- Written by Michael Z Williamson
These are in no particular order. There's just too much stupidity to track.
COVID is not the flu, it's one of several variants of cold. The shrieking idiots that "it's just the flu" didn't help. And they were wrong.
The very initial lockdown made a certain amount of sense. No one knew what the actual threat level was, because not a single report from China regarding anything can be trusted.┬á It looked to be 200X as lethal as your average flu. It's not. It's on par with a really bad flu, like the 1957 Hong Kong Flu, and 1968 Asian Flu. Bad, but survivable. We also now know we have treatment.
So about that:┬á The drugs in question are tested and safe, and doctors prescribe variant uses all the time. This should not require the FDA to do any kind of lengthy study, and is proof we need to gut that agency. Between "Will die" and "this isn't entirely tested but will probably save you, maybe with some side effects," the choice is obvious.
I previously touched on how herd immunity works--after enough people develop antibodies, the rate of infection slows and for certain strains may go almost dormant. Viruses of this type are constantly evolving. There may already be 8 variants of this strain.
So, to get herd immunity, PEOPLE HAVE TO GET THE DISEASE. You can't develop immunity by not being exposed. See: First Contact with the New World. (and see my preceding blog post.)┬á We'll be back to that in a moment.
Since we know the elderly and immune compromised and especially both, and with underlying health issues are at risk, those people should be staying inside. EVERYONE ELSE needs to get outside and get exposed, most with zero symptoms, recover, and be immune, so as to minimize transference later.
YOU CANNOT STOP THIS TYPE OF VIRUS. The shrieking Karens screaming "GOVERNOR, SHUT THIS STATE DOWN!" are complete idiots.┬á Back to the New World:┬á 63 days across the ocean is long enough for an entire crew to have a viral infection (cold or flu) and get over it, and have antibodies and not get sick again.
So, why did the natives get sick?┬á┬áBecause it was a virgin field with no antibodies and the slightest infection was enough.
If you all come out now, a bunch of you are going to get sick.┬á If you hold off until May 1, even more of you are going to get sick, and we'll be in the worst economic depression the world has ever known due to a complete lack of engaging in economy.
If you all hide until September, you're STILL going to get sick, and at the worst time of year for it--October-December, just like the flu and other colds. More people will die on top of everyone who's starving to death because we will have literally no economy left. (And I realize idiots don't believe this is true, even though in just two weeks we've gone from 3% unemployment to 10%. It'll be 20% by next week, and likely hit 40% by the end of April, if we don't stop the stupidity right now.)
If you believe you can just hide out long enough for it to go away, you are an idiot. This apparently applies to most state governors.
Closing playgrounds--stupid. Young kids are very resilient to this and will shrug it off, and help develop herd immunity. Just keep them away from Grandma for a few weeks.
Attacking people for daring to gather in small groups--prevents herd immunity. Stupid.
Buying PPE from China...didn't you actually pay attention? Stupid.
Demanding only one customer at a time put groceries on the checkout belt, but not sterilizing it in between--stupid.┬á All you did was slow commerce down.
Banning people from numerous activities--stupid. See above. It also leads to more domestic violence, obesity, and suicide.
Closing farmers markets, with lots of UV and fresh air, while leaving stores open.┬á Stupid.
Insisting we stand 6' apart at the Post Office when the windows are 3' apart. Stupid.
Releasing criminals from jail, a controlled environment where you can actually have good odds of preventing transmission, so they're now outside committing crimes and exposed. Stupid.
Banning fishing, which produces food and keeps people 6' apart. Stupid.
Vermont--declaring VEGETABLE SEEDS AND GARDENING TOOLS that people use to RAISE FOOD so they can AVOID PEOPLE MORE (which they shouldn't be, but you want them to do) is freaking retarded.┬á You need to recall that governor right now. She's stupid.
Smashing the economy with illegal orders to stay inside and do nothing--stupid, and criminal.
Governors issuing executive orders:┬á The response to these needs to be "or what?"┬á Executive orders by definition apply to the executive and the cabinet--work on this project, prosecute more of this, make this available. They have ZERO legal binding on citizens. Claiming so and threatening police violence against people who refuse your illegal order is actually constitutional grounds for someone to exercise an Italian Recall. Though I recommend doing your best to be low key, because given that your average cop is stupid, ignorant, trigger happy, and "just following orders," until they actually start up the box cars (they've already been designating hotels as camps), your survival is better to comply.
A county banning the sale of books as "non-essential." This is such a blatant First Amendment violation the three members of that county board should already be recalled by ropes and lampposts. Ditto with banning church services. Also, what are we supposed to use to teach our kids?
Closing schools, playgrounds, museums, theaters, libraries, literally everything we would use to educate or entertain our kids. Stupid AND criminal and you should be defying those illegal orders.
Shortening store hours--this packs more people into the store in a shorter timeframe, which is actually good for herd immunity, but accomplishes exactly the opposite of what you're trying to do. You're so stupid, you're even doing stupid stupid.
Sending 32 cops to raid a 1 year old's birthday party. Stupid. And proves yet again that cops are mindless thugs with no respect for the Constitution.
The mayor of Knoxville demanding Yet Moar Fascism, and having 9 suicides in 48 hours, far existing the city's death toll from COVID--stupid.
Same mayor admitting she may have to "reconsider" some of the policies, but not immediately removing failed policies that made the situation multiply worse than it was--so stupid you should recall her right now.
Shrieking the ridiculous lie that "The Constitution is not a suicide pact!" Stupid. The Feds LOST both cases where they claimed that, all the way to the Supreme Court. The Constitution does, however, provide for the execution of tyrants. NEWSFLASH: They had epidemics in colonial times, without modern medicine. We've had at least four worse epidemics. We didn't turn into Nazi fucking Germany complete to "papers, please!" to go about your daily business. Further, if "emergency" can suspend the Constitution, there's already some leftist whore demanding it for "Climate emergency."┬á No, we will not surrender our Constitution because of a cold. If you're scared, stay home. The rest of us have a nation and economy to run.
Allowing governors to GIVE you illegal orders and demanding more--this is your own fault, you are stupid, you should not vote, you should not reproduce, and in fact, I'll buy you a one-way ticket to North Korea where you can live exactly that lifestyle. You are scum. And stupid.
At this point, if you're expecting me to care if a million of you die, you're stupid for the final time. I'm hoping for 10-15 million.
Sadly, as of 7 Apr, it's just barely cracked 11,000 deaths (and now 10 apr, 17,000), half what either the flu or the common cold have done this season.┬á Meanwhile, Malaria kills 15X that many every month in Africa and India, but because those are brown people and leftists are inherently racist, they won't even unban DDT to help address that problem.
- Written by Michael Z Williamson
Article by professionals linked at the end.
Idiots are still attempting to "quarantine" 3rd order contacts of anyone who has tested positive for COVID (Even if the test has an 85% failure rate). The myth is that this "flatterns a curve."┬á It doesn't.
This is not how herd immunity works.
No parallel is exact, but try this one to simplify it for state governors and other complete idiots:
We had cats, and we had a housemate. The housemate acquired a cat, but didn't want their precious kitten getting beaten up by the other three cats. So they came up with this brilliant idea of locking their cat in their bedroom for a month, under the idea that the other cats would SMELL the new cat, and accept the presence of the new cat, and eventually it would be all cool.
As anyone who's had cats can tell you, the other cats were pissed off when they smelled or heard the new cat, growled at the door for a month, and when the door was opened...
The cats fought anyway, and in about three spats and two days, status was established.
If you constantly try to quarantine healthy people who MIGHT have been exposed (but probably not), you "flatten the curve" to the point where the virus remains a virgin field infection for as long as you act like an idiot...and then will still run through the remaining population.
Coronavirii have existed for at least 8000 years. This strain is bad. But it's not going to magically go away, and no one has ever successfully cofferdammed around one.
The only way this works is for the people who are legitimately at risk, which all studies show to be the elderly and/or compromised and particularly both, to sequester (not "quarantine." You only "quarantine" infected) themselves, while the rest of us get on with life and spread that herd immunity so their odds of getting it are much less, and there's plenty of resources if they do.
This endless panic of, "ZOMG! My sister's coworker's husband was in the same room with someone who tested positive!" is not only stupid, it is insane. It's reminiscent of AIDS-phobia where people were terrified to shake hands with a gay man.
And shutting down all "non-essential" businesses and sales as a method is equally stupid for three reasons:
There are ZERO non-essential businesses. Every business supports the owner, employees, and families.┬á┬á
Urbanites are utterly unqualified to know what constitutes "Essential" since they basically have finished goods delivered to them by a magic truck backing up to a store. "Gardening supplies" (Vermont) enable production of FOOD.┬á "Books" are not only constitutionally protected, they're EDUCATION, something every governor obviously needs, starting with Thomas Sowell's Basic Economics.
And crashing the economy is not a treatment for a virus.
The Founders were correct. Non-land owners have zero credibility exercising franchise or holding office.
- Written by Michael Z Williamson
By week 2, unemployment went from 3% to 10%.
It really hasn't occurred to most of you that businesses fail from not engaging in business.┬á This just tells me the socialist indoctrination centers (schools) have utterly failed to explain how business works.
And let me stick in a note here that no matter what you think of the type of business, they have employees who suffer first.┬á Go ahead and get your hate-on about whomever, but the wage earners will be out of jobs.
Most businesses operate on tiny margins, especially stores and restaurants.┬á Now, restaurants that can do takeout are managing, mostly (at reduced capacity and with reduced employees). But fine dining establishments or sit-down-only ethnic restaurants aren't. They're closed. That means no income for any of the owners or employees, followed shortly by no income for the landlord, who is also probably a small business, so stow your socialist-indoctrinated hate.
Keep in mind that every one that fails means unemployed workers as well.┬á And just because YOU can find a workaround for their product, doesn't put money in THEIR pocket.
Here's a partial list I will expand:┬á
Theaters, who have managers, ushers, concessionaires, ticket takers.
Restaurants and bars who have managers, cooks, servers, cleaners.
Restaurants need food suppliers. If they're not selling food, they're not ordering food from the suppliers. (One corresepondent reports his factory produces sliced cheese.┬á 80% drop in orders with so many restaurants closed or doing less business.)
Specialty retailers--bookstores, hobby stores.
Hotels--no one is renting rooms if they're not traveling for leisure or business. Hotels employ maintenance, housekeepers, clerks, often entertainers.
Convention facilities--who have lots of overhead, and lots of staff and/or contractors for support, displays, decorations, etc.
Venues for music or live theater.
Gyms aren't getting anything without guests and attendees.
MUSICIANS, ACTORS AND OTHER PERFORMERS for whom you've cancelled literally every gig in the next quarter. I know a couple of bona-fide rock stars, who don't earn nearly as much as you think they do, who have to hold out until JUNE hoping for potential shows. Their entire tours have been cancelled.
Event planners for weddings and other events. There's no venues to hold them in.
Anything tourism related--retailers, guides, other activities.
Transportation related to those--airlines (already taking massive hits), tour buses.
Since I write SF, I assume a number of readers do. At least two SF literary conventions have already quit for good.┬á They can't afford to hold everything over another year. They're done permanently.┬á That's more hotel room-nights and concessions not being used next year.
With all those closed, beverage and food concessionaires and distributors are out of work.
Within days, trucking and delivery companies for anything other than the essentials.
Oh, yes--by this point the state is missing out on millions or billions of sales tax revenues that never happened.
There are already lawsuits against insurers. If they have to pay out enough, they close. That will be the smaller insurers, leaving only a few big ones to negotiate with. Who will also lay off people when there are fewer businesses needing insurance.
Now, any single one of these is manageable by the whole, it only sucks rocks for the families in question. But ALL of them are in the process of failing right now. Fortunately, my convention retail business is my part time fun job, but I'm out at least $20,000 in sales for the first half of the year. So far. For people for whom this is their livelihood, I know of several with literally nothing, no income at all, and a $1200 check isn't going to fix it. There's been at least one suicide in my circle, and hotlines report increasing numbers all over. I guess if you don't care how many people you kill to save people, you have a really confusing thought process.
Accountants and payroll companies won't be doing well soon, either. A good number of their clients are going out of business and won't need their services.
In a few weeks:
Lots of car payments have been missed, and there's less of a market for new cars for certain, and probably a glut of used cars. Buyer's market. So car dealers are suffering. I know, a good number of them suck, but it still means their families are short of food and money. Mechanics may do well, maintaining cars for those who can afford them.┬á Dealers and manufacturers are going to take a bite. That's more layoffs.
The restaurants that did stay open are going to struggle at this point. Who has money to spend out? So they're going to lay off even more people.
The food demand drop is going to affect farms and ranches.
And once the economy is on a slide like that, it just keeps going. Experts are predicting worse than the Great Depression.┬á┬á
Doctors are knowledgeable about medicine. Do you know who the most famous doctor put in charge of an economy was?
Che Guevara, in Cuba. Okay, so a racist, homophobic, hypocritical murderous thug isn't really a valid comparison. But he knew nothing of economics and it showed. The CDC should not be making economic policy.
The point is there are ZERO non-essential jobs in even our nominally free (though massively government controlled) market.┬á If a job doesn't generate income, it goes away.
The question comes down to: How many people are you willing to starve and murder over a virus that the experts agree won't be significantly worse than the four previous major viruses, in the last half century?┬á And if you can't name them without looking, then your opinion is irrelevant.
EVERY business is essential to the owner, the employees, and the families.
Any politician speaking of a "non-essential" business is an idiot and should be removed from office. Because lamppost decorators need work, too.
"VAST DISRUPTIONS AHEAD IN EMPLOYMENT DISTRIBUTION
The US economic outlook depends largely on the degree that businesses respond to the pandemic crisis by laying off workers. Until recently, they have largely avoided the tactic. But as so much demand has vanished almost instantaneously, the pressure on companies to reduce costs is urgent.
The five sectors experiencing the most direct and immediate collapse in demand or facing government-mandated shutdowns because of coronavirus are air transportation; performing arts and sports; gambling and recreation; hotels and other lodging; and restaurants and bars. Together, they accounted for $574 billion in total employee compensation in 2018, about 10% of the total, and spread among 13.8 million full-time equivalent workers. Unemployment claims are expected to skyrocket in the coming weeks."
As far as the socialist bleating about "2 million deaths" and "companies with sketchy priorities," feeding our families IS our priority. Feel free to start writing checks.
To prove my first point, some idiot in comments claims "this is capitalism" and I "should be down with it."
It is not capitalism when socialists order your business closed at gunpoint.
- Written by Michael Z Williamson
From George Avery, PhD. MPA
Dr. Avery has a PhD in Health Services Research from the University of Minnesota School of Public Health, and has conducted significant research in the area of public health emergency preparedness, including five journal articles and two book chapters on the topic. He has served on several CDC advisory boards, including a panel on preparedness and emergency response centers, and consulted for the Defense Department on Medical Civic Action program doctrine. He has edited a special issue of the research journal Bioterrorism and Biodefense and served as a reviewer for the Journal of Homeland Security and Emergency Management as well as Disaster Medicine and Public Health. He is a health services researcher with a medical analytics firm in the Midwest, and has formerly been a professor with the public health program at Purdue and worked from 1990-2000 with the Arkansas Department of HealthΓÇÖs Division of Public Health Laboratories.
We are seeing a panic reaction towards the newly emerged SARS-COVID-2 [Wuhan] epidemic, marked by panic buying of items including the much-joked about toilet paper, drastic action by political figures that often impinges on basic civil rights, and potentially devastating lasting economic impact. Much of this has been fueled by na├»ve and sensationalist reporting of fatality rates, such as a March 10, 2020 report by the Bloomberg news service that implies that 3.4-3.5% of infected individuals die (https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-03-09/travel-companies-pull-forecasts-italy-extends-ban-virus-update ).┬á This has caused comparisons to the 1919 Influenza A:H1N1 pandemic and its 2.5% case fatality rate, which would qualify as a level 5 event on the CDCΓÇÖs Pandemic Severity Index (PSI) and has led to a panicked overreaction worldwide. This case fatality rate, however, to a trained epidemiologist is obviously a significant overestimation of the actual fatality rate from the disease.
Ascertainment bias is a systematic error in statistical estimation of a population parameter resulting from errors in measurement - usually, in undermeasurement of a parameter. In this case, we are underestimating the actual number of cases in the population, which is the denominator in the calculation of the estimated case fatality rate. We are accurately estimating deaths, but to get the case fatality rate, we divide deaths by our estimate of the number of cases. Because that it too low due to measurement error, the estimate of the case fatality rate is too high.
For example, for a hypothetical disease if we have three deaths and observed ten cases, then the case fatality rate is 30% (3/10=0.3 or 30%). If, however, there were actually 300 cases, and only 10 were observed and reported, ascertainment bias has led us to underestimate the cases and overestimate the case fatality rate, which is actually 1% (3/300=0.01 or 1%).
In this case, in the absence of population-based screening to more actually estimate the total number of cases, we are only counting cases who are sick enough to seek health care -- almost all disease reports are made by healthcare professionals. We are missing people who have no more than a cold or who are infected but show no symptoms, individuals who almost certainly make up the overwhelming majority of actual cases. Thus, as in my hypothetical example, we are overestimating the case fatality rate for the disease.
There is, however, data available on SARS-COVID-2 [Wuhan] that allows us to get a better grasp on the actual case fatality rates for the virus.
One case is that of the cruise ship Diamond Princess, which achieved some notoriety from the well-publicized outbreak among its 3711 passengers and crew in January and February of 2006. Held aboard in constricted quarters, the population was subject to 3068 polymerase chain reaction (pcr) tests, which identified 634 individuals (17%) as infected, with over half of these infections (328 ) producing no symptoms. Seven infected passengers died, all of them over the age of 70. Adjusting the data for age, researchers at the London Institute of Tropical Medicine have estimated a fatality rate per infection (IFR) for the epidemic in China of 0.5% (95% CI: 0.2-1.2%) during the same period. This is far below the earlier estimates of 3.4% or greater that were promoting panic over the epidemic.┬á See Russell et al, Estimating the infection and case fatality ratio for COVID-19 using age-adjusted data from the outbreak on the Diamond Princess cruise ship, MedRXIV 2020 at https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.03.05.20031773v2.full.pdf.
South Korea has also implemented far wider population-based screening than the US, expanding their screening past suspected cases to voluntary population screening in geographies frequented by identified cases. As of March 15, as Stanford University economist Richard Epstein has noted, they performed over 235,000 tests and identified 8, 162 infections with 75 deaths (CFR=0.91%). Again, only about 10% of the deaths were in the population under the age of 60. See https://www.hoover.org/research/coronavirus-isnt-pandemic . While their population screening efforts were far better than that of the United States, this was still not a broad-based screening effort (such as was used on the Diamond Princess), being biased because while it looked at a broader population, it still was enriched with cases by looking only at a segment of the population with a higher risk.┬á Still, the case fatality rate is significantly below the 3.4% rate that caused the public panic.
What we are likely seeing, in my estimation, is an epidemic with a real case fatality rate between 0.2 and 0.5%, which is similar to the 1957 Asian Influenza A:H2N2 or 1968 Hong Kong Influenza A:H3N2 pandemics, which were also essentially virgin field respiratory epidemics. These pandemics rate, not as PSI5 events, but as PSI2 events on the CDC scale. They are certainly atypical and more severe than a PSI1 event (such as a routine seasonal flu epidemic), but not a shattering event like the 1919 influenza A:H1N1 pandemic. These earlier pandemics essentially tripled the number of deaths due to influenza experienced annually, and were posed little long-term economic or other damage to the population despite being handled without the extreme measures that are currently being adopted or proposed by political figures. Like those pandemic events, SARS-COVID-2 [Wuhan] has its most significant impact on elderly or otherwise compromised individuals, with few fatalities observed in the population under the age of 60. From what we have observed, half of those infected show no symptoms, 40% show mild symptoms such as a cold, and only about 2% advance to serious or critical illness. What is needed now is for politicians and the population to pause, take a deep breath, and address the epidemic with rational measures, such as social distancing of the older population, ring screening around identified cases, quarantine of identified infected individuals, and adequate hospital triage systems to protect other patients and health care staff rom infection in order to preserve our ability to treat the most severe cases. This is a strategy identified by myself and colleagues at Purdue in 2007 to ensure adequate capacity to deal with another true influenza pandemic, and it applies to this one as well.
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