Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
April 25, 2020

On The Coronavirus And Smoking, Infection Fatality Rates And More

On April 3 I had linked the chart below and remarked:

Interestingly smokers seem not to develop a cytokine storms during a Covid infection and are thereby less prone to end up in the ICU.

(A cytokine storm is an inappropriate inflammatory response by the immune system.)


Source - bigger

It was really curious that during a respiratory disease epidemic current and former smokers were less prone to end up in an ICU than people with other preconditions. (It was also a psychological relief for this chain smoking blogger but should be NO reason for anyone to start this otherwise dangerous habit.)

A French study has now confirmed this astonishing phenomenon:

In the study that two of us are reporting [1], the rates of current smoking remain below 5 % even when main confounders for tobacco consumption, i.e. age and sex, in- or outpatient status, were considered. Compared to the French general population, the Covid-19 population exhibited a significantly weaker current daily smoker rate by 80.3 % for outpatients and by 75.4 % for inpatients. Thus, current smoking status appears to be a protective factor against the infection by SARS-CoV-2.

The mechanism does not work through filling the lungs with smoke. Here nicotine works as a nerve agent. It is known to influence the process that regulates the number of ACE2 receptors on the cell surface. Current smokers do have less ACE2 receptors than non smokers. SARS-CoV-2 bonds to that receptor to enter a cell.

The study was led by Professor Jean-Pierre Changeux who is quite famous for his discovery of that general regulation process and other findings. He now plans to use nicotine patches on Covid-19 patients to see if it can help in current cases.

---

Other medications, especially those that U.S. President Donald Trump publicly pointed to, have proven to be rather worthless:

Financial Times @FinancialTimes - 19:00 UTC · Apr 23, 2020

Exclusive: The antiviral drug remdesivir, which many expected to be a good treatment against coronavirus, has flopped in its first randomised clinical trial, according to draft documents published accidentally by the WHO and seen by the FT on.ft.com/2VT6PXe

It turns out that study is already a month old and that Gilead, the company that sells remdesivir, had held it back while it continued to promote its useless drug. Someone at the WHO did not like that scheme and 'accidentally' published the results. Gilead's stock then took a 10% dive.

Trump also marketed hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine as helpful against Covid-19. But both can have severe side effects like abnormal heart rhythms and the FDA is now urgently warning against their use:

FDA cautions against use of hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine for COVID-19 outside of the hospital setting or a clinical trial due to risk of heart rhythm problems.
Close supervision is strongly recommended
---

Bret Stephens is one of the super dumb columnists of the New York Times. In today's column he argues for lifting the lockdowns and writes:

Right now, there’s a lot of commentary coming from talking heads (many of them in New York) about the danger of lifting lockdowns in places like Tennessee. Perhaps the commentary needs to move in the opposite direction. Tennesseeans are within their rights to return to a semblance of normal life while demanding longer restrictions on New Yorkers.

I write this from New York, so it’s an argument against my personal interest. But I don’t see why people living in a Nashville suburb should not be allowed to return to their jobs because people like me choose to live, travel and work in urban sardine cans.

Just yesterday the Tennessean reported this:

Nashville saw its highest single-day spike in COVID-19 cases Thursday when the Metro Public Health Department reported 182 new positive test results over the previous 24 hours.
...
In total, Metro health reported Thursday 2,144 confirmed cases in Davidson County since testing began, up from 1,962 the day before. There were 1,046 active cases Thursday, according to the department.
---

New York has done some blood testing for antibodies to SARS-CoV-2. These test are new and not yet very reliable:

The tests were particularly variable when looking for a transient antibody that comes up soon after infection, called IgM, and more consistent in identifying a subsequent antibody, called IgG, that may signal longer-term immunity.

Such tests should not be used to write "This person is immune" certificates. But they are good enough for epidemiological research.

The tests have found that some 20% of all people in New York City may already have had Covid-19 and have probably acquired some immunity. Considering the number of Covid-19 death in New York this points to an infection fatality rate (IFR) of ~1%. The infection fatality rate is heavily dependent on population demographics and the health care system.

Christian Drosten, a famous German coronavirus specialist (see his latest interview in German), has estimated the current IFR in Germany to be about 0.53. But the German number is now steadily increasing. The Covid-19 epidemic in Germany first appeared in young to medium age people who were infected during skiing and partying in Austria and Italy. It further developed within that age group and is only now entering assisted living and elderly care centers where it tends to wreak havoc. The IFR will therefore increase and we do yet know where it will end up.

New York City and Germany have well developed health care systems. Countries with less reliable systems are likely to see much higher IFRs of 2-3+%.

For the quite bad flu season of 2017-18 the CDC estimated 45 million infections which in total caused some 61,000 deaths. That gives an IFR of 0.13% for the flu which again proves the point that Covid-19 is not like one. The seasonal flue has an R0 of 1.2. SARS-CoV-2's R0 is 2 to 3. The virus is at least two times more infectious than the flu, only few have immunity against it and even in well developed countries Covid-19 is 4 to 8 times more deadly than the flu. We can thereby expect that the total death rate from Covid-19 will be 10-15 times higher than the number of deaths caused by the seasonal flu during a bad year.

Our health care systems are sized to keep up with a bad flu plus the other usual cases. They are not sized to take ten times the flu cases plus the other ones. It is therefore obvious that social distancing will have to continue.

---

A non-scientific study by Quillette has looked a super spreading events during which dozens or hundreds were infected at one time in one place. The result in short is that everything that is fun should now be prohibited:

When do COVID-19 SSEs happen? Based on the list I’ve assembled, the short answer is: Wherever and whenever people are up in each other’s faces, laughing, shouting, cheering, sobbing, singing, greeting, and praying.

A Chinese study found that more that 99% of all infections happen indoor:

Home outbreaks were the dominant category (254 of 318 outbreaks; 79.9%), followed by transport (108; 34.0%; note that many outbreaks involved more than one venue category). Most home outbreaks involved three to five cases. We identified only a single outbreak in an outdoor environment, which involved two cases. Conclusions: All identified outbreaks of three or more cases occurred in an indoor environment, which confirms that sharing indoor space is a major SARS-CoV-2 infection risk.

The results may be skewed a bit as the Wuhan outbreak happened during the cold season in December to February. We can expect a slight relief during summer when more people open windows or are outside. But the next cold season will likely be the most difficult time for everyone.

I had earlier pointed out that the Chinese authorities stopped the home outbreaks by isolating the mildly sick and even people who had only had contact with a Covid-19 patient in special quarantine centers instead of leaving them at home with their families. That I urged to do similar here was the starting point of my conflict with Off-Guardian.

Italy now finds that the Chinese method is the right thing to do:

Italian households represent “the biggest reservoir of infections,” said Massimo Galli, the director of the infectious diseases department at Luigi Sacco University Hospital in Milan. He called the cases “the possible restarting point of the epidemic in case of a reopening.”

The family acts as a multiplier, said Andrea Crisanti, the top scientific consultant on the virus in the Veneto region. “This is a ticking time bomb,” he said.

The predicament of home infections is emerging not just in Italy but in hot spots across the globe, in Queens and the Paris suburbs, as well as the working-class neighborhoods of Rome and Milan.

Letting infected persons stay with their family is a great method to kill whole families and to help the the epidemic continue its course.

A two week quarantine in a hotel or public facility during which one is well provided for should be an acceptable sacrifice when it is know that it helps to save the lifes of others in one's community. It is hard to understand why some people continue to reject this.

Posted by b on April 25, 2020 at 19:00 UTC | Permalink

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Well if nicotine is the magic protector against covid, then wearing a nicotine patch or chewing nicorette gum will work too I guess. No need to inhale toxic fumes and tar our lungs.


Posted by: hopehely | Apr 25 2020 19:19 utc | 1

Rochelle Walensky, MD, MPH, of Harvard University discusses public health strategies and policies for lifting shelter-in-place and quarantine and for returning the US to a new post-first-wave normal. Recorded Monday April 20, 2020.

https://edhub.ama-assn.org/jn-learning/audio-player/18464971
------------------

works at Mass General in Boston
Massachusetts is 3rd to New York and New Jersey, has 38,000 patients, 1700 deaths, currently about 150-170 deaths per day

Mass General currently has 340 patients, more patients have needed to be ventilated in last few weeks, 167 patients in ICU with about 90% on ventilators

countries that handled this virus well (ie South Korea) tested, isolated positive patients and did contact tracing

countries that didn't do this well basically weren't testing enough

containment strategies are testing and isolation
mitigation strategies are things like social distancing, avoiding traveling

containment strategies are used to avoid community spread
mitigation strategies are used once you have community spread

if we want to move back from mitigation to containment we need to do a lot more testing

if you're looking at quarantining positive patients you have to look after their socioeconomic needs

will probably all be wearing masks for awhile

Boston actually seems to be a current hotspot with New York having managed the worst as have Philly, Pittsburgh, the south, New Orleans and Detroit

Nasopharyngeal swabs can turn negative when the virus moves into the chest

Posted by: financial matters | Apr 25 2020 19:20 utc | 2

This is an article from an AEI sponsored talking head, but it does present an interesting thesis: it is the testing and quarantine, or even just quarantine, of nCOV infected that helps keep infection rates down - not lockdowns:
Public Discourse article on Lockdowns Don't Work"

[full copy of (the not so smart) article deleted. - b,]

I don't see Sweden as a good example, but the other 3 points are worth considering (Spain, Lombardy and France).

Note that the article isn't saying that lockdowns don't do anything - what it says is that lockdowns reduce R0, but R0 is still over 1, and it is the quarantines which actually drop R0 to well under 1 (and thus bring nCOV under control).

Posted by: c1ue | Apr 25 2020 19:20 utc | 3

Trump had also floated the idea of using so-called Miracke Mineral Solution to treat the virus, which he now claims was just sarcasm (it wasn't). MMS, and its proponents get really angry when you say this, is in fact a type of industrial bleach, that at best will merely give you bad diarrhea.

Personally, I'm 100% in favor of its use. By all means, let the brainlets chug down bleach by the gallon. They'll quickly remove themselves as a vector for infection.

Posted by: Benjamin | Apr 25 2020 19:27 utc | 4

Intermezzo: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jo7ehP-YUuA

Posted by: Mina | Apr 25 2020 19:32 utc | 5

On the antibody tests:

WHO: No evidence that recovered COVID-19 patients cannot be reinfected

Hopes grow for antibody tests, but experts urge caution

But experts including those from the World Health Organization have urged caution over the accuracy of the nascent tests.

Among the unknowns of the virus is how long immunity could last — meaning that even positive antibody tests may not be meaningful for long.

Urging prudence, a WHO spokeswoman noted that there is “much discussion” over the antibody tests.

But “once we have validated tests we may still not know how well a positive result correlates with protection against disease or for how long the protection will last,” she said.

Matthias Orth, a board member of the Professional Association of German Laboratory Doctors, said inaccuracies are a big problem.

People can test negative even if they have had COVID-19, he said.

“There are also quite banal coronaviruses that do not cause serious illness, and they can give a positive result.”

Among those "banal coronaviruses" is the common SARS - which is 90% similar to the SARS-CoV-2, and provokes the production of the same antibody.

There is no 100% personalized antibody for a specific virus. The antibody that is present on a person infected with SARS-CoV-2 may or may not occur naturally at a given quantity in one's blood. We still don't know yet how much of a specific antibody (or antibodies) indicate, with reasonable certainty, if a person had COVID-19.

And even if we did know, there's still the unknown of the significance and duration of this alleged immunity.

And even if said immunity really exists and is significant, we still have the unknown of a future mutation of the virus: will it begin to infect and kill younger people at a much higher rate in the future?

That's why we should stick with the WHO's master rule: test, test, test (with the PCR ones, not this garbage called antibody test).

Posted by: vk | Apr 25 2020 19:43 utc | 6


Detlev Krüger, who was the predecessor of Drosten at the Charité (Berlin Top Hospital) for 27 years, has taken a stand (interesting that the German MSM seem not to be interested in his opinion):

https://de.sputniknews.com/interviews/20200425326953541-corona-gefahr-virologe/

He says COVID-19 is comparable with a flu, regarding the danger.

////- Und dieses Virus ist nicht gefährlicher als die anderen?

- Ich sehe bisher keine höhere Gefährlichkeit zumindest im Vergleich mit solchen Killerviren wie Ebola oder dem Humanen Immundefizienzvirus.

Ich halte es bisher noch nicht einmal für gefährlicher als bestimmte Varianten des Grippevirus.///

He also advises people against masks.

///Das jetzt plötzlich von der Politik entdeckte Tragen von „Mund-Nasen-Schutz“ halte ich dagegen für Aktionismus. Es sollte klar sein, dass man sich damit nicht schützen kann, weil man weiter die Umgebungsluft ungefiltert atmet. Es gibt hierbei lediglich einen gewissen Effekt, wenn man selbst infiziert und damit Virusausscheider ist. Der „Mund-Nasen-Schutz“ gaukelt eine Sicherheit vor, die nicht existiert und er ist eher eine „Keimschleuder“ für verschiedenste Krankheitserreger, wenn er unsauber wird. ///

Posted by: mk | Apr 25 2020 19:49 utc | 7

@b what info informs your understanding of hydroxyChloroquine (HCQ) treatment?

AFAIK, there is no strong study where the treatment has been given in the recommended manner.

What we have seen is HCQ used as a "last resort" in which it predictably fails.

HCQ has to be given as early as possible. And it works in different and important ways:

  1. prevents the virus from replicating (in conjunction with Zinc); and
  2. protects hemoglobin.

Some doctors say that they are having good results with HCQ. Yet there seems to be a determined campaign to malign HCQ treatment. Warnings of side affects are not presented as a precaution but in such a way as to warn people away from the treatment altogether.

I'll be looking for the Big Pharma campaign against nicotine now. Will nicotine also be characterized as an "unproven" treatment that is "dangerous" if given in large quantities but reluctantly allowed as a useless last resort just before ventilation?

<> <> <> <> <>

There is evidence that SARS-COV-2 may be more deadly and have more serious effects than just killing the elderly.

Do you have any info on:

  • strokes and 'Covid-toe' in younger people?
    Both likely a result of SARS-COV-2's effect on hemoglobin);
  • incidence of lung scarring' in young and old who have recovered from Covid-19?
  • chronic fatique syndrome?
    I've read that SARS caused cfs in about 3/4's of those who recovered.

!!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Apr 25 2020 19:59 utc | 8

@VK - much wrong with the half-knowledge you show in that comment.

The WHO warns that there is "no evidence" that recovered patients can not be reinfect.

No evidence does not mean they can be reinfected.

There are two immunity responses. IgM is the immunoglobulin that comes with the general unspecific response against an infection. It is the early one. Light cases may be saved by it alone. Testing for it proves little as it is also generated during other infections like the usual flu.

An IdG antibody is one that is generated as the specific response against a specific virus. It ocures only in a later phase two or three weeks into the infection.

"Among those "banal coronaviruses" is the common SARS"

Nonsense. There is no "common SARS".

"There is no 100% personalized antibody for a specific virus. "

Nonsense. IdG antibodies are specific for the virus. Tests for IdG antibodies can still be flawed. We usually accept tests that have 95-97% specificity.

The SRAS-CoV-19 virus is currently mutating at a much slower rate than influenza viruses. The experts all expect that at least some immunity is established against it in those that have had the disease. It is likely to hold for more than a year. Even after that it will result in a less severe (re-)infection.

The virus is unlikely to change so much that it will start to kill children.

PCR tests are necessary but can not be extended to a much higher number. They simply don't scale endlessly. We will need better (and faster) ways to test and many people are researching and testing to make them.


Posted by: b | Apr 25 2020 20:04 utc | 9

@ b

„Trump also marketed hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine as helpful against Covid-19. But both can have severe side effects like abnormal heart rhythms and the FDA is now urgently warning against their use:

FDA cautions against use of hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine for COVID-19 outside of the hospital setting or a clinical trial due to risk of heart rhythm problems.

Close supervision is strongly recommended“

Sorry, this is an aöns old story which is insignificant in this context. All patients with Lupus (an autoimmune illness) get hydroxychloroquine as a preventive medical treatment and take it all the time. There is no single case known yet that such a person got covid-19. But keep in mind that it works only against the virus uptake and best in its initial period. The longer the infection worked on your body the less significant is the influence of hydroxychloroquine. As you know this is the main problem: the fact that most people do not exhibit symptoms after being infected.

Posted by: Hausmeister | Apr 25 2020 20:12 utc | 10

Regarding the Chinese Way, it would be interesting to see how those temp. hospitals built in large public buildings produced "how many" full Covid cases or prevented them from progressing.

It seems that many things the Chinese did was science-driven, lessons learned from SARS 2003 and other epidemics. Their scientists led the moves the political people enforced.

Of course, this story is heresy.

One other thing I have observed is the Chinese used manpower, devoting teams of people to treat patients. 42,000 medical volunteers came from all over China to assist the hospital staffs. Many patients received TCM and Western drugs as treatment. The Chinese also put ventilator patients prone. They did other procedures that helped even old patients survive.

Their early adaptations have proven themselves. They saved Wuhan and Hubei and spared the rest of the country a devastation.

Posted by: Red Ryder | Apr 25 2020 20:14 utc | 11

Shadow pharmacies profited greatly from chloroquine and lopinavir
This is interesting because the shadow pharmacies are the ones that really kicked off the "cybercriminal as a professional" industry.
The main moneymakers are still the prescription erectile dysfunction drugs, but chloroquine and zithromax both made serious inroads into the top 10 sellers, and there's evidence that these networks started promoting these drugs as well.

Posted by: c1ue | Apr 25 2020 20:17 utc | 12

A Chinese study found that more that 99% of all infections happen indoor:

Home outbreaks were the dominant category (254 of 318 outbreaks; 79.9%), followed by transport (108; 34.0%; note that many outbreaks involved more than one venue category). Most home outbreaks involved three to five cases. We identified only a single outbreak in an outdoor environment, which involved two cases. Conclusions: All identified outbreaks of three or more cases occurred in an indoor environment

I'm glad for that evidence against what's one of the most extreme manifestations of irrationality and, on the part of governments, evil intent in all this, the aggressive assault against outdoor recreation, closure of parks etc. in many or most places.

This is self-evidently irrational, anti-scientific, and anti-health, and when coupled with the fact that outdoor business activity is not shut down, it's clearly not being done because of the bug, which is only a pretext, but for ulterior motives. Construction, landscaping etc. are booming here in NJ, and every day I see workers are side by side, huddled together etc. I've heard of construction workers complaining about having to work under what the media has taught them are plague-dangerous conditions, but they get no relief from the state regime. But the governor seemed quite gleeful about issuing an unconstitutional "executive order" to close state and county parks. Just when everyone needs them the most.

That too is part of the totalitarian blitz.

Posted by: Russ | Apr 25 2020 20:25 utc | 13

The study was led by Professor Jean-Pierre Changeux who is quite famous for his discovery of that general regulation process and other findings. He now plans to use nicotine patches on Covid-19 patients to see if it can help in current cases.

Changeaux is indeed recognized as a pioneer in the field of receptor biochemistry. The idea to use nicotine patches seems sensible in light of the fact that this drug produces anti-inflammatory effects via alpha7-nicotinic receptors.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29331768

Posted by: farm ecologist | Apr 25 2020 20:28 utc | 14

Regarding the Massachusetts case, the average age of a Covid19-related death is 82 (the average life expectancy in the state is 80), and over 98% of Covid decedents have co-morbidities. (In fact the percentage is probably higher as I have seen individual decedents in their 80s and 90s categorized as having no preexisting condition according to the MA department of health. I find that highly unlikely.)

https://www.mass.gov/doc/covid-19-dashboard-april-25-2020/download

Posted by: Marc b. | Apr 25 2020 20:29 utc | 15

Just great, I quit smoking four weeks ago because of coronavirus, and because it has become ridiculously expensive, now what do I do?

Posted by: Gregory Purcell | Apr 25 2020 20:30 utc | 16

Some more comments to support your view (b) that this is not a flu (nomal or bad)

A significant number of patients had to be admitted to intensive care and passed SARS-CoV-2 with sequelae:

Recurrent inflammation of the respiratory system : https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2020/04/survivors-severe-covid-19-beating-virus-just-beginning
https://www.nature.com/articles/s41577-020-0312-7

Between 20 and 30% of those admitted to the ICU need dialysis during their recovery and may also after leaving the hospital (they do not have kidney problems before):
https://anon.healthline.com/

Several major neurological consequences have been reported: encephalopathy, or ataxia, epilepsy, and peripheral nerve damage
https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3544840

This virus causa a "ferocious rampage" of damages in many organs, the pneumonia is only one, and in some case the worst, of the many damages the infection inflict to the people more affected:
https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2020/04/how-does-coronavirus-kill-clinicians-trace-ferocious-rampage-through-body-brain-toes#

In one or two years when we compare the statistics of excess of mortality comparing 2020 and 2021 with the previous years we will see the real effect of this virus,

Posted by: DFC | Apr 25 2020 20:30 utc | 17

@Hausmeister

"All patients with Lupus (an autoimmune illness) get hydroxychloroquine as a preventive medical treatment and take it all the time. There is no single case known yet that such a person got covid-19."

Only some 0.05% of people have Lupus. There is NO statistic available that shows that Lupus cases do not acquire Covid-19. None!

"HCQ has to be given as early as possible. And it works in different and important ways:

prevents the virus from replicating (in conjunction with Zinc); and

protects hemoglobin."

None of those alleged protections has a scientifically explained causation chain nor have there been any serious studies that prove what you claim.

May I suggest you try drinking bleach to defeat the virus?

Trump advertised that too.

This selling of snake oil is dangerous.

Posted by: b | Apr 25 2020 20:33 utc | 18

I think readers of MoA might be interested to know that the April 22 2020 edition of the NY Post carried a story mirroring what B has n written in his April 25 2020 post on the use of nicotine patches as a possible counter to the COVID-19 virus infection. There is also an earlier story in the NY Post dated April 15 2020 about 82-year old British artist David Hockney who had written a letter to the UK Daily Mail claiming that smokers like himself, seemed to be less likely to get the COVID-19 infection. Hockney lives in Normandy France. The Post is also reporting that the French government is also limiting the sales of nicotine gum and patches, to prevent runs on these items. I picked this up from the April 25 2020 Drudge Report. Make of it what you wish.

Posted by: GeorgeV | Apr 25 2020 20:34 utc | 19

@ Posted by: b | Apr 25 2020 20:04 utc | 9

1) If I'm not mistaken, there are already two cases in China that strongly indicates a person can be more likely reinfected than never.

2) 95-97% is not 100%. There are already dozens of antibody tests in the market. They were out as soon as the pandemic was declared. Most of them are essentially garbage. That's why the WHO is very cautious to approve one. As you told, they are useful for epidemiological studies - not to give away immunity certificates.

4) I used the term "common SARS" to designate the first SARS.

5) But it is mutating. And, as a pandemic, it infects more people at the same time than the common flu, which increases the number of random mutations that happen at the same time.

Posted by: vk | Apr 25 2020 20:34 utc | 20

Kill whole families" quite the hyperbole. how can that be when over 80% don't even need to see a doctor when they are infected? I have read 50% of the deaths "attributed" to SARS COV 2 in Europe are from nursing homes. For some reason most all of the scientists in the right field at Stanford think the evidence they look at says it is no more deadly than the flu. It certainly is worse for people in dense urban areas. And it does seem to be more serious with heavy exposure such as for hospital personnel or medics. My own take on China is that they thought as said by various diplomats and others is that they were dealing with a US asymmetric warfare attack - upgrading from the Hong Kong riots and other possible biological attacks on their food supply. It is quite a coincidence that the first outbreak outside SE Asia was Iran and that many of their parliament were the first infected. It is quite a coincidence the US military was in Wuhan at the appropriate time. funny how Fauci and the imperial college of London were off by orders of magnitude on the deadliness. But even the Saker goes along with the mainstream because Russia is taking it seriously. And the study of smokers doesn't mean nicotine will help if you are not a smoker as it probably is the changes in the lungs of a smoker so those won't happen overnight. See Whitney Webb with Jimmy Dore explaining how documents obtained by FOIA found the Silicon Valley intelligence people and others promoting AI were advocating many of these restrictions years before the corona virus to promote AI in the US to overcome economic structural issues caused by "legacy" behavior in the US that make the US behind China in the Artificial Intelligence race. Even "legacy" issues like going for face to face doctor visits.

Posted by: gepay | Apr 25 2020 20:38 utc | 21

Just great, I quit smoking four weeks ago because of coronavirus, and because it has become ridiculously expensive, now what do I do?

Posted by: Gregory Purcell | Apr 25 2020 20:30 utc | 17

You need to ask experts and maybe contact those doing these studies? If the stats are correct, then that means that a former smoker must start smoking if he gets Covid 19. Or maybe nicotin will help?

Certainly this could mean that you are currently in a risk group, so take more measures to protect yourself. Don't touch your face and don't go near people, that works best.

Posted by: Passer by | Apr 25 2020 20:38 utc | 22

By the time 21% of a population have had time to develop antibodies, get tested, get the results published, it might be assumed that the entire population has been exposed. With prevalence at that level in all probability the entire population has been well and thoroughly exposed, any who would get infected have been infected. When 21% plus of your neighbors have the disease there is not a big enough rock to hide under. Exponential mathematics will not be escaped.

This was supposed to be a monumentally infectious virus. Infectious off the usual scale. More infectious than the Spanish flu. Which went around the planet three times in a year. And did that back when far fewer people traveled, far fewer places were traveled to, travel speed was much lower. But somehow we are to be safe from this highly infectious and massively prevalent airborne organism by wearing a homemade mask and trying to stay arms length from the next carrier.

It is very difficult to remain credulous. It is very difficult to believe anything of what we are told. Please note this commenter is not claiming some other scenario or some other set of facts. Just that the dominant tale is threadbare, even embarrassing.

Posted by: Oldhippie | Apr 25 2020 20:40 utc | 23

Posted by: Gregory Purcell | Apr 25 2020 20:30 utc | 16

Just great, I quit smoking four weeks ago because of coronavirus, and because it has become ridiculously expensive, now what do I do?

It's too early to know if nicotine will be a useful therapeutic to treat COVID-19 patients, and it seems unlikely that it would have a prophylactic effect against infection . Not a good reason to resume smoking (sorry) but going to nicotine patches or vaping would be relatively harmless.

Posted by: farm ecologist | Apr 25 2020 20:44 utc | 24

Watch Out!

Trump will now start advocating that people start smoking--in addition to injecting themselves with disinfectant--as a remedy for COVID-19.

And Americans will start cat-fighting over nicotine patches more than they do over toilet paper.

Posted by: ak74 | Apr 25 2020 20:45 utc | 25

The smoking numbers suffer from an age bias. Those most likely to be in icu and die are elderly over 65 years of age. Over 65’s have a lower smoking rate (9%) than average (15%). Part of that is smokers die earlier and another part is probably financial/health related.

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.aginginplace.org/how-smoking-can-affect-the-elderly/amp/

Cytokine storm is more common in elderly because they have more complement molecules due to chronic inflammation from the aging process. Complement are molecules of the innate immune system which when can activated produce cytokines activating more immune molecules/cells.

Posted by: Pft | Apr 25 2020 20:46 utc | 26

@ Posted by: Gregory Purcell | Apr 25 2020 20:30 utc | 16

Cigarettes are not just nicotine - they have a lot of other noxious substances alongside it.

Just use nicotine patches.

Posted by: vk | Apr 25 2020 20:47 utc | 27

@GeorgeV

"I think readers of MoA might be interested to know that the April 22 2020 edition of the NY Post carried a story mirroring what B has n written in his April 25 2020 post on the use of nicotin"

I have remarked on that curiousity on April 3. Now you advertise a know-nothing broadsheet that took three weeks to catch up on that?

@gepay

"For some reason most all of the scientists in the right field at Stanford think the evidence they look at says it is no more deadly than the flu."

They may have done so weeks ago. Now the numbers, all linked to verify in my above piece, have caught up with them to prove the opposite.

Posted by: b | Apr 25 2020 20:48 utc | 28

b, you keep using the term "SARS-CoV-19" There is no such thing. There is SARS-CoV-2, the virus, and there is COVID-19, the disease that is caused by SARS-CoV-2.

[Thanks! My fault, now corrected - b.]

Posted by: SayLess | Apr 25 2020 20:54 utc | 29

b @18: None of those alleged protections has a scientifically explained causation chain.

Chloroquine, Zinc Tested to Block COVID Infection

The virus that causes COVID-19 uses a backdoor to enter the cell. As it enters, it is exposed to an acidic, vinegar-like environment, which is actually needed for the virus to get all the way inside. Hydroxychloroquine, metaphorically keeps the cap on the vinegar, Greene [a professor of medicine, microbiology and of immunology at University of California San Francisco.] says, preventing acidification. Thus, there is a scientific rationale for how this drug might exert an antiviral effect, he says.

=

Zn2+ Inhibits Coronavirus and Arterivirus RNA Polymerase Activity In Vitro and Zinc Ionophores Block the Replication of These Viruses in Cell Culture

!!

["In vitro" - first of like ten steps to prove it works in humans - b.]

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Apr 25 2020 20:58 utc | 30

Dear B,

I have to say that the last few paragraphs of your post, in which you say that the most effective way of limiting the spread of COVID-19 is to isolate the sick in special quarantine conditions in clinics or hotels set aside for just that purpose, can be used to argue against a general shutdown of society across entire nations or regions, or even cities or communities where COVID-19 clusters exist.

The Chinese information suggesting that 99% of infections occur indoors should prompt builders, architects, engineers and aircdonditioning manufacturers to consider ways in which conventional airconditioning systems in enclosed environments might be adjusted or redesigned to mis fresh air with recycled and recycling air, so as to reduce the possibility of spreading COVID-19 and other contagions (like Legionnaire's) through internal systems.

There may be a case for reintroducing some sports events that are normally played outdoors, and even bringing professional indoor sports out into the open again. Basketball, netball and other sports using a ball and hoop could become completely outdoors in their professional formats like many other team sports, and might attract more fans. Gymnastics used to be an outdoor sport as well. No reason why major gymnastics events at regional, national and international levels can't be brought outdoors: special mats for floor exercises and for protection could be made and used for outdoor events.

Posted by: Jen | Apr 25 2020 20:59 utc | 31

I am fine with Moon changing his mind about the seriousness of this pandemic from his first thoughts on it. You get new information and you should change your mind if that is what it says. It seems that his new position is making him say wrong things - like he didn't say Wuhan didn't have very bad air pollution but he did say the air pollution was not bad or a factor in Northern Italy. I have read that the hospital ICUs were at capacity in Northern Italy every winter with respiratory issues. That coupled with austerity cuts pushed by the EU caused the overwhelming of the affected hospitals. Italy has 1/3 by percentage the hospital beds of the US. The only instance I can remember hearing about when a government came to your house and took someone away for an illness reason was in Nazi Germany (yes most of them were in institutions not in homes but not all) - 70.000 chronically ill and a few others like some gays were killed by doctors. The ordinary people complained forcefully enough that even the Nazis stopped doing this to Germans - I think B lives in Germany so that it is against the law to even talk about the possibility that these were the only people the Germans killed in gas chambers (they did of course kill many people in other ways). In his twittering with off guardian he says it is fine for the government to come to your home and take away one of your children to a place of isolation if they test positive for infection of some virus or bacteria they consider a hazard.

Posted by: gepay | Apr 25 2020 21:05 utc | 32

Gregory Purcell @ 16:

Consider that your lungs are still recovering and may have damaged cells from past years of smoking. If you were to be infected with COVID-19 soon, your lungs in their current state might not be able to cope. People can give up smoking but still suffer from emphysema or have latent conditions caused by smoking which they don't know about that become a problem years down the track.

Posted by: Jen | Apr 25 2020 21:10 utc | 33

b @ 9

The serological test you refer only detects those who have been exposed to a coronavirus recently, including the common cold viruses.

The serological test for SARS-CoV-2 infection has a further problem with variable specificity issues as it is dependent on the percentage of the non-infected target population who have had a common cold coronavirus (HKU1, NL63, OC43, or 229E) yielding residual IgG-IgM antibodies. For example, the study that found the high positive percentage of homeless for COVID-19 infection was highly biased by the incidence of prior cold virus exposure from living rough. It is possible for all people tested positive by the serological test in a population only had a recent common cold.

Posted by: krollchem | Apr 25 2020 21:14 utc | 34

Just great, I quit smoking four weeks ago because of coronavirus, and because it has become ridiculously expensive, now what do I do?
Posted by: Gregory Purcell | Apr 25 2020 20:30 utc | 16

Stay off the smokes and flaunt some smug.
The chart b has reproduced above shows that healthy non-smokers with no pre-existing health conditions handle a C-virus infection with far more aplomb than current and ex-smokers.
Write a How To Become an Ex-smoker booklet and relate your own 'journey' chapter & verse; then flog it on eBay for $x-00 per copy. There'll be a big market from desperate unemployed smokers hoping to ease the pain of quitting...

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Apr 25 2020 21:18 utc | 35

Posted by: Jen | Apr 25 2020 20:59 utc | 31

Even back then during SARS 1 some infections occured via the ventilation system.

One chinese report recently claimed hydrogen peroxide vapor in the hospital ventilation system helped decrease Covid 19 symptoms among the patients.

HPV is highly effective for sterilisation purposes, including of N95 masks and hospital equipment.

On the outdoor issue it is known that sun and heat kill this and other viruses, so it is better if indoor activity also coincides with warm and sunny weather.

Posted by: Passer by | Apr 25 2020 21:19 utc | 36

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/25/us/coronavirus-chelsea-massachusetts.html

On the point of family or shared domicile infections, this is a good article about the working class, immigrant area of Boston called Chelsea. It's a major hot zone of covid infections. The images coming out of Chelsea are heart breaking.

That aside, the article shows that a key source of community spread is working class poverty and the types of cramped housing that result from it. Racism and immigration are obviously also part of the story.


But the article also sites, positively, the Chinese method of extracting people from their homes to protect everyone.

The article indirectly indicts American capitalism and political and civic institutions for being unable to replicate those effective Chinese methods.

The obvious implications of the article are that the covid crisis in the US is a social one, that poverty is death, and that the struggle against the virus is inextricable from the urgent necessity of socialist transformation.

Posted by: Prof K | Apr 25 2020 21:21 utc | 37

“A two week quarantine in a hotel or public facility during which one is well provided for...It is hard to understand why some people continue to reject this.”

Because no one has ever seen government behave this way. Because we live in terror of the police. Because in USA there is no public health infrastructure at all and any such program would be administered by police.

Posted by: oldhippie | Apr 25 2020 21:24 utc | 38

B@18

Chloroquine increases endosomal pH required for virus/cell fusion. It also interferes with the glycosylation of cellular receptors of SARS-CoV. In vitro studies have shown chloroquine to be active against a clinical isolate of SARS-CoV-2 and functioned at both entry, and at post-entry stages of the COVID-19 infection. Hydroxychloroquine has the same effect and was shown effective with SARS-1

https://www.persi.or.id/images/2020/data/new_insights_covid19.pdf

The problem is its off patent so not much profit in it. Medicine is about profit today, and so HCQ is being pushed aside (as is IV vitamin C and zinc) in favor of more expensive treatments (Gileads antiviral which apparently didn’t do well in preliminary trials)

As for zinc, there is plenty of evidence.
As I understand it when zinc gets inside the cell this inhibits virus replication and cell destruction. The trick is getting it inside the cell and for this you need ionophores of which hydroxychloroquinine is one

https://aac.asm.org/content/48/3/783

https://www.preprints.org/manuscript/202004.0124/v1/download

As for the lack of lupus statistic the lack of one is very telling. That should be an easy one to generate for those with centralized national health systems.

i am on a patient board with many lupus patients weighing in on covid-19 concerns. The only 2 lupus patients admitting to covid-19 have been off HCQ for some time. The rest seek to deny HCQ works out of fear their supplies will be affected by non-lupus patients. Not one has claimed to have gotten Covid-19 despite being on HCQ. Not scientific I know, but the scientists don't seem interested to look into this

Posted by: Pft | Apr 25 2020 21:30 utc | 39

Looking at hospitalised versus non-hospitalised for all the cases other than 'none', the 'current smoker' proportion is less than 2 standard deviations from the mean. Low but not excessively so. The 'none' case is well above 4 standard deviations below the mean.

The only clear result from the data is the vast difference between 'none' and the other cases. The low 'ICU' figure for 'current smoker' gives some hope of a favourable outcome. The other unknown factor is any difference in age for the various sub-groups. Are 'current smokers' alone young individuals, while the others are generally older? Female rather than male?

Posted by: Ken Garroo | Apr 25 2020 21:37 utc | 40

@ b | Apr 25 2020 20:33 utc | 18

„May I suggest you try drinking bleach to defeat the virus?
Trump advertised that too.
This selling of snake oil is dangerous.“

Half-education does not get better if it is sold with conviction. Take the time to study the mechanism of it, @Jackrabbit may help you out further, and have a look here:
https://idw-online.de/de/news745216
(German, University Nürnberg-Erlangen; refers to cytokine-storm inhibiting substances/mechanisms)

May be such an issue simply is beyond of what a critical journalist can handle. All you can get is an array of scientists' statements that contradict each other. The cellular mechanism of chloroquin is known. The guys who applied it in France, in Wuhan and in Russia with good results seem to know what they do. That their approach is been disputed is normal. That the case is politicized is idiotic.

Posted by: Hausmeister | Apr 25 2020 21:37 utc | 41

Personally I think that lock down is an useless make believe proactive stance of the govt and may be even a dangerous action. Suppose a family member is infected with this virus as cruel as it might sound this family member should be isolated and the rest of the family that was in close contact with this person should be tested. This way we not only prevent spread of the virus to the rest of the immediate family but also unnecessary economic and social costs associated with lock down. I remember the video's the MSM was showing on the TV about big bad Communist Govt taking away the infected family members in Wuhan. But nobody thought about this mitigating action might have saved the Chinese the horrible death toll we are facing here in US.

Posted by: Murali Rao | Apr 25 2020 21:48 utc | 42

On the "drinking bleach" issue, while not using bleach, there are anti-microbe preventative treatments for mouth wash and the nose (nasal wash), so this topic is not entirely unreasonable. Salt water of silver water are used for this, hydrogen peroxide too, and other solutions.

In my country we have some homemade high alcohol drinks (60 % should be enough) so this could help the throat - drinking 100 ml before sleep. The alcohol should be between 60 and 80 % to be effective against microbes, normal alcohol at 40 % won't help.

Posted by: Passer by | Apr 25 2020 21:48 utc | 43

Gregory@15, well regardless what you read here, you are to be congratulated for ditching smoke. Please don't consider for a moment going back for much of the physical stuff is behind you already and what's left is all mental so keep your mind strong and do not go back, ever! If you are able, consider some lung strengthening exercises because your lungs will clear rapidly in the months ahead. Run up bleachers, stairs, hills, hike or climb to elevations or just walk till you can't, it's all good! You may not realize it but you have given up on a habit that surely will kill, if not disable you as surely as CV would.

Posted by: George | Apr 25 2020 21:50 utc | 44

Marc b. @ 15.  Thanks for that interesting information

I looked at the number of deaths/hospitalizations for the age groups

80+.       1733/1557

70-79.   604/1072

60-69.   266/908

50-59.   99/704

40-49.   20/363

30-39.   7/235

20-29.   1/107

0-19.     0/18


Obviously in the 80+ group a number of deaths occurred either at home, hospice or nursing home.

Assuming that you have to be fairly sick to be hospitalized, such as displaying shortness of breath, there are a reasonable number of hospitalizations in the under 60 age group but they are doing better comparatively.

There is major improvement in the under 40 age group but still not insignificant hospitalizations.

A fair number of hospitalizations in the 20-29 age group but very good outcomes.

Seems to suggest that we want to keep our hospitals from being overrun to continue to see these good outcomes in the younger age groups.

Posted by: financial matters | Apr 25 2020 21:51 utc | 45

funny how moon mentions the first cluster found in Germany were young and medium aged people who were partying and skiing. Fails to mention not one of them died. The article I read about the German study of them doesn't mention whether they were sick (so probably not very if at all). Also I found the index (first identified) patient IN Germany was a man who had associated with a Chinese woman visiting from China at his workplace. "The 33-year-old man who contracted the virus ... is in a "medically good state," according to the health authority. He was isolated as a precaution. So probably the partyers and skiers weren't that sick either. As we all know among the fog info out there it is almost entirely old people over 65 with pre existing conditions - and most of the younger people who die do have health problems. And most of the younger people who do get more than mild symptoms are those who are heavily exposed to the virus. I still think this virus in not worth sending the global economy into a depression and allowing people with unfriendly agendas to use as excuse to change the way we live.

Posted by: gepay | Apr 25 2020 21:54 utc | 46

Interesting JHU data shows that the only US states where the confirmed case increase is leveling off are Hawaii, Guam, Washington, Montana, and Vermont. Some slowdown in Oregon, Idaho, and Alaska. More liberals, Asians, and lower population density?

All other states have been increasing almost perfectly linearly for a month with no sign of leveling at all. That could not be true of the actual infection rate, it must reflect the linear rate of testing. But unless the symptomatic cases tested increase exactly linearly (why?) it must mean that random tests would yield almost the same rate of positives.

Posted by: John B | Apr 25 2020 21:56 utc | 47

Interesting result regarding smokers, though as yet there is no evidence that nicotine is the causative agent in conferring resistance to Covid19.
as an ex-smoker turned vaper, I would be interested to know if vapers are equally protected.
It should be noted that tobacco smoke contains other substances as well as nicotine and for sure vaping is not the same physiologically as smoking and I'm not just talking about the reduced risk of smoking related disease.
IIRC the changes in nerve receptors take several years to occur, both at the beginning of nicotine addiction and also at the end (which is why ex-smokers have such a hard time after stopping), so a simple application of a nicotine patch may not produce any useful effect in a non-smoker.

Posted by: DomesticExtremist | Apr 25 2020 22:00 utc | 48

'Virus suppression' vs. 'Virus mitigation'

Like South Korea and Taiwan, Iceland doesn't have a lock-down. Their schools are open.

They proactively find people that are infected via widespread testing and contact tracing and treat them.

Iceland's Plan To Stop Covid-19 Actually Works

!!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Apr 25 2020 22:06 utc | 49

On a further search - The patients treated at our hospital were all young to middle-aged. Their symptoms were generally mild and included flu-like symptoms like cough, fever and a loss of taste and smell. In terms of scientific significance, our study benefited from the fact that all of the cases were linked to an index case, meaning they were not simply studied based on the presence of certain symptoms. In addition to getting a good picture of how this virus behaves, this also enabled us to gain other important insights, including on viral transmission."

Prof. Dr. Clemens Wendtner, lead author, Head of the Department of Infectious Diseases and Tropical Medicine at München Klinik Schwabing, a teaching hospital of LMU Munich

Posted by: gepay | Apr 25 2020 22:10 utc | 50

The Icelandic official also finds it strange that USA has not changed to a more pro-active strategy (i.e. 'virus suppression') because, he says, everything they learned came from USA.

!!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Apr 25 2020 22:10 utc | 51

The only way to combat COVID-19 is good old fashion public health principles of testing, tracing and isolating the ill. Western governments have failed at their most fundamental job of saving the lives of their citizens. This is not a coincidence. It is the direct result of the end of democracy and the rise of the multi-national plutocracy. This is shown by the corporate media’s ignoring of the western national governments' failures to institute public health measures; instead, it harps on Donald Trump’s letting the light shine inside the body to kill the virus.

The bankers got 4.5 trillion dollars. If a fraction of this was spent to prevent and stop the spread of the coronavirus, 50,000 Americans would not be dead today. But that would require a functional government and taxing the rich, homeless living inside Hilton hotels, the last thing oligarchs want. So, “it is just like the flu”. “Freedom”, scapegoating”, “racism”, and “shaming” are all used to hide the truth.

Posted by: VietnamVet | Apr 25 2020 22:16 utc | 52

Posted by: DomesticExtremist | Apr 25 2020 22:00 utc | 49

as an ex-smoker turned vaper, I would be interested to know if vapers are equally protected.

I would expect so. The benefit of nicotine presumably comes from its ability to reduce the synthesis and release of pro-inflammatory cytokines which cause "cytokine storms" in the lungs of severely infected individuals. Again, there is no reason to expect that nicotine would prevent infections from occurring, rather it would mitigate some of the more deadly symptoms.

Posted by: farm ecologist | Apr 25 2020 22:27 utc | 53

Some caution is indicated re the perceived negative correlation with smoking: 1. This is not an actual observational study but extrapolated from adjusted population rates -- the proportion of active smokers in the patient population was not sufficient by itself to draw conclusions with decent power. Then, there seems to be little difference between the ICU needed for former smokers and the patients with cardiovascular disease, diabetes or CRF. Finally, the in-vitro work quoted in the paper and shown here as "confirming" is certainly not confirming (or invalidating) any clinical data (which is introduced there as a clinical to the clinical paper.)
On the whole, interesting observation but would need a study with effective observation of sufficient numbers of smokers.
I'd tend to see this as suggesting that there may be something in persons who continue to smoke, not former smokers. And there lies the rub: practically all we know about smoking continues, generally lifelong, after cessation, except this phenomenon if verified. It's true that lung disease, cardiovascular disease, cancer (and cancer therapy), renal failure and the myriad other chronic conditions of the ex-smokers would be very likely to cancel any of the advantage seen in the active smokers. Essentially then, looks like continuing to smoke cancels all such problems in the active smoking patients (if, that is, the observation is credibly confirmed.)

Posted by: Piero Colombo | Apr 25 2020 22:41 utc | 54

Here's a very optimistic article by a french doctor... (unfortunately in french)

He gives a list of treatments known to work and urges doctors to use antibiotics because "it's not covid that kills but the bacteria that attack the lungs"...

https://lesobservateurs.ch/2020/04/16/message-rassurant-du-dr-besnainou-la-pandemie-est-presque-finie/

Posted by: SysATI | Apr 25 2020 23:05 utc | 55

Jackrabbit | Apr 25 2020 20:58 utc

Next step is to make the viruses to study the article, so they succumb to the placebo effect. Seriously, anecdotal evidence is hydrochloroquine is there, theory exists, and basic counter-indications are known too. Higher doses require monitoring of heart action. Solid testing of drugs takes more time than the duration of a viral epidemic.

Chinese and Russians were using another anti-malarial, mefloquine. I wonder why there is not targeted controversy on mefloquine, loud proponents, loud opponents. Does it have a calming effect?

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Apr 25 2020 23:08 utc | 56

Posted by: John B | Apr 25 2020 21:56 utc | 48

All other states have been increasing almost perfectly linearly for a month with no sign of leveling at all.

It could be worse. Infections will increase exponentially if each infected person passes along the virus to a consistent number of others. The fact that increases are "only" linear implies that measures to reduce the rate of infection are actually having an impact although further efforts to control spread would have additional benefits.

Posted by: farm ecologist | Apr 25 2020 23:11 utc | 57

If it's smoking who alters ACE2, then it's definitely not nicotine in the bloodstream that will do the trick, it's smoking dirty nasty shit that fills your lungs that reduces ACE2 receptors. I expect nicotine patches to be fully useless - though I'll be glad to be provent wrong.

As for household contamination, I had read a month ago that the Chinese themselves were reporting that 3/4 of contaminations in Wuhan occurred at home between family members, so this not a big surprise.
On the other hand, a very recent report seems to show that UV are very effective at destroying the virus and indeed outdoor contamination is limited, because the virus won't last long in a sunny place. In a cold grey winterscape, it might be a bit different though.

Now, there are also more reports of non-pulmonary deaths, people having strokes, heart attacks, brain damages and the like because the virus wrecks havoc in blood vessels and clogs them. That's very worrying. The only thing I'm wondering, since these reports are mostly American ones, is what's the real condition of those victims. To put it simply: it's known that obesity is a massive pre-condition with the coronavirus and greatly increases the risk. Are these cardio-vascular deaths also linked to people's obesity, or is any normal or fit person at risk as well?

Posted by: Clueless Joe | Apr 25 2020 23:22 utc | 58

Posted by: George

"Gregory@15, well regardless what you read here, you are to be congratulated for ditching smoke. Please don't consider for a moment going back for much of the physical stuff is behind you already and what's left is all mental so keep your mind strong and do not go back, ever!"

Of course you guys are right, I started smoking when I was 13 and 41 years later I do need to quit, in that time twice in my life I have been able to go a year without a cigarette, but if I lose my sense of smell and taste develop a dry cough and a fever I will reconsider.

Native Americans had a saying back in the day, 'When the sick smoke tobacco it will heal them, when the healthy smoke tobacco it will sicken them' Not very scientific but it might be correct in this case.

Posted by: Gregory Purcell | Apr 25 2020 23:59 utc | 59

In newspapers and increasingly on Twitter is news of meat manufacturing operations closing within the Outlaw US Empire and around the world because their workforces are deeply infected by the virus. As such, people are voicing fears that food shortages will soon ensue. The truth is quite different. The closure of most restaurants has resulted in a glut of food being produced for which there are no longer buyers. Yet, as usual, the main problem exists in the distribution system just as it has for many decades, which has long been blamed on the failure of Capitalism to service society in a moral and ethical manner. The system's reached a critical point in its existence. Hopefully, the lessons being taught now aren't being lost on leaders of developing nations who have yet to have a deeply entrenched Capitalist system and can change their path to a people first mixed economy.

Posted by: karlof1 | Apr 26 2020 0:11 utc | 60

karlof1

People have to eat, no matter if they eat at restaurants or at home. Can't be a glut of food just because people are eating at home rather than at restaurants.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Apr 26 2020 0:23 utc | 61

I remember reading a great book by a former US Olympic doctor: The Caffeine Blues (it will definitely inspire you to never drink coffee again).
He mentioned there that smokers also digest caffeine much faster than non-smokers (and they crave more coffee). I think he said it's to do with their liver working over time to process the smoking-related toxins that it also manages to process other toxins like caffeine faster
This could be the reason

Posted by: Tomo | Apr 26 2020 0:54 utc | 62

This article is worth reading.
https://fair.org/home/economic-reporting-on-hardships-of-pandemic-should-explore-market-failures/

Whatever it is 'a flu', the 'common cold', an invention by the heroes of the Protocols of Zion or a pandemic of the sort most of us think that we see around us and some of us feel is a pure invention... whatever.

It is a crisis of Capitalism, a major crisis which calls all the conventional wisdom of the past seventy going on three hundred years into question.
How has the market been doing?
What do we think of the invisible hand now?
Co9mmodity prices are crumbling, supply chains are drying up. And all that the capitalist can do is to scream racist insults- hoping that the people will forgive the famine if they can be fed hatred of foreigners instead.
There have probably been more strikes in the US in the past three months than there had been in the last ten years. A Universal Basic Income-the revival of the idea that the people have first call on all resources- the polar opposite to Capitalism's insistence that the only thing that makes people work is the fear of starving, is coming. It has to come, and when it does one of the foundation stones of the entire edifice of exploitation is removed.
Next week we will see what happens when the capitalists order workers to risk their lives by going back to work in workplaces that are unsafe, without proper masks and protective gear.
And we will see here whose side commenters are on and how many are ready to progress from trivialising the pandemic into strike breaking. Strike breaking in the name of anti-authoritarianism; strike breaking packaged as 'right to work' freedoms.

Posted by: bevin | Apr 26 2020 0:54 utc | 63

Posted by: Red Ryder | Apr 25 2020 20:14 utc | 11

"It seems that many things the Chinese did was science-driven, lessons learned from SARS 2003 and other epidemics. Their scientists led the moves the political people enforced."

The Chinese and Wuhan gov. forced people off the streets with iron fists. No one was immune, incompetent gov. officials were removed. Videos welded doors, locked gate to prevent people coming out was posted in ZeroHedge and Youtube via Jennifer Zeng, Epoch Times, Gordon Guthrie Chang, New Tang Dynasty Television, SCMP and Paul Joseph Watson.

Yes, 420,000 seasoned Healthcare workers - doctors, nurses mostly ICU experiences. CGTN The Point host Liu Xin was on the ground last week in Wuhan interviewed people, found senior over 80-yrs and even 100-old survives. The care, kindnesses were genuine - The decision was top down edict and Chinese citizens sacrificed their freedom even during Chinese New Year eve.

Three touching videos reminded my girls.- about a young mother contacted covir19 and no one caring for her baby. Both families hers and spouse were contacted. I believe 9 nurses took turn caring for the babies. Two more videos available - returned after 14-days quarantines. BTW it's free absolute FREE the States and/or insurance paid everything.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QwIplXfjew4

Should we allow our gov. does the same here - Absolutely NO, I dun trust the republican or the democrats. Democracy is dead! I sound contradicting and double standard? Not necessary it's in another debates....

Posted by: JC | Apr 26 2020 1:38 utc | 64

Correction!
Yes, 42,000 seasoned Healthcare workers

Posted by: JC | Apr 26 2020 1:39 utc | 65

b.. thanks.. uncle t on the other thread seemed to suggest there is no garbage pick up in the usa right now.. is that true?? jesus, that is nuts if so...

it seems to me b lives in germany and has a different perspective on it then the americans here - russ, old hippie, gepay and etc who can't, or are unwilling to understand the concept of isolating those who are infected to prevent it spreading to others, in particular older people... this is a question to those advocating opening everything up asap... how do you protect the health care workers from getting it and passing it on to those who are more vulnerable?? whether they get it via their kids, or friends and etc. etc. - how are they going to prevent the health care workers from passing it on to those in their care??

it seems to me one of the reasons for the lockdown - partial or full on depending on what country you live in - is to slow the demands on hospitals.. yes, it has been mentioned numerous times how the hospitals aren't busy and they are laying people off -( in the usa, but not here in canada) - and the numbers haven't shown up, so all those patients waiting on elective surgery and etc. etc. have had to have their surgery dates pushed into the future..

it really seems to hinge on how socialist the country is that you live in... and it seems to hinge on the concept of individual verses collective rights and how you draw a line down on all that.. most of the people screaming to open up everything seem to see this as their personal freedom - civil liberties - american talking points primarily - as being put in jeopardy.. so, i ask the question - how do you protect the health care and front line workers from passing it on to those in their care??? i am truly curious.. ..

its supposed to be highly contagious... primarily old people are dying - perhaps prematurely by the look of it based on the numbers, and younger people with pre-existing health problems are also dying... some people who wouldn't otherwise have to be put on a ventilator are and they are suffering lung scarring even if they pull thru it without dying.. it seems prudent to take a preventive approach.. how does that dovetail with opening up the economy? it looks to me like the capitalist system with a sole focus on making money and the economy is coming up really weak in the face of a pandemic... if the 1918 pandemic had happened again here - the capitalist system looks like it would be completely fucked... this pandemic seems milder by far, but it might be too soon to say this... it still seems to me to me to be much more serious then your regular flu which some folks are trying to dismiss it with.. i just don't see it that way based on the numbers... and yes - a lot more dead will happen if the lockdown persists that didn't catch covid 19 either, but based on being forced onto the street and worse... i get that... please answer my question up above if you have some insights.. thanks...

Posted by: james | Apr 26 2020 1:49 utc | 66

What's behind China's low COVID-19 death rate - 80-yrs and 100-yrs old

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Mx6Beogjnk

Posted by: JC | Apr 26 2020 2:00 utc | 67

james @ 70 said;"b.. thanks.. uncle t on the other thread seemed to suggest there is no garbage pick up in the usa right now.. is that true?? jesus, that is nuts if so."

I live in a senior community in So. Cal., and trash pick-up goes on unabated. As far as I can see, outside in the real world, it's also continuing..

As to the virus, I'm convinced it was intentionally engineered to do what it's doing. Internally, I'm still debating whether or not it was released on purpose or accidentally..

I post this article again as food for thought..
https://breggin.com/us-chinese-scientists-collaborate-on-coronavirus/

Posted by: ben | Apr 26 2020 2:35 utc | 68

b, I'm dumbfounded that you haven't discussed the infection fatality rate for healthy under-65s, compared to those among over-70s and people in poor health, obese, heart problems and so on. That is what this entire controversy is about. You probably strongly suspect the fatality rate is very very low among healthy under-65s. Seems perverse to avoid the good news and the positive implications for opening up economies utterly devastated by the start of a gigantic worldwide depression.

As for New York and Tennessee, Stephens is very dumb but he has truth in his side: policy on mitigation (complete suppression is impossible now) should vary by locality.

NPR
NPR reports: "A large portion of U.S. cases are centered on New York City. Since March 20, New York state, Connecticut and New Jersey have accounted for around 50% of all U.S. cases. As of April 9, nearly 60% of all deaths from COVID-19 have been in these three states."

NPR also graphs the last three weeks of reported cases in each state, as of this morning, April 26. There has been nothing unusual, consistent low numbers, in Tennessee during that time.

New York population: 19.5 million
Confirmed Covid-19 cases: 282,143
Deaths: 22,009

Tennessee population: 6.8 million
Confirmed Covid-19 cases: 9,113
Deaths: 177

Posted by: fairleft | Apr 26 2020 2:37 utc | 69

Well B!
You fail to understand Covid-19 is not a Respiratory Disease but a Blood Infection!
It alters and dissipates Nitric Oxide and so people who have Hypertension, Diabetes and or are Obese are the ones with the highest fatality Rates as documented in the analysis of Deaths in New York of those over 80. Because of the depleted Nitric Oxide the Immune System is compromised and allows the Virus an easier path to attack the blood vessels increasing blood pressure. The Virus also produces Glycoproteins which in the case of Diabetes increases the possibility of serious reaction and that is not a Respiratory problem. The same goes for Obesity where blood sugar is disproportionate and causes difficulties for Nitric Oxide to maintain the balance of oxygen in blood cells.
The Virus also increases the Oxygen Free Radicals which alter the Nitric Oxide and destabilising the balance of the blood.
Furthermore Covid-19 increases Blood Clotting and that's why young people are presenting at Mt Sinai Hospital with Stroke and which Dr. Thomas Oxley said......."It's in the Blood!".
Furthermore in regard to Hydroxychloroquine it's scuttlebutt and rubbish it causes all the deaths due to the claim it increases Arrhythmia? Read the link............
https://www.acc.org/latest-in-cardiology/articles/2020/03/27/14/00/ventricular-arrhythmia-risk-due-to-hydroxychloroquine-azithromycin-treatment-for-covid-19

Posted by: William Kierath. | Apr 26 2020 2:39 utc | 70

If someone tests positive, wouldn't they have already infected the family members they are living with? What would be the point of separating the family when the damage has already been done?

Antoinetta III

Posted by: Antoinetta III | Apr 26 2020 2:46 utc | 71

james | Apr 26 2020 1:49 utc | 70

"b ... has a different perspective on it then the americans here - russ, old hippie, gepay and etc who can't, or are unwilling to understand the concept of isolating those who are infected to prevent it spreading to others, in particular older people... this is a question to those advocating opening everything up asap... how do you protect the health care workers from getting it and passing it on to those who are more vulnerable??"

None are so blind as those who refuse to see, which typically includes mischaracterizing others' points of view. This is a huge aspect of the non-debate I see at this site, basically ridicule instead of debate, ridicule instead of engaging with facts and scientific studies, ridicule instead of confronting the horrific impact of a gigantic economic depression on working class and poor people.

"unwilling to understand the concept of isolating those who are infected" I and all you've mischaracterized have said a many many times we need to isolate the VULNERABLE, not the HEALTHY. All those who disagree with you and b take this position. Why do you have such a strong need to not comprehend what we have written?

"those advocating opening everything up asap" Not one person who disagrees with you advocates opening everything up as soon as possible. New York City and other densely populated and heavily infected areas should open up slowly if at all. Most places should open up, but as I/we have said repeatedly, with a very high priority on mitigating the virus spread thru masks, washing hands, and social distancing, and protecting those in retirement homes, nursing homes and hospitals.

"...how do you protect the health care workers from getting it and passing it on to those who are more vulnerable?" By making sure such people do not have Covid-19, having excellent PPE for them, training those workers better, professionalizing those workers and giving them better job security, and asap taking profit motive out of elderly and hospital care. But note this is not relevant at all to getting economy going again.

Posted by: fairleft | Apr 26 2020 3:03 utc | 72

fairleft @Apr26 3:03

On Long Island NY, the first deaths occurred in a nursing home because an Uber driver who drove a virus patient to a hospital worked in the nursing home part-time.

It's very difficult, in USA anyway, to protect vulnerable populations without a lock-down. USA people not just not disciplined enough and organized enough. And many of the vulnerable are under-65: they are diabetic, asthmatic, obese, have compromised immune systems, etc. And there's evidence that there is an adverse effects of the virus on younger people: strokes, lung scarring (pulmonary fibrosis), and possibly chronic fatigue syndrome (which affected about 3/4's of those who recovered from SARS).

WHY is there so little interest in CHANGING THE STRATEGY from 'virus mitigation' to 'virus suppression'? Virus mitigation is basically 'living with the virus' until there's a vaccine - but we don't even know if a vaccine is possible.

'Virus suppression' is a pro-active approach that has been successful in South Korea, Taiwan, Iceland, and maybe New Zealand.

AFAICT 'living with the virus' benefits Big Pharma and might save Governments some money on care for the elderly.

!!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Apr 26 2020 3:33 utc | 73

Posted by: fairleft | Apr 26 2020 3:03 utc | 76

I don't know where do you live, but but the way you described how it should be done is pretty much how it is here in British Columbia.
The sick and vulnerable are isolated, the rest of us are not. We are free to go out, to walk and drive, the city parks are open, public transport is running. Hospitals accept emergency cases, but elective surgeries are postponed to free up beds. Now they talk about bringing it back. Schools, pubs, bowling clubs, gyms, public pools etc are closed. Restaurants and pizzerias are open for takeouts only. Supermarkets and car repair shops are open, but hair salons and dental offices are closed. So essentially, all venues where people gather are closed.
Interestingly clothing and shoe stores are closed too, that I do not understand why.
Ah yes, meat and poultry processing plants are working, our newest covid outbreaks are in there. And in prisons. And in one hospital, unfortunately.

Posted by: hopehely | Apr 26 2020 3:40 utc | 74

William Kierath@74

The “cardiologists” in this report are either irresponsible, paid by the pharma/vaccine lobby and/or are not keeping up with the medical literature.

Hydroxychloroquine is only effective in the onset of symptom and only in conjunction with organically bound available zinc. The doctors administered hydroxychloroquine in the ICU at a late stage of the dis-ease progression which is too late. They also used very high doses of hydroxychloroquine (without zinc), resulting in toxicity issues as with any chlorinated organic.

The arrhythmia issue may have been a clinical symptom of zinc deficiency:
https://knowledgeofhealth.com/modern-day-zinc-deficiency-epidemic/

Azithromycin should be incorporated as a precautionary as it prevents secondary lung infections but can enhance heart rhythm disorders .
https://www.drugs.com/azithromycin.html

Yes, COVID-19 is not only a sudden acute respiratory disease (SARS). However, it is not a blood infection either! The SARS-CoV-2 virus following infection, replication and release primarily from cell in the nasal passages, throat and trachea does infect lung cells causing fluid buildup and cellular debris, which provide nutrients for secondary bacterial infections as well as current infections with mycobacteria in TB.

Yes the virus does travel visa the blood and can bind to ACE2 receptors in many other organs besides the nasal passages, throat and lungs. It also binds to CD-127 receptors. The proposed blood infection (red blood cells) mode of action has not been proven.

Yes free radicals are increased in the blood in part to the mechanism you mention but also by reducing the vitamin C level in the bloodstream. The antioxidant properties of vitamin C is why a Seattle doctor was able to recover using IV vitamin C along with an anti-arthritis drug.

The principal cause of death is the cytokine storm that several posters have already described over a month ago. Associated with this inflammation of tissues, particularly the lung, is the deposition of fibrin in the capillary bed resulting in blockages and a lack of gas transfer. These blockages cause the blood pressure to rise and even the heart to “explode” if the blood has no where to go.
https://www.webmd.com/lung/coronavirus-complications#1
MedCram series

Posted by: krollchem | Apr 26 2020 3:50 utc | 75

Statistician points out gross errors in the much cited Stanford serological study:
https://medium.com/@balajis/peer-review-of-covid-19-antibody-seroprevalence-in-santa-clara-county-california-1f6382258c25

Too bad he failed to notice that the serological test also is positive for other coronovirus infections such as the common cold.

Posted by: krollchem | Apr 26 2020 3:53 utc | 76

Posted by: truthsayer | Apr 26 2020 3:45 utc | 79

The issue is that everyone has been isolated, not just those who are infected. The economic and social damage, not to mention the implementation of an even more brutal police state, is the issue.

It sounds a bit excessive, are you in Europe somewhere, I know that over there lot of places have curfews as well. Where James and I live (BC Canada) it is not like that at all.
Good that we can gather here and compare notes.

Posted by: hopehely | Apr 26 2020 4:01 utc | 77

Jackrabbit@50

Thanks, good post on the Iceland approach. The only issues I noted were the lack on masks and the interviewer confusing PCR testing with flawed serological testing.

Posted by: krollchem | Apr 26 2020 4:48 utc | 78

B says " . . But the next cold season will likely be the most difficult time for everyone." Here in New Zealand most of the population has been cheering about how well the Govt is doing & how we have nearly defeated the virus. My wife has been saying from the start of this that our winter, which we are coming into, is going to lead to an explosion of the virus which coupled with the seasonal flu (which the Govt has bungled with a lack of flu jabs), will overwhelm our hospital system. We have been in lock-down for nearly 5 weeks & had our first increase in daily numbers (since they'd come down to single digits) today. Our Govt was stupid - they didn't stop tourism, they didn't test & didn't even temperature check at the border, preferring to wave a if-u-r-unwell-self-isolate pamphlets at people as they came in. Tourists/backpackers who were here for 14 - 28 days were told to "self isolate" for 14 days & of course most totally ignored the edict (as you would if you felt well). The opposition party along with many, many very concerned Kiwis were literally screaming for the borders to be shut or at least start quarantining & testing everyone coming in as it was plain to see what could or would eventuate. It fell on deaf ears but then the infection numbers started to rise. Eventually they panicked & went into an economy destroying full lock-down. We are easing the restrictions somewhat next week, so it will be well into May even June, I'd surmise, before things start to go "tits up"

As usual, this is an excellent post B . . . Yours that is ;-)

Cheers

Posted by: KiwiKris | Apr 26 2020 4:55 utc | 79

james 70

russ, old hippie, gepay and etc who can't, or are unwilling to understand the concept of isolating those who are infected to prevent it spreading to others, in particular older people...

I understand that this is exactly upside down. It's the vulnerable who should be shielded while nature takes its course among the general population, who go about life as usual. Dominionist-technocratic rigidity can't prevent this in spite of the delusions of that religion, especially since Western societies began their measures far too late anyway. So it's best to let herd immunity develop as fast as it naturally will, at which time the virus recedes from lack of hosts (and is likely to mutate in a milder direction along the way). This is the only way to bring a safer environment for all including the most vulnerable. Nothing else is going to work, while the lockdowns add a long list of purely gratuitous evils: The very high number of preventable deaths from the lockdown itself, providing cover for the collapsing financial system, cover for the latest Wall Street plunder expedition and for a radical escalation of the police state, deeply traumatize people into submission to total social conformity, and radically aggravate the anti-social, anti-human atomization of the people.

Those who can't or are unwilling to understand these concepts seem motivated by prior police-statist ideology and/or mental collapse into a state of terror caused by the propaganda campaign, but it has nothing to do with rationally deliberated concern for any public health.

this is a question to those advocating opening everything up asap... how do you protect the health care workers from getting it and passing it on to those who are more vulnerable?

During the period of shielding the vulnerable, health care workers should undergo whatever level of decontamination is necessary upon entering the shielded area. That could be done in any well-organized health care system.

Of course the numbers of deaths in hospitals, nursing homes etc. show that no such thing is being done under your lockdowns. More proof that lockdowns don't work even according to your own measure.

Posted by: Russ | Apr 26 2020 5:05 utc | 80

@ 72 ben... thanks.. maybe that was an aberration regarding garbage pickup somewhere then.. i saw that link the last time and i am not sure what to make of it..

@ 76 fairleft.. i'm not trying to mischaracterize people here and as @ 78 hopehely says ( thanks ) what you'd like to see is pretty much what is happening here where we live in b.c. to a good degree.. and i agree with @77 jackrabbits response which makes sense to me.. and... i do get tired of posters like russ referring to anyone who holds a different viewpoint as an authoritarian nazi type... but back to my question which you answered here ( thanks ) - "By making sure such people do not have Covid-19 ( this requires more testing then is happening), having excellent PPE for them ( which presently they don't), training those workers better, professionalizing those workers and giving them better job security, and asap taking profit motive out of elderly and hospital care ( and how does this happen in a capitalist society). But note this is not relevant at all to getting economy going again. ( oh, but i think it is very connected though)"...this isn't happening in the usa!! speaking of what you would like to see verses what the reality is, is where the problem lies! your answer is a good response, but it's not happening! maybe it would be better to say the usa and if you want - many western societies are not prepared for this, but we will be getting yelled regardless by russ for being authoritarian nazis or whatever! i am saving my venom for russ, as he is the one who seems to yammer on like a nazi on this accusing others who don't see it perfectly like him...

@ 79 truthsayer... thanks.. it is not my intent to be as you say - extremely disingenuous.. maybe i could have worded it better.. bottom line is my question was what i was hoping to get a response to.. so, brutal police state is your issue.. it is not mine.. the welfare of people is mine.. the vulnerable and the people that are being left behind and it isn't just covid 19 either as you and others note, the lockdown is affecting many people adversely economically.. i personally don't see it like you - brutal police state, but maybe if i lived in the usa i could view it more this way... everything seems to boil down to individual freedom as opposed to collective well being in the usa.. you aren't able to go to a movie and etc. etc. and this only affects old people, or those looking after them and people like them... hopefully you get your freedoms back right quick!

@ 86 russ... thanks... but the gov't of usa has decided on a different path then the one you would've like them to take.. i don't know what you mean by this - "Dominionist-technocratic rigidity".. is that what the usa gov't is doing?? i agree they began the measures too late..i don't believe that was intentional, but perhaps some here do - like truthsayer... the part about providing cover for the collapsing financial system is interesting conjecture.. there is no way to know, but as i have said previously the 1% are going to take advantage of whatever situation arises regardless of whether it was a set up or not.. we can't know, but to suggest and talk about this is all conjecture that really leads nowhere as i see it.. whether the system is ready to implode here or not - we will only know after it implodes like it did with the ussr or the fall of the berlin wall..

there is some truth to what you say here, but a bit overly dramatic as i see it - "deeply traumatize people into submission to total social conformity, and radically aggravate the anti-social, anti-human atomization of the people." everyone is going to process this differently..i don't believe it's as extreme as you say, but it might be for some who have difficulty processing change..

thanks for answering my question! you qualify it by saying "could be done in any well-organized health care system." knowing that the health care system you have isn't well organized.. it is a similar response to @ 76 fairleft... and you note they began their measures far too late.. so how do you move forward seeing the holes in where we are at here?? get rid of the lockdown is your mantra.. okay, but how do you protect the vulnerable and the health care workers serving them?? i see the need for a well organized health care system, but i don't see one in action... how does the usa get from here to where you and fairleft imagine it would be better off being? i am not seeing it.. i am seeing a greater number of people including health care workers getting infected, not necessarily showing symptoms - being asymptomatic, not being tested in greater numbers and the problems increasing as opposed to lessening... i see the eagerness to open everything up on the part of many, but i don't see it working out favourably for the society as a whole... and i don't know what kind of lockdowns are going on in the usa, as i don't live there, but they don't seem near as draconian here on the westcoast of canada where i live.. do me a favour and cut it with the authoritarian rant.. its tiring... thanks...

Posted by: james | Apr 26 2020 6:12 utc | 81

they seem more draconian then here on the westcoast... reword that for me.. thanks..

Posted by: james | Apr 26 2020 6:17 utc | 82

@ 86 russ quote "So it's best to let herd immunity develop as fast as it naturally will"....

Canada's top doctor warns against relying on herd immunity to reopen economy

Posted by: james | Apr 26 2020 6:32 utc | 83

Truthsayer 83
"My girlfriend and I haven't been able to go to any of our favorite restaurants, sit at a bar, go play pool, see a movie, or anything, and it's all based on bad science as far as I'm concerned. At this point I honestly wouldn't care if everyone over 80 died, and my own father is 82."

Poor bastard, missing all those good things in life. There really are some turds in life masquerading as humans and you're one.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Apr 26 2020 6:56 utc | 84

hopehely | Apr 26 2020 3:40 utc | 78

Good. Schools need to be opened. Young people are the least vulnerable to Covid-19. Stores and restaurants should be open but required 1-meter social distancing and rules on overcrowding. But sounds like the economy is getting back on its feet. That's all we need.

Posted by: fairleft | Apr 26 2020 7:13 utc | 85

"They've closed the gulf courses"

!!!

This is the last place i thought i would ever read that! !!

Posted by: Mina | Apr 26 2020 7:46 utc | 86

Posted by: james | Apr 26 2020 6:12 utc | 87

i don't know what you mean by this - "Dominionist-technocratic rigidity"

Dominion theology believes humanity can and should dominate the natural world. Technocracy is the modern secular offspring of this Christian thread. Both versions believe total control of nature can and should be done. This is delusional. The current lockdown ideology and program is a manifestation of this religious program.

do me a favour and cut it with the authoritarian rant.. its tiring... thanks...

Well, since my opposition to totalitarianism is the beating heart of my opposition to this entire campaign of mass terror and lockdowns, I don't think I'll be able to do you that favor.

Meanwhile the claim that this is not a political matter at all but a purely technical one to be handled by "experts", which seems to be the core ideology of the pro-lockdownists, is just the latest and worst manifestation of the long-running corporate-technocratic campaign which seeks to remove all corporate and government action from any kind of political scrutiny and debate, any kind of democracy at all.

But since I just wrote a blog post on the totalitarian anti-humanity of the campaign, I'll just link that instead of saying more in this comment, and anyone who wants to read it can read it there.

https://attempter.wordpress.com/2020/04/26/the-ultimate-divide-and-conquer/

Posted by: Russ | Apr 26 2020 7:51 utc | 87

There is even worse to come than being in a supposedly clean facility, delivered supposedly clean meals, breathing a supposedly clean A/C air...
As the French explain, they will be readyby may 11th with the training of the teams who will be in charge withcontact tracing..

Panopticon, here we come!

Posted by: Mina | Apr 26 2020 8:02 utc | 88

The antibody tests NOT are good enough for epidemiological research. The Santa Clara study done by Stanford when you take account of the false positive rate the error bars include zero. That means every single "positive" test could be false.

Posted by: TJ | Apr 26 2020 8:05 utc | 89

@Russ | Apr 26 2020 7:51 utc | 93

Well, since my opposition to totalitarianism is the beating heart of my opposition to this entire campaign of mass terror and lockdowns, I don't think I'll be able to do you that favor.

Referring to it as mass terror is correct in my opinion. From the very first days in March I referred to the state actions as terrorism. It was immediately claimed on state owned TV here that 150 000 norwegians would die. In a population of 5 mill that was ridiculous, but it worked, almost everyone was terrorized. The numbers today show it was at least a 1000-fold exaggeration. These people knew what they were doing, and what they did was to spread terror. They told us to fear our own hands.

I was thinking of quoting Orwell (Eric Blair) on the the purpose of terrorism, but another Blair understands the subject too:

The purpose of terrorism lies not just in the violent act itself. It is in producing terror. It sets out to inflame, to divide, to produce consequences which they then use to justify further terror.

Tony Blair

Posted by: Norwegian | Apr 26 2020 8:31 utc | 90

@Ship Track | Apr 26 2020 7:56 utc | 94

Norway did complete shutdown.

Not true.

Posted by: Norwegian | Apr 26 2020 8:35 utc | 91

i see a pattern here... a chain smoker wants everybody under house arrest or wearing masks to go out because he is afraid of getting sick or dying from a virus...
my friend the activist feels fine with the whole society stopped and people locked down in a 10 m2 room for months and categorically refuses the idea that only the 65+ like her should be ordered to stay home, but she returned to smoke (even rolling tobacco!) a week after surgery for lung cancer a few years ago and keeps vaping to this day...

Posted by: Mina | Apr 26 2020 9:19 utc | 92

Random associations are paraded as if fact and representing a profound understanding whereas they are no more than jottings on a notepad. One day research will go to the hapolyte level and find just which genetic traits are favourable to opportunistic infection. as for cytokine storms - these are common in auto-immune deficiencies and there are lots of those. It simply takes us back to bats harbouring viruses because their auto-immune systems do not overreact to infection but co-exist and human systems go into increasing overdrive whenever the infected person suffers comorbidities or a faulty system.

The older you get the more your system goes out of kilter, and the younger you are the more a car crash, a sparkler at contact sport, or psoriasis or a host of other ailments can set your auto-immune system off in unpredictable reactions.

There is no magic bullet except being dead. Cancer is also halted by death. It is the natural way the host defeats the infection.

In Germany, you need to vetilate a patient for 95 hours to get the insurance to pay the hospital - 94 hours is not enough so get them ventilated early before they decease in coma. How much of this is reimbursement-driven is not yet clear, but in a few years research will show just how perverse incentives were to load up the hospitals with dead and dying at expense of living and sick. The last 6 months of life consume 50% health spending.

The rationing of health care that lies ahead will facilitate premature exits for so many otherwise productive lives - but what is going on now is no free lunch

Posted by: Paul Greenwood | Apr 26 2020 9:25 utc | 93

Rancid 97

Vaccines and quarantine have in common that although within limits they make sense in theory, in the US at least no sane person would trust the government with either.

Posted by: Russ | Apr 26 2020 10:01 utc | 94

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/apr/24/revealed-dominic-cummings-on-secret-scientific-advisory-group-for-covid-19

The British gov refuses to give the names of the sages in their advisory committee!!

Posted by: Mina | Apr 26 2020 10:37 utc | 95

I do find Dr. Drosten's NDR podcasts valuable, but I do also remember, I believe, he saying on January 22 in German TV that there was little risk in traveling to those provinces in China. And then a week later Lufthansa is cancelling flights. Of course, at the same time the German CDC (RKI) was saying that the risk was very low.

Posted by: CWK | Apr 26 2020 10:43 utc | 96

james @ 84 says:

there is some truth to what you[Russ] say here, but a bit overly dramatic as i see it - "deeply traumatize people into submission to total social conformity, and radically aggravate the anti-social, anti-human atomization of the people." everyone is going to process this differently..i don't believe it's as extreme as you say, but it might be for some who have difficulty processing change..

difficulty processing change, huh? in this context that sounds kinda creepy, maybe you'd care to elaborate...

in the meantime, here's a piece written by a fellow musician, for your edification...

Musicians Dig Their Own Grave

Posted by: john | Apr 26 2020 10:45 utc | 97

The smoking link is ironic but I want to point out that smoking is not the same as nicotine. When people switched to vaping I thought that would eliminate the lung cancer factor but I thought vascular problems were caused by nicotine. Turns out the link between nicotine and vascular problems has not been proven. So in this case I would not jump to the conclusion that nicotine is the factor which suppresses the cytokine storm. But it would be nice if it's true.

Posted by: Tuyzentfloot | Apr 26 2020 10:53 utc | 98

Smokers and former smokers totals 25%. Doubtful smoking helps in anyway, but at the same time doesn't appear to be a risk factor. Earlier pollution in Italy and China was considered by some to be a contributing factor but that is also doubtful going by the low rate of current smokers in the lineup.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Apr 26 2020 11:11 utc | 99

james | Apr 26 2020 6:12 utc | 84

Confused, the best I could get from your comment was that getting the economy up and running again should wait until the US fixes its terrible health care system. But that's probably not right; I think I can simplify the disagreement with b and possibly you that some here have by splitting the argument in two: (1) what to do with healthy under-65s: because Covid-19 is not a serious health threat for them, I say let them get back to work, while doing all the sensible mitigation they can within that context; (2) what to do with unhealthy people and over-75s: we all agree we need to protect them.

So the real disagreement is over whether healthy people under 65 need to keep staying indoors, working from home, not gathering in groups, and so on. Whether schools and restaurants need to stay shut. I say no, and the whole issue involves what everything says is the fact that Covid-19 has a very low infection fatality rate for under-65s. And yet b has never discussed that.

Posted by: fairleft | Apr 26 2020 11:31 utc | 100

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