March 23, 2020

In response to a popular piece on the economic devastation of “flattening the curve” my friend Scott Reeves issued a challenge to me: Jen, I think you’re wrong.  Check us off on the test of true friendship, and then read Scott’s thoughtful challenge to the Church, which is pertinent to anyone who opposes the flattening of the faith. Meanwhile, as an Armchair Junior Economist, with the weight such a position entails, here are some quick thoughts on what I think… Read more

March 19, 2020

Friends are circulating this article from Bloomberg, which for some reason is supposed to be reassuring, “99% of Those Who Died From Virus Had Other Illness, Italy Says.” In the sampling of cases, Bloomberg reports that of those who died: More than 75% had high blood pressure, about 35% had diabetes and a third suffered from heart disease. So what does that mean for American readers? The CDC estimates that 13% of Americans have diabetes.  Concerning high blood pressure, from… Read more

March 15, 2020

I’m not a physician and I’m not an epidemiologist, but I do sometimes teach logic. I am seeing stories come in from various US states of people who should not be in ICU ending up in ICU for a mysterious respiratory ailment.  It tests negative for the flu and the like, it presents as if it might be COVID-19, but since testing is very limited, COVID-19 status cannot be known one way or another. So let’s think through this: Either we… Read more

March 10, 2020

. . . Yasha Mounk at The Atlantic is correct: When the coronavirus first spread to South Korea, many observers pointed to the comparatively low death rates in the country to justify undue optimism. In countries with highly developed medical systems, they claimed, a smaller portion of patients would die. But while more than half of all diagnosed patients in China have now been cured, most South Korean patients are still in the throes of the disease. Of 7,478 confirmed cases, only… Read more

March 9, 2020

The selective caution of American public health officials is a tragicomedy.  If you’re on a cruise ship or just got back from Italy and happen to grab the attention of the right folk, we take dramatic steps to prove we are Doing Something. Massive outrage if the chosen victim does not abide to strict quarantine.  Otherwise, it’s see-no-evil. Community-transmission cases among the elderly in small-town South Carolina?  Oh, gosh, I don’t know, maaaybeeeee there kinda could be sorta possibly other people with… Read more

March 6, 2020

As the US starts feeling the impact of our still-unmeasured coronavirus situation, public health authorities and school districts have to decide what to do about all our darling disease-vectors crammed together in the classroom each day. Something to consider: How about making schools more school-from-home compatible? Having done both, I know very well that classroom teaching and homeschooling are completely different from one another.  The textbooks and lesson plans are not the same, and it’s rather a pain to teach… Read more

February 28, 2020

Let’s talk about the economics of epidemics.  By the time we’ve hit all seven takes for today, we’ll have a to-do item. #1 I am inclined to believe COVID-19 is for serious. It can be tough to decipher the reality behind news out of China.  Frankly it’s tough to decipher the reality behind any click-provoking, ad-selling story picked up by the modern media.  But here is something fairly rare: China, South Korea, Japan, Iran, and Italy all went into freak-out mode… Read more

February 19, 2020

I was appalled to see this defense of police-sponsored racist harassment by John McWhorter writing at The Atlantic of all places, making the case that it’s okay to vote for a viciously racist authoritarian regime, as long as it’s not Trump.  Um . . . no?  Just no. And while we’re at it, that’s a big fat no to offensive stereotyping in the name of high fashion, and in what backwards world must we depend on The New York Post to cover that… Read more

February 11, 2020

So today I ate lunch today at a local Trump campaign meeting, an unexpected encounter that answered a few questions about the national mood.  (For those who don’t recall, here’s where I stood four years ago.  No significant change to report.) Meanwhile, here’s a headline being passed around Twitter: Couple indicted on involuntary manslaughter charge for allegedly terminating pregnancy.  Mom and Dad ordered misoprostol from an overseas pharamcy, used it to induce an abortion, and sure enough it worked. Exactly which Ohio laws… Read more

January 11, 2020

Hey everyone, I am looking for help, quickly.  My awesome editor of the new book surprised me by wanting more, not less, info on making parishes accessible to persons with disabilities. The question we need to cover: What is the best way for a parish to communicate with you, and vice-versa, so that your disability (medical condition, etc – so celiac, diabetes, severe allergies, chronic illness . . . all that can have parish-life implications too) can be accommodated right from… Read more

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