Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
July 13, 2020

Covid-19 - New Quick Tests Are Coming, Cootiestan, A Lack Of Lockdown Death

A fast test for SARS-CoV-2 infections is urgently needed. One is now is coming to the market:

FDA Authorizes First Antigen Test to Help in the Rapid Detection of the Virus that Causes COVID-19 in Patients

The name "antigen test" is a bit confusing. These tests look for fragments of proteins that are found on or within the virus. In this case the sample is taken via a nasal swab. Other such tests will soon work with saliva on a mouth swab. That these test use an antigen to the protein is a technicality and not really relevant.

These kind of tests are comparable to quick pregnancy test. They are for use at home or at points of care for quick screening. The usual turn around time for such tests is some 15 minutes and they do not require special equipment.

Today we use RT-PCR tests which require special preparations and expensive laboratory equipment. PCR tests are very specific and have a high sensitivity which means they show only very few SARS-CoV-2 positive people as negative. Antigen tests are less sensitive. Some low percentage of people who have the virus will have a negative antigen test.

But the advantage of the antigen tests is their simplicity, speed and the mass production costs of about one dollar. They can be integrated into normal life processes like international travel without causing long delays. That the tests have some false negatives does not matter much. Epidemiological modeling shows that when often used these are superior to other methods of epidemic surveillance:

Given the pattern of viral load kinetics, we model surveillance effectiveness considering test sensitivities, frequency, and sample-to-answer reporting time. These results demonstrate that effective surveillance, including time to first detection and outbreak control, depends largely on frequency of testing and the speed of reporting, and is only marginally improved by high test sensitivity. We therefore conclude that surveillance should prioritize accessibility, frequency, and sample-to-answer time; analytical limits of detection should be secondary.

Many of these kind of tests will soon come to the market. They will be very helpful to get outbreaks under control.

Here in Germany the usual turn-around time from taking a sample for a PCR test to the communication of the result to the tested person is some 24 hours. In the U.S. the PCR testing is disorganized which is a major reason why the country is unable to bring its outbreaks under control:

Some testing sites are struggling to provide results in five to seven days. Others are taking even longer. Outbreaks across the Sun Belt have strained labs beyond capacity. That rising demand, in turn, has caused shortages of swabs, chemical reagents and equipment as far away as New York.

The long testing turnaround times are making it impossible for the United States to replicate the central strategy used by other countries to effectively contain the virus — test, trace and isolate.

A PCR tests costs about $150. Antigen tests will likely be available for less than $10.

As antigen and PCR tests look for pieces of the virus they may show someone who has had the virus,  is no longer contagious but is still shedding its debris as SARS-CoV-2 positive. An additional serological quick test that looks for antibodies to the virus can separate these cases from those who are newly infected.

Covid-19 may well be here to stay. If that is the case I expect that in future all medical personal, all visitors to care homes, international travelers and anyone entering a hospital or even a medical practice will be required to take an antigen test and, if positive, also a serological test. Combined and used widely these tests can make everyday life for everyone a little safer.


The U.S. has become 'Cootiestan' and only very few countries are now accept visitors from there. The map showing the effect is impressive:

The most reliable projections are saying 200,000 dead and 50 million infected by election day in November. Even these projections struggle to account for completely irrational federal actions like denigrating masks, pushing to reopen early, and pushing students back into schools. This is not the absence of public health, this is its opposite.

It is, in effect, governance by COVID-19. Not a failed state. A plague state.

Combined with Trump's anti-immigration measures this will make studying in the U.S. for students from abroad much less attractive. The National Foundation for American Policy finds:

The enrollment of new international students at U.S. universities in the Fall 2020-21 academic year is projected to decline 63% to 98% from the 2018-19 level, with between 6,000 to 12,000 new international students at the low range, and 87,000 to 100,000 at the high range, according to a National Foundation for American Policy analysis. The decline of as many as 263,000 students from the 2018-19 academic year total of approximately 269,000 new international students would be the lowest level of new international students since after World War II when the numbers started to be tracked. The 12,000 level represents new international students if only new students from Mexico and Canada enrolled. Given uncertainties surrounding even Mexican and Canadian students, the most pessimistic forecast would put the number of new enrolled international students at only half the 12,000 level. The enrollment of new international students was approximately 7,800 in 1948-49, the first year on record.

Foreign students usually pay full tuition for enrolling in U.S. institutions. If those numbers come true the lack of new foreign 'customers' will result in a huge budget hit for U.S. universities.

This is just one of many severe consequences that the runaway epidemic in the U.S. will have.


Some covidiots have claimed that "Lockdowns kill people!"


Thomas Hegghammer @Hegghammer - 20:05 UTC · 12 Jul 2020

Norwegian undertakers request economic assistance from the government because the Coronavirus lockdown led to a _decline_ in deaths: Færre dør – krise for begravelsesbyrå

Norway acted timely. Its Covid-19 peak of new cases was about 270 per day (7 day average) and the total deaths were some 250. The country has reopened and it now has under 10 new cases per day. The lockdown did not only prevent an out of control epidemic situation, it also stopped accidents from happening. Less stress led to fewer other incidents like heart attacks. In total the number of deaths declined!

Posted by b on July 13, 2020 at 18:37 UTC | Permalink

« previous page

Fuckin plague state alright. It's a plague on the world. Pricks orta be treated like flea carrying rodents.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jul 14 2020 12:01 utc | 101

"Argentina is trying to solve a medical mystery after 57 sailors were infected with the coronavirus after 35 days at sea, despite the entire crew testing negative before leaving port."

How do we explain this?

Posted by: Muzaffar | Jul 14 2020 12:06 utc | 102

how does one spell co-morbidity in Norwegian? Also, what is the ethnic breakdown of Norway? Finally, are their any countries to the south of Norway that sends people there for health care? Asking for a friend

Posted by: Chris | Jul 14 2020 12:17 utc | 103

b my payment to you has been delayed due to lockdown related personal circumstances !
Today one hundred pounds will be on its way. Money well spent.
I recommend others here do like-wise ! No matter if we agree or disagree with b’s view on any one subject. Just contemplate a world without this blog !!
Even the gripers and trolls are here I notice, cough up or shut up I say !!

Posted by: Mark2 | Jul 14 2020 12:21 utc | 104

Muzaffar @102

Perhaps the same way that got Beijing recently: frozen foods prepared by infected workers.

Posted by: JW | Jul 14 2020 12:33 utc | 105

There is no such thing as herd immunity to the virus. Anywhere.
There is a policy of elimination in New Zealand.It worked.
There is a policy of containment in Australia. It did not work. Have a look at
Other countries have run their own race to their own detriment.
There is one important lesson we can all benefit from: WE CANT COMPROMISE WITH THE VIRUS.

Posted by: Paul | Jul 14 2020 12:48 utc | 106

Posted by: Blue Dotterel | Jul 14 2020 7:08 utc | 80 Bevin and RSH Seem to have become shills for big pharma

You can argue that I'm wrong about HCQ - even though I've never said one way or the other if you will check my posts.

But you can *not* claim that I am a "shill" for anyone based on your disagreement.

*That* claim makes you an asshat. Go fuck yourself.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Jul 14 2020 12:48 utc | 107

@ Posted by: Sopo | Jul 14 2020 7:08 utc | 79

[...]aspirational middle classes[...]

"Aspirational" to what?

One of the unique features of the capitalist class (bourgeoisie) in relation to the dominant classes of the past lies in the fact that it is the first dominant class to rely entirely on members of the exploited class to fill its administrative (managerial) roles. That's because the bourgeoisie's power comes from the abstract personification of wealth, not of being the best individuals (aristos; optimates).

The role of the middle class in capitalism is to serve as the experts who defend, at the ideological level, the interests of the capitalist class.

In the case of Western Europe, which has a particularly affluent middle class, the logic is the same: they go to the USA to absorb the Western values of their metropolis, and bring them back home. This makes the indoctrination even more profound, as they bring it back to their homes, their neighborhoods, their workplace, etc. etc.

Posted by: vk | Jul 14 2020 12:50 utc | 108

This chart properly sums up the "re-open schools" discussion...

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Jul 14 2020 12:54 utc | 109

Mark2 |

Rome wasn't built in a day but I see the oz official anglosphere going down the path of sustainability regardless of the greens. A lot of gov funding has been going into it. Very noticeable in the arid regions of this country. A lot of government funded stuff on retaining ground cover to give better year in year out returns for the cockies. Water courses fenced off and so forth. But that's all grazing country.
In cropping areas, glyphosate will e a major problem. The shit breaks down into a highly toxic substance that binds to the soil. Each year more of the crap bids to the soil.
Russia has got the right idea there. They've banned the genetically modified crops that can be sprayed with the stuff.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jul 14 2020 12:55 utc | 110


you present as a hateful anarchist who immediately labels anyone who disagrees with you as a troll, but then get all butthurt when someone calls you a shill for Big Pharma.

how do we know you ARE NOT a shill for Big Pharma? maybe that explains why you share our hosts lack of curiosity/criticism about the biotech corporations that will MASSIVELY profit from this crisis.

Posted by: lizard | Jul 14 2020 13:03 utc | 111

Bottleneck for U.S. Coronavirus Response: The Fax Machine
Before public health officials can manage the pandemic, they must deal with a broken data system that sends incomplete results in formats they can’t easily use.

I believe it. Last fall I went to my medical clinic for my three-month diabetes checkup. As usual, a week or ten days before I went in to have the blood draw done so it would be back in time for the appointment. I come in on my appointment day and discover my doctor has no clue that I had a blood draw the previous week. He checks and finds their IT department has not uploaded my blood results to the system. This, despite the fact that as he put it, it almost always is up within 24 hours of receipt which is usually 24 hours after the blood draw is submitted to the hospital.

Then in February I go in for my latest checkup. Again, blood draw at least a week or ten days in advance. I get there - and find the stupid hospital did not do the cholesterol test - which is the main thing I wanted checked, and my doctor wanted checked.

Then on top of that I get a bill from the hospital for the blood test from last fall - despite the fact that I'm on Medi-Cal, which means I pay nothing for such things. Supposedly what happened is that my Medi-Cal was due to renew in November; I filled out the paperwork at least a month in advance, but apparently they considered it "lapsed" until it was officially renewed. One would expect it to continue until the actual renewal date, no? Idiots.

Then there's supposedly a system under Medi-Cal where I can access my blood test results online, provided I'm given a login code by my provider. So I ask my clinic for the code. Sorry, they haven't implemented that yet. My doctor last fall tells me, "We're technologically backward here..." Nice.

Then there's the fact that at my clinic I'm lucky to see the same doctor twice running, because most of them are up and out within a year.

The medical profession is full of incompetents and messed up systems. It's a wonder anyone is left alive, let alone during a pandemic.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Jul 14 2020 13:08 utc | 112

Posted by: lizard | Jul 14 2020 13:03 utc | 111 how do we know you ARE NOT a shill for Big Pharma? maybe that explains why you share our hosts lack of curiosity/criticism about the biotech corporations that will MASSIVELY profit from this crisis.

So I'm supposed to bitch and moan *specifically* about *every* issue that concerns *you*?

As I said in response to that other idiot's claim, if you look at my previous comments on HCQ, I have *never* said that it doesn't work. I've said something to the effect that it may or may not work, based on the evidence. The problem with that treatment is that since it is applied early, it has to be proven that those patients wouldn't have gotten well on their own. I've said the same applies to the FLCCC MATH+ Protocol. I've said that what is required is a properly conducted mass trial in which randomly selected cohorts are either given the drug (or treatment protocol) or not. The specified treatment has obviously to be done according to the recommendations of the people promoting the hypothesis. If it's not, the trial is not valid.

I have not bothered to read all the research papers for the trials that have been done, because I expect to hear about it either here or elsewhere if a trial works or is flawed. And I have heard that the trials done so far are flawed.

Nonetheless, the consensus appears to be that the trials were valid and therefore the drug has been dismissed from consideration.

I remain uncertain because of the statements by people here who say the trials were not valid because the hypothesis in question was not replicated properly.

I happen to be more interested in the MATH+ Protocol because that has reasonable medical theory behind it. But I still say it needs a proper trial. And so does HCQ.

What I do *not* do is *assume* based on the *anecdotal* or *observational* evidence from HCQ's use (or the MATH+ Protocol) that is has been *proven* to work.

*That* is where you are all making a mistake. If it is not *proven*, it is not *proven*. *That* is proper science. Get a proper trial done and I'll listen.

Fuck you, too. Go back to your 5G bullshit conspiracy theory. Given your propensity for being unable to comprehend how science works, you have no business accusing anyone of being a shill.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Jul 14 2020 13:19 utc | 113


you are an odd transhumanist. you seem to live a sad, lonely life, angrily lashing out at all the stupid morons around you, yet you want to extend your life forever.

I wish you would stop flooding this forum with your key-stroke masturbation. if there is life extending technology, I truly hope people like you are banned from using it, because we don't need hateful assholes like you living forever.

Posted by: lizard | Jul 14 2020 13:26 utc | 114


At least China announced it to the world this time and didn't squash the potential bad news about another pandemic before it spread far and wide.

China Confirms Case of Bubonic Plague In Inner Mongolia

Of course, if we're honest about all of this, human is a plague species. Just like rats but for different reasons.

From Reg Morrison's The Spirit In The Gene, a book suggested to me by a commenter here and yet said otherwise intelligent commenter, so overcome with his hatred for America, can't see how this applies to China as much as it applies to America. America, it appears, is the exception once again, be it exceptionally evil or exceptionally great.

>Our sleight-of-mind transition from hard=pressed, disinherited ape to the most dominant and dangerous species the world has ever seen is clearly one of evolution's most breathtaking achievements. The second stage of the transition, during which Homo sapiens auto-mutated from primate hunter-gatherer to plague animal in just 10,000 years merely by applying the novel tools of culture and technology, has no precedent in the natural world. Ethologically, it represents a feat that would have taken genetic evolution tens of millions of years to accomplish. Our overwhelming success, however, has some terrible hidden costs: human activity has now destabilized the biosphere and brought our species to the brink of disaster.

Fyi, all those who utter this simple truth, Reg included, according to some at least, should just kill ourselves and broadcast that suicide so all the world can witness it. Plague species indeed. The most violent plague species nature has ever produced. The cowardly criminal commenter who implored me to kill myself is perfectly emblematic.

Posted by: | Jul 14 2020 13:27 utc | 115

People who want to bitch might start with this...

Banks Stand to Make $18 Billion in PPP Processing Fees From CARES Act

How's about the banks get told not to charge any fees for helping out businesses during this crisis? Yeah, right, like Trump would be up for that...

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Jul 14 2020 13:27 utc | 116

Posted by: lizard | Jul 14 2020 13:26 utc | 114 I wish you would stop flooding this forum with your key-stroke masturbation.

Yeah, and if wishes were fishes, you'd be eating trout tonight.

I couldn't care less what you think or wish.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Jul 14 2020 13:28 utc | 117

@ Posted by: Chris | Jul 14 2020 12:17 utc | 103

This has nothing to do with Norway. The only reason Norway is particularly mentioned here is because the data found on the undertakers' losses happened to be gathered in Norway.

Lockdowns not only save lives directly from the pandemic, but also indirectly, from other causes of deaths. This is already known data, and I was the first one to bring this up here:

Lives or livelihoods?

Marxist health economist Dr Jose Tapia (also an author of one of the chapters in our book World in Crisis) has done several studies on the impact of recessions on health. He found that mortality rates in industrial countries tend to rise in economic expansions and fall in economic recessions. Deaths attributed to heart disease, pneumonia, accidents, liver disease, and senility—making up about 41% of total mortality—tend to fluctuate procyclically, increasing in expansions. Suicides, as well as deaths attributable to diabetes and hypertensive disease, make up about 4% of total mortality and fluctuate countercyclically, increasing in recessions. Deaths attributed to other causes, making up about half of total deaths, don’t show a clearly defined relationship with the fluctuations of the economy. “All these effects of economic expansions or recessions on mortality that can be seen, e.g., during the Great Depression or the Great Recession, are tiny if compared with the mortality effects of a pandemic,” said Tapia in an interview.

Yes, suicide rates go up in economic recessions - but they are more than compensated by the decrease of cardiovascular, pneumonia and violent, workplace deaths. And even then suicide rates go up because of the financial insecurity resulted from a capitalist recession, not because of being locked down per se.

It is counter-intuitive, for a person living in a capitalist world, to think of having a job in a booming economy as being detrimental to his life expectancy, for the simple fact that he's raised to directly relate working for a wage with one's and his family's livelihood. But it is true: wage labor puts a great strain on one's body and mind, and is very dangerous.

Posted by: vk | Jul 14 2020 13:32 utc | 118


I like that Reg Morrison is Australian and speaking to the issue of human as a plague species. It reveals that not ALL Aussies are like the prick Aussies who post to this venue. He, unlike these prick Aussies who post here, has the ability to be objective and independent and he's obviously a critical thinker versus an ideologue parroting Wall Street propaganda about development and progress as a cover for rapacious exploitation of the living planet for economic gain.

Posted by: | Jul 14 2020 13:32 utc | 119


and I would be eating my trout dinner surrounded by family.

did you know traditionally that is how humans have perceived life extension? they didn't hide out in an SRO hoping technology will deliver them from the inevitability death. they grew up, had families, and accepted that life is a finite span of time we have on this earth.

what have you done with your life that makes you so afraid of death you are hoping for the unnatural accomplishments of transhumanists like Peter Thiel to save you?

Posted by: lizard | Jul 14 2020 13:38 utc | 120


Russia has got the right idea there. They've banned the genetically modified crops that can be sprayed with the stuff.

Yeah, Russia, they're such tree huggers, aren't they?

Russia is despoiling the Arctic and it, and Putin, doesn't/don't give a shit.

New Fuel Leak Hits Russia’s Arctic Weeks After Disastrous Diesel Spill

Around 45 metric tons of aviation fuel have leaked from a depressurized pipeline operated by Russian mining giant Norilsk Nickel’s Norilsktransgaz, the latest leak to hit the fast-warming Arctic region since 21,000 tons of diesel leaked from a Nornickel plant in late May.

Posted by: | Jul 14 2020 13:43 utc | 121

Posted by: lizard | Jul 14 2020 13:38 utc | 120 what have you done with your life that makes you so afraid of death you are hoping for the unnatural accomplishments of transhumanists like Peter Thiel to save you?

I'm breathing, that's what I've done. And I've been doing so for 71 years. When you get to be 71 (assuming no such thing as life extension has been provided to you and since you don't want me to live, let me assure you I don't want you to), let me know what you think about dying in the next few years (if not sooner because some *moron* President has inflicted a pandemic crisis on you - if not a nuclear war). I guarantee you'll be reconsidering your opinion.

And it's not fear (at least no more so than is built-in by evolution.) It's awareness. It's morons like you who are afraid of everything - which is why you cling to your specious belief systems and conspiracy theories.

Your assumptions about me say more about you than me. So you might want to STFU before people start to realize that.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Jul 14 2020 13:47 utc | 122

@112 Richard Steven Hack - "The medical profession is full of incompetents and messed up systems. It's a wonder anyone is left alive"

As far as I can gather, about 1 in 3 of the system's patients are not left alive. As I'm sure you know, the word is "iatrogenic", a nice Latin-sounding word to embrace all those patients who are harmed by the very system engaged to heal them.

I have heard several times that one in three medical deaths in the US are the fault of the medical system itself. I haven't studied this, and a quick search once didn't produce any stats for me. But I suspect you would know more, or perhaps care more.

A friend tells me when his father was in the hospital his mother was with him all the time, with her little notebook, checking everything. She stopped a nurse from double-medicating her husband by telling her the previous shift had already done it. Cute. This was a life-death heart situation too, involving middle class white people who were well educated and with pleasant dispositions. So one can extrapolate one's own chances from that tale.

Posted by: Grieved | Jul 14 2020 14:02 utc | 123

Blue Dotterel@80
A very silly and discreditable argument.
I am such a 'shill' for the pharmaceutical industry that I believe that it should be nationalised and placed under public control.
So far as pharmaceuticals are concerned they are generally held, by educated opinion, to be of value, if administered properly in healthcare.

Posted by: bevin | Jul 14 2020 14:18 utc | 124


Bubonic plague is a small change American viral fear - you left out so many others: Zika, Rocky Mountain Spotted Feaver, West Nile, Rabies, tetanus, Hantavirus... And late-to-the-game bugs like Rabbit hemorrhagic disease virus (RHDV2) which I just read about (and it thankfully doesn't infect humans).

Any of the above (minus the rabbit ebola) scare me more than Covid and I live in Colorado - I spend a lot of time on rivers where many of these can be encountered. I'm pretty sure I've had West Nile that thankfully was only mild for me so I don't worry as much about the thousands of mosquitos bites I receive during the summer.

I like reading most of what is written here. Even now when I disagree with many people's opinion I still enjoy sitting back and watching the regulars trying to kill each other with thousands of paper cuts. It amuses.

But there are times (like now) when I get triggered and find I have to add my 2 euros to the conversation.

It amazes me how we can agree that most of the world's governments are led by folks who care more about their personal profits then their citizens well being, how corporate greed and overreach are the backbone keeping those folks in power... yet when something like Covid appears many them scream for more government rather than try and figure out a solution for themselves.

I like how many folks bitch at Trump's administration for not requiring mask sooner... why do these folks need some figurehead to lead them and help them make their decisions? They could have masked-up and/or self quarantined leading by example. But instead most people really need a parent figure to tell them what to do, how to do it and when to do it. I guess that's what I like about reading these post; it reminds me of being a kid and all the bickering between my brothers and myself.

There is a lot of people who are yet to get sick. They will. I'm sure at some point I'll be one of them. Regardless of the outcome of any of these peoples illness, life in some fashion will continue. There are somewhere between 7 and 8 billion of us flying around on this spaceship, we have spent the last 10,000 years roaming around the planet and fornicating, creating god knows how many interesting mutations in the process. Some of these people will be immune to this illness, just as some of their offspring will be immune to the next virus that mutates.

Ask yourself if it's worth it to you to remain alive at any cost? Is it worth it to live in a self created prison, wearing the latest biohazard suit because you might, just might, get sick? I know our host likes his cigarettes, yet I'm sure he is smart enough to know that his pleasure comes with a potential health cost.
He is willing to trade a little of his health for a little nicotine, and I'm guessing here, but I'm sure he wouldn't want the State to interfere with his enjoyment? I don't smoke cigarettes, but I don't have any desire to stop others from enjoying them. Sure their smoke can be annoying to me, but on the other hand, mosquitos don't like it either and I really don't like mosquitos.

All life has value. But the freedom to live as one chooses also has a value that sometimes outweighs another's life. Ask a rape victim who is going to get an abortion which life has more value if you think I'm being flippant. There is give and take. There are actions and consequences for those actions. The way we fight to keep our elders alive regardless of the quality of their life... so much money spent in the last couple of years of life, for what? To line the health careless industries shareholder's pockets. Why didn't those same people spend a fraction of that money in the previous years learning to eat well, exercise and getting the stress of keeping-up-with-the-jones out of their lives? Because they spent too much of their lifetime blaming others for the problems they were creating for themselves.

I guess the moral of this long rant can be summed up by saying, worry kills, and better to point the thumb rather than the finger when it comes to examining our problems... oh yeah I almost forgot; mask stop viruses about as well as underwear stop flatulence.

Posted by: David Shinn | Jul 14 2020 14:21 utc | 125

The point about the lockdowns making death rates fall is obvious to anyone who has ever had to work a day in their lives.

I miss the lockdown because I got to work on my own projects, wake up when I wanted to, and got to avoid driving on the shit pit that is the interstate which is an integral part of my commute, not to mention avoiding small town pigs and speed traps. I was immediately more stressed when I got the call that I had to return to work. My productivity never improved from that. Incidentally, at the office, I'm the only one wearing a mask, and the office is constantly air conditioned at a cool sixty-six degrees (and we had a heat index of 110 F yesterday!) Perfect conditions for the virus to proliferate. Despite the governor's mask order, our company's policy is that wearing a mask in the office is voluntary.

Did I mention the company I work for has a conservative political culture? I think it's obvious from the description, but worth noting. The conservatives are high on their own supply of disinformation and the consequences for the American Empire are enormous. The biggest threat to America's pre-eminence has always been the idiot conservatives who think rah-rah nationalism is anything but a symptom of an empire in decline. They will not reverse the decline with it, either. They're only intensifying contradictions and bringing things closer and closer to the end.

Posted by: fnord | Jul 14 2020 14:21 utc | 126

@David Shinn,

well said, thank you.

Posted by: lizard | Jul 14 2020 14:47 utc | 127

The testing b discusses in top post would make a big difference if.....

If memory serves (which is becoming a stretch in old age) my first comment here about covid was that USA is culturally incapable of responding to this, or any, epidemic. We do not do public health. We do individual health, and mostly we do individual health as an occasion for profiteering.

The existing PCR test is awful. Using it for individual diagnosis is a stretch.The Chinese very correctly saw a positive as merely a cause to do a re-test, and two positives as a reason to schedule a CAT scan and a doctor visit. USA has made PCR into some kind of holy grail. But if we could pull our head out our ass and use the PCR epidemiologically it would have some utility. This has not occurred. Millions and millions have been tested and mostly the information gathered has purely been wasted.

With the new test b is talking about it will be exactly the same. The problem is not technical, the problem is cultural. Again, the USA does not do public health.

Posted by: oldhippie | Jul 14 2020 14:49 utc | 128

DavidShinn@125 Underwear will definately stop a wet fart from landing on those around you

Posted by: TDeL | Jul 14 2020 15:05 utc | 129

Another neoliberal shill for Trump Administration/establishment.

What they don't tell you is that getting to 'herd immunity' is a boondoggle for Big Pharma and protects the 1% much more than 'at-risk' groups.

<> <> <> <> <> <> <>

David Shinn @Jul14 14:21 @125

[masks] ... why do these folks need some figurehead to lead them and help them make their decisions? They could have masked-up and/or self quarantined ...

Blaming the victim - this bullsh*t is no excuse for the Trump Administration's inept response.

There is a lot of people who are yet to get sick. They will.

They don't have to.

Is it worth it to live in a self created prison ...

This hyperbole is just bullsh*t. 'Lockdowns' are not permanent.

... the freedom to live as one chooses also has a value that sometimes outweighs another's life.

So you are willing to kill others because you can't accept inconveniences like wearing a mask and social distancing.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jul 14 2020 15:14 utc | 130

correction @Jul14 15:14 #130: libertarian not neoliberal


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jul 14 2020 15:18 utc | 131

In addition to what Jackrabbit said, the idea that the quarantines are a "prison" is odd. I feel more like a prisoner at work than I did when I was stuck in my room. It makes no sense that the libertarian/neoliberal (the difference is only one of aesthetics) line is that being under the nose of a boss is more "free" than being at home doing as I please. Give me a fucking break. Work sucks, let's not cherry coat it.

Posted by: fnord | Jul 14 2020 16:10 utc | 132

The point about the lockdowns making death rates fall is obvious to anyone who has ever had to work a day in their lives.

fnord 126

The level of ignorance in this statement is stunning. I sincerely suggest you get out of that sheltered bubble you
live in.

Not everyone lives in a country like Norway with their social welfare system which can afford to do a lockdown and not suffer social consequences Very few countries have a what $750B/1 trillion sovereign wealth fund accumulated over the years due to the pot luck of having discovered oil in their territory like Norway. That is why I said it was a really poor example to use. But quite clearly you can’t seem to understand that.

Many people around the world live hand to mouth, have no social welfare network and will quite literally starve if they go a prolonged period of time without work. Their countries have neither the money nor the infrastructure to give social welfare benefits while they stay at home. Their choice is simple. Go out and work and maybe catch Covid-19 and have what a 1-2% chance of dying compared to a 100% chance of dying from starvation. India is a prime example but there are many more countries I could list.

Furthermore, let say after a six week lockdown they were fortunate enough not to die of starvation. How many of those after not having worked and not eaten properly, suffering from malnutrition will now die from getting Covid-18 because of their week immune systems ?

Chimdren are being rushed to hospitals on SA suffering from malnutrition something the hospital say they have never seen.

But what would you know living in your sheltered bubble ?

Posted by: Down Sourh | Jul 14 2020 16:35 utc | 133

@ Posted by: Down Sourh | Jul 14 2020 16:35 utc | 133

I live in the United States, in fact, in one of the poorest parts of it. My state, Louisiana, has a life expectancy lower than Cuba's. I'm not speaking of what's possible in Norway, but what's objectively possible here if we took off the blinders of market fundamentalism and looked at the situation as it really is. This idea that "well, we just can't stop working" ignores how much of the work we do is useless and non-productive, the generated outcome of a capitalist social system that is producing for profits and not to directly satisfy human needs. And importantly, contrary to the bowtie-wearing pseudo-economists, we can indeed have a planned economy that produces goods directly to satisfy human needs while economizing on the number of workers needed to do so. Such a system could keep those of us who are inessential to social reproduction home and safe, subordinating our economy to the needs of human beings, rather than subordinating the needs of humans to the imperatives of capital accumulation.

It is beyond ridiculous that you think the alternative to what we're doing is to starve to death in our rooms, and it demonstrates the paucity of imagination that is strangling American politics. Mark Fisher called it "capitalist realism," and it's this pseudo-realism that is going to be looked at in the coming decades as responsible for the unnecessary deaths of hundreds of thousands. Maybe we'll only get what we need by deliberately withholding our ability to work, with a general strike that finally wrests control of the forces of production from capitalists. The important thing is, we do have options. We don't have to choose between catching the virus and starving. We never had to choose between those two options.

Posted by: fnord | Jul 14 2020 16:58 utc | 134

@ Posted by: Down Sourh | Jul 14 2020 16:35 utc | 133

Yes, but the blame here (read my last comment) is financial insecurity, not the lockdown. People become suicidal or break the quarantine out of fear of not being able to contract sufficient money to buy its essential needs, not because its home is depressing or scary.

We know financial insecurity is the culprit because suicide rates also spiked in the USA during the 2008 crisis (where there was no lockdown of any sort). Most of the suicides during that period were committed by males aged 56-57 years, that is, too old to be re-hired but too young to retire.

Lockdowns extend one's life expectancy - specially by males - by lowering mortality from the stresses and dangers of public life. Financial insecurity is another matter altogether.

Posted by: vk | Jul 14 2020 17:01 utc | 135

cirsium @Jul14 9:33 #89: Morocco's success using HCQ+Zinc

US excluded from EU 'safe travel list' while Morocco has made the list:

As expected, the EU refused to add the US to its safe travel list... After their exclusion, 13 countries remain on the EU list. They include: Algeria, Australia, Canada, China, Georgia, Japan, Morocco, New Zealand, Rwanda, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia and Uruguay.


Yeah, Right @Jul13 23:07 @44

There will come a time - reasonably soon, certainly sooner than anyone is expecting - when there will be a two-tiered system in place for international travel.

It would appear that your predicted two-tiered system is already here.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jul 14 2020 17:27 utc | 136 @ 7

Thank you for outing yourself.

Falon Gong is a cult. Right-wing end-of-times people who hate communism (well, OK, I'm fine with that, but...) and LOVE Trump.

Posted by: Seer | Jul 14 2020 17:35 utc | 137

More data needed, but it looks like herd immunity might not be possible. Just when you thought it safe to go back into the water (for those not familiar with this: it's a reference to the movie "Jaws"):

Posted by: Seer | Jul 14 2020 17:39 utc | 138

Thanks to MoA for keeping us well informed on the COVID pandemic and the US pariah state crisis.

More bad news, possibly very bad news.


“Wait. I can catch Covid twice?” my 50-year-old patient asked in disbelief. It was the beginning of July, and he had just tested positive for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19, for a second time — three months after a previous infection.
What’s more, repeat infections in a short period are a feature of many viruses, including other coronaviruses. So if some Covid-19 patients are getting reinfected after a second exposure, it would not be particularly unusual.

Posted by: snow_watcher | Jul 14 2020 17:40 utc | 139

vk @ 135

"Yes, but the blame here (read my last comment) is financial insecurity, not the lockdown. People become suicidal or break the quarantine out of fear of not being able to contract sufficient money to buy its essential needs, not because its home is depressing or scary."

Exactly! With the big Wall Street crash of 1989 people weren't jumping out of high-rise buildings because they were suffering from claustrophobia. (Wall Street traders saw that their game was up and rather than adjust to the new realities some jumped out of buildings.)

Posted by: Seer | Jul 14 2020 18:26 utc | 140

Seer @ 139
Every cloud has a silver lining then. Let me know when Trump and Boris Johnson are ready to jump.

Posted by: Mark2 | Jul 14 2020 19:04 utc | 141

Mark2 @ 140

"Every cloud has a silver lining then. Let me know when Trump and Boris Johnson are ready to jump."

Sadly, there's a LONG line behind them. Next in line for Trump would be Pence. Even scarier that Trump, for me, is Pence.

But, yeah, somehow we've got to introduce empathy back into our leadership, which in turn, I'd hope, would make empathy more engrained in our societies.

Posted by: Seer | Jul 14 2020 19:58 utc | 142

Seer @ 141
Yes I hear that loud and clear, good on you !
It will take more than that though, the greedy have been with us since year dot. But now they run the world, that needs to stop and the sooner the better. Cheers

Posted by: Mark2 | Jul 14 2020 20:32 utc | 143

@ 138 seer.. thanks.. i was reading that 1-2 months ago as well... this herd immunity concept seems to attract those in denial about covid like honey to bees.. the other comment i made - now @ 73, was in response to a few posts that have since been deleted trying to convince everyone of how herd immunity is now happening..

for those who argue for finance over health and well being - i am not sure how that is supposed to work... the usa is an example where profit takes precedence over the health and well being of it's people.. that is one short sighted approach and the fruits of this approach are on display for all to see at this point in time - 2020...

Posted by: james | Jul 14 2020 20:44 utc | 144

Muzaffar @ 102:

JW @ 105 almost but not quite got the answer. The food supplies taken on board the fishing trawler at Ushuaia must have been contaminated by whoever was / were handling the food. This also helps to explain how so many of the crew on the trawler got infected - all of them had to handle the food.

Posted by: Jen | Jul 14 2020 23:40 utc | 145

Muzaffar @ 102:

Funny, I had another sentence in my comment @ 144 that mentioned that the contaminated food would have been kept refrigerated at about 4 or 5 degrees Celsius: this is the temperature at which the SARS-COV-2 virus is most active. It seems to have dropped out.

The original article did not say if the people loading the food on board the trawler got infected but it's possible that if they were all observing correct hygienic procedures and their working conditions were not cramped, then none of them might have been infected, and the original source of contamination of the food they were handling could be further up the chain right up to the point where the food was initially prepared and packaged.

So the Argentine health authorities need to test the people at Ushuaia who loaded the food on board the trawler and consider the possibility that the supplies might have been contaminated already before they reached Ushuaia.

Posted by: Jen | Jul 14 2020 23:48 utc | 146


The word "idiot" comes from the Greek idiotes, which originally meant someone who lived isolated from the rest of society. In other words, someone who practiced social distancing.

Posted by: 0use4msm | Jul 15 2020 0:49 utc | 147

William Gruff | Jul 14 2020 11:12 utc | 96

The fact that nobody seems to be able to do a properly controlled study of hydroxycloroquine's use as part of a measure to prevent the disease is baffling and frustrating, but that is where we are at right now so skepticism isn't wrong.

Not yet peer reviewed:


Objective: To describe outcomes of patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in the outpatient setting after early treatment with zinc, low dose hydroxychloroquine, and azithromycin (the triple therapy) dependent on risk stratification. Design: Retrospective case series study. Setting: General practice. Participants: 141 COVID-19 patients with laboratory confirmed severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infections in the year 2020. Main Outcome Measures: Risk-stratified treatment decision, rate of hospitalization and all-cause death. Results: Of 335 positively PCR-tested COVID-19 patients, 127 were treated with the triple therapy. 104 of 127 met the defined risk stratification criteria and were included in the analysis. In addition, 37 treated and eligible patients who were confirmed by IgG tests were included in the treatment group (total N=141). 208 of the 335 patients did not meet the risk stratification criteria and were not treated. After 4 days (median, IQR 3-6, available for N=66/141) of onset of symptoms, 141 patients (median age 58 years, IQR 40-67; 73% male) got a prescription for the triple therapy for 5 days. Independent public reference data from 377 confirmed COVID-19 patients of the same community were used as untreated control. 4 of 141 treated patients (2.8%) were hospitalized, which was significantly less (p<0.001) compared with 58 of 377 untreated patients (15.4%) (odds ratio 0.16, 95% CI 0.06-0.5). Therefore, the odds of hospitalization of treated patients were 84% less than in the untreated group. One patient (0.7%) died in the treatment group versus 13 patients (3.5%) in the untreated group (odds ratio 0.2, 95% CI 0.03-1.5; p=0.16). There were no cardiac side effects. Conclusions: Risk stratification-based treatment of COVID-19 outpatients as early as possible after symptom onset with the used triple therapy, including the combination of zinc with low dose hydroxychloroquine, was associated with significantly less hospitalizations and 5 times less all-cause deaths.

Posted by: pogohere | Jul 15 2020 0:55 utc | 148

Posted by: 0use4msm | Jul 15 2020 0:49 utc | 146

'The word "idiot" comes from the Greek idiotes, which originally meant someone who lived isolated from the rest of society. In other words, someone who practiced social distancing.'

Not quite. The term referred to those who did not partake in political proceedings and did not pay attention to their responsibilities to the community. No social distancing therefore, but distancing from their obligations as members of their tribe/community.

Posted by: Constantine | Jul 15 2020 2:20 utc | 149

I read the blog Moon of Alabama most days. I have found it to be an accurate assessment of many controversial subjects outside of the false mainstream media provided narrative That is why I was surprised by his acceptance of the mainstream paradigm of COvid 19 after his first blog about it which he said is wrong. I appreciate that he (when he answers any commenters uses the byline b. rather than moon - the blog is moon of Alabama so I thought moon making me a troll to some commenters) lets commenters post that disagree with him. Apparently b. thinks SARS COV2 is a dangerous new virus that needs to be dealt with using severe measures like lockdowns, masks, and social distancing, contract tracing quarantining of healthy people closing schools. The effect which as time plays out is sending the world into a global depression. He then posts confirmation biasing articles that support his bias. My opinion (which along with a dollar will not even get you a good cup of coffee) is that SARS COV 2 is not a particularly dangerous virus. It is very transmissible. I believe it was used as an excuse to implement a number of predetermined changes to the world economy. It also is being used to bailout the big players that knew that an economic downturn was when/not if. Trillions of dollars were created to keep the 2008 fiscal catastrophe from wrecking the world economy. Rinse and repeat is going on now with the distraction of the Covid virus with tens of trillions of dollars (why do I think that it will not end well?). b. doesn't delve into this but he's not Michael Hudson or an economist. Meanwhile the lockdowns have decimated small businesses public life while the big corporations and Wall Street are bailed out with trillions. Bill gates has been - I want to vaccinate the whole world. He has even used the words "final solution. when talking about (his words) pandemic 1. James Corbett says the 2nd wave was already in the planning and iikely a Pandemic 2. Swine flu was a pandemic but a dud one. Why do I think it is important whether this virus was created in a lab or is zoonotic? It is because if it was designed in a lab and purposely let go (after all to the elites it mostly only kills the useless eaters of the old and infirm or the poor and unhealthy (it certainly is hard to stay healthy when you are poor). then it's not unlikely "they" have another actually deadly virus ready to go. This covid 19 is just as Pompeo said, "a live exercise" to have people accept lockdowns and a coming medical martial law. While the 911 false flag enabled the war on terror that will not end in our lifetime. It also made possible anyone identified as a terrorist to be taken off the street to a military holding without habeus corpus. The obvious next step is to have anyone identified as a medical public threat to be taken off the street and taken to a holding facility. "They" don't need us anymore. "They" think AI and robots will shortly be competent enough to do most all the things they needed us for. I would prefer to be wrong.

Posted by: gepay | Jul 15 2020 3:55 utc | 150

1) I fail to see why the proponents of Covid19 being the result of 5G
cannot apprehend the fact that Covid19 is present in countries that have less than 3G or even 2G internet. The US has zero 5G WiFi
antennae. Why is it that it is the World's most afflicted nation?

2)Some say that lockdowns are not effective while they have spared many people from contamination. They take note of ICUs being still available to claim lockdowns do not save lives. Car accidents alone would have dictated many ICU occupations that were avoided by the lockdowns.

3) the World needs more items like the UM UVC face masks and their widespread use. Uninfected people wearing that mask will not inhale live Covid19 viruses and will not exhale them either. All breathed and exhaled gases are virus and other pathogens free killed by Ultra Violet C radiation (< 255nm) wavelength.
If everyone wore a mask like these, Covid 19 and many other illnesses would disappear.

Cost of this mask is a factor, as it is being offered at close to 100.00USD for future delivery.

Production of these masks should be widespread and funded by WHO or the UN and distributed to all affected nations so as to eradicate this virus and others.

Life could get back to normal pretty soon.

Posted by: CarlD | Jul 15 2020 4:52 utc | 151

Gallup poll proving that Republicans are *more* moronic than Democrats (not that Democrats come off all that well)...

Americans' Face Mask Usage Varies Greatly by Demographics

While majorities of women (54%), Democrats (61%), Northeasterners (54%), and those with annual household incomes under $36,000 (51%) say they always use masks outside their homes, their counterparts do so less often. Still, with just one exception, majorities in each of these subgroups -- as well as education and age groups -- say they wear a mask in public at least very often.

The one exception is Republicans, among whom a majority say they wear masks infrequently -- either sometimes (18%), rarely (9%) or never (27%).

Don't bother nit-picking. I don't give a rodent's butt.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Jul 15 2020 5:09 utc | 152

An antigen test is an antibody test. A protein has multiple antigen sites to which different antibodies may attach. In the case of Covid the problem is complicated because of potential cross-reactivity with coronaviruses that cause about 15% of colds. You need an antigen site that is specific to Covid. Quidel claim that their test is specific to an antigen of SARS nucleocapsid protein. SO it is specific for SARS - not just Covid, but practically this is not an issue.

This test takes a sample that is the same as for a PCR test and disrupts any virus so that the fluorescent linked detection antibody for the nucleocapsid protein can attach to the SARS specific antigen. Benefit is a 15 minute test time. Seems quite sensitive at 113 viral copies / ml.

Like a PCR test it does not distinguish between live virus and residual dead virus.

Posted by: Ian | Jul 15 2020 7:19 utc | 153

@constantine--ah, in other words the kind of person who wouldn't wear a mask.

Posted by: pretzelattack | Jul 15 2020 8:28 utc | 154

@139 i don't remember traders jumping out of high rise building in 1989. it's hard to do from many buildings, for one thing--the windows won't open, and are hard to break. it's said that people did on black monday after the wall st crash that led to the great depression (not the only cause but a major one, maybe the major one, iirc), and they did from the upper stories of the wtc on 911, though.

Posted by: pretzelattack | Jul 15 2020 8:34 utc | 155

CarlD 150

The nutters and cranks congregate on sites that don't spew MSM propaganda along with those who think and research. So along with the media warrior battalions is also the nutters.
Such is life.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jul 15 2020 8:37 utc | 156

I am channeling a Doctor, but not the medical kind.
can you guess WHO?


I am man.
Man I am


Do you like
my mask and plan?


Would you like them
here or there?



Would you like them in a box?
Those who don’t would you dox?


Would you wear one
in a store?
Would you wear one
on the tenth floor?


Would you? Could you? In a plane?
Wear them! Wear them! Keep them safe!


You may get it. You may see
You may wear them at a wedding!



Posted by: lizard | Jul 15 2020 13:40 utc | 157

About the hostages affairs and the bourgeoisie inherent need for managers from the exploited class:

I’m the President of M.I.T. America Needs Foreign Students

Pay attention to his argument - and read the reader's choice top comment.

Posted by: vk | Jul 15 2020 14:02 utc | 158

The medical profession is full of incompetents and messed up systems. It's a wonder anyone is left alive, let alone during a pandemic. RHS at 112.

In a medical system that is geared to make a profit the no. 1 aim is NOT to take care of patients, or cure them, or make them feel better, or anything along those lines, but merely to cash in.

It follows that some pretense at serving the public is implemented as the secondary aim - do good, cure, alleviate, help, save lives, etc. - it must be publically clarioned, but is in fact subsumed to the first aim. The two are in contradiction and profit aim wins out.

The concomittant result is that medical procedures, hospitals, public health, medications, and much more, are not geared to what management might call ‘best practices’ - if under dubious ‘management’ anyone could ever come up with anything great - but to various competing financial interests, that fight *sub rosa* over the very consequent pie of med care potential revenues.

Ppl will give up their homes, their life savings, to save, treat, their children, loved ones. They will pay thru the nose for insurance and ‘false protection.’

Docs, med professions, incl. dental are the highest paid salaried workers in the US. If they are paid so handsomely, they should be hyper educated, extremely competent and effective, no? And loved by all? And have tremedous effect on 'health'?


Apparently not, as US citizens trust in the med./dental/pharma (insurance, state guarantees, structures etc.) circuit is low, or nil, with reason.

The service staff (docs, dentists, nurses, para-meds, emergency staff, etc.) are not entirely expendable quite yet, so those behind the scenes have to pay them big bucks to stay on board with the scams. The *high* pay (not for all of course but can’t go into that now) and accolades (awards etc. and recently the clapping etc. for med workers) is designed to keep them on board and blind to what they do day by day, how they are contolled, who they obey, why they do it, etc.

Posted by: Noirette | Jul 15 2020 18:08 utc | 159

Game's over for the anti-mask Americans. Your god, Walmart, will enforce their use inside their temples:

Walmart latest retailer to require customers to wear masks

Posted by: vk | Jul 15 2020 22:24 utc | 160

Norway has an extremely low population density; even its cities are small and not dense. The same can be said for small islands, Alaska and every other low density and/or isolated region.
And even so, the lack of exposure to nCOV means it will be vulnerable to outbreaks as nCOV comes in from elsewhere.
We won't know what the final tallies are until a vaccine comes out and ends the ongoing nCOV threat.
If anything, the shambolic US response shows that draconian measures don't matter any more than relative indifference/incompetence.
California's initial success has not been accompanied by ongoing success; the mortality rates per unit population have fallen pretty much everywhere in the US except California. It seems that California's initial success is more due to its lack of density than anything else - and that it is still dense enough that nCOV can and does spread: California nCOV mortality history
Compare California's miniscule (10%? 15%?) drop in CEEMD vs. New York, New Jersey, even Florida, Michigan and Georgia.
Overall, the reality is that nCOV has flatlined. Mortality rates are falling, death rates are falling, etc.
The majority of this is likely that the most vulnerable have already contracted it and either recovered or died; some of this is ongoing spread.
Nor is testing particularly useful: PCR tests are only good to confirm active infection while antibody tests only work well if the person tested had a moderate to severe case. Volchkov is looking more and more right every day.

Posted by: c1ue | Jul 16 2020 11:10 utc | 161

Coronavirus blood test now available in French pharmacies

"Fast blood tests to check for coronavirus antibodies are now available without prescription from pharmacies in France - but health authorities have said that people should still consult a doctor when interpreting results.

You do not need to have a “particular reason” or a prescription to take a test. Rapid tests cost from €9.45 up to around €15 in some pharmacies.

The blood tests can identify if the tested individual has antibodies in their blood against the coronavirus SARS-Cov-2 (which causes Covid-19). The presence of antibodies suggests that the individual has been infected with the virus previously, within the past two-three weeks."

Posted by: Virgile | Jul 19 2020 16:58 utc | 162

b must not be an American or he would know that Trump and the federal government has only an advisory role in an epidemic. Just as each of the 50 states has its own rules for unemployment pay, drivers' (and physicians' and insurance agents') licenses, each state has its own Public Health Department advising its governor, who makes Public Health decisions for his state. This is why Gov. Cuomo threatened to sue Trump when the President asked for a tristate lockdown/ quarantine; Trump has no such authority! Gov Cuomo allowed NYers to spread covid-19 throughout the nation (NY Times, May 7), and he threatened to sue Gov Raimondo of RI when she tried to quarantine incoming NYers. Most Americans think all Germans are secret NAZIs, so b spewing misinformation is similarly acceptable.

Posted by: michael888 | Jul 19 2020 18:09 utc | 163

The antibody tests (first run by Stanford in the US, results presented in May) were somewhat useful for epidemiology, particularly for seeing how far into the population the virus had penetrated. Unless much improved(?) they are not as useful for diagnosis (in a population false positives and false negatives can be corrected but not for individuals). Although early results from two small hard-hit Italian towns showed covid-19 antibodies in over half the towns' populations, similar studies in other hard hit areas showed 5 to 25% with antibodies (ie, previous infection) at most. This was a puzzle. Why did the covid-19 cases fall after 111 days in NY if there was still 75% or more of the population that had not been infected? Initially the view was the antibodies fade quickly. More recent (Nature paper from Singapore) results suggest that immunity to coronaviruses is mediated long-term (years) by T cells, not antibodies. Since coronaviruses cause ~20% of common colds, many people may have non-specific immunity to coronaviruses, including SARS-COV-2 (beyond most children and the young and healthy). Some computer modelling groups had noted that their models suggested that 50-80% of populations in different areas were not susceptible to the virus. As physicians in Italy had noted, patients presented en masse filling clinics, almost all aged. The young seemed mostly immune. We still don't know why 50% of those who die are age 80 or older, but immune cell differences are likely.

Posted by: michael888 | Jul 19 2020 18:27 utc | 164

@ciue 161
Good post. I think the Acela corridor has had their 111 days or so of covid-19 (now after spreading the virus throughout the US they are threatening people with arrest for entering their pristine-- likely immune-- states), and the more populous states of California, Texas and Florida are only 10-30 days into their epidemic. You are correct in that testing is only useful when the virus is rare in the area and the infected and exposed (particularly important for asymptomatic) can be rigorously "captured" and quarantined (unlikely in the US, outside of Hawaii and Alaska; 42 combined deaths). Hopefully unlike NYC physicians, others have had time to read the literature, and have prepared. My veterinarian friends say standard of care for large animals with serious respiratory infections is glucocorticoids (like dexamethasone, recently "discovered" as efficacious by Brit physicians, although published by the Chinese in March) and antibiotics. This probably is good enough for most patients sick enough to be hospitalized. Heparin, coumarin, even aspirin can be useful for hypercoagulation (strokes and emboli), probably immune mediated. The crying need is for pre-exposure treatments (nursing homes, other aged and the most vulnerable). Vitamin D3, selenium, and similar nutrient deficiencies have been linked to susceptibility, but like a vaccine, too late to give to hospitalized patients. Ivermectin, quercetin and the reviled hydroxychloroquine (having failed three trials in hospitalized patients but used with success in China and India; for malaria pre-exposure of HCQ for weeks is necessary for protection) may be useful for pretreatment.

Posted by: michael888 | Jul 19 2020 18:50 utc | 165

@mcgruff @100
great stuff mcgruff: when you are in the middle of a 'crisis' is no time to determine if the 'crisis' is real, exaggerated for the purposes of Big Bother, or simply ginned up to stampede the sheeple into accepting their 'new normal' dystopia ! ! !
when you are in the middle of a propaganda storm is no time to find out if you are in the middle of a propaganda storm...

Posted by: art guerrilla | Jul 19 2020 19:51 utc | 166

michael888 | Jul 19 2020 18:09 utc | 163 must not be an American or he would know that the United States federal government has huge power over the states owing to its huge revenues, the sharing of which with the states is a way of exercising this power. Even without the use of federal funds for applying pressure, the federal government can and does issue GUIDELINES to the states that can be and are the source of coherent public policy in many areas.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention were established precisely in order to allow a centralized power to coordinate public health policy -- exactly what is desperately needed now, although the corruption in this once brilliant agency means that it limps when it should be sprinting.

More than anything else, the federal government can provide, and has been able in the past to provide, leadership.

Regarding G5, Switzerland's parliament refused the legislation enabling the implementation of G5 after a huge campaign against it by the Swiss Medical Association (in French: FMH -- Fédération médicale helvétique). The millimeter microwaves from G5 have been shown repeatedly, in research going back to at least 2015, to seriously affect the respiratory system. While this would not CAUSE covid-19, it would definitely create a vulnerability, just as heavy air pollution does, since the virus is usually airborne and enters the body through the lungs. The speed with which Covid-19 spread through Wuhan is highly suggestive of this double vulnerability, for the residents had recently been exposed to G5 in a city known for its atrocious air pollution.

Posted by: RJPJR | Jul 20 2020 2:22 utc | 167

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