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

@vk #296
The ideological bits are neither helpful nor accurate.
One reason China is so draconian is that the mainland Chinese don't really pay attention to anything beyond custom. They act "free" in a lot more ways than Americans - who are a lot more observant of laws, albeit Americans are a lot less so than Europeans.
However, the issue here is whether a fraction of scofflaws will destroy the goal of the anti-nCOV measures. China doesn't believe so and has the government structures to try and make it stick.
The Western democracies don't.
We'll see what happens.

Posted by: c1ue | Mar 18 2020 18:51 utc | 301

Posted by: vk | Mar 18 2020 16:59 utc | 296
Indeed, the concept of "self-quarantine" is a myth.

It seems to work in Poland at the moment. There are many factors, important one was quick response of the government, far better than Italy/France/Spain. No public gatherings above 50 people since 13 march. and people frown upon any gatherings, even in churches, last Sunday it was like 30 people, compared to full church 2 weeks ago. Non-essential shops closed. Restaurants work in take-away mode, sellers in shops use gloves. Those who can, work from home. Generally people behave in a quite disciplined way. Traffic is a fraction of normal levels. There is some problem with youngsters, some think they have extra vacations.
IIRC Czech and Slovakia were even quicker to close borders than Poland. Generally, former eastern block seems to fare somewhat better than Western Europe.

Virus numbers are some 2 orders of magnitude lower than Italy. 5 deaths so far. We are still on the rising exponential side of the chart. Numbers will rise. Will see in a week or two if the curve flattened.

I keep saying there was enough time to learn from Chinese experience. Some governments did learn, some did not.

Posted by: pppp | Mar 18 2020 19:11 utc | 302

: D | Mar 18 2020 18:27 utc | 302 Thank you kindly, amigo. We both understand the potential implications, I'm afraid.

Posted by: Walter | Mar 18 2020 19:33 utc | 303

if the government tells me to go into a quarantine in a sports stadium, i think i'm not going. bad things happen to people in sports stadiums, think chile. Chile? Think the Superdome!

Posted by: goldhoarder | Mar 18 2020 19:51 utc | 304

@ 297 john... yes, in an informed and methodical manner, but he doesn't mention anything about how this virus may in fact be different or that the way it is hitting some people is way different then anything before... that is the part i don't see in his commentary and i think it is important...

@ 298 jackrabbit... well i meant nsc /pentagon, as they all act in a similar manner - fear inc.. and approaching everything from some militaristic sort of way.. regardless, lets get to your other comments... yes, they would be focused on economics and who is going to suffer... that would be obvious.. and yes - rescuing wall st and boeing would be considered in the ''national interest'' too.. fox guarding the chicken coup.. yes... listen.. i am almost as cynical as you, but not quite as cynical!! i get a lot of where you are coming from, but looking at this like a 9-11 controlled demolition is not quite how i am seeing this... thanks!

Posted by: james | Mar 18 2020 19:56 utc | 305

for people curious about bay area 'shelter in place' so far, I'm in Oakland.had business in Vallejo and just returned.both places like a typical New Year's day, when there's little traffic and most people inside with few places open. freeways consistent with the type of traffic on NY's day. Bart running, if i'm not mistaken a sunday schedule (less trains) only unlike sunday full trains, so with ridership hella down room for 'social distance'. stores we have went to have been stocked spottily, meaning few paper goods in some but lot of staples, and vice versa. haven't seen bare shelves, only bare in spaces. few kids in the streets altho schools closed. schools in oakland coordinated running breakfast and lunch programs so kids get fed. handling admirably, my understanding a group who provide lunches to hiv/aids inhome patients were consulted for disinfecting and hygenic practices for the kids/food workers. local groups are providing Corona Kits, boxes with bleach, alcohol based wipes, masks and other supplies. basically folks in the hood trying to fill the gaps like we always have.stay well.

Posted by: Kiawi | Mar 18 2020 20:29 utc | 306

No need to panic. Take it easy. Here's another view of the paranoia:

Posted by: Bongocero | Mar 18 2020 20:37 utc | 307

chu teh @302--

Bravo! You've done quite well. Nothing like discovery learning. Now you'll need to prepare your report and deliver it to the class.

Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 18 2020 20:46 utc | 308

@Wally. sorry a bit ot but maybe not. Hey Wally I am pretty sure you are the poster to make mention of IIRC saline solutions in freezers that help with thaw when there is no power to power freezers? If so could you or any other poster in the know on this please elaborate or point me in the direction for further study, as if the Covid thing gets really pear it will be valuable info. Thanks in advance Wally

Posted by: Tannenhouser | Mar 18 2020 21:18 utc | 309

Salt water freezes at slightly lower temperature than freshwater. So salting snow or ice or putting it into brine will force it to unfreeze while drawing thermal energy from environment. That may cause nearby freshwater to freeze. The more salt, the lower is temperature, theoretically down to -21 degrees Celsius, but it requires more than 3 parts salt per 10 parts water at this point. Historically this method was used to make ice cream before freezers were invented.

Posted by: pppp | Mar 18 2020 21:57 utc | 310

re james | Mar 18 2020 16:04 utc | 286
The post has disappeared and written straight to the site rather than on Notepad because the muse was up & running I have no copy and no intention of trying to repeat it in the half-hearted tone which is inevitable when one is trying to replicate what has already been said. The vague and now anodyne gist was:
Allowing the crooks who lie to us every day virtually unlimited power on the grounds that their incompetence & deceit was the cause of the need to use that power is plain stupid.
We know damn well that pols don't listen to we the people, they listen to the elite just like we know that oppressive and invasive laws passed in the immediate aftermath of 911 will never be revoked even tho they were alleged to be temporary when introduced.
There is no evidence to suggest giving these liars so much power will matter a jot in reducing epidemic fatalities, but there is plenty of evidence to show such laws will be used to further cement the crooks & liars hold on power.

I then went on to argue that those on the left who support centralised power such as that are not socialists but old fashioned state capitalists, that socialism is a function of local decision & as such if something such as mobile phone tracking were introduced by a community decision made by all in that community with all data being held locally & not passed up to a central govt I wouldn't be happy but would go along with it, but that will not be how national/federal governments will ever agree to implement it.
There was also a piece about how annoying it is when you try to bland out everyone's point of view with meaningless, passionless 'recaps'.

Posted by: A User | Mar 18 2020 22:01 utc | 311

@4p. So if i have brine (3/1) bottles in my freezer they will stay frozen longer therefore aiding the overall temp in freezer? Is that what you are getting at?
Sorry B

Posted by: Tannenhouser | Mar 18 2020 22:03 utc | 312

Ok Mr Tannenhouser. Here's the deal Wally described. Yes, it's off topic, so copy it, as b may properly decide to delete it. It's junior high physics.

Assume the mains electric power is "on" about half of the day. The same assumption would apply to photovoltaic panels, more or less. Or assume you will run a generator intermittently to conserve fuel. Assume you have a freezer that uses maybe 120 watts in a duty cycle of 50% and a normal cycle period of 20 minutes. You need to "store cold", not store electricity. The freezer is pretty much all in freshwater ice phase - little storage.

Wally has measured this stuff, he's about right about the numbers. They're conservative. He did this with PV off grid for 10 years.

The ice in the freezer normally is perhaps @ zero Fahrenheit. When power goes off heat is absorbed and the ice warms at about one calorie per cc, but when it gets to about +32F (zero C)it takes more than 100 times the heat to get one cc one degree warmer (yeah, mixing temperature scales here) but you get the deal - the ice reaches a plateau as it changes to liquid. We do not want any melting or temperature near +32F. sooo.

Here's the trick. Use salt brine concentrated to the correct "sal".

Get that solution made up so it freezes pretty solid at about zero Fahrenheit. It take a long long time to melt, it has heat storage in both phase and mass. It's heavy too, obviously.

Now then, run the freezer when the power is on, if still need the same overall duty cycle, but you can change the delta T/t, ie overnight the freezer stays frozen, as the brine melts.

The containers for the brine suffer a lot with the volumetric changes as the phase goes from solid to liquid and back again over and over.

Place containment under 1 gallon jugs... You'll need a hydrometer or a scale to get it right, and a way to measure volume.

see> " Preparation of Salt Brines for the Fishing Industry

"...salt above or below this point will result in a solution with a freezing point higher than -6°F. Table 1 gives specific data on freezing point, concentration, and relationships useful in preparing salt brines. Preparing Salt Brines After selecting the desired brine concentration for any desired purpose, use table 1 to find how much water and ..." You'll find it in pdf online.

The same trick work to freeze fish as ya catch 'em, but you just add lots of salt to the beerchest. Makes the beer kina salty round the poptop...a little lagniappe.

Hope that helps, Dude.

Posted by: Walter | Mar 18 2020 22:11 utc | 313

@ 313 a user.. i believe i understand what you are saying and i agree with you.. maybe i am not cynical enough , though i think i am pretty cynical.. to the matter at hand - see hospital docs comment which i am going to repost here, but it is on the open thread... what are your thoughts on this? how would you move forward here as a political leader? what would you do in this situation? i am truly curious.. thanks...

"There are lots of confused folks out there, overall it seems to be a poor understanding of the viral danger. Granted, we do not have an abundance of reliable data available, but based on the the articles published so far, the epidemic is very different and much more dangerous than flu.

The skeptics are pointing out that flu kills tens of thousand folks in America each season, most of them old and with '' medical problems" ...and Cov so far just took out several thousand of the same, so what is the hype about??

The main problem with this line of thought: the flu dead are not the same as corona dead. I have been working in American hospitals for 25 years and I can say, in fair confidence, that most of the flu victims are at the end of the road already, suffering for terminal issues: advanced heart failure, copd, cancer, etc. That is the reason we, as the society, we are not making much fuss about it: those folks are expected to die and the flu just helps them to knock at the heaves doors...There are very few exceptions, with a handful of very young victims per year.

The reports coming from China and Italy are pointing to a different profile for the victims: the number one risk factor seems to be simple hypertension. One in two American adults has hypertension...They also mention diabetes, more than 10% of Americans have it and some other "popular" issues like coronary disease and chronic kidney problems. It is true that above 80 the mortality is quite high, but there is a serious number of dead folks in their 50S, 60s and 70s and this is very unlike flu. Look at the reports coming from Iran: significant number of officials dead...those were not frail and severely debilitated persons, but folks in their prime political career. Hypertension, being a very low risk overall, is not supposed to be counted as a '' medical problem" as terminal heart failure, liver cirrhosis or copd counts for flu.

Also, dying is not the only data that should be followed comparing the two viruses: being critically sick on the ventilator, for several weeks, is not fun. The average age for admission to hospital , in a Chinese article , with severe respiratory condition was mid 50s. Italian docs also reported large numbers of patients with ARDS/ severe respiratory condition that are younger that are younger than 50, many without any medical problem , and that is unheard for flu...

Last, the skeptics are comparing the number of victims at the end of the flu season with the numbers just at the beginning of Cov. '20k vs 6k... it's a hoax!' So far , every epidemiologic model showed that in the absence of radical measures, the numbers may be from 10 times to much more worse than flu, when all will be done with.

Posted by: hospital doc | Mar 18 2020 16:30 utc | 35"

Posted by: james | Mar 18 2020 22:19 utc | 314

Kladice 289

Seems to be a lot of patents kicking around on the Vietnamese strain of SARS. You and the other clown Kerry quote different patent numbers.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Mar 18 2020 22:22 utc | 315

Yes Wally.Thank you Wally. Thank you b

Posted by: Tannenhouser | Mar 18 2020 22:31 utc | 316

ditto. vielen dank herr b

Posted by: Walter | Mar 18 2020 22:35 utc | 317

This is me just being the dreamer again,as I am wont to do, but wouldn't it be nice if we could use this crisis as an opportunity to actually do some good in the world and maybe finally at long last begin to dismantle the Empire?

For one thing if we had any decency at all we would roll back the illegal unilateral sanctions we have imposed on various designated enemies of Empire like Venezuela, Iran, Nicaragua, Cuba, North Korea, Syria, Russia. Sanctions which under normal circumstances are silent killers but under current circumstances are absolutely insane -- make no sense whatsoever if we're serious about combating a global epidemic and trying to minimize its effects, and would be a crime compounded if allowed to continue under these circumstances.

For another thing, we're going to have to do something to stimulate the economy under conditions where people are no longer able to sustain their livelihood. And the traditional neoliberal means employed of top down infusion of money to corporations in the hope that it will somehow "trickle down" to average people isn't going to cut it in this situation (not that it ever has). There will have to be some sort of infusion of cash that goes directly into people's pockets. This is not only the thing that will save the economy it is also only rational in terms of public health policy. To this end, Tulsi Gabbard has already introduced a bill to give a UBI of $1000 per month to all adult Americans “until COVID-19 no longer presents a public health emergency.” Even Mitt Romney has gotten on the bandwagon and has proposed a one-off $1000 check be distributed. Which I don't believe would be enough to address the situation, but in Tulsi's proposal I would also prefer to see some kind of upper limit on who is eligible. Maybe restricting it to people making under $100,000 per year, as b suggested in one of his earlier posts. But even though the stimulus effect of this on the economy would offset much of the costs involved, and in the long run may even completely pay for itself, in the short term the money for this is going to have to come from somewhere. And one aspect of the budget which is not only over inflated but has a positively noxious effect on the U.S. and people around the globe is our so-called "defense" budget. In 2019, at over $1.2 trillion it accounted for approximately half of all discretionary spending (which btw, amounted to more than the military spending of the next 10 countries combined.) And this doesn't even account for military related spending hidden in other parts of the budget. This crisis would provide the perfect opportunity for people from across the political spectrum to finally have the courage to openly challenge the heretofore sacrosanct "defense" budget and to question some of the assumptions and priorities upon which the insider/MIC stranglehold over narrative rests. If we could even begin to chip away at it it may very well change the momentum of our political discourse. And even if it were at first couched in terms of a temporary fix, it could conceivably take on a more permanent nature once precedent has been established. What I have in mind here is a sort of "Shock Doctrine" in reverse -- i.e., taking advantage of a crisis in order to shape policy going into the future. Instead of stoking fears of a burgeoning police state/totalitarian society it would tend to take us in the opposite direction -- a demilitarized, more humane society, centered on human needs. Well, as I said, I can dream can't I?

Posted by: Steve M | Mar 18 2020 22:50 utc | 318

To the people saying things like 'oh, it hasn't even killed that many people yet, seasonal flu kills 19,000', do you honestly not grasp that this thing is just getting started? It's a flu that no one has immunity to yet. That's the problem. It spreads extremely easily, and is killing between 3 and 4 percent of the people it infects.

What will it take for you guys? 20,000 dead? 50,000? 100,000? At what point will you concede "oh hey, this thing is kind of dangerous and maybe all that stuff about going to lockdown had a point"? Or will you just never reach that stage?

Posted by: Benjamin | Mar 18 2020 23:45 utc | 319

And there it is!

The Wuhan Virus and the Imperative of Hard Decoupling

It won’t be easy or painless, but the role China has played in exacerbating the fallout from the coronavirus crisis ought to force Americans to fundamentally reconsider the relationship.

<> <> <> <> <>

As per my comment @71:>blockquote>The delay in action wasn't due to racism, it was due to EMPIRE.

"Decoupling" will now be accelerated as USA and other Western governments blame China.

"Chinese Virus" (the new "Yellow Peril") and the McCarthyist Russiagate are essentially the same. They play on people's fears and are initiated to isolate China and Russia and squash dissent in Western populations.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Mar 19 2020 2:13 utc | 320

Deep State priorities:

1) Accelerate decoupling.

2) Soft landing for Wall Street, plus helping Boeing and other favored companies


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Mar 19 2020 2:16 utc | 321


A good chance you are correct. A politically useful bio weapon was a term used at some point I believe.
It has been obvious for a long time, Trump wants to completely decouple from China, but his chances of doing that (politically speaking) were next to nil due to the pain it would cause the US.
If this has been used as a bio weapon it would have been known that a number of known drugs work well against this strain of Coronavirus so no threat to US people in high places.
Allowing it to clean up a few peasants and the accompanying shutdowns will take attention away from the pain of decoupling.
Allowing it to hit the US very similar in intent or purpose to 9 11.
Goering back in the day knew how to steer the peasants. Nothing has changed.

"“Why of course the people don't want war. Why should some poor slob on a farm want to risk his life in a war when the best he can get out of it is to come back to his farm in one piece? Naturally the common people don't want war: neither in Russia, nor in England, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But after all it is the leaders of a country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy or fascist dictorship, or a parliament or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the peace makers for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country.”"

Once again the people are being 'attacked'. Works every time.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Mar 19 2020 3:15 utc | 322

smoothies article on it from today...

Dr. George Oprisko comments on it.

he has made some interesting comments at moa on this topic too, but is on the previous march 11th thread, like here..

"A study of the COVID-19 epidemic in Vo’ Euganeo, Italy showed that ~ 50% of all COVID-19 infections were asymptomatic.

Lombardy was probably the epicenter of the initial contagion. Hence, the quick rise. Yet, Veneto (which experienced its first death the same day as Lombardy) seems to have a growth of infected people much slower than the other main Northern regions.

In particular, the absolute and relative level of deaths in Veneto is inferior to those in Emilia and Piemonte, in spite of the fact that these two regions experienced their first deaths several days after Veneto.

There is an important difference between Veneto and the other three Northern regions. From the beginning, Veneto applied the strategy of mass testing applied in South Korea. As a result, Veneto has been able to isolate infected people even when they were asymptomatic. In Vo’, this strategy worked wonderfully.

On February 22, 3 percent of the inhabitants of Vo’ were infected. After two weeks in which the town was locked down, only 0.25 percent were infected. Once these few infected people were isolated, the town reopened and has experienced no new cases.

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.

Further work by Chinese ID specialists shows those with Blood Type A are most likely to have severe complications, while those with blood type O are least likely to have them.

Posted by: Dr. George W Oprisko | Mar 18 2020 1:06 utc | 402"

Posted by: james | Mar 19 2020 3:39 utc | 323

This is interesting. I had been starting to think we were ignoring the yanks and brits and following very closely what China was or is doing.

Zhang Yiming
Today, Chinese medical and custom experts held a video conference to share their experience in fighting against COVID-19 with their AU and 24 African countries’counterparts. Namibian experts also participated in the conference and exchanged views with their Chinese counterparts.

I hope the AU government keeps going this way rather than hanging around the coat tails of the US.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Mar 19 2020 4:53 utc | 324

The bunya nut republic of Australia just decoupled from the USA import trade as its currency just crashed below 55 Aus cents to the usa $arsewipe.

That's so they can keep their native stockmarket trashed as much as the USA stocks are.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Mar 19 2020 6:07 utc | 325

The Empire Games Covid-19


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Mar 19 2020 6:27 utc | 326

- Even FOX News has changed its tune with regard the Corona Virus. First FOX downplayed the danger of the virus. But now they also have changed their mind.

See the following video:

and these weblinks:

Posted by: Willy2 | Mar 19 2020 7:16 utc | 327

The more I look at this as a decoupling, the more I see method in the madness. Something like Trump bringing the house down, but others will lose far more than the US, something like whoever loses the least will be the winner. If this was planned by the US and unexpected by China, then a good chance China will lose far more than the US.
This from Reuters today "J.P. Morgan economists forecast the U.S. economy to shrink 14% in the next quarter, and the Chinese economy to drop more than 40% in the current one, one of the most dire calls yet as to the scale of the fallout."

In the midst of this US has brought in more sanctions on Iran. According to Magnier the US now have their man as PM. Iraq is a basket case and US will do as they please there. It wont be long now I think and Trump will make his move on Iran and Persian gulf oil.
Dumping the old cold war era business racket which has run its course for the new energy dominance racket.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Mar 19 2020 7:35 utc | 328

Italy regular flu mortality: 187 - 241 deaths PER WEEK

Italy March 18th COVID-19 deaths 475 death IN ONE DAY

Posted by: Kaiama | Mar 19 2020 8:09 utc | 329

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Mar 19 2020 7:35 utc | 328


Of course this was a devilish Chinese plot to prove the superiority of state intervention to "no power to the government" states.(no, I do not really believe this, it is a joke, but I hear, China for the first time has no more new cases within its borders, ie they can restart full production which now will be sending masks and hospital equipment to the world)

This from Reuters today "J.P. Morgan economists forecast the U.S. economy to shrink 14% in the next quarter, and the Chinese economy to drop more than 40% in the current one, one of the most dire calls yet as to the scale of the fallout."

Forecasts are propaganda.

Iran: The median age in Iran is 32 years. median age US 38.2, median age Germany 46.8, median age Italy 47.3, median age China 38.4.

Present best case scenario for Iran are 12 000 deaths with Iranians cooperating (asking for cooperation does not suggest they live in a dictatorship). China is bound to deliver expertise.

If anything this was an attack on Europeans.

Iran will be fine, a decrease of elderly clerics could be a good thing as their ideas are outdated. Iraq urgently needs effective government. If they get that, they might be able to prevent the US fighting Iran using their country which has been the problem since the Iraq - Iran war.

Me, I am celebrating the end of neoliberalism as we knew it. Plus, "fighting the virus" might finally unite the world.

Israel, by the way, seems to enter full dictatorship mode. Which will keep their security services very busy.

Posted by: somebody | Mar 19 2020 8:39 utc | 330


I'm starting to see this coronavirus (the fallout) as a definite marker on the changing of eras. The post WWII era has now officially ended and we are entering into a new as yet unknown era. The interesting times keep on coming.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Mar 19 2020 8:50 utc | 331

This is horrible.
Twitter ban critics of how governments deal with Corona.

Posted by: Zanon | Mar 19 2020 9:08 utc | 332

I agree with Somebody: it is an attack on the Europeans. Trump delays were blindly followed by our elite. They now feel the heat and can only realize that indeed their health system had been made an under-staffed and low budget mess thanks to EU and Big Pharma recommendations.

Posted by: Mina | Mar 19 2020 9:16 utc | 333

Posted by: Mina | Mar 19 2020 9:16 utc | 332
attack on the Europeans

For the past several years I keep noticing government policies in Western Europe that are straight hostile to their populations. Handling immigrants, terrorism are the most striking examples, Yellow Vests, Police vs Firemen is another, then austerity in Italy in Greece, that hurt economy more that the crisis it was supposed to fix. Then all the polices that lead to reducing family stability and worsening conditions for raising kids: promoting divorces, promoting lightweigt relationships that are easy to terminate. Some of these policies last tens of years by now and became a social norm. LGBT stuff on top on that.

It's as if elites treated general population as a liability rather than as an asset and would welcome smaller populations in the future. Georgia Guidestones come to mind.

Given D post @299 (Mar 18 2020 18:27 utc), I wonder if top figures got the same vaccine Saudi Arabia has, so they do not have to worry about their own safety.

Posted by: pppp | Mar 19 2020 10:54 utc | 334

In Ksa, it may also be an experimental MERS vaccine? That they would be testing this way?

About the European politicians, I suspect that apart from a handful of ppl it is more related to stupidity than anything else.
Look at France, they closed bars and restaurants last Saturday but allowed the local elections to go on the next day (!). They finally had to postpone the second round ballot which was scheduled for next Sunday but have validated the results of the first round (some mayors got elected at the first round).
The result is that what is now the most necessary level of governement, the local level, is dysfunctional too.
Behind such a mess is greed and the narcissism requested of wanna be politicians by the media circus (and the ppl who buy the media circus).

Posted by: Mina | Mar 19 2020 11:07 utc | 335

EU is really in a mess,
while China call to do more in europe, EU do nothing.
WHO almost a week ago now declared europe to be the core of this disease, but nothing has been really done on a EU level anyway.


Seems to be the far hit by the disease


Isnt far off

Posted by: Zanon | Mar 19 2020 11:39 utc | 336

Peter AU1 @328

Sure, this bioweapon attack on China was an attempt to cripple their economy. If the aim was to complete "decoupling", then it is doomed to fail. Manufacturing remains the foundation of economic vitality. Only a massive crash of the value of the dollar can bring manufacturing back to the US (well, there is revolution and initiating socialized economic planning, but I think we can discount that), but can America survive such a state of affairs long enough to re-industrialize? A generation of near-universal poverty? America would be a very different place after that. The world would be a very different place. I don't see how that place would be one that the business elites could abide, thus I don't see why they would take such a huge risk of losing their privileged roles in the world.

I am still of the opinion that this bioweapon attack was a rash and ill-conceived conniption fit whose consequences were not much thought about beforehand. A tantrum thrown by Harvard frat boys with the emotional development of five-year-olds from prior generations.

Posted by: William Gruff | Mar 19 2020 12:04 utc | 337

William Gruff

If it is just an economic crash, then it has always been my thought China would emerge the winner. They have a great deal of recent infrastructure - bricks and mortar type stuff that can't be taken away by an economic crash plus their manufacturing power. US on the other hand has run down and end of life infrastructure plus very little manufacturing. China's tech is now well advanced so US does not hold much of a lead there, behind in a number of areas.
But I think US will be taking this further. How that will pan out time will tell. Another thing we have to wait and see on is how this will affect China's belt and road initiative. That is dependent on trade and economic zones through a number of countries ect. Very much an international project.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Mar 19 2020 12:15 utc | 338

Maybe some plans for 'world governance' and 'minimal subsidy for all' in the cooking pot?
Not that one should be too optimistic about that too.

Posted by: Mina | Mar 19 2020 12:24 utc | 339

Posted by: pppp | Mar 19 2020 10:54 utc | 333

It's as if elites treated general population as a liability rather than as an asset and would welcome smaller populations in the future.

That's indisputably how they view it. By now with their ideology and practice of extreme "downsizing" globalization, capitalism no longer even wants to exploit "workers", but for workers simply to cease to exist. This is especially true across the global South. The Western economic civilization drives people off their land and onto despairing mass migrations, most of which ends up in shantytowns but some ends up as political "immigrant" controversies at the Westerners' doors. And there those same elites work it up into a political controversy. Same old divide and conquer. The real solution is not to work for economic empire in the first place.

They do still want "consumers" to exist, but in their minds they've dispensed even with this and rely on government contracts. This economy will stagger along for as long as the people find it plausible for the corporate welfare gravy train to continue. Unless of course Gaia takes a hand, though so far she's being extremely, to me intolerably merciful.

Posted by: Russ | Mar 19 2020 12:39 utc | 340

Good piece on the deliberate predicament of the pandemic-poising economic civilization.

Posted by: Russ | Mar 19 2020 13:02 utc | 341

Posted by: Mina | Mar 19 2020 11:07 utc | 334
...stupidity, greed...

As they say, one is an accident, two is a coincidence and three is an enemy action.
To be a politician one needs to be somewhat smart to outcompete others. This is in conflict with "stupidity" explanation. Being decoupled from social reality might explain some of actions.

Let me tell you a story, it's quite offtopic to the subject, sorry b.

Last year around this time teachers in Poland decided to go on strike ( Wikipedia link, Polish only, biased) . The choice of timing gave them a leverage because the strike would disrupt three countrywide exams, so the teachers went with quite elevated salary demands. The strike was organized by teachers union and by our pro-European opposition, with some support from other countries. Quite a lot of people was hit by the consequences of the strike: some people were forced to organize daily care for kids, most annoyed were those whose kids were about to pass the exams, Even those who normally would support the opposition were fuming. The government did not cave to the demands and strike ended after some 2 weeks, exams went ahead with some bumps.

Teachers who took part in the strike were hit by lost salary up to half monthly wage and as a group they lost remainders of social authority. The union lost a lot of authority too and could not arrange another strike a few months later. Opposition lost EU elections a few weeks later.

Now, the question is why on all levels (teachers, unions, parties) they did not foresee that outcome which was quite evident for every parent. Hitting kids had to enrage parents AND business managers who had to deal with parents absence because schools and kindergartens were closed. On top of that they (both union and opposition parties) ended the fight as losers.

I can not understand how veteran politicians picked a fight which perhaps promised a high prize but at a low probability of win coupled with lots of guaranteed collateral damage. I can not believe they are THAT stupid or else they would not be at the top. This does not add up. My theory is someone from outside talked them into doing that, promising international support and whatnot, in a way similar to the style of Economic Hitmen, that's where greed comes into play. The clear gain for an outside party like that would be direct economic loses, creating social rifts in the population which can be exploited later, creating chaos in the country and disrupting kids' education.

I believe politicians in other European countries are affected by similar malevolent guidance.

Posted by: pppp | Mar 19 2020 13:08 utc | 342

Peter AU1 | Mar 19 2020 3:15 utc | 322 (your several posts and, I think also Jack's - your dialogue above)

Wally agrees, I think, entirely.

But recalls from the cadet years and from ROTC instruction - essentially instructions created in 1955, more or less - that CBW-N Doctrine was to weaken an opponent with disease either prior to or subsequent to an atomic attack. The US atom tests # 2 and # 3 (these test series have been re-numerated now, but Hiroshima and Nagasaki were "tests" 2 and 3) got the boffins of murder methods to twig to the fact that radiation exposure and contamination with radioactive material, "fallout" greatly weakens the immune system. Like flies they drop. The tests @ Bikini used a lot of animals... And they used gamma sources stateside on monkeys and so on... Unspeakable.

This Wally considers, in the context of the thesis that CV19 is a weapon and that the release was by design, is that the release is a precursor to atomic, er, "events" - and he might speculate that Iran's industrial capacity, especially their nuclear machinery, would, or might, seem to our "fratboys" to be a fat and appropriate target. It was Doctrine in th' day. "Old Microbiologist" @ Saker spoke about his guy feeling that it was a "see eye eh" lab, (Ohio?) product...something that some people may have missed...

Yeah, I know, it's crazy. So is that which has happened. If we are frogs the water's heating really fast.

Posted by: Walter | Mar 19 2020 13:13 utc | 343

'Stupidity' has many forms: not being well informed can lead to it.I see a lot of mistaken decisions
based on bad information, at least in Europe.
I would say that politicians today are mainly narcissist and submissive. They get their jobs
after joining a party and show they can submit to the Alpha males in the party. Nothing to
do with intelligence.

Posted by: Mina | Mar 19 2020 13:30 utc | 344

pppp @342

I think your analysis is absolutely correct, and damaging the working class teachers' union was icing on the cake for the cynical forces that talked them into the strike. Efforts to keep its adversaries AND its vassals divided and off-balance is why Pepe Escobar calls the American Empire the "Empire of Chaos". But sowing chaos can only be a successful strategy to dominate so long as the imperial center remains strong. Creating chaos in the imperial heartlands themselves would be suicidal. This is why I am having a hard time seeing the impact of the pandemic in the US as being part of the empire's plans. The empire's domestic managers are scrambling and making false starts trying to deal with the contagion, so the current situation doesn't look like anything that had been gamed out in any detail in advance.

Posted by: William Gruff | Mar 19 2020 13:39 utc | 345
Some good news at least.
Given the number of politicians who caught it (now Barnier, Mr Brexit), what else can it be apart from denial/stupidity?

Posted by: Mina | Mar 19 2020 13:43 utc | 346

Posted by: Mina | Mar 19 2020 13:30 utc | 344

Yes, the higher you go, the more Monkey Politics rules. They alternate between timidity to their overlords and snarling at the underclass, babbling volumes of moralistic twaddle as they go.

Posted by: William Gruff | Mar 19 2020 13:39 utc | 345

Yes, it makes little difference if they (whomever that might be) intended it not, it is out of control, and the consequences will be too.

Posted by: Bemildred | Mar 19 2020 13:49 utc | 347

William Gruff 345

Trump has been intent on breaking the post WWII status quo, or as it has evolved to date, if it could be called that.
In business, bankruptcy and its laws is just another tool to be used. I dont know it is what Trump is doing here be he seems to be the sort of person that will set things rolling then play it by ear type thing. Thought out calculated risk, but not so much a clear step by step process as we know it. Method in the madness.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Mar 19 2020 13:57 utc | 348

Not much us frogs can do other than sit back and enjoy the show and try and work out the plot. I think I will put my money on Xi and Putin, but the US wont go down without a fight.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Mar 19 2020 14:02 utc | 349

Peter AU1 @338

You are right that the empire will double down on its efforts to dominate China. That will be Round 3 in the fight if we take the trade war as the beginning (or Round 4 or 5 or 6 if the color revolution attempts in Hong Kong and Tiananmen Square are counted, or 7 if that string of mysterious explosions a couple years back were part of the efforts). So far the empire has lost every one of those attacks, though.

So what could the next attack be? The Uighur uprising failed and the Chinese have carefully neutered any base of support a new one would have in their society. The Tibetan Buddhists are not going to take up arms again. Falun Gong is seen as a freakish cult even outside of China. There is nothing within Chinese society that the empire can get a handle on now.

As far as the Belt and Road Initiative, that is economics. The pandemic isn't going to stop that. On the contrary, China will be back to hitting its economic stride again just as the West is experiencing the depths of economic contraction from the pandemic. The Chinese will likely end up looking like economic salvation personified. All of the empire's FUD that they use to scare participants away from the B&RI will be rendered empty and powerless.

As I see it, the only way the empire can up its fight with China any further than this last attack is either deadlier bioweapons (a bad idea that I hope the empire will recognize from this failed attack), or taking the fight kinetic. Given the current state of America's economy, conventional war too would be a bad idea. Nukes, anyone?

Posted by: William Gruff | Mar 19 2020 14:13 utc | 350

Yes, Peter. Agree. Simply stay oriented.

Bill, 345 you remember the cartoon of the old fella being escorted with the smokestack'd factory in the background, escorted by the suited fat capitalist boss, to the brick wall. We, but not he, can see the firing squad waiting on the other side.

"Ok! Joe, We want to thank you for all those years of service and loyalty to Luckup Corp, and hope you're going to enjoy your retirement!" (shaking Joe's limp had with earnest gusto...

Makes more sense than Wally likes to think about...

Posted by: Walter | Mar 19 2020 14:16 utc | 351

William Gruff 350
Indirect is my thought. I seem to be the only one that thinks this, but for quite some time I have believed that Trump is going for China's Achilles heel. Energy imports. Take the oil. Energy dominance. Whoever controls the Persian gulf controls a good part of the world.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Mar 19 2020 14:19 utc | 352

Peter AU1 | Mar 19 2020 14:19 utc | 352 Liddell Hart's "Strategy" would buttress your "indirect". Effective Strategy is almost always indirect.

Posted by: Walter | Mar 19 2020 14:26 utc | 353

Walter @351

Yeah, that does make sense. The suggestion makes me wonder if the campaign to vilify the "Boomer" generation these last few years was to prep the population for culling the flock? Definitely not a pleasant train of thought, that. I am sticking with thinking this is a monumental own goal, but now you have me wondering...

Posted by: William Gruff | Mar 19 2020 14:29 utc | 354

2 ways to take control:

1. Infiltrate and influence from within to promote your allies up into further power; rinse and repeat. Or...

2. Cause chaos/out-of-control/panic scene, then appear with fully prepped organization/logistics to re-introduce effective control to welcoming gratitude.

When goes wrong, learn-improve and try again. Identify who [!] are the obstacles and neuter them. The weak link is funding, so re-directed State/public funds and dark-money are the remedy. Persistence over time triumphs.

Posted by: chu teh | Mar 19 2020 17:10 utc | 355

Recall that an Invisible Hand, or true Insider, is almost never fully exposed. You already have the evidence for that, to wit:

Recall a time when you, alone, were the actual "Insider" who planned and caused an event to happen at a particular time and place, that no one else [outsiders] knew was going to occur. Then compare what you learned from outsiders about said event, with the truth known only to you [as the true source].

Example-- Smith is publisher of a small newspaper. To make money, Smith, in March, arranges to print in June, a shocking item that some corporation is likely under investigation in connection with mis-labeling cancer-causing chemicals. Smith, in April, bets that price if the corporations stock will fall. Insider Smith wins his bet and begins his next event. [Smith's bets are handled by anonymous brokers in a foreign country by cover-accounts and cover-stories without ever his identity being known.]

Posted by: chu teh | Mar 19 2020 17:43 utc | 356

Some rather interesting information from Italy's health ministry translated to english through a Swiss site:

Posted by: Gary Weglarz | Mar 20 2020 15:40 utc | 357

USNato Herd immune strategy is ill considered & reckless. China specialists are warning against it consider the high risk & uncertain.

As HK virologist explained, COVID R0 of 2.5~4 will see up to 60% get infected. At current data, 15% infected will be hospitalized, 1~4% deaths.

That means UK 60M will see up to est 36M infected, 5.4M hospitalized, with 360k~1M deaths culling tbe olds saving pensions. But what if it don't work, the nation will be in deep shit.

Moreover, some research already found some recovered COVID patients exhibited relapsed, brain and organs failure. The virus has HIV characteristics to weaken immune gradually causing infections and organ failure death. If it turn out true, shit hit the fan, 36M recovered patients will continue to spread infecting the whole nation and the world, all will be living like HIV patients eventually.,000-times-more-potent-

Posted by: TTdr | Mar 22 2020 2:04 utc | 358

Quarantine alone help contain the outbreak effectively. But some treatment is required with vaccines to prevent continue of 2nd wave. But Western medicine has no proven working treatment,and defensive nature vaccines take 18mths to dev.

The main reason China is successful so fast because of using TCM treatment for both curing and prevention 90% patients were given TCM, with 97% effective rate, zero death, zero side effect, zero infection of medical staff. All China deaths and Drs infections are treated by Western drugs only. Wuhan has highest death rate of 4% with most deaths because its Drs were stubbornly refusing TCM, until CCP step in to enforce 1mth later.

Clinical trial of hundreds Western drugs on thousand of patiens is also main cause of deaths, that mostly proved non effective or fatal. Be it antimalarial chloroquine, HIV drugs,Remdesivir, ...all are pharma marketing pitch in collabration with corrupted Chinese Drs to get free lab mice not available in West. The preliminary Chinese report leak out show dismay result.

In 2003 SARS crisis, its also TCM treatment that contain it also, with spectacular result of zero death, zero side effective complications, zero infection of physicians. But West msm will never report out of political reason & pride. The $T west mkt and powerful pharmaceutical giants funded IB will continue to suppress traditional treatment.

Posted by: TTdr | Mar 22 2020 2:20 utc | 359

"As I see it, the only way the empire can up its fight with China any further than this last attack is either deadlier bioweapons (a bad idea that I hope the empire will recognize from this failed attack), or taking the fight kinetic. Given the current state of America's economy, conventional war too would be a bad idea. Nukes, anyone?"

Posted by: William Gruff | Mar 19 2020 14:13 utc | 350

USN activities in SCS is unusually step up with 3 intrusion per wk now, provoking for a fight with China. Twn secession is also getting active. All these point to some potential that US might be waging a limited conventional war with China as last ditch to halt its growth after series of bioterrorism attack.

The most unstable danger factor is lunatic India under Modi Hindutva RSS BJP. They might be happily used by jew cabal ZUS as canon fodder in provoking Pak & China for a nuclear war. There is nothing to lose for ZIndia, even 500M of its hungry poors turn into ash is helping its population control India always hope for. A lost of 50% India is only $1.4T GDP, no significant to world.

But for China,the ZUS sepoy India targeting of Xinjiang will terminate BRI permanently. Lost of Guangzhou, Shanghai, Beijing will see China rise go backward more than 20yrs losing lot of its elites & $24T GDP PPP.

Posted by: TTdr | Mar 22 2020 10:09 utc | 360

A 18 month lockdown of most of the world is economically not possible, but there alternatives;

If we look at what virologists say, we need to lock down the world for 18 months till a vaccine is available for covid-19 in order to save lives, this is true but it has a very negative result.
A lockdown longer than 3-6 month will cause a complete shutdown of the economies worldwide, 72.43% of the people who work live from pay-check to pay-check without having the resources saved up to pay their basic costs including food. Governments can implement temporary assistance programs, but not for an 18 months’ period and for so many people. After the first month people will use up their savings and max out credit-cards to pay for basic costs, when they run out, they will default on their loans creating a massive amount of NPL (Non-Performing Loans) which puts all major banks into financial risk. Companies will face a similar problem as borders close no export or import possibilities, creating massive amounts of bankruptcies and un-employed. This furthers the risk on the banking sector which will collapse if there is no Government bailout, however since the Government isn’t receiving much taxes due to the fact that people and companies are not earning or making profit (except some companies) they will have to borrow on the capital market which will dry up as well. Since there will be large amounts of money spend on stimulus packages, and unemployment benefit payments the situation will turn bad quickly leaving the only option is to print more money, which has the adverse result of a currency devaluation which will be a cycle as we have seen in Germany in the 1930’s
Another problem that will occur very quickly is than when people run out of money crime will increase tenfold it can even cause riots, louting and in worst case scenario war. The result of keeping countries in 18 month of lockdown will be that the death-rate will be more than 10% which does not even include long term damage, therefore even to think a long period of lockdown is just outright dangerous for humanity.
What alternatives are a median to preserve as much life as possible but not to create a worldwide economic crisis?
If we look at today, 300.000 infected and 11.000 dead but the actual infection rate is most likely 10x as high from these 11.000 dead and people hospitalized a majority is in the age group 60+ and people with underlying conditions. Currently healthcare systems are being overwhelmed. Therefore, it will be good to have a worldwide lockdown for a limited amount of time between 5-8 weeks. This will give the healthcare providers a fighting chance to treat the worst cases and prepare for the next wave. At the same time the group 60+ should be retired from the workface immediately (with some minor exceptions, doctors, CEO’s head of States) and put into self-quarantine but monitored all the time, with regular food deliveries and health checks. This will help the virus from spreading into this age group thus creating more space for younger serious sick people. After the 5-8 week lockdown life should continue as should businesses as before the virus spread. This will create the number of infected to grow but with a large risk group quarantined should be kept under control as good as possible until the first step a medicine arrives. Yes, people will die, that will keep happening which way society will go there is nothing that can be done about it. But the total death will be way lower than if we have the virus spreading and an economic collapse at the same time than the total death will be more than tenfold not to mention the possibility of war.

John Erwin MBA Phd (

Posted by: john ervin | Mar 22 2020 14:52 utc | 361

: TTdr | Mar 22 2020 10:09 utc | 360 (who wrote)

"All these point to some potential that US might be waging a limited conventional war with China as last ditch to halt its growth after series of bioterrorism attack."

The "last-ditch"? Or the first? Whoz on first? Feller? (Abbot and Costello routine)

The NCBW doctrine in the day, 1960 perhaps, (Wally's ROTC class watched the pretty movies and took the quiz). The Doctrine was that since the atom-weapons would poison and weaken those targeted people, they would then be treated with bio-attack. However these two modes work, some say, just as well the other way 'round.

Even true accident of nature would seem to "invite" the atomic route. And true accident of nature would occur anyway, naturally, in irradiated
and starving...

Posted by: Walter | Mar 22 2020 15:46 utc | 362

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.

As necessary as this is, I fear it will soon become a double edged sword in the hands of unscrupulous organisations which have infiltrated the global power structure ...

Posted by: Arch | Mar 22 2020 17:40 utc | 363

it seems as if Italy might have peaked. today's numbers even though they are still very high are smaller than yesterday's.

gawd I hope so. it is all around me and we are really doing what we are told, staying at home, no contact with anyone, movement is restricted to local communities and then you must have a declaration that the travel is absolutely necessary.

had this not worked it is unknown what else might have been done.

this is going to hurt a lot of people and Italy already has enough problems making ends meet. They don't have the option of spreading helicopter euros like what is being proposed in the US since Germany pretty much calls the shots for euro related matters.

here in the north a lot of businesses have failed in the past few years and the rest are hanging on thanks to a lot of sacrifice. this may be the straw that breaks the camel's back.

Posted by: dan of steele | Mar 22 2020 18:20 utc | 364

I'm a longtime lurker on this site (over 3 years). Most times (not always) I agree with b's analyses. But regarding corona, I'm surprised how quickly the mainstream fearmongering has been adopted here. IMO, it's time to ask critical questions.

There isn't even any objective evidence that COVID-19 exists. For example, the test kits used are not clinically validated. They're all based on RT-PCR technology, which used as diagnostic tool is very unreliable. Chinese research indicates the test suffer from high false postive and high false negative rates. So even if you test a large amount of healthy, virus free individuals, you will find "SARS-nCov-2" infections. (The same thing happened during the SARS outbreak btw, where on later analysis the test proved to be "cross-reactive" to another, quite common, coronavirus).

COVID-19 as a disease has not been clinically validated. If you want to proof that a cetain disease is caused by a particular virus, you have to satisfy the so called Koch Postulates. (Basically, isolate and purify the virus, infect susceptible animals with it, see that they develop symptoms that are similar, and then, as a last crucial step, isolate and purify the virus from the animals). Hasn't happened for COVID-19, so basically it's just a hypothesis.

It's clear to me that "something" (i.e. a virus) is going round the world infecting people, but it might be something else.

What is also funny, is that all the "corona deaths" are people that died with a positive test. That doesn't even mean they died FROM corona, just WITH it. E.g., if you are a heart patient in Italy, you test positive, and you die of a heart attack, you will be counted a "corona death". Same in the UK. And again, that positive test might have been a false positive.

I don't buy the scaremongering. Out of the precautionary principle, I do adhere to the guidelines from my government (e.g. social distancing).
Based on the data from the Diamond Princess, epidemologist John Ioannides estimates the true death rate is between 0,05% and 1%.

In my own country, we have 179 deaths so far. During the last flu epidemic (2017/2018), we had 9444 excess deaths. Back then, ICU's were also overflowing, but it was hardly mentioned in the news.

There isn't any reason to panic. And lockdown are pointless btw, unless you want to last more than a year. Because the virus, whatever it is, will keep circulating (among police, health care workers etc), so when you end the lockdown, it will just spread again.

To me it looks like some media (for example, the Guardian), are deliberately scaremongering. Yes, if you take the deaths in some countries and divide them by the number of positive tested cases, you get a high death rate, which they report. They don't tell you that the actual rate must be way lower, because of selection bias.

Manufacturer test kit
Note how it says it's for research, not diagnosis.
Also this:
non-specific interference of Influenza A Virus (H1N1), Influenza B Virus (Yamagata), Respiratory Syncytial Virus (type B),
Respiratory Adenovirus (type 3, type 7), Parainfluenza Virus (type 2), Mycoplasma Pneumoniae, Chlamydia Pneumoniae, etc.

In other words, if you have any of those viruses, you might test positive.

Research on the IFR
This estimates the IFR (Infection Fatality Rate) for the Wuhan outbreak to be between 0,04 and 0,12%

A fiasco in the making? As the coronavirus pandemic takes hold, we are making decisions without reliable data
Article by John Ioannides

Posted by: Anon | Mar 23 2020 11:07 utc | 365

Goodbye Moon of Alabama, you used to be sensible. I do not know whats happened but I suspect you've received a present from someone. I hope it was worth it.

Posted by: daniel cattell | Mar 29 2020 17:16 utc | 366

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