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2:00PM Water Cooler 12/29/2021

Summary:
By Lambert Strether of Corrente. Patient readers, I will be taking a holiday breather, and running an abbreviated Water Cooler though January 3, 2022 (may it be a better year). Please consider this an open thread, and talk amongst yourselves. –lambert Bird Song of the Day From the media notes: “Calls and eventually crowing from a group of four hens and one rooster foraging in the shade at the edge of a field.” So, a bonus hen. * * * Here are a couple Covid charts. Case count by United States regions: We’re gonna need a bigger chart. I have helpfully added an anti-triumphalist “Fauci Line.” Worth noting the case count is probably an undercount. Home tests don’t get counted, and not everybody can go get a test. Because hospitalizations and deaths lag, we won’t have a complete picture for

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By Lambert Strether of Corrente.

Patient readers, I will be taking a holiday breather, and running an abbreviated Water Cooler though January 3, 2022 (may it be a better year). Please consider this an open thread, and talk amongst yourselves. –lambert

Bird Song of the Day

From the media notes: “Calls and eventually crowing from a group of four hens and one rooster foraging in the shade at the edge of a field.” So, a bonus hen.

* * *

Here are a couple Covid charts. Case count by United States regions:

2:00PM Water Cooler 12/29/2021

We’re gonna need a bigger chart. I have helpfully added an anti-triumphalist “Fauci Line.” Worth noting the case count is probably an undercount. Home tests don’t get counted, and not everybody can go get a test.

Because hospitalizations and deaths lag, we won’t have a complete picture for the United States population — which is different from South Africa’s, the UK’s, and indeed every country, both demographically, and with respect to vaccination and co-morbidities like obesity — for another two weeks or so. I would be happy indeed if we lucked out, and Omicron indeed did turn out to be “mild.” However, I’n brain-meltingly enraged at our political class, which allowed the notion that Omicron would be “mild” to take root and flourish before the evidence for the United States was in. It’s the very reverse of the Precautionary Principle, and insanely dangerous in the midst of a pandemic, at least to public health, if there is such a thing anymore. Couldn’t these purveyors of hot takes have waited two weeks?

Here are the CDC’s rapid riser counties as of 12/23/2021:

2:00PM Water Cooler 12/29/2021

Thanks to the sharp eyes of alert reader ChrisFromGeorgia, I have helpfully dotted the major cities that are also rapid riser counties — in blue (plus Denver and Nashville). Looks like those Blue Cities have some sort of Enemy Within thing going on…. (Chicago isn’t red, but pink, so no dot.)

Yesterday’s:

2:00PM Water Cooler 12/29/2021

Today looks worse, especially in the lower Mississippi.

* * *

Looking on the bright side:

Quite right!

* * *

Contact information for plants: Readers, feel free to contact me at lambert [UNDERSCORE] strether [DOT] corrente [AT] yahoo [DOT] com, to (a) find out how to send me a check if you are allergic to PayPal and (b) to find out how to send me images of plants. Vegetables are fine! Fungi and coral are deemed to be honorary plants! If you want your handle to appear as a credit, please place it at the start of your mail in parentheses: (thus). Otherwise, I will anonymize by using your initials. See the previous Water Cooler (with plant) here. Today’s plant (KS):

2:00PM Water Cooler 12/29/2021

KS writes: “Anghiari, Italy, Tuesday morning. There are plants.” There are indeed; it’s a lovely landscape.

* * *

Readers: Water Cooler is a standalone entity not covered by the recently concluded and — thank you! — successful annual NC fundraiser. So if you see a link you especially like, or an item you wouldn’t see anywhere else, please do not hesitate to express your appreciation in tangible form. Remember, a tip jar is for tipping! Regular positive feedback both makes me feel good and lets me know I’m on the right track with coverage. When I get no donations for five or ten days I get worried. More tangibly, a constant trickle of donations helps me with expenses, and I factor in that trickle when setting fundraising goals:

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2:00PM Water Cooler 12/29/2021

If you hate PayPal, you can email me at lambert [UNDERSCORE] strether [DOT] corrente [AT] yahoo [DOT] com, and I will give you directions on how to send a check. Thank you!

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