If you are panicked and fearful about Corona virus you are guilty of abandoning the fundamentals of human reasoning. The facts of this virus do not justify the shutdown of the global economy. It is ridiculous. Let us just look at some very basic numbers. These are not my numbers.
The world population is approaching 7.8 BILLION as of 10:30 am on 23 March 2020 (7,772,832,940 and rising). There have been 168,000 babies born today around the world as of 10:31 am. That number also increasing by the minute. That means about 270 new human beings per minute are entering the world.
In one hour there are 16,000 new births around the world. And how many have died from the Corona virus since the first of January? 15,328 (from John Hopkins as of 10:40 am). That works out to roughly 8 deaths per hour globally. Catch my drift? If someone you love and care for dies of Corona virus it is a sad, tragic loss. I get it. But the reality of Mother Nature is that life is far more potent than death.
The idiot, irresponsible media would have you believe that there is corona virus lurking behind every bush and blade of grass. No one is safe as they wildly clang their media alarm bell. But when considered as a percentage of the global population, the number who have tested positive is .00004 % (in other words, 4/10,000 of a percent). That number barely registers.
Yes, there are some hospitals that are overwhelmed. But that is not the norm.
Why is India not being brought to its knees by a tidal wave of corona virus? They do not seem to understand the concept of social distancing:
Right now, according to the data published by John Hopkins (and updated everyday), about 23,000 new cases are being diagnosed every day. Of those, the death rate for those who have tested positive is 4%. In other words, out of every 100 people who test positive, four die. Sad if you are among the four, but you would play those odds in a casino and come away loaded with cash.
I am not saying the virus is not real. I am not saying it should be ignored. But I am saying that the fear being manifested in so-called "developed" countries is unwarranted and fueled in large part by a mouth breathing, irresponsible media intent on scaring the hell out of viewers.
If the media was doing actual reporting, we would know how many hospitals are overwhelmed and unable to handle other patients. We would know what percentage of people who test positive are admitted to the hospital. We would know what percentage of people admitted to the hospital go into intensive care.
And what about testing? The media obsession with testing is but another symptom of the insanity that has gripped the media propaganda maelstrom. Unless you have symptoms, testing for corona virus is a complete waste of resources and your time. More importantly, it gives you a false sense of security. If you are tested today at 6 pm and then have contact with other people you can still be infected. A test is not a vaccine. It does not immunize you.
It is past time that we focus on reason and facts, not fear.
Sad if you are among the four, but you would play those odds in a casino and come away loaded with cash.
Pleased to see someone with spine. What shares should i buy now that the price is down? Anything available for 4$ that soon will be back up to 100%?
Larry as you point out almost none of the world’s population have caught it yet, which is the problem. Yes some ICU’s are maxed out in a few places but the danger comes when this is common over large areas, or HCWs do not have adequate PPE. Epidemiology says it will die out once 70% of the world’s population have been infected or this figure has been reached through vaccination. The problem is how to get to that point without crashing the healthcare system or shutting down contacts to a point that severely damages the economy. China did the shutdown and is now opening things back up again and their cases are rising once more. It remains to be seen if they can use the accelerator and breaks to keep these new cases low enough for the hospitals to still give adequate care. The Imperial collage data (very highly respected modelling team) expects in the UK 8 patients needing each ICU per bed with the current shutdown measures, without it is 30 per bed. We will know in about a month how much strain is being put on the system and in a further month how effective the measures have been in slowing growth. This pandemic has barely started yet and if we fail to eradicate it may just become another endemic human disease, or worse still, infect an animal (probably bats) causing new emergences of related Corona virus strains in the future.
This is the anybody but Trump virus. I fully expect Corona Light come October. In the mean time the economic restructuring of the “Green New Deal” is in full force. Did you notice the Democratic governors are going all in on economy destroying closures?
Two issues continue to be misrepresented which systematicly allow “corona” to take on the spectre of the Zombie Apocalypse:
1. Social distancing keeps people out of the sneeze-cough zone for droplet contamination by air. Yet social shunning of those who continue to cough and sneeze in public in fact is what needs to be made the primary line of defense. Not the crowds of people stocking up on toilet paper but virtuously standing 6 feet apart, clueless about their own role fostering the Zombie Apocalypse imagery.
2. Self-inoculation is the second source of infection, and way under-emphasizied while again disguised by virtuous but meaningless ritual behavior.
All the talk is about hand washing, surface decontamination and hand sanitizers which ultimately are a fools errand since this additional new, and critical ritual behavior often fails to emphasize the absolutely important disease connection that comes from sticking your very own (presumed) dirty fingers into one’s own nose, mouth and/or eyes.
Few are 100% observant about how many surfaces they actually touch before the stick their “washed or sanitized hands” back into their own mouth, nose or eyes.
Washing your hands remains #1 in importance, but so does WATCHING your hands.
“Don’t touch your face” misses the point too – another message fail – one must vividly make the connection between their own fingers and their own body orifices leading to the upper respiratory tract. And continue to be aware of this connection 24/7 – no exceptions.
Organic homemake hand sanitizers are as good as the last thing you touched or the next person who cough next to your clorox-wiped surfaces.
The media goes out of its way to instill the Zombie Apocalypse vision of this “flu” – it is everywhere, you must fear everything and nothing can protect you. If you touch it, you will die. If it is in the air, you will die. You never know who has it. You are a victim. And it is someone else’s fault.
So one can pretend to do useless and ritual activities but ignore one’s own role and one’s own personal responsibility for its contact and spread.
1. Socially shun anyone who fails to protect their coughs or sneezes, until they learn new habits – how does staying 6 feet away from everyone teach the offenders new habits?
2. Wash your hands and watch what you touch. 100% of the time.
TSA is now with us 100% of the time after 911- regardless of the numerical threat. Proper self-hygiene needs to be with us 100% of the time too – and never should have left us.
Bring back white gloves. Now we know why.
Here in the UK either our management are incompetent of they know something we don’t is my take.
Apart from summary figures broken down by Health district for ‘got it’ or ‘dead from it’ there is nothing. Testing apart from in hospitals is unknown unless you are famous so no-one has any idea what the viruses progress is in the community. What is happening at individual hospitals is probably a state secret now.
Even though, between themselves, they knew it was coming at the latest in mid January, they did nothing. No extra orders for masks, ventilators etc.
Yet they are allowing fear and panic to rip through the community and huge economic damage.
I haven’t yet properly worked out cui bono but I have my suspicions. But they are passing some draconian laws.
Eric Newhill says
Thank you, Larry.
It should be noted that 4% who die are from a skewed sample. The main skews being 1) They reported to a hospital because they were very sick 2) They tend to be the elderly with serious underlying health conditions (the mean age of the dead in Italy is 79) 3) If they die and they tested positive for covid-19, they are counted as killed by that virus. They may have been killed by some other virus.
In S. Korea, where testing is more ubiquitous, the mortality rate has dropped parallel to the volume of testing. Meaning that most people who have contracted the virus aren’t symptomatic or are barely symptomatic.
More perspective – literally thousands of people around the world die every day due to Hep B and C. Literally thousands die every day due to TB. AIDS kills thousands a day. These are all contagious diseases that fester in the third world. Yet those almost incredible death rates don’t even register in the US and up to a couple of weeks ago, the Democrats were calling for open borders; which would have allowed those contagious diseases into the country unmonitored. Why no hysteria over any of those (all of which have been increasing prevalence in the US in recent years)?
One week ago, Tom Hanks told his Instagram followers: “Hey folks. Good News: One week after testing Positive, in self-isolation, the symptoms are much the same. No fever but the blahs,” Hanks revealed. “Folding the laundry and doing the dishes leads to a nap on the couch.” – so we’re destroying the entire economy because people fear feeling “blah” and because elderly that were going die anyhow, died. It’s the equivalent of a bad flu and it’s not doing anything a bad flu does every year it appears.
How many businesses and lives will be ruined? IMO, there’s even a risk of massive civil disorder if the hysteria keeps up. madness. Pure madness.
e actual mortality rate may be closer to 1% or less with most of it concentrated in the over 70s. The reasonable thing to do would have been to protect seniors while letting everyone else go about their business. Nuking the economy with lockdowns is the politicians’ way of competing with each other to show they’re “doing something.” It’s craven behavior not leadership.
A number of notable virologists have advocated for a more level-headed approach, among them Dr. David Katz. See https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/20/opinion/coronavirus-pandemic-social-distancing.html.
This daily updated page https://swprs.org/a-swiss-doctor-on-covid-19/ has compiled a lengthy list of doctors and virologists who are critical of the panic mongering.
Laura Wilson says
If the government was doing its job, we would know those metrics. You are so right about needing to know the numbers nationally—I think it is the government’s job to do that and the media’s job to report the numbers. Lacking the first, the second is going to be much harder to put together—I’m sure they are trying!
“If the government was doing its job, we would know those metrics. ”
Where are the masks and ventilators that Obama built? He certainly ran government better, didn’t he?
Terence Gore says
Open the golf courses!!!
Have everyone walk to keep social distance (1 person per cart at double the price.)
Violation of this rule 2 stroke penalty
Use glove hand to remove flag or with new rules just leave it in.
Duffers of the world must unite to overthrow this tyranny
Nornert M Salamon says
Thank you Larry for the sobering analysis of Corvid-19.
I only disagree with your emphasis that the social distancing is the main cause of economic collapse.
Methinks that the everything bubble in coordination of unrepayable debt fiasco has arrived, and the ELITES/media are distracting from refinancing the Wall Street gamblers, Share-buyback artists, Private equity leveraged asset strippers and the offshore artist looser.
We are replaying the 2008 modus operandi get the elites saved financially and let the poor people try to survive on their own as they assume all the obligation of the
God apparently forbid anyone to question the panic orthodoxy. Thank you Larry Johnson for daring to write what us heretics have been thinking.
We are not being confronted by the Black Death, after all.
The grandstanding pols are beyond tiresome now. I’d hate to have to get in between a governor and a TV camera these days — talk about life-threatening circumstances!
Many curses still open Terence! Golfweek magazine says:
Leave the flagstick in.
Don’t pick up playing partners’ clubs.
Pass on the friendly post-round handshake (of course!).
Many courses have taken the rakes away.
Some courses have set limits on one person per cart or they’ve eliminated carts altogether.
Many courses have shut down their food and beverage options.
Some have turned cups upside down within the hole.
Although I’m completely flummoxed on the whys and wherefores of the upside-down-cup.
English Outsider says
Larry Johnson – I’m afraid I’m rather more of JJ Jackson’s view as to the potential seriousness of this disease.
But the economic effects are already pretty devastating. 10% of world trade is tourism and related. Entertainment is a big industry. Both hard hit and other sectors too. Pensioners spend a fair bit and many are no longer doing so.
So whether we panic or not that’s the reality. A reality superimposed on a weak and vulnerable economy. Also on a financial system already on life support.
That’s more the case in my country than yours, by quite a long chalk. Even so, though I believe the US is in a better position to recover, the hit’s coming our way wherever we live. You can’t take that amount of economic activity out and expect there to be only a few bumps in the road.
Theoretically the best approach is yours. Business as usual, tuck the vulnerable away, take such casualties as come along among the less vulnerable. Could even be an opportunity for economic regeneration along Trump 2016 lines.
This hasn’t happened and I doubt it would have even had the strategy been agreed on and adopted early on. And there’s too much disconnect between the rulers and ruled for anything constructive much to happen now, certainly in UK politics though it would be presumptuous in me to venture an opinion here about yours. This is already a big deal and should be treated as such.
I’ve been following your analyses on Russiagate and they’re on the money every time. I hope the pandemic isn’t used as an opportunity to bury that disgraceful affair. But there’ll be plenty hoping it’s just that.
“courses” NOT “curses”! Although I’ve been known to curse a bit in the tee box and on the green
j. casey says
Mr. Newhill is right about TB, which kills approximately 1.6 million per year. I guess it all depends on who is doing the dying, when it comes to cranking up the media shrill-factor to 11, even if that precipitates another Depression.
You raise a valid question Larry. Why should we care? After all, we must die sometime, four percent is not a big number is it?
But wait, the alleged CFR for the 1918 Flu was two point five percent. So that shouldn’t have beena big deal either. …..except we know that it was a big deal, why?. The problem as JJackson eloquently puts it is how do we get to the end state of mass immunity without collapsing the healthcare system, to which I would add; – and not collapsing civilisation as well.
People are not always rational. The media plays on fear. Despite “only four percent” People can easily imagine that they or their loved ones will be the victims. They will take action, drastic action, based on that erroneous belief. As Col. Lang observed: hysteria will kill more than the virus. That is why we must pay attention to mitigating this risk.
I am in pleasant daily communication with my son, a serving Police Officer, and we discuss the foibles of human behaviour as observed by both of us during the day. There is already a gradually increasing petty lawlessness as people convince themselves that because this is an emergency, laws don’t apply any more. This is manifesting as abuse of retail supermarket workers as well as healthcare staff. Drink driving is probably increasing since Police are too busy with other stuff to do random testing. Domestic violence among cooped up families is expected to increase. If we are not careful this will escalate into theft and assault, or worse.
So that is the short answer in my opinion. In the West, these days we rely on intricate supply chains that require high levels of trust, communication and coordination. In 1918 our society was far more rural and resilient than it is today. I am optimistic that America will once again demonstrate that “can do attitude” and fix those supply issues as they occur. The industry response to a lack of ventilators is an encouraging example.
TB deaths at 1.6 million? This is true but it is also a figure you could name your own price for if you could make it come true for COVID. The WHO would not be overdrive for that. They are looking at a 1% case fatality rate equating to 100 million deaths plus, that is what is keeping them up at night. As Walrus points out H1N1(1918) at 2% killed 50 to 100 million but the population has quadrupled since them. Some of the commenters in these threads seem to think what is happening now is the pandemic, this is just the open scene of long play. These are the first months and I am not expecting things to be this quiet again for 2 or 3 more. Perhaps I will be wildly out, I very much hope so, but I have been studying epidemics for a decade and nothing this virus has done is in anyway unusual as it is following a well predicted path.
For years I have sought to persuade Americans of the advantages of government command over crucial industrial activities—all in vain because I was roundly denounced for spreading socialist ideas. But one overhyped virus panic was enough to reactivate America’s Defense Production Act, which gives the government command power over critical industrial capacities. Oddly, very few people are praising this as a victory for socialism. Interestingly, it seems that POTUS wanted to give free money to the poor (to Jumpstart the economy) and all the Democrats except Yang blocked it.
In other words, it seems that the Republicans have the virtues touted by socialists, while claiming to abhor socialism, but the Democrats have no loyalty to socialism, even though they praise it.
Some people are speculating that the world ‘s governments lied about the virus solely to increase their powers.
j. casey says
Good article in Off-Guardian taking the same tack as Mr. Larry: “Do the alt-media types backing these extreme quarantine and self-isolation notions think the anti-assembly laws, mandatory vaccines and other special powers will all just vanish once this crisis has subsided (because all pandemics eventually do go away)? [We] all basically signed off on closing down what remains of our economy.”
So, who benefits from medical martial law, anti-assembly laws, forced vaccination and other “special powers”? Oh, and who benefits from a properly timed global financial meltdown that can be blamed on a virus rather than on those who benefit from the meltdown?
“radually increasing petty lawlessness….” In California that began by changing the dollar value of theft before it triggered an arrest – that was done by legislative action. In multiple other states it was done by an elimination of cash bail. NYC crime rates were skyrocketing as a result even before this. That is how one ‘creates’ the level of disruption so one can declare ‘crisis’ and enact radical change, such as is detailed in the “Green New Deal” or other such Alinskyesque named legislation. Just look at the latest efforts by Nancy and the Squad.
“In the West, these days we rely on intricate supply chains…”
What we are seeing is the failure of the strategy of Low Cost Country Sourcing and Just in Time Inventory to work for critical items. I too am encouraged by the industry response to ventilators, hand sanitizers, and such, but I’m disgusted with the criminal incompetence of the career professionals who inhabit the bureaucracy of the federal government. Where are all the masks and ventilators that should have been restocked by the Obama administration? They had years. They gave us gender neutral bathrooms, drag queen story hour and a buch of other rot.
If I were Xi Jinping, I’d be looking at Hong Kong and Taiwan and thinking, “Let’s take them after breakfast tomorrow. The Americans won’t do s%#t.” Part of a gut feeling I have that the Chi-Comms will try something truly aggressive at some point shortly before our election. We’ve given them the green light by our national over-reaction and psychological meltdown in response to the flu. They have to believe there’s no way we have the political will to prosecute a major war with them, and they can be almost certain that our own media will gladly provide them a propaganda advantage.
It must have escaped your attention but Hong Kong was transfered by to China in 1997. Xi has already arrested the leaders of the protests under the cover of this virus which they have helped spread across the planet.
Always good to hear alternative perspectives. I look forward to Larry’s updated commentaries on this subject 2, 4 and 8 weeks from now. I cannot imagine why the CCP would shutdown 15-20% of their economy simply based on fear.
Remember the fear LBJ had being labeled “soft on communism” when running against Goldwater. So much fear, I recall, he sent 50,000 young Americans to die in Vietnam. Too bad this is an election year, it goosed up this “flu” beyond all recognition.
Why the rest of the world went along with this extreme fear obviously become a factor of our global cultural interconnectedness today. The good, bad and ugly of it all .First it was fun and full of shared virtue; now it has become a destructive too. Just like any well-meaning government program. Entropy in action – devolving to find its lowest common denominator.
I believe the Greeks already dealt with this – so what is old is new again. Moses told us not to worship false gods, so they knew the power of rumor and deceit too. Always had to see history when one is living in the middle of it. But this is/we an historical event.
Victor Davis Hansen will most likely havethe keenest insights when this settles out – but right now he too can only be an observer. 911 gripped us in irrational fears. HIV gripped us in irrational fears. Polio gripped a prior generation into irrational fears. War of the Worlds gripped a nation in irrational fears. Duck and cover was an irrational national response to fear.
To answer your question, yes fear is and has been a compelling plot mover. What made the times so ripe this time? When the times also made Greta Thunberg a saintly prophet just a few months prior, this COVID-19 plot twist should not come as much of a surprise.
Is two weeks of trial economic destruction better than throwing it all away on the wrong candidate in November 2020? The country just a few weeks ago was dangerously flirting with a Sander’s presidency. The voices of youth shout revolution and species extinction.
Lest we forget the entire milieu, which became a willing placenta, just waiting for the seeds of corona virus to be embedded and find life. The plot of mass extinction had already been written, only the immediate agent was missing.
Does every new generation need a unique measuring moment? Pearl Harbor, D-Day, Hiroshima, JFK shot; John Lennon shot; 911; corona….. a moment of coming of age, when nothing is the same again?
After I posted my comment I realized how that bit about Hong Kong as written might come off as historically ignorant. I am indeed aware of the history and all that. What I meant to imply is that now would seem an opportune time for the PLA to make an actual move into the streets of Hong Kong and nullify the Basic Law and the status quo electoral governance (i.e. Xi declares the new status quo to be “one country, one system”). Or perhaps they’ll get up to some other devilry that isn’t so obvious as invading Taiwan, but just as nefarious. At any rate, the assessment of our national psyche and how shockingly fragile it seems at present was my main point. That, and the fact that our adversaries and enemies have to be taking notice of how we’re handling this and planning accordingly.
When the disease spreads so quickly, we all will worry and so will the nations. Blocking borders and countries to limit and avoid spread is indispensable. But if the epidemic persists, people must learn to live with it, and re-opening business is indispensable.
Upstate NY'er says
Whenever common sense comes up against hysteria, hysteria usually wins.
Just more evidence that a significant majority of people are worthless, lazy and stupid.
The swamp’s last shot after the failure of “Russia, Russia, Russia” and the Ukraine phone call.
1) Cause a panic.
2) Panic tanks the economy.
3) Trump loses.
4) Swamp returns to its corrupt, thieving ways of endless wars, accumulating power and stealing from America.
Jus' Thinkin' says
You ask what happened to the masks and ventilators that the Obama administration should have restocked?
A better question might be why didn’t the Trump Administration restock them? Obama left office over 3 years ago. Trump has been in charge since Obama left and his administration, reportedly, was briefed on the state of disaster preparedness by the Obama administration on Obama’s way out. Why didn’t the current administration act? I do not know, do you?
I would like to make two points here:
1. Trump appointed John Bolton National Security Advisor and he quickly gutted the National Security Council’s Global Health Security Team, the people who were in charge of identifying and responding to pandemics. You can read about it in the Hill on May 10, 2018 here:
2. Dr. Larry Brillant, an interesting epidemiologist has an interview condensed in ARS Technica from a few days ago. Dr. Brillant explains how and why we need to respond to an pandemic. It basically boils down to buying time for anti-virals and vaccinations to be developed. You can read the interview here:
There is a link within the article to Dr. Brillant’s 2006 TED talk where he predicts, with frightening accuracy, what is happening today.
It might be useful to watch TED Talk and consider your view of our government’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The important bit about death rates is that those who have had COVID-19 but didn’t get sick enough to contact the health care services are not included in the number.
People who do get sick enough that they require medical help will get tested as part of the diagnosis but they are naturally more at risk of dying.
The CDC have a simple overview for severe outcomes from COVID-19. see page three.
It’s clear that guidelines for social distancing, etc. should be rigorously upheld if you have daily contact with people in the age group 60+. They are by far most at risk if infected. So until we have a vaccine that is the best one can do to minimize deaths.
Compared to the flu-virus the corona-virus is new, so we do not yet have the ability to reduce the death rate but it will no doubt happen.
But even the flu kills 1,000s of people each year. The US have had until now in this flu season at least 38 million flu illnesses, 390,000 hospitalizations and 23,000 deaths from flu. In a bad year that number (like 2017) can be considerably larger.
CDC flu index
2017/2018 flu season
Thanks to by corona reduced business the employer of a friend has reduced her work time by 60% till june and that also includes reducing the salary, which will reduce her budget considerably giving that she has to pay rent, buy food etc.
She is rightfully unhappy about that and so far ‘solved’ the problem temporarily by taking most of her holidays so she would get the full salary for at least the next and a half months. She’s now searching for a second job as a ‘parachute’.
Good luck and good health to her.
re: The swamp’s last shot …
Ah, the swamp.
Given the obvious fact that Trump, who sort of likes Xi’s presidency or persistency for livetime, is happily surrounding himself with embarassing claqueurs like Grenell, misplaced 10 day clowns like Scaramucchi or the not yet officially certified “reality is not reality” lunatic Giuliani or who made the ‘I have sued them 40 times and want to destroy that EPA‘ EPA leader Pruitt – has it ever occured to you that Trump wants to and is about to replace the so called swamp with one
utterly loyal and dependent since there isn’t any competitor on the GOP yetof his own?
How can one discuss corona, windmills, climate change, difficult mathematics like 2+2, science and/or science data with a “reality is not reality” person, be it the orange one or the former mayor of New York, his shadow foreign secretary and a creature who likely makes his neighbour states very happy that NY does not have nukes and especially did not have any during his time in office?
Posted by: Upstate NY’er | 24 March 2020 at 12:34 AM
Manhattan would be upstate?
It feels the highly well done esthetically web site, may help you to connect dots. Connecting Finances and Medicine with American interests:
I got bits and pieces about the virus and/or HIV and/as possibly a bioweapon. Above I linked to the medical expertise but the man may be helpful on finances too. That’s why I link here beyond the YouTube video to his web site.
Keith Harbaugh says
What are the demographics of the fatalities?
If the fatality rate is higher among the elderly and people with other health problems, than why penalize everyone for their benefit?
People in nursing homes, for example, aren’t contributing very much to society.
That’s my POV.
Keith Harbaugh says
Also, BTW, consider the impact on the USN.
How much social distancing is possible on an attack sub, or an aircraft carrier?
Larry Johnson says
Jus Thinkin? Thanks for the Democrat talking points. You are anything but thoughtful. I’m not a Bolton fan nor defender, but you’re wrong about the “gutting.” The NSC is not the center for the crisis management of a pandemic in terms of manpower. The role of the NSC staffer is to ensure that the experts from the relevant agencies (e.g., NIH, CDC, FDA, Public Health Service, etc) are providing their recommendations and advice to the President. That is exactly what happened here. Getting rid of duplicative deadwood at the NSC is anything but gutting.
With respect to the ironically named Dr. Brilliant, the President’s Corona Virus Task Force did that. So what’s your point? That is what is being done. In fact, Trump’s use of the Executive Order has circumvented some of the bureaucratic obstacles from FDA that would normally delay the process.
Could you please direct me to the comment you posted in January warning about the outbreak of the Corona virus? Can you show me where you applauded Donald Trump for restricting travel from China when most Democrats were obsessing over impeachment and attacking Trump as a racist? Yep. That’s what I thought. You only have 20/20 hindsight.
Eric Newhill says
There is no need to just let the elderly and/or seriously ill perish. Rather, nursing homes and similar facilities could be quarantined. Individuals who are vulnerable and living at home could be directed to self-quarantine. Aids to these people could be tested every few days – and the rest of us could go on with business as usual,perhaps just washing our hands frequently, being conscious to not touch our eyes, nose and mouth; and accepting that we might come down to something akin to the flu with a minute risk of something serious developing. Really, that is what we live with every day, anyhow. We just don’t tend to think about it.
IMO, there is, in the populace, a lot of subconscious anxiety and simultaneously a sense of deserving total protection from the realities of life on earth and it has culminated in this virus hysteria. The media and governments are all too happy to hype that psychological substratum and then emerge as the effective and necessary protectors of the sheep with expanded powers.
“People in nursing homes, for example, aren’t contributing very much to society.”
I’ve heard of post birth abortion, just made legal in New Zealand BTW, but this is equal to Mao, Stalin and all the rest. Did you even contemplate what you wrote? Perhaps California should round up the mentally ill defacating on the streets of San Fran and open up some euthanasia clinics. Then they can stop projecting “Trump is Hitler” and become what they project upon others.
As to the Navy, you obviously have zero sea time. I don’t even need to look at my sea service ribbon with all those oak leaves on it to tell you a sub at sea faces zero exposure risk since nobody is coming aboard for weeks or months. After the first 3-4 days at sea all the cases of colds, flu, etc run their course and the crew is going to be healthier than anyone ashore. Covid 19 risk is no worse in any of the home ports than elsewhere in those cities. Risk to family at home, well that’s another story.
upstater (not the other guy) says
India Goes on Nationwide Lockdown for 21 Days (NYT)
Modi puts all of India under lockdown for 21 days to fight coronavirus (Reuters)
Keith Harbaugh says
Regarding Dr. Fauci, the following is worth considering:
Note the comparison of Fauci’s handling of COVID-19 in 2020 to H1N1 in 2009.
re I got bits and pieces about the virus and/or HIV and/as possibly a bioweapon
I read a comment article (not a reporting) that reminded me of Tom Collins (GOP) who likes the ‘china bioweapon gone bad’ narrative a lot (see below)
The article was iirc in some Trump fan club newspaper (I forgot the name) and the writer said that covid-19 was, of course, a chinese biological weapon that was super-duper-secretly developed in a super-duper-secret Wuhan BSL-4 biowarfare laboratory (of course, where else, except for an old unit 731 lab, but that is likely permanently out of service since 1945 and certainly was less safe for employees and unhappy bystanders) etc pp.
Asked by a reporter about whether he had any evidence for that remarkable story the writer iirc commented, probaly with that slightly demented whitehouse smile, “of course I don’t have any evidence, it is super-duper-secret, you know” 😉 😉 😉 ;p
That’s likely the cunning salesman trick of bridgesellers in Brooklyn also successfully used to sell the astro-magical mercury-chlorine-slurry-vinegar-chrome-dioxin lemonade that is sold to make buyers happy and immortal. No more nasty tax paying also.
What’s your point of view of our response compared to that of Taiwan, Singapore, HK and South Korea?
Taiwan has over a million visitors from the mainland annually with many Taiwanese traveling back and forth for business. I would believe the same with Singapore. Taiwan I read has had only couple deaths and Singapore none. They didn’t shutdown their entire countries and life has pretty much returned to normal.
The difference seems to be an early proactive response in identifying and isolating those infected. Note that South Korea and the US announced the first case of Wuhan virus on the same day. They moved aggressively to test and isolate with hundreds of thousands tested in drive thru tents. Now their reported case loads are declining without any nationwide lockdown.
BTW, I have first hand knowledge of a Chinese national who arrived in the US after the travel ban, arriving from a third country. Neither Customs nor Immigration officials checked this individual’s passport to verify if the person had been in China recently.
The economic devastation of a lengthy shutdown should not be under-estimated. During the Depression our economy contracted by a quarter peak to trough. A 6 month forced shutdown could replicate that kind of precipitous decline in our economy with all kinds of second order effects. It will not be as easy as turning on a switch to restart the economic engine.
Mike C says
We are fortunate that this virus is not worse, true. Consider it a shot across the bow. The correct responses that would have prevented the present situation are: 1- Restrict travel; 2- Test a lot; 3- Quarantine individuals and small groups. That would have effectively stamped out the sparks before they became fires.
Nassim Taleb & associates published this- https://necsi.edu/systemic-risk-of-pandemic-via-novel-pathogens-coronavirus-a-note -in late January. The paper is quite short. It is possible that Trump or someone in his administration saw it, because the China travel ban followed soon after, against contrary “academic” advice.
Why Trump stopped there, who knows? I heard he likes borders. The wider travel ban did not happen soon enough, and the lack of testing is obvious. We have a hell of a mess to clean up now and it flows directly from those poor decisions.
Keith Harbaugh says
Fred: Re the Navy, note the requirement for a two-week quarantine.
That means, I think, a person can transmit the disease up to two weeks after initial exposure, even if he exhibits no evident symptoms.
Implication for the Navy should be obvious.
From CTH, let me point out one other article:
I.e., Andrew Cuomo.
Eric Newhill says
You have identified one the many aspects of the official panic story that don’t add up.
How would Taiwan have created a test for Covid-19 so fast? By the time Taiwan even knew there was a virus on the loose, its population would have been infected, especially with a latency period of up to two weeks. Can you explain that? I sure can’t if I work within the framework of the panic story (i.e. there is a deadly highly contagious virus that directly causes deaths and serious illness).
IMO, there is a lot of bad statistical and research methodology occurring due to idiots, hysterics and opportunists in the media and various agencies; all designed to maximize the perception of risk and of fear itself. There are many variables not being taken into account that are very important in understanding what is happening and what the threat/risk really is. IMO, the CDC and WHO are disgracing themselves and ruining us. Those two agencies are part of the globalist socialist movement. That is clear from reading their publications. They also suffer from tunnel vision. They know and care nothing for economics today, yet in the past have made a lot of noise about the health impacts of social injustice and poverty.
Keith and Fred, its happened,
“Lucas Tomlinson LucasFoxNews
BREAKING: 3 U.S. Navy sailors aboard the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt in Philippine Sea have tested positive for Covid-19, marking the first time the virus has spread to an American warship at sea: U.S. officials”
I read an interview with the guy at Taiwan CDC. He said Taiwan intel started hearing about these weird surge of deaths in Wuhan in November/December. They had boots on the ground who collected blood samples. This is before the Chinese ever declared there was a problem. They started canceling flights from several cities in China. On remaining flights they disinfected prior to departure and on arrival in Taiwan until they cancelled all flights mid January. All folks who had been in China were tracked once they landed in Taiwan for several days to insure they were not exhibiting symptoms.
Whatever. The bottom line is to your point why didn’t they see this explosion of cases and their ICUs swamped? Similar in Singapore with large numbers of people traveling to and from China.
I don’t know if it is “socialism” or sheer bureaucratic cockup. In any case our Congress always uses this type of situation to advance “socialism” for the well connected under the guise of providing relief for the Average Joe. In 2008 we saw homeowners foreclosed but Goldman Sachs bailed out. Both the Republicans and Democrats have not wasted any time here to load up the relief bill with an astonishing amount of pork for their main campaign contributors and clients of their K St buddies.
The WHO is interesting. While the Wuhan virus was raging in Hubei province they were singing the praises of Xi and the Chinese communist party apparatus, even stating putting curbs on travel of those from China unnecessary. Now they’re in full apocalypse mode.
I’ve not been able to figure out why CDC, NIH and FDA didn’t allow our huge molecular biology industry and the extensive medical diagnostic testing infrastructure we have in the country to get it done? They could have just arranged to pay these folks directly with no cost to the American public and we’d not have to shutdown the whole economy. This is such a drastic action with massive second order effects. Never in history have governments forced the shutdown of the entire economy.
Steve Kaczecka says
India closed borders today.
LA Sox Fan says
The author of “The Black Swan” Nassim Nicholas Taleb has a completely different point of view, which I agree with. His paper from January 26 stated that we should already be panicking because the risk of doing nothing was too high. Here is a link to his paper. Enjoy. https://static1.squarespace.com/static/5b68a4e4a2772c2a206180a1/t/5e2efaa2ff2cf27efbe8fc91/1580137123173/Systemic_Risk_of_Pandemic_via_Novel_Path.pdf
Thanks for the clarification. I think Xi has already moved on Hong Kong by arresting a number of the leaders of the protests.
Trump and Obama share a thing in common: they rely of the career professionals of the federal service to do their jobs. Neither Trump or Obama are inventory control clerks. Where were the LTC Vindman’s of the CDC and what were they doing since 2009? Feel free to let me know. “The Resistance” comes to mind, and leadership at the SES level that focused on rainbowflag social justice initiatives that certainly got done. The fine people of the Empire State are seing the effect of that government budget prioritization in 2015 play out now. Shortly the people in the feces strewn streets of San Francisco and homeless mecca LA are going to see the results of Social Justice first policies rather than pragmatic government. But by all means, Obama’s inspirational leadership had zero to do with getting those policies in place.
Thank you for being an island of sanity in this sea of madness we are drowning in. One thing that seems to be entirely missing from the debate (and here in the UK, there is very little of that) is the very real human cost of shutting down society for an indeterminate length of time. What happens to the millions that are going to lose their jobs because of this? Poverty can kill. How are those with mental health issues going to cope with being virtual prisoners in their own homes? The suicide rate will undoubtedly rise. We are told that this is being done to protect the most vulnerable members of society but has anyone actually asked them if this is what they want? What about the 85-year old living alone whose only point of social contact is the pint down the pub? Loneliness can kill too. What about those who are no longer allowed to see their grandchildren? Is this freedom?
Who is asking these questions? No one, as far as I can tell. And if you dare to raise your voice and say you’re not really ok with the country becoming a police state your told you “don’t care” and “want the elderly to die”. “Flatten the curve”, “Stay at home”, “Full lockdown now!”. I never thought I’d live to see the day when not only did the UK become a police state, but the gullible masses actually demanded that it did so.
And for what? How many deaths recorded as being “due” to Coronavirus were actually “with” Coronavirus instead. In Italy, the average age of death was 80 and 99% of those who died had 1 or more serious health conditions. 50% had 2 or more. How many would have died anyway? In the UK, almost everyone of the deaths “from” Coronavirus had “underlying health issues”. The governments own scientific advisor has now admitted that up to two thirds that die “from” Coronavirus might have died anyway. The link below is an invaluable resource for things that the msm fail to mention. All the data is sourced from official websites with links given.
What we seem to be witnessing is a perfect storm of sensationalist media reporting amplified by social media causing a herd mentality among governments as well as populations. Everyone is terrified of seeming to do too little. Whatever measure taken is too little and/or too late. We are constantly told “they are doing this in France, why aren’t you doing it”, “why aren’t you doing what they are doing in Germany” …etc Trump and Johnson tried to go against the stampede but the pressure was too great and they caved.
Is 4% high or low? A lot of people have trouble with scaling risks. I found this useful.
The records of 89 consecutive patients 85 years and older having cardiac operations between June 1993 and May 1999 were retrospectively reviewed.
The operative mortality rate was 12.3%; probability of in-hospital death was 8.2%; risk-adjusted mortality rate was 3.2%.
Eric Newhill says
I wonder how many homicides will result from the lockdown. I mean all those couples that can’t stand each other, nowhere to go to get away from each other, no way to see their secret lovers, kids screaming and fighting, finances getting worse…an unconsidered cost of the panic reaction
It could only happen in California with its 97,000 SEIU ‘health care” members
1. SEIU members told there were not sufficient protective gear to do their jobs
2. 97,000 SEIU members howl Orange Man Bad – he is killing us
3. Trump grants AG Barr power to track and confiscate protective gear.
4. In less than five days, SEIU all the sudden “discovers” 39 million masks, just laying around some warehouse and a facility that can make millions more. Facility apparently dumbfounded anyone would even want these.
5. SEIU now sells the masks for $5; Home Depot had them for $1.20
6 State. Governor Gavin “Hairgel” Newsom is initially responsible to provide adequate protective supplies not Trump at the federal level.
7. Working hand in glove (heh, heh) Newsom, SEIU and their 97,000 members gin up one more corona fake crisis, while trying to make Orange Man look bad.\
8. Trump and AG Barr beat SEIU and Dems at their own games. Only thing missing in the howls of MSM outrage.
9. Rahm Emanuel muttering yet again: never let a good crisis go to waste.
Dynamic Duo: Trump & Barr foiled the evil-doers, yet again,
Exactly right. It infuriates me that people are unable or unwilling to see that shutting down entire countries for any length of time will also result in deaths. Not only homicides, but also the suicide rate will climb. At some stage, the “cure” will become worse than the disease.
My state senator is already saying the ‘virus’ cuased the shutdown not Governor Whitmer’s exectutive order. He’s term limited and set with a lifetime pension and health care after a couple decades of ‘public’ service.
Paul Merrell says
@ “Unless you have symptoms, testing for corona virus is a complete waste of resources”
I disagree. A huge number of people have the virus and are spreading it but have no symptoms. IIRC, it’s in the neighborhood of 20% of cases. Widespread testing is going to be key in eradicating this disease.
What’s the public mood like in the US? Are people suspicious of all these draconian measures or do they agree with them? People over here not only accept being placed under house arrest but they actually demanded it. Any dissent is shouted down by the mob. Whether or not this “crisis” is as bad as the msm are saying, this is a great lesson in how readily people will accept a police state if you find the right justification.
Paul Merrell, J.D. says
@ “Unless you have symptoms, testing for corona virus is a complete waste of resources and your time.”
That statement has no scientific support. E.g., “Researchers in Italy have experimentally confirmed that up to 3 out of 4 Covid-19 cases are asymptomatic and therefore undetectable by testing only people with symptoms.” https://www.commondreams.org/views/2020/03/27/why-usso-exceptionally-vulnerable-covid-19
China recovered by social distancing measures and massive testing to isolate individuals who test positive. Ibid. How we might recover without widespread testing is a mystery to me.