Keeping the faith, coronapanic edition

“They’re Vaccinated and Keeping Their Masks On, Maybe Forever” (NYT):

Whenever Joe Glickman heads out for groceries, he places an N95 mask over his face and tugs a cloth mask on top of it. He then pulls on a pair of goggles.

He has used this safety protocol for the past 14 months. It did not change after he contracted the coronavirus last November. It didn’t budge when, earlier this month, he became fully vaccinated. And even though President Biden said on Thursday that fully vaccinated people do not have to wear a mask, Mr. Glickman said he planned to stay the course.

In fact, he said, he plans to do his grocery run double-masked and goggled for at least the next five years.

He has direct personal evidence that his “safety protocol” does not deliver “safety” (since he actually got COVID-19 while wearing two masks and goggles).

The article reminds us that if you’re seeking financial safety, get a state or local government job:

Leni Cohen, 51, a retired kindergarten teacher from New York City who has a compromised immune system, said she planned to continue wearing a mask when she helped out as a substitute teacher. But what she would like more is for her students to stay masked.

“Kindergartners, while adorable, are quick to share their secretions,” Ms. Cohen wrote in an email listing the illnesses, including colds, strep throat, pneumonia, influenza and parvovirus, that she has caught from her students over the years.

“This year is so different!” she continued. “The kids are not sucking on their hair or putting classroom objects or thumbs in their mouths. Their mouths and noses are covered, so I’m (mostly) protected from their sneezes and coughs. I can see keeping up with masks. It is the safest I’ve ever felt in a classroom full of 5- and 6-year-olds.”

51 years old and retired; she was born after 1960 so if she’d chosen to work in the private sector she would reach standard Social Security retirement age at 67, or 16 years from now.

Is this more evidence that reactions to coronavirus are essentially religious in nature?


17 thoughts on “Keeping the faith, coronapanic edition

  1. The broken people are going to be upset when the world moves on and doesn’t respect their fear. Are all the second home dwellers going to move back to their suburbs and, I think less likely, cities?

  2. It increasingly looks like a campaign for adding selective pressure towards breeding low-IQ self-domesticated types out of human gene pool.

    Masks and fear aren’t conductive for starting sexual relationships and procreation. And it is already visible in demographic data.

  3. “The article reminds us that if you’re seeking financial safety, get a state or local government job…Leni Cohen, 51, a retired kindergarten teacher from New York City…”

    I’m going to assume Ms. Cohen became a NYC public school teacher at 21 y/o right out of college, worked 30 years, and retired at 51 y/o. I’ll assume her average salary for pension calculations was $80,000. That would give her a pension of, guessing, about $40,000 per year (plus no-cost or very low-cost health insurance).

    Not a lot of money compared to Rich Bastards but certainly a lot more financial security than most middle-class working stiffs.

    Forty years of varied work experience in the private sector and local, state, and federal government, I plan on collecting an annual pension of $30K at age 62, if I’m not down-sized before then.

    • Systemic Everything: I don’t think that an $80,000 final years’ salary or a $40,000 pension is what you’d expect for someone who worked for 30 years in the NYC public schools. See for example:

      More than 3,000 retirees drew pensions of more than $100,000 in 2017, according to data compiled by the Empire Center for Public Policy.

      The pension king continues to be Edgar McManus, 93, a retired Queens College history professor who raked in $561,286 last year. The Manhattan resident retired in February 2012 after more than 50 years on the job. His final salary was $116,364. … Factoring in his World War II military service, McManus, who called it quits at 88, was credited with 61 years of service.


      From 2009, :

      Veteran teachers who add to their pay by working summer school and mentoring new teachers can lift their salary into the $120,000 to $130,000 range, and their pensions to around $75,000 a year, Mr. Urbanski said. Ms. Huff said she would have preferred taking recent summers off, “but I did the numbers for retirement and I couldn’t say no to teaching summer school.”

    • @philg: Good data, thank you. I was too lazy to look it up; and maybe that’s why I’m only anticipating a $30K annual pension in retirement.

    • Systemic Everything: Remember that, by union contract, the pension is based on the highest three years of earning. So a standard pension should be something like 60% of $120,000 (maximum teacher salary for 9 months plus extra payments for summer school and other stuff beyond the 180 days of 6 hours/day).

    • @philg: “the pension is based on the highest three years of earning. So a standard pension should be something like 60%”

      In FL, all teachers (as well as all state & county employees and many, many city employees) are mandatory members of the Florida Retirement System (FRS). The pension calculation for teachers (defined as general employees) is straightforward:

      (Avg High Five Salary) x (no. years of service) x (1.6%). So, 30 years of service would equate to a 48% pension. No more COLA in the FRS. Vesting is 8 years. Full retirement age is 65 or any age with 33 years of service; otherwise the pension is reduced by 5% for each year retired (and collecting pension) prior to age 65.

      Police and fire fighters (defined as “special risk” employees) have a 3% multiplier. So, 30 years of service would get a 90% pension. Full retirement age is 60 or 30 years of service.

    • @philg

      While New Jersey is no saint when it comes to pension shenanigans, summer school is not considered to be income vis-à-vis pension. No deduction is taken to fund the system and your summer school stipend is not considered when calculating your three highest salaries, since it isn’t part of your salary per se.

  4. Did you ever stop to consider that your constant reference to a global pandemic as “coronapanic” is disrespectful to the 3,393,350.00 who have died from this. Maybe this hasn’t affected you directly, but it has me. Your sophomoric attitude is beneath you.

    • Jim: Even on a planet of nearly 8 billion humans, it is sad when someone dies. Nonetheless, with at least 58 billion people dying every year (see ), we have to accept that there are a lot of battles we will lose, e.g., against diabetes, cancer, heart disease, viruses, etc.

      I do not refer to the global spread of coronavirus as “coronapanic”. As demonstrated by the disparate responses among states (FL versus CA, SD versus MA) and countries (unmasked and un-shut Sweden versus masked-and-shut Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Slovenia), humans differ in how much they’re willing to sacrifice (liberty, education, social life, sports and fitness, work, money, etc.) in hopes of avoiding COVID-19. “coronapanic” refers to a state of mind, not to something the virus is doing.

      I had more or less this discussion with a friend the other day. He said that he supports lockdowns and masks because he personally knows 42 people who have either died or been hospitalized with COVID-19. I said that wasn’t necessarily sensible. We might know a lot of people who have died from cancer, but that doesn’t make it rational to support ineffective cures for cancer. He’s living here in Maskachusetts where, if we were our own country, we would have the world’s 4th highest COVID-19 death rate (nearly 2X Sweden’s, for comparison). There is, of course, no outcome short of 100% of people in MA dying of COVID-19 that would convince him that our lockdowns and non-N95 masks weren’t effective.

      From my point of view, nearly everyone on Planet Earth is eventually going to be infected with this latest coronavirus or a variant of it. Some folks will die as a result of this infection, typically at an age of 80-82. If you’re a healthy 25-year-old and believe the foregoing, do you panic and go into a bunker? Or do you party harder because you can expect to live only 55 more years? I don’t think that there is an obviously correct answer to this question.

    • Phil – it’s great that you can get the sitting president to edit your message copy!

    • Phil…unless you attach a disclaimer (as you’ve done above in your response) to your term, “Coronapanic”, and your other favorites, “mask karens” and “church of shutdown”, these are just juvenile, snarky nicknames that you don’t need to support your opinions.

      Your theories about Covid, and its various worldwide responses, are sensible enough…and I agree with some of them. You’re making excellent points without the fluff.

    • philg, thank you for your effort to bring reason and different viewpoints to the coronapanic. Your work shows that 3,393,350.00 persons did not die without prompting serious analysis and vigorous rhetoric. A fitting tribute to them!

  5. The article does not say that he contracted the virus while using goggles, and double masking with an N95 undermask. That was his grocery store precaution; the ‘journalist’ didn’t ask what precautions he took in other places.

    The buried lede is that he likely contracted the virus elsewhere, when he didn’t feel need to be virtuous around strangers with germs. Probably at a maskless and distanceless private party.

    He has used this safety protocol for the past 14 months. It did not change after he contracted the coronavirus last November.

    • To be clear, it is impossible for him to know exactly where he got infected.

      My point is the journalist never asked where he *thought* he got infected, where he was in the weeks prior to diagnosis.

      Most likely he was living like a normal person in private, only putting on a ridiculous coronavirtue display at the grocery store.

    • Like the classic Doonesbury cartoon where Duke responds to a Senator who points out that “almost 70% of all murders are committed among family members or friends, and over half of them involve hand-guns!” Duke says “Exactly! So look at it from the point of view of the victim. What if your wife were attacking you with a handgun? … Wouldn’t you want to be in a position to return the fire?”

  6. If we are asking questions of Philip, are we allowed to ask whether “Envrionment” is a deliberate misspelling in the category list ?

    Regarding whether reactions to the coronavirus are essentially religious, I suspect they are more political identarian in nature. “political scientists say that one of the strongest identities in America today is which of the two parties a person supports and, perhaps even more so, which one they don’t.”

Comments are closed.