Neuroticland

The death rates for COVID have collapsed in my state. So have hospitalizations. So now there’s a new metric aimed at keeping us captive: positivity rate. It’s completely incomprehensible to a normal human, which is why it’s used.

Everybody at work is, of course, convinced that this “positivity rate” means they are about to perish amid horrific suffering. “We are at 7!” they exclaim. “Almost 7,5! Do you know what this means? Disaster is imminent!”

Forget “who’s on third.” This stuff is better. Seven! Eight! Eight what? I have no idea but it sounds real bad!

This is never going to end.

9 thoughts on “Neuroticland”

  1. I’d love your best guess on why this virus is being turned into such a panic-stoking thing. I’m fairly certain that without the media’s constant hype, pretty much no one would know or care about SARS-CoV-2, COVID-19 would never be spoken, masks would still be considered ridiculous, and our economy would not be in the crapper. It would just be “that awful flu,” everyone would just be fighting about the election, and life would be basically normal.

    So many of the guesses I’ve seen don’t make much sense. “To get rid of Trump” doesn’t explain the Trump-supporting government officials that buy into the hype. Like the Indiana governor, who recently went on TV to tell us to begin thinking of masks as a new fashion that we should invest in for ourselves because they’re going to be necessary for a long, long time. To draw our attention away from ___ except I keep seeing all of the suggested ____ pushed into the media as well.

    So what’s your take? Is it just media doing what media does as long as everyone tunes in and clicks over? Control? Is the majority actually brainwashed and brain-dead?

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    1. Gosh, me, I’m living in a reality where everybody went massively crazy and started howling at the moon for no reason. People have become impossible to talk to. Everybody has gone stark raving mad. I’m thinking they are enjoying it all. Makes them feel important. Suddenly, they are saving lives by wearing a stupid face diaper.

      I don’t know. I’m confused and befuddled.

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  2. “positivity rate”

    Is this supposed to be R0 (reproduction rate). On a different forum there was somebody who was convinced it was the key metric to follow (because their West European government stressed it a lot).
    I never got an answer on how it can be traced with an illness that so often manifests no real symptoms… just something about different mathematical formulas….

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    1. Here’s the definition:

      “The average number, over the previous seven days, of COVID-19 positive tests is calculated for each day. It takes three days to obtain this data, so it lags the current date by three days. Whenever the average increases from day to day, it is flagged.”

      My brain can’t process what it is and why it’s important. All I know is that death rates have dropped from triple to single digits. That’s supposed to be a good thing but everybody is acting like it went in the opposite direction.

      Whenever I say, “But people aren’t dying! That’s got to be good!”, I see sombre faces and hear tragic forecasts.

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  3. “So many of the guesses I’ve seen don’t make much sense. “To get rid of Trump” doesn’t explain the Trump-supporting government officials that buy into the hype.”

    This is the most fascinating and baffling part of this. You are right that anti-Trump is not a sufficient explanation because, as you point out, Trump himself and pro-Trump governors have pushed the hysteria, and also this being world wide, the worst hysteria so far has been in Victoria, Australia, a state that has no obvious effect on Trump’s political future.

    I actually do have a theory that its a cover for a worldwide crackdown after Trump was impeached and removed in January of this year and Brexit reversed, plus to deal with other populist movements such as the Yellow Vests. That would explain why English speaking countries were most heavily targeted, but it was still world wide. The moves that people were going to be protesting (real protests, not like BLM) didn’t wind up happening, so there was a partial relaxation, but the emergency is kept going because worse is to come.

    However, I know we are dealing with a scam but I don’t know what the scam is.

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    1. “I know we are dealing with a scam but I don’t know what the scam is.”

      Why look for one explanation? I think there are several all contributing to the phenomenon of herd behaviour. But the main fearmongers are the media/social media and their motives – ratings $$$ and 24/7 Trump disparagement are quite transparent.

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  4. Our “case” rate just went waaaaay down. Because there was a hurricane and they shut down all the central and east-coast outdoor testing sites. Tents are not good in a high wind 😉 Predictably, now that they’ve put the tents back up and started testing again OMG OUR CASE RATE IS GOING UP ITS THE END OF THE WORLD!!

    We went and met up at the park with a church friend this morning. She’s the only person I know who actually has to take the social distancing thing seriously, because she works in a nursing home. She is going a little stir-crazy, along with all my liberal friends who’ve been doing it because Trump or something. Doesn’t matter why you’re doing it, wearing a mask and avoiding people for months is bad for your mental health. At the nursing home, they had a positive test from one of the employees. No symptoms at all, and the next test was negative, so probably a false positive? But the whole nursing home had to go on lockdown, which basically means all the patients have to stay in their room for two weeks. Solitary confinement for everyone, because of a (probably false) positive test. At some point you have to wonder if the virus would be worse than this…

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  5. I generally do not believe in too large and complicated conspiracies. (Of course there are a lot of minor ones.) I think that believing in conspiracies on the level of “world government” and such stems form fear of recognizing and admitting that NOBODY is really in control, and the world is functioning as a non-linear system (in physics sense of the word). Many people apparently prefer to believe that SOMEONE (“world government” / reptiloids / freemasons / etc) is actually in control, even if that somebody is malicious, than to believe that nobody is in control.
    You do not really need any global conspiracy theory to explain what is happening now.
    The general vector of evolution of this civilization, for a pretty long time, has been that the value of human life was increasing.
    More recently, if became more and more acceptable to insist on avoiding even non life-threatening discomfort.
    Viruses that are more dangerous than the flu appear every now and then.
    Struggles for power between different factions of the elites existed for a very long time.
    Add to it all kinds of technologies that logically result form technical progress – people generally tend to build shit they are able to build, even if it is not particularly beneficial. Deadlier and deadlier weapons are the prime example. Proving that this tendency existed for ages, since the times world-wide conspiracies were definitely technically impossible, due to lack of long-range high-speed pigeons. But for the purpose of this argument the most important technologies are information technologies.
    Now combine all of the above. Apparently, by the time the current virus came, mot likely due to purely natural causes, the number of people in both the ruling classes and in general population who believe in preserving lives and avoiding discomfort above all else reached certain threshold, making it politically impossible (or at least very costly) to make decisions that prioritize anything else or even to openly consider prioritizing anything else. And maybe the long-term net effect of it is actually going to be positive, who knows… Something “not working” in the current cultural framework may mean many thing, including the possibility that culture and economic system have to be modified. I want to avoid judging who is more “right” right now, I am speaking of conspiracy theory mentality in general.
    And of course various political actors are attempting to use this whole situation for their personal/group/political benefit, it is not like opportunists and dirty politics never existed before. My point is that one does not really need a conspiracy to explain what is going on.

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