Mar 282020

Dorothea Lange White Angel Bread Line, San Francisco 1933


US Coronavirus Cases Top 100,000, Doubling In Three Days (CNBC)
The UK’s Coronavirus Policy May Sound Scientific. It Isn’t (Taleb, Bar-Yam)
Up To 40 Million Lives Could Be Saved If Countries Act Quickly (Ind.)
Dr. Fauci: Coronavirus Death Rate Like Very Bad Flu (WND)
China Closes Borders, Claims Wuhan ‘Basically Blocked’ Coronavirus (SAC)
Countries Worldwide Roll Out Draconian Measures To Fight Covid-19 (RT)
COVID-19 Has Exposed Just How Broken American Economy & Society Are (Ritter)
US May Be Headed For Highest Unemployment Ever (RT)
Yet Another Rant on Coronavirus & Trump (Brad DeLong)
Millions Will Struggle To Pay Rent In April, But Few In Congress Care (IC)
Panama Canal Blocks Cruise Ship With 138 Ill, 2 COVID-19 Cases On Board (BI)
Venezuela’s Coronavirus Response Might Surprise You (Flores)
RT Loses Challenge Against Claims Of Bias In Novichok Reporting



US tops 100,000, world almost tops 100,00 new cases in 24 hours. Winning.



Cases 613,829 (+ 71,444 from yesterday’s 542,385)

Deaths (+ 3,861 from yesterday’s 24,368)




From Worldometer yesterday evening (before their day’s close)



From Worldometer -NOTE: mortality rate for closed cases is at 17% –



From SCMP:








I think we just missed the next 100,000 global cases within 24 hours.

US Coronavirus Cases Top 100,000, Doubling In Three Days (CNBC)

Confirmed COVID-19 cases in the U.S. surpassed 100,000 Friday, doubling in just three days as the pandemic accelerates and the U.S. rolls out broader testing measures. Data from Johns Hopkins University showed the total number of coronavirus cases as 101,707 and the total number of deaths in the U.S. as 1,544. The virus emerged in Wuhan, China, in December. It has since spread to more than half a million people in almost every country around the world and continues to pick up speed, the World Health Organization warned earlier this week. “The pandemic is accelerating,” WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said Monday at a press briefing from the organization’s Geneva headquarters.

“It took 67 days from the first reported case to reach 100,000 cases, 11 days for second 100,000 cases, and just four days for the third 100,000 cases.” Confirmed U.S. cases passed 50,000 on Tuesday, up from 5,000 last week. At the beginning of the month, there were roughly 100 confirmed cases in the U.S. On Thursday, confirmed cases in the U.S. surpassed that of both China and Italy, making it the country with the largest outbreak in the world. The number of confirmed cases likely underestimates the true number of infections across the country, officials have acknowledged. Testing in the U.S. has been hampered by delays and a restrictive diagnostic criteria that limits who can get tested. With 44,635 confirmed cases as of Friday morning, New York state accounts for almost half of all cases in the U.S., according to Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

He said Thursday that the rapid growth of confirmed cases is partly due to a “backlog” of infections that had not been confirmed due to lack of testing. However, the virus appears to be spreading to multiple so-called hot spots around the country, including Los Angeles, Detroit, New Orleans and other cities around the country.

Read more …

I can quote myself here from last night:

Taleb is very correct in his assessment that the precautionary principle is the only viable approach. Which means you have to hedge for the worst, and only after that may there be other options.

What he doesn’t say clearly enough, I think, is that the ignorant politicians and their science advisers (who only know how to model), as well as the equally ignorant media, have been so late in reacting they should all be pink slipped. Imagine people would have paid attention to the Jan 25 piece he references, when it was published (it advised “moderate distancing”, immediately). [constrain mobility. Immediately]

A report last week said if China had acted 3 weeks earlier 95% of its cases could have been prevented. That is true everywhere.”

The UK’s Coronavirus Policy May Sound Scientific. It Isn’t (Taleb, Bar-Yam)

When, along with applied systems scientist Dr Joe Norman, we first reacted to coronavirus on 25 January with the publication of an academic note urging caution, the virus had reportedly infected fewer than 2,000 people worldwide and fewer than 60 people were dead. That number need not have been so high. At the time of writing, the numbers are 351,000 and 15,000 respectively. Our research did not use any complicated model with a vast number of variables, no more than someone watching an avalanche heading in their direction calls for complicated statistical models to see if they need to get out of the way.

We called for a simple exercise of the precautionary principle in a domain where it mattered: interconnected complex systems have some attributes that allow some things to cascade out of control, delivering extreme outcomes. Enact robust measures that would have been, at the time, of small cost: constrain mobility. Immediately. Later, we invoked a rapid investment in preparedness: tests, hospital capacity, means to treat patients. Just in case, you know. Things can happen. The error in the UK is on two levels. Modelling and policymaking.

First, at the modelling level, the government relied at all stages on epidemiological models that were designed to show us roughly what happens when a preselected set of actions are made, and not what we should make happen, and how. The modellers use hypotheses/assumptions, which they then feed into models, and use to draw conclusions and make policy recommendations. Critically, they do not produce an error rate. What if these assumptions are wrong? Have they been tested? The answer is often no. For academic papers, this is fine. Flawed theories can provoke discussion. Risk management – like wisdom – requires robustness in models. But if we base our pandemic response plans on flawed academic models, people die. And they will.

This was the case with the disastrous “herd immunity” thesis. The idea behind herd immunity was that the outbreak would stop if enough people got sick and gained immunity. Once a critical mass of young people gained immunity, so the epidemiological modellers told us, vulnerable populations (old and sick people) would be protected. Of course, this idea was nothing more than a dressed-up version of the “just do nothing” approach. Individuals and scientists around the world immediately pointed out the obvious flaws: there’s no way to ensure only young people get infected; you need 60-70% of the population to be infected and recover to have a shot at herd immunity, and there aren’t that many young and healthy people in the UK, or anywhere. Moreover, many young people have severe cases of the disease, overloading healthcare systems, and a not-so-small number of them die. It is not a free ride.

And Taleb’s best friend, Fat Tony has a message for many people out there:

Read more …

As the WaPo: contends “Disease Modelers Factor In New Public Health Risk: Accusations Their Work Is A Hoax”. What, accused by Taleb? Why is anyone still quoting the WaPo? Doesn’t their record speak for itself?

40 million is one of the highest numbers I’ve seen. Luckily, not every politician is Bolsonaro.

Up To 40 Million Lives Could Be Saved If Countries Act Quickly (Ind.)

If all countries implemented strict anti-coronavirus measures and did so rapidly, up to 40 million lives worldwide could be saved in theory this year, British scientists have calculated. Acting early can cut death numbers by up to 95 per cent but failing to curb the effects of Covid-19 could lead to huge loss of life, they found. Their study concludes that testing and isolation of suspected cases as well as wide social-distancing measures early on can have a dramatic impact. Scientists at Imperial College London studied the health impacts of the pandemic in 202 countries, to compare three scenarios: theoretical death rates without any interventions or distancing with two that could be achieved by policies to curb or suppress spread of the disease.

In all three cases, health systems in all countries would still be quickly overwhelmed without high-cost steps to prevent coronavirus, the report warns. If governments globally did nothing to combat the virus, the pandemic in all likelihood would have caused around 7 billion infections 40 million deaths this year, they concluded. But by taking strict measures as soon as possible, 95 per cent of deaths could be prevented, saving 38.7 million lives, based on an average of 0.2 deaths per 100,000 population per week. If these strict measures are delayed, 30.7 million people’s lives are saved, the research found. “Delays in implementing strategies to suppress transmission will lead to worse outcomes and fewer lives saved,” the academics report.

A midway scenario that involved shielding the elderly and slowing but not interrupting transmission – with a 40 per cent reduction in social contacts among the general population – only halved the number of lives lost. “How individual countries respond in the coming weeks will be critical in influencing the trajectory of national epidemics,” the report says. But lower-income countries are likely to face a much higher burden than wealthier nations, with 25 times more patients in poor nations needing critical care than beds available, while in high-income countries demand outstrips supply by seven times, the report says. Dr Patrick Walker, an author of the report, said: “We estimate that the world faces an unprecedented acute public-health emergency in the coming weeks and months.

“Our findings suggest that all countries face a choice between intensive and costly measures to suppress transmission or risk health systems becoming rapidly overwhelmed. However, our results highlight that rapid, decisive and collective action now will save millions of lives in the next year.”

Read more …

Weird turnarounds: Fausi goes from a 1.0% CFR to 0.1% in 2 weeks, Neil Ferguson takes just 10 days to move from 500,000 deaths to under 20,000. Oh, and Deborah Brix claims the US have “..enough data now of the real experience with the coronavirus on the ground..” and, well, after all: “Models are [just] models”.

Now, she of course in fact merely has new models based on new data (so why diss models?), and it’s not nearly enough; re: testing. What Fauci and Ferguson hope to accomplish in risking their credibility with their sudden “moodswings” is unclear, but they’re not sufficiently supported by new data either. Not in that amount of time. Political pressure perhaps?

Dr. Fauci: Coronavirus Death Rate Like Very Bad Flu (WND)

Dr. Anthony Fauci, a key member of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, co-authored an article published Thursday in the New England Journal of Medicine predicting the fatality rate for the coronavirus will turn out to be like that of a “severe seasonal influenza.” In an exceptionally bad flu season, the case fatality rate is about one-tenth of 1 percent, the authors write. Regarding the current coronavirus pandemic, they said: “If one assumes that the number of asymptomatic or minimally symptomatic cases is several times as high as the number of reported cases, the case fatality rate may be considerably less than 1%.”

Taking into account the unreported cases, they conclude “that the overall clinical consequences of Covid-19 may ultimately be more akin to those of a severe seasonal influenza (which has a case fatality rate of approximately 0.1%) or a pandemic influenza (similar to those in 1957 and 1968) rather than a disease similar to SARS or MERS, which have had case fatality rates of 9 to 10% and 36%, respectively.” Fauci is the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. His current assessment is a signicant downgrade from the figure he cited in testimony to the House of Representatives on March 11 in which he called for a cancellation of any large gatherings. Fauci estimated at the time – prior to the current shutdown – that the true mortality rate of the coronavirus outbreak, taking into account unreported cases, was “somewhere around 1%, which means it is 10 times more lethal than the seasonal flu.”

[..] the lead author of a dire coronavirus study cited by the White House, Downing Street and other governments in their decisions implement unprecendented “social distancing” measures has drastically revised the estimated death toll of the pandemic in the U.K. The study by Imperial College of London published March 16 estimated that 2.2 million Americans and 500,000 Britons could die. But lead author Neil Ferguson testified Wednesday to a parliamentary committee that the U.K. death toll is unlikely to exceed 20,000 and could be much lower. And more than half that number would have died anyway by the end of the year, because of their age and underlying illnesses, he told the panel.

[..] At the White House Coronavirus Task Force daily briefing Thursday, coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx mentioned Ferguson’s dramatic downgrade of his estimate. She said the predictions of models also “don’t match the reality on the ground in either China, South Korea or Italy.” “Models are models. There’s enough data now of the real experience with the coronavirus on the ground, really, to make these predictions much more sound,” said Birx. “So when people start talking about 20% of a population getting infected, it’s very scary,” she said. “But we don’t have data that matches that.”

Ferguson issued a clarification Thursday via Twitter, arguing his evidence to Parliament “referred to the deaths we assess might occur in the UK in the presence of the very intensive social distancing and other public health interventions now in place.” “Without those controls, our assessment remains that the UK would see the scale of deaths reported in our study (namely, up to approximately 500 thousand),” he wrote.

Read more …

China, from zero to hero. Nice story, but…

China Closes Borders, Claims Wuhan ‘Basically Blocked’ Coronavirus (SAC)

The Chinese government is reporting that the city of Wuhan, where the novel coronavirus began is no longer an area of “high risk” for the transmission of the coronavirus and hasn’t seen any new cases since March 18. The report comes as the country plans to close its borders to foreigners beginning Saturday, March 28 after limiting inbound and outbound international flights on Thursday. “The suspension is a temporary measure that China is compelled to take in light of the outbreak situation and the practices of other countries,” the Chinese Foreign Ministry said in a statement. “China will stay in close touch with all sides and properly handle personnel exchanges with the rest of the world under the special circumstances. The above-mentioned measures will be calibrated in light of the evolving situation and announced accordingly.”

The city of Wuhan first shut down on January, 23. That date, however, was too late in stopping the spread of the virus as millions of people fled shortly before the quarantine was ordered. According to the city’s mayor, it was nearly 5 million people. Many of the millions who left travelled abroad for the Chinese Lunar New Year. Earlier this month, President Xi Jinping visited Wuhan for the first time since the coronavirus outbreak began and claimed that the virus “has basically been curbed” in the city. He reportedly visited hospitals and quarantined citizens. The city is located in Hubei province, which claims to have had no cases for 22 consecutive days outside of Wuhan.

Read more …

Keyword: incompetence.

“..repeat offenders staring down the possibility of 3-18 months in prison..”

Countries Worldwide Roll Out Draconian Measures To Fight Covid-19 (RT)

New regulations in Singapore which threaten prison time for anyone found violating “social distancing” protocols exemplify the harsh rules being imposed around the world in the fight against coronavirus.
According to a press release from the Ministry of Health, Singaporeans who fail to maintain a distance of one meter from other people in “non-transient” public interactions can be fined up to 10,000 Singapore dollars ($6,985) and even risk a six-month jail sentence. The strict measures come as nations around the world adopt similarly extreme provisions to halt the spread of coronavirus.

Jordan introduced some of the most radical anti-coronavirus policies to date. The country initially imposed an around-the-clock lockdown, with officials promising to deliver bread and water to all citizens. Those who violated the strict quarantine were threatened with a year in prison. At least 800 were arrested over a span of several days, the Guardian reported. The measures were later eased, with the government permitting people to take walks and visit shops and pharmacies.

Authorities have begun to ratchet up efforts to stop quarantine violators in Italy. The country deployed more than 100 soldiers tasked with enforcing lockdown measures in Lombardy, the hardest-hit region in Europe. More than 90,000 Italians have been slapped with fines which can potentially reach €3,000 ($3,300). Italians can also end up behind bars for three months for flouting the stay-in-place protocols.

Spain might have the most stringent rules in Europe. Since announcing a countrywide lockdown in mid-March, residents have only been allowed outside for essentials such as grocery shopping or medical needs. The provisions, originally scheduled to be lifted after fifteen days, have been extended until April 11. Those found in violation of the rules face astronomical fines, with repeat offenders staring down the possibility of 3-18 months in prison. More than 30,000 fines have been issued and 900 arrests made for disobedience, according to reports.

Read more …

Just like Trump has, I would add.

COVID-19 Has Exposed Just How Broken American Economy & Society Are (Ritter)

The coronavirus pandemic has exposed some uncomfortable truths about the state of America today. First and foremost is the fragility of the American economy. After years of outsourcing manufacturing, the United States has constructed an economy where services industries comprise some 55 percent of overall economic activity. In the age of globalization, with interconnectivity functioning seamlessly, this model has been able to generate the appearance of prosperity, with a booming stock market and increased GDP. The reality, however, is that the American economy lacks resilience in time of crisis. The ongoing trade war with China, combined with a depressed global oil market, were in the process of exposing this reality before the coronavirus pandemic.

The national lockdown, and resulting economic stoppage, only accelerated what was a gradual economic recession in progress. Even if the US economy could be taken off stimulus-driven life support, the conditions that preceded the shutdown still exist and, if anything, have only been exacerbated by the impact of the pandemic on global economic health. American corporations have been shown to have little capacity to plan for “rainy day” contingencies, instead focusing all their economic resources on the generation of short-term profit. And the American working class has been likewise exposed as living on the edge of catastrophe, with few Americans able to fall back on savings that would enable them to ride out a period of sustained economic inactivity or, worse, to pay for emergency health care.

The other uncomfortable truth about America that has been exposed by the crisis is the overall fragility of American society. The medical emergency brought about by the need to treat this virus has shown that what passes for a national healthcare system is, in fact, a fragile construct of for-profit institutions susceptible to being rapidly overburdened and unable to function once the cash-stream of overpriced healthcare has been cut off. The coronavirus crisis has revealed the reality of the US healthcare system today – most Americans don’t have the wherewithal to get quality healthcare when needed – the cost of such care is prohibitive, as are the insurance premiums one must pay to cover it.

Read more …

“The peak unemployment rate in the US was 24 percent in the depth of the Great Depression..”

US May Be Headed For Highest Unemployment Ever (RT)

The coronavirus pandemic will push the US jobless rate even higher than it was during the Great Depression if all the gloomy forecasts are true, Roger Farmer, an economist at the University of Warwick, believes. Earlier this week, a US Federal Reserve official predicted that the outbreak will leave 30 percent of Americans jobless while the country’s GDP will fall by 50 percent. According to James Bullard, president of the St. Louis branch of the US Federal Reserve Bank, that could happen quite soon – in the second quarter of this year. “If that turns out to be correct it will be the highest ever recorded. The peak unemployment rate in the US was 24 percent in the depth of the Great Depression,” Professor Farmer told RT.

The economist noted that the decline may be short-term as the situation will start to improve as soon as social isolation ends. Much will depend on the right stimulus, such as direct wage subsidies that can help the economy to rebound. “If job losses become permanent and employment relationships are destroyed, the recovery will take longer,” the analyst said. Another forecast released by the developers of the US Private Sector Job Quality Index (JQI) warned that some 37 million workers across the US are vulnerable to layoffs due to the shutdowns triggered by the health crisis.

Read more …

Economist DeLong says: test test test. Which is the one thing everyone says they do, but nobody does, other than in token numbers.

Yet Another Rant on Coronavirus & Trump (Brad DeLong)

Could “reopening America for business” on Easter backfire? Oh, yes it could. Oh, it definitely could backfire: BIGTIME. The experience so far is that, in a society not undertaking social distancing, coronavirus cases double in a little less than five days—grow 100-fold in a month. If, say, the virus has been largely suppressed and only 10000 in the U.S. have it Easter week, then after the u.S. is opened up 1 million will have it on May 15, and then 100 million on June 15, at which point the epidemic will have pretty much run its course. But from May 1 to June 15 hospitals will have been overwhelmed. The likely death rate will have been not 1% but 6%. 5 million additional Americans will have died. In return we will have produced an extra $1 trillion of stuff. That’s a tradeoff of $200K per life, which is not a good tradeoff to aim at making.

And, while it could be better, it could be much worse… The right way to do it is to lockdown while we test, test, test, test, test: • Test a random-sample panel of 10000 Americans weekly to get a handle on the progress of the disease. • Test everyone for antibodies. • Let those who have had the disease and so are no immune go back to work—after testing to make sure that they are immune. • Indeed, draft those who have recovered to be hospital orderlies and nurses. • Make decisions based on knowledge of where the epidemic is in the community, and tune quarantine, social distancing, and shutdown measures to those appropriate given where the epidemic is. But we do not know where the epidemic is.

And because we are not testing on a sufficient scale, we will not know when and if the virus is truly on the run until a month after the peak, when deaths start dropping. And even then we will not know how much the virus is on the run. And removing social distancing before the virus is thoroughly on the run means that the virus comes roaring back. Once the virus is thoroughly on the run, then normal public health measures can handle it:

• Test, test, test. • Test patients presenting with symptoms. • Trace and test their contacts. Do what Japan and Singapore did—close to the epicenter in Wuhan, yet still with true caseloads lower than one in ten thousand. • Test those crossing borders, symptomatic or not. • Test those moving from city to city via air. •Test a random sample on the interstates, to see how much virus is leaking from place to place that way. • Test a random sample of the population to see whether and how much the disease was established, and then test another one.

Read more …

“..Pelosi and Democratic leadership still have their eyes on protecting corporations and not the people,” said one House Democratic staffer.”

Millions Will Struggle To Pay Rent In April, But Few In Congress Care (IC)

On Wednesday, April 1, rent payments will be due for the first time since the coronavirus outbreak was declared a pandemic — yet even with unemployment at a record high, major bill payments have barely factored into U.S. politicians’ response to the crisis. On Friday, the House passed an emergency multi-trillion dollar relief package, which was approved by the Senate on Wednesday night and will now head to President Donald Trump’s desk. It’s about five times bigger than Barack Obama’s 2009 stimulus and represents a massive upward transfer of wealth. Though it includes a significant expansion of unemployment benefits and a onetime check of up to $1,200 for individuals and $2,400 for couples, it’ll take up to three weeks for people to begin receiving those relief checks, according to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.

That will be too late for the nearly 3.3 million people who filed for unemployment benefits last week, and others who have become underemployed as a result of the pandemic. While some states — namely New York — have taken steps to temporarily block evictions, congressional Democrats, with the exception of a handful of progressive lawmakers, have shown almost no interest in addressing the bills due in less than a week, one of the most pressing financial concerns ordinary people currently face. “It shows that Pelosi and Democratic leadership still have their eyes on protecting corporations and not the people,” said one House Democratic staffer.

[..] For the most part, demands to cancel rent have been coming from the political left, tenants’ rights groups and other progressive activist circles. They have made modest and incremental gains in a handful of cities and states, but as of yet no change has been enacted that meets the size of the crisis. In California, Gov. Gavin Newsom issued an executive order leaving the decision to pause evictions up to local jurisdictions, which has prompted a confusing patchwork of temporary measures in cities like San Francisco and San Bernardino. States like Washington and Pennsylvania, meanwhile, have adopted more widespread measures.

Read more …

Left on March 7. And we still can’t say: leave them alone?!

Panama Canal Blocks Cruise Ship With 138 Ill, 2 COVID-19 Cases On Board (BI)

The Panama Canal Authority will block the MS Zaandam, a Holland America cruise ship with two confirmed cases of COVID-19 on board, from entering the canal. “Following protocol of Panama’s Ministry of Health, if a vessel has individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19 on board, it cannot make any port operations or transit the Canal,” the Panama Canal Authority said in a statement sent to Business Insider on March 27. The Holland America previously considered having the ship sail through the Panama Canal in order to head back to Fort Lauderdale for a March 30 arrival.

The Zaandam has been stranded off the coast of South America and Central America after different ports began closing to cruise ships due to coronavirus concerns. A bout of respiratory disease then broke out on the ship, prompting 138 sick passengers and crew members to report to the vessel’s medical center. Holland America confirmed that four passengers have died on board, and two individuals have tested positive for COVID-19. The cruise on the Zaandam was scheduled to last 14 days, embarking from Buenos Aires, Argentina, on March 7. For some passengers, the cruise would end after 14 days in San Antonio, Chile. For others, it was due to April 7 in Fort Lauderdale.

Read more …

Sanctions made Russia stronger, and Venezuela too.

Venezuela’s Coronavirus Response Might Surprise You (Flores)

Within a few hours of being launched, over 800 Venezuelans in the U.S. registered for an emergency flight from Miami to Caracas through a website run by the Venezuelan government. This flight, offered at no cost, was proposed by President Nicolás Maduro when he learned that 200 Venezuelans were stuck in the United States following his government’s decision to stop commercial flights as a preventative coronavirus measure. The promise of one flight expanded to two or more flights, as it became clear that many Venezuelans in the U.S. wanted to go back to Venezuela, yet the situation remains unresolved due to the U.S. ban on flights to and from the country. Those who rely solely on the mainstream media might wonder who in their right mind would want to leave the United States for Venezuela.

[..] These media outlets painted a picture of a coronavirus disaster, of government incompetence and of a nation teetering on the brink of collapse. The reality of Venezuela’s coronavirus response is not covered by the mainstream media at all. [Their articles shortchange] the damage caused by the Trump administration’s sanctions, which devastated the economy and healthcare system long before the coronavirus pandemic. These sanctions have impoverished millions of Venezuelans and negatively impact vital infrastructure, such as electricity generation. Venezuela is impeded from importing spare parts for its power plants and the resulting blackouts interrupt water services that rely on electric pumps. These, along with dozens of other implications from the hybrid war on Venezuela, have caused a decline in health indicators across the board, leading to 100,000 deaths as a consequence of the sanctions.

[..] First, international solidarity has played a priceless role in enabling the government to rise to the challenge. China sent coronavirus diagnostic kits that will allow 320,000 Venezuelans to be tested, in addition to a team of experts and tons of supplies. Cuba sent 130 doctors and 10,000 doses of interferon alfa-2b, a drug with an established record of helping COVID-19 patients recover. Russia has sent the first of several shipments of medical equipment and kits. These three countries, routinely characterized by the U.S. foreign policy establishment as evil, offer solidarity and material support. The United States offers more sanctions and the IMF, widely known to be under U.S. control, denied a Venezuelan request for $5 billion in emergency funding that even the European Union supports.

Second, the government quickly carried out a plan to contain the spread of the disease. On March 12, a day before the first confirmed cases, President Maduro decreed a health emergency, prohibited crowds from gathering, and cancelled flights from Europe and Colombia. On March 13, Day 1, two Venezuelans tested positive; the government cancelled classes, began requiring facemasks on subways and on the border, closed theaters, bars and nightclubs, and limited restaurants to take-out or delivery. It bears repeating that this was on Day 1 of having a confirmed case; many U.S. states have yet to take these steps. By Day 4, a national quarantine was put into effect (equivalent to shelter-in-place orders) and an online portal called the Homeland System (Sistema Patria) was repurposed to survey potential COVID-19 cases.

Read more …

If I were a Briton, I’d be very worried about the state of my judicial system by now.

RT Loses Challenge Against Claims Of Bias In Novichok Reporting

The Kremlin-backed news channel RT has lost a high court challenge to overturn a ruling by the UK media regulator that it broadcast biased programmes relating to the novichok poisoning in Salisbury and the war in Syria. Ofcom fined RT £200,000 after determining that seven programmes, including two presented by the former MP George Galloway, were in breach of UK broadcasting rules relating to due impartiality regarding matters of political controversy. The programmes fronted by Galloway, a regular presenter on the 24-hour news channel, covered the poisoning of the Russian ex-spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in Salisbury two years ago. While the poisoning was blamed on Russia, Galloway cast doubt on the assertion.

Ofcom also found that four news and current affairs broadcasts addressing the US’s involvement in the Syrian conflict, and a news programme concerning the Ukrainian government’s position on Nazism and the treatment of Roma people, breached impartiality rules. RT contended that Ofcom had not taken into account the fact that the “dominant media narrative” at the time of the poisonings – that Russia was to blame – meant it could leave that view out of its own programming. The broadcaster also said the requirement to be impartial interfered with its right to freedom of expression. Lord Justice Dingemans, who delivered the high court judgment remotely on Friday, said the requirement for media to be balanced was paramount in the era of fake news.

“At present, the broadcast media maintains a reach and immediacy that remains unrivalled by other media,” he said. “Indeed, there is reason to consider that the need [for due impartiality] is at least as great, if not greater than ever before, given current concerns about the effect on the democratic process of news manipulation and of fake news.” He saud RT was not restricted from broadcasting its point of view on the Salisbury poisonings, the war on Syria or events in Ukraine. “The only requirement was that, in the programme as broadcast, RT provided balance to ensure that there was ‘due impartiality’,” he said.

Read more …


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To prevent the Black Death spreading in the 14th century, all ships thought to be infected were isolated for 40 days to prevent the spread of the disease. In fact, the word quarantine comes from the Italian quaranta giorni, meaning “40 days”.



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Home Forums Debt Rattle March 28 2020

Viewing 32 posts - 1 through 32 (of 32 total)
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    Dorothea Lange White Angel Bread Line, San Francisco 1933   • US Coronavirus Cases Top 100,000, Doubling In Three Days (CNBC) • The UK’s Coronavi
    [See the full post at: Debt Rattle March 28 2020]

    V. Arnold

    Dorothea Lange White Angel Bread Line, San Francisco 1933

    Very poignant photo; the future looking back at us????


    Speaking of virality, this seems to be making the rounds. Deservedly so. Uncommonly brilliant and apt:

    Cornoavirus rhapsody


    Dorothea Lange White Angel Bread Line, San Francisco 1933
    That’s the man from TAE leaning against the fence.

    “But lower-income countries are likely to face a much higher burden than wealthier nations,”

    The only number that is important for me is not shown.
    It is the number that applies to my changing conditions.
    The number of those without the virus.
    The # of death for my age group.
    If I end up in a long term care home then it will be the # of death for those seniors.
    If I get sick and in a hospital then that will be the number of death for the sick in a hospital.

    The only number that my “leaders” care about is the one that keeps me as an essential, willing, pacified, servant that doesn’t rock the boat because my “leaders” can’t swing with their burden of wealth around their neck.
    • COVID-19 Has Exposed Just How Broken American Economy & Society Are (Ritter)
    Not for us at TAE.
    Their system is simple. Money gets you what you need/want.
    • Millions Will Struggle To Pay Rent In April, But Few In Congress Care (IC)

    The rentiers (a person living on income from property or investments.) are terrified to become street people. They are willing to make their tenants street people, eviction, if they don’t pay their rent.
    This time its different, there are only few people that can pay the rent demanded by the rentiers.

    All level of gov. know that they must have income to pay for “everything” that they do.
    Once the printed trillions of dollars have been spent, what will they do?
    Print more trillions of dollars?
    And then …..

    I think that very few countries will have a recognizable social/economic system in 2021.
    Yesterday is gone.


    I suspect that one of the reasons why US is so incompetent is that some in the administration intentionally delayed the testing. They knew that when things got worse, people will lose jobs and government will have to pass a big stimulus. They also knew that they will be able to get a ridiculously large sum of money for their rich friends and themselves in that stimulus. That was exactly what happened. Trump may be too stupid to plan that, but I wouldn’t be surprised some in his administration did. Weeks after Trump appointed Pence as the lead to be in charge of the coronavirus task force, they still could not provide testing for enough people. Not even close. That is intentional.


    Did you check your status?
    Are you an essential taking care of non-essentials
    B.C. defines essential services in fight against COVID-19

    Here’s a breakdown of services deemed essential in B.C.:
    ( I dare you to look to see if you are part of the essential/needed)

    John Day

    I am grateful that your wife is improving’ feeling better.
    One thing I have been seeing in clinic since last summer, a minor thing, usually brought home by the kids, is a cold that may give a fever for the first 2 days, which are the worst days for feeling achy and bad and so on, but then there is a cough and maybe sniffles for another 5 days. A “regular cold”.

    The more interesting thing that I saw all last summer, fall and early winter, and might still be out there, but differently interpreted, is “the cold that lasts 3-4 weeks”. My wife is an elementary school librarian. Jenny and I both had it in September/October. I had already been seeing it for several months. People would come in during week 3 of symptoms, which always included rawness deeper down in the central chest, saying, “something’s wrong, I never stay sick this long. I think I need antibiotics or something”.
    In late November or early December I had a patient get hospitalized for some-bad-something that affected his lungs, heart, whole body, and got him every test the residents and attending faculty could think of. He was diagnosed with viral pneumonia, caused by coronavirus. That was completely novel, but I remembered it, because I did not get those hospital records until January, and questions were already rolling about in my mind.
    Was this the same coronavirus as in China?
    Was this a milder, but similar coronavirus, released in the US ahead of the pandemic wave as a vaccination to the population?
    I still have those same questions. I’m not “plagued” by them, because I’m ok with having unanswered questions. Wrong answers are preferred by many, but I have always detested that shite (Please excuse my Irish!)
    It is now in the discourse, protested mightily by Trump, Pompeo and friends, that this virus (always pretending there is only one version) originated in the US, Ft. Detrick, and got spread to US soldiers, accidentally or purposefully (like Lyme probably did, and the 1975-1976 Swine Flu). You can never tell if Ft Detrick meant to do stuff. Sometimes they do. Sometimes they don’t. Anyway, they got shut down for “breaches-but-no-harm-done” last July and opened back up for business in November. (Do scroll for those stories, if curious).

    We can’t tell, because nobody is reporting RNA sequences openly for comparison any more, what versions of this viral family popped up when and where. It sure looks military. The viral sequences of L-strain and S-strain described in China show that the attack-sites are the same spike-protein-and-binding-sequence, but “neutral” segments of the genome are as much as 17% different. I likened that to mounting Texas Longhorn regalia on the front of a Ford and a Chevy. They look like the same car after that, but they started different.
    I am hopeful that when the blood testing for antibodies eventually becomes available to me, in Austin, and I seem to be the only one at clinic who has heard of it, that it will show different immunogenic bands, for the 5 endemic coronavirus types in the US, and the important newcomer(s).
    Can’t hold my breath…

    Dr. D

    Wow, Fauci has now come into line with Herr Docktor precisely, with 10x more than regular flu, but still under 1%. Seasonal flu probably doesn’t actually have a 0.1% fatality, as literally no one gets tested. It’s 0.1% among those who WERE tested, in a hospital. Since virtually everyone gets the flu each year, it would be more like 0.005% (15k vs 300M)

    Since they were both the same scientists (Fauci) with the same experts each time, why would we believe the more panic conclusion instead of the less panic one? Just ‘cause? We have more data now than Jan 1st not, less, but now we’re more stupid and wrong? It’s always time to panic and surrender. Your rights. Your cash. Your family.

    So I’m going to record all the names and all the articles for later. Will experts ever be discredited? A: Never. No matter how many thousand years or how many millions dead. We have 1,000 years of history supporting that. Google “Eugenics”

    So Taleb’s model is garbage. All his base assumptions are wrong, as is usual with these things. First, Jan 25 is 60 days after the presumed origin, and 100fold more than 2k people already had it, 30k had probably already been killed, and those people had already flown worldwide for New Year’s. He also hadn’t the faintest idea who those people were. Third, the WHO and YOU both said “Don’t you shut those flights down, you racist pig!”

    Even so, “shutting down travel” is equivalent to “shutting down the worldwide economy” on which the entire medical system depends for supplies, and will kill multiple thousands more than the flu. In addition, given 40 day hibernation and reinfection, with no antibodies, this would mean shutting down the planet for 40 x 3-odd cycles, or six months, plus re-shutting it every few months forever. That’s not my science, it’s theirs. So: good with shutting down all food, shoes, truck and tractor parts for half a year under a rolling unending totalitarian regime? Ah, Stalinism re-enacted, Socialism at its finest! As requested by schmarty-schmart “experts” worldwide. To save us from…? Sure hiding in your house is super-smart from one narrow perspective, but not for anyone who can see a fraction of the whole picture. It takes a second to see you’ll kill a hundredfold people of the virus by shutting the worldwide economic system and moving it to command-and-control by insiders, virtually forever.

    So anyway, China now has no new infections, but is being infected from foreigners. Who do not infect people because there are no infections. Gotcha. WHO and CDC cheer and support this implicitly with all their expert might. CNN reports this without comment and the people believe it without question.

    Yes, they didn’t test because they need a crisis to do what they’re doing. But what is it they ARE doing? Resetting the financial system while paying YOU, as the Fed is rolled into the Treasury, and markets are levitated, while businesses still exist for a while. Or not. You can fret that some money was mishandled right now, but there may be bigger things afoot, maybe?

    “ 3-18 months in prison..”

    So if you’re probably infected, we’re going to throw you into close quarters with a policeman, a judge, and other inmates. Gotcha. Your go-to fascism to lay hands on all resistance doesn’t work so well in the new era, does it? Who’s going to make them? Who’s going to guard them? Since your rules just created 30% more potential prisoners, are you going to build 30% more beds, or just let out the violent offenders instead? Government: made of stupid. Nobody’s going to obey anything except voluntarily, on a normal day, but especially now. You have the power, not them. Stop being a coward and start acting like it.

    “After years of outsourcing manufacturing,”

    Huh, almost like we should have domestic manufacturing, employment, and functional borders. Who said dat? For four years?

    Oddly, his article doesn’t point up how much MORE exposed the Chinese system has become, how much worse they planned, nor that low oil prices are the greatest boon the economy’s seen in 60 years and will make this go better than anything else they could have done. I’d also guess he’s the guy who voted for government “help” in healthcare that made rules forcing healthcare out of it’s functional size and delivery in 1992 and into the hollowed out, devastated state it is now. And as I keep writing every day, it’s not unaffordable. Provided you have no job, or are not a citizen, you can get infinite health care for free. Only if you work or save do you pay.

    US May Be Headed For Highest Unemployment Ever (RT)”

    We’ve had 15% unemployment since 2000, and +20% since 2008. That’s what 10M out of workforce means. As all Socialist systems. Prob over 30-40% for the shut down.

    “Yet Another Rant on Coronavirus & Trump (Brad DeLong)”

    Another expert who has no numbers but TDS. Okay, what if everyone already has it, Brad? What if it’s sub 1% as the experts now say? What if you kill 100M people via unemployment instead? Thought about that? NOPE! Besides, we are now testing, but since the WHO and China tests were 80% wrong, as predicted, we needed to invent and produce those tests first. He’ll also be first to freak out when the number infected is 15 million, because we bothered to start testing. Here’s some cat food, I’ll pull you out of your basement quaking when it’s all over.

    represents a massive upward transfer of wealth.”

    All bailouts and particularly all inflations do this. That’s why each time they “help”, income disparity increases. No one learns, they demand more. “[Three weeks] will be too late for the nearly 3.3 million people” Why will it be too late? Did they die? Will their landlord not cash the check? Will they say, “I never heard of no national pandemic thingy”? No, it’s too late because you made it up in your imagination, wrote it down on paper, and can’t tell the difference.

    “international solidarity has played a priceless role in enabling the government to rise to the challenge. China sent coronavirus diagnostic kits that will allow 320,000 Venezuelans to be tested,”

    Wow, you’re right. Those totally wrong tests will be very helpful. Ah governments. Who caused this in the first place, then dithered for 4 months. If only we were like them.

    government quickly carried out a plan to contain the spread”

    Genius! If only we had been like them! Oh wait, they did this in MARCH, a month after we did, and 2-4 months after the start of worldwide national daily news. Isn’t that like the most irresponsible timeline of any nation so far? And is anybody following it? No one pays attention to the government there for anything else. …Nevermind. Socialism is always good. You know, like in China!

    Just like today’s pics, where the doctors who deny its existence have great gear up until they are hauled away and go missing, and where what we REALLY want is a Dow of zero to stick it to those fat cats. …While we therefore by definition make no gloves, ship no masks, sell no food, and shut off the heat to your house. #Winning! No Dow, living in caves, le plus maxium doubleplus good. That’ll larn them!


    Zerosum – “Did you check your status?”

    I’m just other useless eater, apparently. But these guys…. how will we cope if these guys lock-down!

    “26. Land registration services and real estate agent services.”


    @ scraplet

    Word do not flow out of me like Dr. D.
    He is a raging bonfire.
    I’m just a flickering candle light in the distance
    helping you find your way as you search for understanding.

    Dr D Rich

    Good news!


    I checked the list yesterday and my vocation/skillset is highest priority.. So why would a major federal healthcare system replace me with an optometrist in this crisis and send me home?

    Bonus question: How many years of medical school, internship and residency are required to enter optometry; 2, 3, 4 or 7 years?
    Warning: no cheating by Googling the innertubes

    John Day

    Dr D Rich:
    Trick question, of course. “None”, because Optometrists are not physicians.
    They really do know a lot, but it’s all about the eyes.
    Ophthalmologists, Like Syria’s President Assad are physicians, of course, know more about the eyes, and operate on eyes.

    Maxwell Quest

    “• Dr. Fauci: Coronavirus Death Rate Like Very Bad Flu (WND)”

    Where have we seen this strategy before, where authorities began back-peddling on the severity of the crisis? That’s right, China. And for the very same reason, get people back to work as quickly as possible to save the economy.

    I understand China’s desire to get the world’s workshop back to running at full capacity. They don’t want their customers looking for alternate places to build factories, or god forbid, bring them back home to their domestic economies.

    Of course this pandemic is a lose-lose scenario, and that one priority (life vs economy) has to be balanced against the other, and that both are not mutually exclusive. At least China waited to roll out this strategy after their crisis had peaked, and some control of the outbreak had been reestablished. Now when Trump says that he’d like to see people back to work by Easter, knowing full well that the worst is yet to come, it looks foolish, injudicious, and frankly that his priorities are focused not on saving life but Wall Street, the markets, money, the golden calf.

    What I find difficult to understand is that with all our spy technology and genius analysts working for all those govt. agencies, we knew at the highest levels what was occurring in Wuhan, China. However, because we’ve had so many false alarms over the years I understand how it would be very risky for a politician to panic the herd prematurely. But couldn’t they have taken steps behind the scenes to prepare? Hell, even I was buying masks and extra food way back in early February, based solely on the evidence arriving through social media leaks out of China. And I’m sure like many of you, I tried to warn friends about the approaching danger, but they were not the least concerned. Why should they be, when every media source they’ve come to depend on was squelching the story?

    “• COVID-19 Has Exposed Just How Broken American Economy & Society Are (Ritter)”

    It is already well known that the financial system was buckling even before the pandemic arrived, forcing the FED to restart its liquidity injections way back in September of last year.

    “• Millions Will Struggle To Pay Rent In April, But Few In Congress Care (IC)”

    See paragraph 3 above. “The business of America is business!” Aka making money.

    When the pandemic dust finally settles and people start to reflect on all the missteps and failed policies of their leaders, this strategy of placing profits over people will not sit well. But then we have our American Pravda media to spin everything 180 degrees from what your instincts and senses are telling you. And just like in China, you will come to see that our dutiful and wonderful government saved the day once again.

    John Day

    Humpty Dumpty Is Broken. Yep, Ilargi used something like this once. Good analogy, though.

    Doc Robinson

    • Dr. Fauci: Coronavirus Death Rate Like Very Bad Flu (WND)

    Be careful, this is a misleading headline. In his editorial piece in the NEJM (with the CDC’s Robert Redfield as one of the co-authors), what Fauci wrote is that if one assumes that unreported cases are several times higher than reported cases, then the case fatality rate may be considerably less than 1%, which suggests that Covid-19 may be more akin to influenza (which has a CFR of 0.1%) rather than a disease like SARS or MERS (which had a CFR of 10% and 36%, respectively).

    So, Dr. Fauci’s opinion is that Covid-19’s fatality rate may be considerably less than 1%, and may be closer to 0.1% than 10%. He’s not even saying that he thinks Covid-19’s fatality rate will probably be considerably less than 1%. And he’s not actually claiming that it will be like a severe case of the flu.

    In another article in the Journal, Guan et al. report mortality of 1.4% among 1099 patients with laboratory-confirmed Covid-19; these patients had a wide spectrum of disease severity. If one assumes that the number of asymptomatic or minimally symptomatic cases is several times as high as the number of reported cases, the case fatality rate may be considerably less than 1%. This suggests that the overall clinical consequences of Covid-19 may ultimately be more akin to those of a severe seasonal influenza (which has a case fatality rate of approximately 0.1%) or a pandemic influenza (similar to those in 1957 and 1968) rather than a disease similar to SARS or MERS, which have had case fatality rates of 9 to 10% and 36%, respectively.


    Considering the event line which has the putative more-or-less initial new strain of coronoavirus leaving the country via initial escape from Fort Detrick’s biolab in a narrative involving suspected Chinese agents, I wonder why we tend to think it is the US who deliberately released it (if the release was deliberate). We’ve discussed China as the likely culprit before but it seems that more of us vote the USA as current Most Likely Villain.

    We’re horribly unprepared to deal with the thing. China, on the other hand, is. China has more resources for dealing with such a thing, including what appears to be the world’s largest surveillance network and a people conditioned to believe in government and do as told until the cognitive dissonance overwhelms and becomes active dissidence.

    By 2020, the number of surveillance cameras in mainland China is expected to reach 626 million.[15][16][17]

    Methinks that if anyone started this bug-war — if war it is — it would be China. They need a reset more than we do and stand to benefit more from same since the petrodollar is in inconceivable arrears and the USA’s resource base is so depleted in terms not of natural resources but industrial, human, and infrastructural resources. China is low on domestic fossil fuel but is chummy with and next door to Russia who has lots to sell at reliably reasonable prices plus sane affordable nuclear power tech for sale.

    China even has handy empty cities to deal flexibly with everything from natural population growth during the expected population boom to come, to “friendly” quarantine de facto concentration camps that would make Huxley nod sagely while Orwell says, ‘Not bad for a workhouse prison.’

    It has growing single-line ground-based energy-efficient ground transport for moving supplies and people under tightly monitored point-to-point control protocols. It has the world’s biggest manufacturing base, iirc. It has a tech sector now on par with other world-leaders and in many ways superior to ours.

    It is best buddies with Russia and so has the world’s best nuclear umbrella on its side (literally).

    Seeing as how global geopolitics have always been and still are, now more than ever, essentially about war by any means, it is inherently correct to conceive and define things in war terms even if no actual war plans are being implemented specifically regarding this or that crisis or major event. It’s a natural part of the overall game plan concept of 20th<>21st century Terra the Fair.

    Whether one nation or another has this event specifically or generally in its martial/economic strategy, the tendency is for the major players to view it as such more so than not; so if US spooks saw early on how likely the virus was to sweep the planet and even our shining city on a hill, it makes sense to imagine them taking counter-measures to keep their bacon dry and their powder out of the fire. (Well, they get everything backwards in the end, right? and in the front too, hence the need to buy an etnire media complex to stay in power for a few more pizzly decades.)

    What counter-measures to Euromerican surveillance China may have is a mystery concept, but it is a plausibility that should be considered in any well-honed global coronavirus pandemic conspiracy theory, theory as in set of hypotheses woven together that actually survive close scrutiny and ‘replication of results’ (via historical examples, which is the only method I can think of to address the macro ‘results replication’ aspect of scientific examination and analysis).

    I’ve stopped examining Corvid-19 minutiae as much as I did when we were first sizing its basic aspects, so there are probably elements to this storyline that I’ve missed, but it seems likely to me that it could’ve started with the Most Likely Suspect, a candidate towering above even above greed: NSI aka negligence/stupidity/incompetence. That in turn could open a door for Chinese agents if we wish to place that gizmo in the predictive model Rube Goldberg machine we communally belabor here.

    Said Chinese agents could, in fact, have provided initial early alert to an otherwise probably clueless US administration, spooks or no spooks, by being caught. Or, assuming greater competence on our part than is normal, we could’ve started this whole Milton-Bradley’s Mouse Trap on purpose with cheese cunningly laid out via an “accident” for said agents to steal (an idea I believe someone suggested here awhile back). Or… or…

    All that said, it astounds me to accept, as is at least likely as any other “or”… that the Euromerican global elites are really dumb enough to start ANY kind of war with the Sino-Soviet gang. I know they are. I defined my entire view of the last prez election on my conviction that the neo-con/libs are determined to have it out with two colossal empires at once.

    So, it’s not that I have difficulty believing the USA would initiate such a thing. I just find it pert nigh impossible to believe they’d do it even remotely competently. My relative lack of alarm at obviously looming totalitarian power grabs by our reptilian shape-shifting Satanic Annunaki overlords* is not just my previously expressed a) fatalism and b) preference for biological war over the more conventional means (nukes are conventional, alas: they’ve been used and stockpiled awaiting further use).

    *( I say that not to demean conspiray theory itself but because I can’t think right now of a sufficiently nasty original epithet to call the creeps in charge)

    It’s because I doubt they could make a go of it after an initial period of submissive compliance. Remember, these guys suck even worse than the USSR or today’s Chinese communist capitalists at doing anything but intimidating midget nations and printing money everyone knows is worthless.

    Call me crazy, cuz I fuckin R, but I’m old-school American Naive enough to say, ‘Come and get me coppers!’, not just out of orneriness (which I have ample supply) but because I believe the gubmint is no match for a buncha crazy cultural narcissists with guns and short attention spans, easily irritated into irrational behavior, broke, bored, unhappy, and scared into the active anger level. Freakin out, y’know.

    I read somewhere that every war simulation the gubmint does of gubmint vs. populace, the gubmint wins. I didn’t vet the claim, it coming from what I remember as a reliable source, because I totally believe it to be true.

    You’re No Good

    Dr D Rich

    @John Day


    Dr D Rich

    @ John Day.

    Optoms do market themselves as optometric physicians


    Goodness, that was a long read.
    Has anyone dug any of those dead vapers and tested them yet?
    The description of their lung damage was spot-on. I think someone even used the “ground glass opacity” metaphor. (Naveed Saleh, for example, in a sept 27th, 2019 article for medlinx.)


    “USA’s resource base is so depleted in terms not of natural resources but industrial, human, and infrastructural resources.”

    ‘not JUst in terms of…’

    Dr D Rich

    “In radiology, ground glass opacity (GGO) is a nonspecific finding on computed tomography (CT) scans that indicates a partial filling of air spaces in the lungs by exudate or transudate, as well as interstitial thickening or partial collapse of lung alveoli.”


    “I read somewhere that every war simulation the gubmint does of gubmint vs. populace, the gubmint wins.”

    I mean de gubmint loses. I really need to get new glasses. Anyone know a good optometrist? 😉


    A possible solution to this pandemic.

    This Virus is killing people almost exclusively by compromising their lungs.

    It is also strongly suspected that the severity of the illness is directly related to the “Virus Load” that the patient has been exposed to.

    It is further suspected that a majority of lung infections have happened by patients inhaling their own aerosol generated in their nasal-pharyngeal passageway where the Virus has taken up residence. Older people are more prone to apnea or snoring incidence that could exacerbate the droplet formation and inhalation.
    If you were able to get inoculated with a small amount of Virus, in say your GI tract, such that your immune system would follow it’s growth without being overwhelmed, you could become immune before you contracted it in your lung tissue. It may be far better to have a few days of diarrhea than life threatening pneumonia.

    A pill that contained a small clinically appropriate amount of the Virus that dissolved after the stomach might do the trick. Worth a thought.


    Concerning numbers
    Meanwhile, In India
    Delhi bus station

    What you see depends on your viewpoint. From the moon the earth is a blue globe. Look out the patio door, the world appears flat.

    Quants are all the same. They make models to make money for others and earn a paycheck. That is all that matters. They don’t see the big picture. The US economy thanks to the Trump trade wars and Russia/Saudi oil conflict was going into a recession. Corruption, offshoring and just in time logistics leeched out any resiliency in the economic system. The only ones making more money are oligarchs. The 2020 pandemic was inevitable. Nation states had receded into secondary incompetence to global corporate states. Contingency planning and medical stockpiles were dumped to cut the taxes on the wealthy. The Novel Coronavirus was the pin the burst the bubble.

    I’ve pointed out here before that the mortality rate for Wuhan coronavirus on cruise ships, in China outside Hubei province, Singapore, Honk Kong, and Taiwan is around 0.2%. This is where there are functional public health systems and the hospitals weren’t overrun. Around 20% of the infected need hospitalization. Iran, Italy and Spain the death rate is above 6% because the governments are ineffectual and couldn’t control the outbreak. Too many became infected.

    Dr. Fauci and Dr. Birx are quants. They are paid to be incompetent. They dare not see the truth. The collapse of the US federal government started 40 years ago. NY State in weeks will have death rates similar to Sprain and Italy. Without universal virus testing to identify and isolate the infected (asymptomatic and ill) from the uninfected, a million or more Americans will die in the coming months due to inevitable collapse of the for-profit healthcare system.

    The rebuilding of the U.S. Public Health Service to monitor, test, trace and quarantine all of the infected cannot be done overnight. Only when it is up and running will the mortality rate be lowered to 0.2% in the United States.

    Doc Robinson

    Didn’t see much written about this:

    Negative rates come to the US: 1-month and 3-month Treasury bill yields are now below zero
    CNBC, March25, 2020

    Apocalypse Now: U.S. Treasury Bond Yields Now Have Negative Rates

    “Investors just issued a terrifyingly bleak vote of no confidence in the American economy by crowding Treasury bond yields to negative rates. Consider what that means for the future of the American economy. Rather than buy equities at a steep discount, they’re piling into Treasury bonds with negative rates. That means they think they’ll get their money back, or even make a profit selling it to the next investor.”

    “That means financial markets just issued a terrifyingly bleak vote of no confidence in the U.S. economy. We’re facing a recession ahead unlike any living American has seen in their life time.”


    Late yesterday, I posted a few notes about making face masks and ventilators, from my Detroit based engineering brother who works for GM. we

    GM & Ford will soon be making face masks. They have everything they need except for the face mask fabric. Their biggest obstacle was finding a non-Chinese supplier of face mask fabric. Well they found one!

    An auto supplier of sound deadening material in South Carolina! This supplier is tweaking their machinery this weekend to reduce the sound deadening material down from 75% to the 25% required for face mask fabric. They will produce 1 million square yards of spun polypropylene face mask fabric by this coming Friday. That means both GM & Ford will soon be producing face masks in volume!

    GM production engineers, in the last 2 to 3 weeks, have sourced all of the over 700 parts needed to produce ventilators. Production will start this week and ramp up to 1,000 ventilators per day, in Kokomo, Indiana.

    So some good news in the fight against the virus for Americans!

    However up here in Ontario, the government is only now reducing restrictions placed on private companies to help in the fight. This is because the public health officials have resisted this every step of the way! This is our truf and everybody else keep off! Tests can only be done at government labs not private labs. This is still the case despite a huge backlog of tests to be preformed! (Private labs have to be certified by the government!)

    I know Americans love to bitch and complain about how incompetent their government officials are! No matter how well American politicians perform, it is never good enought! We could have done better! Everything is hung out on the clothes line for everybody to see!

    I have worked with Americans all over the world. The one thing that has always stuck me is how flexible they are! Saying NO to an American is asking for big trouble because they won’t accept NO for an answer especially when they think there is a way!

    When I compare responses between Ontario and the US, I see some big differences!

    In socialist Ontario, the public health (union) officials are resisting the privatization of any public services even in this emergency! They want to retain 100% control of everything even if many Ontarians die because of it. They don’t want to risk the public finding out how incompetent they really are by letting the private sector help out and show them up! And there is nothing we the people of Ontario can do about it since the socialist control everything!

    Then I watch what is happening in the US. Every state’s response is different especially those states run by Democrats. Several Democrat run states have banned doctors from proscribing medications discussed here on TAE! I wonder why and for who’s benefit they are doing this? Certainly not the peoples. I watch the speaker of the house! Stalin would be really proud of her!

    Yes, for political purposes, everybody cut the CDC’s budget even if they didn’t, maybe it was a blessing that the CDC were proven incompetent so early on! I don’t see anybody waiting for the CDC! Seems more like the hell with them! Remember CDC’s restrictions on early testing? FUBAR!

    Here in Ontario everybody seems to be waiting on everybody else! That is what I saw in Russia in 1983!

    Then I too also noticed how American private enterprises are rising to the challenge! Like what my brother is telling me. I see almost nothing like that here in Ontario, the so called industrial heartland of Canada! There is a small brewery, 2 guys, making hand sanitizer, bottled in beer bottles? That’s the big story up here!

    I have to wonder when this is all over just who rises to the challenge better, the government or the private sector.

    I think American private sector flexibility will prove to be the big difference maker in the long run.

    Meanwhile Americans, keep putting your dirty laundry out on the clothes line!

    V. Arnold

    It offends the human ego that nature is indifferent to us…Calvin & Hobbes

    Indeed. But no longer; nature is fighting back; with a vengeance…
    I fully ascribe to the Gaia Hypothesis by Lovelock and Margulis, that the earth is a sentient being.
    We’re fast finding out that “nature” is anything but indifferent.
    I further posit that house cleaning may be underway via the CV-19.
    We humans will fight this tooth and nail; but in the completely wrong way…
    Our manufactured ignorance will win in the end; and we will be a very unhappy (to put it mildly) species, when the results are in plain view.
    The observations coming in from around the planet are quite telling; pollution is abaiting in many areas, and quite rapidly, to this ones surprise…


    “In socialist Ontario, the public health (union) officials are resisting the privatization of any public services even in this emergency! They want to retain 100% control of everything even if many Ontarians die because of it. They don’t want to risk the public finding out how incompetent they really are by letting the private sector help out and show them up! And there is nothing we the people of Ontario can do about it since the socialist control everything!”

    The will to power principle works the same in any -ism, but the flexibility factor you cite is imo, indeed capitalism’s great strength. Capitalism fully embraces the truth that money, not morals nor political systems, rule humanity. The communists in China have remained in charge for a few more decades because they embraced the power of raw money. Capitalism also adds the allure of gambling, which is a very powerful and often compulsive motivator for humanity which rarely meets a get-rich-quick scheme it doesn’t embrace.

    Capitalism always collapses because it relies on money/gambling which supersede the initial industries that capitalism is so good at creating almost overnight. And since the socioeconomics are entirely money-based, the government soon collapses too unless it’s a dictatorship committed to sound money practices, which practices are hardly even mentioned in economics textbooks and all but one book on the history of money.

    Works like this: take accurate census of people, property, resources, and the average prevailing production created by interaction between the three. Mint enough money to pay for all these things according to agreed upon values: a cow, say, is worth $100 ding-dongs, a goat is worth ten, a sheep 20, etc. Print a modest amount more than is needed, say 10%, for inflation. Continue taking censuses. Every five years, ten years, something like that, depending on growth. Print more money according to successive censuses as needed to balance the money supply. Rinse and repeat. Never… never… never “back” your currency with anything: gold, Moon Pies, reefer joints. (Huh. Just realized “reefer” is probably a pun on ‘reefing sails’, which action resembles rolling a joint.)

    Specie currency, specie standard money, and fiat money are all doomed to bust, although fiat seems to blow the biggest bubbles since it is entirely based on imaginary notions while driven by ever-present greed.

    Communism would probably have worked if they’d stuck to this plan. Emotionally, it’s a very satisfying and socially cohesive system that has failed not just because of Stalins having their way but because it never had a sound money policy, relying instead on production quotas and such. Most people can be greedy but they also like to be members of a group and like everyone to be reasonably happy.

    Capitalism wouldn’t have the booms and busts it has always shown, which oscillations disturb things so much we never get to tame the beast that, left to itself, always eats everything in sight and then starves. We never get to create sustainability and stability.

    For now, though, solvent economies like Russia, and its key allies who peg their fate to Russia’s, are wise to use gold-backed currencies. In the short run, it will work pretty swell but after that, the money will inevitably detach its nominal value from the actual physical wealth it represents, and will eventually create far far more paper wealth than there is physical wealth.

    Capitalist societies ‘come together’ during times of war alone. The USA had an opportunity to go on a serious war footing against this virus, but choose to play games instead. Now they’re trying to corner us into a totalitarian corral without giving us a good enough reason. That is to say that they’re not coming together in concert to deal on local levels with a national problem pouring in from all parts of the globe into us et vice-versa.

    I have some hopes for this virus being the ‘fight the common enemy’ consolidator that would also provide cohesion through the inevitable currency collapse, but that hope fades when I see how ineffectually we’re dealing with this problem. While capitalism allows rapid robust responses to major system shocks like WES describes, it is also as good or better at preventing the kind of early consolidated across-the-nation group coordinated response needed to effectively keep the virus down to a dull roar.

    We seem dumb enough to play games with our troops abroad and at home even as our (hyperbole alert) pert near everything crashes. This is liable to create more contagion havoc down the road, rather like how the Spanish flu hammered worst when they brought the troops home from Europe. As counterbalance, at least we’ll have gobs more ventilators by then, and other resources as well, since we know what causes this illness and should have good therapies, maybe even an effective vaccine, by then.

    If the creeps in charge are seriously looking to put boots on new foreign ground anytime soon (like to try and steal Venezuelan oil), we might find ourselves hammered twice (see quotes below). Unless a flu vaccine has been devised and administered to a large majority of citizens, even just a repeat of the current version will require more shutdown of the economy, although not as bad since we’ll have learned protocols, will have tests, and know how to run group production functions without getting people sick without our knowing it.

    “As U.S. troops deployed en masse for the war effort in Europe, they carried the Spanish flu with them. Throughout April and May of 1918, the virus spread like wildfire through England, France, Spain and Italy. An estimated three-quarters of the French military was infected in the spring of 1918 and as many as half of British troops. Luckily, the first wave of the virus wasn’t particularly deadly, with symptoms like high fever and malaise usually lasting only three days, and mortality rates were similar to seasonal flu.” ….

    …”As U.S. troops deployed en masse for the war effort in Europe, they carried the Spanish flu with them. Throughout April and May of 1918, the virus spread like wildfire through England, France, Spain and Italy. An estimated three-quarters of the French military was infected in the spring of 1918 and as many as half of British troops. Luckily, the first wave of the virus wasn’t particularly deadly, with symptoms like high fever and malaise usually lasting only three days, and mortality rates were similar to seasonal flu.

    “Reported cases of Spanish flu dropped off over the summer of 1918, and there was hope at the beginning of August that the virus had run its course. In retrospect, it was only the calm before the storm. Somewhere in Europe, a mutated strain of the Spanish flu virus had emerged that had the power to kill a perfectly healthy young man or woman within 24 hours of showing the first signs of infection.

    “In late August 1918, military ships departed the English port city of Plymouth carrying troops unknowingly infected with this new, far deadlier strain of Spanish flu. As these ships arrived in cities like Brest in France, Boston in the United States and Freetown in west Africa, the second wave of the global pandemic began.”

    “The rapid movement of soldiers around the globe was a major spreader of the disease,” says James Harris, a historian at Ohio State University who studies both infectious disease and World War I. “The entire military industrial complex of moving lots of men and material in crowded conditions was certainly a huge contributing factor in the ways the pandemic spread.”

    Fortune and Fate

    by our own booty straps


    @John Day, V Arnold, et al.

    Are you familiar with Rupert Sheldrake’s “The New Science of Life”.
    This may be a disturbance in “The Morphogenetic Field”,
    not to be viewed as a discrete materialistic manifestation of “virus”,
    more a quantum physics field / probabilistic phenomena.

    John Hopkins just put the logarithmic graph back up.
    Now that we are really testing infection rates look a whole lot worse.
    Spread is rapid, doubling every 2.5 days as a global average.

    From what we have measured so far;
    Mortality is approx (30 * 100) / (30 + 140) % = 17 %
    I was expecting this number to come down towards a 1% asymptote.
    Better detection should have reduced mortality rate, it has not budged for months!

    “Up shit creek without a paddle” was a phrase my father used back in the day.

    I have applied to do an 8 week Dzochen online meditation retreat;
    watch the guru give instructions online,
    meditate all day in my closet,
    email questions to guru,
    rinse and repeat for 56 days.

    Turn lock-down into a positive step in my life.

    V. Arnold

    Are you familiar with Rupert Sheldrake’s “The New Science of Life”.
    This may be a disturbance in “The Morphogenetic Field”,
    not to be viewed as a discrete materialistic manifestation of “virus”,
    more a quantum physics field / probabilistic phenomena.

    No actually, I’m not familiar with Rupert Sheldrake. But I looked him up; sounds very interesting, in the vein of Lovelock.

    Since 1981, he has continued research on developmental and cell biology. He has also investigated unexplained aspects of animal behaviour, including how pigeons find their way home, the telepathic abilities of dogs, cats and other animals, and the apparent abilities of animals to anticipate earthquakes and tsunamis. He subsequently studied similar phenomena in people, including the sense of being stared at, telepathy between mothers and babies, telepathy in connection with telephone calls, and premonitions.

    I’m fascinated by these aspects of existence. Many native cultures are especially prescient in their traditional wisdoms…
    Thanks for that heads up…

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