murder in the chop

A really interesting article on what Amazon is doing to contain Covid.  Some of it is really impressive.  The bottom line for Amazon is that they will lose money if illness spreads through their facilities – they MUST keep people healthy.  Capitalism has dictated that they implement effective means to do that, and it sounds like it’s working.  Automated temperature checks, employees encouraged to get a Covid test free at work every two weeks, cameras monitoring people to make sure they’re six feet apart – that’s the kind of thing that should happen at schools.  But probably won’t.

Meanwhile, a second person has been murdered in CHOP, the “autonomous zone” with no police in Seattle.  One Two teenagers have been murdered and a third is in critical condition (age 14).  You don’t need to be a math whiz to be able to figure out that the death toll here is going to dwarf anything the police would have done pretty quick.   Ultimately, the city of Seattle is responsible for these deaths.   The demands – 50% defunding of police among others – are not only unrealistic but also likely would not lead to a decrease in police violence.  (Justice department-mandated police reforms in Seattle, which seem to be working, have led to a considerable *increase* in budget.)  Reform needs to happen, but defunding is not the answer, at least not in Seattle, and at least not beyond what’s going to have to happen due to the impending economic downturn.

To put the above in perspective, the city of Seattle had only 19 gunshot murders in 2019 and 13 gunshot murders in 2018.  This is not Chicago.  Two teenagers shot dead in three weeks in a 5-block area or so is extremely disproportionate and a big deal.

Other coronavirus thoughts:

1.) The King County DOH just cannot seem to report accurate numbers on number of tests, number of positives, number of deaths, etc.  For example, last week before I went on vacation, I was very alarmed to see (a) a jump in the percentage of positives and (b) a jump in the number of deaths.  For the first, the website reported a few days later that they hadn’t been reporting all negatives the last few days, and the percent positive subsequently fell from 6% back to 2%.  Then, after seeing a large number of deaths, I stopped checking the site for a few days, and during my absence there were -1 deaths.  Really?  I can only assume no one came back to life and they’d flubbed the deaths numbers as well.

2.) The local papers are reporting that “less than 1%” of participants in protests locally tested positive for Covid.  This was meant to be reassuring.  However, on the order of 100,000 people participated in protests.  1% of 100,000 is . . . 1,000.  1,000 positives easily explains the surge we’ve seen in the last few weeks and then some.  Furthermore, recent positives have apparently been focused among young, urban residents.  While I doubt the youthful protesters are particularly susceptible to Covid, I worry about the next generation infections, the people they spread it to.

3.) I read that 20% of Americans have apparently been infected with Covid.  I find this very encouraging.  I can only hope that immunity hangs around for a while, or that at least people are less vulnerable the second time around.