Under Control

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

(Cartoonist - Stuart Carlson)

In other news, New York has joined California in issuing a shelter in place order for the entire state. All essential businesses are to be closed.

The good news is liquor stores have been classified as essential.

Meanwhile, the IRS has extended the tax filing deadline from April 15th to July 15th.

Finally, the number of global cases of the coronavirus topped 250,000 today. Italy reported 627 additional deaths in a single day.

ROME (Reuters) - The death toll from an outbreak of coronavirus in Italy has leapt by 627 to 4,032, officials said on Friday, an increase of 18.4% — by far the largest daily rise in absolute terms since the contagion emerged a month ago.

Until Friday, Italy had never recorded more than 475 deaths in a single day, while China, where the contagion has slowed sharply, has never reported more than 150.

The total number of cases in Italy rose to 47,021 from a previous 41,035, an increase of 14.6%, the Civil Protection Agency said.

These numbers -- with 4,000 deaths from 47,000 cases -- suggests an 8.5 percent death rate in Italy. For comparison, the death rate of the flu is about 0.1 percent.

Tell your stubborn family to stay home this weekend. I'm opening a box of cheap wine tonight. I'll try not to drink the whole thing in one sitting.

  • mnpollio

    I think it is important to stay calm. Actually kept my appointment with my doctor the other day for a physical and glad I did. He clarified a lot of the misinformation and missing gaps coming from the media and the bureaucrats/politicians. He told me procedures and details on the virus that the powers that be are not going out of their way to share, like when to actually show up at an ER and the procedures associated with it. He mentioned that his lines and the hot lines were being inundated with patients having regular allergy season symptoms convinced they had the virus and were in immediate risk of death. I can sympathize as I spoke with a friend on the weekend (love her, but she is a grade A hypochondriac and always has been) who is convinced she has COVID-19 despite the fact that she has none of the symptoms. Similarly, he also mentioned huge numbers of healthy young and middle-aged people who seem sold by the media and some of the bureaucrats that getting the virus is a death sentence for them. As he calmly put it, the virus is spreading very quickly and it is debatable how much the “social distancing” will end up helping, but the vast majority who get the virus will not die. Some will be asymptomatic and others will have 10-14 days of bad flu-like misery, but come out OK at the end. And he said once you recover from it, you are immune to recurrences unless/until it evolves into a different strain years down the line. This last part would be nice to hear from the media and the bureaucrats to counterbalance the non-stop “We’re all gonna die!” viewpoints. Then maybe this would allow health professionals to concentrate more fully on the elderly and the compromised who are really at risk rather than being diverted by those who will come through it fine.

  • katanahamon

    I’m glad you found cheap wine. I found a ‘93 Ridge Geyserville Zinfandel, and an 04 Damiano Barolo. I’m hoping they stored well..I looked at the Ridge cork, looks brand new. I didn’t save any other old ones. Not a big wine cellar-Er. Wish I’d saved Ridge Zins when they were 14.99…. I appreciate all the New Zealand Sauvignon blancs great in focaccia dough and the glass.

  • Badgerite

    I actually think the leadership for the response to Covid-19 has now shifted to the states, cities, and medical communities severely impacted by the pandemic. trump, of course, is worse than useless. he is and has been a hinderance. But I think the country gets it now and the citizenry like the ‘citizen soldiers’ of WWII are stepping up. Personal protective equipment for medical staff and ventilators are being produced. The public, including businesses and manufacturers, are looking for a way to help. The public, I think, is responding to the desperate stories coming from the twitter feeds of nurses and ICU and emergency room personnel. They are on the frontlines and their storeis are quite sobering, God knows. This is not “the flu.” I think the country is finally responding. And this makes me hopeful. Hopeful that they will finally get the help they need to fight this pandemic.

    • Christopher Foxx

      How could the leadership “shift” to the states? It was never anywhere else.

      • Badgerite

        Good point. I don’t even listen to trump. I don’t know why anyone does.

  • muselet

    • We here in California can still go for walks and walk the dog, as long as we practice proper social distancing. It’s odd not having somewhere to go.

    • I’m slightly surprised at the three-month extension, but given all that’s going on, I don’t think many people are really in the mood to do their taxes.

    • Italy was a day late and a dollar short in its response to SARS-Co-V2. As Kevin Drum points out, so are we.

    Stay safe out there.


  • Aynwrong

    All of this while the most incompetent human being in God’s creation is telling us that the federal government is “not a shipping clerk.” I wonder if it’s occurred to any of his supporters that live in red states that this bullshit fits rather nicely into their party’s espoused States Rights ideology. If it has, I hope it burns.

    Good luck to you JM and everyone else reading this.

    • muselet

      It’s not really pop culture, but if you’re after a beautiful distraction, you could do worse than’s stream. It’s one of the few 24/7 classical stations in the US.