The horizon is not so far as we can see, but as far as we can imagine

As Long Covid Increases Expect Government Policy To Rush Death

So, to reiterate how this works, each Covid infection has a good chance of doing damage to your body, especially to your brain, cardiovascular system and to your immune system, which does not become stronger, but rather disregulated and weakened against future infections, not just of Covid but of other diseases.

This damage may not be symptomatic, in which case you don’t have “Long Covid”, but it’s real. Each time you get re-infected there is a chance of more damage, and I’m almost entirely certain, an increased risk of Long Covid.

Long Covid itself can be mild, or it can be crippling. Millions of people now can’t work as a result and others are suffering and less able to work or to enjoy their lives.

We’ve had Covid as a pandemic now for about three years, and there is no end in sight. And yes, it’s still a pandemic even if the WHO has said “the emergency is over” and we’re all pretending it’s no big deal. In the US about six hundred people a day are still dying and that’s both certainly an under-count and doesn’t include deaths from things like heart attacks which are caused by Covid infections. Nor does it include people dying because hospitals are clogged up and it takes longer to get necessary care or diagnoses. (I’d say if one counted deaths where the death wouldn’t have happened without Covid its north of a thousand a day.)

Which leads to the social and political problem. We aren’t increasing health care staffing and funding to deal with a pandemic that never ends and with all the damaged people. We aren’t increasing help for people with disabilities or who can’t work or can work less. We are pretending that “the emergency is over” means we can go back to the world of 2019.

But we’ve decided to live with an ever-increasing number of disabled people, with a pandemic that never ends, and with an ever-increasing number of people with long term health problems caused by Covid, even if those people aren’t disabled. (Dead people are the least of the problem, from a social and political perspective, though not from a human one.)

Governments don’t want to pay for human welfare. They don’t want to pay to help the people the pandemic is hurting but not killing. They don’t want to increase the number of nurses and doctors and home care assistants and long term care facilities for disabled people who don’t live at home.

But more than that, I’m entirely certain that most governments will quietly put in places policies which make people harmed, but not killed by Covid, die faster, to get them off the books and reduce the strain and such increased costs as they can’t avoid.

Dead people are easy to deal with. People who are long term sick, not so much.

And even if you aren’t one of the people who are fucked up by Long Covid or sub-perceptual damage, this will effect you, because hospitals and other health care services remain slammed. You will get care later and worse care and delays stand a damn good chance of turning a problem which could have been handled easily into something much worse.

As with everything else in our society, you can pretend a problem isn’t real, or admit it is real and just do nothing, but the problem doesn’t go away because you ignore it. And if you ignore it long enough it can turn into complete catastrophe, as is true with climate change and ecological collapse, or as is true with all the problems caused by neoliberal policies (including, for Americans, the loss of their dominant world position and standard of living, something on the horizon if not fully here yet.)

As usual, this problem is exacerbated by the fact that the elites know that they personally will still get the very best care. But as with everything else, they won’t avoid the long term effects, because the Covid pandemic and thus increased levels of Long Covid and non-symptomatic but real damage will continue to accumulate in the population. Given how reinforcing cycles work, it is not hyperbole or exaggeration for effect to say that many societies may collapse under the strain of so much disabling and health damage.

But, if you don’t care about people, well, the solution is obvious: if they’re costing too much and enough money can’t be made off them, cull them.

And so it will be.

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China Has A Huge Lead In Patents


Open Thread


  1. Bukko Boomeranger

    I have seen two opinion articles in the past month in The Age newspaper in Melbourne, Australia (formerly a mildly left-wing publication, now more corporate and right-drifting) that argued in favour of “giving compassionate rights to people with dementia who cannot make their own decisions any more.” In other words, letting them die when they’re unable to take care of themselves. Euthanasia, passive or active. Framed as “it’s cruel to let them suffer when they have bedsores, contracted fingers and can’t swallow so well.” (How about giving them better nursing care?!?) Articles like that don’t get published in the mainstream unless it’s a Sunstein “nudge” tactic. Not policy yet, but the seed of death must be planted before it grows poison flowers. It’s not just Canada that’s going to turn up the pressure for Medical Assistance In Dying (MAIDen of Death…)

  2. Feral Finster

    TL:DR “A dead pauper is cheaper than a live one.”

  3. NR

    Eight people now own as much wealth as half the world. Eight people control the same amount of resources as nearly four billion people.

    Eight. People.

    And yet we refuse to get angry at those eight people. We would much rather get angry at people who look different than us, or sound different than us, or believe in a different deity than us. We would much rather blame our problems on them, than on the eight people (and their cronies) who are actually responsible for them.

    It’s stupidity on a massive scale. And it’s likely going to doom us all.

  4. anon y'mouse

    you know, you didn’t even mention the recent brouhaha in Canadia (yes, i use an extra “i” for that) where they were encouraging the disabled to apply for euthanasia because the care they wanted would be expensive, and probably not provided by whatever agencies deal with the disabled up there.

    it’s already happening. it’s almost not something you need to warn of, because the readers here very likely know about it and know it’s not really coming for any of them, but they can cluckcluck and tut-tut about it. unlike some of the rest of us (myself, my family and people i know and love included). hate to say it, but y’all are in the same class of people you complain about, mostly.

  5. Ché Pasa

    Do we know who those eight people are? Name them and tell us where they live. Hmmm?

  6. Henry Moon Pie

    “believe in a different deity than us.”

    They firmly believe that they are the deities. Modern day Pharaohs.

  7. Ian Welsh


    a long comment about Putin/Ukraine is fine, but it doesn’t belong in this post. If you want to put it in the “open thread” that would work.

  8. VietnamVet

    The coronavirus pandemic may well have been an accidental Chinese lab leak of a gain of function research on bat coronaviruses funded by the US government through EcoHealth Alliance, a non-government organization (NGO). The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation led the NGOs’ seizure of the global response to the pandemic from WHO. The global ruling class/caste got richer, and 7 million humans died. This is criminal genocide against the unworthy. All of this is ignored.

    Death is trickling down. One must go out into public to get medicine and healthcare. Masking is voluntary in the ER. Finding out the cause of illness costs money. Thanks to the pandemic, private practice doctors aren’t accepting health insurance and charging full price for office visits. I will have to return to the VA and risk contagion again for healthcare that I can afford if I can get appointments.

    The current establishment simply does not want to pay for public health, public education, or public safety. If one has the money, you survive. If not, you are on your way to an early death. This is the cause of the dramatic crash in US life expectancy.

    This system is unsustainable. The USA is splitting apart. Either good government, by and for the people, is restored, or western civilization dies.

  9. Ché Pasa

    This, along with any number of other indices, are something of a wet dream for Pete Peterson and his Institute — who for years bought front page space at the WaPo to complain about how much longer Americans were living and how so many Boomers living so much longer was having a dreadful effect on Social Security, and how something Had To Be Done Pronto to ease the burden of the old and the sick on everyone else. They were quite shameless about it.

    Well, here we are. And yes, government is greasing the skids. I’d say it’s becoming a laughing stock, but we’re well beyond the joke stage, and yes, I think people are waking up to what’s going on. The Big Cull, right?

    Back in the day, Pete Peterson was quite open and up front about what he wanted and who he believed should pay — and it wasn’t him or his class. Everyone knew who he was and many knew where he was. No secret.

    But now? We may think we know and in some cases we do know who is among The Eight, but they are good at hiding behind clowns like Trump and Elon and such as well, and so they rarely have to fear a peasant uprising. They know we’ll go after the clowns first, right?

    NC has an interesting look at “Deaths of Despair” among the young, another way to cull the herd. All I can say is that this is happening, and if it’s not planned it sure looks like it is. Will there be any fight back? Maybe. In a few decades…

  10. NR


    Forbes keeps the list here.

  11. StewartM

    What NR said.

    As for long Covid, the depressing fact is that all the world’s political systems failed to handle it well. Some tried, but the fact that early on the ‘let ‘er rip’ and ‘herd immunity’ bullshit* of the Dr. Scott Atlas camp who apparently (even without the long Covid issue) knew absolutely NOTHING about how infectious diseases operate and what is necessary to defeat them (it ain’t ‘herd immunity’, kiddos, but vaccines, effective treatments, and public health measures) doomed the places that really tried. Of course, the reason why Dr. Atlas and his ‘inexpert’ opinions carried so much sway was he was telling our elites what they wanted to hear–that at least in regard for the Ayn Rand/Nietzsche “rabble”/”useless eaters” plebes, minimal public health measures would be needed and thus the public cost would be low.

    Long Covid now stands to shrink our workforces even more than our demographics would indicate, as it just won’t be the olds that are incapacitated.

    *I will admit if you are willing to wait many hundreds or thousands of years, maybe, just maybe, ‘herd immunity’ would likely result in a fairly benign pathogen living more-or-less at peace with its host, as that would probably be the evolutionary-favored result, as both the more susceptible humans died and as the more-virulent viruses reproduced less (as they killed their hosts). The favored end point would be for a virus that didn’t kill its host or even make it sick, as that would maximize its chances of spreading and replicating its RNA/DNA.

    But of course, that’s not the way that ‘herd immunity’ was sold; it was just a ‘everyone get it and then it’s all over’ lie which won’t happen as the virus will continually mutate much faster than human defenses can respond.

  12. GlassHammer


    When you look at who handled the pandemic better and who is set to handle the endemic response better, the common trait is a culture with a long standing focus on “social consciousness pushing social responsibility”.

    What didn’t work so well was a culture with a long standing focus on “personal autonomy pushing individual responsibility”.

    And….you can’t switch from one culture to another in a short period of time even when a crisis occurs, there is just too much resistance to that level of change.

  13. Ché Pasa


    Fascinating. Plenty of Usual Suspects, then all these men (almost all men) you’ve never heard of primarily because they’re not USAians, and so have little or no influence over what happens to US, or do they?

    Where was it? Sri Lanka? Where the plebs had finally had enough and burned the mansions of the rich right along with the politicians’ palaces? Sounds like a plan.

  14. different clue

    Several decades ago I met a young woman from Singapore named . . . well, never mind that . . . who told me that there are Chinese families in East and SouthEast Asia who are much richer than the Rockefeller but they are able to stay un-named and unknown to the general public. They use a part of their truly vast fortunes to buy cloaking and shielding.

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