Virus notes: May 17, 2020; the manichaean struggle

MERCED (BLJ) – Early on May 17, the Merced County Public Health Department reported 200 cases of COVID 19 and six deaths (two new).

California reported 76,793 cases (1,857 new) and 3,204 deaths (95 new).

New York reported 348,232 cases (2,419 new) and 22,478 deaths (174 new).

The United States reported 1,497,244 cases (23,829 new) and 89,420 deaths (1,183 new).

Mexico reported 47,144 cases (2,112 new) and 5,045 deaths (278 new).

The global report was 4,635,830 cases (100,878 new) and 311,821 deaths (4,713 new).


These “official” numbers are just the best we can get from local to global. But they aren’t accurate for many reasons, most of all, in the US, because of the constant tampering, obstruction, and of course the  lying of the president and his rightwing allies from the highest reaches of the US government down to the Right’s local shock troops, the chambers of commerce.

In the daily mortal manichaean struggle in American society between Greed and Care, it looks like Greed is winning. Commerce is rapidly opening. In this town I doubt more than 25 percent of the people even bother to put on masks in markets.

This lack of self-discipline, belief in magical technology, and utter failure of community commitment will mean that we lost our best chance to control the virus and that it will therefore persist far longer, killing far more people, than it needed to have done.

Those that believe the words of our president have their own reward but, unfortunately, to the extent that they ignore safe behaviors in this pandemic, they share this "reward" with all of us.