Page 2 of 3 FirstFirst 123 LastLast
Results 11 to 20 of 23

Thread: What is something you've learned from the pandemic so far?

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    United Kingdom
    Posts
    151

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Anuolf View Post
    But they are paying all benefits for the next three months, and 100% covering any Covid-19 treatment/hospitalization costs of anyone who was on the payroll when the pandemic began.
    If I'm understanding you correctly, are you saying that people in the US have to pay for Covid-19 medical care if their insurance doesn't cover it? I know that's typically the case for medical care over there, but I expected the federal government or medical companies would pay for treatment during the pandemic to ensure people can afford and don't hesistate to access it. Surely it would be counterproductive if they didn't pay, especially given the current unemployment rate.

    Regardless, I'm glad Best Buy has guaranteed to pay 100% of the medical costs if employees need it. I hope the situation in the US improves soon, but stay safe in the meantime!

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    New London, CT
    Posts
    1,806

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Lupus Paws View Post
    If I'm understanding you correctly, are you saying that people in the US have to pay for Covid-19 medical care if their insurance doesn't cover it? I know that's typically the case for medical care over there, but I expected the federal government or medical companies would pay for treatment during the pandemic to ensure people can afford and don't hesistate to access it. Surely it would be counterproductive if they didn't pay, especially given the current unemployment rate.

    Regardless, I'm glad Best Buy has guaranteed to pay 100% of the medical costs if employees need it. I hope the situation in the US improves soon, but stay safe in the meantime!
    Since health insurance is directly tied to a person's place of employment, many who started out with insurance currently do not have it since many are unemployed. At that point, they can try to get onto the ACA coverage, but it can still require the people to cover a ton of costs [most plans have high deductibles, and not everything goes towards it. The companies will usually pay about 40% until deductible is reached, then it goes to 60% seems to be the standard. So even after deductible, there's still things people are required to pay for].

    Many who do have insurance, often have very low-end "affordable" plans with super high deductibles in order to offset the monthly premiums. This of course means these people are more likely to file medical debt bankruptcy and tank their whole lives because they got sick and required an extended hospital stay. It's super ridiculous. Which is why I'm 1000000% grateful that Best Buy is covering 100% of the costs that come up due to Covid-19 testing, treatment and care.

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    United Kingdom
    Posts
    151

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Anuolf View Post
    Since health insurance is directly tied to a person's place of employment, many who started out with insurance currently do not have it since many are unemployed. At that point, they can try to get onto the ACA coverage, but it can still require the people to cover a ton of costs [most plans have high deductibles, and not everything goes towards it. The companies will usually pay about 40% until deductible is reached, then it goes to 60% seems to be the standard. So even after deductible, there's still things people are required to pay for].

    Many who do have insurance, often have very low-end "affordable" plans with super high deductibles in order to offset the monthly premiums. This of course means these people are more likely to file medical debt bankruptcy and tank their whole lives because they got sick and required an extended hospital stay. It's super ridiculous. Which is why I'm 1000000% grateful that Best Buy is covering 100% of the costs that come up due to Covid-19 testing, treatment and care.
    Oh wow, that sounds incredibly complicated and even inhumane...

    We're lucky in the UK to have healthcare provided free at the point of need by the NHS, regardless of employment status. It definitely has its issues, but that's for another discussion and I'm hopeful that things will improve following a resurgence in public support during the pandemic.

    I really hope this whole situation blows over soon.

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    295
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Lupus Paws View Post
    Oh wow, that sounds incredibly complicated and even inhumane...

    We're lucky in the UK to have healthcare provided free at the point of need by the NHS, regardless of employment status. It definitely has its issues, but that's for another discussion and I'm hopeful that things will improve following a resurgence in public support during the pandemic.

    I really hope this whole situation blows over soon.
    More or less.

    A hospitalization with a serious case of the coronavirus can easily cost $20-30,000. To put this in perspective, about 60% of Americans have less than $500 in the bank.

    I was infected at work, which was solidly proven, and had to pay $100 out of pocket just to get tested, and then another $100 for antibiotics and an inhaler. My employer should be liable for damages, the working conditions were totally unsafe without even the most basic safety precautions(no hand sanitizer, no running water, etc).

    My illness was serious enough that for about a ten days I suffered from choking and coughing fits that left me gasping for air. Even just going to the emergency room for an examination can cost several thousand dollars without insurance, so that was never an option. I wasn't set to get coverage until July, but the job's in tatters now after evidently several dozen of my co-workers also got infected all at the same time along with myself.

    Obamacare, sadly, is nearly useless. It is toothless and ineffective by design to such an extent that in my state, the state government has set a quota on how many people can actually be enrolled in it(by setting a cap on total funding). This number is, naturally, as low as possible so that as few people will be provided coverage as they can get away with. In other states where coverage IS available, the quality and availability of healthcare on such a plan is extremely limited. Healthcare providers and health services are allowed to turn people down who are on Medicaid or Obamacare(elective treatment). When I was briefly enrolled in Obamacare while I lived in another state, it took me over six months to find a doctor capable of giving me a prescription medication I had been taking for years.

    All this was very predictable.

    1. Pass toothless and ineffectual healthcare reform.
    2. Exploit legal challenges to the law to promote a lost cause narrative for legislation that was a failure by design from the outset.
    3. Utilize said lost cause narrative to pre-empt any demand for actual reform by bogging all discussion down in fraudulent claims that all would be well if only the opposition hadn't meddled with the reform.

    At least with Bernie Sanders there was a glimmer for a brief moment that this agenda could have been derailed, but the cat appears to be in the bag again.



    The situation with the NHS in Britain really isn't much better. They've come up with a pretty effective scam to dismantle it.

    1. Defund NHS
    2. Ascribe crisis resulting from said defunding to the "inefficiency of the NHS"
    3. Rinse and repeat, ad infinitum.

    Considering Labour just suffered its biggest defeat since Winston Churchill was in Parliament, this cycle, now decades old, looks to continue unabated. It seems like a similar situation in just about all of Europe, even in the famed Scandinavian social democracies. We're living in an age of austerity. Profit margins, even for the largest countries, are thinner than ever except for the tech giants who serve as the exception that proves the rule. Investing in public healthcare raises the cost of labor, which in turn is seen as threatening the stability of the world economy. A lot of people I think are invested in this mythology of progress. That there is a tendency towards equilibrium at the highest stage of consumer goods and quality of life as represented in Western/Northern Europe. But it has to be remembered that all this was made possible through the brutal exploitation of labor and resources by western capital in countries like Ecuador, the Philippines, Vietnam, India, China, etc.

    Already in both India and China we are seeing outsourcing take place and millions of industrial jobs being lost in that country as capital seeks lower labor costs in even more impoverished countries. Meanwhile, the standard of living is being reduced in countries like the United States to such an extent that the US is starting to look like an appealing place for Chinese capital to open factories. If there is something like an international equilibrium of economic development it would seem to be something like this: a widely dispersed industrial sector spread across all countries such that industrial labor remains weak and disorganized in each country; a gap between the rich and poor that seems unthinkable outside a Dickens novel; a small, but obscenely wealth and privileged ruling class made up of the usual suspects of bankers and industrialists, but also the tech aristocracy; a fat and content, but modestly sized middle class that has a stranglehold on public discussion; and a bulk of the population eking out a tenuous subsistence with meaningless service, retail, and menial labor jobs threatened by constant debt. That is assuming some new catastrophe such as climate change doesn't force an even greater crisis and even worse conditions than that imagined.

    It's funny to think that this material prosperity and consumerism that Americans and Europeans have taken 100% for granted is actually a very recent and brief phenomenon that only existed between roughly 1945 to the mid 70's/early 80's depending on what part of the world in particular we're talking. We've mostly been coasting by on inherited, rapidly dwindling wealth since then. In every other period of history extreme poverty and lack of access to the basic fundamentals of life was the norm. It seems like we may be heading back to that.

    There can be no going back because the coronavirus just revealed the rot that has been there, under the surface, for many years now. While being a crisis in its own right, the coronavirus has also just served as pretext to allow longstanding issues to assert themselves more openly.

    I'm kind of reminded a discussion I had with some dude about Dostoyevsky's novel, Demons. One of his comments seems pretty relevant to this mess.

    Really what gives it such uncanny familiarity is the shabbiness of the Russia he's portraying, the way their entire society seems to dissolving from the roots upward in such a languid fashion that everything already seems, in some sense, to have evaporated into the air only to leave everyone stumbling around looking for a foundation that's ceased to exist, answers that are inevitably either laughable or unbearable, and justifications for anything--vocation, character, staying alive another week--in a world that's lost any cohesive sense of direction, or history, or future.

    To D. all of this, which isn't how he would put it, wraps up into the title and the epigraph from Luke (casting the demons out into the herd of swine). Essentially the possession, as it were, metastasized quite naturally following the loss of national character and community and faith, though exactly what he thought had lead to that is somewhat unclear, at least from the novel itself. But as Shatov is said to have said near the end--lose all of this, really ALL of it, as few do, and you'll be fatally reduced to nothing but anemic doubts; and presumably a society which is crumbling on those lines will inevitably see other, lesser but often more dramatic eruptions, and continue to do so until the demons are cast out, though that's yet to happen, contrary to his apparent expectations.

    How many completely ridiculous acts, not to mention the actually repulsive crimes, pop up every second hour? I heard about some guy who went into a Walmart and pissed on 40 pairs of kids shoes the other week, and when you have tens of thousands of lunatics like that running around at once it's not exactly a coincidence.

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    United Kingdom
    Posts
    151

    Default

    I was infected at work, which was solidly proven, and had to pay $100 out of pocket just to get tested, and then another $100 for antibiotics and an inhaler. My employer should be liable for damages, the working conditions were totally unsafe without even the most basic safety precautions(no hand sanitizer, no running water, etc).

    My illness was serious enough that for about a ten days I suffered from choking and coughing fits that left me gasping for air. Even just going to the emergency room for an examination can cost several thousand dollars without insurance, so that was never an option. I wasn't set to get coverage until July, but the job's in tatters now after evidently several dozen of my co-workers also got infected all at the same time along with myself.
    I'm sorry to hear you've gone through that -- both getting ill and having to pay medical costs for something that was your employer's fault.

    Are you feeling better now?

    Obamacare, sadly, is nearly useless. It is toothless and ineffective by design to such an extent that in my state, the state government has set a quota on how many people can actually be enrolled in it(by setting a cap on total funding). This number is, naturally, as low as possible so that as few people will be provided coverage as they can get away with. In other states where coverage IS available, the quality and availability of healthcare on such a plan is extremely limited. Healthcare providers and health services are allowed to turn people down who are on Medicaid or Obamacare(elective treatment). When I was briefly enrolled in Obamacare while I lived in another state, it took me over six months to find a doctor capable of giving me a prescription medication I had been taking for years.

    All this was very predictable.

    1. Pass toothless and ineffectual healthcare reform.
    2. Exploit legal challenges to the law to promote a lost cause narrative for legislation that was a failure by design from the outset.
    3. Utilize said lost cause narrative to pre-empt any demand for actual reform by bogging all discussion down in fraudulent claims that all would be well if only the opposition hadn't meddled with the reform.

    At least with Bernie Sanders there was a glimmer for a brief moment that this agenda could have been derailed, but the cat appears to be in the bag again.
    That whole situation just makes me angry. I just don't understand how anybody who knows about those flaws and reads stories like yours could be against or even apathetic towards equality of healthcare provision. In my opinion, guaranteed access to healthcare of a necessary quality should be a fundamental universal right.

    The situation with the NHS in Britain really isn't much better. They've come up with a pretty effective scam to dismantle it.

    1. Defund NHS
    2. Ascribe crisis resulting from said defunding to the "inefficiency of the NHS"
    3. Rinse and repeat, ad infinitum.

    Considering Labour just suffered its biggest defeat since Winston Churchill was in Parliament, this cycle, now decades old, looks to continue unabated. It seems like a similar situation in just about all of Europe, even in the famed Scandinavian social democracies.
    This is what I hope changes after the pandemic. The NHS is quite rightly seeing a huge increase in public support during this crisis, and this support is highly visible, too (for example, we have a 'clap for carers' every week which almost everybody seems to join and which is broadcast live on the BBC and all major news channels, and almost every house I pass has at least one pro-NHS sign in the window or garden).

    Very few people support any privatisation of the NHS, but many do nothing to proactively protect it. I just hope that the support seen during the pandemic isn't just a case of mass virtue signalling, but will translate into political pressure and meaningful legislation.

    We're living in an age of austerity. Profit margins, even for the largest countries, are thinner than ever except for the tech giants who serve as the exception that proves the rule. Investing in public healthcare raises the cost of labor, which in turn is seen as threatening the stability of the world economy. A lot of people I think are invested in this mythology of progress. That there is a tendency towards equilibrium at the highest stage of consumer goods and quality of life as represented in Western/Northern Europe. But it has to be remembered that all this was made possible through the brutal exploitation of labor and resources by western capital in countries like Ecuador, the Philippines, Vietnam, India, China, etc.

    Already in both India and China we are seeing outsourcing take place and millions of industrial jobs being lost in that country as capital seeks lower labor costs in even more impoverished countries. Meanwhile, the standard of living is being reduced in countries like the United States to such an extent that the US is starting to look like an appealing place for Chinese capital to open factories. If there is something like an international equilibrium of economic development it would seem to be something like this: a widely dispersed industrial sector spread across all countries such that industrial labor remains weak and disorganized in each country; a gap between the rich and poor that seems unthinkable outside a Dickens novel; a small, but obscenely wealth and privileged ruling class made up of the usual suspects of bankers and industrialists, but also the tech aristocracy; a fat and content, but modestly sized middle class that has a stranglehold on public discussion; and a bulk of the population eking out a tenuous subsistence with meaningless service, retail, and menial labor jobs threatened by constant debt. That is assuming some new catastrophe such as climate change doesn't force an even greater crisis and even worse conditions than that imagined.

    It's funny to think that this material prosperity and consumerism that Americans and Europeans have taken 100% for granted is actually a very recent and brief phenomenon that only existed between roughly 1945 to the mid 70's/early 80's depending on what part of the world in particular we're talking. We've mostly been coasting by on inherited, rapidly dwindling wealth since then. In every other period of history extreme poverty and lack of access to the basic fundamentals of life was the norm. It seems like we may be heading back to that.
    This is a really interesting and well-thought analysis of the situation, and I completely agree on many of the points.

    I think most consumers in developed countries have become accustomed to a system that supplies an overabundance of goods that are cheap and/or disposable (or at least presents it as the 'ideal' and natural order). The result is a disconnect from the process by which goods are manufactured and distributed, and very little understanding of the implications of this excessive consumerism –– with little incentive to change this. Even as somebody who tried to maintain some awareness of this, I'm also just as guilty of falling into this trap more often that I should.

    There can be no going back because the coronavirus just revealed the rot that has been there, under the surface, for many years now. While being a crisis in its own right, the coronavirus has also just served as pretext to allow longstanding issues to assert themselves more openly.
    It will be interesting (for want of a better word...) to see what happens in the future. Unfortunately history tends to show that it takes periods of crisis to kickstart meaningful change, and things often get worse before they get better. Let's just hope things don't get too much worse...

    I'm kind of reminded a discussion I had with some dude about Dostoyevsky's novel, Demons. One of his comments seems pretty relevant to this mess.

    Really what gives it such uncanny familiarity is the shabbiness of the Russia he's portraying...
    I've never read this but, as that comment states, the description makes it sound very familiar...


    Thanks for writing such an interesting and detailed response! You've given me a lot to think about.

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Southwest
    Posts
    6,226
    Blog Entries
    3

    Default

    I have learned that Missouri, ultimately, won't do very much about pandemics, not that I really should've expected otherwise. They're relaxing the rules, and cases are going to jump; a lot of places remain closed or taking precautions but it's really not enough.

    I wonder what the model that suggested social distancing has to last 18 months says right now.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lupus Paws View Post
    That whole situation just makes me angry. I just don't understand how anybody who knows about those flaws and reads stories like yours could be against or even apathetic towards equality of healthcare provision. In my opinion, guaranteed access to healthcare of a necessary quality should be a fundamental universal right.
    A lot have basically convinced themselves that it's impossible to do. They'll say it can't be afforded, or worry over the political difficulties (while they themselves add to it). To a certain extent I think this is a product of the American political system that parliamentary systems would be less vulnerable to, since they tend not to have two parties that do the good cop/bad cop routine, but they deal with similar problems.
    "If you are worthy of his affection, a cat will be your friend but never your slave. He keeps his free will though he loves, and will not do for you what he thinks unreasonable; but if he once gives himself to you, it is with absolute confidence and fidelity of affection." -Theophile Gautier

  7. #17

    Default

    Generic replacement message to fill character requirements.
    Last edited by Kerguelen; May 22nd, 2020 at 07:48 PM.

  8. #18
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Southwest
    Posts
    6,226
    Blog Entries
    3

    Default

    Both! Traveled around a lot, but grew up and currently am in Missouri, despite my user info saying I'm in the Southwest.
    "If you are worthy of his affection, a cat will be your friend but never your slave. He keeps his free will though he loves, and will not do for you what he thinks unreasonable; but if he once gives himself to you, it is with absolute confidence and fidelity of affection." -Theophile Gautier

  9. #19
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    United Kingdom
    Posts
    151

    Default

    One thing I've found interesting is how differently countries are approaching the pandemic. For example, face masks seem to be a huge thing in the US, but they're only just becoming established here (maybe about 40% of people wear them when shopping).

    Talking of the US, I've seen the news saying that you guys are being hit even harder than before, albeit with large disparities between the states. I hope you and your families all stay safe and the trend goes in the right direction soon.
    "We have doomed the wolf not for what it is, but for what we deliberately and mistakenly perceive it to be––the mythologized epitome of a savage, ruthless killer––which is, in reality, no more than the reflected image of ourself." – Farley Mowat, Never Cry Wolf

  10. #20
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    The West
    Posts
    3,609
    Blog Entries
    5

    Default

    The more conservative states where people are viewing wearing masks as cowardly or a sign of obedience to authority... those are the ones getting hit hard in the second wave. Sigh.

    Well, today I learned I may have been directly exposed to the virus at work. A colleague at the lab facility has a fever. We're waiting on test results. Probably won't be able to go in to the office Monday.

    Thankfully, it's someone I am not in direct contact with much, apparently, so I'm probably fine. Still, scary.

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •