Scientific Rigor

At last, we have a public official willing to advocate for scientific rigor. Carolyn Goodman, the mayor of Las Vegas, last week offered her city as a control group to find out if social distancing during a pandemic really works. How do you argue with science?

For some reason, the mayor’s offer wasn’t taken seriously. We’ve been having this national debate over whether to reopen the economy so shouldn’t we find out whether that’s a good idea?

I do realize there are logistical problems. There’s no way you can force every freedom-loving Las Vegan to mingle. Some — health zealots and liberals — will stay home. Others might try to flee the city. Not everyone will want to live in a Petri dish.

Carefully constructed experimental techniques can overcome those issues. Public health officials and local police can go door-to-door to breathe on everyone. An electrified fence can be constructed around the city.

What’s contracted in Vegas, stays in Vegas. It makes sense.

But I do understand politics in America. It’s hard to get a consensus in any place, so I have a scientific suggestion: Put together a volunteer control group in an isolated spot.

Think of all those thousands of protesters around the country who need to get their hair done. If they’re willing to march unmasked and demand that female governors be locked up, they’ll surely be willing to prove their point by volunteering for the control group.

All we have to do is find a neutral location away from whining old people and health “experts” to host the experiment. There are many possibilities.

National parks come to mind. All the protester volunteers with guns will enjoy the hunting opportunities.

Fencing off neighborhoods where the governors of, say, Georgia, South Dakota or Alabama live is a good alternative. They couldn’t possibly complain.

The best and most obvious choice, however, is on a Florida beach. You might as well have some fun before you die.

Career advice. Speaking of summer fun, a guy on Twitter last week posed this interesting question: “(H)ow can law students maximize their ‘remote’ summer work experience?”

The most obvious answer, of course, is volunteer for the control group and collect names of potential new clients while you defy death.

The second most obvious answer is offer your services to older lawyers who can’t figure out how to use Zoom.

The best answer, though, is ignore the “remote” part of the experience. Sneak into deserted law offices, check out the files and hack the computers. You’ll be astonishingly ready for law practice at that office if things ever get back to normal.

You’ll also have some good client leads if you don’t get hired.

Profiteering. Sadly, there are always people willing to take advantage of tragedy for profit. We’ve already seen a predictable wave of Covid-19 litigation that shows no sign of stopping.

But we didn’t see this one coming: a lawsuit filed in federal court in Los Angeles last week claiming a guy named Raymond Lei and his company engaged in an “outrageous, blatant, and malicious campaign … to fraudulently profit off this tragedy through the indisputable infringement and misappropriation of the intellectual property and persona of Jeff Dunham, one of the most successful comedians of all time.”

That’s right — those face masks and T-shirts with characters wearing face masks you bought may be fake. Not even comedy is safe from tragedy.

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