Patterico's Pontifications


Open Non-Coronavirus Policy Non-Trump Non-Politics Thread

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 8:29 am

This morning I was chatting with some folks on email about how tense people seem on Twitter, and how partisan and divisive and angry and, well, lonely they seem. I said that one thing I have noticed is that when I go for a walk in my neighborhood, which I do every day at noon, more people are out and about and they are friendlier. There is a real sense of everyone being in this thing together as you walk around. That’s very different from half of Twitter.

Also, we are typically discussing politics and current events on Twitter. If I stop and have a brief chat (at a distance of ten yards) with a neighbor, it’s invariably about the dogs I am walking, or the weather, or how they’re holding up in all this, or how they are doing in their recovery from a recent health issue, or how crazy the supermarkets are and how long it takes to check out, or when they built that structure in their back yard. That kind of stuff. It’s not about how Trump is handling the coronavirus. If it were, odds are the discussions would be … different.

So why don’t we have a discussion like the kind I might have with my neighbors at a safe distance? The rules are: no talk about coronavirus policy, although you can talk about how it’s affecting your daily life. No mention of Trump. No mention of politics.

I’ll start. My niece started a neat game among the family that she created entirely on her own (with the help of an app called GooseChase) that is a scavenger hunt style game. But the idea is that each team (consisting of people in the family scattered throughout the country) must perform certain tasks my niece made up. Examples: “Take a picture showing a change you’ve had to make in your normal routine. Please explain in your caption.” Or: “Take a video of you trying to lift something very light but pretend like it’s heavy.” Or: “Tell a knock-knock joke [on video]. 5 bonus points if it makes me smile, groan, or shake my head!” It’s well-done and fun. My team is not doing too well though.

What’s up with you?

6.6 Million People Filed New Unemployment Claims Last Week

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 8:20 am

It’s no real surprise if you have been paying attention, of course, but it’s still a stunning number — especially when you realize it will continue like this, week after week.

The last three weeks have marked one of the most devastating periods in history for the American job market, as first-time claims for unemployment benefits have surged more than 3,000% since early March.

Businesses continue to lay off and furlough workers amid the coronavirus outbreak.

6.6 million US workers filed for their first week of unemployment benefits in the week ending March 28 — a new historic high.

Meanwhile, I’m watching the deaths in the U.S. double reliably every four days or so, and I’m thinking we could hit 100,000 deaths this month very easily. I read a passage like this from Allahpundit:

If you believe the IHME projections, which are similar to the White House’s own model, we won’t begin to flatten out in this metric for several more weeks. Peak deaths are expected on April 16, when we’re expected to hit … 2,600 in a day. That’s up from yesterday, when the projection was on the order of 2,200; the number of total deaths expected before August 1 is also up substantially in the IHME model, from around 83,000 yesterday to 93,000 today. Things have turned grimmer in the past 24 hours than they were. And they were plenty grim yesterday.

And I think: it’s weird when I’m more pessimistic than Allahpundit. 2,600 deaths a day by April 16? Why not April 10? I can’t find a good reason why not.

I’ll be thrilled to be wrong.

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