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12 May 2020

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Ken Robert

There are very sophisticated models and the paper mentioned below (Kissler, et al, in Science - URL given below) is 4+ weeks old, so surely out of date, but it is one that I have found useful. Consider the situation as a control system problem. The adjustable is distancing measures, which are adjustable both via guidelines and by geographic areas. The objective is to keep active case rates within an acceptable range. For instance, below 5 active per 10k population, one can ease up on distancing. Above 35 active per 10k pop, one can increase distancing, so that the time-lagged severe caseload does not overwhelm capacity of the health care system.

The result is that the caseload fluctuates. Health care system capacity can be increased, over time, with supplies, facilities, and skilled personnel. The criteria 5 and 35 can be determined from experience, and also considering the need to keep capacity to deal with other severe illnesses. In general though, the paper suggests that distancing may be required in the US on average between 25-75 percent of time.

Below is the link to the paper (open access). I will shut up and let you read. Take care, and best wishes. kr.

https://science.sciencemag.org/content/sci/early/2020/04/14/science.abb5793.full.pdf

Matthew

Col: Never has the agency problem been apparent, nor has the confirmation bias been so blatant.

Dr. Fauci thinks it is convincing if he says "I'm trying to save lives." Well, taking away just about every freedom we have will also save lives. Unfortunately, living in a medico-authoritarian state where I need an internal passport to move around my own city and can be arrested for walking in public spaces is not a "life."

If people like Fauci are confident enough to strip us of our freedoms, can we bill him for economic and emotional losses when his predictions turn out to be wrong? Who elected him? Can the Bill of Rights be shelved by an unelected doctor?

The slippery slope to killing the First Amendment goes from calling speech you reject "hate speech"; protests you oppose "assaults on the public health"; and citizen gatherings "criminal actions."

I did not vote for this dystopia. Did anyone?

j

Totalitarianism is raising its ugly head, especially within many police departments and sheriff offices in California. However it is also occurring in Washington, Oregon, Nebraska, Colorado, where it seems that the states in question have democrat governors. Pushing citizens around, roughing them up if they dare to question the 'authority of their police edicts'.

And when a police officer dares to question illegal orders, or orders of a totalitarian nature, he faces the loss of his job.

A Port of Seattle Police Officer has been placed on administrative leave after refusing to delete a viral video reminding police officers that they don't have unlimited powers. "I have seen officers around the country enforcing tyrannical orders; I was hoping it was a minority of officers, anymore, I am not so sure," said Officer Greg Anderson, a Special Forces veteran.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HXDTBl1FCWs

J

Further information regarding Officer Greg Anderson standing up.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MralWdFoUzE

walrus

Col. Lang, I am pampered by SWMBO. She is a wonderful cook. I protect her from marauding wombats, kangaroos and parrots. She feeds me in return. We are immured on our forty acres. We are about a three hour drive from the capital, which is just about right.

Tonight was lamb casserole, tomorrow is yet to be decided. We are also blessed with very good local vineyards.

Restaurants and bars are hurting, as are BnB’s. I don’t think a ski season is possible - and we have already had tantalizing early snowfalls.

I’m thinking of getting out the fly rod and, though rusty, trying for some trout after chores.

Fred

Walrus,

"We are working out how to live with this virus and prosper. The losers are ....."

Those declared "non-essential" by governments. "Fauci has said he is basing his advice on science." What science is it that allows governments to declare someone essential and able to work and another non-essential and ordered to be interned? Governors are effectivly saying -My power, my choice. Like a fetus non-essentials are immediately economicly expendable at a whim of a government official. How long until they are imprisoned by force?

" we are NEVER, going back to the old economy,"..."It’s not worth protecting J.P. Morgan and suchlike" "Furthermore on the streets you will hear renewed nationalism- no chinese imports,"
So, protecting China, her power, and her precious face, is essential?
"We can’t rebuild a destroyed dystopian society."
When did Western civilization become dystopian, other than when the Western nations started importing all these communist ideas and allowing leftists to start imposing thier will on citizens, currently exemplified by governors doing so by executive order, most of which are unconstitutional?
It seems to me that from the safety of your secured estate you have a better civilization in mind and are promoting the policies that the left is using globally. The very ones that put Western civilization itself at risk.

turcopolier

walrus

IMO a man like you living in the country here under similar circumstance would also think that the destruction of the economy by isolating people from each other is acceptable.

Eric Newhill

As an aside, I attended grad school at a "research 1" university to study economics with a focus on healthcare delivery systems, when I was in my early 30s. I hadn't been near a college campus for more than 10 years. This was in the 1990s.

The program I enrolled in was excellent. It very much prepared me for my career. However, I filled in some elective credits by taking a couple courses in the public health program. I thought that made sense. I wasn't prepared for what was happening there.

It was almost all women and/or minorities. The material was simple and the students less than bright. Worse, all they could do was "rap" about the evils of imperialist United States, the evil of the "patriarchy", the virtues of socialism and how socialism would work if evil imperialistic US would allow it to. The US was guilty of slavery. The US had destroyed the people and economies of Latin America and on and on. I had never heard any of that before. Of course now all of that has become common currency on the left. Anyhow, I presume many or most of these people went on to work in public health. Some of them dreamed of working for the CDC. Maybe public health careerists are different elsewhere, but I suspect not.

smoke

Being in the risky age cohort, I would rather take my chances with something more like the Swedish plan. Adapted to US customs and social provisions. We older folk should, at this stage in life, have learned something about protecting ourselves and what levels of risk we are personally comfortable with. With many being retired, it is easier for us to "distance" too.

Every easing and reopening will surely result in an increased rate of disease spread. There seems to be latitude for this in many parts of the country, as far as healthcare infrastructure being available. Is there an alternative to going back to work, and thus reopening?

It is a large and varied country. Clearly cities, more densely populated areas, are more endangered by runaway viral spread. Why not let local governments monitor local rates of hospitalization. If numbers start to rise too rapidly for healthcare facilities to manage, then raise local restrictions again until the rate subsides. Thus a few places may have to pulse reopenings - a little more, a little less, until the spread diminishes enough to maintain a manageable steady state.

Sooner or later, the disease has to percolate through much of the population, if we are to live with it in any reasonable, livable way. A substantial portion of the population is young and faces few serious consequences, and their immunities would buffer the exposure of the more vulnerable. Fauci himself has said that we will never be rid of it. That seems to be reserved for islands, like New Zealand.

What we can hope for the near future is better therapies to treat the disease and reduce its severity. Remdesivir already seems to help in severe cases, and, despite official US pronouncements, an hydroxychloroquine based therapy has been found mitigating in other countries, when given early. More and better mitigating therapies will be found.

Sweden's only major outbreak has been in and around Stockholm. Their healthcare system has not been overwhelmed, which was supposed to be the goal of shutdowns.

Meanwhile, by letting the virus spread through the young, healthy population, Sweden estimates that 25% of the population has now had the virus. They expect that percentage to rise to near 50%, at least in Stockholm, within the next couple months. That may not be "herd immunity", but it is enough to slow the spread and, consequently, the level of exposure that anyone faces, by a significant margin.

Sweden always said that it regarded this as a marathon not a sprint. They have been anticipating the long term. The lower the percentage of population that has been infected and thus carries any immunity, the faster the spread. Shutdown communities will be facing those low infection rates again, whenever they reopen. Sweden has addressed this by remaining carefully open, with voluntary distancing and restrictions on very large gatherings.

As for that favorite argument about "no evidence" whether covid produces protective antibodies, or how long the antibodies remain effective: It seems a reasonable assumption, until proven otherwise, that covid acts like almost every other pathogen in stimulating antibodies, which will provide immunity in the near term.

How long protective? How quickly will covid mutations re-empower the virus? Maybe we should take a chance on the likelihood that the antibodies will be useful, at least, until next flu season.

And then, what is it that vaccine advocates are always telling us about flu vaccines, which may not match well the current flu virus mutation? They say, even if it does not match, it will be close enough to help reduce the severity of any flu that we do contract. Why would this not be so, also, for a mutating covid virus? Maybe the corona virus will mutate enough to reinfect us in a few months, or a year, or a few years. But the antibodies we have could reduce severity. And isn't it the occasional severity of the virus that creates the fear, not the non-hospitalized, milder manifestation?

Foreign Affairs actually has an intelligent discussion of the much maligned Swedish approach.
https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/sweden/2020-05-12/swedens-coronavirus-strategy-will-soon-be-worlds

Finally, all the covid statistics should separate out nursing home cases and deaths from the general population. It has become clear that shutdowns are just as inadequate as looser restrictions for protecting long term care facilities. There, the virus, once introduced, appears to race through, with frequently lethal results. Lumping numbers from these facilities into general population inflates overall statistics in a such a way that it could be labelled "deceptive" and "deliberately fearsome."

Those who criticize Sweden tend to cite the fact that deaths in Swedish nursing homes account for 50% of Sweden's deaths. They fail to mention that this figure of 50% of deaths occurring in long term care facilities, also, shows up in many shutdown areas, whenever one of those areas announces the number. Here in Texas, Austin claims 50% in LTC facilities, Dallas says 40%. Awhile ago, Cuomo claimed the same 50% for New York deaths. California, Maryland. That number keeps showing up. Until LTC facilities are given a separate category, monitoring the effectiveness of any particular strategy of resistance, for the general population, will lack serious coherence.

Now Texas, while loosening up general restrictions, is introducing new measures specifically for nursing homes, in an attempt to protect those people too. This seems a most reasonable approach.

Jack

Walrus,

Technocracy is always the excuse for the we know better than the plebes crew. This idea that a bureaucrat with a Ph.D from an Ivy League school is superior in knowledge and knows precisely how to turn the dials to the perfect setting has always proven to be a fallacy. This is not new.

IMO, they have been an unmitigated disaster from McNamara’s operations research team who went by quantification and analysis to the more recent Ph.Ds who run our central banks devoid of any common sense or sense of history. And now we have the medical Ph.Ds deciding complex social and economic questions again with no perspective. They all however have one trait - certitude even in the face of contrary evidence to their forecasts.

It is easy for those living with their paychecks showing up and the grocery aisles with produce to say lock it all down. Its another matter if your livelihood is tied to a hair salon, or a gym or a tattoo parlor. Would Dr. Fauci and the various state governors and legislators and city council members be willing to forgo their paycheck?

Terence Gore

"Cowboy up! Grow a pair!"

Life saving advice?


https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-8312771/Male-coronavirus-patients-low-testosterone-levels-likely-die-COVID-19.html


optimax

The media is aghast Trump and Pence are maskless. I bet they take hydroxychloroquine as a profilactic. Trump listens to his gut and not the experts.

I wear a mask at the grocery store but not when on my daily power walk (little old ladies with walkers zoom by me)and avoid close contact , or talking to neighbors while keeping a safe distance. People for the most part are polite and I'm a natural at anti-social distancing.

Laura Wilson

Diana Croissant -- I'm sure we can all take a chance to take our chances. Invite friends over for dinner and hug them when they walk in the door. Don't eat on the patio, eat in the dining room. Wear your mask when mandated but go to the grocery store every day! Don't wear gloves when gassing up the car and throw out your hand sanitizer (or give it to a way too careful neighbor).

Take all the chances you want...no one is asking you to follow all the guidelines. Ditch the ones you can.

Deap

Number One protection - do not stick your own fingers into your own nose, mouth or eyes.

The rest of the barrier control demands are mainly window-dressing. Assume your fingers are always contaminated, regardless of whether it is the flu, colds or "covid". Do not inoculate yourself with your own fingers.

"Don't touch your face" is essentially meaningless advice - it is your own dirty fingers stuck into your own facial orifices that does the damage. Somehow this specific message continues to escape the general covid prevention messaging. Too crude? Too blunt - yes, it means no nose-picking which is the worst offender. Okay, that is crude.

Fred

Laura,

That's not correct. More than one state or municipality is mandating these policies, otherwise you wouldn't bother warning one not to eat on the patio. There are plenty of stasi wannabes willing to turn in noncomformants. It already happened to a friend, though his neighbor now thinks his own house might get hit by lightning next time. For the life of me I can't understand why he came to such supposition.

walrus

Col. Lang,

I spent 18 months on unemployment two decades ago. That left me personally scarred. It is also one of the reasons I worked hard to arrange my finances and build a life outside the city. I also considered our children’s need for a place of greater safety - we made provisions to have all of them up here. Our kids are much more exposed than we are. One has a $2 million mortgage. Another is probably losing his job. Another has financial issues with an $800,000 apartment that is now worth half that. We are concerned for the grand children. We planned and worked very hard to put this place together at great cost. We could have instead had a ritzy apartment and a beach house.

My opinion on lockdown is not based on my personal position. It is based on a realization that there is much worse that can happen than an economic downturn. If the health system goes down people will panic - and that leads to death and destruction. I know for a fact that the Government here are watching supply chains very closely for this reason. Even where we are we know we have to work very hard to stay safe.

We are trying a “limited” opening strategy in the state this week, backed up with “ flying squads” of police and medicos to deal with the inevitable outbreaks. However the idiots among the population are already howling about this - invoking civil liberties and conflating forced vaccination, anti vaxx, 5G, Bill Gates and a new world order. They think they have a divine right to infect anyone they like. The Greeks were right - whom the gods wish to destroy......

In any case some of you are going to get your wish - lockdowns lifted; Fauci marginalized and ignored. Good luck with that. Tell us how it works.

As for the economy, I am delighted with some, but obviously not all, developments. The left wing inner city, green, latte drinkers are destroyed, as is the big box shopping mall model, as is the buying everything cheap from china model. We are seeing people buying local, buying frugally and wanting Australian made products. There is a renewed spirit of wanting self reliance - the exact reverse of globalism! New businesses are starting everywhere.

Best of luck to everyone.

turcopolier

walrus

This plague will not kill Australia but a total economic shutdown will do that

Razor

Professor Dolores Cahill, professor of Translational Science, University College Dublin, an international authority with a sparkling CV, interviewed on the Corona Virus. This is stunning! It's a little over an hour long, but repays the time investment many times over.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?fbclid=IwAR1BqZG2vdy_TRrRG_o_94CHkKrmc_qmwOs0_P28GVaAubv_MxKajHPvXvs&feature=share&v=Avc6_ftzk3w

Fred

Walrus,

"Invoking civil liberties"
How dare free men do that! Why think of the people who could get a bank to approve a $2 million dollar mortgage, or one on an $800,000 apartment. Priorities people, do what you are ordered, it's for your own good. Listen to yourself, do you know how that all comes across?

Upstater

For the naysayers of the COVID-19 risk, time for serious civil disobedience to DEMAND herd immunity. Why are the #covidresistance so meek? Get out there and DEMAND your rights! The tree of liberty needs to be watered with blood. We need leaders, not followers or whiners!

Aux Barricades!

I'll stay home and watch this site and others. No FNN or MSDNC here.

Eric Newhill

Walrus,
Your's is the most supremely geriatric perspective I've heard yet. People are more worried about the healthcare system than their finances? Who's being selfish here?

Do you remember being young? Anyone age 15 - 40 (and more) wants to be out strutting what they got, doing the mating dance, being in the game, "hooking up", getting it on. Very few of us are totally dedicated physically and/or emotionally to just one member of the opposite sex (not even going to get into the gay scene). You cannot repress that powerful biological urge. You can try and if you repress too much, it will express in some twisted form, like violence/riots, but express it will. That drive cuts across political lines; any artificial lines. It's the most fundamental energy in human society.

How long do you think you can tell the single age 20 - 30 to masturbate to porn?

Fred

Upstater,

Elections! Prevent Russian interference, demand voter i.d.! Oh, look squirel CA 25, how did that go from +6 D to +11 R in the middle of all this?

Looks like the Tree of Liberty just needed some sunshine. Unlike the Wuhan flu, communism or corrupt cops, liberty thrives in shunshine.

Amir

Let’s not forget public health action (whether they used the same lingo or not) in resolving the epidemics of infectious diseases in Europe, including comprehensive sewage system, separating drinking water and effluent, universal vaccination; strict quarantaine requirement for TB (in US still mandatory intake of TB meds, if indicated, whether the patient likes it or not) & just general teachings about hygiene, that we take for granted now but was revolutionary in the Middle Ages. Especially don’t forget 40 day isolation period or quarantaine that Venetian copies from Arabs and the latter of course from the Persians ;-)

walrus

I’m sorry if my perspective seems geriatric. I’m trying to be a realist here... Yes, I know about the mating urge. It isn’t going to stop. What I am trying to get across is the possibility of a tragic failure of imagination. Yes, the economy is hurting but the economy can be rebuilt even if we have to go back to barter. If the healthcare system goes down you won’t have an economy.

This has been the stuff of dystopian fiction for years but now we are living it, you want to say it can’t happen? You have 300 million people. What if you have 20 million sick at once? The health system won’t cope. There will be no medical treatment at any price. If that happens, all bets on maintaining a civil and orderly society are off. It won’t matter to me and the rest. of the old folk by then. We will already be dead. You will be trying to cope with sick kids, pregnancies, broken limbs and other afflictions of the young without medical help. You will very quickly find you are living in third world conditions - complete with gangs.

To put it another way, the economy can be resuscitated, a broken society cannot.

As for the libertarian view, I think we acknowledged a completely different mindset between countries. Certain American concepts are alien to us and so it seems some of ours are not understood by you. Nobody here fears totalitarianism. Our founders were criminals in a penal colony. Australians are not known for having much respect for rules and take a perverse delight in subverting them.

Best of luck. I hope everything works out OK for all of us.

turcopolier

walrus

There isn't any evidence here that the health care system is going to break down.

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