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11 March 2020


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Merkel seems to be predicting a lot of dead Germans.


Dear SST,

For those interested in data instead of propaganda from politicos doing CYA,



By all measures, the literature says worse than 1918 flu (Ro, Interval time, Incubation time, asymptomatic infection. There is a reason China shut down its economy and now Italy - and its not because the Chinese give a damn about public opinion - and it is all accessible in peer reviewed open literature.


I'm 77, but am more worried about Covid-19 effect on Wall St than I am about SWMBO and I.

Also confess to be worried about American troops in Korea, Iraq, and Syria being infected with coronavirus. I'm also concerned about the troops and their dependents on the 15 US military bases where coronavirus patients were quarantined.


Might not it be prudent to take all personnel currently in basic training from all branches and give them basic medic training and oxygen ventilator training and have them ready to deploy where ever needed. The Lombard region of Italy is already considering lowering the triage age from 70 to 60.

I know of a Miami emergency room tech who just finished a 72 hour shift, was given a 12 hour break who says they are overwhelmed and getting burned out.



Do you still have any of your old Spam recipes lying around?


This is primarily a disease of self-inoculation. The corona hysteria is coming from those who demand their God-given right to stick their own dirty fingers into their own nose, mouth and eyes.

But like all torch and pitch fork witch hunts, there is some deeply destabling psyche gripping our nation and in fact the world right now., that undergirds this hysteria That is the more interesting question.

Open borders and loss of culture is huge. Hunker down and throw up barriers against the Unknown. Something is at work both destroying the Establishment, while yearning for stability at the same time. Battered by relentless examples of demonstrated hypocrisy from all sides is very de-stabilizing.

Shades of Weimar Germany, anyone? We need bedrock and we are getting bedlam. But this is primarily and inside game; too many are looking for outside fixes. The path to this point is obvious; the solution is the yet to have arrived Black Swan.

Mortality touches a new generation that never had to come to grips with it at all - not seasoned by WWII, polio, Depression-Age parents, Vietnam.... but this time mortality rides in on the politically-exploited corona virus. A relative ho-hum as a disase vector but symbolically of all the above.


The watershed is does one worry themselves sick and wait for the government to do something, or does one re-take personal responsibility for any outcomes and follow common sense, self-protective disease transmission protocols.

A good Myers-Briggss personality inventory analysis of those who feel helpless and vulnerable and those who remain sanguine about this "unknown" flu virus would be instructional.

The irony is the more we turn our lives over to state control and beneficence, the more out of control the sense of our own individual lives become.

Myers-Briggs reveals the extra-verted personality and the intra-verted personality.

Is one mainly buffeted by outside events (the extraverted personality) or does one with due caution retain personal control over their own life (intra-verted personality).

Data suggest the larger majority are extra-verted. Hence the readiness to accept the "we are all gonna die" hysterias currently getting exploited. Any why winning parties who sell optimism are equally exploitive in their own way. Happy days are here again .... it is morning again in America. vs. we are all gonna die in 12 years which is morphed into we are all gonna die tomorrow.

Irony noted, we now have two very elderly men running for President and no spring chicken currently holding office, giving lie to the fact we are all soon gonna die.



So, started in China, the older you are the worse (and more probably fatal) it is. No surprise for an obvious conclusion, and "our study has some limitations". Quite the understatement there.
Is this the same Lancet that has to retract major "Lanmark study" papers for major errors?


Dr. Anthony Fauci: "It is ten times more lethal than the seasonal flu."

Congressional testimony by NIH guy.




Extreme INTP here. Wife also.



Available online.


WHO has officially declared COVID 19 a pandemic.


Today's WHO press briefing was excellent (link below). The questions being asked by journalists have improved significantly over the last few weeks which has given the WHO team an opportunity to explain important points. Today they looked at the situation in Iran, Korea, Italy and the sub Saharan Africa region. They also have officially declared a Pandemic.



There have been a number of graphs out today looking at the rate of Covid infections. It is exponential so far and appears to be tracking Italy's experience pretty well. If we continue at this same rate we would reach the level at which other countries closed schools and had mass transportation shutdowns in one or two weeks. Shutting down schools in particular will be a tough decision. Kids seem to mostly be spared, but they may be disease vectors. OTOH if they are shutdown a lot of health care workers will need to stay home. Near as I can tell I would lose 10% or so of my staff and more on an intermittent basis.



highly recommended:
interview with Michael Osterholm, internationally recognized expert in infectious disease epidemiology. He is Regents Professor, McKnight Presidential Endowed Chair in Public Health, the director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy (CIDRAP), Distinguished Teaching Professor in the Division of Environmental Health Sciences, School of Public Health, a professor in the Technological Leadership Institute, College of Science and Engineering, and an adjunct professor in the Medical School, all at the University of Minnesota.


'As of Sunday, 1,707 Americans had been tested for the novel coronavirus, according to the CDC. South Korea, by contrast, has tested more than 189,000 people. The two countries announced their first coronavirus cases on the same day.'


Are large budgets indicative of effectiveness?


In the lesson to learn category.

Taiwanese medical authorities were on the first plane from Wuhan at the start of the outbreak, already looking for cases, so they didn’t end up in a place where the disease wasn’t even discovered until there was lots of community spread and lots of tests needed.



Soul mates:

I NTP is an acronym used to describe one of the sixteen personality types created by Katharine Briggs and Isabel Myers. It stands for Introverted, iNtuitive, Thinking, Perceiving.

INTP indicates a person who is energized by time alone (Introverted), who focuses on ideas and concepts rather than facts and details (iNtuitive), who makes decisions based on logic and reason (Thinking) and who prefers to be spontaneous and flexible rather than planned and organized (Perceiving).

INTPs are sometimes referred to as Architect personalities because of their intuitive understanding of complex systems.



If you are denying all peer reviewed literature, then you are saying no one knows anything because someone gamed the system once. Have you reviewed the study methodology? What is your specific comment on how it is methodologically flawed? I guess if red herrings are your thing, god bless.

i too recommend the JRE interview with M. Osterholm


Italy is reporting large numbers of 40 year olds needing hospitalization and ventilation.

Meanwhile, the US has 50,000,000 respirators and masks and NO mask making machines, and 18 million health care workers. 2 day supply.


There is still way to much hype in the media and it’s amplified by people quoting scientific research out of context. For example the Lancet paper does not say “worse than 1918” at all. That may be ISL’s conclusion, not the researchers. We do not know if it is correct.

What the Lancet says is old age high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes and suchlike lower your chances of survival.

I think Australia is likely to try quarantine next week, but that is just a guess from listening to various politicians.

Eric Newhill

I recall the days when AIDS was going to kill us all. But here we are.

Farr's Law is already proving true again in China. China is now on the downside of the infection curve. I believe that other countries will follow the same path in pretty much the same time frame. So by early June at the latest, this virus will have burned out. Deaths will be about the same as the regular old flu +/- 6.5%.....and all of the chicken littles will already be onto the next existential crisis.

Erich Newhill

D, I agree with your psychological assessment. Also, this is an opportunity for lots of normally obscure geeks in obscure departments and organizations to obtain 15 minutes of fame and years worth of funding. It's a lot like "climatologists" and global warming. of course, there are political opportunists getting into the mix as well.


Jack, depends on how you measure effeictiveness. if growing big government is the end point of more funding, this tactic is exceptionally effective.

Diana Croissant

Well, sorry to report this for those of you who are worried: Our local paper reported an older woman had contracted the virus. Next day, we get the news that she had NOT contracted the virus.

So far, not many people here are in panic mode. I am and have been for a long time since working in public schools, someone who has always spent more time than most washing my hands with good antiseptic soap. That was to prevent myself from coming down with the germs and viruses that 1,500 kids might bring into the building. My first years of teaching did find me often sick on weekends, but after a while, I had developed some immunity.

I don't remember any of the other virus scares reaching us where I live. Perhaps it's good to live in a place where many people don't come to live or vacation. It's boring to many, but I like the lack of drama.

I had become used to the receptionists at my medical facility asking me if I had spent time in West Africa recently because of the Ebola virus, but they stopped asking a while back. Maybe I'll get questions about China now.

I'm grateful to be living in a country with a good medical system, but I certainly do my best not to need it.

Our building management has put into place the recommended methods for protecting the inhabitants and the staff.

Again, I report no panic here in my home town in northern Colorado. We did hear from a teacher friend in Western Mass. whose school was cancelled when a child reported the school bus driver blew his nose on the bus. As it turned out he had a cold.

If I don't seem worried enough, I give everyone permission to laugh at me IF I catch this thing.



Discredit, disqualify is an old troll tactic. You posted one comment and link to one study from the Lancet. I commented on that study and agreed with their conclusions, which you apparently missed, and linked to one failure of the Lancet's peer review process leading to a retraction. Your "If you are denying all peer reviewed literature...." followed by an appeal for credentials is an unnecessary cry of outrage. The Lancet discredit their own study with their disclaimer.

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