I’m Unnerved By This Bird Flu Thing

by Shelt Garner

I’m of an age where I have the wisdom to know if there was another pandemic that there are no assurances I would make it out alive. As such, I am low-key unnerved by the growing reports of Bird Flu being found on farms across the country.

For the time being, I think this is a nothingburger. But just the idea of another pandemic — during an election year again! — is enough to give one pause for thought.

The key thing is the politics of it all. Things would have to get really, really, REALLY bad before we would do the the most basic of mitigation efforts. The politics just aren’t there for us to do anything like we did with Covid. A shocking number of people would have to start dying on a daily basis before we could come to some consensus as to what to do.

The whole thing would be a massive clusterfuck because too many conservatives are STILL angry about what happened with Covid and they would balk at first if it seemed we were about to have another pandemic. It would only be after a severe number of people were dead that they might come around.

Anyway. For the time being, I don’t think we have anything to worry about.

I Haven’t Felt This Uneasy Since The Very Beginning Of The COVID19 Pandemic

by Shelt Garner

I can remember the dread I felt in really early 2020 about how bad things might get with COVID19. I really, really overestimated how bad things would get, but I was spot-on that everything was about to change for a few months.

And, now, we have a potential insurrection 2.0 / civil war on our hands.

For the time being, I think this situation is just going to simmer. The late night talk show hosts haven’t weighed in, so that’s a good sign that my fears about an escalation happening because of a combination of political pressure, misjudgment and momentum haven’t been realized yet.

I think we’re probably more likely to just have a lot of smoke but no fire. I would be stunned if my absolute worst fear — a secession crisis — happened before Election Day. I have political faith in Biden. I think he’s wise enough to hold off on escalation for the time being — until the political pressure just gets too strong and he has to do something, anything to prove he’s listening.

It definitely will be interesting to see what happens next, though, I have to say. We live in strange, surreal times.

An Astonishing Number Of People Will Have To Die Each Day During The Next Pandemic For Us To Have The Political Will To Do Anything About It

by Shelt Garner

I can tell you from what the conservatives in my family — whom I love dearly — have told me that a massive number of people will have to start dying each day for any sort of political response to a new pandemic to happen. It could be as high as 10,000 people a day before we can get our act together.

I don’t know, it might even be more — 20,000? 30,000? 50,000?

There is now a strict orthodoxy within traditional conservative ranks that under no circumstances can there ever be any sort of lockdown or restricts imposed because of a health emergency.

So, things will have to grow rather apocalyptic before there is any collective action when we have the next pandemic. I have this on my mind at the moment because I’m growing nervous that this fall and winter might be really bad in regards to COVID.

At the moment, it definitely seems as though, lulz, we’re just going to let people die needlessly, no matter how bad things get this COVID season. Ugh. Everything is so dumb.

‘Do Not Comply’

by Shelt Garner

One of my conservative relatives — who I love dearly — continues to be enraged by the COVID restrictions of several years ago. They talk about how much they think they were “lied to” by the elites, yadda, yadda, yadda, blah, blah, blah.

Whenever this relative mentions grievance –which is often — I note to him that that is not how Republicans will win the 2024 election. Unless there is a significant uptick in COVID cases that leads to an attempt to bring by COVID restrictions, people in 2024 are going to want 2024 solutions, rather than someone who looks back at what happened in 2020.

Apparently, there is some belief within Righwing Twitter that those restrictions are coming back this fall. I find this fear delusional for a number of reasons, the chief of which is there just is no political will to do such a thing. Thousands of people could be dying a day from COVID this fall and winter and, lulz, there will be absolutely no political will to do anything about it.

It does make you wonder what will happen if some sort of pandemic happens in the future that is far, far worse than what we experienced with COVID. There is a real risk that if some sort of Big One happens that it could be that not until 10,000 people are dying a day will we manage to have any sort of political will to lock the country down.

I’m Growing A Little Uneasy

by Shelt Garner

I have a very conservative, very partisan Traditionalist relative who is still enraged over what happened with COVID policy. He has totally bought into simplistic Right Wing podcast talking points to an absurd level. The more I think about it, the more I realize it’s not COVID that he’s angry about.

His rage comes from being a white Christian male who, on a macro level, is flabbergasted at the rise of women’s economic power as well as some of the more exotic policy demands of the “woke cancel culture mob.” Things are moving too fast for him on a social level and because we have non-functioning politics he stews in his juices.

He’s a well meaning person who is not being served by the conservative agenda. If Republicans would do what parties in their situation typically do, he would be fed new, more popular talking points on Right Wing podcasts instead of believing that the United States is a “constitutional republic” not a democracy and fuck you, lib.

But the point is — I’m growing alarmed at how easy it would be for people to being to believe all these people dying a relatively young age has something to do with the COVID vaccine. All it would take is one study that somehow, someway “proved” that and…oh boy. People like my relative who grab a pitchfork and charge the Capitol.

I think some of my concern comes from the innate need to make connections, to see patterns. So, hopefully, we won’t have to have The Debate about how “right” the fucking Right wing nutjobs were about the safety of vaccines. I mean, millions of people have taken the COVID vaccines and nothing has happened to them. They’re safer, in real terms, than The Pill.

But because of hyper partisanship and negative partisanship, even a hint that some of these younger middle age people dying are dying because of the COVID vaccine will be enough to potentially cause violence.

I Haven’t Forgotten Your ‘Spooky’ Resignation Right Before The Pandemic, Bob Iger

by Shelt Garner

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Invision/AP/REX/Shutterstock (9241938da) The Walt Disney Company CEO Robert Iger attends a special screening of Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast” at Alice Tully Hall, in New York NY Special Screening of “Beauty and the Beast”, New York, USA – 13 Mar 2017

This is total idle speculation, but I still find it very “spooky” that Bob Iger quit Disney….right before the COVID19 pandemic struck the West. You could not have timed it better.

It almost makes you think that he knew how bad things were going get. As if, maybe…FIVE EYES in SPOOKY places might have given him a tip? I know it sounds crazy…but why would he quit out of the blue like that at the top of his game….then come slinking back to Disney now just as the pandemic is wrapping up?

Very, very curious.

Very, very SPOOKY, if you will.

No One Has Done A Good Pandemic Scifi Novel Yet

by Shelt Garner

The long-feared deluge of pandemic inspired fiction has yet to come about. There have been a few pandemic themed novels written before the COVID19 pandemic that have gained traction, but nothing written during or after. Though, I guess, “Our Country Friends” is one — but that’s not scifi.


I have two pretty good pandemic related concepts that I keep toying with. One would be more just the part of a broader story while the other would be a full blown novel. And, really, the only reason why I have done anything with either one of these idea is 1) I’m busy working on something else 2) I have a universe but thinking up a plot is a huge amount of work.

But the concepts are really unique and interesting and it’s too bad I probably won’t ever get around to them.

WW3: Thinking The Unthinkable Of A Limited Nuclear Exchange

by Shelt Garner

I’m going to assume that if WW3 actually does break out that humanity, rather than completely destroy itself, might do a “Little Death” of a limited nuclear exchange. Even that would be one of the more bleak scenarios in such a situation, but it’s something to work with.

The most obvious scenario of a limited nuclear exchange happening is something like this — an Axis is formed between Russia and China at some point in the future. Then the DPRK and Iran join in and we’re going to the show. It’s the DPRK who has the means, motive and opportunity to strike the USA in such a context that would cause us to suffer the effects of H-Bombs being detonated over few major American cities.

If such a horrific thing happened, then that would definitely mark the end of the “Woke Agenda,” let me tell you. When you have no lights, no Internet and a food supply that’s running low, the least of your concerns would the pronouns you use.

Just the idea that a “city killer” would be use on a few major American cities by the DPRK is enough to make you gulp. Where things get tricky is how the US would respond to such a tragedy. Our kneejerk reaction would be to drop H-bombs on all of the DPRK, but, really, they just have their capital and even that is really close to the Chinese border. So, I assume the US would drop a H-bomb on Pyongyang and use tactical nukes on the rest of that country’s major targets.

But I think we can not really process how life in the United States would change on a practical basis if, say, NYC, LA and Washington D.C. were vaporized by DPRK H-bombs. Everything would change. Nothing would ever be the same. And, on a geopolitical basis, Canada sure would start to look enticing to America as a way to get a second chance.

Anyway, I hope we never have to thinking about any of this in the real world. I just like running scenarios.

What’s The Matter With Canada?

by Shelt Garner

I honestly don’t know what’s going on with Canada at the moment, other than what I see passively — and occasionally — on Twitter. I’ve decided to bone up on this issue, however, because things are turning dark rather quickly. My fear is that the truckers who are now apparently camped out around the Canadian Capitol in the middle of winter will radicalize and stage a January 6-like attempted coup.

Given what I know about Canadian politics — that things can change there rather abruptly because of the small population size — my concern is that things might get out of hand a lot sooner than anyone might predict. The next thing you know, some sort of Right wing dictatorship, long predicted for the United States, will happen in Canada (of all places) first.

If something like that did happen, it would only destabilize the United States even more. And, let me be clear, if you’re reading this and getting off on the idea that the United States — or Canada for that matter — might have a Right wing dictatorship soon: please fuck off you piece of shit.

Anyway, the point is — the entire anglophone world is in crisis at the moment for various reasons. New Zealand is the only one that seems to be acting normal at the moment. All the others are veering from crisis to crisis of their own making.

Americans, Worry About Canada

by Shelt Garner

Let me begin by saying I’m not an expert on Canadian culture and or politics and this is just a gauzy reflection on what little I know about the place. But the key issue is — the current “Make Canada Great Again” anti-vaccine mandate trucker camp out in Ottawa is dangerous.

I say this because the entire anglophone world is in crisis. And, even more importantly, Canada has such a small population that the whole “5%” of the population rule to make a revolution is even more timely.

So, it’s at least possible to imagine a situation where the truckers spark something that is marketed as a “Right wing revolution” in Canada. This, in turn, would embolden the fucking insane Right wing nutjobs in the United States.

Or, put another way — keep an eye on Canada. It might grow a lot more unstable in the near future than any of us in North America — and beyond — may like.