Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
June 25, 2020

"A Mask Is Not A Political Statement. It's An IQ Test."

The epidemic trend in the United States is grim:

Source: 91-divoc - bigger

The graphic does not yet include yesterday's number of new cases. It was the highest ever.

U.S. hits highest single day of new coronavirus cases with more than 45,500, breaking April record - NBC News

Houston has a problem:

Texas Children's Hospital now admitting adult patients due to COVID-19 spike in Houston - Houston Chronicle
Texas Medical Center ICUs at 97 percent capacity due to COVID-19 - Houston Culturemap

Testing is still a mess:

Weijia Jiang @weijia - 13:34 UTC · Jun 23, 2020

Just now I asked the President if he was kidding when he said he told his people to slow down testing, which is how White House officials explained the comment.
He said, “I don’t kid.”
He also said again testing is a double-edged sword, and praised the job the U.S. has done.

Arizona ‘Overwhelmed’ With Demand for Tests as U.S. System Shows Strain - NY Times

People seeking drive-up coronavirus tests in Phoenix faced a three-mile-long car line last weekend. On Friday, Arizona’s largest laboratory received twice as many samples as it could process. The phone line for testing appointments at a large site on the state fairgrounds now opens at 7 a.m. with 800 callers already in the queue.

By 7:07 a.m., all 1,000 appointments for the day are typically taken.

Yesterday Arizona had some 380 new cases per million inhabitants per day. On April 9 the outbreak in New York peaked at around 500 new cases per million inhabitants per day. But New York had been under lockdown since March 20. That stopped the outbreak. Arizona is not under lockdown.

Source: 91-divoc - bigger

Trump and some governors did not read what we predicted:

Early Lockdown Lifting Will Prolong The Greater Depression - MoA

We argued that as long as people fear to get infected they will simply not go to restaurants etc. Real data now confirms that take:

Fear of infection hurt economy more than lockdown - Boston Herald
Why Reopening Isn't Enough To Save The Economy - NPR

Chetty and his team compare, for example, Minnesota and Wisconsin. Minnesota allowed reopening weeks before Wisconsin, but if you look at spending patterns in both states, Minnesota did not see any boost compared with Wisconsin after it reopened. "The fundamental reason that people seem to be spending less is not because of state-imposed restrictions," Chetty said. "It's because high-income folks are able to work remotely, are choosing to self-isolate and are being cautious given health concerns. And unless you fundamentally address that concern, I think there's limited capacity to restart the economy."
Chetty and his team conclude that the traditional tools of economic policy — tax cuts and spending increases to boost demand — won't save the army of the unemployed. Instead, they say we need public health efforts to restore safety and convince consumers that it's OK to start going out again. Until then, they argue, we need to extend unemployment benefits and provide assistance to help low-income workers who will continue to struggle in the pandemic economy.

There are currently some 20 million people registered as unemployed plus 11 million on pandemic unemployment assistance (PUA). There jobs will not come back unless people feel safe:

Source: Calculated Risk - bigger


John Aravosis @aravosis - 18:13 UTC · Jun 24, 2020
Floridians angrily claiming masks are the work of the devil because “they want to throw God’s wonderful breathing system out the door.” --> video

The three ladies in the video confirm the following take:

John Lundin @johnlundin - 13:54 UTC · 24 Jun 2020

A mask is not a political statement. It's an IQ test.

Posted by b on June 25, 2020 at 17:18 UTC | Permalink

next page »

"A Mask Is Not A Political Statement. It's An IQ Test."

Indeed. If you "believe" in masks, you failed the test. Many European countries have ended lockdowns without masks, and yet covid is fizzling out. Same in Sweden, which never had a lockdown and never had masks to begin with. Austria pulled them two weeks ago.

Why do "cases" increase in some parts of the US? Because testing increases, especially in the younger folks who go back to work and rarely experience any symptoms anyway.

Moa's fall during the covid pandemic has really been unprecedented.

Posted by: Clincher | Jun 25 2020 17:40 utc | 1

thanks b... things are not going well for the usa in regards covid... a friend this morning sent me an article on a family in texas.. it is really depressing to read, but for anyone interested - North Texas family shaken after 18 relatives test positive for COVID-19 following surprise birthday party

i wonder what off gaurdian has to say today? or some of the posters who have taken a different position on covid?? controversial topic for sure...

Posted by: james | Jun 25 2020 17:42 utc | 2

I am happy to see New York and 2 other states restrict access to travelers from the worst hit states. I think it is time for more and more independence from Washington, up to and past the point of secession. This is no longer a governable nation. It is a failed state. Time to get out while you can.

Posted by: Charles | Jun 25 2020 17:43 utc | 3

Exactly. A massive public health effort has to come first. Virus suppression through a national lockdown for a minimum four-six weeks has to be the first step, supported by UBI and free healthcare. Inter-state travel restrictions must be strictly enforced. Slow opening-up on a state by state basis can then occur. All of this requires national centralized planning.

None of this will happen though. Capitalism will not allow it. "There will be a lot of death."

The US will bank on a vaccine. However, I know from insiders at Mass General Hospital in Boston that there are problems with the vaccine trials. We will see.

Regardless, Trump has chosen to let tens of thousands of people die instead of choosing the suppression/public health strategy. Sadly but predictably, the Dems have absolutely no alternative.

All of this points towards increasing crisis, tension, disaster.

Posted by: Prof K | Jun 25 2020 17:49 utc | 4

As yet coronavirus does not seem to have effected the aged care facilities that Americans call the White House, Congress and Senate. As though they have been vaccinated.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jun 25 2020 17:49 utc | 5


You’re living in a fantasy world.

Posted by: Whiffer | Jun 25 2020 17:49 utc | 6

Posted by: Clincher | Jun 25 2020 17:40 utc | 1

>>Because testing increases, especially in the younger folks who go back to work and rarely experience any symptoms anyway.

Bla bla bla. Testing has been increasing in many other countries too, yet their cases has been dropping.

>>Why do "cases" increase in some parts of the US?

It is not simply some areas, it just became all time high for the US.

I have a question. Does the word China triggers you?

IMF just declared it the biggest economic winner in relative terms from the corona pandemic.

That is, thanks to its pandemic response, China just became even bigger economy vis a vis Western Europe and the US.

Posted by: Passer by | Jun 25 2020 17:50 utc | 7

It's because high-income folks are able to work remotely, are choosing to self-isolate and are being cautious given health concerns. And unless you fundamentally address that concern, I think there's limited capacity to restart the economy.

I loathe these f*cks with every fiber of my being. In fact, they are the the canaries in the America-Is-Collapsing coal mine. They are not only non-essential workers, they are non-essential humans if you can call them human and in fact, they are an impediment to social evolution. Until they hurt, until they suffer, until they lose everything and have to sell their bodies to the night to survive, America has not collapsed and is not collapsing.

One more thing. All healthcare workers are not created equal. There are some who are professional and humane. There are some who are responsible and accountable and who care. But there are also many who are absolute jackasses who don't know their ass from a hole in the wall. We are acquainted with several nurses and doctors who are utter jackasses in their attitude and behavior related to this pandemic. One is a nurse who works in a Pediatric Emergency setting and she acts as though the pandemic is a hoax and is taking no precautions in her personal life. It's my 18-year-old son's friend's mother. She's nuts and so too is the father. They arranged for our son, without our knowledge, to travel to Oregon with their son and they were going to pay for it. They never discussed this with us and still haven't. Of course, since our son is 18, he is now old enough to where he can go off and murder people in far off lands for the military and as such, we can only protest so much. There's not much we can do aside from emphatically protest, but still, the nerve of this woman, this healthcare provider, to be so careless and grossly negligent to support and enable cross country air travel at a time like this. We're talking about five hours in an enclosed, tightly-packed environment with recirculated air. She should know better and yet she does this. WTF?

Posted by: | Jun 25 2020 18:03 utc | 8

My son is a Plastic Surgeon. He operated at Children's Hospital in Houston, doing cranial facial surgery on newborns. Before medical school he achieved a masters degree in cell molecular biology. When the entire corona virus BS began in March, he said, "The virus molecules are so small, masks don't matter". AND because the incentives hospitals have to put people on ventilators, many patients will be exposed to the vent protocol and will DIE; their lungs having been blown up with max pressure mistakes.

He has been correct on both.

Posted by: Skip | Jun 25 2020 18:06 utc | 9

Hey, it's just the flu man. Those "overfilled" hospitals? Crisis actors and hypochondriac victims of Democrat and WHO Sinopropaganda. Get a grip folks. And remember...real hombres don't need no stinkin' breathing masks cause god will protect them. Automatic weapons are basic survival tools all civilized people require, masks are for pussies. No comparison. Glad I could clear that up for ya!


Posted by: Daniel | Jun 25 2020 18:07 utc | 10

A positive test is not a case. Except for writers of headlines.

In China the standard for a case was two positive tests followed by a CT scan which showed specific characteristics of covid. Here in US the CDC definition of a case is quite complex. You can read it at their site if you wish. But diagnosis, even per CDC, is not by a positive PCR test.

For some time I was following the Illinois Department of Public Health site. Then one day I discovered they broke out testing for each postal zip code in the state and in each zip they broke out testing for eight different age groups. First column would say that 8% of tests given went to persons under twenty years of age and second column would say 8%of the positives were for those under twenty years of age. Except for the 80 plus age group Column A and Column B were essentially identical. In many zip codes they were completely identical and variation was never more than one or two points except for 80 plus. Every zip code it lined up.

That is an impossible result. Absolute confirmation that the test does not mean much at all. Perform enough tests you will get positives. A month ago or three months ago it was basically impossible to get tested in Chicago. You didn’t ask for a test, they chose you for a test. Now they are begging people to come in and get tested. Few takers.

No one has any idea how many cases there are. For press purposes those who test positive who never show symptoms are “asymptomatic”. In most cases they just plain were never infected. No one knows. There is still almost no actual treatment for those who are ill, except basic supportive care. There are still no admonitions to do basic basic steps such as taking vitamin D and zinc. Mask wearing is enforced in commercial establishments, otherwise masks are going away, as is social distancing. Masks never took hold here.

Hospitals overwhelmed? So far as I am able to determine, after the NYC metro area, where I sit is the number two hotspot in US. Somehow the press never looks at Chicago. Texas and Arizona have little activity compared to Chicago. My nearest hospital, 751 beds, has one covid patient.

Posted by: oldhippie | Jun 25 2020 18:08 utc | 11

@5, it is odd, isn't it? Some staffers allegedly have contracted it, but not the Big Wigs. Surely the CIA could have used that umbrella to shoot a micro dart of infection into Trump without him knowing it if they considered him a threat to the status quo and yet nothing. Nada. He's as healthy as a horse. Drinking Clorox works, apparently.

Posted by: | Jun 25 2020 18:11 utc | 12

The irony of all this is that the capitalist governments are ignoring their own theory when they state lifting the lockdown will result in an immediate economic recovery of the services sector.

They should seek for their own theorists. Specifically, Game Theory. Game Theory has a concept called Opportunity Cost, which merely states that a single event for a single individual has a variable value dependent on the circumstances they present themselves.

In a pandemic, the opportunity cost for the non-essential workers is close to infinity, as the downsize is their own life (death is the End of the Game according to Game Theory). In this scenario, no menacing boss and no salary raise will put those workers back to work. Same thing applies to consumers of non-essential services: their opportunity cost is infinite, as the downsize is their own lives.

The only way a capitalist government has to put non-essential workers back to work is by threatening to starve them to death. Starvation is sure death, so the opportunity cost is indeed infinite, so these workers will go back to work even aware of the risks of the pandemic. That's why there are already people in Trump's administration and at Wall Street who are already lobbying for Trump to end the unemployment benefits. But that doesn't change the "rules of the game" of the consumers who can consume those non-essential services, so you have the situation you're paying those non-essential workers without the consumers of their services (the consumer of non-essential services, by definition, are not threatened by starvation).

Posted by: vk | Jun 25 2020 18:19 utc | 13

The real questions are about death rates per infection and immune rates. Models are supposed to assume that some people might just be immune or resistant, all covid models assume 0% resistance. And yet we know that children, who spread coughs and colds amongst each other rapidly, show much much lower rates of infection. So resistance does seem to be a thing.

Death rates are down to about 0.2% - 0.3% now on some studies. That could be reduced to 0.15% if resistance is a thing.

The smart message is that getting infection rates up above 25% (while protecting the weak and aged) is actually the right policy.
Wearing masks is playing a different game.

Posted by: Michael Droy | Jun 25 2020 18:36 utc | 14

No surprise at all. There's no turning back. The US will continue to flirt with chaos as individuality, greed, widening class divides and utter stupidity reign. All cheered on by inept leaders. The recent protests may only have been the beginning and a small taste for what's to come.

Wearing a mask in public places is a tiny burden and yet...waaaahhhhhh.

As I suggested last week the rest of the world is beginning to quarantine the US itself, and states within the US are beginning to quarantine each other, more seriously than in the past.

I've been following Worldometer and the adjusted new case count yesterday was 38,386 (it briefly showed 39+K but was adjusted down this morning), the highest daily count since April 24th at 39,072. We're at 20.8K so far today. The trend as depicted in the accompanying graph is a rocket ride increase in cases. Despite treatment improvements, increased (maybe?) testing and apparently the younger cohort mostly adding to the new case count, higher death counts will soon follow after dropping due to earlier and now expiring efforts, shutdowns and control tactics.

Waiting until the last second as hospitals fill with the sick (TX et. al.)is akin to incorrectly steering an ocean liner, by the time you adjust the momentum will crush you.

What continues to simmer in the background is the toll that survivors are facing, young and old / symptomatic and asymptomatic. Deaths are not the only mounting costs. While there have been some stories written about this unfolding disaster the issue remains mostly hidden from what I can tell. Long term damage to lungs, kidneys and other organs, blood clotting issues, brain damage, extreme fatigue, etc.

Mainstream science article dated 6/22:

Estimates of exact prevalence vary, but it seems that roughly 50% of patients diagnosed with Sars-CoV-2 – the virus responsible for causing the illness Covid-19 – have experienced neurological problems.

Mainstream anecdotal article dated 6-22:

What needs to be watched will be the increasing pressure to distract from the domestic US catastrophe via initiating a "limited" military conflict somewhere outside of the US.

Not to worry though, if you own stocks, are a corporation and are wealthy, the continuing bad news about unemployment, COVID, political intransigence, etc. is great news for you and only means the government is getting set to shower more fiat cash and credit down upon you. Get it while you can. DOW 35K EOY 2020!

Posted by: snow_watcher | Jun 25 2020 18:42 utc | 15

@13, that is exactly what's going on. The non-essential workers are being paid for providing services that are not being consumed. If it wasn't already, this truly is a Potemkin Economy. Many of these non-essential workers, and I'm loathe to call them workers because they truly do not work especially compared to essential workers, get paid triple figures for sitting at their desk and surfing The Net and/or attending meetings and sucking the bosses' and the shareholders' dicks. The non-essential workers are getting paid exorbitant salaries to be the facade of the Potemkin Economy.

My brother and his wife are case in point. Non-essential workers and they're sitting pretty right now. Unaffected, at least economically. They just sold their home in Florida for $650,000. They bought it two years prior for $525,000. They turned around and bought a condo for $675,000. They're confidant they can sell the condo in a couple of years for $800,000. Fyi, the condo has a view of a park where hordes of homeless folks hang out. They, my brother and his wife, are unflappable about this. It doesn't affect them one bit. To them, the homeless folk are the way they are because they are losers. They, on the other hand, are winners in this game called life. So the view of the homeless sleeping and defecating in the park is validating for them — it's a constant reminder of how great they really are in their own minds. For now.

Posted by: | Jun 25 2020 18:42 utc | 16

@ Posted by: Michael Droy | Jun 25 2020 18:36 utc | 14

Covid-19 death rates are certainly above 0.3%. Those are flu-like death rates and you never see flu overwhelming any First World hospital, even when it is particularly strong.

China ended up with a 5.6% death rate. The last time I looked up based on a larger number of countries (mainly European), it was estimated its death rate hovered around 1.5% - still 15 times higher than the common flu.

Posted by: vk | Jun 25 2020 18:42 utc | 17

Be careful now folks, the kind of people we are dealing with are batshit crazy:

Posted by: Innocent Civilian | Jun 25 2020 18:49 utc | 18

Spot on, B.

Seems that those belittling the mask wearers are potential Darwin Award winners. They see things from a selfish, delusional, best-case viewpoint, to paraphrase: "I'm not going to wear a face diaper because it makes me look silly and not macho, like i truly am - besides, SARS CoV-2 is only as bad as a little cold! I'm not going to wear a mask, because it takes away my Freedumb and is a conspiracy by the government to control us."

The SARS-Cov-2 is primarily a HEALTH issue, for starters. That the usual suspects in power would want to twist this into a lever for themselves to gain more power is a given. What do they NOT twist into something that gives them yet more power and wealth? We must all deal with these psychopaths no matter what, but this is not the time to confuse a health issue with the "masters of the universe", just to spite them. We have to deal with them separately away from this covid crisis and look after our collective health and welfare first.

Logically, if one wears a mask and uses distancing when going out, one *does* protect oneself and others from infection, no matter what extreme delusion the nay-sayers are under. Let's say that the naysayers are right and the Covid-19 is not bad at all, then wearing a mask or isolating becomes a common courtesy to fellow human beings that are worried about catching any infection. It doesn't hurt anyone. BUT, if they are wrong, the masks and distancing DO provide at least some protection with isolation providing the most. Wearing a mask when in public helps protect their own lives, those of their families (by not contracting Covid and then spreading it at home) and also strangers they come into contact with. Given the sharp rise in the number of new cases and rising numbers of deaths after lockdown was lifted, is it not logical to assume (actually, more like common sense), that isolation and masks work and SARS-CoV-2 is "not a little flu"? Look at countries where wearing a mask is mandated, as is isolation, and you will see the numbers of infections and deaths decline precipitously.

But those that fight against mask wearing and isolation are completely brainwashed by the delusion of "freedom" (what does that word actually mean? Is anybody actually "free"? And if so, explain in detail, how.) and a god-given right to act as selfish pricks with respect to everybody else, like they are each self-proclaimed mini-emperors and experts on anything. They are, to put it bluntly, without any compassion or respect for their fellow human beings. Another word for them is "Americans" - uneducated, hateful, always angry about something or other, massively opinionated, pretty much always wrong in their opinions and behavior. Yup, americans.

I see so many angry, disrespectful comments here. They can be summed up in this way: "My opinion is the ONLY right opinion and what i think and say is God's truth! Everyone else is a blasphemer and should be burned at the stake! i detest with every fiber of mny being anyone who disagrees with me." Even though they lack any real education (in most cases, they are educated in the US - i rest my case). There is a reason why the US is "Number One" in Covid cases and deaths. I believe that the official US Covid numbers are extremely under reported and that there are probably at least twice the number of Covid related deaths than are being reported.

When even the so-called scientists and doctors disagree vehemently on contrary positions, and when new discoveries about SARS-CoV-2 are being made daily, including the fact of its many mutations, then anyone with thinking skills will want to take precautions until information on the virus and on Covid-19 effects and treatment are finally settled to a higher degree of completeness.

Posted by: Anonymous | Jun 25 2020 18:55 utc | 19

Posted by: Skip | Jun 25 2020 18:06 utc | 9

>>My son is a Plastic Surgeon. He operated at Children's Hospital in Houston, doing cranial facial surgery on newborns. Before medical school he achieved a masters degree in cell molecular biology. When the entire corona virus BS began in March, he said, "The virus molecules are so small, masks don't matter".

I'm really sorry to say that, but who gave your son masters degree? Respirator masks and surgical masks use electrostatic charge to capture ultra - small particles, that would otherwise move through the mask. Plus viruses very often travel on larger particles.

Posted by: Passer by | Jun 25 2020 19:00 utc | 20

@18, that guy holding the mic and "interviewing" those nutjobs also has a rather low IQ. He is not social distancing. It's especially egregiously stupid considering most of those he's interviewing are not wearing masks. Is his life worth the likes and views he obtains on YouTube? Apparently.

Posted by: | Jun 25 2020 19:00 utc | 21

Numerous US States are finally instituting mandatory mask ordinances 3 months too late; although thanks to Trump's Treasonous Do Nothing Policy, not enough masks were available to do the job.

Yes b, it's an IQ Test that millions have failed, but most noticeably those charged with being leaders: Their failure epitomizes the wholesale failure of the USA such that it demands its unfinished Revolution resume.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 25 2020 19:03 utc | 22

@1 "Clincher": you are completely wrong and should know it. Europe succeeded only because did use masks, quarantines, and contact tracing. Sweden had the highest infection rate by far in all of Europe because it did not. You seem to be proud of that.

Cases did not increase in the US due to testing increases.
New cases per million per day increased sharply in June 2020.
Careless states (above prior peaks and US avg): LA, AR, MS, AL, TN, GA, FL, SC, NC, NV, UT, OK, CA, TX (SE, TX and SW only).
Careful states (under half the national average): VT, NH, ME, MA, CT, NY, NJ, PA, WV, KY, CO, HI, AK, MI (NE plus CO, HI, AK, MI).
Somewhat careful states (below the US average but more than half the average) were the Midwest and Northwest.

That is a strictly regional variation, due to the politics of epidemic control measures. The careless US states, like Sweden in Europe, are paying a high price for their carelessness.

Wake up. Look at the cases on http://91-divoc dot com/pages/covid-visualization/ using the JHU data.

Posted by: Anon | Jun 25 2020 19:07 utc | 23

We all know that the IQ do not measure intelligence. Wearing masks should be situation
specific. In Washington state the eastern side of the state put up with the lockdown..when all along the westside Seattle area should have been on lockdown. Months later when the eastern part of the state started to resist the lockdown (empty hospitals) the governor heard our pleas to loosen things up in not effected areas... which he did... but now our state is being politically black mailed by Cuomo (as we never mandated masks...) so washington has been put on Cumo's list of states that have a mandatory 14 day quartine if you travel and plan to stay in New York. The day after Cuomo announcement our governor ordered mandatory mask wearing. I told my husband in a week we will be off the list. The masks that are promoted by the state for citizens to wear are scarfs, bandanna and what I call fashion masks...none of which will stop the virus. I checked out stats for hospitalizations for the virus it has been running between 190 and 240 ... that is nothing for a state of 7 millions people. The pandemic in the US as devolved in to pure politics. I don't trust any of the numbers coming out of the states or the CDC> of the 40 or so people who have died in Spokane of the virus at least 5 were gunshot victims that died of their wound but tested positive for the virus so therefore they were entered into the vrius mortality stats... What a joke..

Posted by: dp | Jun 25 2020 19:32 utc | 24

Way better analysis

Posted by: Alaric | Jun 25 2020 19:48 utc | 25

An observation.

So now we have the bizarre situation where (genuine) readers whose only thought crime was to have a different opinion when it comes to COVID-19 are shouted at and called "trolls"... then in the very same breath they are asked for money to help the same person telling them they are "trolls".

And the obligatory swipe at Trump of course because no matter how terrible any other political thing is... it doesn't matter because something something #OrangeManBad

Anyway. Stay safe everyone. And god help some of you with severe double standards/hypocrisy if/when(?) Trump wins again lol...

Posted by: Skeletor | Jun 25 2020 19:54 utc | 26

COVID-19 virus may have been around and spreading for many years.
Could explain why folks continue and will continue to test positive. Millions+ of people may have already had it before Wuhan.
Study of 8000 people to examine presence of 94 different viruses.
"we could confidently detect sequences and quantify abundance of 19 human viruses in 42% of individuals. Ancestry, sex, and age were important determinants of viral prevalence."
These viruses included herpes, hepititus, HIV, and influenza.
Perhaps if pharmaceutical companies had spent more time doing research of viruses instead of on designer drugs and opioids we would not be in this current fiasco.

Posted by: Joe | Jun 25 2020 19:57 utc | 27

Sweden's 3 day rolling average of new cases per million on June 25 was 207. It is the fifth highest country in the world.

Posted by: Michael Weddington | Jun 25 2020 20:44 utc | 28

Masks in a high-density situation? Deadly important.

Masks in a low-density situation? eh...ok...

Also, remember. We do not, collectively as a species, have the technical chops to wrench the steering wheel away from millions of years of evolution. We'll know in a year or so the results of this grisly, poorly-constructed experiment. The agencies that are studious - and curious - enough will have useful data. At present, the numbers are noise.

As for the US, I've seen the "Talk to the hand!" given to many extremely important branches of scientific inquiry. The hubris in the assumption they can handle unintended consequences as well as being blindsided by non-human realities is just suicidal.

Posted by: Dr Wellington Yueh | Jun 25 2020 21:05 utc | 29

We have two competing realities: Covid19 is either a destroyer of worlds, or a damp squib. It is either a weapon of mass destruction, or a common cold. People seem to have taken a side with religious fervour, and it is all about belief, because the "science" says whatever your personal belief system wants it to say. It's just like Climate Change®.

I wish I could actually find out the truth, rather than vacillate between "It's serious" and "It's a scam plandemic", with shouty evangelical types on either side.

Posted by: C | Jun 25 2020 21:09 utc | 30

trump is highly unlikely to win again, these new case spikes are mostly in red states. he couldn't even fill a small arena in the heart of oklahoma, a pro trump state, he is quickly losing support among seniors, the demographic group most likely to vote, because of his mishandling of the virus.

Posted by: pretzelattack | Jun 25 2020 21:10 utc | 31

@ Posted by: C | Jun 25 2020 21:09 utc | 30

The reason for this dissonance is simple: human beings have class consciousness, so they do not only think for themselves, but also for the preservation of the dominant system they live in.

Reality is indeed very simple: the COVID-19 is not and never was a threat to the existence of the Homo Sapiens (i.e. humans as a biological species); however, it is a threat to capitalism, which is a system that must keep constantly moving (rotating) to survive. Procapitalists (i.e. Westerners) obviously rationalize the survival of capitalism as the survival of the Homo Sapiens, which is obviously an ideological (class based) position.

Posted by: vk | Jun 25 2020 21:16 utc | 32

@ 30, nope climatology is supported by peer reviewed science, building on science for the past 200 years roughly. this virus is new, and there is still much to discover. seems like common sense to wear masks and socially distance till more is known, though.

Posted by: pretzelattack | Jun 25 2020 21:18 utc | 33

@Clincher | Jun 25 2020 17:40 utc | 1

Exactly, spot on.

Posted by: Norwegian | Jun 25 2020 21:18 utc | 34

The awful reality is, if you're in a region that doesn't care to eliminate the disease, then the only thing to do is let all the younger people get it and if you're older, hide for a few months or a year while that is happening. We now know it is an entirely unnecessary experiment, but thanks to poor leadership, it is generally too late now to do anything else.

Posted by: ptb | Jun 25 2020 21:20 utc | 35

While the coronavirus is tiny and unlikely to be blocked by anything less than high grade medical PPE, the SPIT carrying the virus spraying out of an asymptomatic super-spreader's gob IS blocked even by low quality masks.

Don't be an American, that is to say, don't be an exceptionally stupid idiot. Wear a mask and socially distance, it's by far the simplest way to control the pandemic.

Posted by: Trisha | Jun 25 2020 21:20 utc | 36

Clincher, #1:

Why do "cases" increase in some parts of the US? Because testing increases, especially in the younger folks who go back to work and rarely experience any symptoms anyway.

Just because Trump claims something doesn't mean it's true.

Regards your assertions about Sweden, you may want to as then why Norway, Finland, and Denmark have closed the borders to Swedes.

In fact masks do work, see Japan and South Korea, and I suspect Vietnam too.

Posted by: Jay | Jun 25 2020 21:27 utc | 37

Fake news in The 21st Century Wire:

Why Sweden Has Already Won the Debate on COVID ‘Lockdown’ Policy

Surprisingly to some, their results have been as good or better than the lockdown countries, but without having to endure the socio-economic chaos we are now witnessing across the world

Besides the obvious fact that Sweden is not showing better results than its Nordic neighbors at all (much worse) in the healthcare field (the author's own source about Sweden proper confirms this), you also have the fact that it is not doing better in the economic field too: every forecasts from your usual institutions (IMF, OECD, WB etc.) predict Sweden will enter into a recession as big as any of its other Nordic neighbors, too. It's not like Sweden will grow 5% this year at the cost of its Nordic neighbors (i.e. that there is an exchange between GDP growth and human lives).

I honestly went searching for the journalist's sources in his mammoth text, and found no sources about Sweden at all. Every one of them are absurd extrapolations that make justice to the term "whattaboutism" or data about other countries not related to Sweden at all (e.g. the UK). He kind of uses Sweden as some kind of springboard to spit his conspiracy theories about Bill Gates, the Imperial College etc. etc.

With the same easiness the author refutes the pro-lockdown studies he accepts as absolute truths opinions from individual doctors on various internet sources (including the Daily Mail). The only source with authority that he quotes - dr. Mike Ryan, from the WHO - praised Sweden not for its anti-lockdown stance, but for its (successfull, apparently) social consciousness campaign for self-quarantine that happened in the country. That is, Mike Ryan agrees lockdowns work.

There are millions of doctors in the world. It's easy for some MSM outlet to find one that will be anti-lockdown, or pro-vertical isolation. That's their educated opinion and there's nothing wrong about that. However, those journalists must make clear to their readers that what determines medical practice are the scientific studies those doctors do and what the medicine councils orientate the rest to do - not what they think should be done on a personal basis. A doctor is only allowed to interpret on his individual patient and apply the treatment approved by his medicine council; he/she is in an applied science area, there's no jazz here.

Posted by: vk | Jun 25 2020 21:39 utc | 38

Skip, 9:

You son doesn't seem to understand that it's droplets moisture carrying thousands viruses that do the infecting, and masks, even think cotton ones, catch moisture.

In other words, it's not like the virus is transmitted as dry dust a single virus at a time.

You son clearly doesn't have a handle on infectious diseases, which is fine many MDs and biologist don't have that expertise, but pretending he does doesn't help, and in fact harms.

By the time you need to be on a ventilator in the hospital you're already really sick.

Posted by: Jay | Jun 25 2020 21:40 utc | 39

Anon @ 23

“Careful” states that did it right and have low numbers includes NY, NJ, & CT???????????

You will not begin to know anything until you start to question and query and analyze everything.

Will now point out that all of the official authorities were telling us NOT to wear masks back in January and February. All of the official authorities told us to continue traveling as always and to not even consider closing borders. They also told doctors to intubate early and often. Remember the great ventilator shortage? They told doctors to NOT use steroids. Why is anyone at all still listening to WHO or CDC or Fauci or Gates? Yes, the majority of those critiquing them on YouTube are nutjobs. So what?

The virus is now established and endemic. Taking measures now that we should have taken then will not produce same results. Proclaiming our virtue now will have no effect at all. The horse left the barn a long time ago. The genie will not go back in the bottle. Doing now what we should have done then is a weak weak response. For starters we should try to know something about the disease. One item worth knowing would be how many cases there are. So long as everyone at this bar continues to confound cases with positive tests the day when we know anything keeps going further into future.

We don’t know numbers of deaths either. I am less concerned about overcount of patients ‘with’ as opposed to ‘of’ than undercount in nursing homes. Nursing homes are businesses. They do business by American rules. Regulation is done by bribe and by services on Election Day. The facility I know best was the first around here to admit they had covid deaths. Of course everyone else did too, they just lied about it. As the situation develops the place I know looks better and better. Doesn’t matter. Families pulled their parents out pronto. So the best care facility in town by far is in deep financial trouble for the crime of honesty. And once more we don’t know anything. We have no idea how many have really died in nursing care. It’s a dirty business and no one is even considering cleaning it up. Too much money to be made.

Posted by: oldhippie | Jun 25 2020 21:41 utc | 40 #16

The non-essential workers are being paid for providing services that are not being consumed. If it wasn't already, this truly is a Potemkin Economy. Many of these non-essential workers, and I'm loathe to call them workers because they truly do not work especially compared to essential workers, get paid triple figures for sitting at their desk and surfing The Net and/or attending meetings and sucking the bosses' and the shareholders' dicks. The non-essential workers are getting paid exorbitant salaries to be the facade of the Potemkin Economy.

amended version:-

Many of these armed services personnel, and I'm loathe to call them workers, get paid triple figures (taking benefits into account) for stomping about in parades, banging off guns and things, murdering non Americans whenever they can and sucking the commanding officer and Congressmen's dicks. The armed forces and their suppliers are getting paid exorbitant salaries to be the facade of the Potemkin Economy.

Does that sound relevant?

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Jun 25 2020 21:42 utc | 41

@ Posted by: ptb | Jun 25 2020 21:20 utc | 35

It's understandable to do that if you're a primitive society that doesn't have the means to protect itself from a pandemic (e.g. Ancient Rome, some medieval kingdom).

But we're living in Industrial Revolution capitalism. We have modern medicine. We have a global institution that receives dozens and dozens of millions of dollars per year to act at moments like these. In this world, do "herd immunity" is unacceptable; you're simply throwing away wealth, two times (the resources already spent to set up the anti-pandemic institutional infrastructure and the extra lives lost by not using said infrastructure/knowledge).

Posted by: vk | Jun 25 2020 21:45 utc | 42

The percentage of the population exposed necessary to achieve herd immunity varies with degree of contagiousness of the disease. With measles, which is highly contagious, it is around 95%. Covid is highly contagious and it is likely that a high percentage penetration will be necessary for any meaningful group immunity.

Posted by: Michael Weddington | Jun 25 2020 21:49 utc | 43

heh, the republican governor of texas is now urging people to wear masks. still won't mandate them statewide, but then that would piss off a lot of his base.

Posted by: pretzelattack | Jun 25 2020 21:50 utc | 44

Skip @9
I’m glad I’m in Australia, and nowhere near where your son might be practising, because he’s misleading you. The transmission problem is due to virus particles being carried in droplets of water in exhaled breath, 2 - 5 microns diameter and upward, NOT as single viruses floating in air. That’s why masks can be effective, because they catch the droplets. Is he trying to discourage you from wearing masks in the hope of an early inheritance?
That said, I’m not religiously wearing a mask, but I do if I have to spend time in higher-risk crowded public spaces.

Posted by: extra | Jun 25 2020 21:50 utc | 45

Where are the hawks and their toady economists. Why can't they just sanction this virus. That is what they do to everyone else! They wouldn't keep doing it if it didn't work, would they?

The PTB know whats best, sanctions on every IC ward that fails to save a patient, every mask manufacturer, every HCQ and mask heretic - sanction them all. And sanction all the cats and bats and rats and even the pangolins.

What about Cuba? flying around the world with all those drugs and stuff and doctors on board - sanction them too. They are probably smuggling finest cigars and rum - and they would call it medicine -just like Lukashenko who backs the Vodka therapy. Sanction them all until this virus is crushed by USA military dominance. just like we crushed the nazis :)

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Jun 25 2020 21:55 utc | 46

oldhippie, 11:

A simpler question, was there not some significant increase in the death rate in Chicago over the last 100 days? I highly doubt there weren't.

No, not the whole state of Illinois, much of which is rural.

More broadly, right there are problems with the germ theory of disease, however the presence of the germs can indicate a potentially serious disease about to manifest.

Posted by: Jay | Jun 25 2020 21:57 utc | 47

Skip # 9

Great to hear that your son is a plastic surgeon. With his sound grasp of science, I sincerely hope he sticks to that trade.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Jun 25 2020 22:05 utc | 48

@ oldhippie... may as well skip over @23 anon's comments.. they are filled with errors... i sometimes wonder why people make these kinds of blatant errors and anyone responds to them... sweden does not have the highest rates in europe... however as @37 jay notes to @1's comments - there is a reason all the other scandanavian countries have closed their borders to swedes entering...

thanks to the poster that addressed @9 skips personal comments in a concrete manner...

@ 26 skeletor.. that is not an observation.. it is a really stupid comment which would probably explain why you are especially sensitive to anyone mentioning the t word...

Posted by: james | Jun 25 2020 22:14 utc | 49

@40 oldhippie: Yes, when I say "careful" I mean states with Current low rates of new cases per day per million, often after a peak that does not reflect early carefulness. But if you look at the charts on http://91-divoc dot com/pages/covid-visualization/ (last chart of four; select Log scale) you will see that all in that list have less than half the US average presently.

Posted by: Anon | Jun 25 2020 22:16 utc | 50

I decided to check and verify the marvel that Sweden is w.r.t. COVID-19, relative to other nearby countries by sampling some key numbers.

All per Worldometer.

Sweden total cases / million = 6,327
Norway total cases / million = 1,621
Denmark total cases / million = 2,182
Finland total cases / million = 1,294
Germany total cases / million = 2,312

Sweden deaths / million = 518
Norway deaths / million = 46
Denmark deaths / million = 104
Finland deaths / million = 59
Germany deaths / million = 108

Posted by: snow_watcher | Jun 25 2020 22:23 utc | 51

I decided to check and verify the marvel that Sweden is w.r.t. COVID-19, relative to other nearby countries by sampling some key numbers.

All per Worldometer.

Sweden total cases / million = 6,327
Norway total cases / million = 1,621
Denmark total cases / million = 2,182
Finland total cases / million = 1,294
Germany total cases / million = 2,312

Sweden deaths / million = 518
Norway deaths / million = 46
Denmark deaths / million = 104
Finland deaths / million = 59
Germany deaths / million = 108

Posted by: snow_watcher | Jun 25 2020 22:27 utc | 52

Posted by: Clincher | Jun 25 2020 17:40 utc | 1

>>and yet covid is fizzling out. Same in Sweden, which never had a lockdown and never had masks to begin with.

There is big spike in Sweden right now. It is at all time high levels. Neighbours blocked their borders to Sweden.

Posted by: Passer by | Jun 25 2020 22:28 utc | 53


Where are the hawks and their toady economists. Why can't they just sanction this virus. That is what they do to everyone else! They wouldn't keep doing it if it didn't work, would they?

This is funny! Good one.

Posted by: | Jun 25 2020 22:30 utc | 54


Yes, it's perfectly relevant and the substitution is valid and pertinent.



Posted by: | Jun 25 2020 22:31 utc | 55

Jay @47

No, there is not. Not at all and not even a ghost of a reason to check for statistical significance.

The only place in US where there was a clear signal of the type you are looking for has been NYC. What happened in NYC is very different from anywhere else and inquiry into why that is so is called for.

Posted by: oldhippie | Jun 25 2020 22:34 utc | 56

The risks of dying in America is about the same as being in the US Army during World War I. Roughly 120,000 dead and 4 million served and the same number infected with coronavirus. Bar hopping is about as dangerous as being a war zone unless you have a gung-ho leader with no concern about the number of people he kills. It is not emphasized enough that the corruption and incompetence of the current US federal government makes victory in the pandemic impossible without central planning, messaging, and money for a national public health program for universal testing, contact tracing, and isolation of the infected. Hawaii will remain isolated out in the Pacific. The Northeast will quarantine itself from the rest of the states. Texas will be a no man’s land. The Second Succession is not far away when the only choices for President are Donald Trump or Joe Biden. Waiting for a vaccine to fix everything is magical thinking.

Posted by: VietnamVet | Jun 25 2020 22:41 utc | 57

Skip, I note not a single critic of your well trained son ( I have a niece who is also a surgeon in that same hospital, one of Texas Best) has presented any qualifications whatsoever nor do they have any studies to back up their fantasies but I have seen studies that back up his opinion.
A number of Doctors have pointed out that ventilators do more harm than good but the profit motive to stick a dying 80 year old on one is $42,000
in the corrupt US medical system.

Posted by: SwissArmyMan | Jun 25 2020 22:43 utc | 58

oldhippie, 54:

The only place in US where there was a clear signal of the type you are looking for has been NYC. What happened in NYC is very different from anywhere else and inquiry into why that is so is called for.

Yet I believe there's been a death rate spike in New York State and New Jersey. Furthermore there's been one in the SF Bay Area, no not like that in NYC though.

Posted by: Jay | Jun 25 2020 22:50 utc | 59

If we analogously likened the pandemic response to the Super Bowl between China and America, America got its ass handed to it by China. A slaughter. A wipe out. In fact, it was so brutal, the whooping so great, America had to forfeit the game and it's still licking its wounds and will be until it is no more. Make America Great Again? As if.

Lebensraum For COVID-19

Posted by: | Jun 25 2020 22:52 utc | 60 (#8)
I can only reply harshly. If you think you can do nothing about your son's behavior because he is old enough to be lured into the Imperial army without your consent, you are negligent and/or naive. Ne plus ultra my ass. I note that he has no personal funds to finance his proposed fun-filled tripping through the tulips with his friend. What about "If you go, know that when you come back you will have no family-subsidized transportation and very minimal maintenance of wardrobe and such and none for electronic devices, since you feel self-sufficient enough to override wage-earner control of the family unit."? I would forbid him to even go inside his friend's house until a vaccine is developed. If he's hotheaded enough to proceed with his plan anyway, or believes he can just threaten to run off and not come back or any such absurd brave talk, better that he find out what the real world is like now than when you can no longer coddle him and he is so old that most windows of opportunity are closed to him. Don't do him the disservice of thinking he might be the alfa dog because he has some testosterone prodding him. And don't think I don't feel your pain….

Posted by: defaultcitizen | Jun 25 2020 22:52 utc | 61

@42 vk
yes, certainly. I think that is evident to most people, but it is not enough, because noone believes our society has the care and patience required to actually do it.

What should be done if the national govt, most states (including our "blue" states, despite the righteous rhetoric), and a good fraction of the people don't believe it is possible to contain the disease simply due to our collective dysfunction, and therefore want to give up, just to get it over with?

More powerful states like NY can enforce a quarantine now, but it is only to protect themselves. They also want the rest of the country to "get it over with" (i.e. infect everyone who is likely to survive) as soon as practical. The disagreement is only over how fast that is. The cynical path, which i'm sure is the plan, is to manage the rate of infection to be the rate that "makes full use" of the medical infrastructure, but only to absorb the casualties in a dignified manner.

In the most cynical interpretation, that means to keep the ICUs approx. fully occupied until all the highly exposed people have been exposed (grocery workers, medical, anyone who has to take a bus/train to an essential job daily)

Posted by: ptb | Jun 25 2020 22:55 utc | 62

Posted by: SwissArmyMan | Jun 25 2020 22:43 utc | 56

It spreads via droplets for example, this is pretty well known.

How do mask filters collect particles? (Respirator and surgical masks)

Electrostatic attraction: Oppositely charged particles are attracted to a charged fiber. This collection mechanism does not favor a certain particle size.

Posted by: Passer by | Jun 25 2020 22:55 utc | 63

Posted by: Passer by | Jun 25 2020 22:56 utc | 64

@59, it's a tightrope trying to convince him not to go. He is using his own money. He works and has saved money. Sure, I can put my foot down and puff my chest up and beat it and kick him out of the house. That wouldn't prevent him from going though and my relationship with him would be irreparably harmed. It would be tantamount to sanctions. The problem is, diplomacy isn't working either. What to do? There is no easy answer or approach.

Posted by: | Jun 25 2020 22:59 utc | 65

Passer by,

Do you see surgical masks at your local stores? Could you buy a surgical
quality mask were your life currently to depend on it? Let's talk about the real world situation.

Posted by: SwissArmyMan | Jun 25 2020 23:03 utc | 66

Posted by: SwissArmyMan | Jun 25 2020 23:03 utc | 64

Yes, i'm in Europe and we have masks in the stores. We also have respirator masks and i bought several for my mother and father, as well as trained them how to use them.

I was also lucky to have 50 surgical masks from before the corona crisis too, i bought them and i use them when i clean places in my property that i give to tourists.

Posted by: Passer by | Jun 25 2020 23:09 utc | 67

Glad you scored before the CIA etc started stealing them on any tarmac where they could find them, I assure you none made it to Texas stores all you see here are cheap dust masks, bandanas, homemade cotton etc. all the things the studies showed are ineffective. Exactly two weeks ago I had a Doctors appointment at the huge Univ of Texas hospital in Dallas, they handed everyone going in the door a cheap 25 cent dust mask.

Posted by: SwissArmyMan | Jun 25 2020 23:18 utc | 68

The official unemployment rate in the US in April 2020 was about 15%. Does any one actually believe that number? I don't. Why should I then believe official numbers for COVID-19?

Posted by: JasonT | Jun 25 2020 23:18 utc | 69

The US government tells us that three skyscrapers in New York were brought down by two airplanes. Does any one actually believe that? I don't. Why then should I believe anything the government tells us about COVID-19?

The US government tells us that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction just before invading the US government invaded Iraq. Does any one actually believe that? I don't. Why then should I believe anything the government tells us about COVID-19?

Governments at all levels in the US, and other countries for that matter, lie about everything. Why should I believe any governments tell us about COVID-19?

Posted by: JasonT | Jun 25 2020 23:23 utc | 70

How is Oklahoma doing after Trump's Covid-defying rally in Tulsa?

Posted by: Cyril | Jun 25 2020 23:31 utc | 71

@VietnamVet | Jun 25 2020 22:41 utc | 55

The risks of dying in America is about the same as being in the US Army during World War I.

As you probably know, VietnamVet, the risk of dying in America of Covid-19 is more than double the risk of dying in the Vietnam War. Actually, far worse: Vietnam lasted for years; for Covid, it has been only a few months.

Posted by: Cyril | Jun 25 2020 23:32 utc | 72

Oklahoma is not doing too bad at all why one could even conclude the recent news has been for political effect.

Posted by: SwissArmyMan | Jun 25 2020 23:41 utc | 73

re JasonT | Jun 25 2020 23:18 utc | 67
step number 1 in deciding whether a statistic is likely to be correct is understanding who assembled the numbers, how they did it and why they did it.
Unemployment stats are collected in all OECD member states of which amerika is one, by an instrument called the household labourforce survey. This instrument has been used by governments for decades to justify their economic machinations and over the years it has become as nearly all primary economic indicators are, subject to huge manipulation. The stats are collected by a centralised agency subject to political interference.

The COVID stats are new and collected from a plethora of different hospitals. Hospitals are the original sources and because there are so many of them, and the stats are relatively transparent eg the Johns Hopkins collation which allows anyone to drill right into them and see if the stats on where they live gell with their knowledge & observation, conspiring to 'juke' the stats would be a near impossibility as too many humans would discover the truth too fast.

Posted by: A User | Jun 25 2020 23:41 utc | 74

The risk from Covid-19 to a 20 yr old American male is much less than the Vietnam War was

Posted by: SwissArmyMan | Jun 25 2020 23:44 utc | 75

Sorry for your loss Skip,but your learned son is an idiot and probably missed the classes on how filters work.
The Diffusion Effect is the major cause of filtration,although somewhat related to the mesh size,its not at these sizes.They aren't perfect but the dose of the innoculum ingested is vastly reduced to a level that most people immune systems can handle,as well as the dose of innoculums emitted to infect others.
Uncle Scam lied about masks because they simply had none for the population or the medical personnel.
You should be asking where their enormous budget for PPE was spent instead.

Posted by: winston2 | Jun 25 2020 23:51 utc | 76

SAMan@66. Honest Supply PPE in Texas has plenty of KN95 mask and more. Best prices and fast delivery too.
also Staples selling them on line and in store. Avoid Amazon rip offs though.

Posted by: George | Jun 25 2020 23:51 utc | 77

@JasonT 68

I understand your skepticism, and expect little good from our govt. But this is real, and the irony is that individuals working together can in fact stop it, even without organized help. When it's your relatives or old neighbors telling you their story after losing 20lbs (not in a good way) and 3 weeks of fever or pneumonia, you will believe. Except by the time that happens the damage is done.

Posted by: ptb | Jun 25 2020 23:53 utc | 78

"Fatigue. Fatigue is the enemy gentlemen. When your time on this earth comes to an end your cause of death may say syphilis but fatigue will be why you take your final breath".
Some funny NCO during my army days.
I'm looking at the dork across the street. I say dork cause he's wearing a mask while unloading his groceries from his car to his house. No one is around. He's alone. Maybe he left it on after going to the store? Maybe he's a germaphobe and this is his worst nightmare and he's actually being brave but because he's wearing a mask I don't wanna be his friend. Lol I'm being facetious but Jeezus.
I was at the grocery store too today. Except for the usual bs once u get to the cash it was a normal free for all in the aisles. Kids with parents, babies, old people. It's nice out. It's summer. Some people are wearing masks but in another couple of weeks I think there may be even fewer masks.
Nothing has changed about this pandemic except we know that our only defence is social distancing and masks and we can't do that!
I'm glad I'm not in a ultra high density area. I would go mad. As it is from the very beginning in most rural areas all the recommended practices were ignored. Once tourism stopped we were effectively quarantined!
My problem with how most of the response from our governments is all short term and this plague is a long term problem needing severe change in how we live as a species or cram this shit down our throats and get on with life. Which has a higher probability of success in combating this pandemic? All the associated problems of continuing with this crap manifestation of capitalism in a world after carona should be a grave warning to us all. At first I thought that we might get some sort of economic reform or better social contract out of necessity but instead were gonna be made to suffer and pay back our golden parachutes with higher taxes and less services.
It's either slither back into our old unsafe workplaces and start eating no name kraft dinner instead of the real deal or rise up.

Posted by: PleaseBeleafMe | Jun 25 2020 23:54 utc | 79

re SwissArmyMan | Jun 25 2020 23:44 utc | 73


Posted by: A HUMAN | Jun 25 2020 23:54 utc | 80

Trump’s Approach to the Pandemic Is Lying, Denial, and Spin

I believe I read somewhere that the head of testing has said that he has yet to actually receive the order to close down testing. That may be the only good news.

There’s Nothing Contrived About the Coronavirus Death Toll
‘They would have died anyway’ is a flawed and ugly claim

Debunks some of the stupid shit we see stated here by morons.

Even If You’re Asymptomatic, the Coronavirus Can Do Damage
New research on asymptomatic people reveals underlying effect

Lockdowns Must Last At Least 60 Days
A new modeling study simulates responses to the pandemic in an attempt to find the best one

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Jun 26 2020 0:02 utc | 81

For New York and New Jersey, deaths are over 1.6 per thousand. A few other states it is over 1 per thousand. Allow 1.5 average by the time coronavirus runs its course equals a death count of close to 500,000. Nothin like a bit of droplet laden free speech.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jun 26 2020 0:13 utc | 82

SwissArmyMan, 56:

Are you seriously confirming that you don't apprehend the droplet point?

Your post at 61 affirms this is the case.

Since you don't follow: Get a hold of fine plaster dust, easy to find/make, then put it in a mask, fold and staple the mask closed, then shake, see how much escapes through the mask. Next wet down the entire plaster dust sample, and put that wet plaster dust in another mask, of the same filtration grade, close and shake. Note the different results.

Furthermore check out the significant difference between an N95 mask's filtration and a "surgical" mask's filtration.

Posted by: Jay | Jun 26 2020 0:14 utc | 83 @ 63:

Read up on any restrictions your state has on interstate travellers and especially travellers coming or returning from Oregon. If your state compels travellers from COVID-19 hotspot areas to undergo self-isolation or quarantine at a hotel or barracks before they can go home or go to wherever they intend to go, your son needs to know that as eventually he'll have to leave Oregon to go back to school or college or work. He will also need to know who foots the bill for the self-isolation / quarantine. Try to do this calmly or better still, encourage him to look up this information himself.

Of course I can say this, being childless, but it's worth trying an alternative to shouting down or reasoning. A third party source of information might be of help.

Posted by: Jen | Jun 26 2020 0:15 utc | 84

I'm self-censoring the hell out of this one.

This is mostly nabbed from the coming July Scientific American, I don't know if it's out yet or if it had/has been properly edited. Not recommending it.

· The SARS-CoV-2 virus is close to 30 thousand bases long.
· For an RNA virus this is thought to be almost the maximum possible size of any RNA virus.
· It is claimed it uses an enzyme ExoN to check the polymerase copying of itself for errors. Mutations still occur later and it could be possible that it has tricks up its sleeve for swapping genetic material.

It's a large and complex virus, however on its own this only means it has potential (although it sure seems to make use of it); HIV is only a thousand bases bigger than Rhinoviruses (colds) at 8000 or so, Ebola is "only" (compared to SARS-CoV-2) about 19 thousand bases.

Posted by: Sunny Runny Burger | Jun 26 2020 0:17 utc | 85

when texas and other idiot states wanted to rush reopening my first thought was "if we're going to have willing guinea pigs better them than us". not a surprising outcome. and florida is another case of having to overreact in some cases after negligent underreaction.

(not to say mask themselves or even mandating them is overreacting; just that states which can't provide even base levels of medical support and care for people should ask "how do we actually get masks to people?" before fining anyone without one. that just looks like a cynical "sin tax" cash grab.)

Posted by: the pair | Jun 26 2020 0:18 utc | 86


U.S. Coronavirus Deaths by Age Feb 1st to Jun 17th source CDC
15-24 yrs old 125 deaths that includes women.

My rough math says continued deaths of our precious 20 years olds at this torrid current pace for 5 full years will kill 1500, now my old memory says about 500,000 names are on that Vietnam wall

Posted by: SwissArmyMan | Jun 26 2020 0:32 utc | 87

Jen's advice is good. Just word him up on pitfalls - as advice rather than orders and leave it at that. Being 18, the risks of him becoming ill from coronavirus is so remote as to be not worth worrying about and with US opening up...
Had three kids of my own all step out into the world when they turned 18 so been there and done that.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jun 26 2020 0:33 utc | 88

Jay #81

Since you don't follow: Get a hold of fine plaster dust, easy to find/make, then put it in a mask, fold and staple the mask closed, then shake, see how much escapes through the mask. Next wet down the entire plaster dust sample, and put that wet plaster dust in another mask, of the same filtration grade, close and shake. Note the different results.

Thank you and perfectly well stated.

Unfortunately putting logical thinking into some minds is like poking holes in blocks with your finger.

Meanwhile this succinct contribution is worth considering by all barflies.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Jun 26 2020 0:41 utc | 89

CDC is admitting now that the real exposed rate is at least ten times the advertised count ... more than 20 million rather than the 2.4 million cases officially listed. Even this number is likely an undercount, possibly a significant one, because the CDC's estimated asymptomatic %age is notoriously low. The real number is likely to be more like 40 million or more by now.

With about 122,000 deaths, that would make for a case fatality rate of about 0.3, concentrated, as we know on the old and unwell. Basically, almost no one under 50 dies.

Smallpox or black plague, this is not ...

Posted by: Caliman | Jun 26 2020 0:41 utc | 90

Caliman....Smallpox or black plague, this is not ...

You would never figure that out listening to the news, more numbers games, the 1958 flu season killed 119,000 Americans, we just surpassed
120,000 dead and the US population is almost twice what it was then, I was alive and it was a big year, my family moved to Texas and that is just about all I remember about it.

Posted by: SwissArmyMan | Jun 26 2020 0:49 utc | 91

Innocent Civilian #18

Be careful now folks, the kind of people we are dealing with are batshit crazy:

F'ing priceless street art. Eat your heart out George Carlin. There is source material in every minute of this video.

everybody cough in my face c'mon cough in my face
the gal in the drive by white car :)))
The gadget man all wired up is just so eloquent :(

Monty Python incarnated on the white house lawn. As it has been inside the White House since 1963.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Jun 26 2020 0:57 utc | 92

Me@85 Apologies for the extra zero in my Vietnam statistics

Posted by: SwissArmyMan | Jun 26 2020 0:58 utc | 93

Global Deaths Due to Various Causes and COVID-19 between 1/3/2020 and 24/5/2020 visualized:

Posted by: Antonym | Jun 26 2020 1:10 utc | 94

Astonishing how little is known about the reality of this epidemic - in this thread, of all comment venues - and here we are almost at the end of June, after half a year of experience with this in our lives.

The ignorance is appalling, when people hold views that have become outdated by later metrics, and spread tentative conjectures from months ago as conclusions today. The knowledge lag is a so huge that I don't see how people can catch up except through a kind of painful step by painful step.

As I emailed friends today on the report that Texas is backpedaling on reopening because natural consequences are occurring: Welcome to the most propagandized nation in the world.

It seems that nothing much is known, in a time when knowledge is survival. Natural consequences will follow. The casualties will mount until stories appear that people can relate to and trust - as they already are appearing in Texas. The virus is one thing, but the lack of knowledge shown by people who would act completely differently if they knew differently, is beyond my power to express a suitable reaction to.


For the record, here in my small town in Texas, Walgreens has surgical and N95 masks on the shelf for ready purchase. My Natural Grocer store has N95's at the checkout. Plenty of masks. Just setting the record straight - but see what I mean about knowledge gap? Right here in this thread.

It's an IQ test alright. One has only to read this thread to see the metrics being clocked.

Posted by: Grieved | Jun 26 2020 1:12 utc | 95

I must be unlucky a search for N95 mask at my nearby Walgreens returns:

1 item

Price and inventory may vary from online to in store.
Yes to tomatoes Detoxifying Charcoal Paper Mask Beauty Box of 10

Posted by: SwissArmyMan | Jun 26 2020 1:32 utc | 96 i agree with the advice from jen and peter au as well... i would let the kid go if he is able to... at some point you have to let him make his own decisions..

@SwissArmyMan... one of the flaws in all the talk of very little death from covid on the 20 year old age group is how this age group can innocently enough pass it on to their grandparents without knowing.. read the link that i shared @2 for more insight into this happening right in your home state of texas... how many 20 year olds do you know that are going to be thinking of how being with their grandparents might be a really bad idea if they want to lead the free and mask free life you advocate for everyone?? serious question... cheers..

@93 grieved... thanks.. ditto your comment and glad you are commenting..

Posted by: james | Jun 26 2020 1:35 utc | 97

Grieved @93--

Yes, deplorable, but not unexpected. The public's voting record proves the latter.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 26 2020 1:35 utc | 98

James, has that not always been true of the flu, 20 year olds and grandparents? I have no plans to avoid my grandchildren.

Posted by: SwissArmyMan | Jun 26 2020 1:42 utc | 99

Honestly, I think there should be debates hosted about masks and whether they work. There are indeed studies saying they work (see Moon of Alabama posts on masks) and studies saying they don't. I don't know the truth, but I think a debate between experts would be a good idea (similar to how Reason hosted a debate on the effectiveness of the lockdowns).

Posted by: Doubter | Jun 26 2020 1:43 utc | 100

next page »

The comments to this entry are closed.