Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
March 16, 2020

The Pandemic Will Cause A Global Depression - We Need Demand Side Measures To Counter It

Last week's post on Boeing ended with this line:

The pandemic, and the global depression it will cause, now make it certain that Boeing will have to ask for a gigantic government bailout or go into bankruptcy.

With most flights grounded due to the pandemic Boeing is now thinking about cutting its production and laying off workers.

In the quoted sentence I used the words "the global depression it will cause" with care. I do indeed believe that a sustained, long-term downturn in economic activity in many countries will be one of the results of this pandemic.


The airline industry is just one of many that will be hit hard. About 70% of the U.S. GDP is generated by the service industry. Travel, entertainment, gyms, restaurants and bars, hotels, education will all be hit extremely hard by the finally coming shutdown. The U.S. will, like Germany did today, soon shutdown churches, brothels and other entertainment outlets.  Only a few service industries, like healthcare, online gaming and gun sales, will continue to strive.

The pandemic will be with us as a major danger for probably two or three years during which it will race around the globe in several large waves. Each wave will require another shutdown. To develop a vaccine against the SARS-CoV-2 virus is likely to take over a year but may take much longer. We may be more lucky with a new medication that can reduce the symptoms of the Covis-19 disease the virus is causing.

Restrictions on major parts of the service industry are therefore likely to be with us much longer than the one or two months that are currently anticipated. After the restrictions are over many people will have have changed their habits. The travel industry will not come back for a long time. The cruise industry will probably die. That is personal to me as the place where I learned to work metal depends on it.

There will also be lots of layoffs caused by this crisis which guarantees that demand will fall further off the cliff.

On Sunday's the Fed cut its interest rates to zero. That was a push on a string. Today the stock markets tanked another 10%. Crude is now below $30 per barrel and may well go down to $20/bl. The Fed move was likely demanded by Trump who last week remarked that he has the power to fire Fed chair Powell. The Fed should take care that the credit markets stay liquid as many companies will need additional resources. A credit crunch right now would increase the general damage. But Trump and the Fed should stop to push supply side measures like interest rate cuts and tax relieves. There is no lack of investment or supplies but a lack of demand and that will continue for at least the rest of the year.

Last week the House passed a bill with some emergency help. It was mostly fake. House leader Nancy Pelosi sold it as covering way more than it actually does:

The legislation secures paid emergency leave with two weeks of paid sick leave and up to three months of paid family and medical leave, according to Pelosi. It also enhances unemployment insurance. The legislation also increases federal funds for Medicaid, and bolsters funding for food assistance programs.

Those were a number of lies and even the neoliberal editors of the New York Times called her out:

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Friday night celebrated the coronavirus legislation that passed early Saturday as providing paid sick leave to American workers affected by the pandemic.

She neglected to mention the fine print.

In fact, the bill guarantees sick leave only to about 20 percent of workers. Big employers like McDonald’s and Amazon are not required to provide any paid sick leave, while companies with fewer than 50 employees can seek hardship exemptions from the Trump administration.

“If you are sick, stay home,” Vice President Mike Pence said at a news conference on Saturday afternoon. “You’re not going to miss a pay check.”

But that’s simply not true. Sick workers should stay home, but there is no guarantee in the emergency legislation that most of them will get paid.

When even rightwing Republican Senators think that the Democratic leader of the House is not socialist enough something has changed:

Tom Cotton @SenTomCotton - 12:21 UTC · Mar 16, 2020

The House relief bill doesn’t go far enough & fast enough.

We’re going to do everything we can to get cash into the hands of affected workers & families as quickly as possible so we can all get through this pandemic together.

There are way more measures needed than Pelosi's bill allows for. The government must cover all costs for virus testing and Covid-19 care. It must pay sick leave to everyone who has to stay home independent of their job status. Not providing such will prolong the crisis as infected people who need to work because they lack money will otherwise continue to spread the virus.

The U.S. and other economies will also need a fiscal injection on the demand side. Send a $5.000 check to every household which makes less than $100,000 per year and include the homeless in it. The money can be taken from the defense budget. A 355 ship navy will never stop a pandemic.

The last global social and economic shock of this size came after 9/11. The fall of the towers changed the world. It became the justification for militarized policies and large defense budgets. The pandemic will cause changes of a comparable size.

Public demands and political priorities will change. Health crisis preparedness and response will become a new priority issue. Globalization will become more restrained while global cooperation on health issues will likely increase.

This crisis is not the end of the world but it will be the impetus for significant changes.

Previous Moon of Alabama posts on the issue:

Posted by b on March 16, 2020 at 18:34 UTC | Permalink

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Those economies which run on pure capitalism eg UK & amerika are not going to be able to control their epidemics. There is no way to fix this as even if the elites' glove puppets aka professional pols whose asserted values reach across the spectrum, out past each side of the false construct 'overton window' with their professed views, were to provide sufficient material assistance to negate the need for the impoverished to ignore isolation requirements, the means to resource the poorest simply doesn't exist.

Others upthread have pointed this out and if we consider for example the englander ruling class' blatant attempt to rid the welfare rolls of no longer productive citizens by way of such fascist strategies as the Windrush escapade, no one should be surprised. Those who thought Windrush was about race have totally missed the true evil which lurks behind the strategies of elites. Race simply made Windrush deportees easier to identify, the impetus was actually about getting rid of unproductive units and making them the responsibility of the undeveloped nations where they were born & even educated before being nabbed by the at that time still extant, englander empire, to fix the mess made of england by ww2.

It is important to remember that this example of elite callous behaviour was done in two stages. Blair's Labour Government destroyed all evidence of their arrival in england on the entirely specious claim that 'old paper records took up too much space', then Theresa May, as secretary of the Home Office in the Conservative government introduced the Hostile Environment Strategy to provide the means to get rid of the now unproductive units.

That is but one example of many how the long term planning of the 1% is focused solely on maximising elite personal gain - the more money 'wasted' on the impoverished, the less there is for the elites to glom.

amerikans will be aware of how similar strategies are utilised in their 'nation' which bars indigenous americans from entry unless they can successfully climb through a seemingly never ending race of hurdles, hoops, surprise mantraps and pitfalls. Then, even if successful these real Americans will be tossed out should their productivity falter.

Of course neither the ignorati who have been indoctrinated into cheerleading this blight, nor the elites implementing the indoctrination, realise that this evil strategy of taking humans, torturing them, then discarding them once they are no longer useful, which is most publicly evident in amerika's treatment of their so called veterans - homeless indigent and frequently psychically damaged beyond repair, will be their ultimate undoing.

Bourgeois amerikans stuck in their homes will find that cleaning, cooking, mowing the grass, and shopping, the tasks many entrusted to the impoverished are chores which rapidly lose their charm - after all that is why they sought 'help' in the first place.

On the other side the former 'help' who are expected to survive on zero income, simply won't be able to hunker down in their converted garage or cardboard box.
In no time at all parking lots will be full of indigents offering to carry shopping to the car, streets crowded with former gardeners door-knocking for an opportunity to cut the grass.

Some will hire bag carriers and grass cutters but most will not, still the infection will spread. That is when things will get really ugly, because one thing most humans especially those who have fought in wars or dodged the hurdles of immigration, will not do, is sit in their garage while they and their loved ones quietly starve to death.

Decent humans will be driven to extremes, they will take what they cannot obtain any other way, so inevitably force will have to be used and the law won't be able to cope with such mass unrest.
Previous 'riots' have ultimately been suppressed by playing upon the goodwill of african americans & latin americans led by the straight citizens within the 'minority' (amerikans like to call the 'others' minorities as it emphasizes that the 'others' lack the numbers - maybe, but they do not lack resolve unlike most bourgeoisie).
This time there simply won't be sufficient 'straight citizens' among the minorities eager to keep their jobs & their kids in school because there will be no jobs, no school.

What happens then? Call out the national guard? Every move the system makes to prevent unrest will only serve to assist the virus in its spread through the population. The Nat Guardsmen get exposed, then go home to pass the covid 19 disease to their families.
No matter how hard the elites try to avoid exposure, the virus will move silently and inexorably up through amerika's highly stratified social structures.

Then things will get really tough. As others have pointed out it is possible to keep someone whose old, sick and in an advanced state of decay alive almost indefinitely if they are connected to a machine which draws the blood circulating in their body out, then oxygenates it & returns it to the body. Machines in use in operating theaters and intensive care units every day do this.

These machines are in short supply and that is the triage which doctors in Italy were having to do, that is the triage that nearly broke them. In a public health system the staff make decisions based upon a patient's social usefulness, how many others depend on him/her for support - not so much in the financial sense, more in the matriarchal/patriarchal sense. Those decisions are tough and can lead to riots, usually only if the people see injustices.

In capitalist societies the decision is a lot easier, it is made by the system rather than individual doctors. It is simple because only one factor is measured - who has the most money?

It will take about 10 seconds for people in amerika to see what is being done and less than another 10 for many to decide "Fuck this, I've had enough - they are not going to kill my mother/father, significant other just to let some rich slug live!". Machines will be stolen, pirated, incorrectly used and sometimes wrecked.
Hospitals are not bank vaults and it is doubtful that they can be protected against determined incursions especially with all the other unrest. Elites will begin to die in the same numbers as normal humans.

No wonder many are fleeing amerika as I speak. Members of my own whanau, some of whom I have had contempt for over decades for their willing engagement with amerika, are currently scuttling back to Aotearoa to get away from that likely scenario.
Even when I was returning from my quick sojourn on the weekend the plane was more crowded than I expected as pasty complexioned (winter up there, summer down here) families with north american accents climbed aboard.

I doubt it will be much better here, especially with the virus arriving along with the new kiwis. There are likely less resuscitators per capita so medical staff will have to make tough decisions. However at this stage everyone will get a guaranteed weekly income via social welfare, but accommodation is at a premium and new arrivals may displace locals which would cause big problems in the current climate.

This is going to be tough and in terms of how permanently world-changing it will be, I reckon 911 will seem like a mere blip.

Posted by: A User | Mar 17 2020 0:52 utc | 101

BTW, I have not seen any comments here like this speculative admission that I am about to make:

I suspect that I have in fact contracted the dreaded corona virus. It has been making the rounds in my area. For the past week and a half I have been unusually fatigued and in the last week I have felt strange sensations in my lungs, and even felt out of breath occasionally. No fever, sore throat or coughs. Definitely something unusual in my lungs.

I am 50 years old, no medical issues and generally in good health. I would have applied for a test, but around here they stopped testing anybody but the bad cases that get admitted to the hospital.

Girlfriend has been coughing for two weeks and even had a bit of a fever at the onset.

If this is not simply an ordinary case of flu or cold, I wonder what the exposure route would have been.

GF works with disabled people and did a shift with a group of children who were snotty and coughing right before she got her symptoms.

A little over two weeks ago I attended a weekend sports event in Belgium with many people from Brussels and Paris also in attendance, cities that were early hits in Europe.

A few days later, I picked up my parents in the airport in Amsterdam after their flight back from Atlanta. The had been touring the US and had been on a cruise ship from San Diego to Fort Lauderdale, via Panama and the Caribean.

What really struck me this afternoon, was the realization that a little while ago, somewhere in Januari, a good friend of ours suddenly fell ill with a double pneumonia. She recovered with antibiotics, but afterwards it turned out that she now has pulmonary fibrosis as a result of that epsiode. This transpired while the corona virus was a thing far away over the horizon. Now I wonder about it.

Anyway, no panic. Taking my vitamins and minerals and brewing soups with lots of ginger and garlic.

Kind of worried about my stepdad who is coughing a lot. He says it's just a cold. Hmmm...

Posted by: Lurk | Mar 17 2020 0:56 utc | 102

@ john brewster | Mar 17 2020 0:32 utc | 101 (rev) "big dive), that is simply off the table, short of revolution - which would be instantly put down."

Yes, so it would be. The histories seem to suggest that at some point the army know they say that a ruling class must, no matter what, see that the army is paid... Because of the elite's accurate understanding of "pitchforks". When the soldiers join the's "curtains"...sorta like October 1917.

In the instance one is inclined to speculate about the financial problems that are liable to make paying the army possible as the crises cascades. Of course soldiers may be discharged, but then the guy is a loose cannon...

This is going to take some time, if it happens.

Posted by: Walter | Mar 17 2020 0:57 utc | 103

Fully in agreement with b here. Instead of shovelling money at banksters and corporate scammers to prop up the collapsing market, the Fed, ECB and other central banks should give the cash to people who need it and will use it to buy things and stimulate the economy.

This pandemic is demonstrating once again that the global neoliberal economy is a fragile Potemkin construct that breaks down at the slightest tension. Finance capitalism is a busted flush, a blatant scam to line the pockets of the 1% at everyone else’s expense. And when the going gets really tough they will sacrifice all of us to save their cowardly avaricious asses. Governments need to represent the interests of citizens, not central bankers and the obscenely wealthy. That means putting the well-being of people first, not spending trillions to “save” the stock market aka “the economy.”

Posted by: Daniel | Mar 17 2020 0:59 utc | 104

john Brewster @101--

Given what's happening on a state-by-state level, polling seniors seems pointless as all age groups are being ordered to shelter in place unless your job makes you essential, at least here on the West Coast. Oregon's current situation. So far, none of the workers in our household are ordered to remain at home; I'm retired, although I sure seem to write and research a lot. People are still free to travel. We went shopping early last Saturday and don't intend/need to go until April. Some unusual items were out-of-stock, but all were calm that I encountered.

Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 17 2020 1:04 utc | 105

I come from the previous millenium. Back then we had summer camps. Kids went to camp for the summer.... 3 months of it!

Kids then were supervised by university students, who were supervised by twenty somethings.

Kids lived in tents / cabins at camp. Activities were planned for them to keep them busy.

So, why don't we send all school age kids to summer camp? Supervise them with university students? Supervise those with young adults who need jobs....

Spread out the camps with no more than 500 kids in any one place. If a camp gets the virus, no need to contact trace, you know the possible contacts. Will be necessary to rescue those who develop complications, of course. But the numbers will be much more manageable than current setup.

This isolates the riskiest group from the general population, and given population demographics, could have half or more of the population infected, recovered, and immune by labor day. That will reduce the r0 next flu season.

Major employers, such as Fortune 500 could house their employees at their plants, similar to what they do during strike lockdowns.

Big losers, small/mid sized service businesses. They will have to adopt an online model.


Posted by: Dr. George W Oprisko | Mar 17 2020 1:22 utc | 106

@104 bevin... thanks for that link.. good article...

@ 105 a user... you have a rich imagination.. i hope you are wrong, but i do agree with your last line.. we'll see how it unfolds..

Posted by: james | Mar 17 2020 1:33 utc | 107

lurk - thanks for the personal story...i hope it all works out..

Posted by: james | Mar 17 2020 1:34 utc | 108


There were only 21 new cases of COVID-19 infections reported in mainland China yesterday. Twenty of these were "foreign input", meaning people who had been infected outside China. Wuhan had one single case. Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Macao had a total of 18 cases.

9086 people are sick and have not yet recovered, 2830 of these are severe cases.

Posted by: Petri Krohn | Mar 17 2020 1:34 utc | 109

chipnik was right. This is the great pension fund swindle of our Time..

Posted by: Lozion | Mar 17 2020 1:36 utc | 110


Feb 19, 2020- The Lancet published an unprecedented “correspondence” from twenty-seven (27) co-authors who condemned “conspiracy theories” related to the outbreak.

These correspondents wrote:
     “The rapid, open, and transparent sharing of data on this outbreak is now being threatened by rumours and misinformation around its origins. We stand together to strongly condemn conspiracy theories suggesting that COVID-19 does not have a natural origin...    Conspiracy theories do nothing but create fear, rumours, and prejudice that jeopardise our global collaboration in the fight against this virus. We support the call from the Director-General of WHO to promote scientific evidence and unity over misinformation and conjecture.”

Boy, doesnt that remind you of Bush speech after 9/11 warning against entertaining conspiracy theories? Anthrax letters sent out soon afterwards to reporters/politicians reinforced that

The Lancet is financed, for instance, by RELX’s foremost investor, Capital Research and Management Company. This is a wholly-owned subsidiary of The Capital Group Companies, Inc., which ranks among the world’s oldest and largest investment management organizations, with over $2 trillion in assets under management.” According to Capital Group’s advertisements, “the company is owned by 450 partners,” including some of the world largest companies based in the U.S., Europe and Asia, each heavily invested in healthcare and disease response.

Feb 24, 2020 Moderna began shipping vials from a plant in Norwood, Mass., to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, in Bethesda, Md., for a planned clinical trial to test its safety.

Feb 26, 2020 - SCMP reports Tencent teams up with ‘Sars hero’ Zhong Nanshan on AI, big data lab to combat coronavirus and predict outbreaks through the use of big data and artificial intelligence.

March 10, 2020 -Volunteers are being recruited in the Seattle area to take part in a clinical trial for a COVID-19 vaccine. Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute is asking for volunteers to participate in a study that will test an "investigational vaccine" for SARS-CoV-2, which is the virus that causes COVID-19. The experimental vaccine is an mRNA nucleic acid vaccine, meaning it is made up of a segment of mRNA rather than the whole virus.

The vaccine is skipping preliminary testing on animals before proceeding to human trials, which is unheard of. Of course, vaccine manufacturers are free of liability so why not? The vaccine has never before been administered to humans, but it is similar to vaccines developed previously for the Zika virus although never approved for use.

Though sponsored by NIAID, the first-in-human experiment is taking place in Seattle, at the Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute. Researchers began recruiting healthy volunteers in early March. Their plan is to enroll 45 people between 18 and 55, who will get two shots of Moderna’s investigational vaccine, about a month apart. Why not enroll older people who are most seriously affected and most likely to be vaccinated (unless vaccines are mandated).

March 11, 2020 WHO declares COVID-19 a global pandemic . WHO is now receiving more than half of its yearly budget from private sources .Bill Gates has given more than one billion dollars to the WHO. Private funding of WHO has brought WHO much closer to the pharmaceutical industry. It is a political organization. Its director is not a scientist.

March 11- Trump declares US-Europe travel ban (ex UK). Basically requiring Europeans to have to go through UK to enter US . That should help UK with Trade negotiations with EU.

March 13, 2020. Trump declares national emergency. He now has dictatorial powers. Nice to have going into an election, assuming there is an election. Maybe people can mail in their votes or use an app. Pffft. Or maybe Trump puts on his Corona Crown and declares himself King

And under regulations revised and reissued by Obama just before Trump entered office, the government can stop and seize any plane, train or automobile to stymie the spread of contagious disease. Some even interpret the statute as meaning a president could deploy the military to cordon off a city or state. He can detain individuals suspected as being a risk to transmit disease

March 15-Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's trial in three corruption cases has been postponed by over two months, a district court announced on Sunday as he suspends all court activities. Announces digital surveillance of citizens to halt spread of disease. He offers Gantz in a desperate bid to remain Prime Minister two options to break the political deadlock in Israel: joining a six-month emergency government with Netanyahu at the head, or a unity government that would allow Netanyahu to serve as prime minister for two more years before Gantz takes over. Covid-19 a dream come true for Bibi

Stay tuned, more fun and games are heading our way.

Posted by: Pft | Mar 17 2020 1:38 utc | 111

There are three most helpful and competent sources “How to treat Coronavirus infection COVID-19”
1. An advice from a pathologist who's been tracking the virus since 1970: United Nursing Services "Good luck for all of us”
2. The RT-Interview with the member of the Russian Academy of Science Alexander Chuchalin Translated by Scott Humor
3. Das Coronavirus-Update mit Christian Drosten | ...
The German Virologie-Professor gives a lot of informations in a podcast everyday for half an hour, today was the 14th. If anybody knews the German language, it is a must to hear. He does not speak only about the medical but all the sociological problems, the media and the scientistic “fakes”.

Posted by: Dilara | Mar 17 2020 1:58 utc | 112

Petri Krohn
That's interesting figures coming from. With very few new cases it means they have also identified asymmetric carriers which I would take to be in the total number of confirmed or perhaps confirmed and suspected cases. Their numbers will be fairly close as to the percentage of severe and fatal cases of the total of those who contract it.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Mar 17 2020 2:15 utc | 113


Thanks for the detailed updates.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Mar 17 2020 2:47 utc | 114

re james | Mar 17 2020 1:33 utc | 112
Very little imagination required the first half of my post lays out easily verifiable facts, the second hlf makes some quite conservative considering known human behaviour extensions of those facts.
I'm far from surprised many people choose to stick heads in the sand, just like with the election farce, reality is too tough as long as one can still ignore it.

If amerika escapes this first round it will be because the weather got warmer before things got outta hand, they won't be so lucky come the end of this year.
My friends still living in the tropics tell me their health department has put out "don't worry, be happy" messages claiming that corona virus is much less communicable in hot weather. I have absolutely no idea of that claims veracity, although it would help explain why covid-19 has only made minor inroads in Oz & Aotearoa, although it does make what could be Tom Hanks' final role, that of typhoid Mary.

PS vis a vis the climate theory - don't be getting yer hopes up, the government making these claims also imprisoned some 'xtian fundy type' woman for life on the entirely specious chares she had murdered her few months old daughter. Better that than the truth which they knew, her baby had been et by a dingo, but admitting such would be detrimental to the nascent tourism industry.

Posted by: A User | Mar 17 2020 2:51 utc | 115

Too Many “Coincidences”: The October 2019 Simulation of a High Level Pandemic 
There are too many “coincidences” to conclude that this strengthened coronavirus – considerably stronger than SARS, the one of the 2002/2003 epidemic – ‘escaped’ a Wuhan lab by accident, or as the west would like to present it: by negligence. 
First, there were the Military Olympics in October in Wuhan (18 – 27 October 2019), where about 200 American soldiers participated; the first cases of 2019-nCoV fever were discovered about two weeks later – two weeks is the average gestation period from infection to outbreak.
Second, there was Event 201, on October 18, 2019, at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, in Baltimore, Maryland, sponsored by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the World Economic Forum (WEF – the corporatocracy representing Big Weapons, Big Pharma and Big Money), and the John Hopkins Institute.
The theme was simulating a High-Level Pandemic Exercise – and yes, the simulation produced 65 million deaths. Just a couple of weeks before the first COVID-19 victims were identified.
Curiously, in their defense the sponsors of Event 201, now say,
“We are not now predicting that the nCoV-2019 (which was also used as the name of the simulation) outbreak will kill 65 million people. Although our tabletop exercise included a mock novel coronavirus, the inputs we used for modeling the potential impact of that fictional virus are not similar to nCoV-2019.”
China is Confronting the COVID-19 Epidemic. Was It Man-Made? An Act of of Bio-warfare?
By Peter Koenig, February 29, 2020
The Coronavirus COVID-19 Pandemic: The Real Danger is “Agenda ID2020”
By Peter Koenig, March 12, 2020

Posted by: Dilara | Mar 17 2020 2:58 utc | 116

Upper flyover country grocery store update for Monday:

Still no flour(?). *No* packaged pork meat on shelves like pork chops, roasts, tenderloins, etc. although plenty of beef, chicken and seafood (no butcher shop at this store - chain wraps up cuts and brings them in to stock). Fresh pork cuts normally take up maybe 15' of the meat cooler racks. Huge sale/display of corned beef and fresh cabbage that looked untouched. No Irish in this area of town. Latinos, Somalis and Hmong don't appear to be fans of the greasy goodness, but I grabbed the requisite and attractively-priced St. Patrick's Day feast. Plenty of sausage, brats and hot dogs.

Only other empty shelves for a food item I noticed was those tasty little Pizza Rolls. They rate an entire door-width of shelves in my grocer's frozen junk aisle. Odd to see those stocks stripped bare, yet plenty of frozen Pizzas, Hot Pockets, burritos and other highly-processed canine-worthy treats.

Toilet paper, paper towels, Kleenex (nose) tissue - a few random small packages on the shelves the locusts missed this weekend. Stock guy had a single case of Kleenex on a cart, but people already had it ripped open and were helping themselves to the individual boxes (including yours truly).

Still no bleach, hand soap/sanitizer, isopropyl alcohol, hydrogen peroxide. No thermometers, either.

State governor announced that (ordered?) restaurants and bars are to close on Wednesday. Schools already closed - maybe for rest of school year (ends May/June).

Of interest elsewhere on the globe:

Wuhan Live WebCams (rotates between several) - link - Nearly 11 A.M. Tuesday there as I post this; mostly deserted, no traffic. Wuhan apparently still totally locked down.

Italy Live Webcam - Piazza di Spagna, Rome link - Empty, but nearly 4 A.M. Tuesday there. A smattering of tourists yesterday at this and other 'touristy' spots, but don't know what kind of crowds they usually have mid-week.

Posted by: PavewayIV | Mar 17 2020 3:01 utc | 117

"This crisis is not the end of the world but it will be the impetus for significant changes."

It IS the end of the world we have known, what George H W Bush called "our way of life". This includes the US as the world's "indispensable" nation and all the privilege and nonsense that can be derived from that idea. When you have a candidate like Andrew Yang with a universal basic income as the major plank in his platform, the end of OWOL is clearly visible. What Yang was implying is that every American by virtue of birth, is a stakeholder in USA, Inc, and like the wealthy elite, receives a dividend (a "free lunch") simply as a consequence of birth. The idea of citizenship changes radically. This is a consequence of fueling the demand side of the equation with $5000 you recommend which JM Keynes knew as the only solution to the problem of laissez faire capitalism. That is OVER.

The problem of the Covid 19 crisis cannot be solved by the people who created it, that is to say, us, those of us who also created the climate crisis, the crisis of species extinction, the crisis of environmental destruction, the crisis of overpopulation, the crisis of WMD, etc. We can't fix it as we are and in the way we live and have been living for a few hundred years. We have to change, we have to become different people because we will not survive otherwise.

We will not continue to be merely citizens in a capitalist meritocracy. We will be born into a human tribe which guarantees us a minimum basic means of survival. This is the condition of aboriginal tribal members who are born into a safety net and never leave it until and unless Bolsinaro's kill squads descend upon the jungle and cut down the trees.

This pandemic is just the start of a process of creative destruction and social transformation that will produce a new people with a new orientation to the environment and other species and to each other. We're going to be dealing with something more than "significant changes".

Posted by: jadan | Mar 17 2020 3:13 utc | 118

PavewayIV as I pointed out yesterday 'country folk' appear to be rather more socially minded when it comes to toilet tissue than their city cousins are. When traveling, I saw TP was totally unavailable in cities in Aotearoa & Oz & had been for more than a week, but when I went into town yesterday ('town' being a regional center pop approx 85,000) there was still plenty of rolls available.
I cannot offer any theory as to why that is other than the obvious, that everyone is too uptight & therefore constipated out in the bush, but that theory doesn't gel with observations.

Lurk - all the best mate, you have age on your side and fingers crossed your stepdad will benefit from his supportive whanau , it is vital to remember that even though most of the deaths due to covid-19 occur among older age groupings, that within those groupings that most patients do survive. Being elderly and contracting covid-19 is not a death sentence. You & family all hang in there.

Posted by: A User | Mar 17 2020 3:19 utc | 119

“The red death had long devastated the country. No pestilence had ever been so fatal, or so hideous. … But Prince Prospero was happy and dauntless and sagacious. When his dominions were half depopulated, he summoned to his presence a thousand hale and light-hearted friends from among the knights and dames of his court, and with these retired to the deep seclusion of one of his crenellated abbeys. This was an extensive and magnificent structure, the creation of the prince’s own eccentric yet august taste. A strong and lofty wall girdled it in. This wall had gates of iron. The courtiers, having entered, brought furnaces and massy hammers and welded the bolts.

They resolved to leave means neither of ingress nor egress to the sudden impulses of despair or of frenzy from within. The abbey was amply provisioned. With such precautions the courtiers might bid defiance to contagion. The external world could take care of itself. In the meantime it was folly to grieve or to think. The prince had provided all the appliances of pleasure. There were buffoons, there were improvisatori, there were ballet-dancers, there were musicians, there was Beauty, there was wine. All these and security were within. Without was the “Red Death.” – Edgar Allan Poe, “The Masque of the Red Death” (1842).

Posted by: brian | Mar 17 2020 3:26 utc | 120

Posted by: dltravers | Mar 17 2020 3:26 utc | 121

Toiler paper, who needs that? Was stuck in Mali during the 2012 coup d'etat. O toilet paper around in a muslim country. Use your thumbnail to scoop out the shit, like millions do. So what?

Posted by: Lozion | Mar 17 2020 3:31 utc | 122

Throwing cash at people works generally -- for those who have no debts to pay. But if you have debt, money will not be automatically used in the marketplace, but will be used to pay old debt, principal and interest. Thus perhaps another idea, based upon the way the capitalist world works, could also be implemented.
People in capitalist societies often live via debt. They owe money. They worry about paying their monthly debt bills. These worries are now aggravated by the closures they are facing.
The Government could help not merely with cash, but also with a FINANCIAL INSTITUTION DEBT HOLIDAY.
The basic concept is that people and small businesses owe much to financial institutions and companies because of credit card debt, mortgage and home loans, student loans, car loans and leases, company and personal loans. These debts will be aggravated if people have to stay home and money cannot be made.
So take a Holiday. For 30 or 60 days, simply have a moratorium on any payments of indebtedness by people and small businesses to financial institutions or companies. The debt does not go away. Payments simply do not have to be made for 30 or 60 days.
Interest and fees do not accumulate. At the end of the Holiday, money is still owed, and regular repayment schedules kick back in.
During the Holiday, so that financial institutions and companies do not suffer, the Government loans them, interest free, the monies that Americans are not paying. These loans, of course, have to be reasonably repaid.
Do we extend this Holiday to larger corporations? Maybe.

Posted by: zakukommander | Mar 17 2020 3:38 utc | 123

Ugh almost forgot. Kiwi neolibs are doing what neolibs do.
We are meant to be grateful that nearly half this dosh is going to Jo/Joe Shitkicker rather than all of it to the greedy arseholes, but I reckon that is sheer accident. Ardern the airhead was advised by her masters to keep a coupla billion aside to be showered upon the great unwashed in 2020 because it is an election year.
The smarties have rolled that blatant vote buying into the coronavirus scandal & now she not only looks good in the lead up to the election she has a built in reason for turning the tap off post election "the crisis is over".
This strategy leaves the tory opposition flatfooted as they have an incredibly unpopular leader, who they were planning to do a 'Jacinda' on.
That is 6-8 weeks out from the election day flick the leader to one side and install the much more popular among the base. Judith Collins as leader.
Collins has considerable baggage in particular that during a trip to China on ministerial business in the final months of the last tory government, Collins met with PRC officials to advance what is claimed to be her husband's business but is in fact her enterprise.

That type of carry-on is verboten even in loose as a goose kiwi political circles. The plan was for her to brazen it out. Now that could work in a close election, but not one where Jacinda's spinners dominate the media landscape.
I just hope that the Mana Party get back on track so I get to express my preference this ballot.

Posted by: A User | Mar 17 2020 3:41 utc | 124


I have a hunch that Russia and China just won World War 4.*

The West as seen today is what defeat looks like. The surrender monkeys in Britain have already given up. Sweden has followed suit. The United States is making a desperate last stand.

By the time this is over China (or SCO) will be the world's leading superpower.

(* Luckily we missed World War 3.)

Posted by: Petri Krohn | Mar 17 2020 3:56 utc | 125

@121 a user... it is always interesting reading your commentary... thanks for it all, no matter how this plays out...

@ paveway.. thanks for the live video feed from wuhan... the air looks very clean... all seems quiet at about noon their time...

Posted by: james | Mar 17 2020 4:11 utc | 126

A link from Bill Mitchell Professor of Economics at Newcastle University, in NSW Australia, with some advice for the Australian government an what is to be done.

"In the early days of the GFC, I thought that the neoliberal era, supported by the mainstream macroeconomists, might be coming to an end. Maybe I was a decade out in my prediction. Perhaps this crisis, induced by a human sickness, will end the madness that has redistributed massive volumes of income to the top-end-of-town, sustained elevated levels of labour underutilisation and seen the traditional progressive political voices become mouthpieces and even agents for the neoliberal economic lies. I was wrong in 2008 on this score. I hope something good like this comes out of the current disaster. The coronavirus comes on top of already growing dissent over the failure of mainstream economic policy. It will redefine what governments can do with their obvious fiscal capacity and will demonstrate once-and-for-all the lies that the mainstream economists tell about deficits, inflation, interest rates, etc. It will categorically demonstrate the capacity of the currency-issuer. All that will lay the foundation for a better future, if we get beyond this current malaise."

Posted by: Debz | Mar 17 2020 4:12 utc | 127

Martin Armstrong Economics has been for some long time forecasting a start of severe financial/economic blowup, starting in full view from Jan 18-20, 2020. So, that occasion is here. Virus or no virus.

Anyone who does not know about Armstrong has been long gone out to lunch.

Posted by: joey | Mar 17 2020 4:21 utc | 128

Japan doesn't even want to think about another "depression" given that they're planning of holding the Olympics without delays with the blessing of the G7 ... i don't know which real he's living in ... 70% of his constituents disagree.

Posted by: r | Mar 17 2020 4:33 utc | 129


That's because China and Singapore has strong and widespread government apparatus in place to ensure social payouts go into the needed bills directly, instead of it getting wasted on new iPhones and gambling if it was paid in free cash.

Posted by: JW | Mar 17 2020 4:33 utc | 130

Apocalypse sells. This too will pass.

Posted by: ab initio | Mar 17 2020 4:34 utc | 131

It looks like the corona virus is set to change a lot of the fundamental assumptions on which the global society is based- economics, consumption, education, security/military, leisure, culture etc.

You name it and it will have changed beyond recognition. The longer the crisis goes on the deeper will be the changes.

Posted by: jiri | Mar 17 2020 4:34 utc | 132

It looks like the corona virus is set to change a lot of the fundamental assumptions on which the global society is based- economics, consumption, education, security/military, leisure, culture etc.

You name it and it will have changed beyond recognition. The longer the crisis goes on the deeper will be the changes.

Posted by: jiri | Mar 17 2020 4:34 utc | 133

Dilara @122: Too many coincidences

Some other coincidences:

  • Bolton out in early Sept. - 5 weeks after Ft Detrick shut down by CDC
  • Bolton's departure was a surprise. No coherent explanation was given but weeks later Trump noted that Bolton would've liked to have started multiple wars (making Trump look like a 'peacemaker', of course) and the apparent disagreement between the two strangely was made an issue in the impeachment hearings (Bolton said he would testify against Trump - but it turned out to be a nothing-burger).

    Oddly, despite Trump's criticism of Bolton's belligerent attitude, it appears that Trump had not 'fired' Bolton. Bolton claimed that he had resigned (and a letter of resignation was produced). Such ambiguity seems designed to obfuscate Trump's support for much of what Bolton did/was doing.

  • ARAMACO IPO completed just before first victim officially identified (December 1st)

    The price of oil began to decline soon after - how lucky for the Saudis that the IPO was so well-timed!

  • Trump agrees to an interim trade deal with China - just before virus gets to a point that will make it difficult for China to meet the terms of the deal
  • USA/West nonsensical failure to prepare: a ham-handed attempt to cover their tracks?

    Bonus: China is blamed for not sharing information

  • Trump says "don't panic" - a sure way to incite panic (and thereby increase anti-China sentiment?)


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Mar 17 2020 4:43 utc | 134

@ 105

...Those decisions are tough and can lead to riots, usually only if the people see injustices.

It's a a universal remedy.

Can anyone create a tighter summary than that?

Posted by: chu teh | Mar 17 2020 5:04 utc | 135

Petri Krohn | Mar 17 2020 3:56 utc | 129:

Great War of Terror = World War 3??

Depending on who you talk to, the Cold War against the Soviets could be considered WW3.

Posted by: Ian2 | Mar 17 2020 5:05 utc | 136

Another rheumatism drug to be trialed on coronavirus patients. Looks like there will be a few drugs about that will be effective against this corona virus and the associated lung damage but it looks like yank big pharma owns the patents to them. I see Trump was trying to buy a German vaccine that's looking promising so that yankland would control it too if it works.
"Regeneron Pharmaceuticals and Sanofi SA are exploring whether their rheumatoid arthritis drug, sarilumab (Kevzara—Sanofi), could treat symptoms of novel coronavirus infection."
"The initiative was prompted in part by reports that a similar-acting drug, tocilizumab (Actemra—Roche Holding AG), had helped a small group of patients with severe or critical COVID-19 disease recover. Both Actemra and Kevzara block proteins called interleukin-6 (IL-6) that trigger the body's immune and inflammatory response, which normally helps fight infections. In some novel coronavirus patients, the immune response may be accelerating and damaging the lungs even after significantly diminishing the amount of virus in the body. Blocking IL-6 may put the brakes on the immune system and keep the body from attacking itself."

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Mar 17 2020 5:06 utc | 137

Petri Krohn @92

"Homelessness is America's greatest weakness in combating the coronavirus... San Francisco may be the homeless capital of the United States."

The whole Bay Area and really all of California. If anyone becomes homeless anywhere in the US the obvious destination is California because the street-camping laws are least oppressive and the Winter is most survivable. The encampments cover almost any underpass, highway island, park, open space. A goodly number are well organized, with every third or fourth tent having a decent-condition car parked in front—these are working homeless; the only thing they can't afford is rent. On my daily commute is Laney Community College at which one in every eight students is homeless, racking up a student debt to have access to Laney cafeterias and facilities for four or so years.

With the manifestation of the epidemic in the US perhaps the most vulnerable populations are the homeless and those in prison—not simply vulnerable in themselves, but as vectors showing the vulnerability of US society as a whole. With the "great debate" on universal health care in the US so criminally suppressed by the DNC and corporate media, US capitalism is about to discover that our health is only as secure as the health of those it neglects the most.

Posted by: Vintage Red | Mar 17 2020 5:08 utc | 138

QUESTION: Does reduced lung capacity (via scarring, fibrosis, fluid) only happen to those who are most affected by Covid-19? Or is it a possibility for anyone that is infected - even if they only experience mild symptoms?


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Mar 17 2020 5:12 utc | 139

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Mar 17 2020 5:12 utc | 140

I believe it can happen to anyone, and i believe that this is why they are shitting themselves.
I also read that one can have the virus more then once, so essentially it is re-occurring, will affect the lungs at some stage and eventually kill.

Now if this thing is untreatable, then all of us stand a good chance to die over the next few years of lung failure caused by multiple bouts of the 'flu'.

I wonder what happened to 'Lulu' i did like her/his updates on china, but we are not getting them anymore.

Posted by: Sabine | Mar 17 2020 5:31 utc | 140

OffGuardian is the best site for rational articles on the coronavirus;)

Posted by: SharonM | Mar 17 2020 5:40 utc | 141

Having trouble posting the links for some reason but you can go the the San Francisco Health Department website and read the shelter in place order. It is mandatory and enforceable by law. All the Bay Area counties have the same order in place effective midnight. Shopping malls are closing, hair and nail salons, bars and restaurants except take out, and like businesses.

Many are losing their jobs, being laid off, and being pushed out of work.

Posted by: dltravers | Mar 17 2020 5:48 utc | 142

From what I make of it, if its only mild symptoms then the virus hasn't got to the lungs.

What does seem unusual is that for pneumonia due to this coronavirus, rheumatoid arthritis drugs look to be helping which means the immune system is attacking or damaging healthy cells.

This from the quote in my comment above - "In some novel coronavirus patients, the immune response may be accelerating and damaging the lungs even after significantly diminishing the amount of virus in the body."

This bug seems to be messing up the immune system somehow so it can at time attack healthy cells along with the bugs. Steroids and immune suppressants are not working as the immune system stops fight the bugs completely but they do look to be having success with the rheumatism drugs used at the right time. I guess we will find out more down the track but I wonder if the fibrosis could be from the immune system rather than the bug.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Mar 17 2020 5:55 utc | 143

The US will be offering free drive-up testing to practically everyone. I now believe the United States now has a better change at containing the pandemic than Europe.

The problem here and especially in countries other that the USA is that the patient needs a car. Walk-in testing is more difficult to organize as the patients need to be isolated from each other. The simplest test would be one were the test subject swabs his own mouth, puts the swab in a plastic tube and seals it in an envelope.

Petri Krohn | Mar 16 2020 19:56 utc
My pharmacy has a drive-through window, but I always go there on bicycle. Indeed, there is a substantial segment of the population in this town without cars, although it is a minority and everyone probably has a friend with a car. Then again, some people do not have friends -- presumably low risks for contagion. However, organizing the access for walk-in, bicyclist and others (like those who use carriages, a religious minority near my town) should not be hard, require non-motorist in the line to be no closer than three meters/10 feet from each other or something like that.

Other news, 6 homicides and 10 corona virus cases in Philadelphia. That gives a wider perspective who some people react to new virus cases by buying guns (only one homicide was by stabbing, the rest firearms).

State government seems going bonkers. Closing restaurants, bars AND liquor stores? Apparently, it caused some panic buying.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Mar 17 2020 5:59 utc | 144

"It smells fear and I for one cannot stand it. kind of evil fear that turns man into dangerous and stupid animals in a fascist and totalitarian society and I for one hate that."

HI b and everyone

I don t wanna be disrespectful b but the coronaviruses has been out for years now . The new one that's is called covid-19 isn't more harmful than the other one and we haven't shut down the world because of them. What's funny is that people can't even describe what corona virus is . A flue,a cold, a cough,a fever, influenza? what is Coronavirus or Covid-19 exactly? There must be something that defines it beside the fact that it is a A NEW VIRUS right? There must be something that makes it so dangerous, we must hide from each other. There must be because otherwise these are just winter illnesses the world has been dealing with and going through mostly without arm for millennia.

Now the fact that the virus is new means nothing .When H1N1 was as new a virus as it can be and out there the governments of this planet didn't do any quarantine and the world went about its way isn't it ? So why is it that now people get crazy for about this virus ? it's basically a flue and like many other influenza, new and old, it will die off in summer and spring and it can be treated with good antivirals and natural healthcare products. It isn't as if the black death was running in our streets all over the world passing from one man to another, or something. We don't need to shut down the world. Most people recover from this virus. 80% have mild to no symptoms. So why getting on with the fake news b. For someone so smart baffles me.

Anyway, the government policy responses, to the so call crisis ,are way too exaggerated for what the disease is and the proper action to help the weaker people having this flue are not being taken. That tells us something about the people who run our government and it has nothing to do with them being unqualified, unfit, unable, inept, too late, greedy and so on. They are smart enough people with many sound advisers and you don't run a government being completely stupid. it wouldn't be hard for man to understand that only the sick people must go in quarantine and in hospitals until they recover. Chance does not exist. So when the same kind of mistake happens again and again in every so called westernized countries (and some others) about the Covid-19 and with more or less the same results, it must have been planned or left happening. Chose any explanation you want between the latter and the former b . But at the end of the day our economy, citizen rights and public liberties are meant to suffer hard from this. If they wanted to precipitate an economic crisis and strip us of our basic, rightful, lawful and legitimate rights they couldn't have done it better. What I am seeing now is fascist like policies being put in place in Italy, Norway, Canada, Spain and so on..nothing sound and appropriate.

Instead of going along with the music b I suggest that you denounce that virus for what it is. Fearful propaganda and manipulation above all. An overreaction to a common and fairly simple crisis amplified by media and manipulated institutions and power seeker in government. In about two weeks when the temperature will rise this influenza will start going away like many before it did.And just like most influenza it isn't worth making a fuzz about.

Posted by: lebretteurfredonnant | Mar 17 2020 6:17 utc | 145

There seems to be a gathering consensus around a false either-or - A society must impose extreme lockdown "OR" go hog-wild with business as usual.

As usual, the rational and best alternative gets fewer advocates - Take reasonable care and precaution for the elderly and other vulnerable groups, otherwise be prudent (no mass gatherings, avoid indoor gatherings as much as possible), but otherwise continue to live life. This self-evidently is the most psychologically healthy perspective, which goodness for mental health in turn contributes to how it's best for the collective physical health.

Also, the call for consumer stimulus contradicts the trend toward lockdown. How are you supposed to spend if you're forcibly sealed in your bomb shelter? But for once I would side temporarily with the consumerist urge, if it actually were to help generate resistance to totalitarian measures.

It's a no-brainer that all system debt payments must be suspended, and preferably jubilated completely.

In a much broader sense this is a great either-or pivot: Continue down the path of self-destruction which brought us here, or seize the opportunity to break all these patterns. There the fear of the virus already is providing a great stimulus, if only enough people would feel themselves driven to break the economic and bureaucratic structures/processes.

Posted by: Russ | Mar 17 2020 6:36 utc | 146

From 146:

"Instead of going along with the music b I suggest that you denounce that virus for what it is. Fearful propaganda and manipulation above all. An overreaction to a common and fairly simple crisis amplified by media and manipulated institutions and power seeker in government. In about two weeks when the temperature will rise this influenza will start going away like many before it did.And just like most influenza it isn't worth making a fuzz about."

This is correct from lebretteurfredonnat. What we're seeing is kind of a reverse to what b pointed out a while ago about Norton, Khalek and Blumenthal. They were wrong on Syria, not only going along with the "civil war" propaganda, but being vocal proponents for "regime change" imperialism because of it. Then they changed their view, and became critics of the allied invasion of Syria.
While b is almost always correct and brilliantly insightful in disclosing government and media propaganda around the world, even to the point of very early on calling the "pandemic panic" much ado about nothing very special. But then b changed his view to even headlining his articles with pandemic panic propaganda--pleading for government intervention.

Very strange times:)

Posted by: SharonM | Mar 17 2020 7:09 utc | 147

It's bizarre that no one is panicked, but we are all forced into panic buying. Seems like a psyop to me. At the grocery store, they made an announcement over the PA to the effect that some internet rumor that the grocery chain was going to close all its stores immediately was false. Sounds more and more like a manufactured panic. john brewster | Mar 17 2020 0:32 utc

This is how media and politics operate ALL THE TIME. A snowfall is a blizzard, at least if it accumulates 1 cm, and so on. Politicians have to do something. In USA, Fed adds liquidity, strangely enough nobody felt relieved by that. Proverbial toilet paper is always a good buy: stores well, eventually will get used, additionally, it makes good pictures for newspapers. At least in USA, they cannot close internal borders like in EU.

In EU, migrant workers will probably get hit badly by border closing. I read that Ukraine economy will be hit pretty badly as it relies to some degree on remittances, remittances are what prevents the countryside from being abjectly poor. As services like restaurants are closing or reducing activity, few hundred thousands Ukrainians will return, some with horror stories: two buses taking Ukrainians from Italy were stopped for 48 hours by Slovenians, once back home, there will be no way back.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Mar 17 2020 7:18 utc | 148

Notice the recent COVID-19 trends in Washington state—the Wuhan of America—based on data provided by the Seattle Times:

𝗠𝗮𝗿𝗰𝗵 𝟭𝟯:
8.6% test positive
6.5% death rate

𝗠𝗮𝗿𝗰𝗵 𝟭𝟰:
8.2$% test positive
6.2% death rate

𝗠𝗮𝗿𝗰𝗵 𝟭𝟱:
7.5% test positive
5.4% death rate

𝗠𝗮𝗿𝗰𝗵 𝟭𝟲:
7.2% test positive
5.3% death rate

Posted by: Jeff | Mar 17 2020 7:26 utc | 149

I live in chicago, and we are just pretending it's not happening. There is no way you can even be tested even at the hospitals, my cousin is a er nurse, maby it's not as bad

Posted by: Bob burger | Mar 17 2020 9:30 utc | 150

@Ort #23: you are absolutely right. Despite the fact that the CommonDreams article mentions various facts, you cannot trust it, it is better to trust the totally sincere, honest U.S. government denials; after all, the U.S. has never lied to us before, now has it?

Posted by: Ernesto Che | Mar 17 2020 9:38 utc | 151

Please can you all stop using that infantile Americanism 'shelter in place' word nonsense - it devalues everything it touches.

Posted by: ted01 | Mar 17 2020 9:52 utc | 152

From NoMoreFakeNews:

Yahoo News, “Australian coronavirus death toll rises to five after two women die,” 15 March 2020:

“A 90-year-old woman died on Saturday and testing confirmed that she had COVID-19, NSW Health said in a statement on Sunday night.”
“She was a resident of the Dorothy Henderson Lodge aged care home, where two other residents have died after becoming infected with the virus.”
“A 77-year-old woman has also died from coronavirus, NSW Health said on Sunday.”
“Three other Australians, aged 95, 82 and 78, have also died.”

Another successful massive re-distribution of wealth.

Makes you wonder.....

Posted by: ted01 | Mar 17 2020 9:58 utc | 153

I see so many comments (not just here at the bar) like that by Ilya G Poimandres @93 which start off with something like "Why don't we just...?" as if the economy were only something like a game of Sim City.

Sure, recruit some volunteers, but who does that recruiting? Let's just ignore that and move on to the next problem, which is that your volunteers need food and shelter. Just because they are volunteers doesn't mean that their labor is free. Even slave labor isn't free.

OK, let's ignore that too and assume we somehow only attracted volunteers who are independently wealthy and who supply their own basic necessities of life. Now we need to supply them with various tools to do useful work. Where do these tools come from? They need training and supervision to do work they are unfamiliar with. Where do these trainers and supervisors come from? More volunteers, only ones that just happen to already have the requisite skills?

How do you communicate specific tasks to specific teams of volunteers? Who organizes those teams to begin with? How do you transport those teams to where those tasks need to be accomplished? How do you determine which specific tasks are needed to be done in the first place?

When you try to start breaking down "We should just do X, Y and Z!" into individual tasks then it should become obvious that "just" bypassing "The Market" that we rely upon to control the economy introduces the need for massive and extensive organization in society... organization that does not exist in the West.

China was able to marshal a fast and gigantic response to the empire's bioweapon attack because they have that massive and extensive organization in their society. It is called the "Communist Party", with a hundred million members and those members being embedded in all major workplaces and neighborhoods. Unlike the western conception of political parties, which are nothing more than groupies and amateur cheer squads for particular gangs of elite businessmen and their lawyer lackeys, the hundred million members of China's CCP make it their jobs to understand what is going on around them and communicate that to the rest of the organization. The communication is two-way, and thus the party serves as something of a nervous system to direct local, provincial, and national bureaucracies. This preexisting organization in their society is how China is able to custom tailor their national response to crises right down to individual workplaces and neighborhoods.

I cannot think of any countries in the West (except perhaps Cuba and Venezuela, and it is still not very mature in Venezuela yet) that have such organizations in their societies.

Basically, if you live in a market-driven society, you cannot "just" go out and on a whim initiate large-scale non-market economic activities (yes, planting a garden is an economic activity). The societal infrastructure to accomplish that simply doesn't exist, and it is not something that you can build up in an industrious afternoon of chatting with your neighbors.

With that said, it is worthwhile trying to build such an organic organization that is rooted in your society's workplaces and neighborhoods. Even if "the Market" somehow does get your society through this current crisis, there will be more crises and you will still eventually need that organization.

Posted by: William Gruff | Mar 17 2020 10:19 utc | 154

i'm waiting to see what happens when this episode is over, after all the social disruption, the many bankruptcies, the fear-porn withdrawal, the added trillions gone poof...

i'm waiting to see, after it's clear to one and all that this emergency has been one sick stunt, who's gonna get the last laugh?

Posted by: john | Mar 17 2020 10:35 utc | 155

the experimental vaccine is not a monoclonal antibody. Instead the aim is to get cells in the muscle in which it is injected to synthesize virus spike proteins. Your immune system then produces the antibodies. Deciding what the dna for an antibody to the virus protein would be is a much harder problem than simply editing out the spike protein component from the published genome of the virus.

Posted by: Paul Cockshott | Mar 17 2020 10:46 utc | 156

I just love these remedies from the Past. Grandma's herb medicine is a big no-no as pills are touted as the answer. Well I'm not completely fooled by this. To imagine that zero cost Sun and Fresh Air could help is just too much :-)

Put simply, medics found that severely ill flu patients nursed outdoors recovered better than those treated indoors. A combination of fresh air and sunlight seems to have prevented deaths among patients; and infections among medical staff.[1] There is scientific support for this. Research shows that outdoor air is a natural disinfectant. Fresh air can kill the flu virus and other harmful germs. Equally, sunlight is germicidal and there is now evidence it can kill the flu virus.


Posted by: Tom_LX | Mar 17 2020 11:17 utc | 157

How many people are going to die if the economy goes into depression? Many more than from the coronavirus, I suspect, given the impact of a depression on jobs, taxes and general health. We're being governed by fools and liars.

Posted by: Tom74 | Mar 17 2020 11:30 utc | 158

Tom_LX | Mar 17 2020 11:17 utc | 158

To imagine that zero cost Sun and Fresh Air could help is just too much :-)

Yes, and no doubt the authoritarians calling for people to bury themselves alive or issuing orders that people do so, have nice big properties themselves where they can stroll about to their hearts' content. Probably live in swank gated communities where everyone will continue strolling the streets. Their own private parks will remain open while I've heard some anecdotes that they're insanely closing public parks in some places. Literally the exact opposite of what any sane society not run by psychopaths would do.

Anti-medical, anti-health isolation indoors is just for those non-wealthy who ought to die anyway.

Posted by: Russ | Mar 17 2020 11:32 utc | 159

Posted by: Petri Krohn | Mar 16 2020 19:56 utc | 27

I watched this video Swab test procedure and see no reason why the person could not do it themselves. If the person is an elderly have next of kind do it for them. As a last resort go the way that you describe.

Here is what I would suggest,

1) The person drives in or walks in and gets the swab kit.
2) TV monitor shows a video on what to do and next acts as a link to communicated with the person remotely.
3) As the swabbing is being done, in a remote location someone observes how this is going through a HD CT Camera.
4) All well ? If so have them place the closed container into a box on a lazy-susi containing multiple boxes for multiple patients.
5) When all boxes are full have a remote robot arm handle the removal, disinfection etc. so as to in the end supply the viles to the staff.

The above could be fined tuned but unless I am missing some crucial aspect to the swab test I think doing it more or less as I outlined should work. Changing gear for one patient seems, I repeat seems to me to be overkill and not the best way to go.

Posted by: Tom_LX | Mar 17 2020 11:48 utc | 160

Looks like there is a good side to the coronavirus.
Some 20,000 American soldiers, who were expected to form the backbone of the massive 37,000-strong drill involving forces from 18 NATO member states, will now either stay home or – for those already moved into Europe – return to the US.
"The coronavirus shockwaves rippling through U.S. stocks are forcing investors to contemplate outcomes more dire than a recession, including several quarters of declining economic activity, a credit crisis or even a depression."
"Stocks crumbled anew on Monday a day after the Federal Reserve took emergency action designed to cushion the economy, using tools similar to those the central bank deployed to help the country emerge from the 2007-2009 financial crisis. The market’s reaction on Monday after the Fed’s “drastic action” is “a sign of a total breakdown of confidence,” said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Spartan Capital Securities. “That’s raising the question of how steep of a recession are we going to endure.”"
With luck, a lost of these 'investors' will be jumping out of windows before this is over. This state of emergency type situation with restricted travel and social gathering plus outbreak areas being quarantined and locked down will likely continue for a year or more until a vaccine is developed.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Mar 17 2020 11:58 utc | 161

As I predicted, South Korea is not coping well with the COVID-19:

Virus sends more individuals, firms into bankruptcies

According to data submitted from the Supreme Court to Rep. Joo Kwang-deok of the United Future Party, the number of bankruptcies filed with the courts in February by individuals stood at 3,741, up 19.2 percent from a year earlier.

Those filed by corporate entities reached 80, up 12.6 percent.

Many people here and in the West is using the COVID-19 as a pro-"mixed economy" (i.e. pro-social-democracy) argument. The narrative hovers around that South Korea, Taiwan and Singapore - as the ideal "mixed economies" - adopted the best strategy to stave off the pandemic.

This argument is completely wrong, and there's a scientific explanation for this.

In capitalist nations, the State (vulgarly called "government") doesn't own any means of production (or at any significant level). That means its only source of revenue is through taxation. When a pandemic hits, the cycle of capital is interrupted, triggering a crisis analogous to a general strike. In order to keep the system from failing (going bankrupt), the State must inject money to the private sector, so it can survive until the pandemic is over. The problem is that this remedy keeps the private sector alive at the cost of the State's increased debt. After the pandemic is over, the private sector (the part that survived, at least) gets out even richer and the rest of society gets out even poorer, and the Stete even more indebted, which will result in long-term degeneration of the basic universal services.

In China, money injection works both because it can direct where the money is invested and because the State owns a lot of the means of production (the most essential and strategic). That means that, when the CCP is injecting money on the economy, it is actually injecting money on itself also. That's also why the Economy minister declared yesterday that the CCP would further cut taxes on business in order to recover its economy: it can afford to do so because it owns the means of production.

This means that, not only social-democracies are not the solution to the pandemic; it means they are actually the most vulnerable to it because their welfare states will bleed resources to the private sector. The COVID-19 will be the final blow to whatever left of the social-democratic governments around the West; indeed, I suspect Boris Johnson made the decision he did (the lassez-faire strategy) in part because he wanted the NHS to collapse so he will be able to fully privatize it at a very low price right after the pandemic is over. Jae-in Moon will have to beg for mercy to the chaebol families if he wants to stay in power after the pandemic ravage.

Posted by: vk | Mar 17 2020 11:59 utc | 162

vk 163

I read earlier Boris has changed his mind on the no rules herd immunity thing. Now US will be getting shut down similar to other countries. He was given the likely numbers of corpses by his health people if coronavirus was given free reign. Not good numbers for re-election.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Mar 17 2020 12:30 utc | 163

@Peter AU1 | Mar 17 2020 11:58 utc | 162

With luck, a lost of these 'investors' will be jumping out of windows before this is over.

Yes that reminds me of this wonderful song

Posted by: Norwegian | Mar 17 2020 12:36 utc | 164

The pandemic, and the global depression it will cause,seem to be a permanent re-adjustment of the levels of economic activity which will see a large part of the world labour force redundant and unable to meet rent payments to owners of capital who will of course have to foreclose on creditors who have no forseeable prospects of ever being able to earn a living again.The link between wireless 5G and the dictionary definition of corona (the plasma that surrounds an electro magnetic field) is explored in the video

Posted by: Mick | Mar 17 2020 12:40 utc | 165

@Peter AU1 #162

The U.S. has also canceled African Lion 2020 drills, which were to be held from March 23 to April 2 in Morocco, Tunisia and Senegal and involve 4,000 U.S. troops and 5,000 troops from the African countries. Earlier it has cancelled two joint drills with Israel: Juniper Cobra and Eagle Genesis. (

Posted by: S | Mar 17 2020 12:41 utc | 166

Forbes publishes what it alleges to be notes from a conference call Goldman Sachs has held with its clients last Thursday:

50% of Americans will contract the virus (150m people) as it’s very communicable. This is on a par with the common cold (Rhinovirus) of which there are about 200 strains and which the majority of Americans will get 2-4 per year.

70% of Germany will contract it (58M people). This is the next most relevant industrial economy to be effected.

Peak-virus is expected over the next eight weeks, declining thereafter.

The virus appears to be concentrated in a band between 30-50 degrees north latitude, meaning that like the common cold and flu, it prefers cold weather. The coming summer in the northern hemisphere should help. This is to say that the virus is likely seasonal.

Of those impacted 80% will be early-stage, 15% mid-stage and 5% critical-stage. Early-stage symptoms are like the common cold and mid-stage symptoms are like the flu; these are stay at home for two weeks and rest. 5% will be critical and highly weighted towards the elderly.

Mortality rate on average of up to 2%, heavily weight towards the elderly and immunocompromised; meaning up to 3m people (150m*.02). In the US about 3m/yr die mostly due to old age and disease, those two being highly correlated (as a percent very few from accidents). There will be significant overlap, so this does not mean 3m new deaths from the virus, it means elderly people dying sooner due to respiratory issues. This may however stress the healthcare system.

There is a debate as to how to address the virus pre-vaccine. The US is tending towards quarantine. The UK is tending towards allowing it to spread so that the population can develop a natural immunity. Quarantine is likely to be ineffective and result in significant economic damage but will slow the rate of transmission giving the healthcare system more time to deal with the case load.

China’s economy has been largely impacted which has affected raw materials and the global supply chain. It may take up to six months for it to recover.

Global GDP growth rate will be the lowest in 30 years at around 2%.

S&P 500 will see a negative growth rate of -15% to -20% for 2020 overall.

There will be economic damage from the virus itself, but the real damage is driven mostly by market psychology. Viruses have been with us forever. Stock markets should fully recover in the 2nd half of the year.

In the past week there has been a conflating of the impact of the virus with the developing oil price war between KSA and Russia. While reduced energy prices are generally good for industrial economies, the US is now a large energy exporter, so there has been a negative impact on the valuation of the domestic energy sector. This will continue for some time as the Russians are attempting to economically squeeze the American shale producers and the Saudi’s are caught in the middle and do not want to further cede market share to Russia or the US.

Technically the market generally has been looking for a reason to reset after the longest bull market in history.

There is NO systemic risk. No one is even talking about that. Governments are intervening in the markets to stabilize them, and the private banking sector is very well capitalized. It feels more like 9/11 than it does like 2008.

Posted by: S | Mar 17 2020 12:44 utc | 167

Many "experts" here in epidemiology presenting their own pet theories of how the CV pandemic is being overblown by the powers-at-be, or that the real purpose of the rulers is to exercise mass social control, manipulation of global financial markets, or even more bizarre CTs. Or how about if you don't want to catch CV just get plenty of sunlight and fresh air and you'll be fine. My recommendation: take all unverified sources posted here or anywhere else with a big grain salt. And that includes individual posters! In times like this it is far too easy for nefarious groups to spread bullshit, confusion, panic and fear.

A paper like this one is one example of what I would consider a credible reliable source of useful information.

Pandemics are large-scale outbreaks of infectious disease that can greatly increase morbidity and mortality over a wide geographic area and cause significant economic, social, and political disruption. Evidence suggests that the likelihood of pandemics has increased over the past century because of increased global travel and integration, urbanization, changes in land use, and greater exploitation of the natural environment (Jones and others 2008; Morse 1995). These trends likely will continue and will intensify. Significant policy attention has focused on the need to identify and limit emerging outbreaks that might lead to pandemics and to expand and sustain investment to build preparedness and health capacity (Smolinsky, Hamburg, and Lederberg 2003).

Posted by: Carciofi | Mar 17 2020 12:45 utc | 168

Hardest stricken provinces in Italy considering sacrificing 80 years and older population due to overload of their healthcare systems:

Italians over 80 'will be left to die' as country overwhelmed by coronavirus - Hardest-hit region drafts new proposals saying who will live and who will die

That's why you work to flatten the curve. Nothing to do with mortality rates or fearmongering.

Posted by: vk | Mar 17 2020 12:47 utc | 169

I strongly recommend considering what the former Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis has to say in general and in particular about the present state of affairs and the reaction of governments.

Vaorufakis is a man to be trusted for his expertise, his proven integrity and honesty. As well as his constructivness.

Here is a link to his comment on the measures the Eurozone finance ministers agreed yesterday:

Please hear him out.

Notice, among other, that he points out that private health care is not mentioned in this pandemic. (I noticed that immediately because I am a convinced opponent of private health care). Everyone is relying on public health care now. Surprise, surprise! Spain is taking over private hcare facilities. The corporations are running to the state for help. So, the state is good when there is trouble, but it's very bad if it supposed to be there for all, not only for the few.

I can only add that my personal indignation, disgust and despair with European politicians can not be greater. But, I don't really blame them, I blame all of us. We are the ones responsible for putting these creatures in power and putting up with being terrorised by them in every possible way.For decades. They will keep doing it as long as they are allowed to. And it is us who are allowing it. Very depressing.

Posted by: JB | Mar 17 2020 12:51 utc | 170

Capitalism self-regulates. Until it doesn't:

Headline (not the URL)Economist: The U.S. Economy Can’t Withstand the Coronavirus by Itself

There goes the "correction" theorists...

Posted by: vk | Mar 17 2020 12:59 utc | 171

"3 potential anti- #COVID19 medicines have been officially announced by the Ministry of Science and Technology: #Favilavir, #Chloroquine Phosphate, and #Remdesivir. They initially showed more obvious curative effects and lower adverse reactions in clinical trials"

Favilavir looks to be a drug made in China. If that works well then no need to rely on US owned Remdesivir. I see Chloroquine Phosphate can be bought on ebay though that can have side effects.

Close to a 500% price rise since this morning. Was a couple of places in US selling it at around AU$100 for ten grams. Now only one bottle left which is being auctioned and it is now AU$497 with six hours bidding to go.

Some available from Thailand on ebay now in 250mg tablet form and thats a bit under AU$100.
Aquarium supply joints will make a fortune out of the stuff in the coming weeks.

Norwegian. I liked that one. He should take up busking outside a stockmarket somewhere.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Mar 17 2020 13:01 utc | 172

I think it will soon be time to sue governments for their mistakes in the sanitary crisis since January.
How many flight/cruise/train attendants were contaminated in January and February, before Western govs decide to stop the virus spreading to much weaker countries? How many tests were carried on them, on what proportion?
Why did they continue with their practices such as handshaking, international meetings, while they could have shown an example of caution to people by using phones and voip? How many GPs did not receive any information or masks/gloves(etc.).

Posted by: Mina | Mar 17 2020 13:05 utc | 173

Just sayin', we had in France the Salon de l'agriculture from 27/2 to 7/3. About a hundred thousand people per day. Livestock everywhere. Must visit venue for politicians.

Other stats: number of (air) travelers between France and the US per month: 600,000
Number of tourists in February 2020 in Egypt: 900,000

Posted by: Mina | Mar 17 2020 13:13 utc | 174

Thank you JB. I am a great admirer of Varoufakis; I ve posted here a couple of days ago the link to his "Euroleaks", but no one reacted. There are also some important interviews about Assange on his website.

Posted by: Mina | Mar 17 2020 13:15 utc | 175

My comment @164 where I put US, should have read 'UK is getting shut down same as other counties'.

S @167 It will be interesting to see what the US does with its troops around Iran. Apparently in Iraq they are pulling troops back from small bases near the Syrian border to large bases like Al Assad. I was wondering what that was about but it could be just due to coronavirus.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Mar 17 2020 13:16 utc | 176

REM: It's the end of the world as we know it

Chorus in background: "It's time I had some time alone"


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Mar 17 2020 13:16 utc | 177

@Paul Cockshott #157: Thanks for the explanation of how the vaccine is supposed to work.

Posted by: S | Mar 17 2020 13:17 utc | 178

SharonM @148:

Then they changed their view, and became critics of the allied invasion of Syria.

This is an oversimplification.

They changed their view long after it was clear what was really happening.

What made them so steadfast? One big clue is Max B. other 'service' to the Empire: the excuse for Bengahzi (an anti-Muslim video).


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Mar 17 2020 13:36 utc | 179

Measures to 'flatten' the mortality curve in an epidemic make sense ... up to a point. We could lock everyone in their house and flatten the curve to the point where the epidemic lasts for 10 years. Whether that would actually save any lives is debatable, but it would certainly destroy our civilization. The crap Macron is talking about makes me want to start stockpiling weapons and ammunition instead of food.

Posted by: SteveK9 | Mar 17 2020 13:44 utc | 180

Aspirin? "1929", and Report

Near Anoxia @ 40 N near th' river Wally's sportin' pals emailed this morning that they plan a picnic on 9 May...RSVP... (no, they have no idea that's Victory Day)

The school-teacher ladies nearby told Wally they're happily free from the kiddies and home for a period of about 8 weeks. One's studying for her masters degree - and has papers to write - she's delighted!

(and they said thanks for the advice Wally gave 'em last Summer that there would be a catastrophic event "911 2.0" so they ought to take measures - they're country girls - and they took his advice and did not need to buy anything at all).

When nice weather returns Wally will sally and survey the wreckage and send report...


The discussion of immune "over-response" and treatment via suppression - that's Very Interesting.

Wally wonders about aspirin, which does quiet inflammation. The biochem of action of aspirin is far beyond Wally's crude understandings of chemistry...

Regrettably, aspirin in elderly people tends to cause bleeding.

Keiser Report E1515 discusses 1929...

Posted by: Walter | Mar 17 2020 13:47 utc | 181

@180 Jackrabbit

"This is an oversimplification."

Yes. You could even say their views changed almost around the same time that Obama was going to leave office. For how many times have we seen the two war party acolytes look as though they are against wars, but instead they are against the other guys' wars, while their guys' wars are legitimate? ;)

Posted by: SharonM | Mar 17 2020 13:49 utc | 182

addendum...does anybody remember Pompeo shortly after the Iranians rocketed the US base in Iraq - when he promised that the US had some sort of asymmetric and big plan? I failed to copy that...but remember he did.

It was a dark threat, and vague...

Posted by: Walter | Mar 17 2020 13:54 utc | 183

Japan, China and Taiwan Reports on the Origin of the Virus

Japanese and Taiwanese epidemiologists and pharmacologists have determined that the new CoronaVirus almost certainly originated in the US since that country is the only one known to have all five types – from which all others must have descended. Wuhan in China has only one of those types, rendering it in analogy as a kind of “branch” which cannot exist by itself but must have grown from a “tree”.

Immediately prior to that, the CDC totally shut down the US Military’s main bio-lab at Fort Detrick, Maryland, due to an absence of safeguards against pathogen leakages, issuing a complete “cease and desist” order to the military. It was immediately after this event that the ‘e-cigarette’ epidemic arose.

We also had the Japanese citizens infected in September of 2019, in Hawaii, people who had never been to China, these infections occurring on US soil long before the outbreak in Wuhan but only shortly after the locking down of Fort Detrick.

Then, on Chinese social media, another article appeared, aware of the above but presenting further details. It stated in part that five “foreign” athletes or other personnel visiting Wuhan for the World Military Games (October 18-27, 2019) were hospitalised in Wuhan for an undetermined infection.

The article explains more clearly that the Wuhan version of the virus could have come only from the US because it is what they call a “branch” which could not have been created first because it would have no ‘seed’. It would have to have been a new variety spun off the original ‘trunk’, and that trunk exists only in the US.

Next, Daniel Lucey, an infectious disease expert at Georgetown University in Washington, said in an article in Science magazine that the first human infection has been confirmed as occurring in November 2019, (not in Wuhan), suggesting the virus originated elsewhere and then spread to the seafood markets. “One group put the origin of the outbreak as early as 18 September 2019.”

In this case, the Western media flooded their pages for months about the COVID-19 virus originating in the Wuhan seafood market, caused by people eating bats and wild animals. All of this has been proven wrong.

Not only did the virus not originate at the seafood market, it did not originate in Wuhan at all, and it has now been proven that it did not originate in China but was brought to China from another country.
Part of the proof of this assertion is that the genome varieties of the virus in Iran and Italy have been sequenced and declared to have no part of the variety that infected China and must, by definition, have originated elsewhere.

This would provide impetus for caution among the public in accepting the “official standard narrative” that the Western media are always so eager to provide – as they did with SARS, MERS, and ZIKA, all of which ‘official narratives’ were later proven to have been entirely wrong.


John Pilger


A pandemic has been declared, but not for the 24,600 who DIE ! EVERY ! DAY ! from unnecessary starvation, and not for 3,000 children who die every day from preventable malaria, and not for the 10,000 people who die every day because they are denied publicly-funded healthcare, and not for the hundreds of Venezuelans and Iranians who die every day because America's blockade denies them life-saving medicines, and not for the hundreds of mostly children bombed or starved to death every day in Yemen, in a war supplied and kept going, profitably, by America and Britain. Before you panic, consider them.

Posted by: Ashino | Mar 17 2020 13:55 utc | 184

@ Posted by: SteveK9 | Mar 17 2020 13:44 utc | 181

Worst case scenario it would only kill people with COVID-19. With a healthcare system overload, people without the COVID-19 but in need of intensive care will also die (e.g. heart attack, stroke etc.).

Posted by: vk | Mar 17 2020 13:55 utc | 185

Posted by: vk | Mar 17 2020 13:55 utc | 186

I don't want the healthcare system overwhelmed. That is the goal of these measures. But, to take them too far will probably kill more people than not. People in the US are already in some degree of panic. They will self-isolate enough to be reasonable. We don't need the government trying to dictate every minute of our lives. I have a disabled son, in care, and I'm not in favor of locking him in his apartment with his caregiver. Also, what is it worth to extend the life of an 87-year-old emphysema patient by 6 months? I'll be 67 next month.

Posted by: SteveK9 | Mar 17 2020 14:07 utc | 186

Sudden rapid change forced by circumstance creates revolutionary ground...Erik Hoffer noticed this, and Lenin before him. And our Brother Comrade Marandi...he too has noticed. Thus Wally's not surprised > (twitter)

"Seyed Mohammad Marandi
Although the #coronavirus has made life more painful, the utter failure of Liberalism & Capitalism has slightly levelled [sic] the playing field for humanity. This opportunity to bring down US led plutocracies & oligarchies and their bestial global hegemony must not be squandered."

Just when capitalism is weakened and in dire straits (due to internal fissures and defects) those finks are calling for revolution! How ungrateful! After all we're done for the backwards Persians too!

Posted by: Walter | Mar 17 2020 14:14 utc | 187

@ Posted by: SteveK9 | Mar 17 2020 14:07 utc | 187

We don't need the government trying to dictate every minute of our lives.

In this case, yes, it does.

Also, what is it worth to extend the life of an 87-year-old emphysema patient by 6 months?

That's not up to you to decide, but to the doctors on the field.

Posted by: vk | Mar 17 2020 14:20 utc | 188

I think this is a majorly over-hyped 'pandemic'.

We've has some 7000 deaths so far at the approximate latest count, which, of course, is tragic, but it's not coming close to the 25-odd million caused by the HIV/AIDS virus, nor the alleged 20-50 million death from the Spanish Flu.

I strongly doubt we'll see more than 50K deaths (which again is tragic), but it won't compare to previous epidemics. At least I hope so.

The serious problem I see here is that journalists world-wide are telling us all it seriously serious, but I believe that's got a lot more to do with careers, ratings, and making profits for their plutocratic lords and masters.

Yes, various economies have tanked, but that is long overdue. A classic Black Swan event. I have no faith in 'economy' anyway, it's a purely invented reality, just a means that we supposedly clever humans use to organize ourselves. Majorly benefits those that already have, vs. the shit-kickers that have to actually work for a crust.
I don't believe it works

Posted by: Ant. | Mar 17 2020 14:22 utc | 189

Posted by: Carciofi | Mar 17 2020 12:45 utc | 169

Fanculo Veggi ! :-)

Observing your comments I get a strong vibe that you are suffering from a serious case of Dunning–Kruger Syndrome. To cure it go look in the mirror and say to yourself , "I am not the coming Messiah". Thank God it is not contagious.

A more constructive path when discussing something is to just present you idea, comment on it and leave your deep thoughts about others to yourself as they add nothing positive to the discussion. Or didn't your parents teach you that ?

Oh by the way, its "the powers that be" and not "powers-at-be" genius.

Posted by: Tom_LX | Mar 17 2020 14:33 utc | 190

@ Ashino | Mar 17 2020 13:55 utc | 185 In the line that they're lying, Comrade Corbett "propaganda watch" "Coronavirus and Climate Change – #PropagandaWatch".

(that would be the counter-revolutionary force with their own agenda)

Posted by: Walter | Mar 17 2020 14:40 utc | 191

@25 Hausmeister | Mar 16 2020 19:50
(commenting on now #15)

Why don't you expand your comment with reasoning to include why a reasonably sourced paper/letter (announcement) that (#15) posted is not relevant to public discourse in these early days of information discovery?

I read it. Checked some other items on the same theme including this one below in which it was also mentioned in respect to China's leading experiences. I've passed these on to others in my network. I won't bother mentioning your unsupported opinion at this stage. Thank you #15.


Posted by: imo | Mar 17 2020 14:44 utc | 192

It seems that rather than recommending lockdown, WHO is recommending to TEST as much people as possible, starting with those who have minor symptoms, and isolate them.
The EU has NOT tested much people, rather they mainly tested the people who had harsh symptoms and the happy few who were tested because famous.
Are there statistics of how many ppl have been tested? I know that UK Belgium and NL for example started to announce cases the same day, which means they did not test anyone before (you cannot access a hospital without a letter sending you to a specialist there, in the first place).

Posted by: Mina | Mar 17 2020 14:52 utc | 193

Paul Cockshott @ 157

the experimental vaccine is not a monoclonal antibody. Instead the aim is to get cells in the muscle in which it is injected to synthesize virus spike proteins. Your immune system then produces the antibodies.

Thanks for the explanation. Apologies to Pft for thinking it was overblown. This is true genetic engineering.

It doesn't sound like a good idea. First, CRISPR has a hard time hitting targets. Researchers Are Substantially Undercounting Gene-Editing Errors But even if it only hits the desired target, it will create cells in my body that are permanently pumping out a viral antigen. That means my immune system will either overreact or become acclimatized to a the virus. Neither any good. But I'm not an immune system expert. Are they counting on the fact that they have targeted cells not capable of replicating?

Posted by: john brewster | Mar 17 2020 14:58 utc | 194

imo | Mar 17 2020 14:44 utc | 193

Because I found this quite misleading as written there. Chloroquinone, leaving aside its availability, is applicable but only in the case of a severe pulmonary inflammation. Not a general tool to fight Corona. And it is not adviseable to take it without strict and well informed control by a doctor (collateral damages).

Posted by: Hausmeister | Mar 17 2020 15:10 utc | 195

NYT> "Israel: Shin Bet Uses Secret Mobile Phone Social Graph System to Track Coronavirus Exposure"

(Wally wonders about that. How could an individual argue? They can lie and force lockup... Loos like a con.)

"Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel has authorized the country’s internal security agency to tap into a vast and previously undisclosed trove of cellphone data to retrace the movements of people who have contracted the coronavirus and identify others who should be quarantined because their paths crossed.

The unprecedented move to use data secretly gathered to combat terrorism for public health efforts was debated for hours on Sunday by Mr. Netanyahu’s holdover cabinet"

Posted by: Walter | Mar 17 2020 15:14 utc | 196

Just as I posted about the vulnerability of the "social-democratic" nations affected by the COVID-19, this came out:

Seoul to tap FX reserves to ease dollar shortage

South Korea is beginning to burn its USD reserves to save the chaebols' profit rates. The South Korean State will get out of this pandemic potentially bankrupt, while big business gets out intact (and, thus, relatively richer).

In social-democracy, capitalism gives the rope with which socialism hangs itself.

Posted by: vk | Mar 17 2020 15:16 utc | 197

Posted by: Walter | Mar 17 2020 15:14 utc | 197

I wonder how strong the correlation would be between this secretly gathered "anti-terrorism" data and political dissidents and/or critics of our Zionist overlords.

Posted by: information_agent | Mar 17 2020 15:25 utc | 198

john brewster @98 (Mar 17 2020 0:32 utc):

"[Universal healthcare] is simply off the table, short of revolution - which would be instantly put down."

Walter @104 (Mar 17 2020 0:57 utc):

"Yes, so it would be. The histories seem to suggest that at some point the army mutinies... When the soldiers join the's 'curtains'...sorta like October 1917."

Given the state of popular consciousness in the US now (varying from raw to rotten) I strongly suspect we'll have our 1905 before we have our 1917. Still, 1905 played a necessary role in developing popular consciousness toward 1917. Both were triggered partly by disastrous wars—as Petri Krohn pointed out excellently @126, the US is in an advanced stage of losing the current global war (by whatever numeration). But there were other triggers, as evidenced by "Peace, Land, Bread!" Perhaps in the US healthcare will be one of those other very basic demands that capitalism can no longer even pretend to provide.

The capitalist PTB know they can't count on the loyalty of the vast majority of enlisted personnel—this is why they are militarizing the police and concentrating the most loyal elements of the military in elite units and in the Air Force. Not for nothing are all the WMDs kept in secluded bases far from population centers.

We shall see whether for us history will repeat, rhyme or sing a new song entirely.

Posted by: Vintage Red | Mar 17 2020 15:25 utc | 199

ted01 | Mar 17 2020 9:52 utc | @153:

I completely agree. I first heard "shelter in place" used to describe the lockdown imposed after the Boston Marathon Bombing, which was clearly a trial run for martial law. The lockdown that began last night here in California's Bay Area is a larger operation. We need to call it what it is.

Posted by: Vintage Red | Mar 17 2020 15:26 utc | 200

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