What The Fuck Is Trump Up To, Changing His Tune On Vaccines?


by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

Well, I’m stumped on this one. It make no sense what so ever for dingus Trump to suddenly embrace COVID19 vaccines. None. I honestly don’t understand what’s going on. It feels like some sort of surreal alternative universe. Which, I have to admit, is what everything since Trump coming down that goddamn escalator has felt like.

The only thing I can think of is Trump is subtly shifting his attention from a pure base play to a more Traditionalist play. He knows he’s weak right now and maybe he thinks if he embraces vaccines then those conservatives who are “MAGA adjacent” might like him more? I’m thinking of those conservatives who have taken the vaccine but because of negative polarization and an extensive permission structure would never, ever for any reason make common cause with liberals against MAGA.

I dunno.

And, yet, that is a way too complicated political consideration for someone demonstrably as stupid as Trump is. Whatever the most simplistic, stupidest political judgement might be for Trump doing the exact opposite of what you might expect from him is why he’s doing it.

Or, I guess, you could say he’s finally grown so senile that he’s lost touch with reality to the point that he has actually begun to do what he should have done when the pandemic started. This doesn’t eliminate the question of, like, why? Why the fuck is Trump doing…gulp...the right thing?

It remains a mystery to me. Either it will become very obvious soon enough what he’s up to, or Trump risks destroying himself for no apparent reason.

Why 2020 (2) Is Probably Going To Suck


by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

I wouldn’t get too complacent about 2022 being anything more than yet another pretty shitty year. Here are my Christmas Day predictions for why this is:

Lots of Old Powerful People
It is inevitable that someone like the Queen is going to drop dead next year. And with it, there will be a lot of talk about What It All Means. And it’s not just the Queen. There are any number of very powerful American politicians who are old, old, old.

Potentially More Deadly COVID Variants
It’s at least possible that next year, a much more deadly version of COVID will pop out and everything will get thrown up into the air.

Republicans Are Probably Going To Win Congress
It’s very possible that a very damning January 6th Committee Report will come out in the summer and…nothing happens. Republicans win in the fall like they would anyway and then we have the setup to civil war / autocracy in 2024 – 2025.

Wars and Rumors of War
It’s also very possible that there will be at least one major regional war somewhere in the world in 2022, which could so destabilizing the global order that something akin to WW3 happens.

Future History: The Omega Variant


by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

My fear at the moment is we’re not looking at the COVID19 pandemic in the right way. In fact, we need to readjust what we think the endgame may be. What if, in a sense, we’re all lulled into a false sense of security by COVID19 gradually being considered endemic.

And then, a year or two years from now, largely because of people refusing to vaccinated, it’s possible that really, really deadly version of COVID19 — the Omega Variant — might pop out. So, while everyone keeps taking about how “next time” will be a lot worse, it could be the Fire Next Time is nothing more than the Fire This Time rebooted.

So, not only could this be The New Normal, but it’s also possible that all of this is the set up for a far darker situation at some point in the future. And should the Omega Variant happen, it would happen with no notice. We would just wake up one day to news that the number of people dying from COVID has jumped from 2,000 a day to 10,000 (or more) a day.

And away we go.

If we were talking 10,000+ people dying a day in the United States of a COVID19 variant, it would freak everyone out and greatly change the political equation. Now, a lot of this would obviously depend on vaccines and therapeutics not working. If vaccines were really working and it was 10,000+ UNvaccinated people dying a day…oh boy.

Anyway, I suggest we reflect on what’s going on and COVID19 and maybe change our expectations some.

2022’s Coming Battle Royale Over COVID’s ‘Endemic’ Status


by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

Seems like the next major battle after Cancel Culture and CRT will be FOX “News” ranting at the top of its lungs that COVID is now “endemic” and fuck you. They will night after night lay out why they think around 2,000 people dying a day from COVID is just “a fact of life” and why is it we can’t get more tax cuts and young hack MAGA judges?

The reason why this is going to happen is, as I understand it, something being considered “endemic” is pretty much totally subjective. The issue is — how many people dying a day from something is a society willing to take? Red States are tired of the pandemic, so COVID is endemic, while Blue States are aghast at how many people are dying every day from COVID, so it continues to be a national health emergency.

And because of how subjective things are, this gives Fox “News” a huge opportunity to do what it always does — scare the shit out of white people about “evil libtards” who want to control them and divide the country between Red and Blue.

So, it’s easy to see the battle over COVID’s status being yet another bow in the FOX “News” quiver in their rapacious drive to flip Congress. They’ll play their audience like a xylophone, bouncing back and forth between CRT, Cancel Culture and COVID being endemic.

You already see FOX News doing this, they just don’t use the term “endemic,” probably because they don’t want to sound pretentious.

COVID In Blue & Red


by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

I’m the red headed step child of my family on a political basis. My family is made up of bed rock Traditionalists, while I’m the paste-eating libtard weirdo. I would note, however, that it’s only since the rise of MAGA that the lines have hardened. I’m not really that liberal, but I’ve been forced to pick a side and I fucking refuse to ignore that MAGA is run by a fucking moron who is thisclose to being an autocrat.

Slings and arrows, and all that.

Something I find myself talking to the Red people in my life a lot these days is COVID. It is very interesting how different the two sides see this particular macro event in our nation’s history. I see it as a national health crisis, while my Red family members are just tired of it and want to move on.

One issue that is a bone of contention is when does the pandemic become endemic? When do we just take COVID for granted and see it as just another risk associated with being human? Even under the best of conditions, talking about this with my Red family members can seem like going in circles. They want to compare 1,000 people dying a day to other forms of death. And I keep saying, “But is cancer contagious? Is heart disease contagious ? Is an accident contagious ?”

I totally get why people are so tired of the pandemic. I get it. I really do. And we’re so divided as a nation at the moment that there will likely come a point when 48% of the population shrugs and decides COVID is endemic, regardless of what libtards say while 48% will still see COVID as a national health emergency.

So, as always, we’re fucked.

A Major Russian War Against Ukraine Would End The Covid19 Pandemic Era


by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

While I’m not predicting that people will stop dying of COVID should there be a major war between Russia and Ukraine, I am suggesting that our perception of COVID19 will change dramatically.

But one big caveat — I don’t think there’s going to be a war between the Russians and Ukrainians. Or, at least, not a big one. All of this is just another very expensive power play on Putin’s part to get a summit with Biden. He’s getting that summit on Tuesday and so, lulz, everything should calm down after that.

And, yet, let’s imagine that didn’t happen.

Let’s imagine that a huge war breaks out between Russia and Ukraine. We need to appreciate that it’s possible that COVID19 would go from being seeing a unique pandemic to a regular part of life — or endemic. A lot of this would depend on how big the war was, how long it lasted and what it’s endgame turned out to be.

But there is a finite amount of media attention. If the eyes of the world are on a big chunk of Ukraine being eaten by Russia, it’s inevitable that the sexxy COVID19 pandemic would be seen as simply endemic and something we have to put up with from here on out.

The only way this would change in the future would be if a REALLY BAD new variant of COVID popped out and we were talking about millions, not thousands dying from it at any particular moment.

I guess the whole point of this is — a major regional war in Europe would jiggle everything in a big way. Everything from the January 6th insurrection investigation to all of the other Trump crimes we’re looking into to the COVID19 pandemic would be pushed off the front page in favor of a huge war.

But none of that has happened yet. We’ll have to wait and see if it does.

Of NATO, Ukraine & Putin’s Metrics For Invasion


by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

One theory floating around Twitter is Putin is about to engage in a massive, risky war against Ukraine because he wants to stop the country from joining NATO.

I struggle to imagine this being true, for a lot of reasons.

The biggest is — if all Putin wants to do is ensure that Ukraine doesn’t join NATO, all he has to do is a modest smash-and-grab operation connecting Donbass to Odessa. Have enough of a lingering “frozen conflict” endgame to it that NATO just doesn’t want to risk letting Ukraine join.

And all of the other metrics presented to me can be swatted away. Putin is old, they say. And I say, so what. Putin is an autocrat and all autocrats think they’re going to live forever. The list goes on.

You can’t escape some cold hard facts. It’s sexy to think of a big war between Ukraine and Russia, but you can’t escape how small Russia’s economy is. You can’t escape the stress such a huge, potentially long-term, war against Ukraine that has a fair sized population would have on Russia’s economy and overall stability.

The point is — what metrics is Putin using that would cause him to believe a general war against Ukraine would be a good idea? What the hell is he thinking? Because it would make a lot more sense if this was all just a very expensive bit of saber rattling meant to get a face-to-face sit down IRL with Biden.

And he can do that because he’s an autocrat. So, for the time being, that’s what I think is happening. When something changes, I’ll revise my assessment.

Omicron: Sometimes, They Come Back


by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

We all have been working on the assumption that COVID19 would come and go and later at some point we would face The Big One. This new pandemic would be separate from COVID and be so bad that we would look back at the years 2020 – 2021 and realize we really didn’t know how good we had it.

Yes, but.

It’s beginning to dawn on me that there is a real chance that The Big One may be nothing more of a continuation of the original COVID19 outbreak. Or, to put it another way, what if 2020 – 2021 is seen by future historians as analogous to WW1?

We could face a new, highly contagious and deadly COVID19 variant that is not something independent of COVID19, but rather a variant of it. It’s easy to game out a situation where we go through off of this again with the same virus, but we end up with far, far, far more people dead.

How likely is that to happen? I honestly have no idea.

But it is a hyper modern Modern Problem for us all to mull. It’s very possible that sooner rather than later our entire world could be upended by the same virus that’s been doing it since late 2019.

When To Panic About Omicron


by Shelt Garner
@shetgarner

I am not an expert. You probably should aggressively ignore anything I have to say. But I am pretty good at running scenarios, so let’s go through what would be a few “tipping points” on the issue of Omicron (or something similar) that would force us all to sit up and take notice.

  1. We Learn Vaccines Aren’t Working
    Vaccines are our first line of defense. But I am hearing conflicting messages about Omicron. I’m hearing that it’s a lulz if you’ve been vaccinated. And I’m hearing it has significant breakthrough data. So, I don’t know. It seems we pretty safe for the time being on that front.
  2. It Spreads A Lot Faster
    This definitely seems to be something going on with Omicron. If your community is unvaccinated, it moves a lot faster within your community.
  3. The Mortality Rate Is Far, Far Higher
    In the end, I again use the metric I used with COVID19 when it first came out — how many people are dying or getting really sick? I thought it was going to be A LOT of people, when it turned out to be far less deadly than my initial belief. So, for me, at least, we would have to have the three strikes of blowing past vaccines, spreading a lot faster AND the death rate being a lot higher (even for the vaccinated) before I would grow too concerned.

    For the time being, I’m taking a wait and see approach, as should you. Grab a towel. No need to panic.

Is The Omicron COVID19 Variant My Feared “Omega Variant?’


by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

Some time ago, I worried out loud on this blog about the possibility of a super potent COVID19 variant I called “the Omega Variant.” The announcement today of the existence of the “Omicron” variant has again got me wondering if my dire predictions might come true.

For it to be what I feared, the Omicron variant would have to be so much worse than the original COVID19 everything would be thrown up in the air in an unprecedented fashion, very, very rapidly. In fact, the very existence of our current concept of the modern world would momentarily be put in doubt. Hundreds of millions of people all over the world would have to die in quick succession.

That’s when we know that the Omicron variant was the Omega Variant.

So far, I don’t even know why the WHO is concerned about Omicron in the first place. As such, I think we’re all kind of freaking out and pouring our fears into it in the abstract.

There is a political aspect to all of this. Enough people die quick enough in the United States and the country will buckle in to warring camps a lot — A LOT — sooner than you might think. But, for the moment at least, that’s all very fantastical.

Soon enough, I think we’ll find out what the deal is with Omicron and how concerned we should be. I’m hold up with a broken right ankle, so, hopefully, if the apocalypse does come, it can at least wait until February.

At least give me a running start, Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.