Government responsibilities during quarantines.

Pandemics diseases with no known cure can be contained by quarantine. This will only work if everyone in the community cooperates. For hundreds of years people have realized that it is essential to provide for the basic needs of everyone under quarantine. If food, medicine and other necessities are provided to people under quarantine they have less excuse for breaking the quarantine and spreading the disease.

If someone in a household was infected with Plague then everyone in the household could be quarantined with them. Wealty families with two homes were allowed to leave people who were infected in one home with hired nurse-keepers while healthy members of the family went to their second home. Wealthy families could also send infected servants to a Pesthouse where poor people were isolated if they were believed to have the Plague. Shutting people up in their houses in quarantine was accepted as necessary if unpleasant way to stop the spread of Plague. In the monarchy everyone did not have to do their part because some were considered more Noble than others. Quarantines can only be fully effective if nobody is "more equal" than others.

Samuel Pepys was a government official who stayed in London during the plague of 1665-1666. His diary gives an interesting contemporary account of the spread of the Plague in London.

Great fears of the sickenesse here in the City, it being said that two or three houses are already shut up. God preserve as all!

Samuel Pepys 30 April 1665

There was no known cure in 1665.

the plague growing upon us in this towne; and of remedies against it: some saying one thing, some another

Samuel Pepys 24 May 1665

So home by hackney-coach, which is become a very dangerous passage now-a-days, the sickness increasing mightily,

Samuel Pepys 24 June 1665

Sad at the newes that seven or eight houses in Bazing Hall street, are shut up of the plague.

Samuel Pepys 1 July 1665

People who were well off tried to leave town when the Plague struck.

Up, and advised about sending of my wife’s bedding and things to Woolwich, in order to her removal thither. . . . I by water to Woolwich, where I found my wife come, and her two mayds, and very prettily accommodated they will be; and I left them going to supper, grieved in my heart to part with my wife, being worse by much without her, though some trouble there is in having the care of a family at home in this plague time,

Samuel Pepys 5 July 1665

The 1665 pandemic was the worst outbreak in England since the outbreak of Black Death in 1348. More than 68,000 Plague deaths were recorded in London although the actual number of deaths due to the Plague may have been over 100,000. It is believed that 15% to 20% of the people who remained in London died. There were no effective treatments, although whole booklets of "remedies" and "preventives" were published.

I went away and walked to Greenwich, in my way seeing a coffin with a dead body therein, dead of the plague, lying in an open close belonging to Coome farme, which was carried out last night, and the parish have not appointed any body to bury it; but only set a watch there day and night, that nobody should go thither or come thence, which is a most cruel thing: this disease making us more cruel to one another than if we are doggs.

Samuel Pepys 22 August 1665

Daniel DeFoe published A Journal of the Plague Year in 1722. It is fictional, but is closely based on accounts of the visitation of the Plague in London in 1665. DeFoe directly quoted from goverment documents written during plague pandemics so his descriptions events in 1665 are based on sources written during that visitation and earlier visitations of the Plague in London.

Chirurgeons (surgeons) and Searchers (commonly elderly widows experienced in caring for the sick) determined if someone had the Plague. They were responsible for identifying which households needed to be quarantined. It was clearly understood that medical professionals themselves could get infected and spread the disease to other patients.

‘And forasmuch as the said chirurgeons are to be sequestered from all other cures, and kept only to this disease of the infection, it is ordered that every of the said chirurgeons shall have twelve-pence a body searched by them, to be paid out of the goods of the party searched, if he be able, or otherwise by the parish.

People who could afford the services of the chirurgeon paid them, but the government paid for medical services for those who could not afford them. Providing this medical service to the poor helped protect the entire community from the Plague.

Poor women, often widows, could be hired to care for the sick. These nurse-keepers obviously risked their own health to care for others. Economic necessity likely pressured them to do this work. It was understood that they were at high risk of getting the Plague themselves and that they might spread the Plague in the community if they did not complete the quarantine with the afflicted family.

‘If any nurse-keeper shall remove herself out of any infected house before twenty-eight days after the decease of any person dying of the infection, the house to which the said nurse-keeper doth so remove herself shall be shut up until the said twenty-eight days be expired.’

Once a family was quarantined a large cross was painted on their door. Watchers were hired not only to keep quarantined people in the house, but also to bring food, medicines and other things the family might need during the quarantine. People who could not afford these things because they could not work during the quarantine were supported by the parish.

Watchmen.
‘That to every infected house there be appointed two watchmen, one for every day, and the other for the night; and that these watchmen have a special care that no person go in or out of such infected houses whereof they have the charge, upon pain of severe punishment. And the said watchmen to do such further offices as the sick house shall need and require: and if the watchman be sent upon any business, to lock up the house and take the key with him; and the watchman by day to attend until ten of the clock at night, and the watchman by night until six in the morning.

Defoe gives a slightly fictionalized account of a family sneaking out of a house under quarantine, leaving an afflicted member of the household to die without care. People who got the Plague were more likely to survive if they were given basic nursing care. Breaking quarantine was not unusual and many observers described the sort of conduct described in DeFoe's book.

nobody was found in the house but that young woman, who having been infected and past recovery, the rest had left her to die by herself, and were every one gone, having found some way to delude the watchman, and to get open the door, or get out at some back-door, or over the tops of the houses, so that he knew nothing of it;

Many such escapes were made out of infected houses, as particularly when the watchman was sent of some errand; for it was his business to go of any errand that the family sent him of; that is to say, for necessaries, such as food and physic; to fetch physicians, if they would come, or surgeons, or nurses, or to order the dead-cart, and the like; but with this condition, too, that when he went he was to lock up the outer door of the house and take the key away with him, To evade this, and cheat the watchmen, people got two or three keys made to their locks, or they found ways to unscrew the locks such as were screwed on, and so take off the lock, being in the inside of the house, and while they sent away the watchman to the market, to the bakehouse, or for one trifle or another, open the door and go out as often as they pleased. But this being found out, the officers afterwards had orders to padlock up the doors on the outside, and place bolts on them as they thought fit.

Clean, decent hospitals for the sick instead of Pesthouses would have made it easier to isolate people who were infected. Removing infected members of the household would have decreased the desire of people quarantined to sneak away in order to avoid contagion. People did recognize that insect-repellent herbs and fumigation decreased the risks of contagion.

Arranging somewhere for apparently healthy people who had been exposed to spend their time in quarantine would also have helped; London was very crowded at the time so this would have been more difficult than it would be now.

The conduct of those with wealth and privilege does not seem to have changed. Neither does the greater impact on the poor. Poor people were much more likely to suffer when the Plague struck.

Those who could, including most doctors, lawyers and merchants, fled the city. Charles II and his courtiers left in July for Hampton Court and then Oxford. Parliament was postponed and had to sit in October at Oxford, the increase of the plague being so dreadful. Court cases were also moved from Westminster to Oxford.

The Lord Mayor and aldermen (town councillors) remained to enforce the King’s orders to try and stop the spread of the disease. The poorest people remained in London with the rats and those people who had the plague. Watchmen locked and kept guard over infected houses. Parish officials provided food. . . .

All trade with London and other plague towns was stopped. The Council of Scotland declared that the border with England would be closed. There were to be no fairs or trade with other countries. This meant many people lost their jobs – from servants to shoemakers to those who worked on the River Thames.

Stopping trade during a pandemic does cause severe hardship to people who are not well off. This has been recognized for hundreds of years. It was also officially recognized that there was a benefit to everyone when people under quarantine were properly provided for.

Quarantine records from St. Martin give a rough indication of the socioeconomic status of quarantined individuals. The records note whether households were “chargeable,” “partially chargeable,” or “not chargeable.” Chargeable households were those who were financially dependent on the parish for material support during the period of quarantine. Partially chargeable households paid for a portion of their keep, and not chargeable ones supported themselves. Over the course of the 1636–1637 outbreak, 84% of the individuals were chargeable, meaning they could not afford to pay the 4 pence per quarantined person per day that the parish charged for support. Though this was a relatively low cost, it was significant enough to encompass some of the lower middling sort who, though comfortable, lacked the resources to endure long periods of expenditure without income.54 It also included those who were chargeable at the time of the outbreak but who were required to later pay back some of the compensation they received. Such individuals who were given loans made up a small but not insignificant portion of the chargeable households on the

The lack effort to do appropriate testing and tracing allowed Covid-19 to become an epidemic in the US. This resulted in a quarantine of most of the people in this country. The government should provide funds for necessities until the infection is fully ended. There will be pushback if this is called UBI by those who believe that UBI is communism. Providing for people during quarantine has long-standing precedents in English law and common law. This should be pointed out to any conservatives who object to caring for fellow citizens.

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Excellent article. If the government wants us to obey quarantine, they should make it financially possible to do so.

Then there is the little matter of all the small businesses--restaurants, shops, businesses that serve the arts--who are in danger of going out of business because they have no income coming in. I personally know of a recording studio owner who is having to shut his doors because he can't keep paying $9,000 a month rent when he has no business. And this is a guy who is regarded as one of the best audio engineers in the business, who has done work for most of the shows on Broadway. You lose an asset like this and it is hard to get it back.

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Unabashed Liberal's picture

@out of left field @out of left field

breath that it will happen.

Several Dems within the last year have made noises about cutting entitlements. (already posted the House Rep Yarmuth video/transcript at EB - he's the House Budget Committee Chair)

Here's what Dem Sen Shaheen (NH) said on Fox News Channel in Dec of 2019,

Bret Baier: Let me ask you this, though. Is there anyone up on Capitol Hill anymore, who is concerned about the deficit or the national debt?

Jeanne Shaheen: Sure. I think we should be concerned about it.

You know, I didn't -- the tax bill that was passed in 2017 increased the national debt significantly, over a trillion dollars. Much more -- three trillion in the long-term.

So, I have voted for a number of provisions, to try and reduce the debt. I supported the Simpson-Bowles Commission recommendations.

So, I think it's something that we need to begin to see how we can address, but I think, in the short-term, we've got to fund this government. We've got to address the priorities of the American people. And that's what I've tried to support. And as you point out, the space force is significant, because, as we look at the future, the next area of combat between us and the other great powers -- China and Russia -- is going to be in space --

Bret Baier: Yeah.

If any additional financial assistance is rendered, I expect it to be followed by major austerity measures--such as the passing of a Bowles-Simpson-like proposal to slash Social Security and Medicare. After all, the pandemic would be the perfect excuse. (in their minds)

Nice essay, ST! Good

Mollie

“I think dogs are the most amazing creatures; they give unconditional love. For me, they are the role model for being alive.”
~~Gilda Radner, Comedienne

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Everyone thinks they have the best dog, and none of them are wrong.

@out of left field
Supposedly the loans and grants to "small businesses" were going to help people like him. Almost everyone wanted the legislation to keep small businesses afloat. We all know who really grabbed up the money though.

Some types of business would be helped if ordinary citizens had money for on-line ordering or curbside pickup. Others need to be supported until it is really safe to reopen. This need not have led to financial disaster we may be facing if the PTB had not crashed the economy the way they did.

The banksters who got all the money should be required to apply it to mortgage relief. Then landlords could be required to pass the savings on to tenants. If only we ran the world . . .

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@ScienceTeacher

So why bother with serving hamburgers w fries to Mom and Pops, small sba loans when it’s much easier and quicker to make much more, with less effort, serving/servicing pate de fois and blanc de noir loans to the big time corporate rollers?

And as if they didn’t know.

LOL.

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In the past those who were sick or at greatest risk were quarantined. Not entire nations.

Simply quarantining those 60 and older would have flattened the curve.

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@Battle of Blair Mountain
The 1665 outbreak probably caused the deaths of around 15% of the population of London. There had been significant outbreaks of Plague in 1603 and 1625. People who had survived were known to have some immunity and could nurse infected people with much less risk to themselves. This means that quite a few people over the age of 30 already had some immunity. By 1665 Europeans were more likely to have genetic traits that helped them survive Plague infections.

People did their best to "social distance" during Plague outbreaks. Theaters, fairs, markets and other places that drew large crowds were closed. Curfews were enforced. Wealthy people fled to country houses. People were not supposed to leave London without a certificate of health and villages did their best to keep other strangers away. People remaining in London tried to stay home. Craftspeople often lived above their shops so they were able to work from home.

Merchants put bowls of vinegar on the ledges of their shop windows. People dropped coins in the vinegar to pay and the merchant put change in the vinegar bowl to disinfect it. Insect repellent herbs were place on windowsills and across doorways to keep out bad air. Normally crowded streets were often nearly deserted.

EDIT I forgot to note the outbreak in 1636 which also increased levels of immunity.

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@ScienceTeacher @ScienceTeacher No matter how much you try to conflate the two in people's minds.

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@Battle of Blair Mountain
Read any standard text on epidemiology.

So far the "quarantine" of older people has been quite lethal. Old folks were not the ones partying on the Florida beaches during spring break.
Many people with diabetes or high blood pressure or other risk factors are under 60. Their lives have value, too.

The topic I wanted to discuss in this thread was how much responsibility governments have to care for citizens who have been placed in quarantine. I did not respond earlier to that part of your comment because I did not want the have the discussion derailed.

One reason for the very high mortality among older people is that many people who died were in assisted living facilities. Most people in these facilities are elderly. They were unable to shelter at home. Some states like New York have minimized or virtually eliminated legal consequences for causing the deaths of people in these facilities. Once the number of people in these facilities has been decimated the average age of people who lose their lives will be younger.

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It is also dealt with fictionally in the first volume "Quicksilver" of Neal Stephenson's excellent "Baroque Cycle" trilogy.

As Battle of Blair Mountain aptly points out, this time the response to epidemic - locking down entire populations is unprecedented, and may end up being proven to have been only marginally effective. Also, at this point it is not clear that "there is no known cure" still applies as there is growing evidence of the effectiveness of Hydroxychloroqine (plus AZT and zinc) as a therapeutic when given soon after the onset of symptoms.

Further, the use of HCQ prophylactically has been endorsed by high level medical bodies and is being widely employed for front line and others considered high risk - mainly in India. In the Indian case they are mainly emphasizing the prophylactic benefit rather than HCQ as a therapeutic:

“The Joint Monitoring Group and National Task Force have now recommended the prophylactic use of HCQ in the following categories: a) all asymptomatic healthcare workers involved in containment and treatment of Covid-19 and asymptomatic healthcare workers working in non-covid hospitals/non-covid areas of covid hospitals/blocks; b) Asymptomatic frontline workers, such as surveillance workers deployed in containment zones and paramilitary/police personnel involved in Covid-19 related activities; and c) Asymptomatic household contacts of laboratory confirmed cases,” the advisory said.

The earlier HCQ advisory on March 23 cleared its prophylactic use for two high-risk groups: asymptomatic healthcare workers involved in the care of suspected or confirmed cases, and asymptomatic household contacts of laboratory-confirmed cases.

“As a prophylactic drug, the medicine has shown results in India which is why it is advised for a larger group now. The Lancet paper that has come out will have implications for treatment regimen not prophylaxis,” said an Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) official, who did not wish to be identified.

ICMR began a ‘demonstration study’ on the efficacy of HCQ as a prophylactic medicine against Covid-19 in March to see if it will prevent people, especially those in close proximity with a positive case from acquiring the infection.

“What we have been doing in India is different from the studies done anywhere else in the world in the sense that we have been checking whether it could work as a prophylactic medicine, whereas everywhere else it was given to positive patients as a treatment option. The results look like favourable in our population,” said the official.

The Joint Monitoring Group under the chairmanship of Directorate General of Health Services, the government of India, and representatives from the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), ICMR, National Centre for Disease Control, etc reviewed HCQ’s prophylactic use in the context of expanding it to healthcare and other frontline workers.

“A retrospective case-control analysis at ICMR has found that there is a significant dose-response relationship between the number of prophylactic doses taken and frequency of occurrence of SARS-CoV-2 [that causes covid-19] infection in symptomatic healthcare workers who were tested for SARS-CoV-2 infection. Another investigation from 3 central government hospitals in New Delhi indicates that amongst healthcare workers involved in covid-19 care, those on HCQ prophylaxis were less likely to develop SARS-CoV-2 infection, compared to those who were not on it,” said the fresh health ministry advisory.

source

India is moving toward employing it for prophylaxis on a mass basis though not without some controversy.

Anyway, on my fourth pandemic now and don't recall any of the others generating anything like the response to this one: 1957 Asian flu - added the words "pneumonia" and "laid off" to my four year old vocabulary - recall seeing a neighbor sick, but not me or family member (but may have been). 1968 Hong Kong flu - don't recall a thing about it, certainly no shutdowns. 2009 H1N1 - kicked my ass for about a day and a half, not nearly as bad as the one subsequent time I got the flu a few years later. COVID-19 - pretty minimal shutdowns around here (my part of Japan). Think I may have had it and recovered but wouldn't bet the farm on it so am getting sunshine, gargling with iodine, taking zinc supplements occasionally and drinking a small bottle of tonic water a day. Not to get wildly overconfident, but there has been a single confirmed death in my prefecture - population 3.6 million and no recent new cases.

Have definite - tending toward mayhem - opinions on this crisis being used as a cover for further enriching undeserving bazillionaires, mixed feelings on UBI/negative income tax. Yes, there should be a safety net, but UBI has great potential for reinforcing the kind of dependency the elite want everyone else to have on them. I'm more about reinforcing people's autonomy - still fighting the Whiskey Rebellion, so to speak.

If HCQ is too scary or unavailable, I guess you could try baking soda (video from about 4:35) - even though it hasn't been subject to double-blind, randomized....

EDIT/UPDATE - Seems like Japan may have been undercounting COVID deaths - overall numbers still pretty low, though (so far) Nikkei Asian Review

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@Blue Republic

this crisis being used as a cover for further enriching undeserving bazillionaires, mixed feelings on UBI/negative income tax. Yes, there should be a safety net, but UBI has great potential for reinforcing the kind of dependency the elite want everyone else to have on them.

I agree that this crisis has been exploited to enrich bazillionares. Much of the crisis and many of the deaths that have already occurred could have been prevented by standard testing and tracing. Actively discouraging people from wearing home-made masks was inexcusable. Events drawing large crowds should have been cancelled sooner. Parents could have been allowed to start home schooling kids at the beginning of March if they wished.

Encouraging anti-lockdown protesters to break quarantine and carry heavy weapons while threatening security personnel in government buildings was really cynical. Since the protesters were strongly discouraged from wearing masks they can be easily identified. It has also been widely reported that their cell phones were traced. It seems odd that most of them would have opted into some contact-tracing app to support the lockdown. When the PTB get worried about more serious protests it will be easy to round the protesters up and arrest them.

I am also ambivalent about a Universal Basic Income. When there is little unemployment decent wages are a reasonable alternative to UBI. Providing financial assistance to people who have lost their jobs due to the lockdown (ie mass quarantine) is quite different. Another name should be used to prevent confusion, but I do not currently have a suggestion.

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RantingRooster's picture

"Pandemics diseases with no known cure can be contained by quarantine. This will only work if everyone in the community cooperates."

A couple of things...

Since Reagan and Thatcher, there is no "community", only the individual. Greed is good...At least so we are told. (snark?)

I think we as a people / nation have lost all sense of "community", as well as our sense of empathy for our fellow human beings. (not necessarily those here at C99.)

Somehow I think people forget that "government" is also apart of our community. A "community" is not just us civilians as it were. Our fellow citizens work for said government. Do they not live next door?

Our government's response obviously has been horrible, if not down right utterly criminal, and certainly totally immoral, if one has but an ounce of humanity left in their soul.

The rush to bail out business is an obvious example of this moral failing of our government, at least to me.

Think for a moment, what makes business run? People do. What is the 1st thing a government is supposed to do? Protect it's people. What is the reality we have today, the exact opposite.

Our elected representatives always tell us we need more military spending to "protect us", but it only increases the likelihood we will have the exact opposite effect, as reality has proven, time and time again.

How many "test runs" of pandemic scenarios has our government run over the last few decades, and the result of every single one suggested, we are not prepared. What did we do, we didn't prepare.

No one is ever held accountable for these "criminally negligent failings" of our government. Our "community" (so called civilized society) doesn't seem to give a shit because it interferes with their pursuit of selfish greed and wealth accumulation.

From all these "test run pandemics" (war games?) we know, logistically speaking, what we should have done to have the necessary basic PPE available and ready, so it would be in place in case it happened, as has been predicted, time and time again.

We must be a nation of crazy ass mother fuckers by Einstein's standards, doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. Voting for people who put profit over people.

We as a nation have been (something) into believing "business" is the be all, end all, of American society. Sports, TV, movies are just to keep us from thinking things through.

I get so enraged because, to me, it seems so simple. Put people first, and the profits will flow, I promise.

How can anyone really do anything when their fucking BROKE? Gee, are the retail clerks gonna sit there all day, because no one is buying anything, BECAUSE they don't have any FUCKING MONEY!

How do we "open the economy back up" when no one has any fucking money to spend and our economy is 70% consumer spending, and we don't have any real control over the spread of this virus that has no vaccine nor cure, and is fucking deadly!

Gee, there's over 100,000 dead. (let that sink in) Obviously this virus is a bit more deadly than some mild "flu".

We have completely and utterly failed at "controlling" this virus and we're at what, our 4th round of "bail outs", but "the people" are still being been left out.

But hey, we have a new Tea Party darling in Shelly Luther

Scratch below the surface — beneath the cavalcade of supporters, piles of cash donations, President Donald Trump’s approval and Sen. Ted Cruz’s cameo “mullet” — and Dallas' pandemic martyr has herself an optics problem.

Even for Shelley Ann Luther, defiant owner of Salon à la Mode and America’s viral “hero” of the anti-lockdown right, it’s not a good look when …

  • Your lucrative crowdsourcing site is billed as a spontaneous, grass-roots response to government overreach, but it was set up before you even flouted government orders to keep your North Dallas salon closed temporarily.
  • You state you’re two months behind on your mortgage, but in the past year took a healthy divorce settlement and bought a luxury SUV to drive to your $500,000, five-acre ranch complete with guest house, five-stall barn and bevy of exotic animals.
  • You cry on the jailhouse steps to Fox News host Sean Hannity while knowing you already collected an $18,000 emergency federal small business assistance loan, you get monthly child support from divorce No. 1 and more than $2,000 a month from divorce No. 2, and have half a million bucks waiting with your name on it in a GoFundMe account.
  • You claim to struggle with “panic” and “feeding my kids,” but recently took a Caribbean cruise in the middle of a global pandemic.
  • Getting a hair cut during a government imposed lock down, is the height of "essential activities" and a rally cry for "Patriots". Truly speaks to "community spirit" no?

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    "Men who look upon themselves born to reign, and others to obey, soon grow insolent; selected from the rest of mankind their minds are early poisoned by importance;" - Thomas Paine, Common Sense

    @RantingRooster

    Somehow I think people forget that "government" is also apart of our community. A "community" is not just us civilians as it were. Our fellow citizens work for said government. Do they not live next door?

    How many "test runs" of pandemic scenarios has our government run over the last few decades, and the result of every single one suggested, we are not prepared. What did we do, we didn't prepare.

    No one is ever held accountable for these "criminally negligent failings" of our government. Our "community" (so called civilized society) doesn't seem to give a shit because it interferes with their pursuit of selfish greed and wealth accumulation.

    I think a lot of the people who design and run the pandemic scenarios are members of the community although some of them may be living in nicer neighborhoods than most people. These people were probably trying to figure out what was needed for a pandemic and to try to get the necessary stockpiles in place. The federal employees are probably able to work from home. Their lockdown features shaggy hair, boredom and home delivery of good food. Most of them probably miss their favorite restaurants. The contract employees will be joining the lines at the local foodbank if they haven't already. All these people risk getting the virus and so do members of their family.

    The people who control the purse strings that were not opened to buy masks and gloves and test kits are really not our neighbors. None of us can shelter on a yacht, or in a bunker, or at our private ranch in New Zealand.

    Our government's response obviously has been horrible, if not down right utterly criminal, and certainly totally immoral, if one has but an ounce of humanity left in their soul.

    I get so enraged because, to me, it seems so simple. Put people first, and the profits will flow, I promise.

    Me, too.

    Thanks for reminding me of Shelley Ann Luther (related to Lex?). I had forgotten about her. I heard she does not actually have any employees. The people who work in her salon are independent contractors who have to pay her rent to work there. If this is true I hope someone throws the book at her.

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    RantingRooster's picture

    @ScienceTeacher She rent's "stations" to people, they are not "employees".

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    "Men who look upon themselves born to reign, and others to obey, soon grow insolent; selected from the rest of mankind their minds are early poisoned by importance;" - Thomas Paine, Common Sense

    always produce the same result. "We" lose.

    How many "test runs" of pandemic scenarios has our government run over the last few decades, and the result of every single one suggested, we are not prepared.

    Have to conclude that they aren't learning exercises, but just time-fillers for those nominally charged with having to do something when 'oh, shit' happens. The US 'preparedness' industry is huge and probably 90+% worthless. But corporations make a lot of money off it and it does employ a lot of people that otherwise aren't that employable.

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