Covid 19 and US Mortality by I. Ratel

Covid 19 and US Mortality by I. Ratel

Let me preface this by saying that I’m not a statistician.  I’m not an epidemiologist, nor am I a medical doctor, or even a schmuck with an undergrad in biology.  My degrees are in Industrial Management and Automotive Technology.  I am a long term organ transplant recipient who has lived with being immunocompromised long enough to take interest in these subjects because disease activity has more potential impact on me than on the average person.
I’ve been watching CDC’s flu surveillance since last fall when there were rumors floating about of a nasty new flu bug in China.  That’s not that unusual, there seems to always be rumors of nasty new bugs in China.  According to the South China Post the first COVID-19 case in Hubei province China was found November 17.  Even that article states that patient zero may have been earlier than that.  This page on FlightRadar24.com shows the Wuhan Tianhe airport serves many domestic and international routes.  I contend that it is reasonable to believe that the SARS-COV-2 virus began circulating around the global population back in November and December, spreading not only across China, but to much of the world.

When considering that possibility patterns in CDC’s regular ILI (Influenza Like Illness) surveillance data become interesting.  I’ve taken their data, and applied my meager Excel skills to chart out some things that surprised me.  Going into this, I expected to see mortality rates somewhere bump.  Prior to January we weren’t looking for this virus.  We’ve only had useful testing capability for a few weeks now.  Given the information we have on disease progression, I assumed that there would be an upward trend in Pneumonia mortality as without looking for and testing for SARS-COV-2, victims should have been classified as deaths due to pneumonia.  So I charted it, with the last 6 years of data published by CDC.

CDC calls week 40 of a year the beginning of the flu season, so all my charts are set to begin in week 40 of one year and end in week 39 of the next, showing years as flu seasons.

chart1

There is the customary increase at week 1, I assume related to holiday festivities and travel.  However the 2019-2020 season shows week by week pneumonia mortality to be low compared to the last few years, which is not what I expected.  What I truly did not expect was the sharp decline over the last few weeks.

I next looked at all-cause mortality.  Perhaps COVID-19 deaths hadn’t been captured in the pneumonia data.  But surely something this virulent would show somewhere.  I was again, surprised.

chart2

We see here that all-cause mortality ran on the high side of normal until it started to drop at the beginning of 2020, and recently dropped significantly.  Again, no indication of this virus killing people beyond seasonal norms.

There is one other salient point that stands out in my sifting of data.  Healthcare visits for ILI. [Influenza Like Illness.]

Chart3

Here we see that people in the US have been seeing their doctors for influenza like illness at higher levels than normal.  The recent upswing can be explained by the current panic, but prior to that?  Most likely it’s more people getting sick enough with respiratory infections to see the doctor.

There is a lot more data available from CDC.  I’ve ignored all the confirmed influenza data, because a lab confirmed influenza case is not a COVID-19 case.  I haven’t seen much else available that should show indicators of COVID-19 beyond what I’ve illustrated here.  These are inelegant numbers, just showing totals, not adjusted to rates per capita or anything else, it was just an attempt to see possible trends from a high level.

As to conclusions, there isn’t enough data for any concrete conclusion.  Looking at this logically, IF there have been COVID-19 cases in the US since December, it doesn’t appear to have been deadly enough to have been very noticeable.  Please note that I am NOT saying “this is just another flu.”  We know that it’s quite virulent in certain populations like me; likely several times more deadly than the “normal” respiratory bugs that circulate every winter.  All that I am stating is that by the data I see right now it is not causing excess mortality beyond seasonal norms when looked at in total with all causes of death.

There are a myriad of possibilities that can be examined over the next few weeks as we get more data, but I will leave the in depth analysis to people better suited to it than I am. As for me, I’m not taking precautions beyond what I already do every flu season.  I have my towel, and intend to follow the advice of the Hitchhiker’s Guide: “Don’t panic.”

[I was trying to add the author’s excel files for download by those who want to examine the data, but it simply will not let me. I will email them to anyone who pings me privately, but I’m going to put images below and hope they work. They MIGHT be too small or unclear to read. BTW the author and I had several “people who know better than us” look at the charts, and it remains a mystery.  No, we don’t know what’s going on. We know it makes no sense. – SAH]
US Flu season mortality 1 2013-2020

US Flu season mortality 3 2013-2020

US Flu season mortality 3 2013-2020

 

 

556 thoughts on “Covid 19 and US Mortality by I. Ratel

  1. In all honesty, I’m not remotely surprised. The one good thing this virus has spawned is a crap-load of prevention, and it was already looking like mortality rates from it were likely to be in the general range of “bad flu season”.

    Leaving aside the most at-risk folks like the immune-compromised, those who already have breathing issues, and the extremely elderly, the worst thing about this virus is the long incubation period. When someone can spend a couple of weeks carrying on like normal while potentially infecting anyone they come into contact with, it’s going to spread and spread fast.

    Fortunately for most folk, it’s not that dangerous to people who are healthy. Who knows how many people have already had the thing and have no idea about it? Hell, if I get it and it doesn’t get too bad, I’m likely to dismiss it as “spring allergies” because the symptoms are so similar to what happens to me every spring – and I’m in one of the risk categories.

    Thus far, the death rate doesn’t even reach “mild flu season”. I checked.

    1. Yeah, I wish they hadn’t panicked everyone. It is actually gotten worse BECAUSE of the panic – especially the panic buying. I want the panic buying to end and some semblance of normal shopping/resupply capability to return. It’s aggravating.

      And whoever decided to let the Ruby Princess offload passengers needs drop-kicking into a whole mess of jellyfish.

      1. Of course a great deal of the current bare store shelves can be attributed to panic.
        But I recently came across the statistic that prior to this mess Americans were eating roughly half of their meals away from home, restaurants, drive throughs, carry out, etc.
        So one side effect of the ubiquitous shelter at home directive is to essentially double demand for groceries for home preparation. At the same time the restaurant supply chains are essentially halted, or at least reduced substantially. Saw that a few restaurants have resorted to converting to mini super markets to sell off their supplies rather than have it all go to waste.
        Our economy is an amazing engine. Poke a stick in a few of its gears and it can be fascinating and a bit horrifying the results.

        1. I bought two large salmon from a local seafood supplier who was going from town to town with her van full of frozen fish. Got the word through the Nextdoor app. Good for her and good for all of us.

          1. Texas Roadhouse sent out emails for “ready to grill steaks”. Already know I can buy their rolls in bulk or even precooked (checked for holidays). What else do I need?

          2. I just got back from town (last shopping trip was 3/10). Felt like Rip Van Winkle. We’re one of the oh-so-virtuous states that blocked disposable shopping bags. Went into effect January 1. *That* didn’t age well. Bi-Mart (regional everything store with pharmacy; locally has an older clientele) insists *no* resuseable bags in the store. One can purchase paper for 5 cents each, or what the (rather fewer) other customers and I did, just put the stuff back in the cart. Sort at the car. Chain groceries; your own bags are fine, but you are going to do all the bagging.

            The restaurant supply place (open to the public*, caters to institutions and small restaurants) was average busy, fairly well stocked. Spot shortages; pinto beans (anything in small packs, while the 50# pintos were gone), big bags of rice, tortillas. Eggs and dairy, OK. Bulk packs of chicken and turkey franks, OK.

            (*) This should take a bit of the strain off the grocery stores. Thanks to no sales tax in Oregon.

            The bank lobby was closed. I wasn’t going to try to pay my credit card bill in advance through the drive-up window. The bill should show up next week when I’m in town. I’ve dealt enough with that bank to not give them easy access to my regular bank account.

            Restaurants are takeout, delivery, or drive through. Bought a couple meals at the taqueria. We *don’t* want them to go under. They should be robust.

            Prediction for collateral damage: the past few years, we had an explosion of new dental practices setting up in town. With nothing elective, it looks like most of them are closed (I assume you can arrange something for emergency work). I figure that a good number of the new and marginal dentists will be out of business if this goes on for a while.

            1. “I wasn’t going to try to pay my credit card bill in advance through the drive-up window. The bill should show up next week when I’m in town. I’ve dealt enough with that bank to not give them easy access to my regular bank account.”

              I pay my CC(s) through triggering an online payment through our credit union checking account. Bank transmits payments electronically. BUT, no CC is allowed to auto trigger any payment from my checking or saving accounts to themselves on their own.

              1. Not sure what it would take. I have trust issues with that particular bank.

                I started with a card with them just out of college. Through bank mergers, my checking went there too for several years. The checking account ended when somebody used my name (different driver’s license number) to wipe out my checking account. Curiously, the checks came to the exact (or close to it) amount that was in that account. Didn’t help the situation when the local bank manager asked me to not tell the police. Let’s just say I got loud. Got reimbursed, filed the police report (no success), and switched my checking to the HP credit union. The words “insider job” were never said, but how in hell does a bunch of bad checks in southern California hit somebody in the SF bay area?

                I still keep a credit card account there (mostly inertia), but somebody would have to do some semi-fancy footwork to clobber my credit union account (local CU, used to be for the wood industry). I’d have to unfreeze some credit reports to change, but it might be time. I like to keep ‘zon billing on a credit card without access to the main bank accounts.

                We’ve done auto pay for medical insurance, my email drop and the TV/net stuff. I’m reluctant to give Pac Power access, and no way in hell am I going to trust that bank with anything. They’ve had enough breaches that I don’t wish to have anything online, either. Their bill should show up next week, and I should get a blood test then.

                1. Oy, that sure sound insider suspicious. And NOT tell authorities? Who said, that, No. 1 suspect, perhaps? I wonder why you have any account there at all anymore, really.

                  1. I was pretty sure the bad actors were in southern California (probably a clerk in one of the data-processing centers), but that bank has had an awful reputation for treating customers like sheep to be sheared; unfortunately, they were/are using skinning knives. Let’s just say that the stagecoach was carrying something other than well-treated passengers.

                    For not changing the credit card, it happened as I was getting laid off at Agilent (the spinoff from HP), so things would have been dicey. Life(tm) got in the way (short, lucrative consulting gig, remodel house, then moving up here). By the time we got settled here, the card was hardly used, mostly for a couple of road trips. Didn’t get heavily used until I signed up for Amazon-Prime. I use it for that, and the medical trips, and the rare non-‘zon online purchase.

                    I’d had that card (and its successor, as $BANK switched from MC to Visa) since 1975. They never managed to screw up that account; I’m reasonably sure the CC stuff is separated from the ordinary banking.

                  2. Also, Banks for quire a while are legally obligated to report any financial fraud or suspected financial fraud; which stealing money from someone’s check account is. By telling you not to report the crime to the police, and the bank’s likely not reporting it to regulators, they committed a Federal felony.

                    Question though..There are plenty of banks that issue credit cards. Why not get one from a different bank and cancel the one with the bank you don’t trust?.

                    1. At the time, Life was in the way. The 2001 dot-com bust was happening, and I was laid off a couple of weeks later. Now, it’s the main reason not to change is lack of disasters from the card (they’ve had 45 years to screw me that way, and skipped the opportunity). Said bank screwed over depositors and mortgagees; I *never* heard of massive credit card fraud. (Nor smaller scale fraud, at least not that I’ve read of anywhere.) I think even a huge consumer bank would think twice before risking losing the credit card business.

                      Last, it’s a reluctance to have a pure credit card with an institution I have deposits in. Banks I liked went under, one bank stiffed me on a CD rate (quote dropped when they saw the check–too hard to have the check redone). There are new players in town, but I’ll wait to see what happens.

        2. I read something similar, which also claimed that the grocery-supply and restaurant-supply chains are mostly separate things. Best as I can tell, that’s true, at least in my area. So the restaurant guys are watching inventory age out and spoil while the grocery guys are looking at empty shelves.

          Given time they could bridge over, but there’s business inertia and I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s some regulatory hassle too.

          1. Based solely on what I see in Sam’s Club, there’s one group of folks for whom the restaurant and grocery supply chains might be the same: Chinese restaurants. (To be fair, it seems a lot of Asian restaurants and some Mexican ones.)

            Not a criticism, just an observation.

        3. Over here restaurants have gone to take out only. The groceries are trying to hire more people to restock faster and to try ‘ramp up’ delivery services but it’s limited to certain people only. I can’t budget because it’s a matter of ‘buy it now because you might not find it later’ for a lot of the essentials, and the only reason why I have some essential stuff still is because I insisted on getting a stockpile before I gave birth, months before the crazy hit. Those are running low now. No car. Have to try get what you are lacking daily, which rather defeats the whole isolation thing.

          Then theres news like this:

          https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8159175/Shocking-footage-shows-90-TONNES-medical-supplies-sent-China-Australia.html

          Am very tired of this whole thing.

          1. > No car.

            The Voices asked me to tell you they found a nice used vehicle that might meet your requirements:

          2. Hasn’t Chinese military doctrine for decades now focused its attention on asymmetrical warfare?

            Doesn’t this Woo-Hoo Flu have Cloward & Piven fingerprints all over it?

            Of course it is widely acknowledged that the Chines Regime places high value on the lives of its subjects and would never, ever, dream of wasting them carelessly.

            1. The longer I live the more I get the feeling that these central planning types really, -really- don’t understand humans or human society. They seem to think any disruption is a good disruption, and a society can be beaten down to a conquerable state if you just poke it with a stick a few times.

              Asymmetrical warfare and [for the sake of argument] doom bugs have a problem. The problem is that although they are splashy and terrifying on a short term of a few weeks, they don’t really do much damage to the enemy. As the technique stretches to a longer term, it becomes annoying. For the more clued Wuhan Flu stopped being terrifying last week. For the terminally clueless it will stop being terrifying next week. So they scared the shit out of us for the month of March, pretty much.

              What does that get them? What do the central planners get out of this? Yay, they scared the Americans and they f-ed up the Europeans. Now what? Run some scams, make a few bucks? Sure, that’ll work until about June, I would think. Then things will happen.

              Never mind what the US and Canadian governments are doing. We should wonder what 3M is doing. 3M is the maker of all those M95 masks that are suddenly in short supply all across North America. Or Johnson & Johnson, or Merk, or Boehringer Ingelheim, or even Walmart. What are those Big Boys doing right now?

              They all just got pantsed by the Chicoms. Their whole socially critical supply chain is F-ed. They’re looking at empty warehouses and they don’t have any domestic production facilities to make up the shortfall. They are looking at car companies and breweries stepping up to manufacture hospital equipment and consumables that they, the Big Boys, are supposed to supply.

              What are they planning to do? Job One will be securing that supply chain. That means moving out of China and bringing critical infrastructure back to North America.

              Job Two will be -distributing- that supply chain to eliminate choke-points and single-source failure modes. Lots of smaller local operations instead of one huge one off-shore in the Dominican or whatever.

              In order to accomplish those things the companies will have to reverse the conditions that led to them off-shoring everything in the first place. 80 years of unionization and regulation creep.

              Example: I happen to know a guy who runs one of those horizontal drilling heads used by gas and oil companies. Some years ago he was called upon to drill a test well in New York State. TL/DR, the drill was idle more than it was running because of state inspectors. They set up a field office right on the drill site and shut them down daily for “infractions” of the regulations. My guy says the company took a bath on the deal, and word was that hell would freeze before they drilled another well in NY.

              Funny thing about the oil industry, word gets around. I would expect that any reputable driller would tell NY State to step off if they started shopping for a gas well. If they -needed- a well right away and couldn’t do without, they’d be in a pretty pickle indeed.

              Multiply that problem by every single thing we need in North America. You think they could build an iPhone in California right now? Not a chance. There’s not enough money in the world to get that factory built. Can’t happen.

              But you know what? It WILL happen. And it will start happening in June, when the masses of asses out there finally figure out that Corona Chan ain’t coming for them.

              Trump and the Republicans will not make that happen. the best we can hope for from them is that they try to stay out of the way. Apple will. They will find a way, or they will go bankrupt in not too long. Then the next guy will find a way.

              Net result: China ends up with a much, much bigger problem. That’s what makes Cloward and Piven dopes. It just plain doesn’t work like that.

              1. The man of system, on the contrary, is apt to be very wise in his own conceit; and is often so enamoured with the supposed beauty of his own ideal plan of government, that he cannot suffer the smallest deviation from any part of it. He goes on to establish it completely and in all its parts, without any regard either to the great interests, or to the strong prejudices which may oppose it.

                He seems to imagine that he can arrange the different members of a great society with as much ease as the hand arranges the different pieces upon a chess-board. He does not consider that the pieces upon the chess-board have no other principle of motion besides that which the hand impresses upon them; but that, in the great chess-board of human society, every single piece has a principle of motion of its own, altogether different from that which the legislature might chuse to impress upon it. If those two principles coincide and act in the same direction, the game of human society will go on easily and harmoniously, and is very likely to be happy and successful. If they are opposite or different, the game will go on miserably, and the society must be at all times in the highest degree of disorder.

                ― Adam Smith

              2. Trump and the Republicans will not make that happen. the best we can hope for from them is that they try to stay out of the way.

                In a Free Market society it is NOT the job of government to “make that happen” — it is the job of government to reduce obstructions while preserving basic public priorities. Let’s leave explication of those priorities for another occasion as they could occupy a entire series of posts, but I think for most here it can be summarised as “Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.”

                The power of Free Market societies is in their resilience, their adaptability — traits notably lacking in Centrally Planned economies.

                In time I expect Trump’s most significant effect will be the removal of the arthritic hand of the regulatory state (central planning in another guise) and installation of a judiciary who don’t Reinhardt the Law.

          3. Any chance on a trusted young person willing to drive to pick up more-paid orders? Then dropping off at the front porch? We have a few local businesses willing to take phone orders/payment and deliver to the pick-up person.

          4. Here, there’s just not that much TO stock. Or, with open hours cut, those who would be busy checking and sacking and carrying out are now busy stocking (what there is) after the open hours.

            The weird, perhaps even eerie thing, is that just before all this really hit… the local supermarket dropped their home delivery service. Almost right when it would get more demand than ever. There is still “on-line shopping” but it’s pickup, or find some service (in this small town?!) that will pick up and deliver.

            1. It’s not weird to me! But then, that’s only because my wife and I were talking to a cashier shortly after the shopping panic hit. The cashier explained that they were getting $1,200 orders for things like food and toilet paper — only to find that they no longer had the stock needed to fulfill the orders. They simply didn’t have a way to keep up with the stocking needed to keep the delivery service functioning.

        1. No delayed data collection. see hospital visits for ILI are up. So data is being collected.
          Decreased driving doesn’t account for this, not if the mortality is high from Lung Pao Sicken.

          1. …Well, yeah, but it isn’t so far, is it? But I can’t see crediting it with saving lives either, and you’re right that this seems like an awful lot for people just Not Doing Stuff.

            I don’t know, I’m not convinced data collection and updates are consistent across categories. People are breathlessly (sorry) watching hospitals. Somewhat.

            1. Look, we showed this to health professionals. Data hasn’t stopped being collected.
              What we’re seeing is, this makes sense if flu was mild, COVID is very mild, and we’re avoiding accidents/work accidents.

                  1. If people are going to the doctor’s earlier, before they get deathly sick, could that account for the lower death rate?

                    I have never had pneunomia, but both my brothers, quite sometime ago, didn’t go to the doctor till they were very sick.

                    1. There wouldn’t be enough time for that. Most of the ER’s are swamped by the “sniffles.” You can’t do anything with the “sniffles.” People get sent home with OTC meds.

                    2. Nope. Going early to the doctor’s is a waste of time. We can’t tell who is going to get sicker, and who is getting better.

                    3. precisely. Plus until it’s serious, that I KNOW — at least my experience — if it’s a virus they just say “Here, go home and take these otc meds.”
                      Once — 16? years ago — I got prescription cough meds because the OTC wasn’t denting it. Still….

                    4. Well, actually, they might discover that you actually had the flu. . .

                      I was talking to a doctor recently and he said that if I showed more symptoms than a cough they would test for the flu.

                  2. I heard Britain is considering implementing tracking people’s cellphones to track CCPlague positive people to ensure they are obeying quarantine. Some of that is being floated here too.

                    Then there’s the bit of recurring news I hear about “the US wanting to ban end to end encryption”

                    and I keep hoping that whoever is pushing that bit of insanity will be stopped, or that it’s fake news.

                    I wouldn’t be paying attention to the MSM if it wasn’t for the need to keep up with restrictions. Sigh.

                    1. Damn, if there ever was a reason for cheap burner/flip-phone… no SIM card needed for emergency calls, after all.

                      Or, gee, I could leave the phone at home and if I needed coms… someone else can call, or I do have these radios.. that can be Truly OFF until needed.

                1. I’ve done the attempt to drown in dry land twice and enjoyed the ICU oxygen tent. I’m not eager to go for round 3.

                  I’ve also had pneumonia at least twice, but fortunately bacterial, and that’s really not so bad. I organized a state-wide all-star library conference while having it, and only stopped by the local clinic after it was over because “the sniffles” were really kicking my butt. No biggie.

                  I’ve had the ‘flu a few times as well, and once it for me on prednisone for a while but it wasn’t too bad.

                  I’m not worried about the ‘flu or the “sniffles”, I’m frightened by this thing which is a total nothingburger until you’re drowning and there’s very little clue as to the sea-change.

                  It’s creepy as hell

                  But yes, we have to get back to work. It’s a risk worth taking.

                  1. I’ve had pneumonia half a dozen times. A couple of them, the gap between “fine” and being in a hospital bed with an IV was half a day. The others were the usual bad-flu-that-gets-worse.

              1. I would continue to push back on this (I work with large business datasets for a living). There is, AFAIK, no single death database that everyone puts information into on a real time basis. There are state and county databases that are populated on various schedules and the data is aggregated into a national dataset. There will be lags in reporting – I don’t know how severe but this is not real time data (real time data is a lot of extra work, and there is no value in normal situations for real time mortality statistics, so there is no reason to expect uniformly high quality reporting). The tell is the all-causes death plot – it shows exactly the same drop off over recent weeks as the illness mortality, starting with the first week of March. To me that just screams reporting lag. A mix of daily, weekly and end of month summary reports being sent to a national database would look just like this.

                The actual hospitalization data looks much better and probably is, because it’s admissions data which is tied to billing and likely fully automated. Because there’s money in it and the statistics are just pigging backing on something that hospitals absolutely need to do on a daily basis.

                To be clear – I’m talking about the last 4 weeks in the dataset, not the overall trend for the season, which clearly shows a flu season at the low end of the range. It’s unfortunate that we’re trying to make real time decisions and the data sucks, but that’s been the case all along with this thing.

                The test would be to find a copy of the dataset from this time last year and look at the 2018-2019 data as reported in the last week of March. Or just a comment from someone who works with this data on a regular basis and understands how the data normally flows. But my experience tells me when you see recent data in a time series that is outside the boundaries of normal on the low side – and the overall mortality rates are 20% lower than ANY OTHER WEEK IN THE DATASET – your data is incomplete. Check back at the end of next week and we’ll know.

                1. You know, you could go look at the CDC website.

                  Since it’s sorted by week, that is probably how often it is reported, with of course some lag time.

                  1. Given the CDC’s history, why should I trust their numbers over those from any random internet expert”?

                    They’re a political organization with credibility near zero. They also have considerable incentive to “adjust” the data to match today’s narrative.

                    1. They also have considerable incentive to “adjust” the data to match today’s narrative.

                      Which is why against-interest findings ARE worth something.

                      They have data coming in, adjusting it takes effort; as with the weather data for AGW, when the past starts changing, we’ll notice.

                    2. As one who has collected data for a CDC survey, accuracy and not faking data is very important. The CDC has studies it takes credit for at the National Center for Health Statistics, otherwise known as NCHS. You can go to cdc.gov/nchs and see what they offer. This data is used as the basis for research studies, so it is vital the info is as accurate as possible.

                      One example is an ongoing study of ambulatory health care in the country, NAMCS (National Ambulatory Health Care Survey). There is no pressure on anyone collecting data to falsify it, but strong efforts to make sure the data is as accurate as possible. NAMCS data is actually collected by field representatives who are U.S. census bureau employees. They take an oath of confidentiality for life to not reveal confidential information. The only data that is released is statistical data. Our current lack of trust makes collecting data much harder, as people are reluctant to trust (for good reason) the federal government.

                      Accurate information is crucial. I do not trust any info from China. China’s leaders do not know themselves what is accurate info, so it leads to dangerous errors in decision making based on false information. When people have an incentive to “adjust” data, bad decisions get made, and disaster looms. I give you the levees of New Orleans, where corruption led to failure. I give you the governors of Nevada and Michigan, (please take them away), lying about possible treatments.

                      Regarding the numbers, I suspect a delay in posting data. Offices are being staffed by skeleton crews. People are trying to work from home, while keeping data confidential. It would not surprise me, if there is a lag.

        2. Given how few accidents there are on the roads around here the last two weeks, there might be something to the “decreased driving” bit. (My commute has gone down to 35-40 minutes from 45-90 minutes, each way.)

          (Also, fewer breakdowns on the side of the road.)

          1. Also, not saying it accounts for the drop, just maybe some small bit of it.
            That drop is very weird.

          2. (Also, fewer breakdowns on the side of the road.)

            …could illegals be deporting themselves again?

            I know that in Washington and Texas, a lot of those broken down cars get abandoned because they were never legal in the first place, because the driver didn’t have a license to yank if they got caught driving an unregistered car.

              1. That is one reason Democrats are so anxious to shower cash on illegal aliens right now; they want to keep them from self-deporting because their doing so hurts their November vote fraud efforts and their efforts to tilt the census numbers to Democratic Party strongholds.

                1. “their efforts to tilt the census numbers to Democratic Party strongholds.”

                  You mean, gasp, California, New York, and other sanctuary states, could lose one or more congresscritters? YEA, Hallelujah OMG lets everyone run around like we are on fire!!!!

            1. Every head that crosses an official border entry point gets counted. USBP should have the figures available daily, if not in real time.

              There *could* be people crossing the desert and swimming the river headed south, but I’d have to see pretty good evidence before I would believe it.

              1. Doesn’t appear to be available, and the only sources I could find were factchecks on Trump that quoted a CBP spokesman, so for what little that’s worth the media couldn’t find it either.

      1. There are two interesting data points I have come across from talking to some healthcare professionals I know about the current situation that might have a bearing on the reduced mortality rate.

        First, all elective and non-emergency hospital and clinic visits in our area have come to a full stop. Only emergency and viral/pnuemonia patients are being seen and strict procedures isolating them from each other have been implemented.

        Second, it has long been known that medical facilities are a locus for the spread of contagious disease. Simply because that’s where the sick people are.

        It could be the case that keeping otherwise healthy people away from medical facilities chock full of contagious diseases actually increases the general health of the population to some degree. Perhaps when this is all over we should take a hard look at how we protect patients from each other in our hospitals.

        1. Oh, brother. Very much this. Wouldn’t that be a kick in the pants, to learn post-pandemic that scrupulously avoiding the hospitals under any circumstances is a major boost for longevity? -_-

          1. Used to be a truism in medieval cities. Not so much in the countryside or in well-run/funded hospitals.

    2. FWIW, I read somewhere (there’s a lot of information around, and it’s hard to recall just where anymore; finding and locating a small stream’s contribution in the Mississippi…) that the Really Long Incubation Time as reported is coming from outliers. The average time for incubation is running between 5-7 days. The article I read had maybe two cases from “the definitive sample” at the 14ish day period, and one at 27. (Pause to consider that these people had been exposed a second time.)

      $SPOUSE watches the POTUS et al briefings, but is still watching MSM a bit. I’ve been trying to reduce the panic level. No, the number of cases detected means, er, not much. Yes, the death rate in the US is a poor number to use, but as far as I know, it’s the most useful for tracking the damned thing.

      1. Also note there is significant dispute about the “infections while asymptomatic” early observation given that it’s apparently anecdotal, only based on one infector, and the actual source of the infections that the draft paper said was asymptomatic contradicts the story, saying she felt like crap and was masking with otc meds so she could finish the damn conference and go home.

        There’s a huge difference between a few people at the plus-end tail of the bell curve and “I heard about an asymptomatic source of infections” and what was being talked about early on: A bug with 4% fatality that was infectious for a month while completely asymptomatic. That wold be more of a Ringo-level disease, which also seems to be what that widely cited British computer model study assumed.

        The issue now is it seems like the political response is all based on a Ringo-scale event instead of actual reality as seen in these statistics, and now it’s moved into face saving, where they can’t release the shelter-in-place orders without looking bad.

          1. Discussing with one of the only co-workers still present…
            The really bad result out of this will be the even further erosion of trust in ANY authority figure in the future. “I don’t believe that there are even wolves alive, much less raiding your flock.”

              1. We could use journalist.

                However, the only journalist I have heard of for some time was the guy who tracked down the shop where Jussie Smollett’s accomplices bought the stuff, and got the tape.

              2. To take a line from Instapundit “Hundreds of Democrat partisans with credentials laid off”. As far as I can tell independent journalists were rarer than unicorns (and also attracted to young virgin females, but no more about that…)

              1. In a similar vein, a Canadian company shifted all its mask production to China. Imagine the Canadians’ surprise when all the output was seized by the Chicoms.

                The US Chamber of Commerce is trying to persuade people to keep business/factories in China. Maybe just tar and feathers for them.

              2. I can see (in the future–ranging from years to days), a hairy eyeball cast over companies that don’t have in-country ownership, and the banhammer on companies owned by bad actors. (*cough* CCP *cough*) Hiding ownership via shell companies might entail more severe penalties.

                Similarly, companies that are offshoring production will likely see incredible pressure increasing even more to bring the production back home.

          2. Oh, the way things are going, pitchforks and torches are the best-case result. Tar, feathers or rope, lamp post, perhaps.

            1. So far as I know the panic has been pumped as hard as it can because they think it will hurt Trump and / or help Bide. I think that Biden is the worst candidate for President that I’ve ever seen.

              1. Worst by what measure, though? Most clueless and incompetent I’ll grant you, but I would consider the half-dozen moderately competent totalitarians and fascists to be much worse in an absolute sense. Hillary Clinton would be much worse for the country than Slow Joe. 0bama WAS much worse.
                ———————————
                Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition!!

            2. Having just flashed on an image of a catapult launching of Nancy Pelosi out into the Bay I will be going to my happy place for a little while.

                1. Fortunately, Mr Lehrer was better at songwriting than hydrology. There’s a neat scale model that one of the Fed departments uses for research. Only reason to go to Sausalito that we found in the ’90s.

                  (east coast performances used “Perth Amboy”)

                  1. He did relate (in the liner notes for The Remains of Tom Lehrer collection) that he changed the locations in the tune depending upon where he was performing. It just happened that that particular version was the one that was recorded live, so that’s what people generally recall.

                    1. An older friend of mine saw Tom Lehrer at the Hungry i back in the day. Apparently the “Massachusetts Home for the Bewildered” was TL’s residence for a while. I don’t recall this from the liner notes, but it’s Before Coffee, and I’m not going to look.

                1. “flashed on an image of a catapult launching of Nancy Pelosi”</i?

                  I know. Right? Good thing I wasn't drinking anything … It isn't illegal to dream or speculate is it? I mean isn't the bay water known for being deep cold, swift, & full of fish who eat meat? I mean she would have no problem surviving. I'm sure she'll keep herself warm, she can walk on the bottom to get out, and she'll terrify the sharks and killer whales …

                  1. Be careful though; if Malig-Nancy floats out of the bay and into the South Pacific she might frighten Cthulhu, and who knows what would happen then …

              1. When I got to “catapult launching”, my peripheral vision had already seen “Bay” and I thought you were going to suggest some thing akin to a fighter catapult in a space carrier. It was a bit of a letdown to see what you really meant.

          3. I thought I was chill. I thought the restrictions were standard stupid New Yorking–they’re going to kill a lot of businesses, but the governor had indicated he wasn’t going to prosecute individuals and there’s a million excuses anyone can use to be about anywhere they choose. It’s really stupid and unfortunate, but I kinda figure that most people are doing what they’re going to do anyway and business moves underground for the next little while as people hustle their hustle, as people do. (I mean, at least in my area, we have a fair amount of… ah… unregistered working to begin with.)

            Then I saw a story about someone taking a picture of nine people gathering on a (closed) golf course and sending it to the mayor (Syracuse, I think?) and alllll the hue and cry and looking at maybe doing something about that and everyone in the comments section yelling to lock them up and…

            …okay, I can see being mad about trespassing on a closed property, but that wasn’t what anyone was mad about. I saw red pretty immediately and, alas, inflicted upon my family a great amount of vitriol about lickspittles and honorless dogs who would sell their brother out to the Stasi if they had half a chance.

            A lot of my left friends have been posting hand-wringing memes about finding out how greedy and selfish everyone is during this crisis. I’m shocked at how *gormless* I’m discovering us.

            I’ll close by saying my husband and I always approach arguments and eventsfrom different directions. He’s information–going through eighteen studies, finding the original news story, whatever whatever. I’m logical fallacy detection and etc–is this person blowing smoke up my butt?

            We’ve been divided on this one. Husband, at least until… like, yesterday… has been looking at Italy, looking at all his science and tech and skepticism podcasts, thinking of the coughs we’ve picked up that he’s somehow managed to differentiate from the rolling cold we’ve been dealing with since December and his heart-patient, diabetic, obese father and worrying. And I’ve been having a heck of a problem from… not the beginning. But close. Because everything coming out of this is straight out of the books of Someone Trying to Con You.

            If someone’s using The Good of Helpless Others to get you to do what they want, in my experience, they’re trying to trick you out of doing the calculus involved when making decisions for your own good. When you dial up the emotional ratchet straps to the point where you’re Guilty Of Murdering Old People for doing anything but being a good little girl and what you’re told, they’re trying to overload your reason by making the consequences of noncompliance too awful to contemplate. (You’re not sick! Who CARES if you’re not sick! You’re an asymptomatic vector and you’ll kill EVEN MORE PEOPLE than if you were sick!) If you think that going to church is more important than being afraid of being killed, KILLED, it’s because you’re a stupid Boomer who needs to be protected from themselves.

            (SERIOUS. The same people are saying “The elderly shouldn’t have to die for your blood-soaked economy!” and ALSO “Agh I can’t keep my stupid Boomer mother home, halp!” You know, maybe they should get a vote about the risks they’re willing to put up with.)

            Now, Bill’s methods are usually better. I can be completely knocked flat by a deliberate lie (the common patterns of how people lie to you are frequently because they’re trying to avoid actually *lying*, for some reason), and Bill is really good at sorting out his sources. I’ve been politely demurring to him on this one and Being A Good Little Girl for now. I mean, we’ll all know how it went in a few weeks.

            But… I’m increasingly thinking I got this one instead of him.

            (I mean, we’re still getting fed stories of Individual Heartrending Cases. Aren’t we supposed to be at the crematoriums-running-overtime by now?)

            1. I would tend to go with you mostly. How much of this is deliberate panic mongering and how much is just stupidity and lack of basic logical skills is unclear. What is true is that the disease cannot be hugely deadly and hugely contagious and produce the number of dead we have seen.

                1. Remember the two rules:

                  1. Do not attribute to malice what can be explained by stupidity.

                  A lot of what we’re seeing is mostly the result of somebody shouting “Plague!” in a crowded polity, amidst a crowd of reflexive hysterics. It might be enemy action, but it also might be a cigarette butt tossed out a car window in wildfire season and landing in a pile of leaves.

                  2. Your enemies are typically far less competent than you (or they) think they are.

                  Competency is far more rare than most of us realize. Malicious competency eve more so, as the malignant tend toward hubris.

                  As a rule of thumb, proceed as if they might be giants, but expect windmills.

              1. In fairness, the abundance of stupidity and absence of basic logical skills seems greater than at any time since this nation’s founding. It’s almost as if we’ve been “educating” for those traits, training people to respond emotionally.

                Nah, that’s crazy talk. We have a huge Federal bureaucracy dedicated to ensuring our public schools are excellent.

                1. I’m lucky. I graduated from high school before the government spent TWO TRILLION DOLLARS ‘improving’ the public schools so much that recent ‘graduates’ are unable to read or do math. Before the bureaucrats and ‘teachers associations’ took over. Before they got their history books from the Ministry Of Truth. Before teachers were required to indulge stupid delusions and tolerate intolerable behavior.

            2. You got this. Italy LIES. He can look at the data all he wants. It’s NOT REAL DATA.
              And like you, I can detect “con game” Actually psy-ops. This is a psy ops. And they’re winning. And I’m about to lose my sh*t.

            3. Because everything coming out of this is straight out of the books of Someone Trying to Con You.
              ^^THIS^^
              So very much THIS.

      2. No, the number of cases detected means, er, not much.
        I know that, and you know that. Can we get the people in authority to grasp that?
        The opening line of an email from a US military base commander talking about almost entirely shutting the base down:
        As many of you are aware the United States is now leading the world in the number of confirmed Corona cases.
        That’s the justification.

        The level of “You can’t have any risk!” is astounding. By the time June rolls around, I’m sure all of our desk edges will have foam bumpers on them….

        1. Can we get the people in authority to grasp that?

          I rather doubt that, at present, we could find a discussion of “things the people in authority can grasp” at all profitable. Nor even suitable for a family blog.

          1. “Nor even suitable for a family blog.”

            Come now, we all know that politicians couldn’t find – much less grasp – that with detailed directions, a map, and three native guides.

        2. Remember that the Obama era featured shuffling a lot of competent military officers out of the service, in favor of those more amenable to his way of thinking. “Perfumed princes” comes to mind.

    3. If I’m reading the chart right, the drop in pneumonia death rates leads the hype around Winnie the Flu and so the extra precautions being taken (wash your hands, people) cannot really have caused it.

      1. There are a couple of other years that show a similar drop in mid-December, followed by the peak season. Not as obviously pronounced, but possibly the Wuhan Hand Washing Panic is piggy backing on an early flu season dip.

        Prior to the news leaking out of Wuhan, we were hearing a lot about how this season’s shot wasn’t a good match for what was going around, and to expect a bad flu season. I think the Wuhan CoViD-19 has spared us that, and that’s showing up in the stats now.

    4. “When someone can spend a couple of weeks carrying on like normal while potentially infecting anyone they come into contact with, it’s going to spread and spread fast.”

      People say that, but what does it mean? I mean, obviously when one is displaying symptoms, there’s all kinds of leakage. Sneezing, coughing, blowing one’s nose… But, if you’re asymptomatic, how are you going to spread it? I mean, I could see an occasional sneeze or a breath in someone’s face, but how efficient can this be compared to having all sorts of emissions vaporizing and carrying through the air?

    5. The flu vaccine prevented 8,000 deaths last year. Without it the crude death rate will be the same this year. Need better than a mandatory vaccine based on a guess of what the strain will be. Perhaps real time universal antibody monitoring app will do? Just scattershooting while wondering whatever happened to Blackie Sherrod.

  2. I appreciate the analysis, I’ve got an acquaintance who is a wizard with R. I’ll point him to your data sources.

    Yesterday was the first day that shopping at the local HEB approximated normal. Full shelves, no wild-eyed shoppers, and with the exception of three late teens, early twenties wearing bandanas as masks, no abnormal events at all. This while our county is under a hunker down order.

    I do evermore love this blog!

      1. I have no idea why, but your comment reminded me of WHEN I’ve seen shelves that look like Walmart did the other day– it looks like the first week or so after school lets out, with a few extra empty spots like bulk beans and the 20lb generic rice (which are frequently out anyways, not a fast mover).

        All the damn-it-kids-make-your-own-lunch stuff is gone.

        To which the rest of my brain says: Duh!

        Even my asian grocery store (mostly Korean and Japanese but has an awesome selection of Thai ramen) has some empty spots in “I just need fuel to keep me going to a real meal” type food spots, usually I’m the only one buying boxes. (Mama’s Tom Yum shrimp, if anybody is wondering– normal, creamy, and glass noodles are all very good. Spicy without being painful, but good.)

      1. I was initially surprised when you relayed that the TP craziness had hit Oz too, but then I recalled back when I was last there that 3/4 of Ozzie TV is mostly US TV except when Cricket is on, and the newspapers* were vastly US news, so I guess it leaked over via CNN.

        * It was a while back, fall of 2000; I should go back. I was kinda waiting for SST airliners to make that long flight a bit shorter. Yeah, I know, what can I say, I’m an optimist.

      2. That was my experience this morning at both Sam’s and Wal-Mart. Some things were a little bare, and Sam’s was enforcing a hard 1 per customer in most everything except snacks. I think Wal-Mart was enforcing 2 per customer in paper goods.

        1. Still deficient in TP and tissues around here. I could get tissues if I was content with a tiny box, but I’m not that lacking yet.

    1. I saw my first bandana-clad shopper a day or two ago. I’ve seen more masked of late (there have been masked long before this, I presume they had some genuine medical reason).

  3. I was trying to get an apples to apples comparison yesterday as I saw people hyperventilating on social media. “We’re gonna have more covid19 deaths by April 8 this year than we did for the flu all of last year!” Problem being the CDC doesn’t seem to have any final stats on last year yet. And in looking at prior years they have “estimated flu deaths” at say 12,000 for a year. But when you look at their actual numbers, they list “influenza and pneumonia” together at something like 50,000 deaths. And if you drill down farther and find their actual numbers on the table, it’s like 2,000 for influenza and 48,000 for pneumonia.

    So, what numbers are we supposed to be comparing to? And how are these deaths actually being reported for covid19? Is everyone who tests positive and dies, irregardless of method, being listed as a covid19 death? Or just the ones who don’t otherwise contract something else? Or get hit by a bus trying to get back home to self quarantine?

      1. and apparently so does Covid19.

        Which suggests a lot of these deaths attributed to Covid19 would likely have died of pneumonia from the flu anyway.

        1. Yep. Again, we’re stopping the economy to stop a disease from killing people who WILL die on the next “respiratory illness flounces through town.”
          This will be studied by historians for millennia. Supposing there are any. Otherwise it will pass down as “And the men in paradise were struck with madness.”

          1. “And the men in paradise were struck with madness.”
            Is that a quote from somewhere? If not, I’ll start attributing it to you, as it’s so very damn timely. And not just about Winnie The Flu.

              1. The Google says that this page is the only place that phrase appears.

                BTW, the latest Opera update changes the default browser back to Googlag. Now I’m back to the duck.

              2. Sure, she says that now – but it’s really proof that Dona Sarah is From The Future!!! and she’s quoting a well known future author.

        2. Yes. There is a mortality stat called “excess deaths” that would be what we’re looking for, and that needs to take into account the “people who were pretty much going to die of pneumonia from the first bug to hit town” based on past annual pneumonia death rates, so basically “How many more deaths are from this bug?”

          1. I have literally seen someone exulting in the “highest death toll” ever as if no one died of anything else. (Trump hater. Serious Trump hater.)

        3. Yeah. I mean, I got news that my great-great aunt (my great-grandmother’s youngest sister, last of the generation) died on Tuesday of pnumonia, possibly COVID-related. She’d… also been in end-of-life-care hospice for months.

          (Nice lady, I’ll miss her. I never met her, but… well, she was the one who went through and liked everything cute you’d posted in the past week or two all at once, and reply to all of it with things like “That’s Great! Hugs and Kisses, Aunt Pat.” It was adorable. Her daughter (also the one who’s been caretaking her for the last several years, and one of my mom’s partners-in-crime when they were young adults) sent me a quilt, a pillow and a bib when my oldest daughter was born.)

          (I suspect it’s not the first time in history you get family-feel connections from people you’ve never met–correspondence is old–but I’m kind of glad I live in one of the times where it happens.)

      2. So, influenza definitely leads to pneumonia, and that is frequently the proximate cause of death. Covid 19 seems to give more of a lung scarring disease. Not pneumonia, therefore not treatable with antibiotics. Though pneumonia is frequently a term used to mean “inflammation in the lung”, whether viral or bacterial. The problem with all these statistics is, I know the guesswork that is done where the rubber meets the road.

        1. My guess is that many of the pneumonia cases have a serious level of secondary bacterial infection (which is why Z-Paks are proving helpful) but are simply listed as being due to the virus. I also suspect some of the high early death rates, and the continuing ones in Italy, are due to a failure, particularly in places with socialized medicine, to treat the secondary infection, taking a severe illness and making death from it a certainty.

  4. I keep running multiple theories. One (and I’ve thought this from the beginning) is there’s something about this we haven’t been told. Something that justifies the insanity. In which case we’ll find out soon enough.
    Another is this is just another of the waves of hysteria we’ve been seeing the last few years. By far the worst one. I shudder to think what the next one, if there is a next one, will be like.
    A third is that the response to the virus is partly the result of a global “aristocracy,” trying to prove its power and relevance. Definitely a case there of “Never attribute to malice what can be adequately explained by incompetence.”
    And a corollary to that, sadly, is that common sense, isn’t. Not among the self-declared elites.

    1. I’m sorry. This is either a coup-attempt by the left (coming as the impeachment failed…) or …. OR…. OR….
      I don’t know. It smells like USSR psyops. So I assume their alumni.

      1. The left are really rather sad and a bit pitiful, but never forget that at heart they are dedicated to destructive and murderous policies.
        They never let a crisis go to waste, and count on the fact that all you have to do to a Republican to make them crumble is to embarrass them. And the people are ignorant drones who will believe whatever their media shills feed them, and so can always be manipulated to act in ways to the left’s advantage.
        But it’s all falling apart. Hillary was supposed to win in a landslide, carried across the finish line on Obama’s coattails. News flash, she lost.
        Orange man bad would wreck the US economy, throw us into recession, never achieve even the rather pitiful recovery brought about by the prior administration. Instead, before the current mess, we were booming.
        And one particularly telling item, they brought out the big guns over Kavanaugh. He and Trump should have folded like wet cardboard over the orchestrated series of attacks on the man. Instead they shrugged them off and put the nomination through.
        All leading up to their crowning glory, they impeached the President. Of course he would be removed, then Pence, then somehow magically they would install their own selection in office: Hillary, Pelosi, Biden, who knows. Whomever it was would continue the takeover of America, bring us down to where we rightfully belonged, no better than any other country, so there.
        And it’s all falling apart. Nothing they do, things that have always worked in the past, nothing gives them back the power they see slipping away through their fingers.
        Sad little lefties, but do remind yourself, a dying rat will still bite.

        1. The Left got used to controlling the debate, and to having an opposition that was, in effect, Left Lite. Reagan showed that Republicans didn’t have to be Progressives to win, and that Conservatives didn’t have to fold the moment the Left got mean. It took a while for the lesson to penetrate, but Trump learned it well. Then the transformation of the media landscape killed their power to control the terms of debate. And the ‘little people’ were getting tired of their elitist idiocy.

          Now, all of those factors could have been dealt with if the Left were as smart as they think they are. They aren’t. Few cliques in history have been as smart and wonderful as they though they were, and it’s usually a good thing. The Left failed to anticipate, failed to learn, and now they are fighting todays fight open yesterday’s terms. And it ain’t going well.

          Oh, they’re still dangerous. But their timing is off, and a lot isn’t they way they think it is. When they connect, they can do a lot of damage. But they are mostly swinging – not blind, not quite – but visually impaired.

            1. Double down on stupid. It’s what they do, what they know, what has worked in the past.
              Bless their pea picking hearts, (Southron phrase, not at all complementary) just like we’ve seen in every war in recorded history, the powers that be try to fight tomorrow’s war with the tactics that sort of kind of worked in the last one.
              I will say it over and over again. The left are losing simply because their narrative denies reality and over time is unsustainable. But from what I’m seeing the fact that they are losing their power just makes them ever more desperate and willing to fall back on every dirty trick that ever worked for them even once.
              We saw it in Pelosi’s mad grab to turn the emergency aid bill into a slush fund for every progressive program that ever was. The miracle is that most of the pork got carved back out.
              Small prediction, the 2020 national election will be the dirtiest in history. They will use every means available to commit blatant voter fraud and cook the books in their favor. But I expect that Trump, bare knuckles fighter that he is, will ramp up every law enforcement agency and add staff to oversee every poll in the US, and challenge every case where mail in ballots have even the slightest fishy aroma.

                1. Actually, their big push for “Fraud by mail”, “Early frauding”, and “Same day registration to fraud” is a good sign, possibly the best sign we’ve had in decades. It’s a desperation move, an admission that they don’t think they can win even with the fraud already in place. It’s a sign that we’re winning the cultural war (which I’ve always pointed out that we need to win for the other kind of war to be anything other than a choice between various tyrannies).

                  So I cheer every attempt they make to spread fraud–not that I don’t resist their attempts to implement it 1) no sense making it easy for them and 2) if we can manage to squelch the fraud enough to be able to win fairly at the ballot box that’s much preferable to going hot–because each one is an admission that they don’t believe they can win without it and that their position is weaker, far weaker, than they would have you believe.

                  As Sarah is wont to say: be not afraid.

                  1. They actually kept some money in for it, although the madates fell out (I had to actually read through the Bill for work).

              1. In general, I agree with what you say, but one tiny tangental point bothers me; the accepted wisdom that ‘Preparing for the Last War’ is stupid. OK, yes, a good military will try to project forward from the developments that were going on in the last war in anticipation of what might happen next. But the last war is the best basis they have too go on, military crystal balls being notoriously unreliable.

                Between WWI and WWII all powers developed anti-tank rifles that rapidly because obsolete as tanks developed. Vertical Envelopment was supposedly The Next Thing, but experience proved that parachute troops had serious limitations and there were several cases of highly trained troops being wasted because land forces could not reinforce them in a timely manner (Market Garden being the best known). Helicopters changed that some, but weren’t ready until Vietnam.

                Yes, the Left is using tactics that used to work. But what they are doing is not ‘fighting the last war’ but repeating tactics that have already failed at least once, badly.

                  1. Actually, their tactics used to win which is one of the reasons they have become so frantic and desperate.
                    Guess it was not a big deal outside of Alabama, but the special election to fill the remaining two years of Jeff Session’s Senate seat was a classic Democrat hit job. Crossover voting in the primary to ensure that the most vulnerable Republican candidate was selected, then a split second after the primary results were confirmed “evidence” was miraculously discovered to feed a vicious and nasty smear campaign agains Roy Moore. Doubt it got anyone to change their vote, but a large number of evangelicals just stayed home. Which is how a deep red state like Bama got herself a liberal Democrat Senator.
                    Proven tactics worked very well for them which helps explain how infuriating it must have been for them to see a similar effort fail with Kavanaugh.

                    1. I blame Alabama on Steve Bannon (who envisions himself as a kingmaker) deciding it was time to unseat the existing GOP… and picking an unelectable replacement. Moore may have been smeared but it was still a politically unwise move from the gitgo.

                    2. “Proven tactics worked very well for them which helps explain how infuriating it must have been for them to see a similar effort fail with Kavanaugh.”

                      That would be because our GOPe / NeverTrumper friends wouldn’t back that icky Christian hick, but when one of their Ivy League buddies was in the crosshairs, well……

                      Don’t think that the Republican side of the Ruling class, including Mitch McConnell, doesn’t hate us Deplorables just as much as the Democratic side, because they do.

            2. Agree. What’s next is what truly scares me. I’ve been saying since 2016 the Left is a cornered wild animal. And a cornered wild animal is crazy dangerous and can go crazy enough to escape.

              We cannot allow them to escape. We must defeat them once and for all. If they get out, they’ll be vicious in a way most people can’t comprehend.

              Just look at what we’re going through now.

              It can be worse than this. Much worse

          1. Remember what Reagan said: “I didn’t leave the Democrat Party, the Democrat Party left me.”

            Well, he’s not the only one they’ve moved too far Left to hold. Trump might well make the same claim. They’re too darn Left and forgotten their base. For too long they’ve only been able to win elections by cheating and by defaming their opponents.

            That isn’t working so well as once it did and they’re getting panicky. Panic is not a good look for a political party.

        1. As I was telling a friend today, a lot of alien invasions are preceded by mysterious diseases . . .

          1. Maybe this whole thing is an alien experiment to see how we react to signs of apocalypse. Bushfires, floods, locusts now plague, a supposed sighting of Mother Mary… a comet or meteor coming close to Earth… hm. what else?

            Aliens: “But why the hoarding of excretal orifice wiping paper? They are starting to hoard food, but, why that stuff?”

            Alien with problem glasses, obtained to study if they helped detect problems: “Perhaps it is to clean up after ‘the excreta hits the fan. It would be messy after all and unhygienic.”

        2. Always astounded me that that dude had a Centauri Hairstyle. Maybe B5 was a documentary and the Centauri are already here shilling. If some dude comes at you with a half dozen tentacles popped out of his sides run like hell, his intentions are not, shall we say, honorable.

          1. Londo Mollari:
            “We made a mistake, I’m sorry. Here, open my wrists.” [offers Garibaldi his wrists]

            Michael Garibaldi:
            “Centauri don’t have major arteries in their wrists.”

            Londo:
            “Of course not! What, do you think I am stupid?”

      2. Well, when I try to build a stupid complicated model for this, I like to get something like this:

        Corona is from Mexico. The source disease was collected there, and it was researched by some sort of Bizarro world biological research program rooted in NAFTA. The Canadians did all the bioweapons work, but it was released to China from US sources under the Obama administration. (See what he did with the OPM, and transpose it to a US Army research lab.)

        When the Canadians realized that the virulent version would eventually be leaked due to the incompetence with which the PRC manages research programs, they began working on a less lethal version as an inoculation. They spread that version at some point.

        The Canadians kept flights with China open because they wanted to infect the Chinese with the vaccine.

        Trump doesn’t know about all this, because the officials involved are trying to hide it from oversight.

        The Chinese only know about the lethal version, and are screwing around with us because they don’t want it to get out that they’ve made the situation worse.

        Don’t yet have particularly cute theories of nefarious acts by Russia, Britain, Germany, Turkey, etc.

        So, crazy cakes, but I’m really just killing time until enough information becomes available to come up with much of a sensible explanation.

      3. Well, their top priority was getting vote by fraud in and voter id out in the relief package, so…..

      4. The democrats and their media cheer leaders are absolutely desperate. Biden is looking more and more like a dud, They’ll say or do anything at this point to keep him from being re-elected. They haven’t changed their M.O. since day one. It’s fear mongering and blaming Trump every single time. All facts are interpreted to fit the narrative or covered up if they can’t be spun. We’ve been in a clumsy chicken-sch!t half-assed coup since January of 2017.

        1. EDIT: by keep ‘him’ from being re-elected I meant President Trump. While editing for brevity last night I removed the first occurrence of his name and made my post confusing.

    2. I’ll use Heinlein’s corallary: “But don’t rule out malice”.

      Rope. Lamp posts. Panic persuaders..

    3. I’m pretty sure that we do know how it happened.

      China had a killer disease, lied about it, had their completely inadequate health system overwhelmed, lied about it, erased the data, called in WHO who published completely unreliable statistics. Thus, on the face of it we had SARS again with the ability to spread. This bubbles beneath press attention till mid March. Then we had spread, Trump put together his task force and Fauci started to spread the WHO statistics. Alas, the press started to get involved and ignored all Fauci’s disclaimers and he is not good at talking to the press who need simple declarative sentences without any nuance.

      In the meantime, Italy had had their completely inadequate health system overrun and the death rate was astronomical. Or so it seemed since the data never made sense. There are 60MM people in Italy, where are the bodies that would cause such a reaction?

      On to ICL where an epidemiologist published a paper using the worst case spread and the completely wrong fatality rate to say we’ll all get it and we’re all gonna die. Given there were more than one epidemiologists publishing, the question became: why did this one become ubiquitous. Note that Ferguson, the epidemiologist in question, today walked back his walk back of yesterday and defended his death rate. What an idiot.

      A group of Silicon Valley people with a history of activism got a hold of this and sent tailored emails all over the world saying close down the world indefinitely or you will be responsible for the death of millions and millions. This was followed by a panic cascade where all the politicians in question shut down everything. This is the error. Even if there is malice in the Silicon Valley bro’s, nothing beyond cowardice and stupidity are necessary to explain all this. We had a stampede.

      Now, the antibodies in a free society are starting to work. Other scientists are looking at the models, comparing them to the actual data, and concluding that the disease cannot be this contagious and this lethal at the same time or there would be hundreds of thousands dead already. Note that the lockdowns came too late to have influenced this and the data indicate that the disease has been in In NYC since January at the latest and Italy earlier than that so we may be closer to the end than the beginning in any case. At least I hope so.

      The risk is that we have politicians involved. We have US governors denying potential treatment because orange man bad and others still running around saying we’re all gonna die. On the positive side, Trump seems to recognize that this can’t go on and Cuomo is saying they probably overreacted. Dr Birx is a rockstar and might be able to calm things down.

      My prediction was that stupidity would peak this week because we had mass testing and the case count would rocket. So far my analysis seems to be holding. I think I wrote on this site that there would be about 300K cases and 3-5K dead. That was probably too low because the early reported data was wrong but I’m fairly sure it’s not order of magnitude wrong.

      I suspect we will start to unwind next week, that there will be some county that unwinds and then gets an outbreak which causes a press panic and a relapse. However, the death rates should be clear and the adults will start to be heard. Trump said Easter. He might be right but they will do everything in their power to deny that to him because they are bad, stupid people.

      Full disclosure. I think Trump lost the narrative and overreacted early. Fog of war and his actions have been good since. But he does bear some responsibility for the panic. Also, when talking of death rates, I am in a higher risk class and getting a bad, possibly fatal, case of this is not an academic exercise. I am concerned now but was very frightened in February through mid March. I also note that I’m writing large pieces to a blog comments and only ask for your indulgence since I’m going nuts here. I’m lucky because I can work but this is just stupid.

      1. With he timing of the lockdowns, if they were right on how it was gonna kill us all, the places locked down first would be a constant ambulance and coroner van cacophony and helo news report of dead being hauled out for disposal (Bring out your dead!) by now.
        Even Cuomo the lesser moron says “Maybe we didn’t need to quarantine EVERYBODY”.

        1. Trump overreacted to the disease, but I think he reacted appropriately to the panic. He spent most of February trying to walk America off the cliff while the Media was screaming “Jump!” That’s why the Democrats and the media (BIRM) say that he wasn’t taking this seriously at first. Once he realized that he lost that fight, he jumped as well to keep things from going completely stupid.

          1. Thanks – you just triggered the spring that had been sitting in the back of my mind.

            Remember back in 2016 when Scott Adams was posting all those discussions on Trump as a Persuasion Grand Master? Adams would talk about how Trump excelled at (what Adams called) “pacing” — matching where the people are and then leading them to where you want them to be? Doesn’t that match what you’ve just described Trump doing?

            Think of it as riding up alongside the lead steer to turn him and the stampede away from the cliff. This way we only lose 20% – 30% of the herd rather than 90%. And retain enough to build back up again reasonably quickly.

              1. A surprising number of those governors are starting to resemble the Coyote as he’s realizing he’s tun out of path …

                … witness Andy Cuomo walking back his complaint about Trump upon discovering New York had received >demanded requested ventilators and stored them in a warehouse.

          1. Your comments are post worthy. Do it. Send it to me at my first to initials, last name at the email that’s hot.
            NY banker? Do me up a post on what we’re doing to the economy. Make up swear words. It will help.

              1. You live in the City? I’m originally from Brooklyn. My brother-in-law is pulmonary specialist at NY Hospital. What bank? Dallas is the financial center of Texas. We even have a branch of the Fed here.

                1. Worked for two big commercial banks a big financial services company and an investment bank. Retired. 3 months later wife told me the choice want getting a job or not it was staying married to her or not. Went to work for a certain government agency. Still there

                  1. My husband retired, plays golf. Best $160/month (now) we spend. Starting 2015 he started going on men’s club “winter road trips”. This year trip was cancelled (suppose to leave March 24th).

                2. bay ridge then over the very narrow bridge. Wife from Manhattan. Live in Jersey. Have lived overseas for a fair bit

      2. China had a killer disease, lied about it, had their completely inadequate health system overwhelmed, lied about it, erased the data, called in WHO who published completely unreliable statistics.

        This is a perfect example of why we cannot have free trade with unfree nations.

        I’m already researching ways to buy from wholesalers in India, South Korea, Japan and Taiwan so I no longer need to buy from the PRC (other than Hong Kong, which is a special case) once things calm down and at least some of our conventions come back. I’d been beginning the process after the crackdown on the Hong Kong protests, but this makes it essential.

        That and the PRC sellers who are selling individual emoji masks on eBay for less than the postage for me to ship them here in the US, so I was getting my listings yanked for “price gouging” when I was selling emoji masks for the same price they normally sell at conventions, and with free shipping (so I’m actually getting less than at a con). Either they’re taking a loss to flood the market, or their government is subsidizing their shipping to flood the market. Whichever it is, it’s hitting my ability to make a living.

        1. On the bright side, (i.e.*long term*…)
          I’m an engineer involved in the world of power instrumentation & controls.
          My work spans everything from public transit to nuclear power to marine switchgear to military devices to steel production, and on and on – my stuff is everywhere.

          I’m now seeing a multiplicity of inquiries coming across my desk from oh, ‘major players in the US’ let’s say, for products whose source is literally, explicitly specified as “No components or assemblies made in China”, and “US/Canadian/Mexican manufactured components & assemblies preferred.”

          It won’t be short term (my estimate is a 2-3 year timeframe) but I expect that economically, China is on the verge of taking it in the shorts, *good & hard*, as the disaster/recovery planners at the private/industrial & governmental level REALLY drive home the point that we have to have a diversified and… robust… supply chain that is more under our own control and definitely not effectively controlled by a single political entity, when that entity has rather conclusively shown that they cannot be trusted.

          1. Mmm. That might not work out so well. The last time we tanked the economy of an East Asian near-peer, we got Pearl Harbor. And China has all those surplus males, that they need to point at an external enemy to avoid a revolution …

              1. Full disclosure, I absolutely loathe Imperial Japan. Their institutionalized abuse of “lesser” races and cultures along with systemic war crimes during WWII cannot be excused. In my opinion two nukes weren’t nearly enough. (Yeah, got the job done, but that’s another discussion) And we enforced a fundamental reboot of that culture intentionally after our victory. And left modern Japan a much better nation, or so I feel.
                All that said, our predatory trade policies pre war along with those of the other leading Western nations placed Japan between a rock and a hard place. Submit to our policies and forever be a vassal to the west, beholden to us for their every economic need, or tool up, establish themselves as a world power, and take what they needed to remain strong and independent.
                As a military exercise the attack on Pearl Harbor was a master stroke, gave the Japanese navy most of the Pacific for the better part of two years. Would have been even longer but for the fortunate case that all our carriers were out to sea on maneuvers.
                As a diplomatic act Pearl was a cluster fisk. As best we know the intent was for the Japanese ambassador to present the US with a formal declaration of war in D.C. before the attack took place. That sequence somehow got put out of order.
                All to say that in the grand scheme of things America may have not been entirely faultless in her actions leading up to the Pacific theater of war back then.

                1. As a diplomatic act Pearl was a cluster fisk. As best we know the intent was for the Japanese ambassador to present the US with a formal declaration of war in D.C. before the attack took place. That sequence somehow got put out of order.


                  How I read about it:

                  We were watching their diplomatic radio signals. We would have known if the Japanese Ambassador got a priority message, so “Declare war at such-and-such Washington time” was mixed in with the regular traffic. It was Sunday, so only one person was decoding the messages and they didn’t get to that one for a while.

                  It still would have worked out, but somebody in Japan miscounted the time zones. When the Japanese Ambassador walked into the State Department at about 8:20 AM Hawaii time, he couldn’t figure out why the place was swarming like a kicked ant-hill and everybody was giving him the stink-eye.

                2. There appears to be credible evidence in support of an argument that Teddy Roosevelt effectively gave Japan they were being given a free hand to … ummmm … do to the Eastern Pacific Rim what Europe was doing to Africa and the Middle East and the United States were doing to Latin and South America.

                  The USA has long had a problem of inconsistency in our foreign policies (domestic ones, too) that is confusing to other nations unaccustomed to a democratic polity. Thus they believe a deal with one administration amounts to a treaty when it is aught more than a policy inclination.

                  1. Japan was an ally in WW I. Navy was trained by British who made many of their capital ships. Germans did the army. all that bushidobctao came later. Russian prisoners had no complaints about how they were treated in the Russo Japanese war

                    Japan wanted free run in China but Franklin Roosevelt saw himself as a China expert. His family money had been restored by grandfather Delano running opium into China. Same with John Forbes Kerry as it happens. Opium and Missionaries. What a country eh?

              1. Sure, China spent the last twenty-odd years tanking our economy (since Clinton gave them MFN, and one wonders how much he personally profited from that). But Duke above was predicting that we might be returning the favor soon. And that might wind up in the realm of “Be careful what you wish for”, or even “Causes leading up to …”

            1. That power had an honest to God blue-water navy. Anyone China wants to mess with, they’re walking there.

              1. Um… You do realize that China has a very large and powerful oceangoing navy, and that it has advanced ships, and bases all over the world.

                I mean, geez, I’ve been hearing about China’s new navy since before 9/11. That’s why Japan suddenly has all these new “helicopter carriers” named after WWII ships, and why we thought that was a great idea (other than the naming, maybe).

                1. And our Navy, told the French: hold my beer. At this point you have to not just fire all th e flag ranks (dead easy) but take out many of the Captains. And that’s without putting the snowflake 20%-ers, and bringing all the ship’s up to basic functionality and crew levels.

                  Will our dumpster fire best China’s? God knows.

                2. They’ve been improving, but… it’s China.

                  There’s been several big, embarrassing instances where their New Awesome Toy hit the usual “looks great, doesn’t function” issue. The infamous “islands” they’re building keep crumbling, too.

                  And there’s the obvious issue that they don’t have a Navy culture that’s suited to the kind of stuff our Navy manages without a sweat– the US Navy is both more relaxed and more nit-picky, without being checked. We’ve got the priorities built in. THey don’t have that stability as of yet.

                  They could hurt places like Japan, because it’s close, but if I remember correctly that would be by shooting them not by land invasion.

                3. Their oceangoing navy is neither large nor powerful. Most of the PLANs hulls are coastal patrol craft or small missile boats, neither of which would survive long enough to see a CSG, much less attack it. Their blue water navy consists largely of sub-par submarines and destroyers. Enough to pose a threat to Japan’s MSDF, hence the “helicopter” carriers, but not something they’re going to take and hold the China Sea with. The trendlines aren’t good, we rested on our laurels longer than we should have, but we’re well ahead of them and working to stay that way.

                4. China has a very large and powerful oceangoing navy, and that it has advanced ships
                  Ummm, meh. They have the same sort of “advanced” ships the Soviets had. They didn’t name them all “Potemkin”, but they could have.

                  I’m not saying we can ignore their abilities or blow them off. But there’s always a bit of a scare-mongering when the press breathlessly reports the newest military technology of one of our rivals.

                  (Now, the real issue is that we’ve spent a couple of decades now building stupid crap, and spending LOTS of money on stuff that doesn’t work, and thinking that high technology replaces actual strategic and tactical wisdom and knowledge. Oh, and forgetting how to drive a damn boat. They don’t necessarily have to outpace us – just wait for the hare to sit on the side of the road and snooze a bit.)

                  1. As I recall, at the time of Desert Storm it was widely reported that Iraq had one of the world’s largest militaries, battle-hardened after years of warfare against Iran.

                    I forget – how’d our war with them work out?

                    1. You’re referring to Turkey Stomp I? The “war” in which shell-shocked Iraqis on the front lines were surrendering as fast as they could to bewildered journalists, bemused Army cooks, and anyone wearing a non-Iraqi uniform?

                      I suspect China will be a harder egg to crack even with technically inferior hardware and pervasive corruption. The Chinese Communists don’t just buy outdated Russian equipment on the cheap — they manufacture much of their own military kit, and not all of it sucks donkey balls. And Chinese soldiers have much better morale than those unfortunate Iraqis, other than the fanatical but numerically limited troops in the Republican Guard. -_-

                      Honestly, I hope we never have to learn the hard way what happens when the American Navy goes hot and heavy against the Chinese Navy. Even if our forces “win,” the cost is likely to be immense in every way. :/

                    2. None of that was known – nor expected – when the battle was begun. The point is not to take our foes lightly but to be careful about taking their posturing too seriously.

                      I, for one, am less wary of a straight-up slug-fest with the Chinese than I am concerned about their doctrine of asymmetrical warfare. In a world as exposed as our internet infrastructure stands the amount of damage that can be inflicted by even non-nuclear opponents should give anyone pause.

                    3. The point is not to take our foes lightly but to be careful about taking their posturing too seriously.

                      This.

                      There are two errors people are prone to making. One is dismissing one’s opponent too lightly. But the other, even more common, is taking counsel of one’s fears. A good way to fall into that is accepting enemy propaganda at face value. And the thing to remember is that the media is enemy propaganda.

                    4. One wonders what it’d take for the public to simply stop listening to the leftist jackals who pretend to be journalists and not intensely partisan hacks who vomit lies from their liar lips with each lying moment of their miserable lives. Perhaps an independent board that accredits true journalists? It needn’t have any formal legal status to hold clout.

                      This bears thought. At the very least, establishing the principle that purposefully, knowingly lying about events or people might not lead to defamation lawsuits but will nonetheless lead to a formal, permanent loss of credibility. A leftist doofus who insists on incessantly lying about, say, President Donald J. Trump, would end up on the pointy end of a filter that automatically screens out absolutely everything written or said by that doofus. The Kiss of Death. ^_^

                  2. But there’s always a bit of a scare-mongering when the press breathlessly reports the newest military technology of one of our rivals.

                    Some years back there was an incident where a Chinese sub popped up (IIRC) in the middle of one of our carrier groups. The press were all worked up about how vulnerable we were to said Chinese sub.

                    My thoughts at the time: I’m not so sure that we weren’t well aware of exactly where that sub was at all times on the way in, with the sensor operators giggling as they tracked it and we just kept silent so as not to reveal our capability. But, even if it did manage to sneak in–and diesel-electrics can be very silent indeed when running on batteries–the weaknesses of said diesel-electrics which includes that they have to spend a lot of time running near the surface on snorkel to charge the batteries and the need for tenders to replenish diesel makes them quite vulnerable as part of the total package which is why we don’t use them any more.

          2. “No components or assemblies made in China”, and “US/Canadian/Mexican manufactured components & assemblies preferred.”

            Good!!!!!

          3. No components or assemblies made in China>/I>”

            We can but hope, eh?

            Of course, that probably means in a few years’ time some Mexican production facilities will experience unfortunate and disastrous industrial accidents, such as to make Bhopal seem trivial.

        2. > PRC sellers who are selling … for less than the postage for me to ship them here in the US

          That’s due to a “trade agreement” between the US government and the Imperial China back in the 1800s. It was renewed last year.

          You might have noticed you can find “free shipping” on some eBay items from Russia; that’s a similar agreement going back to the Tsars. (and they’re not the only other country)

          Whatever might have justified those agreements probably evaporated with WW1, but you’re still subsidizing foreign businesses with your tax dollars.

        3. No. It is actually the US government which is making that dumping possible, through a postal treaty associated with WTO most favored nation status given to China years ago (by Clinton?).
          Chinese shippers pay less than half of US domestic mail costs

        4. Well, actually, it’s our government that’s been subsidizing the shipping through the postal service. Some sort of aid an impoverished nation deal. It needs to end. It’s why wishdotcom, tophatterdotcom, and various other sites can offer trinkets so cheaply. I’ve bought lots of junk jewelry off them for considerably less than the same exact items on Amazon, that are likely drop shipped to an Amazon reseller and then sold at a huge markup.

          BTW, “junk jewelry” doesn’t necessarily mean junk junk, just not high end jewelry with real precious metals and gems.

          1. Same with all manner of small computer components (main thing I order from Here Be Dragons) — a quarter or even a tenth of the domestic price for the same damn thing (often from what appears to be a US branch of the same shop), and free shipping (two days from Shenzhen by China Post, in fact so far the record is about 40 hours. Admittedly I’m one hop from a USPS hub, but do they own teleporters we should know about??)

            Well, if my tax dollars are funding it anyway, I might as well use it. But I do check around for US sellers first… sometimes one is competitive. Rather more checking now, and a bit more relaxed on price (but I still won’t accept being gouged on the exact same junk just because someone else already did the importing). Make it domestically, then we’ll talk.

      3. Two thoughts, first, you said “nothing beyond cowardice and stupidity are necessary to explain all this. We had a stampede.” While I think that’s generally true of many panics I think we have the added factor of of an election year in which the democrats have a mediocre candidate they are desperately trying to drag across the finish line. It’s in their interests to fuel the panic and claim that Trump’s going to get us all killed.

        Second, with regard to over-reacting, I’m not sure what the appropriate level of response is, but in a real pandemic over-responding early with the ability to walk it back if it turns out to be unwarranted seems like a reasonable strategy. Obviously some policies are easier to walk back than others.

        1. I’ve been voting in presidential elections since 1972 and cannot recall “an election year in which the democrats” didn’t “have a mediocre candidate they are desperately trying to drag across the finish line.”

          It is the natural impulse of Democrats to fuel panic when they can blame Republicans; no election year requirement is needed.

    4. Certainly the Propaganda Press did their very best to whip up a hysterical frenzy. What I’m seeing is a worse-than-normal flu…but not the Second Coming of Ebola that was being talked up.

    5. I think it’s a combination of “We can’t have any risk!” mentality from doctors and bureaucrats, “We have to believe the beautiful people of that ancient civilization, China,” and a need for control by so many in government. Agitated by an “If it sneezes, it ledes!” from the media (AND that need for control to bring about their Totally Fair And Just Society escheton).

      And this only occurs in this combination because we are SO danged rich in our country that we have bought our way out of learning lessons from all of our foibles the last half century (at least).

    6. My husband has the same “there HAS to be something more to it than insane over-reaction!” as well.

      … I think it’s his training as a cynic falling short of the demands as the universe again demonstrates that yes, they can be that dumb.

  5. The max on this year’s curve seems to be week two; that’s way before we heard of Wuhan flu/ COVID-19. Max health care visits at week eight (end of February) so far, right?

    Weird.

  6. Sarah,

    I wish that I had the brain power to figure out all the stats. But, for whatever reason, I remain confident that with prudent measures the effects of this and other viruses can be minimized.
    The President and his teams seem to be doing everything possible to cope with this. The fallout from these bailouts will be felt down the road, but we’ll deal with that later. However, there are groups among us that want us to believe that all is lost. Maybe these folks were “lost” way before this virus started. In any case, let’s wash frequently, keep a safe distance from others, especially if they are under the weather, don’t drag our hands over everything in public and pray. And be kind to one another, especially those folks actually trying to help and do something.

        1. Not being able to go for walks and to church, which is my ONLY amusement plus contemplating the destruction wrought on the west by the left has me incandescently angry.

          1. Wow – even the Gloriously Sheltering In Place Bear Flag Peoples Republic didn’t ban walking outside – we are supposed to stay 6 feet (Hey, the virus acts in feet not meters!) away from anyone we are not living with, but we can go for walks or even runs in the actual air and weather and stuff.4

        2. That’s asinine.
          Florida closed all its State Parks the day before Trump suggested in the daily briefing that people should go out to their State Parks where they could get a break from staying home yet still practice social distancing.

          Fortunately the County Parks here have stayed open, including the ones with Disc Golf courses (my favorite exercise).

          1. Never mind the closed boat ramps. As if there were ever more than eight people at a multi-ramp area at any one time anyway. I do know my favourite county park had the gate closed earlier this week, and I’ve never seen more than six cars in that parking lot, with an area measured in square miles.

            1. The National Recreation Area up here is more worried about people accidentally starting range fires this weekend (winter-dry grass + 25-40 mph winds = HooooooleeSheepdip! if a campfire goes feral.)

          2. Yes, and that has made a bunch of full time RV”ers homeless. They had paid for long term stays and now cannot find another legal site.

      1. Yup. I’ve noticed that there are some governors who really need to have some courage horsewhipped into them.

          1. Drawn And Quartered for the lot of them.

            Especially for the asshole in a NYT editorial who blamed Evangelicals for the “Coronavirus Hell”. 😡

          2. I’m probably being a boosterist jerk but….move to Texas! We have all kinds of good stuff and pols here! I disrecommend Houston and Austin. However we’re a big state. Lots of other good cities. Dallas, San Antonio, Amarillo etc. Fair warning: West Texas is desert. East Texas is more watered and closer to the climate of Louisiana.

  7. the data suggests that this is actually a weaker virus than the flu or even the cold … but still dangerous to the immune suppressed especially the elderly … because its, weak people can get it and show no signs and thus infect loved ones … if you have a flu or cold you avoid the elderly and small kids … not with this you might feel fine …

    the data points that lead me to this are:

    1) weak viruses tend to be more infectious
    2) a large percentage of people who catch it show no signs of the disease, i.e. no hyperactive immune response (fever, etc) nobody who catches the flu doesn’t feel it, you get sick …
    3) kids seems to crush the virus (young healthy immune systems)

    it seems to have found a sweet spot where it can infect alot of people fast, some of whom never see any signs and wait for its chance to infect someone who is vulnerable …

    I think of a cold rain … if we had everyone stand outside in it for 2 hours with no umbrellas or jackets …
    the kids would love it, most of us would be annoyed by it but grandma would be on her way to the hospital …

    1. I am absolutely convinced I got it Jan and Feb. And it was BAD on me. Apparently it hits blood type A harder, and also I have previous issues.
      BUT I lived. With no ICU visit, which is by itself amazing.
      I know it’s dangerous for the elderly, but this one, honestly, hits the elderly at-the-end. Or as hospice nurses say “my population.”

      1. I’ve now read that about Type A blood in several places. From wikipedia, which is probably close enough for this, China is 27.8% Type A. The U.S. is 35.7%. And Cyprus, Malta, Norway, and Switzerland are over 40% with Switzerland close at 39.8%. So each of them should be showing higher infection, hospitalization, and death rates if so.

        One things doctors don’t want to admit is that different blood types react differently to medications and diseases. But the statistical evidence is becoming overwhelming.

        Having said that, I really would like to know the ethnicity of the deaths in the U.S. It would be interesting if it were hitting Asians (of all kinds, not just Chinese) harder than Caucasians and Blacks.

        1. Elmhurst hospital, which seems to be the epicenter in nyc, is right next to Flushing. That area is heavily immigrant East Asian. There also seems to be a group of Orthodox Jews. However, these things run through contacts and thus networks so it might well have nothing at all to do with ethnicity.

          1. next to Flushing


            Flushing New York? Sounds like a good idea! 😀

            I suspect the place was named before indoor plumbing became common…

          1. We figure the kind that came over the Bering land bridge (if that’s still the theory) during the ice age is probably too far, so husband and kids probably okay 😉

              1. If it goes on long enough, there could be a spike in murders. :-O

                Which will be reported as ‘deaths caused by the coronavirus’…

                1. In a neighborhood not known for domestic violence … already had at least one case, next street over, house on corner, near (empty) grade school. Police with lights, lots of them. With at least two ambulances circling the block a couple of times.

    2. kids seems to crush the virus (young healthy immune systems)
      Specifically, their immune system doesn’t go into overdrive and produce the inflammation that seems to be part of the bad response.

  8. just remember when we say someone is “immune” to a virus due to prior exposure it does not mean they don’t get infected the next time around … it means their body is able to fight it and beat it before you show any signs of sickness (i.e. no fever etc) … your viral load stays low …

    if this is a weak virus its very likely that people with a stronger immune system might be “immune” to it … immune not because they had prior exposure and thus the antibodies for it but immune in that their existing immune system can beat the virus on its own …

    1. Most people seem to be in fact immune once they catch it.
      And go look at Diamond Princess data. Most of the 80+ cohort didn’t even catch it.
      In IDEAL CIRCUMSTANCES TO CATCH THE VIRUS. No, it wasn’t good quarantine, or even good medical treatment. It was “best that could be done in circumstances.”

      1. I think that a large percentage of people are actually naturally immune to it … I believe the Diamond Princess data can be read that way (80% not “infected”) … I think they caught it but their immune system crushed it fast … by the time they got tested … no bugs … the current test is for the virus not anitbodies … and if your immune system crushes it not sure you get anitbodies (not sure about that need to do research) ..

        1. “Normal” immune system: There’s the primary response the first time you’re exposed to something. Very few antibodies get formed that first time. The white blood cells (the “T” variety) swarm the infection and do most of the killing. But at the same time, they pass off the “signature” to the “B” variety of cells, which tool up to produce antibodies; they just take a while longer to make enough copies of themselves (several days to weeks).

          The next time they see the same thing*, the antibody response is much stronger, as the system is ready for it.

          *MOST viruses, coronavirus being one of them. Some are sneaky, though, and don’t have quite the same response.

              1. I suggested that we let the kids start it, since a couple are getting a little spooked of the whole germ thing, and dear husband suggested we wait until my parents aren’t here to be scandalized.

                I don’t think the kids will mind the whole bloody death of horrible deadly germs that are loudly cackling about how they’ll kill the cells and thus the lady, but the 65-70 year old folks might.

                  1. XD

                    Such fun series!

                    I was able to read and understand a whole bunch more of my blood panels after watching it

              2. Oooh, I just thought of a geeky gun thing I need to do– get a white hat, write “white blood cell” in Japanese, and then write “1776” for the cell number. ^.^

  9. The shopping was getting back to normal here til Governor Chicken Little panicked and did his stay-at-home order, which even he apparently doesn’t know who he means to effect.

    Alas, Idahoans being what we are, a lot of my friends now NEED to go out even though when they were just asked nicely they didn’t need to. Apparently ODD is the American National Mental Disorder.

      1. I want to go get a giant froo froo coffee and linger in the lobby of something. Instead I go walking early in the morning, before sunrise [I hates DST, I hatessss it my Precious!] and contemplate a world with common sense and calm. And pet any friendly cats. That helps.

        1. Best not to risk not lighting that fire. Better safe than sorry. If it saves one person, it will be worth it.

        1. It seems needlessly complicated to stuff them into effigies before doing that. It might help speed the oxidation process.

      2. Some signs here locally in the shops, no more than ten people to assemble inside building, etc.

        Many places with *exactly* eleven people in them, as I go about my day. If one enters, one leaves. Two enter, two leave. It does my anti-authoritarian heart proud of my people.

      3. Why stop there? Surely there are plenty of staffers and legislators to make examples of as well…

    1. I read Governor Little’s list of essential businesses.

      Apparently the only things that aren’t essential are clothing stores and entertainment establishments.

      And in my cute little town, one of our irregular help workers claims that she was stopped by the police on her way in to work this morning and asked to show a work authorization form to be out and about.

      There’s nothing on the city’s website that authorizes or requires that.

      If it’s true, someone’s head needs to roll. But I’m not sure if it should be that particular officer’s, the chief of police’s, the mayor’s, or the entire city council’s.

    2. Governor Chicken Little panicked and did his stay-at-home order,

      He really should have just quarantined the two counties with the most cases.

  10. Dang. Influenza/pneumonia is way down on the list of leading causes of death in the US, after (1) heart disease, (2) cancer, (3) unintentional injuries, (4) chronic lower respiratory disease, (5) stroke and cerebrovascular diseases, (6) Alzheimer’s, and (7) diabetes. The all-cause death rate in the last couple of weeks is dropping a lot more than can be accounted for by just a drop in influenza/pneumonia. Something strange is going on.

      1. Um, indeed. is

        Crazy-making n’est-ce pas? This is why, when I read a post which combines pretty graphs with confident “this-must-be-so” pronouncements, the dogs get to play chase with my eyeballs.

    1. I’m always morbidly amused by the various anti-disease activists who seem to think that death is optional, and if we just “find a cure for [disease/condition/behavior]” we’ll all live forever. Um, I hate to be the one to tell them, but . . .

          1. I need to keep the one I’ve got for now, despite the ways I’ve treated it less than prudently, but eventually I might be temptable by a rewind.

              1. ’97 after being out of college for 4 years I went home to help my parents put up a new garage. The college football coach walked over and asked if I had any eligibility left and if I could move to Safety. A summer of warehouse work and weight lifting apparently made an impression.
                I should have started that regimen sooner, maybe I could have made the team

                1. ’97 I was on my way back down from likely 300 pounds, was in the warehouse, and got back around 200-210. Later I went to work at the airport and was under 200 again.
                  didn’t last
                  What I really would prefer is my 87 body but my pre-leg break legs (though the sixpack abs from crutches was killer). While I got my endurance back after that, I never really got the ultimate strength I had (once accidentally lifted 750lbs on a leg press. The joker who spiked the weights had to sit in my lap and help so we didn’t break the weights with a drop).

                  1. I went from 165 to 175 that summer, best shape I’d ever been in. After I quit the warehouse job I quit working out every day as well, but didn’t quit eating. By the time I started in dispatch in Jan. ’98 I was 185. Everytime I had a life change (married, changed job, had a kid) I gained more. My heaviest was a little over 250. I’m down to 205 now. I feel much better, but the diabetes sucks.

                    1. Lately it has been creeping back on, and was not happy to see 235 at work yesterday (in steel toes and edc, but no phone) when I stood on the scale for additional reach.
                      About to go out in the garage and prep the bike for the commute and actually move around.
                      After quitting the satellite biz in mid 2004, I dropped to 180, but that was the “Ain’t got money for food” diet.

          2. I want mine from 1980 — that one had two complete knees.

            It’s easy to remember when the surgery occurred – I came out of anesthesia the first night of the Democrat Convention, with Jimmy Carter having already won the delegate fight over Teddy Chappaquiddick. Effectively NOTHING else on the hospital’s TV the entire stay and I was too groggy to read.

            I still have nightmares …

            1. Ah, 1980. It was a very good . . . something.
              Back in the day of mechanical voting machines, to test them, they allowed us kids in high school, to run an election.
              I voted Ronnie. Being stupid highschoolers, Jimmuh won the false election.
              The Spanish teacher said the History and Gov’t teacher was happy “his kids voted the right way,” but she told him reality would be different, and she was right. Even with all the union members in our area, Malaise Jimmuh did not sell well.

      1. Spouse and I went and got the shot as soon as we learned there are pneumonia vaccines. Got the new one as soon as we could too.

        Those stats are from some poor clerical person looking at the docs notes and trying to assign one primary cause.

        There’s also some posterior-covering involved, as CMS gets nosy when a hospital starts reporting a lot of pneumonia deaths. I would bet a lot of the “heart disease” and all of the “chronic lower respiratory disease” cases were presenting as pneumonia at time of death.

        And in real life it’s all in a pile – look up “comorbidities”.

        It might be down that official list, but if you ask health care folks they will tell you pneumonia is what finally pushes a lot of people who are sick with other stuff over the edge.

    1. You’re welcome. Like I said, I’ve been watching for this since it was rumor swirling around the HK protests. I just can’t find anything to justify much panic.

  11. I had major back surgery 01/30 in a major hospital (rhymes with stayo) in Jacksonville, Fl. I had isolated from work for 10 days prior, to avoid picking up any cold or flu bug that would interfere with said surgery.When I awoke from the procedure, I could barely breath (odd as they worked on my lumbar) and had a productice cough.
    Being in a first class hospital, they monitored my temp (I had a fever that would come and go) kept me on oxygen and antibiotics and helped me clear my lungs on a regular basis.I was only supposed to stay in patient for two days post surgery but they kept me four. I spent a few more days in a local hotel, then flew home. By the time I got home, all I had was a minor cough, like what we normally have in Arkansas this time of year, due to pollen.

    I work closely with people from all over the world and we had some teammates in from China in January. I wonder if I was exposed to the early strain and it didn’t hit me until my body was under a lot of stress (surgery was 7 hours of spine remodeling)

    I have not had a fever since, have not had any symptoms, so who knows? It would be my luck to coincidentally be in exactly the right place at the right time for something like this. If you can’t be pretty it’s good to be lucky.

  12. Absolutely utterly bonkers B-movie wild conspiracy theory nonsense follows:

    COVID19 was not suppose to get it.
    It was NOT a weapon. It was meant to life-extender.
    Maybe even a grab at the elusive immortality thing.
    BUT… it hits the not-well very, Very, VERY hard as it tries to gear things up.
    So… it’s unusually to deadly to the old and the infirm, and such.
    But.. it greatly benefits almost everyone else.
    The release was premature. It’s imperfect.
    And the peons weren’t suppose to get the benefits.
    But they can’t stuff that mushroom cloud back into a nice metal ball.
    So… crackdown to try to (re)establish a futile, er feudal type setup.
    Can’t let those peons be free to… screw up the Illuminatastic Grand Plan!

      1. Yeah when people were first thinking about gene modification Common cold was one of the vectors thought of. Another one was HIV because its so good at getting into cells. Perhaps that lab was looking at Corona class viruses for that? Right now its hard to know if it would make a good subject but Corona viruses have been bopping around China since SARS so they may have researched on it. Covid-19 seems like a really poor bio weapon unless your intent is a Eugenic one (kills the older and less “fit”) as its lethality in the general populace seems pretty low.

        1. That last was also one of my “wild hair” speculations (blame it on being in the middle of reading the Troy Rising trilogy when it broke) — that China was wanting to get rid of its “useless eaters” without anything so obvious as gas chambers, so they’d created a virus that was supposed to kill the elderly and infirm, but do little or no harm to the young and strong, and was specifically tailored towards genotypes common in China. This is a country that has a long history of periodically committing mass murder against its own populace, long before Mao (read about the history of the construction of the Great Wall — it was at least in part a “destructive labor” project).

            1. Most of the big Chinese building projects were built using corvee labor – i.e. civilians forcibly conscripted by their local government to meet government tallies for manual laborers on a project. It was so common during much of China’s history that when skimming through a brief history of China that left off with Sun Yat-Sen, there was a note that one particular aqueduct project was notable because – among other things – it was a massive undertaking that was completed *without* using corvee labor.

            2. That’s one way to put it.

              Every so often, China cracks down on intellectual types and sends the scholars off to punitive labor for which they don’t have the physical conditioning to perform. The building of the Great Wall was one of those times.

              The tomb with the terra cotta army may have been another of those projects, but it’s been too long since I read up on that one to be sure.

    1. Alt theory: China has a well known too-many-males problem, and they can see their hollow free ride parasitic economic model is coming to an end with DJT’s pushback and multiple major companies already relocating production outside of the Middle Kingdom. And the Mandarins know that one thing you get with an aging population heavy on military age males is internal unrest. So they hatch a bug for internal distribution that latches on to a side effect of the fact that many more men in China smoke than women, and set it loose for a bit of military-age-male population control.

      All of the rest of this is collateral damage.

      1. Still think it was being worked with by that facility near the Wet Market (possibly for weapons reasons), and someone was typically sloppy, and then someone (possibly not the one sloppy) carried it out to the market going for lunch, or picking up food to bring home, and it found others of similar likes and wants (the place is full of other corona-viruses), got together for a party . . .

        Next Up. H5N1. Read there is a strain in China again. two farms fully depopulated of chickens to try and rid it.

      2. Makes more sense, admittedly. But that drop in All-Cause Mortality before counter/preventative measures were taken lends itself to some wild(er) speculation.

        Having ALL communicable disease reduce now makes perfect sense. But that’s after.

        1. Right the drop is too early to coincide with even the earliest confinements. Definitely worth watching to see what happens.

      3. Another theory: the Chinese government itself was afraid this was something that escaped from one of those two nearby bio-warfare labs. Hence all the lies and coverups, hence the extreme lockdown of Wuhan.

        Since then, they’ve figured out from their own statistics that it’s not nearly as deadly as they first thought. But they’re not sharing those statistics. Instead, they’re encouraging the Western world to cripple itself fighting off a nonexistent menace.

        1. There’s something odd going on in China right now. Beijing’s been loudly proclaiming that they don’t have any new cases of the Wuhan virus. But just within the last day or so, they’ve gone ahead and started to institute anti-illness procedures again, such as ordering the closing of movie theaters.

            1. Yeah, but…

              The level of panic by the government, coupled with the “an awful lot of people have stopped subscribing to their cell phone service” reports out of China seem to indicate something that’s way out of line with what we’ve seen of the Wuhan virus in countries that are more open than China. When the virus first hit, China told people that they couldn’t go to the movie theaters. Then they reopened the theaters. Now they’ve told people not to go to them again. They’ve not only flip and flopped, but have flipped back again, all within a very short space of time.

              Taking actions to block the flow of information is one thing. The rapid flip-flops on preventative measures seems like a whole different thing. It makes the government look indecisive, which is something that authoritarian governments typically try and avoid. That’s the sort of thing that makes me want to take a closer look… which, of course, I can’t do, since it’s China.

          1. Either it’s a psy-ops activated when we’re talking of re-opening, or it’s something else. my bet is on famine, after the swine flu, the locusts and now bird flu.

    2. You might read Feed by Mira Grant. It’s set a couple of decades after the ongoing zombie apocalypse, and said apocalypse is the result of two separate “cures” (cancer and the common cold) that came up with a nasty side effect when they got together. Everyone’s affected. But it only activates if you a) die or b) get exposed to an active infection, as through a bite.

      And yes, they do eventually discover that it’s an oddball form of immortality. Oops.

    3. Some stuff wandering ’round the web which I haven’t checked: Lots of “enhanced function” viral research going around. That is, creating “better” viruses to cure AIDs, create the perfect SARS or MERS vaccine, facilitate genetic manipulation, etc.

      Points to research: DO labs actually run currently non -transmissible animal viruses through other mammals to create human transmissible versions? Gene-splicing viruses to create “extra” capabilities using stuff like CRISPR!

      Did the swine flu from Obama Part 2 era escape from a Peking lab that made an aerosol-transmissible version of the virus using one of these methods?

      Was this kind of research banned in the U.S. at that time, and if so was it because of those reasons? Was it re-allowed by Congress in 2017? just in time to play games with bats, SARS and a Wuhan lab?

      Mr. Taurus, this is a gold-mine for near future SF thrillers.

      Also, I’m starting to think without Christianity, all the anti-scientist Luddites had a point.

      1. From 2016, a vaccine research seminar from my alma mater… you’ll have to FF through the dead air spots, but I found it fascinating. Yes, piggybacking is a Thing.

      1. If you want “similar,” look up “Sverdlovsk Anthrax Leak.”

        Germ warfare production line, someone screwed up, anthrax killed a bunch of people – and the Soviets blamed it on contaminated meat from a local processing plant (or, in some versions, black market meat).

  13. This year, as in any other year, almost 1% of everybody in the United States will die of something.

    That is NORMAL. That is INESCAPABLE. It is NOT a ‘pandemic’. It is not a reason for a bunch of Chicken Littles to get the screaming meemies and collapse our economy. That will kill far more than any ‘pandemic’.

    What is WRONG with those dipshits?

  14. Right now, all across America, people’s life savings are going “POOF!” People who spent a decade or two building a business, and it’s suddenly gone. Sociologists know that some men (specifically men) become suicidal when they lose everything, or when they can’t provide for their families. Not a calm and rational reaction, but these aren’t calm and rational times. I wonder how many deaths will be ultimately traceable to this effect? I wonder whether it would help to have some sort of national “Someone to Talk to” system? Either a bunch of volunteer therapists, or just a bunch of grandmotherly types who’ve seen and survived worse? (Not the “national suicide hotline”; they do good work, but just the name starts people’s thoughts in the wrong direction.) It could all be done on phone lines, maintaining “social distance” but providing human connection.

  15. Aaaand now Gov. Abbott is warning that he may go full “lock down” because the big city folks (Austin) are congregating at pools and so on and not being good citizens. Grrrrrrrrr. Dallas, Houston, Austin, and a few other hot spots seem to have most of the mild interest.

    1. WHO CARES? This is just “let’s punish people.” Seriously, the grocery stores are now filled with people who need people, and the contagion will be through the roof.

      1. That and the people with poor executive function, who can’t plan a week’s cooking and shopping and therefore keep discovering that oops, they’re out of something, gotta go to the store now.

        And the people living in quarters where they simply don’t have room for any substantial amount of storage. I’ve been frustrated more than once when I couldn’t take advantage of a sale on something perishable because we don’t have a chest freezer, just the little one in the fridge, but some people are living in tiny apartments with just a dorm fridge and maybe one or two cabinets, so even storing dry goods in any quantity means they’re stacking everywhere.

      2. Very true. I relocated and have been living alone for two years while working a lot of solo 12 hour night shifts. Going out shopping every couple of days has become an important ritual. A chance to be around people and feel normal.

    2. *deep sigh* And Nearby City’s council just spent all morning working themselves up into a lather and voted themselves a lockdown, because they want to be Just Like The Big Cities.

    3. Hope not. I’ll likely be in Texas on Monday, working, lockdown or not. Essential services don’t get a pass. There’s nearly a five week backlog in one service area.

      Those of us who travel to the hotspots need to eat, too, so managing preparedness takes on a special sort of challenge away from home stocks. We shall see how it goes.

  16. Applying intelligence and disciplined thought to analyse a problem? Is that eve permitted? I am sure that relying on actual available data is an insult to the gods experts!

    1. RES says “insult to the gods experts!” (sorry strikrthough disappeared. I have two words for those “Gods”.

      Puny gods.

      1. I’d add “idiot” god. 😉

        I always thought Loki was an idiot because of that “conversation” with Hulk. Even the comic book Loki wouldn’t have done that. 😆

        1. Right Yelling at the Hulk before the Professor Hulk stage falls into that class of tragic errors like trying to invade Russia with winter coming on. Been a long time gone since I actually read a Thor (on the order of 50 years) so not sure if comic book Loki would have stepped on his crank in such a spectacular fashion :-).

          1. Welllll … it was Loki who used the Hulk (or rather, an illusion thereof) to trigger the formation of the First group of Avengers, so presumably he’d looked into the probability of Hulk giving Thor a beat-down.

            OTOH, comic book Loki was never any smarter than whoever was writing him, so …

        2. Miscalculation on Loki’s part. I don’t think he realized just how strong Hulk was. He probably figured that Hulk was merely strong for a human, which would still put him at weaker than an Asgardian. And simple-minded types (which Hulk is) can sometimes be cowed by a sufficiently strong show of force.

      2. sorry strikrthough disappeared


        Text attributes don’t get copied. You have to add them back in, like this:

        the <s>gods</s> experts

  17. This morning, on Twitter, there was a guy named Randy who quoted a guy named Phil that said, in effect, that Phil wished people understood how exponential growth worked. Now, I don’t have the context to say for sure, but I suspect that Phil’s point is that he believes that the numbers are small now, but they’re going to blow up and get huge. Any second now. Over the last three weeks, I’ve heard a bunch of people say similar things. The problem I have with the sentiment is that I do understand how exponential growth can stay small for a long time and then “suddenly” get really big, but that doesn’t tell the whole story.

    Yes, the initial growth curve of a communicable disease is well approximated by an exponential. It’s like a lot of things that work that way and, like the examples I keep thinking of, it rapidly hits some sort of limiting factor. In the case of a communicable disease, the limiting factor has to do with the fact that most people deal with the same people from day to day. Once you’ve exposed the people you interact with daily, then it’s hard for you to expose anybody else. There are exceptions of course, but for nearly everybody you get a few days of exponential growth followed by little to no growth at all.

    Another problem is that exponential growth story is that there are two parameters associated with exponential growth. One can be thought of as how easy it is to spread, and another can be thought of as how fast it spreads. That’s fine, and provides an excellent model, but the fact is that we don’t know good values for either parameter. When the models were being spread, the error bars associated with the measurements you can use to find those parameters were literally larger than the measurements. When that’s the case, you fall back on likelihoods and you start making your bets. Many of the forecasts, and all the ones that really got the media’s attention, assumed that the real measurements were on the top end of the range, but while that’s possible, it’s certainly not the way to bet. Note these are real predictions made by real experts, they are just based on an unlikely set of assumptions.

    I concluded weeks ago that the most likely outcome was that COVID-19 would turn out to be a huge nothingburger. I’ve been doing what they tell me to do because it’s not that big a deal for me, but I decided I wasn’t going to worry about it. I’ve been attempting to gather as much high-quality data as I can about the spread and lethality of this disease, so I can start worrying if it looks like I should, but all I’m seeing are the same set of uncertain facts been reported over and over and, in the absence of any really new information I’ve just been living my life. Yes, it is hard to make predictions far enough in advance to make a difference, but the fact that COVID-19 is supposed to incubate slowly actually helps with that. We were never going to have villages full of unburied dead with this disease, in contrast to certain hemorrhagic fevers, so we should have plenty of warning of the end as it was coming, and that’s something to watch for.

    So, I’ve been watching. Yes, Italy has had a huge death toll (at least among those they presume had the disease) but is there something about Italy that makes those numbers large, or are they just ahead of the curve? Pick one of those, and that’s your hypothesis. If you believe that science should guide your actions, then the next thing to do is to gather data which will then either support or contradict your hypothesis, and that tells you what you should do. As more data gets gathered and the error bars in the measurements get smaller, it begins to look more and more like there’s something about Italy.

    Of course, I’m not an expert in epidemiology. I’m just a guy who has spent most of the last 30 years trying to make sense of noisy and often contradictory data, so I know noisy and contradictory when I see it. You do what you think is best, and we’ll see what happens.

    1. I suspect theyve seen a variation on the lily pad on a pond thing where if coverage is doubling every day and today the pond is covered then what was yesterday’s coverage. Half of course. I keep hearing people talk about it going exponential. It’s been exponential since the beginning and the data are quite clear. The US has done mass testing, which causes the curves to look as though they’re accelerating but they’re not because testing doesn’t cause disease.

      We humans have a problem with exponential curves mostly I think because we don’t plot them on semi log paper. Plot the cases and deaths on semi log paper and you get a nice straight line. Still scary if the slope is large enough but without that reaching for the sky line you get otherwise. That’s straight out of how to lie with statistics and politicians use it all the time.

      In any case, the marginal cases are what’s important and, of course, the death rate. At the end of the day everyone just about gets a cold but only the very sick die of it (my father, the cancer was just incidental.)

      1. Yes, most people seem to think that “exponential” means an exponent of 2. No disease ever has that exponent, except briefly. It is very dependent on the circumstances. What is called “R0” is the infection spread exponent, and I was seeing estimated values as high as 5 when it was still restricted to Wuhan – plausible, with the density, the constant close contact with strangers, plenty of surfaces for the virus even if they avoided airborne contact.

        The R0 for the US is bouncing around 1.2 to 1.3 – which, as noted, is at least partially an artifact of expanded testing. Unless there is somehow an acceleration (which would go against all the behavior of past epidemics, where R0 declines with time), there is no way that we’ll hit the panicky “60% to 70%” infection mark. It might hit 30% (influenza runs about 20%), but even that seems doubtful right now.

        1. Whenever I’m told something has an exponential growth rate, I confess to thinking, “Why so it does, so everything does. But what might that exponent be? .25 is an exponent, as is -2.)

          I have stopped thinking it out loud, however, except among family who’ve long since decided killing me is more trouble than its worth.

    2. Italy has a high proportion of older people…and Europeans tend to smoke a LOT more than Americans.

      I think that when this is all analyzed, what will come out is that this was a Really Bad flu season. Not the Second Coming of the Black Death. Most of the dead will be people who were already in ill health.

            1. *raises eyebrow*

              There were levels of clusters. Many, simple human errors compounded by “that’s how we always did things” which isn’t even close to the truth. A few more quite literal clashes of culture. The ever popular “we must *do* something!” fallacy. Military follies. Failures of communication (which I think are a human universal throughout time and space).

              Basically, there were large, huge, and yougoddabekiddinme,ohhellNO.

            2. Some of the songs were pretty good.

              It certainly sped development of airplanes, gave us tanks and a ban on chemical warfare that sorta kinda actually held up better than most such pacts. It brought about the end of horse cavalry … except for show purposes.

              Some of our officers got good training in what not to do which stood us in good stead for WWII … which admittedly would not have occurred had WWI and it’s wrap up not been such a charlie foxtrot.

              1. Yes, there some benefits resulting, but it seems like almost(?) every decision made from 1914-1918 went the wrong way.

                And I suppose it did give Edwin Armstrong some (more?) room to work on radio design(s).

    3. Wu Flu doesn’t kill that many people, as I said above I expect it to be worse than the recent named flus but much better than the Spanish Flu. What Wu Flu does is stress healthcare systems. If you’ve got a bad one, like in Italy, China, or Spain, that stressed healthcare system collapses and that is what kills people. The mortality rates from China (I know, but I think comparing Chinese numbers to Chinese numbers is still valid) show a huge decrease when you get out of Hubei province, or when you’re in Hubei province but after the peak in January.

      1. Also in Spain they lost their minds partly due to propaganda. They’re abandoning the elderly to die in their beds in care homes and running away because they think this is the black plague. Panic kills.

        1. This is what will cause phase II here. They found two positive cases in a warehouse and the whole staff walked off thinking they were all going to die. That’s how the distribution system could break down. This would lead to empty groceries and panic.

          Those who spread and are spreading this panic are killers with blood on their hands

            1. I think they passed that point in late 2016. Now they’d cheerfully shove the knife home themselves, secure in the knowledge they’re striking a blow for whatever their chosen cause is that day.

              1. Somewhere — memory fails on just where — I’ve seen a swordsman stab himself through the gut in order to kill the foe behind his back. I think on that image every time I observe the Resistance self-destruct attempting to bring down the man of Orange.

          1. Bath Iron Works in Maine had a positive test the other day. The next day 60% of the workforce called out sick.

            My own yard let people who were over 60 or had a risk factor, or who was a primary caregiver of someone like that, either telework or take admin leave. Yesterday they got told to align with the rest of FedGov and raise the limit to 65 and change some of the risk factors. So Monday morning supervisors are going to have to tell people to come in to work Wednesday after saying it was too dangerous for them to come in to work. I’m sure that will go over well.

            1. I know a woman who worked for three days before her company decided that being out of the country was a risk factor and she had to quarantine for fourteen days. (She could work from home, fortunately.)

              1. OTOH, many people are getting their first doses of home-schooling and telework under circumstances that will contain large doses of aversion therapy. The miasma of doubt and danger doesn’t help, and neither does the impossibility of many activities, or even leaving the house for many.

              2. Yes there is. Without all the stupid meetings that normally occupy most of their day they get bored and start looking at the stupid tracking databases I had been ignoring.

        2. “They’re abandoning the elderly to die in their beds in care homes”

          Sooooo… kinda like the heat wave deaths a few years ago? 😉

          Cheers

  18. One of the speculations I’ve made about the lack of virus spread seemingly in the homeless population given their vulnerability, well to anything really. This was just posted today on the “Neighborhood” app. Names have been removed. Bold emphasis I added.

    “For all the people out there questioning the pandemic, asking snidely if anyone actually knows anyone that’s contracted COVID-19, like its not real, and not taking serious precautions, here’s a wakeup call. I personally have been exposed to the corona virus. Walking home from running essential needs errands for my mother and sister, keeping the 6 ft rule, washing my hands diligently, using hand sanitizer religiously, following every suggested precaution, I stopped to call a cab because it started raining and my bag was ripping. While I stood underneath an awning to wait for the ride a homeless man approached me and asked me to help him get to the hospital because he felt like he was dying. He looked like it too! Keeping my distance, I called the police who sent Cahoots to come help him because he didn’t want an ambulance. Regardless of my efforts to keep him away from me, while not leaving the poor man to die on the street, he stumbled towards me while I was on the phone with the dispatcher and I had to jump back to keep him from falling into me. He then turned the corner and vomited before stumbling back and sinking into the building to hold himself upright. Let me tell you, firsthand, the experience was horrific!

    Yesterday, the news announced two more confirmed cases in * county. He was one of them. And I’m now quarantined to my bedroom for at least 2 weeks and scared to death, praying that I don’t get sick, because my 64 year old mother with lung disease and my developmentally disabled sister are here “sheltering-in-place” with me so I can care for them. Or, at least so I COULD care for them!

    I don’t generally like to share my business like this on social media, and I really don’t want to publicly out myself, but, nobody is telling their personal stories, at least not that I’ve seen anyway, and, as a result, people are taking this all too lightly. I personally feel this is too important to save myself from a little embarrassment! And, it’s not like I can be outcast or something. I’m already virtually in solitary!

    Anyway, there’s a moral to my story that EVERYONE should think long and hard about and that THE MEDIA ISN’T TALKING ABOUT.

    It’s not possible for everyone, for instance, caretakers like myself and healthcare professionals, but, there’s no way of staying safe unless you stay home or, in my opinion, only visit your family whom should also be staying home or only visiting you (via personal vehicles). The homeless are an extremely high-risk population for contracting diseases and spreading germs and they pepper our county streets. Further, they’re currently taking advantage of the free public transit to get out of the weather, they walk the aisles of the grocery stores, and they panhandle right outside their doors. My heart goes out to them 100%, and, I don’t judge them for their circumstances whatsoever, nonetheless, the fact-of-the-matter is their lack of hygiene, whether it be because of lifestyle choice or lack of availability of resources in the community (that’s a whole other issue), or whatever else, is a real threat in our current public health crisis and the only way to keep yourself in the clear is to STAY HOME!”

      1. Still not dead.

        Yep. The problem isn’t that the homeless aren’t getting sick. It’s that they aren’t dying in job lots which we would expect if Winnie the Flu were anything close to what we’re being told it is.

        1. Yup, the homeless would be amongst the most vulnerable population we have. And even they get the news. If they were feeling especially sick they would be seeking treatment or dying in the streets from lack of treatment. At least locally, nearly every single case that’s tested positive has been someone that was either traveling or directly exposed to someone traveling.

            1. Sarah, a few of them are frequent fliers. Most are not. In fact many are quite healthy. Having said that, yes, if they get sick they go to the ER like most other people (that don’t go to a doc-in-the-box. As far as I can tell, the days of your doctor getting you in the same day if you are sick are over.

              1. You don’t have to be sick, or otherwise unhealthy, to be a frequent flier. Most do so because they’re seeking drugs. There’s no reason to avoid it if they are legit sick, and even if they aren’t when they go in, they may be once admitted, since they are being exposed to everything else in the ER.

          1. This could be true … or it could be like the many people who stage “racist” attacks on themselves to “increase public awareness of the horrors of racism.” Note:

            Yesterday, the news announced two more confirmed cases in * county. He was one of them.

            We’re talking about a homeless guy who has already demonstrated a poor grasp of “social distance.” Can we truly believe that there’d be but two confirmed cases i that county?

            Some types of details enhance credibility, others … do not. If the person posting that had asked for a neighbor to come around and help Mom & Sis (or praised a neighbor already doing that) I’d call the story more likely.

        2. We are also not seeing the most important indicators in this circumstance.

          Hourly tear-jerking stories on CNN of people having to go through homeless encampments and towed RVs to find bodies and information so somebody can be informed that they died.

            1. With the conversion of a number of convention centers into homeless shelters, the claim of “why can’t we do this all the time” will begin to be cried in the media and the Internet.

      2. Not so much that the homeless not dropping dead. Just no information that they are getting sick. It is like it is okay to state the assisted living housed are being hit hard, because they are contained. But note it is hitting the homeless, unhoused (see below) population, it is insensitive. What I posted above hits the local “neighborhood” social app. And *wham* the following email hits from the city, regarding what is being done for homeless resources & Winnie the Flu.

        Excerpts:

        * we are working with our homeless service partners and Lane County to address the unique needs of our community members experiencing homelessness in the current pandemic

        [snipped]

        * Consistent with CDC guidelines, the City’s approach is intended to control the spread of COVID-19 through social distancing and hygiene while providing critical services to the unhoused population. In the coming days, outreach teams of City staff from multiple departments will provide supplies directly to people experiencing homelessness through centralized distribution sites as well as through direct canvassing efforts. These supplies include snacks, basic hygiene supplies, blankets and other resources. Outreach efforts will also provide information about COVID-19 and where to access help.

        To provide easier access for preventative measures, 50 handwashing stations and 47 portable restrooms have been or are in line to be deployed throughout the city in the coming week.

        The City is focused on strategies that support efforts to “flatten the curve” by reducing the need for people to travel around the community to access basic needs and shelter. These efforts will evolve and adapt as we continue to learn more and respond to this dynamic situation. You will be able to get the most up to date information on the City’s website at http://www.eugene-or.gov/4355/COVID-19-Resources-for-Unhoused.

        In addition, Lane County has identified two temporary respite sites where unhoused individuals can receive services, including a safe place to sleep, meals, showers and medical screenings. The first site, in Eugene, is the Lane County Fairgrounds. People showing no symptoms or signs of illness will be welcomed in the convention center. Those who are showing signs of illness will be directed to the Wheeler Pavilion. The second site, in Springfield, is the Memorial Building, owned by Willamalane Park and Recreation District.

        Consistent with CDC guidelines. In general? Or specific to the unhoused? Like are they hiding something from all of us? Whether they are dropping dead or not. Just admitting the homeless are getting this is tantamount to getting the unhoused ran out of the local to someone else’s local. Or so TPTB think.

        That the homeless are getting sick … well okay. Are they dropping dead? No. Not that they are reporting. Or are most the dying cases not noted from assisted living or homed, but homeless, and we aren’t being told? Because they don’t want it know … oh gee, hmmm, if you are in ill health or you know somehow put your health into compromised situations, like homelessness or drug use, you’ll probably, you know, have a high risk rate of dying from this. But otherwise, wash your hands, socially accepted distance from the unknown, you’ll be fine. But nope. Lets not discriminate segregate against the homeless, everyone must segregate in sympathy by order.

        1. I volunteer at a meal site in Lane County. Numbers are only somewhat down, perhaps 10-20% and the guests coming do not appear physically sick.

  19. Hmm, the travel restrictions from China were put in place Jan 31 (in Week 5).
    The falloff in deaths in both these charts show the steepest declines just after that.
    It seems to me that SARS-CoV-2 is probably not the only infectious agent spread by contact with Chinese people that Americans are not already used to.

    That’s one of the consequences of world travel by a small but significant fraction of each area’s population. We would never have even noticed Ebola were Americans not traveling to Africa.

    It would be interesting to see if the mortality figures from China exhibit a similar trajectory – not that I believe we can get accurate figures from them.

    1. Well, most of the seasonal flu strains trace back to the middle Kingdom as well, so there’s that.

  20. I’m inclined toward optimism.

    First, we’re getting a good, close look at just how much the leaden millstone of Government regulation costs us. In productivity, in speed-to-market, in innovation. If Trump has the nerve and vision, he can ride this to a mass reform effort. A wholesale reset of the Iron Law of Bureaucracy. You can’t beat the Iron Law, but it’s possible to counterattack. I know, I’ve helped DO it.

    Second, Trump is pretty much a lock for reelection. He’s busy President-ing…while the Democrats are trying to exploit the problems for their political gain. That’ll make for some good campaign commercials this October. And any blame for an overreaction will fall upon the Propaganda Press. Which is precisely where it belongs, of course. And Trump getting reelected means a 6-3 Conservative Supreme Court…which is The End of the Left.

    1. Don’t get cocky.

      Previous rules still apply; Don’t tell pollsters true opinions, etc…

    2. I want Trump to win. I’m anticipating all sorts of, ahem, stuff from the other side, including trying to use whatever the HHS investigation comes up with (“OMG, here’s a mistake he made, nail him with impeachment!”) to tar the POTUS. And rigging the vote as much as they can. That little “national same day registration/vote by mail” pill is going to get slid into everything, I suspect.

      1. What they will do is try to impeach him for abuse of power for all the executive actions that he is taking that right now that they insist are not going far enough.

      1. Ditto; for two weeks at least due to local govt; I’m hoping we’re exempt from the statewide 30 day shutdown. Boss is worried our customers won’t need our main line product this summer since they’re not using the spring they bought.

      2. I think Murphy would keep New Jersey in lockdown in perpetuity if he could get away with it and I suspect many of his Democratic Party colleagues would also.

              1. Alrighty then, I’ll just slowly back away from that resolution to the Crazy Dem Governor problem. Or maybe I I could suggest it Michiganders, Nevadans, and any others whose governors are threatening the licenses of doctors and pharmacists attempting to use chloroquine to save lives.

    3. I’m not sure this helps Trump. I think it helps Biden quite a bit. I suspect “Trump vs. generic Democrat” is a much better race for the Dem than “Trump vs. Biden,” where you have to deal with the fact that Biden is not merely one crayon short of a box, he’s about two crayons away from not having any colors at all. The longer the campaign is suspended, the more he can appear “the generic, normal option” and let people forget about his specifics.

      1. That might be truer were Polonius Biden less obviously inadequate, with a tendency to get worse when idled. I cannot find the write-up but I gather he did a recent spate of appearances in friendly venues, such as Jimmy “Man Show” Kimmel (that one I recall being discussed at Power Line) that were clearly disastrous.

        *This ain’t what I saw but seems to cover the ground:
        Joe Biden stumbles in week of awkward media appearances
        Clip from Hannity

        Caution: before doing any search on the phrase “Joe Biden Stumbles” be careful to set the date range to “the past week.”

        1. “Joe Biden Stumbles”

          Hannity is so not letting former VP Biden’s online fireside chats or remote interviews go unpunished unviewed regardless of who interviewed or the media. Granted the whole video isn’t played, but the videos are generally that long anyway. Hannity doesn’t even clip enough so that one can complain the shown clip is out of context. Biden is given all the rope needed to hang his political, and those of his puppetmasters, ambitions, all by himself.

          Then there is Bernie. As in Bernie, who?

      2. There’s going to be debates between Trump and Biden at some point, and then Clarence Thomas will know justice. Not to mention the fact that the ads this fall practically write themselves, one with dated clips of Biden’s “what I would do if I were President” announcements followed by clips of Trump saying the same thing days or weeks earlier and one with Trump addressing the nation and looking Presidential followed by Biden standing in front of his lectern babbling.

        Hiding Biden helps him now, but the election isn’t now and the Democrats can’t hide him for the rest of the campaign.

  21. Got an explanation.

    An extra two thousand per week death rate from the stress of living with Obama’s attempts to mismanage America. That went down once it became clear that Mueller had nothing, and hence Hillary’s master plan to take the white house was a failure.

    Either that, or Trump’s hidden mass murder of immigrants, homosexuals, and criminals has born secret fruit in reducing the population size the statistics are drawn from.

  22. Back in early December I went from “healthy” to “snuffle/cold” to “(103F gurglewheezecrackle) What do you mean I have pnumonia, doc?” , in three days. “Good thing you came in now. You are -very- ill”.

    Three days.

    They zapped it with a long course of antibiotic horsepills. The side effects from -those- lasted a month.

    When all this insanity is over, I plan to get an antibody test, assuming those are a thing. I have a hunch I an not going to be surprised, at all.

    1. “When all this insanity is over, I plan to get an antibody test, assuming those are a thing. I have a hunch I an not going to be surprised, at all.”

      Ditto. Mid-December range. Never went to the doctor. Just felt like crap. Started as a sore throat, sinuses, and upper chest. Turned into cold from heck. Don’t know about fever. Felt like it, but couldn’t get the forehead thermometer to register. Was sick enough, long enough, thought I’d have to ask sister or niece to take over Christmas Eve dinner. Started getting better soon enough to call off cancelling.

      1. I had something in early November, right in time for Youmacon and Grand Rapids Comic Con. Started with a sore throat, then the nose turned into a Snot Nozzle, along with incessant coughing. Not quite as bad as the bug I had to do Shutocon with back in 2015, but definitely obnoxious. I kept an emoji mask on the whole time at both cons, trying to at least reduce the germ sharing.

        Then I had another round of it, not quite as bad, at the end of February, right around the time we were having all the major home repair going on. Enormous amounts of snot but at least less of the coughing. At least then we weren’t having to do conventions, but it wasn’t fun.

        Whether it was just an unusually potent cold or something else, I don’t know and probably never will. But there were definitely things going around.

      2. I’ve previously testified to an upper respiratory infection that racked me up for several days of eighteen hours sleep (but never more than four hours at a stretch) — and which corresponds with a drop in my hemoglobin count from over sixteen (when the Red Cross checked on taking my donation) to twelve and change when getting it tested for doctor visit a few weeks later.

        I would think that trouble getting enough air i would correlate with low hemoglobin, but I’m no doctor.

  23. people keep saying we need to flatten the curve like S Korea … anyone bothered to actually, you know, LOOK at the S Korean new case curve ? nothing flat about it … everyone gets a new phrase “flatten the curve” and suddenly its a hammer and every country that handles this virus is a nail … utter nonsense …

  24. Could there be data lag? maybe some states or counties just don’t forward their daily or weekly death counts to the CDC as promptly as other, so you’re accidentally including some null values in your totals, instead of the real numbers?

    Where did the original raw data come from, anyway?

    1. Don’t know about this data series since I never worked with it but government statistics are subject to large revisions. GDP for example is revised for up to a year after and sometimes the final estimate doesn’t even resemble the first. If you go on FRED (Federal Reserve Economic Data). You’ll see they have the ability to find out the state of the series on specific days for anyone who is trying to model things for use in real time.

    2. Data lag is a thing; so is “what counts as a WuFlu death?” This is where a Federal standard would actually do some good.

  25. Some realtime data for the US (this is apparently from “smart thermometers”) on the incidence of “influenza like illnesses (ILI)” which includes coronavirus: https://healthweather.us/

    If you click on an individual county, you can see the daily rate of ILI compared to the statistically expected rate. One of the first lockdowns was the six counties surrounding San Francisco Bay, starting March 15. The plots for all of these counties show that about five days later, the incidence of ILI plummets out of the expected trend region. One might interpret this as statistically demonstrating an average 5-day incubation period for whatever they’re reporting (coronavirus plus flu plus whatever else is going around).

  26. I’d love for someone to explain to me how an 8 p.m. curfew helps stop the virus. The virus is nocturnal? You’ve already closed the restaurants and bars, and everything else fun to do. How does curfew help? Apparently doctors working the night shifts are being stopped on the roads to prove they are allowed to be out. Martial law in all but name. These are just being put in by politicians who always wanted the power, and now have an excuse. Hate them all with a burning intensity.

    1. THIS. Or how you can only walk around the neighborhood for “exercise” or if you have a dog.”
      Seriously the purpose of this is to keep us locked in our houses. There’s no reason for it other than that.
      Today the neighbors looked alarmed from behind their curtains as I walked the neighborhood. I told husband when weather gets better, I’m wearing my tree of liberty needs watering T-shirt, then my my no nook snek t-shirt. He says I need more t-shirts. I don’t know if he’s encouraging me, or afraid I’ll start walking with signs.
      You’re not the only one burning with incandescent anger.

      1. Honestly, I’ve been bemused by the entire COVID-19 affair and its multifaceted fallout. Trying to make sense of the oddities of incidence rates and death rates amongst disparate countries and regions has been especially challenging although the hijinks in Italy with frantically overreporting deaths from obvious comorbidities as allegedly attributable to COVID-19 instead has been rather illuminating. Was that bit at heart a cynical ploy by socialist Italian health officials to shift the blame for deaths arising from their poorly run healthcare system onto a not-so-innocent virus and also to try to guilt other European Union countries into pouring free aid into Italy? Who knows?

        In any case, I suspect that the blanket confinement orders arise more from reflexively lazy authoritarianism than from explicit ill intent. Authoritarians will strut and preen and issue absurdly unconstitutional orders. It’s what they are; it’s what they do; and it will indeed be interesting to watch how the inevitable pushback will eventually curtail these casual stomps on individual liberty. Perhaps the leftist-leaning governors and other officials who pull this ignominious crap will find themselves unceremoniously shoved to the sidewalk come the elections. We’ll see.

        I’m generally more sanguine on the outcome of this sort of mindlessly censorious edicts than you appear to be yourself simply because the zeitgeist doesn’t change that quickly; it has an underlying tensile resistance to drastic changes, and Americans are by and large simply too accustomed to a free and easy lifestyle. The current hysteria, fueled by genuine uncertainty and incomplete data, may for the nonce stampede a substantial majority into going along with short-lived “emergency” measures, but the intense and growing pressure to return to normal as soon as is practical will grow into a tidal wave of “fuck you, I’m going back to work and to living my life.”

        I fully expect expect lawsuits challenging executive overreach in applying quarantines to all and sundry without clear evidence of serious individual illness. The impending torrent of widespread testing may very well help this along by making it plain that the coronavirus is much more widespread than generally known and that the actual death rate is therefore far lower than the alarmists would have it. Yes, it hits the elderly especially hard, and that’s a real concern. No, it’s not a harbinger of the Gates of Hell opening to let loose all the demons and imps of Satan. The Constitution endures with a few more tatters around the edges.

        As always, I may be toweringly wrong about one or more points. I’ll take my rhetorical lumps then. If needed, I’ll also quietly prepare for potentially drastic action to seize back liberty from the leftist thugs who apparently see only yet another opportunity to trash the chances of Orange Man Bad coasting to another four years of driving the leftists insane with impotent hatred.

        1. Clarification:

          When I say “Buy one of these” I was referring to the “Invisible dog” leash, not the little girl.

          The latter cost more than $20 and, so far as I know, are not available through Amazon.

          1. Sorry – I thought it obvious.

            The “invisible dog” gag is a wire-stiffened leash/harness which the user manipulates as if a dog were present.

            Yes, I had a hard time finding a good illustration for the uninitiated.

            N.B> – this video is why Brooklyn merits destruction. None of those “dog walkers” are equipped with scoopers and disposal bags.

            1. Some might prefer less intangible pets for walking.

              I wish to cast no aspersions on people’s choices of pets.

          1. The Gestapo were also much better dressed. If you’re gonna be oppressed it’s better for the oppressors to credibly look the role.

  27. Pingback: CURIOSER AND CURIOSER, SAID ALICE:  Covid 19 and US Mortality…. – The usa report
  28. How long before ticked off cabin-fevered people tell self-proclaimed “Authority” to go f*** itself and start having COVID parties, with the idea to just get this whole nonsense over with already?

    1. A) Not My Analysis. B) PDF files at the bottom because it won’t let me attach Excel.
      If you want the original files, which have the data, you can ping me in any medium.

  29. Be careful with the data. Week 11 of 2020 is only the reporting of 79% of the centers. Chart will still look similar, but the dramatic falloff in 2020 is not as steep.

    1. I think this is important. Government statistics are not reliable in real time because they are continually revised.

  30. 1 chicom stats are proven lies.

    2. WHO is clearly Chinese CCP
    copmromised and controlled.

    3. Media is DNC controlled, and DNC isChicim compromised
    .
    4 . Media is also innumerate and unable to analyze data sets and draw logical conclusions.

    5 Politicians largely follow and pander to media opinions.

    6. Those in entertainment are also mathematically challenged and think their fame entitles their opinions to great defferance and respect.

    Long ago I was taught to recognize the informal fallacies of argumentation, and to consider any argument using those informal fallacies to be dishonest, false,misleading and untrustworthy.
    Now, I find the whole establishment is useless,and untrustworthy.
    I am saddened.

      1. Rage is for the young. For those my age, sadness and a deep abiding sense of the coming of fate is more realistic
        The Gods of the Copybook Heading will not be long ignored.

  31. Things that can be true at the same time:
    A. This virus is deadlier than the flu by a considerable margin, and extra precautions are necessary.
    B. There are people who will attempt to take advantage of the opportunity it offers and will exaggerate how much deadlier it is in order to do so.

  32. So re all the sheltering in place stuff – interesting article at http://sunnewsandreview.com/item/15260-gov-gavin-newsom-did-not-actually-order-40-million-californians-to-shelter-in-place basically says the governor basically said: “Pay attention to this illegal universal quarantine order!” in an order phrased as to have to force of law against individuals if they don’t.

    Pay close attention to the actual wording of these emergency proclamations.

    1. Why, thank you autocorrect – should have read:

      in an order phrased as to have NO force of law against individuals if they don’t.

  33. Thanks very much for posting these charts. I found your post through Insta. The data source may be https://gis.cdc.gov/grasp/fluview/mortality.html That page shows the numerical weekly data for 2 and a fraction weeks in the box at the bottom of the page. The charts you presented appear to end at week 10, which would include data for 7 March and earlier. Click the “Download” button, then “Custom” and “Select all” (Seasons). That will get you all the data except for “Healthcare visits” which is probably available at another page on the CDC website. The end date of 7 March is probably too early for the CoVID-19 data to appear out of the noise of normal flu (if ever). Why this season is now so far below the others remains a mystery.

  34. Hospitalizations in NY have decreased for 2 consecutive days now while cases and death climbs. Very good news if true. Comments are mixed between people saying it’s because they’re turning away all but those who need respirators and those who think Cuomo is the messiah. I’m pretty sure that hey were not changing the hospitalization criteria or Cuomo would be blaming Trump so I’m hopeful. Wonder if it’s the chloroquine that’s been in use for a week now.

      1. And when somebody in Michigan dies without being offered the Cloroquine treatment the family can sue the governor for practicing medicine unlicensed.

        Well … they could to attempt the therapy for a dying relative but it probably couldn’t get into court, much less through it, fast enough.

  35. From the CDC website about mortality from influenza and pneumonia “NCHS Mortality Surveillance System data are presented by the week the death occurred at the national, state, and HHS Region levels. Data on the percentage of deaths due to P&I on a national level are released two weeks after the week of death to allow for collection of enough data to produce a stable percentage. States and HHS regions with less than 20% of the expected total deaths (average number of total deaths reported by week during 2008-2012) will be marked as insufficient data. Collection of complete data is not expected at the time of initial report, and a reliable percentage of deaths due to P&I is not anticipated at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services region or state level within this two week period. The data for earlier weeks are continually revised and the proportion of deaths due to P&I may increase or decrease as new and updated death certificate data are received by NCHS.”

    The place he got his data from says that this information is not complete. You can’t get accurate information from comparing incomplete data to complete data. Just “Google Pneumonia and Influenza Mortality Surveillance from the National Center for Health Statistics Mortality Surveillance System” and click on the top link.

    1. Weren’t you, just yesterday or the day before, demanding we use data that is so far from complete that a body can’t even see a vague shape of what complete will look like?

  36. I tend to assume every one here reads (or at least skims) Power Line, but this merits directed attention:

    Our friend Kevin Roche is the former general counsel of UnitedHealthGroup and chief executive officer of its Ingenix division. Kevin has directed us to The COVID Tracking Project. He directs us to the Minnesota testing data: “Look at the positive rate on testing. Incredibly low.” Kevin wonders what happened to the huge infection rates on which Governor Walz has premised his lockdown order. Well, I think he would say, those were projections that he is taking drastic measures to prevent.

    Kevin adds this note to his query: “Now look at the note at the bottom of the Minnesota data: Minnesota stopped providing negative test result numbers on 3/23/20…

    Query: “Why the heck would they do that? Think it has anything to do with Governor Walz’s order and press conference and the numbers they threw out there? Think the Star Tribune will dig into that?”
    https://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2020/03/notes-queries.php

    [Emphasis in original]
    We are not insane, or if we are we’re in good company.

    1. I don’t know about St. Paul, but in “Great Minnesota”[1] aside from some business closures and the restaurants that remain open being carry-out/delivery(if any)/drive-through only, it seems a lot of it is, “Alright, some folk wear masks and gloves, but… life goes on.” And generally, it does. Heck, there are a LOT of no-glove no-mask geezers out and about, and I suspect anyone trying to tell them to change their ways would get told what-for, and how.

      [1] Which logically implies that the Twin Cities are, indeed, Lesser Minnesota.

  37. Some (probably) valid numbers courtesy of Canada’s Conrad Black:

    Pandemic Panic Is the Diagnosis
    The Canadian government’s management of the coronavirus crisis, if judged by what it does and its leaders say, is completely inadequate. Their relief bill is probably not sufficient in quantum or in efficiency for those unemployed or under-employed as a result of the public health crisis, and the relief for small businesses is also probably insufficiently liquid and too bureaucratic.

    [SNIP]

    Even more regrettable was the brief effort of the federal government to have a stump Parliament, reduced almost 80% in numbers, approve the allocation of unlimited powers for the government to tax, borrow, and spend in any way and amount the cabinet might choose with no recourse to parliament until the end of 2021.

    [SNIP]

    The fact that the proposed measure was hastily withdrawn after opposition objections, especially by Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer, doesn’t offer much consolation.

    [SNIP]

    I wrote above that the government’s management of the coronavirus appears incompetent, and it does, except for the fact that the crisis shows no signs of remotely approaching a scale that justifies the emergency measures that have been taken. At time of writing, in a country of 38 million, we have 37 deaths from about 3,800 identified cases.

    The public health system is sufficiently sophisticated that if there were significantly more fatalities from this cause, they would have been identified, even if our testing capacity is inadequate to be confident that there is not a larger number of infected people. Of advanced countries with reliable statistics, only Germany has a lower percentage of fatalities among reported cases, about half of one per cent, and the United Sates, which in medical terms is demographically similar to Canada and leads the world in testing, about half a million people by late Thursday, comes third, with 1.4% of cases resulting in fatalities.

    If Germany, Canada and the United States are the leaders in limiting mortal coronavirus cases, the Netherlands and the United States are the hero-nations of public policy. The Dutch have refused to be spooked and have not seriously tried to reduce travel or rights of assembly, or attendance at schools and workplaces, though they are trying to protect the elderly and unwell.

    Yet their fatality percentages are almost exactly the same as France’s, which is on shut-down imposed by the armed forces. The Dutch are reporting only 1% more fatalities over confirmed cases than the U.K., and 2% less than Spain and 4.5% below Italy. The Imperial College of Medicine (London) projections that were so widely circulated a few weeks ago, of 500,000 deaths in Great Britain and 2.2 million in the U.S., have been revised downwards by more than 95%, in line with the changing public health responses in those countries.

    Even that reduced level of expected fatalities is surely an exaggeration.

    [SNIP]
    If this pandemic was anything like as dire a threat as it has been claimed to be, the Canadian government’s handling of it would have been an unimaginable fiasco. Rather more than 25,000 people have died from it in the world and that is a great tragedy, but China, the country of origin, despite grossly bungling the first two months of the illness, and not believable in its officials accounts of events, appears to be largely through it.

    The world succumbed to a pandemic of hysteria, more than a virus, and it is time to follow the American, if not the Dutch, lead, starting with bringing back the elementary schools. Information from every study thus far shows that children seem largely immune to the virus, so the danger to them is minimal. And although children can be carriers, strict social distancing measures in the classroom, such as those in place in Taiwan, can allow classes to resume relatively unhindered.

    Since New York City, as it is in many things, is now the coronavirus epicentre, a metaphor from the 1960s television sitcom “Car 54, Where Are You” comes to mind.

    Two rather awkward policemen were the principals and in one episode, they accidentally misreported something, and by the time they corrected this with their staff sergeant, the report had shot upwards in the city government, and the two unwitting originators listened with astonishment on the regular radio of Car 54 as the chief of police, and then the mayor, the governor of New York and the president of the U.S. came on the air to reassure the nation.

    There were skilful simulations of the well-known voices of the last three office-holders (John Lindsay, Nelson Rockefeller, and Lyndon Johnson). One policeman said to the other resignedly: “What are we doing? Is everyone crazy?” …

    1. Even more regrettable was the brief effort of the federal government to have a stump Parliament, reduced almost 80% in numbers, approve the allocation of unlimited powers for the government to tax, borrow, and spend in any way and amount the cabinet might choose with no recourse to parliament until the end of 2021.


      That sounds suspiciously like an Enabling Act that would allow them to pass laws by decree. Does anybody remember hearing about a similar measure, somewhere?

      (Hint: March 27, 1933)

  38. I can’t get a haircut. I put it off too long, and now all the shops have been closed by the government. Anybody that calls them ‘nonessential’ hasn’t seen my hair when it gets long! It has almost reached full Einstein.

    They want to shut down ‘nonessential’ jobs, they should start with about 90% of the government. THAT might save the economy right there.

    Some idiot was on the news last night, blaming Trump for shortages of masks and gloves. WTF,O? The government does not have mask and glove factories sitting empty, waiting for Trump to give the word and start them up. The government does not MAKE anything. It just meddles. Keeping the government OUT OF THE WAY is the best thing Trump can do right now. And, well, always.

    1. Oh, they blame Trump for the stockpiles 0bama refused to replenish and put a halt to the program?Maybe he coulda gotten around to it if he hadn’t been distracted by a false charges impeachment?

      1. They blame Trump for too little rain ad too much rain and the rain falling at inconvenient hours. They blame Trump because their farts don’t smell of roses. They blame Trump because they are miserable S.O.B.s and to accept responsibility themselves is a burden they can will not bear.

        I saw a car the other day with a rear window decal reading: “He Won. Get Over It.” Yeah, I let that driver merge, but then I always do — it never pays well enough to be a jerk on the roads.

        1. Those stickers were popular with Obama fans 2008-2016…

          Odd, they don’t seem to appreciate the sentiment now.

  39. News update: an infant below the age of one year who tested positive for COVID-19 has reportedly died in Chicago. Supposedly the first infant death.

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8163725/Illinois-infant-age-1-dies-testing-positive-coronavirus.html

    I sorrow to hear this, my deepest condolences to the parents.

    Reading the article though, there is this:

    Children have made up a small fraction of coronavirus cases worldwide.

    A letter published in the New England Journal of Medicine by Chinese researchers earlier this month reported the death of a 10-month-old with COVID-19.

    The infant had a bowel blockage and organ failure, and died four weeks after being hospitalized.

    Separate research published in the journal Pediatrics traced 2,100 infected children in China and noted one death, a 14-year old.

    Perhaps they meant first infant death outside of China? I am confused.

    1. 90% of these turn out to be wrong. They keep pushing these, and if you look, the kid had something else and just tested positive for COVID.
      We’re being pummeled by these “news” since Trump announced he wanted us open by Easter.
      ALL of them are either made up out of whole cloth or the child had SEVERE problems otherwise and actually died of something else.

      1. Thanks. I didn’t think the article particularly clear, honestly, though the first news of it I heard of was from Sky News here in Australia and they’re not anti-Trump. DM will post both pro and anti Trump articles so they’re at least neutral-ish from what I’ve seen, and they were somewhat more detailed.

                1. You know, some people should not be allowed to play outside of their fields of expertise. I’d have hoped that alcohol and a wager were involved, but apparently not. *facepaw*

    2. All the news stories are VERY careful to say “after testing positive”– not “dies of,” or anything close.

      So I’m pretty sure it’s another “20 year old soccer player dies, had Covid-19” and they avoid mentioning he was dying of leukemia.

  40. My understanding was that autopsies aren’t really being performed. Medical examiners are too busy dealing with Wuhan Virus and other issues. If that’s the case, then cause of death isn’t really a trustworthy metric.

    1. Autopsies haven’t been done in forever FOR MOST CASES IN THE US and you don’t need it to determine COVID deaths.
      People are tested when admitted/still alive.
      Unless of course you mean Italy.

      1. I know they do autopsies for unattended deaths without medical supervision– they did that with my sister, basically if a doctor had said she was sick and then she died in a way that wasn’t suspicious they wouldn’t have– it’s pretty dang rare, though.
        Most people who die in the US are either declared dead while under medical supervision, or actually at the hospital.

  41. For anyone who is struggling with these numbers particularly after today’s extension. There is a very good walkthrough of these numbers, including results from the few random tests, on baldingsworld dot c m. How fast is Corona Vurus Spreading and How many undetected cases are there. Highly recommended

  42. Just a nasty thought — does the Thor Power Tools case mean that hospitals are taxed for stocking up on extra masks, gloves, isolation suits and so on?

  43. Where can I find the raw CDC data this is based on? I’ve looked around for it (maybe clumsily) and haven’t found it yet.

    1. At the bottom, there should be PDFs of the spreadsheets. If you contact me privately by any other means, I can also send you the actual spreadsheets. (WordPress if funny about uploading files.)

Comments are closed.