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Erwin

THE PANDEMIC CHAT ROOM

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https://navylive.dodlive.mil/2020/03/30/covid-19-navy-update-cno-and-mcpon-message-to-the-fleet/

MCPON: This past week, we’ve seen a rise in numbers who have tested positive for the coronavirus throughout the Fleet. We continue to take this threat very seriously and are working aggressively to keep Sailors healthy, as well as to prevent further spread of the virus. 

US Navy not just the MSM seem to recognise somethings up... a bit more serious than man-flu

Captain of aircraft carrier with growing coronavirus outbreak pleads for help from Navy

“This will require a political solution but it is the right thing to do,” Crozier wrote. “We are not at war. Sailors do not need to die. If we do not act now, we are failing to properly take care of our most trusted asset — our Sailors.”

 

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, Kevin2k said:

I beat you to that one, earlier. Yes it is a lovely article.

 

Or don't. And be critical when your income and freedoms are being butchered.

Seems Nina Strochlic is the usual feminst and hangs out with the royal family, that likes to fake their own corona illness.

https://www.nationalgeographic.com/contributors/s/nina-strochlic/

https://zfem.wordpress.com/2015/02/17/nina-strochlic-presents-evidence-of-gender-discrimination-in-laws-around-the-world/

-----------------

Meanwhile in the real world, where corona is not found:

- I was travelling internationally throughout january with a colleague. Some airports were already announcing pandemic messages. Some passengers had mouthcaps. Was at a very crowded party in february. Was at two bars almost every friday. Three birthday parties. My colleages are still travelling internationally op to this very moment. How does this make sense?

Then:

- No known case in this town. Where gossip travels fast.

- Large hospital in city nearby is quiet, according to nurses from my town.

- Obituaries in newspaper are as usual.

- My niece knows three people that were quarantined for suspected infection earlier. None of them were ever tested. One of them having a bad cold after a trade fair in northern Italy (right there and then, where the european press madness started). He was interned but never tested

- I don't know anybody in real life that actually knows a confirmed corona case in person.

There is one sort of exception and that is that in an elderly home were another niece works; three people were said to have corona and were moved to another facility. Average age about 75. I don't actually count this as valid because it could be anything, and they are out of sight now.  (Also as I wrote earlier the goverment tends to add the oldest of the elderly to their corona death statistics:  averages of 82 and 85. So are these actually tested? Don't answer...)

As of last week 40 people in my company had been diagnosed positive.  2 were in ICU.  Yep totally fake news and not really happening.  I'll let their families know it is all hype.

 

The only really fake news so far is China's figures.  The United States already has more fatalities than what China has admitted to.  Anyone who thinks their numbers are even remotely close to what the true figure is …..

Come to think of it, I don't know anyone older than 90 so God must have created all humans sometime around 90 years ago.

Edited by sburke

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Posted (edited)

The controversy is not so much how bad it is. Rather, at which point do you carry on with life as before? We are still early in this so fine. In about 3 months lets say people are going to want to talk about the end game, phase 2, whatever.

And then what?

"...But, speaking only for myself, and as one who celebrated his eighty-first birthday this month, I would rather take the risk of contracting the virus than see my children and grandchildren experience a depression or worse."

Edited by nik mond

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as opposed to depriving their children of their Grandfather?  The 80 year olds going back to work isn't going to save the economy.  The 20-50's maybe.  Either way anyone going back to soon risks crashing our healthcare system increasing the deaths etc.  Let's all just behave with a  little restraint and see what the recommendations are from our medical community.  They will pay the price of us not following their guidelines.  All well and good for that grandfather to say that but what he doesn't say is all those healthcare workers now have to accept the risk to them and their families of him boldly volunteering his own risk.

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Trump seems to have finally understood the potential impact to America. Very different press briefing than a week ago. 

Leadership comes from the top and filters down, I have seen that 1st hand working with many CEO's in powerful FTSE 100 companies and you need the right leadership giving the right message. 

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-52115584

"The number of deaths, based on current projections, is between 100,000 and 200,000. On 15 April, for instance, 2,214 Americans are expected to die."

As for China's figures I guess we will never really know as they are not exactly open to scrutiny. 

The UK still has not got testing sorted as it should be and after this it will become a national scandal (unless somehow it gets buried....)

Poor leadership affects the poor as they get shafted. 

🙄

The countries showing great leadership are South Korea, Singapore and Taiwan (a country in my eyes).

Hats off to South Korea and they have acted on the warnings the world was given, Ebola etc....

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We’ll see what kind of political will exists but there is pressure to hold China accountable for the level of misinformation and how that influenced the pandemic preparedness levels.  I think a lot of companies tied to a supply chain there are reviewing options as well. 
 

do I expect much, not really. Not as long as money is still the primary factor in decision making. 

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Well let's see if the level of misinformation was substantive to delay our preparation. I would like to know exactly is being claimed. 

I feel that China will be used as a political smoke and mirrors scheme to take heat off our own failures. 

We have to distinguish between the government and the people who are subject to the government. 

Personally I might not like the current American Government but that does not mean I paint all Americans with the same brush.  It helps as I know plenty of Americans and our countries have had a long relationship. 

Too often just lately I see Chinese bashing and we need to be smart in what we say (type) and how we deal with people who are stuck with a regime. 

So cynical me will be watching closely as to the actual facts...

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BBC have just put out an interesting page on stats.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-51235105

Just to add some further thoughts...

The  world knew we were going to be hit again at some stage with something like this. It was inevitable,  just like it will be inevitable that places built on fault lines will get hit with earthquakes. 

We dodged bullets like Ebola and SARS but did not heed the warnings made by the scientists. 

Some countries took the threat seriously like South Korea and are keeping on top of it, I bet we will find out they were prepared. 

Others were too busy to take warnings seriously and prepare hoping to wing it...

We are angry and it is all too easy to look for easy blame games, rather than accept that as humans we are vulnerable to viruses and need to prepare to fight them.

Risk management is what we should have had in place and preparation to deal with the risk if it happens. 

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51 minutes ago, Holien said:

I feel that China will be used as a political smoke and mirrors scheme to take heat off our own failures. 

Talking about "smoke and mirrors", China is an abominable authoritarian dictatorship which seems hell-bent on military expansion (eg: South China Sea and also the very little reported conflict with India in "3 Corners" area of Bhutan) and has put over a million people in forced labor camps: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/12/16/world/asia/xinjiang-china-forced-labor-camps-uighurs.html  while designing a ghastly police state where one's every movement, even facial expressions, are monitored by AI to detect possible dissent.  

One has to remember that the "modern face of China" is only represented by a thin strip of Economic Enterprise Zones that run along its coast.  If you travel a few hundred miles inland you step back a thousand years into a 3rd world country - the standard of living of the vast majority of its population. 

The point is that China is well known for consistent lying (remember how the artificial islands built in the S. China Seas were "only for research purposes and would never be militarized"?   We really do not know the truth about the pandemic in China.  Time will eventually tell as it's harder to lie for a long period of time about economic impacts.

"Our failures" fade into insignificance compared to China's.

 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Erwin said:

One has to remember that the "modern face of China" is only represented by a thin strip of Economic Enterprise Zones that run along its coast.  If you travel a few hundred miles inland you step back a thousand years into a 3rd world country - the standard of living of the vast majority of its population. 

Have you ever seen Detroit? Joke is that for an enormous number of people in the West "3rd world living" is still very much reality for them. The US also has a deceptively large homeless population which is rarely reported with any kind of accuracy by the way. Mostly through the difficulty of accounting for people with so few possessions to their name, but more than a little obfuscation by local and state leaders plays a role here. There's an enormous number of dead-end rural towns in America that could easily break the perception that extreme poverty is limited to Communist states though...

Edited by SimpleSimon

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Posted (edited)

Statistically I think DC is up there for per capita homeless too, followed by NY state. Its unlikely safe distancing is practiced within that risk group. I would expect this might explain the high rates of infection among police. Not sure didn't read anything indicating such.

As for China its been mentioned on several covid forums how dependent we are on them as a supplier for Pharmaceuticals, and PPE which puts us in a tread lightly position. Fortunately we didn't rely on them for Biomedical equipment, such as vents. Thank acquisition processes requiring FDA compliant, and CSA compliant standards for that. (add intertek for Europe etc)

Pre Covid era dependence on China as a Pharmaceutical supplier

Edited by nik mond

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1 hour ago, nik mond said:

its been mentioned on several covid forums how dependent we are on them as a supplier for Pharmaceuticals, and PPE which puts us in a tread lightly position.

IMO this dependance on China is one of the most important lessons learned.  Changes need to be made.     

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Latest paper > Estimating the number of infections and the impact of non- pharmaceutical interventions on COVID-19 in 11 European countries > 30 March 2020 Imperial College COVID-19 Response Team

 

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Posted (edited)
11 hours ago, MOS:96B2P said:

IMO this dependance on China is one of the most important lessons learned.  Changes need to be made.     

Yeah and @Holien agreed that just attacking China for the virus is stupid and unhelpful. The issue is more the response of that gov’t and its accountability just as I think Trump and Fox News should be accountable for spreading false information and contributing to the problem being far worse.  Interestingly there are suggestions that Fox News is quietly reviewing their exposure to being sued for the way they have spread false information and impacted communities and individuals. 
 

and this far right s**t has got to be addressed. One guy was planning on targeting a hospital. And then this ahole this morning

https://www.yahoo.com/gma/engineer-tried-crash-train-usns-mercy-los-angeles-233500380--abc-news-topstories.html

send some of these aholes to Guantanamo for terrorism.    

 

Edited by sburke

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Erwin, sounds a bit like you have a case of "whatboutism"...

😏

So let's try and keep this on track and about Covid. We could disappear down a deep dark rabbit hole on the difference between America and China...

Any how back on Chinese  government misinformation....

I saw a press briefing where the UK government was specifically asked what they meant by Chinese government not being helpful. The question was ignored and not answered. 

I am keen to see / understand what accusations are being made. Sure we all know they screwed the pooch by initially trying to suppress the junior doctors warnings.  This was soon rectified and they seem to have learnt, but maybe there have been other deceit? Anyone got specific information? 

I knew of the seriousness of the situation around the 25th January as I was concerned about a close friend and his planned trip to China from SFO. So I was watching the situation with concern for him. And me as I was spending a couple of weeks with him after his trip...

😉

The logical leap I failed to make was potential impact to the rest of the world. Fair enough for me as I had not been part of the simulations dealing with such an event. But for those who said this was a tier 1 threat to the UK January should have been the start of some serious actions...

In fact serious planning should have happened after the exercise showed how poorly the NHS was able to cope. PPE was noted as an issue at that time....

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Posted (edited)
12 hours ago, MOS:96B2P said:

IMO this dependance on China is one of the most important lessons learned.  Changes need to be made.     

Our living standards today are a result of globalized markets and international trade. This crisis very much plays into the hands of Protectionists everywhere, but the world can't go back to the economy of 1940 or 1960 or even 1980. There's too many people now and too many needs to be met that the far smaller scales of history could never meet. Globalized markets are interconnected now for better or worse.

This is part of the reason why the US is effectively unable to conduct a 1942 style mass mobilization of resources. There aren't tons of closed factories sitting around everywhere on mothball. They're all in other countries, but not always the countries you might think. Since the end of the Cold War the Democracies have been configuring exclusively on markets of service and speculation, more money in, less money out on payroll and HR. American workers are too expensive, demanding things like health care benefits, pensions, and the audacity of live-able pay! Crazy right? Yet it wasn't to China or India that most of that manufacturing went...

https://tradingeconomics.com/united-states/imports

China is only the 2nd largest source of imports for the US, the first is the European Union. Combined with non-Eurozone (lots of Eastern Europe) members by the way imports from China are barely one half of the total, and US imports from the rest of North America (ie: Canada and Mexico) also greatly exceed imports from China. This is a major reason why in 2010 the Fed rode to the rescue of the Eurozone and not to the Chinese. (The other major reason was the considerable effectiveness of the People's Bank of China in fighting a financial crisis. Both the Fed and the People's Bank can control interest rates, but the People's Bank can also set the terms of credit issuance to banks.) 

While it would be mistaken to believe that China's economy is reliant on American markets, the fact that the Yuan is pegged to the Dollar also means China doesn't have anything to gain from depressed American consumption. Trump's trade war came as a real shock to Beijing, for reasons I can guess had a lot do with Beijing's perception that American leadership was bound to be rational where money was involved...

Far be it from me to point out the depressing number of times American media and American leaders have historically played up to groundless fear and paranoia of an Asian Nemesis. The upcoming round of China-bashing that is starting to emerge from American media isn't even original, just more canned talking-points from the 2000s that were themselves repackaged nationalist/protectionist cliches from the 1980s against Japan. Communist leaders are often baffled by the concept of "Political Theater" we conduct in the west, but that's because power and mobility in Communist states is usually handled by party insiders and internal lines and not by popular election. 

Chinese leaders are going to worry about China first, but that shouldn't lead one to believe that they would find it easy to abandon the US, or desirable to compete with it.

Edited by SimpleSimon

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45 minutes ago, sburke said:

Yeah and @Holien agreed that just attacking China for the virus is stupid and unhelpful. The issue is more the response of that gov’t and its accountability just as I think Trump and Fox News should be accountable for spreading false information and contributing to the problem being far worse.  Interestingly there are suggestions that Fox News is quietly reviewing their exposure to being sued for the way they have spread false information and impacted communities and individuals. 
 

and this far right s**t has got to be addressed. One guy was planning on targeting a hospital. And then this ahole this morning

https://www.yahoo.com/gma/engineer-tried-crash-train-usns-mercy-los-angeles-233500380--abc-news-topstories.html

send some of these aholes to Guantanamo for terrorism.    

 

We only have to look back to our favourite period of history to see how extreme situations are used by populist politicians to whip people up into stupidity that can wreck entire countries...

Let's hope we just have a pandemic and nothing else...

I am all for holding the politicians accountable no matter which country...

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5 minutes ago, SimpleSimon said:

The upcoming round of China-bashing that is starting to emerge 

Interesting stuff.  Thanks for taking the time to type all of that. 

If I understand the situation correctly most of America's pharmaceuticals and PPE are produced in China.  This is a potential problem during this and future pandemics.  I'm sure a reasonable, rational solution can be found.  It might be helpful if certain items (or maybe a percentage of) were to be produced in the USA.  We don't allow China to build our tanks (as far as I know) so maybe this practice can be extended to some of the pharmaceuticals and PPE???  

Finding a reasonable solution to this situation is not bashing the Chinese people.  It has more to do with my family and friends having access to life saving medication & PPE and the logistics to deliver said items in a timely manner.  Heck, even if the critical items were produced somewhere in the USA it might still be somewhat difficult to get them delivered to my rural community in the chaos of some future crisis.  However, I suspect it would be easier to facilitate the supply / delivery if the items didn't have to start the process in a different nation.  Again, I'm optimistic a reasonable solution will be found.     

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16 hours ago, SimpleSimon said:

Have you ever seen Detroit? Joke is that for an enormous number of people in the West "3rd world living" is still very much reality for them.

I am talking about seeing peasants washing their clothes in a river (Green River IIRC) right next to their water buffaloes type 3rd world living.  

 

45 minutes ago, SimpleSimon said:

Trump's trade war came as a real shock to Beijing, for reasons I can guess had a lot do with Beijing's perception that American leadership was bound to be rational

Many folks I know have been talking that we have effectively been at war (economic and cyberwar) with China for decades.  But, due to corporate greed that fact was ignored by several administrations in the desire for bigger profits at any cost (ie from cheap (forced) foreign labor etc.) ignoring the damage it was causing to Western economies and ordinary working people who have seen the quality of their lives degraded.  The social problems of a generation who are dismayed and disillusioned that life for their kids will be worse has not yet fully been realized.  The rational approach has finally been accepted that we in the west must "do something" to address the China problem in the same way that "something" needed to be done to stop Hitler in the 30's.

In terms of the pandemic, my prediction is that many of our lifestyles that we have taken for granted may not bounce back at all.  Eg: The US has always had a tradition of eating out.  When I grew up in the UK that was a luxury.  Maybe that has changed in the last couple of decades.  But, given that we are told that the majority of folks are struggling to survive and are increasingly in debt, one wonders what the long term impact will be when they calculate the savings they will have made by not going out to bars, nightclubs, restaurants, sports events, concerts, movies, foreign vacations, Disneyland etc etc...  

In addition, we talk about how people came together during wartime, The Blitz etc to overcome shared challenges to their society.  But, that era was when western societies were relatively homogeneous and everyone believed in, and supported, the same cultural values.  We in the west (esp Europe) are now well on the way to being "Balkanized" into tribes, each of which is struggling to support only their own group, ethnic identity and cultural values with no overarching national pride or identity.  This could degrade the recovery when the pandemic finally fades.  I predict long term scars that could change our lives more than the last couple of decades of terrorist attacks.

 

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Erwin said:

I am talking about seeing peasants washing their clothes in a river (Green River IIRC) right next to their water buffaloes type 3rd world living.  

Some people in this country are so poor literally all they have is a shirt and pants Erwin, but no place to wash them since they're liable to be kicked out of any public space (which law enforcement can define as just about anywhere) or be arrested for public indecency doing it. It's not like having a criminal record will make it easier for them to get out of poverty by the way. It's just worth pointing out that not only does the US have poverty, but in a number of places the US actively uses people's poverty against them because public policy in the US (especially at local levels) is a total free-for-all for which no one is held to a measure-able or uniform standard. 

2 hours ago, MOS:96B2P said:

Interesting stuff.  Thanks for taking the time to type all of that. 

If I understand the situation correctly most of America's pharmaceuticals and PPE are produced in China.  This is a potential problem during this and future pandemics.  I'm sure a reasonable, rational solution can be found.  It might be helpful if certain items (or maybe a percentage of) were to be produced in the USA.  We don't allow China to build our tanks (as far as I know) so maybe this practice can be extended to some of the pharmaceuticals and PPE???  

Finding a reasonable solution to this situation is not bashing the Chinese people.  It has more to do with my family and friends having access to life saving medication & PPE and the logistics to deliver said items in a timely manner.  Heck, even if the critical items were produced somewhere in the USA it might still be somewhat difficult to get them delivered to my rural community in the chaos of some future crisis.  However, I suspect it would be easier to facilitate the supply / delivery if the items didn't have to start the process in a different nation.  Again, I'm optimistic a reasonable solution will be found.     

The rational solution is a total reform of the education system from top to bottom, both of which could also be quite handy for offering jobs and putting the public back to work when the service economy retracts like this. Public works and engineering projects should be more seriously considered in the US, especially over the country's humiliating infrastructure bottlenecks (US Airline growth has literally been capped by gate-counts at the hub airports for decades), and the need to consider the impending challenges facing us over climate change and whatever else nature has in store like yes, future pandemics. Education absolutely needs to be publicly funded. Colleges and universities must be required to offer broad options of qualification and cut down on useless basket-weaving degrees that leave students without useful skills and a mortgage worth of debt. 

Higher education should be left voluntary, the Public School System should remain compulsive but should not hold students and teachers to reaching absolutely unrealistic standards of curriculum. Whole meme pages exist on Instagram joking about how the US Education system teaches kids about the Dewey Decimal System they'll never use again but not how to do their own taxes or hard boil an egg. Nothing is graded, stop expecting schools to submit whole classrooms of A+ students who know how to do basic calculus, recite the theory of relativity, and discuss Cather in the Rye on the metaphorical level all by the 6th grade. The net result of these unrealistic standards is that Americans learn how to be good at faking tests and lying their way through their education. What they actually learn is how to be deceptive and persuasive as a matter of survival in a competitive free market economy which penalizes your failure with everything from homelessness to jail. This is why style is held in such high importance over substance in America. This is why the "Instagram Generation" is the way they are, because they weren't taught anything else! 

The Attention-Deficit-Disorder of the entire US school system and its inability (or unwillingness) to prioritize skill sets that would enable people to be both more self sufficient and more easily contribute to society is just another result of the total lack of qualification US politicians have for their own responsibilities. Because education is a matter of public policy in the US it is allowed to be interfered with at every level by individuals and interest groups who's interests are not frequently honest or productive. It's another free-for-all of unrealistic standards and goals made by out-of-touch leaders who are more interested in being able to boast of problems they've solved than actually solving any. 

Edited by SimpleSimon

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7 minutes ago, SimpleSimon said:

Some people in this country are so poor literally all they have is a shirt and pants Erwin, but no place to wash them since they're liable to be kicked out of any public space (which law enforcement can define as just about anywhere) or be arrested for public indecency doing it. ... It's just worth pointing out that not only does the US have poverty

Yes of course, some people in the west, the bottom few %, are in dire straits (and unfortunately always have been).  However, in China probably 90%+ of the peasants live in what we in the west call "3rd world poverty".  And since China is a tightly controlled totalitarian society the only way to know anything like how the millions of imprisoned is to actually go to affected places, if you are allowed of course (which one is not).  China is not kicking out foreign journalists for no reason.

Re the pandemic, one can only wonder at the plight of the "millions of Uyghurs, KazakhsKyrgyz and other ethnic Turkic MuslimsChristians as well as some foreign citizens such as Kazakhstanis, who are being held in their secretive internment camps" as we know that is a recipe for mass Covid 19 deaths.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xinjiang_re-education_camps

You expect to be taken seriously when you are comparing the west/US to this?  

 

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43 minutes ago, SimpleSimon said:

The rational solution is a total reform of the education system from top to bottom

I'm all for improving things and agree the education system could be improved.  It would probably take awhile to make any substantial change to the education system.  My concern is we may not have a lot of time before another pandemic hits.  As we have seen pandemics can move fast and be very deadly.   So while the education system is being debated / reformed / improved, if at the same time a certain percentage of pharmaceuticals & PPE could be produced in lets say .......... Indiana ........ or some such, that would be great....... :).   

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The problem with ideas like the infrastructure bill being discussed is - you can't put people back to work until they can actually go back to work 😜  

In terms of poverty. 

1 hour ago, Erwin said:

some people in the west, the bottom few %,

What figures are you using to say "few"?  Granted yes figures on China are different but I think your perception is clouded in some mis information.  China has a larger problem not with folks living in the country side as peasants but the migration labor they have internally. These are the folks they kicked out of Beijing during the Olympics to hide them.  Same thing we do here when folks don't want to be reminded of the problem.

The number of people living on the edge in America is quite high.  We use terms like Gig economy about millennials not feeling tied to a job as if that is somehow this positive new way of looking at work..  How do they do that?  By living off their parents and eating up their retirement.  They tossed numbers around about record employment before this hit but what they didn't say was how they decided the terms for those figures - people having to hold on to 2 jobs to survive, not counting folks who had given up looking for work etc.

My next door neighbor was evicted from her home in January.  Can't fault the landlord, she was a terrible tenant, but she is 75 and clearly has some issues processing normal behavior.  She has been living on the street (yeah I see the car every day) now in her car for 3 months.

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