Stay Inside Or Die!

Main coronavirus update on Tuesday, as usual. To keep that a reasonable size, I’m moving material on the overreaction here, in our Week In Doom fashion.

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Former UK Prime Minister Calls For Global Government to Fight Coronavirus

Former Prime Minister of the UK Gordon Brown has called on world leaders to create “a temporary form of global government” to fight the coronavirus outbreak.

Brown wants international organizations like the WHO and the UN to be given executive powers that would supersede national sovereignty as part of a new system overseen by world leaders and health experts.

“This is not something that can be dealt with in one country,” he said. “There has to be a coordinated global response.”

By “temporary” Brown likely meant “in perpetuity.” But seriously, who could have figured elites would use a crisis like this to increase their power?

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Gov. Gavin Newsom issued an order giving California’s chief justice broad powers, including the right to suspend laws during the coronavirus crisis

Laws are for men. Saftey-first martial law is for women.

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Only the State’s official religion shall be allowed. De Blasio needn’t have worried. Catholic bishops, at least, share the same worldly concerns as he does.

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The horror! People are outside! Send the police to arrest the sunshine scofflaws!

Let’s show them who has the real power, by not letting anybody outside for six month.

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Britons will not get back to ‘normal life’ for SIX MONTHS or more, warns deputy chief medical officer Jenny Harries

Britons should not expect to get back to ‘normal life’ for six months or even longer, the government’s deputy chief medical officer warned today.

Dr Jenny Harries told a Downing Street press conference that people should not be viewing the coronavirus crisis as something that will blow over soon.

She said it will not be clear whether the ‘social distancing’ lockdown is working for another two or three weeks – after Easter – with deaths set to rise further.

But even if the draconian restrictions do succeed in ‘squashing’ the peak of the outbreak, reverting to a ‘normal way of life’ immediately would probably lead to a disastrous new spike in infections.

Remember in one of the earlier coronavirus updates we predicted they’d have to do this, because after all, flu kills more in total than coronavirus.

A trembling feminine worst-case-scenario concern is spreading across the globe faster than the virus. It isn’t only England.

Item Beck, Lightfoot On Stay At Home Order: Citations To Be Issued, Parks Could Be Shut Down

Visibly frustrated with reports of gatherings throughout Chicago, Mayor Lori Lightfoot delivered a stern warning to those who continue to get together during the COVID-19 pandemic: We will shut it down and you may be arrested.

“Stay at home. Only go out for essentials. You have to readjust your thinking. Be smart,” Lightfoot said. “Not only will our police be deployed to shut them down if you are not abiding by these orders we will be forced to shut down the parks and lakefront. The situation Is deadly serious and we need you take it deadly seriously.”

Lightfoot added that spending long periods of time outdoors, anywhere, is not allowed. And neither is going into closed spaces, like playgrounds.

“You cannot go on long bike rides. Playgrounds are shut down. You must abide by the order. Outside, is for a brief respite, not for 5Ks. I can’t emphasize enough that we abide the rules.”

As I said elsewhere, We have reached the point where going out in the healthy germicidal fresh air for a stroll by yourself is a crime.

This is hysterical effeminate overreaction, abusive overreach by power-hungry effeminate politicians anxious to be seen as saviors.

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Florida coronavirus cases pass 4000: state border checkpoints begin, vacation rentals halted

His executive orders defined the greater New York City area and Louisiana as areas with substantial community spread. Individuals traveling from those regions must “self-declare” they came from a hot spot and agree to quarantine themselves for 14 days upon arrival in Florida. A violation could mean a 60-day jail sentence and fines of up to $500.

Signs were erected along I-10 to direct eastbound drivers to a checkpoint where they were notified about the requirement. DeSantis said he was also looking at establishing one on I-95 to catch New York travelers.

Ver are your paperz! comes to the good ol’ USA. Same thing in Rhode Island.

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If New York has martial law lite, South Africa decided to go all the way: South Africa begins ‘unprecedented’ military-patrolled lockdown

South Africa came under a nationwide military-patrolled lockdown on Friday, joining other African countries imposing strict curfews and shutdowns in an attempt to halt the spread of the coronavirus across the continent.

Some 57 million people are to be restricted to their homes during South Africa’s three-week total lockdown which began at midnight.

Kenya, Rwanda and Mali are some of the African countries that have imposed restrictions to curb the spread of the coronavirus, which has been confirmed to have infected 3,203 people and killed 87.

Three weeks house arrest. 57 million people and 87 dead.

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In virus fight, Singapore may jail people who stand close

Singaporeans could be jailed for up to six months if they intentionally stand close to someone else, under tough new rules announced Friday to halt the spread of the coronavirus.

Six months imprisonment—for “intentionally” standing close to someone. Intentionally standing close.

Women have finally found a way to keep betas from hitting on them.

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At the time this video surfaced, India, a country with more than a billion souls, had fewer than 20 deaths attributed to coronavirus.

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This said (in case it’s deleted): “Donald Trump is murdering people in states whose governors he doesn’t like. He’s systematically wiping out Americans based on their political leanings. When this is over, Trump must pay for it in every way possible. #TrumpGenocide”.

The NYT earlier said “Let’s call this the Trump Virus.” Which was pretty good. But not as good as “#TrumpGenocide ” I don’t think it can be beat.

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Academics never let a crisis go to waste either. They have developed a “Fear of COVID-19 Scale (FCV-19S) to complement clinical efforts” etc.

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Trump said on Saturday night that no quarantine orders would be issued. Day before that, “Cuomo wonders if coronavirus quarantine may have backfired in some cases“.

Sweeping statewide quarantine orders may not have been the most effective strategy to combat the coronavirus, Gov. Andrew Cuomo conceded on Thursday, as he weighed plans to restart the economy.

“We closed everything down. That was our public health strategy,” said Cuomo during an Albany press briefing. “If you re-thought that or had time to analyze that public health strategy, I don’t know that you would say ‘Quarantine everyone.'”

He might now know, but many others say they do.

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Sweden keeps schools and borders open in ‘huge experiment’ on virus

Despite a surge in Covid-19 patients and growing dissent among epidemiological experts, the Swedish government’s medical experts were last night standing by their decision not to follow almost all other EU nations by instituting economic and social lockdowns.

Anders Tegnell, Sweden’s state epidemiologist, said the different approach reflected the independence traditionally enjoyed by government agencies like the Public Health Agency of Sweden and the reluctance of politicians to override expert advice….

Rest is behind a paywall.

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One Root Cause of Pandemics Few People Think About: “It’s our seemingly insatiable desire to eat meat”. Scientific (they say) American.

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The War on Death

Police are patrolling the streets of Europe, checking people’s “permission-to-go-outside” papers. In the U.K., soldiers are standing by to assist with “protecting possible quarantine zones,” or to “cope with the breakdown of civil society.” Israel is tapping its formerly secret collection of everyone’s mobile phone records to identify people who might be infected, and assorted “others who need to be quarantined.”

Read the whole thing, in which we learn “Macron (now relieved of his Gilets Jaunes problem!) is ready to ‘rule by decree'”, etc.

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The cure can be worse than the disease. Repeat this thrice: “Infection is not identical with disease.”

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38 Thoughts

  1. See the U. Washington Virology Lab’s testing statistics (up-to-date as of 29 March):

    http://depts.washington.edu/labmed/covid19/

    They only test symptomatic patients. The number of tests performed each day is falling (1493). Positive C19 results percentages are slightly rising (14.6%). Numbers of positive results are falling (218).

    Does this data justify destroying the economy of the country?

  2. Kent: Yes. That means EIGHTY FIVE PERCENT of the people who think they have Covid 19 DO NOT. Eighty five percent.

    The CDC states that as of the week of March 21st, flu is at EPIDEMIC levels. No one seems to care, of course. Nor that the 85% of negative Covid 19 tests may be flu and these people are part of an epidemic and may die.

    “Singaporeans could be jailed for up to six months if they intentionally stand close” Really???? I thought jail were being emptied of nonviolent offenders (at least in the USA, where the same stupid, vacant threat is being bandied about) So we put these people closer together and INCREASE the disease levels?

    I did not know people were not allowed outside. As long as they are over 6 feet apart, it should be okay. Driving should be absolutely okay. You’re in your sealed environment and cannot infect others. You may have to use AC and not roll down windows, of course.

    I have noted that XX governors seem the most power-grabbing and dictatorial. So much for XX improving society. They seem to be super-tyrants, locking everyone in their homes and practicing medicine without a license. You SJW’s enjoy living in your 500 sq ft apartment and NEVER leaving because the XX you love said you can’t leave home. Karma! (XX or XY, they are all little dictators that should be tossed on an island and left to work things out for themselves away from others they can destroy.)

    If Trump is guilty of murder, how much so is Obama, who golfed and allowed THOUSANDS to die of swine flu in 2009. They should be tried TOGETHER, of course, since their actions are the same and the accusation is the same. Fauci is next–he let kids with swine flu go to school when swine flu killed mostly youth.

  3. People can’t get closer than 6 feet outdoors, but inside the grocery store it’s perfectly fine to stand 3 feet from the cashier as she rings up yet another indispensable stack of frozen pizzas. Doesn’t anyone in authority care about our poor cashiers being exposed to this onslaught? Or are they are of a lower caste, not as important as the rest of us?

  4. About 1 in 6 infected get severe symptoms that include lung inflammation that may go on to cascading symptoms leading to death — maybe 1-4 percent overall.

    Survivors of severe infection responses may end up with permanent lung damage of 10-30 % diminished capability. Recovery, to full or diminished capacity might require months on a ventilator.

    While most severe cases are among older demographics, certainly not all.

    That per reporting as of today.

    Corona virus is a on-in-six “dice roll” that anyone infected will have lifelong diminished lung capacity noticeably impacting daily quality of life.

    Continuing to use a flu construct that suggests a less-than (perhaps much less than) 4% fatality rate — as if that’s all the potential impact — severely understates the broad potential impact.

  5. Field notes from a very rural part of the UK:

    Virtually zero police presence over the last year, now seen in record numbers patrolling between local beauty spot car parks.

    My partner sent a message to a friend, checking she was OK. The response: “NO! I’ve seen the same woman walk past my window four times this morning! It’s disgusting”

    The friend is in her late thirties.

    Another friend, a happy-go-lucky type in his early forties, now returns from his government approved grocery shopping trips and promptly strips all clothes and immediately showers.

    How do I know this?

    Because his girlfriend phoned us to explain how proud she was he was being so cautious.

    A local paper has a wonderful comment section where locals consider the merits of an Indian style of policing where we simply beat walkers with sticks (I’m not joking)

    I went cycling earlier. A man was walking in the road to avoid other pedestrians. I approached within 2 metres of him due to oncoming traffic. He exclaimed, “f××k off, c×n× that’s too close”.

    I don’t think my experience requires further comment…

  6. “About 1 in 6 infected get severe symptoms…”

    Already false.

    1/6 is false (only about 10% of Americans with the bug go to the hospital, and not all of them have severe symptoms).

    And that 10% is not out of the total number of infected people, but out of the number of people who have symptoms that get them access to testing.

    If we assume about 50% asymptomatic cases (this is what countries with more testing are seeing, and it’s rising) and 50% of people with mild cases never bother to get tested, we get something in the 1% range for severity. Probably lower.

    So lets shut down the whole world indefinitely! Because what if?

  7. I wonder what the murder rate in lower Chicago is. Funny the authorities never before considered using the National Guard there — Oh! That would have been a violation of their civil rights!

  8. For every death, at least four people suffer permanent lung damage. I for one do not want to spend years gasping for breath and reaching for my oxygen bottle, then die of a seasonal flu that’s written off as a “pre-existing lung condition”.

  9. Reference: “What happens to people’s Lungs when they get Coronavirus,” The Guardian, Sat, Mar 28, 2020. This references WHO’s recent ‘1-in-6’ stat.

    WHO’s website has a wealth of info. Ferreting out data of interest might take some time.

    Those disputing WHO’s (or CDC’s, etc.) data are encouraged to develop a suitably reasoned and data-supported rebuttal as additional learning regarding the virus’ effects.

    Or, grab a few data points and merrily extrapolate away.

    There’s a bunch of readers of this blog marveling at the inconsistency & apparent hypocrisy: Many posts lament trends where assisted suicide is presented as reprehensible … where a philosophically-based morality is espoused for that and other themes. But in the case of a virus with a relatively high death rate vs flu — and with a VERY high crippling rate regarding lung function — there seems to be a callous disregard for the human factor, which seems subordinated to the economic consideration.

    Where’s the philosophical foundation that lays the moral-based trade-off between willfully putting many at risk, and a well-above average number into crippling lung damage for broader economic gain?

    Clearly there is a trade-off and callous cost-benefit considerations undoubtedly support an approach toward ‘business as usual’ knowing the human carnage & debilitation to accompany. But that same analysis shows a value-add balance for activities such as abortion….

    As this is a blog steeped in morality and philosophical justifications, where’s such a philosophical / moral analysis for weighing and setting the trade between economic activity with what-level-of added human costs measured in increased deaths, crippling lung function, and (at least) subsequent persistent social burdens born by paid insurance (ie shared) by most?

    Saying the current approach is to severe, even resorting to name-calling (“effeminate”) might be right – how do we justify where we draw the line where the cost is measured in significant part in human carnage? On what basis am I morally justified in placing you and others at much greater risk of prolonged or permanent incapacitation, or even death for my economic gain?

    Isn’t it curious that the broad society that endorsed abortion, and a sizable portion of that endorses euthanasia, disagrees with this blog’s advocacy of what is an acceptable human/social risk vs economic trade-off regarding the virus du jour.

  10. Fredo:
    The authoritarian impulse is only skin deep…

    No. It goes all the way to the core.

    Within the last hour, the Maryland governor has just issued mandatory stay-at-home with a 8 PM curfew for all persons in non-essential businesses. Penalty: misdemeanor with fines up to $5000. In effect until termination of the state emergency or superseded by other orders.

    https://www.baltimoresun.com/coronavirus/bs-md-stay-at-home-document-20200330-54bdwlwzgbeanly54akhuzsyf4-htmlstory.html

    And the governor is a Republican.

  11. Ken,

    You must be new here. You hit all of the checkpoints.

    – “You pro-lifers are hypocrites” – Check
    – “Read what the WHO says if you don’t believe me” – Check
    – “You care more about the economy than dead people” – Check

    Haven’t heard any of those gems before.

  12. Dav…
    Agreed really the only question that remains unanswered is who in
    their right mind would assist in funding and setting up a p-4 level lab
    there and then train scientists in Western universities to work in
    that lab and not only that but provide the lethal pathogens under study
    at that facility. All euphemistically cloaked in the common parlance and
    verbosity, of some superior global intelligence that makes these things
    possible, as a ‘bio-defense lab’.

  13. Maybe I’m missing something but if keeping people from congregating is the goal, how does putting people in jail accomplish that goal?

  14. Reed…I think we’re all missing a great deal indeed our collective futures
    are being hollowed out before our very eyes. It’s like the Borg resistance
    is futile.

  15. @ Ken –

    LOOK AT WHAT JAPAN IS DOING!!! Sorry for shouting. It is business as usual in Japan, and the death, disease rate is far, far, far lower there than NYC’s rate. There are piles of scientific evidence that isolation exacerbates the effects of COVID-19 and other run-of-the-mill viruses. Deprive people of the beneficial effects of sunshine – stupid, ridiculous, murderous.

    Just about all the contrary evidence to the prevalent hysteria is being boycotted by the media cartel, but thanks to the internet, it can be found.

    If you don’t want to build immunity to COVID-19, isolate yourself! As one of the old fogies, I will take care of myself. In no way do I want younger people to suffer economic/financial ruination for my alleged benefit.

    As McChuck stated sarcastically, “We must bankrupt every single working family in the USA, so that a few thousand retirees don’t die. It’s for the children.”

  16. Thanks for the interview of the German scientist. As a 67 yr old with reduced lung capacity from an old virus attack (and thus much more at risk than my grandchildren) I worry far more about the long term economic and political effects of the cure than the immediate health consequences. If I die, nothing further bad can happen to me, but if long term avoidable misery for me and my kids and grand-kids is the result of the lockdowns I am not better off.

  17. I agree withMcChuck,
    The shut down is mainly to protect the elderly, a group who already is for the most part retired, and don’t go to work. It doesn’t mean I don’t think there isn’t a virus, but that those we are doing this for (mainly) are the least burdened with the cost, and easiest to identify and take precautions.

    The flu is a pandemic every year. Every year, or they wouldn’t vaccinate annually.

  18. I think the real question isn’t should we get back to normal or stay shut down, but rather: how to get back to something close normal while avoiding overwhelming the hospital system.

    Since some participants here seem to use very selective news sources, here’s some evidence that hospitals in the US can potentially become overwhelmed: A Navy hospital ship has come to New York to help out, and they are converting Central Park into a make shift hospital. That won’t be possible everywhere:
    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-usa/new-york-greets-hospital-ship-with-cheers-california-cases-soar-idUSKBN21H1LX
    https://www.cnn.com/2020/03/30/us/new-york-coronavirus-cases-deaths/index.html

    Even if the government lifted all restrictions, we’re not going back to pre-outbreak status immediately. Private actions (decline in travel, offices sending workers home) started before any government mandates in the US. The people who are most affected by the government restrictions are the young and healthy, who do not necessarily take the negative externalities (faster spread of the virus through social interactions) of their actions into consideration.

    The relevant question then is: given that many (and probably most) Americans would be reluctant to return to normal economic life in any case, and given that we have limited health care capacity, is there a way to allow most people to resume normal activities in a way that they feel safe? Are masks effective? Would the “group testing” schemes work? These are the more fruitful ideas. Pretending that the economy would be back to normal if the government lifted all restrictions right now is a complete fantasy and not a relevant alternative.

    More info on group testing: https://www.forbes.com/sites/kotlikoff/2020/03/29/group-testing-is-our-secret-weapon-against-coronavirus/#40c026bc36a6

  19. What about the homeless? Before the Pandemic all we heard about were the pup tent side walk dwellers spreading Typhus and Hep C while defecating in the storm drains and everywhere. What happened to those folks? Were they quarantined in their pup tents? Are visits to the govt free needle exchange considered a Necessary Activity?

    Sidenote: a few minutes ago a reporter-ette asked the Pres about the 2,300 daily abortions. She said 16,500 a week. He looked sad and said that kind of thing had been going on a long time. So not an immediate problem compared to the sudden departure of a couple hundred seniors with comorbidities.

  20. Dave,

    You’re not only confusing preparation for a worst case with the worst case actually happening, you’re also using “very selective” logic:

    “…hospitals in the US can potentially become overwhelmed: A Navy hospital ship has come to New York to help out, and they are converting Central Park into a make shift hospital.”

    Boy Scout Motto: Always be prepared.

    If I pack a tourniquet in my backpack, that does not mean that I’ll puncture an artery on this hike.

    Being prepared is not the same thing as the event happening.

    The event may happen, but preparing for the event is not proof that it will happen.

    Viz: How many moldering packs of crackers are packed away in Fallout Shelters across the USA? Did building a nationwide network of Fallout Shelters mean that we would suffer a nuclear attack?

    Seems like scare-mongering is twisting the logical capacity of some folks.

  21. Ken, Dave – you’re both infected. Stop trying to spread your disease here. Begone, and quarantine yourselves.

  22. Dave,

    I think the real question isn’t should we get back to normal or stay shut down, but rather: how to get back to something close normal while avoiding overwhelming the hospital system.

    In all likelihood, we’re at the tail end of this. Flu season normally peaks during February, which when I’m pretty sure I caught the COVID. There’s no reason to think this will be different than the other flu/coronavirus seasons which end in April.

    Let’s just accept we’ve been taken for another ride by the media and pretend it never happened.

  23. My coworker’s 92 year old mother died in a nursing home last week.
    He’s said that since she’s been 35 years old she’s been in and out of psych wards for intense depression and anxiety.

    A few years back her medical issues started to catch up to her psychological ones and she’s been in a bad way health wise.
    She died last week and he noticed that Coronavirus was included as a cause of death. She had no flu or cold symptoms. Her death was something they expected for quite some time now.
    He asked the doctor why that was even included…. and was told that it was just a precaution since she died in a nursing home.

  24. I wonder how freaked out people would be if for every flu season there was a running tally of how many people caught the flu and how many have died from it.

  25. Fest assured that your hospitals are going to be overwhelmed. The Chinese hospital system was overwhelmed, the Italian hospital system is overwhelmed, the Spanish hospital system is overwhelmed, the French one appears to be on the edge, probably the Iranian one too. The common denominator appears to be the authorities first ignoring, and then trying to belittle the situation. The Americans appear to have the same kind of authorities as the Chinese, the Italians, the French and the Spanish ones, all mouth and no trousers, and then there is Churchill quip that the Americans will do whats best after having tried all other options.

    The South Korean hospital system was not overwhelmed and neither is the German one. The Dutch system is getting close. The Germans have a lot of IC capacity, and the South Koreans and the Germans are testing a lot.

    The Dutch are debugging their virus spread models by running a live test, with the results not quite in line with what the computer said would happen, the computer being too optimistic. They don’t have any reasonable kind of extra IC capacity, and they are too cheap to having bought lots of tests.

  26. Sander van der Wal, panic over any symptom is going to lead the throng to hospitals… not the viral insult in and of itself.

  27. Interesting to read comments from a different point in the proceedings.
    Ken’s comment at 11:45 am on March 30th was quality.

    It IS curious, but humans are only human.
    Off for a 3 mile cycle ride around the lanes. That’s not illegal over here.
    When we get clear from the lergy, we’ll be over to rescue you all from tyranny.
    Remember the film Ants? They can’t take you ALL on.

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