesting that law breakers are causing the lock down to last longer? If so, why would that contact cause disease during the lockdown but bot cause disease later, after the lockdown is lifted? The lockdown itself is not preventing disease, it is preventing conting contact which spreads disease. If that contact happens anyway, then whether it happened before or after the governor gave his blessing matters not.

    4. If case numbers were to start heading up towards another spike, that'd be a good reason to re-enter or extend the lockdown. The timing matters because a given amount of contact within a population with a low infection rate produces very different results from the same amount of contact within a population with a higher infection rate. Also, there's a link between population compliance and compulsory measures: the more compliant we are, the less draconian lock-down measures need to be. One of the main reasons Sweden took the course it did was because the Swedes by-and-large actually followed their government's advice without compulsion.

    5. You're making the case for gaining herd immunity, albeit slowly.

      There is no evidence so far that forcing people to stay in their homes has had any effect. What we're seeing is a sadly human longing for the strong man. An eternal phenomenon.



    6. Yep, I think our realistic options are: everyone gets it all at once, or everyone gets it gradually. Can't think of any others :)
      I think humans should cooperate sometimes. I was about to argue that that doesn't entail a strong man, but does it? We both like freedom, ie we're cool with adults exercising their liberty to endanger themselves; we're less cool with people endangering others, which is why do as thou wilt is not the whole of the law. We have a long history of seeking a workable balance between liberty and endangerment, we're accustomed to it by now. The troublesome ingredient in this case is the huge degree of uncertainty over everything.
      We're doomed to rely on a certain amount of guess-work. I think we should use our best-guesses, rather than wishful-thinking or rumour. Since I know how hard it is for humans to do that without effort, training, and maybe even natural temperament... maybe I do want a strong man. I want someone with good judgement making the technical guesses which inform policy. Is he a strong man? Maybe. But a strong man who is transparent and accountable, please.

    7. Jez,
      I'd like for you to read this: COVID19 and Signs of Client Neglect in Long Term Care Nursing Facilities.

      All this isolation is coming at a high price! And I don't mean money....

    8. Jez, While you and I and the others here disagree on some details, we are all doing so within the realm of reason.

      There are millions and millions who do not understand what is going on, have unrealistic expectations, and are spreading their sincere ignorance, often loudly and vehemently.

  2. I, for one, am sick to death of all the doom saying spewing from the mouths of those not missing paychecks. Scolds!

    The livelihoods of millions of small and medium business owners are on the line.

    Nobody here should take my next statement personally...

    So many of those on the government teat seem not to understand what's going on because they are not the ones making the sacrifices.

    Look. We are not going to defeat this virus -- and I mean that in a scientific sense. This is the scientific reality (SF's words in a comment above):

    deaths will continue until the virus runs out of hosts .

    I would also had that we might come up with good palliative treatments. Not cures, but rather treatments.

    In this household, we take many precautions, including having handy a thermometer and an oximeter. Valuable tools in case respiratory symptoms appear. We also take a daily dose of Zyrtek for our spring allergies.

    1. When I was in the military we used to watch some legislator mouth off about the need for military action and then hold up our weapon and say, "Okay, here's my gun. You go shoot the bastards."

      Yes. We can't just hide until it goes away or until SOMEONE ELSE defeats it, which is the new "American way," We can only learn to live with it, and we have to do that for ourselves. We aren't much good at doing anything for ourselves any more, but we'll have to relearn that capability.


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