The coronavirus public

by Henry Farrell on May 28, 2020

From a new article in Stat.

In a four-day blitz at the end of April, they swabbed and drew blood from 4,160 adults and children, including more than half of the residents in the 16 square blocks that make up San Francisco Census Tract 229.01. In the heart of the Mission District, it is one of the city’s most densely populated and heavily Latinx neighborhoods. While Havlir expected to see the Latinx community hit hard by the virus, the actual numbers came as a shock. About 2% of people tested positive for the coronavirus. Nearly all of them — 95% — were Latinx. The other 5% were Asian or Pacific Islander. Not a single white person tested positive, though 34% of the tract’s residents are white, according to the U.S. Census; 58% are Hispanic.

… One of Havlir’s motivations for the testing was to understand how the virus was being transmitted even after the city had been locked down for six weeks. Questionnaires administered with the tests gave her an answer: 90% of those who tested positive could not work from home. Most were low-income, and most lived in households with three or more people.

“What really comes out of these data is that low-wage essential workers are victims of this disease,” Havlir said. Many of those infected were working in food service, making deliveries, or cleaning offices despite shutdown orders. “These people were out working the entire time,” she said.

“Anecdotally, we knew this, but the hard data is heartbreaking,” said Susana Rojas, executive director of the Calle 24 Latino Cultural District and a leader of the Latino Task Force for Covid-19 that partnered with UCSF to run the study. “Our community was out working, keeping the city moving and fed. Of course they were more exposed and getting sick.”


by John Holbo on May 28, 2020

OK, I’m really trying not to do the long Twitter thread thing. But let’s start from a tweet.

Rush Limbaugh is a moral monster, of course. ‘Demeritorous’ would be the word. But it’s interesting to think about the semantic fate of ‘moralizing’.

Limbaugh is using the term to mean ‘getting on your high horse’, ‘morally grandstanding’. Now: it is not true that, if someone is sitting on their moral high horse, that gives you a license to torture innocent 3rd parties, and cause them gratuitous pain, as Limbaugh supposes. But it is also interesting that this familiar, derogatory sense of ‘moralize’ isn’t even in the OED, although Google definitions catches it at the primary sense. [click to continue…]