49 Replies to “Sunday Open Thread: What if we had treated it as an emergency when we still had time…”

  1. If New York had shut down just a week earlier, they’d have probably peaked at around 400 deaths per day instead of over 800.

    1. Yep. New York had the misfortune of being governed by the three stooges: De Blasio, Cuomo and Trump. Their inability to take this crisis seriously cost a lot of lives.

    2. Sadder quandary yet, Mairi…..If on September 11, 2001, our every airline had followed the lead of the Israelis and constantly budgeted Security to make sure nobody brought a box-cutter aboard one of their airliners, making their last hijacking their last-and-only one…..

      COVID body count would make the pathogen look like a cute bristly little lollipop with a spoiled-brat need to be noticed by comparison. “If”-word makes it “Subjunctive.”

      Like Rudyard Kipling, an unapologetic colonialist used for an example: “If you can keep your head when all abound you are losing theirs and blaming it on you…” You definitely have no idea of the situation!

      Mark Dublin

    3. When I went to an event in Toronto in 2000 and we were waiting for somebody to arrive from Halifax, I was surprised that even domestic flights had a single exit point like on international flights. My Canadian friend said, “The US is the only country in the world that lets non-passengers walk to the gate, and it will be vulnerable to a terror attack sooner or later.”

      9/11 was a more conventional failure of imagination. Nobody noticed that a few people signed up for flight school and opted out of the takeoff/landing classes saying they wouldn’t need them.

      Coronavirus was more of a deliberate failure. Both Bush II and Trump filled agencies with leaders intent on dismantling them. Trump left critical positions open for months, zeroed out the budget for pandemic preparedness, surplused the PPP stores and left them to rot, weakened our ties with our democratic allies, started unnecessary trade wars which are contributing to supply shortages, and in the middle of a pandemic wants to defund the WHO. Never mind that the outgoing Obama administration gave them a turnkey-ready plan and supplies and said this was one of the most likely crises.

      1. Trump left critical positions open for months

        Actually, the Democrats stalled on confirming nominations at an unprecedented scale. But that won’t resonant in the echo chamber of the transit zealots on this blog.

      2. Given that all nominees are confirmed by a Republican controlled Senate, and that the filibuster has been abolished for confirmations, one can hardly blame the Democrats for nominees not getting confirmed.

  2. It seems to be more like this out here in my part of flyover country. They did make the bus fare free before Metro did though.

  3. A better whatif: What if we didn’t have a political system that gave some uneducated mouthbreather in the middle of rural nowhere more political power than, say, smart people?

    1. You mean … one where the person who gets the most votes for president is declared the winner? Call me crazy, but I think that idea just makes too much sense.

      And, oh yeah, we could rank the candidates instead of being told we have to vote for the two-party Sithdom, for fear of being shamed for voting for who we really want. Note to campaign surrogates: Shaming people into voting your way hasn’t worked very well all the previous times and will probably be even less successful this time.

      The fate of our political system hangs in the balance in Colorado, where voters will vote in November on whether to stay in the compact for direct election of the president (and, FBoW, it will come down, in practice, to whether they want to see Democratic or Republican candidates have a better chance of winning, even if nobody is voicing that argument, and nearly all the arguments being voiced are concern trolls to avoid saying that it is all about partisanship, and who benefits from maintaining a bit of Jim Crow from the blessed founding fathers, PBUT).

      Bringing democracy into the 20th century will also be in the hands of voters in Maine in November, where the Republican Party is forcing voters there to vote for the third time in five years on ranked choice voting (and RCV won the first two). As it happens, this is the first bill, anywhere in the US, where Democratic officeholders actually passed RCV for a statewide election. Sometimes, they do eventually listen to the people.

      1. Real shame, Ross, is how much sense the Electoral College made to the Founders whose main reason for even running was to make sure that nobody’s freedom to own slaves was ever infringed. Anybody claiming they’re “Libertarian”…prove that doesn’t include you.

        Yesterday’s mail told me that the Democratic Party needs 18 of my dollars. Relief it’s not like a headway that needs to be either 24 minutes or 14, but never 15 or 30.

        Change of governing parties, ‘way past “Essential.” And ’til I can get the Civil War’s “Radical” Republicans- modern Democrats would’ve fled them, screaming with terror about left-wing Extremism- back in the action…..

        One Non-Negotiable: Gift of the “Tea Party” idea to the far right, forever shameful. Those tea-barrels didn’t go gurgling into the harbor to protest Government spending. It was about Taxation Without Representation!

        So, to affirm two Founding principles at once, here’s what my $18 needs to buy me. Anybody else think it’s wrong that if you live in Washington DC, your voting rights are forever infringed into rhubarb?

        Then join me in National support for (ok, “Other”) Washingtonians in with-holding dime one of Federal taxes ’til they get their Representation. Arrest or Confiscation?

        “A well-regulated militia being necessary to the survival of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”

        Democratic Party Chairman Tom Perez, my stamp’s on your envelope.

        Mark Dublin

      2. Thanks for the info about Colorado. It prompted me to contact my niece who lives there with her family. She will be a wonderful advocate for the cause as she’s a great organizer. (She already told her two kids who are of voting age that they won’t get any more free room and board if they don’t support the referendum. Just kidding……I think.) Covid-19 has thrown a monkey wrench into the equation unfortunately.

        https://ballotpedia.org/Colorado_National_Popular_Vote_Interstate_Compact_Referendum_(2020)

    2. I’ll do you one Whatif better, Pork. Hilary Clinton’s choice, on worldwide TV and video, to lose our side the 2016 Election, our court system for a generation, and government not a copy of Hungary in two minutes…

      By angrily telling coal miners they’d better just get used to losing their lifetime jobs for life soon as they elected her into a position to shut the mines down.

      Instead of, just for instance, an international photo-shoot from the maintenance platform two hundred feet up the pillar of an in-service wind turbine, declaring her intent if elected to hire and retrain the entire membership of the United Mineworkers. To an energy source that unlike every fossil of oil and coal, runs forever subsidy free.

      Tone-deafness is poor Proof Of Intellect when seeking the votes of people who’ve worked, raise-free and at the risk of their lives, for at least a whole generation. You and me, whether our horn-rimmed glasses are prescribed, affected, or just symbolic, we’ll look a lot smarter if we treat 2016 Election as a protest vote, and work from there.

      Mark Dublin

    3. Smart people, like the people at the World Health Organization, who said in January, there is no evidence of human to human coronavirus transmission?

      1. As a scientist who has written several papers (in six different languages, if memory serves) you, of all people should know that lack of evidence is not the same as evidence to the contrary.

  4. Well, after we get done treating this month’s emergency like one, maybe we can use the experience to do the same for the emergency this morning’s posting refers to. It’s certainly not going anywhere.

    Google Translate says “deja vu” means “already seen.” Ever notice how many things in French make you reflexively shrug and yawn at the same time? Around Seattle, phenomenon at hand is a grammar case called a “Voice.”

    Passive? Active? Ours is “Perenially Pathetically Penitential.” November 1974. Soon as my 1965 Valiant cleared I-90’s westbound tube at Rainier Avenue, became aware of the incurable doom my new home had twice inflicted on itself by voting down Forward Thrust.

    Ten years later, I was a charter member of ATU Local 587’s joint labor-management advisory committee on the Downtown Seattle Transit Project. Being “detailed”, meaning paid, to help the world’s top transit engineers to build in stages, starting with buses, the rail system the voters had turned down whole. Seeing that concept again under discussion, I can once again look people of the age now that I was then in the eye.

    Sun’s out this morning, but last night dreamed again for the third time that I’d been detailed to subsume the whole basement of whatever the Bon Marche became into a massively enlarged Westlake Station.

    My team was timing ourselves running up and down the stairs to Pine and Third. So will most likely go back to sleep, having made sure the radio’s unplugged.

    Dreaming about one thing large number of savvy people who’ve left the Government with their noses clamped shut should be doing from here on. Running for School Board.

    Chairman Balducci? I’m yielding the rest of my time to Paul Simon as he sings the National Anthem.

  5. Interesting articles about the role that transit did *not* play in spreading the virus:

    https://www.nydailynews.com/opinion/ny-oped-stop-blaming-the-subways-20200422-oswffzvzfndm7ob5jcdl3zmb3m-story.html

    https://www.marketurbanism.com/2020/04/19/automobiles-seeded-the-massive-coronavirus-epidemic-in-new-york-city/

    In short, the previous study had drawn some bizarre conclusions from the data that were easily refuted. (Even I managed to find clear, logical flaws in what the guy was claiming).

    1. To paraphrase the last sentence from the first link. “Avoiding public transportation will not protect anyone from the virus.” That is one of the most ignorant, irresponsible statements I’ve heard during this crisis. There’s a reason health officials are imploring people to stay home. It lessens the risks of catching and spreading the virus. The more someone avoids public interactions, of any kind, the more they are protecting themselves from the virus.

      1. Like shutting down bus service will force everybody to stay home? The millions of people who need things like groceries and money to survive, are you really advocating locking them in their houses ’til they starve to death?

        Likeliest course of events? Moral and financial entailments of Uber and Lyfft, such common knowledge their mention is a waste of keystroke. So hear’s today’s scare-word: Jitney.

        Rather extensive history. When more people have cars than have either groceries or money, nobody’s police department is now big enough to deter columns of private cars 24-7-365 running routes with bus stop signs already in place.

        With as many people clinging to the roofs as seated front and back. Anybody with a tape-measure, a thermometer, or a test- if certain political elements haven’t seized or sold them- tell me COVID-15 won’t be pushing 180 lbs in its underwear!

        Whether it’s 1918, 1933, or 2020 to the twentieth power, this is how it goes with Depressions left to run their course on the streets as well as their banks.

        In the realm of ignorance and irresponsibility…only hope that before he got his desk summarily dumped and left on the curb out front, General James Mattis poured military-grade superglue down the firing button of everything within 16,000 miles of 1600 Pennsylvania.

        Mark Dublin

      2. To paraphrase the last sentence from the first link. “Avoiding public transportation will not protect anyone from the virus.” That is one of the most ignorant, irresponsible statements I’ve heard during this crisis. There’s a reason health officials are imploring people to stay home. It lessens the risks of catching and spreading the virus. The more someone avoids public interactions, of any kind, the more they are protecting themselves from the virus.

        The point is, Sam, driving is also dangerous. Yes, you should stay at home. But if you must transport yourself somewhere, don’t assume that driving is significantly safer than taking transit.

      3. If we are talking about people driving themselves somewhere, I don’t think the data from New York City applies, because that is not how NYC works.

        If people are traveling around in cars and getting the virus, it is because a lot of other people are using the same car, and no disinfection protocol is being observed between riders. This should be a warning more focused on people thinking of taking a cab or “rideshare” service. Bikeshare, too.

    2. Planes and cruise ships too. It kind of asks the question of why we spent $50 billion bailing out the airlines (daily ridership of 2.7 million passengers/day) and only $25 billion bailing out transit (daily ridership of something like 28 million/day).

    1. It seems to be about price gouging, not supply.

      It could lead to stores doing their own delivery rather than going through third-party shareholder-owned apps. The stores can pay the drivers directly as a well-understood “delivery fee”. Small companies could form some kind of collective to aggregate it. Or local tech nonprofits could start a third-party app to do the logistics matching without the overhead of multinational corporations that want to take the middleman profits and disavow any responsibility.

      1. There are plenty of food delivery apps, so it can’t be about gouging (where’s the monopoly power that would let them do that?).

        So you’ll see less food delivery in some form. In San Francisco it took the form of some neighborhoods like Treasure Island being cut out of delivery altogether. Here, I bet it’ll just mean smaller delivery areas. The delivery services can run on a tighter margin if they don’t have to go too far across town.

        The initial concern seems to have been from West Seattle, which is harder to get to than it used to be. I doubt you’ll see an effect on WS->WS deliveries, but don’t count on as many delivery services wanting to bring food in from anywhere else. Or from WS out.

      2. I can see why grocery stores might not want to hire drivers they may have to eventually lay off.

        But consider the method that is most effective against the virus: store-side pick-up, with items packaged at time of wholesale delivery, instead of going onto the shelf.

        One unfortunate part of the app-based retail delivery process is that the “third-party” driver goes in and does the shopping, from what is left on the shelf, already touched by who knows how many other shoppers. From a health perspective, I’d prefer that the store be required to the packeting, and the delivery service (whether third-party or direct-hire) be required to do curbside pick-up.

        I would love to see the price of delivery come down to encourage more people to eschew the now-extreme sport of in-store grocery shopping. Indeed, if the grocery stores can be convinced that converting from a queue-based register workforce to an assembly line of retail packeting and delivery is profittable, that would be the best outcome. To make people want to do that, raise the price of in-store shelf items and have a lower price for choosing the curb-side or delivery option. But keep the delivery fee, so people are encouraged to buy enough stuff to justify the driver’s time and the CO2 emissions. Or, offer some of the stuff (like large bundles of toilet-paper rolls) via curbside and delivery only. I’m amazed grocery stores allow their shelves to sit so empty for so long when those shelves can be stocked with other items or removed to make more room for better social distancing or process transformation.

        Speaking of social distancing, maybe the government could step in and set a deadline for when store aisles need to be more than six feet wide, or require the store to pay for the fire marshall standing at the door counting customers. The sooner the department stores know the new expectations, the sooner they can renovate.

      3. @Dan — OK, but that is another form of price gouging — regional price gouging. With an unregulated taxicab system, this is common. No one wants to drive to where they might get ripped off, so they charge more. The government steps in, and puts an end to it, but then the cab companies simply stop delivering there. My guess is the mayor is basically thinking that there is too much demand, and too much to lose if companies stop delivering to this or that neighborhood, so they pass this law.

        There is another angle. Some places are simply more cost effective when it comes to delivery. In a completely market bases system, they would get a better deal. But people can’t quickly change their residence. I never took an economics class, but I assume there is a name for this. It isn’t good, and is obviously a weakness in the system. Regulation removes this arbitrary advantage that can’t be remedied by consumer behavior.

        Those are just a couple things I can think of, off the top of my head.

      4. On the question of how much should stores be allowed to charge for delivery, the built-in fee for my last delivery was $10. The built-in tip was an additional few dollars. (Tips need to be built in, not offered in cash at the door, for reasons I hope are obvious, and they can be increased online after the delivery is done.) I’m not sure how the delivery driver is supposed to make a living wage, even if she/he/they get the full fee. Yeah, volume, but most of these drivers have only so much space to handle multiple deliveries at once, and then mistakes can happen when they attempt to do multiples. The bags that were dropped at my front door weren’t coded in any way.

        I fully support ear-marking the full tip to the driver. Anything less seems like fraud. Knowing the driver will get the full tip makes me more likely to increase it.

        The presence of Lisa Herbold in the press release suggests the fee cap is a clever way to kill yet another attempt at an alternative to forcing people to drive everywhere. The absence of Teresa Mosqueda suggests that any calculation of whether this will mean more money going into delivery drivers’ pockets is half-baked. If it kills grocery delivery, then drivers will certainly be making less money, but as Dan suggests, there will hopefully be another app company willing to jump into the lurch. If not, it will be a catastrophic outcome for public health.

      5. @Dan — OK, but that is another form of price gouging — regional price gouging.

        It’s unreasonable to expect a delivery service to deliver food to everywhere at a capped fee. I don’t expect doordash to bring food from West Seattle to Kirkland at 15% or 30%. The economics only make sense within some reasonable driving distance circle from the restaurant. And now that circle has gotten smaller because the maximum revenue has been capped at a lower level.

  6. As far as I’ve been able to tell, the public at large supports reducing carbon emissions in general, but only to the extent that it has zero impact in the lifestyle. Meaning, they’ll take a technological miracle to make their existing driving/flying/etc. more efficient, but aren’t willing to drive less, fly less, or pay more for electricity – or at the gas pump – to make anything happen.

    There is a vocal minority willing to go further than that, but so far, they’re just a minority, and the fossil fuel industry is willing to spend billions on lobbyists and advertising to make sure it stays that way.

    As badly as the planet needs us to get off carbon quickly, I am still deeply concerned that trying to actually run on that platform in a nationwide campaign will simply result in 4 more years of Donald Trump and even more painful sacrifices after he leaves office. Plus, of course, a supreme court that would strike down any law aimed at fighting climate change even if a Democratic administration somehow managed to pass it.

    The failure of a carbon tax to come even close to passing in solidly blue Washington state proves my point. Between 2016 and 2018, they changed the details, but at the end of the day, it had almost no impact on the vote totals. At the end of the day, too many people just want cheap gas. By contrast, switching from coal to wind/solar, to the extent that it lowers, rather than raises electricity costs, has proven popular, even in very conservative states. Because it involves zero sacrifice on part of the public, and everybody wants cheaper electricity.

    Unfortunately, waiting for a technological miracle is probably not fast enough, but at this point, it seems to be the limit of what a majority of the public is willing to accept. At least a majority of the public does acknowledge that climate change is real, even if the current president does not. That’s at least something.

    1. asdf2, fact people in places like Texas are accepting the fact that wind and solar are cheaper than oil and coal tell me that whatever the political difficulties of “Climate Change” as an Issue…for a remedy, time’s on our side.

      Transit and automobile-wise, I’m thinking as a passenger, owner and driver, (of my car and my public transit), fact that no two objects can occupy same place in space means that- as every KIRO freeway traffic report verifies- we’re approaching the time when the only people actually moving are aboard transit in fully-reserved transitways, rail or road.

      Also the point where every increase in lane presence and dimension is going to condemn somebody out of their home. But my sense of eventual inevitability only hardens my willingness to pull the license of an Agency that’ll punish a school-girl for a missed “tap” on a fully pre-paid card.

      Let alone, for ten years, stubbornly fight for it. For a well-paid accountant’s convenience. Likely targets are the exact voters, by the thousands, who’ll be the ones to decide whether climate change as an abstract out-weighs, at the hands of management or Punishment, continued decades of hardship and debt.

      Also makes max operator training and operations planning so mandatory. And ever-closer ties between transit and youth, kindergarten through college, imperative. Call it signal-preempt and lane-reserve…what’s In The Way Has Got To Go.

      Mark Dublin

    2. Yep. It’s a classic tragedy of the commons situation, with just enough lag time to make it worse.

      By the way, the lag time thing is one of the biggest reasons that this pandemic has hit the world so hard. There are similarities with AIDS, even though there are huge differences. HIV/AIDS is extremely difficult to get, but was, at the time, extremely fatal. Most diseases like that just die out, as people go running for the hills as soon as soon as they someone sick. But most people with HIV were asymptomatic, spreading the disease unknowingly, just like now. Except the obvious difference is that those people died (a horrible, horrible death) while the folks unknowingly spreading this disease get to just live their life. Some of them get to attend anti stay-at-home rallies while infectious (I’m sure that was fun).

      The point is, the lag time is the worst part. It is what screwed over New York City (and much of the country) with this virus. It is what cost the lives of over 30 million (and counting) with AIDS. It is the single, biggest reason that there has been so little action with global warming.

      By the time we realize this is a major problem, and needs to be dealt with, we are doomed. Unless, of course, smart people take action, and force the idiots to act.

  7. Brent, I really wish someone in authority, like Washington Governor Jay Inslee will appear in person and give some salutory mention to the way the Olympia Food Co-op, in the absence of any coercion, have taken control of their doors and aisles.

    Credit to these people in person, and also to the idea of a worker-owned cooperative. A form of ownership at least at one time so popular in farming and logging country that it personifed the description “Conservative” a lot more accurately than the average for-profit business.

    In later days, problem being that like with much else in some quarters called “socialism”…..membership took too many evenings.

    Mark Dublin

    1. What are the practices at the Olympia Food Co-Op that you wish to see emulated elsewhere?

      1. Location and direction of entry line, marked and constantly monitored by a staff member. Who instructs each entrant in use of a portable hand-washing station.

        And assists with getting on the one-use plastic gloves. And sends entrants into the store one at a time, making sure 6′ space is maintained. Orange tape marks that distance all over the store.

        Staff also gives up to date information on location and availability of all merchandise. Being a male without a mate, just deciding what to buy and in what amounts is personally traumatic.

        And yesterday, they were kind to me when I lost my temper because the mask somebody gave me the day before got tangled up in my glasses so I couldn’t read labels.

        Also important, saves me from the World of Walmart. Major favor right now: since Olympia Coffee Roasting has closed all their cafe’s, the co-op gets fresh beans every week.

        Miss the people I’m used to at each cafe, but truly thankful that my first transit-related job after leaving Metro, a daily stint on another driver’s portable machine at Central Base left me able to pull dark “crema”, a really big deal, on a machine I got at Goodwill in South Lake Union for forty dollars.

        As with an important number of things in life, it really is about the people.

        Mark Dublin

  8. I have a route restoration question for everyone. How will Metro know when it’s the right time to uncancel a cancelled route? What are a few factors they will look at?

  9. I would like it if every single legislative candidate for state office, the Lt. Governor and the Governor had to have a clear position on public transit & proper funding of.

    We’re seeing what happens right now when public transit is not defended in the public square vigorously.

    That must change.

  10. I am still riding 4 days a week. All the crowding is by the back door. I sit in the front, just behind the neon tape.

  11. don’t assume that driving is significantly safer than taking transit

    Huh, if you’re driving you’re own car, alone, how can anyone given the common sense of chipmunk not understand that it’s safer? The response from Metro has been a huge mistake from day one. Not my opinion, the word from front line workers. At the very least the late night trips with non-destinational riders should have been cancelled. And don’t start with the essential health care worker crap; you know that’s total BS and it’s totally Seattle PC that drove this decision. Throw against the wall as much pasta as you want. The echo chamber will respond but it’s still just patently false.

    1. At least the health care workers I’ve talked to, the standard night shift is 7PM-7AM. So, even though they’re working all night, transit doesn’t actually have to be running all night for them to get there.

      There are of course, plenty of grocery store employees leaving their jobs after midnight (they may work for hours after the store closes to help restock shelves and sanitize). I suppose one could argue that if someone can’t get home, they could quit the job and there would be plenty of unemployed people with cars lined up to take their place. In the aggregate, it’s one person’s loss, another person’s gain, which cancel out. But, still sucks terribly to be the one who loses. I’m not even sure such a person would even be eligible for unemployment benefits since would technically have to quit, rather than being laid off.

      It’s easy to say just carpool, but who is going to volunteer to be a carpool driver when doing so means putting your own health at risk.

    2. I’m not essential but if I were I’d need a bus. My roommate is essential and takes the bus from Seattle to Kent (freight shipping, swing shift). Without transit he’d have to do what asdf2 said: buy a car (and pay $250/month for parking) or quit his job so a car commuter can replace him. That would be giving up one of the few working-class union-wage jobs available and he’d probably end up in something paying half as much for the rest of his life.

      It would also send the message that transit failed and you really do need a car to get around in the US even in a major city. That would undo all the transit gains we’ve made since the 1960s, at the same time that plummeting oil prices are endangering renewable-energy facilities and investments.

    3. Ah yes. There’s the anti-homeless bias. Do you have any evidence that these “non-destinational riders” are adding to the city’s/county’s coronavirus cases?

      1. Proximity to *anybody* is a risk factor for covid transmission. We don’t know specifically how much proximity on transit contributed vs all of the other hundreds of ways in which people get into each others space (or used to). It’s impossible to untangle all of the possible interactions that way.

        But unless you think social distancing is just an affectation, you have to believe being on a shared vehicle is more dangerous than being alone in your own vehicle. So it’s not zero.

        Homeless riders may be no more a risk to their fellow passengers than any other rider, but each person adds to the risk. If that person is riding transit “non-destinationally”, they are incrementally adding to the risk for “destinational” riders vs having fewer people on the buses.

      2. A bus has more air volume per rider than a car with more than one passenger. That makes it safer than an Uber or Lyft. As you said, proximity to anybody is an issue, and as such a bus provides more distance/less proximity than a private automobile. Ten incremental additional risks on a Metro/ST bus is less of a risk than a second person in your car.

        Being alone in your own car is safer, but many people lack that privilege. Why rely on a privileged system? Are those who cannot afford SOV travel less worthy of safe transportation?

        I’ll happily accept minor incrementally increased risks in exchange for people having a safe place to sleep at night. That’s an easy decision to make.

      3. Every homeless person (or not, just riding for a non-essential reason) is a taking the spot of an essential worker who may get passed up now with the low bus passenger limits.

        So someone who rides buses “without a destination“ is preventing others from riding and decreasing the utility of transit.

        It may make you (A Joy) feel good that this is happening because you want to help the homeless. But does this improve their plight at all? Seems like the sanctimony would be better spent on solutions with long term improvements, like giving them a place to sleep so they wouldn’t ride the bus just to get out of the cold.

      4. I agree that mandated passenger limits put a new twist on the issue, but I am unwilling to use it to force homeless people sleeping off of the bus. I would seek a third solution administratively.

        Letting the homeless sleep on the bus does not improve their plight, no. It prevents their plight from being/getting worse. As far as long term improvements, I’ve fought that fight for years. There’s no profit to be made from it, so administrators beholden to special interest groups literally don’t care. They’ll pander to you in public, but they won’t even return your emails in private.

  12. I came across this interesting read in The New Yorker the other day about the differences in the ways our leaders here in WA state responded to the Covid-19 public health crisis in its early days compared to their peers in NY. As a NYC transplant to the Pacific NW who still has lots of friends and family in the NY/NJ area, the article really struck a chord with me and so I thought I’d share it with the readers of this blog. (Thanks in advance for the indulgence.)

    https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2020/05/04/seattles-leaders-let-scientists-take-the-lead-new-yorks-did-not

    1. There are many explanations for this divergence. New York is denser than Seattle and relies more heavily on public transportation, which forces commuters into close contact. In Seattle, efforts at social distancing may have been aided by local attitudes—newcomers are warned of the Seattle Freeze

      Excellent article, as are most in the New Yorker (like Playboy I usually only read it for the cartoons :> ). Will forward to my wife who works at an eastside hospital.

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