Storm chasing and the 2020 coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic

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Feb 23, 2015
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Eastpointe Michigan
I am certainly not someone who chases a ton nor has over the years but I don't see the positive of dragging this community through the mud by notifying the media of chasers chasing. Especially in light of chasing yourself just the other day. This community has suffered enough because chasing is grossly misunderstood by the general public.

The failure here is that people who are spotting are doing an essential service for the NWS which helps immensely in warning process and verification. Not to mention the life saving reports in light of a tornado on the ground.

Spotting and chasing is a very isolated action. This isn't like going to a rock concert or sporting event. 99% of the time people are in vehicles driving. Some levity of what actually is happening needs to be realized before you go and bury the entire community needlessly.
 
Feb 21, 2012
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Wichita, KS
Still undecided on when, if or where I will chase, although it is totally legal as an outdoor recreational activity as stated in the Kansas stay at home order, and as confirmed with local law enforcement. Regardless, I promise if names are falsely listed as lawbreakers and sent to national media to slander them, when in fact they are not breaking any laws, there will be lawsuits involved. Hope Dan realizes that he is going down a very different path than just forum discussions if he decides to impact reputations and careers at a national level, based on his own rules.
 
I would have worded it differently than Jesse, but his basic point is correct. At this time, we have no way to know what percentage of the "chaser community" is prepared to defy stay-at-home mandates to chase. Jesse is right that, in order to know whether that is the case, you need a representative sample survey of the chaser community. But it is even more complicated than that. The population from which this sample survey would be drawn, the "chaser community", is an ill-defined concept. Who is in it, and who isn't? People that chase storms? Does that include local spotters, or locals that jump in the car for the first time when a tornado warning is issued for their town? I suspect there were a few of those in my childhood home of Waterloo, IA the other day. Or is it just people who interact with other chasers in the Internet? And if it is, how do you identify that population. Stormtrack? Social media chasing groups? Anyone that publishes something about their chases on Facebook, Youtube, Twitter, etc., even if not in a chasing-related group? It is a nearly impossible group to define, much less draw a representative sample of. Hence, as someone who used to do survey research as part of my job, I would assert that it is nearly impossible to make any valid claims about what the majority of the "chaser community" thinks, does, or intends to do. So Dan might be right or he might be wrong in his claims, but there is no really valid way to know. I admire and agree with his efforts and those of others to encourage responsible chasing, which in this extraordinary situation, I feel, means, for most chasers, nothing more than day trips close to home. But to make claims about what the majority of the "chaser community" thinks or plans to do strikes me as an impossible task. And that is not even getting into the question of the relationship between what people answering surveys (or making social media posts) say they intend to do vs. what they actually do, which is another entire can of worms.
 

Jay McCoy

EF5
Dec 6, 2003
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Amarillo, Texas
Only thing I will say is dan would open himself up to a ton of lawsuits by doing whats hes threatening. Thats Libel. and not sure how chasers spending most their time in their vehicles except for gas or food is as big a threat as millions of truckers doing the same thing. just because they are essential doesnt mean they cant carry or spread the virus. Most of the chasers would bring their own food and drinks and just need gas at the pumps. not sure how thats a big threat. Hes so worried about how people see the chase community yet hes willing to throw everybody under the bus for his own gratification.. yet he was just out chasing himself.. seems a bit hypocritical. doesnt matter if its a close chase he still had to buy gas and expose people who use the same pump (by his logic)
 
Jul 16, 2013
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Joplin, MO
My first visit back to ST of the year and I see Dan's lost his mind. Cool, cool.
Lost his mind? He has legit concerns. We're dealing with a pandemic that none of us has ever dealt with in our lifetime. We're dealing with something that we've only read about in history books. We're in uncharted waters right now. The White House, and Dr. Fauci predicts we could see upwards of 250,000 deaths, we're only just shy of 4,000... we have a long ways to go if that projection is true. Scary. The way we deal with this and navigate through this will vary from person to person. None of this is normal, none of how we're feeling or dealing with in regards to this is normal. We've not been through this before. But to mock Dan, put him down and disrespect him.. that's a piece of s**t thing for you, or any of us to do. For now, this is our new norm... deal with it, and respect how others are dealing with it. To those who chose to ignore the orders, I pray you don't fall victim to COVID-19 and find yourself in a hospital room all alone on a ventilator wondering if you're going to live or die, and asking the doctor if you're going to live only to have him say "I don't know". And I hope that those who feel these orders doesn't apply to them doesn't become infected, and then passes it on to others who are innocent in all of this. Dan has been a respected member of this community for a very long time, and for all of you to turn your back on him so quick and mock him over very valid concerns is a POS thing to do. Praying that your irresponsibility doesn't lead you to being on a ventilator in a hospital room all alone being told "I don't know" when you ask the doctor if you're going to live or not. What a bunch of a-holes here.
 
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Jay McCoy

EF5
Dec 6, 2003
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Amarillo, Texas
Joey its not that Dan has concerns.. we all do.. this is something none of us have dealt with before. Its the way hes doing it.. by threatening to contact media and government officials like he is the chaser police in charge of how the rest of us deal with the virus. Its pretty simple.. follow gov guidelines and laws. if travel is banned then people wont chase. But if the highways are open to the public and people take precautions then thats their right. I see alot less risk alone in a vehicle driving around the middle of nowhere than i do going to walmart with 1000 other people buying toilet paper. yet that hasnt slowed or been stopped at all. If he is worried then he has every right to stay home....yet while he calls everybody out he went out chasing himself..sortof makes him look foolish doesnt it?
 
Jul 16, 2013
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Joplin, MO
Joey its not that Dan has concerns.. we all do.. this is something none of us have dealt with before. Its the way hes doing it.. by threatening to contact media and government officials like he is the chaser police in charge of how the rest of us deal with the virus. Its pretty simple.. follow gov guidelines and laws. if travel is banned then people wont chase. But if the highways are open to the public and people take precautions then thats their right. I see alot less risk alone in a vehicle driving around the middle of nowhere than i do going to walmart with 1000 other people buying toilet paper. yet that hasnt slowed or been stopped at all. If he is worried then he has every right to stay home....yet while he calls everybody out he went out chasing himself..sortof makes him look foolish doesnt it?
Honestly, given what we're dealing with, I don't think he is making himself look foolish. He has legit concerns, it's his natural reaction to something we've not dealt with before. None of us are in a position to tell one another how we should act or handle things during this time. It's new to all of us. Quite frankly, I'm scared as f**k right now because I still have to work, at the same time if I become infected with COVID-19 there's a 90% chance I'll die. It is what it is. We have to look out for each other, and ourselves and do what's best right now. If you don't need to travel, then don't. I'll do my part to keep myself safe, and others safe; when I don't have to go to my office at work, I'll continue staying home, I won't chase, I won't travel and I'll deal with it. It sucks, I HATE it. I hate being confined at home... but at the same time, I'm not a selfish a**hole with an ego the size of Texas. I'll stay home, if I must go to my office at work I'll reluctantly go.. but other than that I'll work from home, stay at home, watch movies and documentaries and take care of myself until this crap blows over.

The mentality displayed here and elsewhere is why our numbers will be way worse than that of Italy and China, why our death toll from this is projected to be 240,000 people. People have an ego, are selfish in this country and only gives two shits about themselves. Personally, I project that number to be way higher... I'm thinking 500,000 deaths from what I've seen of people and how they're treating this.. like one big f'n joke.
 
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Jay McCoy

EF5
Dec 6, 2003
1,205
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Amarillo, Texas
you are missing the point. Hes blasting everybody else for chasing or thinking of chasing during this crisis yet he himself IS chasing. Pure hypocracy. If he is so worried about chasers spreading the virus then why did he chase also? Im not saying he shouldnt chase. Thats up to each person to decide as long as they dont break any laws or restrictions..Im saying he has no right to threaten to contact media or officials about other chasers for doing exactly what hes doing himself. its do as i say not as i do mentality
 
Jul 16, 2013
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Joplin, MO
you are missing the point. Hes blasting everybody else for chasing or thinking of chasing during this crisis yet he himself IS chasing. Pure hypocracy. If he is so worried about chasers spreading the virus then why did he chase also? Im not saying he shouldnt chase. Thats up to each person to decide as long as they dont break any laws or restrictions..Im saying he has no right to threaten to contact media or officials about other chasers for doing exactly what hes doing himself. its do as i say not as i do mentality
I'm not missing the point, I don't have the answers to that. That's only something Dan can answer. I'm not going to blast him or mock him though. I respect him as a chaser, he's been doing this a long time, has built up a reputation. I'm not the one to question him on something he does during a time that isn't normal to any of us. I don't even know exactly how I should act, react or what I should do or not do during this time, much less sit here and say what Dan or anyone else should do or not do. None of this is normal, none of this is okay, none of us knows how to handle and deal with what's going on. What I can say for myself, I won't be out chasing, I won't even be out storm spotting until this crap passes. I don't want to put myself at risk, nor do I want to put others at risk if god forbid I come down with this virus.
 
Jan 14, 2011
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St. Louis
stormhighway.com
I have not been outside of the St. Louis metro area since our stay-at-home orders were issued. Our orders here include a provision to drive for "outdoor recreation". Local driving to watch storms is allowed under the order. I'm only using my home gas station. Please stop libeling me by saying I'm violating orders here by going out in my home area. I forfeited tornadoes Saturday to not break the orders. I have not broken any orders and will not. Anyone saying I'm not holding myself to the same standard is simply lying or is not reading what is in the orders.

If your state has not issued no-travel orders or quarantines, then you are not breaking any rules to chase. the issue is "breaking quarantine orders". Please stop being disingenuous. I also see that those who've posted this on Facebook cropped out what motivated me. Nice to see you're selectively editing out the context of this discussion.

Are any of you really coming down on the position that breaking quarantines is OK? Because that is what this looks like to me. I don't have a problem with chasing where it is permitted by the orders. BREAKING those orders is the ONLY thing I'm concerned about. We ALL should be. The fact that so many are seemingly saying "I'm going to break quarantines to chase, and you're an *** for saying otherwise" is simply mind-boggling to me. How do you expect ANYONE to react to that? You're worried about ME? I'm only proposing to send the people of the Plains what has been said in chasers' OWN WORDS. I haven't made up any part of this.

In an effort to be as fair as possible, I will post the draft of the release here before I send it out, in order to let everyone see it. I will also be blanking out names in the screenshots I include so as to not identify anyone. I wish this was not necessary. I take no pleasure in this and know that I will lose respect and friendships. It has to be done, and if someone's going to get the life/chase career-changing hit for it, I'll take it.

This has been for me like waking up in a nightmare world where many of the people I've respected for years turn out to be the types that willingly break quarantines during a pandemic, then vilify me for objecting and doing something about it.

Hopefully when we emerge on the other side of this thing, the rest of you can get back to chasing like we knew it before. I may never be able to enjoy this hobby again.
 
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May 25, 2014
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Point of contention, Dan.

In all honesty, did you or did you not leave your home state of Missouri, and travel into Illinois, which has issued a stay-at-home directive, where you photographed hailstones, on the very same day that you started down this path? And then posted it on social media?

I would like to see this clarified, because that's what a lot of people have been sharing on social media.
 
Jan 14, 2011
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Point of contention, Dan.

In all honesty, did you or did you not leave your home state of Missouri, and travel into Illinois, which has issued a stay-at-home directive, where you photographed hailstones, on the very same day that you started down this path? And then posted it on social media?

I would like to see this clarified, because that's what a lot of people have been sharing on social media.
I live on the Illinois side of the St. Louis metro. The state line goes right through the middle of the metro area. Crossing a state line within the metro is not prohibited anywhere in the orders, nor would it be for anyone who lives right on a state line with parks/services/employers on the other side. John Farley used to live near me and can confirm this.
 
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Jan 14, 2011
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Adam, since you've been one of the more vocal critics, can you confirm to me that you support violating quarantine orders? Is that the position you and others are taking? I'm really hoping that is not the case and that I've misunderstood you all somewhere.
 
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May 25, 2014
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I live on the Illinois side of the St. Louis metro. The state line goes right through the middle of the metro area. Crossing a state line within the metro is not prohibited anywhere in the orders.
Alright. Now, just to clear the air about that particular bit - You left home to chase, living within Illinois, when Illinois had already issued a stay-at-home order? Am I reading this correctly?
 
Jan 14, 2011
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stormhighway.com
Alright. Now, just to clear the air about that particular bit - You left home to chase, living within Illinois, when Illinois had already issued a stay-at-home order? Am I reading this correctly?
The Illinois shelter-in-place order allows for driving locally for "outdoor recreation" to parks, etc. The order is linked on the first page of this thread. I think another part of this problem is that no one is actually reading the orders and simply making assumptions.
 
May 25, 2014
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You've already argued that "outdoor recreation" provisions shouldn't apply to chasing, though?

Don't get me wrong, I'm not purposefully being a douche or trying to be obtuse, but I'm trying to run fast enough to catch up to this train of thought. What clears you to leave home to chase under outdoor recreation provisions, but others aren't allowed to, or you'll throw the New York Times at them? Will you include your own photos and posts with the names blacked out in the piece, or does that not count?

I am living under a county-based, but state-issued, stay-at-home order. I have real-deal essential personnel credentials from two different counties, and the state. Saturday, I had hailers within 5 miles of my home, and didn't go, because of this situation and the orders. Should I have gone anyway? Would the juice had been worth the squeeze, and if it had, would I be able to immediately bring myself to come home and put everyone else on notice for doing the same thing, except with further distances involved?

I'd be avoiding mirrors afterward, I can tell you that.
 
Jan 14, 2011
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stormhighway.com
You've already argued that "outdoor recreation" provisions shouldn't apply to chasing, though?
The issue in the orders is "travel". Non-essential *travel* is what is not allowed. Health officials have been saying repeatedly that it is people traveling around and/or congregating in groups that spreads the virus. Jason Persoff went into this in his Facebook post.

You can *chase* in your local areas. That doesn't break any of the rules. People here are driving to parks and rail trailheads in the same ranges that I've been out.

I'd be avoiding mirrors afterward, I can tell you that.
How so? This is genuinely puzzling.
 
May 25, 2014
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The issue in the orders is "travel". Non-essential *travel* is what is not allowed. Health officials have been saying repeatedly that it is people traveling around and/or congregating in groups that spreads the virus. Jason Persoff went into this in his Facebook post.

You can *chase* in your local areas. That doesn't break any of the rules. People here are driving to parks and rail trailheads in the same ranges that I've been out.
This is drawing rather hazy and arbitrary lines, no? The state doesn't appear to have drawn those lines, either. You did that. Pretty typical of most State behaviors (referencing the actual state of Illinois here, in the frame of "State") to create arbitrary and poorly-explained rules when they do something large and sweeping, but in a hurry. You have to understand how your actions look, as a self-appointed guardian of public health, when you would choose to attempt changing the behavior of others via an attempt at shame, frightmongering, and social pressure, when the actual states haven't enacted measures that draconian, and don't truly define anything. I am in agreement with the people who are saying that you sustain a higher chance of becoming infected in your local grocery store than on a solo chase, because it's simply true.

How so? This is genuinely puzzling.
Because I wouldn't be able to look myself in the eye. I'd be living in abject fear that once news agency A made a big deal about it, that my detractors would immediately pull up my own social media posts from the very same day, and give it to news agency B.

It's the bucket of crabs. Because all communities are the same. When one member throws the rest under the bus, the rest will make sure to drag the one right under the tires with them. You won't get a free pass on the matter, whatsoever, in the media's eyes, and to a certain degree, I think you know that. You don't chase for 27 years, announce that you're done, and then attempt an expose' in a week's time, and get out. Chasing will be viewed as a swamp, more than likely, but don't think the camera won't see some wet mud on your clothes.
 
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May 1, 2004
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Springfield, IL
www.skip.cc
You can *chase* in your local areas. That doesn't break any of the rules. People here are driving to parks and rail trailheads in the same ranges that I've been out.
Where does it say local? What is local?

From the order:
5. Leaving the home for essential activities is permitted. For purposes of this Executive Order, individuals may leave their residence only to perform any of the following Essential Activities:
...
c. For outdoor activity. To engage in outdoor activity, provided the individuals comply with Social Distancing Requirements, as defined below, such as, by way of example and without limitation, walking, hiking, running, or biking. Individuals may go to public parks and open outdoor recreation areas.
Isn't the important thing that we're being as diligent and responsible as possible in terms of limiting exposure and contamination? ...and not just being sticklers for some arbitrary interpretation of the rules?
 
Jan 14, 2011
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The main issue that alarmed and angered me is chasers' stated intent to chase regardless of *any* orders in place. Yes you can nitpick the definitions in the *current* orders. The orders are getting stricter by the day, and in a week's time, we could see those boundaries defined in stone. It's pretty clear, though, from health officials of what those boundaries are: "travel", that is, the risk of someone in a high infection-rate area transferring it somewhere else. This is the reason for Kansas' 14-day quarantine from residents who have been in Illinois on or after March 23.
 
May 25, 2014
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I see. So, the nitpicking should only go in one direction.

Got it.

Look, I'm not crazy about the current situation, either. Mostly, I am severely worried about how far back this will set civil liberties and freedom to travel. So we flatten the buzzwords and curve the cure, or what have you. We limit it all. The virus goes away, mostly, but will linger on for a while in one form or another. As I've mentioned previously, when is it over? When the last known US patient dies or recovers? Then things go back to normal and a guy with a cough gets off a plane from Eritrea, and it's game-on again? The start of summer? Christmas?

I'm severely uncomfortable with this.

This just seems to be overboard and overkill. The people answering the poll, how many are actually chasers, how many want to be chasers when they grow up, and how many are normies that drove home in that kick-ass thunderboomer last July? 600 Respondents? There's more than 600 chasers in the field on a May Kansas Moderate. StormTrack posters on this very thread? I haven't even gone and counted, but I'd bet there are less than 50 unique users commenting on this thread.

I would prefer to let the public authorities do this particular job, as I'm not too fond of the media and of cancel culture. I think it sets a severely dangerous precedent. More dangerous, by the way, than our governments going full-on East German Border Police.

Although, not by much.
 
Jan 14, 2011
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All I care about right now is stopping this virus so we can get back to our normal lives, with my entire family and friends still here. This thing is out of control right now and getting worse by the day. I care about our rights and will fight for them along with you if they are curtailed for too long.

If you all can say something - anything - that would lead me to believe I've been mistaken about the intent of chasers to willfuly violate quarantines and restrictions, I will drop this whole issue. I really want to, but if it's true, this has to be done. It could be someone's parents in that small Plains town.
 
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@Dan Robinson

NOT that I’m the best voice of reason by any means, but I’m going to try and reason with you with my thought process if I may, Dan?
I am then going to voice a recommendation to the owner and moderation team since you have already made public statements and a blog post with this agenda.
However, let me first say that my chief complaint with you originally (and in the original post) was the threatening tone with the position of a moderator. That said, I understand from DMs from a few of the mod’s, and from direct posts from Mark, that you relinquished those duties.
I respect that decision and think it was wise.

In my original reply to the post, I highlighted on the calm nature that I’ve known you to have for many years, and the respect that brought. I mentioned my issue with you due to the “position” you held *at that time* and the threatening tone. That was the real “dog in this fight” I had.
I don’t want to speak for everyone (and certainly can’t) but I would think that we ALL have the same concerns and worries that you do actually. I know I certainly do. In fact, since covering the Nashville event, I’ve been at home and have had VERY limited trips locally - all because I felt so very concerned about everything. I finally got out of the house this evening to meet a friend but we kept our social distance as expected. Hell, if I’m going to be honest and open.... I’ve had to limit my FB/social media exposure because as a father, a husband, a son, a brother, a family guy - it makes me almost a nervous wreck. I’m trying to paint a picture for you that I VERY SELDOM show or highlight to anyone just to hopefully validate to you my concerns and frankly, my fear of the current situation that we are ALL in, not just as a nation, but as a world.
I’m not going to “bash” you or try to disrespect you. I’m not going to threaten you, even though I believe that is exactly what you are doing and have done with the entire chasing/scientific community. I’m simply going to try my best to be as non biased as possible, but with as much respect as I can give under the circumstances. But I’m going to be honest. Very, very honest.

All of that said:
While you and @Joey Ketcham make some VERY valid points for concerns - I’m still not sure that I understand the outright threatening position. I don’t see eye to eye with @Jesse Risley but I couldn’t agree with him more. While highly educated, I’m not going to be able to elaborate in as spectacular fashion as he did, thus, I’m just going to be wide open with you, with the hopes that I can somehow make even a small comment that might resonate with you. I ask that you please indulge me for just a moment....
You threaten those who do or are able to chase by utilizing your YouTube channel for reaching anyone and everyone (that has over 100k subs) which is monetized, which brings in revenue, of storm chasing, of weather, of car wrecks, etc...Am I missing something? And I ask that with all due respect — am I missing something? Do you see any correlation with those threats mentioned above and the sincere disdain people are throwing in your direction? While I haven’t taken as vocal position as @Adam Lucio has, I can certainly understand his position and thought process.

Threatening to use the very same outlet that has made you some type of financial gain, in the exact same field/hobby of weather, just to “shed light” or cast a negative overtone on those that chase is probably the biggest oxymoronic thing I’ve ever heard. Just a few quick questions...
“If your state has not issued no-travel orders or quarantines, then you are not breaking any rules to chase. the issue is "breaking quarantine orders". Please stop being disingenuous.”
The above comment you made in verbatim, but I wonder:
1) What is the current quarantine and or travel situation in the IL side of Saint Louis?
2) How long has that/those been in place?
3) Were any in place when you were “spotting” just the other day?
I just read the ENTIRE IL “order” so I’m sure you can see exactly where I am going with this.

It is possible that I have missed it, but I don’t recall, and haven’t seen ANYONE outright say they would or are willing to “break quarantine orders” to chase. I’ve yet to see anyone post here on ST or even on social media with this type of verbiage. If I’ve misspoken, please direct me in the correct direction.

My issue with you is NOT regarding the concerns you have voiced. I’m just as scared as you are.
My issue is simply the outright threatening of the entire community, most particularly within this forum. I have been banned from this exact forum for MUCH less. EVERYONE here knows my past position with the previous owner prior to Steve or even Mark taking over. So while I do not disagree or take issue with your concerns or worries, I do take BIG issue with the threats. While I won’t be running tours this season (for obvious reasons) I will undoubtedly have to cover the weather as designated my employer. By proxy, you’ll “report me” as I do my job. You’ve made that point as you brush-stroked everyone with this position - this is mentioned in my original reply to you.
Thus, you have threatened my livelihood and income. I DO TAKE SERIOUS ISSUE with that position. I do not want to get infected any more than anyone else does. And I WILL NOT be participating in activities if such quarantine orders exist. But, I refuse to be threatened or bullied.

I hope you can see where I am coming from. I understand that you no longer consider us colleagues and I’m truly sorry you feel that way. My respect for the abilities you have will never change, but I simply cannot respect a bully. I hold no ill will toward you and I wish you only the best of luck and health.

With that said however, it is with great displeasure that I respectfully request that ALL the moderators and @Mark Blue validate the seriousness of these threats directed to not only our “hobby” or profession, but to EVERY SINGLE member personally within this forum. These threats are in direct violation of forum rules, and not only constitute a clear and present danger to this forum but also a legal threat. At this current time, I have no other option than speak to my legal tomorrow morning to reflect the threats Dan has made towards my business/job and ongoings accordingly. I am currently requesting that @Dan Robinson be held accountable and potentially liable insomuch as the forum rules allow, up to AND including a permanent banning. I am in great fear that these threats may cause a strenuous burden on me financially. At this present time I consider and fear that this forum has become a hostile environment due to the threatening remarks made in this forum and in public light.
While this is no doubt a very scary and trying time for all of us, many of us have spouses that have already had a loss of income or loss of job (I am no exception) and I fear that with these threats that Dan has made, I am uncertain as to what lengths he will go to reach his ultimate goal - whatever that might be. I refuse to be bullied, and I refuse to be scared that I may lose my income due to his threatening antics. All of us have enough fear to deal with at this time without compounding it with any additional fear of lost income at such a horrific time of our current economy.

Lanny
 
May 25, 2014
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It's alright to admit fear, Dan. That is human, and just. If you are afraid, just say it clearly. You have fear, and I can sense that, palpably, intrinsically. I am similarly afraid, not just for my own health, but for my family's health. I don't have much other human contact than that right now. I'm also afraid we are entering act 1 of "Soviet America - Welcome to the Prison, Where Are Your Papers?". I pray against historical precedent that I am wrong.

Do not let fear control you to this degree, though.

Epidemiology is a pretty solid science. Germ Theory is solid. COVID does not care if you're 100 miles from home, or 5 miles from home. It's on the gas pump at your local place, or at that joint in Lenexa. It's on the toilet in St. Louis, the same as it is in Pittsburgh. It is everywhere now. Everywhere. The ChiComs lied repeatedly to the WHO about when exactly this started. So far, the "official" version is back to late November/early December. We just started giving two craps about it in mid-February, over 2 months later, and only started taking action in mid-March, over 3 months later. It was spreading here in the US about 12 hours after the first infected businessman got on a connecting flight outside of Wuhan City. Look at the maps, it's a blob of red dots everywhere, including places international travelers would never go.

Therefore, if you touch the wrong thing, breathe the wrong air, anything, you will get it, and you will spread it. Location does not matter. It's all over your local grocery store, but don't feel singled out, and fear not! - Because it's all over my local grocery store, too.

I want everyone to come out of this too. This isn't a call for herd immunity and maximum death. While this all seems noble at the core, I truly think that it is grossly misguided. The only way to be 100% certain that you won't come into contact with this virus is to stay at home with a stockpile that was purchased sometime before January, set up some plastic and air filters and make a negative pressure room, and just wait. No one is doing that. A great many people have already had this, and passed it on, without so much as a sniffle.

Point is, I'm not sure what this is going to accomplish. If chasers can spread it, alone in their cars, anyone can, and that's sort of my point. People going bicycling? Same thing. People going hiking? Same thing. You cannot attempt to detonate a community you've represented for going on 3 decades over this, without coming off as looking like a monumental, gigantic hypocrite.
 
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