COVID Count: Higher Death Toll Than Spanish Flu — ‘Gob-Gob-Gob-Smacked To The Nth Degree’

September 20, 2021

Major news this Monday afternoon beyond the Wall Street market meltdown is an ugly benchmark made with the current continual horror-story — COVID-19 — as the US has apparently eclipsed Spanish flu dying a hundred years ago, but we’re way-not finished yet.

In reality, old news:

From the Associated Press this afternoon:

“Big pockets of American society — and, worse, their leaders — have thrown this away,” medical historian Dr. Howard Markel of the University of Michigan said of the opportunity to vaccinate everyone eligible by now.

Like the Spanish flu, the coronavirus may never entirely disappear from our midst.
Instead, scientists hope it becomes a mild seasonal bug as human immunity strengthens through vaccination and repeated infection. That could take time.

“We hope it will be like getting a cold, but there’s no guarantee,” said Emory University biologist Rustom Antia, who suggests an optimistic scenario in which this could happen over a few years.

For now, the pandemic still has the United States and other parts of the world firmly in its jaws.

While the delta-fueled surge in infections may have peaked, U.S. deaths are running at over 1,900 a day on average, the highest level since early March, and the country’s overall toll topped 675,000 Monday, according to the count kept by Johns Hopkins University, though the real number is believed to be higher.

Winter may bring a new surge, with the University of Washington’s influential model projecting an additional 100,000 or so Americans will die of COVID-19 by Jan. 1, which would bring the overall U.S. toll to 776,000.

Markel said he is continually astounded by the magnitude of the disruption the pandemic has brought to the planet.

“I was gobsmacked by the size of the quarantines” the Chinese government undertook initially, Markel said, “and I’ve since been gob-gob-gob-smacked to the nth degree.”
The lagging pace of U.S. vaccinations is the latest source of his astonishment.

This weekend, the US average daily death toll over the last seven days surpassed 2,000, the highest yet, and highest since last March. This is a pandemic of the unvaccinated — the US is down in the middle of the world pack on vaccinations with only 53.93-percent of our population is fully-vaxxed, despite the safety, ease, and free-cost.

Across the health divide into politics (COID is way-political), some new research indicates people who go for the anti-vaxx bullshit, and the love of the T-Rump, do so because of his horrible traits, regardless of the actual politics.
Details on the study at PsyPost today:

New research published in the journal American Political Science Review revealed that people who expressed extreme dislike toward Democratically-aligned minority groups were more likely to approve of Donald Trump when he made his way into politics — regardless of their party alignment.
Animosity toward these groups did not predict support for other Republican candidates, suggesting the effect is unique to Trump.

Study authors Lilliana Mason and her colleagues note that American political parties are becoming further divided on key aspects of identity such as race and religion.
It follows that party support can potentially be influenced by a person’s affiliation with social groups, as well as their feelings toward outgroups.

The researchers suggest this to be especially true in the case of support for former president Donald Trump, whose political campaigns were heavily centered around vilifying outgroups.
Trump was known for his unapologetic and hateful rhetoric directed at numerous marginalized groups — notably, marginalized groups that were Democratically-aligned.
Mason and her team wanted to explore whether animosity toward these minority groups may be partly driving support for Trump.

It was found that animosity toward Democratic-linked groups was robustly associated with later support for Trump — people who showed extreme dislike for Muslims, African Americans, Hispanics, or LGBT people were much more likely to approve of Trump when he made his way into politics.
For example, those with the strongest animosity toward Muslims were more supportive of Trump by about 20 percentage points compared to those with the least animosity toward Muslims.

Further, this link between outgroup animosity and partisan support appeared to be unique to Donald Trump. Animosity toward Democratically-aligned groups did not predict support for the Republican party in general, nor for any other elite Republican candidate.
Likewise, animosity toward Republican-linked groups did not predict approval for the Democratic party nor for prominent Democratic candidates like Hillary Clinton.

Presumably, Trump drew the attention of citizens with pre-existing negative feelings toward disadvantaged groups, no matter their political alignment.
“Rather than generating such feelings in the electorate,” the authors observe, “Trump acted more as a lightning rod, attracting those who were already harboring animus toward Democratic-aligned groups.”

A warning: “This research reveals a wellspring of animus against marginalized groups in the United States that can be harnessed and activated for political gain . . . Though they may remain relatively latent when leaders and parties draw attention elsewhere, the right leader can activate these attitudes and fold them into voters’ political judgments.”

In basic ironic memory, Hillary Clinton was right — a ‘basket of deplorables’ as such:

“You know, to just be grossly generalistic, you could put half of Trump’s supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables. Right? [Laughter/applause]. The racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic — you name it. And unfortunately there are people like that. And he has lifted them up. He has given voice to their websites that used to only have 11,000 people, now have 11 million. He tweets and retweets offensive, hateful, mean-spirited rhetoric. Now some of those folks, they are irredeemable, but thankfully they are not America.”

Enough to leave a mark.

A way-once again, here we are…

(Illustration out front: ‘This Is Why Nurses Do What They Do,’ by visual journalist Emily Thomas, and found here).

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