Brickbats

Brickbat: Fashion Police

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Residents of South Africa are scratching their heads about some of the restrictions on commercial activity imposed by the government with the stated goal of reducing the spread of the coronavirus. For instance, stores can sell only closed-toe shoes. They can sell short-sleeved shirts only if they are advertised as to be worn under jackets or jerseys. And T-shirts can be sold only if it is made clear they are to be worn as undergarments.

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  1. How is this wrong? Everyone knows that since they kicked those evil white clingers out of power they have become a socialist utopia.

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  2. I’ve said it before. You have to keep the virus guessing.

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  3. And these rules still are not as asinine as ones laid
    down by some governors here in the states.

  4. Rulers are gonna’ rule.

    CB

  5. Mandela survived 27 years in prison for this?

    1. It’s udderly crazy what some animals will do, to become more equal than other animals!

      I’ve seen cows getting kinda bossy, and chickens? Heck yeah! So why do we often hear of power pigs, but VERY rarely, about power cows and power chickens?

  6. This is perfect. We need more coverage of these sorts of restrictions from around the world….. that way people here can laugh at them free of the partisan lens that taints every thought in this country. Then maybe some will begin seeing their own ridiculousness, on the off chance that for the first time in history someone notices the plank in their own eye.

    1. I never thought about it that way, but that’s a good point. It has been very vexing to me that ideas about Covid-19 in the USA have become partisan, but it never occurred to me that broadening the discussion to encompass parts of the world where these political lines don’t spread would help.

      1. Ditto. Who would ever have guessed that a damned virus would because a partisan issue? But it has. One side wants permanent lockdown, and the other demands crowded raves as their Constitutional right. Universal house arrests on the left, spit swap parties on the right.

        But we should have known. EVERYTHING is a partisan issue when the only goal is to automatically gainsay anything the other side does.

  7. This is further evidence that there is a shared psychosis at work here. People all around the world have completely lost site of the goal.

    Remember, we shut things down in order to *slow* the spread, flattening the curve and preventing the deluge of cases that would overwhelm the healthcare system.

    This was the entire point. Preventing the system from being stretched beyond capacity and therefore prevent extra deaths due to people going untreated was the only goal. “Flattening the curve” was never going to prevent any people from eventually catching it… we were just controlling the *rate* of spread.

    Well.. we forgot that one.

    And then there’s the individual restrictions. The point was to prevent *excess* spread. Once it became endemic and epidemic, it was impossible to stop the spread. So we did things to minimize mixing of people in tight quarters. This included shutting down a lot of workplaces.

    But somewhere along the way, closing “non-essential services” morphed into “making sure that people were not doing anything non-essential”. So “in fairness” they told Wal-mart that they couldn’t sell some of their goods while their stores were open. And it lead to the bizarre restrictions against people going out on boats – because some of those people might be violating social distancing…. therefore even 1 guy alone on a paddleboard in the middle of the ocean is a threat.

    This virus has revealed something that most libertarians seem to know a-priori. Most people are too stupid to be in charge of others. They are not smart enough to understand simple directives like “flattening the curve”, they are not bright enough to understand that sending infected nursing home residents back to the nursing home “to save the hospital space” is a really bad idea for a virus that kills half of the people it infects in nursing homes (nice job, Governor Cuomo). They are too dumb to understand that sitting side by side on the subway is a pretty fine way to spread the virus, while jogging in a park isn’t (well done, Mayor DeBlasio).

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      1. “Starting from a range of Rs”? Alrighty then!

        1. Rupees. It’s a price range. A Rupee is currently ~$0.01, so the shirt prices are $1-15. Not bad, but I don’t patronize spammers

      2. Are those t-shirts to be worn as undergarments?

      3. every time i goto RockMerch for a shirt they’re sold out of everything but S … you motherfuckers better have more sizes

    2. I haven’t read the linked article, but what the highlighted restrictions on South Africa clothing sales seem to have in common is the idea that skin exposure is bad. Never mind that sun exposure is good for the immune system (partly via vit D activation, partly by other means), they must have gotten the idea that sweat or something else on skin (Snot?) is emitting virions.

      1. Now I’ve read it, and think I have the idea. The idea is to discourage people from going out and buying anything. They allowed food and medicine because people couldn’t do without those, but didn’t allow clothing until recently. They relented because winter was approaching, and people will need warm clothes, so they’re allowing the sales of winter clothing only.

        Now that I thnk about it, that may be the same kind of sense as in the California beach restrictions that allowed you to be on the sand or in the water if you kept moving, but not if you sat still: to discourage people from going out at all to a popular place such as the beach, but compromising with the need for exercise. Maybe that was the Michigan-Illinois idea about rowboats vs. motorboats too: that people shouldn’t congregate on the dock, but a compromise would be made with the need for exercise via rowboats.

    3. I’m arguing now with someone on Quora who apparently thinks bending down the curve to reach 0 by reducing the R to less than 1 is a fine idea. He (or someone else) is pointing out how South Korea did it with testing and tracing, and seems to think that could still be done now. Do these people have no idea of the numbers?

      And someone else on Quora who asks, rhetorically, whether there’s any other situation in life where deaths could be avoided and public policy is to not do what it takes to avoid those deaths!

      1. If we reduced the national speed limit to 20mph, it would save a lot of deaths. Never mind how much other stuff that would fuck with.

      2. And someone else on Quora who asks, rhetorically, whether there’s any other situation in life where deaths could be avoided and public policy is to not do what it takes to avoid those deaths!

        Well, banning cars and then zealously enforcing it would reduce the number of deaths from car accidents to zero (while vastly increasing the number of deaths do to police shootings thanks to the zealous enforcement, but who cares about them – “if it saves even one person from dying in a car accident…”), yet as a matter of public policy we still allow people to drive cars.

        1. Transportation was the first thing I brought up, but then thought of…all other contagious diseases! We could have closed the schools and other large gathering places years ago and reduced flu fatalities.

          How about piped-in gas for heating and cooking? It causes some asphyxiations and explosion deaths. Same with electrocutions and electric fires.

    4. “Remember, we shut things down in order to *slow* the spread, flattening the curve and preventing the deluge of cases that would overwhelm the healthcare system.”
      “Well.. we forgot that one.”

      We didn’t forget anything. “Flattening the curve” was a lie from the get-go. I knew it then, and I’m even more certain now.

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