The Volokh Conspiracy

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"Mass Prayer Gathering … in Bangladesh to Read 'Healing Verses' Against Covid-19"

I'll say it again: "Trust in Allah, but tie your camel."


Agence France-Press reports:

A massive coronavirus prayer session with tens of thousands of devotees sparked an outcry in Bangladesh Wednesday as the South Asian nation reported its first death from the global pandemic.

Local police chief Tota Miah said some 10,000 Muslims gathered in an open field in Raipur town in southern Bangladesh to pray "healing verses" from the Koran to rid the country of the deadly virus.

The Bangladesh reported infection count is low (18, according to WorldoMeters, in a nation with half the population of the U.S.), but the actual count there, as in many other places, may well be much higher; "Authorities have already shut schools and asked locals to avoid large gatherings in an effort to halt the spread of the disease."

(Whispered) thanks to commenter librarian for the pointer.

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  1. If you believe the numbers that 'trustworthy' 'authoritative' people like Merkel or Governor Gabbin' Gruesome are throwing around claiming that half or more people are going to be infected in the next 2 months then, why are we even bothering with all these lockdown measures anyway if nearly everybody is going to get it and soon?

    1. To prevent the hospital system from being overwhelmed with patients by staggering their arrival?

      1. For more than half the state of California in 2 months? Not much help staggering would do. Might as well get it over with.

        1. Ladies and gentlemen - modern "conservatism" in a nutshell.

        2. Actually, it will, according to the mathematical models used by epidemiologists.

          1. If you really think 15 million people in california are going to get infected over the next 2 months then theres no point in any of these restrictions. Might as well get the economy back on track since it will save far more lives than ensuring that we stretch out the 600K people who need hospital beds over 8 weeks instead of 6.

            1. Among the consequences of stressful conditions is diminution of patience (at least among educated, sensible, productive citizens) concerning the opinions and conduct of disaffected contrarians.

    2. The Bangladesh government, the Chinese government, Gov Newsom — all are more competent, more mature, more in control of their impulses, and more credible — than Donald Trump. And the whole world knows that.

      1. I wonder if even you believe anything you said there.

        1. All I've seen from the federal government is a blubbering racist idiot who is being coddled by a bunch of incompetent ass kissers. Where China, Bangadesh, South Korea, France, California, etc have taken real action.

          Trumps presidency is over. And not a moment too soon.

          1. I'm curious, can you tell me specifically and not in vaguely without googling what Trump has failed to do that any other average or above politician would have done in his position? Keeping in mind he doesn't have the powers of an authoritarian regime like china or those of the leader of a unitary government?

            I also disagree. People outside of certain bubbles generally are supportive or at least neutral to how the president is handling this. Granted a lot of what a President does in situations like this and what Trump is doing is looking like he's doing something. But if he can stay the course on how well he's doing now and not flub things too seriously I think people will respect that and it might actually help him in the election.

            1. Testing, use of the bully pulpit, use of federal resources to increase our public health infrastructure.

              Not encouraging chuckleheads like you to believe this isn't a real thing because the experts got nothing on your incredulous gut.

              1. What did Trump have to do with testing? That seems more like general bureaucratic failure than anything Trump did.

                1. First, the buck stops at Trump. No special pleading. You know better than that. Or used to.

                  Second, the bad tests are a separate issue from not starting an initiative to grow testing capacity, which Trump just never did. It was pretty clear the admin was hoping to ignore many of the cases partially by not testing for them. (c.f. that cruise ship he didn't want to count as American cases)

                  Third, he appointed the managers of those bureaucrats. And toadies are not good managers. Dems have been beating the drum about this lack of resilience in our administrative state since 2017.

                  Fourth, Trump himself refused to go in with other country's tests and associated research.

                  1. "First, the buck stops at Trump. No special pleading. "

                    Sure, the whole thing happened on Trump's watch. But trying to hold individual President's accountable for general bureaucratic failure has never worked very well.

                    And it's not just bad tests, it's bureaucrats preventing private labs from developing their own tests.

                    " It was pretty clear the admin was hoping to ignore many of the cases partially by not testing for them. (c.f. that cruise ship he didn’t want to count as American cases)"

                    I don't know if that's pretty clear. The reporting there was very misleading.

                  2. If Drumpf gets all the blame for everything because he's directly responsible for all that does and doesn't happen he also gets all the credit. The US is currently behind all the major European countries in Covid cases per capita (that we know about) I think. There are several treatments being developed in the US and by your logic Drumpf might as well literally be in the lab creating the cure personally. Yay Drumpf.

          2. China's taken "real action"?!?
            China's failure to do so is why we have this mess.

            But you're welcome to move to China...

        2. Trolls don't believe what they say, they just try to get a reaction, and every time you even respond to a troll, you give him an erection (or creamed jeans if it is a woman troll).

    3. The rationale is that (a) it can be slowed down enough so as to not overwhelm our medical system and (b) it will be less contagious during the warmer months, which is characteristic of corona-type viri.

      What needs to be asked is "at what cost"? We have destroyed our (already shaky) higher ed system, the retail and restaurant trade is going to implode on April 1st when lots of monthly bills won't be paid, and our economy is literally shut down.

      So how many deaths are we going to have from mental health issues alone? "Cabin fever" can be lethal in many ways (heart attack, domestic violence, etc) and things are going to get ugly...

      1. Thing is, it's warm in Australia right now and it doesn't seem to be stopping the spread much.

        Your definition of destroyed is pretty odd.

        The utilitarian question is just not one we ask when it's a direct tradeoff between lives and livelihoods like this. Sure, we won't have huge car safety regulations and that costs lives, but when it's direct like this? Our moral code puts lives above property. Or enough people's code does.

  2. The interesting question would be what would have happened had the Bangladesh Government attempted to prevent the 10,000 Muslims from gathering.

    I'm thinking it would have gotten very ugly, very quickly -- and that is why no attempt was made to stop it.

    And this raises a very interesting question of how fear of violence serves to protect religious rights, and the equal protection of other religions less inclined to violence...

    1. Always time for some Muslim-bashing!

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