Don’t Fear The Wu-Flu


I confess I’ve been afraid of the Wu-flu. Oh, not the disease itself. Look, I’m at SLIGHTLY more risk than the rest of you, simply because I catch everything that passes within a block of me.

However, the REALLY important thing to remember is that we really don’t have any idea — yet — how this will play in the US, but we don’t really have that much of a reason to panic either.

Even in Italy, the mortality is mostly among Chinese transplants. And before you tell me I’m racist (rolls eyes), no, I’m not. Leaving aside the protein in the lungs this thing might or might not bind to, there are co-morbidity factors for Chinese (and to an extent for Italians. Definitely for Iranians, particularly Iranian males.) One of them is smoking like a chimney. The other is that China (where the mortality seems to be way higher, honestly) is more polluted than you can imagine.  Iran might be too. You know dictatorships don’t really much care for the environment, and I remember Portugal in the early sixties, when going out early in the morning during rush hour was like putting your face fully in the exhaust of a car. I have no clue as to Italy air quality, and I have a full schedule ahead, so I refuse to fall down that rabbit hole.

Right now we know it’s spreading like wild fire. It’s known as a “virgin field” epidemic.  What it doesn’t seem to be is all that deadly. NOT among countries which actually give a f*ck about their citizens.  For the others, everything is deadly. Remember North Korea telling their citizens that pine needle soup was nutritious?

What I’m trying to say is there is absolutely zero reason to panic over how many people are getting infected.  Though if you have co-morbidities you should go see a doctor.
Look, I’ll be blunt: San Fran going on quarantine? Theater. Look, if they were at any REAL risk, their homeless would be dropping like flies. Think of the conditions they live under.  In Denver? We’ll know this is a real thing when our pot heads who are somewhat lung impaired (though not like the Chinese) start dying, or at least clogging the hospitals with pneumonia. I haven’t heard of any of that happening, so I’m going to say “Nah, brah. It’s a bad bad cold.”

Honestly, I’m not absolutely sure it’s not what my family has merrily been passing back and forth for two months, but which at this point is re-infecting at the level I’m not actually that ill.  It just cost me two months off my schedule, d*mn it. (I’ll pick up on this point later.)  “But Sarah, it couldn’t be!”  Really? REALLY?  Were you tested when you were ill this winter? Because I wasn’t. And apparently the kids distributed by the CDC give false negatives, anyway.  And this thing behaved EXACTLY like when I get a “virgin field epidemic virus.”  It comes back over and over, weaker each time till I stop catching it.

I know what these are like, because Colorado Springs is not only a military town, but a place a lot of contractors came from during the early push of the war in Iraq.  Those of you who were involved in it probably know this, but for the rest of the people: So, what happens is that the Middle East (like China) is full of criss crossing, unbelievably nasty diseases. Same factors. People are poor, live unbelievably close to their animals, and honestly the Muslim hygiene rules, while they might be great compared to what came before are not effective against viruses and bacteria. In fact, in scarce-water desert environments it might help spread disease.

Anyway, it was the practice of our military and/or contractors to send back to the States any case that they weren’t treating well in theater.

One of our neighbors a block down was a contractor. He brought home SOMETHING that got into the schools.  I don’t remember the year, but the schools and the churches closed for at least a couple of weeks (I don’t remember. I was really ill), and we were down with something that was like what we’ve been passing around for two months, but worse. Seriously, that was one of the times I have been so ill I couldn’t function enough to clean my kitchen for like three months. And mostly I SLEPT.  However like this one, it came back weaker and weaker and weaker, until it was all gone.

Anyway, it’s possible it’s already all over the US, in which case, when they get the good kits, you’re going to see hundreds of thousands “infected” show up overnight. Don’t panic if that happens. Chances are you already had it.

If you’re unusually susceptible (more than I) take extra precautions, but honestly? You should be fine. For most people this seems to be asymptomatic. For some it’s a bad cold. AND more importantly, our homeless, addled and addicts, who are not in the best health ever (but probably still better than communist subjects) are still with us. If they’re not the canary in the coal mine, who is?

But I’ve been worried for three reasons: The situation lends itself REALLY well to panic. See above. If we test with effective tests and test everyone who is coughing, there is the potential for hundreds of thousands of cases overnight. And this has been so hyped people will go insane.
As is, I’m not thrilled at the idea of air travel (but who is?) and we’ve been avoiding restaurants (though, honestly? More because we’re broke just now. I NEED to write. We’ll be having huns dinner at Pete’s Kitchen as usual the first Saturday at 5:30 or so [we’re usually late.]) BUT even a light avoidance of that can wreck sectors of the economy.
OTOH I’ll note flights to Portugal have not come down at all (We really should go over this Spring for various reasons.) Which they would if the airlines were being hit with the cancellation stick, instead of people just angsting over flying. (I’ll also note everyone I know is angsting BUT flying.)

Second, my friend Rebecca Lickiss wrote about a bio-engineered virus (no, I don’t think this is, but) which instead of killing you made you incapable of functioning properly for two weeks. No one would buy the story because they didn’t see a problem.  I DO. Particularly if it’s more like 2 or 3 months.  If the entire country is stumbling around feeling like they haven’t slept in months, walking into walls and not working very well for 3 months, it will affect the economy. Trust me on this. My total productivity this month has been this blog and SOMETIMES cleaning the house. And I haven’t done much else either. Just sort of sat and stared.

But third and most important, we depend on some things that are made in China.  Not as much as Europe is, as we’d started the effort of decoupling, but still dependent on a lot of them. Mostly, medicine.  Which I hasten to say SHOULD NEVER BE MADE IN A COUNTRY WE CAN’T TRUST.  Whoever thought this was a good idea is insane.

To compound the danger to the economy the left and the media (BIRM) is doing their best to stampede our economy into a recession because that’s the only way they can beat Trump.

Weirdly, that’s also my reason to tell you not to worry and that the whole thing will fizzle out.

As you guys know, I read Agatha Christie. If you do too, you’ll find her Miss Marple often finds the murderer, etc by the principle of “Well, my dear, her first husband was a crook, so of course her second will be too.” (Though she lays out other clues.)  I used to think this was insane. But now that I’m close to Miss Marple’s age (I don’t know. She might have JUST been sixty. People aged harder.) I KNOW what she meant.

Like it or hate it, people have a tendency to either back the right or the wrong horse.  Take Obama. The man had the mierdas touch. Everything he touched turned to…. well.

And that’s part of what is going on with the left. Only it’s more like they’re the coyote in pursuit of Trump-road-runner.

If they’re throwing their whole weight behind “Wu-flu will finally tank the economy and it will kill a bazillion Americans” it will not only fizzle out, but it will SOMEHOW end up helping the economy.  Because, well…. that’s their history.

I know it seems like a stupid reason to not worry, but in the end these things tend to be right.  Oh, there will be a rough time as they scream and lock up their cities, and… But they’ll just shed a bit more credibility and we’ll be fine.

What we should take from this otherwise disgusting episode though is this: Globalism kills. We cannot, CANNOT be economically dependent on regimes that have no accountability. Open borders kill.  IF this were more deadly, we’d already all be dead, because anyone can come in, and we don’t even know WHO they are, much less if they’re sick.  And totalitarianism kills. All the factors that make life harder and people’s health weaker in China are the result of living in a totalitarian regime. For some enlightenment, and if you haven’t followed this link before, go here. And remember that there are probably situations like this all over China. We’ll just never hear of them.  Totalitarianism kills. Whenever there is an unaccountable elite in power, no one’s life, liberty or happiness is secure.  Oh, and socialism kills even at homeopathic doses.  Watch how this unfolds in Europe with their “We’ll move at our own pace” and “If you’re old, just die” health care. (And yeah, I’m worried for them.)  Consider things the left wishes on us (still) like crowded apartment buildings (with shared air ducts) and public transportation. Think of what a serious epidemic would do in those conditions.

Then just say no. Hard no. Use words, if needed.



302 thoughts on “Don’t Fear The Wu-Flu

      1. Yeah, “they” didn’t like that.

        Of course, while screaming “Everybody Is Going To Die”, they were also saying “Don’t Treat AIDS sufferers like Lepers”. Idiots. 😡

        1. That was what pissed me off. Either it is a full blown pandemic and the population at large is at risk or its not. If the former, then every single public health tool including tracking down connections and testing them is to be used.

          When that was a bridge too far I knew it wasn’t a general population risk.

          So, as someone who used to be at moderately higher risk I used to get regularly tested.

          1. It was sort of hard to miss that particular paradox: Anyone can get AIDS you’re all going to die! vs. How dare you be mean to some poor kid with HIV? How dare you!

            The first was to manipulate you in order to approve or attain funding. The money!
            The second was the predictable result of the first if someone had two brain cells to put together.

            So it was, “We’re manipulating you through fear!” followed by “How dare you allow yourself to be manipulated through fear!”

            Not even being sneaky about it.

            1. Going along with Number Two was “How dare you prevent a HIV positive from having sex!”

              And yes some Courts agreed with that nonsense.

                1. Saw an online discussion where people were saying that homophobes were causing homosexuals to die, and someone pointed that the activists who stopped the government from using the same techniques that successfully contained syphilis when it was incurable were therefore the biggest homophobes around.

                  Someone else actually said — but they were homosexuals — as if it were a defense.

            2. When it’s now ‘shout you status’ and ‘people with STDs deserve love too!’ along with saying that people with STDs aren’t obligated to tell people they’re sleeping with that they have a transmissible disease… I just boggle at the entitlement, personally.

              1. That is rape. Having intercourse with someone whom you know would not consent if told the truth. . . .

                Impractical to enforce, perhaps, because hard to prove, but morally, certainly rape.

                1. No argument there.

                  I vaguely recall a case in Israel where a man deliberately pretended to be a Jew so he could have sex with a woman who said she wouldn’t have agreed to sexual relations with non-Jews. I can’t remember if it was ruled to be rape, but I think it could have been.

          2. It’s full blown in order to get funding. But don’t be thinking of anything but throwing money at them.

        2. Not to mention that “Don’t Treat AIDS sufferers like Lepers” meant “When you test newborns for syphilis and for AIDS, you tell the mother that the baby has syphilis, but not that the baby has AIDS, because that means she has AIDS, and that’s stigmatizing. Better than she remain ignorance of her condition and her child’s.”

            1. Really happened? There were states where it was the law, and so regular practice. Also, a social worker complained that she could get a kid she suspected of having syphilis out of the home in hours, and it took days to just get permission to have the kid suspected of having AIDS tested.

                1. Yes, it is. Diktat from a government class that operates in its own alternate reality.

                  That’s only one of the *many* reasons Americans are so irritable, and you keep seeing talk about setting the clock back to 1776.

                  We had that kind of government before. But the King and Parliament were too far away to string up from lamp posts.

                  1. … the King and Parliament were too far away to string up from lamp posts.

                    Meh. We start using lamp posts for that and they’ll keep us all in the dark.

                    1. It is easy to mock that … dance? rhyme? rape-deterrent stratagem … but that is overlooking the countless hours contributed by highly trained psychologists, choreographers, song-writers, movement coordinators, cultural awareness experts and others who worked to develop that specific combination of gestures, words and music intended to paralyze potential rapists and defend female body integrity.

                      Oh, who am I kidding? That was obviously a boondoggle waste of taxpayer money perpetrated by some politician’s idiot kid (let’s call him “Hunter”) intended to insult the intelligence of the people who comprise the soon-to-be-buggered portion of their town’s population.

                    2. I rather was of the mind that this is what soon to be victims of rape were supposed to do when confronted by a predator. I was only being sarcastic a few years ago about leftists believing that ‘raper no raping’ was a deterrent, but here we are.

                      They should take lessons from St. Olga instead. Murder is a far more effective way of saying no.

      2. I was wont to phrase that as “Who would have imagined that spending a weekend having sex with several dozen strangers, using an exit port as an entryway (and probably not washing thoroughly between encounters) might have negative consequences?”

        I never experienced excommunication for it, having never been communicated in the first place in those pre-internet days.

      3. I lost any respect I had for the Center for Disease Control in the mid ’80s. I was watching an interview with a person identified as the director of the CDC, and he was assuring everyone that AIDS could only be transmitted by male-to-male unprotected sex.

        The problems with that were:

        A) bacteria, viruses, and prions don’t give a damn if you’re XY or XX.

        and B) one mucosa is usually as good as another to nasties

        So, his little presentation was what we non-MD types colloquially call “a big fat lie.”

        Considering how they’ve pandered to the gun control crowd after that, I don’t see any reason to think they’ve gotten any better.

        1. Problem with the CDC is they’d already been politicized at that point. And the nascent LGBTQ crowd was screaming bloody murder about discrimination because we (A proposed not allowing at risk people to travel to the U.S. (B) proposed a registry of those with the virus. They basically sabotaged any means where the U.S. might have limited or prevented the spread of the disease. Which is why to this day that I hold the LGBTQ community collectively responsible for the deaths, let’s call it murder, of thousands of people from AIDS via HIV contaminated blood transfusions and sex with unknowing partners. That’s a bit of a simplification, but I have neither the time nor the inclination to discourse in depth on it.

          1. You left out the culture of STD pride, especially for anal gonorrhea, among gay men in the 70s.

            No, I’m not kidding. It was “sticking it to the straights” somehow.

            1. It was “sticking it to the straights” somehow

              It is the same principle as adolescent self-destruction is getting even with the parents.

              I may be culpable of excess generosity; it might more properly correlated to toddler-tantrums of the breath-holding variety. Accurate determination requires a price I am unwilling to pay.

              1. If you get people who remember that era and survived in private they’ll admit they were stupid and it made things much worse.

                Of course, if they say that in public they’ll not survive much longer. Such is the nature of liberation and “gay rights”.

            2. It’s been my perception that the Gay community suffers from a small but noisy percentage of people who are not so much homosexual as sexually and psychologically narcissistic. Most of them are sexual predators (users, not necessarily rapists) and all of them live to attract attention to themselves. They distort the politics of the subculture, and force a good deal of political stupidity. It is from the narcissistic that we get ‘transgressive sex is a revolutionary act’ and similar idiocy.

              1. Kink and poly too. Swingers seem to be the only sexual subculture immune to it.

                The kink world right now is so far up its ass on gender issues it isn’t funny.

              1. Yup. I have read brags that the way they flooded the free clinics to have their venereal diseases treated was proof they were fighting erotophobia.

              2. Either self-delusion on their part – admittedly common – or was it a roundabout way of admitting that there was a lot of underage grooming going on?, i.e. getting to the boys before the heterosexuals could ‘ruin’ them.


        2. While a is true there is a difference in transmission rates depending on what tabs are being inserted into what ports.

          Lesbians tend to have lower STD rates (lower, not zero) for that reason. Straights are in the middle. Gay men, who more than the others use a port where sex can result in bleeding, the highest.

          So, no, the little nasties don’t care if you’re XY or XX, but they do care which port you’re using not so much due to mucosa, but due to bleeding. I also wonder, although on this I have no direct knowledge, if the depositing into tissues designed for absorption (mostly of water admittedly, but alcohol works too…and no, don’t do it, it’s easy to absorb WAY too much…boil and inhale instead if you need an express drunk) can up risk as well.

      4. Oddly, the group I’ve gotten the least push back on that is gay men, i.e. the group it is mostly aimed at.

        Now, gay rights activists (who are often not gay) are another story.

        Sadly, younger gay men have a mix of fatalism (“I’m going to get it, so why bother trying not to.”) and polyannaism (“If I get it, it’s just a couple of pills like diabetes”) that has led to more risky behavior returning.

        I mean, I get the fun, but you can do that in more controlled environments. Don’t go back to the gloryholes and the bath houses full bore.

        1. After the Pulse shooting, I literally saw someone saying it didn’t matter if you got AIDS from a blood transfusion because we have drugs now.

          Fortunately someone else took him to the woodshed.

      5. Recalling a joke from the early ’80s: “The worst part about getting AIDS is convincing your parents that you’re Haitian.”

        Gallows humor? Where?

        1. I’ve told that joke 106,297 times. I’m not much scared of COVID-19. I predict the societal and economic effects for the avg. Joe will be mainly economic, due to our foolish reliance on China as a vendor for a wide range of industrial feedstocks.

      6. I’ve lost a couple dozen friends to HIV. I’ve got quite a few gay friends. In every case, the infection has been transferred by needle sharing. Anecdote is not evidence, I understand. But I study epidemiology. I’m following COVID19 closely, and it strikes me as being a smaller thing than is advertised. Numbers from the PRC are using lung scans indicating pneumonia as being conclusive for COVID19 infection. Very no.
        My suspicion is that it’s an artefact of chronic very bad air pollution, a bit of a scare due to the research facility, and an unwillingness to accede to the recent trade agreements. In short, the whole country’s calling in sick, and will repudiate the trade agreements, ’cause we sick.

    1. That was a bit before my time, but I do remember how we were all gonna die from SARS. And then MERS. And then Bird Flu. And then Swine Flu. etc. ad nauseum.

      At this rate, I’ll doubt the hysteria until half the population has dropped dead. And even then, I’ll probably be skeptical.

      1. Too late. Half the population has already been SHOT. Probably including us. The only one marked safe from shooting is Joe Biden. (He’s probably been shot too, but there is no brain, so he didn’t die.)

            1. The cat & the dog just can’t get on the same “I wanna go out” pest stage (cat), and “I have to go out, now, mom!” (Pom/Chi), time schedule … Never mind that the roommate is usually still up after getting home from work at 2 AM. Sometimes this is not-coordinated after 5 AM after he goes to bed, but not that often. Then I can’t go back to sleep after the second wake up call. Hubby sometimes gets pestered by the cat, but the dog is “she’s your dog …”

        1. We need to watch the Vice-Presidential selection process for Joe and/or Bernie. My bet is the Veep will be younger, healthier and utterly ruthless.

          1. How DARE you ladies make fun of my death! Do you have ANY idea how hard it is to spin like this in a small coffin?

              1. Don’t bother. You’ll get much better wattage out of dead writers:

                I wonder how much energy we could get from Sarah when she’s gone?

      2. And that was Swine Flu II.
        Long before MES & SARS.. there was the Great Horror Sine Flu…. oops, the Big Nothing – well, almost nothing. I recall the treatment/prevention was lacking in safety and did some harm, or so was claimed.

        1. I remember a Rip-Off Comix story in which Wonder Warthog (in civilian disguise) went to get a flu vaccination, which blew off his Philbert Desinex disguise to reveal The Hog OF Steel.

          “Worst Side Effects I’ve ever seen…”

          That was a while ago. I read that the first time in a Comic shop in Cleveland when I was in High School.

          1. Ah yes, the DC-verse answer to Marvel’s Peter Porker: the Amazing Spider-Ham.

    2. All the left wing crazies were hoping and praying that AIDS would cross over into the normal community.

      1. They didn’t have the time. They were too busy propagandizing that it was so that it could receive funding instead of diseases that killed far more people, and that were far harder to avoid.

  1. … before you tell me I’m racist (rolls eyes), no, I’m not.

    Nope, sorry; it is axiomatic of post-modern thought crime that to deny the accusation is to confess it.

    No, you’re not racist for accurately reasoning about risk factors (although that does make you suspect.) Nor are you racist for noting one of those risk factors is a reflection of cultural factors (although that would tend to tilt the scales of judgement that way.)

    No, you are racist because you fail to acknowledge your innate racism.

    1. Sometimes it’s fun to fantasize about being as bad as they say we are. They’d be too scared to call us out on the theoretical villainy if it were real. Like the kid gloves that they treat by-the-book Islam with.

      On the other hand, if we were as bad as they say, we’d be as miserable as any other children of perdition.


      1. If I were as bad as they say, I’d be number one on the Most Wanted. There’d be armored cars, and tanks and jeeps, and M-series of every size, and cops in command posts, and Blackhawks in the skies Liberals and progressives would hide in their homes as I drive by. Progressive Liberal Socialist representatives would flee at the rumor of my entering their districts. The MSM would be running nightly segments on where the Houstinator was, what he was doing, and the body count for the day. Walmart would be complaining about theft of ammunition every time I was down to a hundred pounds or less and needed to top off again. Sure, I’d probably have a hundred women after me because I was the top of the bad boy heap, and I could tell them all, “Get Lost Babe, you’re not the One for me.” At which point the feminists would be screaming about my being part of the evil Patriarchy.

        Aaannd then my phone rang.

        “Hello, Quality Department.”

      2. Every time I choose not to live down to my enemy’s low opinion of me is a victory.

      3. Were some of us as bad as they believe… There wouldn’t be enough of them left to be more than a footnote under “excessive body counts volume MCMXLVII.”

        We don’t do that because we are properly civilized. It would do *none* of us good for persons with certain skills to make use of them *here.* Those who have no experience of barbarism, for them to advocate its introduction here? *shakes head* We’ve enough problems. I’ve no desire to resort to merely immediate and short term solutions.

        1. No desire, or simply better sense?
          And the footnote would be under “Body Counts”, no “Excessive”.

        2. No, we can’t do it because the Overton Window still says that any combination of Straight, White, Male, Christian and in particular Mormon, and/or Conservative means you’re evil and an acceptable target; whereas the more dyscivic or minority (particularly TMInority) you are, the more victim privilege you possess and the more you deserve to be celebrated for attacking acceptable targets.


          1. Stupid conservatives, insisting penalties and permissions be determined by what you do rather than who you are. Their complaints about demanding groups “act white” in order to be treated comparably to white people is testament to our iniquity.

  2. I read some hysteric or other invoking to ghost of the 1918 pandemic, and my first thought was “Yeah, but chewing tobacco was a plague upon the land, then. Spittoons everywhere.”

      1. I read a paper just yesterday that described how high doses of aspirin can lead to pulmonary edema, which predisposed the lungs to even weak cytokine storm reactions to the 1918 virus.

        1. And that the usual level of air pollution back in 1918 that was getting into everyone’s lungs as compared to the air here now, which has a tiny fraction of the pollutants, particularly particulates and outright poisonous gasses in it than now.

          1. In the ’70’s, when the ‘Environmentalist’ movement was getting going, my Mother would mock their assertions that the air quality had never been worse. SHE remembered cities heated by coal furnaces.

          2. The automobile as originally hailed as miraculous relief from the urine, feces, and general stink of animal-drawn transportation in the cities…

            1. And the not-infrequent hazard of dead horses in the road. Yes, that was a thing.

              1. Red kites were protected in Tudor England, despite their habit of stealing linen, because they would — clear the road of such hazards.

          1. All the rates of the dead wouldn’t have to track. Just specific dead in specific demographics, during times that specific treatment regimens were popular and being used.

    1. In 1918, flush toilets and toilet paper were still rare outside a few urban areas. My grandmother didn’t get indoor plumbing until the early 1950s and she lived in a fair-sized town by Florida standards. She bought the bathroom out of the Sears catalog, and they sent a construction crew to build an addition onto the back of the house and run pipes to the new sewer lines the city had put in.

  3. What I’m trying to say is there is absolutely zero reason to panic over how many people are getting infected.

    Again, wrong. Possibly racist. Because being wrong is racist.

    The number of people infected correlates to the hype and panic which the MSM and Democrat Party can stoke, which correlates to the damage they can inflict on American institutions. If it rises to the point they can damage Trump sufficiently to wrest the presidency away we are all screwed. Remember the Panic of 2008? That is a big part of what inflicted Obama on the nation. The Stock market panic (also known as a “buying opportunity” for those with cash to invest) is not only seriously damaging 401-K accounts it is setting back any ability to transform the Social Security Ponzi Scheme into funded retirement accounts.

    There is always considerable threat to life & liberty when some idiot yells “Epidemic!” in a crowded theatre.

    1. And now that I’ve finished the whole post I see that you had anticipated my “It’s the panic, not the flu” thesis.

      Which proves you are racist.

      Possibly wallabyphobic, I’ve not worked that one all the way through yet, but indications are that if you disagree with me you’re wallabyphobic, if you agree with me it is probably because you’re afraid of revealing your wallabyphobia, if you aren’t sure whether I am making any sense it is because you’re wallabyphobic, and if you skip reading any of my comments you are definitely wallabyphobic.

      Unfortunately, no matter how I parse the logic it comes out I am wallabyhobic, which just seems awkward.

              1. I’ve got a piece of the night sky.

                No, really– well, poetically, anyways. It’s a blue rock with silvery glitters that every time I look at it, looks JUST like I somehow took a chunk out of the Milky Way and made a top-thumb-section sized rock out of it.

                  1. You should have seen the Chief’s expression when I showed it to him and carefully explained it was like the night sky, and he “got” it.

                    If anybody wants to use this, it gets better– we bought it at a fair stand in a county fair in Iowa that is run by a little old lady who would be a decent translation for one of Pratchett’s witches (Nanny Ogg, mostly, but not salty) and it was a modern translation of one of those wagons where the sides pop down to make a store; chicken wire walls on the outside edges to give a place to display all the sparkly stuff, selling rocks (both for serious rock-hounds, pewter amulets holding crystals, and kids who cavort in joy because the now have neon colored shiny rocks in every color of the rainbow) and cat toys.

          1. 1 knife, SOG folding scissors multi-tool, a large SOG multitool, change ranging from dollar coins down (no fifety centsers), 2 flattened rolls of gaffer tape (red & black) a smartass phone and my wallet
            (cargo pants)

            1. JP I hope you have a belt and Suspenders on those cargo pants that’s a lot of weight to keep up with just friction :-).

              1. Belt only. I do have suspenders, but I still got enough hip to keep a belt in place. Oh, and normally I keep my phone in a case clipped on my belt, but I hadn’t put it on and was in a rush leaving in the AM, so it was riding pockets for a change.
                we are not supposed to use a phone while working, but the Lab, R&D, and the engineer call me on it as I am out of my office normally, and I haven’t a land line assigned to me yet.

            2. Hmm forgot the 2 pens (Sharpie and a ballpoint) for writing on batch sheets, notes, and marking weights on IBCs, drums, etc after using or packing out.

          2. Beyond the usual stuff, an easy-open letter opener (that’s my story…) and a curious lump of plastic and metal. Really need to evict the latter, and start using it’s larger cousin, or even it’s largest cousin, but haven’t gotten the round tuit.

            1. when I was at the airport, I carried an assisted opening “letter opener” from Blackie Collins and twice went through security without it tripping

            2. The thinnest wallet I can contrive in one pocket. The curious lump of steel and walnut rides in a shoulder rig.

      1. Well, a generous amount of self-loathing appears to be a requirement for holding leftist beliefs, so you can probably console yourself that at least you’re not an outlier.

        1. … at least you’re not an outlier.

          Oh, I can pretty much outlie anyone except a trained professional.

        1. If you engage in a drinking game requiring a shot every time I perpetrate a bad joke or even a mere pun that is what you risk becoming.

      2. Very clear that the Democrats and their media arm are in full “never let a crisis go to waste mode”. They have spent years about wanting a recession in order to drive Trump from office. They will do ANYTHING in pursuit of their goals. There intentionally stoking the fires of panic is intended solely for partisan political gain. Given that many of the “experts” are part of their team (particularly all the Obama era holdovers and the government employee union members) is it any surprise that some of them are stoking panic as well.

        1. I recall reading about Chairman Nadler cancelling a hearing on FISA, and now this …

          House Republicans Claim Dems Plan to Tie FISA Reauthorization to Coronavirus Funding to Avoid Real Reform
          House Republicans are urging that any coronavirus funding bill be kept separate from FISA reform after hearing rumblings that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) and Democratic leadership could force a clean reauthorization of FISA’s expiring powers by attaching it to a “must-have” bill.

          Representative Tim Burchett (R., Tenn.), along with 37 other House Republicans, sent a letter on Friday to Pelosi and Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D., Md.), warning them not to play “political games” by proposing a coronavirus-FISA package.

          “It is our belief, and, we believe, the belief of most Americans, that Congress should not tie these two, unrelated issues together,” reads the letter, which was obtained by National Review. “Public health has nothing to do with foreign intelligence surveillance.”

          Burchett told National Review that Democratic leadership “should be ashamed of themselves for even trying to attempt something like this.”

          “We received word that they were going to attach the FISA reauthorization onto the funding for the coronavirus, which is very important right now — obviously, the public is alarmed about it, and they should be — and I just think this is petty politics at best,” he said. Burchett added that he had heard from some Republicans who would vote against coronavirus funding if it contained a FISA reauthorization, and declined to comment on whether he had spoken to the White House about the letter.

          FISA has four discrete powers set to expire on March 15: the “business records” power, the “call detail records” authority, the “roving wiretaps” provision, and the “lone wolf” amendment. House Judiciary Committee chairman Jerry Nadler (D., N.Y.) and House Intelligence Committee chairman Adam B. Schiff (D., Calif.) proposed a bill in January that would extend three of the four surveillance powers, while ending the call-records program, which the NSA found to be largely defunct.

          But a bipartisan, bicameral effort to enact more stringent reforms also rose up in response to Department of Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s report exposing how the statute was abused by the FBI in the course of its investigation into the Trump campaign. Those reformers spearheaded the Safeguarding American’s Private Records Act (SAPRA), which takes aim at the business-records program — also known as Section 215 of the Patriot Act — because it allows the FBI to access records and documents of a U.S. citizen through a FISA warrant issued to a third party, such as a telecommunications company. …

  4. I’ve had some… unfortunate.. symptoms for the last several hours. I do NOT believe it is COVID19 (or any other number) but could someone point me at list of the symptoms of whatever “flu” or such is going ’round?

    Not sure what this is, but I do one thing – I am going back to bed. I’ll read any replies in a few hours, I expect.


    1. I don’t know what label to slap on the upper respiratory infection which has drained life from me and Beloved Spouse these last few weeks, nor do I care, as naming a thing rarely grants us power over it (often, it seems, quite the reverse: it grants it greater power over us.) But yesterday a routine doctor visit for the purpose of my acknowledging I have been sloppy about controlling my carbs produced the startling revelation I am slightly anemic.

      I donate blood every nine weeks and generally produce hemoglobin results which boggle phlebotomists and give rise to lame jests about eating my nails. My blood is normally so iron-rich that affect compasses. Anemia is not only consistent with symptoms but ridiculously improbable — especially as I tested typically hemoglobin-rich a meagre three weeks before the blood draw for the doctor’s A1C checks.

      So, if you’re experiencing low energy conditions and otherwise slow recovery, break out those cast-iron skillets and fry up something high-protein. Perhaps a bacon & Gruyere omelet for lunch? Sprinkle some chives or fresh sliced scallion on it and enjoy with a side of peaches in light syrup.

      1. I used to donate blood every chance I had until the CDC decided that me and about a million other GIs were Mad Cow Disease carriers and basically banned us for life from donating anything.

      2. My doctor just said that it is a cold/upper respiratory infection and that is not particularly severe but very persistent, and hangs around for about 6 weeks (I am on week 6 of it, finally started feeling better mid-late last week, but it seems to be coming back a bit today) and might take me a bit longer to get over it because of underlying health issues (MS).

            1. Rhino is the one I remember, but once I started poking I can’t find any actual percentages– just stuff about how there’s at LEAST 100 different viruses that cause “The Cold,” and that “a corona virus or rhino virus” appears to be the standard where they don’t just say “like the rhinovirus.”

              So I’d guess there’s not a lot of sampling.

              1. Once I found out it’s not knock-you-down level for everybody, I confess to sort of throwing my hands in the air — I suppose I’m probably overlooking some analytical techniques, but if it has mild cases, I have trouble imagining it not escaping containment well before it was spotted as dangerous, even if everybody involved was completely honest and well meaning, you know?

                  1. In 2019, I did have two different bad colds (Thanksgiving and Christmas), which were associated with two different varieties of Fun With Bronchitis. But no fun with pneumonia of any description, I’m happy to say.

                    Of course, as a singer I have a deep and fulfilling relationship with my beloved guaifenesin, and I take it whenever I feel something coming on. I have a ridiculous amount of it sitting around the house during normal times. So it was kinda impressive that the two slightly different kinds of bronchitis got as far as they did.

      3. Does the cast iron acutally help? After all, the food does not touch it, it only touches the seasoning layer?

        1. I don’t know how it works, but I know that the time I got anemia was when I’d stopped cooking my tomato dishes in cast iron, and when I started again I noticed a flavor difference.

            1. Habits of cooking probably have a lot to do with it; I would live on various pan surprises that are heavy on beans and tomatoes if it wouldn’t cause a revolt at home.

        1. No. The thing that has had this family down alternates that with URI, then back again.
          Which is what got me thinking, because in the early descriptions they talked of Coronavirus doing that.

    2. I would like to know this. myself. What are the symptoms, exactly … and did those poor unfortunates who have died of it have underlying health issues anyway? Were they of a good age … if there are answers to this in any of the hyperventilated mainstream news coverage, I have yet to see them reported. The guys at are following it pretty closely.
      I do see that the Daily Mail is reporting breathlessly-panicky coverage of stripped store shelves … Didn’t see anything of the sort today. And we did another round of end-of-the-month shopping. Good crowds at HEB, Costco, Trader Joes’ … no empty shelves that we could see at all.

      1. My mother found some article that purported to explain how to distinguish it from the flu. The description was spectacularly useless, to the point that it not only failed to distinguish COVID-19 from the flu, it failed to distinguish the flu from the average cold.

      2. Not sure how much it’s Corona-chan versus tarriffs, but the steel supplier/scrap buyer had a rather anemic selection of steel. Instead of looking at the vast selection and getting the tubing that was best, I looked at the few options and picked the least bad. Prices seem to be high, but it’s been a few years since I bought steel.

        Interestingly enough, scrap aluminum buyback is down to 9 cents a pound (19/lb if it’s alloy rims). Not worth the cost of gas to do a dedicated trip. (Hardly worth the hassle even if part of another transaction, since TPTB in Oregon seem to assume you’ve stolen the scrap until proven otherwise.) OTOH, the outfit seems to have a large quantity of slightly used cartridge brass.

      1. I think, given the symptoms (and lack thereof) that I can rule out influenza on this one, this time.
        Whatever it is, however, I do not recommend it. Even though the lower GI issue is… resolving (not resolved, alas) the various muscles of the upper back are letting me they exist in a less than pleasant way.

    1. I shared a similar meme on my Facebook page. The sad thing is- there’s always, always, someone dumb enough to take theirs in for testing…. But then, they’re meth users.

      1. The thing is, the smart move would be to do the testing in good faith, & not arrest the idiots.

        Then when the panic is over & everyone has forgotten that they told the cops who they were, put them under surveillance to identify their networks, & the important people in them.

        Ideally they’d legally be able to gather enough evidence to justify their surveillance without actually using their records of who came in (not saying don’t use those records, but use them for identifying who to target for other, legal, information gathering methods), & build cases against the dealers, particularly the ones who’re smart enough to not be readily connected to their crimes, thus getting the real problems off the street.

        1. If there’s an organized network– they’re smart, too, and your accidental nark will end up dead before they lead you to anybody.

  5. > If the entire country is stumbling around feeling like they haven’t slept in months, walking into walls and not working very well for 3 months, it will affect the economy.

    Economy? It’d be right in time for the next election.

    The one between the “build a wall” guy and the “open borders for all” Clown Posse.

    it could spell the effective end of one political party…

    1. it could spell the effective end of one political party

      Which is a valid threat as it would leave the other political party unchecked.

      No, it doesn’t really matter which one survives. This is Iran/Iraq War territory.

      1. Leaving one political party unchecked.

        While my crystal ball broke years ago, I can’t see that happening unless the “single party” can use the military to destroy any would-be second party.

        A study of US history shows that when one of the two parties dies, either the remaining party breaks up or the remains of the dead party come together into a new party.

        The Federalists died and soon after the “Republican-Democrat” (it might have been Democrat-Republican) split into two parties.

        When the Whig Party died, the Republican Party was created.

        No, while the Democratic Party may be in trouble, IMO the most likely result would be a splitting of the party into the “Insane Party Of The Left” and the “Somewhat Saner Party”.

        1. Actually I think the Republican party kind of pushed the Whigs off the cliff :-). Apparently Game theory suggests that a first past the post system usually devolves into 2 parties so even if the Democrats all make like lemmings something is likely to fill the gap.

          1. Yep, look at Scotland. When the SIP took hold it effectively ended Labour as a party in Scotland.

            And that’s in a Parliamentary position where a minor party can get some leverage in a coalition government. With the separate executive in the US there is even less room for a minor party to have power. Usually when one shows up, one of the majors will coop them. The GOP is the exception where the Whigs just had no stomach for any fights.

            1. The compromise deals in 1850 and 1854 regarding statehood and slavery helped shatter the Whig party. Many of the Republicans had been Whigs.

        2. Despite several GOP presidents, the Democrats pretty much ran DC for 64 years. We’re still suffering the hangover from that.

          And that’s when the other party nominally continued and even held the White House on occasion. I’d even argue Trump’s impeachment has roots in the assumptions that Congress was the personal property of the Democrats the current leadership grew up with.

          Cocaine Mitch is arguably the first Republican to shake off sharing that belief outside of Gingrich. The rest are tramped in the old Bob Mitchell advice to freshman GOP congressman, “Accept you’re going to lose”.

          1. “Accept you’re going to lose”.-of which “Craven” Mitt Romney is the current poster child

    2. Only if its effectively communicated. But admitting that untested immigrants can be carrying illnesses, especially ones from areas endemic with poor health, low infrastructure, and such is racist and can never be spoken.

  6. I just read somewhere, someone (Female I think) is now on their third case of Kung Flu. 1st time “Hoi, am I the SICK!”
    2nd time “Well, that was unpleasant.”
    3rd time “Um, yeah, it’s back they tell me.”
    2nd lasted half the time of the 1st iirc. They were still dealing with the 3rd go-round.
    Also, for the Anti-Semite BDS bunch, Israel seems to have a way to a vaccine from a new process they’ve come up with and it should be available in about 90 days (cue the clueless wondering why they are waiting 90 days)

    1. Equipment, materials, or time to adapt other production facilities; remember you’re talking about truckloads of the stuff, not “keep up with normal demand” driblets. And maybe some of the time is simply to see if anyone dies or develops some horrible side-effect within three months.

      Even if it works, no matter how many lives the vaccine saves, they’re going to have the crazies dogpiling on with lawyers and TV presenters. *Forever.* The poor bastards will probably wind up in the Israeli version of a witness protection program. Remember the handful of deaths from the polio vaccine? The anti-vaxxers still have their freak on about that. They’re probably loading the lawsuit cannons right now, while the conspiracy nuts chant from the bleachers.

      1. That and memories of the Swine Flu vaccine disaster. (Gave people nervous system problems, did not prevent the ‘flu, which proved to be d-mn mild.)

      2. Forget the anti-vaxxers. The real danger is from the plaintiff’s personal injury/products liability bar.

    2. If the Kung Flu acts like coronavirii do, it will fade away when the warm weather gets here. Yeah, 90 days is about right for most of this country. If there’s a vaccine before the next flu season starts this could turn out to be a relatively minor issue for the U.S.
      Not counting my chickens (hey, they need some of those eggs to make vaccines) but not panicking either.

      1. I’m hoping that the corona virus acts that way in LV. We are starting to warm up– spring weather which is between 60-70 degrees. It will start getting hotter soon unless we get hit with the spring rains.

      2. It’s in the North hemisphere. When I see it Australia at this time of year, that will be a data point. How many Chinese tourists go South? Flu and flulike diseases tend not to spread as much when folks *aren’t* huddled together in closed air traps with lower social distance.

      1. 90 to cook it up and get enough of it to get it out. Everyone thinks it is like TV but none of these forms of vaccine are “fast”, theirs is just one of the faster (And if they get the process down my make accurate Flu vaccine a sintch)

  7. “Mierdas touch. ” I like that. It took me back to the weekend of my 16th birthday, when I learned it. (I took five years of Spanish through junior and senior high).
    So far as the virus goes, we’ll see. Some sort of ugly crud has been going through my town but that’s normal for this time of year. So far, I have escaped, but since I’m working reception at my husband’s tax office I ‘m probably getting exposed to everything.

    1. Hmmmmm … it certainly seems a reasonable precaution to avoid large gatherings of people from geographically dispersed areas So town halls and campaign rallies seem right out, a serious danger to the body politic.

      What’s the over under on how long until Rachel Madcow declares Trump is going to use this pandemic as an excuse to cancel the 2020 election?

      While simultaneously asserting Trump isn’t doing enough to prevent spread of the virus?

      And denouncing Trump as racist for enacting border controls.

      Foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of small minds, and their minds are not small, they’re vast and arid plains where the winds blow through stirring up dust devils.

    2. the other plant here in town was laid low. glad I’m over here with today 5 people in the 16,000 sq/ft building.
      Oh, and one guy was still in the hospital from complications from the flu earlier this week (over 2 weeks), no word if he is out (really don’t care much)
      I also wonder about our china issues too. they do a Just In Time with valves and electronics out of china, and today the company announce a travel freeze.

  8. The panic this causes and the damage to supply chain will be the danger. If you are not already prepped, it’s too late. All these calls to prepare, buy food, etc are just causing panic buying. The economic damage comes from the fact that the 800lb gorilla of china is sick and no one knows what will fall on or step on. But at same time there is no pushback at the dangers of these hyper connected supply lines that are causing the market crash. It’s all orange man fault.

    1. This is what I am worried about aacid14– I think I could manage a month at least if I must. I do have family who are LDS so I can go that way if I have to too.

      1. If it gets to that point, tbh its probably too late. Already will have had supply shortages elsewhere and possibly riots and such. Don’t see a way back at that point.

  9. My whole family has been dealing with a respiratory infection, although I’ve assumed it was just an ordinary cold. We increased our Vitamin C, and I’ve been super-careful about hand-washing, especially while doing food prep. We all seem to be getting over it, but it is concerning, because the other two members of the household have chronic conditions that could make a serious illness far more difficult, and we’ve got the stress of the house being in disarray while the November storm damage is being repaired.

    And yes, panic can be just as destructive to the economy as the illness itself. Which is another reason I’ve been thinking so much about what we can do to hedge against the possibility of cons that usually do well doing poorly, or being canceled. I’m hoping the con season will go through with minimal disruption, but I’m making fallback plans just in case. Like insurance, you hope you don’t need to use it, but you make sure it’s in place in case you do.

  10. Because I am now getting ready for dialysis and maybe a future transplant, I am totally in the risk factor. So I’ve gotten a couple of masks, some extra food, and preparing things so I can hibernate if I must. I will have to hibernate for awhile any way because of the surgery (fistula) in March. So actually this is pretty much same-0 same-o for me. Other than that I have water delivered as usual. So I am not taking too many extreme precautions except for more canned soup and other stuff like that.

      1. I haven’t seen panic buying yet. But there was a headline on the TV that there was a first case of corona virus in St. George, Utah … which only a few hundred miles away from me.

  11. Sadly and tangentially on-topic, one of my favorite Youtubers/commentators has bowed out the fight recently. He’d been going on for awhile about how everything was going to hell in a handbasket, and I guess he took too many black pills: he’s erased his channel and said he’s just going to find a woman, get off the grid and hide. Maybe raise some goats, chickens and kids. I’m assuming the woman is there voluntarily.

    Going into the woods and not coming back is seeming like a more viable option.

    1. If you are planning on raising kids, it’s awfully good to have a hospital around for welcoming them into the world. Unless you are a sadistic bastard who likes pain and injury due to birth. Look, some women barely need a midwife. But the specific woman won’t know until the time comes. And we’re not yet to the place where all that medical help is unavailable. So I personally think it should be available to pregnant women in this country. Especially the first time!

      Why yes, I feel strongly. I’m a wimp, apparently. And medicated vs unmedicated birth was night and day difference. I could count the differences, but I don’t want to bore the audience.

      1. My Mom was all for natural childbirth until she got into the delivery room. As she told it, she offered to name the baby for her doctor if he’d give her a spinal for the delivery.

        Which is why I have a Chinese middle name. If could have been worse; the gyn could have been “Doris” or “Edna.”

        1. My mother said that the Lamaze coach was shocked that she’d actually used the Lamaze techniques and birthed me without meds. Said that most women went for them right away.

      2. I didn’t find out until much later, but the Princess and I both nearly died during childbirth.


        The old Indian gal in my mom’s home town grew up in town because her mother was in the local tribe– and after the first birth, which consisted of squatting over a hole dug in the ground and then she’s supposed to go back to full time working again the next day, when she was preggers with the old lady she informed her husband where to go with the horse he road in on and took herself to the logging town. That would’ve been before the last Indian raids, but I don’t know the actual year.

        Being an Indian single mother of two with only the clothes on her back in an already quite poor town of mostly first generation Irish immigrants and their kids was an improvement over the “authentic” lifestyle.

        Heaven help you if you were one of those well meaning folks who tried to gush at her about how wonderful the Tribal Americans were….

        1. *adds to list of ‘why I should quit whining’ stories*

          I didn’t have definitive plans in advance, but I ended up with a spinal because there was a bit where the little one’s heartbeat worried them enough that they wanted to be ready for a C-section. It was an interesting experience.

          1. Nah, something scary happening to someone else doesn’t make your situation any better– just like it’s not any less worth complaining about if you lose one leg, and someone else lost two!

      3. My wife wouldn’t know about medicated birth. Longest time between water breaking and birth 45 minutes. Shortest about 20. The doctors didn’t believe us when we told them to break the water bag IN the delivery room. The last child the doctor got there just in time to play catch.

        Of course, YMMV.

        1. My mom, too.

          The princess was about the same size I was, and I look enough like my mom that folks who last saw her in middle school walk up and address me by her name.


  12. “one of the times I have been so ill I couldn’t function enough to clean my kitchen for like three months. And mostly I SLEPT.”

    That matches the criteria for the mononucleosis I had back in the early 1980’s. Like someone let all the air out of your tires, for months.

    I think you should run an annual, semi-annual, or quarterly fund raiser for your blog like Jerry Pournelle used to do for Chaos Manor. Not just the paypal link at the top. You know, push a little? But that’s just me.

    Speaking about dependency. I don’t recall having seen it in the definition of a country; but you can not have a sovereign nation-state that doesn’t have the capacity to be 100% self sufficient. If they are dependent on anything from outside their country or their control, then the ones who do control that thing own them. Note that I said capacity. A nation can have the capacity, and choose to pull those needed resources from elsewhere, preserving their own for later. Just as long as they can switch back to domestic sources only, when needed.

    You and guests do a fine job on the socio-political side of conservativism/anti-socialism conversation here. Jerry Pournelle did a fairly good job linking that with hard science and technology; but I haven’t found any bloggers that have stepped into the vacancy left by Jerry’s Ascension. have you or anyone else come across someone who could fill those shoes, or at least try them on?

    1. If they are dependent on anything from outside their country or their control, then the ones who do control that thing own them. Note that I said capacity.

      One thing History will, if there is any justice (and there isn’t), give Trump credit for is deregulating and encouraging the fracking industry. Not being dependent on the petrostates is a pearl on inestimable price.

      Noted yesterday:

      The Great Recession recovery wasn’t powered by Obama; it was oil and gas
      Former President Barack Obama recently tried to take credit for President Trump’s record economic growth. Ironically enough, though, oil and gas development accounted for the vast majority of growth and job creation during the so-called Obama economy. Obama did nearly everything in his power to prevent that. Should Obama have his cake and eat it too? …

      1. This is the one plus of my move next week. We get any of the communists in office and every state with oil industry is gonna get crashed hard including where I currently live. Plus most are red so there would be no help from feds except token crony windmill jobs and outright glee from our ruling class.

        1. See that bright spot over the western third of North Dakota? That’s the oil patch, in truecolor+IR.

          We here in Flyover Country can support ourselves. But the Left Coasts had best remember where their food and fuel hies from, because someday we’re gonna have had enough of this crap, and we’ve discovered we CAN have prosperity, no thanks to them. Do we really want to return to being a dying region barely making it? I don’t think so, not now that we’ve had a good meal of the alternative.

          1. The Left Coasts had best remember where their food and fuel hies from,

            From the grocery store and the gas station, duh. You Red Staters are soooo effing clueless!

            1. LOL, have run into that myself…

              …twice, from nominal adults in a mostly-rural part of SoCal, where you’d think they’d know better. The conversation went like this:

              Them (waving a hamburger): Killing cows is wrong!!
              Me: So where did you get that burger?
              Them: McDonalds.

      2. Insty might have said it first, but it’s very true for me. Just when I think I cannot despise BHO any more, he opens his mouth and proves me wrong.

        I hate to admit it, but I was born in Chicago and spent most of my youth in the area. Richard J. Daley and his band of crooks were dishonest politicians, but they understood that they had to provide *something* for the voters. Sorry, unicorn farts and good feelz ain’t something.

        1. Their current path seems to do them rather well. Promise table scraps while they and cronies feast.

  13. Wu Flu!
    *guitar, drums*
    Wu Flu!
    *guitar, drums*
    I got my health checked
    by a commie vet
    it wasn’t easy
    but nothing is–

    Wu Flu!
    I can feel it coming on
    Wu Flu!
    Better than nothing at all
    Wu Flu!

  14. Can you say “Hype!”, boys and girls?

    Some of this is the usual clickbait/”If it bleeds, it leads” reflex of the media, but a lot of it is political. You can see the glee in the eyes of the CNN “newscasters” every time they talk about the DJI tanking. They’re looking forward to the good old days of “the writing is on the wall” reporting.

    1. Disturbing part is that there is probably a better shot of their desired outcome with this as opposed to the Mueller circus. Got the raw industry impact and as commissar Sanders rises in delegates I expect businesses to get skittish.

  15. Second, my friend Rebecca Lickiss wrote about a bio-engineered virus (no, I don’t think this is, but) which instead of killing you made you incapable of functioning properly for two weeks. No one would buy the story because they didn’t see a problem. I DO. Particularly if it’s more like 2 or 3 months. If the entire country is stumbling around feeling like they haven’t slept in months, walking into walls and not working very well for 3 months, it will affect the economy.

    I can definitely see it– but then, I’m familiar with the spike in deaths/accidents/idiotballs/derps that happen after the “turn the clocks forward an hour” for daylight savings, and that we can sort of plan for.

    Something that is two weeks of every third day, you have to get up an hour earlier? Ugh!

  16. Then just say no. Hard no. Use words, if needed.

    *gets the goofy giggles*
    K, that is THE best use of that @#$@# pseudo-quote ever.

  17. I’m not that afraid of the Kung-Flu (a much more fun name).

    I am afraid of panic resulting from everyone else being afraid of it.

    So, I made sure the supplies are up for 4 weeks+ not leaving the house (including cat food and litter). If it hits, I don’t want to deal with the crazies.

    1. Once the panic sets in, it’s really too late to prepare, and you have to hope what you have is enough. Hopefully people will be reasonable enough that they don’t do a crazy run on the grocery stores, and just stock up a little extra over time. I need to pick up a little bit more cat food at this point though, and distilled water so we can spray saline water up our noses from all of the inevitable sinus infections we get whenever there’s the slightest cold or allergies.

  18. I’ve been waiting for the first reports from the US to make guesses as to how this particular virus will affect us. Until then, well…

    I’ve already got what I think is enough to get me through at least a couple of weeks – and longer if the water doesn’t get shut off. That’s just normal state of affairs for me. And I’m trying to quietly encourage others to do the same without being pushy about it. There’s not much else that I can do at this point aside from expressing concern to my friends with family in China.

    1. Same, I probably have almost a month worth of stuff on hand, but my planning at this point mostly depends on not having a disruption of utilities. Being in colorado though, I think that’s fairly unlikely. I can complain about some things with our power company, but one thing they’ve always been is reliable with vanishingly small numbers of outages, and we have a river running right near the house for emergencies. Planning for water outages is doable, but power outages is a whole other ball of wax.

  19. A whole lot of our medicines are made in India (legacy of being a British colony — they’re pretty good at this) which might explain a wee bit of the happiness between Trump and Modi — we could shift production from China to India a lot faster than we could gear it up ourselves.

    As to having already had this virus… more’n likely it’s been occasionally presenting as viral pneumonia and we didn’t know to look closer. I remember a spate of that (and a very effective vaccine) about 15 years ago (and I remember how effective the vaccine was, because out of my circle, I was the only one who got the shot, and also the only one who didn’t do time in hospital). Five years ago, I caught a cold (as distinguished from flu) that had an aftereffect of pleurisy (in my case, more painful than serious) — the first *cold* I’d had since I was a kid. But with the secondary if merely annoying lung involvement, now I wonder if this was an early form of Kung-flu.

  20. I shall reserve judgment on whether fear is the appropriate response to it, but I have to admit I like the name “Wu Flu.”

  21. Heres hoping. Just don’t know if can expect that or a repeat of the creation of the rust belt while pen and phone empowers our rulers in DC to twist the boot heel in.

  22. Filled up the truck. Bought some groceries. Plowed out the driveway. (It snowed. It’s Canada, right?)

    That’s about the extent of my panic for today.

  23. But on the subject of unforeseen consequences and things coming back to bite, let us consider something I’ve seen zero media outlets talking about:

    What happens if the Chinese decide the Commies have lost the Mandate of Heaven? What does that mean for Big Retail in North America? What does that mean for us, Mr. and Mrs. Joe Average far away from the uproar in China?

    1. We’d probably see Russia occupy as much of northern China as they could control, “to maintain stability in the region.” And then we’d see a “coalition”, which would be America and a bunch of dingleberry countries that wanted a piece of the action without paying any of the freight, “maintaining stability” in the south and east.

      Alas, sending an expeditionary force to China would be a double win; wars boost the economy (ignoring that troublesome “debt” concept) and our economy would be hurting without cheap Chinese production. Never mind outsourcing everything possible to China is the main problem for our economic woes to start with…

      Even though Russia shares a common border with China, both sides of the border are a long way from industrial capacity. Running container ships of materiel from San Diego to Shanghai would be simpler and cheaper than through Siberia, the mountains, and along poor Chinese roads.

      The logistics could be interesting, for classical Chinese values of “interesting.”

      1. When China is weak, they typically start shedding some of their more distant holdings. Xinjiang, or as some people call it, East Turkmenistan, Tibet, and Inner Mongolia, those would probably be shed, possibly to be picked up by Russia, the various muslim countries nearby, or Mongolia. I consider this to be mostly a pipe dream though since China as a whole is on stronger footing than it has been in ages, even if the CCP is getting some damage recently. China is a lot like Russia in that they’ve been invaded fairly often throughout history, so owning these buffer states makes them feel safer in their core homeland. I think even if the CCP loses power, China is going to try and hold onto those border states. Also why Russia has a cozy relationship with Belarus, and is trying to exert so much control over the baltic countries, Georgia and Ukraine.

  24. Two things.
    1. People don’t understand the wearing of masks. The masks are NOT to protect YOU the masks are to protect everybody ELSE from YOU. If everybody is wearing masks then everybody is protected. If only most wear masks they are USELESS!!
    2. There was a story today that Police were stealing food in one of the cities. That wasn’t the problem. A non-threatened area “donated” (sure it was voluntary) food to the quarantined city. We are talking 1000+ tons of food. Naturally the Police, Government Officials and Party members skimmed, normal BS. BUT the food sits in warehouses and is ROTTING. They didn’t even try and pass it out BUT food is available in some markets for very high prices. Prices that would not be possible if the food was passed out. So the food ROTS and some people get RICH. Also the people who “donated” the food are finding out that some of it went to the usual suspects, then some was stolen and given to people who are selling it at high prices BUT most of it is ROTTING because the Government will NOT hand it out. If the Chinese Government doesn’t come down swift and very heavy on these people, the places will explode. The local Government is letting people go hungry or STARVE while THEY let food ROT in warehouses and refuse to hand it out, so their FRIENDS can make a KILLING selling the “donated” food. Just imagine the hungry people hearing THAT is going on. Stupid is NOT the word for what is going on.

    1. 1. That’s true for the cheap surgical masks. They’re basically for sick people to avoid spreading it. The exception to that is the N95 and other respirator style masks. Those do nothing at all at preventing you from spreading it if you’re sick, since the outbound path is completely unobstructed, but it forces all of the breathing in to go through the filter, thus it protects healthy people from getting sick. Those are the kind that doctors are using when they go into the rooms of infected, if the hospital is the least bit competent.
      2. China’s gonna China. Totalitarian control that usually doesn’t affect most people who live there, unless it takes an interest in you then crushes you, and whose primary effect is to enrich those in power. The powerful and wealthy can pay off an official to look the other way when they’re doing things that hurt everyone else. I heard a story of a maker of medical test equipment who had two completed units that just hadn’t been tested and had the final programming done. One of the people running the company went in there and did the final tests, and donated them to Hubei. And then they just sat in the red cross warehouse there for weeks, not being used. In the end, it will probably get sold by some corrupt official there.

    2. Like the food the Puerto Rican pols skimmed off, found rotting in warehouses recently.

      Pols gotta pol, no matter what their ideology.

  25. So here’s a thought exercise.

    I’ve heard it said of the stock market that the time to buy is when there’s blood in the streets. Well, we’re not quite there and I don’t think we’ll get there from the coronavirus (thank goodness), but the markets are taking a bit of a hit right now so it seems like the near future will be a good time to invest. What would you invest in for maximum profit?

    American versions of the stuff we mostly import from China right now seems like an obvious place to start. A quick search on that subject gives this, among other things (curse you, one-link limit):

  26. I’ve been following it closely here, even in times when the media was entirely ignoring it and Google was trying very hard to suppress any stories about it. They might be writing about it more now to hurt Trump, but they were definitely suppressing it for a month and a half before that. Don’t know if they were doing it to make China look better or not though.

    Got a flu shot this year, thankfully, because even without getting the flu, I got a very nasty cold that kept me home for most of a month, and made it very hard to work from home.

    It’s definitely worse than the flu by a bit. Partially because it’s new and there is no herd immunity nor vaccine, partially because it has a much higher severe complication rate. I think in countries that keep the infection rate to a low enough rate that it doesn’t overwhelm the ICUs, the death rate should be under 1%. That still leaves room for it to be 10x as deadly as the seasonal flu this year, and we already have a very bad seasonal flu this year (Influenza-A H1N1 is half of the flu cases this year, the same subtype as the spanish flu and the swine flu of 2009.)

    The rate in countries with poor health care systems, or ones where the ICUs get overwhelmed could be 5-10% of people who show symptoms. I don’t think we’ll have that problem here, so the same precautions as every day should apply. Just have enough supplies on hand where you can survive a month with no restocking at the grocery store. The same preparations as you should already have for natural disasters. Pay attention and be alert, but there’s no point in being anxious about it or panicking. Maybe limit long distance travel for awhile to just what’s absolutely necessary so the spread is slowed a bit and the hospitals can keep up.

    1. How many of the folks who were hospitalized for the flu only got that sick because they had the respiratory infection?

      For that matter, what if the “bad flu year” was the CDC incorrectly attributing this “bad cold” problems to the flu?

      1. By respiratory infection, are you referring to the SARS-Cov-2 virus infection, or secondary infections by bacteria? The former seems unlikely as we had racked up a lot of the flu illnesses before that spread out of China, and they have pretty reliable tests for influenza. For the latter, it is often bacterial secondary infections that cause complications for the flu.

        1. Neither, the “nasty respiratory infection” that was going around this year.

          Didn’t get a fancy name, was just “gah, hacking up a storm” or “man, I feel like five miles of foggy road” and hung around for months.

          And we know China had a problem, and was aware of it, at least a month before they did anything.

            1. I don’t do youtube videos for information. Too many negatives, especially in this house.

              That said, it’s not obscure knowledge–

              It was big enough that there were multiple doctors worried back in December.

              If this stuff is just much worse when you’ve got a lot of strain on your lungs already…..

              1. That’s exactly my thought. Some people insist it started in OCTOBER. in which case you bet it is probably what’s been all over the states already.

              2. I can’t view that page, I don’t have a subscription to the washington post. Thus, I have no idea what timeline that the article has. Here’s a quick text version of the timeline they have in the video: The first case was reported on December 8th. China didn’t get experts to Wuhan until December 30th. By January 1st, they were arresting doctors who were telling other doctors about the disease in their private forums. First death was January 11th, they started arresting Media that was in Wuhan on January 14th for trying to collect data on it. On January 18th, a week after the first death, they had 100k people attend a mass communal banquet where they were all eating from common dishes as a way to say everything is fine and the disease is under control, this probably caused a massive spike in infections at that point and pushed the infection curve in Wuhan far to the left of where it would have been. Lunar new year started on the 21st, They ordered everyone to start wearing masks in Wuhan on January 22nd, and put a strict quarantine on the 23rd. By January 29th when this video was released, they were still arresting anyone who talked about this.

                The mass banquet could be why it seems like it should have started in october to get the kind of infection levels they had there.

                1. Interesting, neither do I have a subscription– I found it by searching for something like “corona virus Xi month earlier”.

                  The mass banquet could be why it seems like it should have started in october to get the kind of infection levels they had there.

                  Except we knew about the mass banquet before we knew about the doctors being arrested for talking about infections, and I haven’t heard anybody arguing from number of infections for the earlier date.

                  The argument is that early cases, they thought it was SARS or other, normal infections; it seems to hit folks with existing lung problems much, much harder; it seems like people recover if they can get decent treatment (like you don’t get in China if you’re Joe Average); and that it’s awful odd that a few months after we here in the US have been complaining about a rather brutal cold that chews the heck out of your lungs, China gets hit with…a new, nasty strain that chews the heck out of your lungs.

                  Between Thanksgiving and Christmas, the timeline is about right for folks to have picked it up when visiting the US, and because of relative prosperity they just had a really nasty cold and had to watch out for pneumonia. Same as any other bad cold.

                  Our honorary grandparents that got chewed up by that infection went to the ER a few times and the husband was hospitalized, and is now on oxygen at home. They most likely got it during Christmas visiting. They weren’t in great shape in the first place, but the air here in our worst places isn’t that bad– the area they’re in they’d have to stand next to someone’s chimney to get to a clear day in China.

                  Both mommy groups and military groups I talk with have been talking about this nasty cough that just sticks in your lung all winter, with mandatory wailing about getting your flu shot and all that lovely drama re: Not The Flu. (There’s at least two or three folks here who strongly suggest a pneumonia vaccine, which would be more fitting…..)

                  1. Yeah. And because my cough thing often fails, I’ve been instead sick and tired, with ear and nose symptoms for TWO SOLID MONTHS, right after the entire family was out and about more than usual for Christmas.

                  2. I think they have something where if you get there from Google, it gives you a temporary free pass for a certain number of articles, but if you post a link to it, they require an account.

                    We knew about the mass banquets first because they were broadcasting that out as an all clear signal, it was them sending a signal out to their people and the world, while the arrests were trying to be suppressed.

                    I’ve had one of those colds that hit and wiped me out for almost 2 months this year, but that’s an upper respiratory cold with a ton of post-nasal drip, while sars-cov-2 doesn’t hit the upper respiratory area at all, but goes straight for the deep parts of the lungs. ACE2 isn’t expressed in the upper respiratory area.

                    1. We knew about the mass banquets first because they were broadcasting that out as an all clear signal, it was them sending a signal out to their people and the world, while the arrests were trying to be suppressed.

                      The only reason that it was brought up is because you suggested it to explain the number of cases.

                    2. The arrests were because the doctors were letting others know that there was a virus that had been circulating in wuhan for 3 weeks, it wasn’t necessarily massively spreading, but they had enough cases to know that it was going to be a problem, and that it was nasty. They put the word out on a private room in WeChat with several of his friends from other provinces that they need to prepare for an outbreak of this stuff. Since WeChat is an organ of the Chinese Government, they found out about it and arrested not just the guy who posted it, but all of the participants in the chat even if they were just reading it, and made them all promise not to talk about it any further. The banquet was 5 days before they locked the place down. It’s not the cause of the disease, but it probably did spread it much wider than it would have otherwise been spread, and lead to their ICUs getting completely swamped, instead of having a manageable case flow. it also happened right before you had 5 million people flee the province to places all over the world, some of them having been infected there and weren’t yet showing symptoms.

                    3. “one of those colds that hit and wiped me out for almost 2 months this year”

                      That is what my cold was before Christmas, got better in time to not move my part of Christmas (Eve dinner). Started out as sore upper respiratory lungs, like a sore throat down to my upper chest. Stung to swallow & breathe, lots of coughing. The progressed in to full up head cold. I could function with the former, even tho I was tired & achy. The latter … question on whether I was “going to live” was answered with a moan or growl, & buried in whatever blanket. Slept a lot, of coarse the NyQuil every 6 to 10 hours might have had something to do with that … I need my head clear of gunk & I have no tolerance for whatever is in NyQuil. Yes. I am well aware that with glaucoma I shouldn’t take NyQuil … anything out there that works as good that should be recommended instead? Coughed for weeks afterwards. Still catching myself doing so occasionally with no apparent triggers.

                    4. Here’s the clinical criteria. All of them relate to lower respiratory symptoms. Cough, shortness of breath, fever, Pneumonia, ARDS. No mention of upper respiratory. Flu is mentioned as a thing that can be tested for as an alternate explanation of the symptoms that you have to rule out before testing for sars-cov-2 and covid-19. There’s some influenza’s that skip the UR as well, but ones that hit both, or primarily hit UR are more common.

             << this one discusses some of those lower respiratory viruses. The Influenza-A H1N1 that's going around this year is one that they were discussing.

             Here's the site for non-doctors. No mention of runny nose or sneezing, which would be the indication of upper respiratory.

                      It'd take me awhile to dig up the videos on the fact that it's ACE2 receptors that the virus binds to, and that there aren't many of those in the UR tract. That's why it hits the lower primarily. That said, you do tend to get viruses in the upper respiratory tract AFTER initial infection as a stop on the way to spreading to others, but that's not where they primarily bind to.

                    5. Yes. THAT’S how they DISTINGUISH the two, once the infection has progressed far enough. In those people it does. Before that it’s indistinguishable and the CDC kits are cr*p.
                      Your point is?

                    6. Doesn’t that CDC link basically say “it’s just like the flu for symptoms,” which works rather well with the initial “they said we’re having a bad flu season, how do we know it’s not?”

                      Well, per your CDC link, you hope your test kit isn’t giving false negatives, or just assume that since you can’t see a route for transmission, it can’t be. (Which, while a longstanding tradition of medicine, isn’t a great thing to trust.)


                      As I mentioned earlier, our house was hit with something where the several of the kids coughed so hard they puked; the family friend that was hospitalized and is walking around with oxygen obviously had his lungs chewed up, but the flu test came back negative and they weren’t puking, so they call it a cold.

                    7. The coughing so hard you throw up is something that seems to happen a fair amount with post nasal drip. You’re swallowing so much mucus throughout the day with that, making it easy to just hurl it back out. My son had that on a purely upper respiratory issue this month, followed by a sinus infection. The antibiotics finally knocked that out and fixed him up.

                    8. My understanding is that Google requires (possibly required — deals are subject to renegotiation) news purveyors to provide unhampered access to their wares in order that Google count them among their searches. That is why, some years back ere I subscribed to the WSJ, I could access articles by searching on a key term or phrase from the portion of the article “visible” on the site preview. Whether that still applies is something I am unable to confirm because my subscription grants access.

                      I had also used that to access items in the NY Times until I gave up entirely on them as a source of news, reviews and entertainment. With even their sports reporting being unbearably woke I find they’re no longer worth a hit.

                    9. Well, that was the point, the discussion was on if the cold from last thanksgiving was the same virus as the Sars-Cov-2 virus that leads to Covid-19. The thanksgiving virus was an upper respiratory one. The cold I got between thanksgiving and christmas that caused the massive fog and basically made January disappear in a mass of unproductivity was upper respiratory, and the one I got in February was also upper respiratory. I don’t think that they’re the same virus as the one coming out of China because that one is entirely lower respiratory in its initial infection.

                    10. Head>desk. Repeat, repeat, repeat.
                      Like F*CK is. First of all most cases are ASYMPTOMATIC in initial infection.
                      After which they present as upper respiratory.
                      HOWEVER because at that stage they are indistinguishable from other colds and flu, it is ONLY THOSE THAT PROGRESS TO LOWER LUNG INFECTION confirmed by ctscans (because the tests are unreliable) THAT ARE COUNTED AS COVID.
                      DOESN’T mean other people don’t test positive (note that the tests don’t have false Positives, they have false NEGATIVES) but that most people aren’t even tested because there aren’t enough tests.
                      So China — a country where air pollution and lung infections are rampant — is taking pneumonia to mean COVID.
                      Here, it’s more complicated, but yeah, that’s when they test people, because we have a shortage of tests and don’t test MOST people, just quarantine them.
                      You’re flying by the seat of your pants on the basis of VERY bad data, okay?

                    11. The comment about false positives was about CT scans, which is the alternate way that can catch this earlier than the genetic testing. The genetic testing itself has likely either 0, or very close to 0 false positive rates, that’s exactly what I said in my post as well. It’s the CT scans that have only 3% false negative rates, but could have higher false positive rates. The CT scans I’m referring to were done at the onset of symptoms, not after “waiting for them to progress to lower lung infection.” The very first thing they do is check temperature and blood oxygen levels, and if the blood ox is under 93%, and the temperature is over 99.6F, they run a CT scan, right at the earliest stage where they have symptoms. in 97% of the cases where they later tested positive for covid-19, they had the symptoms on the CT scan. Of those tested at the same time as the ct scan, only 60% of tests came back positive. in all of those cases they were later retested and rescanned and had the disease. Both tests missed 3% of the people who later had the disease. When there was that sudden spike of 20k cases in their graph, this was the method they switched to for diagnosis instead of the tests, and it was done after they had done a study with doing both methods simultaneously.

                      In the US where we currently don’t have an outbreak, they’re waiting for the onset of severe symptoms before running those tests, like you said.

                      I honestly don’t know why you’re upset about this. I’m not arguing with most of your point about it not being something we’re likely to have major problems with, or saying we should panic. Just that it’s not the same thing as the cold we had late last year.

                  1. Sure, but until it progresses further in South Korea, we don’t really have any better data on it. All we have is untrustworthy data to work from, and a lot of countries that are all applying a different standard to infection. Some using CT scans, some only reporting symptomatic positives, some calling it just “viral pneumonia”, and some just avoiding testing as much as possible.

                    The main thing about the timeline is it shows how long it took for them to do anything but deny and cover it up, using every authoritarian lever they had.

                    1. Look, I have serious doubts about that time line. Even best case scenario, we didn’t close flights fast enough, plus our borders are way too open.
                      And yet, the homeless in the cities thrive.
                      Be real.
                      If the death toll were anything what it is in China, the homeless would be dropping like flies.

                    2. I suddenly have a vision of Mexico shutting its border to *us* were that to happen. And of course somebody blaming Trump for it because Orange Man Bad.

                      If the numbers we see kicked about are/were legit for America, California would be basically gone. Ports shutting down, already shaky infrastructure stumbling to a stop, etc.

                      It’s still too early to tell much definitively. But it’s never a bad idea to have things on hand. Water. Canned food. Rice, beans, etc. I refuse to panic when the national media loses its collective mind for the 10e56th time.

                    3. Already? Pfui. They were blaming Trump before knowing what the problem is.

                      They blame Trump because zebras are white with black stripes, they blame Trump because zebras are black with white stripes, If the sun doesn’t come up next morning they will blame Trump.

                      And they blame Trump because they’re increasingly ignored.

                    4. “They’re already blaming Trump.”
                      “Already? Pfui. They were blaming Trump before knowing what the problem is.”

                      Now they are blaming Trump for the market drop. Never mind that traders are screaming that: 1) Bernie & Biden actually winning state democratic votes, scares heck (okay h*ll) the out of them; 2) China disruptions; 3) Looking for an excuse to pull money out of the high market; essentially taking profits & redistribution as market corrects down.

                    5. I fully expect Mexico to do a stunt of “closing the US border” at some point in the near future.

                      It fits the current Cartel pawn they elected.

                    6. :thinkthink:

                      President Trump: We encourage every sovereign country to do what it considers necessary for its own protection. Do you need some help there?

                      I’m apparently still naive about Democrats. I wasn’t surprised they were claiming US citizens liked living in Mexico because the healthcare is better/cheaper, but it still threw me that they presented US citizens living illegally in Mexico because they “hadn’t gotten around to the paperwork” as if it supported their positions somehow or would undermine opposition to illegal immigration in general, rather than the obvious response being, “If that’s true, they should either do the appropriate paperwork or go home.”

                    7. Well, I kind of think everyone has doubts about the part of the timeline that comes from the chinese media. All we really know is that they spent a minimum of month and a week trying hard to hide it, grudgingly admitted it, then spent the next month and a half trying to suppress any news about the severity and save face..

                      As for the US, for us it’s very early in the timeline, if we have community spread at all. As far as I know, there was just some people who were did not get proper training at Davis Airforce Base, who might have spread it to a few people in that nearby community, and there’s one nursing home near seattle that has a few cases. Other than that, we’ve contained and quarantined all other more advanced cases that came in on flights from other countries. We may have some asymptomatic cases hiding somewhere, but we’re still in reasonably good shape here on the containment front, at least compared to a lot of other countries.

                      The containment isn’t perfect, but we’re doing pretty well so far on keeping the spread rate slow.

                    8. “The containment isn’t perfect, but we’re doing pretty well so far on keeping the spread rate slow.”

                      Oh? How do you know? We don’t have a nailed down incubation period. The whole thing about “Kids aren’t catching COVID”? Getting debunked as we speak.


                      Follow the link in this article to chicagoboyz for all the details.

                      “The real problem here, of course, is that these super spreader kids all presented with mild or no symptoms, and so authorities and parents are likely to write off any symptoms that do present (coughing, sneezing, mild fevers, etc.) as simply normal childhood colds or flu.”

                      We are dealing with unknown unknowns.

                    9. Meh. It’s already all over the country. It was before flights were halted. Because best guess is 30 day incubation. Thirty day of China lying.
                      If you’re vulnerable — I am, obviously — keep a tight watch on your health.
                      If not, assume you had it and it was a nothingburger.

                    10. They’re already blaming Trump.

                      Well, of course they are! Everything is Trump’s fault. Oh, and RAAACIIISTS!!! And ‘white supremacists’.

                      Saw the Democrats trying to grill Trump about the government’s ‘inadequate response’ to the ‘coronavirus crisis’. I wanted Trump to say:

                      “Here in America we have the best doctors and hospitals in the world, for reasons that have very little to do with the government. Indeed, they are so good mostly in spite of the government, not because of it. China has some pretty good doctors, and hospitals, but they are woefully mismanaged, and actively interfered with by the government. Medical science is subjugated to politics, doctors are imprisoned for doing their jobs, and effective public health measures are forbidden because they would embarrass the people in power.”

                      “Our hospitals and doctors can easily handle this disease without any ‘help’ from the government. The only thing the government could do would be to prevent infected persons from bringing thousands of cases of the Coronavirus into our country, but decades of Democrat obstructionism have made that impossible. Our doctors and hospitals will still save lives, but Americans will die who didn’t have to because our border guards are not allowed to do their jobs.”

                      The Last Centurion should be required reading for all Democrats.

                      Oh, and I say call it the Wu Kung Flu.
                      1. Do not get into an elevator with a potential zombie.
                      2. Everybody is a potential zombie.

                  2. I don’t even believe the figures from D.C.

                    Like the boy who cried ‘wolf’, they’ve lied about too many things, too often, to be more than a data point.

                    1. Yeah, A lot of people think it’s a little higher. I don’t think it’s an order of magnitude higher, We might have another 40-50 asymptomatic to moderate cases that they haven’t found due to their testing criteria. Not necessarily malicious, just that they’re severely rationing the testing.

                    2. Trent at Chicago Boyz is saying ” in Washington state alone, simply based on the air traffic numbers in the month of January 2020 and six weeks spread at an R(O) if 4.7 to 7.0.”


                      Sarah’s paranoia is intuiting two more extreme but ultimately safer models. 1. Corona got into the US via December travelers. 2. Corona is from the US, and got into China during October/November.

                      Case 1 is also something I have suspected. Case 2 would make a certain amount of sense. Perhaps China’s public health reporting, such as it is, is simply closer to effective near to a bioweapons center.

                      Now, I am skeptical of /some/ Sarah’s more paranoid suspicions on other topics, but she is also skeptical of my more paranoid suspicions on other topics.

                      Consider evaluating the official numbers from from a perspective of “Is yet another fundamental betrayal of trust unlikely? Is another intellectually bankrupt official scientific position unlikely?”

                      Fundamentally, if spread of disease is currently modeled with parametric statistics, it may well have an unfounded assumption. Measuring humans is difficult, because they can choose to change their behavior when they detect measurement, and can outsmart a centrally developed reduced order model. Parametric statistics assumes a distribution between the sample and the population. Gaussian distribution is by far the most common assumption, but there are a lot of interesting cases where it is not valid.

                      The epidemic models may well have much better choices of distribution, but I firmly believe that human behavior can suddenly change in unpredicted ways when under malicious model based control. Such a behavior change could easily invalidate a selection of distribution in one of the epidemic models.

  27. BTW, it looks like the test kits won’t probably end up being the right way to diagnose the disease. They’re 40% false negative at the early parts of the disease. They’ve found that lung CT scans are a far better way of finding it than the tests. With people who end up getting symptoms, the lung CT scan flags 97% of them while the test kits only catch 60%.

  28. China has effectively quarantined 60% of their population – the urban 60% – to the point of reducing traffic in Chinese cities by 85 to 90%. Power consumption at 50%. Some cities have been in lockdown 6 weeks. Not even the CCP shuts down their own economy for the fun of it. Those of you dismissing Covid-19 as a serious health threat, pray consider you may be wrong.

    We don’t have a SARS vaccine because animal trials on vaccines went … poorly. Cytokine storms upon challenge with active virus. SARS was defeated with public health measures, so the pharmaceutical companies sensibly took their money and went elsewhere rather than keep trying to develop a vaccine. Keep in mind Covid-19 is a SARS relative. There is no guarantee we’ll get a safe, effective vaccine soon.

    Covid-19 doesn’t kill as well as SARS, but it transmits much better and has a long incubation phase that plays hell with public health measures. There is some good news; those under age 20 are largely spared, and among 20-40 year olds the case fatality rate is around 0.2%, based on the first 45,000 reported cases. The bad news is that the case fatality rate is quite a lot higher among the old: 50s – 1.3%, 60s – 3.6%, 70s – 8%, 80s – 15%. Diabetes and cardiovascular disease increase risk of death. It has about 20 times the serious/critical condition rate of flu, so those death rates go up if the health care system gets swamped.

    Nursing homes are uncommon in China. Consider what happens when Covid-19 gets loose in nursing homes here.

    The explosion in new cases in Iran, Italy, and South Korea pretty much ensure global spread. It’s now a matter of slowing it down to a rate our health system can cope with, without collapsing the economy in the process.

    1. Heh, pretty much what I said too, with a few extra things. I’m not exceedingly concerned for myself and my family, but it’s going to be hard on some groups.

        1. Not so much that they *have* it, but that they’re utterly dependent on it, at least in urban areas. Even if they wanted to walk miles crosstown, the streets would look like a giant mosh pit.

          In some areas the mass transit systems are a potentially nasty failure mode…

          1. “In some areas the mass transit systems are a potentially nasty failure mode…”

            You mean like NYC, DC, and San Fran?

              1. Did… San Francisco actually just hold a rally in support of Chinatown?

                I get wanting to express support or sympathy, I really do, but not with large public gatherings.

                1. I have seriously seen folks arguing that it doesn’t matter that the flu kills about one in five thousand, while COVID-19 kills two in a hundred, because so many more folks have caught the flu.

                  For something where the whole point is that it’s new.

                  (Now, I don’t trust the numbers, but that’s just stupid. As stupid as declaring that folks are being racist for, say, not going to the places in town that they KNOW the owner is big on family, has money to travel, and has family in China. FFS, so tired of it.)

    2. I’m not dismissing COVID-19 as a threat…. FOR CHINA. If you’re not aware of the environmental factors there, you might think it very alarming. BUT it’s China.
      Also FYI we don’t know what part of this is real and what part memorex, because it’s CHINA. I.e. They had a number of incipient rebellions going, for instance. is all this quarantining an attempt to tamp it down? Who knows.
      One of the things that has impressed me most is that a reader of this blog has family in Africa in a city that’s effectively a Chinese colony.
      NO ONE IS SICK. In a highly fecalized environment. Not one person.
      So, no one is asking you not to be wary of the virus, but I do ask you to consider your impressions of it might be VERY wrong.

      1. Nothing to prevent China from murdering thousands for political reasons and claiming that they got the virus and died. Indeed it would just be another example of the leftist mindset “never let a crisis go to waste”.

        The Chinese has over a million people in concentration camps (which the Democrats are utterly silent about); if they are willing to do that, they are certainly willing to murder people and blame an epidemic, in order to go after “enemies of The Party”.

    3. The “explosion in cases” also has to do with reporting or suppressing information. Iran has basically admitted to not admitting that they had cases until today, so the number suddenly got huge. Italy had a similar problem, for different reasons. Any numbers from any totalitarian government (China, Iran, NorK, probably Turkey) are going to be suspect.

      Is it a concern if you have lung problems? Yes. Are the supply chain disruptions in progress? Yes. Is this _Last Centurion_ or _World War Z_criteria? Oh heck no.

  29. Because I wasn’t. And apparently the kids distributed by the CDC give false negatives, anyway

    Kids these days. They tell you “No” but you know what they’re really getting up to. You can’t blame them, though – getting passed around by those jokers in the CDC-?

    Mrs. Hoyt, you and I share a tendency to spend quality time in oxygen tents in the ICU, so this is me doffing my hat to your sang froid. I’m taking hand-washing and alcohol-gel sterilizing to new heights, and I’ve nearly mastered never self-innoculating.

    Mostly though, I worry about the Aged Parentals. My sisters and I have them stocked up on hand sanitizers, masks, Clorox wipes, and enough rice and beans for them to shelter in place. I have to do a bit more digging, but a really lovely gent on raconteur report blog comments pointed out that one can purchase HEPA fabric and make one’s own custom masks w/Hobby Lobby elastic.

    I think you’re right about this go-round for most folks, but it’s a good opportunity to make habits for the next one. It’s only going to get worse for a while.

  30. As my current work in progress is about bio-terrorism, I’ve been doing a lot of research about this topic.
    Several things:
    1) China’s problem with Wu-Flu is THEIR problem. Their people are not as healthy (too much smoking, pollution, lack of healthy, protein-rich diet), and they live in an unbelievably polluted environment – both city and country.
    2) We have some huge advantages over the areas most affected. We have oceans for east/west borders. With the exception of our southern border, we’re relatively protected against the diseases of the world. Even at the southern edge, we have decent sanitation and health care (CA’s cities excepted).
    3) The lethality of this is low – mostly the elderly/immunocompromised. No slow-moving disease has all that high a fatality rate. It’s the fast-moving ones that are deadly.
    4) We’ve been very quick to take sensible means to stop/slow the spread. Despite the hysteria of the Left, Trump and his team have done a good job. And, yes, the CDC is over-manned with not-essential personnel. They need to get back to their core mission of contagious/infectious diseases.
    5) Before reading this, I’d not thought of the disruption caused by widespread slowdown of economic activity – for China, I would expect this to KILL their economy.
    6) Lastly – don’t panic. Sensibly prepare. Yes, we need to take back manufacture of essential medications from non-American sources. Even using distributed manufacture is a far-distant 2nd best solution. But, it might be a good interim solution – in India, for example, for the most crucial meds.

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