Discover more from bad cattitude
the CDC has always been deeply unserious and poorly calibrated
you just never noticed it before because they did not have the power to force it on you
many, including gatopal™ phil holloway, have been having a bit of fun at the CDC’s expense over monkeypox, a disease that is not airborne, spreads only by prolonged physical contact, is and whose “epidemic” seems all but entirely traceable to several large superspread sex party events.
moving to a posture of “mask for monkeypox” public spaces is deeply unserious.
it’s full blown performative nonsense and monomania.
because this is what the CDC is always like. it’s their histrionic métier.
and what’s interesting is that suddenly, everyone can see it again
this will join other such overwrought CDC forays into pseudoscience and ill calibrated application of the precautionary principle (a truly misbegotten notion that quite literally warns against itself for must we not also take precautions against incurring the potential price of being overcautious?).
H1N1, zika, dengue, ebola comes to america, they have been the 140 decibel warning system for 47 of the last 1.5 epidemics and even when they get one right, they get all the responses wrong.
you just never noticed it before because people had enough sense not to mistake bureaucratic political science for actual science and thus mostly ignored this endless alarum.
what people lose sight of here is that 90% of the CDC has always been baseless hokum and irrelevant imposition of useless rules for the sake of having rules. have you ever see their advice for “food safety?”
does literally anyone “wash utensils, cutting boards, and countertops with hot soapy water after preparing each food item?”
has any human ever “used a food thermometer to make sure that reheated microwaved food reaches 165 degrees?”
no burger should be below 160? that’s a hockey puck.
no meat under 145? i’m sorry, but NO WAY. people will try to tell you 145 is “medium.” it’s not.
135 is medium. 125ish is medium rare. actual cooks know this.
CDC meat is the kind of stuff a good texas steak house will serve you an old boot if you order.
meat is supposed to look like this: (lovingly seared at 1500 degrees on gato’s own otto wilde grill.)
and good meat mostly DOES look like that. all over america and all over the world. nobody follows these silly CDC rules if they can help it. i mean, who cooks a steak grey?
to be sure, someone could come along and do a study and say “steaks cooked to 150 degrees have 90% less bacteria than steaks cooked to 120.” it might even be true. and that might sound scary. but is it?
how many medium rare steaks have you and others you know eaten? have you EVER known anyone to get seriously ill from one? even once? i haven’t. literally zero. i mean, i’m sure it’s happened out there somewhere, but people slip and fall and break their skulls taking showers too. gonna rush out and buy a shower helmet?
probably not, huh?
and that’s because, wait for it, that would be stupid.
stupid like cooking all flavor and moisture out of every steak for the rest of your life to mitigate a risk so low that no one should possibly care.
stupid like wearing a surgical mask for monkeypox or for an aerosol virus.
stupid like listening to the CDC whose institutional bent is all mis-calibration and oppressive safetyism because that’s their incentive set.
if something bad happens against which they did not warn, they look bad.
if they warn about something bad that does not happen, they just move on to the next one and the news cycle dies of its own accord.
they do not face the costs of following their prescriptions, you do. your freedom comprises risk to their jobs and stature. if it were not for a “need to tell people how to be safe” their whole agency would not exist.
so guess what they focus on?
“obsessively telling people how to be safe.”
no mitigation efficacy too tenuous.
no effect size too small.
no irony too thick…
whether the risks are real or merely conjured hobgoblins may not matter to them, but it does matter to us.
the fake overstated risks are less harmful. you can ignore them and nothing happens.
but what of real risk?
when real, serious issues arise, we need real, serious solutions rooted in science, not politics and this is when an agency of such seriously unserious people becomes a serious disaster.
they get EVERTHING wrong.
lockdowns. masks. opposing early treatment with widely available and affordable drugs known to be safe. endless advocacy for treatments (like remdesivir) known to work poorly (if at all) and of alleged inoculants known not to stop spread and whose side effect profiles are (by orders of magnitude) unprecedented in a vaccine.
having the outright incompetent blather policy about steak which is widely ignored is relatively harmless.
but suddenly elevating this house of wrong to prominence and outright dictatorial power expressed as mandate (and about to be appealed in the courts after being struck down) is not.
the harms have been staggering.
sure, there could be a lot of reasons that el salvador had only 531 covid deaths per millon (vs 3,088 US) including a big disparity in age, but el salvador has a similar age profile to guatemala (982), honduras (1,086), and mexico (2,471) and so maybe it’s worth considering that part of what made such a difference was this:
(especially as india saw some similar outcomes from similar recommendations.)
and this is why the folks like CDC are so dangerous. crying “overcautious” all the time is bad, but grabbing the policy reins when cool headed competence and data driven diagnosis and advice are needed needed most and instead having a politically driven crony corporatist freakout to push poison as panacea and damn the consequences and trade offs is devastating.
the vast majority of damage from covid was caused by poor response, not by a virus.
and that poor response was imagined, aided, and abetted by agencies neither suited to serious work nor sufficiently independent and honest to do such work even if they were capable of it.
and the thing far more dangerous than a pool with no lifeguard on duty is one where you THINK there is a lifeguard on duty but there isn’t.
and that is the world we inhabit.
these are not lifeguards watching over us, these are swimmers who panic at the first ripple of waves to which we have chained ourselves and our society.
and they will dive in and drown us if we do not sever these bonds.
(or worse they’ll get paid in salary and sinecure to feed us to the sharks…)
it’s time for a top to bottom rethink of the entire public health apparatus. the signs of institutional inadequacy have been plain to see for decades, it’s just that no one was looking very hard because it just wasn’t that important to most folks.
and now it is.
the last two years can be historical aberration, or the beginning of an all encompassing new normal as the abuses to which these regulators are prone and the power they have usurped extends to other spheres from protests to pre-school and gender to travel.
after unprecedented global catastrophes of comprehension and effect, these groups are asking for unprecedented powers to build it back again bigger for next time.
if you value your life, liberty, or the pursuit of your happiness, do not cede this.
the society you save may be your own.