Well we know where we’re going
But we don’t know where we’ve been
And we know what we’re knowing
But we can’t say what we’ve seen
And we’re not little children
And we know what we want
And the future is certain
Give us time to work it out

Talking Heads,1985

Well, if we’re along for the ride with Mr. Byrne and friends, this is a good starting point. Consider this brief article from the Daily KOS discussing a University of Maryland study as cited in the Washington Post.

A University of Maryland analysis of anonymized smartphone data shows that Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp’s lifting of state-ordered business closures has had the predictable, and warned-of, effect: More than 62,000 additional out-of-state visitors are arriving daily. That’s a 13% increase in state-to-state travel.According to The Washington Post‘s writeup, almost all of that traffic came from adjacent Alabama, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Florida, four states where business restrictions kept restaurants, theaters and other nonessential service businesses closed when Georgia’s reopened. Georgia, then, created a near-perfect scenario for spreading the virus inside and outside the state. (Emphasis added.)

There are lots of great tools to expand your perspective. The Johns Hopkins COVID19 Dashboard has a variety of maps and other tools such as simulations based on changing forecasts that they allow folks like us to play with. I recommend going there and looking at the data in a pretty a-political expert driven site. However, politics is about choices, and lots of choices lead to situations where politically, there are only two possibilities — the rigid ideological camp or the Science-Fact-Logic driven camp. But, it’s up to you to decide which is which. 

Centers for Disease Control, May 1, 2020

The disease is not registered Democrat or Republican; it’s neither socialist nor capitalist. In some ways, it’s a model of capitalism unleashed. It knows only its own growth and own extinction and does whatever it needs to do to change so to meet those challenges. Keep that in mind. 

On the Ari Melber show on MSNBC today, historian, writer, attorney, and ordained minister John Meacham quoted John Maynard Keynes, who when asked during the fall of 1933 if history had ever had a similar time with similar challenges, that “Yes, there was. It’s called the Dark Ages, and it lasted 400 years.”

It’s highly unlikely these days that any of the people who are supposedly running this country can envision such a thing, but let’s just do a short thought experiment. In a way, let’s talk about biological warfare for a bit because it appears that Donald Trump and his enablers facilitated by various state and local officials have declared war on the people of Georgia. In the jargon of biological warfare, vectors are whatever carries the biological agent from the source to the target. Each of the 60000 or so folks visiting Georgia daily whether as tourists or coming from South Carolina to work in a Smithfield pork processing plant in the Incest Springs Industrial Center in NE Georgia which is in fact in the early stages of Covid19 and thus utterly a-symptomatic, is an unaware vector, potentially doing the job that a sneak attack with dysentery and malaria would use mosquitoes and flies for. (Georgia has a number of those, far more than people.)

So, let’s consider COVID 19. We know that the contagion rate for this disease is very high — not bubonic plague high, but pretty close to it. Let’s suppose that every one of the carriers, roughly 10%, will unwittingly infect 20% of the people they come in contact with. By contact, we mean are inside the six feet social distancing guidelines. So, they visit the state, get lunch, go to work, or shopping, or pick peaches. In the span of 24 hours, they’ll contact a lot of people, let’s say 100. Twenty percent of 100 people means an additional 20 people who will start shedding the virus throughout Georgia. Southern men are really big on handshaking, backslapping, and general glad-handling. Do the freaking math — If every day, one percent of the 60 thousand visitors is hot, and visit every day, the epidemiology might roughly look like this.

Total distinct outsider visits from other states in a week –420K. A total number of “vectors” from outside,(20% of 420000)–84000. Total contacts (assuming 100 contacts per vector) is 8.4 Million. Assuming an infection rate of 20% of contacts, 1.6 Million will be infected. Some will be utterly unsymptomatic; some will have mild cases, some will have serious cases requiring hospitalization and oxygen and some will die.

Dance of Death, J.Disson, 1860, PD

It is a fairly simple exercise. This is why we need programs like an unemployment relief program providing jobs with mass testing and social tracking right now. On the scale of 1 to 10, where one is Who Gives a Damn, and 10 is Damn IT! Get it done! – I would think sane business leaders and government leaders and everybody else would be ripping their hair out demanding that it get done.

But then again, what do I know? I’m just a 69-year-old song and dance man, contemplating an empty hat because the people who normally toss a dollar in my cap have all died of COVID 19. 

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