#COVID19 Threat Assessment For March 18th, 2020: I’ll Give You Something To Cry About

Shelton Bumgarner

by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner


Here are some threats on the top of my mind right now:

Continuation of Government
Now that members of Congress are beginning to get back COVID19 positives on their tests, it seems at least possible that it’s going to whip through the halls of power at a rather alarming rate at some point between now an April 1st. We could see many Senators and a few Constitutional Officers be unable to fulfill their duties (for various reasons.)

This is ominous because a lot of different things could go wrong all at the same time to such an extent that we will reach 9/11 levels of fear and terror across the country. Throw in everything from Trump going full-Caligula to some obscure Trump MAGA hack being able to appoint nearly the entire SCOTUS to Nancy Pelosi having to save the Union and we could be in for a wild fucking ride.

Or not.

It could be things work out fine and I’ll be (thankfully) wrong.

Race and Political Violence
We’re about two weeks and one Trump tweet away from Asians and liberals being hunted down and murdered in cold blood by MAGA. If Trump finally feels he might have some actual political accountable on an existential level, he’s likely to lash out and “joke” to his fucktard cocksucker base to “remind Asians and liberals of the power of the 2nd Amendment.” MAGA goes on a rampage and The Little Terror happens across the nation in a rather End of Days type of way. We come out the other side ashamed of ourselves as a nation and we endup apologizing for it all in a few decades.

House Trump: Caligula
This is one of those things that is a serious wildcard. I have no idea if Trump is going to explode or implode if it occurs to him that his handling of this clusterfuck really is his Chernobyl. He’s barely functioning as it is, and if we’re lucky, he becoming a mental puddle and we don’t see him that much. Or he explodes and whips his cock out every chance he gets. Or tweets out racist diatribes to any notable minority leader he doesn’t like. I have no idea how likely any of that is, but it’s something to think about.

Emperor Trump
Trump may eventually turn himself into an Emperor in a rather dramatic fashion. He’ll really lean into the “war president’ thing and simply ignore the Constitution even more than he already does. And, really, the only thing that would save us at that point is he’s very dumb. And he’s a self-own artist. So he might finally make the average American realize what a moronic tyrant he is and THAT would be the cause of his final undoing. But I find the idea that Trump will ever have any political unaccountably rather dubious at this point.

A New World Order
The one place I could see maybe pushing us into a totally new world order is the DPRK. It’s such a black box that if it freaks out because most of the population is sick or dying, then, well, yikes. And Trump could very well bungle the whole thing. AND, China might decide to accomplish some of its long-term geopolitical goals at the same time for no other reason than everyone else is too sick to do anything about it. There are just a lot of surreal twists and turns that might occur on a global scale if this preventable clusterfuck lasts for 18 months.

The Gray Plague
If this happens, and about a million elderly people die over the next 18 months, then, well, yikes. I’m really concerned about this as a possible future. And, yet, there’s probably a lot going on that I don’t know about. Maybe this prediction is just too dark for it to become a reality. I mean, could we really handle a few months of 10,000 old people dying every day? If we realized there was nothing we could do, but just let it play out? And remember, we’ve put a whole lot of our future on the shoulders of elderly people. It wouldn’t take too many powerful — and old — people being felled by The Gray Plague for history to change in a rather startling fashion.

The WuFlop
I only call it the WuFlop because I don’t know the scientific term. But it wouldn’t take a lot of people being recorded passing out with the WuFlop for that to spook people on a rather existential fashion.

But maybe Trump’s announcement tomorrow is a cure and we can all go back to waiting for the ICE camps to be weaponized. Good times!

What I Got Wrong #COVID19

Shelton Bumgarner

by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner


Well, we’ve reached March 15, so let’s look over in general terms my predictions about COVID19.

I got a whole lot wrong. A whole lot. But in general I did, at least, make some relevant observations. Two things haven’t happened (yet): the Gray Plague and Wuflop. Neither one has happened in the United States and maybe never will.

It’s possible that while we have a short, severe two weeks of social distancing, in the end, Devin Nunes will crow he was right. Trump will simply use all of this to consolidate power, win re-election through any means necessary and get impeached again in his second term. But by that point Don Jr. will be his veep and House Trump will be firmly established. We’ll have Trumps for about 30 years until the browning of America reaches a tipping point and AOC topples House Trump through a popular uprising.

Or something.

I did get right, in broad terms, the idea that America might buckle by the March 15. But it didn’t happen the way I thought. It’s not that everyone has gotten sick, it’s a psycho-social situation. The powers that be have decided to take “flatting the curve” seriously and, as such, the country is shutting down as a preventive measure. In real terms, the death toll, for the moment, is relatively low.

And, really, I don’t see an endgame where House Trump isn’t stronger. Either this kind of fizzles out in April and they use it to discredit everyone who freaked out, or we have something akin to the apocalypse and House Trump uses THAT to consolidate power. There’s just no stopping our inevitable slide in to the Fourth Reich. The Thousand Year Trump is going to happen one way or another.

For it NOT to happen, things would have to grow eyepoppingly surreal and dark in just the right way so House Trump was blamed for a shit ton of preventable deaths. And, I, for one, am not thrilled at the idea of 1 million people dying over the next 18 months, regardless of what Crown Prince Don Jr. may think.

Anyway, the point is — I can’t predict the future. I got the general outlines of what is happening now, but the death toll isn’t rising as quickly as I predicted. That may be an issue of it just takes time for exponential growth to pop up in the real world given how big the United States is on a geographic level.

Or something. Why are you even reading this. Go read something from someone with credibility. Wink

#COVID19 Threat Assessment For March 12th, 2020: This Seems Sub-Optimal

Shelton Bumgarner

by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner


While the country is beginning to buckle, for the time being, it seems to be purely a psychological event brought about by criminally poor leadership on the part of House Trump. What’s happening is we’re in something of a panic because people realize we can’t test enough and so we just don’t know the extent of contagion’s spread in the country.

We’re finally doing what we need to mitigate the situation as much as possible, but it’s more a matter of a collapse in public confidence as opposed to a controlled shut down in “an abundance of auction.” As of right now, there’s a good chance that we’ll escape the fate of Iran or even Italy. In ten days, we’ll realize we’re safe and Trump will crow that he “meant to do that” and he was right along and fuck you liberals.

But I have no idea if that’s going to happen. It seems self-evident that we’re a crisis. If we begin to see medical situations that indicate that some of my worst fears are coming true, then that’s a different matter all together. As of the moment, this very well could just be “The Small One.” But a combination of Trump screwing everything up, the Gray Plague and the “WuFlop” might take this otherwise manageable situation to the next level so we have THE BIG ONE on our hands.

I’m feeling rather calm right now and even I have to admit the prospect of an uncontrolled Gray Plague makes me rather nervous. If a huge number of elderly people begin to die on a daily basis, it would be a horrific tragedy of such a historical level it might take us a while to process it all. But it might not even be that. It might be that just the right people in power get sick, causing a sea change in our politics for no other reason than history has decided to wake up rather abruptly. Or, put another way, if we endup somewhere in the Italy – Iran spectrum of the contagion being spread here we all may have made some rather surreal days ahead of us.

The entire power structure of the United States may come to a grinding halt. Now, I will note, some young insane conservatives have “self-quarantined” because of their potential COVID19 expose at CPAC. So, it’s reasonable to assume that if the absolute worst happens on Capitol Hill, they would be the most able to swoop in and take political advantage of this situation. Now, I’m sure there are some of you who salivate at the idea of Ted Cruz suddenly going from Zero to Hero and, like, rebuilding America in the imagine of CPAC. If you are one of those people — please eat shit, you fascist fuck.

I say this for a number of reasons, one of them being Death Be Not Proud. It could be not Ted Cruz but, say, Nancy Pelosi who gets to play hero. And if that’s the case, all you shithead conservatives will do is bitch and moan about how everything was going your way until the media’s coverage of the contagion made people panic.

Anyway, we haven’t even gotten to the WuFlop part of all of this. If that starts to happen around the country, then what is, for the moment, a matter of criminally bad leadership on the part of House Trump will escalate to something far, far, bigger and darker in our nation’s history. If you’re not prepared to see the WuFlop you’re in for a surprise. When an otherwise healthy person passes out and starts to convulse on the ground, it’s rather spooky on a visceral level.

I have no idea what’s going to happen. It could still go either way. If it gets as bad here as it’s gotten in Iran, then, well, it may be such a massive tragedy that neither side will be all that happen with whatever policy advantage they gain from it.

And tomorrow is Friday the 13th.

The Gray Plague: A Historic, Preventable Tragedy #COVID19

Shelton Bumgarner

by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner


I can’t predict the future. I don’t have reveled truth. But some pretty basic datapoints indicate that if we don’t realize soon how many elderly Americans in rest homes are at risk of dying in the United States (about 1.4 million), then, well, we’re going to have unprecedented national grief. I wrote the below some time ago in something of a panic:

The elderly 65+ are most at risk of succumbing to COVID19.
People in close proximity to each other (like a cruise ship or…a rest home) can be all infected quite quickly. (A mental institution in South Korea saw something like 90% infection rate).
We’re totally luzling this in the United States.
About 47 million Americans are 65+
.

We already have a case of ONE rest home in Washington State being, essentially, a strategic super-spreader of COVID19.

So, logically, if we’re not taking this seriously and “jungle rules” are applying right now to the spread of COVID19, then, well, it’s looking pretty grim.

The thing I didn’t realize is one reason why The Gray Plague may be far, far more deadly than I initally realized is where the most at-risk elderly people in any one community are: all together in one spot.

A rest home.

And since I first wrote the above a few days ago, I’ve begun to hear rumblings about similar outbreaks popping up in other rest homes across the country. It seems as though if we don’t take this threat far more seriously that two things may happen.

One, a staggering number of elderly people may die early, preventable deaths. Like, close to a million in a very, very short amount of time.

Meanwhile, it’s possible that each of the 15,600 rest homes across the country that become COVID19 hotzones might serve as something of virus “signal amplifiers” across the country as people visit them and then go home and spread the virus in communities all over the country that might not otherwise be infected.

It does seem as though some effort is being put into saving these high-risk elderly people. But my concern is it’s too little, too late. My concern is we’re going to have to process a staggering number of elderly people dying over the next, say, 100 days.

But, who knows. I know I don’t.

Maybe I’m wrong. But I’m just a doofus in the middle of no where, right, Maggie Haberman? Go talk to her about this. She’s soul her sold for access to Dr. Trump, I’m sure she knows more about it than I do.

Possible Dangers Ahead #COVID19

by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner


I can tell from the Webstats of this site that absolutely no one cares about anything I have to say on this matter, but I’m going to humor myself and layout the possible dangers ahead of us.

The key thing is — we’re probably in for about 60 days of exponential growth in COVID19 cases, then they will subside rather abruptly. That seems to be what has happened in China, Singapore and South Korea. It may linger and come back in the fall, but for the time being, this initial outbreak is on path to do something along the lines of what Trump rambled about. It may “magically” vanish sometime in May. Trump will use this as proof that he is, in fact, the Son of God and why even have an election?

Having said all that, let’s go through some of the risks of the next 60 days.

The Gray Plague (Rest Homes)
This will be a key element of how severe this particular outbreak of COVID19 is going to be. If it gets into the rest home system, what would otherwise be a painful, brief situation might turn into a real-life horror movie. There are 15,600 rest homes with 1.4 million residents. If what happened in Kirkland County is any indication of what is possible, then things might get really astonishly bad on that front at some point in the next 60 days.

The Gray Plague (Political)
This is probably the volatile danger we face. A lot of the levers of power in the United States are control by the statically elderly. If a large portion of the Federal government was culled by COVID19 in a very short amount of it in the next 60 days, it might throw us all for a loop in a rather historic fashion. Some pretty basic assumptions we are making about America’s political future over the next 18 months may be thrown into doubt. I’m not advocating, I’m just explicating. This is simply an unknown wildcard that could scramble things in some rather dramatic, unexpected and surreal ways. Or not. Who knows. I can’t predict the future. It’s just something to be aware of.

Violence (Racial)
We live in the dumbest timeline. When you have a deranged racist asshole as president, it’s not too difficult to assume that his moron MAGA followers may attack Asians for being “responsible” for COVID19 if things grow dire at some point over the coming 60 day crisis. It will be a national shame that will linger for decades and spawn a lot of hand wringing and political discourse. About 40 years from now, Congress will have to apologize at gun-point when AOC’s junta demands it after it overthrows President Barron Trump.

Violence (Political Mob)
The American political system is about as taunt as it could be. When Republicans gleefully — and conspicuously — embrace election help from Russian, then, well, lulz? If things get really bad, if only briefly, there could be some pretty surreal — and unprecedented — violence. I could see it go something like this — Trump goes bonkers and goes transactional on Twitter. His followers begin to attack celebrities and members of the press. I could see a mob of them rushing, say 30 Rock, and gutting it. Of course, the 60% of the electorate that is growing to hate House Trump would likely respond in kind and the offices of FOX News might meet a similar fate. Or something. There could be a brief, surreal “Terror” as the two sides piss each other off. It might even be The Little Terror, in the sense that while not that many people die, it’ll shock us that it happened at all.

Violence: (Governmental)
My home state of Virginia is a pretty much the sweet spot for some sort of brief, insane, attempt to overthrow the state government by moron Confederate gun nut cosplayers. I don’t know how exactly it would happen, but if there was, say a week or so when bonkers Trump was ranting about how much the Deep State was out to get him, I could see some sort of spontaneous attempt to overthrow the Virginia state government in Richmond. It would probably have a very John Brown at Harper’s Ferry vibe to it. But that’s really taking the what is possible and taking it to its logical extreme.

Economic
The fundamentals of the economy are fine. We’ll bounce back, probably pretty quick. But there’s a good chance that the economy will lock up and crash for the duration of the most severe part of the crisis. This would probably scare the shit out of the average person, especially since we have no leadership and what national leadership we have is racist and demagogic. I would go so far as to say that all is happening is a recession that may have already been brewing in the economy may happen a few months earlier than it might have otherwise have done. After the initial shock, the average might not even notice.

Wildcard: The WuFlop
If there are any major recorded instances of the WuFlop (or whatever you want to call it, I’m being racist, I just don’t know the scientific term yet), that might set off a major panic. If you see someone simply pass out out of the blue, that’s bad. But for them to go to next step and start to convulse uncontrollably, that’s even worse. That will be something of an eye raising event.

But, really, the issue is, while there are some major wildcards floating around, at this point, everything we assume will happen in the coming months will happen. Trump will lose the popular vote and win the Electoral College. He will consolidate power. He will weatherize the ICE Camps. There will be American Enabling Acts via a Constitutional Convention. The Thousand Year Trump will be established.

‘The Hundred Days’ #COVID19

USA! USA! USA!
Shelton Bumgarner

by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

I’ve radically reassessed the COVID19 threat. It seems as though with the proper community spread containment measures, it’s actually something that can be managed and ultimately defeated rather quickly in say, no more than maybe 100 days.

It’s already happened in China, Singapore and South Korea.

So, really, it’s possible that at its worse it could be a short (100 days) but severe event. It will be severe enough to really throw Americans for a loop, but short enough that the 2020 presidential campaign can resume without that much of a problem.

Or, put another way, if Trump wasn’t a massive self-own artist, he really would be able to crow about how his magical thinking wrapped everything up by maybe lat April at the earliest. It would be, however, very on-brand for Trump to — at the height of this short, severe, crisis — to finally snap mentally and scare the shit out of all of us.

This raises the question: how many dead?

No where near 1 million. I say that because it just won’t last long enough. At the absolute worst, maybe 100,000? But that would be mostly older people in rest homes who were sitting ducks. Otherwise, I think while it will be painful and cause a lot of economic suffering for the duration of its existance, but we could be in for the economy to gradually pick up just in time for Trump to win re-election and, at last, establish his personal dream of a Fourth Reich. (If you think this is a good thing, please eat shit, you fucking fascist.)

Anyway, so, in the end, both sides will be able to go back to their respective echo chambers and point fingers. The next 100 days in America may be historic, scary and dark, but not The Big One. It may be The Little One that is only thought of as The Big One in America because we don’t have anything to compare it to. The historical analogy would be the World Trade Center bombing before 9/11. We thought it was horrible, but in reality, something far worse was going to happen down the road.

The Fortnight That Shook The World #COVID19

Shelton Bumgarner

by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

“These are the times that try men’s souls,” as Thomas Paine said.

You could not write a more surreal, disturbing scenario as is about to begin. In large part, what we’re facing is a problem of perception. For the time being, we’re going to be in free fall until the psychological “re-calibration” that needs to take place is wrapped up. I am beginning to believe, however, that this is going to be a really bumpy two weeks on a global scale.

Things will stabilize after that, however. While there are a lot unknowns going forward, it’s possible that COVID19 really will begin to subside dramatically in April. Trump will crow that he was right all along and because of the personal fidelity of the MAGA base and his ratfucking of Joe Biden as part of the campaign, he will, again, cruise a popular vote loss and an Electoral College win. It may be just one vote, but he’s going to win.

But.

A lot can happen in two weeks. A whole lot. So, even if things stabilize sometime in April, the world may be so changed by that point that Trump may, at last, find a minor amount of “accountability” on his hands. He will still win the general election, of course, because, lulz, but the context will be a little bit different.

But.

If you really want to be a bit more adventitious in your scenario, you might two things might so shake up the whole world on a historic and political level in the next two weeks that when we finally catch our breath, we won’t recognize the world we now live in.

If the Gray Plague strikes, if even for a severe two weeks, that, in itself, is a wild card I can’t predict. If we count the dead in 10s of thousands, not hundreds, then, that’s kind of a bad PR situation for House Trump. Maybe. But MAGA is a death cult, so lulz.

But.

If the Gray Plague struck the right type of old person, then, that, too, might at least make House Trump a tiny bit more uncomfortable than it’s used to being. It’s not like their enables in and out of government are going to actually care that Trump’s historic, criminal mismanagement of all of this costs lives because, well, they’ve invested their entire life, entire identity into the Trump Train and, lulz.

But.

If things, even for about two weeks, grew extremely severe and not only did the Gray Plague strike, but there were multiple recorded instances of the WuFlop, then, and only then, might House Trump face an existential threat. It might be a little bit more difficult for Hugh Hewitt to defend Trump if 100,000 elderly people die in two weeks, but I’m sure he’ll try. Or he’ll just freak out and blame Asian people for and say they have to be put in the ICE camps for “national security” reasons. I’m not joking. That’s a very real possibility. The WuFlop, too, would likely highten the crisis to unprecedented levels. The bolts of our political and economic system might pop off. And even then, it would be, at most one election cycle. Give them four years and Don Jr. will, at last, wear the purple robes of the House Trump throne. So, we might have, about two years of a functioning government before the usual bullshit pops up again and the new Republican House impeaches the Democratic president out of spite.

But.

The last “but” is the darkest — Trump goes completely nuts at some point in the next two weeks. I have no idea what happens then. But I do believe Trump’s enablers would defend anything he did far, far, far longer than any of us might be willing to admit.

Lulz!

A Political Worst Case Scenario #COVID19

Now.
Shelton Bumgarner

by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner


This is the worst political situation in American history since just before the Civil War when James Buchanan let the South seize Federal forts without a shot as they seceded.

Here’s what’s going on:

Trump effectively is a lawless Emperor on a political level after he escaped justice because of callow Senate Republicans

The election is a bare nine months away.

The opposition is divided, weak and without effective leadership.

Trump is at a high risk of losing his fucking marbles in a rather dramatic fashion and the 25th Amendment is effectively a dead letter.

Meanwhile, there’s a good chance the next two weeks will lay bare the cold reality that Trump is criminally incompetent to such an extent that his vainglorious reponse to COVID19 has put the national security of the United States in dire peril.

Both The Gray Plague and the Wuflop may occur domestically in the United States over the next two weeks, maybe far longer. There’s a very good possibility that we might see days of 10,000 dead on a regular basis if COVID19 strikes hard into the 15,600 rest homes with 1.4 million residents.

Trump’s only metric is re-election. That’s it. Anything he cares about beyond that (the Dow) is simply in service of that goal.

As such, there’s simply no end game. I can’t given begin to sketch out what is going to happen. My best guess is given how big a self-own artist Trump is, he’s going to go nuts in an astonishing fashion. A historically jaw dropping manner. It will happen in a manner that is so depraved, so obscene that every American, be they Red or Blue, will hang their head in shame at the mention of Donald J. Trump.

Or not.

Trump could lulz the whole thing and use it as an opportunity simply consolidate power quicker than House Trump might otherwise.

Add to all of this the very real possibility that bad actors might use the fact that a fucking huge number of people in the United States are sick or dying and, well, lulz! Probably something called WW3 will happen, possibly involving the entire world trying to contain a healthy China who decides to make a major land grab against Russia.

What’s more, there’s ALSO a good chance of unprecedented political violence in the United States as well. My home state Virginia would be a prime candidate for a “beerhall putsch” of sorts by crazed Confederate gun nuts.

Lulz?

Real Talk: How Would We Process ‘The Gray Plague?’ #COVID19

Shelton Bumgarner

by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner
t
In the past, a lot of major disasters involving horrific loss of life have involved, well, at least in the eyes of MAGA, “scary brown people.” Be it the 100,000 who died in Southeast Asia from the tsunami a few years ago or the thousands who died in Puerto Rico last year from a hurricane, MAGA has lulz such tragedy from being racist fucktards.

But now we face a different situation. As I keep ranting, 1.4 million elderly Americans live in 15,600 assisted living facilities across the nation. As we see in Kirkland County, Washington, once a rest home gets COVID19, it pretty much culls a sizable portion of the community. It’s logical that if it can happen once, it can happen again — or a thousand more times.

So, let’s pace out the absolute worst case scenario and within say, the next two weeks, what happened in Kirkland County is replicated across the nation with horrific speed. How would we process it?

Well, the reason why it would be difficult to lulz this on the part of MAGA is who would be dying — old white people within the borders of the United States itself. It wouldn’t take too many days of 1,000, or 5,000, or 10,000 reported deaths for there to be a national freak out of historic proportions. The natural inclination of the mass media would be to at first to freak out, but as it became obvious it was just going to have to run its course, they would probably attempt to quietly hide it from the public so as not to spawn a panic.

And, in a sense, that would be the most transparent scenario. What would probably happen is at some point early in this catastrophe, the Trump administration would figure out way to hide it from the public. We wouldn’t learn about it for, like, 50 years until AOC’s junta overthrew House Trump’s regime and the truth, at last, came out.

It’s not like I want this to happen, you know. But I’m of the believe that if you can articulate your fears, make them concrete, they aren’t as scary. They’re manageable.

Anyway. Good luck.

#COVID Gray Plague ‘Cognitive Dissidence’

What am I missing?
Shelton Bumgarner

by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner


I’m always wrong. Always. I come up with these scenarios — usually the worst case — and I’m wrong. This happens all the time. But when it comes to my rather dire warnings about The Gray Plague striking the nation’s 1.4 million seniors in the 15,600 rest homes across the country, I struggle understand what I’m missing.

All the conditions are there for a horrific event in our nation’s history, and, yet no one is listening to me and I get the sense that no one else thinks this is a big enough risk to do what should be done — locking down all such facilities until further notice.

This must be one of those things where Maggie Haberman can just talk to Dr. Trump and he’ll tell her some reveled truth. I’m just a hayseed rube in a remote portion of a fly over state, what do I know? But here are the datapoints that are alarming me right now.

15,600 nursing homes in the United States
1.4 million patients.

The elderly 65+ are most at risk of succumbing to COVID19.

People in close proximity to each other (like a cruise ship or…a rest home) can be all infected quite quickly. (A mental institution in South Korea saw something like 90% infection rate).

We’re totally luzling this in the United States.

About 47 million Americans are 65+.

A rest home isn’t like a prison. You actually want to go there. People from all over the country visit them to see older relatives. It makes sense that, as such, we could see rather abrupt spike in infections across the country as the contagion uses each of the rest homes as an “signal amplifier.” The contagion will be far, far stronger than it might be otherwise because people will unknowingly visit these facilities during the incubation period, get infected and spread it even farther into the general population.

And, yet, I must be missing something. I’m always wrong. Something about the Kirkland County facility must be unique, the conditions different than everywhere else the nation.

That’s all I got right now.