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Glum
Posted by Heebie-Geebie on 08.05.20

I'm feeling so pessimistic about this new foster kitty. At night, when everyone is asleep, I can pull her into my lap, and she'll purr and purr for as long as I'll stay in the bathroom where we're keeping her for the time being. That's what I want in a cat!

But outside of that one positive behavior, she still won't approach me when I come in and sit down a foot away from her, and just stay put. We got her on Sunday. That seems like a pretty low bar for a cat who trusts and can relax with a person.

There are still so many things she'd have to get used to, in order to feel comfortable in this rambunctious household. We are pretty noisy.

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Terrible things
Posted by Heebie-Geebie on 08.04.20

This freaked me out, reading it at 3 am during a bout of foster-kitty* induced insomnia.

MarketWatch: One of the things I'm pretty interested in is the talk and the hope around a vaccine. Do you think we have misconceptions about what it means when we have a vaccine?
Michael Osterholm: Everyone is looking at the vaccine as being a light switch: on or off. And I look at it as a rheostat, that's going to take a long time, from turning it on from its darkest position to a lightest position. If you're anticipating a light switch, you're going to be concerned, confused, and in some cases very disappointed in what it might look like in those first days to months with a vaccine

and

MarketWatch: Do you think we're going to see distinct waves of outbreaks in the U.S.?
Osterholm: No, no. They're not waves. We've never had a pandemic due to coronavirus before. We've had influenza pandemics. With an influenza pandemic, you do get true waves, meaning you get a first big peak of cases, then the numbers come down substantially without any human intervention. It's nothing we do. We've never understood why that happens, and then a few months later you get a second wave. At this point, that's not what's happening here.
This is like a forest fire, full steam ahead. And wherever there's human wood to burn, it'll do it. What we see, though, are these spikes in cases where human mitigation strategies ended, or they're not adhering to them [....] It's like a fire crew. "I only put out half the forest fire but you know, I put out half so we're done." And then look what happened. It's burned more acres since we gave up than it did before we gave up.

At 3 am, it gave me the vertiginous sensation that it would be possible for us to never get a handle on Covid-19. Like it could permanently alter what "safe interactions" look like, the way AIDS permanently altered what safety entails. I tried to picture how my kids would transition to adult life after a decade of this.

via one of you, elsewhere

*I really want to adopt this kitty, because I want a super cuddly cat to offset our B+ cats, who often fail to complete their catly duties. This cat is incredibly complacent about being held and likes to cuddle, but so far is scared out of her mind from the noisiness of the household. It may be that she would be happier elsewhere, but I sure would like her to just relax a bit.

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News
Posted by Heebie-Geebie on 08.03.20

If you do not bother following the news, you can mostly get through life just fine. I'm trying to think of situations, pre-Covid, where you might regret (in a concrete, short-term, almost-Pavlovian way) that you were not following the news. Tax day articles? You might need to have an alternate method for remembering to file your taxes? Maybe if there's a fire or hurricane in your area? I imagine many people only tune in for updates on natural disasters.

This pandemic has massively affected how much government is affecting everyone's life, in a very immediate sense: your gym will close on Friday. You must wear a mask. Etc. Your industry is going remote. (I suppose your job would communicate that, as well.)

Obvious the shitheels are paying close attention, and are aggravated, but I'm wondering about the truly silent majority who doesn't pay attention to the news. I'm wondering if there's a contingent who are finding out now, for the first time, that it directly affects them to get a heads up warning on what the government is doing, and consequently might be in the process of converting from uninformed to somewhat informed. Like, this may be a sea tide where many people start incorporating the habit of checking a newsource on a daily basis.

Or maybe that would have been the case 20 years ago, but now everyone who does not follow the news gets their most-urgent announcements from Facebook or other social media? I have no idea.

Are there any studies being done on this? If people are starting to follow the news for the first time, which news sources are they reaching for? Are they Fox viewers or .. what is the most digestible centrist equivalent?

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