Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
March 17, 2020

Coronavirus - A Lockdown Is Not Enough

Dr. Carl Juaneau, who is specialized in epidemiology, has pointed me to a page where he collects useful information about the novel Coronavirus Sars-CoV-2 and the current pandemic it causes.

COVID-19: Why America May Be Hit Hard for 3-4 Months & What To Do

It is quite good. Make sure that you scroll beyond the long country statistic for additional useful information.


Eight days after we wrote Why We Must Shut Everything Down And Do It Now it finally gets done. European countries have closed their borders and told their people to hunker down. Major car companies like Volkswagen, Peugeot and Fiat have stopped their production as car sales have slumped anyway. Airbus shut down two of its production sites to revamp them for better protection of its workers. In the U.S. the Bay Area, New York, Seattle and other major cities have also basically closed down.

Even Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson has changed his mind. Instead of taking it "on the chin" as he had suggested and letting many people die until the rest achieves 'herd immunity' Britain will now finally try to stop the spreading epidemic.

Racism is the reason that this is happening so late. China, South Korea and Singapore had already shown what needs to be done fo fight the epidemic and how to do it successfully. But Asian voices do not count in 'white' decision making. The political action in Europe and the U.S. only started to happen after Italy was hit very hard.

And our governments are still not doing enough.

We must test every person's temperature at airports and trains and build up drive thru testing capacity. If one does not search for the virus one will not find it. We must test, test, test to track all virus carriers down and to stop the spreading. 

There must be a mandatory isolation of people who are probably infected but do not show symptoms as well as separate isolation of suspected and detected cases with 'mild' symptoms.

Telling a probably infected person to shelter with their family, as is now done in the U.S. and the U.K, will only kill more people. 75%-80% of the cases in China got infected through direct family contact. The family chain must be broken to effectively stop the epidemic.

Probably infected persons, i.e. those who had contact with another infected person, should be put under quarantine in sport arenas or exposition facilities to be supervised by medics.

Contact tracing teams must ask each of them with whom they met over the last days and then check on those persons. This requires lots of people and resources but China has show that it is doable. Tracing cellphones may be useful to help with this. Community monitoring may be a viable alternative.

Additional hospital capacity must be built. There must be hospitals exclusively for Covis-19 cases and others for people with different medical problems.

NYT science and health reporter Donald McNeil, who was in China during the shutdown, explains very well how China has beaten the epidemic in Wuhan. Please watch this:

Organizing all those measures is exactly what our governments should have done since the end of January. Today they are still only discussing most of those measures.

Boris Johnson is said to have changed his strategy based on a new study from the Imperial College. The study says:

Two fundamental strategies are possible: (a) mitigation, which focuses on slowing but not necessarily stopping epidemic spread – reducing peak healthcare demand while protecting those most at risk of severe disease from infection, and (b) suppression, which aims to reverse epidemic growth, reducing case numbers to low levels and maintaining that situation indefinitely.

Mitigation was the way Boris Johnson had planned to go because he wanted to achieve 'herd immunity' for all of Britain. That is something that can only be done through vaccinations. The idea was clearly lunatic. The study says that such a 'mitigation' would have resulted in "hundreds of thousands of deaths and health systems (most notably intensive care units) being overwhelmed many times over."

That leaves suppression as the only way to go. Cut the epidemic down as much as possible and test, test, test to find each and every new case. Cutting the epidemic down requires a two months shutdown and all the above listed additional measures.

There was by the way nothing new in Johnson's 'new' Imperial College study. Here is Richard Horten, the editor of the famous medical journal Lancet, telling it like it is (emphasis added):

richard horton @richardhorton1 - 6:56 UTC · Mar 17, 2020

It said it took a study from Imperial to understand the likely burden of COVID-19 on the NHS. But read the first paper we published on COVID-19 on Jan 24. 32% admitted to ITU with 15% mortality. We have wasted 7 weeks. This crisis was entirely preventable.

The morning after the dramatic change in strategy to COVID-19 by this govt, I can’t help but feel angry that it has taken almost two months for politicians and even “experts” to understand the scale of the danger from SARS-CoV-2. Those dangers were clear from the very beginning.

Chinese clinicians and scientists—Chen Wang, George Gao, Chen Zhu, Bin Cao—did the world a great service by immediately sharing their data, warning the world that SARS-CoV-2 was a dangerous new virus. I’m appalled to say that western “experts” failed to heed their warnings.

Laura Kuenssberg says (BBC) that, “The science has changed.” This is not true. The science has been the same since January. What has changed is that govt advisors have at last understood what really took place in China and what is now taking place in Italy. It was there to see.

Even with a shutdown the situation for Britain's National Health Service is likely to become catastrophic. The red line in the graphic below is the actual critical case capacity the NHS has. There are some 10 critical care beds per 100.000 people. All prediction variants show that it will be exceed several times. Johnson's 'do nothing' strategy would have required 180 critical care beds per 100,000 people.  Even with all measures that will now be taken there will likely be a need for several more critical care beds for each one that currently exists.


"You may live" and "you must die" decisions will have to be made as there is not enough capacity in place.

Shutting down most public life is now clearly the best thing to do. In Italy, the town of Lodi (green) had the first case, and locked down on Feb 23. Bergamo (red) waited until March 8. See the difference:

Source - bigger

Today ANSA reported that there are now no more free intensive care beds in Bergamo, a city with more than 120,000 inhabitants.

The delay between the shutdown in Wuhan and a fall in new daily cases was 12 days. 10 to 14 days from now we will probably see a drop in the number of new cases in European societies and within the shutdown areas in the U.S. But that is not guaranteed unless the additional measures come into play.

The late shutdown decisions by 'western' governments come at a very high price. Many more people will die because the time and information China gave us to prepare was not used to make the necessary decisions. The late decisions will also increase the time it will take to fight the epidemic down. They thereby also increased the economic damage all this will cause.

People should ask their governments why they disregarded the information and experience from Asia.

Previous Moon of Alabama posts on the issue:

Posted by b on March 17, 2020 at 18:39 UTC | Permalink

« previous page | next page »

@ Posted by: SharonM | Mar 17 2020 23:51 utc | 94

Well, I've already addressed this in the previous post. I'll just repeat here that the USA is not the world. If you have problems with country x or government y, then name them, don't keep them abstract.

We shouldn't project the problems of the USA to the rest of the world.

Posted by: vk | Mar 18 2020 0:02 utc | 101

Othello | Mar 17 2020 23:42 utc | 90

Oh? So maybe the predicted antidote has showed up. After all, a bioweapon is not widely released unless the perps have a remedy to hand.

Any easily-spread infective like COVID-19 specie cannot reasonably be expected to spread under tight control that ensures no blowback.

Would military-funded R&D of bioweapon possibilities not be simultaneously preparing how to mitigate the effects of its use, accidental or deliberate? There is plenty of historical precedent.

Posted by: chu teh | Mar 18 2020 0:06 utc | 102

The statistical illiteracy of the CV debate is appalling. Here is what professional statisticians are saying, if anyone cares.

The current coronavirus disease, Covid-19, has been called a once-in-a-century pandemic. But it may also be a once-in-a-century evidence fiasco.

The data collected so far on how many people are infected and how the epidemic is evolving are utterly unreliable. Given the limited testing to date, some deaths and probably the vast majority of infections due to SARS-CoV-2 are being missed. We don’t know if we are failing to capture infections by a factor of three or 300. Three months after the outbreak emerged, most countries, including the U.S., lack the ability to test a large number of people and no countries have reliable data on the prevalence of the virus in a representative random sample of the general population.

This evidence fiasco creates tremendous uncertainty about the risk of dying from Covid-19. Reported case fatality rates, like the official 3.4% rate from the World Health Organization, cause horror — and are meaningless. Patients who have been tested for SARS-CoV-2 are disproportionately those with severe symptoms and bad outcomes. As most health systems have limited testing capacity, selection bias may even worsen in the near future.

Projecting the Diamond Princess mortality rate onto the age structure of the U.S. population, the death rate among people infected with Covid-19 would be 0.125%. But since this estimate is based on extremely thin data — there were just seven deaths among the 700 infected passengers and crew — the real death rate could stretch from five times lower (0.025%) to five times higher (0.625%).

That huge range markedly affects how severe the pandemic is and what should be done. A population-wide case fatality rate of 0.05% is lower than seasonal influenza. If that is the true rate, locking down the world with potentially tremendous social and financial consequences may be totally irrational. It’s like an elephant being attacked by a house cat. Frustrated and trying to avoid the cat, the elephant accidentally jumps off a cliff and dies.

A fiasco in the making? As the coronavirus pandemic takes hold, we are making decisions without reliable data.

Posted by: john brewster | Mar 18 2020 0:12 utc | 103

karlof1 | Mar 17 2020 22:34 utc | 66 Pomperz is leading right into the Big Muddy, where's Pete Seeger when ya need 'im?

see Mark Sleboda's twitter for this>
Mark Sleboda Retweeted
Sarah Leah Whitson
BREAKING: In shocking attack on #ICC @secpompeo
threatens collective punishment against named staff of the court and their FAMILIES for court's ongoing investigation into #Afghanistan crimes that implicate US


Speaking of Corbett, about curated panic... of course they're pumping it up, of course they're running a con.

And of course the virus and the consequences are horrible.

Is not an either/or. Is Both.


Recommend @ UNZ > Is the Global Pandemic a Product of the Elite’s Malthusian Agenda and U.S. Biowarfare?
Max Parry


Did a sally today as necessary with XYL to the doctor, nothing to do with virus... He's smart expert, inactive reserve, combat vet... We agree we're privileged (sorts) to be watching a revolution, a critical and revolutionary time. "Wally" found that agreement to be not amusing.
Doc showed us pictures of the history he's recording... He's not a fool. Guys like him can't fool around like old rogues as I tend to do.

Posted by: Walter | Mar 18 2020 0:23 utc | 104

I dont agree that the sluggish response in US is in related to racism. Chinese are not a race. In fact the US public have pretty high regard for intellect of oriental people. The fact that the virus was rumored to have stemmed from bat soup strikes many people as gross and odd. Though I suspect that is likely not the source, it does strike many people as risky behavior what some cultures chose to eat - thats not racism thats opinion.

Response is sluggish for practical reasons:
1) Were not ready with supplies, manpower, infrastructure, plan of action. A government such as Chinas can respond more rapidly I believe, that does not make it superior in all aspects. Also I believe the people in the far east have more recent experience in dealing to epidemics. The west has benefitted from distance. I think its a valid point that there are too many out breaks stemming from China - maybe someone could explain why that view is unfair.
But to the point of sluggish response:
The US is waiting for phychology to develop to where public is ready for them to do what they need to do. Plus will provide cover for the financial reset.

Posted by: jared | Mar 18 2020 0:27 utc | 105

This is the opposite of complicated.
If you want to stop these relatively frequent and continuous pandemics, shut down the labs that are developing the pathogens, and bring their operators/owners to justice. Boom, no more pandemics.

Posted by: Joshua | Mar 18 2020 0:30 utc | 106

@ Posted by: jared | Mar 18 2020 0:27 utc | 102

I think the problem is the American people doesn't trust their own government as much as we think they would against a problem of this nature:

Poll: 60% of Americans Don’t Trust What They’re Hearing From Trump About Coronavirus

Posted by: vk | Mar 18 2020 0:31 utc | 107

.passerby @ 49 said;"We have politicians that are trained to think of everything in terms of percentages of GDP. And it shows."

Given the history of our latest empire, the above statement has much relevance.

In time, we'll all see what the empire's priorities are.....

Posted by: ben | Mar 18 2020 0:40 utc | 108

I have seen suggestions to boost your vitamin intake in hopes of boosting your immune system. I've upped my C to 3 grams a day instead of my usual 1 and my D-3 to 6,000 units instead of my usual 4,000.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Mar 17 2020 20:57 utc | 34

The authorities that I have read insists that there is a maximum vitamin intake, and if you exceed it, either the excess is removed, e.g. by kidneys, or makes you worse. Vitamin C excess is removed by kidneys. One problem that I am aware of is that vitamin C increases calcium absorption, and excessive calcium may lead to kidney stones. Given benefits of vitamins, I drink some buttermilk, eat some veggies, and one orange each day with some extra fruit, apple or kiwi. The idea is that it is enough of vitamins, but you also get dietary fiber and some never proven healthy vegetable/fruit ingredient.

Another thing that if you can afford it, food should be fun, and pills are not. Mental status is also important for immune system.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Mar 18 2020 0:44 utc | 109

I'm at a loss to understand the sudden lack of of critical analysis on display here. A forum that has had a long history of carefully considering alternative interpretations and displaying a deep skepticism for official narratives has begun to take 'official statements' entirely at face value.

In Japan, one of the earliest affected areas for the virus, life continues relatively as normal, bar the institutional closures. People accuse the government of downplaying numbers but there is no evidence on social media of any wide spread devastating illness. By many metrics, it has the world's greatest proportion of elderly, yet despite a slow response to the initial spread and only half-hearted measures form the government there is no spike in seasonal deaths.

At present Japan has 878 nCov cases and 29 deaths. Perhaps a lack of testing, yet according to WHO testing is frequently ineffective and in many cases resulted in both false negatives and false positives. It is likely that the Japanese statistics represent the worst cases. This, however, would mean there are likely thousands of cases where the symptoms have no been severe enough to attract notice which would significantly lower the overall severity.

The Diamond Princess cruise ship was a petri dish for test cases. Despite woefully inadequate precautions, only 696 of the 3711 passengers (average age 58) were infected and only 7 died. Researchers estimated a 0.5% mortality rate which seems consistent with the downward trending patterns seen in China. In other words roughly TWICE the mortality rate of regular flu.

This seems to be a consistent pattern. nCovid seems to be TWICE as bad as regular flu.

So, we should expect twice as many deaths?
- Well, its only one new strain of illness, we already have several seasonal flu strains and other forms of Covid. This becomes just one of several possible viral infections.
So, maybe we should expect at least a 20% jump in mortality?
- In Japan each year roughly 40,000 people die from flu-related pneumonia. We've currently seen 22 nCovid deaths. Mortalities would have to increase x1000 to make it a significant spike in annual rates.

What about Italy?
- Some people have said Italy is a result of lack of beds. Italy's hospital bed rate per capita is NOT significantly lower than most other developed countries (higher than Ireland, Iceland, USA, New Zealand). My own hypothesis is that practically every case of flu-related pneumonia (Italy typically has 5000 deaths = hundreds of thousands of cases, annually) is now being treated by family members as potential nCov and that victims are overloading hospitals. If normal patterns would have the majority of these people being treated at home, it is easy to see how they could place a sudden and overwhelming strain on the hospital system, especially if there is a danger that cases might be incorrectly identified as nCovid due to officials erring on the side of caution. The spike in deaths could be attributed more to an inability to get treatment to those who really need it, rather than the virus' severity.

Wuhan and Hubei had grossly disproportionate cases of and deaths from the virus. Compared to the rest of China a plausible reason for this is that in the initial panic people overwhelmed hospitals that were unable to differentiate between regular annual strains and nCovid. One further difference between Japan and Europe is that there was no major panic (apart from the toilet paper craze) or media firestorm when cases first broke out here. It was only when cases reached Europe that the hyperbolic European media went into overdrive and everyone seemed to lose their minds (with Merkel and Johnson warning their countries that their loved ones would be dying!). This media coverage (and perhaps some cultural differences) have seemed to have made a huge difference in the impact of the virus, something that should not be possible if it was purely an issue of the danger of the virus itself.

This would be bad enough if we were just talking about an excessive response to a serious (but not apocalyptic) danger. regarding the deaths from Corona, they should always be shown in relation to the annual deaths we experience from other forms of flu, not separately as though this is an totally different and unrelated issue.
However, we are now also looking at collapsing economies as a result of this overreaction. The economic damage from this WILL cause far more mortalities among vulnerable sections of the population than Corona itself. This should be highlighted every time the issue is discussed.
On top of this you have entire populations giving up the most fundamental rights of freedom of movement and congregation. There will probably be strict clamp downs on expression and possible forced vaccinations. The lack of pushback against this is shocking.
Finally, one long-term impact from this will be a likely decoupling from China. Perhaps the greatest bulwark against the danger of global conflict has been the economic interconnectedness of the great powers. In the wake of the virus if countries end up less economically codependent I fear that this will be later seen as one of the factors that brought about the next large scale international conflict.

All the above should not be taken to suggest I am against a strong response to nCovid. People should be encouraged to reduce unnecessary crowded interaction, wash hands, wear masks if showing symptoms of flu, etc. For a virus that is only x2 as bad as regular flu this should be enough to counterbalance the impact (it seems to have done so in Japan). Overloading hospital systems, collapsing segments of the economy and draconic restrictions on human rights are another issue altogether and this forum should be more critically assessing these truly frightening secondary effects of the virus.

Posted by: Glagaire | Mar 18 2020 0:48 utc | 110

@98 vk

"If you have problems with country x or government y, then name them, don't keep them abstract."

I'm sorry for not naming them. The U.S., Britain, Israel, Australia, Saudi Arabia, France, Canada, etc. The nations who sanction, invade, and bomb other countries this century. They support each other in a variety of crimes against humanity. Is that okay?

Posted by: SharonM | Mar 18 2020 0:51 utc | 111

No, No, No The guvmint can pass whatever laws they want to but I shall do my usual- act in a manner I believe is best for my family, myself & the rest of the community.
That means we won't conflict with such a rules based regime too often. I will take the money on offer unless that means giving out too many personal details to a machine about which I know SFA, but I will not ever under any circumstances go along with any system which advocates things like socially acceptable personal tracking thru mobile phones.
Yes I'm well aware that happens anyway if you are a loud-mouthed shit-stirrer but this is something else. This is allowing stickybeaks to slaver over the details of every citizen's movements every day from now until the end of time.
We already know that like amerika's oppressive patriot act, these rules & controls are never rescinded once the immediate danger has passed, they stay with us, getting rolled over by corrupt slaves of the elites forever.
Put simply, I like my life, but I would rather die a miserable hacking cough death from coronavirus than allow a system which was so intrusive monitor my children and their families.

Posted by: A User | Mar 18 2020 0:53 utc | 112

@ Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Mar 17 2020 20:57 utc | 34

That won't help you because excess daily Vitamin C intake is eliminated through the urine. You're throwing money away.

Posted by: vk | Mar 18 2020 0:55 utc | 113

john brewster | Mar 18 2020 0:12 utc | 100

Thanks for the link. Great article!

Posted by: Carciofi | Mar 18 2020 0:56 utc | 114

john brewster @100--

Yes, unless the sample size includes all, the resulting stats will be inaccurate. In academic assessment, we contend with reliability and validity in order to arrive at the assessment's final results that we as educators trust will be useful in the further teaching of our students. It's far more subjective than the medical testing being done, which is close to 100% empirical. Yet, the data produced can still be misinterpreted--imperfect humans are in charge after all. However, it's quite clear TrumpCo was deliberately falsifying and suppressing the data, got caught, and has lied so many times about some many different issues to the point where TrumpCo's credibility rating is negative, IMO. That a political vendetta against China is happening is clear from the politicization of the data produced by China and elsewhere in order to denigrate China in the world's eyes. That would be considered part of the Psyop phase of this operation.

I'll leave MoA with this excellent Tweet b retweeted:

"Cuba: We have an antiviral with demonstrably high success rates in treating patients with COVID-19

"China: Our studies show this Cuban drug has incredibly high success rates

"US: If only WE could find a treatment, someone in the PRIVATE SECTOR needs to find a PATENTABLE treatment."

Quite a lot being said and implicated with those words. A clear example of Moral Failure.

Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 18 2020 1:00 utc | 115

Canada still NOT closing US border!
Terrible decision. #Trudeau leaving the border open to US citizen is subjecting Canada to a probable failed containment via US..

Posted by: Lozion | Mar 18 2020 1:01 utc | 116

The Novel Coronavirus is killing the post-WWII Western Empire and the EU.

National borders will be strengthened as waves of plague cross the world until either there is a vaccine or the virus and the host adapt to become another cold. Back in February I was one of the scare mongers. A 2% fatality rate as reported in Wuhan would clog a nation’s healthcare system. Iran and Italy proved this true. The West lost more than a month and half due to incompetent dysfunctional governments. This is on the globalists’ whose open borders unleashed the virus plus neoliberals who destroyed democracy. The US federal government is incompetent to deal with the crisis. The Billionaires greed will kill millions. If my governor, Larry Hogan, had been the US President, many of the future dead would have survived. I’ve been in self-quarantine for 2 weeks on the computer looking for home delivery food sales and the latest on the pandemic. I just coughed twice. I tell myself it is my allergies.

Corporate Democrats gave the Presidency to Donald Trump. Businesses and people are broke. There is no supply and infinite demand for food delivered to doorsteps. Only governments keeping people alive as their sole priority (not giving a cut of the taxpayer handouts to the connected) can guide their nations safely through this crisis to the other side.

Posted by: VietnamVet | Mar 18 2020 1:16 utc | 117

john brewster @97

Dissenting opinions are not allowed in the comments section.
It has been on a slow downward trajectory to intolerance for quite a while now.
There are a number of 'commentators' who like to think they can set the agenda here.
I could say a lot more but I usually end up 'upsetting' the sensitive & getting myself into trouble...

Referring to the Catte Black article I think the following quote sums it up nicely -

'...We are definitely all being discouraged from questioning its virulence, discouraged from referring to its official fatality and case numbers, which do not correlate with the level of fear we are being told is appropriate. There is certainly a massive and multifaceted attempt to fudge and inflate those numbers to bring them in line with the ‘response’...'

Posted by: ted01 | Mar 18 2020 1:24 utc | 118

@john brewster #61
Your terminology and categories are way off.
Pointing out that the Diamond Princess only saw less than 20% of its population infected doesn't mean nCOV isn't a serious issue.
The # of hospital beds in most of the West is 0.3% to 0.8%.
20% infected = 4% with complications = 1-2% needing hospital care.
Rather, the point of Diamond Princess numbers is to try and arrive at a realistic number as opposed to the hyperbolic nonsense - including projections where 50% of the population is infected and 50 million Americans die.
It doesn't need to be 50 million dead Americans to be a problem; 3-6 million dead Americans is a problem already - even if only 300K to 600K are below the age of 70. It would be a tremendous blow to society.
Then there's the economic impact. I have a friend who has a successful restaurant - opened 5 years now. He's seen his revenue drop 50% even before the "shelter in place" (i.e. house arrest) rules came into play.
He's certainly not going to be able to pay all of the 6 employees.
I have another friend who created software for fantasy sports players. All of the sports leagues have either cancelled or postponed until May. I've already told him that he should expect full season cancellations.
Not everyone is in the entertainment, travel, tourism, restaurant, sports businesses, etc but the net effect of having these more or less go to zero in a straight line is going to be a tremendous blow to the US and European economies - because these are all dependent on consumer spending.
So on top of the supply chain shock which China's lockdowns enabled (rightly), we're going to have a consumption shock.
This isn't like 2008 - which was a financial institution liquidity issue. This is going to be a lot more like the Great Depression - where an enormous consumption shock really never did get recovered from until World War 2's massive printing and spending erased the problem...

Posted by: c1ue | Mar 18 2020 1:25 utc | 119

This is what the cornavirus is for:

This Is a Test: How Will the Constitution Fare During a Nationwide Lockdown?

Posted by: JasonT | Mar 18 2020 1:34 utc | 120

Txs to karlof1 for the offguardian article..

Posted by: Lozion | Mar 18 2020 1:36 utc | 121

U.S. COVID-19 deaths projections

  1. CDC’s unmitigated scenario projection made last month by top CDC disease modeler Matthew Biggerstaff: 160–⁠214 million infections (over a period of >1 year), 0.2–⁠1.7 million deaths (Intelligencer).
  2. Goldman Sachs’ projection made on March 12 by its chief medical officer Michael Rendel: 150 million infections, 3 million deaths (Forbes).
  3. Imperial College’s “unmitigated epidemic” projection made on March 16 by its COVID-19 Response Team: 265 million infections, 2.2 million deaths (Ferguson et al. 2020, pp. 6–⁠7).
  4. The “most effective mitigation strategy” (case isolation, household quarantine and social distancing of the elderly) projection by the same team: 1.1–⁠1.2 million deaths (ibid., p. 16).
  5. An unmitigated scenario projection computed on March 17 in Harvard research fellow Alison Lynn Hill’s online interactive COVID-19 simulation tool based on compartmental epidemiological model with parameter values taken from the latest literature: 254 million infected, 5.2 million deaths (
  6. A mitigated scenario projection I and c1ue made on February 27–⁠28 based on China CDC’s case fatality rates and 20% symptomatic infection rate observed on the Diamond Princess cruise ship: 1.2 million deaths (“As Virus Spreads Over The Planet Governments Are Slow To React”, comments 71, 168).

I’m going to use the Imperial College’s projections as they are the only ones that have been published online by a team of academics.

We must also account for an overlap between projected COVID-19 deaths and “ordinary” deaths. Some people were going to die this year anyway from a different disease, but will now die from COVID-19. I estimate this overlap at 0.2 million: in 2017, there were 160,201 deaths from chronic lower respiratory diseases and 55,672 deaths from influenza and pneumonia (National Vital Statistics Reports, 68(6), p. 9).

Thus, in addition to the usual 2.8 million deaths per year, in 2020 we’re looking at +1 million deaths in the mitigated scenario (case isolation, household quarantine and social distancing of the elderly) or +2 million deaths in the unmitigated scenario (no action taken).

Posted by: S | Mar 18 2020 1:43 utc | 122

karlof1 and john brewster

China's figures will be well within the ballpark. They have controlled the spread to the extent that new cases are mostly with or only with people arriving from other countries. This tells me they are tracking and finding -identifying all cases of coronavirus even if they are asymptomatic.
Deaths and recovered in China are the numbers to watch. That will give the death rate out of all that catch it rather than just those cases showing symptoms.

According to the Hopkins tracker the current rate for Hubei is 56,003 recovered to 3,111 deaths. That's well over 5%. Total confirmed cases for Hubei 81,068. Leaves approx 22,000 to either recover or die. By the way China have stopped the spread it is doubtful there are many unknown cases in Hubei to allow for. I think in the end, death rate amongst all who catch it will be up around 3-5% depending on medical treatment and perhaps virus strain.

When the capitalist west says bugger the stock market and starts shutting things down there is a good chance this bug will be pretty bad.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Mar 18 2020 1:45 utc | 123

Good time to read Escobar's latest to put some of this hysteria in geopolitical or biopolitical context"

Posted by: casey | Mar 18 2020 2:02 utc | 124

What am I supposed think after having listened to Dr. Wodarg’s comments? In short, (a) corona viruses have always been around (b) the corona virus test was developed in Germany and then sent to China and have never been validated, (c) the majority of those supposedly dying from corona virus are older and have co-morbidities and such it is unclear whether corona was the sole cause of death. Dr. Wodarg makes a lot of sense. At the same time, b has a very good track record of being objective. I am not sure what to think.

Posted by: Nathan Mulcahy | Mar 18 2020 2:04 utc | 125

@Allen 57
"You must consider the conditions that have created a perfect environment for viral diseases (Wuhan and most of Northern China epitomize ecological toxic zones as is the case with the Po Valley in Northern Italy) and the accompanying and across the board breakdowns in immune systems. This is what needs to be addressed not schizophrenically being misled from one outrageous panic to the next. "

Such common sense is not all that common in our world. Healthy animals live in healthy environments. Of course! Unhealthy environments breed sick animals. Agribusiness poultry & beef producers must feed the suffering animals antibiotics to compensate for unhealthy conditions that would otherwise make them sick. That there aren't more epidemics and pandemics than there are, especially in crowded nations, giant human feedlots like India and China, is remarkable. the human body is resilient and adaptable to extreme conditions, but it does have its limits. Why hasn't India erupted in a viral holocaust? Seems inevitable. More often than one would imagine an airliner cannot land in Delhi because the pollution makes it impossible for the pilots to see! Chinese living in the cities are very familiar with paper masks. They seem to have accepted the environmental costs of their prosperity.

We don't need experts to explain the causes of the pandemic because it is easily explained: unhealthy environments breed unhealthy people. The cure is to make the environment healthy again.

This virus may have been created in a laboratory or it may not, but to focus on the virus alone is to fail to see the forest for the trees. Health should be our focus. We need to live in an environment that promotes our health. We haven't noticed the pandemics sweeping through populations of other animals. Half the species that existed in 1970 no longer exist. Frogs disappear. Insects disappear. We are killing the environment. Doesn't it stand to reason that we are also going to kill ourselves, that we ARE killing ourselves at this moment?

Our way of life is killing us. We may stop this pandemic, but it is only a symptom. Another one will rear its ugly head.

Posted by: jadan | Mar 18 2020 2:09 utc | 126

@S #119
The only thing we can be sure of is that all of those models are wrong.
Among other things - we're already in the mitigation scenario: lockdowns in many states, etc.
I'd also note that the Diamond Princess infection rate was under 20% - it was actually 17%, but the death rate was only 7 people (last I looked).
If we get the Diamond Princess infection rate *and* the mortality rate, then the numbers of deaths is going to be "merely" 100K.
The paper which Willis Eschenbach referenced estimated overall deaths among the Diamond Princess population to be 15.5 - which would put US deaths at 210K. source
The paper also mentioned that mortality numbers derived from the Diamond Princess are less than half of China's numbers (46%).
Again, doesn't prove anything but this is a fairly firm data point - as opposed to a bunch of computer models.

Posted by: c1ue | Mar 18 2020 2:15 utc | 127

"should be put under quarantine in sport arenas..."

Yes, very efficient. And they should have their biometric papers on them at all times.

But maybe it's easier just to build labor camps?

Posted by: James | Mar 18 2020 2:22 utc | 128

Peter AU1 @ 120

"...identifying all cases of coronavirus even if they are asymptomatic."

How are they identifying the asymptomatic cases? Are they now swab testing everyone?

The 5% figure is based on people that were tested & hospitalized/isolated.
What about the asymptomatic carriers that where never tested & recovered?
What about the carriers with mild symptoms that were never tested & recovered?
How many people were actually tested in Hubei?

There was a figure quoted somewhere indicating the % of asymptomatic carriers - is this factored into the 5%?

The data is incomplete, which renders the 5% meaningless.

Posted by: ted01 | Mar 18 2020 2:24 utc | 129

jadan@123 said;"Our way of life is killing us. We may stop this pandemic, but it is only a symptom. Another one will rear its ugly head."

Another obvious, but true statement...

Will humanity grab a clue? I doubt it..

Posted by: ben | Mar 18 2020 2:32 utc | 130


People, animals left to to the "healthy' thing in the wild die in big numbers. There is no birth control so something has gotta give.
In current societies with medicine and also with farming, far higher numbers survive. Living the natural live is no healthier, perhaps less so, but the surviving people and animals are generally healthier for the simple reason that the weak die. Something like what Boris the clown was proposing.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Mar 18 2020 2:33 utc | 131

@ 30 Some Random Passerby / @ 41 Tom74

i had thought of that, but it's more conspiratorial to suggest bojo the clown was put into power in a deceitful way... i can't rule that out however..

@ 53 stonebird.. it was peter au that mentioned that, not me! but regardless it is a good reminder!

@ 71 john brewster.. quote .. "deliberately engineered economic crisis"... was the 2008 financial meltdown an engineered crisis? some like the author of the book creature from jeykll island would argue that all economics crisis is manufactured since the advent of the federal reserve... boom, bust, and on and on - bailing out the banks or boeing as the case may be- being the name of the game... the alternative view is the stock market and all assets are wildly inflated and although the fed give lip service to keeping control of inflation - they are unable or uninterested in doing this in the stock and real estate market... so, the concept of the 'deliberately engineered economic crisis' has been a popular idea in the mainstream... was the 1930s depression the same?? regardless.. the timing of the stock market drop and the crisis connected to covid 19 seem to have a few things in common.. but i think bevin was implying that it is hard to sync the idea of arranging a pandemic with the stock market meltdown... maybe i am reading him wrong, but the idea that this pandemic has been arranged with this in mind seems like real conjecture on some folks part here...

but then, that is how it appears @ jackrabbit is framing it too! the gov't is in on this and it is one big plan to milk the poor by the rich.. i am having a hard time seeing it like that, other then to say i have always viewed the stock market in that context!! and yes - trump referring to the pandemic as the china virus does smack of racism to me, but i have never been one to put trump on any kind of special pedestal either, not that i am much different then many others here..

@92 daniel... stock in the stores on the island here seem mostly fine.. maybe a little less pasta and canned goods on the shelves but probably very temporary due a mild case of panic which ought to die down.. tp availability is back to normal as i understand it..

@ 107 Glagaire... thanks for a well reasoned comment!

@ 123 jadan.. "Our way of life is killing us. We may stop this pandemic, but it is only a symptom. Another one will rear its ugly head." yes - ditto bens response to your comment...

it seems to me some in the comments are complaining about an over reaction on the part of b and some of the posters here... for us, we have apparently opened the doors to totalitarianism... that isn't very flattering, but more importantly, i think it is a crock of shit.. what is wrong with showing some prudence in light of the fact our hospitals are already running at 100% capacity?? and the numbers of those contracting covid 19 continue to go up.. it won't take much to reach a point where we are no where near as prepared or able to get in gear to deal with the problem as the gov't of china was able to do..

Posted by: james | Mar 18 2020 2:40 utc | 132

@c1ue #124:

The only thing we can be sure of is that all of those models are wrong.

Imprecise models are better than no models.

Among other things - we're already in the mitigation scenario: lockdowns in many states, etc.

I have listed two projections for the mitigated scenario, (4) and (6).

I'd also note that the Diamond Princess infection rate was under 20% - it was actually 17%, but the death rate was only 7 people (last I looked). If we get the Diamond Princess infection rate *and* the mortality rate, then the numbers of deaths is going to be "merely" 100K.

No, it wasn’t 17%, it was 18.8%. There were 696 confirmed cases (18.8% of 3,711 passengers and crew) and 7 deaths (1% of confirmed cases) on Diamond Princess. Making a “dumb” extrapolation to the U.S., we get 61.5 million infected and 615,000 dead (not 100K).

Posted by: S | Mar 18 2020 2:43 utc | 133

"Adding all that to the fact that coronavirus genome variations in Iran and Italy were sequenced and it was revealed they do not belong to the variety that infected Wuhan, Chinese media are now openly asking questions and drawing a connection with the shutting down in August last year of the “unsafe” military bioweapon lab at Fort Detrick, the Military Games, and the Wuhan epidemic."

Has anybody here run onto something solid about the strains. Escobar doesn't link to anything and I haven't read of it in any of the research type papers or articles.
Interesting timing of shutting down fort Detrick in August if that is correct. One antiviral drug that is working well against coronavirus completed its testing in August Not much good on Ebola apparently the the tests proved it was safe to use on patients re side effects)

Then the is Trump offering big bucks trying to get US control of a vaccine being developed in Germany.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Mar 18 2020 2:46 utc | 134

My observation of the US is that people are voluntarily and proactively self-isolating. As someone commented here recently, for a nation supposedly gripped by panic, I too am not seeing anyone panicking.

Anxiety and uncertainty are everywhere. My local stores have instituted rationing and "traffic-calming" measures to let people through the store in measured amounts, and with quantity limits on certain items. The trucks keep rolling in. Perhaps we will ration our way through this.

It's people doing this, not government per se except as CDC guidelines are being followed and cited largely.

Part of the fear and uncertainty has to do with the government of course. Will each local, state and federal authority take actions that help, or will they fuck things up? No one knows yet, and it will differ in different communities. But everyone is awake, and they will judge each action as it occurs.

Similarly, no one knows yet what the true infection rate and the true mortality rate for this virus is - and this is the whole point. With the whole country self-quarantining as best it can, and with people like the lady at my corner store who seems to be ill but not showing it (and I at risk for being in her proximity), we should get better data within a couple of weeks.

It won't have been a perfect quarantine, of course - witness my anecdote of the corner store. But it will have knocked a lot of points off the averages.


So we'll see. It's too soon to know. We the people will know from the results how much we have erred on the side of caution and how much on the side of serendipity. Then we will adjust. But we are trying to err on the correct side, which seems to be caution.

If the voices saying that "this virus is not as dangerous as the civic response to it" are not getting much agreement, this may be trying to show us that is very much a minority view at present.

Since no authority has appeared that can be trusted with life and death, we'll take our own steps and figure it out as we go - trying to preserve our loved ones and our income. And if government overreach becomes something we have to deal with, then it will. There's probably no way to stop that until we have a firm ground of data to make a stand on, or unless government takes action that becomes a firm ground of data in itself.

I'm hardly a Linh Dinh, but that's my postcard from the US, for what it's worth.

Posted by: Grieved | Mar 18 2020 2:48 utc | 135

i went for a walk with one of my friends this morning.. he is a little over 30 years younger then me.. he finds it interesting how the gov'ts and etc can get in gear so quickly to deal with a pandemic that might take out some of the older people, while appearing completely disengaged over climate change... he seems to think it is an age thing... the older people won't be around to have to deal with the climate change coming down the pipe, but the old people want to get as much life that is left in them in.. i thought it was an interesting response and i didn't have any useful reply to him.. it does seem hypocritical for us to be flipping out on the one hand and not dealing with what appears to be a real issue of us screwing the planet on the other hand... and as jadan mentions - it all seems connected too...

we need to be thinking about more then economic growth.. it is killing the planet.. a part of me would not be opposed to taking out bankers, real estate speculators, economists and etc and putting them before a firing squad.. i guess that is my wanting to implement my own idea of totalitarianism... putting my thoughts into words here might be dangerous..

Posted by: james | Mar 18 2020 2:48 utc | 136

What people need to understand is that Boris Johnson WANTS the national health system to collapse, because that will give him a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to scrap it and replace it with a US-style healthcare system.

He would have rubbed his hands in glee at the prospect, which is why he insisted on this "take it on the chin" attitude.

He hasn't changed his mind now because of different advise from the medical professionals. He has changed his mind because his political advisors have convinced him that it won't JUST be the NHS that will collapse if he continues on in this manner. It will be the City of London that will have to shutdown and that will make a lot of Very Powerful Enemies.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Mar 18 2020 2:52 utc | 137

Seems like the real issue is not how many have COVID19 but rather how many high risk persons have it at the same time. So i wonder could we go to greater lengths to protect that 1% of the population rather than destroying the global economy?

Elon Musk has been posting scientific journals that detail treatment medicines via his twitter feed. Expect a breakthrough here. If doctors can treat serious and mitigate severe symptoms so as to negate the need for ICU and ventilators for some large enough percentage of the severe or potentially severe cases then its a game changer. That along with lots of testing and greater social isolation for at risk persons might be the bridge between now and a vaccine that can restore some normalcy.

Posted by: Alaric | Mar 18 2020 2:57 utc | 138

I’m all for protecting the elderly, weak and vulnerable but i find it quite odd that the global elite seek to do so. They’ve spent decades screwing them over and lets face it the elite are definitely using corona to demand a lot of bailouts. They’re using it to reset the ridiculously overvalued stock market as well. Disaster capitalism is in full swing.

Posted by: Alaric | Mar 18 2020 3:03 utc | 139

I'm curious what the long-term economic effects will be. Not in terms of potential revenue lost, etc, but in terms of how we structure our economies. Because this whole thing has just shown a spotlight on how garbage globalization is.

People have been warning about the dangers of outsourcing production and the just-in-time supply chain for decades, but now the flaws are blatantly apparent for all the world to see. Not only are shelves growing bare as all the Made in China stuff runs out, but the heavily degraded domestic production capability means we can't pick up the slack ourselves.

This is also something that rather undermines all the gibberish about this being an artificial disease made by the 'New World Order' or whatever. Really, the people pushing globalization just unleashed a disease that highlights some of the worst flaws of globalization?

This will hopefully accelerate economic nationalism and help bring jobs back to places that have lost them in recent decades. Then at least something good will have come out of all the deaths.

Posted by: Benjamin | Mar 18 2020 3:04 utc | 140

This is worth watching:

Posted by: Allen | Mar 18 2020 3:07 utc | 141

B? Is that you?
34,200 people in the US died from the flu during the 2018-19 flu season
7,000 have died GLOBALLY from this virus.
I'm not suggesting that this virus is a hoax or unreal in any way, but this gov is hyping this to a dangerous degree that tells me that this is more than just the virus at play here
Meanwhile, the Fed has installed more QE and continues to bailout banks, hedge funds and corporations. Trump is rumored to be working on a massive 850 billion bailout for Corp. And Boeing is asking for a 60 billion bailout..
This gov has used crisis in the past to remove our rights and freedoms. Was China interested in locking down its population permanently? Because I can guarantee you this gov will use this to install martial law and the further eroding of our rights for what is essentially a flu virus that has killed far less than an average flu season in the US.
Our gov is run by psychopaths, not one that cares for its people but one that cares of for its rich
This is disappointing.

Posted by: Annie | Mar 18 2020 3:09 utc | 142

Fatality projections are of interest, but clearly time is a key variable.
If any fraction of these potential cases hits our ICU supply, then virtually every case needing an ICU above that number will very likely end in death--two phase disease. If you go into second phase, lungs and often other organs are destroyed.

If these cases can be spread over time, then there is time to build more capacity, fine-tune mitigation strategies, develop anti-virals and effective treatment regimes (chloroquine, interferon?), and eventually a vaccine, or a series, since it will likely mutate.

AFAIK, there has been some evidence of acquired immunity in infected monkeys, but none firmly established in recovered patients. And you know they're looking hard.

Posted by: Paul Damascene | Mar 18 2020 3:10 utc | 143

In the 'alternative' community I see a wide difference of opinion whether locking everybody down and consequent ruination of business is necessary. Is it an over-reaction or is it the correct thing to do?

I read reports in France where they are fining people on the spot for being in the wrong place and not having a valid excuse. This police action seems to be spreading everywhere.

How long will this go on? Could it be for a month or more? Will it be repeated every time there is a worry that the virus might spread again?

I think they are conditioning the population to accept lockdowns at whatever pretense the government comes up with. People are getting trained that this is a reasonable approach.

I see that some folks are getting righteous and saying we have to accept this situation as it is necessary to control the outbreak and it is ok to waive our normal rights. These people, also in the alternative community, are calling out people who think there is some element of virus hoax going on.

People from the same community are now undermining each other! More divide and conquer tactics from your controllers!

TPTB are clever how they roll out these psyops and then get people on one side or another of a divisive issue. And these people were previously on the same page regarding the nefarious intrusion of government in our lives.

I think it is completely crazy that they are instituting a plan that will bring ruination to many small and large businesses. IMO they will be taking down our economy piece by piece and blaming its demise on the virus situation rather than a failed financial system.

What a clever, blameless plan! They get to direct attention away from their collapsing evil system while instilling fear in a virus mirage, while training everybody to comply with staying off the streets when the government says so.

Not to mention the plan of getting people to accept vaccination, or forcing it upon them, and running 5G all over the world so they can active disease later on if you're not already sick.

Posted by: Andy | Mar 18 2020 3:16 utc | 144

john brewster #78

Yours is exactly the kind of panic mongering that makes my teeth ache.

I would normally consider a Bach Flower remedy for aching teeth.

For those practising deceitful presentation of data and fear mongering there is either arsenic or strychnine which are known to be immediately effective ;))

Stephane #67 Thank you and very good to hear that a sane doctor recognises that the bacteria are the fatal actors while the virus is a precursor or pre-disposer as I see it. There is hope. But since it was published here we can expect French State reprisals against the heretic.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Mar 18 2020 3:18 utc | 145

My two comments have been erased. by: SharonM @ 26 @ SharonM 63

b does not delete comments without announcing he has [done so] due abusive comments. I went on to give my experience in an example of why your comments disappeared. by: Likklemore @ 86

It is cowardly and embarrassing to have others who frequent sites like this to surrender so easily their liberties in the face of a flu. by: SharonM

I definitely blame the "owner of this blog" for this article being a call for martial law and addressed to regimes which have invaded, bombed, tortured, crippled, displaced, murdered, and sanctioned to death tens of millions of people just in the last two decades. SharonM @ 94.

he U.S., Britain, Israel, Australia, Saudi Arabia, France, Canada, etc. The nations who sanction, invade, and bomb other countries this century. They support each other in a variety of crimes against humanity. Is that okay? by: SharonM @ 108..
ALLOW ME sHARON m TO SAY i have had three post to this thread and until now I would have agreed with Likklemore @86 that B does not normally remove post without cause.. three post I have made are also missing
and I have experienced mysterious keyboard don't work at this end. during those d/n work times, I cannot type anything, cannot even hit the space key and get a space to appear on an comment I am editing on the blog.. this has happened in the past few days, until your comments, I have attributed these missing blog comments to something on my own site, but now, I think it possible someone or something is removing posts to the blog.. maybe these missing posts are not even reaching b for a removal decision.. Even post that appeared have often been removed in the past week.. three or 4 hours later. and B has not commented about them and I left those things to the wisdom of B, but your comments suggest b and the Blog may be dealing with some suspicions editing and denial of service technology attacking post to the list.

Posted by: snake | Mar 18 2020 3:28 utc | 146

University of Queensland Centre for Clinical Research director Professor David Paterson told today they have seen two drugs used to treat other conditions wipe out the virus in test tubes. He said one of the medications, given to some of the first people to test positive for COVID-19 in Australia, had already resulted in “disappearance of the virus” and complete recovery from the infection. One of the two medications is a HIV drug, which has been superseded by “newer generation” HIV drugs, and the other is an anti-malaria drug called chloroquine which is rarely used and “kept on the shelf now” due to resistance to malaria. He said the researchers want to study them in a “very meaningful way” against the coronavirus to “try and alleviate that anxiety of Australians”. “There have already been patients treated with these in Australia and there’s been successful outcomes but it hasn’t been done in a controlled or a comparative way,” Prof Paterson said. The drugs would be given orally, as tablets.

Posted by: Ray Bergmann | Mar 18 2020 3:36 utc | 147

Yeah, Right #134

It will be the City of London that will have to shutdown and that will make a lot of Very Powerful Enemies.

So what's a revolutionary to do? If all those people who are carriers and symptom free were to take a sight seeing tour of the bars and cafes and parks in the City that would be a nice day out for some constitutional exercise.

That situation is what gives the permanent state the nighmares. It totally and likely dramatically inverts the control paradigm.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Mar 18 2020 3:37 utc | 148

It appears the Chinese government thinks what Trump and Pompus said was racist.

China Xinhua News

"Racism is not the right tool to cover your own incompetence".

Posted by: Tom | Mar 18 2020 3:39 utc | 149

>My observation of the US is that people are voluntarily and
>proactively self-isolating.

Yes, there is no need for diktats and fixed curfews like we see in California and other places that apparently don't trust their citizens. And believe me, the feeling is mutual. When the state says, "You absolutely can not", that is waving a red flag in front of a bull for some people. Some Dear Leaders think they can slip in new restrictions and no one will notice. People notice. They might not act immediately, but they notice, and they don't forget.

Folks may remember the last financial crisis was triggered by a real estate bubble created by fraud, etc. This time the crisis seems to be triggered by a stock price bubble, created by fraud, etc.

Here is one of the frauds used this time around:
After Blowing $4.5 Trillion on Share Buybacks, Airlines, Boeing, Many Other Culprits Want Taxpayer & Fed Bailouts of their Shareholders

Fun fact: share buybacks were illegal until 1982. They were supposed to be strictly limited, but everyone looked the other way and the party was On!

Posted by: Trailer Trash | Mar 18 2020 3:42 utc | 150

Alaric #136

Elon Musk has been posting scientific journals that detail treatment medicines via his twitter feed. Expect a breakthrough here. If doctors can treat serious and mitigate severe symptoms so as to negate the need for ICU and ventilators for some large enough percentage of the severe or potentially severe cases then its a game changer.

CUBA got there way before Musk.

Socialism trounces capitalism.

Musk will only sell snake oil which is banned in CUBA.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Mar 18 2020 3:42 utc | 151

uncle tungsten
There looks to be a number of antivirus that are effective against coronavirus but the way things are in most of the west, they will not be used in any numbers for some time. from what I can see, it is important to stop the bug before it damages the lungs. Once that occurs you then have the problem of bacterial and fungal infection which the Russian honcho pointed out, but the other thing that is happening is even after the virus is beaten, the immune system continues attacking and damaging the lungs. I have ben tossing up whether to buy some Chloroquine Phosphate of ebay as my wife catches every bug that goes around and the flue will knock her out for a few days. I doubt she will be given any antivirals early at our hospitals if she catches it.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Mar 18 2020 3:45 utc | 152

> putting my thoughts into words here might be dangerous..
>Posted by: james | Mar 18 2020 2:48 utc | 133

It's good to remember that Big Brother is watching and listening to everything, while not being intimidated into silence.

Posted by: Trailer Trash | Mar 18 2020 3:47 utc | 153

Two good comments about SARS-CoV-2 that were posted to old threads:

  1. a comment by Dr. George W Oprisko in the “Coronavirus - The Hidden Cases - Why We Must Shut Everything Down And Do It Now” thread;

  2. a comment by kgbgb in the “News-Nugget About The Coronavirus Pandemic” thread.

Posted by: S | Mar 18 2020 3:49 utc | 154

I'm paying the price for staying calm and not panic buying, I thought best to add items each week. Big mistake, should have been greedy and self centred, now having trouble getting essentials, from toilet paper, flour, tinned items like tomatoes, and so on. I agree our governments should have acted 2 months ago, watched an learned from China and how other nations in Asia dealt with the virus, and put in place measures like Taiwan I think it was, to stop panic buying and hoarding.

Posted by: Debz | Mar 18 2020 3:53 utc | 155

Peter AU1 #149

Thanks, I grok all that and your precautionary purchase sounds wise. I could not find one bottle of vitamin C at my chemist the other day so came home and purchased online. Should be here tomorrow.

The hysteria is obscene though. I had this wicked thought that I should install a toilet roll dispenser at my driveway with an empty cardboard tube in it "recharges here $10 per roll". Maybe I could also get a startup grant or gofundme thingy. If I posted that on my local f#kbook page I would raise blood pressures ;))

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Mar 18 2020 3:55 utc | 156

Another wicked thought for the day.

A T shirt with a MoA logo on it

"I am coronavirus IMMUNE"

Now that is a double entendre: I could be benign and immune, OR I could be a carrier and immune.

So the dilemma for the state and making testing mandatory is that those identified with the virus and yet unaffected are suddenly powerful beyond the norm. Hence the shut down.

I will get a T shirt with "IMMUNE" on it though as it will puncture the fear mongering bubble and give envy a chance.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Mar 18 2020 4:04 utc | 157

@ 138 allen.. i watched it... i was okay with it up til the very last part... it seems to me the covid 19 thing is backed up by doctors saying this particular virus is at least 10X worse then a regular flu...dr wolfgang wodarg doesn't make any mention of that... tell me what i am missing here... thanks for sharing the video...

@ 150 trailer t.. yes.. nsa and etc are all over comments everywhere... they will be looking for a needle in a haystack and i am not one to back it up with actions, at least not in what i said in that post, although i do think that..

@ 151 s.. thanks for the quotes.. from dr. g oprisko "From this we can see that it is vital those infected but asymptomatic, must be identified as soon as possible. This is only possible via mass testing of the population." unfortunately this is not happening here in b.c. canada where i live...

Posted by: james | Mar 18 2020 4:07 utc | 158

Even though the orange monkey we have for a President allegedly tested negative for the virus, I'm predicting the virus will kill his chances for re-election, and we'll be ridin' with Biden (like Thelma and Louise).

Posted by: Trisha | Mar 18 2020 4:16 utc | 159

james #155

from dr. g oprisko "From this we can see that it is vital those infected but asymptomatic, must be identified as soon as possible. This is only possible via mass testing of the population." unfortunately this is not happening here in b.c. canada where i live...

UMMMMM James are you proposing we identify the 80% of the population that show no symptoms and are herd immune, then isolate them in the lock up if they test +ve?

Eventually all of that 80% could be carriers !😱 as this little gem mutates on..... I figure that today's survivors are the spawn for the next iteration.

Just how do you see this working?

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Mar 18 2020 4:22 utc | 160

uncle tungsten
my daughter is a nurse and the other day she said she was having a look on facebook and all sorts of weird and wonderful stuff there on coronavirus.
Talking to her this morning, I asked if they had been given a rundown on this virus and how it works. She said they had been shown how to put on gloves and mask ect and that was it (Hospital had a meeting on the disease the other day and new it was serious), so was was ringing me to find more about it. Have sent her the various links that have been turning up here. The Chinese and Italian trials, the interview with the Russian health honcho ect.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Mar 18 2020 4:24 utc | 161

S 151: 2. A comment by kgbgb ...

Don't miss my reply to kgbgb.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Mar 18 2020 4:31 utc | 162

I feel like an alien sitting in a spaceship watching Earth and the human species on this blog thread.

Here the humans are communicating thoughts about a recent global medical "pandemic" that represents a new death threat for part of the species. The threat level is not completely known yet but the pandemic is already being used as an excuse for a long awaited "crashing" of the global economic system.

The alien in me continues to wonder why the species, as evidenced by this thread focus and others, continues to expend all this effort on the symptoms of the species organizational issue (private/public finance) and not the core structural inequality of private finance in the species social contract.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Mar 18 2020 4:33 utc | 163

I wonder if life is returning to normal in China? As coronavirus epidemic eases in China, life is slowly returning to normal Mnuchin is talking about depression era unemployment. This article talks about people having to take a month of and losing salary for a month like it was no big deal.

My wife used to take care of aids patients in the early days. I had no problem with the fear back then. Today the panic is making me think about her going to work and dealing with this issue in her patients. The hype is getting dangerous. I work in an very essential business and most of my coworkers are getting laid off now with more to come this week.

Amazon is unable to ship its regular load of products and has to triage. I am a bit confused as things enter the surreal.

Posted by: dltravers | Mar 18 2020 4:34 utc | 164

The way boomers are voting maybe a pandemic is just what the Doctor in the Universe ordered.

And maybe the next pandemic will separate the chaff from the wheat, cause you know this one's not going to be unique in scale.

If you think the world is headed in the right direction then this pandemic terrifies you.

Can you believe that Climate Change was the 2nd to last priority on the minds of voters tonight...? So let them burn, and/or suffocate.

Instead you have a country like Iran under severe sanctions where people are dropping like flies and Americans are oblivious to their need and pain.

If only there was a pandemic for staggering ignorance and cruelty. Which peoples do you think it would ravage most? And tell me something, be honest, what kills in greater numbers: a pandemic or cruelty and ignorance?

Someone yells FIRE! and people will kill each other running in the opposite direction when there's not a trace of smoke to be seen. That's how dumb a herd they are.

There is something deeply wrong with this world that even a pandemic can't cure.

So bring it all on: The floods, the droughts, the fires, the earthquakes and the plagues and pestilence.

Who cares?! No one seems to care. I've been reading the dumbest most inane comments online tonight, you just wanna go live in a cabin in the woods where that kind of stupid can't reach you anymore. Trump insanity everywhere (on BOTH sides, those who worship him and those pinning their hopes to Biden defeating him) is even more contagious and virulent than Coronavirus.

Why fight it anymore? Bring it all on. If half the planet is insane, stupid and cruel...maybe, they don't deserve compassion, maybe, it's time.

So why bother warning them?

Posted by: Circe | Mar 18 2020 4:34 utc | 165

@ 157 uncle t... mass testing isn't happening where i live... that is all i thought i said.. did you read something else into it? i am not understanding you! this isn't the first time either!

@ 159 jackrabbit.. i indirectly address you in my post @ 129...

Posted by: james | Mar 18 2020 4:36 utc | 166

@ 161 dltravers... paveway shared a link to a live video feed from wuhan city yesterday... it doesn't look like life has returned to normal... very little traffic in the live feed which you can see here -

Posted by: james | Mar 18 2020 4:41 utc | 167

Contact tracing teams must ask each of them with whom they met over the last days and then check on those persons. This requires lots of people and resources but China has show that it is doable.

This is exactly what I heard on a conference call today at work in the US. These instructions went out to employers in the US from the government.

Posted by: dltravers | Mar 18 2020 4:47 utc | 168

Allen #138

This is worth watching:

Thank you, Excellent video giving food for thought.
I wonder what the comparison for infection spread or rapidity is in relation to all those other coronavirus we encounter through the years.

Current Policy seems driven by some knowledge that reveals a galloping infection + severity rate. But what is the direct comparison with past years infectious virus? Surely there is a reasonable epidemiology paper out there to consider.

Is there data from post mortems yet that gives definitive detail not only recent cases but even sample from late 2019 and back who are deemed died from 'pneumonia' as a general terminology.

Has China found patient 1 yet?

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Mar 18 2020 4:49 utc | 169

Kinda' collective Karma maybe. I've thought many times; If there is a old testament God, the U$A would be toast..

Posted by: ben | Mar 18 2020 4:54 utc | 170

Please take time to prepare so we can read your blog after the end of the illusions is over. Great advice, once again.

JasonT @ 1
“The authorities will have to implement a food distribution strategy”
Like in Venezuela?

“it won't take much to overwhelm the hospital... - i am on Vancouver island”
I live just South of you on the olypen. Average age in my town is 62 years old. My wife and I went out to withdraw money from the ATM . We were the only ones in town wearing N95 masks and 9 mm nitrile gloves. It is like the sixth sense- I see dead people everywhere.

“$1,000 checks will be "printed-out-of-air" for each American citizen”
No way the truly needy homeless and “undocumented” will be able to get this chicken scratch unless is distributed along with the National Census.

“we can get to work on providing a social safety net- a week after the SNAP Food Stamp programme was gutted.”
Excellent point. Perhaps lives would have been saved if Trump didn’t eliminate the pandemic response preparation program in 2018 to save money.

“The US population as a whole is unhealthy.. gross obesity , high blood pressure elevated "bad" cholesterol and that is among our children. Evidence is showing those that get ill enough to be but on respirator and have their blood recycled with added o2.. and live probably will develop chronic respiratory problems such as pulmonary fibrosis.”
Great summary. If I may add diabetes as deaths due to it is currently being underestimated within the context of this overloading of the medical system. Dr. Lustig of the University of San Francisco has published extensively on the hazards of sugar and its consequences on the full range of the metabolic syndrome effects. He has been particularly concerned with the incidence of TYPE 2 diabetes even in six year oil children…

SEIR simulator@52
“please do not forget that we melting down the world economy and creating far more deaths with the coming global social disaster and poverty.”
Where is your analysis? Please remember that China chose to save about 1200 million citizens by isolating 60 million, which allowed many additional medical personnel to be applied to saving the sick. Furthermore, China chose to separate regular hospitals from modular fast built hospitals dedicated to just treating those with SARS-CoV-2. The massive testing program and isolation of sick family members from their well family members contributed to reducing the spread. North America and Europe has none of the Chinese advantages and waited too long and allowed community spread to all parts of their population. US hospitals are just in time sick care money extraction systems run by administers for the investors and the insurance companies, not by the doctors.

“As James said on an earlier post - be careful of overdosing with vitamin C. Can have side-effects”.
Good point, though liposomal vitamin C is better tolerated. The Chinese have shown that IVC treatment is effective in a hospital setting. See also Piotr Berman@106

“Nonetheless, vaccination remains the most effective means for reducing the burden of influenza, and efforts to increase vaccine coverage and the introduction of new vaccine strategies (such as vaccinating healthy children) should be considered to reduce the influenza attributable excess mortality experienced in Italy and in Europe in the last seasons.”
I posted in an earlier thread all the current vaccines under development along with mRNA approaches. Sure the really important people may get vaccines the rest will have to wait 12-16 months.

Thanks for the links that emphasize this is not a normal flu.

john Brewster@61
“show me some bulletproof statistics on people below age 70.”
Actually somewhat a valid point if those below age 60 with underlying comorbidities are included based based on “Impact of non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) to reduce COVID-19 mortality and healthcare demand (page 5)”
However, many that survive hospital treatment have lung scarring, especially after intubation, which make them more likely to soon die of other viral or bacterial infections.

Chinese studies support the study you cite, although hydroxychloroquine may be less toxic. See also the MedCram youtube video on a similar treatment: “Coronavirus Epidemic Update 34: US Cases Surge, Chloroquine & Zinc Treatment Combo, Italy”
See also other MedCram videos such as:
“Coronavirus Pandemic Update 37: The ACE-2 Receptor - The Doorway to COVID-19 (ACE Inhibitors & ARBs)”
“How Coronavirus Kills: Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS) & Treatment”

“The scale of this virus is unimaginable. The virus targets upper respiratory system -viral pneumonia both lungs. Shortage of resources and healthcare personnel. Next door Canada, province of Quebec, there are 300 medical specialists now in self-isolation.”
Great point which makes flattening the curve much harder. As an aside, there was a dental conference in Vancouver, B.C. that was attended by about 14,000 dental professionals who have now been asked to isolate themselves after SARS-CoV-2 exposures.

“For a virus that is only x2 as bad as regular flu this should be enough to counterbalance the impact”
See comment by S@119, and Peter AU1@120 ,and S@151

Lower CFR such as with 0.6% in South Korea was due to a rapid isolation of the cult church, which served as the locus, unlike in the US where AIPAC and CPAC conferences dramatically spread the virus. Rapid testing also served to separate infected individuals from the old and those with comorbidities. South Korea had tested a total of 66,652 people for the COVID-19 coronavirus virus as of 4 p.m. local time Thursday while the U.S. only tested 445.

“Overloading hospital systems, collapsing segments of the economy and draconic restrictions on human rights are another issue altogether and this forum should be more critically assessing these truly frightening secondary effects of the virus.”
The problem is with ignoring the lessons that China applied. It is now too late for many of the secondary effects, many of which are associated the global neofeudal economic system. Too many solutions are, as Trump said. are nasty dirty socialism for the masses. Corporate socialism is OK for the elite and will be the main “solution” in America.

Posted by: krollchem | Mar 18 2020 4:55 utc | 171

uncle tungsten 157

China has done it. Basic of it seems to be constantly monitoring everybody's temperature. If Temperature is up then its off to a test station for CT and if that shows anything then swab testing to positively identify the virus. If they test positive then they are in isolation and their family and contacts are all checked.
No new cases means they have identified and isolated everyone that carries the bug.
Looks to be pretty much a military style operation to stop the bug, absolute discipline and so forth perhaps not possible in the west with apart from government disorganisation is a healthy distrust for our governments.
As far as I can see, there does need to be emergency measures to stop or slow down the disease until a vaccine is approved. At the same time there will be governments and people in government that use this opportunity to again screw the peasants. Best strategy I can see to do whats necessary to control the disease, and at the same time be ready to use the pitchforks.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Mar 18 2020 5:02 utc | 172

Seamus Padraig @ 93, John Brewster @ 97 and interested others (Glagaire @ 107, you may be interested):

Regarding Catte Black's recent Off-Guardian article dated 16 March 2020, I found it independently because I read Off-Guardian myself. The total number of comments attached to that article now total well over 550, and wading through them to find something sensible would take far too much time. (Plus I'm meant to be working, even if at home.)

I consider the issue is that COVID-19 has taken everyone by surprise in the way it has arisen, and the medical establishments and institutions across the planet are scrambling to put out competing and contradictory advice based on data or information that either (a) quickly gets superseded by something else, (b) is unreliable, as in the COVID-19 testing kits being issued that don't discriminate between COVID-19 and other coronavirus-caused infections, and/or (c) is distorted by political ideology or just plain prejudice.

In the meantime everyone is panicking and clutching at straws. I daresay a lot of people commenting here at MoA and at Off-Guardian might be in the high-risk groups for suffering from a severe bout of COVID-19 infection were they to get it.

Posted by: Jen | Mar 18 2020 5:05 utc | 173

Andy @141: Is it an over-reaction or is it the correct thing to do?

The virus incubates in the body for up to 2 weeks. People then start to show symptoms. A few may never show symptoms (especially if younger, apparently).

So a "lock-down"/mass quarantine of 2-3 weeks can break the transmission. And this is proven by experiences in China and Italy.

The real problem is that governments didn't act soon enough. There's no excuse for that - they already knew of China's experience with the virus and China's success in using quantines + mass testing.

And Western government's failure isn't simply in needless delay but in sending mixed messages and not providing detailed information.

Did they WANT to create a panic that would allow them to invoke emergency powers? We now see a bailout of Wall Street via trillions of dollars of liquidity AND requests from Boeing and other corporations for sweetheart loan packages that are essentially rescues from bad business practices.

This whole virus episode stinks: USA may actually be the source of the virus AND delays in preparing/addressing the virus is either grossly negligent (arising to criminal negligence IMO) or was deliberate so as to benefit powerful interests.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Mar 18 2020 5:05 utc | 174


@129 you write: "i am having a hard time seeing it like that".

There are professionals in the West that have studied viruses for many years. The head of the CDC is one of them (a virologist). Any such profession would watch what happened in China as keenly or more keenly than bloggers at moa. And they would know what needs to be done to prepare for the inevitable spread of the virus.

But little, if any preparation was made. And when Trump first addressed the virus he proclaimed that it was a nothing-burger. That just makes no sense.

But Wall Street was overdue for a correction. And Boeing is failing. And a few other companies are also likely to welcome the opportunity to get a financial boost.

Wall Street just got 1.5 TRILLION in liquidity. And Trump/Mnuchin have proposed loans for businesses (like Boeing) of tens of billions. Mainstreet might get a few hundred billion also in "helicopter money" and no-interest tax deferments. But ALL of this is ultimately paid for by the tax payers (including low-interest loans to Banks and Corporations).

This is, once again, crony capitalist corporate welfare masked as a national emergency. We've seen similar government actions after previous events like 9-11 and the Global Financial Crisis. In each case, a crisis that should have been avoided was - mysteriously - allowed to happen and wealth was/is extracted to help favored and/or powerful interests.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Mar 18 2020 5:26 utc | 175

"Racism is the reason that this is happening so late. China, South Korea and Singapore..."

That's just the author's ideology shining through in times of high stress, I suppose. These countries have first and foremost a radical different governmental and decision making process with a population reacting and behaving differently when their government dictates policies. It simply doens't work that way in all the Western countries you mention. We can argue if that's a good or a bad thing but it's reality. Calling this racism is pointless and needlessly charged.

Secondly, the strategy as stated by many Western experts is short term group immunity. China has controlled the outbreak perfectly but it looks more like a temporary win if they want to return to production. They need to contain it until a vaccine can be rolled out nation wide. The chance of this succeeding without new outbreaks is dim unless even more control is added to contain a population which has its limits from a psychological point of view. That here is where one should differ not between "races" but between, broadly, clusters of continents and cultures.

Many statistics on serious symptoms are heavily skewed because of detection bias: most people do not realize they had it. This is the danger but also the hope: our medical facilities will cope as long as a proper slow down can be achieved.

Posted by: John Dowser | Mar 18 2020 5:33 utc | 176

I too have had an article 'disappeared' within the last few hours.
That post, free of obscenity & blasphemy did point out that James' contention what is wrong with showing some prudence in light of the fact our hospitals are already running at 100% capacity?? was the real crock of shit.
I hoping that it has been jagged by the spam trap & b will fish it out when he wakes & does his usual maintenance.
We shall see.

Posted by: A User | Mar 18 2020 5:51 utc | 177

"In Italy, the town of Lodi (green) had the first case, and locked down on Feb 23. Bergamo (red) waited until March 8. "

Lodi is a way smaller town and probably also responded to the tragic mistakes in the nearby hospital in Codogno. It's weird to compare absolute numbers when Bergamo might have 10x as many people living all close on each other. The point is that control does not imply perfection: errors in testing, containing, quarantine and policies combined are factors together with population density and social custom. Lets keep the heads cool!

Posted by: John Dowser | Mar 18 2020 5:52 utc | 178

@70 Bemildred
Thé cure mentioned in the news is the chloroquine. The antibiotic is used only to fight off a disease development.

Posted by: Stephane | Mar 18 2020 7:05 utc | 179

have any readers here posed the question, or discussed why HOMEOPATHY has not entered the conversation?

it is widely used in France, Germany, Britain. the Queen is a member of the homeopathic society.
Homeopathy established its credentials in the US during a pandemic. homeopathic treatment only
requires an accurate reading of symptomology, not extensive scientific research. that can come later.

am i missing something? any takers?

Posted by: Bogdan | Mar 18 2020 7:26 utc | 180

@john brewster 100

we are making decisions without reliable data.

Thank you for the common sense post. I am afraid there are people who seize this opportunity to grab totalitarian power they have wanted for years, an will not let lack of reliable data stop them.

Posted by: Norwegian | Mar 18 2020 7:29 utc | 181

Sleboda's twitter often has "innarrestin'" leads to pithy stuff.

Such as> " " which has NEJM
#COVID19 #SARSCoV2 articles are free full text.

Aerosol and Surface Stability of SARS-CoV-2 as Compared with SARS-CoV-1

Posted by: Walter | Mar 18 2020 7:59 utc | 182

Stephane | Mar 18 2020 7:05 utc | 177 Thé cure mentioned in the news is the chloroquine. The antibiotic is used only to fight off a disease development.

The disease is caused by coronavirus. If allowed to run its course unhindered, there are other 'developments' - bacterial and fungle infections, in some cases immune system attacking healthy tissue ect.
Chloroquine is proving to be a good antiviral against coronovirus. There are other drugs that are showing equally good results against the virus. If these are used to stop the virus before it causes pneumonia, then there are no more developments.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Mar 18 2020 8:00 utc | 183

The fact that the corona virus reacts with Advil suggests a bio weapon.

The fact that the three countries most hit are China, Iran, and Italy (the latter is the first major European power to sign up with BRICS) suggests a bio weapon.

The fact that the US has been trying to buy a medicine created by Germany for one billion dollars, on the condition that it is only for the US, suggests a psychopathic mind.

The fact that Bill Gates holds a conference on a similar virus outbreak just before the start of the corona is enough to have some serious questions asked about who he is hanging out with!

Posted by: Ric G | Mar 18 2020 8:04 utc | 184

"Mark Sleboda Retweeted
China Xinhua News
Watch out for the virus! A new study published in @NEJM
indicates novel #coronavirus is stable and detectable:
-in aerosol: up to 3 hours
-on copper: up to 4 hours
-on cardboard: up to 24 hours
-on plastics and stainless steel: up to 2-3 days


Posted by: Walter | Mar 18 2020 8:13 utc | 185

D @ 176

"Its a shame that MOA now has become unreadable. It was good while it lasted. Cheers!"

I am not sure if we find it unreadable for the reasons, but...

The MOA self styled agenda setters were all so brave when people were dying in Syria and Iraq, with all their distrust & skepticism of the main stream media & their own governments, willing the empire to fall.

But now with the spectre of death finally on their doorstep, they lap up every little missive presented to them by the clowns at CNN & the NYT. The talking heads of the BBC are now the epitome of truth & integrity.
Big pharma stooges no longer infect the corridors of the CDC.

Help me, save me, lock me down echoes the plaintive call of the weak and cowardly.

Their fear prevents them from being embarrassed.

Posted by: ted01 | Mar 18 2020 8:14 utc | 186

It was in a short little piece in Reuters the other day and today Larry Johnson has wrote a piece on it.

Concord Management case being quietly dismissed and swept under the carpet under the cover of coronavirus.
The Mueller investigation and indictments were the cornerstone of the 17 intel agencies and Russia dunnit.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Mar 18 2020 8:18 utc | 187

@Alaric | Mar 18 2020 2:57 utc | 135

Elon Musk has been posting scientific journals that detail treatment medicines via his twitter feed. Expect a breakthrough here.

Yes, Elon Musk will probably solve this whole virus thing via Twitter in no time at all.

How is it that people have lost their minds completely?

Posted by: Norwegian | Mar 18 2020 8:37 utc | 188

Just sayin': Chinese lockdown is/was very different than the Western one. What strikes me is that in the measures applied now in some EU countries, no one is supposed to check on people living alone!! How many corpses will they find in a few months?
Add to that, bakeries and supermarkets open, but workers not paid double or more? Plus workers such as the cleaning ladies in hospitals and others witnessing on tv/radio programs that they have not been given ANY protection equipment.
And next to that, no requisition of army health facilities, not to mention the thousands of private clinics?
Other oddity of the EU lockdown/assignation to residence: ppl were told 1-2 days in advance so that they can take some dispositions. Which for the rich meant: go to their house in the countryside. This resulted (in France at least) in crowded stations (on top of that the train company announced there would be no control since the staff doing that had to stay home!) and better even, to the spread of the virus from Paris to regions where the figures were still very low.
Wonderful people! Their heads on gallows, if the Trump/Bolsonaro/Modi and their EU lackeys give citizens a chance when it comes over.


Posted by: Mina | Mar 18 2020 8:44 utc | 189

Peter AU about serious stuff on strains: in Noirette links yesterday there was some reference apparently (in the way he presented it at least) and indeed different colors for the threads of transmission, but the whole thing was far too difficult and scientific for me to read.
Hope an MoA reader will fill up.

Posted by: Mina | Mar 18 2020 8:48 utc | 190

Ric G

Apparently that comes from the French health minister.

Olivier Véran
Mar 14
Warning sign #COVIDー19 | taking anti-inflammatory drugs (ibuprofen, cortisone, ...) could be a factor of aggravation of the infection. In case of fever, take paracetamol.
If you are already receiving anti-inflammatory drugs or in cases of doubt, seek the advice of your doctor.

Steroids have proven to be dangerous but as yet there seems to be not much coming out of China and elsewhere about non steroidal anti inflammatory drugs. Seems to be guesswork at the moment on the part of the French health minister.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Mar 18 2020 8:52 utc | 191



Cytokines – Dangerous Double-Edged Swords Exploited by Coronaviruses

Proinflammatory cytokines defend host cells from invading pathogens, but they are also capable of driving pathological inflammation [46]. During viral infections, inflammation can act in dynamically opposing antiviral and proviral roles. Inflammatory responses can inhibit viral replication and lower infection, but inflammation also has the capacity to release a large number of virions, further disseminating viral infection to cells like macrophages which will spread the virus to various other tissues and organs in the host [46].

SARS-CoV coronaviruses encode viroporin proteins to activate inflammasomes in order to facilitate viral dissemination. The recent discovery of the ORF3a viroporin further deepens understanding as to why SARS-CoV can exert so much damage when infecting hosts.

Like E proteins, ORF3a also activates NLRP3 inflammasome. It is widely accepted that both E and ORF3a proteins are required for viral replication and virulence [44, 45]. The lack of these two proteins renders the virus nonviable. ORF3a is HIGHLY expressed in infected cells. This viroporin also conducts calcium or sodium ions in membranes like the E protein [59]. Viruses deficient in viroporin ORF3a remain viable but showed reduced pathogenicity in rodent models [60], but the lack of both viroporin E and 3a would completely disable virus from replication [43].

What distinguishes viroporin ORF3a from E protein is its unique ability to induce NF-κB activation, chemokine production, Golgi fragmentation, endoplasmic reticulum stress, and accumulation of intracellular vesicles. ORF3a ion channel activity has been clearly demonstrated to be responsible for initiating pro-apoptotic cell deaths [61, 62, 63, 64].

The viroporin E protein activates NLRP3 inflammasomes through its ion channel activities. What surprised Siu et al. (April 2019) was that the ability of ORF3a to activate NLRP3 inflammasomes to induce cytokine storms that eventually result in severe lung damage is INDEPENDENT of its ion channel activities [65].

ORF3a can induce pro–IL-1β gene transcription and IL-1β protein secretion by facilitating ubiquitination processes that induce gene transcriptions that provide signals required for activation of NLRP3 inflammasomes [66]. The activation of NLRP3 inflammasomes in macrophages of mice infected with SARS-CoV have also been observed by Chen et al. (Jan 2019) [67].

SARS-CoV encodes both viroporin ORF3a and E protein. That is the reason for their high virulence and pathogenicity. Does SARS-CoV-2 encode these two viroporins also?

The most current structure models of all mature peptides of SARS-CoV-2 generated by the C-I-TASSER pipeline [68] clearly shows that SARS-CoV-2, responsible for the COVID-19 disease encodes BOTH ORF3a AND E protein viroporins [69]!

This is the reason why SARS-CoV-2 is significantly more infectious and pathogenic than SARS-CoV.

One question that has not been truly answered is why infants and children under the age of nine do not seem to suffer any severe symptoms upon COVID-19 infection. It is understandable why older patients may be more susceptible to higher risks, but what spares young children? Why are young adults without comorbidities also suffering from pneumonia as a result of COVID-19 infections?

There are no fatalities recorded for infected COVID-19 patients under the age of nine. The fatality rate increases linearly with age. The highest rate of fatality is seen in patients aged 80 and above [71]. Experts have yet to answer the question as to why COVID-19 is sparing young children [72].

While you ponder over this puzzle, take a look at this chart, which mirrors the above table but in REVERSE:

[Source: Grivas TB, Savvidou OD. Melatonin the “light of night” in human biology and adolescent idiopathic scoliosis. Scoliosis. 2007;2:6. Published 2007 Apr 4. doi:10.1186/1748-7161-2-6]

What does this chart measure? An ancient and powerful molecule that everyone is familiar with – melatonin. What does melatonin have to do with SARS-CoV-2?

Melatonin Inhibits NLRP3 Inflammasomes

Melatonin is well known for its chronobiotic effects, regulating biological functions tied to circadian rhythms. Numerous studies have revealed that melatonin exerts effects beyond the control of circadian oscillators. The NLRP3 inflammasome is now recognized as a target for melatonin!

The fact that the pro-inflammatory cytokine storm effects are induced by the activation of NLRP3 inflammasomes, the ability of melatonin to INHIBIT NLRP3 inflammasome elevates this powerful molecule to a truly unique position in the fight against COVID-19. This also means that if a patient, regardless of age, has adequate melatonin, the infectiousness of COVID-19 will be greatly reduced, and the chances of developing ARDS/ALI significantly diminished.

Melatonin is the reason why children under the age of 9 seldom exhibit severe symptoms. In fact, children may exhibit mild or even no symptoms at all, even though they have been infected by SARS-CoV-2 [73]. How significant is the difference in melatonin production between children, adults and the elderly?

For most people, peak melatonin production is between the hours of 2 am to 3 am. The maximum melatonin levels measured in healthy adults between the ages of 65 to 70 years appeared to be around 49.3 picograms/ml (pg/ml). Adults more than 75 years of age only have maximum production levels of 27.8 pg/ml [74].

Young children, on the other hand, have extremely high melatonin levels, compared to adults. The maximum levels recorded for children showed a decline as age increased. Children between the ages of 1 to 5 had peak melatonin at 325 pg/ml, while those between the ages of 5 to 11 already declined to 133 pg/ml [76].

Compared to healthy adult seniors, a young child can easily have TEN TIMES the amount of peak melatonin levels. But even then, the actual physiological concentration is extremely low. How much is one picogram, exactly?

To give you some perspective, most melatonin supplements are around 3 to 5 mg per capsule or tablet. One milligram equals 1,000,000,000 picograms. That is why the physiological dosage generally recommended for melatonin supplementation is around 0.3 milligram [75].

The fact that young children have such high melatonin levels explains why they show very mild symptoms after COVID-19 infections.

Melatonin is a potent inhibitor of NLRP3 inflammasomes

Generally referred to as the “hormone of darkness”, the ability of melatonin to regulate both pro- as well as anti-inflammatory cytokines in different pathophysiological conditions has only been extensively studied in the past several years.

Controlling cytokine storms is one of the major challenges in the treatment of sepsis [82]. The NLRP3 inflammasome has an interesting nickname of “Pandora’s Box for Sepsis” [83]. Yet nature provides all the solutions to difficult health challenges.

NLRP3 inflammasomes is a direct target of melatonin. Animal models of sepsis showed melatonin’s ability to maintain mitochondrial homeostasis, reduce reactive oxygen species and lower production of proinflammatory cytokines. Melatonin was shown to inhibit NLRP3 inflammasomes in mice with myocardial septic conditions, transforming severe myocardial inflammation into milder symptoms, preventing cardiac failure, and significantly enhanced survival rates of septic mice [77, 78].

An excellent study by Volt et al (2016) showed that chronic low doses of melatonin in aged mice could prevent increase in inflammation, ROS and mitochondria impairments reflective of inflammaging [79, 80]. Volt et al. also showed that acute administration of melatonin could counteract severe inflammatory responses [81].

It is therefore not surprising to find that melatonin is able to prevent ARDS/ALI through suppression of NLRP3 inflammasomes

Posted by: pogohere | Mar 18 2020 9:06 utc | 192


" Gendarmes are out and about stopping people. If you don’t have written permission to be outside your residence, e.g."
How do they get the written permission before leaving the house? Are there officials going door to door giving out the written permissions? Wouldn't that help spread the disease?

Posted by: Johny Conspiranoid | Mar 18 2020 9:10 utc | 193

There is no real "containment" - according to the term used - in European countries. I live in Switzerland and despite the fact that Italy, and now France claim to have closed their borders, despite the fact that Switzerland has reactivated controls at its borders (controls were only done very punctually since the Schengen agreements in 2008), the only people who do not cross the border are tourists. Tens of thousands of Italian and French workers still come to Switzerland every day to go to work. In France, little has changed since the start of confinement. People can still do their daily activities, they just need to have a paper, signed by themselves, on the honor, explaining why they are on the street. The only real confinement applies to leisure activities, to non-essential sales stores and to public administrations. Which probably explains why the Champs-Elysées is empty. But the rest of the country continues to work, almost as if nothing had happened.
In Switzerland, some bosses take their responsibilities, accept that they will lose money, and put their employees on "partial unemployment". Many others turn a deaf ear ... We are very far from what confinement in Wuhan was. We will probably be hit very hard, and longer than the Chinese.

Posted by: Bertil | Mar 18 2020 9:13 utc | 194

Thanks. Found the Noirette post and the link but it only showed the strains for Switzerland.
Seems to be nothing yet coming from the medical world on one strain or another being more dangerous.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Mar 18 2020 9:21 utc | 195

Hi folks,
Just wanted to remind everyone that the sanctions need to be lifted and the bombing stopped on the 29 countries we are sanctioning and the 7(+?)we are bombing. We are making perfect incubators for this virus by cutting off food, water, medicine, energy, and credit to these countries. As always the MIC/covert community/State dept complex are taking full advantage of this and the less than curious press is too busy attacking Trump and covering up DNC corruption to mention it. I still can't believe people in this country would shut down polling stations and force more people to share a space in order to prop up Joementia, but here we are. Thanks for doing what you do B !

Posted by: dave | Mar 18 2020 9:27 utc | 196


An interesting find. If that is correct, the immune response can itself spread the virus to other organs.

There was some comments here the other day on fever and inflamation, that reduceing inflamation was reducing the fever thus reducing the imune systems actions against the virus. Out of curiosity I looked up the definition of fever in wiki. this is what I found...
"Treatment to reduce fever is generally not required.[1][9] Treatment of associated pain and inflammation, however, may be useful and help a person rest.[9] Medications such as ibuprofen or paracetamol (acetaminophen) may help with this as well as lower temperature"

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Mar 18 2020 9:41 utc | 197

years ago a colleague of mine used to say "pay me now or pay me later". there is a lot of wisdom in that remark which most everyone tends to ignore.

For example, universal health care. Our betters have told us for years and a great many people truly believe that it would be too expensive. Now however the Trump administration is about to disburse a TRILLION freakin dollars and have mysteriously found a way to pay people for sick leave.


I am puzzled as to why Mr Sanders has not latched onto this with a vengeance. He could say very loudly "I told you so!". If we had those things in place before this outbreak we would be in much better shape now and it would have been far less expensive.

just my 2 cents.

Posted by: dan of steele | Mar 18 2020 9:45 utc | 198

Strange story here.
Two of my mates just arrive on Monday from Saudi Arabia. They were given a choice to either stay in the country working indefinitely or catch one of the last planes out and wait this pandemic out at home. Heres the thing, though. They were told that without taking a vaccine, they would be forced to leave. They were told it was a Covid 19 vaccine... They took it. WTF?

Posted by: D | Mar 18 2020 9:59 utc | 199

Some interesting research on COVID-19 has been reported by The South China Morning Post and on how susceptible or not people of different blood groups are to the virus.

SCMP, "People with blood type A may be more vulnerable to coronavirus, China study finds", "People With Blood Group Type ‘A’ And ‘O’ Have a Special Link to Coronavirus Disease"

The study involved taking samples of blood from 2,000 people with COVID-19 in Wuhan and Shenzhen, dividing them into blood groups according to the ABO system of blood group classification, and comparing the samples with samples taken from a control group of people living in the same cities. People with blood group A showed a higher rate of infection and had more severe symptoms.

The study has not yet been peer-reviewed and needs replication.

Posted by: Jen | Mar 18 2020 10:15 utc | 200

« previous page | next page »

The comments to this entry are closed.