Coronavirus, Social Justice, and the New Religion

When Per Capita Lives Matter and When They Don’t

June 26 screenshot: U.S. is 9th in Coronavirus deaths per capita. SOURCE: https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/
I still recall when New York Times on March 26 said the USA was “hardest hit” by the coronavirus pandemic without recognizing per capita numbers. In fact, I screen captured that moment. Intellectual inconsistency is contagious, as this would be the lead story across media and political circles with no mention that around 20 other countries were ahead of the U.S. in the rate of cases and deaths. Similarly, a month later NBC, NPR, The Intercept, and even National Geographic said the U.S. has more deaths from coronavirus than the Vietnam War, as if reading from the same 2020 Democrats talking points memo. The 100,000 deaths mark led to extensive and historical New York Times coverage. Which leads me to wonder about the counterfactual: Would Hillary Clinton receive such headlines? And how many more lives would be saved if she were president?

Per Capita vs. Sum Totals

The new record one-day spike is certainly horrible news and will certainly lead to U.S. most likely going up the global death count rankings. Will the U.S. pass France? Maybe. The U.K., Belgium, Italy, or Spain? Doubtful. Though, admittedly, the trends aren’t looking positive.

Interestingly, the death rate is lower in the U.S. and that could be one reason several European countries still have far higher death rates as of June 27, 2020. Many of the new cases are from younger people. SOURCE: CNN
  1. This is where we are now in our death rate, and haven’t gone up very far the past two months.
  2. We’re obviously not the country hardest affected by Covid-19, with six major European countries doing much worse.
  3. We’ll see how we go after this sudden spike in cases. (This last point I never quite got a chance to get to due to the first two being completely dismissed as irrelevant.)

Where The Hypocrisy Rubber Meets The Road

Rather than dropping out of the conversation, I simply asked this admin if white people were “doing worse” because white Americans had double the “sum total deaths” at the hands of cops compared to black people. I also stated that by his logic white Americans were the #1 hardest hit group by having the most sum total Covid-19 cases and deaths.

The past two months have been filled with stories on disproportionate impact of coronavirus on black people.
Graph from CDC posted in a CBS-affiliated news station in Greensboro, North Carolina.

Addendum I: April and May Screenshots of Coronavirus Deaths Per Million

April 21: U.S. is 14th in coronavirus deaths per capita. SOURCE: https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/
May 29: U.S. is 13th in coronavirus deaths per capita. SOURCE: https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/

Addendum II: Religion is Taking Over Politics, Our Lives

And if you want to hear about John McWhorter and his next book plans, check out this video below. For five years he’s been speaking of antiracism based on reductive critical theory as a new sort of religion. Especially in how the masses genuflect and repeat certain words and concepts as if on cue — or worse, when coerced out of them. After bringing up yet another social justice controversy on a racialized situation that didn’t have to be racialized or a big controversy, McWhorter makes his literary intentions known at the beginning of a recent Bloggingheads.tv episode with Glenn Loury after the death of George Floyd:

“I’ve decided to write a manifesto on antiracism as a religion” — John McWhorter declairing his next book topic

Addendum III: I Got The Boot Again

This is getting to be quite humorous, in a way. But I chalk it hubris and that ideological “religion” that tends to not directly engage with the arguments of heretics. I’ve only seen this one thousand times before. It’s the internet!

Worth noting: The four people I tagged (redacted above) were all leaving comments directed at me after I was suspended from the group. However, I couldn’t respond until today (Sunday, June 28). One person is currently trying to lobby for my return after I got this one comment. I believe she personally phoned the admin. These four also “liked” the admin’s comment saying this utter foolishness: “USA is doing worse than any other country in the world since it has the highest number of deaths, hospitalizations, and reported cases.” For me, there’s no clearer example as to how seemingly smart people have gone off the deep end, as I’m in another group with near universal agreement that “per capita” matters more than sum total. They inspired me to write this post.

Addendum IV: The Future & a Reminder to Wear Your Masks!

Even I know the basics. Wearing masks in closed public spaces could save tens of thousands of lives.

Earlier projections showed a stabilization at this time at 60,000 deaths. As of June 28 the U.S. is at 123,000. Current projections for October 1 are at 179,106 deaths. SOURCE: https://covid19.healthdata.org/united-states-of-america

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Writer. Researcher. Designer. Human seeking better outcomes for all. Empiricism, relevant facts, and logical arguments > simple narratives.

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David Shuey

Writer. Researcher. Designer. Human seeking better outcomes for all. Empiricism, relevant facts, and logical arguments > simple narratives.