Coronavirus

Too Many People Admiring the Cherry Blossoms Is Not a COVID-19 Risk

The CDC is waging an unscientific war on the great outdoors.

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In March of 2020, Washington D.C.'s National Park Service closed off access to the Tidal Basin during peak cherry blossoms season, due to concerns that the crowds would be a source of COVID-19. Perhaps that was defensible: The pandemic was just getting started at the time, and there was much that epidemiologists did not yet understand about this disease.

A year later, we know that COVID-19 does not spread easily outside. In fact, there has never been a confirmed super-spreader event that took place entirely outdoors. And yet D.C.'s park authorities have announced that they will shut down the Tidal Basin again this year.

"In accordance with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and DC Health and in consultation with the National Park Service Office of Public Health, the National Park Service will limit all vehicular and pedestrian access to the Tidal Basin, East Potomac Park and West Potomac Park during the peak bloom period of the cherry blossoms," the city announced.

This makes little sense. While D.C. is not vaccinating residents as quickly as it should be, it is nevertheless the case that many people are now fully protected from COVID-19. The pandemic is, fortunately, winding down. Moreover, it's preferable for people to gather outside than to gather inside. Taking a walk down to the Tidal Basin to see the cherry blossoms is a very safe activity—especially if it's a substitute for congregating indoors.

Sadly, the CDC is ideologically disinclined to let people do things that make them happy, even if the risk of harm is low. People will need to get used to ignoring the CDC's overly cautious guidance (or better yet, realize that they have already spent most of their lives ignoring it).

It would probably help the public feel more at ease about going outside if social media sleuths would cease hunting for pictures of people at parks and beaches and then re-posting them with shaming messages. A serial offender on this front has been MSNBC's Joy Reid. On Monday, she retweeted a picture of a Miami beach party with the caption, "That literally looks like a microscopic image of a petrie dish."

The picture was from 2019. And in any case, people hanging out at the beach are not particularly likely to transmit COVID-19. On the contrary, closing beaches probably forces people to hang out in bars, restaurants, or their homes or hotel rooms—and that is where coronavirus spreads.

As the weather improves across the continental U.S., health authorities and shaming-inclined pundits must prepare themselves for the reality that the public is craving sunshine and socialization—and there's no compelling scientific reason to stand in the way. Let people go swim at the beach, walk through the park, and admire the cherry blossoms.

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  1. the National Park Service will limit all vehicular and pedestrian access … during the peak bloom period of the cherry blossoms,” the city announced.

    This makes little sense.

    You’re thinking too narrowly, Robby. Obviously the government is simply doing its best to protect the Asian Community during these times of aggravated hatred.

    1. No, it’s the fact that most people take the metro to see the cherry blossoms. Hundreds of people crammed into a metro car is not “the great outdoors,” Fruit Sushi.

      1. And yet hundreds of them packed into holding pens with known COVID in TX is okay. Where’s the CDC outrage?

        Perhaps they should limit the capacity of the metro cars to allow for distancing like they’ve been doing. Damn, but there I go actually thinking instead of swallowing the first line of swill defending stupid government decisions.

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      2. It is their choice you statist fuck.

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  2. It’s been sad over the years to watch the CDC go off the deep end with re-classifying everything as a disease…but to watch them so grossly mishandle an actual disease has been appalling. I had held out hope that they had some competence with an actual disease. No longer.

    1. At least China isn’t paying them to bungle so hard.

    2. Yep. Remember that they spent the whole year before covid going on about a “vaping crisis” that was 100% black market products that were doing the damage.

      Their strategy was to ban the products, driving more people to the black market.

      You can’t make this shit up.

      1. Black market THC vape cartridge were the totality of the deaths, as far as I know. They were using vitamin E acetate as a cutting agent for the hash oil in the vape cartridges, to alter the viscosity so that the cartridges would work with the much more viscous hash oils.

        Why were black market producers using vitamin e acetate instead of PG or PEG? Because the CDC and crystal waving hippies both agreed that PG or PEG was, like, totally bad for you in unspecified ways, or if they ran their test vape rig up to temperatures no human could possibly tolerate.

        As with many things, a government induced problem arising from unforeseen consequences of prohibitions.

        1. “to alter the viscosity so that the cartridges would work with the much more viscous hash oils.”

          No.

          Cutting the carts makes them visibly thinner. The vitamin E makes the viscosity look normal to customers, even though its been stepped on.

          Thicker oil actually works worse than thin oil.

      2. Oh, and somehow Blu ecig, owned by Phillip Reynolds, was going to be literally the only vapor product allowed in the US under the FDA’s original rules. They targeted vapor producing hardware by classifying them as medical devices, which need millions of dollars worth of legal forms and trials to bring to market. They scrapped those rules after the entire industry protested, but it shows you who butters their (FDA) bread.

    3. In a truly fair and just world, Fauci would get infected with something like smallpox or Ebola or Marburg. Whichever one makes the victim suffer in excruciating pain the longest.

      1. he owes the most to the hiv crowd.

      2. Fauci has got to be up to 4 masks by now under his principle that if 1 is good, 2 is better. This alarmist media hound is watching his relevancy melt away, even on leftist TV. It’s gotta be painful coming up with new ways everyone should be terrified, just to get a guest gig.

        Perhaps letting him just wither away, hunting for people who still want to interview him would be the slowest most painful death. Kinda like Bruce Willis still trying to Die Hard.

    4. Agree. I don’t even understand how they could have been so inept. It became a real concern in late Feb 2020 when the complete lack of testing, screening, tracing meant that data from the US was worse than even China by then. But even though the data itself got better – the response from CDC didn’t.

      I now think it was all almost deliberately mishandled in order to turn this into an uncontrollable endemic disease with an annual vaccine money maker. THAT is the hammer they own and the only response they understand.

      They need to fire every single supervisor/manager/similar there. Reorg it from scratch.

      1. Testing, screening, and tracing was never gonna work here. It never worked anywhere. Mass testing with high cycle count PCR tests is very much against the science. Rapid antigen testing might have been a way to go but that got nixed…likely because it was too cheap and not as easy to manipulate.

        1. …never worked anywhere that wasn’t a relatively small island.

        2. There’s good reason to understand why it may never have worked where – mostly cultural/attitudinal reasons. But it is simply a delusional lie to believe that it would never work anywhere or that the problem is technological.

          It worked in many places in Asia. It worked in parts of Europe until this winter. It prevented lockdown in some places and greatly reduced the time of that lockdown in others. Even if it didn’t provide an immediate preventive effect, it provided 100% of the information about how the virus actually spreads.

          We not only didn’t do anything here. We also learned nothing and continue to learn nothing and are apparently perfectly satisfied that we know nothing and will learn nothing in future.

      2. As I see it, perhaps the bigget problem was that people saw it as something that could be controlled. It was never going to be controlled or eradicated. If people had just accepted that once it became clear that it was pretty widespread already, I think things would be a lot better now.

    5. What’s even sadder is that so many people and business managers are allowing the CDC’s diktats to control their lives and businesses. The CDC is guided more by politics than science. Remember how it said that large gatherings were a bad idea, but made an exception if the gatherings were for the purpose of BLM protests?

      Defund the CDC!

  3. “It would probably help the public feel more at ease about going outside if social media sleuths would cease hunting for pictures of people at parks and beaches and then re-posting them with shaming messages.

    This is journalism.

    What is the problem?

    1. Shaming and terrifying people for low risk behaviors might be considered to be journalism these days, but we can always aspire for better.

  4. Joy Reid – is she the one that looks like a petri dish gone rogue?

    1. She’s the progressive with a history of posting racist and homophobic tweets. I know that doesn’t narrow it down much, but there you go.

  5. Yet another reason why the national guard is still occupying DC.

  6. It’s over, CDC. Time to go back on the back burner. I know, all that relevancy can get addicting, but it’s no longer warranted.

    The whole point of social distancing and other measures was to keep the level of people needing hospital care below the capacity of hospitals to provide. With vaccination on the rise, there is no further risk of hospitals becoming overwhelmed. The virus has already spread well beyond the range of containment and eradication, so what is the point at this point?

    If you are fat, or old, or whatever, get the shot. No excuses. If you are healthy, still get the shot. In either case, you have all you need to keep yourself safe at this point. Use those things, or don’t, but no one is obligated to alter their lives for you.

    1. They will push on longer than you with your stolen Valor.

  7. So when will Fauci call for the trees to be cut down in the interest of containing the pandemic?

    1. As soon as negotiations with the ‘green gang’ are through?

    2. Put on another mask, you racist!

  8. This is all obviously true and was obviously true last March as well. It’s shameful that we still have to make this argument. We lost because too few of us are brave enough to fight in enemy territory. Instead we bicker with our allies here in our safe space and make excuses for not fighting.

    Another problem is social security and medicare: old people should be demanding a return to normal life but they have no skin in the game. “Gimme my check and y’all can go f- yourselves.” These programs must be abolished.

    But the biggest core problem is that we’re in late-stage capitalism and there simply aren’t any big, lucrative opportunities left – unless you already have a billion dollars and well connected friends or if you’re hawking a new flavor of dog food on Shark Tank. So people turn to various socialist schemes for profit and power (e.g. climate change remediation, gun control, medicare for all, etc). Of course you can try to convince me there are a million opportunities out there, but again you’re just fighting with your allies in your safe space and it does nothing to change the existential problem. The end of capitalism becomes more obvious every day. (Which is in no way a criticism of the ideology. It was inevitable.
    Just explaining why we’ve made so little progress against these oppressive restrictions.)

    1. But the biggest core problem is that we’re in late-stage capitalism and there simply aren’t any big, lucrative opportunities left …
      Think like a loser, live like a loser.
      Opportunities are endless.

      1. Most fields, like medicine and technology, are fully saturated. Even just 40 years ago there were endless opportunities. Now most technologies can run themselves and medicine these days is dedicated to creating as much disease as it cures. Keeping businesses and parks closed is an example: increase obesity to profit from it. Calling people ‘losers’ only makes people push their socialist schemes harder. Perhaps that’s your goal.

    2. You say you fight them but then your link take me to you mewling at them on their house propaganda organ.

      Did you mean to link somewhere else?

      1. What? The link takes you to my argument to reopen gyms:

        Despite your fear porn, it’s easy enough to take reasonable precautions to drastically reduce contagion. Nothing’s perfect but studies show that most cases are at home. If you genuinely cared about people then you would have given advice for home exercise. But nothing from you.

        The problem is that you refuse to fight (and accuse people who fight of ‘mewling’). And that’s why we’re stuck here.

    3. A few points worth making here.

      First, there is no such thing as “late-stage capitalism.” It’s a Marxist concept relying on a deterministic theory of history. Socialist schemes will always collapse eventually. The incentives they produce ensure it.

      Second, regarding your point about bickering in safe spaces: one must choose to fight where one is able. Anti-socialist discussion is practically forbidden on the larger social media sites at this point, but by posting on freer up-and-comers, we may find increased exposure in the near future. Additionally, sometimes the choir must be preached to, if only to raise their spirits.

      Third, for you or anyone who feels hopeless about freedom, I offer a name and a fact. Michael Malice has a position he calls “the White pill” and it stands against this hopelessness. Finally, many of the fools at the CIA thought the Soviets were winning the Cold War mere months before the Berlin Wall fell. The collapse of socialist schemes can happen with little warning.

      1. You are just making cowardly excuses for running from the fight. Which is fine – explains why we lost and keep losing. You would rather bicker with your allies here for a cheap ‘win’.

        Also, Christianity is deterministic. Do you reject paradise on earth?

      2. It’s a Marxist concept relying on a deterministic theory of history.

        Not really. Marx made the concept well known and he had a deterministic notion of history from Hegel.

        But the particulars re capitalism were his assessment of what would occur when profits get competed away. The early beneficiaries of those profits are not going to give up that advantage and they are not going to go away quietly – when they can instead entrench themselves. You don’t have to be Marxist to agree with that outcome – or to believe that the new boss in that dynamic is gonna be the same as the old boss.

        If Marx’s historical determinism was an analytical flaw, it is that he thought enclosure was the end of land as a unique factor of production (along with labor and capital). Which is what marginalist economics says too.

    4. Perhaps it is time in the capitalism marketplace to recognize that the assholes are in charge and come up with new ways to bilk them and their damn system, if nothing else just to keep up with their devaluation of the dollar.

      1. Perhaps you have fogotton about the “ethical stock portfolio” where the handling costs twice as much

  9. Yeah, if it’s one thing we don’t want during a pandemic that mostly slams the obese, it’s getting people outside for fresh air (well, as fresh as the air can be in that fetid urban swamp), exercise, and Vitamin D.

    1. I’m not sure how much most people are even listening to this shit anymore. The progs I know who derive their entire identities from parroting shit they read on Vox? Sure. But everyone else? Two times recently young women spoke to me when I was out shopping for something. In both cases, they walked up to me and stood closer than three feet. One of them pulled down her mask to talk to me. When young women have stopped paying attention to your security theater, I think it’s time to close the show.

  10. >>The CDC is waging an unscientific war on the great outdoors.

    March 2020 on line 2 …

  11. “On the contrary, closing beaches probably forces people to hang out in bars, restaurants, or their homes or hotel rooms—and that is where coronavirus spreads.”

    No one will be “forced” to go to a bar or restaurant…

    1. hopes are high @SEIU

  12. For those silly enough to be worried about federal spending, please add the CDC right below the line with the education department.
    Thanks

  13. It was both funny and sad when Maryland Governor Larry Hogan became a raving shutdown covid nutcase after he was confronted with pictures of people at the cherry blossoms on Meet the Press.

  14. That is the Washington DC National Park Service under POTUS Biden. It behaves a lot like the National Park Service under his old boss, POTUDS Obama.

  15. Verloren Sieg

  16. This quit being about public health long, long ago. Its about power, control, and butt covering. The CDC has lost all credibility with it’s ever shifting and plainly absurd recommendations. Masks good, no bad, no good again. Schools dangerous, safe, maybe dangerous, mostly safe. Six feet for social distancing, wait no, three is okay – but only in schools, if/when we let you open them. The pandemic will last until we have a vaccine and that won’t be for a couple of years. What? We have it now? Let us revise our guidance. The vaccine really doesn’t matter, you still need masks, lock downs and social distancing. We’ll have herd immunity at 60%. Make that 70%. No wait, 90%. I was just kidding about that 60 and 70 nonsense. You’re such children, you can’t be trusted with the truth – if we even know what that is ourselves.

  17. What part of “Obey!” don’t you serfs understand?

  18. Welcome to Biden’s America, and stay indoors!

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