Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
April 19, 2020

The MoA Week In Review - Open Thread 2020-31

Last week's posts at Moon of Alabama:

Other issues:

On two Coronavirus pieces on other websites:

The piece debunks itself when it quotes a Swedish epidemiologist who says:

“The truth is that we have a policy similar to that of other countries,” says Anders Tegnell, Sweden’s state epidemiologist, “Like everyone, we are trying to slow down the rate of infection … The differences derive from a different tradition and from a different culture that prevail in Sweden. We prefer voluntary measures, and there is a high level of trust here between the population and the authorities, so we are able to avoid coercive restrictions”

Sweden can do without orders of social distancing because its people will socially distance voluntarily when asked. That works because "there is a high level of trust here between the population and the authorities". That does not hold for the community of Somali people and other immigrants in Sweden more of whom are dying than in any other group.

Now project such a voluntary attempt onto the U.S. public where there is little, if any, trust between the population and the authorities. It simply would not work and one would soon have a runaway epidemic with all its bad consequences. Whitney's conclusion that we should all do like Sweden is thus not justified.


The piece was posted on April 17. One of the 'experts' it quotes is Dr. John Oxford, "an English virologist and Professor at Queen Mary, University of London." Here is the quote as posted on Off-Guardian:

Personally, I view this Covid outbreak as akin to a bad winter influenza epidemic. In this case we have had 8000 deaths this last year in the ‘at risk’ groups viz over 65% people with heart disease etc. I do not feel this current Covid will exceed this number. We are suffering from a media epidemic!

– “A VIEW FROM THE HVIVO / OPEN ORPHAN #ORPH LABORATORY”, blog post on Novus Communications website, March 31st 2020

Two remarks:

a. On April 17, when Off-Guardian posted the piece, the United Kingdom already had 14.607 deaths from Covid-19. Those were 6.600 more than the total number Dr. John Oxford predicted. If the real numbers, which are still increasing, are already 80+% higher than the expert's guestimate should one really use that expert to claim that the 'coronavirus panic' is unjustified?

b. Dr. Oxford made his claim in a "blog post on Novus Communications website". Novus Comes is a public relations agency which provides "financial social media & digital communications for small caps". The company is paid by its clients to talk up certain sectors of the stock market. Should one really use paid PR posts on a PR company's website to judge if some 'panic' about an epidemic is justified?

As for the other 'experts' Off-Guardian quoted. Yes, there ar some doctors who do have a different opinion than most of their colleagues. But that does not make them right.


An astroturfing campaign was launched in the U.S. to end the lockdowns. It is paid for by rightwing big money:

Somebody did some extremely basic WHOIS searching and found that the person who set up all the "reopen $STATENAME" protest web sites is in fact one guy in Jacksonville. -> reddit thread


[Thread] 1/ Much talk this morning about numerous Facebook groups cropping up with "insert state name" + "against excessive quarantine". Some are suggesting that there is mass astroturfing campaign occurring to pressure state governors to reopen after Donald Trump's tirade

Covid-19 is a really, really nasty disease:


We need to learn from this:

Use as open thread ...

Posted by b on April 19, 2020 at 14:26 UTC | Permalink

« previous page | next page »


All politicians in the US are elected to office. US is a democracy. It seems we in the west are conditioned to believe that democracy by voting for rulers is the ultimate form of governance, that those in a so called democracy will allways be better of than those in a non western democracy form of governance.
What you see in the US is democracy as we know it. Began life as as a means of preventing rebellion in England. There are plenty of systems of governance and all can work well or not work well. Where western democracy stands out is in its ability to prevent revolution. The peasants can be played like fish on a line - maximum prosperity for western peasants was during the cold war. With the fall of the Soviet Union the danger had passed and the prosperity and freedoms could be taken back.
Best term for western democracy is hopium.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Apr 21 2020 1:33 utc | 401

“If there were but one person in the world, it is manifest that he could have no more wealth than he was able to make and save. THIS is the natural order.”
-Henry George 1839 – 1897
Posted by: Phryne's frock | Apr 21 2020 1:16 utc | 420

Well worth repeating/remembering in the Neoliberal, fake-Christian, West.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Apr 21 2020 1:34 utc | 402

"Sweden can do without orders of social distancing because its people will socially distance voluntarily when asked. That works because "there is a high level of trust here between the population and the authorities". That does not hold for the community of Somali people and other immigrants in Sweden more of whom are dying than in any other group."

America is just like Sweden in that Black people, and other minorities, are being disproportionately impacted by COVID-19.

And to be Politically Incorrect, it's probably not a coincidence that Sweden is adopting its laissez faire response towards COVID-19, since (ahem) certain groups are more affected than others.

In the USA, I wonder if there would be such a push to end the lockdown if White Middle class people were disproportionately being killed by COVID-19.

This virus has had a twisted "beneficial" effect for America and Sweden in that certain untermenschen ... I mean ... demographic groups are particularly affected: non-Whites, poor people, immigrants, the infirm, or elderly.

Sweden and America: Making the Herrenvolk Great Again!

Posted by: ak74 | Apr 21 2020 1:39 utc | 403

vk | Apr 20 2020 22:55 utc | 400

"All politicians in the US are elected to office. US is a democracy."

That is not exactly correct. We have a representative republic, at least at the federal level.

Our votes translate into electoral votes at the state level. Some states divide the electoral votes awarded to the state as a ratio of the votes cast by the populace for each candidate.

Most states have a winner take all system, whoever gets the most votes in a state gets all the electoral votes of that state (Even a 51/49 split, all the votes go to the winner).

In many states the electors are under no legal obligation to actually follow the results of the popular vote, and can, if they chose, cast the electoral votes for whomever they wish. In this last case, I think it has happened, but not often.

So, in reality we don't directly elect our president.

There is a similar system in place for Senators broken down by districts, though it varies much more from state to state. The districts are generally a winner take all type system, and not a pro-rated system. Some states also have super delegates in addition to the districts. Again, there is no legal obligation to follow the will of the voters. At this level it happens more often than you would think that the delegates vote not according to the will of the voters.

It is actually a very complicated system, with the illusion of the voters picking the leaders.

Posted by: David F | Apr 21 2020 1:48 utc | 404


That was in reply to Peter AU1 | Apr 21 2020 1:33 utc | 421

Not sure how that happened, sorry vk.

Posted by: David F | Apr 21 2020 1:50 utc | 405

@ Posted by: William Gruff | Apr 21 2020 0:33 utc | 413

That’s unnecessarily rude. Come on...

Posted by: oglalla | Apr 21 2020 1:52 utc | 406

Just heard Breaking News on CNN that intelligence sources claim Kim Jong Un is in grave condition after undergoing surgery for cardiovascular issue. He was not in attendance at the anniversary celebration of his grandfather's birthday.

Could this be true?

Posted by: Circe | Apr 21 2020 1:56 utc | 407

Even if 40,000 died from covid I dont feel comfortable letting the government lock us all down with the threat of arrest, shit even if 100,000 died we should not let them do this. Man the ideas they are cooking up now knowing how easy it was

Posted by: Bob | Apr 21 2020 1:59 utc | 408

David F

A little different to what we have here.

It has been my thought for sometime that whoever controls the media (controls information) controls democracy.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Apr 21 2020 2:01 utc | 409

Even with the kid gloves on, this shows plenty of guessing and fudging went into it, and unfortunately the "data" is not public:

Concerns with that Stanford study of coronavirus prevalence

Posted by: Bemildred | Apr 21 2020 2:03 utc | 410

Part of Chris Hedges latest from Truthdig;


"The Trump administration did not rise, prima facie, like Venus on a half shell from the sea. Donald Trump is the result of a long process of political, cultural and social decay. He is a product of our failed democracy. The longer we perpetuate the fiction that we live in a functioning democracy, that Trump and the political mutations around him are somehow an aberrant deviation that can be vanquished in the next election, the more we will hurtle toward tyranny. The problem is not Trump. It is a political system, dominated by corporate power and the mandarins of the two major political parties, in which we don’t count. We will wrest back political control by dismantling the corporate state, and this means massive and sustained civil disobedience, like that demonstrated by teachers around the country this year. If we do not stand up we will enter a new dark age."

Posted by: ben | Apr 21 2020 2:07 utc | 411

@Disabuseer #410
2 or 3 instances is still not very instructive.
If, for example, this situation described had never happened (or happened once or twice) in any Ohio county for the past 2 or 3 elections, that would constitute stronger evidence.
Or someone who actually knows the judge in question, commenting on the over popularity.
Otherwise, it is the use of sporadic data points to support an agenda as opposed to highlighting an actual anomaly.

Just for sanity sake - I looked at the California 2016 election results, specifically presidential/Democrat vs. state assembly elections.

State assembly representing:

vs. presidential district comprising:

Note the Presidential district contains 2 more counties.

Hilary Clinton got 37,008 votes, Bernie Sanders got 53,669 votes but Brian Dahle got 103,500 votes - i.e. he polled better than both Bernie and Hilary combined.

The very next grouping - State assembly representing:
Del Norte

vs. Presidential district:
Del Norte

Again - presidential district contains more people via one more county (Marin).
Hilary Clinton got 83,241 votes vs. Bernie Sanders 95,515 votes but Jim Wood got 102,308 votes with one fewer county voting.

That missing county - Marin - alone voted for Marc Levine to the tune of 62,308 votes.

This is just the first 2 presidential districts I looked at. The pattern is fairly consistent all the way through; the only time the Presidential candidates appear to outpoll the locals is when there are 5 or 6 local candidates splitting the local vote.

So at least from this California data - the supposed anomaly of a local candidate outpolling national ones is absolutely not unusual - in fact it is the rule.

Posted by: c1ue | Apr 21 2020 2:07 utc | 412

Patrick Cockburn on how the herd immunity states are doing:

Trumpian Nationalists Have Met Their Match in COVID-19

Posted by: Bemildred | Apr 21 2020 2:09 utc | 413

@371 James "but kudos to yeah, right a moa poster who knows how to play his cards right with pat for the moment anyway!"

Not for much longer, I suspect.....

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Apr 21 2020 2:13 utc | 414

vk | Apr 20 2020 22:55 utc | 400

I just read the Robert blog again. A couple of questions for you.

According to the google and apple we have only reduced social and economic activity by 31%. That doesn't seem to be to be a very accurate way to measure social and economic activity, the true reduction in both those activities has to be much higher than that. All businesses except ones that can operate at home and essential businesses, for the most part are closed. And even those who can work from home, are not interacting with others. All estimates that I had heard, and anecdotal evidence of just looking at reduced traffic put the number at 80% or higher.

Also, how can one assume a 60% infection (herd immunity he called it). As infectious as this is R0>2 (last I heard), it seems to me it would have to reach 100% infection rate (I don't mean everyone will get sick, just that eventually everyone will get the virus). How can anybody have any immunity to a new virus?

Can you explain these two things?

Posted by: David F | Apr 21 2020 2:14 utc | 415

@ yeah, right.. hang in there.. patience and tolerance towards othes are virtues!!!

Posted by: james | Apr 21 2020 2:14 utc | 416

Okay,now I'm reading Kim slipped into a coma and is presently brain dead. How are the media getting this info?

This is strange.

Posted by: Circe | Apr 21 2020 2:17 utc | 417

Posted by: Circe | Apr 21 2020 1:56 utc | 427

RE: How Kim Jong Eun is doing:

I see mixed results, some say he is "recovering" fine, some say he is in grave danger, etc.

The ones saying grave danger are ones I generally ignore when it comes to E. Asia, e.g. "Free Beacon", Washington Examiner ...

So if I had to guess, it's bullshit based on the fact he did have something done.

Posted by: Bemildred | Apr 21 2020 2:22 utc | 418

Peter AU1 | Apr 21 2020 2:01 utc | 429

"A little different to what we have here."

Don't feel bad for not knowing this, most americans don't even know this. We have the illusion of democracy, but not much more than that.

Do you know our schools don't require that students learn about the constitution? Some better schools do teach it, but most don't, most colleges don't either (you can choose it as an elective). Shockingly enough, texas actually requires it to get a college degree. Texas!

This is how we can have presidents elected who got less of the popular vote.

"It has been my thought for sometime that whoever controls the media (controls information) controls democracy."

While that may not be the truth, with a capital T, for all practical purposes it is true.

Posted by: David F | Apr 21 2020 2:24 utc | 419

Pft @ 414

Another multi-decade virus story:

Is AIDS US $90B Taxpayer Dollars A Global Slush Fund?

January 29, 2020

Well over a hundred billion dollars has siphoned through the hands of individuals with scandalous histories, with over $90 billion from the U.S. Government (taxpayers) alone, via PEPFAR.

• The U.S. Government’s PEPFAR is the largest funder of any nation to a single disease in the world, and the largest donor to the Global Fund, to the tune of over $90 billion to date. Despite this, due to the fact that the Global Fund is located in Geneva, Switzerland, it is not subject to U.S. taxation, jurisdiction, or law. George W. Bush’s 2006 executive order afforded the Global Fund additional exemptions, privileges, and immunities.

• Three U.S. Presidents, over 35 governments, the UNDP, the Global Fund, GAVI, and over two dozen major non-profits along with countless smaller ones, have been cashing in for nearly two decades.

• Bill and Melinda Gates, Jeffrey Sachs, Kofi Annan, and Amir Attaran are listed as the founders of The Global Fund, but who really strategized and implemented its structure, its funding, and its “immunity” status?

• In 2015 USAID awarded Chemonics $9.5 billion to fund these supply chain programs. Only 7% of the drug shipments were delivered on time and in full. This is just one example. There are countless scandals throughout this book.

• There are allegedly 23.3 million people on HIV treatment. The new three-in-one pill runs $75/year per person in developing countries. The Clintons, among others, are cashing in on this new drug. An almost identical therapy in the U.S. runs $39,000 per person, per year. The global HIV drugs market exceeded a value of $24.7 billion in 2018.

This is potentially one of the biggest, ongoing slush funds of our time, perpetrated by over 35 governments, “philanthropists,” politicians, so-called elites, and celebrities, while preying on the weak at heart to donate their hard-earned money to the “Global Fund” that helps children and adults beat AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. But does it really? How much of the money is going toward this and how many people are the meds really reaching? Reports raise serious concerns. We are talking about BILLIONS of dollars changing hands among governments and the wealthy, in addition to “Acts”, “Bills”, and “Executive Orders” all strategically aligning for this operation to function full throttle – across three former U.S. presidencies. Scandal after scandal has rocked this “cause” – a cause that should most definitely be under investigation, but with all of its immunities and safeguards in place, who will investigate?

Posted by: pogohere | Apr 21 2020 2:24 utc | 420


I would take it with a dose of salt for awhile. Always the same when some north Korean hasn't been seen for a bit. The have died. Kim killed them... whatever, then some time later they show up again.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Apr 21 2020 2:33 utc | 421

@ Posted by: David F | Apr 21 2020 2:14 utc | 435

Yes. As he says at the beginning of the article, he's just playing with the numbers. He's just speculating with the present data.

Most workers don't work from home, so mobility gives you at least a scale of the reduction, and from there take a rough correlation between degree of containment and loss of economic activity.

60% infection is a middle-of-the-road estimate because COVID-19 is classified as a pandemic by the WHO. The WHO's definition of pandemic is a disease that can infect 50-70% of an entire given population at the same time frame (single wave of infection). He chose 60% because it is the average and median of 50 and 70%.

Posted by: vk | Apr 21 2020 2:33 utc | 422

vk | Apr 21 2020 2:33 utc | 442

Thanks for that.

So, according to WHO it is not possible for a virus to infect more than 70% of the population in a single event?

Or, if it does infect more than 70% it is something other than a pandemic? A plague?

I don't understand how given the R0>2 it would not inevitably achieve 99+% infection.

Can you shed any light on this?

Posted by: David F | Apr 21 2020 2:39 utc | 423

WHO "What is a pandemic" page.

Some aspects of influenza pandemics can appear similar to seasonal influenza while other characteristics may be quite different. For example, both seasonal and pandemic influenza can cause infections in all age groups, and most cases will result in self-limited illness in which the person recovers fully without treatment. However, typical seasonal influenza causes most of its deaths among the elderly while other severe cases occur most commonly in people with a variety of medical conditions.

For both seasonal and pandemic influenza, the total number of people who get severely ill can vary. However, the impact or severity tends to be higher in pandemics in part because of the much larger number of people in the population who lack pre-existing immunity to the new virus. When a large portion of the population is infected, even if the proportion of those infected that go on to develop severe disease is small, the total number of severe cases can be quite large.

Another definition here.

Epidemic is a term that is often broadly used to describe any problem that has grown out of control. An epidemic is defined as "an outbreak of a disease that occurs over a wide geographic area and affects an exceptionally high proportion of the population."2

An epidemic is an event in which a disease is actively spreading. In contrast, the term pandemic relates to geographic spread and is used to describe a disease that affects a whole country or the entire world.

By that, I take it WHO declaring COVID-19 a pandemic only once outbreaks had appeared in a number of countries would be correct.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Apr 21 2020 2:52 utc | 424

@ Posted by: David F | Apr 21 2020 2:39 utc | 443

I don't know why they stop at 70%


@ Posted by: Bemildred | Apr 21 2020 2:22 utc | 438

It's possible that Kim Jong-un's life is in danger. His family does have a history of cardiovascular problems.

Or he could perform another miracle, and join team resurrection, for which North Korea is very famous for.


Is this true?

Bonkers! EU hands out its Covid-19 emergency funds: Hungary (199 deaths) gets €5.6bn, Italy (23,000 deaths) gets €3.3bn LESS

The columnist only links an FT article, but it's paywalled. Found nothing on Rai News.

If this is true, I'll roll on the floor laughing.


American dream suspended: Trump says he's signing order to halt immigration into US 'in light of attack' from coronavirus

This is going to infuriate the Democrats.

But I'm sure illegal immigration to keep feeding conservative Texan businessmen will go on as usual - with your traditional help from the frontier guard.

Posted by: vk | Apr 21 2020 2:57 utc | 425

Peter AU1 | Apr 21 2020 2:52 utc | 444

I was looking around there as well but couldn't really find what I was looking for. I did read the pandemic page and they don't mention the 50-70% infection statistic.

Something I was reading a few weeks ago about R0, IIRC, said that anything with an R0>1 would eventually infect everyone, and never go away on it's own, where as, R0<1 would eventually peter out on its own.

Is anyone aware of any reason that the infection rate would only go as high as 70%, and not get to 100%?

Posted by: David F | Apr 21 2020 3:00 utc | 426

Posted by: Bemildred | Apr 21 2020 2:03 utc | 430 Concerns with that Stanford study of coronavirus prevalence

Thank you for that link. That led me to several articles of interest...

Don’t Believe the COVID-19 Models
That’s not what they’re for.

Basically, they're saying that models are only as good as 1) the data, 2) the calculations, and 3) what happens after someone notices the model exists... So they're only as good as the last calculation made using the last data obtained.

As I recall, back in the '70's, the so-called "Club of Rome" came out with a computer model that predicted dire consequences for the world by the year 2000. I recall reading a review of that model in a journal which was directly concerned with computer modeling. They trashed it mercilessly... I myself noticed a variable called a "Unit of Pollution" - I'm like, say what? Of course, today we have much more sophisticated models and better computers to run them on. But mistakes still get made.

The point of the article above is that the models give you a *range* of possibilities - not all of them are going to happen. So yes, the virus might be far less damaging than some versions of models say, and OTOH it could be far worse than some models predict. The proper course of action is to err on the side of caution - so you lockdown, not "let 'er rip."

Our Pandemic Summer
The fight against the coronavirus won’t be over when the U.S. reopens. Here’s how the nation must prepare itself.

Both groups agree that before relaxing the guidelines on social distancing the U.S. urgently needs to expand its ability to test for the virus, and to shore up hospitals with sufficient supplies. These recommendations are sensible, but they hinge on the expectation that the U.S. can recover the ground it lost due to its early inaction. It might not be able to.

For example, with help from private companies and academic institutions, the U.S. is certainly testing more people than it was before. Over the past week, about 145,000 people have been tested every day, according to the COVID Tracking Project, a volunteer collaboration spearheaded by The Atlantic. Those numbers look to rise even further, thanks to a new, rapid test from Abbott Laboratories that can deliver results in less than 15 minutes. But as testing capacity has grown, so has the pandemic. As my colleagues Robinson Meyer and Alexis Madrigal have reported, private labs have taken on more orders than they can fulfill, and are experiencing huge backlogs. Demand for tests has ballooned, fueled by a rise in actual infections and the fact that Donald Trump keeps wrongly assuring the public that testing is no longer a problem. “The net gain just hasn’t been there,” said Kelly Wroblewski of the Association of Public Health Laboratories.

Crucial medical drugs are also running out. According to a University of Minnesota analysis, about 40 percent of the 156 drugs that are essential parts of critical care are becoming limited. Many of these depend on supply chains that involve China (where the pandemic began), Italy (the hardest-hit region in Europe), or India (which halted several exports). These chains have been discharging their contents like a sputtering garden hose that has now begun to run dry. “The medium term is going to be particularly perilous,” said Nada Sanders, a professor of supply-chain management at Northeastern University. “Global demand is so high, and supply is so far behind, that it’s very hard to envision enough of a ramp-up.”

Meanwhile, hospitals are still struggling. There aren’t enough masks and gowns to adequately protect staff, ventilators to deliver oxygen to patients who can’t breathe, or respiratory technicians and nurses to operate those ventilators. Overwhelmed and underprotected, doctors and nurses are falling sick. In Michigan, more than 700 employees at one hospital have tested positive for the coronavirus; at another, 1,500 are out of work with consistent symptoms. Hospitals are now bringing back retired physicians, graduating medical students early, and re-tasking orthopedists and dermatologists to emergency rooms to help with the coronavirus surge.

If it turns out that, say, 20 percent of the U.S. has been infected, that would mean the coronavirus is more transmissible but less deadly than scientists think. It would also mean that a reasonable proportion of the country has some immunity. If that proportion could be slowly and safely raised to the level necessary for herd immunity—60 to 80 percent, depending on the virus’s transmissibility—the U.S. might not need to wait for a vaccine. However, if just 1 to 5 percent of the population has been infected—the range that many researchers think is likelier—that would mean “this is a truly devastating virus, and we have built up no real population immunity,” said Michael Mina, an epidemiologist and immunologist at Harvard. “Then we’re in dire straits in terms of how to move forward.”

There’s a risk in trying to be too clever, though. Dylan Morris of Princeton, who also models infectious diseases, notes that exponentially growing epidemics are not just harder, but riskier, to control. Slight delays in action can have huge consequences, as the United Kingdom learned last month. Relying too heavily on models, the British government believed that it could precisely control the spread of COVID-19 by rolling out social restrictions at carefully chosen moments. Its hubris led to a substantial spike in cases. Now that the U.S. is slowing the pandemic, gently easing back on social distancing would be safer, Morris argues, than snapping back to business as usual when small missteps could be catastrophic. “If we’re judicious about how we lift restrictions, we might never have to go back into lockdown,” he said.

Bottom line: It ain't gonna be that simple - so if it happens, great. Hope for the best, expect the worst is always good policy.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Apr 21 2020 3:08 utc | 427

David F

Read about any plague or pandmic in history and there are always survivors - those that dont get infected and those that get infected but survive.

I was reading up on myxomatosis the other day as that was used as a bio weapon against rabbits in Australia. A small percentage had a natural immunity that was genetic. Their offspring were mostly immune to the virus and numbers built up again.
I think similar with the calicivirus that was also released here.

Going by the Diamond Princess, I think only 20 to 30 percent of the population will be susceptible to the virus. Children and I think teenagers have a natural immunity to it.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Apr 21 2020 3:11 utc | 428

@397 Jackrabbit "pl just said that jcc: '... is IMO a pro-communist troll.' "

This is the thing I find most disappointing about Pat Lang. He has stressed, time and time again, that in the intelligence game you evaluate both the information and the source separately before coming to any conclusion.

Yet time and again Pat simply discards what is posted if he takes a dislike to the person who has posted it.

Look back over that thread, where Fred posted a link to an article and I responded that neither of the claims that he made is in that article.
Nothing personal regarding Fred, I simply said that he had misrepresented/misunderstood what was written in that article. Nothing more. No less.

And in response? Lang said I am a wise ass. Twice.

That and a series of aggressive questions fired back at me in obvious attempts to set up some straw men.

But no attempt to seriously discuss my point, which is simplicity itself: the Chinese govt was having official agency-to-agency talks with the WHO and the CDC at the same time as they became aware of a bunch of doctors in Wuhan posting all sorts of unauthorized stuff on social media.

They reacted by telling them in no uncertain terms that The Grown Ups Were Talking.

That would be true of any government, on any topic, no matter how benign or how controversial. Any agency in that situation would drag those doctor to the woolshed and tell them that IT'S OUR JOB TO DO THE TALKING, NOT YOURS, SO SHUT THE F**K UP.

There is absolutely nothing sinister in that. Absolutely no "evidence" of wrongdoing can be inferred from that.
Yet Pat Lang will not engage. I'm just a wise ass who knows nothing about serving his country, end of story.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Apr 21 2020 3:13 utc | 429

The Interminable Body Count
We may never know how many people the coronavirus kills: “It sounds like it could be totally obvious—just count body bags. It’s not obvious at all.”

So Harvard kept tracking it. How long did above-average deaths keep occurring? That’s how they got a big number. And you just have to ask yourself, Is that fair? Is that reasonable? Two months afterwards, can you really seriously call it a disaster death? Well, in my opinion, yes. If you can say this death would not have happened were it not for the hurricane … even if it’s weeks or months later, I think it’s completely fair.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Apr 21 2020 3:13 utc | 430

Couple of new tweets by Soumya Karlamangla, health reporter for the LA Times:

"LA County just released the results of their antibody study. Tests found that 4.1% of the county's population has antibodies to the coronavirus. That figure is 55 times higher than what is suggested by the official case count."

"This study suggests that the covid fatality rate in LA County, currently estimated to be around 4%, is probably more likely between .15 and .09%, when accounting for all the infections that have not been counted."

The data keeps piling up as expected by the experts: the case fatality rate and infection fatality rate are much lower than at first thought. Also, the reality of already massive infection rates makes it almost impossible for most countries to take a China-style 'zero infections' approach toward Covid-19. That ship has sailed.

Posted by: fairleft | Apr 21 2020 3:17 utc | 431

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Apr 21 2020 3:13 utc | 450 Yet Pat Lang will not engage. I'm just a wise ass who knows nothing about serving his country, end of story.

I've gone through that with Lang. I was eventually banned simply for continuing the discussion. Also note that he insists on being treated with absolute deference by everyone there, but is perfectly happy to be a complete asshole to anyone he disagrees with - and much of the time, not even a disagreement, he just doesn't like how you phrased a sentence - or even your *screen name*! He just likes being an asshole to everyone except his favored commentators.

I continue to give him credit about his knowledge of the Middle East, his criticism of Trump's foreign policy, etc. But he's wrong on the China issue (and that includes Trump's trade war - as far as I can tell since I'm not following that in great detail) - and he's an asshole in general.

Intellectual integrity is a big issue for me - and he has none.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Apr 21 2020 3:19 utc | 432

8 MORE Experts Questioning the Coronavirus Panic - Off-Guardian

B, is a little more tolerance of other points of view really not possible?

Are so many expert and well-informed viewpoints so readily dispatched by one small remark? Quite remarkable!

Posted by: BM | Apr 21 2020 3:20 utc | 433

Posted by: fairleft | Apr 21 2020 3:17 utc | 452 The data keeps piling up as expected by the experts

That's a study by the same people as the Santa Clara County study, if I'm not mistaken.

And *that* study has issues, as several people have linked to here. People who are real statisticians have issues with that study. There are several ways that study can be *completely wrong* - depending on how certain things were done or how things actually happened (self-selection of the participants being apparently a big one.)

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Apr 21 2020 3:22 utc | 435

Once again, everyone and his brother plows in with one study and assumes the study is *fact* and therefore everything that is happening isn't real.

That's not the real world works, folks.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Apr 21 2020 3:24 utc | 436

Bemildred | Apr 21 2020 2:03 utc | 430

You're referring to the Stanford study of Santa Clara County, showing the virus antibodies 50-85 times more common than previously believed. That's now been backed up by an LA County study that got very similar results. I posted about it in 452 above.

Posted by: fairleft | Apr 21 2020 3:27 utc | 437

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Apr 21 2020 3:08 utc | 448

You're welcome, I was looking for a little more detail on what they did. I'm not a statistician but I know the math to some extent, and probability, and I have had some statistics classes. And I did a lot of work with sims and models at one time. I find almost all such studies unconvincing, because they have to assume so much, but sometimes they can be interesting, and like with models, playing with them can be informative. That one just reeks of finding what you seek to me.

Taleb does a nice critique from that angle (IMHO).

I think there are a lot more cases than we know out there, so that I agree with, because we don't test much, but I don't think those guys produced anything useful.

Posted by: Bemildred | Apr 21 2020 3:30 utc | 438

And *that* study has issues, as several people have linked to here. Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Apr 21 2020 3:22 utc | 456

Who Is John Ioannidis?

Hack indeed.

Posted by: Avid Lurker | Apr 21 2020 3:32 utc | 439

Added: and then there is the "replication crisis", I'll be that one doesn't replicate worth a damn.

Posted by: Bemildred | Apr 21 2020 3:32 utc | 440

@451 Richard Steven Hack, I agree, more or less.

The number of people who die is going to be known.
The number of people who had covid-19 at the time of death is going to be measurable, more or less.
The number of people who "died of" covid-19 is a dogs-dinner.

Focusing on the last is certain to result in not seeing the forest for the trees, and also make it irresistibly easy for the powers-that-be to manipulate the figures to suit their particular agenda (precisely because the grey area between "died with" and "died of" will be so huge and so subjective).

The only sensible way to distinguish between the two is to compare the mortality figures for this year against the figures averaged over the last few years.

But by then it will be too late to do anything meaningful with those figures in terms of public policy: useful for when the definitive history is finally written, but not much else.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Apr 21 2020 3:34 utc | 441

I wonder how many domestic cats are tested for COVID-19. They can catch and spread it.
The previous SARS was found in the civet cats. From the research I link it seems domestic cats would be an ideal host reservoir for SARS-CoV-2 - not that they have been found to be a reservoir in China though.
Posted by: Peter AU1 | Apr 20 2020 5:08 utc | 206

Civet cats are not cats, they are a totally unrelated family. But in general I agree with your remarks. China recently tested domestic animals in Wuhan and found that 15% of cats (the figure is from memory but I think it is correct) had Covid-19 antibodies. Several other domestic animals also - I think also dogs but at a lower rate. Also monkeys. They concluded domestic animals acted as a significant reservoir.

Posted by: BM | Apr 21 2020 3:34 utc | 442

Discussion by statisticians of the LA County study...

More coronavirus testing results

Here is a link to the LA study (a PDF):

Note: Neeraj Soodj is an author on both studies. And they used the same test made by the same company for both studies. In short, this is the same study done in a different county, with slightly different actions.

Commentators are noting problems already:

Shiva Kaul says:
April 20, 2020 at 9:27 pm

Bizarrely, the study abstract seems to be first available on the following website:

35/863 positives. Seems to use the same statistical methods and Stanford validation sample.
Reply to this comment

Joseph Candelora says:
April 20, 2020 at 9:36 pm

Huh, have they completely abandoned the test manufacturer’s specificity and sensitivity tests for this LA County study? It appears that they are relying exclusively on Bendavid’s teams results — the 30 sample specificity test that found zero false positives.

Can someone explain to me why that approach would make sense?

Anonymous says:
April 20, 2020 at 9:38 pm

Am I right in reading that they’ve *only* used the Stanford validation sample (30/30) to assume 100% specificity?

Zhou Fang says:
April 20, 2020 at 9:45 pm

So despite their claims they *still* didn’t produce a representative sample? What was the reason, differential response?

In short, this study may be done better than the Santa Clara County study, but that's not a certainty. And the Santa Clara study - done by the same people as the LA study - has come under fire.

So stating anything about the LA study results as being *fact* is reaching. These studies need to be replicated and confirmed by parties other than the same people. That's how science works.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Apr 21 2020 3:40 utc | 443

Posted by: fairleft | Apr 21 2020 3:27 utc | 458

Yeah, I know what it is. Did you notice the sample is all volunteers? Did you notice the fudge factors they have to apply? Did you notice the data is not public?

Posted by: Bemildred | Apr 21 2020 3:41 utc | 444

Some rough figures.
Lombardy population approx 10 million. Deaths 12,200. Deaths per million 1,220.

New York. Deaths per million 965

Diamond Princess, Deaths per million approx 3,500.

US deaths per million 128.
Italy deaths per million 399.
Spain deaths per million 446.

Diamond Princess deaths per million put things in perspective.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Apr 21 2020 3:43 utc | 445

Richard Steven Hack | Apr 21 2020 3:08 utc | 448

Lot's of good stuff there, thanks. Are you not living in the SRO any longer?

Peter AU1 | Apr 21 2020 3:11 utc | 449

There are indeed always survivors, less clear to me is if they just survived the virus, had some sort of natural immunity, or never caught it.

I just read the diamond princess on wiki. They ended up with about a 20% infection rate, with what is described as a botched quarantine. It did say that the applied quarantine reduced the number of cases by about 2300.

There were 3700 passengers and crew, about 700 cases, and the quarantine reduced the cases by 2300. So, 2300 + 700 /3700 = 81%. So it seems that they had expected about 80% infection rate. Not sure how they arrived at the 2300 reduced cases statistic.

So, this makes me wonder if there are some people who have a natural immunity,
if there had been no quarantine, would 100% have become infected?

I guess at this point in time there is no way to know the answer to that, but here is at least one example of over 70% (assuming their assumption about the 2300 reduced cases is accurate).

Posted by: David F | Apr 21 2020 3:46 utc | 446



It could also be that the remaining 20% (above) were children or teenagers.

Posted by: David F | Apr 21 2020 3:48 utc | 447

The charts that show the real UK coronavirus death toll is much higher than first feared
Posted by: Bemildred | Apr 20 2020 13:45 utc | 289

I posted a detailed analysis of the statistics published by the UK Office for Nations Statistics a few days ago, I'd recommend you look that up, and look at the original data from the ONS. In fact the UK show the opposite of what the Telegraph dishonestly claims - Covid deaths are substantially overestimated, and deaths from heart disease and other causes are massively below the 5-year average, suggesting inappropriate recording of the cause of death. Furthermore, a proportion of the rise in death rates could well be interpreted to non-covid deaths from the lockdown. The data clearly show massive presentational manipulation of the data (especially, in the ONS case, by misrepresenting deaths as age-adjusted, and by consistently misrepresenting cause of death).

Posted by: BM | Apr 21 2020 3:55 utc | 448


But then again, I remember at least a few children have died from this, and I believe they have shown that children can be transmitters of the viurs, even though they rarely get sick from it.

So, I am back where I started. I don't understand how it won't spread to 100% infection if unchecked.

Posted by: David F | Apr 21 2020 4:04 utc | 449

David F

I find it safer to ignore anything that includes assumed. Diamond Princess somebody linked a breakdown of the age group on one of these threads. I dont think there were many children - under twenties. Heavier than the general population in the 50 to 70 age group I believe but then no nursing home segment which would be most at risk of death.

Infection may also depend on length of time a well person is in close proximity to an infected person. Viral load for an infection to take hold may differ from person to person.

Viral load makes me think about the relatively large number of medics (around 40 I think) in China that contracted the disease and died before they had sufficient PPE.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Apr 21 2020 4:06 utc | 450

Posted by: David F | Apr 21 2020 3:46 utc | 467 Are you not living in the SRO any longer?

Yup, still here. Like to get out of here in the next couple years - but then I said that two years ago. :-)

"So, this makes me wonder if there are some people who have a natural immunity, or if there had been no quarantine, would 100% have become infected?"

It's almost certain that some people do. Since they never get it, we'll never know. As someone once said, I think it was the guys who wrote "The Morning of the Magicians", we can see when a mutation produces a bad result - what do we do when it produces a good result that we can't see?

And then there's simple chance. The US has a lot of sparsely populated territory. Probably tons of people who might never be exposed to a contagious person. This is why people wearing masks while hiking in the National Forests makes zero sense. There are no virus particles roaming around out there (unless you run into a contagious person on the trail.)

These people who are never exposed might not have immunity to the virus. So if they're exposed, they would catch it. But if they stay away until "herd immunity" occurs, then most people they meet won't be contagious - because those persons immune systems killed the virus before they could become contagious - and they may never catch the virus. That's how herd immunity works, if I'm not badly mistaken.

Given my risk factors, that's what I have to hope for - that eventually the virus dies down enough that not many people are contagious. Or that a better treatment protocol is found that minimizes the death rate for vulnerable people - which is much more likely to happen sooner than either herd immunity or a vaccine.

Got some bad news today. Those five more KN95 masks I ordered from LA Police Gear were supposed to be delivered today. USPS says they were delivered in my mail box (the one in the lobby of the building.) They weren't there. Someone on the staff - or the mailman - probably stole them. So I'm out $50 or so. I filed a report with the Post Office, but it's highly unlikely that will result in anything. Lots of mask thefts from the mail and package deliveries I've heard...

Oh, well, I'll order more first of May or when the stimulus check comes in. Plus I have ten more coming "someday" from China. In the meantime, it's no problem to rotate the five I already have. I only use them outside the building and I only go out every 3-5 days for food errands. So it's no big deal (except for wasting $50.)

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Apr 21 2020 4:11 utc | 451

The head of the World Health Organization, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Gebreyesus, was a senior capo for the Tigray Peoples Liberation Front (TPLF) gangster mafia that ruled Ethiopia from 1991-2018. During that time he served as Health Minister and Foreign Minister, cementing his credentials as a member of the inner circle of what was one of if not the most corrupt, brutal and genocidal regimes to set foot on this planet in the past 30 years.

The Gangster Head of the WHO, by Thomas Mountain

New novel exposes World Health Organization Director-General’s role in crimes against humanity by former Ethiopian dictatorship, by Free Planet Publishing

Posted by: Avid Lurker | Apr 21 2020 4:14 utc | 452

Peter AU1 | Apr 21 2020 4:06 utc | 471

"I find it safer to ignore anything that includes assumed."

LOL. That sounds like good advice.

"Of the 3,711 people aboard Diamond Princess, 1,045 were crew and 2,666 were passengers. The median age of the crew was 36 while the median age of the passengers was 69. The passengers were 55% female and the crew was 81% male. Of the 712 infections, 145 occurred in crew and 567 occurred in passengers." 14 deaths, all passengers.

14% IFR Crew
21% IFR Passengers
.5% Death

The crew was exposed way more than the passengers, as they had to keep taking care of them.

I am beating myself to death trying to solve a puzzle that doesn't have all the pieces. I should quit doing that. ;)

I should be out watching the meteor shower, but right before sunset we had some storms roll in. Maybe tomorrow.

Posted by: David F | Apr 21 2020 4:18 utc | 453

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Apr 21 2020 4:06 utc | 471 Viral load for an infection to take hold may differ from person to person.

It may differ by strain of virus, too. There was a report from a Chinese study that I think was posted by me (getting lost in this stuff) or someone that said some strains appear to deliver a much higher viral load than others - or I guess more precisely, a much higher infection per viral load. More infectious, in any rate. I hope that study is replicated so we can see if it's accurate or not.

Here's that Chinese study:
Coronavirus’s ability to mutate has been vastly underestimated, and mutations affect deadliness of strains, Chinese study finds

Here's the actual report:
Patient-derived mutations impact pathogenicity of SARS-CoV-2

PDF Link:

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Apr 21 2020 4:25 utc | 454

Richard Steven Hack | Apr 21 2020 4:11 utc | 472

Another comment I saw made me think you had moved out. Too bad about the masks. I would think the five you have should be good for a while, by the time they wear out it should be easier to buy them then.

"This is why people wearing masks while hiking in the National Forests makes zero sense."

I agree, I was at the arboretum yesterday hiking around, and saw quite a few people wearing them in the woods, silly.

I have a few masks my housemate gave me (he is chinese, and his mother works in the medical field, she has access through family in china), but I only wear them when I go to the grocery store, clean and reuse. I put on a mask and gloves outside the store, and remove them shortly after I leave the store. Put my stuff away when I get home and wash my hands. I don't use the items I purchased for a few days. That should be sufficient as far as I can tell.

Posted by: David F | Apr 21 2020 4:27 utc | 455

Ironic !! Prof Knut Wittkowski at 10:20 min.:

Social distancing is good at preventing the sky from falling down.
Wittkowsk worked as an epidemiologist at the Rockefellar Univ. for 20 years.

Journeyman Pictures sits down with Prof Knut Wittkowski to discuss lockdowns, social-distancing and the best way to handle the spread of a new disease.”

Posted by: Avid Lurker | Apr 21 2020 4:30 utc | 456

Avid Lurker

Not to worry. US is now bringing democracy freedom and humanitarian.

Expatriate Ethiopians run numerous TV stations and online media which are beamed into Ethiopian homes or to smartphones more than 11,000 kilometres away in the motherland - often, in the past, with a message critical of the government.

At the same time, US foreign policy significantly influenced last year's seismic events and is helping the Ethiopian government prepare the country for crucial national elections in 2020.

A US House of Representative Congressional Delegation (Codel) has recently returned from a visit to Ethiopia and Eritrea.

During that visit, US Ambassador to Ethiopia Michael Raynor announced the US will be "embedding senior US government officials at key Ethiopian economic ministries and operations for a sustained period of time"....

...."Living in the US has a tremendous influence on how I perceive democracy and freedom of speech," says Gennet Negussie with the Ethiopian Advocacy Network, a grassroots collection of organisations promoting democracy, human rights and justice in Ethiopia, who has lived in the US since 1988.

"My experience in the US has opened my eyes and created a desire to get involved in changing the authoritarian government in Ethiopia and helping with the democratisation of Ethiopia so people have a say in the political system."

From wikipedia

Within 16 years, it grew from a few dozen men into the most powerful of the armed liberation movements in Ethiopia.[5] Leading a coalition of movements named the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) since 1989, and with the help of its ally, the Eritrean People's Liberation Front (EPLF), it inflicted a total military defeat on the dictatorial PDRE regime and established on 28 May 1991 a new government that has ruled Ethiopia ever since.[6] The TPLF and the EPLF are the only African liberation fronts whose armed struggle against a military vastly superior enemy, conducted as a "protracted peoples' war", ended with a total military victory and skillfully combined the struggle for national self-determination with radical socio-economic changes.[7]

If Tedros is a bad guy for the US and its trolls then he must be okay.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Apr 21 2020 4:30 utc | 457

David F @470:

So, I am back where I started. I don't understand how it won't spread to 100% infection if unchecked.

When the virus starts, one person can give it to anyone that he comes into contact with. When 50% are recovered/immune then about half of the people that an infected person comes into contact with can't get the virus. So the rate of spread slows.

When there are enough people that are recovered/immune then the rate of spread goes under 1 and the virus dies out because it gets passed to fewer and fewer people.

The more virulent the virus is, the greater the number of people that have to be infected for 'herd immunity' to work. For SARS-COV-2, that number is estimated to be much higher than 70%. I've seen an estimate of something over 80%.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Apr 21 2020 4:33 utc | 458

This may be bad news for at least lab technicians...

Coronavirus can survive long exposure to high temperature, a threat to lab staff around world: paper
French scientists had to bring the temperature to almost boiling point to kill virus
Results have implications for the safety of lab technicians working with the virus

The virus infectiousness was reduced, but enough remained to enable an infection. In short, this thing is tougher than Ebola.

More bad news:

Coronavirus that causes Covid-19 can produce more than three times as many pathogens than Sars strain, HKU study reveals
Dr Chu Hin of HKU says Sars-CoV-2 can replicate 100 times within 48 hours, while the Sars virus replicated about 10 to 20 times at its peak
There is almost no possibility to contain the virus before July because not many people have developed immunity yet, microbiologist Yuen Kwok-yung says

Despite reproducing more efficiently, the new virus induced slower immune and inflammatory responses, according to the study. Unlike the Sars virus, the Sars-CoV-2 almost did not induce any signalling protein interferons within 48 hours, which is key in triggering the immune system to counteract against the virus.

Singapore lost control...

Coronavirus Singapore: 100 to 1,000 infections in one month. What happened?
Despite the city state’s strict contact-tracing, quarantining and travel restrictions, a second wave of infections from returning residents and local transmissions saw cases spike from 100 to 1,000 in one month
Experts say people need to take social distancing more seriously

Like Rambo said: "Nothing is easy! You just can't turn it off!"

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Apr 21 2020 4:34 utc | 459

@ Posted by: fairleft | Apr 21 2020 3:17 utc | 452

This antibody hypothesis has already been clarified by the WHO.

We don't know yet the degree in which the antibody correspondent to COVID-19 occurs naturally in a random sample of human beings. Not every individual who has the antibody necessarily ever contracted the SARS-CoV-2.

That's why antibody tests, for now, are pretty much useless: we've tested so few people so far that we still don't know the minimum concentration which is indicative of infection/previous infection.

Here's how an antibody test works:

A serology test looks for signs of an immune response — in this case, to the new coronavirus.

When your body encounters a virus, it takes some time for it to recognize the invader and to begin to scale up an immune response. Immune molecules called antibodies are a crucial part of this response.

The first type of antibody to appear is called immunoglobulin M or IgM, and its levels spike within a few days of infection. But IgM is a generic fighter. To target and destroy a specific virus, the body refines it into a second type of antibody, called immunoglobulin G, or IgG, that can recognize that virus.
As IgG levels rise, IgM levels drop; IgG levels peak around 28 days after the onset of infection.

There is a third type of antibody, called IgA, that is present in mucosal tissues — like the inner lining of the lung. IgA is known to be important for fighting respiratory infections such as influenza, and is likely to be central in coronavirus infection, too.

Many of the tests being developed look for levels of all three antibodies; some look for just IgM and IgG, and still others test for only one type.

In other words, they can't find an extremely specific antibody that 100% indicates you had SARS-CoV-2.

The C.D.C.’s project is one of dozens. The World Health Organization is also planning to test large numbers of people in multiple countries. Some universities, townships and countries have begun testing on their own as well.

But “serological tests are plagued with issues,” Dr. Rasmussen said, and problems are surfacing even as these tests proceed.

In the U.K., for example, the tests are plagued with false negatives (not picking up antibodies when they’re present) and with false positives (indicating antibodies when there are none). Some of the tests may not be specific enough to the new coronavirus; they may pick up a signal from antibodies made in response to infections with the coronaviruses that cause common colds.

False positives, in particular, are dangerous because they can lull people into believing they are immune when they are not, and becoming exposed to the virus. “Certainly if somebody thinks that they’re protected and they’re not, that would be a problem,” Dr. Rasmussen said.

If someone is immune to the virus, how long will the immunity last?

We don’t know.

To make things worse:

Most of the tests being developed offer a simple yes-no answer to the question of who has antibodies, and who was exposed to the virus. But simply having antibodies is no guarantee of immunity.

“Being immune means that if you’re exposed to the virus, your immune system will clear the virus out before it can establish a productive infection,” Dr. Rasmussen said.

Some people — because they had mild or no symptoms, for example — might have developed antibodies that are too weak to prevent re-infection. Conversely, others who have low levels of IgG may still be protected.

That’s because antibodies are just one well-understood piece of the immune response. Immune cells called T-cells may also be involved. “A lot less is known about how these different parts of the immune system work together to provide protective immunity,” Dr. Rasmussen said.

Long story short: even if you find an honest antibody test (which you'll probably won't, as there are a lot of snake oil salesmen in this market), you still don't know the virus' capacity of mutation, i.e. how long will your so-called "immunity" will last.

Posted by: vk | Apr 21 2020 4:38 utc | 460

Several commenters have noted that the studies fairleft presents are flawed. But even if these studies are somewhat right, there's still a long way to go before 'hurd immunity' is reached. Already in USA about 42,000 people have already died. Getting to hurd immunity (as fairleft seems to prefer) could mean that that number is many times greater, possibly an order of magnitude greater.

But in addition to unnecessary deaths on a large scale, many who recover from Covid-19 will have some degree of lung scarring (pulmonary fibrosis) - a permanent condition that can cause complications that lead to death years later.

And who know what other complications might be cause by a virus that we still don't understand? Human papillomavirus (HPV) can cause cancer years later.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Apr 21 2020 4:41 utc | 461

Jackrabbit | Apr 21 2020 4:33 utc | 479

That makes sense. From that I can deduce that it would have to be introduced to everyone at nearly the same time, say within 3-6 weeks or so (which I believe is the length of time it takes for the illness to run its course), in order to reach 100% saturation.

For every week that goes past that initial period the number of people who have recovered and are now immune increases. This probably explains the WHO's 50-70% infection rate numbers, perhaps 80% as you mentioned.

I am going to guess there is a mathematical function that would show that the number would max out at a certain point well below 100%. I am going to see if I can find that function.

I think it safe to presume that number only applies to a current outbreak, and that with recurrent outbreaks everyone gets it eventually.

Like the flu, no one gets through life without catching it at least once.

Thanks, JR.


I just got an email that Tomás Pueyo has posted a new article. I will check it out tomorrow.

Posted by: David F | Apr 21 2020 4:57 utc | 462

Posted by: David F | Apr 21 2020 4:27 utc | 476 I put on a mask and gloves outside the store, and remove them shortly after I leave the store. Put my stuff away when I get home and wash my hands. I don't use the items I purchased for a few days. That should be sufficient as far as I can tell.

Proper protocol is to wash your hands before putting on the mask, and only handle it by the straps - no touching the outside and especially not the inside. Before removing the mask, wash your hands. After removing the mask, wash your hands. Store the mask in a paper bag (not plastic) in a cool, dry place for at least four days.

When I go out, I treat my hands as contaminated from the minute I go out the door. No touching my face. The mask goes on before leaving the room. When I get back, I remove my shoes first and store them. Then I remove my jacket - not great, but hard to wash hands wearing it. I also remove any change I got from the store and stuff that in my coin holders for redemption later. Then I wash my hands. Then I remove the mask and store it. Then I wash hands again. For good measure, I use some hand sanitizer (I still have half a bottle.)

When I wash my hands, I follow the procedure I found from a medical site for doctors dealing with the virus. It was for hand sanitizer, but I follow the same procedure with soap and water. I run the soap over the palms and backs of my hands, then work up a good lather. Then I put my fingertips together to concentrate the pressure and rub all over the front and backs of the hands and wrist area. Then I rub them some more with open fingers for good measure. Then I clasp the fingers of one hand in the palm of the other and rub back and forth. Repeat reversing the hands. Then I rub the webbing of the fingers with the fingers of the other hand, and repeat reversing. Then I stiffen the fingers and run them back and forth between the fingers of the other hand, then reverse the hands.

This results in *very* clean hands - surgical quality, probably. :-)

I don't worry too much about not touching my mouth, nose or eyes. That's another impossible task. As long as your hands are clean, I don't think it's that big a deal.

I don't worry about the packages - I dump them out before washing hands, then store them after. So the bag is trashed before washing hands. I figure the probability of any virus load that might have gotten on the individual packages from either the cashier or someone else surviving on the package during the walk home is relatively minimal. I don't trust coin change, however. But there is the possibility that a package of food or other item might have virus on it. The cashier is wearing gloves and they are supposed to clean surfaces before every customer - but you can guarantee they don't always. So anything is possible.

There's an unknown probability relating to how often that package one picks up has been handled by some contagious customer and whether the store is spraying with antivirals and how long the package has been sitting there, contagious or not. It's simply impossible to be sure, short of spraying every package the minute you get home with antivirals. I don't have that much antiseptic spray to expend on that process. If I did, maybe I would.

I suppose I could adopt the policy of wiping down all packages with hydrogen peroxide. I do have that stuff - just bought two more bottles today. I use it in a cup to hold my toothbrush to help kill germs. I believe it kills viruses nicely. A study showed it kills most viruses within 1-30 minutes. I thought it would be sold out at Target, but they had more than usual there.

In the end, it's still a crap shoot. There's only so much you can do short of wearing a full-body hazmat suit 24x7.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Apr 21 2020 4:59 utc | 463

Adding @482:

Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation Statement on COVID-19 (April 6):

... In a subset of those COVID-19 ARDS survivors, lung fibrosis develops.

Post-ARDS fibrosis and pulmonary fibrosis that occurs in interstitial lung disease (ILD) have distinct differences. ILDs are chronic and progressive in nature. Post-ARDS fibrosis typically is not progressive, but nonetheless can be severe and limiting. The recovery period for post-ARDS fibrosis is approximately one year and the residual deficits persist, but generally do not progress.

The possibility of shared mechanisms of fibrosis between ARDS cases and chronic ILDs raises the potential that therapies that treat ILDs could also be beneficial for COVID-19 associated lung disease.

However, at this time, there is no known cure for pulmonary fibrosis regardless of its cause.

If a vaccine is impossible to produce due to mutations and someone gets re-infected with a different strand of the virus will they be more susceptible to death because they had lung damage from Covid-19? At this point, I don't think anyone knows.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Apr 21 2020 5:04 utc | 464

Adding @482:

Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation Statement on COVID-19 (April 6):

... In a subset of those COVID-19 ARDS survivors, lung fibrosis develops.

Post-ARDS fibrosis and pulmonary fibrosis that occurs in interstitial lung disease (ILD) have distinct differences. ILDs are chronic and progressive in nature. Post-ARDS fibrosis typically is not progressive, but nonetheless can be severe and limiting. The recovery period for post-ARDS fibrosis is approximately one year and the residual deficits persist, but generally do not progress.

The possibility of shared mechanisms of fibrosis between ARDS cases and chronic ILDs raises the potential that therapies that treat ILDs could also be beneficial for COVID-19 associated lung disease.

However, at this time, there is no known cure for pulmonary fibrosis regardless of its cause.

If a vaccine is impossible to produce due to mutations and someone gets re-infected with a different strand of the virus will they be more susceptible to death because they had lung damage from Covid-19? At this point, I don't think anyone knows.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Apr 21 2020 5:04 utc | 465

Richard Steven Hack | Apr 21 2020 4:59 utc | 484

I can walk from my house to the store without touching anything but my own front door before I put on gloves and mask. I could be a little more careful, but like you said, short of a hazmat suit is a roll of the die.

I am outta here, talk to you later.

Posted by: David F | Apr 21 2020 5:09 utc | 466

In essence, Fauci is part of the in-crowd and a fraud...

"The Remarkable Doctor A. Fauci," 15.04.2020 by F. William Engdahl. Is Anthony Fauci the Bernie Madoff of AIDS and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?": Podcast by Charles Ortleb. Spela = play.

"Fauci dismisses 'conspiracy theory' of overstated US Covid-19 death toll

“ … The question still hangs in the air: Why do national and regional governments appear to be going out of their way to inflate the Covid19 death statistics?

Dr Jensen has his own idea:

Well, fear is a great way to control people, and I worry about that. I worry that sometimes we’re just so interested in jazzing up the fear factor, that…you know, sometimes people’s ability to think for themselves is paralyzed if they’re frightened enough. …"

"Dr Scott Jensen Reveals “Ridiculous” Covid-19 Guidance.

"Bill Gates and the Depopulation Agenda. Robert F. Kennedy Junior Calls for an Investigation," By Peter Koenig. "Now Mr. Gates and his allies, including Big-Pharma, WHO, UNICEF, Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of NIAID / NIH, a close ally of Mr. Gates – and of course, Agenda ID2020, are proposing to (force) vaccinate 7 billion people around the globe, with their concoction of a (so far) untested coronavirus vaccine."

"Bill Gates and the Depopulation Agenda. Robert F. Kennedy Junior Calls for an Investigation.

Posted by: Avid Lurker | Apr 21 2020 5:11 utc | 467

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Apr 21 2020 4:33 utc | 479

The more virulent the virus is, the greater the number of people that have to be infected for 'herd immunity' to work. For SARS-COV-2, that number is estimated to be much higher than 70%. I've seen an estimate of something over 80%.

So why do you support vainly trying to prevent that with a program which can't work, can only delay the inevitable while adding such a long list of evils, from the Wall Street plunder expedition and escalation of the police state to what's likely a high rate of fatalities from other health problems because people fear/have been discouraged from going to the hospital, to the destructive assault on human freedom, happiness, and mental health?

If the rationale of "flattening the curve" so as not to "overwhelm the health care system" was ever anything more than propaganda, it certainly no longer has any validity - it's well documented that hospitals everywhere are at well below capacity.

Posted by: Russ | Apr 21 2020 5:17 utc | 468

Food for thought: Given the massive enemployment being created in the US due to lockdowns, how many deaths per annum can be attrbuted to social caıse, like poverty. A study here taking data from 2000 reads.

"Objectives. We estimated the number of deaths attributable to social factors in the United States.

Methods. We conducted a MEDLINE search for all English-language articles published between 1980 and 2007 with estimates of the relation between social factors and adult all-cause mortality. We calculated summary relative risk estimates of mortality, and we obtained and used prevalence estimates for each social factor to calculate the population-attributable fraction for each factor. We then calculated the number of deaths attributable to each social factor in the United States in 2000.

Results. Approximately 245 000 deaths in the United States in 2000 were attributable to low education, 176 000 to racial segregation, 162 000 to low social support, 133 000 to individual-level poverty, 119 000 to income inequality, and 39 000 to area-level poverty.

Conclusions. The estimated number of deaths attributable to social factors in the United States is comparable to the number attributed to pathophysiological and behavioral causes. These findings argue for a broader public health conceptualization of the causes of mortality and an expansive policy approach that considers how social factors can be addressed to improve the health of populations."

So, when and how do we end the lockdowns in order to avoid the massive numbers of increased deaths that may accrue due to our ill thought out social and economic lockdown? Let's hope Covid19 like its corona virus cousins doesn't like the summer heat and sun.

Posted by: Blue Dotterel | Apr 21 2020 5:18 utc | 469

One more crap problem: I've notice that my KN95 masks don't seal well around the bridge of the nose. I think these masks are designed for a smaller Chinese face than a Caucasian one. I see this because my glasses fog up and there is a visible opening around the bridge of my nose underneath my eyes. There's no apparent actual metal clip on these masks I have. So cinching the part of the mask that is supposed to tighten around the nose bridge is not terribly effective. If it was proper, presumably no air could get up and out to fog up my glasses.

Supposedly washing the glasses in soapy water, shaking off the excess, then letting them air dry leaves a surface film that prevents fogging. Yeah, but that doesn't deal with the issue of the bad seal.

The other suggestion is to fashion some sort of metal nose clip like some masks have. Not sure I have anything to do that with. The usual suggestion seems to be those bendable metal tabs that hold folders. I don't have any of that.

Oh, well, as they say, better than nothing.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Apr 21 2020 5:19 utc | 470

Posted by: Blue Dotterel | Apr 21 2020 5:18 utc | 489 So, when and how do we end the lockdowns in order to avoid the massive numbers of increased deaths that may accrue due to our ill thought out social and economic lockdown? Let's hope Covid19 like its corona virus cousins doesn't like the summer heat and sun.

Wouldn't count on that. And then there's the likelihood that it will return in the fall - and that would likely be exacerbated by a too-soon loosening of restrictions.

The problem, as I've mentioned before, is that US fucked up. And continues to fuck up until some Orange Mophead in the White House gets his head out of his ass and green lights a program to massively improve testing, tracing and isolating - all necessary before the lockdown can be loosened, as the articles I've posted have said explicitly. Which he does not appear to be doing, as those articles also point out.

So in answer to your question: We know how. What we don't know is when - because we don't know when the US can get its head out of its ass. My best guess would be at least fall *if* they start *now* to build out the necessary infrastructure.

If anyone sees any evidence of that happening, post links. And I don't mean links to "promises", I mean links to actual programs funded and running.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Apr 21 2020 5:27 utc | 471

On 30 June 2019, a pneumonia of unknown cause at Greenspring Nursing Home, fifteen minutes from Fort Belvoir in Virginia, killed 3 and sickened 54. On 9th July another pneumonia of unknown cause was reported in Alexandria, Virginia, and all lung images showed the ‘ground glass’ shadow typical of Covid-19. Coincidentally the CDC (Centre for Disease Control and Prevention in the United States of America) chose that date to withdraw the only American epidemiologist embedded with Beijing’s CCDC (Chinese Centre for Disease Control and Prevention).…/health-officials-to…/135890/ The following week a pneumonia epidemic was reported at a nursing home in Burke, VA and the Virginia State Health Bureau banned collective activities and began screening residents in assisted care facilities and requiring enhanced hygiene. In early August the CDC expanded its pneumonia patient detection system and, in an unprecedented civilian intervention in military affairs, shut down the Army’s main military biowarfare lab (and Superfund site), Fort Detrick, MD where, a senior scientist said, the atmosphere was one of “fear and mistrust.” In late August, the Virginia Department of Health confirmed three more cases of severe lung illness of unknown origin. Between August-October, 2,500 patients reported gastrointestinal symptoms beginning before respiratory symptoms, with fever, elevated heart rate, and elevated white blood cell count–all symptoms typical of Covid-19. Many sought ambulatory care several times before hospitalization and their lung images showed a ‘ground glass’ shadow. Fifty percent needed intubation, many required supplemental oxygen, and some required assisted ventilation. Fifty-three died and the cause of the outbreak remains unexplained. A similar outbreak was occurring in Italy. On 15th November 2019 the Deputy Director of the CIA participated in a pandemic tabletop exercise, Event 201, that modeled a fictional coronavirus pandemic and, after years of reducing headcount, the CDC began hiring quarantine managers. The Military World Games were held in Wuhan during the week of October 18th through the 27th in 2019, just as the SARS-CoV-2 virus first started hospitalizing people in Wuhan, China. These games hosted 10,000 service members from over 100 countries.These games hosted 10,000 service members from over 100 countries. These countries were among the first 100 to report isolated outbreaks of Coronavirus without any inconsistencies. The other nations that reported infections could be linked to people who had layovers at the same airports traversed by competitors at the Military World Games. The US Military Games team trained at Fort Belvoir (Virginia) before competing in the 7th CISM Military World Games in Wuhan, China in mid-October 2019. On 30 June 2019, a pneumonia of unknown cause at Greenspring, a nursing home fifteen minutes from Fort Belvoir. On December 31st 2019 ... Medical doctors in Wuhan, China reported to health officials in Beijing that several patients from Wuhan were afflicted with a novel Coronavirus similar to that of other Coronavirus strains such as SARS... At first it was believed the Wuhan Seafood Market, known as a "wet market," was the point of origin as initial patients could be linked to it.

Posted by: Ray Bergmann | Apr 21 2020 5:35 utc | 472

So you're not expected to die from Covid-19 lung scarring but you may be disabled and are likely more susceptible to/endangered by lung-related ailments.

Also, from what I've read at Reddit, 3/4's of SARS survivors suffered from chronic fatique syndrome. As this is a virus related to SARS, it seems quite possible that we may see cfs develop in survivors. That would entail a lengthy recovery period where the survivors can't work and need support.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Apr 21 2020 5:42 utc | 473

In the end, it's still a crap shoot. There's only so much you can do short of wearing a full-body hazmat suit 24x7. Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Apr 21 2020 4:59 utc | 484

Mr Hack,

Do you happen to be chasing a casting interview for the lead COVID-19 Chicken Little role ?? The smart money says that you're a guaranteed shoe-in !! Well done.

Posted by: Avid Lurker | Apr 21 2020 5:45 utc | 474

As far as public opposition to the police state lockdown coming almost only from MAGA types, this is yet another example of the complete abdication and worthlessness of "the left" which leaves a vacuum that's filled by right-populism.

Just like with Brexit, just like with the American opportunity for a populist movement truly against Wall Street, corporate rule, the Pentagon, the police state.

As we saw with Brexit, erstwhile "anti-globalists" ran home to globalist mama the moment the chips were down. Today we see the vastly more profound phenomenon of almost all self-alleged "anti-authoritarians" running home to police state mama.

When everyone who ever claimed to hold human principles and who filled most of the ideological leadership space among the "alternative" set then not only abdicates but flips 180 degrees to embrace the very system they'd always claimed to oppose, that can do nothing but throw the whole space wide open to fascism.

And if the people do embrace classical fascism, a major cause will be this revelation of the complete fraudulence of all who ever claimed to fight for an alternative.

Posted by: Russ | Apr 21 2020 5:45 utc | 475

If You Still Don't Understand How China Succeeded Stopping the Virus, Read This and Be Forever Enlightened

Probably the definitive account...


Or do you still believe the latest CIA "Intelligence" report and other media on how things are still bad in China, which by the way are just trying to make you feel better about how bad things are there instead?

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Apr 21 2020 5:47 utc | 476

In the end, it's still a crap shoot. There's only so much you can do short of wearing a full-body hazmat suit 24x7. Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Apr 21 2020 4:59 utc | 484

My bad, I inadvertently just fed a troll most likely...

Posted by: Avid Lurker | Apr 21 2020 5:54 utc | 477

David F

I keep going back to puzzles like this too.

Some interesting early work on Diamond Princess stats here. Done at the time when there were 619 confirmed cases and 7 deaths.
Using numbers from Wuhan, they projected 15.5 deaths (13.5-17.1)
Currently 13 deaths with 55 active and 7 serious-critical cases still running - according to worldometers.

Graph showing age group breakdown of passengers.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Apr 21 2020 5:59 utc | 478

They arrived as refugees from American wars in Balkans/Middle Eastern/Africa and never left. Now it seems Sweden want get rid of their immigrant pop. Swedish social democracy has a history of eugenics. My fellow countryman Hitler was very fond of it.

Posted by: Nick | Apr 21 2020 6:00 utc | 479

And here's the latest from Tomas Pueyo, which will be posted in parts since he says it's a long one...

Coronavirus: Learning How to Dance

Taiwan was supposed to suffer a massive outbreak due to its proximity and close ties with China. Instead, as of April 19th it ranks 104th in number of coronavirus cases, with about 400 in total and just a couple of new cases per day. Andorra, 300 times smaller in terms of population, has twice the number of cases.

Taiwan achieved this despite having no business closures, no preemptive school closures, and no bans on social gatherings. Taiwan just didn’t need to suffer the massive costs that other countries have had to endure. How did they do it?

Taiwan’s level of preparedness is jaw-dropping. This is a list of over 100 measures they took before March. Here are some examples, from the list and other sources:

Early and strict travel bans, updated every day.
They centralized the management of mask production, starting at 2.4 million per day (twice their need of 1.3 million at the time).
They set the price to avoid profiteering, initially at USD $0.50 per mask.
The penalty for price gouging for masks and other key items became 1–7 years in jail and a fine up to USD $167,000.
The spread of fake news could be fined with USD $100,000.
Proactive detection of cases: They tested all people who had previously had flu symptoms but tested negative for flu, finding some coronavirus patients.

All of the above happened BEFORE Wuhan even shut down! Then, they continued:

Soldiers were mobilized to produce masks.
The official price of masks was eventually down to ~$0.20 by the end of February.
Eventually, they ramped up production to 10 million masks per day (for a population of 23 million) before the end of March. Masks were rationed and their export banned.
Travel and healthcare databases were connected, so healthcare professionals could know who was at a higher risk of being infected. The Taiwanese CDC could track what was happening on the field in real time.
It triaged travelers based on their risk, from free to enter the country with self-monitoring to mandated quarantines.
Quarantine support with food and encouragement.
Enforcement of the quarantine through people’s existing phone signals. If they don’t have a phone, the government provides them with one. An alert is sent to the authorities if the handset is turned off for more than 15 minutes.
Persons who were not compliant with home quarantine orders were turned over to law enforcement and tracked by police officers. A couple was fined USD $10,000 for breaking the 14-day home quarantine rule.

If the world was a class and each country was a student passing a coronavirus exam, Taiwan is acing the test. And it’s offering to help. If I were another student, I would take that offer.

There are a couple of things to highlight. First, the country was able to do that because the Taiwanese CDC was ready and had broad powers from its experience of SARS in 2003.

Second, they acted fast and heavily, mandating new country-wide measures every day.

Third, they connected the healthcare data with the travel data and fed positives to the police. They appear to use standard human tracing techniques, combined with healthcare and travel data, but not with phone-based mobility data or credit cards as far as we could tell—unless you’re infected. They have only suffered around 400 cases as of April 20th, which makes their caseload manageable.

I can just imagine the dumb troll MAGA types loving that degree of contact tracing. LOL

I don't either, but you do what you have to do to keep people alive. The real problem will be reversing that stuff once the crisis is over - in two years or whenever...

South Korea was the first country in the world to beat a coronavirus outbreak without a country-wide Hammer. No country-wide closure of restaurants, factories, shops. No shelter-in-place. No ban of events above a certain size.

What did they do? They used a small Hammer and a Scalpel.

The South Korean government has access to mobile phone data, credit card data, and CCTV data during epidemics, the result of a law approved after the MERS outbreak:

“We had laws revised to prioritize social security over individual privacy at times of infectious disease crises.” — Dr. Ki, via the New York Times

With that information, they know where people went. They then release that information publicly (stripped of personal identifiers) so that other people can figure out if they might have crossed paths with an infected person. They detail hour-by-hour, sometimes minute-by-minute, timelines of infected people’s travel — which buses they took, when and where they got on and off, even whether they were wearing masks.

If you are negative, if you recover, or if you are just potentially exposed, you are quarantined at home. You must download another app that tells the police if you go outside. This service is assisted by a local monitoring team that calls twice daily to make sure you stay put and to ask about your symptoms. The fine for leaving is $8,000 and as much as a year in jail.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Apr 21 2020 6:02 utc | 480

Richard Steven Hack 496

Your tinyurl link has a bug. My anti virus blocked the site from opening and sending warnings. Again just after clicking out of the window as well.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Apr 21 2020 6:04 utc | 481

Richard Steven Hack 496

Your tinyurl link has a bug. My anti virus blocked the site from opening and sending warnings. Again just after clicking out of the window as well.

Mr. Hack is about as trustworthy as a three dollar bill.

Posted by: Avid Lurker | Apr 21 2020 6:12 utc | 482

@479 Jackrabbit that is also my crude understanding of the 70% infection figure.

Basically, I think of it this way: by the time 70% of the population have contracted the disease then a still-contagious person faces a solid wall of recovered (i.e. immune) people standing between himself and the remaining 30% of the popln that hasn't contracted the disease.

Statistically-speaking, that wall becomes insurmountable and so the outbreak dies out before it can finish the job of infecting 100% of the population.

Or something like that. I'm sure there is some mathematical equation that explains it more precisely.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Apr 21 2020 6:18 utc | 483

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Apr 21 2020 6:04 utc | 501
Try this one:
Coronavirus: Learning How to Dance

Posted by: hopehely | Apr 21 2020 6:25 utc | 484

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Apr 21 2020 5:27 utc | 491

There are municipal and state governments in the federal republic as well. The states I understand can declare emergencies and act without the federal government, if necessary. The people if informed (not all are lunatics such as those in your building)can bring pressure to bear on these governments, as well as the federal government.

I agree, the feds are controled by the oligarchs, but the municipalities and state legislatures are more vulnerable to public pressure. Its the people that need to pressure the governments with their pragmatic ideas to fight both the virus and the economic disaster in the making.

I am not a USAian, but think that there still is some way to coordinate people and bring some rational discussion and action to bear on the situation. We know that the virus will probably make a global comeback in the late fall, if not earlier (given its particular characteristics), so we know we must pressure the governments to improve the health care situation, and the financial situation of the states. The latter can be done by creating state banks, similar to N. Dakotas, where the state government can borrow money and pay interest back to themeselves, thus relieving some economic pressure on taxpayers. This can also done, perhaps, by instituting a temporary state wealth tax on fixed property owned by individuals, corporations and financial institutes with a certain amount of revenue flow. The state bank can be used to help protect the more vulnerable in society, including making loans to small businesses or even grants. Of course, social distancing, face masks, protecting the most vulnerable to the virus, will likely still be required.

In a war time like crisis, these kinds of actions have been and can be enacted quite quickly. It simply requires the people to put pressure on their governments to act.

Posted by: Blue Dotterel | Apr 21 2020 7:09 utc | 485

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Apr 21 2020 6:04 utc | 501 Your tinyurl link has a bug. My anti virus blocked the site from opening and sending warnings. Again just after clicking out of the window as well.

Opens fine for me. I'm running Firefox on Linux. Are you on Windows? Perhaps your AV is giving a false - or even not false - warning. Any virus on that page probably won't run on Linux, since most are designed for Windows.

That's a LinkedIn page, by the way. Do a search for the page on LinkedIn under the name "Mario Cavolo", the author. He's apparently a guy living in China, who has written 77 articles on LinkedIn.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Apr 21 2020 7:31 utc | 486

Posted by: hopehely | Apr 21 2020 6:25 utc | 504 Posted by: Peter AU1 | Apr 21 2020 6:04 utc | 501
Try this one: Coronavirus: Learning How to Dance

I think we're confused. I think Peter is referring to the article by the guy living in China on LinkedIn, not the Tomas Pueyo article.

Correct me if I'm wrong, Peter.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Apr 21 2020 7:33 utc | 487

Posted by: Blue Dotterel | Apr 21 2020 7:09 utc | 505 There are municipal and state governments in the federal republic as well.

The problem is that in the US states are likely to compete among themselves or be disorganized (as some already are.) And few states outside of maybe California have the financial resources to do it themselves. The state - all of them - need to pressure the central government to get it done. A lot of people have said that only the central government can muster the resources and coordinate a program nation-wide to handle the necessary ramp up.

And of course, everything you suggest will take time, if done by the states. It won't be done fast enough compared to what the Feds can do - if they want to.

And the problem with people putting pressure on the government is that these days, it usually just doesn't happen. First, because the population doesn't believe it will work (because it hasn't so many times), and second, because the government is no longer controlled by the population - it's controlled by oligarchs and corporations and entrenched interest groups.

I don't like it, either - remember, I'm an anarchist - but I suspect they're correct. I really don't expect anything to be resolved any time soon. I'm just hoping they come up with an effective treatment to reduce fatalities among the infected. And that is as likely to come out of China or some other country as the US.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Apr 21 2020 7:42 utc | 488

In the process of looking up this Cavolo guy on LinkedIn, I found another rant by him which is really heavy.

Here's his own description of his page:

Mario Cavolo is based in China for 21 years. He is an Italian American author, writer and national media commentator on China and international relations. Mario also recently accepted invitations to be a non-resident Senior Fellow, Center for China & Globalization in Bejing, and as a contributor to Huawei's Global KOL leadership platform. So, in other words, if you're anti-China, you probably already don't like this guy very much. Far more important though, is the universal message of this article, to our world's leaders and billionaires as we face the worst rapidly escalating crisis of our lifetimes.

Here is his latest article:

There is No Choice. This is What Must Happen. Its Up To The Billionaires.

I used a shorter version of the link this time - I think the last article link had a "tracker" attached at the end by LinkedIn, which may be why Peter's AV went off...

They have swindled and yanked the American capitalist system and society (that's you) and now the virus pandemic is shining a spotlight on what they did. They have taken all the money, trillions upon trillions and placed it in their own billionaire's and multi-millionaires' bank accounts. It was just a shift. What they did is they used rules and laws just to shift the money because they figured out they could. When needed, they actually adjusted the laws to make the swindling legal. Then after they got caught, none of them went to jail. There were no prosecutions, remember? But we do remember twenty years earlier when bond trader Michael Milkin went to jail for his egregious bond scheme, yet that was miniscule in size compared to what these rascals have pulled off since. It all began in sync with the Clinton era repeal of the Glass Steagall Act; the risk trade avenues to do so became available and they ran amok in the system, leveraging it up far beyond where it was ever intended. Just ask Goldman Sachs who spent the past twenty years mastering the art of blowing industry and sector asset bubbles like they were playing a game of musical chairs, stuffing billions in fees into their coffers while doing for the society exactly what?

Nothing. Absolutely nothing but sucking it dry to the bone.

Don't believe me? Here, just consider this one single statistic. And again, if you can prove me wrong or whatever, add your comments below.

According to OxFam, the world's billionaires combined have an estimated




So in other words, the billionaires could give the world half of it now, that's $12 TRILLION. And they would STILL possess the other $12 trillion in cash PLUS all of their other assets including their massive businesses, stocks, bonds, private jets, Bentleys, mansions and super yachts.

Imagine this. A $12 TRILLION CASH contribution to stave off the societal meltdown of the century would not make one tiny iota of a difference to any one of them.

Here, let's imagine something together. You're relatively poor, right? Let's say you only have $20,000 in the bank. Next week it suddenly dawns on you that in fact you are worth $50 MILLION dollars because I put it in your bank account. Take a day and figure out for yourself how that is an indescribably massive sum of money. Next, take half of it, $25 MILLION and immediately give it back to me. Take another day and figure out for yourself how even $25 MILLION is still an indescribably massive sum of money!

And now do the same thing with BILLIONS, even tens of billions, because that's what these rascals have done to our society, our economy and to you. $2.5 Billion is 100X larger than $25 MILLION. That's 100 $25 MILLION stacks.

And Jeff Bezos and Zuckerberg and Dorsey and Bloomberg and on and on and on, these guys are worth upward of FIFTY to ONE HUNDRED BILLION, though I can't speculate how much cash they have. Who cares. They could sell off a TINY PITTANCE of their stock to give BILLIONS to their society. Wait, you say, some of them do, some of them are donating. You're missing the point then. For a single individual person to be worth such billions upon billions while the world around them is deteriorating in misery and death speaks even more clearly to the cancer that has corrupted the American capitalist system which was previously the standard bearer of the world for all family households to be able to live a decent, comfortable life. Now it comes alive how it is the world's sword of destruction at the hands of the elites who mostly turn a blind eye. Ask any hard working middle class family and they will exactly describe to you how this has been taken away from them. Once again, where did the money go? Into the hands of the billionaires, adding billions to the billions they already had and you STILL don't have reasonable healthcare and mothers STILL don't have paid maternity leave and a job to go back to, What sense is this? Where is the morality and ethics in any of what the elites and powerful have done to our society?

There's a lot more where that quote came from. He really rants about this - should go over well with all the socialists here. LOL And me, since I don't like corrupt rich people, either.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Apr 21 2020 7:57 utc | 489

this blog is infected with the virus of weak cowardly americans.
the fear is making you shit in your pants.
you worry about your country.
i worry about mine.

Sven H.

Posted by: svenH | Apr 21 2020 8:25 utc | 490

I don't post often, but came across this pdf on a different forum and i don't know whether it's been posted before, if so my apologies. However, it's a report for the "Influenza vaccination and respiratory virus interference among department of defense personnel during the 2017-2018 influenza season"

Certainly makes one wonder?

Posted by: aye, myself & me | Apr 21 2020 9:03 utc | 491

In response to the question " how can the governed use human crisis, like pandemics, to weaken the focusing power of the grid surveillance system used by those who rule the nation states? Without information those who govern cannot operate their feedback systems effectively. Without informants the politicians might be forced to obey the needs and demands of the masses instead of complying with Oligarch dictated orders?

Behavior of the governed is controlled to target goals, and adjusted to maintain those target goals, in accord to the information the surveillance system reports back to those who manage the nation state system. How visible we are is called the resolving power. The global world, 8 billion humans strong world, divided by name space into a 15 units wide * each 15 units deep (squares on the checker board, AKA cells) they form 225 cells (each nation state name can be assigned to be the name of a particular cell). If more cells are needed make a 16 square wide by a 16 square deep checker board (16*16 grid) on a piece of paper. (make a list of all nation state names, and assign to each cell a name on the 16 by 16 grid). The resolving power of the grid system is quite powerful. Surveillance grids can be built in layers, more about that latter.

In a 16 by 16 grid, if we assume that the cell located 2 units along X axis and three units up along the Y axis is grid location 2,3 we can look up what we named that cell. In this case let's assume cell 2,3 is named Russia. So another name name for Russia would be grid location 2,3, because the cell at 2,3 has been named Russia. Every nation in the world could be identified to one of the cells on the 16 by 16 square board; that is each cell is given the name of one of the nation states in the Nation State System [NSS]. hence, all nations can be identified by its name space (Russia) or by its grid coordinates. The man on mars can identify 2,3 cell and look up that it has been named Russia, So the telescope used by the man on the moon is one cell out of 256 cells, or 1 out of 256 cells. Merely determine the coordinates on the grid (looking up the name space is optional). Even though the name space of the square formed by x=2, y=3 has been assigned Russia, it is not necessary to know the name space by the name of Russia, it could just be the 2,3 square.

so visible to those who control the nation states through the resolving power of the nation state system telescope is 1 nation out of 256 nations. Suppose the name space of the cell at 2,4 has been named USA, and suppose we are interested in the different states since there are 50 states and several territories so we need 81 cells to account for them all that is 9 squared. . So we divide cell at 2,4 into another check board and re raise it in a plane just over the 2,4 square(cell). Now we have 2,4 and 3,7 to identify USA, NY hence grid at level one defines the nations in the nation state system and grid at level 1 defines the states and territories used by the nation state at 2,4. But the problem with this is that nations are named by territories and so they are not even. So instead of trying to use the gird to identify the nations; we use the grid to identify people and we divide the 8 billion people in the world into 256 groups of 31,250,000 people each. and we name each group by its grid coordinates. the 31,250,000 people at grid 2,4 and the 31,250,000 people at grid 2,5 and the 31,250,000 people at grid 3,6 and so on.. 256 groups of people, each group consist of 31,250,000 people.

Now the people in Grid 2,4 can speak to people in 3,5 with out identifying the people in either group as Russia, Chinese or Syrian.. they are just people. In my opinion this is the first step in taking back the people power we allowed the nation states to take from us

BD @ 505 answers
" we know we must pressure the governments to improve the health care situation, and the financial situation of the states. "

<= seems to me there are two routes.. within the NSS and external to the Nation State System(NSS)
pressure is an interesting word.. a measure of stored or potential force? what is meant by pressure?
we is an interesting word, who is we .. do all of the persons in we wear green bandannas or what?
But you are correct, some kind of way must be found to improve the health care situation, however, I think
it we reorganized the world into what's good for humanity, instead of what's good for those who control the people by and thru the nation state system, we don't need a financial situation, we need human contribution and participation, instead of pitting one human against another human in life long struggle to get ahead.

Posted by: snake | Apr 21 2020 9:22 utc | 492

@126 Lone Plateau

Weaponsandstuff93 has a video Modifying a mask to protect others COVID19

Posted by: TJ | Apr 21 2020 9:25 utc | 493

@203 fairleft

According to the ICNARC reports here in the UK, 86% die from COVID-19, 14% with COVID-19.

Posted by: TJ | Apr 21 2020 9:29 utc | 494

Russ @ 497 says:

As far as public opposition to the police state lockdown coming almost only from MAGA types, this is yet another example of the complete abdication and worthlessness of "the left" which leaves a vacuum that's filled by right-populism

is it dripping irony or some kind of burlesque twist that this unprecedented authoritarian putsch is ushered in alongside a respite for Gaia not seen since the onslaught of the industrial revolution?

Posted by: john | Apr 21 2020 11:39 utc | 495

Richard Steven Hack
Yep running windows and it was the LinkedIn link.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Apr 21 2020 13:35 utc | 496

Posted by: BM | Apr 21 2020 3:55 utc | 470

I recognized it was the Torygraph when I posted it, and I consider all this blather about the virus to be speculative because (as so many like to point out) there is a lack of sufficient good data, which I quite agree with; nevertheless I read as much as I can, so I posted it "as is", and I am not likely to spend much time on analyzing any of it, there are much better people than I doing that, so I'm just taking notes.

The people I am most likely to listen to at present are the Chinese, who took the trouble to collect as much data as they could, and have great incentives to get it right.

But it's not like I think they are incapable of making stuff up, so we shall see as time goes by.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Apr 21 2020 4:59 utc | 485

"In the end, it's still a crap shoot. There's only so much you can do short of wearing a full-body hazmat suit 24x7."

I concur, you do what you can, but in the end it's a crap shoot unless you can be a hermit for real for quite a long time. Little bitty sticky things much too small to see, not sure how long they hang around, so everybody draws the line where they can.

Posted by: Bemildred | Apr 21 2020 13:46 utc | 497

Some new items:

Bhadrakumar with some interesting bits:

Covid-19 has a grandma, grandpa and great grandpa. Where are they?

Run Unz on the biowarfare/blowback thesis:

American Pravda: Our Coronavirus Catastrophe as Biowarfare Blowback?

I am entertaining this high mutatuon rate idea based on the varied outcomes we see:

Covid-19 mutations underestimated, Chinese scientists warn, as DEADLIEST strains grip Europe and US

On high untested prevalence of the virus:

Real Los Angeles Covid-19 infection rate could be DOZENS of times higher than official count, study suggests

Posted by: Bemildred | Apr 21 2020 14:13 utc | 498

john 517

I keep pondering that irony. (As well as shaking my head over seeing so many wingnuts wearing masks even outdoors, when the air's the most wholesome it's been our entire lives. I'm certain that, although they may consciously still acknowledge that the flu is caused by a germ, deep down they've regressed to believing in the miasma. They think the air itself is going to poison them. That's their psychotic reaction to purification.)

If only the mass psychosis would give way to mass revelation, if everyone could realize that they're proving in real time they don't need more than a tiny fraction of all the material junk.

But I find that hard to believe. I'll believe the fracking abomination will stop when it actually does physically stop and not start up again. But it seems like fracking has too much destruction value for the ecocidal civilization to desist from it only because of mere money.

Posted by: Russ | Apr 21 2020 15:28 utc | 499

It looks, the epidemic is like an iceberg. It is split in two levels, the visible and official part is reported, discussed, mourned and gloriously (or not) fought, while the underwater part rages, mildly restricted. And that is quite good information.

I can say for my country but I think it is similar in most countries where restrictions were put relatively early. Most of the serious cases are identified and isolated and their contacts are isolated too, restricting spread of the more dangerous strains of the virus. At the same time all strains that cause mild symptoms are spreading slowly, because people meet other people while working, doings shopping, commuting, etc. No one tests asymptomatic people, because why, there is not enough tests anyway. Testing healthcare people is no more than a smokescreen. But the more protective actions we apply the longer it takes for the virus to spread to the next person and ideally the virus that can spread at all is the one that can sit quietly for a long time in a carrier. That probably means we all are going to contract the virus sooner or later, preferably later. The general population will get the fabled "herd immunity" through the milder version of the virus instead of taking head-on the more dangerous version.

It is quite possible that the epidemic will run off the victims before the vaccine is clinically tested and approved. The number of new cases in most hit countries is already falling, it's likely because of depleting the pool of non-infected people.

There is a number of reports about health problems remaining after curing the virus. At least lung, kidney and fertility problems were mentioned. We are probably going to suffer over next few tens of years because of that. Still, I am cautiously optimistic about the pandemic ending sooner than in two years.

Posted by: pppp | Apr 21 2020 15:48 utc | 500

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