Deaths, Lies And Statistics


So, to begin with, I am not dead. And I probably do not have the dread Winnie the Flu.  Why not? Well, I do not have a fever and some sense of smell has returned.  No, not all of it, but I can now smell the catbox when Euclid forgets to/refuses to cover (it’s hard to know with old codgers. It COULD be his protest against getting old, who knows?)  Taste is probably back at 1/2 percent. I can tell I’m drinking tea, not just sweet water.  From what I understand, the taste would not come back this quickly if it were Winnie.

I have since found that a lot of Corona Viruses — one of the normal causes of the common cold — and Rhino Viruses cause this symptom.  I have vague memories of losing taste and smell when I was very young and had some colds, but it’s been some time. Or it’s been some time since I noticed.  Look, over the last ten years I had symptoms far more worrisome than that.  Also, though my memory has recovered if not to the level it was at 30, there are some things that are forever lost in a fog of hypothyroidism and sleep apnea [(probably NOT brought on by the weight gain after the hypothyroidism got really bad, (which was since I was about 40, judging by the lack-of-potassium issues and others) but definitely exacerbated by it.  However, I’m one of the lucky, lucky people whose mouth conformation means I probably had sleep apnea since about 35 when ah…. tissues aren’t as youthful. I am now ALMOST the size I was at 35, if a little lighter, and I definitely still suffer from sleep apnea.]  I know because I have almost-finished novels I don’t remember writing, and sometimes I start reading a book and remember bits and pieces of it, but not the whole.

One of the downsides of it is that you forget bits of your lived experience. Like, you know, did I ever lose taste and smell with colds before? As I said, I remember it when very young, but not recently.

OTOH it’s not an unusual side effect of colds and allergies, apparently.  (It’s annoying, since tea with two drops of sweetener per pot is one of my joys in life. Apparently I’m not Connan.)

But this brings it to COVID-19. And how it’s being diagnosed. And how it behaves.

Yesterday a young acquaintance of ours got diagnosed with COVID-19 on SYMPTOMS.  This is what is technically known in Britain as “Bullocks.” Or perhaps “Bloody Bullocks.”

Why? Because there is no specific set of symptoms to Winnie the flu that aren’t partaken (Partoken?) of by other URIs.

The unique symptoms get bandied about, then contradicted by the next report.  “With Winnie the Flu you don’t sneeze” “You definitely sneeze with Winnie the Flu” “Winnie the flu has no body aches.” “Winnie the flu definitely has body aches.”  “Winnie the flu strikes only the old” “We’re mostly intubating your men between twenty and thirty” “Winnie the flu is a DRY cough” “The cough with Winnie the flu can be productive.”  “Winnie the flu shreds your lungs.” “So does any interstitial pneumonia.”

Honestly, the only thing you can say FOR SURE for Winnie the flu is that it takes longer (or its pneumonia) takes longer to recover from.  Ten days in ventilators are talked of, as opposed to three. Oh, and that your white cells don’t …. rise to the occasion as they usually do, almost as if you were immune suppressed.

Only, of course, some people are immune suppressed.  And though I no longer remember the exact explanation, when I had pneumonia but my blood cell count/immune system was also somehow suppressed, which they explained by my having had that same issue more than once and my body being “I can’t even!”  (Which btw is my highly scientific recollection.  Though you should perhaps remember I was oxygen deprived at the time.) So it’s not a unique thing with Winnie.

On “Who does Winnie the Flu kill, and how bad is it” we are about as confused as on symptoms, because apparently you know the US is not any more reliable on data than anyone else.

Why not?  Well, as I said, people are diagnosing Winnie the Flu IN A VIRTUAL APPOINTMENT without tests, and that is influencing our “infected” numbers.  At the same time, there are rumors that a slug to the chest, if you’re infected with Covid-19 makes you a death OF Covid-19 in certain populous districts of — oh, hell, in NYC.

And I do understand it is possible for doctors to say “yeah, he’d have survived if he weren’t ALSO suffering from Winnie the Flu” but–

BUT our numbers are in no way reliable. No one’s numbers are reliable.

Guys, I did tell you that unless we learned to do science properly again, and took the government funding out of it as the ONLY source for big projects (which means you find what the administration wants you to find — coff, climate science) we could no longer be an industrial/technological society.

What I didn’t know is that we could die from it. Or that that kind of uncertainty could be used to stoke panic.  I mean, not panic that would work.  They’d been trying to do this with Global cooling warming climate change.  But now they found a way of scaring us with as imprecise a set of statistics, as crazy a graph bar as any climatologist ever tried.

And it’s WORKING.

The effect and the insanity of the symptoms/age of death/etc being all over the place is exactly the same as playing telephone with a psychopath in the chain.  Which we might very well have, if the psychopath is China-fueled-media.

Which means it’s yet another situation of nobody knows anything.  Sure, Covid-19 EXISTS.  But is it any more lethal than the common cold?  We don’t know.  Is it really new? I honestly don’t know if there’s any way to even determine this, so I appreciate commenters telling me.  Or is it one of those many many coronaviruses that’s been circulating, which got blamed for the deaths in China (I’d guess famine and a bunch of other things. Up to and including, perhaps something chemical that got released during the military games.  Or perhaps, who knows, a mutation on a virus that made it slightly more lethal, or–.) Is it hitting some regions harder because somehow the percursor virus (if it’s a mutation) had avoided it?

Is it real, or is it memorex? will it float, or will it sink?

With our data collection corrupted, our information channels infused with the motives of a deranged, politically-motivated media, nobody knows anything.

All we know– foams at the mouth in civil liberties — is that our local governments who, out of an excess of respect for individual freedom claimed they could do nothing to control the deranged, dangerous and largely voluntary homeless, can now lock their entire population in their own houses “to protect us.”

All I know is that even if we come out of this at some point — I don’t know about y’all, but my governor is now talking July. He likes playing bondage games with the entire population. He likes it, my precious. — this will be tried again, and again and again.

PJ O’Rourke at some point said that (from memory) giving politicians power is like giving teen boys a bottle of whiskey and the car keys. I think he owes an apology to every single teenage boy out there. I think they’d do a lot less damage.

So, considering that nobody knows anything, when do we start demanding not just the numbers but what goes into the numbers? How tight they are? Who are they testing? Are they even testing? How is cause of death determined? etc.

How long till we make the decision that science must be scientific and that people with political motives should shut the hell up? How long till we name and shame the Chinese agents in the press and tell people “Yeah, but he’s infected with sino-propaganda/money virus.”

It was bad enough when all they were doing was wasting our money and squandering our kids’ future. But now they’re using lies to keeps us under house arrest. BTW the criminals and homeless are still — of course — allowed to roam free. Because apparently the civil liberties of the crazy, law breakers and interlopers are more important than those of citizens.

The media and the left have fully declared themselves as enemies of the Republic by any other words.  For our own good they want us to live in a socialist hell hole.

For their own good, I think we should deport them en masse to one. We’ll even let them choose.

Ultimately the Republic is OURS, not theirs.

How long will we the people TOLERATE this?


225 thoughts on “Deaths, Lies And Statistics

  1. “Apparently I’m not Connan”

    Hither came Sarah the American. Dark-haired, angry-eyed, Heinlein in hand, a writer, a mother, a blogger, with gigantic melancholies and gigantic mirths, to tread the collectivists of the world beneath her sensibly-clad feet . . .

    1. Only sensibly clad because I was one of the few — rare — women in the family to get the hip malformation and after forty I couldn’t wear stilettos anymore.
      I miss my stilettos.

        1. Stabby things never run out. But you can put itty-bitty holes in bad guys from a *lot* farther away with bangsticks than stabby things.

        2. Stabby things never run out (they do, however, get dull after a bit). Bangsticks put the itty-bitty holes in bad guys from a lot further away.

          1. A proper bang-stick has provision for attaching a sharp pointy thing.

            Best of both worlds.

            Let the enemy hear the shout:

            “FIX BAYONETS!”

  2. Glad to receive good news on the (Sarah) personal health front.

    I was going to quibble about the “Lies & Statistics” being redundant but in view of the good news I will let you off with just a warning to title more carefully in the future.

    1. As working statistician I must protest. They are not using statistics. Proper statistics will tell you what we think we know, and how sure we are that we are correct. And it HAS to start with data of a known reliability – doesn’t need to be 1200% reliable as there is no such thing, but we must have some idea of the reliability. What you are seeing with all these projections, “models” etc., is mental masturbation and pretty pictures, suitable for hanging on the refrigerator next to the kids crayon efforts.
      We don’t have any consistant data collection scheme, so combining data from Italy, Spain, China, etc. is just futile. Your results can be no better than your data, and normally suffer at least some degradation of precision during analysis. So we are starting out will junk data, so the best we can hope for is junk results. As we start to get a decent US baseline, maybe we can start to do some real predictions.

      1. As a formerly working statistician, I protest that no statistician with any sense of shame would accept a 30% reliable test as a reliable test.

      2. In the late ‘60’s the Progressive Left discovered that by MIMICKING statistics, they could scare people into quitting cigarettes. I’m not altogether sure why they wanted the Unwashed to quit smoking, but they did, and they cheated almost from the first.

        Which is not to say there aren’t legitimate connections between smoking and various ills, but the Left has been A) exaggerating the facts almost from the first and B) flat out lying their heads off from the mid-to-late ‘70’s. The case against secondhand smoke is so tainted with absolute bushwa that by now if there is any legitimate data, it’s impossible to separate from the dung.

        They did the same with ‘Global Warming’, and got caught so often they’ve had to change the terminology..

        Are they lying about the Coronavirus? Almost certainly, though I also think there are people who simply don’t understand that what they are doing ISN’T science or legitimate statistical analysis, and think the people calling them on it ARE ‘science deniers’.

        1. I’m not altogether sure why they wanted the Unwashed to quit smoking

          Because they got off on it. To quote a blog post from yesterday a friend wrote about D/s relationships (best, concise description I’ve read)

          So one day, I might want him to wear that blue shirt that makes his eyes look so pretty. And he will. Because D/s.

          364 other days of the year, I might not care one bit what he wears. Wear whatever you like, baby. Though if he comes downstairs wearing those shorts he knows I hate, I’m just as likely to go “No, not those.” And he’ll go and change. Because D/s.

          Now, imagine someone who gets off not on choosing your shirt to fit her whims some days, but everyday, and who doesn’t want to restrict that power to a negotiated relationship with a specific partner who has agreed to it, but every person they see.

          That’s why. It isn’t because they care about your health. It is because they get off on making you obey their whims.

          1. More accurately add in the sadism to that. The control is accompanied by dehumanizing and they may net care at all or even be affected by your shirt,but they just want to take your favorite shirt and burn it in front of you. Just because it hurts you.

            1. While I assume it exists without it, I assume interest in D/s includes S&M. Doesn’t matter if in dating or voting.

          2. Heh. I made this argument in the book of faces the other day, though in the opposite direction. That far too many people want an impersonal/non-sexual large-scale “lifestyle” daddy or dom to take care of them, and only discipline them in “fun” ways when it’s for their own good.

            Might be interesting to do a study on “brats” as libertarians

          3. You overlook one simple, basic argument: They just don’t like people having fun.

        1. Sarah, I did hear a secondary reason for not using the test to determine whether someone has the virus or not. A person of mutual acquaintance says that the test is only 60% accurate, and we probably don’t want to tell people they don’t have it based on so poor of a test.

            1. Apparently the ones dumped to the Philippines are 40% accurate, there aren’t many, and the medical aid money has just upped and disappeared after it was released, the Lefties there are trying to hold political rallies in defiance of quarantine, whining that Duterte isn’t ‘giving to the poor and working class’, despite the distribution of aid being up to local government. Given the difficulty in trying to impose quarantine on Metro Manila, Duterte is threatening to have Lefties shot as he is losing patience with their antics, which help absolutely nobody and threaten to make things worse, after which they’re likely to scream it’s his fault all over again.

              I cheerfully admit I don’t have his patience.

        2. Our governor said there’s no point in collecting the numbers of people recovered, so no, those numbers are not being tallied. So recovered people are included in the numbers of infected.

      3. A baseline from what?

        It’s in the best interest of almost every agency involved to fiddle the figures, for funding or status. If not outright malice.

      4. This. I read the transcript of the President et al. address, and not a single reporter, who supposedly loathes Mssr.s Trump and Pence asked a question about where the data to make those models came from, and how trustworthy it was.

        It’s all unknowns. Well, except be be malicious clown show. That’s depressingly predictable.

        1. They promised there would be no math in J-school. You have to know something about the subject to ask an intelligent question.

          1. From what passes as English from the media nowadays, there’s no English in journalism school either…

  3. I learned “what can’t go on, won’t” from you.

    But I feel like I just don’t know anything anymore.

    People I used to respect have succumbed to fear and hysteria. I was talking to my husband about how I don’t know how I will ever look some people in the eye again, I’m so disgusted by them.

    At some point it ends, but I’ve found myself very depressed by all this. I’m too faithful to be suicidal, have never considered it in my life no matter how low by God’s grace. And this could certainly be worse. But I think I’m at an emotional impasse.

    Letting go of the anger feels like accepting this evil, but my mental health can’t survive and hold onto it anymore. Praying for us all and our country.

      1. You know, now that you mention it, Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer do seem somewhat round-shouldered.

        NOT that I want to see either naked from the waist up.

    1. a) Put not your faith in princes. Princess X is a righteous ruler, citizen Y can of course be trusted not to screw things up, and ‘I think Bob the fool really is entirely sane’ are all simply variations on an excessive faith in human beings. The works of men should be expected to have fallible mortal qualities.
      b) There is anger at evil things that you can correct, and there is anger that comes when you have set your expectations too high. The latter can be ever present and fail to serve a useful end. Furthermore, there are cases where anger at evils can be set aside without conceding to the evils.
      c) Anger can get to the point of being seriously corrosive. At that point, it may need dealing with.

    2. Hysteria, being pure emotion, is intrinsically limited by the physical capacity of the body to sustain it.

  4. Glad your sense of taste and smell are coming back. Sorry about what you are smelling. (Athena T. Cat had a touch of . . .lower GI distress last week. That’s one of two smells that will wake me from dream sleep.)

    Down here, people are quietly finding ways around the least reasonable of the rules. No idea how long until wink wink becomes “you and the horse you rode in on,” but I anticipate later this month.

  5. Read this morning that the state of Vermont has ordered Target and Wal-Mart to stop selling “non-essential items”. Because keeping people from being able to buy a few books and movies to alleviate the tedium is crucial to stopping coronavirus, I guess.

    I fully expect this here in Canada.

      1. Want an even deeper level of crazy? I had to zip out to Menards earlier, and they now have a sign saying no one under the age of 16 is allowed in the store anymore. Despite the fact that the young are functionally immune for all practical purposes. It’s like there’s a contest for these places to come up with the most insane and least helpful overreaction.

        1. It’s based on the theory that the folks with no symptoms can still spread it, plus probably someone noticing that nobody under 16 is going in alone anyways.

          Costco’s website had a thing about how they’re not allowing more than two people per group into the store.

          1. I didn’t see the message on the website, but at the local Costco, they were only letting in so many people at a time, and the number of people actually in the store was STUPIDLY small.

            Also, they’re getting out ahead of the hoarders with a sign that certain items (TP and rice were on the list, but I don’t remember the rest) could not be returned.

            1. List is posted online:

              Return Restrictions

              Costco is not accepting returns on specific items, including:
              Toilet paper
              Bottled water
              Sanitizing wipes
              Paper towels
              Disinfecting spray

              Updated Guest Shopping Policy</b?

              Effective Friday, April 3, Costco will allow no more than two people to enter the warehouse with each membership card. This temporary change is for your safety and the safety of our employees and other members, and to further assist with our social distancing efforts. Thank you for your cooperation and understanding.


        2. in the UK they’ve told small shops that Easter candy is not essential so they can’t sell it.

          I hate these people.

          1. But it’s in stock already, isn’t it? Gotta be ; good grief, Sunday is Palm Sunday!

            The thought being that people won’t come to the store nor linger for stuff they can’t buy so will have less chance of exposure? Is shopping that hazardous? Is my wife trying to kill me, since I’ve done all the shopping for two or three weeks?

            1. Is my wife trying to kill me, since I’ve done all the shopping for two or three weeks?

              My hubby had a fit today. You know the one who goes golfing … because mom stopped by. She needed help getting an email out. She hasn’t been going anywhere. I’ve been shopping for her, stopping by to pick up her CC & her list. Or if I’m somewhere will call and see if she needs something. His attitude “You don’t know that!” Uh, yes I do. She tattles on herself to little sister, who blows up at her; she hasn’t been out anywhere other than neighborhood walk, or car drive around block for two weeks now. Mom is 85. Okay. Yes, we are in the 60+ crowd. I’m going out shopping when we need it, anyway. I’m going places that are visibly sanitizing carts. I’m staying away from people, including the cashier’s (using self checkout). Will start wearing a scarf because “it might help”. The other question is “why can’t (other sister in town) go sometimes!” … hmmm gee, because they baby sit their grandchildren so their daughter, the one with Lupus, can work at home. Bad enough daughter’s husband has to go into work. Also, they are over 60, barely but still (they are 3 years younger than me, but 8 years younger than husband, so you know, younger. If we get sick it’ll be because someone at son’s work brought it in & he brings it home … guarantied. To keep his job, until they are shutdown, he has to go to work.

              * okay … rant off … sorry *

          2. Easter candy nonessential!!!

            They’ll get my peeps when they pry them from my cold, dead hands.

              1. Not to mention all those chocolate bunnies! And Gummi Bears! Masks for everybody!

        3. Still not as bad as Comrade Murphy’s decree (i.e. executive order) today that gives the state the power to literally seize medical equipment for use by the state without any due process and apparently without any compensation, in blatant violation of the Constitution and State Constitutions prohibitive against such takings. Note that he did this about a week after making businesses file mandatory lists of such equipment with the state. From N/J. Com:

          Murphy is going full socialist dictator with this decree .

          This must be challenged (although NJ Courts will likely let him do it so only realistic relief is a Federal constitutional case) If this stands, there is nothing to prevent this being done on a larger scale for other “emergencies” including seizure of people’s cars, etc., because of “climate emergency” This is a precedent that greatly endangers liberty and freedom

          This of course is why people are so wary of gun registries, because Murphy proceeded this blatantly illegal seizure of private property with a mandatory provision of lists of such property. Needless to say, the same NY Times that is slamming Netanyahu as an authoritarian for his actions in trying to stop virus spread in Israel will almost certainly continue to cheer on Murphy as he uses the justification of an “emergency” to take away our fundamental and inalienable rights

          I fear that we have crossed the Rubicon and that our liberty will be forever lost, at least in our lifetimes, without a drastic and immediate reversal of course.

          1. Murphy is so in love with himself now. At least with Cuomo (things I never thought I’d say) you get actual numbers that you can do something with. Murphy just emotes and tells sad stories. I’ve had to stop watching him. diBlassio Channels his inner Che Guevara with that thousand yard stare into the distance he picked up on from Obama.

            I think that’s the key to so much of this. These people are all malignant narcissists and this is their chance to shine.

            And you can’t get away from them. Every time you try to watch something mindless on the box, there they are.

            1. Cuomo thinks NY is the omphalos (center of the world, but more so). OK, he’s the governor, that’s sort of what he’s supposed to think. But oh, it gets soooo old to hear other people assume that NY=entire US.

          2. The masks are all finally off. This was always in the offing, first chance progressive officialdom had.

            I wonder what will happen high-handedness from one class meets the massive entitlement mentality of another…

          3. > seize medical equipment for use by the state without any due process and apparently without any compensation,

            “Better bring your National Guard guys, because your State Police don’t have the huevos for this.”

            1. Seizure of private property without Due Process or Just Compensation?

              It seems to me there is something in the US Constitution defining that as a no-no and somebody is begging t be hauled into Federal Court.

              Amendment IV
              The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

              Amendment V
              No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the militia, when in actual service in time of war or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

      2. I mean, *clothes* are non-essential? They expect this to go on for months, but no new clothes? How does this protect us from a virus?

        1. Lack of clothing means more exposure to the elements, means impaired immune response, so… essential.
          The “latest FASHION” is not essential, however. The problem is drawing lines if one does. The simple answer is not to, and let people work it out for themselves. But that’s that crazy liberty thing.

        2. If clothes are non-essential, everybody should go without!

          See how long that lasts.

        3. Same way that shutting down Hobby Lobby while leaving Michaels open, as the Democrat Dallas County judge did this week, does.

          Of course, it had nozzink to do with Hobby Lobby being run by icky Christians, nope.

    1. If anyone here gets desperate for physical books, let me know. I have 8000 books in inventory, and I do mail order. The list is downloadable at my business website, The Starship Cat.

      (The spousal unit is going through library books at an astonishing rate, and I had almost maxed out my library card when the library closed. We’ve been talking about when we start pulling books out of the warehouse to get him his reading fix.)

        1. Which other ones? I’ve got so much merchandise that getting everything inventoried (let alone photographed and presented on pages, since a lot of it doesn’t lend itself to a simple list the way books do) would be a Major Project. As in Everything Else Comes To A Halt kind of Major Project (even not including the porcelains, which I don’t ship because I can’t control how they’re handled in transit, and the emoji masks, which I’m leery of listing on any public forum, even my own website, after eBay started yanking them because “price gouging.”)

          Right now I’ve got several projects that I’d like to actually get finished before I tackle a new Major Project, in addition to a number of smaller tasks (like balancing the checkbook and doing some insurance-related paperwork) that have been hanging fire because I’m trying to stay focused on these big projects. This is something of a hot-button for me because, in addition to my own ADDish tendency to Oh Shiny Syndrome, I have a family member who makes it Extremely Difficult to maintain any priorities. As in, if there are five projects that we both agree need doing — let’s call them A, B, C, D, and E — I’ll start on A, and as soon as I make some headway on it, Family Member starts jogging my elbow, trying to jockey B to the front of the line. So I say, “OK, if B’s more important, I’ll set A aside and do B, and then finish A.” So I move to B, and as soon as I get some headway on it, Family Member starts jockeying C in front of it. Lather, rinse, repeat, and pretty soon I’m working on E, and along comes Family Member with bright new idea F, wanting me to stop working on E and start on it. And I’m saying, “Hey, look at this whole row of things, every one of them half finished but not a single one of them completed and ready to start earning us money, and you want me to start on Yet Another Cool New Idea?” Earlier this week, things got yelly over this very subject, so my nerves are still just a little raw about having my efforts on any given project interrupted for Something Else.

          Sorry if that’s Too Much Information, but that’s why, much as I’d love to get my booklist shared on Instagram, having it be conditional on my stopping every other project on my plate to inventory, photograph, and figure out how to present all my other merchandise is making me feel overwhelmed instead of enthusiastic.

          1. Make a list. Have family try to decide on priority, work on Project A, whatever it is. Anyone whine, point to list. Yeah, I know, it’ never that simple.

            1. I wish it could be so simple. Every time I’ve tried, I can’t even get an agreement on how to order a list. I ask which item is most important, and get “All of them are important.” I say, “I didn’t ask whether, I asked Which. One. Singular. Item. Is. Most. Important.” The insistent “All of them are important” gets repeated, no matter how much I insist that I need a set of priorities that will remain stable except in the direst of emergencies.

              And don’t get me started on what constitutes an “emergency” in this individual’s mind. And I can’t get this individual to understand that screaming and howling over trivial inconveniences is crying wolf, and makes it much less likely that the screaming and howling will be taken seriously when there is a genuine emergency, which could be very dangerous for someone with serious health issues.

              1. *sympathy*

                I don’t know if they’re doing it on purpose, as best I can tell most don’t, but if you demand other folks make the list then you’re free to blame them when you don’t want to follow it.

                It’s an emotional comfort.

              2. “Is someone dying, about to dye, injured, or about to be injured? No? Then it’s NOT an emergency.”

                “Oh, whining about Project D? Whining just made it Project E. Keep it up, it’ll drop all the way to Z. Or just get crossed off.”

      1. You’ll have to specify which fresh hell you mean. There’s new ones every day.

        1. The new ones smell no better than the old, blood-crusted ones that have been re-branded for generations nigh unto the dawn of Man. With little variation, they are power grabs clothed in a fabric of lies, shod with hobnailed boots to better stamp upon Liberty’s fingers.

        2. It is the very freshest hell, completely organic, guaranteed GMO free. No gluten, no additives, artisanally crafted to serve your every hellish need. It is Bluetooth enabled and comes complete with its very own version of Siri (technically, Siri was modeled after hell’s creation.)

          We guarantee you a hell like no other, a hell you never imagined could be yours!

          Shipping & Handling not included.

    2. Victory Girls had the writeup. They want to classify the Beauty section as non-essential. So, soap, shampoo, toothpaste and deodorant is “nonessential”.

      This also includes computers, office chairs, books and things for the kids.

      I’m waiting for vendors in Vermont to decide that deliveries to the Governor are all non-essential.

      1. Won’t happen in the People’s Republic, but I can see Target and WalMart deciding they don’t need to restock low sales stores.

    3. The pictures i have seen about that particular order were on rows of seeds. Garden seeds, and not for ornamental plants, either. Because food and other goods either emerge straight from the ground like manna, or are brought from there to the stores with no processing required. No one needs to make bottles or boxes to put milk in. No one needs to operate the machines that make the parts for other machines that make medical supplies. It all just happens magically.

      This is why I do not find those memes going around about a free 30 day trial of socialism funny.

  6. “Guys, I did tell you that unless we learned to do science properly again, and took the government funding out of it as the ONLY source for big projects (which means you find what the administration wants you to find — coff, climate science) we could no longer be an industrial/technological society.”

    You’re in good company on this. It has been nearly six decades since President Eisenhower remarked:

    “The prospect of domination of the nation’s scholars by Federal employment, project allocation, and the power of money is ever present and is gravely to be regarded. Yet in holding scientific discovery in respect, as we should, we must also be alert to the equal and opposite danger that public policy could itself become the captive of a scientific-technological elite.”

    “Funny” how the Left loves to quote the “military-industrial complex” remarks from that same speech, but seldom draws any attention to his concerns regarding Federal funding of research.

    1. Some scientists will say whatever they’re paid to say.

      Some insist on sticking to facts and truth — until they get replaced by the first kind.

    2. About as many people remember Eisenhower’s comments on the sci-tech elite as remember Washington’s warning against political parties.

      1. Eisenhower was a weasel. And his warning about the “military-industrial complex” was particularly disengenuous since he was their sock puppet.

        Of course, given his self-described cluelessness described in his own book “Crusade in Europe”, he might have only just then realized that…

    3. Not a single person making these arguments has skin in game. Their jobs are safe, and by doing this they gain power and prestige. Not one politico will see a single fewer day of pay. For them it is academic. It is not until a mob of people destroyed by these cavalier attitudes force the doors bearing torches and pitchforks will they be affected.

      1. Exactly. Suspend Fauci and all government worker pay until everyone goes back to work.

        We’ll see how much of an “inconvenience” that is for the illustrious doctor.

    4. …and once, people laughed at Trofim Lysenko and “Soviet Science”.

      We got yer State-dictated pseudo-science *right here*, embedded in a corporate/academic structure so rotten that being caught doing outright falsification of research is just one of those things, no need to make a fuss about it.

  7. I don’t think I’ve ever completely lost my sense of taste, but back when I drank a lot of apple juice, one of the definitive signs of a cold was that it just tasted wrong. Why did it show up the most for apple juice? I do not know.

    There was one time I stopped being able to smell a particular stinky chemical in lab… my labmate/mentor flatly said that meant it was time to go home. It was especially weird because I could still smell less intense things like alcohol, unless that was more the drying sensation than a real smell.

    Hope you’re all better soon.

    1. I learned some time ago that zinc depletion (often occurring as the result of an upper respiratory infection) can severely reduce the sense of taste — notable with tomatoes, among other foods.

      I gather (casually, while reading other things) that zinc is used by our cells to resist viral invasion, so there seems a logical correlation between a cold and zinc depletion.

      Why it affects the sense of taste I don’t know. I got that information from a co-worker who, when I mused over lunch that “I don’t know why I bother; I’ve just gotten over a cold and can’t taste a [deleted] thing,” told me back when she was waitressing she’d had the same experience, having discarded a half dozen tomatoes she was supposed to slice for the salad station because they had no flavor and figured out the lack of flavor was in her mouth, not the tomatoes.

      Zinc supplements or zinc-rich foods (look them up your own self) can’t do any harm and might do some good.

  8. Someone I know has speculated that this thing screws with immunity. Which would fit very nicely with a lot the more firmly known bizarreness.

    Unfortunately the things we know with some level of certainty seem to hit very randomly:

    * We know that this can get into a person’s nervous system and start playing horror movie games. China finally had to admit it months after the evidence was well known.

    * We know that this does not have the high contagiousness *and* high lethality at the same time. We would be in doomsday right now if that were the case.

    * We know that rarely it will hit someone with no obvious vulnerability, and just straight up kill them in a day or so.

    * In shithole conditions (China, Iran), it reaches people dropping in the street levels.

    Beyond that…. who knows?

    1. we know, via the ship, that around half who get it don’t ever have a symptom
      we know some who get sick just barely feel ill, while others are slammed

    2. My understanding, and I am not a doctor nor do I play one on TV, is that the *reason* the anti-malaria drug seems to work is because of the immunosuppressant nature of the virus. Something to do with RNA messaging, I seem to recall.

      I think I remember seeing that one somewhere on Speaker’s wall. I may have to look for it.

      1. *grumbles* If folks get better, it’s working.

        If folks get better, short term, who the **** cares WHY?

        You get people better and try to figure out how it works on the way– I don’t give a fig if it works because the malaria pills reacted funny with the gel caps when they’ve been left in the dark for more than 3 weeks, you get folks the treatment that works.

      2. Eh, the only known cure for the negative symptoms of schizophrenia is an antibiotic.

        Biology makes spaghetti code look elegant.

  9. Agreed that the data are highly misleading. Dying OF Wu-Flu vs dying WITH Wu-Flu are two different things that may or may not be related. I do have an anecdote though that adds to the confusion. My husband awoke in the early morning yesterday with extreme shortness of breath. We went to the ER in central San Diego and he was put in a room immediately (no lines, no other people in the ER at all). He had a chest x-ray only and was told his lungs were clear and he didn’t have the virus. He asked about getting a test and the ER doc said there was no point – the test was only 60-70% reliable (false positives or false negatives, he didn’t say), and in his experience, all the Wu-Flu patients had bad, congested lung x-rays, so that was a far more reliable sign of being infected with the virus. My husband got better on his own later that day, after taking albuteral.

    1. So, if you have pneumonia, they call it Wu-Flu same as in China? Wunderbar.
      So we don’t actually KNOW if this virus is anything more than normal cold? WUNDERBAR.
      Seriously, anyone else here think the Dems lied that Trump called it an “hoax” so that we COULDN’T call it an hoax, when it became obvious it was?????

      1. While I get why this creates a reporting issue, I can see why as a doctor in an ER that’s a strong criteria for emergency intervention. It’s not giving a shit about the label, but caring about addressing immediate life risking conditions, ie fluid in the lungs.

        Now, the test response, well, that’s another story.

    2. I saw a pretty good post from a Louisiana ER doc talking about specific diagnostic cues that it was the CV. Mind you, she used extremely specific medical terminology, but by that point she had seen enough cases to be able to tell when it was the Xi-Flu vs. any other URI, and she was passing along that info so that other doctors didn’t have to wait on the official test results but could start appropriate treatment immediately. (There are a couple of things that present a very particular way with this virus, as in “this at the same time as not-that.”)

        1. And it all seems to come back to the Chinese data. Everything they’ve said has turned out to be BS and the only people who might actually know are dead or disappeared.

        2. It’s like the old Joe Jackson song: Everything Gives you Cancer, there’s no cure, there’s no answer. Everything including nothing is a symptom of the wuflu.

          Only consistent thing seems to be the fever and maybe the cough.

          1. Proposition 65 in California.

            “Substances in this building are known to the State of California to cause cancer.”


    3. $SPOUSE heard on one of her news programs that insurance companies won’t pay for the Kung Flu test *if* it comes out negative.

      I just went three rounds with a denied insurance claim from a colonoscopy last January.

      Morning email: check benefits. Pre-surgury prep, paid. Anesthesia doc, paid. Drugs, paid. Surgery (big ticket item) denied. Yikes!
      Called the medigap people: “Medicare rejected it, you’ll have to talk to them.”
      Called Medicare “It was probably the fact that it started as a preventative test, then turned into a diagnostic when the doc found something odd (not a problem). Call the provider and get them to code it consistently.” Wow, something plausible, and the clerk was polite. I was pretty calm; previously guessed it was a coding error.
      Called the provider. “What problem? They paid everything!”

      Head, meet desk.

      Oh well, it was too cold to work outside this morning, but the magic claim that is denied then stealth accepted was weird. “Paging Alice. The Mad Hatter wants a consult.”

      1. The good medical billers will often have a flippin’ list of “ways to resubmit to get the **** to accept it this time”– found that out with the Contessa, because I managed to add to the list of things-to-attempt.

        (The evil ones will wait until the first bill is paid, then bill for the second half in such a way that it is not covered and just happens to cover what they agreed not to bill for on the first one. That one maaaaaaagically became “oh, we won’t charge you” when I pointed out it had been submitted the day after they’d been paid, and was the same amount their charge had been reduced by.)

        1. We keep running into variants of the “delayed billing” scam. One of us has a procedure; it’s submitted to the insurance carrier and paid. And, starting maybe two months later, for the next six months, come a string of “not covered” bills for lab work, consults, and who-knows-what from people we never heard of, and neither have the doctor or hospital. Always with dire warnings about going to collections and how they’ll smear our credit if we don’t pay RIGHT NOW.

          Most of the bills are in the $20 to $75 range, small enough that most people probably just pay them rather than follow up. So far, not once of them has been a “real” (as in something ordered by the doc or a responsible person at the hospital) bill.

          I expect they’re tapped into someone’s billing system somewhere and get the names of people who have a hospital visit or lab work, and then shotgun their fake bills out.

          We haven’t seen any egregiously bad fraud in a long time, but we probably get one of those little fake bills every month or so.

        2. My medigap is with the Pac NW Blue Cross, and they’ve been quite good. I had one item I could have appealed (first visit for cornea; they did the standard eye exam and I got the charge), but it wasn’t worth it. I’d already had a very expensive retina procedure paid fully, and this came up before I was going to get the same retina fun in the other eye.

          I did have one where the lab billed me, then refunded the payment after they got paid, but in general, it’s been fairly smooth.

  10. So glad you’re feeling, somewhat, better. Hope it continues improving.

    And I agree with you, it’s becoming quite difficult to trust anyone’s numbers regarding this. I’m loosing faith in our society.

  11. “Because apparently the civil liberties of the crazy, law breakers and interlopers are more important than those of citizens.”

    Of course they are, because that’s who Our Betters [*SPIT!*] can most easily manipulate and/or exploit to a) get into power, b) stay in power, and c) grant them more and more and even more power.

    1. Seen a Ron White meme with his face and “So, You’re releasing prisoners because of the risk of Wuhan flu, but your going to arrest me for not staying in my house?” or some such

    2. It is easier to use the law against the law abiding. You tell them “the law says X” and they tend to obey. The non-law abiding, however, you actually have to do the work of arresting enough to scare the rest.

      1. Mite more complicated than that.

        Do people obey the speed limit where you live? Most cases that’s a “mostly,” a “no,” and the occasional “h*ll NO!” These same people would be rather *less* likely to swiped a candy bar and walk out without paying. By and large, people obey the laws. Chaos is what happens in other countries somewhere in Africa, or Detroit.

        But the law is a strange thing. People obey it, more or less, and it more or less gets enforced. What happens when you get laws people *won’t* obey, in many cases because they *can’t* and still live?

        You want to know something that keeps me up at night, there’s one thing.

        You can legislate just about anything. You can put up a law that says left handed redheaded people with six fingers can breathe chlorine on Tuesdays, but that won’t save the rare idiot that tries. Similarly you can legislate that every humble soul must self-imprison- I mean shelter in place- for the duration. But that does not conform well with actually living. Many people can’t, so they won’t. Instant criminals.

        You don’t want to make instant criminals.

        They don’t obey the laws. And that’s a bad thing for your republic. Too many of ’em, and your government gets canned and warlords take over. Bit bad for the common dude out there, and the infrastructure.

        Our form of government as intended is pretty robust. We’ve put quite a lot of stress on it in these last few years, but it’s still there, buried beneath the edifices of bureaucracy that choke it. We *have* to get back to work and quit messing about with this crap. Gas prices are the lowest I’ve seen since nearly the 80s. Price of transport and logistics drives price of goods- *all* goods in this JIT, global supply chain world we’ve got. We by all rights *should* be in the middle of an economic boom to absolutely *beggar* the dot com boom of the 90s and perhaps even the Reagan boom of the 80s!

        If we can keep from making the manufactured crisis *worse,* we can begin to climb back out. Bit harder in liberal enclaves and D- run states like Virginia and so on these days. One way or the other we’ll get through this.

        1. Should probably add –

          The more people break “minor” or “stupid” laws, the more likely they are to start breaking the more serious ones.

          This is why bad laws that most people won’t obey are a dangerous idea.

  12. I see the arrests of preachers and I think two things:
    A: That’s another Civil Rights Lawsuit coming
    B: Morons. Tending to your flock doesn’t mean taking those kinds of silly risks.
    They should have figured some way to keep services but reduce the risk for the time being. Hold multiple services for fewer folks or something. Door County has services in the parking lot but stay in your car and listen to the radio, wave to everybody, and be off.

    Mom’s last two trips to church had the Father ranting that “Look People, I am still giving Communion but you ain’t getting to sip the wine, and I ain’t putting the host in your mouth. Knock off trying to ignore the new temporary rules!”

    1. My great-grandfather had a brother when he was very young. One winter the brother was sick, but the pastor was one of the types who insists that You Are In Church Every Sunday Or You Burn In Hell. The brother died as a result of walking to church in bitter cold while sick.

      To my knowledge my great-grandfather never set foot in a church again in his entire life.

      [rant about how many alleged churches want absolutely nothing to do with charity, unless it is some official charity to benefit people no one will ever see goes here]

    2. We went to streaming Mass two weeks ago (and I stayed home the week before.) You can call the churches for scheduling specific things, like Confession, but they’re not having Mass.

    3. On another civil rights front, the SAF has filed suit against several CA counties including mine in Federal Court for closing everything related to those icky firearms ins spite of that icky Second Amendment.

      I love the first para in the filing:

      1. California’s local governments cannot simply suspend the Constitution. Authorities may not, by decree or otherwise, enact and/or enforce a suspension or deprivation of constitutional liberties. And they certainly may not use a public health crisis as political cover to impose bans and restrictions on rights they do not like.</blockquote

      Link to filing:

      Click to access 2020-3-31-ca-altman-complaint.pdf

    4. we haven’t had the wine in a month, but our church shut tight three weeks ago.
      THE F*CK? There are other ways to do this, up to and including “get tickets” online to attend a service.
      NOT that any of the services we attended were ever a problem if you wanted to be COMPLETELY isolated.
      Seriously only issue I foresee if Easter Sunday and that’s manageable.

    5. I saw a further writeup about one of the cases. The “minister” seems to be one of the snake-oil sorts: “If you shake hands in church, you won’t get sick. Do so outside, and you will.” Reverend Jim (Pass the Koolaid) Jones came to mind.

      $SPOUSE watches an Atlanta Baptist service on TV. Works for her.

      1. You know, the concept of “taking the Lord’s Name in Vain” is supposed to cover far more than just using “God” or “Jesus” as a curse word.

        One might suggest that those who believe that “If you shake hands in church, you won’t get sick.” are simply reaping the curses they earned when they get sick. Also what was the verse? “Wheresoever two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them”.

        But one would also wish to avoid starting religious arguments. Those tend to make arguments about 57 genders look productive by comparison.

        1. Years ago, we attended a bible study with some friends of the wife, at a Vineyard Pentecostal church (we’re Presbyterians). I forget the occasion, but the hostess decided it would be good to pray over everyone with a Laying-on-of-hands. So the stomach bug that had been passing around the hosts’ house wound up coming home with us, and clobbered my poor wife hard. She recovered, without any hard feelings or broken friendship, but a somewhat more confirmed Presbyterian than before (which is saying something).

  13. On an unrelated note, am I the only one who sees the bootlickers publicly posting about how they’re proudly reporting stay-at-home violators to the authorities and starts humming the refrain of “As Someday It May Happen” to myself?

      1. My thought exactly — it is so handy when the quislings voluntarily put themselves on record.

        Hums … I’ve got a Little List …

  14. Is it real, or is it memorex? Will it float, or will it sink?

    It floats, and it stinks. We know what it is, no matter what they call it.

  15. I believe this quarantine is a result of China, the media and the Democrats lying through their g.d. teeth. They have done this in one final attempt to sabotage the Presidency. It won’t work, because it isn’t real and people are going to notice the lack of death wagons going up and down the street collecting bodies. It won’t last past the summer. Not unless the body count goes up and the only way they can do that is if they start shooting people with COVID-19.

    1. They have done this in one final attempt to sabotage the Presidency. It won’t work

      It won’t work because true or not, no death wagons or not, there is video of them screaming “overreaction racist” then flipping screaming “under reaction murderer” … can’t be both. This is the minor stuff. Then there is the admission from PTB that broad stay at home orders for everyone might have been a bit of an overreaction, once the borders were secure (NY Governor). Might have been?

  16. which means you find what the administration wants you to find

    Why, you write as if Big Government funding, far from being untainted, is as corrupting as money from Big Tobacco, Big Oil or even Big Pharma! That would mean that Who pays the Piper calls the tune no matter how free of impure motive the money source might be.

    That would suggest a system of competing interests, in opposition, best serves the public’s interests, a situation that would surely [SCAREFONT] divide the nation! [/SCAREFONT]

  17. …unless we learned to do science properly again, and took the government funding out of it as the ONLY source for big projects (which means you find what the administration wants you to find — coff, climate science) we could no longer be an industrial/technological society.

    …but that means surrendering the authority of government experts with an obvious agenda to dissenting voices. Though, how anyone expected any institution under the authority of politicians to remain objective is beyond me.

  18. our local governments who, out of an excess of respect for individual freedom claimed they could do nothing to control the deranged, dangerous and largely voluntary homeless, can now lock their entire population in their own houses

    This’s different because this is non-discriminatory!!!!! Better, it inflicts greater pain on the bourgeoisie, the miscreants who refuse Society’s efforts to help them, who dare to live lives refuting Leftish belief in the impracticality impossibility of self-sufficiency. We WILL be forced to sacrifice for Societal Good[TM].

  19. July? Starvation would set in! Is your governor nuts?

    I was dealing pretty good until I had to deal with it; that is, until the town we’re located closed up, forcing my day job to close. Then the governor closed the state ( more or less) until the end of April.

    And I need a haircut.

      1. I sit astonished that Oregon’s governor is actually doing it fairly well. Most of the time, she’d pick bad ideas from California and implement them, but there’s more-or-less rationality in it. Traffic in town was light, JoAnn was open, but limiting the number of people inside (and keeping people apart in the obvious crowding areas, like the cutting table). Beauty and hair salons–they’re in deep, though I suspect there will be some freelance work done in homes. That, and a fair amount of DIY haircuts.

        1. I sit astonished that Oregon’s governor is actually doing it fairly well.

          I know. I’m astonished. And she’s not following on Washington, to the north, lead either. Who knew?

      2. Ha-hah, you funny!

        As if she would resign the governorship before “winning” the vice-presidency!

      1. Same. I’ve got a line on a barber that does house calls. Bit of a drive from where I’m at, though. Had to ask around a bit.

        There are folks out working their jobs despite quarantine. Because they have to, to put food on the table. Because someone has to drive the truck that brings the food and toilet paper to town. Because power and water need to stay connected, and that takes constant maintenance.

        I really don’t want us to turn into a nation that changes political leaders via high velocity lead injection, or lethal bondage tricks via overgrown shrubbery. What I’ve seen these past weeks worries me.

        1. The latest “I Have Altered The Deal” extension order here in the SF Bay Area specifically stomps on those darned lawn maintenance people (spouse tells me the landscaping industry terms for these is “Yard Janitors”, or “Mow, Blow & Go”) who stubbornly were continuing to drive around by themselves and cut peoples lawns and run their leafblowers in splendid walking isolation.


          It really is amazing how hostile these folks are to ordinary people making a living.

      2. I got my hair cut a few days before places started closing. Good for another couple of weeks.

        1. Ditto. I squeaked in by two days. And people were already marching into the poor gal’s shop demanding that she close post-haste pronto because didn’t she know there was an epidemic (at the time we were still over a week to our first regional case.)

          1. If you want it to, or not.


            Haven’t been to a hair stylist since I was pregnant with the Duchess, and haven’t even trimmed my bangs since my husband mentioned he liked how I looked without them better, at least four, five years back.

            It’s still just past shoulder level.

            No matter if I condition it, trim the dead ends, don’t use hair bands, whatever– it stays no longer than it is, too short to get a decent braid even if it wasn’t too fine for more than a rat tail.

            Born with the hair for sweet Polly Oliver!

        2. I needed a haircut in November, before being too sick to go in December, spending January and February on nasty drugs that kept me from straying very far from the throne, got off of those, and promptly broke my leg the first day at work.

          I may decide to forego the whole haircut thing and go for the “1980s hair band” look…

  20. I find it amusing that people are citing the flu death rates while arguing that the Wuhan virus death rates are are largely from people with per-existing conditions. Who do you think dies of the flu? Are they healthy young adults with no per-existing conditions? And do you think that the count of flu deaths is based solely on documented test results following careful autopsies to exclude other causes of death?

    1. As it happens, I had this flu argument…back in January or so, with the “hug a Chinaman you racist” screechers. Up until the abrupt about-face to demanding we all be under house arrest, the flu was supposed to be worse, which incidentally also let them moralize about how people should be forced to get the flu shot*.

      The flu and pneumonia does kill off some previously healthy folks; there’s between 75-150 minors who die of it each year, and four or five had no previously known health conditions. It’s not quite at the chokes-on-a-hot dog level, but it’s not that far removed.

      Yeah, most of those who die of flu-and-pneumonia have obvious health risks. That’s also who mostly dies, period, when we can look at actual cause of death. (the calculated excess death thing obviously makes it hard to identify what killed them!)

      * but how dare you suggest cutting down infection vectors. /sigh

      1. The influenza-B this year has been really, really rough on the kidlets. Most of the child influenza deaths are from the B strain.

      2. I ran the numbers from the CDC’s (I know) old total yearly deaths in the U.S. From some form of illness, 108,000* die each month. That’s 5,000 a month in YOUR state** How do the 200-odd deaths, in any one state (like Washington) not get lost in the shuffle? GIGO all the way down.

        *Yes, I’m averaging from the yearly numbers. This wretched game is too easy to p!ay.
        **I know. I know.

  21. Corona Viruses — one of the normal causes of the common cold
    Which is why “COVID-19” is really not descriptive enough. I’m ok with Wuhan Flu or WARS (Wuhan Acute Respiratory Sickness) once we’ve adequately hammered all the Chinese propaganda out of the system. Until then it needs to be Winnie The Flu or CCPCV.

    (This is also something people tend to forget when talking about things like the chloroquine treatment. It was NOT a “Eureka!” moment, it was more of a “Hey, this works on a bunch of the other coronavirii, so why not this one?” moment.)

  22. New is a flexible category, but in the sense of “widespread causing illness” I’d say it is safe to say it is new based on this:

    tl;dr; Winnie the Flu is definitely a bat source corona virus except for one specific gene sequence not common in bats, but common in pangolin. That gene is one of the critical ones for human infection. So, somehow the populations came into contact and viruses, the self-organizing little bastard molecules, assembled a few times with new and exciting DNA creating a bat strain with the one pangolin piece needed to infect humans.

    Barring evidence to the contrary, I think the more reasonable conclusion is this is a natural mutation which may have occurred a long time ago or just last week or both, independent of each other. It may give some credence to that Chinese paper blaming a lab with poor procedures, not in some “they made it” way, but just “everyone needed for this party is here, now” way.

    If bat usually doesn’t cross over to humans as readily as other sources of corona virus, this might explain why it hit so hard. One reason I have picked up in recent research that is put forward for how deadly the Spanish Flu was is that there had not been a major avian flu for a few decades, so instead of routine low level exposure building up some immunity to avian flu, when this hit the younger population was seeing avian flu for the first time. This is also suggested as a possible cause for the theorized cytostorm response in the young (the immune system overreacting and burning down the village to save it), but they are independent ideas with the possible link.

    1. FWIW, my utterly unsupported gut reaction to the Chinese lab idea is that if it came from a lab, it was probably actual research— not to make a weapon, but to try to keep stuff from dying. (Not that I doubt they’d make weapons, just that if you were disposing of the animals from that, it’d make a lot more money to sell them to other countries instead of the meat-market.)

      Corona virus is pretty nasty for cows, IIRC; if you could figure out how to fight it with something that is “safe” for both people and domestic animals, bats and flippin’ armored ant eaters would seem like good choices, especially if bats are notable for being really hard to cross over.

      1. The problem is, as soon as you bring the lab theory up you’re accused of a conspiracy theorist saying it is a Chinese bioweapon attack.

        Although, now that the Chinese are making the claim it is a US bioweapon, makes me wonder if they think we beat them to something they were working on. Also, if it was a weapon I’d expect them to already have treatment/vaccine. Not for the average Chinese, but the CP regulars.

        That said, I am even willing to accept they had both in the lab for unrelated work to each other and just had bad handling practices.

        1. The communists do sometimes accuse others of stuff they aren’t doing themselves.

        2. The CCP is infamous for it, but biohazard labs the world around have far too much human error and mechanical failures to hear thinking of. It’s almost enough to think that there really is a Divine Providence that sometimes says, “Okay. Letting this one through. Now, will you pay attention?” for all the goofs that should’ve caused mass deaths.

          So a lab “oopsie” is plausible.

          Does anyone remember if Obama’s pig virus was a Beijing escapee?

        3. There was an ABC/Yahoo report today about someone caught in airport in November 2018 who claimed they were bringing antibodies to the US for testing at one of the university labs; turned out they were actual live MERS and SARS viruses. If accurate and true, it supports the possibility that the current virus is in fact something that China intended to use as a weapon, with the possibility that the version currently circulating could still have been accidentally released because it was not “finished yet” (which would still allow for the disposed test animal sold at the wet market dissemination mechanism). Remember that the CCP has no problem with lots of its own people dying in order to achieve its political goals.

      2. About half of the people I know with cats, the cats eventually died of complications from pneumonia. Apparently they’re prone to that sort of thing.

        I’ve been watching for the feline death plague, but I’ve seen no mention of anything so far.

      3. The version I found most credible is that lab staff, tasked to dispose of lab animals saw no good reason to kill and cremate what could be easily sold in the local wet market.

        While I am CONFIDENT that Chinese bio-laboratory employees are all extremely well compensated a little experience with human nature will suggest the possibility that somebody sought to add a few extra grains of rice to his bowl.

    2. I think the Wuhan lab noticed a novel illness late last year, then went forth to collect specimens that they thought were relevant, but that otherwise the lab was probably pretty much irrelevant to the pandemic.

      People forget that the flu kills N-many every year even tho as a whole, we have a lifetime of acquired immunity; Spanish flu perhaps illustrates what it would be like absent that immunity. Now, consider that even at a fraction of the virulence of flu, what damage any novel virus could do.

    3. Winnie the Flu is definitely a bat source corona virus except for one specific gene sequence not common in bats, but common in pangolin.

      A couple months back I came across an article on the Chinese driving the pangolin into near extinction; it seems to be a popular “contributor” to one of their holistic medicine traditions.

      Per National Geographic:

      Tens of thousands of pangolins are poached every year, killed for their scales for use in traditional Chinese medicine and for their meat, a delicacy among some ultra-wealthy in China and Vietnam. … Pangolin scales are made of keratin, the same material that makes up fingernails, hair, and horn. Pangolin scales, like rhino horn, have no proven medicinal value, yet they are used in traditional Chinese medicine to help with ailments ranging from lactation difficulties to arthritis. The scales typically dried and ground up into powder, which may be turned into a pill.

      Driving pangolins, rhinos, and other critters to near extinction is a Chinese tradition.

  23. On the when did China know front.

    Does anyone remember late fall a bunch of stories popping up about Chinese companies actively and opening ripping off customers in other countries. I mean blatant not shipping or cashing in payment insurance when they got payment. I can’t find the articles, but I remember one where a businessman said he asked his Chinese counterpart why they were throwing away their ability to sell in the future for a quick buck now and his Chinese counterpart telling him there was no future.

    I want to find those and cross check the dates. I thought at the time, and that was general thinking, that the Chinese counterpart was talking about Trump, loss of jobs to the PI among others, and the issues with the Chinese economy with bad assets.

    Now I wonder if part of it was knowing this was coming even earlier than we currently think the Chinese did.

    1. > I can’t find the articles,

      I’ve encountered that problem quite frequently over the last couple of years. And if Yandex fails, whatever it was is truly down the memory hole.

    2. I remember those stories.

      But the belief at the time was that the activity was due to the trade war causing the likely foreign clients of those Chinese businesses to go look for better places to put factories. Since the Chinese businesses weren’t going to be doing business with those foreign partners anymore, they might as well just go ahead and try and cheat the round-eyed devils. I still believe that was the case. Even if the Wuhan virus did get loose well before the first confirmed case in November, you’d have to believe that knowledge of the virus was widespread at that time within certain circles in China (or the local businesses wouldn’t have been trying to swindle their foreign partners) without any word of it getting out to the rest of the world at large.

      That’s a bit difficult to believe, particularly with the later reported stories about how desperate the politicians in Wuhan were to attempt to deny that the virus was running loose.

        1. I could believe that, but…

          The theory that rumors of the virus triggered that response pre-supposes that word had spread far and wide through the country. That would require both that word spread through a large chunk of the population, and that the population understand that the incoming virus is really, really bad, without ANY word of it leaking out to the rest of the world. China’s a big country, with hundreds of millions of people. A lot of those people are connected to the internet (in defiance of local laws). And some of those people connected to the internet aren’t in the pay of the government (again, in defiance of local laws). I find it highly unlikely that *someone* wouldn’t have mentioned the gossip about some new and deadly virus emerging on the scene. The internet doesn’t even need to be involved. Gossip could be overheard by visitors, who then come home and repeat what they heard.

          Adding to that, we have a culprit already available – namely, the US-PRC trade war.

          There are two possibilities that might make it more likely that the cheating was triggered by advanced news of the virus. The first of those is if the virus really was engineered by the PRC for release (which then, presumably, bungled it). In that case, presumably the cheaters got wind of it from contacts in the government, and acted as they did because of the news. But for the time being, I don’t think there’s enough evidence to suggest that the release was intentional. The second is if the groups involved in the cheating were all from the same locale. This would suggest a social circle of individuals who – again – got wind of something beforehand, and decided to cut and run as a result.

          But fallout from the trade war makes more sense than anything else at this time, imo.

    3. Makes sense – anyone looking at China should remember that in any authoritarian state the rumor mill is always very very active, and in China the asian extended family channel, i.e. “Cousin Wing told Uncle Ho who told Grandmother to tell everyone to stop paying bills to the barbarians” information route, is also very active.

  24. So I’m checking the online local rag, and see (finally) “A resident of a San Francisco homeless shelter tested positive for coronavirus, the city reported Thursday, sending shockwaves of concern through the groups that serve the community’s most vulnerable people.” First I’ve heard of any homeless coming down with it, although further down the article it says others have “a handful’ and 123 people, “95% of them homeless” either have tested positive or are waiting for results. This one got a headline because it was the first found in a shelter.

    Another headline says 10,000 cases, more than 200 deaths. Which even to me, somewhat math challenged seems like rather mild danger for all of us to be locked up in our houses. I’m in California.

    1. The SF elite are looking at the sick people ramp ups in NYC and LA and Florida and then looking at the total lack of any flood of sick people in SF – SF Bay Area hospitals emptied out everyone else, and only a few CCPflu cases are coming in, so they are mostly empty – and using that as “This is why we need to extend the lockdown! Look at where we should be on the models!” instead of “Hm, the model does not match observed reality – the model must be crap.”

      1. The model does not match observations. Clearly, something is wrong with the observations.

          1. Tokyo has a thousand whole cases now. Still hasn’t shut anything down. Nor do they plan to. The horrors.

              1. True – they did that once and know how difficult it is to re-start the dang thing.

                It’s like an old lawn mower with faulty plugs — you pull and pull and pull on the cord and it merely coughs, belches and chokes. When (if) you do get it started you’re scared to death of stopping lest it not re-start ever again.

  25. So go get tested. Raise a stink about your previous pneumonias if that’s what it takes — but guessing based on various disorders/diseases’ shared symptoms, because you want it to be so (or not so), is exactly the opposite of data. Do you want to know one way or the other, or do you just want to be able to claim it’s not so?

    Regardless, get well. My mornings wouldn’t be the same without you.

  26. So, Professor Ferguson from ICL has said in response to several researchers who are trying to validate the numbers that killed the world that the code is 13 years old, most,of it is undocumented, making it hard for anyone to work with and he will be publishing something in a week or so.

    I’m calling BS. These models are not that complicated, they’re really not, and when you complicate them you f—k them up.

    In any case, even if the code is perfect the assumptions are GIGO,or there’d already be piles of bodies. Not thousands, millions.

    Timing gets interesting since the good professor has a history. It was likely this same model he used for his massive overestimation of H1N1

    All those models are crap. They’re too sensitive to very small changes in assumptions. They’re massively non linear and the required assumptions interact in a completely unpredictable way. Sad, but there it is.

    1. Would you care to collaborate with me on a paper using some method of the alarmists to demonstrate that we will have tens of billions of dead unless something is done about Democrat activist super spreaders?

      We know from Occupy that Democrat activists make public health hazards where they are none.

      We have a super disaster public health crisis right now, and it is an election year. We are going to die, unless we do something right away to ensure that Democrat activists are safely buried in a mass grave somewhere, and cannot congregate in groups without adequate sanitation.

      It’d be one thing if the alarmist models were all safely subtly flawed. But the scientists produced and the journalists championed these too quickly for that to be the case. The journalists will have cried out over some papers with blatant issues, and hence arbitrary utterly bizarre models can be created with those same issues.

      1. If this goes on, we’ll have billions and billions of climate alarmists expanding outward from the Earth at the speed of light as the exponential expansion of sheer Jack assery buries the earth in large pile of well credentialed ordure.

        Written in suitably impenetrable prose using modern intersectional science of course.

        Something like that?

        In any case, the IMHE model that is the “gold standard” says that there should be 50 M people hospitalized in NY today. There are 18M. States with a less well established trajectory fare worse. It’s public data so anyone can go and have a look. Tennessee 2.2M actual 200.

        We have the choice between look kids this shutdown worked and isn’t it great we broke the world based on this wonderful model built by some fuckwit in London with a long history of being wrong and involvement progressive causes or someone had blundered.

        Anyone want the over/under on what the politicians will pick.

        1. I think doing it right would take a half dozen or more strengths, and I have might have the trolling and the vision at a sufficient level.

          First off, this needs an argument paralleling the one that needs countering, with a poison pill the opposition cannot stomach, and numbers that no one could possibly believe.

          Second, a literature review done with the same level of work as for a good academic paper; looking at all the bullshit papers, with a serious analysis of the specific ways that they are bullshit. Complex nonlinear mush that can fit to any requirement while appearing correct on the surface is only worth citing if the implementation has flaws that let the output have unbounded growth. The most valuable citations for this are simple, do not have output limited by population, and are driven heavily by a sample assumption that can be bizarre. A linear model might be ideal. (I think even a complex linear model might be possible to reduce to a transfer function, and then one could check something like bounded input bounded output stability.)

          In the actual write up, you discuss the literature with screw ups described as innovations. “We are so impressed with these scientific innovations.” Then a series of models examining the super vector trolling idea. A minimum of one with all the screw ups, and one with none of them. If the writer has slightly more patience, one all, one none, another with half, and a fourth with the other half. The purported research of the paper is learning more about using all of these new developments together. Key deliverables are a numerical prediction that is a ‘global warming will cause the Earth to make the sun explode’ type obviously wrong prediction, and a numerical prediction that isn’t worth crossing the street to avoid. (Though, if there is an actual public health case against letting anti-Fa run amok, that would also be interesting.) All written up very clearly, without any inter-sectional theory. Just statistics as accessible as possible while still being rigorous.

          This isn’t about earning points on the academic totem pole. You want the lay reader to be able to understand this. They can look at the results, the crazy answer comes from the ‘innovations’, so maybe the ‘innovations’ are crazy, and the innovative papers might not be worth anything. IOW, showing as wide an audience as possible the nakedness of the academics.

          Then shop it around to a venue. Chinese publications might accept it, if you phrased it as condemning America for not being more PRC like. But then you might get some otherwise harmless Chinese academics murdered for no real gain. So, try good statistics journals, then random journals with loose requirements that still aren’t ‘pay to publish’, but expect to go for something like the Journal of Irreproduceable Results.

          Sort of thing I’d like to be involved with, but don’t have the chops for, and my loved ones would probably kill me if I took much from other priorities to work on this.

        2. I’m pretty sure I made a mistake. The BIBO stability test that I read about was in the continuous variable section, and these models are likely discrete.

  27. A few thoughts about the statistics, (mostly referring to the US ones.)

    1. Assuming case numbers report only those who were diagnosed with a positive COVID19 test, or those hospitalized with unmistakeable symptoms, are there any plans in the US to do widespread antibody testing that might provide a better picture of how many people actually contracted the virus but were never tested or treated? It would be nice to have some vague idea of the extent of herd immunity acquired before this comes around again.

    2. Why are the states not required to report negative tests? If testing is being restricted to those reporting symptoms, it would be soothing to know what percentage do not have Wu-flu, but something else. Also, in AZ at least, 95% of the tests are being conducted by private labs, vs 5% at the AZDHS labs. It would be nice to know just how many people are being tested per day/week, and how many test negative.

    3. What is the rationale for posting “Total Recovered”?? This count would only include patients who were sick enough to require hospitalization (which seems to be roughly 5% of those testing positive), and were eventually discharged as still alive. There is no way to count those with milder symptoms who stayed home and got better after a couple of weeks.

    The world stats after four months show only 20% as recovered, and 5.2% dead. So ~74% of the tabulated cases to date are considered still active? I say this is both misleading and depressing. Why bother to include it in the stats?

    Meanwhile I am laying low at home reading ATH and MGC and sending very encouraging thoughts towards our hostess. 😉

    1. I recall a number of 10-20% of tests pop positive. I wont hang a hat on it but that’s par for this whole fustercluck.

  28. We have a Social Distancing book club, i.e. virtual. My posted book is Death of a Musketeer.

    It’s pretty good value. The pacing and plot aren’t as snappy as in the recent stuff like Code Pink (which was a delight) but the characters are spot on, and the whole thing feels like I’m living in Dumas’ Muskateers world. Which is not something I ever expected to get M. Dumas being long-term and all.

    1. Um…. that would explain — if it’s what I had Jan/Feb – why all the cats were under the weather, PARTICULARLY Greebo who got very thin. (I thought it was the hyperthyroidism creeping back.)

      1. Wow, I took my cat to the vet in January because he’d dropped from 16 pounds to 12. They found nothing, but they didn’t know about coronavirus. Fed him extra canned cat food for three weeks, and put an extra dish of dry food next to the wicker chair where he was spending 95% of his time. He got better, and seems to be back to, I wouldn’t say normal, but, his old self now.

        The other two cats didn’t show any symptoms, but Kevin is at least 15 years old.
        “Ow do yer know she’s a witch?”
        “She turned me into a newt!”
        “A newt?”
        “Wl- wb- bb- It got better!”

  29. ” But now they found a way of scaring us with as imprecise a set of statistics, as crazy a graph bar as any climatologist ever tried.”

    So much this. I was a bit concerned at the start, but once I realized the Wu Flu panic was being driven by the same sort of swamp creatures who claimed, “OMG! Man-made Global Warming! We’re all going to DIIIEEE!!!”, I pretty much stopped worrying. Granted I wash my hands a bit more diligently, and I don’t lick public toilet seats or French anyone with the sniffles (though it’s been a while since I’ve Frenched anyone, actually), but I’m not letting the situation put a major impact on my daily life..

    1. Speaking of Global Warming, the Gretazoid is back. Rolling Stone is calling her a ‘teen activist’. Didn’t they used to do music?

      Well, I guess they know as much about Global Warming as the Gretazoid.

      I don’t get it. One minute it’s ‘all about the science’ and the next they’ve got an emotionally disturbed child whining in front of the cameras. It’s insane.
      Not everybody should go to college. Some folks, you send ’em to college and you just wind up with an educated idiot.

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