Covid Journal, Sept 29, 2020
The Build Up … For The Tear Down
I want to be wrong, but I feel like we’re being ‘pumped up’ just so that everything can be torn down again.
From a former Pfizer executive saying that there are many ‘false positives’ corrupting and inflating recent estimates for Covid cases to leaders around the world pushing for tighter, more restrictive and extremely regimented ‘stay at home’ procedures, it’s hard not to feel a little duped in all of this.
With the first article, Dr. Mike Yeadon, former Chief Science Officer with Pfizer says:
“there is no science to suggest a second wave should happen.” The “Big Pharma” insider asserts that false positive results from inherently unreliable COVID tests are being used to manufacture a “second wave” based on “new cases.”
Even more significantly, even if all positives were to be correct, Dr. Yeadon said that given the “shape” of all important indicators in a worldwide pandemic, such as hospitalizations, ICU utilization, and deaths, “the pandemic is fundamentally over.”
A great concern is that the doctor teams with others to do the research for a site called ‘Lockdown Sceptics’. So … I suppose it’s important to take ‘Source A’ with a grain of salt. That said, NBC News reported that a Boston lab had to be shut down after reporting hundreds of false positives.
With all of this in mind, let’s look at what’s happening in Ontario. For months, the Ford government has been promising ‘up to 50,000 tests per day’ and is still nowhere near close with the public system. Their solution? Pump billions into the private sector to absorb the load, especially when some private-sector tests are expected to cost up to $400 per test.
Were they stalling so that their privatization of testing would be more palatable to the public?
Or are they just so incopetent that they have to scramble and the private sector is a willing primary beneficiary?
And for those that don’t get tested or that breach the newly-imposed sanctions on public gatherings, will they face excessive penalties for getting together with a few family members over Thanksgiving weekend?
Lastly, what of the people that can’t afford to wait in line for hours and hours on end and can’t afford to jump the queue because they’re an essential worker that has to get back to their minimum wage job? Only to spread Covid further.
It’s enough to make you ill.
The FANGS and CLAWS of the Capitalist Beast
I’ve alluded before to both of these acronyms, but here’s a refresher. The FANGS are:
and the CLAWS are:
Together, they represent the FANGS and CLAWS of the beast of capitalism that is creating a disproportionate and unprecedented redistribution of income and capital to the hands of a few across the planet.
Figures now show that Covid has provided an ample opportunity to ‘rake it in’ at the expense of farmer’s markets, small theatres, local pubs, ‘mom and pop’ shops and many millions more small businesses that are not receiving clear guidelines on how to respond to new regulations, but who also can’t afford to stay open and then closed and then open / closed again at the whim of politicians.
Here’s just one quote from the CNN article above to describe what’s happened in just six months:
Already, the combined wealth of US billionaires is higher than a year ago, according to our study. At least eight of these billionaires have added another $1 billion to their wealth during the pandemic.Among these “pandemic profiteers” are Zoom CEO Eric Yuan and Steve Ballmer, former CEO of Microsoft, which owns Skype and Teams. Both Yuan and Ballmer are profiting off the boom in videoconferencing.But no one has benefited as handsomely as Jeff Bezos of Amazon, who has seen his wealth skyrocket by $25 billion since January 1 as homebound customers lean heavily on online shopping, grocery delivery and streaming. This wealth surge for one individual — greater than the entire GDP of Honduras — is unprecedented in the history of modern markets.In short, while the majority of Americans lurch toward a recession worse than the crash of a decade ago, a tiny number of billionaires is set to make out like bandits.
I feel so helpless when trying to help small business owners stem the tide. At every turn, I try to spend money on organizations and businesses that, prior to the pandemic, were already unprepared for simple things like ordering online or processing payments efficiently using a tap credit card. Or that don’t have the luxury of acres of space so that they can spread out customers and encourage ‘single direction’ flow of shoppers.
That said, we all have to do our best to distance ourselves from the FANGS and CLAWS, lest they devour everything we know.
In the months and years that follow Covid, the cries for austerity will become screams and it’ll be hard to avoid the din created by right-wing buffoons like Trump, O’Toole and others. Already, Ford and other provincial leaders are talking about pseudo-privatized education in the form of ‘charter schools’. The media is following along in lock step, bringing the subject to the ‘court of public opinion’ on talk shows and news clips.
But we have to be resilient.
The good news is that people are showing considerable fortitude and our collective actions are having an impact.
Ultimately, the path we take after the pandemic is ‘declared to be over’ (which I doubt it will be) will determine the fate of positive notions like addressing climate change, steering our planet in a progressive direction and rechanneling wealth into the hands of the many instead of a small collection of leacherous fucks.
We need a wealth tax.