410 thoughts on “Politics open thread, April 11-17

  1. Rhett, Boston Globe is a real pain about letting non-subscribers see articles..

  2. All the newspapers are pains about their paywalls. They need to make money somehow, after all

  3. Many will give you three free articles. I have dozens of newspaper subscriptions, but the Globe isn’t one of them.

  4. I get frustrated with WSJ which also does not have free articles. There are times when I am interested in their POV, but I can’t see myself giving money to Rpert Murdoch
    I do have a subscription to the Boston Globe. I lived in MA for so many years that I just got used to reading it.

  5. Nope, doesn’t work for me. I can read it for about 30 seconds and then the little box urging me to get a subscription pops up

  6. I am heartbroken today. Another black man killed by a police officer. This time in my hometown and near where we are temporarily staying. And the Chauvin trial is going on. Curfews tonight across metro – thankfully. It is so horrific.

    I think about my privilege in how I don’t need to coach my boys on how to handle police interactions like my friends need to do with their kids. So many emotions.

  7. TCM – I’m sorry. That news is horrific and your city does not need that on top of the Chauvin trial right now. I hope things remain calm tonight.

    I was trying to think what the consequences would be in other professions for similar mistakes. If a surgeon used the wrong implement and killed someone, or a pharmacist filled the prescription with the wrong medicine and the patient died instantly – what is the punishment? A civilian gets prosecuted for manslaughter. That “mistake” is beyond unacceptable for a professional

  8. TCM – I saw a tweet today that was very fitting…I’ve had more curfews in my 40s than I did in my teens.

    Fingers crossed that all is calm tonight. This morning on the vaccine hunter site were people trying to figure out what happened to their appointments because the CVS and other distribution sites near the area were looted last night, or if not, closed for safety.

  9. If a surgeon used the wrong implement and killed someone, or a pharmacist filled the prescription with the wrong medicine and the patient died instantly – what is the punishment? A civilian gets prosecuted for manslaughter.

    That would almost never happen. It’s like if you were putting on makeup or scarfing down a Big Mac in the car and ran over a toddler*. As long as you aren’t drunk and you don’t flee the scene you’re not getting in any trouble. At the surgeon or pharmacist might lose their jobs. In rare cases they would loose their ability to practice.

    * your umbrella insurer, much like the surgeons malpractice insurer, would have a problem. But you wouldn’t.

  10. Yeah, this weekend, I read yet another example of a parent leaving a loaded weapon in reach of a toddler, and predictably a child was killed. The man is not being prosecuted for “the accident”. I guess as a society we don’t prosecute for even deadly mistakes, and police aren’t unique in not being prosecuted.

  11. “I guess as a society we don’t prosecute for even deadly mistakes”

    Many people who kill or injure others with their vehicles are not held accountable, or get off with very light sentences relative to the harm they caused.

  12. Yeah, this weekend, I read yet another example of a parent leaving a loaded weapon in reach of a toddler, and predictably a child was killed. The man is not being prosecuted for “the accident”. I guess as a society we don’t prosecute for even deadly mistakes, and police aren’t unique in not being prosecuted.

    What would be gained by prosecuting him? He has to live the rest of his life knowing his child died because of his mistake. What punishment could be worse than that? He should be permanently barred from ever owning a gun again. But prosecuting him and sending him to prison would be a waste of taxpayer money. He’s not a danger to anyone, and sentencing him isn’t going to be a deterrent to anyone else inclined to do the same thing.

  13. The police officer may have violated protocol in the shooting incident. Even holstering a taser on the non-dominant side is not sufficient; it has to be positioned in a particular way.

    Brooklyn Center Police Department protocol dictates that officers wear their guns on their dominant side and Tasers on the opposite side of their bodies, to reduce the risk that they will confuse the two weapons.

    In most cases in which an officer grabs a pistol instead of a Taser, the confusion occurs under particular circumstances, said Ed Obayashi, an expert in the use of police force and a California deputy sheriff with a legal practice. It can happen when officers carry both weapons on the same side of their body, he said, or when they holster their stun guns on the opposite side of their body in such a way that it is easier for them to reach across their bodies with a dominant hand and cross-draw.

    In both cases, he said, the officer can become accustomed to using the same hand to draw either weapon, a habit that can make it harder to tell one from the other in high-pressure situations when muscle memory and instinct kick in.

    Body-camera footage from the scene of Mr. Wright’s killing does not show how Officer Potter carried her weapons. But Deputy Obayashi said it does show her fellow officer with his gun on one side of his body and his Taser on the other side, holstered so that either weapon could easily be grabbed by his dominant hand.

    In most cases, there has been little or no jail time for officers disciplined or tried for wounding or killing someone in situations in which they said they had mistaken a gun for a Taser.

  14. How does this decision by “experts” make sense?

    A perfect (and disastrous) combination of

    1. Not understanding risk stats
    2. Media loving doom stories
    3. A weird expectation of perfection

    Folks, an adverse event that’s literally 1 in a million is *way* better odds than a fatal defects in any automobile sold in US

  15. “And it’s going to create more vaccine hesitancy.”

    I could imagine both sides. On one hand, if there are potential adverse effects like that, it could create hesitancy by having the experts telling everyone “don’t worry about it, just get your shot,” whereas maybe some of them would see this action and say “as soon as they saw a slight issue, they pulled it.”

    I don’t know. I contributed politely to a Facebook post by a 29-year-old engineer (from an HSS!) asking why he should bother getting the shot. All the usual, rational reasons were offered. No dice, or at least none relinquished.

    What I think is really needed is to have some damn incentives to actually getting vaccinated. Here’s your second shot, along with that you get this card to carry around that means you don’t have to wear a mask. The guidance and policy and incentives are under the control of people who, to me, enjoy being willfully oblivious to human nature, and Fauci’s at the top of it.

  16. Milo, I agree. The messaging is, get your shot, and keep wearing your mask. So why get the shot?

    And I suspect there is confusion between “vaccine hesitancy” and “gave up trying to navigate the system to get a shot”.

  17. DH agreed to get the J&J for himself and parents. Appointment today was canceled ! He doesn’t want Pfizer or Moderna. Honestly, at this rate we should all just get Covid.

  18. “He doesn’t want Pfizer or Moderna.”

    Did he say why? Does he not want to go twice? (And if that’s the reason, could you just say “Fine, skip the second one, it probably doesn’t matter, anyway”?)

    That whole house REALLY seems to like depending on you to be everyone’s mother.

  19. “What I think is really needed is to have some damn incentives to actually getting vaccinated.”

    The only incentive that should be necessary is the knowledge that the vaccine will likely* greatly reduce your risk of being seriously ill or dying from COVID. The data are clear on the populations who are at risk for being hospitalized or dying from COVID, and healthy 29-year old engineers are not among them. People in that group may well make a rational decision that the risks of taking a vaccine with possible unpleasant side effects and definitely unknown long-term safety data outweigh the risks of being exposed to COVID.

    The argument that this guy should take one for the team doesn’t have much merit when everyone who is actually vulnerable to a bad outcome has had a shot at getting the shot — which should be the case anyhow before it is offered to healthy 29-year old engineers.

    And as for pausing the J&J vaccine — if we are willing to shut down water fountains for more than a year because they *might* transmit COVID, it makes sense to get a bit more data on the vaccine-related deaths before continuing to administer them. “If it saves one life.”

    *we don’t really know yet whether people who have serious underlying health issues will enjoy the same vaccine protection as the healthy volunteers in the clinical trials

  20. Honestly, at this rate we should all just get Covid.

    I don’t know how you haven’t murdered them already.

  21. I agree that there’s not a lot of existing incentives to induce him to get a vaccine. That’s why I’m suggesting they offer more, like a ‘don’t need a mask card.”

    My gym has opened up some of its water fountains. I don’t know if that was an official decision, or if someone simply removed the painter’s tape to take a drink, and nobody bothered to re-attach it.

    Masks there have always been optional there while working out, and I’m noticing fewer people wearing them.

    They still have their stupid signs at the main entrance that it’s not to be used as an exit. Instead, you’re supposed to walk all the way around, down the narrow, two-way corridor, through the basketball courts, past the spin rooms. At one point I asked the front desk “there’s nobody here. Can I just go out this door?” and she said “oh yeah, of course.” And now everybody seems to just ignore the signs, but they’re still there.

    As with so many facets of life, there’s such a disconnect between what the Board of Trustees has decided upon, and what people actually do.

  22. Milo,

    It’s always so interesting how much of a total rule follower you are but you get all excited by little acts of rebellion.

  23. If they pause J&J, I think they should look hard at the current production and delivery rate of the other two compared to how many people are willing to take them, and they should strongly consider shifting to a single-dose model, for now, to cover twice as many people.

  24. “It’s always so interesting how much of a total rule follower you are but you get all excited by little acts of rebellion.”

    I don’t think I’m that much of a rule follower, to be honest. Certainly not by Totebag standards. Moreso than my parents; much, much less than my in-laws.

    But I’m more likely to be annoyed by rules that make no sense, and rules that aren’t enforced, and put those two together and it’s an exponential annoyance.

  25. “And now everybody seems to just ignore the signs, but they’re still there.”

    It takes a much higher pay grade to remove the signs than to give members the permission to ignore them. But after awhile, they become part of the background and nobody pays any attention. Like the one-way signs on the floor of the supermarket aisles.

  26. I just about lost in this weekend at Kohl’s because their changing rooms are still closed “For Your Safety”. Safety from what exactly? I ended up buying three of everything for DD1 (she needed specific items for a play she is doing). I can afford to spend $120 at Kohls and get $90s back when I return the wrong sizes a week later. But there are many people that can’t afford to do that. The manager was checking me out and she told me that they were changing that policy very soon, and she hears complaints about it everyday, and that people will try on clothes behind racks.

  27. I don’t think I’m that much of a rule follower, to be honest.

    To the degree that you don’t even see some rules. Like with your wife’s friend who’s twice divorced husband is running off and trying to keep the house. You were mystified (on many levels.). But I figure it’s mostly because you’re a good person.

  28. So 6 adverse effects out of 6.8 million people. That is very rare. When you look at the group most affected (younger women), it looks less rare. I guess pausing to review the data make sense, but if there isn’t a quick resolution, people won’t take this particular vaccine even if they are in a group that is largely unaffected by this side effect. Interesting to compare how people think about this versus risks of hormonal birth control, which is given out very freely without much discussion of the risks.

  29. “To the degree that you don’t even see some rules. Like with your wife’s friend who’s twice divorced husband is running off and trying to keep the house.”

    I’m not following that one. I was surprised that he’s running off, I’m surprised that he seems to believe he’s entitled to almost all of the property based on his status as the primary earner. Wouldn’t the rule be whatever Virginia’s laws are on marital property?

    Are you saying that only a somewhat-naive rule follower would assume that this guy is not going to have yet another midlife crisis and ditch his family, and, if so, assume that the division of property will be equitable?

  30. Reality – could it be that the young women are taking a form of birth control that is reacting with ingredients in the vaccine ?

  31. I asked a cashier at TJ Maxx whether they are seeing more returns than usual because fitting rooms are still closed For Your Safety and Ours. She said definitely yes. The policy does not seem to be deterring customers. There are often long lines at the registers but they move incredibly fast now that the store is doing a much better job of moving staff to those positions when needed.
    It is also likely that customers standing a bit further apart in the line (but not 6 feet anymore) creates the perception that the lines are longer than they actually are.

  32. Milo,

    More that his behavior is completely alien to you. Your rule bound moral framework would never entertain the idea for a second. You would never be that selfish. Which again is a very good thing.

  33. Louise – I have no idea. It is a different type of clot than what women typically get connected with hormonal birth control. Maybe an issue of some sort for the adenovirus vaccines (AZ has similar issues)? I hope they can issue some guidance very quickly for sub populations.

  34. I have read that the more the virus circulates, even if the disease is mild, the more likely that new variants, possibly more dangerous or vax resistant, will occur. Since a large proportion of the world s population may not be vaccinated quickly, even if herd immunity in US and Europe is achieved by Christmas, we can continue to expect variants, but also new vaccines and boosters. I want everyone who is willing to be vaccinated to get one as soon as possible, especially those at higher risk and their close contacts. But if there are significant sub groups or individuals that decline to be vaccinated in the US, I accept that they will contribute to herd immunity via the infection route.

  35. The problem with allowing people who are vaccinated to go maskless is that it complicates enforcement. It is much easier to say “everyone must wear a mask” than it is to hire someone to ask every maskless customer to show their papers. In addition to the extra cost, there is a pretty high risk that conflict will break out regularly. I would rather keep wearing my mask for a few more months to keep the peace. Once everyone has had a chance to complete the vaccination series, I would support dropping mask requirements.

  36. “The messaging is, get your shot, and keep wearing your mask. So why get the shot?”

    You get the shot to protect yourself. The data seem to pretty clearly show the shot(s) reduce your risk of hospitalization and death due to covid to nearly zero.

    You primarily wear the mask to protect others from you. The data so far do not, TMK, show that the vaccinations prevent people from becoming contagious. One concern is that even vaccinated people could become infected, incubate variants, and spread the variants.

  37. “But I’m more likely to be annoyed by rules that make no sense, and rules that aren’t enforced, and put those two together and it’s an exponential annoyance.”

    Did you encounter much of this in your college and active duty experience?

  38. “ The data so far do not, TMK, show that the vaccinations prevent people from becoming contagious.”

    One has to become infected to be contagious.

  39. “ Did you encounter much of this in your college and active duty experience?”

    Nothing remotely as absurd as some of the COVID rules, such as masks outdoors, or one-way entrances.

  40. “One has to become infected to be contagious.”

    There have been cases in which vaccinated people have become infected.

  41. “There have been cases in which vaccinated people have become infected.”

    Don’t let perfect be the enemy of good.

    The library has the most absurd rules. My mom was just telling me at her library they closed for 5 days because an employee tested positive. My library just recently lifted their 4 day disinfection period of returned books, but there is a 5 day disinfect rule for my mom’s library. I love the library, but I’m really mystified by their rules. And, they are strict enforcers of the one way door, and sanitizing hands. I was asked to return back to the vestibule to disinfect my hands the last time I was there.

  42. “ There have been cases in which vaccinated people have become infected.”

    The irony here is that you rely on the exact same fallacious arguments as the 29 year old who sees no reason to get vaccinated.

  43. We have a mask mandate but very reasonable rules. I predict that once vaccines are freely available all the rules fall away. The timeline for getting through the worst of this was 18 to 24 months and I believe that’s what it is looking like.

  44. “The irony here is that you rely on the exact same fallacious arguments”

    What fallacious argument?

  45. Both your arguments rely on dismissing and ignoring the fact that the vaccine reduces the likelihood of transmission by, what?, 95%?

  46. “Both your arguments”

    Which arguments?

    “rely on dismissing and ignoring the fact that the vaccine reduces the likelihood of transmission by, what?, 95%?”

    TMK, the effect of vaccines on transmission has not yet been quantified. There are indications that it significantly reduces it.

    And even if that likelihood is determined to reduce transmission by 95%, the flip side of that would be a determination that there’s a known non-zero possibility of transmission.

  47. Two questions:

    1) a) do you disagree that the reduced likelihood of transmission is roughly equal to the reduction in infection likelihood?

    1) b) what is/are that/those number(s), to the best of your understanding of the data?

    2) is a non-zero likelihood of contracting and transmitting a potentially harmful virus the appropriate threshold, in your estimation, above which masks should be mandated and worn, generally, among the asymptomatic population.

  48. I know you aren’t asking me, but I think the answer to #2 should be once everyone who wants to be vaccinated is vaccinated and hospitalizations and deaths are equal to or below a typical influenza season.

  49. I have stopped going into stores that still require you to use hand sanitizer upon entry. Even the CDC has officially declared that that is unnecessary in the battle against Covid.

  50. That seems reasonable, at least more reasonable than “there is a non-zero chance!!” 🙄

    I guess hospitalizations and deaths would have to be measured and compared to flu season by some rolling, 14-day average.

    I just walked into a gas station where the two owners (apparently) of Asian descent were unmasked. I said “Heaven!!” and promptly removed mine. It felt a little strange, actually, perusing the packaged ice cream bars “unprotected,” but it was very nice.

  51. “I guess hospitalizations and deaths would have to be measured and compared to flu season by some rolling, 14-day average.”

    Something, although I think we’ll see Covid settle in to a more seasonal thing like influenza.

  52. Reality, I really appreciate your comments. Since this pandemic started you’ve consistently provided comments that are logical, optimistic, and truthful. When the doom and gloom of negative news has us all down, or we hit another bump in the road to normalcy, it is uplifting to hear your thoughts. Thank you!

  53. “I know you aren’t asking me”

    He didn’t explicitly address the questions to anyone in particular, so IMO no need for this qualifier.

  54. 1) a) do you disagree that the reduced likelihood of transmission is roughly equal to the reduction in infection likelihood?

    That seems a reasonable guess, but I don’t know enough to either agree or disagree.

    1) b) what is/are that/those number(s), to the best of your understanding of the data?

    IDK.

    2) is a non-zero likelihood of contracting and transmitting a potentially harmful virus the appropriate threshold, in your estimation, above which masks should be mandated and worn, generally, among the asymptomatic population.

    IMO, the appropriate threshold depends on the current state of knowledge of the virus, its transmission, and its variants, as well as the situation WRT overall presence of the virus within the general population, number of covid patients in hospitals and ICUs, and availability of effective treatment protocol(s).

    However, in certain settings, yes, that is an appropriate threshold. E.g., in proximity with an unvaccinated person over 80yo.

  55. I might amend Reality’s threshold to hospitalizations and deaths greater than or equal to 1.5x the 3-sigma bad flu season.

    Otherwise, we may as well be masking and distancing and canceling theater and putting the cardboard cutouts up in stadiums during exactly half of all flu seasons (or anything above the average)…if not for Covid, then the flu! That dog won’t hunt. 🐕

  56. “ in proximity with an unvaccinated person over 80yo”

    The 80 yo should either get a vaccine or stay home. Or wear two masks — that way there will still be the same amount of fabric between our noses. There’s a non-zero risk in living as soon as your feet hit the deck every morning.

  57. Milo,

    It’s interesting that when we had the discussion of end of life decisions you said that you wanted everything done to preserve your own life. But when it’s someone else’s life, you’re all about the cost benefit.

  58. “The 80 yo should either get a vaccine or stay home.”

    So you’d go and visit an unvaccinated 80yo and not wear a mask?

    Do you favor vaccine mandates?

  59. Lemon Tree, you are making me blush. That is a very nice thing for you to say.

    Finn, I think Milo was specifically asking you, even if he did not write your name. I just wanted to butt in!

  60. “ It’s interesting that when we had the discussion of end of life decisions you said that you wanted everything done to preserve your own life. ”

    Yeah, including all available vaccines! This hypothetical 80 yo seems to be shitting on the vaccine!

    Finn – why is this 80 yo unvaccinated? When? Against what? And am I vaccinated, as I am now?

  61. “ I just wanted to butt in!”

    There is no butting in. And I happen to like your perspective and rationality, even when I disagree.

  62. “ Do you favor vaccine mandates?”

    Not as a general law. Maybe for public schools, and as a condition of employment, when they’re FDA-approved.

  63. Oh yeh, if the 80 year old doesn’t want to get vaccinated then fuck him. It’s your casual disregard for trying to keeping a lid on it until everyone who wants to be vaccinated can get vaccinated. It’s only a few weeks away. What’s the rush?

  64. “ It’s only a few weeks away. What’s the rush?

    I’m not rushing right now. I’m pushing back on what Finn is seemingly implying without actually saying. And, also, perhaps against Reality’s casually brainstormed idea that the average flu season is cause for mandated shutdowns.

    Also, to your point, when everyone who wants vaccines can have them (possibly including kids) and they’re nearly perfectly effective against serious illness and death, maybe I don’t think that rates of hospitalization and death matter at that point.

  65. “why is this 80 yo unvaccinated? When? Against what? And am I vaccinated, as I am now?”

    Why does that matter?

    Is there some reason for not being vaccinated that makes it OK for you to be in close proximity, unmasked if you’ve been vaccinated? Remember the context you created for this includes a non-zero likelihood of transmission.

    And if you’re going to raise the question ‘against what?’, i.e., take this discussion outside the context of covid-19, then that raises the possibility the 80yo is not vaccinated because there’s no vaccine.

  66. “The 80 yo should either get a vaccine or stay home.”

    Wouldn’t an equally valid response be, you should wear a mask, or stay home?

    Why is it more important for you to not need to wear a mask than for the 80yo to not need to be vaccinated?

  67. I’m not rushing right now.

    You just said you were.

    I said “Heaven!!” and promptly removed mine

  68. “And, also, perhaps against Reality’s casually brainstormed idea that the average flu season is cause for mandated shutdowns.”

    Not for shutdowns. I thought we were just discussing masks.

  69. ” I’m pushing back on what Finn is seemingly implying without actually saying”

    What am I implying?

  70. You’ve lost me Finn. Too many scaredy cat hypotheticals. It sounds like we should never go in close proximity unmasked to anyone over the age of 80, because at any point in time we may be carrying some deadly but heretofore unknown virus that will summarily dispatch the old geezer. Miraculously, some cheap piece of paper with two rubber bands across my nose is all the protection we need, though!

  71. “ I thought we were just discussing masks.”

    That, too. I’m not wearing a mask for six months of every other year. Oh hell no.

  72. “That, too. I’m not wearing a mask for six months of every other year. Oh hell no.”

    I don’t think it will be that long. We are sub 1,000 deaths a day now. If you assume a typical flu season is 35,000 deaths over maybe 130 days, that is 270 deaths/day. Based on other countries that are ahead of us, the inflection point where rates fall dramatically is somewhere between 70-75% of the population with immunity (prior infection + vaccine). We are probably are above 50% right now. At least that is kind of how I think about it.

  73. I wonder if I take the virus seriously and wear a mask because I know people that died and are still dying. I posted about my friend that lost his wife about two weeks ago. She was 41. Yesterday, a local mom friend posted that her brother died of Covid. He was 51 with no apparent underlying conditions. The two dads that died in our town last year were also in their 40s. My local friends that were hospitalized with covid were all in their 40s and 50s. A mom of one of DD’s friends traveled to Florida a few weeks ago and she is now in the hospital. I know at least five friends that lost their parents to covid- they were all 80-90. The death that still remains with me is DH’s coworker in London that died alone in his apartment from Covid. His firm recently had a memorial for this employee and it brought back the sadness from last Spring.

    Our rabbi is fully vaccinated and he has covid. He was sick enough with symptoms that he went to get tested. He is around 60, and it seems that the vaccine does prevent hospitalization/death because he is already starting to feel better.

    I don’t like the restrictions and I really don’t like the consequences of lockdowns on the education system. Even though I am frustrated and ready to move on – I have seen enough death and illness that I will continue to wear a mask. I just don’t think it is a big deal.

  74. “The 80 yo should either get a vaccine or stay home.”

    Exactly. And the same for any age group, actually.
    “My vaccine protects me. Your vaccine protects you.” That is the reality. At this point, any state or city that has not managed to provide a vaccine to every 80-year old who wants one is not really trying.

    It is amazing that we sent men to the moon before we discovered that masks stop respiratory viruses in their tracks. Someone should be getting the Nobel Prize in medicine for that research.

  75. We don’t really know how many people die each year from the flu. The CDC makes an estimate based on hospitalizations. If we tested for flu in exactly the same way that we have tested for COVID, schools would be closed every single winter.

  76. If we tested for flu in exactly the same way that we have tested for COVID, schools would be closed every single winter.

    Winter infections are bad in my house. We have two kids who keep bringing winter bugs home. DS got the hacking cough this year inspire of attending school with a mask on. Last year the hacking cough was worse. DH caught it from the kids and he was coughing badly for two weeks. MIL gets repeated colds/congestion. So far no Covid but even with masks on this year other infections have broken through.

  77. “It sounds like we should never go in close proximity unmasked to anyone over the age of 80, because at any point in time we may be carrying some deadly but heretofore unknown virus that will summarily dispatch the old geezer. Miraculously, some cheap piece of paper with two rubber bands across my nose is all the protection we need, though!”

    No, not anyone over 80. I specifically mentioned unvaccinated.

    I admit I assumed the context of this discussion was covid-19, so I did not initially respond to your question in the broader context of viruses in general until you specifically brought up the possibility of other viruses. The CV-19 virus is not unknown.

    And it’s not about protection ‘we’ need, it’s about protecting a specific person in my example. And if you’re not vaccinated, then perhaps more than a mask would be appropriate, e.g., meeting outdoors.

    I’m not sure why you’re apparently getting exercised over this. You asked some questions, and I answered them straightforwardly.

  78. “what Finn is seemingly implying without actually saying.”

    Does anyone else think I was implying something without saying it?

    I’m perplexed.

  79. “ I don’t think it will be that long.”

    No, the part that I jumped on, and I realize you were just spitballing numbers (as Jack Nicholson might say) is that if COVID numbers any worse than the average flu season are cause for government mandates, then would not the obvious next step be that one hospitalization worse than the average flu season itself is likewise reason for government mask and distancing mandates?

    That’s why I said perhaps it would be something like the 3 sigma flu numbers on the bad end of the curve, times 1.5, then maybe we think about precautions.

  80. “At this point, any state or city that has not managed to provide a vaccine to every 80-year old who wants one is not really trying.”

    My guess is that a fair number of 80yo people don’t have computers with internet access and thus are not able to schedule appointments. To reach every single such 80 yo will probably require outreach along the lines of going to their homes and vaccinating them there.

    That’s not going on here, which IMO is not a bad decision. Housebound 80yos have a significant amount of protection by being housebound, and IMO it makes sense to focus on maximizing shots in arms as long as demand exceeds supply, which is still the case here.

    So to your point, yes, I agree. They aren’t really trying because they haven’t prioritized reaching every last 80yo. I imagine that will come as the demand/supply imbalance tilts more toward supply over demand.

  81. “ No, not anyone over 80. I specifically mentioned unvaccinated.”

    If we’re talking specifically about COVID 19, then why the hell is this person not vaccinated? And furthermore, since I am vaccinated,,assuming I still want to see this person, why would I wear a mask? A mask reduces the likelihood of transmission by perhaps 20%. At best. Probably a lot less for me given the fact that I don’t like to bend the little metal piece because it stifles breathing too much. The vaccine I got supposedly reduces infection likelihood by 95% (perhaps a somewhat simplified interpolation) and despite your “I don’t know yet, we don’t know yet, it’s not non-zero, wait a little longer!” protests, if I’m 95% less likely to get infected, doesn’t it only stand to reason that I’m at least 95% less likely to transmit it, since I’d have to be infected in order to do so?

    So why the hell would I need to wear a mask to visit some random octogenarian who doesn’t even want the god damn vaccine? Is this person really rich?

  82. Anyone 80 yo whom I would be visiting at this point is someone whom I would have already helped get vaccinated, if that was the impediment, (or, to be fair, DW would have.)

    My parents have painters in the house. She sent a pic of one playing with the dog, and wearing his mask. I replied “tell them you’re vaccinated and that they can take off their masks, it’s horrible doing manual labor with those.” She said. “Already did.”

  83. I was just kind of spitballing but, personally, I would rather wear a mask than do any of the other mitigation things (distancing, just don’t go to events, etc), so I would bring back masks at a lower level than the other stuff. I think there are 2 main goals – maintain our health system (a bad flu season and a bad covid season would be a big strain on our system) and preservation of life (maybe we shouldn’t care about people who refuse vaccinations, but I think we still should somewhat. There are some legitimate reasons people cannot get vaccinated). So whether it is an average flu season or bad flu season metric, I don’t know. But I think in that range is a good one to consider when thinking about when we could/should drop mask mandates (indoors; I don’t wear them outside except in crowded areas).

  84. “I was just king of spitballing”

    2:00 if you absolutely need to fast forward, but the whole scene is great

  85. I wish Aaron Sorkin would write something new to watch during the pandemic. He is so talented and I have reached the end of shows and movies that already exist.

  86. “ I have reached the end of shows and movies that already exist.”

    Right, then. Last Tango in Halifax? Not Sorkin, but definitely worth it, love.

  87. Milo, it was a hypothetical situation, as you say, spitballing, for a situation involving a particularly vulnerable person. It wasn’t intended to describe you and a specific 80yo.

  88. “I would rather wear a mask than do any of the other mitigation things (distancing, just don’t go to events, etc),”

    ITA.

    I think of all the measures taken to reduce transmission, wearing masks is the least disruptive, and thus should be maintained until all other measures have been stopped.

    “so I would bring back masks at a lower level than the other stuff.”

    I diverge from you slightly here in that I would maintain masking in highly transmissive environments, rather than stopping their use and thus requiring them to be brought back.

  89. “The 80 yo should either get a vaccine or stay home.”

    On reflection, if the 80yo is lucid and had every opportunity to get vaccinated and turned them down, then I don’t disagree with your sentiment

  90. “ I would maintain masking in highly transmissive environments,”

    Forever? There should never be another concert, wedding reception, or worship service where the attendees aren’t required to wear masks?

  91. “The 80 yo should either get a vaccine or stay home.”

    A real scenario in my house. I don’t expect others who are vaccinated to continue to do mitigation measures indefinitely to protect those who are unreasonably delaying getting their shots or don’t want to get shots at all.

  92. “A mask reduces the likelihood of transmission by perhaps 20%. At best.”

    The notion that masks prevent or even reduce transmission is easily refuted by the data, which show that cases/hospitalizations/deaths rise and fall in seasonal patterns in jurisdictions with all sorts of mask mandates and compliance.

    It is also easily refuted by the reality that every single person who sets foot in a nursing home, assisted living, or even independent living community has been wearing a mask for lo these many months (likewise many of the residents), and yet cases and deaths in those communities continued. And may continue post-vaccine as seasonal waves continue this year. We just don’t know yet, because incident rates were rapidly falling before most people had a single dose of the vaccine.

    (They also did not work during the Spanish flu, which is one among many reasons that pandemic preparation guidelines uniformly recommended against community mask-wearing until May 2020 or later.)

  93. Reality, did you see Shitsel on Netflix? It has subtitles, but I just finished the third season and I thought it was a good show. If you really like Sorkin, you can rewatch The West Wing or the Newsroom? I binged West Wing a year ago and it was still fin to watch that series.

  94. It is also easily refuted by the reality that every single person who sets foot in a nursing home, assisted living, or even independent living community has been wearing a mask for lo these many months (likewise many of the residents), and yet cases and deaths in those communities continued

    You’re making a false assumption of 100% compliance at all times and that was definitely not the case.

  95. Lauren – I have not. I will check it out. Thanks. I loved West Wing and have rewatched it periodically. I could never get in to Newsroom. I think because I don’t care for Jeff Daniels or Emily Mortimer. I like the actors from West Wing a lot – Martin Sheen, Allison Janney, Rob Lowe, all of them. I think Martin Sheen might win a real election just because of his role in WW.

  96. Reality – I agree about the Newsroom and Martin Sheen. I love the West Wing, but it was work to watch the Newsroom.

  97. Pretty close to my exact thoughts. So much of government and media, and too many individuals, are terrified that the pandemic might end.

    The FAA and CDC both said vaccinated people should still not fly on airplanes, before pulling back and then declaring it safe to do so. President Biden, who has been fully vaccinated for four months, still wanders around in a mask, as does the Vice President who shadows him at every turn. The media and the Biden administration want to tell everyone that the vaccines work, but are unwilling to demonstrate the perks of getting vaccinated. These people are not interested in returning to normal by the end of the year. That’s saying nothing of the antics by national teachers’ unions attempting to extort the public before allowing their members to return to classrooms.

    Perhaps the personal anxiety being displayed in the pages of the New York Times and Washington Post is simply lifestyle bias: journalists in DC and New York perceive the entire country to be boxed in as they are; they struggle to accept that Florida and Texas have been open for months. Perhaps the Biden administration sees an opening for a broad and restructuring opportunity to push through an ambitious agenda for the country on the back of the pandemic and doesn’t want to let a good crisis go to waste. Perhaps Anthony Fauci sees the curtain falling on his moment in the spotlight.

    It’s a lot more difficult to sell another two trillion dollars in “relief” if the crisis is already over.

    https://spectator.us/topic/perpetual-pandemic-coronavirus-vaccines-elites/

  98. Milo,

    Why shouldn’t Biden (or you) wear a mask until everyone who wants a shot can get a shot? With this thing over in a few more weeks what’s the big rush? You haven’t really explained that.

  99. Different topic – what do y’all think of Biden’s announcement that we are getting out of Afghanistan? From a policy pespective, I am a bit hesitant. From a politics perspective, it is going to make things interesting since this was also a Trump goal and many Republican voters (not their elites) support the idea. Are they all going to suddenly decide that we should stay in Afghanistan after all? I wouldn’t put it past Republicans – they are that cynical.

  100. Different topic – what do y’all think of Biden’s announcement that we are getting out of Afghanistan?

    It’s about time! I’s been 20 years.

  101. “So much of government and media, and too many individuals, are terrified that the pandemic might end.”

    Total hogwash. This has been a true crisis. The government response has been flawed. But a huge issue is that Americans just cannot do nuance. It is incredibly hard to craft a message at a massive scale that threads the needle between risk reduction and freedom during a pandemic. People cannot even understand that when a study says the vaccine lasts for 6 months, it doesn’t mean it only lasts for 6 months.

    The media just likes a crisis. Any crisis. They will move on to something else.

    And I have yet to meet any person who doesn’t want things to get back to normal ASAP. Who are all these maladjusted people who are terrified that the pandemic is going to end (it will!)? Have you met a lot? I haven’t.

  102. And back to Milo’s point there has also been a tremendous backlash against any kind of vaccine passports. Having businesses or the government have different rules and standards for the vaccinated vs. the unvaccinated is very unpopular in some quarters. DeSantis for example made it illegal for a private business to prefer to only admit unmasked vaccinated customers.

  103. ” Having businesses or the government have different rules and standards for the vaccinated vs. the unvaccinated is very unpopular in some quarters.”

    Doesn’t it seem like it would be a violation of various ADA-related regulations?

  104. “You’re making a false assumption of 100% compliance at all times and that was definitely not the case.”

    It was as close to 100% compliance as is possible in a fallen world.
    Remember, the mask mandate (even in many senior facilities) doesn’t specify the type of mask, the material, its fit, or its cleanliness. There are no specifications or standards. Just wear a face covering. Are you surprised that they don’t actually work?

  105. “ Why shouldn’t Biden (or you) wear a mask until everyone who wants a shot can get a shot? With this thing over in a few more weeks what’s the big rush? You haven’t really explained that.”

    I have mixed feelings about it. Looking around, I feel like everyone I know who wants one has gotten it. That may be a bubble, granted. But we’ve got to be pretty close regardless. Particularly if you’re weighting it for Covid vulnerability (those who are actually vulnerable, and who want it, should have it by now).

    My counter argument might be based on the Science (“follow the Science!!!!”) that the reduction in risk of infection, transmission, and serious illness that the vaccine brings means that a mask is statistically useless.

    What is the argument to keep wearing it? Some sort of fairness, until everyone who wants it has it? Maybe, but “wants it” is not binary. There might be a long, delayed period of coaxing and incentivizing and pleading. Nor has this past year ever been really “fair.” Why should a vaccinated Popeyes chicken fryer suffer through wearing a mask 8 hours per day in a hot kitchen for no good reason other than some misplaced idea of fairness so as not to offend a well paid professional who’s been working at home for a year and is “perfectly happy” to don a mask for the 90 seconds it takes to pick up his takeout order?

    And the goalposts just keep moving. When little progress is made, it’s never without a fight. (Can anyone tell me why schools are still closed on Wednesdays?)

  106. “ Rhett, what do you think the Republican response is going to be?”

    Trump was absolutely right when he laid into the generals. Another perfect example of once the government gets a hold of a crisis, it has no desire to solve it and let it go.

  107. Rhett, what do you think the Republican response is going to be?

    That if the Four Seasons Bal Harbor wants to advertise that it features unmasked fully vaccinated guests that is their right.

    Doesn’t it seem like it would be a violation of various ADA-related regulations?

    No. I usually have to show proof of vaccination for flu, MMR, Hep, etc. when I start a new project.

  108. RMS,

    Indeed I would argue that a company mandating vaccines would be a reasonable accommodation for the employees and guests who can’t be vaccinated. Either show proof of vaccination or proof that you can’t be vaccinated. Then let the free market sort it out. Would be my thought on what republicans would want.

  109. “So much of government and media, and too many individuals, are terrified that the pandemic might end.”

    Yup. It’s already apparent at the university. Faculty who live in Chicago rather like not having to commute, and lots of faculty seem to enjoy having less contact with bothersome students.

    This article is a good example:

    “And yet for many, particularly those who already identified as anxious before Covid-19, the limitations of pandemic life have offered a sense of control that’s allowed them to feel more at ease than they have in a while. The defining characteristics of anxiety include a fear of doing something wrong, awkward or different, says Bruce L. Thiessen, a clinical psychologist in San Diego. But over the past year, the whole world has been turned upside down, and there is no “normal” to have to live up to.

    Many are relieved by the lack of choices and the ability to engage with others almost entirely on their own terms. And they’re not sure they’re ready for it all to end. “Staying in place for these people represents a sense of security,” says Dr. Thiessen. “The fact that so many others have been avoiding social interaction also gives them the sense that they are not alone with their preference for isolation.” Many with obsessive-compulsive tendencies have found that their rituals for finding safety have been not only normalized but even idealized during the pandemic.” https://www.wsj.com/articles/when-the-pandemics-end-means-the-return-of-anxiety-11617299927

  110. “With this thing over in a few more weeks what’s the big rush?”

    Rhett — Children 15 and under cannot currently get vaccinated, and it will likely be a lot more than a few more weeks before they can. Is your position that as long as the 16+ population has easy access to vaccinations, Covid concerns are over, since the 15-and-under population generally doesn’t have a problem tolerating the virus? (This is a genuine question — I am not being snarky or aggressive.)

  111. As much as social media and the internet brings information from across the world to our fingertips, it still can not replace an individuals own experience. We are a big country and we are not having the same experience. Because of that, people are not able to understand each others actions and reactions.

    For many known and unknown reasons, NYC was hit very hard. Lauren continues to share her personal experience, and she isn’t an outlier for NY residents. I have many midwestern clients that can not understand why their service level has had periods of delays (because their servicing is out of NYC). They hear about what is going on in NYC, but there own personal experience is that any Covid illness can be managed and continue to work from home. When I get fed up I’ll tell them that half their team is actually out due to Covid illness or caring for a family member they seem surprised and not understanding of the situation.

  112. Rhett, I was asking about the Republican response to the Afghanistan pullout. Now that it is Biden who wants to do it, will they all whiplash and say it is a bad idea?

    I am trying to introduce a non-mask n’ vaccine topic, in case you haven’t noticed! There is more happening in the world besides masks.

  113. “Either show proof of vaccination or proof that you can’t be vaccinated”

    There’s also protection for religious exemptions in the law. And medically speaking, proof that you “can’t” be vaccinated is probably not quite so black and white, either.

    I was chatting yesterday (professionally) with a woman who has successfully convinced her employer that she has all these medical vulnerabilities, she had to work from home for the past year. This was a special accommodation. Then she mentioned that because of “some medical concerns,” she doesn’t want the vaccine, either. Ohh K. No dice there. Later in our chat — in addition to work, we were also talking about the evils of ibuprofen and the modern medical industrial complex, overuse of antibiotics (I commiserated based on what Denver has told me about how many patients aren’t satisfied without a Rx, and that will reflect in your patient satisfaction surveys) — she said she’s tested positive for Covid antibodies, and believes her time of infection was back in September.

    Oy.

    So she can’t work in person (which does actually matter in that role), she can’t get the vaccine, and she’s already had the damn virus. But can’t come back to work, either. I’ll let you know how long she manages to milk this.

  114. Is your position that as long as the 16+ population has easy access to vaccinations, Covid concerns are over, since the 15-and-under population generally doesn’t have a problem tolerating the virus?

    That’s my understanding. An unvaccinated kid is like a vaccinated adult in terms of risk.

  115. “Many with obsessive-compulsive tendencies have found that their rituals for finding safety have been not only normalized but even idealized during the pandemic.”

    remind you of anyone?

  116. “There is more happening in the world besides masks.”

    What do you think of NY Democrats proposal to restore the unlimited SALT deduction?
    Is this for real, or are they just tossing it in as a bargaining chip because they know perfectly well that this is an UMC blue state issue?

  117. “Can anyone tell me why schools are still closed on Wednesdays?”

    I can, at least for my district. Elementary is back 5 days…but MS and HS have Wednesday’s off. There was a long discussion with the school board, with input from students and teachers. The initial thought was to bring them back 5 days, but the students overwhelming wanted to keep Wednesdays as a catch-up day and hopefully decrease stress. The slackers (for lack of a better word) like having a day off, and the high performing students like having it off for extra studying. My MS student is currently on a google meet with her Environmental Club. Instead of meeting early morning, these Wednesdays are filled with club meetings.

    It will be a rude awakening in the fall when they go back to 5 days (fingers crossed they go back to 5 days).

  118. ” lots of faculty seem to enjoy having less contact with bothersome students.”

    My experience is that the students are considerably more bothersome and demanding right now. And how do your faculty feel about having all their course materials posted on Chegg?
    Although I am not looking forwards to the nasty commute, I am so looking forwards to being able to give real exams so I can figure out what they are learning, and not having to talk for 3 hours to a blank, non-responsive Zoom screen

  119. “The only Democrats who did not sign on were Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Kathleen Rice. ”

    There’s something very satisfying when I find the rare occasions to agree with AOC. This also happened when she was bold enough to question WTF any city should be offering enormous tax breaks to Amazon. Like, let’s spend all our time ranting on Twitter against evil corporations that already pay no taxes and continue to resist unionization, and hold unfair monopolies, and then when they start talking about a new headquarters, let’s all throw MORE tax breaks at them and beg them to come to us.

    And now SALT. Years and years of these people telling us that taxes need to be higher on those who are doing well, have reaped the rewards of the new economy, etc. Now they get their higher taxes and it’s so fundamentally unfair, it’s got to be repealed.

  120. Yeah, we have the remote Wednesdays here too, and I think for the same reason. The district also says they need the time to clean and set up, and the teachers, who still have to teach students who have elected to remain remote, need the time to prepare stuff for those students. I sympathize with them, since I am teaching remote classes too. Everything takes twice as long.

    Our faculty union did a survey of the faculty which asked a lot of questions about workload and stress this year. They released the results yesterday, and not suprisingly, our facultu are stressed and burnt out from the increase in workload. Everyone wants this to end.

  121. Scarlett, the SALT thing is a bargaining chip, nothing more. It doesn’t play well even among Democrats.

  122. Our district went back to having school on Wednesday in January. There was always school, but the teachers were also at home so the building could be cleaned between cohorts. It was a 1/2 day, but the hours were increased in Jan and the kids/teachers are also in the building on Wednesday. The district teachers work a full day, but they use that extra time to meet/prep etc. It is a 2/3 day and it is a favorite day for DD because it just provides a bit of relief from the pressure of junior year with covid education. It also works out great for getting an appointment for the dentist, haircut, almost any service provider because she can get arrive by 2.

  123. My mom is desperate to get back to teaching in-person. However, because her school is targeted toward non-traditional undergrads, many with full-time jobs and kids, I think that a lot of the students are like “Eh, this works for me,” and the administration is only interested in maximizing the amount of GI Bill dollars flowing into their coffers.

  124. I just read that the Buffalo Bills are going to require vaccinations. Full capacity. It is interesting to watch the NFL become a major source of societal change.

  125. You’re dreaming if you think everyone who want to be vaccinated has been able to be vaccinated at this point.

    My office is requiring employees to be vaccinated before returning to the office. Those who won’t or can’t get vaccinated can continue to work remotely (that’s the accommodation). Works for me.

  126. “Those who won’t or can’t get vaccinated can continue to work remotely ”

    Did they say for how long? Because that would certainly discourage a lot of people from getting it. (Or at least they won’t disclose it.)

  127. Most likely he had all his materials on an unsecured university website. People used to do that all the time. You can still find tons of assignments that way. Of course, any smart professor would not just reuse those materials because of course the students can find them too. I often look for materials, though, just to get an idea of what other people who teach my subjects expect from their students.

  128. There is a big difference between a professor choosing to put materials up on his or her page on the university web server, possibly under a Creative Commons license, and a student uploading those materials without permission to Chegg or CourseHero for the purpose of getting someone else to post the solution. Not only is it cheating, it is intellectual property theft – and Chegg knows it and is making tons of money off of it.

  129. My 13 y.o. rides the subway home from school each day. He reports that more people are not wearing masks lately (compliance used to be nearly 100%). It is possible, likely even, that many of the unmasked people have been vaccinated at this point. However, he has no way of knowing who is vaccinated and who isn’t, and at 13, he is not eligible for the vaccine. So the site of unmasked people on the train makes him anxious. Of course he knows that kids are not likely to get seriously ill or die from COVID, but he still doesn’t want to get it. He moves away from the unmasked people, but then others get on and he has to move again. I feel bad for him. I wish people would just wear the damn mask a little longer.

  130. CityMom – same with public buses. My kids are taking Lyft/Uber to school (everyone’s masked) but the public buses home (they’re masked). The numbers are still not good here and a high percentage of cases are a variant. I’m not convinced the vaccines have been truly put to the test against the existing variants yet and of course, with case counts still high and the virus still spreading, additional variants can develop. Far too soon to stop taking precautions altogether, IMHO, even one were if vaccinated.

  131. Some states (and countries, such as Israel) have done a much better job than others at prioritizing vaccines based on age. Others have chosen to let teachers, so-called essential workers, and others who are much younger and at less risk of bad outcomes to jump the line ahead of seniors.

  132. City Mom, I feel for your son. Earlier this week I went into the office and there was a vendor in there working in our server room. He was unmasked (which is unusual, as most people are mask compliant). I made a comment to the only other coworker in the office about that guy and he said that the guy asked if it was okay and said he was vaccinated. Coworker is vaccinated and didn’t care. I’ve gotten one dose, so I didn’t feel that my health was in danger. But, if I was concerned, I have to go off this guy’s word that he was vaccinated, and I can see how that would be an uneasy situation. You just don’t know, and you have to trust strangers.

    As DD told me, you can only control what you do, and that, in most cases, is enough.

  133. “ I have to go off this guy’s word that he was vaccinated, ”

    That’s always going to be true.

  134. And what’s more, participating in public life also means that some people aren’t giving you their word, and others will choose not to get vaccinated.

  135. “And what’s more, participating in public life also means that some people aren’t giving you their word, and others will choose not to get vaccinated.”

    And that’s all well and good for those of us who have the option to get the vaccine. I’ve gotten it, and I spend exactly zero energy worrying about whether the person on line behind me at the grocery store is an anti-vaxxer. For kids who can’t get the vaccine, its another story. Even if they aren’t worried about getting sick (and for the most part they are worried, even though they are statistically unlikely to get seriously ill), they are worried about the disruption to their lives if they get Covid, such as having to quarantine, miss school, etc. Case rates are still quite high around here, so is stressful for a kid to be trapped in a closed space with unmasked people. You would think that adults would want to make life less stressful for a kid traveling alone, but many just don’t give a damn.

  136. ” they are worried about the disruption to their lives if they get Covid, such as having to quarantine, miss school, etc.”

    If those concerns are sufficient justification for every asymptomatic person to wear a mask any time that they’re indoors with other people, then everyone needs to wear a mask during every flu season for the rest of our lives.

  137. Milo,

    Vaccine testing is already underway for kids 6 months and up. Once they are available and distributed there would be no reason to test, quarantine, etc.

  138. “everyone needs to wear a mask during every flu season for the rest of our lives.”

    That is exactly what some of our public health “experts” have already proposed.

    It is hard to understand how case rates can *still* be high in NYC with months of mask mandates and extremely high levels of compliance. And all while the Neanderthals in Texas and Mississippi dropped their own mandates without causing a surge in cases and deaths.

  139. Not true, Milo. There has never been a mandatory 10 day isolation period for flu infection. Nor have schools ever done random testing to catch asymptomatic flu carriers and send them to isolation. When my kid got sick with the flu a few years ago he was home for 2 days and then back in action.

    Its just a matter of courtesy. It really is not that hard to wear a mask on the subway. It barely counts as an inconvenience.

  140. Rhett – you’re missing the point. There are going to be more flu viruses. Every year. The argument here is that, because you can’t trust every stranger on the subway to not have the flu, everybody should just wear a mask to make others less stressed.

  141. CM – I hear your arguments, but I just see this growing constantly, and forever changing the goals. We’re a long way from justifying mandates so that we don’t run out of ventilators.

    Anyway, where you probably think I’m dismissive of the stress or concerns, I feel like people are too dismissive of the discomfort and fundamental personal intrusion that mask mandates constitute.

  142. Milo,

    But as City Mom said schools don’t do batch testing for flu and make you quarantine.

  143. It’s really just a matter of courtesy not to force or even expect others to wear masks — with zero evidence that they actually work — in order to make you and your family members feel less anxious.

    You can take off your masks — there’s nothing wrong with the air. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n_rvE_8naJI

  144. “The argument here is that, because you can’t trust every stranger on the subway to not have the flu, everybody should just wear a mask to make others less stressed.”

    No — the argument is that COVID is different from the flu for various reasons. One reason is that there is a flu vaccine available for everyone over age 2, while the covid vaccine is not yet available to children or young teens. Another reason is that there is no random testing/mandatory isolation for flu infection.

    Also, the rule for NYC public transit is still mandatory masking for all. So the unmasked people are not just being discourteous around someone whom they know cannot be vaccinated, they are breaking the rules.

  145. fundamental personal intrusion that mask mandates constitute.

    Comfort is certainly an issue. But why is a mask mandate a fundamental personal intrusion but no shirt no shoes isn’t? It’s a nice day, I’d like to go walk the dog naked. Hum…and now I’ve been arrested.

  146. And just not liking something is a perfectly fine rational. But don’t claim there is some bigger issue if all the other clothing mandates have never bothered you.

  147. CM – the COVID vaccines are a lot more effective than the flu vaccines. And (iirc) the flu is actually more dangerous for children. So with some of these difference, and using the justifications mentioned, it would only be logical to pass laws that you always wear a mask. No, there’s not mandatory testing and quarantine for flu now, but why not add that, esp. if it’s more dangerous for kids?

    This is where I’m saying we’ve headed down a dangerous slope.

    Rhett – I have no qualms with people going naked. I really, truly don’t.

  148. “Anyway, where you probably think I’m dismissive of the stress or concerns, I feel like people are too dismissive of the discomfort and fundamental personal intrusion that mask mandates constitute.”

    Well, I’ll admit to being dismissive of those concerns, because it seems to me a minor inconvenience at worst. It reminds me about the seat-belt laws, and then the three-point seatbelts, and then the smoking laws. Every time, I heard serious grumbling from people who just didn’t like it because it wasn’t as comfortable/was an inconvenience to go outside. But now that’s what we’re used to, and I don’t hear the grumbling any more. I think people just don’t like being forced to acknowledge that the government has the authority to make you do things you wouldn’t choose to do for yourself.

    I also find it interesting that you’re the one feeling that, because you more than anyone else here lived through complete government control of your daily life, from shaving your head to telling you what to wear to telling you how to spend practically every minute of every day. You voluntarily chose that overwhelming degree of discomfort and fundamental personal intrusion — but a little scrap of fabric or paper drives you around the bend? That just strikes me as a strange thing to get that worked up over. Is it a reaction to being so controlled for so many years? Or are you just getting more crotchety in your old age? ;-)

  149. No, the answer is that masks and other forms of NPI do.not.work to stop the spread of COVID, variants or otherwise.

    There is always something for public health folks to grab onto in order to prolong the “two weeks” into infinity. “Variants!” is just the latest iteration.

    Next up will be breakthrough infections among the vaccinated, which will require another year of mask-wearing and school closings.

  150. “I have no qualms with people going naked. I really, truly don’t.”

    TMI warning, I tend to think swimsuits are awful, always having wet fabric clinging to you. If I were king, pools and beaches would be clothing-optional.

  151. LfB – It was a choice to enter into that arrangement, with the compensation being things like group membership, the experience of the whole program, education, etc.

  152. And another thing! I hate bathing suit liners. What is the point? That mesh netting is the worst of all possible solutions.

  153. “If I were king, pools and beaches would be clothing-optional.”

    Dear God, no. Years ago, I was at the beach in Nice, France. So many old women going topless. Never again!

    People can argue and complain or whatever, but masks are here to stay for a bit.

  154. It’s really just a matter of courtesy not to force or even expect others to wear masks — with zero evidence that they actually work — in order to make you and your family members feel less anxious.

    Right, Scarlett. Your comfort is more important than that of a 13-year-old traveling alone. You should not have to sacrifice for anyone ever. That kid can move if he wants — don’t inconvenience yourself!

  155. Anyway, so I came over here to ask about the blood clot issue, because it makes NO sense to me. 6 cases out of 7 million, and we’re shutting down? From what I’ve read, that’s comparable to or lower than the population-wide prevalence of those kinds of clots (which I’ve read range anywhere from 1 in 1M to 40 in 1M). So how do we even know that those effects are attributable to the vaccine? I could troll through the medical records of all the people who’ve been vaccinated and find incidents of pretty much every disease out there post-vaccination. But because X people developed cancer after being vaccinated, are we now going to conclude that the vaccines caused their cancer and ban them as well?

    The only explanation I read for making this causal link was that they excluded people who were already on blood thinners (and thus had presumably been previously diagnosed with conditions that could lead to clotting). One guy I read basically said that for any woman between (something like) 20 and 49 who was not already on heparin and who had been vaccinated and then developed a blood clot, the clot must have been caused by the vaccine. And all I can think is, hunnhhh????? I mean, there’s a ton of data out there that demonstrates women are underdiagnosed for things like heart disease, including going to the hospital *while having a heart attack* and being told it’s indigestion and to go home. So why wouldn’t it be just as valid to assume that women are also underdiagnosed for things like clotting factors (which tend to be directly linked to those same heart attacks)? Particularly when you’re looking at a younger group that hasn’t yet reached the age where doctors start looking for this stuff. I mean, I know I have a clotting factor issue because of infertility testing I had done in my early 30s; I can’t think of a single medical test or appointment since then that would even have looked for that, and I’ve certainly not noticed any physical symptoms.

    Not saying there’s nothing there. I just don’t undertand the drama and panic for such small numbers. Particularly since if people don’t get vaccinated and get Covid, one of the major risks from the disease itself is blood clots!

  156. I wonder if “senior hours” at the grocery store are going to morph into “mask hours.” So, if you want to shop in an environment where everyone is masked, you can go during mask hour. Or at the gym, if certain classes will be designated as “mask classes,” so that you can have an opportunity to exercise in a masked environment, if that’s what you want. If there are enough takers, mask hours/classes/etc. might become an ongoing thing. If not, I imagine they will eventually fall away.

  157. LfB,

    I heard an interesting theory. As soon as they found even the slightest statistical aberration they said, “STOP!” That gives the public confidence that if anything is going on they are being upfront about it. This increases confidence in the Pfizer and Moderna vaccine. It seems plausible.

  158. LfB – I think it is a few things- it is a weird type of clot; I don’t know what the denominator is for younger women who got the J&J vaccine, but it is potentially an issue for that subgroup if this type of clot is showing up; we have good supply of mRNA vaccines that do not appear to be this issue. If we didn’t, I think we would be very hesitant to stop vaccination because the risk does appear to be low, at least if you aren’t a younger female. I think this is an issue for our health agencies to investigate. I hope they did lose sleep over this. That is their job. I wouldn’t be from a personal sense.

  159. MM – I heard the Rs were already saying a full pull out of Afghanistan is a lousy idea.

    Me? I’m with Rhett. We’ve been there long enough. We’re not going to solve their problems. Get the hell out.

  160. LfB – totally with you on the very small risks posed by J & J vaccine. The one twist I believe I heard this morning is that there is something about the blood clots they develop being made worse by conventional treatments. The implication being that if this does end up being a potential complication, the health care community will need to know what to look for and how to treat differently. Also just saw a tweet that there were ‘similar’ cases in the placebo group, but only about 50% of the incidence. If that’s right, then this complication is more like 3 out of 7M.

  161. NoB,

    It would depend on the number of people who are both afraid of COVID and anti-vax. I’m not sure what the number is. It’s certainly not zero. But I don’t think it’s high enough to make masked hours and classes feasible.

  162. Rhett, I don’t think it’s the people who are afraid of covid AND anti-vax. I think the number of anti-covid-vax will partially determine the number of people who remain fearful of covid. I remain wary about covid, and that’s partially because the number of people interested in getting the vaccine in my part of flyover country seems to be decreasing well before we hit 50% vaccinated mark.

  163. Milo — ahhh, that makes sense. I imagine if we still had the draft, that would have driven you nuts.

    I guess I don’t have a lot of sympathy for the degree of “fundamental personal intrusion,” because I’m just more inured to the reality that many, many people and agencies want to interject themselves into my life. I mean, if I want birth control, I have to go to my doctor (and it used to be I’d need my husband’s permission!). And remember the whole vaginal ultrasound-before-legal-abortion thing a few years back? You want to talk about a fundamental personal intrusion! And don’t even get me going on clothing expectations, from the stupid itchy shirts and bloomers in junior high to the heels and pantyhose of the first decade at work (and thank God I don’t live somewhere where a burkha is required!). And then there’s the various cat-calls and being groped on the bus and being required to come home by X time for my own safety/because curfew to protect girls. As a practical matter, most girls grow up with a lot less bodily autonomy than boys; it’s not right, but it just is. So if I’m going to get worked up over something, it’s not going to be putting a scrap of fabric across my face.

  164. “but masks are here to stay for a bit.”

    See, this is what makes me feel like I have to push back more. And I think a lot of people feel the same way, esp. if NYC subway riders are through with it. I was getting lunch today, half the employees weren’t wearing masks, the other half had them around their chins. And the lady who was going to make my sandwich pulled hers on when she came over to help me, but I was like “Oh the hell with this” and took mine off. If they’re comfortable without it, so am I.

    I shared a text exchange with RMS about two weeks ago when we were hosting a family get together, and one busybody aunt was trying to coyly dictate that everyone would need to wear masks on our fully opened screened porch. I was polite but insisted “no, I’m not doing it.” Over and over. And15 minutes after they got settled, they gave up the silly charade, too.

  165. My kids have worn masks every day at school since August and have to wear them to play soccer. They have not complained once about being uncomfortable about wearing masks. The amount of complaining about masks by adults is unbelievable.

  166. “I imagine if we still had the draft, that would have driven you nuts.”

    For Vietnam, probably, especially since it was so class-based. For WWII, not so much.

  167. “and thank God I don’t live somewhere where a burkha is required!”

    A lot of people will say that it’s just common courtesy to wear one so that, what, boys and young men aren’t unduly aroused and tempted or something? It makes sense, wouldn’t you want them to be more comfortable?

  168. “See, this is what makes me feel like I have to push back more.”

    Knock yourself out. I am not sure posting about it here does anything, but that is true for everything we discuss. Personally, I am so very glad that I live in an area that has high mask compliance and high vaccine demand.

  169. “Looking around, I feel like everyone I know who wants one has gotten it. That may be a bubble, granted.”

    Definitely a bubble. A lot of people still aren’t eligible to make appointments.

  170. Milo,

    The issue would be that it’s a lot more burdensome on the woman. If it was applied equally to both sexes there would no grounds for objection from those who support laws against public indecency. Indeed if they were applied equally then our policies would be the more unfair one as men in the US aren’t required to keep their nipples covered but women are.

  171. “on Wednesday. The district teachers work a full day, but they use that extra time to meet/prep etc. It is a 2/3 day”

    Is this schedule, or something similar, common in other parts of the country?

    Local public schools have had a similar schedule for a long time. I was in HS when it was implemented.

    Teacher union was finally able to build teacher meet/prep time into their paid time.

  172. Rhett – that’s true, but, as LfB alluded to, there is another sex-disparate bodily autonomy issue still in play, and that is Selective Service registration. They just haven’t called anyone’s numbers in a long time.

    As I said, I’m not a supporter of clothing laws. I’m surprised that people who have complained about school rules against girls wearing spaghetti straps and tank tops aren’t a little bit more concerned about laws requiring them to cover half their faces.

  173. “A lot of people will say that it’s just common courtesy to wear one so that, what, boys and young men aren’t unduly aroused and tempted or something? It makes sense, wouldn’t you want them to be more comfortable?”

    That’s sort of my point: it is pretty routine for societies to require women to do specific things to their bodies in order to avoid inconveniencing men. Ergo, having grown up paying attention to all those things, I am much more eye-roll-ey to the notion that a mask is a significant infringement on my personal freedoms.

  174. They just haven’t called anyone’s numbers in a long time.

    Do you think they ever would? I figure you can’t have a war between nuclear powers. Maybe a proxy war with China like we had a proxy war with the Chinese and Soviets in Korea and Vietnam?

  175. I don’t want to put words in Milo’s mouth, but I get the impression that what bothers him is the arbitrariness of some of the mask rules, like the example of the outdoor soccer fields.

    And if that’s part of what bothers him I agree. I think local governments could have been so much more nuanced in their approach, and better communicators about what the metrics are for rules to change, etc. That said, on balance my sympathy lies with the people who really do have to comply as a condition of their jobs (grocery workers, etc.), so I’m willing to put up with a bit longer. No skin off my back.

    In our area, vaccines are readily available and plentiful, and cases are going dramatically down, so I do think that at some point it’s your own assumed risk.

  176. Also, on balance, I feel like we have sacrificed much less than what some of you describe, because our kids have been in school this entire time, and with the exception of last April/May have even been able to sports (tennis) the entire time. So perhaps my tolerance of continued inconvenience is higher.

  177. “I’m surprised that people who have complained about school rules against girls wearing spaghetti straps and tank tops aren’t a little bit more concerned about laws requiring them to cover half their faces.”

    TMK masking mandates have not had gender/sex differences.

  178. Thinking about this today as I dropped my kids off in bare feet for school. 20 year old kiwi men are truly perplexed about the need to wear shoes everywhere in the US. (Women are a little less vested in the issue as they seem to choose to wear shoes most of the time). Any young guy who has travelled to the US has a story about being kicked out or called out for being barefoot in the US. They ask me to explain why they need to wear shoes in the grocery store? In McDonalds? I don’t have good answers. Interestingly, I was in the Big City at a Carl’s Jr and a group of working guys came in for lunch. A few had very muddy boots on and took them off in the vestibule entrance way and ate lunch in their socks. I mentioned this to someone and they were, “of course they did, it would be rude to wear muddy boots inside.”

    Related, my kids are definitely living bestlifenow. They go weeks without putting shoes on. When they go off to secondary school (age 13) they will be required to wear Roman sandals in the summer and Oxfords in the winter, so at least they will not forget how to wear shoes.

    Anyway, reflecting on why we make people wear shoes in the US. I think people would say, “because feet are dirty and you can get diseases” but I don’t think that is really true. Maybe liability for injuring feet if you step on something?

  179. Lark – that’s certainly part of it. Also, exactly like you said, it seems like there are never any metrics for getting out. We just hop from one justification to the next. We have enough ventilators. We’re not going to exceed hospital capacity. We’ve flattened the curve. Everyone’s grandma should be vaccinated by now. We have a very effective vaccine. If they could say “on Date X, when there are more [insert metric that outlines far more vaccine supply than demand, we will be done…” then I’d sit down and comply and shut my mouth.

    But there’s always something new they latch onto. Now we’re long past worrying about the actual science of transmission and talking about what makes anxious people feel better.

  180. “TMK masking mandates have not had gender/sex differences.”

    TMK, referring to those clothing rules, boys aren’t allowed to wear tank tops and spaghetti straps, either. At least we were certainly not allowed to wear tank tops in high school.

  181. One more comment – I was thinking yesterday about Finn’s 80 year old unvaccinated person, and whether wearing a mask around him/her would be the morally correct thing to do. I thought of 2 real life scenarios. One, my running partner’s mother (75ish?) is currently being treated for cancer and is in chemo/radiation. Her oncologist wants her to wait to a certain time to get vaccinated, in between certain rounds. So at the moment she’s unvaccinated although she does have her appt for it scheduled. I’m vaccinated. If I stopped by my friend’s house and she were there, I would absolutely wear a mask.

    My aunt/uncle not quite anti-vaxxers, but they haven’t gotten around to getting their vaccine yet. They’re in their 70s and it’s certainly available to them. If I were around them (as I was last week), do I need to wear a mask? I didn’t and I didn’t care.

  182. “They just have all the pieces carefully arranged and ready to be assembled in a few hours.”

    Like a “ghost gun.” I’m told that’s one reason the AR-15 is so popular and versatile.

  183. Also, thinking about the blood clot issue. I’ll find some data – but I think the denominator is not 7 million, it # women in the age category, which might only be 10s of thousands, making the risk not 1/million but 1/10,000. I wouldn’t get the J&J vaccine if I had other choices, for a variety of reasons, but blood clots figures in.

    I think I might get vaccinated today! We are all Pfizer, all the time, so no negotiating there. There’s some real anger here right now because a case just leaked across the border into the community via a security guard and the isolation hotel. He had cancelled two vaccine appointments, then caught covid. I think Jacinda is now going door to door to all the (10%) of border workers who have not bee vaccinated.

  184. Someone said something today I wasn’t sure if it had merit…are we just going to give away the J&J doses to other countries that have less money than us and aren’t so risk-sensitive? If so, I don’t think that’s a bad outcome at all.

  185. DH and I had appointments for J&J vaccine yesterday, which naturally were cancelled (after we got there). I had been so excited to get the appointments as there is enormous demand here and doses are scarce. I stalk various websites but it is so difficult. The only people I know who’ve gotten vaccinated are health care workers, teachers, super seniors, and a few with obesity/DM. Regular middle-aged folks have been scrambling for weeks, and now we have to compete with teenagers. We are a long, long way from everyone who wants a vaccine having access to one. I really have a hard time comprehending how things can be so different in the areas some of you live in.

  186. If they could say “on Date X, when there are more [insert metric that outlines far more vaccine supply than demand, we will be done…” then I’d sit down and comply and shut my mouth.

    I was just going to post that I think we’re seeing your status quo bias. Which is obviously fine. We all have our quirks.

    If so, I don’t think that’s a bad outcome at all.

    Sounds good to me as well.

  187. ” there is another sex-disparate bodily autonomy issue still in play, and that is Selective Service registration.”

    So which do you favor more, eliminating SS registration completely, or mandating it for everyone?

  188. I’m with Lark on her examples of when to wear a mask. Common courtesy for those that are medically at a disadvantage.

    A few weeks ago, before I was vaccinated I was invited over DH’s aunt’s house. We were in town, she wanted to see us and the kids. She is vaccinated, but she also has ovarian cancer as well as high risk factors. When we got to her house we were all masked, but she told told us to take our masks off. I clarified that she understood we did not have vaccines, and she insisted the masks come off, and so off the came.

  189. “are we just going to give away the J&J doses to other countries that have less money than us and aren’t so risk-sensitive? If so, I don’t think that’s a bad outcome at all.”

    ITA agree, especially since the risk associated with J&J is apparently much lower for older people, and much of our older population is already vaccinated, but that’s not the case in many other countries.

    “we probably are going to give away any AZ doses we have as well.”

    TMK, 4M doses are being sold to Canada and Mexico. Also not a bad outcome, I hope that’s already happened.

  190. we probably are going to give away any AZ doses we have as well.

    It sort of reminds me of the Churchill quote*, “You can always count on the Americans to do the right thing after they’ve exhausted all other options.” Or the idea common among our allies and adversaries that we always seem to end up on top. As if it’s all part of an elaborate plan they just can’t quite figure out.

    * which he apparently never said. But meh, whatever.

  191. “I was just going to post that I think we’re seeing your status quo bias.”

    It’s not status quo bias when it’s been a year of constantly changing goal lines. It’s the opposite.

    Finn – Equal one way or the other. I’d have to consult with the Selective Service people to see if it’s really needed. Kind of hard to imagine that in 2021, that’s the only way they’d know how to get in touch with you. And not just gender-equal. NOOO college deferments. You can go to college when you get back.

  192. It looks like the denominator for women 10-50 is 1.4 million. So a clear safety signal.

  193. “Rhett – that’s true, but, as LfB alluded to, there is another sex-disparate bodily autonomy issue still in play, and that is Selective Service registration. They just haven’t called anyone’s numbers in a long time.

    As I said, I’m not a supporter of clothing laws. I’m surprised that people who have complained about school rules against girls wearing spaghetti straps and tank tops aren’t a little bit more concerned about laws requiring them to cover half their faces.”

    FWIW, I think women should also be required to register for the draft. I see absolutely no reason for that distinction.

    As to the clothing rules: the difference in my mind is that clothing rules are based on the premise that girls are responsible for boys’ bad behavior. That’s just flat-out not right. But even if it were, the basis for that is basically “being considerate” to others. Mask rules, OTOH, are to protect other people’s health,* which IMO is more important than manners.** It is a minor inconvenience that we are expected to comply with to protect those who are less able to protect themselves/who are more likely to have severe results and less likely to have the resources to deal with it. And yeah, where we are, there are still tons of people of all ages who haven’t been able to get vaccinated yet; we only opened up beyond “in-hospital care” a few weeks ago.

    I do agree, though, with the frustration over the variety of inconsistent measures and the lack of clear metrics/goals. But that the Republican ideal, right? Each of the 50 states and thousands of municipalities is entitled to make its own decisions and pass its own laws, without a big federal government interfering?

    And FWIW, I also agree that when we really do have sufficient vaccines available so that everyone who wants one has gotten one, it’s entirely appropriate to lift all of the legal restrictions.

    *Re: “masks don’t work”: if I had my druthers, the rules would require N95 masks, and we’d have expedited making them months and months ago. It’s pretty clear that *some* masks work, because otherwise all our hospital personnel would have been wiped out from Covid within a few months. It’s just the silly cloth things that don’t work reliably.

    **I completely do not give a shit about catering to someone’s anxiety. That’s a total crap reason for government mandates. OTOH, when you haven’t been able to get vaccinated yet, it’s not “anxiety” to want the people around you to wear masks — it’s a legitimate concern about your own health.

  194. “If I were king, pools and beaches would be clothing-optional.”

    And tourists would get sunburned over even more of their bodies.

    I’d still wear my board shorts that come down to my knees and my long sleeved rashguards.

  195. Rhett – the part our allies and adversaries have a hard time understanding is how a mongrel nation actually gets enough things right.
    The scrambling for the vaccine is also something probably uniquely American. In other countries, it’s wait till you are called up one at a time, not a mad scramble, stalking and refreshing of websites, creating bots to find spots, vaccine angels to help and a whole cottage industry built around getting your shot.

  196. It’s not status quo bias when it’s been a year of constantly changing goal lines.

    It was a novel virus and we haven’t had a pandemic of this scale in the US in 100 years. I figure it was highly unlikely that they would have had it all figured out on day 1. You seem annoyed that they didn’t.

  197. “Your comfort is more important than that of a 13-year-old traveling alone. You should not have to sacrifice for anyone ever.”

    The truth is that a child traveling alone is at FAR more risk of harm from adults with criminal intent than from healthy people not wearing a mask.

  198. “OTOH, when you haven’t been able to get vaccinated yet, it’s not “anxiety” to want the people around you to wear masks — it’s a legitimate concern about your own health.”

    This is the argument that was made, and I see the point. OTOH, where does that lead us if the seasonal flu really is more dangerous to children than COVID 19 (or even about as dangerous)? And seasonal flu vaccines don’t work for shit. A month before COIVD, two of my flu-vaccinated kids got the GD flu!

    “Republicans…states.”

    Rocky won’t let me use his nickname, but if Gov. Northam could actually establish a firm metric and timeline, and stick to it, I’d be happy. The rest of you could deal. :)

    “I’d still wear my board shorts that come down to my knees and my long sleeved rashguards.”

    On the lake, I tend to wear a shirt until about 4 pm. DW criticizes me for having too many moles as it is. After that, it’s all coming off. ;)

  199. “I just don’t undertand the drama and panic for such small numbers.”

    It’s the same precautionary principle that leads to mask mandates, especially outdoors and on children. We don’t have any evidence that COVID transmits on playground slides, but playgrounds are closed anyhow.

  200. The major difference to me on masks vs spaghetti straps is that my not wearing a mask potentially puts you at risk. Me wearing spaghetti straps – or not – does not impact you one iota.

    And I live amongst a bunch of hooligans who will likely not get vaxxed. The only way to help protect those who remain vulnerable is to say masks for everyone. If everyone would be get vaccinated, we could have nice things, like live music and large sporting events, without masks.

  201. Scarlett – where are playgrounds closed? This is a serious question. These are the kinds of differences that probably fuel such a wide disparity in our views on things like masks. Playgrounds here have been open for months and months.

  202. “I really have a hard time comprehending how things can be so different in the areas some of you live in.”

    It’s not that hard. Some states based vaccine eligibility primarily on age.

  203. Sunshine – Whether a vaccinated person wears a mask in your vicinity does not affect you one iota. When I argued that point, I was told that we should all wear them anyway because it makes people more comfortable and less stressed.

    And I just this minute got an email from our vaccine finders group that our hospital system is reporting that supply now exceeds demand.

  204. “Scarlett – where are playgrounds closed? This is a serious question.”

    San Francisco playgrounds were closed for months. You can Google to find other states and cities that closed playgrounds. There were plenty of photos on social media over the last year, which is how I learned about it, because playgrounds here were open.

  205. “ San Francisco playgrounds were closed for months.”

    Maybe they just needed to re-name them first? Was one of them named after Abraham Lincoln, or Diane Feinstein?

  206. I like that we have people here that question things.
    In the home country my cousin was mentioning that her kids had not been to school for a year and worse there is no ray of light. Yet, festivals, election rallies go on while millions of kids are unschooled. It’s a total disaster. And there is no computer in most homes. Some families got their kids cell phones just for school work.

  207. “I really have a hard time comprehending how things can be so different in the areas some of you live in.”

    It’s not that hard. Some states based vaccine eligibility primarily on age.

    And in my area the demand exceeds supply in all age brackets and health conditions. I just can’t relate to doses going begging for lack of interest like they apparently are in some states.

  208. Milo — that’s a fair point about the flu. I don’t think there’s a simple answer. But right now as a practical matter, as noted above, a kid doesn’t just have to worry about his health; he may also have to worry about Grandma who he lives with, or at a minimum getting booted out of school for a couple of weeks. When we get to the point where Covid is like the seasonal flu, where people can get vaccinated to prepare for the season and everything doesn’t have to shut down when someone gets sick, then I’ll be happy to revert to status quo ante.

    FWIW, for illustrative purposes: I technically became eligible to get vaccinated two weeks ago — so if I had managed to grab a same-day appointment, I would just now have gotten my second shot and still need a week or two to reach maximum effectiveness. People my age and older without various diseases just became eligible yesterday, and the general population 16+ doesn’t become eligible for another 2 weeks. And the mass vax sites were dependent on the J&J vaccine, which is now out, so now it’s mid-May for the earliest possible second shot (and probably longer), and end of May for full effectiveness for those earliest-possible shots. So in my area, it is at least another 2-3 months until I can even begin to suppose that the people I come in contact with will have been vaccinated if they wanted to be.

    But this is probably also where confidence in government comes into play. Hogan has made it clear from the get-go that his plan is to reopen everything as soon as it is safe to do so, and he’s been pressuring the schools to reopen over the concerns of the teachers. So I’m entirely confident that he’s not delaying things just for show.

  209. Ada, the norms aroound barefoot kids has changed over time. When I was a kid, especially when we were living out West, I went barefoot endlessly in summer and so did lots of my friends. We also used to go into stores with our roller skates on! Nowdays, you never see anyone in barefeet, although I still do most of my gardening shoeless.

  210. Blythe – I’m a little bit surprised that it crossed over this soon. (And I don’t think that’s to say that there aren’t more takers at the moment, it’s just that the rate at which the doses are coming in is greater than the number of patients jumping through the hoops to register and show up.) But, as I’ve said on here a number of times, I’ve been surprised at how many people I know who don’t want it. I was talking to my surgeon friend about it at soccer, and he’s like “You would be astounded at the number of doctors and nurses who have refused it!”

    Mostly, I think there’s a huge segment of the population in the middle who will take it but aren’t going to expend any effort. And that Goes all the way back to my very first point that the government and the public health agencies are doing a really crappy job at offering any incentives to get it. All they do is downplay the value of it. If Fauci is still too scared to eat in a restaurant or fly on a plane, he’s not very convincing that it’s worth the effort.

  211. I thought DW said she got some kind of worm from playing barefoot in the yard at 4. She has always been strict with the kids about wearing shoes. Barefoot on the deck or patio is fine.

  212. “San Francisco playgrounds were closed for months.”

    Looks like the playgrounds were closed from March-October. IIRC, that’s in the timeframe when people thought that the most likely route to transmission was via surfaces. So it makes sense that areas with multiple snotty kids touching everything in sight would close. I know there has been discussion since the summer about transmission via aerosols instead of surfaces, but even back in October WHO was still reporting that surfaces could be a method of transmission. See https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-021-00251-4.

    Now, if they were still closed, I’d have a problem with that. But they’ve been open for the past 6 months.

  213. The CDC advisory panel has declined to un-pause the J&J vaccine at this time.
    Denmark is the first country to permanently stop the AstraZeneca vaccine, which is very similar to J&J, because of blood clot concerns.

  214. I do think it’s easier to open by mid June than delay things till the fall. In the fall if cases rise and things are still closed there is a psychological tendency to hesitate to open given the winter. I am thinking of kids school – once they got going they got the hang of operating through the ups and downs of the surges.

  215. “ Denmark is the first country to permanently stop the AstraZeneca vaccine,”

    Yeah and I think Eastern Europe is like the fat linebacker at the lunch table who’s like “So…you’re not gonna eat those fries? Send ‘em down here.”

  216. I really can’t believe that in this day and age, Selective Service registration applies only to males. It should either apply to everyone or no one. I’m surprised that hasn’t been struck down as unconstitutional.

  217. “Yeah and I think Eastern Europe is like the fat linebacker at the lunch table who’s like “So…you’re not gonna eat those fries? Send ‘em down here.””

    Yes, it seems that Pfizer/Moderna will become the First World Vaccines, and J&J/AZ will become the Third World Vaccines.

  218. South Africa has also paused the J&J shots, and J&J has paused its rollout in Europe. And the EU has apparently decided not to renew the contracts for either J&J or AstraZeneca for next year. mRNA all the way.

  219. “20 year old kiwi men are truly perplexed about the need to wear shoes everywhere in the US.”

    Hey, we’re part of the US here, and people here in general don’t wear shoes everywhere. Almost nobody wears shoes in homes.

    When my kids were in ES, field trip notices would include whether or not shoes were required.

  220. “So DS1 just got his first vaccine dose!”

    So did mine!!!

    He staked out a clinic and got an end of day dose.

  221. Well, I tried to check statistics. MD up through ME is as a region highest percentage per population fully vax and with at least one shot, and we are still scrambling for appts. NM and SD also up there in percentages. VA data was not provided by age group in the chart I had, but a little on the overall percentages below the NE corridor north of it. So I am not comparing on that basis. So Milos observation that it is not a priority for his not yet vaccinated neighbors makes sense.

    Our life in MA was more constrained than Larks at all points, certainly, but our playgrounds and parks and beaches opened mid summer and most schools were hybrid and are now 5 day open and people who so choose have been eating indoors and getting haircuts and facials and massages for many months. The community willingness to put up with masks, the clamor for vaccines, and eye rolling but not defiance of the occasional seemingly arbitrary rule has definitely encouraged my public economic activity and the wideness of my day to day world.

  222. My son goes to school half days, which means he is getting more time in school than most California students. Sports started up about a month ago. For some reason, the football players don’t need to wear masks, but the cheerleaders do. Note that football is played outside.

    In my community, most of the people I know have either had the virus or the vaccine. The side effects from getting the vaccine after having the virus are significantly worse than the virus itself. That certainly has been the case in my extended family. It seems to be much easier on the twenty somethings to get the virus than to get the vaccine.

    I’m with Milo, there seems to be great reluctance from the authorities to relax restrictions. That’s ok, no one is paying attention to them in most cases. I’ve been in three counties today. At my physical therapist’s office, he and I were both wearing masks…odd since we’re both vaccinated. At the machine shop, no one was wearing masks….probably significantly more hazardous to weld with a paper mask than not. At the bank, one person wearing a mask, most not.

    Blythe, try CVS and the surrounding counties. If you find a county with vaccine and you have a friend or relative in that county, use their address. No one checks. If you can claim a connection to one of the UCs, they are giving out vaccine to everyone. All of my DDs college friend kids have gotten it.

    I think everyone over 16 is now eligible for a vaccine and they have been available for the over 18 ground for quite a while. The state government directs vaccines towards and against political enemies and to affect the recall. There is no moral obligation to get the vaccine in any particular county.

    Nor is science based reason to wear a mask after vaccination.

  223. ” the government and the public health agencies are doing a really crappy job at offering any incentives to get it.”

    IMO, it was appropriate to initially focus on maximizing vaccine delivery over offering incentives. There was no need at that point to increase demand that already well exceeded supply.

    Were I king, I’d be reallocating vaccines away from states like Milo’s to states like Blythe’s to better match demand to supply and, more broadly, maximize the rate of shots given.

    And once we got to the point where anyone who wants one can walk in to a nearby pharmacy or clinic and get it, I’d be selling/giving our excess to other countries. Brazil might be a primary target for excess doses.

  224. Yes, it seems that Pfizer/Moderna will become the First World Vaccines, and J&J/AZ will become the Third World Vaccines.

    Home country will suck up millions of AZ doses. I am sure no export will be allowed until a significant percentage of the population is vaccinated. So the CoVax initiative will not work in the short term.
    The people in the home country don’t know which vaccine they are getting because there is a home grown vaccine as well plus the government has rebranded AZ.

  225. Rhett, you have been saying that we only need to hold on for a few more weeks for the last several months.

  226. “Blythe, try CVS and the surrounding counties.”
    “I think everyone over 16 is now eligible for a vaccine”

    CVS is still not making appointments in CA for everyone over 16.

  227. “Yes, it seems that Pfizer/Moderna will become the First World Vaccines, and J&J/AZ will become the Third World Vaccines.”

    If the clotting issue is demographically limited that may change.

    I can see J&J being the first world vaccine for delivered to home vaccinations, e.g., for the elderly housebound.

  228. Cass,

    I think I’ve been pretty consistent in saying 6 weeks after everyone who wants a shot can get a shot. If anything we’re moving faster than I predicted.

  229. “ IMO, it was appropriate to initially focus on maximizing vaccine delivery over offering incentives. There was no need at that point to increase demand that already well exceeded supply.”

    Here’s what Biden should have said “Look, man, Kamala, Tony, and I are going to wear masks for solidarity’s sake and as a symbol that we’re in this together, at least until every adult who wants one has it. I invite anyone else who’s had the privilege of early vaccination to do the same — if they so choose. But the truth is that once you’re vaccinated, these shots are so good that you don’t need to worry, and you really don’t need the mask. Eat in restaurants, fly to Disney World. Get the shot, and feel free to live as normal a life as you’re comfortable. I encourage governors and mayors to consider ways to relax mandates for those who have chosen to get vaccinated.”

  230. Milo,

    I can see what you’re saying. And it’s totally true once everyone who wants a shot can get a shot. But before then it’s not actually true. Now if once you can walk into any CVS and get a shot authorities are saying we need masks then I’m 100% on your side.

  231. If we had vaccine passports, I would be on board with vaccinated people removing their masks. But without them, I don’t trust people to tell the truth. So we all have to wear masks until cases go way down. 75,000 cases a day is still an awful lot of infection out there.

  232. https://www.dcurbanmom.com/jforum/posts/list/965391.page

    This is a fun DCUM thread, and here’s the post that made me decide to share:

    Note the “you might have to go to PG County or Silver Spring to get it…” Sample real estate to follow:

    “The problem is that the DMV is squeezing out the middle class rung. That’s where a lot of this resentment is coming from. For a time, it was possible to be middle class in DC and still have access to decent schools, a home that might not be huge but was large enough for a family, and access to reasonable mid-price amenities. You might have to go to PG County or Silver Spring to get it, but it was within reach for people making say 80-140k. You would never be rich, but that was okay — you could live a full life in a vibrant community of people who invested in and celebrated each other.

    That has changed. It is very hard to buy a house large enough for even a small family in DC for less than 600k, and if you want it inbound for a decent school, good luck. The same is happening in many of the close in suburbs, even PG County which for many years had prices depressed due to racism but that is ending. The school situation is obviously stratified and charters have not solved the problem and in many instances have made it worse. Many rich people in DC are getting taxpayer funded dual-language or Montessori education via charters, saving them the trouble of either investing in their IB school or paying for private. There are some fortunate poor and middle class families also benefitting, but in many cases it’s just a way to transfer student funds from our public schools into hard-to-get-into charters populated by UMC families.

    New development in DC is targeted at high earning professionals with little thought given to middle class families. Even neighborhoods that used to be destinations for MC families (Brookland, Petworth, H Street/Cap Hill) are now out of reach unless you’ve got 200k in cash for a down payment, plus the amenities are increasingly targeted at wealthy people making these neighborhoods less appealing to people under a certain income threshold.

    And then I hear wealthy people in DC waxing poetic about wanting to do something about poverty and equity in the city. Well here’s a question: if there is no room for a middle class in the city, what could we possibly help people in poverty into? Even if you could help people with affordable housing (of which there isn’t near enough in the city), what then? They go buy endives at Whole Foods and gather with friends at bars that charge $14 for a draft beer? What does it even mean to be middle class in this city anymore?

  233. And “PV” included for Finn.

    https://www.redfin.com/MD/Bowie/12506-Kilbourne-Ln-20715/home/10648749

    These are all original Levitt houses by the way. Drive out to Long Island and see the exact same four floor plans.

    No real point, I just thought it was weird that the person said there’s nothing affordable for a MC even in the cheaper counties, and it’s a shame because at least when there was racism, you could get a bargain.

  234. My DS (17) got his first dose today, and DD a little older will get her first dose Friday. While I live in the Bay Area, it is a diverse county and DS got his through county health. DD could have gotten hers sooner but wasn’t really checking into it until I told her I got DS an appt. I am trying to “make” her take on her own stuff like this, like my ex-husband, she is more than happy to let me do it for her if I will.

    Was in the southern part of the state last week to tour (by car) colleges, big decision for DS is coming up, he was wait listed by his first choice and is contemplating going to the second choice or just staying home and going to the local community college and transferring in two years if he doesn’t get off the waitlist. It is a crazy year. In any event, mask compliance in the areas we were in was maybe 25% outside but close to 100% inside – grocery stores etc. While much has opened up, college tours have not. Going to see his first choice this weekend, to make sure it is worth trying to transfer later or getting out of the house now.

    It feels here like we just have a few weeks to go until most with the internet skills to get appointments and transportation to get to appointments to be vaccinated.

  235. Milo, in the first house, I like the light fixture that’s just a bare light bulb with a pull chain.

  236. I don’t understand the locations enough to really know what’s she’s talking about. But I will say that actual middle class people don’t care about schools as much as she does. She sounds like someone who is well educated and followed her “passion” into something that really doesn’t support the lifestyle she really wants to live.

  237. Rhett – Prince George’s County has been predominantly Black for a long time. I’m not exactly sure why originally. It has some parts that have levels of crime that are concerning, and a lot of parts that collectively comprise one of the strongest Black middle class (and now UMC) demographics in the country.

    I’m somewhat familiar with it for many reasons. I had friends who grew up there (white and black), I spent a few months lifeguarding there in one of the newer neighborhoods much fancier than that one (I was a contractor, I went where they told me. I was the only white person in the entire community every day — look up Collington Station). I’ve ridden bikes around the very neighborhoods I linked there.

    And I regularly encounter otherwise-faithful liberals who twist themselves into knots explaining why they could never actually live there. In the entire county. And certainly not their young-adult kids, because “it doesn’t always feel safe.”

    There was a regular poster on TOS who had this whole story about how her DHs parents were affluent and he grew up in an affluent neighborhood outside of DC, but they couldn’t afford anything there right now, so they were living in another very lovely place, but it just wasn’t where they saw themselves starting a family, but they just don’t know how they’ll afford…

    And I was like, oh I know exactly where your in laws live, and now you’re living ___. She was less than pleased.

  238. I’m with Milo, there seems to be great reluctance from the authorities to relax restrictions.

    Not true.

    Denver will let restaurants and gyms operate at full capacity — though social-distancing requirements will make that difficult for many — beginning Friday when the state turns over control of COVID-19 public health measures to local authorities.

    The city will move a step down to Level Blue and continue to follow the state’s color-coded dial for the next 30 days in conjunction with most other metro counties, including Adams, Jefferson, Boulder and Broomfield. Arapahoe County was at Level Blue and will remain there.

    The change to Level Blue will allow bars that don’t also serve food to reopen, at limited capacity, for the first time since June and will move last call for alcohol back to 2 a.m.

    Douglas County is the metro area’s holdout, with its elected leaders opting to eliminate all COVID-19 restrictions that had been dictated by the state’s dial come Friday.

    “We think that we need to slow down a little bit with just dismissing the dial altogether,” Bob McDonald, executive director of the Denver Department of Public Health and Environment, said during a news briefing Wednesday. “We’re going to move to the blue phase, see how the virus responds, see what the data looks like.”

    Denver also will no longer require masks to be worn outdoors, although they still must be worn in indoor public settings and when people are using public transportation. The changes to the mask order went into effect Wednesday and will expire in 30 days.

    The move by Denver and most of the other metro counties to lower restrictions will happen when the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment turns over control of most COVID-19 safety measures to local officials Friday by turning the restrictions dictated by the state’s dial into recommendations, not mandates.

    The changes come despite the fact that coronavirus infections and hospitalizations are increasing in Colorado, which state officials have said is now experiencing a “fourth wave” of the virus. And it will create a hodgepodge of COVID-19 restrictions as some counties elect to continue following the state’s dial framework and others stop.

    https://www.denverpost.com/2021/04/14/denver-covid-restrictions-mask-mandate/

  239. Around me there is the same cry about lack of affordable middle class housing from the UMC. Rhett hit the nail on the head that what they mean is the school district isn’t to their standards.

    Since Brooklyn Center has been in the news I wanted to share a middle class house from there. This city is an inner ring burb, predominantly black, has more crime than other suburbs, but the schools are decent, and they have a Top Golf.

    https://www.redfin.com/MN/Brooklyn-Center/3505-Admiral-Ln-N-55429/home/50067450

  240. Milo, I’ve read that the flip side of UMC black enclaves, apparently like PG county, is that many UMC Blacks see them as havens where they can afford a comfortable home and lifestyle, and also where they can relax in a way they cannot when they’re a minority, or even just where there’s a significant %age of white people. They also like their kids having other UMC black kids as peers, and seeing other successful UMC black people in various fields.

    Kinda like the reason some like HBCUs.

  241. Milo– was Real Housewives of the Potomoc set in a UMC black enclave in PG county, or a similar enclave in the area?

  242. Milo,

    Are you are it’s all race based not class based? To me it sounds like telling a kid who grew up in Newton they could live in Waltham or someone who grew up in Cohasset that they could live in Quincy or maybe Pembroke. Technically true but horrifying none the less.

  243. Lemon Tree – I agree that the UMC are talking about schools. Brooklyn Center has four different school districts within its border from the largest district (Anoka-Hennepin) to one of the smallest (Brooklyn Center).

    I grew up in Brooklyn Center 5 blocks from where the protests at the police station are occurring. My parents moved there in 1970 and had a pumpkin patch in their backyard. Growing up it was a very middle class area but has been on a decline for the last 20+ years. I broke down sobbing last night after driving past the police station and by my parent’s old house. There is so much trauma and pain. The National Guard is there patrolling. We are staying in Brooklyn Park (next suburb out) and are under curfew for the 3rd night in a row. According to NextDoor, in my UMC Minneapolis neighborhood, National Guard humvees and soldiers with machine guns are patrolling the neighborhood and stationed at every gas station. I’m very nervous for the Chauvin verdict.

  244. According to NextDoor, in my UMC Minneapolis neighborhood, National Guard humvees and soldiers with machine guns are patrolling the neighborhood and stationed at every gas station.

    There was one stretch in my home country city where I faced this type of situation. The issue was religious riots. There was burning of stores with Molotov cocktails. It was dangerous as it was a retail plus residential neighborhood. All our lights were on and the whole neighborhood was awake keeping watch. We still had to go to school during the day. The whole situation was surreal. Our version of the National Guard was out in the streets patrolling during curfew. The neighborhood changed after that. Families moved out to more residential locations. Also, from a neighborhood with many religions, those who were in the minority moved out.

  245. Finn – Potomac is very affluent, in Montgomery County (10,11 o’oclock on the Beltway),

    https://www.redfin.com/city/25423/MD/Potomac

    not Prince George’s (3, 4 o’clock). Speaking very generally, rich residential areas of the city are in the NW, and when there’s a homicide on the evening news, it’s in SE. So, both have a way of extending across the borders.

    Absolutely agree with you on the desire for an “enclave.”

    Rhett – in this case it’s definitely more about race because there are UMC areas, and there are crappy white areas in counties that are “acceptable.”

    All the houses I linked were in Bowie. I’d say that your best comparison for white people is Crofton, just across Route 3. The original mass housing development was also built in the 60s, similar ramblers, etc.

    https://www.redfin.com/city/22416/MD/Crofton

    And I understand. I don’t want to be the only white family in a neighborhood, and maybe not even a minority. Sure, that’s a form of privilege. But I was never uncomfortable at all lifeguarding at Collington (everyone was very nice and responsible — they were rich!!) whereas I actually had some stressful situations in the poor, mostly white apartment complexes near my own high school.

  246. Milo, I’ve read that the flip side of UMC black enclaves, apparently like PG county, is that many UMC Blacks see them as havens where they can afford a comfortable home and lifestyle, and also where they can relax in a way they cannot when they’re a minority, or even just where there’s a significant %age of white people. They also like their kids having other UMC black kids as peers, and seeing other successful UMC black people in various fields.

    This happens here as well. There are lots of black families with middle and UMC jobs but they would hesitate to move to areas perceived to be more white.
    I think one big reason families would move, would be the schools. These would mostly be private or magnet schools. If neighborhood schools aren’t up to par, families who can afford better, regardless of color are going to move or get their kids into better alternatives.

  247. I know a guy (white guy, retired engineer) who lives in Bowie. I never thought about the demographics, because the East Coast stratification system is entirely foreign to me.

    “you could live a full life in a vibrant community of people who invested in and celebrated each other.”

    Huh. That’s going to require some thought and reflection.

  248. I think I would have gone with “You would never be rich, but that was okay — college and health insurance were both affordable.”

    Lots of really poor communities of color have full lives in vibrant communities. They also have high crime and lousy schools. They’d like lower crime and better schools. What’s a full life, anyway? asked the philosopher who’s been wondering about that since the late 70s after reading Aristotle.

  249. I realized that lots of people of my ethnicity have bought new houses further out from the city center. Those are the new suburbs. The new schools are already over crowded but they are good because those areas have attracted educated middle and upper middle class families of different races.
    And many of them love to play tennis in colorful outfits (as is evidenced by the packed tennis club with many courts). Also tennis continued to be played during the pandemic except for a brief shutdown at the beginning.

  250. As to different perceptions of the pandemic, our neighborhood was outside as much as possible. The adults continued to exercise and walk their dogs. The kids never stopped playing together. Having enough space but at the same time being able to see people didn’t make you feel restricted or closed up. My neighborhood decided very early on that outdoors, unmasked with distance was fine.

  251. “New development in DC is targeted at high earning professionals with little thought given to middle class families.”

    Um, yep, that is what happens when you have free enterprise.Developers naturally want to maximize profit. How can we fix that without regulations? Here in Westchester, there has been a long-standing court case over this very issue, which Trump used in his campaign last year to stir up suburban fears. A lawsuit was filed in 2006 charging that zoning practices in Westchester led to housing discrimination. It was settled in 2009 with a requirement that Westchester build 750 units of affordable housing. This eventually happened but of course the units were built in high poverty areas because the wealthy towns and villages weren’t having any of THAT, and the exclusionary zoning remained. Under Obama, another rule was introduced that required local governments to come up with plans to identify and remove barriers to fair housing – pretty much those zoning rules. But in 2018, under Trump, the rule was killed. And during the 2020 campaign, he used the Westchester battle as an example of what Democrats want to do – impose regulations to try to increase affordable housing.
    ““Westchester was ground zero, OK, for what they were trying to do,” he said on Monday, in an interview on Fox News with Laura Ingraham, referring to Mr. Biden and his fellow Democrats. “They were trying to destroy the suburban, beautiful place. The American dream, really. They want low-income housing, and with that comes a lot of other problems, including crime.””

    Exclusionary zoning is one of the chief barriers to affordable housing, and while local Democrats have often been complicit in this, Republicans are overtly and loudly against any attempts to fix the problem. In local Westchester races, Republicans always use this as a campaign issue. They are also against subsidies for affordable housing, another important tool.

    In general, unfettered, lightly regulated free market real estate development, as loved by Trump, is not going to lead to affordable housing in high desirablity areas.

  252. Rocky –

    (First with the disclaimers. Poverty exists, it’s terrible, it’s a difficult cycle, it’s horrible for children. Health care is provided in a patchwork system with significant holes in coverage and availability, and we should do better there.)

    Ok, now. I’m pretty sure that poverty in the demographics they’re concerned about around DC is lower than it’s ever been. I feel like “you were never going to get rich, but that’s fine because it was vibrant and you celebrated each other” is fundamentally a complaint that too many of the people in her high school AP classes, whom she considered her cohorts, have pulled way ahead due to some combination of good fortune, high-paying jobs, marrying and staying that way, and intergenerational transfer of resources. She kinda wishes they hadn’t. Because clearly you can still have a perfectly nice house there on an $80-$140k income and celebrate your next door neighbors. I found a bunch of places in five minutes during the biggest housing bubble we’ve seen in 15 years.

    They really just wish that so many others weren’t living so well, drinking $14 craft beers.

    DW’s little cousin and family are not living high on the hog at all, because mortgage on a 3 br townhouse and daycare eat up a lot of income. But her parents still give them their cars, pay their cell phones I think, pay for their vacations. And as we’ve said, the better certain Totebag generations do, particularly with 401ks vs. pensions, the more this inter generational inequality is going to be exacerbated. Not inequality between the poor and Bezos, but within the middle class, between first generation Totebaggers, and those with treasured antique desks, IYKWIM. Also, as we’ve said, 99% of the journalists for Slate, WP, and the Atlantic are beneficiaries.

  253. How can we fix that without regulations?

    Remove regulations. Allow people to do what they want with their own property. If you want to tear your house down and build a 4 story apartment building then you should be allowed to do that.

  254. All regulations? What if your neighbor wants to build toxic waste storage tanks? In your world, not only could your neighbor do that, but the tanks couldn’t be regulated for compliance with toxic waste storage standards.

    I actually do support a relaxation of zoning, though. When I lived in CT, I saw firsthand how widespread 2-acre zoning forced housing prices up, and created sprawl. This was back in the 90’s. I would argue that 2 acre zoning needed to be banned for environmental reasons, but everyone I knew was aghast. Even proposals to put in sidewalks met with fierce opposition. “Sidewalks? One acre lots? That would ruin our rural ambiance”

    It wouldn’t fly here in any case. Every proposal to build multifamily buildings here is met with a torrent of protest, from people of all political stripes. I dared weigh in on one of the town Facebook rants about a proposed building, saying I thought it was a good idea because we need more affordable housing here, and was met by bazillions of angry comments.

  255. I feel like “you were never going to get rich, but that’s fine because it was vibrant and you celebrated each other” is fundamentally a complaint that too many of the people in her high school AP classes, whom she considered her cohorts, have pulled way ahead due to some combination of good fortune, high-paying jobs, marrying and staying that way, and intergenerational transfer of resources.

    Exactly. Also (I’m trying to figure out how to phrase this) in some circles a certain kind of economic naivete is valorized. It’s considered unseemly to concern oneself with pure dollars and cents – it should be about helping people, the life of the mind, following your passion etc.

  256. What if your neighbor wants to build toxic waste storage tanks?

    That’s fine. It would make people reluctant to pay top dollar for real estate*. You would never know what your neighbors would do. The storage of toxic waste would of course still be tightly regulated. Where the waste could go would be far less regulated.

    It wouldn’t fly here in any case.

    That’s why it needs to be done at the state level as CA is trying to do.

    * Or not?

  257. In my city they allow builders to “buy-out” their required affordable units when they build multi-family housing. It was $100k/unit and I think they just increased it to $125k. The builders simply pay the fee and charge even more for apartments and condo units, thus making housing even more unaffordable. A vicious circle.

  258. “It’s considered unseemly to concern oneself with pure dollars and cents – it should be about helping people, the life of the mind, following your passion etc.”

    I know some people like this. One person has managed to follow his passion and make quite a bit of money at the same time (he went to film school and works in a highly lucrative area). My sense is that many others from his school peer group think he was a sell-out and look down upon him. Of course, it is easier for those in his peer group who have large trust funds or family offices that provide their support. Then they can pursue their art while sneering at the plebes who have to make sure their kids actually have food and other boring things like that.

  259. “In my city they allow builders to “buy-out” their required affordable units when they build multi-family housing. It was $100k/unit and I think they just increased it to $125k. The builders simply pay the fee and charge even more for apartments and condo units, thus making housing even more unaffordable. A vicious circle.”

    Wow, that’s a hell of a loophole!

  260. ““It’s considered unseemly to concern oneself with pure dollars and cents – it should be about helping people, the life of the mind, following your passion etc.””

    That was a lot more common 50 years ago. Most people have been introduced to reality since then.

  261. RMS,

    True. But:

    * “46% of biomedical engineers are female and 54% are male”
    * “Women make up just 11% of the developer workforce. Recent data from the Pearson Frank Java and PHP Salary Survey found that just over one in every 10 developers is a woman.”
    * “men accounted for 61.5 percent of degrees in finance” ”
    * Women constitute 81.6% of social workers, 69.9% of counselors, and 82.4% of social and human service assistants.”

    It’s maybe not what it once was but it’s still a thing.

  262. Rhett, first of all, if you can’t impose regulations on what property owners build, you can’t regulate the construction of the storage tanks. And remember, conservatives hate environmental regulations.

    The more likely scenario of course in a place like Westchester is that builders would just tear down the existing housing and build bigger and more expensive houses. That happened a lot in my town in the early 00’s, until (guess what), the town regulated it. Builders were not rushing to build affordable housing.

  263. In Matthew Mcconaughey’s autobiography that I just finished, he writes about being an outcast in film school. They had an early assignment to see a movie over the weekend, write something about it, and discuss it with the class. Everyone went to see “films” that nobody ever heard of.

    He gets up and starts reading his report on Terminator 2, and they thought it was a joke.

  264. Milo is right that there are affordable options in DC metro. My child technically lives in Old Town Alexandria neighborhood, but in the modest non commercial end near the cemeteries. The old row houses still have lots of long term residents, but as they age the homes are gentrified. The new construction is expensive. The appreciation on her small condo, not family sized, has been modest over the years. And for Milo, prior to buying the condo, she lived in Petworth and Eckington.

  265. if you can’t impose regulations on what property owners build, you can’t regulate the construction of the storage tanks

    Sure you can. What you can build is one question. How you can build it is another. Zoning and building codes are two different things.

  266. Builders were not rushing to build affordable housing.

    I thought they were trying to build condos near the commuter rail and everyone was all in a tizzy.

  267. MM,

    I’m fairly certain the options for the developers wasn’t bigger house or 4 story apartment building. It was bigger house or same size house. Multifamily wasn’t in the cards.

  268. Every proposal to build multifamily buildings here is met with a torrent of protest, from people of all political stripes

    Not here. If there is a large enough lot, rental apartment complexes come up. The developers buy up say four or five houses on older but larger lots and put up ten new homes or town homes making smallish neighborhood compounds. Further out where there are large tracts of land whole new residential neighborhoods with new retail, zoned schools, medical buildings etc are built. Nothing is untouchable. After all is built, trees are planted and you will never know that it was built just two years ago.

  269. “If there is a large enough lot, rental apartment complexes come up.”

    The difference here is that there are no large lots. Developers want to squeeze in multifamily buildings in areas already quite congested and current residents feel their quality of life would be compromised by this type of development.

  270. “I feel like “you were never going to get rich, but that’s fine because it was vibrant and you celebrated each other” is fundamentally a complaint that too many of the people in her high school AP classes, whom she considered her cohorts, have pulled way ahead due to some combination of good fortune, high-paying jobs, marrying and staying that way, and intergenerational transfer of resources.”

    I feel like she has massive rose-colored glasses, because she grew up knowing one Black kid, one Indian kid, and one Asian kid, all of whom were the kids of doctors and professors and diplomats. And now she’s pissed because she believes she is entitled to the same kind of new/updated home she grew up in in the same “professional”-type neighborhood surrounded by other doctors and professors and diplomats, and being stuck in a generic 1970s tract home and living next door to a fireman and a garbage collector is just so plebian and beneath her.

    Oh, and we have the big racial divide by county because of massive restrictive covenants and redlining. Like everywhere else.

  271. The big apartment building by the train did get built, because zoning permitted it. The builders, I am sure, would have preferred to do teardowns, replacing with much bigger single family houses, but that is now tightly regulated. In any case, the new building did little for affordable housing since it is aimed at upmarket singles who work in Manhattan – the apartments are too small for families.
    Kim is right in that there are not many locations in this area for the kind of sprawling rental complex Louise is talking about. Multifamily complexes here look more like this

    (different town, but there are parts of our town that look like this already)

  272. “Oh, and we have the big racial divide by county because of massive restrictive covenants and redlining. Like everywhere else.”

    The unique thing may be that there is so much emphasis on specific counties and not municipal lines or school district lines.

  273. “And for Milo, prior to buying the condo, she lived in Petworth and Eckington.”

    Not familiar enough with those specifics. But I remember your initial shock that she was shopping in Virginia. And you said there was no good reason for the surprise, just that when you lived there, people of Jewish heritage didn’t cross the Potomac River. :)

    On suburban provincialism, my mom was telling me how she was invited to lunch by another adjunct professor at her home in Old Town. My mom has a great time and is all along feeling sorry for this poor woman, knowing that they’re both earning peanuts, living in this tiny little rowhouse where “you could barely fit a table.”

    And she gets home and my dad’s like “hang on, where were you exactly?” He brings it up on Zillow and she paid like $900k.

  274. Rhett – my question for your proposal is whether private HOAs will still be allowed to regulate things like architecture and RVs, provided, of course, that all homeowners know exactly what covenants they’re signing up for when they buy, and all the property under the purview of the HOA is privately owned by the homeowners?

  275. Okay, I finally looked at the thread. The OP has a right to be pissy and resentful. She expressed herself in an unsympathetic forum, but what’s wrong with being pissy and resentful?

  276. Also, is everyone in that forum anonymous? It makes it hard to follow the conversation.

  277. ” is everyone in that forum anonymous? ”

    yeah, I never contribute, because it seems pointless. you’re just shouting into the void. I just browse and skim sometimes. It’s enough of a job keeping up with the conversation here.

    I’ve occasionally answered questions if I happen to have very specific knowledge of the topic.

  278. the new building did little for affordable housing since it is aimed at upmarket singles who work in Manhattan

    Then that reduced prices in Manhattan reducing housing costs in the NY metro area, correct?

  279. Rhett – my question for your proposal is whether private HOAs will still be allowed to regulate things like architecture and RVs,

    If it were up to me, no. Everyman’s home would be his castle and he would be allowed to do with it as he pleases. Presumably, in such a world, people would be less willing to pay top dollar as there would be no guarantee of what the neighborhood would be in the future. So you’d have a lot more housing at a lot lower prices.

  280. “Everyman’s home would be his castle and he would be allowed to do with it as he pleases.”

    But what if doing with my castle as I please includes forming a binding, private agreement with my five neighbors around me that we’re going to all maintain our castles a certain way, and we’re not going to store boats on trailers under tarps in the driveways? If you’re telling me I can’t do that, you’re suddenly putting new regulations on my ownership of private property.

  281. But what if doing with my castle as I please includes forming a binding, private agreement

    That would be illegal. Again no overarching principle involved it’s just the way I think things should be.

  282. Milo,

    Ah! How about this. You and five other guys could agree to build a community and abide by certain rules. But there would be no way to convey those obligations to a new owner.

  283. IIRC the common law logic behind the rule against perpetuities was the concept of the dead hand. The idea being that the dead should not be allowed to control the living. So you and your friends bind those 5 lots together as a homeowners association. And 200 years later the homeowner wants to do something and he can’t. Why? Because Milo and his friends from 200 years ago said he couldn’t.

    That the dead shouldn’t control the living seems like a good idea to me.

  284. “But there would be no way to convey those obligations to a new owner.”

    that ain’t much of a castle.

  285. Milo,

    How do you figure? The owner could do as he pleases and would not be controlled by the previous owner. Why should the previous owner be allowed to tell you what to do?

  286. OK, I just caught up on that rabbit-hole of a thread, too. My favorite was this one:

    “I felt average making, at the time, $500k HHI and couldn’t afford a nice house in a good school district.”

    Dude. If you’re making $500K anywhere in the country, you can afford a nice house in a good school district. You just can’t afford the best house in the best school district with the short commute.

  287. What I was going to get at was what will happen in your toxic waste dystopia is that all of us Totebaggers will quickly band together and buy up a nice plot of land in the middle of all the chemical Superfund sites, porn stores, strip clubs, and chicken processing plants. We’ll surround it with a huge fence and big trees, and we’ll carve out all our covenant lots within. And we’ll name it something vaguely British and aristocratic like “The Oakes at Abingdon Manor” and it will have a pool with a lazy river and a splash pad, and we’ll throw up a 1/4 mile of walking trails. Then we’ll ultimately buy an adjacent property and, all within our private covenants — not government zoning — we’ll allow just the stores we want. A Whole Foods, a small Target, an overpriced ice cream store, gourmet coffees, and the rest of them completely useless filler retail selling shit like handmade soap and journaling books made from horse manure. Our faux commmercial section that you can walk to from the houses will be called “The Shoppes at Abingdon Towne Centre.”

    But, if you’re saying the existing covenants can’t be transferred, we’ll just have to do the same thing in some sort of corporate or LLC trust, and each resident will rent their home from the LLC.

  288. in the middle of all the chemical Superfund sites, porn stores, strip clubs, and chicken processing plants.

    Welcome to Houston. Certainly a dystopian hellscape if there ever was one.

    we’ll just have to do the same thing in some sort of corporate or LLC trust, and each resident will rent their home from the LLC.

    That’s what a co-op is. Those would be illegal for non-multifamily dwellings. Again, if it were up to me.

  289. This isn’t a co-op. This is Milo Realty Holdings, LLC. I own the whole god damn place. It’s my castle, OK? Most of you will be begging me to rent one of the units because everything around it is such a shithole, and at least when you rent from me, you have reasonable assurance that your immediate neighbors will be people like yourself who enjoy $14 craft beers at the Shoppes with a side of duck fat fries.

    Now, when I die and pass MRH, LLC on to my kids, per your law, they are certainly not bound to keep it that way, but obviously doing so would be the best way to maximize future profits.

    Soon we’ll expand and be large enough that it only makes sense for us to have our own public elementary school. Maybe the kid of the porn store owner will attend also, but it will be 95% Totebaggy and it will have excellent test scores.

  290. Milo,

    This is Milo Realty Holdings, LLC.

    Oh then I’m 100% in favor of that. You can’t get have rent bubble and people are too dependent on housing as an asset class among other things.

  291. “This is Milo Realty Holdings, LLC. I own the whole god damn place. It’s my castle, OK?”

    Isn’t that essentially the legal structure of The Villages? It’s not a town – it’s private land owned by that crazy guy who founded the whole thing, and he has “board members” who are like a fake town council. Right?

  292. “You can’t get have rent bubble and people are too dependent on housing as an asset class among other things.”

    there was some opinion piece I read recently that was basically arguing this point and saying that instead of most Americans owning their own homes, putting such an enormous proportion of most people’s net worth into a single asset that is very dependent on its local economy, which, not coincidentally, tends to have a correlating effect on the earning power of the homeowner, that we would be much better off incentivizing most people to be lifetime renters who build the equivalent amount of equity into a REIT. But it would be a little more complex because you would basically build your equity over time so that eventually you are an owner, in a way, or at least you don’t have to pay any more rent in your older years.

    In a sense…it’s not a whole lot different than what the big timeshares evolved into, it’s just full time occupation of whatever property you happen to be staying at.

  293. “Welcome to Houston. Certainly a dystopian hellscape if there ever was one.”

    Ummmm…excuse me?

  294. Received my 2nd Pfizer dose on Tuesday, felt achy and fatigued yesterday but it passed quickly. DS got J&J on Saturday, had a fever and chills that night, his fever subsided by the morning.

    In the Hartford, CT area there are literally hundreds of appointments available for today and tomorrow at just three sites: a convention center, a concert venue, and an airfield across the river. (If you look further out to the weekend and next week you can book an appointment for just about any day or time you’d like.) Those three sites are managed by a local healthcare group and VAMS. In addition to the big three sites, the city of Hartford is offering multiple no-appointment walk-up clinics in various locations in the city. Middletown, a small city just south of Hartford, has the same type of offerings as Hartford. From what I can tell, these locations all appear to be accessible by public transportation.

    Well-publicized outreach programs scheduled this week to bring J&J to the rural corners of the state are retooling to offer Pfizer or Moderna.

    Just last weekend there was a 24-hour vax-a-thon in Hartford with 4,000 appts available, and by the time the process started, all 4.000 appointments had been filled.

    To say that our area is now awash in vaccine seems like an understatement. To see 100 appointments available this morning for TODAY was a big surprise. It worries me somewhat that we’ve reached the point of saturation for those willing to get vaccinated. We are holding stubbornly at 1,200 – 1,500 hundred new cases per day.

    I hope that our unclaimed doses will be reallocated to areas where people are still trying to get vaccinated.

  295. Houston,

    It’s not that’s my point. Milo was thinking a place without zoning would be all chemical refineries and strip clubs.

  296. Swim – they just need to make it walk-in. no more signing up for appointments. put a big dancing clown out front twirling a cardboard syringe — they can get them from the tax prep businesses who should be wrapping up.

  297. Along side the Duck fat fries will there also be truffle fries? :)

    Basically what Milo describe was every gated community in Fort Myers, minus “the Shoppes”., and if my MIL’s community had their way, they’d move their gate a 1/2 mile closer to the main drag to incorporate the WinnDixie within their fence so it could just be theirs (and actually change it to a Publix). Every time I go down there I’m still mystified by the development.

  298. “what Milo describe was every gated community in Fort Myers, minus “the Shoppes””

    There’s something I’ve always found super fascinating about planned real estate developments and model houses, ever since I was a little kid. It’s like the embodiment of the current version of the UMC American dream, not according to some egghead professor or cultural critic, but the market-weighted, investor capital-risked vision of how people want to imagine themselves living.

  299. It’s like the embodiment of the current version of the UMC American dream, not according to some egghead professor or cultural critic, but the market-weighted, investor capital-risked vision of how people want to imagine themselves living.

    Well, in my city the developers say 10 years ago were building homes with porches. All good Southern homes must have a porch, said the developers. But now newer developments don’t feature porches as much. It’s interesting because neighbors who have redesigned their older homes have added a porch or some type of covered seating area in the front of their homes.

  300. “It’s interesting because neighbors who have redesigned their older homes have added a porch or some type of covered seating area in the front of their homes.”

    Do you think they’re doing it for aesthetics, because they think they’ll sit out there, or because they actually sit out there?

    On the aesthetics, it’s amazing what can be done to a fairly basic rambler or even a two-story by adding a substantial front porch, maybe with a prominent gable.

  301. Welcome to Houston. Certainly a dystopian hellscape if there ever was one.

    Lol. Yet, according to the newest HGTV show I stumbled across, more than 100 people move to Houston every day.

  302. Milo,

    I wonder if that also represents a sheltered from the elements Amazon package drop off area. If you live here and it’s raining, do the packages just get wet?

  303. could be. we have a small covered front porch. sometimes the packages go there, and sometimes they’re left by the garage doors. in that case, and if it’s wet out, they usually tie a plastic bag around the box.

  304. My neighbors who had porches built actually sit there. They watch the comings and goings in the evening. They cannot be seen. They are hidden from the street by some lawn and low bushes. I find it all highly amusing.

  305. I love front porches and wish I had one that I could sit on. The city limits the size of porches to just about the size of a postage stamp (enough to keep packages dry. The builders of newer homes have tried to make their porches appealing, with smaller than comfortable furniture. When the owners move in they quickly discover the front porch is really just for show…including the wood Welcome or Thankful signs. ;)

  306. Milo, Louise, I’m curious about those black enclaves. Have those communities been historically black, or did they become black because of white flight?

  307. “put a big dancing clown out front twirling a cardboard syringe — they can get them from the tax prep businesses who should be wrapping up.”

    LOL!!

  308. “the new building did little for affordable housing since it is aimed at upmarket singles who work in Manhattan”

    Pardon my ignorance, but are there a lot of singles who work in Manhattan who want to live in apartments in the ‘burbs?

    The stereotype I’m familiar with is young singles and DINKs who work in Manhattan also live there or nearby, and move the the ‘burbs when they start families and need/want more space.

    And then some of them move back to Manhattan or nearby as empty nesters.

    “Then that reduced prices in Manhattan reducing housing costs in the NY metro area, correct?”

    I wonder if Manhattan has enough external housing demand that that wouldn’t happen.

    Locally, any new housing attracts buyers from OOS. Many buy as second (or third or fourth…) homes, and those don’t lower the cost of housing.

  309. “The difference here is that there are no large lots.”

    The first house I bought was in a neighborhood of 900 to 1100 SF homes on 4000 to 5000 SF lots.

    When I was living there, what I saw starting was developers buying contiguous lots, knocking down the houses and building multifamily structures. Something like buying a 2×5 group of houses/lots, and putting up a single building containing maybe 16 to 20 townhouses in the 1400 to 1600 SF range.

  310. “every gated community”

    We almost bought a house in a gated community which was part of a larger HOA, so we’d have been in a HOA within a HOA.

  311. Locally, any new housing attracts buyers from OOS. Many buy as second (or third or fourth…) homes, and those don’t lower the cost of housing.

    Why does the new housing increase demand from out of state?

  312. “Why does the new housing increase demand from out of state?”

    I don’t think it increases demand. The demand was already there before the housing was built.

  313. I don’t think it increases demand. The demand was already there before the housing was built.

    If the demand is the same and supply increased then prices fell, right?

  314. “If the demand is the same and supply increased then prices fell, right?”

    Perhaps, but I think the demand is so great that that increase in supply had little effect on prices.

  315. Finn, those apartments in the burbs are not empty because there are plenty of singles, young married couples, divorced folks, down sizers, etc that want to live the apartments near the trains. The apartments were filling up with people that work/live in the county. There are plenty of jobs in hospitals, office buildings and other services that require people to work in the county so they may not want to live in NYC. Also, the apartments do get people from NYC that are used to smaller apartments and it is a bargain to get your kid into a good school district. Most apartment complexes that were built in the county have some sort of affordable housing as part of the complex. There was a huge federal lawsuit years ago, and most developers now build the apartments with affordable housing. It isn’t always the same quality countertops, but it is in the same complex. This happened in my town, surrounding towns, Chappaqua and all over the county. The apartments that were built in the surrounding towns near me are not near a train. They are on major routes, and even in a shopping complex. A new development is going up near the new Wegmans and there is no tain,b ut it is near several colleges, interstate and shopping. There is definitely demand int he county for rentals and condos because they are still building, and these complexes are not empty.

  316. Finn, what Louise said. I don’t think it was [much] white flight. Wikipedia says only that here were antebellum tobacco farms all over the county, and emancipated Black people stayed in the area. I don’t think that’s much of a reason because there were tobacco farms all over Maryland and Virginia.

    My rough understanding is that federal government jobs have often been attractive to black Americans migrating up from the Deep South, or, in different times, maybe it was just a good city not too far away where there was service and domestic work that was preferable to sharecropping. Just my hypotheses. And people settle in neighborhoods with familiar demographics, and eventually with greater prosperity, they expand across the city limits into Maryland.

    I don’t know if meme has a different perspective or interpretation.

  317. Milo, Louise, thanks for addressing my curiosity.

    Milo, my guess it that if it’s a historically black enclave, redlining also had a lot to do with it being attractive to black Americans moving to the area.

  318. Perhaps, but I think the demand is so great that that increase in supply had little effect on prices.

    Because the increase in supply was too small. If we increased the population of Oahu to that of say Macau…you’d have a population of 28.6 million. That’s nearly the population of Texas. On your little island. Prices per square foot would have to fall, would they not?

  319. Oh, Americans have no right to live in HI? Really? Fine. When the People’s Liberation Army Navy comes a knockin’ I say:

  320. Covid vax update: A large block of appointments just opened up for next week at the nearby football stadium. I got all of our eligible family members booked! So happy to have the first one on the calendar. It was stressing me out, trying to play Whack-a-mole to nab random openings at the drugstores, only to have them disappear. Many thanks to SBJ and Cassandra for their suggestions. SBJ went above and beyond by checking at 3 am for vacancies!

  321. We are having pop up events in the neighborhoods. These are at local health centers and churches. It takes less hoop jumping than trying to snag an appointment at a mass vaxx site or a pharmacy location.
    Walk in registration at this juncture is really desirable, especially for people whose jobs don’t allow them to be at a computer or keep checking for appointments.
    I honestly hate form filling and the online form asked you for so many pieces of information plus you had to upload your medical information card information or upload a picture of it. A lot of people really don’t want to do this.

  322. DSS is still waiting for Monday, which will be the first time his age group is eligible for the vaccine. Naturally my DIL will search for an appt for him. So yes, there are still people who want the vax who can’t get it yet. Soon, though, we hope.

  323. This was posted in one of our local groups today, so it seems like supply is greater than demand around here.

    “Hello! I am reaching out to let you know that I am part of a group that is helping find and make appointments. There are so many appointments out there and not enough people to fill them. If you know of anyone that needs help in finding and making appointments, please DM and I can reach out to them or give you my number. And as an FYI, you don’t need insurance and the vaccines are open to anyone. If you know of anyone/places -I will be happy to do the calling on your behalf. I can also help with NYC, LI, CT and other places”

    All of the state run and federal sites that were scheduled for J & J were switched to Moderna or Pfizer.

  324. 45% of our county residents ‘have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, with nearly 30 percent receiving both doses to complete the vaccination series.’

    That seems pretty impressive considering no children have been vaccinated. I’m curious how this compares with other areas. Cases are down 35% over the last two weeks.

  325. Louise, do you get the NY Times?

    Covid-19 Pushes India’s Middle Class Toward Poverty
    The pandemic sent 32 million people in India from the middle class last year. Now a second wave is threatening the dreams of millions more looking for a better life.

  326. I was not prepared for the top comments in this NYT article about the police shooting of a 13-year-old Hispanic boy.

    I am sorry for Adam Toledo’s unfortunate death but I cannot blame the police officer for Toledo’s death. It was dark, he was the only officer running after the suspect and there was a gun recovered from the scene. Toledo threw the gun when the office caught up to him. In hindsight, we can be arm chair critics and debate what could have been done better but these things happen in a flash.

    The people who failed Toledo are his parents. 13 year old and carrying a gun and running away from the police. You live by the gun, you die by the gun.

  327. Do you disagree with the comment, Kim? I personally disagree with it, but you more often identify as conservative than I do.

  328. I do not disagree but will reserve final judgement until all the facts come out. I’m surprised because these NYT comments are consistent with the views expressed by the conservative Twitter threads I read this morning.

  329. We have a big covered porch. It was one of my must-have features. And yes, we use it. Kids often sat out there when they had friends over. We have a porch swing and they would all cram onto that. And in the summer, I drink my coffee out there every morning.

  330. “Pardon my ignorance, but are there a lot of singles who work in Manhattan who want to live in apartments in the ‘burbs?”

    Yes, because at least pre-pandemic, they had been priced out of Manhattan and the parts of Brooklyn and Queens that are easilly accessible to Manhattan. Our town looks more or less like much of Queens, and is far more accessible via mass transit than Queens or Staten Island.
    The big question is why hasn’t the Bronx seen a similar boom? There are parts like Riverdale that are quite upscale. One problem is that much of the housing stock in the Bronx is grim – big ugly apartment blocks aimed at lower income residents.

  331. Kim, it’s definitely more gray-area than leaning on some guy’s neck for 9 minutes.

    I think the commenters who blame his parents are being kind of brutal. The mother was worried about him, but some kids are difficult to control.

  332. RMS – yes, I subscribe to The NY Times. Haven’t read the article yet but the pandemic is having a huge impact there and worse still no end in sight. I am relieved my parents were able to come here during the dip in cases. Their health outcomes even isolated from Covid would not have been good.

  333. Louise, how goes the struggle to vaccinate your reluctant in-laws? I don’t suppose your parents can persuade them that Pfizer is the way to go.

  334. RMS – I am working on convincing DH about the Pfizer since the J&J is off the table. It was disheartening because their appointments were the same day as the J&J pause. DH is the one that is responsible for his parents well being. They will take whatever he decides. It’s an uphill struggle at the moment.

  335. I am not surprised by the comments on that article about the parents of the 13-year-old. Plenty of people seem to think that kneeling on someone’s neck for 9 minutes is okay too. There is always victim shaming.

  336. “DSS is still waiting for Monday, which will be the first time his age group is eligible for the vaccine. Naturally my DIL will search for an appt for him. So yes, there are still people who want the vax who can’t get it yet.”

    This is me, too (Also in MA like Rocky’s DSS). Since it is school vacation week next week, maybe I can get my family members to search for me.

  337. RMS — I also would not blame his parents.

    ‘it’s definitely more gray-area than leaning on some guy’s neck for 9 minutes.’

    Yet Floyd’s case is lumped in with many others when making the case for systemic racism among police. I expect Toledo’s death will now be included in that list.

  338. ‘Plenty of people seem to think that kneeling on someone’s neck for 9 minutes is okay too.’

    Not from what I’ve seen. There’s wide agreement about how horrible that was.

  339. “Yet Floyd’s case is lumped in with many others when making the case for systemic racism among police. I expect Toledo’s death will now be included in that list.”

    The Breonna Taylor killing, to me, is the textbook case of systemic issues. The system killed her. Not any one person’s mistake. George Floyd is an example of what happens when a police officer feels the system should or is going to protect him. As Dave Chapelle has asked, how can some kneel on a man’s neck for 8 minutes and 46 seconds and feel like you wouldn’t get the wrath of God. I don’t know enough about the situation where the 13 year old was shot, but blaming the mother is what a lot of people do.

  340. Kim – plenty of comments on local articles have comments along the lines that Floyd died due to being a drug user and that Chauvin didn’t kill him.

  341. NR has been covering the Chauvin case heavilly. When they started, they seemed to pretty much assume that Chauvin would be acquitted, and they increasingly then seemed suprised each day of the trial that the facts coming out were not supporting their initial view of the case. They now seem to be blaming the defense lawyers. They still can’t deal with the idea that maybe their initial assumptions were wrong.

  342. I’m interesting in the partisan aspect of vaccine resistance. In terms of the overall anti-vax movement, it seems to be equally “precious bodily fluids” crazy Bircher conservatives and hippy dippy liberals.

  343. Rhett – I have seen anti vaxx information spread in several different countries by Robert Kennedy Jr. and his organizations. I was absolutely shocked. This was last year maybe in the April, May time frame before any concrete vaccine information was out. Worse, the people reposting those articles had no idea that he was an anti vaxx person.

  344. I don’t know if it is partisan. Some of my friends became anti vax when they had kids. They are very liberal and vote for only democrats. They still believe that vaccines cause problems and they don’t trust the big pharma.

  345. I don’t know if it is partisan.

    At least in terms of Milo’s article about VA, it seems to be. But I agree that overall anti-vax seems bipartisan. But COVID vaccine resistance seems different.

  346. Pre-covid anti-vax was bi-partisan, the smarter than everyone including the entire body of science lefties and the religious fundies on the right.

    Covid anti-vax is the Q nutsos and other closely related crazies.

  347. “The Breonna Taylor killing, to me, is the textbook case of systemic issues. The system killed her. Not any one person’s mistake. George Floyd is an example of what happens when a police officer feels the system should or is going to protect him. As Dave Chapelle has asked, how can some kneel on a man’s neck for 8 minutes and 46 seconds and feel like you wouldn’t get the wrath of God. I don’t know enough about the situation where the 13 year old was shot, but blaming the mother is what a lot of people do.”

    ITA.

    The Adam Toledo situation is definitely more grey. He was obviously up to no good when the police found him – something more serious than stealing a pack of gum. They were responding to shots fired. But we don’t sentence people to death for that without a trial. Especially not 13 year old 7th graders who are complying with police orders and have both hands clearly up. He should have been arrested and charged in juvenile court – not shot to death.

    So far the protests here have been small and very peaceful. I hope that continues. (well I don’t care if they are large – just that there aren’t riots)

  348. L – But if I try to register before Monday, I still have to say on the online application that I qualify under one of the current categories (e.g. that I have a co-morbidity). I feel like that would be tempting fate. Like, if I say I have a co-morbidity, the Fates are going to look at me and say “OK, North, you claim to have a co-morbidity? Well here’s an actual co-morbidity! See how you like it!” So I’ll just wait until Monday.

    I do realize that I have a lot of psychological issues. :)

  349. NoB – I was the same as you when people suggested that I fib to get a shot earlier. Unfortunately, when one of the places I was eligible said BMI>30 was a comorbidity, I qualified. Before that, the hurdle was 40. Since I’ve lost a lot of weight in the past 5 years or so, my DH was incredulous that I was considered obese. Or perhaps he’s just really smart in knowing the right reaction a husband should have.

  350. NoB – my county added Group 5 to the list of choices, so you could look and book in advance for a date after the date Group 5 was declared open. I don’t think the pharmacies allowed you to book before the date you became eligible.

  351. We had a black man get shot and killed here by police on Wednesday. Has that made national consciousness?

  352. I googled the case. It was during an attempted home invasion/burglary and the man was shot after violently attacking the uniformed officers (one was seriously injured) and a Taser was ineffective in stopping him.

  353. Thanks, Ivy. It’s really great how many people here are also helping others they know get their vax appointments.

    Here’s my weekly CVS stats:

    12 states lowered their minimum age from last week, with 43 now having 16 as the minimum age of eligibility.

    Minimum ages of eligibility per CVS this morning (* indicates change from last week, + indicates added to the list this week):

    16 – Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California*, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia*, Florida, Georgia, Idaho+, Illinois*, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine+, Maryland*, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri*, Montana, Nebraska+, Nevada, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania*, Puerto Rico*, South Carolina, South Dakota+, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia*, Washington*, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming+

    30 or 16-18 – Vermont*

    40 – Rhode Island*

    50 – Hawaii*

    55 – Massachusetts, New Jersey

    60 – New Mexico

    65 – Oregon

    CVS added 4 states to its list, and now is not yet providing vaccines to only New Hampshire.

    Your options for getting appointments really vary by state and by county within your state. For example, this morning at 8am in my county, there were 13 CVS appointments available to get a vaccination today – including 5 for Pfizer. Currently the Pfizer appointments are getting booked faster than the Moderna appointments. Last Thursday (the day California dropped eligibility to 16) at 3:19am Pacific there were 24 appointments available near Blythe, and by 3:22am they were no longer available. (Note: Unfortunately these days, I’ve been waking up sometime between 2-4am, and if I’m looking for vax appointments for someone, I’ll look at my phone before I fall back asleep. If find something I take screenshots and email the interested party. This is the one time that insomnia has been a competitive advantage.)

    As Louise noted, there may be vaccine locations that reduce their minimum age ahead of the official date. California reduced their eligibility to 16 on 4/15. CVS reduced the California age to 16 on 4/14 after 9pm Pacific. Santa Barbara Public Health made appointments available at their clinics for those 16+ on 4/12.

    We drove approximately 35 miles (one-way) for DH’s appointment and 53 miles (one-way) for DS’s appointment. I don’t know how viable that is for others. This morning at 3:44am Pacific, there weren’t any available appointments for Boston, but there were appointments available for Fall River, New Bedford & Westport.

  354. Mémé, thanks for that post. I guess the fact that you had to google it means it’s not in the national consciousness. It’s hard to tell from here whether that’s the case or not.

    It seems weird to me that in our current environment, a black man getting shot dead by police gets almost zero national attention. OTOH, I don’t think most people here mind not getting a national spotlight, especially if that spotlight means a bunch of people coming here to cover it or protest.

    TMK at this point it’s not clear why the guy entered someone else’s home.

    Per media accounts, they didn’t know him, and he just walked in and took off his shoes (which already is weird by local standards; normal people here take off footwear before walking into someone else’s home). That freaked out the residents, who called 911.

  355. DD1 was online this morning, saw an appt in Fall River CVS at noon ( 1 hr drive) and snagged it. Got there early, found a diner, and the middle aged waitress said, oh I want one , is it drop in? So Milo may be right about a guy outside on the sidewalk and a free donut afterwards being a cure for so called vaccine hesistancy.

  356. Today my FB feed is filled with postings about walk-in, no wait vaccination clinics all over the area. It’s like the flood gates opened and it feels we have way more vaccines than people.

  357. 30 percent of US adults are vaccinated. 50 percent have had at least one shot. Would any of us have predicted that on January 1?

  358. “So Milo may be right about a guy outside on the sidewalk and a free donut afterwards being a cure for so called vaccine hesistancy.”

    And Cass was also right that “there is confusion between “vaccine hesitancy” and “gave up trying to navigate the system to get a shot”.”

  359. “Would any of us have predicted that on January 1?”

    Or how about last summer?

    Then, we were trying to decide along with DD what she should do about college. One of the deciding factors was the great deal of uncertainty at the time whether she’d be able to stay in a dorm and attend F2F classes in fall 2021. We didn’t want her life to be on hold indefinitely.

    In hindsight, it’s looking like many of those in her HS graduating class made the right decision to defer. One of the reasons for picking her school was the honors college and honors dorm; she’d talked to a good friend a year ahead of her who’d met his crew there, and she looked forward to that. But those are only for freshmen, so she’ll totally miss out on that.

  360. Finn, there are roughly 3 fatal police shootings a day in America. The vast majority do not reach national attention because they are not considered egregious (or there are no available bystanders or film records to demonstrate that it was egregious).

  361. “TMK at this point it’s not clear why the guy entered someone else’s home.”

    He was a criminal. Or suffering from mental illness. Or both.
    The police are supposed to protect citizens from criminals/crazy people entering their homes, and when those criminals/crazy people resist arrest and attack the police, sometimes the police have to kill them to protect those citizens and themselves.

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