Virus notes: May 27, 2020: authority posturing in Merced

  MERCED (BLJ) – On May 27, Merced County Public Health Department reported that there were 222 cases of COVID-19 in the county, no change for several days. But five days ago, they reported 251 cases. Also, the county’s figure for number of deaths hasn’t changed in more than a week. There doesn’t seem to be any law requiring the county to report the true number. But a few hours in the emergency ward yesterday was enough to convince one Badlands Journal editorial board member that the hospital staff looks overlooked and apprehensive, although very competent.

California reported 98,980 cases (2,247 new)  and 3,884 deaths (70 new).

The United States reported 1,733,992 (18,535 new) and 101,599 deaths (1,463 new).

The United States goes over 100,000 deaths.

The global report for the day is 5,682,389 (123,259 new) and 354,944 deaths (6,334 new).

The Four Horsemen’s totals for the day:

The United States reported 1,733,992 (18,535 new) and 101,599 deaths (1,463 new).

The United Kingdom reported 267,240 cases (2,013 new) and 37,460 deaths (412 new).

Brazil reported 411,821 cases (20,599 new) and 25,598 deaths (1,086 new).

Russia reported 370,680 cases (8,338 new) and 3,968 deaths (161 new).


The phony debate between the sheriff and the professors

Merced County Sheriff Vern Warnke wrote a letter to Gov. Gavin Newsom saying that he would not enforce Newsom’s rules for keeping businesses closed in the pandemic.  In the letter he invoked the US Constitution and asserted his rights and the rights of his constituents to violate the governor’s rules for safe behavior.  He didn’t have any alternative to the governor’s program. We thought he might be dreaming that if the little virus critter gets fat and lazy enough to be seen by the naked eye, the sheriff would plug the li’l summich with a .45 revolver or whatever he carries on his hip under the shade of his big cowboy hat.

The sad thing is that the governor exempted the county and it opened up for business partially even though the numbers of the sick exceeded the limits the state had set for moving to the next stage of opening up.

A crew of social science professors from UC Merced opened up on the sheriff raining down upon him bullets of intellectual superiority. But social science jargon is no more effective against the virus than fantasy gunplay: neither side (and these people definitely represent the two distinct political sides in this county) can yet grasp that their quest for command and control over each other and us is just a neurotic twitter shadow reflected off a wall illuminated by the fire of a pandemic that has now claimed more than 100,000 victims in the United States.

The scandal is that local leadership are cowardly bullies, desperately afraid that they and humanity in general, are not the measure of all things in the world. Right now, the virus has the measure of man, be he homo pistolero, homo sociologo or the rest of us.

Right now, personal responsibility for ourselves and each other is more important than our rights. But the essence of leadership in this county is blame, unaccountability and bullying. The county is treating the public almost as badly as it treats the environment. -- blj