Mar 232020
 March 23, 2020  Posted by at 6:46 pm Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , ,

Rembrandt van Rijn Man in Oriental Costume (The Noble Slav) 1632


It’s been two weeks since I last wrote an original article. That’s a long time. Then again, that article was The Virus is a Time Machine, which was – and still is, pardon the pun, deadly accurate. All my time between then and now has gone into the daily Debt Rattles, which have increasingly become almost exclusively Virus Rattles. A lot of it has been numbers, not because of the numbers themselves, but because they are what reveal the trends, the trajectory, the dynamics to us.

When I first saw in the numbers a few days ago that US cases and deaths were both up some 45% over 24 hours, that frightened me. Because it told me a story. Without the numbers, that story is not there. That is also why I think it’s absolutely no use to look at these numbers and compare them to other ones, like those of regular flu, or traffic deaths, or whatever people come up with.

The coronavirus is new, it’s very young, even in virus time. You can’t compare it to other viruses. I have this image in my mind of Arnold Schwarzenegger peering into Jesus’s manger and saying: “what’s the problem, I can take that guy”. Don Ciccio had a better idea when he chased down 9-year-old Vito Andolini at the start of Godfather II: “when he grows up, he’ll come after me”.


The people responsible for the corona crisis getting so out of hand where you live are your “leaders”, the same ones who are now telling you to stay home 24/7 in order to solve the crisis they caused, not you. I’m not saying that to start a revolt, because now they’re the only people standing between you and anarchy, but please stop praising them. I see so many instances of people saying their leaders looked so reassuring on TV last night etc. I get that, I get why, but they are all abject failures.

If you’re in charge of a country’s government, you have at your disposal a State Department or some equivalent, you have dozens of people following world news in depth, and you have direct access to whatever the WHO says. Put all that together and you have no excuse for sitting on your hands 2+ months only to see the situation having gone way out of hand. And it makes no difference if all your peers have been as negligent as you are, it’s your job.

Last week the Hong Kong Free Press ran an article saying that China could have cut 95% of cases if its measures to contain the outbreak had begun three weeks earlier. The same is true where you live. China screwed up royally, and so did and do your respective “leaders”.



In a way, it’s good to see that more people and more news outlets have now woken up to what’s going on, and then some lately, but it’s also weird to see so many “sources” act as if they own the topic, and invented it, who never knew what it was until like ten days ago, while the Automatic Earth have been on top of it for over 2 months. Which is why, inevitably, they, the overnight experts, get most of it wrong. Just like the governments and politicians who have all of a sudden awakened from their slumber, and are now ordering people to do whatever their “leaders” think of next.

The problem with that, with relying on coming up with things without having a solid background like the Automatic Earth could have provided them with, is the same problem that caused them, both media and political systems, to be so awfully late in the first place. I first covered that in The Party and the Virus a full 7 weeks ago.

That was back when it appeared to be all about China, but it’s just as applicable in the west. The way we select our politicians, and our media, doesn’t allow for them to risk crying wolf. They will always wait to see what their peers do, who therefore also wait. Safety first for them, but -well, obviously- not for you.

That’s what we’re looking at today. The age-old excuse of “nobody knew, and nobody could have known”, just look at my peers, look at all other PM’s and presidents and governments. There is no behavior more typical for modern day politicians, whether they’re Chinese party officials or western cabinet ministers. But it’s all BS; they could have known, and therefore should have, because it’s their job. But they were fast asleep.

Trump and Boris Johnson may be taking the denial phase to a whole new level, and Bolsonaro too, but they really only fit a pattern. And ironically even they see their popularity rise, because people are scared and seek security and solace and protection, no matter how poorly dressed up.

Saying that Donald and Boris are terrible, no matter how justified, only serves to hide the failures of all other politicians, no matter how inclined you are to believe their messages. The simple fact is they are all terrible, they were all 12 weeks or more late in their (re-)actions.

Not that they should have ordered a billion dollars in respirators at the end of December, but when the first victims died in China, and the WHO was notified, they should have taken inventory of the state of their countries’ health systems, their response systems, the whole set-up. In order to be at the helm IF disaster struck.

They never did, or not till much later. That’s why medical supplies of all applicable shapes and forms are woefully short today in Italy, and will be soon in dozens of other countries. Please stop praising these people. They all failed horribly at their jobs. Their collective failure has already caused thousands of deaths, and that may well become millions.



The WHO is praised too, but it is just as guilty of deadly neglect as all the politicians. The organization and its directors get paid large sums of money to protect the world from events exactly like this. And they did not; they are not only useless, they are harmful.

On December 30 2019, several people, among whom Wuhan doctor Li Wenliang, who died of the disease mere days later, talked on social media like WeChat about the outbreak. On December 31, Li Wenliang was called in for questioning, Wuhan health officials confirmed 27 cases of the new illness -a “pneumonia of unclear cause”-, and China, which now figured denial was no longer an option,”officially” told the WHO about the outbreak.

On January 14, the WHO said Chinese authorities had seen “no clear evidence of human-to-human transmission of the novel coronavirus.” On January 15, the first confirmed US case left Wuhan and arrived in the US with the virus. On January 20, 6 days after the WHO statement, top Chinese doctor Zhong Nanshan announced the virus CAN be passed between people. He would later state that the outbreak would be over by early February.

On January 21 the CDC confirmed the first coronavirus case in the United States. Then came Lunar New Year and 100s of millions of Chinese traveled to their families. By then the WHO should obviously long have sounded a big fat five alarm. They didn’t.

Instead, WHO director general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus repeatedly heaped praise on China. He did this on January 28, then again on February 12, (when China still refused to let a WHO team enter the country):

On January 28, Tedros met with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing. Following the meeting, Tedros commended China for “setting a new standard for outbreak control” and praised the country’s top leadership for its “openness to sharing information” with the WHO and other countries.

… and many times after. On January 23, the WHO’s emergency committee couldn’t decide whether to declare a “public health emergency of international concern” (PHEIC). Tedros, who held the decisive vote, despite admitting that “this is an emergency in China.”, declined. A week later, he did declare a PHEIC. What’s much worse, along those same lines, the WHO declared a pandemic only on March 11.



Meanwhile, the US is well on its way to become the worst hit country of all. Someday we (if we survive) will look at those spring break kids on Florida’s beaches and wonder how crazy people can get. Two weeks ago when I wrote The Virus is a Time Machine, the US reported 409 cases. As we speak the tally stands at 40,841, and it will rise further before the day is done.

Please be good and safe. Follow the instructions about safe distance and stuff. In Britain, stay 2 meters away from people, in Holland, 1.5 meters. Must be the air density. But just do what they say for now. It’ll get more bizarre later, plenty time to resist and protest.

Follow those “directions” for now, but whatever you do, please never ever praise the very people who dropped the ball so humongously to cause so much suffering, only to take unprecedented control over your lives, and telling you it’s for your own good.

It’s not that they planned this all, there are too many conspiracy notions out there about that too. People have through history hugely underestimated the power of incompetence, and history rhymes so much it hurts.

Get through this thing, it won’t last forever, people will force an end to lockdowns before the summer’s over, simply because people are social animals; can’t keep us apart.

Next up: the same clowns in charge of “fixing” the economy broken by the negligence and the incompetence of, yes, the same clowns. Better start preparing right now. If you think this virus thing is bad, wait till you see what they have on offer next.



Much as I don’t want to, I must ask for your support. Readership is up a lot, but ad revenue only keeps dropping. I’ve said it before, it must be possible to run a joint like the Automatic Earth on people’s kind donations. These are no longer the times when ads pay for all you read, your donations have become an integral part of it. It has become a two-way street; and isn’t that liberating, when you think about it?

You heard it here first, like so many other things. And no, though it would be far more lucrative financially, the Automatic Earth will not adopt any paywalls, not here and not on Patreon. But you can still support us there, as well as right here. It’s easy.




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Home Forums Virustime

Viewing 16 posts - 1 through 16 (of 16 total)
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    Rembrandt van Rijn Man in Oriental Costume (The Noble Slav) 1632   It’s been two weeks since I last wrote an original article. That’s a long time
    [See the full post at: Virustime]


    Wanted y’all to know my wife starts working home tomorrow. She works in a small corporate headuqarter with 5-8 employees, good closed offices, no customer traffic. Weather’s warm enough that personal space heaters would suffice on cold days. But still they closed down. One wonders if insurance coverage is part of the decision. Wonder if he’ll renew the lease on the corporate office (it’s a medical practice) when he gets back to serious business.

    Sort of a grassroots demographic datum on the virus wave I thought might provide a sense of the wave outside media reportage.


    I saw a disturbing report a few days ago, on the Peak Prosperity update, I believe. The claim was that doctors found significant scarring in the lungs of some individual’s by CAT scan prior to these people showing any symptoms of Covid-19.

    Now as stated above, if there is no data, the story is not there. But if you will permit some unfounded speculation, perhaps those individuals who carry the virus while remaining asymptomatic are still suffering from scarring of their lungs. Perhaps children and young adults are particularly likely to be asymptomatic carriers but are not immune to serious lung damage.

    Is anyone keeping track of those patients listed as “recovered” to see how they are progressing? We can’t just assume they will be back to normal soon.

    Over time, some recovered patients might be similar to those individuals who were affected by asbestos with reduced lung capacity and greatly increased risk of lung cancer. How unfortunate it might be if we have young people carrying oxygen bottles for the rest of their lives and being constantly screened for cancer. This might bring back memories of the Polio epidemic of the last mid-century.

    I find the extraordinary incompetence of government officials at all levels just astounding.


    Generic:. Talking of lung scarring. My brother caught valley fever while living in Arizona. Valley fever also leaves scarring in the lungs. This has caused some difficulties getting visas, like China, that require X-rays. He has to provide doctor’s note saying the lung scars are from valley fever.


    This is a test for Humanity. Can it handle the truth? Kill the messenger has never been useful in keeping up with functional, evolving truth. Thank God for the nations and states reporting accurate data.

    V. Arnold

    Rembrandt van Rijn Man in Oriental Costume (The Noble Slav) 1632

    Gorgeous painting; rich and almost hyper real in it’s fabrics (I can feel them).
    Excellent piece Ilargi: There is no road-map; thus the way forward is unclear. It’s not unlike climbing in the Columbia River Gorge without a map; each step forward carefully chosen; and always mindful of the way you’ve come…

    V. Arnold

    In the vein of; never let a good crisis go to waste; 2020 elections are looking doubtful…
    What would the people do about that?



    Rembrandt was all of 25/26 years old when he painted it. His mastery of light is already there, but it’s the maturity of the face that stands out for me. When you can paint a lifetime of experience at such a young age, you do a lot more than just put paint on canvas. The guy looks like any minute he could begin to talk to you about what he’s seen through the years.

    V. Arnold

    Rembrandt was all of 25/26 years old when he painted it. His mastery of light is already there, but it’s the maturity of the face that stands out for me.

    Yes, I did actually remember Rembrandt’s youth.

    When you can paint a lifetime of experience at such a young age, you do a lot more than just put paint on canvas.

    Absolutely; genius is mystifying, difficult to totally comprehend for us less gifted…

    V. Arnold

    I found this gem @ Zerohedge:

    Hopefully a wry smile will emerge on your face…

    Dr. D


    “The year was 2040, and the global coronavirus pandemic was in its 20th year. A young couple was on a date, walking together. They did not hold hands, embrace or kiss but maintained a distance of at least one meter between them and wore eye protection and face masks, as prescribed by law. It had been a long time since they were able to meet, because one or the other of them had a cough, or sniffles—a seasonal allergy, or perhaps a slight cold—and such symptoms made it necessary for them to exist in complete seclusion, their food and other necessities delivered by robots. Pale and weak after their lengthy period of isolation, they strolled and squinted in the bright sunlight, in the recently sanitized, secure space of the promenade, in full view of security cameras, and listened to the shrill high-pitched squeaks emitted by a loudspeaker system that were intended to scare away bats. They were at all times being chaperoned by AI software which sounded an alarm whenever they came too close to each other or, God forbid, actually touched.” (Much more)

    THX-1138 meets Logan’s Run. Ah, perfection! Hydra style. Hail Hydra! A world of perfect cleanliness and order.


    This blog was a boatload of work, Raul. I’m floored at how well you track and summarize this stuff. I can’t keep up with one state, much less the world. Here in NY many people are talking about what a good job Cuomo is doing (I’ve even see some comments over on NC about his performance). But you’re correct, our leaders did a crap job. Here’s one tiny example from Onondaga County in NY where I lost count the number of totally dumb ass statements I saw in an article dated March 12th …

    For example … you have got to be kidding …

    “In order to collect samples from patients, primary care doctors need to wear goggles, gloves and other protective gear. Some primary care offices and community clinics in the Syracuse area have those items and others don’t, said Dr. Stephen Thomas, chief of infectious disease at Upstate University Hospital.”

    This virus had been around for MONTHS and you’re just now reaching out to see which providers have protective gear? Whaaaaat?!!!!

    And how about this statement:

    “Infectious respiratory illnesses like flu are not decreasing as much as they typically do at this time of the year, Thomas said.”

    Wonder why?? Hmmmm, how much coronavirus testing are you doing???

    Oh wait, in another article I found the answer to that question. At that point we’d tested about 2,000 people in NY. The NYS population = over 20 million. Lovely.

    Raul was way ahead of the curve and spot on in his assessment of this virus. I just donated again anonymously. Encourage everyone to do so. “Donate early and often …” I think that’s how the saying goes??

    Dr. D

    “you have direct access to whatever the WHO says”

    Yes, but this was the WHO and CDC experts that had representatives in China, were dead wrong, repeated #CCP talking points about “no human transmission” and argued violently AGAINST stopping air travel in January. With ‘experts’ like these… It was only telling the experts to go stuff themselves anything got done at all.

    As now. Finally someone’s catching on that shutting down the worldwide economy forever MIGHT be more dangerous than the Flu? That sounds familiar, (I said it the first day 3 months ago) but it was too useful to cause/cover the inevitable “everything bubble” that hit critical mass Sept 14th, 2019.

    And we were told, and denied violently by the media, we would respond, bat next, and change things. Trump: “we have a line on an easy cure, hopefully it will work“. Media: “No! Everything’s terrible! Everybody’s going to die! Nothing is happening! Despair, all ye who enter here!” Now is that really sensible? They’re just mad their latest coincidence has been cut off at the knees, and easily countered, or so it seems right now, there’s a lot of work left to do.

    “nobody knew, and nobody could have known”

    Like about everything, but in this case, the CDC had a hard line on a vaccine 10 years ago back in the SARS days and firmly stopped it. No vaccine for you! They had masks and equipment like normal response teams do, and after Obama’s botched H1N1 days (12,469 deaths), never re-stocked. Now for 1/30th of those deaths it’s the end-of-the-world, erase-the-Constitution, give-up-your-rights catastrophe. Funny, I don’t even remember the H1N1 “pandemic” (Official! Expert!) because it has no effect whatsoever on me, the country, the economy, or anyone. We don’t pick on Obama waiting a year and causing 12,000 deaths because it doesn’t matter. It’s a joke. 0.02% case fatality rate)

    “they should have ordered a billion dollars in respirators at the end of December, but when the first victims died in China, and the WHO was notified”

    The WHO was the one who told us NOT to order those respirators. Why? Because “There was no human to human transmission.” The #CCP, who pays WHO salaries, said so, and so we believed them. Since they were there, I can only assume they were watching Pron in their hotel rooms like their cohorts in the SEC. It was pretty hard to miss.

    Is anyone keeping track of those patients listed as “recovered

    Yes. They can reinfect again and get it worse. A feature of the biovirus.

    Humans lost 60,000 of 90,000 in Marseilles in the last outbreak of Plague 66% death rate. THAT’S a pandemic. We lost 200,000 a day for four years in 1917. We lost 60 Million in WWII in a world of only 2.3 Billion. Still here. Geometrically more than ever, much to everyone’s hatred and disdain. With a life so much easier and better everyone is bored and inventing drama and problems and invisible Russians and Nazis just for something to do. You are the human raised by humans. Life and death are your heritage. You’d have to kill 210 Million worldwide to match WWII and we recovered instantly. So, like the “environment”, who are you worried about? The world? The Childrens? Or your own sorry skin? Sorry to inform you, but you’re going to die anyway. C.S. Lewis pointed this out when they spoke of all the deaths in WWII. Sorry, with or without the war, mortality is always 100%. They died anyway. What are you saving with most dying over 70? A year? Three years? This is life. A gift that comes with death.

    That’s the real reality we should stop lying about. That’s what we could overcome fear of and unseat the “experts” who get us all killed every year or two.


    But Dr.D, even if we save one life! gag. I’m ashamed of the virtue signalers. I expect better. How about “if we can save one child”. Or better yet, one gay trans gender black child! That’ll get congress moving.


    All of that MMT money is being used to save the elites.

    Covid – 19 Jubilee

    Historically, Jubilee forgives the debts of the poor every 7 years and every 49 (7×7) years, there is restoration of property to its rightful owners.

    Modern Jubilee, take advantage of the virus, forgives the debt of the elites and restore the property to the lenders.
    Reset to continue operations.

    Diogenes Shrugged
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