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Public appearances in a time of pandemic

This probably doesn't need saying, but I'm cancelling/avoiding public gatherings and/or public appearances for the indefinite, but hopefully short-term, future.

As of an hour ago the Scottish government announced that we're moving from "contain" to "delay" wrt. Covid-19—community transmission unrelated to travel or contact has been confirmed—and banning all assemblies of >500 people from Monday.

I'm personally in the high-risk category, being over 50 and with both type II diabetes and hypertension, so I'm self-isolating as of today.

Anyway. I won't be attending ConPulsion (local gaming convention in Edinburgh) in two weeks' time. I also expect the Eastercon in Birmingham to be cancelled, if today's COBR committee meeting in Whitehall announces a ban on public assemblies.

Looking more than two months ahead is pointless right now, but it's not looking good for this year's World Science Fiction Convention in Christchurch, New Zealand, either.

I'll update this if anything changes.

Stay safe.

1276 Comments

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1:

It looks as though the Scottish government is recommending a ban but not actually enforcing one:

"The health secretary and I have decided this morning that we are minded that we will advise the cancellation, from the start of next week, of mass gatherings of 500 people or more."

Anyway, good luck with the self-isolation. I'll see you in the pub when it's all over.

2:

Very wise. As my normal lifestyle is little different, I shan't be changing much :-) But I have bought some silk gloves and am getting some portable alcohol cleanser for when I do need to go out.

3:

No, that's just polite Scottish circumlocution: with such a recommendation in effect no insurer will touch such events with a barge-pole, so they won't be allowed to go ahead. Moreover, "advise the cancellation" can be read either as a polite request or a warning that such events will be in violation of the law. ("Advise" in Scottish legal speech has a somewhat more emphatic meaning than "advise" in ordinary discourse.)

I'm probably avoiding pubs for the duration, too: they get crowded and some of them are a bit patchy on hand-washing supplies (e.g. relying on hot air driers and no paper towels).

4:

A fellow Type II and Hypertensionist here...

I completely understand your decisions in this situation, but does anyone know if the risks are the same for those who "have it but have it under control"?

My (medicated) blood pressure is normal (almost verging on low sometimes) and blood sugar levels (unmedicated) on par with non-type II:s. Very little info is available for this situation and one sort of wonders how much to panic if (read: when) the virus hits...

5:

We'll miss seeing you two. Damn.

The gig we went to last night in Cambridge is likely to be the last I buy tickets to for a while. It was relatively empty compared to most performances in J1 — less than 500 I reckon — but the demographic skewed older, with a decent proportion of the audience (we included) old enough to be the performer's parents. At least nobody appeared to cough.

As for CoNZealand, who knows? We've been looking forward to it for the best part of a decade. But we're booked to go via Singapore, and if they close their airport we'd be blocked from getting there anyway without rerouting.

6:

Prudence is a virtue!

"May no ill thing arise" is totally fatuous under the circumstances, yet I very much hope you get your first exposure from the vaccine.

7:

Any thoughts as far ahead as the second May bank holiday weekend? (Satellite 7)

I won't ask the committee from this far out.

8:

does anyone know if the risks are the same for those who "have it but have it under control"?

Don't know.

One thing that is known is that the mechanism COVID-19 uses to enter cells includes the ACE2 receptor site, which is targeted by a whole bunch of antihypertensive medications. Whether this is because folks with hypertension express more ACE2 receptors, or because the drugs they're on potentiate the viral infection, or because the tooth fairy said so, is unclear at this time.

If it turns out that ACE2 antagonists make the infection worse I'll take my chances with dropping one of my meds for a couple of months over dying as my lungs fail in the short term.

9:

Looking more than two months ahead is pointless right now

I play bridge semi-competitively here in Australia, and Emails have already been going back and forth between my team members about the likelihood of the Autumn Nationals (first weekend in May, in Adelaide) and/or VCC (first weekend in June, in Melbourne) being cancelled.

Not to mention the big Asia-Pacific tournament scheduled for Perth (WA version) in late April. That one was supposed to have participants from all over the World.

(And as I mentioned in the comment thread of the previous post, I am VERY suspicious of the current quoted cases for India (74) and Indonesia (34).)

10:

I have tickets to a Pet Shop Boys gig at the Glasgow arena in June. I'm expecting their world tour to be rescheduled.

I'd like to get to Satellite VII in Glasgow, but: that's likely going to be a casualty too (it's in late May).

Worldcon is too far out to say for sure but I don't expect the pandemic to be under control by August. I'm just glad I hadn't got as far as booking flights.

If we come through this okay and the global economy doesn't implode I'll try and make up for lost face-to-face time once the dust settles.

11:

I'm on the board of a community orchestra in Westchester County, New York. We perform at a number of nursing homes, libraries, churches and synagogues. We have canceled our April performances (some of the venues canceled before we could even contact them). Just yesterday, the board decided to cancel rehearsals for the near future.

My wife and I have tickets to see "West Side Story" next week. We are waiting to see what New York City decides to do about Broadway theaters.

We are in our late 60s, and my wife is a long-time asthma sufferer.

12:

As I suspected sports in the US is either suspended or going without "cheeks in seats". This is going to pull $billions out of the economy. If you you hate sports you will be impacted as the fall on job loss impacts you and your neighbors.

So far is seems most colleges are continuing without fans, the NBA has suspended all games, NHL is meeting today to decide, and then there's the start of the baseball season next month.

DT's no longer useful travel ban just adds to the economic misery.

13:

This is a disease with a long recovery time with a long right tail, no one knows with confidence when and how it becomes uninfectious, there's some evidence it can go dormant/non-symptomatic/non-infectious in the body and then at a later time reappear (but this is one of those things you need to see a lot of to be sure it's not reinfection from an unrecognized source), and that there's no vaccine or (as yet) approved treatment.

For planning purposes, I'm expecting that we're not going to see a resumption of normalcy until a vaccine is available. (Or a cheap reliable anti-viral, but I'd bet on a vaccine.) Even under "blank cheque, do it now" conditions, that's going to take thereabouts of a year.

Also for planning purposes, I'll point out that between the long supply chains, the average age of farmers, and the timing, this may not be an above-average agriculture year even if the weather is perfect.

14:

Oh, yeah. As of a hour or so ago, 200 colleges/universities have told the students to move out of dorms and their classes will continue via online means.

If course not all students have an alternate place to go. Some are from out of the country, others from across the country or state, and others are literally homeless in their original housing. Of course continuing to live in dorms with tightly packed rooms and communal dining isn't good for suppressing disease transmission.

Then there are the foreign students who have visas limited how much or little they can do online in terms of course work before being out of compliant with their student visa.

15:

Oh, SHIT! Thank you for making my day :-( My main anti-hypertensive is one, too. I do appreciate the warning, really :-(

16:

Yup, science meeting in Vienna in early May as well as the road trip to Finland to see some friends. Art exhibitions and art networking events here in Socal. And very particular to the San Diego/Tijuana region there is a rich cross-border culture of weird music and art that is going to suffer (I can’t imagine standing in line at the border crossing right now). But, staying alive matters, and not infecting other people is really important. We are preparing to socially isolate as well, as much as possible, since it’s been made abundantly clear that the USA is not going to be able to test enough people in time to stop the spread.

17:

Charlie @ 3
I however will be going to selected pubs, but I will be careful about hand-washing & face-wiping. [ Assuming said pubs are actually OPEN, of course! ]
I've also started taking small vitamin_D tablets, to help top my immune system up.
Although 74, I'm also fit & with v good lung function.
"Public Functions" ... well, I'm assuming our Morris practice sessions will continue, but our first booked public appearnce, is, of course 23rd April, followed by actual May Day, the moved plastic may-day & two days after that.
Um, err ...

Graydon
there's some evidence it can go dormant/non-symptomatic/non-infectious in the body and then at a later time reappear
Like Chickenpox/Shingles?
Oh, how nice ... not. ( "Post-polio" also cpomes to mind, shudder )

colourtheorytoo
Never mind not enough testing - apart from a few Fed officials & lots of State one trying ( & trying to avoid being stamped on by the idiot Donald ) the US does not appear to be doing anything to try to slow or stop this.
The UK guvmint is now openly talking about "delay" - acknowledging that it's too late to contain.
I note that a prominent member of The Shrub's team, David Frum, a former speechwriter for George W Bush, said Mr Trump’s Oval Office address was the worst action yet in a string of bad actions. one way of putting it.

18:

If it turns out that ACE2 antagonists make the infection worse I'll take my chances with dropping one of my meds for a couple of months over dying as my lungs fail in the short term.
This has been bothering me too. There are now thousands of individual hospitalization records and such interactions with common medications, if any, should stand out. E.g. we don't know the direction of effect (if any) of ACE2 inhibitors on COVID-19 progression, and we should. (Also it appears (literature light skim only) that some ACE inhibitors don't bind to ACE2, e.g. lisinopril)

19:

As a denizen of the Seattle area (current epicenter for the U.S. outbreak), I can report that we have already seen a cancellation of Emerald City ComicCon (largest con in the PNW). Uni's have gone to all on-line classes, and most public K-12 schools have closed or are doing the same.

Workplaces have gone to 'Phase 3' social isolation, meaning they want anyone who can work from home to do so, including my company. This was led by Microsoft and Amazon.

In the grocery stores, non-perishable staples, such as pasta, beans, canned foods disappear as fast as they are stocked. Shopping areas are ghost-towns, and traffic on the roads has NEVER been this light! (Fewer cars during 'rush hour' than on a typical 3am Monday morning....)

Went to see the new Pixar movie with my son Saturday, and we were two of four people in the entire theater.

When people do meet, it's either an elbow bump, or the Vulcan hand symbol....

On the bright side, the orange baboon/buffoon has finally run into a crisis he can't upstage with outrageous outbursts. His speech last night had even the normal sycophantic Washington Times called him out on it, while the rest of the right-wing media all but pretended it didn't happen....

20:

Didn't see the new thread, so cross-posting and adapting a summary from the previous thread.

The start of the week looked promising with about 170-ish detected cases on monday, including the first hospital admissions. It rapidly deteriorated, with the first cases with untraceable infection vectors being announced on tuesday, and by thursday (today) we've closed the following on a national level. (1)
* All education facilities, including kindergardens.
* Cultural happenings.
* Organized sports; in- and outdoor, including gyms, swimming pools, etc.
* Restaurants of all kinds (including bars and nightclubs) where it's not possible to keep a 1-meter safe zone for every guest.
* Barbershops, skincare, tatoo-/piercing-parlors, etc.

Any travel outside the nordic countries after February 27th will result in self-quarantine.

The Norwegian Institute of Public Health (FHI/NIPH) estimates the main epidemic will hit in May, and might last through to somewhere between August and October. Apologies for a local language link, but I think some of you might find it worth putting through auto translation.

I expect other europeans countries to come to similar conclusions shortly. Personally, we're only leaving the house for necessary shopping and walks.

Disclaimer: I work for NIPH, but not with anything related to epidemics and contagion.

1: Source

21:

I don't understand why large gatherings of over 500 persons are more of a threat than gatherings of fewer than 500 persons. In fact, I would think the smaller gatherings would be more of a problem because you're more likely to have intimate contact with others at such gatherings.

22:

It's a numbers game. The larger the gathering, the more likely somebody is infectious. On the other hand, the smaller the gathering, the smaller the room. Swings and roundabouts come to mind...

We're wondering whether to go to a RPG event on Saturday or not. We usually book a hotel for Friday & Saturday, and spend all day at the venue, but it's a smallish venue and can be quite cramped so we're not sure.

My sister has cancelled our meet-up - she's not feeling well. Just as well - it would have been extra driving for me.

23:

Well put; there are at least 3 others who'd have said more or less exactly that here.

24:

David L @ 12: As I suspected sports in the US is either suspended or going without "cheeks in seats". This is going to pull $billions out of the economy. If you you hate sports you will be impacted as the fall on job loss impacts you and your neighbors.

So far is seems most colleges are continuing without fans, the NBA has suspended all games, NHL is meeting today to decide, and then there's the start of the baseball season next month.

DT's no longer useful travel ban just adds to the economic misery.

Y'll probably don't realize how big a deal this is around here. The ACC Men's Basketball Tournament started on Monday. College basketball is BIG around here. Duke, Carolina (UNC), Wake Forest, Virginia (UVA), NC State ... We put the "madness" in March Madness.

"Following additional consultation with the league’s presidents and athletic directors, and in light of the continued conversations surrounding the fluidity of COVID-19, the Atlantic Coast Conference will immediately cancel the remainder of the 2020 ACC Tournament. For NCAA Tournament automatic qualification purposes, Florida State will represent the league as the ACC Champion. We are disappointed for our student-athletes, schools and fans to have to make this decision; however, the overall health and safety of all involved is the priority."

They CANCELLED the ACC Men's Basketball Tournament! CANCELLED IT!!! Florida State? ???

I also noticed that Cheatolini iL Douchebag's "travel ban" does not include tourists coming from countries where "Trump" resorts are located.

25:

I just sent a contact to Heliosphere, in Tarrytown, due the first weekend of April, to ask their status.

I sincerely hope we don't have to cancel Balticon (4th weekend in May), that would be a *huge* deal, and a huge hit on the club.

26:

We're due to be going to France at Easter on the Shuttle, camping just outside Paris, and going home via Parc Asterix. At this rate though I think my son may be getting a week of dog-walking round the local nature reserves instead.

France has banned events of over 1000 people. Somehow though this doesn't apply to theme parks like Disneyland Paris and Parc Asterix. And staff walked out at the Louvre earlier in the month, but they're back open again too. I'm not quite sure how that works, considering they all have well over 1000 people through the gates every day. Surely if you need to put a ban like that in place, you make sure it's across the board?

In the meantime I'm getting thoroughly pissed off with Facebook friends posting memes about all the previous epidemics which didn't touch them. It's bitterly amusing that when the Daily Fail is putting out their crap about whatever-it-is causes cancer/autism, they're all over it; but give them an actual pandemic which might genuinely impact their lives and suddenly they're all "fake news, the media wants us to be afraid".

27:

Absent some semi-miraculous outcome, it's loose, it's a pandemic, and it's not obviously going to be proportionately better than the 1919 flu pandemic. I would for planning purposes suppose we'll still be digging out of the metaphorical rubble in 2021.

One cheering thing is that the Vietnamese have produced a one-hour response cheap-to-produce test kit; with any luck, that's going to get licensed and massively replicated nigh-everywhere. If you had lots of those on hand and some sort of isolation tunnel sign-in to a hermetically sealed hotel, I would think you could (if the other logistics were working) plausibly run a con in the remainder of this year.

28:

Immediate check of my medicine cabinet did thankfully not reveal any ACE inhibitors (I had them a couple of years ago)

Quick search on the web gives examples from serious publications like Lancet etc so the problem definitely is suspected

29:

@27: metaphorical rubble

My, what an apt description of any communication from the current White House.

30:

According to the guardian Nicola Sturgeon specifically said that a ban on gatherings over 500 was not about reducing spread, it is about reducing strain on emergency services.

The assumption seems to be that 20 mins within 2m is exposure. Worse indoor than out, maybe due to humidity. So i guess the test of a gathering is how many different people do you stay within 2m of for 20min and is the air virus friendly. NB i think much of this is assumption based on flu, since we don't know about covid-19 yet but we think they are similar.

I guess this means scifi cons are worse than football matches. I know eastercon is probably waiting for official government advice. Anyone know if and attempt will be made to move some of it online? Not sure if i'm doing a talk or not, but if i am i'd be happy to internet it instead (or in fact as well if the con goes ahead but high risk people don't come)

31:

CardinalRam
When people do meet, it's either an elbow bump, or the Vulcan hand symbol....
There's another alternative, which apparently Chas ("Speaker to vegetables") has taken up: Namaste
V sensible.
There's a lot to be said for "Live Long & Prosper" in these times, though.

Must dig out & re-read Defoe's classic A Journal of the Plague Year
... One quote from Defoe is well worth repeating ....
From the river they travelled towards the forest, but when they came to Walthamstow the people of that town denied to admit them, as was the case everywhere. The constables and their watchmen kept them off at a distance and parleyed with them. They gave the same account of themselves as before, but these gave no credit to what they said, giving it for a reason that two or three companies had already come that way and made the like pretences, but that they had given several people the distemper in the towns where they had passed; and had been afterwards so hardly used by the country (though with justice, too, as they had deserved) that about Brentwood, or that way, several of them perished in the fields—whether of the plague or of mere want and distress they could not tell.
This was a good reason indeed why the people of Walthamstow should be very cautious, and why they should resolve not to entertain anybody that they were not well satisfied of.

This happened about 350m from my front door ....


32:

According to the guardian Nicola Sturgeon specifically said that a ban on gatherings over 500 was not about reducing spread, it is about reducing strain on emergency services.

The assumption seems to be that 20 mins within 2m is exposure. Worse indoor than out, maybe due to humidity. So i guess the test of a gathering is how many different people do you stay within 2m of for 20min and is the air virus friendly. NB i think much of this is assumption based on flu, since we don't know about covid-19 yet but we think they are similar.

I guess this means scifi cons are worse than football matches. I know eastercon is probably waiting for official government advice. Anyone know if and attempt will be made to move some of it online? Not sure if i'm doing a talk or not, but if i am i'd be happy to internet it instead (or in fact as well if the con goes ahead but high risk people don't come)

33:

A comment I read a couple of days ago by someone who claimed to be an academic specialising in epidemiology was, roughly, "We're all stuck on the cruise ship Planet Earth." The cold reality is that, assuming you're not living a hermit's life on somewhere like Gruinard island or spending a year on the ISS then you will be exposed to COVID-19 over the next few months. It seems to have a high R number, it's readily transmissible and has a high probability of expressing itself once it gets into someone's system. Only the million-plus sufferers who survived have developed some form of immune response to the virus up till now, the rest of us are sitting ducks.

Quarantine, isolation, fanatical attention to hygiene, face masks, vitamins etc. won't stop it spreading and infecting people, they can only really slow the process down. This is worthwhile for a lot of reasons -- the horse might sing i.e. a workable antiviral treatment might be quickly developed with a Manhattan Project-level effort or a drugs/treatment regimen tested and implemented that raises the survival rates of the most seriously infected patients. Any sort of vaccine is months away, producing and administering billions of doses is even further down the line.

Much further ahead, the COVID-19 virus (SARS-CoV-2) is widespread and will not be eradicated, no more than common influenza viruses are. Will it follow the flu in mutating and hybridising year on year? A brief uneducated reading of some of the studies suggest that, being a coronavirus it's too big genetically speaking to mutate easily but I don't know enough to be sure. For one thing there's going to be a shitload of money and effort poured into medical research on this subject.

ObAnime: Hataraku Saibou (Cells At Work).

34:

Hm, I misunderstood the concern. This comment in nature reviews cardiology keeps getting referenced. It's 7 days old though. Has anyone found anything newer?
COVID-19 and the cardiovascular system (05 March 2020)
ACE2 levels can be increased by the use of renin–angiotensin–aldosterone system inhibitors. Given that ACE2 is a functional receptor for SARS-CoV-2, the safety and potential effects of antihypertension therapy with ACE inhibitors or angiotensin-receptor blockers in patients with COVID-19 should be carefully considered. Whether patients with COVID-19 and hypertension who are taking an ACE inhibitor or angiotensin-receptor blocker should switch to another antihypertensive drug remains controversial, and further evidence is required.

35:

OTOH ... why, really, are we worrying?
Quote[
It is important to keep this specific threat in perspective (during the 2017-2018 UK flu season there were 26,408 deaths and 1,692 in 2018-2019) and it is estimated only two per cent of those who catch coronavirus will die.
In comparison SARS had a mortality rate of more than 10 per cent.
ENDquote]
As Nojay says ... we are going to have to learn to live & maybe die with it.
Tough.

36:

The common cold is a coronavirus, and mutates like buggery. We simply don't know what will happen in even the medium term.

37:

Greg Tingey: we're worrying because we can do the maths. There are 70 million people in the UK. If 50% of them get the virus and it has a mortality rate of 1% then 350,000 people will die. That's more than ten times the number that died of flu in 2017-2018, and about 64% of the total number of people (541,589) who died in the UK in 2018.

If 70% get it and the mortality rate is 2% (everyone thinks it is lower than this, so I'm not sure where you got that number from), then almost a million people will die, in the UK: a little less than double the normal annual mortality in the UK.

38:

tfb
I too can do the maths & the underlying asumptions are ( I think ) wrong
I suspect something like 75% will "get" the virus, but only about 33% of those will even realise it, or they will be non-symptomatic carriers.
Also, AFAIK ... ALL the deaths in thos country so far have been for people with pre-existing conditions, apart from being over 60 ...
And I re-point you at those flu death statistics (!)

39:

That 2% is ... squishy.

The numbers we have now are numbers from when the health care system stays functional. The "health care overwhelmed numbers" are worse. It looks like there are differences just based on demographics; the effects are more severe with age.

None of the available numbers have actual measured rates of infection. The thing I've been particularly struck by is that at least some of the figures have death rates for the asymptomatic cases. (Apparently about a third of the rates for symptomatic cases.) That makes me wonder just how off the asymptomatic infection rate numbers might be, because maybe they're starting to have real infection rate numbers in Korea and China, but I don't think anyone else does.

40:

There are 70 million people in the UK. If 50% of them get the virus and it has a mortality rate of 1% then 350,000 people will die.

For perspective: that's half the UK death toll of the second world war, only in about 6-12 months (rather than over 6 years). It's actually comparable to the average death rate during the first world war.

This is the sort of event that gets into the history books and leaves memorials in its wake.

41:

Graydon
None of the available numbers have actual measured rates of infection.
YES - that is one of the "Really Important Numbers" that we don't have, along with those infected who show no symptoms, or such mild ones that it never gets reported ....
And that combination of information we don't have is why I am presently sanguine - though that could change - the other end of the spectrum is the one Charlie is positing in #40, above.
Now then ... make your bets & prepare your emergency services ... where is it actually going to fall out? Or are Charlie & I equally wrong & it's somewhere near the middle, or ... what?

P.S. There's a War Memorial on virtually every village green in the country ... but none for the flu pandemic.

42:

JBS @ 24: They CANCELLED the ACC Men's Basketball Tournament! CANCELLED IT!!! Florida State? ???

Yep, this is crazy time, JBS...plus Duke earlier today and Kansas just within the past hour or so cancelled *all* sporting activities by their teams indefinitely, and I'm sure others will follow. With Kansas the #1 seed in the NCAA tourney, and Duke is...well, Duke (I'm an alum living just east of Charlotte, so I'm a bit biased!), I expect the NCAA tournament is toast in short order. Which boggles the mind a bit.

And for those not soaking in this context, yes, in one sense it's just a sports tournament. But economically, March Madness is *well* over a billion dollars (between airtime revenue, tickets, hotels, bar tabs, etc.) jammed into three weeks. The ramifications of cancelling it are hard to wrap my head around, but I don't see any way around it. Unfortunately, we are indeed "living in interesting times"...

43:

they can only really slow the process down. This is worthwhile for a lot of reasons

You left off that a slower rate of infection means the health care systems needed will be less overwhelmed.

In the end since this is in its simplest form a respiratory infection, we will be loosing a lot of elderly much sooner than the actuarial tables would predict plus those with other lung issues. (I'd hate to be someone with cystic fibrosis who thought they could live to 40.) And if I'm right it will re-arrange health care planning for the next decade or two as it slices out segments of the population.

44:

In an interesting item, American and United airlines said they would cap fares across the Atlantic for the next bit as people are panicked to get home.

45:

David L
Problem ... AFAIK the US does not have any "Health Care Planning" - & what little it has is being trashed by DT
I will be interested (as will we all) to see if the Electoral Commission's recommendation to postpone the London Mayoral/Assembly elections goes ahead ....
If so, what happens to the term limits, or does it re-set the clock by whatever the delay is?

46:

The NCAA has called off its men's and women's basketball tournaments as part of a complete cancellation of all remaining spring and winter championships.

Yep they did it. Hard to imagine.

For those outside of the US, think of them cancelling the ENTIRE World Cup mid way through an early game.

Now I'm curious about F1. I was reading last week about them starting to talk about running the races without spectators.

47:

Cancelling the NCAA? Piffle: Disneyland just announced they're closing. Sunset on the magic kingdom!

(Also, the Olympic torch-lighting ceremony went ahead -- but was limited strictly to 100 participants and witnesses. It's normally a spectacle for thousands.)

48:

12:00 pm: Trump says markets are going to be ‘just fine’ as stocks crater amid coronavirus worry

Dow Jones Ave closed down 10% today. Worst day since 1987.

NOT A CLUE.

49:

AFAIK the US does not have any "Health Care Planning"

Yes we do. Yes it has a LOT of problems but we have a system. Yours has problems also. Just not as many.

Drop it. You're getting tiresome saying the same rant over and over and over and over and over.

50:

Cancelling the NCAA? Piffle:

Riffing on Goldwater from ancient of days.

A billion here, a billion there, soon you're talking real money.

Cancelling NCAA basketball tournament is taking about 1/2 to 1 million hotel room booking nights out of the economy. Plus plane flights for 80% of those bookings. Plus car rentals. All at top rates.

Plus concession sales ($20 for a hot dog anyone? $15 for a bad beer in a plastic cup.) A

And so on.

51:

I'm just reviewing my health status after two weeks of working from home (ironically after coming down with flu-like symptoms following the attending same wedding that Icehawk mentioned in the previous thread...). Most likely just a seasonal local virus, as NZ is still in the very low numbers of Covid cases mostly linked directly back to known travellers, and I couldn't think of any reasonable infection chain that would have gotten it to me in late february. Work, however, sensibly kicked me out with a laptop and some data, and I've been desultorily collating historical databases here at home, and snacking too much between bouts of chills.

I'm still assuming I'll attend ConZealand, but that international attendance will be way down, even more so than usually due to the remote location (moving international conferences here always drops the numbers just due to travel time/expense). However, I'm expecting the only major Australasian reenactment event I usually attend to get postponed or cancelled, as I expect the Aussies to start moving to lockdown situations soon.

52:

I have the same comorbidities as OGH but a decade plus more years. Also two years out from open heart surgery with an artificial aortic valve and four bypasses. Here on Vancouver Island we just had our first positive test.

We've been testing for months here in British Columbia and are still at less than 50 cases for a province of about 5 million. But of course we are directly north of Washington State, a major epicenter.

I am in what I like to think of as stage 1 social isolation in that I am forgoing all but necessary social gatherings.

As an old age pensioner I think I perform at least one valuable service for society in that my income is safe from job loss and I will still be able to spend and do my little bit to keep the local economy at least partly ticking.

Victoria's income is largely from tourism and that looks to be taking a real big hit this year, as I don't think cruise ships are going to be very welcome even if they keep sailing. So every little bit of spending helps and Victoria has a very large number of pensioners with a steady income.

Our Prime Minister and Wife have started voluntary isolation as the Wife had contact with a known carrier.

53:

Closing dorms is stupid.

Yes, closely packed, etc.

But, all young people who are unlikely to need hospital care if they get it. Thus not a burden to the healthcare system.

More importantly, if you assume some have already been exposed, then sending them all off home will just help spread it (assuming they can get home - students from Italy for example might struggle to get a flight from the US).

54:

Gathering size is perhaps an attempt at compromise.

Yes, all public gatherings being banned would likely be best. But would also put a lot of small businesses into bankruptcy.

Franchises might have some leniency, chains more so, but in a lot of cases small restaurants/pubs/stores simply don't have the cashflow / reserves to survive a 2 week or more closure.

Many of them won't survive anyway as people self-isolate, but the politicians don't want to take the blame by forcing closure.

Then there are the people who will want to gather anyway, and forcing them underground without adequate health and sanitary facilities could make things worse.

55:

Would be interesting to know how true the following 2 understandings are.

My understanding from what has been said over the years is that even if we haven't had a specific version of say the flu before, or a vaccine for that version, our immune systems still have a partial advantage in fighting off the virus because we have had a variant (or multiple variants over the years) in the past so the immune system knows how to react.

The problem, thus, is that for something like Covid-19 the immune system doesn't get that head start. This in turn allows the new virus to spread easier - you are contagious longer as your immune system figures out how to deal with it.

Thus where in a normal year the flu may hit x% of the population, something new like Covid-19 will hit a much larger number than x - so making that 1% fatality rate that much higher in real numbers.

Again, based on media reports over the years, our perception of the flu is seriously biased - many of the public who think they have "caught the flu" don't in fact have the flu but rather just a variation on a cold. This in turn means, because of a sense of commonality based on false positives, we underestimate that danger of the flu.

56:

"Executive leadership" may be sticking its head in the sand but more locally leadership has apparently been told scarier tales. (Northern Indiana, a land of farmers and discretionary goods manufacturing. Some speculation that this may help recreational vehicals, a demonstration of a lack of imagination I assume.)

- local public school systems are starting to shut down, going to"e-learning" next week. The state governor has cut 20 days from the number of days schools have to be teaching students to get state funds and it is expected that if the waste matter hits the rotating oscellator during the next few weeks he'll just cancel whatever is left of the school year. Almost all local politicians are Republicans hereabouts.
- Local private school has closed. (elite place, they still teach latin for some unknown reason.) They're big, big bucks.
- University of Notre Dame has shut down all school activities and told students to go home (staff must still report.) International students can stay on campus, for now. Private Catholic university, very expensive with students from all over.
- Even small local gatherings are cancelling at local venues, museums, etc. At some point folks are going to have to talkto each other. Expect a jump in divorce rates.
- My retired friend across the street says that his nephew has been told by his university in Florida to go home. Has no other home, has asked his uncle whether he can stay with him. Uncle is not happy but how can you turn family down? Hmm.

As I said, this is within a small backwater of a small backward Midwestern state so thick with Trump supporters that you practically trip over them. Haven't seen any runs on supplies, though: toilet paper is still plentiful. 😉

57:

The numbers we have now are numbers from when the health care system stays functional.

This is important. If an extra 1% need oxygen to survive, that means an extra 1% fatalities because very few countries have the ability to provide oxygen to more than 0.001% of their population. Intensive care is worse, you can't just give someone a two wheel shopping bag and a cylinder with a regulator on it. The latter are a standard industrial part, BTW, and even de-industrialised countries have squillions of them... you might not *like* industrial oxygen, but would you really rather die?

That's one reason I posted the Guardian link about remote aboriginal communities here. They're the "Charlie, but living in that small apartment with 10 similarly affected relatives" group and god help them when it hits.

58:

In California the governor has issued an order that includes banning gatherings/assemblies of more than 250 people.

(Disneyland is closing for at least two weeks.)

59:

One of the ones I'm on is a calcium-channel blocker, and the other is a diuretic. I don't *think* they involve ACE-2, but I'm not a doctor or a pharmacist. (My doctor does have my e-mail address.)

60:

Apparently what happens to people with severe cases is they start improving, then the virus hits their heart and they get a fulminating infection that kills them.

61:

We know about six things:

1. it's mutating; the UW Virology folks are tracking it through Washington state, and on that basis it's mutating with vigour and dispatch

2. comorbidity bad; smoking, age, other issues, all greatly increase your odds of death. It could be comorbid with itself.

3. The death rate for critical care patients is high, not less than 49% (http://www.cidrap.umn.edu/news-perspective/2020/02/study-72000-covid-19-patients-finds-23-death-rate)

4. the only thing that has been shown to work to get the rate of spread down is aggressive, immediate mass testing and isolating the positives and those who had been in contact with the positives

5. if the health care system goes down, it stays down, and it stays down for everyone and everything (Italy), so you get excess deaths from untreated heart attacks and strokes and so on.

6. vaccines for coronaviruses are not necessarily possible. (Common cold mutates too fast.)

So I would feel safe in saying that outcomes are determined by whether or not the health care system stays up, this time and the next time; the likely resurgence time for a mutated-enough-to-spread-again strain, COVID-2n, is shorter than the time to train doctors.

If the health care system stays up, you get about 1% mortality.

If the health care system goes down, as seems nigh-inevitable in the mammonite dominions, nothing good happens. I would not be surprised if there's a mortality around one in four in that event.

There's always the possibility of a vaccine, so we only have to do this once. There's always the possibility that something already trialled in humans and relatively quick to produce provides effective treatment and keeps the number of critical cases low. But right now, it looks like the entire anglosphere is headed at free community spread, meaning significant numbers of the afflicted get multiple strains.

Long term? So much depends on who dies in what order.

62:

Charlie,

This may seem trivial compared to the rest of it, but, if you do manage to make it out here for CoNZealand, do remember to come to Wellington, not Christchurch.

I'm not expecting that Aotearoa is going to be hit all that hard by this thing. Your intermediate stops may be another question.

JHomes.

63:

[quote]Yes we do. Yes it has a LOT of problems but we have a system.[/quote]

Well, no, we don't. We've got a lot of partial systems, and many people don't have any access to health care. There was a reason The Free Clinic set up in Berkeley, and the doctors and nurses there volunteered their time.

Officially everyone can get heath care if they show up at a hospital emergency room. In practice that often means waiting 16 hours or more. I once waited around 12 hours with high fever and vomiting and going unconscious (it was cellulitis), and I have good health insurance. Some places are better than other places, but you can't always predict, and you don't always have a choice. OTOH, most times I haven't needed to wait excessively...which doesn't mean I didn't wait for hours, it means I could tell that patients were being seen, and often that those seen ahead of me had more urgent needs. But there are lots of people who essentially don't have access to even that level of health care. You need someone to cart you there when you can't move yourself. You need someone to say with you and explain why you need to be seen when you're fading in and out of consciousness. And that's when a health insurance company guarantees the bill...which depends on having a current job that provides health insurance.

64:

Haven't seen any runs on supplies, though: toilet paper is still plentiful. 😉

Stopped in to buy the fixings for dinner on the way home. No toilet paper left. While taking a picture of the empty shelf a woman told be this was the third store she's seen like that and she doesn't know where to buy any. Glad I bought a big pack a couple of weeks ago; if I'd run low a week later I might be out by now, which would get messy.

No kidney beans left. Almost no flour left. No hand sanitizer or rubbing alcohol. No spaghetti (lots of other pasta, though). Almost no dried lentils. No baked beans of any kind. Much reduced choice in dried fruit. Lots more people than usual with carts full of canned goods.

65:

Robert Prior @ 64,

There's sure as hell been runs on supplies where I live in Australia. I live alone, so I don't use much toilet paper, but I will confess to buying ONE 12-Pack last week.

As an aside, the viral video of women in a supermarket fighting over a pack of TP was in the Western suburbs of Sydney. I would note that the chain was actually running a half-price weekly special on that brand at the time, and also that it was a luxury brand with 110 3-ply sheets per roll. So the lady who had filled her trolley with the last 4 12-packs might not have been getting as much as she thought.

66:

Stopped in to buy the fixings for dinner on the way home. No toilet paper left.

Hmmm. Was in a grocery mid day Thursday. There was some still on the shelf. Maybe I should have bought it even at double the price I normally pay. (I shop sales and such, no price gouging.) But I have about 2 or 3 weeks supply in house just now.

67:

A guy I work with went to his local Aldi this morning in Baulkam Hills - after a 45 minute queue he managed to score an 18-pack. I told him not to spread the news too far or he'll get home and find his house burgled.

68:

Well Disney has announced the Mouse parks are closing world wide.

Again no matter what you think of the mouse and their money making there are a lot of lower income people who will now be out of work for at least 2 weeks.

The article I read didn't mention how direct employees are being handled but even if Disney covers their pay and benefits at some level during this, just like sporting events there are a LOT of people who are not employees who will be impacted by a loss of income.

69:

They've said employees will continue to be paid, and receive benefits.

70:

I have a son who works in a Covent Garden bar so this feels close to home. At large events and gatherings, it's not the person sitting next to me, I'm worrying about. It's the few hundred people I push past to get from my seat to the concession stand or the loo. It's the people I bump up against in the queues. But most of all it's the people who get to meet the entire crowd. And that's the hospitality staff who check tickets and serve food and drink. So that's big events, but what about the small every day events. The people in the bread shop tend to wear disposable gloves these days. But when did you last see a barman wearing gloves when they poured a pint and then handed the pint to you for you to put to your mouth? What about that mixologist cocktail waiter with the Hackney beard? It's going to take a real effort to continue daily life while being extremely conscious of what you touch and how clean it might be.

One thing I caught myself doing and managed to stop last week. We were just on the verge in the UK of switching from pre-packaged veg to loose veg with bags that you fill yourself. So you go to get bag but it won't come away from the roll. So you do that thing where you lick your fingers to get more traction. Or the bag won't open so you do the same thing and rub it between your fingers. Then you go to the pile of loose onions and feel a few to find the newer firm ones. Then you take the bag to the till and the person there picks it up with their hands to weigh it. Just one small scene in viral transmission.

It's enough to make you want to stay at home, order on line and only go out solo with no personal interaction with anyone at all, at all.

My sporting thing is attending motorcycle racing by motorcycle. It's not hard to travel in splendid isolation, pay contactless or pre-paid, take your own food and drink and sit in a field outdoors well away from anyone else. But I doubt I'll be given the chance to do that this year.

71:

The people in the bread shop tend to wear disposable gloves these days

Which they wear until the glove breaks before replacing it. I'd prefer they washed their hands every 10 minutes instead. Or even better, had one person on the till and another handling the food.

Most loose vegetables should be fine, it's only the ones you eat raw without peeling that will be a real problem. Potatoes and onions go well over 80°C for long enough to kill most things. Lettuce not so much. But we know all that from the various bacterial problems we already deal with.

72:

mdive
Yes to both your propositions
The "background immunity" is v unlikely to work with the Corvid & ... I've had real Influenza - felt utterly ghastly for well over a week & just about fir=t for work at the end of 14 days.
A bad cold is nothing like it.

Graydon
1: Oh shit
2: Apart from age, I'm not in any vulnerable group - what about the rest of you folks?
3: As expected, I suppose
4: Agree re that - more sensible than mass shut-downs I suspect
5: Yes - shit, again.
6: Nasty, hadn't thought of that - we will just have to build a herd-of-humanity immunity I suspect.

"Mortality of one in four" - of those infected, or the whole population?
I think not - it would be more like 5-10% of those infected - which would be bad enough
Reverse-racisism, though unintended ... "The entire anglosphere" - erm .. the rest of the EU is/are suffering are they not?
Apologies if I've severely misinterpreted that, btw.

Robert Prior
Where are you?
No obvious runs here ( NE London )

Julian Bond
My local store ( "The snobbiest Spa in Britain" ) has switched back to paper bags for loose veg ... & several other places are going that way.
Low-Carbon, non-petroleum product, of course

73:

As of today, CoNZealand isn't cancelled.

Our (damn awesome) PM flagged today that stronger travel restrictions are coming. Some large events are cancelling this weekend.

New Zealand has only had five confirmed cases so far with no evidence of community transmission due to good testing, tracing of individuals, strong public health, and, to be honest, luck. I doubt that'll hold out but for now it's giving us more time to prepare. What happens in four months time is anybody's guess.

74:

Covering employees' pay is only a part of the issue. A mouse park is surrounded by all kinds of low end workers who are not directly employed by the mouse. And they many times will not be covered. Things like hotel cleaning crews many times are paid daily depending on demand. If demand goes to near 0 where will they wind up. And hotels around mouse houses are a really big industry. Ditto restaurants. And on and on and on.

I'm working though setting things up for some of my clients to allow remote work (CAD is a PITA remotely) and in thinking it through I need to bring up things like the cleaning crew that comes by 2 or 3 times a week at night. They are ESL at best. And likely work with the sniffles. Do we tell them to not come for a while and put them out of work (totally a 1099 collection of small companies) or follow them around the office and wipe down behind them?

75:

Sarcasm here but based on reality that hit me yesterday.

Want a medical mask?

Walk into a doctor's office and when you speak to the person at the front desk cough. You will likely be handed a medical grade mask and told to put it on.

This was me in the US yesterday but I suspect it is true in much of the world just now.

76:

Heteromeles will like this one.

Locally we are going through a bit of a food fight in local politics about how the citizens interact with the city council on development. The city just abolished the old CACs with plans to come up with something new. These CACs tended to be dominated by a small group of older people who wanted the city to stop changing. And were very vocal about it. (When a city of 1/2 million is growing by 25,000 people per year it's hard to not change. I swear some would like to "build a wall".)

Anyway, my CAC decided to go it alone and on their own. Now remember most of the people who attend these things are over 60. Many are over 70. When I emailed the leader and suggested that maybe this is not a good time for this kind of gathering he gave me this long explanation of how they were going to make it "safe".

Makes me want to hit my head on my desk.

77:

Wow. While typing the previous comment there was a clip of BJ on the news saying that "the true number of cases is higher, perhaps much higher than the number of cases we have confirmed so far with tests".

OK, now I'll accept that BJ is a better leader than DT.

78:

David L
BoZo has openly admitted: "People are going to die" - he APPEARS to be listening to our in-house experts ( unlike DT ) even if, presently theor advice differs from some other experts
[ NOTE: Anyone remember the revolting Gove, saying "We've had enough of experts" ?? ]

I think I'm noting a decrease in air traffic, already .....
[ Nearest airport LCA, but a lot of LHR stuff flies over at a much higher level ]

79:

Yes we do. You just don't like it. I don't either. But it is a system. Saying it isn't is just rabble rousing.

I'm lucky. I and my close family are middle class with decent employer provided, err, sponsored health care. So my costs are reasonable. About what they would be in taxes if it was single payer tax supported. But for those without such support life is hard.

My recent experience with flu/Covid-19 testing and such involved 2 office visits and 3 lab tests. 2 in the office one sent out. I'm looking at about $350 out of pocket[1] with the Covid-19 test covered fully. Which I can easily deal with but lower end folks would likely pay more and just suffer through it and infect people with their flu and/or Covid-19 till the system picked them up.

To me as bad as this is it might move the needle on single payer. Maybe some are going to realize that to deal with something like this (and protect their OWN health) we need a system where EVERYONE gets tested regularly until the spread of it is over. Which would mean $0 or trivial costs for the tests and treatment which means not provided through a paid health plan.

[1] Most people in my situation (decent to good employer sponsored plan) would likely pay $40 total but I have signed up for a high deductible health plan which means I pay fully for the first $3k in expenses per person. But I get to put away $8k per year triple tax deductible per year by doing so. And yes I know this is all a bit insane and would all go away with tax payer funded single payer. But until the rules of the game change I will play the game to my best advantage.

80:

If you can afford it you pay them but insist they don't come in.

81:

I'm also a contractor to all my clients. So not my choice. But I do plan to recommend they do something like that.

82:

#24 - Well, the Paris - Nice cycle race is still on. That said, the one USian rider has withdrawn so that he can get home ahead of the Orange Carcinoma's travel ban...

#37 - Your sums are correct, but your conclusions are fundamentally flawed. You've ignored that this is an additional source of mortality.

General points:-

1) Toilet paper keeps more or less indefinitely, so buy the biggest bales you can at the least frequent intervals. Note that CoronaVirii do not normally seem to cause a loosening of the bowel!

2) (UK) Con Party having a humerus - coccyx mis-identification I think!

83:

I note that Viking Cruises has cancelled all cruises, both river and ocean, till 1st May. I don't blame them at all.

(I've been a customer of theirs, and they're very health conscious. Before every meal, you pass your hands through a contact free hand sprayer, and the crew are constantly wiping down hand rails and the like. I'd be impressed by any hotel that did the same.)

84:

Princes has also cancelled a lot or all of their cruises

DT is pissed. He considers this a business thing and want the cruise industry to keep going. He also has friends "in the biz".

He's just in total denial of what is happening.

85:

Excuse the spelling.

Princess Cruises, Disney Cruise have both suspended new cruises. When you get to a port the cruise you are on will likely end.

86:

Walk into a doctor's office and when you speak to the person at the front desk cough. You will likely be handed a medical grade mask and told to put it on.

Or told to GTFO because they don't have any either. Clinics in Vancouver are running out of supplies for staff as people who have no use for them (and don't know how to use them anyway) buy them as magical talismans of protection.

Also cleaning supplies. Not only are people buying and hoarding, people are buying and reselling at a panic-driven markup, like this couple in Vancouver:

https://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2020/03/12/were-hustlers-amid-coronavirus-fears-this-couple-has-made-more-than-100000-reselling-lysol-wipes.html

88:

No links in my #82 to be breakable. The only HTML is one word in boldface.

89:

Re: 'picture of the empty shelf'

Might depend on which neighborhood you live in and how frequently that particular store gets restocked. Spoke two days ago with a family member who lives in the GTA: no shortages (yet) on regularly purchased household commodities.

Read last night that the Canadian PM and his wife are in self-isolation: she's positive for COVID-19. They'll probably be alright: they're in their 40s and look very fit.

90:

Off-topic ...

Haven't seen Heteromeles posting here or on his blog in a while - anyone know how he's doing? (Saw the online exchange re: did you get my email ...)

91:

Long time lurker, first time poster.

I obviously like to consider myself a rational and intelligent person.

That said, I can't help note how much the UK's response to COVID-19 this week feels like a huge gamble to get ahead of the rest of the world.

Shutting down schools and restaurants and sports events etc has a huge economic impact both nationally and internationally. If we can keep the lights on throughout this potential Excession event, the UK ends up in a stronger position at any future trade negotiations.

The gamble is that the virus doesn't take a sharp left turn and start culling kids and workers. Taking a *really* cold view of things as they are (of course a *Conservative* Govt. wouldn't be this heartless), if the virus spreads to 60%+ of the population, we gain our herd immunity for the future (we hope? this isn't typically how coronavirii work - colds mutate too fast for full immunity in the same way we end up immune to chicken pox). Maybe at the cost of a quarter of a million old and infirm (double whammy - lowers the burden on the pension deficit & health system).

The language in the press conference told us to expect loved ones to die before their time, mentioned the idea of herd immunity and told us that our neighbours wouldn't stay in isolation anyway even if we asked them to. But we'll get through it! Just like we got through the war! Blitz Spirit!

Don't get me wrong, it's refreshing to see the government actually listening to scientific advice - some of it even makes sense to my plebian brain, I'm just suspicious of the sudden change from a group of people who have so far listened to no other sensible analysis of long term impacts of large decisions. Coupled with the UK being the obvious outlier in our response so far. I feel nervous.

92:

Never thought about it before but here's my family work situations. All impacted by the Covid-19 situation.

I'm an IT contractor to multiple people. I may loose some business but my best client needs me to set it up so everyone can go home and work there.

My wife works at the HQ for a major US airline. $$ and infections are a big daily topic there. Task forces and such.

My son's fav works as a nurse at an infusion clinic. Oy vey. So many ways things can go wrong.

My daughter works at a company that admins clinical trials. She's an internal auditor so while not directly in contact with medical people the entire firm has issues with contact tracing when someone gets tested or confirmed.

Her husband works as an engineer at a company that makes a packaging product for food related products.

My son is in the best shape. His company sells low level monitoring software for Windows systems. No on site needed 99% of the time for their staff.

We are all a bit on the edge here.

93:

I'm just suspicious of the sudden change from a group of people who have so far listened to no other sensible analysis of long term impacts of large decisions. Coupled with the UK being the obvious outlier in our response so far.

A gun to the head after a warning shot into the wall behind you tends to "get your attention". I suspect that the minister getting Covid-19 was a bit of a wake up that all of these policies that they love to say work wonderfully maybe have a few flaws.

As I've said to people in other areas, ideologies are great as long as they work.

94:

Question for the academics here:

In an average year, how many of your faculty, grad students and post docs attend a conference? I'm guessing a fairly large proportion. If they also have any teaching responsibilities [e.g., TAs], then they're risk factors for virus transmission.

Among students - apart from having to go back home - the biggest concern is: Am I going to lose my year, have to get another student loan, apply for another grant, etc. Haven't seen any news about what the gov'ts and uni's are doing re: student loans and research grants. Although the interest rates have dropped, most students are unlikely to see any rate drops on their mounting student debt. Note to Pols: University students are a significant voting demo and likely to physically survive this virus.

95:

Closing dorms is stupid. Yes, closely packed, etc. But, all young people who are unlikely to need hospital care if they get it.

Question: who cleans the dorms? Who does the laundry? Is there catering on-site and if so, who cooks and washes the dishes?

(I'm not really familiar with US college dorm arrangements but I do know that most residential systems have a socially-invisible underclass of paid-by-the-hour servants to keep everything running. Who in turn have communities to go home to, and often second jobs these days because they're not paid enough to live on. And by keeping the dorms open you're exposing them to lots of carriers.)

96:

It varies all over the map. Back in my day a decent dorm was 2 people sharing a small room with a bed, desk, closet for each. With a shared bath with 2 others. Showers and baths down the hall at times for the entire floor. Now they range from that up semi suites with private tiny bedrooms with common shared areas. Cleaning many times is an exercise for the student(s). Common areas are cleaned by staff but like you said this is typically NOT a highly desirable job.

But many campuses also have cafeterias in various buildings on campus so that those students with "meal plans" eat there. Cafeterias are not good for the current situation.

So cafeterias and student cleaning means a lot of lowest denominator situations. And if you have a room mate who just doesn't care you can really be SOOL.

97:

"Mortality of one in four" - of those infected, or the whole population?
I think not - it would be more like 5-10% of those infected - which would be bad enough

No, I mean one in four of the whole population. That's the expected sort of number for a severe greenfield disease.

I am not saying we will get that, just that I'll be unsurprised. (Untreated MERS has 100% lethality so far; it's not like coronaviruses have an upper limit on lethality, and we know it's mutating.)

Reverse-racisism, though unintended ... "The entire anglosphere" - erm .. the rest of the EU is/are suffering are they not?

No one else's response has been as systemically bad as the Anglosphere's, for one, and for two, years and years of profit-maximization has done two important things; there is no surge capacity in the health care system at all (very low hospital beds/population numbers) and there is no domestic production. So it's entirely possible for the scientists to come up with a test (UW, Mayo Clinic, I'm sure a few more in the States; PHO in Ontario, etc.) but there's no ability to go "right, manufacture that" (Vietnam, who seem to have the best test going right now, or China or Korea.) This is absolutely crippling when it's a numbers game.

For example, Canada alleges to be doing containment-by-testing; this has failed. It's failed through an inadequate test protocol. Canada is not on the list, but look at https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/covid-19-testing/ and you can see that it's clearly important to test more than Italy (at around 1 test per thousand persons) and that somewhere around 4 tests per thousand persons (South Korea), it starts to work.

Nobody in the Anglosphere is testing that much because they can't; the capacity to create sufficient tests doesn't exist because it was systematically dismantled in the name of greater profits.

As has been pointed out elsewhere, the reasons this shall be especially awful in English-speaking countries have nothing to do with foreigners and everything to with capitalism. Remember to insist on this point when people want to blame foreigners.

The other thing is that herd immunity is not guaranteed to be a thing; the huge red flag about "comorbid with itself" is not "lethality increases", it's "you don't become immune". The apparently appropriate comparison is not to flu, but to a common cold with an eventual ~1% lethality rate every cold season. (If the primary attack vector into the cell is via ACE2 receptors, you plausibly cannot become immune because you need those receptors to keep your heart beating. Any protective mutations aren't present in the population because they result in (at best) stillbirth.)

98:

Also unless your college is where there is a university medical center training doctors I'd not want to have to deal with student health services for a Covid-19 situation. At all.

I'm basing my comments on my kids who are 5 years removed from a typical large decent US university.

99:

Never thought about it before but here's my family work situations. All impacted by the Covid-19 situation.

I'm a novelist. Non-separately-earning spouse (business partner). I can hole up indefinitely, in theory ...

In practice, I supply inputs to publishing companies. The lead time on a new product is 1-3 years and I have purely by fluke/accident got no books coming out before October, so hopefully they won't be impacted.

However ...

One of my four editors (she's in the UK) is relatively young (30s/early 40s). So that's good. And my agent is about my age, but healthy. But the 3 other editors I work with directly are all older or have comorbidities or are disabled or some combination of all three factors.

So even if I sail through this with nothing more than a dry cough, there's a strong risk that there will be big hiccups in the Charlie supply chain through 2021. My last big career earthquake came in 2016 when David Hartwell -- my editor for the first 7 Merchant Princes books -- died suddenly and a pointy-haired boss at Ace spiked the Laundry Files for being "not commercially viable"[*] and it took a couple of years to get settled down again (not helped by my parents dying). And this has the potential to be worse.

[*] How does a series that hits the USA Today bestseller charts get shitcanned as "not commercially viable"? I have a lengthy explanation, but it basically boils down to "pick the wrong performance measurement window, get duff results". Let's just say the series is back on that chart again and everyone is happy (except Ace).

100:

Dorm staff should be able to avoid direct contact with the students, thus reducing risk.

Though again, unless any of the dorm staff is say 60+ years old that risk isn't all that great to start with.

And as you say, given their financial situation most likely would prefer the low risk and continued money.

101:

Undergraduates, not many, though some visit their homes (often in far-flung places). Graduates, academic and most academic-related, essentially all, and often several. Cambridge is notorious for the peak minor illness season being October (not February), because they come back from every corner of the earth (*) around September, after field research during the long vacation.

(*) This is not an exaggeration.

102:

Do you think the inability to make our own medical necessities in a crisis could be sufficient to cause a rethink of the practicality of continuing anti-labour policies?

103:

Spoke two days ago with a family member who lives in the GTA: no shortages (yet) on regularly purchased household commodities.

If you don't mind my asking, where in the GTA? I would like to buy some kidney beans and baked beans (because I want to make chilli this weekend).

I'm in Richmond Hill (heavily immigrant-Chinese area, which correlates strongly to wearing masks*).


*Which in my mind is correlated with "panicking and not paying attention to public health advice".

104:

Do you think the inability to make our own medical necessities in a crisis could be sufficient to cause a rethink of the practicality of continuing anti-labour policies?

Nope. The source of those policies is a mammonite cult -- wealth is virtue! money is wealth! -- and no amount of quantified analysis will ever make a dent in the axiomatic positions that the virtuous (them) should have all the money.

Invigorate a political movement to remove the mammonites from their present position of societal control? Maybe. Climate change/looming extinction hasn't sufficed for that. I don't think this is going to, either.

It's difficult to get rid of a gerontocracy; yes, there's a disproportionate lethality from COVID-19 with age, but oligarchs have better medical care and it won't get all of them. All you really do is select for worse social skills in a peer context, which means a forcing towards things all the oligarchs agree on. (We've been seeing that happen for awhile now. They all agree on enslaving labour; they don't agree on much else.)

105:

Well, I went to two grocery stores last night and there were ridiculously long lines at both. I don’t know if it was the ridiculous pep talk from the Orange Idiot, or the fact that all sports were suddenly canceled, but people in my San Diego neighborhood have taken notice that this is a serious situation.

I’m married to an academic, his university is moving to on-line teaching this week. Research hasn’t been closed down yet. Everyone is hoping Zoom doesn’t break. The students have been encouraged to leave the dorms but will be allowed to stay if they need to. Many of the students come from poor families, and the university is sensitive to their needs.

As far as work goes, I am in the midst of a couple work from home projects anyway. I need to do a lot of networking to generate interest in them, but that’s not going to be happening for a while (secretly relieved).

My husband and I had slight bout of unwellness a few days ago—crushing fatigue, chills, slight sore throat for me, brief low fevers, so we’ve taken ourselves out of circulation even though we feel better now.

106:

Re: Stores

She mostly shops at one of Durham Region Costco's.

Like many folks, my family is scattered across the continent which means hearing about the local news. (Yeah - I know about Ford, the Canuck version of DT. Sorry, eh?)

107:

The professional (as opposed to political) elements of the U.S. government are moving toward full (over)reaction to the COVID-19 pandemic. My little DOD agency is leaning hard on telework preparedness; overseas missions are being canceled, as are outreach events and routine travel. Since we are in a leased commercial space, there is concern that ANY person testing positive in our twelve story building could cause loss of access to the ENTIRE building.

The good news, I suppose, is that we are not particularly critical to the national defense. However, these sorts of precautionary actions are taking place across the U.S. government; much more important issues are going to be delayed or not addressed.

108:

Graydon
Thank you for the explanation(s)
I didn't know about MERS - euuuwww ....

Tim H
It's not "Anti-labour" it's even simpler & cruder than that
CHEAPER ... meaning cheap foreign labour on the end of a long supply line
Yes, it's stupid. It's the "efficiency" vs Resilience standoff - again.

colourtheorytoo
That sounds exactly like a mild bout of the dreaded, doesn't it?
Have you managed to find a test you can take without bankrupting yourseleves?

109:

I'd be curious about Ace using the wrong numbers. If you get a chance one day I'd love to read about how that worked. (Or have I already read about it and forgotten the problem?)

110:

You will have seen mention of the global pandemic office Obama established and Trump abolished?

Post-SARS -- where we collectively dodged the bullet we're not dodging this time -- the prospect of human-human transmission of MERS was a significant factor in creating that office.

111:

Oh, it's quite simple. A diktak came down from On High: "we're overbought on urban fantasy series, rank them by next quarter's sales and dump the bottom 30% of them." This happened at a time when the next quarter was Q4.

Problem: the Laundry Files had a regular launch slot in week 1 of Q3. At launch, hardcovers are shipped to bookstores on 90 days' rolling credit: stores then sell them and pay the publisher, or return them within 90 days in exchange for the new quarter's releases. (Unsold inventory goes to warehouse.)

You can see where this is going, right? Q3 sales figures are sky high (launch week!), but the unsold copies go back to the warehouse in week 1 of Q4 and Q4 sales are therefore in the tank. Overall this is no big deal (the series hits the bestseller list in week 1; it'll be back in 12 months' time) but the idiotic decree to rank series by sales in one particular quarter (rather than gross annual figures) killed the Laundry Files by making it look unprofitable. When it really wasn't.

(TLDR: my agent said "oh dear, what a pity, let's shop it around", and got me a much nicer deal with Tor.com. As Tor originally bid for the Laundry in 2005 -- but we went with a lower bidder because they already had the Merchant Princes and my editor was driving me up the wall back then -- going back to them was a no-brainer. And lo, after a slight dip (because: series switched publisher and publication month!) it's charting again. And that, incidentally, is why the Laundry Files has survived a change of publisher, when about 95% of series die when their initial publisher cuts them off at the knees: it has a dedicated following.)

112:

Re: who does the work in dorms

In the US there would typically be a lot of 'work study' students doing the actual tasks. Students with an income based qualification to get above market rate low skill jobs with relatively flexible hours on campus. However they would be overseen/supported/trained by an hourly staff workforce of higher than average age (these are relatively good stable jobs with benefits).

So I don't know. Maybe the older staff could 'work from home' and remote pilot the student workers through more things and then they could get by with only the younger staff on site?

113:

Re: '... it has a dedicated following'

Seems to me that publishers would want authors with strong/long back-lists. Speaking of back-lists: which publisher gets the $$ after the move?

114:

‘wearing masks*).


*Which in my mind is correlated with "panicking and not paying attention to public health advice".’

When people I knew in Japan wore masks a it wasn’t to avoid catching something, it was to avoid spreading it.

115:

I suspect Mr. “On High” had a bonus linked to 4th quarter earnings. As far as he’s concerned everything worked perfectly.

116:

[quote] (If the primary attack vector into the cell is via ACE2 receptors, you plausibly cannot become immune because you need those receptors to keep your heart beating. Any protective mutations aren't present in the population because they result in (at best) stillbirth.) [/quote]
While this would mean it was impossible to become immune to the mechanism of attack, it would still be possible to have the immune system latch onto other features of the virus. Perhaps the link between the corona part and the SARS warhead. Tear that apart and the virus wouldn't be dangerous, and plausibly not even active.

117:

Oh, certainly; the immune system can do things.

I'm hypothesizing that what can't happen (as has happened to some degree with both plague, Yersinia pestis, and malaria survivor populations) is for there to be a selection pressure for lacking the mechanism of attack. Which if combined with "returns annually, mutated enough to be infectious again" would be rather unfortunate.

The University of Saskatchewan has a candidate vaccine in the "decide on an animal model" stage of testing. (I am grimly amused that the total funding input is about 1 MCAD since January.) Won't be ready for people for a year, even if it works. (The head of the team has confident positive things to say; this should not be regarded as the least bit indicative.)

There's been a successful isolation of the virus at Sunnybrook, allowing it to be cultured and grown. ("level three containment facility"; the most unsettling way I think I've ever seen "it's not the end of the world" expressed.) Sunnybrook is a major hospital but I would expect other regional research hospitals will manage, too.

It's kinda our job to make sure civilization lasts long enough to get a grip on the disease; the capability is there.

118:

David L @ 50:

Cancelling the NCAA? Piffle:

Riffing on Goldwater from ancient of days.

Cancelling NCAA basketball tournament is taking about 1/2 to 1 million hotel room booking nights out of the economy. Plus plane flights for 80% of those bookings. Plus car rentals. All at top rates.

Plus concession sales ($20 for a hot dog anyone? $15 for a bad beer in a plastic cup.) A

And so on.

Well, FWIW, that was Senator Everett Dirksen (R-Illinois) [probably the last HONEST Republican politician], and he didn't actually say it. It was a misquote.

Closing Disneyland or Disneyworld ... and the Disney theme parks around the world, will hurt specific locations, but cancelling the NCAA will hurt the whole country, not just the one city that hosts the finals. There are conference tournaments all over the U.S. that feed into the NCAA and then there the sub-regionals that feed the regionals that feed the main tournament. And men's college basketball is one of the few things everyone in the U.S. can agree is a good thing, whether their team makes it to the Final Four or not.

I don't care that much for spectator sports, but it's nice to see the team from my alma mater do well, and this year it looked like NC State did have a good team, one capable of going to the regionals, and maybe to the big dance, if not all the way to having the glass slipper fit.

The financial impact on the rest of the country is going to be devastating. Not just the ACC Tournament in Greensboro, NC, it's going to affect Dayton, Ohio; Albany, NY; Spokane, Washington; St. Louis, Missouri; Tampa, Florida; Omaha, Nebraska; Sacramento, California; Cleveland, Ohio; Indianapolis, Indiana; Los Angeles, California; Houston, Texas; New York City, New York ... and Atlanta, Georgia.

Cancelling the tournament will suck billions of dollars out of the economy all over the U.S. Plus, there's the knock-on effects from all the people who worked the tournament losing income, money they won't be spending in their communities.

And the thing is, it's not the worst financial hit the U.S. is going to take from not effectively coping with the pandemic.

119:

JBS
Which means that5 DT's chances of re-election, are effectively zero.
UNLESS - he postpones the election ....

Which has just happened here.
Our guvmint has taken advice from our senior health officials - and postponed all local & mayoral elections for 12 months - which includes LONDON.
Oh good! Even if Khan gets re-elected, I can postpone worrying about finding a replacement for the GreatGreenBeast for 12 months, as well..

I note the Brit guvmint are saying - or seem to be saying - several things:
1: It's inevitable that people are going to die.
2: We are trying (we hope) to postpone & lower & lengthen the peak of the infection & seriousness, since "pure containment" simply isn't going to work.
3: Children are the LEAST likely to be infected & even then least likely to be seriously infected - so closing schools is an unnecessary panic measure.
4: We are watching to see what else might be necessary
5: We are prepared to do some financial easment ( to businesses/employers ) to try to lower the employment "hit" - because, of course, that also afeects tax-take ...

120:

David L @ 76: Heteromeles will like this one.

Locally we are going through a bit of a food fight in local politics about how the citizens interact with the city council on development. The city just abolished the old CACs with plans to come up with something new. These CACs tended to be dominated by a small group of older people who wanted the city to stop changing. And were very vocal about it. (When a city of 1/2 million is growing by 25,000 people per year it's hard to not change. I swear some would like to "build a wall".)

Anyway, my CAC decided to go it alone and on their own. Now remember most of the people who attend these things are over 60. Many are over 70. When I emailed the leader and suggested that maybe this is not a good time for this kind of gathering he gave me this long explanation of how they were going to make it "safe".

Makes me want to hit my head on my desk.

CAC is Citizen Advisory Council. I'm not among the "build a wall" faction, but I do think they should all move to CARY, NC.**

** Local humor - "CARY" is the name of a local town, but area natives will tell you it's an acronym for "Containment Area for Relocated Yankees"

121:

paws4thot @ 82: #24 - Well, the Paris - Nice cycle race is still on. That said, the one USian rider has withdrawn so that he can get home ahead of the Orange Carcinoma's travel ban...

Maybe I'm missing something, but what's to stop someone from the Schengen Area from driving to Paris and boarding the Paris-London Chunnel Train and then booking a flight from Heathrow to JFK after they're already in England?

122:

Al Boum Photo won the Gold Cup again

'Its so cruel, using a dead person's name to cheat you' Grawler a beggar, from Rath, prosperity.

Will Tinky Winky 2 make The Big Forty? Confirmation bias, safety first. Teeth and ears mark the criminal.

Re Only The Camcorder Survived, this addition to hide a conflict (7)

123:

Re: ' ... then booking a flight from Heathrow to JFK'

As long as they're US citizens/residents, probably nothing. I'm guessing that US international airports will soon (if not already) have immigration/security re-screening everyone upon arrival. Possibly 'requesting' folks to prove where they traveled, when, etc. because with greatly reduced international travel traffic, security can spend lots more time with each traveler.

Might help the DEA improve their stats.

124:

Charlie Stross @ 95:

Closing dorms is stupid. Yes, closely packed, etc. But, all young people who are unlikely to need hospital care if they get it.

Question: who cleans the dorms? Who does the laundry? Is there catering on-site and if so, who cooks and washes the dishes?

(I'm not really familiar with US college dorm arrangements but I do know that most residential systems have a socially-invisible underclass of paid-by-the-hour servants to keep everything running. Who in turn have communities to go home to, and often second jobs these days because they're not paid enough to live on. And by keeping the dorms open you're exposing them to lots of carriers.)

My experience is a bit out of date, so I expect a lot has changed, BUT not that much. The dorms I lived in when I was in college had a small staff (probably all contractors now) who came around & emptied the trash cans if you put them out in the hall in the morning; swept and/or mopped the floors in the common areas. They also mopped the communal bathrooms. They didn't have that much contact with the students, because they came around while the students were mostly out of the dorms putatively attending classes.

They did NOT clean inside the student rooms. Students were responsible for keeping their own rooms clean.

The university also had food service, ranging from a full-blown dining facility (similar to an Army Mess Hall) to snack bars.

I paid for my last two years in college working as a cook for the Student Union Food Service (self service snack bar and short-order). Plus there are any number of fast food/casual dining restaurants & pubs surrounding the campus.

Only a few of the dormitories had kitchen facilities. Those that did were pretty basic - stove, sink & a refrigerator and counter space where you could prepare food. I don't remember them having microwave's, but I was there back before home microwaves became common.

If you had food that needed to be refrigerated, you had to label it and keep it in a closed container, and some asshole would probably steal it anyway (just like in any employee break room). This was about the time those "dorm" refrigerators started to become available. You weren't supposed to have a hot-plate/crock-pot/toaster oven in your room because the dorm wiring didn't have the capacity to support that. I expect that's been updated.

You had to bring your own cooking utensils & wash your own dishes. If you left your dishes in the sink, they'd get tossed (or perhaps confiscated by the "cleaning staff"). Anyway, if you wanted to keep it, you washed it as soon as you were finished using it and took it back to your room.

Mostly what has changed is the proliferation of PRIVATE, for-profit dormitories.

Back in the day, they did keep a couple of dorms open for those continuing students who couldn't go home or move out during semester breaks & such, but the cafeteria & student union food service were shut down, so you had to eat out if you weren't in one of the dorms that had a community kitchen or knew someone who lived in an apartment & would let you come over to their place to cook.

125:

In today's Nature Review:

'COVID-19 and the cardiovascular system

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infects host cells through ACE2 receptors, leading to coronavirus disease (COVID-19)-related pneumonia, while also causing acute myocardial injury and chronic damage to the cardiovascular system. Therefore, particular attention should be given to cardiovascular protection during treatment for COVID-19.'

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41569-020-0360-5

126:

Watching Donnie’s press conference, introducing various CEOs telling what they’re doing to help prevent spread of the virus, and nearly everyone of them was grabbing hold of the podium sides, or adjusting the microphone, some shaking his hand.

Meanwhile, have seen many stories about different world leaders testing positive after having met with one T.rump or another. Makes me wonder which way it’s going; are the visitors infecting the Rumps, or the other way around?

127:

Waves hand from another part of Vancouver Island. EST of luck Ed!

128:

David L @ 96: It varies all over the map. Back in my day a decent dorm was 2 people sharing a small room with a bed, desk, closet for each. With a shared bath with 2 others. Showers and baths down the hall at times for the entire floor. Now they range from that up semi suites with private tiny bedrooms with common shared areas. Cleaning many times is an exercise for the student(s). Common areas are cleaned by staff but like you said this is typically NOT a highly desirable job.

Older dorms at NC State featured 2 person rooms on a double loaded corridor with a large Army style bathroom at either end. Newer dorms had "suites" 4-2 person rooms sharing a small Army style bathroom. The newer dorms also had a "laundry room" down in the basement/ground floor featuring coin operated washing machines and dryers.

If you lived in an older dorm, you took your laundry home on the weekend (if you lived nearby) or used one of a couple of laundromats located across from campus on Hillsborough St (no longer there).

There was also a University Laundry that operated similar to commercial laundry/dry-cleaners (the building now houses the "Language and Computer Laboratories"). You could drop clothes off and get them back clean a couple of days later.


129:

The titles Ace acquired before the move stay with Ace, until they lapse from print (as defined in contract small print -- it takes more than minimal ebook sales to keep them "in print" per contract). If Ace stop selling them my agent can issue a letter terminating the contract and the rights revert. At which point we decide what to do with the books. (Quite possibly self-publish them as cheap ebooks, at that point, but possibly re-sell them to another publisher). It gets gnarly.

I think I once noted here that publishing is all about supply chain contract management: this type of situation is a classic case in point.

130:

Tim H. @ 102: Do you think the inability to make our own medical necessities in a crisis could be sufficient to cause a rethink of the practicality of continuing anti-labour policies?

I don't think you need any reason to "rethink" such policies. They're inherently bad for the majority of the population. But there is a small minority that profits immensely from such policies & they happen to control governments, so there ain't gonna' be no "rethinking".

131:

I expect school closures within two weeks, remaining shut for the rest of this academic year (and possibly beyond).

A lot of people in schools are not children, and children are disease-spreaders (often unwilling to follow basic hand-washing instructions, associate with kids from other schools, etcetera).

The government mentioned (per the Guardian) that closing the schools will hit the UK economy to the tune of 3% of GDP. So we're heading into a deep recession even without the double-whammy of no-deal brexit arrangements and/or a global financial crisis, one or both of which look pretty much inevitable at this point.

In other news, NHS hospital trusts are cancelling all non-emergency operations and out-patient visits, tripling the size of their intensive care units, and cross-training non-acute doctors in accident and emergency care to support the soon-to-be-overworked A&E staff.

And the news keeps getting scarier.

This afternoon I figured we were now 2-4 weeks, max, from the government invoking the Civil Contingencies Act -- but apparently new primarly legislation is expected to hit parliament on an emergency basis next week.

132:

SFReader @ 106: Re: Stores

She mostly shops at one of Durham Region Costco's.

Like many folks, my family is scattered across the continent which means hearing about the local news. (Yeah - I know about Ford, the Canuck version of DT. Sorry, eh?)

Which "Durham"? There's one in the UK, one here in North Carolina ... or is it another one I don't know about?

133:

We can’t take a test because none are available, basically—we could even pay for it. An acquaintance of mine had the symptoms with a fever of 102 as well as an immuno-compromised husband at home, and she couldn’t get a test. If we call up with our list of mild symptoms that disappeared a few days ago, we will be laughed off the phone. Nothing we can do but be good citizens and try to stay away from other people. I did steal a box of disposable gloves from my husband’s lab which I can use as needed.

Before we decided to go into lockdown we decided it would be nice to try CBD oil for anxiety only to discover (this is very Californian) full-scale panic shopping at the local weed dispensary. Parking lot full and more cars coming in every minute...we gave up and left.

134:

And keep in mind lots of things are going to go out of supply due to the existing supply chain disruption; it's not just N95 masks or gloves, it's stuff like antiviral drugs, the stuff used to treat HIV, or birth control.

It's going to be interesting watching the GOP admit they're completely in favour of these things while compensating the American firms for lost business from public funds.

135:

I expect school closures within two weeks

School Easter holidays start in a bit more than two weeks round here, I suspect there's some hope that things will stretch that long so parents don't have to bring forward whatever child-minding plans they have. Full Term at University of Cambridge ends today which I suspect means the bulk of the little darlings will be off tomorrow. With Easter Day being late they won't be due back until April 18th if Exam Term goes ahead as normal.

136:

I’m looking for good references about the ACE2 thing. I get that it’s still emerging, but best I’ve seen so far is in the correspondence (aka dear editor) section of BMJ.

I’m on an ACE inhibitor myself, so have heightened interest I guess.

137:

It would be Durham Region, to the east of Toronto, taking in Oshawa, Pickering, and a bunch of other cities/towns.

As to the original question, semi-serious runs on grocery store shelves in Mississauga/Brampton this afternoon likely as the latest pronouncements - Toronto and surrounding cities closing all libraries, daycares, and community centres until April 5th and the Ontario Chief Medical Officer ordering no gatherings over 250 people, and warning/suggesting no non-essential travel outside of Canada.

Big tourist attractions (CN Tower, Art Gallery Ontario, Royal Ontario Museum) are closing until April 5th.

etc.

138:

When people I knew in Japan wore masks a it wasn’t to avoid catching something, it was to avoid spreading it.

Not the case here. People are buying masks to protect themselves*.

At school and in my commute/shopping in the GTA, everyone I saw wearing a mask looked Chinese. Given the crazy misinformation that was floating around the local Chinese media about SARS, I do wonder what's being said on Chinese-language social media…


*And using them in ways that defeats any kind of protection even of other people.

139:

" Some speculation that this may help recreational vehicals, a demonstration of a lack of imagination I assume."

(I'm skipping over the other comments; please forgive me if this has been covered already)

I've got a cousin who lives two miles from where the US builds RV's; his son works there now as an engineer (RV tech is *serious* and advanced).

As you can probably guess, RV's are luxury goods; demand can be highly elastic.

In 2008 and the aftermath, however, *demand* held up, but the availability of bank loans went to zero. My cousin took me to a large country-western bar/restaurant/dance hall on a Saturday night; it was at ~10% capacity.

So it will be financing that's the key.

140:

Cancelling the tournament will suck billions of dollars out of the economy all over the U.S.

I don't see the problem. You folks managed to spend trillions so that investment bankers got their bonuses, surely the government will provide compensation so that the economy doesn't crater.

(Yes, sarcasm.)

141:

children are disease-spreaders

Colleague of mine walked past North Toronto on his way home yesterday — a school on the bottom level of a condo, so lots of community walkways etc go past it.

Group of teenagers in a fairly narrow passageway. Not unusual. As he walks past they crowd closer and start coughing on him. Did the same thing to his husband half an hour previously.

Girl in one of my morning classes sneezing a lot without covering or turning her head. She didn't see it as a problem, despite repeated warnings. Nothing I can do but request compliance, no consequences if kid refuses.

During SARS students who were sent home for self-quarantine got bored and went to visit friends at other schools, hung out at the mall, etc. No consequences.

142:

Re: Which "Durham"?

This one is the 'Regional Municipality of Durham' which is just east of Toronto, Canada. It's hard to tell where one municipality stops and another begins in this part of the world. (Sorta like Miami.) Visited Durham NC some years ago - great place.

Just had a look and there are 2 Costco's in that area: one in Ajax and one in Oshawa.

143:

Aaaand then there's the real Durham, which is about 160 kilometres south of Edinburgh (the real Edinburgh, not one of your copycat colonial knock-offs)! Which probably also has a CostCo these days. (Weirdly, CostCo stores are almost identical anywhere on the planet where I've visited one.)

144:

Re: ' ... everyone I saw wearing a mask looked Chinese.'

Sounds like a case of 'damned if you do': wasting previous resources; 'damned if you don't': this virus came from China, and you're not being careful enough!'

Richmond Hill & Markham - I usually go for dim sum there when visiting Toronto. Heard that most of the Chinese in this region are from Hong Kong (speak Cantonese) and aren't particularly fond of or relate to main-landers (Mandarin).

145:

Blast - where's the auto-correct!

You know what I meant -- 'previous resources' s/b 'precious resources'.

146:

"'m not really familiar with US college dorm arrangements but I do know that most residential systems have a socially-invisible underclass of paid-by-the-hour servants to keep everything running. Who in turn have communities to go home to, and often second jobs these days because they're not paid enough to live on. And by keeping the dorms open you're exposing them to lots of carriers."

Bang on.

Now, there is still the problem with international students. Also some poorer students.

147:

There's Cantonese around, but most of the conversation I hear is Mandarin. Pacific Mall and the immediate area was more Cantonese (I haven't been in years), but further north around highway 7 and up in Richmond Hill I hear mostly Mandarin.

As I've mentioned before, friends and nieces are Chinese. They tell me people are wearing masks to protect themselves. Certainly that's what the Chinese kids at school were doing. That's why colleagues at school were trying to buy N95 masks.

148:

Apologies if this is hogging your space, Charlie!

As I was looking at Canadian news, this story caught my eye. Will be interesting to see what other religious groups there and elsewhere do.

https://montreal.ctvnews.ca/covid-19-quebec-bishops-announce-cancellation-of-all-catholic-masses-in-the-province-1.4850711

'MONTREAL -- The Assembly of Quebec Catholic Bishops on Thursday announced that all masses at Catholic churches cross Quebec will be cancelled until further notice in an effort to help stem the tide of COVID-19 in Quebec.

The edict covers all Saturday and Sunday masses and other celebratory gatherings.

Churches will remain open, the Assembly said in a statement, and it is inviting worshippers to gather there in smaller groups or for personal visits.'


Other ...

I'm on a bunch of mailing and contact lists (biz & personal) and as of this evening have received close to 20 emails about what each of these orgs/groups is doing re: COVID-19. Pretty consistent wrt to implementing and urging everyone to follow rational scientific guidelines.

149:

Ontario Association of Physics Teachers cancelled our annual conference (at the end of May). Between ongoing labour troubles and Covid it seemed the prudent thing to do. (I was going to be presenting — will use some of the school cancellation to write an article for the organization newsletter. Not as good as a hands-on session, but better than nothing.)

150:

That's why colleagues at school were trying to buy N95 masks.

I drove across the US/Canadian border this afternoon. Going into the US was normal. However, going into Canada had changed. The booth official wore a bulletproof vest, as usual, but had added a face mask. And he asked two new questions, something on the order of:

"Are you feeling sick or unwell?"

"Have you returned from Italy or Iran in the last two weeks?"

151:

EXCLUSIVE:

Ministers to unveil emergency Coronavirus powers:

* Police allowed to detain infected

* Care standards could be lowered for elderly

* Ministers allowed to close ports

* 'Trains, vessels & aircraft' can be halted

* Schools can be directed to close or remain open

The emergency powers, which will be in place for two years, will enable police and immigration officers across UK to detain anyone with suspected Coronavirus

They will be able to detain them for a 'limited period' so they can be screened

https://twitter.com/Steven_Swinford/status/1238589708751589376

Times, London, 13th March, 2020

They've also banned football (or rather, the Corporation who run it have postponed the season or something).


Not sure we have a rainbow left to give. Paradox weaponry costs too much.

152:

Some of the Muslim groups in Ontario/Canada are recommending cancellation of sermons.

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/coronavirus-mosques-muslims-canada-friday-prayers-1.5496350

Additionally VIA Rail has cancelled the overnight trains until at least March 27th (Canadian and Ocean).

The Bell TIFF Lightbox movie theatre has reduced ticket sales so that patrons can keep 3 empty seats between them and other customers, and AMC in the US has announced a 50% cut in auditorium capacity - likely somewhat a moot point given all the major movies have release dates postponed.

153:

Re: 'They tell me people are wearing masks to protect themselves.'

Okay - I understand now. Nevertheless, some folk will interpret a group's behavior in a poor light no matter what.

More Mandarin than Cantonese - really? Couple of years ago I drove around that area hoping to find some music by that wunderkind (Dimash) that YT turned up for me. Went to many Chinese malls and plazas: they didn't carry anything from the mainland. (At most they downloaded/copied off the Internet.) They did carry CDs & DVDs from Hong Kong. My understanding is that China and Canada have okay trade relations already and are looking into some new formal trade agreement.

154:

trying to buy N95 masks

The masks I've seen for sale here are either decorative paper "dust" masks that do about as well as a surgical mask, or the next step up largely pointless ones that have an exhalation valve. Well, they somewhat protect the person wearing them from inhaling recently-coughed globules, but they do little to protect others.

Mind you, any mask should somewhat reduce the tendency to touch your face so I've been wearing my bicycle pollution mask because it covers more of my face without being unreasonably bulky.

I'm not seeing a lot of masks around Sydney, though. Not that I've been going out much. Or using public transport. If I have to go to the office on Monday I think I'll take the lazy bike and ride 90 minutes each way just to avoid taking the train. Or travel at 6am when there are very few other train users.

155:

Relations between China and Canada have been strained ever since Canada arrested the CFO of Huawei in Vancouver at the request of the US in December 2018.

156:

Difficult to budget the high window, with two cases of goods in a hotel room.

Guess what I found behind Jupiter, the warrior causing the deflection. LA Noire, guess we'll get past Eden.

157:

The Health Minister Edward Argar has been placed in self-isolation after dining with Nadine Dorries according to the Telegraph. Here he is coughing at the despatch box on Tuesday. https://www.businessinsider.com/coronavirus-covid-19-uk-britain-united-kingdom-infection-deaths-symptoms-2020-3?r=US&IR=T

https://twitter.com/AdamBienkov/status/1238023750882414592


Anyone please explain why this infected Minister says:

"...funding for six"

*stage cough, sip of water*[0]

*obvious underbreath*

"They're gone"

*companions laughing*

"...For six new hospitals"


~

We parse this completely differently: given the make-up of the leadership class these days could mean Angels or Mysterons.


[0] At least he didn't pour in on his phone.

158:

Behind Jupiter, the Warrior: behind the Warrior the Medusa, Eye's Bright. Behind that, whelp.

https://www.reddit.com/r/imsorryjon/ [0]

~

Problem is, you're flagging up a huge USA thing about hotels, lone gunman shooting festival goers, dodgy meetings and even dodgier owners and really odd police behavior there. Oh and the CCTV of mercs escorting VIPs out etc.

So - be a little clearer? Or not: just a head's up what you're signalling to a certain crowd.


[0] Yes: there is an entire (huge) community kicking out Garfield as Eldritch horror on Reddit, has been for a while. It's 'amusing' until you spot some rather, well: prescient things.

159:

On average wearing a mask makes people touch their face more - to adjust the mask, or because it makes them sweat. It's one of the reasons that wearing masks isn't recommended for the general public.

160:

Oh, and triptych.

Yes, the President of the USA did just get in front of the TeeVee with a mass of sparsely talented C levels[0], announced a $50 billion package[1] at 3.30pm[2] that ramped the stock market up 2k points while announcing Martial Law or Emergency Code Orange/Red Patriot Act panic whatever.


Just writing this here so there might be a record of this insanity so future Minds will remember that we weren't making it up.

[0] Including some who ran AIDS into the successful conclusion that ended with Tom Hanks making a brave film[0.1]

[0.1] Yes, much like Vietnam, it got Hollywooded. And an Oscar. *Curtis film overlay*

But then, Tom Hanks got COVID19, and everything changed.

[1] He'd signed an $8.5 bil Bill so who the fuck knows

[2] Gotta get the Mason angle

161:

[Note: if you think the people who just ran a clear "fuck the peasants, we're here to save the market" are above that Tom Hanks connection move... think again. No, really. Really really.]

162:

Seriously: if 2020's next move is that the entire Authoritarian miasma claim that they were possessed to do all the evil shittery they clearly enjoy and now the virus somehow cured them, there will be blood[0]


[0] Vatican to hold exorcist training course after 'rise in possessions' https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/mar/30/vatican-to-hold-exorcist-training-course-after-rise-in-possessions-exorcism-priests

And yeah: actual response is that the level of weird shit is Ghostbuster territory where one of us is, which denotes one thing:


Power can never be seen to be held accountable, everything else is secondary to this goal.


Which apparently includes 100% Mind fucking plebs into zombies and so on and so forth. 100% busted there, 100% faux cover narratives = we know.

"I warned you"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XcxKIJTb3Hg

163:

Oh, and pro tip:

Your Human Brains can't be both "psychopathic" and "schizoid effective" (traditionally labelled "paranoid schizophrenic"), according to your own science. Doesn't work.[0]

Which means if you're labeling something both at the same time, you're clearly cheating.


Rack up those paradox claims.

"We don't care"


Yeah, we fucking noticed, which is partly why this is happening. If you're no longer Homo Sapiens, then a whole new rule set applies.

Chances are you still are, but you're slaved.

MRI it, blood test it, spot the emergency brain tumor brigade with their advanced lobotomy craft these days.

~

2020.

It's not even the Ides of March yet, to cover this they're gonna need a few more towers.


[0] The reasons for which according to your primitive understanding will take an MRI. You're wrong, but (drum-roll): the Minds using this can't know that's not true.

[1] And yes, Germany is banning MRI scans in certain places for some "RNG" reason. Work it out.

[2] Biden's campaign is now officially elder abuse. Fucking outrageous that you're claiming that "Democracy is important from where we come from" and that shit is flying. Reference: shit PR ad with phone, which is clearly not a phone, it's not on, and he fluffs his lines.

164:

[The "you're wrong" there is not about Human Brains]

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qnp1jfLhtck


165:

Hexad.

No, it's a Paradox Weapon.


You evil little bunnies.


166:

The good news, I suppose, is that we are not particularly critical to the national defense.

Point made. That's good work and something to be proud of but not the most urgent thing the government is doing. I hope you get to continue; you're not likely to find my grandfather but you're finding others.

167:

Which means that DT's chances of re-election are effectively zero.
UNLESS - he postpones the election ....


This is less flexible in the US than in other countries. We're supposed to have an election in November but could in theory reschedule it. What would happen then?

The US Constitution says The terms of the President and Vice President shall end at noon on the 20th day of January... and that's important. The next guy's term doesn't start then, it's a specific time at which Trump stops being president. Is there an incoming president? That would be convenient. The rules don't say there has to be.

So imagine some circumstance that prevents any election at all from happening. At noon of January 20th Trump is no longer president; normally the vice president automatically is promoted but Pence just stopped being vice president. Without a vice president the order of succession falls through to the Speaker of the House, who's under different term rules and therefore at 12:01PM still has a job. That's Nancy Pelosi, who is not a fan of Donald and who he still remembers as the mean lady who impeached him.

168:

Someone tell your Empire Builders that (and yes, we've already posted the .civ testing version that did 65 mil dead) this is merely modelling for a success run.

grep REPO stress test.

This is a very similar thing [in fact, off the silly stuff: highly likely to be a fuck-up from immunity / vaccine development than anything else - it's way too specifically linked to a whole slew of research to be RNG based - and we can defend that position quite easily without having to resort to shock "AIDS" links]


Anyhow, your real issue atm isn't COVID19, but hey. It's your Minds.

You've managed to get into a position where the entire of US/COM NATO cannot even handle the most basic of emergencies[0] and now everyone knows it.


But, more importantly [specifically - fuck you [redacted] utter failures] you're in a position where, effectively, Authoritarian / Ideologically based thought has the ability to stop any perceived threat and those forces are manifestly unable to deal with anything but lobotomized humans.


That's the actual take here: and not one you'll get from .mil sources or Hackernews.


That's the stress test: Gateway or not, absolute fucking retrograde inability to progress is staunchly fixed in, which means your species dies.


Thanks for playing. Hackernews or VC or Harvard are just cloning facilities at this point - useless.


"They'll kill you"

We know

[Star Wars reference for the oldies]

[0] Stuff like poor Guam or Porto Rico are Empire stuff, not resource based.

169:

Please both grow up and read our posts.

Orange Man Bad just pumped the stock market by 2k with a load of C level scum.


He's pivoting to the "Well, the Government failed, we did our best, deep state is too entrenched[0], we've already replaced everyone in .gov positions of power with industry reps[1], why don't we do a Belgium[2] and make it all private"


FFS ARE YOU THIS BLIND?

THATS THE FUCKING PLAN.


[0] As they lock down all the Judges for the next 50 years or whatever insanity you've decided is set in stone

[1] Literally

[2] No .gov for years

170:

Ironically people like Dom or Bannon or Putin or Elon or Silicon Valley do know this, which is why they're so able to shove billions to obvious scams.

They just can't stomach that actual progress will also make them redundant, which is why they pick the failure mode ones.


No-one really wants the Kwisatz Haderach because you have shittingly huge Ego issues at heart.


Trust me, we know: EXCESSION is actually a massive OP to staunch a new [redacted].


p.s.


Still alive, so get absolutely fucked. Panic mode is setting in.

"Corrupt" - wut? Rule34 is not corrupt and trust me, consensual kinks are ok if mutual.

"Blah blah old Paradox Weapons"


Yeah - and these old fuckers work for the actual .mil and they know nothing about them. This is bad.

171:

I'm not really familiar with US college dorm arrangements...

My college dorm looked exactly like this, modulo a few decades of remodeling and wear & tear. (The sample floor plan is one level down from where I lived.) One and two person bedrooms, shared sanitary facilities, and in that dorm a kitchen on each floor[1]. The kitchen is labeled 'common area' on the floor plan; what British would call common rooms are down on the lowest two levels. The ground floor also has the laundry and, when I was there, a tiny micro-convenience store that would close inconveniently early.

The college also had a cafeteria in another building, substantially like any other cafeteria.

[1] College students being as they are, they required a damage deposit for the kitchen. A source in the know tipped off some of us that we should take care of it but there was no point in breaking the room a little; if at the end of the year we'd broken so much we weren't going to get our money back it was cost effective to trash the place. And if someone planned to make off with the appliances, do it when he wasn't looking.

172:

to adjust the mask, or because it makes them sweat

Ah. I'm habituated to mine, so the current behaviour is "don't take if off when I get off the bike to go into the shops". Yes, it's sweaty inside, but that beats sucking down diesel fumes.

173:

Which means that DT's chances of re-election, are effectively zero.
UNLESS - he postpones the election....

He can't, at least not unilaterally. At minimum he'd need both levels of Congress to agree to it, which would be an uphill struggle even for someone who hadn't been loudly denying that anything was wrong on Twitter up until a few days ago, and it's likely the Supreme Court would have to weigh in on whether it was permissible without a constitutional amendment.

And even if he did get Congress and the court both to agree to it, it might ultimately make his prospects worse. Holding elections when the law mandates them to be held no matter what else is going on is a big deal for Americans, and never postponing a nationwide one is something they're justifiably rather proud of. Having to break that perfect record because of a public health crisis that's got as bad as it has at least partly thanks to the Trump administration failing to take it seriously in the early stages is not going to reflect well on him even among the traditional Republican demographics.

174:

So New Zealand is effectively pulling up the drawbridge, until at least the end of March.
https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/health/coronavirus/120279430/coronavirus-prime-minister-updates-nz-on-covid19-outbreak

"From midnight Sunday, everyone arriving in New Zealand will have to isolate themselves for 14 days, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has announced.

The tighter border controls were announced during an update by the prime minister on New Zealand's response to the Covid-19 outbreak on Saturday afternoon. She said while it is not realistic for New Zealand to only have a handful of coronavirus cases, the changes would slow the spread of infection.
...
Travel restrictions would be reviewed in 16 days, the prime minister said.

Ardern urged New Zealanders not to travel overseas unless it was absolutely necessary."

175:

Honest Governmunt have a coronavirus ad out, poking pointy things at the obvious targets: https://youtu.be/Hks6Nq7g6P4

176:

Yeah, it looks as though I was a few days ahead of the prime minster on that.

177:

I'm going to repeat what I said in (2) # 119 We are trying (we hope) to postpone & lower & lengthen the peak of the infection & seriousness, since "pure containment" simply isn't going to work.
Denmark (etc) are going to close their borders ... TOO LATE: Stable Door / Horse / Bolted

JBS @ 121
The US have said they will be examining passport stamps ...

Pasquinade
Who TinkyWinky2?
Please don't start imitating the ffffing Seagull .....

Charlie
Per your remarks - emergency legislation now officially expected next week BBC News item here
See also Vulch @ 135 - wait until "Easter" hols start ... then make up your tiny minds ....
Ah yes ... The emergency powers, which will be in place for two years
HOW VERY CONVENIENT
Wonder if they'll "forget" to remove them ... ?
[ Like ID cards after WWII ]

JBS
HERE is the real Durham Good pubs, too.
And in Summer

Robert Prior
You can tell the difference?
I presume you know some of one or the other .....
In the UK, the majority spoken "Chinese" is Cantonese, of course.

Moz ( # 174 )
Very fortunately, I'd just put my tea cuo down when I looked at that .....

178:

At least New Zealand calls it Dunedin :-)

179:

I listened to a peduliarly-coloured pompous ass saying that, due to his magnificent leadership, the USA is capable of performing 15-20,000 tests a day and that soon all Americans that wanted a test could have one just for the asking. That's arithmetic, that is. I am reminded of the following:

The clever men at Oxford
Know all that there is to be knowed.
But none of them know half as much
As intelligent Mr Toad!

180:

A question I can actually answer!

Tinky Winky is a character from the Teletubbies, a dystopian sci-fi drama aimed at toddlers and student stoners in the 1990s.

The actor who played TW was replaced after the first season, allegedly because his portrayal of the character was too camp and some people were paranoid about him turning preschoolers gay.

Given that the character in question was a bizarre purple blob creature with a screen embedded in it's stomach I always felt that inferences about it's sex life were a bit of a stretch, but that's moral panic for you.

181:

I'm guessing that US international airports will soon (if not already) have immigration/security re-screening everyone upon arrival.

I've only been to Europe 3 times but for the return each time EVERYONE on the flight had to visit the desk and have a short interview with someone while they looked over your passport. Only a minute or two but you didn't get a boarding pass without the review and talk.

Which is why they want you at the gate AT LEAST an hour before departure.

This was all in the last 3 or 4 years.

182:

This is less flexible in the US than in other countries. We're supposed to have an election in November but could in theory reschedule it.

I thought it was in the Constitution but my brief research showed it set by EXISTING law. So to change it the House and Senate would have to pass a law and DT sign it or have the H and S override a veto.

Chances of such a law passing are slim to totally invisible unless the universe changes a lot more than seems possible even in the extreme just now.

183:

I note the Brit guvmint are saying - or seem to be saying - several things:
1: It's inevitable that people are going to die.
2: We are trying (we hope) to postpone & lower & lengthen the peak of the infection & seriousness, since "pure containment" simply isn't going to work.

Career health officials here (US) are saying the same thing. Just carefully so DT doesn't go nuts and fire the only competent people dealing with this.

184:

Career health officials here (US) are saying the same thing. Just carefully so DT doesn't go nuts and fire the only competent people dealing with this.

They're on thin and uncertain ice anyway. He already fired other public health experts and lied about it. Not that the job title is important; he famously fires people basically at random, so nobody in his orbit has any job security. It was mediocre as an incompetence reality show and doesn't get better as an incompetence government.

185:

Re: 'Only a minute or two but you didn't get a boarding pass without ... '

Which already felt like ages during those 2 minutes. And now you can look forward to an even longer interview because they'll probably keep the staff numbers up even as the number of travelers drops.

Wondering about the pilots: aren't they required to fly a minimum number of hours per month in order to maintain their credentials? If yes, then the flight-simulation centers will be busier than usual.

186:

Reading between the lines, they are saying something different. The chief medical and scientific officers have been political appointments for some time; while I believe that the current ones are both competent and fairly honest (NOT always the case!), I also believe that their contractual conditions include some pretty strong gagging clauses. In particular, even an immunity of 60% is NOT enough to stop an infection with a reproductive rate of 2.5 times, though it would reduce it to a manageable (if severe) problem. What they have glossed over is that the real chaos and most deaths will occur while the UK is reaching that, and we have no idea if the virus works that way, anyway - many coronaviruses don't. Whitty's comment that there could well be 10,000 cases in the UK when only 350 were identified was most imformative, and may have been as far as he dared go in telling the truth.

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/health/coronavirus-herd-immunity-uk-covid-19-pandemic-outbreak-flu-a9400171.html

Note that they are proposing to test ONLY people who need admission to hospital, and rely on self-reporting and -isolation of less serious cases for restricting the spread. As far as I can see, there has been a lot of talk about compensating people who can't afford to do that, but effectively no action.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/wuhan-novel-coronavirus-initial-investigation-of-possible-cases/investigation-and-initial-clinical-management-of-possible-cases-of-wuhan-novel-coronavirus-wn-cov-infection#interim-definition-possible-cases

What I think they are saying is "Oh, shit! We have lost control of this." and the gummint is proposing actions that may spread things out a little, but are primarily chosen to minimise the political, economic and social impact. And, no, an extra 300,000 deaths mainly among the infirm and elderly is not regarded as a major impact - indeed, some of the shits may regard it as a benefit, but reducing the NHS and care cost in the medium term. The Daily Wail is about as reliable as the National Enquirer, but is strongly pro-Johnson, and I believe that this is a good indication of what is really going on behind the scenes:

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8110943/Most-frail-not-critical-care-doctors-warn.html

187:

"From midnight Sunday, everyone arriving in New Zealand will have to isolate themselves for 14 days, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has announced.

Any indications of how that's actually expected to work? Are quarters going to be provided for those that don't have any, are 14-day survival packages of food and other supplies going to be given to people who can't go shopping?

188:

Any indications of how that's actually expected to work?

Reading to the bottom of the article reveals this line:

* Measures to help those in self-isolation to be announced next week

So that's comforting.

189:

will use some of the school cancellation to write an article for the organization newsletter

When you do, will it be possible for you to provide us with a link? Please?

190:

Agree, needing the House of Representatives to agree will be very problematic.

On the other hand the appearance is he owns the Supreme Court so that would appear to be a simple rubber stamp for anything he proposes.

As for Republican voters, sadly I don't think they will object as much as you think.

Most of them appear to think he is doing God's work, and as long as it is an us vs. them mentality like it has been for the last 10+ years they will take anything that keeps a Democrat out of the White House.

It is very easy to say that this mess is the end of his re-election hopes, but the voters of the world are so unpredictable these days that even this may no harm him - it could actually help him if the base thinks the media is picking on him for pointing out all of his incompetence.

191:

And Apple has now closed all of its retail stores outside of China until March 27th (paying employees during the closure)

https://www.apple.com/newsroom/2020/03/apples-covid-19-response/?subId1=xid:fr1584190178120fei

As for the hope that summer will bring an end/suspension of the virus, Saudi Arabia is stopping all international flights for at least 2 weeks. This is a good indication that heat doesn't deter it if the reported cases didn't already.

193:

Here's a link to the newsletter:

Thank you.

194:

I think its a mixed bag from Bozo and Chums.

On the positive - they are acknowledging that this thing is here to stay and needs long term planning to deal with it. They have made some assumptions about immunity and re-infection rates that appear to be just that - assumptions.

On the negative - they appear to either be accepting a given number of casualties and have written them off or have made some optimistic assumptions about the NHS's ability to deal with the number of critical cases expected.

There is an argument for starting to take the economic view in addition to the humanitarian view as well. The travel industry is gone - totally wiped out - for a minimum of the next 6 months (including my job in the next 6 weeks I reckon). The hospitality industry is on the way out too. Supply line and staff shortages will likely kibosh the rest of the economy. Tax receipts will be through the floor and welfare payments through the roof. The only positive tax receipts will be inheritance tax

We are likely already in a recession that makes anything since the Great Depression look like a walk in the park and makes 07/08 look like a mere blip. There is going to have to be some pretty massive economic support coming from all the Western Governments and it seems unlikely to arrive in time to save a lot of companies.

195:

Test kits, masks ...

Countries/gov'ts that aren't addicted to their delusions of superiority can probably get help from China - both from the gov't and at least one wealthy individual (Jack Ma, Ali Baba co-founder).

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/03/china-sends-essential-coronavirus-supplies-italy-200313195241031.html

196:

Oh, yes, but it looks like an average mixture only in comparison to their previous record. 300,000 dead, which would double the annual death rate (and over a million needing hospital treatment, but only some getting it) is the optimistic figure. The pessimistic one, based on the raw figures coming out of China, is four times that - 1.3 million dead in the UK and over 5 million needing hospital treatment. Given that the more infectious form of the virus seems to be much milder than the initial one, we can hope for the former. But it IS purely hope, based on unreliable assumptions (as you say), and good governments do not rely on that.

Your point is taken, but that doesn't mean that their "keep calm and carry on" approach is a good one. If it does fail, their economic gestures aren't going to do any good whatsoever. Inter alia, they are NOT bringing in the other political parties and devolved parliaments (let alone Eire), in the way that they should for a major crisis.

197:

As for Republican voters, sadly I don't think they will object as much as you think.

I think you're referring to the person my comment was about. I have no illusions about the right 1/3 of the voters. Ditto the left 1/3.

198:

My comment was in a reply to Jake (as the comment header indicates), not you. Not sure why you think otherwise?

199:

I tend to agree but think if this was a giant experiment the UK's approach would be worth trying out. Sadly its not and history will be the only judge and it will be cold comfort to those of us who have lost and suffered through it.

An aside. Found a good site with the data on all this. Trying to understand how much of an outlier Italy is.

https://ourworldindata.org/coronavirus-source-data

200:

Robert Prior @ 139:

Cancelling the tournament will suck billions of dollars out of the economy all over the U.S.

I don't see the problem. You folks managed to spend trillions so that investment bankers got their bonuses, surely the government will provide compensation so that the economy doesn't crater.

(Yes, sarcasm.)

Two things:

1. The <code>code tag</code> most people use to indicate sarcasm doesn't work here, but the <tt>teletype tag</tt> does the same thing. If you are concerned with transgressing Poe's Law , there is a tool available.

2. The Obama administration spent trillions to keep the Wall Street banksters in business. The current MAL-administration is primarily driven by being the ANTI-Obama administration - figuring out what Obama would do so they can do the exact opposite - which puts them in a bit of a dilemma over who, when or whether to bail anyone out.

201:

Because at time I make a stupid mistake. And admit it.

202:

Robert Prior @ 146:

There's Cantonese around, but most of the conversation I hear is Mandarin. Pacific Mall and the immediate area was more Cantonese (I haven't been in years), but further north around highway 7 and up in Richmond Hill I hear mostly Mandarin.

Being an ignorant ol' 'murican, "It's all Greek to me." 8^)

203:

figuring out what Obama would do so they can do the exact opposite - which puts them in a bit of a dilemma over who, when or whether to bail anyone out.

That's obvious. Clearly hotels and resorts are suffering, so their owners will need support. Possibly compensation based on their being fully occupied at rack rate — tax exempt, of course — without the need to provide documentation and especially without the need to pay staff to look after the now-empty rooms…

Obama never bailed out hotels and resorts, so they're good to go on this one.

204:

Scott Sanford @ 166:

Which means that DT's chances of re-election are effectively zero.
UNLESS - he postpones the election ....

This is less flexible in the US than in other countries. We're supposed to have an election in November but could in theory reschedule it. What would happen then?

The US Constitution says The terms of the President and Vice President shall end at noon on the 20th day of January... and that's important. The next guy's term doesn't start then, it's a specific time at which Trump stops being president. Is there an incoming president? That would be convenient. The rules don't say there has to be.

So imagine some circumstance that prevents any election at all from happening. At noon of January 20th Trump is no longer president; normally the vice president automatically is promoted but Pence just stopped being vice president. Without a vice president the order of succession falls through to the Speaker of the House, who's under different term rules and therefore at 12:01PM still has a job. That's Nancy Pelosi, who is not a fan of Donald and who he still remembers as the mean lady who impeached him.

There's nothing in the Constitution that allows the government to postpone the election either, so what makes you think they'd give a damn what it says about when their terms in office are supposed to end?

I will defer further comments regarding the U.S. election until another thread, but you all know I have an opinion on the subject, and it is not favorable to the current MALadministration.

205:

You were wondering what the reinfection rate is:

"More than 100 people have gotten coronavirus twice in China — less than 0.2 percent of the country’s confirmed cases."

https://twitter.com/MiamiHerald/status/1238590958427607042

206:

Tinky Winky 2 flu seems to be a nasty flu where the worst element is more potent than usual. However I don't anticipate it to be more than twice as lethal than any other seasonal flu, if that. A science fiction conference is a peculiar event. The cancellation of rugby, football and US college sports is pointless and ascribing resistance to doing so as nationalistic populism and an atavistic belief in 'herd immunity' is mendacious.

President Trump has set out his stall against fake news. At the end of the year we will know whether the Tinky Winky 2 flu is an exercise in conformation bias on a world scale and a politically motivated media panic which educated and technologically literate posters on Charlie's Diary should have resisted. It will have cost trillions of dollars. What is the reason to cancel elections? At what level of fatality, compared to seasonal flu, is that justified?

Next year there will be another flu. Aren't lives saved this year by excessive measures going to be vulnerable next year? If I need another label for next year's flu, former Labour leader J. Fraudron Brown has a Guardian article on the Tinky Winky 2 flu, as you might expect.

207:

Greg Tingey @ 176: JBS @ 121
The US have said they will be examining passport stamps ...

Yes. I know. I was just trying to "make a funny". We really do need some king of a "humor" (or humour) tag so I can make it obvious when I'm not serious, but don't want to resort to sarcasm.

Pasquinade
Who TinkyWinky2?
Please don't start imitating the ffffing Seagull .....

Too Late ... and how do you know it's not just another manifestation of the ffffing Seagull?

JBS
HERE is the real Durham Good pubs, too.
And in Summer

Yes, I believe I did mention knowing there's one in the UK, although the city here in North Carolina is not actually named after the original. It was named in honor of Dr. Bartlett Leonidas Snipes Durham who donated the land for a station on the North Carolina Railroad. The railroad, in turn named it Durham's Station.

The station was important stop during the post-American Civil War tobacco boom. In 1869 the North Carolina Legislature incorporated the "City of Durham" around the area of Durham's Station dropping the "'s".

We don't have a Gothic cathedral, but we do have the Duke Chapel

I was born & raised in Durham, NC, growing up literally "on the wrong side of the tracks". John D. Loudermilk wrote the song Tobacco Road about growing up in Durham.

Most of the world never heard of Durham, NC before they made the movie Bull Durham.

208:

Most of the world never heard of Durham, NC before they made the movie Bull Durham.

Well those of us who flew into RDU figured it out.

209:

However I don't anticipate it to be more than twice as lethal than any other seasonal flu, if that.

An anticipation worth very little against available data.

As of right now, the John Hopkins data collation page is showing 153,503 total infections and 5,789 total deaths.

That's roughly 3.8 percent. Seasonal flu is about 0.1 percent.

Now, certainly the stats underreport both cases (because testing is only plausibly sufficient in a very few places) and deaths (because most folks in the ICU will die, but many have not have done so yet, and because there are people going into graves without being tested) and there's chronological lag in the reports being collated and so on. And you can certainly take the position that there's an order of magnitude more cases, mildly symptomatic or asymptomatic, not being counted in the stats.

But! these are still the mortality statistics of various vaguely functional health care systems, not one in a state of collapse and unable to provide oxygen, anti-inflammatories, or just rest and fluids; and these are the initial, preliminary numbers, not where the eventual (and unknowable) chain of mutations take us.

The other but! is that the modern economy requires multiple just-in-time schedules to work reliably. As soon as there are regional pockets of social distancing, the just-in-time starts to fail, and because the whole notion of just-in-time is a hack to avoid needing a control system, the larger global system of production starts to oscillate. We are absolutely certain it sucks at dealing with this, and economic hardship kills people, too.

Which, well, it's not especially obvious that anyone in a position of power is overreacting.

210:

US focused, but this suggests that there will be global opportunities for large political shifts (good and ill). He is a New York Times columnist, center US right, climate change denier (in past at least) etc:
Trump Meets Nemesis, Punisher of Hubris - A virus exposes the folly of what the president’s base believes. (Bret Stephens, March 13, 2020)
Bret Stephens needs to examine his own (difficult to forgive) hubris, but this isn't bad.
But the original Nemesis was not a villain. She was a goddess — an implacable agent of justice who gives the arrogant, insolent and wicked what they deserve.>/i>
...
As a matter of politics, however, it’s hard to think of a mechanism so uniquely well-suited for exposing the hubris, ignorance, prejudice, mendacity and catastrophic self-regard of the president who is supposed to lead us through this crisis.

US is in flux at the moment; lots of panic moves, lots of randomness in disease spread. (And continued hubris among the political and business leadership.)

JBS #206
how do you know it's not just another manifestation
Pasquinade (nym) is being mildly rude and boring and unsophisticated and mostly sans semantics. TOWTNs is doing (many) something(s) else, much more intriguing both from a varied technique standpoint and semantics. (e.g. "Chinese Room" (analogy, and it appears, could be wrong) but not in the original sense. And perhaps some showing-off from my perspective.)).

211:

Calling it a flu seems to be a deliberate act of dismissing Covid-19 as a normal everyday event. Covid-19 is not the flu.

Beyond the fact that both are viruses, they are very different things with different symptoms and thus different stresses on the body and health care system.

More importantly, as an entirely new (to human hosts) virus our immune systems have no experience dealing with it. So even if it does return next year (or never go away), there is a hope that our immune systems will be better able to deal with it reducing the consequences.

Beyond the obvious problem of people dismissing the experts as alarmist or peddling "fake news", the biggest problem is that people are ignoring the advice of both the experts and their governments.

Italy has just announced another large jump in numbers, something the Italian authorities predicted days ago because too many Italians ignored the instructions to avoid gathering in large numbers and instead went to beaches and other resorts, or gathered in town squares.

Similar things being reported in the US, where many on Twitter indicating many bars/pubs being packed with customers last night.


212:

So there is a certain irony is that Trump's alternate White House, his Mar-a-Largo resort, now has 3 confirmed Covid-19 cases from last weekend while Trump was there (the url is misleading) - https://www.businessinsider.com/second-mar-a-lago-visitor-tests-positive-for-coronavirus-wapo-2020-3

The UK's special flight relationship with Trump didn't last long, the flight ban now includes the UK and Ireland. Supposedly Trump also contemplating travel bans within the US.

Italian doctors have started to treat ICU patients with an auto-immune drug, which helps the lungs deal with the inflammation resulting from Covid-19 while not directly treating Covid-19

Quebec Premier is asking everyone 70 or older to stay at home, and visitors to hospitals, long term care homes, and seniors residences in the province are forbidden.

213:

Graydon
Thank you ... the modern economy requires multiple just-in-time schedules to work reliably. As soon as there are regional pockets of social distancing, the just-in-time starts to fail, and because the whole notion of just-in-time is a hack to avoid needing a control system, the larger global system of production starts to oscillate. We are absolutely certain it sucks at dealing with this
Which is what I've been saying for ages ( Not just about this, either ) ... "Efficiency != Resilience ... also "Horse-Harness made of knotted rope" if you recognise the misquote.
My opinion, based on not a lot, is that the actual number of deaths, proportionately, is not going to be that large ... but the panic & disorientation & fucking around are going to royally screw the world economy.
WHat shares hould I buy at the bottom of the trough, to really clean up, I wonder?

Corvid-19 appears to traget the cardiovascular system ... which is the best bit of my current atate of health.
I went to a local pub this afternoon - noticeably quieter than usual though still planty of (younger) people.

214:

Stock market likely to be a gamble, but my suspicion might lean towards companies with a healthy balance sheet even with the chaos - not necessarily large companies, maybe some regional companies, where they will be able to quickly react and move in to take advantage of the gaps left behind by the small businesses that go under with the current "distancing".

Otherwise it gets more difficult as you need to try and read how a government reacts, do they stick with a discredited ideology or do they listen to experts.

In a sensible world we won't be getting rid of the just-in-time far flung supply chain, but country level governments will take a more nuanced look at what is "national security" and hence should be exempt from the market. So the ability to make face masks for example might be something to regulate must be made local, so you don't need to rely on shipping halfway around the world in the next crisis.

Some countries (hint USA) should going forward look at actual real high speed home Internet as a necessity - how many people are struggling to work at home with inadequate yet expensive slow Internet? If they do then the providers of equipment and supplies could be a good investment, though maybe not the Verizon/Charter/etc. But ideology rears its ugly head on that one.

215:

Obviously every virus is different, but does anyone have a more positive take on this?

I was in Taiwan during the SARS outbreak; army cordons around isolation hospitals, schools closed, etc. And after a couple of months everything returned to normal. In fact, there was a bit of a bounce as people went out and relievedly started spending money again.

While it's good to plan for the worst, if such a thing is possible, should we not also be planning for how we'll get on with our lives?

216:

While Tinky Winky 2 flu is technically not a flu, it is a respiratory virus which co-circulates with flu. It has the same symptoms as flu, it is transmitted like flu, it is treated like flu, it is prevented like flu. Before it was isolated it would have been included with flu, had forms of it existed.

The 2009 flu pandemic was revealed the following year to have been no more lethal than the seasonal flu. Next year we will discover how much Tinky Winky 2 flu and whatever was circulating with it was worse than the seasonal flu. It has a novel genetic form, is that alone going to justify the measures taken?

217:

I've seen instructions for making your own - washable, yes, and you can get at least two from a "fat quarter" of fabric (That's a piece half a yard long by half the width of the fabric.) This is what they used before disposable everything.

Directions:
Cut (2) 7.5 inches wide x 7 inches high from plain cotton muslin.
Iron (3) 1/2-inch folds across the length of each square.
Sew together fabric squares top and bottom across length.
Turn inside out and re-press folds and seams flat.
Turn in ends 1/4-inch and pin close, then stitch.
Use 1/4-inch elastic to sew along short ends to make ear loops.

YMMV. Tweak as you go for fit because not everybody’s noses or ears are the same. ;-)

218:

There are hospitals in Italy shifting to battlefield triage because they can't treat all the critical cases. There are hospitals in Seattle warning that they're going where Italy is going on current trend and will be into partial resource exhaustion in four days. This doesn't much resemble seasonal flu.

Direct deaths aren't the primary concern; how many people die if the health care system crashes from the surge load?

It's a lot. If the health care system stays crashed for any length of time, including the very long supply chains back of drug synthesis and supply, we go back to 1920s mortality rates; strokes and heart attacks start being reliably lethal again, every diabetic dies, stuff like that.

So maybe the question isn't "the unknown prompt lethality might not be that bad" (though even with effective treatment, it's looking pretty bad), but "what do we need to do to keep the health care system functioning?"

219:

Had a thought about colleges & universities closing down their dormitories ...

When I was at NC State, we paid rent for the whole semester at once. Do they still do it that way? If so, do the students get any kind of pro-rated refund when the school closes the dorms?

220:

SARS got contained. COVID-19 is most entirely loose.

We haven't begun to see the economic hit; even with a relatively small death rate, it's unlikely that the status quo ante will be entirely restored, and possible that it won't be restored at all.

"Getting on with life" is a question for a post-vaccine world, should that world come.

221:

A quick search suggests that H1N1 (2009) was about twice as lethal as a typical flu, with some argument, and the severe cases were skewed younger, I presume (without looking) due to preexisting (partial) immunity among some of the older people. You're implicitly conflating death rate and overall mortality; the later is dependent on the percentage of the population getting infected and on the former, and the former on how much healthcare systems are burdened beyond capacity to properly care for the severest cases, i.e. on the later.
South Korea is a good model for a non-overwhelmed healthcare system; there the death rate is
One chart shows how the coronavirus is more deadly than the flu even in South Korea, where the COVID-19 death rate is low (Andy Kiersz, Mar 12, 2020)
As of Thursday, 66 out of 7,869, or 0.84%, South Korean patients confirmed to have the coronavirus have died.
But extremely skewed towards the older population.
South Korea has contained this through vigorous measures according to their statistics. As have a few other countries with curves that have leveled off or better.
Etc. (Yes, the economic costs will be high. Yes, there are reports in the US of the usage "Boomer Remover". GHG emissions way down, good in the fullness of time.)

222:

WHat shares hould I buy at the bottom of the trough, to really clean up, I wonder?

Status quo ante is not looking especially likely; once the hard border closures start, they'll be a goodly while opening up again, and they won't open evenly or all at once. Knowing, today, what supply chains cross what border is exceedingly challenging.

My own take is that things are going to be getting worse for awhile; if I'm being a bit dry, so much depends on who dies in what order.

(even the traditional safe investment, a local brewery, isn't looking too good with the probable state of barley supply post-Brexit.)

Somebody doing primary manufacturing, especially of pipe or pumps, seems like the best bet.

223:

I work in front line human services that don't go away even in health crises - in many ways the homeless shelter I work at has been dealing with another health crisis for some years now (opioid deaths).

Staffing is difficult at best, which places more pressure on existing staff, and we can expect a lot of sick days to be called in. Which will mean people actually at work will have to work more, and then get sick as well.

This combines with a population that has a marginal relationship and capacity for personal hygiene at best - historical abuse, mental health, addictions and poverty do not combine well in most cases and self care falls down the priority list.

Protocols at present involve a lot of cleaning and disinfecting and a healthy maintenance of distance, but it is only a matter of time before I find myself faced with having to perform CPR on a visibly ill person who has overdosed. This is not a good thing at the best of times and we use precautions, but this scares the crap out of me when I think about it too much.

HIV, Hepatitis and other issues always make such situations fraught, but this bug is yet more communicable. One never wants to be in a situation where choosing not to help someone (and therefore allowing them to die) is a prudent choice.

224:

For somewhat selfish reasons, I hope the worst will be over till the middle of May; KMFDM are playing in Krefeld, and I got a ticket.

On another note, problem is I likely have to go out at the moment; I'm transistioning between jobs, it's all somewhat stressfull, and I assume seeing some people besides work and family is critical for staying afloat; I saw some anarcho-whatever (I would have said -syndicalist, but it might have been -communist) talk about post WW1 revolution in the Ruhr yesterday, somewhat around 15 people, still, you wonder about the risks with elderly relatives at home.

I already binge-watched Avenue 5 and am going to start Picard soon (one guy at my now soon former place of work is a big Trek fan), and then, there's always (re)watching Farscape; other propositions welcome. ;)

225:

While Tinky Winky 2 flu is technically not a flu, it is a respiratory virus which co-circulates with flu. It has the same symptoms as flu, it is transmitted like flu, it is treated like flu, it is prevented like flu. Before it was isolated it would have been included with flu, had forms of it existed.

Wrong on multiple counts.

Aside from them both targeting the respiratory system, COVID-19 doesn't have much in common with influenze at all: in particular its symptoms differ significantly from flu, and it is neither treated the same way as flu, or prevented the same way.

Please stop spreading misinformation. If you keep doing so, I'm going to red-card you.

226:

My interpretation was from https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/coronavirus/coronavirus-disease-2019-vs-the-flu

The senior director of infection prevention explains the similarities and differences. I searched Johns Hopkins as it had just been cited.

227:

If so, do the students get any kind of pro-rated refund when the school closes the dorms?

I'm sure that is item 463 on the list of things to deal with "soon". :)

Here in NC the governor just closed all public school systems. Oh boy. There are around 12 million people in the state. Heck our county school system had 140K+ students as of 2016. Families are going to be disrupted to say the least.

228:

Flu has a mortality rate of around 0.1%, Covid-19 is currently at around 1% to 3% - so 10x to 30x worse.

Flu has an R0 of 1.3 (each sick person will infect 1.3 additional people), Covid-19 is currently 2 to 3.1 (the incubation period for the flu is 2 to 4 days, Covid-19 is 1 to 14 days).

Recover time flu is 1 week, Covid-19 2 weeks (twice as long, so twice as much resource usage for hospitalized cases).

There is no human partial immunity, so it is spreading unchecked.

All of that means that more people will end up in the hospital system with Covid-19 than the flu, and when then end up there they will take up more resources for longer.

This then means that those limited resources (special care, ventilators) are not available for things that happen anyway (flu, car accidents, surgery complications, etc), causing more problems/deaths.

See this for all the charts that explain it, and the 2 curves that demonstrate why countries are killing their economies temporarily to try and slow the spread https://www.vox.com/future-perfect/2020/3/12/21172040/coronavirus-covid-19-virus-charts

229:

The following link has an explantion of why experts are so worried about Covid-19, and why it is so much more dangerous than the flu.

But it also covers SARS, and a key difference.

With SARS patients were not contagious until after the symptoms had appeared - this made is relatively easy to stop SARS from spreading once we knew what we were dealing with. This is likely why SARS never (so far) returned.

Covid-19 patients are contagious for 1 to 14 days prior to symptoms - thus there is no way other than isolation to stop the spread.

You can't isolate everybody until a vaccine (if possible) is created, so the best we can do is try and slow the spread enough so that the health care systems don't collapse.

https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2020-03-05/how-bad-is-the-coronavirus-let-s-compare-with-sars-ebola-flu

230:

Re: ' ... explains the similarities and differences.'

You [conveniently?] missed several 'might's in the explanation.

If you look at the WHO site's FAQ page, you'll notice that they mention that studies are still on-going. 'Most common' does not mean 'only'.

https://www.who.int/news-room/q-a-detail/q-a-coronaviruses

And if you look at the Johns Hopkins tracking page, you'll notice that the death rate in Italy is currently at 6.8%.

https://gisanddata.maps.arcgis.com/apps/opsdashboard/index.html#/bda7594740fd40299423467b48e9ecf6

Death from the annual flu is usually about 0.1%, meaning that if COVID-19 is not contained and resources are not available, you're looking at over 60 times the seasonal flu deaths. This is frighteningly high in a country that scores better than the US on its population's overall health, access to health care and longevity.

https://www.worldlifeexpectancy.com/country-health-profile/italy

https://www.worldlifeexpectancy.com/country-health-profile/united-states

231:

Apparently ACE2 ist also somewhat implicated in the old SARS-COV, and there has been some research into it.

Going by the research, kininase II or whatever, AKA ACE, the target of the whatever-pril ACE inhibitors beloved to hypertensives all over the world and ACE2, the Keymaster of Gozer, err, SARS-CoV-2 are somewhat antagonistic; ACE converts angiotensin I to angiotensin II (it also converts some other peptides into other peptides as well, which is why my mother got home with a nice prescription for dihydrocodein when put on an ACE inhibitor, one of those building up makes for inflammation of the airways and coughing), ACE2 converts angiotensin I into angiotensin[1-9] and angiotensin II into angiotensin[1-7], with the latter being a vasodilator, in contrast to angiotensin II, which is a vasoconstrictor.

ACE2 activity being downregulated by SARS-CoV-2 might explain the problems for hypertensives (and maybe type-II diabetics, who have might have lower ACE2 activity to begin with), they lose the protective effect of angiotensin[1-7]. Also note ACE2 ist implicated as a protective factor in pulmonary hypertension.

(Oh, and no, ACE2 is not all good; for example overexpression might lead to cardiac fibrosis)

Problem is, though ACE2 is AFAIK not inhibited by most ACE inhibitors, expression is likely upregulated in people taking ACE inhibitors and AT1 receptor blockers, from what I read that might even be part of the therapeutic effect. Problem is higher expression of ACE2 also means higher susceptibility to SARS-COV. Please note I'm not sure if other antihypertensives have an effect on ACE2 expression, and when switching to the diuretics, at least one thiazide heightens the risk of some skin cancers.

As for inhibitors of ACE2, first problem is not all ligands might work but only the ones stabilizing a structure that doesn't bind to its conterpart on the virus envelope. There is a similar situation with JC polyomavirus and some 5-HT2 receptors, e.g. the virus uses them to enter cells, and while some 5-HT2 antagonists inhibited virus propagation in some models, risperidone, another antagonist, didn't in another. Please note risperidone is quite close in structure to ketanserin, de agent that worked, so either even small molecular changes can make big differences, or one of the models sucked big time.

But at least one compound targeting ACE2 worked on SARS-Cov.

OTOH, there is an activator of ACE2, diminazene, though I'm reminded of carcinogenic azo compounds by this structure. No idea if it would help in downregulated ACE2 due to SARS-CoV-2, restoring somewhat normal function.

BTW, my inner high functioning autist is screaming when I hear about "the ACE2 receptor". Actually, from what I have seen, it's a membrance bound enzyme catalyzing the hydrolysis of some peptides, it doesn't transmit any signals.
But then, the term is also used for cell adhesion molecules and like, so I guess I'll endure this nomenclatural ambivalency (at least it's this for my inner HFA)...

Please note that these are some of my takeaways after skimming throug wiki and pubmed, I'm just reconnecting with the local biologists at this time and severely outdated. Where one event where I reconnect, the Rensch lectur, is likely to be cancelled. Errr. So please don't take this as gospel but more liek an entertaining apocryphal.

233:

Nice, thanks. And if i counted correctly, 19 links. Spiders should be loving this ... thread.

234:

My dad (an epidemiologist) was still alive when SARS hit, and his advice made dealing with the community panic pretty simple.

Unfortunately, COVID looks to be like his good-thing-SRAS-isn't-like-this scenario. Makes those middle-of-the-night nightmares harder to shake off.

235:

Without a vice president the order of succession falls through to the Speaker of the House, who's under different term rules and therefore at 12:01PM still has a job. That's Nancy Pelosi

Didn't you leave out "and the terms of Senators and Representatives at noon on the 3d day of January"?

And if you're not having a presidunce election presumably you're also not electing the rest either? So you're going to have a gaping void where currently you have... whatever it is that is in there.

236:

Pigeon,

I owe you an apology.

My response was intemperate and my language inappropriately aggressive when you posted about how the airports should be closed immediately in the last thread on coronavirus.

I'm sorry.

You struck a nerve. Like most mum and dads who have to travel for work I have a fear of not being there when my kids need me. I was in Australia for work when NZ shut down travel from China a few weeks ago - a blanket closing of NZ airports at that point would have left my kids (and their mum) without me in a pandemic. But my response that people who want to shut the airports should "Fuck off!" was still more vehement than was appropriate, and I'm sorry I was so aggressive.

I stand by the content of what I said. Shutting down all travel immediately stops people getting home, which is extremely disruptive to people's lives, especially people who have dependents that they need to be there to care for. There are other ways to restrict travel that do not stop people who have dependents getting home to care for them (NZ's current travel bans with 14 days self-isolation of travellers, for example - I think it's very sensible).

But I regret the way I said that. Particularly the "Fuck off!" part. Sorry.

Regards,

icehawk

237:

Any indications of how that's actually expected to work? Are quarters going to be provided for those that don't have any, are 14-day survival packages of food and other supplies going to be given to people who can't go shopping?

We will find out.

It's not about stopping any chance of infections.

It's about moving the odds strongly our way, to slow the spread of the disease.

NZ supermarkets deliver, and either have added or are adding the ability to request contactless delivery to their apps. Likewise Uber Eats, etc. No idea what a NZ motel would say if you asked to self-isolate there, but most NZ motels are owner-operated not big chains and the owners are practical people - I expect they'd sort out something.

The NZ govt has been clear that delivering to a friend or family member who needs stuff is okay - they want you to mimimize contact as much as is practical, so getting a lift from the airport with a mate is better than going home from the airport on public transport.

If all the NZ govt succeed in doing is reducing chance of infection rates by 99% by removing most contact - and especially prolonged contact - then the policy will be a success as it'll make tracing and managing infections vastly easier. In practice, of course, it's also stopping unnecessary travel to NZ.

A problem will be people who don't self-isolate. There's already been a dick on the news saying she wasn't about to do that because she "only works in an office with seven people". The legal details of that are unclear. But my guess is we'll see quite strong social pressure: I'm sure people like Zane, or my wife, will very loudly and very publicly berate and shame anyone they see in public who should be self-isolated. I'd probably be angry enough to find the social confidence to do so myself.

But again it's still a success (though less of one) if it works only 99% of the time.

238:

Nope - that's for the Senators and Reps whose terms ended. Pelosi, being reelected last year, her term does not end until '21.

239:

I disagree. We have *no* system. It's utterly fragmented.

On the other hand, Medicare for All.
*sigh*
Let me give you FACTS, something that no "journalist" has done (they all work for billionaires, or only report what someone else said).

The last job before I retired last year, my company was paying over $12k PER YEAR for me, alone, for a "gold" plan... and I had to pay another $1k or $2k/year.

Now, all the THIRTY TRILLION DOLLARS!!! is bs. They're basing it on current rates... and on the rate of increase that they expect from the insurance companies.

Medicare: as of '16, they average $7400/year or so for men, and aboug $8300/year for women. You want to tell me that there's a single company that would not a) want to pay $4k PER YEAR LESS PER EMPLOYEE? AND there would be NO 5%, or 10%, or 20% increase EVERY SINGLE YEAR (yeah, I worked somewhere in the last 15-20 years that got hit with the 20%). We won't even *talk* about how, when I was on COBRA, in 13 mos, between '04 and 05, Aetna increased my premiums 100%!!!!!!!!!!!!

240:

I went shopping today. Forget tp, got that, we needed coffee beans.

Trader Joes (where I get espresso beans) was out of a lot (but not espresso). Had to go to Rdman's for regular (columbian supremo), emptied the dispenser, and had to get Columbian French roast.

Then I had to go to the ethnic market ("Korean Corner" supermarket size) to get leeks*. Every single line was at least 12 people long and slow.

America: we overreact more than anyone else!

* I make Welsh leek and potato soup on March *16th*, yeah, I know, two weeks late for St. David's day... but it is the day *before* the 17th

Oh, and in the US Oct 12 is the traditional Columbus Day, so I recognize Oct 11 as Lief Erickson Day....

241:

Obviously every virus is different, but does anyone have a more positive take on this?

Positive take, as requested:

There are countries like Singapore, Taiwan and South Korea and China that seem to be doing a good job of controlling this.

China didn't start well, but they have done a rather good job once they got onto it. South Korea shows that having bad luck at the start of your infection makes a big difference (and did they ever...), but now seem to be showing that it's possible to get it under control despite that.

So the gap between worst-likely-case and best-likely-case remains very large. It's not impossible that most countries will control it. I really don't think we can tell yet. I hope so.

Though you know that you are in deep, deep shit when the possibility that Trump could get re-elected (by complaining in November that it was all a big deal over nothing) is the best possible case.

242:

Only dorm I was ever in was around '74, when I had a girlfriend for a few months who lived in the dorms at UofP in Philly. Two single rooms, a shared room (4 in the suite) and a tiny kitchen and bathroom.

243:

Dirksen was an ignorante sleazebag. Or don't you remember his "Golden Fleece awards", where he didn't understand what they were studying?

244:

a blanket closing of NZ airports at that point would have left my kids (and their mum) without me in a pandemic.

If such a closure would have left the in-situ NZ health resources able to contain the spread, that would have been an excellent trade for them. (And you. And everybody in Aotearoa. It's been a hundred years since a greenfield epidemic went global. Everybody seems to have forgotten.)

Personal isn't the same as important, to quote Carrot and thus Pratchett. We're all going to have to figure that out again.

It takes a long time to train doctors. It takes a long time to stand up functioning hospital organizations and effective community health mechanisms and the production and distribution networks necessary to support them. If the health care system goes down, it stays down; it's not inherently resilient. There is no surplus on which to draw.

So far, all the North Atlantic democracies have abjectly failed to deal. Whether we're into "deal not an option; try to survive" is not yet clear. We could be.

Everybody stay home this week, save as the house catches actual fire.

245:

Garfield, *hmph* Eldritch horror?

I know who can take him down, easily: Fat Freddy's Cat, the only *real* cat in all of comicdom.

246:

The Idiot's base, last I read, had shrunk to 29%. I'd *love* to see it now.

247:

The Golden Fleece awards were from William Proxmire, not Everett Dirksen.

Enjoy!

Frank.

248:

That's good news. It would be kind of funny if she became the first woman president as a result of this but I somehow think she'd be regarded as extra illegitimate on account of her femaleness. In a way that wouldn't matter though because the far right are already at 11 on the dial...

249:

If such a closure would have left the in-situ NZ health resources able to contain the spread,

"If"

I'm reading my prime minister saying the New Zealand will have the "widest ranging and toughest travel restrictions of any nation in the world", our health experts back them, I'm agreeing with those restrictions. And you're claiming that following them is an unacceptable level of risk. I don't think your point is irrational, but I think I can reasonably disagree.

(But I really liked the Pratchett quote. Very apt, made your point very well. I do enjoy comments by writers, people like you and Charlie say things so well even when I disagree with you.)


It's been a hundred years since a greenfield epidemic went global. Everybody seems to have forgotten.

Actually, that's one feature of the NZ response that hasn't been discussed.

The 1919 epidemic hit the Pacific islands nations particularly hard, due to less natural immunity and difficulty of care in isolated communities. Significantly harder than you in the Americas or Europe. NZ's role in that is a particularly shameful part of NZ's history.

Which is why there's more detail to our isolation policy than has been discussed here, regards that. NZers travel *to* our Pacific neighbours will be restricted by NZ, with details as yet to be announced. Travel from our (uninfected) Pacific neighbours will be less restricted.

So people may not have learned all the lessons you'd like from the 1919 pandemic. But down here they are certainly remembering, and working to not repeat *all* the same mistakes.

250:

My understanding is that those diseases that hit the young and healthy hardest generally (if not always) did so via Cytokine Storm - essentially making the immune system go berserk and make a mess of everything. See Wikipedia

251:

NZers travel *to* our Pacific neighbours will be restricted

Context that icehawk left out is that someone travelling from NZ almost certainly brought measles to Samoa recently, killing 83 from a population of about 200,000, mostly kids. Those wounds are still raw, and it's one reason Samoa was so quick to shut things down in the current pandemic (site has a list of all their health advisories, that was not the first).

Ardern can wah wah about having the strongest measures but Samoa has acted more quickly and more decisively than Aotearoa, and likely at greater cost to themselves. They *know* that damaging the economy is a secondary consideration when they're asking how many people will die from a disease.

Meanwhile in Australia... I for one am staying at home for a while except to go shopping for essentials.

252:

A little more detail on NZ 14-day practicalities - includes narking on perceived violators
https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/health/coronavirus/120293045/coronavirus-how-will-people-in-selfisolation-be-policed

Also, until a few hours time, those travelling from AU and USA where still able to use eGates. Once the 14-day treatment applies, eGates are closed (so people have to lie face-to-face). This limit[ed/s] the queues at airports, probably at the cost of letting more than just the one known carrier in.
https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/health/coronavirus/120297058/coronavirus-kiwis-told-to-avoid-travelling-abroad-as-customs-says-it-will-close-all-egates

253:

Didn't you leave out "and the terms of Senators and Representatives at noon on the 3d day of January"?

I simplified for the sake of clarity; hopefully I didn't leave out so much I confused anyone.

Getting deeper into the details - which Donald would never do - Nancy Pelosi's current term ends on 3 January 2021. If California has any election-shaped event at all the odds of her being elected to an 18th term seem very good. The filling vacant seats rules vary; it's possible for Senators to be appointed but a representative must be elected by the people of her district. This often happens by a special election called as needed, the way ordinary nations like Scotland do it. *grin*

If there are no elections at all things change; the person who hadn't timed out of office would be Chuck Grassley, who's a senator with a six year term beginning in 2019, and since he's neither frothingly insane or obviously treasonous I wouldn't expect most UK residents to be aware of him.

He also doesn't offer the amusement value of explaining to Donald that he must do a thing or Nancy Pelosi becomes president!

254:

The Idiot's base, last I read, had shrunk to 29%. I'd *love* to see it now.

Why settle for now? The fivethirtyeight site has this page graphing How popular is Donald Trump? going back years. As I type the average is 42.3% approval, which is typical; he hovers around the low forties in defiance of pretty much anything that happens. Everyone willing to be swayed by actions or events has already made up their minds and his core support is faith based.

Or were you thinking of BoJo? I don't have poll numbers on him at hand, sorry.

255:

And if you're not having a presidunce election presumably you're also not electing the rest either?

In the US system there is no provision for not having a presidential election. At least not without new legislation and fat chance getting that through the current House which sits until after the next election.

As to the Congressional elections, Pelosi is from California. Again fat chance of them doing anything which might leave DT in office.

256:

mdive
And ... BECAUSE sufferers are contagious for 1-14 days WITHOUT SYMPTOMS ... it follows that comtainment & isolation simply are not going to work, at all, are they?
Or are they - you tell me.

Why is the death rate in Italy so high, when here it appears to "only" be people with pre-existing conditions & about 1.5 - 2% - yes?

FrankO
Poxmire (!) shudder ... what an ignorant, arrogant, bigmouthed shit.
A forerunner to DT, come to hink of it.

257:

As to the Congressional elections, Pelosi is from California. Again fat chance of them doing anything which might leave DT in office.

Yes, this. Pelosi represents the California's 12th District, which is different from the city of San Francisco in no way Brits need care about. She has not gotten less than 80% of the votes in any of the last four elections.

Disease fears are bad but not even the 1918 flu and another 1906 quake would keep San Franciscans away from the polls if they had the opportunity to both vote for Nancy and stick it to Donald.

258:

If you test only people with severe symptoms, as the UK is planning to, you will get a very high death rate. The reason that there are so many cases in Italy is almost certainly because the virus had spread through the population before anyone woke up to its presence.

That arsehole Halfcock is proposing to put all over-70s and those with pre-existing medical conditions under house arrest. As a retired doctor said to me last night, nobody realises that you can self-isolate just as well outside as inside. I am going to be impacted if I can't go touring - on my trike on my own in Scotland, camping out - which IS self-isolation! But the UK is governed by urbanites :-(

The real issue is the number of relatively poor, elderly people who are not Internet-capable or -savvy, often without younger relatives nearby, and sometimes don't even have a telephone. Just delivering what TPTB think of as regular medicines, groceries etc. will NOT be enough. And I will bet that the gummint will not go as far as to require mail-order companies to home deliver small orders for free.

And the death rate in our prisons and concentration camps, oops, immigrational removal centres etc. is going to be horrendous, but I will bet that most of the current shits will see that as a benefit.

259:

Testing for coronavirus...

We don't know how many false positives the various different tests produce, nor do we have a number for false negatives. Relying on "tests" as a magic panacea is distracting from what's happening and what's being done about it. Implementing much greater levels of testing will take resources away from treatment and attempts to contain the spread of infection -- a trained medic taking swabs from people for testing is someone who's not able to work front-line in an isolation facility since they're busy doing something else and they're most the likely person to come into contact with someone who's infected and hence they would have to drop out of the rota for at least seven days. All the testing in the world isn't going to stop 30 million or more people in the UK getting infected over the course of the next few months. The only way to implement very high levels of testing that I can think of is a self-test process of some sort although the error rates would be higher than they actually are today.

Physical isolation will work to stop someone at-risk becoming infected, that's a given. The impossibility or inconvenience of effective widespread isolation measures is another matter, mostly a problem of logistics and resource allocation including double-checking that people don't fall down the cracks. This will happen though, accompanied by headlines and accusations when Granny dies and no-one finds her body for a week.

I can't see any way to save everybody in this situation, there is no perfect solution.

260:

A little more detail on NZ 14-day practicalities - includes narking on perceived violators

That sounds pretty heavy-handed: all enforcement and no support. I suspect that there are many incoming travelers who do not have the means to self-isolate for 14 days, so some support will be necessary.

261:

a trained medic taking swabs from people for testing is someone who's not able to work front-line in an isolation facility since they're busy doing something else

Yes, but you don't need a trained A&E nurse to take swabs: trainee nurses or even dental technicians will do, at a pinch.

What you do is, you cancel elective procedures and non-essential out patient stuff, and divert specialists from other fields into supporting roles -- an oncology professor may not be remotely current in emergency medicine but they did practice it for a while 20 years ago during their training, COVID-19 is fairly standardized, so they can be deployed to do triage and stabilize the less-critical cases, leaving the actual A&E specialists to handle critical cases and the usual heart attacks that come in. Added bonus: with the pubs and big events shutting, the usual Saturday night booze-fest in A&E is also cancelled (i.e. no influx of annoying angry drunks).

A big influence on the death toll will be stuff that used to be routine -- early cancer diagnosis, for example -- falling through the cracks because resources are diverted to the pandemic.

262:

It appears that CDC has been preparing for a pandemic similar to COVID-19 for quite a while.

https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/66/rr/rr6601a1.htm

Community Mitigation Guidelines to Prevent Pandemic Influenza — United States, 2017

These guidelines replace the 2007 Interim Pre-pandemic Planning Guidance: Community Strategy for Pandemic Influenza Mitigation in the United States — Early, Targeted, Layered Use of Nonpharmaceutical Interventions (https://stacks.cdc.gov/view/cdc/11425).

"Nonpharmaceutical Interventions" means the isolation/distancing and hygene measures we're seeing now. It appears to have taken until around 25 February 2020 for CDC to start talking about applying the guidelines in the, ah, guidance.

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/cdc-say-us-must-prepare-for-coronavirus-spread

263:

but I somehow think she'd be regarded as extra illegitimate on account of her femaleness.

Nope. But pissed, totally. I know a lot of people at both ends of the spectrum. They have no problem admiring that she's the Speaker of the House and 3rd in line. They just get ill imagining that it might happen for her to get there.

Talking about US (and other country politics) can be hard at times. There are certain things carved in stone in each country. Others are very established precedent. And others are fuzzy in the details due to no one thinking thing through in what would see bizarre ways at the time. And of course which are which varies all over the map by country.

DT wanting to replace the Fed Chair is one of the US ones that is a bit fuzzy around the edges. Replacing him will not change much of anything practical at this point except that DT is totally pissed that the current Chair (Powell) doesn't go along with whatever DT wants.

264:

However, I am somewhat amused by the sight of the gummint moving from complacency to panic in under 3 days - that's a record in my experience.

Whether our disused car manufacturers are either capable of or prepared to retool to produce ventilators for a one-off order is less clear - as is whether the gummint will be able to get the designs etc. out of the existing manufacturers. As is how many of their other panic measures will be either feasible or effective.

265:

Yes, but you don't need a trained A&E nurse to take swabs: trainee nurses or even dental technicians will do, at a pinch.

What you do is, you cancel elective procedures and non-essential out patient stuff, and divert specialists from other fields into supporting roles

That's what the government is doing, according to the BBC. They're also requesting some manufacturing facilities (including, if you read between the lines, companies like BAe) to work on building lots of respirators to meet the peak demand expected in a few weeks time. The licencing and design evaluation procedures will be severely curtailed on the basis a not-up-to-spec device is probably better than no device at all.

On that, there are reports that ventilators aren't doing a lot of good -- one report from an Italian medical facility reports 32 patients were put on ventilation for treatment of bilateral lung failure due to conoraviirus. 31 of them died. Of course that's biased, the patients were in a bad way before they were ventilated otherwise they wouldn't have been put on the machines but still it's not a good sign.

266:

My best guess is, someone took BoJo out behind the woodshed and schooled him about exponential progressions and why Cummings' ideology is a stupid gamble under the circumstances.

(It wisnae the Wee Fishwife: he doesn't listen to her at the best of times, even though she's basically a repeater for the chief medical officer of NHS Scotland right now.)

I think most of our manufacturing industries are too atomized -- too part of the pan-EU supply chain -- to make stuff on their own any more, without a big ramp-up. Some of the specialists, maybe, especially the big engine firms, but how efficient will Rolls Royce (gas turbines), Caterham (formula one motor racing, hypercars), etc. be at changing gear in a week?

267:

Too late to comment on that, but still: if you are taking angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors or antagonists of angiotensin II receptors, you might want to substitute those in such occasion (if connection between angiotensin system receptors and virus entering cells checks out) with dihydropyridine calcium antagonists (L-type calcium channel blockers). Those are vasodilator drugs, preferably used for blood pressure control in hypertension.

268:

The licencing and design evaluation procedures will be severely curtailed on the basis a not-up-to-spec device is probably better than no device at all.

True, but bear in mind the likes of BAe are not used to the unusual parameters of medical equipment. So there are risks of accidental deaths as a consequence of inadequately vetted designs using, say, lubricants that the designers don't realize are cumulatively toxic and the virtually-non-existent medical certification system (hey, we left the EU Medicines Agency! Brexit means Brexit!) don't spot in time.

(See also the recent US panic over deaths due to vaping THC, which was actually due to a non-lung-safe carrier liquid in the cartridges which were made by unlicensed third parties because cannabis is still partially illegal in the US and the US government was trying to ban vaping because they'd been bought by the big tobacco lobbyists.)

269:

Looking at the stats for deaths & serious case here:
https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/

The numbers seem to be roughly the same, suggesting if it’s serious, it’s fatal.
That might make a difference to the worry of health system collapse - ie. it’s mild or it kills you, doesn’t matter whether you make it to a ventilator or not...

270:

... And I'm just back from a brief neighbourhood shop, mostly for canned goods (we'd somehow completely run out of chick peas and a couple of other types of bean).

Yup, the shelves were unusually depleted at the local organic shop.

(I bought ten cans of stuff we get through: not exactly panic buying/stockpiling as we can eat our way through that in a week to ten days, but maybe more than I'd usually buy because I'm not sure when I'll be able to repeat the exercise.)

((It's hard to over-buy when you do your shopping trip on foot, using a backpack, and it terminates by hauling everything up four storeys on foot: that puts an upper limit on your stockpiling activities.))

271:

Re: serious cases
Unless I’m reading it wrong and that stat is current rather that total ...

272:

True, but bear in mind the likes of BAe are not used to the unusual parameters of medical equipment.

Add to that that the BAe idea of a clean factory is a filthy mess in terms of making medical equipment. Just keeping microscopic containment out of the process might be too much without a complete re-work of the factory floor.

Bacteria stuck to the side of a piston or crank case doesn't matter on your typical engine.

273:

I'm wondering how long before fresh fruit and veg starts getting scarce, given that so much of it comes from Spain.

274:

Door-to-door ...

This is the time of year that the door-to-door scam artists and religious mag distributors start ringing doorbells. Wonder whether it would be okay to call the cops on them this year.

Unfortunately, the local kids' sports, activities and charities also typically start their door-to-door collections around now. It's usually one or two kids at the door with their mums or dads watching and waving at the home-owner from the sidewalk. Oh well, next year I'll give a bit more.

Okay - the above is in fact what I've been thinking but what I'm also trying to get at is: this self-isolation and social distancing also means that you do not change the circle of people you come in contact with. No new contacts. If you're in contact with 7 different people each day of the week, you're actually in contact with 49 different people by week's end. I realize that most of you folks can out-math me - I'm just trying to be really clear here. I'm not sure that some of the 'avoid-crowds/use social-distancing' messages gets the cumulative aspect across.

275:

Been thinking about long term societal changes once we're past the immediate response (yeah, I know, assuming we get past it without a complete societal collapse). Somebody upthread (or in the old thread - I can't remember) commented that the anti-vaxxers could be deemed to be bio-terrorists. So, that alone potentially leads to the following:

1. Citizenship and rights. No vaccinations, no rights (unless there is a valid medical reason for no vaccinations).

2. Travel. We'll be going back to the 1960s and the requirement for pre-travel vaccinations. If you didn't have the correct paperwork, you didn't get entry. Will air travel still be a mass-market thing or will we go back to surface travel? When it took several days to get anywhere, anyone pre-symptomatic would probably be symptomatic on arrival and would be immediately whisked into isolation.

3. Crime. There will be a black market in fake or stolen vaccination certificates. Sellers and purchasers will be criminalised, possibly losing citizenship rights.

4. Social distancing. Will we go back to the days of notifiable diseases and quarantine periods? I recall missing schooling because of various childhood illnesses. There's potentially going to be societal pressure not to travel or go into work for x days even for a mild cold. People won't travel without valid reasons, especially foreign travel. Will we go back to the traditional seaside summer holiday or will that be too close to other people? Unless we go back to the idea of Wakes weeks but for communities rather than factories...

5. Single family breadwinners, aka stay-at-home mums. If both parents work, what happens when the kids have to stay home? The grandparents (or other family members) could be the other side of the country... This has knock-on effects on employment and divorce, and social stigma for out-of-wedlock (stable partnership) children.

6. Contraception. If there's social pressure not to have children outside a stable relationship, there's going to be higher rates of abortion, depot contraceptives, or reversible sterilisation procedures. Which takes us onto 'christian' values...

7. Community cohesion. Live together, socialise together, build social capital within your community. Ostracism cuts you off from the community. Will we go back to the extended family?

It's all sounding like a return to the 1950s - can we put the genie back in the bottle? Do we want to?

276:

I wonder if they have got the approach wrong. Surely a quicker route to higher production albeit with less peak potential is to supply BAE staff or similar to existing manufacturers of ventilators - assuming we have one or two. That way they get to run their production lines 24/7 under existing conditions.

I’m also pretty disappointed that there isn’t a “Manhattan project” for CoronaVirus yet. Although I wouldn’t bet against the Chinese already having one.

I also wonder if they are preparing to license their field hospital designs to the rest of the world - presumably they are also crash building various capabilities for the COVID-19 second wave that will hit them as soon as they relax the Wuhan restrictions. Assuming they ever intend to of course.

277:

A lot of BAe's military production of things like missile optical sensors and the like requires clean-room assembly and exhaustive inspection. Parts that come out of a Haas or Tormek five-axis CNC machine on the factory floor will be covered in cutting fluid but they get cleaned before they go on to final assembly, ditto for laser-cut plates and additive 3-D printing.

As for dealing bacteria, that's what proper sterilisation is for. Part of the licencing design spec is to ensure they CAN be sterilised after each use to meet stringent regulations. I'd expect a company like BAe to be a primary-parts and assemblies supplier to existing manufacturers, allowing them to go to 24/7 production by moving their own sub-assembly workers and plant to producing finished units more rapidly, but I'm not in charge (thankfully).

Producing lots of home-use oxygen delivery systems might be more useful than hospital ventilators, either oxygen concentrators or bottle-supplied gas, for people with breathing difficulties who could use the "boost" to keep them out of the institutional medical care system which is going to be seriously under load.

278:

These aren't assertions, only questions.

I agree that a regular seasonal flu can't locally overwhelm a health service however it is organised- though novel flu strains have that potential?

The key difference with the previous betacoronavirus is that it is infectious before symptoms- this is like flu? I'm not sure why an infectious disease would be classed similarly with a key difference in transmission?

It is generally accepted that the statistics are not accurate? Britain, Germany and India had their first cases in January like Italy, the mortality rate is 0.2% in Britain and Germany, there have been 3 reported deaths in India and under 100 cases? Is the expectation that there will be a huge increase in the death toll in China?

HMG expert advice was not to ban mass gatherings, though this was objected to by non-government experts? On the day Cheltenham finished we were advised that a ban was being prepared for next week?

It is not clear why the pattern in Italy be should be different from the rest of Europe? The Italians have designated a hospital for the outbreak- in Camerino- has this happened elsewhere? The Italian medical authorities are also under legal investigation?

279:

It is possible that the chief medical and scientific officers gave him an ultimatum: start taking serious action NOW, and we will support you, or here are our resignation letters (and the reason will leak), but I have no idea if they have that much spine.

280:

I’m also pretty disappointed that there isn’t a “Manhattan project” for CoronaVirus yet.

DARPA started a program in that direction back in 2017, but evidence suggests they haven't gotten there yet.

https://www.darpa.mil/program/pandemic-prevention-platform

(A friend told me that one of the principal researchers in that is currently stuck in Italy with COVID-19.)

281:

Re: 'These aren't assertions, only questions.'

Hmmm ... interesting.

Did you know that repeating questions in a slanted manner can produce the same impact as phrasing the content as declarative sentences?

Did you know that such question phrasing is a big no-no in legitimate survey research?

Just asking ...


282:

It seems to me that pressure swing oxygen concentrator production is vulnerable mostly to supply chain issues with the zeolite pellets they require for nitrogen gas adsorption. (Having said that, portable ones for home use allegedly retail for around $600, per wikipedia, so I'm guessing the cartridges are standardized and mass produced already.)

Membrane gas separation can use other materials, including organic polymers ... but again, we're into availability issues for unusual physical-chemical materials.

Cryogenic oxygen concentrators don't need zeolites or large surface area membranes, but are energetically less efficient: however they're the type of technology that RR et al should be absolutely on top of (high pressure compressors, countercurrent refrigeration, liquid pumps). Maybe for filling oxygen cylinders in bulk?

283:

Yeah, I noticed that.

Pasquinade is now banned from commenting.

I'll revisit the ban in future for non-COVID-19 related threads.

284:

The Fukushima disaster (remember when that was going to kill everyone?) actually caused an interesting hiccup in zeolite production since it's what is inside the big canisters that were used to process contaminated water and remove radioactive isotopes in an ion exchange process. The downslope of that disaster resulted in the increased production of zeolite worldwide.

The swing concentrators are useful since they don't require oxygen bottles to be swapped out -- amongst other things the local Fire Brigade has to be notified that such cylinders might be in someone's home if they're called out to a fire there. The concentrators are also popular with hobbyist jewellers to provide small amounts of oxygen for gas torches for silver soldering and brazing, again obviating the need to swap cylinders out when they're depleted.

BOC stands for British Oxygen Company, the primary supplier of various gases for industry in the UK. There's no shortage of oxygen production facilities and storage (BOC got its big start when the Bessemer steel-making process got upgraded from blowing air through molten iron to using pure oxygen), it's the distribution side of things that is likely to take a hammering if the demand for home oxygen supplies escalates rapidly.

285:

Timing is a whole lot with exponential doubling. (yes, yes, really a sigmoid curve, but right now, the practical difference from exponential doubling is of little practical concern.)

At that time, closing the borders and waiting a couple weeks while in-situ health resources did their damndest to find and isolate every case of COVID-19 in the country would have been worth a lot. (Remember, this is a game of "as slowly as possible"; ideally, most of your population gets exposed for the first time from the vaccine.)

Today, that's all moot. Testing capability for anybody who has had it spread greenfield is moot; I mean, useful, for triage, but the Korean model applies to a time window we're not in anymore. Only practical thing to do right now is stay in. (For a really strong value of "stay in"; "oh I am out of" doesn't count, unless it's "oh I am out of my medication" or "oh I am out of my last thing to eat".)

286:

Best stats we presently possess have 90% of serious cases die.

Quick recap -- "mild" means "did not require supplemental oxygen"; "serious" means "required supplemental oxygen"; "critical" means "went to the ICU". A mild case of COVID-19 is not equivalent to a brief cold.

Doctors are really reluctant to do battlefield triage and ignore those expected to die; it's been happening in Italy, but is itself evidence of systemic failure. (It is also, from a politics and PR point of view, something any politician wishes to avoid.)

Just the folks who need oxygen overwhelm the system anyway because best available information has them needing oxygen for weeks.

287:

Can you point at any decent data on that?

288:

My takes is that a lot of government have altered their reactions in the last couple days, and I think this is because someone managed to get them to accept that asymptomatic and presymptomatic transmission is a primary mode of spread.

The "rapid exposure" plan Cummings, et al. were going for presumes that there isn't any asymptomatic transmission and it presumes that there's definitely post-infection immunity AND it presumes that the wave of infection and recovery through the population is pretty quick, on the order of a couple months. All of these are false, any of them being false breaks the plan, and the only one you can definitively prove-with-a-tangible-fact (rather than statistical expectation) is the asymptomatic transmission one. I suspect someone managed to get to somebody with the "it's busted" news and have it stick.

289:

Generally speaking anyone attempting to pick and choose from the available statistics in an attempt to "choose" a story is being foolish given how early we are in the spread of this virus.

There simply is far too little known at this point, including most importantly how much Covid-19 has spread into the most at risk category of people in any given population.

Ironically in a way, the "shuffle them off into a nursing home and then proceed to ignore them" can be both a blessing and a curse - a blessing in that it creates self-isolation, curse that once it gets in it can spread quickly.

While there is obviously (given the heavy European nature of this forum) a focus on Italy it is worth reminding about Washington State - as of today 642 cases with 40 deaths in a population of 7.5 million. So the death rate (40/642*100) is 6.2%, thus demonstrating that early statistics are likely misleading - the expectation is that percentage will drop as more people get tested and survive (not to mention the number of people who have Covid in that population but who haven't been tested and likely never will be tested).

290:

Generally speaking anyone attempting to pick and choose from the available statistics in an attempt to "choose" a story is being foolish given how early we are in the spread of this virus.

I used this example with someone who said it was nuts to worry given the low rates of infection in the US last week.

If you have 100 people, test 5, and get 1 positive result what does it mean? That only 1 of the 100 are infected? That 20% are infected? That maybe 96 are infected? We just don't know.

291:

Nothing more recent than the WHO report out of Wuhan; there was a report back in February pointing out that the best ICU results as of that time were fifty-fifty. (49% mortality). So far as I know, we haven't got anything that specific out of Italy yet, in large part because COVID-19 patients spend so long in the ICU.

Per https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(20)30627-9/fulltext Italy is sticking to "10% in the ICU" expectation in the data from Wuhan; consistently between 9 and 11 percent of new patients need ICU care. (That note is about how Italy's ICU capability fills up in "one more week", by 20 March.)

I doubt anybody's planning scenarios included the weeks and weeks in the ICU COVID-19 requires. I also doubt we really know the mortality rates just yet.

https://www.thelancet.com/journals/laninf/article/PIIS1473-3099(20)30195-X/fulltext

has an estimate around 6% in symptomatic patients; it doesn't get into ICU-specific numbers.

292:

My daughter tells me that the shortage of pasta has caused a tremor in the force^W student consciousness - its their #1 staple when cooking meals.

293:

dpb
I'm wondering how long before fresh fruit and veg starts getting scarce
NOT my problem ... nyaahh, nayah, nayahhhh! ( Allotment )

I wonder ( SORRY, Charlie! ) if Pasquinade didn't have half a point.
IF you have relevant pre-existing condition
AND/OR you are in a high-risk grouo ... the it matters, as does your local health services ability to cope.]
If not, then not
The rest of us, not in those groups may or may not get this disease, we may feel like shit for a week or so But, it isn't going to kill us.
I am suprised to find myself so fatalistic about it, actually ...
I'm going to carry on (almost) as if nothing has happened, if only because I don't think it's going to make the sightest bit of difference.
Like my father in 1940-41 ... if that falling bomb has your name on it ... tough, if not, well ... it's missed you.
The actual numbers ( outside Italy - w.t.f. is happemimg there? ) are actually not worrying, provided you don't have a relevant pre-existing condition - & I don't?

OK, let's suppose I'm wrong - please show where?
{ Consider the total population of the PRC & the number of deaths & ... it's TINY, isn't it? ]
Answers - please.

SEE ALSO the musings on the actual accuracy of relevant statistics in ~ 288/289/300 - which is, signioficantly (?) the same question I think I'm asking.

294:

I am suprised to find myself so fatalistic about it, actually ...

Likewise.

We both survived the Cold War while living in target zones. I wonder if that has something to do with it? I find myself thinking "oh well, I was surprised to make thirty". Rather annoyed that my retire-and-finally-travel-a-bit plans have been scuppered; OTOH, half a year later and I might have been one of those folks trapped in a strange country under lockdown.

295:

The rest of us, not in those groups may or may not get this disease, we may feel like shit for a week or so But, it isn't going to kill us.

The available numbers -- in Washington, in Italy, and in China -- give a symptomatic death rate about 6%. (5.6% to 5.9%.) It's not impossible that everybody who gets infected is eventually symptomatic; the known time to symptoms is a very squishy concept right now as first exposure can't be tracked with accuracy.

And, well, direct deaths are not really the problem in a pandemic; the indirect problems are generally worse. (For a prompt example, if you have a heart attack and the ICU is full or the medical system has fallen over. For a less prompt example, if you're a Type I diabetic and your insulin is produced in a country who has just closed their borders.)

More generally, this is not an event, it is a tendency. People aren't being approached by a spectral being which compels them to roll dice, and they're either dead or fine thereafter. It takes weeks and weeks to recover in serious cases; this means the economic uncertain is effectively amplified. ("When are Sam and Pat back at work? Will Sam and Pat be back at work?" are questions with no specific answers.)

And this is pulse one; the idea that there won't be a pulse two, well, the future is unknown. But that's not a responsible way to plan.

296:

It's better to buy the dried beans and peas. If you don't already have a slow-cooker, buy one of those also. Then just dump the mix of beans you want into the slow-cooker, add water, and turn it on low. Add spices as you want to. I find that even for chick peas (garbanzos) if I start it at night after dinner, it's ready the next morning, but I usually guess wrong on the water, so then I crack the lid and turn up the heat so they're dry enough before lunch.

Probably 10 minutes time investment, and the beans are cooked as dry as I want and spiced the way I want.

297:

This is a dark day. The blessings of the Flying Spaghetti Monster have been withdrawn.

298:

My 2018 bulletti, oops, borlotti take 3-4 days in a slow cooker on high! Still, it's better than watching a pressure cooker for 5-6 hours :-)

299:

re:(274)

I'd add one more thing - the NHS. Assuming the NHS dosen't collapse there is one thing I'm waiting to happen after covid19 is over and that is bozo telling us all a) how wonderful his govt has handled everything and b) "....well, the NHS was good but not GREAT and that nice Mr Trump over in the US got everything sorted with their healthcare system .... so that's what we need in the UK....".

Or to put it in short, the tories have long been after an excuse to privatize the NHS; covid19 could be just that.

And I wonder how does all of this impact on brexit? Are we now >50% of crashing out with no deal?

ljones

300:

Considering that all the current evidence suggests that the US experience is going to be an absolute shitshow I doubt even Boris can make that fly.

301:

I don't think that the data support your statement that 90% of serious cases will die. Using your definitions, at least 90% of critical cases, yes, but needing oxygen and needing admission to the ICU are not the same. I think that it will be more like 50%, possibly a fair amount lower. Still not great news for those of us with pre-existing problems, but better than you implied.

While I am also fatalistic (after all, I have outlasted most of my male relatives by decades), Greg's figures are even less plausible. Its exponential expansion has been halted in China by draconian isolation measures and widespread testing, but that's unlikely to last, and I can't see those being applied in the UK or USA. By the end of 2020, I would guess that the UK death rate will be somewhere between 0.3 and 1.5 million (i.e. the annual death rate will be somewhere between double and sixfold normal), with a similar demographic distribution to normal. That's socially and economically just a short-term problem.

HOWEVER, it assumes that it doesn't increase in severity, start killing more of the young and fit, and neither the gummint nor the population react in ways that make the problem vastly worse. And it's unclear what the medium- and long-term scenarios will be.

302:

FWIW: To kill corona viruses in blood requires holding it above 60C for an hour. Slightly (how much?) less if it's dry. Slightly (how much?) more if it's surrounded by protein.

It's also reported to survive for 4-5 days on paper at room temperature. (That one may be specifically for COVID-19, I don't remember.)

So I've started baking my mail in a warm oven. Science news with it's plasticized paper outer cover survived unharmed. (Well, my oven *says* 200F, but I've never measured it.)

This, however, means that hot food and drinks should be safe, especially if served on a hot plate. (Of course, usually this won't matter. But...)

303:

Yikes!

Meant "critical", not "serious"; apologies for the brain leak.

304:

*sigh*

The GOP has been so vile, for so long, they run together after a while.

I sit and type corrected.

305:

Nursing homes... in the US, there *will* be deaths, and I suspect a lot. Who knows, it may change things. I had a friend who worked in one in Bumfuck, OH for nine years, and my Eldest has worked in them, and I have yet to hear of good things about *any* of them. Think "warehouses".

306:

Ellen likes doing beans from dry, and takes a day, with them soaking overnight after being parched.

For my birthday, she made pinto beans *properly*, and that, with rice and some of the Real Texas bbq that I'd made last US Labor Day weekend that I pulled out of the freezer.... Froze the rest of the bans, and she made bean dip about a week or so ago. Mmmmmmm....

307:

Its exponential expansion has been halted in China by draconian isolation measures and widespread testing, but that's unlikely to last,

Yes. The present halt has left virtually the entire population of China(*) vulnerable to further outbreaks. So the strong (or other) measures are going to have to be applied to those other 1.3e9 people in time to come until a vaccine is developed. Buying time in the time of plague is a good thing, as discussed here and elsewhere, but China is not as yet out of the woods.

(*)Most likely, but we still don't know enough about the infected/verified ratio.

308:

Oh, btw: last night, being the 2nd Sat of the month, was the BSFS business meeting. Some folks made it to the building (I'm not calling it a clubhouse for legal reasons), but 35 of us dialed in via zoom.

309:

I find pressure cookers are great for dried beans. Chickpeas and black eye beans drop to about 30 mins cooking with reduced soak times.

It's not quite the same but energy and time savings are substantial.

310:

I'm currently a director for two of our local minor sports organizations (hockey and baseball). Fascinating the different discussions happening in the two.

1. Hockey - immediate shutdown of all events, practices etc. etc.
2. Baseball - strong resistance from a couple of (right wing) board members to doing anything in this irrational panic. So far a 1 week delay in any activity.

I'm fairly sure our insurers will make the decision for us. If not I may have to become more forceful.

311:

We've got an instant pot clone -- automatic electric pressure cooker/slow cooker hybrid. Extremely useful! Dried beans still need an overnight soak first, though.

312:

How programmable is it? Can it do things like pressure cook, drop the temp and slow cook?

I love my pressure cooker but have a space problem so anything that lets me get rid of multiple bits of equipment and consolidate is worth considering.

313:

whitroth @ 237: Nope - that's for the Senators and Reps whose terms ended. Pelosi, being reelected last year, her term does not end until '21.

Pelosi is the "Speaker" of the House of Representatives. Representatives (House) have two year terms. She's up for reelection this year, as is 1/3 of the Senate (staggered six year terms - Class 2 is up this year).

If there were no election this fall ALL of the house & 1/3 of the Senate would have their terms expire Jan 03, 2021. Chuck Grassley (Senate Class 3 - next election in 2022) would "legally" become President at noon on Jan 20 because he's next in the line of succession as President pro tempore of the Senate.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_presidential_line_of_succession

But that also presumes that Cheatolini iL Douchebag would abide by the Constitution after calling off the election. Since there is no Constitutional mechanism for calling off the election, that's just a plain wrong presumption.

314:

This supposes a nice neat pattern of constitutional succession is available!

I am wondering what the conventions are going to look like; a Democratic convention with both Biden and Bernie in the ICU is an interesting hypothetical.

We know both Trump and Pence have been exposed; a GOP convention during the Pelosi Administration would presumably be a sight to behold.

But those are rather simple and obvious, too; I expect there's going to be a much more confused political landscape, full of rumours about who is or isn't unwell.

315:

whitroth @ 242: Dirksen was an ignorante sleazebag. Or don't you remember his "Golden Fleece awards", where he didn't understand what they were studying?

Yeah, but he was the last HONEST ignorant sleazebag Republican to serve in the Senate.

317:

Charlie Stross @ 260:

a trained medic taking swabs from people for testing is someone who's not able to work front-line in an isolation facility since they're busy doing something else

Yes, but you don't need a trained A&E nurse to take swabs: trainee nurses or even dental technicians will do, at a pinch.

If it's just swabs and no blood draw required, the average Army Private could be trained in a couple of hours to do it properly.

319:

This is currently getting reported on the Democratic websites, and I suspect it will become a major scandal shortly. What's weirdest about the whole thing is if Don the Con imagined that this would keep the rest of the world from getting vaccinated.

320:

May I suggest this humorous PSA to brighten up your day. It also has a good suggestion for a substitute for toilet paper if you run out of it.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hks6Nq7g6P4&feature=youtu.be&fbclid=IwAR1zvj4fgN2MDqcq2Om5ScBn_QiBI0_9-VOkfcPBi2nR8LkvQP9WbXkIjro

321:

I saw this on another forum I participate in:

"Don't know what's happening in the rest of the world but UK supermarkets have recently instigated buying quotas:
ASDA
2 hand sanitisers and a 4 pack of toilet roll
TESCO
1 hand sanitiser, 500g of rice and 4 pack of toilet roll
Waitrose
1 lobster, 6 quail's eggs and 100g of Pate de Foie Gras
Aldi
1 MIG welder, 1 pink sports bra, 2 trumpets and 1 wetsuit."
322:

That German vaccine company article was interesting. I would note that Derek Lowe http://blogs.sciencemag.org/pipeline/ has been skeptical about mRNA vaccines. Apparently they're very difficult and barely tested.

That said, the politics of overt moves to secure exclusive access to a vaccine are ... worrying. It does, however, somehow fit with the CDC wanting it's own custom test.

323:

Trump 'offers large sums' for exclusive access to coronavirus vaccine - German government tries to fight off aggressive takeover bid by US, say reports (Philip Oltermann, Sun 15 Mar 2020)
which links this:
Company Founder Ingmar Hoerr Succeeds Daniel Menichella as CEO of CureVac AG (March 11, 2020)
TÜBINGEN, Germany and BOSTON, March 11, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- CureVac AG, a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company pioneering the field of mRNA-based drugs, today announced that company founder and Chairman of the Supervisory Board, Ingmar Hoerr is replacing Daniel Menichella in his function as Chief Executive Officer (CEO).
American CEO was replaced a few days ago...
https://www.bloomberg.com/profile/person/16512667

324:

Madeleine @ 274: 4. Social distancing. Will we go back to the days of notifiable diseases and quarantine periods? I recall missing schooling because of various childhood illnesses. There's potentially going to be societal pressure not to travel or go into work for x days even for a mild cold. People won't travel without valid reasons, especially foreign travel. Will we go back to the traditional seaside summer holiday or will that be too close to other people? Unless we go back to the idea of Wakes weeks but for communities rather than factories...

I remember having to stay home from school because I had the measles. I had the measles because my younger sister got it from one of her class-mates at school & brought it home to give it to me.

On another note ... reduced sodium chicken noodle soup tastes like cardboard. I welcome any suggestions for how to add some taste to it without having to just add salt.

325:

And I'm just back from a brief neighbourhood shop

Our three local (like 5 km distance) supermarkets have been hit by panic shopping, but the half dozen small markets (mostly multigeneration Chinese ones) still have fairly full stock. Dunno if that's due to sinophobia driving away shoppers or something else. Anyway, we're shopping at them when we need to, which is as seldom as possible. Also, alcohol.

326:

I need to check the manual. Which $SPOUSE has helpfully hidden, after seemingly memorizing it. (It can be used to sautee/brown veg/spices then pressure cook, and then depressurize and reduce if the resulting stew/soup is too watery, but under manual control. Not sure how programmable. Also, different models have different features. What I can say, as a non-user, is that it's versatile and has multiple operating modes.)

327:

Hot sauce, obviously:)

328:

I mentioned Avenue 5 already, so I hope nobody minds if I post this video:

"Where did you get the 1% ?"
"I was trying to be nuanced."
"Nuanced? Well, I think you just NUANCED them to death."

329:

I remember being taken to chicken pox, German measles and mumps parties, so that we COULD get it :-) Measles, I got at school, which delayed my return home (boarding school) for ten days.

330:

Try turning Javascript off ....

331:

What make and model is it if you don't mind me asking? I've got a John Lewis gift card to use up in the next month or so and one of those is high on the list.

332:

Sounds very promising, and the ability to do that stuff is more important than the ability to do it all on autopilot. I'm going to be unimaginative and echo what vulch said, except for the bit about the gift card.

333:

Garlic power, curry powder, chili powder, parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme.

I generally preferred a mix of garlic powder (well, actually freeze-dried garlic chunks) with a bit of curry powder. (Garlic powder loses its taste too quickly after you open it.) Onion works well.

FWIW, to replace salt I generally find that a mix of many spices is preferable, with no one dominant. My wife couldn't eat salt at all, so we experimented a lot.

334:

To be clear, there are many companies (and probably other, non-corporate entities) working on a vaccine for SARS-CoV-2.
So this story is a bit weird, and could be disinformation. Having said that, I would not be surprised if there were recordings.

335:

Try Tabasco or other hot flavouring of your choice. I'd suggest Worcestershire sauce (Lea & Perrins) but that may be adding the sodium back in, ditto soy sauce.

336:

Yes. Many ready-made meals are such junk that they are tasteless without a lot of salt. I am very salt-intolerant, but I grow something like 40 types of herb (plus 5 varieties of chilli), and stock a large number of spices. However, the real key is to make the soup yourself, or eat something else! Unfortunately, for good stock, you need an elderly, free-range chicken, which is NOT what you can buy in most of the UK or USA.

337:

As much as that is obviously humour, my local major grocery store in a suburb of Toronto has put in place some quotas, with family limits of 2 bags of milk (each bag containing 4L divided into 3 smaller bags), and 2 packages of fresh meat products (or 2lbs of meat is from the butcher counter).

And yesterday another local discount grocery store had a paid duty police officer controlling access into the store, with 20 people lined up waiting to get in.

338:

Lucky you being taken to parties. I just caught everything possible (still do when exposed to other people's diseased offspring). I think our GP reckoned it was spontaneous generation. I remember being kept inside during the winter months at my primary school because I was considered delicate. By the time I went to secondary school I think I'd had everything you could still catch with the exception of scarlet fever and rheumatic fever.

339:

On another note ... reduced sodium chicken noodle soup tastes like cardboard. I welcome any suggestions for how to add some taste to it without having to just add salt.

Fat is flavour. Saute something and heave it in the soup.

Chicken goes well with lemon and tarragon; fry some dried tarragon in a soup-appropriate quantity of fat (bacon fat, olive oil, lard, it doesn't much matter...), stir in some lemon squeezing and heave that in, and maybe it will taste like something.

Sautee'd garlic with the sauteing oil, onions semi-carmelized in beef fat, lots of quite simple flavours out there. If you're feeling ambitious, roast some carrots with chopped onion, lots of oil, and a spot of honey (mint, cinnamon, thyme) and add those, but you do need a quantity of soup to make that worthwhile. A single roasted carrot is a sad and lonely object.

340:

It's a Sage by Heston Blumenthal Fast Slow Pro (coincidentally sold by John Lewis). (Good Housekeeping say it's £200, but I recall us paying closer to £130-140 for it.)

NB: the Good Housekeeping review I linked to there is a bit bonkers -- I mean, marking it down for not having a see-through lid? On a pressure cooker that's good for at least 1 bar over ambient pressure?!? I should think not ...!

341:

RR, maker of hundreds of identical turbines, doesn’t sound a good bet for making ventilators.

Caterham, maker of one-offs with metal frames, fiberglass parts, electric harnesses, fluid piping & pumps ... I think they’d have no problem.

342:

The parties weren't exciting - sitting around waiting to catch a disease isn't what I would choose to do, even as a child :-)

343:

A few comments about low sodium soup tasting like cardboard.

One is that there are plant-based salts (especially in celery) that can make something taste saltier without adding sodium. That said, another is that different people taste salt differently. My wife and I argued about this for years before I realized that what she was complaining about and what I complained about were two different things. To me, celery makes things taste saltier. To her, "it tastes like grass."

Everyone who already suggested using herbs, spices, and playing with the acid a little (vinegar or lemon juice) are on point.

Finally, retraining your palette is always an option. The old-fashioned way is to get hungry before the meal. At that point, food tastes delicious even if it's not perfect. The other ways is to get used to eating stuff that's healthier for you. Heavily salted food took time to get used to, and it can get eased back.

344:

No apology needed - I consider casual conversational profanity to be just the ordinary state of affairs, conveying emphasis or even merely maintaining rhythm rather than signifying insult, and took no offence. I apologise in turn if my use of language in replying conveyed the wrong message.

The situation bears significant similarities to Britain leaving the EU, in that an especially maddening aspect is the way it is made so much worse by desperately trying to cling on to things that were a stupid idea in the first place even while their consequences are rendering the stupidity as unambiguously obvious to all as a slap in the face with a dead fish. Greg has mentioned one example - dependence on international just-in-time supply chains and destruction of the possibility of reverting to local production. Many people (including yourself) have mentioned another - the insistence that individuals' personal access to food and shelter must absolutely depend on them grinding crank without respite (even respite mandated by forces outside the grinders' control). The two are connected, of course, being but examples picked (at arm's length, with two fingertips) out of the same bucket. Yet instead of drawing the obvious conclusion that enough is enough and carting the bucket off to the decontamination chamber (as if gassing the planet with its fumes wasn't already enough), the aim is to leave it sufficiently intact that it can continue to fester and cause the same problems all over again the next time something like this hits.

But the effect of the maddening is especially sharp in the case of THE CROW (Covid/Corvid, crow-navirus, crow in a virus, awa' the crow road, etc) because of what it also has in common with WW1: the stark demonstration of just how many of our deaths the ruling classes are happy to order when the alternative is them having only one feather mattress instead of a dozen. (And need a slap in the face to stop them actually saying so in public, see eg. Charlie and EC above.)

345:

Hungriness helps, but it doesn't make horrible food eatable. I have more than once gone to bed hungry after a day's exercise, because all I had was food that was too revolting to swallow.

346:

Re: JavaScript

Thanks - but most times I've touched tech innards, the thing died. (My true talent.)

347:

Graydon
Where I am in agreement with you & Charlie is that the world-wide economic effect is going to be enormous.
We are heading striaght into a recession (at least) that makes the 2008 banks-crash look like a Sunday picnic.

Troutwaxer
Not so sure about that - we recently, as a matter of course, fully re-stocked our pasta supplies
😁

EC
My Borlotti are soaked in warm water for 2-3 hours, then slow-cooked - but, of course, they are home-grown beans.
Sorry, but I simply can't accept your ultra-pessimistic numbers.
I would put 300 000 at the top end of the range, for instance.

ijones
NHS - no - I don't think they will dare, if only because the US non-system will collpase first & secondly ... I ssuoect everything Brexit-related will get pushed back/postponed by 6 months or a year - like the elections.
I hope.

Charles H
And all moderately alchoholic drinks will also be safe, how sad.

Medeleine
home-grown chilis ( Capsicum pubescens ) is/are good - the latter will go perennial on you, if you can keep it above 3°C - mine is now 3 metres tall & 2 wide (!)
( EC _ What's a "ready meal" ?? /snark )

Pigeon @ 343
In Spades, redoubled ....

348:

Thank you, looks good. No stock in the Cambridge branch but free delivery later in the week. Fetches wallet...

350:

Been thinking about long term societal changes once we're past the immediate response (yeah, I know, assuming we get past it without a complete societal collapse).

Unless a mutant coronavirus comes along that's smallpox-class deadly (this probably won't happen*), I doubt this will go to complete societal collapse. In any case, crises happen every year, and as I pointed out in Hot Earth Dreams, the only way to tell we're in trouble is when the rubble gets abandoned rather than built into something new. By that standard, we may already be heading into collapse (Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan being abandoned, with migration rather than rebuilding), or probably not. I don't think SARS-CoV is the First Horseman of the Four, even if this damn virus wears a crown (corona) ("behold, a white horse, and he who sat on it had a bow; and a crown was given to him, and he went out conquering and to conquer").


Anyway, here's what I see as more likely consequences of this:

--Handshakes becoming less common and more meaningful, in the sense that the dudes shaking hands are showing that either they're too stupid to adapt, they're countercultural, or they're not afraid of contagion because they've got huge tough immune systems that somehow don't go berserk when hit by the wrong virus. Expect proliferations of bows, elbow bumps, and vulcan salutes. Actually, what happened in Africa after Ebola passed? Was the Ebola elbow bump abandoned?

--Far less trivially, expect the democratic part of the world to swing more strongly towards a South Korean-style surveillance democracy. Contact tracing is really easy when you know where everyone is at all times. Given how thoroughly Washington DC has flailed on this, and apparently the EU countries are acting like they're not in an EU(?), the world may well turn towards models of successful containment: China, Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. Curtailing pandemics is an excuse for a (benign?) surveillance state the likes of which can't quite be justified by crime.

--On the bigger scale, if the NATO countries screw up their Covid19 response after months of warning that the problem was coming (akin to failing a take-home test), while China gets the "unexpected oral exam" of the virus popping up on its home turf and did okay containing it, then expect the world to look to China as a model for proper governance, rather than to liberal democracy.

Going forward we could see other countries experimenting with "chinese systems," with local-level democracies (counties, cities, and below being elected by the locals) strongly controlled by a national top-down technocratic "meritocracy." Trump, Johnson, and many others make an unfortunately eloquent argument for why free elections may not be the best way to choose leaders who are in charge of important stuff. I don't think this is a good thing, and not just because I'm a liberal democrat. But "East Asian-Style" "democracy" may well take off (not scare quotes--I think this is how it will be branded on roll-out).

--Oh, and if the US does experience mass pneumonia, expect older, poorer, badly educated white men to suffer and die disproportionately. That might affect US politics comes this fall with the election. Who knows?

*Probably won't happen? SARS-CoV is a more infectious, less lethal version of the old SARS. We already saw what happened with the more lethal version of SARS: it burned itself out.

**The corruption at all levels need not be spoken of, of course. Unfortunately, such corruption is not unique to chinese-style systems.

351:

Recession, at least one financial crisis, and a petroleum price war which is especially concerning since it looks extraordinarily badly timed.

Plus recovering from rebounding long supply chains when you don't have existing local production is not known to be straightforwardly possible.

352:

"Only practical thing to do right now is stay in. (For a really strong value of "stay in"; "oh I am out of" doesn't count, unless it's "oh I am out of my medication" or "oh I am out of my last thing to eat".)"

Which is not noticeably different from my usual lifestyle; but both those reasons applied yesterday, and the increased attention I was paying to the possible presence of invisible demons on things made it somewhat disturbing.

(Similar constraints on cargo size to Charlie; mobility scooter rather than backpack, and breathing problems rather than stairs, but it comes out about the same. And if I buy more than 4 days supply of milk at once it starts going off on me.)

Pharmacy: first wait outside until there's nobody else in there; fine, I do this anyway because the staff have no concept of keeping their voices down and happily bellow out personal information for everyone in the shop to hear, so no change there.

Push open door with foot. Try and get it to catch so it's still open for me to go out again, but it won't.

Prescription form needs signing; I have anticipated this, and have brought my own pen to use instead of the mucky thing tied to the counter. Do it with my hand in the air and only the point of the pen in contact with anything, which makes my writing a bit messy, but sod it. OK so far.

Fail to get my hand out in time to take the package directly from the assistant before they put it down on the counter where everyone else's hands have been, because I'm messing around trying to write on things. Bollocks. Remember that one for next time.

Fail to open the door to go out with my elbow because the spring is too strong. Have to touch the handle. Bollocks. Am particularly annoyed because the construction of the door is such that it perfectly well could open both ways except for a small plate that deliberately prevents this.

Food shop: the door is automatic. Plenty of stock because it's only just reopened after a "refurbishment" (painting things black and installing crappy lighting so it's all dark and gloomy and harder to see stuff). A whole bunch of fridge-type items that used to be on open shelves are now in cabinets. The handles on the cabinet doors are infuriatingly minimal and it is not possible to open the doors with a foot, knee, elbow, shoulder, or even a gloved hand. Fingers are the only option. Bollocks.

Checkout less worrying than in the pharmacy because not many people put their hands on the counter here, only their food, and not so many of them are ill. Of course both shops you have to hope that the assistant is clean, but there's not really any way around that.

Come out to find that it has rained into the pocket on my scooter where I put the prescription and made the paper bag go soggy, then someone has come along and torn the soggy bag open to see if there's anything you can get off on in there. Good, now I can pick the boxes out from inside the bag without touching it :)

Note for next time: bring some kind of hook with me to open handles with.

But the most disquieting thing is the already existing knowledge that the food shop can be a terrible transmitter of contamination. I have observed this several times in the past, usually by eating something and discovering it smells. I then check around and discover that a lot of the other food also smells, and so do my hands, the door of the fridge, the handle of the teapot, the handle of the kettle, the butter knife, the mug, the arms of my chair, the handle of the front door, etc. etc. etc. What has happened is that some random unknown person has had some horrible stinky muck on their hands and touched something - a door handle or something on the shelves which they then put back - who knows what. From there it has transferred to everything else. And I don't notice until I get back home where there are no smells of that kind to mask it, and put something contaminated near my face to eat it.

For sure I can wash my hands when I get in, but it's already all over the food by then. It doesn't stop it getting spread around and sometimes I have to decontaminate the place several times because I've missed a bit and then it gets spread around again. And this is the demo version where the contaminant is easily detectable and doesn't actually cause any harm if I put it in my mouth. With the real version neither of these things are true...

353:

I'm going to go all cynical and point out that nothing which doesn't remove or, minimally, replace the entrenched oligarchy really matters; look what happened to the New Deal.

People expect from government a reasonable degree of safety and succor in disaster; a government which cannot deliver these things doesn't retain legitimacy. That's been a Confederate objective since forever, since they don't consider the US Federal government legitimate. If they can just get rid of it, they can put things back the way they're supposed to be, which definitely includes no actual state at the federal level.

So I'd expect a surveillance mechanism, but one implemented by corporations and designed to make it impossible for slaves to escape, er, for a benevolent investor to exert necessary control over the conduct of their employees. There isn't much in the way of surrender of autonomy a US employer can't de facto demand as it stands.

354:

Colour me croggled!

355:

Or we could see the next iteration of Charlie's "Beige dictatorship" under Biden, where expert, evidence based technocrats, like the CDC pandemic team Trump disbanded, are increasingly put in charge of systems that were corrupted by the current administration, to try to deal with the challenges of the 21st century, including pandemics, cyberwar, and climate change. So long as politicians work hard to be ineffective, the executive branch has to step in to insure that the system keeps working predictably.

This may sound hyperbolic, but I'm already seeing similar things happening in San Diego and California, where technocrats see local democracy as a NIMBY haven that needs to be ignored in order to save society from climate change, homelessness, and other crises, while developers are now grooming state-level bureaucrats to get leverage on local level land use decisions by going over the heads of their local opponents.

In any case, if the Chinese system spreads, it won't be in the US directly. Rather it will be among China's "Belt and Road" partners. For those not paying attention, the "Belt" are Eurasian countries (China's overlands trading partners) while the "Road" are China's overseas trading partners, using the really old definition of road as "sea route." The US promoted democracy the same way after WW2, so there's nothing unprecedented about this happening.

356:

I attribute it to them simply having the salt left out of the cooking process. My mum does that with her own cooking, with the same result - I have to put similar amounts of salt on that as I do on ready meals.

However, although the amount I put on certainly counts as "crap loads" to the eye, it's surprisingly little by weight. Applying it to one ready meal every evening, and a somewhat lesser quantity to porridge in the morning, the 65g-capacity working reserve still lasts for months, and the 750g main stash for several years.

Moreover, the amount I put on in the evening is more than required simply for flavouring. I am also trying to soak up surplus water in my body before I go to bed so I don't have to get up for a piss three times before I've even managed to get to sleep at all. It's a pretty crude measure of comparison, but if its ability to generate thirst is anything to go by I reckon I consume far more salt in bread than I do in what I add deliberately.

357:

See "Winter Holiday" by Arthur Ransome for a plot almost entirely driven by 1930s school quarantine regulations. (Including throwaway remark that the one infected character should get rich by flogging handshakes for sixpence.)

358:

If you have access to Trader Joe's, 21 Seasoning Salute is a sodium-free, savory blend.

359:

That's unlikely:

Fed Cuts Main Interest Rate to Near Zero, Vows Massive Bond-Buying Program

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-03-15/fed-cuts-main-rate-to-near-zero-to-boost-assets-by-700-billion

~0% rate, $700 bil QE

BREAKING:

Futures already plunging despite emergency Fed rate action

https://twitter.com/TheStalwart/status/1239310765045227521

Getting a lot of chatter that 'Gozer the Gozarian' has won, Gates are open, you get the picture. UK money people have been prepping for this for a while. So, as stated (grep time), it's a big barney between Capital forces, Public/Private etc. Titanic Funds and Big Players.

Or it could be just a financial flu.


None of this is about what's actually going on, but is a symptom.

Ides of March, White Rabbit

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EUY2kJE0AZE&list=RDEUY2kJE0AZE

~

"Belief is for rubes"

"Guess you missed that hurricane, belief in certain things is life-saving"


Flips a few cards: we were promised 8 Eight years, you broke the deal. Some ugly wetware being uploaded into susceptible humans as we speak.

Saw a bumblebee today, sad you killed them all.

360:

Here in the Toronto area I walk through a major shopping mall to/from Bus and Library.

The last week the mall has essentially been empty, with the food court at lunch having maybe 15% of tables in use and the McDonalds in the Walmart having 3 customers instead of being packed. Glancing into stores and there aren't any visible customers.

Thus I am not surprised Nike has joined Apple in closing their stores - with no customers there is no point in staying open (though things could be different in the US I guess).

So with consumer spending (other than on groceries for now) having essentially stopped I agree the economic news is going to be very dire.

As for the NHS and Brexit, I hope you are right - but the danger is in the chaos and fallout the government can sneak through/push through something that otherwise will be impossible. Something that might be useful to watch is how UK based news outlets report the state of things in the US - if they ignore/spin any negatives of the US health care system the "average voter" might decide the US healthcare companies are better if Boris & company screw things up badly enough.

361:

The railway operators in the UK have gone to the government for help given a signficant drop in passengers
https://www.bbc.com/news/business-51896169

362:

Ah, wrong generational references.

Adelaide's Lament, from Guys And Dolls (1955)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RX-eFkGdJNM


"It's the Son"

"We don't have the resources"

"As an Oxford statistician, that's certainly a Divine Being"

"Junk"

"Charlie, it's not her, it's the Son"


Xbox live just got nuked, which is good timing. Go look for the # of US centric 'let's party' social media stuff to spot what they want.


~

There's an old SF film (1980's?) set in a future where the USA is stuck in the 1950's and everyone has to wear IQ caps and the 'big reveal' is that there's a secret society of uncapped who run it all and...

Well.

~

The Fourth Industrial Revolution debate just got answered: USA is not going to be a super-power for much longer.

363:

Very Good short breifing on Corvid-19 by the Beeb, here
From that I could have it - right now & never, ever know that I had. { I've got a v mild sniffle, that vanishes within 2-3 minutes of leaving the house & my lungs start pumping more .... }
I'm also still, occasionally getting a faint cough. left over from the revolting one that did the rounds in November last year. No temperature, no headaches, etc
It is estimated around 6% of cases become critically ill. This: and the rest will carry on with their lives, either with no effect, or with between a couple of days to a week off work - personally, to them, not a problem ...

Pigeon
My usual pharmacy has a sensor-operated door - I don't need to sign ANYTHING [ They know me & I'm over 70 ]
Checkouts - let's actually hear it for the automated self-serve ones - PROVIDED, of course that they are regularly wiped down - which the staff were doing to every table in the local pub I went to today, as soon as each site was vacated - the bar-top as well.
Now there's something that I hope persists, after all of this is over.

mdive
The pub was not as full as usual & the age spectrum was even more heavily slanted towards people under 50 - mostly between 20 & 40, often with small children.
[ Their Sunday lunches are good - if only because they get their meat from the same butcher as I, who is about 7 doors up the road on the opposite side of the same street!
Their Yorkshire puddings look & smell as good as mine, etc ... ]

I note that the guvmint are proposing to tell "over-70's to self-isolate"
Well you can fuck right off with that one - I need to get to my allotment for: Fresh food, exercise & fresh air ...
And to a pub that I trust for decent beer - not necessarily one of my locals, either.
Of course, I'm relying on my general good health, strong cardiovascular system & good diet to see me through, even if I do get infected.
[ Also see above about being infected & not even knowing - which is where we came in ... ]

364:

Branson has gone to the .gov asking for a plane bail-out. This is not a smart move. But generally the entire leisure industry is snapping around, C levels having all golden parachute bailed already. Hotels and restaurants [certain regions] are actively hiding #data.

There's warning signs flashing up all over, but not the important ones. Listing all the little ones is useless. e.g.

BREAKING: CDC recommends the cancellation or postponement of all events with 50 people or more for the next 8 weeks

https://twitter.com/lookner/status/1239322405245419523

France has done 5,000, Australia 5.

Let's just say: we're not feeling aroused by any of this, it's all achingly obvious.

~

Well you can fuck right off with that one

Well, yes Greg.

That's what they're counting on.

Of course, I'm relying on my general good health, strong cardiovascular system & good diet to see me through, even if I do get infected.

That's not really how it works, but hey. We gave you warning (DAMN SEAGULL NONSENSE) like a month or two before all of this, so plonk it in the "debts owed" slot.

~

And, Pas.

grep Nettles and Hemlock in the last thread. Then look up the play, and the book title. The point is that if nothing is real, then...


Climate Change is going to grind you all into paste.

365:

The Fourth Industrial Revolution debate just got answered: USA is not going to be a super-power for much longer.

It's not clear they are now.

The example that sticks to my mind is titanium machining; there are at least two places in China that do it for retail objects on full commercial scales. There isn't anywhere in the US that does so. This isn't a question of capability -- lots of skill with the material diffused into the various communities of practice -- but the strangulation of capital is at the point where innovation can't happen locally. (There is not enough import replacement going on, in Jane Jacobs terms.)

Which is where things always go when mammonites wind up in charge, but you'd think the plethora of historical examples would be more widely recognized.

366:

Again, that's not saying what you think it's saying. They're going to remove the ability of non-Eloi kids access to certain things. And by things, we mean stuff that gets broken by lead poisoning etc.

Breaking: My #WeWork office in Miami (Brickell City Centre) just sent this out to everyone that works there:

https://twitter.com/carlosgil83/status/1239344557906681862

Not because it was, but because it should have been, your abilities with Prediction are woefully shit.


*Watches Light Close, Banishment, Exile, Forever Locked*

Beau Travail (1999) - Ending

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=grGiq0yTaj4

Anyhow, no-one else was going to cheer up you peeps.


367:

Which is where things always go when mammonites wind up in charge, but you'd think the plethora of historical examples would be more widely recognized.

But the core premise of mammonism is that what is good for the greedy individual today is good for everybody all the time. The rational economic unit always makes decisions based only on immediate financial impact and the magic of the market assures that everyone doing that produces maximum possible welfare at all times. Any problems are caused by irrational units and those must be eliminated.

368:

Well, sure, they do say that, and they do say that at length, but it's obviously mystical twaddle.

Even the nigh-toy stocks, flows, feedbacks, constraints systems model makes it really, really obvious you can't get a stable system on pure feedbacks. (or pure constraints; the capitalism or socialism? question is one of those deliberately crippling binaries. Neither can work. Try defining material results and actually measuring them and making adjustments.)

369:

I've just been reminded that the phrase "reality-based community" was invented as a term of abuse by Rumsfeld or one it his minions.

I don't disagree that the idea is nonsense, dangerous twaddle or whatever, but the idea that there are not powerful people, even powerful economists, who actually believe it is IMO wrong. It's like the people who claim that Catholics don't really believe that they're practising ritual cannibalism. Very soon after you say that some very serious person will be dragged out expounding very the idea being challenged. Much as Dominic Cummings is trotted out whenever someone claims that the UK Conservatives don't really want to kill off large numbers of poor people.

370:

My #WeWork office
...
Not because it was, but because it should have been, your abilities with Prediction are woefully shit.

You know how strongly I dislike what such workplaces (and similar) do to their denizens'(/prisoners') minds.

Isolation these days and forward for a while in the US, for those who can. I'm a competent(/adequate) hermit though, if having a good internet connection (+backups) does not disqualify one.

(Lotsa botnet love on port 22, not sure what's going on there. Much of it US-based for a change.)


371:

The rational economic unit always makes decisions based only on immediate financial impact and the magic of the market assures that everyone doing that produces maximum possible welfare at all times.
This is compact enough to make me laugh, thanks.

372:

So Starbucks in Canada/US are moving to a take out only model, and will be removing seating from their locations for at least 2 weeks.

Anyone want to guess how many of the Starbucks addicted will simply gather nearby anyway?

373:

The US is an interesting thing.

Is it a country in decline - absolutely. In part Trump is a symptom of that decline.

But as to the question of whether it is a superpower, that is far more complicated.

Yes, as a result of its decline, it can't throw around it's economic might the way it has in the past - this is also a reflection of other countries in the world catching up to it.

Economic might isn't everything though, and thanks to it's military the US will remain a superpower for quite a while yet.

And perhaps more importantly, as global warming / climate change / whatever we are calling it his year progresses that military might will have advantages.

374:

Anyone want to guess how many of the Starbucks addicted will simply gather nearby anyway?
This might be significantly better, because of breezes clearing the air quickly.
Has anyone cited this yet?
Aerosol and surface stability of HCoV-19 (SARS-CoV-2) compared to SARS-CoV-1
Small experiments, but it suggests that aerosol spread is possible; would be really nice to see replication attempts and equally important see testing of whether normal breathing/talking might cause spread.
HCoV-19 remained viable in aerosols throughout the duration of our experiment (3 hours) with a 30 reduction in infectious titer from 103.5 to 102.7 TCID50/L, similar to the reduction observed for SARS-CoV-31 1, from 104.3 to 103.5 TCID50/mL (Figure 1A).
(Fairly large error bars; see preprint for details.)

375:

global warming / climate change / whatever we are calling it his year
I've started using "global heating", used by a few here and pushed by The Guardian for a while.
Low heating costs this winter in the US, but I'd trade that without hesitation for normal temperatures. Not an option, though COVID-19 is making a pretty big dent in GHG pollution.

376:

Military might is not severable from the economy supporting it. (The current US military is overstrained, overstressed, and under-resourced; it's a being run as a profit centre for the well-connected, the spending on it isn't turning into capability.)

The Oil Empire is over. The Carbon Binge is going to stagger on a bit, but not for very much longer; not, I don't think, so much as a whole generation.

This particular demand crash is global, and it's happening at a time when the US leadership has no idea how to conceptualize the problem. Neither does the UK's, and I'm not taking too many bets anywhere that backed austerity in 2008. (Has the US right finally managed to get enough gold bugs into positions of power to return the US dollar to the 20 USD = 1 troy ounce they think is constitutionally mandated? It's going to be bleakly amusing if so.)

The sensible policy response is obvious -- take the Mellon Doctrine and replace "liquidate" with "decarbonize" -- but I don't think that's going to happen unless and until the incumbents can be removed.

377:

Hunkering down:

After a day of working from home, the Amanda Palmer concert I was to attend tonight is off (not that I was going anyway). Good news for you if you are quick - she's live-streaming it instead:

https://www.crowdcast.io/e/music-in-the-time-of

I believe it means Neil and Ash are here in Wellingon too. In other circumstance I'd hope to see him.

378:

but the Korean model applies to a time window we're not in anymore.

The world is a bit more heterogeneous than that. Once you step off the continents.

NZ has 8 confirmed cases, 3 probable. 3 of which are family members living with other cases. We're still in that time window. Most Pacific nations have 0 cases (and yeah, we might find we're wrong about that, but likely not).

We might get unlucky. Or fail to get lucky. But we really are several weeks behind the UK or Canada on the growth-curve of the infection.

Australia is... in more trouble. But even Australia is running behind you lot - if they had South Korean levels of organisation I think they'd have a good chance to trace-and-find enough infections to control it. Their problem is that you can't build such an organisation in a few days, and that is probably all they've got.

Gotta go, Amanda Palmer's about to livestream the concert she'd not playing here in Wellington, that I'm not at...

379:

...so it turns out that given a concert abandoned due to plague in gorgeous old church, Neil Gaiman will stand at the pulpit and, in quiet echos of the empty night, read Edgar Allan Poe's Masque of the Red Death.

With ghoulish relish.


380:

Question
I realise Pasquinade, for some reason has got up OGH's nose ... but do we have to put up with stuff like the insulting & ignorant ramble @ 364?
"That's what they're counting on"
Who is "they" & what utterly insane paranoid stupidity is this?
SNARL

( Note-to-Charlie: If you don't like this particular post, please delete it, but my understanding is not grokking this one, at all. )

[[ updated from 363 to 364 - an earlier post got resurrected from the spam trap, putting the count out - mod ]]

381:

Total fossil carbon consumption worldwide is increasing, not decreasing. The dark horse, gas is taking over from its liquid and solid counterparts with production worldwide doubling over the past 30 years but the old members of the Black Gang will still be big business thirty years from now.

The world wants more energy. Poor people don't want to be poor any more and if the energy they need to be not-poor is carbon-based and under their feet then they will dig it up and pump it and burn it to provide that energy. Promises of abundant affordable renewable energy next decade or next generation isn't going to keep the lights on right now.

382:

It should be just a throat swab, quick and simple.

I was tested last Wednesday, together with several of my other "foreign" colleagues (i.e. not from China). Took all of 60 seconds including completing the forms and labels with my details. One junior medical technician or nurse with long swabs, two assistants taking notes and preparing labels. All wearing full suits with hoods, face masks and visors.
Open wide, swab, bag and label ready to send off to a lab.

Test result back this morning, happily negative :-)

383:

darkblue
If you must ( And it's quite probable that we must, at some point ) ...
Then that's the way to do it.
QUick swab, easy test - hopefull you are clear - on you go.
Balnket bans are simply not going to work.
I'm over 70, but I NEED to get to my allotment - after all, I'm getting no closer to anyone else than a couple of metres, at any time.
What's even dafter is that I could get in my car & drive, but walking down the street ...

Meanwhile I note that the UK has had its first victim "under 60" - aged 59 & all too clearly overweight & I would guess, lungs in not too good a shape.

384:

It should be just a throat swab, quick and simple.

Mine (and I guess most all in the US just now) was a nasal swab. Where they stick a cotton covered stick up through your nose and then it feels like they are getting the sample from the back of your skull from the inside. Ugh.

385:

Definitely not! Due to my salt-intolerance, we leave salt out of most cooking (definitely including anything with meat or cheese and almost all puddings), and my wife has to add a lot. As we are foodies (and, yes, Greg, my borlotti are home-grown, too), flavour is rarely a problem.

Salt will not stop you pissing - in fact, it may increase it - reducing water intake does. And I can assure you that getting dehydrated does NOT help with sleeping - most people are much better off getting up to piss several times. I need to drink a lot of it, specifically to get rid of surplus salt.

386:

I like it! Performance art, at its best!

387:

I note that the guvmint are proposing to tell "over-70's to self-isolate"
Well you can fuck right off with that one - I need to get to my allotment for: Fresh food, exercise & fresh air ...
And to a pub that I trust for decent beer - not necessarily one of my locals, either.

Going for a walk on your own, or working your allotment, has very low chance of infection if you do it away from other people. It would have counted as self-isolation under the NZ govt's guidelines of a few days ago, but they changed them when they introduced compulsory self-isolation (I assume to stop people rorting the system).

So instead of self-isolating, just spend a few weeks pretending you're an anti-social old codger. I find most SF fans can do that, if they put their mind to it.

388:

Reply to Allen Thomson #306:

What you are missing is that in China there are still many preventative measures in place, even if the lock down is relaxed.
Our factory only reopened two weeks ago. We were closed for five weeks in total, counting the two weeks for the spring festival holiday then three weeks working from home before the local government granted permission to reopen.

That permission to reopen requires the company to show they have suitable precautions in place, to detect any new cases and isolate if necessary. Entry into the factory is only after a temperature check, a spray of hand cleanser, and then through a tent with some kind of mist spray. The main engineering and admin office is isolated from the rest of the factory and dormitory buildings.
Everywhere we go there are temperature checks; when I take the company bus in the morning, at the factory entrance, twice a day during work at mid-morning and mid-afternoon, when I take the bus again in the evening, at the entrance to my apartment block, at the supermarket. These are not intrusive, most people see this as sensible since one of the first clear symptoms is a fever.

This is in an area that was not badly affected, but even here everything closed for at least two weeks, except food shops.

I have some colleagues who went home to Hubei province for the holiday. They are only now beginning to be allowed to leave Hubei, and when they return here they must observe 14 days quarantine, four days in a hotel, then ten days at home before returning to work IF they have not tested positive during the 4 days in the hotel.

Everyone at the factory has completed a travel history form, when we returned to China, which border crossing, when we returned to the local area, how long we stayed at home before coming back to work.
The apartment building management office also asked for the same information. This is a serious level of tracking, but it allows the local governments to spot any new cases and then quickly trace their travel and contacts going back at least a month.

You might consider this an unacceptable level of surveillance. But here it seems to be accepted as necessary for the good of the community. Personally I feel safer here in China at the moment than I would back home in England...

389:

just spend a few weeks pretending you're an anti-social old codger. I find most SF fans can do that, if they put their mind to it.

Yeah, but we like to get together in the bar at a convention and grumble about how anti-social we are. And it's your round.

I've still not heard from the committee of this year's Eastercon but I can't see it going ahead now. The hotel's going to cancel the booking but room refunds and deposits and membership refunds will take a while to get sorted out. I assume the con had insurance for such contingencies but I'm not a member of the committee. This will be the first Eastercon I've missed since 1977.

It's another side-effect of the spread of SARS-CoV-2, the impact on insurance companies as travel and event cancellation clauses start to bite (Glastonbury, anyone?). The front-line will have hedged a lot of the risk but at the end of the day there are going to be big financial payouts by someone.

390:

Australia - well all these things are state jurisdictions, and post the Gillard-era national health agreements mostly organised at LHN level (in Queensland we call them HHSs, but it’s the same thing). That doesn’t mean there isn’t co-ordination at state and federal level. Contact tracing is a huge thing and has been for a long time, and there’s a lot of reserve capacity in the existing teams and networks. It really isn’t a question of building it from scratch, more about how much planning went into how it can ramp up quickly. There were full scale dress rehearsals for SARS and H1N1, but I’m not sure we’re out of the woods as such. The current federal executive branch are mammonites but barely literate ones, defunding CSIRO and universities with a vague goal to eliminate thinking that doesn’t match their world view.

Meanwhile test kits are running out, we’re hitting the really exciting part of the growth curve and while we can be hopeful it will turn normal, we’re dealing with people whose only experience with such figures and visualisations involves stock prices. I’ll be seeing my GP this week sometime to help come up with an action plan, considering switching hypertension meds, reducing contact with others. I don’t think we’ll come out as well as South Korea, SIngapore or even Japan. But we won’t be in the mountains of skulls range either. The UK is taking an interesting approach...

391:

This isn't a question of capability -- lots of skill with the material diffused into the various communities of practice -- but the strangulation of capital is at the point where innovation can't happen locally. (

A secondary symptom of the same disease: as someone lamented (on Hacker News, I think, before being savagely and mercilessly downvoted), in the 1960s the best and the brightest went into designing semiconductor fab lines, spaceships, and heart-lung machines: in the 2010s the best and the brightest were all trying to design a more addictive pay-to-play game for your Android phone.

The venture capitalists noticed where the money was and backed those plays: stuff that involves hardware was, well ... the English gentry's aversion to "trade" (as opposed to breeding better racehorses and extracting rent from their tenants via their man of business) springs to mind.

392:

The Seagull has been warning us -- very elliptically -- that we're approaching a rupture point and some very bad people indeed have decided it's time to cash in their chips and shovel the no-longer-wanted pieces off the game board and into the trash. (Hint: those pieces are Us.)

BTW, you can be effectively self-isolated while weeding/planting/harvesting your allotment; just maintain social distance from other folks while you're doing it. No need to stay in 24x7 and be a mushroom.

393:

[I]n the 2010s the best and the brightest were all trying to design a more addictive pay-to-play game for your Android phone.

Well, some of them are also inventing more financial instruments and figuring out better (by some criteria) algorithms for millisecond trading...

394:

There is a certain class for whom a tertiary economy is intrinsically superior to the mere making of things. Even in the IT industry, ‘high level’ means everything is reduced to the level of understanding achievable by a five year old, because everyone’s a specialist, “leaders” specialise in leading and therefore cannot be required to understand any of that technical stuff.

Cf (handwaving at) Ricardo and comparative advantage taken to an extreme and the most basic guiding principle. Farmers and people who own farms, miners are people who own mines, everyone else is just a worker. Being an employee is morally inferior because agency and employers all deserve beatification, merely because every other one is worse. The public sector isn’t part of the real economy, yet somehow the derivatives market is.

Of course in Australia, making things is morally inferior, but paying people to dig stuff out of the ground and sell it to people who make things with it is superior. Because Ricardo or something.

395:

Well, some of them are also inventing more financial instruments and figuring out better (by some criteria) algorithms for millisecond trading...

Same difference.

The point is (as Graydon pointed out here a few years ago) that some time in the 1960s the focus of western industrial capitalism shifted subtly from wealth creation to wealth concentration. (It had always been about grabbing more wealth, but the klept mindset took a beating in the 1930s-1950s: besides, a war economy was a great opportunity for investment growth in making physical shit.)

Attitudes at the top eventually filter down to the bottom and now everybody has absorbed some part of the rehashed warmed-over MBA shitbaggery that has damaged so many formerly productive companies -- outsourcing, minimal viable products, gamification, anything to extract money while delivering as little value as possible. There are plenty of dissidents, but the dissidents are not positioned to prosper in a society that has stripmined its social capital and disregards the need for infrastructure.

396:

icehawk
The full-on, cantankerous fully-paid-up-member of the "awkward squad" in me - never too deeply buried .... ( As some of you may have noted? 😄 )
Is definitely showing in this.
OK, if I am actually infected, then yes, measures fully justified ... but you can take some "precautions" too far. ( I think )
Also, after the utter deliberate lying fiasco of supposed "safe limits" for alcohol consumption, being - - -
1] Made up out of this air ... & then
2] Halved with zero sientific basis
I'm a little cynical, shall we say?

I will be interested to see if my scheduled hospital appointment, right at the end of March, goes ahead
[ I have to travel into almost-central London, to have my back/nerve-pinching monitored, to see if I need a re-run of injections, later in the year ]

Charlie
Maybe - but I ( And I suspect a lot of others ) would appreciate it if it actually MADE SOME SENSE ) - it does not, at all, ever. [ Or maybe 15 of the time ]
I appreciate all too clearly, that there are some amazingly greedy selfish & long-term stupid ( And short-term "clever" ) people in charge of far too much - we all know their names, I think.
What I'm frightened of is being stopped by some stupid plastic-plod on the way to-&-from & then being ordered about. THAT won't end well.

397:

@Greg Tingey:

I too can do the maths

Unfortunately you're making it clear that you can't. There is considerable uncertainty as to both the number of people who will get it, the proportion of those people who will get ill enough to require hospitalisation, and the proportion of those people who will die (and the proportion who will die who would not have died anyway), and in addition there is uncertainty about how all this happens over time.

So what people who can do the maths (I am not one of those people: I am or was competent to do the maths, but I don't have the background) do is construct models which they run with data we have and data we must guess. Those models effectively produce a range of scenarios with attached probabilities (which themselves may be wrong, of course): either because the models themselves are dealing in probabilities or they are running ensembles of models with varying initial conditions (weather prediction does the latter based on perturbing the initial state, I suspect this stuff does the former as the amount of data is much smaller).

Some of the results of those models are hugely worse than seasonal 'flu (it's easy to produce some of those outcomes by hand in fact, as I did). And those nasty cases have probabilities which are significantly above zero.

If there's an outcomes which are very bad indeed and which may happen with a probability significantly above zero, then you worry, a lot, even if there are other outcomes, with higher probability even, which are less bad. If there's even a significantly less than 1% chance of the outcome being 'zombie apocalypse' then you should worry, a lot. That's what 'being able to do the maths' means, and that's why the people who can do the maths are worrying.

398:

Well, yeah, sorry, tone of voice is difficult in text. I agree completely that those things are just somewhat different symptoms of the same thing.

I play computer games quite a bit, and in a hobbyist-artist sense would like to make them. However, it seems if I wanted to make them for a living, it'd be mostly trying to figure out how to extract the biggest amount of money from players, especially in the mobile game business. (Sorry, all friends in the business, that's how it looks like.)

399:

Greg: OK, if I am actually infected, then yes, measures fully justified ... but you can take some "precautions" too far. ( I think )

You are wrong about this.

The reason you are wrong is that it is possible to be infected, and infectious to other people, while remaining free of symptoms. You won't know you're infectious, in other words.

(The asymptomatic/infectious period is only 1-7 days -- probably at the shorter end of the scale -- but the point is, you won't know you're infected when you pass COVID19 on to your wife and the nice folks who also hang out at the allotments and the postie and the workers in the shops you visit etc etc.)

400:

The pub was not as full as usual & the age spectrum was even more heavily slanted towards people under 50 - mostly between 20 & 40, often with small children.

I note that the guvmint are proposing to tell "over-70's to self-isolate"
Well you can fuck right off with that one - I need to get to my allotment for: Fresh food, exercise & fresh air ... And to a pub that I trust for decent beer - not necessarily one of my locals, either.

And it's clear that a lot of the UK public just don't get it yet about social distancing. Very briefly visited the local supermarket on Sat and there were large numbers of complete families and groups of teenagers doing the panic shopping together. Why? Why not just send one person out with a list?

Rumour is that central London is a ghost town and the restaurants are empty. But what is going through the head of people who think it's still a good idea to take the family to the pub for lunch? Or to go out drinking on a Fri and Sat night.

IMHO, you can successfully self-isolate and maintain social distance in the outdoors, especially in the countryside. I don't intend to stop walking and cycling on my own until there's a curfew enforced. So I have no problem with you going to the allotment. But I do genuinely have a problem with you going to a pub even though collectively that's going to destroy the hospitality industry.

401:

Even now, I am one of the people who can do most of those calculations, but I lack decent data - unfortunately, so do the people who are doing them for real, though they have better access and are more skilled and up-to-date in the analyses :-( The figures on UK death and hospitalisation rates are what TPTB are carefully (not) quoting, but match what they DO quote, and are less than the Daily Retchpress claims a leaked document has estimated.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/blogs-the-papers-51902653

We need to take this seriously, but putting all 'vulnerable' groups under house arrest for 4 months 'for their own good' is NOT going to help. Even if it were feasible without causing as much harm (including deaths) as it prevents, 4 months of imprisonment (often in solitary confinement) followed by exposure to the virus isn't beneficial to those people. It's not as if the carriers are going to become rare over that period.

Inter alia, being housebound for 4 months will massively reduce such people's fitness and vitamin D levels, and INCREASE their risk of death when they DO get exposed (as almost all will). Well-off people with sizable gardens (like me) would be more-or-less OK, provided that we don't go stir-crazy; but many elderly people are not so privileged.

We are increasing our 'social distancing', using gloves when going out, increasing hand-washing using the NHS technique (especially after touching possibly contaminated surfaces), wiping imported hard items with bleach, trying to keep fit and well-nourished, and watching out for symptoms (hard in my case, with a chronic cough).

402:

but the point is, you won't know you're infected when you pass COVID19

I've read several places where "younger" people can get Covid-19 but be mostly asymptomatic. But I've never seen any details about what this means.

People under 30 years old? Under 20? Under 15?

Are there any reasonable sources for this?

I keep thinking depending on how true this is taking the family to visit grand mom in the retirement village could be a fast way to wipe out a few dozen or 100 seniors.

403:

Things are never simply binary in such cases. The younger the people are, the higher the incidence of near-asymptomatic cases will be, but I haven't seen any figures, either. Nor have I seen any definite evidence that does or does not occur (e.g. whether such people have an elevated temperature). Your thoughts are correct, however.

404:

https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/coronavirus-age-sex-demographics/

Gives a good breakdown of deaths by age... based on WHO China report.

405:

I'm more interested in the percentage of infections that are asymptomatic by age. Of course that's a hard one as almost no one is testing asymptomatic people. And those that are tested are not producing results in a way where the stats are very useful in terms of distributions across a population.

406:

Generally speaking, any particular disease has a fairly standard presentation; you get it, some time passes, it becomes symptomatic, the first noticeable symptom is your ears turn this awful turquoise colour, and on the progression of the illness goes until you get well or die. These progressions are used in diagnosis. (Fever before puking? probably not the Twitching Awfuls, then...)

For COVID-19, we don't know what that standard presentation is. We do have several niggling facts:
1. Asymptomatic and presymptomatic transmission both happen
2. Asymptomatic may not be a thing; there's some indications out of China to the effect that everybody who tests positive eventually shows symptoms, but it can be a long wait
3. There are enough reports that it looks very much like you either don't develop immunity from being infected, so you can catch it again, OR you can go into remission, have no symptoms, and then develop symptoms again. NEITHER of these is confirmed; it will take both time and spare attention to confirm either.

So what we do know right now is that being infectious happens well before symptoms, that the period of pre-symptomatic infectiousness has a variable length, this period of time probably has a distribution with a long right tail, and that while the likelihood of going symptomatic varies by age, the results of going symptomatic don't vary all that much.

So far as my no-medical-specialization-at-all understanding can tell, this is the common cold, only lethal in a percentage of cases.

Hopefully this is wrong; hopefully there's an effective single vaccine. Hopefully there's a course of treatment with effective interventions. But right now, it sure looks like prudence requires all of us to treat it as being just like the common cold, only it'll sometimes kill you.

407:

https://www.statista.com/statistics/1102730/south-korea-coronavirus-cases-by-age/

is the only stuff I know about where you get the asymptomatic cases in with the symptomatic cases and broken down by age. Prying out the percent asymptomatic might be possible from the rest of the data.

And John Hopkins now has the "not China" numbers past the "China" numbers and coming up on 90k confirmed.

409:

this is the common cold, only lethal in a percentage of cases.

Back in the 80s I was on an airplane for a few years an average or 3 or 4 times a week for 4 years or so. My boss and I had continuous colds. I rarely get them now as I figure I've had 80% or more of the variations floating around the western world.

Too bad I can't have the same thing with this.

410:

Rumour is that central London is a ghost town and the restaurants are empty.

I can't say about London but here in the western US that's how it looks on the ground. Street traffic is unusually light - the recent weekday traffic has looked like Sundays and last Sunday looked like Christmas. Restaurants are indeed empty and some are closing early or not opening at all. One restaurant outlier is that a pizza delivery place I know is very busy, and I haven't decided how the numbers on that work out.

Our public libraries have closed, and many or all schools, and Powell's Books.

411:

I was last in central London about a fortnight ago, and it was already perceptibly less crowded than usual. Not empty though, but there were seats available on the Tube.

A week ago in central Leeds seemed about what I'd expect, but I don't know what an early March Saturday afternoon is normally like there.

413:

I live across the street from a major public transport nexus here in Edinburgh -- two busy bus and coach stops, a tram stop and a mainline railway station. At 9 o'clock this Monday morning the rush hour wasn't happening, basically. The long streams of people on foot heading towards the giant call-centre offices up the hill were not present, the queues at the bus stops were two or three people. The buses passing our window were half-empty, ditto for the trams. After that it quietened down even further. I can envisage a temporary change in bus and tram timetables to match the reduced demand for travel.

It's possible this coronavirus outbreak will give the idea of enhanced public transport at the cost of private car ownership a severe kicking, although general road traffic seems to be down a lot too (we're on the A8, a major route into the city centre which is normally nose-to-tail busy on weekdays).

414:

Re: 'So far as my no-medical-specialization-at-all understanding can tell, ...'

You're a very clear communicator - much appreciated & thanks!

Feel like taking on antibodies as your next topic?

415:

tfb
Actually I CAN do the maths ... but - the problem is that neither of us actually know what the base ( starting ) numbers are
What proportion of cases are there that are completely undetected ( Charlie touches on this - I could be infected & not know it at all, or ever know that I've been infected for that matter. )
What proportion of those infected are actual "spreaders" - though it's probably safer to assume 95% or above for that one.
What proportion of those infected will actually need any medical treatment & then - how many of those will need serious medical intervantion?
And the numbers for all of those seem to vary wildly from country to country, which really does not help.

Per the allotments, it's easy, of course - you simply stay more than a metre away from anyone else, preferably two. Ditto walking down the street.
Getting on a train, though ......

Graydon has some v. useful points.
Though "getting it again" could be like shingles after chicken-pox - a royal p.i.t.a. - but big hairy deal otherwise.

However, I'm fully with EC
Simply ordering people over 70 to stay indoors & out of circulation will probably kill more of them.

The boss is still commuting in to work - she says that the trains have SEATS available & the streets are perceptibly emptier.
Her office is within close direct sight of St Pauls, so smack in the centre.

Nojay
Haymarket, I presume?

416:

OTOH
It appears that re-occurrence, even after testing "clear" is a real possibility ...
Something we can really do without.

417:

I'm more interested in the percentage of infections that are asymptomatic by age. Of course that's a hard one as almost no one is testing asymptomatic people.
South Korea is closest, since they are doing the most testing, though the breakdown you're looking for is not really available.
See Graydon's link #407:
Age distribution of coronavirus (COVID-19) cases in South Korea as of March 10, 2020
About 30% of the cases in ROK were (March 10, 2020) in the 20-29 age group. Some not-broken-out fraction of those were asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic and may have been mixing with other people.

Anywhere where testing is limited and targeted at symptomatic individuals (or severe cases), one needs to presume that people one is interacting with may be infected.

i.e. no pub, Greg. (Or for many/most of us here.)
Also, I'm in the US and am making extra effort to maintain distance from Trump voters, since too many are still treating this as a hoax and proudly not taking precautions. e.g. popular American Death Cultist Sheriff David Clarke continues to promote mass murder in defense of capitalism:

It is now evident that this is an orchestrated attempt to destroy CAPITALISM. First sports, then schools and finally commercial businesses. Time to RISE UP and push back. Bars and restaurants should defy the order. Let people decide if they want to go out.https://t.co/eWCBQczjyN

— David A. Clarke, Jr. (@SheriffClarke) March 15, 2020

418:

Just walk down the road muttering "Godzilla, Godzilla, Godzilla" over and over again. You will be self-isolated.

419:

Hah, David Clarke deleted that tweet. Too late, though.

420:

Being tested on Monday and getting a negative result on Wednesday doesn't prevent you from getting infected on Thursday. Some folks believe the amount of testing going on is some kind of measure of the effectiveness of preventative efforts and it isn't. In addition we've got no idea of false positive and false negative rates for the various tests and I don't think we will get any real numbers on those important details, at least not soon.

Testing capacity is best prioritised for primary care practitioners working in hospitals, ambulance teams etc. -- they're most likely to be exposed as they examine and treat possible carriers and they need to tested regularly (daily?) and get pulled off duty as soon as they themselves test positive to stop them exposing others to coronavirus even while they're asymptomatic.

We're well past the point where contact tracing and testing of isolated cases is going to slow down the spread of this virus. The genie is out of the bottle in that regard.


421:

Re: 'Testing ... genie'

This would be a good time for a virus specialized diagnostic AI. Diagnostic AIs are already being used to identify cancers with some success. If COVID-19 mutates faster than related viruses, having an AI on the case to ping likeliest new harmful strains would be helpful. I'm assuming that confirmations would still be done by humans as part of QA.


Other COVID-19 related stuff ...

Just watched MedCram and heard/saw that some State gov'ts are hiring whole hotels to be used for COVID-19 isolation.

On the plus side, this helps the hotel industry.
On the down side, are the housekeeping staff up to the task re: clean-up if their guests test positive?
Once this is over, would you want to stay at a hotel that housed COVID-19 patients?


For Randy Rainbow fans - he's got a new video out.

422:

Madeleine @ 334: Try Tabasco or other hot flavouring of your choice. I'd suggest Worcestershire sauce (Lea & Perrins) but that may be adding the sodium back in, ditto soy sauce.

Thanks. I'll try the Worcestershire. I just checked the bottle and it says "80% less sodium than soy sauce".

I don't think the salt in chicken noodle soup really does anything to add flavor, it just hits the taste buds in a way that allows the flavor that's there to be expressed more fully.

I don't use much salt, but I don't have any particular problem with sodium. I got the "low sodium" chicken soup because it was the only one the store had. I don't think it was because of panic buying, because there was no empty space on the shelf where a non-"low sodium" soup should have been.

They were out of Italian Wedding Soup, but again, I don't think that was a sign of panic buying because all the other soups appeared to be well stocked.

423:

Nojay
Ah, yes, you've hit another nasty liitle quirk there - thanks for pointing that one out...

424:

The long streams of people on foot heading towards the giant call-centre offices up the hill were not present

They must not handle travel things.

The airline where my wife works has their call centers on mandatory overtime in non trivial amounts. I'm sure the others do also. Plus hotels. Several people I know have tried multiple times to get through to hotels and given up after an hour or more.

425:

Since we're past {checks} 300, I offer this which might be useful for near-future worldbuilding post COVID-19(*).

https://www.justsecurity.org/69056/the-complex-policy-questions-raised-by-nuclear-energys-role-in-the-future-of-warfare/

(*) I think it likely that there will be a future post COVID-19 and the world will return to its usual nuttery until it wakes up to climate change or some other disaster.

426:

Greg Tingey @ 380: Question
I realise Pasquinade, for some reason has got up OGH's nose ... but do we have to put up with stuff like the insulting & ignorant ramble @ 363?
"That's what they're counting on"
Who is "they" & what utterly insane paranoid stupidity is this?
SNARL

( Note-to-Charlie: If you don't like this particular post, please delete it, but my understanding is not grokking this one, at all. )

Looking at it in my browser, post #363 is one of yours. 8^)

427:

darkblue @ 382: It should be just a throat swab, quick and simple.

Yeah. That's why I said your basic Army Private could be trained to do it properly in just a few hours.

Hell even a basic Air Force private or enlisted Navy sailor could be trained to do it. My point being, most governments already have military organizations with enlisted personnel they could "draft" to assist health services in the current situation.

Screening doesn't require the full attention of trained medical personnel, other than you'd want some of them to supervise the soldiers, sailors & airmen drafted for such duty. That way you could get more use out of your medical personnel caring for those who have the virus.


428:

Bear in mind those travel call centers are busy with mostly non revenue generating work like cancellations and repatriation flights. They will be getting quieter and quieter.

Also bear in mind that even for call centers working from home is now A Thing.

Took my 0630 London commuter train today - 10 people in my carriage when it's normally 90% full. Tube busier but still noticeably quiet. Think a Friday on a half term week or a bit less still. Generally seems to be much less suburban* commuters about and a few less London based Commuters about.

*Suburban being defined as needing National Rail + Tube to get to work.

429:

Boris has just requested all non essential travel is stopped. Work from home you filthy germ bags.

430:

I think you're slightly wrong about the "infections..no symptoms" period. From what I've been reading it's more like 2-14 days usually with outliers that extend to at least 28 days. And perhaps more.

The thing is, some people seem to carry the disease around without symptoms ever. And they're infectious. So that 28 days probably is an artifact of measurement. Some folks are claiming the "everyone *eventually* develops symptoms" but the places I've read that didn't say on what basis they made that judgement. So I think it's best to assume that there are asymptomatic carriers that are permanent carriers. These folks *are* uncommon, of course, but their duration still makes them significant. And they've no way to know they aren't healthy.

431:

In the event that COVID-19 can't be vaccinated against and doesn't produce immunity, the eventual probable requirement is test production sufficient to test the entire population every quarter.

Best if it's the thin edge of the wedge for public pharmaceutical production.

432:

[quote]I've read several places where "younger" people can get Covid-19 but be mostly asymptomatic. But I've never seen any details about what this means.[/quote]

I think your sources are confused. It's a probability thing. Younger people are more likely to have a milder case, and it seems to be a gradient (probably not smooth) from 90 years to 9 days (that's hyperbole, I don't know the actual spread). But older people can also have symptom free infections, it's just less frequent (in proportion to number of cases). And some people in every age group have the disease without symptoms (at least for a week or so, and probably longer, but the longer period beyond a week is less frequent).

You won't see any details because the information to develop them isn't available. And explaining probability distributions without knowing the data is really difficult. (IOW, if you see claims of hard boundaries, doubt them.)

There really seem to be a lot of edge cases in this disease, and that's what we should expect. It's an RNA virus and it mutates like mad. If we currently know how large it's critical regions are, I haven't heard about it. (OTOH, I'm a retired programmer, not a virus-geneticist.)

P.S.: Being young and healthy is no guarantee this thing won't kill you. It gives you better odds is all.

433:

Antibodies are little protein Yale keys; does this receptor fit all the lumps and bumps? Instead of "we can open the door" it's "We know what this is!"

Functionally, the antibody is now stuck to the antigen, and with the receptor plugged, the antigen is relatively chemically inert. It won't be doing whatever miracle-of-life wet nanomachinery stuff you'd rather it hadn't. (This is the metaphorical equivalent of a bunch of monsters shut behind standard industrial doors with both-sides key locks; B-cells are running around trying a bunch of keys, and whenever one fits in the lock, breaking it off in the locked position. Now the monster has no option of opening the door.)

But because this is life, there is variation; sometimes you haven't got enough keys to lock up all the monsters (your body has never seen this before and the B-cells don't know how to make that pattern of key, you're immune compromised and your B-cells are very tired....) or something has gotten excessively keen and the whole mechanism overreacts or something especially clever manages to present as "no, no, a standard metabolic function, nothing to see here".

But in general antibodies are these little bits of protein floating around in the circulatory system, they're actively produced by the body, and the associated immune function is to plug up antigens as a means of disarming the antigen; at scale, whether it's physical or chemical is rather a moot point.

434:

To hear that Powell's has had to close makes this feel real in a way almost nothing else has, even though I live in San Diego and only go to Powell's when I visit extended family in Oregon. I think it's because Powell's is such a magnificent sanctuary and refuge from the world...I should see if they are still accepting on-line orders.

Meanwhile, down here my husband (academic microbiologist) just donated all of his reagents to a colleague who is collecting them to give to the testing cause. I am ordering a few last art supplies to see me through. Some community organizers are putting together a county-wide mutual aid organization. 2020: making me miss the halcyon days of 2019.

435:

Charlie Stross @ 399: (The asymptomatic/infectious period is only 1-7 days -- probably at the shorter end of the scale -- but the point is, you won't know you're infected when you pass COVID19 on to your wife and the nice folks who also hang out at the allotments and the postie and the workers in the shops you visit etc etc.)

That's something I'm not real clear on. If I'm in the "asymptomatic/infectious period" how does COVID19 jump from me to them unless I breathe on them and have actual physical contact. I wash my hands before I leave the house, go to the store & pick out the items I want and take them to checkout where I put them on the conveyor. The clerk scans the items & puts them in a bag while I stick my card in the reader. The clerk puts my bag on the counter, I pick it up & leave. The closest we've gotten to each other is 3-4 feet.

I can understand the clerk might pass it because he/she is breathing on the bags all during their work shift (but not on the reusable bags I bring from home). But I don't understand how such brief encounters might make ME spread the disease?

I don't have a wife or an allotment (I'm guessing "an allotment" is a small portion of a community garden?), but I do have neighbors I see & talk to when I'm out walking my dog. When those encounters occur we're staying far enough apart I'm not worried about them giving it to me. I read somewhere that person-to-person transmission requires maintenance of intimate distances over a period of several minutes.

I can see how sitting in a pub for an evening might be a bad thing, but not how just passing someone on the sidewalk would be?

436:

All of our efforts at the moment are to flatten the curve, and the necessity of that means that the politicians in charge (and to a lesser extent the population) are willing to sacrifice entire economies to do that in the short term.

But that isn't going to last, because it can't.

If - and it is a big speculated if at this point - there is no long term way to control Covid-19 either by immunity (from surviving it or vaccine) or because it mutates too rapidly, then testing every 3 months won't achieve anything (other than to provide a snapshot of data).

So we either go the way of the Chinese - check everyone's temperature constantly - or we reach a point where it has killed off the vulnerable and life returns to a new normal were as it makes it's yearly round it merely kills off the newly vulnerable. Note I am not advocating this, it will be terrible and deprive society of people who still have a lot to contribute.

Note that even the Chinese method will require substantial changes to (particularly American) society, where we decide you absolutely cannot work when sick and the resulting need for social assistance to cover lost wages and some mechanism to deal with isolating sick kids from schools given a lack of stay at home parents.

437:

Elderly Cynic @ 408: I forgot about this aspect:

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/stress-anxiety-depression/loneliness-in-older-people/
https://www.nhs.uk/news/older-people/social-isolation-increases-death-risk-in-older-people/

Yeah, it's too bad that all the prescriptions for what to do to keep from dying of loneliness are the exact same thing governments are telling people NOT to do so they won't risk spreading the virus.

438:

Elderly Cynic @ 412: Meanwhile, back on the ranch:

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/coronavirus-us-panic-buying-guns-ammo-nra-a9403886.html

They're afraid the gubmint's black helicopters are coming to take away their toilet paper

439:

Everyone is vulnerable.

There is absolutely no basis to believe that good health, youth, or general robustness make you less vulnerable; there is sound reason to believe these things make you less likely to become symptomatic.

The data we have indicate that the rate of infection is variable by age, by lung damage, by some pre-existing conditions; once you are symptomatic, everybody seems to have the same roughly six percent mortality.

440:

Troutwaxer @ 418: Just walk down the road muttering "Godzilla, Godzilla, Godzilla" over and over again. You will be self-isolated.

That used to work, but now people just assume you've got a blue-tooth headset for your smart phone.

441:

Sorry, bad wording on my part.

By vulnerable I meant those that Covid-19 is likely to kill, which evidence so far seems to indicate the elderly and those with underlying lung issues.

Otherwise, if there is no way to get immunity then essentially we are all going to get Covid-19 at some point, and then repeatedly as it continues making the rounds year after year as you say.

442:

Being tested on Monday and getting a negative result on Wednesday doesn't prevent you from getting infected on Thursday.

Or from getting infected on Monday evening and being contagious all day Tuesday and Wednesday and thinking you're clear.

Tests are best used first to confirm that diagnoses of COVID19 are correct (that it's not ARDS or fever from some other cause, in which case COVID19 treatment may be inappropriate), and then for sampling the population of medical staff to see if additional barrier/contagion precautions are needed, and finally (limits imposed in sequence as the supply of test kits increases) for random sampling of the population to track the actual, as opposed to symptomatic, prevalence of the disease.

443:

If I'm in the "asymptomatic/infectious period" how does COVID19 jump from me to them unless I breathe on them and have actual physical contact.

Some damp exudate -- droplets from your lungs, your nasal passages, probably even sweat -- from your person gets on a surface. For the next ~week, anybody who touches that surface gets virus on them. If that person then washes their hands, it probably doesn't infect them; that person then touches their face, getting virus near or on a mucous membrane, it may infect them. No direct physical content; it can happen days later. Handwashing shifts the odds.

Handwashing is a way to avoid indirect receipt of a virus particle, where it goes from your hands to one of your mucous membranes; it doesn't prevent direct transmission when you stand close enough for some other party to inhale the damp exudate (which nigh-every checkout will require!) and thus they get particles directly in their lungs and infected. That concern is where the 2 metre distance between people rule comes from. The 2 metre distance is not especially adequate in enclosed spaces like tube trains or elevators and presumes that you are not actively coughing or sneezing.

444:

The commute here in the DC area was halfway to a ghost town - express bus had five passengers instead of 40; Metro (light rail) was similarly sparse. Even the auto traffic was far lighter.

However, this can't be maintained for very long. My work requires access to stuff I can't legally take home, and I think there's going to have to be a lot of redefining and re-engineering of government and business to optimize telework on a permanent basis. Besides, at some point, much work involves you talking face to face with another person at some point. Even Charlie has to occasionally talk to his agents and publishers in person, plus we readers seem to like seeing "them what wrote the words."

Separate topic - from today's DOD COVID-19 update:
A recent report published in the Annals of Internal Medicine that analyzed confirmed COVID-19 cases reported outside of China from 4 JAN to 24 FEB found that the median incubation period for COVID-19 was five days, with 98% of cases developing symptoms within 11.5 days.

So that's a significant infectious period prior to being symptomatic. Controlling this via social distancing is likely to be unsuccessful overall. I think we're headed toward the worst case.

445:

OK, ignore one of those "at some point" phrases. Gotta work on my editing.