Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
March 23, 2020

Coronavirus - How To Lift Lockdowns And Why We Should All Wear Masks

While the U.S. president continues to blame China there are more signs that the outbreak started elsewhere:

Some question why Italy was caught off guard when the virus outbreak was revealed on Feb. 21.

Remuzzi says he is now hearing information about it from general practitioners. "They remember having seen very strange pneumonia, very severe, particularly in old people in December and even November," he says. "This means that the virus was circulating, at least in [the northern region of] Lombardy and before we were aware of this outbreak occurring in China."

The sudden appearance of a new type of coronavirus against which no one had any immunity led to a sudden rise of cases with severe respiratory difficulties. These require up to three weeks of ventilator support and intensive care.

Our healthcare systems are not capable of working under such an onslaught. If they get overwhelmed other cases which require intensive care will fall by the wayside. The number of unnecessary deaths will then start to explode.

The only possible way to avoid such an outcome is to minimize contacts between humans to stop the mass infection wave.

When the first wave exploded in Wuhan city the authorities ordered a complete lockdown of the city and of Hubei province. That happened on January 23. Twelve days later, on February 4, the number of new cases in Wuhan started to decline. The Lombardy region in Italy ordered a lockdown on March 9. Twelve days later Italy reported its first decline of new cases.

While the hospitals in Wuhan as well as in Lombardy were for a while overwhelmed the further outbreak has been slowed if not stopped.

(Wuhan is notorious for air pollution but Lombardy is not. The theory that air pollution has contributed to the high number of severe cases in both regions is thus not confirmed.)

Lockdowns have been ordered in several European nations and in several U.S. states. Boeing and other companies have shut down their production facilities in Washington state. Many people are now unemployed. The situations in various states look dire.


But the lockdowns work and they will limit the rise of the current wave.

The question is now when to lift a lockdown. While twelve days are sufficient to stop an explosive rise in new cases they are likely not sufficient to stop the wave. Another two weeks of lockdown is probably required. After that the restrictions will have to be lifted in several steps to keep the number of new cases manageable.

It may well be necessary to prevent mass events from happening for several more months. Some travel restrictions are also likely to be kept in place. People will be able to get back to work but large meetings should be avoided. Using masks should become a social requirement (see below).

Instead of locking down whole populations one will have to find and lock down clusters.

The health care system needs a new branch that can take care of Covid-19 cases without the danger of infecting other patients. China established local fever clinics where people with flu or Covid symptoms can get tested. Those who have Covid must then be isolated for two weeks to prevent further infections. Their contacts must be actively traced. People who have come into near contact with an acute infected person are part of the cluster and must also be tested and isolated. Those who are put into isolation must be paid. Otherwise some will avoid it and will continue to spread the virus and disease.

These measures can be intensified or relaxed as needed. Their purpose is to keep the number of severe cases manageable. If the system works well we might even be able to eradicate the virus.

We now have tests for the antibodies people develop while they have the disease. Mass production has started. These tests will allow us to identify those who are no longer in danger when they handle a Covid patient.

There are signs that children often have carried the disease but were little affected by it. The antibody tests will show how many of them are already immune. The larger their number the better for the rest of us. Mass testing also seems to show that there are a quite large number of asymptomatic cases among grownups who nonetheless infect others. We should find some measures to prevent that.

A current paper published in Lancet argues that everyone should wear a mask:

Evidence that face masks can provide effective protection against respiratory infections in the community is scarce, as acknowledged in recommendations from the UK and Germany.

However, face masks are widely used by medical workers as part of droplet precautions when caring for patients with respiratory infections. It would be reasonable to suggest vulnerable individuals avoid crowded areas and use surgical face masks rationally when exposed to high-risk areas. As evidence suggests COVID-19 could be transmitted before symptom onset, community transmission might be reduced if everyone, including people who have been infected but are asymptomatic and contagious, wear face masks.

Wearing a mask helps with protecting oneself but even more importantly helps to protect others. One might be carrying and spreading the disease without knowing it. We all release fine droplets when we speak, sneeze or cough. Masks prevent one's droplets from spreading out.

The viruses are quite small and could slip through the pores of a mask. But the droplets they are carried with are larger and are less likely to come through. There are also suggestions that one virus alone is less likely to do harm and that a significant load of viruses is required to start the disease.

There are some cultural consideration that support the call for everyone to wear a mask:

The contrast between face mask use as hygienic practice (ie, in many Asian countries) or as something only people who are unwell do (ie, in European and North American countries) has induced stigmatisation and racial aggravations, for which further public education is needed. One advantage of universal use of face masks is that it prevents discrimination of individuals who wear masks when unwell because everybody is wearing a mask.

There is currently a shortage of professional masks and those that are still available are needed in our hospitals.

But one can also use a scarf, sew oneself a mask or make one's own masks from household items. None will be as good as a professional masks but all will help to keep the number of cases down.

Viruses do not like heat. Soap breaks them apart. One can clean a mask by heating it in an oven at 70°C (160°F) or by washing it with soap.

Previous Moon of Alabama posts on the issue:

Posted by b on March 23, 2020 at 18:00 UTC | Permalink

next page »

A mask could easily become a form of good manners. Unless you're a superhero

Posted by: tuyzentfloot | Mar 23 2020 18:06 utc | 1

I hate to contradict you, but northern Italy (which definitely includes Milan/Lombardy) has some of the worst air pollution in Europe. The only similarly polluted zone is the coal region of southern Poland.

Posted by: Sam | Mar 23 2020 18:09 utc | 2

Proof of northern Italy's air pollution:

Posted by: Sam | Mar 23 2020 18:10 utc | 3

can a mask be cleaned by a microwave?

Posted by: Don Utter | Mar 23 2020 18:11 utc | 4

The focus on air pollution seems wrong to me. It is a hypothesis, more than one actually. Short term pollution, medium term or long term? The question i would ask first is , what if in some regions the virus is effectvely much less dangerous. As in 30 times less.

Posted by: tuyzentfloot | Mar 23 2020 18:16 utc | 5

One very interesting question for me is:

Is there a correlation between the positive test result and people who already had in their life an operation where a respiratory ventilation machine was used?

I personally know just one Person...Rand Paul!

Thats how a respiratory therapist described his work with the "new" epidemic.

"Holy shit"
"your risk of mortality increases every day that you spend on a ventilator. The high pressures from high vent settings is pushing air into the lung and can overinflate those little balloons. They can pop. It can destroy the alveoli. Even if you survive ARDS, although some damage can heal, it can also do long-lasting damage to the lungs. They can get filled up with scar tissue".

Well, this is exactly also what DR. Owen Tsang in Hong Kong detected.
He described the "scar tissue" found on patients who whent through this nightmare but survived, as "pulmonary fibrosis".
The lung function on those people who survied still is 20-30 % reduced and those people get easily breathlessness and may have a relapse.

This totally bolsters also my theory that all this people who got tested covid 19 positive start to have a fear created by the believe to have a deadly virus in the lungs. In absence of any intelligent breathing technique which could master this situation they get a panic and after a while they cannot open their lungs anymore because of the overloaded static energy contraction in the lung tissue.
After that they get the respiratory ventilation treatment....with the above described problematic. Especially for old and prestressed people this is the end.

I see this as proof that the death of all this people who where tested positive is not caused by the virus!

And for this evil virus scam the whole world is forced to shoot down their economy to hunt a harmless virus for which many people all over the world already have the antibodies!

Posted by: Hempus | Mar 23 2020 18:17 utc | 6

Here's a report on the best scientific study so far on the virus. Important report, written in plain English

Posted by: Pundita | Mar 23 2020 18:19 utc | 7

There are theories that the Italian Covid-19 is a more virulent strain. That is important to investigate. Are there any genome analyses of the Wuhan vs Italian viruses?

If they are different strains and if the Italian cases began first, this would upend the bat to humans via pangolins theory.

Given China now reports the first 13 cases in Wuhan had no contact with the food markets in question - the whole origin of Covid-19 becomes more mysterious.

I realise this is Thought Crime because it raises the question of human deliberation if two strains appear or are released nearly simultaneously on opposite sides of the planet.

Then there’s the added early appearance in what seems like the Iranian parliament.

Confirming when those early cases occurred in Italy and whether the RNA of the Italian virus is different and if so in what way, is of vital interest.

Posted by: PJB | Mar 23 2020 18:20 utc | 8

Perhaps one should be careful with the "strange pneumonia" bit because the same argument has been used to link the coronavirus to the vaping illness.

Posted by: Jonathan W | Mar 23 2020 18:24 utc | 9

Nobody reads old threads, so my reply is here ....

@abierno | Mar 20 2020 21:49 utc | 412

Concerns are being raised regarding bankrupting a substantial portion of the population for a death rate far,far below that of the current flu virus, especially regarding children and the fragile, at risk population. Why is this happening?

We are concerned because far more people could die from Covid-19 than from all the flus combined this year. This would be true even if the Covid death rate proves much lower than the flu (and that is not established yet).

A paradox? No. Covid could have lower death rates but more people could still die of it. And that is because many times more people will be infected. Covid-19 is "novel", new to humans: few have much immunity to it.

According to the CDC, 160 million to 214 million Americans will be infected. Even the most optimistic assessment (160 million) means the novel coronavirus will infect more people in the US than will all the flus combined. Thus many more will die from Covid-19 than from all the flus combined: from 200,000 to 1.7 million Americans, according to the CDC.

Posted by: Cyril | Mar 23 2020 18:26 utc | 10

there is a bit more encouraging news tonight. the numbers for Italy have come down just a little bit more.

Restrictions on the other hand have got even tighter, now only people who do essential work are allowed out of their homes.

as I mentioned yesterday in a post that got swallowed by the ether, Italy is going through some hard times financially. some self inflicted by governments spending more than the took in to stay in power and some because the banks refused to take a haircut. Many small businesses are just barely survive and a couple of months without income is going to really hurt.

Posted by: dan of steele | Mar 23 2020 18:31 utc | 11

No, China didn’t cover up the Covid-19 outbreak: An analysis

The above article is a concise and clear summary of the Wuhan timeline that debunks the idea that the Chinese govt initially covered up the outbreak. That disinformation is propagated by the NYT and US media.

Posted by: occupatio | Mar 23 2020 18:33 utc | 12

Air pollution Northern Italy - ESA

NOx - Wuhan

Northern Italy - Jan-March

Posted by: Hmpf | Mar 23 2020 18:34 utc | 13

In the case of "Brave New World", the establishment knows how to cure pretty much any conventional disease. Then if you're in approved society you die around age 60 because of everything that's kept you alive and looking like 40.

I just read the book last month for the first time in 30+ years. It does belong on that diagram. And "1984" doesn't either, since it really doesn't deal with anything like infectious diseases--reread that about 2 years ago.

I've not read the other 2 outer books ever, but the movie of "Fahrenheit 451", which I just watched and Bradbury certainly had a hand in writing, has nothing to do with infectious disease.

There might be something in Camus' "The Plague" though. Haven't read that since the 1980s.

There aren't food shortages so not sure about the "Soylent Green" reference, yet at least. "Long's Run" is about killing people off at age 35, which I guess overlaps with "kill 80% of the poor workers", something the likes of Charles Koch certainly supports. So indirectly there could be a "Logan's Run" connection.

Gattica is just about favored people with the right genes, so an update of "Brave New World", without the highly literate "savage" as the main character.

I don't see how "The Matrix" relates, that's more about the material world's completeness being an illusion.

"Clockwork Orange?" A thug suppressed with mind control?

Haven't read "Lord of the Flies", but don't the kids worship a god of the island, and justify the horrors they commit based on that conception of god or a god?

Posted by: Jay | Mar 23 2020 18:34 utc | 14

thanks for the update b.. i am not sure about the use of masks.. i live in a smaller community where it is easy to safe distance from others almost the whole time.. maybe it is a good idea in large urban areas.. it is a cultural thing too.. i remember seeing many people in the airport at taipai wearing masks.. maybe that is due poor air quality..

@ pjb - some good questions and thinking - this in particular - "Are there any genome analyses of the Wuhan vs Italian viruses?"

Posted by: james | Mar 23 2020 18:34 utc | 15

@ 11 dan of steele.. thanks for the updates from venice, if that is where you are..

Posted by: james | Mar 23 2020 18:36 utc | 16

There are ways to aid the immune system as well. Do a search for herbs and foods which boost the immune system. You know there has been a lot of talk ever since Trump took office about the Biblical end times, now with this worldwide plague, the crash of the stock market, the economy going down the tubes, wars in the middle east, the new cold war, all of this is like a whirlwind of catastrophes. It makes one wonder don't it? Tulsi Gabbard: The End Times

Posted by: Kali | Mar 23 2020 18:38 utc | 17

@abierno | Mar 20 2020 21:49 utc | 412

regarding bankrupting a substantial portion of the population

I forgot to address this, so I will do it now.

Bankruptcy doesn't have to happen. Even a tiny fraction of the $trillions going to the 1% in the next few weeks will greatly help the 99%. The 99% will be helped, because the US is a democracy, right? Right?

Posted by: Cyril | Mar 23 2020 18:39 utc | 18

"Those who are put into isolation must be paid" is key factor.also if nothing else presence of mask can keep wearer cognizant of not touching face.

Posted by: kiawi | Mar 23 2020 18:43 utc | 19

yes James, I live about 45 minutes north of Venice. Our region of Friuli Venezia Giulia has not been hit too hard yet but we are all certainly locked down. Most refer to it as house arrest and that pretty much sums it up.

To watch the numbers grow every day was very worrisome and hearing people say that it all could have been avoided if we had been locked up earlier was not helpful. I think the Italian government acted correctly and made the call quite early....knowing that it was going to hurt a lot financially.

two days in row with deaths and new cases decreasing is very welcome news even though there are still a lot of sad people for the unlucky ones who did not make it.

Posted by: dan of steele | Mar 23 2020 18:48 utc | 20

thanks dan... i appreciate it...

@ kali... are you pam ho, or are the regular links to pam ho a constant in all your posts?? lol...

Posted by: james | Mar 23 2020 18:52 utc | 22

Just a status report from my corner of the world, Evanston immediately north of Chicago.

Testing remains absolutely unavailable. Nursing homes are flatly denied testing. Nursing homes where outbreak is identified because residents have had healthcare elsewhere are flatly denied testing. Testing is for celebrities and those sick enough to be admitted to hospital.

Masks are completely unavailable. Not talking about N95. Any type of mask at all cannot be had. Basic dust masks are way better than nothing. Hardware store told me they won’t order any more because either the employees steal them or they are stolen first while in transit. And yet no masks at all are seen on the street. Hoarders have all of them.

Lots of people seen doing something Americans never do. Walking. With all entertainment venues closed nothing left to do but walk. Pretty clear that many do not know how, they are re-learning as if children. Everyone maintains the six foot distance when passing other pedestrians. Wear a mask (simple homemade) and people cross the street to avoid you. Catcalls telling the mask-wearer to stay home.

Posted by: oldhippie | Mar 23 2020 18:52 utc | 23

@dan... i would be feeling a bit anxious in that environment as well..

Posted by: james | Mar 23 2020 18:53 utc | 24

Cyril 10,

I would be sceptical of anything published by politically compromised US institutions. They are not reliable. If the US could corrupt the OPCW, image how easily they could corrupt their own institutions if it was to their benefit. And we know that they are using this "crisis" to "bail out" their major corporations and banks - again. The virus may be real, but so are the sharks causing the excessive panic. Face it. The US is a cesspool of lies and corruption from Boeing to Pompeo.

Posted by: Blue Dotterel | Mar 23 2020 18:56 utc | 25

I said this before:

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ //
I am now taking:

~6,000IU Vitamin D3
30mg Zinc Gluconate
500mg Vitamin C, twice a day (this is a low amount)
1,000mcg Vitamin K2
250mg Niacinamide (not just 'niacin')
1 'One-A-Day' high quality vitamin combo

I'm no doctor, but that is what I am taking.
// ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

There appears to be rather strong reason to believe that (soon-prior use of?) the pain medicine ibuprofen can actually cause the coronavirus pathology (which I say should be referred to as 'CVP19' not 'VD'!) to be more severe. This also applies to SOME medicines used for hypertension and for some cases of diabetes (type 1 and type 2). Source:
The Lancet
(Search down to 'ibuprofen'.)

Any soap or detergent is sufficient concentration will destroy lipid components which the coronavirus requires in its envelope (this will destroy it). So nothing special is normally needed. You can wash hands with a bar of soap if you lather up reasonably well, and leave the soap on for about 20 seconds.

You 'PROBABLY' can disinfect face masks by dipping them in a bowl of 3/4ths water and 1/4th not-too-smelly (maybe lemon) dish detergent. Then rinse it off with water. You can re-use the bowl of water and detergent.

'Ask your doctor', as I am definitely not an expert in virus control!

Posted by: blues | Mar 23 2020 19:06 utc | 26

Thanks b for the update.

Unfortunately, we in the US are way behind the curve in finding and locking down clusters. In fact super-spreaders - mostly young fools ignoring social distancing on beaches, in parks, restaurants etc - are now popping up, most recently returning from Florida spring break to Utah. Testing rates remain abysmal.

Idaho cases just went exponential, doubling about every 3 days. Republic Governor there is pretty much a copy of Trump, as in a dangerous idiot, giving press conferences with multiple staff hovering around, downplaying the risks, lying about test availability, talking about protecting businesses, etc.

Posted by: Trisha | Mar 23 2020 19:06 utc | 27

@26 blues

I am not a doctor either, a couple of things I am taking, both are zinc ionophores like cloroquine thus helping zinc enter cells and interfering with RNA virus replication


Green tea supplement which contains EGCG

There is a good video on the possible pros and cons of NSAIDS like ibuprofen in COVID-19 treatment, the short answer there is not enough data. The precautionary principle says don't take it as we don't know.

Posted by: TJ | Mar 23 2020 19:31 utc | 28


wir hatten letztes Jahr Mailkontakt (zu meinem Buch im Westendverlag), aber leider finde ich die im Eingang nicht mehr... würde Ihnen gerne etwas zusenden.

Viele Grüße


Posted by: Alexander Unzicker | Mar 23 2020 19:32 utc | 29

Where are the burqas when we need them?

Posted by: JohnH | Mar 23 2020 19:33 utc | 30

Lombardy is one of the most polluted region in the world, the NOx and PM2.5 are crazy there, because there are too many cars, and also the lack of winds and there are thermal inversions frequently makes the air a nightmare, this could have a longterm effect on the health of the lungs of people exposed to this contamination during all their lives, and may be this is the reason children have only mild effects, because their lungs are not so damaged

A israeli doctor say that now in North Italy people above 60 years are not helped anymore (triage at 60 years and going dow day by day)

This is serious

Posted by: DFC | Mar 23 2020 19:41 utc | 31

This interview should go viral (pun intended). Highly intelligent and knowledgeable;

Posted by: PJB | Mar 23 2020 19:41 utc | 32

The nytimes article that b links to gives a good (though one-sided) run-down of the antagonism between the two countries that Covid-19 has brought to the fore.

Coronavirus Drives the U.S. and China Deeper Into Global Power Struggle

China hawks see the pandemic as a chance to spotlight what they call the sinister nature of China’s Communist Party, turn international opinion against it and combat its anti-American conspiracy theories.

“It is obvious from the facts that there is an information hot war and an economic hot war that we’re currently in,” said Stephen K. Bannon, a former Trump White House strategist and leading conservative critic of the Chinese Communist Party.

. . .

Mr. Bannon in effect speaks for the many senior Trump administration officials who have long pressed for a more confrontational posture toward Beijing. These officials warn that a fast-growing China, under Mr. Xi’s increasingly authoritarian rule, seeks military, economic and technological domination over the United States and its allies.

b acknowledges that the virus may have come from out side China. A Chinese official has demanded that USA be more transparent about when the virus first appeared in USA. The NYTimes article calls this pushing a conspiracy theory.

<> <> <> <> <>

The Empire Games Covid-19


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Mar 23 2020 19:44 utc | 33

Sorry should’ve said “pun unavoidable” it is too tragic and serious a situation for joking.

Posted by: PJB | Mar 23 2020 19:44 utc | 34

to blues and others. Some of these vitas can be hard to find. K2 is especially difficult. Where I am, zinc is difficult to find and very expensive. But, there are some alternatives: lots of leafy greens for K2. And, I'm happy to report that red wine is full of quercetin. And the sun if full of vita D.
Cheers. Re burquas - I wonder if the french are rethinking that one.

Posted by: Miss Lacy | Mar 23 2020 19:50 utc | 35

@Blue Dotterel | Mar 23 2020 18:56 utc | 25

I would be sceptical of anything published by politically compromised US institutions. They are not reliable. If the US could corrupt the OPCW, image how easily they could corrupt their own institutions if it was to their benefit. And we know that they are using this "crisis" to "bail out" their major corporations and banks - again. The virus may be real, but so are the sharks causing the excessive panic. Face it. The US is a cesspool of lies and corruption from Boeing to Pompeo.

CDC's numbers may seem exaggerated: 160 million to 214 million Americans infected by Covid-19; 200,000 to 1.7 million deaths. I would be somewhat skeptical of them if they didn't broadly agree with Germany's numbers.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has admitted that 60-70% of her country could become infected by the coronavirus. If you take 60 percent of the US's population, that would be roughly 200 million infected Americans, right in the CDC's ballpark.

Posted by: Cyril | Mar 23 2020 19:50 utc | 36

We grow mushrooms here in central illinois. I also forage and consume wild medicinals which are in plentiful supply. While I have read nothing specific regarding the impact of mushrooms on Covid19 I believe they would help: mushrooms boost your immune system. It's very easy to make tea. Turkey tail would be my first recommendation, found in parks and forests throughout the temperate zone, no poisonous look alikes. others I consume daily:
Artists' conk (wild)
Reishi (mostly homegrown, some wild)
Maitake/hen of the woods (wild)
chicken of the woods (wild)
shiitake (homegrown)
oyster (homegrown and wild)

Posted by: migueljose | Mar 23 2020 19:50 utc | 37

B, you quote an Italian doctor who says:
They remember having seen very strange pneumonia, very severe, particularly in old people in December and even November," he says. "This means that the virus was circulating, at least in [the northern region of] Lombardy and before we were aware of this outbreak occurring in China.

That starting time of November matches the results of an analysis of the corona virus's gene sequence:
, a molecular dating estimate based on the SARS-CoV-2 genomic sequences indicates an origin in November.

Maybe the virus originated in Lombardy and moved to China, instead of in the opposite direction as has been assumed? Or maybe it moved from China to Lombardy and back again?

Posted by: Brendan | Mar 23 2020 19:51 utc | 38

@Blue Dotterel | Mar 23 2020 18:56 utc | 25

I would be sceptical of anything published by politically compromised US institutions. They are not reliable. If the US could corrupt the OPCW, image how easily they could corrupt their own institutions if it was to their benefit. And we know that they are using this "crisis" to "bail out" their major corporations and banks - again. The virus may be real, but so are the sharks causing the excessive panic. Face it. The US is a cesspool of lies and corruption from Boeing to Pompeo.

CDC's numbers may seem exaggerated: 160 million to 214 million Americans infected by Covid-19; 200,000 to 1.7 million deaths. I would be somewhat skeptical of them if they didn't broadly agree with Germany's numbers.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has admitted that 60-70% of her country could become infected by the coronavirus. If you take 60 percent of the US's population, that would be roughly 200 million infected Americans, right in the CDC's ballpark.

Posted by: Cyril | Mar 23 2020 19:52 utc | 39

I'm a doctor. The protocol blues26 is taking is very good. A lot of studies made in Wuhan indicate IV C vitamin is the best option in case you catch the disease.
I'm in the unfortunate Brasil ( the worst government in the entire world!) - any of my patients, some older them 75, got the disease; only mild forms of influenza.

Posted by: Malú Costa | Mar 23 2020 19:53 utc | 40

Dear B,

There are online articles that refer to high levels of air pollution in the Po River valley region in northern Italy. This area includes Lombardia province in its western and central parts, and Veneto in its east. There may be parts of other Italian provinces included in this physical region. Industry and agriculture along with a large population are concentrated in this region.

Perhaps northern Italian govts have enacted laws regulating industrial and other emissions that have improved air quality in recent years. But years of breathing polluted air over past decades are sure to have done some damage to people's lungs. Older people who then did not have the benefit of societal awareness of the long-term damaging effects of air pollution are the people suffering now from COVID-19.

Milan is or maybe was notorious for frequent temperature inversions in which cold air is trapped under warm air over a city and cannot rise. Smoke particles and other pollutants are stuck in the cold air and can cause severe breathing problems for people.

Northern Italy also has a history of industrial accidents like the 1976 Seveso incident in which dioxin gas leaked into the air. Seveso is to the NW of Milan and I believe is not far from the city. People living in the town then are at increased risk of developing cancers later in life. A person with latent cancer s/he is unaware of, or with cancer in remission, must be very vulnerable to COVID-19. If memory serves correctly, it was in the 1990s that Italy began to be serious in passing and enforcing environmental regulations and standards.

All this information can be researched online, people do not have to be experts on Italian society and geography to find it.

Posted by: Jen | Mar 23 2020 19:53 utc | 41

Italian virologists worried,

Coronavirus, the virologist Capua:"in Lombardy it circulates in a strange way"

Too many cases in the region. The virologist Ilaria Capua warns: "There the coronavirus circulates abnormally and we don't know why"

The expert, in January, when the coronavirus seemed only a distant threat relegated to the city of Wuhan and China, was among the first members of the scientific community in January to understand the extent of the problem. And today, analyzing the consequences and the (very high) costs of this global health and economic emergency, it stresses the Lombard question. These are his words in this regard: "In the face of the catastrophe currently taking place in Lombardy, with its very high rates of contagion and lethality compared to other outbreaks , the question is urgently required. What happened in Codogno, in Bergamo , in Brescia? At this stage we can only make assumptions ... ".

In short, hypothesis. Because, unfortunately, there are still no certainties. So, the virologist adds: "I believe there are factors, which we do not yet know, which can favor the spread and the permanence of the virus, possibly related to hospital facilities. There are previous examples: the SARS 1 virus was circulated through the air duct of Hotel M in Hong Kong. Today we must be sure that coronavirus has not entered the ventilation systems of old buildings ".

And there are also many questions and no answers on the side of coronavirus lethality. In this respect, Capua hypothesizes that lethality "could be linked to several factors yet to be studied. Infinite hypotheses can be made with epidemiological criteria: demographic characteristics (age and sex), air quality, resistance to antibiotics, eating habits, behaviors. But an explanation must be found ."


"Something strange is happening - warns Gismondo speaking to AdnKronos Salute - In Lombardy there is an aggressiveness that cannot be explained. The hypotheses can all be valid", he specifies, but "one is that the virus has perhaps mutated". For this reason, "I appeal to the scientific community: let's unite to understand - urges the virologist - If we all get together and study a piece of it, we will probably be able to understand".

Posted by: Tom_LX | Mar 23 2020 20:00 utc | 42

The question is now when to lift a lockdown. While twelve days are sufficient to stop an explosive rise in new cases they are likely not sufficient to stop the wave. Another two weeks of lockdown is probably required.

A french researcher has proposed a different approach. He says that we should have massive testing and early treatment with Chloroquine.

French researcher posts successful Covid-19 drug trial

A renowned research professor in France has reported successful results from a new treatment for Covid-19, with early tests suggesting it can stop the virus from being contagious in just six days.

. . .

A new academic study, published on Friday March 13 by US scientific researchers, also said that chloroquine appeared to be an effective treatment, and appears to align with the findings in France.

It said: “Use of chloroquine (tablets) is showing favorable outcomes in humans infected with Coronavirus including faster time to recovery and shorter hospital stay…

“Research shows that chloroquine also has strong potential as a prophylactic (preventative) measure against coronavirus in the lab, while we wait for a vaccine to be developed.

“Chloroquine is an inexpensive, globally available drug that has been in widespread human use since 1945 against malaria, autoimmune and various other conditions…[it] can be prescribed to adults and children of all ages.

But this inexpensive remedy is being undermined so that more expensive drugs are required for treatement.

Covid-19 Fake Crisis Allows Government-assisted Profiteering: Chloroquine vs Remdesivir


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Mar 23 2020 20:03 utc | 43

Use N95 respirator mask, raincoat, gloves and eye protection when in high risk areas. Quarantine in special room everything, including food packages you import in your home for 3 days.

Posted by: Passer by | Mar 23 2020 20:05 utc | 44

Ramin Mazaheri asked THE question @ the Saker blog today that should be on all our minds in these corona panicky days imho.

"Corona is bad, certainly, but bad economics kills too. Are we trading fewer corona deaths now for even more regular flu deaths in 6 months, caused by all the people pushed into poverty by the Great Recession tipping into the Great Depression 2?"

Posted by: Per/Norway | Mar 23 2020 20:13 utc | 45

Posted by: blues | Mar 23 2020 19:06 utc | 26

Face masks disinfection procedure is with steam.

Posted by: Passer by | Mar 23 2020 20:14 utc | 46

Posted by: dan of steele | Mar 23 2020 18:48 utc | 20

Millions of face masks from China landed in Czech Republic

Only two nations provides aids to Italy. First China and now Russia Federation. "Around 680,000 protective masks were confiscated, as well as thousands of respirators by the Czech Republic"

Posted by: JC | Mar 23 2020 20:14 utc | 47

Boris Johnson about to give an announcement at 8.30 pm tonight !
Why have I got a very bad feeling about this !

Posted by: Mark2 | Mar 23 2020 20:18 utc | 48

"Wuhan is notorious for air pollution but Lombardy is not."
Air quality in northern Italy and especially in Lombardy is often poor. Maybe not as bad as in Wuhan - but bad. (See for example

Posted by: Pnyx | Mar 23 2020 20:19 utc | 49

Some levity in these strange times Jonathan Pie: LOCKDOWN

Posted by: TJ | Mar 23 2020 20:19 utc | 50

2020 Fashion
Might be as efficient as a mask!

Posted by: Mina | Mar 23 2020 20:26 utc | 51

The 99% will be helped, because the US is a democracy, right? Right?
Posted by: Cyril | Mar 23 2020 18:39 utc | 18

If you live in a trickle-down democracy it's right
The US is a trickle-up plutocracy so it's Wrong.
Xymphora has drawn attention to a couple of stories about Congress voting on a scheme/scam to remove restrictions on the type of financial junk which the Fed isn't allowed to buy under its existing charter - but soon will be when it has been "de-regulated."
Sub-prime redux?

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Mar 23 2020 20:27 utc | 52

@ Brendan

How likely is it that two viruses combine? There is a conspiracy theory on YouTube that says that the vaping illness also has similar symptoms. That is the theory. The "conspiracy" part is that it has to do with Fort Detrick.

Posted by: Jonathan W | Mar 23 2020 20:27 utc | 53

over @ anti-empire this intervju was posted earlier, copy paste and g00gle this: "German Virologist of International Renown Warns Government Lockdowns Are a Horrible Mistake, Will Make Crisis Worse
A must-read interview with a virologist who is so famous in those circles she has a Wikipedia page"
Or just search for anti-empire .com..

"Highlights:"(copied intro)

“I feel what’s going on right now is what we experience more or less every winter. This was particularly noticeable two years ago with influenza, the flu. The test for SARS-Corona 2 was not yet known. It may well be that this virus played a part. Nobody knows.”
“You are now told every morning how many SARS-Corona 2 deaths there are. But they don’t tell you how many people already are infected with influenza this winter and how many deaths it has caused. … Something similar occurred two years ago. This is not put into the right context.”
“Maybe one should not do so much against young people having parties together and infecting each other. We have to build immunity somehow. How can that be possible without contacts? The younger ones handle the infection much better.”
“20 dead again, how terrible! Do you know when I’m starting to panic? If there are 20,000. Then we get close to what went on completely quietly two years ago.”
“I tell you: Nobody did that two years ago. Where is the need now? Is that just an imitation effect of what happened in China?”
“That is the main fear: the disease is presented as a terrible disease. The disease per se is like the flu in a normal winter. It is even weaker in the first week.
“People in China all have a cough. This is called Beijing Cough. This is a cough because they already have lungs damaged by air pollution.”
“As far as I know, the SARS-Corona 2 tests has not been validated, not really checked.”
“I am not an economist. I only hear the voice of the people. They all say: Do something! I just want to prevent the curfew.”
“I was asked on TV what I thought about old people going for a walk. I can only say: Yes, they should do it. Fresh air is good, that dilutes; anyone can imagine that. The second thing that’s good about it is the sun. Ultraviolet light kills viruses. This is good in children’s playgrounds; it is good for children when they do sports outside. It’s good outside! Being more outside is the best.”
“And under no circumstances a curfew!”

Posted by: Per/Norway | Mar 23 2020 20:32 utc | 54

Italy had an excess number of deaths attributed to influenza of 25,000 in the 2016/17 season, the last year numbers are available, what we are seeing at present is not an aberration from recent years as that 16/17 season was representative of recent trends. This is directly as a result of the severely degraded environment in which they live. As others have pointed out both the air and water quality in that region is horrendous- as it has become in recent years in Wuhan, Madrid and Tehran. One has to be beyond obstinate not to understand this and connect the dots.

At present there is great uncertainty as to deaths from Covid versus deaths with Covid. In some reporting Covid deaths were identified using a case definition that included pulmonary disease e.g

This distinction is crucial as it points to causal factors that allowed the virus to replicate, to flourish- and disputes the narrative that the corona virus (which BTW is decidedly not novel only this mutation is which brings us to another discussion) is the causal factor. The causal factors are the specific modes of production that created horrendous living conditions in these areas to begin with (most of the planet by now) which have destroyed people's abilities (immune system e.g.) to ward off disease.

By focusing solely on the corona virus and considering it to be the causal factor this allows the capitalist class off the hook for being the very ones who have created the conditions for all sorts of diseases to proliferate. Further by keeping the focus solely on corona history tells us that the capitalists will not only use this for any draconian measures they deem "essential" but also a means to explore all manner of profiteering- the "next magic cure" (for the disease they created) being the most obvious pot of gold.

If you want to pursue a more analytical line of inquiry start by examining the severely degraded air quality in Madrid, Wuhan, Tehran and the Po River Valley and the accompanying health problems in those areas and start connecting some dots.

Some links:

Posted by: Allen | Mar 23 2020 20:33 utc | 55

Yes, we should all wear masks when out I public! It's been maddening having to counter the crap being aired by BigLie Media and soaked up by the moppets that they don't need to wear a mask unless they're part of the at-risk population and social distancing is only 6feet/2meters--the Chinese report on how far the virus can travel in air was almost 4 meters! which could be even greater when propelled by a strong breeze instead of normal air conditioning under which that determination was made.

The crisis has also escalated the ongoing Class War. Daily for the past two weeks+, we've seen articles like this one warning us of an attack on some segment of the safety net or huge disparities in who and what are favored for bailing out. There's also the well-founded fear that Trump will use the crisis as justification for a rights-removal power grab backed by the security services. If several measures aren't legislated into being--either the sort of all public QE advocated by Steve Keen allowing people to pay their rent, utilities and purchase food or a law suspending all such payments in tandem with a QE temporary income--to help the great mass of people who'll break financially during this crisis, you can count on massive protests regardless of the need for social distancing, as people facing homelessness and starvation having seen what happened in 2008-9 will surely revolt and thus provide the cause for Martial Law--although the real cause will be lack of political will to help the people.

The great irony is the Current Oligarchy can't do without its wage-slaves, while the debtors can certainly do without the Oligarchy.

Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 23 2020 20:33 utc | 56

From the link on Iceland in b post.
"Of 3,787 individuals tested in the country, a total of 218 positive cases have been identified so far. "At least half of those infected contracted the virus while travelling abroad, mostly in high-risk areas in the European Alps (at least 90)," the government said on Monday."
This would correspond with the Haute-Savoie French cases, first undiagnosed (tested negative but later on positive). Those had been infected by the British super-spreader who had returned from a conference in Singapore. From the same person, it has also been exported to Majorca.
These cases were known by 9-10 February.
Haute-Savoie is next door to Italy. Majorca is Spain.
On March 1st, Iceland had only 2 cases.

Posted by: Mina | Mar 23 2020 20:43 utc | 57

Jrabbit @ 43said;"But this inexpensive remedy is being undermined so that more expensive drugs are required for treatement."

Yep, ya' can't help but feel this way. With the U$A's brand of "disaster capitalism", you can't let a crisis go to waste without turning a massive profit.

Posted by: ben | Mar 23 2020 20:52 utc | 58

that is quite interesting. Indeed last December several people i know had a really strong flu going directly to the chest... Some said that they had fever although they never get any normally.

Posted by: Mina | Mar 23 2020 20:53 utc | 59

oldhippie | Mar 23 2020 18:52 utc | 23

You need to look to China for face masks. They look to be the only country exporting them.
N95.... look up filtration standards there are masks equivalent to N95 in other standards. I think the European equivalent is FPP2. I did post the standards on one of these threads. My contact told me the FPP2 is available in China.
Find the equivalents in various standards then look for them on alibaba ebay ect.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Mar 23 2020 20:55 utc | 60

My reading of the current state of our knowledge is that we do not know anything about the origin no matter how authoritative some appear to be. We do not know where the virus came from, we do not even know where it first appeared drag in the oddball theory that the vaping illness may be involved, we do not know what causes it either. Why does it appear in some and not in other and why in certain locations? Yet, some hypotheses tend to get discarded as too fanciful.

Posted by: Jonathan W | Mar 23 2020 20:57 utc | 61

Malu, Good luck to you and thanks for the recommendation. May I ask if some of your +75 patients who got the mild form were smokers or had been smokers?

Posted by: Mina | Mar 23 2020 20:57 utc | 62

Connecting the dots is like generating a hypothesis or recognizing a face in de clouds. You need it but it also works as a bullshit generator so you need an awful lot of work on it afterwards and have to throw out almost everything you generate.

Posted by: tuyzentfloot | Mar 23 2020 20:57 utc | 63

Mark2 | Mar 23 2020 20:18 utc | 48:


TJ | Mar 23 2020 20:19 utc | 50:

"You work in IT so that I don't have to."
"There's a time to be sensible and look after yourself. And now it not that time.   [looks at dozens of Vodka bottles on the counter]   I'm not doing coronavirus sober."

Love Jonathan Pie.   It pisses me off whenever YouTube unsubscribe me from the channels I follow.   Thanks for the reminder.

Posted by: Ian2 | Mar 23 2020 20:59 utc | 64

Wear a mask? Right now, they can't be had at any price.

"Gouge much? Purell for $149, face masks for $20: Coronavirus price hikes are making everyone mad"

Posted by: ben | Mar 23 2020 21:00 utc | 65

For all this strange behaviour of the virus being reported by Italian doctors - listen to the must watch interview with Dr Paul Cottrell. SARS-Cov-2019 has capacity to attack human cells in 4 ways. He makes strong case for it being a weaponised virus, he details genomic sequencing that points to this being most likely hypothesis:

As does the man who wrote the draft for the US bioweapons law, Professor of International Law at University of Illinois, Francis Boyle, citing the language of ‘enhanced’ viruses in peer reviewed published literature:
Brief snippet from one interview:

Separate and detailed longer interview noting links to resurrected Spanish Flu by research labs involved with current virus:

From Uni Illinois bio:
Professor Boyle served on the Board of Directors of Amnesty International, as a consultant to the American Friends Service Committee, and on the Advisory Board for the Council for Responsible Genetics. He drafted the U.S. domestic implementing legislation for the Biological Weapons Convention, known as the Biological Weapons Anti-Terrorism Act of 1989, that was approved unanimously by both Houses of the U.S. Congress and signed into law by President George H.W. Bush.

Posted by: PJB | Mar 23 2020 21:01 utc | 66

@54 Per/Norway

" The second thing that’s good about it is the sun. Ultraviolet light kills viruses."

The disease is spreading in the southern hemisphere which is in summer with much higher UV just as rapidly as the northern hemisphere which is in winter with much less UV. So the data at least in this case says no. BTW she retired in 2008, and she seems to have done some impressive work in the past, though as they say in the small print of adverts for investments, past performance is no predictor of future performance.

Posted by: TJ | Mar 23 2020 21:02 utc | 67

A friend of mine who lives in the San Francisco Bay Area came down with a bad flu last October, as i did. It was really severe, the likes of which i had not experienced before. Chills, body aches, fatigue, cough, etc. I chalked it up to the normal flu, although i never get the normal flu. I live in Canada on the west coast. I had not known about his flu until recently. Then i read about the following:

* apparently there were flu cases already in October in the US, with deaths involved. Autopsies indicated coronavirus (whether it was Covid-19 or not, i don't know)
* At the end of October 2019, 300 US military personnel attended the 2109 World Military Games in...Wuhan
* A senior Chinese official claimed that at or towards the end of the games, 6 US servicemen who became seriously ill were flown out from Wuhan on a special US military charter. The US authorities would not tell the Chinese authorities what the soldiers had come down with.
* A short time later, cases were reported in Italy of a virus that had killed seniors but Covid-19 was not yet known at that time.
* Somewhere in this time frame, my friend and i get a really bad flu with symptoms i've never experienced before, even though we haven't seen each other for years.
* China announces lockdown of Wuhan a while later. The US and its poodles accuse China of releasing (accidentally) a bio-warfare virus. China denies this vehemently.
* Covide-19 spreads globally

You could look at these items as merely "coincidences". But given that the virus genes contained an unusual mix of unrelated snippets of DNA (including ebola and HIV), this could have been engineered. The probability of "coincidence" falls tremendously, given the number of "coincidences".

If i was writing a novel about a secret US - China war raging beneath the surface (which it is), then the plot would probably go something like this:

* China and the US are having a major trade dispute. The US knows that China is rapidly catching up to it and in many cases, surpassing it, in terms of military capability, finance and international respectability. Plus the fact that it is allied with Russia.
* Trump's trusted advisor, Pompeo, like his predecessor Bolton, goes rogue yet again and hatches a plan to try to stall or end China's meteoric rise as a new superpower. He gets together with some buddies in the CIA or other TLA agency, and they come up with an idea that involves bio-warfare agents that they have already developed but are not yet ready for prime time. It's a work in progress. It's flaws include that it takes much too long (2 - 3 weeks) before it starts to have physical symptoms, and it doesn't always kill, but the "boys" deem it good enough to "slow down" China and throw a spanner into the works. But how to introduce it stealthily? Turns out the International Military Games in Wuhan are coming up, so they "innoculate" a few of their soldiers, unbeknownst to them and pack them off to the games. There, the soldiers mingle with the locals, silently spreading the infection. Maybe they even visit a fish market. After a while, the first soldier starts to come down with symptoms and then the next, and so on, until 6 of them are seriously ill. The US military, with or without any knowledge of this, decides to send an evac plane to Wuhan to pick up the ill...maybe with advice from the CIA, maybe not.
* Soon, the virus starts doing its dirty work and Wuhan explodes with infected people, with many sick and dead. The Chinese authorities react quickly, shutting down Wuhan and quarantining everyone.
* The US in turn does what it always does best: accusing the victim for what it itself is doing. It accuses China of trampling "freedoms" and accuses it of engineering the virus.
* In the meantime, the economy and population of China suffers greatly, destroying the economic and military momentum that they have built up over decades.
* Unfortunately, Pompeo and his cohorts never think about blowback - or maybe it briefly crosses their mind (they are not the brightest of bulbs and fail to inform themselves of the possible consequences, as this was a secret "hail mary" type of operation that had to include "plausible deniability)..., and so the virus spreads to the US and the world. Thousands of people die all over the world, including in the US.
* The US does what it does best: it lies though it's teeth, saying there are few infections in America, which is due mainly to lack of testing (how convenient) and the real number of infected and dead are hidden - all in the name of making the US look like it's dick is bigger and to show that it always wins...

Anyway, just a story... what if...?

Posted by: antares | Mar 23 2020 21:06 utc | 68

@55 Allen

Of course if people are sent home from work, factories shut and vehicles not on the roads this would improve the air quality vastly and perhaps also help to mitigate the spread of the disease and deaths.

Posted by: TJ | Mar 23 2020 21:08 utc | 69

Interestingly, Italia was already mentioned on 30 January as a place dealing with testing stranded cruise passengers from all over the world. At that time, "Australia, South Korea, Singapore, and New Zealand have said they will quarantine all of their evacuated citizens for at least two weeks, while the United States and Japan planned voluntary isolation for shorter periods." What happened next and why was that limited to cruise passengers and not to intl travellers?

Remember when WHO was against travel bans?

Posted by: Mina | Mar 23 2020 21:08 utc | 70

'The question i would ask first is , what if in some regions the virus is effectvely much less dangerous. As in 30 times less.'

Youve not asked a question..u made a statement
so far the only two things that might be worth investigating are:
pollution and 5G

Posted by: brian | Mar 23 2020 21:10 utc | 71

why has Bernard rejected pollution as a co factor?

Posted by: brian | Mar 23 2020 21:16 utc | 72

b, ban the idiots, this is War..

Posted by: Lozion | Mar 23 2020 21:16 utc | 73

Good observations, but the one about Lombardy is wrong, sorry. Northern Italy is stuck between two mountain chains, the Appennini and the Alps. No wind, pollution stays there. It is the most polluted area in Europe. Some data are starting to emerge that the epidemic is indeed linked to pollution. For a discussion, see this link

Posted by: Ugo Bardi | Mar 23 2020 21:21 utc | 74

@68 antares

Sounds like you had what I had 2 years ago, knocked me down for 3 weeks in bed, I even had fever dreams, I have never quite been the same since. Usually flu is me sleeping for 3 days and that's it, colds are just annoying and only a really bad head cold stops me from going about my day.

Posted by: TJ | Mar 23 2020 21:22 utc | 75

I agree with Allen, but one should add to the mix that the Italians are probably the people on earth who eat the highest amount of gluten in their diet. What is wrong with some people here who cannot accept the idea that pollution does reduce your life expectancy, just as passive smoking is?

Posted by: Mina | Mar 23 2020 21:22 utc | 76

antares @68--

I invite you to read what I wrote yesterday here and compare it with your thoughts. On that same thread, I expanded my hypothesis and had it commented upon by some of my associates who aided its understanding.

Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 23 2020 21:29 utc | 77

#COVIDー19 vs #flu
'So far, #COVIDー19 has led to > 220,000 illnesses and >9,300 deaths worldwide. But that's nothing compared with the flu. In the US alone, flu has caused an estimated 36 million illnesses, 370,000 hospitalizations and 22,000 deaths this season, according to CDC. '

Posted by: brian | Mar 23 2020 21:30 utc | 78

I think we should all wear bandannas. Like desperadoes in the old wild west. It could be next big fashion thing.

Posted by: TG | Mar 23 2020 21:35 utc | 79

Posted wrongly to the older thread
Yet another cruise. Are these people mad?
700 people on a cruise heading to Italy (cruises being Italy's main income lately?). After one guest was tested positive during a stop in Crete (the Creteans are thankful!) the Argentinian woman aged 63 was disembarked and admitted to Heraklion hospital with bronchitis-like symptoms. Costa Cruises says she is in a stable condition.
So some people should wear masks and other people should go on cruise?

Posted by: Mina | Mar 23 2020 21:36 utc | 80

Antares, you could add the following two chapters in the book: main clusters in France and South Korea were created through huge evangelical mass prayers and Wuhan hosts hundreds of international companies and factories, i.e. spreading to the four corners of the world was guaranteed.

Posted by: Mina | Mar 23 2020 21:39 utc | 81

By the way,WHO has condemned today the use of chloroquine without further testing; in France they seem to present it as a French invention, never mentioning the fact it has been used in China. i think Tedros was on board since the beginning.

Posted by: Mina | Mar 23 2020 21:43 utc | 82

Jay @ 14

Its just humor, dude. You look at "you are here" and the really nasty dystopias immediately surrounding it and say "we are f***ed".

Its just a joke, not a scientific or even a logical diagram.

Posted by: john brewster | Mar 23 2020 21:47 utc | 83

Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 23 2020 20:33 utc | 56

>>Yes, we should all wear masks when out I public! It's been maddening having to counter the crap being aired by BigLie Media and soaked up by the moppets that they don't need to wear a mask unless they're part of the at-risk population and social distancing is only 6feet/2meters--the Chinese report on how far the virus can travel in air was almost 4 meters! which could be even greater when propelled by a strong breeze instead of normal air conditioning under which that determination was made.

Absolutely. There have been many in the West telling people not to wear masks, this is not how people in the East think. I never took the 2 meters recommendation seriously. Droplets can travel way more depending on wind and elevation, they can enter one's eyes too, so eye protection is recommended. Not to mention that virus can stay in air for up to 3 hours which means that any room that had someone infected in it remains problematic for some time. Not to mention the surfaces, where it can survive for days. The virus is highly contagious, which means one should always assume the worst in social situations, not the best. This is why people get infected. Assume 6 meters social distance, not 3. Assume eyes must be protected too, not just mouth. Assume contaminated surfaces. Assume contaminated packages. Put everything new you import in your home in 3 day quarantine in some special room. Remove clothes and put them there too.

Posted by: Passer by | Mar 23 2020 21:48 utc | 84

@83 john brewster

That diagram will make a great t-shirt.

Posted by: TJ | Mar 23 2020 21:50 utc | 85

oldhippie @ 23

What a sad picture you report. Celebrities and rich folk first. Damn the rest of us.

Posted by: john brewster | Mar 23 2020 21:50 utc | 86

Now we have Poland blocking supplies from getting to Italy from Russia. I can only hope that exacerbates the crisis within NATO and accelerates its demise.

Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 23 2020 21:54 utc | 87

Yup. BoJo has announced a 3-week lockdown.

karlof1 | Mar 23 2020 21:54 utc | 87:

One's true colors are shown when at the bottom of the barrel.

Posted by: Ian2 | Mar 23 2020 22:03 utc | 88

TJ @ 85

Yeah, but only in certain places. Lots of people can't handle sick humor anymore. It "triggers" them.

Posted by: john brewster | Mar 23 2020 22:06 utc | 89

karlofi @ 87

That is truly sociopathic. What a bunch of murderous, hypcritical fake-Catholic assholes are in charge of the government of Poland. They run the usual campaign to shut down abortion, but they're happy to make their fellow Catholics in Italy more likely to die.

Of course, America has been paying suck-ups like Poland and the Baltic States handsomely to be the front line states (aka, targets) against Russia. Who's worse the criminal, or the money man who bankrolls his crime?

Posted by: john brewster | Mar 23 2020 22:11 utc | 90

The Massachusetts Dept. of Public Health reported 777 confirmed CVP19 cases as of 03/23/20 (Monday). The odd thing was the relatively wide distribution -- many cases are occurring in the remote Western parts of the state. This thing does 'get around'.

Posted by: blues | Mar 23 2020 22:17 utc | 91

Where are the burqas when we need them?

Posted by: JohnH | Mar 23 2020 19:33 utc | 30

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Mar 23 2020 22:20 utc | 92

(Wuhan is notorious for air pollution but Lombardy is not. The theory that air pollution has contributed to the high number of severe cases in both regions is thus not confirmed.)

B, are you kidding? I lived in Milano for 22 years and believe me it has some of the highest pm (particulate matter) values in the world, comparable even with China's air pollution. The air in the Val Padana doesn't move around much and temperature inversions, especially during the winter, are quite common. Take a trip down there sometime next winter and you'll see what I mean.

Posted by: JohnH | Mar 23 2020 22:21 utc | 93

The chickens are coming home to roost for the Western Empire. Neoliberalism neutered Democracy, government by and for the people. Western nations can’t protect its citizens due to incompetent leaders and the philosophy of letting the riff-raff die off.

COV-19 is nasty. Around 20% need hospitalization. If state of the art medical procedures and ventilators are available; for example, China outside of Hubei Province, South Korea, Singapore, and Taiwan the death rate is around 0.2%. These Nations more or less continue to function. If the hospitals are overwhelmed, Italy and Iran, the mortality rate is around 6% and death from untreated illness, injuries and triaging of the elderly skyrockets. Italy is dying.

The Wuhan Coronavirus is unique it that it is highly contagious and approximately half of the ill have no symptoms. So old fashion techniques such as measuring temperature do not work to identify and isolate virus spreaders. But, because government public health system in the West has been decimated, containment is impossible. There is no staff to do contact tracing and fired employees like Peace Corp Volunteers are not being hired to do it plus coronavirus analysis development and deployment is a debacle in the USA. Without universal testing and quarantining of the ill especially asymptomatic super spreaders; the pandemic will explode.

In the next weeks New York City healthcare system will be overwhelmed. Intentional or not, without containment and mitigation, the contagion will circle the globe in waves until a vaccine and antivirals are developed to treat the illness. The connected Pharmaceutical Corporations will be hugely enriched. But the millions of deaths will be directly on the for-profit oligarchy and their bought politicans.

Posted by: VietnamVet | Mar 23 2020 22:27 utc | 94

Air pollution in Lombardy only in these days is not bad. Usually is different. Probably the quality of the air is not the reason of the pandemia but better to be precise.

Posted by: DP | Mar 23 2020 22:29 utc | 95

@89 john brewster

One mans sick humour is another mans statement of the bleedin' obvious. Also I like a good trigger, a crisp two stage mostly, shooting is my zen, in fact I just acquired an Adder magazine fed crossbow, it's enormous fun to shoot, though I imagine there might be a reader or two here that would characterise it as a high capacity assault crossbow, tomato, tomato.

Posted by: TJ | Mar 23 2020 22:35 utc | 96

The number of idiots everywhere on the Internet proclaiming the following:

1) The virus won't prove to be any more dangerous than ordinary flu.
2) Doctors will certify people dying of complications and ordinary flu as dying of coronavirus because of...some bizarre reason...
3) Swine flu was more deadly because it killed 12,000 people in the US - and we never noticed it (comparing that number to *current* coronavirus deaths)
4) The whole thing is a hoax to cover an economic collapse, so we can ignore the risk
5) Lockdown doesn't help because South Korea managed to contain it without extreme lockdown
6) Coronavirus will kill "closer to 200 people than 200,000"

etc, etc., ad nauseum.

I could go on and on. The number of people who just *have to have an opinion* is staggering. And they'll argue that they're right until the cows come home.

Add to that every moron with a medical degree having to weigh his useless opinion in despite the fact that he's not even treating coronavirus patients because he's a butt doctor (in more than ways than one) or works at some bottom of the barrel clinic (like the idiots I go to), plus every moron who took a course somewhere in biology or can read Wikipedia...

I've had it. This is the same reason I generally restricted my comments on foreign policy in recent months although I'm somewhat compelled to address blatant stupidity, which is a failing on my part. This is also why I dumped my Twitter account years ago.

I'm not commenting or reading any more on this subject. Just too many absolute assholes and moron trolls.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Mar 23 2020 22:40 utc | 97

@97 Richard Steven Hack

While your frustration is quite understandable, I would say over here on MoA most are trying their level best to figure out what is going on and what personal steps to take to help themselves and their loved ones deal with the current situation. Though of course there are some others who will not, perhaps this a chance for them to win a Darwin Award, who knows.

Posted by: TJ | Mar 23 2020 22:52 utc | 98

The virus deniers here remind me of the global warming deniers.

Posted by: Michael Weddington | Mar 23 2020 22:54 utc | 99

I have seen maps where Lombardy has the highest 2.5pm of western Europe. Like this one.
In other rankings Lombardy was less conspicuous. The air pollution hypothesis is interesting. The 'region dependent CFR of Corona' hypothesis does not depend on it though. One can empirically test the second while the first could still be wrong. What if counter examples turn up?. This is a map of air pollution in cities in the course of year.

Posted by: Tuyzentfloot | Mar 23 2020 22:56 utc | 100

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