A Plague of Madness


In case you were wondering I do feel guilty and upset at myself when I swear at long-time readers and call them Vichy. In my defense, the reader hadn’t bothered to take in what I was saying about the clusters of the virus, or to address them honestly, and instead tried to hector me with supposed superior knowledge, never considering whether I knew anything about it/had read extensively about it.

So, pull up a rock and let’s talk through this, okay? Your fears, my fears. And why I’m suffering from PTSD and the other day cried while driving through Denver to pick up food at our favorite place, because I felt all that was left behind was the shell of the only city that ever felt (truly) like home.

Let’s begin with: Nobody knows anything.

I’ve said before that we’re going into an increasingly ignorant age.  Not because data collection is impossible, but because our society is so complex and dispersed we each know only a very small part of what can and will influence our lives or perhaps completely destroy them.

It was always like that, of course.  Big, flourishing cities pre-Black-Plague didn’t know their end was coming.  But in a way they had it easier. First, because they didn’t think EVERYTHING was knowable.  Only G-d knew everything, and ultimately their fate was in the hands of G-d.  As a society, they knew/believed that this world was a transitory place, and what mattered was their eternal faith.  And over that they had full control by their behavior.  (Which in turn descended into a lot of legalistic stuff about doing all the right things, even if those things were external and small.)
Regardless of personal faith, society as a whole does not believe that any longer. Society believes, rather in living as long as possible, because as individuals we’ve lost our moorings in the world/time.  We no longer feel that our lives don’t matter so much — maybe — but we’re part of something bigger than ourselves that will continue long after we’re gone, and to which our contributions matter.

On top of that, we have some idea of the vastness of the world, our smallness in it, and that someone across the world having bat soup a la mode can mean we and ours will die without being able to do anything to prevent it.

This is a situation designed to induce madness, particularly when all our news apparatus is trying its best to drive us to panic fear, because they think they can use it to then panic us into socialism.  Destroying the economy is a plus value in this, as then we’ll need (they think) socialism.  Socialism never really fixes such situations, but it is often something people embrace when desperate (before they get defeated and starve.)

The problem here is REALLY nobody knows anything.  It seems like every other day a new theory about what this virus is comes out. The latest onne is that it de-oxygenates the blood itself, rather than merely making it hard to acquire oxygen.  Look, it’s possible. It’s just not PLAUSIBLE and the person expounding it lacks the credentials.  OTOH Medium took it down, which these days is almost a sign of its making sense.

If that’s true, btw, transfusions, not ventilators are the needed thing.

But then again…. Take the bilateral “ground glass” x rays.  Do they mean anything?  I don’t know.  I know that when I was dying of pneumonia, a nurse tried to stampede me into a biopsy (they really wanted to give me one, even though they ADMITTED it would probably kill me) by saying I had “bloody holes” in my lungs.  I didn’t. She didn’t know how to read an X-ray.  I’ve heard from professionals that the pattern is just “bilateral pneumonia.”

The low oxygen and still breathing fine was how I presented when I had intercellular pneumonia (That what I was told later. It makes no sense to me) X-rays didn’t detect it, though you could hear it, and eventually a highly skilled radiologist pointed out I did have signs of pneumonia in the x-rays. Before that, except for my low ox they’d have thought I was hypocondriac.

It is that illness, more than anything that makes me doubtful of almost everything we hear.  You see, medicine is more art than science.  We tend to think “Oh, you take a test, and you know for sure.” but that’s not true.  I hear we have a test that’s accurate in 85% of the cases, but it is not in wide distribution. Our best right now is 70%. Which means Winnie the Flu is being diagnosed on a ton of things, but ultimately it’s being diagnosed the way it was in China: if you present at the hospital with bilateral pneumonia and with a host of symptoms that change every day and with every whisper out of the medical community, they assume it is Winnie the Flu.

And I keep remembering that experience and thinking of three doctors screaming at each other in my room (my husband says I was being treated by committee)  each convinced I had something completely different.  The candidates were: a disease from a fungus that grows in Brazilian caves (later it emerged this doctor thought that Portugal was right next to Brazil. A not uncommon error.) An hereditary disease of Russian Jewish MALES (note this doctor never asked me if my kids were biological, but really!) An auto-immune attack.

These were all brilliant people, good in their specialties. They had tested me for everything under the sun. And they had no clue what was going on.

The ER doctor — now I know a lot of doctors, I understand they can be very good or very bad — who was a bit of an old hippie (they too can be very good or very bad) and whom at first I thought was a nurse because he was the LEAST egotistical person I ever met and introduced himself as “just call me Johnny,” told me they were getting a lot of cases like mine in. All between 20 and 40, all otherwise healthy (yes, the chart said obese, but I was at most 10 lbs overweight. I just never fit the “skinny charts.” Current doctor has more realistic views. Things change) and all showing the same symptoms, including the fact our immune system wasn’t reacting. I.e. I had a raging infection but no fever.

He put me on (then new) IV Zithromicin and a tablet.  (We got a copy of the process at the end of it, for my SIL in Portugal to read, and I wonder where we put it in the end. I have a strong feeling the tablet was chloroquine. I hear that it’s been used for years in conjunction with Zithromicin (yes, I know I’m spelling that wrong. I am dyslexic and hate medicine names.) when doctors face a viral infection that is not responding to anything else.  Anyway, Johnny (bless him) put me on this stuff, and over the next twelve hours I started improving markedly.

Then the specialists came, assured me what I had was not an infection because I had no fever and my immune system wasn’t responding.  The antibiotic would do nothing and the other drug was “just nasty.”

After twenty four hours of non-treatment, I was found blue in the middle of the night (as in “you were a lovely shade of cyan” said the nurse who found me) and put in ICU. Where I continued to get worse, and they wanted to do surgery. Or alternately hit me with really large doses of anti-histamines, or…..

In the middle of this, after consulting by phone with SIL in Portugal who told him they were seeing the same cases over there, same age range, and that they were treating exactly as Johnny had, husband demanded they put me back on it. Doctors refused.  Husband, for first time in our entire married lives exerted the “you said you’d obey me” and ordered me to get dressed. We were driving to the other hospital in town and seeing if they did it. And if not, we were driving to Denver and hitting all the hospitals.

For perspective, I was so oxygen deprived, my heart had swelled to three times its size and I was tachycardic to the point they wouldn’t let me get up to use the bathroom. Or sit up. Or anything, really.  And honestly? I wasn’t sure husband was right. And SIL hadn’t SEEN me, and all these learned doctors were so sure (except where they didn’t agree with each other.)

But husband ordered, I had promised to obey. And I’m a woman of my word. So I sat up and — very slowly — started dressinng.

Doctors PANICKED. As I remember the words were “Fine, but you’ll see it will make no difference.”

Three days later I walked not just out of ICU but out of the hospital, under my own power.  In my last interview the Pulmonologist told me I’d be back in months, a year at most “because that wasn’t pneumonia.” I had pneumonia a couple of times after, but they were walking pneumonias and not the crazy thing that almost killed me at 33.

Now, other things came out after that/during that.  For instance, for half a day while moved from ICU I shared a room with a woman my age, who had the same symptoms but who took the “massive dose of anti-histamines” route. The infection had raged like fire on which you pour gasoline. She was suffering serial organ failure.

I later learned — through a local interest newspaper story — that there had been 40 or 45 similar cases in our small town, and that the ones who had Johnny’s seat-of-the-pants ER doc treatment had avoided ICU and walked out in two/three days.  (BTW because my case had got much worse before they put me on the treatment again, I was on THREE zpacks a DAY for a month after I got home. And I was debilitated for year.)

Okay, forgive me that long excursion. I wanted to explain why we’re getting a cacophony of contradictory symptoms. It’s not abnormal, when it’s a new virus. (BTW, we never figured out what the thing in early 96 WAS. All we know is it ran through science fiction conventions, probably explaining some of the age bias since they ran “younger” then. And I’d never been to one of them, but I was in touch with someone who had.)

So, the problem with Winnie the Flu:

Nobody knows anything. We get all sorts of contradictory reports and crazy theories.

It’s politicized.  Things are being attributed to it, both infections and deaths that almost certainly aren’t. Because under its cover, a lot of mayors/governors can get assistance with their failing budgets.

The tests suck. The tests suck like a hoover.  This leads both to diagnosing it by symptoms, and probably to some number of false positives. This in turn muddies the “treatments that work” thing.

The media has seized on it I THINK not even out of a coherent desire to oust Orange Man Bad, but because they’re giddy at their new found relevance.  They were being ignored when people had lives, but bored and scared people at home keep turning on the news, and getting sad cases and ‘certainties’ from various places and “it’s coming for you.”

I have people reporting spouses (almost always women, because were more susceptible to mass behavior. It’s just part of how we’re wired) so terrified that they refuse to leave a room in the house, demand everything sterilized and won’t let the kids play outside because the virus might get them. This is not rational behavior. It’s hysteria.

I’ve run into people suffering this, and they keep coming back to “millions will die” which is not only unlikely but — at this point — bloody impossible. So the only thing I can figure is a steady drumbeat of fear from the media is panicking everyone.  And the media is relishing it like an aging actress given one last leading role, and feeding on itself.

Speaking of feeding on itself: we’re not only suffering rule by experts, but we’re suffering rule by geeks with no perspective of anything else. I DO yield to just about anyone in my admiration for Dr. Fauci. He is a “political expert.”  I.e. a scientific expert with a talent for politics. I’m always wary of those.  His history is patchy. But dear lord, he has the limelight and he loves it, and he’ll NEVER relinquish it willingly. So never expect him to give the all-clear. He’s now saying that “hey, we will let you out when there are no more cases.” and asking us to bear the “inconvenience” which tells you he has no clue what the shutdown is doing to the economy and people’s lives.

Oh, and let’s — do — touch the psychological. Like a lot of raging introverts, I should be fine with this. It’s not even that different from normal every day life for me. We work from home most of the time, though we usually have a date night Saturday afternoon/night where I get to SEE people and interact minimally with them (like to order dinner.)  We do museums, the gardens, or the zoo, at whim.

So, why am I coming unglued? Partly because those outings, apparently, are absolutely necessary. But also because in normal times I can get a wild hair and drive to the hobby store and get some fabric or paint to try something. I rarely DO, but I can. I can go to the nursery and get roses. I rarely do, but I can.  And when I go to the grocery store there aren’t normally distancing nazis and YOUNG PEOPLE (it’s always young people) wearing masks and looking terrified. (I’m okay with anyone with white hair wearing masks. Meh. You should be responsible for yourself. Though the homemade fabric masks don’t do much. But the proportion is one white haired person to ten young and looking terrified people.)

Also, you guys know something of my history: lockdowns and curfews terrify me. I’ve never had one being about what it says it is. They’re always about controlling people, and we usually find out WHY months later.  So, yeah, the PTSD makes me less than rational.

HOWEVER most introverts are reacting as badly as I am and a friend in law enforcement says they ARE seeing the hokey-curve of deaths. By suicide.

So– What do we actually KNOW is going on:

  • Something ravaged China. There are probably 10x to 16x the deaths they reported. I was tracking this through December, as were a lot of people, probably a lot of them here, and I was panicking at the hints of how bad it was.
    Because China is incredibly secretive, we don’t know what happened there, though. And the virus could be that virulent there for other reasons, including pollution or malnutrition. Or they could be using the virus to cover deaths of famine and internal purges. Who knows? It’s China.
    Keep in mind that part of the panic as we watched China is that we are used to the idea “the killing plague will come out of China.” This is true in 90% of apocalyptic fiction.
  • We DO know the outbreak in Wuhan was massive. It doesn’t seem to have been that bad in the rest of China, btw. BUT the outbreak in Wuhan was bad enough that it panicked China into shutting down HARD and hurting themselves.
    OTOH see what I said above: lockdowns and curfews are ALWAYS ultimately about controlling the populace because rulers are scared of THEM not of the ostensible emergency.  And there were rumors of Hong-Kong like outbreaks in mainland China.  WAS China using the virus to hide unrest/etc? Were they shutting down because that was preferable to being unseated? We don’t know. I’m going to go with “they panicked at Wuhan blowing up out of control and assumed the rest of the country would go up too.”
  • Which brings us to something else we know and have seen over and over and over all over the world: this is a virus of clusters.  It gets bad in clusters. It’s not even noticeable elsewhere.
    While all the clusters are in dense cities, not all big (or even dense) cities get outbreaks.  The favelas of Rio aren’t dead now, etc.
    So why is it bad in clusters? We don’t know. We can come up with a million excuses, but in the end WE DON’T KNOW. We can’t know. We can’t even guess.
    That guess above assumes people with higher blood ox (naturally) are less susceptible.  BUT that makes no sense, as it’s more severe on blood type A. And blood type A is NOT it for that.
  • It mostly kills the elderly.  No, please, stop. IT MOSTLY KILLS THE ELDERLY.  Remember that anything pneumonia gets attributed to it. In some cities so do unexplained deaths.  So, yeah, there are — I THINK — at last count 45 “young and healthy” dead throughout the country attributed to it. It might even be true that all 45 died of it. Let’s say it is. That is so far below the number who die of “just unexplained shit” every day in the US without us shutting down completely that it doesn’t warrant worry. It certainly doesn’t mean EVERY young person, from babyhood to fifty is now at risk. They probably have a better chance of being stung to death by a bee.
    ALMOST all the dead are elderly (with co-morbidities, yes, but our elderly all have them. We’re in the uncomfortable place where the maladies of old age aren’t yet unavoidable, just survivable.)
    I’m not saying this doesn’t matter. I’m saying that this is a characteristic. So in this sense it’s a normal respiratory virus. The target population is the USUAL one.
  • It has a LOT of asymptomatic cases.  I direct you to the Diamond Princess “closed study” as it were before everything went political. Most cases, something like 80% were asymptomatic.  You might not know this, but this is exactly the same as the flu. Most cases are asymptomatic spreaders, which is why we ESTIMATE flu mortality every year.  It also has a long incubation period, but here we run into those ever-moving “rumor” characteristics. The incubation period, when you feel fine but are getting ill ranges from 4 days to 21. It could be more. It could be less.  This makes it impossible to track spreaders, or even to know who’s at risk.
  • Clusters don’t seem to appear randomly. They seem to be bad from the beginning (this militates to its having been here a long time, so it’s not a new infection. Yes, THEORETICALLY we could get new ones, but we’ve not seen that. The cluster-areas remain the clusters. I’ve hypothesized culture, but the truth is WE DON’T KNOW. We just know they’re clusters, and they remain clusters and other places don’t “cluster”.So, taking that into account, and also the fact symptoms are weird — I’ve spent 20 years telling people that NO, stomach flu isn’t flu, but damn it, this thing has stomach symptoms in some percentage of people. BTW, weirdly so did the one in 96 — and only hit a fraction of the sick, what do we have?
    I don’t know. I know the virus exists, because we’ve tested for it. But is it responsible for most of what we’re seen? I don’t know.  Is it horribly lethal? I don’t know. (Doesn’t seem to be, but then there’s Wuhan.)
    Honestly at this point if someone said the COVID-19 is something else completely innocuous and what causes the deaths is a virus yet undetected, I’d not be able to say “hey, this is wrong.”
    Because we don’t know anything.
    And that’s what’s panicked people. That plus the media screeching 24/7 that we’re all going to die and that the worst is ALWAYS “the next two weeks.”

    HOWEVER here’s other things we know:

  • Right now, we locked up the economy put around 20 million Americans out of work, destroyed businesses, jobs and livelihoods, and are waltzing with famine this winter (yes, I know farmers are planting…. and in CA letting crops rot in the field, and being unable to find parts for machinery or buyers for their product. Milk is being dumped. Farmers are having trouble feeding their animals. The list goes on) for something that even with the dodgy diagnoses has cost round 10k to 12k lives so far.  Say that went ten times higher (HIGHLY unlikely.)  It’s still only “really bad flu season” since the estimate for the last really bad one is apparently 80k lives.
    Worse, as America is impoverishing itself, other countries are doing the same, partly because they KNOW we must KNOW something.  Not only are we going to be AT BEST really tight and poor next winter, we’re going to watch other countries in much worse straights, and we can’t help.
  • Poverty and hunger, particularly sudden lead to civil unrest and war. And not just here, but all over the world. And we won’t be able to help.
  • The dead are mostly elderly. The ones hit by the financial misery will be mostly young and might never be able to get the jobs/lives they need. We’re creating a lost generation to buy people another optimistically 2 years of life (most of the dead have more like 6 months expectancy.)
  • We are piling on debt, which at this point we will HAVE to inflate out of.  Growing out of, which is what Trump was trying to do, is now a forlorn hope.
    Inflation kills savings and impoverishes everyone. it will hit hardest on my generation of late-middle-aged who probably — barring miracles — have seen our life expectancy curtailed from 80s to maybe mid-seventies, if we’re all very lucky.
  • We’re putting the entire nation under massive stress.  We don’t know what causes cancer, but we DO know stress and psychological pressure contributes to it.MEANWHILE:
  • Not only aren’t our homeless dying — and please, please, please, don’t tell me because they’re so sickly they resist this better. THAT’S NOT HOW ANY OF THIS WORKS.
  • One of the major foci is NOT in Rio, which held the Carnival.
  • The wretched of the world, from Africa to Latin America aren’t ALL dead. And they would be if this were that deadly. They just would. Social distancing is impossible when you live on top of each other. And no, it’s not true that warm and wet weather keeps you healthy, or else why lock down FLORIDA?
  • Our politicians don’t seem to be taking this seriously. As with global warming/cooling/climate change, or with the TSA, it all seems like drama and kabuki.
    If they were THAT worried that it was that bad, they’d be cracking down not on young people playing basketball or young families in parks, but in the homeless, clumping around and becoming foci of disease.
    A lot of the things being done are worse than “normal life.” Like closing schools and throwing kids into daycares (which, yes, is happening because people who work at “essential jobs” can’t stay home with them) which mix them with younger kids who spread disease more. And by closing most stores and leaving only grocery stores, it means more people are handling the same things, and crowding the same places and it’s actually impossible to keep 6 feet away in most of them.  IF the real risk was what politicians are pretending it is, we’d ALL already have died.MORE importantly, to me, we’re giving up our liberties to the WORST sort of politician without even token resistance. I’ve seen people who claim to be freedom lovers thanking their governors/mayors for LOCKING THEM UP and preventing them from work.
    Guys, once liberty is given up, it’s much harder to recover. And these people, from neighborhood snitches to Walmart nazis, to power mad mayors and governors REALLY ARE the worst sort of bully, closing parks (instead of merely issuing distancing guidelines.), arresting people kayaking int the middle of the ocean, and frankly behaving like tin pot dictators.
    At the national level we have a political class crowing with delight at “the end of Western civilization” and trying to get their Green New Deal crazy cakes environmentalism implemented on the back of this. Watch if they don’t try to keep travel restrictions in place forever!
    I’ve been through this before. Once you have a population that thinks the government is its father and its mother and can keep them “safe” and that the government does everything out of benevolence, you’ll never, ever, ever be free.

    If we’re willing to do this to avoid what will be for sure even with all the doctoring, under 20k deaths, what will happen when they tell you how many people die by driving? Or that you can avoid heart disease if you stop eating meat? or that —  It goes on.

    And this is why I have been cursing out even people who probably don’t deserve it (but who should have thought about what I was saying instead of hectoring me.)  I feel like I’m in the middle of mad people tearing down our liberty and the structures of our exceptional country, because they think they’re ALL going to die fo something that’s not that lethal unless you’re really elderly, or are in the middle of a cluster.
    BUT more importantly — were it ten times more lethal — they’re willing to surrender to despotic authority to be kept “safe” from a danger that can’t be predicted or fully understood.
    Once you take that step…  well, you’re over as a free people.
    I don’t think — I hope — we’re there yet. There are too many of us going the other way. More every day.
    But the baffling unconcern and credulity of the ones rushing to be protected has me nervous, upset and above all disgusted.

    You, most of you reading this, were born free. You have no idea how rare and amazing that it.

    TRY very hard not to sell your birthright for a mess of totalitarian pottage.
    Not only does it never end well, but the world needs America. Now more than ever.





558 thoughts on “A Plague of Madness

  1. The madness was a preexisting condition, the plague merely exacerbated it. We’re talking co-morbidity.

    1. I’d love to have someone with a much better grasp of popular culture and the internet dig into things going back, oh, let’s say ten-fifteen years, and look at how much support for our freedoms have been eroded by “hurt feelings are literally the same as getting bones broken with a bat” and that strain of post-modernism. This comes to mind because I’m reading the late Gertrude Himmelfarb’s essays _Looking into the Abyss_ about the corrosion being done to literature and history (and other things) by the idea that there is no Truth or Beauty, no absolutes, and that feelings alone matter.

      1. Oh yes, absolutely. I was shouting that from the rooftops back then too. The whole reason for equating words with physical violence was to eventually to make certain words illegal the same way physical violence is. You nailed it.

        1. Or, conversely, to make violence on the part of Approved Protesters acceptable.

          I still think that one day the people near the big Antifa street theatre performances will decide they have Had Enough. That will be a very bad day to be pert of an Antifa mob.

          1. I expect there will be another Hard Hat Riot eventually. We came close in Seattle when union construction workers heckled Communist Socialist city councilor Kshama Sawant (spit) at a rally for the Amazon head tax in 2018.

      2. Well, I’ve not quite the background you want for that, but there is a reason I’m “I will see the whole rest of the world slaughtered, burned, and not one stone left on another, rather than concede any moral right for the foreigners to take part in /our/ decisions”

          1. When Americans go to Africa as tourists they take hydroxychloriquine to prevent malaria and sleeping sickness from biting flies. We are all like Africa now. Take your pills and get back to work. Of course there’s a lot of powerful interests that would prefer a new more expensive drug, and a vaccine, complete with millions of dollars in yearly government contracts.

      3. The timeframe is a bit off, but there was a discussion forum around the After Y2K web comic strip. A feminist type (new to the forum) tried to come out with the “it’s only [blank]ism if you are [white|male|rich] and that the Aggrieved Classes could not be [blank]ish” hogwash. As I recall, that person’s viewpoints were not appreciated, and after she, she disappeared from the forum. I never saw any evidence of doxxing, nor comments by the site-owners. My SWAG was the person thought that the forum would be fertile ground for her viewpoint, and got rebuffed.

        (My Abacus World Expo and Tubes Rock t-shirts were favorites; wore them until I wore them out.)

        1. Not to derail the thread, but “only whites can be racist because racism equals prejudice plus power” can be refuted by a simple thought experiment:

          1. Archie is an American white guy who hates blacks. Racist, right? because he’s white so therefore he has power. (Bear with me here.)
          2. His neighbor George is a black guy who hates whites. But not racist, because black so therefore no power.
          3. Now they both get on a plane to Wakanda, where there are barely any whites at all and blacks hold 100% of the power.*
          4. Does George become a racist the second he steps off the plane? Does Archie instantly stop being a racist?

          I haven’t tried this in person because I haven’t gotten into that kind of fight lately, but I suspect “Norman, coordinate” would be the response, followed by calling me a racist. [rolleyes]

          (Or they both fly to China, where there are hardly any whites or blacks, and all of them are considered to be foreign barbarians beneath the soles of the lowliest Han.)

          * (I chose fictional Wakanda because it avoids stupid arguments about the legacy of colonialism blah blah blah.)

          1. Well, the only problem with that one was the -ism was sex, and the, er, person certainly wanted to keep her trump card, that of vagina privilege. Not long afterward, she claimed to have been doxxed, harassed, and left the forum. She certainly brightened the group when she left…

  2. Agreed on the whole “yes we’re introverts but we need the options for social contact to not go crazy(er)”. I frankly think that may be more important for us than extroverts simply because we live in our own heads so much, so when we need something to shake us out of that, it’s crucial to not going down the depressive spiral.

    Maybe misery loves company; i’m at least glad to know I’m not the only one having serious problems with this whole infuriating mess.

    I’ve been thinking for a while that this is hysterical panic crossed with all the political bullies getting to act out their dreams, and that we were going to lose more people to stress and their own brain weasels than the virus. This is just… nuts.

    (I may or may not know someone who’s stated they’re not stringently checking IDs on people who want to get alcohol, because if people need that to get through the next day without homicide, they’d rather the buyer had it.)

    When it comes to the whole financial misery… oh man, yes. I just – as in these past few months – finally started digging out of a horrendous family financial situation and was starting to see some light at the end of the tunnel. Cleaning out the house to sell, was going to move, finally get a steady job after years of unpaid caregiver work-

    And bam, This.

    And personally I’m still recovering from the lung gut-punch and writing concentration is… almost impossible, some days.

    I’m crossing my fingers and hoping that clears up too, but it’s hard to keep going when you’re banging your head against the wall about “why is everyone letting the government do this?!?”

      1. Oh thank goodness. Making simple math mistakes trying to sort out the groceries is just… awful, when you’re used to factoring stray numbers in your head. And not being able to write without a huge and sometimes headache-inducing effort, ugh.

        A month. Bleah. So hopefully back up to snuff by the end of April. Argggh.

      2. I play a solitare game called Mod 3. Must have played it thousands of times, but when I had the “weird flu”, my brain couldn’t handle it. Took a while; it’s been a hair over 3 weeks, and I *think* that I’m thinking properly.

    1. I think part of the stress is our “make sure I’m not spiraling into insanity” methods are all jacked up, because everything is soaked in this stuff, and folks are rather likely to simply flip the f out if you cross what they’ve already felt their way into believing.

      For heavens sake, as much as I appreciate the whole i-heart-radio thing where they do the win a thousand bucks keyword thign trying to raise spirits, the keyword going from stuff like “cash” and “money” and “winner” to “hope” and “healthy” is freaky.

      1. Right now it seems like the Karens of the world have gotten crazier because they can’t yell at managers, so they yell at their neighbors and people who are obeying quarantine rules / doing stuff in their backyards/front yards/property and calling the police on them. I read a news clip about how the police were called on an older man who was heard coughing in their own home.

        Then there’s the two Aussie-Korean sisters who were filmed being screamed, then spat on, by a hyper-aggressive woman somewhere in Sydney.

        My own little touchtone of ‘we’re safe’ is ‘we have a supply of everything we need’ – something I’ve done long before the CCPlague because that’s how Maternal Grandmother taught my mom how to housekeep, and I picked it up from parents (Dad got taught how to do it by osmosis, from Mom.) We’re still okay, and I’m trying to stifle the little squeaking voice that’s going ‘but we’re at half supply of X, Y, Z and R3!’

        1. I read a news clip about how the police were called on an older man who was heard coughing in their own home.

          I suspect that’s actually a malicious mis-reporting– it’s happened several times in Cali, I heard much tut-tut-tutting…and nobody considered that police do take the health checks, so that we can avoid the whole “Hello, 911? There’s a funny smell when I walk past the apartment next to mine…” type nightmare.

          I’m with you on the “we have supplies, we are OK” response, and MAN was I glad to hear my state’s governor point out that she WANTED people to buy “a lot” on each trip, because that meant fewer shopping trips.

          1. I wish we could do the ‘buy a lot’ each trip. They’ve imposed limits (which I rather understand to some degree) and are now imposing that there be a line and limit to how many people are in the shops at a time.

            I’m not seeing what benefit that results in (they should have just gone full delivery or full click-and-collect online services if they REALLY wanted to have pure quarantine friendly circumstances as well as real rationing control), so I rather envy you the ability to resupply.
            Hm, good point about the older dude.

            There are stories too, of neighbors getting angry at neighbors exercising in their yards (one notable one that had me blink was the complaint about lifting weights in their yard, and the Karen in question was furious that the guy exercising didn’t IMMEDIATELY OBEY AND GO INSIDE (Reddit story) and the police DID show up. Oy. The only saving grace was the police apparently sounded apologetic/embarrassed.

            About the only sign of similarity in stories I’ve been noticing is the multigenerational family behind our house is getting angry at each other more frequently; but they’ve always been a high-temper family and are always fighting/yelling/seems to be their default mode of communication.

            1. Today was the 42nd day of the six weeks the doc said it takes a broken leg to heal, so I went out to mow the yard today. After some minor lawnmower maintenance, I was out front for almost three hours, the lawn being knee-high… Other than doctor visits, the most time I’ve spent outside in 2020.

              One thing I noticed was a *lot* – maybe 3x – more traffic than normal. Almost no walkers. I called a friend nearby, who said street traffic in his area was way up too.

            2. I got in a near-yelling match with my brother because I think it’s great that last week, on the way home from shopping, I saw folks going motorcycle riding. (On the phone, and no neighbors nearby anyways. ^.^)
              Just like the cherry blossoms, or going fishing or hunting– you’re freaking not near anybody, it lets you relax, it’s a net good. *grumble* But nooooo, must be in house.

          2. Just read about this one. This is getting criticized a lot because a learner driver isn’t allowed to drive in a car without an experienced driver also being there, and the fact that they weren’t getting out of the car meant that they’re not at any risk of infecting anyone else. Also, learning to drive is educational…


            1. Yes that is so stupid. A car drives past my window every 5 seconds, are really they all driving to work(at 11am), to the shops(not in a direct line) or to physical exercise(they are driving past a park)

              With the beaches closed and people being moved on for sitting on park benches. The cops have moved onto walking along the coastal walkways and moving off people sunning on the rocks, of course 10 minutes later they are all back again.

              Last nights bleating was about this was unprecedented, comparisons where drawn to the 2nd world war. If your going to do that how about going back another 25 years to 1918. Perhaps because 15-20 million deaths would not make this unprecedented in anything besides how much media attention It has gained

            1. Reminds me, I’m heading out to do the shopping again– let’s see if I get anybody actually SAYING anything about what I’m buying.

              *evil grin*

                1. Not since this started– only one or two folks even gave me a funny look, but apparently I looked a little too ready to respond for them to get up the gumption.

                  Been getting crud about “hoarding” for about at decade, now. Because being able to not go to the grocery store every other day is objectionable, or something.

                  1. I hissed at some, of all things, some Kindle ad on Facebook that recommended being like some character who supposedly neither panic buys nor stockpiles. I pointed out that intelligent stockpiling is basically the exact opposite and preventative of panic buying.

                    Why are people stupid?

                    1. They’ve pegged “stockpiling” to mean the folks buying for resale, for some stupid argument-by-special-definition reason.

                    2. Why are people stupid?

                      Why? Because our society is so wealthy and soft that being stupid is no longer a contra-survival trait.

                      When you tax something you get less of it and when you subsidize a thing you get more. At least since LBJ’s Great Society (pfui) we’ve taxed industry, thrift and intelligence and subsidized sloth, improvidence, and stupidity.

                  2. Anybody criticizing my buying habits gets a death stare and a warning against being judgmental and attempting to impose their morality on me.

                    And I was doing that before Alinsky contrived his Rules about holding anybody to their expressed standards.

                    Remember: every trip to the grocery store hastes Catastrophic Global Warming Climate Change. By buying effectively you are emitting far less CO2 per unit of food.

                  3. Let’s see if this links:
                    The text of the poster literally translates: “[Female] Hamster, shame yourself.” It translates as “Hoarder, be ashamed of yourself!”

                    During WWI, to collect food and other necessary items from the countryside and bring them back to the cities was “to hamster,” because the bulging sacks looked like hamster cheeks. These were all items that were not obtained properly, with ration cards and standing in line, but obtained with coin, barter, or sometimes theft (digging up potatoes in fields).

                  4. I would get comments on it, especially by social workers during the days after we had brought Jaenelle home from hospital. They couldn’t understand why I didn’t just pop to the shops for the night’s dinner. Couldn’t imagine how it was like to not have a car or be able to drive, or picture how tiring it was to set up the CPAP machine, etc. One asked, with hints of disapproval, if I was running a store out of the home. I think she thought I was a daigou, but my shelves were not filled with milk cans, but cheap store brand canned veg.

                    1. Y’know, now I can see why my husband wants to make sure that if the governor does get stupid enough to lock us down, I don’t go out at all.

                      I’d go utterly ape.

                      Folks being nosey, fine, I can deal with nosey and pushy.

                      Someone thinking they’ve got some kind of authority to do so?

                    2. The thing on my side was that at the time, Rhys was away on exercises and I pointed out that Jaenelle’s feeding schedule meant I had to stop frequently and if she fell asleep I had to stop, find a powerpoint, plug in her CPAP, put it on her, and let her sleep, per doctors orders at the time.

                      You could see the rusty hamster wheel turning til the arrow creaked to ‘not reasonably feasible.’

                      I got the impression most of the time that part of why they didn’t like it was because it didn’t look aesthetically pleasing to them, being metal shelving. It was eventually moved out to the garage.

                    3. I physically blinked at that level of stupidity. “Just pop around to the shops”? Whut? O_O

                      Why do these people think canning, freezing, and other methods of food preservation were invented with which to begin? Mein Gott. -_-

                    4. It’s a good illustration of how a fair number of people aren’t able to imagine other people’s circumstances. I had groceries arrive once while talking to a social worker (my daughter hard medical issues so I had one assigned to basically make sure I was ‘coping properly’) and because my daughter vomited a lot back then I had a huge order of thick paper towels, normal thickness paper towels, carpet cleaner, and spray cleaner. The social worker was concerned about the amount of stuff I had ordered, but my daughter vomited in her sleep just then, so I was able to demonstrate why I had those supplies: the thick paper towels were padding for such occasions, so I wouldn’t have to constantly be doing laundry (I also used towels instead of baby linens for bedsheets), and cleaned up the mess on both the side of the cot and on the floor, after cleaning up the baby and giving her a bath in the sink.

                      Social worker understood, and since she wasn’t the person who asked if I was selling the cans, praised me instead for coming up with a way to handle these things that was minimal disturbance for my baby.

            1. Neighbor was on the fire fighter crew that went in on an anonymous call for “I heard someone yelling.”

              It was an old guy who’d fallen in the back yard and broken his leg three days prior.

              He was, thank God, fine– though F if I know how, he’d been yelling for help every time I saw someone going to the bus stop and people would look around, not see him, and just keep walking.

        2. the one Karen whom I actually know is actually named Karen. I spit when I found out the meaning

          1. Did you hear that there is a feminist trying to get that slang term now declared ‘misogynist’ or something? Apparently said feminist also said that men should be herded into cattle cars and put in concentration camps before.

            1. Would these busybodies kindly leave my vehicle out of all this nonsense?
              Oh right, busibodies. Too bad they are never busy with something of genuine benefit.

            2. I looked at that.

              I found someone claiming that to be a slur, a word needs generations of oppression and a history of violence.

                  1. Actually, when people are talking about Karens, “Chad” usually becomes a sort of neutral or helpful figure. He’s that other guy in line. Don’t know that I’ve seen “Steve.”

                    And yup, RIchard is the joke you think. He can also be paired (usually by Brits) with Susan. Susan = Karen, for some reason I’m not getting. (I’m thinking a profanity that just doesn’t exist here….)

    2. I admit to having no trouble with the enforced introversion, but then I’ve barely altered my daily routine. BUT the inability to alter it can wear on the spirit.

      When first diagnosed with Type II Diabetes and purging excess carbohydrates from my diet I routinely mourned the things I could no longer eat … until it struck me one day that I hadn’t actually been eating very much of that stuff for quite a while, anyway. Lemon meringue pie was off the diet, but I hadn’t had a slice of it worth the calories since I was a kid because nobody made it right. Cake was the same thing — I liked the idea of cake but most cake I could buy was meh, flavorless sponge slathered in over-sweetened frosting. Most french fries were nearly inedible except out of the habit of getting them in the “meal deal.”

      What I was mourning was not the things I would miss — I wouldn’t actually miss them — but the breaking of habits and, most importantly, the fact I no longer had a choice about those foods.

      So I keep that lesson in mind when I get to feeling housebound and put my attention toward doing what I was likely going to do even without the current travails.

      I realize this is scant comfort to the rest of you, and not likely to be applicable. I can only observe that it is your misfortune to have not been born wallabies and that many aspects of your life are therefore bound to suck.

      1. I miss 1) having a mental and physical space separate from day job, 2) being able to do things without a second thought – get a froo-froo coffee, hit the local used book store to see what’s come in, try on clothes in a local shop [Because the fits of jeans are soooo dang strange these days.]

        1. Heck I’m retired. Except for shopping round one day a week, and dog’s training (with other people) and walks, I don’t leave the house much anyway. With the stay at home order? Now I want to go out! Granted part of it is now hubby is stuck at home, or we thought he was going to be. He’s retired too, but he golfs. He was home 3 days with nice weather … we survived. For now, I guess, golf has been determined to be essential? The other thing is we eat dinner out two or three times a week. What do you mean I have to come up with different main meals 7 times a week … wait, a minute, what? Breakfast & lunch is on each individual. Fix it yourself or don’t eat.

          In 41 years the following have been banned, under “made too often”: Meatloaf, Apple/Banana Salad’s. They are about to add: Club Salads, Ribs, Spaghetti, Chile (well maybe not can’t seem to buy beans needed), Tacos (Tortilla wrap Tacos have been banned), Chicken Wraps, etc. Essentially my go to list. I’ve banned Liver & Onions (on my never, ever list), and we are barely out of the Salmon ban from when I was in college over 40 years ago. Anything I try new out of a cookbook comes under “mom’s experimenting again” and usually has less than stellar results.

      2. > Most french fries were nearly inedible

        Almost everyone changed to different fryer grease in 2007-2008. Some people claimed they couldn’t taste any difference, so me and a “statistically insignificant” number of others, it gives anything fried in it a harsh metallic taste.

        That’s also about the time the local bottlers all started replacing some or all the sugar in soft drinks with Stevia, which the FDA allows them to do without changing the ingredients label. Stevia tastes *terrible*. After three decades of being a full-on Cokeaholic, I wound up going cold turkey.

        So, not only all the food allergies, but the nasty fryer grease and Stevia have made meal planning a simple exercise in picking through the limited number of things I can eat that don’t taste horrible.

            1. Not saying that beef tallow is not good, but…
              Everything’s better with bacon! Home fries in bacon grease. Mmmmm.

  3. No one knows anything. All wisdom begins with this.

    They only practice medicine is what my wife says.

    1. Those who know “Nobody knows anything” at least know that much; the great pestilence is those who don’t know how little they know. As Power Line recently reminded us, in the words of Richard Feynman: “Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts.”

      1. “It ain’t so much the things that people don’t know that makes trouble in this world, as it is the things that people know that ain’t so.”

        Appropriately, while this quote is generally attributed to Mark Twain nobody can prove him the originator of the aphorism.

      2. My variation on this is paradoxic. “I need to learn what I don’t know, but will never know what I don’t know.” So the instruction booklet for the universe is impossible to follow, since you will never know what you need to know. A variant paradox is: “The more certain I am, the harder it is to know/find the truth.”

    2. Several years ago a credible report claimed that preventable medical errors were responsible for over 250,000 deaths a year in the United States. Since then efforts have been attempted to debunk this claim, but mostly nit pick on methodology or trivial details of the study, the sort of attacks one would expect from sources with a vested interest in disparaging such a claim.
      It’s always appropriate when dealing with any expert to remember that you are the customer, that they are working for you, and you are free to terminate that relationship at your discretion. This applies equally to an auto mechanic or a health care professional. Should you believe such an expert is wrong in their diagnosis of an issue it’s always appropriate to simply walk away and seek other assistance from a different source. Personally speaking, any time an expert I’m dealing with balks at my getting a second opinion, that expert immediately becomes suspect.

          1. The insurance company can’t fire them. And fire the insurance company.

            There’s a difference between something being difficult, and inverting the actual authority involved. Especially when it can kill my kids.

      1. A doctor wanted me to get a test. There was no real upside to the test it would just confirm what I was being treated for, and the treatment was working. He said it was very low risk only 1/2 percent of people who got the test ended up on dialysis. I pointed out that 1 In 200 ish was actually a fairly high number of people to end up catastrophically ill. For no upside. I explained I was a trained quant who did risk management for a living. He gave me a hard time telling me it was low risk. I got a new doctor.

        I have some very good doctors, one of whom (my GP) saved my life. Others, not so much.

        1. What the heck kind of test were they doing to people’s kidneys? That sounds weird.

  4. Before someone says “But Blaine County, Idaho has the worst rate in the nation and only 22,000 residents!” let me tell you about Blaine County, Idaho.

    Ever heard of Sun Valley? Big ski resort? Big music and dance festivals? That’s Blaine County. I had a dorm mate in college from Sun Valley who babysat kids for movie stars when they went to their second, fifth, tenth homes there.

    Rich people going to ski. Followed by rich people fleeing dense urban areas to their vacation homes and bringing the virus with them. You can find accounts from the grocery store there how many people are coming in who are first time shoppers. “Where’s the milk?”

    That’s Blaine County, Idaho. Yes, locals are getting infected. They clean and cook and all that for the wealthy. How would they not? And yes, a county of 22,000 permanent residents with the appropriate medical facilities for that many is going to get overwhelmed when they have so many folks bugging out there.

    1. One stat I would love to see, but doubt we will, will be how many of the patient zeros in the smaller states were NYC escapees. We are shutting down the entire country, taking and moving equipment and personnel to that city, and getting scolded for driving to the grocery store. Meanwhile they spread out in a diaspora, some likely already aware they were infected. Once again with feeling. If this is the crisis you are saying it is, act like it. And yes, that might mean that you have to suffer more discomfort than someone out in smallsville.

      1. Oh, yes – I so want to see that. And how many “Patient Zeroes” in other places earlier this year were people who had traveled to or from China…

        1. Oh the latter definitely will be. Although reports have blamed nyc on Iran. Chinas failure to stop the wuhan migration after new years is what seeded this worldwide.

          1. Elmhurst hospital is right next to the biggest Chinatown on the east coast. WuFlu has been in NYC since January latest, probably Christmas and some say November. I have cousins, nurses in NYC Hospitals. Word is that a fair number of the early cases were right out of Wuhan and they’re going over the old cases to see how many pneumonia’s were WuFlu. Now, there’s money in WuFlu but I suspect they would have found it anyway.

            If you took the subway between then and now you probably got it. Early serology testing is showing 40% in NJ and over 30% in NYC. That’s a biased number but We’ve all probably had it here and you’ve all probably had it there. The R0 estimates of 3-3.5 that are coming out of Europe as opposed to the 2.5 in China would confirm that though, if its been here since Christmas, you’d get the same numbers of infected either way because estimating things on the fly is difficult.

            1. *ears perk up*
              Do you know if they’re reporting those deaths in the news conferences?

              Because …well, that is what I predicted when NYC started the unusual report pattern, though I hadn’t expected something that far back.

              1. Nope. Anecdotes around which hospitals in the media and a cousins group text message chain. We had talked about it in a get together the weekend before the day the universe closed.

                Theres reporting around non flu pneumonia deaths that show spikes early but it’s hard to pull out of the background noise. That’s the biggest problem with this generally, it doesn’t really stick,out from the background noise. The NYC hospital data is public and published but I don’t remember where I saw it. they publish daily emergency room visit by reason.

                For the other, New York is not a melting pot and most people who are from here, as opposed to the hipsters, keep a rough ethnic map in their head so when you hear neighborhood or hospital you have a fair idea of ethnicity. Elmhurst Hospital, Chinese, Brooklyn Hospital, Hasidim, Montefiore Hospital, Black/Hispanic. It’s not perfect but it’s better than the other estimates I’ve heard.

                Working the doubling back takes you into mid January for Patient x. Nurse’s Rumor and travel patterns take it back to Christmas. I wouldn’t trust any data now because The Feds have guaranteed payment for WuFlu and a not insignificant number of these patients are uninsured and don’t pay. So every respitory illness is going to be classed as WuFlu.

                1. I think it has been in the states before Thanksgiving 2019. I haven’t been sick for years. So, sure what caught me between Thanksgiving & Christmas last year, could have been just a bad combo cold. But based on the symptoms? Exactly what they are touting now for Winnie the Flu CV19. I was down for almost 4 weeks. The last 14 days were move between bed & bathroom & back. Questions got a meh grunt answer. In someways I’m still suffering the after effects. Never went near a doctor, or hospital.

        2. I noticed too that the ‘biggest areas of infected’ on the maps displayed in local news is that they’re the rich people areas, and the expensive tourista zones. NOT, interestingly enough, the non-tourist Little Asia clusters that are away from the coastline and CBD (well, from what I can tell of Sydney from the news) etc. Now, that may be just because of the tendency of the various Asian ethnic groups to cluster together (bar Filipinos. We tend to just go anywhere that suit us) but even the smaller Chinese ‘mini enclaves’ don’t have the huge outbreaks you’d expect.

          And it’s interesting to me that in Manila, the patient zeros there were Muslims who attended two of the city’s popular mosques, and the big outbreak was in Greenhills, where there’s a pretty large population of Muslims AND Chinese (because it’s a trading hub) and where one of the aforementioned mosques is located. One of the cases that died was a security guard (I’m going by my Mom’s relating the news to me) and nobody knows how he got it. Most of the people dying are reportedly the medical staff, and the news is saying they aren’t having as many people recover as there are dying. But it’s Manila, and I’m still surprised that there haven’t been MORE deaths, if the cluster-transmission/infection and lethality is true. Though some of that lack of reporting I’ll chalk up to the Philippine medical system being fairly crap, we don’t have the ‘dead in the streets’ media hype/black plague levels.

    2. I saw a news story about a group of youngish skiers who did Spring Break there, and shared the virus. Yeah, a major resort during SB might just be a hotspot…

      1. Long it is, but the context and thought process are well worth the length! Thanks.

  5. One important point that should be strongly emphasized –

    Start stockpiling food that will keep. If you already have, then stockpile even more. If the food situation really is as bad as our hostess fears, then you’ll be grateful that you did. Use the current shortages as a warning.

    Also, related –

    If food gets scarce, look for restaurants and similar businesses to be demonized.

    On another note –

    Wuhan still really nags at me. *Something* happened there. Presumably it was the Wuhan virus. Even assuming that some of the pictures coming out of there were fake, it appears that the PRC did get very concerned about the virus outbreak. So why has it seemingly been so much less of a problem everywhere else in the world?

    1. I’m still worried that what happened in Wuhan was the escape of a poor attempt at weaponizing this.

      But, hopeful that this will make us more resistant to their next attempt to do so.

      1. Hopefully the (known) problems with the Wuhan lab, coupled with whatever the heck went wild in Wuhan (whether it was a natural virus or not), will convince the PRC to abandon their bio-research programs.

          1. Agree. Let’s for a moment assume the best case scenario: this ends, we lift the house arrest, we all go back to mostly normal, the economy rebounds, and we cut off China from the world completely.

            China will start World War III. For many reasons:
            1. Too many males who have no chance of marrying and having families
            A. That leads to no hope or care for the future
            B. Hopeless, jobless males get violent, often against their government (see Iran for example).
            2. An huge aging population with no one to take care of them—no family, government both can’t and won’t
            3. Uprising has already begun. If they’re cut off from our markets they will all fall into extreme poverty which will lead to people turning against the government
            4. To deal with that uprising the communist party and Jinping will turn the people to an outside enemy. They will do this by committing a false flag and blaming America or simply managing to make their people believe America has done this to them already, or some other way we haven’t considered.
            An EMP off the pacific coast and then hacking into our infrastructure and defense systems will be the first steps.
            Probably another virus, this time truly weaponized for maximum transmission and death. They own tons of our ports on both coasts because Obama (not exclusively but most recently) sold them off. Or allowed their sale. I’m not sure how that works exactly but I recall reading about it.
            They’re preparing for naval war and have been for years now.
            Now don’t get me wrong. They’ll lose. We’ll win. But this life would be over.
            Between the nukes and EMPs and other weapons, recovery would be a long time coming.
            Pray hard if you believe.

            *for the record I’m sure my ideas have some holes, hopefully a lot actually. I would love to hear that everything I’ve postulated is impossible because America F*** yeah! I’m dead serious not joking.
            **thats why I don’t write hard sci fi, I’m not good enough at creating scenarios that the fans of the genre like and wouldn’t pick apart. And that’s not a diss on the fans. I respect that they are smart and care.

              1. If they pop an EMP over the US, we bounce the rubble in China until it glows. No fun for us, but suicide for them. See http://esr.ibiblio.org/?p=8643

                I think it’s much more likely that they slice the salami: provocations against the S. China Sea nations, buildup until they can do semi-blue water patrols past the first island chain, and then intimidating Taiwan and looking scary until they get Taiwan to cave instead of having to invade them.

                China is certainly preparing for a naval war with the US, like Imperial Germany prepared for a naval war with the UK: as a fleet-in-being that can threaten local concentrated victory over a larger but more dispersed enemy.

                1. No need to wreck all of China.

                  They are dependant on food imports, and foreign cash.

                  Cut those, and the wheels come off. Both sides know it.

                  Repudiating China-held bonds would annihilate their economy. Both sides know it.

                  They have to convince us to quit, because they -cannot- win a stand-up fight. They can hurt us, perhaps badly. We can obliterate their ability to rule, to maintain order. And if we go full-Jacksonian on them, we can extinguish them.

                  So they have to play the game and convince us to give up.

                  Never quit.

                  Also, Vietnam kicked them out in -far- less time than it took to dislodge us. They did that -without- any “great power” allies.

                  China has some serious issues with a real stand-up fight. They can damage us, badly if they wish, but not even close to defeating us. And the damage -we- can do is … epic. And, fatal.

                  So the game goes on. And we seem to have as President a guy who really likes to win.

                  1. Yes, absolutely we can wreck China without even trying too hard, by blockade. My point was they nuke us even by EMP and we destroy them. That’s basic US nuclear strategy even before Trump’s “kill Americans and you suffer worse” policy.

                    1. The thing that the Chinese should be terrified of is the NBC policy. If this is determined however falsely to be a weapon, our nuclear release protocols have been satisfied and Trump can legally make the rubble glow. I suspect that Trump also knows that, due to the 5th column called the Democrat party, America CANNOT win a long war (see Vietnam, Iraq and Afganistan), thus to win must utterly destroy the enemy country.
                      This does not mean that he will launch, just that he might,

                  2. China might not even be able to damage us, and the leadership is likely aware if this. The fact is that China hasn’t fought a significant war since it fought Vietnam in the ’70s. The PLA is completely untried, and its “veterans” have only fought border clashes (of the “both sides took a few pot shots at each other” variety). Adding to that, its military equipment is almost completely untested. Before China tried to start something with the US, I would first expect the PLA to find someone else to get into a scrap with, just to verify that their equipment and tactics don’t completely fall apart at the first sign of opposition.

                    1. This. Just to give it a test run. I’ve often thought the same of the Norks, for all that their generals are hung all over with sprockets like a Christmas tree. They haven’t fought an all-out, balls-to-the-wall war since my father was in college. Whereas we have been through three or more. We know how our stuff works. We might not have won decisively with any of it, but at least our military and commanders knows how it all should work – despite the best efforts of the Obama administration.

                    2. Absolutely and without a doubt we have the most experienced, battle-hardened, competent Army (and USMC) in the world, and probably in our history.

                      Our Navy, on the other hand: except for the air arm it hasn’t fought a serious shooting war* since 1945. And we mostly stopped practicing near-peer combat skills in the ’90s, if memory serves. Can’t do ASW practice because it might upset the whales and all that.

                      * (I’m not counting blowing up a bunch of Iranian patrol craft now and then.)

                    3. The *only* serious naval shooting war since the end of World War 2 was the Falkland Islands War in the ’80s. And both the Argentines and the British are a shadow of their old selves, even compared to the ’80s. On the other hand, the US Navy has the benefit of acting in support of actual combat operations even if those operations are primarily conducted by the other armed services.

                    4. IIRC, we won rather handily in Desert Storm (thank goodness or they’d still have been shooting at each other when I arrived in-theater). ‘Course that was (Crimony!) nearly 30 years ago, before the military got (so badly) ‘social engineered’.

                    5. The ease of our victory in Desert Storm only served to make clear to our Liberal Leadership the risk to world peace of American military might and they’ve applied themselves to deprecating that might in the intervening years.

                    6. Nothing to worry about – agreement with me is only a cause for concern if it occurs more than twice in a 24-hour period or lasts longer than 4 hours.

                  3. I’m now to the point where if “made in China” has a “made in not-China”, the second option will play. If it’s “made in the USA”, that’s the preference.

                    If there is no alternative, I’ll think long and hard about

                    1. Think long and hard and ‘thrift store’ once they all start opening again. My daughter has a vast collection of household glass dishes – all vintage, all US made. I’m seriously considering digging out the vintage, just-post-WWII portable Singer sewing machine that I inherited from my grandmother. She didn’t sew much, so the little machine is low-mileage in spate of the age, but it came with all the attachments. Rather have that repaired than purchase a new Singer, which is probably a piece of made-in-China crap.
                      Seriously, we need to socially-distance from China, even if it means paying more for appliances. At least those appliances will last!

                    2. I’ve seen the current generation of Singers. Yes, they are crap. The used-to-be high end Elna machines also are now Singer, and a sad echo of what they once were. For low end new machines, I’d go with Brother, though I don’t know where they’re made right now.

                      I’ll have to check the thrift store. I’m not sure if any of the dedicated sewing machine stores are still active; lost one or two a few years ago, and one bailed from sewing in favor of vacuums only.

                      Really good machines are made by Juki in Korea.

                      (Thus endeth my knowledge of modern sewing machines.)

                    3. I’m wrestling now with my daughter’s moderate-end Brother, and I hate that f**ker with the passion of a thousand burning suns. When it dies, I want to take it out to the back yard and bash it apart with a sledgehammer before burning the remains on a bonfire. It breaks needles at the drop of a hat, the threading-attachment doesn’t work worth a damn half the time, adjusting the length of the stitch has to be redone every blankety-blanking time…
                      Granny Jessie’s post-war Singer won’t be half the blanking trouble.

                    4. Yikes! Now, I really regret donating the Singer-based “Sew Best” machine. Early-mid 50s Japanese machine. They bought old style Singer mechanicals, did a fancy paint job, a case and an instruction book, and sold them here. Needed some TLC and lubrication, but a good forwards/backwards machine.

                    5. I have a Brother upstairs like brand new. I’ve used it two or three times in fifteen years. Only time I have ever tried to use a sewing machine and I just thought I didn’t know how to use one. I’d rather do any smalling sewing repair jobs I have by hand.

                    1. I would have thought we could treat Farms and food processors that China owns much as China has treated the factories that American and other countries firms (e.g., MMM, and big pharma). You know, freeze export because of national emergency or any damn thing.

                      Geese and Ganders

                    2. A judicial ruling that the CCP knowingly and deliberately engaged in actions exacerbating the pandemic could result in seizure of assets — land, buildings, equipment, patents and other intellectual property …

                      It might even be sufficient to repudiate the trillion in US Debt they hold. Evidence against them would have to be pretty bad, damning enough to allow that repudiation without damaging US credit … although the collateral ability of Italy, Spain, France, England and other nations hit by this pandemic to similarly repudiate (seize, if you prefer) debt held by China in compensation for debt issued to address the crisis might well ameliorate the harm inflicted on US credit security.

                2. China is doing everything they can to get Democrats elected because they believe, with quite a bit of justification, that Democrats will let any Chinese aggression stand, including mass arrests of people in Hong Kong, invasion and conquest of Taiwan, etc.

              2. Which is why every American who does not think about the next world war as something to go into to win is wrong. Morally the incorrect choice to pick the assumptions that lead to “of course we will lose” or “we can’t kill so many people”. Any ethical code which would have cost us the war against the Axis is insane.

                We may yet avoid that war, but not by determination to surrender.

            1. An EMP off the west coast wouldn’t actually take out that much. Too many things are decentralized now, and the bomb necessary to generate an EMP significant enough to hit even a majority of the west coast is going to be HUGE.

                1. in fact, it falls off with the inverse square of the distance.

                  Doesnt matter, there’s not as much to target on the west coast as you think. The film industry would be messed up for awhile, Facebook and Google would hiccup for a few minutes, and everyone else would just recover their backed up data and then go back to dev… Oh and HP and Dell would make bank replacing everyone’s workstations for a few months.

            2. I’ve been spending a lot of time thinking about this. One thing we might be overlooking is how brittle China is and how weak Xi might be in the wake of this. I don’t think China would fare well in a shooting war with Taiwan, never mind us. they have very limited ability to project force.

              More importantly, China’s currency is backed by the US. $, not pegged, backed. That’s what all those Treasury bonds they have are for. They have no resources and we have the ability to deny them the ability to buy them. They could turn Japanese and try to take them, and they could certainly nuke or EMP us but why would they do that? Xi might want to play Hitler in the bunker but would the other oligarchs, including the PLA which is the biggest player in the economy play along? Maybe, but I don’t think so. Iran is the one with the Armageddon fixation. In any case are, if they do it’s all over anyway so I’m not going to worry about it.

              The biggest risk from China is civil war interfering with the supply chains. That would put us in a world of suck for a good long while. that I’ll worry about and take steps to protect myself.

              1. “Objection: assumes facts not in evidence.”

                You’re assuming he wants what’s best for his country *and* is playing with a full deck. I can come up with enough historical examples where that hasn’t been true that I’m not willing to concede that.

                1. Actually no. I’m assuming he wants to survive and that the people who are around him will shoot him off the throne if he tries to break their rice bowl. He may be nutty enough, but all of them?

                  There’s a logic to dictatorship.

                2. I think it a safe assumption that he wants what is best for his country … for certain values of “best” previously exemplified by such enlightened leaders as Stalin, Castro, Chavez, Peron, Wilson, Bonaparte …

                  As for playing with a full deck, much depends on which cards are wild.

          2. With what has happened so far with their industry taking advantage of this while we all cower and crash our economy (what china did was the equivalent of quarantining wa state, not entire nation) they’re rubbing their hands at more “accidents”

            1. As with everything from the PRC, I’m not sure we can trust that their industry is actually doing anything at all.

              See https://www.worldoil.com/news/2020/3/2/china-s-drive-to-restart-its-economy-revives-fake-data-concerns and https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-03-01/china-s-push-to-jump-start-economy-revives-worries-of-fake-data

              Money quote: “The pressure to get China back to work after the coronavirus shutdown is resurrecting an old temptation: doctoring data so it shows senior officials what they want to see.”

              1. They are one if the few sending things out. Still have places buying materials and parts. Plus the mad rush for medical supplies. Granted they’ve been doing poorly with effectivity but never stopped em before

        1. I fear not — what happened in Wuhan did nothing to harm the party leadership and it isn’t as if they care about the serfs, particularly the elderly ones.

        2. Sadly I believe they will surge on. The USSR had a fairly nasty anthrax leak from Sverdlovsk in 1979 (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sverdlovsk_anthrax_leak), It didn’t slow the USSR down and their program outlived their country ( See Ken Alibek Biohazard , won’t try to cite another HTTP as WP will force me to moderation 🙂 ) . The CCP tries to get whatever edge they can against the US (the leaders may be stupid but their not stupid in that fashion) as they see us as the only viable competition. Not convinced the Wu flu is a bioweapon, but the anectdotal evidence certainly seems to be they were mucking about about with bat borne illnesses. This is NOT an innocent kind of thing to do as many nasty things (filoviruses, eg Marburg, Ebola, the coranaviruses) seem to originate in bat hosts.

      2. Given what the presumptive numbers we’ve seen, deaths principally of the elderly, i.e. the non-productive, and the gender imbalance in some of the numbers, more males dying than females, I kinda wonder if it was weaponized against their own population.

        In the otherwise “healthy” deaths, I wonder if that gender imbalance holds true?

        1. Given that women have a longer life expectancy than men, that’s an interesting point. But as a means of relieving the problem of young men unable to marry, that imbalanced plague would have to reach deep into the younger adult population, which we are thankfully not seeing.

          On the other hand, killing so many elderly will take a lot of pressure off the younger, more productive generations.

        2. I too have wondered if the ChiCom Flu was a bioweapon engineered to eliminate the part of their population viewed as “useless eaters” without the obvious apparatus of state-sponsored mass murder. Complete with plausible deniability if someone did raise the question at levels that have consequences. Bad lab procedure, the person or persons responsible will be found and punished.

    2. we locked up the economy put around 20 million Americans out of work, destroyed businesses, jobs and livelihoods, and are waltzing with famine this winter

      There’s a reason that I’m hurrying to finish the greenhouse so I can get lots of veggies growing out there. My freezer & pantry are full, but I’m going to be topping up periodically.

      Wuhan still really nags at me. *Something* happened there.

      Yes, this. Considering the amount of censoring that goes on in PRC, the videos that did get out were pretty terrifying (given their historical indifference to human life/suffering). My governor (WY) is resisting a state-wide lock down, tho he has given guidelines that most people are following (a few counties with larger outbreaks have imposed local measures).

  6. in discussions i keep trying to explain what is going to happen come next fall, but i’ve literally had people tell me they can just cannibalize ‘other trucks’ to keep the trucks running, and that Europe (and Australia) have better welfare systems and will be able to weather this better… and get the equivalent of blank stares when i say ” there is going to be no food and no trucks to deliver it if we stay this level of shut down too long”

    1. I’m very cautiously optimistic that enough governors will start saying, “OK, enough, we have the drugs to treat the ill, we have a slowing increase in cases, we’re going to start re-opening,” this month to make a difference. Yeah, Fauci can jump up and down, but as more and more people in positions to have an effect begin pointing out the gap between the models, NYC, and the rest of the world, rationality may break out.

      The article at PJ Media showing how the graphs play with numbers to make the US look a lot worse than the rest of the world is a good start, but only a start.

          1. He’d said that before, now he says end of month.
            I think this is the week hell breaks loose.
            They’re going to try to paint numbers as very bad, but people are going crazy. Some literally.
            I think we’re going to see MASS disobedience, probably some rioting.

            1. As fast as it rolled in it will start to roll out. Florida was last in, bet they’ll be first out. The redder the state, the faster the exit. I’m thinking it will start by Easter.

              The numbers are just not there.

              They need to maximize the deaths. While most of these people are just venal cowards, they’re not all stupid. They need enough deaths broadcast as widely as possible to give enough cover to them to say look at this wonderful thing we have done. Cuomo is the tell. He’s trying to lay off the responsibility onto Trump, so far without success, while he’s got the most cases he’s also has to answer to his patrons who are well aware of what the cost of all this is and whose modelers have already figured out what’s going in.

              I’ve seen some rumbles from the NYTimes about the models the final signal will be when they come out and say trump over reacted.

              Riots, maybe. Local though around some jackass cop.

              What I’m marking out are the local Karen’s.

              1. The numbers are just not there.

                Worse– or better, I am n ot sure how it’d go– the place that is hitting anything close to the emotional spot of the claimed numbers is New York City, where they were very public idiots right up until they went jackboots and THEN exploded.

                1. I’ve been making this point forcibly to my relatives and friends. Why would you believe the people who told you to go out into the New Years party or your a raaaaacist?

                  That’s why I think the “aren’t we heroes” narrative is being prepared. They need a way out that avoids blame.

                  The thing that disturbs me is how many people seem to like having their hair on fire.

            2. There’s a seed of this on the West Side in Chicago. Local Police Commander has stationed officers to block public access to a multi-block area where he owns income properties. Sigh … only in Chicago where the CPD uses the corrupt “merit system” to appoint police leadership could this happen. But that’s another story.

              Point being, this is one of the City’s toughest areas and a very likely flashpoint. Local police blog describes it as “this is where it’s going to blow up.” It’s a wicked brew fueled by corrupt PD management, the press beat-down of cops on the streets, and the City government legacy of rewarding criminals. Oh, and we have a Sheriff busy emptying the jail.

              FYI the “West Side” is sandwiched between the new West Loop and toney Oak Park.

            3. Obviously I’m in a very limited microcosm. But I’ve yet to see mass Obedience. Went to church yesterday (community church, it stayed open when the big denominations closed their doors) some people didn’t show up, mainly elderly. But we have people from other churches that show up because their church isn’t having services, and a couple people who may go to church on Easter at another church but I KNOW are not regular attendees. Knowing them they are going to church simply because the government is telling them not to.

              Went ice fishing after church, didn’t seem to be any shortage of people out on the lake. Lot more Washington plates than normal, but then Washington’s communist governor has shut down everything including recreational fishing.

              1. Poland under Communism had huge numbers of people active in the churches who were not members, or even Christian. They just wanted to resist the government, so they attended Sunday School and mass, took part in local pilgrimages and processions, and so on.

                1. That kind of resistance is why Korea is so heavily Christian, too. There it was resistance against the Japanese.

            4. we’re going to see MASS disobedience

              Easter Mass disobedience would be nice.

              Spotted these in NY Post:
              Cops booed for breaking up balcony rave during lockdown
              Roseanne Barr: Coronavirus a scheme to ‘get rid of all my generation’
              Cops hunting Texas teen who boasted about spreading coronavirus
              Man arrested after bragging ‘we don’t give a f–k about coronavirus’ during party
              Speeding soars in NYC despite fewer cars on road amid coronavirus


              1. Speeding soars… despite fewer cars?

                I’m not sure that word means what they think it means!

                1. There’s less traffic, so people can actually do the limit for once, and even go faster! (The same thing’s happening out here to a lesser extent. The kids with rice-rocket motorcycles are having a blast. The rest of us are shaking our canes at them and muttering about young whippersnappers and get off my lawn.)

                  1. Right?! I was reading that and going, “It’s hard to speed in a traffic jam y’know.”

                    1. (lowers window)
                      (coughing violently) Sorry, officer; I was *cough* heading to my *cough* doctor to be tested *cough* and *cough* I guess a *cough* coughing attack *cough* resulted in my *cough* foot o the *cough* gas *cough* pressing harder *cough* *cough* than I *cough* intended.

                  2. Right Mass State Route 62 runs by my living room window. Speed limit officially 35mph normal yield (other than in severe traffic or nasty weather) 45mph. Traffic is greatly reduced (last night at 9pm you could have stood on the double yellow lines safely for upwards of 20 minutes), but when it does go by its pushing 55/60 best guess. And yeah Lots of motorcycles. Although Id say a preponderance of LOUD american hardware (Harley primarily) over racer boy crotch rockets.

                2. James Taranto at the Wall Street Journal journal used to call that sort of headline out under, “Fox Butterfield, Is That You?” Butterfield was a New York Times writer who’s say things like, “Crime drops despite higher incarceration rates.” Trying to argue that fewer people should be in jail because there was less crime.

      1. Democrats are going to try to keep a state of panic going throughout the summer and into the fall, so that they can push for vote by fraud so they can steal the November election. They are obsessed with “fundamentally transforming America” and with the will to power that they have no qualms about destroying lives to do so; they view widespread economic collapse as an opportunity to achieve their vision as their own House Majority Leader recently staled.

        This is nothing new. In essence, the virus is being used to implement the old Cloward-Piven strategy of ramping up government welfare spending so much that the system breaks and the leftists can then achieve their Marxist revolution, re-education/concentration camps and all.

        The Democrats and their media lackeys know they are pushing CCP propaganda and embrace it. The Democrats goal is to become America’s version of the CCP. This is why we get the struggle sessions, the “great leap forward” rhetoric, and all the other putrid spewings of the Democrats and their media arm.

  7. It’s not what you don’t know, it’s what you think you know that ain’t so that gets you. Case in point, IHME hospitalization forecast for NYC update released today. Off by factor of 2 on the day it was released. I find this hard to believe, but they are forecasting the hospitalizations from the dead not the dead from the hospitalizations, which blows out my answer to those who asked how they could have an accurate death forecast since I thought that was just a linear function of the lagged hospitalizations. Somethings wrong there.

    The only thing I can think of to explain why they won’t update their prior is that they are much more afraid of under predicting than over. Perhaps if we could find a way to hold them personally liable for the cost of their actions we might get a better model. Or not. Forecasting is hard, especially forecasting the future. These idiots can’t get the same day right.

    As for the fascists, there needs to be a reckoning. We need to take our republic back

    1. The IMHE projections at the state level seem to be updated. On April 2. Washington showed a projected 2342 beds/350 ICU beds at the April 11 peak. Today, April 6, it’s showing a projected 972 beds/185 ICU beds at the April 6 peak.

      But the national-level model doesn’t seem to have changed, and I have no way of verifying whether the WA hospitalization/ICU rate is even close to the mark.

      1. They’re missing by massive amounts. It’s a cluster fuck. to get actual numbers you have to go state by state. NY publishes daily as does Florida. I live in NJ so I’m paying attention to that.

        Oddly, it’s so bad that I’m hopeful.

        I don’t buy the story that Trump plays 4 dimensional chess, but I’ve been watching him closely and he’s got his bounce back. He knows what the numbers are. Scott Adams, the Dilbert Guy, has been saying that this got away from Trump and he’s been trying to get out ahead of it. I think he’s done it. He’s anchored the people on 100-200k dead but “maybe less than that maybe a lot less.” Cue media meltdown. But he’s got the numbers. The narrative is this could have killed millions, lockdown drove it to 100k, heroic doctors and nurses and Plaquenil drove it to 30-40k. Tops. Aren’t we heroic? And BTW, we spent $6 trillion blowing holes in the desert, why don’t we spend $2 trillion here.

        it’ll be very difficult for the media, whose hair gel,is on fiiiire, to argue with him. they will but even the morons will have difficulty doing so.

        1. Napoleon didn’t play 4D chess either, but (at least before 1812) he had an uncanny intuition about his enemies’ weak point and the audacity (ha!) to strike there.

    2. The only thing I can think of to explain why they won’t update their prior is …

      Once an expert puts a number on person it is extremely difficult for the expert to drastically change it — doing so would undermine their patina of expertise.

      When the adjacent college was eminent domaining our house their assessor served up a figure that, eventually, proved to be about two-thirds what we ended up agreeing to. His comps were significantly inappropriate, ad his projections through other methods (e.g., projected income from renting the house to students) similarly invalid. But there was no way, having once submitted an estimate, that their appraiser was going to move far from the initial assessment.

      NO epidemiologist is going to hang his (or her) tookis out there to be used for target practice by declaring the Emperor is not only buck nekkid but also has skinny legs. Once the top experts in a field have spoken there is great risk and little reward for the people lower down the chain to dispute them.

      1. Besides, the way the story goes nowadays is like this:

        And then the little boy exclaimed, “But the Emperor has no clothes!”

        And then the crowd beat the little boy to death.

        The End.

        1. Missed a line before the crowd beats the boy to death

          “The crowd screamed “Yes he does have clothes what are you Racist/Homophobic/transphobic/fat shaming?”

          And then the crowd beat the little boy to death with their Birkenstocks.

          1. The critical fallacy in the fable is that any emperor would ever rely on his subjects being intelligent.

            You can fool all of the people some of the time and some of the people all of the time and that usually suffices.

      2. Once an expert puts a number on person paper …

        I have no idea what my fingers were doing and apologize to all confused by that error.

  8. I was going back through my journal this morning, and observed that I hit peak anxiety (thus far) back in mid March. Now I’m just pissed off and slogging through doing what I can. And making a little mental list of people to keep a political eye out for, should they start running for state and/or national office.

    I’m also revising how I teach some things, to put more emphasis on why civil liberties are so very, very important and unusual.

    1. Me too. The bond market almost broke around 3/19. That puke from ICL published and the rolling closures began. People don’t think the markets matter to them much but the bond market absolutely does. Whether you’re talking about truck,parts in Australia or medicine in the US it all runs through the payments systems, which is collateralized by the bond market. Scared the hell out of me.

      Now it’s a combination of boredom, screaming frustration with the stupidity of the whole thing, and cold anger with our politicians and all the other tin pot dictators. For the son of heaven emperor xi and his band of killers, well there are no words.

      Sic Semper Tyrannis

  9. There’s another cruise ship that had the virus aboard and has deaths aboard that was trying to dock in Florida. I haven’t heard if they’ve finally found a place to dock though. But it would seem to me that someone should *want* those people to test and to collect data on them.

    And then the Navy ship, same thing but uniformly young and healthy people. Might get good numbers on who got symptoms and who didn’t and start to figure out why.

    1. Folks on ship are frequently very low on sleep and not eating very well– just usually young and healthy enough to bounce back, at least for 15 or so years.

      My baby brother was all in on the TR being a totally big deal until he got details, now he’s pissed at the CO for panicking people. This is the same brother who thinks that Virginia needed a quarantine because people looking at the cherry blossoms is so dangerous….

    1. I’m skewering bureaucrats and models in fiction. I’m trying to channel Retief, interplanetary diplomat of legend.

        1. Over the last few years I have often mused on Trump’s similarity to Retief …

        2. Jame Retief worked the system to save it from its own incompetence.

          Steve Dravek, on the other hand, found the system was evil, and knocked it all down.

          What do you do when you wake up, find out you’re a clone with the memories of a man of 20, and that the ruler of the totalitarian dystopia you’re in is… your 160 year old future self, twisted by over a century of absolute power?

          Not everything Laumer wrote was light humor. “The Day Before Forever”, 1968.

        1. We’ll see. The first snippet I posted at my place had people clamouring for lots more. We’ll see what the response is to snippet two tomorrow.

          1. Feeding the masses popcorn can be lucrative. Laumer made a pretty good living off it, if his car collection was anything to go by…

            1. A bunch of non-running Mercury Cougars rotting in a swamp? Even by Arkansas standards that’s not much to brag about.

      1. I remember thinking that Retieff was like James Bond crossed with Jim DeGris, the Stainless Steel Rat.
        Like them all. 🙂

        1. Retief wasn’t a Bond type. He wasn’t even a hero. That was the whole point; he was just an ordinary guy, treating people honorably, and doing the right thing. Which was so unusual they might well have been super powers…

            1. While the senior officials were so far up in their ivory towers they were disconnected from reality, Retief was hanging out with the waiters, garbage men, and hustlers, finding out what was really going on…

              In almost every story, Retief’s advantage came from information and often assistance he got from “the man in the street”, by treating them like people instead of ambulatory meatsacks.

  10. I’m with you completely Sarah. Have cried a few times myself. But I’m praying, and some on here might dismiss but I promise you it’s working. Even Jesus begged God to let there be another way than his suffering on the cross. Yes he submitted willingly to that death and I don’t think we’re being called to death or destruction right now.

    My point in bringing that up is it’s okay to feel that fear. It’s ok to express those emotions and thoughts.

    I’ve been despaired, but I know now it’s going to be ok. Stay strong guys. It’s almost done.

    1. For the first time in my life, I have a robust prayer life, and am studying texts and theology.
      Apparently not alone. A lot of us going through that.
      Keep on. it counts.

      1. God is using this to shine light on those with evil in their hearts and expose them.

        People are opening their eyes. They’re seeing.

        And we’re getting to see who the Karens are, who the traitors are in our midst. Don’t forget them guys.

        Just remember Jesus said few will walk through the gate. This is true in all things. At the end of the day, walking through the gate is accepting the truth. Don’t be discouraged by those who still don’t see. Most never will.

        We still win.

      2. I try to say the divine office, or at least some of it, during Lent. I usually fail. This Lent I’ve done well and it’s been helpful to start each day with Matins. Come, let us ring out our joy to the Lord, hail the rock who saves us. Puts it in perspective.

      3. Heartily agree with this Sarah. I come out of a non-standard Christian tradition and have been feeling the daily “tug” to pray. It’s tangible. And some days, this goes on a long while. I hold those I know from my days in med school admin, the hospital, family and friends. Holding and cherishing them seems especially important. G_d seems to be very interested in blessing people, both in the here and now, and for what comes after this “crisis.” Beyond that, I’ve had very vivid times of support for the President. (Old school. I still capitalize the “P) And I’ve the strong sense that it’s good to be very thankful for all he’s done.

        Interestingly, I get no sense of doom and gloom from what I think of as the “Realm of Spirit.” That’s just not “reassurance,” but the sense that blessing is the thing right now.

        Of course, everyone goes at this according to their own lights. I have no prescriptions. I can just share what I experience. I am pretty darn sure that prayer is making a difference right now. Sure do encourage people to consider that.

    2. Mt daughter has started saying bedtime prayers again – and the other night, she said that she prayed for hope. The next day, while walking the doggles – we spotted this window in the neighborhood, about four streets away from us –

        1. No. Usually I get a size infinity boot to the rump. At other times, it’s a baseball bat. Last month, the sermons were all on hope and wisdom, and I got a very firm sense of that looming ball bat. I’m getting the same sense from reading Himmelfarb’s essays, that there’s something I need to put together and He’s dumping the missing puzzle pieces onto my head.

          1. I have been watching EWTN a lot, and listening to a lot of theology-type podcasts. Fr. Mitch Pacwa’s Scripture and Tradition is excellent, as is his archived Old Testament Prophets. The Aquinas Institute has the Aquinas 101 podcasts about basic Aquinas philosophy, and a bunch of interesting lectures on various topics. (The one about St. Augustine, grief, and the Confessions turned out to be very interesting, much better than any of my college classes about the Confessions.)

            If you want Catholic Bible/theology ebooks, I like Brant Pitre and Scott Hahn. Fulton Sheen is still worth reading. And of course there are tons of public domain books at archive.org, Google Books, etc.

            If you want something for all our interests, Jimmy Akin’s Mysterious World is a fun intersection of various kinds of odd stuff, reason and skepticism, and faith and theology. (Jimmy Akin’s day job is as a Catholic apologist.) He brings forward a lot of research that is out there but which most people don’t know about. (I was stunned to find out the Mad Gasser of Mattoon mystery was solved already and who did it, and that people just kept mum for good reasons; but I bet Sarah will predict what happened.)

            I don’t know if it’s grace or getting my Irish bard on, but I’ve been pretty happy most of the time. And I’m a gloomy depressive, lots of the time. Finding out about the invermectin made me really cheerful, but I was cheerful before that.

            Which isn’t to say that I haven’t also had big spates of being angry, annoyed, sad, etc. (Hence the podcasts.) But I feel that overall, things will be okay.

            Of course, I also think that I already got the thing back in Nov/Dec, so I imagine that is a large part of it. But almost everybody at work is cheerful too. (Okay, we’re all pretty sure we already got it….but….)

          1. *sudden mental image of Himself as one of those guys who is so tired of explaining things very simply and having folks totally ignore the obvious meaning, so he gets amusement out of it rather than crying*

            1. I can see that.

              Some of us have such sophisticated anti-clue missile defense it takes saturation strikes to get the message through…

              1. It’s the thrill of being “touched” with a weaponized clue-by-four. They hurt, especially the ones with chrome-plated irony spikes. Rumor has it that Michael is an expert.

            1. OK, time to get another copy of TMiaHM. I named the main computer in the house Mycroft. OTOH, the shop computer is named Orac. I thought about Minerva/Athena, but got in a hurry. The late, lamented minitower was Illiac–hey, I can name them after real life computers, too. 🙂

                1. For a while, the computers were named after Sluggy Freelance characters (never named one Oasis–too likely to overheat), though the elderly Sony Pentium 4 in the shop (now replaced by Orac) is named Jethro, after the senior, tech-challenged NCIS character.

                  Right now, it’s fictional computers. I have a Win 10 laptop that needs a name. I might stay with Blake’s Seven and call it Slave. (Either that, or go with Star Trek TOS and call it “Computer”.) It never talks to any other computer, so any name will do.

                  HARLIE? That’s a hard nope.

        2. (Looking back throughout recorded History, especially that of His “chosen” people – before and after.)

          With His experience, would you try for subtle?

          1. For me, not likely. I do subtle like an NFL tackle when the refs aren’t watching.

      1. Heh … I remember when I used to get messages on license plates … Something being focused on would show up on someone’s vanity plate.

  11. “One of the major foci is NOT in Rio, which held the Carnival.”
    not just that, but slums packed to the rafters with people, that make the homeless camps in Cali look palatial.

      1. Wonder how widespread the use of anti-malarial drugs is in Rio.

        Meanwhile there is a Democratic Party state senator, I believe from Ohio who is pushing to have Trump prosecuted for “crimes against humanity” for….recommending use of anti-malaraial drugs to treat the virus, which this Democrat says has “no basis in fact and is killing people”. Meanwhile, Italy just approved widespread use of the exact same drugs this Democrat is claiming promotion of constitutes a criminal act equivalent to the worst war crimes. Note that a similar prosecution of the Italian government is not being called for.

        1. our gov told docs she’d remove their medical licenses if they prescribed it, and then, after Cuomo said it was working well, and the FDA admitted it was promising and allowed, demanded the Feds give Michigan Mooor!!1!11!!!


    1. For that matter, I thought San Francisco would go up like a torch, but it hasn’t.

  12. I know my writing productivity (always too little, anyway) is *way* down because I can’t go to McD’s and write. Writing at home is not the same thing at all. Even with my Pandora station set to similar music.

  13. Update on the whole “cooks making breakfast, buses drive school employees around to deliver them, come back, pick up lunch, and go deliver that” thing from my home valley.

    Today is the first day of spring break… so they’re not doing it. Because they wouldn’t get paid you see.

    Got an update on who exactly was riding the buses– it’s mostly the non-contract workers, who wouldn’t be paid, although some of the teachers are volunteering their time.

  14. I keep hoping sanity will return to the world. There *might* have been cause for shutting down New York City (which would have been devastating enough) but not for shutting down the world.

      1. which is something i keep pointing out…. if it is anywhere close to as bad as they say it is, and that we need to shut everything down, why isn’t public transit being shut down?

        1. i.e. “lets get into a tiny poorly ventilated metal cylinder with a bunch of perfect strangers!”

          1. Also, elevators. Damned few of them in our county. Might be one of the reasons our case count isn’t going whacko.

    1. Speaking of:

      Long quote:
      The Curve Is Already Flat
      Evidence suggests that COVID-19 was here in November
      A.J. Kay
      Apr 3 · 15 min read

      More than half of U.S. states have instituted lockdown measures in response to the spread of the COVID-19 virus. These policies are justified as an effort to “flatten the curve,” a phrase coined by Dr. Howard Markel, a pediatrician, and professor of medical history at the University of Michigan.
      The hypothetical COVID curve we are trying to flatten — the time rate at which the number of people needing intensive medical treatment will grow to exceed our capacity to care for them — is based on assumptions about when COVID was brought to the US, the speed of its transmission, and the ability of our healthcare system to accommodate the most severely affected patients. By isolating citizens in their homes, lockdown policies intend to slow the rate of infection, thereby “flattening” the curve, which will allow us to ration healthcare resources over time.
      “Flatten the curve!” has become the rallying cry of politicians, public health officials, celebrities, and social media users who believe that, without extreme social distancing measures, the American healthcare system will invariably be overwhelmed resulting in several million unnecessary deaths. The theory goes that if we succeed in flattening the curve, millions of lives will be saved.
      It’s important to remember that a flat curve is not one in which no one gets infected. A flat curve is one which, at its peak, does not create enough critically ill patients to overwhelm the health care system.

      1. I wonder who it was who created the “flatten the curve” graphic.

        It sure looked scary, with the “no house arrest” curve being like ten times higher than the capacity line.

        But what if the “no house arrest” curve in reality is only 1.5x the capacity line? And how would we know?

        Cue “lying with statistics” thoughts, but that graphic never even rose to the level of statistics. It was literally propaganda, even if the gist of it was true.

        1. I don’t know– I was actually poking around for the projected numbers and such, but couldn’t find them. Just references to the Imperial estimates.

          1. I don’t know where it is now, but I found an article where the person who made that graphic said plainly that he was reconstructing a qualitative set of conceptual curves… and drew in the “healthcare capacity” line completely arbitrarily.

  15. just one bone to pick …
    “Most cases are asymptomatic spreaders, which is why we ESTIMATE flu mortality every year.”

    actually that is not the case … the reason we have to estimate flu infections is that only a tiny fraction get sick enough to end up in a hospital where they do an actually flu test …

    nobody who catches the flu does not get sick … nobody … you can be asymptomatically early in the flu but you will eventually feel sick … always … Its a much stringer virus for the average person …

  16. My ex-wife seems to think that the CV is the Andromeda Strain.

    I went over there to pick up our daughter to stay with me for a week, and I opined that the house arrest couldn’t go on much longer, if for no other reason than people were going to start saying “F it, I got work to do” and going out to do it.

    She said “well then I guess they’re going to go out there and they’re going to start dying.”


    Also, re flattening the curve, I made the point that even that theory assumes that the same number of people would get it in either case, and so we need to unlockdown just enough so that the health system runs at max capacity until there’s herd immunity or a vaccine, whichever comes first. But we can’t just sit around and wait for the vaccine.

    She and her husband didn’t like that one either. “The system is going to have to change” they both said, although I’m not sure that “yay socialism” was exactly what both of them meant.

    1. I’m eyeing something I read about how the common-cold-coronavirus antibodies only hang around for a few months, and hoping that we don’t flatten the curve so much that everybody who already had it gets it again.

      ….And yeah, that capacity issue, if everybody except a few places like NYC are under capacity, should we actually be trying to speed it up?! (Oh, wait, is that the theory for letting people keep flying out of NYC? *snark*)

      1. The good news is that if it does flare up again, we’ve apparently got a generic cocktail cure for it.

          1. That you can catch the virus again, once you’ve had it.
            We catch the “common cold” over and over again, because it’s a catch all of various Corona and Rinoviruses.
            The only way you catch this one again is if it mutates HUGELY.

            1. I know there are a whole raft of different common cold viruses, but I thought I remembered reading immunity to a given strain still fades. Perhaps I was mistaken. Or perhaps they were talking about how long detectable levels of antibody just hang around, as distinct from how long the body remembers how to make them up quick.

              I certainly hope this one yields lasting immunity, but while I can believe the supposed cases of reinfection got debunked, I’m not sure we can have a sufficiently long-term dataset to be confident it won’t wear off. But I am pretty sure that if you can’t get immunity from catching it and recovering, the vaccine ain’t gonna help either.

              Also: darn it, I want antibody tests.

              (I definitely do remember reading somebody called for volunteers from the recovered to donate blood for potential treatment, and got more offers than they could use. Simultaneously blinking back tears and “well, of course.”)

              1. There’s also some crossover resistance, since the effective rule of thumb among teachers is that you catch everything that comes through for the first seven years, then only the really hard-core germs get you. It seems to be true, based on my limited observations.

                1. Huh. Same rule of thumb for us infrastructure types that work in lots of different plants/office buildings. After seven years, you’re pretty much immune to the regular stuff that just gets passed around.

            2. It’s been 20 years or so ago, but I researched the question of common cold vaccines, and, yes, immunity fades, but over years, not months, typically, 4-7 years. We get so many colds because there are over 100 different viruses that cause it.

              Now, whuflu could be drastically different, but even something as low as 2 years of immunity is easily handled by a public health response of yearly CV shots, probably as part of the annual flu cocktail.

    2. The difficult part will be riding the tail of that tiger as the system changes. I don’t see any way we get around some significant changes. The two I can most easily see are the minimum wage and mandatory sick leave. Doesn’t matter that it will end with fewer hours, fewer employees, etc. The populace will be inundated with the retail workers are the heros stuff.

      Also, really have to make folks aware of just how many of the flubs in this have been the government response according to its standard protocols. Its not as if Trump ordered the CDC not to prepare, or to block all external testing, or make decisions that seem to come from a magic 8 ball. The head of the system has been in place for longer than I have been alive. Then add in the empty national stockpile and the unpreparedness of state governments and you have a continuous stream of .gov incompetence. And yet the clamor will be to give them more power over healthcare. Because of sob stories (not necessarily true) of I went bankrupt because I got corona and went to hospital. (The youngest son of a businessman that finds his father dead in his office of a self inflicted gsw, or with a needle sticking out of his arm because his entire life was just destroyed on the word of one man will never be heard.)

  17. Last time I watched the news — Thursday, I think — they announced that anybody in a business ‘dealing with the public’ in California would be fined $1,000 for not wearing a mask. Or 6 months in jail. Didn’t they just dump a bunch of criminals out of jail? Was it to make room for those dastardly non-mask-wearers?

    The county supervisor, Nathan Fletcher: “Now is the time, the voluntary compliance is over and now it is time for strict compliance throughout all communities, jurisdictions.”

    How long before that little dictator decrees that everybody must wear masks or be sent to the Gulag?

    They say there are 10,000 cases in California. That is 0.033% of the population. They say there are 966 cases in San Diego county (0.028%) and 16 deaths (0.00047%).

    Statistically, we should expect 79.42 people to die in San Diego county every day. 16 over the course of a month is not even statistically DETECTABLE!

    My efforts to believe that the whole government is not evil are beginning to fall short.
    My grandpa voted Republican until the day he died — but he’s been voting Democrat ever since.

    1. Remember that they consider the exercise of the right to freely exercise ones religion to be “non-essential.” Do not doubt that Democrats will use the precedents here to shut down churches that do not adhere to leftist ideological demands. Likewise many Democrats are calling the right to bear arms “non-essential”. They are systematically taking away liberty and they have no intention of our getting those liberties back.

    2. On the plus side it does tend to put a crimp on their ability to use the new facial recognition technology to identify and track everyone. I suspect if this lasts long enough they will figure out some sort of work around for that as well.

      1. Personalized with a unique, assigned bar code, with penalties for a blank one, and bigger penalties for using one not yours.

        Mark of the Beast.

        You know they want to.

  18. Oh, and meanwhile, the Very Large Entertainment Company that I work for has seen its revenues flatline so much that they’re putting us on “temporary” “short-term” furlough starting in a couple of weeks, so now the pan(dem)ic has affected even my very secure job. Good thing I didn’t spend all that money I’d put aside for remodeling yet, because I guess I’m going to need it to pay my mortgage. Still don’t know if I’m just going to have to eat the $5K I put down on a trip to London for me and my daughter in August.

    1. I saw a thing on FB (Eric Flint’s timeline?) that the feds were going to require the airlines to give cash refunds.

      1. It’s Virgin Atlantic, so I don’t know if they count. And I saw something recently about refunds that said they only kick in if the airline stops flying to the destination. It wouldn’t be catastrophic to lose the money, but it would hurt. And I wanted to go to London for the first time, dammit…

    2. We’re looking at the possibility of having to eat the money we put down on a convention at the end of June because another, much larger convention that had been on Easter weekend was postponed to the same dates. The larger one is willing to give refunds, but it would be a commuter convention for us and therefore much lower overhead. I’m thinking that if we were to take the refund and go to the smaller con just to avoid the loss of the booth costs, we’d actually come out worse than kissing that money good-bye and doing the bigger convention.

      I’m hoping the smaller convention will at least let me roll over my booth purchase to 2021, but I can’t get them to even answer my e-mail asking what my options are.

      1. I just made the mistake of venting on Facebook about WA Gov. Inslee announcing that May 4 was no longer an operational statement, and all the schools would be closed for the remainder of the school year and maybe next year too, and also my request that since the model showed WA as being past peak hospital usage and the epidemic would be essentially totally over by May 9, could we please come out of our bunkers?

        Naturally, one of my best friends came on to scold me about being “glibly sarcastic” and that all the front-line medical workers she knew were exhausted from 20-hour shifts and were 100% behind the school closures and people she knew were in the hospital and one family’s father just died and we don’t know how long asymptomatic carriers are infectious so how dare I put people like her and her father at risk.

        First, no, I’m not being glib, I’m so vibratingly angry I can barely touch type. Second, in a month the 20-hour shifts will be a fading memory. Third, my father is 92, my one remaining aunt in 90, and all my first cousins are over 70, so don’t fucking lecture me about risk. Fifth, I guess we’ll all just have to sit in our houses forever because we can’t ever prove the virus is gone.

        So, Leigh, I guess that as long as scolding is in fashion, we’ll just have to write off all our future plans, forever. Sorry. Hope your inflated pittance from the government dole can cover your rent for the rest of your life.

        1. Assuming you don’t want to 86 this best friend it probably wouldn’t be wise to ask whether she grasps the distinction between data and anecdotes. (IIRC, “data” is when I cite observed incidents and “anecdote” is when you cite observed incidents … at least in contemporary usage.)

          The best way to handle scolding, I’ve as yet found, is responding with denunciation of the scolder’s unmerited assumption of moral authority.

          It might be noted that I’ve no friends* and thus possibly am not the best source of interpersonal relationship advice.

          *Give me no sympathy, as I’ve as many as I want.

          1. One of the people who angrily chimed in is actually a nurse. So I get that she’s been under a great deal of stress.

            But here’s the thing: would the men at Bastogne on Christmas 1944 really be the best people to ask about how the overall war is going?

      2. And Leigh, just to be clear in case of misreading: in my other reply I’m not angry or frustrated at you or your post. I just needed a place to say that, and it seemed as good a way of getting it in as any.

        1. Every convention seller I know is getting hosed. Between losing conventions to outright cancellations and having rescheduled conventions create conflict in our schedules, we’re looking at a significant drop in income. Mad Mike’s been talking about it on FB, and I see a lot of it in some private groups for sellers.

          And even if the authorities were doing the reasonable thing and focusing on the infection hotspots rather than putting everyone on effective house arrest, it would still be difficult to do large-scale events like conventions. We have to get a handle on the problem of the asymptomatic spreaders, most of whom actually have symptoms, but at a level so low as to be indistinguishable from an ordinary cold or seasonal allergies (right when we’re moving into prime allergy season).

  19. The cluster-areas remain the clusters. I’ve hypothesized culture, but the truth is WE DON’T KNOW. We just know they’re clusters, and they remain clusters and other places don’t “cluster”.

    Plague spirit. Any random outbreaks just got infected normally, but the clusters have a plague spirit in the middle.

    Someone call some kind of an exorcist….

              1. *grin* The former. And the latter. In 1800s Appalachia. Among other places and times.

                Memory loss, immortality, the curse of a *really* good sense of smell, bacon bans, a blend of myth and history (Christian and otherwise), themes of faithful partnership and vilest corruption, and the many ways a man confronts evil across a thousand individual lifetimes.

                It is a good backdrop to run a metric buttload of short stories because every “life story” is a snapshot of place and history with the same man facing similar problems (evil, corruption) in many different ways- mostly because his memories are fragmented each time he “dies.” But it only takes once for the curse to overwhelm him and turn a man in a monster’s body into a monster in truth.

                It started as an excuse to research, but kinda snowballed. Once it gets cleaned up a bit it might be sellable. Just have to find the time.

        1. I was thinking about some thoughts I had had about Blacklight and the theology of Exalted.

    1. I’m starting to think that “asymptomatic” and “superspreader” are orthogonal, and the big clusters are where there are many people who have both characteristics running around as Covid Marys and Covid Martys.

      Which implies that the overall R0 is skewed way high by the A/S people and might be more like 1.5 for most.

      The problem is that the incubation time is long enough that there’s no way to backtrack to the A/S person.

      I also suspect that a person with a low viral load not only clears the disease quickly, but is only capable of spreading a low viral load to another person. Multiple low viral loads add up, though, and that’s what got the whistleblower Chinese doctor. The virus has been in the US for months, but at low levels such that any anomalous sickness/death got camouflaged as “influenza-like illness”. But at some point somebody got enough minor doses to create a major sickness, and they infected an A/S person with a major viral load, and then we’re off to the races, especially when they or their infectee visited Grandma at the old folk’s home*.

      Places where you would expect a high case and mortality rate (like SFO) just never got their Covid Mary and so their epidemics are what you would expect from an R0 = 1.5 progression. But Seattle and New York and Milan and Madrid got at least one if not more.

      (* BTW, a friend is a caregiver at a retirement home in Seattle. Her facility has zero cases, but other facilities run by the same company do, but in her words “they’re not very clean”.)

      1. I think the “they’re not very clean” is exactly the problem– and this would be nothing more than another “bad flu season” that would be used to try to guilt trip anybody who didn’t get a flu shot next year, except that China basically handed us faked evidence of a oh-holy-F epidemic, so we found out it wasn’t actually influenza, it was “the flu.”

        1. Not very clean doesn’t begin to describe it. Check out split pants if you can stomach it.

  20. I’m in almost total agreement with you.

    The big killers of this disease are the elderly, followed by people with serious health issues (morbid obesity, diabetes, heart disease, lung disease). Long-term exposure also seems to be a major factor in this-the longer you’re exposed, the more likely you’re going to get sick. And, it seems like the actual killing mechanism is opportunistic infections, but if you have COVID-19 antibodies, it’s COVID-19 as the official cause.

    Also-and here’s an interesting oddity-if you map the initial Wuhan Flu clusters in the US and put it over a map of Chinese-American population density, it almost maps perfectly. Don’t know if this is a statistical anomaly or not, I suspect that people were running from a China that is starting to go down the Mao route of a single leadership rather than the committee option of previously.

    Other places-
    New York? Lots of older people, health issues, almost perfect European-style population density and transit options.
    Louisiana? Poverty, lots of people with issues there (lots of obesity, lung disease because of smoking, diabetes, etc, etc, etc).
    Washington? Most of the cases were in elder care facilities, colder weather means people were lingering closer together, etc, etc, etc…
    Santa Clara County? Huge Asian (Chinese and Indian) population, a lot of people are living in very tight quarters due to housing issues, San Jose International also offered (previously) direct flights to China.

    But, if this is an effort to try and beggar us…I think it’s going to fail. I’m seeing a lot of people at the local level going over and around and through. The local microbreweries are doing beer for pickup-order online, pickup at the location ready to go. Restaurants are preparing food boxes for people, using their supply chain to get people bread, veggies, and meat. And, that’s just the beginning of it.

    And, everyone is going to be coming out of this wanting to do something. And, most of our “leadership” is so tone-deaf that they don’t understand what sort of a monster they’re creating. They’ve let this genie out of the bottle and they aren’t going to like what the end result is.

    It’s not going to be a fun 2020. But, I think this is going to turn out better than we hope.

      1. I’ve added “deliver us from plagues and politicians” to my prayers… figured it was worth asking about both ends.

        I gotta double down on troubleshooting the year before November — we’ve got a heartbeat and gestational-age-appropriate measurements this time.

        1. Mine have been adding prayers for wisdom and patience for years now.

          Sometimes it worries me how prayers might be answered for “wisdom.” But in the end… I believe we’re better off.

        2. Plagues and politicians?

          Are we sure that isn’t redundant, or at least the latter a subset of the former?

            1. I think a good way to avoid a plague of politicians is a liberal appliqué of asphalt and plumage

    1. There are two puzzles to matching Chinese populations:
      First, San Francisco. There is a large Chinatown downtown. They had a giant Chinese New years parade in February. Nancy P. went to the SF Chinatown and told people on Feb 24th to go to Chinatown. Current SF deaths are 8. Not 8 a day, but 8 total! San Francisco is the densest city in the Western U. S. at 18,800 people per square mile, (New York 27,800, San Jose 5,700). Major tourist and convention center. Why only 8 dead?

      Second Vancouver B.C. Total deaths in all of British Columbia is only 38. There is a major connection to China. When I checked the web to find the current deaths, the first article about Vancouver was from the South China Morning Post. Many Chinese own properties. Canada did not cut off flights like U. S. did, so how and why only 38?

      Why so few in a couple of places that should have been clusters?

      1. If they had the “unseasonably early flu” that hit parts of the West Coast, perhaps these areas already had it before it had even been identified.

  21. And that’s what’s panicked people. That plus the media screeching 24/7 that we’re all going to die and that the worst is ALWAYS “the next two weeks.”

    Unintentional humor:
    I heard the Iowa gov’r was going to put in a lockdown (she didn’t, thank goodness) and thus accidentally ran into a Des Moines Register (motto: destroying any good we can find) article talking about how she’d been strongly urged to issue a shelter in place order.

    My response was something to the effect of “yeah, I heard you shrieking banshees doing it at the press conference. Don’t you have a charity to go attack?”

  22. Okay, now that I know where that emotional harmonic was coming, I can fully accept that you have a good track record, and are probably right about this.

    I’m not sure how I’m going to cope.

    I thought I was doing well, but I’ve just been notified of a potential decision, and not one where I can simply wait for people to stop screwing around.

  23. I heard Sleepy Joe say, “We should just listen to the experts.” Hard to find a more succinct definition of the Communist sales pitch. God save us from experts. Experts are the folks who ask Trump to send 30,000 ventilators to NY stat. Thank God Trump says, “Why do you need 30,000 ventilators? How many are you using now? How many do you actually have the personnel and capacity to use?” True leaders don’t need to know everything, but they need to be able to ask the right questions.

    As for Little Anthony, I stopped listening to him when he called the French doctor’s report “anecdotal”. Cue Inigo Montoya. A controlled, double-blind study may be the closest we can get to the truth, but a controlled (non-double-blind) study is not an anecdote.

    1. These guys do know that ventilators don’t run themselves, right? Why get 30,000 vents, when you DON’T have the docs and techs to run them?!? They aren’t asking for more docs there, I would know, I’m on all the physician temp sites.

      1. If they are as overwhelmed as they’re saying, seems like they ought to be. Unless the issue is PPE again.

  24. *starts laughing*

    K, I’m listening to 100.3 The Bus, and…somebody has a sense of humor.

    In the last half hour or so they’ve played at least a half a dozen songs that are, ah, thematic– for example, “Hot Blooded” (check it and see, got a fever of 103) and “1999.”

    (when I woke up this mornin’, could’ve sworn it was judgment day/ The sky was all purple, there were people runnin’ everywhere/Tryin’ to run from the destruction)

    I now feel better. ^.^ Black humor, +10

    1. I have a pandemic playlist on YouTube. Of course it includes “Don’t Fear the Reaper” from Blue Oyster Cult. And a lot of other songs on those lines. (As well as distancing songs and the Johnny Cash cover of “We’ll Meet Again.”)

  25. For a while now I’ve taken advantage of Amazon Prime Pantry to order a portion of my regular groceries. Mostly canned goods and other shelf stable consumables of course.
    A bit over a week ago I tried to submit a typical order and discovered that most food items were restricted to a quantity of one so I did just that, ordering several other items so as to qualify for the free shipping discount. That box arrived Sunday afternoon.
    So, after verifying the contents I proceeded to place a new but similar order only to discover that nearly all the food items I had just ordered were no longer available.
    Please note, I was not attempting to hoard anything, just make my normal Pantry 3 to 4 week order of regular groceries I would consume over the course of a few weeks.
    And obviously my concern is that if things are this tight already what the hell will it be like comes the time when our supply chains truly start to fail.

    1. I’ve been expecting something like that to happen for a while now– with so much of the country under lock-down, a lot of folks are ordering on line.

      I’m doing what I can to avoid adding stress to the system, since Iowa is so far mostly sane– I’m doing as much shopping in person as possible, even if I usually do it on line.

      This is slaughtering the game shops. 😦

    2. It’s just in time inventory (unthanks again to Thor Power Tool combined with people who usually did not order such stuff through Amazon before now doing so; either because they are afraid to go to the store or can’t.

    3. Local store is slowly recovering. Monday they moved the 8 PM closing time to 11 PM (it had been midnight before the Great Nonsense). There was toilet paper on the shelf (not a great selection, it was there) a second day (shipment came in Saturday night) which was remarkable. There are ‘holes’ all over the store, but most things in general are there, just perhaps not a specific version. Other than TP (and liquid hand soap, and sanitizer), rice seems to be the thing that’s taken the biggest hit and isn’t recovering very well.

      There is now a sign on the door asking people to try to limit to one family member only if at all possible. Also tape arrows in many aisles and printed ‘ONE WAY’ signs at about eye level – both of which seem to be widely ignored.

  26. The part about 80% of infected individuals never developing symptoms is having some strange effects on mortality figures, especially in NYC. Apparently they’re counting every person who tests positive and dies as a death from Winnie the Flu. Gangbanger comes in with high-velocity lead poisoning, tests positive, bleeds out on the operating table — death certificate reads COVID-19, not gunshot wound to the chest. Homeowner out in Brooklyn falls from a ladder while attempting a DIY project while he’s stuck at home, tests positive, and his death isn’t counted as blunt-force trauma from a fall (although arguably the ChiCom Flu is a proximate cause, since he wouldn’t have been up on that ladder if he’d been at the office that day).

    I know this lockdown is getting to me, because I pretty much had a meltdown over a bookcase on Saturday. I’ve been trying to replace a bookcase ever since late February when we got done with the home repairs from the November windstorm. I was going around to various local Goodwill stores right up to when they all closed. At first I figured I’d just put up with it for a couple of weeks, but the longer it went, the more it was driving me nuts to have to live amidst piles of boxes. I wanted a bookcase so I could unpack my books and get out of the feeling that I was living in temporary quarters. So I looked on Craigslist and found a bookcase for a price that I could afford — but when I went up to get it, I get told it went out the door just a few minutes earlier. Apparently this guy is running a store out of a warehouse space and using Craigslist as an advertising platform. Everything else he had available was either too small to do the job, or too expensive. As in simply not in the budget expensive.

    Somehow I managed to drive home safely, but I was in an incandescent rage. Slamming doors, saying hateful things, wanting to smash everything in sight kind of rage. The rest of the day was pretty much a loss because I couldn’t do anything but rant about it. And looking back, I think it wouldn’t have bothered me so much in normal times because there would’ve been so many other options — Goodwill, other thrift stores, discount and used furniture stores, etc. But with all of them closed For The Duration, with no clear endpoint as the stay-at-home orders keep getting extended, it felt like my last chance at restoring order and closure to my workspace had been snatched away from me and I was being condemned to continue to live in chaos and struggle to work productively in an office that felt like temporary quarters.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if we see more and more of that kind of response the longer this goes on — someone completely loses it over something that from outside looks trifling, not because of the thing itself, but because of everything it represents for them. I sure hope I can get something soon, because it’s so terribly hard to work productively in a space that still feels like there’s more work to be done, more interruptions coming. And right now, with conventions canceled or postponed left and right, I really need to be working productively if we’re going to have any income.

    1. I’ve been trying to replace a bookcase ever since late February when we got done with the home repairs from the November windstorm.

      This may not appeal, but bricks & boards should still be available. I used 6ft planks (1ft thick, 1ft wide) that I varnished & red bricks for a number of years (stacked ~4ft tall, got all items from Home Depot).

      1. We’re working on a big floor-to ceiling built-in bookcase, too. Roman the Local Handy Guy is going to help us with the cabinetry, but the design and painting is all ours.

    2. We have a sectional we need to get out of the house. Donate or trash. BUT my car broke down, the new car is too small and the people who pick up stuff to take to the dump aren’t working.
      So– I’m completely with you.

      1. I’m cleaning the garage. Sort of. The large items that need to go away are going to a BSA garage sale that has been indefinitely rescheduled, so I can’t get them out of the garage. Not precisely helpful, but at least they’re ending up in one area.

      2. Ha! You’re lucky! It sounds like you at least have somewhere to take it, if you could but it there. In my county (just a bit north of DC), the county dump has been closed to us peasants for the duration, and almost no commercial operators are doing ‘large item pickup’ to take things for us… :-/

    3. You’re not the only one – I’m seeing that more and more from people locally, and roommate keeps having near-meltdowns due to other people’s rage. (Roommate is cashier. Some people are ugly.)

      This is what really worries me, far more than the virus. We have a certain percent of the population who are just Not Tightly Wrapped, as the saying goes, and the longer this goes on stressing them and otherwise normal people… whoof.

      1. A lot of people with high-functioning ASD are going to be having trouble. They can hold it together and function as if neurotypical as long as things are going smoothly, but at a cost. Add additional stress, and the cost exceeds their capacity, resulting in meltdowns, regressions, etc. And the stessor that sets it off can be something completely trifling, but if it’s what tips the balance over, boom.

        1. *musing*

          You know, the manners I was taught– “this is how you behave” — are where I go to hide for stuff like that.

          The modern obsession with 1) just do like you feeeeeel, and 2) screeching/scolding strangers is acceptable… that’s not a good combination.

          I may shut down, but I don’t snap unless folks simply won’t stop coming.

              1. I haven’t had one in a few years, thank goodness and doing my best to keep my stress low, but it’s always a possibility. (And this is why I never have the radio on in the car – fewer competing sensory inputs!)

                But I trade emails with people who have a much lower threshold for whiteout and meltdown, and this is really Not Good.

        2. Yep. High-functioning ASD or people with c-PTSD. Both categories, being locked in – even if, maybe especially if, it’s by social shaming – stirs up all kinds of Very Bad Things.

            1. I didnt drive Monday morning. I took a mental health day…. just the increasing feeling of weirdness is unnerving me.

                1. The Daughter Unit and I drove on some highways and major roads in NE San Antonio on Monday, and it was eerie, how empty they were, Just about all the big box stores that don’t carry groceries by way of excuse for staying open … are closed. First time that wasn’t Christmas or Easter day that I saw the parking lots empty at North Star Mall. Little traffic, empty parking lots. A plain-paint job military transport AC with no visible insignia came over as we went past the western end of the airport, on the landing path. We wondered what that was about.
                  Long line at the first HEB we came to, gave up after five minutes when the line didn’t move. The shelves of sewing notions at Walmart are pretty well stripped of elastic and thread. A lot of people sewing masks, it seems. We’ve spent the last two days doing them full-time.

              1. Took one myself most of yesterday and mainlined the two Hakuouki theatrical movies. For reasons.
                1) Swords, history, oni, bloodthirst, civil war, what’s not to like?
                2) Okita Souji. Fully aware his only chance of maybe living a bit longer is to quit fighting and get some rest… but that’s not how he wants to spend his life. And it’s his choice.

                …Granted, these days you’d sit on the snarky bastard and force-feed him antibiotics to give him a chance, but that’s with modern medicine. Back then everyone took risks living and they knew it.

                Part of the problem in today’s mess is, people think the can take all the risk out. Doesn’t work that way.

            2. Me, I’m currently… twitchy. Very twitchy.

              Don’t get between me and my dark chocolate right now, man. Bad idea. Bad Idea.

              …In that vein, the news reports of “you should give up smoking because it makes you more vulnerable to the virus!” make me facepalm. Um, guys, the nicotine is probably preventing several psychotic breaks and/or mass murders right now….

              1. Look, Yesterday DIL and I broke out into the Doors “When you’re strange” in the Home Depot line. PEOPLE DIDN’T EVEN TURN TO LOOK.
                Weird times.

                1. people are strange
                  when you’re a stranger
                  faces look ugly
                  when you’re alone
                  women seem wicked
                  when you’re unwanted

    4. The last time so many had concerns about The Duration, the terms were unconditional surrender. Now, I’d REALLY not to be whoever is going to nominate themselves into The Enemy status. And yes, yes, I know. You (all) have a little list…

      The boiler’s hot and the water’s running down.

      1. Point of order, it is only a little list idiomatically for me, not literally. I have many lists, and if filled out completely, the number of entries across all would probably outnumber living humans. Because overlap.

        For example, there are a bunch of Euros, and they are both foreign and haven’t strung up their current governments. Two lists right there.

        One of the things to pray for is that I never have a successful political career. Trump may help us spare ourselves a Buckman scenario, or an elected Bob scenario.

      1. I’m afraid my first thought was “Yeah, but if he’s good to have around, will the NHS even try?”

          1. Trump mentioned in the Monday status briefing that he had directed our best medical professionals to offer any and all aid possible to the doctors treating Boris. Trump does learn, he avoided referencing any drug treatments by name even when questioned, just deferred to the medicos on his team.
            That aside, my expectation is that the Prime Minister’s entry into ICU was from an abundance of caution. And also that he will receive a tad more attention than your average patient in the British NHS.
            And my cynical side suspects that these restrictions on HydroxyChloroquine by some authorities may be based on their wish to prevent a run on the drug in order to save some for the “right” people.

            1. The latest stupidity is saying that acquiring supplies of hydroxychloroquine against the virus will just condemn the scores of millions who use it against malaria to untimely death.

              I … just … seriously?

              1. Same folks I presume that caused an explosion of malaria cases and deaths by championing bans on the use of DDT for mosquito control.
                Or as my granddad used to say bitchers just gotta bitch about something, or they’re not happy.

                  1. I like to characterize the left side of our political spectrum as divided between the Whatever He’s Fer We’re Agin’ It wing and the There’s Just No Pleasing Some People wing.

                    You could probably add the These Are My Principles If You Don’t Like Them I Have Others wing, but I think they’re mostly nevertrumpers.

                  2. …and by extension – all around them. The ex wife of one of my early employers was such a person.

                    In a SHTF scenario, someone that negative should be nominated for watch duty – OUTSIDE the stockade.

              2. Their zero-sum pie thing is showing. Yes, there are opportunity costs, but I would be very surprised if this is something of which manufacturing cannot be increased.

            2. The reports I’ve seen on Boris is that he is in ICU but is not on a ventilator — which supports your interpretation about abundant caution.

              The British Press must be in a torment of conflicting emotions; while they’d love to report his death they must fear it would depress public morale/confidence in the NHS.

              1. Public confidence in British National Health has been a lost cause for many years.

      2. I’d be shocked. he’s almost certainly,private. There’s always better care for the masters than the paroles.

      3. We don’t really have private ICUs; he was probably initially admitted to the private wing (which many of the big London hospitals have) but the ICU would be NHS, for better or worse.

        Please do say a prayer for our PM, those who are so inclined. He is well-loved here (ignore the screeching lefties on Twitter) and will not be easily replaced.

        1. Prayers sent up.

          For what it’s worth, I’m almost as fond of the guy as I am of your queen. He’s a character, she’s classy.

        2. For sure … PM Boris is on my list. Woke up in the middle of the night thinking about him.

        3. He’s in Saint Thomas Hospital. I suspect his doctors are better than you might get in say Salford and he didn’t have to wait. Some pigs are more equal, etc.,

          Number 2 son was born on the NHS and I have few complaints about the level of care from the doctors and nurses. It’s the wait times that, literally, kill you.

          I too suspect the ban is like the ban on masks, a useful lie.

    1. Ah, damn. I’d heard he’d been hospitalized but not the ICU. Indeed, we need him. Best to him.

  27. The numbers are cooked. I found this article on American Thinker, showing the distortion.

    Short version: some “blue” folks are inflating the numbers.


    As this thing turns out to be no worse than yet another very bad flu year, some folks are going to try to “keep up the skeer”.

    Because when this is over, some folks are going to have a great deal of explaining to do. And I think, this time, folks are not going to be forgetful of who was bullshitting us.

    1. D states have more stupid people and more hypochondriacs. So more going la-la-la-it-can’t-hurt-me AND more running to the doctor for every sniffle.

  28. “ we are used to the idea “the killing plague will come out of China.” This is true in 90% of apocalyptic fiction.”

    We are used to the idea because it has quite often been true that new diseases come from China, and because anyone who has paid any attention whatsoever knows that China cannot or will not deal with an outbreak.

    I keep telling people who obsess about the idea that the disease crossed over from people eating bats that in China people eat just about anything because over the course of history, they have HAD TO. Chinese governments have treated the common Chinese like livestock for thousands of years, with the consequence that in China the common people are routinely subject to the kind of horrific die-offs that happen to livestock.

  29. Thanx, Sarah!
    I think Trump will do what he can to bring us back, but he’s a Constitutionalist (despite the dictator label he has been painted with.) He can’t force those State & Local Tin Pots to open the economy back up. He has done a masterful job of not letting the press frame us into their disaster flick (they’re losing even more credibility, which is why they don’t want to let The People hear what he has to say), and though he can’t force the Tin Pots, he might be able to Tweet them into behaving – they don’t handle humiliation well, either.

    1. Yeah – look at Gov. Cuomo’s dress code change once someone pointed out what clinging knits without an undershirt reveal. So what if he’s got piercings? No, no, back to coat and tie it was. *snicker, snicker*

      1. This is a gross thought but he MIGHT just have a half dozen really wiry chest hairs around his nipples.

        I super hate to have even thought these thoughts.

        1. One of the many things I did not anticipate about this year was some male politician getting called out for nipple show-through.

          1. You failed to account for Clown World.

            That is a failing, but an understandable one with minimal blame attached: no one sufficiently accounts for Clown World.

            1. Hell, I wasn’t surprised by Wiener. Annoyed, but not surprised.

              As I see it, the Political Class glommed on to the Legend of JFK, and as some of the seedier realities started becoming common knowledge, decided that what HE got away with, THEY could get away with. Totally missing the points that A) He was good looking, articulate, and charismatic (which they mostly ain’t) B) his daddy bought him a first rate political machine, whereas theirs tend to be third rate and C) in his day the media were pretty much united in worshiping the water he walked on, a lockstep that’s doesn’t exist anymore.

              So we keep being treated to the spectacle of members of the Political Class behaving like trailer park trash.

            1. April Fool’s is only supposed to last one day, not extend a month fore and aft.

              1. I suspect 2020 is the April Fool’s equivalent of Groundhog Day without the resolution, and a “You think that was something? Hold my beer.” attitude.

                1. The one claiming “Never Gonna Give You Up” had been taken off Youtube was kind of funny.

  30. The worst is that the Democrats are saying that we have to use Vote by Mail. It is coming through every place. The PANIC is getting FAR too many people to buy into it. I hope it can be stopped but with Democrat Governors delaying Primary Voting and canceling voting, I don’t know if it can be stopped. If it can’t, we can kiss our Republic good bye. With Vote Harvesting and Fraud the Democrats will destroy the Republicans. They can ask for mail ballots for all the fake Voters they have registered and the States will think nothing of mailing 100+ ballots to a 1 bedroom apartment.

    This is the greatest thing I fear. If it happens there will be little that can be done to stop the Democrats. With this they could have unbeatable majorities in both houses and the President (Whoever that might be, it will not be Biden for long). There will also be little chance that a Trump like person could ever win again.

    If Vote by Mail becomes a fact, Prep like mad, don’t worry about your savings because inflation will destroy them. With Democrats in charge what may have been close will become FAMINE, that they will blame on Trump so they can get MORE power. It maybe the Democrats last chance, if they get it, prepare for the IRON Years, they will make the Depression look prosperous.

      1. They are so far into Full Panic Mode about the prospect of four more years of Trump that I think blatancy is going to be the order of the day. They STILL, deep down, expect Trump to roll over and wave his paws in the air. They just can’t absorb that ANYONE would fight back…

      2. They might need a heavy reminder of the 2018 vote in NC-9 and advice that Ballot harvesting is a trick working both ways.

        Of course, it’s only illegal when Republicans attempt it.

        1. It is a well known fact that Team Blue never engages in voter manipulation, fraud, or suppression, now or at any time in the past; those are only tactics of Team Red, because right thinking people will never voluntarily vote Team Red.

          1. Remember those “Friends Don’t Let Friends Vote Republican” bumper stickers?

            Friends don’t suppress friends sincerely held political preferences.

            Only A-holes openly boast of intent to determine how friends vote.

    1. Democrats are saying that we have to use Vote by Mail. It is coming through every place.

      Which President Trump has been pushing back on hard when brought up by press. Lately on why he’s so against it. I do mean hard. He’s also prefaced it with “my opinion” “vote by mail leads to fraud, here is why: …” ending with “voters should be excited to prove their willingness to do their civic duty by voting in person. Exceptions should be only deployed military, or hardship cases.” Also brought up required state Id (driver’s license, state Id alternative id). Yes, I’ve heard all the whining about the “underprivileged” and unhoused. Sorry the whining doesn’t hold water. Heck, when Oregon & Washington States, both had in person voting (we’ve been residents of each), to vote you had to show your driver’s license and sign the voter roll. If you name, for whatever reason wasn’t on the voter roll, you had to show the issued voter’s card, with your signature on it. The voter’s card also doubled as your driver’s license/state id alternative, if you didn’t have one. Those cards were issued when you registered, in person, to vote. We had our appropriate state driver’s license’s the (3 times for me) times we had to register for our new location. Don’t know the procedure if you didn’t have the license/id. **I mean who doesn’t have your driver’s permit/license the minute, or soon as possible, after you can legally? Well before you can legally vote. Doesn’t matter if you don’t have a vehicle to drive, regularly, or not.**

      ** I know things have changed over the last 48 years since I’ve gotten my learner’s permit when I turned 15. More than a few friends of my son didn’t have their driver’s licenses until they could afford their own insurance. One or two, still don’t. All over 30, now. In an area where public transportation is a PIA at best. The ones that still don’t, at least have the state Id, because you can’t function without one financially.

      1. I’ve mentioned before how easy it is in TX to get a non-driver’s license. A gent here tried it, and it took $0.00 and 43 minutes. Why so long? Because the officials had everyone come see how to do it, since they did so few! Otherwise it is as fast as getting a driver’s license. And free in many cases, otherwise just a small admin fee.

        1. Oregon same way. Had to get 12 year old state id, last minute. Very easy. Showed up with him, birth certificate, & guardian (me). Replaced when he got his learner’s permit, then driver’s license.

      2. It’s $5 in Arkansas. Terrible, terrible financial burden. That’s a whole $1.25 per year for a 5-year card. “Real ID” compliant, too.

        Checking the State Police web site, they now have *three* different ID cards; under 21, over 21, and veteran. [headdesk] Bureaucratic creep uber alles…

  31. For those who want to do better than “nobody knows anything”, here’s a basic virology course, starting from the ground up (first in a long series of lectures; also good for the homeschool set):

  32. I DO yield to just about anyone in my admiration for Dr. Fauci.

    I think there may be one person with a lower opinion of Dr. F than yours … although it seems that the staff at CNN, MSNBC and the remnants of the MSM may admire him even more than he does himself.

    Argument erupts between Fauci, Trump aide over coronavirus drug: report
    A heated argument broke out in the White House Situation Room over the weekend between Dr. Anthony Fauci and another member of President Trump’s coronavirus task force, with the exchange getting so intense that Vice President Mike Pence and others were left trying to calm down the country’s trade czar, according to a report.

    The argument, which Axios reports took place Saturday afternoon, ensued when FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn brought up the topic of hydroxychloroquine, the malaria drug Trump believes could help fight the virus.

    White House trade adviser Peter Navarro then stood up and distributed reading materials on what he argued was the “clear therapeutic efficacy” of the potential COVID-19 drug.

    Navarro’s comments, according to the outlet, led to a heated debate about how the White House should talk about the malaria treatment, with Fauci stressing that there was only anecdotal evidence that the medicine could combat coronavirus.

    Fauci’s comment about anecdotal evidence “just set Peter off,” a source told Axios.

    Navarro pointed to the handouts, which reportedly included printouts of studies on hydroxychloroquine from around the world, and said to Fauci, “That’s science, not anecdote.”


    In an interview with CNN’s John Berman on Monday morning, Navarro said his Harvard PhD in economics made him qualified to understand statistical data and disagree with Fauci.

    “Doctors disagree about things all the time. My qualifications in terms of looking at the science is that I’m a social scientist,” Navarro told Berman.

    “I have a PhD and I understand how to read statistical studies, whether it’s in medicine, the law, economics or whatever,” he added.

    A Pence spokesperson declined to comment on the dust-up to The Post, saying, “We don’t comment on meetings in the Situation Room.”

    1. One thing I’ve learned from this is that I hope Trump picks another VP for his second term? And if not, that someone else is given the mantle to run in 2024.
      Pence is WAY too impressed with “experts.’

      1. Acosta is always asking where’s Doctor Fauci, just once I’d like to have Trump say quarantined at Guantanamo Bay. It’d take them days to clean up after the explosion.

    2. I rather like Mister Navarro. You don’t have to do fifteen double blind tests in the middle of a freaking pandemic, not with a drug well known for working.

      1. You do in Canada. They’re still not using it. Mostly because #OrangeManBad from what I can see.

        Dr. Tam finally allowed that MAYBE masks might be useful for the general public, seeing as how minimum 6 foot distancing is difficult on a subway or in an elevator.

        1. Perhaps I should have narrowed the definition of “you” to “those who see that it’s an emergency, realize that the treatment is reasonably benign, and who actually have a couple of brain cells to rub together. Being able to get beyond TDS is essential, too.” Looks like that eliminates all the US MSM, politicians with a “D” after their name, and most of the Canadian Powers that Be. Sigh.

          1. In Canada the Powers That Be are -slavishly- following the WHO guidelines. I can only assume this is because they think Europeans and Chinese are smarter than Canadians, and the UN being the tippety-tip-top of the bureaucratic pyramid, the WHO can do no wrong.

            I also assume this is because they can blame the WHO for the fuck-up if it all comes unglued. They’re very big on CYA in this government. As un-serious a group of high school cheerleaders and football stars as ever there was.

            Therefore, if you don’t slap a hundred double-blind studies done by Harvard, Oxford and Wuhan U down on the table in front of them, they won’t move. Maybe not even then, they’ll still wait for the UN.

            One thing I’m very sure of, the medical establishment in this country thinks Canadian doctors are a pack of idiot children that need to be held firmly under the thumb. The other thing I’m sure of is that doctors are prescribing that drug to each other and to family, because they’re not idiots. It works in two hours. Bang. Side effects are either NOTHING or mild nausea from the Zithromax.

            Thank God for Donald Trump mentioning it. He’s saving more lives in Canada than anybody else, just with that one thing.

      2. … not with a drug well known for working few and identified harmful side effects.

        Call me crazy (please) but if I’m dying of a virulent disease cutting off my oxygen I’m not too worried that a potentially beneficial drug may give me the trots.

        As Butch told Sundance, “Are you crazy? The fall will probably kill ya.”

    3. DadRed’s respect for Fauci is starting to go negative. But then DadRed has a very, very low tolerance for bureaucrats, one earned the hard way.

  33. The most I have learned from this is that I wouldn’t make it as a crew on a starship.

    National media, such that it is, is full of frankly evil lately. Local media such as newspapers, local radio, and local TV newscasts are accelerating into a very nasty disappearing act that they don’t come back from. They’re not being survived by anything online which makes it worse.

    I’m pricing printing presses as I may end up trying to bring back having a local paper when this is done. Our current daily isn’t even printed locally (each edition gets trucked in from far away) and its page count is on its way to zero. Anything new won’t be a broadsheet like the current train wreck we see daily.

    1. I stopped taking the Tacoma News Tribune back in the ’90s when I lived there, when the report on some local Tacoma story wasn’t reported by a TNT byline, but by reprinting from the UPI feed.

        1. I keep hoping that somebody with another POV will start buying papers and stations and saying, “You f’ing well WILL write the slant I tell you to.”

          FOX blew it. It shouldn’t be “We report, you decide.” But “You know their side, this is ours.”

          1. Fox News provides the conservative views with its evening shows — Tucker, Sean & Laura. Otherwise they manifestly give news “straight” although the lack of Leftish bias tends to make them look Rightish (I am generally amused at their inversion of the Left’s 4-on-1 panels shouting down their token conservative.) They don’t have to tilt to one side; simply presenting conservatives on equal footing with liberals exposes the vacuity of Left-Wing arguments.

            Playing it the opposite of the Mainstream would play into the MSM’s denunciation of Fox as propaganda — doing it as they do demonstrates where the real propaganda lies.

          2. BTW – I believe Sinclair Broadcasting is attempting the strategy you propose. I think they even have a regular newscast hosted by “ace investigative reporter” Cheryl Atkinson.

              1. And why the “Seattle Is Dying” documentary about the homeless problem could be dismissed so thoroughly by all the bien pensants — why, it came from a Sinclair station [booga booga], don’cha know.

        2. The local newspaper has been known to do a local story, occasionally. Most of the time it’s AP or reprints from the Portlandia paper. When the Kroger affiliate stopped putting their advert in the Sunday paper, we stopped getting it. That’s been 10 years or so, and they’re barely hanging on with a digital edition and a few-days-a-week print run.

          I recall a guy doing a newspaper/magazine on tech/computer stuff using surplus color printing presses. This was long before ebooks, but it kind of struck me as a grand, but futile gesture.

  34. Hmmm… Number 182 commenter, so no one will read this. All along the way, from my youth, I saw how people don’t think for themselves. As I aged, I saw it more, and it still awes me. Some of the most well-informed, educated, and even those with a ton of practical experiences, can so easily be led to certain behaviors and fears. I must add, I found myself in that, to some degree, but also realized what was going on. In a lot of things, I’ve woken up. People respond their their upbringing, to friends, to co-workers, to the media, to television, to Hollywood, to society, and often, they do not see the forest for the trees. Read Nate Shiransky. His books put words to much of my music. Thankfully, I had a relative, a boss, some co-workers, and a couple of friends who thought for themselves. Finding a few clear thinking individuals, who don’t have all the answers, made a difference. That’s why we cannot doubt what we’re given to understand, but also not become complacent or jaded. Appreciate what we come to understand, help where you can, and live life.

    1. You underestimate us. Some of these threads run to 500-600 comments.

      And if no one has welcomed you, welcome! 🙂

    2. Er…. your assumption you won’t be read at 182 is kind of funny.
      This blog routinely has 500+ comments….
      Your last paragraph sounds like psychedelic rock?

      1. *blink*

        The assumption that a comment *won’t be read* on a blog full of book junkies who’d read the ingredients labels if nothing else was offing is… Perhaps a tad ignorant? It can be excused in the new to the blog.

        We don’t often fly the “I want ALL THE BOOKS” flag often, but y’know… We kinda do. At least some of us.

    3. Hmmm… Number 182 commenter, so no one will read this.

      *snort* Man, are YOU gonna be surprised!

      I gotta disagree, though– a lot of people do what you observed, but are thinking. They decide who to trust. Like the old joke goes, you have to learn by example, because you won’t live long enough to make all the mistakes yourself.

    4. Wrong. And Sarah, for whatever reason WP now makes me put my email and moniker in every time, it will give me a different moniker if I don’t change it, which is what might have happened to them.

      1. Sorry, the wrong is to nobody reading it. That isn’t very clear in my previous comment.

      2. The wrong in my previous post was to nobody reading your comment, not to your comment itself.

        1. WordPress started doing that to me (who doesn’t have a WP account nor an avatar) several months ago. I noticed that behavior first at ATH, then at some much(!) lower traffic blogs, including some where the average number of comments is in the low single digits.

          1. WP has been doing this to me for, don’t know how long ago. Then started behaving again, and pre-filling in, then “broke” again. At least I get the drop down to pick the “last one used”. If I have a WP account, dang if I know the password (sure I can change it, but as long as I can read & post without logging in, why?)

            FYI. If you see “dd”, then it is probably me “d”. I mean I could use my full first name instead, but heck it’s not like “Diane” is any less rare. To be 100% unique I have to use full first, middle, maiden, & last, and include our current residential address. Naw, “d” works.

  35. It mostly kills the elderly.

    Remember when they were first “discovering” HIV/AIDS and screaming Everybody is at risk of THIS!

    Not just people sharing intravenous drugs injectors, not just people enjoying weekends of intercourse with dozens of people, employing an exhaust port as an entry port? No, EVERYbody was at risk.

    I’ve heard this song before, didn’t dance to it then, ain’t doing that jive dance now. It’s got a good beat but the lyrics are nonsense.

    1. The AIDS every one is at risk thing was so dumb. Tell people how to avoid catching, not that absolutely everyone can and should consider themselves at risk, and then, THEN, call people names and lecture them because terrified people didn’t want their kids in school with that one poor boy who got it from a blood transfusion.

      So stupid.

  36. So if this plague or the next one, or the next one after that, destroys the whole of our economy, society and culture, then we’ll all be free to share the nothing we all have in socialistic harmony.

    Wasn’t that called the Holomodor?

      1. They already have that idea. Bad harvest this year, rain, labor problems (stay inside), and supply chain / transport problems ( Wisconsin dumping milk, Florida at $4 / gal, dry @ $10 – 15 / lb.).
        Kulaks don’t need food anyway – see (? New England state) taking vegetable seeds off sale as not necessary items during this “crisis”.

  37. Things that make one go hmmmmmm department:

    Detroit lawmaker credits Trump after taking antimalarial drug to beat coronavirus
    A Democratic state representative from Detroit credited President Trump for touting a drug she says saved her life from the coronavrius.

    “It has a lot to do with the president … bringing it up,” State Rep. Karen Whitsett told the Detroit Free Press on Monday. “He is the only person who has the power to make it a priority.”

    Whitsett said she learned on Monday she tested positive for COVID-19 but started taking hydroxychloroquine, an antimalarial drug, last Tuesday after she began showing symptoms.

    “It was less than two hours” before the Michigan lawmaker began feeling better, she said. When a reporter asked Whitsett if she believes Trump saved her life, she said, “Yes, I do. I do thank him for that.”

    Trump has said the drugs could be an effective way of treating the virus and fast-tracked the FDA’s approval for coronavirus patients.

    “It’s a powerful drug on malaria, and there are scientific works on this. Some strong signs,” he said over the weekend. “What do you have to lose? If it does work, it would be a shame if we didn’t do it early.”

    However, members of the White House Task Force team fighting the coronavirus, including Dr. Anthony Fauci, have cast doubt on the drug’s effectiveness.

    “In terms of science, I don’t think we can definitively say it works,” Fauci said on Sunday.

    On Monday, a doctor in Los Angeles claimed he is seeing viability in the drug after administering it to critically ill patients with the coronavirus.

    Detroit has become a hot spot for the nationwide coronavirus outbreak in recent days. More than 700 people in Michigan have died from the virus as of Monday in a state nearing 20,000 confirmed cases.

    * * *
    Emphasis was added.

    Endorsement of Trump by a Detroit Democrat constitutes admission against interest and merits a higher probability of fact.

    Has anybody explained to Dr. F that, in terms of science, we cannot definitively say this world exists?

    The crux of the issue is not whether the drug is effective, it is whether it is (in most cases) harmful. Even if it offers merely Placebo Effect that is a measurable effect and more than anything else they’re doing.

  38. The thing you have to keep in mind when you watch the politician shutting down the schools and stuffing the at-loose kids into daycare centers, it’s because that’s the tools he made and profited off, not because he knows how to do anything better. It’s the modern equivalent of the snake-oil salesman desperately guzzing down his own bunkum because he can’t imagine what else to do about his cancer.

    1. The thing you have to keep in mind when watching a politician is that many of them are the kind of self-important twits who Rand for Student Council in high school, and took it deadly seriously. They didn’t know much then, and what they have learned since mostly boils down to various political scripts.

    2. Also, there’s yet another 800-pound gorilla in the room: fear of lawsuits. These guys know the firms of Dewey, Cheatem and Howe, plus Sueman and Scheister, are salivating over the prospect of class-action coronavirus lawsuits. So they’re following the crowd.

      1. And that right there is why the lockdown will never really be lifted. Every business that tries to re-open knows they will be sued, whether by employees or customers.

        1. This is the only reason the lockdown has actually happened in many places. And doctors and dentists (I know a couple) have been specifically told by their insurances that malpractice insurance will NOT cover lawsuits placed by people claiming to have contracted coronavirus at their place of business.

  39. Re: “The latest one is that it de-oxygenates the blood itself, rather than merely making it hard to acquire oxygen. Look, it’s possible. It’s just not PLAUSIBLE and the person expounding it lacks the credentials.”

    I agree with you about the original source’s lack of credentials, but OTOH this is science. Credentials matter little. Data matters a lot more. I did some research on this, and found a few links that suggest the “de-oxygenates the blood” hypothesis has some facts to back it up. See, for example:


    “Cytokine storms” – essentially massive autoimmune rampages – are a known consequence of this sort of damage to hemoglobin, because the free iron ions can cause inflammation throughout the pulmonary system. And some COVID-19 patients are showing … hmmm … cytokine storms.


    I won’t say it’s proven, not even close, but I will say it seems to be plausible based on what I know. I’ll also say that it seems to explain why drugs not previously known as anti-virals seem to be effective against this disease. They aren’t fighting the virus; they’re negating the virus’s effects. In SOME patients, at least.

    I agree entirely, however, with your thoughts on the dangers of these “plague powers” that are being casually assumed by the government. And I agree entirely that the economic shutdowns are a case of destroying the village in order to save it. I’m also rather disturbed by a new meme that has begun to circulate in certain conservative circles: isn’t it interesting that every advanced economy on the planet has shut down because of this virus except one — China.

    1. I’ll also say that it seems to explain why drugs not previously known as anti-virals seem to be effective against this disease. They aren’t fighting the virus; they’re negating the virus’s effects. In SOME patients, at least.

      Also why patients who are on the anti-virals for other things, may or may not be protected, as a preventive. Depending on what they are on, they are already deficit in what is being attacked. That is partly what the opposition is touting. Lupus suffers are being admitted who are on these prescriptions already … and CV19 wasn’t stopped. CV19 made their condition worse. Also why the combination works sometimes, and sometimes not. I think it depends on “how bad” it is. Even two different people who “appear” to be at the same state, one’s system may have the capacity to fight back better if has a little more help, where the other’s system doesn’t have the ability to fight back enough, or even in any capacity, even with help.

      1. That’s not what the head of the Lupus Foundation says.

        He says they haven’t found _any_ lupus sufferers who were on hydroxyquinone who have even caught Wuhan Flu, and he wants anybody who knows a lupus guy with COVID to contact him. You can also leave information at Dr. Oz’s webpage, because Dr. Oz is more used to getting his website hammered. They have ways not to violate HIPAA, and it is very important.

        1. A cousin of mine has lupis and my uncle just mentioned she got it– but I don’t know if she was using that treatment. I’ll nag my dad to nag him.

        2. My 87 year old mother has been taking it for Lupus for 7 years. No issues so far.

        3. That’s not what the head of the Lupus Foundation says.

          Have not heard that counter argument. Good to know. Niece has Lupus. Do not know what treatment she is on. Just know her medical team stated “Stay. Home. Do not go to work. Do not go Shopping. Do not send your kids to school or daycare.”

          Okay, daycare doesn’t apply for the toddler, as grandparents or great-grandmother (backup) are daycare. School would apply if school was in session. They are also in the high risk categories so everyone is keeping the kids healthy.

  40. How do I contact you to get a copy of the spreadsheets for “Covid 19 and US Mortality”?

  41. I’m with you Sarah. I think though, that I may be a bit more optimistic than you are right now. If allowed (and of course that’s the key) I believe that the US can recover quickly from this foolishness. I’m totally hopeful, of course. And, I too find myself talking to G_d more often than I ever have before.

    My take is that this whole thing is ripping off the veil the left has been hiding behind. and more and more people are being forced to see them for what they are – little tin pot totalitarian dictators.

    1. Looking forward to the day when baby sister admits that maybe she might have swung too far left. OTOH she might avoid admitting it. She doesn’t want her husband to have a heart attack … This virus thing might trigger it.

      For no other reason than their “baby” … you know the one who they held back from school because he wasn’t “mature” cough sports enough for kindergarten at age 5 (B-day early August) … His sisters started at age 5, their birthdays are mid-August, to late August … Anyway I digress. He is a HS senor … whose Senor graduation experience, and likely family Senor trip, which they’ve done with the other two, is now ruined (don’t remember where they are going, but each girl choose Europe). Not to mention what it will do for college …

      1. To be fair, it isn’t fun for a girl to be the smallest kid in class, either. I would have loved to have waited a year. But I passed all the school tests for Kindergarten as being ready for fourth grade, and they didn’t test me on “kid that all the other kids will pick on.”

        1. I had to repeat third grade, not because I wasn’t capable of handling fifth grade work at that point, but because I was six the first time through and being two years young for my grade led to a lot of “social problems”. As it is, my self-image still has the aspect “shorter than everyone else” even though I passed average height for males around age 16.

          1. They told us that the law in CO didn’t allow the kids to advance.
            it was a lie. Eventually they offered to advance younger son because we’d home schooled him and he did three years in one.

        2. To be fair, it isn’t fun for a girl to be the smallest kid in class, either.

          Or to be the biggest boy in class. Which is what nephew was. Mom is 5’10”, dad is 6’4″, nephew is 6’6″ (?) or bigger. He’s one of those kids when you took him to a restaurant as a toddler/pre-schooler & he acted out you’d get people screaming “make your kid act his age”. Upon which family would snarl back, “He’s acting his age. He’s TWO.”

          Note. Families with a toddler being difficult is already frustrated. Confronting them just gives them a legit target to actually take their frustrations out on.

          I can relate to being among smallest in class. My birthday is late October. I’m only 5’4″ now. I started school at age 5 (cutoff date before November 1).

          1. My mom goes full-on Paladin against the screamers. The poor parents have enough to deal with, per her.

            Those who just pictured a kind of rough-cut granny type making “gosh I’m mostly deaf too bad I don’t realize I AM YELLING” comments about how incredibly rude and stupid people are, were they raised in a barn, the little kid is being a little kid and would probably be fine is nasty twerps would leave his poor parents alone for ten seconds” type comments, yep.

            1. My mom goes full-on Paladin against the screamers. The poor parents have enough to deal with, per her. Those who just pictured a kind of rough-cut granny type making “gosh I’m mostly deaf too bad I don’t realize I AM YELLING” comments about how incredibly rude and stupid people are, were they raised in a barn, the little kid is being a little kid and would probably be fine is nasty twerps would leave his poor parents alone for ten seconds” type comments, yep.

              I didn’t say it was the parents saying anything. Looks innocent. OTOH we all did have experience by then as our youngest maternal cousin was the same way. 120% size for his age group. He’s 19 years younger than I am. By the time he was 3, Aunt & Uncle had a 3 year old and 7 & 8 year olds, all boys … After I would say something about the jack-a$$, hubby would say, something along the lines of “shhh, not so loud”, while grinning ear to ear. Upon which my response was always, “but you are always telling me to speak up because you can’t hear me!” My voice really, really, doesn’t carry far, and is soft to begin with. So if the jack-a$$ is hearing me it’s because I’m making an effort. My mom’s voice, OTOH, does carry, at a mumble, or a whisper. Not that she’s not being subtle about it either …

              Also, I may be only 5’4″, and the target of whomever takes offense. Hubby is 6’2″ … so yes, I take advantage … Think Pixie & Brutus. Pixie, tiny kitten scaring off big nasty coyote, but standing behind, Pixie is Brutus, a huge oversized grizzled scared Rin Tin Tin.

              1. “Screamers” being the folks who felt entitled to scold the parents about the kid not “acting his age.”

                My mom’s first niece was also very big for her age– and the same-town cousin who is about two years older was very small for his, so mom got VERY tired of folks scolding the little girl that was behaving fine for her age because the big boy was a spoiled runt.

                Mom noticed that parents would frequently not resist, because it’s teaching the kids bad manners…but she also noticed how they reacted when saved.

                1. Mom noticed that parents would frequently not resist, because it’s teaching the kids bad manners…but she also noticed how they reacted when saved.

                  Yes. We’ve noticed too. Grateful is an understatement.

                2. note, when we had “kids eat free till 6” we learned to take the boys passport.
                  Marshall was more normal, for versions of normal. As in, he was 120% for height. 25% for weight. yes, you read that right.
                  It was…. fun. Not.

                1. That said, I don’t think you are a fraction as clueless as Pixie at her most insightful.

                  🙂 🙂 🙂

                  Well, uh, I can agree with that statement 🙂

            2. We stopped going to Gunther Tooties (?) forever because a WAITRESS upbraided us when Robert broke the GLASS of water she gave him. She told us our six year old should behave better.
              He was two and a half.

              1. our six year old should behave better. He was two and a half.

                Sounds familiar … Both cousin & nephew …

              2. We stopped going to Howard Johnson’s when I was two. The waitress had just dumped the fruit and the tea to be brought out with the rest — so they both ended up luke-warm — and then couldn’t carry out all the meals at once. So, in a stroke of brilliance, she left mine behind to be brought out after.

                A two-year-old’s reaction to seeing everyone else getting breakfast and her none is to deduce that everyone else is getting breakfast, and is unpleasant to anyone in earshot.

                The waitress moved pretty fast to get me mine, but that was the point at which my parents decided that the small kitchen to large dining area was not worth it.

          2. Oh, dear. That’s #1 son. He stopped growing at 13, and apparently, according to him, is stunted, because he started drinking coffee at 10….. BUT he was on track to be around 6’7″

  42. They were being ignored when people had lives, but bored and scared people at home keep turning on the news

    Thus “Journalist” (“real journalists, not the silly web blogger kind”) are a designated and blessed as “Essential Business” according to the 6 county public health limelight hounds acting in coordinated lockstep here in the SF Bay Area, while of course gun stores are not essential at all nopety nope, even if it means preventing compliance with State law by preventing delivery of previously purchased guns on the mandated “waiting period” end date, and fugget about that silly US Constitution…

    ALMOST all the dead are elderly (with co-morbidities…

    Of the 42 deaths in Santa Clara County so far attributed to the Communist Chinese Disease from Wuhan, China, where Winnie is God-Emperor, 4 (four) of those had no comorbidities.

    1. “Journalist” having acquired the meaning “person who can be relied upon to faithfully disseminate government press releases and serve up softball questions during public briefings.”

      Of course, there is a subsidiary definition that applies to press availabilities from conservative politicians, a definition bearing a superficial resemblance to the former definition.

  43. “And this is why I have been cursing out even people who probably don’t deserve it (but who should have thought about what I was saying instead of hectoring me.) ”

    Eh. I’m good with it. I was flipping the fuck out a couple of weeks ago, but being the suspicious and cautious type I just shut up and kept it to myself. Now that I’m more familiar with what the virus actually does and who it does it to, I’m a lot less stressed about it.

    As to the government, they were already killing Canada as fast and hard as they possibly could. COVID-19 is actually a -good- thing for the Canadian economy long term, as it jams the socialist faction’s pernicious incompetence and odious corruption right up into every single low-information voter’s face.

    What can’t go on, won’t.

    I also think that the next time a deadly plague brews up in China, whatever government replaces this broken one we have will be a lot faster on the trigger for shutting down air traffic.

    1. Oh yeah, the Vichy beatdown was totally appropriate, IMH(?)O. (I guess I do humble at times.)

      1. There’s a time for punctilious attention to detail, spelling and proper footnotes. That’s when it is helpful for comments regarding enforcing technical details and so forth.

        This is not that time. ~:D

  44. “Nobody knows anything. We get all sorts of contradictory reports and crazy theories.”

    Fog of war. The hotter the conflict, the more confusing and contradictory reports you get. I wish we could import an ImpSec analyst from Barrayar to teach us how to calculate a decent reliability score on news reports and sources.

  45. I see references to combining chloroquine with azithromycin and references to combining chloroquine with zinc. I hope someone is doing controlled studies of these and other possible therapies, because randomly trying these sorts of things don’t add much knowledge, even if individual patients recover.

    I definitely agree that nobody really knows anything. The phrase I’ve been using when talking to people is “the data is all over the place.”

    1. I haven’t searched very hard, but what I’d love to see is a dataset that breaks out deaths by US state for by date. So 57 columns, and line items for each day since they started attributing death to Winnie the Flu.

      What I’ve been seeing so far is data for the present time; historical data, not too easy to get right now.

    2. As I understand it, cloroquine and zinc are used against the coronavirus (as prophylactic or treatment) and azithromycin is used against any opportunistic bacterial infections, to prevent pneumonia.

    3. The French are up to over 1000 patients treated with the chloroquine + Z-pak, well documented and studied. Zinc is to support the immune system, and seems to work in some people. The chloroquine affects cell PH, among other things, which is why it worked as an anti-malarial (before malaria got smarter, alas) and works against the Flu Manchu. So the drugs are very well known, are approved for several off-label uses (lupus among others), and don’t cause major side effects at the current therapeutic doses.

      1. Actually, this stuff is the *newer* chloroquine, that still works on Malaria, not the older stuff that was also bad to take.

  46. With all the judges Trump & McConnell have put on the Federal bench I suspect we’ll see some very interesting advances in 14th Amendment jurisprudence.

    Well, that and with the economic re-booting there may be a lot of movement to jobs in more sensible (less regulatory-minded) places.

    1. I’d like to see a lawsuit on the people’s right to peaceably assemble. Love to see what the hacks in black make of that.

  47. Totally off topic.
    This has bothered me for a long time and I just figured out why.
    Why is your avatar at the top of the blog lounging in a dentist’s chair?

  48. Regarding doctors; Our system of law has an annoying hole. It isn’t possible to sue a doctor for ten minutes alone with the sonofabitch and a ball peen hammer.

    My Lady got prescribed far too much steroids for far too long. I didn’t want to sue the doctor’s insurance company. I wanted to break his knees.

    1. There are two people in this world I would’ve (before I found the Lord) crossed the street to punch in the nose. One of ’em is the doctor who sent my Grandma home with an aspirin for the headache she had after an auto accident – she died from subdural hematoma three days later.

      1. And had I both known the circumstances and witnessed it, I would have been somehow looking for Venus in the daytime sky or some such if asked.

  49. You’re not the only one who has noticed some (very politically convenient) … inconsistencies … in the CDC’s statistics.

    Via John Robb’s “Global Guerrillas” facebook page:

    “Back in 2010, the number of people who died from the flu every year was only 500 people (people who were positive for the flu and died from it).

    A large number of people (49,500) died of pneumonia (bacteriological and viral), often due to an opportunistic infection connected to prolonged hospitalization.

    At some point, the CDC decided to merge the stats into one measure: flu-associated deaths. Which explains the 50,000 deaths from “flu” every year.


    So… the CDC has been conflating death by pneumonia by a variety of causes and comorbidities with death by influenza – since at least 2010.

  50. “hey, we will let you out when there are no more cases.”
    I keep mentioning the Zero Risk mindset of people like this. This is exactly what I’m talking about.

  51. Benjamin Franklin in 1775: ‘They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.’ Still true, but no consolation when you are watching your fellow countrymen grovel for “safety”, to the exclusion of all considerations of liberty.

    1. The key word in that quote is “deserve” — and little that I have seen in this world suggests what folks deserve and what they receive commonly coincide.

    2. But they are giving up OUR liberty for THEIR illusion of ‘safety’. And it remains an illusion no matter how much they want to give up.

      1. There are few things for which folk fight so viciously as the defense of their illusions.

  52. Is there a connection to the rash of singers/entertainers that have died in the past few weeks ? Is there a connection to their oxygen level ?

  53. Pingback: I’M VERY, VERY TIRED OF THIS:  A Plague of Madness…. – The usa report
  54. “…that’s not that lethal unless you’re really elderly, or are in the middle of a cluster.”

    We are all in the middle of a cluster. Just not one of medical origin.

  55. I don’t see what would be the big difference between a total, forced lockdown and a partial, voluntary one.
    Give the very real epidemic, or pandemic, many measures make sense – social distancing, wearing mask, washing hands. The tourism industry would be locked down anyway – no travel (or much, much reduced travel), airlines decimated, no hotels, no restaurants. Then – no sports, no concerts, no wedding celebrations,no markets, no conventions….
    So, we do indeed hate the mass hysteria and the Government imposed lockdown.
    Still, given the pandemic (a natural catastrophe) – most of the effects of the lockdown on the economy would happen anyway, even without Government decrees.

    1. Nah, too many places are being shut down for not observing the shutdown acceptably– and don’t get me started on forcibly shutting down places that don’t have more than two or three people in the store on a busy day.

      1. Or for activities that don’t violate social distancing guidelines, such as the guy paddle-surfing in California.

        Or this: Mountain biker fined over $1K for ride amid coronavirus restrictions
        A mountain biker who drove his bike to a park near his home for a ride was slapped with a hefty fine this week after an officer told him he’d breached coronavirus safety restrictions.

        Pat Riordan from Bonbeach in south east Melbourne, Australia was driving alone in his car to Red Hill to go mountain biking, for exercise.

        He told The Age he’d been driving for about 15 minutes when he was pulled over by police on the freeway, who questioned him about what he was doing.

        “I had my bike in the back of my car. I was on my own. I was just headed off to the trail to have a ride and do some exercise,” Riordan said, saying he didn’t think he was at all in the wrong.

        But he was handed an on the spot fine of $1030 for “unnecessary travel” and told he shouldn’t be moving about unless it was for work.

        The mountain biker’s fine was later rescinded after being publicized, but he was fined on the same day a young woman was slapped with a hefty fine for going on a driving lesson with her mom. …

    2. And a voluntary self-quarantine doesn’t mean locking agriculture and ag-support industries down. In fact, we have several rural counties up here that just went on lock-down, but the county judges and sheriffs were very, very careful to say that it does NOT apply to farmers and ranchers conducting farm and ranch operations, or delivering food and food-on-the-hoof to processors and feeders.

      And then there’s the caprice of things like, “You can sell food and medical stuff but none of the other things in your store, including garden seeds or other home garden supplies.”

    3. Sure. Those measures make PERFECT sense. If the models were right. They’re not.
      Stop being a Vichy.
      You’re — presumably — American.
      The constitution doesn’t suspend your rights in case of a pandemic.

      1. You’re — presumably — American.

        Not even 100 years ago …

        He insists on eating
        he insists on drinking
        he insists on reading
        he insists on thinking
        free of governmental snooping
        or a governmental plan
        and that’s an American

  56. COVIS-19 is occurring in specific clusters because that’s where the Chinese went. Many Chinese expats and emigrants returned to the home country New Years. Two weeks later they dispersed, carrying the virus with them.

    1. Not…. really. The clusters are all over the world, even when Chinese population is higher in the lower hit place (Portugal, vs. Spain.)
      And Denver has a very high Chinese population (as do the Springs.) High enough we should be mini-NYC. We’re not.
      And the county in Georgia with the highest deaths per capita? Not Chinese.

    2. That’s testible– it was an early theory, but the pattern didn’t work out. Even if you tried to adjust for things like “close to Wuhan.”

      Was abandoned when folks couldn’t find a way to explain why so much of it just flat didn’t work.

  57. Regarding the homeless. I could be wrong but I believe here in San Diego they put them up in hotels (which were otherwise empty) so they could keep them warm and monitor them. I’d also heard of similar actions in San Francisco. So homeless numbers might be distorted over normal flu seasons.

  58. I definitely advocate for a voluntary approach with no government lockdown decrees. What I said is that a big disruption of the economy was bound to occur anyway. That would be the result of things normal people would do to protect themselves.

    1. But it wasn’t. The people most at risk are NOT participants in the economy. Look at what Sweden (?) has done. They never locked down. Just protected the vulnerable.

    2. There was never any reason to close the economy or disrupt it in any way. What we had was a panic fanned by the press and groups in Silicon Valley and academia with a history of dubious causes and analyses. Since they are either directly rich or connected to rich people, perhaps they should pay for the harm they have caused.

  59. I learned a number of things while being a faculty member of a well known medical school many, many years ago. Over the years some things may have changed or may have been specific to where I was teaching, but I would wager these items are still valid most everywhere today. Some items are:
    1 Once you enter medical school there are three ways of leaving. You can quit, you can graduate, and you can die. Failing is not an option. If you fail, then they will make you take the course again. If you fail again, then they will assign you a tutor. This continues and escalates until you either pass or you give up/run out of money.
    2. At this school, graduate students working on their Ph.D.s had to take the same courses as did medical students if it was in their discipline. At the end of every semester professors would post their grades by student number to maintain anonymity. For most every course a 65% was required to pass and a 75% was required to pass with honors. Grad students had to earn a 90% to pass. Think about it, a 65% to pass.
    3. Once a medical student, you become protected. There are people at the school whose primary purpose in life is to fix the problems students get into. Whether it is run ins with the law, drugs, failing, emotional breakdowns, or whatever, the students are coddled as though they were Heisman Trophy candidates.
    4. Lastly and most importantly, there is one item that can never be forgotten. It does not matter if you are seeing a GP or a specialist who is board certified for the truth of the matter is that 50% of every doctor out there will be below average. Meanwhile, over 90% have severe ego issues.
    I have lost count of the number of times I have seen a physician encounter a difficulty and will do everything to ignore you when you have the answer. This has happened to me a large number of times, but being a mere Ph.D. (Chemistry/Biochemistry), they usually do not consider listening to me as being worthwhile. A classic example of this occurred when a friend of mine was telling me about his wife who vomited after every meal. Sometimes it was immediate and other times it would take an hour or two before she started vomiting. She had a hiatal hernia repair, but that accomplished nothing and after 20 years of doctors, specialists, endless testing, etc., she was severely depressed and in very poor health. I convinced my friend to cook her her favorite dish using olive oil as the only fat and, after she ate it, she did not vomit. We worked together to come up with other recipes that contained only olive oil as the sole fat and her vomiting has ceased completely. That was around six months ago and she is now able to tolerate other fats in limited amounts on occasion and her health has improved remarkably. Her attitude has also improved as has their marriage. One would think that some doctor would think to ask about diet and such, but none did. Is it any wonder why a leading cause of death in this country is medical error?
    The bottom line is simple. When you combine a huge ego with a mere 65% required to pass, then the competence of even those who are above average should be suspect. Imagine the incompetence of a physician who is well below average.

    1. Let’s say things have changed under Obama. They were doing their best to give us mostly foreign grads as residents, and they ALMOST managed. Some places, completely. But yes, in Fauci’s time.

    2. That depressing and scary. I feel as if I should wear a full suit of medieval armor on my next visit to the doctor. “Watch where you poke that thing, bud. Say, lemme look at yer credentials and grade records with my portable electron microscope.” -_-

    3. Before we found Chiropractor as a solution both my husband & I had horrible back spasms. I mean, can’t sit, can’t stand, can’t walk, can’t lie down, OMG, holy *it hurts too bad to swear*, pain. When triggered we’d each be out a week or more before it’d stop. Hubby’s job required him to be able to work standing up & bending over. Me? I programmed. Ever tried coding while in pain? Or under the influence … well not me, under the influence for me is code for nighty-night, I have no tolerance for pain or muscle relaxants. Usually after a trigger it’d happen frequently. We both ultimately ended up with scans to determine what was going on.

      Me? Nothing found. Nada. Hubby. They wanted to do back surgery. Would have meant 6 to 8 months of no work, minimum. He had 6 months sick leave available, but anymore of that was no income, long term disability had been dropped by the employer a long time before, & because of his back we couldn’t get private long term disability. Someone, non-medical, suggested a Chiropractor.

      OMG turned 10 day ordeals into “how quick can I get an appointment?” ordeals, usually at worse 24 to 100 hours (triggered Friday & couldn’t get in until Tuesday). Hubby, when he first started, had to go twice a day, 3 times a week to keep things aligned, as muscle memory kept pulling things out of wack. For about 6 months. Worth every penny that insurance didn’t cover. Now he doesn’t go for years. Me? I go in. Chiropractor breaks things loose. I’m done. Still sore, but I can move. Only had to go back once in less than a week because I felt it lock back up.

      What happens is our hip bones get locked out of alignment. That stretches the tendons, which have no pain centers. Lower back muscles then take over the support normally provided by the over stretched tendons. The muscles strained, hurt, triggering the spasms. I’m sorry it is OMG, holy *it hurts too bad to swear*, PAIN. In addition, in general, the muscle pain doesn’t start at the lock up, unless they are already tender from a prior trigger. Have it happen often enough & you learn how to identify a little click (in me) than means “make the appointment now!”

      Bottom line. No surgery’s. Annual cost out of pocket that insurance didn’t pay, way less than our out of pocket would have been for surgery’s and no loss of work. Most people I’ve talked to who have had to had back surgery, even when warranted, state, they are never 100% afterwards. All from “What do I have to loose?”

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