Daily corona round-up

Strongarming

Yesterday President Trump floated the idea of holding off on the 2020 Election — you know, just in case this coronavirus thing is still happening — while at the same time insisting that our states send our children back to school.

Constitutional scholars say canceling the election is impossible. But impossible is nothing when it comes to the striong man dictating terms to the people of our failed state.

For example, the Executive Branch decision earlier this month to remove custodianship of our national coronavirus numbers to a portal maintained by the Coronavirus Task Force has already shows inconsistencies with state data and lots of reporting problems.

See for yourself.

Here’s the new count from Health and Human Services, which reports 4,405,932 total US diagnoses. But these guys, who scrape state- and county-level data report that we have 4,674,070. The government site also undercounts the US dead by a couple thousand. That second site seems to get county-level data in real time, putting them a bit ahead of our state numbers as well.

But for our purposes, I’m still using state numbers, until I lose my faith in those, too.

The numbers

  • Any day below 2,000 new cases is a good day in North Carolina right now. And with just 1,954 new ones, we should be satisfied.But with 122,148 total diagnoses, we are the ninth-highest state in the country, right behind Arizona.
    • Our positive-testing rate is hovering at 8 percent, which is too high by at least three points.
    • We’ve got 1,947 dead from COVID-19 so far, with at least 92,302 recoveries — new data comes in on Monday.
  • Guilford County breaks the 5K mark with 114 new cases today, making 5,071. At least 54.32 percent have recovered (2,755) and 2.76 percent (140) have died.
  • Forsyth adds 42 new cases for 4,833. At least 68.16 percent have recovered (3,294) and 0.99 percent (48) have died.

A diversion

In 1974, for no good reason, a couple of guys from Frank Zappa’s band and their friends put out an X-rated cartoon called Down and Dirty Duck. That was the same year Fritz the Cat came out, so this one had a much smaller effect on the culture. Also, it’s sort of terrible, and not even all that dirty — though it is definitely not for kids. The animation is crude, the sound is a joke, the plot is ridiculous and it’s barely watchable, but there’s definitely cartoon sex in it, if you’re into that. Here it is in its entirety, for your viewing pleasure on a Friday night.

Program notes

  • Tonight’s featured image is a “Soap Bubbles,” by Jean Siméon Chardin, 1733-34. Taken from the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s public-domain collection.
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