Rorschach Test

Look at this map that shows the relative percentages of stay at home by citizens on the week ending April 30 and comment on what you see and why you think that is. The darker the shading, the more people stayed at home.

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43 responses to “Rorschach Test

  1. The dense population areas have more stay at home. Without other context, no conclusions about why this is can be made?

  2. I see density.

  3. Blue States have it worst

  4. yup, need more context.

  5. I made the image a bit larger….the point of the illustration is to compare previous time periods, looking for changes in patterns. Given the link, we could do that. Yes, the areas in dark blue show more disease and also less mobility, but which is causing which can be debated endlessly. Classic chicken and egg….

    But as a test to elicit emotional or political interpretations and biases, perhaps useful!

  6. and changes… to how urban areas “work” : (this subject used to be a fairly common discussion topic on BR before we moved more partisan):

    Manhattan Faces a Reckoning if Working From Home Becomes the Norm

    Before the coronavirus crisis, three of New York City’s largest commercial tenants — Barclays, JP Morgan Chase and Morgan Stanley — had tens of thousands of workers in towers across Manhattan.

    Now, as the city wrestles with when and how to reopen, executives at all three firms have decided that it is highly unlikely that all their workers will ever return to those buildings.

    The research firm Nielsen has arrived at a similar conclusion. Even after the crisis has passed, its 3,000 workers in the city will no longer need to be in the office full-time and can instead work from home most of the week.

    Manhattan has the largest business district in the country, and its office towers have long been a symbol of the city’s global dominance. With hundreds of thousands of office workers, the commercial tenants have given rise to a vast ecosystem, from public transit to restaurants to shops. They have also funneled huge amounts of taxes into state and city coffers.

    But now, as the pandemic eases its grip, companies are considering not just how to safely bring back employees, but whether all of them need to come back at all. They were forced by the crisis to figure out how to function productively with workers operating from home — and realized unexpectedly that it was not all bad.

    If that’s the case, they are now wondering whether it’s worth continuing to spend as much money on Manhattan’s exorbitant commercial rents. ”

    This is a BIG DEAL! what used to be characterized in BR for Ed Risse as FUNDAMENTAL CHANGE – (but 100% opposite!)

  7. This is finest post in history of Bacon’s Rebellion. From this point forward, under Wizard Fauci Regime, the nation’s parochial bumpkins will be confined to their misery locked into the dark blue prisons of the America, while the cosmopolitan elites, now free of America’s insufferable government, will roam healthy, wealthy, wild and wise, hither and yon, across the open and shining plains of North American. Let Freedom Sing!

  8. I see it as demographics, geography, geology and highway access. Example: in central west virginia you might need to drive up to 90 minutes one way to get to walmart. Ditto swamps and forests in Hyde, Dare, and tyrrell counties nc

  9. As I go on my walks through parts of McLean, I see a lot more automobile traffic on Rte 123, Chain Bridge Road, Georgetown Pike and Ball Hill Road. A lot fewer people smiling or waving while walking. The dogs are still happy as can be.

    Maybe we can again view density as involving tradeoffs instead of something sacred. Most choices in life involve tradeoffs.

  10. I see it as adults making adult decisions combined with physical proximity to the things they need. Being an adult even in normal times is about making lots of risk-reward decisions weekly. The reason that teenagers need parental supervision is that their ability to understand risk is not as fully developed as that of adults. So I think the map shows adult decisions about risk.
    – Not nearly everyone has the same threshold for risk.
    – Not nearly everyone has the same requirement to leave the home to work or get provisions. Not nearly everyone needs to travel the same distances to do those things.
    – Coronavirus is riskier in crowded environments, especially indoors.
    – Coronavirus is much riskier for old people.
    – Coronavirus is much riskier yet for old people with co-morbidities.

    It is heartening that the map shows what seem to be honest adult calculations of risk based on needs.

    But as the data continue to come out, the tale of COVID-19 deaths appears primarily to be a story about long term care facilities. I hope the nation and its leaders learn that and start to fix the problems we have discussed here.

    • well the one point about the virus is – that if your idea of risk is such that you’re willing to do risky things – it does affect others.

      The consequences of risk-taking in a pandemic are not just to the individual.

      and that’s where the divide is to a certain extent.

      your “freedom” ends where my freedom begins.

    • Thank you for bringing the concept of varying levels of risk into the discussion. I tried to do so a few weeks back, but the blog post fell short. Perhaps your approach will be more effective.

      But you are absolutely right. Different demographic groups, people with different medical conditions, different human settlement patterns, and different activities all entail different levels of risk. Any virus-control regime that fails to take those differences into account is flawed.

      • Consult the men who wrote American Declaration, and US Constitution. These men had no illusions about human nature. To them democracy was ill fit for human nature. Only a Republic had a chance of working within human nature, and only if the preponderance of its citizens had virtue. Without citizens of virtue, they believed all forms of representative government would fail. The founders knew this from their study of history, going back to the Greeks and Romans. They were prescient too. The violent, utterly horrible French Revolution proved the Founders wisdom within a dozen years. We here today are proving this chronic, ubiquitous, found everywhere, lesson of history yet again.

      • As to the one constant of a life worth living: risk.

        Imagine how asinine these words:

        “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their government with certain Rights that may only be rescinded if exercising those Rights carries any risk, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

        “Give me a mask or give me death!”

        “I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation, indivisible, with social distancing and unemployment benefits for all.”

        “Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived to protect us from ourselves, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

        Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met, six feet apart, on a great battlefield of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live safely hidden in their homes. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this. …”

        “The only thing we have to fear is being around people!”

        For more (that includes you Acbar) see:

        All this from “How Coronavirus Would Transform These Famous American Sayings” By Steven Connally published May 14, 2020 in The Federalist

    • The problem with people making “adult” decisions based on their own assessments of risk – is how does that work in the context of things like

      barber shops

      and really , ANY situation where people congregate?

      Do we just do what we think?

      Isn’t this what science is supposed to advise us on?

      And if they do advise us, do we reject what it says and then
      do what we as individuals think?

      If Kerry’s “rules” for beaches differs from Science, what do we do?

      • “If Kerry’s “rules” for beaches differs from Science, what do we do?”

        There you go again …

        What “science” Larry? The “science” of Ralph Northam who closed all Virginia beaches or the “science” of Larry Hogan who left the decision up to local authorities?

        The “science” that says surviving the disease confers immunity or the “science” that says it doesn’t?

        The “science” of the WHO predicting a 3.4% mortality rate or the “science” that now says 1.3%?

        The “science” that says herd immunity starts at 50%, 55%, 60%, 65%, 70%, 75% or 80% of the population being infected (assuming the “science” that predicts long lasting immunity of those infected)?

        If you really cared about science you’d read up on various scientific opinions and come to the conclusion that the science of COVID19 is very unsettled. Therefore, just claiming “science” definitively defines policy around COVID19 is pretty ridiculous.

        As Jim Bacon and Capt Sherlock have both said, this is a risk/reward situation …. probabilistic rather than heuristic.

        • Rule? Density equals transmission. Not so much a rule as a stone cold fact.

          • I trust the public to maintain social distancing on the beaches. God knows they have enough information by now. Ever been to NYC? If so, you know that crossing the street is a risk-reward decision at every intersection. Bad decision will kill quicker than any virus.
            Does that mean that select morons will not be morons? Of course not, but I go back to the adults making risk-reward decisions every day. An appropriate regulation for re-opening would be no unaccompanied minors under 18. Those are the people with unformed instincts most likely to fail to recognize risk.
            There is no such thing as a perfect policy on any of this, just shades of grey. But at some point like now (see yesterday’s Minnesota Supreme Court decision), constitutionally guaranteed civil liberties must prevail.

          • Nancy_Naive

            It’s not “on the beach” per se, it’s the beach will draw persons from all over the nation to stay in the hotels and rental properties. Density, density, and density of transients.

          • Jim – if what you said was true, we’d not need speed limits or rules against burning trash in a barrel or dumping motor oil in ditches or explicit warnings about cigarettes…

            Was it Minnesota’s SC or Wisconsin?

            As a Conservative, surely you must realize that NOW the court has taken over the job of deciding what restrictions are justified and what are not and essentially named the GOP legislature as their agent in deciding.

            Surely, even you, should see the problem here.

          • yep – not the beach itself per se… but what the heck.. that’s not the issue – it’s those draconian govt rules!!!

        • The “science” is about people congregating during a pandemic in a lot of different venues, bars, stadiums, amusement parks – and beaches.

          That’s science. Politics is when partisans attack someone personally over their particular judgements over the congregation issues.

          I don’t know the specifics of what Hogan has done but we do know that it’s also an issue in other states with beaches – even places like Florida still have restrictions and more important, the restrictions are all based on the same issues – that science informs us about crowds of people congregating.

          So once more, this is not a Northam thing except in the minds of partisans – which totally undermines your credibility when again and again, you go after him personally on issues that span other states and their governors.

          There IS a divide and it basically sorts itself out along the lines of one side that is taking a “better safe than sorry” approach and the other side which has an almost fatalistic view that everyone is eventually going to get infected and trying to hold it back is futile as well as deeply damaging to the economy and to people own lives.

          And that divide has strong partisan tones to it.

          This is playing out across the country but in very partisan ways which is amazing to me because science is not political – or at least it did not used to be – but now look at us… science IS political when the Dem govs cite it and Conservatives decry it as not understanding economics… and such!

          No.. the virus does not give a rats behind about politics… but don’t let that stop the partisans…

      • Americans can always do what they think is right unless that action violates a law. If the laws or, God help us, executive orders are seen to violate the constitution, then the courts will decide. The reason that both the Virginia and U.S. Constitutions require separation of powers – that the General Assembly pass laws and have them signed by the Governor – is to prevent one person rule, the single concept most anathema to the founders of this republic.

  11. James Wyatt Whitehead V

    It will be interesting to see how current times shape where Virginians move to next. Movement of people shapes everything. I can foresee some folks leaving the Virginia Urban Crescent and finding some place new to live. Is it possible for resurgent communities to fall into oblivion? The 21st century ghost towns could be places that were once dense. The ultimate town for social distancing is Union Level, VA. I bet you could buy the whole town for a pot of Brunswick Stew.

    • Movement from dense areas to more rural ones may well happen over time, especially as many businesses understand they can operate remotely and we return to the days of the Sears-Roebuck catalog and home delivery (updated of course). Of course, this depends on someone buying one’s home in the urban area and the continued expansion of broadband. Needless to say, some people like urban living and will stay.

      The little law firm where I work (in Tysons) has about five lawyers living and working across the country, including from Puerto Rico. And the FCC is going to hold a reverse auction this fall for access to $20 billion over 10 years to deliver broadband in unserved rural markets. I’m working with a number of interested companies.

      • @TMT – are you working from home?

        • Yes sir. I am working from home. I normally went to the office two or three days a week. Now I go in to pick up materials about two or three times a month, after checking with the office manager.

          I have a telephone conference call hearing this afternoon with a federal judge in Iowa. Before this would have been in person with local Iowa counsel and the rest of us by phone. This relates to a discovery dispute. Hearings on substantive motions would be in person but I believe now most courts that are operating use telephone conferences.

          • Reed Fawell 3rd

            This trend has been going on since the mid 1970s, after the late 1960s and early 1970s the influx of affluent flower children from the East and West Coast flooded into Rocky Mountain West.

            This flower child migration morphed over time into the affluent dude rancher originally from wealthy western and eastern or mid western cities.

            Now, the Coved-19 virus is final straw breaking the camel’s back, the camel being the auto-centric suburban office parks that had earlier exploded across open farm lands close in to America’s major cities, a phoenix rising in the 1970s, 80s, and 90’s across new suburban lands, reaching its high water mark before the Dot Com boom went bust in late 1990’s.

            Now, thanks to Coved-19, we have crossed into a whole new world driven by an assortment of powerful new forces, suddenly birthing drastic change, along with many unforeseen consequences.

          • @ TMT – can you do depositions over the phone? swear people in?

  12. James Wyatt Whitehead V

    Mr. Reed is right about a whole new world. The real winners of tomorrow will be the folks who can read the tea leaves, anticipate the unforeseen, and capitalize on the opportunities in the new world.

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