Screaming In The Forest


If a sane person screams in the forest of madness, but the circus goes on, did it really happen?  Asking for a friend.

Look, guys, I know I’m not exactly “sane,” since sanity consists of fitting really well with the herd. I remember being called crazy in the seventies in Europe, when I said that “hey, how come if Russia is so wonderful people risk death to get out of it?” “How come if Cuba is a paradise no Americans are floating in an inner tube to Cuba, instead of the other way around?”

I am, as you guys know, suspicious by nature, but I’m not BY NATURE a conspiracy theorist.  Even after things lie Journolist, I refuse to believe that most human beings can either create a conspiracy or keep it secret, in the face of being human and the temptations thereof.

But you know what? I don’t blame the conspiracy theorists this time. Believing that there’s something massive afoot beats believing everyone has gone howling mad.

I don’t in any way believe any of the fringe lunatic conspiracies going around from “this all to arrest pedophiles” (Oh, for f*ck’s sake people. Even if Trump COULD orchestrate that kind of operation, I wouldn’t want him to. Talk about abuse of executive power and cutting off your head to cure a headache. Also seeing pedophiles under every bed is kind of an American thing. You have to be born and raised here to believe it. Yes, like the Wu-flu pedophilia is really bad in certain sub-cultures and clusters, but probably not above normal human depravity.  And most of it is probably ephebophilia and a love for “almost legal” girls.  There is a baseline for this stuff across human history, and no I don’t think we’re any worse. Yes, a lot of them will be very powerful. That’s the nature of the game. BUT you don’t need a big secret operation to “get rid” of them, nor would that be the way to do it) or  linked to but divergent “this is when the democrats get arrested” (really, like all the prominent people in the administration who were also in Obama’s? Or do you have others in mind? Last I checked Hillary was still running her mouth.  Seriously. If you buy any theory that requires CHINA and IRAN to cooperate with the US government on a massive lie and you think that lie would be to our benefit, you aren’t naive. Naive is too mild a word for this.  I think you’ve gone crazy, just in a different way from the majority.)  And holy hell and all the furies, no, I don’t believe G5 is causing this. There is a danger of G5 being basically wholly owned by China and therefore vulnerable, but it’s not MAGICAL. I’m more likely to believe that G5 gives little girls the power to turn people into frogs.

Which leaves me with “What is going on?” And “How many of us are seeing it makes no sense and think we’re all alone?”

As I’ve said, I’ve taken contra-popular positions before, but never this much. I’ve never seen people go this crazy in my life time and believe obvious deception, including very smart people who’ve never fallen for this sh*t before.

I like to say this is because people who love this country would rather believe that we’re facing the black death than that we’re being systematically destroyed by an enemy, domestic.

This is not only not the black death, this is very far from the black death. 

And this is only in the US. The “Disaster” that’s Italy has killed ten thousand people, mostly very old.  The normal flu in Italy normally kills four or five times that.

Honestly, the only two conspiracy theories that make sense is that this is a psy-ops from deeply embedded greenies seeking to reduce the numbers of humanity, or that China is coordinating this with everyone in the US who works for China and is in their pay and is afraid of getting discovered. And I don’t even believe THAT because someone would break ranks/get scared/realize that they too are made of flesh and will die in this.

Because guys, the situation is dire. Yes, farmers are still planting. BUT THERE IS NO WAY WE CAN DISTRIBUTE FOOD EFFICIENTLY OTHER THAN THE FREE MARKET and we’re taking the mother of all hammers to the free market.

And trust me, trust me, please trust me on this: IF the wheels come off in the US the rest of the world is going to die screaming this winter.  And I don’t know if this bullshit of what amounts to five months in lock down hasn’t already done all the damage that guarantees that.

So…. What is going on, precisely?

At this point I feel like I’m living in 1984.  Is it really bad in NYC? Has to be, in spots, at least, because otherwise they’d fake bigger numbers, right? But then again, who the hell knows?

Here’s what I know: almost everyone I know in the medical profession is getting half-time work. Why? Well, because hospitals are empty having kicked out/postponed everything and everyone but the most dire cases. Most people I know in the medical profession is staring at empty hospitals and being told the onslaught is coming “soon.” And if you post about it on twitter — I read a thread where someone did, yesterday — you get screamed at that they hope you get intubated.

People are going out of their minds. I’m an introvert, and most of what’s driving me bonkers is seeing the powers casually assumed — and not challenged — by mayors and governors.  You know, I’m starting to wonder if an order went out to wear a tutu, would people do it?  BUT most human beings need some contact, and those people are TRULY losing their sh*t.  I saw a woman in vinyl gloves (the crazier ones are always in vinyl gloves. And do they realize that if they then touch things and their face, it’s just like their own skin, right?) go crazy in a Walmart parking lot because she dropped a bag of groceries. We’re talking epic toddler fit.  And she wasn’t alone.

And then there’s the even crazier compliance.  Yesterday I stepped back to get something from my cart at the grocery store, and the gentleman in line behind me stepped hastily back.  Because six feet. Even though the six feet make absolutely no sense, and only applies to AEROSOLIZED virus.  You don’t breathe aerosol. You don’t now, you never did.  Sure, if you’re coughing violently some particles in your breath might be NEAR aerosolized. But no, not really. Some people think there’s an aerosol effect from the force of flushing a toilet but even that is not quite it. THIS IS NOT HOW ANY OF THIS WORKS.

From that paper, and yes, it’s Zero Hedge, but the paper is sane, except for believing China:

An author of a working paper from the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Princeton University said, “The current scientific consensus is that most transmission via respiratory secretions happens in the form of large respiratory droplets … rather than small aerosols. Droplets, fortunately, are heavy enough that they don’t travel very far and instead fall from the air after traveling only a few feet.”

The media was put into a frenzy when the above authors released their study on COVID-19’s ability to survive in the air. The study did find the virus could survive in the air for a couple of hours; however, this study was designed as academic exercise rather than a real-world test. This study put COVID-19 into a spray bottle to “mist” it into the air. I don’t know anyone who coughs in mist form and it is unclear if the viral load was large enough to infect another individual As one doctor, who wants to remain anonymous, told me, “Corona doesn’t have wings”.

To summarize, China, Singapore, and South Korea’s containment efforts worked because community-based and airborne transmission aren’t common. The most common form of transmission is person-to-person or surface-based.

So, don’t kiss strangers and don’t lick public toilets, wash your hands and don’t touch your face until you have WORK.

What we’re doing? Yeah, what we’re doing is straight up crazy.

Has anyone else noticed that for a month now “next week it’s going to get bad?” and “The peak is two weeks away?”  DOES ANYONE ELSE REMEMBER or is everyone else getting memory wiped every day?

Has anyone else noticed that the homeless aren’t dying or even getting sick — as a bunch of us started pointing this out a bunch of stories started circulating about “This sick homeless man approached me and–”  But those are exactly like the stories of Woke Eight Year Olds who are so scared of Trump they threaten suicide. They’re not credible. Also see thing above about empty hospitals. Yes, the homeless DO use the ED. They’re frequent flyers. They’re not using it any more than normal, or credibly sick more than normal from everything I’ve seen.

In our empty cities, they congregate in job lots, visibly not getting any unhealthier than they already were.

And the excuses I get for this?  “Oh, they’re outside, the air takes the virus way.”
Uh uh. so why are deranged local governments closing public parks? And beaches?  On the excuse that people WHO DON’T BREATHE IN AEROSOL weren’t respecting the six foot distance rule.

It’s like “Brazil, and the other places in the world where people can’t self-isolate (they can’t. Have you looked at housing/densitity/etc.) they don’t seem to be dying in massive batch lots. How come?”  “Oh, the virus can’t survive in warm and humid environments.”  I’ve actually seen this in serious articles.

AND YET they’re quarantining putting Florida under house arrest. (Quarantine is when you isolate the sick. — and btw, WHY not do that instead? Or even the vulnerable, if we can’t test for all the sick? — When you put the healthy under house arrest, it’s called tyranny.)  Hot, humid. And Louisiana has a bad outbreak…. Does anyone know the climate in Louisiana?  Gee, it must be as cold and dry as Colorado.


And why are very few people tallying the COST in lives of what we’re doing? Do most people think money rains from heaven or something?

Because just chronic stress, either from fear of the virus or fear that we’re now living in 1984 and will never be let out is going to result in deaths: suicides, autoimmune episodes (YOU don’t want to know) heart disease and cancer are all going to take their toll.

So is hunger (if you think we can stay on lock down five months and distribution will be fine, you must be a Marxist. They never understand distribution. Which is fine because the father of lies Marxism also didn’t.)  Maybe famine won’t kill people in the US (I wouldn’t bet) but in the rest of the world, there will be massive deaths from famine.

And that’s without counting all the “minor” ailments that aren’t being seen or treated and which will turn out not to be minor.

Usually in this type of situation you can look at who benefits and figure out what is driving it.

Sure, the media benefits from captive audiences, which they haven’t enjoyed in a decade.  Greens are all happy because we’re “reducing carbon.” And local politicians are getting their fascist boots on and strutting around enjoying their power. Oh, and Nancy Pelosi got to gloat early on that this was the end of Western civilization

Is that it? Is this what it takes for our nation and culture to commit suicide? Gleefully? Is this all?

And again, do none of the people driving this realize that they too are human, and the destruction they’re wreaking will engulf them and destroy them and their lives as much as the rest of us?

How many more extensions of house arrest are we getting? At this point I’m not sure this makes any sense EVEN IF HIS WERE THE BLACK PLAGUE. The continued “fake quarantine” will destroy more than death on a massive scale. Because TANSTAAFL and people will die from this in droves within a year.  (Sure the deaths will be less visible. But hell, the deaths from Wu-Flu are practically nonexistent on a scale of “what the flu does every year”.)

So, what is going on here? Am I the only one screaming in the forest of fear?

548 thoughts on “Screaming In The Forest

  1. “This too will pass”.

    Take care Sarah.

    Oh, I may not be “screaming” but I’m extremely annoyed at this Panic and the Asshole creating this Panic.

      1. I should have said “Assholes” to include the News Media and the Demo-brat politicians.

        1. Don’t forget a certain hypochondriac, libertarian blogger. The Soviets thought race riots would destroy America. If the just thought of saying this is the worst flu ever, they would have won.

    1. I said two months ago the panic was going to be more dangerous.

      And I say that as someone a bit more concerned about the kung flu than our hostess.

      Now, here in Atlanta the house arrest is voluntary (ie, no police enforcement), but every place is closed so nothing to go to. That said, my trivia bar and music venue are doing go fund mes for staff with temporary layoffs. People are turning to neighbors more than government, which is healthy to see.

      1. Mom and Dad relocated to Atlanta as Sis who lives in an apartment behind the house but uses the kitchen and bathrooms in the house, and Nephew, who is temporarily between apartments (was sharing and all the roomies moved out/away) and is currently living with them, are both working jobs where they come in contact with a lot of people (Especially, Nephew – works retail) while Brother-in-law in Atlanta is working from home and sis there doesn’t work at all. Dad took a ride the other day and said scenic overlooks and the like were actually crowded, so he drove on by.

      2. Here in The Gloriously Cabin Fevered Peoples Bear Flag Republic the order itself* from Governor Gavin the Incoherent is interesting reading, as all it does is say “all residents are directed to immediately heed the current State public health directives” (not ‘must’ or ‘will’ comply with, which have legal meaning – just directed to heed), which are questionable on their face given the points Sarah makes (Does a public health order apply to people who possibly are ill or contagious, or only to people who are proven to be so? What about people who are proven not to be neither contagious nor possible to be infected (i.e. positive antibody test folks)? Is this absolute dictatorial level of authority over every person, regardless of their health status, across a region or an entire state unconstitutionally overbroad?).

        In practice what is happening is that the enforcement weight of the SF Bay Area cities and counties is not falling on individuals, instead being applied to businesses, forcing closures as per political faith items (PP clinics stay open, gun stores forced to close) and in general threatening public health retaliation if they don’t follow orders (“Shame if we was to start running daily health inspections on your little shop, wouldn’t it?”). This tells me that the authorities are currently hesitant to push too hard on the general public.

        * CA State Shelter in Place Executive Order N-33-20 text:

      3. Just to make things exciting there are people posing as police, pulling cars over, and ordering people to go home. As in, police departments have made announcements about how they are not doing it, and in event of being pulled over, you can put on your hazard lights (to show you noticed) and drive to the police HQ

      4. OK; your hypothesis that governments are over-reacting seems plausible. How do we test it?

        If the hypothesis stands, how do we put the brakes on the government?

  2. Some of the continued shutdown is because it isn’t politically feasible, at this time, for Trump to say: Shut down the major centers that are home to almost all the cases, and keep inhabitants from leaving. But, if this goes on, it may be the only solution.
    We, as a country, could survive quite well without the cities. They couldn’t live without us.
    People in the not-major cities are noticing. NJ, RI, FL and other states are stopping traffic from the Hot Zones. That fact is scaring the hell out of the Elites.

    1. As a practical manner, I suspect most of the country is operating like that. That is probably why they are mad Trump isn’t being the dictator they said he was. He is leaving it to governors, may of whom are leaving it to county execs and mayors. I suspect much of the country will reopen after Easter and it will roughly match the “county by county” guidance we were supposed to get in two weeks, but got delayed because of media panic.

    2. I think Trump may (MAY) be more subtle than that. I think it may be a matter of waiting until the panic-mongering reaches crescendo and then saying to the Democrat demagogues “If things are as bad as you say, the only thing that makes sense is to throw cordons around the major outbreak centers…which just happen to be yours. Or maybe your numbers are a little exaggerated, and we can knock this sh*t off…?”

      1. That was how I interpreted his “considering” slapping a quarantine on the NY/NJ/CT region.

        I noticed that Gov. Cuomo, shortly afterward, began publicly musing about maybe having over-reacted.

      1. Those poor ambulance drivers. I bet they don’t even have 5G at the front lines there, face to face with the hordes of … nobody.

        The horror…the horror…

  3. Yeah, it’s rough, eventually you learn to stop talking around certain topics with the crazy people when you can’t cope with the rage.

    I think talking about the need to impeach Trump because of all the Democrats he isn’t arresting might shock some folks out of this.

    One of the things that helps me when the world is long term crazy is putting an upper bound on the damage if I’m right, and understanding how my degree of correctness may eventually bring me allies.

    This? I’m not thinking about it in the short term, and in the longer expecting normalization. Because it is clearly not as much screaming in the wilderness as my other issues.

    1. You cannot reason people out of a position that they did not reason themselves into. Trying it tends to render them (more) hysterical. Placating them and entering data that helps counter their conclusion is the only process that will work.

      Or you could just hit them with a stick.

  4. Everything suggest feces -> mouth and eyes via surfaces is the major means of transmission, but then you would have to admit most health care workers do NOT wash between every patient and some cultures have no history or value of wiping their butt and washing their hands. SO every surface they touch with that left hand is contaminated including their right hand within a couple minutes. It would be racist to notice that.

    1. THIS.

      My conspiracy -theory based on the very nice people I work with, is that yes, they would literally rather risk the economic destruction aka The Great Depression* of their country than be an “—ist”. Not risk being called names for saying the unsayable, but admiring to themselves that they think the unthinkable.

      So we cannot admit that urban centers are hotbeds of virii to quarantine because blacks, and gays and Jews and migrants cluster there. Never mind loads of others, including perfectly white straight people, are also present. Or shut down flights to-and-from China because immigrants! And P.O.C. Never mind all the perfectly… You get the idea.

      Mrs. Hoyt is right to be furious. But this crazy has been a LONG time in the making.

      *Also, the more woke the less math skills, and historical and economic illiteracy. The iron rice bowl people all think they’ll still get paid even when the economic base that funds their salaries goes away.

      1. Interesting (to me, anyway) tangent to the thinking of the unthinkable: at least one source I’ve read says violent crime in Chicago is down, and has been dropping (albeit slowly) since the more-or-less forced adoption of ‘must issue’ for concealed carry.

        See, it seems to me that one of the MANY thing the Lefties ‘mustn’t say’ but DO think is that the urban brown folk are so animalistic and violent that they must never, EVER be trusted to defend themselves.

        1. Well, think about it. You now have much larger numbers of people staying at home where you don’t need a license to carry, and they aren’t out on the street (where they would need one) to get robbed, and their apartments aren’t empty for B&E.

          1. I wasn’t talking about a short term drop since the panic hit. Supposedly, the numbers have been going down since the law changed. Still very high, it IS a major urban center being misgoverned by Democrats, but dropping all the same.

            Of course, with Chicago, you have to expect that the numbers are crooked, so this may be an illusion.

        2. Yeah, interesting phenomenon – right after the adoption of Shall Issue carry, there is an uptick in shootings. This causes the panty wetters to scream, “See! See! Shall Issue causes an increase in violence!” What they don’t point out to you is that after a year or so, once the hood rats that didn’t get the message that their victims can now *fight back* get taken out of the picture, the violent crime rate tends to drop off a cliff. This is what they get when they lump defensive shooting in with armed robberies, etc., under the ‘gun violence’ umbrella.

          1. That they get that by lumping defensive shootings (and suicides) in with gun crime is deliberate. Just as the vagueness of ‘assault weapon’ is deliberate. They’re losing, badly, so they cheat.

      2. The left has been seeking economic catastrophe since the Coward-Pliven days as they view such an event as an opportunity for their “revolution” to impose totalitarian Marxism. The fact that their strain of Marxism is now identity based rather than purely economic class based is irrelevant. The desire and method is still the same.

        1. A Progressive is a Socialist is a Communist is a Fascist is a Nazi. The uniforms and the designated scapegoats change. The results are dismally consistent.

          1. … the designated scapegoats change.

            Not entirely — they all still hate Jooze.

            There is a dismal consistency in that.

    2. That’s probably “take your smartphone to the bathroom, somebody else flushes, and tiny feces particles float through the air and get on the screen, and then come off on your hands after you leave the bathroom” transmission.

      Because most people do wash their hands, but a lot of feces illnesses keep going around.

  5. I’m so sick of people saying it’s “evil” to even talk about the economic costs when lives are at stake, like the only lives at risk are the coronavirus victims. I think it’s evil to destroy so many small businesses and entrepreneurs while telling them it’s for their own good. And so many people I care about are just freaking out if you even express a tiny doubt that it’s the only way…

    I hope they like Demolition Man because six months of this (and some of my friends are screaming about 18 months!) is how you get Demolition Man.

    1. Six months? Another six weeks and there could be unrest. Another three weeks, even.

      1. Three weeks. My town just went “code red” for a week because they expect cases to peak. In the entire 15 county area we have . . . 20 cases, three in the hospital, the rest at home. *facepaw* (However, the “essential business” loopholes are the size of Mac trucks, which suggests that the lawyers are driving this, not the medical people.)

        1. Yet Fauci keeps insisting hundreds of thousands, may possibly millions will die in the us.

          What is up with this guy?

            1. Agree. My husband said, when we were discussing it this morning, that this is Fauci’s Super Bowl. That he’s been waiting for this probably his whole life.

          1. Because he’s adding a heavy fudge factor for the unknown number of people who caught the virus, but didn’t get tested for it, to drive the death rate down.
            And further making a guess on transmissibility based on similar viruses, another guess about how compliant the population will be with mitigation (almost certainly optimistic), and another guess about improving treatments driving down the death rate.
            In other words, an educated guess.
            I’ve managed a feedlot. People are way too blase about disease. The miracle of antibiotics have insulated people from a harsh reality.
            The simple fact is that before antibiotics, it was a common thing for communities to be locked down in quarantine. It was a normal and expected part of life.
            Looking back the records of the highschool basketball team my grandfather coached, about 1:8 were forfeited due to quarantine. That was the baseline in a very hygienic country, without major population centers, when long-distance travel was a significant undertaking.
            Politics is the art of the possible.
            It wasn’t possible to quarantine people arriving in the country.
            It wasn’t possible to lock down NYC.
            Now, we pay the price for failing to do so.
            We have a population of 330,000,000+.
            If 2/3 of people get this disease, which is well within the realm of possibility.
            The death rate remains at 1.6%.
            Three and a half million people will die.
            And several times that many will get very, very sick.
            And several times *that* many will get very sick.
            That’s a compounding economic hit, in and of itself.
            There’s also continuing damage, as surviving nasty diseases tends to impact your health going forward.
            Then there are opportunity costs. There is a finite amount of medical care available, and it often verges on inadequate. Other people who need medical intervention will often have trouble receiving it.
            Especially as healthcare workers themselves succumb to the disease.
            This isn’t the flu.
            It isn’t like the flu.
            It isn’t a boogyman ginned up by the incontinent hysterics in the media.
            It’s a serious disease that will have lasting societal effects.
            It’s also not the black death, or the Justinian plague.
            It’s not smallpox, nor is it anthrax.
            We got lucky.
            It’s more like pertussis, mumps, or malaria. (And the lasting complications for survivors are as of yet, unknown.)
            Largely locking down the economy is brutal medicine.
            Bloodletting was the most effective treatment for scarlet fever for a very long time, leeches are still used to stimulate blood flow in damaged tissue, and CPR will break ribs.
            Based on the available information, it does not appear that the cure worse than the disease.
            But I do not see a universal policy staying in place until the end of April.

            1. There will not be three million.
              Because they fudge the numbers in places like Louisiana, I will give you 25k. NO MORE. Still mild flu.
              No, it’s not the flu. The mortality is about the same, though.

            2. Either this is as contagious as they say or as deadly as they say. It can’t be both and give us the numbers we have seen so far. Best estimates from the few places that have done some sort of randomized testing is 6-7 % infected. That would mean 22 MM Americans already have it and a larger number have recovered.

              We know,more or less, the numerator. We don’t know the denominator.

              We should respect the power of disease not cower from it.

              1. This horse has gotten the bit in its teeth and is running wild; all we can do is hold on tight and hope it wears itself out before doing itself permanent damage.

                I’m not sure I care to think about what would be happening in a Hillary administration.

          2. In fairness, he said worst case from the model without any action 600k, but added he’s never see the worst case of the model be the reality.

            Maybe it’s the model in me that just grokked that without thinking and he could have been clearer, but that was him yesterday.

            1. Sarah, it’s not because snack food is an “essential business” in any sane sense of the word; it’s because we’ve got whole subcultures and demographics that live on the stuff, wouldn’t know what to do without it, and are easily led to believe it’s all a racist plot if they are deprived of it.

              1. No. I mean look, our walmart is packed ALL THE HOURS it’s open. I’ve never seen so many of my neighbors in one place at once.
                This is not good for stopping contagion.

        2. Aaand now apparently it is two weeks, not one week, so after Easter unless the governor says otherwise. We’re on-line only at Day Job until the beginning of May. And stupid Princeton, excuse me, the College Board is saying that if schools remain closed next fall, they will provide blah, blah. Oh come ON!

          Right. Back to writing and contemplating the ironies of doing a quick overview of civil liberties later this month.

            1. I would expect this is where you should write stuff that would spike your readers’ blood pressure as they shook in rage. Stuff that grips them by the heart and squeezes hard.

              You can’t find anything in current events that would make a USAian story?

              *Remembering* how angry you were later isn’t going to be the same as *being* angry right now…

            2. So write the story of what was done right to end this mess somewhere/somewhen else.

              LTC Kratman made a whole series out of “the War on Terror” done -right-. It is also a basic course in “how to” on a host of related essential topics.

              You artist types make the gloom bearable, by providing diversions that inspire -hope-, and the inspirations of “well, what can -I- do? Well -here- is an idea…” God gave you an amazing talent. Don’t let anything turn you away from it.

          1. Back to writing and contemplating the ironies of doing a quick overview of civil liberties later this month.

            Just don’t try to publish or promote it via Twitter or Facebook.

      2. I meant the nanny society, germ-phobic, anything-not-good-for-you-is-banned you-are-fined-one-credit-for-a-violation-of-the-verbal-morality-statute all-restaurants-are-taco-bell vision of the future rather than the unrest. The lynchings are about one good media push away. There was a car at my neighbors’ with Washington plates yesterday: how long before that’s a trigger to violence?

          1. FWIW, an internet friend from upstate-ish NY has been freaking out over the situation. He notes that in NY (not sure of the precise area, *somewhere*, assuming it’s in NYC), they’re getting a 40% positive rate of those they test. Interesting comparison to Oregon. Statewide, only 4.8% of the total tested are CV+, with the urban host spots in the 10-11% range. Our county is up to four (4.2%) total cases, with the even-more rural counties quite low. Of course, those are counties where the coyotes are the dominant species… (Lake county has zero.)

            1. Likely different testing criteria leading to differing percentages. NYC is apparently refusing or unable to test even people who have symptoms and are at hospital because they are rationing testing kits,. This is happening in New Jersey to. It also appears apparent that in some cases, rationing decisions are being made Italy style-i.e. if you are deemed too old you are considered low priority so they can test people who are younger.

              1. Yeah, a week ago TPTB in our county were complaining about a lack of one supply (apparently only available from the CDC) that was keeping even private testing offline. The test numbers have tripled since then, though we’re still in double digits. (4 positive here; the big Oregon hotspots are a few hundred miles north, and a warm spot about halfway in Bend).

                $SPOUSE mentioned a 20ish New Yawker with a 103F fever who was refused testing “because he wasn’t out of the country”. CDC guidelines strike again. “We may test if you have not been out of the country (China), and have a lower viral respiratory infection, are hospitalized, and are negative for flu.” – per CDC guidelines. If you had the above, were previously in China and/or were closely associated with someone who had Kung Flu, the CDC guidelines said to test.

                Dreaming of James Blish and Mayor John Amalfi. Cuomo (both of them, maybe) could hitch a ride… The rest of the swamp could fire up the Washington DC spindizzys. (Stayed up way too late reading one of the novels instead of sleeping before my highschool English final. Did fine on the test, too.)

              2. Don’t be the least surprised if there isn’t a quick search made for your party affiliation too.

                1. Saw an article where a former Hildabeast advisor, working for a hospital, had a conversation in Fecesbook about trying to get Trump supporters cases of the Kung Flu, then denying treatment. Conversation in public facing area. She’s now a *former* employee of the hospital. One of the other people in that convo is “under evaluation”, presumably getting ready to fire, unless they can memory-hole the entire thing.

            1. Florida is doing the blocks to *prevent* Florida Man (from hotspots in FL) from going to Alabama, at least assuming the writeup was correct.

          2. Look at RI and Eastern CT (Middlesex County New London county) numbers. Low 10’s of cases single digit deceased (or none). Look at Western CT (Fairfield County ) 1400+ cases ~25 deceased. Westchester cty in NY reports 9000+. Population density seems to matter a lot. Eastern CT is suburban moving to exurban. Heck New London city has a population of 25k. I know some people commute to NYC from Coastal CT (knew a couple handfuls each in Clinton, Madison and Guilford along the old NYNH coastal line). More as you get closer down ( New Haven, Bridgeport, Stamford). If this were super infectious I’d expect those folks to have contaminated the coastal towns. but basically bupkus, And yet you have this ( from Insty where there was a fairly heavy communication with no clear sources or transmission method. Allegedly this thing doesn’t mutate much but such weird differences. It’s no wonder folks blamed things on miasma and similar issues before germ theory, because even with germ theory you look at all this anecdotal data and go Wha?
            Seems like specific quarantines/ cordons in certain regions (classic ring isolation) would be sufficient but the herd is to panicked to act rationally (and there are folks fanning that panic HARD because orange man bad). What we have here is a Charlie Foxtrot (although not one of quite Ringoesque proportions, yet) .

            1. FWIW, much as my family and I dislike Raimondo, she and RIDoH have actually been proactive. State has been doing phone triage and hospitals are doing pre-triage outside the ERs before ambos enter. Not sure what they are doing for walk ups (I’m an ex emt there and family still current) but it’s the right thing to be doing. But they also started carrying level B suits on apparatus (iirc my dept was on the “special hazard” (heavy rescue for everyone else)) and training ems on them way back in oughts.

              Also do think the idea of requiring ny folks to quarantine was, while more totalitarian, better than the stupid hide in your house orders we use elsewhere.

        1. Or Oregon Plates in Washington? Never mind someone’s daughter, who lives in Oregon, might eventually have to move home with her parents, you know, who live in Washington … Or needs to drive up to check on her elderly parents? (Well okay. They aren’t that old. Little brother still lives at home. Big sister still lives nearby in the same state. But do the authorities or idiots need to know that?)

          1. Looking at the Kung Flu numbers, I’d suspect the problem would be for Washington (or California) people entering Oregon. By northern WA standards, all of OR is a drop in the bucket. OTOH, Clark county, WA people might get nervous, since they’re near the Portland hotspot. I wouldn’t have heard about any move to block CA cars here–not much Wuhan virus activity in the two counties south of us, and we’re the market center for NE California; any uproar would likely be on Interstate 5.

      3. I suspect most Americans are contrary enough to be out and about by Easter without huge cases present in their area.

        I go out every few days. I’m only working from home as it is now required by my employer. I wonder how many will go back to the office. I used to say I’d never go to work from home, but I’ve found given more than the occasional day of doing it I have found a rhythm. I may actually be more productive overall (better in some areas, worse in others, but more over all).

        I’m more worried about the riots late April if this goes on. My reserves are more for that than this (and I always kept 2-4 weeks dry and canned goods just out of prudence anyway…biggest thing I ran out of so far is mayo and a specific kind of beans).

        1. Here’s a fun one for anyone who, hypothetically, was planning to play Rosa Parks and violate the various laws on public movement.

          Make an appointment with the local blood-bank first. Be sure to record any interactions with the Stasi.

          Not that anyone would do this, of course, just a speculation on how viral the OMG might be…

        2. People can only be pushed so far. I’m pretty sure that Americans have an even shorter “critical pushing distance” than natives of other nations.
          On the English Daily Mail website this morning, I saw a story about local police using drones to monitor and shame people going for walks in the countryside, and encouraging people to inform on those neighbors who went out of the house more than once a day. The whole country is apparently turning into one big prison. Oh, and some especially officious police officers were threatening certain retailers for having chocolate Easter eggs for sale. Such items aren’t “essential”, apparently.
          Give an authoritarian an inch, and they’ll take a f**king mile…
          At least we can go out and about, as often as we please, although the mayor of San Antonio is now threatening to close our city parks. My very old-school liberal neighbors are indignant about this.

          1. In the US such drones would start running into stray pieces of lead…and not just in Red areas, but lots of urban areas as well.

            As for the UK, they have thought police, as in a police officer will ring you up to, in his words, “check your thinking.”

            1. I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if the gangbangers took a few potshots at drones. Some urban gangs are better armed than some small nations’ military forces.

            2. Lead would be easy. Other options exist for entrepreneurs that might bring down and repurpose/sell a high quality drone on the black market.

              Not that I’m suggesting such. Heavens forfend. Merely observing that given certain situations, certain results *will* happen, given enough time.

          2. The British police have been this way for many years now. They knowingly allow grooming gangs to abuse vulnerable girls because they afraid to be called racist. I have vivid memories of the closest I came to being arrested when Sussex police under the orders of their right-on gay chief constable were clocking tax disks during the biggest floods Britain had seen in 100 years. if the cop hadn’t been so embarrassed or I had been driving a cheaper car, he would have arrested me for telling him exactly what I thought about him, his mother, and every bloody jackass in the plod.

        3. We’ll have to see how Oregon goes. Some business shut down (hair/beauty salons, sports, and such), but restaurants are allowed to run as takeout/delivery/curbside. The parks and indoor/outdoor sporting events are shut down, but the emphasis is on trying to prevent close contact. I’m still shocked that our very liberal governor didn’t go full boot to the head.

          1. That is most of Atlanta metro. The governor is leaving it to counties and mayors and I think the response is mostly reasonable.

            Looking at that JAMA article from 2007 looking at public health and the Spanish flu, that seems to be what worked in 1919, shutting down saloons, taverns, restaurant, and music halls, but not regular businesses.

            It might be a bit much for Kung Flu, but is what I consider within bounds, much more than shelter in place orders (that said, with bars, restaurants, and entertainment closed, most people will stay at home, which probably is part of why it works).

            The best part, I’m still contending, is Trump is “giving guidance” and letting closer to home pols decide. That’s a big reason I expect by Easter a good 1/3+ of the country will be open as normal. With trucking and transport not really shutdown beyond air (and air cargo is still going as airlines are discussing their first cargo only flights in years), I suspect the bounce back in most areas will be relatively quick unless a mutant strain does turn this into 1919 (still possible…I know there are two identified strains and I wouldn’t be surprised to find there are more with various mortality rates).

            1. The “first cargo only flights in years: surprises me. I know that Canada has/had two cargo only 747 flights a day, one east to west and one west to east to carry urgent cargo that would not fit in a standard flight. (The company I worked for shipped a truck that way once. They had built it about 2” to tall to ship by rail. The cobalt 60 source went by rail though. That was a pain to move from the truck to the terminal.). Does the US have no flights for oversize cargo? Or are those purely non-airline? It just occurred to me that FedEx flights are by definition cargo only, so the “first cargo only flights” must only refer to the Passenger airlines. Well duh .. Passenger…

              1. Specific airlines are having their first cargo only flights. Not that such did not exist. Sorry I was not clearer.

                The one I specifically remember was American.

          2. I’m still shocked that our very liberal *Oregon* governor didn’t go full boot to the head.

            I’m surprised too.

            1. For what it’s worth, of the deaths in Oregon, they’re mostly (Eugene is the outlier) in the Greater Portland area, so far. The rural counties tend to have fewer confirmed cases (largely because isolation is built into the territory, and to a lesser extent, the difficulty of getting tested). Our county (2010 population, 60K, main city population 20K) now has 5 confirmed, two of which seem to be community spread.

              The restaurants went to togo only on the 17th, and the more widespread shutdown occurred on the 24th. As of the 27th, very few masks were in use (I think I saw two people beyond me), but the 6′ guideline was fairly well in place. Was kind of funny with 9 people (two two-person groups) separating in the dining-cum-waiting room at the taqueria.

              The order on the 24th came out after the NW beaches and a rock-climbing state park north of Bend were packed over the weekend. The governor came across as “We’ll give this a try; if nobody goes along, Dire Consequences Will Happen”.

              Not sure about the farm workers. I’ve read that a lot of the illegals got the hell out, but there are some towns here that have a lot of (possibly legal) immigrants. One big farm operation uses a big crew for labor intensive stuff; planting potato sets and weeding strawberry plants (it’s a major source of plants & seedlings for California growers south of the SF Bay Area.) I’ll check out their tortilla maize garden, though it was trashed last year; global warming killed the corn with multiple hard freezes in June.

              1. Eugene is the outlier

                Tell me about it. I’m in Eugene. Shopped yesterday. Had to. Pup won’t eat unless she has some canned, she was out. We were out of milk. So made normal “circuit” – Costco, Petsmart, Fred Meyers. Spent $300 (not because of C19, it is what it is). You’d think that would be a whole lot of groceries, with a lot of meat. Nope. But back to Kung Flu. Didn’t see any masks at either Costco nor Petsmart.

                Costco had the lines-to-get-in-lanes setup but not activated as timing was not that busy. Employees directing access to checkout lanes whether self-served or not. No piling in & picking one. Had “stop here” on floor. Plastic shields protecting cashier’s. Elsewhere in the store it was self protect keeping distances. Costco employees were scattered about to spot those wandering around to direct people to where things might be. Costco aisles are wide enough that keeping 6 feet apart wasn’t an issue. If you did have to pass too close, everyone turned heads slightly away. Carts are being sprayed & cleaned between use. Oh and there is a list online of hoarded items that Costco will not take back, even after the emergency is over … also posted in the store at return counter.

                Petsmart. The only things they’ve done is close the grooming area, and they won’t take returns of anything. Employees are busy super cleaning & painting the grooming area.

                Fred Meyers (local Kroger). Saw lots of masks. Expensive “I’m immune compromised”, paper one use medical, homemade, and thrown together scarf or high jacket. Personally I didn’t bother. Aisles in FM are two carts wide, so maybe 5 feet. Some people with or without masks would turn around and not pass you, or they would avert their head. No one was speaking with anyone. Well, I spoke aloud to myself (it’s a thing, I mutter, okay). FM didn’t see shields at checkout stands, but they really aren’t setup to make that change simple. They had the middle self checkout stands “out of order”; my local FM has 12, 4 lines of 3 setup. I forgot to bring in my reusable bags, but the employee manning the stations said that the regular checkers are suppose to refuse the reusable bags. You have the option for the checker to put the items back in your cart for you to bag after you leave the check stand. Not an issue at the self check out stands. Me I still piled everything back in & bagged in the vehicle. They were also cleaning carts between use. Didn’t see any “will not accept as return” signs, but didn’t look, either. FM likely will not take back items that people are hoarding.

                Taking two of 3 animals to the vet appointment today. Clinic called with reminder, plus, stay in vehicle when arriving and call to say here. They will come out to get animals. I’m going to have to make a list on “what I was going to talk to you about” because I don’t know if it is just lobby or I won’t be allowed in with the animals too. Cat is over due on rabies, so don’t want to put off his appointment. Dog is due her annual shots & one of them is for the doggy flu that is possible in our area.

                Not sure about the farm workers. I’ve read that a lot of the illegals got the hell out, but there are some towns here that have a lot of (possibly legal) immigrants.

                Heard this too. Don’t know if it is true or not. Mexico closed it’s US borders to non-residences, except for trade. Don’t know how that will effect the illegals in the US that came through Mexico but aren’t Mexican citizens. Unless they scrambled south before the border closure.

                1. Considering that 2.5 weeks was a different world from March 10th, my experiences Friday might or might not be valid. AFAIK, I was generally the only person wearing a surgical mask (purchased for the 2017 flu season, not used then). One other person going into Smart Foodservice (restaurant supply, open to the public because no sales tax. Bwhaha!) had a surgical mask. No masks worn, beyond me at Bi-Mart; none in stock, and I didn’t see the oldest customers who’d be likely to wear masks.

                  We looked at the mask pattern. I need to find elastic if JoAnn is open here (maybe), or else go to something like shoelaces as tie-ribbons.

                  The lab/aussie got her shots early March, before the not-a-flu got me. The border collie needs shots in June. The normally busy vet’s office was very thin on customer vehicles. We’ll see what happens.

                  I thought the illegal bailout was before the border closure. There was a story from Mexico about the locals complaining that the returning workers were screwing up the job market in the area.

                  1. And looking at JoAnn online, unless we use waistband elastic (not happening), there’s likely no usable elastic to be found…

        4. I have to say that I’m concerned about Chicago and Cook County. Fortunately, we are 13 miles from the Loop. Less fortunately, we are two blocks from the highway. For me, I’d watch closely and then consider leaving for our family home out West sometime about two weeks from now. Spend a couple of weeks in the mountains and let things settle. But alas, all my wife’s family is here.

          I think tipping points are subtle things. Wish I knew how better to gage this mess.

          I’ve had to ration the news I watch and my on-line participation. It’s preoccupying and I don’t quite have Sarah’s grit.

          1. I have considered bug out plans to family in Texas.

            Biggest issue is it would be hard to avoid at least two or three large cities with any route, although I guess I could plot one.

            1. If I’m careful, I can manage 400 miles on a tank and be pretty much in the middle of nowhere when I refuel. I can be thru Iowa overnight and find myself in Nebraska. Pretty safe, I suspect. And our mountain home is the last house on the road in the middle of nowhere.Tempting

            2. Do they have ring roads that would allow you to avoid going through them?

              1. Not really, but we haven’t seen the kind of distress/bad actors that would make me want to drive around Ames or Lincoln. Even Chicago is sane for the moment. Would I want to spend time in any of these spots at a crowded hotel? No. But there are plenty of other options. Keep Calm and Carry On: seems like good advice so far. No worries.

              2. Probably. I think wise use of the US numbered system, as opposed to the interstate, with some state roads.

                I need to get out an atlas.

          2. I have family back there, including my mother in her 90s. She’s rather calm about the entire thing; she’s had so many close calls and serious illnesses over the years that either the Wuhan virus will slink away in shame, or it will be over very quickly. Not that close to the rest of the family, so I’m not sure of the freakout level.

            1. Well, the freakout level runs pretty high deep in the heart of Blue. I do a 5 mile walk 5 days out of 7 in my suburban neighborhood. Within the last week, some number of people — maybe a third — now appear “frightened” when they see me. They walk into the street (no traffic) to get as far away as possible. The number of children playing outside goes up and down, the number watching me warily/uncomfortably has definitely gone up. People 50 and above generally smile, pass short conversations, and share the sidewalk amiably. Under 50 not so much. I should say that I’m a “regular.” Been walking this route for a year now. The panic level in my local Trader Joe’s seems pretty high. The store limits the numbers of customers allowed entry to 30. 30-40% were wearing masks when I was in the other day. One or two appeared to be rushing to get in and out as fast as possible, shoulders hunched, avoiding any kind of closeness with people in the store. In the check-out line, when I expressed some doubts to the cashier that it really was all that bad, she backed away from me, not an easy thing to do in that crowded space. My gut tells me in the wider world of Cook County, being any shape or form of “denier” would get you shunned.

              Do not question. Accept and amplify the fear. Frankly, it’s the way most people here look at the world in the first case. We shouldn’t expect any different behavior.

              Politically, the Mayor has told individuals they may NOT go outside, except for a “brief respite” from the quarantine. She has closed the beaches and parks. (My village has followed suit.) She has kept the L running on a normal schedule. She has provided virtually no protection for the local police force. Masks, sanitizer, clearly articulated procedures, and common sense all appear in short supply, if at all. 800 officers called in sick yesterday. The glamorous stores on Michigan Ave have been boarded up. The country prison has released some number of felons to protect them … Reports differ as to the “quality” of these individuals. Local PD sources say they are genuine bad guys. Oh, and the City will name its three finalists for the role of Superintendent today or tomorrow. Seems possible that the interim Chief (from LA) wants out. Who could blame him?

              My eye is on the next few days of warming weather. Spring is traditionally a time of increased gang trouble, shootings, wildings and whatever. Should that couple up with things like an Amazon strike, a disruption of the food chain, or some “news event” that increases general distrust in the neighborhoods, we could see real problems.

              One anecdote to illustrate a line of thought on the food supply. My local higher-end grocery store emailed me Saturday, right after I returned from shopping for bread and wine. (One must live! No?) The owners, in Ohio, announced that an employee in our Chicago store had tested positive for the WuFlu and they were closing the store immediately and hiring a cleaning firm to sanitize according to CDC standards.

              Now lots of things flow from this. First, did no one expect something like this to happen? Was this a reaction as opposed to a planned response? Second, how do other “essential” business plan to respond as employees test positive? Third, what happens when employees primed for some version the the “black plague” by the MSM call for “better working conditions”? Fourth, will rolling shutdowns of key businesses result in more panic buying? As to the third point, see the emerging Amazon strikes.

              I suspect I’m being overly grim with these questions. In my heart of hearts, I don’t believe this is where we are headed. I’m a Christian and have been finding nothing but consolation and support in my prayer of late. I think we are in good hands. “Fear not!” seem to be the first words of the Angel right before He acts.

              1. I spent a good portion of my childhood in a village at the western edge of Cook county, and the big village park was my refuge. I haven’t been back there in a half-dozen years, but I can envision the situation. County woods and village/school parks closed (with variable means of doing so) would be a pain.

                Da Mare looks like she has her totalitarian hat and boots on firmly. (Muses about boots placed elsewhere.) I used to be proud of the fact that I was born there, but after the last president, not any more. At least when I was growing up, at least the crooks running the place were competent, kind of. No more.

                I always took I-80 to get west. When my body could take it, in high summer I could make it to Cheyenne before crashing for the night. Last trip I stopped at North Platte because serious weather, but *if* I-80 is clear, you can get a long distance, even at legal speeds. Don’t look for a quick break near Grand Island, though; the fast food places/minimarts are several miles north of the interstate. (Looked like swamp was in the way.) There might have been a gas station near GI, but I’d stop in Iowa or Lincoln.

        5. I go out several times a day, but to walk. Actually within human distance contact is about every three days.

    2. Six months? I figure we’ll be lucky to make it another six weeks of this nonsense (and I think that’s optimistic: 2-3 is more likely) before it all breaks down.

      And Demolition Man: we should be so lucky. It’s gonna be Mad freakin’ Max. And not the first movie where society is still sorta-kinda holding together either: it’s gonna be full-on Lord Humungus, Immortan Joe, leather jock straps, hockey pads, colander masks, and mohawks, go to war for breeders and guzzoline Mad Max.

      Hope yinz have plenty of ammo on hand, and your sights are zeroed.

    3. But you have to privilege some lives over others because ——-ISM-!!!!!!!!!

      So this is on record, and you may quote me. I consider Mrs. Hoyt to be dead-wrong about SARS-CoV-2 not being in colloidal suspension in the saliva and mucous from sneezes* I AM at risk for the fairly-terrifying death-by-drowning** that the Commie Herpes can potentially inflict. I do not want you to shut down the country for me. Free the peopke. Lift the quarantine. Go back to work. I can and will take my chances. We’ll save more lives that way, including the most vulnerable elderly.

      *aerosol is an equivocal term.
      **all you mocking folks like us by calling this “the sniffles” can… Well. Maybe please reconsider.

      1. WE DON’T Sneeze SIX FEET. And that’s not what they’re saying. it’s not sneezes. It’s normal breath. hence not just “if you’re sneezing/coughing wear a mask” but STAY SIX FEET AWAY.
        You don’t BREATHE aerosol.

        1. Right, six feet is inadequate for sneezes. “Mythbusters” had an episode measuring sneeze speed and distance, and when not shielding (i.e. sneeze into crook of elbow) they were getting a maximum range around fifteen feet for droplet travel, though it looked like rapid falloff beyond a few feet (only a few droplets at max range).

          1. Interesting, but I stopped believing Mythbusters after they determined that dust explosions from flour were a myth.

            1. Oh, they’ve got a few faulty experiment designs here and there, or troubled executions, but the sneeze experiment was pretty simple. Food dye in the mouth, white paper stretched out for thirty feet in front of the sneeze position, and high speed camera for the speed. It would need more sneezers for a proper sample size, but for a quick and dirty result it’s not too bad.

            2. I must have missed that one. I was engineering flour dust explosions with a coffee can covered in tinfoil and a hole at the bottom (for the match) to blow up my little green army men when I was 10.

        2. Agreed*. I am saying that EVEN with this risk existing it is still insanely, and I mean that literally, insanely pro-death, to use it to justify risking everyone else’s lives and livelihoods.

          *You can sneeze at least twice as far. 6′ is just out of the main blast zone. This goes to the “populations that sneeze but won’t even face away from you, much less wear a mask.” Who are they? Why can’t they be shamed/ punished? AAA despite being labelled an essential by the state’s Dewberry-In-Chief, was forced to close down its public-facing services because some individuals were literally spitting on and/or sneezing on staff.

          1. I recall reading somewhere that the 1918 pandemic was the (eventual) death of spittoons in public places, and the birth of laws against spitting in the street.

            Wonder if we’ll see laws about sneezing….

            1. Doubt it. Spitting is a voluntary act and sneezing (unless it involves inhaling snuff) isn’t.

            2. Wait, coughing is a big symptom of this, but sneezing? Even with the variation of reports aboyt symptoms that is one of the symptoms I have not seen as being an issue with this virus.

          2. I am fine with masks particularly if you’re sneezing/coughing. But even you know, when you’re not eating.
            I’m making myself some, in fact, mostly for the cool factor though D*mn it haven’t found minion fabric. 😦

              1. I saw a lady and her two kids with these today! It looked kinda cool, really– I want to get one made in a SubZero pattern for the boys.

            1. I don’t know about minion fabric, but there is minion duck tape”

              Always be sure, please, to specify m-i-n-i-o-n, not m-i-n-y-a-n.

              1. BTW – I have seen the fabric at Walmart and Joann’s, although the latter might be deemed not an essential business …

                I don’t know whether Amazon or other online retailer offers such as the above.

                  1. Whether it is shipping or not on nonessentials seems to depend on the area. For here, right now, I can get it delivered by April 3rd (depending on the pattern).

                    Sarah, shoot me a link to the pattern you like on Amazon, and I’ll cross-ship it USPS up there. (For three masks sent back down, of course… grin.)

                    Although – somewhere, maybe even here, I’ve heard that thin elastic is almost impossible to find. Mmm. Amazon has at least 1/4″ available they say is April 3rd, too.

                    One thing that is not being shipped quickly appears to be most headphones with attached microphone. We did a three-way swap down here to get a USB set for $SPOUSE$ that would actually work with her school district laptop.

                    1. I think that I’ve figured out what Amazon is actually doing, from experience with my own purchases and a daughter that talks with her gaming group that spans all over the country.

                      They are not coming from the POV of managing shipments – they are managing stowage. If something was in the distribution center that serves your region before the change, it is still being shipped out, but no new product other than their list of “essentials” is being accepted.

                      So it’s a hit-or-miss. I received my hardback of “The Pursuit of Pankera” on time. I received two shirts in the normal Prime time frame. I just received yesterday two printer cartridges that I ordered Saturday. ($SPOUSE$ needs them to print packets up for her students, as she can’t access the school printer now. She’s way outstripping the auto-order.)

                  2. Amazon delivered my order of sheet suspenders today. Not exactly essential goods. I think they have stopped delivery from third parties, not positive.
                    In all this crazy, I am praying a lot. My DH is making bullets.

                    1. I’m also praying a lot.
                      And my husband has taken advantage of the fact that — in a moment of weakness — I promised to obey as part of our wedding vows, to forbid me from killing anyone.
                      AND he included politicians and media panic mongers in this.
                      <kicks pebble. He never lets me have any fun!

                    2. Did he say you couldn’t kill, or that you couldn’t even conspire?

                      Just saying, if you’re not the triggerman…

                  3. essential items

                    My “subscribe and save” hair dye is shipping on schedule. The potassium supplement is out of stock. Dog food that I ordered the other day delivered not only on time, but early (or would have if someone had been here to sign for it).

                    Just an anecdote to consider.

                    1. I just went and looked– yeah, it was reported as Amazon only shipping essentials, but I vaguely remembered something like they wouldn’t guarantee anything but essentials, and here’s what I just copied off of the website:
                      As COVID-19 continues to spread, online shopping has increased, particularly for essential goods. To address this need and help ensure the safety of our associates, we’ve adjusted our logistics, transportation, supply chain, purchasing, and third-party seller processes to prioritize stocking and delivering higher-priority items. This will result in some of our delivery promises being longer than usual.

                      So stuff that’s in slow shipping areas might still hsow up on time, but they’re not going to skip shipping essentials to try to keep to the two day promise.

          3. *ugh*


            I hardly ever sneeze, it’s generally rather dry, and I’m terrible at hitting my elbow– but I did figure out how to sneeze into my t-shirt.

            It looks ridiculous, but what sneeze doesn’t? And if I pull out my collar and sneeze down my blouse, the shirt catches any side-blast, and it’s not like I’ll accidentally touch my chest under the shirt.

            1. Same. Ain’t too worried, still. Texas walmarts are open. Plenty of places are drive through pickup only. “Essential” services are still working, crazycakes politicians or no.

            2. I picked up the habit of coughing and sneezing into my shoulder – pretty much the same move as seeing if your deodorant is actually working.

              I also, if I feel it coming, can totally stop a sneeze from coming out of my nose (at the cost of leaving my ears ringing). Is this odd? I’ve never known anyone else who does that, and it doesn’t come up in casual conversation…

              1. I cough into my elbow all the time, but you MUST remember to wash or (if leather) wipe your coat after.
                EVERYONE (I think) can do that with sneezes, BUT doctors say it’s inadvisable because you can burst a blood vessel. Or at least my SIL said that. Not sure if true.

                1. I have a cousin whose whole eye was red for a while because, per them quoting their doctor, they always pinched their nose when sneezing.

                  Who knows how much balloon juice was involved.

                  Nevermind that the spit is probably more dangerous……

        3. The choir in Washington state shows it is people prior to symptoms, who pass it on. 60 people, no obvious people ill. No touching. Used hand sanitizer. Rehearse for 2 hours. Of the 60, 45 diagnosed as infected, 2 dead so far. They rehearsed in a Presbyterian Church in Mr. Vernon. This is what makes this so dangerous. Taking temps, and keeping sick people away is not enough.

          This is why we needed a billion masks, we didn’t have. If you got one use it. Wear gloves, discard frequently.

          I wear one glove to touch screens, buttons, gas pumps, and other common sources of contamination. Then throw away before return to car. Only use one, to make collection last as long as possible. Take a plastic bag into the store, put items in, (have 2 year supply built up prior to evil times when plastic bags became verboten). Use self checkout. Make sure to use glove hand to touch screen. Discard bag.

          Santa Clara valley is cleaned out of hoarded items. No masks, no iso alcohol, no clorox wipes, no kleenex, no napkins. Saw paper towels today, but still have a month supply, so passed. Went to Kaiser for monthly shot. They didn’t want me to wear a glove! The suits are going to ki!! us. May God protect us from bureaucrats who mistake process for product. Who try to look like they are doing something. The CDC still has not admitted it is good to wear a mask. Safeway clerks still not wearing masks. How many will the CDC ki!!?

          1. I’m incredibly skeptical of the idea that an infection rate which blows absolutely every other exposure situation completely out of the water happened in two hours with no symptoms– that simply beggars the imagination even more than the idea that the group didn’t have any other points of contact, when usually those groups are a solid social network.

            If that kind of spreading was possible, it would have already swept the nation. New York would’ve been drowning in cases by Valentine’s Day from #WuhanStrong, and by the start of March the subways would have completely drowned them.

            When a case has results that are way out there– it’s time to look at why that might be.
            In this case, I’d look at where folks ate, if the group that is sick had anything else in common, etc.

          2. Read a discussion of that earlier. Specifically Suburbanshee’s comments. Standing around two pianos, breathing into each other’s faces WILL do that!

            1. If their former chief of police is a normal example, I’d lay dollars to peanuts that either there was something very obvious as an infection vector, and it’s something they don’t want to admit to.

              Like “we all brought home-made snacks” or “the pianos had bowls of bar mix on them.” Or even “we all ate at so-and-so’s taco cart” or “we all go to the same clinic.”

      2. I’m not calling WuFlu the sniffles. I AM saying that people with the sniffles will go to the hospital (when they wouldn’t have previously) because they think they have WuFlu, thus exposing themselves to whatever other nasty is floating around the hospital. And exposing everyone at the hospital to their own brand of nasty that they are carrying. And that is the behavior that will cause problems.

    4. I’ve got family members repeating the “you’re evil if you talk about the economic costs when lives are at stake” screed. Part of it may be fear, because we do have a family member who’s 81 and has health issues. But I can tell that, if I try to point out the cost in lives of a Second Great Depression, I’ll get piled on, and it’ll be all heat, no light. So I try to see where they’re coming from and why they can’t see how the cure can be worse than the disease, how we *can’t* save every life, and could literally be condemning more than we save.

      1. Wait! What?
        Are these not the very same folks screaming in our faces that failure to mandate a $15 minimum wage was a crime against nature? So economics is a critical issue when it fits their narrative, yet must be cast aside as evil greed when our President takes it into consideration.
        Got it, liberal rhetoric, same chit different day.

        1. As the Lord High Prophet of Persuasion* has taught us, first you must pace the stampede, only then can you turn it. So agree that the Woo-Hoo Flu requires drastic action … then explain why freeing up the economy from a burdensome regulatory regime is absolutely necessary.

          *Scott Adams

    5. This is part and parcel of the long-standing idiocy of ‘if it saves just one life’. No. If it costs billions to save one life, then you have WASTED several (probably MANY) other lives to do it. At some level, money ALWAYS equals lives.

      1. When I hear some Lefty use the “..if it saves just one life” I respond with the case of the WW 2 nation wide speed limit of 45 mph. Intended to save gas, it also saved thousand of lives during the course of the war. Needless to say, every one balked at my suggestion that this speed limit be re-imposed.

  6. A friend of mine wrote on FB that it is unacceptable to have human sacrifices to save the economy. I was far too angry to respond, and later I couldn’t find it in her wall, so hopefully someone else was able to talk her into reason.
    (She and her husband are both pastors, and at least some of her commenters mentioned how unchristian the very idea was, and what happened to people’s compassion?)

    1. We obviously need to nationalize and shut down CNN, Facebook, Alphabet, etc for the duration of the emergency. They are vectors for memetic infection.

      Crucify Zuckerberg, Tapper, etc along the highways as an example.

        1. Somewhere I read that one bitter joke during WWII was that “the duration” was the amount of time it would take for everyone to change sides. My memory might be off, admittedly.

        2. Okay, let’s try this one:

          Obviously this is a case of me being right all along about pot. The ninnies at the core of the crowd have impaired risk assessment, and have neither been murdered nor tracked and ostracized. So the crowds are weighing them as part of their ‘this seems to make sense’ function, despite that the individuals could not think through the strategy involved in planning for any sort of hazard. We still need to work on the theory for why, but the issues of shared or unshared religious and cultural values mean that the libertarians are fundamentally wrong.

          In all seriousness…

          Trump isn’t preparing mass graves, so he obviously does not buy the super lethal hypothesis. We can probably expect him to deescalate things in a bit, after the right data comes in, without us needing to do anything too crazy.

          Yes, we have major underlying weaknesses, and cannot promise we will avoid all recurrences. A lot of people are overconfident, dangerous idiots.

          We can still possibly kick the can of ‘needing to do something massive to address the issues at the largest scale’ a few years down the road. If we can buy any time at all, changes we cannot predict or understand may prevent the actual need for ’emergency medicine’. Which would leave us with only our own emotional realities, and if those alone can drive us to seriously harmful action, then we really are the crazy ones.

          The ‘wreck the economy if it saves one life’ types need a careful walk through about how their own economic activity has bought them a share in loss of life. Every single action or inaction has costs, we work from limited data, and there definitely is such a thing as acceptable risk. Individual, small scale efforts. Trust that yours will bear fruit you cannot number.

          1. Most of them want the devastation. They think they will come out on the other side with infinite paid sick time, perfect free health care, and the rich will be hung, drawn and quartered on public square and everything will be perfect.

            They are blood dancing over politics

            1. Some people learn to fly by studying aerospace engineering.

              Some people hop off a skyscraper and figure it’ll come out all right.

              The latter are immensely dispiriting, especially if you are cleaning the splat off the sidewalks.

              I found something that I could definitely spend my life making progress towards, and my emotional balance became a little better. Not something I could put in a jar, and hand out to folks around here, but I do wish I hand some way to help the folks here who seem to be having a rough time.

          2. Judging by the general tenor of your usual notes on the blog makes me hesitate. but, um This.

            1. First part was a sincere opinion that is considered fairly nuts round these parts (for several reasons), so if Sarah finds herself agreeing she’d be best advised to sit on it until her medical condition or something improves.

              The rest? I’ve been fairly nuts since I was a wee child. Since I first realized that, and the value of sanity, I’ve been seeking some degree of stable functioning ‘sanity’. I also deeply hate risk.

              So that combination of a) upset because out of step with the crowd b) attempts at a politically conservative ideology c) preservation of peace of mind and functioning d) dealing with risk is something I may have useful ideas about. Or not.

              Any policy we really sincerely need can wait until people are calmer, and we can talk it out.

            1. Only if you believe Zero Hedge. Note I apologized for linking them.
              Zero Hedge’s perennial headline was “World ending tomorrow.”
              Oh, and the left. The left kept telling us how lousy Trump’s economy was. Like they did with Reagan.
              For the record, no it wasn’t. Obama left some unexploded ordnance in the economic policy, but Trump was doing pretty well at disarming it.
              this has blown it.

              1. I’m surprised that Zero Hedge hasn’t died over the constant disaster orgasm feedback loop that this year is causing them. I always thought the site was there to promote gold stocks.

              2. Eh, there was a lot of stuff that was primed for trouble. Most of it was based on the fact that we have a seriously unserious bunch of clowns hitting economy with hammers to try and direct it. We were headed mostly in right direction but I don’t think there was any way we were not going to have stumbles.

                This is all those stumbles multiplying together,though.

    2. I wrote, somewhere, on FB that self-sacrifice was lauded but that imposed human sacrifice is condemned. We are experiencing the latter now, not the former.

        Do you know the beginning of the end with one of my agents is that he wanted me to have a GOOD scene of the latter. And couldn’t figure out why I balked.

  7. That conspiracy theory is dumb, even by the standards of conspiracy theories. Why fake a pandemic to cover pedophile arrests? And how could Trump arrest non-US citizens — including heads of state — anyway?

    1. “And how could Trump arrest non-US citizens – including heads of state – anyway?”

      Who said anything about arresting. That’s what Paveways and JDAMs are for.

    2. It’s be a fun “what if” though. What would have to be true for this to actually be the case, and have a shot at working? Congress taken over by shape-shifting seal people? Alien invasion. Witches?

      Good value there…

      1. Aliens, witches, or shape-shifters vs. the Democratic political machine?

        Is this all win, or is there a hidden downside?

    3. Methinks ‘twould be far easier to fake up credible evidence of pedophilia (source it to retrieved Epstein records – who could prove otherwise) than of a pandemic. For one thing, there would be far fewer people in the conspiracy — always a plus!

  8. No, you’re not alone. I’m keeping my head down and mouth closed, and trying to avoid the news (very hard, because a family member is following it and arguing with the numbers and statistics.). The tighter the economic noose, the more I want to do something rude.

    1. ‘Tis an unfortunate thing, this. It is tempting- mightily tempting, I’ll admit, to seek permanent solutions to this temporary problem.

      I’m not immune to that temptation myself.

      But while panic will not save us (hah, I say in response to the acephalous poultry. And double ha!), neither will blind anger, no matter how provoked. Every day I work is a finger in the eye of the agents provocateur. Every well reasoned protest is not to convince the shrill and stupid, but the bystander who hasn’t heard anything else.

      If you follow the mainstream news- and even a good few formerly reliable sources- you’ll still see nothing but doom and gloom. But if you’ve ever worked with or grown up with a hypochondriac, you know the signs. Every slightest stumble is The End of All Things, Cthulu is Coming, Don’t Bother Trying To Save Yourself Because We’ll All Die Screaming.

      A rational depressive will see this coming a mile away, too.

      All around us are noise and haste, desperation and absolute conviction. Now is not the time for doomsayers. It is far, far too easy to succumb to that trap. At least it appears so to me, but perhaps a lifetime if holding the black dog at bay might inoculate one to the more obvious traps. It is better- not easier, but *better*- to remain calm *despite* the masses of madness.

      While I might daydream of politicians being drummed right out of office and having a bureaucracy holiday and never opening them back up, I don’t want any on our side to give the despots the martyr(s) they seem to be hankering for. Those of us trapped at home… with internet connections… might want to look up a few elected officials’ contact info. There have been panics before. None that I can recall have ended well.

      Do they want to relive a dark past? Or be remembered as the voice of calm reason amidst the storm of stupid?

  9. Sarah, you are not alone and I’m trying to scream as well. Some people act like they want us to fail; which given that they have previously asked what it would take to take down Trump makes sense. Others, like you said, previously intelligent people are allowing themselves to be stampeded off the cliff of high panic. I’m off to try to respond to a couple of comments on my page (to which I post the “why the f*ck are you guys panicking?” stuff).

    I’m tired of it, but you’re right, we have to keep going.

    1. There are a lot of blood dancers. I’ve actually told family wont be doing a family trip because last time I did it was too stressful and this bull has cost me my planned relaxation trip

  10. From talking to people here in east Tennessee, folks are getting pretty fed up with all the fear-mongering and are beginning to ignore the diktats from the politicos. My church has decided to continue to hold services as usual, regardless of the governor’s and medicos’ advice to be afraid of being near other human beings. And I just heard yesterday that one of our churches in southern VA (Bristol) is planning to move across the border into TN because of governor Blackface’s authoritarian prohibitions on public gatherings.

    I expect to see more and more of this, and pretty darned quickly.

    1. My whole drive through Tennessee I saw signs saying “limit travel- stay home!” Or some such. Pfah.

      Plenty of farms were still working, truckers still driving, and construction still going a pace throughout the state. Even in true-blue Memphis. Shows there’s still a few stalwart souls fighting the swamp out there.

      Not that you’ll hear of such things on the nightly news. But not a few folks are quietly going about their labors with heads down, shoulders bunched, and hands to the plow. While such folk still labor, so shall I.

  11. My hope, in all of this, is that this is the last desperate thrashing of the Mainstream Media and a lot of the Social Justice Zealots out there. DC and Marvel comics have shot the last of their good will with the comic book buying public. “Celebrities” doing extremely tone-deaf actions online. My parents, who are normally very critical of Trump, are just not happy with a lot of the things going on in the name of virus prevention. A lot of people are looking at ways to go around or over or through the worst restrictions.

    And, I think when this is all over, we’re going to see people roaring out to do things.

    1. Y’know, I just ca’t imagine how this hasn’t been posted here ere now …

      Imagine all the people reading lots of books …

      Warning: NSFW (and just what the @!#$* are you doing in an office, you quarantine denier!)

      1. I understand the gist of it, but I cringed on hearing the first notes, and made it less than half way through before disgust at the most despicable song ever became too much.

        1. There’s enough corporate spyware to detect what you’re doing (or not doing) that it most definitely applies even from home.

  12. Take comfort. The hydroxychloroquine treatment was approved for US patients this weekend, and there’s every reason to think it works. Once it’s in common use, which should take a week or two at most, the rationale for the lockdown orders vanishes and the economy can be restarted.

    Yes, this episode will hurt us, but it’s not going to last for months on end.

    1. B-movie conspiracy nonsense time again
      (and, no, I do not a word of it, myself):

      “Alright, now we have the virus in the wild, and they’re using the most efficacious treatment. What does that get us? Nothing! Except for enmity, which we don’t need.”

      “Oh, now you’re there. The NEXT virus is the one that will affect the same groups, the same people, BUT will be absolutely nasty to anyone who used that treatment within the last several months. Their elites? Buh-bye.”

      1. Reminds me of the joke of the Brits who getting fed up with some Americans in their country reminded them that the Brits burned the White House once. The Americans asked how much the Brits would charge to do it again.

    2. My governor in MI just doubled down and said she was entirely correct to threaten pharmacists and doctors with state action if they prescribed those drugs for Corona. I think one of the reporters asked about that but they had the reporters questions muted.

      1. My mom was shocked that such a thing had happened. However, the days when she thought, I must be mistaken somehow are loooong past. That’s a good sign.

          1. Exactly. This is how you get the French Revolution.
            These lefty fools all love the French Revolution (it was so much better than our icky American one you know), yet don’t seem to realize who they are in that scenario.

          2. …. Vir waves his hello to the late Mr Morden.

            I like the way you think. That cheered me right up.

            1. Sometimes you get what you want and it doesn’t backfire horribly upon you.

          3. While heads on pikes would be viscerally satisfying, I would far rather see the lunkhead lot of ‘em cast into the political wilderness. For ballot-lice like Shrillary, being IGNORED would be a worse torture than being publicly impaled. They would HATE it, and it would go on and on and on…..

      2. How much do you want to bet said pols have filled scrips for these in their desks – after all, they are essential for continuity of government, donchaknow.

    3. It’s going to work. Trust me, that treatment is definitely going to work.

      How do I know? Murphy. Murphy hates me. The past two years straight have been one blasted thing after another.

      …You see, I’m allergic to Z-Pak.

      So I know it’s going to work. *Wry G*

      1. There’s an old Alexis Gilliland cartoon (I guess they’re all old now) showing a stereotypical Southern gentleman drowning his sorrows at a bar. He’s saying, “Ah was anti-civil rights and Ah lost. Then Ah was anti women’s rights and I lost. Now Ah’m anti live-foevah. With any luck Ah’ll lose this one, too!”

        1. [clickety] …and it’s probably the same Alexis A. Gilleland who wrote the Rosinante space colony trilogy.

          Volume 2 describes the Rosinante colony’s bid for independence from an oppressive Earth government. E.E. Smith would have approved; the engineers used one of the colony’s mirrors to drive a laser powerful enough to disable an interplanetary spaceship. The Mitsubishi Dragon scale mirror was 125km across, made up of millions of independently-steerable smaller mirrors on a framework so it could be used to provide directable light, heat for industry, etc. They used it to pump a CO2 gas laser a kilometer in diameter and seventeen kilometers long. When in operation, the gas could be seen flourescing through the silica purlin windows. Since the light was purplish, obviously the engineers called it the Purple Shaft…

          The three volumes together would make one modern-size novel. And a tremendous amount of *stuff* happens, both on Earth and Rosinante, so much that a modern writer would have felt cramped at a tetralogy. And every bit of it is relevant, even if it often feels like he’s just skipping over the high spots. And frankly, a better editor might have polished up some rough ares… but you’re talking about genuine old-school space opera, except with all the “how it works behind the scenes” bits hauled out to show you what’s behind the space battles.

          Oh, and Gilleland wrote the series before there was a European Union; one of the important subplots is about the breakup of something remarkably like the EU, and the complications when its currency (the eicu) collapses. Too bad all the contracts for supplying your space colony depended on payment in eicu…

          [checks isfdb] Two printings, both in 1981, but it looks like there was a re-issue in 2011. “Highly Recommended”

          1. Seconded. I have one of the ’81 issues (not digging them out to tell which one).

            I have to admit, though, that I like Ringo’s solution better. Bad tendency of mine, but I do tend to reach for the biggest hammer first…

          2. Available as an eBook, too. If you liked the Rosenante trilogy, treat yourself to the Wizenbeak books.

            They are, among other deliciousness, the source for my oft repeated remark “when you lose a war, bad thing happen to you.”

            1. Right just looked them up the three Rosenante books are 2.99 for kindle. Can’t call that bad.

              1. The pebble that started the avalanche that broke up the North American Union and started the first space war:

                [excerpted from volume 1, chapter 2]

                On the second Tuesday in November, 2038, the electorate of the sovereign state of Texas voted on Proposition 4: To build a low-cost housing development in San Antonio, on the site of the Alamo.

                The argument over Proposition 4 dominated the election, and in the end it was passed by a few thousand votes after a quarter of a million votes were challenged and rejected.

                Luis Raoul Panoblanco, the incumbent governor of Texas, and the chief architect of Proposition 4, was reelected by 87 votes. At the time, it was widely believed that all the rejected ballots voted against him. It was subsequently established, however, that the figure was only 98.15 percent.

                The Governor’s term was, alas, cut short when some deplorables took him, his official residence, and a number of his cronies out with a cruise missile.

                1. OK so this looks interesting very pleased with my purchases now. Early ’80s, Mil SciFi how in the heck did I miss this? I was like a freaking vacuum cleaner for SciFi in my college years and Worcester had a first rate SciFi/Comics joint that had ALL the obscure stuff (owner was a completist always tried to have at least 1 of anything SciFi in print). Although you did need a car (or brass accoutrements) to get there from WPI as it was 2+ miles and it was just past the northern most limits of a nasty part of town/ Red light district. Store is long gone now, moved in the late ’80s and went out of business when the owner died late 90’s.

                  1. Well, being that it was 1980, mil-SF wasn’t really a thing yet. And the Rosinante books are more why and how instead of what, despite the Dragon Scale Mirrors and the Purple Shaft. And Rosinante’s position was… complicated.

                    It’s a lot like “The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress”, except it moves much faster and has more stuff going on. Way more stuff going on. The Loonies had Mike. Rosinante had Corporate Skaskash, who found God, declared itself the new Prophet, and began preaching…

                    1. No I didn’t know about eyrie productions. That is cool. 1991 was well after I and my wife graduated (’83 and ’84 respectively)and well before my second daughter was born (1996) let alone graduated (2018). Thanks for the pointer.

      2. Just the malaria drug does a bunch, and there are other antivirals and antibiotics that will work alongside it. Z-pac is just the cheaper, more available one.

          1. I’m allergic to Demerol, which is the anaesthetic of choice for surgery. I had them write it on my chart in big laundry marker, right on the front cover. “Allergic” as in “respiratory failure” among the problems…

            So, in the operating room later, the anesthesiologist is fiddling with the IV, and I ask him what he was going to be using.


            I got more than a little shouty there. And Idiot Boy was still defensive, saying things like “I’ll be careful.” He hadn’t even looked at the chart. Once the main surgeon and a couple of hospital staff were in the room, we agreed that Idiot Boy would continue with a different drug, as there seemed to be no other anesthesiologist available, and I didn’t want to wait another two weeks and try again. But everyone in the room and down the hall knew the score when I went under…

            This was *after* they’d wheeled me into the wrong operating room half an hour before, and I questioned why they wanted me to turn over on my stomach for leg surgery. I would probably have wound up with hemorrhoid surgery I didn’t need, that being the procedure they were getting ready to perform.

            The business now, where they annoy you by clamping on a wristband and checking it every few minutes? Hell yes. And even then, writing your name and the procedure you’re supposed to get on your chest with laundry marker might not be a bad idea…

    4. Economically this crud is going to unwind for years. My job gets busier the worse the economy is, so I’m going to have an exhausting decade ahead of me as long as I have the position.

  13. Read Ringo’s “The Last Centurion” again. I don’t think he is through playing the prophet. I suspect mis-allocation of resources isn’t far off. They will send all the food into the big cities where it will be resold – hoarded and held captive by corrupt local governments. (Like Puerto Rico.)

    1. There’s a reason why I’m going to suggest to the Parents that we look about expanding our garden box and having a plan to tear out the back lawn for more space.

    2. Between COVID-19 and the lingering winter up here in Canada, that book is looking more and more like current events.

    3. I’m glad I read it. Also glad I didn’t discuss it much with $SPOUSE. At the time, she was freaking out over the test result numbers. Had to point out that testing more would guarantee higher positive results. We are going to go full planting in the garden this year, assuming we don’t have too many hard freezes in June.

      (I’m using US deaths as the CV-19 metric, though I’d like to pull numbers that separate New York City from the rest. Something is odd there, and I don’t have a good guess as to what’s up with it.)

      1. New York is odd but not off on rates much. Testing is symptoms only still I think. Due care in interpretation but beyond the size of the place there are three factors to consider. 1 Public Transport, you don’t know where the poles have been. 2 Lots of East Asian Immigrants, This explains much of Elmhurst Hospital. 3. Data sparse now but the Hasidic community is being savaged. This explains Brooklyn Hospital as well as the numbers in Rockland County. It’s a very communal society.

        1. The oddness for NYC is that suddenly-they’re-reporting-hundreds thing, which was reported as deaths on that day.

          What was it, 400 and 500 or something?

          1. OK. I was looking at rates and they seemed reasonable to me. Doesn’t change that a great deal of how this plays out is a function of networks of people. The Hasidim are really getting hammered but they are, in the US, largely a NY thing.

            1. Trying to find the daily reported deaths, and found that just a few days before they had 500+ deaths, Freeto or Dorito or whatever the “we’re out of ventilators — oh, gosh, THOSE 2000 right here in storage, uh–” guy announced that any day now they would be reporting 500 cases a day.

              Then Trump has that little chat, and in spite of increased testing, their deaths drop down to 200-something again.

          2. By the John’s Hopkins numbers, NYC is at 914 total deaths today. I ignore the positive case numbers other than in our county (more to get an idea if testing has moved beyond “Bring out your dead” CDC criteria).

  14. Thank you for posting these things Sarah. I joke that I feel like I’ve become the meme of Mugatu from Zoolander screaming “I feel like I’m taking crazy pills!” Although it’s not really a joke anymore.

    I’ve lost respect for people I used to respect. For a time I took solace in not arguing, I would make a point clearly, someone would say nuh uh we’re all gonna dieeeeeeee!!!!1! I would not respond, reminding myself that I would be soon proven right and I’m not going to be the crazy arguing person.

    But as things go on, my anger is turning into depression. Even when this is over, it will happen again. They’ll find a reason to shut us down, especially if and when a Democrat is in the presidency.

    Your posts help me. They are helping me remember I’m not alone. It’s not that I think I’m crazy, I know I’m right, it’s more that I feel like Cassandra from myth. I see what’s coming and no matter how I try to tell people, they don’t listen. But your posts make me feel better because I know I’m not the only one who sees it. So thanks.

  15. Economics is the Dismal Science. Scarcity is the usual reason given for it being so. Personally, I find the most dismal aspect of it to be how many people don’t understand economics. It’s enough to make a man take off his hat, throw it on the ground, and stomp on it.

    Does Winnie the Flu kill people? Yes. It does. However, you know what else kills people? A faltering, let alone crashed, economy. The thing is this is exactly the kind of thing you get with Bastiat’s “seen and unseen”. Those directly (or slightly indirectly through opportunistic infections) killed by Winnie are seen. Those who die because a treatment was delayed, or their heat was turned off because they were laid off and couldn’t afford it, or any of a host of other little things of people “at the margins” where the difference between “good economy” and “economy in the toilet” made the difference. Those are the “unseen.” Oh, sure, individually someone sees folk dying but mostly they’re the kind of folk who might well have died anyway. We just get more of the “might” turning into “did”.

    They go unnoticed in the general scheme of things. There isn’t a single cause that people can point to saying “see, that’s killing people.” It’s a thousand little things where if things had been just a bit better they would not have died. People don’t make the connection to the the faltering economy, not until it gets truly awful (as in third-world poverty levels). But the connection remains. Hurt the economy and people die who would not have died otherwise.

    However, attempt to raise this issue, to explain it to people, and sure as taxes, someone will tell you what a horrible person you are for putting money above people’s lives. They can’t seem to grasp that the money (or rather, the goods and services, and the economy that produces those goods and services) is people’s lives.

    And that is pretty damn dismal.

    1. The problem most people have with economics, I think, is that to understand much of any of it you have to grasp that money is a shared fantasy. At least to some extent. People want to think that the value of a thing is absolute. They may know damned well that it ain’t, but they still want to believe that it is.

      That’s why the Socialist True Believers thing the State could run the economy; they think there’s a firm basis in there somewhere. They don’t grasp that the value of everything is shifting, moment to moment, according to an effectively unknowable (not infinite, but it might as well be) number of influences. They don’t WANT to grasp it.

    2. It’s enough to make a man take off his hat, throw it on the ground, and stomp on it.

      ENOUGH with the crazy talk, dammit! Do you know how valuable a good hat is, how hard to find, and how much work goes into properly shaping it?

      Take off the other guy’s hat and stomp that! His brain’s obviously already fried.

    3. “… can’t seem to grasp that the money …” Yes, this has always been the problem of fantasy for the Left. I used to have fun asking them, “Where does money come from?” Not a clue, none at all. All fantasy; no idea of productive life. Now, imagine trying to have a conversation about Basitat or the notion of unintended consequences. Good luck with those too. So much of my local economy is being devastated mostly because we are not allowed to assess and take risk. So many of those small food related businesses run on tight margins. I can’t imagine them surviving through the end of April. And indeed they are “unseen,” but heaven forbid you should go to a Chicago beach. You will be seen and ticketed there!

      1. Yeah small restaurants live on the razor’s edge a lot of the time. A slow week or even a bad weekend (because of excess rain or snow) can put them solidly in the red. This is going to drive them WAY into the red. Even the Hoity Toity high end restaurants are gonna be in trouble because they’re no more immune to this stuff than a burger joint, and their owner chefs seem to be poor businessmen on average like many artists.

        1. I had a friend who — with her husband — was a restaurateur. They were on their second? third? restaurant. I learned all about how stuff can affect it and how tight they are on the margin.
          9/11 had killed their previous restaurant.

          1. Worked two summers as a short order cook in a restaurant that did deli style sandwiches (steamed pastrami and Corned beef as well as italian delicacies). We did breakfast to a) catch the fishermen (we were near a shoreline state park fisherman were out after striped bass at dawn) and b) use up ends of pastrami and corned beef (egg sandwiches with pastrami or corned beef, corned beef hash done up on the grill). Had a spate of 3 weeks at the start of the second summer where a local effluent plant had an overflow and fishing was banned. Darned near killed the joint as we lost our morning rush and had a smaller lunch crowd as the beach was closed too. Our waste from the ends nearly killed the profit. Closer left a nearly whole pastrami in the steam table over night (4-5 lbs about $30 of meat wholesale in 1980) and I thought the owner was gonna throttle him or have an embolism when he came in at 3:30 for the evening rush…

      2. The fundamentals of money were once a subject of popular entertainment in America …

        Simplistic, perhaps, but better than anything Paul Krugman has written in years.

        1. Heh, nice. From the era of Walt, who had a hand in everything. I suppose Scrooge is really a stand in for Walt.

  16. The media using video of an Italian hospital to depict a New York City hospital.

    But you can totally trust them.

      1. There is more firepower at any given Knob Creek event than anywhere in Syria…

        There’s a whole line of guys with Ma Deuces and .30 Brownings, and the guy with the Minigun, and the guys with the oddball stuff. And the flamethrowers, and the occasional rocket launcher. Just ordinary guys out having fun, and when they’re done they load it all back into their pickup trucks and take it back home.

        It’s like Burning Man, except for guns.

        1. The ammo bill alone has to be greater than the GDP of a number of small countries.
          In normal times I shoot at a public range in an area with a fair number of class three dealers and LEOs who will use the range for practice on occasion. I always experience a sharp pain in my back pocket every time I hear someone a few bays over dump a full mag full auto. Yep, a burning sensation right where my wallet rides.

          1. My Ingram SMG chews through ammunition at about ten dollars per second when the happy switch is flipped.

            I could get a cheap hobby, like airplanes or cocaine.

            On the other hand, after all these years the fun still hasn’t worn off… it’s a freakin’ useless excuse for a firearm if your idea of accuracy is more stringent than “vaguely east”, and about as comfortable to shoot as holding a rabid weasel, but it never fails to cause a big grin.

      2. My favorite, to date, was the Palestinian ambulance that was supposedly hit by an Israeli missile. Nice clean, perfectly circular, hole in the roof where the missile supposedly entered. I think it took three hours before there was a post all over the Internet, sarcastically pointing out that A) that hole was where the ambulance light would be mounted and B) if a missile with that diameter had struck that vehicle, all that would be left was metal confetti.

  17. Should be pretty easy to see how many patients are brought out to the hospital ship, and compare that with normal admissions in non-pandemic times. Then whatever is left in on shore hospitals is CV19, right? What MSM outlet will do the calculation, and “show their work” first?

    Take your time…

    Ps. Any side bets on how fast the story changes from normal sick to ships, to EVERYONE to ships, because almost no boats going to the ships is hard to hide. Then that can be used to explain why we are seeing empty ER entrances on shore. Then stand by for “Trump was grandstanding by sending the ships”.

  18. Am I the only one screaming in the forest of fear?

    I stay out of forests. As I’ve been recently reminded, I am terribly prone to poison ivy and by the time I espy it in a forest it is almost certainly too late.

    1. It’s weird, but I seem to be immune to poison ivy. I grew up spending my summers in a place where, back in the woods, you could find poison ivy leaves as big as an adult hand, and ivy trunks as thick as your thumb. Never had a case, even when I took to cutting new paths on the property with axe and machete and brush-hook.

      Now, I washed thoroughly, and never did anything really TESTING. But never got it.

      Go figure.

      1. Happens with some people. Neither of my parents gets it, or did back when I was a kid, and that seems to run at least on Mom’s side of the family, though her uncle eventually got sensitized in… I don’t know, maybe his seventies. My brother and I were likewise immune as kids, but I became terrified of it at some point and am not very outdoorsy, so in the annoying way of allergies and whatnot, where it seems to be a toss-up what level of ongoing exposure or lack thereof dulls the reaction vs. sensitizing it, I have no idea anymore.

        1. Not Poison Ivy, wrong coast. Poison Oak. I got it really, really, bad a couple of times that I remember as a young teen. Always known what it looks like you can’t get off the road in S. Oregon or Southern section of Willamette Valley in the east foot hills. Used to get it just petting the animals on grandparents place out of Drain. But only a mild case really. When I was 14, got into blackberry patch loaded with it. Must have gotten the oil into the scratches. I had blisters up & down both arms, and on my back. When I was 15 got it really bad on my face; being new to glasses might have been a culprit. Yet worked in the woods in S. Oregon in an area where it is riddled with poison oak and never got an itch. Now? Not risking it. No reason to get off the trail. Haven’t gotten into poison oak in over 42 years.

          1. I hunted out of Drain for years and tromped through lots of it. Got about three mosquito bites worth once. Also worked out of Klamath, WA around it quite a bit and got it a couple of times. But then we were brushing with machetes and chopping the stuff out of the way. I never got more than half a dozen or a dozen spots that would look like mosquito bites but stay for a couple weeks. At least three of the guys I worked with were much more allergic and had to go to the doctor and get steriods to get over it. Yet another guy I worked with was totally immune and would think nothing of wading into it with a chainsaw, bits, pieces, and juice flying everywhere.
            There are places over here in Idaho that have it, and I’ve been around it quite a lot, only time I ever got any reaction I still don’t know where I got into it, hadn’t seen any, but I knew what those little mosquito bite things on the inside of my wrist that itched and didn’t go away for a couple weeks were.

            1. Drain: Grandparents place was on south side off of S. Elk Creek road (until 2006). Great Uncle’s place was on east side of Hayhurst Rd, south of the gravel pit road that takes off to the west. Across from the “Old McKirdy” place on Poison Oak Sheep Hill. Hunted Sheep Hill & Old Baldy through ’78 (Dad had life time hunting privileges even after G. Uncle died (’73), but after his stroke in ’86, hunting rights wasn’t pushed, & we were out of state starting in ’79).

              We won’t discuss the Poison Oak that has to have a work party to clean out on upper reaches of the family cemetery, off west side of Hwy 99, south of Drain. Hoping to avoid that.

            2. When I was a kid I used to have bad reactions to poison oak. A neighbor recommended a medication called Domeboro for it. You dissolved the powder in water and washed it over the rash areas; it would almost immediately relieve the itching and dry out the rash in a matter of a few days. I don’t know if they still make it, but it bordered on miraculous relief.

        1. There was an old Cape Verdian Portuguese gardener who used to work on The Point who would pull the stuff up by the roots with his bare hands, but he was local legend by the time I was making memories.

    2. I’ve been warned all my life about poison ivy. I do look out for it. And I’ve yet to encounter the stuff. I don’t mean that I simply haven’t had contact with it. Outside of photos, I do not recall even seeing the stuff and recognizing it. And yes, it does grow in this region. Either good fortune or paranoia (avoid all three-leafs), I suppose.

      1. Ditto, plus poison oak.

        Stinging nettles, I know. And the thign that looks exactly like them, here in Iowa, which I guess are normal nettles of some sort, because they don’t sting….

        1. Leaves are always in triplets, “leaflets three let it be” as the farmers advice goes. Leaves are oily red and green mix and it has white berries. My grandad was one of those that was utterly untouched by it.
          Not so myself. Truly hated by volunteer( and otherwise) firefighters in the northeast as until common availability of SCBA hardware fighting a brush fire was more likely to kill you then wading into a full on house fire. This is because the smoke from the fire might contain the oils of the poison ivy. Breathe that in and 24 hours or so later all your aveoli are filled with fluid and inflamed if you’re even mildly allergic to it.

          1. Breathe that in and 24 hours or so later all your aveoli are filled with fluid and inflamed if you’re even mildly allergic to it.

            Something landowners clearing land and putting in brush pile to burn results, do not want to put poison oak in the pile, do not do.

            Full saying I’ve heard is: “Leaves of 3 poisonous be. Berries white deadly, Leaf them be.”

            There is a pack walk Pepper (dog) & participate in at Doris Ranch. The trail has a lot of poison oak along the very wide trail. One of the exercises is to stop, pull to side of trail, sit dog, and let the rest of the group pass you. I’ve always point out the poison oak. It is amazing how many people do not know what it looks like in it’s variety of seasonal forms. Also make sure to state that they shouldn’t touch it, but they shouldn’t let their dog touch it either, nor any part of their clothing. Been known to get funny looks. Look goes to horror when you explain the oil is persistent, it will transfer when touched, to anything. Getting rid of it means washing thoroughly anything that has touched it with soap and water.

  19. This too shall pass and Noli Timere would seem to be the appropriate

    I think that this is a real thing. I don’t think it’s the thing that they say it is. No conspiracy is necessary. I think we have to interpret this as a political problem. Fauci has the WHO numbers and thus, the ICL model, on the brain and continues to back-stab Trump. I doubt Trump believes the 2 million dead number but he can now use it. I saw a fair bit of chess being played yesterday or at least I hope it was chess.

    The fact is that we need to see the actual results level in NY before anyone will make a bet.

    For sense, please see the article on baldingsworld dot c-m. I found it on Nate Silver And he’s no Trump lover so that bias is reduced.

    And then we wait. Trust in God and look out for our neighbors

        1. That’s not the metaphoric application I was going for. Biologically, it’s not. Economically? That asteroid’s still in play so long as people keep letting themselves get stampeded into more and more restrictions.

          1. except, they’re really not. i just had the best monday i have had in over a month.

            1. The plural of anecdote is not data, and the singular certainly isn’t. And Kael effect is certainly a thing (although I am told she didn’t actually make the effect-naming statement attributed to her).

              1. Um. Actually Anecdote is not a bad synonym for datum and hence could be a singular for data. Data being an assemblage of anecdotes or that which is given depending on your point of view.

                1. Oh, lordy, a collection of anecdotes does not make data. Confirmation bias is the result of simply collecting anecdotes. Kael effect is the result of simply collecting anecdotes. A datum can be an anecdote, but the process does not commute.

                  Confusing the two is how a lot of very bad science arises. In this case, talking about the economy, even in the worst of times there are some folk and some businesses that do well. And even in the best of times there are some folk and some businesses that do poorly. Citing a few anecdotes says nothing about the larger picture.

                  1. Um. No. Not to fight, but you’re making a categorical error in that you’re confusing data with interpretation of data. Data is what is given. To the degree that data makes science, – not very much – then bad data would make bad science; but I think it were better to say that bad science makes bad data.

                    Certainly, when it comes to economics, Anecdotes are all there is.

                    I know what the Kael effect is. Her error was confusing her collection of anecdotes with the population of anecdotes. if we accept, which I don’t, Friedman’s notion that the value of economics consists of accurate predictions, Kael’s anecdote would be a very good predictor of the sub population in question. Her error was generalizing inappropriately.

                    *. I don’t accept Friedman’s notion since economics seems to make neither reasonable assumptions nor accurate predictions. The Austrians do better and I am a great fan of Bastiat’s seen and unseen. What’s going on now is the tyranny of the seen.

                    1. you’re making a categorical error

                      Well, someone is. In the context of science, which is how I used it here (and including economics to the extent that it is treated scientifically), Data is defined as information collected using specific methods for a specific purpose of studying or analyzing.( ) Perhaps you might want to dispute the source there, but that’s certainly how we’ve used it in my scientific classes and, yes, even in the “social science” classes the school required me to take to get my degree in physics. Anecdotes of the “yabut” type simply do not fit that.

                      So, no, “data” is not the plural of “anecdote” except possibly narrowly when the “study” is that of “studying what stories are passed around in a particular group”–i.e. the study of anecdotes.

                      But that’s neither here nor there. That’s arguing words and, as Thomas Sowell is wont to say, quoting Oliver Wendall Holmes, Jr.: “Think things not words.”

                      And the fact (the “thing” behind the words) remains that an economy could be majorly tanking and there would still be some folk doing well. Even the Great Depression saw some folk and businesses actually making money. Likewise, in the best of times some companies will do poorly or even fold. Thus, simply listing a few anecdotal cases says nothing about the health of the economy.

                    2. Sorry. I’m not going to get into a war. You confused data and science and there are no “scientific data” just data, which can be anything. It’s a common but still categorical error or you were in sufficiently precise. Take your pick.

                      Let’s move on to something else.

                    3. i just had the best monday i have had in over a month.

                      Okay, then how about the substance of the statement about which you went into nitpicking definition of words, to with Draven’s “i just had the best monday i have had in over a month.”

                      That some individual or business did well says nothing about the health of the economy. Indeed, even with the famous Stock Market Crash that led to the Great Depression a fairly substantial list of companies when up in value: (list at bottom of the article comparing some companies whose first half in 1930–after the crash–had greater net income than their first half 1929–before the crash).

                      Pointing at someone doing well does not address the prediction of bad times ahead and, frankly, I’ve always found that phrase “this too shall pass” to be rather fatuous nonsense. Even if a particular “it” does pass in anything like a reasonable time it won’t have passed for people dead, ruined, or otherwise having their lives blighted because people and the politicians who listen to them don’t pay attention to the economic realities of “we’ve got to do something!”

                    4. Nitpicking sigh. Such a loaded word. Say rather, precision, which we ought to treasure since precision is precisely what’s missing in so much that’s going on today. In any case, nitpicking or pettifogging is a vice of mine. I studied lots of Latin, hence data being what is given since that’s literally what it means and is its earliest and still most common use. then I studied Pure Mathematics and Philosophy concentrating on the notion of proof. For what it’s worth, the problem of induction is in fact a problem and Poppers solution is not a solution. That’s at bottom what we’re talking about. I did economics later because I had to earn the living. Improperly applied calculus pays very well.

                      I agree that an observation that my company is doing well even as all around it fail is an anecdote. Of course, absent a universal counting the all about it fail are also anecdotes. All data are collections of anecdotes and to return to the original notion an anecdote is be a datum and data a collection of anecdotes.

                      Since I don’t see the reply button below your response, nor did I see it in the last and I’m not very tech savvy, I’m going to assume we’re done. I also rather enjoy many of your pieces and I’m a newish guest here, so I’m going to stop.

                    5. Please note that the “Kael Effect” is mis-named.

                      What actually happened is that film critic was asked by someone to explain how Nixon won, and her response was to express confusion that she would be able to answer that, as she didn’t know anybody who voted for him.

                      She was expressing puzzlement anybody would turn to her for explanation, not puzzlement over his victory.

                      Per Wkiquote:
                      “I am mystified. I know only one person who voted for Nixon.” — Attributed to Kael after the 1972 American Presidential election, which Nixon won easily. This misquote is presumably based on “I live in a rather special world. [I only know one person who voted for Nixon. Where they are I don’t know. They’re outside my ken.]” .., but there is no evidence that Kael was mystified or surprised by that election’s outcome.

            2. The only risk is political risk. Now, political risk is substantial but the glory of a corrupt political class is that their paymasters only have so much patience. I think we can go economically through May before this becomes irreversible. Then I’ll panic. Of course, I panicked in February so I’m in a position to wait this out, which makes it easier.

              Played properly, or perhaps just not ridiculously, and this could Work out to the country’s advantage. if nothing else certain practices have been opened up and maybe, just maybe, we can deal with the ruling class’s rake. If you have enforced time, look at how much the clown who ran Boeing paid himself to ruin his company. Not the pay, the long term comp. Then compare what Trump is saying about buy-backs. I saw and see chess being played and for the first time in a long time we normal people might benefit from it.

              or not. in any case, this too shall pass the bad and the good.

    1. Longer than it ought and each in their own time. In the meantime, they are all living lives full of drama and excitement combined with huge opportunities to steal and bury their past misdeeds. I’m from NYC, though I live in the burbs now. Bill DiBlassio is the mayor. What an idiot.

      No politician is going to allow there to be a headline saying that they allowed x thousand never mind million to die. We live in a free (ish) society. Only someone like China can make that sort of thing happen.

      The only way this will stop is if NYC flattens out quickly. If the alternate models are correct we’ll know in a week or two. If not, then batten down the hatches.

      Trump gave everyone a way out yesterday. After all, it could have been 2mm. If it flattens out they’ll all pat themselves on the back and move on.

      The scary part is the precedent that’s been set. We have to do better than we did. Perhaps Pelosi impeaching Trump for his handling of the virus would help there. I hope she does it, I really do because Inthink she’s an evil, murdering hag.

      1. As Power Line’s Steven Hayward reminds, post-9/11 the NY Powers That Be were warned to prepare for (additional attacks, including bio-chemical ones:

        Ever since 9/11 we’ve been told that we need to prepare for potential mass casualty terrorist attacks, including bombings, chemical attacks (Anthrax), and . . . biological weapons. And New York City is obviously Target One for any such attack, along with every other major American city. You’d have thought that our Homeland Security apparatus would have been making plans along with serious preparations and materiel procurement for a significant surge capacity for hospitals, including respirators, masks and other PPE, as well as quarantine facilities, etc. Yet New York seems to have caught desperately short of the necessary facilities to accommodate a biological pandemic, whether from Chinese negligence or a terrorist bioweapon.

        Evidence suggests that somebody’s been slack. I wonder who’s been in charge of the city/state response these last ten, fifteen years?

        Wasn’t there some wanna-be presidential nominee bragging about re-building New York City since the 9/11 attack? Somebody might ask him. Perhaps Mike will do it?

        1. When New York found a while back that they were short of ventilators, the response was to develop a plan to ration them, and spend the money on some solar project, which didn’t work.

          1. Beloved Spouse & I were discussing earlier today the likely consequences of Cuomo’s Buffaloed Billion having been spent on a ventilator manufacturery instead of an LED light bulb factory. Ventilators would likely have been sufficiently profitable they could have afforded the kickbacks and graft.

  20. Odd thought.

    How much of the shelter in place is a fall out from the early days of AIDS.

    To protect an “oppressed” people, in the early days of AIDS we were told it was going to kill us all, but standard public health measures for highly infectious diseases: quarantine and contact tracing and testing, were called invasions of privacy.

    So, we have a couple of generations convinced normal public health actions are evil and oppressive. We have an echo in the “kung flu is a racist term” meme.

    If we hadn’t had the politicization of AIDS, might we be doing normal public health actions and only in the worst areas bringing back procedures from 1919?

    1. I’ve though that the metaphor comes from mass shootings, complete with the language of powerlessness. Shelter in place and wait to: a.) die – during your two week isolation, b.) be rescued – by this great new treatment, or c.) be told it’s all clear – at some point in time that seems to be receding into the future. Only partly serious here.

  21. U.S. demographic question.

    What percentage of Americans are part of either the state bureaucracies or the ancillary corporate oligarchs?

    And how many of us are 50+ or have compromised health or immune systems?

    Because those folks are looking at the odds of “scary death” and will not be much impressed with “but the odds of scary death are miniscule for everyone else” Or, “well, nobody knows what the real odds for you are, and we’re not telling.”

    AND they know that unless everyone goes all-in nobody gets the Administrative Leave Pay or the option to be paid to work from home.

    When this began, I was brainstorming with and encouraging the library-system I work for to stay open “more safely”. At the same time I was negotiating with my boss to be allowed to work from home. HAH. Unions won’t let you use your sick leave/vacation to bug out, and keep doing what essential tasks you can do. It’s literally a crime to let your employees do that. Doc says you should stay home to reduce your risk? Fine, but no working for you! I only got the option to protect myself AND work after the State shut us down.

    Perverse incentives, anyone?

    Also, man, am I slow. I only just now spotted this.

      1. Now, yes. But three weeks ago when the stampede to shut it all down was going on?

        Getting that info out now, to the people in that demographic (if my speculation is correct) is going to be critical. I’ll do what I can in my little corner.

        Just remember: These folks still honestly believe that both the CDC and the NYT are (and I quote, directly) “a trusted source of information by the people of America.”

        I kid you not. But gotta try.

    1. Perverse incentives, anyone?

      What government does best! Punish sound business practices, reward unsound practices. Punish workers, reward lazy moochers. Punish savings, reward debt. And then they can’t understand why everything is so F’d up.

      1. Sound business practices: not dependent on the government to succeed
        Unsound business practices: dependent on the government to continue operating

        What kind of practice is the government going to support?

        1. Good News!!!!

          In view of the current national emergency the EPA has suspended(!) reporting requirements! That’s right, corporate polluters: for the duration of the crisis you are NO LONGER required to monitor and submit paperwork reporting on pollution output from your shuttered factories!

          Companies found to be non-compliant with EPA emission regulations may be subject to fine and imprisonment at a later date.

    2. Addenda: One of the reasons for not resisting the (at first) merely recommended, closure was logistics: Not enough masks for staff, or of those Clorox wipes to go around for all the surfaces and materials, etc.

      I still think I we could’ve made it work.

    3. If my FB feed (mostly goths in Seattle with some around the country) is any indication, approximately 75% of the women over 30 are “immunocompromised” in some way, and if you don’t obey the Panic Rules then you’re not going to just kill your elderly family members, you’re going to kill THEM.

      Of course, about 115% of them have “fibromyalgia”, so take that under advisement as well.

  22. Oh, and on the economy, I was just in a meeting and my employer has hired over 2,000 new employees in March, in part to deal with various pieces of fall out from the economy shutting down.

    1. I expect the severity of post-Corona economic hardship will be directly proportional to how much “help” the Fed offers.

      Left alone, I expect businesses would suck it up and move on. But any type of aid program is going to penalize the businesses that don’t have their hands out, and none of that money/perks/contracts is going to come without strings.

      “Dance, monkey! DANCE!”

      1. Well, I’m in banking. I know a lot of the hires are to work with people on debt payments.

        Now that we have the OCC off people’s backs (they went after banks trying to get ahead of the curve and negotiate payments during the shutdown only to be told that any such effort was a trouble asset renegotiation) I suspect the banks will mostly work it out.

        Although the Fed made my job harder for a couple of weeks.

        That said, the fed can cut all they want. We learned over the past decade in mortgages, my area, that at a certain point no matter how low our cost of funds no one is going to write mortgages below a certain interest rate. Sure, the normal mortgage spread over cost of financing is X basis points, but if COFI + X is 1.25% no one is writing a 10, 15, or 30 year loan that cheap.

        The floor for mortgages seems to be in the low to mid 3%s for the broad swath of the market. Commercial paper can probably go lower due to short horizon, relatively good quality, and money market funds having direct fed access now (not widely know, but a reaction to debit cards which indirectly handicapped the Fed by killing off checks). Credit cards are going to be hard to push below 12% for all but the best customers (who don’t carry a balance anyway) and cars already have subprime issues.

        1. ” I know a lot of the hires are to work with people on debt payments.”

          That could explain something I noticed on the job boards. I get e-mails from a couple of job search engines every day. Yesterday I saw two listings for “loan officer”, from the same group. I thought it was a glitch last night. This morning I saw 4 or 5 listing for a “loan officer”. Enough to make my eyebrows go up.

          1. The reality is we can’t foreclose on everyone shut down, both personal mortgage and business loans. Right now, as it seems in everything else, regulators are impeding businesses trying to do the things needed to get us through.

            The various fed regulators have basically waived troubled asset treatment for modifications during the shutdown for loans that were in good standing before the shutdown start.

            1. Many of the econo-doomer complaints I’ve seen seem to rely on there being no humans anywhere in the financial system. That everything will just get foreclosed with nothing to stop it.

              Yeah, it will be a bad hit. No need to make up obvious crap to make it appear worse.

  23. Every Democrat at every level of government is trying to crash whatever piece of the economy they can, in order to crash Trump. If people get hurt, well they’re just part of making a big omelette!

  24. With the FDA this incompetent, who needs anything else.

    Battelle has a method to sterilize masks so that they can be REUSED.

    “The Food and Drug Administration — after dithering all week — finally gave Battelle approval to sterilize a measly 10,000 masks a day,” Yost said. “They could be doing 160,000 per day.”

    Yost pointed to a study Battelle submitted to the FDA–in 2016. The details about Battelle’s innovative technology have been in the grubby little hands of FDA bureaucrats for nearly four years, and now, in the midst of a global Wuhan flu pandemic, the FDA can’t seem to make up its mind.

    Governor said if FDA did not approve it he would sue them, and he meant it.
    Called for Trump’s help – Trump told FDA to get on with it and the FDA Caved. This should have been done years ago. The FDA has been sitting on this for 4 years.

    Approved 03/29/2020 by FDA

    1. Likewise in some states hospital size and bed numbers, including for ICUs, are strictly regulated by the state, which must approve any expansion; which in many cases is denied. The reasoning of these states is that increasing hospital capacity will increase medical costs; because only leftists can possibly think that reducing supply will somehow lower costs.

      1. The thought process is that increased capital costs would be borne by patients. E.g. that extra 1000 beds would be lumped into the cost of your heart bypass convalescent room. Ya know, exactly what schools do when they build grand palaces and charge exorbitant fees while classes are being taught by TAs barely speaking English.

      2. As if that weren’t dumb enough, keep in mind they also suppress the supply of doctors (I will let Sarah expand on this – she needs a good venting rant) for (supposedly*) similar reasons.

        *some people, nassssty cynical kulaks, imagine the restriction on med school slots is to ensure that the “right” mix of people receive the training. Historically, doctors have been very prone to thinking for themselves and that can cause … difficulties.

        1. THIS. Though to be fair, these days they also must bring in a certain percentage from places like the Arab countries, the Caribbean and China. Because… I don’t know.
          While not allowing half of the ones we graduate here to practice. Ever.

  25. The only explanation I can come up with for the current situation is mass hysteria + the media is in an echo chamber, driven entirely by “more fear equals more ratings!”

    This is crazy. I’m just lucky that this situation didn’t hit back in October last year, because if I were expected to be quarantined with someone who’d been living with me at that point… there’d be a homicide by now. In self-defense. I wish I were joking.

    This is nuts. They’re shutting down all of Florida when it’s South Florida that’s been smacked – North Florida has cases only in the dozens. And yet they’re talking about curfews and shutting down all nonessential businesses. The local library has been closed over a week. That itself is driving me loopy, because I tend to go over there for small print jobs and all kinds of research.

    On top of that, finding vitamin C has been… challenging. I lucked out today, got some of the type I needed at a local CVS for twice the price I’d normally get, and that really bites. But I need it, I get sick without it, and can’t get the cheap stuff because allergies. Who’s the *Bleep* who decided to put lactose in Vitamin C, darn it!

          1. It’s not dead yet. We’re still here.

            I refuse to give up. I roughed out a new book for NaNo even with my personal world falling apart, I’m going to get it finished. And another one. And more after that.

            Because this is the one thing I’m good at. Because I’ve had people tell me my work was the difference between them getting by and a day where the Black Dog might have won.

            And because if the world wants me dead, it’s going to have to come over here and kill me.

              1. “Let us not take counsel from our fears. May we remember always to be of good cheer, put our faith in God, and live worthy for Him to direct us. We are each entitled to receive personal inspiration to guide us through our mortal probation. May we so live that our hearts are open at all times to the whisperings and comfort of the Spirit.” —James E. Faust
                George Patton said something similar as I recall.
                Each of us from the day of our birth have been under a sentence of death. Accept it, embrace it, and move on.
                You my dear Portagee have a podium, perhaps even a bully pulpit, and are using it to best effect to get your assessment of the situation out there.
                Keep it up in spite of the torrent of nay sayers and idiots in opposition.
                Or as some person once remarked: soldier, shut up and soldier.

              2. Did you ever feel like you were stuck in a Talking Heads retrospective? We have Psycho Killer, Life During War Time, Burning Down the House. I would submit that you try Stop Making Sense. This is a panic. While this is certainly the biggest of my lifetime and one of the biggest ever it’s not destiny. The worst case may happen but probably won’t both the disease and the democrats. Panics happen from time to time. They make no sense and trying to make sense of them makes sensible people crazy. I know. I’ve been screaming at the TV for several weeks now. Screaming at the TV does not make sense.

                It could go very badly. That’s certainly possible. It could actually go very well, that is also certainly possible. Most likely is nothing much will change and historians will look back at this and wonder what we were thinking. The answer will be we weren’t. In any case, for your own sanity and health … It makes no sense and won’t make sense and you can’t make it make sense. if it ends up in a shooting war, it was all lost a long time ago and won’t be retrieved. in that case, perhaps Churchill. You can always take one with you. But sufficient to the day be the evil there of.

                Take not counsel of your fears. Trust in God. Pray. Look around you at neighbors doing for neighbors and the old American drive appearing. Look at what’s been done. Ventilators out of truck seat fans, what the Truckers are doing, my son’s stocking shelves overnight, My governor, Toothy McMoron of NJ, being more than useless. Of course one must consider that idiot in Michigan and how many of our “elites” turned out to be unworthy. This too is good. Many who would not otherwise look have had to see.

                1. Did you ever feel like you were stuck in a Talking Heads retrospective?

                  Now I’m trying to imagine Sarah in that big suit…

              3. I think this bit from 1776 fits:
                “A second flood, a simple famine,
                Plagues of locusts everywhere,
                Or a cataclysmic earthquake
                I’d accept with some despair,
                But no! You sent us Congress!
                Good God, sir, was that fair?”
                — John Adams

                1. My vote? No. One Congress is worse than an F-5 tornado during a magnitude 9.5 earthquake on a full moon with a king tide.

                  1. “This country has come to feel the same when Congress is in session as when a baby gets ahold of a hammer.” – Will Rogers.

                    Will, I don’t think you ever imagined how bad it could get….

                2. Same source:

                  “I have come to the conclusion that one useless man is called a disgrace,
                  That two are called a law firm,
                  And that three or more become a Congress..”

                  Segue to “Sit Down, John!”

          2. I’m seeing stuff from outfits like covidactnow dot org, where you can enter the state and it will show you horrific numbers unless everybody is locked up. I can’t get the Google docs model/assumptions information to load, but my bovine excrement detectors are going full bore.

            The head of the county(and only) hospital/clinic complex quoted them in a 3/22 statement. I don’t recall the Oregon death numbers from last week (8 maybe), but we’re at 16. Not half bad for Portlandia.

            1. They had a tiny writeup of the assumptions. Pretty much worst case. The entire site looks like it’s intended to stampede people into demanding that they be locked up until TPTB take care of the scary monster virus. Ecch!

              1. Ugh.
                Got one of those videos linked to me yesterday, with a scoldy guy talking about how he didn’t listen to bloggers, he listened to EXPERTS….

                It was in response to my linking one New Class Traitor’s very good round up of primary sources.

                I’ve not noticed that a lot of those videos make it HARD to get any actual information– but they are very emotionally charged.

          3. When you are consumed by rage and your body is shaking with adrenaline, take a deep breath and remember that if you are not calm, you cannot hit a target at any reasonable range.
            Don’t know if it will help, but it might.

    1. The same ones who put aspartame in OTC medicines? Some people have bad reactions to aspartame, and who decided that every-damned-thing MUST be “sweet”?

      1. Yep, I’m allergic to that too. And a host of other things most people take in stride. Try finding sweet pickles without Yellow No. 5. Aaaaand then there’s whoever thought it was a Great Idea to put soy in cans of tunafish….

        *Rueful* None of my allergies have killed me yet, but they do make grocery shopping an exercise in dodging hazards.

    2. On a side note, I suspect police in Arizona are too busy to dig into that “Fish Tank Cleaner” episode, but I dearly hope they eventually do.

      I can think of clumsier ways to get away with murder.

            1. It’s really more of a novelty or flavor type book– I can see your mechanic monster fighter using it kind of like a state bird map, to get a loose idea of what might be there, not any kind of in depth research item– but they did a really good job on the book itself.

  26. I think what has happened is a logical outcome of fifteen years of social-media mob dynamics and over-litigiousness: People are less scared of taking risks with their own health (and for the vast majority of possible cases the risk is minuscule) than of being the person who others will hold responsible for the consequences to others’ health. The SARS-nCoV-2 virus lends itself particularly to this because of its unusually long pre-symptomatic period and unknown level of asymptomatic transmission — nobody can say for certain just who’s safe to be around and who isn’t, barring serological testing of the entire populace.

    Politicians show this impulse at its worst: no elected official who can credibly be depicted as underreacting to a threat that lost lives will ever be re-elected. Ordinary people are, paradoxically, showing this impulse at its best: most of those who are obeying the lockdowns are doing so because they genuinely don’t want to be the person who, without enduring a single symptom themselves, puts their neighbours’ kindly old grandma in the hospital to drown in their own lungs’ fluid. But in both cases it’s a situation of the precautionary principle gone amuck — overreacting to an absent threat, however great the cost, is considered by default better than underreacting to a real one.

    The problem is that the people who are making that judgement call are not the ones directly suffering its worst consequences, which is always a recipe for higher-than-expected fallout.

  27. A Facebook friend has been claiming on Facebook that Trump’s attempt to get things back to normal by Easter was going to kill us all. One of this friend’s posts had a link to a video of Trump making a statement, and the text of the post literally opened with “This is the demon.”

    Before the Wuhan virus showed up, I’d never noticed any particularly pronounced TDS in this person. It’s been very strange and troubling seeing this individual acting in this way. I’m tempted to unfriend the individual. But I’m hoping they settle down when everything else does.

    Personally, my focus right now is trying to keep getting paychecks. At present, my employer is still open. But the bulk of our customers are not… I’m only working two days out of five this week. And I’ve no idea what my schedule will be next week.

  28. No Sarah, you do make sense. The homeless should be piling into ERs by the thousands at this time; they’re not. Percent of employees in healthcare environment (hosp + associated doctor’s practices) identified with COVID19, 0.32% to 0.53%, none hospitalized.

    And yes, there IS a conspiracy. It’s not a strongly organized one. It’s the totalitarian elitists pushing for socialism-communism as the solution to all of society’s problems as long as we all put them in charge, of EVERYTHING. It’s why 1.5 million healthy American men and women have been banned from blood donations for over 30 years because they might be carrying mad cow disease; never mind that the only true cases of that went at most 6 months from exposure to symptoms, and roughly 12 months from exposure to death. Control the market. Limit the number of donators, and you can charge more per unit of blood. Money, money, money. And we all know money is a proxy for control.

  29. While projections from current numbers saying the peak number of cases will occur around Easter are plausible, it is difficult indeed to square the continued wailing over “not enough respirators!” with the 2000 New York has just sitting in a New Jersey warehouse.

    And if physicians either get
    1) access to a quick (same day) SARS-CoV-2 test, or
    2) Start prescribing Hydroxyquinone + Zpack + Zinc to anyone with symptoms without waiting for the test to come back
    then the need for hospitalization will likely peak at a much lower level than expected and that will allow things to get back to normal.

  30. I still suspect that abuse of kids or something similarly heinous gets used as an initiation in some circles, as it’s the perfect way to have blackmail evidence on the newcomers for the rest of their lives.


  31. A conspiracy is not required.

    All it takes it a weaponized meme in a societal petri dish primed to accept it.

    1. I remember that one. That was not the last episode of Doctor Who I ever watched – but it should have been. The first no-kidding appearance of The Evil Doctor.

    1. They announced such, but the replacement power supply for a computer is due next week. Ordered today, though no idea if the ‘zon is shipping it directly. Half the stuff I bought in the past few months was sold through them, but not shipped by Amazon.

      1. Actually, Sarah, that has not been my experience. I ordered a replacement power supply for a pair of wireless headphones, and 2-Day Prime delivered on schedule.

        1. Seems to depend on where it’s shipping from– I ordered a display adapter and later realized its two day shipping was *over a month out*, canceled it and browsed until I found one where the delay was only the normal ordering-on-a-weekend two day.

          1. I ordered something from Amazon for Christmas. I was surprised to see it was from the UK but it was saying it would arrive by December 20th —

            I was about to give the gift the week of Epiphany. So it happens.

          1. I suspect there’s two factors involved:

            1. Amazon has a distro center here in DFW.
            2. Our governor hasn’t gone insane with lockdown.

            1. we have a distro, too.
              Our governor is running around with his underpants on his head.
              Considering he self identifies as communist, this means “day ending in y”

  32. I know this is not what you are wanting to hear, but after surviving Katrina, I’m sitting back saying, I already did this drill. I’ve seen over reactions from the local and federal government that make matter worse because the horses have already escaped the barn. (I won’t list them as they counter so many people’s ‘just so’ stories…and I do have freaking PTSD from it. I have no spoons regarding it.)

    For a whole six months, I was hearing Duran Duran’s “Ordinary World” over and over again in my head.
    What has happened to it all?
    Crazy, some’d say
    Where is the life that I recognize?
    Gone away

    But I won’t cry for yesterday
    There’s an ordinary world
    Somehow I have to find
    And as I try to make my way
    To the ordinary world
    I will learn to survive

    I lost all my illusions that so many of the rest of the country still held. So no, this doesn’t surprise me at all. Nor the checking for license plates for different states to kick out the unclean. Been there. Already lived through it.

    1. St Helen’s for us. Our parents got calls from relatives, or in the case of my parents, had people call the Douglas County Sheriff to take messages down to the dock master … they were Salmon Fishing out of Windy Cove south of Reedsport. Because you know the mud flow reached the Tuttle River I-5 bridge, stopping traffic, and had reached the river’s mouth on the Columbia, between Longview & Kelso. So you know Longview was covered in mud, and since we lived on the flats in west Longview, obviously we were dead.

      Yes. Mud flow was bad at the I-5 bridge. Yes, they did stop traffic both ways. Yes that bridge is still standing. Yes the mud flow hit the mouth of the river at the Columbia. It didn’t even get out of the river bed by the time it hit the towns. It did plug the Columbia shipping channels. It did NOT cover Longview.

  33. The Duchess very loudly asked why folks were wearing face masks when we were picking up Elf’s tea at the Asian grocery* today.

    I reminded her of “that bad virus” that is going around, and explained they were being careful and taking responsibility for themselves.
    Then went into a “it’s being polite” version for social distancing. Reminded her about the rule of thumb I’d taught where you try to give people their bubble of “if they stick their arm out, can they touch you? Then back up a little” and explained that right now, because everybody is worried and trying to be healthy, she should imagine that they have their arm out– and then she puts her arm out, and if they can touch fingertips? Back up a little.

    Because they can’t know that you’re safe, so you make sure that even if you weren’t safe, they wouldn’t have to worry about it, because that is being polite. Try to make sure people don’t have to worry about you, and if they don’t feel good they don’t have to tell you “please don’t get close to me.”

    Which got her pipping up about how it was like at church when people don’t feel too good so they stay away during “the handshake” and it generally faded away, thankfully. The folks checking out were an older couple who were definitely not speaking English between themselves and I hate making folks feel uncomfortable.

    *Double Dragon foodmart, if you’re in the Des Moines area– they have an awesome selection of Thai teas, and a bunch of instant iced coffee, and also a ton of varieties of quasi-medical teas, plus the ingredients you need to get Close Enough to dishes you may have fallen in love with, and a really dangerous dishes/home stuff section, and the puffy blankets you Navy guys remember from Korea. Plus, ramens!!! So. Many. Ramens. The tallish, skinny lady who might be college age was doing check-out, so my chatter with the Duchess didn’t get much of a response. I’d hate to play cards against that lady.

      1. Short of sleep, and much of last sleep period was nightmares, and partly being awake.

        Going deep into the crazy zone for a couple other recent RL stresser ish reasons.

        1. *sympathy*

          Mine is at least fairly simple. (The baby has taken up both 2AM chattering, and “hey, mom, I made eye contact– so catch me!”)

      1. I’m not sure how universal it is, I just know that when I turned the corner and saw those I wanted to start snapping pictures as a birthday hint for my husband!

  34. This reminder comes courtesy of The Black Avenger, Ken Hamblin, who advised everybody keep a BOHICA* File. Track the panic-mongers, track the sanity-mongers and remember this.

    *Bend Over, Here It Comes Again

  35. Quarantine is when you isolate the sick. — and btw, WHY not do that instead? Or even the vulnerable, if we can’t test for all the sick?

    F if I know, since that is what our household does normally.

    1. I think Stephen J. has put a finger on a lot of it — the possibility of mild and asymptomatic cases isn’t, by and large, reassuring people; it’s being shouted from the housetops as a reason to isolate everybody to avoid the admittedly appalling possibility of passing it to someone who gets a really bad case without even knowing you have it.

      I freak out over this occasionally with regard to norovirus myself. I get the impression that a lot of people are not used to thinking about the possibility of an illness that is mild for them (or even one that isn’t) actually being a problem for anyone else, and it’s suddenly been brought to prominence with an unfamiliar disease that, at least as reported, apparently sometimes turns really bad with very little warning.

      1. I was thinking about how many folks seem to lack a knowledge of what Vathara recently called “competing goods” (totally different context) and are working 100% on emotion right now.

        The same folks who were totally OK with forcing people to send their “I think they’re sick” kids to school are now threatening violence against people who pick up two jugs of milk, or are less than six feet away in a 5 ft wide aisle.

        Good grief, have these folks never considered that the fruit check stations on Cali’s borders aren’t sheer stupidity?

        1. Oh, I’ve got a couple of morons on FB trying to tell me that quarantines are unconstitutional and that the Founders didn’t foresee them.

          1. Huh? Plague stomping is one of the few spheres where gov’t force is actually legit.

          2. That’s merely one of those abridged arguments. The Founders didn’t foresee people electing politicians so callow and corrupt that Federally imposed quarantines would be considered. It was expected that local and state political leaders would act expeditiously to contain the plagues before they became what was once known as a “Federal Case,.” as in the phrase, “Don’t make a Federal Case of it!”

            1. RES, you’re making the same mistake they did. The Customs and Excise authority, specifically mentioned in the Constitution, included the authority to inspect incoming ships and their crews, both for assessing taxes (including finding smuggled goods) and also quarantine for health purposes. A merchant vessel entering port was expected to declare that there was no disease among passengers and crew…. and if any was found when they were inspected, the ship with all the crew and passengers was held in a quarantine anchorage until the plague burned itself out or everyone was dead.

              Why do you think the Treasury had Revenue cutters?

              1. Customs and Excise authority, specifically mentioned in the Constitution, included the authority to inspect incoming ships and their crews, both for assessing taxes (including finding smuggled goods) and also quarantine for health purposes. A merchant vessel entering port was expected to declare that there was no disease among passengers and crew…. and if any was found when they were inspected, the ship with all the crew and passengers was held in a quarantine anchorage until the plague burned itself out or everyone was dead.

                A big reason why ships with diseases that would hold captain, crew, and cargo, in quarantine, got the dead and ill off the ship before making the harbor. Usually by expediency of tossing the ill overboard, alive or dead. Even when the crew could prove that the disease was burnt out. That the sick were cured & dead disposed of the surviving crew & passengers were allowed to leave the ship. The cargo, crew and passenger personal items, were forfeited with the ship, & burned.

              2. Snel, you’re making two mistakes here.

                One is correlating the ability to quarantine incoming ships (transiting international waters) with the ability to quarantine polities within states. The first is acting within designated federal zone of authority, the latter is interfering within states.

                Two is taking my comment at face value, failing to recognize its fundamental facetiousness.

                1. failing to recognize its fundamental facetiousness.

                  RES, forgot the *sarcasm/facepalm* tags again, didn’t you?

                  FWIW, I forgot the *facepalm* tag. Oh, the actions happened, both when captains discovered the sick on board, before port, or if a vessel with sick hit the port. Just it is incredible that people, now, don’t know it happened.


                  And here I thought Outlander (TV series) was so popular that everyone knew that now … or maybe DG added that for suspense, drama, and it isn’t true historically*? Or did they skip that part as too gruesome, insensitive? I’ve read the books. Don’t pay for Starz, so haven’t seen the series.

                  * 100% being sarcastic, FWIW

                  1. As for his other point, we lost that option during the ACW. Once it was established that you could be “quarantined” at the point of a bayonet into remaining in the US, Federalism was never going to mean anything but what the Feds allowed it to.

                    1. One, the original question was about what the Founders anticipated, so the “decisions” made during the War of Southern Secession are moot.

                      Two, the issue was not entirely established. Had the Confederacy sued fr secession they might* have prevailed. The only matter definitively established was that states attempting to absent themselves from the Union by force of arms would be opposed. An approach more interesting and with greater potential success than rebellion or legal suit for dissolution might have been to simply recall their representatives in the House and Senate, denying both bodies quorums.

                      *As well, pigs might have performed aerobatics.

                    2. All we KNOW is what was done, and the result. Which is that Federalism became a dead letter.

        2. They are sheer stupidity, evil, and unconstitutional. They are as much theater as TSA, there is no search of private vehicles, which is the most likely vector for pests. It is protectionism, which the Commerce Clause is supposed to ban at its finest.

          1. I breathlessly await your support of the idea that asking to check for fruit maggots in home-grown fruit is unconstitutional protectionism, since it will have to deal with the health requirements for shipping cattle, etc, across state lines as well.

      2. If the Iceland and a few others In Italy Holland are in any way accurate then 22 Million Americans have it right now. 6.4% ish. That’s a significantly lower mortality rate. That’s the basis for the Oxford study Given the number of people who have already had it the death rate is about the same as the flu.

        One problem is the inaccuracy of the tests. I’d think the Chinese tests in particular are worse than useless. 30% inaccurate. Better no test than a bad one

        That’s said, Precautions are necessary since disease outcomes are not ergodic. This can kill you and for myself I need to be more respectful of the flu.

        1. “30% inaccurate. ”

          Actually, it’s 30% ACCURATE. And that’s the best rate; Czechoslovakia was reporting only 20% accurate results.

            1. Agh. I had seen some rather unimpressive results but I really hoped the fact that it was on a preprint server several weeks ago meant somebody had made progress since.

                1. I was thinking earlier today that the fact Abbott is expected to start turning out fifty thousand test kits a day was reassuring … then I did the math and determined that, at that rate, every single person in the USA – all 330 million of us – can be tested for Woo-Hoo Flu in just over eighteen years … I decided to not try figuring how much longer was required for those born during that interval.

            2. You’d have an even better chance by taking the Chinese test and flipping the result — 70% accurate!

              Any test that is consistently either more OR LESS than 50% accurate is useful…for certain definitions of useful.

  36. Surprise, surprise, surprise. Who’d have ever think?

    Woman Who Ingested Fish Tank Cleaner Is Prolific Donor to Democratic Causes
    Arizona woman who accidentally poisoned her husband donated to ‘pro-science resistance’ PAC, among others
    The Arizona woman who said that she and her 68-year-old husband ingested a substance used to clean fish tanks after hearing President Donald Trump tout chloroquine as a cure for the coronavirus has given thousands of dollars to Democratic groups and candidates over the last two years.

    The woman’s most recent donations, in late February, were to a Democratic PAC, the 314 Action Fund, that bills itself as the “pro-science resistance” and has vocally criticized the Trump administration’s response to the coronavirus pandemic and held up her case to slam the White House.

    Although local and national media outlets withheld the couple’s names, the Washington Free Beacon established their identities through descriptions in local news reports, where the pair were identified by their first names and ages: Gary, 68, and Wanda, 61. The Free Beacon is withholding their identities at Wanda’s request.

    Federal Election Commission records show that Wanda has donated thousands of dollars to Democratic electoral groups and candidates over the past two years, including Hillary Clinton, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, and EMILY’s List, a group that aims to elect pro-choice female candidates.

    Wanda told the Free Beacon that she and her husband were both Democrats, not Trump supporters. They heard about the potential benefits of chloroquine, an antimalarial drug, in news reports. She decided at the “spur of the moment” to try taking it, but reached for a fish tank cleaner in her pantry that contains chloroquine phosphate, a different and deadly form of the chemical. The Food and Drug Administration issued an emergency authorization for the use of chloroquine to treat coronavirus on Sunday.

    “We weren’t big supporters of [Trump], but we did see that they were using it in China and stuff,” Wanda told the Free Beacon. “And we just made a horrible, tragic mistake,” she said. “It was stupid, and it was horrible, and we should have never done it. But it’s done and now I’ve lost my husband. And my whole life was my husband.”

    “We didn’t think it would kill us,” she added. “We thought if anything it would help us ‘cus that’s what we’ve been hearing on the news.”

    1. You mean I wasn’t the only one to guess that a private murder might’ve had the timing and means adjusted for political effect?

      1. That one lady who tried to make it look like her husband was killed by the Tylenol poisoner also used fish cleaner, IIRC. (She killed a couple of neighbors randomly for verisimilitude. Nice lady. Fortunately for justice, she stunk at doing the poison disposal and at doing dishes.)

        1. Found it. Stella Nickell copied the Tylenol poisoner, but she put cyanide into her husband’s Excedrin pills after putting other resealed bottles onto the local pharmacy shelves. Initially emergency people thought both her husband and the random victim had suffered heart attacks, but the coroner was one of those folks who can smell bitter almonds, so she also smelled a rat.

          Nickell’s ruse didn’t hold because she had done a bunch of suspicious insurance things. Then they searched her house, and found the evidence that she’d turned a distinctively colored algaecide, for fishtanks, into cyanide pill fillings. (Bright artificial algae cleaner colors inside the pills and stomachs were kind of a clue, too.)

  37. Seen on Twitter: “no need for vaccine …… prevention is the cure.”

    A vaccine . . . is prevention.

    1. Yeah. But that’s different. Sort of like organic, gluten-free* water and regular water.

      *I realize that sometimes this means that it is super-pure so there is no possible contamination, but organic? Really?

        1. You guys think this is funny. I once dragged son to whole foods on a daya he was feeling snarky. Then had to drag him out at speed because he’d started a comedy routine that involved demanding a gluten free cruelty free HAIRBRUSH. Also he wanted the blood coffee, because the fair trade coffee was tasteless. Also–
          I swear we were pursued into the parking lot by women with foot-long underarm hair.

          1. $SPOUSE gets annoyed at me when I start referring to PBS pledge break programming as Holistic Doowop. OTOH, she hates the fillin programming, too. On the gripping hand, beyond British mysteries (Midsomer Murders FTW) and Antiques Roadshow, there’s not much left to watch that we bother with. I haven’t tried the new one (Shakespeare and somebody), and lost any enthusiasm for AR. Father Brown is in repeats, but MM is complicated enough that a rerun is interesting if they keep the interval long enough.

            We make it a point *not* to pay for the station. I did so long ago, when I was still a sort-of-new R voter, and they were getting too left for me. The tactic of taking the most popular programming and holding a gun to the head of the viewers: “If we don’t get 8 million new members during this pledge sequence, we’ll cancel this incredibly popular show. You current members, tough.” They lost me at Red Dwarf when they pulled that crap. The Beeb took care of Dr. Who with Sylvester MacCoy

      1. Hey, I finally found organic salt in the kitchen. Cream of tartar. It has an ionic bond, making it a salt and contains carbon, making it organic.

      1. Ox ought stop butting head into immovable objects (e.g., human stupidity and ignorance) as ox is not irresistible force.

    2. In fairness … prevention is not solely limited to vaccine. It encompasses a somewhat broader spectrum, such as having everybody living in sterile isolation bubbles (at one extreme, admittedly.) A vaccine is prevention but prevention is more than vaccine.

      Or we could live the remainder of our days in environmental suits, something which would be a) good training for settling Mars and other non-Terran habitats b) a real boon for manufacturing c) something else – I’m tired, have to leave in five minutes to donate A-negative to the Red Cross and forgot what else I was going to say (does that qualify me for the Democrat presidential nomination?)

      OTOH, prevention is prevention, not cure. If you successfully prevent something no cure is needed. Preventing a cold is not the same as curing a cold.

      1. Harrumph. Apparently having poison ivy blisters extending wrist to elbow is a barrier to their accepting my donation. I felt compelled to apologise for wasting their time and mused that had I known it would be a problem for them II’d have avoided getting into it.

        Another day or tw and I may resort to calling doctor for prescription permission to acquire the 2% hydrocortisone cream; the 1% ain’t getting it done.

        1. Apparently having poison ivy blisters extending wrist to elbow is a barrier to their accepting my donation.

          To be fair to the blood donation collectors, poison oak blisters can be an indication that the poison oak has gotten into the blood stream. Not common. Shouldn’t be a problem, but it can be. I’ve had that happen, had repeating breakouts and no new contact. Not even secondary from clothing, items, or animals. When I had it that bad with blisters (I wish it only went from my hand to my elbow), you could still get 5% hydrocortisone cream over the counter, I think that was what the pink stuff was. Had to washed off and reapplied every half hour. Made for interesting three weeks in October/November HS Sophomore year, when that was HS year one.

          1. Jewelweed probably hasn’t sprouted yet in your woods, but it grows close to poison ivy. Crush and apply to skin. Turn it into a liquid if you like.

            But also jewelweed soap, pine tar soap, and soap made of both, can do great things for poison ivy even in the blistered stage. I keep jewelweed soap around the house, just in case. It is an analgesic, but it also kinda counters the urushiol.

            1. In my youth, amid more frequent exposure to the vile weed, I had some success employing Fels Naptha laundry soap for washing immediately after coming in contact. I still keep a bar* in the kitchen but do not always think to use it. There was also a product named, IIRC, “Aqua Ivy” when the Daughtorial Unit was young (so, thirty years ago?) which was notably effective as early and effective treatment for the affliction … but it disappeared from the drug stores for reason unknown to me.

              *the bar soap lasts nearly forever, which is handy as it is also nearly impossible t find in stores these days.

    1. Not buying it. The write up is not in a known journal. The doc is a family practice doc, which means he does less hospital. He has no research experience. Don’t know what it is, but doubt the statistics.

  38. I love the story about how singing supposedly spits out all these droplets and currents of air, when a trained singer is supposed to put out virtually no detectable exhalation. (Inhalation, yes.)*

    So you read the whole article, continually blaming people who are singing from seats six feet apart, and fantasizing about all this aerosol.

    Then you get to the end, and you find out that, at the end of practice, everybody broke up into groups and gathered around two pianos. At which point they were quite a bit less than six feet apart, singing into each other’s faces in a U formation. But no, it was the aerosol!

    * One of the classic voice exercises for classical singing is to sing in front of a candle flame. It’s not supposed to flicker much or at all, on the exhalation, if you are singing properly. And indeed, trained singers have a tendency not to inhale very noticeably either, and there have been things noticed about how singers can operate on very little oxygen. Singing trains you to have a lot of lung capacity, yes, but you don’t push and pull all the air out, all at one time.

    1. Ah, the Mount Vernon (WA) one?

      I saw a third hand report on that one, my BS flag was flying high. They didn’t get to the part about the pianos, “amazingly.”

      I was still guessing based entirely on the few folks I know from there that they’d done something foolish. -.-

    2. Yeah I sing and air is going out, but diffuse unless you’re doing diaphragm exercises in warmup. As noted large lung capacity but LONG release (though large quick intake sometimes). I think more interesting is that choral singing is a pastime of the elderly (i.e. 50+). Most learned it in school or church but part singing is gone below 4th grade and rare until 7th-8th. Similarly churches don’t tend to do choral music as much as evangelicals favor praise music (blech) that is more suited to a solo or small group style. So the Millenials etc never have little exposure to choral singing unless parents or grandparents participate. So a pile of elderly ( many of the listed folk are 70+) vulnerable folk gather together.

    3. … singers can operate on very little oxygen

      Wellll, that explains sooooo much. Just imagine!

      I acknowledge that Rock Stars are not, by and large, trained singers, but I suggest they operate with even less systemic oxygen.

  39. I came really close this weekend to telling a coworker, “Just because I like you as a person doesn’t mean I won’t pull the trigger if it comes to it.” People are losing their freaking minds because we aren’t hermetically sealed in our houses.

  40. I’ve been busy as ever the last few weeks. I drive truck over the road and can say that there is still plenty of traffic delivering paper, canned goods, snack foods, pet food, miscellaneous store merchandise and whatever else they’ve been putting in the trailers for me to haul. It’s hard for me to even gauge how thoroughly the rest of the country is shut down. The most noticeable things from where I sit are the closed down seating areas in truck stops and the empty parking lots I drive past, where motels have no business and restaurants are shut down.

  41. So I put my money where my mouth is and spent 2h on a State town hall by phone w/my rep, a State commissioner and one of their pet medical experts. Have my real name and got on live to share what we’re talking about here. Framed it in the oh-poor-me I am at risk: “When the %&$ can we use the real-knowledge we have here in the U.S. to triage the shut down and manage risk? I want to get back to work.”

    TL’DR We are so screwed: 2-3 months. Prefaced by, “we’re working.SOOO fast!”



    Nope. I see it too. All the time.

    What you are looking at is THE EXACT SAME SHIT that the medical/media establishment has been pushing on guns since the 1960s. Flawed studies, misinformation, bloody foolishness and outright lies (see China) all piously presented as the gospel truth.

    Its just that this time the subject is a virus instead of guns. There’s not as much pushback this time, because very few people know the insider details about how viruses spread, whereas tons of people know every damn thing about guns. The media hasn’t done anything different at all. They’re always like this. This is normal for them.

    That’s why I stopped listening to them. If I was still paying attention I’d be a shivering mess right now.

    This is like a flood. Getting angry and yelling at the TV about it will get you two things: angry, and hoarse. There’s nothing you can do about it. Relax, take note of the truly egregious examples for future payback (like that DemocRat governor of Michigan that banned Hydroxychloroquine, she needs to be impeached for that), and wait for the water to recede.

    Just remember that at the end of the day, this bug came to your town on an airplane from China. That’s the crucial piece of information to keep in mind. No airplane from China, no bugs. Vote accordingly.

  43. OK, my 2 cents about the statistics. The numbers are completely useless. Some of the models are using people presumed to have COVID. Some are using positive tests. So in some hospitals, you have a “positive” COVID screen if you have a fever OR runny nose OR cough OR sore throat. In the middle of one of the worst pollen seasons we’ve had. So what good is that number? Not. Positive tests may be good, but we don’t actually have the research to tell me how many false positives or false negative there are. The tests are too new. And that number is most dependent on who is getting tested. Some hospitals basically doesn’t let you test unless the patient is being admitted. Some are testing anyone who wants. And the recommendations change day by day. Every shift starts with “OK, what’s the rules today?” Number of deaths? That’s not even that accurate. Are they counting anyone who tested positive that dies? Anyone who has lung disease? A coroner tells me that during a declared emergency, any death is considered from the emergency. Are the hospitals counting that way?
    Sarah, I know it’s hard to watch, and I agree with you that there is more going on than the medical stuff. But once testing becomes wide spread, and antibody testing can tell us who already had it, the madness will stop. Americans are scared now, but once the test is quick and easy, no way will they stay that scared, and no way will they continue to follow orders blindly. And the test is coming. Soon.
    And in the meantime, police were stationed to block parking at my hike. HOW IS THAT ESSENTIAL WORK?!?!!?

    1. oh, yes. THEY’RE BLOCKING CITY PARKS IN DENVER. Seriously. City Park, specifically. Dan and I have been known to walk there (after the botanic gardens it’s our second favorite urban walk) on beautiful summer evenings, when everyone is out walking their dog and never come withing less than four feet or so of anyone. In a cool March? yeah.
      But, oh, blocking them is vital. For reasons.

      1. They’ve closed the parks here, likely because the teenagers/college age won’t stop using the basketball courts. Which they drive across town to use, because they don’t like the ones closer to their homes. For 11 confirmed cases out of 200,000 people. Grump, grumble, grouse.

        1. So, here they closed the parks. BUT every time you drive through Denver? Clumps of kids playing hoops in Church parking lots, public housing lots, their driveways, etc.

        2. But don’t you know that number will double, and double, and double, and pretty soon all 200,000 people will be infected! Twice!


          1. No, random factors will ensure that some of them aren’t infected, and others only once, while some will be three, four, five, six times. . . .

    2. police were stationed to block parking at my hike. HOW IS THAT ESSENTIAL WORK?!?!!?

      Sometimes, when people go on hikes, they fall. When they fall they need help. That need for help causes concerned fellow citizens to cluster in the area where the hiker fell, violating social distance regulations guidelines. This endangers first responders who are called t help the fallen.

      Thus the blocking of hiking, a necessary prophylactic act — because your authorities are a bunch of dicks.

  44. Nice to see this being said …

    Trump’s Best Bet In Corona Crisis Is Free Markets
    … One of the biggest problems America faces is a mismatch between demand and supply. We need more Covid-19 tests, Covid-19 treatments, masks, gloves, hand sanitizer, thermometers, and ventilators than we have. Some believe the solution to this is central planning and price controls. The New York Times editorial board proposes Chinese-style national coordination, with the federal government “tracking where needed resources are available and deciding where they should go,” thereby avoiding “a free-for-all” of buyers “bidding…for scarce resources,” which might cause “price competition.”

    The attorneys general of 33 states are fighting “price gouging,” instead of allowing the price mechanism to work. Experience shows, though, that the best way to summon supply to meet demand is to allow prices to rise. Preventing that is a recipe for shortages and rationing.

    Another big problem facing America right now is how to balance the needs of different interest groups. Restricting the First Amendment freedom of assembly, as federal, state, and local governments have done either with “guidance” or emergency public health orders, deprives factions of the ability to organize and to advocate.

    If doctors and nurses can’t rally to demand personal protective equipment, or if bar and restaurant owners and workers or airline employees can’t rally against restrictions that threaten their livelihoods, how are government officials supposed to respond to their needs? Politics with restrictions on freedom of assembly is like commerce with government-imposed price controls; it dulls the feedback mechanisms.

    Worse, imagine politics with arbitrarily postponed elections. Fourteen states and Puerto Rico have either delayed their presidential primaries or switched to vote-by-mail with extended deadlines. That provides President Trump with bipartisan precedent to change the date of the presidential election for “public health” reasons if the virus is not defeated, or if polls well in advance of Election Day show him in jeopardy of losing.

    Allowing politicians the power to delay elections in a public health emergency reduces their incentives to end the emergency anytime soon.

    America is even adopting Chinese-style restrictions on organized religion …

    1. I got hit with the “price gouging” rules on eBay, trying to sell my emoji masks for what had been the going price at anime and comic cons (and offering free shipping, so I was actually making less than I would at a convention), because of some metric they were using that may have compared me to Chinese sellers who are getting a break on postage, or comparing them to the price of disposable masks.

      Part of the problem there was some jackasses who were selling a package of toilet paper for $700 or some such crazy price. This was so crazy that people were demanding that eBay Do Something — and small sellers like me who were actually offering reasonable prices for a product in the US, sold by a seller who understands colloquial English, lost our opportunity to make up some of the income we lost when the conventions got canceled.

  45. Pingback: DOES IT MAKE A SOUND?  Screaming In The Forest…. – The usa report
  46. So the question marks with ‘it’s all too much, why not do it for the flu?’ include:

    Asymptomatic transmission is a factor here. Mild cases that are not tested for or reported still off infection vectors, though not as much as symptomatic cases. So there is that.

    The main thing is, we haven’t tested for this like we can and have tested for the flu. To say the ball was dropped on testing early on is an understatement. The ball was dropped and then accidentally kicked of the nearby cliff into the water where we had to wait for currents to bring it back to the beach two miles back from us. So the number of actual moderate to even some severe cases is still not known with certainty.

    I’ve seen a second report as of yesterday of a study that indicates airborne transmission vectors now. IF that’s confirmed, then that MIGHT offer reasons for such measures as have been taken.

    It is known to be more infectious, cause a higher percentage of severe cases, and a higher fatality rate, than the flu. (Caveat: If we had better and more testing, those numbers could well be adjusted down. For now, we have to go with what we’ve got, which is ‘worse than flu to varying degrees depending’.) Given previous lack of effective treatments (assuming reports of the first month or so are accurate) and lack of access to effective treatments where they were known of, this also presents a cause for concern and a reason to at least strongly suggests certain measures of mitigation.

    Given those factors and things such as a (so far) lack of evident herd immunity and/or vaccine development, a case could be made that the extreme measures taken so far have prevented the kind of outbreak that makes and breaks Black Death and Spanish Flu level history. Is it a good case? Without more accurate numbers, the answer to that question is and will remain, at the least, uncertain and probably unknowable.

    HOWEVER: We got people that entertained fantasies of absolute control for decades and who were having wet dreams about the measures they could take in the name of public health. Valid or not, this is the opportunity they’ve been waiting for and if they can get away with more than is needed to tamp this down, then it’s on and it’s comin’.

    In the end, yes, I think they’re going over the limits on this one and deliberately so in some cases (because of ignorance-based panic and mob psychology in others).

    What is relevant now, though? The reasons this is happening, or the fact that it is happening and so needs to be responded/adapted to/adjusted for/fought withal as you consider best? I submit it to be the latter, because for now crazy is in the majority.

    1. It is known to be more infectious, cause a higher percentage of severe cases, and a higher fatality rate, than the flu.

      The only evidence I’ve seen for that was from the Chinese numbers.

      Back when they were insisting they had no idea before the end of December.

      1. It’s certainly true that one should be skeptical of any figures reported by China. The question then becomes, however, whether they’re overstating or understating severity, and what their motivation would be to do either.

        The reflex assumption of most Western minds, I think, is to immediately assume they’re understating matters because they’re afraid of the consequences of being blamed for it, which is how most Western politicians and citizens would react. But it does occur to me that the CCP might just be detached, callous, and foresighted enough to realize that an overstated threat might do just as much economic damage as a real one, and be a great deal easier to disguise in hindsight as “erring on the side of caution”.

        I’m enough of a human universalist that in general I blame incompetence and confusion far more often than conspiratorial organization for any given event. But when a party is known to be dishonest not just as a matter of pragmatics but of philosophy, that’s a little harder to do.

        1. What on earth makes you think they know, or care, what the severity of it is?

          Care about some things that relate to it– but even then, it’s a pile of “what will make me look good right now”. High school gossip would be an improvement on accuracy, since most high schoolers don’t have the ability to kill those who say something that makes them look bad.

          If there’s any sort of conspiring for advantage internationally at all, it’s a twenty Xanatos pile-up at a minimum.

          The only good use for information out of China is to try to figure out relevant information on our own, since what they say can’t be trusted.

          Drawing back to the point, the figures on how infectious and deadly it is were based on when they were claiming that what turned out to be a quarter, at minimum, growth was a single month.

          If the US took all our cases thus far, and claimed they were about two or three weeks, that can give an idea of how screwy the numbers are. (And that’s when I suspect New York City at the very least inflating their numbers, Italian style.)

          1. Oh, yeah, and China has NO clue what is happening, because a) totalitarian, so speaking the truth is risky. b) the face saving is cultural and goes on AT EVERY LEVEL.

          2. On inflating numbers: They decreased as soon as Trump threatened to cordon off the place as it were.
            The reason to multiply them is not so much Italian as democrat. You see, what’s his name? Fredo’s brother? He said that NYC was NOW bankrupt.
            Now….. yeah. Sheesh, pull the other one.
            The idea is in fact, to stick the feds with the bill for their multi-decade failed socialist government, and somehow claim a) a virus, not their fault. b) Trump should have foreseen it in his crystal ball, so really, all his fault.
            TRUST NOT TOTALITARIANS. Including local ones.

            1. I mean Italian style as in “did they die with symptoms/a positive test? ’twas the virus! Not the gaping hole in their chest!” type padding.

              I don’t think they’re dumb enough to not have some kind of a figleaf for the padded numbers, even if it’s in the form of testing flu samples for the dead from January on.

          3. “What on earth makes you think they know, or care, what the severity of it is?”

            I don’t think they do care, as a party; hence my note about “dishonesty as a philosophy”. But they’re still human beings and humans have a reflexive curiosity about knowing what’s really happening, especially if they want to avoid being held responsible for something.

            That said, I think the questions still bear thinking about: If inaccuracy is a given, do we think their figures are overstatements or understatements? If so, why? And if they chose which way to err, why that choice?

          4. The vast majority of your cases are about three weeks. Going by the numbers, the total of U.S. cases as of March 30 was 163,788. As of March 9, 21 days ago, it was 704. However much New York is inflating the numbers, I don’t think it can explain all of that.

            1. Well, part of that is that we started testing late. I don’t think all of those 163,788 cases caught it from the 704.

              1. Thank you; I was trying to find a polite way to say “you mean that after they actually started testing, the numbers went up? Comparing numbers from right before the lack of testing went nuclear to now?”

                Unless it is insanely hard to transmit, it should have been in New York about the same time it hit Seattle, and for the same reasons– not looking like it caught a bad case from Seattle!

                And then there’s the odd happening with New Yorks’ daily deaths dropping again….

                1. Dr. Birx keeps saying that NY had to have started earlier but it’s never picked up on. She’s said it at least twice and said it again today. My interpolation takes it back into January but 8t could be earlier.

                  NY hospitalization rate continues to slow. Deaths lag that. It’s probably sloppy reporting but it might be things turning.

                  1. REUTERS:

                    Adriano Decarli, an epidemiologist and medical statistics professor at the University of Milan, said there had been a “significant” increase in the number of people hospitalized for pneumonia and flu in the areas of Milan and Lodi between October and December last year. . . . He told Reuters he could not give exact figures but “hundreds” more people than usual had been taken to hospital in the last three months of 2019 in those areas — two of Lombardy’s worst hit cities — with pneumonia and flu-like symptoms, and some of those had died. . . . Decarli is reviewing the hospital records and other clinical details of those cases, including people who later died at home, to try to understand whether the new coronavirus epidemic had already spread to Italy back then. . . . “We want to know if the virus was already here in Italy at the end of 2019, and — if yes — why it remained undetected for a relatively long period so that we could have a clearer picture in case we have to face a second wave of the epidemic,” he said.

                    I.e. what we’re doing is locking up the barn door, after the not-particularly lethal horse has fled.

              1. Friends don’t let friends use WHO statistics.

                Imperial College London, yes them, has come out with new estimates of infection. The average is around 3.5%, which is consistent with Iceland, Vor Italy, and the early Dutch results. Italy and Spain are over 10% infected. A Belgian hospital began random testing and found 5 of 50 people tested positive with no symptoms. The Scandinavian countries are the lowest.

                The estimates have a lot of error and the testing is still problematic but the denominator, and that where all this angst comes from is hugely understated. Fauci has allowed for 50% asymptomatic rate or a factor of 2. these data imply a confirmed by a test to total cases factor over 100 in places. For context, a similar rate in (3.5%) would imply 11 million cases currently in the US vs 186M confirmed by a test or a factor of around 60.

                Data is sourced through Nate Silver and Christopher Balding but I’ve followed up the individual reports. Balding is no friend to China but Silver is about as establishment as you can get

                1. I was just informed that it’s bad to look at the data from the cruise ship, because a closed system can’t model an open system.

                  Thus the cruise ship showing that even with a massively bad setup, this thing isn’t going to infect absolutely everybody who walks through the same room and wipe out 3% of the population is invalid, but some video from “experts” that is using the Chinese numbers is.

                  *long, slow blink*

                  Just when I think that my lack of charity is simply too high…..

                  1. I realized yesterday that I’ve been writing and yelling variations on the same theme: The numbers are wrong, the math makes no sense, and forget China you can’t have a 3% death rate and broad infection and the numbers we’ve seen. Can’t be. But emotion is much more powerful than intellect unless intellect is given time to think. Ask a used car salesman.

                    none of this matters now. The powers that be got stampeded and now they need to work their way out.

                    What I saw yesterday in Trump’s presser was the beginning of the new political narrative. They are trying to turn this into a great heroic narrative where our hunkering down saved millions of our old,people. By setting the number at 200M in USA just about any number is better. had they said 50m then people would ask the obvious question and, were it to turn out worse, and it could because even a small percentage of a huge number is a huge number, the attacks would be worse than they already are.

                    I suspect Fauci believe his own BS and Birx believes in the models. Trump? I think Trump is riding the narrative.

                    Until then we just have to endure.

                    1. Trump? I think Trump is riding the narrative.

                      Also, he is letting Governor Cuomo write part of his 2020 presidential ads. If we can ever get there again (something I never thought I’d be typing, never ever). Today Cuomo, a governor, who has been, prior, extremely anti-Trump, explicitly stated how stupid that the US relies on China for critical medical supplies and medicines, and other items that NY now can’t get. I’m see this segment (and frankly a few others) with “President Trump said this on” -> with a list of dates from the 2016 presidential debates. Or (And?) stamp of “Racist? President Trump was labeled that when he said the same thing on (again list of dates)”. MSN now screaming “We need strong borders.” President Trump’s response. “No kidding. Build that Wall.”

                      My worry when President Trump states “We have to go back to work or people are going to start dying not just from the virus.” MSN will start screaming “Murderer” because they only see the virus.

                    1. In a cruise ship, after weeks to get infected….

                      Wonder how that theory deals with how many folks were in multi person rooms and didn’t get sick?

        2. No. What?
          They’re understating because they don’t want it to seem like they don’t have complete control. THAT’s CHINESE culture.
          WAY understating. But there are factors in China that cause this, including near-universal smoking and the ridiculous air-pollution.
          Explain what you mean by human universalist. If you think culture doesn’t matter and/or all cultures are alike, I’m going to go in the corner and pull ALL my hair out.
          And then I’m going to recommend after this is over you travel somewhere, live there with a local family for a year and try to integrate. REALLY try. With no contacts home. (Which means Mormon missionaries isn’t enough, since they are integrated in the home-structure to an extent through their hierarchy.) Then report back on how “alike” all cultures are.

          1. I bet they don’t actually know. It’s a totalitarian state and the people beneath have no interest in reporting anything resembling the truth especially when emperor xi put himself at the head of the great patriotic war against the virus

          2. “They’re understating because they don’t want it to seem like they don’t have complete control. THAT’s CHINESE culture.”

            Fair enough, that makes sense too. But not wanting to look incompetent indicates caring, on some extent, about the good opinion of the rest of the world, and much of what I’ve read about both Chinese culture and Communist thought (a lot of it here, for that matter) seems to put that at a low priority.

            Certainly if Chinese culture cared about Western principles of cleanliness neither smoking nor wet markets would be as prevalent as they are, it seems to me.

            “Explain what you mean by human universalist.”

            What I mean is that I think there is a fundamental level on which the vast majority of humans are very like all other humans: we’re instinctively tribal, most of us have a functional level of empathy, we want the satisfaction of much the same physical needs and tastes, we have mostly the same set of instincts and reflexes (including curiosity about what’s really happening and the urge to ignore bad things it looks too expensive to change), we admire courage and despise cowardice and treachery, etc., will generally do less of what’s taxed and do more of what’s subsidized, and aren’t good at covert organization on a large scale without impractical levels of control. And, of course, I believe in the universality of Original Sin.

            That does not mean I think all cultures are alike, or that their differences don’t make a difference about what’s seen as incentive and what isn’t; it just means that when I have to assume, to make something work, that large numbers of people must behave consistently contrary to those universals, I bet against it.

            1. I have no beef with individual Chinese people, especially those who have permanently immigrated here to be Americans, but [throat-clearing over] “China”, as an entity, still seems to think that it is the Middle Kingdom around which the world revolves, and we are all just various barbarians who should be paying it tribute if we know what’s good for us.


              I’ve said this elsewhere, but China should have taken the “Century of Humiliation” as the “Century of Getting A Clue”.

              1. It seems to me that at this time, any well-wishing toward Chinese people in China, en masse and in general, more or less necessitates a certain enmity toward their government.

              2. Certainly Chinese companies from mainland China should now especially be regarded as being extensions of the CCP itself, in the wake of various examples of said companies complying with the order to purchase medical supplies from other countries (as well as other supplies like long life milk, baby formula, sanitizer gels and liquids, etc).

                Trade with China is suspect, and should always have been treated as such.

        1. Well, that would create jobs, and help the economy, right? They’re even manufacturing jobs, which are the most valuable kind!

  47. Completely agree about what you say about the virus stuff. Driving me crazy. Just walked in from wrk and my wife tells me I have to wash all the clothes I’m wearing because I might’ve brought it in the house.

    Completely disagree about the pedophiles. Said wife is a trained Child protective service investigator. The number of young (under 13) sexual abuse cases would horrify a normal person.

    1. Of course it’d horrify a normal person– because our modern culture is odd in disapproving of it at all.

      It’s one of many things that gets me spitting mad when folks want to pretend all cultures are the same. No, no, nopey nopenope, folks who think that kids are people and should be treated as being made in God’s image are definitely better.

      1. Yep. Throughout most of human history, including precursors of our culture pedophilia was a “diversion” indulged in more than now. Mostly because morals didn’t include anything to do with sex in many cultures, and also, yep children weren’t “human”.
        As son said, as we were going through a reconstruction of a Roman Villa “What is strange and horrifying about the Romans is that we keep thinking “Oh, this is just like us” and then suddenly we’re in a living room that, with minor changes could be in Portugal, but on the wall is a vast mural of giant apes having sex with little kids. And this was OKAY.”

      2. No, no, nopey nopenope, folks who think that kids are people and should be treated as being made in God’s image are definitely better.

        Even in our culture. How many people spout off “Children should be seen and not heard” or variants thereof?

        And in listening to them some are just (badly) reacting to the let-them-run-wild school of non-parenting, but others clearly mean something a little deeper. “Children shouldn’t exist” would probably be a more accurate translation of what they mean.

        1. A phrase that is a polite way of saying “shut up until you have something worth saying” is not even in the same galaxy as using children as disposable tools for sexual gratification.
          (We are now up to six chatterboxes who will keep talking, saying little to nothing, unless reined in. The older ones are slowly learning how to NOT make it so nobody ever listens to them. )

          The people who think nobody who even slightly annoys them should exist are a totally different form of wrong, though arguably related to the people-are-tools.

          1. A phrase that is a polite way of saying “shut up until you have something worth saying” is not even in the same galaxy as using children as disposable tools for sexual gratification.

            I figured that was a given. The point was that the “children are sub-human” memes are so strong that even is a society that leans HARD in the opposite direction you still see traces of them. (Which is also why I made the distinction of separating out the people who just don’t know how to explain what they are saying from the ones that can’t stand kids.)

            I’ll note that the people who have the barely hidden disdain of children, often have similarly questionable views on pets. Funny; it’s almost as though they are just generally terrible people.

    2. Sure. It would horrify everyone. BUT that said, I think It’s the average in most of human history. And no government/president/etc. will be able to stop it. EVEN if he had the power to, which he doesn’t.

  48. I’m afraid I don’t watch TV, or listen much to the radio, so I’ve been a little non-plussed at the reports of panic, and of push-back on the panic. (Licking airplane toilet seats?) Lots of things are shut down here, but folks are out walking their dogs, the governor is getting pressure to let golf courses re-open, Walmart and the grocery store are crowded, and the folks at city hall and the post office have simple procedures going.

    I looked at the diamond princess numbers, and my pre-existing conditions (starting w/ 2^5 years–that next exponent is going to be hard to hit), and decided I was going to take this seriously. So far one of my daughters and her boyfriend got it–looks like both of them are out for a couple of months (only in their 30’s btw). I work from home now–no way will I be taking the bus again for a long time. I’ve had some clean-room experience; I think I’ve got procedures down OK.

    This is one of those no-win situations for a leader. If you get it wrong, lots of people die. If you get it right, it won’t be as bad as it might have been, and you get accused of overreacting. No matter what, a bunch of people are going to get hurt. And you have to guess on the basis of lies from China. If the powers-that-be are willing to show some flexibility as the situation develops, fine. If not, then some people will need a reminder of how one of our founding documents opens: “whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it.”

    1. Why are they out for a couple of months.
      I’m convinced that’s how long it took me, but I have blood type A and a ton of issues.
      Most normal human beings are out of it in a couple of weeks.

    2. The idiot living sex doll who licked the airplane toilet seat was interviewed by Dr. Phil, and she claimed she was on ‘her sugar daddy’s private airplane,’ and that ‘I disinfected the seat before I licked it, so there wasn’t any danger.’ Dr. Phil pointed out that if that was the case, then there was no point to her claim that she wasn’t afraid of coronavirus at all; or why would she disinfect the toilet seat?

      (I didn’t watch the interview, just saw it on a clip making fun of Covidiots, and the first thing I thought of was “I wonder how long after this brainless creature’s stunt went viral did she lose her supposed sugar daddy, because ew, would he have wanted to kiss her after that?”)

  49. Evidently you are NOT alone in noticing these, ah, divergences from the official narrative. That’s good! Means I’m not alone either. Keep it up, make the bastards work for it.

  50. As someone who’s very paranoid all the time, I just have to add my 2 cents.
    Sarah’s right; I don’t think a ton of people are going to die. That said, my own personal take is, this is one of the most extreme cases of “don’t interrupt your enemies when they’re making a mistake” that I’ve ever seen.

    [LEFTISTS ON CHINESE PAYROLL IN GOVERNMENT / LEFTIST ZEALOTS IN GOVERNMENT / LEFTISTS IN MEDIA]: There’s this new version of the flu in China. It’s inevitably going to get here. How can we use this to get rid of Trump? [ANSWERS] His biggest strength is the economy. What if we engineer a mild economic crash? Then we can get Biden in!

    [LEFTISTS IN MEDIA, BROADCASTING TO THE AMERICAN PUBLIC]: There’s a flu coming from China! It could be dangerous!

    [TRUMP]: The panic over this flu is overblown.

    [LEFTISTS IN MEDIA, BROADCASTING TO THE AMERICAN PUBLIC]: Trump’s not taking this seriously! He’s a danger to the United States!

    [TRUMP, REALIZING A PANIC IS BEING ENGINEERED TO CRASH THE ECONOMY AND SMEAR HIM]: OK, folks! This disease needs to be taken seriously. We’re going to curtail travel to and from China. By the way, this is a perfect example of why we need secure borders.


    [TRUMP]: Oh, yeah. this vindicates the border wall and strict enforcement of immigration law.



    [TRUMP]: Now what we need to do is to wash our hands, cough into our elbows, and exercise some reasonable precautions so we avoid spreading the disease. Also, we need to take reasonable precautions to make sure the hospitals are prepared in case this is worse than the flu.

    [CITIZENS IN MAJOR METROPOLITAN ZONES]:Holy $%^&! The media says we’re all gonna die! Buy up all the toilet paper!

    [LEFTIST GOVERNMENTS IN VERY BLUE STATES AND MAJOR METROPOLITAN CITIES]: Oh, $%^&! We have a panic on our hands! We’d better look like we’re doing something useful before we lose our phoney-baloney jobs! Issue the quarantine orders! Oh, and shut down the gun shops while we’re at it! And go hide some of the supplies we’ll need for this crisis so that we can profiteer from this mess!

    [HOSPITALS]: We don’t have enough masks and ventilators for the inflated numbers that the media are predicting are going to overwhelm us!

    [CITIZENS]: Holy $%^&! There’s not enough medical supplies!

    [TRUMP]: I’d like to announce that this vindicates what I’ve been saying for decades about it being stupid to have all our supply chains run back to China.


    [TRUMP]: And I’d like to announce that we’re going to go after hoarders with the FBI.

    [LEFTISTS IN GOVERNMENT WHO THOUGHT THEY COULD BE LIKE PUERTO RICO]: Oh, $%^&! [SPEAKING TO GENERAL PUBLIC]: Hey, we just found a bunch of ventilators and respirators and N95 masks! Aren’t we great guys!

    [TRUMP]: And I’d like to announce that we’re setting fire to government regulations that don’t do any good and will only serve to slow down the private sector’s response to filling the requirements of the medical sectors of the economy in response to this disease.

    [BUREAUCRATS]: Oh, $%^&!

    [TRUMP]: And, given that some local governments are acting outside the scope of their powers, we’re declaring truck stops and gun shops “essential businesses.”


    [TRUMP]: Oh, and this virus came from China.

    [CHINA]: Oh, $%^&!


    [TRUMP]: Chy-NA.


    [TRUMP, REALIZING HE’S IN A POSITION TO INCENTIVIZE A MAJOR RELOCATION OF SUPPLY CHAINS FROM CHINA TO NOW BE IN THE US]: And I’m invoking the Defense Production Act so that the military and other government organizations will be in a better position to assure that our materiel needs related to national security are secure.

    [CHINA]: Oh, $%^&!

    [LEFTISTS IN MEDIA THAT AREN’T ON THE CHINESE PAYROLL, STILL ECSTATIC THAT ANYONE’S LISTENING TO THEM AT ALL]: We’re all going to die! Everyone that catches this disease is dying in the streets! Trump isn’t doing enough to help!

    [CITIZENS, WAITING IN THEIR HOUSES FOR ALL THIS TO BLOW OVER]: Dude, do YOU actually know anyone who’s died of this? Because I DON’T.

    [TOTALITARIANS IN STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT]: If you don’t stay in your houses, we’ll arrest you!

    [CITIZENS]: Seriously, I don’t know a single one who’s died. And my income has been cut by a LOT because of this.

    ********************My predictions********************

    APRIL AND MAY 2020:

    [TRUMP]: Well, we have enough medical supplies, and the curve’s been flattened! Keep washing your hands, but it would be ridiculous to stay in your homes!

    [MEDIA ON CHINESE PAYROLL]: Trump hates the Chinese!

    [TRUMP] Chy-NA.

    [MEDIA NOT ON CHINESE PAYROLL]: We’re all gonna die!

    [CITIZENS]: You mean to tell me the media totally overinflated this whole thing!

    [TRUMP]: Oh, yeah, now that Phase IV of the Coronavirus bill includes $2 Trillion for infrastructure, blue-collar Americans everywhere are going back to work in droves! If we’re going to pass pork-laden bills, it should go to the American worker.

    [PELOSI]: Yeah, but I still got my pork to funnel into the Democrat party coffers… wait, what?


    [PELOSI] We’re investigating Trump’s response to Coronavirus! Maybe we’ll impeach again!


    [LEFTISTS IN MEDIA NOT ON CHINESE PAYROLL]: We need to elect Biden because Trump didn’t do enough to save lives!

    [LEFTISTS IN MEDIA ON CHINESE PAYROLL]: We need to elect Biden because Trump totally overreacted to the Coronavirus and he’s an anti-Chinese racist!

    [PELOSI]: Trump is still under investigation!

    [TRUMP]: Blue-collar Americans of every ethnicity are back to work. And you can blame the overreaction on the media. And remember how Pelosi held up that Coronavirus bill?

    [PELOSI]: Oh, $%^&!

    [TRUMP]: Yeah, and our supply chain relocation has resulted in massive increases in manufacturing jobs in the US.

    [CHINA]: Oh, $%^&!

    [TRUMP]: And let this be a lesson to you that the media is full of fake news!

    [ALL OF NEWS MEDIA]: Oh, $%^&!

    [TRUMP]: Yeah, and all you citizens who got needlessly locked up in your own homes under threat of arrest? Yeah, that was your city and state officials who ordered that. I just said to wash your hands and follow CDC guidelines.


    [TRUMP]: And this is a perfect example of us needing to drain the swamp. And have secure borders. And not have all our supply chains run straight back to China.


    [TRUMP]: Chy-NA.

    1. Oh, $%^&!

      🙂 🙂 🙂

      Hope Michael Davis had as much fun writing his comment as I did reading it.

    2. *howls with laughter at your brilliant summary*

      [TRUMP]: And I’d like to announce that we’re setting fire to government regulations that don’t do any good and will only serve to slow down the private sector’s response to filling the requirements of the medical sectors of the economy in response to this disease.

      Love it! Also, Pelosi and a bunch of other Dems encouraging people to hang out in Chinatown during the Lunar New Year… yeah. XD

    3. Shared a copy of this with my husband via a messenger app.

      He nearly hurt himself laughing, yesterday.

      This morning, he was chuckling about it.

      And ten minutes ago, he started chuckling about it again.
      “Just too perfect.”

      I’d say you did well. 😀

      1. LOL! It WAS a lot of fun to write. I had just gotten tired of the conflicting information in the media, and the conflicting actions of City/County/State level and Federal level governments. Once clarity hit, it was a big relief and I had to share it. 😉

  51. Headline:
    Virginia Governor Orders Residents to Stay Home Until June 10

    I expect some of those Western Virginia counties are thinking secession and merger with an adjacent state is looking pretty good right now. “We ain’t packed in sardines like them idjits in Richmond and Arlington; why’d we have to stay shet up?”

  52. I suspect that the various governors, mayors, etc. will start to get some real pushback when wage-earning renters run out of money and get evicted and start building Coronavilles. (You’ll be able to tell them from regular homeless encampments because they’ll be cleaner and everyone won’t be on drugs.)

      1. There are so very many memes going around to the effect of “too bad you’ll go bankrupt if you don’t collect your rents; maybe you shoulda got a productive job.” [facepalm again]

        1. My husband has been battling some of the stupid there (computer=> Microsoft=> Seattle culture, with all the joys of that you’ve mentioned) to fairly good effect.

          By which I mean that after the twits try to bring out an emotional trump card, he guts them, lays down four aces, and then explains why the argument that he just eviscerated should never have been made.

          Then, generally, gets blocked.

              1. I’m sure you have a multitude of reasons to think he’s amazing actually. 😀 I’m just sighing a little over his ability to shred opposing debaters.

  53. my county health department just extended the ‘stay home’ order to May 3. Sigh….People have noticed their ‘dashboard’ of case status doesn’t show hospitalizations… perhaps because most cases aren’t and are doing fine? But so many others say ‘ got to protect! everyone’ Gaah….

    1. You’re lucky they actually set a date at all. We haven’t got one down under, only vague references to ‘six months’ (from WHEN?) and possibly ramping up restrictions even more.

      In the meantime, I rather expect that the red tape from Labour and Greens that strangled getting more water to farmers as well as getting more aid to them during the drought, flash floods and bushfires (as well as prioritized FOREIGN OWNED FARMS getting water resources while penalizing local farmers) is going to result in food shortages – lots of the livestock farms couldn’t keep up, and had to cull lots of their starving stock, sold their farms (which, reportedly a lot of Chinese financial interests picked up for a bargain bin price), and well, that’s just the meat farmers I read/heard about. There isn’t much mention about the farms that burned; and the farmers who are STILL in business are having issues keeping their homesteads fed because of the ‘two per item only’ restrictions, when they have not only their families to feed, but their workers and farmhands, and of course they’re going to need loads of toilet paper, laundry powder, etc.


      Vegetables, milk and eggs are going up in price as well, and it’s not helping that people are all raiding the groceries here… and the rural ones. The same rural ones that can’t sell the farmers who live 200-300+ km away from their nearest grocery stores what they need because restrictions.

      It’s going to get ugly. The restriction-setters and people screaming at our PM tend to be city slickers.

    2. I’ve given up on any of the dashboards. Without iron clad rules for reporting this or that, every jurisdiction has slightly different criteria for reporting a “case”, a “hospitalization”, a “serious” case, or even a “death”.

      And Washington State’s reporting system went down because it wasn’t able to handle the increased volume from reporting negative results as well as the usual positive results. For on the order of hundreds of records a day, or in other words an app that a mid-level full-stack developer would have no trouble putting together in an entirely bulletproof way.

      Any numbers coming from dashboards I will only interpret qualitatively: a little, a few, a lot, many, very many.

      There won’t be any serious data analysis of this pandemic for at least a year, and it will be full of point shaving and retroactive CYA to make the usual suspects look better and Emmanuel Goldstein Donald Trump look worse.

    3. ‘Twould be nice, would it not, to hear some “journalist” as the governors, mayors, county administrators where their operating funds and salaries will come from once the economy is shut down.

      I wonder how avid they will be about “protecting everyone” once their treasury runs dry.

      1. As fellow Oregonian’s commenters to this blog can attest, our local leaches, city & county, have their money for 2020. Payment for 2021 by the local hostages is due November 2021. A reminder … no Sales Tax, not for state, not for city or county. Local levels only have Property Taxes & fees for services, if you use them. We’ll see if there is a property tax abatement through this mess.

        “Stay at home order” is going to hurt: Roads because of drop in gas sales, whatever Hotel Taxes pay, the two new sales tax % based fees on vehicle purchases (one only applies to new, but the other applies to both new & used) designated funds. I’m sure there are other fees I’m missing we pay, but these are the ones I can think of.

        Noticed State hasn’t deposited our refund yet. Note. Mailed (we refuse to pay $20 to file state online), they’ve received it 2nd week of February (have proof). Getting a chunk of change back from the state. Which is why we filed as soon as we could.

        We’ll see if Feds pull what we owe from checking April 13 in light of CCF, and payments coming because of CCF phase 3. Don’t owe Feds that much, but we owe some.

      1. Bioterrorism.

        High-N counts of Attempted Murder.

        Until charges like that start being handed out it isn’t being taken seriously. And I’m using a loose definition of “charges” here. The guilty party getting beaten within an inch of their life by the bystanders and having permanent damage for the rest of their pathetic life would be an acceptable alternative to the legal method.

        1. Well, actually, the controlling legal code for court martials carried about by the unorganized militia is not entirely clear to the unorganized militia, so beaten to near death by a group might well be a legal method.

          Today is a very tragic day for me, because the celebration of April Fool’s both takes away the context that provides my usual jokes and serious comments their essential features, and makes it more confusing for me to figure out trust levels for information collected today. And I’m lazy.

          Sort of the same reason I’m not eager for the litigation to sort out the correctness of my legal theory.

  54. This is very interesting video from an impeccable M.D., Professor of Medicine at Stanford University who also happens to have a Ph.D. in Economics, so is questioning the premises (most recently in the WSJ):

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