Jul 232020

Constantin Brancusi Portrait of George 1911



Last week, Tyler at Zero Hedge ran an article from a site called Adventures in Capitalism, in which the writer (Kuppy?!) lets his light shine on the CIVD19 situation. He concludes that we’re all going to get it, it’s no use resisting, there will never be a vaccine and herd immunity is all we have left to hope for.

And I was thinking: what if he’s -largely- right? What if the utter lack of preparedness and the glaring incompetence we see displayed before our eyes all across the globe has made escape -almost- impossible? Surely at the very least we should prepare for that, too, even if it’s not the only thing we should prepare for.

Not that I’ve strayed much from my original viewpoints, that it’s very dumb to for instance have lengthy discussions about how efficient facemasks and lockdowns are, as long as they’re the only tools you have. But if nobody has a playbook for such things, including the WHO that gets paid millions for exactly that, you do run the risk of making your only tools obsolete.

It’s been a pretty wild year so far what with the spectacle of all the politicians bending like pretzels to avoid being caught unprepared. So many of them have solemnly declared that masks and testing don’t work, simply because they had no access to either. After decades of warnings that a new virus could pop up at any moment.

But you’re right, we now have to look ahead. So first I’ll give you a few “Kuppy” quotes with my comments on them, and we’ll take it from there. Oh, but first this on the morality of a policy aimed at herd immunity, from a BBC piece on the “achievements” of the British gov’t in the virus crisis. “Anthony Costello, professor at University College London and a former director at the WHO, tweeted”:

“Is it ethical to adopt a policy that threatens immediate casualties on the basis of an uncertain future benefit?”

And then we can turn to Kuppy:

You’re Probably Gonna Get It…

[..] had they stopped this thing in Wuhan, we would be right to use a containment approach to COVID-19. Instead, it’s everywhere and despite your personal opinions on the issue, it isn’t going away until most of us get it. There, I said it; you can hide in your basement, but you’re still probably going to get COVID-19. You can quarantine a whole nation; they’ll just get it next year. We are a global economy and this is now a global disease.

Whether you like it or not, the world is going for “herd immunity.” Unfortunately, there is no other viable option; there will be no vaccine, there will be no miracle cure and besides, the virus isn’t even all that dangerous if you are young and healthy. Simply put, COVID-19 won’t flame out until 50 to 80% of us get it (the precise number is open to debate).

I think a lot of people at this point in time would mostly agree with what he says there. But do they oversee the consequences?

Unlike smallpox or polio, there will never be a vaccine (there has never been a COVID vaccine for a variety of reasons)—therefore, as soon as quarantine ends, we’d all begin to spread it again, as there will always be infected humans. Countries that hermetically sealed their borders would not be immune either—they’ve simply deferred infection.

You can quarantine a village in Africa and stop a disease like Ebola that strikes fast and often kills the host. You cannot stop the spread of something that tens of millions of global citizens unknowingly have, while lying dormant for up to three weeks.

More things many would agree with. But will there really always be infected humans, and will they always spread the virus around the entire planet? Is that true? The virus needs new hosts all the time, and if you keep potential hosts sufficiently separated from each other, it can not spread.

We may have a global economy with global citizens, but we’ve seen plenty evidence that what has caused hospitality and travel to plummet has not been lockdowns, but people’s fear of getting infected. Is that irrational, and will you be able to convince them otherwise?

I think it should be obvious that you cannot stop COVID from spreading, at best, you can slow it down so that hospitals do not become overwhelmed. Instead, governments are passing draconian and arbitrary laws that do little to slow the spread, yet destroy businesses and communities.

Hmmm. How exactly would you slow it down without masks and lockdowns? Does it seem like a good idea to bring people together again in offices, elevators, planes, trains, restaurants and bars? Right now it doesn’t appear to make much difference, most people wouldn’t go anyway.

I read today that in the UK, almost half of workers -well, those that still have a job- work from home, whereas that number was 5% before virustime. And now the gov’t wants them all back in the workplace. Think they’ll go as long as the virus is out there?

Millions of jobs, and there come hospitality and travel again, are lost forever. People are afraid. And no, that has little to do with a media fear-porn campaign, though the media are as clueless as the politicians, and it’s a comforting thought to be able to blame them.

[..] putting your head in the sand and hoping COVID-19 goes away is foolish. It is time for everyone to accept the inevitable and figure out what that means for themselves and their countries. The current checker-board approach in the US where each state and even each county takes a different approach—is simply making a mess of things.

People can figure what things may mean without first accepting them as inevitable. Many are doing that right now. But yes, the US has been a mess and still is. It’s too large for a one-size-fits-all approach, especially if that has to be made up on the spot.

But the “leaders”, whether in politics, health care or elsewhere, have a fool-proof take on that: they blame each other. Still, the US debacle is something that has grown over years, decades, it hasn’t suddenly appeared, you just didn’t see it before. And it’s not only the US; the entire rich world has the exact same problem.

Here in Miami Beach; we have a 10pm curfew, we have fines and jail time for not wearing masks in public, bars are closed, restaurants can only have outdoor seating and the beach was closed last weekend. It is not clear what any of these measures actually accomplish if tens of thousands are marching around in protests without masks.

As an aside, the stupidest thing around must be people who wear facemasks outside, unless they’re in close proximity to others. Still, there are gov’ts that demand they do. Closing a beach falls in that same category. Unless people get close together. As for the protests, the most cynical remark I can muster is that at least the rioters cover their faces.



As I made my rounds at some of my favorite restaurants this week, owners finally broke down the brave façade; they confessed that they’re financially bleeding to death. Dozens of prominent restaurants have already shut their doors for good—some of these restaurants have been around for decades and survived multiple economic cycles. If the laws are consistent, you can manage your business—if the government changes the rules every few days to combat a bad cold, what are you supposed to do?

Darn, Kuppy, you were doing just fine, and now you have to bring up the dead “just a bad cold” idea? Read on. It’s not.

I think it is time for everyone globally to finally admit that COVID-19 is here, that we are powerless to stop its spread and that most of us are going to get it. The focus should be on protecting those who are elderly or compromised from a health standpoint. When you start from that framework, you can then think through the consequences and adapt policy appropriately.

We haven’t protected the elderly and health compromised during the lockdowns. What makes you think we will when things are supposed to “return to normal”? We locked up the elderly in the petri dishes we call carehomes, and we let kids and the poor stew in their own misery.

You think we’ve learned something from that? I think when outbreaks flare up again, as they do right now all over Europe, they’re going to isolate the old and the young again, and let the poor rot some more.

If you hope you can protect everyone from it, you’re going to postpone the inevitable, while destroying the economy. Once again, I don’t know what the right approach is, but I know that what’s being done today is asinine. It’s time for global leaders to wake up.

I’m pretty sure that’s what we call a false dichotomy. Lockdowns don’t destroy economies, the virus, and people’s fears of getting infected, plus seeing their loved ones be infected, does. Opening everything up is not going to change that for the better.


From there it’s just a small step for man and giant leap for mankind towards Kuppy’s only solution left: herd immunity. The idea has already been burned to the ground by numerous parties, but since it’s the only thing he has left, let’s humor him, shall we?

Here’s from a recent BBC piece on the topic, which seems sort of based on the notion that it’s all Britain has left as well. Interesting article though, I must say, they tried to make something out of the whole minestrone :

Did ‘Herd Immunity’ Change The Course Of The Outbreak?

“Herd immunity” is a concept describing the point at which a population has developed protection against a disease. There are two ways to do this. Vaccination is one route. But with any new virus it’s impossible to say how long it will take to develop a vaccine, if ever. The other way is for people to catch the disease and build up some form of immunity. If exposed to the virus again, it is assumed they have protection. If most people in a population are protected then the virus cannot spread.

But there are two problems. One is that with a new virus – like this particular coronavirus – it’s not always clear how much protection having had the disease, particularly a mild case, gives you or how long it lasts. And if most of the population catches the disease, many thousands might die. On 13 March, Sir Patrick stated that about 60% of the population would need to become infected for society to have “herd immunity” – effectively some 40 million people in the UK.

“Communities will become immune to it and that’s going to be an important part of controlling this longer term,” he told Sky News. These comments sparked an immediate backlash. Anthony Costello, professor of health and sustainable development at University College London and a former director of maternal and child health at the WHO, tweeted: “Is it ethical to adopt a policy that threatens immediate casualties on the basis of an uncertain future benefit?”

And from Britain we can go seamlessly to Sweden, perceived as the -internationally heralded- poster child of herd immunity policy, though they never officially endorsed it. A group of 25 Swedish doctors and scientists sounds the alarm on the entire approach, and even suggest it is a “secret goal”.

Sweden Hoped Herd Immunity Would Curb COVID19. Don’t Do What We Did. It’s Not Working.

The motives for the Swedish Public Health Agency’s light-touch approach are somewhat of a mystery. Some other countries that initially used this strategy swiftly abandoned it as the death toll began to increase, opting instead for delayed lockdowns. But Sweden has been faithful to its approach.

Why? Gaining herd immunity, where large numbers of the population (preferably younger) are infected and thereby develop immunity, has not been an official goal of the Swedish Public Health Agency. But it has said immunity in the population could help suppress the spread of the disease, and some agency statements suggest it is the secret goal.

Further evidence of this is that the agency insists on mandatory schooling for young children, the importance of testing has been played down for a long time, the agency refused to acknowledge the importance of asymptomatic spread of the virus (concerningly, it has encouraged those in households with COVID-19 infected individuals to go to work and school) and still refuses to recommend masks in public [..]

Several authorities, including the WHO, have condemned herd immunity as a strategy. “It can lead to a very brutal arithmetic that does not put people and life and suffering at the center of that equation,” Dr. Mike Ryan, executive director of WHO’s Health Emergencies Program, said at a press conference in May.

Regardless of whether herd immunity is a goal or a side effect of the Swedish strategy, how has it worked out? Not so well, according to the agency’s own test results. The proportion of Swedes carrying antibodies is estimated to be under 10%, thus nowhere near herd immunity.

And yet, the Swedish death rate is unnerving. Sweden has a death toll greater than the United States: 556 deaths per million inhabitants, compared with 425, as of July 20.

Sweden also has a death toll more than four and a half times greater than that of the other four Nordic countries combined — more than seven times greater per million inhabitants. For a number of weeks, Sweden has been among the top in the world when it comes to current reported deaths per capita. And despite this, the strategy in essence remains the same.

7 months of pandemic without a lockdown, under 10% have antibodies, and the death toll is 7 times that of their neighbors. Something’s not working right?! But Kuppy said it was our only remaining option…

Then again, something that did pique my interest is this very recent development. I could see this concept becoming more potent than any vaccine, if only because as Kuppy rightly notes, there has never been a vaccine for any coronavirus.

New Antibody Mix Could Form ‘Very Potent’ COVID19 Treatment

Researchers have identified a potent cocktail of antibodies that may help doctors treat Covid-19 infections and protect people at risk from falling ill with the disease. The antibodies were collected from patients hospitalised with severe Covid-19, and they could be manufactured at scale by pharmaceutical firms and transfused into the blood to fight the virus or prevent it from taking hold. Scientists at Columbia University in New York screened antibodies from 40 Covid-19 patients and identified 61 types from five individuals that effectively wiped out coronavirus.

Among them were nine that displayed “exquisite potency” for neutralising the pathogen. Tests on cells showed that the antibodies killed off the virus, while experiments with hamsters revealed that an infusion of one of the more potent antibodies protected the animals from disease. “It shut off infectious virus completely in the lung tissue of the hamsters we treated,” said David Ho, a professor of medicine at Columbia who led the research.

[..] Professor Sachdev Sidhu at the University of Toronto also has plans to take neutralising antibodies into clinical trials later this year. “In my opinion, the more antibodies the better, as scaling up antibodies, although standard, still requires time,” he said. “Having multiple options will be good to ensure as many patients as possible can receive the therapies.”

He said every country that is capable of doing so “owes it to their population” to manufacture therapeutic antibodies, and that countries should work together to ensure they can be made available to as many patients as possible at affordable cost.

Then again, antibodies do not come without their own risk. There’s always the risk of a cytokine storm in some form or another. No exception in the case of SARS-CoV-2.

Study Sees Harmful Effect Of Coronavirus Antibodies In ICU

Antibodies generated by the immune system to neutralise the novel coronavirus could cause severe harm or even kill the patient, according to a study by Dutch scientists. Immunoglobulin G (IgG) is a fork-shaped molecule produced by adaptive immune cells to intercept foreign invaders. Each type of IgG targets a specific type of pathogen.

The IgG for Sars-CoV-2, the virus causing Covid-19, fights off the virus by binding with the virus’ unique spike protein to reduce its chance of infecting human cells. They usually appear a week or two after the onset of illness, when the symptoms of most critically-ill patients suddenly get worse. A research team led by Professor Menno de Winther from the University of Amsterdam in the Netherlands said they might have found an important clue that may answer why the IgG appears only when patients are ill enough to be admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU).

The scientists found that the blood from Covid-19 patients struggling for their life on ventilators was highly inflammatory. They observed during a series of experiments that it could trigger an overreaction of the immune system, destroy crucial barriers in tissues and cause water and blood to spill over in the lungs.

It looks like it’s high time, in fact it’s long overdue, that we stop calling COVID19 a respiratory disease. The SARS-CoV-2 virus may enter the body through mouth and nose, but once it’s in, the lungs are merely the first organ it reaches. But it’s through the vascular system that it spreads all through the body.

What we see even in patients that have been declared “recovered”, and we see this time and again, is crippling fatigue, lung damage, heart damage, brain damage, nerve damage, multiple organ damage. And, as a recent report spelled out, blood clotting was found in every organ in the body, including veins, during autopsies.

Many “recovered” patients report symptoms, such as debilitating fatigue, that can last for at least months. We simply don’t know for how long, because it’s only been around for 7 months.

These are things to consider when you say we must surrender to the virus and let it run its course. Even if it doesn’t overwhelm a certain area’s health care system today, we may well be left with huge amounts of people who carry its scars, and need medical assistance, for the rest of their lives.

That appears to be the minimum price you’re going to pay for letting the virus run its course. Is that worth it? Well, not for the girl who’s unlucky enough to catch it, I tell you. For society as a whole then? What’s the price we’re willing to pay for keeping a bar open? I don’t have to answer that question, I only have to ask it. But we as societies do need to come up with an answer.

Is large scale infection inevitable, as Kuppy claims? If so, the consequences look dire. But yes, so do more lockdowns. Agreed. Totally. You tell me. What’s the price you’re willing to pay? A closed bar, a facemask in a store, or a friend’s body crippled for life? You tell me.

To wrap this up, a last study, this one conducted in 69 countries across six continents. I don’t think I’ve seen anything over the past 7 months that I find scarier than this. You see, heart surgery is a life saving procedure for many people, who would be gone without it.

So what happens to your health care system if you let half the population catch the virus, and half of those end up with heart damage in one form or another, to one degree or another? And that’s just the heart, that’s not lungs or brain or nerves or blood vessels.


“55 per cent of patients had an abnormality. One in seven patients were found to have severe abnormalities..”

More Than Half Of All COVID19 Patients Found To Have Damaged Hearts

An international survey of heart scans in people treated for COVID-19 found that 55 per cent of patients had an abnormality. One in seven patients were found to have severe abnormalities. The study adds further evidence to the emerging picture of COVID-19 as a disease of the vascular system in a significant number of cases, and not always primarily a respiratory disease.

It also suggests that a significant of COVID-19 patients will need to be monitored and assessed for permanent damage to the heart. And it raises questions about the extent to which COVID-19 is a disease you may not fully recover from. The research is from a team at the Centre for Cardiovascular Science, University of Edinburgh, UK. They studied echocardiograms from 1216 patients, aged 52 to 71, 70 per cent of them male.

The patients came from 69 countries across six continents. They were all presumed or confirmed cases of COVID-19 when the echocardiograms were taken (between April 3 and April 20, 2020). An echocardiogram uses ultrasound to show how your heart muscle and valves are working. About three-quarters of the patients (901 of them) had no pre-existing cardiac disease. But 46 per cent of their echocardiograms were abnormal, and 13 per cent were found with severe disease.

According to the study: Left and right ventricular abnormalities were reported in 479 (39 per cent) and 397 (33 per cent) patients, respectively. There was evidence of new myocardial infarction in 36 (three per cent), myocarditis in 35 (three per cent), and takotsubo cardiomyopathy in 19 (two per cent). Sixty percent of the scans were performed in an ICU unit or emergency room. About 54 percent of the patients had severe COVID-19. Abnormalities were often “unheralded or severe, and imaging changed management in one-third of patients.”

Study co-author Marc Dweck, consultant cardiologist at the University of Edinburgh, U.K., said in a statement: “COVID-19 is a complex, multi-system disease which can have profound effects on many parts of the body, including the heart. “Many doctors have been hesitant to order echocardiograms for patients with COVID-19 because it’s an added procedure which involves close contact with patients.

“Our work shows that these scans are important—they improved the treatment for a third of patients who received them.” Dr Dweck continued: “Damage to the heart is known to occur in severe flu, but we were surprised to see so many patients with damage to their heart with COVID-19, and so many patients with severe dysfunction.”

Really, you tell me. But don’t tell me only old people die of it. We’re way past that point. And don’t tell me younger people are not affected. That’s like 19th century wisdom. If you want to argue for herd immunity, by all means, but don’t just blurt out something. Let’s see what you got.


I’ve always, as noted before, disliked the wartime, military talk when it comes to this virus, the “we must beat this enemy because it’s out to get us”. This is not the -real- German nazis or the -imaginary- Russians of today. A virus is smaller than you can imagine and it’s not even alive according to science.

But staying with that war talk for a moment, are you sure you want to surrender to it regardless? Or do you want to go with: it’s not that bad, and it’s not that deadly, and those old folk would have died anyway? So open up the bars and everything will be just hunky dory! You sure? Surrender?!




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    Constantin Brancusi Portrait of George 1911     Last week, Tyler at Zero Hedge ran an article from a site called Adventures in Capitalism, i
    [See the full post at: Are You Ready to Surrender?]


    “He concludes that we’re all going to get it, it’s no use resisting, there will never be a vaccine and herd immunity is all we have left to hope for.”
    Yup.. and the consequences of getting it – given the increase in understanding and in treatment protocols – are going to be minor for the vast majority of us.

    The story of Covid parallels the 2002 WMD BS – politically-driven narrative, overwhelming hysteria, echoed and amplified by a fully homogenous MSM. Dissenting voices marginalised to the point of being almost invisible. A large number of rational people swept up in the tide of emotion and one-sided narrative.

    If you can set aside your emotional investment in your previous position, take a few minutes to set down the facts as we now understand them:
    – there is almost zero correlation between states and countries that locked down vs outcome (vs individual countries can be selectively chosen to justify one’s preexisting bias, but in considering all countries in aggregate there is negligible correlation
    – due to non-linear spreading (eg “super-spreaders”) herd immunity is achievable at much lower levels than the 80% predicated (possibly as low as 20%). Many countries already have exposure to this level
    – the initial projections and modelling from IC were ludicrously overstated, as were historical projections from this same organisation. Yet these were the sole figures widely quoted by governments and media at the outset, and served to terrify the populations
    – the terrified population have become overwhelming passive and compliant, accepting suspension of basic liberties with nary a whimper
    – meanwhile race riots are being fomented, tech giants are escalating and extending heavy-handed censorship of dissenting (primarily conservative) voices

    Taken together, I just can’t accept this as “coincidence theory”. The virus is real, but a huge number of things we’ve been taught about it are not. Most importantly (as Dr D keeps reiterating), there is a critical distinction between the consequences of the virus, and the consequences of the actions that were taken ostensibly to manage the virus. Implosion of the global economies was a consequence of political choices, not an inevitability.

    One of the things I admire about Tucker Carlson is his willingness to say “yeah I supported the invasion of Iraq. I was wrong, and I’ve learned from it”. Hopefully we’ll hear more people say the same over Covid, though by then the ship will have well sailed, and the political outcomes will have been realised by those who are pushing them.

    John Day

    Fear is in the air. I smell it. I see it in people’s eyes and in their furtive actions, like anxiously jumping away from others..
    Rulers maintain their power by managing the narrative which directs the fear in a way that makes people do what the rulers want. People are compliant when they comply because of fear, but it tires them out, and they don’t do their best work.
    People long for release from the relentless pressure of fear.
    Austin is a college town, and also obsessively compliant with masking and social distancing, because Austin jobs are compliance-jobs, in government, education and high-tech. Much was made of UT students coming back from spring break infected, as if they did not worry. What I have recently read is that levels of worry are very high in teens and twenty-somethings. What is also high is biological drives. That creates cognitive dissonance. When I heard there were COVID-sharing parties, I thought it was fake-news, but it appears that some college students did hang out with those recently diagnosed, and put money in a pot for the first diagnosed to claim. I’ve heard a young, pregnant coworker, very responsible and careful to comply, say that she would prefer to just catch it and be done with it. There was something like assent from her peers. We see it. Several of her peers are back to work after having had it.
    It’s not so bad for most people, and we see the spectrum of illness personally.
    My point is that the persistence of threat is deeply disturbing and emotionally exhausting.
    This viral threat won’t fade much before next summer, I suspect.
    People under chronic stress are beginning to seek relief valves.

    People and other animals under increased stress from threats tend to do the same things they usually do, but harder and faster. They don’t tend to do something completely different.
    It’s just typical of animals, including us to double-down.
    This is probably part of the extremes of political dogmatism we are seeing all around us. The Social Justice Warrior “left” has crossed over into a world where logic and reason are cast out as tools of white-supremacist-imperialism.
    Discussing this rationally, or looking at history to see what the other options might look like, are expressly forbidden.
    Overheated emotions, especially fear, without self-reflection and thoughtful analysis can grow into The Killing Fields, The Cultural Revolution, and the worst mass purges of Bolshevism, which all killed millions, and made monsters of the killers.
    The power elites also get caught in the worst of these crises. They should be more careful, less smug, in feeding these kinds of little brushfires between social groups.
    Please consider that the wave of fear may be slightly leading the wave of massive societal change, now underway, We have been debating this inevitable change in abstract since the early 1970s. It’s now happening without any regard to our assumptions, whatever they were. That’s scary.
    Being afraid of little things which we can manage by becoming more devout in whatever belief system we espouse, is a form of denial of the fact of the huge and sweeping changes now underway, and uncontrolled. These changes will take whatever form we, ourselves create, though each of us has some minor input. Those of us who see what is happening, and act constructively today, or last year, might have a little more cumulative effect, and it might be good.
    I think there is a special place in Heck for those who saw this coming since 2008 and built special bunkers in hidden places. I think they are creating their own, personal forms of heck.
    They will be preyed upon by the special predators. Yuck! I can’t go there anymore.
    Do wear masks in crowds, especially indoors, and do it casually. It’s some protection for everybody.
    Don’t think things will be ok after the November election, or after there’s a COVID vaccine, or herd immunity.
    Things won’t get better, ever. This is as good as it gets. None of us can get away.
    I accept this new normal and do constructive work for those I love, and life on this planet.
    Growing food is good. (Grow food that produces steadily and can’t easily be stolen all at once.)

    Global Capitalism is the main, hidden enemy and slave-owner these days. GloboCap is the unseen hand. Several people sent me this story. (“Know Yourself, and Know Your Enemy” to have a chance of prevailing in war.)
    GloboCap can take anything you might “fight” for, turn it into your slave-chains, and teach you to muder the evil-other.
    GloboCap Über Alles

    Wayne Madsen: As the Covid-19 pandemic continues its deadly march around the world, a number of relatively dormant conflicts, as well as several well-known flash points, stand ready to place the world on the edge of a major armed conflict. History shows us that during times of stress – economic depression, religious strife, vacuums of political leadership, and public health crises like that which is now plaguing the world – the chances for war increase commensurately.

    Pandemic and Hair Trigger Flash Points: an Explosive Situation

    Sun Belt States Choose “Third Path” To Confront COVID-19 Without Destroying Economy
    This is a modulated run at herd-immunity, with the modulating factor being hospital-overwhelm. Even this is hard to carry out in Texas, and the governor is under several lawsuits, personally, asserting that Greg Abbot broke the law by choosing to shut down certain businesses (bars, strip joints, massage, restaurants) and not others (grocery stores, churches, car repair). This might seem funny, but it’s not funny to Greg Abbot. He has made it clear that he will only take any steps to limit business when the hospitals come under stress. He has been true to his word, and more, and he still gets sued, for acting a month too late to shut bars again, and reduce stores to 50% occupancy again.
    Additionally, Governor Abbot has been very clear that no penalty is to be enforced for failure to comply with his edicts, none. That’s smart, because when fines are brought against people who don’t wear masks, mask wearing decreases.
    People are ornery. I certainly include myself.
    People think more clearly if you don’t threaten them with violence for disobeying, if what you condone is logical.
    Wearing masks in stores and restaurants, while coronavirus spreads, is logical, and supports the economy at as low a long term cost as possible.

    It’s hard on “last responders”. Nobody thinks about the humans who pick up all the bodies and deal with all the dead.Tough job. We should think about them.


    My take is herd immunity (for some survivors), is all we have left to hope for.
    Everyone is going to get covid – some people will live, some people will die.

    Actual Covid-19 case count could be 6 to 24 times higher than official estimates, CDC study shows

    Actual Covid-19 case count could be 6 to 24 times higher than official estimates, CDC study shows
    Experts estimate that 60% to 70% of people in a given area would need to be protected from the virus — either through recovering from an infection or vaccination — to reach herd immunity.

    Experts note that the inability of diagnostic testing to keep up with cases is not just limited to problems with the tests, which have included a botched rollout, overwhelmed labs, and supply shortages. It’s also that some 20% to 40% of Covid-19 infections are asymptomatic. Those people can still spread the virus, as can people who eventually develop symptoms but don’t feel sick yet — which has complicated efforts to rein in the spread.

    “At present, the relationship between detectable antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 and protective immunity against future infection is not known,” the study’s authors wrote. “Extrapolating these estimates to make assumptions about population immunity should not be done until more is known about the correlations between the presence, titer, and duration of antibodies and protection against this novel, emerging disease.”


    Raul, very good unpacking of (Kuppy’s?) essay. I struggled with that one. I kept thinking “I don’t like that, but he’s not…wrong.” Much he says is true or probably true, and apart from his comment about ‘just a bad flu’ he echoes much of my current thinking. Absent a treatment though, I still don’t want to catch this thing. I fear the co-morbidities and I fear giving it to elderly family and friends. As you’ve said more than once, there is much that we don’t know about this virus. Not ready to surrender yet.

    Scott Adams pointed out that we’re only at halftime, it’s too early to call winners and losers in how leaders responded, too many variables at play. Team Sweden is way behind at halftime. Team New Zealand isolated early and is “winning” and bigly at that. But a lot can change in a sports metaphor. I’m skeptical of Sweden’s approach, but at the same time it’s pointed out something crucial: people will self-quarantine on their own, particularly if they are vulnerable, and they are provided with reasonably sound information.

    We don’t get reasonably sound information in the US. We get ‘masks are useless, masks are for HCP’s, masks are required and we’ll fine you for not wearing one!, HCQ is dangerous and ineffective! Why won’t you stubborn stupid people believe us?’ It is staggering to behold how inept and compromised and impotent our institutions are. 2020 pulled back the curtain. These institutions have probably been rotting for years, decades. But now I know, and I can’t go back. And worse: I can hardly relate to my fellow citizens and friends – who do still trust the institutions.


    Scott Adams pointed out that we’re only at halftime

    It will be interesting to see what happens over the second half of the year. Will the percentage of severe cases increase as the weather gets colder, Vitamin D levels drop, and people go through seasonal hormonal changes? Many were predicting this would die out in the summer months, and then come back in the fall. They were half right. The number of cases has increased, but the severity of the disease has tapered off. Will that reverse? We should know by the time we reach the winter solstice.

    How can we be sure of herd immunity if this is a disease you can catch a second or third time? Will the second or third infection be more severe than the first? Or milder? Or will it just attack different organs and have a different progression every time? Can a young healthy person who had no trouble fighting it off in season one expect the same outcome in season two? I would like to see more data.

    Meanwhile, we have learned a lot over the last six months. Protocols have improved and will continue to improve. We have all had a chance to boost our immune systems to get ready for this. I am not as worried about it as I was in February. But I still do not want to catch it, and I do not want my family members to catch it.

    I think it was inevitable that the US would surrender. It was never equipped to fight, and never had the will to fight. A proper resistance requires getting everyone on the same page — something that just ain’t gonna happen in the US.

    V. Arnold

    My hope lies in getting experience in treating the covid virus. That will come with time.
    But, it will also take a competent healthcare system; which the U.S. (and many other countries) lacks in totality.
    The healthcare here is stellar; no deaths for more than 2 months. While there have been no transmissions internally (almost 2 months), there are new cases from returning citizens. These have all been caught, quarantined, and treated.
    The single greatest enemy is fear, not the virus…

    Doc Robinson

    More Than Half Of All COVID19 Patients Found To Have Damaged Hearts

    A scary article, but it’s misleading. It’s not “more than half of all COVID19 patients”, it’s actually more than half (55%) of the subset of hospitalized COVID19 patients who had suspected heart complications that justified a heart scan. 55% of these heart scans showed abnormalities in heart function, but only a portion of the hospitalized COVID19 patients got a heart scan.

    The researchers point out several limitations to their study given its observational design. During the pandemic the number of scans being carried out would have been carefully balanced with the risk of exposing staff, patients and equipment to the virus. Patients who received the scans were in hospital and had suspected heart complications, usually because they had abnormal blood markers reflecting heart damage. This study does not tell us how common heart changes are in people who did not receive a scan.



    Viruses have been around as long as life has been able to replicate. The coronavirus pandemic is nothing new. Novel viruses jump into humans periodically. With 7.8 billion people and humans and wildlife intermingling, pandemics are inevitable. The question is who dies early and how many. American Elite have gambled that the jackpot vaccine will halt the epidemic by next year and Americans will not restore old proven means to fight the pandemic; democracy and a national free public health system. The rich and professionals simply don’t want to pay for it and lose their exploitative credit card healthcare system. The illness and death of little people don’t matter in the current economic system. The lockdowns were only implemented in the West once intensive care units were overwhelmed in Italy, Spain and New York. Way too late.

    If there is no vaccine nor prophylactic treatment, suggestions like Kruppy’s that communities throw up their hands and die is highly misleading and evil. The virus is infective at most for 21 days. It needs uninfected humans to propagate. Implementing a social system that isolates the infected from the uninfected must be instituted with universal quick daily testing, contact tracing and government run quarantine centers. This isn’t unknown. Asian and South Pacific nations successfully implemented it. It is just hard, costs lots of money and may become permanent. It puts life above profits. It also requires empathetic leaders who understand science and throwing the corrupt incompetent ones out.


    “Team New Zealand isolated early and is “winning” and bigly at that.”
    Team NZ ain’t winning.. we’ve locked ourselves in a deep, dark hole (along with Australia), with our fingers in our ears and no viable plan to emerge, repeating endlessly “we will not get the virus, we will not get the virus..” as if denial of reality were a strategy.

    On the positive news front, I heard yesterday from a law professor associated with the PlanB contrarian NZ scientists (who’ve proven almost entirely correct in hindsight) – they are in the NZ High Court next week with a judicial review around the legality of NZ’s lockdown, which pretzelled a law intended for quarantine of an individual or small affected population into a country-wide shutdown.

    I’m almost certain the review will side with the government, as have similar UK and Irish legal actions, and tbh I don’t care about the outcome so much as it buoys me to witness a few individuals remaining true to their professions, ethics and sworn fealty (eg to uphold the law) and who are willing to challenge the herd in ways like this.

    This is regardless of the efficacy or otherwise of lockdowns, just simply standing for the basic principle that a government must act within the law, and where it cannot that it must legislate (and allow the citizens input into that legislation) to change the law if necessary.

    Pandemic planning has been around for years (decades perhaps). There were months elapsed between Covid emerging and lockdowns being enacted. There remains no excuse for the fact lockdowns were enacted fait accompli and without adequate debate.


    Until more is known – this is the key.

    Thank you again for such good thought provoking essay. My take on this is that the poor will continue to rot, and people will blow off steam in various ways. We will improvise. I , at almost 80, will shelter in place and do networking on zoom to help my local communities to weather the storm. Yes, through the bread riots and collapse, people will still work together to help each other. We will improvise and all the multitude of ways will be like seeds that grow if the soil is right for it.

    This is the New Normal – through the uncertainty, disruptions, plague, we will still stop to say hello to a friend or loved one. It will Never Be The Same. The global crony capitalist system was stretched too thin, is too brittle, too full of the past, but now we need to look ahead. We need to celebrate the many ways into the future, because one of them may be our or our grandchildren’s path ahead. So, I water my veggies and hope there is no drought or fire ahead.


    You’re suggestion a proportion, targeted response? Good grief.
    How would the media continue it’s binary, tribal, dualistic narrative of good vs bad? Masks vs no masks? Lockdown vs no lockdown? killing vs rescuing? vaccine vs herd immunity? Sweden vs USA?
    No, it’s much better that we keep things simple for the masses – chocolate or vanilla. TINA.

    Good Zerohedge link here on the seen/measured vs the unseen/unmeasured: https://www.zerohedge.com/political/covid-panic-lesson-using-statistics-get-your-way-politics It coulda been written by our resident site contrarian..


    Life is waiting: take a chance.
    Or stay at home and drink some tea.
    I am off to join the dance-
    The world belongs to those like me.

    V. Arnold

    Indeed. Nice prose, thanks…
    If I may; this comes to mind:
    And if perchance,
    You cannot dance,
    Find a laugh.
    Nothing’s so serious, even by half.
    The Immortals will rejoice;
    When they see that you know;
    There’s always a choice…


    Great article Raul. Three week freeze and it is over. just that. Nova Scotia has almost got it whipped. Many still wearing masks me included. Unrelenting message here. Stay the blazes home. We are reopening but we listened and had far fewer free dumb fighters. The leadership understands that the future health care cost may warrant the present cost. Sweden is an example of people who are still cautious and cohesive. I think the states are lost as is Brazil. Too many people worried about themselves and not the greater good. there is more to life than money. The world has plenty of money to fix this. it just needs to be shared with EVERYONE. Supply everyone what they need for a three week freeze. just that. All vaccine research should be shared and posted to a public site on the web. No one company or country profits – the world does. It would already be over.


    Challenging times and no easy way out. My two cents: if for the foreseeable future we are relying on such blunt tools as masks (of any kind) and lockdowns, then plant-based medicines should be on the table. People have been using plants as medicine around the globe for a very long time, much longer than modern pharmaceuticals. Unfortunately Western physicians in the conventional world have essentially zero training on plant based medicine, although I understand that there are some herbal studies currently being conducted on covid in Asia. The benefits of herbs are, at minimum, they do not rely on big corporations (in fact once big corps get their hands on a herb, they isolate and concentrate the key ingredients and promptly destroy their effectiveness). Plant based medicines are relatively easy for people to gain access to at low cost (or free if they grow their own). Here’s a link describing some key pathogen destroyers used in the west.

    Using Natural Anti-Pathogens

    Because different plants grow in different climates, pathogen destroyers found in different parts of the world will vary.
    There are also immune stimulating plants the world over (echinacea, astragalus, Cordyceps etc).
    One additional challenge to plant based medicine is that big pharma has done a great smear job on plant based – because of the potential competition. Then there are poorly conducted studies showing the ineffectiveness of herbs ( when you look at the studies for example you find that they used the least medicinal part of the plant).


    ‘The lockdown cannot mask this assault on human nature’:

    “..The wearing of face masks on public transport may or may not be of epidemiological value. But that cannot be the whole story. We are not talking of an extra item of clothing. The face is a primary engine of social interaction, and to compel us to cover it up is an act of spiritual vandalism. In The Soul of the World, Roger Scruton argues that the face is metaphysically ambiguous. It is part of the body but also transcends it. Our smiles, frowns and other expressions remind us that we are not just bodies but also persons. That we are not just objects in the world, we are also perspectives on the world. The face, he suggests, allows us to relate to each other as subjects, as one “I” engaging with another “I”. The reason why wearing a face mask seems strange has nothing to do with it being a novelty. It is because it is unnatural, in the sense that it goes against our nature as persons..”

    The lockdown cannot mask this assault on human nature

    V. Arnold


    Nice to see you back… 🙂


    Thanks B.Arnold 😊


    Drat!! V.Arnold!!!

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