COVID & THE STATUS QUO

Free Culture Work

[The following free culture work is an excerpt from a book slated to be published by Optimist Press in Spring of 2021.]

BY KEITH M. JUDGE

The harm reduction accomplished by accepting a vaccine is greater than refusing one by several orders of magnitude, tho I worry about an overconfident attitude among many that addresses neither the underlying problem, nor the resilience of this virus. It will return. (1)

I wrote this in response to Dr. Elizabeth Sacha Baroness Cohen, a Rockefeller fellow and professor of politics at the Center for Human Values on the 4th of December, 2020.

I've been warning people about antigenic drift before I knew it was called “antigenic drift” because I learned about evolution a long time ago. (2)

I wrote this on January 2nd, 2020, to Doctor Eric Feigl-Ding, one of several epidemiologists who have publicly volunteered their services to provide thorough updates of the ongoing pandemic. Doctor Feigl-Ding was reacting to data that indicated the United States would need to vaccinate ten million people per week to halt the spread of the B117 variant of COVID19, a result he described as a “bad omen.” In May of 2020, immediately prior to unrest following the murder of George Floyd by four members of the Minneapolis Police Department, in a yet unpublished piece titled, The Roving, Ghost-Ninja Tidal Wave of Doom, I wrote, “a lot of people are going to die holding on to some very old ideas.”(3)

Vaccines, widespread testing and drugs that treat the symptoms of COVID19 may temper the harmful impact of the disease, but if trade remains global, the virus will return with new and interesting ways to kill us year after year.(4)

My reasons for withholding the article are threefold. It was prudent to wait for more information as scientists and doctors conducted their research, I prioritized the writing of this book because unemployment landed me in financial straights, and figures of authority across the country were forecasting an end to the pandemic some time in Autumn of 2021. Pre-emptive condemnation of any pronounced criticism of the Biden administration with regard to the pandemic was calculated to elicit unverified doubts about any dangers posed by the virus, and tho I may be confident in my work ethic and logic, if I’m made to feel like a pariah for acknowledging the trouble we face, I’m inclined to bite my tongue. Almost everything Trump says is a lie, but when Brian Karem of Playboy magazine asked, “Will you commit here today for a peaceful transferal of power?”(5) Trump said there would be a “continuation,”(6) and he was right. It just wasn’t the “continuation” he had in mind.

The only difference between Trump and Biden’s pandemic policies is personality. That’s why Wall Street applauded both presidents for negotiating no national policy on COVID19 barring vaccine production and hubris.(7) They want America to appear “open for business.”

Time will tell whether the United States will adapt to the reality of the crises we face, or if she will continue jamming square pegs into round holes. Doctor Fauci, forced to walk a tightrope suspended between the harsh reality of the novel virus below and the expectations of his employer above, “warned Americans to steel themselves against a sense of Covid-19 complacency,”(8) and at the risk of erring on the side of hope, predicted herd immunity by the end of 2021.(9) Despite projections from the Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, authorities across the country have been eager to send our children to in-school learning in the midst of a pandemic of a scale likely not seen since prehistory, when influenza was first introduced into the population, NOW. Governments big and small, encouraged by the campaign donor class and talking heads in the media, are busy engaging in a game of appearances. “The spread among children and from children is not really very big at all,”(10) Fauci says.

It’s a sales pitch.


GAME OF APPEARANCES


The American Academy of Pediatrics reports that “children represented 13.2 percent of all cases” of COVID19 infections, and from the 4th to the 11th of March, 2021, “there was a 4 percent increase in child COVID-19 cases.”(10) Among children who fall ill, 45 percent are easily mistaken for healthy. They’re little jelly beans, after all: resilient, regenerative, uncertain. Another 42 percent develop pneumonia, 11 percent develop “severe pneumonia,” and almost 1 out of 50 will fall “critically ill.”(11) Doctors at the University of Los Angeles summarize with mention that “children under the age of 20 have a level of susceptibility half that of adults,”(12) but never for a single moment has any epidemiologist worth their weight in salt said, “your unvaccinated first grader appears to have about as much protection from serious illness as a vaccinated grandmother,”(13) which is especially disingenuous since my vaccinated grandmother also isn’t entirely safe from this virus. Such cavalier advice is peddled by the likes of economics professor Emily Oster, who wrote an article titled, Your Unvaccinated Kid Is Like A Vaccinated Grandma, published in the Atlantic on March 18th, 2021, the same day papers in Brazil warned of a “COLAPSO!” precipitated by a strain of COVID that’s decimating the population there. Brazil is now wracked with protests that accuse the government of “genocide.”(14)

Econ Proff Oster’s choice of the word, “kid” instead of “child” is unfortunate and revealing. Tho rare, children exposed to COVID19 are susceptible to “a multisystem inflammatory syndrome, similar to Kawasaki disease,”(15) referred to as “MIS-C,” a “rare but serious condition associated with COVID-19” that scientists and doctors don’t yet fully comprehend.(16) Additional concerns surround the virus’s affinity for scat since “viral loads showed that shedding from the gastrointestinal tract may be higher and more long-lasting compared with the respiratory tract,”(17) and its hard enough to convince a roomful of adults to self-report good hygiene, much less a classroom of children, but this hardly concerns the Liberal mouth pieces who encourage us to indulge what resembles an unconscious act of collective suicidal ideation. Rather than the fictions, fabulations and hyperbole favored by fascist media buffoons like Tucker Carlson, the status quo banks on a combination of omission and gas-lighting to mislead its audience.

The New York Editorial Board echoes Locke when they excuse the willful endangerment of children in order to prepare them for standardized tests that have weathered a long history of criticism from students, educators and parents alike.(18) Standardized tests don’t adequately assess learning aptitude, knowledge retention, creativity, industriousness or wisdom, tho they may be effective in the measurement of a more Pavlovian activity like calculation. In the second half of his Two Treatises, Locke pays lip-service to the Commons before his subject incrementally devolves into an appeal to own, use and extract Nature while dispossessing Native Americans of their land. What begins as a half-hearted, obligatory celebration of the “wild Indian,” ends with a rationalization of genocide. In the same way, the New York Times Editorial Board begins a discussion on “unequal and segregated”(19) schools to celebrate a form of “specialized”(20) education that sorts students according to class and skin color thru the imposition of iniquitous policies like standardized testing, which is better suited to tracking a computer’s ability to perform algebra and a dog’s potential to obey than a student’s progress on the path to love, knowledge and wisdom.

The narrow parameters of debate almost uniformly exclude the principal point of conflict voiced by public health advocates: the threat of community spread. The assumption that “children have less contact with the outside world, so there are fewer incidences than adults,”(21) is not only absurd, it’s overshadowed by the fact that “transmission from children could be a significant contributor to the spread of SARS-CoV-2, as with other respiratory viruses.”(22) In-school learning will unquestionably increase a child’s “contact with the outside world.” Until a child is no longer a dependent, they’re guaranteed to engage in regular “contact with the outside world.” Also, if “children are more likely to present milder or no symptoms, we would expect a higher rate of under-detection in children compared to adults,”(23) and it’s widely believed that children present milder symptoms “as evidenced by their lower average number of tests per individual.”(24)

Information is mostly limited to studies that rely on self-reporting and many such studies have confirmed our children are more resilient to the virus, but nothing suggests they can magically dodge aerosolized pathogens. The immune system of a healthy child is brand-spanking new, hot to trot and better equipped to protect her. That protection merely offers COVID19 an additional layer of camouflage.

. . . the relative importance of children in SARS-CoV-2 transmission is still unclear, in particular, whether asymptomatic children, those with low viral loads, and perhaps with prolonged viral shedding, play a significant role. (25)

The “paucity of data” with regard to “transmission dynamics in school settings” (26) demands we “carry out further studies in households and in other settings.” (27) With the exception of a few major holdouts among magical thinkers who believe the virus is a hoax, no worse than influenza or otherwise inconsequential, parents have been keen to protect their children. Countries worldwide have mandated a hodgepodge of lock downs for over a year and thankfully – barring social darwinists, cult enthusiasts and mass murdering dictators – it appears most people have yet to be severed from their natural instinct to survive. Data is scarce, and when it’s available, studies too often focus on the harm posed to children rather than the potential for contagion in our communities. “The risks of reopening are modest,”(28) the status quo coos. “Kids in general do not get sick from the coronavirus the way adults do.”(29)

The work of epidemiologists like Eric Feigl-Ding, who methodically combs through the record as he cross-references data from multiple sources, are hindered by opportunists who wheel and deal in ignorance. Dr. Feigl-Ding has noticed “lots of reports in many countries showing increasing infections in kids in the new wave in 2021, likely due to [the] B117 variant.”(30) Dr. Deepti Gurdasani has joined colleagues and organizations from around the world to sign the John Snow Memorandum, which states in no uncertain terms that “the evidence is very clear: controlling community spread of COVID-19 is the best way to protect our societies and economies until safe and effective vaccines and therapeutics arrive.”(31)

Dr. Gurdasani says, “children and schools have always played an important role in transmission,”(32) and it’s “time to lay to rest”(33) the notion that in-school learning poses minimal risk to our children and communities. On social media, she confronts what she calls “COVID denial,”(34) a coordinated effort by disingenuous media personalities that expertly deflect in nationally-syndicated papers, and shadowy agents of disinformation who proliferate falsehoods on the internet to shape public opinion. COVID deniers capitalize on any dip in the infection rate with emotional appeals to “stop the fear mongering!” followed by vague and morally bankrupt fictions that the pandemic is less severe than it seems or near its conclusion, and when cases rise, they’re wont to work themselves into a condescending furor that would make the likes of Antonin Scalia blush in exultation.

Very early on in the pandemic — at least in the western world, or in Europe and the U.S. — this sort of narrative was built that children were somehow exceptional or unique in that they were less susceptible to SARS-CoV-2 infection and less likely to transmit . . . and this narrative very quickly got entrenched in political decision-making, as well as in the scientific community, despite having very little evidence behind it.(35)

Perhaps most importantly, Dr. Gurdasani notes the following.

When you do symptom-based testing in a household, you could very often pick up adults who were infected actually from children but classify them as the index case who brought infection to the household because the actual index case, who was a child, was silent . . . Similarly, transmission to children is being missed if you base testing on symptoms.(36)


APPEALS TO AUTHORITY


The status quo cites numerous medical papers, often out of context, with frequent omissions and callous indifference. The most accomplished of these reports was compiled by John Hopkins University School of Medicine. The paper discusses an experiment conducted with two “independent” schools that practiced regular testing, contact tracing, rigorous hygienic standards, rules regulating socialization and “behavioral and structural mitigation measures.”(37) The doctors who drafted the paper admit, “the source of the majority of infections could not be determined,” and the study “significantly underestimates transmission” because it doesn’t account for the total impact of contagion.(38) Information gathering was limited to participants: students, faculty and family members. The key takeaway from the study is that in-school learning demands the same precautions required to curb out-of-school transmission, which is possible in “well-resourced”(39) communities such as those chosen to participate in the experiment.

Given that both schools are well-resourced, with a population that likely has a lower burden of chronic disease and better access to medical care, the exact consequence of these introductions in less well-resourced communities is not known.(40)

The status quo media is stacked with confidence-mongers all to eager to raffle off America’s future on a mass grave paved over with empty strip malls. The welfare of communities obliterated by the economic siege engine of Capital never interrupts happy hour. Poverty doesn’t go down well with oysters in DC and Manhattan. Doctors at John Hopkins directly address the concerns of public health safety advocates. They acknowledge the major “challenge of asymptomatic infections,” as well as “out-of-school social activities, violation of face mask rules, and return to school after extended breaks,”(41) and like every study cited by the glorified used-car salesmen who ply clever wordplay in widely-circulated East Coast rags that habitually promote the most cowardly yes-men money can buy, none mention the rise of COVID variants across the globe.

A second study cited by the Liberal applause section for eugenics hails from the Vikinger nation of Norway, whose initial response to the pandemic was to do nothing. (42) The Norwegian Institute of Public Health discouraged mask-use until someone experienced “respiratory symptoms.” Consequently, no one adhered to basic codes of human conduct and observed public health safety guidelines in Norway until they had already infected their friends, family, neighbors and colleagues for four to fourteen days.(43) Examples of callous disregard are reflected in the Norwegian Institute of Public Health’s broadly cited study: labor was outsourced to patients, who self-administered tests only after they exhibited symptoms, (44) all while neglecting to conduct “contact tracings with adult COVID-19 index cases.”(44)

How could The Norwegian Institute of Public Health claim “transmission of SARS-CoV-2 from children under 14 years of age was minimal in primary schools” when they rely on children to self-examine, administer their own tests and report their own findings in the midst of a pandemic of historic proportions while refusing to trace the vector of infection? It’s unsurprising “all index cases, except one, had household members who were diagnosed with COVID-19 before the index cases themselves tested positive” since children are more resilient to the virus, less inclined to speak up and could easily have been the actual index case.

Norway’s ambivalence only emboldened genociders like Jared Kushner, Donald Trump and Scott Atlas, who pushed for herd immunity in the absence of a vaccination program to mask a sociopathic political calculation cooked up during the nation’s only pandemic-inspired, national lockdown. Donald Trump allowed the contagion to spread through America’s cities in an existential strategy of attrition to secure the 2020 election.(45) Doctors at the Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine at Oxford University quantified the asinine dimensions of Norway’s pandemic response by simply juxtaposing the mortality rate in Norway with neighboring nation-states.

The problem with leaving people to catch the infection spontaneously, leading to herd immunity, is that the death rate would increase as a result. (46)

Papers cited by the status-quo are colored by the same lackluster effort and problematic methodology. In a letter sent from the Karolinka Institute to The New England Journal of Medicine, doctors investigating resiliency to COVID19 among children avoid any discussion of community spread or COVID variants. “We lacked data on household transmission of Covid-19 from schoolchildren,”(47) they wrote. Authors of a paper from Duke University concentrated on molecular testing of “community-acquired SARS-CoV-2 infections,” but neglected the children in their study, who were only expected to “self-report” their symptoms.(48) A study from Wisconsin blandly notes that “because schools did not perform infection screening of staff members and students, the prevalence of asymptomatic spread could not be determined.”(49) Asymptomatic spread is a principal concern among public health advocates because if we don’t know our children are ill, they’re liable to spread plague all over town. The study also relied on a combination of self-reporting and “a survey that was not validated, dependent on voluntary teacher response and subject to recall and social desirability biases.”(50)

Among the most unreliable sources of information cited by the status quo is what was once considered an institution of longstanding value in the United States, the integrity of which is in serious doubt since 2020: the Center for Disease Control. On March 13th, the CDC reported a case fatality rate(51) of 1.18, its official projection well after numbers on the ground sketched out a more dire picture. In an attempt to redeem itself, the CDC released a second report in June of 2020 that didn’t artificially limit information from the initial outbreak, settling on a case fatality rate of 4.25. (52) This was inevitable since Donald Trump divulged an actual case fatality rate of 5 percent to Bob Woodward in confidence,(53) so as many as 1 out of 20 people who test positive for the virus are liable to die from it,(54) but that didn’t stop Trump from calling the virus a “hoax.”(55) On June 15th of 2020, “during a roundtable on ‘Fighting for America’s Seniors,’ the president suggested that not testing for the coronavirus could be one way of reducing reported cases.”

On July 14th of 2020, in a move suggested to him by his Coronavirus Response Coordinator, Dr. Deborah Birx,(57) Trump requested “governors to consider sending the National Guard to hospitals to help improve data collection about novel coronavirus patients,” and when that didn’t work, he moved data collection from the CDC “to a federal contractor” or the state.(58) Public health experts warned that “bypassing the CDC could harm the quality of data and the federal response to the coronavirus pandemic.”(59) Jennifer Nuzzo, an epidemiologist at John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health for Public Health Security, said, “I worry greatly about cutting CDC out of these reporting efforts.”(60)

The agency was sidelined soon after Nancy Messonnier, director of the CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, warned the public Feb. 25 that the virus could soon change everyday life dramatically. The stock market plummeted on her remarks, enraging the president as he returned from a trip to India, several senior administration officials have said.(61)

Scientists employed by the CDC serve at the direction of a single man and his confidants, and that dynamic has been consistent since a handful of despots and human traffickers split from America’s original pact, abandoned the Articles of Confederation and wrote the Constitution. Econ Prof Oster is included in the bylines of a medical research paper cited by what is ostensibly the most vaunted health institution in the land under the direction of the Biden administration. What business do pharisees have with public health research papers? Econ Prof Oster likes a sure bet; most of her career orbits around index fund advocacy.(62) Index funds are stabilizers that pool money from scores of investors to pad markets and protect them from volatility, and what’s more stable than death and taxes? It’s a foregone conclusion that Big Pharma is part and parcel of her investment portfolio, but unlike most distinguished medical papers, Econ Prof Oster’s paper doesn’t include a conflict-of-interest section.

Regarding the paper’s ostensible merits, there are none. It reads like a volume of data digested by algorithms and extruded by a computer’s asshole in long ribbons of ticker tape because that’s exactly what it is. It’s no wonder the manuscript resembles a paltry board room exercise in which “incidence rate ratios for students and staff members . . . were estimated using log-binomial regression”(63) employing “a variety of sources, including the Boston Globe school tracker and public documents available on town websites.”(64)

A standardized data extraction template was created using Microsoft Forms . . .(65)

A classroom of fifteen year olds could have conducted this research remotely without contributing to community spread, but Econ Prof Oster’s pessimistic calculation now shapes public policy. Kindergartners thru high school Seniors must now remain “at least 3 feet apart in classrooms where mask use is universal, regardless of whether community transmission is low, moderate, substantial, or high.”(66) Sounds like an ultimatum, but there are no ultimatums in life.


MEDICAL PASSPORTS


The CDC’s arbitrary 3-feet social distancing guideline is only for schools. Every other space in the nation still demands a minimum six-feet of distance between strangers while masked to ensure public safety.(67) It appears the CDC would have us believe that water fountains in schools serve fizzy grape soda, our educators are gnomes that live underground, and a privatized healthcare system in the midst of systemic inequality is going to save us. The same illogic is applied to this notion of a “medical passport” that’s bandied about by the status quo with slavish affection. Vaccines gird our immune systems with life-saving antibodies, but they’re not fool-proof, which is why I urge the adoption of a universal mask mandate in lieu of a “medical passport.” A motley crew of political dissidents composed of the most vociferous elements from every corner of the political quilt will yell “tyranny” in condemnation of something that establishes such obvious barriers to common participation in whatever passes for social exchange these days while providing so little in the way of protection from this virus.

This idea of a “medical passport” is premised on the notion that vaccines are some sort of cure.

We were forging travel papers in Chicago during lockdown. Forgery has been a specialty of the lower classes since antiquity. What makes anyone think a “vaccine passport” will keep them safe? A universal mask mandate combined with vaccination is the most effective way to smother contagion. If you wanna fly to Europe, wear a mask and starve for eight hours. Practice discipline. That should be the price of admission. Buy a boat, or if you can’t afford one, start a society, build a trireme from scratch and row your ass to Hawaii. We need to learn how to grow roots or behave as nomads and move in packs. We weren’t meant to be dashing to and fro like a brainless cult of jet-setting pimps. What function does a "vaccine passport" serve when the lion's share of evidence tells us the virus is never going away so long as trade is global?

Despite a vaccine, we are still vulnerable to COVID19.

Liberals expect everything to go right back to 2019 and for “consumers” to maintain their “spending habits,” but that's magical thinking. It’s as asinine as believing the virus is a hoax. What other reason could there be for suggesting such a dangerous course of action but blind fidelity to an antiquated way of life that so happens to prop up the lifestyles of those who are writing this tripe. The evidence is stacked against the efficacy of a "medical passport," but that never stopped the status quo. Neither fascists nor Liberals want to wear masks to save their neighbors; they just go about it in different ways. The idea of shared sacrifice is anathema to both camps.

A vaccine “passport” will only lull people into a false sense of safety. What of our neighbors without green cards? Many of America’s “undocumented” don’t seek help for fear of being deported. Everyone should enjoy free and equal access to programs that permit patients to receive a vaccine of their choosing. Programs must educate, inform and in public settings, mandate participants to fortify their immune systems and protect their communities. That’s NOT a “vaccine passport.” A medical passport is a bad precedent pushed by a comfortable class of people accustomed to flying where they want, how they want, when they want. A “medical passport” is just as likely to increase infection rates as it is to reduce them, and you can’t forge a mask.


THE ENCAPSIDATED RTC


There’s elegance in simplicity of design, which is why single-stranded RNA viruses are so infectious: they’re incredibly simple, so they’re incredibly resilient. In December of 2020, Dr. Fauci said “herd immunity against the novel coronavirus could require vaccination rates approaching as high as 90 percent”(68) If that’s true, 90 percent of the population must be vaccinated to protect against future infection. It also means that prior to any positive result, a patient will have already infected up to 10 people.(69) Nine months prior, a patient would have infected up to 3 people on average prior to diagnosis.(70)

The remarkable capacity of some viruses to adapt to new hosts and environments is highly dependent on their ability to generate de novo diversity in a short period of time.(71)

The virus is evolving, and its evolution is outpacing vaccine innovation. Novel genetic alteration, otherwise known as “de novo recombination . . . accelerates SARS-CoV-2 evolution under positive selection pressure.”(72) “It’s likely that both transmission and de novo generation contribute to the diversity of SARS-CoV-2 quasispecies.”(73) Consequently, “the SARS-CoV-2 genome is known to acquire approximately one mutation every two weeks,”(74) and we know “within-host diversity is generated by the accumulation of de novo mutations during the course of infection but can also result from co-infection with different lineages.”(75)

A significant contributor to COVID19' s inherent adaptability lies in a structure it shares with HIV that allows the retrovirus to evade a host’s immune system: the encapsidated reverse-transcriptase complex. Allow me to repeat that in case you didn’t catch it the first time: the structure that HIV uses to evade the human immune system, COVID uses to evade humanity’s defense systems.(76) “It is likely that recombination plays a significant role in viral evolution and is the basis for targeted RNA recombination, a reverse genetics tool used to engineer viral recombinants at the end of the genome.”(77) Imagine a spear forged from proteins that penetrates major organs floating in the human cell’s cytoplasm. As the spear penetrates an organ, it unravels, peeling like a banana, revealing a thin filament that fishes around for genetic material, which the virus incorporates into its own genetic structure.(78) This activity is called, reverse-transcriptase recombination, and the filament that performs it is the “complex” that concerns every doctor who values their Hippocratic oath over the balance in their bank accounts.

Due to its incompletely understood underlying pathophysiological mechanisms, it has become a challenging task for the researchers and scientists to discover a reliable drug and vaccine to eradicate this pandemic . . . at present, prevention is the best cure, but without vaccination, it has been never possible to resolve the mystery of any pandemic.(79)

COVID19 is a highly resistant, aerosolized contagion that approaches a rate of infection comparable to measles, and “undergoes near-continuous replication in the wild, constantly generating new mutations that accumulate over [time].”(80) The rate of antigenic drift, the rapid-fire production of random, genetic mutations is the pathogen’s most effective weapon, yielding unpredictable results: possible false-negatives in testing,(81) excessive immune responses that overload organs, especially in children,(82) and structural enhancements that render the virus more infectious, adaptable and lethal.(83)

“It’s hard to say what is out of the ordinary, because with COVID, we’re always finding something new,” said Ngan Truong, a pediatric cardiologist. “But we’ve wondered, ‘Is this because of new strains? Is [the] virus shedding longer than previous strains?’”(84)

COVID19's ability to rapidly evolve outmaneuvers humanity’s inability to master the burden of our collective intelligence, and that’s why COVID19 may one day be known as the real King Maker and Destroyer of Kings. COVID19 damages our cells as it steals our genetic information and is known to cause long-term complications, often referred to as “long-covid.”(85) The Mayo Clinic warns of long-term damage to “the lungs, heart and brain,”(86) which has been confirmed in a study published by Lancet Psychiatry, which documents “evidence for substantial neurological and psychiatric morbidity in the 6 months after COVID-19 infection.”(87) A second medical paper from the Lancet extrapolates.

The clinical spectrum of SARS-CoV-2 infection is wide, encompassing asymptomatic infection, fever, fatigue, myalgias, mild upper respiratory tract illness, severe life-threatening viral pneumonia requiring admission to hospital, and death. Physicians are observing persisting symptoms and unexpected, substantial organ dysfunction after SARS-CoV-2 infection in an increasing number of patients who have recovered, as previously observed in the SARS outbreak.(88)


SPICE OF LIFE & DEATH


Enhanced, mutant pathogens have cropped up like a bad rash across the human pelt and knowledge of these “variants” has circulated freely since at least December of 2020.(89) The B117 variant is 30 to 70 percent more lethal than the original COVID virus,(90) it’s 70 percent more transmissible,(91) “may increase the death rate by 30 to 40 percent,”(92) and has “brought Britain to its knees.”(93) In a trend that’s been observed elsewhere,(94) the mutation “is spreading rapidly in the United States, doubling roughly every 10 days”(95) after having “arrived in the United States by late November [of 2020], a month before it was detected.”(96) “Nearly a third of people who were discharged from hospitals in England after being treated for Covid-19 were readmitted within five months,”(97) and “The UK variant of the coronavirus is spreading rapidly in Germany, where it now accounts for more than one in five cases.”(98)

The B1351 variant from South Africa is likely “more resistant to antibody therapies,”(99) and “could allow for reinfection.”(100) Enhanced resilience is the work of a third variant, E484K, the viral equivalent of a covert weapons manufacturer that appears to be upgrading the reverse transcriptase complex of every virus it meets,(101) which “has reduced the efficacy of some vaccines in South African trials.”(102) The DARPA of Coronaviridae has been so effective in this regard, “South Africa has suspended plans to inoculate its front-line health care workers with the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine after a small clinical trial suggested that it isn’t effective in preventing mild to moderate illness from the variant dominant in the country.”(103) A variant that gouged away at Los Angeles during the Winter of 2020 may also contain “a mutation that scientists suspect is enhancing the virus’s ability to bind to human receptor cells,”(104) eliciting calls to label the strain “a ‘variant of concern warranting urgent follow-up investigation.’”(105)

On March 18th, 2020, O Estado de S. Paulo, the fourth largest newspaper in Brazil, published a headline that read, COLAPSO: Brasil Enfrente Sua Maior Crise Sanitaria.(106) The P1 variant of the virus may have “shifted” its genetic profile, rendering it invisible to COVID antibodies, potentially necessitating the development of a whole new vaccine. In light of the devastation wrought by the virus on the city of Manaus, immunologist Ester Sabino reflects, “How can you have 76 percent of people infected and, at the same time, have an epidemic that’s bigger than the first?” Terrence McCoy paints a clear picture in the Washington Post. “The shift came suddenly,” he writes, “It wasn’t just the surge in patients but the severity of their cases. People started arriving at hospitals significantly sicker, lungs chewed up with disease.”(107)

. . . The humanitarian disaster unfolding in the Amazon’s largest city has shown what happens when government failures, scientific misfires and public indifference meet a new, possibly more dangerous variant of the virus that has ravaged the globe.(108)

Joseph Andrew in STAT, tells us the variants could “detonate something of a bomb in the already deep, deep hole [we] must dig out of to end the crisis.”(109) The insistence on sending children to in-school learning is even more dangerous when one considers the likelihood that sustained exposure to the virus in children and immunocompromised individuals may function as an additional multiplier on the virus’s already awesome capacity for mutagenesis.(110) If self-interest remains society's primary motivator, humanity will only succeed in rendering a model example of Einstein's definition of insanity. Parents who can afford a Montessori school for their prince are the only people peddling anti-science and anti-union propaganda under the rubric of progress in order to stuff the maximum number of young bodies from broken homes into a confined space.


SHILLS, SELL-OUTS AND GAS-LIGHTERS


Any doctor who would rather fan the flames of a contagion that’s claimed over a half million American lives rather than envision sweeping, life-saving changes to society isn’t someone anyone should take seriously. Meet Benjamin P. Linas, who is better suited to a plate of nachos and a bucket of beer with the pseudonymous Q at Harry’s Bar and Family Restaurant than a laboratory or classroom. In an article in Vox,(111) he indulges every indignation with a vigor that has more in common with science-deniers than public health advocates, which is par for the course when consorting with the status quo.

Benjamin P. Linas touts his own experience as reason enough for teachers to accept whatever he deems the proper course of action because according to him, everyone’s credibility hinges on whether their work place is a table of pestilence and gore. His advice to the working man and woman is to buy some plastic dividers and shut the fuck up. I have to congratulate Benjamin on the pathological twist of describing public health as “repugnant.” I’m sure he performed admirably in medical school, but he’s no logician, which is obvious when he claims to “support organized labor,” but states in plain language that he under no circumstances agrees with unionized workers. Perhaps his status as an “Assistant Professor of Medicine”(112) at Boston University isn’t paying the bills, and an article in Vox is just the opportunity to hedge into the propaganda racket.

Both Benjamin P. Linas and Derek Thompson pile on the evidence, but they either cherry-pick information from sources that ultimately refute them, or they rely on sources of questionable integrity. For Derek’s part, he boils the grift down to an ultimatum: “The problem is X, X is bad, my Y fixes X. Follow me, children, into the wonderful world of crowded, under-funded classrooms!”(113) It’s the same crude rationalism that’s been leveraged by Liberal sycophants in the press since Locke first justified Capital’s ever-recurring bid for carnage. Derek Thompson’s rhetorical assault takes place on a narrow strip of discourse that prematurely denies any evidence that refutes his premise and conclusion, and like his cohorts, he omits any mention of the variants threatening to collapse governments around the globe.

Thompson is one of several fabulist propagandists who indulge the fantasy of a future where mankind’s beck and whim is satisfied by machines operated and assembled by an insignificant “handful of workers,”(114) the same hogwash sold to the American public in the 50s, when corporations hired scores of advertising executives to paint portraits of white bread lives unencumbered by poverty due to “THE MIRACULOUS CONTRIBUTION OF TECHNOLOGY!” Another sales pitch. Thompson considers his fully-automated future to be an inevitability, but like the rest of his schtick, he dances around the ritualistic blood offering to Moloch perpetuating itself in the middle of the room. No one who seriously entertains the notion of Plato’s automated future mentions the unseen slave labor hidden by halcyon portraiture of an impossible future devoid of work. The market hacks who dredge this snake oil up from the dark, blasted landscapes of their bastard imaginations never once consider the plight of the worker, or a principled, moral vision of the future. Among the status quo’s many failures is its suffocating, slavish and cowardly devotion to convention, which it offers as a placeholder for Vision, something it’s incapable of offering.

The pathos of indignation summoned by Thompson in the Atlantic is typical of an academic and media apparatus that ritualistically replaces thoughtful, logical, informed discourse with emotional appeals calculated to maintain Capital’s growing hegemony over world affairs. Thompson claims children are “less susceptible to infection.” Is he suggesting children unconsciously erect invisible energy fields to catch pathogens in a thought-net? Because that would be news. Liberals like Thompson chafe at remote learning because it forces them to readjust their expectations, which hinge on the successes of a system that outfits them with a modicum of comfort and luxury.

Director of Education Policy Studies at the American Enterprise Institute, Frederick Hess relies on anecdotal evidence to make a case for parental outrage in his bid for comfort and luxury. In an article in The Dispatch,(115) “a digital media company providing engaged citizens with fact-based reporting and commentary on politics, policy and culture informed by conservative principles,”(116) a think-tank wonk removes the pandemic entirely from its epidemiological context to peddle bold-faced lies,(117) and in the style of his Liberal cohorts, Hess jabs the poking end of the stick into the educator’s ribs.

Hess drags the Chicago Teachers Union through the rhetorical shit, then accuses them of dirty politics. The wording in an article he cites titled, Are We Going to Let ‘Nice White Parents’ Kill Black and Brown Families? tho poignant, is divisive, but rather than heal that division, Hess leverages it to exacerbate racial animus. He goes on to hawk private education as a desirable alternative to public schooling, but those who can afford private education, already send their children to private schools. Hess ends his piece with a public appeal for President Biden to oppose school unions, then states in no uncertain terms that the current socioeconomic order takes precedence over science, health and human life. He even encourages parents to sue schools as he saws away, widens and inflames fissures already smoldering across American society, and he does so with intent.

The poppycock published by “conservative” rags like the Dispatch are nearly identical to articles peddled by East Coast rags like the Atlantic and New Yorker, which hire company stooges like Jonathon Chait to write anti-union screeds(118) divorced from science or anything resembling a moral consciousness. Half of Chait’s income is from his spouse, Robin, the Senior Policy Advisor for WestEd.(119) Bipartisan donations are the one reason a corporate think tank like WestEd is allowed to conduct “nonpartisan, nonprofit research” despite having demonstrated a bias that favors privatization, charter schools and profits over education, worker’s rights and our public health.

CNN described the Chicago Public School Union as an impediment to progress for voicing concerns over the safety of their students and communities, then implied that vaccination is a permanent, fail-safe cure for COVID19 when there’s no proof of it.(120) All of this in an article about Albert Carvalho, who reopened public schools in Miami-Dade County with the sort of gusto and callous disregard typical of authoritarians like Trump. Albert calls himself, “politically unaffiliated,”(121) which is convenient for someone who works in politics, but his actions paint a clear bias in favor of the same anti-science, pro-Capital policies that have dominated American politics since the Trump Pandemic first began. Miami is a city with close ties to Roger Stone, who has been courting the Cuban-American population there for well over a decade.(122) According to Carvalho, children and their communities are safe from the in-school spread of COVID19 because schools are structured according to a clearly-defined, established hierarchy, an arrangement the superintendent highly values.

The New York Times Editorial Board fabulates a somber tale of fictional low-income students who are depressed because they don’t have to risk their lives every morning when they walk to school.(123) Editors ply the reader with plaintive emotional appeals in a vain attempt to ameliorate the image of an inherently iniquitous system that forces families to jockey for privilege in a desperate bid to enroll their child in so-called “elite” institutions. Not once does the board mention the possibility of extending the sphere of learning and care awarded to self-ascribed “elites” to encompass all children, yet they have the gall to accuse public health advocates of racism for encouraging poor people to elevate their health above the selfish whims of a callous few who believe we should treat our children like show dogs. The New York Editorial Board pins all the hopes for 1 in 10 public school students who go homeless on what amounts to a pipe dream for most of us: standardized testing. Make no mistake, the postmodern approach to education was borrowed straight from Henry Ford, the unabashed fascist who helped reduce the idea of “progress” to a numbers-game that regards people as little more than products on an assembly line.

In an article in the Washington Post,(124) Matt Bai confuses the work of educating a classroom of twenty or more third graders with battling fires, shooting tear gas canisters at protesters and working with adults in a controlled setting, and he juxtaposes educators’ aversion to in-school learning with their aversion to “merit pay, relaxed tenure, [and] scaled back pension plans” in an obvious appeal to disband their union. Bai pessimistically frames remote learning as “hollow” and “socially isolating,” and in the midst of a pandemic of historic proportions, never once mentions the many concurrent crises that afflict humanity and may contribute to a growing sense of unease among us all: wealth inequality, institutionalized racism, fascism and man-made, global ecological catastrophe top the charts.

Bai paints a dystopian future dominated by child suicides resulting from the imposition of social distancing guidelines, but deaths by suicide in 2020 were lower than they had been in the preceding three years despite how harrowing it was for so many.(125) Contrary to the facts, Bai paints educators as victims estranged from their posts, but teachers’ unions have been most vocal in their opposition to a policy that prioritizes profits over life. When reason and evidence fail him, Bai and his ilk condescend and brow-beat the reader. Educators, according to Bai, “are vital, irreplaceable public servants . . . and it’s time [they] started acting like it.”(126)

Bai’s book, The Argument: Inside the Battle to Remake Democratic Politics, has been described as “engaging and painstakingly reported”(128) by the Economist, an international weekly that heels at the foot of Capital like the loyal pooch it is, and that publishes articles portending of grave consequences if access to higher education is made widely available to the public.(129) In his book, Bai paints a story of a “progressive movement” composed of “a disparate group of activists,” who possess “money, often more than they knew what to do with.” Bai’s conspiratorial cabal of wealthy rogue activisits are unlike any hodgepodge of political dissidents I’ve met: they’re attracted to wealth, power and “new technologies to change political fortunes.” Bai describes a “liberal alliance” of “fledgling donors,” a “cadre of elite financiers, led by George Soros” that consists of Democratic power-brokers like Howard Dean, who lobbies to protect the intellectual property rights for COVID19 vaccination technology,(130) and Hillary Clinton, who cleaved a deep divide between her Liberal wing of the party and the New Left, lead by Independent Bernie Sanders, who was railroaded by the Democratic National Committee in 2016.(131)

The Argument does two things. First, it distracts from the story of America’s real progressives,(132) the original American Left, a unique culture of religious gnostics and agnostics, Cynics and Stoics who contributed to abolitionism, Rastafarianism, the free-land, free-coin, greenback and silverite movements of the nineteenth century, the socioeconomic apparatus they rendered, the People’s Party, suffragetism, the 16th, 17th, 19th amendments, and the Bank of North Dakota. Second, Bai’s book conflates “progressivism” with all the New Left despises, then dresses it up as a bogeyman in the guise of George Soros. It’s a rewrite of Griffen’s The Creature from Jekyll Island sans Federal Reserve, stylized in the language of bureaucracy to cement its relationship to the Democratic Party and its appeal to Liberals.

Most brazen among the Liberal contingent of COVID deniers is Econ Prof Oster, who insinuates herself into medical journals where her contributions know no rightful place. In an article in the Atlantic,(133) Oster claims that Chicago, LA and Houston suffered “relatively low positivity rates,” and the infection rate is .13 percent, 90 percent less than the actual infection rate of 1.4 percent.(134) In the spirit of correcting the record, anywhere between 1 out of 100, or 1 out 50 people who contract COVID will die from it, including asymptomatic and presymptomatic cases, but not including individuals who die alone in their homes without seeking medical attention.

Econ Prof Oster’s calculations can be chalked up to an opportunistic plug for her bottom line, which lies somewhere at the top of her stock portfolio. She imputes that pathogenic transmission doesn’t take place in our schools due to some shambling mistake that occurred before the passion play of Time. In another life, she would have been a loyal acolyte of Mary Baker Glover Patterson Eddy. If the Pied Piper was paid a salary, she would have been an economics professor, a politician or radio show host. Econ Prof Oster lifts a page from the School of Roger Stone: deny deny deny. “Data having shown big community spikes” is “overblown,” she writes.

Without fail, time and again, given the choice, the status quo has chosen loyalty to its own obstinance over the opportunity to save lives, all while going thru great pains to avoid any mention of the scores of gene-thieving variants amassing on humanity’s every flank. Econ Prof Oster mulls over the “toxic stress” of “remote learning,” tho there’s every indication that toxic stress is the byproduct of the socioeconomic and political order she enthusiastically defends. The professor indicts Democratic governors who value their constituents’ lives over the sort of baseless, emotional claptrap that’s sketched out in board rooms before it’s pressed for international syndication. At the end of Schools Aren’t Super-Spreaders, the professor dips her ladle into the river of lies and scoops out a big helping of magical thinking. In the eyes of Emily Oster, in the midst of a pandemic of historic proportions, public health advocates opposed to in-school learning pose a greater threat to our health than pharmaceutical monopolies that refuse to rescind their intellectual property rights and share their life-giving medicines with the world.

A second article in the Atlantic(135) features Econ Prof Oster as she emphasizes a fuck-all attitude that will surely be counted in human lives. It reads like the script of a new product line for Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop, or the prelude to a “new thought-cleansing strategy in telemedicine.” Oster lumps every vaccine into a single line item with the casual indifference of a bureaucrat without explaining their differences.(136) Econ Prof Oster’s distortions verge on Newspeak. The careful reader quickly receives the impression she doesn’t understand the virus and is addressing a global pandemic of historic proportions with the worldliness of a cost-benefit analysis report.

Well-documented science recognized by the author of the vaccine technology injected into Emily Oster’s arm is described by her as “murky, and controversial.” I know better than to cherry coat a dip off Shark Bay to beef up revenue for the hot-dog monger, but that sort of sensibility is missing from Emily Oster’s analysis. How else can an economics professor stabilize consumerism if not by disregarding the virus and sacrificing working-class lives in what amounts to a cruel charade that serves as a placeholder for the good life? When faced with the natural spectacle of COVID variants rippling across the globe, economics professors counsel their neighbors to sport blind abandon.

What are they after?


JOURNALISM OF OMISSION


In March of 2021, the White House press corps was itching for a presser with the bug-eyed, scratching compulsion of a roomful of fiending junkies. Two months after inauguration, “President Biden began his first White House news conference by practically inviting reporters to ask him about the major story of the past year.”(137) President Biden’s introductory remarks directly addressed the pandemic that claimed over a half million American lives and counting. Most of the press corps’ questions catered to FOX News’ obsessive coverage of the refugee crises. Several reporters inquired into the President’s re-election prospects just two months after the man was inaugurated.

The status quo neglected to ask the President one question about COVID19.

Any hope for postmodern medicine to eliminate the contagion lies in mRNA vaccination technology,(138) and the day science catches up to COVID19, public health advocates should pivot hard to address man-made, global ecological catastrophe. This virus is Nature’s first line of defense against the parasite of World Capital. The virus is a natural stop-gap, a messenger sent to curb our unconscious lurch into postmodern, relativistic nihilism by way of prolonged, collective suicide. In the virus’s absence, man-made, global ecological catastrophe will dramatically accelerate. Mother Nature has given us a second chance; I don’t believe there will be a third. This virus carries with it a set of instructions teaching us how to live. If we ignore it, there will be grave consequences.

I’ll be genuinely surprised if the virus abates any time in the near future. The cure to COVID19 isn’t in a syringe. The cure is in philosophy. Only philosophy will save us now: the love of knowledge and knowledge of love, a self-reinforcing cycle of compassion and revelation; not a section in the library. This should have been made clear to the American people the moment we were informed that persons who were already infected with COVID19 “might need only one shot”(139) of vaccine. International bank analysts are aware of the danger and discuss it with careless aplomb as they strain to slap a fresh coat of gloss on the existential equivalent of a pile of turds.

“. . . at this stage, I’d be very surprised if you weren’t re-dosing at least every three years,” said Geoffrey Porges, an analyst at the investment bank SVB Leerink.(140)

TheTampa Bay Spectrum News Team hit the nail on the head.

This is similar to how doctors suggest people get the flu shot annually.(141)

That’s journalism: plain and simple; no bells or whistles. Call it like it is. The Channel 9 Spectrum News Team of Tampa Bay are unlikely to reach the size of audience exposed to a magazine like the Atlantic, but we would all benefit if they did. Albert Bourla, the CEO of Pfizer, said, “in a year, you will have to go and get your annual shot for Covid to be protected.”(142) Doctor Dolsten told Matthew Herper of STAT, “in the future . . . there might be a need for an annual or semi-annual Covid-19 shot, either of the same vaccine or one targeting a new variant.”(143) Big Pharma is anticipating helluva pay day since “The Food and Drug Administration issued guidance . . . saying vaccine manufacturers may be able to ease away from lengthy clinical trials to prove safety and effectiveness for vaccines that have been tweaked to account for variants.”(144) If figures of authority COULD halt the spread of COVID19, they would immediately vaccinate 90 percent of the global population(145) with a vaccine approaching 100 percent efficacy, but “the rollout of boosters, be they additional doses or new versions of the variant, would come after the delivery of 200 million doses of the vaccine expected after July.”(146)

It certainly doesn’t help that the US government protects American pharmaceutical monopolies that profit from withholding access to life-saving patents.(147)

The status quo’s journalism of omission was never designed to inform. Its success hinges on what we don’t know. The status quo media assists Capital in its endless bid for power by deflecting from the moral rot at its center and categorizing its readers, dividing them and isolating them while setting the stage for moneyed men to play us like an upright piano. The working class intuits this and naturally seeks information elsewhere. This journalism of omission repels the working class and shoos them into the arms of conspiracy theorists who fill the information-gap with hatred, fear and lies. The status quo holds court around a throne of privilege carved from our bones, and they expects us to believe them when they refuse to acknowledge its existence. That’s the same combination of ambivalence, privilege and indifference that characterized the Weimar Republic.

Angela Rasmussen, a virologist at Georgetown University’s Center for Global Health Science and Security says, “I don’t think it’s hyperbolic to say the worst could be yet to come.”(148) The Chair of WHO’s Strategic and Technical Advisory Group for Infectious Hazards, David Heymann says, “We have tools to save lives, and these in combination with good public health will permit us to learn to live with COVID-19.”(149) WHO Emergencies Chief, Michael Ryan considers the eradication of COVID19 to be, “a very high bar for us to be able to get over.”(150) Derek Cummings, a biology professor at the University of Florida’s Emerging Pathogens Institute, warns us “to start responding like the variants are going to take over and they are one of the biggest threats . . . or we won’t have vaccinated enough people when this rolls through.”(151) Genomic epidemiologist Alli Black tells us matter-of-factly that “the virus will continue to mutate as it continues to spread. We’re not going to stop that biological fact unless transmission stops.”(152) It doesn’t appear Econ Prof Oster, the New York Times Editorial Board, Matt Bai, Albert Carvahlo, Jonathan Chait, Derek Thompson, Benjamin P. Linas and others ever cared that transmission stop. They appear to be more concerned with the state of someone’s stock portfolio.(153)

As a result, numerous states, provinces and countries across the world have incrementally lowered public health safety standards.(154) Rather than punish businesses that defy public health protocol, Kansas legislators voted to pay businesses for having suffered the imposition of lockdowns, mask mandates and capacity limits. It doesn’t take an alchemist or the seer-of-seers to figure the source of funding for what amounts to a sacrificial offering to Corporate America.(155) It shouldn’t require a man down from the mountain to illuminate the obvious, taxpayers.

Why, then, allow restaurants to open their dining rooms at all? I imagine it’s to create the soothing illusion of progress—against the virus, against economic disaster, toward some sense of a return to normalcy.(156)

The pandemic is no accident, there will be no “return to normalcy” and the sooner we admit that, the better off we shall be. The virus is a symptom of a wounded Earth, yet another reality conveniently ignored by a journalism of omission embraced by the status quo. Capital propels us to cataclysmic extremes of self-destruction. World Capital is the primary mover of man-made, global ecological catastrophe. Ecologist Gerardo Ceballos at the National Autonomous University of Mexico, tells us “the vaccine for COVID19 was our natural habitat,” and “we’re eroding the capabilities of the planet to maintain human life and life in general.”(157) Every year for the last one hundred years, the Capitalist economy has pushed our biosphere to a rate of extinction that’s typical over the course of a century.(158)

Modern saint and ethologist, Jane Goodall blames “the emergence of COVID19 on the over-exploitation of the natural world, which has seen forests cut down, species made extinct and natural habitats destroyed.”(159) Both she and the EU Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, Stella Kyriadkides, have warned of “highly intensive farming systems” that perpetuate “significant waste” and “animal suffering” in the creation of “reservoirs of animal disease” that “spill over and hurt human society.”(160) Jeremy Coller, Founder of the Farm Animal Investment Risk & Return Initative, says, “factory farming is both vulnerable to pandemics and guilty of creating them. It’s a self-sabotaging cycle that destroys value and risks lives. To avoid causing the next pandemic, the meat industry must tackle lax safety standards for food and workers alike, closely confined animals, and overused antibiotics.”(161) Doctor Ceballos warns, “with enough species losses, ecosystems will eventually fail, destabilizing economies, governments and triggering famine and refugee crises.”(162) Jane Goodall says “we have come to a turning point in our relationship with the natural world.”(163) George Mason University ecologist Thomas Lovejoy called the “gathering biodiversity crisis” a “major wake-up call,” and urges us to do something “while there is still time to make a difference.”(164)

Thankfully there are yet journalists who do what they’re purported to do, but few real journalists are published in the Atlantic or New Yorker, certainly not when it pertains to anything of a moral character. These publications are better suited for anyone seeking dirt on the Democrats’ political rivals, but COVID19 preys on all our weaknesses, and today, the status quo, selfishness and magical thinking are humanity’s greatest weaknesses. Mounting existential crises threaten to submerge the world in a new Dark Age. The entire healthcare system is at risk(165) and at some point, we’re going to start running out of doctors. The central government refuses to establish and enforce work standards to avoid conditions that present a clear and present danger to the public health of our communities.(166) The Trump Pandemic has exacerbated every existing inequality in society, of gender,(167) ethnicity(168) and class.(169) Internationally renown epidemiologist Laurie Garrett foresees “massive political disruption,”(170) a sea change that’s “going to affect how people think about all kinds of things.”(171) Michael Ryan puts it bluntly.

From our perspective the planet is fragile. We live in an increasingly complex global society. These threats will continue. If there's one thing we need to take from this pandemic with all of the tragedy and loss is that we need to get our act together.(172)

It’s not that quality journalism doesn’t exist, it’s just drowned in a cacophony of alarmist consumerism that passes for national discourse. If the fourth estate hadn’t been lobotomized and unleashed on the populace like some brain-dead, stitched-up, undead monkey, we wouldn’t be in this predicament. The press may claim otherwise – they’ve the resources and ratings to do so – but they’ve run out of plank. The credibility of the press is dog shit beside the fly paper of our so-called representatives’ reputations, and it’s burning in a highly-publicized dumpster fire in the East.

No journalist should be threatened with more than harsh criticism; we can hardly blame them for exploiting the nepotism, ravenous appetite and selfish cunning that shapes their industry. The status quo media is a mere copy of a much larger hamster wheel, the one that spawns us all, and if journalists had fulfilled their obligation of service to the public, we would’ve averted the disasters that besiege us today. If the fourth estate had been successful in its duty to the American people, they would have amplified the words of Greta Thunberg with a desperation that matches her own. If the fourth estate hadn’t failed us, they would have broadcast the words of Larry Brilliant every hour, on the hour, on every 24-hour news channel since 2006, when he warned us that “a billion people would become infected and over 100 million would die. He also imagined global depression, lost jobs, and a cost to the economy of up to $3 trillion.”(173) Brilliant emphasized the need to develop “early detection and rapid response” systems, and he voiced concern over our “supplies of antivirals,” that “the world as we know it will stop.”(174)

Peter Daszak, disease ecologist and president of EcoHealth Alliance, noticed a blind spot in the periodic table of infectious diseases in 2018 and notified the World Health Organization. Figures of authority from around the world who fashion pawns out of our children in a deadly game of craps ignored advice of professionals we employ to advise them. The United States “demonstrated the woeful lack of readiness in the U.S. for a pandemic such as COVID-19”(175) after it conducted a simulation modeled on a set of circumstances identical to the Trump Pandemic of 2020 in 2019. The status quo pounces on every opportunity to bubble over with saccharine enthusiasm to distract from its failures. Laurie Garret says “we will continue to have COVID in the world” lest we conduct a global “vaccination campaign . . . the largest in the history of humanity,”(176) and there’s no sign of any such campaign.

In usual slipshod fashion, what the US government takes with one hand, it gives with another, and five days after President Biden was sworn into office, his administration launched the “National SARS-CoV-2 Strain Surveillance System”(177) to sequence viral samples from across the country, to monitor damage wrecked by COVID variants, so they’re aware of the danger. Previously, Trump’s CDC “sequenced less than 1% of cases to see whether they are a variant,”(178) and was “so behind in tracking new variants that it’s difficult to understand the current threat, much less predict the next one.”(179) If the status quo media were truly concerned about the potential harm posed by COVID19, they would’ve mentioned these variants and emphasized the need to vaccinate our children prior to “business as usual.”(180)

For every independent journalist, there are a hundred company men propped up as figures of authority by a status quo that broadly defines the parameters of polite discourse. “Health officials in the United Kingdom have said they are monitoring an unusual surge in infections, especially among children ages 6 to 9, that is disproportionate to their share of the population.”(181) The Illinois Department of Health cites “schools” as the location most likely to result in an index case for infection.(182) Walker Bragman records a litany of studies that document the connection between in-school transmission and community spread with an article in the Daily Poster, America’s Deadly Obsession With Reopening.

The country’s approach to the pandemic has been one of suppression over elimination, of acceptable losses and acceptable spread . . . the United States has never once seriously considered far-reaching responses like a national lockdown or a universal basic income that would allow people to shelter in place. For both Donald Trump and now Biden, the political risks of such moves were too great, despite the arguments of scientific experts, the pleas of many of those on the front lines.(183)

Those who bet against the sanctity of life are the last to admit that salvation lies in shared sacrifice. Those who war with Nature betray a hubris that threatens to condemn humanity to a barren record of collective, cosmic shame. The virus toys with us the way a cat toys with a mouse before it rips its head off and laps the blood from its neck. COVID is a deadly, aerosolized pathogen that approaches an infection rate on par with measles that generates one new mutation per mammalian host every two weeks.(184) It will emerge in fits and bursts before it recedes, then reappears elsewhere, an invisible colossus. Lacking cultural cohesion, unity of purpose or a sense of community, we must wear our masks, observe public health protocol and make informed decisions concerning our vaccination regimen.

In the midst of a scandal with broad appeal, far-reaching support and the political will to write it into policy, they who preach selfish abandon are rewarded with access to power. The status quo musters little more than a shallow pretense of concern for real education. I often wonder whether they understand its meaning. Socrates called those who offered knowledge in exchange for money, “sophists” because they neither knew love, nor loved knowledge. Education is a life-long process. It’s neither purchased nor arranged. Education is cultivated.

Schooling in postmodern America serves not to educate; it functions to obscure the dollar’s constant rate of inflation since 1913, which has coincided with an equally precipitous decline in our standard of living. Once upon a time, a single member of the household could work to support a family, so Capitalists doubled-down on women's lib to distract us from the fact that another household member would soon need to work to keep pace with inflation. Now, two parents who work overtime can barely make ends meet, but economics professors want us to “go to the beach! Take in the sights!”

“It’s totally safe!” says every beneficiary of wealth inequality.

Observe how Capital treats our elders: they’re lodged into nondescript, sterile, depressing buildings manned by untrained orderlies from overseas who are paid 7.25 an hour to keep them out of sight, out of mind. The United States is trying to hide the fact that they've substituted education with a form of day care because they’ve rendered an economy in which both parents can work full-time jobs, yet fail to provide for the needs of their child. The status quo expects us to risk our lives for what?

Farce?

The option between remote learning and in-school learning is a false dilemma that ignores the infinite possibilities that lie in the fertile soil of our collective imagination. There’s no reason we can’t teach a cohort of children throughout their lives, in-person and with respect for our public health. Let’s not divide the educator’s attention between more than five children. Let students and professors gather in communal spaces scattered throughout our communities. Educators would ask for these things, but their expectations have been shattered and their hopes, smothered, but such measures are necessary and demand a shared moral vision of the future.

The status quo isn’t concerned about our children's welfare or education. They want control. Capitalists aren’t interested in independent thought; they want obedient, little sycophants to line their ducks in a row. I remember when I first sketched an idea of the virus in my mind's eye. I told a friend, "This thing isn't going away. Nothing is going back to the way it was."

"Eh," he said. "I didn't really like the way it was."

He’s one of those musicians who played large street festivals in Chicago. He later told me, “Music is going to become more 'boutique': smaller groups, more recording, less performing.” For the first time in a lifetime, swaths of the working class are ahead of the status quo. After the United States locked down in March of 2020, my neighbor commented on the virus. “They're trying to kill us,” he said. Papers like the Atlantic and New Yorker were established to dictate the pulse of the nation, but the pulse has escaped them. Only the beneficiaries of a world system hellbent on annihilation wax nostalgic for the good ol’ days when certain privileged persons stumbled into a rager at the Ritz-Carlton so they may go back to ignoring the unconscious, ritualistic war on Nature that threatens to kill us all because they never once considered the experiences of the people who clean their sheets, fix their food and will surely suffer the brunt of Nature’s wraith.

The working class won’t respect an authority that doesn’t respect them unless someone sly turns their anger inwards. It should go without saying that any such authority is baseless and without merit. In the absence of informed dialogue, rather than squarely address vanishing confidence in institutions of waning power, the fourth estate ejaculates unceasing currents of postmodern fluff and emotionally-charged, divisive tripe. Nationally-syndicated newspapers too diffident to indict Trump and his supporters for their fascism, deliberate and deflect while seditionists in Congress continue to deny the results of an election that ended in a coup attempt they encouraged. If an unemployed former bartender could anticipate a “fascist coup” five months prior to its occurrence,(185) why couldn’t the New York Times? Well they can’t even call it like it is.

America’s cowards are celebrated and her prophets are shunned.

(1) Judge, Keith M. “For sure, the harm reduction accomplished . . .” Twitter. 4 Dec 2020.
(2) Judge, Keith M. “I’ve been warning people about antigenic drift . . .” Twitter. 2 Jan 2021
(3) Judge, Keith M. “The Roving, Ghost-Ninja Tidal Wave of Doom.” Optimist Press. Yet unpublished.
(4) Ibid.
(5) Crowley, Michael. “Trump Won’t Commit to ‘Peaceful’ Post-Election Transfer of Power.” New York Times. 23 Sep 2020.
(6) Ibid.
(7) Gangitano, Alex. “Business groups applaud Biden's COVID-19 relief plan.” The Hill. 14 Jan 2021.
Tausche, Kayla; Franck, Thomas. “Trump, Pence held call on economy with investors including Paul Tudor Jones, Stephen Schwarzman.” CNBC. 24 Mar 2020.
(8) Higgins, Tucker. “Fauci cautions against complacency as Covid infections decrease, warns daily case level remains high.” CNBC. 21 Feb 2021.
(9) Hess, Frederick M. “Why Aren’t More Public Schools Opening?” The Dispatch. 10 Feb 2021.
(10) Staff. “Children and COVID-19: State Data ReportAmerican Academy of Pediatrics.” American Academy of Pediatrics and Children’s Hospital Association. 11 Mar 2021.
(11) Zhen-Dong, Yang; et al.“Clinical and transmission dynamics characteristics of 406 children with coronavirus disease 2019 in China: A review” Journal of Infectious Diseases. 28 Apr 2020.
(12) Ibid.
(13) Oster, Emily. “Your Unvaccinated Kid Is Like a Vaccinated Grandma.” Atlantic. 18 Mar 2021.
(14) Staff. “Bolsonaro uses Brazil's dictatorship-era law as protesters depict him as a Nazi.” Associated Press. 19 Mar 2021.
Staff. “Pot-banging protests erupt across Brazil as Bolsonaro addresses nation.” Reuters. 23 Mar 2021.
(15) Velavan, Thirumalaisamy P; et al. “Herd immunity and vaccination of children for COVID-19.” International Journal of Infectious Diseases. 1 Sep 2020.
(16) Staff. “Health Department-Reported Cases of Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C) in the United States.” CDC. 21 Mar 2021.
(17) Donà, Daniele MD; et al..“Fecal-Oral Transmission of SARS-CoV-2 In Children.” Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal. Jul 2020.
(18) Editorial Board. “Reopen Schools, and Reform Them.” New York Times. 20 Dec 2020.
(19) Ibid.
(20) Ibid.
(21) Zhen-Dong, Yang; et al . . .
(22) Velavan, Thirumalaisamy P; et al . . .
(23) Ibid.
(24) Dattner, Itai, et al. “The role of children in the spread of COVID-19: Using household data from Bnei Brak, Israel, to estimate the relative susceptibility and infectivity of children.” Los Angeles University. 11 Feb 2021.
(25) Velavan, Thirumalaisamy P; et al . . .
(26) Li, Xue.“The role of children in transmission of SARS-CoV-2: A rapid review.” Journal of Global Health. 10 Jun 2020.
(27) Dattner, Itai, et al . . .
(28) Hess, Frederick M . . .
(29) Cha, Ariana Eunjung.“Coronavirus medical mystery: Baby with high viral load puzzles researchers.” Washington Post. 23 Feb 2021.
(30) Feigl-Ding, Eric. “SCHOOLS: Belgian Prime Minister says that schools are a hotbed of contamination and that children transmit the virus to their parents.” ThreadReader. 22 Mar 2021.
(31) “John Snow Memorandum.” Lancet. 14 Oct 2020. (See johnsnowmemo.com)
(32) Bragman, Walker. “America’s Deadly Obsession With Reopening.” The Daily Poster. 12 Mar 2021.
(33) Ibid.
(34) Gurdasani, Deepti. “Stages of COVID denial . . .” Twitter. 28 Mar 2021.
(35) Bragman, Walker . . .
(36) Ibid.
(37) Gillespie, Darria Long MD MBA; et al. “The Experience of Two Independent Schools with In-Person Learning During the COVID19 Pandemic.” Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. 29 Jan 2021.
(38) Ibid.
(39) Ibid.
(40) Ibid.
(41) Ibid.
(42) Laterza, Vito; Romer, Louis Philippe. “Coronavirus, herd immunity and the eugenics of the market.” Aljazeera. 14 Apr 2020.
(43) Stoltenberg, Camilla, Director-General; et al. “Should individuals in the community without respiratory symptoms wear facemasks to reduce the spread of COVID-19?” Norwegian Institute of Public Health. 2020 June.
(44) Brandal, Lin T. “Minimal transmission of SARS-CoV-2 from paediatric COVID-19 cases in primary schools, Norway, August to November 2020.” Norwegian Institute of Public Health. 27 Nov 2020.
(45) Eban, Katherine. “How Jared Kushner’s Secret Testing Plan ‘Went Poof Into Thin Air.’” Vanity Fair. 30 Jul 2020.
(46) Aronson, Jeffrey K.; Brassey, Jon; Mahtani, Kamal R. “‘When will it be over?:’ An introduction to viral reproduction numbers, R0 and Re.” The Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine at Oxford University. 14 Apr 2020.
(47) Jonas F. Ludvigsson, M.D., Ph.D. “Open Schools, Covid-19, and Child and Teacher Morbidity in Sweden.” New England Journal of Medicine, a letter from The Karolinska Institutet . 18 Feb 2021.
(48) Faulk, Amy; et al. “COVID-19 Cases and Transmission in 17 K–12 Schools —Wood County, Wisconsin, August 31–November 29, 2020.” CDC. 29 Jan 2021.
(49) Ibid.
(50) Ibid.
(51) Divide the total number of deaths by the total number of cases in your area and multiply by 100. Voila.
(52) Staff. “Case-Fatality Risk Estimates for COVID-19 Calculated by Using a Lag Time for Fatality.” CDC. 13 Mar 2020.
(53) Forgey, Quint. “This is deadly stuff’: Tapes show Trump acknowledging virus threat in February.” Politico. 9 Sep 2020.
(54) The case fatality rate doesn’t account for asymptomatic and presymptomatic cases, individuals who don’t seek help and survive, and individuals who die without seeking medical attention. Accounting for additional cases, the adjusted case fatality rate, sometimes referred to as the “infection rate,” is still well above 1 percent, which is high enough considering the flue is .1 percent.
(55) Strauss, Daniel; Oliver Laughland. “Trump calls coronavirus criticism Democrats' 'new hoax' and links it to immigration.” Guardian. 28 Feb 2020.
(56) Moye, David. “Trump Suggests Stopping COVID-19 Tests Would Result In Fewer Cases.” Huffington Post. 15 Jun 2020.
(57) Sun, Lena H.; Goldstein, Amy. “Trump administration recommends the National Guard as an option to help hospitals report coronavirus data.” Washington Post. 14 Jul 2020.
(58) Ibid.
(59) Ibid.
(60) Ibid.
(61) Bernstein, Lenny. “Growing friction between White House, CDC hobbles pandemic response.” Washington Post. 15 May 2020.
(62) Kutz, Steven. “Economist Emily Oster on how parents can be happier with the choices they make — and why she only invests in index funds.” Market Watch. 6 May 2019.
(63) Oster, Emily, PhD; et al. “Effectiveness of three versus six feet of physical distancing for controlling spread of COVID-19 among primary and secondary students and staff: A retrospective, state-wide cohort study.” Oxford University Press for the Infectious Diseases Society of America. 21 Mar 2021.
(64) Ibid.
(65) Ibid.
(66) Staff. “CDC Updates Operational Strategy for K-12 Schools to Reflect New Evidence on Physical Distance in Classrooms.” CDC. 19 Mar 2021.
(67) Staff. “Social Distancing: Keep a Safe Distance to Slow the Spread.” CDC. 17 Nov 2021.
(68) Allen, Jonathan. “Fauci says herd immunity could require nearly 90% to get coronavirus vaccine.” Reuters. 24 Dec 2020.
(69) Aronson, Jeffrey K.; Brassey, Jon; Mahtani, Kamal R . . .

(70) Li, Qun, M.Med.; Guan, Xuhua, Ph.D.; Wu, Peng, Ph.D. “Early Transmission Dynamics in Wuhan, China, of Novel Coronavirus–Infected Pneumonia.” New England Journal of Medicine. 26 Mar 2020.
Sanche, Steven; Lin, Yen Ting; Chonggang, Xu; Romero-Severson, Ethan; Hengartner, Nick; Ke, Ruian. “High Contagiousness and Rapid Spread of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2.” Emerging Infectious Diseases Journal. Vol. 26, No. 7. Jul 2020.
Viceconte, Giulio; et al. “COVID-19 R0: Magic number or conundrum?” Infectious Disease Reports. 2020 Feb 25.
Aronson, Jeffrey K.; Brassey, Jon; Mahtani, Kamal R . . .
Oke, Jason; Heneghan, Carl. “Global Covid-19 Case Fatality Rates.” The Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine at Oxford University. 26 May 2020.
Alimohamadi, Yousef; Taghdir, Maryam; Sepandi, “Estimate of the Basic Reproduction Number for COVID-19: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis.” Journal of Preventative Medicine and Public Health. 20 Mar 2020.
Hamidouche, Mohamed. “COVID-19 outbreak in Algeria: A mathematical Model to predict cumulative cases.” Pasteur Institute of Algeria. 25 Mar 2020.
Resnick, Brian; Animashaun, Christina. “Why Covid-19 is worse than the flu, in one chart.” Vox. 18 Mar 2020.
Tuite, Ashleigh R. PhD, MPH; Fisman, David N. MD, MPH. “Reporting, Epidemic Growth, and Reproduction Numbers for the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) Epidemic.” Annals of Internal Medecine. 21 Apr 2020.
Rahman, Bootan; Aziz, Imad A.; Khdhr, Fuad W.; Mahmood, Dler F.D. “Preliminary Estimation of the Basic Reproduction Number of SARS-CoV-2 in the Middle East.” Mathematics Unit, School of Science and Engineering, University of Kurdistan Hewlêr; Mathematics Department, College of Science, Salahaddin University-Erbil, Erbil, Kurdistan Region, Iraq; Biology Department, College of Science, University of Sulaimani, Kurdistan Region, Iraq. 1 May 2020.
Zhao, Shi; Lin, Qianyin; Musa, Salihu S.; Yang, Guangpu; Wang, Weiming; Lou, Yijun; Gao, Daozhou; Yang, Lin; He, Daihai, Wang, Maggie H. “Preliminary estimation of the basic reproduction number of novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) in China, from 2019 to 2020: A data-driven analysis in the early phase of the outbreak.” JC School of Public Health and Primary Care, Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China et al. 23 Jan 2020.
(71) Sanjuán, Rafael. “Mechanisms of viral mutation.” Public Health Emergency COVID-19 Initiative. 8 Jul 2016.
(72) Yeh, Ting-Yu ; Contreras, Gregory P. “Faster de novo mutation of SARS-CoV-2 in shipboard quarantine.” Department of Biology, Johns Hopkins University. 6 Apr 2020.
(73) Van Dorp, Lucy. “Emergence of genomic diversity and recurrent mutations in SARS-CoV-2.” Public Health Emergency COVID-19 Initiative. 5 May 2020.
(74) Tonkin-Hill, Gerry; et al. “Patterns of within-host genetic diversity in SARS-CoV-2.” Sanger Institute. 24 Dec 2020.
(75) Ibid.
(76) Sola, Isabel ; et al. “Continuous and Discontinuous RNA Synthesis in Coronaviruses.” Annual Review of Virology. 2015 Nov.
Iordanskiy, Sergey; et al. “Reverse transcription complex: the key player of the early phase of HIV replication.” Future Virology. Vol. 2, No. 1. 1 Jan 2007.
Cohen, Jon. “The coronavirus may sometimes slip its genetic material into human chromosomes—but what does that mean?” Science Magazine via The American Association for the Advancement of Science. 16 Dec 2020.

Shaffer, Catherine Ph.D; Khetrapal, Afsaneh, Bsc. “How HIV Evades the Immune System.” News Medical. 26 Feb 2019.
Gupta, Sonia; Jawanda, Manveen Kaur. “SARS-CoV2 Infection: Understanding the possible factors which are leading to difficulty in discovering suitable drug or vaccine to cure.” World Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences. Vol. 9, Issue 7. 9 Jun 2020.
Malik, Yasmin A. “Properties of Coronavirus and SARS-CoV-2.” Malaysian Journal of Pathology. Vol. 42, No. 1. Apr 2020.
(77) Malik, Yasmin A . . .
(78) Cohen, Jon . . .
(79) Gupta, Sonia; Jawanda, Manveen Kaur . . .
(80) M Bar, Yinon; et al. “OnSARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) by the numbers.” eLife Journal. 2 Apr 2020.
(81) Herman, Amy Orciari; et al. “SARS-CoV-2 Variants: Vaccine Neutralizes Virus with Key Mutation / FDA Warns of Theoretical Risk for False-Negatives.” New England Journal of Medicine. 10 Jan 2021.
(82) Staff. “COVID-19 (coronavirus): Long-term effects.” Mayo Clinic. Apr 2021.
(83) Cha, Ariana Eunjung . . .
(84) Ibid.
(85) Ayoubkhani, Daniel. “Prevalence of ongoing symptoms following coronavirus (COVID-19) infection in the UK: 1 April 2021.” Office for National Statistics. 1 April 2021.
Gurdasani, Deepti.“Data from the ONS on long COVID just out- this is one of the most comprehensive studies on long COVID across the globe- based on a survey across England.” ThreadReader. 1 Apr 2021.
Grover, Natalie. “Almost 30% of Covid patients in England readmitted to hospital after discharge – study.” Guardian. 18 Jan 2021.
(86) Staff. “COVID-19 (coronavirus): Long-term effects.” Mayo Clinic. Apr 2021.
(87) Taquet, Maxime; Geddes, John R. “6-month neurological and psychiatric outcomes in 236379 survivors of COVID-19: a retrospective cohort study using electronic health records.” Lancet Psychiatry. 6 Apr 2021.
(88) Cortinovis, Monica; Perico, Norberto; Remuzzi, Giuseppe.“Long-term follow-up of recovered patients with COVID-19.” Lancet. 8 Jan 2021.
(89) Staff. “More infectious COVID-19 variant now seen in nine states.” Medical Xpress. 12 Jan 2021.
Herman, Amy Orciari; et al . . .
Joseph,Andrew. “Covid-19 deaths are the highest they’ve ever been — and the more infectious variants could make things much worse.” STAT. 14 Jan 2021.
Staff. “WHO cites human behavior more than variants as virus spreads.” Medical Xpress. 15 Jan 2021.
Grover, Natalie . . .
Kupferschmidt, Kai. “Mutant coronavirus in the United Kingdom sets off alarms, but its importance remains unclear.” Science. 20 Dec 2021.

Gupta, Ravindra, BMBCh, MPH, MA, PhD. “Neutralising antibodies drive Spike mediated SARS-CoV-2 evasion.” MedRX. 19 Dec 2020.
Guzman, Joseph. “The COVID-19 pandemic may not necessarily be 'the big one,' WHO warns.” The Hill. 29 Dec 2020.
Stewart, Heather, et al. “New UK Covid variant may be 30% more deadly, says Boris Johnson.” Guardian. 23 Jan 2021.
McCoy, Terrence. “The Amazonian city that hatched the Brazil variant has been crushed by it.” Washington Post. 27 Jan 2021.
Staff. “Those Who Had COVID19 May Only Need One Dose of vaccine, study suggests.” New York Times. 1 Feb 2021.
Rosner, Helen. “The Indoor-Dining Debate Isn’t a Debate at All.” New Yorker. 5 Feb 2021.
Meldrum, Andrew. “South Africa suspends AstraZeneca vaccine drive.” Associated Press. 7 Feb 2021.
Zimmer, Carl. “Virus Variant First Found in Britain Now Spreading Rapidly in U.S.” New York Times. 7 Feb 2021.
Chen, Caroline. “Why Opening Restaurants Is Exactly What the Coronavirus Wants Us to Do.” ProPublica. 6 Feb 2021.
Staff. “UK virus variant spreading rapidly in Germany: minister.” Medical Xpress. 17 Feb 2021.
Higgins, Tucker . . .
Achenbach, Joel; et al. “New research shows California coronavirus variant is more transmissible.” Washington Post. 24 Feb 2021.
Cha, Ariana Eunjung . . .
Iati, Marisa; Fritz, Angela. “What you need to know about the coronavirus variants.” Washington Post. 22 Mar 2021.
(90) Iati, Marisa; Fritz, Angela . . .

(91) Kupferschmidt, Kai . . .
(92) Stewart, Heather, et al . . .
(93) Staff. “More infectious COVID-19 variant now seen in nine states.” Medical Xpress. 12 Jan 2021.
(94) Staff. “UK virus variant spreading rapidly . . .”
(95) Zimmer, Carl . . .
(96) Ibid.
(97) Grover, Natalie . . .
(98) Staff. “UK virus variant spreading rapidly . . .”
(99) Iati, Marisa; Fritz, Angela . . .
(100) Ibid.
(101) Chen, Caroline . . .
(
102) Ibid.
(103) Meldrum, Andrew . . .
(104) Achenbach, Joel; et al . . .
(105) Ibid.
(106) Staff. “COLAPSO: Brasil Enfrente Sua Maior Crise Sanitaria.” O Estado de S. Paulo. 18 Mar 2021.
(107) McCoy, Terrence . . .
(108) Ibid.
(109) Joseph, Andrew . . .
(110) Kupferschmidt, Kai . . .
“. . . But scientists have never seen the virus acquire more than a dozen mutations seemingly at once. They think it happened during a long infection of a single patient that allowed SARS-CoV-2 to go through an extended period of fast evolution, with multiple variants competing for advantage.”
Gupta, Ravindra, BMBCh, MPH, MA, PhD . . .
“Given both vaccines and therapeutics are designed around Wuhan-1 Spike, this raises the theoretical possibility of virus escape, particularly in immunocompromised individuals where prolonged viral replication occurs.”
Cha, Ariana Eunjung . . .
“But the real surprise came when doctors measured the infant’s viral load. It was 51,418 times the median of other pediatric patients. And when they sequenced the virus in the baby recently, they found a variant they hadn’t seen before.”
(111) Linas, Benjamin. “I’m an epidemiologist and a father. Here’s why I’m losing patience with our teachers’ unions.” Vox. 15 Feb 2021.
(112) Staff. “Benjamin P Linas, MD: Assistant Professor of Medicine, Boston University, School of Medicine, Boston MA ; GENDER: Male” Boston Medical Center Directory. 27 March 2021.
(113) Thompson, Derek. “The Truth About Kids, School and COVID-19.” Atlantic. 28 Jan 2021.
(114) Thompson, Derek. “A World Without Work.” Atlantic. July/August 2015.
(115) Hess, Frederick M . . .
(116) Staff. “The Dispatch, About Page” The Dispatch. No date.
(117) “The science is now pretty clear,” Hess writes, “that the risks of reopening are modest.”
(118) The New Yorker owns Intelligencer.
Chait, Jonathan. “Unlearning an Answer Charter schools deliver extraordinary results, but their political support among Democrats has collapsed. What will Biden do?” Intelligencer. 5 Jan 2021.
Chait, Jonathan. “Remote Students are ‘Just Having Different Learning Experiences.” Intelligencer. 4 Feb 2021.
Chait, Jonathan. “Zero COVID Risk is The Wrong Standard.” Intelligencer. 3 Mar 2021.
Chait, Jonathan. “Just Reopen the Schools Now.” Intelligencer. 16 Mar 2021.
Chait, Jonathan. “Biden’s First Big Break With His Allies is Over School Reopenings.” Intelligencer. 29 Mar 2021.
(119) Russo, Alexander. “Why NY Mag’s Jonathan Chait Should Disclose Wife’s Role In Education Columns.” Washington Monthly. 17 Mar 2016.
(120) Golodryga, Bianna. Edwards, Meridith. “How Miami-Dade opened all its public schools -- and kept them open.” CNN. 11 Jan 2021.
(121) Caputo, Marc. “Miami-Dade Schools chief Alberto Carvalho explores run for Ros-Lehtinen's seat.” Politico. 5 Mar 2017.
(122) Toobin, Jeffery.“The Dirty Trickster.” New Yorker. 23 May 2008.
(123) Editorial Board. “Reopen Schools, and Reform . . .”
(124) Bai, Matt. “Opinion: Teachers are vital public servants. Time for them to start acting like it.” Washington Post. 25 Jan 2021.
(125) Ahmad, Farida B. MPH; Anderson, Robert N. PhD. “The Leading Causes of Death in the US for 2020.” American Medical Association. 2021.
(126) Bai, Matt. “Opinion: Teachers are vital . . .”
(127) Bai, Matt. The Argument: Inside the Battle to Remake Democratic Politics. Penguin: New York. 2008.
(128) Staff. “The day of the netroots.” Economist. 11th Oct 2007.
(129) Staff. “Can too many brainy people be a dangerous thing?” Economist. 24 Oct 2020.
(130) Fang, Lee. “Howard Dean Pushes Biden to Oppose Generic COVID19 Vaccines for Developing Countries.” Intercept. 8 Apr 2021.
(131) Blake, Aaron. "Here are the latest, most damaging things in the DNC's leaked emails.” The Washington Post. 24 Jul, 2016.
(132) The histories of the words, “progressive” and “conservative” are fraught with strife, and their meanings depend on context. I use the word, “progressive” as I believe it was originally intended and used by the United Society of Believers.
(133) Oster, Emily. “Schools Aren’t Super-Spreaders.” Atlantic. 9 Oct 2020.
(134) Wan, Yang, Phd; et al. “Estimating the infection-fatality risk of SARS-CoV-2 in New York City during the spring 2020 pandemic wave: a model-based analysis.” Infectious Diseases by Lancet. Vol. 21, Issue 2. 1 Feb 2021.
(135) Oster, Emily. “Your Unvaccinated Kid . . .”
(136) mRNA vaccines are experimental technologies that provoke an antigen response by exposing our cells to RNA strands synthesized in a laboratory. The Johnson and Johnson vaccine is a COVID virus chopped up and stuffed into the shell of a cold virus that’s jettisoned into the body to provoke an antigen response.
(137) Izadi, Elahe; Farhi, Paul. “Not a single reporter at Biden’s first presidential news conference asked about the pandemic.” Washington Post. 25 Mar 2021.
(138) Balfour, Hanna. “Novel HIV vaccine approach shows promise in ‘landmark’ first-in-human trial.” European Pharmaceutical Review. 5 Feb 2021.
(139) Staff. “Those Who Had COVID19 May Only Need One Dose of vaccine, study suggests.” New York Times. 1 Feb 2021.
(140) Herper, Matthew. “Is more simply better? Why Pfizer thinks a booster of its Covid vaccine might work against new variants.” STAT. 25 Feb 2021.
(141) Staff. “Pfizer Testing Third Dose as Booster Shot, CEO Says.” Tampa Spectrum News 9. 25 Feb 2021.
(142) Ibid.
(143) Herper, Matthew . . .
(144) Edwards, Erika. “A third Pfizer dose? The Covid-19 vaccine maker is studying booster shots.” NBC. 25 Feb 2021.
(145) Staff. “As Trump Claims ‘Fantastic Job’ on COVID, Reporter Laurie Garrett Warns Pandemic May Last 36+ Months.” Democracy Now. 6 May 2020.
(146) Herper, Matthew . . .
(147) Staff. “As Trump Claims ‘Fantastic Job’ on . .”
(148) Chen, Caroline . . .
(149) Guzman, Joseph . . .
(150) Ibid.
(151) Chen, Caroline . . .
(152) Ibid.
(153) “Profit” is a euphemism for control, domination.
(154) Staff. “Several US states are easing Covid-19 restrictions: is it too early to declare victory?” Global Data Healthcare. 24 Mar 2021.
Monies, Paul. “Gov. Kevin Stitt to Lift Oklahoma COVID-19 Restrictions.” Oklahoma Watch. 12 Mar 2021.
Staff. “N.C. businesses, bars, sporting events face fewer COVID-19 restrictions under new executive order” WTB Channel 3 North Carolina. 26 Feb 2021.
Lamont, Ned, Governor.“Governor Lamont Announces Plans To Ease Some COVID-19 Restrictions in Connecticut.” Office of Governor Ned Lamont, State of Connecticut. 4 Mar 2021.
Gov. Tom Wolf to ease COVID-19 restrictions for restaurants and other businesses, increase gathering limits.” WGAL News Channel 8 Lancaster. 17 Mar 2021.
Koenig, David. “Tourism groups push U.S. government to eliminate COVID travel restrictions.” Associated Press. 23 Mar 2021.
Allen, Greg. “Florida Officials Say They'd Fight Any Potential Domestic Travel Restrictions.” NPR. 11 Feb 2021.
Staff. “France eases COVID-19 restrictions on international travel.” Reuters. 11 Mar 2021.
Aldridge, Donesha. “Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp signs order rolling back many COVID-19 restrictions.” 11 Alive Atlanta. 31 Mar 2021.
Monteverde, Danny. “Gov. Edwards loosens COVID restrictions; New Orleans will review changes.” 4WWL Eyewitness News New Orleans. 2 Mar 2021.
Robertson, Campbell. “Maryland lifts many Covid restrictions, to cheers, criticism and confusion..” New York Times. 10 Mar 2021.
Merchant, Zach. “Virginia loosens some COVID-19 restrictions.” 13 News Now Norfolk. 28 Feb 2021.
Villagomez, Jessica. “Chicago moves to phase 4 of COVID-19 regulations, indoor dining restrictions remain.” Chicago Tribune. 31 Jan 2021.
(155) Hanna, John. “Kansas mulls paying businesses hit by COVID-19 restrictions.” Associated Press. 29 Mar 2021.
(156) Rosner, Helen . . .
(157) Nuwer, Rachel. “Mass Extinctions Are Accelerating, Scientists Report.” New York Times. 1 Jun 2020.
(158) Ibid.
(159) Harvey, Fiona. “Jane Goodall: humanity is finished if it fails to adapt after Covid-19.” Guardian. 3 Jun 2020.
(160) Ibid.
(161) Ibid.
(162) Nuwer, Rachel . . .
(163) Corbett, Jessica. “Jane Goodall Warns Humanity Will Be 'Finished' After Covid-19 Without Ending 'Absolute Disrespect for Animals and the Environment.” Common Dreams. 3 Jun 2020.
(164) Nuwer, Rachel . . .
(165) Staff. “Amnesty: Over 7,000 Health Workers Have Died During Pandemic, 1,300 in Mexico.” Democracy Now. 14 Jul 2020.
(166) Corbett, Jessica. “'Beyond Outrageous,' Says Sanders, That Trump Officials Ignored Labor Safety Complaints as Health Workers Died From Covid-19.” Common Dreams. 30 Jun 2020.
(167) Staff. “Amnesty: Over 7,000 Health Workers Have Died . . .”
(168) Corley, Cheryl. “Chicago Tackles COVID-19 Disparities In Hard Hit Black And Latino Neighborhoods.” WBEZ. 9 Jun 2020.
(169) Staff. “As Trump Claims ‘Fantastic Job’ on . . . “
(170) Bruni, Frank. “She Predicted the Coronavirus. What Does She Foresee Next?” New York Times. 2 May 2020.
(171) Ibid.
(172) Guzman, Joseph . . .
(173) Duncan, David Ewing. “‘Prepare, Prepare, Prepare’: Why Didn’t the World Listen to the Coronavirus Cassandras?” Vanity Fair. 27 Mar 2020.

(174) Ibid.
(175) Ibid.
(176) Staff. “As Trump Claims ‘Fantastic Job’ on . . .”
(177) Chen, Caroline . . .
(178) Ibid.
(179) Cha, Ariana Eunjung . . .
(180) Velavan, Thirumalaisamy P; et al.
Achenbach, Joel; et al . . .
(181) Cha, Ariana Eunjung . . .
(182) Staff. “COVID-19 Cases By Potential Exposure Location.” Illinois Department of Public Health. 9 Apr 2021.
(183) Bragman, Walker . . .
(184) Tonkin-Hill, Gerry; et al . . .
Allen, Jonathan . . .

(185) Judge, Keith M. “Trump Pandemic.” Optimist Press. Aug 2020.