Interesting Times

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Tomorrow is likely to be one of the more interesting — and possibly most difficult — day in several years.  So in anticipation of that, I’m writing this post on Sunday night, so maybe I won’t forget half of it and wander off, as I’m wont to do.

Yes, it’s entirely possible that’s what happened to the vignettes yesterday.

To compound it all, while personal life keeps being interesting (nothing really horribly bad, so far, just one “emergency” after another.  Nothing final. Yet. (Knocks on head.)) there is the fact my country has — from my perspective — lost its mind.

Look, guys, I’m not trying to be contrary. I’m really, really not. But I am incapable of not asking questions, when things make absolutely no sense whatsoever to me.

So, for instance, there’s this article:  Coronavirus: China’s first confirmed Covid-19 case traced back to November 17.

And my mind goes: uh…. so, closing to travel in — when was it? January? — is kind of interesting, but a) it would already be all over. b)remember that nasty cold we all had?

A friend asked about Italy and Iran. And why they hadn’t shown problems earlier, if this was loose in the world from November.

Well…. You know, the US probably has more contact with China than any other place in the world except Africa.  And Iran…. well, who knows when it started there? If I remember up till mid January, they were still trying to shoot people who don’t like government by mullah.  Can you trust the news that come out of there?  Beyond the fact that it was when we closed travel that they started LICKING shrines to prove their religion would save them from the virus… or something.

As for Italy…. I don’t know? Maybe it took that long to reach a place with an elderly enough population that it overcame the health system.

Oh, yeah, and that health system…. yes, it’s very well rated by the WHO. The problem is that one of the ways that the WHO rates systems is by “Universal access” (by which they mean universal insurance. No one can convince them that if you don’t have insurance or money you still get treated in the US. Part of it is understandable, because, you know, in Europe if you don’t have your government card, you need to have a form from another government to get treated.  (At least when I went abroad, I had papers drawn up, so I could be treated in case of emergency. Note this was before the EU. Will be different now.)  And single payer.  So, by those accounts, Italy — particularly that region — is sitting pretty.  However they seem to have something around 5x fewer beds in ICU per 100000 people than we do.

Besides having an older, more gregarious population, etc. etc.  Also, FYI, this is being circulated as a joke, but has anyone considered it’s the type of crazy thing aged boomers would actually do, while the younger people would go “nah, brah, we’re cool”, where their premier? president? (Whatever the heck they call their figurehead in those parts) had a campaign anti-racism in which he told people to hug a Chinese immigrant?  Apparently, btw, for strange tax incentive reasons there are Chinese nationals that have small shops all over the EU…  It’s also entirely possible that these people all went home for New Year and brought the funhappy virus back.

The point of all this is that I’m still convinced I had it, Jan and Feb (and seem to be over it, but into a major case of stress-induced autoimmune attack) so bad that I had to get a refill on my asthma inhaler for the first time in a year.  And I don’t think I’m the lone ranger. I think a lot of people here had it.  And survived it.

I think most people who aren’t already desperately ill/elderly/compromised will survive it, in fact, with minimal distress. (Okay, maybe not minimal. It is a truly nasty cold/flu thing, the worst of it being that it won’t stop coming back, so you never know when you’re actually well. It also can leave you weakened for other infections, which can do horrible damage.  So, as always, after a viral infection, watch yourself.)

And I think it’s all through the nation. I told you, and I hold to it that if testing became widespread, there would be a panic, because it would be everywhere.  I still think it’s everywhere.  I’m starting to wonder if the hold up on the tests — besides the fact that they’re apparently less accurate than normal tests — is because the government/administration/health services know that and are waiting till most of the people are OVER the infection before they test.

Anyway, among the questions that bother me: What about Africa? I know people that have family and friends there.  I have yet to hear that there is massive distress/death/illness there.  And guys, if you don’t realize most of Africa is now a Chinese colony…..

What about India and Pakistan?  I actually have fans in both, and fans who have families in both. No widespread panic.

One of the possibly funnier things this weekend, was Mexico “closing” the border with us for fear of COVID-19.  Not to mention ISIS issuing a travel advisory against the Wu-Flu.

But behind the comedy there is something very real.

Part of our reason for panicking is that China obviously panicked and closed most of their economy down because of this virus.

If they didn’t have massive mortality why would they do it?

Well…. you see…. It’s China. Expecting straight up rationality from China is not a good bet. Yes, they are motivated by money, but some of the things they do with/for money are more symbolic than real. See for instance their ghost cities.

It’s entirely possible it suited China to use the virus — which would be worse there for environmental reasons — as an excuse to conduct wide-scale purges. We KNOW that their numbers are completely insane and not real….

But would they shut down their economy to do this?  I don’t know. And neither do you.  Again, what other country in the world would build entire ghost cities that no one can live in, or would live in as a sort of symbol for investments, instead of real investments?  “It’s China” is as good an explanation as any.

Okay, but what about other Asian countries getting hit?  Well…. South Korea seems to have coped pretty well.

What about Italy?

What about Italy? They have the most aged population in the world, a touchy-feely culture, and a medical system that welcomes the chance to “triage” senior citizens out of existence.  So– what about Italy? Honestly a bad flu hitting a large number all at the same time could have that exact result without the hype.

And you do realize that other countries are now looking at us and going “The US has to be lying. They wouldn’t shut down their country and take that hit to the economy for so few dead.”

Which means that’s how the insanity spreads.  Well, that and because you know the idiot press abroad actually believes OUR idiot press who is trying Wiley Coyote like to get Orangemanbad with a virus from Acme.  You can tell that from the gleeful articles, like the Atlantic proclaiming that the Trump presidency is over. (What? Again???)

Mexico and Isis aren’t just been classless loons. Well, classless as usual, but not loons. They really think the West must have this much worse than anyone else by the way we’re behaving.

What is lost in all this is the obvious populist struggles against the international left and its allied Mullahs: the Hong Kong protests, the Iranian revolt, what could have been the echoes of Brexit throughout the EU, and the fact that our socialist-lite party is a giant clown car in the middle of a dumpster fire.

The press has successfully muted all that, and the attempts to depose Hillary under oath, and the smelly bilge coming out about the attempted coup against the president (coup by impeachment. I’d say it was clever if it weren’t crazy) with the complicity of the media, and the various crazy things the left has been up to for three years, all underneath a blanket of “We’re all going to DIIIIIIIIEEEEEE.”

Meanwhile the crazy totalitarians are all over, saying how this shows we need a single payer health care (of course. That’s if we want to be triaged out of existence), how we need a stronger central government, how we need martial law and internal passports.

And it’s giving EVERY country a chance to close down and deal with “internal problems”, i.e. internal dissension, before it topples the self-proclaimed elites.  And no, we’re not immune. Yes, I’d trust Trump to turn it against them in the end, but right now he’s something of an hostage. He has to go along, at least to an extent, to calm the panicked/stampeding populace.

So…. what I think is happening is that we’re destroying our economy and ultimately the economy of the world for what will amount to maybe 10 to 15k deaths in the US.  Which I’m informed is a MILD flu season.  There are businesses that will never recover, our debt will skyrocket, there will be people who are going to go through dire times.  Far far in excess of 10 to 15k people are going to suffer badly for this.

And they’ll try to say it’s because we quarantined, just as they said that the Y2K bug wasn’t as destructive because “we took care of it.”  Guys, I knew programers working in that at the time. It was NEVER going to be that destructive. Inconvenient and clunky, sure. End of civilization? Not a chance.  But hey…. Great panic was had by all.

In many ways, and for many bureaucracies not to mention the left and its attached media, this is a test run for how badly they can stampede us, and how much of our liberties they can steal under the cover of some “emergency.”

My question is — if I’m right, and this all blows over and the elephant gives birth to a mouse, what then?

Are we going to allow the media to continue to take charge of our country’s psyche, like three terrorists with boxcutters taking over an airliner?

Or are we going to learn from the experience and next time — there WILL be a next time, I guarantee — they try to do this, we beat them black and blue, tie them up with belts and stuff them in the overhead luggage compartment?  Metaphorically speaking?

Because I hate to tell you this, but 2016 was not the only Flight 93 Election This upcoming one, and probably the next three or four are all Flight 93 elections. If you let the people bent on the gleeful destruction of Western civilization and indeed all civilization take over, you’d better be ready to shoot your way out of the Gulag they’ll create.

So — if this all proves to be much ado about nothing, what are you going to do to ensure it won’t happen again?  How do you keep the laser-pointer distracted public from forgetting all of this?  And how do you make sure this is not all used to increase power over the individual?

Build over, build under, build around.  Refuse to cave in to the madness.  Only ruminants get stampeded.

 

348 thoughts on “Interesting Times

  1. Hostile Foreign Powers, and hostile internal powers, are pulling out all the stops to train-wreck us, and put a different and less confrontational person in the White House.

    Don’t panic.

    Don’t give the (bleep)s the satisfaction.

  2. Even the normally sensible Glenn Reynolds has gone into “doom mode.” And too many of the comments dose any dissent with “righteous” disdain. A shame, really. Glenn wields a pretty big stick. I’m going to be avoiding him for a bit, Sarah. Will still try to catch your overnight piece, though.

    1. That’s what’s getting under my skin. ANY attempt to say, “Hold up a minute, before you go leaping off the cliff, what about . . .” is met with hostility and anger. It is so dang much like what the French historian Geroges Lefevbre described with the Great Fear of 1789 that it’s almost uncanny. The rhyme pattern is dang close.

      1. Saw your post on the Great Fear earlier this morning. Thanks … Just the right tonic. I’m holding the idea that some part of what is happening is a “literalizing” of our Cold Civil War, just not along the tidy lines of us vs. them, Left vs. Right. And that the human impulse to “get everything under control” often ends badly.

          1. V nice … My memories of France in 1789 are mostly fuzzy remnants of undergraduate history classes. Meaning of have some context and too few details. Heh … Age does that

        1. Example of headline being used to stir panic : “Twenty one year old soccer coach in Spain dies of coronavirus” . If you actually read the article, you find out this 21 year old was actively being treated for leukemia, thus his immune response was very impaired prior to getting the disease. Flu or any other illness (even common cold) might very well have resulted in death. But that wouldn’t help spread fear and panic.

  3. There’s a gentleman over at Chicago Boyz who thinks this was a Chinese information operation, and that we are playing into their hands.

    The complaints about accurate labeling of the foreign devil* plague are consistent with that model.

    Don’t understand why China would decide on that option, or why they were so slow to circulate claims of US origin in English. Of course, commies in these circumstances behave crazily and irrationally, so we can’t prove anything from options being madman only.

    My first feeling is that you are overreacting on the economy, but it is quite possible that I essentially know nothing about the economy.

    I think if Hillary meekly plays a supporting role this election, then the serious Chinese intervention model is correct.

    Corona** is from Mexico.

    *adversary
    **the beer

    1. Half-bright people keep coming up with this theory over and over and over and over and over and over and over again.

      They never seem to answer the question of what China is supposed to get out of it. Tanking our economy massacres theirs.

      1. China has a long history of… questionable acts. I’d more believe it was something that escaped their control, i.e. that they had a plan and this is *not* it, before I’d believe their plan was to tank the US economy because reasons.

        1. Yeah. I don’t trust the CCP at all. I don’t trust their numbers; I don’t trust what they say they did; I don’t trust their ability to behave rationally to problems. At the same time, they’re not chaotic evil. Even the bizarre things like building empty cities make sense to them — it makes the builders and land speculators and their government cronies rich in ways that don’t destabilize the system.

          My theory: this was being worked on in the Wuhan lab and spread because of bad containment practices. I saw a report that noted that sometimes lab animals get stolen by employees and sold to wet markets; if this is true, that origin story matches up well with what the CCP announced. The CCP got relatively accurate reports that this kills smokers and those with damaged lungs, which thanks to the social mores and the pollution, is practically everyone. That’s why they shut down the factories — the CCP recognizes that they still need warm bodies to work the factories. Note that the CCP has rescinded the one-child-policy. They’ve recognized the demographic catastrophe headed towards them and are trying to stop it. Too late, but they’re trying.

          I disagree with our hostess somewhat; I think we’ll have a lower death rate than Europe, but I think it will be at least equal to the annual flu deaths. Though honestly, we should probably be testing everyone dying of “flu” because my hunch is that many of the flu deaths in the last month have been COVID. We won’t get the fatalities because we have far more hospital beds and respirators per capita than any other country on earth.

          1. Keep in mine, this isn’t a Communist thing (although that aspect doesn’t help). China has had a succession of authoritarian and moderately incompetent governments for seven thousand years. Possibly more. They are always SURE they are the center of the Universe. They are always SURE they are the most civilized of Nations. And they always treat their people like farm animals. Communism is just one more in a long line of corrupt dynasties. Chinese dynasties lie. Chinese dynasties treat the non-Chinese world with a degree of contempt slightly worse than the contempt their elites hold for the common Chinese. And Chinese dynastic incompetence inevitably leads to yet more ‘colorful’ history; blood red color.

            1. And they always treat their people like farm animals.


              No they don’t. Farm animals are valuable. Peasants are treated FAR worse.

            2. The oldest records we have come from 1300 BC in China. Prior to Shang — well, recorded Chinese history has not been backed up by archeology. Seven thousand seems — high.

          2. Though honestly, we should probably be testing everyone dying of “flu” because my hunch is that many of the flu deaths in the last month have been COVID. We won’t get the fatalities because we have far more hospital beds and respirators per capita than any other country on earth.

            ^^This^^

            I hope that place in Seattle holds on to all their flu samples, both positive and negative.

        2. The other factor is what I’m calling the Turnip factor: Nothing in any of these theories discounts that somewhere in some bureau of Chinese State Security there’s a fellow who went to his boss and said “Sir, I have a clever plan…” and it got bought.

          Discount not the bureaucracy’s non-expertise and cluelessness in all things.

          This applies to Turnip Factor ideas on all sides, including “The CCP created this virus and set it loose without developing any vaccine for their Party elite because…”, “The CCP could not have been so stupid as to let an outbreak fester while suppressing people who said ‘hey, I think there’s a problem here’, so their clever plan was actually…” and “Once they had an outbreak anyway, the CCP decided to burn down their own economic house in order to singe their trading partner’s garden shed because…”.

          Charles Martin has a piece on PJM dated Sunday with guest appearances by Sky Masterson and William of Occam that I think walks through the best, most sanity-preserving way to suss out the odds on all these and other weird Turnip Factor theories.

          Occom and Masterson tell me the best bet is this is all Peter Principle aggregation worldwide at work across multi-generational state bureaucracies, in a complex system of systems that bureaucrats think they know how to “manage”.

        3. Tanking our economy short-term, even if it puts a big hit on their own, as a big win for them if it gets a Democratic Party victory in November, as they can then be assured that they will be fully appeased by a party that consistently expresses admiration for their system. it is not hyperbole to say that the Chinese Communist Party does want to rule the world (notwithstanding current levels of cooperation I expect Putin’s Russia to push back against their historic rival China on this; right now it is in Russia’s interest to get anti fossil fuel Democrats in power in the USA-yet another thing that makes the Dems whol Russia, Russia nonsense absurd on its face).

      2. They were losing the trade war with the US. Perhaps they hope to make us lose it too?

        Or they want an excuse to kill their surplus of young men and blame it on the virus without looking genocidal on the world stage.

        Or the party leaders are so insulated from resource scarcity that they don’t have a problem playing with the livelihoods of hundreds of millions of their peons.

        -Albert

        1. But it’s not very good at killing the young. The old, another matter. With fewer younger people to support the older… yeah, that way lies conspiracy theory. The most likely does seem that containment procedures were not properly followed and Things Happened.

          1. Once the international cameras are turned off inside a quarantine, a death doesn’t have to be caused by corona to be blamed on corona. It’s not like China doesn’t lie about anything and everything already.

            -Albert

            1. That is my thinking about what is happening in Iran — it would be a shame for this crisis to go to waste when they have so very very many ungrateful citizens to waste.

              Headlines reporting mass graves visible from space were troubling until I read in — oh, two graves, each the size of a football field? That doesn’t seem so mass — and remembered that current technology renders a deck of playing cards visible from space.

              Keeping calm and carrying on.

              1. That photo also showed two new strips in a very large facility laid out in squares. To me, it looked like just starting a new square – the square next to it and the one diagonal were full.

                Also looked at the mortality numbers for that region around Qom. 700 people die there every MONTH on average. Even allowing that they are mass graves – that area would barely take care of the normal monthly deaths. (I’m assuming they have more than one cemetery for all of the Qom area, which is 1.2 million by the last population estimate. Yes, I KNOW, Sarah…)

          2. It’s working it’s way down the age brackets now. Europe is seeing more healthy 20-40 year-olds come in with upper-respiratory viral pneumonia. Something yesterday said a little under half the cases now.

            1. Italy has been refusing to admit those over like 70 or with existing health conditions since at LEAST a week after their first native case.

              That would rather skew numbers for hospitals, assuming no more obvious mangling was done.

              1. “Italy has been refusing to admit those over like 70 or with existing health conditions since at LEAST a week after their first native case.”

                Anyone over 50 more recently. …

              1. Is there information on SARS (#1) having that effect? It can hardly be a widespread consequence of coronaviruses in general, and I don’t see how anybody could have had time to identify it as a consequence of this one.

                1. I honestly haven’t any idea if it does, but it had me raise an eyebrow. (Sargon of Akkad was reading various news clips out loud and I had him playing in the background – his Pommie accent is soothing to the littles. I think it was from him I heard the clipping.)

              2. Five points to PK– found that the line of thought goes that the kung flu can cause orchitis (inflammation of the testes), which can reduce sperm count, which CAN lead to infertility.

                The kicker?

                Any viral infection can do this, if it gets into the testicles.

                So true, but misleading.

      3. “They never seem to answer the question of what China is supposed to get out of it.”

        Only one term of Trump…. and the discrediting of his party.

          1. Good point. This is about undercutting the average person from benefitting from their pension funds/investments. Instead, the Elite will pick up bargains, and use the profits to continue their takeover of the economy.

      4. They never seem to answer the question of what China is supposed to get out of it.

        1) It’s not China, the people and area. It’s China, chairman Xi. They’re not the same.
        2) Gosh, why would Xi want an emergency that would let him shut down everybody and everything when there’s been huge protests that have folks asking if he’s lost the Mandate of Heaven since July, and they are spreading?

        1. Gosh, why would Xi want an emergency that would let him shut down everybody and everything when there’s been huge protests that have folks asking if he’s lost the Mandate of Heaven since July, and they are spreading?

          That could work. But the Chinese economy has been teetering on the brink for a while.

          They would be deliberately doing something that would first cripple their economy directly. Then cripple it a second time when the US gets hit. If they didn’t care about hurting themselves they could have hit Hong Kong much, much harder than they have.

          As I said; it could happen. But there are other scenarios which are far more likely.

          1. Again, you’re looking at China, not at Xi.

            Xi in charge of a wounded China is a better plan than a recovering China without Xi, for Xi.

            **********
            As I said; it could happen. But there are other scenarios which are far more likely.

            Such as the initial infection which is sprinting backwards faster than the infection is spreading?

            Or the American military infecting some place in China?

            1. Looking at Xi leads us straight back to Hong Kong: why were they treated with what in China counts as kid gloves? “That would cost them the mandate of heaven” doesn’t work, because plagues and economic destruction also lose the MoH.

              Here is an “other scenario”: China gets a pandemic on its hands. Then when it spreads they hype it up through the media they own to try and damage everyone else.

              1. As was pointed out at the time, between the chance that Trump would take the opportunity to get smitey, the fact that Hong Kong has a lot of wealthy and powerful folks in it, and the really loud rumblings elsewhere in China, and not being completely ignorant of the tradition of “well, we’ll be killed for disobedience if we don’t show up, and we’ll be killed if we rebel, may as well do the one with a chance of survival– Xi was trying to survive.

                Then when it spreads they hype it up through the media they own to try and damage everyone else.

                Which hits your objection that they were destroying their own economy, while undercutting your claim they wouldn’t hurt our economy because it hurts theirs, and is in fact a restatement of the theory that Bob put forward and to which you objected, that the panic is a Chinese information operation.

      5. All that is strictly necessary is that they be panicked from regime collapse.

        Yes, it does feel a little too inexplicable to be a credible working hypothesis.

        I did wake up from my morning nap excited at an interesting possibility for legal analysis, so all my posts today may warrant a ‘Bob has lost his mind AGAIN’ warning.

      6. What China achieves is the removal of a major rival and opponent, the only one with the power to truly destroy it.

        They don’t like us. They see us interfering with their destiny as the Middle (central) Kingdom. We are annoying barbarians, and are in the way. Our current leader understands them and could easily wreck their plans, and already has started to do so.

        The folks of the Long March might see reasons to trade current discomfort for long term victory.

  4. It’s funny how many people at the store have the same attitude toward the mindless panic shown by those buying vast quantities of water and toilette paper. I suspect the TP panic was the result of the coverage of the cruise ships and their CV loads, versus the previous coverage of cruise ships and the norovirus.

    1. Norovirus of course actually requiring a need for lots of TP given what its symptoms are as compared to the CV.

      Much of this panic is due to the media treating the CV like the KV (Krippen Virus from I Am Legend, Will Smith version).

    1. This is what I meant. As far as I can tell, No. Granted my information is anecdotal through “people there.” but still. With their close relationship with China, they should be suffering very badly.

          1. It might be that the population most severely affected by this — the elderly and immune ineffective — doesn’t exist ii Africa, having long since succumbed to other infectious assaults.

            Such as government.

            1. Plus for a long time there were no tests available across sub-Saharan Africa – I saw news from incrementally better places like Nairobi that said they knew of pneumonia cases associated with the Chinese industrial colonies but no samples had been collected because no tests were available.

            2. Also I’ve heard that there’s something about the genetics of the Chinese population that makes them statistically more vulnerable to this virus than the native populations of sub-Saharan Africa. Something about protein binding sites and antigens, but it got a lot more technical than I could follow.

              This might be another piece of evidence in favor of the speculation that the Wuhan Flu was originally a bioweapon, intended to commit mass murder on their own population on the sly, removing the elderly and other “useless eaters.” OTOH, it could simply mean that it was able to get such a huge foothold because of the genetic susceptibility of that population, and probably would’ve fizzled out if it had initially emerged elsewhere, with a population of greater genetic diversity. Right now the jury’s still out, and it may be for some time.

  5. > coup by impeachment

    They let that genie out of the bottle. It didn’t work… but they got tons of press, in that incestuous media/Democrat bond. And like Hollywood, “any publicity is good publicity.”

    Next Republican President, they’ll do it again. There’s no downside – not that they can see – and plenty of upside, even if it fails again. And then the Republicans are going to do it in a tit-for-tat, and it’ll be American Politics As Usual. Forever.

  6. Copied in part from my comment over at MHN:

    Here in the Balkans, it’s less of a panic than it is another civil inconvenience atop the usual pile. It’s a bit nostalgic even – sure, supermarkets are a pain to go through, and the under-thirty generation is a bit freaked out. However, everyone else still has some memory of the 90’s breadlines, so the overall mood in my local neighborhood is of bored resignation. It’s kinda like Japanese stoicism, but less “perseverance in hardship”, and more “we’ve seen worse, now hurry up the queue, I’m missing my Turkish series”.

    I have one question regarding the high death rate in Italy and the like. Age is a factor, sure enough, and Italy’s population is older on average than most of Europe. However, could it be that the country also has some usual go-to drugs, or even standard prescriptions, that have made matters worse in this case? I notice Ibuprofen and other anti-inflammation drugs being mentioned in that regard.

    Because if that’s the case, that would be another strike against the wonders of universal healthcare – the government jumping the gun and greenlighting blanket prescriptions before a better assessment of the problem can be made. Time will tell, but at the moment, the American response not only feels more rational, but is apparently a lot more effective than what the EU is doing.

    Other than that, I’m really straining my optic nerves trying not to roll my eyes into my brain, from all the liberal derangement about calling the Wuhan Flu… well, the Wuhan Flu. Because of course, calling it anything other than Coronavirus or COVID-19 is “discriminatory”. Unlike, say, Ebola. Or Hanta. Or Lyme Disease. Or Spanish Flu… Really, there’s toilet-paper-hoarding stupid, and then there’s trying to be politically corre- make that CCP-appeasing, about a global pandemic. But either way, it’s the mark of people thinking with the wrong end of the spinal cord.

    1. Marburg is another “named for the place” virus from Africa. Rocky Mountain spotted fever, Lassa fever, all place-name diseases. So Wu-flu is no different than SARS, or MERS. Except the Chinese own more of the media now than they did 11 years ago.

      1. Heck I grew up 3 towns over from a town that had a disease named after it. Old Lyme Ct (note there isn’t a New Lyme or just Lyme to the best of my knowledge) is the namesake for Lyme Disease (or Lyme Arthritis).
        Maybe it put a ding on their tourist commerce when it first showed up, but these days its endemic to New England (and likely was before, folks just didn’t recognize it).

        1. Study in …believe it was Wisconsin… tick heaven… 70% of persons and dogs tested, who had NO previous Lyme symptoms, had Lyme antibodies — indicating prior silent infection. So, yeah.

          1. Huh, well look at that. I know what Wikipedia calls Lyme by the Hamburg name (which is just the center it looks like). East Lyme (and North Lyme) I’d heard of. One of the most fun CDPs from Old Lyme is Laysville. Many a teenage boy snorted at that (and it USED to have a post office so you could get things with a Laysville postmark. I know some jokers that went and got first day covers of the Love Stamp with Laysville postmarks..

        2. I listened to a PBS (heck, I pay for it, might as well listen to it) podcast about Lyme Disease, the woman who pushed like hell for the CDC to investigate it did get nine flavours of hell about it from the locals.

      2. That’s why I refer to it as the Woo-Hoo Flu: close enough to site or origin to be recognized but different enough to offer deniability to the Criers of Racism … and accurately describing the mature of the reaction and MSM coverage of the Woo-Hoo going on all around.

        It all reminds me of a sequence from an early Sixties movie, The Russians Are Coming in which a Russian sub, stranded on a New England beach, sends its men into town carefully instructed to cry out, “The Russians are coming, the Russians are coming, everyone to get from the streets.”

        Fans of A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum will recall the scene in which Psuedolous initiates a plague panic … not locatable on the Tube of You, so far as I could find.

        So, watch this instead.

        1. Sigh. Must have pulled the broken down brain this morning. Proper quote from The Russians Are Coming, The Russians Are Coming is:

          “Emergency! Everyone to Get from Street. Emergency! Emergency! Everyone to Get from Street.”

          1. *reminiscent sigh* That was such a funny movie. I think that it was the first almost-adult movie that my Granny Jessie took us to on our yearly venture to the movie theater – the first one which wasn’t a Disney production. (We didn’t go to the movies very often – maybe twice yearly, courtesy of Granny Jessie?) I had the maddest crush on John Phillip Law as the young Russian who fell for the busty teenage babysitter…
            Granny laughed the hardest at Ben Blue trying to catch the horse. She was an old farm girl. Possibly she also recollected him in his 1930ies incarnation as a comedian.

    2. I think part of the problem in Italy is that they had such a concentrated outbreak in the Lombardy region in the north (probably as a result of large numbers of migrant workers from Wuhan in the area) that local hospitals were quickly overwhelmed. In other European countries the pattern has tended to be much more dispersed, with small numbers of cases popping up all over, so the burden on health services is spread more widely. The distribution may be more important than the total number of cases per country.

      Ibuprofen – I don’t know, but would probably avoid it myself to be on the safe side. There’s a hypothesis that the Spanish flu was made worse by attempts to treat with aspirin, though that’s not quite the same thing, and people may have been inadvertently taking toxic doses of what was then a new drug.

      1. The problem is that aspirin in high or prolonged doses can cause a cytokine storm – which floods the lungs with fluids and destroys the lungs, and – well, basically, drowns people in their own flem and blood

        1. If you have a choice, limit all OTC meds. Even those that dry up the nasal passages will have the side effect of irritating the respiratory system.

          Dosing heavily to soldier on is a very bad idea. Stay home and rest.

        2. non-aspirin anti-inflammatories (like Advil) seem to be better chocie for a respiratory illness because as far as I can recall they don’t have this nasty side effect

      2. Makes sense that aspirin not being a good drug to take for the Spanish flu. Aspirin is taken to thin blood when you have high blood pressure, & for other reasons related to needing to thin blood. Side affect is bleeding issues are made worse, even small ones from kitten or puppy scratches, or bruising. From what I know (which can be engraved on my smallest toenail, JTBC) one of the symptoms of the Spanish flu was the presence of blood from stomach and intestine linings. Thinning blood, especially overdosing, would not be good.

        Ibuprofen – taking recommended dose regularly, over time, without overdosing, has been known to attack the liver/kidneys (not sure which). Overdosing is known to attack liver/kidneys in healthy individuals. One of the organs that the WuhanKungfuFluCOVID-19 sickness attacks is the liver and kidneys, along with the lungs.

    3. More bits and pieces from reading about this:

      Italy: Northern Italy had a lot of small leather (and fabric?) working companies, and a lot of them got sold to China because reasons. The net result was tens to 100,000 people from China in the area that’s now a hotspot.

      Iran: The mullahs have been working closely with the PRC to do their usual bit of creating problems and to avoid sanctions. Judging by the high positions of the Iran government who’ve been reported to get Kung Flu, I suspect it’s a top-down distribution in their case.

      Not-a-flu: This guy has been following Covid-19. The thread’s pretty interesting. (I’m feeling better, but not *that* great. Will try to get it out of me before doing much.) Lends credence to the possibility that Wuhan-coronavirus in various flavors have been around. I’ll take China’s announcement of Patient 0 as of Nov with a grain pound of salt because Chicom.

      1. RC Pete your Italy info matches stuff I’d seen othe places that there are/were a fair number of Chinese Ex-Pats in Northern Italy in relation to cloth/leather/clothing manufacture.

        The Iran one was/is concerning. It seems VERY widespread and their (alleged) creation of mass graves is troublesome as it suggests a VERY high fatality rate. The high level contacts may explain the assorted Mullahs etc keeling over, but unless Iran has taken their management model from US higher education and they’re creating managers(deans for Higher Ed) left right and center they shouldn’t have enough of them to need mass graves. Something is Rotten in Old Persia, and I don’t think its a rug abused by felines.

          1. Dear Hostess I did hear about the Iranians behaving like Florida Man. But even if every idiot that licked a shrine passed on to his just desserts I don’t think that wold be enough to call for mass graves. Nope something darned weird is going on involving China and Iran and that spells trouble in no uncertain terms. Best guess Iran is trying to get long range missile technology.
            Thogh why China (who has issues with their Muslim Population) would align with Iran (other than for all the sweet Benjamins Obama gave them) beats me.

            As for Carnival I will note that MOST of Brazil is south of the equator and the rest is tropical. Only 200 cases so perhaps Covid-19 doesn’t like heat after all. Why Australia ( I mentioned in a different reply )with ~1/8 the population and far English body proximity rules is seeing nearly twice the cases of Brazil is baffling. Maybe a considerably older population?

            1. Re Australia: My SWAG is keyed off of a large number of Chinese immigrants in Australia and the apparent greater susceptibility by Chinese to the Wuhan coronavirus.

              https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinese_Australians

              I’m not sure of the Malay/Chinese percentages in Singapore, but when I dealt with the HP divisions there, I talked to and worked with a lot of ethnic Chinese. It’s physically not a big country, IIRC 100 square miles, though hygiene standards are supposedly quite high.

              Iran/China: China need(ed) lots of oil, and Iran had a bunch they couldn’t legally sell. Also, China has lots of missile technology and working ones, and Iran hasn’t had as much success at developing their own. Match made in Hades.

              1. Heck. Here in the states. Homeless aren’t dropping right & left in heavily hit area, Seattle, that is known for its homeless population. Granted, might not be wide spread enough that it hasn’t gotten into the homeless encampments yet. But dang. I’m getting a picture of the fragile Canary surviving while the minors all die. Really doubt it.

                1. I haven’t seen any updates in a few days, but I gather that the vast majority of the deaths in Seattle were from the retirement home where the outbreak showed up.

                  Musing here: could the reason why the homeless haven’t gotten clobbered be that the first cases (travelers and associates thereof) wouldn’t be found in the same block as that crowd? Once community transmission becomes more commonplace–I’ve heard of one reported as such in the Portland hotspot–it’d take off for them.

                  The not-a-flu for me seems to have been community transmission. I’d been in Medford around Feb 21, and was in K-Falls four times from 3/3 to 3/10, but never encountered a known case.

                  Maybe it’s more a case of the canary and the miners being OK while the mine owner and the managers get struck down first.

                    1. Er, I put it on the mental list to buy. Probably next in the queue, or maybe sooner if Prince Roger gets put on hold.

                    2. Speaking of Prince Roger, does anybody have info on the status of the fifth book in that series? I recall John saying he and David had begun work on that but it was (IIRC) before the zombie apocalypse hit.

                    3. You can download for free from <a href="http://baencd.thefifthimperium.com/&quot; The Fifth Imperium, The Last Centurion is on the Claws That Catch CD image.

                      Also includes the four Council Wars books, almost a dozen Posleen War books, and the first five Kildar books. (Oh John Ringo NOOO!)

                    4. contact between homeless and their patrons…

                      Yep – Hunter “Call Sign Snorty” Biden was not regularly visiting the LA homeless encampments making deals for Burisma.

                2. Didn’t that Nazi medical research find something from that attempt to see what staying outside in the cold did to people? It occurred to me that it might be relevant.

                3. *nod* That’s one of the cats in the streets things that tells you this sh- err crapola ain’t real. The pants-on-head crazypanic, I mean.

                  Corporate (and the one I work for could be the poster child for “hard headed realist”) put out a memo last friday. Local premise guys (the ones that work inside homes and businesses) show up as usual, call if you’ve a fever over 100.4 with respiratory symptoms and get checked. Outside techs show up if you ain’t too dead. Half dead don’t count.

                  Management, of which I am temporarily one, come in regardless. The only things that have temporarily stopped work so far are wildfire, flood, and lack of work. That last one is more theoretical.

                  We worked through SARS, swine flu, storms, bird flu, stupidity, democrats, an earthquake, and free taco night at the best little mexican place in a hundred miles. I’ll admit, that last one hurt a bit. We’ll manage to get through this one, too.

                  I’d appreciate a tad less panic in certain sectors. Keeping a calm, level head hasn’t been a liability thus far. It’s a good bet it’ll be so this time as well. Maybe buy up a few stocks while they’re relatively cheap. Remember the silliness that happened this time, and maybe put a few essentials set aside that keep well. The mess that’s being made right now is going to be cleaned up and put away once the chicken littles finally get tired.

                  There will be deaths, no question. There are a lot of unpleasant ways to die. Pleasant ways, not many that I’ve seen. Hard luck on the families, that. I’ve laid more flowers on wooden boxes and fresh dirt than I care to recall at this point. Death has another calling card.

                  Once we get back in space, will it be any different? Solar flares happen. As does radiation poisoning, metal fatigue, and so on. We might find something new that’ll kill a few of us every few weeks or so. And these, too, will be sad occasions.

                  We’re human beings. To be born is to live under death sentence, no soul escapes alive. We have clever brains to think with, not claws and thickened hide. This can and does lead us to foolishness, but also solutions to problems. We’ll get this little bug one way or another. And go on with our lives.

                  If even one percent of one percent of one percent of the energey wasted on panic was instead fuel for fixing the problem, or at least not making it *worse,* the world might be a little better place. Still and all, we’re stuck with what we’ve got. Best we can do in most of our cases is stick with “not making it any worse” and that’s a fine thing itself.

                  As my old boss used to say “arseholes and elbows, people.” Build over, build under, around the corners and up to the rafters. In twenty years we can look back and shake our heads- that is, if this moment even sticks out at all by that point. Teach those little ‘uns well. This isn’t the last time they’ll see such a thing attempted.

                  1. In one way we think a great deal too much of the atomic bomb. ‘How are we to live in an atomic age?’ I am tempted to reply: Why, as you would have lived in the sixteenth century when the plague visited London almost every year, or as you would have lived in a Viking age when raiders from Scandinavia might land and cut your throat any night; or indeed, as you are already living in an age of cancer, an age of syphilis, an age of paralysis, an age of air raids, an age of railway accidents, an age of motor accidents.’

                    In other words, do not let us begin by exaggerating the novelty of our situation. Believe me, dear sir or madam, you and all whom you love were already sentenced to death before the atomic bomb was invented: and quite a high percentage of us were going to die in unpleasant ways.

                    We had, indeed, one very great advantage over our ancestors—anesthetics; but we have that still. It is perfectly ridiculous to go about whimpering and drawing long faces because the scientists have added one more chance of painful and premature death to a world which already bristled with such chances… and in which death itself was not a chance at all, but a certainty.

                    This is the first point to be made: and the first action to be taken is to pull ourselves together. If we are all going to be destroyed by an atomic bomb, let that bomb when it comes find us doing sensible and human things—praying, working, teaching, reading, listening to music, bathing the children, playing tennis, chatting to our friends over a pint and a game of darts—not huddled together like frightened sheep and thinking about bombs. They may break our bodies (a microbe can do that) but they need not dominate our minds.”

                    ― C.S. Lewis

                    1. I am sometimes chastised for the various items I consume. “You’re gonna die if you keep eating/drinking that! My standard reply has been, “So if I don’t eat/drink this, I’ll be immortal?” Nobody gets outta here alive.

                1. It is alleged so.

                  Apparently Chinese have a lot of a gene that gets activated by smoking/heavy pollution. When activated, the gene makes them more vulnerable to the worst effects.

            2. Just heard that the virus seems to be most active and robust in temps of 35-55 degrees F. Here in Minnesota that is the season we are entering from the cold side. I would guess that most of Brazil would be warmer than that, or possibly edging toward that from the warm side. We might see something more happening in the southern hemisphere as the seasons change.

              1. NONE of this has any actual science behind it. And only seems to be proclaimed when people point out that tropical regions aren’t getting it. Note the same people say it will be here in the summer….

        1. Back when “Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome” was a big thing, I heard from several different folks that they couldn’t see what on earth the excitement was– my sample is folks who were in the ME for the US, mostly Navy, and they were all going “oh, yeah, that nasty coughing breathing thing that’s all over the place.” The impression I took away was that it was not uncommon for folks to sound like Val Kilmer’s Doc Holliday.

          Hm, there’s another angle– what’s China’s TB situation? I know the one Marine we had that was still recovering from TB was from that area.

    4. “Because of course, calling it anything other than Coronavirus or COVID-19 is “discriminatory”.”

      I’ve been calling it the Kung-Flu just to be lippy, because I know it drives the SJWs whack.

      But now that people are catching it in Canada through community transmission, and EVERYBODY is hiding in their house just like I’m f-ing well hiding in mine, I’m calling it Corona or COVID-19. Because if somebody dies of this shit, I do not want to be the guy walking around saying “it is so sad that Mrs. Calabash died of the Kung Flu.” Too undignified.

      SJWs are pretty far down my list of stuff to worry about right now. I’m a lot more concerned that the Canadian Government, after blowing this thing off since November, picked TODAY to close the border. There’s no common sense in what they’re doing, and that is why I’m hiding in my house. Can’t get a straight answer on lethality/severity anywhere, its either “don’t worry about it dude” or “we’re all gonna dieeeeee!!!”

      But today my dentist and several medical clinics I know canceled all their office hours and they’re doing everything by telemedicine and telephone.

      Therefore I have no choice but to assume this is at least as bad as SARS and stay the hell home. When the dentist cancels office hours, that’s really saying something.

      1. I have a veterinarian visit scheduled for the dog & one of the cats. Cat is over due for 3 year shots, including Rabies. Dog is early for hers. End of the month. So two weeks. They may still shutdown for emergencies only. Can’t video chat to get shots. All the ones except Rabies could be handed out & I could give them. Legally the Rabies vaccination has to be given by the Veterinarian.

        1. I think now would be a bad time to have a veterinary emergency, all things considered. Or a dental emergency, for that matter.

          As to legalities, all that stuff you’re supposed to sign for from the mail and FedEx etc? Nope, no more signing.

          1. “We need to have Euclid …. eased over to the rainbow bridge. He’s crying all the time. We were going to do it last week of the month.”

            (Frowning face) I remember, we are less than 4 months from the same situation. I’m sorry. Will the vet come to you? Sometimes they will.

            By the time we took Silver in, to the emergency clinic, not our standard clinic, she was so far gone, she was only aware that her boy was holding her. He held her in the car in his arms, no carrier, she even purred … Had she been even a little bit more aware, that wouldn’t have happened. Not without damage to us & the car, and the neighbors would have heard the screaming protests.

        1. Interesting. Youngest daughter takes one of those, but is on such a miniscule dose that no longer is congruent with her weight, as per doctor’s orders to let her gently outgrow-wean from it.

          She has a general change of season sniffle (we all have the early morning runny nose) but since I have two little premie babies, it’s a source of some worry. Not a lot since they’re healthy little bundles otherwise, but just on the ‘more susceptible’ scale.

          1. Oh! Premies! Well blessing on all your heads. With fingers crossed, they’ll never even notice. Might be a blessing to miss the panic 😉

            In our house, meds are simple: thyroid supplement and an inderol derivative. Nothing fancy. Some sniffles, but seems very much like the typical sinus “thing” that bites. Feeling well, but paying attention. Lots of outdoor time, including long walks.

            1. I have aches and pains, but I’m attributing that to pushing around a heavy double pram that was loaded with toddler and infant, their requirements and mine, and shopping. Also lifting the whole thing into a bus, when I’m not that big to begin with, so not much muscle strength.

              Toddler daughter has a feeding tube too, so since she’s gone down for a nap I shall feed her and sleep as well.

              Frankly, our household’s residents tend to be of the ‘don’t want to go out if we don’t have to’ sort, so we are fine with not going out.

            2. Nevertheless, not a good time to have any symptom that could be mistaken for COVID-19.

              Even ones that you know are not likely are — discomfitting.

  7. > In many ways, and for many bureaucracies not to mention the left and its attached media, this is a test run for how badly they can stampede us, and how much of our liberties they can steal under the cover of some “emergency.”

    First Amendment: “the right of the people peaceably to assemble”

    Restricted by “executive order” in a couple of states now

    Second Amendment: “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

    Looks like just Illinois so far, but we have the mayor of Champaign who signed an “executive order” (from a mayor?!) banning the sales of firearms and ammunition. She hasn’t explained what the connection between coronavirus and guns is, but she’s a Democrat after all.

    And we have Red Bernie and his fellow-travelers calling for the Fed and states to steal businesses, a.k.a. “nationalization”, because, you know, coronavirus…

    Frankly, I’m still surprised none of them have demanded Soviet-style internal passports, travel permits, and residency permits.

    Forget toilet paper. We’re gonna need a whole bunch of rope and lots of lamp-posts.

    1. Keep in mind that the USA has experienced this sort of thing in the past — most notably during the years before an effective polio vaccine — and emerged with our civil liberties (mostly*) intact.

      Be alert and vigilant but there’s no need to panic. Champaign’s mayor’s order is challenge-able in court and would have to withstand strict scrutiny at the highest level. A competent challenger (so, probably not GOP) will be able to use this against her as “panicking and exploiting a public health emergency” come next election.

      *mostly – such attrition as has occurred has not been notably consequent upon such public … piffle, too much typing, from now on PHEs … as it is the general indolence of American citizens.

      1. I’m looking at the SF Bay area approach (first I heard was Frisco, but now it’s the main Bay Area counties, close to 7 million people), no advanced warning, stay at home order. (Exemptions for doctor’s visit and grocery store visits.)
        Fudge factors for businesses that deliver food. OTOH, restaurants counting on take out are (in theory) shut down. Any businesses that were doing manufacturing, not any more. If that batch was supposed to be pulled out of the whatever on Tuesday morning and processed in the afternoon, tough.

        The usual long lead time: /sarc 3/17/2020 12:01AM
        Indefinite end time “At least through 4/7”

        Penalties carefully left unsaid. I think this leaves sufficient opportunities for graft.

        My reading of this says places like Pizza Hut or Dominos would be allowed, but MacDs and the like would be shut down, and every tiny restaurant would find itself at the mercy of the food delivery services. (Which are now likely to be unionized due to the no-gig law. Hmm, we found a winner!)

        Speaking of tiny restaurants, that’s a lot of food that was purchased first thing Monday morning. IIRC, the Chinese places in San Jose were usually closed on Monday to market and do long term prep.

        Yeah, regardless of the seriousness of the current situation, this belongs in the dictionary for overreach.

        Dumpster fires object to the unfair comparison.

    2. I saw their response to the pushback, and it’s pretty much “Well, we haven’t actually banned the sales, we just gave ourselves the authority (hidden in older laws) to do so in case we feel like it. And by the way, be quiet, peasants!”

      Haven’t seen any news of lawsuits against it. I assume they’d claim the “no harm yet, no standing” bit that’s been tried before.

    3. No, the executive order did NOT “ban” sales of firearms and ammunition. It gave the mayor the ability to do so. She has not done so, yet, and is hopefully smart enough not to try.

      BTW, federal law prohibits cities and states from violating people’s civil rights during an emergency in ways that the law doesn’t already allow for.

  8. > what I think is happening is that we’re destroying our economy

    “What you mean ‘we’, white man?”

    Damaging the economy isn’t hurting *them*. The political classis parasitic, and there’ll always be plenty to support *them* in the lifestyle they’re accustomed to. Chavez, his buddies, and his successors weren’t inconvenienced in the *least* when Venezuela went down the tubes; it just made them wealthier by comparison to the proletariat.

    Knock some of that uppity merchant/producer class down a few pegs, show the Deplorables how powerful they are, both wins.

    I personally don’t remember much about politics before the mid-1970s, but they were droning on about “the economy” then, and every election season since, and in between in the meantime. “The sky is still falling! Give us even more power!” … while doing their best by regulation to damage it as much as possible.

    You, being sane, see a strong economy as a good thing, and work to improve it. They, being crazy, see it as a threat to their power, and work to destroy it.

  9. > Don’t understand why China would decide on that option

    Well, remember when the Japanese Empire, with half the military and a fraction of the economy of the US, thought they’d bomb a couple of minor outlying territories and we’d scuttle back to the mainland like whipped dogs and do nothing about it?

    The government and military (pretty much the same group, just like the PRC) had been in their own echo chamber for decades, and flatly ignored anything that countered the Narrative. Hell, General Mitchell toured their version of West Point in the 1920s and the Army was showing him their attack plans; he was court-martialed for trying to publicize that when he got back to the states, because DC had their own Narrative that didn’t include being attacked by the Japanese…

    They didn’t have Facebook then, but it’s the same positive feedback syndrome.

    1. positive feedback syndrome

      Great name for it, Positive Feedback Syndrome (PFS). And with positive feedback you get oscillation – if you’re lucky. If not lucky, things break and often rather violently.

    2. And until recently they’d have been right. We’ve been apologizing profusely for the past 20+ years (slightly less under Bush the Younger, but Not not apologizing). Also comes from a severe superiority complex that the Middle Kingdom has had for a very long time.

      1. Remember the Chinese taking down our spy plane early on in the Bush ’41 administration? Only fools (e.g. Dems and the MSM — BIRM) doubted its purpose as a shot across his bow to test response and warn him of the (short-term but long enough if used effectively) advantage accruing to totalitarian dictatorships in [crap]-throwing contests: they don’t have to manage public opinion.

        1. Well, the orders for the intercepting jets to aggressively buzz the EP3 were an official brushback pitch.

          The PLA pilot actually hitting the thing (and killing himself in the process) would not be a part of the plan.

      2. And if the CCP effort to get Democrats elected is successful, they will once again not have to worry about a firm and strong response to CCP aggression as they know the Democrats will rush to appease them and in many cases hate the USA as much if not more than the CCP does. After all, how long have you heard Democrats and their media hacks like Tom Friedman declare “we need to be a lot more like China”

  10. > What about Italy?

    Italy is in the EU. And the UN. And strange and mysterious are the ways of both… but I’ve wondered if one or both has some kind of “assistance” in the queue, and maybe Italy’s pols are quicker on the uptake than others. The more people with Coronavirus, the more free outside money they can pocket.

    Well, come on. You’re talking about Italy, the EU, and the UN, all just about as crooked as a basket of snakes…

    1. Actually, it looks more like the EU would be happy to force Italy out, so the Germans wouldn’t have to do anything to help the Italian monetary fiasco. Some of the stuff seems to be accidentally-on-purpose happening to encourage Ital-exit.

      I can’t find an article, but supposedly medical equipment that was paid for by Italy was prevented from export by the Germans. (The equipment from China, portrayed as a gift, was actually a purchase.) Germany also (and this is confirmed) tried to seize face masks that Switzerland had in transit, in a bonded warehouse (technically, not in German possession) until TPTB in Switzerland raised hell.

      1. EU and Germany have apparently refused to provide assistance to Italy and are preventing others from assisting. Given that the EU is effectively a an attempt by Germany with the help of France to create a European-wide superstate that is effectively controlled by German, a socialist/statist Fourth Reich as you would, it should not surprise anyone; Note also that this includes banning speech the government does not like, excusing attacks on Jews, and demanding that all bow to the will of the almighty state. Italy, like all “provinces” in such situations, is deemed less important and not worth of assistance so that resources can be steered towards the heart of the Reich.

        1. There are reports that Germany is using this as reason to correct a decade of grievous bad policy close their borders to limit exposure.

          Only the unduly cynical will question whether they ever again open those borders, and how widely.

          1. I’ll believe the thoroughness of the struck-out section when I see a picture captioned by “Ding Dong, die Hex’ ist tot!”

  11. > What about Africa?

    A good question, but you’re looking straight at Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle, where the act of observing will change what you see.

    The majority of countries in Africa probably have no firm idea of how many citizens they have to start with. When big chunks of the economy are off the record and a fair amount of population is in the bush with no connection to it anyway, you’re looking at the difference between “many” and “many-many.”

    If a *whole lot* of people died, we’d find out… eventually. But even if (accurate) data is wending its way to various capitols, it’s still going to be run through the “how can we avoid any blame” and “is there any way we can profit from this?” filters.

    Whatever’s happening in Africa is probably unfortunate, but we don’t have any way to *know*. We don’t know *here*, and may never know in detail, just due to different reporting methods, political spin from the CDC, etc.

    1. As far as Africa and the Indian subcontinent are concerned…is it possible that it’s just too warm there? Everything I’ve heard says that the Kung Flu is a cold-weather virus, we’re all hoping for Global Warming to come along and save us, so might it be that those places are tropical enough that it just can’t take hold?

      Just a theory. You’re undoubtably correct that even if half of Africa were infected, the leaders probably wouldn’t have a clue, and if 90% were infected, they wouldn’t tell us even if they did, but I think it’s at least possible that of all the problems they have, Coronavirus isn’t one of them.

      1. You might be right on that heat thing, but India does have cooler climes, but someone would need to look into sickness rates in those regions, Said cooler climes are also on the border with Tibet, under the boot heel of China.

      2. I posted a link above regarding regular influenza and Africa, but some salient points:

        We used to think that influenza didn’t exist in the tropics, that it was too warm. In fairness, there are so many tropical diseases that can cause fevers and respiratory symptoms (e.g. malaria, dengue, etc) that flu cases were misdiagnosed. Testing though suggests that influenza is endemic and causes epidemics regularly. So yeah … my bet is that Africa is infected and that deaths are being misattributed to other diseases.

        1. I’m a friend with family in Africa.

          It is as predictable as the sun rising that when someone is in the hospital, or dies, we, the “rich American relatives” get a phone call asking for monetary aid with hospital bills or funeral.

          The phone has been silent. My inlaws are in their seventies and live in the biggest city in their country. Nothing. The cousin who lives with them for us would be calling so fast. She has free housing and feels a moral obligation from them raising her and us putting her through college. She is not going to screw her (not legally) parents over.

          It doesn’t matter why someone is sick or dies. We get the call. Nothing.

          And the younger set who are active on facebook are at normal activity levels, posting the same stuff they usually post.

          But, you know, go find some African immigrants and ask them if there’s been an uptick in ‘please help with medical/funeral’ calls. They can’t tell you what the cause is, but they sure know what the normal rate is!

      3. I’m not counting on it. Looking at Australia and Singapore, the numbers don’t look too horrible. I think we’ll need another couple of weeks before we can get enough testing to get solid numbers.

        FWIW, Oregon Health Authority says CDC no longer demands to confirm positive Kung Flu results, so we should start seeing more usable numbers. Unless $SPOUSE or I start presenting horrible symptoms, we’re not going to try to get a test.

        1. I am reminded of the reactions to the “Ozone Hole” a couple decades back. As we’d just developed the ability to notice the phenomenon we really had no ability to contextualize it, o idea whether it was a routine recurring process, like sunspots, or if it did, indeed, represent a unique and novel concern. Just so with the Woo-Hoo Flu. Is it spreading widely, rapidly, or are we just now able to identify it when it appears?

          Like the last crossing of a frozen lake before the thaw the procedure ought be: be alert, be aware, proceed with caution but don’t start hopping up and down.

    2. Frankly TRX I fear most African governments are so dysfunctional and life is so cheap that an extra 100-10000 deaths will hardly register on the radar.

      1. This is NOT governments. These are people with family and friends there. NOTHING. On the ground,w here enough people were dying of AIDS to have packs of motherless children roaming around…. NOTHING?

        1. What? You’re going to ignore the official reports of the glorious People’s State Medical Benefit Authority, in favor of your lying eyes?!

          Besides, it’s time for some housecleaning, comrade. (it’s always time for houscleaning) BANG! Coronavirus… BANG! Coronavirus… looks like we’re going to have to requisition some more ammunition…

        2. Right looking at sub- saharan Africa with the Johns Hopkins site and nothing, bupkis. South Africa has the biggest case list at 62, most countries seem to be non or a bakers dozen at most. We KNOW China has been there big time, they’rethrowing money around africa like a drunken sailor. They’re trying to get the old 3rd world (i.e. non aligned) countries to throw in with them against US/EU Bunch of possibilities. Occam’s razor’s favors, nothing happening as your data would indicate. Other mitigating factors might include
          1) African population is YOUNG compared to US/EU etc. But its not like there aren’t old people who ought to be as delicate as ours (and have less access to high end medicine once sick). but no deaths (so far).
          2) Those countries are primarily Tropical. Corona virii tend to be sensitive to high humidty/temp. So limited spread. As noted another place the Aussies are in full summer. But my understanding is theirs is a dry desert heat so perhaps?
          3) Some natural resistance? Chloroquine (malaria med) seems to help. African countries have been being winnowed by Malaria for centuries. If there is something that Covid-19 and Malaria have in common to their attack process maybe this is based on that?

            1. The fact that they haven’t closed down schools shows it’s panic to me, especially since the schools are freakin’ petri dishes every time flu season rolls though. Though some Catholic schools have closed, especially the one or two that have had someone test positive.

            2. Yeah Johns Hopkins says the have 681 cases so far. Even if every one of them dies and they infect 10 others (each of whom dies) we’re at not quite 7000. Admittedly not good (2x 9/11) but NOT 150K. Heck they, only have 24 Million total. 150K is > 5% of their total population. Still it is curious ~700 Australia vs 533 for Brazil that has nearly 10X the population of Australia and much tighter personal space. Something is different but what?

  12. The 2020 Wuhan Flu pandemic has infected 169,000+ people and killed 6500 or so.
    The 2018–2019 influenza caused more than 35.5 million illnesses, 16.5million+ medical visits, ~490,600 hospitalizations, and 34,200+ deaths.
    Remember the world-wide panic then? The buying-out of TP, filter masks, etcetera everywhere? The many Mayors and Governors shutting down all public venues and outlawing public gatherings of their subjects, er, citizens?
    Gee, neither do I…

    1. That’s because you haven’t read any history. Multiple US cities used quarantines etc. during the Spanish flu.

    2. Several things
      1) Outside of China the infection rate still seems to be early on the curve (for details look here
      https://coronavirus.jhu.edu/map.html )
      Note the graph in the lower left and the exponential looking curve for cases outside china (yellow dots), may just be the scale but that certainly looks like the early part of an exponential to me.

      2) Normal flu though widespread tends to be far less lethal about 0.6% or less. Current lethality estimates are all over the place, 1.5% -6% (depending on whose numbers you use). For comparison the 1918 pandemic is estimated ate about 2.5%

      3) How infectious covid-19 is is a crapshoot. Definitely goes person to person, likely has an airborne component. Some talk as if it is of similar infectiousness to flu, others compare it to Cold Viruses (who are kissing cousins to the corona virus family and VERY infectious). The easier it is to transmit the deeper we are in manure.

      4) Some corona viruses are sensitive to heat/moisture so they disappear (or nearly so) over the summer. If that were the case one would expect Austrailia (which is leaving high summer for early fall) to have limited cases. But they have 377 cases (per Johns Hopkins) which puts them in the same league as Canada, and several eastern european countries. So that may argue against that.

      Is it time to panic? As the magic 8 ball might say, “ask again later”. I think maybe Masachusetts actions are overkill (School canceled until 4/7, no meetings of over 25, Restaurants other than take out closed, no dining in at restaurants). Ask me again in 1-2 weeks

  13. My daughter had flu-like symptoms that were enough to keep her home from school, and for me to take her to the clinic twice within a month back in December and January. She tested negative for the flu both times. It’s quite possible that what was going around then was the Wuhan Virus since it wasn’t showing up on the standard flu tests.

    1. My daughter and I had something in September which knocked us both out for almost a week, and took almost two weeks to feel completely well again. I don’t believe it was the Kung Flu, but it certainly did hit all of a sudden.

      1. I had something between Thanksgiving & Christmas. Felt lousy for a week then went down for a week where I barely got out of bed. Went through two bottles+ of NyQuil nighttime stuff. Then a week tapering off to the daytime stuff & nighttime stuff at night … I believe in breathing, not being stuffed up, feeling like my head is going to explode … (annnnnd, Glaucoma here, not suppose to take the stuff under any circumstance. Yea, uh huh, not a guideline I’m following. Had an eye appointment just after first of year, pressures lower than last years.)

    2. So that’s what I might have to look forward to. Unless my ‘blah’ was a mild case. The only thing that really hit me, I presume was food-borne as $HOUSEMATE was (thankfully) utterly unaffected and it was very decidedly a (generally) lower G-I issue.

      1. Coming up on 5 years ago… had the first head cold I’d had in 55 years. (Have had flu now and then, but not colds.) Six weeks later I got the fall flu shot, and promptly came down with pleurisy (fortunately more painful than serious). I’ve had probably 30 flu shots and this was the only ‘reaction’ ever. But canine coronavirus is known to knock down the immune system… now I’m wondering if I had some variant of the Kung Flu. In Montana. I do know I got it when I picked up a kitten from some people who had a gaggle of kids. Only place I’d been in weeks (I live like a hermit).

    3. We caught “something” after Thanksgiving– the usual “people visited during Thanksgiving and folks go to work sick.” (Since we don’t do the school thing to be automatically blamed. 😀 )

      It was respiratory heck that had us missing Christmas Mass, but just felt like crud otherwise.

      I know I mentioned it here before, but yeah– that’s why I think that our “Bad Flu Season” was really the Kung Flu.

    4. It’s quite possible that what was going around then was the Wuhan Virus since it wasn’t showing up on the standard flu tests.

      Exactly! That we hadn’t spotted it previously merely reflects that we hadn’t looked for it. Thanks to China’s bungling of the epidemic in [Racist!} we are now not only looking for it but knotting our knickers when it turns up.

  14. As for Italy…. I don’t know? Maybe it took that long to reach a place with an elderly enough population that it overcame the health system.

    Back before Thanksgiving I was fussy enough about the “unexpectedly bad flu season” to be presumptuous and buy counter-measures for the local church– and they don’t usually bother to check, especially if someone was sick for a while and then comes in.
    Exactly like people do when the respiratory problems kick in. Which are probably going to be diagnosed as pneumonia….

  15. One of the possibly funnier things this weekend, was Mexico “closing” the border with us for fear of COVID-19. Not to mention ISIS issuing a travel advisory against the Wu-Flu.

    *cackles*
    50% accuracy, I CALLED IT!

  16. First, I think you’re right Sarah. Case in point.

    Background
    1. My next decadal change will be my 7th. (I know I’m old, but I don’t feel old LOL.)
    2. I’m reasonably healthy.
    3. I rarely get sick… the measurement is in decades between severe illnesses… I rarely even catch colds. This was not the case when I was a child, through to my late teens. It’s been 10 years since I was treated for Lyme, with no recurring symptoms (Lyme makes more common diseases – like the seasonal flu – a walk in the park).
    4. I’m a bit (according to my wife, a lot) hypochondriacal (see “childhood”, previous), and I tend to pay unusually careful attention to even common symptoms of any sort (which was how and why I realized I’d been progressively suffering from the classical symptoms of a progressing Lyme disease for several months when I finally convinced my doctor to treat it, now 11 years past).
    5. I’m old enough that I take a flu shot every year (and have for a decade or so)… I dunno if it helps, but I haven’t had the flu. Until:

    Salient details
    In mid-December I caught – what I thought at the time – was the worst cold of my entire life. From my wife (I *never* catch my wife’s illnesses… not that she has all that many either).

    It was an utterly miserable experience. Life pretty much stopped for us in many ways (we both still work, only, we didn’t: we both took time off). At one point I wondered if it wasn’t pneumonia; I’d never, ever experienced “wheezing” before, but I could hear it with each breath (this lasted a little over two weeks, and lessened as the overall illness lessened).

    Eventually we were well enough to return to work (we both work from home) although with diminished productivity, and by mid-January it was obvious we were recovering quite nicely. I was even able to putter around for a bit outside, maybe an hour or two a day, a few times a week, weather permitting (we had an unseasonably mild winter for Washington… yeah, we reside in eastern Washington).

    And then, in early-February… we both came down with another bout of the flu… my wife on a Monday, me on the following Wednesday. Same symptoms… and this time it was worse (at its worst) in my wife’s case (at one point she passed out, and broke her nose in the fall, resulting in a few visits to Urgent Care and the ER), and almost as bad in my case (I was barely functional enough to play caregiver to her much worse condition).

    Recovery was/has been (I’m still coughing, although less every day)… somewhat quicker (because we both just said “eff it” and took off work and burrowed in early for the recurrence… we knew what to expect… and thank gawd for Viki – we’re fans of Korean entertainment – and Netflix, as we watched and slept through many hours in front of the big screen).

    Two rounds of the same flu in the same season? Barely weeks apart? Who symptomatically coughs when they catch the flu (we’d been calling it the Cold-From-Hell)? I don’t *get* colds. And in talking to friends, family, and clients, they ALL described the same cold-from-hell symptoms – with an usually persistent cough – in widespread geographic regions.

    Like most of you, I’d started reading about covid-19 the first of January or so. I’d wondered then (as our “cold” symptoms seemed quite similar to what was being described for covid-19), but the dates didn’t seem to match up (so I chalked it up to coincidence).

    But… they’ve traced it as far back as November 17th?

    Yeah. I think your reasoning and analysis is spot on Sarah. Case in point, I’m reasonably sure we both had Covid-19. Twice. It sucks.

    And from talking with others, I think it’s been in several geographically diverse regions of the US.

    Last. I’m sure as hell going in for a vaccination when it makes it through trials.

      1. From about the last week of October through the middle of November, both my husband and I were coughing and wheezing with respiratory infections that would just not quit.
        Would love to know whether we have antibodies to Kung Flu in our system.

    1. The wheezing/respiratory crud/coughing/buckets of mucus is what i’ve got now–but it’s almost identical as the same crud I got last summer that knocked me on my butt. This round is somewhat less severe–I lost a week of work, but this time jumped right in with the nebulizer and inhaler (that I still had from last summer) and am starting to feel mildly human again. Hopefully I’ll avoid having to do the steroids, which make me angry.

      So…I dunno. I’ve been joking with people that what I’ve got is probably a close relative of COVID-19–maybe it really is. Maybe there’s not a lot of difference between it and the crap I caught last summer. In either case, I’m not unhappy they’re shutting down schools here for a little while–maybe some of the various plagues that have been going around (and which someone inevitably brings to work and I inevitably catch, the joys of having been a preemie–I’m healthy overall, but lung crud is my weak point) will finally die out a bit.

      Honestly, I want to take my best friend’s boss and hold him up as a shining example of How We Should Start Addressing The Yearly Serious Illnesses: she tells me that about three weeks ago, a few of their office mates came down with the flu. The boss immediately had everyone begin working from home, until it all cleared up. So instead of having most of his office sick, and doing the “last one infected reinfects the first one” routine that it seems far too many of us go through every year, everyone is healthy, rested, and not going to be dealing with an office epidemic.

      MORE PLACES NEED TO DO THIS. And places where that’s not possible–retail and service industries–need to damn well figure out how to balance their needs with treating employees better so they don’t have to come in to work sick for fear of being punished or even fired. (I kid you not, though I left several years before they started pulling this garbage, Walmart started docking people “points” for being sick. Even if you had a doctor’s note. Even if it was a recurring health issue. And if you got too many points, they fired you. And they wonder why they’re perpetually understaffed…)

      Given what I’ve heard from my brother–who is a kitchen manager at a well-known chain restaurant–I’m not sure I’ll ever eat at a restaurant again, willingly, given their attitude toward sick workers…

      1. Management-in-general doesn’t think that way. That’s why they want all their serfs in one location, preferably in “open plan” offices where they can see them. Because they’re certain there’ll be slacking if they don’t keep them under supervision at all times…

        “Parkinson’s Law” is a really good book on traditional management issues.

        It takes way-at-the-end-of-the-curve management to let employees work from home more than occasionally.

      2. My niece works for a Health Insurance company in their corporate office. She has Lupus. She has been fighting discrimination because of her frequent flair up of her condition. Which is triggered every time someone comes in to work sick. Plus she has an (not quite) 18 month old (daycare is grandma/grandpa and occasionally great-grandma, so daycare not a problem), and a 1st grader, which is a problem anytime something is going around in that virus vector factory. Now she is home, because her medical team has flat out stated, “do not go work, do not go anywhere” She is trying for reasonable accommodations to work from home under ADA. Her next move would be FMLA. Haven’t heard the out ocme.

      3. I’ve been joking with people that what I’ve got is probably a close relative of COVID-19 …

        So maybe COVID-eighteen and three-quarters?

        1. Eh, more like COVID-16 or 17, probably.

          Still, I’m gonna have to call up the clinic later this morning, because I had to admit yesterday that I’m not getting better and probably am not gonna without the stupid steroids. Hangry, here I come…

          (Although actually BEING hungry would be a nice change–this crud’s an appetite killer, and while I might need to lose a couple of pounds, this is not how I prefer to do it, heh.)

    2. So……

      Last April, while we were still living in American Samoa, I caught a cold-from-hell. I almost never get sick, and when I do I don’t take much note usually. Fever, aches and pains, and I coughed for a month. Mostly unproductive. Just as I was starting to feel better, DH comes down with it and coughs so hard he pulled a muscle in his ribs.

      At the time, we blamed it on the s****y housing we were in that was full of black mold. But now I wonder if this hasn’t been floating around for a while.

  17. Chicken Little Is Alive And Well (Not you Sarah). 😦

    And yes, I think the Anti-Trump Lunatics are pushing the Panic.

    Interestingly, there was not a Panic about Swine Flu but that was in the Holy Obama’s administration (or should I say reign).

    1. The left is also in a panic about Trump choosing to reduce regulations (i.e. red tape) rather than increase central control. Democrats, the government employee unions, and their media arm are terrified that people will realize that over regulation and bureaucracy are a big part of the problem, not a solution, and will insist that these regulations and others be eliminated on a permanent basis
      Reason Magazine has a nice post:

      ttps://reason.com/2020/03/15/tired-there-are-no-libertarians-in-a-pandemic-wired-there-are-only-libertarians-in-a-pandemic/

      The Democrats and other statists are terrified people will do exactly what is suggested as to reconsidering all the rules and regulations.

    2. Chicken Little sounds like a good way to describe it. Especially since I read that story and know how it ends.

      (I suspect part of the reason for the panic is it’s being stoked by some “helpful” foxes…)

  18. My concern is “cry wolf” syndrome. Yeah, this current thing is likely overblown. And the panic buying is out and out ridiculous. We’ll likely get over it, and things will return to more or less normal.

    But what about if something serious hits several years from now? Are people going to remember the coronavirus scare and not take measures that they’ll actually need to take?

    1. The second — hidden — lesson of the Boy Who Cried Wolf myth is that a wolf-crier crying about wolves is not evidence that there is no wolf.

      Sadly it is a lesson that people ignore even more than the primary lesson.

    2. I’ve decided to take a similarly philosophical approach to this. So maybe we didn’t need all these precautions this go around (honestly, unless things go very bad indeed, we wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between “the precautions helped” and “we didn’t need them”–but let’s call it practice for the inevitable arrival of much, much nastier bugs that is coming down the line. We KNOW they’re out there–the rise of antibiotic resistant strains of already-nasty diseases, for example. All we need is an especially infectious versions of one of those, or a super-influenza–and as Junior says, hopefully we’ll have learned lessons NOW, when the stakes were relatively low, that will serve us well down the line.

      I was chuckling with my father over the rather-bare (and in some VERY odd sections) grocery store shelves at lunch today, as we picked up canned soup to tide grandma over while we are away at baby brother’s wedding. The panic happened because most people don’t seem to keep more than a day or two (if that) of food on hand in the house. Suddenly faced with even a REMOTE chance of “not being able to go anywhere or do much for several weeks” they freaked right out.

      Here’s hoping at least SOME of those people take away from all of this the lesson that you should have at LEAST a month’s supply* of food on hand in the house. Also that buying tp in bulk from Sam’s Club or Costco is something that isn’t a bad idea, if only because then you almost never have to worry. 😀

      *More is better. And I’ve heard from many “but what about expiration dates” and “storage issues” and let me tell you what I’ve learned over a lifetime of food storage experience: Those expiration dates are, by and large “sell by” dates. The food does NOT magically become inedible after that date. In fact, unless you open a can of something and it smells metallic/is clearly nastily discolored/has stuff growing on it that shouldn’t be there? You can almost certainly safely eat it. It might not taste very nice, but most of it won’t kill you. (A caveat that one should still be cautious, and only do this if there’s no other options.) As to limited storage space: my solution when I was a college student living in a shared apartment? I got plastic bins–good sized ones–and bed risers. Popped my bed up on the riser, and stored the bins with food in them under the bed. (No way was I sacrificing bookshelf space for food storage!) It wasn’t a years’ supply, obviously, but it would have tided me over all right for a month, maybe two. Even if I shared with roommates.

      1. The panic happened because most people don’t seem to keep more than a day or two (if that) of food on hand in the house.

        All those folks who’ve insisted we ought be more like Europeons and buy fresh food daily?

        I’ve got a few words for them, but this being a family-friendly blog I shan’t type them.

      2. My rule is if it is leaking, bulging (metal can), bubbling (in glass), or not one of the original colors (glass or plastic), it goes out the door without being opened. I don’t care what the date on it is or was.

        1. That’s pretty much the rule of thumb we use 😀

          Although as we recently learned from experience: if you’re gonna can fruit, and it’s probably gonna sit around for more than a year or so, ALWAYS do the heavy syrup. It’s tempting to do the healthier-for-your light syrup, but the fruit tastes dreadful after only about a year. :/

    3. As has been said: You can fool all of the people some of the time and some of the people all of the time and that’s usually enough to keep Liberals scare-mongers in office.

  19. one of the ways that the WHO rates systems is by ‘Universal access’

    Such ratings fail on the fact that not all measured metrics are equal and such global ratings as WHO applies are not always useful. If you’re going in for a colonoscopy or for cancer treatment the only metric your concerned about is that covering your specific need. Access, abortion availability, infant mortality rates — none of that applies. On average, every adult American between fifteen and forty has a fifty-fifty probability of becoming pregnant, but only about half of them actually need be concerned.

    With the Woo-Hoo Flu the metrics that matter are ICU beds, respirators and such other matters as specifically apply. The excellence of the cardiology department, dialysis unit, the neo-natal ward and birthing rooms don’t really matter, no matter how highly (or poorly) rated. Those are about as significant as the quality of KFC’s hamburgers.

  20. I keep kicking my creativity to shut up about the world economy being crashed deliberately to allow governments to get away with cancelling national debts. I mean, they’ve been running those suckers up like they weren’t planning on paying them back . . .

    On the other hand, I think you’re right about Wuhan being around a lot earlier. It just didn’t go massively worldwide until it reached crisis level in China that coincided Chinese New Year, with a solid jump in travel to and from China, just as the lid blew off the news.

    1. If you don’t look for something, the odds are pretty good you won’t find it. Especially if you don’t know to look for it.

      (Types she whose cat put the gri-gri on her this AM so she’d search the house four times before she found her tea cup. Two hours after she stopped looking.)

  21. It also can leave you weakened for other infections, which can do horrible damage.

    Yeah, I think I’m gonna challenge this. I am reliably advised that “that which does not kill me makes me stronger.”

    1. Nope. Two years ago I had a flu that allowed bacterial pneumonia in my lungs. So no… and if you are getting older be careful. Some of these come in partnerships.

    2. Canine coronavirus is not significant in itself. It merely causes a week of hershey-squirts in puppies, and only under 6 weeks old. However it also knocks down the immune system, making it a gateway for parvovirus (at that age, 90% mortality). This is why back before we had good parvo vaccine, the advent of a good MLV corona vaccine was a fine thing, as it cut way down on secondary parvo infections. Unfortunately the company Cornell gave the rights to went tits-up due to mismanagement, and took the vaccine with them. (Now there’s killed corona vaccine, not nearly as good, but fortunately no longer really needed because we now have excellent parvo vaccine.)

      Anyway, yeah, does not surprise me that in humans, we get sick-well-sick syndrome.

  22. Upthread, I wrote “Bob has lost his mind AGAIN”.

    One way I work is intuiting an idea, sketching an outline, research, then writing and doing additional research during the writing. Okay, if I can do essays, why haven’t I sent in a guest post? I have abandoned or failed to return to a good number of intended guest posts. Which might have been too outlandish for here anyway.

    Today, I have been thinking about the ‘public health crises’ and the ‘acts of treason by journalists in fomenting panic’ angle. From that, I have had a intuition about what may prove to be a novel legal theory. (Is that Mary I hear groaning? Is that everyone?)

      1. Point.

        I’ve never been 100% normal.

        I’m trying to pay attention to when I have good days, and when bad days. With a bad day perhaps being disrupted sleep, and spending the whole day fixed to a long, incoherent writing project. Which either gets deleted, or annoys all readers. ‘Bad days’ correlate a lot with writing projects I regret ever starting.

        If I can catch a bad day early, maybe I can rest. Or nap and then get something productive done.

  23. Testing for “who has COVID-19” is getting a lot of attention now. Everyone seems to be assuming that once you’ve had it, you’re immune, which is how most epidemics burn out. (Yes, viruses mutate, and there are some indications that COVID-19 may mutate enough that you can re-catch it, but …) Under that assumption (yes, ass-u-me), we will need a good test for “have you had it.” I haven’t heard of anyone working on that yet. It would be really useful. For example, nurses, doctors, etc who were known immune could be assigned to the worst ICU cases. Cooks, waiters, and delivery people who were known immune could help keep our economy running. Anyone could go take care of their elderly parents without worrying about giving them the disease (yes, this is personal).

    Even several decades ago, a well-equipped university bio research lab could test for antibodies to a given disease. It took a couple of months of setup time to get the reagents (“monoclonal antibodies”) and a few hours for a trained lab tech to run a handful of tests. I don’t know current biotech, but we need to speed that up. A commercialized version of this is the “pee on a stick” pregnancy test, although that’s testing for a hormone which is excreted in urine rather than an antibody. To test for an antibody, I think you need blood.

    If I were Bill Gates (insert your favorite zillionaire here), I would propose a series of prizes as follows …

    $100 million for the first group, $70 million for the second group, $50 million for the third group, who can present 100 machines (or test labs) that meet the following specifications:

    (1) Report whether or not a given person is immune to this disease wlth 95% confidence (two sigma). This means less than 5% total wrong answers (false negative PLUS false positive).

    (2) Less than $100 to test one person.

    (3) Minimum 30 tests / hour / machine, 8 hours / day, 5 days / week without major maintenance (refilling tanks and such is fine, so long as the overall throughput rate is maintained).

    (4) Less than one day to get the test result.

    (5) Test is no more intrusive than a diabetic’s finger stick (drop or two of blood on a slide).

    (6) Machine / lab can be transported in a standard commercial van and run from inside the parked van.

    (7) Test operators can be trained in one day or less, starting from EMT-level training or better.

    An extra $20 million for any of the following:

    (1) 99% accuracy (three sigma) as defined above.

    (2) Test costs $10 or less.

    (3) Less than one hour to get test results.

    (4) Less than 2 minutes to get test results (if you win this one, you also win #3).

    (5) Machine / lab available by 1 May 2020.

    (6) Machine / lab costs less than $100k each.

    (7) Test operators can be trained in one day or less, starting with a generally competent adult.

    (8) Simultaneously test immunity for 5 diseases / variants / mutations.

    Darn it, we’re Americans. This is like WWII. We got caught by surprise, suffered initial setbacks, and then came roaring back. This is a pattern all through history. It’s what Americans do. Let’s do it.

  24. Listening to radio — Mark Steyn in for Rush — I am hearing a news report that New York, New Jersey & Connecticut are banning all gatherings of more than fifty people.

    I cannot help but wonder: what are they going to do? Throw the gathered multitudes in jail?

    I’m seeing reports of jails letting out prisoners and here i NC the courts have announced that trials (and grand juries) already in progress will proceed but otherwise all is suspended for (at present) thirty days.

    1. Grim over at Grim’s Hall says Georgia sheriffs’ offices are getting scripted calls asking for all prisoners with less than X days left to be released, and for the office to announce all of its emergency response plans.

      1. Scripted? By whom? Who is paying for the callers and calls?
      2. Tell the world your plans? Who benefits?

      1. You know, if I were them and got a call like that, my response would be: “Why do you hate the prisoners so much that you’re TRYING to get them out where they could get infected?!?! What’s WRONG with you??” >:D

    2. The governors of all three states are Democrats, include Comrade Phil of New Jersey, and they expressly stated that they were imposing the measures they had taken because “the Federal government had failed to do so” (never mind that unlike most state governments, the Federal government does not have the constitutional power to impose such broad restrictions/bans).

      Frankly at least some of these actions are likely unconstitutional under respective State constitutions. And this doesn’t even include the increasing number of Democrats demanding outright communism nationalization healthcare and product supply chains, including groceries, government control of food and supply distribution, and of course outright wealth distribution (government provided “universal basic income”). Needless to say, in socialist/communist countries, the store shelves are always empty.

      Also how does a curfew prevent spread of the virus since people can travel outside the curfew hours. Also a broad, indefinite statewide curfew at least at first blush is unconstitutional. Note also how the same Democrats who demand open national borders are saying “don’t even think about going to a neighboring state.”, So bringing in people from other countries even though doing so may help communicable diseases is verboten, but trying to ban citizens from going from one state to another is fine and dandy.

      Note also of course that if Trump declared limits on gatherings, ordered businesses closed, barred ravel between states and declared a national curfew, those very same Democrats and their media arm would loudly denounced him as a fascist and declare his actions to be acting just like Hitler

      1. All politicians, but especially Socialist ones, are prone to adhering to the Rain Dance Principle: in case of emergency, Do Something. It probably will do no good, it might do no harm, but it dodges the electoral bullet of being accused of remaining calm while all about are panicking.

        NY HUD Secretary Governor Cuomo apparently imagines the Army Corps of Engineers exists to throw up emergency hospitals in the event they might be needed. Apparently he told brother Chris, “Hold my beer.”

        1. Just as an addendum, the drop off in tourist trade has probably produced a large number of vacant hotel rooms which can be converted for hospital use. It isn’t even necessary to deploy “hospital beds” as regular beds, while less than optimum, would probably suffice.

        2. After their massive and public fails in the last couple of years, I think the Corps of Engineers should be dispatched to NY immediately. They deserve each other.

          They’re up to, what, four collapsed dams recently, plus the “oopsie” that killed a dozen people along the Arkansas River last year along with about a zillion dollars’ worth of public and private property damage?

      2. As of this morning, the mayor of NYC is throwing a temper tantrum because Trump told him to “do more.”

        Welcome to how it’s supposed to work, cupcake: gov response should be as much on the local level as possible. You do not, in fact, WANT the fed to handle it all. It gives the fed ideas above its station, for one thing, and for another it’s really not very good at handling things. (I was gonna say ‘on a large scale’ but…no, let’s just leave it at the fed is not good at handling things. I know, I work for the fed.)

  25. We won’t know who all had it until the antibody test someone mentioned Singapore using becomes available. Not for a while, though, as it’s nowhere on the testing priority list here.

    1. That is, of course, assuming that the PTB think it useful for us to know. It would be a terrible thing to waste this crisis by demonstrating it had been completely unnecessary.

  26. we beat them black and blue, tie them up with belts and stuff them in the overhead luggage compartment? Metaphorically speaking?

    Must it be metaphorical?

  27. “remember that nasty cold we all had?”

    My mom had that. She lives in an assisted living home and I’m afraid one of these days they’re going to get quarantined.

  28. Sarah said “The point of all this is that I’m still convinced I had it, Jan and Feb (and seem to be over it, ”

    You and me both. As I have noted in comments on recent posts, the symptoms, timeframe and length of what I was told was a “pesky cold” sure look to be the same as the non-severe cases of the coronvirus, and my Doctor told me in January that he had seen quite a bit of it and that it was taking about 6 weeks to get rid of (which is long, even for pesky colds).

    I suspect that this may be known by some of those in the health bureacracy but they are adamant about not letting this crisis to go to waste in order to try to gain a Democratic Party sweep in November so they can impose socialism. Frankly I think the stock market decline is as much if not more about fear of Democrats than fear of the virus.

  29. Long Term Lurker first reply

    I do contagion for a living. Financial contagion but math is math. Either I’m missing something massive – possible – or this is the greatest bubble since tulips

    Either this is hugely contagious or it’s a killer. Given the numbers in Italy/Korea it can’t be both.

    All the numbers quoted are from the initial Chinese study where the average age was 60. The 20% severe cases is from that study. 20% of cAses bad enough to present to a doctor in a country that welded up apartment house doors if someone ran a fever. Reminds me of PJ O’Rourke’s comments about opinion polls in totalitarian countries

    As of yesterday there are 24,000 cases in Italy and the cases may be beginning to peak. Too many are dying but the same news reports could be written about the common cold

      1. Tulips I think. The South Sea company had some intrinsic worth. Too bad Charles MacKay isn’t around to chronicle it.

  30. Best data is Diamond Princess. Around 3000 on board. 700 diagnosed. 400 ish had no symptoms. 6 or 7 all with pre existing conditions died.

    1. Agreed. And it remains a puzzler to me why these numbers aren’t talked about more. Especially because the mortality rate works out to be so different from the worst case stuff we keep hearing over and over again. Between that and listening to “what’s her name” tell the Millennials that it’s up to them to communicate/gather via social media, to take care of me, to be a savior generation (okay, I over state) … Gag.

      1. It’s fallen off the face of the earth. Only the Chinese data quoted by WHO is being used as our masters close all the things. Tyrants gonna tryrant

    2. 7.

      Here’s the prelim report, without deaths listed but does have ages adn such:
      https://www.niid.go.jp/niid/en/2019-ncov-e/9417-covid-dp-fe-02.html

      Oddly enough, when I was trying to find the number of dead, I hit CNN.

      They listed it in “most deaths outside of CHina.”

      As “several from teh ship have died,” click on the link to read more…. link was dead.

      ZERO results for “Diamond” on the CNN search.

      Lots of “Novel Corona Virus” results…..

  31. It is my opinion at this moment in time that [with all due respect to those who suffer from true mental illnesses], the lunatics are running the national asylum in the US and UK.

  32. We’re pretty much screwed. The medical community has bought into this lock, stock, and barrel. They literally shoved everyone out the door who could possibly work from home and said get on-line and don’t physically come back for two weeks.

    U.S. Fencing Association has suspended all tournaments until 6 April. Club owners are shutting their doors until then, after having washed their floors and everything in reach.

    Now I hear NY, Ct, and NJ have banded together to close bars and restaurants. Seems I recall that any interstate agreement like that requires FEDERAL approval?

    Every time I say, “It’s a flu virus. Maybe a bit more contagious, but only average lethality.” I get ignored. Even asked the Chief Physician Executive if all this wasn’t blown out of proportion; and basically got told to shut up and go home.

    The Inmates are Roaming the Halls!

    1. Noted in a NY Post editorial on the NY state budget process in the face of likely diminished receipts and greater expenditures:

      The first instinct of the progressives who run the Legislature — hike taxes in the name of balancing the books — is guaranteed to make the economic picture worse, kicking average New Yorkers when they’re down.

      Even more “millionaires taxes” would be self-defeating: As McMahon has noted in these pages, “New York’s tax base is both exceptionally wealthy — and exceptionally fragile.” A full 40 percent of state personal-income-tax revenues are “generated by the highest-earning 1 percent of taxpayers.

      Many of these folks are now telecommuting. Don’t give them fresh reason to move to Florida.

      Emphasis added. I’ve no doubt many of that one percent could comfortably telecommute from Texas … or even Teton County, Wyoming “no personal or corporate income tax, and it has one of the nation’s lowest sales tax rates (5.36 percent, compared to 8.49 percent in New York).” (NY Post: Why so many billionaires are fleeing to Teton County, Wyoming)

      1. Down here it’s odd. Some places are limiting group activities, but keeping the doors open until the city says otherwise. The city is keeping track but hasn’t asked for closings. National chain places are strange (Starbucks, I’m looking at you). I assume schools will close or switch to remote, because of legal liability, not public health.

        Outdoors, the sun shines, birds are singing and cooing, the neighborhood former-tom is stalking through the long grass, and people are walking kids and dogs. I’m firmly convinced that the coastal cities are in a parallel universe that just happens to brush against my reality.

        1. Oregon changes effective Tuesday (midnight tonight?) only take out or pickup from restaurants. Eugene Costco today had a line to get in. Plenty of parking. They were limiting the number of people. Gathering limits are now at 25 or fewer. Per executive order of Governor Brown.

          Another note. Hubby’s golf trip was cancelled. Not surprised.

          They shut down the golf coarse he is not going to fun to live with … not like we can head into the hills & go hiking. Still too much snow; & it is too fragile for snowshoes. Or head to the coast. Too much shutdown.

          Picked mom up to take her to Costco. We didn’t shop together, just rode over. Hubby went ballistic (ish). Thing is as the oldest, it is my *job* to check in on her. She’s alone in the house. Sure she’s been to some gatherings that means she should be staying home. No known exposure. I can’t say something to either of them. I know taking mom to Costco, however ill advised, because no socializing is the word, isn’t the issue. But not going over, or insisting on shopping for mom when she needs it, will get a “why”. “It’s a good idea,” won’t work. She is just past her little snit about something not getting done fast enough. Something managed all the time. See more of grandma as time passing.

          My *job* because one sister is 3 hours north. The other sister has to worry about her daughter & MIL.

    2. Not to defend the governors’ stupidity, but I don’t think the constitutional limitations imposed in Article I Section 10 about agreements and compacts requiring Congressional approval extends to merely coordinating of actions by states or their sub-entities. Two towns are divided by a state line with a street running along it. Does Congress need to get involved because Nowheresville, Ohio and West Nowheresville, Indiana coordinate the traffic lights, and the road closures for the 4th of July parade?

  33. I think I said this before, but the corona virus is much closer to me. A manager that works for my brother was quarantined last week because he was in contact with one of the corona virus patients that was diagnosed. My nephew also was in contact with the quarantined manager. So my family is staying away from me just-in-case. Even if the cases are only a small number right now in my area… I am way too close especially being high-risk. So I am not panicking… or only a little … right now.

  34. The indent thing was working fine this morning. Then it quit a few hours ago, and rebooting my machine didn’t change anything, so I suspect it’s on the WordPress end.

  35. I figure the Diamond Princess is our best clear sample for study. One thing I haven’t found yet, which is pretty critical for planning, is how many of the sick required aggressive measures in the hospital. (I’ll call ventilators aggressive measures.)
    Since I’ve reached 2^5 years (that next exponent is going to be hard to hit) and have a history of lung issues, my risk rises a bit higher than most.

    1. https://www.foxnews.com/us/cruise-ship-data-helps-reveal-coronavirus-death-rate-researchers

      Long quote, links at article:

      Out of the 697 who tested positive a month ago, seven people have died on the Diamond Princess cruise ship, 15 remain in critical condition, and 30 were once in critical condition but have improved, according to Japan’s Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare. A further 388 have recovered.
      The seven deaths, out of the 697 who tested positive, make for a death rate of 1% on the ship. More deaths are also possible.
      Ten medical researchers at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine estimated likely additional deaths and adjusted death rates by age in an unpublished paper.
      Adjusting for age is important, because the average person on the ship was elderly, according to Japan’s Institute of Infectious Diseases. The ship’s average age was 58, and 33 percent were 70 or older.
      All seven deaths so far were of passengers aged 70 or older.
      The researchers used the ship’s data to estimate a death rate among those aged over 70 of 9 percent — a very high death rate.

        1. Yep, I linked to the Japanese charts in here somewhere– obviously, by simple math, not even half of the folks over 70 were even INFECTED.
          (The math: ~4k people, 30% over 70, there would be what a dozen who weren’t over 70 who even tested positive if there was a 50% positive rate.)

          In reality, diagnosis was highest 70-89….at less than one in four. Over half of those were asymptomatic.

          Table one on this page:
          https://www.niid.go.jp/niid/en/2019-ncov-e/9417-covid-dp-fe-02.html

          (yeah, I decided to go dig it up!)

          *************

          The main take-away I have for this is that most news is really, really, REALLY bad at numbers.

          1. There comes a point where incompetence becomes indistinguishable from malice. We passed that years ago. Now they’re saying that testing reduces death rates.

            1. Well, it does … in a way. The greater number of people tested, and found to either have had a mild case and recovered, or have the virus but no symptoms, the better the numerical odds, or so I understand. (English major – they told me no math would be involved!) But if only those sick enough with it to need medical help are tested – that skews the numbers tested.

              1. In the course of doing basic brain-not-falling-out reading on the virus today, I found out that Italy is doing post-mortem testing for the virus, both at the start and as recently as about ten days ago.

                That, plus the whole refusing-to-treat thing, is probably why they have so many people dying.

      1. Thank you. I hadn’t found the proportion who ended up seriously ill.

        I’ve been following this since sometime in January and got my panic out of the way early. Since then it’s become clear that this is not a planet killer. It may turn out to be less dangerous than the flu. Apples to apples … death rates for flu diagnosed by a test is 10%. Ca., 220,000 positive tests 22,000 dead. Death rates for covid 19 diagnosed by a test 4%. It’s all on the CDC. Death rates in Korea where testing was widespread but not universal you had to have symptoms was 60 Bp. Actual rates had to be a fraction of that.

        Somehow they took a 60% infection rate, which is actually reasonable, the hugely misleading 20% seriously ill rate that Dr. Fauci (who now has On the spectrum man suddenly famous on tv syndrome too bad he was a voice of reason early on) is still quoting and a 1-3% death rate multiplied it by population and got millions of dead. I can’t find any number anywhere that gives anything like that.

        Easy for me to say since I’m not quite in the high risk ages and my parents and wife’s parents are dead so I don’t have that anxiety and I certainly don’t want to get it though I also suspect it’s been around since Christmas or so but this may not be all that dangerous at all. We need to take steps to protect the vulnerable but we should be doing that anyway.

        The reaction by our officials is dangerous and people will die because of It.

        We must remember this. We must remember names.

          1. I am hopeful that the leadership of our socialism for the rich governors here in NY, NJ, and CT will soon lead to a shortage of Coronavirus. What was the saying about socialists causing a shortage of sand in the Sahara?

            The gap between their pretense of knowledge and their knowledge is as wide as the universe.

              1. USA Today has a scare headline today (March 17) saying the social distancing may have to continue through August. Since my hands were full of sodapops, plus there were nice people with me, I could not give the paper rack a double single-digit salute. Alas.

                1. It’s completely stupid. At the same time they tell us that heat means the virus doesn’t spread, but want this to continue indefinitely.
                  The real reason, I think, is that they’ve realized the backlash is COMING and are terrified of us getting together in groups.

                  1. they’ve realized the backlash is COMING and are terrified of us getting together in groups.

                    That would explain the reduction in permitted crowd size from fifty to ten. Ten people with rakes, pitchforks, torches, tar & feathers is far less worrisome.

                    1. Yeah, but it’s small enough for Opsec, and since when have Americans relied on melee weapons?

        1. I got a little worried back about Valentine’s day and did my double-checking of supplies then, so I’m with you.

          That said, this is just freaking ridiculous.

          1. Ran across something from a woman with OCD about hand washing.

            The incessant “wash your hands! wash your hands! you aren’t washing your hands enough!” barrage is — not helpful.

    1. a goodly bit of Apples and Kumquats with the comparison of US and South Korea. The health systems are not the same (almost none are like ours), so our deaths are unlikely to track.
      Final tracking with H1N1 and SARS, US v the rest of the planet would be similar shaped, I bet. Sars and H1N1 plots like page 16, to this point in those epidemics, would be helpful.

  36. Yeah, when I looked at this map

    I said… that’s not a transmission map, that’s a population density map. Meaning this thing is probably a ubiquitous virus that got tweaked by cosmic rays, or something (not unknown; this happens with a fungus that routinely infects hair follicles, but only activates during low sunspot years) and if we’d look at enough sick people everywhere, we’d probably find it everywhere. Antibody profiles would probably be a lot more enlightening than tests for active infections.

    Also, I’m wondering about using antibody serum from the already-recovered to treat the severely ill.

    Or for that matter, if the Newcastle vaccine/serum treatment would work (this is how you cure distemper in dogs, and I have personally seen it work like magic; look up Dr.Sears).

      1. Cosmic rays are extremely high-energy charged particles from outer space. Note the ‘cosmic’ part of the name.

        5G cellular signals are low-level microwaves. It is, technically speaking, electromagnetic radiation, but it is NOT radioactive.

        The one has absolutely nothing to do with the other.

        Your post is high-density nonsense.

        1. In fairness:
          a) Microwave covers a wide frequency range, and it is possible that there are bioeffects specific to a frequency that have not been well enough studied at this point.
          b) I know someone who found a blog somewhere claiming a correlation between the bad cases and 5G service areas. I haven’t time or sense to investigate personally.

          The matter in general is setting off people’s bizarre-o-meter, and there is apparently a panic going on. It is probably impossible for all the conspiracy theories on the grapevine to be true.

          Some of them maybe aren’t yet provable wrong, and may hence deserve to have the best version presented, regardless of how badly they are articulated when they show up.

          Such a discussion probably isn’t worth trying to have with the fellow that doesn’t get why radio wave radiation isn’t considered radioactive, despite being electromagnetic waves like gamma, which is. 😛 (And, yeah, all the 5G frequencies I’ve heard, sound like microwave, which isn’t quite the same as radio frequency.)

          There’s a case that I’m too confused on the fundamentals for the RF/Microwave bioeffects discussion.

    1. Man, I knew there were heavy rains in parts of the country, but I didn’t know there was a new Great Lake where West Virginia used to be…

    2. Also places with higher levels of Oriental populations and those in contact regularly with the Orient.
      Green Bay, Twin Cities, New Orleans, and DFW, ferinstence, have large Hmong, Vietnamese, and/or Cambodian populations, as well as some Chinese, and more travel to and from or more often through, or with those going to and from the areas this originated from (and not just those ethnic groups, but in general).
      In part this is what is biting Italy in the arse. A ton of projects with transient Chinese coming and going, and I have seen several Italian places who use Chinese factories for stuff and people To-ing, and Fro-ing, even recently. Even if you’ve gone where it is not an issue, you get funneled into areas where those who have are also in close contact.

  37. Easily predictable when Pluto entered Capricorn. As well as the Sun/Mercury conjunctions that led to January and Feburary’s crazy rush up in the stock market.

      1. Have you ever asked yourself why you react in this fashion? You act like a Leftist when confronted by conservative arguments you cannot even fathom. And the instant usage of a meme, is also akin to when snowflakes get triggered. It’s not like you cannot make a logical argument, Sarah. I mean, look at your blog here. It’s a wall of text, longer than what I write, about various matters. You don’t even post memes on your blog, afaik. Yet you do here, against little ol me. You ever ask yourself why that is?

        I’m sure somebody in the audience is capable of asking the same question.

        1. Occasionally somebody will post something so far Out There that no rational response is possible. Not even Ballistic Carp.

          Congratulations! You have done it!

        2. Asked and answered: Because it’s funny.

          The question is what value do you get out of it? Playing straight man is fone, but if it works you, why not skip it? This is a pretty fun place. Even if you mis-step, the folks are usually willing to let you redeem yourself.

          And Mrs. Hoyt’s meme posts are awesome. One never knows what will set them off, though, so they’re also, sadly, rare.

        3. You apparently have difficulty distinguishing astrology from science.

          This indicates an inability to engage in rational argument, meaning rational rebuttal is ineffective. Following you down that rabbit hole is … imprudent.

          Thus the only rational response is to point out your irrationality. Thus, mockery and meme are in order.

          Besides, it’s the Ides of March.

          1. Something interesting from a shrink, which offhand I can’t find again, but he pointed out that a major defining behavior of schizophrenia, especially those still reasonably functional — is conspiracy theories. He explained thus: the world no longer makes sense to them, so they make shit up until it does (or believe whatever Made Up Shit they run into that seems to explain the world). He also said these conspiracy theories fall into two broad groups: the Illuminati/Flat Earth/Secret-gov’t-deathrays-fries-your-brain types, and The Jooz Didit types.

            So, yeah. Pretty much definitive for “off their meds”.

  38. I’m looking at being off work for three weeks, because most of the SF Bay Area is shut down. Corporate doesn’t know what is going on or how we’ll get paid or if we’ll get paid. If they make us use PTO time, I’ll have to go back to work on Monday because I’ll be out on Tuesday. I might as well take the risk.

    Fun.

    1. So, R0=1.27? Lowest I’ve seen so far is 2.0. Current flu runs R0 of 1.28, I believe. Fatality rate is still higher, .1 for flu to .5 for this, according to the numbers I keep seeing. Fatality rate’s also going to vary with a region or country’s ability to provide proper medical support. Are the numbers you get from the paper for the planet or just the US? That would make a difference, or maybe should make a difference, in planning and measures taken…maybe. It depends on whether you want to definitively keeping this from spreading like the flu does, if you can, or not. Given that the plethora of ICU beds people keep wanting to say we have here are not all empty and just waiting for CV patients, the kind of measures we’re seeing may be necessary to prevent situations like in northern Italy where they are having to triage for equipment allocation and bed placement.

      I don’t know much any more except this: It doesn’t matter whether it’s the result of unnecessary panic or not. .gov is doing what it’s doing, it’s affecting and going to affect us directly, and we have to work with what’s happening regardless of why it’s happening.

      1. If the numbers are using anything from Italy, it’s borked all to spit; they’re not treating the folks who are most likely to die– not even letting them in the hospital– and then testing after they’re dead.

        That’s going to seriously warp your numbers.

        1. Also, let’s be real. It’s Italy. They couldn’t track numbers with Germans supervising. And I say this as someone who grew up in a country where Italy is considered ORGANIZED.

        2. ANYWHERE – not just the dysfunctional heavily socialized medicine nations.

          With CoViD, anyone who dies, and tests infected, is counted as death due to CoViD. For influenza, testing is infrequently done; pretty much only when they can’t see any other reason for the death. The mortality rate is an estimate, as is the infection rate.

          The majority of those dying from CoViD19, as with influenza, are those with existing conditions. Particularly respiratory ones (emphysema, asthma, cystic fibrosis, etc.)

          (Infection rates are suspect, too, of course. There are two, maybe three places that I would completely trust the population numbers for – Monaco, Lichtenstein, and possibly Singapore. Small nations, very little financial incentive to inflate their numbers.)

          1. Except if you let someone die by not even allowing them a place to lay, much less treating basic things, you’re going to massively boost your death rate.

  39. I was thinking today after we shut down the libraries some more:

    Logistics.

    The factories that supply nearly everything are down. NOTHING in the U.S. supply chain is safe.

    So embrace the hideously -diseased power of “and”. Every Pinhead in the various oligarchies is using the human suffering and chaos to feather their political nests. AND the folks tasked with this are concerned with the breaking of the healthcare system by a normal flu season.

    Because even if corona-chan went poof tomorrow, where do the doctors and nurses get the masks they need for every other disease?

    Interesting times.

  40. NRO’s Jim Geraghty offers us this reminder:

    We Are in This Crisis because of the Decisions of the Chinese Government
    As a country, we’ve got our hands full right now. But while we’re sitting in various forms of self-quarantine, we — and a lot of other people around the world — will have a lot of time to read about the Chinese government destroying samples and suppressing information about the coronavirus in December:
    [SNIP]
    And the Chinese government’s attempt to silence doctors warning others about the disease:
    [SNIP]
    And the Chinese authorities spending January “denying it could spread between humans — something doctors had known was happening since late December — and went ahead with a Chinese Lunar New Year banquet involving tens of thousands of families in Wuhan.” Doctors say that in Wuhan, people who had no connection to that Hua’nan market were among the first showing the symptoms — suggesting that from the beginning, Chinese authorities should have understood that human-to-human transmission was already happening.

    Even by the Chinese government’s own account of events, President Xi Jinping knew about the disease for two weeks before making any public comments about it.
    [SNIP]
    The Wall Street Journal calculates that the Chinese government “let some five million people leave Wuhan without screening.” Chinese medical authorities were much more concerned about preserving Wuhan’s reputation than the contagious, deadly disease:
    [SNIP]
    Even today, prominent Chinese citizens who criticize the government’s response suddenly disappear. The Chinese government is much more effective at stopping the spread of information about the coronavirus than stopping the spread of the coronavirus. Pardon me, the “Wuhan virus.”

    We are in this mess in large part because of the decisions of the Chinese government. And once it’s safe to come out, we’re going to face some extremely consequential decisions about how we choose to treat the Chinese government after their catastrophic secrecy, coverups, blundering, and disregard for human life around the globe.

    1. The left-wingers will deny any of it ever happened, blame it all on Trump, and go right on kissing commie ass.

      What, you expect rational behavior after 50 years of the exact opposite?
      ———————————
      Cast Away: Only Tom Hanks could make talking to a volleyball for two hours great.

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