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The coronavirus

The coronavirus (2019- ), properly known as covid-19 (the kind of coronavirus that it is), started in Wuhan, China in December 2019 and is now spreading worldwide. It is like the flu but much easier to catch and about ten times deadlier. It could be with us for years to come.

Disclaimer: I am not licensed to give medical advice. This post is just meant to give you a rough idea of things.

Wuhan itself already looks like something from a post-apocalyptic science fiction film: a big city with empty streets (pictured above). For the past five weeks people have been told to stay inside. Its province of Hubei has been shut off from the rest of China. Hubei has almost 60 million people, as big as Italy – which now itself has been locked down too, just 19 days after its first case.

Schools have been closed across China, South Korea, Japan and Italy. The Olympics this summer in Tokyo might be cancelled. The new James Bond film, “No Time to Die” (2020), has already been pushed off till later this year. Footballers are playing to empty stadiums. The stock market is going crazy.

The deadliest epidemics worldwide since 1960:

  • 1960- : HIV/AIDS: > 32,000,000 dead
  • 1968-69: Hong Kong flu: 1,000,000
  • 1974: smallpox in India: 15,000
  • 2009: swine flu pandemic: 203,000
  • 2013-16: Ebola: > 11,300

Covid-19 is at 4,000 dead and counting (as of March 10th 2020). It has hit China, South Korea, Iran and Italy the hardest – so far.

Transmission: Spread by coughs, sneezes or touching things with unwashed hands. It can travel through the air for up to two metres (six feet) and live for several hours outside the body. It enters through the mouth, eyes or nose and lives in the lungs. You can catch it and spread it without showing any symptoms for up to 14 days.

Symptoms: Fever and dry cough on about the fifth day, possible trouble breathing a week later. Headache, muscle pain and tiredness are also common. For about 80%, it will be mild. For maybe 1% to 2% it will be deadly. It hits the old and those with a pre-existing health condition the hardest.

Prevention: the single best thing you can do to protect yourself and others:

Wash your hands! With a lather of soap and water: the palms, wrists, nails, back of the hands, thumbs, fingers, between fingers. Use a tissue to turn off the water!

Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands.

If you do get it or have been exposed to it, stay home for 14 days. Cough into a tissue or at least your elbow. If your body temperature goes above 38 C (100.4 F) or if you have trouble breathing, see a doctor. But that is easier said than done for many people:

In the US: Hospitals have little spare capacity, tens of millions have no health insurance at all, and many employers do not provide paid sick leave. Good public health in the US is “pie in the sky”, or so I have been informed as a “naive” Bernie Sanders supporter.

– Abagond, 2020.

See also:

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760 Responses

  1. Maybe this is just what white supremacy needs to shake things up a little….muahahaha @> : o O ) >

    Liked by 4 people


  2. started in Wuhan, China

    I wonder if many readers have been to Wuhan or know anything about it.

    I have been there. It is located right smack in the middle of China on the confluence of the Han River into the Yangtze. It is the agglomeration of what used to be three separate cities, Wuchang, Hankou (formerly spelled as Hankow) and Hanyang, each of which are cities of a couple million each. Upriver on the Yangtze are the Yangtze river gorges, and two major dams, which are not navigable for ocean going traffic, just local domestic river traffic. However, from Wuhan, it spills out into a wide flat plain, and large ships can sail downstream to Shanghai or the Ocean.

    It is also at the confluence of the main rail routes connecting the south (ie, Hong Kong, Shenzhen, Guangzhou) to the north (Beijing). The rail routes from the east (Shanghai, Nanjing) also pass there on the way to Chongqing and Chengdu in Sichuan (Szechuan). Major national highways also pass through Wuhan in all directions.

    If the USA’s rail service and main highways running from New York to California and New Orleans to Minneapolis passed through St. Louis, then St. Louis would be somewhat geographically equivalent to the USA as Wuhan is to China. However, since the US rail traffic and transfer to boat traffic in the central region of the country, and the industrial development associated with that is centered on Chicago, Wuhan is often labelled the “Chicago of China”.

    Climatically, however, Wuhan is much closer to Memphis, Tennessee. It is chilly in winter, occasionally cold, and although it averages above freezing, there is occasionally accumulating snowfall. The summers are very hot, humid, muggy and rainy, and is one of the “furnaces” of China. South of Wuhan, most people eat rice as their staple. North of Wuhan, not as much. The topography downstream from the city looks similar to the Arkansas and Mississippi delta region. There are many large lakes in this region, including the East Lake adjacent to Wuhan itself.

    It also figures highly in modern Chinese history since the mid-1800s.

    CNN had a good article on it a few weeks ago:

    From one-time Chinese capital to coronavirus epicenter, Wuhan has a long history that the West had forgotten
    (https://edition.cnn.com/2020/02/22/asia/wuhan-history-hnk-intl/index.html)

    Liked by 2 people


  3. I wonder if anyone noticed that there is some climatic similarities in the regions with major outbreaks. Most of them occurred in places that are cool/chilly (ie, averaging above freezing, but below 50F in the 0-10C range), are in their winter season and are moderately moist (not too wet, not very dry). Northern Italy, Central China, South Korea and even Iran would satisfy this. Iran is generally very dry, but its moistest months are February and March.

    This means that in the US, the area on the West Coast between SF and Vancouver and the East Coast and upper south would be ripe for community transmission.

    Tropical regions and the Southern hemisphere have mostly imported cases. Northern China, Russia, northern Europe have cases, but no major community outbreak yet, as is the case with the upper midwest in the USA or most of Canada.

    As winter moves into spring, it might mean that some more community transmission cases will appear in Northern China, Russia, Northern Europe and Canada, and it might also move south into southern Australia and Tasmania, New Zealand and in South America from Buenos Aires south.

    Liked by 2 people


  4. What doesn’t work is racism….

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  5. I was told a lady purchased the host bat from a seafood market and used it a masturbation dildo.. That rumor way off….

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  6. I have been obsessed with this for weeks! Since I ride public transit every day, it kinda sticks in my brain. No masks here in Philly, excepting 1 person yesterday, it’s been reported in the counties surrounding us, is it a cold or….

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  7. ”Footballers are playing to empty stadiums.” Interesting use of the footballer. Most Americans use the term ”soccer”.

    Is there something we should know, Abagond?

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  8. @ Cherry Boy

    The alternative was “soccer players are playing to empty stadiums” which seemed repetitive in a not-great way (unlike, say, “Haters are gonna hate.”).

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  9. I’ve noticed Universities closing campuses and going online to finish out their semesters… Wonder how long until all our local school districts just cancel the remainder of the school year.

    Liked by 1 person


  10. You wouldn’t believe how hygienically challenged people are when it comes to washing their hands!

    Liked by 3 people


  11. Nm… It’s here too.

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  12. @Herneith
    You’d think the people that touch themselves then not properly wash themselves would be spreading a sexually transmitted disease.

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  13. @ jefe

    I wonder if anyone noticed that there is some climatic similarities in the regions with major outbreaks. Most of them occurred in places that are cool/chilly (ie, averaging above freezing, but below 50F in the 0-10C range), are in their winter season and are moderately moist (not too wet, not very dry). Northern Italy, Central China, South Korea and even Iran would satisfy this. Iran is generally very dry, but its moistest months are February and March.

    In urbanized Africa we are aware of that almost from the beginning.
    There has been talk about “how the last SARS and H1N1 epidemics hardly touched the continent” at their peak, and how those types of viruses do not survive high temperatures.
    But at this stage there are no certainties anymore regarding the “novel coronavirus”.
    Will the heat of our summer season work as a fortress maintaining the killer at bay? Nobody knows for sure and unfortunately only the actual coming of the disease will validate or refute that belief.
    In my country the government maintained in the beginning the position – taken from WHO (World Health Organisation) – that we, as a country, were in the third or fourth row of level of risk of being hit by the epidemic. Those estimations were made based on the levels of contact of each country vis a vis the People’s Republic of China, regarded as the main center of the disease. (But as we all know, other important centers of the disease appeared later)
    Until a few days ago…
    … when our major neighbor, the Republic of South Africa, recorded the first case of the virus. A South African citizen who returned recently from a visit to Italy became ill and the South African state is putting much effort in tracing his contacts. Later it became clear that this is not the only case.
    In Maputo, where one of the favorite passions of the middle class is to go to South Africa to shop, receive better medical help or simply visit friends, a palpable nervousness is building up day by day in the last couple of weeks. People are quietly buying masks, hand wash kits, etc and preparing themselves for the moment – deemed inevitable now – that the killer will arrive in our shores.
    I believe that the climate will be a partial help, but definitely human behavior will be the major factor in how much or less severe this epidemic will hit us.
    For the moment let’s brace ourselves for the rigors of the days ahead.

    Liked by 1 person


  14. Jefe sounds serious and honest for a change! Now I’m going to fact check what he wrote just to be sure. With some people, you never know.

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  15. @Munubantu,

    I am not saying that it cannot be caught in a hot and humid climate. We had many cases in Singapore early on, and transmission there caused some of the early transmission to Europe in late Jan / early Feb. Cases have popped up in Australia and Argentina in the past month.

    What I am saying is that perhaps this virus survives outside a host for a long time in certain ideal conditions, and not as well in others. This could hypothetically turn out to be something like surviving 7 days on surfaces @5-6C in moderately moist, but not too wet, not too sunny conditions, but only 1 day @30C in bright sunny conditions, or in heavy rain, or less than a day when the temperature does not get above freezing for over 24 hours. But regardless of the weather, it could be transmitted directly from one host to another, by say, sharing eating utensils.

    And once caught, it could be more severe in some climates and less severe in others.

    No one under age 9 has died from this coronavirus yet. So it seems to behave quite differently from the Spanish flu of 1918, which killed many children. But for persons who are male, over age 80, who already have chronic respiratory illnesses and weakened immune systems, the mortality rate could approach 50%.

    The SARS outbreak of 2003 did hit Hong Kong very hard, and was in full swing by March. But it was largely contained by June. Most of the local scientists do not believe that it was due to the weather, but the containment efforts.

    Liked by 1 person


  16. The governor of Washington State just issued an emergency proclamation that limits large events during COVID-19. According to the governor’s website:

    “Gov. Jay Inslee announced new community strategies and social distancing plans Wednesday at a news conference in Seattle to minimize COVID-19 exposure, particularly in counties hit hardest by the virus.

    Starting today, events that takes place in King, Snohomish, and Pierce counties with more than 250 people are prohibited by the state. This order applies to gatherings for social, spiritual and recreational activities. These include but are not limited to: community, civic, public, leisure, faith-based, or sporting events; parades; concerts; festivals; conventions; fundraisers and similar activities.

    “This is an unprecedented public health situation and we can’t wait until we’re in the middle of it to slow it down,” Inslee said. “We’ve got to get ahead of the curve. One main defense is to reduce the interaction of people in our lives.”

    https://www.governor.wa.gov/news-media/inslee-issues-emergency-proclamation-limits-large-events-minimize-public-health-risk

    Those three counties in western WA cover much of the Seattle Metro area: Seattle, Tacoma and the northern, southern and eastern suburbs.

    Liked by 1 person


  17. Jefe,

    “What I am saying is that perhaps this virus survives outside a host for a long time in certain ideal conditions, and not as well in others.”

    In this paper Chinese scientists studied data from 429 cities which indicated the optimal temperature for Sars-Cov-2 transmission is 8.72 C / 47.7 F.
    https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.02.22.20025791v1

    Sun and heat do apparently hinder the transmission, albeit I read a Chinese paper that indicated the virus could live as long as 2 days on a surface with a temperature of 37 C / 98.6 F (Human skin) but other surfaces may be less conducive to survival. It would appear the number of surviving virus particles surviving outside of human hosts drops appreciably above temperatures of 26 C / 79 F.

    Regarding Singapore, you are correct there were quite a few cases initially but given their widespread use of air conditioning, I wonder if cooler indoor temperatures at conferences, the subway, office buildings, etc helped facilitate the spread of the virus?

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  18. What were folks doing before this pandemic in regards to washing hands. It’s some nasty folks out here not washing their hands. I am angry and frustrated that the inept and incompetent occupants at the White House don’t know what they are doing. I fear many will die because of Trump and his apathy and stupidity, and narcissism.

    Liked by 1 person


  19. So the brain washed, sycophantic zombie Trump cult believes this is a hoax created by Democrats to hurt Trump. All of those morons need to be catapulted into the sun.

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  20. I’m told to watch the local news for this type of thing, and was immediately appalled at the local gov’t talking apparatchnik claiming they’re going to close everything ‘they legally can’ including ‘private indoor meetings’ and ‘non-essential retail’, this is from montgomery county, ie non-urban white middle + class suburbs! Sheesh.

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  21. “,Trump cult believes this is a hoax created by Democrats to hurt Trump.
    Maybe they’ll change their tune if/when the elections are postponed “in the interest of public safety”.

    Liked by 1 person


  22. Lots of folks freaking out and buying up all the hand sanitizer and wipes. All the Purell and Lysol disinfect gone from shelves.

    Liked by 1 person


  23. @ Mary Burrell

    There was a run on toilet paper here. I have never seen those shelves entirely empty before, even under a blizzard warning (although I have seen the bread shelves completely empty in that case). Even at the warehouse-type stores there wasn’t any to be found. Paper towels were almost all gone, too. Guess it is because people are afraid they will be made to self-quarantine for 14 days and don’t want to get caught without a stockpile.

    Liked by 1 person


  24. Sophie Trudeau tested positive for Corona Virus 🦠

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  25. @Solitaire: Yeah, the toilet paper and paper towels are gone too.

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  26. The governor of WA state just ordered the closure of public and private schools in the three counties that encompass Seattle, Tacoma and suburban areas. Schools will close no later than March 17 and reopen April 24. The emergency alert notes:

    “The governor asked superintendents to plan for students who rely on school meals and to support for students experiencing homelessness. During these closures, Inslee asked superintendents to provide no cost childcare to families providing medical and emergency services.”

    This dovetails with an article I came across about New York public schools plans to remain open because over 100,000 students rely on the schools for two meals a day and other services. The article, “Coronavirus: New York Won’t Close Schools Because Homeless Kids Have Nowhere Else to Go” on the site Mint Press News explains:

    “…tens of thousands of homeless children have nowhere else to go. 34,000 children in New York City’s public school system currently live in emergency shelters, and a further 74,000 have only been spared the same fate by relatives, friends or neighbors who have taken them in. With 1.1 million students, the city has the largest public school system in the United States, one in ten of whom experienced homelessness in the 2018-2019 school year… for many thousands of students, school is the only place they receive regular meals, shelter, medical care, and other vital services. For that reason, School Chancellor Richard A. Carranza said that they would remain open despite the risk and that closures would be considered only as a “last resort.”

    https://www.mintpressnews.com/coronavirus-new-york-schools-homeless-kids-have-nowhere-to-go/265603/

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  27. Asian Americans of various ethnicities are being targeted for abuse and assaults by ignorant bigots. CNN ran a story last month about Americans from the Chinese, Thai and Hmong communities being attacked, shunned and denied service by other Americans.

    That article, “What’s spreading faster than coronavirus in the US? Racist assaults and ignorant attacks against Asians”, shows how just a smidgen of stress can rip the veneer of civility away.

    One Thai American woman in LA was subjected to a long and loud rant by another subway passenger who blamed all Asian people for “all diseases”. She said,

    “Jiraprapasuke, who is Thai American, said the man ranted for about 10 minutes and was specifically looking and gesturing at her.

    She started recording the tirade as the man lectured another passenger. […]

    Jiraprapasuke went online and discovered many other people of Asian descent have been harassed or attacked because of misguided coronavirus fears.
    Many are using the global hashtag #JeNeSuisPasUnVirus — French for “I am not a virus.”

    https://edition.cnn.com/2020/02/20/us/coronavirus-racist-attacks-against-asian-americans/index.html

    Anti-Chinese propaganda meets pandemic fears….

    Liked by 1 person


  28. @Mary Burrell: I fear many will die because of Trump and his apathy and stupidity, and narcissism.

    Trump’s stupidity and spite is worse than people think. In his zeal to undo everything that Obama did, in 2018 Trump dismantled the comprehensive pandemic response infrastructure that his predecessor set up. For an eye-opener, Google how did trump sabotage obama’s pandemic response. Television and cable are too cowardly to bring this up directly for fear of being accused of politicizing a health crisis. Bloomberg mentioned it. During the general election the Dems ought to hammer this till every American can recite it like the Pledge of Allegiance.

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  29. To be honest,the only virus is fear. That might go over some heads.

    Liked by 2 people


  30. Italy Medical Chief dies from the Wuhan Coronavirus.

    Coronavirus: Varese medical chief dies
    General practitioner, died in hospital in Como
    http://www.ansa.it/english/news/general_news/2020/03/11/coronavirus-varese-medical-chief-dies_85409409-db7d-477b-82d9-6249dbefed10.html

    Liked by 1 person


  31. @ jefe

    Italy Medical Chief dies from the Wuhan C.

    Why you say Wuhan Coronavirus instead of Coronavirus, novel Coronavirus or more aptly Covid-19?

    These diseases can sometimes be traced to a specific place but the scientific denominations oft try to describe the core traits of the disease or disease agent instead of the place where humans had the the first encounters with it.
    With due respect, jefe, your choice of words smells prejudice.
    If this is a Wuhan Coronavirus, then what do we have more. African ebola? Or British mad cow disease? Or … bla, bla, bla…

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  32. @munubantu

    The Ebola virus is named for the Ebola river. It was named after a river 69 miles away from the town it was discovered rather than the town it was discovered in so that the town would not be associated with the disease and its stigma.

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  33. I am in Los Angeles. Mad panic buying going on here today. Shelves empty. Not just TP but canned foods ect.

    LAUSD closes schools this upcoming Monday. A food program is being set up in places allowing students who rely on school lunches to get fed.

    Liked by 2 people


  34. @ Richard_III

    Great points!

    Liked by 1 person


  35. @ Michael Barker

    Same here in Seattle. Almost all paper goods shelves are bare. Ditto for frozen foods, bread, beans and rice

    A store clerk told me that people were lined up at the door at 6am.

    Liked by 2 people


  36. Trump got rid of the pandemic team Obama put in place, cut the funding for Center for Disease Control. And during his speech today when journalist Yamiche Alcindor posed questions to him about his actions Trump’s response was that she asked him a “nasty question.” The word “nasty” is Trump’s go to word for smart women he doesn’t like. Especially, smart Black women. In November of 2018, during a White House briefing, Yamiche Alcindor posed questions to the President and he said she asked a “racist question.” I don’t understand how an inept and incompetent individual is allowed to be POTUS?

    Liked by 2 people


  37. Narcissists have no capability to take responsibility for anything.

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  38. Munabantu said: “If this is a Wuhan Coronavirus, then what do we have more. African ebola? Or British mad cow disease?”

    It’s not unusual to name an infectious disease after a country, city, or geographical location where it was first identified:

    German measles; Japanese encephalitis; West Nile fever; Rocky Mountain fever, Norwalk virus named after Norwalk, Ohio (Although now typically shortened to Norovirus); Spanish flu (Misnomer, Spain was not the site of the first but the first country to widely report it); Lyme disease – Old Lyme, Connecticut, Zika virus – from the Zika Forest, located near Entebbe in Uganda; Marburg virus – Marburg Germany – Omsk Hemorrhagic Fever – Omsk, Russia.

    Liked by 1 person


  39. @munubantu

    With due respect, jefe, your choice of words smells prejudice.

    Thank you for expressing your opinion on this topic. I welcome healthy discussion with you. Yet, I must state that I most respectfully, yet whole-heartedly and emphatically disagree with your assessment. In fact, I find your reaction to be much more a display of prejudice than mine.

    First of all, I have been to Wuhan on a pleasure trip. I have friends from Wuhan; in fact, just two weeks ago I went on an outing with a friend who is a Wuhan native to counteract some of the cabin fever we have here in Hong Kong from being socially distanced during our experience with the epidemic for the past 7 weeks. I first went to Taiwan, Hong Kong and Mainland China in 1980 for a study tour, and have lived and worked across Greater China continuously for 25 years and am on the board for two local NGOs in Hong Kong. I personally know the family (some distant relatives) living in both the village house in China where my grandfather grew up, and the later one he built after he was married (where my Aunts grew up).

    Please, pray tell, to where is this alleged prejudice directed?

    As Lemmy advised you, it is normal and common practice for people all over the world throughout history to attach geographical labels to diseases that refer to either where they originated or to a region where they later became widespread. He brought up Zika fever, Ebola virus and the Spanish Flu, German measles, Japanese Encephalitis among others. I am a US citizen, but I don’t freak out over the term Rocky Mountain fever. I have German ancestry, yet don’t bat an eyelid over German measles. If you used any of these terms, I would never accuse you of being prejudiced against a people or country or city or anything.

    I don’t know if you are old enough to remember the great flu pandemic of 1968-69 which killed millions around the globe. It was caused by an H3N2 strain of the influenza A virus, or A/H3N2 for short. But no one ever called it that. It was called ”Hong Kong Flu” and that colloquial name has stuck around in our general lexicon to this very day. If someone told me that their relative was killed by the Hong Kong Flu, I would never take it personally and do not find it to be a prejudiced remark in the least. I know that is the colloquial term.

    Even as late at the 2003-2004 flu epidemic, we were still using terms such as “Fujian Flu”, which refers to a province of China. The scientific term (A/Fujian/411/2002(H3N2)) even has the geographic component in its title.

    Yet this time we are being pushed to avoid using those colloquial terms, and instead use the term Covid-19 (which itself, is not a scientific term either – we should use SARS-CoV-2 instead). What changed? Because the WHO was under some very heavy-handed and intense pressure by the CCP to invent and promote a term that did not point back to China in some way. In other words, it was a tool of propaganda.

    In Hong Kong, one of the places affected early on in January by the virus, people started referring to it colloquially well before the term Covid 19 was conceived. Still today, the common local term in Cantonese could be best translated as “Wuhan Pneumonia”. The US state department is still using the term “Wuhan Coronavirus” colloquially to refer to the virus, much to the ire of the CCP sycophants who decry how it breaks the “glass” hearts of the (alleged mass) of the Chinese people (but much to the delight of a large sector of Hong Kong).

    In Hong Kong, there has grown a wide local activist movement to reject the use of Covid-19 in their daily colloquial lexicon. They recognize it as a tool of CCP propaganda. They will stop using the term Wuhan Pneumonia if and only if Mainland Chinese will stop using the term “Hong Kong Foot”. Hong Kong Foot is the most common colloquial term across Asia to refer to athlete’s foot.

    It ain’t gonna happen. So Hong Kong people will not drop “Wuhan” from referring to the virus or the disease.

    I have no problem with people using the term Covid-19. You are welcome to do that. In fact, I may use it from time-to-time myself, especially if I write a letter to the WHO. Or I may use the term “Wuhan Coronavirus aka Covid-19”. Or I may use some other common colloquial terms.

    I do have a problem with people who maintain double standards whereby they themselves commonly use geographic references in their colloquial terms to refer to other diseases or any other phenomena, yet get persnickety over how this other particular one is treated. Those people are obvious victims of propaganda. Next thing we know, it will be forbidden to talk about Peking Duck or Pad Thai.

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  40. Article about “Hong Kong Flu” referenced above:

    How Hong Kong flu struck without warning 50 years ago, and claimed over a million lives worldwide
    Known formally as H3N2, the flu strain was highly contagious, and left clinics in the city packed, with 500,000 people infected, before it steadily spread through Asia, Australia, Africa, South America, Europe and the US

    https://www.scmp.com/lifestyle/health-wellness/article/2154925/how-hong-kong-flu-struck-without-warning-50-years-ago-and

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  41. I was wondering when jefe would turn this into a diatribe against the CCP. Wonder no more, he’s back. Welcome back jefe.
    What’s with the “glass heart” reference, are you saying you’re an iconoclast?
    How about a kind word for the professionalism of the CCP in handling this crisis compared with Bozo the clown Trump? Nah, go back to breaking those “glass hearts”.

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  42. @ Jefe

    May I suggest that one’s perspective on the issue depends a great deal on one’s location. Many people in the U.S. don’t see the naming issue as PRC propaganda but instead as an effort not to further stigmatize Chinese and other Asians, including our own native-born Asian Americans who are among those being racially profiled despite lack of any contact with mainland China.

    Perhaps you missed the link Afrofem provided upthread, which detailed several anti-Asian incidents in the U.S. that centered on fears of infection, including one violent physical assault.

    These incidents of racial bias and profiling are not limited to the U.S. but have also been reported in Canada, Australia, and several European countries:

    https://www.chicagotribune.com/opinion/commentary/ct-opinion-coronavirus-china-prejudice-fear-20200210-rove24w6f5hyxecronrxt7oizy-story.html

    I suspect if you were not currently in a majority-Chinese nation, your outlook would be different.

    “First of all, I have been to Wuhan on a pleasure trip. I have friends from Wuhan; in fact, just two weeks ago I went on an outing with a friend who is a Wuhan native”

    With all due respect, this sounds like the “some of my best friends” argument. You know perfectly well that someone can be friends with or even married to an individual of a certain group and still harbor unconscious prejudices. I’m not saying that you do have any bias regarding people from Wuhan; I don’t have enough data to assess that. But this argument is unworthy of you. You know its flaws and have called other people on the carpet for using it.

    “As Lemmy advised you, it is normal and common practice for people all over the world throughout history to attach geographical labels to diseases that refer to either where they originated or to a region where they later became widespread.”

    Let me remind both you and Lemmy that just because something has historical precedent, just because it is common practice and has been normalized, that doesn’t make it right.

    “Yet this time we are being pushed to avoid using those colloquial terms, and instead use the term Covid-19…. What changed? Because the WHO was under some very heavy-handed and intense pressure by the CCP to invent and promote a term that did not point back to China in some way. In other words, it was a tool of propaganda.”

    There’s a problem with your statement — WHO announced the change in naming policy back in 2015:

    WHO today called on scientists, national authorities and the media to follow best practices in naming new human infectious diseases to minimize unnecessary negative effects on nations, economies and people.

    “In recent years, several new human infectious diseases have emerged. The use of names such as ‘swine flu’ and ‘Middle East Respiratory Syndrome’ has had unintended negative impacts by stigmatizing certain communities or economic sectors,” says Dr Keiji Fukuda, Assistant Director-General for Health Security, WHO. “This may seem like a trivial issue to some, but disease names really do matter to the people who are directly affected. We’ve seen certain disease names provoke a backlash against members of particular religious or ethnic communities, create unjustified barriers to travel, commerce and trade, and trigger needless slaughtering of food animals. This can have serious consequences for peoples’ lives and livelihoods.”…

    Terms that should be avoided in disease names include geographic locations (e.g. Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, Spanish Flu, Rift Valley fever), people’s names (e.g. Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, Chagas disease), species of animal or food (e.g. swine flu, bird flu, monkey pox), cultural, population, industry or occupational references (e.g. legionnaires), and terms that incite undue fear (e.g. unknown, fatal, epidemic).

    https://www.who.int/mediacentre/news/notes/2015/naming-new-diseases/en/

    “In Hong Kong, …. [t]hey will stop using the term Wuhan Pneumonia if and only if Mainland Chinese will stop using the term “Hong Kong Foot”. Hong Kong Foot is the most common colloquial term across Asia to refer to athlete’s foot.”

    I can definitely see why people in Hong Kong are offended by this term and want its use to stop. I don’t know that a tit-for-tat response is at all productive. Generally it has the opposite result.

    Liked by 1 person


  43. @ Abagond

    I have a comment in mod. I can’t see what I did wrong and would appreciate it if you could let me know so I can try to avoid it in the future.

    Like


  44. I haven’t seen COVID-19 referred too as “Wuhan Coronavirus” in English press. Maybe that’s the way Chinese people refer to it in China.

    I think prejudice against Asians in the U.S. will continue to rise. The virus just gives bigots another reason to hate.

    Mad panic buying continues in Los Angeles. Most store shelves are stripped of food and paper products.

    Like


  45. @Solitaire,

    Many people in the U.S. don’t see the naming issue as PRC propaganda but instead as an effort not to further stigmatize Chinese and other Asians, including our own native-born Asian Americans who are among those being racially profiled despite lack of any contact with mainland China.

    Perhaps you missed the link Afrofem provided upthread, which detailed several anti-Asian incidents in the U.S. that centered on fears of infection, including one violent physical assault.

    These incidents of racial bias and profiling are not limited to the U.S. but have also been reported in Canada, Australia, and several European countries:

    I am VERY MUCH aware of this phenomenon and even read the article Afrofem linked way back in February. In fact, I have been collecting some articles over the past few days about this and was going to post about this too. I’ll get back to it.

    I strongly condemn the racial bias against Asians overseas over this epidemic. I myself was bullied and beat up many times growing up in the USA over stuff that originated in Asia. In fact, you could say it was one of the reasons why I decided to leave the US. I do have many ideas about that and I hope to share it.

    In fact, I am rather offended that you suggest that I disregarded the multitudinous accounts about being physically assaulted for being of Asian descent. I KNOW what that is.

    This is a completely different issue to do with the phenomenon of the WHO naming this virus. Do not confuse it. I know what the argument that WHO put forward, and, while it may be a factor, it is not the main reason.

    For another perspective:
    (It is long, but most of the arguments relating to this comment is in the first 10 minutes – after that, he goes on to criticize the WHO).
    Coronavirus – ENOUGH with the Disinformation!
    (https://youtu.be/AB_A2HKmZgI)

    The narrator is a native of South Africa, lived, worked, ran a business in Mainland China for 14.5 years. I saw some of his videos up to 7-8 years ago, and many of his videos highlighted about stuff that impressed him about mainland China, what he loves about it, and were largely complimentary, but some were critical.

    He married a Chinese woman doctor (who is familiar with the health care system there) from the mainland and later settled in California a little over a year ago. Since then, his videos are a bit more critical. The guy who joins him later is a native of New York State and lived in the Mainland for over 8 years and brought his Chinese wife back to the US around the same time.

    He makes an argument why it is better for the world and for the history and study of the disease why it is better to retain a geographical label to the virus.

    Later in the video, he also mentioned about how the PRC Ministry of Foreign Affairs has actively promoted a conspiracy theory that the US brought the virus to China and they are the ones to blame for virus. That propaganda has taken off in the Mainland and is designed to convey more misinformation into the

    I can find links for that in case you cannot find it.

    In short,
    I understand your argument, but I disagree with it.

    Like


  46. @ Solitaire

    There i nothing from you currently in the spam filter or the moderation queue.

    Like


  47. Iran also blames the US.

    Of the three US cable news station, the most racist one, Fox News, is the one that still calls it the Wuhan virus or Chinese virus. Since xenophobia is a huge theme on that station, I doubt that is an accident.

    Liked by 1 person


  48. @ Solitaire

    “Many people in the U.S. don’t see the naming issue as PRC propaganda but instead as an effort not to further stigmatize Chinese and other Asians, including our own native-born Asian Americans who are among those being racially profiled despite lack of any contact with mainland China.”

    This is how I understood it too.

    Liked by 1 person


  49. Do people in the USA really believe that the pressure that the CCP placed on the WHO in the renaming of the colloquial terminology for the current novel coronavirus has anything whatsoever to do with their concern that they have about Asian-Americans or Asians elsewhere?

    Like


  50. @Solitaire

    https://theconversation.com/naming-the-new-coronavirus-why-taking-wuhan-out-of-the-picture-matters-131738

    There are a zillion counterarguments to this.

    I provided one in the link above, but I could find more if you need it.

    Like


  51. @Solitaire

    In the video link I supplied above, if you skip to 40:00, you will see a discussion of the growing discrimination towards foreign nationals in China who did not evacuate during the lockdown, but stayed behind. Now, outside Hubei province, on some days imported cases outnumber locally transmitted cases (at least, that is how it is being reported).

    This led to xenophobic discrimination, some of it violent, towards those who did not evacuate. They are now being blamed for bringing the virus back from Europe and the USA, even if the relevant individuals did not even go there. (In fact, I don’t doubt that many of those re-imported cases are probably ethnic Chinese).

    There is a lot of anti-US propaganda circulating on the Mainland now against the US. As I mentioned,a foreign minister created a viral spread of a report that the US brought the virus to China. The government is doing nothing to stop this false conspiracy theory.

    So, how does coining the term “Covid-19” reduce this kind of reverse discrimination?

    I strongly condemn the xenophobia towards Asians in western countries (and I do know what this feels like), and also towards westerners in China. I do not think that this is fixed at all by coining a new name. What it does do, is distance the virus from the regime that made the very decisions to allow it to spread in the first place. This creates other types of problems.

    Like


  52. Oh no, people on this blog are finally waking up to jefe’s bullshit? Say it ain’t so. Is this jefe’s fool me once fool me twice… moment? how will our hero iconoclast recover? Stay tuned, where’s my popcorn, I’m enjoying this.

    Like


  53. @ Abagond

    It was this comment here: https://abagond.wordpress.com/2020/03/10/the-coronavirus/#comment-434710

    Could the culprit have been “tit-for-tat”?

    Like


  54. @ Solitaire

    It was the “fuk” in Dr Keiji Fukuda.

    Like


  55. Jefe the liar is caught in his web of lies for even the most gullible on this blog to see. See our hero iconoclast dance his way out of this embarrassing situation:
    1) Pathetic links to some former residents of the PRC? Really jefe? Can you spell “anecdote”?
    2) A nameless “..foreign minister? I want a name and date jefe, if that’s not too much to ask.
    I’ve read “PRC propaganda” from Global Times and it has been very consistent that COVID-19 is a natural virus, not a synthetic one.
    JEFE IS A RECKLESS LIAR. Now that he is dimly perceived as such by some of his fans on this blog I feel some satisfaction in his discomfiture.
    I’ve brought out the popcorn in hope of seeing our hero iconoclast humiliated some more. Good times.

    Like


  56. @ Jefe

    I will say again, WHO was following the guidelines for nomenclature that they themselves established five years ago. That is the main reason.

    “What it does do, is distance the virus from the regime that made the very decisions to allow it to spread in the first place.”

    How would calling it the Wuhan pneumonia reflect on the other regimes (like Trump’s) who are also making decisions allowing the illness to spread?

    Should AIDS be called Reagan’s Disease? Or the USA Syndrome?

    Do you really think if Wuhan is not in the name, the experts who study epidemiology are going to forget where it started and why it spread?

    I can only guess you want Wuhan in the name to cement the connection among the general public. What earthly good will having Wuhan in the name do 50 years from now?

    “So, how does coining the term “Covid-19” reduce this kind of reverse discrimination?”

    It wouldn’t, and I never said it would. But that doesn’t mean WHO should continue to follow old naming practices that they know have created problems in the past, including problems that interfered with treatment and containment efforts.

    “He makes an argument why it is better for the world and for the history and study of the disease why it is better to retain a geographical label to the virus.”

    The medical professionals who specialize in global epidemics disagree with him. Yes, his wife is a doctor — so what? She hasn’t made this particular field of medicine or the study of the history of epidemiology her life’s work.

    “Later in the video, he also mentioned about how the PRC Ministry of Foreign Affairs has actively promoted a conspiracy theory that the US brought the virus to China and they are the ones to blame for virus. That propaganda has taken off in the Mainland”

    Yes, I already know about that. It does not sway my opinion. Including “Wuhan” in the official name isn’t going to stop that type of conspiracy theory.

    “Do people in the USA really believe that the pressure that the CCP placed on the WHO in the renaming of the colloquial terminology for the current novel coronavirus has anything whatsoever to do with their concern that they have about Asian-Americans or Asians elsewhere?”

    I don’t think the CCP cares and I never said the CCP did. I said WHO cares about that. So does the CDC, for that matter.

    Once again, WHO is following the practices they established in 2015. There is no reason to think they would have used Wuhan in the official name had there been no pressure from the CCP because it still would have violated their own rules to do so.

    This is a coincidence, not cause-and-effect. WHO was never going to include a geographical reference in the name regardless of where it originated.

    Liked by 1 person


  57. @ Abagond

    Thank you. I never would have guessed that one.

    Of the three US cable news station, the most racist one, Fox News, is the one that still calls it the Wuhan virus or Chinese virus. Since xenophobia is a huge theme on that station, I doubt that is an accident.

    Same here.

    Liked by 1 person


  58. Solitaire, I hope you won’t take this personally, I love you!
    You have utterly destroyed JEFE THE RECKLESS LIAR with your adherence to the facts. Please keep it up.

    Liked by 1 person


  59. @ Gro Jo

    I was going to respond to your earlier comments but decided it would be best to ignore them.

    Now I feel I have to.

    I can disagree with Jefe about this without it meaning that I think he’s a liar. I can disagree with him about this while still agreeing with him on other things about China.

    I don’t base my opinions on China solely on what Jefe says. I find his firsthand contemporary accounts of living in Hong Kong interesting, but I have never considered him “a heroic iconoclast” and I’m not now going to consider him “a reckless liar.”

    I realize gloaters are gonna gloat, but please leave my name out of your gloating.

    Like


  60. @Solitaire

    sounds like the “some of my best friends” argument

    I see how those optics look, and I will rephrase below, but my point then seemed to fly over your head while you went off the rails on a tangent by saying that it had something to do with reducing xenophobia towards Asian-Americans or people of Asian descent in Western countries. Let me tell you what I mean.

    Using the “Some of my best friends are black” argument to illustrate, it would be like saying that objection with the argument relates to the purpose of coining a new term — to reduce anti-Muslim sentiment, and say this to someone who himself is Muslim. Yeah, some Muslims are black and some blacks are Muslim, but it is wrong to use this as a reason. It just doesn’t make much sense.

    To go back to my original point, if it were designed to reduce xenophobia towards Asians in western countries, then if I insert a geographical reference, who or what am I being prejudiced towards? Asian-Americans? Geez.

    I can tell you with about 1000% certainty, that as someone with a Chinese sounding name, who has lived in Greater China for 25 years and currently lives in HK, who speaks Mandarin, Cantonese and other Chinese dialects about 25-30% of the time while I am in the US, if I were to visit my brother in West Virginia or my first cousin and Aunt in Alabama, no amount of changing any terminology from “Wuhan Coronavirus” to “Covid-19” is going to change one iota any discrimination I might receive at restaurants, hotels, shops or protect me from any potential violence. I might fare slightly better in the more “woke” areas where I spend more of my time, like DC, NY, Boston, SF and LA, but only slightly. Actually people in those areas suffer from something else (which I will expound upon later), ie, having people, even other Asians, shunning their businesses or their services. That also has not changed due to the change in terminology.

    So, I maintain that changing the term from “Wuhan Coronavirus” to “Covid-19” to help mitigate somewhat the xenophobia towards Asian-Americans or Asians in Western countries is a bankrupt argument. That was not the primary purpose of that name change (despite what WHO stated represents their guidelines – their guidelines mentioned that it included a requirement to remove geographical references, which is something else) and it does not mitigate that overseas xenophobia either. It does, however, make it easier for the PRC government to implement reverse xenophobia (and I can expound upon that if you wish).

    What does, however, reduce some of the xenophobia in the USA and other western countries is to see some high profile celebrities, athletes or government leaders and officials contracting the virus. Tom Hanks and his wife contracting the virus, the Utah Jazz NBA players, Sophie Grégoire Trudeau of Canada, UK Health minister Nadine Dorries, etc. contracting the virus and dealing with it helps mitigate the xenophobia towards Asians in western countries, and makes it more obvious that it is everyone’s problem. However, it also helps to fuel the xenophobia towards westerners in China.

    As I said before, I do not object to people using Covid-19. If you prefer to use it, then that is fine. I reserve the right to use it myself as well. In fact, I would likely use it in formal correspondence. And no, I do not require> that “Wuhan be included in the name. What I do not agree with is

    Changing the term does much to mitigate xenophobia towards Asians in western countries. (It doesn’t)
    there is a “sniffing” of prejudice if the geographical term “Wuhan” is used colloquially to refer to the disease or the virus. (Months before “Covid-19” was invented, an array of terms were already being used in relevant regions and they are “stuck” already. People in Hong Kong, Taiwan, probably Singapore too (and indeed within Mainland China itself as well) will use other terms colloquially). They will not use Covid-19 in daily speech.

    There is so much more to discuss about this virus and pandemic than the name, which I hope can be examined.

    Liked by 1 person


  61. The Information Officer spokesman for the Foreign Ministry of the PRC (Zhao Lijian 赵立坚) has been tweeting several times daily about the conspiracy theory that the current novel coronavirus was created in the US and brought to Wuhan by the US Army. You can scroll through his tweet page and find a couple dozen references.

    He is still doing this and he has been quoted in a host of other media. It has taken hold in the PRC and has spread virally (as it were) throughout the PRC. If you need more references about this spread of this conspiracy theory, I can look for more links.

    Like


  62. I’m really concerned about parents of young children (ages 6 to14) who are in a terrible bind because of school closures to reduce the spread of the virus.

    I understand why governments decided to close schools, but having kids in school allows many parents (particularly single parents) to work their job (or jobs) to keep food on the table and a roof over the family’s head.

    Government officials are still making decisions like this is the 1918 Influenza pandemic. There seems to be an assumption that an adult is at home and available 24/7. That isn’t necessarily true in 2020 America.

    Many two-income households were already one paycheck away from serious hardship. COVID-19 just opened that unwelcome door.

    The social, political and economic fallout from COVID-19 could be far more serious than the mortality rate.

    Liked by 2 people


  63. @ gro jo

    Deleted three comments for gratuitous name-calling.

    Like


  64. @ Jefe

    You keep saying “changed the term.” WHO did not change the term, because what you’re referring to was never official. Even before WHO established the official term, they worked to discourage the media’s use of terminology that contained geographical identifiers.

    “Using the “Some of my best friends are black” argument to illustrate, it would be like saying that objection with the argument relates to the purpose of coining a new term — to reduce anti-Muslim sentiment, and say this to someone who himself is Muslim. Yeah, some Muslims are black and some blacks are Muslim, but it is wrong to use this as a reason. It just doesn’t make much sense.”

    Actually, your stance on this issue is clearly based on Hong Kong versus PRC.

    “if it were designed to reduce xenophobia towards Asians in western countries”

    I never said it was only for Asians in western countries.

    “That was not the primary purpose of that name change (despite what WHO stated represents their guidelines – their guidelines mentioned that it included a requirement to remove geographical references, which is something else)”

    The requirement to refrain from using geographical references was established in part to avoid stigmatizing specific populations or communities. Again, from the WHO article I quoted above:

    “We’ve seen certain disease names provoke a backlash against members of particular religious or ethnic communities”

    https://www.who.int/mediacentre/news/notes/2015/naming-new-diseases/en/

    The CDC agrees:

    “On Tuesday, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Dr. Robert Redfield, agreed when questioned by Rep. Lois Frankel, D-Fla., at a House hearing that it was ‘absolutely wrong and inappropriate’ to use the term ‘Chinese coronavirus.’”

    https://www.nbcnews.com/news/asian-america/more-200-civil-rights-groups-demand-congress-publicly-reject-coronavirus-n1158116

    From the same article:

    “Rep. Judy Chu, D-Calif., the chair of the caucus, says she ‘commends’ the groups for speaking out. ‘Despite warnings from health experts and government officials’ to avoid labeling the virus by country or ethnicity, members of the GOP have continued to do so, Chu said. Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., used the term ‘Wuhan virus’ as recently as Thursday.

    “‘It’s been especially appalling to see this rhetoric coming from President Trump and House Republican leader McCarthy, who should be working to bring our country together during this public health crisis rather than stoking xenophobia and fear,’ she said. ‘If Republicans will not listen to the experts, perhaps they can understand the experiences of those impacted.’”

    Of course the name terminology alone will not prevent discrimination. But it should tell you something that the people in the USA insisting on using “Wuhan virus” or “Chinese coronavirus” are conservative racists and xenophobes.

    “What does, however, reduce some of the xenophobia in the USA and other western countries is to see some high profile celebrities, athletes or government leaders and officials contracting the virus. Tom Hanks and his wife contracting the virus, the Utah Jazz NBA players, Sophie Grégoire Trudeau of Canada, UK Health minister Nadine Dorries, etc. contracting the virus and dealing with it helps mitigate the xenophobia towards Asians in western countries, and makes it more obvious that it is everyone’s problem.”

    Or it could increase xenophobia as Asians are blamed for beloved celebrities catching the disease.

    “People in Hong Kong, Taiwan, probably Singapore too (and indeed within Mainland China itself as well) will use other terms colloquially). They will not use Covid-19 in daily speech.”

    That has no bearing on efforts elsewhere in the world to encourage use of the official term.

    Like


  65. jefe,
    Lijian Zhao 赵立坚 (@zlj517) March 12, 2020 was hired for his sharp tongue. He is giving the US a taste of it’s medicine. Note that he is addressing a crowd on Twitter not Sina Weibo. The article he points to is from Global Research not Global Times, written by Larry Romanoff. Your eyes deceived you, assuming that you weren’t lying on purpose.
    Solitaire, I don’t care what you feel about jefe or you opinions on this or any other matter. When you or anybody here write the truth, you will be praised by me like it or not.

    Like


  66. Hi solitaire,

    You know I basically agree with most of what you say. It is really about the two points I summarized above, and they were addressing what munubatu said more than you.

    When we have this discussion, we are creating more tiny pieces of imaginary disagreement which are not worth arguing about, eg,

    I never said it was only for Asians in western countries.

    Neither did I.

    You did bring up the issue of Asians in western countries and addressed that reference. That does not mean that it only refers to that – for you or for me.

    And I have stated multiple times that I did not object to the use of the term “Covid-19” and I may use it myself in specific situations. My main point about that is that that specific term is not normally translated into Chinese language as anything resembling “Covid-19” although it maybe included in parentheses (Covid-19), it is not normally what is used colloquially (and not just in Hong Kong – I really don’t think people use that term in the Mainland or in Taiwan or in other places where it got an early foothold). And English is widespread in Singapore and Hong Kong too. Failure to use “Covid-19” is not viewed as having any kind of prejudice.

    I am fully aware of the WHO’s standpoint on it and I watched the speech about that.

    I need to do more research on the situation in other countries. I really would like to find out what they use in S. Korea. Maybe I will ask some people.

    There are many other issues about this pandemic other than the name itself that are a gazillion times more serious. I was disappointed that the WHO expended so much time on that name when the epidemic was already spinning out of control.

    Like


  67. US summons Chinese ambassador over ‘dangerous and ridiculous’ coronavirus conspiracy theory
    https://www.hongkongfp.com/2020/03/16/us-summons-chinese-ambassador-dangerous-ridiculous-coronavirus-conspiracy-theory/

    Soon after I posted the reference to Zhao Li-jian’s tweets, this news was reported today by AFP. Zhao has not only been spreading this information on twitter, but on a variety of Chinese language and English platforms. It has gained a lot of traction both within and outside the PRC.

    This has been a topic of discussion in Hong Kong for the past couple days about how this Foreign ministry official has been spreading this information.

    The United States on Friday summoned China’s ambassador after a senior official in Beijing tweeted the “ridiculous” suggestion that the US military started the COVID-19 pandemic, the State Department said.

    Like


  68. This virus is connected to 5G technology. Most people don’t realize this is on a huge scale. Check out this article:
    https://www.lewrockwell.com/2020/03/jon-rappoport/5g-and-the-china-epidemic/

    Like


  69. Personally? I don’t think the relentless repetition of ‘wet market’ and the eating of bats etc etc when they first started talking about covid-19 in american msm will ever go away… Which could be how the chinese govt blah blah blah

    Like


  70. @Kushite Prince.

    I wouldn’t trust anything Lew Rockwell writes. It is a xenophobic and racist right wing blog.

    It think the Cornavirus is a black swan event.

    The number of cases increased by 17,000 world wide over a 24 hour period. The numbers will expand expontionally over the next couple of weeks as more test kits become available.

    I agree with Afrofems assessment up thread that the economic and socio fallout will be catastrophic.

    Like


  71. Thank for informations

    Like


  72. “[NYC] School Chancellor Richard A. Carranza said that [public schools] would remain open despite the risk and that closures would be considered only as a “last resort.”

    That “last resort” came pretty quickly. All public schools in New York City are closed.

    Many schools in Washington state and California are already closed. Families who use the free and reduced price meal programs still have the option of getting school meals as take-out.

    According to NBC News on 3-10-20:

    “To help make it easier for states to operate their school meals programs during the coronavirus outbreak, the USDA is accepting waiver requests — so far approved for Washington state and California — that will allow students to get their meals from a designated site, such as their local school or another off-campus location, then take it home.

    Normally, students who participate in free or reduced-price meals can’t take their meals to go, but concerns over coronavirus spread in confined spaces have led officials to reevaluate.”

    https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/coronavirus-closing-more-schools-what-happens-students-who-depend-school-n1154181

    A more recent report (3-13-20) from NBC indicated that other states are also using USDA waivers to continue serving breakfast and lunch to low-income children.

    https://www.nbcnews.com/news/education/why-new-york-s-public-schools-remain-open-coronavirus-outbreak-n1158086

    Like


  73. Also closed are bars, restaurants and coffee houses in many cities and states.

    Liked by 1 person


  74. There are 335 confirmed cases in California with some cities in the Bay area being told to shelter in place.

    There are 29 cases within L.A. city. The rest of these are cities that surround L.A. area north of Orange county.

    Alhambra 2
    Arcadia 1
    Beverly Hills 1
    Boyle Heights 5
    Carson 1
    Culver City 2
    Diamond Bar 2
    Encino 3
    Gardena 1
    Glendale 2
    Glendora 1
    Granada Hills 3
    Inglewood 2
    Koreatown 1
    La Mirada 2
    Lancaster 1
    Long Beach 5
    Manhattan Beach 3
    Melrose 2
    Northridge 1
    Pasadena 2
    San Dimas 1
    San Pedro 1
    Santa Clarita and Stevenson Ranch 3
    Santa Monica 1
    Sherman Oaks 2
    Silver Lake 1
    South Pasadena 1
    Tarzana 5
    Torrance 2
    Venice 1
    West Adams 1
    West Hills 3

    There are an additional 6o cases south of Los Angeles in Orange and San Diego counties.

    The virus seems to be evenly spread throughout the Southern California area. These are the beginning of community spread.

    Like


  75. Trump allowing planes from infected countries to land here was either the single dumbest thing he’s ever allowed, or the single most slithery thing he could pull to try and curtail population numbers. Community Spread was inevitable.

    And I’m a little wary of Dr. Fauci when he said “we must embrace the private sector” during Trump’s National Emergency conference.

    Like


  76. Trump called the Corona Virus the “Chinese Virus.” A more apt name for this pandemic should be Trump Virus.

    Liked by 1 person


  77. Heart throb Actor, Idris Alba tested positive for Corona Virus. I see lots of rich celebrities and basketball players get the test while the poors get nothing.

    Like


  78. @ Mary Burrell

    “I see lots of rich celebrities and basketball players get the test while the poors get nothing.”

    Both true and unsurprising.

    Liked by 1 person


  79. Finally African governments are assuming their limitations in dealing with a possible outbreak of this novel coronavirus in their territories and deciding that the only possible way they can manage somehow this challenge is to tightening the control in the entry points. But even that is easier said than done…
    See, edition.cnn.com/2020/03/18/africa/nigeria-coronavirus-travel-restrictions-intl/index.html

    Like


  80. Many people are losing their jobs and having hours cut due to this pandemic. This pandemic is devastating the country. These are some scary times we are living in.

    Liked by 1 person


  81. https://patents.google.com/patent/EP1694829B1/en

    This is a patent for the Corona virus that was filed in France in 2003.

    The idea behind the patent was that test kits and vaccines could be produced for Corona virus type infections. This paticular strain in the patent is related to measles. That could be why younger people who have been immunized against measles don’t get it.

    Some speculation floating around out their is that the Chinese were studying the Corona virus and that the lab animals (rabbits) used for testing were eventual sold at live markets.

    Supposedly their is a bio tech lab in Wuhan.

    Liked by 1 person


  82. This must be the bio tech lab in Wuhan.

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wuhan_Institute_of_Virology

    Liked by 1 person


  83. To Michael Barker:

    “There are 335 confirmed cases in California with some cities in the Bay area being told to shelter in place.”

    All 7 counties of the SF Bay Area now ~ 7 million people. I know of 3 people who have lost their jobs and others who’ve had their hours cut.

    Liked by 1 person


  84. “Some speculation floating around out their is that the Chinese were studying the Corona virus and that the lab animals (rabbits) used for testing were eventual sold at live markets.

    Supposedly their is a bio tech lab in Wuhan.”

    Please tell me you’re joking? This is the stupidest thing I’ve read on this blog since I started reading it. Hell, you’re making jefe, the reckless lying bs artist, sound sane.
    Why would anybody do something so stupid?
    How did ‘they’ manage to get the rabbits out of the lab? What are the security protocols for the lab? If you’re going to write bullshit, at least make it amusing like this: ” on Wed Mar 11th 2020 at 06:33:50
    untoldstory

    I was told a lady purchased the host bat from a seafood market and used it a masturbation dildo.. That rumor way off….”

    Like


  85. “Some speculation floating around out their is that the Chinese were studying the Corona virus and that the lab animals (rabbits) used for testing were eventual sold at live markets.”

    GroJo Please tell me you’re joking?

    Some Chinese researches have sold test animals at meat markets in the past and have been jailed for it. Google it

    The Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology released a new directive titled: “Instructions on strengthening bio-security management in microbiology labs that handle advanced viruses like the novel coronavirus.”

    Seems China just beefed up the security protocols.
    Hmmm…

    Chinese researchers Botao Xiao and Lei Xiao, wrote: “We screened the area around the seafood market and identified two laboratories conducting research on bat coronavirus.

    “Within 280 meters of the market, there was the Wuhan Center for Disease Control & Prevention, which hosted animals in laboratories for research purposes, one of which was specialized in pathogens collection and identification.

    “They were only 280 metres from the seafood market and the WHCDC was also adjacent to the Union Hospital where the first group of doctors were infected during this epidemic”.

    Another well-known journalist, Chau Sze Tat (仇 思達) in a video from the 16 February 2020 outlined the Covid-19 outbreak.

    He cites an article written by two professors, one from Guangzhou’s South China University of Technology and one from Wuhan University of Science and Technology. They claim the source of the outbreak is to be found in the CDC, a Wuhan research center, where experiments with bats would have infected the researchers and some infected bats would have fled the center.

    “Chau Sze Tat doubts that another center will be introduced in the search for the initial outbreak to ward off suspicions on the more famous and delicate P4. He cites other reports, officially released and then denied, that link the virus outbreak to people linked to a research center in Wuhan.”

    “The hypothesis that the virus escaped from the laboratory was first expressed by the well-known journalist Siu Yeuk (Yuk) Yuen (蕭 若 元), in a video dated January 30, 2020. The video was also on Youtube, but has been deleted; is still present on Facebook (see here). I don’t know if it will disappear soon.”

    “According to Siu, in October a Wuhan laboratory (from the acronym P4), after collecting various samples from local hospitals, found a new type of coronavirus in the body of an elderly person. Once the authorities were notified, they would have asked for a more detailed scientific report which was delivered on 26 November. On November 30 the news begins to circulate that there is a dangerous new virus.”

    https://asiatimes.com/2020/02/covid-19-may-be-man-made-claims-taiwan-scholar/

    Now a professor in etiology at the National Taiwan University has claimed the highly infectious virus could be “synthetic” in nature, or man-made.

    “Researchers likely synthesized the Covid-19, although more studies are needed to be certain,” NTU professor Fang Chi-tai told a forum on disease control and prevention in Taipei held by the Taiwan Public Health Association earlier this month.”

    “During his presentation, Fang outlined several hypotheses raised by Taiwanese and overseas researchers, including the probability that the virus was “man-made” and was leaked from the Wuhan Institute of Virology due to gross mismanagement.”

    “Fang said the Wuhan facility’s biosafety level-4 laboratory was used to store, handle and research samples of SARS, Ebola and other deadly infectious viruses.”

    “Given China’s poor track record of lab safety management, including a leakage of the SARS virus at a state lab in 2004, it is possible that a virus escaped from the Wuhan facility and resulted in the epidemic,” Fang was quoted by Taiwan’s Central News Agency and the Taipei Times as saying. ”

    “He added that analyses of the Covid-19 virus have shown that it had a 96% genetic similarity with an RaTG13 bat virus also stored at the institute, and that the Covid-19 could be “manufactured” by modifying the RaTG13 virus.”

    “Fang also revealed that French researchers had discovered four more amino acids in the gene sequence of Covid-19 than other known coronaviruses, which could be added artificially to make the viral transmission easier.” italics mine

    Speaking of the French that points back to the Patent link I first posted up thread. The patent was developed the Pasteur Institute.
    https://www.pasteur.fr/en/press-area/press-documents/institut-pasteur-sequences-whole-genome-wuhan-coronavirus-2019-ncov

    They were the first to solve the gnome sequencing for this coranavirus strain. They have an affiliate in Shanghai with direct links to the Wahun Institute of Virology.

    http://english.shanghaipasteur.cas.cn/Partnerships2016/

    I don’t think this is some complicated conspiracy, nor secret bio weapons lab or that the virus came from eating bats,snakes or ant eatters as has been speculated.

    I think it was human error. Whether the virus was man made or collected for research and then accidentally released is incidental. The official story is that this virus was a natural mutation from wild life.

    There seems to be a lot of coincidence in regards to the origins of the virus and not all journalists and researchers are supporting the official version.

    Like


  86. Boeing machinists in Metro Seattle are pretty angry that the company is not doing what it can to make the workplace safe or offering workers time off with pay. In a Seattle Times article today, workers described the situation:

    “A total of 14 Boeing employees in the Puget Sound region are now confirmed to have the virus, most of them in Everett [29 miles north of Seattle]. And even though that manufacturing complex covers 1,000 acres with as many as 200 separate buildings, including the largest by volume in the world, it isn’t big enough for some people on site to feel safe from the virus.

    One employee on the 777 assembly line described how an ambulance arrived earlier this week and medical responders wearing the now-routine protective gear of hospital smocks, masks and goggles took away a sick worker. He said the people who worked nearby were left in position — contradicting Boeing’s own guidelines that call for anyone suspected to have been exposed to be sent home and quarantined.

    […]

    Another employee who works on assembly of the new 777X noted that workers commute to the Everett plant from all over the region — from Puyallup [55 miles] to the south, Arlington [13 miles ] to the north, Gold Bar [35 miles] to the east and Whidbey Island [30 miles] to the west — and so “the exposures Boeing is sending people out with could shoot this thing far and wide.”

    https://www.seattletimes.com/business/boeing-aerospace/worry-over-coronavirus-grows-among-boeing-factory-workforce/

    Boeing has been in hot water of its own making for nearly a year. COVID-19 turns the temperature up a dozen notches.

    Liked by 1 person


  87. Since conspiracy theories are in vogue, let me add this video too where US responsibility is posited for the crisis. It’s all suppositions so take from it what you will. Has NYT rehired Judith Miller?
    (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B-1FjTNbQqU&feature=youtu.be)

    Like


  88. Michael Barker, your clarifications are as clear as mud. “Some Chinese researches(sic) have sold test animals at meat markets in the past and have been jailed for it. Google it”.
    Why? You’re the ‘expert’, make the links you found available to the rest of us, otherwise, your “Google it” sounds like another way of saying “go to hell”.

    ““Given China’s poor track record of lab safety management, including a leakage of the SARS virus at a state lab in 2004, it is possible that a virus escaped from the Wuhan facility and resulted in the epidemic,” Fang was quoted by Taiwan’s Central News Agency and the Taipei Times as saying. ””

    This is hilarious, China has no monopoly on poor lab safety management, and Taiwan is hardly a source for objective reporting on the PRC.
    Taiwan was willing to let a murderer walk free than cooperate with anything they felt would give the CCP an advantage over them. That’s the nature of politics.
    All of the stuff you wrote was pure speculation. You inspired me to contribute to that trend with the link I posted above.

    Like


  89. Here is a story that talks about Chinese researches selling lab animals. The stories are coming from pro Trump papers here in the U.S. so it could be propaganda but usually where there is make there is fire. What is true is that Chinese labs have had breaches before so it is plausible.

    https://www.dailywire.com/news/report-suggests-that-details-point-to-coronavirus-coming-from-chinese-lab

    The world scientific community generally supports the idea that this originated organically in the wild. Now some of that might be political posturing so that their access isn’t denied in China. A good example of the that is the WHO and how they tip toed around China originally denying and cover up the outbreak in its infancy.

    Asian Journalists who are not pro China are going to write things critical and will skeptical. But that doesn’t mean we should disregard their opinions.

    The French angel I wrote about came from a discussion I had with a French niece who lives in Strasbourg. The alternative media their is pushing hard the Pastuer Institute and its links to Wahue Viral institute. The links she sent me are all in French. Not sure I can post non English links on this blog.

    Btw Strausburg is coping hard with the virus. Hospitals are full and triage currently is focused on people between 50 and 75 for hospital beds. If you are older then 75 you have to stay at home. They don’t know real infection rate as they don’t have enough test kits. Not enough hand gloves, face masks or ventilators.

    Like


  90. Edit. Where there is smoke there is fire

    Like


  91. @ munubantu

    Just saw a Bloomberg article with an interactive map of the world that shows confirmed cases and deaths as of 3-19-20. All of the countries surrounding Mozambique are reporting COVID-19 cases. Mozambique is grayed out and non-responsive.

    https://www.bloomberg.com/graphics/2020-wuhan-novel-coronavirus-outbreak/

    What facts on the ground are you aware of in Mozambique at this point in time? How are you holding up?

    Like


  92. @GroJo

    Here is a YouTube link that identifies the Chinese researcher who was jailed for the selling of lab animals.

    (https://youtu.be/wX3m5BmRkFk)

    Btw your YouTube link that you posted is set to private so it can’t be viewed.

    Like


  93. @ Afrofem

    The official position of the Mozambican Government has been that we haven’t yet a single case of a coronavirus carrier. But they have tighten measures to restrict public activities and made a campaign to raise the awareness in the general population against this disease. Travel to and out of the country is also restricted. Everybody is supposed to act as if we have already the disease in our midst.
    In the past 10 days the President made two main public announcements. The last one was yesterday (Friday, 20/3/2020). In the earlier one it was said, among others things, that gatherings with more than 300 people were not allowed. In the last one that number fell to 50. Also in the last one it was announced that the school system will be closed beginning next Monday. Protocols were enhanced regarding the functioning of some public spaces. For example, now is mandatory to have hand sanitizers at the entry of large public buildings
    My take on all this is that we have already probably some carriers of the disease although not many yet, otherwise we could have seen already signs of that (outside the official narrative). And I suspect that the Government wants to hide that in order to prevent panic in the general population.
    My suspicions regarding the true number of cases is based on the fact that the number of clinical tests done until now vis-a-vis this disease, is very low (a couple of dozens related to people entering the country mainly through airports) and, therefore, given the nature of disease, probably “healthy” carriers likely remain out there.
    The worldwide coronavirus outbreak is revealing some fundamental weaknesses of the kind of development Mozambique is following to date.
    For example, the general apathy regarding a true development of our agriculture, particularly in the southern region of the country, now creates a situation where many imported items – even basic food items! – are in danger of become scarce, because our exchanges with South Africa are being tightened.
    Also the limited financial resources available will impact in how many tests can realistically be done to improve the accuracy of the situation’s assessment by the country’s authorities. Also the means our hospitals need to cope with a probable increase in sick people will be a challenge. Not to say the limited number of health personnel we have.
    We are really entering true “times of sorrow” (as summarized by a “Pandora native” in the fictional movie “Avatar”).
    “Times of sorrow, deep sorrow…”

    Like


  94. @ munubantu

    I agree that we are entering “times of sorrow”. We are also entering times of extreme clarity. Flaws in a lot of global macro systems (such as finance, trade, public health and politics) will be revealed to everyone. I hope those revelations will spur much needed reform, and in some cases, transformation of those systems. Those systems should serve the mass of humanity instead of just a few.

    One thing I suspect is a deliberate undercount of reported cases and rate of mortality. Who knows if we will ever know the true magnitude of the COVID-19 pandemic?

    Munubantu, I hope you and your extended family stay safe and healthy.

    Liked by 1 person


  95. Michael Barker, thanks for the laugh. As amusing as your ‘evidence’ is I remain skeptical as to its veracity. The Youtube clip you linked to was provided courtesy of Zooming In program, a news outlet of New Tang Dynasty a/k/a Falun Gong (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Tang_Dynasty_Television), an outfit banned by the CCP as “An evil cult”.
    Not being Chinese, I can’t say how ‘evil’ they are but I know bs when I see it. I’m skeptical of the story they reported in that clip since I don’t know Chinese and like our ‘friend’ jefe, they are reckless liars. People have been executed for stealing a lot less than “millions of dollars” from the State, so I find a 12 years jail sentence incredibly lenient for a crime that put the health of the Chinese nation at risk.
    ” on Fri Mar 20th 2020 at 20:17:10
    Michael Barker

    Edit. Where there is smoke there is fire”
    “Here is a story that talks about Chinese researches selling lab animals. The stories are coming from pro Trump papers here in the U.S. so it could be propaganda but usually where there is make there is fire. What is true is that Chinese labs have had breaches before so it is plausible.

    https://www.dailywire.com/news/report-suggests-that-details-point-to-coronavirus-coming-from-chinese-lab

    The world scientific community generally supports the idea that this originated organically in the wild. Now some of that might be political posturing so that their access isn’t denied in China. A good example of the that is the WHO and how they tip toed around China originally denying and cover up the outbreak in its infancy.”
    The authorities in Wuhan failed to adequately respond to the outbreak. I read that they have been replaced by more competent people. Claiming ” China originally denying and cover up the outbreak in its infancy.” is hyperbole. The central government did everything in its power to stem the outbreak and the latest news out of China is that they succeeded.
    The article you provided to buttress your opinion, refutes it. I’m not surprised that the pro-China propaganda I linked to disappeared. Youtube is not an equal opportunity liar. Pro-US lies good Pro-PRC lies bad, and so it goes.

    Like


  96. @ Afrofem

    Munubantu, I hope you and your extended family stay safe and healthy.

    Many thanks. I hope the same for you and yours.
    I’ve been lurking and sometimes contributing in this space that Abagond created for years. It has been a very interesting experience. The different characters contributing here have been, in different ways, a source of reflections and knowledge for me. As somebody said, Abagond invited all us for dinner and after a while it is like we know each other a little bit and care somehow about others. I remember my thoughts when, a few years ago, the news came that a female contributor of this forum died. One thought was “we are not going to read from her anymore, not benefiting from her as a source of wisdom… anymore, what a loss”. So, it has been a sobering experience, at times.
    In these difficult times I read with awe and pain your messages about the evolving situation in some cities and states of your country. It is like that happened next door of my home. And in my thoughts it comes with a warning, that probably, in a not so distant future this will certainly hit closer to me. And better if I’m ready!
    Many thanks again. Stay safe!
    For other lurkers and contributors: I hope them luck in these difficult times, times when, more than in other circumstances, we feel the deep of our shared humanity.

    Like


  97. Munubantu wrote:

    “As somebody said, Abagond invited all us for dinner and after a while it is like we know each other a little bit and care somehow about others.”

    Indeed.

    At the risk of sounding too paranoid, I would like to suggest that the regular commentators not let too long go between comments, even at times when they might not normally have anything to say.

    Also, if any former regulars are out there lurking, please consider posting just to check in.

    Liked by 1 person


  98. To Solitaire point about those of us checking I will say that for the moment my family is well.

    The situation in California is “shelter in place” and non essential business are to shut down for two weeks. I suspect that will be extended considerably longer.

    As a contractor my business is considered “essential” at the moment so I can work. My wife is an RN so she will have some job security for a long time.

    Our safety meeting now have shifted from “safe work practices” to “not getting the virus”. Everyone wears face masks and gloves.

    Two of my workers have chosen to stay at home and I respect that.

    To all of my friends here be safe and I hope you all get through this.

    Like


  99. @ Solitaire

    Agreed and well said.

    Like


  100. People need to keep their a$$es in the house. Do the right thing and don’t infect others especially the most vulnerable with underlying health issues and immuno suppressed systems. People need to be considerate doing grocery shopping and not hoard items. This crisis is bringing out the worst in human society.

    Like


  101. On Friday (3-20-20), I went to a regional grocery store whose hours are normally 6am to midnight. I arrived at 6:35am. When I got to the door, there was a sign announcing a change of hours to 7am to 10pm.

    I went back to my car to stay warm. Still, I had to get out and stand with the gathering crowd from 6:50 to 7am. When they opened the doors, we all rushed to the four pallets stacked high with toilet paper and paper towels. A worker stood by to remind us that there were purchase limits on:

    toilet paper 1pkg of 24 rolls

    paper towels 1pkg of 6 rolls

    bread 2 loaves

    eggs 2 dozen

    milk 2 gallons

    Other than the paper product pallets at the entrance, the paper goods aisle and cleaning supplies aisle were pretty bare. By 7:30am, the parking lot was two-thirds full and the store aisles bustling. I even snagged a scarce thermometer. Yay!

    I went to another store after leaving and they also changed their opening hours from 6am to 8am. However, there were no bare shelves or product limits there.

    The first store was taken over by Kroger six years ago with a result of lowered quality and service. The second store is a high-end local natural foods cooperative.

    P.S. Now everyone is waiting to find out if the Governor Inslee will issue a more drastic “shelter in place” aka “lockdown” order for the state like California, New York State, New Jersey, Illinois and Florida have done.

    Like


  102. @ Mary Burrell

    “This crisis is bringing out the worst in human society”

    The worst and the best. Some people in my local area are:

    ★ forming food drives for school children and the homeless

    ★ doing yard care for older neighbors

    ★ volunteering to sew face masks

    ★ local distilleries are switching production from whiskey to hand sanitizer

    ★ making a point of ordering takeout from local restaurants to help keep them open during this difficult period.

    ★ helping out with other people’s kids while they are home from school.

    Crisis can bring opportunity. Crisis also show people what they are capable of and reveals the true nature of others. Sometimes that is inspiring, sometimes frightening. Always human.

    Liked by 2 people


  103. In L.A. stores hours have been cut back but what is done a little differently is that senior citizens are allowed in for the first opening hour and then everybody else later.

    Food and paper shortages along with the same rationing that Afrofem mentions.

    Hospitals here are preparing for an influx of newly infected. My RN wife says the ICU floor she works is under a lot of tension. Hospitals can’t release numbers of how many patients are infected. Family members are no longer allowed in her hospital. Not sure if that is across the state.

    Part of the tension is the protocols in handling coronavirus patients changes every few days.

    Currently nurses are allowed to enter a hospital room in hazmat three times an hour. It takes 20 minutes to suit up and another 15 minutes to decontaminate. Nurses have to share hazmat suits because they don’t have enough. So you have to trust that the previous nurse decontaminated the suit correctly. That uncertainty cause stress.

    If a nurse breaks protocol and are reported they can loose their license. Yesterday a doctor requested a nurse to break protocol and reenter the room. The nurse refused. That created other nurses to by pass the chain of command to get clarification. Management showed up and said that nurses can break protocol to keep patients alive.

    Hospitals are trying to prepare but there is some confusion on how to proceed. This uncertainty creates great tension on the floor.

    Like


  104. “Family members are no longer allowed in her hospital…nurses can break protocol to keep patients alive….”

    That is scary stuff!

    On a related note:

    US hospitals have been so careless with epidemic contingency plans, training and materials for a long time. It is unsurprising we have this level of confusion and equipment scarcity.

    In 2017, investigative site, ProPublica, ran an exhaustive article on hospital waste. Elizabeth McClellan, head of a group called Partners for World Health, showed the level of waste in her warehouse:

    “McLellan grabs a bag from a haphazard, 10-foot mound of boxes and bulging sacks waiting to be sorted. Its contents, she says, came from a single room in a hospital’s intensive care unit.

    She dumps the bag out onto a table like a kid pouring out a pillowcase full of Halloween candy. The stuff rains down into a pile that’s three square feet: Handfuls of unopened and unexpired sterile needles, two dozen sterile syringes, packets of alcohol and antiseptic pads, IV tubing; a roll of tape that’s never been used, a bag of IV solution that expires in September 2018, 14 saline flushes that expire in 2019, an unopened package of suction catheters and a pulse oximeter adapter.

    “This is normal,” she said. “This is every hospital.”

    https://www.propublica.org/article/what-hospitals-waste

    Liked by 1 person


  105. Despite the wording of the link address, the article clarifies that these are divisions which already existed, just becoming more glaring in this crisis:

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-03-21/covid-19-divides-u-s-society-by-race-class-and-age

    Like


  106. The Associated Press is running a continuing series of stories called “One Good Thing” about acts of kindness during the pandemic. I recommend reading them periodically to balance out the bad news.

    Here is one:

    https://apnews.com/bda9c1ed0f8e10742ad2feabb2d52aa2

    Like


  107. @ Michael Barker

    “In L.A. stores hours have been cut back but what is done a little differently is that senior citizens are allowed in for the first opening hour and then everybody else later.”

    I’ve seen that being done elsewhere as well. Not only does it give senior citizens the first chance at rationed goods, but it also means the stores are at their cleanest during senior shopping.

    In my hometown, the grocery store (there’s only one) is having senior citizen shopping from noon to two, which isn’t as good. My parents told me that according to store staff, everything they needed had been stripped from the shelves 15 minutes after opening. So the next morning my octogenarian father went to the store before it opened and stood in line waiting to get in, which he shouldn’t be doing.

    I’ve been lecturing them via text messages the last two days about how they need to accept the offers of family and neighbors to do their shopping for them. It’s hard to be so far away.

    Like


  108. This is a blog post about the possible exponential increase in infections if social distancing is not adhered too.

    The math doesn’t lie.

    View at Medium.com

    Like


  109. I stumbled across this website and found the table of confirmed cases by countries (scroll down a bit) to be more informative than the world maps I’ve seen so far:

    https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/

    It’s being updated daily.

    Breakdown of U.S. by states here:

    https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/us/

    Like


  110. This is hell, now it’s stay at home, well i have a ‘letter of marque’ to travel due to my profession.

    Like


  111. @ Solitaire

    Thanks for these resources.

    Seeing the huge number of cases in New York State shows why Gov. Cuomo was so livid at reports of people crowding into city parks.

    Like


  112. WA State Gov. Inslee issued a “Stay Home, Stay Safe” order yesterday (3-23-20). All Washington residents are urged to stay home except for outdoor exercise (not in groups!).

    Exempt from this order are “Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers”. That long list can be found at:

    (https://coronavirus.wa.gov/sites/default/files/2020-03/EssentialCriticalInfrastructureWorkers.pdf)

    Included on the list of essential workers are, “Workers supporting cannabis retail and dietary supplement retail”. Cannabis (Marijuana) shops are entirely take-out stores, not like bars where people tend to linger for hours. The shops in my neighborhood are some of the few businesses open to the public now.

    Life is strange….

    Liked by 1 person


  113. For a chilling, yet fictional, take on COVID-19 read Jack London’s 1910 story: http://www.self.gutenberg.org/articles/The_Unparalleled_Invasion.

    Liked by 1 person


  114. New York has over half the known covid-19 cases in the US, but it looks like Florida might be in much deeper trouble:

    https://healthweather.us/

    Liked by 1 person


  115. De Santis will put Florida on the map for Covid19.

    Like


  116. omg this 5g thread

    Like


  117. I don’t think this strain of coronavirus is man made but I do think that the Wuhan lab was studying the coronavirus and that somehow there was a breach.

    This article dated 2017 discusses the Wuhan lab but is updated to state that there is no evidence of a breach.

    These kinds of labs are not common on the planet so the coincidence here seems strong to me.

    What are the odds that a world wide pandemic from the “wild’ occurs within close vicinity of a lab built to study such a virus ?

    https://www.nature.com/news/inside-the-chinese-lab-poised-to-study-world-s-most-dangerous-pathogens-1.21487

    Like


  118. @ Michael Barker

    I don’t think this strain of coronavirus is man made but I do think that the Wuhan lab was studying the coronavirus and that somehow there was a breach.

    If somebody helped, even if unconsciously, this dangerous creature to colonize human populations, then I would forgive them only if they bring now an antidote… and fast, for God’s sake! We are dying, all over the World!

    Like


  119. “Calls to New York City’s 911 medical services hit their highest levels since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, according to emergency workers’ unions, stretching staffs that have already seen their own ranks thinned by coronavirus infections.”

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-03-25/-most-since-9-11-nyc-responders-deluged-with-emergency-calls

    Like


  120. @ MJB

    “What are the odds that a world wide pandemic from the ‘wild’ occurs within close vicinity of a lab built to study such a virus ?”

    I’m 50/50 about it. Seems like there also are optimal conditions in the Wuhan region for a natural evolution and species jump.

    I’m not going to rule out a lab mishap, though.

    I even think it’s possible we may eventually find out this virus didn’t originate in Wuhan after all, just like HIV now appears to have been circulating among humans in a small way decades before it became an epidemic.

    Liked by 1 person


  121. Grocery shopping during COVID-19 is an adventure in regimentation and scarcity.

    The paper goods aisles are still bare or woefully understocked in most local stores. Ditto for eggs, frozen vegetables, canned beans, pasta and cleaning supplies.

    Many stores have placed “stand here” decals on the floors leading to the cashiers that space out the shoppers in the checkout lines. The cashiers in big corporate grocery stores are visibly overworked and a bit cranky.

    Cashiers and staff in the local natural food co-ops are more relaxed. Management in those stores raised their pay by two bucks an hour for the duration of the crisis.

    Bulk food bins are empty. Bringing your own bags and containers to stores is prohibited.

    The only sweet spot is traffic. With so many people at home, getting around town is a breeze compared to normal Seattle traffic. I guess every cloud has a silver lining.

    Like


  122. @MJB
    “What are the odds that a world wide pandemic from the ‘wild’ occurs within close vicinity of a lab built to study such a virus ?”

    It’s very coincidental. IMO, the virus could be from the lab. Scientists at such labs actually make viruses more dangerous supposedly to test how they could naturally become more virulent. There was a period of time, under Obama, when such research was banned in the US while the ethical considerations were being looked at.

    We also know that viruses have broken containment at Chinese virology labs before. The new virus is about 80% similar to the SARS virus [Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome] responsible for an outbreak back in 2002-2003. Afterwards, in 2004, there was another outbreak in China due to the virus escaping from a virology lab in Beijing.
    https://www.cdc.gov/sars/media/2004-04-30.html

    I have also seen reports that unscrupulous individuals have, in the past, sold the infected animals that are used at the Chinese virology labs at wet markets (for food) instead of disposing of them as required by protocol. If that happened in the case of COVID-19, the wet market in Wuhan could still be part of the story even if the ultimate source of the pathogen is the Wuhan BLS4 Virology Lab.

    Like


  123. This is a source of the 80% figure for similarity between SARS-CoV and the recent SARS-CoV-2 which causes COVID-19.
    (https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.03.07.982264v1.full.pdf)

    The 2019 etiologic agent was identified as a novel coronavirus, 2019-nCoV, and subsequently renamed SARS-CoV-2 2. The new virus has nearly 80% nucleotide identity to the original SARS-CoV and the corresponding CoV disease, COVID-19, has many of the hallmarks of SARS-CoV disease including fever, breathing difficulty, bilateral lung infiltration, and death in the most extreme cases

    Like


  124. I didn’t realize the PDF would be embedded.
    I guess that’s a new feature, ugh.

    Anyway, I had read about someone being arrested in China for selling lab animals for food [unconnected to this outbreak] from an Asian source that I thought to be credible. I was about to post that too but I can’t find the link now.

    Like


  125. @ Origin

    I put the PDF link in parentheses so it would not embed.

    Like


  126. @abagond
    Thanks.

    Like


  127. The Governors of Alabama and Mississippi are not too bright. These red state MAGAts are going to be sitting ducks for this virus.

    Like


  128. 30% of the people of Navajo Nation do not have running water in their homes, which hampers preventive measures against covid-19, already spreading across the Rez.

    This is likely to become a problem on other reservations as well:

    “Native Americans are 19 times more likely than a white household to not have clean, running water.”

    https://www.abqjournal.com/1437880/virus-threatens-navajo-areas-with-limited-water-access.html

    Like


  129. @ Mary

    “The Governors of Alabama and Mississippi are not too bright. These red state MAGAts are going to be sitting ducks for this virus.”

    Florida is going to be a nightmare. Governor DeSantis is blaming New Yorkers instead of closing the damn beaches.

    Liked by 2 people


  130. The Weather Underground site has an interactive map of the USA that shows both confirmed cases of COVID-19 and deaths from the virus at the county level.

    When you look at the US as a whole there is information at the state level. To move from state to county level numbers just click on the state.

    https://www.wunderground.com/wundermap?covid=1&lat=47.61&lon=-122.34&cm_ven=covid-map

    Liked by 1 person


  131. Kentucky is bordered by four states hit hard by COVID-19: Illinois, Indiana, Ohio and Tennessee to the south. A Kentucky resident posted a graph on Twitter that compares the difference between Kentucky’s response in the early days of the pandemic to Tennessee’s response:

    When you click on the graph, there are descriptions of specific actions each governor took along with the dates the actions were taken. Acting early and decisively really made a big difference in lowering the numbers of COVID-19 cases and the mortality rate in Kentucky.

    Like


  132. The graph was created and posted by Stephanie Jolly on Facebook on 3-21-20:

    https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=10107475756386200&id=12904706&refid=52&tn=-R

    Like


  133. Question.

    Are we (the USA) disinfecting the streets, buses, subways, buildings playgrounds, etc like other countries have done and are doing? I have not seen or heard any evidence that we are.

    Liked by 1 person


  134. @Afrofem
    To add to what you were saying about Kentucky’s response, I just saw this:
    https://www.whas11.com/article/news/local/tennessee-travel-limit-gov-andy-beshear-coronavius-covid-19/417-685e666d-b9bc-474c-b5fb-51f60d597555

    Kentucky’s governor limits travel by Kentucky residents to neighboring states which do not have adequate measures.

    Like


  135. CNN Chris Cuomo is positive for COVID19. Hope he recovers. I was today old just learning him and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo are brothers.

    Like


  136. Update

    Ten days ago I wrote about the situation of the novel coronavirus pandemic in Mozambique, where I live. See a message above.
    We were then in the zero stage of the pandemic. Or so it followed from the official numbers.
    Today Mozambique has already 8 confirmed cases, according to the Government of the country. Some quarters dispute that number and suspect a higher one. No dead yet.
    Yesterday the President decreed the state of emergency, to start tomorrow (Wednesday, April, 1st) and to last the whole month of April. He spoke of that emergency as of level three and a step before a complete lock-down.
    The specifics of that measure will be left for the different branches of the Government to define. One thing will be the implementation of a shift work regime in all state’s institutions at all levels. The idea is to reduce the numbers of urban dwellers roaming around at a given time.
    Many people expected more – precisely the lock-down – because they worry that otherwise we are following the horrendous paths of Italy, Spain and now the United States. Others worry about the impacts of these restrictions for the large informal sector that feeds thousands of families in our urban and suburban areas. This sector depends heavily of people moving around, always moving and buying all kinds of things. A complete lock-down will literally kill them! I personally think that a complete lock-down is the only way to go and our Government should have think on schemes of feeding people in need directly like the Government of Rwanda is doing, while they are implementing a lock-down there. Let’s wait what will come from all these developments.

    Like


  137. @ munubantu

    Thanks for the update. I hope the Mozambican government does a better job of caring for their people than the US and Brazilian governments are doing right now.

    Looking forward to future updates.

    Like


  138. @ Origin

    The article you linked to also mentioned a North Carolina county that completely closed a road at the Tennessee state line.

    Restricting people’s movements seem “unAmerican”, but these are not ordinary times.

    Like


  139. Please everyone, take this disease seriously regardless of risk factors. It’s a like a “Russian roulette” illness that can just decide to have a loaded bullet for some people and cut them down.

    The official advice is to stay in as much as possible and avoid crowds (and breathing other people’s exhalations) when you must go out. Use hand sanitizer while out if you have it and wash your hands thoroughly with soap after coming in since you may have touched common areas like shopping carts and door handles. Avoid touching your face and potentially transferring the virus to places where it could gain entry while your hands are potentially contaminated.

    Liked by 1 person


  140. IMO, masks make sense too but in the US they’re being discouraged probably because they want health care workers to have them the limited supplies. In the Asian countries people routinely wear masks when out during epidemics such as this. Their case numbers have generally grown slower than Europe or the USA and that could be a contributing factor.

    Like


  141. @ Origin

    Absolutely, positively, everything you said — especially with reports coming out that researchers now believe a substantial number of people are asymptomatic carriers. We already knew people were contagious right after they caught the virus, before they started evidencing any symptoms (i.e., pre-symptomatic). But now they’re saying another group exists that never gets sick but can spread it. As long as we don’t have widespread testing, we have no real way to know for sure who has it and who doesn’t.

    I’m really curious to find out why certain people have no symptoms, others have very mild symptoms, others have a miserable two weeks of flulike symptons, and others quickly go into critically severe, even fatal, illness. Obviously age and pre-existing conditions play a role, but that doesn’t explain every single death. I hope we eventually find out why the illness acts this way: Are there different strains of varying potency? Do some people have something in their genetic code that the virus latches onto and exploits or disrupts? Obviously if it is the latter, the genetic variance is something that cuts across all races.

    There’s been a lot of talk in the U.S. about protecting our vulnerable populations and letting the rest get back to work, but it seems increasingly clear that we don’t fully have a handle on who all are vulnerable, much less why.

    I just got back today from venturing out to the stores. In three of the four stores I went to, the cashier helping me touched his/her face at least once. They were all young people, so I don’t know if it’s because they feel invincible (even though we now know some young people die from covid-19). Maybe they were just harried and overworked and totally forgot. I watched as one rubbed his finger under his nose, one rubbed her eye, and one wiped her mouth with the palm of her hand (seemingly just out of frustration from a computer problem the cash register was having). And in all three cases they then went on to handle my purchases, debit card or cash, grocery bags, receipts, etc. without sanitizing their hands.

    (For the record, I decided to use a self-service register at the one store which had them, precisely in order to reduce my contact with anyone else. That was the computer which decided to freeze up. Some days you can’t win for losing!)

    If we didn’t have a critical shortage of masks for the hospitals right now, I think wearing a mask would — if nothing else — help people to remember not to touch their face, especially their mouth or nose. It’s a very difficult habit to break, and the mask would serve as a continual reminder.

    Like


  142. @Solitare. I agree with everything you said:
    Obviously age and pre-existing conditions play a role, but that doesn’t explain every single death.

    Yes. Some younger people (even teenagers) have died unexpectedly when they had no known preexisting illness. Some older people have also survived severe illness (IIRC a 98 y.o in Italy). It’s more threatening to people who already have a serious chronic disease or are immunocompromised but most diseases are. What’s surprising is the occurrence of seemingly random deaths or severe illness among younger, healthy people. There have been cases where people seem to be recovering then, boom, they’re gone. So I think it’s prudent to avoid an encounter with the SARS-Cov-2 virus if we possibly can.

    Like


  143. I always had doubts about the rationale in the suggestion of use masks only if you are sick already. It seems that this idea is changing too. Look:
    https://edition.cnn.com/2020/03/31/health/coronavirus-masks-experts-debate/index.html

    Like


  144. on Fri Apr 3rd 2020 at 00:34:47 Michael Barker

    Scarfs are as good as masks because the shielding helps you not touch your face. That’s more important then if the mask can filter out the virus . You can buy N95 masks in L.A. for five dollars a piece. Or you can get masks that filter out dust particles for around a dollar apiece. You can buy cloth masks that you can wash and wear everyday.

    There is a debate about prioritising N95 masks for first responders and health professionals only because they are in short supply. I am conflicted on the matter. I like the idea of being able to acquire the best masks possible for myself versus making sure health care professionals have what they need.

    Gloves are an important tool as well. Regular surgical gloves are fairly thin and rip easily. It is better to get gloves that thicker and are a minimum of 4mil. “Mechanic” gloves are four mil for example.

    The gloves my workers wear are 8 mil.

    You need to disinfect your gloves just as regularly as you would be disinfecting your hands.

    Avoid public transportation and confined spaces with other people.

    Also wear gloves when using a food cart at the market, public door handles, elevator and atm machines ect.

    Like


  145. Captain Brett Crozier is a hero. He choose to save his sailors. And is being relieved of his duties. Under the Trump administration military officials who are decorated are punished. Perhaps it has something to do with Trump being a coward and having bone spurs.

    Liked by 2 people


  146. Abagond wrote in this blog post: “Covid-19 is at 4,000 dead and counting (as of March 10th 2020).”

    Less than a month later, on April 3, there are 7,000 dead in the U.S. alone.

    The global death total is more than ten times what it was when Abagond wrote this post.

    Like


  147. One more comparison:

    As of March 10, there had been 4,000 deaths total worldwide.

    As of April 3, globally we are averaging over 5,000 deaths per day.

    Like


  148. on Sat Apr 4th 2020 at 15:40:51 Michael Barker

    Regarding the links Origin and I posted. It does appear that some on the left and right or looking into this. But for the moment the mainstream media is ignoring it.

    I also don’t trust China’s numbers. Early modeling was based on what China was releasing and their ability to contain it, so that left the assumption that other countries could contain this as well. The mainstream media isn’t talking about this.

    One Chinese doctor who was one of the doctors who identified this new strain has now gone missing.

    The other country I don’t trust is the Soviet Union. They recently sent a humanitarian load of medical supplies to New York. They are willing to throw their countrymen under the bus propaganda purposes.

    Similarly to China, doctors there are getting arrested and detained for telling the truth.

    Like


  149. Michael Barker is a bs artist. The Soviet Union died an ignominious death three decades ago.
    You absurdly assume that you are better able to determine what’s going on in faraway places!
    I’d be embarrassed to display such hubris based on zero facts. You are not an epidemiologist, even they are struggling with the impact of this virus, so a little more modesty on your part is called for. The same goes for the other ‘geniuses’ on this blog.
    The US media is full of sh*t, they’ve done a great job leading you by the nose. I thought you claimed to be some kind of anarchist and skeptic, is that true? If it is you are doing a poor job of it. Their stupid he said, she said journalism is wrong for dealing with this crisis
    Where’s jefe? At least I expect this sort of nonsense from him.
    I hesitated unleashing Nathan “It’s ok to love China” Rich, a shameless propagandist for the PRC, on the denizens of this blog because I hoped people here would be more rational than the norm. I was wrong so chew on these:
    (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8a8avCFbON4)
    (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kO5EXjFKE7U)
    All the crap you’ve been reading from ‘the free press’ is sour grapes because their system failed miserably.

    Like


  150. It takes only a little bit of research to know that the CCP covered up this outbreak in the beginning, even arresting doctors that were warning colleagues about it. We were even told at first, with the endorsement of the WHO, that there was “no evidence” that the virus can transit from human to human. In this context, it is quite RATIONAL to be skeptical of the CCP’s data.

    However, North Korea has zero cases, which is great news!

    Like


  151. Dr Li Wenliang, who was arrested for raising an alarm about the disease in December, later succumbed to it himself.
    https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-china-51403795

    Like


  152. Another Chinese doctor punished for trying to alert others about the outbreak: Ai Fen.
    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/mar/11/coronavirus-wuhan-doctor-ai-fen-speaks-out-against-authorities

    A doctor in Wuhan has spoken out after seeing several of her colleagues die from the coronavirus, criticising hospital authorities for suppressing early warnings of the outbreak in an interview censors have been trying to erase from the internet.

    In an interview with the Chinese magazine, Renwu, or People, Ai Fen, director of the emergency at Wuhan Central hospital, said she was reprimanded after alerting her superiors and colleagues of a Sars-like virus seen in patients in December.

    Now that the virus has claimed more than 3,000 lives inside China, including four doctors at her hospital, one of which was the whistleblower ophthalmologist Li Wenliang, Ai has joined other critics risking their jobs, as well as detention, to speak out about conditions in Wuhan.

    “If I had known what was to happen, I would not have cared about the reprimand. I would have fucking talked about it to whoever, where ever I could,” she said in the interview.

    Since Tuesday, Ai’s interview has been posted and quickly deleted from Chinese social media sites. Renwu has removed the article and Ai could not be reached over the phone.

    Like


  153. On January 14, 2020 the World Health Organization posted that preliminary indications from Chinese officials was that there was no clear evidence that human to human transmission of the novel coronavirus was occurring. But doctors who were warning colleagues to take protective measures were being muzzled from December so officials had no reason to be genuinely ignorant about the disease’s communicability near the middle of January.

    This isn’t about “love” or hate for any government; I’m not going on a date.
    It’s about what’s credible.

    Liked by 1 person


  154. (Singapore’s ST covering a report by Caixin)
    https://www.straitstimes.com/asia/east-asia/how-early-signs-of-the-coronavirus-were-spotted-spread-and-throttled-in-china

    As early as Dec 27, a Guangzhou-based genomics company had sequenced most of the virus from fluid samples from the lung of a 65-year old deliveryman who worked at the seafood market where many of the first cases emerged. The results showed an alarming similarity to the deadly Sars coronavirus that killed nearly 800 people between 2002 and 2003.

    The results all pointed to a dangerous Sars-like virus.

    That was days before China notified the World Health Organisation (WHO) on Dec 31 about the emergence of an unidentified infectious disease, two weeks before it shared the virus’ genome sequence with the world, and crucially, more than three weeks before Chinese authorities confirmed publicly that the virus was spreading between people.

    On Jan 1, after several batches of genome sequence results had been returned to hospitals and submitted to health authorities, an employee of one genomics company received a phone call from an official at the Hubei Provincial Health Commission, ordering the company to stop testing samples from Wuhan related to the new disease and destroy all existing samples.

    The employee spoke on condition of anonymity, saying the company was told to immediately cease releasing test results and information about the tests, and report any future results to authorities.

    Then on Jan 3, China’s National Health Commission (NHC), the nation’s top health authority, ordered institutions not to publish any information related to the unknown disease, and ordered labs to transfer any samples they had to designated testing institutions, or to destroy them. The order, which Caixin has seen, did not specify any designated testing institutions.

    It was Jan 9 when the Chinese authorities finally announced that a novel coronavirus was behind Wuhan’s viral pneumonia outbreak. Even then, the transmissibility of the virus was downplayed, leaving the public unaware of the imminent danger.

    But I’m sure the CCP is being 100% forthcoming about the number of infections, how many people died, and whether there are still infections popping up after they told everyone to go back to work. Given their stellar track record of transparency on COVID-19, only a person brainwashed by the Western media would have any reason to question anything, lmao.

    Like


  155. on Sun Apr 5th 2020 at 15:05:00 Michael Barker

    Gropro you have over the years shown yourself to be a defender of the PRC. In that regards you are a true believer.

    I’m neither for nor against the PRC. I’m neutral. You call out when nation states do good or bad things.

    Bat meat is not a common food at the Wahun wet markets. For me it’s far more probable a lab technician contracted the virus unknowingly and spread it by walking across the street to the wet market.

    So yes I am questioning the main stream media’s official version.

    If the U.S. had a viral breach here they would be lying about it too and covering it up.

    The French announced that they planned on running vaccine experiments on the West African people before introducing it to their beloved Parisian’s. You know protect white people first. There is a few billion to be made with a vaccine and that’s why the French have a partnership the Wahun viral lab.

    Like


  156. Origin, please quit embarrassing yourself. According to Nathan “It’s ok to love China” Rich, the PRC reported the outbreak to WHO 5-6 days after they became aware of it as opposed to 3 months in the case of SARS.

    “Dr Li Wenliang…Ai Fen.” So what? were they in charge of running the response to the outbreak? No, they were foot soldiers in that struggle, grunts, it’s fine to let the grunts grouse about their sacrifices, but in the scheme of things their complaints don’t give an accurate picture of what’s going on.

    “It takes only a little bit of research to know that the CCP covered up this outbreak in the beginning, even arresting doctors that were warning colleagues about it.” Yes, the fact that you did “little…research” on this topic shows.

    “We were even told at first, with the endorsement of the WHO, that there was “no evidence” that the virus can transit from human to human. In this context, it is quite RATIONAL to be skeptical of the CCP’s data.”
    Oh dear, an outbreak of ‘jefe-itis’ is in evidence in this blatant lie. Pray tell, how could they have possibly known such thing? “jefe-itis” is the disease of telling reckless lies with zero support in facts. You are not ‘rational’, just a liar. No epidemiologist would have made such claim about a disease he/she just encountered. I know it’s ‘fashionable’ to make absurd claims about the PRC, but this one takes the cake.

    You’re just parroting nonsense from ‘Western Media’. You need to explain why the Western nations ended up letting this stuff run riot when they were all aware of the danger months before outbreaks in their own nations.

    The ‘free press’ was full of criticism for the ‘repressive’ methods the PRC applied only to have their nations end up doing the same thing, but much more chaotically.
    As far as repressing underlings who speak out of turn, a number of US doctors were threatened with unemployment and one was actually fired (https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8165129/ER-doctor-fired-criticizing-Washington-state-hospital-lack-preparedness-COVID-19.html).

    This crisis is too grave to engage in the silly bs your and Barker’s comments wallow in. No system is perfect, ‘Westerners’ need to learn humility because their failing is there for all to see. They aren’t the little gods they imagined themselves to be. In this crisis, the Chinese did better than the ‘West’, no amount of sour grapes will make that fact disappear.

    Like


  157. “You absurdly assume that you are better able to determine what’s going on in faraway places!”

    Hmm. You’ve done that in the past. You’ve rarely presented factual information in the form of quotes, links or citations. When called on your allegations, you’ve gone into circular Socratic mode i.e., answering questions with questions or name calling.

    Calling other commenters “liars”, “bs artists” and “propagandists” without clear factual rebuttals marks you as yet another ‘pot calling kettles black’.

    On other threads, you have presented yourself as an expert on Hong Kong politics (as a non-resident of HK), CCP policy (as a non-resident of the PRC) and now the origin of COVID-19 with few credible citations, links or quotes.

    If you are able to rebut the ideas presented, do so. I’m ready to learn from different ideas. Name calling is a bore.

    Like


  158. @gro jo
    Straits Times (Singapore) is Western now.
    Caixin is Western now.
    Renwu is Western now.
    Since I, and presumably the rest of us, can’t speak Mandarin I post the secondary sources in English, genius.

    What an insufferable shill?
    What an intellectually dishonest, bloviating, pathetic waster of characters?
    Being the quickest to call people names while being the one to which such names must accurately apply.
    I guess it’s true what they say about “empty barrels”.

    Like


  159. For those interested, here’s a google translate of a backup of the interview of Dr. Ai Fen by Renwu. The original article was removed.
    https://translate.google.com/translate?sl=zh-CN&tl=en&u=https%3A%2F%2Fblog.dwnews.com%2Fpost-1313840.html

    Here’s video coverage [in English] of the same story by Wion (an Indian outlet).
    (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=beDmuDDknNI)

    Like


  160. Here’s another translation of the Ai Fen interview originally published in China’s “People” (Renwu) magazine before censors got to it.
    This time by a human so not as stilted.

    In the interview she stated that she wasn’t the whistleblower but “the one who distributed whistles”. In other words, the other doctors who were admonished (such as Li Wenliang) got in trouble for talking about the report that she had given to them. Current reports are that her whereabouts are unknown.

    Liked by 1 person


  161. It’s always fun to be attacked by the naïfs on this blog. Let’s take them on one by one:
    Afrofem – ” on Sun Sep 8th 2019 at 20:21:13
    Afrofem

    “It happened while his party was safeguarding White farmers from Nkomo’s guerillas, in rebellion because they didn’t like how the vote for office turned out.”

    Thanks for the additional detail.”
    If your claim about my parsimony regarding providing evidence to back my claims is true, why are you thanking me above?
    How about the following exchange between us on the Uighur Internment Camps thread: ”
    on Sun Jan 5th 2020 at 21:11:07
    Afrofem

    *”If the following information is correct, your Uyghurs were colonists…”

    Thanks for the history snippets. Are you willing to provide a link to your source?

    Like

    on Mon Jan 6th 2020 at 02:26:40
    gro jo

    “Thanks for the history snippets. Are you willing to provide a link to your source?”
    You’re welcome. I can’t find the article I found this information in, but you will find the same quote as the fourth paragraph of the section of titled “Dzungaria” of this article: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Islamization_and_Turkification_of_Xinjiang” Did I refuse to provide you the source of my information on the subject? No, so stop lying. We don’t see eye to eye on the PRC, but that’s not a reason for you to impugn my honesty. Naturally, you made your accussation refutation proof with this slippery bit of sophistry: “You’ve rarely presented factual information in the form of quotes, links or citations.” Well played, you can dismiss any evidence to the contrary as one of those rare moments. I’m in awe of you.

    Origin – Your naiveté regarding the PRC is showing the CCP took power at the head of a coalition that included a fair amount of the remnants of the Chinese capitlist class. I interpret the political back and forth in the life of the PRC in light of that fact. Mao’s plaint about “capitalist roaders” and Deng’s echoing French king Louis Philippe’s ” “enrich yourselves” (enrichissez-vous)” are the poles of PRC politics. If you can’t see that, that’s not my fault. The editor of Caixin Hu Shuli reflects the Deng side, hence her stature as the ‘darling’ of the ‘West’, so does her news organization. in political struggles, crises are perfect tools to pressure your rivals, it is in this light that I interpret Caixin’s criticism of the government’s response.

    Michael Barker – “Gropro(sic) you have over the years shown yourself to be a defender of the PRC. In that regards you are a true believer.” Amusing. You don’t know me so your claim that I’m some kind of CCP shill is bs. Unlike you, I read what it and its opponents put out and decide, based what has the ring of truth to it, who’s lying. I’ll defend the CCP every time I find its opponents to be lying.
    The following is an example of my method: “Michael Barker, thanks for the laugh. As amusing as your ‘evidence’ is I remain skeptical as to its veracity. The Youtube clip you linked to was provided courtesy of Zooming In program, a news outlet of New Tang Dynasty a/k/a Falun Gong (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Tang_Dynasty_Television), an outfit banned by the CCP as “An evil cult”.
    Not being Chinese, I can’t say how ‘evil’ they are but I know bs when I see it. I’m skeptical of the story they reported in that clip since I don’t know Chinese and like our ‘friend’ jefe, they are reckless liars. People have been executed for stealing a lot less than “millions of dollars” from the State, so I find a 12 years jail sentence incredibly lenient for a crime that put the health of the Chinese nation at risk.”
    Note that I did not dismiss your source, nor did I take their claim at face value, until I did some digging into their background and determined their agenda.

    Like


  162. ” on Sun Apr 5th 2020 at 16:07:38
    Origin

    @gro jo
    Straits Times (Singapore) is Western now.
    Caixin is Western now.
    Renwu is Western now.
    Since I, and presumably the rest of us, can’t speak Mandarin I post the secondary sources in English, genius.”
    gro jo’s reply: “Your naiveté regarding the PRC is showing the CCP took power at the head of a coalition that included a fair amount of the remnants of the Chinese capitlist class. I interpret the political back and forth in the life of the PRC in light of that fact. Mao’s plaint about “capitalist roaders” and Deng’s echoing French king Louis Philippe’s ” “enrich yourselves” (enrichissez-vous)” are the poles of PRC politics. If you can’t see that, that’s not my fault. The editor of Caixin Hu Shuli reflects the Deng side, hence her stature as the ‘darling’ of the ‘West’, so does her news organization. in political struggles, crises are perfect tools to pressure your rivals, it is in this light that I interpret Caixin’s criticism of the government’s response.” I see nothing in your comment to change my point of view.
    “What an insufferable shill?
    What an intellectually dishonest, bloviating, pathetic waster of characters?
    Being the quickest to call people names while being the one to which such names must accurately apply.
    I guess it’s true what they say about “empty barrels”.”
    How big was the mirror you were looking at when you wrote those lacerating comments about yourself?

    Like


  163. @ gro jo

    Simple deflective tactics are not good enough.

    When will you present credible links, citations or quotes to back your claims?

    Like


  164. “Here’s video coverage [in English] of the same story by Wion (an Indian outlet).
    (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=beDmuDDknNI)”
    Wow. an Indian outlet? That’s really ‘hard hitting’ objective stuff huh!
    No it ain’t. Your naiveté astounds. Context my friend context. Read in light of India vs China rivalry one could hardly expect something different: “Relations between contemporary China and India have been characterised by border disputes, resulting in three military conflicts — the Sino-Indian War of 1962, the Chola incident in 1967, and the 1987 Sino-Indian skirmish. … Both countries have steadily established military infrastructure along border areas.”

    To reiterate: ““Dr Li Wenliang…Ai Fen.” So what? were they in charge of running the response to the outbreak? No, they were foot soldiers in that struggle, grunts, it’s fine to let the grunts grouse about their sacrifices, but in the scheme of things their complaints don’t give an accurate picture of what’s going on.”
    Being a ‘genius’ like my buddy jefe, you’ll no doubt enlighten us by telling us what could or should have been done differently that would have saved the 3,000 lives the PRC claims were lost or the countless ones of your imagination.

    Like


  165. Wikipedia:
    Qiushi is a bi-monthly political theory periodical published by the Central Party School and the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China.

    Link to Quishi article (dated Feb 15, 2020):
    http://www.qstheory.cn/dukan/qs/2020-02/15/c_1125572832.htm

    Quoth Xi Jinping via google translate:

    After the outbreak of the new coronavirus pneumonia in Wuhan, on January 7, when I presided over a meeting of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee, I made a request for the prevention and control of the new coronavirus pneumonia.

    From the first day of the year to the present, prevention and control of the epidemic situation is my most concerned issue. I keep track of the spread of the epidemic situation and the progress of the prevention and control work, and continue to give oral instructions and instructions.

    So according to the above statement by Xi Jinping, from early January he was concerned about the epidemic in Wuhan and gave instructions that measures should be taken to control it. Yet as late as January 14 the WHO tweeted out that Chinese officials had indicated that there was “no clear evidence” that the novel coronavirus could be transmitted between humans.

    Even ignoring credible reports that Chinese doctors were being muzzled from December and that Taiwan was warning about human to human transmission, this does not compute. Am I to believe that Xi was sufficiently personally concerned about the novel coronavirus epidemic to turn attention to it “from the first day of the year” yet such a basic epidemiological fact about the virus as its communicability was unknown up to mid-January?

    Like


  166. Ah, Afrofem, the godess of sophists. You and the other ‘geniuses’ on this thread breezily dismiss the information put out by the Chinese CDC as lies of the CCP based on lies put out by the enemies of the PRC, such as Falun Gong,the Indian government, US Newspapers, etc. and you want little old me to give you “credible links, citations or quotes”? I love your sense of humor. Nathan “It’s ok to love China” Rich has provided a timeline of the virus outbreak in one of the links I provided. I’d be forever grateful if you’d use your great intellect to debunk his claims. It’s ok if Origin and Barker join you in this endeavor. Let me take this opportunity to thank you guys beforehand because I suspect You will enlighten me at the end of that exercise.
    Your grateful servant, Squire gro jo.

    Like


  167. No shill-ing on my watch gro jo,
    no shill-ing on my watch.

    You look the fool already to anyone with two brain cells to knock together to make a synapse.
    Though I would advise persons with such a paucity of neurons against reading your posts; they might lose them!

    Like


  168. “godess” should have been “goddess”. Sorry Afrofem for misstating your status. 😉

    Like


  169. Origin, flattery will get you nowhere with me. Since when did brain cells ‘knock together’? Obviously, you are as ignorant of the basic facts of brain structure as you are of epidemiology.
    “No shill-ing on my watch gro jo,
    no shill-ing on my watch.”
    My dear friend, I’ve not accused you of shilling, only of being blinded by your bias against anything to do with the PRC. I understand where you’re coming from given the seven decades of propaganda against it you were submitted to. I’ve enjoyed and admired your past contributions to this blog and urge you to use your critical faculties to debunk the information I provided courtesy of Nathan “It’s ok to love China” Rich.
    “So according to the above statement by Xi Jinping, from early January he was concerned about the epidemic in Wuhan and gave instructions that measures should be taken to control it. Yet as late as January 14 the WHO tweeted out that Chinese officials had indicated that there was “no clear evidence” that the novel coronavirus could be transmitted between humans.

    Even ignoring credible reports that Chinese doctors were being muzzled from December and that Taiwan was warning about human to human transmission, this does not compute. Am I to believe that Xi was sufficiently personally concerned about the novel coronavirus epidemic to turn attention to it “from the first day of the year” yet such a basic epidemiological fact about the virus as its communicability was unknown up to mid-January?”
    You’re perplexed because you’ve been submitted to the joke also known as President Trump and can’t wrap your head around the fact that Xi is intelligent enough to know that he didn’t know if this outbreak could turn deadly and it was better to err on the side of caution. The incubation period of the virus is 14 days so it stands to reason that between 1/1-1/14 what was a potential menace became an actual one.
    “Measurements:

    Patient demographic characteristics and dates and times of possible exposure, symptom onset, fever onset, and hospitalization.
    Results:

    There were 181 confirmed cases with identifiable exposure and symptom onset windows to estimate the incubation period of COVID-19. The median incubation period was estimated to be 5.1 days (95% CI, 4.5 to 5.8 days), and 97.5% of those who develop symptoms will do so within 11.5 days (CI, 8.2 to 15.6 days) of infection. These estimates imply that, under conservative assumptions, 101 out of every 10 000 cases (99th percentile, 482) will develop symptoms after 14 days of active monitoring or quarantine.”( https://annals.org/aim/fullarticle/2762808/incubation-period-coronavirus-disease-2019-covid-19-from-publicly-reported)
    Nature rules over paupers as well as potentates

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  170. @gro jo
    Kindly leave the thread to people who desire honest discussion.
    Nobody is stopping you from “loving” the PRC.
    However, for most of the rest of us here, there are no “sacred cows”.
    Despite being mostly Americans most posters here can criticize America.
    You’re tripping if you think the CCP will get a pass with question.

    The disease wasn’t discovered by Xi; it had escalated to Xi by January 1. Why?
    What would have had to have been taking place before for it to escalate to Xi?
    As Xi is not a doctor, who would have been talking about the virus before Xi?
    You think Xi was not told why he was being bothered with this?
    I’m honestly shocked that you’re such an immense shill! It’s like an unmasking.

    Like


  171. @ gro jo

    “Afrofem, the go[d]dess of sophists.”

    Still using ad hominems as sword and shield, huh?

    I’m very human, fallible and lacking your world class education. Yet, I know these things to be true:

    ➢ all governments lie to cover mistakes and shield themselves from embarrassment and responsibility. It is in their nature to do so.

    ➢ all governments behave like gangsters given motive and opportunity.

    ➢ the Chinese government is not exempt from those two observations.

    I get that a lot of Black leftists are in love with China right now. I hear their adulation repeated on various podcasts and blogs all of the time. Yet, the Chinese government is just another gangster.

    Just because the Anglosphere (with the US in the lead) is showing their backsides to the world right now does not automatically beatify the Chinese government.

    In your zeal to lionize the Chinese government and the CCC, you are producing more heat than light.

    Liked by 1 person


  172. My dear Origin, sorry to have shocked and disappointed you. I’m having a hard time reconciling your current dogmatic attitude with the intelligence you displayed on the Peter Liang thread. It’s silly of you to mistake me for Nathan “it’s ok to love China” Rich. Unlike that gentleman, my head wasn’t turned by a whiff of Chinese pu**y.
    I’ve used his timeline of the outbreak and his take down of some idiotic English teacher masquerading as some sort of ‘expert’ on Chinese politics, because the idiot lives in China and sounds like our dear friend jefe.
    I’ve invited you, Afrofem, Barker and anybody else, to debunk his claims. You have not risen to the challenge, instead, you want to exclude me from the conversation!
    Please consult the timeline of Nathan “It’s ok to love China” Rich around 5:20. As I wrote above, there was no confirmed scientific evidence. If you know better just provide your evidence. Trying to shut me up is weak, absurd and unworthy of you. Nature commands, scientists and politicians react to it. If the timeline is correct, only 27 patients were ill so no definitive proof of a virus outbreak.

    “@ gro jo

    “Afrofem, the go[d]dess of sophists.”

    Still using ad hominems as sword and shield, huh?

    I’m very human, fallible and lacking your world class education. Yet, I know these things to be true:

    ➢ all governments lie to cover mistakes and shield themselves from embarrassment and responsibility. It is in their nature to do so.

    ➢ all governments behave like gangsters given motive and opportunity.

    ➢ the Chinese government is not exempt from those two observations.

    I get that a lot of Black leftists are in love with China right now. I hear their adulation repeated on various podcasts and blogs all of the time. Yet, the Chinese government is just another gangster.

    Just because the Anglosphere (with the US in the lead) is showing their backsides to the world right now does not automatically beatify the Chinese government.

    In your zeal to lionize the Chinese government and the CCC, you are producing more heat than light.”

    My dear Afrofem, this isn’t a debate on the nature of governments in general but of the response of actual governments to a health crisis. All your claims about evil governments mean nothing because, at the end of the day, you pay your taxes and receive services from the government that rules you. I’m not interested in an academic exercise. I want you to take a look at Nathan “it’s ok to love China” Rich’s timeline and tear it to shreds for the nonsense you and others claim it is. I see that using that guy’s moniker has rubbed people the wrong way. Mission accomplished.

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  173. Afrofem, as I’ve said before, I fell out of love with the PRC way back in the 1970s when they made common cause with the USA, backed Pinochet against Allende, UNITA against MPLA, Pol Pot against the people of Cambodia and the Vietnamese army, etc. Not loving them doesn’t blind me to their positive aspects, so I don’t need any politics 101 lecture from you or anyone else. Stick to the facts, not your feelings.

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  174. “Stick to the facts, not your feelings.”

    That’s rich coming from you, my dear gro jo. I have been urging you to do the same for some time now.

    Like


  175. @ gro jo

    Comment deleted due to moderated language.

    Like


  176. CDC says now to wear face mask. I have been doing this from the start of this crisis. However, this could become an issue for black men being racially profiled. We are trying to survive in this crisis and now racism still manages to be integrated in this pandemic. I have been reading on social media how many black men don’t feel comfortable wearing certain kinds of mask, so they don’t appear looking menacing or criminal.

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  177. “…this isn’t a debate on the nature of governments in general but of the response of actual governments to a health crisis.”

    My comments about the nature of governments is informed both by experience and current events. Just today I read of the gangster behavior of several governments including the Czech Republic, Turkey, China and of course, the USA.

    US agents have been bribing supply producers and seizing equipment bound for other countries, including traditional allies such as Canada, Germany, France and Brazil. According to writer, Alan Macleod:

    “The Trump administration… tried to compel a German pharmaceutical corporation to move production to the U.S., in order to make sure that America alone had access to and control of any coronavirus vaccine it might produce.

    [Trump] reportedly wished to ensure that it would only be available on a for-profit basis. “Germany is not for sale,” the country’s furious economy minister replied. The U.S. also managed to fly out half a million test kits on a military plane from Lombardy, Italy, the epicenter of the Italian outbreak.”

    https://www.mintpressnews.com/united-states-leads-nations-stealing-coronavirus-equipment/266360/

    The gangster behavior of our own government alone during this pandemic is like a bloody episode of The Sopranos with Trump cast as mob boss and the rest of the world as so many extras on the set.

    They are engaging in criminal behavior not to ease the suffering of the American people, but to stuff their pockets much like J.P. Morgan did during the Civil War. Morgan sold defective rifles to the Union army which shot off the thumbs of some soldiers firing the rifles.

    https://www.history.co.uk/biographies/j-p-morgan

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  178. @Afrofem
    I agree with your post about governments attempting to cover up mistakes.
    This arises from the fact that their PRIMARY concern is remaining in power.
    Xi and Trump reacted in similar ways and so the leaders of the two must powerful countries bear most responsibility for this pandemic, Xi more so.
    They squandered the most critical period of time trying to downplay and coverup.

    Meanwhile in Russia, reality has gradually started to hit home.
    After previously claiming the COVID-19 situation was under control, in late March this was posted on the Kremlin’s site.

    https://translate.google.com/translate?sl=ru&tl=en&u=http%3A%2F%2Fkremlin.ru%2Fevents%2Fpresident%2Fnews%2F63053

    In that meeting, the mayor of Moscow admitted that the real infections in the city are probably above the official numbers. Afterwards Putin put on a hazmat suit and respirator to visit a hospital where he also met with medical personnel.

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  179. One of the people Putin met with, without protective gear, was Denis Protsenko who is the head of the hospital which Putin visited in the hazmat suit.
    Protsenko has since said that he tested positive for the novel coronavirus but was feeling well.
    https://www.themoscowtimes.com/2020/03/31/russias-top-coronavirus-doctor-who-met-putin-tests-positive-a69815
    The Russian government is also saying that Putin is fine but it must be somewhat worrying that he was in contact with someone who became a case.

    Like


  180. “My comments about the nature of governments is informed both by experience and current events. Just today I read of the gangster behavior of several governments including the Czech Republic, Turkey, China and of course, the USA.”
    My response to the above is a quote from you: “Simple deflective tactics are not good enough.”
    The subject of this discussion is the timeliness of the PRC’s response to the outbreak. You and your ‘genius’ pals can show that they didn’t by going to the timeline our friend Nathan “it’s ok to love China” Rich came up with, anything else is just babbling.
    gro “It’s ok to respect China” jo. 🙂

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  181. “Xi and Trump reacted in similar ways and so the leaders of the two must powerful countries bear most responsibility for this pandemic, Xi more so.
    They squandered the most critical period of time trying to downplay and coverup…One of the people Putin met with, without protective gear, was Denis Protsenko who is the head of the hospital which Putin visited in the hazmat suit.”
    Let me get this straight, Xi and Putin were engaged in coverups to the point that Putin risked getting sick? The simple explanation is that the outbreak is a moving target, so, scientists and politicians are playing catch up, some, like Xi, have done it better than others, like Trump.

    Like


  182. Meanwhile in the UK, the Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been taken to hospital as a “precautionary measure” according to the government. He was in self-isolation since March 26 when he diagnosed with COVID-19.

    https://apnews.com/193a0cfe074685144ade169084a68255

    There have been additional reports in the Times of London that he has received oxygen but officials have declined to confirm or deny it. Oxygen treatment would imply a reduction in lung function and possible pneumonia which is a complication associated with more severe COVID-19 cases.

    Like


  183. @gro jo
    Why are you creating Frankenstein monsters from my post and then commenting on the abomination you created? I mentioned Trump/Xi and Putin in two clearly delineated portions of my post separated by “Meanwhile in Russia…”. I won’t respond to improperly posed questions.

    As for Xi, the CCP was not completely forthcoming about the illness initially, and was evasive with the world through the WHO. Even while Xi was locking down Wuhan/Hubei on January 23, as the situation had reached crisis proportions there, both the CCP and the WHO were criticizing countries which were restricting travel from China.

    From February 3:
    https://www.fmprc.gov.cn/mfa_eng/xwfw_665399/s2510_665401/2511_665403/t1739548.shtml

    On the contrary, WHO continues to have confidence in China’s capacity to control the outbreak. There is no reason for measures that unnecessarily interfere with international travel.

    Most countries appreciate and support China’s efforts to fight against the novel coronavirus, and we understand and respect them when they adopt or enhance quarantine measures at border entry. But in the meantime, some countries, the US in particular, have inappropriately overreacted, which certainly runs counter to WHO advice.

    If the CCP is to be believed [lol] that they have basically eradicated the virus in China at this time, then their and the WHO’s advice was foul. For if they had appropriately recommended restriction of international travel that would have reduced exportation of the virus and limited or prevented the current widespread pandemic.

    As for Trump, there is a whole thread on his denial and slow response to the appearance of cases in the US. His concern was the economy, on which he had staked a large part of his argument for reelection.

    Like


  184. “Why are you creating Frankenstein monsters from my post and then commenting on the abomination you created?”

    One of gro jo’s favorite deflection tactics. It is cover for a lack of credible sources for fallacy based arguments. If you are not careful, you find yourself playing ball in gro jo’s court instead of arguing valid points.

    Another favored tactic is attempting to define the narrative/argument. For example, “The subject of this discussion is the timeliness of the PRC’s response to the outbreak.”

    Actually, the discussion became heated when speculation about the origins of COVID-19 began to center on Chinese behavior that may have led to the outbreak and early Chinese government response to the pandemic.

    A Frankenstein monster is a creature fashioned of hunks of morbid flesh reanimated by a highly intelligent person just to see what would happen. That description is very fitting.

    hearty chuckle

    Like


  185. @ Origin

    All governments lie to cover mistakes and shield themselves from embarrassment and responsibility. What I have observed over the years is that two major sectors of government, policy-makers and bureaucrats are equally guilty of lying and obfuscating to avoid embarrassment and responsibility for human error. They certainly do it to cover up wrongdoing.

    Sometimes they do it to save their jobs and reputation, other times they do it because they can get away with ‘official’ lies. Either way, not taking responsibility or owning up to errors has a corrosive effect on government workers and the people they serve.

    Those behaviors seem to be universal, no matter the size of the government, type of government or the culture from which it springs.

    Like


  186. My concatenation of two separate comments you wrote was to show the irrationality of your ‘coverup’ claims for China and Russia. I used ellipses to indicate what I was doing so it was perfectly legitimate. All the ‘brilliance’ you guys have deployed to maintain your ‘conspiracy’ theories indicate to me a refusal to acknowledge the fact that Nature is primary and humans, no matter how ‘powerful’ are subject to its laws. You guys believe in a ‘big daddy’ who knows all and is all powerful.
    You feel that ‘big daddy’ Xi didn’t live up to your childish fantasies of omniscience and omnipotence, hence he is ‘evil’.
    No head of government, province, district, municipality, hospital or ward is going to create a panic, if they know what they are doing. People in charge have the duty to deal with emergencies in a rational manner by being alert to the risks involved and to do what’s called for when the danger is no longer theoretical, according to the experts.
    Ai Fen’s job was to prepare her staff to deal with a potential emergency and avoid panic, not gossip and speculate about SARS.
    I’ll leave you with a ‘cheery’ comment by Neil Degrasse Tyson: “The Universe is trying to kill us.” It is certain to do so, no matter how important you are. Panicking about that existential certainty is a recipe for disaster.

    Like


  187. @gro jo
    You seem to have reading comprehension difficulties or you deliberately attribute things to people that they didn’t say in order to argue with yourself. Xi and Putin have only one letter in common. Read more carefully.

    Also, you’re so full of hot air it’s funny, talking about my supposed desire for a “big daddy”. LOL. Stop projecting! You’re the one in here advocating “love” of Xi’s CCP and being willing to leave all skepticism at the door as one is wont to do with their beloved.

    Now to address the only shred of a point than can be extracted from your diatribe: Xi’s putative motivation for initiating a coverup may very well have been to prevent “panic”. That is the oldest justification in the book. However I was not here concerned with his motivation just the act, which you were previously denying but seem to have finally implicitly admitted while spinning it as noble. In any case, his plan may have failed in the long run since his coverup has accelerated a global pandemic, resulting in worldwide panic and damage to his government’s reputation.

    Like


  188. Origin, thanks for the laugh. Once again, I’m gro “It’s ok to respect China” jo, not Nathan “it’s ok to love China” Rich. Proof that you’re looking for a “big daddy” to blame for not keeping you safe from the scary monster is your confusing my respect for the PRC with the other guy’s love for it.

    As amusing as I find your rants about coverups I think they are bs. No evidence of a coverup as far as I can see, the outbreak outran the effort to bring it under control. Nothing new about that since that occurs every time something like that happens. It will be years before the real toll of this outbreak will be known for any nation on earth with any kind of great precision.

    If you want to console yourself with fairy tales about how a panicky reaction would have made things better, that’s your business. The world doesn’t operate according to your childish desires, you have to adapt to it, not the other way around. Again, to quote Neil Degrasse Tyson, “The universe is trying to kill us”, solipsism isn’t an adequate response to such threats. Your mommy told you you were the most ‘precious’ thing in the world. She lied.

    Since you are such ‘genius’ why don’t you tell us what you would have done? A timeline would be useful, don’t you think? You and Afrofem have not debunked Nathan “…” Rich’s timeline, why not? Is such ‘grunt’ work below you dignities? we are talking about factual matters not pure theory. Until I see you guys get your hands dirty corralling the ‘dirty’ facts, I’ve zero reason to take your rants as anything other than reflexive PRC bashing

    Like


  189. So from “precautionary” hospitalization to ICU for UK’s Boris Johnson.
    https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-52192604

    Like


  190. It seems the replies are persisting!
    Should I answer? I feel like resisting.
    If I’ll answer again,
    To posts so inane,
    To stay sane, I must make it interesting.

    Beijing was not claimed to be “evil”,
    Just some statements may not be believable.
    Since a coverup’s a given,
    Then truth has been riven,
    And leeriness is justifiable.

    But there once was a man called gro jo,
    Who chose to be Xi Jinping’s ho-ho.
    Like a pretzel he’d contort,
    To please his consort,
    But bad arguments are always a no-no.

    Indeed it’s as rare as a sasquatch,
    To see such a dialectical mismatch.
    One side has boot licking,
    The other has fact sticking,
    That’s why it stops shilling on its watch.

    Like


  191. doggerel.

    Like


  192. Even doggerel can be divine:
    “Cast not pearls before swine”.
    For each little thing has its time.
    Indeed, even an caustic rhyme.

    Like


  193. The Covid virus has come to the occupant of Number 10 Downing Street and he’s in the ICU. He too cavalierly dismissed the virus as a hoax. Here in the USA we are still stuck with the apocalyptic roach tRump.

    Like


  194. ugh ugly thread via nuwauabians it is brother pete 5g dna bloodlines very dark ish coming out of this ignorance or suspicion

    Like


  195. It is obvious that Dr. Fauci KNEW something in advance to give such an assured warning without repercussions. (smh)

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8188429/Dr-Fauci-revealed-fears-surprise-outbreak-three-YEARS-pandemic.html

    WARN – inform someone in advance of an impending or possible danger, problem, or other unpleasant situation., give someone forceful or cautionary advice about their actions or conduct. (Webster’s online dictionary)

    As for Bill Gates, does anyone recall when was his medical degree bestowed upon him, with a minor specializing in vaccination? I thought he was a computer geek. These people are pure freakin EVIL! No surprises here though, because the Bible clearly prophesied that such days would come upon us.

    (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yOsUR0XYETA)

    Like


  196. It’s wierd being in the supermarket you just get sort of a visceral thing a vibe from the humans around.

    Gotta die of something. Just don’t rush it.

    Like


  197. Epidemiologists and other scientists, as well as medical professionals, have been warning about the eventual likelihood of this scenario for more than a decade:

    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18810803/

    https://bigthink.com/politics-current-affairs/coronavirus-prediction

    Not because they are evil, but because in the course of their work and research, they identified certain global trends that could lead to this outcome.

    The links above are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to published research and news articles about those predictions. I’m only linking two so this comment doesn’t get thrown to mod.

    Like


  198. I’ve known about those types of scientific predictions given above for a long time. What I did just discover is that economists had predicted the effects we’re seeing now on the global economy:

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/mar/22/economists-pandemic-predictions-covid-19

    Like


  199. @ Afrofem

    I recently read some articles that tie into the report you linked to upthead about stockpiled hospital supplies going to waste.

    The federal government has been sending expired equipment to the states:

    In Oklahoma, the state Department of Health sent the Strategic National Stockpile a request on March 11 for supplies including 500,000 N95 masks, 300,000 face shields and 400,000 surgicals gowns. The state began receiving supplies five days later, but it has not gotten 90% of what it wants. “100% of all items were expired,” according to Department of Public Safety spokesperson Cody McDonell, although HHS sent them a letter saying that some of the masks had been performance-tested by the CDC and “they should be just fine to use.”

    According to an HHS letter reviewed by ProPublica, most of the stockpile’s personal protective equipment was acquired in 2007 with supplemental funds for pandemic influenza preparedness “and many have exceeded their shelf life.” Even Florida, which got everything it wanted, received expired goods.

    https://www.propublica.org/article/heres-why-florida-got-all-the-emergency-medical-supplies-it-requested-while-other-states-did-not

    Despite the reassurances, much of the equipment is not usable:

    Nearly 6,000 medical masks sent to Alabama had dry rot and a 2010 expiration date. More than 150 ventilators sent to Los Angeles were broken and had to be repaired. In Oregon, it was masks with faulty elastic that could cause the straps to snap, exposing medical workers to the disease.

    “Several of the shipments we have received from the strategic national stockpile contained (personal protective equipment) well past expiration dates and, while we are being told much of the expired equipment is capable of being used for COVID-19 response, they would not be suitable for use in surgical settings,” Charles Boyle, a spokesman for Oregon Gov. Kate Brown, said in an email.

    He said some of the equipment had been purchased during the H1N1 outbreak more than a decade ago and that the masks with the fragile elastic had been among products previously recalled by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The state did not distribute them to medical workers…

    Montgomery County [in Alabama] received nearly 6,000 medical masks of a different type that had dry rot….

    Los Angeles received about 170 ventilators from the national stockpile that were in disrepair. Gov. Gavin Newsom said they were sent to a company to be fixed.

    In New Hampshire, the congressional delegation wrote to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services saying many of the supplies the state received were expired. In addition, more than 16,000 latex gloves couldn’t be used in a medical setting because of latex allergies.

    The CDC acknowledged late last month that some items in the U.S. stockpile have exceeded their manufacturer-designated shelf life. They were nevertheless being sent to hospitals “due to the potential urgent demand caused by the COVID-19 public health emergency,” the CDC said.

    https://apnews.com/07b9c1a39a688da54eaf6c860f596cd7

    Like


  200. @ Afrofem, cont. 2/2

    https://www.propublica.org/article/how-new-york-city-emergency-ventilator-stockpile-ended-up-on-the-auction-block/amp

    This is a lengthy and detailed article about the difficulties inherent in keeping such stockpiles up to date, whether on the city, state, or federal level — and even at individual hospitals which, due to budget cuts, have “taken to holding just enough to meet day-to-day needs.”

    One solution that came to my mind (along with the obvious need to increase funding) would be to set up a rotation, so that medicine and equipment nearing their expiration date would be transferred to hospitals for immediate use and replaced in the stockpile by new products. Of course, it would be much easier to implement such a system if the U.S. had a national health service.

    Like


  201. “Gotta die of something. Just don’t rush it.” – v8driver

    You’re correct, we all “Gotta die of something”. However, let it be because it’s the will of the Most High and not because of strategically racist snares or the evil machinations of white men!

    @@@@@@

    “Not because they are evil, but because in the course of their work and research, they identified certain global trends that could lead to this outcome.” – Solitaire

    Now, here comes Solitaire, another white apologist. Just so that there is no misunderstanding, I personally don’t give a damn about you or v8driver’s opinion. And as far as your silly ass, milquetoast comment above, if it’s “Not because they are evil”, well then, what is it?? I’ll wait …

    You seem to believe that this current pandemic is in potentially full throttle existential mode “because in the course of their work and research, they identified certain global trends that could lead to this outcome.”

    WHAT?? This is one of the most asinine comments that I’ve heard on this blog in quite some time. Dr. Fauci has served as the Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases since 1984.

    But yet, after all this time in researching “trends” of infectious diseases, clearly this country is woefully ill-prepared and woefully ill-equipped for such an “outcome” as you stated above. So again, Dr. Fauci “identified” NOTHING!

    With the length of time that Dr. Fauci has been employed within this area of research, his experience and his voice alone should’ve been utilized as a bullhorn calling for the stock piling of certain equipment and so forth. Hell, we have first responders that are scrambling for equipment as simple as face masks.

    While speaking to an audience at Georgetown University in January of 2017, Dr. Fauci said to them: “There is no question that there will be a challenge to the coming administration (Trump) in the arena of infectious diseases,” he said.

    For him to say something such as this on one hand as an open-ended warning, and on the other hand, did nothing or failed to act in a manner that would be consistent with stemming the potential tide or wave of deaths, .. well then, because it bears repeating, .. that’s freakin EVIL because he did NOTHING!

    “Not because they are evil.” What in the world are you talking about?? Bill Gates was/is a software engineer. He doesn’t have a background or specialty within the medical field. So why then is he always speaking of vaccinations?? Once again, it bears repeating, .. pure freakin EVIL! And that’s notwithstanding Bill Gates’ father’s connection to Margaret Sanger. He worked on the Board of Planned Parenthood. Most people are well aware of her dealings in regards to eugenics targeting Black folks!

    And since Bill Gates and Dr. Fauci are such smooth speakers, I have a scripture for both of them:

    Psalm 55:21 The words of his mouth were smoother than butter, but war was in his heart: his words were softer than oil, yet were they drawn swords.

    Like


  202. @ blakksage

    If you’re going to believe in conspiracy theories, there’s nothing anyone can say to convince you otherwise.

    My point, though, was not about Bill Gates and Dr. Fauci themselves, but that they are just two of the many voices that have been upraised on this topic for years. Scientists can only raise their voices and try to influence opinion; they don’t control the presidents and other politicians who up until now haven’t thought preparing for a potential epidemic was worth the money.

    This country — and pretty much the entire world — is “woefully ill-prepared and woefully ill-equipped” because the rulers didn’t heed those warnings, just like they aren’t heeding scientists’ warnings about climate change.

    The directors of the NIH and the CDC don’t even control the budgets of their own organizations. Congress has slashed their funding again and again over the last 40 years, and they have been forced to make cuts to their public health programs and biomedical research accordingly.

    In early February, before the coronavirus had made much impact here, Trump requested in his proposed 2021 budget a 7% cut to the NIH’s funding, while asking for increased spending on artificial intelligence and quantum information science. Trump prioritized computers over human lives.

    You seem to think Dr. Fauci has a magic wand to wave that would have made the stockpiles appear from thin air. He can’t even get Trump to wear a face mask and stop shaking hands, much less authorize a national lockdown.

    You appear to believe that “this current pandemic is in potentially full throttle existential mode” because it is a nefarious evil plot. Why would such villains give any warning at all if they wanted their plot to succeed? Much less provide exact blueprints for the steps that governments could have taken to stop such a plot in its tracks?

    Like


  203. on Wed Apr 8th 2020 at 13:23:23 Michael Barker

    The State of California at one time had a massive medical reserve set aside for a pandemic. It got defunded later when Governor Brown was looking for budget cuts.

    It seems governments are more reactive then proactive.

    https://revealnews.org/article/california-created-a-massive-medical-reserve-with-acute-care-beds-ventilators-and-n95-masks-and-let-it-collapse/

    Like


  204. “This country — and pretty much the entire world — is “woefully ill-prepared and woefully ill-equipped” because the rulers didn’t heed those warnings, just like they aren’t heeding scientists’ warnings about climate change…You appear to believe that “this current pandemic is in potentially full throttle existential mode” because it is a nefarious evil plot. Why would such villains give any warning at all if they wanted their plot to succeed? Much less provide exact blueprints for the steps that governments could have taken to stop such a plot in its tracks?”
    This is very well said. The believers in “coverups”, “conspiracies”, etc. are scared children who don’t believe in inertia! Just because epidemics can be predicted, it’s not easy to separate noise from signal. Cases of deaths due to patients not responding to the usual medicines occur on a regular basis(noise), it becomes a signal of something more dangerous when you get clusters of such occurrences(signal). No matter how well prepared any nation is it will sustain losses since it takes time to gear up to respond to the crisis.
    A view of what it’s like on a hospital ward: (https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/apr/08/icu-doctor-covid-crisis-hospital). Doctors are doing heroic work.

    Like


  205. New Zealand has established a four-level alert system for different stages of the crisis, with clear guidelines about the public health measures and types of social distancing for each level:

    https://covid19.govt.nz/alert-system/covid-19-alert-system/

    Like


  206. @ Solitaire

    Thanks for the info about expired, contaminated and defective equipment distributed by the Trump administration. That info dovetails with recent reports in the LA Times about the Feds seizing PPE and medical equipment orders placed by states, hospitals and clinics.

    In a 4-7-20 article, Noam Levey described the confiscation of orders placed by states and hospitals:

    “Hospital and clinic officials in seven states described the seizures in interviews over the past week. The Federal Emergency Management Agency [FEMA] is not publicly reporting the acquisitions, despite the outlay of millions of dollars of taxpayer money, nor has the administration detailed how it decides which supplies to seize and where to reroute them.

    Officials who’ve had materials seized also say they’ve received no guidance from the government about how or if they will get access to the supplies they ordered. That has stoked concerns about how public funds are being spent and whether the Trump administration is fairly distributing scarce medical supplies.

    […]

    Hospital and health officials describe an opaque process in which federal officials sweep in without warning to expropriate supplies.

    Jose Camacho, who heads the Texas Assn. of Community Health Centers, said his group was trying to purchase a small order of just 20,000 masks when his supplier reported that the order had been taken.

    Camacho was flabbergasted. Several of his member clinics — which as primary care centers are supposed to alleviate pressure on overburdened hospitals — are struggling to stay open amid woeful shortages of protective equipment.

    “Everyone says you are supposed to be on your own,” Camacho said, noting Trump’s repeated admonition that states and local health systems cannot rely on Washington for supplies. “Then to have this happen, you just sit there wondering what else you can do.”

    https://www.latimes.com/politics/story/2020-04-07/hospitals-washington-seize-coronavirus-supplies

    The Feds are not confining their supply grabs to Blue States. Oklahoma and Texas have also been hit by these raids.

    An earlier article (4-4-20) on the Talking Points Memo site speculated on the strategy behind the seizures:

    “…these seizures of shipments are at best causing confusion for desperate states and hospitals. And they seem so haphazard that they are raising legitimate questions about whether they are being allocated to states in a preferential or politicized fashion.”

    https://talkingpointsmemo.com/edblog/whats-up-with-the-feds-seizing-ppe-shipments-to-states-and-hospitals

    In other words, what is the endgame? A sick patronage scheme? Grab and resell for a profit? Who knows?

    Like


  207. Where did the novel coronavirus come from?
    You could think it came from a place in China. But wait a moment. Maybe you were wrong! It came from some place in Africa (sic), and therefore…
    Africans are now being discriminated in China because of the Covid-19 pandemic!
    Crazy stuff!
    See, (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RWqAvIxbbHc)

    Like


  208. “In other words, what is the endgame? A sick patronage scheme? Grab and resell for a profit? Who knows?”
    Trumpcare death panels, maybe?

    Like


  209. @ gro jo

    “Trumpcare death panels, maybe?”

    Maybe. US- based Black people are perishing at higher rates than the general population. I don’t see a big push by the administration to send supplies to Detroit, Chicago or Memphis.

    However, Trump is grabbing PPE and equipment from all Americans right now. We will have to see how this plays out.

    Like


  210. @ munubantu

    Not surprising. Mistreatment of Africans in China predated COVID-19.

    Like


  211. @ munubantu

    I am shocked, simply shocked that anyone would scapegoat Black people for something that was not their fault.

    Like


  212. There have been reports about people recovering and testing negative for the virus before testing positive again. I thought it possible that perhaps there were false negatives which were exposed on subsequent retesting. But South Korea’s “CDC” thinks actual reactivation of the virus may be occurring.

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-04-09/coronavirus-may-reactivate-in-cured-patients-korean-cdc-says

    The coronavirus may be “reactivating” in people who have been cured of the illness, according to Korea’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

    About 51 patients classed as having been cured in South Korea have tested positive again, the CDC said in a briefing on Monday. Rather than being infected again, the virus may have been reactivated in these people, given they tested positive again shortly after being released from quarantine, said Jeong Eun-kyeong, director-general of the Korean CDC.

    “While we are putting more weight on reactivation as the possible cause, we are conducting a comprehensive study on this,” Jeong said. “There have been many cases when a patient during treatment will test negative one day and positive another.”

    A patient is deemed fully recovered when two tests conducted with a 24-hour interval show negative results.

    The Korean CDC will conduct an epidemiological probe into the cases, Jeong said.

    Like


  213. @munubantu
    I guess the CCP has given up on the “started in America” theory:

    It seems Africans, specifically, are being scapegoated because the lady in the interview said they were declined service after their passports were checked. Perhaps a myth that the disease came from Africa is taking root in China? That has no basis in fact but as abagond sarcastically suggested, it wouldn’t be the first time black people take heat for made up 5**t.

    Like


  214. “There have been reports about people recovering and testing negative for the virus before testing positive again.”
    A transparent CCP ‘coverup’ no doubt.
    “… Africans are now being discriminated in China because of the Covid-19 pandemic!
    Crazy stuff!”
    What are African embassies, consulates, doing to defend their nationals?
    “Not surprising. Mistreatment of Africans in China predated COVID-19.”
    Are we talking about official policy or racist practice from some citizens?

    Like


  215. Now for a different take on Africans in China.
    (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b7fnBcP_fvg)

    Like


  216. https://s.amsu.ng/cMXGTrsrL0BN

    My wife suited up in her PPE at her ICU.

    She says the work environment is stressful and will likely lead to PTSD amongst a lot of nurses.

    Like


  217. @ Michael Barker

    Thanks for that link from The African Exponent. The writer of the article shows how intertwined official policy or racist citizen action are most of the time—–this time in China. Takudzwa Hillary Chiwanza notes:

    “The authorities still harassing the Africans.

    […]

    The reports have sparked a conversation around the predominant [and long standing] racist attitudes that pervade Chinese society but are not properly talked about.

    The cycle of racism has also been highlighted: Americans calling the novel virus the “Chinese virus,” and the Chinese now harassing the Africans on the unfounded allegations that they brought the virus into their country.

    Others have lamented how China is getting first-class treatment in Africa when it comes to investment opportunities, but when Africans go to their land they are mistreated.”

    The “official policy” aspect is clearly shown in the mass evictions, the police harassment and the Chinese authorities allowing the buildup of conspiracy theories and racist memes in their closed social media system.

    The Chinese are trying to cleanse their world image by throwing their psychic garbage on African nationals. This is after they failed to pin the virus on mythical American service members and cyclists.

    Like


  218. “Thanks for that link from The African Exponent. The writer of the article shows how intertwined official policy or racist citizen action are most of the time…The “official policy” aspect is clearly shown in the mass evictions, the police harassment and the Chinese authorities allowing the buildup of conspiracy theories and racist memes in their closed social media system.

    The Chinese are trying to cleanse their world image by throwing their psychic garbage on African nationals. This is after they failed to pin the virus on mythical American service members and cyclists.”
    Wow, the leap in jumping to conclusions is very impressive, even world class. Have the evicted Africans sued their Chinese landlords? Have the courts rendered negative verdicts? The PRC does have a legal system where such things can be challenged. Why have these Africans not complained to their representatives in China? Are they legal residents of the PRC?
    M. Barker’s link to the African Exponent doesn’t answer any of these questions.
    Speaking of the “African Exponent”, this article says they are unreliable:
    ” mediabiasfactcheck.com
    The African Exponent – Media Bias/Fact Check
    3-4 minutes

    A questionable source exhibits one or more of the following: extreme bias, consistent promotion of propaganda/conspiracies, poor or no sourcing to credible information, a complete lack of transparency and/or is fake news. Fake News is the deliberate attempt to publish hoaxes and/or disinformation for the purpose of profit or influence (Learn More). Sources listed in the Questionable Category may be very untrustworthy and should be fact checked on a per article basis. Please note sources on this list are not considered fake news unless specifically written in the reasoning section for that source. See all Questionable sources.

    Overall, we rate The African Exponent left biased and Questionable based on poor sourcing, a failed fact check by an IFCN fact checker, publication of highly sensationalized stories and a lack of transparency regarding ownership.
    

    Detailed Report

    Reasoning: Poor Sourcing, Sensationalism, Lack of Transparency, Failed Fact Check
    Country: Tanzania
    World Press Freedom Rank: Tanzania 118/180

    History

    The African Exponent is a website that focuses primarily on African related news, but also covers a wide variety of topics including business, finance, markets, politics, culture, science and technology. This website does not list an editor or ownership information. The Contact page indicates the site is based in Tanzania.

    Funded by / Ownership

    The African Exponent does not disclose ownership or financing. Revenue appears to be derived from advertising.

    Analysis / Bias

    In review, The African Exponent uses emotionally loaded headlines such as “The New President of Tanzania, John Magufuli, Wins Hearts of Tanzanians and Africans”. John Magufuli is the president of Tanzania and chairman of CCM (Chama Cha Mapinduzi – social democratic party) with the article heavily favoring him. Although The African Exponent occasionally sources properly, most of the articles are poorly sourced and only the image credit is given. Further, they regularly rewrite the articles and republish them, such as this one “With $100 Million, This Is How Kenya Is Constructing Africa’s Largest AIDS Drug Factory”. This same story appears in The Guardian under the title “Kenya steps up Aids battle as building starts on $100m drug factory”. Lastly, they also publish sensationalized stories without sourcing, such as this: I Thought I Was Having Sex With My Housekeeper, I Didn’t Know He Was My Son…

    A factual search reveals a failed fact check by an IFCN fact checker.

    Overall, we rate The African Exponent left biased and Questionable based on poor sourcing, a failed fact check by an IFCN fact checker, publication of highly sensationalized stories and a lack of transparency regarding ownership. (M. Huitsing 4/19/2019)

    Source: https://www.africanexponent.com
    I’m not passing judgement on AE, just providing a fuller picture of what’s going on. As members of the Abagondsphere I’m sure you guys will appreciate the added information.

    Like


  219. @ gro jo

    What are African embassies, consulates, doing to defend their nationals?

    Why have these Africans not complained to their representatives in China? Are they legal residents of the PRC?

    The short answer to these questions is: African states do not provide much of a protection to their citizens overseas.
    This is one of the weaknesses of many of those states. And the level of commitment of a particular state to the protection of its citizens can also vary in dependence of the embassy’s or consulate’s personnel (the bosses) working there at a given time. Some of them are only minding “high state’s businesses” or their individual affairs and resist being involved in “troubles” involving “simple” citizens. It shouldn’t be like this but this is the reality.
    This is why many Africans oft do not trust their representatives in foreign countries.
    Regarding the legal status of those Africans I can only speculate but the testimonies that the young Ghanaian showed us in the video-clip above seem to indicate that even regular/legal people are being harassed.
    I note that these events are currently happening in specific areas of China and I would not conclude yet that this is a widespread phenomenon. But it’s troubling anyway.

    Like


  220. I wonder if Chinese state-owned media is biased? Perish the thought!
    But in case any vile reactionaries should make such a charge, I’m sure they’re “biased” in the right direction.

    https://newsaf.cgtn.com/news/2020-03-27/China-temporarily-bans-entry-of-foreign-nationals-Foreign-Ministry-PbrzyyPDEI/index.html

    In view of the rapid spread of COVID-19 across the world, China has decided to temporarily suspend the entry into China by foreign nationals holding visas or residence permits still valid to the time of this announcement, effective from midnight , 28 March 2020, the Chinese Foreign Ministry announced on Thursday.

    This was a culmination of days of reporting that imported cases were rising while China had controlled their local epidemic (heh). There is a certain irony here because the CCP had vociferously opposed America’s restriction of travel from China (against WHO recommendations). Yet when the CCP decided it was in its interest to restrict entry of foreigners, the measure is implemented without any fanfare or fuss.

    Anyway, there have been reports of a rise in anti-foreigner sentiment in the wake of this belief that foreigners are bringing the disease (back) into China while local transmission is now negligible. Since the edict said that visas and residence permits valid as of the announcement would be suspended, probably authorities can treat foreigners already living in China as being there illegally.

    Even with such a policy, Africans taking the most heat must be nothing but racism. African countries were among the last to start confirming cases as Chinese and (later) Europeans gradually exported the disease. Furthermore, Africans living in China who hadn’t traveled recently would have been facing the same infection risks any Han Chinese who hadn’t traveled. I like the way Afrofem put it:

    The Chinese are trying to cleanse their world image by throwing their psychic garbage on African nationals.

    Like


  221. By March, 21st Afrofem wrote:

    I agree that we are entering “times of sorrow”. We are also entering times of extreme clarity. Flaws in a lot of global macro systems (such as finance, trade, public health and politics) will be revealed to everyone. I hope those revelations will spur much needed reform, and in some cases, transformation of those systems. Those systems should serve the mass of humanity instead of just a few.

    (emphasis added)

    This insightful thought came back to my mind a few days ago when an interesting episode happened recently in Maputo. What was?
    The son of a former president of Mozambique became ill (cardiovascular problems) and, as usual, made an appointment to go to South Africa to be seen by a doctor and receive medical treatment there.
    The problem happened when he was landing in Johannesburg airport. South Africa is in a lockdown, a serious one, and he was not let in the country.
    A flurry of comments invaded our social media networks talking about the case and the implications regarding some old habits of the local elite, and indeed, much of the elites in many African societies, which instead of developing and investing in the local health systems, prefer to go abroad for medical assistance (oft using taxpayers money!). Many commentators said that they were pleased that at last “these people are feeling the effects of their own policies onto themselves”.
    Notice that Mozambique was after its independence (1975) following the socialism and we had at that time a more equal medical care for all. We haven’t abandoned totally some aspects of that system but, after the turn to “democracy and free market” (1994) increasingly the citizens receive a medical treatment depending on their money. Basic medical care is for all but specialized treatment depends on how much you can pay.
    People are noticing that this pandemic is forcing people to rethink old ideas and routines.
    See also, https://edition.cnn.com/2020/04/10/africa/african-leaders-healthcare-coronavirus-intl/index.html

    Like


  222. “The short answer to these questions is: African states do not provide much of a protection to their citizens overseas.”
    It is as I suspected. The root of the problem is that these governments don’t value their citizens, the racism flows from that fact, whether we are talking about Asia, Europe or North America.
    Thank you Origin for the information you provided. As a “vile running dog of US imperialism”, in hoary Maoists parlance, I’d like you to explain how “…throwing their psychic garbage on African nationals. ” serves to cleanse their image. Wouldn’t it make them look racist instead? Does your boss, Trump, need the competition in that arena?

    Like


  223. A interesting duet is being played between Africa and China in the last two decades. Now some stress and mistrust is building up because of the Covid-19 pandemic. But not all the good that was achieved until now is gone.
    See how a Nigerian citizen went to the social media to protest the recent harassment experienced by her fellow citizens in China, when in the meantime the Nigerian authorities are bringing Chinese doctors to Nigeria, supposedly to help the country battle the disease,
    (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Q3rNeLtDaM)
    (vox populi, voice of the people)
    And look also how Nigerian authorities reacted to the Chinese in regard to the mistreatment of Nigerians in China,
    (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ey6OScFlJ-U)
    As the saying goes, while there is life, there is hope!

    Like


  224. Grojo “I’m not passing judgement on AE, just providing a fuller picture of what’s going on. As members of the Abagondsphere I’m sure you guys will appreciate the added information.”

    Alright. Lets take a closer look at your “source” and get a “fuller picture”. 

    United Kingdom

    1.) BBC. Overall, we rate the BBC Left-Center biased based on story selection that slightly favors the left and High for factual reporting due to proper sourcing of information.

    2.) Sky News. Overall, we rate Sky News Least Biased based on balanced news coverage and a reasonably balanced op-ed page. We also rate them High for factual reporting due to a reasonable fact check record. 

    (Google “China’s deadly Coronavirus cover up” Sky News.  I watched this and it reminded me of something that Fox News would have produced.)

    3.) Reuters. Overall, we rate Reuters Least Biased based on objective reporting and Very High for factual reporting due to proper sourcing of information with minimal bias and a clean fact check record.

    World Press Freedom Rank: UK 33/180
    Since Reuters has the highest rating for accuracy, which Grojo would approve of, lets see what they say about Chinese State discrimination against Africans. 

    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-africa/african-ambassadors-in-china-complain-to-government-over-discrimination-idUSKCN21T0T7  

     U.S.A.

    1.) MSNBC. Overall, we rate MSNBC Left Biased based on story selection that consistently favors the establishment left. We also rate them Mixed for factual reporting due to news hosts and the website producing 3 pants on fire claims.

    2.) Fox News. Overall, we rate Fox News strongly Right-Biased due to editorial positions and story selection that favors the right. We also rate them Mixed factually and borderline Questionable based on poor sourcing and the spreading of conspiracy theories that later must be retracted after being widely shared. Further, Fox News would be rated a Questionable source based on numerous failed fact checks by hosts and pundits, however straight news reporting is generally reliable, therefore we rate them Mixed for factual reporting. 
     
    World Press Freedom Rank: USA 48/180

    China.
     
    1.) Xinhua. Overall, we rate Xinhua Left-Center biased based on left leaning editorials that endorse socialism/communism. When it comes to factual reporting we rate them Mixed due to a lack of linked sourcing and promotion of pro-Chinese government propaganda.

    2.) China Daily. Overall, we rate the China Daily Questionable based on endorsement of the Chinese Communist Government and editorial positions that promote state propaganda.  World Press Freedom Rank: China 176/180  

    Seems Grojo’s source has a dim view of China. 

    South Africa. 

    1) All Africa. Overall, we rate AllAfrica Least Biased based on balanced and diverse story selection and High for factual reporting due to proper sourcing and a clean fact check record. 

    https://allafrica.com/stories/202004120030.html  

    2.)The Citizen. Overall, we rate The Citizen, Right-Center biased based on story selection and editorial content that moderately favors the right. We also rate them High for factual reporting due to reasonable sourcing and a clean fact check record. 

    World Press Freedom Rank: South Africa 31/180    

    I also searched for Black owned news sources in Africa. Nigeria prints four newspapers but none of them were rated. Similarly the official news agency for Kenya was not rated. It seems Media Biased Fact Check is in fact biased in favor of Western and white sourced news media. “All Africa” is a white owned news source so therefore can be “trusted”. Black owned new sources are ignored or considered “sensationalism”.

     From Wikipedia: “According to the city, there were 16,000 Africans including North Africans residing in Guangzhou. Of these residents, 4,000 were long term residents, which is defined by city officials as living for longer than 6 months in the city.” The city is a hub for international trade, has a garment district ect.   

    Like


  225. “It seems Media Biased Fact Check is in fact biased in favor of Western and white sourced news media. “All Africa” is a white owned news source so therefore can be “trusted”. Black owned new sources are ignored or considered “sensationalism”.”

    There is a reason for that. Media Biased Fact Check (MBFC) is a White and Western owned amateur fact checking operation. MBFC is headed by Dave Van Zandt.

    MBFC, according to their F.A.Q. page is a “LLC is a Limited Liability Company owned solely by Dave Van Zandt. He also makes all final editing and publishing decisions.”

    His LinkedIn profile describes Van Zandt as “the former owner of Van Zandt Webs and studied at William Paterson University of New Jersey.” He is further described as having a “communications degree”.

    As to MFBC’s methods the site has this to say:

    “Media Bias/Fact Check (MBFC News) adheres to the International Fact-Checking Network Fact-checkers’ Code of Principles. These principles were developed by the Poynter Institute* to promote excellence and standardization in Fact Checking.

    […] The methodology used by Media Bias Fact Check is our own. It is not a tested scientific method. It is meant as a simple guide for people to get an idea of a source’s bias. Media Bias Fact Check will always review and change any factual errors when brought to our attention. We make every effort to be as factual as possible. Our goal is to have MBFC rated as least biased by our own criteria.”

    https://mediabiasfactcheck.com

    The Pointer Institute is funded by Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation, the Duke Reporters’ Lab, the *Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Google, the National Endowment for Democracy, the Omidyar Network, the Open Society Foundations and the Park Foundation.

    At present, there is an attempt by the Oligarchs/Billionaire class to scrub non-corporate, non-neoliberal content from the internet. They have instituted news rating apps like NewsGuard to color code the news. They have de-platformed organizations who do not conform to the corporate narrative. They have buried independent websites on the 5th page of Google (if they are lucky). They have invested millions into “fact checking” websites like MFBC, either directly (through foundation grants) or indirectly (through advertising).

    As Tamar Wilner of the Columbia Journalism Review noted about “fact-checking” sites like MBFC:

    “[Their] efforts suffer from the very problem they’re trying to address: Their subjective assessments leave room for human biases, or even simple inconsistencies, to creep in.”

    https://www.cjr.org/innovations/measure-media-bias-partisan.php

    Those subjective assessments are often reflect inherent biases against Black and African news sources. They tend to discount the facts those news sources present and their point of view.

    Like


  226. @ munubantu

    “We haven’t abandoned totally some aspects of that system but, after the turn to “democracy and free market” (1994) increasingly the citizens receive a medical treatment depending on their money.”

    Likely as the result of some International Monetary Fund (IMF)/World Bank structural adjustment scheme.

    Free Market indeed. The freedom of a small group to pick everyone else’s pockets clean.

    Liked by 1 person


  227. “Psychic garbage” in this context is guilt, shame, loss of “face” and sense of responsibility for negative global events.

    The Chinese authorities are attempting to shift blame (toss psychic garbage) onto African nationals within their borders. They don’t care about “looking racist”. Dumping garbage on Black people/Africans is an international sport.

    When the Chinese government tried to pin the COVID-19 tail on the Americans, they did not suddenly eject all Americans, Europeans or White people in their country from apartments and hotels, etc. Nor did they ban them from certain public spaces like grocery stores.

    The Chinese authorities apparently also don’t care that everyone in the rest of the world knows where COVID-19 originated. As long as they can cleanse themselves internally in the eyes of their population, they can avert calls for change in their government.

    Their actions buttress my earlier point about how all governments behave:

    https://abagond.wordpress.com/2020/03/10/the-coronavirus/comment-page-1/#comment-436121

    Liked by 1 person


  228. “The root of the problem is that these governments don’t value their citizens, the racism flows from that fact”

    Wow. That’s a new twist to victim-blaming, or at least one I haven’t heard before.

    Like


  229. @Solitaire
    It seems almost like an adaptation of “black teens are naturally stopped more often by police because their families have failed them” to the international level. When a supposedly black person starts repurposing white nationalist rhetoric in order to exculpate a polity accused of discriminating against black people, one has to start wondering.

    Like


  230. “Wow. That’s a new twist to victim-blaming, or at least one I haven’t heard before.”
    Pray tell, which victim is being blamed in that sentence? The African victims of discrimination? No. Their do nothing governments? Absolutely.
    British football hooligans riot and cause mayhem from one end of Europe to the next. When they are rounded up by the police, their consulates provide them with adequate representation, as documented in Bill Buford’s 1990 book: “Among the Thugs: The Experience, and the Seduction, of Crowd Violence”.
    Your claim of ‘victim blaming’ is nonsense. If you want to do penance for outing jefe as a liar by attacking me, get better material to attack me. Naturally, I’ll repay you in kind.

    Like


  231. “@Solitaire
    It seems almost like an adaptation of “black teens are naturally stopped more often by police because their families have failed them” to the international level. When a supposedly black person starts repurposing white nationalist rhetoric in order to exculpate a polity accused of discriminating against black people, one has to start wondering.”
    The stupidity of that remark takes my breath away.

    Like


  232. Michael Barker, Afrofem, Nice job outing MBFC! I didn’t think you guys still had a critical bone left in your bodies, parroting the “the Oligarchs/Billionaire class”
    media attacks on the PRC, as you have.
    Note that gro jo prefaced his use of MBFC’s criticism of AE by declaring he did not endorse their view of that website. When trying to score cheap political points, it pays to read selectively.
    Some comments are chuck full of the manure about not ‘respecting’ ‘Black’ media, how can such person be black etc. I owe allegiance to the truth as I see it, not to any race, nationality, party or universal ‘genius’ and sage. If I’m wrong I say so and move on.

    Like


  233. ” If I’m wrong I say so and move on.”

    Not really. You simply retreat to the same derail, deflect and dismiss tactics we’ve all come to expect from you.

    deep, hearty chuckle

    Like


  234. https://edition.cnn.com/2020/04/13/asia/china-guangzhou-african-blacklash-hnk-intl/index.html

    Kind of a Rosa Parks moment for Black Africans, if you allow me to draw a comparison. History being made…
    Let’s hope that something good arises from all this.

    Like


  235. ” on Mon Apr 13th 2020 at 03:38:22
    Afrofem

    ” If I’m wrong I say so and move on.”

    Not really. You simply retreat to the same derail, deflect and dismiss tactics we’ve all come to expect from you.

    deep, hearty chuckle”
    Ahh, the “goddess of sophistry” is at it again! The reason you wrote the above is because you are deflecting your refusal to admit your ignorance, such as on HK, the Uyghurs, etc., to me. Unlike you when someone provides me with accurate information, I have the basic decency to thank them for it. I’m still waiting for you to thank me for letting you know that the PRC collects no tax from HK and that the Uighurs were settled in Xinjiang by the hated Han Chinese, etc.
    Since I’m all about educating you, allow me to take this occasion to disabuse you of the following absurd notion : “The Chinese authorities are attempting to shift blame (toss psychic garbage) onto African nationals within their borders. They don’t care about “looking racist”. Dumping garbage on Black people/Africans is an international sport.”
    Right. The PRC was one of the main backers of the Bandung Conference in 1955. They built a railroad line that allowed Zambia to bypass Rhodesia and South Africa, thereby allowing it to resist the racist regimes in place back then.
    ” The TAZARA Railway, also called the Uhuru Railway or the Tanzam Railway, is a railway in East Africa linking the port of Dar es Salaam in east Tanzania with the town of Kapiri Mposhi in Zambia’s Central Province. The single-track railway is 1,860 km (1,160 mi) long and is operated by the Tanzania-Zambia Railway Authority (TAZARA).

    The governments of Tanzania, Zambia and China built the railway to eliminate landlocked Zambia’s economic dependence on Rhodesia and South Africa, both of which were ruled by white-minority governments.[1] The railway provided the only route for bulk trade from Zambia’s Copperbelt to reach the sea without having to transit white-ruled territories. The spirit of Pan-African socialism among the leaders of Tanzania and Zambia and the symbolism of China’s support for newly independent African countries gave rise to TAZARA’s designation as the “Great Uhuru Railway”, Uhuru being the Swahili word for Freedom.”
    When you have contributed one millionth what the PRC contributed to fighting racism, I’ll take your nonsense seriously. The PRC is no fount of virtue, it is a real place with all the imperfections known all over the world. I have my criticisms of the PRC government’s policies, but I don’t buy the bs claims made by ‘regime change’ types like you and others on this blog.
    As I wrote above, if the Africans in AE’s video had legally binding leases for the space they rented they should sue their landlords in court and demand that their nations put political pressure on the PRC to do them justice.
    You are so desperate to write anti-PRC nonsense that you ignore that even nations that grew fat and happy on racism are quick to absolve themselves of it. The following quote from a NYT review of Richard Wright’s book, “The Color Curtain” nicely illustrates how silly your claim is: “… Tillman Durdin suggested that “Mr. Wright…overplays the color angle and attributes to Asians and Africans uniformity of attitude on color that does not exist. He does not sufficiently bring out that Western manifestations of racial superiority in Asia and, to a lesser degree, even in Africa are largely a by-product of past Western political domination over the two continents.” But elsewhere in the review, Durdin observed, “In his concluding chapter…Mr. Wright correctly poses the crucial question highlighted at Bandung. He asks whether the sensitive and resentful people represented there are to be brought out of their present state of poverty, ignorance and economic backwardness under the aegis of a bloody Communist totalitarianism or through wise and generous aid from the West that will link them with our freer, democratic system.”[14]”
    Your claim about the PRC is as ridiculous and hypocritical as Tillman Durdin’s was in 1956.

    Like


  236. @ gro jo

    That wasn’t an attack — more like an expression of befuddled surprise.

    I thought racism flowed from the people who are being racist.

    You can fault the governments for not adequately protecting their citizens abroad. I have no quarrel with that. But to say the lack of protection is the root of racism??? No.

    Like


  237. Ok, if it wasn’t an attack, I take back what I wrote as far as that goes.
    “I thought racism flowed from the people who are being racist.

    You can fault the governments for not adequately protecting their citizens abroad. I have no quarrel with that. But to say the lack of protection is the root of racism??? No.”
    Are the African victims of discrimination barred from seeking redress from PRC courts because of their race? Have their consuls taken up their plight? If they haven’t that makes them enablers of racism. “Foreign devils” whose governments won’t defend them make easy targets, citizens from nations with track records of defending their citizens, as documented in Buford’s book don’t experience such things. To you, racism is a ‘feeling’ you disapprove of, to me it’s a power relationship, first and foremost. Hence, weak governments enable racism against their nationals. How come none of the anti-racists on this blog have failed to call for contributing to a fund to allow the victims to sue to get justice? 10 percent of the $1,200.00 COVID-19 money, for those able to part with it, would help more than the hot air commenting on their plight has generated.

    Like


  238. @ gro jo

    “The PRC was one of the main backers of the Bandung Conference in 1955.”

    Ancient history.

    A lot of things have changed since 1955. Allies have become adversaries and enemies have become friends. The Chinese have become extractive in Africa and abusive toward Africans.

    A Zimbabwean news site illustrates those points in this article, “Chinese exploiting Zimbabwe: Analysts”:

    “According to a development consultant, Maxwell Saungweme, the Chinese forays into the construction industry were the clearest indications of their intentions to have a foothold on Zimbabwe in some new form of colonial hegemony.

    “To demonstrate that they are here to stay, just as the British settlers did during colonialism, the Chinese are building Chinese hotels, supermarkets and temples all over. These sell Chinese foods and products, thereby reducing the benefit Zimbabwe should get from selling its products to tourists,” he said.

    […] “There is a problem in that most of these Chinese companies sub-contract other Chinese companies to do work that should be done by local companies. Most of the locals are employed to do menial jobs with poor remuneration and there is much disregard for labour laws,” he said.

    Rusero said the government deliberately turned a blind eye to the abuses because China has brought them much business after most Western countries turned their backs on the Mugabe regime before the government of national unity came into place.

    “Our government has behaved like a desperado, casting a blind eye on abuse of labour laws and ignoring labour unions which made noise about the abuses because there is a horse and rider relationship, with Zimbabwe being ridden by China,” he said.

    https://www.newsday.co.zw/2013/02/chinese-exploiting-zimbabwe-analysts/

    You will argue that this is just one site with “sensationalistic” content—an outlier. Yet, if you read English language sites throughout Africa, the theme of this story is repeated. The Chinese are just the latest Pale supremacist group in Africa.

    Admire the PRC if you choose, gro jo, but colonialism is ugly no matter the shade of the colonizer.

    Like


  239. “You will argue that this is just one site with “sensationalistic” content—an outlier.”
    Nice bit of mind reading on your part. Africa is already colonized by the ‘West’. Admire the West if you choose, Afrofem, but colonialism is ugly no matter the shade of the colonizer.
    “Ancient history.

    A lot of things have changed since 1955. Allies have become adversaries and enemies have become friends. The Chinese have become extractive in Africa and abusive toward Africans.”
    A cliché that gets you nowhere. Now flesh out that ‘thought’ if you can, with facts. You know me well enough by now to know that clichés like things change mean nothing to me. Show me how they have changed.
    The Zimbabwean example you chose to show how the Chinese are “extractive in Africa and abusive toward Africans.” neglects the role of the Zimbabwean state and Western aggression against that state. Typical of pro-Western propagandists like you.
    The Chinese you mention are obliged to obey Zimbabwean law. Their state defends them against abuses they suffer in Zimbabwe and elsewhere in Africa. African governments should do the same for their nationals in China.

    Like


  240. Since you guys are too sensitive to read Global Times, the mouthpiece of the PRC, I deputized myself as the designated reader of that source:
    ” Global Times
    6-7 minutes

    Washington’s hysterical COVID-19 claims will fail

    By Hu Xijin Source:Global Times Published: 2020/4/13 23:43:40

    Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Anthony Fauci as US President Donald Trump dismisses a question during an unscheduled briefing after a Coronavirus Task Force meeting at the White House on Sunday, in Washington, DC. Photo: AFP

    We are being confronted by real international hooliganism.

    Washington is now attacking Beijing from three directions. First, it is accusing the Chinese government of initially “concealing the epidemic” which allowed the crisis to get out of control and “harm the US and the world.”

    Second, Washington has blackened China’s reputation saying it is hiding the “actual number of deaths,” claiming it’s somehow higher than the official account. This is an obvious attempt to deflect attention from the shocking number of deaths in the US. It’s an attempt to deceive people into think that the US is more honest than China, rather than reflecting on the dereliction of duty or even malfeasance that has occurred in the US.

    Third, the US has encouraged a few lawyers to initiate lawsuits against the Chinese government, making farcical claims and instigating anti-Chinese sentiment in the US. Washington has turned to extreme nationalism in the hope of saving itself.

    China is being forced into needless and pointless war of refuting US’ hysterical claims against us. We need not worry about this as there are two reasons Washington’s travesty will fail.

    First, China’s performance in the fight against the epidemic is well-organized and achievements have been huge. All the world knows this obvious fact. Considering the serious global spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, the world will fairly judge the city of Wuhan’s overall performance in overcoming the virus.

    Wuhan was the first to report the epidemic and the first to have to make difficult choices on implementing anti-epidemic mobilization. When European countries and the US started to deal with the epidemic, they already knew much about its virulence and how it spread. Pre-warned, they only needed to weigh the risks between all-out containment and weathering the damage that would do to the economy. If all countries have failed to make all the right choices, how can they focus blame on Wuhan?

    As early as January 3, China began to inform the World Health Organization (WHO) and relevant countries and regions of the pneumonia outbreak. Chinese medical experts and administrative authorities have been collecting and accumulating knowledge on the virus ever since. On January 20, China formally confirmed human-to-human transmission of the coronavirus and made this knowledge public. Completing this evidence-based process was no easy task.

    Chinese scientists have maintained close contact with WHO and the international medical community. They have published several papers on the coronavirus outbreak in the world’s most prestigious medical journals, sharing information with the international community without reservation.

    Wuhan issued a notice locking down the city in the early hours of January 23, a decision so shocking it woke the entire world. For the first time in human history, a mega-city with a population of more than ten million shut down all its outbound channels.

    This was a deafening siren warning the entire world.

    China has worked hard to annihilate the virus through unprecedented suspension of economic activity at the national level.

    The ruling powers in Washington clearly knew what was coming their way. The virus had broken out in several Asian countries and regions and European countries were hit hard by the virus one after another. How much information do US decision makers need before they sober up and place the epidemic at the top of all matters? Are they deaf or blind?

    We see US political circles projecting incredible impetuousness and stupidity. Some senior officials, US senators and influential media workers publicly claimed that the COVID-19 was a mere influenza that would pose very little risk to the American people. Super Tuesday, the climax of the primary elections, was still held on March 3 with great fanfare. Who can tell today that how many Americans were infected during those election rallies? Some US politicians and famous TV pundits were still playing down the epidemic and in early March were still telling people not to worry. How dare they blame their ridiculous response to the contagion on China? Where is their shame?

    The second reason is that lies will eventually be fully exposed. US partisanship is one of the angles where the US lies will wear out. There is plenty of evidence that the US Democratic Party wants to prove the weakness and inability of the Trump administration’s epidemic fight. The mainstream media supportive of the Democrats will also lend a helping hand. With the approaching presidential election, the Democrats will not allow the Republican-led government to duck its responsibility.

    The outbreak in the US is still brewing. In recent days, some 2,000 people a day are dying from the deadly virus. Public anger will generate more and more pressure on US politicians. It is becoming more difficult for the US political elites and their supporters to make up lies to deceive the public and override international law. They cannot justify themselves in face of such heavy casualties.

    Of course, since the anti-China atmosphere has been formed in US society, and the political elite take the initiative in attempting to suppress China, they are certain to receive support. China should prudently cope with the Washington-launched propaganda war and display facts to the world as best as it can. No matter how powerful US soft power may be, it cannot beat facts and morality. The ruling elites in Washington are living in a fantasy where they think blurring the facts and spreading their slander allows them to call white for black.

    The author is editor-in-chief of the Global Times. opinion@globaltimes.com.cn

    Like


  241. @ gro jo

    You are missing the point.

    Recent commenters have not put the US government on a pedestal. We are well aware of the crazy amount of propaganda that political factions in the US gin up to besmirch the PRC (and Russia, Iran, Venezuela and other countries).

    The point is the PRC is not some forlorn victim shivering in the woods. They are masters of propaganda, too. In fact, the Chinese have thousands of years of experience in “blurring the facts and spreading…slander [that] allows them to call white for black.”

    I tend to think of both the US and the PRC as komodo dragons in a tussle for control. One is weakened from self-inflicted wounds and trying desperately to take the other down before it bleeds out. It is a loud and ugly battle devoid of heroic figures.

    It is just one more spectacle for these extraordinary times.

    Liked by 1 person


  242. Yeah ok v8driver
    Now tell me about the US’s plans for nuclear war against the PRC and other nations.
    “Targeting China: U.S. Nuclear Planning and Massive Retaliation in East Asia, 19531955
    Article in Journal of Cold War Studies 10(4):37-65 · October 2008 with 15 Reads 
    DOI: 10.1162/jcws.2008.10.4.37
    Cite this publication

    Matthew Jones
    

    Abstract
    This article assesses how the U.S. National Security Council, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the Strategic Air Command (SAC)devised highly classified plans for nuclear war against the People’s Republic of China (PRC) in the period after the July 1953 Korean armistice. The Eisenhower administration was seeking to rely more heavily on nuclear weapons in East Asia. Important differences of opinion emerged during intra- and interagency debates on the matter. The Air Force’s preference for nuclear operations aimed at the total destruction of the PRC’s military-industrial potential clashed with the State Department’s desire to retain allied support by avoiding mass civilian casualties through selective targeting. The expansive nuclear planning that was eventually undertaken was an Asian counterpart to the overkill usually associated with SAC’s plans for general war with the Soviet Union during this era.”
    The USA has been planning nuclear war against the PRC since 1953, the PRC didn’t acquire nuclear weapons until 1964. Got that v8driver? The days when your nation could blackmail China are over and done with, get used to it.

    Like


  243. Regarding nuclear war between China and the U.S.

    Globalism and “free trade” make it less likely that both of those countries would go to war.

    Corporations have billions invested in China and China holds billions in U.S. treasury bonds that back their currency. Similarly the U.S. market helps fund China’s prosperity.

    So while both are competing Empires the economics behind war between those two countries doesn’t make sense in the present time.

    Long term China may come out on top. They are Empire building in South America and Africa and if those places as well as the rest of the world can replace the U.S. market then that might embolden military action between the two countries.

    Like


  244. ooooh, if we can ascertain a definite reason for or source of the coronavirus? coronavirus deaths can become crime stats!!!!

    Like


  245. well the nuclear arms race kinda went along with the whole anti-communist thing? and yeah look what we ended up with, korean war and vietnam.
    as soon as one nuke goes up it’s going to be like the last few pages in the bible of course.
    And until nuclear weapons are outlawed, yeah right! we are all being held hostage

    Like


  246. when did it go from a shooting war to economic conflict, that’s interesting, i guess after japan’s manufacturing declined, mid 80’s?

    Like


  247. China’s actual plan for war with the United States is supposedly a multi-pronged asymmetric approach involving economic means and “lawfare” through the commandeering of international organizations.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unrestricted_Warfare

    Like


  248. My previous post didn’t show up and I don’t think there is anything in it that should have been triggered the automatic censor.

    Anyway, I’ve seen reports recently which suggest that the CCP may be taking an “editorial” role wrt scientific research into the origin of the novel coronavirus. A number of news outlets have reported on this but I’ll provide links to the Chinese websites from which the information was obtained.

    The China University of Geosciences, which had said it was doing coronavirus research, posted this notice:
    http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:L9chDVyS40AJ:kjc.cug.edu.cn/info/1193/5233.htm+&cd=2&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=de

    Translated by google:

    Notice on Strengthening the Management of Publication of Scientific Papers on New Coronary Pneumonia

    Modified time: 2020-04-05 09:03:43 Browse times: times

    Colleges and related units:

    According to the requirements of the Ministry of Science and Technology and the actual situation of the school, the management of the papers on the research results of new coronary pneumonia research is now strengthened. The requirements are as follows:

    1. Academic papers on the traceability of the new coronavirus must be reviewed by the academic committee of the school before publication, focusing on the authenticity of the paper and whether it is suitable for publication. After the review is passed, the school reports to the Ministry of Science and Technology, which can only be published after the review by the Ministry of Science and Technology.

    2. Academic papers about other new coronary pneumonia research achievements must be reviewed by the academic committee of the school before publication, focusing on reviewing the academic value of the paper and the timing of publication. After the review is passed, the academic committee of the school forms a written conclusion, and the corresponding author of the thesis will sign it for future reference.

    The link is from google’s cache because the live page now has nothing but “该内容已经被撤销” for which the automated translation is “This content has been revoked”. I”m not sure whether that means the policy has been reversed or that it wasn’t supposed to have been publicized so the page was edited. I suspect it’s the latter.

    Fudan University also had a similar notice which was removed.
    https://web.archive.org/web/20200409053204/http://www.it.fudan.edu.cn/Data/View/3657

    Notice on the publication of academic papers related to the New Coronary Pneumonia Epidemic

    Relevant universities:

    According to the requirements of the March 25 meeting of the Public Opinion Team of the State Council ’s New Coronary Pneumonia Epidemic Prevention and Control Mechanism, academic papers related to the New Coronary Pneumonia Epidemic need to be reviewed and filed in a classified manner. The relevant matters are hereby notified as follows:

    1. Papers related to virus tracing should be managed strictly. After the paper is reviewed and approved by the academic committee of the college, fill out the traceability paper submission form (Annex 1), scan it into a PDF after the seal of the college, and send it to our contact email. After our company ’s scientific research team traces the source class, it will reply the email notification Submissions can only be made after school.

    2. Other papers related to the new coronary pneumonia epidemic should be reviewed by the academic committee of the college, and after the academic value and timing of the papers are in place, put forward opinions on whether to publish them at home and abroad. The submission form of the review opinion of the academic committee for academic paper publication (Annex 2) can only be submitted after being filed in the school’s scientific research institute.

    3. The publication of papers must adhere to the bottom line of biosecurity, and matters related to the management of human genetic resources must be examined and approved in strict accordance with regulations. The release of the results of the vaccine should be in line with the schedule and cannot be exaggerated; the drug efficacy evaluation and clinical experience should be summed up in time to form a high-quality paper.

    The live page gives a 404 error now indicating that nothing is at that URL.

    I believe what this appears to be on its face: an attempt by the government to control information about where the virus ultimately came from. A continuing coverup fits the previous pattern of behavior [like the muzzling of doctors and labs in early January]. But if there’s a solid scientific consensus that the virus came from the Huanan seafood market, why is tracing its origin and spread considered a particularly sensitive issue?

    Like


  249. but, the US is clearly on a huge campaign to blame the wet market/BSL-4 lab in Wuhan, like 3 MSM stories on it today!

    Like


  250. @ Origin

    “My previous post didn’t show up and I don’t think there is anything in it that should have been triggered the automatic censor.”

    I do not see anything at my end, either in the moderation queue or the spam filter.

    Like


  251. @ gro jo

    “Ok, if it wasn’t an attack, I take back what I wrote as far as that goes.”

    Thank you.

    “To you, racism is a ‘feeling’ you disapprove of, to me it’s a power relationship, first and foremost.”

    No, racism isn’t just a feeling. People act on their racist beliefs in ways that may be small and individual but are still harmful. I make a distinction between that and the power relationship you describe, which I would call structural racism or institutionalized racism. I know there is a difference of opinion about this — another school of thought would describe it as prejudice/bigotry versus racism. Ultimately I think either wording describes the same dynamic. Perhaps you are only concerned with institutionalized racism and discount the other?

    “weak governments enable racism against their nationals.”

    Seems to me that racism has a lot to do with why those governments are weak.

    “How come none of the anti-racists on this blog have failed to call for contributing to a fund to allow the victims to sue to get justice? 10 percent of the $1,200.00 COVID-19 money, for those able to part with it, would help more than the hot air commenting on their plight has generated.”

    Good idea. Are you offering to set it up? Surely with your knowledge of China, you’d be able to establish the fund in such a way that the money is guaranteed to get to those victims, or better yet, to advocates in China who can take on these cases and help the victims successfully navigate the Chinese court system.

    Like


  252. “No, racism isn’t just a feeling. People act on their racist beliefs in ways that may be small and individual but are still harmful. I make a distinction between that and the power relationship you describe, which I would call structural racism or institutionalized racism.”
    Not terribly interested in definitions. “prejudice/bigotry versus racism.” Don’t see how versus is appropriate here. Prejudice and bigotry are to racism like rivers to the ocean.
    “Seems to me that racism has a lot to do with why those governments are weak.”
    Only because you prioritize opinions over facts. Only after the conquest of the other continents could Europeans afford to be racist. If you are right, can you explain why the Japanese were given “honorary White” status in Apartheid South Africa? In my book, Japanese industrial might had everything to do with it, not the opinions of some Boers.
    “How come none(sic) of the anti-racists on this blog have failed to call for contributing to a fund to allow the victims to sue to get justice? 10 percent of the $1,200.00 COVID-19 money, for those able to part with it, would help more than the hot air commenting on their plight has generated.”
    The above paragraph should have read as: ““How come all of the anti-racists on this blog have failed to call for contributing to a fund to allow the victims to sue to get justice? 10 percent of the $1,200.00 COVID-19 money, for those able to part with it, would help more than the hot air commenting on their plight has generated.”
    As originally written, my question implied that there was a unanimous call for such fund. Happily, you got the gist of what I was saying. I thought only Afrofem could read minds!
    To answer your question, such fund doesn’t seem to be needed since the governments of a number of African nations have made it clear they wouldn’t tolerate such practices and the PRC has committed to rectify any abuse.

    Like


  253. “I believe what this appears to be on its face: an attempt by the government to control information about where the virus ultimately came from.”
    How many ‘coverups’ are you juggling now, I lost count?

    Like


  254. @gro jo
    “How many ‘coverups’ are you juggling now, I lost count?”

    You would struggle to keep up if, as I suspect, you can’t count past number one.

    Like


  255. @ gro jo

    “Don’t see how versus is appropriate here. Prejudice and bigotry are to racism like rivers to the ocean.”

    I already said I don’t ascribe to that belief. It’s the typical wording used by those who define racism as “prejudice + power.” I was simply acknowledging it because there are (or have been) commenters here who do ascribe to it.

    “Only because you prioritize opinions over facts. Only after the conquest of the other continents could Europeans afford to be racist. If you are right, can you explain why the Japanese were given “honorary White” status in Apartheid South Africa? In my book, Japanese industrial might had everything to do with it, not the opinions of some Boers.”

    I’m not in the mood to argue this in depth. I’m just going to say that the history of Europeans inflicting slavery, conquest, colonization, and discrimination on Africans is fact, not opinion, as is the interference by the CIA and others that destabilized many early African governments after the end of the white supremacist colonial rule, as is the ongoing looting of African natural resources and money by the IMF, France, etc.

    “As originally written, my question implied that there was a unanimous call for such fund. Happily, you got the gist of what I was saying. I thought only Afrofem could read minds!”

    Yes, I caught the gist, noticed the error, and chose to ignore it instead of pouncing on it. See, I can be nice sometimes! 😀🤗

    Like


  256. The following information is
    @open-minded-people ie
    NOT
    @gro jo or anyone else unquestioningly loyal to the CCP

    (Note: I’m not an “evangelist” and I’m NOT interested in changing minds so don’t expect me to engage in endless time-wasting back-and-forths with people who’ve made their entrenched positions abundantly clear.)

    Anyway, as early as late January there were studies suggesting that the Huanan seafood market may not be the source of the outbreak. This is because some of the earliest cases show no link to the market. That leaves the epidemiological possibility that the virus was brought into the market from some other source and then spread out further from that cluster since many people gather there.

    This is an article about a study published in The Lancet about this:
    https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2020/01/wuhan-seafood-market-may-not-be-source-novel-virus-spreading-globally

    I had only skimmed this article months ago but reading it again, a greater understanding of the early information flow started to come together for me. The claim that the outbreak originated at the seafood market and, therefore, Chinese authorities had contained it by closing the market is related to the long-held claim that the virus was not being transmitted from human to human. If the virus strictly transmits from animals to humans then only a place where animals and humans are in close contact could sustain infections. However once human to human transmission is acknowledged, then the virus could have come from anywhere. Conversely, any early cases which were not linked to the market (and there were reportedly several) would have strongly implicated human to human transmission. In any case, with human to human transmission an obvious fact at this point, the ultimate epicenter of the outbreak has become an open question; the answer to which could be “classified”.

    Liked by 1 person


  257. The following comment is
    @Origin or anyone else unquestioningly loyal to the Western media.
    Origin is a very imaginative fellow. He suffers from having been abandoned by Dad at an impressionable age, hence his search for an ur-dad. It’s a sad story, if only his father had abandoned the family when our hero was a mature 41 instead of 31 years old man we would be spared his nonsense.

    Like


  258. the reinfection thing ? seems to be complicated by the 2nd strain? the anti-vaxxers and so forth are up in arms, i get my flu shot

    Like


  259. and i’m sorry gro jo, in specific, that article you pasted? pure agitprop not to say cnn isn’t or reuters or anything

    Like


  260. purely comintern claptrap with those strong aggressive qualifiers!

    Like


  261. @gro jo i told her she says god in the name of jesus cause she has daddy issues and apparently mommy issues caused me to start the church of the goddess? whatever man

    Like


  262. my dad sucks too and i say jesus and thank god all the time

    Like


  263. @gro jo
    LOL…accusing me of being “imaginative” while conjuring up some counterfactual story about my father. Typical dishonest, deflecting, projecting gro jo. You seem like a studied propagandist.

    Anyway, you’re trying to style yourself as the “skeptic” here but “skepticism” and “credulity” can prove to be two sides of the same coin. If you’re consistently skeptical of one source of information you may become credulous with respect to sources which dispute it and confirm your presuppositions. The only way to be a true skeptic is to be open minded while avoiding knee-jerk reactions based on where information comes from while being willing to examine that information in the light of reason.

    Looking only a the issue of human to human transmission, I think even the most medically illiterate layperson – upon hearing that doctors have discovered a new strain of flu that had actually sickened people – would take precautions to avoid infection if they had to be around sick people. Why? Because transmission between persons by respiratory droplet is a common epidemiological trait of influenza.

    By January 3rd, at the latest, we know that the pathogen which was sickening people in Wuhan was known to be a new coronavirus.
    http://weekly.chinacdc.cn/en/article/id/e3c63ca9-dedb-4fb6-9c1c-d057adb77b57
    These viruses have been known to cause infections colds as well as much more serious infectious viral pneumonias such as SARS – which also originated in China – and MERS in the Middle East.

    In fact, the new virus is so similar to the communicable SARS virus (called SARS-CoV) that it was christened SARS-Cov-2 by the “International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses”. WHO chose a name for the disease (COVID-19) which obscured the link to SARS on purpose.
    https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/technical-guidance/naming-the-coronavirus-disease-(covid-2019)-and-the-virus-that-causes-it

    From a risk communications perspective, using the name SARS can have unintended consequences in terms of creating unnecessary fear for some populations, especially in Asia which was worst affected by the SARS outbreak in 2003.

    Yet we are to believe that it was an organic scientific consensus in China that no precautions against human to human transmission was necessary until late January. That is, having discovered that a new SARS-like coronavirus was giving people pneumonia in Wuhan the doctors didn’t think, right away, that they and other people could catch it. Heck, even if there was “no evidence” of transmission precaution was warranted given what was at stake and the known family tree of the virus. From a medical perspective, the behavior does not make sense.

    It makes far more sense that the doctors were aware of the risk but when the crisis escalated to the highest levels of the CCP, instructions came down from above to control the narrative. In Qiushi, Xi said that he found out about the epidemic on January 1 while Caixin reported that orders to destroy samples and to muzzle doctors were also promulgated on that date. That makes sense. Once the leaders got personally involved political considerations took over and medicine served politics.

    So, in summary, I’ll say that I learned something about myself today.
    If I have to choose between believing nonsense and being accused, by gro jo, of growing up abandoned and fatherless, I’ll choose the latter every time.

    Like


  264. without provenance on a frickin DNA level it is not going to resolve clear

    Like


  265. @v8driver
    Wow, that’s a comprehensive page on the virus.

    Like


  266. “v8driver

    and i’m sorry gro jo, in specific, that article you pasted? pure agitprop not to say cnn isn’t or reuters or anything…purely comintern claptrap with those strong aggressive qualifiers!”
    Ok, now you need to show where they are just making things up. Your bit about “…strong aggressive qualifiers…” is more a stylistic criticism than a challenge to the facts they cite.
    Show that the following is bs and I’ll take your claims seriously:
    1- “Washington is now attacking Beijing from three directions. First, it is accusing the Chinese government of initially “concealing the epidemic” which allowed the crisis to get out of control and “harm the US and the world.””
    2- “Second, Washington has blackened China’s reputation saying it is hiding the “actual number of deaths,” claiming it’s somehow higher than the official account. This is an obvious attempt to deflect attention from the shocking number of deaths in the US. It’s an attempt to deceive people into think that the US is more honest than China, rather than reflecting on the dereliction of duty or even malfeasance that has occurred in the US.”
    3- “Third, the US has encouraged a few lawyers to initiate lawsuits against the Chinese government, making farcical claims and instigating anti-Chinese sentiment in the US. Washington has turned to extreme nationalism in the hope of saving itself.”
    4- “First, China’s performance in the fight against the epidemic is well-organized and achievements have been huge. All the world knows this obvious fact. Considering the serious global spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, the world will fairly judge the city of Wuhan’s overall performance in overcoming the virus.

    Wuhan was the first to report the epidemic and the first to have to make difficult choices on implementing anti-epidemic mobilization. When European countries and the US started to deal with the epidemic, they already knew much about its virulence and how it spread. Pre-warned, they only needed to weigh the risks between all-out containment and weathering the damage that would do to the economy. If all countries have failed to make all the right choices, how can they focus blame on Wuhan?”
    5- “As early as January 3, China began to inform the World Health Organization (WHO) and relevant countries and regions of the pneumonia outbreak. Chinese medical experts and administrative authorities have been collecting and accumulating knowledge on the virus ever since. On January 20, China formally confirmed human-to-human transmission of the coronavirus and made this knowledge public. Completing this evidence-based process was no easy task.

    Chinese scientists have maintained close contact with WHO and the international medical community. They have published several papers on the coronavirus outbreak in the world’s most prestigious medical journals, sharing information with the international community without reservation.”

    Like


  267. Origin, if you can dabble in amateur epidemiology, and poetry, why can’t I dabble in amateur psychology? It’s all in good fun so don’t stress it.

    Like


  268. gro jo i cant argue facts, i consider the global times somewhat ‘purple prose.’ bordering on vitriol? and noone loves a literary critic i would know.
    the rhetoric is getting out of hand and trump is i aint even gotta say nothin about that

    Like


  269. also? i think you forgot wuahai or whatever the phone company with canada and all that

    Like


  270. @gro jo it is 1 billion people in china, right? i lean strongly towards underreporting on that one #2 but i obviously can’t prove anything

    and we are not getting logs from the biosafety level 4 lab ever, so who knows man, there is something going around diplomatic cables from the US was blah blah it’s just a whole mess

    Like


  271. v8driver, thank you for your honest response. I was certain you wouldn’t be able to refute the facts in the article, I only wish others on this blog would simply admit that they can’t either and move on.
    The PRC is a sovereign nation. “As of November 2019, China’s population stood at 1.435 billion, the largest of any country in the world. According to the 2010 census, 91.51% of the population was Han Chinese, and 8.49% were minorities.”
    As a sovereign nation the PRC is not obliged to report anything to anyone, so any talk of ‘coverups’, ‘under-reporting’ is just talk. Like the USA, the PRC will release what information it deems in its interest.
    “and we are not getting logs from the biosafety level 4 lab ever, so who knows man, there is something going around diplomatic cables from the US was blah blah it’s just a whole mess”
    All the blah blah about logs from biosafety level 4 lab is just idle talk and will remain so until the leaders of the PRC decide otherwise.

    Like


  272. they’ll get “found” in a basement the day after everyone renounces their nuclear weapons!

    Like


  273. @gro jo i hate to say but this thing about mcdonalds’ in china went from youtube to the ny post last night

    Like


  274. how do you get past that feeling of wow you’re a walking disease vector?
    I mean i’m used to it for a variety of reasons but everyone, really?

    Like


  275. A black doctor can’t even help the homeless in peace during a plague.
    https://www.democracynow.org/2020/4/15/dr_armen_henderson_arrest_miami

    Like


  276. @gro jo
    I’m not “dabbling” in epidemiology. I cite sources for my claims;
    many of which, you’d be happy to know, are even Chinese!
    Show me the source of your information on my father…
    Just as I thought, Herr Joseph Groebbels dishonestly comparing apples to oranges and deflecting as usual.

    As for the poetry, I agree that I should get myself paid for it…just as you’re paid for 5h1lling on blogs. 😉

    Like


  277. “As a sovereign nation the PRC is not obliged to report anything to anyone, so any talk of ‘coverups’, ‘under-reporting’ is just talk. Like the USA, the PRC will release what information it deems in its interest.”

    And both are wrong. Both nations are part of a community of nations. As such they are absolutely obliged to report factual information regarding this global pandemic.

    To do otherwise is irresponsible and amoral.

    The days of “go it alone” horse manure is over. We no longer live in the 1200s or the 1800s. This is a connected world. The sooner governments and certain individuals learn that lesson, the sooner we move to a functional global society.

    Like


  278. @Afrofem
    I missed that statement because I honestly stopped reading much of gro jo’s nonsense. I know you’re not one for “undiplomatic” speech so I’ll implore you not to respond to me so that you aren’t implicated. However, I must be blunt here.

    By the imbecilic argument made above gro jo should say that there was nothing wrong with Iran’s military initially covering up the accidental destruction of a passenger plane, loaded with international passengers, over Tehran because it was deemed to be in that government’s interest. He’d say there’s nothing wrong with the USA withholding information so that healthy Guatemalans were unknowingly infected with syphilis for “study” because it was deemed to be in the government’s interest.

    The idea now being advanced by this sock is that governments are right, by definition, to manipulate information in their own interest regardless of the consequences for life and limb. So in addition to blaming African countries for racism against black people he’d also willingly give governments license to wreak all manner of havoc just to defend the Chinese Communist Party!

    He’s either being paid, is a superlatively brobdingnagian tool, or he’s just trolling and arguing for the sake of arguing. Either way, he’s getting something out of it and I’m not. So I’ve stopped reading, only incidentally seeing when I skim for new responses by anyone else; which is how I saw the short post directed at me. What can be learned from engaging with someone who’s not arguing in good faith?

    To quote the so-called “good book”:
    (Proverbs 29:9)

    If a wise man contend with a fool, whether he be angry or laugh, he shall find no rest.

    Like


  279. 13 days have passed since I posted 2 links to Nathan “It’s ok to love China” Rich’s youtube account.
    12 days ago Afrofem declared: “If you are able to rebut the ideas presented, do so. I’m ready to learn from different ideas. Name calling is a bore.”
    I naively thought that the youtube links blew deep holes in the whole PRC is hiding something claims.
    Origin posted a link about a Dr. who was punished for talking out of turn. I pointed out to that “superlatively brobdingnagian tool” that people gossiping about an epidemic isn’t the same as doing something about it, but being a tool, he just didn’t get it. Dr. “superlatively brobdingnagian tool” thinks it’s a good idea to yell fire in a crowded room, sane folks disagree.
    Since people on this blog are too sensitive to read PRC news comments I posted an article from that source and asked all the little geniuses to tear it down and show why it’s just PRC propaganda. ‘
    To his credit, only v8driver picked up the gauntlet. He couldn’t refute the facts but found the style not to his liking.
    I’ll make my position perfectly clear.
    1) The PRC is a sovereign nation, as such, it will do what’s in its interest whether Afrofem thinks that’s ‘moral’ or not. Funny how all the ‘woke’ people on this blog have given Trump a pass.
    Where’s the outrage over Trump’s threats to cut off funding for WHO? I guess that when you get down to the nitty gritty All USAers are arrogant bullies who imagine they have the right to lord it over the rest of humanity! Their motto is ” We’re all Trump now”.
    2) The PRC authorities became aware of the epidemic sometime in December, let the WHO know that a potential problem existed by the 3rd of January, by the 14th of January they had indications of human to human transmission, 6 days later they informed the WHO of that fact and 3 days later they took drastic measures to bring the epidemic under control.
    The ‘West’ was aware of the possibility of a pandemic but treated it as a ‘Chinese’ problem that didn’t concern them. When they were obliged to face it, “herd immunity” was their ‘solution’. Blaming the PRC is bullshit, blame your ‘democratically’ elected leaders for not caring about you.

    Like


  280. @ Afrofem

    “We no longer live in the 1200s or the 1800s. This is a connected world.”

    Even in the 1200s, the world was connected to a greater extent than most of us realize today. This movement of diseases from Asia to Europe is nothing new. The bubonic plague, for instance, followed this same path, travelling along the trade routes and carried with military campaigns.

    The difference now is the rapidity at which new diseases can traverse the entire globe. What used to take hundreds or thousands of years can now happen in a matter of weeks.

    The other crucial difference is we now have the ability to communicate instantly across the globe. We need to use that advantage to fight the disease through honest, timely communication.

    “The sooner governments and certain individuals learn that lesson, the sooner we move to a functional global society.”

    Note who already has learned that lesson. Scientists and medical professionals around the world are trying to share accurate information with each other even when their governments interfere, even when it may come with great personal cost.

    Like


  281. @v8driver
    how do you get past that feeling of wow you’re a walking disease vector?
    I hear you. I’m absolutely concerned about accidentally transporting little virus hitchikers from one person to another.

    But, I don’t think most people think that way. They’re worried about themselves and whether or not they’ll get sick, and if so, are they likely to survive it. Like Afrofem said in another thread, people are only checking off boxes as to whether or not they should be concerned about themselves.

    Like


  282. Abagond, what did you do with my reply to that “superlatively brobdingnagian tool” a/k/a Origin?
    The PRC, like Trump is free to ignore anything it considers not in its national interest. Afrofem’s ‘feeling’ that it’s ‘immoral’ is besides the point.
    Afrofem is a faux moralist since she has no power and can’t get anything done. In my book morality is desire and ability to do things that benefit humanity. Only ego maniacs engage in moral protests, as such, to hide the fact that they are weak and irrelevant. The true purpose of protests is to put the powers that be on notice that their time is up.
    Back to my favorite “tool”. Origin, I’m still waiting for you and your friends to demolish the timelines provided by Nathan “It’s ok to love China” Rich 13 days ago and the one in the Global Times article I posted. Only v8driver, to his credit, took a stab at demolishing the article by faulting it for use of “…those strong aggressive qualifiers”. I thanked the gentleman for his effort and pointed out to him the obvious fact that he had refuted nothing. He was honest enough to agree. How about a similar collective or individual effort from Afrofem and or Origin?
    Afrofem wrote: “…Name calling is a bore.” By its self, yes, but not when I also provided two timelines to go with my name calling, no.
    More Afrofemism: “…I’m ready to learn from different ideas…” Really!? Please let me know what you’ve learned from the timelines courtesy of Global Times and Nathan “It’s ok to love China” Rich?
    I’ll tell you what I’ve learned from this dispute. USAers of whatever shade and stated opinions are, at heart, little Trumps who believe the world is theirs to command. I thought you guys made excuses only when Obama and Clinton used racist propaganda to demonize the Blacks of Libya, now you are making excuses for bozo the clown Trump by trying to blame the leadership of the PRC for the 30,000+ USAers dead because your clown president didn’t give a damn about your lives. If he had done what the PRC did, tens of thousand USAers would be alive today. All the talk of ‘coverups’ is nonsense. The PRC authorities knew they had a problem by the end of December and alerted the W .H.O. by the 3rd of january, they knew that human to human transmission was possible by the 14th of January and told the W.H.O. of that fact by the 20th. On the 23rd they took drastic actions to halt the epidemic. You can argue that they should have taken such action on the 14th or the 20th, that’s the ‘superiority’ of hindsight. You ‘geniuses’ wouldn’t have done better than they did.
    Since you guys are the paranoid type, let me leave you with a nightmare scenario.
    THE FOLLOWING IS PURE FICTION FOR THE IDIOTS WHO BELIEVE IN AN ALL POWERFUL AND EVIL UR-FATHER:
    Xi was bored and idly perused an old book written 110 years ago by Jack London called the Unparalleled War. In that book, he imagined a biological war initiated by the Western powers against China. The phone rings minutes after he finished that novella. It’s 1/14/2020, Xi is told of the outbreak, the central committee gathers and they discuss preparations for dealing with the crisis. It is decided that the W.H.O. would be told about the fact of human to human transmission after the disease has spread enough to cause a pandemic. He calculated, accurately, that the threat would not be perceived by that blowhard Trump and his equally stupid European allies, especially Boris “herd immunity” Johnson. The financial damage the disease would cause would set his rivals back for several years. That’ll teach these “foreign devils” to mess with Huawei and China inc., he thought. He smiled beatifically and moved on to other businesses on the agenda.
    To my favorite “”superlatively brobdingnagian tool” a/k/a Origin, be absolutely brutal in your criticism of my ‘literary’ confection. Your ‘friend’ JOseph GROebbels. 🙂

    Like


  283. @ gro jo

    Your comment was in moderation due to its language. It is now up.

    Like


  284. J. you are a funny guy, my language was English,what was immoderate about it?

    Like


  285. The official death toll in Wuhan, China has been revised upwards by 1290 deaths from 2579 to 3869.
    https://www.globaltimes.cn/content/1185900.shtml

    [Global Times is state media, which explains the congratulatory language]

    The city of Wuhan has corrected its COVID-19 death toll to 3,869 on Friday, an increase of 1,290 compared with its previous figure, after local government altered its counting method, which analysts said reflects the Chinese government’s spirit of seeking truth from facts and respect for every deceased life during the pandemic.

    The new death toll puts the fatality rate in Wuhan at 7.7 percent. After the rectification in Wuhan, the death toll in the Chinese mainland hit 4,632 from the previous 3,342.

    The Wuhan government said it has now included the deaths of those who failed to be admitted to hospital at an early stage due to strained resources. Those who were not admitted to hospital were not previously included in the city’s death toll as hospitals were overloaded and medical workers preoccupied.

    Like


  286. @ gro jo

    You used the word “shit” in “bullshit”.

    Like


  287. I think excess death studies will show that the pandemic hit the US much sooner and harder than we think. The media and the government are only looking at the official numbers – which are limited by limited testing. They probably show only about half of what is going on.

    Like


  288. A little thing for the times and for all times as long as the internet has existed:

    The ancient truth about trolls and their host:
    Attention is that which they will want the most.
    Deny them their fuel,
    They’ll reckon it cruel,
    And soon they’ll decide not to post.

    Yes it is written of trolls and their ilk,
    Your mind is food just like calves and their milk.
    Their aim is extraction,
    They seek a reaction,
    They’ll go once there’s no mind to bilk

    On finding one, give it wide berth!
    Among them there’s logical dearth.
    For them it’s a mission,
    To divert discussion,
    To prop up their flagging self-worth.

    Like


  289. @abagond
    Something that I’ve found interesting is reading up about the history of the Spanish flu [which didn’t actually start in Spain but was covered up by the nations which were fighting WW1]. The Spanish flu was spread rapidly by the war which had soldiers moving around the globe. Of course, in our day rapid long distance travel is quite common as a norm.

    There were some more parallels such as initial claims that the new flu wasn’t a big deal and you only needed vicks. There was even premature optimism that caused additional waves of infection [link below]. That correlates with the current anxiety to “Reopen America” which may very well have the same effect wrt the current coronavirus pandemic.

    https://www.military.com/daily-news/2020/03/18/you-can-thank-military-parade-social-distancing.html

    In September 1918, many Americans thought the flu was over. The summer had brought a decrease in cases and deaths, so life began to resume as before.

    Philadelphia organized a patriotic parade to show support for the troops and sell war bonds to raise funds for the war effort. This went on despite warnings from some officials that the illness was just waiting to make a comeback. In fact, nearby Camp Dix, New Jersey, and Camp Meade, Maryland, were locked down due to hundreds of ill troops.

    Undeterred by this, and bowing to media pressure calling for the parade to go on, the city decided to stage the extravaganza on Sept. 28, 1918. The parade was huge, with crowds thronging both sides of the street for blocks. American composer John Philip Sousa, who was also a 62-year-old Marine reservist, and his orchestra even put on a concert of patriotic songs.

    In less than 72 hours, thousands in the city had fallen ill. Hospitals were overwhelmed; morgues and undertakers couldn’t keep pace with demand as citizens died by the thousands. In fact, one newspaper account said that there were “bodies stacked like cordwood” in parts of the city.

    Like


  290. I don’t think Grojo is a troll.

    China, like Russia has a troll puppet army to sway public opinion.

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/50_Cent_Party

    We all have our own idiological blinders that bias our opinions here.

    Like


  291. @mjb
    There are a few theories in my mind: trolling, shilling, a combination as a “perk” of the job. Who knows? Why not both? However mere “ideological blinders” went out the window for me with the claim that governments are justified in spreading whatever misinformation “in their interest” regardless of the consequences. Nobody can go that far without some ulterior motive.

    That dumb argument leaves no moral basis even for his own opposition to the claimed Western bias against China. It would simply mean that he has a “side” which he’s sticking to regardless of what. Which would mean he is here as a propagandist pretending to be a skeptic. Shilling is deception.

    Like


  292. “now you are making excuses for bozo the clown Trump”

    All that’s necessary to refute this statement is to run a word search on this thread for “Trump” and peruse the results.

    “Blaming the PRC is [moderated word], blame your ‘democratically’ elected leaders for not caring about you.”

    Why does it have to be an either/or choice? I blame both.

    “Where’s the outrage over Trump’s threats to cut off funding for WHO?”

    JFC, if I have to comment on this blog about every single thing Trump does that makes my blood boil, I wouldn’t get anything else done all day.

    Since this is apparently required for Gro Jo to take seriously anything that anyone says, I’m just going to go ahead now and submit my blanket condemnation of and fury over every single thing Donald J. Trump Sr. does, says, or tweets from here on out until he takes his last breath.

    Like


  293. Correction: I meant to include the following quote along with the Bozo quote:

    “Funny how all the ‘woke’ people on this blog have given Trump a pass.”

    Again, just run a word search on this thread to see how well that assertion stands up.

    Like


  294. “I don’t think Grojo is a troll.” Thank you for stating the obvious Michael Barker.
    “Origin

    The official death toll in Wuhan, China has been revised upwards by 1290 deaths from 2579 to 3869.”
    What!? No claim of a ‘coverup’? have you recovered your good sense?
    Would it have killed you to give old gro jo ” Xi Jinping’s ho-ho” a/k/a “Herr Joseph Groebbels” a little credit for anticipating such news?
    ” on Mon Apr 6th 2020 at 21:06:25
    gro jo

    Origin, thanks for the laugh… It will be years before the real toll of this outbreak will be known for any nation on earth with any kind of great precision.”

    Like


  295. Grojo is our in house Mao communist. That is his idiological blinder.

    I remember the debate he and Kiwi had over the “Great Chinese famine.” That involved hundreds of posts and that debate went on for weeks.

    The WHO does seem politically biased as opposed to neutral. In my opinion they helped China keep the lid on the potential severity of this epidemic and that lulled countries into not taking proper preparations.

    I think the WHO leadership compromised and need to step down. I don’t think funding should be stopped during the pandemic.

    Like


  296. @ MJB

    He has increasingly struck me as an old-school Maoist.

    Like


  297. it’s not his flow, it’s the soviet flow!

    Like


  298. ” However mere “ideological blinders” went out the window for me with the claim that governments are justified in spreading whatever misinformation “in their interest” regardless of the consequences. Nobody can go that far without some ulterior motive.”
    That’s because you have a problem dealing with the real world where governments lie all the time.
    “Remember the Alamo”
    “Gulf of Tonkin incident”
    ” Saddam’s nukes”, etc. all lies faithfully parroted by the ‘free press’
    ” It would simply mean that he has a “side” which he’s sticking to regardless of what.” Very perceptive of you! I, gro “It’s ok to respect China” jo do stand on the side of the PRC on this question because they are right. When they became aware of the menace of the epidemic, they threw everything at it, including the proverbial kitchen sink. When done PRC, I say.
    Please gather the evidence in as many posts as you please.
    “Why does it have to be an either/or choice? I blame both.”
    You would wouldn’t you? Being a good white female liberal, it’s only natural that you would defer to a white quasi-fascist like Trump and pretend that his crime against his nation, 30,000+ dead and humanity, cutoff of W.H.O. funding is equivalent to 4,000+ that you can lay at Xi’s feet. I won’t follow you in this train of thought.
    My dear lady, if you are going to be sarcastic, do a better job of it, this won’t do: “Since this is apparently required for Gro Jo to take seriously anything that anyone says, I’m just going to go ahead now and submit my blanket condemnation of and fury over every single thing Donald J. Trump Sr. does, says, or tweets from here on out until he takes his last breath.”
    My favorite ““superlatively brobdingnagian tool” a/k/a Origin”, is much better at it than you are.

    Like


  299. yeah i forget where i was, maybe nyc and this woman, a bit older than me, had this communist russian flag, hammer and sickle, it was giant, all that.
    I was like is that your flag, a little nervously.
    she said no it’s the soviet flag,

    Liked by 1 person


  300. @ Michael Barker

    “I don’t think Grojo is a troll. […] We all have our own idiological blinders that bias our opinions here.”

    Agreed. I admit to strong opinions, tightly held. I have my share of biases and a few ideological blinders.

    Comparing Abagond’s comment section to a cafe is a useful analogy when it comes to describing gro jo’s current behavior. Gro jo is a regular customer. Over the past five years that I have been a commenter, he has added to the atmosphere, contributed special dishes, banded with other regulars to toss tomatoes at drive-by trolls and argued vocierously with the other patrons in entertaining and enlightening ways. All well and good.

    He was often on the garrulous side, but his discourse was generally worth reading; deep and informative with flashes of brilliance. I learned a lot from gro jo.

    However, over the past 18 months, gro jo has descended into a pit of classic troll behaviors: thread-stalking, feuding, flaming, name-calling and making flimsy arguments with little or no factual backup. Even when I later find his arguments have merit, I find the facts elsewhere, not in gro jo’s arguments. This is a recent development.

    Using the cafe analogy, gro jo went from playfully flicking bits of food around and setting small fires in ashtrays (remember when those were ubiquitous in restaurants?) to tossing plates around and tripping waiters and other patrons alike.

    All of the commenters and lurkers have their own motivations for frequenting this cafe. For some, it is mere entertainment, for others it is learning mixed with fun, for still others, it is connection. For some of us it is all three and more.

    So MJB, I disagree with you on this. I do believe gro jo has become a troll. He is a resident troll. Gro jo engages in online actions to disrupt, derail, deflect and dismiss arguments. I think he does it just for his own entertainment—lots of heat, no light. Those are the actions of a troll.

    Like


  301. “on Fri Apr 17th 2020 at 18:58:43
    Michael Barker

    Grojo is our in house Mao communist. That is his idiological blinder.” Wrong.

    “Solitaire

    @ MJB

    He has increasingly struck me as an old-school Maoist.” Wrong.
    I flirted with that ideology until the blinders fell from my eyes on September 11, 1973.
    I retain a healthy respect for the CCP because it led the Chinese people from “pulled rickshaws to rockets.” Anybody who sneers at such feat is a cretin in my book.

    Like


  302. @ Solitaire

    “Scientists and medical professionals around the world are trying to share accurate information with each other even when their governments interfere, even when it may come with great personal cost.”

    So true. They are doing so even when faced with death threats and defunding.

    https://thehill.com/homenews/media/490763-fauci-dismisses-death-threats-its-my-job

    Like


  303. @ Origin

    “So I’ve stopped reading, only incidentally seeing when I skim for new responses by anyone else; which is how I saw the short post directed at me. What can be learned from engaging with someone who’s not arguing in good faith?”

    Understood. I’m moving in that direction, too.

    Like


  304. Maybe so Afrofem.

    I learned a lot from Grojo’s earlier content over the years as well. That’s in part why I am inclined to defend him.

    Name calling doesn’t bother me. I am desensitized too it from years worth of commenting on social media.

    That said intent is important. Are comments meant to engage discussion or intended for personal amusement at the expense of others.

    Like


  305. “I retain a healthy respect for the CCP because it led the Chinese people from “pulled rickshaws to rockets.”

    I would argue that is what George Bush senior, the trilateral commission and the CFR that opened China’s markets to Capitalism and Corporatism.

    American corperations saw a cheap labor market.

    Like


  306. @Origin

    There was even premature optimism that caused additional waves of infection [link below]. That correlates with the current anxiety to “Reopen America” which may very well have the same effect wrt the current coronavirus pandemic.

    (emphasis added)

    This madness has no end.
    Everybody is watching a great nation kneeling and shooting itself repeatedly.
    One mistake is understandably. Repeated errors in succession, no.

    Like


  307. @Afrofem
    “Understood. I’m moving in that direction, too.”

    Indeed.
    I also “moved in that direction” with some hesitation because I generally enjoy other people’s divergent opinions and even a bit of banter. gro jo has, in the past, posted things I did not know and was happy to learn. Name-calling isn’t a huge issue if not overdone so that the signal to noise ratio becomes too low; I can give and take there.

    However, underpinning it all has to be the belief that you’re conversing with a reasonable person who’s expressing his or her actual opinions. In the absence of that conviction, engagement feels completely pointless. For me, this thread eroded that conviction. Something feels “off”. It would have been quite an investment to become a regular on the blog just for these moments. But reading MJB’s “50c Army” link shows that propaganda is serious business.

    Like


  308. Well Michael Barker, since you’re the only one willing to dialogue, your claim is a part of the truth, not the whole truth. The PRC acquired nuclear weapons and long range missiles before Nixon’s trip to China in 1972. The PRC was going to grow no matter what “George Bush senior, the trilateral commission and the CFR” did, short of war.
    The hope of the people and organizations you mention was that they could control the PRC by making them junior partners. It didn’t quite turn out that way. The “Yellow Peril” is back.
    Your cheap labor market claim turned out to be a double edged knife for US corporations. They were under the illusion that the PRC’s corporations were unable to compete with their national champions, i.e. firms that are global behemoths and work in harmony with their states. Two decades later, the PRC developed its own national champions such as Huawei, etc. You might find this article of interest. (https://www.ft.com/content/979f69c8-f35b-11dc-b6bc-0000779fd2ac)

    Like


  309. @MJB
    For all their squabbling now, it’s interesting how instrumental the USA (especially under Nixon/Kissinger) has been in China’s rise. For a long time, America considered the Soviet Union to be the primary “communist threat” and didn’t want a strong Eurasian alliance between China and the USSR. The USA hoped to put a wedge between the two and felt that the battle was finally won once the USSR collapsed. With China isolated, it was thought that integrating the country into the global community might eventually bring about political change. It didn’t work the way American political thinkers might have envisioned. China got wealthy, created alliances, and shrewdly maintained its political system.

    @munubantu
    Some state governors have revolted and Trump has backed off the claim that he can unilaterally reopen the country. I sincerely hope the epidemiologists will not be shoved aside when critical decisions have to be made.

    Like


  310. @ Gro Jo

    “I retain a healthy respect for the CCP because it led the Chinese people from ‘pulled rickshaws to rockets.’ Anybody who sneers at such feat is a cretin in my book.”

    Your “healthy respect” spurs you to attack any criticism of the CCP’s current actions, no matter how heinous. And I object to the insinuation that someone criticizing a specific action is sneering at the entire history of the CCP or the achievements of modern China.

    I don’t have a problem with communism per se. I do have a problem with authoritarianism and totalitarianism.

    “My dear lady, if you are going to be sarcastic, do a better job of it, this won’t do”

    I wasn’t being sarcastic.

    “You would wouldn’t you? Being a good white female liberal, it’s only natural that you would defer to a white quasi-fascist like Trump”

    You know how I feel about personal attacks. Too bad, we had actually been getting along fairly well lately.

    Like


  311. Origin wrote:

    “Some state governors have revolted”

    It has been very instructive to watch the governors take charge. I’ve generally thought of the balance of powers as being between the three branches of the federal government, and in fact I believe this is the emphasis given when taught in schools. But current events have made it quite clear the founders also intended the governors of the states to be able to provide balance against a corrupt and/or incompetent president.

    Most of the examples I can think of in my lifetime until now of governors defying the federal government have been ones that do not reflect well on the states, such as resisting desegregation.

    This is different. This is the governors in a national crisis filling the vacuum of leadership created by an inept federal executive. This is the governors forming their own alliances, sharing medical equipment among themselves without waiting for FEMA, setting their own deadlines, and refusing to follow federal guidelines that they believe would endanger their citizens.

    The big problem is the governors are not all on the same page when it comes to reopening the economy, and some look like they’re going to try too soon, which could hurt not only their states but those around them.

    The lack of federal leadership is still sorely felt. It’s obvious that the states alone can’t accomplish what they could with strong federal guidance, support, and oversight. But still, it’s a history lesson in real time watching this all play out.

    Like


  312. “Your “healthy respect” spurs you to attack any criticism of the CCP’s current actions, no matter how heinous.”
    Nonsense. I defended the CCP against the absurd charge that they are responsible for the pandemic, you haven’t proven that they are. All the claque on this blog has come up with is that they feel the CCP should have acted sooner. Pretty ironic when the same claque were whining about how ‘heinous’ locking down Wuhan was. In this instance the CCP was right, the results speaks eloquently to that fact, no matter how ‘offended’ western liberals of whatever hue are.
    “You know how I feel about personal attacks. Too bad, we had actually been getting along fairly well lately.”
    It wasn’t a personal attack, just a statement of fact. White American liberals are quick to find villains overseas and overlook their home bred monsters. If you want to get along with me, you’ll have to tolerate frank assessments of how things stand from my point of view just as I put up with yours. I don’t sugarcoat for anyone.

    Like


  313. @ munubantu

    “This madness has no end.
    Everybody is watching a great nation kneeling and shooting itself repeatedly.
    One mistake is understandably. Repeated errors in succession, no.”

    It is the chickens coming home to roost. This “great nation” has stifled the development and wellbeing of scores of other countries all over the globe for fun and profit.

    When you throw ugliness into the water, it eventually floats back to you.

    Like


  314. White American liberals are also quick to tell non whites who they should vote for, what their family values are presumed to be, what their dreams, goals and aspirations should be, what words they can and cannot say ect.

    White American conservatives are similar though they place the blame on communities and suggest they can pull themselves up with their bootstraps because racism is exaggerated.

    Like


  315. When I was a kid “made in Japan” meant a poor quality made item. The U.S. underestimated the Japanese the same way they underestimate the Chinese today.

    Have you noticed how the countries that make the best cars have faired best with pandemic?

    I don’t know if there is a real correlation there lol

    Like


  316. So life in L.A. :

    The majority of people are wearing masks. There are no traffic jams and the last time the air quality was this good was in the late 40’s.

    New guidelines for contractors like myself have been issued. Most of them I had already implemented or they don’t apply as we don’t work in enclosed structures. I will have to get a thermometer to measure the temperatures of my workers before they start everyday. Workers are suppose to wash their hands once every hour but in our situation where we have workers climbing in trees that’s not practical.

    Smaller cities have closed down their city halls and permits are processed online.

    Calls in to my company have slowed down but since many people are home there has been a shifts towards home improvement projects.

    Unemployment in Los Angeles is around 50%. It is strange to drive up and down streets and see everything closed.

    I am in need of a haircut.

    When my wife comes home from the hospital the first thing she does is spray her shoes with bleach. We wash our clothes separately and use pine sole instead of bleach to disinfect as that keeps the colors from fading. But the clothes do end up having a pine sole fragrance. We also disinfect the inside of her car and mine as well. I reuse my masks by disinfecting them with alcohol every night. I can make one mask last three days.

    The hospital has made it difficult for nurses to get themselves tested for the virus. Many nurses are calling in sick and sometimes they walk off the job. My wife says that no one talks about it but there is an underlining fear when you go to work. She has trouble sleeping at night. It is why nurses snap at each other and why there is tension on the floor. “Overwhelmed” is what nurses talk about.

    Her PPE resembles a space suit which offers 100% protection but it requires concentration and continual self monitoring to not infect yourself. That is what makes 12 hour shifts draining.

    The pay for traveler nurses has quadrupled. My wife picked up a new contract at a hospital in Ventura county that pays “doctor wages” for nurses working codvit-19. She will be staying at a hotel three days a week working there, as well as working two days a week at her present job. This will be the highest paying job of her career as a icu nurse.

    Hopefully she will be able to keep it together.

    Liked by 1 person


  317. @ Gro Jo

    “It wasn’t a personal attack, just a statement of fact.”

    This is what you said:

    “Being a good white female liberal, it’s only natural that you would defer to a white quasi-fascist like Trump”

    If that is a fact, then show me exactly where I deferred to Trump. A direct quote, not your suppositions about what goes on inside my head or using the statements of other people in this thread as indicative of my own opinions.

    White American liberals”

    I stopped identifying as a liberal some time back. If you want to pigeonhole me as that, I can’t stop you, but it has about as much effect on me as if you called me a Democrat.
    shrugs

    Like


  318. Well the U.S. is quasi fascist already. That won’t change if Biden becomes president. In fact today Biden was criticizing Trump for not holding China accountable.

    The U.S. is becoming more nationalistic and the economy is already run by corperations which are protected and nurtured by the State.

    I can see China becoming the new scapegoat. Nobody is talking about Islamic terrorism anymore.

    Like


  319. Solitaire said,

    “But current events have made it quite clear the founders also intended the governors of the states to be able to provide balance against a corrupt and/or incompetent president.”

    I think prior to Lincoln state rights were stronger then federal rights. That changed after the civil war.

    I’m not sure whether the “founders” put that in by design or whether the nature of travel and communication resulted in a more decentralized government.

    The resurgence of “state rights” returned with right wing conservatives in the civil rights era and within the last few years with womens rights and abortion. Republicans also uses state rights to hinder federal voter guidelines ect.

    Governor Newsom has on occasion referred to California as a “nation state”. I think it’s good that states are pushing back against Trump whenever he evokes his “absolute authority” rhetoric.

    It also makes sense that in opening up the economy Governors would have a better pulse on the conditions within their territories that would allow people to get back to work while minimizing the spread of the virus.

    It maybe that life as we use to know it make take a few years to return to normal.

    Like


  320. @ Michael Barker

    “…life as we use to know it make take a few years to return to normal.”

    I sometimes wonder what that new “normal” will look like.

    COVID-19 has been a godsend to repressive governments. Macron in France, Modi in India and Duterte in the Philippines have used virus related “lockdowns” to suppress protests and dissent. The parliment of Hungary dissolved itself and handed total power to the Viktor Orban.

    Authoritarians love heavy handed measures and COVID-19 restrictions on the population is definately in their comfort zone.

    We have to wait and see which restrictions are lifted and how soon.

    Liked by 1 person


  321. @ Michael Barker

    I can see China becoming the new scapegoat. Nobody is talking about Islamic terrorism anymore.

    So true. Very interesting indeed.

    Like


  322. @ Origin

    “There were some more parallels such as initial claims that the new flu wasn’t a big deal ….There was even premature optimism that caused additional waves of infection”

    That “premature” optimism and boredom with social distancing measures are being exploited by so-called “business leaders” and the Prez for their own ends.

    I came across an article that echoes your example. A local site detailed resistence to containment measures and instances of “premature optimism” during the 1918 Influenza Pandemic:

    “Quarantine was hard to maintain, but Seattle quickly learned that shutting down the city helped. The benefit was almost visible in real time.

    […] By early October of 1918, Seattle shut its schools, banned public gatherings and closed churches and theaters and some sporting events, a version of our present “stay-at-home” order. Key businesses and other necessary activities carried on. The ban lasted about six weeks, then was eased as influenza cases and deaths appeared to slow.

    But premature optimism seems to be characteristic of pandemics. First, authorities were in denial that local cases were the Spanish flu. Then, they believed it could be defeated too quickly.

    When the isolation rules were relaxed, a second wave hit. More socializing and contact caused a rise in sickness and death. The spread also seemed to be tied to public gatherings or holidays — the street celebrations at the World War I armistice, in November, which officials could not prevent, followed by Thanksgiving and another spike just after Christmas and New Year’s.

    […] When the 1918 shutdown order for Seattle first went into effect, people didn’t adhere to it. Police had to break up gatherings in soda parlors and billiard rooms. People were ordered to wear masks in public; if they didn’t, they were not allowed on transit.

    People complained about limitations to their movements and on public entertainment. Anticipating that, the Seattle Star newspaper ran a story about the new rules, with an above-the-fold box admonishing: “Don’t Be a Grumbler.”

    It went on, “Don’t grumble because you can’t see a movie or play a game of billiards — or because the schools and churches are closed. The health of the city is more important than all else. An ounce of prevention now is worth a thousand cures. In Boston, influenza has taken a toll of thousands. We do not want to court that situation here.”

    https://crosscut.com/2020/03/premature-optimism-pandemic-can-be-deadly

    While certain “leaders” are egging on misguided protests against shutdown measures, those same “leaders” are safely esconced in their spacious homes with large private outdoor areas. They have freezers and pantries full of food and toilet paper.

    Michigan governor Gretchen Whitmer responded to the protesters in her state with this quip recently: “six feet apart or six feet under”.

    To paraphrase the old saying: ignorance of history leads to repeating history.

    Like


  323. For the #COVIDIOTS of the world:

    Like


  324. @Afrofem
    Thanks for that info on Seattle’s Spanish flu outbreak. I recently came upon an article about San Francisco’s outbreak which documented a similar course of events.

    https://www.influenzaarchive.org/cities/city-sanfrancisco.html#

    Despite the closure order and gathering ban, the centerpiece of San Francisco’s crusade against influenza was the face mask.
    […]
    But it was San Francisco that pushed for the early and widespread use of masks as a way to prevent the spread of the dread malady. On October 18, the day that the other health measures went into effect, Hassler ordered that all barbers wear masks while with customers, and recommended clerks who came into contact with the general public also don them. The next day, Hassler added hotel and rooming house employees, bank tellers, druggists, store clerks, and any other person serving the public to the list of those required to wear masks. Citizens were again strongly urged to wear masks while in public.
    […]
    The wearing of a mask immediately became of a symbol of wartime patriotism. A Red Cross public service announcement stated bluntly, “the man or woman or child who will not wear a mask now is a dangerous slacker,” calling into question the patriotism of those who refused.
    […]
    It may have worked for most residents, but there were still many who refused to wear a mask. Hassler and Mayor Rolph therefore moved to make wearing a mask in public mandatory.
    […]
    The ordinance was drafted by the city attorney’s office to ensure its legality and quickly passed. Starting on October 25, every resident and visitor of San Francisco would be required to wear a mask while in public or when in a group of two or more people, except at mealtime.

    Both city officials and local newspapers reported widespread compliance with the mask order, estimating that four out of five people were wearing their masks in public even before the ordinance was passed. Unfortunately, many of the masks were constructed of dubious materials even more porous and ineffective than the standard surgical gauze most often used.
    […]
    While most residents caught without a mask were simply forgetful or minor transgressors, some harbored deep resentment over being forced to wear a mask while in public and made it a point to scoff the law. One woman, a downtown attorney, argued to Mayor Rolph that the mask ordinance was “absolutely unconstitutional” because it was not legally enacted, and that as a result every police officer who had arrested a mask scofflaw was personally liable.

    Meanwhile, the epidemic continued to grind on, although the number of new reported cases had begun to decline.
    [..]
    Still, the situation had improved enough for Hassler to recommend re-opening the city. On November 13 the Board of Health voted to lift the various bans starting on Saturday, November 16.
    […]
    After having been starved of most entertainment outlets for a month, San Franciscans packed the city’s theaters, movie houses, and sports arenas.
    […]
    At noon on November 21, San Franciscans simultaneously removed their masks as a whistle-blow sounded across the city, the result of Mayor Rolph’s annulment of the ordinance the previous day. Requests by the health department to conserve gauze amounted to little as residents joyously ripped the hated masks from their faces and unceremoniously tossed them in the streets.
    […]
    The celebrations were unfortunately short-lived. On December 7, Mayor Rolph, after being informed by Hassler of a slight recrudescence of the disease, publicly declared that influenza was once again epidemic in San Francisco and requested that residents once again don their masks.
    […]
    When the number of new cases being reported to health authorities dipped slightly, it gave all involved hope that a second peak was not on its way.
    […]
    The reprieve was only temporary. On January 10, with over 600 new influenza cases reported for the day, the Board of Supervisors voted to re-enact the mask ordinance beginning January 17, despite strong evidence that, as one newspaper put it, “the compulsory wearing of masks does not affect the progress of the epidemic.
    […]
    Sentiment was so strong against the mask that several influential San Franciscans, including a few physicians as well as a member of the Board of Supervisors, formed “The Anti-Mask League” which held at least one public meeting to denounce the ordinance and to discuss ways to put an end to it. Over 2,000 people attended the event.

    This is was a century ago and people are basically the same. Folks in Michigan were protesting “social distancing” while some beaches in Florida were opened as the state’s daily infection count rose. From photos, it seems the beaches were packed.

    Like


  325. @Solitaire re: the governors revolting.

    It’s interesting, but is it indicative of a weakened federal government?
    States have been revolting in various ways under the Trump administration including refusing to cooperate with the admin’s immigration sweeps.
    There’s a thread on twitter following the state blocs while they formed as governors coordinated to handle the epidemic in the absence of unifying coordination at the federal level.

    Some people have alluded to Garreau’s “The Nine Nations of North America” which proposed a set of redrawn borders according to cultural blocs without regard for the existing state lines.
    One could wonder what are the implications of erosion of confidence in the federal government in a way that’s particularly strong in some states but not in others?

    Like


  326. @ Mary Burrell

    What is your experience with the COVID-19 pandemic in Dallas? How are you holding up?

    Like


  327. @ Origin

    “States have been revolting in various ways under the Trump administration including refusing to cooperate with the admin’s immigration sweeps.”

    That’s true. What I find different about this situation is it’s not just state resistance to federal policy but actually stepping in to perform what should have been the federal executive branch’s actions when that branch either could not or would not.

    Trump and his administration are not providing a strong coordinated response to the pandemic, like any halfway competent administration should have done. Of course, Trump is also actively dumping a lot of that responsibility onto the states, like expecting them to find their own PPE, so to some extent the governors are being forced into this position.

    “It’s interesting, but is it indicative of a weakened federal government?”

    I think that remains to be seen. Many of the governors have expressed frustration and dissatisfaction over the current state of affairs, and would presumably welcome a stronger federal role. This could just end up being a blip due to Trump’s personal ineptitude.

    I guess what I was getting at, is comparing our current situation to the type of monarchy which ruled us in the 1770s. When the king is off his rocker, a crisis like a pandemic can take a nation under. There often is no regional mechanism for thwarting his crazy dictates.

    As MJB pointed out, I may have gone too far by saying the founders purposely instituted a structure where the state governments could bypass a crackpot president in a way that a crackpot monarch usually could not be worked around. But whether it was intentional or not, that appears to be what’s happening. In particular, the 10th Amendment is currently giving the state governors constitutional grounds for their actions, whereas in an 18th century monarchy they would have had no such legal power.

    “Some people have alluded to Garreau’s “The Nine Nations of North America” which proposed a set of redrawn borders according to cultural blocs without regard for the existing state lines.”

    That’s an intriguing observation.

    “One could wonder what are the implications of erosion of confidence in the federal government in a way that’s particularly strong in some states but not in others?”

    I suppose we could consider the Confederate secession the ultimate example of states’ revolt in U.S. history so far. I don’t think we’re there yet, but if Trump is re-elected in November and the pandemic continues or worsens, it’s certainly possible that some of these blocs may move in that direction.

    Liked by 1 person


  328. I think that FEMA was never designed to deal with a crisis on a national level. It was designed more towards regional disasters like hurricanes ect.

    Also obvious is the the Federal government had no plan in place to deal with a national pandemic. So while there were government agencies that studied viruses like the coronavirus there appears there wasn’t a plan in place to deal with a pandemic if it actually occurred.

    FEMA has been running around the country “reallocating” medical supplies. This has involved interrupting shipments to hospitals that had ordered them as well as on an international level by out bidding other countries for supplies thus “pirating” shipments directly to the U.S.

    So on one hand federal intervention seems to be interfering with hospitals on a local level yet the Governors on the West coast are praising FEMA for their efforts.

    So I am not sure what to make of it.

    California at one time did have a reserve of medical supplies set aside specifically for a pandemic. During a recession Governor Brown chose to shut down and liquidate the supplies. He did so because even though he was a “liberal Democrat” he was also known to be fiscally conservative when it came to running deficits within the State budget.

    To Afrofem’s point about lifting restrictions too early I agree. That will lead to further infections.

    I also think that stock markets are in denial and that the current value of stocks do not reflect the reality of mass unemployment, drastic falls in GDP, inability to move goods ect.

    Meat processing plants will have to be designed for social distancing to keep people from getting infected. Meat shortages are on the horizon.

    It maybe that we will have to come to live with the virus. It seems to me that “non essential” businesses like hair and nail salons, pet grooming, snoke shops, book stores, clothing ect will have to restructure how they do business through limiting the number of patrons, social distancing, face masks ect.

    So while big business wants to push the limits in getting their factory workers back to work there is also many small business owners who are floundering right now. These “business loans” go to places like the high end chain ‘Chris Ruth steak house” but are unavailable to the local nail salon down the street.

    Like


  329. Covid-19 resource list.

    View at Medium.com

    Like


  330. “One of the areas I get the most questions about is regarding FEMA ‘seizing’ or ‘commandeering’ critical PPE. I want to share the ground-truth with you – FEMA is neither seizing or taking PPE from local or state governments or taking PPE from hospitals or any commercial entity lawfully engaged in the PPE distribution.”

    From the FEMA link I posted.

    They are denying that they are doing this yet there are reports that they are seizing PPE.

    Like


  331. @ MJB

    “Also obvious is the the Federal government had no plan in place to deal with a national pandemic. So while there were government agencies that studied viruses like the coronavirus there appears there wasn’t a plan in place to deal with a pandemic if it actually occurred.”

    There was a federal plan. Abagond linked to it here:

    https://abagond.wordpress.com/2020/03/20/trump-on-the-coronavirus/#comment-436002

    More about it here:

    https://www.politico.com/news/2020/03/25/trump-coronavirus-national-security-council-149285

    Liked by 1 person


  332. Obama’s outgoing administration also briefed Trump’s incoming team on the pandemic threat:

    Seven days before Donald Trump took office, his aides faced a major test: the rapid, global spread of a dangerous virus in cities like London and Seoul, one serious enough that some countries were imposing travel bans.

    In a sober briefing, Trump’s incoming team learned that the disease was an emerging pandemic — a strain of novel influenza known as H9N2 — and that health systems were crashing in Asia, overwhelmed by the demand.

    “Health officials warn that this could become the worst influenza pandemic since 1918,” Trump’s aides were told. Soon, they heard cases were popping up in California and Texas.

    The briefing was intended to hammer home a new, terrifying reality facing the Trump administration, and the incoming president’s responsibility to protect Americans amid a crisis. But unlike the coronavirus pandemic currently ravaging the globe, this 2017 crisis didn’t really happen — it was among a handful of scenarios presented to Trump’s top aides as part of a legally required transition exercise with members of the outgoing administration of Barack Obama.

    And in the words of several attendees, the atmosphere was “weird” at best, chilly at worst.

    POLITICO obtained documents from the meeting and spoke with more than a dozen attendees to help provide the most detailed reconstruction of the closed-door session yet. It was perhaps the most concrete and visible transition exercise that dealt with the possibility of pandemics, and top officials from both sides — whether they wanted to be there or not — were forced to confront a whole-of-government response to a crisis. The Trump team was told it could face specific challenges, such as shortages of ventilators, anti-viral drugs and other medical essentials, and that having a coordinated, unified national response was “paramount” — warnings that seem eerily prescient given the ongoing coronavirus crisis….

    Multiple current and former Trump officials reached by POLITICO said they did not recall much about the briefing. But some Obama aides who attended said they were left with the impression that many of the Trump aides showed up to simply check off a box more than to learn….

    “The problem is that they came in very arrogant and convinced that they knew more than the outgoing administration — full swagger,” one former Obama administration official who attended said.

    “There were people who were there who said, ‘This is really stupid and why do we need to be here,’” added another senior Obama administration official who attended….

    Asked whether information about the pandemic exercise reached the president-elect, a former senior Trump administration official who attended the meeting couldn’t say for sure but noted that it wasn’t “the kind of thing that really interested the president very much.”

    “He was never interested in things that might happen. He’s totally focused on the stock market, the economy and always bashing his predecessor and giving him no credit,” the person said. “The possibility things were things he didn’t spend much time on or show much interest in.

    “Even though we would put time on the schedule for things like that, if they happened at all, they would be very, very brief,” the former official continued. “To get the president to be focused on something like this would be quite hard.”

    https://www.politico.com/news/2020/03/16/trump-inauguration-warning-scenario-pandemic-132797

    Liked by 2 people


  333. @ Michael Barker

    “Also obvious is the the Federal government had no plan in place to deal with a national pandemic. ”

    I googled it. It took less than ten minutes to find the pandemic plans for both Bush II and Obama. And the UK.

    In January 2017, during the transition, Obama’s people briefed Trump’s people on what to do in a pandemic. Two-thirds of those Trump people, however, are now gone.

    Last year the US government and several states went through a simulated pandemic – Crimson Contagion. The draft report is online. Over a half million people died because the US government was too uncoordinated and underfunded and the states did not know what to do. Oh, and because there was a shortage of ventilators.

    Liked by 1 person


  334. So Trump and his administration never took it seriously. And still doesn’t if he thinks he can safely open up the economy.

    Like


  335. $2.2 trillion / 140.9 million US taxpayers = $15,613.91

    Like


  336. @ Abagond

    “$2.2 trillion / 140.9 million US taxpayers = $15,613.91”

    If only…

    Like


  337. On another blog I frequent, I read a second-hand account of how business owners of New Zealand are being cared for by their government:

    “Wukchumni
    April 19, 2020 at 7:56 am
    p.s.
    A missive from a friend in Auckland:

    “Things are not bad – pretty sick of lock down but tomorrow they’ll announce it we go down to level 3 on Thursday which would be a big relief. It’s very strict although the police take a pretty good humoured approach, and you can’t really go anywhere unless you like hanging out at supermarkets. Someone got a month in jail after their sixth breach. I think I can run the business ok under level 3 rules.

    I wouldn’t say people are big on being told what to do here but most have the sense to realise that the government’s not the enemy in this. It’s times like these when a benevolent welfare state shows it can sometimes work fairly equitably although it will eternally be a battle to offer enough to those who’ve hit rock bottom without making it an appealing lifestyle option.

    Homelessness used to be pretty much invisible here (when I was a kid begging was completely unknown – never saw a single case till I went to Sydney in 1976 where I was shocked to see people lying in the gutter). More now but apparently very mild compared with the SF’s of this world.

    If business owners can show that their turnover for one month is over 30% down on the same month last year, you get about $575 for each fulltime employee and $350 for each part timer (20 hours or less a week) x 12 weeks worth. That includes self employed. I wasn’t going to bother applying but my wife said we should so I did – got about $11000 within about a week or so. If you applied early enough, apparently the money came through within hours.

    Don’t envy some federal system here at present – it’s like the same old excuse that big companies make for their incompetence – sooo big…soo busy…sooo many customers! One would presume that with all those resources and momentum they’d be hyper efficient at churning out those $1200 cheques?

    Even if they did, how long would that last anyway? I was reading a thread on City Data where someone asked whether a job offer of 125K in San Francisco was worth accepting. Almost to a man their fellow bloggers said ‘forget it’.

    What’s the beef with socialism there [in the USA]? (which they already have anyway when it suits them) I would have thought the death toll in something like the Vietnam war was highly socialised. I understand the law of the jungle but doesn’t that only work if there’s some way of limiting the numbers of the little guys?”

    Reply ↓
    orlbucfan 
April 19, 2020 at 10:18 am

    What is it like to live in a civilized, first world country? Sigh….
”

    https://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2020/04/links-4-19-2020.html#comment-3344827

    ❍❍❍❍❍❍❍❍❍❍❍❍❍❍❍❍❍❍❍❍❍❍❍❍❍❍❍❍❍❍❍❍❍❍❍❍❍❍❍❍❍

    During the furor about Trump calling African countries, “$hIthole countries” I remember thinking about how the US is the premiere $hIthole country: decaying infrastructure, poor educational and healthcare systems, inadequate housing and greedy oligharchs sucking the lifeblood out of the population.

    COVID-19 throws a harsh light on our third-world status at present. New Zealanders get financial relief within days, or even hours. In the USA, millions of workers and business owners will be lucky to get financial relief in months—-if ever.

    Liked by 1 person


  338. @v8driver
    “how do you get past that feeling of wow you’re a walking disease vector?”
    I hear you. I’m absolutely concerned about accidentally transporting little virus hitchikers from one person to another.

    But, I don’t think most people think that way. They’re worried about themselves and whether or not they’ll get sick, and if so, are they likely to survive it. Like Afrofem said in another thread, people are only checking off boxes as to whether or not they should be concerned about themselves.

    Like


  339. @ Michael Barker

    “It seems to me that “non essential” businesses like hair and nail salons, pet grooming, snoke shops, book stores, clothing ect”

    Hair salons and book stores “non essential”, speak for yourself! LOL.

    Like


  340. @ Open Minded Observer

    I believe it’s spam. This is the link their username connects to:

    https://www.lyricsejwal.com/

    I didn’t click on it, though.

    The spambots usually write things like “great article with much information” but perhaps now they are copying from valid comments to try to avoid spam filters.

    Liked by 1 person


  341. @ Afrofem

    “Hair salons and book stores “non essential”, speak for yourself! LOL.”

    Reading this, I just realized that until very recently I would have ranked book stores way above hair salons as essential to my life. But now it dawns on me that I can still order books online or read e-books, but I can’t cut my own hair. Yikes!

    Like


  342. https://losangeles.cbslocal.com/2020/04/20/coronavirus-lausd-serves-10-million-meals/

    Los Angeles schools have so far manged to serve 10 million meals since the beginning of the pandemic.

    Like


  343. @Origin,

    Even ignoring credible reports that Chinese doctors were being muzzled from December and that Taiwan was warning about human to human transmission, this does not compute.

    By December 31, Taiwan had already launched a protocol to address the emerging epidemic and started monitoring persons arriving from Wuhan with checks for fever and other flu-like symptoms. Any arrival with symptoms were promptly separated and subjected to tests for seasonal flu, SARS and MERS.

    Taiwanese doctors regularly monitor Mainland medical chat groups, including the chats from the whistleblower Li Wenliang (李文亮), the one who died in early February. As soon as a SARS-like pneumonia was being reported in hospitals, and spreading to medical personnel over a period of weeks in December, that alerted Taiwanese officials to activate their epidemic monitoring protocols.

    Some screen saves from Dec 31, 2019 were shared in this article:

    CORONAVIRUS/How an online post forewarned Taiwan about COVID-19
    https://focustaiwan.tw/society/202004170016

    Meanwhile, in early January, Li Wenliang (李文亮) and his cohorts were arrested, forced to admit their transgressions, sign forms that they would never do it again, and had their chats and emails deleted.

    So, Taiwan launched their epidemic control (formulated after the 2003 SARS epidemic) protocol weeks before anything was done in Wuhan, and way before WHO raised any signals. Since Taiwan was excluded from the WHO, they did not feel obligated to follow their recommendations. Conversely, WHO completely disregarded anything discussed or discovered in Taiwan. The world is poorer for it.

    This did not go unnoticed in Hong Kong, as people in Hong Kong noticed that information coming out of the mainland and from the HK government and the WHO did not mesh with what was going on in Taiwan. If you may recall, Hong Kong was the epicentre of the 2003 SARS epidemic, with almost 40% of all global deaths in HK alone. Hong Kong had about 300 deaths from SARS, and so far, only 4 deaths from the novel coronavirus 2019-20. Since the SARS outbreak in Hong Kong followed a massive cover-up on the mainland, they have developed a natural skepticism of reports coming out of the mainland, and started challenging both the government and the WHO on the situation.

    Since Taiwan is excluded from the WHO, it might be good for people who are skeptical of the WHO to follow the media in Taiwan and its government’s health department to get an alternate viewpoint. BTW, Reporters without Borders (RSF) relocated from Hong Kong to Taiwan 2 years ago due to the deteriorating press freedom in Hong Kong. Taiwan’s rating is now the best in Asia. Let me know if Google Translate is giving you gibberish, I can help with it.

    Like


  344. jefe, well done, if what you claim is true. What about the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, any input on them as well? There’s some controversy regarding Kim Jong Un’s health, your employer, US intelligence, says he’s on the precipice, hanging on for dear life, while the PRC and South Koreans dispute that claim. What can your network tell us about this?

    Like


  345. The U.S. hit 20,000 deaths on April 11. We doubled that in about a week’s time, reaching 40,000 this weekend. Today, Tuesday April 21st, we are over 45,000. New deaths yesterday was almost 2,000; today well over 2,000.

    If my math is not wrong — and it could be, I’m not good at math — unless there is a drastic decrease in the average daily death rate, we are on track to break 50,000 in the next few days and 60,000 by the end of April.

    Why am I still seeing projections in the media and from governments that the total death toll in the U.S. is going to be between 60,000 and 100,000?

    I really do not understand this. Please, if I’m missing something or just panicking, explain it to me like I’m five.

    Like


  346. @ Solitaire

    My two cents on your numbers puzzle.
    The sequence of numbers you are looking at is rising but eventually will reach a plateau and hopefully begin to come down.
    This is the only possibility to reconcile what you are seeing right now and what is the immediate future the projections assume.
    Maybe you can look at the two trends simultaneously: 1) number of cases, 2) number of deaths.
    I suppose that there is a constant factor between them (approximately) and a fixed time lag between them (approximately).
    Then, if the first curve, the number of cases, is already in its plateau or decreasing phase (or close; maybe only decelerating the ascension) , then the second curve will follow suit and therefore both are close to the peak (one ahead of the other, of course).
    In practical terms: if the grow of the number of cases is already decelerating then the grow of the number of deaths will follow that trend, maybe in two weeks (if this is the “time lag”). So, the number of deaths can be increasing today but, following the decelerating trend in the number of cases today, the former will be decreasing in a few days (maybe one week or two). And both will plateau next and hopefully begin to decrease (first the curve of number of cases and then next the curve of the number of deaths).
    Makes sense?
    I haven’t looked at the USA specific numbers but this is my take on this apparent puzzle. Try to see it in graphical terms.
    Unfortunately the way this disease spreads and the decisions to re-open soon the economy, taken by the politicians, only will complicate matters and the plateauing and decreasing of both the number of cases and the number of deaths will have to wait more weeks to materialize.

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  347. @ Munubantu

    Thank you. Yes, I do follow what you’re saying about the lag in time between new cases and the number of fatalities within that specific group of new cases.

    It seems to me the U.S. may actually be at a plateau right now as far as death rate. The daily numbers aren’t steadily rising anymore, but they aren’t yet falling quickly either.

    To provide more context for my earlier question: 60,000 deaths is also the rough number for the total U.S. flu fatalities in the most recent flu season. Because the University of Washington model forecasts this same number for covid-19, I’m seeing a lot of conservative opinion pieces and blog comments where they claim covid-19 is no worse than the flu.

    Your point about the number of new cases is well taken. I have to say that it is very unclear to me whether the decrease we have seen on some days is statistically significant — but again, I’m not good at math. Since the beginning of April, the daily number of new cases has been between ~25,000 and ~34,000. But it has wobbled back and forth. We will have 2 or 3 days below 30k and people will get optimistic, but then there will be an uptick above 30k for the next couple days.

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  348. re: Solitaire

    I’m seeing a lot of conservative opinion pieces and blog comments where they claim covid-19 is no worse than the flu.

    Every one of those opinion pieces is comparing apples to oranges by using a false comparison.

    But for the seasonal flu, we don’t do society-wide societal shutdowns with strong social distancing measures and other mitigation measures. And we have a vaccine.

    so if the seasonal flu kills as many people as the current coronavirus under strict mitigation measures, imagine what the comparison would be without the mitigation measures.

    The current pandemic is at least 10 times as deadly than the common flu, and actually probably even much worse as we have no vaccine.

    Like


  349. https://news.usc.edu/168987/antibody-testing-results-covid-19-infections-los-angeles-county/

    If this Los Angels study turns out to be true then the virus is far more contagious then people realized. The good news would be that it would be far less lethal then what current projections show.

    The test base for this study was less then 900 people so its possible that it has some divergence with its results.

    The current models are based on people who have been tested because they have shown symptoms. Those models show a 3 to 4 percent mortality rate.

    This study indicates that a far greater portion of the population are or were infected, it is just that they didn’t show symptoms or get sick. That also means that they can infect other people during the period that they are shedding the virus.

    It could be that people who get a light viral load are able to build antibodies quickly to resist it. Those that get infected with a heavy viral load get sick and those with preexisting conditions are more likely to pass away.

    So for example if you were sitting on a bus and someone infected sitting next too you coughed all over then you would be recieving a heavy viral load. If you were sitting five seats down then you would be getting a light viral load.

    A study recently showed that Codvit is airborne up to 12 feet which twice as far as the recommended distance of six feet.

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  350. This study suggests that the Coronavirus can be airborne up too 27 feet.

    I believe this is building herd immunity through spreading light viral loads that help develop anti bodies without the accompanying sickness.

    https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/health/2020/03/30/coronavirus-social-distancing-mit-researcher-lydia-bourouiba-27-feet/5091526002/

    Like


  351. @ Jefe

    Right, and the mitigation effect was pointed out in some of the comments I was reading. But even the people who pointed out the mitigation effect were talking about the 60,000 projection as if that was going to be the total number of deaths, period.

    It’s actually the projected total for August 4, not overall. But I don’t see how we aren’t going to hit the 60,000 mark way before then unless — as I said above — I’m missing something about how rapid the decline could be.

    I think my big mistake was spending too long in a right-wing bubble. And the particular places that I was lurking weren’t populated by tinfoil conspiracy Q loons, but mostly more traditional moderate conservatives, people who obviously had functional brains and a decent education, so it was more alarming.

    And then I started thinking that in the mainstream media, I’m still seeing lots of references to the 60,000 projection, or sometimes 100,000. Also a lot of reporters who seem to think if we’re past the “peak” everything is going to improve rapidly. That doesn’t look to be the case to me. I don’t know if I’m interpreting the numbers wrong or if it’s just too early to tell.

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  352. Solitaire. There is so much we don’t know about the virus.

    The projection model that points towards 60,000 to 100,000 dead are based on three things. People who were sick who have been tested, the virus is currently limited spread and the assumption the virus will act the same way as the flue virus by producing enough antibodies to protect those who recovered from reinfection.

    The virus is not acting like it is suppose too.

    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-china-patients-ins-idUSKCN2240HI

    Like


  353. My point is that current projections are probably wrong.

    Not enough testing and the general population with no symptoms has yet to be tested.

    1 to 2 percent of those who recovered months ago still test positive for the virus. Of those a small percentage have shown symptoms again.

    Like


  354. @ solitaire

    In HK, we have been exercising social distancing measures for 3 months already. Schools, cinemas, most govt offices, community centres have been closed since January. All large events were cancelled. Bars, gyms, karaoke lounges, beauty salons and massage parlours, and all social clubs were added in March after the 2nd wave. Together with daily reminders for hand hygiene,disinfecting homes and surfaces in public places, maintaining physical distance, and ubiquitous donning of facemasks, we have been in this mode for 3 months and it is even being extended. We are not in full lockdown, and apart from a few industries, there has not been any lockdown of non-essential services nor any shelter in place order.

    With this in place, the health department reported a significant decrease in seasonal flu cases. So, our total infectious disease cases (including both influenza and coronaviruses) are actually down from prior years and deaths resulting from these diseases are also down overall. So, this activity has indeed reduced all cases and all deaths.

    So, if the US deaths from this coronavirus meets or surpasses the deaths from influenza at all, then that is already fantastically horrific. That means despite all the hygiene and social distancing measures, the disease is still spreading like wildfire. And it is a disease that has no vaccine.

    That is like a raging wildfire in a densely populated area surrounded by dry brush with no prospect of rain or water for the next 18 months. We kept people alive by keeping them out of their homes. Relaxing the social distancing would be like letting them back into their homes while the fire is raging all around them. (Epidemic is the opposite, keeping them IN their homes.)

    I strongly suspect that US is generally very lax in doing what it can, based on what I see from reports and images and what I know about the US. All essential workers (not just medical personnel) should have their temperature taken before and after they work, and be wearing PPE, ie, high grade surgical facemasks, single use sterilized gloves, and even something to cover themselves, not unlike a surgical gown, and their workplaces should be disinfected multiple times per day, as well as their clothes and gowns. But I know there is no PPE available, so I think we will continue to have high infection spread among the essential workers, as well as in places where people live together, like nursing homes and prisons.

    It is alarming to see the images here from the US about people going outside like they do (I mean cavalier attitude, no facemasks for everyone or no gloves for workers, no temperature check, disregard for maintaining physical distancing in indoor spaces, etc.). They would never do that here. It seems pointless to do shelter in place without doing the rest.

    It is alarming to see the way they conduct press briefings in the US. Everyone would be wearing a mask in HK and maintaining their distance, as well as getting their temperature checked. They do not do that in the US. And senior officials should be setting a much better example to their constituents than they currently are. I was very very incensed when Gov. Cuomo explained a few days ago why he did not wear a mask at the press briefings. His explanation was dead wrong.

    Yet, in HK, we have never been under total lockdown. Most shops are still open and people can go out anytime they want, and even meet friends and family (in groups no larger than 4). And we have had only 4 deaths and 1030 cases since January. We have had only single digit new cases recorded for the past 9 days and even zero reported this past Monday.

    The difference is really very simple. Anyone here can be tested for free. They do diligent contact tracing, and test every single contact and isolate anyone positive and quarantine the rest. In the US, there is still way too much untraceable community spread. That has to be zero untraceable community spread before relaxing measures. ZERO. Even S. Korea still does not have that yet.

    Only Taiwan and HK are experiencing that now. I really think that their respective experience with SARS has what has set them apart (together with distrust of the CCP propaganda and skeptical view of the WHO, who spread a lot of misinformation).

    Also, each and every person arriving into HK now must be tested for the coronavirus, regardless whether they are showing any symptoms, and must wait for the results in one of two designated locations. They will not be released into mandatory quarantine (negative) or sent to hospital isolation (positive) until the test results are returned. All asymptomatic cases here will be sent to an isolation ward even if they display no symptoms.

    We have had 11 consecutive days with no untraceable community spread. However, they told us that they will require 2 consecutive periods of 14 day incubation periods each (ie, 28 consecutive days of zero community spread) before they will relax any of the social distancing measures.

    Liked by 1 person


  355. @ MJB

    “My point is that current projections are probably wrong.”

    I agree.

    @ Jefe

    “So, if the US deaths from this coronavirus meets or surpasses the deaths from influenza at all, then that is already fantastically horrific.”

    Yes! That’s why I was freaking out. I went back over the daily numbers for the last thirty days and started thinking, Why is no one shouting from the rooftops that we are nowhere near ready to relax what paltry measures we have in place? It’s true there are scientists and medical officials cautioning that if we don’t start doing the things you described to trace and stop the community spread, we may start seeing another spike in numbers. But none of them are stating it in unequivocally strong terms — or if they are, I’m not seeing much media coverage.

    I should point out also that the 60,000 number for influenza was a particularly bad year. The average is around 25,000 to 35,000. Coronavirus deaths are already past that.

    Like


  356. @ Michael Barker

    Not enough testing and the general population with no symptoms has yet to be tested.

    Probably true.
    There is much to know about the behavior of this novel coronavirus and its interactions with our bodies.
    I was wondering if the “asymptomatic carriers” eventually become free of the virus (thanks to their immune systems, of course) and being this the case, how long it takes to them to become “corona-free”.
    There has been a lot of talk of how those “asymptomatic carriers” are dangerous for the weaker portions of the population but any numerical/mathematical model must include (describe quantitatively) all the processes that take place during the epidemic:

    1 people getting infected (and adding to the pool of the “cases”);
    2 people becoming sick (and requiring hospital services);
    3 people passing away (and reducing the number of “active carriers” and hospitalized but adding to the number of fatalities);
    4 people recovering from the disease (and reducing the number of “active carriers” and hospitalized but adding to the number of “cases cured”);
    5 people remaining asymptomatic (and potentially contributing to new infections but not yet adding to the pool of known “cases”);
    6 people recovering spontaneously from the infection (and so never being in position of being added to the pool of known “cases”);
    7 people previously cured but becoming spontaneously re-infected (I don’t know if this makes sense but in some Asian countries some evidence was found of that! chilling; adding to the pool of “cases” and … “re-infected”!)
    8 people traveling outside the country (hum… they don’t exist anymore in this “Brave New World” of ours!)
    9 people coming into the country (idem)

    Any idea of more processes? Any comments?
    For a quantitative model what we need more will be an estimation of the corresponding parameters.
    Exercise finished.

    Back to the need of more and more testing.
    I believe that if you have a reasonably good model of how the disease interacts with the society you should be able to infer the outlines of the epidemic from the tests targeting a relatively small sub-set of the population. I wonder why people are obsessed in testing many people. Not too few and not too many must be reasonable.

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  357. @ jefe

    I was wondering about the similarities of the way my own country (Mozambique) is both similar and dissimilar to Hong-Kong in the way it has reacting to the pandemic. I will post something about recent developments here but the number of cases remains relatively small although this can reflect partially how many tests have been carried out (around one thousand) until now. Anyway there is been NOT (small)talk about people becoming “strangely sick” or “passing away in strange ways” so I must conclude that we are not yet in a full blown epidemic or something similar. But people remain on guard, and this is not bad.

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  358. @Michael Barker

    This study suggests that the Coronavirus can be airborne up too 27 feet.

    Then, we must all ware eyeglasses for sure! Remember that this enemy enters our bodies also by the eyes.

    Michael, you were the first to mention here – as far as I know – this concept of herd immunity. This was/is a new concept for me. Before that I was thinking in the lines o Darwin: if something attacks a population of living organisms then some of its members are killed and some survive either by luck or because they are strong enough to withstand the attack. Next time you will find that the population – a few generations later – has more descendants of the previous survivors than others, and in that way has become stronger regarding the same “attack agent”.
    By this concept, this virus would kill the most vulnerable members of today’s societies and the let the rest live. How can this been reconciled with the concept of “herd immunity”?

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  359. @ gro jo

    You just cut and pasted an entire 3,000-word article from The Atlantic, which has a pay wall. I doubt that counts as “fair use” of copyrighted material.

    There are no hard-and-fast rules on fair use, but going forward I will draw the line at no more than 250 words quoted from a given source. To give you an idea of how much that is, most of my posts are usually about 500 words.

    Comment deleted.

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  360. @ Munubantu

    “I wonder why people are obsessed in testing many people.”

    In order to track the spread and to identify new hot spots before they get out of control. It is a containment issue. If you are testing lots of people, you have a better chance of catching pre-symptomtic carriers before they even know they are sick.

    One very frightening thing about covid-19 is it appears the most infectious stage may be at the very beginning of the illness, when most people have no idea yet that they have caught it.

    This isn’t true with all contagious illnesses — often the sick person is most infectious after they become obviously ill with pronounced symptoms. With those types of illnesses, it is easier to prevent the spread without lots of testing.

    With the coronavirus, the strategy works kind of like this:

    Person A feels a little sick and goes to a clinic to get tested.

    Person A tests positive for covid-19 and is put in isolation.

    If the testing stops there, you haven’t caught any of the people whom Person A may have already infected but who haven’t started feeling sick yet.

    If you want to catch as many of those new infectious cases as possible, you start tracing Person A’s recent movements and contacts, testing not just their family and household but their coworkers, people who were at the same store that Person A shopped at two days ago, the mail carrier who spoke with Person A while dropping off a delivery, the restaurant employees where Person A picked up some takeout food, etc.

    Any of those people who test positive are put into isolation immediately to reduce the chance that they will further spread the disease.

    If you don’t have this type of contact testing, the mail carrier or restaurant employee or neighbor infected by Person A is still out there feeling perfectly well and unknowingly spreading the disease to even more people.

    It’s important to note that right now in the USA, we can’t even guarantee Person A won’t be refused a test and sent home from the clinic without a definitive diagnosis.

    In the absence of this type of contact tracing (or in tandem with it), widespread testing for anyone who wants it can also help to catch many infectious people at an early stage.

    “By this concept, this virus would kill the most vulnerable members of today’s societies and the let the rest live. How can this been reconciled with the concept of “herd immunity”?”

    Everything I’ve read suggests that building herd immunity works better with vaccinations. If 99% of the population is vaccinated for Disease X, the 1% who are not vaccinated for X are unlikely to ever come down with X because there are so few people to catch it from. Disease X can only take hold in the 1% of the population that hasn’t been vaccinated, and unless that 1% all live very close together, it is unlikely they will be able to readily pass X among themselves. This is how smallpox was eventually eradicated.

    Trying to build herd immunity through catching a potentially deadly illness cannot be accomplished without incurring a significant number of fatalities. Boris Johnson was advocating back in March that the UK should just go about their regular business and let everyone get infected with the coronavirus naturally and build herd immunity that way. The UK has since reversed course, but their death rate has been staggering. The raw numbers are lower than the USA because their population is smaller than ours. But the USA is currently at 142 deaths per million whereas the UK is at 267 deaths per million. Compare those numbers to Hong Kong, which is at .05 deaths per million, or South Korea at 5.

    Like


  361. Munubantu

    To add a bit to what Solitaire posted the following is from the artical I posted up thread regarding anti bodies.

    The people tested had no symptoms but the results showed many had contracted the virus without even knowing that they had it.

    The testing was done within Los Angeles Angeles county.

    “Based on the results of the first round of testing, the research team estimates that approximately 4.1% of the county’s adult population has an antibody to the virus. Adjusting this estimate for the statistical margin of error implies about 2.8% to 5.6% of the county’s adult population has an antibody to the virus — which translates to approximately 221,000 to 442,000 adults in the county who have been infected. That estimate is 28 to 55 times higher than the 7,994 confirmed cases of COVID-19 reported to the county at the time of the study in early April. The number of COVID-related deaths in the county has now surpassed 600.

    “We haven’t known the true extent of COVID-19 infections in our community because we have only tested people with symptoms, and the availability of tests has been limited,” said lead investigator Neeraj Sood, professor of public policy at the USC Price School for Public Policy and senior fellow at the USC Schaeffer Center for Health Policy and Economics. “The estimates also suggest that we might have to recalibrate disease prediction models and rethink public health strategies.”

    If the above numbers are indeed true and applied to the rest of the U.S. then that would mean that the actual numbers of those who had gotten infected and recovered or are currently asymptomatic would be in the tens of millions.

    That could mean that herd immunity is far more widespread already, that the disease statistically is not as deadly as is currently assumed.

    That wouldn’t mean that the virus is not dangerous or that if “shelter in place” was done away with that hospitals wouldn’t then become overfilled.

    In short we still don’t have a clear picture what we are dealing with.

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  362. @munubantu,

    Hong Kong’s testing numbers are way ahead of Mozambique’s for sure then. I think well over 1000, some days 2000 are tested per day, and we have been doing it for 3 months. I would guess that well over 100,000 have been tested. All overseas arrivals are being tested, and even though most flights are grounded, we are still getting 200-850 persons arriving per day. For the past 10 days, new cases have been in the single digits or zero, and all from the overseas arrivals. We had a 2nd wave of community spread after we got down to single digits or zero in early march, and some modified relaxation of social distancing was enforced (eg, reopening of govt offices and some commercial offices). Even then, most of the new cases came from people fleeing Europe and the US to come back to HK (eg, overseas students).

    Regarding herd immunity, my understanding is different from yours. You suggest that it is a Darwinian thing where the sick or vulnerable are culled and the strong survive.

    My understanding is that herd immunity takes place when most of the members of society are immune already, so it is difficult for a never infected person to come into contact with an infected person shedding the virus AND get infected, and an infected person shedding the virus rarely encounters a person who is neither immune nor infected already. At that point, new infections occur, but they are usually very small in number and can be isolated and treated.

    I read it somewhere, and I forget the exact number, but the proportion of the immune in the population has to start to exceed 60% before some herd immunity starts to take shape.

    Seasonal influenza already has some level of herd immunity, and most people do not get sick, but some people, especially older persons, start to lose some of their immunity, and if they do not get flu shots, maybe become increasingly less immune after a number of years.

    Like


  363. @MJB

    That could mean that herd immunity is far more widespread already, that the disease statistically is not as deadly as is currently assumed.

    It would mean that immunity would be more widespread and the disease is not as deadly as assumed, but it does not mean that herd immunity has taken hold already. In order for herd immunity to be occurring already, the number of new cases would be decreasing already. They are not.

    Let’s say that 5% of the population (16 million) were infected already and recovered and have some immunity. That is not enough for herd immunity, because 95% have not been infected, and it is still easy for an infected person to encounter a non-infected person without the mitigation social distancing controls.
    Maybe once the infection rate approaches about 50% then the herd immunity effect will start to become apparent.
    To get to that level, without the controls, means tens of millions in the hospital and millions dead first. It will take a couple years before herd immunity naturally reaches that level without killing so many people.

    Liked by 1 person


  364. @jefe
    I had read an article which adds to your observation on “herd immunity”. Herd immunity is related to the “basic reproduction number” or “R0” (“R naught”) of the disease. That is the number of people one infected person passes the disease to on average.

    https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/article/herd-immunity/

    The term “herd immunity” refers to a means of protecting a whole community from disease by immunizing a critical mass of its populace. Vaccination protects more than just the vaccinated person. By breaking the chain of an infection’s transmission, vaccination can also protect people who haven’t been immunized. But to work, this protection requires that a certain percentage of people in a community be vaccinated.

    To set a threshold, epidemiologists—experts in infectious disease transmission—use a value called “basic reproduction number,” often referred to as “R0.” This number represents how many people in an unprotected population one infected person could pass the disease along to. For example, R0 for measles is between 12 and 18, while for polio, it is between five and seven. The higher this number is, the higher the immunity threshold must be to protect the community. Because measles is extremely contagious and can spread through the air, for example, the immunity threshold needed to protect a community is high, at 95%. Diseases like polio, which are a little less contagious, have a lower threshold—80% to 85% in the case of polio.

    There have been many estimates of COVID-19’s R0 because it depends on multiple factors including how people behave. I think there is at least a consensus that it spreads more easily than the flu. Based on the examples in the article above, I’d agree that over 50% of the population of population would need immunity before herd immunity kicks in and protects even those without it. But there has also been a constant trickle of information about people who have recovered but tested positive for the virus again. It remains to be seen what the true implications of those cases are.

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  365. @abagond
    Thanks.

    At the end of the paragraph above I was alluding to some scientific studies suggesting that SARS-Cov-2 (which causes COVID-19) can attack T-cells of the immune system unlike SARS. It does this, even though T-cells don’t have the ACE2 receptor which the virus usually targets. It uses a “membrane fusion” ability instead.

    Combine that with some evidence that some people who’ve had the disease have unexpectedly low levels of antibodies against it and I’m not so excited for the “let’s quickly infect everyone so that the economy can restart” strategy. It could prove to be a bad idea if there are later discoveries that the virus sticks around in the body and causes problems later on. Imagine if the reaction to HIV were to give it to everyone. IMO, humility and caution are warranted with a new disease.

    Immune cell’s potentially vulnerable to novel coronavirus:
    https://www.msn.com/en-sg/news/other/coronavirus-could-target-immune-system-by-targeting-protective-cells-warn-scientists/ar-BB12uI6s

    Low level of antibodies in some recovered people
    https://www.msn.com/en-us/health/health-news/covid-19-reinfection-risk-questioned-after-low-antibody-levels-detected/ar-BB12jB2B

    Some of those studies were not peer reviewed yet at the time the articles were written.

    Liked by 1 person


  366. @ Jefe

    “I would guess that well over 100,000 have been tested.”

    My source has Hong Kong’s current total of tests as 131,786 (so you were right on the money).

    More importantly, Hong Kong has tested 17,579 per 1 million population.

    According to the same source, Mozambique has done 1247 tests, which is 40 per 1 million.

    https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/#countries

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  367. @ Munubantu

    I see that Mozambique has had only 41 cases so far and no deaths. Just a few months ago, our numbers looked much like yours do now. That is the same thing the Italians were trying to tell Americans two months ago. Do everything you can to protect yourself, even if other people think you are overreacting. Wear a mask, wear gloves, stay home as much as possible, practice social distancing when you are in public.

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  368. @ jefe

    Hong Kong’s testing numbers are way ahead of Mozambique’s for sure then.

    Yes.
    They are following a few “trees” of contacts that initiated in March “seeded” by infected people who came into the country from the outside (Europe; nobody from PRChina, by the way).
    I noticed that in the ramifications did’t show up many new infections and this tells me something about the level of conscience of the populace in general. But some contacts got infected anyway.
    So we are in the method somebody described here as clusters testing as opposed to random or general testing.
    Clearly the problem remains that some people certainly entered the country as “asymptomatic carriers” and I have no idea how many other clusters remain hidden, although I can’t believe that those could be many, otherwise some of the “fragile members” of said clusters should have already come to the surface as sick individuals in our hospitals.
    Only the future will tell, but the Ministry of Health has already suggested that they intend to widen testing procedures.

    Like


  369. @ Solitaire

    Do everything you can to protect yourself, even if other people think you are overreacting. Wear a mask, wear gloves, stay home as much as possible, practice social distancing when you are in public.

    Thanks.
    I believe that the Government of the country has done until now as much as it could to spread this message* and I believe a sizable part of the population believes we “are under siege” and better to “overreact” than to die. The horrendous spectacle people watched in a daily basis in their TV screens from the many deaths in other countries has functioned like a “psychological vaccine”.
    I’m not sure if this collective behavior will be enough to maintain the disease at a low grow pace but the health authorities hope to slow up the peak to at least a few months.
    Let’s maintain the hope…

    *And above all wash your hands frequently!

    Like


  370. @ Munubantu

    “And above all wash your hands frequently!”

    Yes, how did I forget that?!? Maybe because it isn’t something people might consider odd, unlike wearing PPE. But yes, “wash your hands, don’t touch your face” is the new mantra of our lives.

    “I believe that the Government of the country has done until now as much as it could to spread this message and I believe a sizable part of the population believes we ‘are under siege’ and better to ‘overreact’ than to die. The horrendous spectacle people watched in a daily basis in their TV screens from the many deaths in other countries has functioned like a ‘psychological vaccine’.”

    That’s reassuring to hear. I hope you will benefit from our mistakes. Also your nation doesn’t have the arrogance of the USA, which is leading us down a deadly path. Be safe, be well.

    Like


  371. @munubatu,

    Clearly the problem remains that some people certainly entered the country as “asymptomatic carriers” and I have no idea how many other clusters remain hidden, although I can’t believe that those could be many, otherwise some of the “fragile members” of said clusters should have already come to the surface as sick individuals in our hospitals.

    The situation remains, but because a few such clusters occurred last month and early this month (at bars with live bands, at a wedding reception, gyms, etc. ) after some asymptomatic carriers entered the territory, they now have proceeded to test every single new arrival, and force them to be tested and wait several hours for the test to be completed. Late afternoon or evening arrivals are forced to wait overnight in a designated hotel room. After test results, each person, even if they are asymptomatic are sent to isolation wards in hospitals (if positive) and to home or to a hotel for mandatory 14 day quarantine (if negative). The quarantines are enforced by a wrist band attached to the relevant person. Shops are instructed to refuse to admit anyone wearing a wrist band and each person must report their body temperature several times per day via an app.

    There are fines and even jail time for any person breaking quarantine. There have been a few arrested already and sentenced.

    We had a couple of retirement home cluster outbreaks early on in late Jan to early Feb, but none in the past 2 months. I understand that the strain of the virus now in HK is the one imported from US and Europe; its RNA is already slightly distinguished from the one showing up here in Jan-Feb, which was seeded from China.

    Anyone who has symptoms can go and get a test. One of my friends who had a slight fever and cough just went to get tested on his own (he was negative).

    I wonder if there is any other place on earth (apart maybe from Taiwan) doing something like this. But it means that we have not had a single case of untraced community spread for a couple weeks now. But, I think that what saved HK was the 2003 SARS experience. Any rumour of a contagious disease in the mainland sent everyone into to panic, but vigilant mode immediately. I even started carrying my face masks with me from Jan 21, before HK got a single recorded case.

    But, this will present a very different problem for the government at large. These strong social distancing measures and mandatory quarantine or isolation has put a damper on the protests which started last year. They still occur, but in small numbers, and the police immediately arrest them. There is so much pent up anger that this year’s spring stay at home measures will spring into a summer of discontent with a vengeance. In the past year, there have already been 4 protests which garnered over a million participants each. They are anticipating at least 2 million people will attend the July 1 protest march — while the rest of the world will still be reeling from the pandemic. This time, the authorities may not refrain from using lethal force.

    The anger in the population is already a lot worse now than it ever was last year.

    I would rather not be here, but I am afraid of the uncontained epidemic across the US in other parts of the world.

    Like


  372. @ Jefe

    Have you seen this graph? The stats used are through April 19.

    Like


  373. So, the numbers I was freaking out over a couple days ago? The Washington Post has now noticed it, too:

    One leading model used by the White House, created by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington, used new information about distancing measures in Europe and the United States to shift its downward estimate for the death toll from 90,000 to a little over 60,000. 

    Trump relished the change….

    As recently as Monday, Trump again touted this number.

    “We did the right thing, because if we didn’t do it, you would have had a million people, a million and a half people, maybe 2 million people dead,” he said. “Now, we’re going toward 50, I’m hearing, or 60,000 people….”

    We are not. We’ll pass 50,000 within days and will likely hit 60,000 deaths by early May….

    For several weeks, the number of new deaths a day in the United States has hovered around the 2,000 mark….

    The IHME model does show the number of deaths tapering off in May, which is good news. But that introduces another aspect of its model that Trump seems to have misunderstood or overlooked: It is modeling only the first wave of infections. [emphasis mine]

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2020/04/23/misunderstanding-math-trump-embraced-coronavirus-death-toll-well-soon-surpass/

    Like


  374. @Origin,

    Maybe we can conceptualize the herd immunity concept like this.

    We need R0 to be less than 1 for new cases to decrease or stay low. R0 greater than 1 and they increase exponentially (the higher the number the more quickly).

    R0 for measles is between 12 and 18. Say it is about 15. Then for R0 to be less than one, we would need 14 of the 15 people to be immune or not infected. This is almost 94%.

    R0 for polio is between 5 and 7. Say it is about 6. Then for R0 to be less than one, we would need 5 of the 6 people to be immune or not infected. This is 83%.

    Let’s say that R0 for Covid-19 is about 2.5. Then for R0 to be less than one, we would need 1.5 of the 2.5 people to be immune or not infected. This is about 60%. If the R0 is about 2.25, then we need 1.25/2.25 to be immune or about 55%.This would change if people could get reinfected. We would need a reinfection rate to calculate, but if it is significant, then we cannot achieve herd immunity.

    Of course, I know that it is not actually calculated this way, but only a way to conceptualize herd immunity and how many we need to vaccinate.

    Like


  375. @munubantu

    They are following a few “trees” of contacts that initiated in March “seeded” by infected people who came into the country from the outside (Europe; nobody from PRChina, by the way).

    Actually, it was more like this:

    Wave 1 (mid January to early March): infection clusters in Hong Kong were seeded almost entirely by people from PRC. The border was not restricted until early February. This resulted in multiple cluster infections occurring throughout February. The infections never reached an exponential level. Part of the reason was the social distancing measures kicked in by Chinese New year. New infections were in single digits for the first 2 weeks of March, even zero on several days.

    Social distancing was relaxed in the first 2 weeks of March, with some government offices reopening, some employers relaxing the Work from home procedures. Bars filled up with people again. Schools, however, did not reopen.

    Wave 2 (mid-March to mid-April): infection clusters in Hong Kong were seeded by people returning from Europe and the Middle East, and the latter half also from the USA, mostly travelers or students returning home. There was no reason for them to stay overseas as flights disappeared and schools closed.

    The 2nd wave spiked to a higher level than the first wave. More stringent social distancing was reinstated, With diligent contact tracing, untraced community spread never exceeded a handful of people and this phenomenon almost disappeared by mid-April. For the past 12 days, there has been no untraced community spread, and all cases are imported or traced to a confirmed individual.

    They have also blocked all non-residents from entering HK from overseas.
    Residents returning to HK from overseas must be subject to virus testing, and wait for the results. Then they either go for isolation at hospital (positive) or quarantine (negative). Quarantine can be at home or at a hotel.

    For some reason (oh, yeah, we know why), mainlanders are not blocked, but must undergo testing and isolation / quarantine the same as returning residents.

    They have extended the current social distancing measures to May 7. Let’s see if we maintain no untraced communnity spread until then. If so, then maybe we can at least open back government offices and allow people to work or meet in offices. Maybe libraries could open back up. Dining in restaurants can be continued with physical distancing. Still we cannot let non-residents back in until it is controlled overseas.

    Curiously, they will keep businesses like bars and beauty salons closed, the very types of businesses that the US state of Georgia wants to open back up first. The ones they are opening back up are the very worst choices.

    Coronavirus: Hong Kong may be able to ease social-distancing restrictions in early May, top medical experts say
    (https://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/health-environment/article/3081205/coronavirus-hong-kong-medical-experts-say-social)

    Like


  376. @ Jefe

    I think Munubantu was talking about seeding in Mozambique.

    Like


  377. According to ABC, Elizabeth Warren’s older brother has died from the disease.

    Like


  378. @ Solitaire

    Yes, I was speaking about the situation in Mozambique.
    Anyway…

    @ jefe

    Thanks for your informative comments about the dynamics in Hong Kong, despite the fact that you seemed to misunderstood my previous comments following my suggestion of comparing Mozambique and Hong Kong.
    Your data about Hong Kong is well taken, particularly because it seems to be a very good example of contention of the epidemic. Given the rapid evolving situation of the novel coronavirus pandemic worldwide, we must quickly see where successful examples appear and quickly learn and adapt to our own situations wherever we are.
    There are similarities as well as dissimilarities between Mozambique and Hong Kong.

    Some dissimilarities:
    * Hong Kong is a small place (a city as far as I known); Mozambique is a medium sized country (hundreds of thousands of square kilometres!).
    * Hong Kong has a temperate climate (I’m guessing here! Maybe somebody can please correct me here!); Mozambique has a tropical climate in most of its territory.
    * Hong Kong is a rich developed society; Mozambique is a developing country.
    * Hong Kong is close to the primary or the first source of the current pandemic, People’s Republic of China; Mozambique is very far from that center (this means that Hong Kong was forced to react much quicker than other places, as soon as the disease began to spread).
    * Hong Kong tested dozens of thousands of people, apparently a mixture of clusters following and random or systematic testing; Mozambique has until now only followed clusters of cases. The difference in material resources between the two societies plays certainly a role in this difference.

    And similarities:
    * In Hong Kong and in Mozambique the society began to react to the coming epidemic before it entered the respective territory. In Hong Kong because they had a previous experience in the 2000’s with the earlier version of SARS, and in Mozambique because they had time to see the developments in other places (China, Italy Spain, etc) and they could understand what was coming to them and had time to plan accordingly. The campaign to educate the population in Mozambique about the new disease began as early as January this year and has been in a crescendo.
    * In Hong Kong the epidemic hits a population already fully aware of the dangers of the disease (previous experience was useful for sure) and probably they are more likely to follow and obey the instructions of the authorities; in Mozambique some sectors of the population take the challenge of the disease quite seriously, but some want to see to believe (we had a similar experience with disastrous results in the epidemic of HIV where we could have avoid a lot of human suffering)
    * Hong Kong has until now few cases and it seems to be able to contain their rise; Mozambique has also until now few cases although it’s not clear how much this comes from the relatively low level of testing and how it will fare in containing their grow (I hope so but with a little bit of skepticism).

    Like


  379. Regarding the protective equipment that has been talked about (face masks, gloves, protection visors, space-suits, etc. one kind has always let me wondering: gloves.
    How are gloves supposed to protect a simple civilian in a normal situation?
    In the ebola epidemic yes because that virus once in contact with your skin is able to penetrate your body from there and begin to ravage it form inside.
    But the novel coronavirus?
    As far as I know this virus is not able to penetrate your skin and it will ravage your body only if able to get to your lungs, which happens by entering your body through the mouth, nose or eyes.
    It seems to me that if ware gloves this per si will not help.
    What will help is if you don’t touch your face with anything in a “dirt state” (aka, carrying the virus) and this should apply equally to: naked hands, hands with gloves, or any other object.
    Considering that naked hands are easier and more natural to carry on, why not going that way and insist on the practice of hand hygiene?
    Can somebody come with an explanation, please?

    Like


  380. ^
    Sorry, when I saw They are following a few “trees … ” and the prior sentence had “Hong Kong” as the subject, I thought it was about HK.

    Anyhow,

    It seems like you have not yet visited Hong Kong. I’ll fill you in.

    yes, it is fairly small, about the same size as the 5 boroughs of New York city, or marginally larger, but with a larger sea surface area than New York city. However, 90% of the population lives in 10% of the land area, and nearly half the land area is country park with no development.
    it is subtropical monsoon (hot with heavy rain in the summer, relatively drier and cooler and breezy in the winter), but borderline tropical. The winter is slightly cooler than Maputo’s, but the summer is noticeably hotter, and subject to typhoons. Despite having a cooler sometimes chilly winter, the annual average temperature in Hong Kong is still slightly warmer than Maputo. I can grow pineapples and mangoes outdoors, and they have planted coconut trees in certain places which do reach a tall size (although do not reliably produce coconuts due to a few very cool snaps every few years. The part of US most similar to climate to HK would probably be the Florida coast between St. Petersburg and Sarasota.
    It is “rich” and developed, but with exceptional income inequality. The vast majority under age 30 (or maybe even age 35) must live with their parents in a very cramped flat as they cannot afford to live separately. Otherwise, they live in a tiny subdivided flat. It has the most number of skyscrapers of any place in the world, and the potential for spread between units is immense, as many families cannot really quarantine effectively at home, and units share drains and exhausts with each other. We learned that during SARS in 2003.
    There is no way that they can maintain the same level of physical distancing in the way that they do in the US and Europe, hence the ubiquitous use of face masks and frequent disinfecting even before the very first reported case.
    Hong Kong people in general have a very strong distrust of the CCP state reports and information coming out of the WHO and pay more attention to alternate reports from academics and from Taiwan. The majority of residents already believed by mid-Jan that they reports from the CCP and from the WHO that there was no evidence of human-to-human transmission of the novel coronavirus were likely false and a cover-up, so they would not take any chances. In fact, citizens even protested and medical workers conducted mass strikes to push the reluctant government along faster to prevent the epidemic from spreading into HK.
    Wuhan is midway between Hong Kong and Beijing on the high-speed rail link. Flights from Wuhan take only about 1hr. 40 mins. So, yes, they felt it was too close for comfort. Wuhan’s climate is on the cooler side of subtropical, closer to Memphis, TN or eastern NC, with a few snowfalls and a few days dropping below -5C (but many days still surpassing 15C) but with oppressively hot and humid summers much worse than anywhere in Mozambique. It is one of China’s “furnace” cities.
    Hong Kong has not conducted any random testing or any kind of “systematic” testing as far as I know; all testing was initially (ie, the first month) done only on symptomatic patients and followed contact clusters. Only much later on did they follow clusters to lead to testing asymptomatic positive carriers during the 2nd wave. And they have been testing all new arrivals to HK only for the past 2 weeks.
    What Hong Kong has done quite well is the contact tracing. That is why I know that other countries, regions and cities must have an very good system in place to do this in order to contain the spread.
    HK people sometimes push the authorities until the authorities reach a point where residents feel it is reasonable and the residents will then obey the measures. Expatriates from Europe or North American in general had a very cavalier attitude during the first 2 months of the epidemic, perhaps because most were not here during SARS 2003, but most have fallen in line. But, if the government does something that the majority of people feel is unreasonable, they will not hesitate to protest. I have a strong feeling that last year’s binge of protests will return with a vengeance after social distancing is relaxed.

    Hong Kong has already had 2 waves of outbreaks, but they each only lasted a few weeks and after a brief spike, they come back down. I think the main reasons are
    * they move quickly into pandemic mode as soon as there is one outbreak with a few cases. It is like an instinct now.
    * very good contact tracing and testing of all contacts and immediate isolation of positive cases
    * willingness to cooperate with the government and obey orders if they trust that the government has the public health interest in mind.

    I am not sure if the people in Mozambique have a “pandemic prevention instinct” that they will do things to protect themselves whether the government instructs them or not.

    However, if the government gives out orders which HK people do not feel are in the best public interest, they may not necessarily obey and some even openly defy them. On a few occasions, millions pour out in the streets in unauthorized protests even if the police are shooting tear gas, water cannons, etc. So, let’s say, after many weeks of zero cases, if the government continues to enforce strict social distancing to prevent protests, then millions may then go out on the streets to protest.

    On the other hand, I have never had to worry about random street violence like I had to all the time in the USA. It’s just not a thing.

    Like


  381. @munubantu

    For this coronavirus, gloves are useful only if people use a clean glove once to do one task, and then either dispose of it and get a new one for the next time, or thoroughly disinfect it before reuse. Otherwise, it can pick up a virus from one place and spread it to another, just as easily as hands.

    If you are going to be touching multiple places or locations, or your face or someone else’s face, and not trying to prevent other things (Eg, bacteria), then you might as well use your hands, and wash frequently or use hand sanitizer when you cannot wash them. Food preparers might use gloves as they always do, or people trying to keep their hands from getting dirty would be wearing gloves anyhow, so I don’t think the coronavirus spread should be a factor.

    Like


  382. @ jefe

    Thanks for the info.

    Like


  383. Now for a word from Nathan”It’s ok to love China”Rich:
    (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aBpNkqQaTEM)
    This one’s for jefe.

    Like


  384. Some thoughts about this pandemic.
    I know that the disease is new and many things humans are painstakingly discovering, but there is an intriguing aspect that has crossing mind. Let me explain:

    a) Some people become infected (and therefore adding to the pool of “cases”, either known/registered or not);
    b) Part of the infected become ill enough to require hospitalization;
    c) Some of the hospitalized recover and become “corona-free”;
    — but —
    d) Some “corona” carriers never become ill enough to require hospitalization and in some instances are never registered as “cases”; etc.

    But what happens to them?

    Normally the justification for more testing is connected to the idea that there are undetected cases out there spreading the disease. And implicitly there is the idea that those are a cumulative number. This is a sound idea.
    But is this a complete picture?

    If somebody has a strong enough immune system to avoid becoming ill after becoming infected, what happens to him/her after a few weeks? Do he/she remains indefinitely as a “corona” carrier or – I find it more likely – at some point in time becomes spontaneously “corona-free”?

    Another – somewhat related – question: we see rising numbers of “cases” almost everywhere; we see also growing numbers of recovered (previously hospitalized), but the latter are far smaller than the former. What about the large number of people who entered the ICUs weeks or months ago but aren’t yet dead nor recovered? How long do they remain in treatment on average?

    These are grey areas for me. Do somebody have answers?

    Like


  385. @ Jefe

    The advice here has been changing in contradictory ways. At first we were told not to wear gloves when out in public, for the reasons you delineated. We were also told not to wear masks. One reason was because — at least in the USA — most people don’t know how to wear them properly, and studies here have found people touch their face more when they wear a mask because they keep trying to adjust it. (My guess is that this isn’t true in places like Hong Kong where the populace is more accustomed to wearing masks in public when ill or during a flu outbreak.)

    Then we were told that gloves might actually provide better protection out in public as long as we remain very aware of not touching the face. Also to wash hands thoroughly as soon as we remove and discard the gloves, which should be taken off carefully by peeling each glove off from the inside out so as to not touch the outside of the glove with bare hands. And then to clean any surface one might have touched with the gloves on (e.g., phone, keys, wallet, eyeglasses), but this would also be true if one had touched those objects while shopping with bare hands (between washings).

    Personally I have found it easier to remember not to touch my face when I have gloves on. Also, we are still experiencing a shortage in hand sanitizer. I haven’t been able to find any for weeks. And some stores where I live have closed their public bathrooms due either to the shortage in toilet paper and other supplies or because they feel it’s the best way to protect their employees. These things have made it more difficult than usual to wash or sanitize one’s hands when out in public.

    Also, one’s hands can get chapped or split skin from frequent washing, especially in colder environments or older people with more fragile skin. We’ve been told there is reason to believe that the coronavirus can enter the body through open cuts, even very small ones like that, so in this case someone should wear gloves to provide added protection. I had this problem myself a couple weeks ago during a cold snap, with several open splits near my fingernails or the middle of the fingertips. Admittedly this may not be as much of a concern in warmer parts of the world.

    We are also now being told to wear masks in public, which is a reversal of the previous advice. The instructions are to wear cloth masks in order to reserve scarce PPE for the hospitals and first responders. Cloth masks are known not to be as effective in prevention, but because there appears to be asymptomatic spread, the idea is less to protect oneself and more to protect others from your own germs in case you are unknowingly asymptomatic or pre-symptomatic. There are still plenty of people here, though, who don’t understand how to wear them and keep fussing with the mask, or wearing it with their nose exposed, or taking it off when talking to people and then putting it right back on.

    Your points about the gloves are well taken. That’s exactly what we were being told at first, and some experts here are still saying that. I will retract that part of my advice to Munubantu, with the caveat that the pros and cons are something he might want to weigh in any situations where it is difficult to wash one’s hands frequently.

    Like


  386. @ Munubantu

    “What about the large number of people who entered the ICUs weeks or months ago but aren’t yet dead nor recovered? How long do they remain in treatment on average?”

    I don’t know about the entire hospital stay, but I do know that if they are put on a ventilator, covid-19 patients require longer treatment than usual. For typical pneumonia or other reasons for respiratory distress, a patient is on a ventilator for about 3 to 6 days. With the coronavirus, it is more like 10 to 14 days.

    Also, covid-19 does something unusual. Patients are presenting with a blood oxygen level so low that according to conventional medical wisdom, they should already be dead, yet they are ambulatory and thinking clearly.

    Some doctors believe we may be putting covid-19 patients on ventilators unnecessarily and that this may even be reducing their chances of survival. These doctors are still recommending oxygen therapy but using less invasive means.

    Here are a couple articles about that:

    https://www.statnews.com/2020/04/08/doctors-say-ventilators-overused-for-covid-19/

    Like


  387. Here is another article about ventilators and intubation, with doctors from several parts of the world giving their experiences and opinions. The article also notes that some coronavirus patients have been kept on a ventilator for as long as 3 weeks.

    https://mobile.reuters.com/article/amp/idUSKCN2251PE

    Like


  388. On the West coast I am hearing that ventilators only help around 10% of the people who are on them.

    Something troubling Solitaire mentioned is the low oxegon levels many patients have.

    This question is for Jefe: I was wondering how available surgical and N95 masks are where you are. The U.S. is recommending cloth masks for everybody who is not an essential worker. A lot of homemade masks here.

    Like


  389. It seems that good records in the fight against Covid-19 last only if you remain on the alert forever. It is easy to relapse as the recent developments in Singapore show:
    https://edition.cnn.com/2020/04/24/asia/singapore-coronavirus-foreign-workers-intl-hnk/index.html
    Rethinking social structures is also asked for.

    Like


  390. @solitaire,

    We are also now being told to wear masks in public, which is a reversal of the previous advice.

    Yeah, people in HK think the people in Europe and US are simply crazy (not to mention the CDC, WHO, etc.) for advising against wearing masks. As I mentioned earlier, as soon as there were reports about potential human-to-human transmission, HK went swiftly into pandemic prevention mode – hand hygiene, mask wearing, disinfecting everything, closing toilet lids and filling all the drains in the house with water (dried out drains proved to be a vector of virus transmission during SARS. 2 days later govt offices closed, as did libraries, sports centres, etc. Cinemas did not close for another week or two, but people stopped going anyway. People stopped having social gatherings. and companies ordered employees to work from home. No one needed any directive from the government to do this, and they certainly did not pay attention to the WHO, which was giving advice conflicting with what people believed here and what they were discussing in Taiwan.

    Expatriates who got most of their information from overseas or from the WHO were slow to join in, but I guess they are there now.

    Taiwan also moved into pandemic prevention mode too, even faster than HK. And the government there made sure that everyone had enough face masks and even ordered all factories to stop exporting any overseas during February and March.

    There was a lot of study and discussion about wearing surgical face masks during SARS (2003), They decided that it does indeed work at a community level if everyone, or at least 90% does it. It is not fullproof to stop all respiratory emissions, but say it stops 80%, and the other person’s mask can stop 80% of the 20% you emit, then only 4% can be exchanged. You can still catch it, but at a community level, it is reduced enough so that hospital admissions do not exceed capacity, and positive cases are few enough so that all their contacts can be traced. It can reduce the R0 to less than one, which is all that matters. It is very helpful if people practice social distancing together with mask wearing, hand hygiene and surface / environmental disinfecting.

    Cloth masks catch most of large particles, but almost none of the smaller ones, and many micro droplets still escape through the mask. However, of course, this is better than nothing. Say that a mask stops only 50% of the emissions. Then a cloth mask will still keep 75% from being exchanged, which does have an effect at the community level. But cloth masks can be washed and reused.

    N95 masks block more, ie, 95%. so if both persons are wearing it, only 0.25% gets exchanged. Only health care workers need that level of protection, as they need to work among it all the time.

    And since we learned about asymptomatic transmission by the end of January, then everyone in HK just seems to know that we all have to wear masks even before the public health department says so.

    One reason was because — at least in the USA — most people don’t know how to wear them properly, This is a completely bullshit argument.

    During SARS (2003), the HK govt broadcasted PSA 24/7 at least once an hour about how to properly wear, use, and take care of a mask, and when you should replace with a new one. They did it again this year, but not as much as most people were already used to it.

    If people don’t know how to use it properly, then you simply instruct them. Any local department public health can prepare a PSA video to teach people and broadcast every 1/2 hr. on TV, before every youtube, every time possible. Within one week, everyone will have seen it dozens of times already.

    They truth was not that people could not use them properly, but that there were not enough of them to go around. What masks were available in January in the US were swiped off the shelves or emptied out from Amazon and mailed to Asia. The US should have ramped up production of them (like they did in Taiwan), but they did not. Instead, the CDC, US Surgeon General and State health departments disseminated false propaganda about wearing masks. I was angry about that Jan – Mar.

    Like


  391. @Michael Barker

    I was wondering how available surgical and N95 masks are where you are. The U.S. is recommending cloth masks for everybody who is not an essential worker.

    I responded to Solitaire in a comment that is in moderation now, but I will address your question here.

    The last week of January and throughout the month of February and until about mid-March, both N95 and Surgical masks disappeared off the shelves and could not be ordered online easily. Unlike Taiwan, HK govt could not arrange to import masks for residents here, so some political groups and some private entrepreneurs found alternate sources. Later, some stores would advertise that they had, say, 200,000 boxes to order online and pick up, and within minutes, they would be sold out. District Councillors tried to win points with constituents by passing out some in the community, mostly to retirees or unemployed people.

    I had my university roommate in CA mail me a box in early Feb, express priority mail (3-5 days), but it took over 3 weeks to arrive — not surprising since most flights to USA were cancelled. I also asked my cousin in Alabama to get some for me and mail to me as I heard that masks were gone in metro areas with large Asian populations. However, by then, those packages did not make it through US customs and were mailed back to her. Well, at least THEY now have some masks.

    In the past month, surgical masks of various qualities have appeared back on the shelves, a bit more expensive than they used to be, but easy enough to find. N95 are difficult to find but still might be possible, but still they are reserved more for health care workers (or maybe others, such as dentists). Some people wear cloth masks for fashion purposes, but surgical face masks are now widely available.

    Cloth masks are better than nothing, but surgical face masks will catch more emissions and block more smaller particle emissions from entering. But cloth masks can be washed and reused.

    Liked by 1 person


  392. Update
    Covid-19 pandemic; situation in Mozambique

    There is a public daily brief – shown in different local television networks – by personnel of the Ministry of Health where they bring the official data about the status of the pandemic in the country.
    The last data read:

    total of positive cases of Covid-19: 70
    total of imported cases: 8
    total of cases of local transmission: 62
    total of cured cases: 9
    total of fatalities: 0
    number of provinces with cases: 3
    _Capital city of Maputo: 15
    _Great Maputo area: +5
    _Cabo Delgado: 50

    To put those numbers in perspective it must be added that:

    total population of the country: aprox 29 million
    total/cumulative of persons followed until today: > 500 000
    total/cumulative of quarantined persons: > 11 400
    total of laboratory tests (Covid-19, PCR test): 1575
    total of laboratory tests in the last 24 hours: 136 (131 negatives and 5 positives)

    The Ministry of Health is following basically a few clusters that developed:

    in and around the capital city, “seeded” by travelers coming from outside (mainly, but not exclusively, by airplane and from Europe) in March; the total of cases in those clusters is 20; and
    in the northern province of Cabo Delgado; in that province a massive infrastructural development is taking place to allow for the extraction and processing of natural gas in the coming years; the gas deposits there belong to the largest in the world; a multinational set of engineers and workers was assembled there to do the job; some of the infected persons there are foreigners and the “seeds” definitely came from that sub-group); total of cases there 50.

    Despite the fact that the area around Maputo has much more people than the Cabo Delgado province, more cases were locally transmitted in the latter place, This speaks about the different level of consciousnesses in the two places. In Maputo the level of information and awareness is certainly higher than in the “remote” Cabo Delgado area where work on gas infrastructure is being carried out.

    In the last 7 days the total number of cases jumped more than 50%. A few days ago the number was 41. Today is 70. I believe that as the outer ring of the cluster in Cabo Delgado is more and more searched and tested, more cases probably will appear. The good new is that workers in the gas project live outside their normal sites of residence, in a compound, and therefore, probably no contamination occurred outside their workplace.
    Some restrictions are already in place regarding the movement of people between the compound of gas project workers and people’s settlements nearby.
    For the compound itself more strict rules of hygiene were imposed. For example now everybody must ware a face mask.
    But in the neighbor province of Nampula (much more populated than Cabo Delgado itself) the local leaders show already some nervousness via-a-vis a possible future spillover of cases from Cabo Delgado to Nampula. They are trying hard to rise the alertness of the population for the rules of behavior that must be followed to escape the disease, in the urban as well as in rural areas.

    Liked by 1 person


  393. Windows of hope

    A friend of mine sent a moment ago a WhasApp message speaking about some results already achieved in the search for a cure of Covid-19. With the whole humanity under siege this enemy can only expect a forceful response. I doubt that it will survive much long. Look at these two examples of lines of research:
    a) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Favipiravir

    b) https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0166354220302011

    Like


  394. @ Jefe

    “No one needed any directive from the government to do this”

    While it wasn’t anywhere on the same level as Hong Kong, we did have a little of that. Where I am, for example, several school districts, public library systems, and stores shut down days before the county issued a stay-at-home directive.

    “There was a lot of study and discussion about wearing surgical face masks during SARS (2003), They decided that it does indeed work at a community level if everyone, or at least 90% does it…. It can reduce the R0 to less than one, which is all that matters.”

    This is really good information to know, thank you. The problem here is going to be getting 90% of the populace on board.

    “Cloth masks catch most of large particles, but almost none of the smaller ones, and many micro droplets still escape through the mask.”

    Some people are making cloth masks with a slot where you can insert disposable filters to try to increase the mask’s efficiency. People have been making their own filters out of things like vacuum bags and Swiffer dry sheets. I have no idea how effective or safe this might be.

    “This is a completely bull[moderated word] argument.”

    Yeah, that seems clear in retrospect. The study I’ve seen cited most often was of U.S. medical students or interns, people who were just starting to get accustomed to wearing surgical masks and learning how to use them. As far as I know, there was no follow-up later on to see if they were still touching and fiddling with the masks or if they’d got it figured out.

    “If people don’t know how to use it properly, then you simply instruct them. Any local department public health can prepare a PSA video to teach people and broadcast every 1/2 hr. on TV, before every youtube, every time possible.”

    Well, yes, but this is Trump’s America, where the more urgent PSA at the moment is to warn people not to inject themselves with Lysol like the president suggested. One hell of a learning curve we’ve got here.

    I do agree with you; we just really need to ramp up the instructional videos or something, and it doesn’t seem anyone’s doing that.

    Just in the last week I have had multiple conversations (online or text, not in person! because social distancing) with people scoffing at “the idiots driving around all alone in their car wearing a mask — do they think they’re going to catch it through the air vents?” Each time I’ve had to explain that you’re not supposed to take the mask off and put it back on a few minutes later; that defeats the whole purpose. So if someone has multiple errands to run — which is likely if they’re trying to only go out once every week or two — then yes, it makes perfect sense that they would be wearing their mask in their car as they drive from one place to the next.

    It also doesn’t help when newscasters on television are adjusting their masks on air, or seeing Nancy Pelosi take hers off to address the House and then put it back on. I realize we are all still learning this here, but we need better role modeling as well as more PSAs.

    Like


  395. Each time I’ve had to explain that you’re not supposed to take the mask off and put it back on a few minutes later; that defeats the whole purpose.

    Exactly, there are only 2 cases when you should take it off, ie,

    to eat or drink (no choice there), but you can bring a clean napkin or paper towel on place it on and only remove and replace by the ear loops, and only after hand sanitizing before and after you take it off and before and after you put it back on.
    when you get home.

    Well there is a #3, but hopefully most people are not one of them.
    3. When you smoke – this is terrible behaviour during a pandemic as people touch their mouth and face every 15 seconds and then cough out in public.

    So, if you are driving a car, that means you left your house and are in public and going to a destination that has other people. You should leave it on. Besides, if you have any passengers, then you are breathing, coughing, touching stuff in the car.

    It also doesn’t help when newscasters on television are adjusting their masks on air, or seeing Nancy Pelosi take hers off to address the House and then put it back on. I realize we are all still learning this here, but we need better role modeling as well as more PSAs.

    Yes, the journalists and public officials at press briefings, or at meetings in the US are doing a terrible role model job. Governor Cuomo, his team and all the journalists should absolutely be wearing face masks together with physical distancing at each and every public meeting. The virus can be spread by aerosol micro-droplets that can remain airborne for a few hours. The way they act and behave is dreadfully irresponsible and displaying horrendous role model behaviour to their audience and constituents.

    The way public officials and journalists act in the US would be unconscionable in HK.

    Like


  396. @ Jefe

    “The virus can be spread by aerosol micro-droplets that can remain airborne for a few hours.”

    That jogged my memory. Another reason we were originally told not to wear masks was they didn’t think there was aerosolized spread.

    Like


  397. ^ There was evidence that it could be spread by aerosolized micro-droplets by asymptomatic carriers by late January. That was widely being reported already by microbiologists and epidemiologists in HK and Taiwan by early Feb.

    WHO discounted or ignored this.
    CDC stated in Feb and Mar to early April that there was no evidence.
    US surgeon general said that too.

    Now you know why there is intense distrust of the WHO here. They have repeatedly failed to provide timely and trustworthy information.

    I disagree that WHO should be disfunded, as we do need an institution like that, but I support a thorough investigation of their actions and behaviour. If Trump’s defunding order manages to force that to happen, then I can accept it if it is only temporary.

    Now that we know it for a fact, it is unconscionable that officials and the media act the way they do in the US and Europe.

    It is easy to see your microdroplets in winter or in places that turn cold. They freeze or condense outside your mouth every time you talk.

    Liked by 1 person


  398. @Solitaire

    we just really need to ramp up the instructional videos or something, and it doesn’t seem anyone’s doing that.

    Why is that? I am trying to figure out what is wrong with the US.

    I guess it is a new cultural norm and people just aren’t used to it. For years, they mocked people doing it overseas.

    Like


  399. Delete my comment above. Link doesnt work.

    Link on making your own masks, best fabrics ect.

    (https://m.facebook.com/groups/670932227050506?view=permalink&id=687259882084407)

    Like


  400. This Vox video discussing the value of wearing face masks is pretty good.

    What face masks actually do against coronavirus
    (https://youtu.be/P27HRClMf2U)

    Like


  401. https://www.newsweek.com/controversial-wuhan-lab-experiments-that-may-have-started-coronavirus-pandemic-1500503

    “Around this time, Ron Fouchier, a scientist at Erasmus University in Holland, wondered what it would take for the bird flu virus to mutate into a plague virus. The question was important to the mission of virologists in anticipating human pandemics. If H5N1 were merely one or two steps away from acquiring human transmissibility, the world was in danger: a transmissible form of H5N1 could quickly balloon into a devastating pandemic on the order of the 1918 flu, which killed tens of millions of people.”

    “To answer the question, scientists would have to breed the virus in the lab in cell cultures and see how it mutated. But this kind of work was difficult to carry out and hard to draw conclusions from. How would you know if the end result was transmissible?”

    “The answer that Fouchier came up with was a technique known as “animal passage,” in which he mutated the bird-flu virus by passing it through animals rather than cell cultures.”

    “After passing the virus through 10 ferrets, Fouchier noticed that a ferret in an adjacent cage became ill, even though the two hadn’t come into contact with one another. That showed that the virus was transmissible in ferrets—and, by implication, in humans. Fouchier had succeeded in creating a potential pandemic virus in his lab.”

    “When Fouchier submitted his animal-passage work to the journal Science in 2011, biosecurity officials in the Obama White House, worried that the dangerous pathogen could accidentally leak from Fouchier’s lab, pushed for a moratorium on the research. Fouchier had done his work in BSL-2 labs, which are intended for pathogens such as staph, of moderate severity, rather than BSL-4, which are intended for Ebola and similar viruses. BSL-4 labs have elaborate safeguards—they’re usually separate buildings with their own air circulation systems, airlocks and so forth. In response, the National Institutes of Health issued a moratorium on the research.”

    “What followed was a fierce debate among scientists over the risks versus benefits of the gain-of-function research. Fouchier’s work, wrote Harvard epidemiologist Marc Lipsitch in the journal Nature in 2015, “entails a unique risk that a laboratory accident could spark a pandemic, killing millions.”

    “Lipsitch and 17 other scientists had formed the Cambridge Working Group in opposition. It issued a statement pointing out that lab accidents involving smallpox, anthrax and bird flu in the U.S. “have been accelerating and have been occurring on average over twice a week.”

    “Laboratory creation of highly transmissible, novel strains of dangeorus viruses… poses substantially increased risks,” the statement said. “An accidental infection in such a setting could trigger outbreaks that would be difficult or impossible to control. Historically, new strains of influenza, once they establish transmission in the human population, have infected a quarter or more of the world’s population within two years.” More than 200 scientists eventually endorsed the position.”

    I think there are some doors science shouldn’t open and this is one of them.

    Humans are already destroying the Earth through global warming and unsustainable economic models.

    All we need is a bug to escape and wipe out most of the Earths population. It seems to me the risk outways the reward.

    Like


  402. This is something else that I want to ask people in the US (and maybe Canada, Australia and Europe too). re: those who have tested positive, but are not showing symptoms, or at least none serious enough to require hospitalization. Are they indeed released to quarantine at home?

    This idea would be unthinkable in Hong Kong.

    Everyone who tests positive here are sent away to a separate mandatory isolation ward away from home (it does not have to be an actual hospital; it could be an empty hotel or dormitory) and they must stay there indefinitely and monitored continuously until they show no symptoms and test negative twice at least 24 hours apart. So no, you cannot go home and quarantine nor have contact with anyone at all, even a family member.

    The ones who are sent to home quarantine and daily temperature checks are those who tested NEGATIVE, but had contact with someone who had tested positive. And they are tested again after 14 days to confirm they are still negative.

    If this is the case in North American or Europe, this might explain why it took so long for cases to come down.

    The successful Asian coronavirus-fighting strategy America refuses to embrace
    Other countries have had better results putting sick people into isolation instead of sending them home to potentially infect their family.
    (https://www.vox.com/2020/4/28/21238456/centralized-isolation-coronavirus-hong-kong-korea)

    Like


  403. @jefe
    Yes, if you don’t require hospitalization, you are sent home. This is true whether or not they offer to test you and whether or not you test positive. Testing is becoming much more accessible now. But, tests were harder to get a few weeks ago which led to many people being denied tests and sent home only to die. There were two highly publicized cases in Detroit recently with a medical worker being turned away from her own hospital, multiple times, without a test and also the daughter of a police officer and a medical worker being mis-diagnosed and turned away multiple times only to later die of Covid19.

    So, not only do we send sick people home here, but apparently we don’t even test the all folks that need it.

    NOTE: Both patients in my response had something in common. Care to guess what it was?

    Like


  404. @ Jefe

    “Are they indeed released to quarantine at home?”

    Yes.

    Not only that, some are dying at home, which raises questions about how well they are being assessed when they first present for diagnosis and treatment.

    We had a case in my county where a patient was diagnosed and sent home, and died less than 24 hours later. Details are scarce but family called an ambulance so this person may not have lived alone. It is not fully clear either if the person died at home or en route, but apparently was DOA at the ER.

    If you look around YouTube, you can find footage of journalists like Chris Cuomo (the governor’s brother) and Brooke Baldwin reporting from home quarantine.

    Like


  405. @ Open Minded Observer

    This is kind of a tangent off your remarks and not meant to detract from the tragedy you described.

    About a month ago, I remember reading a number of op-eds, Twitter threads, etc. written by doctors who had flu-like symptoms but couldn’t get a test even from their own hospital. Most in the U.S. but a couple in Britain.

    They were all continuing to work. The running theme in their accounts was if they could get tested and were positive for covid-19, they would self-quarantine, but if they tested negative and it was “just” a flu bug or a cold, they would keep working because that’s what they always do when they are sick. A couple said or implied that’s what they learned to do as interns and residents: you go to work unless you literally cannot stand up.

    I was appalled. You would think physicians would be the first to realize the importance of staying home when sick with something communicable, regardless of severity.

    It is equally appalling that these doctors were refused covid-19 testing, and even more so since their hospitals must have known they were continuing to work.

    Like


  406. @Open minded observer,

    we don’t even test the all folks that need it.

    I am not referring to whether people have access to testing or not. I mean, among those who are lucky enough to get tested and receive a positive result, but who are not sick enough (or sick at all) to go to the hospital, are they simply sent home to self-quarantine.

    This is a grave mistake. We should not be doing any self-quarantine for those who test positive, even if they have no symptoms. They must be completely removed from society to avoid infecting other people.

    But regarding testing, in order to contain, not only do the asymptomatic infected individuals need to be ISOLATED away everyone else for 14 days and monitored throughout the day and not released until they test negative multiple times, every single one of their contacts need to be tested too, and isolated if positive, or quarantined if negative.

    The US is still in mitigation mode, not containment mode. Until they move to containment mode (isolate all positives, quarantine all negatives, contact trace and test all contacts), they should not under any circumstance relax social distancing measures. It is not contained.

    Like


  407. @Solitaire,

    Yes, I saw the videos of Chris Cuomo and Brooke Baldwin.

    This would not be allowed at all in Hong Kong.

    Even the top journalists and politicians and celebrities are not allowed to go home and do self-quarantine if they test positive. They are required to go to a separate isolation facility away from home, and stay until they test negative twice.

    If the relevant person is a returnee from overseas (and all of those are being tested, and forced to wait for the results), and tests positive after landing at the airport, that person is not allowed to return home anymore, but goes straight to isolation wards in hospitals even if they display no symptoms. They will not be allowed to go home until they test negative twice, no matter how long it takes.

    The ones who are allowed to go home are those who test NEGATIVE. These are typically those who are contacts of a positive case, or a returnee resident from overseas who tests negative. And they are required to quarantine for 14 days and report their temperature throughout the day and wear a wrist band monitoring their location to ensure they do not leave home for any reason. Anyone violating quarantine are arrested and fined. A few have been jailed.

    One reason that it is dangerous to send people home in Hong Kong if they test positive, is that flats in HK are generally tiny. A typical family of 4 or 5 lives in a 400-500 s.f. flat. Many families live in quarters even more crowded. There is no way to isolate yourself in such conditions. But even if one is wealthy, lives in 5000 s.f. with 6 bedrooms and domestic helpers, they are not allowed to go home if they test positive. All must spend isolation in offsite isolation camps until they test negative.

    Maybe this is why HK, after having 2 separate waves of infections with sudden spikes, have gotten back down to single digit new infections for the past 16 days, without a single case of untraced community spread. 5 days out of the past 8 days reported zero new infections. There have been only 4 deaths.

    Ramping up testing is only one thing. It will not contain the spread unless you
    do comprehensive contact tracing of all positive cases and test all contacts
    Isolate those testing positive, and keep them isolated completely from everyone else until they test negative at least twice, even if they never show any symptoms
    Quarantine those testing negative. Ideally you test them again after 14 days to make sure they are still testing negative (ie, testing negative twice).
    The only exception here would be the healthcare workers treating the covid patients. They are contacts of positively infected patients, and should be tested regularly, but if they are still negative, we still need them to work.

    The article above suggests that the measures that you find in HK, Taiwan, S. Korea simply would not fly in the US. Somehow it is an infringement of individual liberty.

    But even under the HK scenario, the celebrity in an isolation camp could theoretically still work every day from their room and doing pretty much everything they would have done in home quarantine. The only difference is the physcial is separation.

    But this is incredibly better for society in general. Everyone not in isolation or quarantine would be free to move about more in society, as long as we keep some measure of social distancing (ie, no large events or mass gatherings), physical distancing (6ft apart), ubiquitous wearing of masks in public, diligent hand hygiene and disinfecting of any location which is a known contact vector for a positive case.

    In HK, restaurants have remained open throughout the entire pandemic. Hair salons have never closed. Most businesses are still open. Starting next week, the government offices will be fully open back up, as well as librairies and some other public facilities.

    Liked by 1 person


  408. A curious view of life in Hong Kong:
    edition.cnn.com/2020/04/25/asia/hong-kong-social-distancing-coronavirus-intl-hnk/index.html

    Like


  409. Abagond wrote in this blog post: “Covid-19 is at 4,000 dead [worldwide] and counting (as of March 10th 2020).”

    In a comment on April 3, I wrote:
    “Less than a month later, . . . there are 7,000 dead in the U.S. alone.”

    The U.S. fatality count passed the 60,000 mark on April 29.

    There have been over 200,000 deaths worldwide.

    There are 3 million cases globally. 1 million of those — one third — are in the U.S.

    Like


  410. Monday I go in to have an antibody test done.

    I will keep you posted about the results.

    L.A. county will now be offering free Codvit-19 testing and it is not necessary to have symptoms to qualify.

    I thought I would do the antibody test first.

    Like


  411. @ Michael Barker

    Monday I go in to have an antibody test done.

    What is your purpose in doing this?
    Is it to fulfill a kind of citizenship duty, to contribute to give the health authorities, both local, state or national, a more accurate picture of the pandemic (also to calibrate the mathematical model that describe it)? By the way, is it anonymous?

    Because at a personnel level I don’t see much advantage. The antibody test will not give a certainty of your status vis-a-vis the novel coronavirus, specially if the result is positive.

    Ok. Maybe if you test negative, it’s fine, you happily go back home. Otherwise you’ll feel the need to advance to the more complex PCR test, to clean your peace of mind about yourself!
    But are those reverse transcription polymerase chain reactiontests also fully available for free in your location?

    By the way, the health authorities in my country are going, in the near future, to add to the PCR tests they are doing right now to uncover clusters of infection, also those antibodies tests, to create a more encompassing map of the spread of the virus nationwide. Until now it seems that we have only mainly two localized clusters of infection, one in the extreme north and other in the extreme south. But nobody know for sure if there is something else.

    Like


  412. By the way…
    What is happening to California? (When I was a kid there was a song called “Hotel California”… huh,,, sweet memories!)
    They are fed up of living like birds in cages, aren’t they?
    See, https://globalnews.ca/news/6872261/coronavirus-beaches-california-heat-wave/

    Liked by 1 person


  413. Munubantu.

    As a civic duty as well as a moral one if I turn out to be a carrier. I don’t believe the test’s are anonymous.

    If I test positive I have to list who I have had interactions with over the last two weeks. Since I am considered an essential worker needed to maintain infrastructure I have a lot of daily interactions. On average I meet ten new people a day. Add my family and workers that’s around 150 people over a two week period.

    The more people that are tested then the more info the CDC will receive. That will help the CDC figure out the scale of the pandemic ect. I think testing should be mandatory.

    If my antibody test comes back positive then I will take a covid-19 test. If that’s positive then I self isolate and contact those who I have interacted with. If the test is negative then I will know that I received a small viral load and my body was able to resist it.

    Like


  414. Is the 3rd World War in sight?
    Maybe the novel coronavirus is one of the horses of the Apocalypse, the one bringing the bad news of the coming Armageddon between two earthly giants…
    Who knows?
    See
    https://edition.cnn.com/2020/04/30/politics/us-china-coronavirus-diplomacy-intelligence-donald-trump/index.html

    Like


  415. Munubantu

    Closing the beaches in California is controversial. Hiking trails are closed as well in Southern California. Same with Natinal parks, camp grounds ect.

    Personally I think they should remain open but police or park rangers should be able to cite individuals or groups who violate social distancing guidelines.

    It is preety easy to maintain social distancing in outdoor areas, along hiking trails ect.

    It is enclosed areas with recycling air that spreads the virus more often.

    Some people don’t have a yard to go out into if they live in apartments so parks, beaches and trails should be open for mental health.

    Like


  416. With regard to this viral outbreak, I see two issues being frequently combined even by respected journalists. A virus doesn’t have to be man-made to escape from storage in a lab. The genetic origin of a virus and the epicenter of an outbreak are two separate considerations. Naturally occurring viruses have escaped from research containment before.

    https://www.cdc.gov/sars/media/2004-05-19.html

    Like


  417. The 25,000 to 69,000 numbers that Trump cited do not represent counted flu deaths per year; they are estimates that the CDC produces by multiplying the number of flu death counts reported by various coefficients produced through complicated algorithms. These coefficients are based on assumptions of how many cases, hospitalizations, and deaths they believe went unreported. In the last six flu seasons, the CDC’s reported number of actual confirmed flu deaths—that is, counting flu deaths the way we are currently counting deaths from the coronavirus—has ranged from 3,448 to 15,620….

    There is some logic behind the CDC’s methods. There are, of course, some flu deaths that are missed, because not everyone who contracts the flu gets a flu test. But there are little data to support the CDC’s assumption that the number of people who die of flu each year is on average six times greater than the number of flu deaths that are actually confirmed. In fact, in the fine print, the CDC’s flu numbers also include pneumonia deaths….

    If we compare, for instance, the number of people who died in the United States from COVID-19 in the second full week of April to the number of people who died from influenza during the worst week of the past seven flu seasons (as reported to the CDC), we find that the novel coronavirus killed between 9.5 and 44 times more people than seasonal flu.

    https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/observations/comparing-covid-19-deaths-to-flu-deaths-is-like-comparing-apples-to-oranges/

    Like


  418. “Is the 3rd World War in sight?
    Maybe the novel coronavirus is one of the horses of the Apocalypse, the one bringing the bad news of the coming Armageddon between two earthly giants…
    Who knows?”
    3rd World War against the PRC and Russia has been on the US agenda since Bush had the idea of invading Afghanistan using “Shock and awe (technically known as rapid dominance) is a tactic based on the use of overwhelming power and spectacular displays of force to paralyze the enemy’s perception of the battlefield and destroy their will to fight”, followed by Obama’s “Pivot to Asia” policy.
    (https://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/01/30/AR2010013000508.html)

    Like


  419. Interesting article from newsweek:
    https://www.newsweek.com/dr-fauci-backed-controversial-wuhan-lab-millions-us-dollars-risky-coronavirus-research-1500741

    But just last year, the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases, the organization led by Dr. Fauci, funded scientists at the Wuhan Institute of Virology and other institutions for work on gain-of-function research on bat coronaviruses.

    Many scientists have criticized gain of function research, which involves manipulating viruses in the lab to explore their potential for infecting humans, because it creates a risk of starting a pandemic from accidental release.

    SARS-CoV-2 , the virus now causing a global pandemic, is believed to have originated in bats. U.S. intelligence, after originally asserting that the coronavirus had occurred naturally, conceded last month that the pandemic may have originated in a leak from the Wuhan lab. (At this point most scientists say it’s possible—but not likely—that the pandemic virus was engineered or manipulated.)

    A second phase of the project, beginning that year [2019], included additional surveillance work but also gain-of-function research for the purpose of understanding how bat coronaviruses could mutate to attack humans. The project was run by EcoHealth Alliance, a non-profit research group, under the direction of President Peter Daszak, an expert on disease ecology. NIH canceled the project just this past Friday, April 24th, Politico reported. Daszak did not immediately respond to Newsweek requests for comment.

    The project proposal states: “We will use S protein sequence data, infectious clone technology, in vitro and in vivo infection experiments and analysis of receptor binding to test the hypothesis that % divergence thresholds in S protein sequences predict spillover potential.”

    In layman’s terms, “spillover potential” refers to the ability of a virus to jump from animals to humans, which requires that the virus be able to attach to receptors in the cells of humans. SARS-CoV-2, for instance, is adept at binding to the ACE2 receptor in human lungs and other organs.

    According to Richard Ebright, an infectious disease expert at Rutgers University, the project description refers to experiments that would enhance the ability of bat coronavirus to infect human cells and laboratory animals using techniques of genetic engineering. In the wake of the pandemic, that is a noteworthy detail.

    Ebright, along with many other scientists, has been a vocal opponent of gain-of-function research because of the risk it presents of creating a pandemic through accidental release from a lab.

    More at the link including information on how a different virus was made to transmit to ferrets (years ago) through repeated mutations, resulting in calls from hundreds of scientists to end those experiments. Dr. Fauci thought that kind of research was valuable enough for it to be worth the risk.

    If US funded Chinese research caused a pandemic that’ll put a wrinkle in Trump’s quest for reparations, eh?
    The employer is often considered to be ultimately liable when the employee screws up and damages innocent third parties.
    If the US government suddenly gets disinterested in where the virus came from I guess we’ll know what’s up, LOL.

    Liked by 1 person


  420. @ Origin

    If US funded Chinese research caused a pandemic that’ll put a wrinkle in Trump’s quest for reparations, eh?

    (emphasis added)

    Jesus, Origin, reparations? Is this not a reserved word here?
    Used only in contexts like https://abagond.wordpress.com/2014/05/26/ta-nehisi-coates-the-case-for-reparations/
    It is like to say that the novel coronavirus is inflicting a holocaust worldwide. Holocaust? Can’t say that!

    Like


  421. @mununbuntu
    I actually thought about those reparations as I was typing the word. Some associations are strong indeed.

    Like


  422. It looks like the “word” is actually reserved, lol.
    My response didn’t show up yet.

    Anyway, following up on my previous post on the Newsweek article: NPR had run a story a few days ago in which scientists were quoted throwing doubt on the lab origin theory.

    https://www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2020/04/23/841729646/virus-researchers-cast-doubt-on-theory-of-coronavirus-lab-accident

    Virus Researchers Cast Doubt On Theory Of Coronavirus Lab Accident

    Rather, the experts interviewed by NPR all believe that the virus was transmitted between animals and humans in nature, as has happened in previous outbreaks — from Ebola to the Marburg virus — and with other known coronaviruses such as SARS and MERS.

    “The real risk is in the wild in the way people interact with wildlife around the world,” says Peter Daszak, president of EcoHealth Alliance in New York City, a group that researches the origins of pandemics. “That’s where we need to be focused if we want to really do something about preventing the next pandemic.”

    No conspiracy theories

    Despite the evidence, misinformation about the virus’s origins continue to proliferate. For Daszak, who has worked on other outbreaks, the pattern is all too familiar: “Every time we get a new virus emerging, we have people that say, ‘This could have come from a lab,’ ” he says.

    What’s unusual about this outbreak, he says, is that senior officials in both China and the U.S. have traded accusations that each nation is somehow responsible for the virus.

    “It’s a real shame that the conspiracy theories can get to the level they’ve got with policymakers,” he says.

    Daszak says the time for finger-pointing is over. “We have a bat virus in my neighborhood in New York killing people,” he says. “Let’s get real about this.”

    Does the name Peter Daszak sound familiar? He’s the same guy from the same company mentioned in the Newsweek article:

    Newsweek

    A second phase of the project, beginning that year [2019], included additional surveillance work but also gain-of-function research for the purpose of understanding how bat coronaviruses could mutate to attack humans. The project was run by EcoHealth Alliance, a non-profit research group, under the direction of President Peter Daszak, an expert on disease ecology. NIH canceled the project just this past Friday, April 24th, Politico reported. Daszak did not immediately respond to Newsweek requests for comment.

    So the same guy whose company was running the bat coronavirus gain-of-function research project in China (which was just terminated on April 24, 2020) was quoted in NPR assuring us that it’s a “conspiracy theory” to consider that the virus could have come from a lab. Who thinks NPR should have exposed that potential conflict of interest in its own story? If his research could possibly be implicated in this crippling pandemic wouldn’t he have a vested interest in discouraging that line of inquiry?

    Finally, just in case it is unclear, the aim of gain-of-function research is to produce more dangerous pathogens which transmit more easily and/or cause more severe illness. That’s why some scientists think it should not be done, period, since there’s a always non-zero risk of accidental release.
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4996883/

    Gain-of-function (GOF) research involves experimentation that aims or is expected to (and/or, perhaps, actually does) increase the transmissibility and/or virulence of pathogens. Such research, when conducted by responsible scientists, usually aims to improve understanding of disease causing agents, their interaction with human hosts, and/or their potential to cause pandemics.

    Liked by 1 person


  423. This is an opinion piece from CNN, so we have to take that into consideration, but I do agree with much of it.

    The US (and several of the Western European countries) talk about testing, testing, testing.
    But actually, the number of tests in the US is not really that bad, and compares favourably to Asia-Pacific nations. What US fails miserably at is the action done after the tests are performed, ie,

    Contact tracing
    Isolating all positive cases (and this means NOT quarantining at home)
    Quarantining all negatives (only quarantine those who test negative, or who were identified through contact tracing, but still not tested). Also quarantine every single entrant to the country (or if you set up a smaller cordon, to a state or city) and test them.
    Wearing of face masks by the entire population at all times when they leave home (including by politicians at press briefings with physical distancing) and mandatory use of hand sanitizers and body temperature checks every single time people enter a building. Leaders in the USA set a terrible example.

    Every single person testing positive should, to the best of their ability, identify every contact they have had for the prior 14 days and then those people should be tested. Of those who test positive, first isolate them completely out of the community (and definitely not at home), then quarantine and test all their contacts for the prior 14 days and so forth.

    No one is released from isolation until they test negative at least twice 24 hours or more apart.

    There are so many empty school dormitories and hotels out there, there should be enough space to isolate every positive case. If not, then erect temporary isolation camps.

    By no means allow people who test positive and shedding the virus in the community, including at home. They must be removed so that they do not infect a single other person. I wish they would stop this practice of home quarantine for POSITIVE cases.

    This is what the US is doing a terrible job at. Their testing is not behind other nations, but what they do with those test results is.

    What Asian nations know about squashing Covid-19
    (https://edition.cnn.com/2020/05/02/opinions/us-can-learn-from-asia-sachs/index.html)

    Like


  424. on Sun May 3rd 2020 at 20:33:52 Michael Barker

    Jefe

    I think the U.S.and Western countries don’t have the discipline to force quarantine their citizens.

    Already people are ignoring face masks and social distancing. They think the threat is overblown.

    I think the virus will be with us for awhile.

    Like


  425. The PRC is having a laugh at the expense of the US and the ‘geniuses on this blog. Enjoy or not.
    (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q5BZ09iNdvo)

    Liked by 1 person


  426. on Mon May 4th 2020 at 05:05:58 Michael Barker

    Thanks Grojo I liked that.

    It is a fine piece of propaganda because it’s mostly true.

    Of course they left out the part about the virus escaping from the lab …..

    Like


  427. Mike, you’re even funnier than the video. Still pushing that Wuhan lab lie?

    Like


  428. The country that should be laughing its rear off right now is the Republic of China.
    It’s not even a member of the WHO and did a better job containing the virus than everyone else, lol!
    The rest of us with runaway outbreaks [thanks Trump] will have to bottle some of the laughs for the coming months when we’ll need them!

    By the way there is a fascinating fact that a few countries with female leaders have had better mortality outcomes during the pandemic than others.
    Republic of China’s Tsai Ing-wen leads the field in COVID-19 containment despite being geographically close to Xi’s pestilence-exporting mainland.
    Angel Merkel’s Germany is probably the best place to be in Europe during this outbreak.
    While New Zealand’s Jacinda Ardern has also earned the praise of her people for her handling of the crisis.

    Like


  429. ROC deserves praise for taking swift action.
    “By the way there is a fascinating fact that a few countries with female leaders have had better mortality outcomes during the pandemic than others.
    Republic of China’s Tsai Ing-wen leads the field in COVID-19 containment despite being geographically close to Xi’s pestilence-exporting mainland.”
    How did Hong Kong do, also under female leadership? Initially, very well but as I said, this thing is a moving target, more recently, not so good. The final verdict on the crisis will be several years in the future.
    “Epidemiologists and journalists lauded the Chinese territory for controlling the spread, and Hong Kongers emerged from their tiny apartments to resume life. They headed back to work and the gym, even dined out for noodles and dim sum, as they welcomed home residents and students who had been stuck overseas.

    With most everyone’s guard down, the predator lashed back last week. Cases of Covid-19 surged.

    Hong Kong logged a daily record of 48 new infections Saturday as travelers returned home, and as of Wednesday, the city of 7.4 million had reported more than 400 cases. This week, the government ordered all residents back home, and closed public sports facilities, museums, and libraries that had just reopened. What’s more, the city stopped admitting visitors for two weeks. As an extra measure against socializing, the government demanded that bars stop serving alcohol.

    Physicians and scientists in Hong Kong said they were not surprised by the jump in cases. The pandemic will work in waves, said Keiji Fukuda, former assistant director-general for health security at the World Health Organization and a medical professor at the University of Hong Kong. “This is going to be a difficult situation for the next several months. I don’t think any of us believes this will resolve in the next six weeks or two months. … Hong Kong is going to be affected by what’s going on in other regions and other countries.”

    Even as a growing chorus in the U.S. and other countries calls for a quick end to sharp restrictions on civic life, Hong Kong’s message is clear: It will take remarkable persistence to control the coronavirus — a herculean effort by both governments and their citizens.”
    superlative Brobdingnagian tools should refrain from making overly broad generalizations, or celebrate victories that might turn out to be ephemeral. Caution is the order of the day.

    Like


  430. Look at what happened in Stillwater, Oklahoma:

    City Manager Norman McNickle said, “In the short time beginning on May 1, 2020, that face coverings have been required for entry into stores/restaurants, store employees have been threatened with physical violence and showered with verbal abuse. In addition, there has been one threat of violence using a firearm. This has occurred in three short hours and in the face of clear medical evidence that face coverings helps contain the spread of COVID-19.”

    If this is how they react to mandatory face masks, just imagine the response to enforced isolation and quarantine.

    Liked by 1 person


  431. @Origin said
    “By the way there is a fascinating fact that a few countries with female leaders…”

    Somebody who doesn’t pay attention read:
    “By the way there is a fascinating fact that ALL countries with female leaders…”

    Having invented this “broad generalization” as a strawman the individual proceeds to provide a counterexample to refute it.

    Logic Primer:
    Universal quantification (“For All …”) is refuted by providing a counterexample.
    Existential quantification (“There exists some such that …”) is refuted by proving there are none.

    My statement, though casually stated, was of the latter form and can’t be refuted with a counterexample. Obviously, inventing a statement I didn’t make and refuting that is also faulty logic.

    But it’s nonetheless interesting that the example that is claimed to be failing now is the one that large swathes of her city’s population was protesting against because they disapproved of a CCP-friendly law she had proposed which they felt undermined “One Country Two Systems”. I was actually surprised Hong Kong managed COVID-19 as well as it had given how beleaguered Carrie Lam was throughout last year. It’s a testament to how seriously the citizens take these outbreaks after the SARS experience.

    Like


  432. By the way, I suspect our favorite poster’s Daddy, Xi, is reaching for the strap because he implied that Hong Kong is a country.

    Oops!
    Somebody is about to get re-educated.
    I’m sure there’s one more space in those Uighur concentration camps.

    Like


  433. re: Origin

    It’s not even a member of the WHO and did a better job containing the virus than everyone else, lol!

    Being excluded from WHO was a blessing in disguise. The ROC’s measures and instructions to their population did not follow the WHO guidelines and it turned out to be considerably more effective.

    Hong Kong probably had the next best response after Taiwan, ROC. They have recorded 1041 cases and only 4 deaths. 8 days out the past 14 recorded zero new cases, and there has been no recorded death since March 13. There has been no recorded case of local community transmission for 16 days. All cases, if any, now are imported from returnee residents. One case was recorded yesterday, a woman who returned from the USA who was asymptomatic. As I mentioned above, HK is testing every single arrival, and sending them to isolation (NOT quarantine at home) even if they are entirely asymptomatic.

    The large unsourced text dump above referring to 48 new cases is over 6 weeks old. That occurred on March 20. The last time there were double digit new cases (11) was 24 days ago. You can check every day’s report here.

    https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/china-hong-kong-sar/

    The success in HK was due in no thanks to its female puppet chief executive, but rather more due to the pressure that citizens put on the government. through strikes and protests to force government’s hand, as well as higher trust in academic experts. Together with Taiwan, they also “benefited” from their prior experience with SARS(2003) which have the population poised to hop immediately into pandemic prevention mode, as well as general skepticism of the WHO, which is not trusted with delivering timely and trustworthy recommendations or information.

    Neither Taiwan nor HK ever had to exercise lock down or stay-at-home orders like many places in US and Europe (eg, restaurants and shops remained open for the past 3 1/2 months). They do, however, wear face masks ubiquitously all the time, and shut all schools and govt offices and facilities since Jan 24, and heavily promoted work from home for everyone else. Taiwan also benefits from a universal single payor healthcare system, and HK has a publicly subsidized system which makes not only testing, but also health care in general relatively cheap and accessible.

    I postponed any traveling to the USA due to the outbreaks there. I still find that their measures are very lackadaisical and the politicians are hypocritical and denunciatory of the experts. All cases who test positive really need to be isolated and removed from the community, even if they are 100% asymptomatic as they are still shedding the virus and infecting people in their community and their homes. Unless US does that, there will continue to be uncontained community spread. The contagion spreading through nursing homes and meat packing factories never should have happened.

    Like


  434. @Solitaire
    America was totally unprepared for this on so many levels. From the nonexistent federal leadership to the lack of social cohesion and consensus to the economic inequality and healthcare access issues and, let’s not forget, a cultural understanding of freedom that often translates to entitlement. In the absence of a medical breakthrough that renders the disease a non-issue, I think this country will be hurting. If that occurs it will affect the whole world given America’s military presence and the dollar’s role as reserve currency. The next few months will be critical, IMO. What happens if the attempt to reopen backfires?

    Like


  435. @jefe
    Thanks for the rundown.
    Those numbers are great especially considering that Hong Kong has a border with the mainland.
    Hong Kong’s population is roughly comparable to New Jersey’s but the COVID-19 numbers are not at all alike (over 126K confirmed, over 7800 dead).
    It’s already disastrous and it’s not finished yet.

    Like


  436. “My statement, though casually stated, was of the latter form and can’t be refuted with a counterexample. Obviously, inventing a statement I didn’t make and refuting that is also faulty logic.”
    Obviously your daddy bailed out on you before teaching you to read carefully. Your favorite poster’s Daddy, Xi, is an educated man who knows how to read carefully, so, no need for you to suspect that herr JOseph GROebbels will end up in re-education anytime soon. No refutation was intended, I was simply buttressing your claim about female led governments such as HK and Taiwan, both territories of the PRC duly recognized as such by all nations, and throwing a note of caution about hasty and propagandistic conclusions. Another territory of the PRC, not female led, did even better than the ROC and HK-SAR with 45 Confirmed cases, 39 Recovered and 0 Deaths. We are talking about Macao, if I wanted to contradict you I would have cited their superior performance. Being the nice guy I am I gave your ROC credit, hell, I would even have given Trump credit if he hadn’t f..cked up as usual. When it comes to fighting diseases I’m willing to join hands with the most atrocious human beings.
    S Brob, forgive the informality, quit making gargantuan leaps of logic and accusing me of same.

    Like


  437. “The success in HK was due in no thanks to its female puppet chief executive, but rather more due to the pressure that citizens put on the government. through strikes and protests to force government’s hand, as well as higher trust in academic experts.”
    This is news to me. I recall no protests since the outbreak of the epidemic. If you’re not lying as usual evidence of such protests would be appreciated. HK-SAR even arrested the leaders of the summer riots without much fanfare.

    Like


  438. @ Origin

    “What happens if the attempt to reopen backfires?”

    I can’t see how it won’t. We’re still averaging roughly 20,000 new cases a day and 1,500 to 2,000 deaths a day. Not one state has met the criteria to begin reopening, and yet they are barging ahead recklessly.

    Like


  439. I couldn’t resist to share this beautiful theme* dedicated to the health personnel all over the world who truly are our collective soldiers of peace in this battle against the Covid-19 pandemic. They are all our heroes wherever they are.
    Listen, (https://youtu.be/7LcLqIHzNkY)

    *The original version of this theme belongs to the British rock band “Queen”.

    Like


  440. One thing I’ve noticed over the past few weeks is the corporate media framing of the epidemic as saving lives vs. saving jobs/small businesses. Very little mention is made of the fact that Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern of New Zealand is doing an exemplary job of attending to the medical and economic needs of her citizens.

    According to a Common Dreams article from a week ago:

    “New Zealand paired its orders for the country to stay at home for five weeks with a major relief package amounting to about 4% of the country’s GDP—a far more significant spending plan than other wealthy countries.

    The government covered wages for all New Zealanders who had to self-isolate but couldn’t work from home or were caring for sick family members. Businesses were also offered subsidies to continue paying employees, and the government doubled its healthcare spending.

    Public health agencies were given resources for contact-tracing to determine who ill people could have potentially spread the disease to, which hospitals received support to increase intensive care units.

    “This package is one of the largest in the world on a per capita basis,” Grant Robertson, New Zealand’s finance minister, said in March as the package was announced.”

    https://www.commondreams.org/news/2020/04/27/coronavirus-effectively-eliminated-new-zealand-following-comprehensive-approach

    Instead the major media outlets present their audiences with false choices of health vs. jobs. It is an echo of the false choice between the environment and the economy.

    In reality, “all of the above” are possible. Prime Minister Ardern’s cool-headed approach showed what’s possible when you don’t reside in a kleptocratic gangster state.

    Like


  441. The numbers are even more stark now:

    Like


  442. Correction: I meant to write, “both/and” instead of “all of the above.

    Like


  443. on Tue May 5th 2020 at 02:16:44 Michael Barker

    Some of the comments floating around social media I find amusing

    But they are also disturbing as well as they point towards violence as a solution during this pandemic.

    There seems to be large swaths of the population. That are totally unhinged.

    “The face mask will be rightly regarded as a symbol of obsequious obedience and grotesque compliance with arbitrary and ignorant authority.”

    “The mask-regime is an anti-human globalist tool of compliance. Designed to whitewash our facial expressions in conjunction with social distancing, thus lowering our Emotional IQ and ability to interact with one another. Patriots who don’t blindly follow government decrees are now the ENEMY so sayeth the FCC licensed fake news reporter. Young man must be wanting to call down the thunder.”

    ‘A friend asked me today if I was nervous after seeing a federal court judge denied a church of 80 people the right to gather and worship together in full congregation, and in light of the possibility of being forced to be tested or vaccinated, and I replied I’m not nervous No I’m pissed. I’m seriously thinking I’m gonna end up fighting this shit and getting killed in the fight, but I’m starting to think I can accept that easier than I can watch this country die. I’m thinking I’d rather go out as an American than whatever comes after that”.

    “The words “kiss my ass” come to mind. No test, no Gates vaccine, and they can stick their “New Normal” Rockefeller Foundation straight back where the good Lord split them.”

    “These Global Communists are just angling for a fight.”

    “So remember Kids, let them shoot first. Then it’s open season on watering the Tree of Liberty with a harvest of Tyrants.”

    “Spirit of ’76”

    Like


  444. on Tue May 5th 2020 at 03:24:06 Michael Barker

    These nuts did kill someone. A black man, father of eight, for “disrespecting” a white women by telling her she needed to put on a mask.

    https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/michigan-security-guard-killed-police-investigating-if-it-was-over-n1199241?cid=sm_npd_nn_fb_ma

    Like


  445. on Tue May 5th 2020 at 03:40:41 Michael Barker

    ^^^ I may have assumed incorrectly that the women involved was white.

    Like


  446. Hong Kong to reopen schools, gyms, cinemas as coronavirus rules ease
    https://www.straitstimes.com/asia/east-asia/hong-kong-to-reopen-schools-gyms-cinemas-as-coronavirus-rules-ease

    I wish I could yell and scream at the governors in the US, ie,

    – Isolate, all those who test positive in an isolation facility under professional supervision, NEVER quarantine at home. Positive cases, even asymptomatic ones who require no hospitalization or even medical intervention, need to be completely isolated from the community to prevent community spread as they are still shedding the virus and infecting the community. They should not be released in the community until they test negative twice at least 24 hours apart.
    No exceptions to this rule should be allowed, even medical personnel who test positive.

    – Contract Trace every single contact of a positive case for the past 14 days. Every single one of those contacts must be tested. These should receive priority for testing, not only the rich, powerful, celebrities.

    – Quarantine all negative cases for at least 14 days, as well as contacts waiting to be tested. At the end of 14 days, test them again to make sure they are still negative.
    Only exception: medical personnel providing service to positive cases. Of course they have been interacting with patients, but that is why they need the highest grade PPE and need to be tested often.
    There should be no such thing as those in essential services contacting anyone in isolation. Essential service personnel can have interaction with quarantined persons only under strict social distancing, PPE, and hygiene.

    – Test all new entrants to the country from overseas, and ideally those who enter from other regions of the country on planes, trains and buses, ie, those whose contacts we cannot trace because they came from outside. Isolate if positive, quarantine if negative. Release in community only if they test negative twice no less than 14 days later.

    – Wear face masks in public and maintain hygiene and social distancing and check body temperature in public for every single other member in the community who has not been tested, and the rest after they complete quarantine or who have tested negative twice successively.

    The cases will drop off fairly fast if they do this. This should pretty much stop the outbreaks in places like factories or work or social places.

    Only when untraced community spread drops to zero for the 14-day incubation period can the social distancing be relaxed, and only in phases. Stay-at-home could definitely be relaxed if they would use proper procedures after they get test results. If untraced community spread develops again, then go back to more stringent rules.

    In HK, we are only relaxing from groups of 4 to groups of 8. It still means, no church, wedding banquets or swimming pools for the time being. But, at the end of the week, we can visit librairies or museums as long as we keep our masks on. have our temperature checked, and each table is at least 1.5m apart. They might not allow to open the newspaper reading rooms, just the book checkout and return. People will follow the rules, because they know they know that untraced community spread means sickness and death.

    Australia and New Zealand are forming a “travel bubble” between their two countries as long as cases and deaths are contained. HK will likely do this between Taiwan and Macau.

    US looks hopeless. Have to wait for the vaccine.

    Like


  447. @gro jo
    I started, at best, skimming your posts in this thread after you gave governments a blank check to self-interestedly manipulate information without regard for the consequences. So if you said I misunderstood what you posted I’ll take your word for it. My eye just caught you quoting me and bringing up Carrie Lam while saying I made broad generalization when I had literally listed the specific countries I was talking about. It seemed a lot like a (weak) refutation to me.

    @Solitaire.
    I also feel like premature reopening will backfire. It seems driven more by politics and economic concerns [of the wealthy] than the epidemiology of the outbreak.

    Like


  448. @ Origin

    “I also feel like premature reopening will backfire. It seems driven more by politics and economic concerns [of the wealthy] than the epidemiology of the outbreak.”

    I agree, and I would add that it also seems to be spurred on by these protesters and entitled right-wingers like the ones MJB quoted above or the armed militia members who congregated in the Michigan state capitol last week, even though recent surveys prove that they don’t reflect the opinions of the vast majority of Americans. I do believe those protesters are being used by the wealthy elite, but it’s unsettling to see otherwise rational governors cave to them, and disturbing to see them brandishing weapons in the gallery of the Michigan state senate, hovering above the legislators on the floor.

    I just read the following article that says the White House is using “a ‘cubic model’ prepared by Trump adviser and economist Kevin Hassett and the Council of Economic Advisers … [that] shows deaths dropping precipitously in May — and plummeting to zero by May 15, where they stay throughout the summer.” (emphases mine)

    What the White House apparently isn’t using is a “draft government report [which] projects coronavirus cases will surge to about 200,000 per day by June 1, a staggering jump that would be accompanied by more than 3,000 deaths each day… [with] a sharp increase in both cases and deaths beginning about May 14.”

    https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/trump-cheers-on-governors-even-as-they-ignore-white-house-coronavirus-guidelines-in-race-to-reopen/ar-BB13B6Rj?li=BBnb7Kz

    Like


  449. @ Jefe

    “In HK, we are only relaxing from groups of 4 to groups of 8. It still means, no church, wedding banquets or swimming pools for the time being. But, at the end of the week, we can visit librairies or museums as long as we keep our masks on. have our temperature checked, and each table is at least 1.5m apart. They might not allow to open the newspaper reading rooms, just the book checkout and return.”

    Thanks for those details. Our media is not doing a good job of explaining to the U.S. public what exactly is happening when other countries begin to ease restrictions.

    For example, when Wuhan ended the full lockdown and let people return home who had been visiting right beforehand and gotten stuck there, our media just showed crowds of travelers with their suitcases and the fireworks display and made it seem like everything was wide open and totally back to normal. They didn’t explain who the travelers were, and to the casual observer it looked like residents were rushing off for short vacations to cure their cabin fever. But if I understood correctly from the international media I read at the time, even after the relaxation of the lockdown, Wuhan was still under stricter protocols than anywhere in the U.S.

    Like


  450. @Solitaire
    Interesting. I’m sure Trump is going with the model that corresponds with what he’s hoping for regardless of which one is more scientifically sound. If the more dire predictions come to pass then lack of preparedness will characterize the response once again.

    Like


  451. Origin, I accept your backhanded apology in the spirit it was offered.
    Why has jefe the liar refrained from providing the evidence for “…the pressure that citizens put on the government. through strikes and protests to force government’s hand…” during the epidemic?
    Some people are addicted to lying.

    Like


  452. “I wish I could yell and scream at the governors in the US…”

    hmm Don’t we all.

    Most of the governors don’t really care about their state residents. They’ve bought into the false choice that pits state economies vs. state citizens health. Forgotten in that flimsy narrative is the fact that there is no economy without healthy, living, breathing citizens. Duh!

    The governors that do care about their state residents are battling gross incompetence at the federal level, plus:

    ➤ gangsterism from the Trump administration which has been seizing supplies from the states after telling they were on their own.

    ➤ residents who think pandemic restrictions apply to others but not to them.

    ➤ pressure from business groups to make getting unemployment as difficult as possible so workers don’t have the option of staying safe at home.

    ➤ ramped up propaganda from right-wingers to have no restrictions at all. Some of these right wing groups mistake privilege for freedom. Perhaps being six feet under is the ultimate freedom?

    ➤ major budget shortfalls. Unlike the federal government, the states can’t print, mint or keystroke their own currency. Additionally, many states have balanced budget amendments in place as an extra constraint.

    ➤ renegade mayors and county officials who want to go their own way during this pandemic. I’m thinking specifically of county officials in Colorado and the mayor of Los Vegas who:

    “…has spoken out against Democratic Gov. Steve Sisolak’s orders shuttering casinos and nonessential businesses, calling it “total insanity” that’s “killing Las Vegas.”

    [Nevada Governor] Sisolak has repeatedly pushed back, saying that he understands the economic harm the order is causing but saving lives is more important.

    The governor responded to [Mayor] Goodman in an in interview on CNN Wednesday evening, in which he noted the state reported more deaths from the virus in the hours since the mayor’s television appearance.

    “I will not allow the citizens of Nevada, our Nevadans, to be used as a control group, as a placebo, whatever she wants to call it,” Sisolak said.”

    https://globalnews.ca/news/6856470/coronavirus-las-vegas-mayor-reopening/

    ➤ hungry residents straining the resources of food banks.

    ➤ fearful residents who are now hoarding everything from toilet paper to pork chops.

    Right now, many US state governors are in the middle of a yell and scream fest.
    Neoliberalism in ideology and practice over the past 40 years has reduced their ability to respond in an effective and humane manner to the needs of state residents during the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Like


  453. @ Origin

    I also meant to thank you for drawing attention to some of the female leaders who have been doing an exemplary job in handling this crisis.

    Another I’ve read about is London Breed, the African American mayor of San Francisco, who moved hard and fast to lock the city down. She hasn’t gotten anywhere as much media attention as Cuomo or DiBlasio, but she was taking the threat seriously and moving to protect her citizens while those two were still urging New Yorkers to go about their normal lives.

    (Kind of an aside, but one casualty of the pandemic was Women’s History Month in March, and this year was going to be special due to the centennial of the 19th Amendment.)

    Like


  454. Hong Kongers weren’t joking:
    https://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/health-environment/article/3048548/caronavirus-thousands-hong-kong-hospital-workers

    Thousands of Hong Kong doctors, nurses and hospital employees have voted for a strike which could begin as early as Monday [Feb 3, 2020], to press the government to close all borders with mainland China amid the coronavirus outbreak.

    The pro-democracy Hospital Authority Employees Alliance announced that, of 3,156 eligible votes cast on Saturday, 3,123 were in support of the strike, while only 10 people voted against, and another 23 abstained. There were eight invalid votes.

    The alliance warned of more action if officials do not heed their demands.

    The escalation came as various hospital workers’ groups piled pressure on the government over its response to the deadly infection, which first broke out in mainland China’s Hubei province.

    Meanwhile in the USA, months later:

    @Solitaire
    https://currently.att.yahoo.com/att/xandr/reopened-restaurant-tells-workers-dont-170717674.html

    <

    blockquote>
    Texas restaurants that reopened at partial capacity last week have a choice to make: Whether or not their employees should wear masks.

    One restaurant company landed on a decision that has some employees weighing their safety versus their jobs.

    No face masks or face coverings of any kind.

    That employee, who did not want to be identified publicly, expressed discomfort and was told to think about it—and then was removed from the schedule, the employee told CBS Dallas’ Brooke Rogers.

    Another employee said some agreed to work because they were offered a 40-hour work week, but were told if they declined, they wouldn’t be eligible for rehire.

    The employees said management also told her that face masks don’t complement the restaurant group’s style or level of hospitality.

    <

    blockquote>

    Liked by 1 person


  455. @Solitaire
    I accidentally @’tted you above since I was going to respond in the same post then changed by mind. That makes two annoying derps in one post, lol.

    Anyway, thanks for drawing attention to San Francisco’s mayor and the city’s response. Looking at the numbers, San Francisco – as a sizeable city – has done well to limit the disease’s toll.

    @Afrofem

    Forgotten in that flimsy narrative is the fact that there is no economy without healthy, living, breathing citizens. Duh!

    Right! The existing neoliberal economic order has been placed in a classic catch-22 by the pandemic. Disruption seems assured either way but TPTB can only choose between limiting loss of life and causing more deaths than necessary. The choice should be obvious but reality is more like a dystopian version of a popular game show: “The Death Toll Is Right”.

    Behind curtain #1, the system voluntarily reverts from its maximally exploitive status quo, a degree of social order is maintained, and some goodwill is earned. Behind curtain #2, the system doesn’t give an inch and catastrophically collapses when people die due to economic deprivation and plague, causing social unrest and politically strengthening the remaining working class. In their typically short sighted villainy they’ve chosen curtain #2, preferring to walk over hot coals on the way to the gallows instead of across the lawn on the way to hospice care.

    The year 2019 was already one of discontent. Protests were everywhere. The ones in Chile were extensive and aimed sharply at that country’s neoliberal order. In the wake of the current crisis, particularly in countries with bad humanitarian responses to the pandemic, will people forget when their families were fed to COVID-19? I suspect that an even angrier world lies ahead.

    Like


  456. @Origin

    Hong Kongers weren’t joking:

    You bet!

    They not only threatened to strike. They actually did strike for several days (Feb 3-6), with widespread majority support from HK residents. They did not have enough PPE and with tens of thousands pouring in from the mainland daily, they feared for their lives. They remember many scores of hospital doctors and nurses dying in the SARS epidemic (2003).
    Another fear is the historical tendency of many mainlanders who are refused medical care on the mainland to enter HK where they know they will not be refused service.

    Another severe criticism of the administration was the failure to ensure residents had facemasks. Taiwan halted export of facemasks before the end of January and had a policy to guarantee that all Taiwan residents would have face masks to wear. HK residents were left high and dry.

    Chief Executive Carrie Lam had initially refused to restrict border entry, but her administration finally buckled under days of hospital worker strikes, which threatened to collapse the heathcare system here just at the time an epidemic was unfolding. Since HK people feel that they have no control over the government’s unpopular decisions which endanger people’s lives, they feel that the only recourse is to protest and strike, and they come out en masse.

    Regarding the culture of face masks in HK v. Texas, if a restaurant in HK did not arrange for all their workers to wear face masks, no customers would dare go to that restaurant. Every customer in HK pretty much demands that all restaurant workers, shop clerks, hair salon workers, etc. wear masks, or they will not patronize the establishment. Even with the relaxing of social distancing measures, that demand will not go away.

    Like


  457. on Wed May 6th 2020 at 05:09:15 Michael Barker

    This is kind of dark.

    I think “Wesern Democracies” don’t have the discipline to do what it takes to stop the spread of the virus.

    They will not quarantine asymptomatic people or take the steps many Asain countries have to stem the virus.

    This is an unprecedented event in the sense that this is universal and the entire planet is affected so there is no place to look back in history to get a sense of how this will turn out.

    To big to fail is based on the assumption that losses can be made up with productivity elsewhere if the institution is large enough; it just needs a little government cash infusion to prime the pump.

    The planet runs on production/consumption modles with just in time delivery and limited inventory. That system will have to be reconfigured to match this new reality.

    Other commodities like oil keep on pumping and now oil companies have to pay suppliers to take it away.

    Many businesses make their money on volume with very slim margins like major airlines or your local restaurants.

    Factories will have to be reconfigured to allow social distancing. Offices will simularly cut the number of cubicles in their office spaces.

    Retail and hospitality are going to suffer. Airlines are going to go bankrupt because no one is going to want to sit in the middle seat.

    The last recession governments were able to prime their economies to get them running again. But this is a different kind crises one that money can’t solve.

    What happens when they open the economy back up and the second wave begins ? The economy will remain stalled.

    The stock market hasn’t priced that in. In fact it currently doesn’t reflect the mass unemployment nor the major contraction of the GNP that the next quarter numbers will show.

    The stimulus money will run out in about 90 days and if the economy doesn’t turn around the markets are going to tank.

    The safety nets most governments have in place are not going to be able to handle the cost if those governments tax bases dissappear. We are talking about years before we can get to recovery.

    I think this begins a depression greater then what are grandparents experienced. Historically wars are the way out of depressions.

    All of this happens if “Western Democracies” don’t get a handle on the virus. And they won’t because their rule of law won’t allow it.

    Constitutional protections meant to protect the individual will in this case allow for the virus to spread.

    Like


  458. @jefe
    “Regarding the culture of face masks in HK v. Texas, if a restaurant in HK did not arrange for all their workers to wear face masks, no customers would dare go to that restaurant.”

    That is so sensible. In Hong Kong the market demands protection which then protects the workers too. Hong Kong’s health care workers, who were striking for their safety, enjoyed the wider public’s solidarity while armed American protestors were agitating for “business as usual” during the pandemic. We’re just a few months into this and thousands are still dying every 24 hours.

    Like


  459. On April 29, I noted upthread that U.S. fatalities had passed the 60,000 mark.

    Not even a full week later, another 10,000 had died and we blew past the 70,000 mark.

    Even if the reopening doesn’t result in a surge of new cases and deaths, if we stay at the same plateau all summer we will be losing 40,000+ people each month.

    This is unconscionable.

    Like


  460. @Solitaire

    Thanks for those details. Our media is not doing a good job of explaining to the U.S. public what exactly is happening when other countries begin to ease restrictions.

    Just saw this on CNN

    Two weeks of zero local infections: How Hong Kong contained its second wave of Covid-19
    (https://edition.cnn.com/2020/05/05/asia/hong-kong-coronavirus-recovery-intl-hnk/index.html)

    Hong Kong’s success in surviving multiple waves of the virus provides hard earned lessons to other cities around the world now looking to relax restrictions.

    Like


  461. @Solitaire

    But if I understood correctly from the international media I read at the time, even after the relaxation of the lockdown, Wuhan was still under stricter protocols than anywhere in the U.S.

    I do believe that the social distancing rules, monitoring and required behaviour in public (eg, facemasks) are still much stricter than they are in the US.

    Even though HK is relaxing social distancing, there are many things that people do in the US that they simply would not do here, even though we have never had lockdown and never forced closing of non-essential services (except for bars, gyms, beauty salons / massage parlours after a few cluster outbreaks happened in them. )

    Like


  462. @Michael Barker

    All of this happens if “Western Democracies” don’t get a handle on the virus. And they won’t because their rule of law won’t allow it.

    South Korea and Taiwan are full fledged democracies with a good rule of law and they have done a good job of containing the virus.

    I think the problem in these “Western Democracies” lies not in their rule of law, but in other ways, eg,

    Prior experience with pandemics and cultural response
    Local residents enforce many of the measures that are needed to contain the pandemic.

    Examples set be leaders, ie, senior officials and other prominent persons.
    They set a bad example. Even Governor Cuomo is not setting a good example, we do not have look only at Trump Administration officials.

    And it is obvious that Dr. Fauci is being muzzled by political correctness.

    Like


  463. https://news.yahoo.com/mutant-coronavirus-emerged-even-more-110046843.html

    Scientists have identified a new strain of the coronavirus that has become dominant worldwide and appears to be more contagious than the versions that spread in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a new study led by scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory.

    The new strain appeared in February in Europe, migrated quickly to the East Coast of the United States and has been the dominant strain across the world since mid-March, the scientists wrote.

    In addition to spreading faster, it may make people vulnerable to a second infection after a first bout with the disease, the report warned.

    Scientists with major organizations working on a vaccine or drugs to combat the coronavirus have told The Times that they are pinning their hopes on initial evidence that the virus is stable and not likely to mutate the way the influenza virus does, requiring a new vaccine every year. The Los Alamos report could upend that assumption.

    So there’s that. The virus is believed to have mutated into a more infectious form.

    Like


  464. on Wed May 6th 2020 at 13:40:47 Michael Barker

    Jeffe

    “South Korea and Taiwan are full fledged democracies with a good rule of law and they have done a good job of containing the virus.”

    The difference Is that in the U.S. quarantines are at home with very little inforcement particularly to asymptomatic carries.

    If I understand you correctly people can be forced against their will into a State facility for quarantine in countries like Korea, Taiwan and HK.

    In the U.S. I don’t think forcing people into quarantines is constitutionally legal.

    Thats what I mean by the rule of law rooted in protecting individual rights which defines Western democracies.

    Like


  465. My apology to jefe for calling him a liar in this instance, like a broken clock, telling time twice a day, our friend jefe wasn’t lying about protests. I reject his claim that it was because of the protests that HK-SAR took the measures necessary to fight the disease. The attached pdf shows that other provinces in the PRC took similar measures without any protests so the conclusion of friend jefe is bulls8.
    (https://www.who.int/docs/default-source/coronaviruse/situation-reports/20200226-sitrep-37-covid-19.pdf?sfvrsn=2146841e_2)
    page 2 shows that Jiangsu, with a population of 80,510,000 had 0 daily confirmed and suspected cases, 631 confirmed cumulative cases and 0 deaths as of 26 February 2020. All the hoopla about the ‘superiority’ of Taiwan, HK-SAR protests, female led countries or territories is just noise. Your daily derp brought to you by herr Joseph Groebbels, ‘daddy’ Xi’s number one son! 😉

    Like


  466. @Michael Barker

    In the U.S. I don’t think forcing people into quarantines is constitutionally legal.

    Sorry, but this is simply untrue. In fact, the US and state governments enforced mandatory isolation and quarantine orders during the 1918-19 Spanish Flu and those orders were never found to be unconstitutional.

    The Federal government (through the CDC) has the authority to isolate and / or quarantine persons entering the USA from overseas and traveling between states. So, for example, the Federal government could shut traffic through the Lincoln and Holland Tunnels between NY and NJ in order to control the spread of a disease.

    Each state government has authority to isolate and quarantine within its borders. One can argue that stay-at-home orders are a type of quarantine.

    A person who tests positive but asymptomatic is still shedding the virus, infecting other people putting them at risk of acute illness or death. That asymptomatic person could certainly be classified as “sick” with a contagious disease and the states and federal government have the authority to isolate that person.

    https://www.cdc.gov/quarantine/aboutlawsregulationsquarantineisolation.html

    The States and the Federal government have simply not been exercising their due authority. I don’t see how the argument of “rule of law” of “Western democracies” fits into this at all. Those places also adhere to a rule of law similar to those so-called “Western” democracies. The governments in the US at a federal level and at a state level as well as other countries DO have the authority; they simply chose not to exercise. And their choices ended up to produce the current results.

    Like


  467. @MB

    If I understand you correctly people can be forced against their will into a State facility for quarantine in countries like Korea, Taiwan and HK.

    They also can in the USA.

    Like


  468. on Wed May 6th 2020 at 19:18:43 Michael Barker

    Jefe

    About the 1981 flu epidemic:

    “The more restrictive methods of infection control issued by public health departments were quarantines and the isolation of the ill. These measures required a sacrifice of individual liberty for the societal good and therefore required a strong public health authority. Both the Illinois and New York State Health Departments ordered that patients must be quarantined until all clinical manifestations of the illness subsided. They held that the danger of the influenza epidemic was so grave that it was imperative to secure isolation for the patient (JAMA, 10/12/1918). The members of the APHA committee agreed in their report, saying that patients with influenza should to be kept in isolation. Because of the strain on facilities, only severe cases were to be hospitalized while mild influenza patients were to remain at home. The APHA also supported institutional quarantines to protect people from the outside world in establishments like asylums and colleges (JAMA, 12/21/1918). The use of institutional quarantines was applied to the many military training camps set up in the United States to prepare soldiers for war. These camps, with masses of men from throughout the country, were prime targets of huge influenza epidemics.”

    So while the U.S. could do institutional quarantines they won’t.

    And I believe that comes from this idea of due process, constitional protecting ect. In the U.s you can’t just grab citizens out of their homes and take them away like what China did. Especially white citizens.

    ‘Staying at home” in the U.S. isn’t 100% effective in isolating the virus.

    I think while some Asia nations have “democracy” they are culturally different in how they think about their civic duties, trust of their State ect. Maybe their citizens are more focused on the many as opposed to Western cultures which focuses on the individual.

    This is why I think containment in the U.S. won’t happen until after the virus plays itself out.

    Like


  469. @MB

    I think your comment here belongs in this thread:
    https://abagond.wordpress.com/2020/05/03/daniel-caesar-ft-h-e-r-best-part/comment-page-1/#comment-438613

    And I believe that comes from this idea of due process, constitional protecting ect. In the U.s you can’t just grab citizens out of their homes and take them away like what China did. Especially white citizens.

    I believe that you most certainly can do that without so-called “due process” if the president or governor declares that there is a serious epidemic that is contagious, deadly and needs to be contained.

    The US federal and state governments historically have had absolutely no problem to yank people out of their homes without “due process”. Soon after Chinese Exclusion Act was passed ethnic Chinese were forcibly removed from their homes and were either expelled, killed, or survived by congregating into Chinatowns. Native Americans have been forcibly removed from their homes for centuries, and still are today. Japanese Americans were yanked out of their homes and forced to live in concentration prison camps. ICE can invade private homes and yank people out of them and split families up. Even native born Americans can get deported. And blacks have been yanked out of their homes and removed from society for all sorts of arbitrary reasons for centuries.This happens all the time and no one bats an eye.

    So, your argument about “due process” and “constitutional protection” is totally irrelevant here. The reason why the governments do not enforce isolation and quarantine has nothing to do with that.

    Yeah, maybe as the coronavirus can also infect white people, so the government and the President won’t do what they need to do to contain the virus. But, they sure can make sure that more blacks and Latinos get sick and die first.

    BTW, we were talking about HK, Taiwan and South Korea, not mainland PRC. They definitely do not have any concept of abiding by rule of law, so we cannot compare that to “western democracies”. Better if we don’t compare the CCP regime to any other.

    Like


  470. on Wed May 6th 2020 at 19:55:11 Michael Barker

    Here is some social media postings about quarantines. I think it shows how many U.S. citizens think.

    “Did the elected officials of Ventura County California really say they are going to forcibly remove people who test positive for COVID19 from their homes if there is only 1 bathroom? If it were any other state, I would say thats a good way to start a civil war.”

    “Orwell could not have written a better story about this.”

    Another poster responded who had taken the time to read what Ventura county was offering. Maybe if this is done unilaterally across the U.S.we can get. Ahandle on the virus.

    “Let’s talk about isolation. There is misinformation that that County of Ventura will take positive patients away from their families to isolate them. When someone is positive they are provided with guidelines by public health nurses. Here are the home isolation instructions: https://vcportal.ventura.org/covid19/docs/VCMC_Ambulatory_Instructions_Self-Isolation.pdf.

    “If someone cannot safely isolate at home (perhaps they have an elderly person in the home or someone that has a vulnerable immune system) there are alternative options available. The County is not forcing people who are positive to isolate outside of their home. It’s an option if you need it.”

    “The County is protecting vulnerable members of long term care facilities. A long term care facility is a skilled nursing or assisted living type facility. Members of these facilities who are positive are being cared for at the hospital even if they have mild symptoms and do not need hospital care to protect other residents of the long term care facility.”

    “Isolation and quarantine are two ways public health authorities can contain the spread of a disease. Both are common in public health, and both aim to control exposure to infected or potentially infected persons. Isolation applies to persons who are known to have an illness, and quarantine applies to those who have been exposed to an illness but may or may not become ill. Here are the details if you have been exposed to someone with COVID-19: https://vcportal.ventura.org/co
    vid19/docs/VCMC_Ambulatory_Instructions_COVID_Exposure.pdf.

    “So to be clear contact tracing has been happening this entire time in response to COVID-19 in the County of Ventura. This is not a new effort. It’s simply following up with people that a positive person has been in contact with to make sure they are ok and not exposing others. Other counties stopped doing contact tracing because they did not have the capacity to continue. The Governor has asked counties throughout the state to increase contact tracing capacity to help with the road to reopening’

    Like


  471. on Wed May 6th 2020 at 23:51:38 Michael Barker

    Best face mask meme:

    “We literally have to tell the All Lives Matter people that all lives matter”.

    Like


  472. @ Origin

    “Disruption seems assured either way but TPTB can only choose between limiting loss of life and causing more deaths than necessary. The choice should be obvious but reality is more like a dystopian version of a popular game show: “The Death Toll Is Right”.”

    Agreed. I read an essay from British political economist, Richard Murphy who explored the same stark choice the COVID-19 pandemic presents to The Powers That Be that you laid out: preserving people and jobs or propping up the fantasy wealth of the 1%.

    The crux of Murphy’s argument is:

    Jobs and businesses have to be in the lifeboat – bankers and landlords have t[o] be left behind [emphasis in original]

    […] the essential challenge facing government is to choose priorities. It can choose landlords and then banks as the priority and the result will be the real economy will almost completely fail, at catastrophic cost.

    Or it can choose people and then business as the priority instead and as a result reduce the payments due to landlords and banks. In that case a great many businesses might survive the crisis as it unfolds, because the pressure on them will be greatly reduced. Effectively, if they could then just cover their marginal costs they might be in a vastly better position to survive, and many will. As a result the jobs that they provide will also be retained. But that will be impossible if rent and bank obligations continue.

    The choice appears to be between seeking to preserve the appearance of value and wealth that is implicit in our overinflated property values at present, which also underpin all UK banking, or seeking to preserve the ability of this country to make a living.”

    https://www.taxresearch.org.uk/Blog/2020/05/05/people-and-jobs-or-wealth-the-government-has-to-decide-which-to-prioritise-and-there-is-only-one-right-answer/

    The essay has fairly detailed in policy recommendations. Murphy also delves into the role of pension funds in financial capital, something he takes a dim view of in this article.

    I agree that TPTB have already chosen curtain #2. They think they can survive the virus and any accompanying unrest from the proles. To them this is just a herd culling event. In their minds, they will live happily ever after and solve their labor problems with robots and AI.

    Yet, in their fantasy world, they seem to have forgotten that without the proles, there is no economy and their money and power are worthless.

    Liked by 1 person


  473. @Afrofem

    Yet, in their fantasy world, they seem to have forgotten that without the proles, there is no economy and their money and power are worthless.

    Yes. Their money only has value because people are compelled to work for it. In truth, it can be created without limit with little fuss or effort and has no intrinsic value. The planet’s resources and workers’ blood, sweat, and tears imbue fiat money with value. It is anti-value and whenever it is created, by the those granted such powers, it seeks out actual value to attach to. This compels growth in productivity and/or consumption otherwise it attaches to preexisting value, like hungry ants to an earthworm’s carcass, and causes prices to rise.

    Consistent with this money’s vacuous nature, debt is a primary means by which it is created. This can occur at the government level but private banks participate thanks to fractional reserve banking. Banks only have to keep a certain (small) percentage of deposits (“vault cash”) and can lend out the rest. [Thought note https://www.federalreserve.gov/monetarypolicy/reservereq.htm which says: “As announced on March 15, 2020, the Board reduced reserve requirement ratios to zero percent effective March 26, 2020. This action eliminated reserve requirements for all depository institutions.”]

    However, even if the bank lends out 90% of your deposit, you will not see any change in your bank statement. The money the bank owes you but doesn’t really have is reflected in your statement as being available to you. The bank has “divided” your deposit to multiply it like Jesus feeding the multitude. So if you deposited $1000, you’re still entitled to it while someone was loaned $900 [@10% reserve ratio]. If you believe them that your $1000 is safe, then money was created! The process is repeated when the $900 loan is exchanged for value and also ends up as a bank deposit. In this way your initial deposit spawns an entire family tree of new money that needs to be paid back with interest! And they told us that money didn’t grow on trees.

    The financial system’s monetary wealth is fake. Its real wealth is its command of people and resources. Fiat money is a purpose-built tool in its hands. We don’t work to obtain valuable money; money puts us to work to obtain value for itself. At this point when the system has matured and globalized and has no challenger, the pandemic is a true arrow to the heart. It threatens to wrest control of the masses away from the financial system which previously was the primary bloodsucker. TPTB know this and want to reassert control but, as you rightly said, sending the people out to die to COVID-19 is also losing strategy.

    Like


  474. The ex-CDC boss, Dr. Tom Frieden, issues a warning, telling that the mark of 100 000 deaths (caused by COVID-19) will be surpassed for sure until the end of this month in the USA, and that this, “is just the beginning”.
    Unfortunately, I think that similar trends will be seen in many other places, as this disease keeps spreading all over the world. The days ahead will be tough, very tough.
    See https://edition.cnn.com/2020/05/06/health/cdc-coronavirus-truths-trnd/index.html

    Like


  475. @munubantu
    Unfortunately that estimate sounds reasonable. We’ve been seeing 2000 daily deaths reported quite frequently. We’re already at over 70,000 deaths so another 15 days at that rate will get us over 100,000. There are more than that many days left in May so there’s leeway for the grim milestone to be reached.

    Yet the discussion in many parts of the country is about easing restrictions. It seems some officials have decided to “let it burn through” the population. Trump recently showed up mask-less to a mask factory while the song “Live and Let Die” was blaring in the background.

    https://www.reuters.com/video/watch/idOVCCNU9Y7

    Surreal.

    Like


  476. Why has this video disappeared on youtube?
    “Did a Lab leak the Coronavirus Or was this a US bio-weapon to slow China’s economy”

    Like


  477. on Thu May 7th 2020 at 17:40:50 Michael Barker

    Grojo

    YouTube sensors what they deem as “extreme views”. It has gotten worse since their affiliation with Google.

    A lot of “citizen journalism” produced by Chinese citizens has been removed. Videos of Israeli’s oppressing Palestinians and politically sensitive material that challenges tgr mainstream narrative.

    For awhile they were going after Bitcoin content creators who are mostly A political. But they would keep up videos promoting Bitcoin scams so it doesn’t always make sense.

    Like


  478. on Fri May 8th 2020 at 00:28:39 Michael Barker

    Both my tests for codvit-19 and the antibodie tests came back negative.

    I think everyone should get tested. The more information the CDC receives the better their modeling will be.

    Like


  479. on Fri May 8th 2020 at 02:55:15 Michael Barker

    So if armed white protestors can march on Michigan’s Capital to intimidate people then armed black and Hispanic men can likewise go to the Capital to protect people.

    (https://news.yahoo.com/armed-activists-escort-black-lawmaker-to-michigans-capitol-after-coronavirus-protest-attended-by-white-supremacists-184000180.html?soc_src=hl-viewer&soc_trk=fb)

    Liked by 1 person


  480. Wow, “Uncle Corona” doesn’t kid. It has already hit the White House,

    https://edition.cnn.com/2020/05/08/politics/donald-trump-staffers-coronavirus/index.html

    And the POTUS is angry,

    Trump was angry this week when he learned the valet tested positive and asked aides how it was possible a person responsible for handling his beverages could have been exposed to the virus. Trump doesn’t like germs and has chastised staff before when they cough or sneeze in his presence.

    As a side note we can see that Trump is not indifferent to the coronavirus, contrary to what his public demeanor seem to convey!

    Yes, “Uncle Corona” doesn’t kid. It had already knocked out another politician who was dismissive of its powers, sending him to the ICU. Boris Johnson.
    Right now, only bravo Bolsonaro has been able to evade its crippling grip!

    “Uncle Corona”, please stop! Enough is enough!

    Like


  481. @ munubantu

    “Uncle Corona”, please stop! Enough is enough!”

    “Uncle Corona” is just getting started and no one is safe.

    Liked by 1 person


  482. Uncle?
    How familiar?
    Mind your mouth, lest I turn your blood into chunky soup and your lungs into a dirty sponge!

    My Royal crowns are displayed all about and my name alludes to this fact, beyond doubt.
    As I make your bodies my sprawling mansion, and vex your rulers with grave distraction, accept my majesty or face great sanction!

    Yeah, I know it’s serious but one must still laugh!
    Nobody is inherently safe indeed, including (or especially) the people who were downplaying it.

    The more I think about it though, the more I see it as possibly the beginning of a forced correction away from an unsustainable way of life. Everything “normal” about the way civilization operates was storing up negative consequences which were waiting to be unleashed. I think most people expect changes to be gradual but some systems are non-linear and have feedback loops so a little change leads to a seemingly disproportionate cascade of events. Unc..”His Majesty” Corona is more than a “little change” but will have economic, social, and environmental impacts.

    Liked by 1 person


  483. I’m also just seeing that Katie Miller, who is Stephen Miller’s wife and V.P Pence’s spokesperson, has tested positive for the virus.
    https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/katie-miller-pence-spokesperson-tests-positive-for-coronavirus/ar-BB13O6kF
    It’s like it’s stalking the highest offices in the administration.

    Liked by 1 person


  484. Hmmm, 11 Secret Service COVID-19 cases, 23 recovered, 60 in self-quarantine.
    The Secret Service is, among other things, responsible for presidential security.
    https://news.yahoo.com/secret-service-coronavirus-cases-white-house-concerns-221444492.html

    Liked by 2 people


  485. So in Trump’s America these doomsday preppers who have been storing up cans of beans and ammunition are crying about staying home to stay safe. And claiming oppression and claiming victimhood.

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  486. @ Origin

    “…some systems are non-linear and have feedback loops so a little change leads to a seemingly disproportionate cascade of events.”

    One such system is the national postal service. COVID-19 has affected the fortunes of the United States Postal Service (USPS) in ways that are still unfolding.

    The USPS has been the target of privatizers since the early 2000s. In 2006, Congress passed a law that forced the USPS to pre-fund all retiree health costs seventy-five years into the future. This unprecedented legal demand turned the USPS from a profitable service to one that’s bled red ink for the past decade.

    As of January 2020, the USPS was on the ropes financially and ready for Trump’s knock out punch. Then COVID-19 appeared and simultaneously had two major contradictory effects on the USPS:

    COVID-19 devastated normal revenues for the USPS, which shrunk with the rest of the US economy.
    COVID-19 also heightened the importance of the USPS as a universal and affordable service. According to a local news site:

    “…the pandemic has only served to reassert the importance of the Postal Service to bind the country together, as quarantining and stay-at-home orders have magnified the importance of e-commerce.

    Post offices have been flooded with parcels, and not just orders from major retailers. [there has been] a surge in shipments from small businesses, as well as care packages with face masks, hand sanitizer, and comfort food, mailed by individuals to beleaguered family and friends.”

    https://southseattleemerald.com/2020/05/08/opinion-we-need-a-strong-postal-service-more-than-ever-so-why-is-trump-trying-to-destroy-it/

    Now people who rarely gave a second thought about the USPS are realizing its importance. There seems to be growing pressure on Congress to fund the USPS in future stimulus bills. Relief for the USPS was thwarted by Trump, the Repubs and corporate Dems in the first few stimulus bills. Trump went so far as to threaten a veto for any relief for the USPS in past bills.

    There seems to be some momentum among a variety of groups, including advocates for the poor, seniors and rural populations to push Congress to include the USPS in the next rounds of stimulus bills.

    They are being joined by postal union members, census advocates and voting rights advocates. Voting rights advocates are concerned that the demise of affordable voting by mail will prevent many voters from exercising their rights during the COVID-19 pandemic.

    So one event (COVID-19)—one change—may disrupt longstanding bi-partisan plans to privatize a public institution that was mandated in the US Constitution. We still don’t know which cascade of events will unfold in this struggle. It could go either way. Yet, prior to the pandemic, the privatization of the USPS seemed a done deal. Now the outcome is as uncertain as whether there will be toilet paper on store shelves tomorrow.

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  487. @Afrofem
    Interesting. In the context, “privatization” seems like such a tremendous act of sleight of hand too. Private corporations can already influence the legislative arm of government through the politicians they lobby and control. “Privatization” just expands their domain into those government institutions they can’t (yet) directly own, using the leverage they already have. It reflects the progressive gutting of any semblance of democracy and a transfer of power from “the people” to the profit-seeking boards of large corporations. The rituals of democracy continue unabated but the efficacy of citizen participation continually diminishes.

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  488. I will make a contrarian argument, a green one.

    Rather then privatize I would shut the US postal service down over a period of time.

    We don’t really need it as information/bills can be sent or paid for online anyway.

    More then half the mail one receives is junk mail which means 2 1/2 millions trees get cut down to produce it. If you did away with conventional mail that would save another 2 1/2 million trees roughly.

    Trees help cool the planet.

    Some Postal workers likely would get rehired by UPS, FEDEX and other carrier service. Those are good paying jobs.. Those that don’t could still receive there salaries.

    The problem with privatization is that corperations have state protected monopolies.

    In California we have privatized water districts that provide cheap water for Almond growers but the people who live in those communities don’t have running water.

    State regulations keep smaller companies from competing which then allows the state to pay more then they need to for services.

    Privitization, provided that competition for contracts is allowed, would reduce costs but the system is rigged in favor of large corperations with lobbyists ect.

    Some state funded projects that are a complete waste of time and money are like California’s “speed” train which in reality is nothing more then another Amtrak line that very few people will use.

    Far better to spend billions on water recovery and reclamation that would benefit all California residents and make California more sustainable since most of California is an irrigated desert.

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  489. @ Michael Barker

    Aspects of your “green” argument sound reasonable. Especially the junk mail = millions of trees connection.

    The argument that, “We don’t really need it as information/bills can be sent or paid for online anyway” is a common misperception. That argument presumes that all Americans have easy access to universal broadband.

    Unfortunately, universal broadband internet is still on the wishlist of millions of Americans. Whole sectors of the population have no access to the internet. Millions of Americans have never owned a computer and are digitally illiterate—–and not by choice.

    Millions of citizens have struggled in small towns, rural counties, inner cities and impoverished suburbs to have broadband extended into their communities. Some communities, frustrated with the inaction of private telecoms have attemped to build their own. They have been constrained by repressive laws in many states that forbid local governments of any size to provide broadband. Lots of palms greased in statehouses for those miserable laws. And still no broadband.

    The primary reason I support the USPS is its ubiquity. They are everywhere in this country and serve everyone equally (more or less). A writer in The American Conservative had this to say about the USPS:

    “The Post Office is admirable and important … as that rare government service that’s a genuinely universal civic amenity. It’s the largest single civilian employer other than Walmart (and the federal government), and it operates about 30,000 locations throughout the United States. […]

    But while many large chains are pulling out of rural America and poor urban America, leaving people with long, lonely drives for groceries or complicated trips on public transit, the USPS, for now, remains nearly everywhere. […]. In the tough post-2008 years, they toyed with closing low-traffic rural branches… USPS delivers packages everywhere and operates thousands of tiny, low-traffic locations.

    When you consider how much work it takes to get a letter from coast to coast, and that a stamp costs the same no matter where in the U.S. the letter goes, it’s nothing short of remarkable. It is also terribly inefficient. And extremely egalitarian.

    […] Congress has bailed out banks, they’ve bailed out cars, and hell, if it came to it they’d probably quietly bail out fast food and porn. And none of those have their own clause in the Constitution. The humble Post Office is a community fixture, a civic inheritance, a rural lifeline, and one of the last vestiges of a shared civic culture in America. Tolerate it, treasure it, and don’t let the vicissitudes of global capitalism, contempt for government, or a viral outbreak take it away from us.”

    https://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/why-we-should-love-the-post-office/

    Part 1 of 2

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  490. @ Michael Barker

    There are several other reasons why the bipartisan effort to destroy the USPS should raise alarm bells.

    Diverse workforce

    There are 630,000 postal employees, whose unionized jobs provide stable incomes [average yearly salary is $40k] to residents of every city and county. One hundred thousand are military veterans. And the postal workforce has a high percentage of women (40%) and minorities (39%), for whom equal pay is granted for equal work.

    The diverse nature of the workforce is due in large part to open, competitive hiring based on test scores. It’s “what you know,” not “who you know” that counts. In 2019 a USPS report stated that “21 percent of employees are African-American; 8 percent are Hispanic; 8 percent are Asian American/Pacific Islander; and 0.67 are American Indian or Alaska Native.

    https://southseattleemerald.com/2020/05/08/opinion-we-need-a-strong-postal-service-more-than-ever-so-why-is-trump-trying-to-destroy-it/

    Vote by Mail

    According to the article mentioned above: *”Trump’s attempts to starve the Postal Service come at a time when mail-in ballots in all states may be necessary to ensure that all voters can safely participate in the November presidential election.

    Trump and other Republicans believe that high voter turnout decreases their electoral chances, and have acted accordingly.”*

    Future Possibilities

    Among other services the USPS could provide are low-cost banking and financial services. Postal banking was a part of the USPS until the 1960s. Other countries still have postal banking, including Japan. According to public banking advocate, Ellen Brown,

    The “unbanked” are not a small segment of the population. In a 2011 survey, the unbanked and underbanked included about one in four households. Without access to conventional financial services, people turn to an expensive alternative banking market of bill-pay, prepaid debit cards, check cashing services, and payday loans. They pay excessive fees and are susceptible to high-cost predatory lenders.

    […]

    Expanding to include postal financial services has been crucial in many countries to maintaining the profitability of their postal network. Maintaining post offices in some rural or low-income areas can be a losing proposition, so the postal service often cross-subsidizes with other activities to maintain its universal network.

    Public postal banks are profitable because their market is large and their costs are low. The infrastructure is already built and available, advertising costs are minimal, and government-owned banks do not reward their management with extravagant bonuses or commissions that drain profits away. Profits return to the government and the people.

    https://ellenbrown.com/2013/09/23/what-we-could-do-with-a-postal-savings-bank-infrastructure-that-doesnt-cost-taxpayers-a-dime/

    MJB, I could go on, but I think you get the picture. The USPS is part of our national commons—-every American has a stake in it and is served by it.

    I believe is is far better to spend billions on USPS recovery and repurposing that would benefit all US residents. The USPS already has the trained workforce, the infrastructure and it is everywhere.

    Part 2 of 2

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