This chart depresses me

Great piece in 538 on (mostly growing) partisan divisions on Covid.  Lots of good stuff, but this one really got to me:

Any decent person should damn well be concerned they’ll unknowingly spread Covid to another person.  That’s a huge part of the reason we should all be wearing masks.

So, next question, why are Republicans so much less concerned?  General lack of empathy?  They know it’s all just a hoax to do in Trump?  Or is it simply that they have been, till now, much less likely to actually know people with Covid?

And, Marc Hetherington who’s been leading the great UNC Covid efforts I’ve been lucky to be a part of, gets a few words:

“Some Republicans are much less freaked out by the virus than they were a few months ago,” said Marc Hetherington, a political scientist at the University of North Carolina who is tracking Americans’ perspectives of the coronavirus through a panel survey. “But things are changing so quickly — these new outbreaks could scare them and maybe some of that polarization disappears.”

But, lets end on a positive note.  In a lot of ways, Democrats and Republicans actually aren’t all that different:

The Covid things we are not doing

One of my great frustrations is all the things regarding Covid that science is getting increasingly clear on (or was already clear) and we’re just not doing.

0) All the stuff I’m not going to talk about because there’s already been plenty of talk about how our government has already failed so egregiously at testing and contact-tracing.  So, yeah, I’m talking about stuff somewhat off the radar that should be flashing brightly on the radar.

1) Get rapid, cheap tests up to massive scale and do it now!  Do it yesterday.  No, these tests are not nearly as sensitive as a PCR, but a whole bunch of widely available, widely used (and quickly reported!) tests is much better at slowing a pandemic than the gold standard tests that are expensive and are currently creating huge backups at labs.

2) Relatedly, enough with the nasopharyngeal swabs already!  Yes, they are a probably a little better than a saliva sample, but not much (and the plain old nasal swab that doesn’t feel like someone is rubbing your brain is pretty good, too).  And, they are basically a profligate use of PPE and trained medical personnel.

3) UVC light is a great disinfectant.  You’ve got to keep it off human skin, but there’s already systems that use it to kill germs through controlled ventilation (e.g., ceiling fans can pull it up to lights, etc.).  We should be massively investing in this.  And we should have been massively testing Far-UVC, which is seemingly safe for humans, yesterday, to make sure it actually is safe for humans.  It’s potentially a massive game-changer.

4) Indoor air quality in general.  Ventilation, ventilation, ventilation.  And better filters.  It’s not even close to a panacea, but combine good ventilation with good filtration with masks and we can live a lot safer.

5) As my increasingly good friend, BB, has pointed out– smell tests!  Yes, seriously.  Enough with the temperature taking– loss of smell is actually a more common symptom.  And, as one of the earliest symptoms more likely to notify of an infection when a person is in the major viral shedding stage.  Or at least, combine this with temperature taking, but, again, we should already have been doing this.  Adapt, people!

6) Other stuff.  I dunno, but there’s only so much I can pick up by spending too much time following epidemiology people on twitter.  There’s probably some other good ideas out there, too.

7) Months ago, KS and I dreamed about how much better things would be if Bill Gates were a Covid Czar.  Clearly, we’d not be in this current mess if he were.  But, I feel like if we had a remotely competent federal government, that appointed Gates or somebody like him today, we could get all this stuff– and other good things I probably don’t even know about– happening.  But, alas, we are still stuck in Trump’s America and life sucks and people are dying.

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