Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
July 08, 2020

The U.S. Has Surrendered To The Pandemic. Protect Yourself.

Yesterday the United States registered more than 60,000 new Covid-19 cases. As the number of new cases continues to increase unabated about two weeks from now it is likely to reach hundred thousand new cases per day.


Source: 91-divoc - bigger

The increase of testing is not the cause of higher new case numbers. The rate of people among those who were tested and were found positive has also increased. In Florida, which yesterday had nearly 10,000 new cases, the positive test rate has reached nearly 20%. That means that the epidemic is still accelerating.

This did not need to happen. Yesterday Germany, at a quarter the size of the U.S., had 279 new cases. It does 1 million tests per week and the positive rate is decreasing. China has defeated a new local outbreak in Beijing by testing more than 10 million people. The last two days it reported zero new cases.

Many of those who test positive, especially the younger ones, will not fall ill with severe symptoms. But some 10-15% are estimated to need medical support. How many of them will die depends on the quality of care that can be given to them. Some thirty hospitals in Florida have already run out of space in their intensive care units. That is the point where the real emergency begins.

Six months after the disease was discovered more is known of how to care for Covid-19 cases. The death rate per cases has therefore decreased. But this only holds when there are sufficient beds, doctors and staff available. At the current U.S. rate that will soon no longer be the case.

We do know that the hospitalization curve follows the testing/symptoms curve by some 10-14 days while ICU admittance follows the above curve with some 15 to 20 days delay. The eventual recovery in an ICU bed takes up to four weeks. A bed once occupied will not be available for quite some time.

Trump's new policy is to ignore the epidemic. He hopes that the people will get used to the carnage it causes:

Trump’s advisers [..] are seeking ways to reframe his response to the coronavirus — even as the president himself largely seeks to avoid the topic because he views it as a political loser. They are sending health officials to swing states, putting doctors on TV in regional markets where the virus is surging, crafting messages on an economic recovery and writing talking points for allies to deliver to potential voters.

The goal is to convince Americans that they can live with the virus — that schools should reopen, professional sports should return, a vaccine is likely to arrive by the end of the year and the economy will continue to improve.

White House officials also hope Americans will grow numb to the escalating death toll and learn to accept tens of thousands of new cases a day, according to three people familiar with the White House’s thinking, who requested anonymity to reveal internal deliberations. Americans will “live with the virus being a threat,” in the words of one of those people, a senior administration official.

“They’re of the belief that people will get over it or if we stop highlighting it, the base will move on and the public will learn to accept 50,000 to 100,000 new cases a day,” said a former administration official in touch with the campaign.

That may, to some extent, be possible. But 100,000 new cases per day also means that there will soon be 1,000 or so new deaths per day. The hospitals will fill up and the death rate will increase. More and more people will know someone who died of Covid-19. The economy will continue to only limp along as long as people fear getting infected.

My take is that Trump's calculation is simply wrong. The epidemic will continue to get wide media coverage. The hot spots will change but without local lockdown measures each of them will lead to the overflow of local hospitals. This will increase the death rate.

It is now too late to stop the epidemic in the United States. That makes it even more important for its citizens to take personal safety measures.

All spreading events that affected multiple people took place in enclosed spaces. The virus prefers it cool and dry. Places with unfiltered air conditioning should therefore be avoided. Open a window to create airflow if possible. Stay at a distance from other persons. Wear a mask.

Masks significantly reduce the chance of catching Covid-19. Your mask also protects the people around you should you unknowingly have caught the disease. This week high quality N95 masks (FFP-2 in Europe) were again available in my local pharmacy. The price (€6.80) was ridiculous but I bought two to use them in turn. I put one on whenever I leave the house. (It is not required to wear one outside but I am simply too lazy to put it on and off whenever I enter or leave some place.)

These masks (see pic below) are quite comfortable, tight enough to not fog my glasses and there is no problem breathing through them. The masks are officially one time use only but there are safe and simple ways to steam sterilize them for reuse.

My FFP-2 masks are similar to the one below but white and without a brand name printed on them.

bigger

Get used to wearing a mask. It is the new normal that is likely to stay with us for at least another year.

Posted by b on July 8, 2020 at 17:55 UTC | Permalink

Comments
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The official response of the entire US government to the virus was to steal as much money as they could carry and lie about absolutely everything as loudly as they could. It seems that they have accomplished just about as much of that objective as was possible.
We, the American People, humbly await their next offering of catastrophy, or barring that, their cutting all of that bullshit out.

Posted by: Joshua | Jul 8 2020 18:01 utc | 1

Common sense. No longer in vogue in the USA.

The scientists have been a big part of the problem. They have had to change their messaging every month.

Masks. Disinfect. Wash hands. Disinfect. . . . . . . . . . . . Social Distance.

Posted by: Red Ryder | Jul 8 2020 18:02 utc | 2

Aren't they counting now everyone who doesn't say "No, I don't have the virus"? It's strange to me that they shift the narrative every time - even including all the tricks they use - it looks like it's finally over.

Posted by: Dirk | Jul 8 2020 18:11 utc | 3

So why have the absolute number of covid-19 deaths been in decline since mid-April? Where are all the stories of overloaded hospitals?

Posted by: Kevin | Jul 8 2020 18:12 utc | 4

If masks are effective, why was it necessary to release prison inmates to prevent them from getting covid-19?

Posted by: Kevin | Jul 8 2020 18:14 utc | 5

Yesterday in the US reported daily deaths reached 993, the highest daily total since June 10th at 998. The downward trend has reversed and there will be an inexorable and deadly climb from here on out. It didn't have be this way. The US is failing on many levels, including failing its own citizens in controlling a controllable disease as demonstrated by other countries. It's a stunning spectacle of mendacity, greed, incompetence, ignorance, evil, religious freakery, etc.

https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/us/

Meanwhile there's growing concern for survivors, even for those with relatively mild symptoms. Add this to the costs of this experiment.

Warning of serious brain disorders in people with mild coronavirus symptoms

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/jul/08/warning-of-serious-brain-disorders-in-people-with-mild-covid-symptoms

And the myth of herd immunity is beginning to crumble.

Coronavirus: Spanish study casts doubt on herd immunity feasibility

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-53315983

The US is a pariah state. This is an extremely dangerous time with a mentally crippled and flailing leader of a super power constantly lashing out with increasingly violent rhetoric. Catastrophic actions may soon follow with the support of 40% of the population.

Posted by: snow_watcher | Jul 8 2020 18:20 utc | 6

Wearing mask(if it eventually ingrains itself as a widespread public behaviour) will bring deathknell of all the facial recognition hardware & softwares? What will happen to the millions of webcams which were capturing 24x7 in the public spaces but cant capture now! All investment lost ? It seems to me this is a battle by some TPTB vs some other TPTB.

Posted by: KD | Jul 8 2020 18:33 utc | 7

Much as I love MofA's work I am getting rather fed up with the horror stories with no sense of scale over Covid.
What proportion have been infected to date? 5% 15% 25%. No comment from MofA.
Is there a proportion of the pop that is simply immune (like most kids seem to be)? No comment from MofA.
Assume everyone caught it how many would that kill? No estimate from MofA.

Of course it is fair to say that no scare mongers talk about these things, not governments, not the mainstream media that is terrified of challenging the Fear factor. But I have learnt to expect proper analysis from MofA.

6 months in, we are still debating Public policy and personal policy without even discussing the potential scale.

My guess is that if nothing is done to prevent everyone being exposed to Covid, then on average we will have our lives reduced by 2 months per person. Which sounds pretty awful for someone in the last 2 years of their life, but frankly is nothing given the big gains in life expectancy in the last couple of decades (excluding US).

I'll happily debate that 2 month estimate with anyone who dares to discuss estimates of the crucial scale factors above.
But recall the CDC implied estimate of death rates per infection is 0.26% - and I haven't seen one scare monger accept a 1% number yet.

Posted by: Michael Droy | Jul 8 2020 18:37 utc | 8

It's called CULLING! There are no jobs, it's Marx's 'reserve army of the unemployed', surplus to requirement (by capitalism). Once more, it's NOT THE VIRUS that's killing Americans, it's CAPITALISM!

Posted by: barovsky | Jul 8 2020 18:38 utc | 9

@1 - Indeed. Hit the nail on the head. More than any previous (corrupt) administration, the Trump administration is a kleptocratic enterprise designed, in part, to enrich himself and his business cronies. They have, and will, use any event positive or negative to that end.

@Kevin (multiple) - 1) Use any search engine. USA Today is reporting that 56 Florida hospitals have hit peak ICU capacity. That's just in Florida. 2) You clearly know nothing about the American system of jails/prisons. You're lucky to get a meal that consists of more than 6oz. of week-old Frito pie (look it up if you're not American). Furthermore, masks were incredibly hard to come by and the Trump administration had, in fact, shipped a buttload of them over to China in secret while they were in short supply in the USA. And finally do you think that they'd give masks to prisoners even if they had them? LOL if so.

I'm sorry to the doubters; it's time to accept that this thing is real and that masks work in more ways than one provided they are used properly and sterilized correctly if needed. But I feel more sorry for the people who suffered and died (will die) as the result of the shoddy American political and medical systems.

Posted by: _K_C_ | Jul 8 2020 18:40 utc | 10

So why have the absolute number of covid-19 deaths been in decline since mid-April? Where are all the stories of overloaded hospitals?

Posted by: Kevin | Jul 8 2020 18:12 utc | 4

That's your homework. Go to your local hospital and ask where Covid19 are being kept. You want to disprove something you're going to need hard evidence to back your own claim.


If masks are effective, why was it necessary to release prison inmates to prevent them from getting covid-19?

Posted by: Kevin | Jul 8 2020 18:14 utc | 5

This is dunning Kruger effect. You must have heard your assertion somewhere instead of coming up with that yourself.
Virus are spread through droplets either from your mouth or noses. Wearing masks can help to contain said droplets spread to others or into public space where many people can be at risk. The virus did not hover in the air through fine dust particles.

Posted by: Lucci | Jul 8 2020 18:41 utc | 11

Where did anyone read that the "absolute number of COVID-19 deaths" (in the USA) is in decline? The count increases every single day.

If what they mean is why is the death rate falling, presuming it is and stays that way, then the answer is complex and still unfolding, but on a high level it's because they are finally able to test more people and many of the positive tests are the asymptomatic or light cases. Hence, we just *know about more* of the actual cases, not to mention that lockdowns, bar and beach closures, and mask mandates have also helped slow it down. For now. The fall and winter could be horrible.

Posted by: _K_C_ | Jul 8 2020 18:45 utc | 12

White House officials also hope Americans will grow numb to the escalating death toll and learn to accept tens of thousands of new cases a day, according to three people familiar with the White House’s thinking, who requested anonymity to reveal internal deliberations. Americans will “live with the virus being a threat,” in the words of one of those people, a senior administration official.

That's also Boeing's strategy post-737 MAX. Be aware with its soon to be re-licensed planes.

Posted by: vk | Jul 8 2020 18:46 utc | 13

US has currently raging Covid fires in Florida, Texas, Arizona. Cali and S Carolina and Louisiana are not far back. Forget about deaths for a minute. The large # of daily infections and hospitalizations will still put a major strain on US healthcare, logistics, food supply and then economy.

The hospitalizations should be a huge wake up call alone. Only 130 ICU beds in entire Arizona left available. A state of 7 million inhabitants.

It does not take a rocket scientist to figure out that at the very least there will be a huge hospital bed shortage in US for months and months.

Businesses will keep closing and going out of business for then foreseable future.

Even if we get zero deaths for Covid from today on, this is still a clusterf....

Posted by: Comandante | Jul 8 2020 18:47 utc | 14

MofA topped my dailing reading during the Syria war and until February.

No longer, as other readers I am sick and tired of the Covid paranoia spread on this blog. The coverage shows a complete lack of political, economic and even statistical analytical skills. Almost as if there are two different authors.

Read Swiss Policy Research for a realistic, science-based assessment of this election year propaganda hoax.

Posted by: Achim | Jul 8 2020 18:48 utc | 15

Within the Outlaw US Empire, there's been some consistently accurate reporting done by USA Today, but it's clear the Troll Brigade's talking points remain the same; and quite frankly, they are becoming very tiresome, allowing today's Global Times editorial to invoke a Chinese Proverb that:

"describes someone as quenching one's thirst with poisoned wine, and now the proverb can be used on the hysteric US government....

"while US society has become accustomed to it and even cooperated with it, which is degeneration."

I'll repeat the citation I posted on the previous thread from a baseball player for it describes the way out via collective responsibility:

"Just like on the field, success will depend on how many players are safe at home.

"'That’s going to be the biggest challenge for this game to move forward — the off-the-field stuff and what guys do,' said Vincent, an eight-year major league veteran. 'It’s just going to take one team to mess it up for everybody. I hope everybody gets that. It’ll take five guys to get a whole team sick, and then if a whole team is sick, that could end the season for everybody else.'"

And COVID-19's growth is almost completely related to "community exposure." I think it's rather important for b to echo the message of the linked editorial:

"The Trump administration is leading the country to 'co-exist with the novel coronavirus.' But we must tell Americans that such inaction is terrible. People's understanding of the virus is insufficient, but it has been proven that it can spread fast and infect humans, and the death rate of COVID-19 is much higher than the common flu. If the US keeps the status quo, its number of deaths will be incalculable, and so will be the lasting of the raging virus and its long-term impact on the economy." [My Emphasis]

I see Chicago now requires a 14-day quarantine of people arriving from the same states as does New York:

"Effective Monday, July 6, travelers from the following states are directed to quarantine upon arrival in Chicago: Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Nevada, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Utah."

The new book coming out about Trump is titled correctly: Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World’s Most Dangerous Man.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jul 8 2020 18:50 utc | 16

Go to the average deaths per day graph. Seems the trend is pretty clear.

https://covidusa.net/

Posted by: Kevin | Jul 8 2020 18:52 utc | 17

Much as I love MofA's work I am getting rather fed up with the horror stories with no sense of scale over Covid.
What proportion have been infected to date? 5% 15% 25%. No comment from MofA.
Is there a proportion of the pop that is simply immune (like most kids seem to be)? No comment from MofA.
Assume everyone caught it how many would that kill? No estimate from MofA.

Of course it is fair to say that no scare mongers talk about these things, not governments, not the mainstream media that is terrified of challenging the Fear factor. But I have learnt to expect proper analysis from MofA.

6 months in, we are still debating Public policy and personal policy without even discussing the potential scale.

My guess is that if nothing is done to prevent everyone being exposed to Covid, then on average we will have our lives reduced by 2 months per person. Which sounds pretty awful for someone in the last 2 years of their life, but frankly is nothing given the big gains in life expectancy in the last couple of decades (excluding US).

I'll happily debate that 2 month estimate with anyone who dares to discuss estimates of the crucial scale factors above.
But recall the CDC implied estimate of death rates per infection is 0.26% - and I haven't seen one scare monger accept a 1% number yet.

Posted by: Michael Droy | Jul 8 2020 18:37 utc | 7

You don't have to fear it but you shouldn't forgoes the medical guidelines against pandemic either. Else you might contributed to catastrophic healthcare system overloading.
What's your plan other than going into hospital once you're sick ? There are no over the counter medicine that are effective against this new diseases.

Posted by: Lucci | Jul 8 2020 18:52 utc | 18

It is simply not true that there are 1 Million tests in Germany per week. There is no such thing like mass testing in Germany. Only if you feel ill or in the few cases of contact tracing tests are being conducted, I personally know no one who has been tested at all. Due to the low numbers of active symptomatic cases numbers of tests should be low accordingly. Greetings from Germany !

Posted by: Seneca | Jul 8 2020 18:54 utc | 19

Dear Mr. Moon of Alabama, the real issue is not the number of new cases. The real issue is the number of death. That number is decreasing.

From https://swprs.org/a-swiss-doctor-on-covid-19/ :

There were approximately 100,000 test-positive deaths in the United States by the end of May. The overall mortality rate since the beginning of the year was, however, in the range of the strong flu season of 2017/2018 (see chart below).

In an open letter, over 600 doctors warned US President Donald Trump of the dangers of an extended lockdown. The lockdown was itself a “mass casualty incident”.

Posted by: Roberto | Jul 8 2020 18:56 utc | 20

@_K_C, Why would more testing drive the number of deaths down? Is there some miracle treatment that they are keeping a secret? Consider also the generous criteria for classifying a death as resukting from covid-19.

Posted by: Kevin | Jul 8 2020 18:57 utc | 21

Actually, the case in Florida seems to be even more dire than what is indicated here -- at least according to a report I saw from the Independent:

The data, which comes from the state health authority, show that more than four dozen of Florida’s hospitals have now hit full intensive care capacity, while more than 30 are at 90 per cent capacity. And in just the last few days, the statewide percentage of ICU beds available has dropped from 20 per cent to 17 per cent.

Posted by: Steve | Jul 8 2020 19:00 utc | 22

Posted by: karlof1 | Jul 8 2020 18:50 utc | 15

We need to look at the DEATH RATE, NOT the number of infections, or the so-called EXCESS DEATHS and the problem is that they (the US and the UK) no longer record the actual CAUSE of death, because the state doesn't give a fuck! In the UK, over half of all deaths have been in CARE HOMES, ditto the US. Again, they've been CULLED!!!! Offered no protection to their carers or to the ones they care for. This is EUGENICS or to use it's common name; FASCISM.

The rich don't give a fuck that more people are now dying from all other kinds of things, from untreated heart attacks, to starvation.

Posted by: barovsky | Jul 8 2020 19:04 utc | 23

Hospitals get a significantly higher Medicare reimbursement rate for patients diagnosed with covid-19. So we are supposed to believe that the healthcare system motherfucks us every time EXCEPT when it comes to being incentivized with higher covid-19 reimbursement rates, especially at a time when revenue from other medical procedures is down?

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/factcheck/2020/04/24/fact-check-medicare-hospitals-paid-more-covid-19-patients-coronavirus/3000638001/

Where are all the videos of overworked nurses and doctors like we saw back in April?

Posted by: Kevin | Jul 8 2020 19:04 utc | 24

I might add that a lot of people are dying because their immune systems have been fucked by the foul food, air and water, not to mention the stress of living under a dying capitalism.

Posted by: barovsky | Jul 8 2020 19:06 utc | 25

Im a working class stiff, most people in america simply cant isolate themselves cuz they need to work to pay the bill a couple weeks without pay is a disaster. What im concerned about is as a person who got laid of, federal unemployment assistance runs out at the end of july, after that ill be getting only 300$ a week from the state.which is not enough

Posted by: Bob | Jul 8 2020 19:08 utc | 26

Good post.

The microwave generated steam decontamination method (MGS) is confirmed by many studies. I saw the study you (b) posted, before one month.

It supports up to 20 decontaminations cycles without loss in filter performance and mask fit.

I use that method for mask decontamination too. It only works for respirator masks though. Presence of metal on the respirator mask is not a problem, the steam makes sure that there are no sparks, as studies and myself found.

For surgical masks, the microwave steam decontamination method did not work for me though, and it destroyed the surgical mask. According to studies, you can use another method for up to 10 decontaminations of surgical masks - put the mask for 5 minutes over a steam flow created by boiling water. But do not touch the boiling water with the surgical mask, just steam it.

For cloth masks - wash the mask in washing machine at 60 C, for at least 30 minutes. You can put some disinfectant in the washing machine, such as commercial Heitmann solution for disinfection or Hydrogen Peroxide instead.

Posted by: Passer by | Jul 8 2020 19:09 utc | 27

I quote the Chief Medical Officer for the UK, Chris Whitty:

For the vast majority (85%) the virus is NOT life threatening, most don't even know they've had it. Even most of those with co-morbities, survive, the overall death rate (not the total numbers) is around 0.1%

Posted by: barovsky | Jul 8 2020 19:11 utc | 28

I've read about shipments of masks from USA to China.
This does not make any sense. Do they even produce 1 masks? Where does those masks came from?

Posted by: Zico the Musketeer | Jul 8 2020 19:11 utc | 29

Posted by: Roberto | Jul 8 2020 18:56 utc | 19

Roberto, you are using old info, death rate started increasing again in the US.

https://graphics.reuters.com/HEALTH-CORONAVIRUS/USA-TRENDS/dgkvlgkrkpb/index.html

Posted by: Passer by | Jul 8 2020 19:11 utc | 30

The hysteria is over the top.
The CDC in it's data reported that ending June 27/20
https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/covid-data/covidview/index.html

"Nationally, levels of influenza-like illness (ILI) and COVID-19-like illness (CLI) activity remain lower than peaks seen in March and April.."

Notice they conflate the statistics of ILI and CLI- together to fudge numbers?

"Mortality attributed to COVID-19 decreased compared to last week"

Increased testing will inevitably find more cases despite b's claim to the otherwise

There have also been recent reports from Oxford
Link

that this virus has been around for some time already- as evidenced in sewage samples

"Dr Tom Jefferson, senior associate tutor at the Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine at Oxford University, and visiting professor at Britain's Newcastle University, says there is growing evidence the virus was elsewhere before it emerged in Asia"

Dr Jefferson believes that the virus may be transmitted through the sewerage system or shared toilets, not just through droplets expelled by talking, coughing and sneezing.
"There is quite a lot of evidence of huge amounts of the virus in sewage all over the place, and an increasing amount of evidence there is faecal transmission. There is a high concentration where sewage is four degrees, which is the ideal temperature for it to be stabled and presumably activated. And meat-packing plants are often at four degrees.

"These meat-packing clusters and isolated outbreaks don't fit with respiratory theory, they fit with people who haven't washed their hands properly.

"These outbreaks need to be investigated properly. You question people, and you construct hypotheses that fit the facts, not the other way around."


As for Germany their R number was up weeks ago- despite their massive fines and mandatory mask policy.
Still the mask psychosis persists

Posted by: R Rose | Jul 8 2020 19:13 utc | 31

@Passerby - Your own reference shows US deaths DECLINING. Yes, some states show an increase but a DECLINE for the nation. What is your explanation?

Posted by: Kevin | Jul 8 2020 19:16 utc | 32

@ 16

Yes the trend is pretty clear

@ 27

thanks for the sanity

Posted by: R Rose | Jul 8 2020 19:16 utc | 33

Corrected for population, the 1957/58 Asian flu killed over 230,000 Americans, and the 1978/69 Hong Kong flu killed about 170,000. COVID-19 is a bad epidemic, but it is only the third worst since WWII. 230,000 would be a death rate of 0.007%.

B and of none of the non-American commenters and most American commenters do not understand that the US has a real federal government with local police and health matters in the jurisdiction of the States. Within the States themselves counties and cities have a great deal of independent control. Most health and crime enforcement is at the city/county level. My sheriff has more authority over me than the state police. And my county health department has more authority than the federal government. The federal government has very little authority in local matters. The response to the coronavirus is almost entirely in the purview of the state governors, and the feds authority is mostly advisory. So look to the Governors to assign blame.

About half fo all the US cases and deaths are in the NYC metro area, so it was the Cuomo/De Blasio screw ups that mattered. They also got bad advice and faulty test gear from the CDC. Notably, public transit was not shut down anywhere, and in NY nursing homes were forced to accept elderly COVID patients. Over 40% of the deaths in America have occurred in nursing homes.

The lockdowns are not a panacea. There has been truly massive economic losses, which made take a decade to retore. Continued lockdowns will precipitate a Worl Great Depression.

Posted by: bob sykes | Jul 8 2020 19:18 utc | 34

Geographical spread. The early infestation was in the north-east, and now it's less a problem there, if I understand correctly. Now it's in the south and southwest, which weren't touched before.

Posted by: Laguerre | Jul 8 2020 19:20 utc | 35

Posted by: Kevin | Jul 8 2020 19:16 utc | 31

In the last day (yesterday) US death rate spiked to June 4th levels (922 deaths).

Posted by: Passer by | Jul 8 2020 19:22 utc | 36

"The goal is to convince Americans that they can live with the virus — that schools should reopen, professional sports should return, a vaccine is likely to arrive by the end of the year and the economy will continue to improve."

That's exactly what the Europeans are doing too.

Posted by: Mina | Jul 8 2020 19:23 utc | 37

Anyone know how us americans can purchase n95 masks from europe? They are still unavailable here and it will get worse. I get a long while of intermittent use of each so dont mind the $6 pricetag

Posted by: Comandante | Jul 8 2020 19:24 utc | 38

@ Posted by: barovsky | Jul 8 2020 19:11 utc | 27; @ Posted by: R Rose | Jul 8 2020 19:16 utc | 32; @ Posted by: Kevin | Jul 8 2020 18:52 utc | 16; @ Posted by: Kevin | Jul 8 2020 18:12 utc | 4; @ Posted by: Roberto | Jul 8 2020 18:56 utc | 19

Your argument is irrelevant, for the simple fact that the extra risk of death is still greater than zero (i.e. a person with COVID-19 still has a greater chance of dying than an exact copy of that person without COVID-19).

The American economy is consumer-based, i.e. it can only grow as long as people keep buying things they don't need in ever greater quantities in money-terms. That makes the opportunity cost of consuming something you don't need too great even if, in absolute terms, you could argue the risk is still at the safe zone.

Even if COVID-19 mortality rate was similar to the common flu (it isn't: it's more than 10 times the common flu's mortality rate), you still have to face the fact that we're not at flu season, and that two flu seasons are deadlier than one flu season. The opportunity cost of consuming things you don't need still applies: people are not going to the restaurant at a random Sunday if that means they have a +1.5% chance of dying because of that. Keep in mind that this +1.5% chance of dying going to the restaurant piles up over the other risks (of being murdered by a robber, by being ran over by another car, by being hit by lightning etc. etc.) - it doesn't offset them.

Posted by: vk | Jul 8 2020 19:25 utc | 39

I thought the stories of Cuomo having nursing homes being forced to accept covid-19 patients was conservatard ranting. But even the NY Times admits it.

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/24/us/nursing-homes-coronavirus.html

Posted by: Kevin | Jul 8 2020 19:26 utc | 40

@Passerby - A trend of ONE DAY? Are you serious?

Posted by: Kevin | Jul 8 2020 19:28 utc | 41

Kevin,

Then you need to be more precise/correct with your language. You said, in your original post "So why have the absolute number of covid-19 deaths been in decline since mid-April?"

Perhaps you don't know the difference between "average daily deaths" and "absolute number of deaths." The latter is increasing every day. The average number of deaths, however, is indeed *currently* in decline after a previous spike and that is due in part to all of the preventive measures that the "Troll Brigade" (as karlof1 has dubbed them) are constantly claiming don't work. Masks, closures, more testing and quarantine/isolation, etc.

I already know you're not going to read the "in part" in my previous paragraph, so I thought I'd make sure to repeat that the situation is complex and it is completely reasonable, even without evidence from other countries on those counts (which does in fact exist and has been posted ad nauseum here), to conclude that the decline in deaths per day as we speak is partly due to the measures mentioned.

Posted by: _K_C_ | Jul 8 2020 19:32 utc | 42

Another fact about COVID-19 that I found very interesting. It's a lot more complex than the average virus. And thus has capacities which the average flu virus doesn't.

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/a-visual-guide-to-the-sars-cov-2-coronavirus/

The SARS-CoV-2 genome is a strand of RNA that is about 29,900 bases long—near the limit for RNA viruses. Influenza has about 13,500 bases, and the rhinoviruses that cause common colds have about 8,000. (A base is a pair of compounds that are the building blocks of RNA and DNA.) Because the genome is so large, many mutations could occur during replication that would cripple the virus, but SARS-CoV-2 can proofread and correct copies. This quality control is common in human cells and in DNA viruses but highly unusual in RNA viruses. The long genome also has accessory genes, not fully understood, some of which may help it fend off our immune system.

Posted by: Laguerre | Jul 8 2020 19:33 utc | 43

Posted by: Kevin | Jul 8 2020 19:28 utc | 40

Yes, it is one day. It does not make it not true. Of course, it remains to be seen if death rate will spike further.

So we will see about that. I say US death rate will spike compared to the last month. You say it won't. Do you want to bet?

Posted by: Passer by | Jul 8 2020 19:35 utc | 44

With the US now at 10% of its peak death-rate and falling, despite the known rapid spread of the virus for at least a month now, Covid-19 is barely newsworthy at this stage.

Herd immunity beckons for the US and for Sweden.

Posted by: Liberty Blogger | Jul 8 2020 19:36 utc | 45

Good timing, b.
Vic.gov's credibility tanked last week in the wake of a fiasco involving a silly lapse of 'medical security' at a hotel being used, exclusively, to quarantine infection suspects. It turns out that the people hired to manage/supervise the inmates' adherence to best practice were casual security guard types with no relevant skills and 5 minutes of 'training' i.e. a cheap solution.
Being low on the pay-scale pecking order, these people lived in low-rent suburbs. A sufficient number of them lived in high-density, 20-storey public-housing complexes that they carried the infection into 9 such complexes. It wasn't until residents began testing positive for COVID-19 that Vic.gov realised the magnitude of this thrift-induced blunder. The residents of the apartment blocks received i hour's notice of their forced confinement.

What began as a policed lock-down of 9 apartment blocks became a lockdown of 10 Melbourne postcodes (40 to 50 Northern suburbs) on June 30, and escalated into a panic-mode lockdown of most of metro Melbourne announced pm on July 7, effective midnight on July 8. So now Melburnians are back to April restrictions - only reasons to leave your place of residence/suburb are Work, Essential shopping, Medical issues, exercise.

So everyone is feeling very pissed off and very, very perplexed. The measures imposed have a reasonable chance of working but 6 weeks of lockdown is going to expose some psychological cracks. Imo.

Anyway, I have sufficient masks to quarantine 3 masks per day for 7 days. I have yet to wear one but expect to be doing so fairly soon...

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Jul 8 2020 19:47 utc | 46

Those doubting the importance of this dangerous pandemic are simply attempting to justify the preservation of neo-liberal capitalism at the expense of human lives. When 'Droy' says that the net effect will be to lower life expectancy by an average of two months he is trivialising the agonising deaths of hundreds of thousands of people due to occur in the coming months.

As b points out in the coming months the US Healthcare non-system is headed for a monstrous car crash, a catastrophic collapse in the face of hundreds of thousands of people who are going to need treatment which is likely to be unavailable. This will have a knock on effect on large numbers of others, whose needs for medical attention will go unsatisfied because there is no spare capacity and the system has already been strained beyond its limits.
Then there will be the victims of poverty inevitable in an economy in which few have savings and subsistence depends upon the labour market-with demand for labour declining, unemployment will increase and consumption go into further decline, a vicious circle leading to famine and the sort of malnutrition which undermines societies for generations to come.

And the cause is very simple: for decades accountants and politicians have preached against 'waste'. And 'waste' has come to mean any expenditure not immediately justifiable by actual demand. Thus a spare bed in an ICU is waste; a nurse on a coffee break is wasting her time; a stock of PEP held in reserve is waste; investment in virus prevention between pandemics is waste (far better to spend resources on acne or anti-wrinkle creams.
Everybody knew this pandemic was coming. Everyone knows that more health emergencies are going to arise.

But some (rhymes with scum) dispute the importance of millions of people dying. They see it is sad and unfortunate but nothing like the inconvenience that a major regulation of private property rights in order to prevent rich people from eating poor people would entail.
The last time this happened in the United States was in the 1930s. Then, finally, kicking and screaming, the capitalist class was forced, in fear of its imminent demise, into conceding the basic reforms needed to bring society through the Depression without millions more dying of starvation and hypothermia. But the opposition never gave in-those who fought the New Deal finally prevailed in the 1980s, first they re-conquered the Republican Party, then they took over the Democrats too. As a result there has been forty years of serial de-regulation and privatisation so that society is defenceless in the face of the pandemic.

Defenceless in terms of resources (not enough doctors, not enough nurses, not enough material resources) and defenceless too in terms of intellectual resources- nobody in government has any idea of what to do. The leadership of society is so thoroughly brainwashed to reject social solutions and to search, at every sign of danger, for ways to incentivise the market to solve problems, that it cannot bring itself to recognise how simple it would be to follow in China's footsteps and mobilise the enormous spare capacity in the economy into a public health campaign. (These are the idiots whose response to climate change was the creation of a market for carbon credits.)
Hoist on its own petard, the United States blunders towards its demise.
Can the federal system survive the experience of a Katrina in every county?
Can the states rights blowhards live down their failure to produce local solutions to local problems?
Can capitalism live on after its cannibalistic nature has been fully revealed?
The system is in crisis and the point is to change it, to come up with something better and to refuse to accept the repair of the most evil system of government that the world has ever seen. The first global iteration of a society organised to protect the wealthy and to kill any dissent from their victims.

Posted by: bevin | Jul 8 2020 19:48 utc | 47

@_K_C - By absolute, I mean none of those pesky numerators or denominators. If the cases are exploding, why are the deaths declining. I have yet to hear an explanation for this.

@Passerby - Death statistics are not necessarily released on the day they occurred, particularly if they occurred over a weekend or holiday. That is why the average number of deaths is smoothed.

Posted by: Kevin | Jul 8 2020 19:50 utc | 48

"My take is that Trump's calculation is simply wrong."

Trumps calculation is to separate US from China and take China down. Coronavirus is his ally rather than enemy.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jul 8 2020 19:53 utc | 49

Those doubting the importance of this dangerous pandemic are simply attempting to justify the preservation of neo-liberal capitalism at the expense of human lives.

Bullshit!

I've seen quite a spectrum of very reasonable argument about this. The 'defense of capitalism' is a vicious strawman. What I see being defended is the only system currently in place and viable to get supplies to masses of people. Yeah, it sucks that Bezos gets richer, but you can't just abandon noxious structures if the alternative is anarchy, especially if your aim is to prevent death and destruction.

Posted by: Dr Wellington Yueh | Jul 8 2020 19:55 utc | 50

Posted by: Kevin | Jul 8 2020 19:50 utc | 47

Death rate lags by 20-30 days. So i will remain on record saying that US death rate from now on will spike compared to the last 30 days.

Posted by: Passer by | Jul 8 2020 19:56 utc | 51

I agree with you about wearing masks. But think for a moment about ll the ridiculous double-talk and outright lies the our government has spread about make wearing, and I think perhaps we can understand why so much of the public is skeptical.

At first we were told point blank that masks didn't work - this was a 'little white lie' to save masks for health care professionals, the official line is now that masks do work, but what kind of message does this send about the honesty and reliability of anything we hear from the government?

Just the other day I read an "official" statement saying that private citizens shouldn't use medical grade masks, they should use home-made masks and save the masks that really work for health care professionals. Seriously. So if home-made masks aren't effective - or not as effective as medical grade ones - why are we being asked to wear them? Is this just to keep morale up? Again, this is such obvious double-talk that skepticism seems in order...

And the big problem with the mask shortage are all these "free" trade agreements that shipped all the factories making masks (and tests and reagents for making tests etc.etc.) to China. So is the government moving to bring medical manufacturing back to this country? They are not! Last I heard, they have formed a cartel of private companies, that would import masks from China and use their legal quasi-monopoly power to force hospitals etc. to bid up prices given a scarce supply. Again, our elites are not interested in increasing the supply of masks, they just want to make sure that the right people can make a quick buck profiteering from the limited supply.

And if masks are important, why the heck aren't we making better ones? Surely we can make a mask that is as protective as an N95, yet as comfortable to wear as a regular surgical mask. We could do this with only a modest research effort, but of course, nobody is even trying.

Bottom line: the real rot is that our elites - on both sides of the aisle - just do not care about the general public. Remember again how their first order of business, was to pass massive tax cuts and subsidies target exclusively to the super rich. Gotta have your priorities, right?

Posted by: TG | Jul 8 2020 19:56 utc | 52

@ Liberty Blogger 44 : July 7 deaths were 993, up from 500..600 peaks the weeks before, all time peak April 21 was 2749, so rather 36% than 10%. Herd immunity is far away, and different from Sweden, the USA have a broken health insurance system with tens of millions uninsured, and at least hundred million so underinsured that a hospital treatment may ruin them.

That is one of the major problems. Would the US have granted every Covid19 (and suspect) case free medical treatment, they would have some chance to control the epidemics. Too late.

Posted by: aquadraht | Jul 8 2020 19:59 utc | 53

"There are no over the counter medicines that are effective against this new disease." - Lucci 17.

Dead wrong! There are at least two already well proven: Dr. Didier Raoult's hydroxychloroquine, azithromycin and zinc cocktail, tried and proven in his Marseilles hospital; and large-dose vitamin C, given either intravenously or by mouth if you want to do it yourself. See 'Doctoryourself.com' for more details. Take the white powder form of C if using diy: ascorbic acid or sodium ascorbate: AT LEAST 30 grams - sic! - per 24 hours, in water, stirred and sipped repeatedly, every quarter hour. Note: there is no known (genuine) LD50 for C; and no really serious bad effects. As safe as anything can be. In my 80th year I've just used this approach to see off an attack of what I believe to be covid, in three days. But I have no co-morbidities, and a strong immune system, still.

Naturally the cocktail is contested, thoroughly deceitfully, by the Big Pharma shills; and no-one ever hears about the C approach, because both these ***effective*** treatments would knock the bottom out of the slavering anticipation of huge vaccine profits amongst the gics (the gangsters-in-charge) who are treating us all like sacrificial cattle.

Posted by: Rhisiart Gwlym | Jul 8 2020 20:02 utc | 54

@Passerby - Why is there a need to bet? Why not just give your prediction of the magnitude of the spike and the specific reason for the spike. Neither you nor I have any control over what future policies will be enacted, revised definitions/classifications of coronavirus diagnosis will be used or testing technologies be employed.

I am saying that, based on the data that we have, there is a disconnect between the increasing number of cases and the indisputable decline in deaths that has not been explained. If it is because most of the vulnerable (such as in nursing homes) have either already died or are now under better protection, we should see the deaths decline or reach some low level.

Posted by: Kevin | Jul 8 2020 20:03 utc | 55

That's exactly what the Europeans are doing too.

Posted by: Mina | Jul 8 2020 19:23 utc | 36

Actually I don't agree with that. The Europeans waited until the infection and death rate descended to a low level, as opposed to US and UK.

I wouldn't say they were totally right, as someone I know in the ambulance service in France told me today that if anything the number of cases is increasing. COVID ia a very resistant virus; there'll be a lot of local new outbreaks until it's finally finished.

Posted by: Laguerre | Jul 8 2020 20:04 utc | 56

Posted by: Kevin | Jul 8 2020 20:03 utc | 54

>>Why not just give your prediction of the magnitude of the spike and the specific reason for the spike.

I suspect the spike will occur due to not only having more cases, but due to rising US hospitalisations as well.

https://covidtracking.com/data/us-daily

Death rate usually lags hospitalisation by 15-20 days. A rise in US hospitalisations started before 16 days. Therefore my estimate is of average death rate spiking by at least 70 % compared to before 20 days. That higher death rate period will last at least one month. It can continue further, depending on hospitalisations continuing to increase or not.

Posted by: Passer by | Jul 8 2020 20:17 utc | 57

Dr. Seheult's latest lecture on MedCram has some interesting results concerning herd immunity (or lack thereof).

Posted by: Copeland | Jul 8 2020 20:28 utc | 58

bevin makes very salient and timely observations @46 above.

I am not a very good wordsmith but I would add to his post the following:

1) Eliminating "waste" is not just about "actual demand" but also about maximizing immediate (appearance of) profit for a select few including majority shareholders, upper corporate management and psuedo-banks like Goldman and the like. As long as the few can extract the weekly, monthly, quarterly profits by cutting "waste" (including domestic jobs), they will continue to do so. There is plenty of actual demand for numerous things including ICU beds for example (or any commoditized service/good for which the market will not bear excessive profit to be made) and the owner class, the few, doesn't care. They don't respect the free market because such a thing doesn't exist. They are bailed out every time they screw up while the people/workers are left in the lurch. Hence, screw supply and demand as well as long-term profits/economic health. Only highly profitable goods/services will be produced/provided and the basic necessities are ignored.

2) The sad irony of people/workers propagandized into voting and speaking in a manner that conflicts with their own economic/health interests and favors the few is now more evident than ever; in fact just a look at some of the comments here under COVID-19 related posts is evidence enough. The "working class" has not only been divided along racial and religious lines, but a good portion of them spend a great deal of time preaching on behalf of their masters, often if not always not even realizing they're doing it.

Posted by: _K_C_ | Jul 8 2020 20:29 utc | 59

such a great blog on so many topics but the covid fear-mongering & shaming of skepticism is deeply disappointing. In my location, OC (SoCal) 369 deaths of which 281 are age 65 & over in a pop. ~3.17 million. I do not think this is sufficient to destroy lives, families, jobs, futures etc & I am certainly not "simply attempting to justify the preservation of neo-liberal capitalism at the expense of human lives"

Posted by: Dedwengles | Jul 8 2020 20:31 utc | 60

Kevin,

I can only go by what is written, and "absolute number of deaths" means the running total, which again is continuing to rise.

There are many unknowns regarding the death rate and it is way too early to claim victory considering the developing situation and accompanying news. It is simply a fact that numerous hospitals are at full capacity with COVID-19 patients in the USA. What happens if it keeps growing and people are unable to access intensive hospital care? Well, for one thing the death rate will begin to increase again, perhaps dramatically.

Posted by: _K_C_ | Jul 8 2020 20:33 utc | 61

I should clarify my comment @ 58.

Obviously there is not normally a huge demand for ICU beds. There is, however, the need to maintain capacity of basic needs like that as well as capability and inventory of services and staples (access to clean air, water, food, etc.), which is intentionally left by the wayside to varying degrees in Western late stage capitalist economies/political systems. Waste is continually redefined and we are propagandized constantly that "the markets" constitute the real economy, when in fact we could move on just fine without them, or at least with keeping them and making them play by the same basic rules that the rest of us do.

Posted by: _K_C_ | Jul 8 2020 20:39 utc | 62

PSA: (Sorry for Screaming)

YOU CAN BUY FFP2 MASKS AT ALIEXPRESS FOR 1-1,50€!! TAKES 1-2 WEEKS TO DELIVER TO EUROPE/US!

I have bought them 3 times since the start of Covid for me and my family, no need for improvised or overpriced masks!!

Posted by: DontBelieveEitherPr | Jul 8 2020 20:43 utc | 63

Another category error from b.

=
This did not need to happen.

Someone thought that it did need to happen.

=
Trump's new policy is to ignore the epidemic.

Nonsensical. Ignoring the epidemic is a wilful decision (akin to Obama's "wilful decision" to 'ignore' the growth of ISIS).

We should ask qui bono. Big Pharma, the US government (they pay for the healthcare of many older people), and the Deep State as described by Peter AU1 @Jul8 19:53 #48

Trumps calculation is to separate US from China and take China down. Coronavirus is his ally rather than enemy.

<> <> <> <> <>

Also note: herd immunity among the plebs is ultimately more likely to protect the wealthy in their gated communities more than 'at risk' populations that are susceptible (which include younger people).

Class war? Or just a series of innocent 'mistakes' and unfortunate 'ignoring'? Decide for yourself.

!!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jul 8 2020 20:44 utc | 64

re cleaning masks: What is the matter with putting alcohol in a spray bottle and hitting the mask with that at night?

Posted by: c | Jul 8 2020 20:58 utc | 65

We in America are so fukd, and it is raw and unfiltered stupidity that is killing us more than the virus. These people cannot perform simple arithmetic with integers, much less visualize how geometric progressions work. Even worse than that is they do not have the capacity to see beyond the end of their nose where this is going.

The US is going to get quarantined by the international community. A million international students per year will stop coming here. 80 million tourists per year will find less diseased places to visit. America will be the national version of a leper.

What I don't know is how other counties will handle the US military bases on their territories. These bases will be serious vectors for disease for other countries even after the virus has run its course in America and killed a few million there.

Posted by: William Gruff | Jul 8 2020 21:01 utc | 66

Why are COVID cases increasing while deaths are decreasing? The answer is simple. It's called Simpson's paradox and it's the result of incorrectly pooling data and arriving at a false conclusion.

Simpson's Paradox(YouTube)
https://youtu.be/ebEkn-BiW5k

Posted by: Boothroyd | Jul 8 2020 21:05 utc | 67

N95 masks were designed for max INHALE filtration....zero on EXHALE. See the problem?

Posted by: Ljag | Jul 8 2020 21:06 utc | 68

46 bevin,

A well reasoned response. Though I'm sure many here will prefer to pick it apart to suit their own personal narratives.

Posted by: Digital Spartacus | Jul 8 2020 21:07 utc | 69

Michael at #7

If we accept your premise of a .26% infection death rate, and let’s say only half the US ever gets infected ultimately, that’s “only” about 455,000 deaths. No way of knowing how many will have serious health problems. And this is your own optimistic scenario. When 100,000s of thousands dead are considered minor, then you know the culture is down the sewer. IMO, the callous national non-response to US torture and mass murder abroad has prepared the US population to have exactly this attitude. The war comes home now.

Posted by: Jeffrey Kaye | Jul 8 2020 21:11 utc | 70

William @65 and Jeffery @ 69

The desensitisation of the general public will be instrumental in how this will be spun. It is easy to deny any culpability when torture and mass murder take place in some far away country. A far different story when the ravaging is happening at home. It will be interesting to see how much harder they will lean on the "China" blame game and how their exceptionalism will carry them through. I'm sure things will be concocted to deal with the large numbers of international students who won't be showing up in September for colleges and universities in the US. Not to mention the apparent appearance of Covid in Barcelona far earlier than December in Wuhan.

Posted by: Digital Spartacus | Jul 8 2020 21:20 utc | 71

Ljag, 67 -

That is only partially correct. You are referring to one particular type of N-95 mask
discussed here.

I believe those were designed for sanding and painting or other activities where there is fine particulate matter being generated and sent into the air.

I happen to have some N-95 masks that look like those, but in fact the "valve" is just a less restrictive filter media, not a valve. So they still block droplets, which is how the virus is made airborne.

Medical grade masks protect against both inhale and exhale.

But it's important to understand that face masks and face coverings come in several different forms, from sterile medical-grade masks to handmade cloth face coverings.
Medical-grade masks include disposable surgical face masks and N95 respirators. Surgical face masks are used to block large particles and respiratory droplets (which are sent into the air when someone coughs or sneezes) from entering or exiting your mouth. Tight-fitting N95 respirator masks are designed to filter smoke, small particles and airborne viruses.

These are rather common now and readily available most place, in some cases with price gouging. ebay and Aliexpress you can use. But you should definitely make sure to get the ones that filter both in and out, i.e., no exhalation valve.

Posted by: _K_C_ | Jul 8 2020 21:21 utc | 72

Thanks for the post b. I am surprised by the level of hostility in the comments... surely this, of all issues, can be approached rationally? This is MoA after all.

I work in healthcare administration in the US so have some perspective on a couple things. First: the number of "available" ICU beds is not informative. In normal times ICUs are 90-95% occupied, and administrators constantly look for ways to increase occupancy rate (because that's how they make money!). If the ICU is full and a new patient comes in, there are overflow units already set up throughout the hospital to take them in. Doubling or tripling ICU capacity is very doable, especially in the current situation when most non-covid patients are avoiding the hospital. There is a lot of space available in all US hospitals right now because all the "elective" procedures have been cancelled. This is just a fact taken out of context by journalists to sensationalize their headlines.

Second: the pandemic is very real. Those poo-pooing it in the comments are off base. Hospitals are devoting huge amounts of resources to treating patients and you really, really don't want to get infected. I'm with b 100% on that front.

However, this does NOT necessarily mean that lockdowns are the correct approach. That is an extremely complicated question. For example, if all the lockdown does is slow the progress of the disease, but the same number of people get infected in the end, then lockdowns make things worse. The same number of people will die but there will also be major economic losses- a herd immunity strategy would have the deaths happen sooner, but without the economic disruption. But this is ALSO complicated by the fact that even if the government does not declare a lockdown, many people will act "locked down" of their own accord, so there will likely be some amount of economic consequences anyway. How severe, and how does that balance against an extra 1-2 months of life for the fatalities? To make a judgment you would also need a model of how quickly herd immunity kicks in. For example, the most likely people to become infected are those who interact with many others. But if they become immune early on in the pandemic, then a 5% population infection (for example) could lead to 20% herd immunity. How much infection is needed before herd immunity overwhelms and the disease starts to die out? etc. etc.

The certainty being expressed by commenters on the right course of action for the government is out of place. These are extremely challenging calculations and different models will reach different conclusions. I think it is fair to say that Trump will pay a political price because he has not visibly taken strong action. But whether or not he is doing the right thing is far more difficult to determine. I urge everyone to be a little more aware of the complexity of this issue, and a little more conscious that you might not have the full picture.

Posted by: sabre | Jul 8 2020 21:30 utc | 73

re cleaning masks: What is the matter with putting alcohol in a spray bottle and hitting the mask with that at night?

Posted by: c | Jul 8 2020 20:58 utc | 64

Do not use alcohol to clean respirator and surgical masks. It destroys the electrostatic charge and the filtration capacity of the mask.

You can use alcohol (between 60 % and 80 % alcohol) for simple cloth masks disinfection though. Best is to use washing machine for at least 30 minutes at 60 C with some commercial disinfectant or 100 ml 30% hydrogen peroxide disinfectant.

If you want to use a spay bottle for the cloth mask put 6 % hydrogen peroxide in the bottle and store that bottle in a dark place.

==================================

Methods to clean respirator masks:

5 hours in container witn hydrogen peroxide vapor (use vaporizer using 6 % liquid hydrogen peroxide) (20 cycles)

30 minutes bath in 6 % liquid hydrogen peroxide (10 cycles)

30 minutes in the oven at 80 C with the mask put in heat resistant plastic container with some wet piece of toilet paper in it to increase humidity within the container (20 - 50 cycles)

2 minutes under microwave generated steam as described in b's article (20 cycles)

Ordinary steam - put above boiling water (5 cycles)


Methods to clean surgical masks:

5 hours in container witn hydrogen peroxide vapor (use vaporizer using 6 % liquid hydrogen peroxide) (20 cycles)

30 minutes in the oven at 80 C with the mask put in heat resistant plastic container with some wet piece of toilet paper in it to increase humidity within the container (20 - 50 cycles)

Ordinary steam - put above boiling water (10 cycles)

Do not wash respirator and surgical masks, do not use dry microwave heat, do not use bleach.

Posted by: Passer by | Jul 8 2020 21:31 utc | 74

bevin@46
Can the states rights blowhards live down their failure to produce local solutions to local problems?
Can capitalism live on after its cannibalistic nature has been fully revealed?

Yes to both queries on condition that the virus "gsin of function" continues to be a lowering of the death numbers. This does not impress the enemies of the New Deal who will still regard the pandemic as "creative destruction" and continue to preach the gospel of lemons into lemonade. Capitalism is sociopathic at its core, but this sociopathy can only persist if the damage isn't too severe, and this pandemic is just not nasty enough to expose it. The story the Idiot in Chief is telling himself and others is that this virus is in process of just disappearing. He got this notion from Sylvia Browne, famous psychic. More people are testing positive, but still there are few people who personally know some one dead from covid19. So we can live with it, like humanity has lived with pandemics throughout history, and the fundamental sociopathy of capitalism will persist unless..... the virus turns nastier. It is my belief that this is a bioweapon, perhaps the first humankind has experienced. It does not behave like viruses familiar to scientists. Many of those who recover never truly recover to their former levels. Those societies that currently boast of a victory over covid do not realize they are engaged in a game of whack-a-mole. Things have to get worse before the capitalist pigs will finally concede their system just doesn't work. They may never make that concession speech. Yes, I pray that Trump & Bolsonaro get really sick and that the creative destruction of this pandemic will be the elimination of these types of sociopathic individuals from positions of power & influence.

Posted by: jadan | Jul 8 2020 21:32 utc | 75

Posted by: Passer by | Jul 8 2020 21:31 utc | 72

Edit

Ordinary steam - put above boiling water for 5 minutes → Text (10 cycles)

Posted by: Passer by | Jul 8 2020 21:34 utc | 76

From MedCram:

In conclusion, our study provides nationwide and regional estimates of SARS-Cov-2 dissemination in Spain, showing remarkable differences between higher and lower prevalence areas. One in three infections seems to be asymptomatic, while a substantial number of symptomatic cases remained untested. Despite the high impact of Covid-19 in Spain, prevalence estimates remain low and are clearly insufficient to provide herd immunity.

This cannot be achieved without accepting the collateral damage of many deaths in the susceptible population, and overburdening of health systems. In this situation, social distance measures and efforts to identify and isolate new cases and their contacts are imperative for future epidemic control.

Posted by: Copeland | Jul 8 2020 21:34 utc | 77

Sabre @ 71

A timely post as it seems a lot of the venom displayed here is from any number of posters who don't have the same vantage point you have.

Posted by: Digital Spartacus | Jul 8 2020 21:35 utc | 78

Posted by: Passer by | Jul 8 2020 19:11 utc | 29

Dear Passer by, from https://graphics.reuters.com/HEALTH-CORONAVIRUS/USA-TRENDS/dgkvlgkrkpb/index.html

"Deaths, which health experts say are a lagging indicator, continued to fall nationally to 3,447 people in the week ended July 5. A handful of states, however, have reported increases in deaths for at least two straight weeks including Alabama, Florida, South Carolina, Texas and Tennessee."

Posted by: Roberto | Jul 8 2020 21:37 utc | 79

Posted by: Digital Spartacus | Jul 8 2020 21:07 utc | 68

A well reasoned response. Though I'm sure many here will prefer to pick it apart to suit their own personal narratives.

You made me read bevin's post.
I am not convinced. USA is not the only place that adopted JIT/Kanban workflows and practices. They are adopted and practiced everywhere including here in Canada, in Germany and of course in Japan who invented them. Yet Canada, Germany and Japan did way better than the US and Brazil dealing with the epidemic.
So blaming capitalism and corporate cost management does not cut it - there is something else about USA and Brazil that made them such a disaster. I think it is incompetent political leadership. Both Trump and Bolsanero are idiots and incompetent clowns and they formed their administration accordingly.

Posted by: hopehely | Jul 8 2020 21:38 utc | 80

This is the very type of catalyst that could begin the breakup of the United States. I believe the northeastern states already have this trend in the back of their minds...

Posted by: Steve Naidamast | Jul 8 2020 21:39 utc | 81

"More and more people will know someone who died of Covid-19. The economy will continue to only limp along as long as people fear to get infected."
This is why Trump's policy, and herd immunity strategy "to save the economy" are complete lunacies. The economy will tank, because a lot of people will get infected, will know people who suffered tremendously or died, and will freak out.

And the "Let's decouple US from China" strategy is just as insane. Most of the world, most other Western countries to begin with, will have far less covid cases and won't want to risk more exposure from risky countries. US people basically will be stuck in the good old USA for the next year and won't be allowed to travel abroad, while the rest of the world tries to organize between countries that managed to avoid a complete coronavirus catastrophe, which isn't exactly how you help your own economy to survive.

Heck, I tend to really dislike the USA and I still despair and lament such a stupid and unnecessary bloodbath.

Posted by: Clueless Joe | Jul 8 2020 21:42 utc | 82

hopehely @ 78

At least it made you go back and read his post. I feel you could also find many detractors to the Canadian and German responses as well. But it seems you have found something in the post to serve your own narrative. I'm not suggesting that there is something inherent in the approach of both Brazil and the US that makes them the outliers in that group of countries. It seems you're angry of having to go back and read another posters opinion though.

Posted by: Digital Spartacus | Jul 8 2020 21:45 utc | 83

@_K_C - “ I can only go by what is written, and "absolute number of deaths" means the running total, which again is continuing to rise.“

Why wouldn’t the running total of deaths continue to increase? Can someone who has died come back to life?

JESUS FUCKING CHRIST!

Posted by: Kevin | Jul 8 2020 21:47 utc | 84

Michael at #7

If we accept your premise of a .26% infection death rate, and let’s say only half the US ever gets infected ultimately, that’s “only” about 455,000 deaths. No way of knowing how many will have serious health problems. And this is your own optimistic scenario. When 100,000s of thousands dead are considered minor, then you know the culture is down the sewer. IMO, the callous national non-response to US torture and mass murder abroad has prepared the US population to have exactly this attitude. The war comes home now.

Posted by: Jeffrey Kaye | Jul 8 2020 21:11 utc | 69

1. Not my rate, the CDC's rate as implied by its advice to the health organisations.
2. I reckon lower and I reckon there is an immune section of the community (as shown by children who typically catch respiratory diseases very easily and spread amongst themselves in schools).
3. And I reckon we are in many places already at 20% infections rates so we are nearly halfway there.

But I am happy to argue the details with anyone willing to put up their own estimates (I recommend the effort - it can be quite cathartic).

Anyway either my guess of <250k or your number of 455k.
2.8m Americans died in 2017 So we are talking 5-16% extra deaths for one year total (but lower deaths in 2021).
Half of the deaths so far have been in nursing homes and I would expect half of the remainder to be the same. Add in the many with co-morbidities and over half of the deaths are of people who have <2 years life expectancy without covid.

Compare gun deaths in a decade - 360k many of which are of healthy young people.
Very similar numbers of traffic deaths per year.
600k cancer deaths every year (many more next year after the near closure of treatment centres this year)
2 million in prison each and every year with I'd guess half there only because crack is punishable 18X as long as cocaine.

This is a one off event - and half over already. Forget the masks and concern yourself about the next pandemic - or better still about Iran, Venezuela and Yemen.


Posted by: Michael Droy | Jul 8 2020 21:52 utc | 85

Australia - lauded as a success story in containing Covid 19 - No masks.
New Zealand - lauded as a success story in containing Covid 19 - No masks.

Australian Federal Government -
Use of masks by the public in the community

Totally contradicts B & others.

One use masks are one use - gross stupidity to think that you can 'sterilize' a 'one use mask' multiple times & it will still maintain it's integrity.

Home made masks - as touted here previously - a fashion statement at best.


Hoarsewhisperer | Jul 8 2020 19:47 utc | 45

Gross incompetence - the 'Judicial Inquiry Into Hotel Quarantine Program' allows all the responsible parties to duck for cover. By the time any findings are made public the relevant clowns will be long gone with their massive tax payer funded payouts.

Posted by: ted01 | Jul 8 2020 21:54 utc | 86

82 posts later, lol... thanks b... you are wrong to say germany is doing 1 million tests a day.. they have only tested a little less then 6 million since they started testing, so either you worded it wrong, or you are just wrong on that...

i agree with @ 71 sabre.. i don't understand why people can't just talk this out without all the hostility... read @sabre last few sentences to get the gist of it..

@ 46 bevin.. i like your posts, but you do use the same rant on neo-liberalism as the problem here.. i am not saying neo-liberalism is a good thing, but it does diminish your position when you always use this as the backstop to why the usa or brazil has this problem with the pandemic.. might it also be that they have a couple of leaders that really downplayed the seriousness of this too? i think so... i would lay the numbers on their leadership style more then anything... as @78 hophely - some other neo-liberal countries are doing better, so clearly neo-liberalism isn't the main problem here...

@ kevin... you've made 11 or 12 posts in this thread... that is over 1/10th the posts of the thread! it is true the death rate in the usa is going down, but i would be cautious of just using this barometer in the present to make any wider prognosis on where we are headed going into the fall here... watch @ 66's Boothroyd's youtube link on just how difficult it is when using stats to come to any conclusion... and, i think it is really premature to come to many conclusions here, other then that the number of cases is definitely increasing in the usa... some of that is probably due greater testing and some is probably due that many more are infected, but unaware of it... going for herd immunity is a nice theory, but i don't know if it is going to work out the way those hoping for herd immunity wish... we'll see...

some of my own thoughts - well i agree with passer by in general and @65 william gruff in particular... i think the usa is doing itself no favours here on the international stage.... but maybe this is just how it has to unfold moving forward... it seems to me if it was a war on communism, terrorism or drugs - the usa would be down with it in a heart beat, but a war on covid - clearly it is considered irrelevant... surely the pharm industry can figure out a way to make a ton of loot off it? i heard usa gov't gave a lot of money to the top tier as a consequence of covid, so maybe it is serving a purpose after all... then there is the issue of how this pandemic disproportionately is a much bigger problem for black and hispanic people then for white people.... i wonder how that gets processed in it all? i agree with bevin - thinking this is about saving 2 months of everyone's life is a really rotten way to trivialize all the old and not so old people who have died from this because more measures weren't taken...

and about the n95 masks - @ 67 Ljag is correct.... they don't work in this situation when someone is asymptomatic...

Posted by: james | Jul 8 2020 22:05 utc | 87

Meanwhile, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation S. Lavrov at the last meeting with the Chairman of the Chamber of Deputies of Libya A. Salekh officially announced that the activities of the Russian Embassy in Libya would resume. At the moment, the functions of ambassador will be performed by an interim attorney. Geographically, he will be located in Tunisia. It is stated that the function of the ambassador will include the representative of the Russian Federation throughout Libya.

Posted by: alaff | Jul 8 2020 22:07 utc | 88

Posted without comment,

here

Posted by: Digital Spartacus | Jul 8 2020 22:13 utc | 89

The USA is in a pre-revolutionary condition.
Expect to see alternative media on USA platforms closed down.
As we can see here at MoA there will be an avalanche of trolls.
The potential for a Presidential campaign via open access media will be terminated.
No third party candidates will get MSM airtime (as usual).
The economy will tank and statistics manufacturers will rise.
Mercer Media and Statistics will become the standard 'reliable' source.

The evil will continue to pollute the planet like runoff from a copper mine.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Jul 8 2020 22:14 utc | 90

Crunch the numbers, all the numbers. The virus is doing what viruses do; it's spreading, and as it does so, it weakens. The virus has already picked all the low-hanging fruit, killing a large number of extremely old, unhealthy people who would have died in 2020 anyway. My uncle passed, and he was 86 years old, had advanced Alzheimer's disease, and was in hospice (palliative care). B's analytical competence, formidable in many areas, has completely disappeared with this issue.

US Coronavirus Cases: just over 3 million
US Coronavirus Deaths: just under 135,000
US Coronavirus Recovered: just under 1.4 million
US Coronavirus Active Cases: just over 1.6 million
*******US Coronavirus Serious/Critical Cases: 15,392 (That's less than 1%, folks!)************

US Daily New Deaths (3-day moving average):
April 17: 2,513
July 6: 302

World Deaths: 550,000
World Deaths (2017 flu season): 600,000

US CDC: "According to new estimates published today, between 291,000 and 646,000 people worldwide die from seasonal influenza-related respiratory illnesses each year"


Posted by: frankie p | Jul 8 2020 22:18 utc | 91

and here

Posted by: Digital Spartacus | Jul 8 2020 22:21 utc | 92

I don't think many people here are getting the problem, which is that a random person won't incur to itself an extra risk of dying over something it doesn't need (superfluous goods/services).

I'm not going to risk my life to go to a restaurant. I doesn't matter if that risk is an extra 10% or an extra 0.26% - it is an extra risk I don't need to take, for the simple fact going to the restaurant is a superfluous commodity. This is simple game theory, has nothing to do with ideology.

It's different when the risk is necessary and calculated: I need to drive to work, I need to cross the street to work, I need to go to the pharmacy at night in a dangerous neighborhood because my grandma needs the medicine. It's a completely different scenario when the goal is a superfluous one.

The fact is that the USA's economy is simply too highly leveraged on hyper-consumerism, i.e. over too much superfluous commodities (goods + services). Economies that are more dependent on superfluous junk are suffering more with the pandemic, for the simple fact most of them didn't need to work or consume in the first place: they are not essential, not needed. They are disposable. Western Europe is observing the same phenomenon: even countries that adopted a more laissez-faire policy over the lockdown are suffering -10% GDP falls. The EU will suffer a -8.2% fall in its GDP this year - those are projections for now, and I still think they are still optimistic.

Countries with more solid economies, more industrialized, less consumer-dependent, with more solid bases, with a people with a sense of community and purpose, are recovering faster and will see a V-shaped recovery. They suffered initially only because the rest of the world suddenly stopped importing their products - but once they begin to consume more domestically, this will be quickly mitigated, i.e. probably in just one generation's time. Those countries are: China and Vietnam (I don't have Cuba's data right now, so I won't make my judgement here).

Countries like Brazil, Turkey, Mexico et al are mere warehouses/annexes of the Western First World nations and will suffer the most. They sold their souls to the Western powers, and will pay the price accordingly. Brazil is expected to fall -10% this year (too optimistic in my opinion). Speaking about those countries is a complete waste of time; they are completely artificial nations, that shouldn't even exist.

The disaster for the Western nations is only not greater because many of those superfluous services can be delivered through the internet. If it wasn't for the technical reserve they had (still good infrastructure of internet, electricity, water, sewer, completely automated financial system, delivery system know-how from decades of experience, etc. etc.), the catastrophe would be complete.

Posted by: vk | Jul 8 2020 22:31 utc | 93

Peter AU1 #48


Trumps calculation is to separate US from China and take China down. Coronavirus is his ally rather than enemy.

Spot on, thank you. And he has no concern that the USA citizenry (NOT soldiers) are collateral damage.

But he is making serious enemies as soldiers are relatives of the needless infections and needless deaths.
That is a high risk stake.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Jul 8 2020 22:35 utc | 94

I have come to the conclusion that Trump is now actively homicidal. Everything he says or does seems designed to accelerate the spread of the virus and cause more deaths. It should go without saying that a homicidal maniac is unfit to serve as President, and he should be removed from office under the provisions of the 25th amendment to the Constitution. Of course doing so would create a massive firestorm amongst the Trump cultists, but I say “fuck them all.”

Posted by: Rob | Jul 8 2020 22:36 utc | 95

This might be of interest to some of the non protectors with arguments about other places or whatever: I live betwixt and between four native communities and just went to shop for groceries here in Northern New Mexico passing two of these. There are tents set up with masked officials at each entry point to the two pueblos monitoring that only the residents of each are permitted into the village. They are checking everyone. The larger community in which I reside has signs at all entry points for 'local traffic only,' but no monitoring. I also noticed for the first time a large sign on a major highway that said 'visitors must selfquarantine for x number of days' (I forget how many.)

Okay, nay sayers, why bother? And I will post Sabre's statement @ 71 first, then give my own thoughts.

"...if all the lockdown does is slow the progress of the disease, but the same number of people get infected in the end, then lockdowns make things worse. The same number of people will die but there will also be major economic losses- a herd immunity strategy would have the deaths happen sooner, but without the economic disruption..."

me:

1. It is by no means clear that 'herd immunity' is a verifiable. Were it so, I might agree.

2. However, one of the reasons for the death count diminishing could be that better treatments have become accepted and more readily available. In that case, any prolongation of time before you or I encounter the virus will be to our advantage. Already ICU protocols have changed for the better.

3. The virus itself has shown remarkable adaptation, but if we limit its ability to spread, and masks among all the other precautions do that, the strong possibility will be that we starve the beast.

4. What the pueblos are doing is to contain populations in small communities which can be closely observed. That seems the ideal relationship to have to this nasty and extremely communicable threat. If I remember correctly it was also a strategy used when ebola was raging in Africa. New Zealand, being an island country, is monitoring its borders in the same way.

Hooey on your 'economic disruption' Saber. People's lives are at stake. And what b says above is paramount -- "Protect yourself!" Because sometimes governments, for whatever reason, have lost the capacity to do that.

A reckoning will come. Meanwhile, stay safe!

Posted by: juliania | Jul 8 2020 22:38 utc | 96

Digital Spartacus # 90 etc

Thank you, a good source.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Jul 8 2020 22:45 utc | 97

Yeah, they are doing more testing, and yeah, the percent of positive tests are increasing, so they say

The problem is they dont report positivity by test. At the end of May it was disclosed by CDC that they were combining antibody tests with PCR tests. This counted past and current infections together, thereby inflating cases while lowering positive percentage. Even PCR tests dont indicate a current infection as its not differentiating between live infectious particle and long dead non-infectious particles

What they are doing now I dont know. If they are still combining antibody tests, well of course, the number of those who have antibodies will increase and so will positive percentage. This is a good thing. Closer to herd immunity

They are testing many people who are healthy and young. They dont get very sick. Its just a cold to them. They dont spread it without symptoms, WHO says asymtomatic spread is rare.

Everone who gets admitted to hospital or ICU gets tested, even if they are having knee surgery or had a heart attack . If you test positive you get listed as a COVID hospitization or ICU case, even if you are not sick from COVID.

As for masks, according to this immunologist

“Those young and healthy people who currently walk around with a mask on their faces would be better off wearing a helmet instead, because the risk of something falling on their head is greater than that of getting a serious case of Covid-19.”


https://medium.com/@vernunftundrichtigkeit/coronavirus-why-everyone-was-wrong-fce6db5ba809

Anyways, deaths are trending lower, getting to pre-epidemic/lockdown status. Its ovah for corona. May she rest in peace although she has made a lot of billionares richer so she will no doubt be replaced. They got a good thing going, not stopping here.

Posted by: Kay Fabe | Jul 8 2020 22:47 utc | 98

You're welcome uncle, his blog is always a must read for me.

Posted by: Digital Spartacus | Jul 8 2020 22:48 utc | 99

We badly need advice about the pandemic from an expert who is in a position to speak out. One such is Dr. Sukharit Bhakdi, a retired professor of microbiology at the University of Mainz. He was interviewed by Austrian TV not long ago. I suggest all here take a look at what he had to say:

https://www.servustv.com/videos/aa-23zjmvcz51w12/

Posted by: R.A. | Jul 8 2020 22:53 utc | 100

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