Wednesday, January 12, 2022

What The Fuck Is Wrong With These People

I'm often reminded (this is a fuzzy half invented memory at this point because it was a long time ago and I am old, so I won't say who) of an economist who helped drive post-Soviet Russia into the ditch who, when asked about what went wrong, angrily said something like, "We told them to do 5 things and they only did 4 of them!!!" 

The point being his brilliant plan for a transition to a capitalist utopia required doing 5 things precisely right, and if they only managed to do 4 of them and plunge the economy into complete darkness, with severely diminished lifespans and vastly increased poverty and with half the country being siphoned off into the bank accounts of 15 people, 5 of whom were buddies with this economist, THEY HAD NO ONE BUT THEMSELVES TO BLAME.

There's a petulant, "fuck it, taking my ball and go home," attitude with this, rather than, "it's my responsibility to deal with this imperfect mess even if the people aren't all doing exactly what I tell them to do."

A senior administration official argued an effort to send N95 or KN95 masks to Americans would make little difference because "half the country won't wear any mask."

"It may be popular in certain corners of Twitter, but for masking to work as a public health tool, people need to actually wear them," the official said. "To prevent spread, the focus should be maximizing the number of people simply wearing a mask in the first place, not shifting the goal posts to urge everyone to go above and beyond to use high filtration masks to make it less likely they themselves will inhale particles.”

Plenty of people wear masks, plenty of people are willing to wear masks, all of those people would happily wear *better masks.* Polls show lots of support for wearing masks, and even if there are corners of the country where this is not the majority view, it's still a substantial minority view and every little bit helps.

Another reason to do it, like many other things, is to signal that it's important, to model behavior by putting resources behind it. And, sure, you probably aren't going to convince the MAGAs to wear them, but making them available for the people *who will wear them* helps! Every little bit helps!

Encouraging (not even requiring) mask wearing is the lowest cost intervention there is, even if it involves mailing out millions of the fancy ones!

I love the swipe at *twitter,* which always come from the people whose brains are absolutely the most poisoned by social media, but who are convinced it's everybody else with that problem.

And, hey, maybe masks are dumb, but you guys are in charge and you better figure something out, aside from yelling at people to go to work sick.