What's Tony Thinking

Quick Takes: The Election, COVID Disproportionality, and Your Bucket List


“Thank you Pramila Jayapal.” Former Northern Virginia Congresswoman, Barbara Comstock (R), got the last word in on the PBS Newshour election analysis segment. It was, “Thank you Pramila Jayapal,” meaning thank you Democrats for frittering away your opportunity to govern with party in-fighting.

Another election is over with a message from Seattle that Democrats nation-wide might contemplate. At Post-Alley, Sandy Kaushik, summed it up. “In other words, they (Seattle’s far left) committed the cardinal sin of political campaigning. They privileged their ideology and their tribal solidarity over reality, and they fell in love with their own bullshit spin.” Seattle’s far left were having a satisfying insider rally (Kaushik has another less delicate term for it) around their moral superiority, but missed the fact that Seattle voters weren’t buying it.

Next item: it turns out way more men get, and die from, COVID than women. Check out this piece from the New York Times. Here is the quick and dirty.

“Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that in the United States, women account for 45.6 percent of Covid-19 deaths so far and men account for 54.4 percent. (Men make up slightly less than half the U.S. population.) Among Americans ages 65 to 84 — the group at highest risk for severe Covid-19 — the gap is even larger: 57.9 percent of deaths have occurred among men and 42.1 percent among women. According to the Brookings Institution, at least 65,000 more men than women have died of Covid-19 in the United States. Globally, the death rate has been about 50 percent higher for men.”

So, if I understand the argument of Ibram X. Kendi with regard to racism, this should mean that the dis-proportionality of COVID death and illness is a matter of straight up sexism, women treated better than men. I don’t buy it. I think it much more likely that we men are to blame. We see doctors less often. We think the best way to stay healthy is to avoid a hospital at all cost. We don’t like to ask for help. Nor do I buy Kendi’s argument that any and all disproportionality between racial groups can be attributed, pure and simple, to racism. It is more complex than that.

Last item: your bucket list goes into the circular file. Never been a fan of the whole bucket list thing. Kate Bowler, prof at Duke Divinity School and stage 4 cancer patient, put it well in a recent interview in The Christian Century. Here’s Bowler:

“The bucket list was, for me, a really strong form of experiential new capitalism—the idea that a life worth having is one in which things can be numbered and then checked off. I’ll just buy this feeling of satiation. Hot air balloons: check.

“Looking at the ways we’re given these formulas for how to live and how unsatisfying they are gave me an opportunity to just ask myself, Is this how I want to spend all of these numbered days? Will it ever feel done?”

Tomorrow we will take up a reader’s response to yesterday’s blog. So, how come, if church is so good for you people are leaving in droves?




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