May 012020

Joseph-Désiré Court Le Masque 1843


No, I’m still not over the fact that they all initially missed the virus when they should have seen it most of all. The reasons why must be evaluated in every single location, in governments, CDC equivalents and obviously the WHO. A main reason is that they were all focusing on their economy, not the virus, -at least somewhat- ironically damaging their economies in the process.

I’m just afraid that you’re not going to prevent the next time, the next huge and deadly miss, as long as elections are popularity contests ultimately controlled by special interests. But at the same time, we’re past that first moment, which was somewhere in November or December (31st at the latest), and the next major threats loom.

After the Big Miss came the lockdowns, and as I said in Little Managers, that’s the one thing all these politicians may actually be somewhat good at. They stink at initial detection and reaction time, they stink at forward vision, but they can get people to stay home for a bit, and sell them that in the media.

They even get praised for it. Which is understandable, since their role is to set old ladies’ minds at ease, and most people, whatever age they are, have such minds, understandable but unfortunate, because 1) we’re about to leave the lockdowns phase as well and 2) they’re sure to screw up this one as royally as the first detection moment.


It would be good if everyone by now understood why lockdowns become inevitable after, but only after, initial detection has failed and the virus has been allowed to enter a society, if you face a highly contagious and deadly -to humans- virus that you don’t know anything about, but there are plenty people today who claim the lockdowns are what does the damage.

In case there is such a virus and you miss your first -and only- chance at “Crushing the Curve” (as opposed to flattening it, which is of limited use at best), you must prevent it from jumping from host to host, which means you need to keep people apart from each other to one extent or another. Societies have understood this for 1000s of years, and we don’t?

Keep people apart until you either know more about the virus, or you have a vaccine, or people become immune to it. Well, there’s no vaccine – did you know that no vaccine for a coronavirus was ever developed?-, immunity is in a very early phase, and just about literally everything we think we know about the virus is contradicted within 24 hours or so by a different report or group of “experts”.


These are truly not things we should let politicians fresh out of popularity contests decide. But that’s the model of our societies. The various relaxations of the various lockdowns are going to be an unmitigated disaster, guaranteed. We have all the elements for such disasters. It’ll work out fine in a few locations, but in most it will be terrible.

Because these guys and gals are under pressure from people who’ve been complaining about the lockdowns since the moment they were called. Because their “scientists” are, as we saw in The Only Man Who Has A Clue, utterly useless when it comes to even the most basic rules of risk assessment. But then for a few consecutive days numbers of cases and deaths seem to go down, and there is an election coming up next year or the one after that, and off to the races we are.

As long as there are no urgencies or calamities, we don’t notice these things, because everyone is busy living their own lives and fulfilling their own demands. And then when things do go wrong, there’s no redundancy, no resilience, no safety nets, and eventually no nothing. Because everyone’s too busy with their own lives.

We conduct our societies as if there is zero risk of a pandemic or any other disaster, because there’s no profit in redundancy. It’s a miracle we still have fire departments and hospitals, and those in most cases only still exist because someone has found a way to make money off of them (taxes).


Still, the worst thing about all the little managers “leading” us into the future is undoubtedly that little managers have no vision for that future. That’s why you hear “re-open”, re-this and re-that so much. But there is no “re-“, there is no going back to “normal”. And when you look at where we were pre-corona, you’d be mad not to ask why on earth we would want to go back there.

Shouldn’t we perhaps at least learn something from this virustime episode? Of course we should. But our “leaders” lack the ideas and vision to learn anything. They don’t go forward into the future, they go backward, fat asses first. They owe their jobs and their power to the past, after all.

And their only “science advisers”, the virologists and epidemiologists, also only look backwards, since their knowledge comes from past events, and they can only model the next “viral event” according to guesses, hunches, and a series of old algorithms. Some can construct a full genome of a virus within days or weeks, but still have no idea what it does.

We have the wrong people in charge at every step of the way. Because we have no idea what risk assessment is. Still, we’re all smart enough to understand that politicians and epidemiologists are the last people we would want to do that. And yes, that brings us straight back to The Only Man Who Has A Clue. When you don’t know what you’re up against, you don’t just try and guess and pray for a good outcome, you go back to basics: masks, testing, distance.

Lockdowns can’t last forever, people are social animals. Also, lockdowns don’t solve the problem, that’s not their goal; they merely buy you time. Would you say we have used that time wisely? Would you say it’s safe now to put less distance between people, who are for all intents and purposes potential hosts for a lethal virus?

I see a lot of claims that we know much more about the virus now, 4-6 weeks later, but I also see tons of contradictory reports, and I can only conclude we still know very little. Indeed, even many things we thought we knew turn out not to be true. And those happen to be the kinds of things that are essential if you want to assess risk.

Politicians and epidemiologists could only possibly have done one thing right -and they largely did- in this process: the lockdown. They understand what it is, and they have the tools to sell and enforce it. But that’s it. They don’t understand the risks involved in relaxing the lockdowns. It’s not just the pressure on them to “normalize” their societies, it’s that they don’t understand risk, period -but think and claim they do-.

That in itself is likely the biggest risk we face.



And I kid you not, I was setting out to write about finance and bailouts and stuff, and thought a little intro might be helpful, and it got a bit out of hand. Finance and bailouts “and stuff”, coming up, hopefully tomorrow. Got so much to say about that too. Sometimes it’s nice to just read news and opinions for a number of days without writing about it, but for me there’s always a lot of “what are these people thinking?”.

There are all these claims about elites and politicians and their grand schemes and plans and intentions, but so far I always veer back, along with Fat Tony, to the vastly underestimated achievements of sheer incompetence. But by all means, prove me wrong.



We try to run the Automatic Earth on people’s kind donations. Since their revenue has collapsed, ads no longer pay for all you read, and your support is now an integral part of the process.

Thanks for your generosity.



Support the Automatic Earth for your own good.


Home Forums Backwards into the Future

Viewing 10 posts - 1 through 10 (of 10 total)
  • Author
  • #58141

    Joseph-Désiré Court Le Masque 1843   No, I’m still not over the fact that they all initially missed the virus when they should have seen it most
    [See the full post at: Backwards into the Future]


    so far I always veer back, along with Fat Tony, to the vastly underestimated achievements of sheer incompetence

    on 9/11, incompetence could be the reason norad stood down. it could be the reason the fbi failed to ‘connect the dots’ even though they were aware of ‘non-resident men of arab descent’ attending flight schools and had on file a 1996 pakistani terrorist confession explaining plans ‘to use the training he received at flight schools in the United States to fly a plane into C.I.A. headquarters in Langley’.

    however, it’s quite a leap to suggest that incompetence led to the wiring of the twin towers and building 7 for demolition.


    People are rushing into parliaments with ak47s. Really you actually think elected officials intentionally have done this.

    At the heart of it is the fact democratic ways and rights and freedoms feed this virus. Two best countries in the world dealt with the virus effectively. Iceland and Taiwan use draconian but effective ways.

    In these countries rights and freedoms set aside for a month. One used a mandatory phone app going from green to yellow to red. Green your good. Yellow someone sick passed by you and mandatory go home. Red arrested if not inside.

    Police forces were tripled and contact tracing carefully done.

    That is the cure. Are we willing? Or are we going down with the boat. I’ll be that rat jumped ship in the lifeboat thankyou. No dignity and heros don’t live long.

    Dr. D

    This is how humans are. You cannot lock down for every shadow. The expense would be near-infinite. They then must lock down too late. They also locked down the wrong things. Beaches and hiking trails, but not parades, subways, liquor stores and nursing homes. Being humans, they also do it unevenly and with substantial gaps. For instance, apparently any mayor or famous person can go golfing or fly wherever they want. Then once (not) locked down, but having some illusion of lockdown, a certain help, humans did not use the expensive time bought them either. Having time, they wasted it, both in medicine and at home. Then, having wasted the time for the (non) lock down, they don’t really have, they DID damage the economy trade, and division of labor that keeps them all alive.

    Now they can’t un-lock the non-lockdown they didn’t have. Egos are at stake. Science is still not used. They lockdown islands in Michigan and the fenced beach in your own backyard, but still not nursing homes, airlines, and cruise ships. Safe, small business like being outdoors painting houses is stopped, bankrupted, and Wal-Mart is packed shoulder to shoulder. They can deliver Furbles to your door but not food.

    Didn’t you know all this was going to happen? This is how human are. It’s not like we didn’t know since the Middle Ages, it’s just the same as the middle ages. Messy. Violent. Corrupt. Un-scientific. Un-reflective. Non-functional. So here we are, being us.

    This is exactly how we got to be 8 billion. This is how we are so astoundingly successful through 5,000 years of pandemics and world wars, by doing exactly this. By being messy, uncooperative, unreasonable, and unpredictable. If we were cooperative and predictable we’d long have been slaves to a single wolf. Those people, that action, saves us 10,000 times and sometimes it’s irritating, but it has a very great, noble, and hidden purpose. Those uncooperative people are saving you right now by holding back the waters and tying up a tyranny that doesn’t know how to cope with them. There are risks and cost all over. They are volunteering to save you on that front, and you can save them on another. Even medically, perhaps.

    But we seem to be past the high-water mark on all nations, locked or no, and now we’re going to go from a senseless, unorganized non-lockdown to a senseless, unorganized non-startup. Did all the shouting not to be messy, not to be unorganized help anything? Was all the bad blood and beatings worth the backlash that will come? Was telling humans not to be human help them to not act like the way human beings act?

    “Well I told them and they didn’t instantly obey.” Welcome to life. Nobody cares what anybody else says or thinks. They never have, not for the last 10,000 years. If you noticed, no one did now either. But I won’t tell them AND I won’t obey, so I guess I’m part of the club.

    Dr. D

    “We told humans not to be humans.” “Well that didn’t work out very well.”

    I prepared for humans to be humans. And when things went wrong, there was everything. Because I, being human, made arrangements and prepared for it. Others can too, and many have.

    If you’re not going to do anything when you, not “society” know this is certain to happen, who do you think is going to save you from yourselves?


    How did the virus get to all the care homes and the seniors?
    Why did the virus find that the best place to multiply was in the cells of a senior?
    Why were most of the seniors in the world unprepared for the arrival of the virus?

    Why are most of the poor, crowded sickly people of the world not among the first chosen by the virus?

    There are still a lot of questions with no answer.


    The only confusion is cognitive dissonance. May 1st, 2020 Amazon worker’s protest sign reads; “Capitalism Kills”.

    Workers from Amazon, Whole Foods, Instacart, Target and Walmart join forces to stage a mass sick-out

    The US Federal government orders 100,000 body bags.

    The western oligarchy was unprepared for a pandemic for the simple reason stockpiling PPE, closing borders, hiring contact tracers, and isolating the infected costs a great deal of money that they are unwilling to spend. Killing unfortunates benefits their bottom-line. They are still quite unwilling to do the basic national public health functions (test, trace and isolate) that have controlled pandemics in the past and worked against the Wuhan Coronavirus in China, Taiwan, New Zealand, Australia, South Korea and Singapore. The West only restored to a lockdown after seeing Italian hospitals overwhelmed and the Elite flying back to the Hamptons infected from skiing in the Alps.

    Lockdown fatigue and an economic Depression have set in. Republican governors in the USA are haphazardly reopening up their states. Quite willing to kill hundreds of thousands of American to restart the economy.

    The Establishment really doesn’t want Americans to wake up to the truth.


    Many petri dish
    At this point at least four US Navy aircraft carriers — the USS Theodore Roosevelt, the USS Ronald Reagan, the USS Carl Vinson and the USS Nimitz — have reported cases of coronavirus, crimping their operations. Most notably the Roosevelt had over a month ago been diverted from its original mission in the West Pacific, and now has 1,102 sailors that have tested positive for COVID-19.

    Reuters further reports US officials have confirmed more than two dozen warships now have crew with coronavirus infections while at port.

    And this week the guided-missile USS Kidd which arrived in San Diego Tuesday at least 78 active cases out of a 330-person crew, or about 25% of total personnel on board, reports the San Diego Union-Tribune.



    In the good olde days of sailing ships, people coming to Canada oftened arrived in Quebec City so sick that they had to be quarantined by authorities on an island in the St. Lawrence River until they had recovered from their sea trip induced illnesses.

    If I remember correctly, travelling across the Atlantic in a ship, meant facing 25% to 35% death rates!

    So ships have been Petri dishes for a very long time!


    I detest this word “lockdown”. That’s a prison term.

    What’s wrong with good old “isolation” (the sick separated from the healthy) or “quarantine” (the healthy separated from the sick)?

    Some conditioning going on here perhaps.

Viewing 10 posts - 1 through 10 (of 10 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.