Our privacy and digital histories are obviously a royal clusterfuck at this point. However, secrecy about who has covid has been scrupulously maintained, at least on the local level. For example, Jammies is not informed that he has a student in his class that has tested positive unless the powers that be determine that he was unmasked and within 6 feet for at least 15 minutes. There's a similar policy at Heebie U - I find out if a student is going to be remote due to something vaguely involving Covid, but that's it. We don't know if the student is waiting out an exposure or has actually tested positive unless the student tells the Health people that we were unmasked together for 15 minutes. I recently heard a story about a teacher who had a student who said, "Wanna know a secret?" and the teacher said ok, and the kid says, "My mom has covid!"
I can think of several ways to analyze this:
- our worker protections and health care protections are so shitty that we can't afford to be more transparent on covid positivity without the consequence falling on the most vulnerable among us. For example, a worker who wants to keep their covid diagnosis a secret so that they can return to work when they run out of vacation days and not get fired.
- this is really dumb and hamstringing our ability to know whether or not we've been near someone with covid
Should covid positivity operate under a different set of privacy rules than the rest of HIPAA? Is this such a massive counterfactual that it's just impossible to predict how it would affect people's willingness to get tested, etc?
Ydnew writes: [one of us] posted this on Facebook, and it was a pretty interesting read. I'm not sure what one could say about it - con men are charming and water is wet? I like her earrings?
Heebie's take: omg, I saw this there and was planning on reading it. This woman was a journalist covering white collar crime for Bloomberg News, and she was covering Martin Shkreli, and falls in love with him. Her marriage dissolves over the course of this.
Later that month, Shkreli offered his online followers $5,000 for a strand of hair from Hillary Clinton, who'd criticized his drug pricing. His lawyer said it was his usual online "immaturity, satire," but prosecutors filed a motion asking that he be jailed until sentencing in response. By then, Smythe's book leave was over and she was back covering Shkreli for Bloomberg. She called him when she heard about the Hillary hair incident, and "he just railed at me about freedom of speech," Smythe says. But the judge jailed Shkreli; he walked into court with his lawyers and, after, was placed in a holding cell by U.S. marshals. The minute she left the courtroom, Smythe texted and emailed Shkreli's friends, asking if he had his medications and arranging for someone to retrieve his cat. Then she filed a story from the pressroom. "Ms. Smythe's editors did not know about these actions," a Bloomberg News spokesperson told me. "Had they been aware of them at the time, at a minimum, she would have been immediately taken off the beat."
At home later that night, she couldn't sleep; her Fitbit measured her resting heart rate at 10 beats higher for a week afterward. "I still was in denial about it, but this really hit me hard," she says of Shkreli's sudden jailing. Her physical reaction made it harder for her to ignore that something more than a journalist-source relationship might be developing.
Here's my two-bit analysis:
1. She's a bit of an asshole herself who has always been motivated by status and money, and achieving those things made her unconsciously comply with this fiction of not-being-a-total-asshole, probably largely because of her gender.
2. She achieved money and status, and the marriage along the way, and was bored with the lack of pursuit and adrenaline in her life.
3. Here is someone who exhibits the asshole behavior that she suppresses in herself, and also is smart and interesting in ways that promise to be the antidote to her current life. Plus teases her with glimpses of a true connection with a tender soul, and generally plays cat-and-mouse games with her in an addictively random-reward Pavlovian pellet bar manner. The whole combination is an irresistible pull for her.
Brief follow up interview with Smythe, 24 hours after the story breaks and goes viral.
Alexey Navalny is something else, and the latest twist is just bananas.
Audio of the call with an English transcript.
Across the United States, many areas with large populations of Latinos and residents of Asian descent, including ones with the highest numbers of immigrants, had something in common this election: a surge in turnout and a shift to the right, often a sizable one.
Jesus McQueen's birthday is on Monday, and Jesus's Grace has let me know that there will be zoom memorial for him on that day, in case you would like to attend.
5 to 7 PM Pacific Time.
The actual zoom link will be forthcoming over the weekend, so if you want to check in, I will update the post (or drop the link in the comments?) as appropriate.
Updated to add: Bumped, and details are inside.
Congratulations on passing your stupid stimulus package, lawmakers. It's staggering how poorly you've managed to do your goddamn jobs the past six months. At least now you perceive it to be in your own best interests. Hooray. (These made me laugh.)
It is so ironic that Republicans are finally governing, strictly in order to convince Georgia voters to keep them in power so that they can immediately cease doing their job, and maximally prevent Democrats from governing.