Thursday, May 28, 2020


The curve has been flattened at enormous expense. Most expect Covid will eventually go through the entire population and take many more elderly with comorbidities. It cannot be stopped without a vaccine — or a series of them since the virus will likely mutate. An initial vaccine won’t be available until the end of this year at the earliest. Many governors, however, are reluctant to relax their shutdowns. Instead, they predict a second wave, keeping fear levels high.

Everyone cooperated to flatten the curve, which didn’t take long. People understood the logic and it got done. Reasons to continue the shutdown are not logical and more than a few medical professionals have been censored by Youtube, Facebook, and other social media outlets for declaring that it’s past time to fully reopen the economy. Many people are openly rebelling against continuing restrictions; many more quietly ignore them.

Ninety-something percent of deaths are in one vulnerable, elderly cohort which must continue to quarantine until a vaccine is available. However, death rates for all people infected from this point — including our vulnerable elders — is below one percent. Hospitals are not overwhelmed. Instead, they’re laying off staff! Yet still, Democrats and their media allies continue pumping up fear. The danger now is that lots of people are afraid to go to emergency rooms. Cancers are not caught early. Heart problems are not detected, and so forth.

Motives for continuing the shutdown seem primarily political, though disguised as concern for humanity. The left wants to keep things locked. Conservatives want to reopen. The left says conservatives would sacrifice human lives for money. Conservatives believe the left would keep the economy depressed so they can defeat Trump and take the Senate in November.

Pre-virus divisions are widening as nearly everything now is seen through a political lens. The left sees Dr. Anthony Fauci as the virus guru and he would keep schools closed next fall. It’s hard to envision economic recovery if parents must continue homeschooling. Going about in public without a mask is becoming a sign of resistance to government control. Wearing one is becoming a sign of virtue, not unlike driving a Prius.

Snitches call police when their neighbors entertain guests. Some cops try enforcing guidelines while others declare they have enough to do already. When mainstream media focused on crowds ignoring social distancing at Lake of the Ozarks in Missouri over the weekend, Camden County Sheriff Tony Helms issued this statement: “Social distancing is not a crime and therefore the sheriff’s office has no authority to enforce actions in that regard.” The left was appalled. Conservatives cheered.

Traveling between rural, mostly-conservative Lovell, Maine and coastal, mostly-leftist South Portland, Maine each week, I see contrasts. Rarely do I notice anyone wearing a mask in Lovell but it’s very common in South Portland. Picking up a curbside order of fried clams there last week, I parked next to a pickup truck in which a small dog was wearing a mask. I don’t know whether it was a sarcastic political statement by the driver or genuine concern for a beloved pet.

There’s little point going across the Casco Bay Bridge into Portland these days. Yes, it’s pretty to watch the sun rise at the Eastern Promenade, but nothing is open. The left runs everything in Portland and is less than welcoming to those with differing world views. Last summer I was harassed and assaulted for wearing a MAGA hat on a Congress Street art festival. Will people without masks be harassed? If the City of Portland allows another art festival this summer, I’ll let you know.

My habit is to keep a mask in my car and another in my truck. If I drive up to a store that requires one to get in, I’ll go back to my vehicle and get it. Wearing it makes my glasses fog up though and I can’t see what I’m looking for, so I pull it down. That, of course, negates any virus-inhibiting effect it’s supposed to have, but no one has so far ordered me to pull it up. Many around me do the same thing. Otherwise, I never wear a mask.

Clearly, response to this virus is exacerbating already-serious political divisions. How will that affect the election in November? I don’t want to venture a guess. I will predict, however, that whatever the result, the other side will not take it well. Should the left lose, I expect civil unrest.


Brian said...

OK Tom, lets here facts about the medical professionals who you claim were censored by YouTube and Facebook for "declaring that it’s past time to fully reopen the economy." If you can't do this then you are openly full of $hit. Nobody has been censored for saying it is time to reopen. If you are referring to the "Plandemic" video, then read up on the facts about the nuttiness of this quack.

Also, what facts do you have to claim that motives for the shutdown are political? What kind of "journalist" just spouts off crap with nothing to back it up?

Going out without a mask does not show a sign of resistance as much as it shows a lack of caring about others, but I do agree with you that being considerate and inconveniently wearing one is indeed a sign of virtue. Thanks for recognizing that.

Cute story about the dog, and not knowing if it had a loving owner or just a jerk for an owner.

I predict a huge uprising of political dissent stirred up by Trump when he loses. He will give a call to arms and protest the election and will probably have to be forcibly removed after the people have their say. It will probably get ugly. Dictators don't give up power easily.

Tony said...

To echo Brian's sentiment, why is it that references are not required for your column in the Conway Daily Sun? Is it simply because it is an editorial? Also, do you present your columns simply as observations or are they written with a clear and intended bias? I submit these questions sincerely, not in a rhetorical sense. Thank you.

Kafir said...

"Pre-virus divisions are widening as nearly everything now is seen through a political lens. The left sees Dr. Anthony Fauci as the virus guru and he would keep schools closed next fall. It’s hard to envision economic recovery if parents must continue homeschooling. Going about in public without a mask is becoming a sign of resistance to government control. Wearing one is becoming a sign of virtue, not unlike driving a Prius."

Have either of you ever read an Edgar Beem column?

This seemed like a pretty balanced paragraph summarizing both positions to me, but what do I know? I'm sure Brian and now Tony will tell me (Remember, I don't care what you think).

Trump will be re-elected. Hopefully, the Republicans will keep the Senate majority and re-gain control of the House which was lost because of the bogus impeachment scam. Now, if we could only do the same with the state legislature, we can Make Maine Great Again.

Nick Peace said...

It's clear this pandemic is experienced by people differently in different parts of the country. Tom your last two columns were great in pointing this out.

The statistics - the science - show that fatalities are largely in the elderly and those with other diseases.

We need to open up. I do think masks, especially in indoor settings, are a reasonable compromise.

CaptDMO said...

I wonder if Ms. Haralambie J.D. as seen in todays public forum ot the Sun,
get's her news and "data" from Dr. Fauci?
Apparently, the magic hand of economics has made the price of 1/8 inch "Plexiglass" (Acrylic or polycarbonate sheeting) skyrocket faster than epipens, or "Higher Education", so I've seen newly required heavy plastic sheet going up at business counters.
Mask, in conjunction with acrylic panel, and six feet of "politically correct distance" has made verbal communication much harder, even with "convenient" electronic
payment at "No cash" establishments.
Food markets closest to the near-food-deserts at the gateway to the Notches are suffering barren shelves again. (Awful lot of vacation accommodations out there).
Smoker's hack, from years of cigarettes, is NOT making me any more popular among those outside of my "Sphere", but at LEAST I was finally able to find a NEW primary Care Physician (my old ones keep vanishing) outside the Hospital
Conglomerate, and after 10 days, I was able to renew non-Chinese Wuhan Novel Coronavirus-19 "related", (and non-"recreational abuse) pharma.
Dodged a bullet there as Homeland Security is clamping down on legitimate prescriptions, at HALF he cost, from "elsewhere" through the mail, on a technicality.
I have at least ONE total economic victim of "shut down" working diligently as a partner in the Victory Garden.
Sure hope that what's now simply Orange Man Bad vs. "Get 'er done" doesn't evolve into Concrete paths vs Dirt people when food becomes an issue in the Fall.
I have no room for planned benevolence for Grasshopper "experts" come canning time, when the frost is on the pumpkin.
I have less than usual benevolence planned for feral (or furry)critters of the forest invading the garden as well, lest they simply come to expect, and continue to teach their spawn, about the free ride.

Steve said...

During the 2016 campaign, Trump declared the election is rigged. That was when most everyone expecting Clinton to win. Of course, he didn’t make any effort to provide ANY evidence of a rigged election. He went on to win the electoral college but lose the popular vote by over 3 million votes, to which he declared were cast by illegals. Like his claim of a rigged election, he never made any attempt provide evidence of it or explain how he knew all of those people voted for Clinton. He was so preoccupied with the fact that the majority of voters didn’t want him to be president, he created the Election Commission to research this raft of illegal voting. He disbanded it in 2018 after finding nothing. Now he’s preparing for a possible loss in November by attacking mail-in voting and trying to restrict absentee voting for only approved reasons. If he loses, I predict he will trot out every possible claim of voter fraud imaginable, and I also predict his base will believe it all. We’ll hear about illegal voting, Democratic governors, lamestream media, etc. Mr. McLaughlin, you predict civil unrest if Biden loses? Wait until you see the civil unrest when he convinces his base that the election was fraudulent if he loses. If Trump loses, and all of those armed patriots who stormed various state capitols are told the election was stolen – and you know they’re going to believe it – do you think it will be a peaceful time in this country?

Do you all remember when Trump said Alabama was at risk of a direct hit from hurricane Dorian? The governor tweeted out that it wasn’t true, which was prudent. No need to create panic. To try and prove he wasn’t wrong, he held up a then four-day old NOAA chart showing the hurricane path with a herniated path bulging out to clip the corner of Alabama that looked suspiciously hand-drawn in Sharpie. So fess up, is there anyone on this board who was stupid enough to believe Trump’s updated hurricane path? Because the hard reality of that situation was, Trump thought you were stupid enough to believe it. If he would go to that length to prove he wasn’t wrong about something as insignificant as that, what lengths do you think he’ll go to too cast doubt on the election if he loses? What absurd and otherworldly excuses do you think he is going to trot out for you folks?

There was no civil unrest when Trump won in 2016, hopefully there won’t be if he wins in November. But do you really think there will be no unrest when he inevitably convinces his base the election was stolen if he loses?

Brian said...

Very well said, Steve, but once again Trump supporters here will not answer your questions. They are very cowardly in that regard. Did you notice how Tom completely ignored the simple questions from Tony? Trump supporters will not stop and think about anything that goes against their pre-conceived notions. They reject things outright without a conversation or examining all facts.

And you are right. All Trump will have to do in November is break out his Sharpie and a ballot and he will "prove" to his flock that he was robbed. And it will get ugly.

Steve said...

Thanks, Brian. What some on the partisan right are willing to ignore is one thing, but what they’re willing to believe is what truly frightens me: Obama was born in Kenya though he released his Certificate of Live Birth in 2008, the military exercise dubbed Jade Helm was actually a practice run for when Obama was going to institute martial law, the Sandy Hook massacre was staged as a pretext for Obama’s nation-wide gun confiscation, Clinton ran a child-sex ring out of a D.C pizza parlor, Seth Rich was murdered because he leaked the Clinton emails. I’m sure I’m forgetting some. Most of us had one or more elderly relatives who forwarded some of the most outlandish emails during Obama’s two terms. My father and an uncle always kept me in that delusional loop, and most of them were fact checked as lies. It was clear they were forwarded and replied-to-all dozens upon dozens of times. One of those emails listed over fifty people in the Clintons’ immediate orbit who died under mysterious circumstances. I guess the implication was that they had all of them assassinated? I don’t think the Gambino crime family were such prolific killers. But the email that still bothers me is the one where the author purportedly quoted Obama proudly declaring he and Michelle routinely attended flag-burning ceremonies. My father and uncle sent me that email a few times during the campaign and his time in office. I read through some of the comments from other people who received and forwarded that email. People wrote things like, “Why isn’t the media covering this?” or “Heaven help us if he gets elected.” How many thousands, maybe tens of thousands, of people does it take to keep an email like that alive and circulating for over eight years? Those people vote. Those people who are so eager to believe and so easily duped vote. It puts a democratic republic in peril when you have enough people in the citizenry who can be so easily misled, because there will never be a shortage of people eager to step in and mislead them for their own personal profit.

Brian said...

The power of making oneself believe something that you want to believe is very strong. The ludicrously bizarre story of Hillary's child sex ring in a DC pizzeria is a great example. A poll taken after this "story" broke found that nearly 50% of Trump supporters -half of them! - thought the story was true or might be true. One Trumpie even was arrested going into the pizzeria and firing his semi. Wanting to believe drives people nuts.

Investigations into this showed that associates of the Trump campaign and Russian operatives were involved with spreading this malarky which was eaten up and spread further by Trump-Believe-It-Alls.

So when they fall for that hogwash, what won't they fall for? Birther crap? OF course! Now Trump is flailing around with "Obamagate". Why should he give up starting and spreading fake news when he has such a gullible flock? It's just "good" politics for a morally bankrupt politician.

But deep down most of them know this is all crap. Aside from the few genuine kooks who will argue that Sandy Hook didn't happen until they are red in the face, most of the Trump flock will hide away if confronted by questions outside their safe space, their bubble of ditto heads. They can't argue it rationally, but they will never concede any point, no matter how obvious, to a leftist. Sadly, politics has become like a Red Sox - Yankees rivalry. A-Rod can blatantly slap a ball away from a Red Sox player and Yankees fans will defend it - even find a reason to blame the Red Sox. Like Trumpies defend Trump. But the stakes are much higher than a World Series title. I'm not sure how this cycle will be broken.

Brian said...

The thin-skinned toddler prince’s pride was so hurt by media saying he was sheltering in a bunker that he thought, “What would my role model, Putin, do?” and “what would a reality TV star do?” and combined them. Desperate to show strength, he turned security forces on the people and grabbed his tv prop, a bible, and went for his photo-op in front of a church.

"I thought I was watching a scene from something in Turkey, and not in the United States," retired Lt. Gen. Russel Honore, who commanded National Guard troops in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina.

Bishop Mariann Edgar Budde of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington, said: "The President just used the Bible, our sacred text of the Judeo-Christian tradition, and one of the churches of my diocese, without permission, as a backdrop for a message antithetical to the teachings of Jesus," Budde said on "AC360. I am outraged. The President did not pray when he came to St. John's nor did he acknowledge the agony of our country right now."

The gaslighting and emptiness of Trump's words was evident in television pictures that showed the crowd outside peacefully demonstrating moments before.

Ordering US troops against peaceful protesters for a mere photo op to spout rhetoric of the despotic leaders he so admires was a bizarre farce and shows how far Trump will go to protect his own thin skin.

CaptDMO said...

Ooooo, shoulda' OPENED with the bit about gaslighting, before offering the rest of you theis, including the citations!

Greg Vander Veer said...

Tom McGlauglin's latest column shows us once again how incapable he is of looking beyond his own experiences and political ideology. To him, the only problem with the world is liberal politicians and the "mainstream media". He just can't fathom perhaps he doesn't understand the experiences of Black Americans, LGBT Americans, Mexican Americans, etc. At at time when we all should be listening and struggling to understand experiences completely unfamiliar to us, instead he engages in pedantic, pseudo-intellectual arguments intended to discredit real life experiences. Tom has no answers to anything. He is merely a political idealogue wildly impressed with his own evermore predictable and dull opinions. I know this is in vain, but Tom I highly suggest you stick to columns about photographs, chopping wood and your trips to Ireland as you are completely incapable of writing intelligently about the current events you pretend to know so much about.