The Unz Review: An Alternative Media Selection
A Collection of Interesting, Important, and Controversial Perspectives Largely Excluded from the American Mainstream Media
 TeasersRussian Reaction Blog
Corona Will Kill Millions & Crater the World Economy
🔊 Listen RSS
Email This Page to Someone

 Remember My Information



=>

Bookmark Toggle AllToCAdd to LibraryRemove from Library • BShow CommentNext New CommentNext New ReplyRead More
ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
AgreeDisagreeThanksLOLTroll
These buttons register your public Agreement, Disagreement, Thanks, LOL, or Troll with the selected comment. They are ONLY available to recent, frequent commenters who have saved their Name+Email using the 'Remember My Information' checkbox, and may also ONLY be used three times during any eight hour period.
Ignore Commenter Follow Commenter
Search Text Case Sensitive  Exact Words  Include Comments
List of Bookmarks

Hyperbolic much? At this point, the burden of proof surely now has to be on the optimists, who’ve been alternately barraging us with “iTs JuSt LiKe ThE fLu”, and/or “it’s not going to kill non-East Asians anyway” (not that CNN’s Sanjay Gupta will admit it).

But with epidemics, it’s usually a case of go big or go home. It’s not going home. As of the past couple of days, we can definitively state that containment has failed. The proof of this is Italy. Consider:

  • Italy has only a moderate level of air traffic with China – approximately comparable to Russia and France, lower than Germany and the UK, fivefold lower than the US.
  • Italy was the only country in Europe to ban all direct flights from China on January 31. (This appears to have actually no less hard a response than Russia’s ban on Chinese citizens on February 20, which however excluded transit and business visitors).
  • Belying stereotypes, the Italian epidemiological response has been highly competent (if by unexacting global standards), with most or all people displaying flu-like symptoms apparently being tested.

Even so, well over 200 cases in Italy have sprouted up in a matter of days, with deaths starting to tick up (seven as of the time of writing), a dozen cities under quarantine, and with no end in sight.

Coupled with the cluster in Iran, this means that COVID-19 now also meets the definition of a pandemic, even if the WHO has chosen this moment to erase this word from its lexicon.

It beggars belief that there aren’t similar or bigger clusters all over Europe, North America, and much of the world even outside East Asia.

To which one might rejoinder, why haven’t they been detected yet? Well, recall how COVID-19 works. Most cases are asymptomatic; in cases where symptoms do appear, which can happen as much as 2 weeks after infection, they are easily confounded with the flu. From the earlier days, it has been estimated – and repeatedly confirmed – that COVID-19 has only a 10% detection rate (BTW, Davide Piffer estimates it at 18%). Meanwhile, carriers need not be symptomatic to transmit. At such early stages, you are only going to identify these clusters by intensive testing, which as I understand nobody apart from Italy and South Korea is really doing yet. One might make a comparison to a tsunami. Undetectable when it’s out in the deep ocean, unless you’re specifically looking for it… until it comes to shore and crashes down on local healthcare systems.

At the global level, short of some late stage miracle, the cat is out of the bag and every country or bloc will now largely have to fend for itself. The one positive point is that China’s radical quarantine measures – now encompassing 10% of the world’s population – appear to have worked… at least going by official figures (e.g. only 11 new cases outside of Hubei this past day seems too good to be true – there have been some other oddities). Another obvious question is whether this stall will hold once the quarantines are eased and people are allowed to start going back to work – as they eventually must, if China is to avoid a full-fledged depression.

Nonetheless, there are many places in the world – probably the great majority – that are less functional and competent than China. Certainly there are very few countries with the political wherewithal to put half of their population under varying types of travel restrictions and basically implode their own economies. There are going to have their own outbreaks, time lagged ~2 months relative to China (note that the first death in Wuhan didn’t take place until January 9), and will then start catapulting the disease back into areas where it had previously been checked – at least short of a total shutdown of globalization on the Best Korea model.

At this point, probably the most efficient thing that most countries can do – bearing in mind that mortality with ventilators, drugs, doctors, etc. seems to be ~1% versus 2-3% for people left to their own devices – is to try to draw out the infections for as long as possible to prevent hospital facilities from becoming overwhelmed and so maximize the number of people who can be treated. Robin Hanson has some even more “powerful” ideas on how to minimize mortality rates, but I doubt there are any governments powerful enough to “consider controlled infection.”

***

Official China says its growth rate will be 6% in Q1 2020. Who knew that sitting at home mining gold on World of Warcraft could be so economically productive as to counterbalance the effects of a 25% reduction in coal production and CO2 emissions, a ~70% reduction in air flights, and a 90%+ (sic!) reduction in automobile sales.

Nonetheless, the absence of any corresponding commotion in the markets had started to become puzzling to me. But it appears that today the dam is finally breaking, with betting odds on a US recession jumping from 25% to 32% in just the 24 hours.

I think the odds are way worse. The global economy is already on unsteady footing – a manufacturing recession in the US, zero growth in Germany, outright -1.4% shrinkage in Japan during Q4. More generally, the American tech sector has long given off signals of being a bubble.

This is going to have some important consequences:

(1) Conventional wisdom has it that Bloomberg is much more competitive against Trump than Bernie. However, in a scenario in which COVID-19 creates a real crisis, this may no longer hold true – especially if it is handled badly. Wall or no wall, COVID-19 isn’t crawling up north through Mexico, whereas being able to see a doctor without getting slammed by massive bills is actually a good thing in an epidemic. With Trump proposing to cut 16% from the CDC’s budget for 2021 – released just a couple of weeks ago – this would not even be undeserved.

(2) In Italy, it may well be Salvini who gets a boost. He was calling for a China travel ban since early January.

(3) Geopolitically, this will turbocharge what Trump’s trade war initiated: The Great Bifurcation of the world economy between the “Blue Empire” and the Sinosphere. I’ll do this in a separate post.

(4) Global recession will also mean a collapse in oil prices. I don’t expect Russia to be particularly badly hit this time, since it has spent the 2014-19 period doing fiscal and monetary belt-tightening at the price of very low growth. On the upside, it now has the lowest breakeven oil price of any major oil-producing state. But Saudi Arabia might be worth watching out for.

***

This all sounds very gloomy and depressing. But is it really all so bad?

Although comparisons to the flu are a very “smol brain” take – a virulence differential of well more than an order of magnitude is nothing to sneeze at – it’s still, in practice, almost irrelevant to young people’s mortality profiles. Even if it increases the risk of a 20 year old’s death in that year by 50%, that would still just basically be equivalent to having to live that year as a 20 year old in the 1970s.

The effects on boomers and older generations are going to be much worse, since COVID-19 affects them much worse. Still, even this will just be a one-time “shock”. If you look at historical charts of life expectancy, you will see that before the universalization of vaccines, antibiotics, etc. in the 20th century, life expectancy jumped wildly from year to year, spiking in tandem with the virulence of the bugs going around in that particular year (and sometimes with failed harvests). Since the late 19th century, at least in the developed world, these graphs have become smoothed out.

All manner of COVID-19’s were a mundane thing a century ago and earlier. Today, they are a freak occurrence on whose mitigation China and much of the world seems willing to sacrifice a significant proportion of their GDP. That sounds almost Pinkerian.

 
Hide 766 CommentsLeave a Comment
Commenters to Ignore...to FollowEndorsed Only
Trim Comments?
  1. Please keep off topic posts to the current Open Thread.

    If you are new to my work, start here.

    • Replies: @Jim Christian
    Anatoly, how are ya? Great work, as always. Seems like it's been awhile,

    So, you figure they're paying folks off, prisoners, maybe, trying to develop a vaccine of some sort? Not a forced thing, more like a Dirty Dozen scenario, voluntary-like? How WOULD they build a vaccination without rapid, exhaustive research on people? And that's to leave out the question of racial characteristics-sensitive to the death.

    Safe to say China's on that track one way or the 'other'?
    , @Godfree Roberts
    Here are three mortality charts courtesy of Brian Wang at Next Big Future:
    https://i.imgur.com/uT3XrpS.png

    https://i.imgur.com/OaebHRN.png

    https://i.imgur.com/ND6B1f8.png
  2. Has anyone found an estimate for the mortality rate by an expert taking into account the lag effect and undetected cases?

    • Replies: @utu
    "...mortality rate by an expert taking into account the lag effect..."

    Around 4% for China. It may go lower with improved treatment.
    , @Reezy
    This is exactly what you're looking for: https://shylockholmes.blogspot.com/2020/02/the-covid19-death-rate-is-much-higher.html
    , @Brett Redmayne-Titley
    It is interesting that there is so little quantification of mortality rates as yet.

    However....

    While doing some research into the efficacy of vitamin C on COVID-19 I came across a clinical trial ongoing since Feb 11, 2020.

    Although the study has not concluded, in the body of the introduction was a reference to a JAMA report that had culled 41 infected patients for observation.

    Goto:

    https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/home

    Identifier number: NCT04264533.

    Although stated only to provide a reason for the clinical trial on C efficacy, the intro states:

    Statistics of the 41 patients with SARI published in JAMA initially showed that 13 patients were transferred into the ICU, of which 11 (85%) had ARDS and 3 (23%) had shock. Of these, 10 (77%) required mechanical ventilation support, and 2 (15%) required ECMO support. Of the above 13 patients, 5 (38%) eventually died and 7 (38%) were transferred out of the ICU. Viral pneumonia is a dangerous condition with poor clinical prognosis. For most viral infections, there is a lack of effective targeted antiviral drugs, and symptomatic supportive treatment is still the current main treatment.
     
    While this is not a control group nor clinical result, the reference strongly indicates that for those who are admitted to ICU ( you can find the WHO triage protocol online) a far larger percentage than currently being reported ended up on life-sustaining ventilation and/ or died.

    This example is by far worse than the proffered 1-4% used by the media.
  3. Of the 1-3% that may die or be sickest, how many of them are non-workforce? Retired with pre-existing conditions? This likely reduces the direct economic impact.

    What can actually be done in a hospital? It’s a virus so the care is supportive. How much supportive care can be delivered at home? IV’s can be done by a travelling nurse.

    Countries where a significant percentage of people can work from home have huge financial advantages over manual labor nations. There will be no recession in the U.S. as we are food and energy independent, although certain entertainment industries targeting crowd events will likely have severe issues.

    China and other cheap goods producers will have problems. Without the ability to make and sell junk, how will they pay for imported oil?

    PEACE 😇

    • Troll: NPleeze
    • Replies: @Naill
    "China and other cheap goods producers will have problems. Without the ability to make and sell junk, how will they pay for imported oil?"

    Who says staying home doesn't save you money? Total Chinese tourists in 2018 was 149 million with total spending at $130 billion. Cutting out international travel will allow them to divert money elsewhere.

    , @sally
    I think it is important to identify the infectious elements in the virus.. to educate all of the people with a full academic treatment of what is known about life cycle, infection site, detection, so millions of people can work on discovering a solution.. instead of just the trained few.. sometimes something as simple a chromophore in a strange plant can detect infections. render a remedy. or indicate a way to eliminate risk in locations<=so one can clean up the spot before sitting on it, or picking it up or whatever. .. This virus is a threat to humanity (and much background data suggest death rate expectation after infection might reach as high as 16%) , but community work of the population as a whole has two great benefits, 1. it could organize humanity to handle threats the massive corrupt nation state system, can not satisfactorily handle and 2. it could education one hell of a lot of people about how viri work and teach them what is known and not known about the virus <=better than a college education in microbiology. <teach the basics, teach the research, and listen as those impacted discover the answers.
    One of the big problems our society faces is that our 8 billion humans have been divided into 206 nation state people containers, and each contained group is subject to the wisdom, integrity, and diligence of those who conduct the affairs that control the behaviors of those trapped within one of the nation state containers
    Humanity has a big problem, the nation state system favors big pharma and the hold of big pharma on information is second only to government restraint against citizen action again instituted by big Pharma.
    BP wants to own (that is they want to patent or to by the patent before they allow anyone its use) the discovered improvements on survival, detection and so forth.. This hide everything mentality can kill millions. as it allows those who can profit from the threat to use government to hide the answers until big pharma can make a profit while millions are dying.
  4. Ok doomer.

    • Agree: WHAT, Realist, Anonymousse
    • LOL: JimDandy
    • Replies: @Richard B

    "The Russians are coming! The Russians are coming!

    I mean, The White Supremacists are coming! The White Supremacists are coming!

    Ah, I mean, The Coronavirus is coming! The Coronavirus is coming!

    Actually, They're all coming together and at the same time!"
     

    Once again they're proving that there's only one real KKK in the world today.

    The Kvetching Kosher Khazars.

    Moral Panic much? Yawn Snore.

    Oh, speaking of which, you'll all be happy to know that as of yet, ZERO deaths in Israel.

    Just search


    how many people have died in Israel from the coronavirus
     
    Guess they'll have to get around to making up some imaginary number.

    That should be no problem for them.

  5. Please, can anyone provide real data on infectivity and virulance rates for Caucasians and Africans, vs. East Asians.

    Some data suggest that corona rates are higher in men than women.

    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin

    Please, can anyone provide real data on infectivity and virulance rates for Caucasians and Africans, vs. East Asians.
     
    Rule of thumb figures that I think are generally accurate/within scientific mainstream are r0=4 and mortality of 1%.
    * r0 under assumption of no counteractions, such as quarantines or social withdrawal.
    * Mortality obviously differs widely - higher without hospital treatment, perhaps 0.5%-1% with hospital treatment.

    Not sure racial differences are going to be significant. Main consideration, apart from obvious ones like healthcare system quality, development, age structure, etc. would seem to be smoking prevalence and air pollution.

    Some data suggest that corona rates are higher in men than women.
     
    Fits in with above, many more men than women smoke.
    , @Rev. Spooner
    I was peaking to a doctor recently and she told me that the Corona Virus doesn't do too well in higher temperatures. The upper limit she mentioned was 25 degrees centigrade. I just read that all 14 people infected in Vietnam have recovered. All the countries, including Bahrain, Iraq, Iran, S Korea have temperatures lower than the one I have mentioned. I hope I'm right.

    Time to take a tropical vacation??
  6. @Patriot
    Please, can anyone provide real data on infectivity and virulance rates for Caucasians and Africans, vs. East Asians.

    Some data suggest that corona rates are higher in men than women.

    Please, can anyone provide real data on infectivity and virulance rates for Caucasians and Africans, vs. East Asians.

    Rule of thumb figures that I think are generally accurate/within scientific mainstream are r0=4 and mortality of 1%.
    * r0 under assumption of no counteractions, such as quarantines or social withdrawal.
    * Mortality obviously differs widely – higher without hospital treatment, perhaps 0.5%-1% with hospital treatment.

    Not sure racial differences are going to be significant. Main consideration, apart from obvious ones like healthcare system quality, development, age structure, etc. would seem to be smoking prevalence and air pollution.

    Some data suggest that corona rates are higher in men than women.

    Fits in with above, many more men than women smoke.

    • Replies: @Ludwig
    The SARS-COV-2 virus (which causes COVID-19) attacks the body by preferentially binding to the ACE2 receptor which disrupts various critical functions in the body. This is similar to SARS but apparently the binding is much more pronounced (which is why anti-SARS vaccines have not been effective), though with much less mortality rate from 10% of SARS to anywhere from 0.2%-2% (estimates differ over a magnitude because of the number infected is not known and from what data is known, different regions, even within China, have vastly different mortality profiles - Hubei has 4% while the rest of China has 0.7%. A possible explanation is that many more in Hubei are infected but not tested due to the prioritization in Hubei, esp the epicenter Wuhan, to handle only obvious cases which is already in the 100,000s tested).

    Investigations into where ACE2 differs across populations have been published. Here’s one from yesterday https://www.nature.com/articles/s41421-020-0147-1 which concludes that at this time there is not evidence that racial/ethnic/gender variation of ACE2 is statistically significant

    What appears to be a more statistically significant variation is the susceptibility of ACE2 receptors in smokers vs non-smokers (or those whose lungs/other tissues - eg the heart - are compromised). See for example https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.02.05.20020107v2

    Thus the gender difference noted in China (which has the largest data set so far) can be explained by lifestyle differences between genders rather than genetic differences.
    , @Mitleser

    Main consideration, apart from obvious ones like healthcare system quality, development, age structure, etc. would seem to be smoking prevalence and air pollution.
     
    Corona spreading in northern Italy is supported by the local air pollution.

    https://twitter.com/arpitrage/status/1232401672024010753
  7. Who knew that sitting at home mining gold on World of Warcraft

    Don’t the Chinese set time limits on how long people can play video games? I wonder if they modified that under current circumstances.

    I’ve also been wondering if there is anyway that the Chinese could turn this lemon into lemonade. Like, could they turn it into a baby-boom by using appropriate propaganda, or subliminal messages?

    • LOL: Anatoly Karlin
    • Replies: @El Dato
    Imagine millions of people sitting at home, solving captchas.

    Good article.
    , @Dmitry

    baby-boom by using appropriate propaganda, or subliminal messages?
     
    Well, not even a competent govenment could create "baby-boom by using appropriate propaganda, or subliminal messages". Even large financial incentives popular in developed countries today likely have no effect in fertility, and even laws of Nicolae Ceausescu to criminalize contraception only had a temporary, soon mostly reversed, effect.

    On the other hand, allowing third-world sanitary conditions, and then incompetent disease control, discovery and containment of the unknown viruses newly transmitted from animals to man in their territory, and allowing the virus to soon spread to other countries - this is more appropriate for the skill level of the Chinese authorities today.
  8. I am interested in what effect this will have on the PRC’s soft power.

    Soft power is universally acknowledged as real, if amorphous and hard to quantify.

    I’d say China was making slow but steady gains in the 2010s, and then, poetically, in the very last week of the decade, this new virus began to get mentions, setting the stage for a Q1 2020 that has got to be among the worst for China’s image in a long time; possibly since June 1989.

    Effects on image / soft power: On one hand, the virus started in China, apparently because of “non-First World” behavior by some Chinese at that live-animal market; and there is no way to make the PRC regime look good in its initial reaction (the cover-up, including the secret-police’s threatening of the doctor who discovered it, the doctor in his 30s who later died of the virus). On the other hand, their efforts, as Anatoly writes here, have been effective within China itself at containment.

    Net effect on China’s soft power for the 2020s?

    • Replies: @Europe Europa
    For the sheer size of the country, China is almost completely devoid of soft power. Unlike South Korea and Japan, China has almost no cultural exports that are popular anywhere else in the world. All China is known for is its authoritarianism and exporting huge amounts of cheap goods, most non-Chinese people would struggle to name a famous person or movie, etc, from mainland China.

    The only internationally well known pop culture figures that Chinese culture has produced have been from Hong Kong, which is obviously highly Westernised in comparison to mainland China. People like Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan.
    , @china-russia-all-the-way
    I would group the world into 3 classes for evaluating changes in Chinese soft power.

    1. Developing regions where engagement is overwhelming (Central Asia, Southeast Asia, Africa)
    2. Rest of developing world (India, Latin America, Middle East)
    3. Western world (US and Europe)

    Many important countries don't quite fit into these categories like Russia (non-Western, self sufficient white country), Pakistan (long standing ally), Japan (non-Western, default enmity towards China), South Korea (a country that for entirely its own security reasons and geography is coming to a juncture and may decide to abandon the US for China).

    The last decade saw Chinese soft power considerably drop in (3) but rise in (1) and (2) due to the strength of China's economy, increasing technical achievements by Chinese companies and universities, export of capital by Chinese investor and banks, and lack of human rights preening by the countries themselves. In (1) there is both recognition that China is transforming the landscape but also caution about exposure level. In Africa, China's prominence makes it a target for counter narratives which Africans are more susceptible to than other 3rd world countries (colonial trade relationship, debt trap, racism, etc.) But others in (1) are not as interested as Africa in blaming China for ills. Nonetheless, the higher profile of China in any region of (1) comes with higher exposure to counter narratives in large part because of the propaganda efforts of Washington (and to less impact Delhi). The counter narratives gain traction easily because in both (1) and (2) there is low trust of China. That lack of trust has not improved in the 2010s despite the huge increase in (1) and (2) in respect for China as a capable and achieving nation.

    The Belt and Road Initiative is intended to change perceptions worldwide. The brand China wants to project through BRI is an image as the great connector of the infrastructure hungry developing world. That means building cross-border pipelines and transport networks to bring together Eurasia, Africa, and Latin America. This brand image has excited business communities and the political classes of (1) and (2) but has not made headway in popular perception in those same places. If this brand image can stick then I think (1) and (2) will see China as more benign and thereby more trustworthy (seeing China as the connector, reduces perceptions of China as belligerent).

    Coronavirus has tainted the image of China as the great connector of the 3rd world. It has even tainted cross-border connectivity. How badly tainted depends on whether the situation in Iran can be contained.
    , @songbird

    I am interested in what effect this will have on the PRC’s soft power.
     
    If you are talking about the schema of China in the heads of the average African, etc., then it won't be but the tiniest blip. I am sure it doesn't even register in many people of the third world.

    In the West, China will remain the big non-white country, so it will be lionized, as people are attracted to power, and it is relatively safe to reference.

    If we are speaking of the decade as a whole, it is microscopically trivial compared to the effect another decade of immigration will have on the West. Western Europe may be facing its 11th hour, right now. There are rumors that the UK will do away with the next census.
    , @another anon

    I am interested in what effect this will have on the PRC’s soft power.
    Soft power is universally acknowledged as real, if amorphous and hard to quantify.
     
    I am skeptical how is "soft power" supposed to help the producing country. People all over the world watch Japanese anime - does it make them to support Japanese state and government?
    People all over the world watch Brazilian telenovelas - does it make them to support Brazilian state and government?
    People all over the world love gangsta rap, superhero movies and other products of American culture, does it increase love of America? ;-)
    , @JUSA
    China has zero soft power. Most people around the world don't much like the Chinese, even in Asia. They are known for their bad manners, bad English and dishonesty the world over. By refusing to ground all outbound flights back in January and continuing to export this virus everywhere, if the coronavirus gets worse in lawless places like India, Mideast or Africa, ethnic Chinese (or even all East or Southeast Asians) can quickly become targets of violence. They are already targets of racism in Europe with people covering their faces when they're near Asian people on trains etc. It doesn't matter how much soft power Japan and Korea has, most people can't tell the difference so China is making all Asians look bad.

    The only good thing that could come out of this pandemic is the end of globalism, and hopefully, cutting international travels by at least 50%, esp. to/from Asia.

    , @Michael Tomac
    China's soft power is sort of a mixed bag. On one hand, they've endeared themselves to many African and Asian countries by building infrastructure. Not invading countries like the US is also a big plus. Some Chinese dramas are becoming popular, but they are still overshadowed by Korea and Japan.
    China has also squandered a lot of opportunities. They've alienated many south east Asians by enforcing the nine-dash line in the south China sea, and its been done in a very ham-handed manner. Overreacting to every single perceived slight that a foreign country makes is not going to make China popular in the long term, nor will it help China forge alliances.
    , @Jason Liu
    The CCP doesn't know what soft power is. Frankly, mostly of Chinese society doesn't either. People just think it's throwing money around or something. Almost everything the CCP does to present itself to the outside world is wrong in some way, especially if "Face" is involved. I could list endless examples but nobody ever listens, then they wonder why most of the developed world hates China.

    Right now China has no credible media platform outside of China, while the west has dozens to blast China 24/7. State media like CGTN will never be able to compete because foreigners don't watch or trust it. The geriatrics in Beijing need to put together a think tank of young, socially adept people with experience overseas to change its image, and I doubt they're gonna do that.
  9. I agree that many Chinese people will die and probably many people elsewhere in East Asia. I also agree that the coronavirus will get blamed for the coming global recession (which was coming anyway).

    Outside East Asia, the death toll will be comparable to what we see with a typical flu epidemic. Keep in mind that many people die every year because of influenza, no matter how mild it is.

    To date, no one has disproved the study by Zhao et al., who found that Chinese lung tissue is five times more receptive to coronoviral infections than lung tissue from non-Asian donors. Yes, there was only one Chinese donor in that study, but the chances are very low that the same normal distribution would produce such an extreme outlier.

    Most coronaviruses are mild. I suspect that a process of coevolution has caused the Chinese population to become much more receptive to these viruses, perhaps as a means to boost immunity to more serious pulmonary infections, like tuberculosis and pneumonia. Furthermore, I suspect that modern sanitation has opened a Pandora’s box by reducing regular exposure to mild pulmonary infections. Unwittingly, the Chinese population has been left defenseless in the face of the current deadly infection.

    If we go back to the Spanish flu of 1918, China was one of the few areas where the flu killed relatively few people. How come? I suspect that the Chinese people had some kind of natural defense against serious pulmonary infections that has since been largely removed … with the best of intentions.

    • Replies: @reiner Tor

    To date, no one has disproved the study by Zhao et al., who found that Chinese lung tissue is five times more receptive to coronoviral infections than lung tissue from non-Asian donors. Yes, there was only one Chinese donor in that study, but the chances are very low that the same normal distribution would produce such an extreme outlier.
     
    There was another study, which found more such receptors among smokers, but no difference between racial groups.

    https://www.preprints.org/manuscript/202002.0051/v1/download

    Now with a pretty bad epidemic in Iran and increasingly in Italy, it certainly doesn’t seem to be very likely.
    , @P. McSorley

    I agree that many Chinese people will die and probably many people elsewhere in East Asia.
     
    COVID-19 started at the beginning of December 2019. We are entering March. There have been 2,628 deaths attributed to COVID-19.

    Each day in China an average of 26,974 die. Out of that 29 of those deaths have been from COVID-19.

    The number of births in the next 90 minutes in China will be larger than the total number of deaths from COVID-19 over 3 months.

    , @utu
    "I agree that many Chinese people " - Do you think 4,000 to 5,000 is many? If China continues doing what it has been doing so far it does not look that there will be more than 5,000 death providing that the official data are more or less accurate.
    , @Mr. XYZ

    If we go back to the Spanish flu of 1918, China was one of the few areas where the flu killed relatively few people. How come? I suspect that the Chinese people had some kind of natural defense against serious pulmonary infections that has since been largely removed … with the best of intentions.
     
    Were Chinese actually as mobile on average in the late 1910s as Westerners or even Japanese were, though?
    , @Half-Jap
    Generally agreed,
    Yet, correct me if I am wrong, but most do not die of influenza these days, while instead pneumonia that can and do accompany it. They seem to get bundled into one as the flu, though.
    , @22pp22
    Japan in 1918 was a far better organised country than China and it used to be the conventional wisdom that Japan was relatively little affected by the Spanish flu. That view has recently been called into question. The flu is not cholera. Death from cholera will be listed as death from cholera. Death from the flu can be listed under all sorts of different headings.
    , @dux.ie
    > I suspect that the Chinese people had some kind of natural defense against serious pulmonary infections that has since been largely removed

    Really?? The fatality of the 2009 H1N1 swine flu

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2009_flu_pandemic_by_country

    NfatalCN = 800, perMCapitaCN = 0.58
    NfatalCA = 429, perMCapitaCA = 11.82
    perMCapitaCN/perMCapitaCA = 0.049

    NfatalUS = 3433, perMCapitaUS = 10.59
    perMCapitaCN/perMCapitaUS = 0.055

    Swine flu originated from US. Originating country usually was unprepared and taking a big hit and other countries controlled entry. So is the case of COVID19 for China.

    It has been reported in refereed paper that people with some gene variants are more susceptable to SARS.03 and most probably also to SARS-CoV2. As proxied by rs4804803 SNP,

    https://www.snpedia.com/index.php/Rs4804803
    SARS Coronavirus
    Thus, SARS patients with the AA genotype have a 60% greater chance of a poor prognosis than GG or AG patients [PMID 20359516].
     
    The observed Odd Ratio OR for SARS.03 is 1.60, i.e. on average for every infected person with genos GG or AG there could be 1.6 corresponding person with geno AA.

    From the 1KGP data, the Chinese fraction with geno AA, CHB.AA=0.874, for Whi CEU.AA=0.624, thus the weighted Odd Ratio OR between the two pops is OR=1.109. So on average when the virus is well dispersed, if 1.109 Chinese perished there could be 1 Whi deceased. If it is not yet well dispersed, then it cannot be concluded that the difference is due to genetics. Incidentally, some experts claimed that 60% of global population could be infected by SARS.CoV2. From 1KGP data, World.AA=61.3%.

    Compare to other diseases, OR of 1.109 is small. For the swine flu the observed OR is about 0.05 or the reciprocal Whi/CHB ratio 20.0
  10. Our economy and society might be less resilient than a century ago. A high enough portion of people not coming to work might in itself cause significant issues, like a collapse of certain essential services, even several of them. (Electricity? Water? Mass transit? Grocery stores? Healthcare? Police? Fire department?)

    What is interesting is that the collapse of antibiotics production would probably drastically increase mortality (it’s believed that the Spanish Flu was so deadly only because of the secondary bacterial infections, responsible for maybe half of the mortality), and might result in further lethal epidemics.

    So I guess the Chinese shut down their economy over fears of a systematic collapse, and not because they were so worried about some pensioners dying.

  11. @Peter Frost
    I agree that many Chinese people will die and probably many people elsewhere in East Asia. I also agree that the coronavirus will get blamed for the coming global recession (which was coming anyway).

    Outside East Asia, the death toll will be comparable to what we see with a typical flu epidemic. Keep in mind that many people die every year because of influenza, no matter how mild it is.

    To date, no one has disproved the study by Zhao et al., who found that Chinese lung tissue is five times more receptive to coronoviral infections than lung tissue from non-Asian donors. Yes, there was only one Chinese donor in that study, but the chances are very low that the same normal distribution would produce such an extreme outlier.

    Most coronaviruses are mild. I suspect that a process of coevolution has caused the Chinese population to become much more receptive to these viruses, perhaps as a means to boost immunity to more serious pulmonary infections, like tuberculosis and pneumonia. Furthermore, I suspect that modern sanitation has opened a Pandora's box by reducing regular exposure to mild pulmonary infections. Unwittingly, the Chinese population has been left defenseless in the face of the current deadly infection.

    If we go back to the Spanish flu of 1918, China was one of the few areas where the flu killed relatively few people. How come? I suspect that the Chinese people had some kind of natural defense against serious pulmonary infections that has since been largely removed … with the best of intentions.

    To date, no one has disproved the study by Zhao et al., who found that Chinese lung tissue is five times more receptive to coronoviral infections than lung tissue from non-Asian donors. Yes, there was only one Chinese donor in that study, but the chances are very low that the same normal distribution would produce such an extreme outlier.

    There was another study, which found more such receptors among smokers, but no difference between racial groups.

    https://www.preprints.org/manuscript/202002.0051/v1/download

    Now with a pretty bad epidemic in Iran and increasingly in Italy, it certainly doesn’t seem to be very likely.

    • Agree: Anatoly Karlin
    • Replies: @Peter Frost
    Reiner,

    Two points:

    1. The number of cases in Iran and Italy are consistent with a normal flu outbreak. I'm not saying that non-East Asians are immune to the current coronavirus. I'm saying the effects will be much less severe.

    2. A third study has found ethnic differences in the allele frequencies for receptors that are susceptible to the current coronavirus. This is a study that has actually gone through peer review (unlike the previous two).

    Cao, Y. et al. (2020). Comparative genetic analysis of the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV/SARS-CoV-2) receptor ACE2 in different populations. Cell Discovery 6(11).


    https://www.nature.com/Comparative genetic analysis of the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV/SARS-CoV-2) receptor ACE2 in different populationsarticles/s41421-020-0147-1

    The ACE2 gene encodes the angiotensin-converting enzyme-2, which has been proved to be the receptor for both the SARS-coronavirus (SARS-CoV) and the human respiratory coronavirus NL63. Recent studies and analyses indicate that ACE2 could be the host receptor for the novel coronavirus 2019-nCoV/SARS-CoV-2

    The AFs [allele frequencies] of the 15 eQTL variants were compared among different populations. Notably, our results showed most of the 15 eQTL variants had much higher AFs in the ChinaMAP dataset and EAS populations compared to European populations (Fig. 1c and Supplementary Table S3). The AFs of the top 6 common variants (rs4646127, rs2158082, rs5936011, rs6629110, rs4830983, and rs5936029) were higher than 95% in EAS populations, whereas the AFs of these variants in European populations were much lower (52%–65%).

    [...] These findings suggested the genotypes of ACE2 gene polymorphism may be associated higher expression levels of ACE2 in EAS [East Asian] population.

    Recent reports of the ACE2 expression analysis in lung tissues from Asian and Caucasian populations are still controversial. The single-cell RNA-seq analysis reported that the Asian donor had much higher ACE2 expression cell ratio than white and African-American donors6. In contrast, the ACE2 expression analysis using the RNA-seq and microarray datasets from control lung tissues indicated there were no significant differences between Asian and Caucasian, or male and female11. The ACE2-expressing cells are a very small part of cells in lung tissues. The sample size and the purity of ACE2-positive cells in the selected samples would influence the conclusions. Our analysis showed the differences in distribution and AFs of eQTLs for ACE2 in different populations, indicating the diversity of ACE2 expression pattern in populations

    , @JUSA

    There was another study, which found more such receptors among smokers, but no difference between racial groups.
     
    That is interesting. Iranians (Middle Easterners in general) are awful fond of their hookah, and Italians are (or at least were) known to be bigger smokers than say, Germans or Americans. The Chinese/Japanese/Koreans are also big smokers, or at least used to be, like the older generation.
    , @Mary Marianne
    If smokers are at higher risk, then countries with bad air quality are also at higher risk. Iran, if I'm not mistaken, doesn't exactly have superb air quality, so it would be no surprise that things are getting worse there.
  12. A lot of people – in different sources, some more unreliable than others – hypothesize that warmer weather of summer, as well as higher humidity, will slow spread of the virus.

    If this is true, then Northern Europe/Russia/Canada will have at least an extra 1-2 months vulnerability if there will be a pandemic, as warm weather can be delayed as late as May and June.

    So in Seville, for example, the mean daily temperature will be 20°C in May, while in Saint-Peterburg it is just above 11°C for daily mean temperature in May. And in Miami, it is almost 26°C.

    For old doomer immunocompromized pensioner, with sufficient funding, it might be time to immigrate somewhere like Miami or San Diego. I’ll be surprised there is not at least increase in demand for airbnb apartments in such places, and at least for internal migration of worried pensioners in those countries, soon.

  13. Official Figures February 24
    https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/

    Coronavirus Cases: 79,774

    Active cases: 51,873
    Mild Condition 40,306 (78%)
    Serious or Critical 11,567 (22%)

    Resolved Cases: 27,901
    Recovered 25,272 (91%)
    Deaths 2,629 (9%)

    See also the ‘Daily Increase’ plot at:

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

    that shows that for the last six days the number of ‘New Recovered’ cases is larger than ‘New Confirmed’ cases by a factor close to 2. This means that at least China was able to arrest the epidemic.

    • Thanks: Mr McKenna
    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    Assuming you believe the official number. I certainly hope it’s true.
  14. @china-russia-all-the-way
    Has anyone found an estimate for the mortality rate by an expert taking into account the lag effect and undetected cases?

    “…mortality rate by an expert taking into account the lag effect…”

    Around 4% for China. It may go lower with improved treatment.

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    It’s only high because of Hubei, where hospitals got overwhelmed. But we’re probably getting there, too.
  15. Be interesting to see if the virus in Italy behaves as it does in Iran. If so we may be seeing a secondary release getting out of hand.

    • Agree: Old and grumpy
  16. Although comparisons to the flu are a very “smol brain” take – a virulence differential of well more than an order of magnitude is nothing to sneeze at – it’s still, in practice, almost irrelevant to young people’s mortality profiles. Even if it increases the risk of a 20 year old’s death in that year by 50%, that would still just basically be equivalent to having to live that year as a 20 year old in the 1970s.

    As proud member of the “smol brain/just a flu” optimist faction, i say this pandemic is nothing to worry about for people of breeding age. If anything, it will reduce long term health care costs by running through the old people.

    It will be blamed for upcoming recession for sure, but that recession was long time coming anyway. On the bright side, it will give Central Banks an excuse to print money, so once stock markets drop a few 1,000 points, it will be an amazing time to buy. Negative interest rates will make Basic Income easily affordable to support global demand. Few million or 10’s of millions of deaths are a rounding error for a population gunning for 8 billion.

    It will all turn out great in the long run – few people even remember 1918 flu today, we will get over this one as well.

    • Replies: @Donald A Thomson
    Perfectly true. Tragic for the old and ill and a tiny minority of young and healthy and those who love them. Economic recovery in no time worth mentioning. In Australia, 1% of the population dies every year. That's normal for most of the rich world and nobody notices except their families.

    The Chinese success will not be duplicated in most countries. Note that the US CDC website states the CDC has carried out a total of 426 tests for coronavirus since the beginning. Compare that with Iran's testing of 1,750 in the week to last Monday. The USA will have to be willing to spend a lot more money if they want to avoid suffering much worse than Iran. That will happen at the latest when many people start dying so I'll be surprised if the number of dead Yanks exceeds 5 million and happy if it can be kept to thousands. Nobody but a fool wants a United States of Disease spreading death through the world. [email protected]
    , @CommonCents
    Well, the problem the 'young' may face, is what was encountered with Spanish Flu... the 1st wave affected mostly older people over 40, but they developed some immunity during that time. When the 2nd wave of the flu hit, it decimated the younger people (under 40) with a more virulent strain.

    Be careful what you wish for...
  17. @songbird

    Who knew that sitting at home mining gold on World of Warcraft
     
    Don't the Chinese set time limits on how long people can play video games? I wonder if they modified that under current circumstances.

    I've also been wondering if there is anyway that the Chinese could turn this lemon into lemonade. Like, could they turn it into a baby-boom by using appropriate propaganda, or subliminal messages?

    Imagine millions of people sitting at home, solving captchas.

    Good article.

    • Replies: @OscarWildeLoveChild
    I think the funny part will be when government agencies (and even private sector) issue directions to employees to avoid work if they have symptoms, or better yet, procedural guidance to supervisors on how to handle employees demonstrating symptoms. Because once employees learn they are being "ordered" to go home, they will counter that they do not have enough vacation days/leave, and demand they be paid (this not withstanding regular teleworkers). "I wanted to come to work, but a non-doctor who is my boss, ordered me to stay home...I demand backpay, etc" Some of this will be litigated.

    In the end, companies and governments, state, local, fed, are going to wind up paying people to stay at home, possibly do no work, who are not officially diagnosed, but who are instead "self quarantined" at home (*by their own request or that of their employer). They wont be officially diagnosed because hospitals (via gov direction) are going to state that you are not to just show up with what you "think" are symptoms, so as to avoid overloading the hospitals with everyone who has the sniffles. This is going to be like bumper-thumper vehicle accidents and whiplash.

    This has boondoggle written all over it.

  18. Iranian government officials are already turning on Ayatollah Khameni’s regime for lying about Coronavirus. (1)

    Iranian parliament member Ahmad Amirabadi Farhani told reporters on Monday the Islamic regime has been lying about the severity of the Chinese coronavirus outbreak in the Mideast country and 50 people have died since it first began spreading there.

    Amirabadi represents the city of Qom, the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak in Iran. He reportedly said in an interview with the semi-official Iranian Labour News Agency (ILNA) that a quarantine on the entire city would be necessary to prevent a pandemic. Hundreds, he asserted, were already in quarantine, many yet to be tested for the coronavirus.

    Khameni lying is unsurprising, after all he recently lied about his incompetent military shooting down a passenger jet.

    The fact that lawmakers and major media are openly defining the Theocracy is breathtaking. Can anyone imagine this happening 6-12 months ago?

    While the virus and death is horrible, we should find what silver lining exists in the will of God. It may end the brutal authoritarian rule that has been destabilizing the region for decades.

    PEACE 😇
    _______

    (1) https://www.breitbart.com/health/2020/02/24/iran-lawmaker-regime-lying-about-uncontrolled-china-virus-spread-50-dead/

    • LOL: Dreadilk, Alfred
    • Troll: NPleeze, Tom Welsh, bluedog
    • Replies: @Jason Liu
    Not sure if troll or boomer

    Side note: Corona-chan may bring about the long-awaited boomer genocide. Silver lining indeed
  19. @Hail
    I am interested in what effect this will have on the PRC's soft power.

    Soft power is universally acknowledged as real, if amorphous and hard to quantify.

    I'd say China was making slow but steady gains in the 2010s, and then, poetically, in the very last week of the decade, this new virus began to get mentions, setting the stage for a Q1 2020 that has got to be among the worst for China's image in a long time; possibly since June 1989.

    Effects on image / soft power: On one hand, the virus started in China, apparently because of "non-First World" behavior by some Chinese at that live-animal market; and there is no way to make the PRC regime look good in its initial reaction (the cover-up, including the secret-police's threatening of the doctor who discovered it, the doctor in his 30s who later died of the virus). On the other hand, their efforts, as Anatoly writes here, have been effective within China itself at containment.

    Net effect on China's soft power for the 2020s?

    For the sheer size of the country, China is almost completely devoid of soft power. Unlike South Korea and Japan, China has almost no cultural exports that are popular anywhere else in the world. All China is known for is its authoritarianism and exporting huge amounts of cheap goods, most non-Chinese people would struggle to name a famous person or movie, etc, from mainland China.

    The only internationally well known pop culture figures that Chinese culture has produced have been from Hong Kong, which is obviously highly Westernised in comparison to mainland China. People like Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan.

    • Agree: Tusk
    • Troll: Kolya Krassotkin
    • Replies: @Dreadilk
    Jackie Chan considers himself Chinese.
    , @JohnPlywood
    China doesn't waste its money on soft power because it knows that soft power isn't real.
    , @Dmitry

    China has almost no cultural exports
     
    I guess China's lack of cultural production is predictable from their economic and social disasters of the 20th and 19th century. China was too economically poor and undeveloped to dedicate much resources on creating culture, until the 21st century. Others might argue that the cause of low cultural production is fear from a only nominally communist - but still very strict and controlling - government. Yet the counterexample, is the high level of cultural production of the USSR.

    In the USSR, there was maintained still the highest level of cultural production, despite the damage authorities have made to literature and painting. It's in the last 30 years, with a capitalist system, that the cultural production in Russia has been declined, more than in 70 years of commmunism, which had included execution and oppression of many of the most talented creative professionals, as well as deformation of many others' art to match stupid political requirements. And despite this difficult governance, great films were made both in popularist and elitist genres, great music created which is beloved around the world, and even some good books.

    , @Tom Welsh
    "...most non-Chinese people would struggle to name a famous person or movie, etc, from mainland China".

    Yes, because that's what is really important. Not civilization, culture, raising literally hundreds of millions from poverty to middle-class comfort, fairness, the rule of law, and a dedication to peace.

    National importance depends critically on the number of celebs. The nation with the Kardashians and Trump wins hands down.
    , @JUSA
    Soft power usually comes after a country reaches OECD status, i.e. when it has satisfied its basic needs. People in the world don't usually look up to or try to emulate poor peasants and beggars. Also most countries in the world do not have soft power due to language barriers. Name one famous entertainer or recent movie from Scandinavia, France or Germany? English is the only true lingua franca of the world.

    Japan's soft power comes from its food, not too many are familiar with their pop stars or movie stars.

    K-pop only succeeds because it blindly apes US pop music. Nothing original comes out of Korea, a Hyundai looks like a Mercedes, a Kia looks like a Toyota, Samsung phones all look like iPhones. Now even their pop music looks like carbon copies of US pop music, and their pop stars all have massive plastic surgery to try to look as Western as possible.

    , @bike-anarkist
    Lao Tzu and Taoism.
    , @SomeoneInAsia
    If you mean China since the communist takeover, then I'll fully agree with all you said. But before then China has actually come up with plenty of things that were very much worth coming up with. The Koreans, Japanese and Vietnamese all adopted heaps of them.
    , @d dan

    "For the sheer size of the country, China is almost completely devoid of soft power. Unlike South Korea and Japan, China has almost no cultural exports that are popular anywhere else in the world."
     
    You feel it that way because you are ignorant of Chinese culture. On the contrary, China has tremendous soft power. Consider the following partial list of 10 categories:

    1. There are Chinese drama series, movies, literature, music and dance (pop or classical), etc that are very popular in Korea, Japan, ASEAN, central Asia and other countries. (Example Obama's favorite science fiction: Liu Cixin's Three-body Problem). Many Chinese (including Hong Kong and Taiwan) movie and music stars are very famous in Asia.

    2. Chinese history is an important source of stories/backdrop for movies, computer games, and books in Asian countries. Chinese historical record is important source of reference for historians and students studying history in other countries like Japan, Korean, Vietnam, India, Russia, Mongolia, central Asia, etc. Chinese archives of historical events and archaeological knowledge are indispensable for scientists and scholars studying ancient and modern astronomy, natural disasters, diseases, evolution, geology, weather changes and others.

    3. China has tremendous influence in international and multilateral organizations like UN, UNESCO, WHO, WTO and various scientific and technical committees and standard setting. China is the largest contributor of UN peace keeping force. China has more UNESCO World Heritage sites than US.

    4. Chinese customs, tradition, believes and habits have great impact in East and South East Asia, including but not restricted to: festivals (eg. Chinese New Year), painting, musical instrument, tea drinking ritual, paper arts (paper cutting, origami), etc. The ancient Chinese board game of weiqi (called "Go" in Japan and "baduk" in Korean) is very popular in East Asia. It has its own sub-culture and followings. It is also a source of intense research for artificial intelligence community because it is considerable more complicated than chess.

    5. Chinese medicine and medical practices (acupuncture, herbal medicine) emphasizing long term maintenance and body balance, is a core part of alternative medicine used as supplement, complement or alternative of western medicine by millions of people in the world. Chinese medicine derived artemisinin by Tu Youyou (2015 Nobel Prize) is the most popular cure, especially in Africa and other developing countries, for Malaria (one of the most deadly killers, sorry Covid-19, you are a loser) because of its low cost and ease of manufacturing.

    6. Some forms of Chinese arts like martial arts (TaiChi, Shaolin, etc), cuisine, calligraphy, ancient philosophies, thoughts, wisdom, quotes (Taoism, theory of ying/yang, I-Ching, qi/"chi", fengshui, SunTze Arts of War) are popular in western world.

    7. Chinese language is the second most popular foreign language (after French) that people study in the world (30 millions). Chinese languages have great influence or are part of Korean, Vietnamese and Japanese languages.

    8. Ancient Chinese invention of silk is being used and studied for its strength and smoothness. It is used to make parachutes, tires, medical device, prosthetic arteries, protective suits. Ancient Chinese artifacts are coveted by museums and collectors.

    9. Ancient and modern Chinese governing styles, social management, organizational skills and large scale systemic and project methods are being studied, researched, duplicated, and debated in many, especially the developing countries. They include wide-ranging and diverse fields and topics like: meritocracy, bureaucracy, social credits, green policies, land management, desertification fighting, re-forestation, natural resources management etc.

    10. Of course, Chinese-bashing and Chinese-boosting are two of the most lucrative industries that provide jobs for many. Not to mention Chinese-gazing, Chinese-guessing and Chinese-bickering, etc. They are also the most favorite hobbies of netizens worldwide. They are important source of information (fake or otherwise), knowledge and soft power for China. We don't hear Congo-bashing or Zimbabwe-boosting for no reason.

    Many western analysts mistakenly take it that economic power, military power and soft power are three independent sources of powers. They are not. They all come from economic power. As the Chinese economy continues to grow, I am confident that Chinese soft power will keep increasing in the coming decades.

  20. Life Style Strategy

    Male type 2 diabetic with a stent (courtesy of an infection acquired on a Russian train) approaching three score and ten. I run; I lift weights and swing kettlebells. My lung capacity must be far better than most my age. But there was the one clot at the botton of the artery that the surgeon couldn’t reach supplying the chamber that pumps blood to the lungs.

    If I was in Russia, I could buy antivirals over the counter (not possible in the UK without a prescrition) to use as prophylatics. I imagine paying $30 for postal delivery of a $2 packet would not get me delivery in a meaningful time anyway.

    Do I get my food delivered by Ocado – internet grocer – very highly automated warehouse. Not many people in the process? My sister in law is a District Nurse. She has actually been dressing in hazmat gear to go and test suspects at home. I guess we don’t invite her around for a while. 100 suspects in Wales so far, 90 of them stayed at home until tested. All negative. What about the 10 who weren’t public spirited. R(0)=4 so 10*4 = 40. Lets say the 90 manage to infect one person each as well. That’s 130 per 100. we are doomed! Time to go to Zambia until say May? I was planning to go to Saratov and Izhvesk.

    So guys, what challenges do you face?

    • Replies: @iffen
    So guys, what challenges do you face?

    Trying to find information as to whether Corona Extra offers more protection than Corona Light.

    Trying to undertand why after reading comment #12, I thought to myself, "San Diego would be nice, but I would just as soon go ahead and die instead of going to Miami."

    If "flu" kills thousands of people every year, why, in spite of being around for 70 years, I do not have perssonal knowledge of anyone who has died from the flu.

    , @Rattus Norwegius
    I have not sensed any changes to daily life.
  21. @Hail
    I am interested in what effect this will have on the PRC's soft power.

    Soft power is universally acknowledged as real, if amorphous and hard to quantify.

    I'd say China was making slow but steady gains in the 2010s, and then, poetically, in the very last week of the decade, this new virus began to get mentions, setting the stage for a Q1 2020 that has got to be among the worst for China's image in a long time; possibly since June 1989.

    Effects on image / soft power: On one hand, the virus started in China, apparently because of "non-First World" behavior by some Chinese at that live-animal market; and there is no way to make the PRC regime look good in its initial reaction (the cover-up, including the secret-police's threatening of the doctor who discovered it, the doctor in his 30s who later died of the virus). On the other hand, their efforts, as Anatoly writes here, have been effective within China itself at containment.

    Net effect on China's soft power for the 2020s?

    I would group the world into 3 classes for evaluating changes in Chinese soft power.

    1. Developing regions where engagement is overwhelming (Central Asia, Southeast Asia, Africa)
    2. Rest of developing world (India, Latin America, Middle East)
    3. Western world (US and Europe)

    Many important countries don’t quite fit into these categories like Russia (non-Western, self sufficient white country), Pakistan (long standing ally), Japan (non-Western, default enmity towards China), South Korea (a country that for entirely its own security reasons and geography is coming to a juncture and may decide to abandon the US for China).

    The last decade saw Chinese soft power considerably drop in (3) but rise in (1) and (2) due to the strength of China’s economy, increasing technical achievements by Chinese companies and universities, export of capital by Chinese investor and banks, and lack of human rights preening by the countries themselves. In (1) there is both recognition that China is transforming the landscape but also caution about exposure level. In Africa, China’s prominence makes it a target for counter narratives which Africans are more susceptible to than other 3rd world countries (colonial trade relationship, debt trap, racism, etc.) But others in (1) are not as interested as Africa in blaming China for ills. Nonetheless, the higher profile of China in any region of (1) comes with higher exposure to counter narratives in large part because of the propaganda efforts of Washington (and to less impact Delhi). The counter narratives gain traction easily because in both (1) and (2) there is low trust of China. That lack of trust has not improved in the 2010s despite the huge increase in (1) and (2) in respect for China as a capable and achieving nation.

    The Belt and Road Initiative is intended to change perceptions worldwide. The brand China wants to project through BRI is an image as the great connector of the infrastructure hungry developing world. That means building cross-border pipelines and transport networks to bring together Eurasia, Africa, and Latin America. This brand image has excited business communities and the political classes of (1) and (2) but has not made headway in popular perception in those same places. If this brand image can stick then I think (1) and (2) will see China as more benign and thereby more trustworthy (seeing China as the connector, reduces perceptions of China as belligerent).

    Coronavirus has tainted the image of China as the great connector of the 3rd world. It has even tainted cross-border connectivity. How badly tainted depends on whether the situation in Iran can be contained.

    • Thanks: Hail
    • Replies: @china-russia-all-the-way
    I see that a lot of people use volume of pop culture exported as the metric for soft power. I think of it in a different way. I see soft power as revolving around 2 questions.

    1) How respected is a country for its capabilities?
    2) How benign is a country perceived?

    America is of course very respected for achievements for putting a man on the moon, richest economy, on and on. America is also considered benign. The world is aware of US aggression in the Middle East but still, at the end of the day, America is considered benign because of its anti-racism. If 1 million Muslims were given residence in America in the 15 years after September 11, then America isn't truly bad at heart? I think that's how the thinking goes.

    China is obviously not as capable as the US and struggles to be thought of as benign. However, America pays a heavy price for its soft power, going from 90% to 60% white in a span of 70 years. So having crummy soft power is not too bad.
    , @Maowasayali
    Overall an insightful comment. But you write, understatedly:

    Coronavirus has tainted the image of China as the great connector of the 3rd world. It has even tainted cross-border connectivity. How badly tainted depends on whether the situation in Iran can be contained.
     
    I would argue that the coronavirus was intended to attack the Chinese both physically and psychologically. In addition to literally killing the Chinese, the coronavirus supercharges the old meme of the Chinese as Yellow Peril.

    Today the Chinese are regarded as a pandemic virus!

    And the timing is not coincidental. Nothing that is reported 24/7 nonstop in the Jewish MSM is coincidental.

    The coronavirus is an orchestrated event and planned to occur when it did. Even the name change from "novel coronavirus" to "Coivd-19" is in-your-face Jewish Gematria.

    Note the numbers "9" and "1" in "Covid-19." The Jews love their 9s and 1s (as in 9/11) as much as the Freemasons love their 3s (as in "33").

    APOCALYPSE NOW Bill Gates ‘predicted’ how coronavirus-like pandemic could spread saying 33 MILLION may die in first six months, reports the (((Sun)))

    Mazel Tov!

  22. Not at all, recent Chinese series became popular specially in Asia, to name a few:

    1-Story of Yanxi Palace, (Most googled global tv shows in 2018!)
    2- Meteor Garden, (its lead Dylan Wang, became one of the most googled famous people in countries like Philippines)
    3- The Untamed, (Became the major international Chinese hit of last year)

    So kudos to China for doing good soft power stuff, yeah I watched those tv series and liked them, mostly Yanxi Palace.

  23. @Europe Europa
    For the sheer size of the country, China is almost completely devoid of soft power. Unlike South Korea and Japan, China has almost no cultural exports that are popular anywhere else in the world. All China is known for is its authoritarianism and exporting huge amounts of cheap goods, most non-Chinese people would struggle to name a famous person or movie, etc, from mainland China.

    The only internationally well known pop culture figures that Chinese culture has produced have been from Hong Kong, which is obviously highly Westernised in comparison to mainland China. People like Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan.

    Jackie Chan considers himself Chinese.

    • Replies: @NPleeze
    That wasn't his point. Chang grew up in Hong Kong - not just Hong Kong, but for his most formative years on the premises of the French consulate, where his parents worked.

    That said, who is famous or not has much more to do with the celebrity gatekeepers than with celebrity talent.

  24. @Peter Frost
    I agree that many Chinese people will die and probably many people elsewhere in East Asia. I also agree that the coronavirus will get blamed for the coming global recession (which was coming anyway).

    Outside East Asia, the death toll will be comparable to what we see with a typical flu epidemic. Keep in mind that many people die every year because of influenza, no matter how mild it is.

    To date, no one has disproved the study by Zhao et al., who found that Chinese lung tissue is five times more receptive to coronoviral infections than lung tissue from non-Asian donors. Yes, there was only one Chinese donor in that study, but the chances are very low that the same normal distribution would produce such an extreme outlier.

    Most coronaviruses are mild. I suspect that a process of coevolution has caused the Chinese population to become much more receptive to these viruses, perhaps as a means to boost immunity to more serious pulmonary infections, like tuberculosis and pneumonia. Furthermore, I suspect that modern sanitation has opened a Pandora's box by reducing regular exposure to mild pulmonary infections. Unwittingly, the Chinese population has been left defenseless in the face of the current deadly infection.

    If we go back to the Spanish flu of 1918, China was one of the few areas where the flu killed relatively few people. How come? I suspect that the Chinese people had some kind of natural defense against serious pulmonary infections that has since been largely removed … with the best of intentions.

    I agree that many Chinese people will die and probably many people elsewhere in East Asia.

    COVID-19 started at the beginning of December 2019. We are entering March. There have been 2,628 deaths attributed to COVID-19.

    Each day in China an average of 26,974 die. Out of that 29 of those deaths have been from COVID-19.

    The number of births in the next 90 minutes in China will be larger than the total number of deaths from COVID-19 over 3 months.

    • Agree: Realist
    • Replies: @P. McSorley
    In China:

    Live births in the past year: 17,404,093
    Deaths in the past year: 9,795,057
    Coronavirus deaths in the past quarter year: 2,628.
  25. @P. McSorley

    I agree that many Chinese people will die and probably many people elsewhere in East Asia.
     
    COVID-19 started at the beginning of December 2019. We are entering March. There have been 2,628 deaths attributed to COVID-19.

    Each day in China an average of 26,974 die. Out of that 29 of those deaths have been from COVID-19.

    The number of births in the next 90 minutes in China will be larger than the total number of deaths from COVID-19 over 3 months.

    In China:

    Live births in the past year: 17,404,093
    Deaths in the past year: 9,795,057
    Coronavirus deaths in the past quarter year: 2,628.

    • Replies: @JohnPlywood
    Bullshit. Only 15 million people were born in China in 2018.
  26. @Peter Frost
    I agree that many Chinese people will die and probably many people elsewhere in East Asia. I also agree that the coronavirus will get blamed for the coming global recession (which was coming anyway).

    Outside East Asia, the death toll will be comparable to what we see with a typical flu epidemic. Keep in mind that many people die every year because of influenza, no matter how mild it is.

    To date, no one has disproved the study by Zhao et al., who found that Chinese lung tissue is five times more receptive to coronoviral infections than lung tissue from non-Asian donors. Yes, there was only one Chinese donor in that study, but the chances are very low that the same normal distribution would produce such an extreme outlier.

    Most coronaviruses are mild. I suspect that a process of coevolution has caused the Chinese population to become much more receptive to these viruses, perhaps as a means to boost immunity to more serious pulmonary infections, like tuberculosis and pneumonia. Furthermore, I suspect that modern sanitation has opened a Pandora's box by reducing regular exposure to mild pulmonary infections. Unwittingly, the Chinese population has been left defenseless in the face of the current deadly infection.

    If we go back to the Spanish flu of 1918, China was one of the few areas where the flu killed relatively few people. How come? I suspect that the Chinese people had some kind of natural defense against serious pulmonary infections that has since been largely removed … with the best of intentions.

    “I agree that many Chinese people ” – Do you think 4,000 to 5,000 is many? If China continues doing what it has been doing so far it does not look that there will be more than 5,000 death providing that the official data are more or less accurate.

    • Replies: @JohnPlywood
    If China keeps doing what it's doing, its economy suffers. Eventually, people have to be allowed to leave their room again.
    , @Popeye
    Accurate...or...honest?
  27. @songbird

    Who knew that sitting at home mining gold on World of Warcraft
     
    Don't the Chinese set time limits on how long people can play video games? I wonder if they modified that under current circumstances.

    I've also been wondering if there is anyway that the Chinese could turn this lemon into lemonade. Like, could they turn it into a baby-boom by using appropriate propaganda, or subliminal messages?

    baby-boom by using appropriate propaganda, or subliminal messages?

    Well, not even a competent govenment could create “baby-boom by using appropriate propaganda, or subliminal messages”. Even large financial incentives popular in developed countries today likely have no effect in fertility, and even laws of Nicolae Ceausescu to criminalize contraception only had a temporary, soon mostly reversed, effect.

    On the other hand, allowing third-world sanitary conditions, and then incompetent disease control, discovery and containment of the unknown viruses newly transmitted from animals to man in their territory, and allowing the virus to soon spread to other countries – this is more appropriate for the skill level of the Chinese authorities today.

    • Replies: @songbird

    Well, not even a competent govenment
     
    There have been a lot of failures, when it comes to fertility incentives - Lee Kuan Yew failed. But I don't think the right level of incentives and propaganda has been tried. Can it be done in a democracy? I don't know, but I'm sure it can be done, and China isn't one.

    Mostly, one can reduce the failures down to a single factor: it has not been thought of as a first-order problem, so attempts have been half-hearted. For instance, at the end of the day, Singapore can just import people, very much like the people already living there, but in the coming decades, this will certainly change - people will think of it as a first-order problem, requiring dramatic efforts and concentration.

    It is not just the falling numbers of people in some countries - it is the dark tide, which threatens all ice peoples. I just saw a preview for a movie titled The Green Knight, the ancient Celtic tale, which starred an Indian. The same actor also recently played David Copperfield.


    On the other hand, allowing third-world sanitary conditions
     
    I wonder if there might be changes here. Will they shut down the wet markets, or crack down on bad conditions with inspectors? Or make sure all large groups of chickens are warehoused. IMO, there will be political pressure to make changes, though China has a lot of questionable street food.
  28. @Peter Frost
    I agree that many Chinese people will die and probably many people elsewhere in East Asia. I also agree that the coronavirus will get blamed for the coming global recession (which was coming anyway).

    Outside East Asia, the death toll will be comparable to what we see with a typical flu epidemic. Keep in mind that many people die every year because of influenza, no matter how mild it is.

    To date, no one has disproved the study by Zhao et al., who found that Chinese lung tissue is five times more receptive to coronoviral infections than lung tissue from non-Asian donors. Yes, there was only one Chinese donor in that study, but the chances are very low that the same normal distribution would produce such an extreme outlier.

    Most coronaviruses are mild. I suspect that a process of coevolution has caused the Chinese population to become much more receptive to these viruses, perhaps as a means to boost immunity to more serious pulmonary infections, like tuberculosis and pneumonia. Furthermore, I suspect that modern sanitation has opened a Pandora's box by reducing regular exposure to mild pulmonary infections. Unwittingly, the Chinese population has been left defenseless in the face of the current deadly infection.

    If we go back to the Spanish flu of 1918, China was one of the few areas where the flu killed relatively few people. How come? I suspect that the Chinese people had some kind of natural defense against serious pulmonary infections that has since been largely removed … with the best of intentions.

    If we go back to the Spanish flu of 1918, China was one of the few areas where the flu killed relatively few people. How come? I suspect that the Chinese people had some kind of natural defense against serious pulmonary infections that has since been largely removed … with the best of intentions.

    Were Chinese actually as mobile on average in the late 1910s as Westerners or even Japanese were, though?

  29. @Philip Owen
    Life Style Strategy

    Male type 2 diabetic with a stent (courtesy of an infection acquired on a Russian train) approaching three score and ten. I run; I lift weights and swing kettlebells. My lung capacity must be far better than most my age. But there was the one clot at the botton of the artery that the surgeon couldn't reach supplying the chamber that pumps blood to the lungs.

    If I was in Russia, I could buy antivirals over the counter (not possible in the UK without a prescrition) to use as prophylatics. I imagine paying $30 for postal delivery of a $2 packet would not get me delivery in a meaningful time anyway.

    Do I get my food delivered by Ocado - internet grocer - very highly automated warehouse. Not many people in the process? My sister in law is a District Nurse. She has actually been dressing in hazmat gear to go and test suspects at home. I guess we don't invite her around for a while. 100 suspects in Wales so far, 90 of them stayed at home until tested. All negative. What about the 10 who weren't public spirited. R(0)=4 so 10*4 = 40. Lets say the 90 manage to infect one person each as well. That's 130 per 100. we are doomed! Time to go to Zambia until say May? I was planning to go to Saratov and Izhvesk.

    So guys, what challenges do you face?

    So guys, what challenges do you face?

    Trying to find information as to whether Corona Extra offers more protection than Corona Light.

    Trying to undertand why after reading comment #12, I thought to myself, “San Diego would be nice, but I would just as soon go ahead and die instead of going to Miami.”

    If “flu” kills thousands of people every year, why, in spite of being around for 70 years, I do not have perssonal knowledge of anyone who has died from the flu.

    • Replies: @Philip Owen
    It's the precursor of pneumonia and heart attacks rather than a kiler itself. I suspect that if I hadn't been so fit that I would have had a heart attack rather than crippling angina from a sudden 95% blockage, 300 m into a run.
  30. Well, personally I think the jury is still out whether East Asians are far more vulnerable to the new coronavirus than whites. The outbreaks in Iran and Italy shift the likelihood somewhat, but it’s still early. Personally, I think the evidence from that cruise ship might be most definitive.

    But if whites are indeed as vulnerable, I’d think that the West might be hit much harder than China. After all, can we possibly imagine the sort of national lock-down that China has implemented, apparently with considerable success?

    And I’m still very suspicious about the circumstances of the outbreak. It hit China just before Lunar New Year, the absolutely worst possible time, and the epicenter was Wuhan, a key transport hub. It really seems an *astonishing* coincidence that 300 American military servicemen had been visiting Wuhan just prior to the outbreak, at a peak of international tension.

    How would Americans react if 300 PRC officers had visited Chicago, and immediately afterwards, a deadly new plague broke out in that city, with a major risk of spreading throughout the country?

    Isn’t it also rather suspicious that Iran has been hit so hard? So the two countries in the world most subject to current American hostility just tend to be especially “unlucky”…

    As for “soft power,” I suspect it largely reflects a heavily-lagging indicator of economic/political power, only somewhat shifted by considerations of pop-culture. If China continues on its economic/political trajectory, I think it will have plenty of soft power 30-40 years down the road. And if American society/economy collapses, so soon afterward will our soft power, ignorant rap-stars and basketball players notwithstanding.

    • Thanks: Anatoly Karlin
    • Replies: @Mattyimlac
    Fun theory but it would make more sense if paired with some theory of how the US took secret steps to protect its own population, e.g., slipped a vaccine in the drinking water. But it is hard to think of a plausible theory of that sort.
    , @Hyperborean

    Isn’t it also rather suspicious that Iran has been hit so hard? So the two countries in the world most subject to current American hostility just tend to be especially “unlucky”…
     
    Isn't it suspicious that Italy has been hit so hard? Isn't suspicious that South Korea has been hit so hard? Isn't it suspicious how pro-Chinese Cambodia hasn't been hit so hard?

    hmmm, suspicious, suspicious...
    , @A123

    300 American military servicemen had been visiting Wuhan just prior to the outbreak, at a peak of international tension.
     
    Is there more detail on this story?

    300 U.S. servicemen of Chinese descent visiting their parents during a National holiday when hundreds of thousands are travelling? That would be typical. Many "foreigners" of Chinese descent visit home in this time frame.

    Or, was there a joint U.S.-China military exercise in Wuhan with 300+ troops from each side? That sounds like a false flag operation gearing up to blame the U.S.

    PEACE 😇
    , @Buzz Mohawk
    I heard it's already been decided that the official death toll when it's all over will be six million.

    Architects are busy drawing up plans for taxpayer-funded museums, and legislators are writing bills to outlaw questions about the virus. A string of Hollywood movies about the pandemic will follow. Mandatory lessons we be added to public school curricula, starting in kindergarten.

    , @Mustapha Mond
    "Isn’t it also rather suspicious that Iran has been hit so hard? So the two countries in the world most subject to current American hostility just tend to be especially “unlucky”…"

    We'll see if Venezuela also gets 'unlucky'.......
    , @reiner Tor

    Isn’t it also rather suspicious that Iran has been hit so hard? So the two countries in the world most subject to current American hostility just tend to be especially “unlucky”…
     
    Iran’s largest trade partner is China. There’s an outbreak in Japan, South Korea, and Italy. There’ll be an outbreak in the rest of Europe and the USA shortly. I don’t think this is very meaningful, next year no-one will remember which country got it the second time.
    , @Really No Shit
    When are you moving to China, Ron? It seems as if you're giving up on the last earthly paradise for all dissenters. I hope the Chinese turnout as pliable as the Ango-Americans have been or it would be the end of the road for the rabble rousers.
    , @Morton's toes

    Isn’t it also rather suspicious that Iran has been hit so hard? So the two countries in the world most subject to current American hostility just tend to be especially “unlucky”…
     
    If the Joker was in charge of the American biowarfare projects you might have something. Because releasing a contagious disease is a pretty insane thing to do intentionally even if you have a cunning plan to keep it away from your own army. I place the probability that this was a weapon at less than one in 50 million.

    So no I am not even kind of suspicious let alone rather suspicious.
    , @IT'S ME
    https://ia802609.us.archive.org/12/items/pdfy-tNG7MjZUicS-wiJb/Scenarios%20for%20the%20Future%20ofTechnology%20and%20International%20Development.pdf Recommended reading - Page 18 " Lock Step "
    , @c matt

    So the two countries in the world most subject to current American hostility just tend to be especially “unlucky”…
     
    I guess they threw Italy into the mix just to put us off the trail. They didn't like Salvini anyway.
    , @Anatoly Karlin

    But if whites are indeed as vulnerable, I’d think that the West might be hit much harder than China. After all, can we possibly imagine the sort of national lock-down that China has implemented, apparently with considerable success?
     
    US advantages:

    1. Smoking is a large risk factor. Chinese smoke much more than Americans (who smoke even less than Europeans), and Chinese air pollution is much worse.

    2. Physical geography: Suburbia is not much of a thing in most of the world outside the Anglosphere.

    3. Wealth. More Americans can afford to stockpile/prep meaningfully.

    US disadvantages:

    1. As we both agree, capacity to implement quarantines.

    2. The US has more elderly and diabetics than China. (But the difference is now minor).

    3. Medical systems - many Americans will be afraid of going to get their flu symptoms checked out out of fear of getting slammed with massive bills.

    ***

    Which of these factors are stronger? IMO, overall, US holds the advantage (most quarantining is self-quarantining, anyway).

    Incidentally, if it's indeed true the US is better able able to withstand Corona, it would sooner support your theory that they released it as a biowar attack.

    And I’m still very suspicious about the circumstances of the outbreak. It hit China just before Lunar New Year, the absolutely worst possible time, and the epicenter was Wuhan, a key transport hub. It really seems an *astonishing* coincidence that 300 American military servicemen had been visiting Wuhan just prior to the outbreak, at a peak of international tension.
     
    Doing such an operation with official military (invited to participate as athletes) strikes me as extremely inefficient, unless perhaps the intention was to send an explicit FU to China. Also extremely risky, and far, far more illegal than the Soleimani assassination, outrageous as it was - Soleimani, at least, was a single uniformed general in an organization the US had defined as a terrorist one; this would be indiscriminate bioterrorism against the entire Mongoloid race (if Lance is correct) or all of humanity.

    But here's another coincidence.

    There are wet markets all over China (population: 1.4B). Whereas Wuhan (population: ~1% of China's) hosts both China's only BSL-4 lab (opened in 2017) and China's Center for Disease Prevention and Control.

    Now studying COVID-19 in a lab (e.g. to foresee how it might evolve; to develop defenses against it) is a perfectly legitimate, if risky, enterprise. Especially risky in a country known for slipshod construction standards and lax attention to safety regulations, and for that matters academic fraud, as Lance Welton himself has written about: https://www.unz.com/article/some-countries-are-just-prone-to-scientific-fraud-so-are-their-immigrants-to-the-west/ (what are the respective likelihoods of a Swiss or a Chinese researcher promptly reporting a security breach?)

    Regardless, I wouldn't go so far as to insist that it must have been a "bioerror" incident. Still, amongst the "hierarchy of conspiracies", I'd put that way higher than this being a crazy US bioterrorist attack. (Hanlon's Razor).

    Isn’t it also rather suspicious that Iran has been hit so hard? So the two countries in the world most subject to current American hostility just tend to be especially “unlucky”…
     
    Russia hasn't been hit yet, at least on paper.

    (OK, not quite, there were two Chinese confirmed cases in Siberia earlier this month, but apparently there's been no spread since).

    Also Venezuela, North Korea, perhaps some others. Though one might make the argument they're not serious threats to American power.
    , @JUSA

    Isn’t it also rather suspicious that Iran has been hit so hard? So the two countries in the world most subject to current American hostility just tend to be especially “unlucky”…
     
    Iranians love their hookah. Sharing hookah is a major way to spread disease, including influenza. There are a lot of Chinese workers in Iran, helping to build their infrastructure, paid for by China's loan/money paid to Iran to buy their oil. I read somewhere that there are Chinese migrant workers near Qom, the center of the outbreak. What are the chances an infected worker visited one of these hookah bars? Probably pretty high. Chinese men also love to smoke, esp. among the less educated.
    , @TelfoedJohn

    Isn’t it also rather suspicious that Iran has been hit so hard?
     
    All large powers who don’t get on with the US will end up dealing with China instead, thereby catching a cold whenever Beijing sneezes.

    But it does seem exceptionally unlucky that even the deputy health minister has caught CV. Just as it was unlucky that Iran shot down a Ukrainian airliner. CV is undermining China AND Iran in suspiciously convenient ways for Trump and his ilk. Even the Italian outbreak is helping Salvini.

    I half expect to watch a documentary in 30 years with people interviewed in silhouette taking about how they engineered the virus to take down America’s enemies.
    , @Saff32
    @Ron Unz

    You missed some of the most suspicious actions.

    1) Just a month before the outbreak, the PirBright Institute (backed by Bill Gates) ran a simulation based on a Corona Virus pandemic and they did not invite China. What are the odds? Watch all five videos, it is uncanny how they were able to predict what is actually happening. This event was needed to coordinate the world against China in the aftermath.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vm1-DnxRiPM

    2) Whitney Webb straight from Unz links Corona Virus to Darpa. Some of the most salient points:

    - Israels development of Bioweapons that can target based on race.

    - Pentagons ties to using bats as bioweapons:
    https://www.stripes.com/news/us/us-military-is-interested-in-bats-as-possible-defenders-against-bioweapons-1.542849

    - Darpa funding virus research on bats:
    https://www.bozemandailychronicle.com/news/montana_state_university/msu-project-to-prevent-bat-borne-diseases-wins-million-grant/article_805eb8ec-763c-53ff-87da-3d9c2466cd61.html

    https://source.colostate.edu/wuhan-coronavirus-once-again-on-the-brink-of-a-global-health-crisis-csu-researchers-respond/

    Get this, the US lifted a moratorium on Gain of function Viral Testing. Gain of function is making viruses more deadly and more contagious.
    https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/d34vyj/the-us-will-fund-research-to-make-pathogens-deadlier-again

    Darpa announced in 2018 a program to focus on animal reservoirs of disease, specifically Bats.
    https://www.darpa.mil/news-events/2018-01-04

    Pentagons research into SARA and MERS.
    https://www.grease-network.org/content/download/5407/40323/version/1/file/2017+CBEP+SPR+Program+Book_Final.pdf

    https://www.unz.com/wwebb/bats-gene-editing-and-bioweapons-recent-darpa-experiments-raise-concerns-amid-coronavirus-outbreak/

    3) The US has a prior history of using bioweapons.

    https://www.counterpunch.org/2017/05/26/the-dirty-secret-of-the-korean-war/
    https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/pentagon-ticks-insects-biological-weapons-congress-bill-chris-smith-a9006701.html

    PNAC calling race based weapons a politically useful tool.
    https://archive.org/details/RebuildingAmericasDefenses/page/n5/mode/2up
    , @Truth

    And I’m still very suspicious about the circumstances of the outbreak. It hit China just before Lunar New Year, the absolutely worst possible time, and the epicenter was Wuhan, a key transport hub. It really seems an *astonishing* coincidence that 300 American military servicemen had been visiting Wuhan just prior to the outbreak, at a peak of international tension.
     
    So, let me see if I am getting this; it is an "astonishing" coincidence that the US sent some soldiers to an Olympic-style military event weeks before the coronavirus, but mere statististical noise, that the epicenter of the virus was 200 yards from China's most advanced bioweapon's lab?
    , @davidgmillsatty
    If that were in fact the case, I would think that the scenario that would give cover to the US, is to arrange to have China "steal" the technology, and in the process of stealing it, have the bio-weapon escape.

    What seems so odd to me is China's reaction to this epidemic. It is almost like China was afraid they were going to be caught red-handed releasing something that could be very dangerous to humanity as a whole, and went over-board trying to contain the problem. And of course if it was stolen technology, then they would likely not know just how virulent or infectious it actually was.

    If it was a bio-weapon of China's creation, China's reputation is screwed. If it was the US' bio-weapon and China "stole" it, they are also screwed because they stole it and can't really admit they were stealing technology. China is screwed either way.
  31. @Europe Europa
    For the sheer size of the country, China is almost completely devoid of soft power. Unlike South Korea and Japan, China has almost no cultural exports that are popular anywhere else in the world. All China is known for is its authoritarianism and exporting huge amounts of cheap goods, most non-Chinese people would struggle to name a famous person or movie, etc, from mainland China.

    The only internationally well known pop culture figures that Chinese culture has produced have been from Hong Kong, which is obviously highly Westernised in comparison to mainland China. People like Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan.

    China doesn’t waste its money on soft power because it knows that soft power isn’t real.

    • Replies: @c matt

    China doesn’t waste its money on soft power because it knows that soft power isn’t real.
     
    Don't know if buying government officials qualifies as "soft" power, but they seem to invest heavily (and successfully) in that.
  32. @Europe Europa
    For the sheer size of the country, China is almost completely devoid of soft power. Unlike South Korea and Japan, China has almost no cultural exports that are popular anywhere else in the world. All China is known for is its authoritarianism and exporting huge amounts of cheap goods, most non-Chinese people would struggle to name a famous person or movie, etc, from mainland China.

    The only internationally well known pop culture figures that Chinese culture has produced have been from Hong Kong, which is obviously highly Westernised in comparison to mainland China. People like Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan.

    China has almost no cultural exports

    I guess China’s lack of cultural production is predictable from their economic and social disasters of the 20th and 19th century. China was too economically poor and undeveloped to dedicate much resources on creating culture, until the 21st century. Others might argue that the cause of low cultural production is fear from a only nominally communist – but still very strict and controlling – government. Yet the counterexample, is the high level of cultural production of the USSR.

    In the USSR, there was maintained still the highest level of cultural production, despite the damage authorities have made to literature and painting. It’s in the last 30 years, with a capitalist system, that the cultural production in Russia has been declined, more than in 70 years of commmunism, which had included execution and oppression of many of the most talented creative professionals, as well as deformation of many others’ art to match stupid political requirements. And despite this difficult governance, great films were made both in popularist and elitist genres, great music created which is beloved around the world, and even some good books.

    • Replies: @mal
    Modern Russian pop culture is highly memeable troll stuff, and of high quality.

    This one is in English, so it has international appeal. 61M views is not bad for a local St Petersburg punk band.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ADlGkXAz1D0

    I also liked Leningrad (i think they broke up recently), but those guys sang in Russian, and even though they were very funny, i can see how that would be a problem for non-Russian speakers.

    Modern Russian pop music is quality stuff i would say, and has soft power potential.

    Movies are a different story. I watched "Vtorzhenie" in a movie theater - not bad as far as effects go, but storyline could use a bit of a cleanup. Amusingly, TV shows are the opposite - i watched a bunch of crime drama miniseries (family likes them), and i liked acting and stories, but they definitely look low budget compared to American TV.

    , @another anon

    In the USSR, there was maintained still the highest level of cultural production, despite the damage authorities have made to literature and painting.
     
    Everyone knows that education is communist plot.
    Damn the commies.

    https://twitter.com/akoz33/status/1232052025514496002
  33. @iffen
    So guys, what challenges do you face?

    Trying to find information as to whether Corona Extra offers more protection than Corona Light.

    Trying to undertand why after reading comment #12, I thought to myself, "San Diego would be nice, but I would just as soon go ahead and die instead of going to Miami."

    If "flu" kills thousands of people every year, why, in spite of being around for 70 years, I do not have perssonal knowledge of anyone who has died from the flu.

    It’s the precursor of pneumonia and heart attacks rather than a kiler itself. I suspect that if I hadn’t been so fit that I would have had a heart attack rather than crippling angina from a sudden 95% blockage, 300 m into a run.

    • Replies: @Father O'Hara
    I hope "m" doesn't mean miles. Heart attack indeed!
    , @iffen
    So you are saying that the medical industry "knows" that the flu kills people, but they just put down things like pneumonia and heart attack on the death certificates?
  34. @Dmitry

    baby-boom by using appropriate propaganda, or subliminal messages?
     
    Well, not even a competent govenment could create "baby-boom by using appropriate propaganda, or subliminal messages". Even large financial incentives popular in developed countries today likely have no effect in fertility, and even laws of Nicolae Ceausescu to criminalize contraception only had a temporary, soon mostly reversed, effect.

    On the other hand, allowing third-world sanitary conditions, and then incompetent disease control, discovery and containment of the unknown viruses newly transmitted from animals to man in their territory, and allowing the virus to soon spread to other countries - this is more appropriate for the skill level of the Chinese authorities today.

    Well, not even a competent govenment

    There have been a lot of failures, when it comes to fertility incentives – Lee Kuan Yew failed. But I don’t think the right level of incentives and propaganda has been tried. Can it be done in a democracy? I don’t know, but I’m sure it can be done, and China isn’t one.

    Mostly, one can reduce the failures down to a single factor: it has not been thought of as a first-order problem, so attempts have been half-hearted. For instance, at the end of the day, Singapore can just import people, very much like the people already living there, but in the coming decades, this will certainly change – people will think of it as a first-order problem, requiring dramatic efforts and concentration.

    It is not just the falling numbers of people in some countries – it is the dark tide, which threatens all ice peoples. I just saw a preview for a movie titled The Green Knight, the ancient Celtic tale, which starred an Indian. The same actor also recently played David Copperfield.

    On the other hand, allowing third-world sanitary conditions

    I wonder if there might be changes here. Will they shut down the wet markets, or crack down on bad conditions with inspectors? Or make sure all large groups of chickens are warehoused. IMO, there will be political pressure to make changes, though China has a lot of questionable street food.

  35. @Dmitry

    China has almost no cultural exports
     
    I guess China's lack of cultural production is predictable from their economic and social disasters of the 20th and 19th century. China was too economically poor and undeveloped to dedicate much resources on creating culture, until the 21st century. Others might argue that the cause of low cultural production is fear from a only nominally communist - but still very strict and controlling - government. Yet the counterexample, is the high level of cultural production of the USSR.

    In the USSR, there was maintained still the highest level of cultural production, despite the damage authorities have made to literature and painting. It's in the last 30 years, with a capitalist system, that the cultural production in Russia has been declined, more than in 70 years of commmunism, which had included execution and oppression of many of the most talented creative professionals, as well as deformation of many others' art to match stupid political requirements. And despite this difficult governance, great films were made both in popularist and elitist genres, great music created which is beloved around the world, and even some good books.

    Modern Russian pop culture is highly memeable troll stuff, and of high quality.

    This one is in English, so it has international appeal. 61M views is not bad for a local St Petersburg punk band.

    I also liked Leningrad (i think they broke up recently), but those guys sang in Russian, and even though they were very funny, i can see how that would be a problem for non-Russian speakers.

    Modern Russian pop music is quality stuff i would say, and has soft power potential.

    Movies are a different story. I watched “Vtorzhenie” in a movie theater – not bad as far as effects go, but storyline could use a bit of a cleanup. Amusingly, TV shows are the opposite – i watched a bunch of crime drama miniseries (family likes them), and i liked acting and stories, but they definitely look low budget compared to American TV.

    • Replies: @Dmitry
    Film production in Russia became a way to cut the budget, or take some money with "creative accounting".

    So this decline from Mosfilm, to the shit produced now, is a scary decline. In the 1970s, Russian films were considered everywhere to be one of the best three in the world (along with maybe Japanese and America), and already we just one and a half generation later, and it's amazing shit.

    That said, I like Zygantsev, and also Yuri Bykov has maybe future talent. There's still some remains of talented people.

    Modern Russian pop music
     
    There is are distinctive techniques, melody and sound in Russian pop (not in your example, though which is just eurodance), which is better than you can say for Kpop. Although this sound and melodies of modern Russian pop was developed in the 1970s.

    Also 1980s Soviet electronic/synth music, was already one of the coolest ones in the world. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oIfKmeSq6J4

    And I even prefer the sound of old pop music of the 1980s...
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8YBu9ymbMCQ
  36. @Ron Unz
    Well, personally I think the jury is still out whether East Asians are far more vulnerable to the new coronavirus than whites. The outbreaks in Iran and Italy shift the likelihood somewhat, but it's still early. Personally, I think the evidence from that cruise ship might be most definitive.

    But if whites are indeed as vulnerable, I'd think that the West might be hit much harder than China. After all, can we possibly imagine the sort of national lock-down that China has implemented, apparently with considerable success?

    And I'm still very suspicious about the circumstances of the outbreak. It hit China just before Lunar New Year, the absolutely worst possible time, and the epicenter was Wuhan, a key transport hub. It really seems an *astonishing* coincidence that 300 American military servicemen had been visiting Wuhan just prior to the outbreak, at a peak of international tension.

    How would Americans react if 300 PRC officers had visited Chicago, and immediately afterwards, a deadly new plague broke out in that city, with a major risk of spreading throughout the country?

    Isn't it also rather suspicious that Iran has been hit so hard? So the two countries in the world most subject to current American hostility just tend to be especially "unlucky"...

    As for "soft power," I suspect it largely reflects a heavily-lagging indicator of economic/political power, only somewhat shifted by considerations of pop-culture. If China continues on its economic/political trajectory, I think it will have plenty of soft power 30-40 years down the road. And if American society/economy collapses, so soon afterward will our soft power, ignorant rap-stars and basketball players notwithstanding.

    Fun theory but it would make more sense if paired with some theory of how the US took secret steps to protect its own population, e.g., slipped a vaccine in the drinking water. But it is hard to think of a plausible theory of that sort.

    • Replies: @Ron Unz

    Fun theory but it would make more sense if paired with some theory of how the US took secret steps to protect its own population, e.g., slipped a vaccine in the drinking water. But it is hard to think of a plausible theory of that sort.
     
    Well, there were some early indications that the virus was especially deadly towards Chinese and perhaps East Asians rather than whites, though the picture is currently much more cloudy. But you're looking at things entirely the wrong way...

    Under normal circumstances, I would be *extremely* skeptical of a possible US biowarfare attack against China since it would be such a totally insane thing to do. But just last month, we assassinated a top Iranian leader, and much of everything our government does is totally insane. So an insane biowarfare attack would just fit into this larger pattern.

    Also, consider that a mysterious Swine Flu epidemic suddenly appeared in China during 2019, and destroyed 40% of its primary domestic meat source, certainly a highly suspicious coincidence.

    I'd very strongly recommend that people read this very lengthy article we published a week ago, which provides a vast amount of background information on the issue. The author is a highly eccentric American ex-pat living in China, and his own views should be given little weight. But he provides an enormous wealth of useful information and links, totally excluded from our worthless MSM:

    https://www.unz.com/article/was-the-2020-wuhan-coronavirus-an-engineered-biological-attack-on-china-by-america-for-geopolitical-advantage/
    , @Bill
    The way the "secret steps" would work is that the US would come out with a vaccine just in the nick of time to save the US. As a result of US ingenuity, donchaknow. No silliness about the water supply necessary. The lizard people in DC don't care if a few thousand Americans die.
  37. China’s lack of soft power is old news, actually China since 2017 has more soft power than ever.

    New icons of Chinese Internet-culture such as TikTok, fantasy novels and online dramas are gaining traction in Thailand, bringing fresh elements to the promotion of Chinese culture in the Southeast Asian country.

    As a teacher of Confucius Institute at Mahasarakham University, he has been working in a high school in Nongkrusi county, Kalasin Province since June of 2018. However, on the platform of TikTok, a leading video-sharing app, he managed to become a Chinese teacher with influence beyond Kalasin.

    “I’ve got over 10,000 followers on TikTok and most of them are Thai students who are learning Chinese,” said 25-year-old Zuo, who has become a Internet celebrity by posting videos of Chinese-teaching lessons on TikTok.

    In addition to platforms like TikTok, Chinese online dramas and novels also gave Thai fans reading and watching frenzies.

    In renowned chained stores named “Asian Books” in Bangkok, capital of Thailand, a number of Chinese web novels featuring Wuxia (martial heroes), Xianxia (immortal heroes) and Xuanhuan (fantasy featuring adventures and wars) have been translated into Thai and have topped the best-seller list in the area of Chinese books for a long time.

    In 2019, a Chinese web series named The Untamed, telling adventures of two investigators who travel around to solve a series of murders, has become a real hit in Thailand.

    “Its beautiful scenery, vivid CGI, intriguing plots, and good acting make it very attractive to young people in Thailand. When the cast of The Untamed visited here in September, it became the hottest topic on social networks,” Nid said, adding that many of her friends followed the series like crazy.

    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
    Somehow, I think China's most famous symbol in the near future will be Corona-chan.
    , @Skeptikal
    Of course we in the West cannot gauge the extent of China's "soft power," since virtually no one here speaks Chinese and very few people are actually interested in Chinese culture, either ancient or modern. We are in a sense in a different universe.
    '
    For thousands of years, when Europeans were still hunkered down in stone hovels etc. China has had vast "soft power" throughout Asia. Throughout history virtually all Asian cultures that aspired to statehood have looked to and borrowed from China in one way or another. Westerners must grasp the fact that their definition of "soft power" is not universal but actually is quite provincial. It is kind of pathetic that so many equate "soft cultural power" with crap like video games and sports stars. The very concept of sophistication is a product of Chinese culture, most notably, 13th-century cities of the Southern Song such as Hangzhou. Marco Polo could not believe his eyes when he visited this city. Compared to it Venice was a rat trap. "Hangzhou is one of China's seven ancient capitals and has been designated a "Historic and Cultural City" by the government. Its history can be traced back over 2,200 years to the Qin dynasty (221-206 BC). It flourished after being linked with the north via the Grand Canal, which starts in Beijing and ends in Hangzhou."

    See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grand_Canal_(China)

    China is still the cultural leader of Asia.

    Soft power shmoft power.

    , @spinifex
    Jose: the Chinese have owned Thailand since well before the Americans used the NE of the country as a staging ground for genocide missions into the rest of Indo China during the Vietnam war. Apart from a lucky few of the brown locals, all major investment and political decisions are made by the rich Thai Chinese- usually bespectacled and whiter in skin colour. The elite of this elite are usually educated in the US and have strong links to the military and they pretty much ARE the business community.. The only thing new in Thailand is the take up of new and accessible internet and phone technologies by the poor- Tik tok etc sure.... these all just feed into making the Thai Cinese elite richer and more powerful. The poor Thai locals continue to buy new pick-ups and 35 000 baht mobile phones thinking that such access to stuff has pushed them into the lower middle class...it never will and never has... Culturally and economically China has always pretty much been there in the modern era and always will....What's most disturbing is tour bus loads of mainland Chinese accessing cheap air asia flights and and touring the thai islands and cities - spitting and yelling and pushing kids out of the way to get into the noodle shops. They are disgusting. The beautiful Thai people rarely speak up cos they need the tourist dollars from these baboons...
  38. @Hail
    I am interested in what effect this will have on the PRC's soft power.

    Soft power is universally acknowledged as real, if amorphous and hard to quantify.

    I'd say China was making slow but steady gains in the 2010s, and then, poetically, in the very last week of the decade, this new virus began to get mentions, setting the stage for a Q1 2020 that has got to be among the worst for China's image in a long time; possibly since June 1989.

    Effects on image / soft power: On one hand, the virus started in China, apparently because of "non-First World" behavior by some Chinese at that live-animal market; and there is no way to make the PRC regime look good in its initial reaction (the cover-up, including the secret-police's threatening of the doctor who discovered it, the doctor in his 30s who later died of the virus). On the other hand, their efforts, as Anatoly writes here, have been effective within China itself at containment.

    Net effect on China's soft power for the 2020s?

    I am interested in what effect this will have on the PRC’s soft power.

    If you are talking about the schema of China in the heads of the average African, etc., then it won’t be but the tiniest blip. I am sure it doesn’t even register in many people of the third world.

    In the West, China will remain the big non-white country, so it will be lionized, as people are attracted to power, and it is relatively safe to reference.

    If we are speaking of the decade as a whole, it is microscopically trivial compared to the effect another decade of immigration will have on the West. Western Europe may be facing its 11th hour, right now. There are rumors that the UK will do away with the next census.

    • Replies: @china-russia-all-the-way

    If you are talking about the schema of China in the heads of the average African, etc., then it won’t be but the tiniest blip. I am sure it doesn’t even register in many people of the third world.
     
    This is absolutely incorrect. China looms very large in the minds of the African middle class. Some believe China will transform Africa economically. Others believe Africa will be colonized by China. Good or bad, the African middle classes (broadly defined) have strong opinions about China.
    , @Bill

    In the West, China will remain the big non-white country, so it will be lionized, as people are attracted to power, and it is relatively safe to reference.
     
    In reality however, China is vilified in "the West."
  39. @Jose Alan Guerrero
    China's lack of soft power is old news, actually China since 2017 has more soft power than ever.

    New icons of Chinese Internet-culture such as TikTok, fantasy novels and online dramas are gaining traction in Thailand, bringing fresh elements to the promotion of Chinese culture in the Southeast Asian country.

    As a teacher of Confucius Institute at Mahasarakham University, he has been working in a high school in Nongkrusi county, Kalasin Province since June of 2018. However, on the platform of TikTok, a leading video-sharing app, he managed to become a Chinese teacher with influence beyond Kalasin.

    "I've got over 10,000 followers on TikTok and most of them are Thai students who are learning Chinese," said 25-year-old Zuo, who has become a Internet celebrity by posting videos of Chinese-teaching lessons on TikTok.

    In addition to platforms like TikTok, Chinese online dramas and novels also gave Thai fans reading and watching frenzies.

    In renowned chained stores named "Asian Books" in Bangkok, capital of Thailand, a number of Chinese web novels featuring Wuxia (martial heroes), Xianxia (immortal heroes) and Xuanhuan (fantasy featuring adventures and wars) have been translated into Thai and have topped the best-seller list in the area of Chinese books for a long time.

    In 2019, a Chinese web series named The Untamed, telling adventures of two investigators who travel around to solve a series of murders, has become a real hit in Thailand.

    "Its beautiful scenery, vivid CGI, intriguing plots, and good acting make it very attractive to young people in Thailand. When the cast of The Untamed visited here in September, it became the hottest topic on social networks," Nid said, adding that many of her friends followed the series like crazy.

    Somehow, I think China’s most famous symbol in the near future will be Corona-chan.

    • Replies: @songbird
    Technically, all China really needs to do is to dub and censor Japanese and Korean stuff. That should keep them out of the globohomo sphere, in the short term.

    Though, it is like oil. Strategically, it is better to have your own supply. And only they have the scale to make blockbusters.
  40. @Daniel Chieh
    Somehow, I think China's most famous symbol in the near future will be Corona-chan.

    Technically, all China really needs to do is to dub and censor Japanese and Korean stuff. That should keep them out of the globohomo sphere, in the short term.

    Though, it is like oil. Strategically, it is better to have your own supply. And only they have the scale to make blockbusters.

    • Replies: @Just Passing Through
    Japanese and Korean pop culture is pretty feminine in my opinion, it needs to be avoided at all costs
  41. @Ron Unz
    Well, personally I think the jury is still out whether East Asians are far more vulnerable to the new coronavirus than whites. The outbreaks in Iran and Italy shift the likelihood somewhat, but it's still early. Personally, I think the evidence from that cruise ship might be most definitive.

    But if whites are indeed as vulnerable, I'd think that the West might be hit much harder than China. After all, can we possibly imagine the sort of national lock-down that China has implemented, apparently with considerable success?

    And I'm still very suspicious about the circumstances of the outbreak. It hit China just before Lunar New Year, the absolutely worst possible time, and the epicenter was Wuhan, a key transport hub. It really seems an *astonishing* coincidence that 300 American military servicemen had been visiting Wuhan just prior to the outbreak, at a peak of international tension.

    How would Americans react if 300 PRC officers had visited Chicago, and immediately afterwards, a deadly new plague broke out in that city, with a major risk of spreading throughout the country?

    Isn't it also rather suspicious that Iran has been hit so hard? So the two countries in the world most subject to current American hostility just tend to be especially "unlucky"...

    As for "soft power," I suspect it largely reflects a heavily-lagging indicator of economic/political power, only somewhat shifted by considerations of pop-culture. If China continues on its economic/political trajectory, I think it will have plenty of soft power 30-40 years down the road. And if American society/economy collapses, so soon afterward will our soft power, ignorant rap-stars and basketball players notwithstanding.

    Isn’t it also rather suspicious that Iran has been hit so hard? So the two countries in the world most subject to current American hostility just tend to be especially “unlucky”…

    Isn’t it suspicious that Italy has been hit so hard? Isn’t suspicious that South Korea has been hit so hard? Isn’t it suspicious how pro-Chinese Cambodia hasn’t been hit so hard?

    hmmm, suspicious, suspicious…

    • Replies: @Naill
    Isn’t it suspicious that Italy has been hit so hard? Isn’t suspicious that South Korea has been hit so hard? Isn’t it suspicious how pro-Chinese Cambodia hasn’t been hit so hard?

    If after planting viruses into the 2 enemy territories of China and Iran, the "planter" would hope and expect a lot of direct damage.

    As for the indirect damage, it is outside of their control.
    , @Bert
    If over the past 200 years scientists had cherry-picked evidence as eagerly as Mr. Unz, science would not have developed beyond the level of voodoo.
    , @Dieter Kief
    There is a considerable Chinese work-force in northern Italy - thousands of Chinese who are working in sub-contract sweat-shops, not least for the Italian fashion-industry.

    I must say, I'm astonished, that this well-known fact gets no coverage, now that Corona hits - in northern Italy.

  42. @Ron Unz
    Well, personally I think the jury is still out whether East Asians are far more vulnerable to the new coronavirus than whites. The outbreaks in Iran and Italy shift the likelihood somewhat, but it's still early. Personally, I think the evidence from that cruise ship might be most definitive.

    But if whites are indeed as vulnerable, I'd think that the West might be hit much harder than China. After all, can we possibly imagine the sort of national lock-down that China has implemented, apparently with considerable success?

    And I'm still very suspicious about the circumstances of the outbreak. It hit China just before Lunar New Year, the absolutely worst possible time, and the epicenter was Wuhan, a key transport hub. It really seems an *astonishing* coincidence that 300 American military servicemen had been visiting Wuhan just prior to the outbreak, at a peak of international tension.

    How would Americans react if 300 PRC officers had visited Chicago, and immediately afterwards, a deadly new plague broke out in that city, with a major risk of spreading throughout the country?

    Isn't it also rather suspicious that Iran has been hit so hard? So the two countries in the world most subject to current American hostility just tend to be especially "unlucky"...

    As for "soft power," I suspect it largely reflects a heavily-lagging indicator of economic/political power, only somewhat shifted by considerations of pop-culture. If China continues on its economic/political trajectory, I think it will have plenty of soft power 30-40 years down the road. And if American society/economy collapses, so soon afterward will our soft power, ignorant rap-stars and basketball players notwithstanding.

    300 American military servicemen had been visiting Wuhan just prior to the outbreak, at a peak of international tension.

    Is there more detail on this story?

    300 U.S. servicemen of Chinese descent visiting their parents during a National holiday when hundreds of thousands are travelling? That would be typical. Many “foreigners” of Chinese descent visit home in this time frame.

    Or, was there a joint U.S.-China military exercise in Wuhan with 300+ troops from each side? That sounds like a false flag operation gearing up to blame the U.S.

    PEACE 😇

    • Replies: @Ron Unz


    300 American military servicemen had been visiting Wuhan just prior to the outbreak, at a peak of international tension.
     
    300 U.S. servicemen of Chinese descent visiting their parents during a National holiday when hundreds of thousands are travelling? That would be typical.
     
    No, of course not. The Military World Games were being held in Wuhan, and 300 American servicemen participated. The Wuhan viral outbreak occurred *immediately* afterwards, which seems extremely suspicious timing to me. Naturally, none of this has been reported in our totally worthless MSM:

    http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/2019-10/15/c_138473332.htm

    https://www.unz.com/article/was-the-2020-wuhan-coronavirus-an-engineered-biological-attack-on-china-by-america-for-geopolitical-advantage/

    Again, how would America react if 300 Chinese servicemen visited Dallas for an international event, and immediately afterwards a deadly---and rather mysterious---viral outbreak suddenly occurred in that city...
  43. “Crater the World Economy”

    The “world” economy was a system controlled by and for the ZOG world order, the end of this system would a great blessing in many ways.

    • Replies: @NoseytheDuke
    Not really. Assets of great strategic value could be snapped up at bargain basement prices and leave them with even greater power than before.
  44. @Mattyimlac
    Fun theory but it would make more sense if paired with some theory of how the US took secret steps to protect its own population, e.g., slipped a vaccine in the drinking water. But it is hard to think of a plausible theory of that sort.

    Fun theory but it would make more sense if paired with some theory of how the US took secret steps to protect its own population, e.g., slipped a vaccine in the drinking water. But it is hard to think of a plausible theory of that sort.

    Well, there were some early indications that the virus was especially deadly towards Chinese and perhaps East Asians rather than whites, though the picture is currently much more cloudy. But you’re looking at things entirely the wrong way…

    Under normal circumstances, I would be *extremely* skeptical of a possible US biowarfare attack against China since it would be such a totally insane thing to do. But just last month, we assassinated a top Iranian leader, and much of everything our government does is totally insane. So an insane biowarfare attack would just fit into this larger pattern.

    Also, consider that a mysterious Swine Flu epidemic suddenly appeared in China during 2019, and destroyed 40% of its primary domestic meat source, certainly a highly suspicious coincidence.

    I’d very strongly recommend that people read this very lengthy article we published a week ago, which provides a vast amount of background information on the issue. The author is a highly eccentric American ex-pat living in China, and his own views should be given little weight. But he provides an enormous wealth of useful information and links, totally excluded from our worthless MSM:

    https://www.unz.com/article/was-the-2020-wuhan-coronavirus-an-engineered-biological-attack-on-china-by-america-for-geopolitical-advantage/

    • Replies: @Thomasina
    "Isn’t it also rather suspicious that Iran has been hit so hard? So the two countries in the world most subject to current American hostility just tend to be especially 'unlucky'…"

    Makes you wonder. And Italy, the third most important member of the EU, right behind Germany and France, is also being hard hit. Salvini (anti-globalist/anti-neoliberal) is poised to become the next President. With Merkel on her way out and Macron failing, Salvini could pose a serious threat to EU existence.

    Italy's cases went from three on Friday to 200 on Monday. That's a big leap.
    , @another fred
    I think this is some worthwhile information.

    https://www.uab.edu/reporter/know-more/publications/item/8909-here-s-a-playbook-for-stopping-deadly-cytokine-storm-syndrome

    It seems there is a genetic component to susceptibility to the cytokine storm that is responsible for most of the deaths. Two copies of the gene is (or was) a death sentence, but a single copy just raises susceptibility. There seem to be more than one genetic pathway.

    Maybe the genes offer some protection for other problems, like the sickle cell anemia gene does with malaria.

    If you follow the link in the article to the Journal of Immunology article (pdf) it provides more info.

    IF there is a genetic susceptibility, then maybe the herd will just keep moving on after losing a few million.
    , @another fred
    I think this is some worthwhile information.

    https://www.uab.edu/reporter/know-more/publications/item/8909-here-s-a-playbook-for-stopping-deadly-cytokine-storm-syndrome

    It seems there is a genetic component to susceptibility to the cytokine storm that is responsible for most of the deaths. Two copies of the gene is (or was) a death sentence, but a single copy just raises susceptibility. There seem to be more than one genetic pathway.

    Maybe the genes offer some protection for other problems, like the sickle cell anemia gene does with malaria.

    If you follow the link in the article to the Journal of Immunology article (pdf) it provides more info.

    IF there is a genetic susceptibility, then maybe the herd will just keep moving on after losing a few million.
    , @Whitewolf
    Assassinating a top Iranian leader is not in the same league as targetting a huge population with a bioweapon. The latter is a much bigger provocation and the US would be much more vulnerable to a revenge strike than most countries. The only benefit to the US ruling class would be another excuse to crack down on US citizens as in post 911. The only problem for them is their credibility is near zero now.
  45. For those who are still sceptical it might be useful to apply even just first-order mental states (second-order could also be applied, except I don’t know how many people have thought that far ahead and thus applicable).

    Even if you believe there is no serious danger, it will still be useful to stockpile necessities because as soon as there is a significant report of infected people are going to start hoarding food, masks and other essentials.

    So as long as most people and the government is acting as if it is serious, doubters should still act as if they take it seriously because, well, being unable to buy food isn’t a particularly appealing option.

  46. Is there a relevant point to this article?

    • Replies: @yakushimaru

    Is there a relevant point to this article?
     
    I am scared out of my wits!
    , @Johan
    Relevant points is exactly what statistics are supposed to be. We moderns believe in them like.., like nothing else...

    So some of the boys here have a fetish for statistics, they have caught the statistics virus so to speak, it is a non lethal virus, though often not so good for the organs of digestion, which might get upset if the statistics are bad news. I don't know whether there are statistics to prove that, yet.

    Statistics makes a man and authorities look bigger, on track with reality and capable of prophetizing the future, like authorities they will look, even the owner of this site has the data counting virus, no wonder, we are all food for statistic, all websites do it, social media do it, governments do it, institutions do it, we all do it. Technically as a human you do not exist, except for these statistics, which are good for selling the sheep something or leading the sheep somewhere. Now donate some on the bottom of the page, as statistics are worth money. And be glad that the shepherds keep up with counting the sheep.

    , @calculator
    What is relevant about this article ? Is the bowel movement you had 3 years ago relevant ? No I did not think so and neither is mine. The world population is 7.8 billion and deaths as of March 15 th 2020 amount to 6500. So to answer your article in a more polite manner. There is no relevant point to the article. It is pure bullshit !
  47. @A123

    300 American military servicemen had been visiting Wuhan just prior to the outbreak, at a peak of international tension.
     
    Is there more detail on this story?

    300 U.S. servicemen of Chinese descent visiting their parents during a National holiday when hundreds of thousands are travelling? That would be typical. Many "foreigners" of Chinese descent visit home in this time frame.

    Or, was there a joint U.S.-China military exercise in Wuhan with 300+ troops from each side? That sounds like a false flag operation gearing up to blame the U.S.

    PEACE 😇

    300 American military servicemen had been visiting Wuhan just prior to the outbreak, at a peak of international tension.

    300 U.S. servicemen of Chinese descent visiting their parents during a National holiday when hundreds of thousands are travelling? That would be typical.

    No, of course not. The Military World Games were being held in Wuhan, and 300 American servicemen participated. The Wuhan viral outbreak occurred *immediately* afterwards, which seems extremely suspicious timing to me. Naturally, none of this has been reported in our totally worthless MSM:

    http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/2019-10/15/c_138473332.htm

    https://www.unz.com/article/was-the-2020-wuhan-coronavirus-an-engineered-biological-attack-on-china-by-america-for-geopolitical-advantage/

    Again, how would America react if 300 Chinese servicemen visited Dallas for an international event, and immediately afterwards a deadly—and rather mysterious—viral outbreak suddenly occurred in that city…

    • Thanks: A123
    • Replies: @d dan

    "The Military World Games were being held in Wuhan, and 300 American servicemen participated."
     
    Just to add more detail. Even with one of the largest contingent among all participating countries, an Olympic game giant like US didn't manage to get a single gold medal in Wuhan, falling behind countries like Tunisia and Namibia. Wonder why?

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2019_Military_World_Games
    , @Cyrano, @Brett Redmayne-Titley
    I agree.

    This narrative, as suggested, is starting to take hold, as evidenced by yesterday's published denial of these claims by the US. While the Chinese are very busy fighting the virus, it is a safe bet that they, too, are investigating the origin of the virus, which as everyone ( with a brain) knew had nothing to do with bat stew and the likelihood of it escaping a level 5 bio-hazard facility could not have been done by accident.

    If the Chinese find the allegations of US involvement true ( despite US plausible deniability) the likely result will be war, since the virus attack would be, by definition, exactly that.

    This story is bigger than just a possible pandemic.
    , @Bob
    I do not think the 300 American servicemen is particularly strong evidence because a) one person would be enough and b) the connection is obvious. Why would the perps want to leave an obvious connection?
    , @A123
    Mr. Unz,

    I appreciate the additional detail.

    China invited a number of countries to be present at this international event. As they were military forces, they were no doubt monitored while present. With no reports of infections among attending troops they are highly unlikely to be the disease carriers. One can see how the Chinese government could be concerned given the circumstances, but blaming an invited and monitored U.S. team lacks plausibility.

    Also consider this... President Trump and the U.S. just won bigly in the China Phase #1 trade talks. Thus, there is no upside to a U.S. attack that disrupts trade.

    Anyone suggesting that CoV19 was launched, rather than naturally occurring or an accidental release, is suggesting a very risky conspiracy against both the U.S. and China. Intentionally trying to start a China-U.S. war that could go no nuclear does not seem to be in the interest of any side that has the technology to handle such a virus.

    PEACE 😇
  48. @china-russia-all-the-way
    Has anyone found an estimate for the mortality rate by an expert taking into account the lag effect and undetected cases?
  49. China exported the coronavirus to the rest of the world by refusing to ground all their outbound flights a month ago. The CCP cares more about money than good will. In trying to act like business as usual and continuing to let their people travel overseas to spread this disease, they are engendering a lot of anger and ill will the world over. As more Europeans, Iranians, Iraqis, Africans etc. die from this virus, the world will turn on China in a hurry. All their goodwill is being wiped out. Ethnic Chinese will not find the welcome mat being rolled out wherever they go. In fact, mainland Chinese are already pariahs in every country, even in Asia. China’s globalist ambitions will take a major setback when this is all said and done.

    • Replies: @neutral
    At least you are not hiding where your allegiance lies J(ew)USA.
    , @Naill
    The incubation period was 14 to 28 days during which time an infected person was already contagious to others. There is no way the Chinese Government could have known during the incubation period:
    1) this is a new strain of virus
    2)how lethal the virus was
    3)that the incubation period was longer than usual
    There was a travel ban issued by the govt against group tours outside of China once 1 and 2 become known.
    You seem unnaturally concerned that any goodwill towards Chinese people will be wiped out. Of course ignorant people will find a reason to be hostile and probably didn't have any goodwill to start off with.
    , @reezy

    China’s globalist ambitions will take a major setback when this is all said and done.
     
    That's some hard projection mister J.
    , @thetruth
    WHO already said the virus in Iran has NOTHING to do with the Covid-19 from Wuhan!! They are Different!!

    Plus, Wu Han is ONLY the first place that this Covid-19 exploded, but NOT the the city of origin for this Covid-19. Most likely, the U.S. is the Source nation of this Covid-19!

    http://www.ecns.cn/news/sci-tech/2020-02-23/detail-ifztvsqr0576579.shtml

    "A recent study conducted by a group of Chinese scientists has found further genome evidence to prove that the seafood market in Wuhan is not the source of the novel coronavirus - a claim first made in a paper published on The Lancet.

    The study, led by researchers from Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden of Chinese Academy of Sciences, South China Agricultural University and Chinese Institute for Brain Research, was published on ChinaXiv on Saturday in a pre-print version without peer review.

    Per the study, genetic data suggests the virus was introduced from elsewhere and had already circulated widely among humans in Wuhan before December 2019, probably beginning in mid to late November."
  50. On AK’s track record.

    His prediction on Dem candidates. Now Yang’s out, Biden is not winning, and the Cal woman long gone.

    His talk about WWIII when the Iran guy got killed.

    I say, calm down!

    • Replies: @RadicalCenter
    Well, don’t rule out the possibility of Anatoly being right in his positive prediction about Biden. Buttgig and klobuchar have dropped out and endorsed Biden.

    Biden doesn’t need to get more delegates than sanders overall, just keep it very close and deny sanders a first-ballot convention win.

    Sanders can crush Biden in California (Voting ends today, though with many mail ballots still coming in), as he may, and still not reach the convention with a majority of pledged delegates.

    Sanders may then get crushed by Biden in return when the race returns to the States where the Angry Afficans dominate that party’s primaries and vote in their typical mindless monolithic bloc. Apparently the Afficans aren’t going to vote for Bloomberg given their resentment at his recognition of reality re who commits the lion’s share of shootings, armed robberies, and other aggression in nyc then and now.
  51. (ノ◕ヮ◕)ノ*:・゚✧Cowona Viwus-chan wuvs u~ (◕ω◕✿)

    H/T: The Wild Geese Howard

    • Replies: @MEH 0910

    Video unavailable
    This video is no longer available because the YouTube account associated with this video has been terminated.
     
    ノ◕ヮ◕ノ ・゚✧Cowona Viwus chan wuvs u ◕ω◕✿
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8k_87m-pJqs
  52. Many people on this board seem to have little idea about how medical stuffs are made. They are made by that damned global economy!

    When you guys talking about economy, it’s not just fancy numbers or just iPhones and stupid Globohomo movies. It is many stuffs including the critically important, at this moment, medical supplies!

    You don’t go crazy like it is just some political parade thing.

    • Replies: @vot tak
    "medical stuffs" "many stuffs"

    Are these "stuffs" the material put in stuffed animals sold at toys-r-us?
    , @Kim
    Illness is also made by that damned global economy.

    Diabetes, cancer, heart disease, obesity...they are all modern epidemics and are all products of global Big Ag and Big Chem and ring up big profits for global Big Pharma.
  53. As far as I know, no one here has mentioned that because of the
    globalization drive by Clinton, Bush, and Obama, 85% of the medicines
    used in the United States are manufactured in China. Even U.S. troops
    depend on medicines from China! China could bring the entire health
    system in the U.S. to a stop in a matter of months. This is what our inept
    elites have done to America – they gave away the shop. People are beginning
    to realize that manufacturing our own medicines is a matter of national
    security but it’ll take years to bring the factories back to the U.S. So
    much for globalization.

    Rod Dreher’s blog IMHO is the best source for quick info on the coronavirus
    because he is in touch with American M.D.’s who are married to women
    from China who in turn are in contact with relatives at home and the Chinese
    media. Of course, Rod himself can be hysterical at times but, apparently,
    that’s what it takes to have a successful blog. The M.D.’s are reporting
    that the U.S. is already beginning to run out of certain medications, and
    recommend stocking up on the basic necessities, i.e., recommend assuming
    the mental framework of the survivalists – have plenty of canned goods, etc
    and refill your prescriptions ASAP. This is what many people here seem to
    forget – the coronavirus’s indirect effects due to having no access to medications
    may be much worse than the direct pathogenic effects.

    • Agree: Bert, Alfred
  54. @A123
    Of the 1-3% that may die or be sickest, how many of them are non-workforce? Retired with pre-existing conditions? This likely reduces the direct economic impact.

    What can actually be done in a hospital? It's a virus so the care is supportive. How much supportive care can be delivered at home? IV's can be done by a travelling nurse.

    Countries where a significant percentage of people can work from home have huge financial advantages over manual labor nations. There will be no recession in the U.S. as we are food and energy independent, although certain entertainment industries targeting crowd events will likely have severe issues.

    China and other cheap goods producers will have problems. Without the ability to make and sell junk, how will they pay for imported oil?

    PEACE 😇

    “China and other cheap goods producers will have problems. Without the ability to make and sell junk, how will they pay for imported oil?”

    Who says staying home doesn’t save you money? Total Chinese tourists in 2018 was 149 million with total spending at $130 billion. Cutting out international travel will allow them to divert money elsewhere.

  55. @vot tak
    Is there a relevant point to this article?

    Is there a relevant point to this article?

    I am scared out of my wits!

  56. @JUSA
    China exported the coronavirus to the rest of the world by refusing to ground all their outbound flights a month ago. The CCP cares more about money than good will. In trying to act like business as usual and continuing to let their people travel overseas to spread this disease, they are engendering a lot of anger and ill will the world over. As more Europeans, Iranians, Iraqis, Africans etc. die from this virus, the world will turn on China in a hurry. All their goodwill is being wiped out. Ethnic Chinese will not find the welcome mat being rolled out wherever they go. In fact, mainland Chinese are already pariahs in every country, even in Asia. China’s globalist ambitions will take a major setback when this is all said and done.

    At least you are not hiding where your allegiance lies J(ew)USA.

    • Replies: @JUSA
    LOL read my comments and you'd know why I picked that handle. I'm anything but a fan of the Satanic Zionist cult.

    Too many here have their rose colored lenses on when it comes to China. I'm just telling it like it is. China's image is taking a big hit abroad.

  57. @Ron Unz
    Well, personally I think the jury is still out whether East Asians are far more vulnerable to the new coronavirus than whites. The outbreaks in Iran and Italy shift the likelihood somewhat, but it's still early. Personally, I think the evidence from that cruise ship might be most definitive.

    But if whites are indeed as vulnerable, I'd think that the West might be hit much harder than China. After all, can we possibly imagine the sort of national lock-down that China has implemented, apparently with considerable success?

    And I'm still very suspicious about the circumstances of the outbreak. It hit China just before Lunar New Year, the absolutely worst possible time, and the epicenter was Wuhan, a key transport hub. It really seems an *astonishing* coincidence that 300 American military servicemen had been visiting Wuhan just prior to the outbreak, at a peak of international tension.

    How would Americans react if 300 PRC officers had visited Chicago, and immediately afterwards, a deadly new plague broke out in that city, with a major risk of spreading throughout the country?

    Isn't it also rather suspicious that Iran has been hit so hard? So the two countries in the world most subject to current American hostility just tend to be especially "unlucky"...

    As for "soft power," I suspect it largely reflects a heavily-lagging indicator of economic/political power, only somewhat shifted by considerations of pop-culture. If China continues on its economic/political trajectory, I think it will have plenty of soft power 30-40 years down the road. And if American society/economy collapses, so soon afterward will our soft power, ignorant rap-stars and basketball players notwithstanding.

    I heard it’s already been decided that the official death toll when it’s all over will be six million.

    Architects are busy drawing up plans for taxpayer-funded museums, and legislators are writing bills to outlaw questions about the virus. A string of Hollywood movies about the pandemic will follow. Mandatory lessons we be added to public school curricula, starting in kindergarten.

    • Agree: neutral
    • Replies: @Kim
    No soap? No lampshades? No automated death-by-masturbation machines?
  58. @JUSA
    China exported the coronavirus to the rest of the world by refusing to ground all their outbound flights a month ago. The CCP cares more about money than good will. In trying to act like business as usual and continuing to let their people travel overseas to spread this disease, they are engendering a lot of anger and ill will the world over. As more Europeans, Iranians, Iraqis, Africans etc. die from this virus, the world will turn on China in a hurry. All their goodwill is being wiped out. Ethnic Chinese will not find the welcome mat being rolled out wherever they go. In fact, mainland Chinese are already pariahs in every country, even in Asia. China’s globalist ambitions will take a major setback when this is all said and done.

    The incubation period was 14 to 28 days during which time an infected person was already contagious to others. There is no way the Chinese Government could have known during the incubation period:
    1) this is a new strain of virus
    2)how lethal the virus was
    3)that the incubation period was longer than usual
    There was a travel ban issued by the govt against group tours outside of China once 1 and 2 become known.
    You seem unnaturally concerned that any goodwill towards Chinese people will be wiped out. Of course ignorant people will find a reason to be hostile and probably didn’t have any goodwill to start off with.

  59. From the earlier days, it has been estimated – and repeatedly confirmed – that COVID-19 has only a 10% detection rate…

    …mortality with ventilators, drugs, doctors, etc. seems to be ~1% versus 2-3% for people left to their own devices…

    If Covid-19 truly has a detection rate of only 10%, then the actual mortality rate is much lower than what is currently being reported, down to 0.1% with medical treatment versus 0.2-0.3% to people left to their own devices. For comparison, 0.05% of people catching the flu this year have died. The pandemic of 1918 had a 2.5% mortality.

    There seems to be something unusual about the Covid-19 infections in Wuhan that are not borne out in other areas. There must have been something going on beyond only person-to-person contact. The virus may have been introduced in an artificial way, perhaps sprayed as an aerosol over a large area or spread through some other means that would have had a comparable effect. Outside of Hubei Province, it has proven much easier to control the disease, and there is a far lower mortality rate.

    • Replies: @Hyperborean

    There seems to be something unusual about the Covid-19 infections in Wuhan that are not borne out in other areas. There must have been something going on beyond only person-to-person contact. The virus may have been introduced in an artificial way, perhaps sprayed as an aerosol over a large area or spread through some other means that would have had a comparable effect. Outside of Hubei Province, it has proven much easier to control the disease, and there is a far lower mortality rate.
     
    Things were not helped by events like holding 40,000+ families banquet celebrations in Wuhan.
  60. @Hyperborean

    Isn’t it also rather suspicious that Iran has been hit so hard? So the two countries in the world most subject to current American hostility just tend to be especially “unlucky”…
     
    Isn't it suspicious that Italy has been hit so hard? Isn't suspicious that South Korea has been hit so hard? Isn't it suspicious how pro-Chinese Cambodia hasn't been hit so hard?

    hmmm, suspicious, suspicious...

    Isn’t it suspicious that Italy has been hit so hard? Isn’t suspicious that South Korea has been hit so hard? Isn’t it suspicious how pro-Chinese Cambodia hasn’t been hit so hard?

    If after planting viruses into the 2 enemy territories of China and Iran, the “planter” would hope and expect a lot of direct damage.

    As for the indirect damage, it is outside of their control.

    • Replies: @Hyperborean

    If after planting viruses into the 2 enemy territories of China and Iran, the “planter” would hope and expect a lot of direct damage.

    As for the indirect damage, it is outside of their control.
     
    For an American bioweapon able to paralyse China, the alleged mastermind appears rather incompetent.

    https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/trump-budget-proposes-cuts-global-health-amid-global/story?id=68911515

    https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/world/covid19-coronavirus-united-states-faulty-test-kits-12429566

    https://www.cnbc.com/2020/02/21/only-three-us-states-can-test-for-coronavirus-says-public-lab-group.html

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/coronavirus-diamond-princess-cruise-americans/2020/02/20/b6f54cae-5279-11ea-b119-4faabac6674f_story.html
  61. @Ron Unz
    Well, personally I think the jury is still out whether East Asians are far more vulnerable to the new coronavirus than whites. The outbreaks in Iran and Italy shift the likelihood somewhat, but it's still early. Personally, I think the evidence from that cruise ship might be most definitive.

    But if whites are indeed as vulnerable, I'd think that the West might be hit much harder than China. After all, can we possibly imagine the sort of national lock-down that China has implemented, apparently with considerable success?

    And I'm still very suspicious about the circumstances of the outbreak. It hit China just before Lunar New Year, the absolutely worst possible time, and the epicenter was Wuhan, a key transport hub. It really seems an *astonishing* coincidence that 300 American military servicemen had been visiting Wuhan just prior to the outbreak, at a peak of international tension.

    How would Americans react if 300 PRC officers had visited Chicago, and immediately afterwards, a deadly new plague broke out in that city, with a major risk of spreading throughout the country?

    Isn't it also rather suspicious that Iran has been hit so hard? So the two countries in the world most subject to current American hostility just tend to be especially "unlucky"...

    As for "soft power," I suspect it largely reflects a heavily-lagging indicator of economic/political power, only somewhat shifted by considerations of pop-culture. If China continues on its economic/political trajectory, I think it will have plenty of soft power 30-40 years down the road. And if American society/economy collapses, so soon afterward will our soft power, ignorant rap-stars and basketball players notwithstanding.

    “Isn’t it also rather suspicious that Iran has been hit so hard? So the two countries in the world most subject to current American hostility just tend to be especially “unlucky”…”

    We’ll see if Venezuela also gets ‘unlucky’…….

  62. @mal
    Modern Russian pop culture is highly memeable troll stuff, and of high quality.

    This one is in English, so it has international appeal. 61M views is not bad for a local St Petersburg punk band.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ADlGkXAz1D0

    I also liked Leningrad (i think they broke up recently), but those guys sang in Russian, and even though they were very funny, i can see how that would be a problem for non-Russian speakers.

    Modern Russian pop music is quality stuff i would say, and has soft power potential.

    Movies are a different story. I watched "Vtorzhenie" in a movie theater - not bad as far as effects go, but storyline could use a bit of a cleanup. Amusingly, TV shows are the opposite - i watched a bunch of crime drama miniseries (family likes them), and i liked acting and stories, but they definitely look low budget compared to American TV.

    Film production in Russia became a way to cut the budget, or take some money with “creative accounting”.

    So this decline from Mosfilm, to the shit produced now, is a scary decline. In the 1970s, Russian films were considered everywhere to be one of the best three in the world (along with maybe Japanese and America), and already we just one and a half generation later, and it’s amazing shit.

    That said, I like Zygantsev, and also Yuri Bykov has maybe future talent. There’s still some remains of talented people.

    Modern Russian pop music

    There is are distinctive techniques, melody and sound in Russian pop (not in your example, though which is just eurodance), which is better than you can say for Kpop. Although this sound and melodies of modern Russian pop was developed in the 1970s.

    Also 1980s Soviet electronic/synth music, was already one of the coolest ones in the world.

    And I even prefer the sound of old pop music of the 1980s…

    • Replies: @mal
    You just like old stuff. :) Those tracks were pretty neat. On the dance music front, Russia was pretty innovative, yeah.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GoTXvkshGtw&list=FLYcPd9yNiVOknpNBT1Ouz0w&index=266&t=0s

    This song is from the 90's, and was copied by a Western band (ATC - Around the World), which exploded in popularity.

    Sergey Lazarev also did well in Eurovision not too long ago. But politics prevents Russians from winning.
    , @Anatoly Karlin

    In the 1970s, Russian films were considered everywhere to be one of the best three...
     
    Apart from a few well-known classics (some of them quite undeserved and driven mainly by boomer nostalgia - The Diamond Arm in particular comes to mind), vast majority of it was insufferable kitsch or derivative works with totally senseless plots.

    Can't really judge as to the quality of today's Russian filmography as you only watch 5 movies a year. But I'm quite certain it'd be regarded as a Golden Age if there was no Hollywood as a basis of comparison.
  63. @yakushimaru
    Many people on this board seem to have little idea about how medical stuffs are made. They are made by that damned global economy!

    When you guys talking about economy, it's not just fancy numbers or just iPhones and stupid Globohomo movies. It is many stuffs including the critically important, at this moment, medical supplies!

    You don't go crazy like it is just some political parade thing.

    “medical stuffs” “many stuffs”

    Are these “stuffs” the material put in stuffed animals sold at toys-r-us?

    • Replies: @yakushimaru
    Ok, English is not my first language. Big deal. Do you need a formal apology?
  64. “Unlike South Korea and Japan, China has almost no cultural exports that are popular anywhere else in the world”

    Not true. There are Chinese drama series, movies, literature, music and dance (pop or classical), etc that are very popular in Korea, Japan, ASEAN, central Asia and other developing countries. Many Chinese (including Hong Kong and Taiwan) movie and music stars are very famous in Asia. Some forms of Chinese arts like martial arts (TaiChi, Shaolin, etc), cuisine, calligraphy, ancient philosophies and thoughts, etc are also popular in western world. Chinese language is the second most popular foreign language that people study in the world.

    Of course, Chinese-bashing and Chinese-boosting are two of the most lucrative industries in the West. Not to mention Chinese-gazing, Chinese-guessing and Chinese-bickering, etc. They are also the most favorite hobbies of netizens worldwide.

    • Replies: @Philip Owen
    Every village in the UK has a Chinese takeaway. I cook stir fry and we eat it with chopsticks.
  65. I’m not an M.D. so it’s not clear to me why India, despite even lower standards
    of public hygiene than China, is not known as an exporter of major epidemics.
    In China until recently people were known to urinate and sometimes even to
    defecate in public. In India, it’s even worse – this kind of behavior, as we all know,
    has not been eradicated at all.

    Is it that (1) India is protected by being heavily vegetarian? In India, unlike in
    China, people don’t consume bats, dogs, cats, and such delicacies as the bulls’
    and horses’ penises; (2) The flu viruses cannot survive long in a tropical
    climate.

    As I mentioned before, the Chinese culture has never gone through the
    cleansing Enlightenment stage (Age of Reason) so its cosmology is
    superstitious through and through. For example, many Chinese, even
    those with advanced degrees, believe that 2020, being the year of the Metal
    Rat, is supposed to attract to itself certain events, incl. plagues and
    locust infestations. It may seem surprising that even getting Ph.D.’s in
    physics or mathematics can leave the deeper portions of the mind
    dark and primitive in countries such as China, Japan, and India,
    and even Germany, Russia, and Scandinavia where the purification by
    Enlightenment was rather superficial. No wonder that Russia erupted
    in an orgy of Bolshevism and Germany in the bloodbath of Nazism.

    • Replies: @Just Passing Through
    Putting aside the bioweapons angle for a while, it seems India doesn't export these novel epidemics because they don't eat exotic meats.

    All these weird and wonderful diseases seem to start when humans eat unconventional meats, ebola was from Africans eating monkeys iirc.

    The types of behaviours you describe only result in the proliferation of 'vanilla' diseases like malaria, cholera and dysentery.
    , @Loren
    Is it that (1) India is protected by being heavily vegetarian? In India, unlike in
    China, people don’t consume bats, dogs, cats, and such delicacies as the bulls’
    and horses’ penises; (2) The flu viruses cannot survive long in a tropical
    climate.

    Hindus are prohibited from beef eating.
    Muslims [India has many] are to not eat pork.

    China and Chinese horrify me..ask any Tibetan.
    , @Mary Marianne
    If you don't test, there will be no cases; the USA proved this during the American H1N1 swine flu epidemic in 2009. I don't think the Indian government is capable of widespread testing.
  66. Video on the networks which supposedly (according to how people are spreading it) shows people in quanrantined Wuhan shouting in the night – I guess becoming crazy from this quanrantine.

  67. The lack of consideration for alternative explanations such as the correlation with 5G installment and this epidemic is not surprising. I say correlation loosely, as I do not have all relevant data to run a proper test. However, so far mild to severe radiation poisoning should be considered before blaming it on another virus.
    Indeed, even toxic exposure could elicit various symptoms associated with the flu or other infections, although the widespread nature in this case makes this account unlikely.

  68. @Peter Frost
    I agree that many Chinese people will die and probably many people elsewhere in East Asia. I also agree that the coronavirus will get blamed for the coming global recession (which was coming anyway).

    Outside East Asia, the death toll will be comparable to what we see with a typical flu epidemic. Keep in mind that many people die every year because of influenza, no matter how mild it is.

    To date, no one has disproved the study by Zhao et al., who found that Chinese lung tissue is five times more receptive to coronoviral infections than lung tissue from non-Asian donors. Yes, there was only one Chinese donor in that study, but the chances are very low that the same normal distribution would produce such an extreme outlier.

    Most coronaviruses are mild. I suspect that a process of coevolution has caused the Chinese population to become much more receptive to these viruses, perhaps as a means to boost immunity to more serious pulmonary infections, like tuberculosis and pneumonia. Furthermore, I suspect that modern sanitation has opened a Pandora's box by reducing regular exposure to mild pulmonary infections. Unwittingly, the Chinese population has been left defenseless in the face of the current deadly infection.

    If we go back to the Spanish flu of 1918, China was one of the few areas where the flu killed relatively few people. How come? I suspect that the Chinese people had some kind of natural defense against serious pulmonary infections that has since been largely removed … with the best of intentions.

    Generally agreed,
    Yet, correct me if I am wrong, but most do not die of influenza these days, while instead pneumonia that can and do accompany it. They seem to get bundled into one as the flu, though.

    • Replies: @DL42
    While technically a true statement, it's more of a semantic difference.
    Pneumonia is a life threatening condition along with the associated opportunistic infections. And it's more or less directly caused by influenza. If someone pushed another person off a cliff, you would say that it was murder, rather than pointing out that the fundamental force of gravity and weakness of the falling man's bones was what did him in.

    For a more medical example, it's similar to the case of HIV/AIDS. By itself, HIV is a virus that gradually wipes out the immune system over a decade or so. In all cases, it's either an opportunistic infection or cancer that actually shuts the body down permanently. You can trace the causes as far back as you wish, but the HIV virus is the first pathogen entering the body that ultimately results in its demise.
  69. @JUSA
    China exported the coronavirus to the rest of the world by refusing to ground all their outbound flights a month ago. The CCP cares more about money than good will. In trying to act like business as usual and continuing to let their people travel overseas to spread this disease, they are engendering a lot of anger and ill will the world over. As more Europeans, Iranians, Iraqis, Africans etc. die from this virus, the world will turn on China in a hurry. All their goodwill is being wiped out. Ethnic Chinese will not find the welcome mat being rolled out wherever they go. In fact, mainland Chinese are already pariahs in every country, even in Asia. China’s globalist ambitions will take a major setback when this is all said and done.

    China’s globalist ambitions will take a major setback when this is all said and done.

    That’s some hard projection mister J.

  70. @Weston Waroda

    From the earlier days, it has been estimated – and repeatedly confirmed – that COVID-19 has only a 10% detection rate...
     

    ...mortality with ventilators, drugs, doctors, etc. seems to be ~1% versus 2-3% for people left to their own devices...
     
    If Covid-19 truly has a detection rate of only 10%, then the actual mortality rate is much lower than what is currently being reported, down to 0.1% with medical treatment versus 0.2-0.3% to people left to their own devices. For comparison, 0.05% of people catching the flu this year have died. The pandemic of 1918 had a 2.5% mortality.

    There seems to be something unusual about the Covid-19 infections in Wuhan that are not borne out in other areas. There must have been something going on beyond only person-to-person contact. The virus may have been introduced in an artificial way, perhaps sprayed as an aerosol over a large area or spread through some other means that would have had a comparable effect. Outside of Hubei Province, it has proven much easier to control the disease, and there is a far lower mortality rate.

    There seems to be something unusual about the Covid-19 infections in Wuhan that are not borne out in other areas. There must have been something going on beyond only person-to-person contact. The virus may have been introduced in an artificial way, perhaps sprayed as an aerosol over a large area or spread through some other means that would have had a comparable effect. Outside of Hubei Province, it has proven much easier to control the disease, and there is a far lower mortality rate.

    Things were not helped by events like holding 40,000+ families banquet celebrations in Wuhan.

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    Germany is holding a carnival in Cologne, and an Italian went there sick. So far he hasn’t been tested, nor quarantined, because Lombardy has not yet been declared a risk region.

    https://twitter.com/disclosetv/status/1231912076387418112

    Meanwhile, the governing party is tweeting about how safe Germany is.

    https://twitter.com/cducsubt/status/1231996332182843398

    How is that different? Okay, they are not arresting the fear mongers. But they don’t have the power to do so anyway.

    At the end of the day, China’s response won’t look bad at all.
  71. @Ron Unz


    300 American military servicemen had been visiting Wuhan just prior to the outbreak, at a peak of international tension.
     
    300 U.S. servicemen of Chinese descent visiting their parents during a National holiday when hundreds of thousands are travelling? That would be typical.
     
    No, of course not. The Military World Games were being held in Wuhan, and 300 American servicemen participated. The Wuhan viral outbreak occurred *immediately* afterwards, which seems extremely suspicious timing to me. Naturally, none of this has been reported in our totally worthless MSM:

    http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/2019-10/15/c_138473332.htm

    https://www.unz.com/article/was-the-2020-wuhan-coronavirus-an-engineered-biological-attack-on-china-by-america-for-geopolitical-advantage/

    Again, how would America react if 300 Chinese servicemen visited Dallas for an international event, and immediately afterwards a deadly---and rather mysterious---viral outbreak suddenly occurred in that city...

    “The Military World Games were being held in Wuhan, and 300 American servicemen participated.”

    Just to add more detail. Even with one of the largest contingent among all participating countries, an Olympic game giant like US didn’t manage to get a single gold medal in Wuhan, falling behind countries like Tunisia and Namibia. Wonder why?

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2019_Military_World_Games

    • Replies: @The Wild Geese Howard
    Great catch.

    I agree that it is completely out of character for the US to be so non-competitive.

    Heck, they barely took any medals at all.
  72. @Ron Unz


    300 American military servicemen had been visiting Wuhan just prior to the outbreak, at a peak of international tension.
     
    300 U.S. servicemen of Chinese descent visiting their parents during a National holiday when hundreds of thousands are travelling? That would be typical.
     
    No, of course not. The Military World Games were being held in Wuhan, and 300 American servicemen participated. The Wuhan viral outbreak occurred *immediately* afterwards, which seems extremely suspicious timing to me. Naturally, none of this has been reported in our totally worthless MSM:

    http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/2019-10/15/c_138473332.htm

    https://www.unz.com/article/was-the-2020-wuhan-coronavirus-an-engineered-biological-attack-on-china-by-america-for-geopolitical-advantage/

    Again, how would America react if 300 Chinese servicemen visited Dallas for an international event, and immediately afterwards a deadly---and rather mysterious---viral outbreak suddenly occurred in that city...

    This is one conspiracy theory that I am willing to believe in. I don’t know if anybody remembers couple of years ago, some suspicious Americans were caught in Russia trying to collect blood samples from Russians.

    https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-41816857

    So here is my addition to the conspiracy theory. Maybe they were trying to include the Russians to the list of nations that would be vulnerable to this biological weapon – the corona virus. My theory is that after they did some preliminary experiments in the lab on the blood samples from the Russians – they found that the Russians are practically immune to the virus. Then upon further checking of the blood samples, they discovered that those blood samples contain high levels of alcohol. They concluded that the Corona virus doesn’t stand a chance against the vodka. The Russians are safe – as long as they drink vodka.

    • LOL: Alfred
    • Replies: @Alfred
    The Russians are safe – as long as they drink vodka.

    I am in a Slavic country at present. I hope you are correct. The supermarkets here seem to dedicate 1/3 of their shelves to beverages. A bottle of Corona Extra is only $1.50. Local beer is a lot cheaper. :-)

    However, I never cared much for beer and alcohol. I had to look up the price.
  73. @utu
    "...mortality rate by an expert taking into account the lag effect..."

    Around 4% for China. It may go lower with improved treatment.

    It’s only high because of Hubei, where hospitals got overwhelmed. But we’re probably getting there, too.

  74. I am surprised that it isn’t spreading like wildfire in India

    • Replies: @Tsar Nicholas

    I am surprised that it isn’t spreading like wildfire in India
     
    It probably is, but if you don't test for it you don't have an outbreak.

    The US says there is no evidence of community transmision. Yeah, and they have only tested 414 people. It may be that Indians (or Americans) are already dying from it but the cause is being recorded as pneumonia, influenza or something else.
    , @Dmitry
    India might be quite protected from coronavirus by higher temperatures?

    https://akm-img-a-in.tosshub.com/sites/btmt/images/stories//Newstaffpics/tempreture_heat-map1_150220035817.jpg

    https://www.businesstoday.in/latest/trends/novel-coronavirus-rising-temperatures-india-keep-deadly-virus-at-bay/story/396216.html

    , @Pheasant
    Lack of exotic meats plus curry powder/fresh chillies kills germs and boots the immune system.
  75. @Peter Frost
    I agree that many Chinese people will die and probably many people elsewhere in East Asia. I also agree that the coronavirus will get blamed for the coming global recession (which was coming anyway).

    Outside East Asia, the death toll will be comparable to what we see with a typical flu epidemic. Keep in mind that many people die every year because of influenza, no matter how mild it is.

    To date, no one has disproved the study by Zhao et al., who found that Chinese lung tissue is five times more receptive to coronoviral infections than lung tissue from non-Asian donors. Yes, there was only one Chinese donor in that study, but the chances are very low that the same normal distribution would produce such an extreme outlier.

    Most coronaviruses are mild. I suspect that a process of coevolution has caused the Chinese population to become much more receptive to these viruses, perhaps as a means to boost immunity to more serious pulmonary infections, like tuberculosis and pneumonia. Furthermore, I suspect that modern sanitation has opened a Pandora's box by reducing regular exposure to mild pulmonary infections. Unwittingly, the Chinese population has been left defenseless in the face of the current deadly infection.

    If we go back to the Spanish flu of 1918, China was one of the few areas where the flu killed relatively few people. How come? I suspect that the Chinese people had some kind of natural defense against serious pulmonary infections that has since been largely removed … with the best of intentions.

    Japan in 1918 was a far better organised country than China and it used to be the conventional wisdom that Japan was relatively little affected by the Spanish flu. That view has recently been called into question. The flu is not cholera. Death from cholera will be listed as death from cholera. Death from the flu can be listed under all sorts of different headings.

  76. @utu
    Official Figures February 24
    https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/

    Coronavirus Cases: 79,774

    Active cases: 51,873
    Mild Condition 40,306 (78%)
    Serious or Critical 11,567 (22%)

    Resolved Cases: 27,901
    Recovered 25,272 (91%)
    Deaths 2,629 (9%)


    See also the ‘Daily Increase’ plot at:

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

    that shows that for the last six days the number of 'New Recovered' cases is larger than 'New Confirmed' cases by a factor close to 2. This means that at least China was able to arrest the epidemic.

    Assuming you believe the official number. I certainly hope it’s true.

    • Agree: utu, Mustapha Mond
  77. @songbird
    Technically, all China really needs to do is to dub and censor Japanese and Korean stuff. That should keep them out of the globohomo sphere, in the short term.

    Though, it is like oil. Strategically, it is better to have your own supply. And only they have the scale to make blockbusters.

    Japanese and Korean pop culture is pretty feminine in my opinion, it needs to be avoided at all costs

    • Replies: @songbird
    I agree that there is subversive tendency to feminize men in Japan and Korea, but that's what the censors are for.

    I don't know where Japan, China, and Korea are ranked on a scale of sex differentiation in behavior and clothing, but I think Japan is quite notable for being much more differentiated than the West. I would guess that it is easily more differentiated than China, since it lacked the influence of communism.

    Maybe, someone can correct me if I'm wrong, but I think that in China girls at school often don't wear uniforms that include skirts. It has occurred to me that the skirt uniform might be part of Japan's success over the West, in the perpetuation of traditional sex relations, though perhaps it may be more deeply routed in psychobiology.

    On the street-level in Japan, you definitely see many more young women wearing skirts than in the West. It's not just the schools. The culture of the schools gets repeated on TV and in the movies, so normal entertainment amplifies it.

    I'm guessing that this transmania doesn't even exist in Japan.
  78. @Peter Frost
    I agree that many Chinese people will die and probably many people elsewhere in East Asia. I also agree that the coronavirus will get blamed for the coming global recession (which was coming anyway).

    Outside East Asia, the death toll will be comparable to what we see with a typical flu epidemic. Keep in mind that many people die every year because of influenza, no matter how mild it is.

    To date, no one has disproved the study by Zhao et al., who found that Chinese lung tissue is five times more receptive to coronoviral infections than lung tissue from non-Asian donors. Yes, there was only one Chinese donor in that study, but the chances are very low that the same normal distribution would produce such an extreme outlier.

    Most coronaviruses are mild. I suspect that a process of coevolution has caused the Chinese population to become much more receptive to these viruses, perhaps as a means to boost immunity to more serious pulmonary infections, like tuberculosis and pneumonia. Furthermore, I suspect that modern sanitation has opened a Pandora's box by reducing regular exposure to mild pulmonary infections. Unwittingly, the Chinese population has been left defenseless in the face of the current deadly infection.

    If we go back to the Spanish flu of 1918, China was one of the few areas where the flu killed relatively few people. How come? I suspect that the Chinese people had some kind of natural defense against serious pulmonary infections that has since been largely removed … with the best of intentions.

    > I suspect that the Chinese people had some kind of natural defense against serious pulmonary infections that has since been largely removed

    Really?? The fatality of the 2009 H1N1 swine flu

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2009_flu_pandemic_by_country

    NfatalCN = 800, perMCapitaCN = 0.58
    NfatalCA = 429, perMCapitaCA = 11.82
    perMCapitaCN/perMCapitaCA = 0.049

    NfatalUS = 3433, perMCapitaUS = 10.59
    perMCapitaCN/perMCapitaUS = 0.055

    Swine flu originated from US. Originating country usually was unprepared and taking a big hit and other countries controlled entry. So is the case of COVID19 for China.

    It has been reported in refereed paper that people with some gene variants are more susceptable to SARS.03 and most probably also to SARS-CoV2. As proxied by rs4804803 SNP,

    https://www.snpedia.com/index.php/Rs4804803
    SARS Coronavirus
    Thus, SARS patients with the AA genotype have a 60% greater chance of a poor prognosis than GG or AG patients [PMID 20359516].

    The observed Odd Ratio OR for SARS.03 is 1.60, i.e. on average for every infected person with genos GG or AG there could be 1.6 corresponding person with geno AA.

    From the 1KGP data, the Chinese fraction with geno AA, CHB.AA=0.874, for Whi CEU.AA=0.624, thus the weighted Odd Ratio OR between the two pops is OR=1.109. So on average when the virus is well dispersed, if 1.109 Chinese perished there could be 1 Whi deceased. If it is not yet well dispersed, then it cannot be concluded that the difference is due to genetics. Incidentally, some experts claimed that 60% of global population could be infected by SARS.CoV2. From 1KGP data, World.AA=61.3%.

    Compare to other diseases, OR of 1.109 is small. For the swine flu the observed OR is about 0.05 or the reciprocal Whi/CHB ratio 20.0

  79. @Naill
    Isn’t it suspicious that Italy has been hit so hard? Isn’t suspicious that South Korea has been hit so hard? Isn’t it suspicious how pro-Chinese Cambodia hasn’t been hit so hard?

    If after planting viruses into the 2 enemy territories of China and Iran, the "planter" would hope and expect a lot of direct damage.

    As for the indirect damage, it is outside of their control.

    If after planting viruses into the 2 enemy territories of China and Iran, the “planter” would hope and expect a lot of direct damage.

    As for the indirect damage, it is outside of their control.

    For an American bioweapon able to paralyse China, the alleged mastermind appears rather incompetent.

    https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/trump-budget-proposes-cuts-global-health-amid-global/story?id=68911515

    https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/world/covid19-coronavirus-united-states-faulty-test-kits-12429566

    https://www.cnbc.com/2020/02/21/only-three-us-states-can-test-for-coronavirus-says-public-lab-group.html

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/coronavirus-diamond-princess-cruise-americans/2020/02/20/b6f54cae-5279-11ea-b119-4faabac6674f_story.html

    • Replies: @Alfred
    For an American bioweapon able to paralyse China, the alleged mastermind appears rather incompetent.

    No one suggested that the USA is competent.

    The Neocons killed Soleimani. When Trump found out, he claimed it as his own. The perpetrators had no idea that this catalyst would lead to them being eventually expelled from Syria and Iraq.

    Last week, a US convoy in Syria had to be rescued from the locals by the Russians. But you won't find that in your lying MSM.

    In Syria, Russian Army called to the rescue by its US "colleagues"
  80. @Anon 2
    I’m not an M.D. so it’s not clear to me why India, despite even lower standards
    of public hygiene than China, is not known as an exporter of major epidemics.
    In China until recently people were known to urinate and sometimes even to
    defecate in public. In India, it’s even worse - this kind of behavior, as we all know,
    has not been eradicated at all.

    Is it that (1) India is protected by being heavily vegetarian? In India, unlike in
    China, people don’t consume bats, dogs, cats, and such delicacies as the bulls’
    and horses’ penises; (2) The flu viruses cannot survive long in a tropical
    climate.

    As I mentioned before, the Chinese culture has never gone through the
    cleansing Enlightenment stage (Age of Reason) so its cosmology is
    superstitious through and through. For example, many Chinese, even
    those with advanced degrees, believe that 2020, being the year of the Metal
    Rat, is supposed to attract to itself certain events, incl. plagues and
    locust infestations. It may seem surprising that even getting Ph.D.’s in
    physics or mathematics can leave the deeper portions of the mind
    dark and primitive in countries such as China, Japan, and India,
    and even Germany, Russia, and Scandinavia where the purification by
    Enlightenment was rather superficial. No wonder that Russia erupted
    in an orgy of Bolshevism and Germany in the bloodbath of Nazism.

    Putting aside the bioweapons angle for a while, it seems India doesn’t export these novel epidemics because they don’t eat exotic meats.

    All these weird and wonderful diseases seem to start when humans eat unconventional meats, ebola was from Africans eating monkeys iirc.

    The types of behaviours you describe only result in the proliferation of ‘vanilla’ diseases like malaria, cholera and dysentery.

  81. @Hyperborean

    Isn’t it also rather suspicious that Iran has been hit so hard? So the two countries in the world most subject to current American hostility just tend to be especially “unlucky”…
     
    Isn't it suspicious that Italy has been hit so hard? Isn't suspicious that South Korea has been hit so hard? Isn't it suspicious how pro-Chinese Cambodia hasn't been hit so hard?

    hmmm, suspicious, suspicious...

    If over the past 200 years scientists had cherry-picked evidence as eagerly as Mr. Unz, science would not have developed beyond the level of voodoo.

    • Replies: @anonymous coward

    ... science would not have developed beyond the level of voodoo.
     
    > implying
  82. @vot tak
    "medical stuffs" "many stuffs"

    Are these "stuffs" the material put in stuffed animals sold at toys-r-us?

    Ok, English is not my first language. Big deal. Do you need a formal apology?

    • Replies: @RadicalCenter
    Your English is excellent — better than my proficiency in any foreign language. I know German reasonably well, yet I’d be glad to write in German as well as you write in English.
  83. Humanitarian issues aside, older people dying at increased rate can obviously be beneficial for the world economy

  84. ‘Corona Will Kill Millions & Crater the World Economy’

    I haven’t taken the time to see if the author was joking or really means it.

    But of course the title is wrong. Coronavirus may be used as a scapegoat for bringing down ‘the economy’, and it will not kill millions, since if it would have, we wouldn’t have seen the pathetic numbers that are ‘out there’ trying to scare us into believing that corona is for real.

    In terms of burden of proof:

    Show me how many people had or have coronavirus (we don’t know, all we know are numbers from admitted people)

    Show me that coronavirus is the cause of death in those who died (we don’t know, all we know is that people with lots of comorbidity died, and if corona is the final cause is unknown)

    The quarantine measures of China are excessive. But who says that they were needed or that these measures are just a big side-show to be used as explanation that China’s economy is imploding?

    What Corona surely did is that the Hong Kong protests suddenly stopped. For me that is an alternative explanation why China went along with this corona virus meme.

    But if you want to believe that coronavirus is going to get ya, please keep in mind that all the news from coronavirus comes from the same media that tried to make you believe that Muslims were going to get ya, Bolshewiks, Facists, Socialists or (specialty of UR) Jews.

    It pays to keep an open mind, but not so open that your brains fall out

  85. A lot of people are saying that the WHO is negligent for not calling this a pandemic. Some people claim that China is putting pressure on the WHO or that the WHO is “in the pockets” of China.

    This is manifestly untrue. If the WHO were to declare this a pandemic, they would stand to gain financially as this article proves.

    Half-Billion $ Pandemic Derivatives | Armstrong Economics

    • Replies: @Father O'Hara
    Personally, I couldn't care less what some aging rock stars think about an epidemic! Let em stick to music!
  86. @Ron Unz
    Well, personally I think the jury is still out whether East Asians are far more vulnerable to the new coronavirus than whites. The outbreaks in Iran and Italy shift the likelihood somewhat, but it's still early. Personally, I think the evidence from that cruise ship might be most definitive.

    But if whites are indeed as vulnerable, I'd think that the West might be hit much harder than China. After all, can we possibly imagine the sort of national lock-down that China has implemented, apparently with considerable success?

    And I'm still very suspicious about the circumstances of the outbreak. It hit China just before Lunar New Year, the absolutely worst possible time, and the epicenter was Wuhan, a key transport hub. It really seems an *astonishing* coincidence that 300 American military servicemen had been visiting Wuhan just prior to the outbreak, at a peak of international tension.

    How would Americans react if 300 PRC officers had visited Chicago, and immediately afterwards, a deadly new plague broke out in that city, with a major risk of spreading throughout the country?

    Isn't it also rather suspicious that Iran has been hit so hard? So the two countries in the world most subject to current American hostility just tend to be especially "unlucky"...

    As for "soft power," I suspect it largely reflects a heavily-lagging indicator of economic/political power, only somewhat shifted by considerations of pop-culture. If China continues on its economic/political trajectory, I think it will have plenty of soft power 30-40 years down the road. And if American society/economy collapses, so soon afterward will our soft power, ignorant rap-stars and basketball players notwithstanding.

    Isn’t it also rather suspicious that Iran has been hit so hard? So the two countries in the world most subject to current American hostility just tend to be especially “unlucky”…

    Iran’s largest trade partner is China. There’s an outbreak in Japan, South Korea, and Italy. There’ll be an outbreak in the rest of Europe and the USA shortly. I don’t think this is very meaningful, next year no-one will remember which country got it the second time.

  87. @Philip Owen
    It's the precursor of pneumonia and heart attacks rather than a kiler itself. I suspect that if I hadn't been so fit that I would have had a heart attack rather than crippling angina from a sudden 95% blockage, 300 m into a run.

    I hope “m” doesn’t mean miles. Heart attack indeed!

  88. @Dmitry
    Film production in Russia became a way to cut the budget, or take some money with "creative accounting".

    So this decline from Mosfilm, to the shit produced now, is a scary decline. In the 1970s, Russian films were considered everywhere to be one of the best three in the world (along with maybe Japanese and America), and already we just one and a half generation later, and it's amazing shit.

    That said, I like Zygantsev, and also Yuri Bykov has maybe future talent. There's still some remains of talented people.

    Modern Russian pop music
     
    There is are distinctive techniques, melody and sound in Russian pop (not in your example, though which is just eurodance), which is better than you can say for Kpop. Although this sound and melodies of modern Russian pop was developed in the 1970s.

    Also 1980s Soviet electronic/synth music, was already one of the coolest ones in the world. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oIfKmeSq6J4

    And I even prefer the sound of old pop music of the 1980s...
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8YBu9ymbMCQ

    You just like old stuff. 🙂 Those tracks were pretty neat. On the dance music front, Russia was pretty innovative, yeah.

    This song is from the 90’s, and was copied by a Western band (ATC – Around the World), which exploded in popularity.

    Sergey Lazarev also did well in Eurovision not too long ago. But politics prevents Russians from winning.

  89. @Hail
    I am interested in what effect this will have on the PRC's soft power.

    Soft power is universally acknowledged as real, if amorphous and hard to quantify.

    I'd say China was making slow but steady gains in the 2010s, and then, poetically, in the very last week of the decade, this new virus began to get mentions, setting the stage for a Q1 2020 that has got to be among the worst for China's image in a long time; possibly since June 1989.

    Effects on image / soft power: On one hand, the virus started in China, apparently because of "non-First World" behavior by some Chinese at that live-animal market; and there is no way to make the PRC regime look good in its initial reaction (the cover-up, including the secret-police's threatening of the doctor who discovered it, the doctor in his 30s who later died of the virus). On the other hand, their efforts, as Anatoly writes here, have been effective within China itself at containment.

    Net effect on China's soft power for the 2020s?

    I am interested in what effect this will have on the PRC’s soft power.
    Soft power is universally acknowledged as real, if amorphous and hard to quantify.

    I am skeptical how is “soft power” supposed to help the producing country. People all over the world watch Japanese anime – does it make them to support Japanese state and government?
    People all over the world watch Brazilian telenovelas – does it make them to support Brazilian state and government?
    People all over the world love gangsta rap, superhero movies and other products of American culture, does it increase love of America? 😉

    • Replies: @Just Passing Through
    Realpolitik dictates how top-level decision making occurs, soft power is pretty irrelevant there.

    But it might make it less easy for one nation to incite it's populace against anothers. If Westerners are immersed in anime, it will be less easy to demonise the Japanese using propaganda.
    , @Jason Liu

    People all over the world watch Japanese anime – does it make them to support Japanese state and government?
     
    Yes, it absolutely does. Same with American entertainment. And not in small numbers, either.
  90. @Dmitry

    China has almost no cultural exports
     
    I guess China's lack of cultural production is predictable from their economic and social disasters of the 20th and 19th century. China was too economically poor and undeveloped to dedicate much resources on creating culture, until the 21st century. Others might argue that the cause of low cultural production is fear from a only nominally communist - but still very strict and controlling - government. Yet the counterexample, is the high level of cultural production of the USSR.

    In the USSR, there was maintained still the highest level of cultural production, despite the damage authorities have made to literature and painting. It's in the last 30 years, with a capitalist system, that the cultural production in Russia has been declined, more than in 70 years of commmunism, which had included execution and oppression of many of the most talented creative professionals, as well as deformation of many others' art to match stupid political requirements. And despite this difficult governance, great films were made both in popularist and elitist genres, great music created which is beloved around the world, and even some good books.

    In the USSR, there was maintained still the highest level of cultural production, despite the damage authorities have made to literature and painting.

    Everyone knows that education is communist plot.
    Damn the commies.

    • Replies: @Wielgus
    At least in Europe, bookshops seem to attract left of centre people more than right of centre. The books on sale also tend in the same direction. Whereas the "throw Communists from helicopters" crowd rarely come across as bookish and may actually have some trouble with reading.
    A Greek arrested by police during the 1967 military coup period noted that the police looked at his bookshelves and paid special attention to some of his books, on the principle that every big book must be Communist. :)
  91. 24-02-2020
    China coronavirus hype straight out of the CDC flu playbook by Jon Rappoport

    In today’s episode of Numbskulls and Deceivers in Medical Science, I ask the question: Are Chinese researchers copying an old CDC scam, or have they independently come up with their own lies which happen to mirror CDC hype?

    https://blog.nomorefakenews.com/2020/02/24/china-coronavirus-hype-straight-out-of-the-cdc-flu-playbook/

    • Replies: @Tsar Nicholas

    China coronavirus hype straight out of the CDC flu playbook by Jon Rappoport
     
    While I have appreciated Jon's work, I think he has gotten to the point where he seems to think that there is no such thing as infectious disease. I just don't find it credible to think that the Chinese have shut down their economy and cancelled their party congress because of some hype.
  92. @jay
    I am surprised that it isn't spreading like wildfire in India

    I am surprised that it isn’t spreading like wildfire in India

    It probably is, but if you don’t test for it you don’t have an outbreak.

    The US says there is no evidence of community transmision. Yeah, and they have only tested 414 people. It may be that Indians (or Americans) are already dying from it but the cause is being recorded as pneumonia, influenza or something else.

    • Replies: @Just Passing Through
    No test = no virus. Just putting all deaths down to normal flu is a good strategy to avoid panic and other nonsense. As Katlin shows, this virus mainly kills old people and barely affects the young. Nobody would really notice this virus if the news hadn't made such s big deal out of it.
  93. @Dr. E. Black
    24-02-2020
    China coronavirus hype straight out of the CDC flu playbook by Jon Rappoport

    In today’s episode of Numbskulls and Deceivers in Medical Science, I ask the question: Are Chinese researchers copying an old CDC scam, or have they independently come up with their own lies which happen to mirror CDC hype?

    https://blog.nomorefakenews.com/2020/02/24/china-coronavirus-hype-straight-out-of-the-cdc-flu-playbook/

    China coronavirus hype straight out of the CDC flu playbook by Jon Rappoport

    While I have appreciated Jon’s work, I think he has gotten to the point where he seems to think that there is no such thing as infectious disease. I just don’t find it credible to think that the Chinese have shut down their economy and cancelled their party congress because of some hype.

    • Replies: @Half-Jap
    Never underestimate the power of presumption. If something is assumed as indisputably true, it is the reality, and any contrary evidence or argument ludicrously absurd.
  94. @another anon

    I am interested in what effect this will have on the PRC’s soft power.
    Soft power is universally acknowledged as real, if amorphous and hard to quantify.
     
    I am skeptical how is "soft power" supposed to help the producing country. People all over the world watch Japanese anime - does it make them to support Japanese state and government?
    People all over the world watch Brazilian telenovelas - does it make them to support Brazilian state and government?
    People all over the world love gangsta rap, superhero movies and other products of American culture, does it increase love of America? ;-)

    Realpolitik dictates how top-level decision making occurs, soft power is pretty irrelevant there.

    But it might make it less easy for one nation to incite it’s populace against anothers. If Westerners are immersed in anime, it will be less easy to demonise the Japanese using propaganda.

  95. @china-russia-all-the-way
    Has anyone found an estimate for the mortality rate by an expert taking into account the lag effect and undetected cases?

    It is interesting that there is so little quantification of mortality rates as yet.

    However….

    While doing some research into the efficacy of vitamin C on COVID-19 I came across a clinical trial ongoing since Feb 11, 2020.

    Although the study has not concluded, in the body of the introduction was a reference to a JAMA report that had culled 41 infected patients for observation.

    Goto:

    https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/home

    Identifier number: NCT04264533.

    Although stated only to provide a reason for the clinical trial on C efficacy, the intro states:

    Statistics of the 41 patients with SARI published in JAMA initially showed that 13 patients were transferred into the ICU, of which 11 (85%) had ARDS and 3 (23%) had shock. Of these, 10 (77%) required mechanical ventilation support, and 2 (15%) required ECMO support. Of the above 13 patients, 5 (38%) eventually died and 7 (38%) were transferred out of the ICU. Viral pneumonia is a dangerous condition with poor clinical prognosis. For most viral infections, there is a lack of effective targeted antiviral drugs, and symptomatic supportive treatment is still the current main treatment.

    While this is not a control group nor clinical result, the reference strongly indicates that for those who are admitted to ICU ( you can find the WHO triage protocol online) a far larger percentage than currently being reported ended up on life-sustaining ventilation and/ or died.

    This example is by far worse than the proffered 1-4% used by the media.

  96. @Tsar Nicholas

    I am surprised that it isn’t spreading like wildfire in India
     
    It probably is, but if you don't test for it you don't have an outbreak.

    The US says there is no evidence of community transmision. Yeah, and they have only tested 414 people. It may be that Indians (or Americans) are already dying from it but the cause is being recorded as pneumonia, influenza or something else.

    No test = no virus. Just putting all deaths down to normal flu is a good strategy to avoid panic and other nonsense. As Katlin shows, this virus mainly kills old people and barely affects the young. Nobody would really notice this virus if the news hadn’t made such s big deal out of it.

  97. @Ron Unz


    300 American military servicemen had been visiting Wuhan just prior to the outbreak, at a peak of international tension.
     
    300 U.S. servicemen of Chinese descent visiting their parents during a National holiday when hundreds of thousands are travelling? That would be typical.
     
    No, of course not. The Military World Games were being held in Wuhan, and 300 American servicemen participated. The Wuhan viral outbreak occurred *immediately* afterwards, which seems extremely suspicious timing to me. Naturally, none of this has been reported in our totally worthless MSM:

    http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/2019-10/15/c_138473332.htm

    https://www.unz.com/article/was-the-2020-wuhan-coronavirus-an-engineered-biological-attack-on-china-by-america-for-geopolitical-advantage/

    Again, how would America react if 300 Chinese servicemen visited Dallas for an international event, and immediately afterwards a deadly---and rather mysterious---viral outbreak suddenly occurred in that city...

    I agree.

    This narrative, as suggested, is starting to take hold, as evidenced by yesterday’s published denial of these claims by the US. While the Chinese are very busy fighting the virus, it is a safe bet that they, too, are investigating the origin of the virus, which as everyone ( with a brain) knew had nothing to do with bat stew and the likelihood of it escaping a level 5 bio-hazard facility could not have been done by accident.

    If the Chinese find the allegations of US involvement true ( despite US plausible deniability) the likely result will be war, since the virus attack would be, by definition, exactly that.

    This story is bigger than just a possible pandemic.

    • Replies: @Biff

    If the Chinese find the allegations of US involvement true ( despite US plausible deniability) the likely result will be war, since the virus attack would be, by definition, exactly that.
     
    There are some who believe bio-attacks have happened many times before.
    , @Gleimhart Mantooso
    The Chicoms screwed the pooch all on their own. And if the Chinese want war, they will have their psychopathic communist asses handed to them.
  98. @Cyrano

    The Russians are safe – as long as they drink vodka.

    I am in a Slavic country at present. I hope you are correct. The supermarkets here seem to dedicate 1/3 of their shelves to beverages. A bottle of Corona Extra is only $1.50. Local beer is a lot cheaper. 🙂

    However, I never cared much for beer and alcohol. I had to look up the price.

  99. As Katlin shows, this virus mainly kills old people and barely affects the young.

    Just one difficulty with your insouciance. Getting this disease once does not confer immunity. Moreover, there is some evidence that getting it once sensitises you to further infection – instead of the usual immunue response the ACE2 cells act as door keys into your cells.

    It may be that the apparent vulnerability of older people is a statistical artefact of them being more likely to die from the first onset. The second infection may be what kills more of the younger and healthier subset of the population. We need more data.

    • Replies: @Bert
    There is also the matter of evolutionary increase in virulence. A fair amount of mathematical theory exists about the evolution of virulence.

    The probability of transmission to a new host is a critical independent variable in this theory. From the review paper linked below, “The consensus of mathematical theory based around a transmission–virulence trade-off, therefore, is that increasing environmental transmission will lead to the evolution of increased virulence under most scenarios. ” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4873896/

    If Covid-19 is currently relatively benign in many individuals, that situation is not at all guaranteed going forward. And massive quarantine is a way to prevent the evolution of a more virulent strain of Covid-19.

    Insouciance is so common among youth because it is caused by ignorance, which itself is regenerated and rather little mitigated every generation.

    , @Jon Claerbout
    Thank you. Sorry I cannot provide a reference, but I believe some of that happened in 1918 when I lost my grandfather.
  100. @Tsar Nicholas

    China coronavirus hype straight out of the CDC flu playbook by Jon Rappoport
     
    While I have appreciated Jon's work, I think he has gotten to the point where he seems to think that there is no such thing as infectious disease. I just don't find it credible to think that the Chinese have shut down their economy and cancelled their party congress because of some hype.

    Never underestimate the power of presumption. If something is assumed as indisputably true, it is the reality, and any contrary evidence or argument ludicrously absurd.

  101. @Hyperborean

    If after planting viruses into the 2 enemy territories of China and Iran, the “planter” would hope and expect a lot of direct damage.

    As for the indirect damage, it is outside of their control.
     
    For an American bioweapon able to paralyse China, the alleged mastermind appears rather incompetent.

    https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/trump-budget-proposes-cuts-global-health-amid-global/story?id=68911515

    https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/world/covid19-coronavirus-united-states-faulty-test-kits-12429566

    https://www.cnbc.com/2020/02/21/only-three-us-states-can-test-for-coronavirus-says-public-lab-group.html

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/coronavirus-diamond-princess-cruise-americans/2020/02/20/b6f54cae-5279-11ea-b119-4faabac6674f_story.html

    For an American bioweapon able to paralyse China, the alleged mastermind appears rather incompetent.

    No one suggested that the USA is competent.

    The Neocons killed Soleimani. When Trump found out, he claimed it as his own. The perpetrators had no idea that this catalyst would lead to them being eventually expelled from Syria and Iraq.

    Last week, a US convoy in Syria had to be rescued from the locals by the Russians. But you won’t find that in your lying MSM.

    In Syria, Russian Army called to the rescue by its US “colleagues”

  102. Corona Will Kill Millions of whom? Ok Boomer, bye bye!!!!!!

    • Replies: @NoseytheDuke
    You may be right that TPTB will see an economic benefit in wiping out Boomers once they've wrung all they can out of them, but then who will help you wipe your nose or tie your shoelaces?
    , @Kim
    Re 'yes boomer'

    Do you not think it strange how willingly younger people have decided to replace their critical faculties with memes?

    It must be very convenient. Instead of forming and then expressing an opinion, you can just blurt out a meme.

    Intellectually, it is an achievement that we would normally applaud in a parrot, but not so much in a human.

  103. @Tsar Nicholas

    As Katlin shows, this virus mainly kills old people and barely affects the young.
     
    Just one difficulty with your insouciance. Getting this disease once does not confer immunity. Moreover, there is some evidence that getting it once sensitises you to further infection - instead of the usual immunue response the ACE2 cells act as door keys into your cells.

    It may be that the apparent vulnerability of older people is a statistical artefact of them being more likely to die from the first onset. The second infection may be what kills more of the younger and healthier subset of the population. We need more data.

    There is also the matter of evolutionary increase in virulence. A fair amount of mathematical theory exists about the evolution of virulence.

    The probability of transmission to a new host is a critical independent variable in this theory. From the review paper linked below, “The consensus of mathematical theory based around a transmission–virulence trade-off, therefore, is that increasing environmental transmission will lead to the evolution of increased virulence under most scenarios. ” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4873896/

    If Covid-19 is currently relatively benign in many individuals, that situation is not at all guaranteed going forward. And massive quarantine is a way to prevent the evolution of a more virulent strain of Covid-19.

    Insouciance is so common among youth because it is caused by ignorance, which itself is regenerated and rather little mitigated every generation.

    • Replies: @MarkU

    There is also the matter of evolutionary increase in virulence. A fair amount of mathematical theory exists about the evolution of virulence.
     
    Does it indeed? Are there people out there who believe that virulence is an asset for a virus? How can it be an advantage to kill your own host population? Probably the most successful viral disease of all time in humans is the common cold. Why so? because it doesn't kill its own hosts!
  104. @Half-Jap
    Generally agreed,
    Yet, correct me if I am wrong, but most do not die of influenza these days, while instead pneumonia that can and do accompany it. They seem to get bundled into one as the flu, though.

    While technically a true statement, it’s more of a semantic difference.
    Pneumonia is a life threatening condition along with the associated opportunistic infections. And it’s more or less directly caused by influenza. If someone pushed another person off a cliff, you would say that it was murder, rather than pointing out that the fundamental force of gravity and weakness of the falling man’s bones was what did him in.

    For a more medical example, it’s similar to the case of HIV/AIDS. By itself, HIV is a virus that gradually wipes out the immune system over a decade or so. In all cases, it’s either an opportunistic infection or cancer that actually shuts the body down permanently. You can trace the causes as far back as you wish, but the HIV virus is the first pathogen entering the body that ultimately results in its demise.

  105. @china-russia-all-the-way
    I would group the world into 3 classes for evaluating changes in Chinese soft power.

    1. Developing regions where engagement is overwhelming (Central Asia, Southeast Asia, Africa)
    2. Rest of developing world (India, Latin America, Middle East)
    3. Western world (US and Europe)

    Many important countries don't quite fit into these categories like Russia (non-Western, self sufficient white country), Pakistan (long standing ally), Japan (non-Western, default enmity towards China), South Korea (a country that for entirely its own security reasons and geography is coming to a juncture and may decide to abandon the US for China).

    The last decade saw Chinese soft power considerably drop in (3) but rise in (1) and (2) due to the strength of China's economy, increasing technical achievements by Chinese companies and universities, export of capital by Chinese investor and banks, and lack of human rights preening by the countries themselves. In (1) there is both recognition that China is transforming the landscape but also caution about exposure level. In Africa, China's prominence makes it a target for counter narratives which Africans are more susceptible to than other 3rd world countries (colonial trade relationship, debt trap, racism, etc.) But others in (1) are not as interested as Africa in blaming China for ills. Nonetheless, the higher profile of China in any region of (1) comes with higher exposure to counter narratives in large part because of the propaganda efforts of Washington (and to less impact Delhi). The counter narratives gain traction easily because in both (1) and (2) there is low trust of China. That lack of trust has not improved in the 2010s despite the huge increase in (1) and (2) in respect for China as a capable and achieving nation.

    The Belt and Road Initiative is intended to change perceptions worldwide. The brand China wants to project through BRI is an image as the great connector of the infrastructure hungry developing world. That means building cross-border pipelines and transport networks to bring together Eurasia, Africa, and Latin America. This brand image has excited business communities and the political classes of (1) and (2) but has not made headway in popular perception in those same places. If this brand image can stick then I think (1) and (2) will see China as more benign and thereby more trustworthy (seeing China as the connector, reduces perceptions of China as belligerent).

    Coronavirus has tainted the image of China as the great connector of the 3rd world. It has even tainted cross-border connectivity. How badly tainted depends on whether the situation in Iran can be contained.

    I see that a lot of people use volume of pop culture exported as the metric for soft power. I think of it in a different way. I see soft power as revolving around 2 questions.

    1) How respected is a country for its capabilities?
    2) How benign is a country perceived?

    America is of course very respected for achievements for putting a man on the moon, richest economy, on and on. America is also considered benign. The world is aware of US aggression in the Middle East but still, at the end of the day, America is considered benign because of its anti-racism. If 1 million Muslims were given residence in America in the 15 years after September 11, then America isn’t truly bad at heart? I think that’s how the thinking goes.

    China is obviously not as capable as the US and struggles to be thought of as benign. However, America pays a heavy price for its soft power, going from 90% to 60% white in a span of 70 years. So having crummy soft power is not too bad.

    • Replies: @Znzn
    South Korea has 20 times the soft power of China frankly speaking.
    , @Just Passing Through
    Soft power is determined by the media, most of which is Western owned as the West pioneers the art of mass media in the first place.

    Japan has soft power due to things like anime, nintendo and robots. I also think some admire Japan very much due to the war America fought against them, interestingly Japanese war crimes do not take the centre stage of the discussion as is the case with National Socialist Germany.
    , @Gleimhart Mantooso
    I consider America malignant because of its "anti-racism."
  106. @Hyperborean

    Isn’t it also rather suspicious that Iran has been hit so hard? So the two countries in the world most subject to current American hostility just tend to be especially “unlucky”…
     
    Isn't it suspicious that Italy has been hit so hard? Isn't suspicious that South Korea has been hit so hard? Isn't it suspicious how pro-Chinese Cambodia hasn't been hit so hard?

    hmmm, suspicious, suspicious...

    There is a considerable Chinese work-force in northern Italy – thousands of Chinese who are working in sub-contract sweat-shops, not least for the Italian fashion-industry.

    I must say, I’m astonished, that this well-known fact gets no coverage, now that Corona hits – in northern Italy.

    • Replies: @Kim
    Yes, that was a nice sub-plot in "Gomorra", the best mafia show ever made.
    , @Dieter Kief
    From the German "handelsblatt" via google translate about Chinese businesses in northern Italy:

    2,500 Chinese textile companies were registered in Prato last year alone - almost twice as many as three years earlier. And some of them are already preparing for the next revolution: the step into the more expensive and high-margin segment, as Xu Qiu Lin shows.

    He came to Italy 20 years ago. “As the youngest of four children, there was no place for me in the parental company in Wenzhou,” he says. And so he packed his bags and made his way to Prato, where he could count on the support of his compatriots. Today he is the first Chinese member of the Confindustria industry association, the Italian version of the BDI.

    His company Giupel sells more than 300,000 jackets annually and generates double-digit millions. Some of the goods, especially leather jackets, are made in Prato, while down jackets come from Shanghai, where Xu Qiu Lin also has a factory.


    Last year he presented his first noble collection at the renowned men's fashion fair Pitti Uomo and has also found a prominent advertising medium for this: Gabriel Batistuta, the Argentine ex-football striker of the Fiorentina club. "Gabriele Batistuta Menswear" is what Xu Qiu Lin called his high-quality men's fashion line.

    The man is one of the flagship Chinese in Prato not only because of the quality of his goods. The local mayor also praises Xu Qiu Lin paying taxes, working hours in his company, and legally employing Italians and Chinese.



    There are now more than 25,000 Chinese living in the city of 180,000, and they don't just work in the fashion industry.

    , @Marshall Lentini
    You're actually astonished it is suppressed?
    , @Anatoly Karlin
    Moldbugman had an interesting thread about that. Last save for Welton? :) Though first Italian dead was confirmed to be ethnic Italian. And would still need to account for Iran.

    https://twitter.com/moldbugman/status/1231981495352348672
    , @Matra
    Yes, even the demonstrations (and on at least a couple of occasions riots) riots by Chinese settlers in Italy in previous years have received little international coverage. Interesting though looking at comments both here and elsewhere just how many Americans with White Nationalist leanings are quick to come to the defence of the Chinese no matter what they do. Could it be that the Chinese have now overtaken the Japanese as the favourite people of colour of the American wignat? Stay tuned.
    , @GamecockJerry
    Absolutely true, especially in Venice. My wife and I took Italian lessons before we went to Venice and basically never needed it as most of the shops and restaurant workers were Chinese or S Asian. Very disappointing.

    This past year we were in Stresa (N Italy) and Sicily. Still mostly Italians and few Asians.
  107. @Buzz Mohawk
    I heard it's already been decided that the official death toll when it's all over will be six million.

    Architects are busy drawing up plans for taxpayer-funded museums, and legislators are writing bills to outlaw questions about the virus. A string of Hollywood movies about the pandemic will follow. Mandatory lessons we be added to public school curricula, starting in kindergarten.

    No soap? No lampshades? No automated death-by-masturbation machines?

  108. @Dieter Kief
    There is a considerable Chinese work-force in northern Italy - thousands of Chinese who are working in sub-contract sweat-shops, not least for the Italian fashion-industry.

    I must say, I'm astonished, that this well-known fact gets no coverage, now that Corona hits - in northern Italy.

    Yes, that was a nice sub-plot in “Gomorra”, the best mafia show ever made.

  109. @Dieter Kief
    There is a considerable Chinese work-force in northern Italy - thousands of Chinese who are working in sub-contract sweat-shops, not least for the Italian fashion-industry.

    I must say, I'm astonished, that this well-known fact gets no coverage, now that Corona hits - in northern Italy.

    From the German “handelsblatt” via google translate about Chinese businesses in northern Italy:

    2,500 Chinese textile companies were registered in Prato last year alone – almost twice as many as three years earlier. And some of them are already preparing for the next revolution: the step into the more expensive and high-margin segment, as Xu Qiu Lin shows.

    He came to Italy 20 years ago. “As the youngest of four children, there was no place for me in the parental company in Wenzhou,” he says. And so he packed his bags and made his way to Prato, where he could count on the support of his compatriots. Today he is the first Chinese member of the Confindustria industry association, the Italian version of the BDI.

    His company Giupel sells more than 300,000 jackets annually and generates double-digit millions. Some of the goods, especially leather jackets, are made in Prato, while down jackets come from Shanghai, where Xu Qiu Lin also has a factory.

    Last year he presented his first noble collection at the renowned men’s fashion fair Pitti Uomo and has also found a prominent advertising medium for this: Gabriel Batistuta, the Argentine ex-football striker of the Fiorentina club. “Gabriele Batistuta Menswear” is what Xu Qiu Lin called his high-quality men’s fashion line.

    The man is one of the flagship Chinese in Prato not only because of the quality of his goods. The local mayor also praises Xu Qiu Lin paying taxes, working hours in his company, and legally employing Italians and Chinese.

    There are now more than 25,000 Chinese living in the city of 180,000, and they don’t just work in the fashion industry.

  110. Some considerations wrt fatality rate:

    1. Many severe cases in the Chinese CDC study were still unresolved by the time it was published. I doubt that CFR for younger people in that sample would go apocalyptically high, but it wouldn’t remain at 0.2% either. At the same time many mild and asymptomatic cases that would be more prevalent in younger people were never diagnosed. Seems like a case of garbage in, garbage out to me. The only real conclusion is that younger people are a lot less susceptible, but that was observable from day 1 and is in line with 2003 SARS fatality figures.

    2. The state of immune system at the moment of infection seems to play a big role. Initial depressed lymphocyte count could spell the difference between a week long flu and severe viral pneumonia with acute kidney injury. Big implications for the third world populations, chronically sleep deprived shift workers, recently recovered or still suffering from other infections, etc.

    3. I probably don’t need to mention it, but early supportive care is important.

    Now, I believe that the consequences of Corona could be much larger than mortalities from Corona itself and that’s not limited to triggering the global recession that was long overdue as is. From the top of my head some possibilities are:

    1. Any clinical setting would become a nightmare to be in for the foreseeable future.

    2. Even a bad seasonal flu epidemic can push a healthcare system to its peak capacity. A turboflu like Corona would just shatter it. Some smaller countries in Europe have less than 500 ICU beds, at least 75% of which are in use at any given time. People with otherwise treatable conditions would start dying even without being infected.

    3. Corona would decimate upper echelons of bureaucracy and academia in much of the first world. Regardless of whether you think it’s a good thing or not, the impact would be ‘uge.

    4. Consequences for the undeveloped countries. With the global economic downturn, essential goods exporters starting to hoard and a new disease raging through the population, what would happen to the poorer countries? The possibilities are endless. Staying on topic of disease, I seriously doubt that 2014 West African Ebola epidemic or 2018 Kerala Nipah outbreak would be contained as easily (if contained at all) in the context of Corona pandemic. The Ebola outbreak still isn’t fully contained in Eastern Congo as far as I can tell. That could be a spark that turns into a fire if left unchecked due to bigger problems.

  111. @china-russia-all-the-way
    I see that a lot of people use volume of pop culture exported as the metric for soft power. I think of it in a different way. I see soft power as revolving around 2 questions.

    1) How respected is a country for its capabilities?
    2) How benign is a country perceived?

    America is of course very respected for achievements for putting a man on the moon, richest economy, on and on. America is also considered benign. The world is aware of US aggression in the Middle East but still, at the end of the day, America is considered benign because of its anti-racism. If 1 million Muslims were given residence in America in the 15 years after September 11, then America isn't truly bad at heart? I think that's how the thinking goes.

    China is obviously not as capable as the US and struggles to be thought of as benign. However, America pays a heavy price for its soft power, going from 90% to 60% white in a span of 70 years. So having crummy soft power is not too bad.

    South Korea has 20 times the soft power of China frankly speaking.

    • Replies: @china-russia-all-the-way
    South Korea has 20 times more worldwide media impact than China. But the point of my post is I don't see cultural exports as the metric for soft power. I look at soft power as revolving around 2 questions. Cultural exports can influence the answers to 2 questions. But in the grand scheme of things cultural exports like entertainment really aren't that important for soft power (according to the way I look at it).
    , @c matt
    Interesting re S. Korea soft power. The spouse has been watching K dramas/romcoms lately, and they consistently hint at N-S Korean re-unification.
  112. @Alfred
    A lot of people are saying that the WHO is negligent for not calling this a pandemic. Some people claim that China is putting pressure on the WHO or that the WHO is "in the pockets" of China.

    This is manifestly untrue. If the WHO were to declare this a pandemic, they would stand to gain financially as this article proves.

    https://d33wjekvz3zs1a.cloudfront.net/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/World-Bank.jpg

    Half-Billion $ Pandemic Derivatives | Armstrong Economics

    Personally, I couldn’t care less what some aging rock stars think about an epidemic! Let em stick to music!

  113. Could it be a solution for many of muh Africa problems?

    • Replies: @Alfred
    Could it be a solution for many of much of Africa's problems?

    Black Africans have superb immune systems. No one can survive there otherwise.

    A study released today in Cell has found that Africans have a stronger immune response to infection when compared to Europeans, in part because early Europeans interbred with Neanderthals. We talked to lead author Lluis Quintana-Murci of Institut Pasteur and CNRS in Paris to find out why there are both positives and negatives to having a weaker immune system.

    Europeans have weaker immune systems than Africans, in part because of Neanderthal DNA
    , @neutral
    Better if it was a solution to the jewish problem.
    , @Truth
    Probably not, but if we're lucky, it could be a solution to your bill problems.
  114. @china-russia-all-the-way
    I see that a lot of people use volume of pop culture exported as the metric for soft power. I think of it in a different way. I see soft power as revolving around 2 questions.

    1) How respected is a country for its capabilities?
    2) How benign is a country perceived?

    America is of course very respected for achievements for putting a man on the moon, richest economy, on and on. America is also considered benign. The world is aware of US aggression in the Middle East but still, at the end of the day, America is considered benign because of its anti-racism. If 1 million Muslims were given residence in America in the 15 years after September 11, then America isn't truly bad at heart? I think that's how the thinking goes.

    China is obviously not as capable as the US and struggles to be thought of as benign. However, America pays a heavy price for its soft power, going from 90% to 60% white in a span of 70 years. So having crummy soft power is not too bad.

    Soft power is determined by the media, most of which is Western owned as the West pioneers the art of mass media in the first place.

    Japan has soft power due to things like anime, nintendo and robots. I also think some admire Japan very much due to the war America fought against them, interestingly Japanese war crimes do not take the centre stage of the discussion as is the case with National Socialist Germany.

    • Replies: @china-russia-all-the-way
    Soft power is determined to a large extent by media. But so much of what is talked about in this thread is entertainment. Who cares about entertainment in terms of soft power? All this talk of Japanese cartoons and video games seems silly.

    For example yoga's popularity doesn't boost India's soft power in a meaningful way. However, it's huge, high quality English language newspaper industry does. In a conflict, India's version of events will have an edge. If India's version prevails, it could box in the other side in on the world stage (e.g. forcing withdrawal in the face of widespread global diplomatic condemnation).
    , @Europe Europa
    I agree, I would say that the pass Japan gets on its WW2 war crimes is largely a result of its considerable amount of soft power. Most people like Japanese culture to the point they find it difficult to see them in the context of being the "bad guys", not so with Germany and German culture.
  115. Coincidences or conspiracies?

    1. Plum Island Animal Disease Center (known research on tick-borne diseases) — Lyme, Connecticut (1st case of Lyme Disease): 27 kilometers (Lyme is nearest town, directly across Long Island Sound from Plum Island)

    2. Porton Down (UK biological/chemical weapons research facility) — Skripal home: 13 kilometers

    3. Wuhan Institute of Virology (only Chinese biosafety level 4 facility) — Wuhan South China Seafood Market (where virus originated and/or was spread): 13 kilometers

  116. @Znzn
    South Korea has 20 times the soft power of China frankly speaking.

    South Korea has 20 times more worldwide media impact than China. But the point of my post is I don’t see cultural exports as the metric for soft power. I look at soft power as revolving around 2 questions. Cultural exports can influence the answers to 2 questions. But in the grand scheme of things cultural exports like entertainment really aren’t that important for soft power (according to the way I look at it).

    • Replies: @Skeptikal
    What are the two questions?
  117. @Just Passing Through
    Soft power is determined by the media, most of which is Western owned as the West pioneers the art of mass media in the first place.

    Japan has soft power due to things like anime, nintendo and robots. I also think some admire Japan very much due to the war America fought against them, interestingly Japanese war crimes do not take the centre stage of the discussion as is the case with National Socialist Germany.

    Soft power is determined to a large extent by media. But so much of what is talked about in this thread is entertainment. Who cares about entertainment in terms of soft power? All this talk of Japanese cartoons and video games seems silly.

    For example yoga’s popularity doesn’t boost India’s soft power in a meaningful way. However, it’s huge, high quality English language newspaper industry does. In a conflict, India’s version of events will have an edge. If India’s version prevails, it could box in the other side in on the world stage (e.g. forcing withdrawal in the face of widespread global diplomatic condemnation).

  118. @songbird

    I am interested in what effect this will have on the PRC’s soft power.
     
    If you are talking about the schema of China in the heads of the average African, etc., then it won't be but the tiniest blip. I am sure it doesn't even register in many people of the third world.

    In the West, China will remain the big non-white country, so it will be lionized, as people are attracted to power, and it is relatively safe to reference.

    If we are speaking of the decade as a whole, it is microscopically trivial compared to the effect another decade of immigration will have on the West. Western Europe may be facing its 11th hour, right now. There are rumors that the UK will do away with the next census.

    If you are talking about the schema of China in the heads of the average African, etc., then it won’t be but the tiniest blip. I am sure it doesn’t even register in many people of the third world.

    This is absolutely incorrect. China looms very large in the minds of the African middle class. Some believe China will transform Africa economically. Others believe Africa will be colonized by China. Good or bad, the African middle classes (broadly defined) have strong opinions about China.

  119. The effects on boomers and older generations are going to be much worse, since COVID-19 affects them much worse.

    This would be great for Russia. Nothing would lift Russia out of itself and into a new era swifter than the shuffling, where’s-the-breadline Soviet generations being killed off. May roughly forty-million flowers bloom!

  120. @Ron Unz


    300 American military servicemen had been visiting Wuhan just prior to the outbreak, at a peak of international tension.
     
    300 U.S. servicemen of Chinese descent visiting their parents during a National holiday when hundreds of thousands are travelling? That would be typical.
     
    No, of course not. The Military World Games were being held in Wuhan, and 300 American servicemen participated. The Wuhan viral outbreak occurred *immediately* afterwards, which seems extremely suspicious timing to me. Naturally, none of this has been reported in our totally worthless MSM:

    http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/2019-10/15/c_138473332.htm

    https://www.unz.com/article/was-the-2020-wuhan-coronavirus-an-engineered-biological-attack-on-china-by-america-for-geopolitical-advantage/

    Again, how would America react if 300 Chinese servicemen visited Dallas for an international event, and immediately afterwards a deadly---and rather mysterious---viral outbreak suddenly occurred in that city...

    I do not think the 300 American servicemen is particularly strong evidence because a) one person would be enough and b) the connection is obvious. Why would the perps want to leave an obvious connection?

    • Agree: SunBakedSuburb
  121. @Dieter Kief
    There is a considerable Chinese work-force in northern Italy - thousands of Chinese who are working in sub-contract sweat-shops, not least for the Italian fashion-industry.

    I must say, I'm astonished, that this well-known fact gets no coverage, now that Corona hits - in northern Italy.

    You’re actually astonished it is suppressed?

    • Replies: @Dieter Kief
    Well, I mean - Anatoly Karlin should take it into consideration.

    Except for that - I see your point. My answer in the last days to myself - whom I've been asking this question a few times: Why is it that the media and the experts don't mention this considerable Chinese workforce in northern Italy? was twofold: Of course such are the downsides of globalization, so: Shhhh, don't say a word! and b) it is some kind of a strange taboo even in Italy, that there are tens of thousands of Chinese working in northern Italy - not least, because the unemployment rate especially amongst the Italian youths, is high. So. Here you have it: Our actual globalist conundrum.
  122. @Ron Unz

    Fun theory but it would make more sense if paired with some theory of how the US took secret steps to protect its own population, e.g., slipped a vaccine in the drinking water. But it is hard to think of a plausible theory of that sort.
     
    Well, there were some early indications that the virus was especially deadly towards Chinese and perhaps East Asians rather than whites, though the picture is currently much more cloudy. But you're looking at things entirely the wrong way...

    Under normal circumstances, I would be *extremely* skeptical of a possible US biowarfare attack against China since it would be such a totally insane thing to do. But just last month, we assassinated a top Iranian leader, and much of everything our government does is totally insane. So an insane biowarfare attack would just fit into this larger pattern.

    Also, consider that a mysterious Swine Flu epidemic suddenly appeared in China during 2019, and destroyed 40% of its primary domestic meat source, certainly a highly suspicious coincidence.

    I'd very strongly recommend that people read this very lengthy article we published a week ago, which provides a vast amount of background information on the issue. The author is a highly eccentric American ex-pat living in China, and his own views should be given little weight. But he provides an enormous wealth of useful information and links, totally excluded from our worthless MSM:

    https://www.unz.com/article/was-the-2020-wuhan-coronavirus-an-engineered-biological-attack-on-china-by-america-for-geopolitical-advantage/

    “Isn’t it also rather suspicious that Iran has been hit so hard? So the two countries in the world most subject to current American hostility just tend to be especially ‘unlucky’…”

    Makes you wonder. And Italy, the third most important member of the EU, right behind Germany and France, is also being hard hit. Salvini (anti-globalist/anti-neoliberal) is poised to become the next President. With Merkel on her way out and Macron failing, Salvini could pose a serious threat to EU existence.

    Italy’s cases went from three on Friday to 200 on Monday. That’s a big leap.

  123. Gold continues to soar, congratulations to everyone who listened to me and bought some.

    Interesting that despite a fair number of initial cases Australia hasn’t had a breakout, despite the number of Chinese there. This suggests that it is summer and very hot there has a big impact, if Europe can delay any breakout closer to summer we might be alright.

    • Replies: @Gleimhart Mantooso
    I would bet that there are zero people who bought gold because of anything you had to say. People have been buying gold for a very long time now.
  124. @Hyperborean

    There seems to be something unusual about the Covid-19 infections in Wuhan that are not borne out in other areas. There must have been something going on beyond only person-to-person contact. The virus may have been introduced in an artificial way, perhaps sprayed as an aerosol over a large area or spread through some other means that would have had a comparable effect. Outside of Hubei Province, it has proven much easier to control the disease, and there is a far lower mortality rate.
     
    Things were not helped by events like holding 40,000+ families banquet celebrations in Wuhan.

    Germany is holding a carnival in Cologne, and an Italian went there sick. So far he hasn’t been tested, nor quarantined, because Lombardy has not yet been declared a risk region.

    Meanwhile, the governing party is tweeting about how safe Germany is.

    How is that different? Okay, they are not arresting the fear mongers. But they don’t have the power to do so anyway.

    At the end of the day, China’s response won’t look bad at all.

    • Replies: @Hyperborean

    How is that different? Okay, they are not arresting the fear mongers. But they don’t have the power to do so anyway.

    At the end of the day, China’s response won’t look bad at all.
     

    Practically every country has shown incompetence since the start of this year, at this point I don't blame them for that. I am merely rejecting ideas like "perhaps someone artificially sprayed the virus as an aerosol over Wuhan".
  125. But how many people actually partake in yoga activities? How does it compare to the people who played Japanese video games, there is even a category for those who love all things Japan: ‘weaboo’.

    The image of Japan seems to be these peace loving people, a group of smiling Japanese teenagers doing the peace symbol and generally not bothering anyone, China is meanwhile seen as the aggressor. When China does things like get aggressive against NBA or Blizzard, it basically gives the hostile Western media even more ammunition to portray China as this totalitarian state that can’t handle a joke.

    The only benefit of soft power is that it is harder to incite a war against a country which has a good reputation. All relationships are built on realpolitik but soft power helps.

    China probably knows this which is why it is making inroads in this department with things like the Confucius Institute.

  126. @Brett Redmayne-Titley
    I agree.

    This narrative, as suggested, is starting to take hold, as evidenced by yesterday's published denial of these claims by the US. While the Chinese are very busy fighting the virus, it is a safe bet that they, too, are investigating the origin of the virus, which as everyone ( with a brain) knew had nothing to do with bat stew and the likelihood of it escaping a level 5 bio-hazard facility could not have been done by accident.

    If the Chinese find the allegations of US involvement true ( despite US plausible deniability) the likely result will be war, since the virus attack would be, by definition, exactly that.

    This story is bigger than just a possible pandemic.

    If the Chinese find the allegations of US involvement true ( despite US plausible deniability) the likely result will be war, since the virus attack would be, by definition, exactly that.

    There are some who believe bio-attacks have happened many times before.

    • Replies: @utu
    "There are some who believe bio-attacks have happened many times before." - I do. I do suspect that the 2003 SARS was a type of a diversionary psyop just before the Iraq war.
  127. @Bardon Kaldian
    Could it be a solution for many of muh Africa problems?

    Could it be a solution for many of much of Africa’s problems?

    Black Africans have superb immune systems. No one can survive there otherwise.

    A study released today in Cell has found that Africans have a stronger immune response to infection when compared to Europeans, in part because early Europeans interbred with Neanderthals. We talked to lead author Lluis Quintana-Murci of Institut Pasteur and CNRS in Paris to find out why there are both positives and negatives to having a weaker immune system.

    Europeans have weaker immune systems than Africans, in part because of Neanderthal DNA

    • Replies: @Znzn
    So why are they still dropping like flies to Ebola, AIDS, and Cholera?
    , @Kim
    When in 1804 (?) the slaves revolted in what is today Haiti, Napoleon sent a force of 25,000 soldiers and sailors to suppress the revolt. The French died en masse of yellow fever and the revolt went unsuppressed.
    , @Pheasant
    Black people are much more affected by respirotory diseases.
  128. @Marshall Lentini
    You're actually astonished it is suppressed?

    Well, I mean – Anatoly Karlin should take it into consideration.

    Except for that – I see your point. My answer in the last days to myself – whom I’ve been asking this question a few times: Why is it that the media and the experts don’t mention this considerable Chinese workforce in northern Italy? was twofold: Of course such are the downsides of globalization, so: Shhhh, don’t say a word! and b) it is some kind of a strange taboo even in Italy, that there are tens of thousands of Chinese working in northern Italy – not least, because the unemployment rate especially amongst the Italian youths, is high. So. Here you have it: Our actual globalist conundrum.

    • Replies: @Just Passing Through
    Another thing is that there are a large number of Sikhs working on Italian farms, a fairly unskilled job. And I too was surprised to see the number of Chinese in Italy. The latters' numbers will only increase on the future owing to Italy's participation in the Belt & Road Initiative. The Chinese even offered to build Britains new high-speed rail line...with Chinese workers!

    It is probably like here in the UK, where many Eastern Europeans come to pick fruits for farmers because the natives simply won't work for the wages they give out.

    I bet all those dead in Italy are ethnic Chinese.

  129. @Biff

    If the Chinese find the allegations of US involvement true ( despite US plausible deniability) the likely result will be war, since the virus attack would be, by definition, exactly that.
     
    There are some who believe bio-attacks have happened many times before.

    “There are some who believe bio-attacks have happened many times before.” – I do. I do suspect that the 2003 SARS was a type of a diversionary psyop just before the Iraq war.

    • Agree: Biff
  130. @Dieter Kief
    Well, I mean - Anatoly Karlin should take it into consideration.

    Except for that - I see your point. My answer in the last days to myself - whom I've been asking this question a few times: Why is it that the media and the experts don't mention this considerable Chinese workforce in northern Italy? was twofold: Of course such are the downsides of globalization, so: Shhhh, don't say a word! and b) it is some kind of a strange taboo even in Italy, that there are tens of thousands of Chinese working in northern Italy - not least, because the unemployment rate especially amongst the Italian youths, is high. So. Here you have it: Our actual globalist conundrum.

    Another thing is that there are a large number of Sikhs working on Italian farms, a fairly unskilled job. And I too was surprised to see the number of Chinese in Italy. The latters’ numbers will only increase on the future owing to Italy’s participation in the Belt & Road Initiative. The Chinese even offered to build Britains new high-speed rail line…with Chinese workers!

    It is probably like here in the UK, where many Eastern Europeans come to pick fruits for farmers because the natives simply won’t work for the wages they give out.

    I bet all those dead in Italy are ethnic Chinese.

    • Replies: @Europe Europa
    Post-Brexit Britain will almost certainly have to look to China for investment and trade deals. Brexiteers have delusions of being the centre of a renewed Anglo Empire, but it's becoming clear that it's not going to work out that way.

    The reality is the British are not very popular in the former empire, the idea that USA, Australia, etc, were all going to team up with Brexit Britain was a naive delusion from the start. I would say that the reputation of Britain is considerably better amongst Chinese people than it is in its own former colonies.

    , @awry
    The dead in Italy as of today were octagenerians, so it's unlikely that they were ethnic Chinese.
    , @dux.ie
    > I bet all those dead in Italy are ethnic Chinese.

    A rough estimation of the ethnic susceptibility to COVID19 can be obtained from Piffer's repat data from Wuhan where the Chinese policy is that dual citizenship ethnic Chinese are not allowed to leave (Taiwanese seem to be the exception). Italian seems to be naturally COVID19 susceptible.

    Rank | NInfectedPerKCapita | NInfected | N | Country
    1 24.27 | 5 | 206 | Japan
    2 18.52 | 1 | 54 | Italy <---
    3 16.13 | 2 | 124 | Germany
    4 5.13 | 1 | 195 | USA
    5 5.0 | 3 | 600 | USA 2
    6 4.05 | 1 | 247 | Taiwan <---
    7 3.94 | 1 | 254 | France 2
    8 2.86 | 2 | 700 | S.Korea
    9 0.0 | 0 | 179 | France
    10 0.0 | 0 | 174 | Canada

  131. @Bardon Kaldian
    Could it be a solution for many of muh Africa problems?

    Better if it was a solution to the jewish problem.

  132. @Philip Owen
    It's the precursor of pneumonia and heart attacks rather than a kiler itself. I suspect that if I hadn't been so fit that I would have had a heart attack rather than crippling angina from a sudden 95% blockage, 300 m into a run.

    So you are saying that the medical industry “knows” that the flu kills people, but they just put down things like pneumonia and heart attack on the death certificates?

    • Replies: @Philip Owen
    Certainly in the UK, the immediate cause of death goes on the certificate.
  133. @Alfred
    Could it be a solution for many of much of Africa's problems?

    Black Africans have superb immune systems. No one can survive there otherwise.

    A study released today in Cell has found that Africans have a stronger immune response to infection when compared to Europeans, in part because early Europeans interbred with Neanderthals. We talked to lead author Lluis Quintana-Murci of Institut Pasteur and CNRS in Paris to find out why there are both positives and negatives to having a weaker immune system.

    Europeans have weaker immune systems than Africans, in part because of Neanderthal DNA

    So why are they still dropping like flies to Ebola, AIDS, and Cholera?

    • Replies: @Alfred
    So why are they still dropping like flies to Ebola, AIDS, and Cholera?

    Hygiene.

    Ebola is no less lethal for Whites. Infectious people are quickly recognised. Strict quarantine stopped it from spreading. If Ebola remained dormant for days or weeks, it would have reached Europe.

    If Europeans went around screwing one another with such abandon, the HIV situation here would be a lot worse than it is. It is hard to find any bar in Black Africa that does not have throngs of prostitutes at all hours. They can be quite aggressive about entering into your hotel room when the bar closes - I have had them knocking on my door and shouting after midnight.

    Raping virgin girls is a favourite way of "curing" the infection.

    On the virgin cleansing myth: gendered bodies, AIDS and ethnomedicine.

    In some tribes, the younger brother of a dead man must fuck his widow.

    when a man dies, his brother or his sister's son must marry the widow, a failure in this duty occasioning feuds

    Cholera is easily conquered with clean drinking water and simple hygiene. Again, Europeans are highly susceptible to it.
  134. @neutral
    "Crater the World Economy"

    The "world" economy was a system controlled by and for the ZOG world order, the end of this system would a great blessing in many ways.

    Not really. Assets of great strategic value could be snapped up at bargain basement prices and leave them with even greater power than before.

  135. Chinese can now hijack a passenger Jet by merely threatening to sneeze. The Chinese ‘achoo’ has become as scary as the Muslim ‘Allah o Akbar.’

    • LOL: Biff
  136. @Just Passing Through
    Soft power is determined by the media, most of which is Western owned as the West pioneers the art of mass media in the first place.

    Japan has soft power due to things like anime, nintendo and robots. I also think some admire Japan very much due to the war America fought against them, interestingly Japanese war crimes do not take the centre stage of the discussion as is the case with National Socialist Germany.

    I agree, I would say that the pass Japan gets on its WW2 war crimes is largely a result of its considerable amount of soft power. Most people like Japanese culture to the point they find it difficult to see them in the context of being the “bad guys”, not so with Germany and German culture.

    • Replies: @Golobki
    Nevertheless I still enjoy my Volkswagen.
    , @Hail

    Most people like Japanese culture to the point they find it difficult to see them in the context of being the “bad guys”, not so with Germany and German culture.
     
    This is entirely predictable based on who largely runs the Hollywood and the media.

    If strong-ethnocentric Chinese ran Hollywood and the US media, it'd be different.

    As china-russia-all-the-way says above,


    Soft power is determined to a large extent by media
     
  137. The virus is here and it will do as it pleases. We can’t change that in the short term. The effects will be bad for China and its coalition of bottom feeder states. Russia, Iran, Syria, Venezuela and North Korea will be hit hard.

    Whatever you think of Trump’s ‘maximum pressure’ program on Iran the virus has ramped it up and made it leakproof as Pakistan, Turkey, Jordan et al close their borders to Iran. The drop in oil demand even more than the fall in price will hit Russia and Venezuela hard. Venezuela will likely default on the loans Russia and China made to it. North Korea is finished too.

    Western companies will flee China and bring their factories home. Clients of Xi will rue the day they signed up for Belt and Road projects and only get coronavirus in return. Its almost as if coronavirus was designed to vindicate Trump and MAGA.

    • LOL: Anatoly Karlin
    • Replies: @NoseytheDuke

    Its almost as if coronavirus was designed to vindicate Trump and MAGA.
     
    And all of Trump's MAGA Chumps can celebrate that with a trip to Disneyland?
    , @Hail
    What we know so far suggests more the World War Z narrative (hitting wealthy, jet-set countries hard) than your proposed narrative of China's BRI buddies getting hit hard. At least in terms of the virology, not the soft-power hit, on which I would more agree.

    But, then, we do not have perfect information. There may be many cases in certain countries we have heard nothing of. As Anatoly says:


    Meanwhile, carriers need not be symptomatic to transmit. At such early stages, you are only going to identify these clusters by intensive testing, which as I understand nobody apart from Italy and South Korea is really doing yet. One might make a comparison to a tsunami. Undetectable when it’s out in the deep ocean, unless you’re specifically looking for it
     
    The latest I have seen is that South Korea's testing situation was as follows (this is about as of 24 hours ago):

    37,000 persons tested, mainly cases stemming from the Shinchonji cult
    - 22,550 found not infected
    - 13,250 results pending
    - 900 confirmed infected , of which 9 dead.

    Among the current pool of testees, it will presumably to rise to 25 to 35 deaths, if the S.Korea deaths follow the same death rate as observed elsewhere and including the likely infected among the results-pending group.

    Of those with results known (22,550 negative + 900 positive = 23,450), the infection rate of contactees was therefore 3.5% to 4%. They only use the limited testing resources on people who came into contact with a known infected person, so this suggests that if you had at-least-moderate close-quarter dealings with a COVID19-infectee, your odds (actually an East Asian's odds) of getting it could well be less than 1 in 30. Obviously this would rise with very close-quarter-, long-term contact.

    The odds of death, in turn, are known to be less than 1 in 200 (<0.5%) for most people without preexisting health problems, and as low as 1 in 500 (0.2%) for healthy, core-working-age people. The chance of dying from a single case of close contact with a COVID19-infectee are therefore no higher for most of us than 1-in-1500, at least the way I read the data.

  138. @George
    Corona Will Kill Millions of whom? Ok Boomer, bye bye!!!!!!

    You may be right that TPTB will see an economic benefit in wiping out Boomers once they’ve wrung all they can out of them, but then who will help you wipe your nose or tie your shoelaces?

    • Replies: @Just Passing Through
    China will face an ageing problem on the near future. They should have just allowed the virus to spread and used censorship to keep a lid on any dissent. I was expecting something brutal yet pragmatic from the Chinese buy instead they over-react and actually start fixing things.
  139. According to the Johns Hopkins tracker:

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

    The global total number of active cases (confirmed – recovered – dead) has declined from a peak of about 56,000 a week ago to about 49,000 today. That means 1000 more people are recovering every day than are contracting the virus.

    Those numbers suggest the virus may in fact be out its way out in the next three or four months.

    • Replies: @Morton's toes
    1. yes that is the link
    2. it is really poor procedure to have any webpage address, let alone one that is this important with a url that tails with something like bda7594740fd4. And my link to it tails with a different one. It is someone's surveillance tracker implementation.
  140. @reiner Tor
    Germany is holding a carnival in Cologne, and an Italian went there sick. So far he hasn’t been tested, nor quarantined, because Lombardy has not yet been declared a risk region.

    https://twitter.com/disclosetv/status/1231912076387418112

    Meanwhile, the governing party is tweeting about how safe Germany is.

    https://twitter.com/cducsubt/status/1231996332182843398

    How is that different? Okay, they are not arresting the fear mongers. But they don’t have the power to do so anyway.

    At the end of the day, China’s response won’t look bad at all.

    How is that different? Okay, they are not arresting the fear mongers. But they don’t have the power to do so anyway.

    At the end of the day, China’s response won’t look bad at all.

    Practically every country has shown incompetence since the start of this year, at this point I don’t blame them for that. I am merely rejecting ideas like “perhaps someone artificially sprayed the virus as an aerosol over Wuhan”.

  141. How on earth are they going to host the Olympics in Tokyo? Imagine Athletes running with face masks. What if there is an infected swimmer? What a nightmare.

  142. @Europe Europa
    For the sheer size of the country, China is almost completely devoid of soft power. Unlike South Korea and Japan, China has almost no cultural exports that are popular anywhere else in the world. All China is known for is its authoritarianism and exporting huge amounts of cheap goods, most non-Chinese people would struggle to name a famous person or movie, etc, from mainland China.

    The only internationally well known pop culture figures that Chinese culture has produced have been from Hong Kong, which is obviously highly Westernised in comparison to mainland China. People like Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan.

    “…most non-Chinese people would struggle to name a famous person or movie, etc, from mainland China”.

    Yes, because that’s what is really important. Not civilization, culture, raising literally hundreds of millions from poverty to middle-class comfort, fairness, the rule of law, and a dedication to peace.

    National importance depends critically on the number of celebs. The nation with the Kardashians and Trump wins hands down.

    • Replies: @Autists Anonymous Rehab Camp Fugitive

    National importance depends critically on the number of celebs. The nation with the Kardashians and Trump wins hands down.

     

    Yes.
    , @Gleimhart Mantooso
    Because the Kardishians and Trump are the sum total of American existence.

    Your logic is unassailable.

    Silly Sinophiles of Unz World, Unite!
  143. @Just Passing Through
    Another thing is that there are a large number of Sikhs working on Italian farms, a fairly unskilled job. And I too was surprised to see the number of Chinese in Italy. The latters' numbers will only increase on the future owing to Italy's participation in the Belt & Road Initiative. The Chinese even offered to build Britains new high-speed rail line...with Chinese workers!

    It is probably like here in the UK, where many Eastern Europeans come to pick fruits for farmers because the natives simply won't work for the wages they give out.

    I bet all those dead in Italy are ethnic Chinese.

    Post-Brexit Britain will almost certainly have to look to China for investment and trade deals. Brexiteers have delusions of being the centre of a renewed Anglo Empire, but it’s becoming clear that it’s not going to work out that way.

    The reality is the British are not very popular in the former empire, the idea that USA, Australia, etc, were all going to team up with Brexit Britain was a naive delusion from the start. I would say that the reputation of Britain is considerably better amongst Chinese people than it is in its own former colonies.

  144. @Dreadilk
    Jackie Chan considers himself Chinese.

    That wasn’t his point. Chang grew up in Hong Kong – not just Hong Kong, but for his most formative years on the premises of the French consulate, where his parents worked.

    That said, who is famous or not has much more to do with the celebrity gatekeepers than with celebrity talent.

  145. @unit472
    The virus is here and it will do as it pleases. We can't change that in the short term. The effects will be bad for China and its coalition of bottom feeder states. Russia, Iran, Syria, Venezuela and North Korea will be hit hard.

    Whatever you think of Trump's 'maximum pressure' program on Iran the virus has ramped it up and made it leakproof as Pakistan, Turkey, Jordan et al close their borders to Iran. The drop in oil demand even more than the fall in price will hit Russia and Venezuela hard. Venezuela will likely default on the loans Russia and China made to it. North Korea is finished too.

    Western companies will flee China and bring their factories home. Clients of Xi will rue the day they signed up for Belt and Road projects and only get coronavirus in return. Its almost as if coronavirus was designed to vindicate Trump and MAGA.

    Its almost as if coronavirus was designed to vindicate Trump and MAGA.

    And all of Trump’s MAGA Chumps can celebrate that with a trip to Disneyland?

  146. In every country with an outbreak, the disease was introduced by infected Asians.

    • Replies: @Grahamsno(G64)
    There must be millions of Chinese in Africa but not a single infection strange!! You could argue that Africa's primitive health care infrastructure is unable to detect them but that doesn't count you can't just hide the bodies and besides that states like Kenya, Ghana, SA and Rwanda are by African standards pretty decent states and in this climate of hysterical paranoia its impossible to hide infections. What gives - tropical climate?
  147. @NoseytheDuke
    You may be right that TPTB will see an economic benefit in wiping out Boomers once they've wrung all they can out of them, but then who will help you wipe your nose or tie your shoelaces?

    China will face an ageing problem on the near future. They should have just allowed the virus to spread and used censorship to keep a lid on any dissent. I was expecting something brutal yet pragmatic from the Chinese buy instead they over-react and actually start fixing things.

  148. @Europe Europa
    I agree, I would say that the pass Japan gets on its WW2 war crimes is largely a result of its considerable amount of soft power. Most people like Japanese culture to the point they find it difficult to see them in the context of being the "bad guys", not so with Germany and German culture.

    Nevertheless I still enjoy my Volkswagen.

  149. @Philip Owen
    Life Style Strategy

    Male type 2 diabetic with a stent (courtesy of an infection acquired on a Russian train) approaching three score and ten. I run; I lift weights and swing kettlebells. My lung capacity must be far better than most my age. But there was the one clot at the botton of the artery that the surgeon couldn't reach supplying the chamber that pumps blood to the lungs.

    If I was in Russia, I could buy antivirals over the counter (not possible in the UK without a prescrition) to use as prophylatics. I imagine paying $30 for postal delivery of a $2 packet would not get me delivery in a meaningful time anyway.

    Do I get my food delivered by Ocado - internet grocer - very highly automated warehouse. Not many people in the process? My sister in law is a District Nurse. She has actually been dressing in hazmat gear to go and test suspects at home. I guess we don't invite her around for a while. 100 suspects in Wales so far, 90 of them stayed at home until tested. All negative. What about the 10 who weren't public spirited. R(0)=4 so 10*4 = 40. Lets say the 90 manage to infect one person each as well. That's 130 per 100. we are doomed! Time to go to Zambia until say May? I was planning to go to Saratov and Izhvesk.

    So guys, what challenges do you face?

    I have not sensed any changes to daily life.

  150. @Golobki
    In every country with an outbreak, the disease was introduced by infected Asians.

    There must be millions of Chinese in Africa but not a single infection strange!! You could argue that Africa’s primitive health care infrastructure is unable to detect them but that doesn’t count you can’t just hide the bodies and besides that states like Kenya, Ghana, SA and Rwanda are by African standards pretty decent states and in this climate of hysterical paranoia its impossible to hide infections. What gives – tropical climate?

    • Replies: @Old and grumpy
    It's summer. That big orange globe in the sky gives a body a natural antiviral in Vitamin D. Plus the sun is a disinfectant. Great for drying clothing and bedding. I believe they still hang out clothing in Africa.
  151. @Ron Unz

    Fun theory but it would make more sense if paired with some theory of how the US took secret steps to protect its own population, e.g., slipped a vaccine in the drinking water. But it is hard to think of a plausible theory of that sort.
     
    Well, there were some early indications that the virus was especially deadly towards Chinese and perhaps East Asians rather than whites, though the picture is currently much more cloudy. But you're looking at things entirely the wrong way...

    Under normal circumstances, I would be *extremely* skeptical of a possible US biowarfare attack against China since it would be such a totally insane thing to do. But just last month, we assassinated a top Iranian leader, and much of everything our government does is totally insane. So an insane biowarfare attack would just fit into this larger pattern.

    Also, consider that a mysterious Swine Flu epidemic suddenly appeared in China during 2019, and destroyed 40% of its primary domestic meat source, certainly a highly suspicious coincidence.

    I'd very strongly recommend that people read this very lengthy article we published a week ago, which provides a vast amount of background information on the issue. The author is a highly eccentric American ex-pat living in China, and his own views should be given little weight. But he provides an enormous wealth of useful information and links, totally excluded from our worthless MSM:

    https://www.unz.com/article/was-the-2020-wuhan-coronavirus-an-engineered-biological-attack-on-china-by-america-for-geopolitical-advantage/

    I think this is some worthwhile information.

    https://www.uab.edu/reporter/know-more/publications/item/8909-here-s-a-playbook-for-stopping-deadly-cytokine-storm-syndrome

    It seems there is a genetic component to susceptibility to the cytokine storm that is responsible for most of the deaths. Two copies of the gene is (or was) a death sentence, but a single copy just raises susceptibility. There seem to be more than one genetic pathway.

    Maybe the genes offer some protection for other problems, like the sickle cell anemia gene does with malaria.

    If you follow the link in the article to the Journal of Immunology article (pdf) it provides more info.

    IF there is a genetic susceptibility, then maybe the herd will just keep moving on after losing a few million.

    • Replies: @Mustapha Mond
    Thanks for that superbly informative article!

    It may be a real life-saver for many people and I am sure the vast majority of physicians out there have absolutely no clue about this problem.

    I will forward this to my primary care internal medicine specialist. He's a young kid (late 20's) with a great attitude. If even one life can be saved with this knowledge, it's a major blessing to all those concerned.

    That's why I love The Unz Review: you can really learn a lot around here from people who want to share their knowledge that many of us would otherwise be ignorant of. You just did so. Cheers!

    (And once again, TGFRU!)

    MM

  152. @El Dato
    Imagine millions of people sitting at home, solving captchas.

    Good article.

    I think the funny part will be when government agencies (and even private sector) issue directions to employees to avoid work if they have symptoms, or better yet, procedural guidance to supervisors on how to handle employees demonstrating symptoms. Because once employees learn they are being “ordered” to go home, they will counter that they do not have enough vacation days/leave, and demand they be paid (this not withstanding regular teleworkers). “I wanted to come to work, but a non-doctor who is my boss, ordered me to stay home…I demand backpay, etc” Some of this will be litigated.

    In the end, companies and governments, state, local, fed, are going to wind up paying people to stay at home, possibly do no work, who are not officially diagnosed, but who are instead “self quarantined” at home (*by their own request or that of their employer). They wont be officially diagnosed because hospitals (via gov direction) are going to state that you are not to just show up with what you “think” are symptoms, so as to avoid overloading the hospitals with everyone who has the sniffles. This is going to be like bumper-thumper vehicle accidents and whiplash.

    This has boondoggle written all over it.

  153. @Ron Unz

    Fun theory but it would make more sense if paired with some theory of how the US took secret steps to protect its own population, e.g., slipped a vaccine in the drinking water. But it is hard to think of a plausible theory of that sort.
     
    Well, there were some early indications that the virus was especially deadly towards Chinese and perhaps East Asians rather than whites, though the picture is currently much more cloudy. But you're looking at things entirely the wrong way...

    Under normal circumstances, I would be *extremely* skeptical of a possible US biowarfare attack against China since it would be such a totally insane thing to do. But just last month, we assassinated a top Iranian leader, and much of everything our government does is totally insane. So an insane biowarfare attack would just fit into this larger pattern.

    Also, consider that a mysterious Swine Flu epidemic suddenly appeared in China during 2019, and destroyed 40% of its primary domestic meat source, certainly a highly suspicious coincidence.

    I'd very strongly recommend that people read this very lengthy article we published a week ago, which provides a vast amount of background information on the issue. The author is a highly eccentric American ex-pat living in China, and his own views should be given little weight. But he provides an enormous wealth of useful information and links, totally excluded from our worthless MSM:

    https://www.unz.com/article/was-the-2020-wuhan-coronavirus-an-engineered-biological-attack-on-china-by-america-for-geopolitical-advantage/

    I think this is some worthwhile information.

    https://www.uab.edu/reporter/know-more/publications/item/8909-here-s-a-playbook-for-stopping-deadly-cytokine-storm-syndrome

    It seems there is a genetic component to susceptibility to the cytokine storm that is responsible for most of the deaths. Two copies of the gene is (or was) a death sentence, but a single copy just raises susceptibility. There seem to be more than one genetic pathway.

    Maybe the genes offer some protection for other problems, like the sickle cell anemia gene does with malaria.

    If you follow the link in the article to the Journal of Immunology article (pdf) it provides more info.

    IF there is a genetic susceptibility, then maybe the herd will just keep moving on after losing a few million.

    • Replies: @another fred
    From the Journal of Immunology article:

    The presence of a monoallelic cytolytic pathway gene defect in combination with a hyperinflammatory state from any of a variety of potential triggers is consistent with a two-hit or multihit model of HLH disease development. Indeed, we are perhaps only beginning to recognize the tip of the iceberg in terms of triggers of secondary HLH and MAS. Everything from influenza (27) to dengue hemorrhagic fever (28), from systemic lupus erythematosus (29) to systemic juvenile idiopathic arthritis (30), and fromT cell leukemia (31) to non–Hodgkin lymphoma (32) has been reported in association with secondary HLH and MAS. Whether cytolytic defects are associated with all of these associations, however, currently remains unclear.
     
  154. @Alfred
    Could it be a solution for many of much of Africa's problems?

    Black Africans have superb immune systems. No one can survive there otherwise.

    A study released today in Cell has found that Africans have a stronger immune response to infection when compared to Europeans, in part because early Europeans interbred with Neanderthals. We talked to lead author Lluis Quintana-Murci of Institut Pasteur and CNRS in Paris to find out why there are both positives and negatives to having a weaker immune system.

    Europeans have weaker immune systems than Africans, in part because of Neanderthal DNA

    When in 1804 (?) the slaves revolted in what is today Haiti, Napoleon sent a force of 25,000 soldiers and sailors to suppress the revolt. The French died en masse of yellow fever and the revolt went unsuppressed.

    • Replies: @Alfred
    The French died en masse of yellow fever and the revolt went unsuppressed.

    British civil servants sent to what is now Nigeria much later on died an average of 3 years after arrival. The problem was largely solved by filtering drinking water. Of course, that did not stop malaria and other diseases.

    I strongly recommend this book about Africa. It is hilarious. The author lived in Africa in his youth and understands it somewhat.

    A Good Man in Africa (William Boyd)

    https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/41TPMJfvf7L._SX324_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg
    , @nsa
    In the early 1900s, the French sent out officials to administer their French Guiana colony, with the promise that after 5 years they would be returned to France. Less than 10% survived the 5 year tour of duty to return.
    , @UK
    Yellow fever was an African disease. That is why Africans had better immunity. In the other hand, they are more susceptible to respiratory infections and more likely to die of them.
  155. @d dan

    "The Military World Games were being held in Wuhan, and 300 American servicemen participated."
     
    Just to add more detail. Even with one of the largest contingent among all participating countries, an Olympic game giant like US didn't manage to get a single gold medal in Wuhan, falling behind countries like Tunisia and Namibia. Wonder why?

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2019_Military_World_Games

    Great catch.

    I agree that it is completely out of character for the US to be so non-competitive.

    Heck, they barely took any medals at all.

  156. @another fred
    I think this is some worthwhile information.

    https://www.uab.edu/reporter/know-more/publications/item/8909-here-s-a-playbook-for-stopping-deadly-cytokine-storm-syndrome

    It seems there is a genetic component to susceptibility to the cytokine storm that is responsible for most of the deaths. Two copies of the gene is (or was) a death sentence, but a single copy just raises susceptibility. There seem to be more than one genetic pathway.

    Maybe the genes offer some protection for other problems, like the sickle cell anemia gene does with malaria.

    If you follow the link in the article to the Journal of Immunology article (pdf) it provides more info.

    IF there is a genetic susceptibility, then maybe the herd will just keep moving on after losing a few million.

    From the Journal of Immunology article:

    The presence of a monoallelic cytolytic pathway gene defect in combination with a hyperinflammatory state from any of a variety of potential triggers is consistent with a two-hit or multihit model of HLH disease development. Indeed, we are perhaps only beginning to recognize the tip of the iceberg in terms of triggers of secondary HLH and MAS. Everything from influenza (27) to dengue hemorrhagic fever (28), from systemic lupus erythematosus (29) to systemic juvenile idiopathic arthritis (30), and fromT cell leukemia (31) to non–Hodgkin lymphoma (32) has been reported in association with secondary HLH and MAS. Whether cytolytic defects are associated with all of these associations, however, currently remains unclear.

  157. @George
    Corona Will Kill Millions of whom? Ok Boomer, bye bye!!!!!!

    Re ‘yes boomer’

    Do you not think it strange how willingly younger people have decided to replace their critical faculties with memes?

    It must be very convenient. Instead of forming and then expressing an opinion, you can just blurt out a meme.

    Intellectually, it is an achievement that we would normally applaud in a parrot, but not so much in a human.

    • Replies: @anonymous coward
    Okay boomer.
  158. @Grahamsno(G64)
    There must be millions of Chinese in Africa but not a single infection strange!! You could argue that Africa's primitive health care infrastructure is unable to detect them but that doesn't count you can't just hide the bodies and besides that states like Kenya, Ghana, SA and Rwanda are by African standards pretty decent states and in this climate of hysterical paranoia its impossible to hide infections. What gives - tropical climate?

    It’s summer. That big orange globe in the sky gives a body a natural antiviral in Vitamin D. Plus the sun is a disinfectant. Great for drying clothing and bedding. I believe they still hang out clothing in Africa.

  159. @yakushimaru
    Many people on this board seem to have little idea about how medical stuffs are made. They are made by that damned global economy!

    When you guys talking about economy, it's not just fancy numbers or just iPhones and stupid Globohomo movies. It is many stuffs including the critically important, at this moment, medical supplies!

    You don't go crazy like it is just some political parade thing.

    Illness is also made by that damned global economy.

    Diabetes, cancer, heart disease, obesity…they are all modern epidemics and are all products of global Big Ag and Big Chem and ring up big profits for global Big Pharma.

  160. @reiner Tor

    To date, no one has disproved the study by Zhao et al., who found that Chinese lung tissue is five times more receptive to coronoviral infections than lung tissue from non-Asian donors. Yes, there was only one Chinese donor in that study, but the chances are very low that the same normal distribution would produce such an extreme outlier.
     
    There was another study, which found more such receptors among smokers, but no difference between racial groups.

    https://www.preprints.org/manuscript/202002.0051/v1/download

    Now with a pretty bad epidemic in Iran and increasingly in Italy, it certainly doesn’t seem to be very likely.

    Reiner,

    Two points:

    1. The number of cases in Iran and Italy are consistent with a normal flu outbreak. I’m not saying that non-East Asians are immune to the current coronavirus. I’m saying the effects will be much less severe.

    2. A third study has found ethnic differences in the allele frequencies for receptors that are susceptible to the current coronavirus. This is a study that has actually gone through peer review (unlike the previous two).

    Cao, Y. et al. (2020). Comparative genetic analysis of the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV/SARS-CoV-2) receptor ACE2 in different populations. Cell Discovery 6(11).

    https://www.nature.com/Comparative genetic analysis of the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV/SARS-CoV-2) receptor ACE2 in different populationsarticles/s41421-020-0147-1

    The ACE2 gene encodes the angiotensin-converting enzyme-2, which has been proved to be the receptor for both the SARS-coronavirus (SARS-CoV) and the human respiratory coronavirus NL63. Recent studies and analyses indicate that ACE2 could be the host receptor for the novel coronavirus 2019-nCoV/SARS-CoV-2

    The AFs [allele frequencies] of the 15 eQTL variants were compared among different populations. Notably, our results showed most of the 15 eQTL variants had much higher AFs in the ChinaMAP dataset and EAS populations compared to European populations (Fig. 1c and Supplementary Table S3). The AFs of the top 6 common variants (rs4646127, rs2158082, rs5936011, rs6629110, rs4830983, and rs5936029) were higher than 95% in EAS populations, whereas the AFs of these variants in European populations were much lower (52%–65%).

    […] These findings suggested the genotypes of ACE2 gene polymorphism may be associated higher expression levels of ACE2 in EAS [East Asian] population.

    Recent reports of the ACE2 expression analysis in lung tissues from Asian and Caucasian populations are still controversial. The single-cell RNA-seq analysis reported that the Asian donor had much higher ACE2 expression cell ratio than white and African-American donors6. In contrast, the ACE2 expression analysis using the RNA-seq and microarray datasets from control lung tissues indicated there were no significant differences between Asian and Caucasian, or male and female11. The ACE2-expressing cells are a very small part of cells in lung tissues. The sample size and the purity of ACE2-positive cells in the selected samples would influence the conclusions. Our analysis showed the differences in distribution and AFs of eQTLs for ACE2 in different populations, indicating the diversity of ACE2 expression pattern in populations

    • Agree: Anatoly Karlin
    • Replies: @china-russia-all-the-way

    The number of cases in Iran and Italy are consistent with a normal flu outbreak.
     
    What does consistent with a normal flu outbreak mean? Anything between hundreds to millions of cases?
  161. @Anatoly Karlin

    Please, can anyone provide real data on infectivity and virulance rates for Caucasians and Africans, vs. East Asians.
     
    Rule of thumb figures that I think are generally accurate/within scientific mainstream are r0=4 and mortality of 1%.
    * r0 under assumption of no counteractions, such as quarantines or social withdrawal.
    * Mortality obviously differs widely - higher without hospital treatment, perhaps 0.5%-1% with hospital treatment.

    Not sure racial differences are going to be significant. Main consideration, apart from obvious ones like healthcare system quality, development, age structure, etc. would seem to be smoking prevalence and air pollution.

    Some data suggest that corona rates are higher in men than women.
     
    Fits in with above, many more men than women smoke.

    The SARS-COV-2 virus (which causes COVID-19) attacks the body by preferentially binding to the ACE2 receptor which disrupts various critical functions in the body. This is similar to SARS but apparently the binding is much more pronounced (which is why anti-SARS vaccines have not been effective), though with much less mortality rate from 10% of SARS to anywhere from 0.2%-2% (estimates differ over a magnitude because of the number infected is not known and from what data is known, different regions, even within China, have vastly different mortality profiles – Hubei has 4% while the rest of China has 0.7%. A possible explanation is that many more in Hubei are infected but not tested due to the prioritization in Hubei, esp the epicenter Wuhan, to handle only obvious cases which is already in the 100,000s tested).

    Investigations into where ACE2 differs across populations have been published. Here’s one from yesterday https://www.nature.com/articles/s41421-020-0147-1 which concludes that at this time there is not evidence that racial/ethnic/gender variation of ACE2 is statistically significant

    What appears to be a more statistically significant variation is the susceptibility of ACE2 receptors in smokers vs non-smokers (or those whose lungs/other tissues – eg the heart – are compromised). See for example https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.02.05.20020107v2

    Thus the gender difference noted in China (which has the largest data set so far) can be explained by lifestyle differences between genders rather than genetic differences.

    • Agree: Anatoly Karlin
    • Replies: @Mustapha Mond
    Just read the medrxiv abstract you so kindly linked. Looks like bad news for 'former' smokers, although it was a bit unclear if current, active smokers of caucasian descent may be better off than those who have quit smoking. Wouldn't that be a kick in the pants (and maybe a short-term boost to tobacco stocks.)

    And with the current cannabis mania overtaking the US and many other Western nations, does the term 'smoker' mean tobacco only, or does it include all smokers, tobacco and cannabis? In China, it must be assumed it is tobacco only (as the laws against cannabis usage in mainland China are among the strictest outside the muslim world.) Very likely so for the caucasians studied as well.

    Thanks again for the link.

  162. @another fred
    I think this is some worthwhile information.

    https://www.uab.edu/reporter/know-more/publications/item/8909-here-s-a-playbook-for-stopping-deadly-cytokine-storm-syndrome

    It seems there is a genetic component to susceptibility to the cytokine storm that is responsible for most of the deaths. Two copies of the gene is (or was) a death sentence, but a single copy just raises susceptibility. There seem to be more than one genetic pathway.

    Maybe the genes offer some protection for other problems, like the sickle cell anemia gene does with malaria.

    If you follow the link in the article to the Journal of Immunology article (pdf) it provides more info.

    IF there is a genetic susceptibility, then maybe the herd will just keep moving on after losing a few million.

    Thanks for that superbly informative article!

    It may be a real life-saver for many people and I am sure the vast majority of physicians out there have absolutely no clue about this problem.

    I will forward this to my primary care internal medicine specialist. He’s a young kid (late 20’s) with a great attitude. If even one life can be saved with this knowledge, it’s a major blessing to all those concerned.

    That’s why I love The Unz Review: you can really learn a lot around here from people who want to share their knowledge that many of us would otherwise be ignorant of. You just did so. Cheers!

    (And once again, TGFRU!)

    MM

    • Thanks: another fred
  163. The Iranian deputy minister of health has caught the infection. On this twitter video, he is addressing the Iranian people. He says that he has a fever but that he expects to be back at work in a few days. He is telling people to follow the recommendations of the authorities. Towards the end he vows that the Iranian people, with the help of God, will conquer this infection.

    I don’t think I have seen any ethnic-Chinese people with the infection making a similar speech. Does this mean that the Iranians are somewhat immune? I don’t know.

    • Replies: @Hyperborean

    I don’t think I have seen any ethnic-Chinese people with the infection making a similar speech. Does this mean that the Iranians are somewhat immune? I don’t know.
     
    https://www.zerohedge.com/geopolitical/iranian-deputy-health-minister-infected-coronavirus-seen-looking-feverish-during

    There is a video embedded in the article, count how many times the minister wipes his brow in this minute-and-half clip.

    (And considering that one of them has an actual confirmed and visible infection shouldn't they at least be wearing masks?)
  164. I’m impressed with the level of understanding that some of the commentators here posses about the biological processes involved with the corona virus. I see that a new vaccination is already being developed and is moving right along. I’d be grateful if somebody could answer a couple of questions that I have:

    1) Will the corona virus still be around next year, 5 years from now, 10 years down the road? Or will it disappear like other flu strains that mutate and change year to year?

    2) Is it possible that any vaccination against this particular virus will just be incorporated into the whole battery of viruses that are included within the yearly “flu shot”?

    Thanks!

    • Replies: @dux.ie
    What will happen to CoViD.19? Just like what WHO asserted, it will blend in with other flu viruses/viruii with reduce fatality as the vaccines should have been developed by then. US has specifically tracked some flu variants, e.g. A (H3), A (2009 H1N1), A (Subtyping not Performed), B, H3N2v, BVic, BYam. It seems that for US SARS is not important enough, while the H1N1.09 swine flu is still lingering on 10 years later.

    https://i.ibb.co/FxBSLW9/h1n1recur.png

  165. @neutral
    At least you are not hiding where your allegiance lies J(ew)USA.

    LOL read my comments and you’d know why I picked that handle. I’m anything but a fan of the Satanic Zionist cult.

    Too many here have their rose colored lenses on when it comes to China. I’m just telling it like it is. China’s image is taking a big hit abroad.

  166. @Znzn
    So why are they still dropping like flies to Ebola, AIDS, and Cholera?

    So why are they still dropping like flies to Ebola, AIDS, and Cholera?

    Hygiene.

    Ebola is no less lethal for Whites. Infectious people are quickly recognised. Strict quarantine stopped it from spreading. If Ebola remained dormant for days or weeks, it would have reached Europe.

    If Europeans went around screwing one another with such abandon, the HIV situation here would be a lot worse than it is. It is hard to find any bar in Black Africa that does not have throngs of prostitutes at all hours. They can be quite aggressive about entering into your hotel room when the bar closes – I have had them knocking on my door and shouting after midnight.

    Raping virgin girls is a favourite way of “curing” the infection.

    On the virgin cleansing myth: gendered bodies, AIDS and ethnomedicine.

    In some tribes, the younger brother of a dead man must fuck his widow.

    when a man dies, his brother or his sister’s son must marry the widow, a failure in this duty occasioning feuds

    Cholera is easily conquered with clean drinking water and simple hygiene. Again, Europeans are highly susceptible to it.

  167. From a contact working at the very highest research levels in a very senior position.

    1 Coronavirus mortality is running at 4.5-5%

    2 They believe the virus has been modified in a laboratory

    3 There will be a pandemic.

    4 The United States Federal Government is making contingencies for millions of deaths.

    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
    If only the government was so efficient.
  168. @Ron Unz
    Well, personally I think the jury is still out whether East Asians are far more vulnerable to the new coronavirus than whites. The outbreaks in Iran and Italy shift the likelihood somewhat, but it's still early. Personally, I think the evidence from that cruise ship might be most definitive.

    But if whites are indeed as vulnerable, I'd think that the West might be hit much harder than China. After all, can we possibly imagine the sort of national lock-down that China has implemented, apparently with considerable success?

    And I'm still very suspicious about the circumstances of the outbreak. It hit China just before Lunar New Year, the absolutely worst possible time, and the epicenter was Wuhan, a key transport hub. It really seems an *astonishing* coincidence that 300 American military servicemen had been visiting Wuhan just prior to the outbreak, at a peak of international tension.

    How would Americans react if 300 PRC officers had visited Chicago, and immediately afterwards, a deadly new plague broke out in that city, with a major risk of spreading throughout the country?

    Isn't it also rather suspicious that Iran has been hit so hard? So the two countries in the world most subject to current American hostility just tend to be especially "unlucky"...

    As for "soft power," I suspect it largely reflects a heavily-lagging indicator of economic/political power, only somewhat shifted by considerations of pop-culture. If China continues on its economic/political trajectory, I think it will have plenty of soft power 30-40 years down the road. And if American society/economy collapses, so soon afterward will our soft power, ignorant rap-stars and basketball players notwithstanding.

    When are you moving to China, Ron? It seems as if you’re giving up on the last earthly paradise for all dissenters. I hope the Chinese turnout as pliable as the Ango-Americans have been or it would be the end of the road for the rabble rousers.

  169. @reiner Tor

    To date, no one has disproved the study by Zhao et al., who found that Chinese lung tissue is five times more receptive to coronoviral infections than lung tissue from non-Asian donors. Yes, there was only one Chinese donor in that study, but the chances are very low that the same normal distribution would produce such an extreme outlier.
     
    There was another study, which found more such receptors among smokers, but no difference between racial groups.

    https://www.preprints.org/manuscript/202002.0051/v1/download

    Now with a pretty bad epidemic in Iran and increasingly in Italy, it certainly doesn’t seem to be very likely.

    There was another study, which found more such receptors among smokers, but no difference between racial groups.

    That is interesting. Iranians (Middle Easterners in general) are awful fond of their hookah, and Italians are (or at least were) known to be bigger smokers than say, Germans or Americans. The Chinese/Japanese/Koreans are also big smokers, or at least used to be, like the older generation.

    • Replies: @The Wild Geese Howard

    That is interesting. Iranians (Middle Easterners in general) are awful fond of their hookah
     
    Absolutely filthy habit:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hookah#Health_effects
  170. @Kim
    When in 1804 (?) the slaves revolted in what is today Haiti, Napoleon sent a force of 25,000 soldiers and sailors to suppress the revolt. The French died en masse of yellow fever and the revolt went unsuppressed.

    The French died en masse of yellow fever and the revolt went unsuppressed.

    British civil servants sent to what is now Nigeria much later on died an average of 3 years after arrival. The problem was largely solved by filtering drinking water. Of course, that did not stop malaria and other diseases.

    I strongly recommend this book about Africa. It is hilarious. The author lived in Africa in his youth and understands it somewhat.

    A Good Man in Africa (William Boyd)

  171. @Europe Europa
    For the sheer size of the country, China is almost completely devoid of soft power. Unlike South Korea and Japan, China has almost no cultural exports that are popular anywhere else in the world. All China is known for is its authoritarianism and exporting huge amounts of cheap goods, most non-Chinese people would struggle to name a famous person or movie, etc, from mainland China.

    The only internationally well known pop culture figures that Chinese culture has produced have been from Hong Kong, which is obviously highly Westernised in comparison to mainland China. People like Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan.

    Soft power usually comes after a country reaches OECD status, i.e. when it has satisfied its basic needs. People in the world don’t usually look up to or try to emulate poor peasants and beggars. Also most countries in the world do not have soft power due to language barriers. Name one famous entertainer or recent movie from Scandinavia, France or Germany? English is the only true lingua franca of the world.

    Japan’s soft power comes from its food, not too many are familiar with their pop stars or movie stars.

    K-pop only succeeds because it blindly apes US pop music. Nothing original comes out of Korea, a Hyundai looks like a Mercedes, a Kia looks like a Toyota, Samsung phones all look like iPhones. Now even their pop music looks like carbon copies of US pop music, and their pop stars all have massive plastic surgery to try to look as Western as possible.

    • Replies: @Europe Europa
    I would actually say Britain has less soft power today than in the past despite being an English speaking country. How many people outside of Britain could name many current famous British singers or entertainers? It seems to me that Britain has excelled far more in past decades at this than it does today.

    Other than James Bond and Monty Python, etc, (which are all from decades ago), how many non-British people could name recent British films and TV series? A lot of Britain's soft power used to be derived from the royal family but they are increasingly disliked and regarded as a laughing stock around the world so it's debatable if even they generate much soft power any more. Britain also under performs in the tech/innovation world in comparison to Japan and South Korea in my opinion, what has Britain invented/produced in relatively recent years that people associate as British technology? I can't think of anything.

    , @Staedtler
    Korean drama TV shows and movies are quite different from US Hollywood productions in content and style. They originally became very popular along with K-pop in other Asian countries because of culturally similarity.

    Nowadays, in most Asian countries and many other countries, they have their own domestic media entertainment or are into other Asian media such as Korean shows and music.

    American pop music and films don't dominate like they used to. The biggest Hollywood blockbusters like superhero movies are popular, but the more regular movies and pop music are most popular in the Anglosphere and European countries with good English speakers.
  172. @Jan
    From a contact working at the very highest research levels in a very senior position.

    1 Coronavirus mortality is running at 4.5-5%

    2 They believe the virus has been modified in a laboratory

    3 There will be a pandemic.

    4 The United States Federal Government is making contingencies for millions of deaths.

    If only the government was so efficient.

  173. @A123
    Of the 1-3% that may die or be sickest, how many of them are non-workforce? Retired with pre-existing conditions? This likely reduces the direct economic impact.

    What can actually be done in a hospital? It's a virus so the care is supportive. How much supportive care can be delivered at home? IV's can be done by a travelling nurse.

    Countries where a significant percentage of people can work from home have huge financial advantages over manual labor nations. There will be no recession in the U.S. as we are food and energy independent, although certain entertainment industries targeting crowd events will likely have severe issues.

    China and other cheap goods producers will have problems. Without the ability to make and sell junk, how will they pay for imported oil?

    PEACE 😇

    I think it is important to identify the infectious elements in the virus.. to educate all of the people with a full academic treatment of what is known about life cycle, infection site, detection, so millions of people can work on discovering a solution.. instead of just the trained few.. sometimes something as simple a chromophore in a strange plant can detect infections. render a remedy. or indicate a way to eliminate risk in locations<=so one can clean up the spot before sitting on it, or picking it up or whatever. .. This virus is a threat to humanity (and much background data suggest death rate expectation after infection might reach as high as 16%) , but community work of the population as a whole has two great benefits, 1. it could organize humanity to handle threats the massive corrupt nation state system, can not satisfactorily handle and 2. it could education one hell of a lot of people about how viri work and teach them what is known and not known about the virus <=better than a college education in microbiology. <teach the basics, teach the research, and listen as those impacted discover the answers.
    One of the big problems our society faces is that our 8 billion humans have been divided into 206 nation state people containers, and each contained group is subject to the wisdom, integrity, and diligence of those who conduct the affairs that control the behaviors of those trapped within one of the nation state containers
    Humanity has a big problem, the nation state system favors big pharma and the hold of big pharma on information is second only to government restraint against citizen action again instituted by big Pharma.
    BP wants to own (that is they want to patent or to by the patent before they allow anyone its use) the discovered improvements on survival, detection and so forth.. This hide everything mentality can kill millions. as it allows those who can profit from the threat to use government to hide the answers until big pharma can make a profit while millions are dying.

  174. Corona Will Kill Millions & Crater the World Economy

    Sorry, it won’t have time for that: the end of the world will happen tomorrow at 5:30 am Greenwich time.

    • LOL: Weston Waroda
    • Replies: @Dieter Kief
    Oh, the world will end tomorrow morning - but that'd be soon. You sure, sir? If it ends at 5:30 Greenwich time, when will it end then in - Australia, say - sooner - - or later? - The latter 'd be good, wouldn't it? - This then might give me a little hope - at least for all the lovely kangaroos, that they'd have one more day or so? - It would be nice, but is sad! - Maybe at least some White Kangaroos can survive? - What do you think?
    , @A123

    the end of the world will happen tomorrow at 5:30 am Greenwich time.
     
    Are the Vogons building another hyperspace bypass?

    PEACE 😇
    _______

    https://i.pinimg.com/originals/5f/79/a4/5f79a4432e7d797facb0fe257c777370.jpg
    , @Republic
    Hope that you have gotten your affairs in order!
  175. @Ron Unz
    Well, personally I think the jury is still out whether East Asians are far more vulnerable to the new coronavirus than whites. The outbreaks in Iran and Italy shift the likelihood somewhat, but it's still early. Personally, I think the evidence from that cruise ship might be most definitive.

    But if whites are indeed as vulnerable, I'd think that the West might be hit much harder than China. After all, can we possibly imagine the sort of national lock-down that China has implemented, apparently with considerable success?

    And I'm still very suspicious about the circumstances of the outbreak. It hit China just before Lunar New Year, the absolutely worst possible time, and the epicenter was Wuhan, a key transport hub. It really seems an *astonishing* coincidence that 300 American military servicemen had been visiting Wuhan just prior to the outbreak, at a peak of international tension.

    How would Americans react if 300 PRC officers had visited Chicago, and immediately afterwards, a deadly new plague broke out in that city, with a major risk of spreading throughout the country?

    Isn't it also rather suspicious that Iran has been hit so hard? So the two countries in the world most subject to current American hostility just tend to be especially "unlucky"...

    As for "soft power," I suspect it largely reflects a heavily-lagging indicator of economic/political power, only somewhat shifted by considerations of pop-culture. If China continues on its economic/political trajectory, I think it will have plenty of soft power 30-40 years down the road. And if American society/economy collapses, so soon afterward will our soft power, ignorant rap-stars and basketball players notwithstanding.

    Isn’t it also rather suspicious that Iran has been hit so hard? So the two countries in the world most subject to current American hostility just tend to be especially “unlucky”…

    If the Joker was in charge of the American biowarfare projects you might have something. Because releasing a contagious disease is a pretty insane thing to do intentionally even if you have a cunning plan to keep it away from your own army. I place the probability that this was a weapon at less than one in 50 million.

    So no I am not even kind of suspicious let alone rather suspicious.

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
    Never underestimate the stupidity of the imperial elite. Especially when it is desperate.
  176. @Ludwig
    The SARS-COV-2 virus (which causes COVID-19) attacks the body by preferentially binding to the ACE2 receptor which disrupts various critical functions in the body. This is similar to SARS but apparently the binding is much more pronounced (which is why anti-SARS vaccines have not been effective), though with much less mortality rate from 10% of SARS to anywhere from 0.2%-2% (estimates differ over a magnitude because of the number infected is not known and from what data is known, different regions, even within China, have vastly different mortality profiles - Hubei has 4% while the rest of China has 0.7%. A possible explanation is that many more in Hubei are infected but not tested due to the prioritization in Hubei, esp the epicenter Wuhan, to handle only obvious cases which is already in the 100,000s tested).

    Investigations into where ACE2 differs across populations have been published. Here’s one from yesterday https://www.nature.com/articles/s41421-020-0147-1 which concludes that at this time there is not evidence that racial/ethnic/gender variation of ACE2 is statistically significant

    What appears to be a more statistically significant variation is the susceptibility of ACE2 receptors in smokers vs non-smokers (or those whose lungs/other tissues - eg the heart - are compromised). See for example https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.02.05.20020107v2

    Thus the gender difference noted in China (which has the largest data set so far) can be explained by lifestyle differences between genders rather than genetic differences.

    Just read the medrxiv abstract you so kindly linked. Looks like bad news for ‘former’ smokers, although it was a bit unclear if current, active smokers of caucasian descent may be better off than those who have quit smoking. Wouldn’t that be a kick in the pants (and maybe a short-term boost to tobacco stocks.)

    And with the current cannabis mania overtaking the US and many other Western nations, does the term ‘smoker’ mean tobacco only, or does it include all smokers, tobacco and cannabis? In China, it must be assumed it is tobacco only (as the laws against cannabis usage in mainland China are among the strictest outside the muslim world.) Very likely so for the caucasians studied as well.

    Thanks again for the link.

    • Replies: @Ludwig
    The issue doesn’t seem to be cigarette smoking per-se: rather mechanisms that cause repeated lung injury/inflammation that result in higher ACE2 gene expression. For example this study ( https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/25981293/)
    from 2015 (in a rat model) states:

    This study indicated that inflammation pulmonary edema and histological changes resulted from smoke inhalation induced lung injury were possibly attributed to abnormal expression of ACE and ACE2 related pathway.

    So the key issue appears to be repeated lung injury which can presumably occur in multiple ways. So if people have “weak lungs” and susceptible to persistent coughs - for example taking a month to heal their coughing rather than a week from a cough-inducing cold/flu - they may be more likely to have COVID-19 take hold.

    Keep in mind that ACE2 is just one part of the bigger puzzle: if you have a robust immune system (including getting enough sleep which is key to the immune system being healthy), have healthy organs etc it would mitigate the risk. Cigarette smokers on average tend to have a lifestyle that generally is less than optimal for overall health and the immune system. Eg https://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/data_statistics/sgr/50th-anniversary/pdfs/fs_smoking_overall_health_508.pdf
  177. @Johnny Rico
    According to the Johns Hopkins tracker:

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

    The global total number of active cases (confirmed - recovered - dead) has declined from a peak of about 56,000 a week ago to about 49,000 today. That means 1000 more people are recovering every day than are contracting the virus.

    Those numbers suggest the virus may in fact be out its way out in the next three or four months.

    1. yes that is the link
    2. it is really poor procedure to have any webpage address, let alone one that is this important with a url that tails with something like bda7594740fd4. And my link to it tails with a different one. It is someone’s surveillance tracker implementation.

  178. @Ron Unz
    Well, personally I think the jury is still out whether East Asians are far more vulnerable to the new coronavirus than whites. The outbreaks in Iran and Italy shift the likelihood somewhat, but it's still early. Personally, I think the evidence from that cruise ship might be most definitive.

    But if whites are indeed as vulnerable, I'd think that the West might be hit much harder than China. After all, can we possibly imagine the sort of national lock-down that China has implemented, apparently with considerable success?

    And I'm still very suspicious about the circumstances of the outbreak. It hit China just before Lunar New Year, the absolutely worst possible time, and the epicenter was Wuhan, a key transport hub. It really seems an *astonishing* coincidence that 300 American military servicemen had been visiting Wuhan just prior to the outbreak, at a peak of international tension.

    How would Americans react if 300 PRC officers had visited Chicago, and immediately afterwards, a deadly new plague broke out in that city, with a major risk of spreading throughout the country?

    Isn't it also rather suspicious that Iran has been hit so hard? So the two countries in the world most subject to current American hostility just tend to be especially "unlucky"...

    As for "soft power," I suspect it largely reflects a heavily-lagging indicator of economic/political power, only somewhat shifted by considerations of pop-culture. If China continues on its economic/political trajectory, I think it will have plenty of soft power 30-40 years down the road. And if American society/economy collapses, so soon afterward will our soft power, ignorant rap-stars and basketball players notwithstanding.
  179. @AnonFromTN

    Corona Will Kill Millions & Crater the World Economy
     
    Sorry, it won’t have time for that: the end of the world will happen tomorrow at 5:30 am Greenwich time.

    Oh, the world will end tomorrow morning – but that’d be soon. You sure, sir? If it ends at 5:30 Greenwich time, when will it end then in – Australia, say – sooner – – or later? – The latter ‘d be good, wouldn’t it? – This then might give me a little hope – at least for all the lovely kangaroos, that they’d have one more day or so? – It would be nice, but is sad! – Maybe at least some White Kangaroos can survive? – What do you think?

  180. Corona Will Kill Millions & Crater the World Economy

    Too many chicken littles. The Y2K of 2020.

    • Replies: @The Wild Geese Howard

    Too many chicken littles. The Y2K of 2020.
     
    Some of the fear-mongering and barely concealed glee is a little disturbing.

    As much fun as Mad Max was to watch, 99.999% of us are not Mad Max and have no hope of being Mad Max.
    , @SC Rebel
    Don’t forget the polar ice caps melting. Any day now, just wait!
  181. @Ron Unz


    300 American military servicemen had been visiting Wuhan just prior to the outbreak, at a peak of international tension.
     
    300 U.S. servicemen of Chinese descent visiting their parents during a National holiday when hundreds of thousands are travelling? That would be typical.
     
    No, of course not. The Military World Games were being held in Wuhan, and 300 American servicemen participated. The Wuhan viral outbreak occurred *immediately* afterwards, which seems extremely suspicious timing to me. Naturally, none of this has been reported in our totally worthless MSM:

    http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/2019-10/15/c_138473332.htm

    https://www.unz.com/article/was-the-2020-wuhan-coronavirus-an-engineered-biological-attack-on-china-by-america-for-geopolitical-advantage/

    Again, how would America react if 300 Chinese servicemen visited Dallas for an international event, and immediately afterwards a deadly---and rather mysterious---viral outbreak suddenly occurred in that city...

    Mr. Unz,

    I appreciate the additional detail.

    China invited a number of countries to be present at this international event. As they were military forces, they were no doubt monitored while present. With no reports of infections among attending troops they are highly unlikely to be the disease carriers. One can see how the Chinese government could be concerned given the circumstances, but blaming an invited and monitored U.S. team lacks plausibility.

    Also consider this… President Trump and the U.S. just won bigly in the China Phase #1 trade talks. Thus, there is no upside to a U.S. attack that disrupts trade.

    Anyone suggesting that CoV19 was launched, rather than naturally occurring or an accidental release, is suggesting a very risky conspiracy against both the U.S. and China. Intentionally trying to start a China-U.S. war that could go no nuclear does not seem to be in the interest of any side that has the technology to handle such a virus.

    PEACE 😇

    • Replies: @Johnny Rico
    Clearly Ernst Blofeld is behind it.

    Oh!....and he is Jewish. Coincidence?

    https://forward.com/news/israel/9024/bond-s-semitic-villains/

    ....sorry. Not Jewish. But has a "Semitic-sounding" name. So there's that. Haha

  182. Is Corona anywhere near the flu deaths?

    US flu still elevated but dropping; deaths as high as 57,000
    Filed Under: Influenza, General
    Jim Wappes | Editorial Director | CIDRAP News | Apr 19, 2019

    • Replies: @Black Pilled Again
    Seasonal flu is over a hundred different strains of influenza that were endemic for quite a while. What Corona should be compared to are novel flu pandemics.

    Day 45 of WHO observation
    Swine flu: 25,272 infected; 139 dead
    Corona: 79,774 infected; 2,628 dead

    Estimated results of Swine flu pandemic: 15%-20% of the world population infected and 250,000-500,000 people dead.
    Estimated results of Corona pandemic: ?
  183. Feb 22, 2020 Coronavirus: How WHO Corruption Helped It Spread

    Rampant corruption within the United Nations World Health Organization is putting lives at risk during the deadly coronavirus outbreak from Wuhan, China. Why did the WHO delay issuing a global emergency? Has Chinese money influenced the WHO and it’s Director General Tedros Adhanom? And what about poor Taiwan?

  184. @Bert
    There is also the matter of evolutionary increase in virulence. A fair amount of mathematical theory exists about the evolution of virulence.

    The probability of transmission to a new host is a critical independent variable in this theory. From the review paper linked below, “The consensus of mathematical theory based around a transmission–virulence trade-off, therefore, is that increasing environmental transmission will lead to the evolution of increased virulence under most scenarios. ” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4873896/

    If Covid-19 is currently relatively benign in many individuals, that situation is not at all guaranteed going forward. And massive quarantine is a way to prevent the evolution of a more virulent strain of Covid-19.

    Insouciance is so common among youth because it is caused by ignorance, which itself is regenerated and rather little mitigated every generation.

    There is also the matter of evolutionary increase in virulence. A fair amount of mathematical theory exists about the evolution of virulence.

    Does it indeed? Are there people out there who believe that virulence is an asset for a virus? How can it be an advantage to kill your own host population? Probably the most successful viral disease of all time in humans is the common cold. Why so? because it doesn’t kill its own hosts!

    • Replies: @Bert
    You sound like you don't believe that scientists should think deeply about how the world works, test their ideas and communicate their results. Unless I am misinterpreting your scornful tone, you apparently would rather rely on the intuition of an uniformed person. That's your option of course.

    However in case you would like to know something about the theory of virulence, I'll try to explain the basic concept. First, get rid of the idea that there is "a virus." As is typical of organisms, within a large virus population there are different genotypes. The theory is interested in how the different genotypes increase in frequency, or not, within the virus population as a function of the genotypes' rates of reproduction.

    However, and crucially, there are two levels at which a virus populations exists. The wider level is all the individual viruses out for delivery, so to speak. The narrow level is the population of viruses replicating in each host individual, let's just say in Lance Welton for purposes of explication. Put simply, there is competition among viral genotypes within a single host. Some genotypes replicate faster than others. Genotypes Joe, Bill and Frank are easygoing, but Jamal is a stud. So when viral particles leave old Lance Welton to go out for delivery, there will be proportionally more baby Jamals than baby Joes, Bills and Franks compared with the genotypes that infected Lance originally.

    Now probably all those extra viruses due to Jamal's studliness make Lance feel worse than if Jamal hadn't been in him. But that doesn't matter as long as transmission to another host is easy. In fact it doesn't even matter if all the little Jamals kill Lance as long as he has infected at least one new host before he goes belly up.

    What we have here is a tradeoff between rapid viral reproduction within a host and the requirement of allowing the host to live long enough to pass on the infection. Virulence is not an asset. It is a evolutionary byproduct of the ecology of the virus-host interaction, specifically of very easy transmission. Cholera, while not viral of course, is considered an example of a virulent pathogen that is very easily transmitted in the absence of sewage systems. There is a lot more involved in the theory of the evolution of virulence, like incubation period, asymptomatic transmission (both capable of evolving), but the key idea is the tradeoff of rapid reproduction within a single host (competition among different viral genotpes) and the transmission probability stemming from the array of genotypes in that host.

    Evolutionary theory expects that stable long-term host-pathogen relationships will settle into something relatively benign, like the common cold you cite. However, the cholera-style situation does evolve if the host-pathogen ecology makes it possible. Human beings crowded together in cities is a very promising ecology for fast reproducing variants of a new virus transmitted by droplets, fomites, aerosol, and body fluids. In the absence of quarantines and lockdowns, Covid-19 could probably evolve to be more like Jamal than it is now.

  185. @AnonFromTN

    Corona Will Kill Millions & Crater the World Economy
     
    Sorry, it won’t have time for that: the end of the world will happen tomorrow at 5:30 am Greenwich time.

    the end of the world will happen tomorrow at 5:30 am Greenwich time.

    Are the Vogons building another hyperspace bypass?

    PEACE 😇
    _______

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
    You hit the nail on the head. How did you guess? Thing is, it cannot be averted: vogons have already accepted the bribes.
  186. @Morton's toes

    Isn’t it also rather suspicious that Iran has been hit so hard? So the two countries in the world most subject to current American hostility just tend to be especially “unlucky”…
     
    If the Joker was in charge of the American biowarfare projects you might have something. Because releasing a contagious disease is a pretty insane thing to do intentionally even if you have a cunning plan to keep it away from your own army. I place the probability that this was a weapon at less than one in 50 million.

    So no I am not even kind of suspicious let alone rather suspicious.

    Never underestimate the stupidity of the imperial elite. Especially when it is desperate.

    • Agree: Ron Unz
  187. @Just Passing Through
    Japanese and Korean pop culture is pretty feminine in my opinion, it needs to be avoided at all costs

    I agree that there is subversive tendency to feminize men in Japan and Korea, but that’s what the censors are for.

    I don’t know where Japan, China, and Korea are ranked on a scale of sex differentiation in behavior and clothing, but I think Japan is quite notable for being much more differentiated than the West. I would guess that it is easily more differentiated than China, since it lacked the influence of communism.

    Maybe, someone can correct me if I’m wrong, but I think that in China girls at school often don’t wear uniforms that include skirts. It has occurred to me that the skirt uniform might be part of Japan’s success over the West, in the perpetuation of traditional sex relations, though perhaps it may be more deeply routed in psychobiology.

    On the street-level in Japan, you definitely see many more young women wearing skirts than in the West. It’s not just the schools. The culture of the schools gets repeated on TV and in the movies, so normal entertainment amplifies it.

    I’m guessing that this transmania doesn’t even exist in Japan.

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
    There is a downside: when Japanese chicks wear skirts, you can see that too many have bowlegs.
    , @Hyperborean

    Maybe, someone can correct me if I’m wrong, but I think that in China girls at school often don’t wear uniforms that include skirts. It has occurred to me that the skirt uniform might be part of Japan’s success over the West, in the perpetuation of traditional sex relations, though perhaps it may be more deeply routed in psychobiology.
     
    Regular Mainland Chinese uniforms are basically just tracksuits with short-sleeve shirt underneath, usually rather colourful too (though there are formal uniforms as well for more serious events).

    https://www.chinadaily.com.cn/china/images/attachement/jpg/site1/20150920/b083fe955fd617686d9547.jpg

    I personally think this would be more proper:

    http://images.china.cn/attachement/jpg/site1007/20150529/0019b91ecaeb16d218f005.jpg

    At my school formal uniforms are worn for Monday formalities and girls can wear either skirts or trousers (the factor tends to be the season).

    Although they are a minority, I have been noticing more young bourgeois-looking girls wear Japanese-style seifuku in their free time.

    Traditional Japanese school uniforms are basically just an adaptation of 19th century European military uniforms (army/gakuran for boys and navy/serafuku for girls) adopted as part of the "Civilisation and Enlightenment" (文明開化) reforms.

    I’m guessing that this transmania doesn’t even exist in Japan.
     
    Well, Japanese don't seem so different in this regard:


    At Kashiwanoha Junior High School, which opened in Kashiwa, Chiba Prefecture, in April, students can freely choose whether to wear skirts or slacks or ties or ribbons with blazers, regardless of their sex.

    Originally, the school did not intend to make students wear a uniform, but had to change course because nearly 90 percent of parents and prospective students surveyed wanted one.

    [...]

    Similar moves are spreading in Japan, with a junior high school in Fukuoka Prefecture preparing to abandon the stand-up collars and sailor suits for blazers that will let students mix and match with skirts or trousers when the April 2019 school year kicks off.

    In Tokyo, the Setagaya Ward Board of Education is set to follow suit in April, while boards of education in the cities of Osaka and Fukuoka plan to broach the topic in the near future.

    [...]

    In 2014, there were 606 cases of consultations related to gender dysphoria, according to a survey by the Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Ministry covering elementary, junior high and high schools across Japan.

    The following year, the ministry issued a notice encouraging schools to improve support for sexual minorities and pay consideration to their clothing, hairstyles, and bathroom use.
     
    https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2018/06/21/national/social-issues/school-uniforms-go-unisex-japanese-schools-seek-better-fit-lgbt-students/
  188. @A123

    the end of the world will happen tomorrow at 5:30 am Greenwich time.
     
    Are the Vogons building another hyperspace bypass?

    PEACE 😇
    _______

    https://i.pinimg.com/originals/5f/79/a4/5f79a4432e7d797facb0fe257c777370.jpg

    You hit the nail on the head. How did you guess? Thing is, it cannot be averted: vogons have already accepted the bribes.

    • Replies: @A123
    Vogons like shouting and blowing things up. No bribes are required.

    The BBC 6-part adaptation of Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy was much better than the movie. The book is a classic.

    PEACE 😇
    _______

    https://i.pinimg.com/originals/e7/e7/b5/e7e7b53d93368403a0daa11ca8e7eefd.png
  189. @AnonFromTN
    You hit the nail on the head. How did you guess? Thing is, it cannot be averted: vogons have already accepted the bribes.

    Vogons like shouting and blowing things up. No bribes are required.

    The BBC 6-part adaptation of Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy was much better than the movie. The book is a classic.

    PEACE 😇
    _______

    • Replies: @S
    Hey! What gives?

    The BBC obviously stole Wah Chang's 'Gorn' of Star Trek fame for it's Ravenous Bugblatter!

    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/a/a0/StarTrek-Gorn.jpg

    , @AnonFromTN

    Vogons like shouting and blowing things up.
     
    That sounds like neocons. Vogons might be disgusting, but not nearly as much as neocons. The only good thing one can say about neocons as compared to vogons, neocons don’t write poetry.
  190. @Ron Unz
    Well, personally I think the jury is still out whether East Asians are far more vulnerable to the new coronavirus than whites. The outbreaks in Iran and Italy shift the likelihood somewhat, but it's still early. Personally, I think the evidence from that cruise ship might be most definitive.

    But if whites are indeed as vulnerable, I'd think that the West might be hit much harder than China. After all, can we possibly imagine the sort of national lock-down that China has implemented, apparently with considerable success?

    And I'm still very suspicious about the circumstances of the outbreak. It hit China just before Lunar New Year, the absolutely worst possible time, and the epicenter was Wuhan, a key transport hub. It really seems an *astonishing* coincidence that 300 American military servicemen had been visiting Wuhan just prior to the outbreak, at a peak of international tension.

    How would Americans react if 300 PRC officers had visited Chicago, and immediately afterwards, a deadly new plague broke out in that city, with a major risk of spreading throughout the country?

    Isn't it also rather suspicious that Iran has been hit so hard? So the two countries in the world most subject to current American hostility just tend to be especially "unlucky"...

    As for "soft power," I suspect it largely reflects a heavily-lagging indicator of economic/political power, only somewhat shifted by considerations of pop-culture. If China continues on its economic/political trajectory, I think it will have plenty of soft power 30-40 years down the road. And if American society/economy collapses, so soon afterward will our soft power, ignorant rap-stars and basketball players notwithstanding.

    So the two countries in the world most subject to current American hostility just tend to be especially “unlucky”…

    I guess they threw Italy into the mix just to put us off the trail. They didn’t like Salvini anyway.

    • Replies: @Ron Unz

    I guess they threw Italy into the mix just to put us off the trail. They didn’t like Salvini anyway.
     
    Well, supposedly something like 25,000 Chinese live and work in Italy, so a secondary outbreak there is hardly so surprising.

    On the other hand, I'm not sure how many Chinese are Shia Muslim pilgrims to Qom, Iran.

    By contrast, if someone wanted to deliberately spread a bioweapon within the pro-Iran Shia Muslim community, as a leading pilgrimage Qom would be an ideal release target location.

    None of this proves anything, but it seems *highly* suspicious...

    https://www.unz.com/wwebb/bats-gene-editing-and-bioweapons-recent-darpa-experiments-raise-concerns-amid-coronavirus-outbreak/
    , @Weston Waroda
    Yes, they would have no problem deliberately introducing the virus into Italy as a red herring. Those who perpetrated the disgusting Operation Gladio on the Italian public, the brave CIA, would be willing to do anything if it served their dark purposes. While I hope there's another explanation, there's a weirdness about the Italian coronavirus that I don't believe can be explained merely by person to person contact, just like in Wuhan, just like in Iran. It doesn't appear to spread this fast everywhere.
  191. @JohnPlywood
    China doesn't waste its money on soft power because it knows that soft power isn't real.

    China doesn’t waste its money on soft power because it knows that soft power isn’t real.

    Don’t know if buying government officials qualifies as “soft” power, but they seem to invest heavily (and successfully) in that.

  192. @china-russia-all-the-way
    I see that a lot of people use volume of pop culture exported as the metric for soft power. I think of it in a different way. I see soft power as revolving around 2 questions.

    1) How respected is a country for its capabilities?
    2) How benign is a country perceived?

    America is of course very respected for achievements for putting a man on the moon, richest economy, on and on. America is also considered benign. The world is aware of US aggression in the Middle East but still, at the end of the day, America is considered benign because of its anti-racism. If 1 million Muslims were given residence in America in the 15 years after September 11, then America isn't truly bad at heart? I think that's how the thinking goes.

    China is obviously not as capable as the US and struggles to be thought of as benign. However, America pays a heavy price for its soft power, going from 90% to 60% white in a span of 70 years. So having crummy soft power is not too bad.

    I consider America malignant because of its “anti-racism.”

  193. @Pindos
    Is Corona anywhere near the flu deaths?

    US flu still elevated but dropping; deaths as high as 57,000
    Filed Under: Influenza, General
    Jim Wappes | Editorial Director | CIDRAP News | Apr 19, 2019

    Seasonal flu is over a hundred different strains of influenza that were endemic for quite a while. What Corona should be compared to are novel flu pandemics.

    Day 45 of WHO observation
    Swine flu: 25,272 infected; 139 dead
    Corona: 79,774 infected; 2,628 dead

    Estimated results of Swine flu pandemic: 15%-20% of the world population infected and 250,000-500,000 people dead.
    Estimated results of Corona pandemic: ?

    • Replies: @9/11 Inside job
    How did WHO determine that on "day 4 " 79,774 people were infected with "Corona" ? I believe that there is no reliable field test to determine whether or not someone has been infected with COVID-19. As an aside , former employees have accused both the CDC and WHO of corruption and the CDC of grossly exaggerating the number of deaths from the flu .
  194. @JUSA

    There was another study, which found more such receptors among smokers, but no difference between racial groups.
     
    That is interesting. Iranians (Middle Easterners in general) are awful fond of their hookah, and Italians are (or at least were) known to be bigger smokers than say, Germans or Americans. The Chinese/Japanese/Koreans are also big smokers, or at least used to be, like the older generation.

    That is interesting. Iranians (Middle Easterners in general) are awful fond of their hookah

    Absolutely filthy habit:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hookah#Health_effects

  195. @Znzn
    South Korea has 20 times the soft power of China frankly speaking.

    Interesting re S. Korea soft power. The spouse has been watching K dramas/romcoms lately, and they consistently hint at N-S Korean re-unification.

  196. @Kim
    When in 1804 (?) the slaves revolted in what is today Haiti, Napoleon sent a force of 25,000 soldiers and sailors to suppress the revolt. The French died en masse of yellow fever and the revolt went unsuppressed.

    In the early 1900s, the French sent out officials to administer their French Guiana colony, with the promise that after 5 years they would be returned to France. Less than 10% survived the 5 year tour of duty to return.

  197. @Ron Unz

    Fun theory but it would make more sense if paired with some theory of how the US took secret steps to protect its own population, e.g., slipped a vaccine in the drinking water. But it is hard to think of a plausible theory of that sort.
     
    Well, there were some early indications that the virus was especially deadly towards Chinese and perhaps East Asians rather than whites, though the picture is currently much more cloudy. But you're looking at things entirely the wrong way...

    Under normal circumstances, I would be *extremely* skeptical of a possible US biowarfare attack against China since it would be such a totally insane thing to do. But just last month, we assassinated a top Iranian leader, and much of everything our government does is totally insane. So an insane biowarfare attack would just fit into this larger pattern.

    Also, consider that a mysterious Swine Flu epidemic suddenly appeared in China during 2019, and destroyed 40% of its primary domestic meat source, certainly a highly suspicious coincidence.

    I'd very strongly recommend that people read this very lengthy article we published a week ago, which provides a vast amount of background information on the issue. The author is a highly eccentric American ex-pat living in China, and his own views should be given little weight. But he provides an enormous wealth of useful information and links, totally excluded from our worthless MSM:

    https://www.unz.com/article/was-the-2020-wuhan-coronavirus-an-engineered-biological-attack-on-china-by-america-for-geopolitical-advantage/

    Assassinating a top Iranian leader is not in the same league as targetting a huge population with a bioweapon. The latter is a much bigger provocation and the US would be much more vulnerable to a revenge strike than most countries. The only benefit to the US ruling class would be another excuse to crack down on US citizens as in post 911. The only problem for them is their credibility is near zero now.

  198. @Realist

    Corona Will Kill Millions & Crater the World Economy
     
    Too many chicken littles. The Y2K of 2020.

    Too many chicken littles. The Y2K of 2020.

    Some of the fear-mongering and barely concealed glee is a little disturbing.

    As much fun as Mad Max was to watch, 99.999% of us are not Mad Max and have no hope of being Mad Max.

    • Replies: @Realist
    Agreed
    , @Astuteobservor II
    Now imagine those video footages get cut and edited together for Chinese public consumption. Instant war preparation material for the Chinese govt.
  199. Several readers have commented that this virus no longer appears to be Chinese-specific. Not true. Of the nearly 80,000 infections, nearly 99% are ethnic Chinese, and of the nearly 2,600 deaths, 99% are also ethnic Chinese.

    The death rate (as a percentage of infections) is around 3% for Mainland China and Hong Kong, only 1% for South Korea and only 0.5% for the cruise ship. Most others are insignificant. No idea why Korea and the cruise ship appear to be so comparatively low, nor why both seem to be panicking. They appear susceptible to mild infection but no more.

    The big surprises are Italy at about 3% while the remainer of Europe is at about 0%. Further with Italy, another surprise is that the infections occurred in Lombardy and the Veneto (Northern Italy) and in the South. But Southern Italians are a very different species from those in the North, almost a different race. And Rome, in the center of Italy, with the greatest mixture of races in the country, is left untouched.

    The next surprise is Iran which has a death rate of about 25%. This may be partially caused by lack of early identification, permitting the virus to progress unmolested, but that still doesn’t explain the high death rate even among the young and middle-aged.

    The virus still seems to ignore blacks, so good for them.

    Those readers riding the non-hygenic horse, should probably dismount. Several recent research studies have concluded the coronavirus did NOT originate at the seafood market, and it sure as hell did not arise from eating bats (which the Chinese do not do).

    The researchers have tracked and analysed nearly 100 examples of the genome from 12 different countries on 4 continents, have identified all the varieties and mutations, and have conclusively demonstrated that the virus had a so far unidentified source, and was then exposed to the seafood market from where it spread everywhere.

    A couple of days ago, Ashai Shimbun (and a Japanese TV station) made the claim that the coronavirus originated in the US, not in China. I don’t have the video, but they had documentation for their claims. Japan did not claim the virus was man-made in the US, but rather that the outbreak occurred there. It may also have been made in the US, but they didn’t make that connection.

    The US may have a great many coronavirus infections. But the CDC are not – and cannot – test for them because their testing materials proved to be so faulty as to be useless, producing random results either positive or negative, that are totally unreliable, and thus have instructed everyone to discard the equipment. To my best knowledge, the CDC is not preparing new testing equipment or procedures, but is doing nothing. The reason the CDC can claim no positive tests in the US is because they are not – and cannot – do any reliable tests. Further, the CDC shipped their coronavirus testing materials all over the world, but to my knowledge have not relayed to those countries the information that the tests are useless.

  200. @jay
    I am surprised that it isn't spreading like wildfire in India
    • Replies: @jay
    Since it was in Singapore which sports a tropical climate. Temperature may not be sufficient to stop it.
  201. Coronavirus is just more proof why Globalization is a bad idea.

    • Replies: @Whitewolf
    Globalism is mostly confined to White countries. Increased tourism however is worldwide thanks to more affordable air travel. Things like coronavirus are going to spread faster and wider as a result of that.
  202. @Black Pilled Again
    Seasonal flu is over a hundred different strains of influenza that were endemic for quite a while. What Corona should be compared to are novel flu pandemics.

    Day 45 of WHO observation
    Swine flu: 25,272 infected; 139 dead
    Corona: 79,774 infected; 2,628 dead

    Estimated results of Swine flu pandemic: 15%-20% of the world population infected and 250,000-500,000 people dead.
    Estimated results of Corona pandemic: ?

    How did WHO determine that on “day 4 ” 79,774 people were infected with “Corona” ? I believe that there is no reliable field test to determine whether or not someone has been infected with COVID-19. As an aside , former employees have accused both the CDC and WHO of corruption and the CDC of grossly exaggerating the number of deaths from the flu .

    • Agree: Dutch Boy
  203. @JUSA
    Soft power usually comes after a country reaches OECD status, i.e. when it has satisfied its basic needs. People in the world don't usually look up to or try to emulate poor peasants and beggars. Also most countries in the world do not have soft power due to language barriers. Name one famous entertainer or recent movie from Scandinavia, France or Germany? English is the only true lingua franca of the world.

    Japan's soft power comes from its food, not too many are familiar with their pop stars or movie stars.

    K-pop only succeeds because it blindly apes US pop music. Nothing original comes out of Korea, a Hyundai looks like a Mercedes, a Kia looks like a Toyota, Samsung phones all look like iPhones. Now even their pop music looks like carbon copies of US pop music, and their pop stars all have massive plastic surgery to try to look as Western as possible.

    I would actually say Britain has less soft power today than in the past despite being an English speaking country. How many people outside of Britain could name many current famous British singers or entertainers? It seems to me that Britain has excelled far more in past decades at this than it does today.

    Other than James Bond and Monty Python, etc, (which are all from decades ago), how many non-British people could name recent British films and TV series? A lot of Britain’s soft power used to be derived from the royal family but they are increasingly disliked and regarded as a laughing stock around the world so it’s debatable if even they generate much soft power any more. Britain also under performs in the tech/innovation world in comparison to Japan and South Korea in my opinion, what has Britain invented/produced in relatively recent years that people associate as British technology? I can’t think of anything.

    • Replies: @A123

    ...what has Britain invented/produced in relatively recent years that people associate as British technology? I can’t think of anything.
     
    How about the Bentley Continental GT3 Race Car!

    https://onthegrid.de/wp-content/uploads/Bathurst_12Hr-2020_Winner_Bentley-7.jpg

    You can watch it action at iconic the 12 Hours of Bathurst.

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=JS-ubIbvw_A

    ________

    https://d362tqiqbgshz5.cloudfront.net/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/01104325/Roo-REDFLAG-feed.00_01_14_16.Still006.jpg
    ________

    PEACE 😇

    , @JUSA
    Britain still has enormous soft power around the world, esp. in their former colonies. British lit from Shakespeare to Jane Austen to modern day Harry Potter continue to be popular and well read in the US and the world.

    British movies like Harry Potter, James Bond, Sherlock Holmes, King's Speech, British TV shows like Downton Abbey, Masterpiece Theater, British pop stars like Adele, Coldplay, actors like Emma Watson, Emma Thompson, Helena Bonham Carter, Jude Law, Keira Knightly, Colin Firth, Michael Caine, Ian McKellen, Jeremy Irons, Maggie Smith, Judi Dench, Pierce Brosnan, Daniel Craig, Daniel Day Lewis, Anthony Hopkins, Helen Mirren and many others are household names in the US and popular the world over. Even in the world of sports, David Beckham and Lewis Hamilton are well known the world over.

    The Royal Family continues to be very popular in the US and the world. Both Prince William and Prince Harry's weddings were widely watched in the US and the world. The BBC accent continues to be regarded as the most proper form of English by most people in the world.

    , @Philip Owen
    Mobile phones. The brand names may have been Scandinavian, Japanese and American but the technology inside was British. There is a cluster of technology consultants around Cambridge that do the work. Basestations, +ARM +Transputers +LCD basic patents + billing software. A recent court case over patents revealed that the iPhone was designed by a consultancy near Hertford (comutting distance from Cambridge).

    Composite aircraft wings, notably Airbus.

    Lots of pharmaceuticals.

    Very few consumer brands. The high price of oil wiped them out starting in the 1980's.
  204. @Dmitry
    Film production in Russia became a way to cut the budget, or take some money with "creative accounting".

    So this decline from Mosfilm, to the shit produced now, is a scary decline. In the 1970s, Russian films were considered everywhere to be one of the best three in the world (along with maybe Japanese and America), and already we just one and a half generation later, and it's amazing shit.

    That said, I like Zygantsev, and also Yuri Bykov has maybe future talent. There's still some remains of talented people.

    Modern Russian pop music
     
    There is are distinctive techniques, melody and sound in Russian pop (not in your example, though which is just eurodance), which is better than you can say for Kpop. Although this sound and melodies of modern Russian pop was developed in the 1970s.

    Also 1980s Soviet electronic/synth music, was already one of the coolest ones in the world. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oIfKmeSq6J4

    And I even prefer the sound of old pop music of the 1980s...
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8YBu9ymbMCQ

    In the 1970s, Russian films were considered everywhere to be one of the best three…

    Apart from a few well-known classics (some of them quite undeserved and driven mainly by boomer nostalgia – The Diamond Arm in particular comes to mind), vast majority of it was insufferable kitsch or derivative works with totally senseless plots.

    Can’t really judge as to the quality of today’s Russian filmography as you only watch 5 movies a year. But I’m quite certain it’d be regarded as a Golden Age if there was no Hollywood as a basis of comparison.

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
    In fact, Hollywood comparison would lead one to overrate any movie. Hollywood ran out of steam 15-20 years ago. Now it makes virtually exclusively shit, where when someone walks, slips, and falls passes for humor. What’s even worse, Hollywood ran out of creativity. When I see an ad for a new movie on TV, with presumably hottest scenes, I always have a feeling that I have seen this already, likely more than once. Deep down they know that, hence their obsession with remakes of old movies.
    In contrast, Soviet comedies like The Diamond Arm, Ivan Vasilievich is Changing Profession, or The Fall Marathon are truly funny and inventive.

    Can’t judge the current scene, haven’t lived in Russia since 1991. Saw TV series Liquidation recently. It’s not bad, and it is purely Soviet in every way.
    , @Dmitry

    vast majority of it was insufferable
     
    Popularist cinema of that time was wonderful, soulful and witty. I mean, everyone enjoys films by Gaidai, Chulyukin, Ryazanov. Moreover, they are still popular in America today.

    And then the arthouse Soviet cinema, was one of the best in the world, along with American and Japanese.

    This is not some idiosyncratic view - the greatest international artists like Akira Kurasawa, Ingmar Bergman, loved Soviet cinema.


    today’s Russian filmography as you only watch 5 movies a year. But I’m quite certain it’d be regarded as a Golden Age
     
    Golden Age of Shit. I don't think even that would accurate, because "Golden age of shit" would imply something that people notice or care about. But I find it difficult that even the producers and directors can watch most of this shit.

    Well, to be fair, Zvyagantsev and maybe Yuri Bykov, have some kind of talent, even if you disliked their films there is some talent there, so it's not completely at the bottom, and Russian film can be ranked (if you ignore all the shit) better than some countries as a result of them.


    no Hollywood as a basis of comparison.
     
    I think (although I did not watch perhaps enough films) Hollywood has improved in the last few years, but it's also declined undoubtedly* since the 1980s. The lowest level was about 10 years ago.

    But even if last year there were some quite good films, there it is still net decline - if you think about how wonderful actually just mainstream popularist "trashy" Hollywood films could be in the 1980s: e.g. Aliens, Bladerunner, Terminator, Last of Mohicans, etc.

    , @Montechristoff
    “The Island”(Острово) by Pavel Lungin is a movie that may shine a light for the west to save itself from abyss of materialistic degradation and decadence or like the main character in the movie, sit down in a coffin and burry it self in oblivion. But I am afraid too little too late. You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.

    P.S.
    Of course if nuclear waste, pandemics and everything else don’t do the job prior to the dumbification. But then again, three horsemen ride hand in hand together, right?
  205. @The Wild Geese Howard

    Too many chicken littles. The Y2K of 2020.
     
    Some of the fear-mongering and barely concealed glee is a little disturbing.

    As much fun as Mad Max was to watch, 99.999% of us are not Mad Max and have no hope of being Mad Max.

    Agreed

  206. @Dieter Kief
    There is a considerable Chinese work-force in northern Italy - thousands of Chinese who are working in sub-contract sweat-shops, not least for the Italian fashion-industry.

    I must say, I'm astonished, that this well-known fact gets no coverage, now that Corona hits - in northern Italy.

    Moldbugman had an interesting thread about that. Last save for Welton? 🙂 Though first Italian dead was confirmed to be ethnic Italian. And would still need to account for Iran.

    https://twitter.com/moldbugman/status/1231981495352348672

  207. @The Wild Geese Howard

    Too many chicken littles. The Y2K of 2020.
     
    Some of the fear-mongering and barely concealed glee is a little disturbing.

    As much fun as Mad Max was to watch, 99.999% of us are not Mad Max and have no hope of being Mad Max.

    Now imagine those video footages get cut and edited together for Chinese public consumption. Instant war preparation material for the Chinese govt.

  208. Anatoly Karlin said:

    ” . . . mortality with ventilators, drugs, doctors, etc. seems to be ~1% versus 2-3% for people left to their own devices . . .”

    I have seen no evidence to justify this claim. Nobody is collecting statistics on which infected persons have been treated (the control group) and which left on thier own to die.

    I suppose I shouldn’t complain, but much of this article is similar, poorly-thought-out ideological wishful thinking, masquerading as authoritative fact.

    Karlin has no apparent credentials to support 80% of his statements, and the same seems to be true of other of his articles. If I’m to believe what I read, Mr. Karlin is a statistician, actuary, economist, philosopher, engineer, micro-biologist with a specialty in pathogen epidemics, a world-class political analyst, renowned social historian and many other things.

    I’m sorry to say this but, if I possessed half the credentials of Mr. Karlin, I wouldn’t be writing small articles and asking readers for a few dollars in contributions to support myself.

    • Troll: Daniel Chieh
    • Replies: @Johnny Rico
    What would you be doing instead? Drinking yourself to death?
    , @iffen
    Are you that fat faggot that has a crush on AK?
  209. Feb 24, 2020 Coronavirus Crisis in China: What To Believe? Brave Journalist Lifts Veil of Secrecy

    Jennifer Zeng, born and raised in China has been a key figure in the information war surrounding the ongoing crisis in China as the Chinese Government continues to suppress and control information.

    • Replies: @utu
    Jennifer Zeng is Falun Gong operator.
  210. @Kim
    Re 'yes boomer'

    Do you not think it strange how willingly younger people have decided to replace their critical faculties with memes?

    It must be very convenient. Instead of forming and then expressing an opinion, you can just blurt out a meme.

    Intellectually, it is an achievement that we would normally applaud in a parrot, but not so much in a human.

    Okay boomer.

    • Replies: @NoseytheDuke
    @Kim

    "Re ‘yes boomer’

    Do you not think it strange how willingly younger people have decided to replace their critical faculties with memes?

    It must be very convenient. Instead of forming and then expressing an opinion, you can just blurt out a meme.

    Intellectually, it is an achievement that we would normally applaud in a parrot, but not so much in a human."

    It would appear that Kim completely nailed it and your comment confirms that.
  211. @A123
    Mr. Unz,

    I appreciate the additional detail.

    China invited a number of countries to be present at this international event. As they were military forces, they were no doubt monitored while present. With no reports of infections among attending troops they are highly unlikely to be the disease carriers. One can see how the Chinese government could be concerned given the circumstances, but blaming an invited and monitored U.S. team lacks plausibility.

    Also consider this... President Trump and the U.S. just won bigly in the China Phase #1 trade talks. Thus, there is no upside to a U.S. attack that disrupts trade.

    Anyone suggesting that CoV19 was launched, rather than naturally occurring or an accidental release, is suggesting a very risky conspiracy against both the U.S. and China. Intentionally trying to start a China-U.S. war that could go no nuclear does not seem to be in the interest of any side that has the technology to handle such a virus.

    PEACE 😇

    Clearly Ernst Blofeld is behind it.

    Oh!….and he is Jewish. Coincidence?

    https://forward.com/news/israel/9024/bond-s-semitic-villains/

    ….sorry. Not Jewish. But has a “Semitic-sounding” name. So there’s that. Haha

  212. @Ayatollah Smith
    Anatoly Karlin said:

    " . . . mortality with ventilators, drugs, doctors, etc. seems to be ~1% versus 2-3% for people left to their own devices . . ."

    I have seen no evidence to justify this claim. Nobody is collecting statistics on which infected persons have been treated (the control group) and which left on thier own to die.

    I suppose I shouldn't complain, but much of this article is similar, poorly-thought-out ideological wishful thinking, masquerading as authoritative fact.

    Karlin has no apparent credentials to support 80% of his statements, and the same seems to be true of other of his articles. If I'm to believe what I read, Mr. Karlin is a statistician, actuary, economist, philosopher, engineer, micro-biologist with a specialty in pathogen epidemics, a world-class political analyst, renowned social historian and many other things.

    I'm sorry to say this but, if I possessed half the credentials of Mr. Karlin, I wouldn't be writing small articles and asking readers for a few dollars in contributions to support myself.

    What would you be doing instead? Drinking yourself to death?

  213. @Patriot
    Please, can anyone provide real data on infectivity and virulance rates for Caucasians and Africans, vs. East Asians.

    Some data suggest that corona rates are higher in men than women.

    I was peaking to a doctor recently and she told me that the Corona Virus doesn’t do too well in higher temperatures. The upper limit she mentioned was 25 degrees centigrade. I just read that all 14 people infected in Vietnam have recovered. All the countries, including Bahrain, Iraq, Iran, S Korea have temperatures lower than the one I have mentioned. I hope I’m right.

    Time to take a tropical vacation??

    • Replies: @another fred
    There is a reasonable amount of evidence that it is more an effect of sunlight than temperature.

    Vitamin D, the sunshine vitamin.
  214. @Europe Europa
    I would actually say Britain has less soft power today than in the past despite being an English speaking country. How many people outside of Britain could name many current famous British singers or entertainers? It seems to me that Britain has excelled far more in past decades at this than it does today.

    Other than James Bond and Monty Python, etc, (which are all from decades ago), how many non-British people could name recent British films and TV series? A lot of Britain's soft power used to be derived from the royal family but they are increasingly disliked and regarded as a laughing stock around the world so it's debatable if even they generate much soft power any more. Britain also under performs in the tech/innovation world in comparison to Japan and South Korea in my opinion, what has Britain invented/produced in relatively recent years that people associate as British technology? I can't think of anything.

    …what has Britain invented/produced in relatively recent years that people associate as British technology? I can’t think of anything.

    How about the Bentley Continental GT3 Race Car!

    You can watch it action at iconic the 12 Hours of Bathurst.

    ________
    ________

    PEACE 😇

  215. @Just Passing Through
    Another thing is that there are a large number of Sikhs working on Italian farms, a fairly unskilled job. And I too was surprised to see the number of Chinese in Italy. The latters' numbers will only increase on the future owing to Italy's participation in the Belt & Road Initiative. The Chinese even offered to build Britains new high-speed rail line...with Chinese workers!

    It is probably like here in the UK, where many Eastern Europeans come to pick fruits for farmers because the natives simply won't work for the wages they give out.

    I bet all those dead in Italy are ethnic Chinese.

    The dead in Italy as of today were octagenerians, so it’s unlikely that they were ethnic Chinese.

  216. So refreshing and INFORMATIVE to read about the Public Health Event by people who know nothing about Biology, Medicine, Public Health or anything related to these subjects. Wild Speculation which serves the purpose of the dis-information managers who plant the seeds for the Wild Speculation.

    [MORE]

    Corona Virus doesn’t need to do anything. Humans spreading BS is all that is needed today to bring down Civilization, if you could call the current state of affairs Civilization.

    The Corona Virus Pandemic story has the same level of factual basis as the story the Russians are backing both “The Donald” and “The Bern”. All are farcical beyond belief and would be humorous if not taken so Seriously by the Serious.

    China’s response to the outbreak of the disease is without question over the top and unprecedented. This has caused a spread of over the top and unprecedented actions around the world.

    Are any of these actions necessary?

    Have these actions really contained the spread of the disease?

    Is the Chinese Government using the Corona outbreak as a cover for some other purpose?

    Certainly, the US is using the Corona outbreak to spread Wild Speculation for the benefit of Who?

    Bioweapon my Ass. Bullshit story line and free Terror and Fear Creator, you BET!!!

    Be very FEARFUL my Citizens. The Intelligence Community is here to protect you. Have complete and unwavering Trust in us.

    • Agree: bluedog
    • Replies: @peterAUS

    Is the Chinese Government using the Corona outbreak as a cover for some other purpose?
     
    Definitely.

    Iranian too.

    Related to trade war/sanctions I feel.

    The bottom line, everybody on top wins, in this game.Say....up to 20 %.
    The rest are designated losers. Lower in the pyramid worse it is.

    The elderly underclass in particular.

    Good gig...for some. So far works like charm.
  217. @MarkU

    There is also the matter of evolutionary increase in virulence. A fair amount of mathematical theory exists about the evolution of virulence.
     
    Does it indeed? Are there people out there who believe that virulence is an asset for a virus? How can it be an advantage to kill your own host population? Probably the most successful viral disease of all time in humans is the common cold. Why so? because it doesn't kill its own hosts!

    You sound like you don’t believe that scientists should think deeply about how the world works, test their ideas and communicate their results. Unless I am misinterpreting your scornful tone, you apparently would rather rely on the intuition of an uniformed person. That’s your option of course.

    However in case you would like to know something about the theory of virulence, I’ll try to explain the basic concept. First, get rid of the idea that there is “a virus.” As is typical of organisms, within a large virus population there are different genotypes. The theory is interested in how the different genotypes increase in frequency, or not, within the virus population as a function of the genotypes’ rates of reproduction.

    However, and crucially, there are two levels at which a virus populations exists. The wider level is all the individual viruses out for delivery, so to speak. The narrow level is the population of viruses replicating in each host individual, let’s just say in Lance Welton for purposes of explication. Put simply, there is competition among viral genotypes within a single host. Some genotypes replicate faster than others. Genotypes Joe, Bill and Frank are easygoing, but Jamal is a stud. So when viral particles leave old Lance Welton to go out for delivery, there will be proportionally more baby Jamals than baby Joes, Bills and Franks compared with the genotypes that infected Lance originally.

    Now probably all those extra viruses due to Jamal’s studliness make Lance feel worse than if Jamal hadn’t been in him. But that doesn’t matter as long as transmission to another host is easy. In fact it doesn’t even matter if all the little Jamals kill Lance as long as he has infected at least one new host before he goes belly up.

    What we have here is a tradeoff between rapid viral reproduction within a host and the requirement of allowing the host to live long enough to pass on the infection. Virulence is not an asset. It is a evolutionary byproduct of the ecology of the virus-host interaction, specifically of very easy transmission. Cholera, while not viral of course, is considered an example of a virulent pathogen that is very easily transmitted in the absence of sewage systems. There is a lot more involved in the theory of the evolution of virulence, like incubation period, asymptomatic transmission (both capable of evolving), but the key idea is the tradeoff of rapid reproduction within a single host (competition among different viral genotpes) and the transmission probability stemming from the array of genotypes in that host.

    Evolutionary theory expects that stable long-term host-pathogen relationships will settle into something relatively benign, like the common cold you cite. However, the cholera-style situation does evolve if the host-pathogen ecology makes it possible. Human beings crowded together in cities is a very promising ecology for fast reproducing variants of a new virus transmitted by droplets, fomites, aerosol, and body fluids. In the absence of quarantines and lockdowns, Covid-19 could probably evolve to be more like Jamal than it is now.

    • Replies: @MarkU
    Regardless of all your twisting and turning, it is a fact that all the old and successful viruses are (as you put it) relatively benign. Virulence remains a feature of new viruses or new strains of older ones. I am also still to be convinced that there is a necessary correlation between infectiousness and virulence, which you appear to be implying.

    As you have admitted yourself......

    Evolutionary theory expects that stable long-term host-pathogen relationships will settle into something relatively benign, like the common cold
     
    I reckon you need something a little more substantial to argue the opposite.
  218. [MORE]

    Just thought I’d share this with everyone. (I’m NOT trying to sell anything.) Since the last century (if not earlier) many have found that HYDROGEN PEROXIDE possesses powerful medicinal properties when ingested; it works against a very wide variety of medical conditions, including contagious diseases. For all we know, this chemical might therefore be the individual’s best weapon and source of protection against the coronavirus.

    https://educate-yourself.org/cn/The-Truth-about-Food-Grade-Hydrogen-Peroxide-2009-James-Paul-Roguski.pdf

    https://www.amazon.com/One-Minute-Cure-Healing-Virtually-Diseases/dp/0977075141/ref=sr_1_1?crid=6JES4H0Z0UW4&keywords=one+minute+cure&qid=1582650604&sprefix=one+minute+%2Caps%2C421&sr=8-1

    I want to stress again that I’m not trying to sell anything. Nor am I asking anyone to believe it all without examining the facts. I’m just asking all who read this to take a look, do their own research and see for themselves if it’s all true. If you reckon it’s true, please share it with as many people as you can. Who knows, you could be saving many lives, including your own.

    • Replies: @UK
    This makes no sense at all. It proves Dunning-Krueger. One has to have a certain amount of knowledge and intelligence to realise how dumb and ignorant you are. Don't ingest hydrogen peroxide. It is idiotic.
  219. @LondonBob
    Gold continues to soar, congratulations to everyone who listened to me and bought some.

    Interesting that despite a fair number of initial cases Australia hasn't had a breakout, despite the number of Chinese there. This suggests that it is summer and very hot there has a big impact, if Europe can delay any breakout closer to summer we might be alright.

    I would bet that there are zero people who bought gold because of anything you had to say. People have been buying gold for a very long time now.

    • Replies: @LondonBob
    You have lost that bet.
  220. @songbird
    I agree that there is subversive tendency to feminize men in Japan and Korea, but that's what the censors are for.

    I don't know where Japan, China, and Korea are ranked on a scale of sex differentiation in behavior and clothing, but I think Japan is quite notable for being much more differentiated than the West. I would guess that it is easily more differentiated than China, since it lacked the influence of communism.

    Maybe, someone can correct me if I'm wrong, but I think that in China girls at school often don't wear uniforms that include skirts. It has occurred to me that the skirt uniform might be part of Japan's success over the West, in the perpetuation of traditional sex relations, though perhaps it may be more deeply routed in psychobiology.

    On the street-level in Japan, you definitely see many more young women wearing skirts than in the West. It's not just the schools. The culture of the schools gets repeated on TV and in the movies, so normal entertainment amplifies it.

    I'm guessing that this transmania doesn't even exist in Japan.

    There is a downside: when Japanese chicks wear skirts, you can see that too many have bowlegs.

  221. @Brett Redmayne-Titley
    I agree.

    This narrative, as suggested, is starting to take hold, as evidenced by yesterday's published denial of these claims by the US. While the Chinese are very busy fighting the virus, it is a safe bet that they, too, are investigating the origin of the virus, which as everyone ( with a brain) knew had nothing to do with bat stew and the likelihood of it escaping a level 5 bio-hazard facility could not have been done by accident.

    If the Chinese find the allegations of US involvement true ( despite US plausible deniability) the likely result will be war, since the virus attack would be, by definition, exactly that.

    This story is bigger than just a possible pandemic.

    The Chicoms screwed the pooch all on their own. And if the Chinese want war, they will have their psychopathic communist asses handed to them.

  222. Just posting this to help meet everyone’s love for Corona-chan:

    https://www.reddit.com/r/coronachan/

    I LOVE YOU CORONA-CHAN!

    • LOL: Buck Ransom
  223. Early reports suggested that the subject virus has high rates of mutagenisis. Sorry, but I didn’t save the reference.

    This could make the virus particularly lethal as a hight rate of mutagenisis will likely allow it to adapt to control measures / medications and even vaccines. It’s possible that a vaccine developed after perhaps many months will lose its efficacy over time due the high rate of mutagenisis on the part of the virus.

    So, I’m afraid that there may well be a world-wide pandemic.

    David W. Walters, Ph.D. from Baylor College of Medicine, Biochemistry with work experience in genetic engineering and clinical chemistry…now retired.

  224. @AnonFromTN

    Corona Will Kill Millions & Crater the World Economy
     
    Sorry, it won’t have time for that: the end of the world will happen tomorrow at 5:30 am Greenwich time.

    Hope that you have gotten your affairs in order!

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
    Why would I need to? Let the God (whichever comes) take care of that.
  225. @Kim
    When in 1804 (?) the slaves revolted in what is today Haiti, Napoleon sent a force of 25,000 soldiers and sailors to suppress the revolt. The French died en masse of yellow fever and the revolt went unsuppressed.

    Yellow fever was an African disease. That is why Africans had better immunity. In the other hand, they are more susceptible to respiratory infections and more likely to die of them.

    • Agree: Pheasant
  226. @SomeoneInAsia


    Just thought I'd share this with everyone. (I'm NOT trying to sell anything.) Since the last century (if not earlier) many have found that HYDROGEN PEROXIDE possesses powerful medicinal properties when ingested; it works against a very wide variety of medical conditions, including contagious diseases. For all we know, this chemical might therefore be the individual's best weapon and source of protection against the coronavirus.

    https://educate-yourself.org/cn/The-Truth-about-Food-Grade-Hydrogen-Peroxide-2009-James-Paul-Roguski.pdf

    https://www.amazon.com/One-Minute-Cure-Healing-Virtually-Diseases/dp/0977075141/ref=sr_1_1?crid=6JES4H0Z0UW4&keywords=one+minute+cure&qid=1582650604&sprefix=one+minute+%2Caps%2C421&sr=8-1

    I want to stress again that I'm not trying to sell anything. Nor am I asking anyone to believe it all without examining the facts. I'm just asking all who read this to take a look, do their own research and see for themselves if it's all true. If you reckon it's true, please share it with as many people as you can. Who knows, you could be saving many lives, including your own.

    This makes no sense at all. It proves Dunning-Krueger. One has to have a certain amount of knowledge and intelligence to realise how dumb and ignorant you are. Don’t ingest hydrogen peroxide. It is idiotic.

    • Replies: @SomeoneInAsia
    You have a very closed mind.

    That's all I have to say.
  227. @Ron Unz
    Well, personally I think the jury is still out whether East Asians are far more vulnerable to the new coronavirus than whites. The outbreaks in Iran and Italy shift the likelihood somewhat, but it's still early. Personally, I think the evidence from that cruise ship might be most definitive.

    But if whites are indeed as vulnerable, I'd think that the West might be hit much harder than China. After all, can we possibly imagine the sort of national lock-down that China has implemented, apparently with considerable success?

    And I'm still very suspicious about the circumstances of the outbreak. It hit China just before Lunar New Year, the absolutely worst possible time, and the epicenter was Wuhan, a key transport hub. It really seems an *astonishing* coincidence that 300 American military servicemen had been visiting Wuhan just prior to the outbreak, at a peak of international tension.

    How would Americans react if 300 PRC officers had visited Chicago, and immediately afterwards, a deadly new plague broke out in that city, with a major risk of spreading throughout the country?

    Isn't it also rather suspicious that Iran has been hit so hard? So the two countries in the world most subject to current American hostility just tend to be especially "unlucky"...

    As for "soft power," I suspect it largely reflects a heavily-lagging indicator of economic/political power, only somewhat shifted by considerations of pop-culture. If China continues on its economic/political trajectory, I think it will have plenty of soft power 30-40 years down the road. And if American society/economy collapses, so soon afterward will our soft power, ignorant rap-stars and basketball players notwithstanding.

    But if whites are indeed as vulnerable, I’d think that the West might be hit much harder than China. After all, can we possibly imagine the sort of national lock-down that China has implemented, apparently with considerable success?

    US advantages:

    1. Smoking is a large risk factor. Chinese smoke much more than Americans (who smoke even less than Europeans), and Chinese air pollution is much worse.

    2. Physical geography: Suburbia is not much of a thing in most of the world outside the Anglosphere.

    3. Wealth. More Americans can afford to stockpile/prep meaningfully.

    US disadvantages:

    1. As we both agree, capacity to implement quarantines.

    2. The US has more elderly and diabetics than China. (But the difference is now minor).

    3. Medical systems – many Americans will be afraid of going to get their flu symptoms checked out out of fear of getting slammed with massive bills.

    ***

    Which of these factors are stronger? IMO, overall, US holds the advantage (most quarantining is self-quarantining, anyway).

    Incidentally, if it’s indeed true the US is better able able to withstand Corona, it would sooner support your theory that they released it as a biowar attack.

    And I’m still very suspicious about the circumstances of the outbreak. It hit China just before Lunar New Year, the absolutely worst possible time, and the epicenter was Wuhan, a key transport hub. It really seems an *astonishing* coincidence that 300 American military servicemen had been visiting Wuhan just prior to the outbreak, at a peak of international tension.

    Doing such an operation with official military (invited to participate as athletes) strikes me as extremely inefficient, unless perhaps the intention was to send an explicit FU to China. Also extremely risky, and far, far more illegal than the Soleimani assassination, outrageous as it was – Soleimani, at least, was a single uniformed general in an organization the US had defined as a terrorist one; this would be indiscriminate bioterrorism against the entire Mongoloid race (if Lance is correct) or all of humanity.

    But here’s another coincidence.

    There are wet markets all over China (population: 1.4B). Whereas Wuhan (population: ~1% of China’s) hosts both China’s only BSL-4 lab (opened in 2017) and China’s Center for Disease Prevention and Control.

    Now studying COVID-19 in a lab (e.g. to foresee how it might evolve; to develop defenses against it) is a perfectly legitimate, if risky, enterprise. Especially risky in a country known for slipshod construction standards and lax attention to safety regulations, and for that matters academic fraud, as Lance Welton himself has written about: https://www.unz.com/article/some-countries-are-just-prone-to-scientific-fraud-so-are-their-immigrants-to-the-west/ (what are the respective likelihoods of a Swiss or a Chinese researcher promptly reporting a security breach?)

    Regardless, I wouldn’t go so far as to insist that it must have been a “bioerror” incident. Still, amongst the “hierarchy of conspiracies”, I’d put that way higher than this being a crazy US bioterrorist attack. (Hanlon’s Razor).

    Isn’t it also rather suspicious that Iran has been hit so hard? So the two countries in the world most subject to current American hostility just tend to be especially “unlucky”…

    Russia hasn’t been hit yet, at least on paper.

    (OK, not quite, there were two Chinese confirmed cases in Siberia earlier this month, but apparently there’s been no spread since).

    Also Venezuela, North Korea, perhaps some others. Though one might make the argument they’re not serious threats to American power.

    • Replies: @Ron Unz

    Doing such an operation with official military (invited to participate as athletes) strikes me as extremely inefficient, unless perhaps the intention was to send an explicit FU to China.
     
    Well, I'm obviously not suggesting that *most* of the 300 military personnel visiting Wuhan just prior to the outbreak were involved. But suppose just 2-3 US "ringers" were included to release the virus during their spare time, perhaps during their visits to the local "wet market." Again, the timing seems *extremely* suspicious.

    Regardless, I wouldn’t go so far as to insist that it must have been a “bioerror” incident. Still, amongst the “hierarchy of conspiracies”, I’d put that way higher than this being a crazy US bioterrorist attack. (Hanlon’s Razor).
     
    An accidental "bioerrror" release is *exceptionally* implausible based upon the timing. The release occurred at the absolute worst possible time for China, just before hundreds of millions would be traveling for Lunar New Year. Only the largest lock-down in world history prevented it from becoming a gigantic, endemic Chinese disease, potentially infecting the entire country. Obviously, a "bioerror" release would tend to be random in timing.

    Look, all of this would be totally absurd and ridiculous unless we had a crazy government. But we *do* have a crazy government...
  228. @c matt

    So the two countries in the world most subject to current American hostility just tend to be especially “unlucky”…
     
    I guess they threw Italy into the mix just to put us off the trail. They didn't like Salvini anyway.

    I guess they threw Italy into the mix just to put us off the trail. They didn’t like Salvini anyway.

    Well, supposedly something like 25,000 Chinese live and work in Italy, so a secondary outbreak there is hardly so surprising.

    On the other hand, I’m not sure how many Chinese are Shia Muslim pilgrims to Qom, Iran.

    By contrast, if someone wanted to deliberately spread a bioweapon within the pro-Iran Shia Muslim community, as a leading pilgrimage Qom would be an ideal release target location.

    None of this proves anything, but it seems *highly* suspicious…

    https://www.unz.com/wwebb/bats-gene-editing-and-bioweapons-recent-darpa-experiments-raise-concerns-amid-coronavirus-outbreak/

    • Replies: @Lot
    Wouldn’t it be about 100 times easier to do so in Najaf and Karbala, which get millions of Iranian pilgrims and are places American agents can easily access?
  229. @Anatoly Karlin

    But if whites are indeed as vulnerable, I’d think that the West might be hit much harder than China. After all, can we possibly imagine the sort of national lock-down that China has implemented, apparently with considerable success?
     
    US advantages:

    1. Smoking is a large risk factor. Chinese smoke much more than Americans (who smoke even less than Europeans), and Chinese air pollution is much worse.

    2. Physical geography: Suburbia is not much of a thing in most of the world outside the Anglosphere.

    3. Wealth. More Americans can afford to stockpile/prep meaningfully.

    US disadvantages:

    1. As we both agree, capacity to implement quarantines.

    2. The US has more elderly and diabetics than China. (But the difference is now minor).

    3. Medical systems - many Americans will be afraid of going to get their flu symptoms checked out out of fear of getting slammed with massive bills.

    ***

    Which of these factors are stronger? IMO, overall, US holds the advantage (most quarantining is self-quarantining, anyway).

    Incidentally, if it's indeed true the US is better able able to withstand Corona, it would sooner support your theory that they released it as a biowar attack.

    And I’m still very suspicious about the circumstances of the outbreak. It hit China just before Lunar New Year, the absolutely worst possible time, and the epicenter was Wuhan, a key transport hub. It really seems an *astonishing* coincidence that 300 American military servicemen had been visiting Wuhan just prior to the outbreak, at a peak of international tension.
     
    Doing such an operation with official military (invited to participate as athletes) strikes me as extremely inefficient, unless perhaps the intention was to send an explicit FU to China. Also extremely risky, and far, far more illegal than the Soleimani assassination, outrageous as it was - Soleimani, at least, was a single uniformed general in an organization the US had defined as a terrorist one; this would be indiscriminate bioterrorism against the entire Mongoloid race (if Lance is correct) or all of humanity.

    But here's another coincidence.

    There are wet markets all over China (population: 1.4B). Whereas Wuhan (population: ~1% of China's) hosts both China's only BSL-4 lab (opened in 2017) and China's Center for Disease Prevention and Control.

    Now studying COVID-19 in a lab (e.g. to foresee how it might evolve; to develop defenses against it) is a perfectly legitimate, if risky, enterprise. Especially risky in a country known for slipshod construction standards and lax attention to safety regulations, and for that matters academic fraud, as Lance Welton himself has written about: https://www.unz.com/article/some-countries-are-just-prone-to-scientific-fraud-so-are-their-immigrants-to-the-west/ (what are the respective likelihoods of a Swiss or a Chinese researcher promptly reporting a security breach?)

    Regardless, I wouldn't go so far as to insist that it must have been a "bioerror" incident. Still, amongst the "hierarchy of conspiracies", I'd put that way higher than this being a crazy US bioterrorist attack. (Hanlon's Razor).

    Isn’t it also rather suspicious that Iran has been hit so hard? So the two countries in the world most subject to current American hostility just tend to be especially “unlucky”…
     
    Russia hasn't been hit yet, at least on paper.

    (OK, not quite, there were two Chinese confirmed cases in Siberia earlier this month, but apparently there's been no spread since).

    Also Venezuela, North Korea, perhaps some others. Though one might make the argument they're not serious threats to American power.

    Doing such an operation with official military (invited to participate as athletes) strikes me as extremely inefficient, unless perhaps the intention was to send an explicit FU to China.

    Well, I’m obviously not suggesting that *most* of the 300 military personnel visiting Wuhan just prior to the outbreak were involved. But suppose just 2-3 US “ringers” were included to release the virus during their spare time, perhaps during their visits to the local “wet market.” Again, the timing seems *extremely* suspicious.

    Regardless, I wouldn’t go so far as to insist that it must have been a “bioerror” incident. Still, amongst the “hierarchy of conspiracies”, I’d put that way higher than this being a crazy US bioterrorist attack. (Hanlon’s Razor).

    An accidental “bioerrror” release is *exceptionally* implausible based upon the timing. The release occurred at the absolute worst possible time for China, just before hundreds of millions would be traveling for Lunar New Year. Only the largest lock-down in world history prevented it from becoming a gigantic, endemic Chinese disease, potentially infecting the entire country. Obviously, a “bioerror” release would tend to be random in timing.

    Look, all of this would be totally absurd and ridiculous unless we had a crazy government. But we *do* have a crazy government…

    • Replies: @UK

    Look, all of this would be totally absurd and ridiculous unless we had a crazy government. But we *do* have a crazy government…
     
    A simpler hypothesis:

    Believing this is totally absurd and ridiculous, but then you could be crazy...
    , @Hyperborean

    An accidental “bioerrror” release is *exceptionally* implausible based upon the timing. The release occurred at the absolute worst possible time for China, just before hundreds of millions would be traveling for Lunar New Year. Only the largest lock-down in world history prevented it from becoming a gigantic, endemic Chinese disease, potentially infecting the entire country. Obviously, a “bioerror” release would tend to be random in timing.
     
    The Chinese authorities could have shut down Wuhan/Hubei earlier, in December, and while the Lunar New Year meant increased travel it also meant that there was a temporary relief for the economic consequences of the shut-down as few people were expected to work in this period anyway.
    , @A123

    Well, I’m obviously not suggesting that *most* of the 300 military personnel visiting Wuhan just prior to the outbreak were involved. But suppose just 2-3 US “ringers” were included to release the virus during their spare time, perhaps during their visits to the local “wet market.” Again, the timing seems *extremely* suspicious.
     
    Leaving a trail back to yourself is incredibly bad fieldcraft. Using soldiers that are almost sure to be monitored is too likely to be caught in the act. Without some additional facts, the timing is simple coincidence not suspicious.
    ____

    Also, Trump just won on trade. Creating a trade problem immediately before an election makes no sense for the U.S. administration.

    There is no motive unless a 3rd party is conspiring against both the U.S. And China trying to start a war.

    PEACE 😇
    , @Dutch Boy
    Steven Mosher claims that employees at the Chinese Bioweapons labs actually sell test animals that survive at the local meat markets.
    https://nypost.com/2020/02/22/dont-buy-chinas-story-the-coronavirus-may-have-leaked-from-a-lab/
    , @Wizard of Oz
    I think you are allowing the fun of brilliant deployment of cost free debating points to overshadow the supreme numeracy one associates with your scientific background and achievements.

    It is hard to accept your bolded "exceptionallys" and "extremelys" without noticing that the timing coincidence isn't all that strange. Ruling out completely as absurd (though there might be a 1 in 100,000 chance of anti Xi sabotage) a deliberate virus release by the Chinese government, what can one make of the chance of timing? Very little. Supposing a
    the virus is introduced to the wet market as suitable cover. What is the period that is/would be suspicious - maybe 6 weeks out of 52. And then one has to take account of the possibility (maybe small until you zero in on a hypothetical culprit) that the likely flow on effect on the American economy actually made it less likely that the Lunar New Year dispersion would be targeted. It is also at least arguable that the presence of 300 US military would have made it a time to avoid. And there might be a place for factoring in "some critical or important fact neither Ron Unz nor anyone else has yet become aware of" but I leave that to someone with much more sophisticated understanding of probability theory than I. But I got set off by the "extremely" and "exceptionally" which surely give too much credibility to potential anti-American propaganda - which the CCP seems to have withheld and maybe even censored.

  230. @Rev. Spooner
    I was peaking to a doctor recently and she told me that the Corona Virus doesn't do too well in higher temperatures. The upper limit she mentioned was 25 degrees centigrade. I just read that all 14 people infected in Vietnam have recovered. All the countries, including Bahrain, Iraq, Iran, S Korea have temperatures lower than the one I have mentioned. I hope I'm right.

    Time to take a tropical vacation??

    There is a reasonable amount of evidence that it is more an effect of sunlight than temperature.

    Vitamin D, the sunshine vitamin.

  231. @Ron Unz

    I guess they threw Italy into the mix just to put us off the trail. They didn’t like Salvini anyway.
     
    Well, supposedly something like 25,000 Chinese live and work in Italy, so a secondary outbreak there is hardly so surprising.

    On the other hand, I'm not sure how many Chinese are Shia Muslim pilgrims to Qom, Iran.

    By contrast, if someone wanted to deliberately spread a bioweapon within the pro-Iran Shia Muslim community, as a leading pilgrimage Qom would be an ideal release target location.

    None of this proves anything, but it seems *highly* suspicious...

    https://www.unz.com/wwebb/bats-gene-editing-and-bioweapons-recent-darpa-experiments-raise-concerns-amid-coronavirus-outbreak/

    Wouldn’t it be about 100 times easier to do so in Najaf and Karbala, which get millions of Iranian pilgrims and are places American agents can easily access?

    • Replies: @Ron Unz

    Wouldn’t it be about 100 times easier to do so in Najaf and Karbala, which get millions of Iranian pilgrims and are places American agents can easily access?
     
    It's a trade-off. If the outbreak had started in Najaf or Karbala, all the world headlines would have said "Huge New Coronavirus Outbreak in Iraq," which wouldn't have been as potentially damaging to Iranian society, nor infected as many Iranians.

    Obviously, if you're using a bioweapon to attack Iran, you would release it in Iran. And if you're releasing it in Iran, Qom would be a pretty reasonable target location.

    Offhand, I can't can't see why the Shia Iranian Holy City of Qom would be the logical world-epicenter of an accidental non-Chinese secondary outbreak, in sharp contrast to Italy (which has a maybe 25K Chinese workers) or nearby countries like S. Korea or Japan.

    I'm no expert, but I think Shia Muslims are just a tiny fraction of 1% of China's population.
  232. @songbird
    I agree that there is subversive tendency to feminize men in Japan and Korea, but that's what the censors are for.

    I don't know where Japan, China, and Korea are ranked on a scale of sex differentiation in behavior and clothing, but I think Japan is quite notable for being much more differentiated than the West. I would guess that it is easily more differentiated than China, since it lacked the influence of communism.

    Maybe, someone can correct me if I'm wrong, but I think that in China girls at school often don't wear uniforms that include skirts. It has occurred to me that the skirt uniform might be part of Japan's success over the West, in the perpetuation of traditional sex relations, though perhaps it may be more deeply routed in psychobiology.

    On the street-level in Japan, you definitely see many more young women wearing skirts than in the West. It's not just the schools. The culture of the schools gets repeated on TV and in the movies, so normal entertainment amplifies it.

    I'm guessing that this transmania doesn't even exist in Japan.

    Maybe, someone can correct me if I’m wrong, but I think that in China girls at school often don’t wear uniforms that include skirts. It has occurred to me that the skirt uniform might be part of Japan’s success over the West, in the perpetuation of traditional sex relations, though perhaps it may be more deeply routed in psychobiology.

    Regular Mainland Chinese uniforms are basically just tracksuits with short-sleeve shirt underneath, usually rather colourful too (though there are formal uniforms as well for more serious events).

    I personally think this would be more proper:

    At my school formal uniforms are worn for Monday formalities and girls can wear either skirts or trousers (the factor tends to be the season).

    Although they are a minority, I have been noticing more young bourgeois-looking girls wear Japanese-style seifuku in their free time.

    Traditional Japanese school uniforms are basically just an adaptation of 19th century European military uniforms (army/gakuran for boys and navy/serafuku for girls) adopted as part of the “Civilisation and Enlightenment” (文明開化) reforms.

    I’m guessing that this transmania doesn’t even exist in Japan.

    Well, Japanese don’t seem so different in this regard:

    At Kashiwanoha Junior High School, which opened in Kashiwa, Chiba Prefecture, in April, students can freely choose whether to wear skirts or slacks or ties or ribbons with blazers, regardless of their sex.

    Originally, the school did not intend to make students wear a uniform, but had to change course because nearly 90 percent of parents and prospective students surveyed wanted one.

    […]

    Similar moves are spreading in Japan, with a junior high school in Fukuoka Prefecture preparing to abandon the stand-up collars and sailor suits for blazers that will let students mix and match with skirts or trousers when the April 2019 school year kicks off.

    In Tokyo, the Setagaya Ward Board of Education is set to follow suit in April, while boards of education in the cities of Osaka and Fukuoka plan to broach the topic in the near future.

    […]

    In 2014, there were 606 cases of consultations related to gender dysphoria, according to a survey by the Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Ministry covering elementary, junior high and high schools across Japan.

    The following year, the ministry issued a notice encouraging schools to improve support for sexual minorities and pay consideration to their clothing, hairstyles, and bathroom use.

    https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2018/06/21/national/social-issues/school-uniforms-go-unisex-japanese-schools-seek-better-fit-lgbt-students/

    • Replies: @songbird

    Regular Mainland Chinese uniforms are basically just tracksuits with short-sleeve shirt underneath
     
    This is about my perception of the mainland. I don't know but tracksuits seem odd to me. I don't understand specifically why they are used. Maybe, it is easy and cheap to make them in different colors? Although, I can see how skirts might not be as practical in winter, for Northern climes. Or maybe they are easier to clean?

    I have heard that there is a slight but noticeable trend away from skirts in Japan, on the street level, for women done with school, but it still seems like a really big difference, when compared to the West. I don't think it is a trend of convergence with the West, just a bit of more freedom for the bull dykes, or local Japanese equivalent.

    One thing that I think is true of Japan is that young men seem to have what in the West would be considered more feminine hair. It tends to be a bit longer, more styled, often dyed. I don't know whether this is an organic thing, or whether it comes from the influence of TV, etc. How they try to differentiate male characters by their hairstyle, since they don't have the natural color differentiation of Europeans. But I'm not sure if this would be permitted in school.

    I can't claim any great knowledge of Japanese entertainment, but I think the general tendency for fanservice in anime, paired with the common trope of the dirty-minded male, who admires the female form is also a much healthier cultural attitude than the West, where almost all the sexual references (quite frequent) seem to be about trivializing sex.

    The following year, the ministry issued a notice encouraging schools to improve support for sexual minorities and pay consideration to their clothing, hairstyles, and bathroom use.
     
    A pity, this. Still, I wonder what the stats are on a comparative basis. The divorce rate in Japan is still quite low, as I understand it.

    Back when I went to school, the only guy who wore anything like a dress, was a guy wore a kilt because he had Scottish blood. He was definitely non-conformist, but not a queer.
    , @Truth
    BTW; those appear to be four boys in the second picture.
  233. @A123
    Vogons like shouting and blowing things up. No bribes are required.

    The BBC 6-part adaptation of Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy was much better than the movie. The book is a classic.

    PEACE 😇
    _______

    https://i.pinimg.com/originals/e7/e7/b5/e7e7b53d93368403a0daa11ca8e7eefd.png

    Hey! What gives?

    The BBC obviously stole Wah Chang’s ‘Gorn’ of Star Trek fame for it’s Ravenous Bugblatter!

  234. @Ron Unz

    Doing such an operation with official military (invited to participate as athletes) strikes me as extremely inefficient, unless perhaps the intention was to send an explicit FU to China.
     
    Well, I'm obviously not suggesting that *most* of the 300 military personnel visiting Wuhan just prior to the outbreak were involved. But suppose just 2-3 US "ringers" were included to release the virus during their spare time, perhaps during their visits to the local "wet market." Again, the timing seems *extremely* suspicious.

    Regardless, I wouldn’t go so far as to insist that it must have been a “bioerror” incident. Still, amongst the “hierarchy of conspiracies”, I’d put that way higher than this being a crazy US bioterrorist attack. (Hanlon’s Razor).
     
    An accidental "bioerrror" release is *exceptionally* implausible based upon the timing. The release occurred at the absolute worst possible time for China, just before hundreds of millions would be traveling for Lunar New Year. Only the largest lock-down in world history prevented it from becoming a gigantic, endemic Chinese disease, potentially infecting the entire country. Obviously, a "bioerror" release would tend to be random in timing.

    Look, all of this would be totally absurd and ridiculous unless we had a crazy government. But we *do* have a crazy government...

    Look, all of this would be totally absurd and ridiculous unless we had a crazy government. But we *do* have a crazy government…

    A simpler hypothesis:

    Believing this is totally absurd and ridiculous, but then you could be crazy…

    • Replies: @AaronB
    Schizophrenia. Within 5 years. Mark my words.
  235. @Lot
    Wouldn’t it be about 100 times easier to do so in Najaf and Karbala, which get millions of Iranian pilgrims and are places American agents can easily access?

    Wouldn’t it be about 100 times easier to do so in Najaf and Karbala, which get millions of Iranian pilgrims and are places American agents can easily access?

    It’s a trade-off. If the outbreak had started in Najaf or Karbala, all the world headlines would have said “Huge New Coronavirus Outbreak in Iraq,” which wouldn’t have been as potentially damaging to Iranian society, nor infected as many Iranians.

    Obviously, if you’re using a bioweapon to attack Iran, you would release it in Iran. And if you’re releasing it in Iran, Qom would be a pretty reasonable target location.

    Offhand, I can’t can’t see why the Shia Iranian Holy City of Qom would be the logical world-epicenter of an accidental non-Chinese secondary outbreak, in sharp contrast to Italy (which has a maybe 25K Chinese workers) or nearby countries like S. Korea or Japan.

    I’m no expert, but I think Shia Muslims are just a tiny fraction of 1% of China’s population.

    • Replies: @china-russia-all-the-way
    Chinese contractors are building the Qom to Tehran high speed railway. Due to sanctions, I don't think there are many projects undertaken by Chinese companies in Iran.
  236. @Anatoly Karlin

    In the 1970s, Russian films were considered everywhere to be one of the best three...
     
    Apart from a few well-known classics (some of them quite undeserved and driven mainly by boomer nostalgia - The Diamond Arm in particular comes to mind), vast majority of it was insufferable kitsch or derivative works with totally senseless plots.

    Can't really judge as to the quality of today's Russian filmography as you only watch 5 movies a year. But I'm quite certain it'd be regarded as a Golden Age if there was no Hollywood as a basis of comparison.

    In fact, Hollywood comparison would lead one to overrate any movie. Hollywood ran out of steam 15-20 years ago. Now it makes virtually exclusively shit, where when someone walks, slips, and falls passes for humor. What’s even worse, Hollywood ran out of creativity. When I see an ad for a new movie on TV, with presumably hottest scenes, I always have a feeling that I have seen this already, likely more than once. Deep down they know that, hence their obsession with remakes of old movies.
    In contrast, Soviet comedies like The Diamond Arm, Ivan Vasilievich is Changing Profession, or The Fall Marathon are truly funny and inventive.

    Can’t judge the current scene, haven’t lived in Russia since 1991. Saw TV series Liquidation recently. It’s not bad, and it is purely Soviet in every way.

    • Replies: @Dmitry
    Hollywood was in the worst about 10 years ago (or maybe 15 years ago?).

    To be fair, nowadays there is some improvement in Hollywood films in the last 5 (?) years, so they are now at a more mediocre level.

    For example, the most Hollywood famous films of this/last year: Joker, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, Ford against Ferrari, 1917, etc.

    ^ These are 6/10 or perhaps even 7/10 films. They're not great films at all, they are not great art. But they are also not very bad, unentertaining, unwatchable, etc.

    , @Brutiss
    IPTV 5 bucks a month derp all languages even films included.
  237. @Agent76
    Feb 24, 2020 Coronavirus Crisis in China: What To Believe? Brave Journalist Lifts Veil of Secrecy

    Jennifer Zeng, born and raised in China has been a key figure in the information war surrounding the ongoing crisis in China as the Chinese Government continues to suppress and control information.

    https://youtu.be/AsKvEC0KV0Y

    Jennifer Zeng is Falun Gong operator.

    • Replies: @Astuteobservor II
    Geez. This agent anon loves spamming retarded YouTube links from all sorts of hacks.

    It almost feels like he is an anon working for the letter agencies. Wait...........
  238. @Republic
    Hope that you have gotten your affairs in order!

    Why would I need to? Let the God (whichever comes) take care of that.

  239. Absolute nonsense ! When the public is sufficiently panicked, some slick drug company will pop their vaccine on the market at big bucks a pop. Lots of suckers will get reeled in before we hear “the pandemic is under control”.

    Given the deaths in China vs the 1.5B population I would have to get a new calculator to do the percentage.

    So when I read this drivel I yawn but I become irritated seeing daily photos of everyone on the internet news sites wearing masks. Time for another drama to replace this one !

    This virus thing is becoming boring !

    • Replies: @fish

    This virus thing is becoming boring !
     
    Agree…..I was promised zombies…..where the hell are my zombies?
  240. @Dieter Kief
    There is a considerable Chinese work-force in northern Italy - thousands of Chinese who are working in sub-contract sweat-shops, not least for the Italian fashion-industry.

    I must say, I'm astonished, that this well-known fact gets no coverage, now that Corona hits - in northern Italy.

    Yes, even the demonstrations (and on at least a couple of occasions riots) riots by Chinese settlers in Italy in previous years have received little international coverage. Interesting though looking at comments both here and elsewhere just how many Americans with White Nationalist leanings are quick to come to the defence of the Chinese no matter what they do. Could it be that the Chinese have now overtaken the Japanese as the favourite people of colour of the American wignat? Stay tuned.

  241. @another anon

    In the USSR, there was maintained still the highest level of cultural production, despite the damage authorities have made to literature and painting.
     
    Everyone knows that education is communist plot.
    Damn the commies.

    https://twitter.com/akoz33/status/1232052025514496002

    At least in Europe, bookshops seem to attract left of centre people more than right of centre. The books on sale also tend in the same direction. Whereas the “throw Communists from helicopters” crowd rarely come across as bookish and may actually have some trouble with reading.
    A Greek arrested by police during the 1967 military coup period noted that the police looked at his bookshelves and paid special attention to some of his books, on the principle that every big book must be Communist. 🙂

  242. @Gleimhart Mantooso
    I would bet that there are zero people who bought gold because of anything you had to say. People have been buying gold for a very long time now.

    You have lost that bet.

  243. @Ron Unz

    Doing such an operation with official military (invited to participate as athletes) strikes me as extremely inefficient, unless perhaps the intention was to send an explicit FU to China.
     
    Well, I'm obviously not suggesting that *most* of the 300 military personnel visiting Wuhan just prior to the outbreak were involved. But suppose just 2-3 US "ringers" were included to release the virus during their spare time, perhaps during their visits to the local "wet market." Again, the timing seems *extremely* suspicious.

    Regardless, I wouldn’t go so far as to insist that it must have been a “bioerror” incident. Still, amongst the “hierarchy of conspiracies”, I’d put that way higher than this being a crazy US bioterrorist attack. (Hanlon’s Razor).
     
    An accidental "bioerrror" release is *exceptionally* implausible based upon the timing. The release occurred at the absolute worst possible time for China, just before hundreds of millions would be traveling for Lunar New Year. Only the largest lock-down in world history prevented it from becoming a gigantic, endemic Chinese disease, potentially infecting the entire country. Obviously, a "bioerror" release would tend to be random in timing.

    Look, all of this would be totally absurd and ridiculous unless we had a crazy government. But we *do* have a crazy government...

    An accidental “bioerrror” release is *exceptionally* implausible based upon the timing. The release occurred at the absolute worst possible time for China, just before hundreds of millions would be traveling for Lunar New Year. Only the largest lock-down in world history prevented it from becoming a gigantic, endemic Chinese disease, potentially infecting the entire country. Obviously, a “bioerror” release would tend to be random in timing.

    The Chinese authorities could have shut down Wuhan/Hubei earlier, in December, and while the Lunar New Year meant increased travel it also meant that there was a temporary relief for the economic consequences of the shut-down as few people were expected to work in this period anyway.

    • Replies: @Alfred
    The Chinese authorities could have shut down Wuhan/Hubei earlier

    Do you really think that running a country of 1,400 million people is that straightforward?

    Why is Trump not shutting down the USA at this very moment?

    "The Coronavirus is very much under control in the USA... We are in contact with everyone and all relevant countries. CDC & World Health have been working hard and very smart."
     
    Despite CDC Warning, Trump Doesn’t Sound Too Concerned About Coronavirus

    I think that politicians in the USA have had far longer to prepare then their Chinese counterparts.
  244. @Dieter Kief
    There is a considerable Chinese work-force in northern Italy - thousands of Chinese who are working in sub-contract sweat-shops, not least for the Italian fashion-industry.

    I must say, I'm astonished, that this well-known fact gets no coverage, now that Corona hits - in northern Italy.

    Absolutely true, especially in Venice. My wife and I took Italian lessons before we went to Venice and basically never needed it as most of the shops and restaurant workers were Chinese or S Asian. Very disappointing.

    This past year we were in Stresa (N Italy) and Sicily. Still mostly Italians and few Asians.

  245. @Ron Unz

    Doing such an operation with official military (invited to participate as athletes) strikes me as extremely inefficient, unless perhaps the intention was to send an explicit FU to China.
     
    Well, I'm obviously not suggesting that *most* of the 300 military personnel visiting Wuhan just prior to the outbreak were involved. But suppose just 2-3 US "ringers" were included to release the virus during their spare time, perhaps during their visits to the local "wet market." Again, the timing seems *extremely* suspicious.

    Regardless, I wouldn’t go so far as to insist that it must have been a “bioerror” incident. Still, amongst the “hierarchy of conspiracies”, I’d put that way higher than this being a crazy US bioterrorist attack. (Hanlon’s Razor).
     
    An accidental "bioerrror" release is *exceptionally* implausible based upon the timing. The release occurred at the absolute worst possible time for China, just before hundreds of millions would be traveling for Lunar New Year. Only the largest lock-down in world history prevented it from becoming a gigantic, endemic Chinese disease, potentially infecting the entire country. Obviously, a "bioerror" release would tend to be random in timing.

    Look, all of this would be totally absurd and ridiculous unless we had a crazy government. But we *do* have a crazy government...

    Well, I’m obviously not suggesting that *most* of the 300 military personnel visiting Wuhan just prior to the outbreak were involved. But suppose just 2-3 US “ringers” were included to release the virus during their spare time, perhaps during their visits to the local “wet market.” Again, the timing seems *extremely* suspicious.

    Leaving a trail back to yourself is incredibly bad fieldcraft. Using soldiers that are almost sure to be monitored is too likely to be caught in the act. Without some additional facts, the timing is simple coincidence not suspicious.
    ____

    Also, Trump just won on trade. Creating a trade problem immediately before an election makes no sense for the U.S. administration.

    There is no motive unless a 3rd party is conspiring against both the U.S. And China trying to start a war.

    PEACE 😇

    • Replies: @Saff32
    Now is the perfect time to implement Corona Virus if you are Trump.

    The stock market needed to crash anyways, now he can blame it on China. The Corona Virus was preceded by a viral attack on China's pork and chicken industry, so when China starts to buy more American farm products Trump can say he delivered to his base. Plus Wilbur Ross is on record as saying this wil lead to more companies building in America.

    As far as using US soldiers, it makes perfect sense to do so. Civilians flying in would be monitored, and you can't have someone get caught with a vial full of super virus as that would really be tracable to the source.

    Using US soldiers makes perfect sense because they can fly in with their equipment and they won't be inspected with the same scrutiny as a civilian would.
    , @Dave Bowman

    unless a 3rd party is conspiring against both the U.S. And China trying to start a war
     
    Bingo
  246. @Ron Unz

    Wouldn’t it be about 100 times easier to do so in Najaf and Karbala, which get millions of Iranian pilgrims and are places American agents can easily access?
     
    It's a trade-off. If the outbreak had started in Najaf or Karbala, all the world headlines would have said "Huge New Coronavirus Outbreak in Iraq," which wouldn't have been as potentially damaging to Iranian society, nor infected as many Iranians.

    Obviously, if you're using a bioweapon to attack Iran, you would release it in Iran. And if you're releasing it in Iran, Qom would be a pretty reasonable target location.

    Offhand, I can't can't see why the Shia Iranian Holy City of Qom would be the logical world-epicenter of an accidental non-Chinese secondary outbreak, in sharp contrast to Italy (which has a maybe 25K Chinese workers) or nearby countries like S. Korea or Japan.

    I'm no expert, but I think Shia Muslims are just a tiny fraction of 1% of China's population.

    Chinese contractors are building the Qom to Tehran high speed railway. Due to sanctions, I don’t think there are many projects undertaken by Chinese companies in Iran.

    • Replies: @Ron Unz

    Chinese contractors are building the Qom to Tehran high speed railway.
     
    Okay, that's certainly a possible disease vector for Qom. But how many Chinese workers are in that vicinity, compared to e.g. the vast number of Chinese workers on huge numbers of projects elsewhere in the world?

    I'm certainly not claiming that the epicenter of an top outbreak being in Qom, Iran *proves* anything. It just seems *awfully* suspicious to me...
  247. @Ron Unz

    Doing such an operation with official military (invited to participate as athletes) strikes me as extremely inefficient, unless perhaps the intention was to send an explicit FU to China.
     
    Well, I'm obviously not suggesting that *most* of the 300 military personnel visiting Wuhan just prior to the outbreak were involved. But suppose just 2-3 US "ringers" were included to release the virus during their spare time, perhaps during their visits to the local "wet market." Again, the timing seems *extremely* suspicious.

    Regardless, I wouldn’t go so far as to insist that it must have been a “bioerror” incident. Still, amongst the “hierarchy of conspiracies”, I’d put that way higher than this being a crazy US bioterrorist attack. (Hanlon’s Razor).
     
    An accidental "bioerrror" release is *exceptionally* implausible based upon the timing. The release occurred at the absolute worst possible time for China, just before hundreds of millions would be traveling for Lunar New Year. Only the largest lock-down in world history prevented it from becoming a gigantic, endemic Chinese disease, potentially infecting the entire country. Obviously, a "bioerror" release would tend to be random in timing.

    Look, all of this would be totally absurd and ridiculous unless we had a crazy government. But we *do* have a crazy government...

    Steven Mosher claims that employees at the Chinese Bioweapons labs actually sell test animals that survive at the local meat markets.
    https://nypost.com/2020/02/22/dont-buy-chinas-story-the-coronavirus-may-have-leaked-from-a-lab/

    • Replies: @china-russia-all-the-way
    Steven Mosher doesn't have insightful commentary to offer on corona. Reading through his opinion piece, there isn't evidence offered that the virus is a bio weapon from the Wuhan lab. He points to the weakest of coincidences (e.g. Wuhan lab is 22 kilometers away from wet market, stricter regulations for bio research labs announced shortly after outbreak became public, etc.) The evidence for his claims are even weaker than what Unz offers as evidence for his hypothesis (e.g. coincidence of US military participation in the World Military Games held in Wuhan before first case in Wuhan).

    Steven Mosher is a religious zealot who has found a ready audience during crisis because anxiety over the virus has made people not reason normally. I think Unz's own stubbornness about the corona being an American manufactured bioweapon shows a similar breakdown in normal reasoning.
  248. @Alfred
    The Iranian deputy minister of health has caught the infection. On this twitter video, he is addressing the Iranian people. He says that he has a fever but that he expects to be back at work in a few days. He is telling people to follow the recommendations of the authorities. Towards the end he vows that the Iranian people, with the help of God, will conquer this infection.

    https://twitter.com/i/status/1232269566476193794

    I don't think I have seen any ethnic-Chinese people with the infection making a similar speech. Does this mean that the Iranians are somewhat immune? I don't know.

    I don’t think I have seen any ethnic-Chinese people with the infection making a similar speech. Does this mean that the Iranians are somewhat immune? I don’t know.

    https://www.zerohedge.com/geopolitical/iranian-deputy-health-minister-infected-coronavirus-seen-looking-feverish-during

    There is a video embedded in the article, count how many times the minister wipes his brow in this minute-and-half clip.

    (And considering that one of them has an actual confirmed and visible infection shouldn’t they at least be wearing masks?)

  249. @Tom Welsh
    "...most non-Chinese people would struggle to name a famous person or movie, etc, from mainland China".

    Yes, because that's what is really important. Not civilization, culture, raising literally hundreds of millions from poverty to middle-class comfort, fairness, the rule of law, and a dedication to peace.

    National importance depends critically on the number of celebs. The nation with the Kardashians and Trump wins hands down.

    National importance depends critically on the number of celebs. The nation with the Kardashians and Trump wins hands down.

    Yes.

  250. @A123
    Vogons like shouting and blowing things up. No bribes are required.

    The BBC 6-part adaptation of Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy was much better than the movie. The book is a classic.

    PEACE 😇
    _______

    https://i.pinimg.com/originals/e7/e7/b5/e7e7b53d93368403a0daa11ca8e7eefd.png

    Vogons like shouting and blowing things up.

    That sounds like neocons. Vogons might be disgusting, but not nearly as much as neocons. The only good thing one can say about neocons as compared to vogons, neocons don’t write poetry.

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN

    neocons don’t write poetry
     
    Forgot to add that they still might be using “poetry appreciation chair” at Guantanamo.
  251. @P. McSorley
    In China:

    Live births in the past year: 17,404,093
    Deaths in the past year: 9,795,057
    Coronavirus deaths in the past quarter year: 2,628.

    Bullshit. Only 15 million people were born in China in 2018.

    • Replies: @Buck Ransom
    2018 is not last year.
  252. @utu
    "I agree that many Chinese people " - Do you think 4,000 to 5,000 is many? If China continues doing what it has been doing so far it does not look that there will be more than 5,000 death providing that the official data are more or less accurate.

    If China keeps doing what it’s doing, its economy suffers. Eventually, people have to be allowed to leave their room again.

  253. Personally I think its too soon to call for the end of the world…

  254. @Bert
    If over the past 200 years scientists had cherry-picked evidence as eagerly as Mr. Unz, science would not have developed beyond the level of voodoo.

    … science would not have developed beyond the level of voodoo.

    > implying

  255. Rush Limbaugh said on his show yesterday that the coronavirus is a Chinese conspiracy to bring down Trump.

    So far we’ve had prominent mainstream conservative and Republican figures, from GOP senators and politicians to media figures like Limbaugh, explicitly or implicitly suggest that the coronavirus is some sort of Chinese conspiracy.

    From all the evidence I’ve seen so far, I have no reason to believe that this outbreak being a US conspiracy against China is any less plausible than it being a Chinese conspiracy against Trump. And since the Chinese conspiracy idea is mainstream now and has been suggested publicly by prominent mainstream figures, I don’t think there’s any grounds to claim that theorizing about a possible US conspiracy is somehow out of line or absurd on its face.

    https://thehill.com/homenews/media/484506-limbaugh-claims-coronavirus-is-being-weaponized-to-bring-down-trump

    “Folks, this coronavirus thing, I want to try to put this in perspective for you. It looks like the coronavirus is being weaponized as yet another element to bring down Donald Trump,” Limbaugh said.

    “You think I’m wrong about this? You think I’m missing it by saying that’s … Yeah, I’m dead right on this. The coronavirus is the common cold, folks,” he continued.

    Limbaugh then pointed to large drops in the stock market in recent days thought to be caused by fears of the coronavirus outbreak, and repeated a debunked conspiracy theory that the disease was a released bioweapon.

    “Ninety-eight percent of people who get the coronavirus survive,” he said. “It’s a respiratory system virus. It probably is a ChiCom laboratory experiment that is in the process of being weaponized. All superpower nations weaponize bioweapons.”

    • Replies: @awry

    Rush Limbaugh said on his show yesterday that the coronavirus is a Chinese conspiracy to bring down Trump.
     
    Sounds just as plausible as that the Holocaust was a Jewish conspiracy to bring down Hitler. /s

    Seriously, would China respond to Trump's trade war against them by wrecking themselves in the hope of eventually bringing down the US economy with themselves by possibly causing the worst global recession in some 100 years eventually?
    , @Daniel Chieh
    One of the great things about this new reality is that you get to choose any facts you wish to believe in, I've noticed.

    It is kinda fun.
    , @Grahamsno(G64)

    Rush Limbaugh said on his show yesterday that the coronavirus is a Chinese conspiracy to bring down Trump.
     
    The cancer has migrated to his brain
  256. @Peter Frost
    Reiner,

    Two points:

    1. The number of cases in Iran and Italy are consistent with a normal flu outbreak. I'm not saying that non-East Asians are immune to the current coronavirus. I'm saying the effects will be much less severe.

    2. A third study has found ethnic differences in the allele frequencies for receptors that are susceptible to the current coronavirus. This is a study that has actually gone through peer review (unlike the previous two).

    Cao, Y. et al. (2020). Comparative genetic analysis of the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV/SARS-CoV-2) receptor ACE2 in different populations. Cell Discovery 6(11).


    https://www.nature.com/Comparative genetic analysis of the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV/SARS-CoV-2) receptor ACE2 in different populationsarticles/s41421-020-0147-1

    The ACE2 gene encodes the angiotensin-converting enzyme-2, which has been proved to be the receptor for both the SARS-coronavirus (SARS-CoV) and the human respiratory coronavirus NL63. Recent studies and analyses indicate that ACE2 could be the host receptor for the novel coronavirus 2019-nCoV/SARS-CoV-2

    The AFs [allele frequencies] of the 15 eQTL variants were compared among different populations. Notably, our results showed most of the 15 eQTL variants had much higher AFs in the ChinaMAP dataset and EAS populations compared to European populations (Fig. 1c and Supplementary Table S3). The AFs of the top 6 common variants (rs4646127, rs2158082, rs5936011, rs6629110, rs4830983, and rs5936029) were higher than 95% in EAS populations, whereas the AFs of these variants in European populations were much lower (52%–65%).

    [...] These findings suggested the genotypes of ACE2 gene polymorphism may be associated higher expression levels of ACE2 in EAS [East Asian] population.

    Recent reports of the ACE2 expression analysis in lung tissues from Asian and Caucasian populations are still controversial. The single-cell RNA-seq analysis reported that the Asian donor had much higher ACE2 expression cell ratio than white and African-American donors6. In contrast, the ACE2 expression analysis using the RNA-seq and microarray datasets from control lung tissues indicated there were no significant differences between Asian and Caucasian, or male and female11. The ACE2-expressing cells are a very small part of cells in lung tissues. The sample size and the purity of ACE2-positive cells in the selected samples would influence the conclusions. Our analysis showed the differences in distribution and AFs of eQTLs for ACE2 in different populations, indicating the diversity of ACE2 expression pattern in populations

    The number of cases in Iran and Italy are consistent with a normal flu outbreak.

    What does consistent with a normal flu outbreak mean? Anything between hundreds to millions of cases?

  257. @Ron Unz
    Well, personally I think the jury is still out whether East Asians are far more vulnerable to the new coronavirus than whites. The outbreaks in Iran and Italy shift the likelihood somewhat, but it's still early. Personally, I think the evidence from that cruise ship might be most definitive.

    But if whites are indeed as vulnerable, I'd think that the West might be hit much harder than China. After all, can we possibly imagine the sort of national lock-down that China has implemented, apparently with considerable success?

    And I'm still very suspicious about the circumstances of the outbreak. It hit China just before Lunar New Year, the absolutely worst possible time, and the epicenter was Wuhan, a key transport hub. It really seems an *astonishing* coincidence that 300 American military servicemen had been visiting Wuhan just prior to the outbreak, at a peak of international tension.

    How would Americans react if 300 PRC officers had visited Chicago, and immediately afterwards, a deadly new plague broke out in that city, with a major risk of spreading throughout the country?

    Isn't it also rather suspicious that Iran has been hit so hard? So the two countries in the world most subject to current American hostility just tend to be especially "unlucky"...

    As for "soft power," I suspect it largely reflects a heavily-lagging indicator of economic/political power, only somewhat shifted by considerations of pop-culture. If China continues on its economic/political trajectory, I think it will have plenty of soft power 30-40 years down the road. And if American society/economy collapses, so soon afterward will our soft power, ignorant rap-stars and basketball players notwithstanding.

    Isn’t it also rather suspicious that Iran has been hit so hard? So the two countries in the world most subject to current American hostility just tend to be especially “unlucky”…

    Iranians love their hookah. Sharing hookah is a major way to spread disease, including influenza. There are a lot of Chinese workers in Iran, helping to build their infrastructure, paid for by China’s loan/money paid to Iran to buy their oil. I read somewhere that there are Chinese migrant workers near Qom, the center of the outbreak. What are the chances an infected worker visited one of these hookah bars? Probably pretty high. Chinese men also love to smoke, esp. among the less educated.

    • Agree: LondonBob
    • Replies: @RW
    Best explanation for the 100% Iranian death rate I’ve seen so far.
  258. @Dutch Boy
    Steven Mosher claims that employees at the Chinese Bioweapons labs actually sell test animals that survive at the local meat markets.
    https://nypost.com/2020/02/22/dont-buy-chinas-story-the-coronavirus-may-have-leaked-from-a-lab/

    Steven Mosher doesn’t have insightful commentary to offer on corona. Reading through his opinion piece, there isn’t evidence offered that the virus is a bio weapon from the Wuhan lab. He points to the weakest of coincidences (e.g. Wuhan lab is 22 kilometers away from wet market, stricter regulations for bio research labs announced shortly after outbreak became public, etc.) The evidence for his claims are even weaker than what Unz offers as evidence for his hypothesis (e.g. coincidence of US military participation in the World Military Games held in Wuhan before first case in Wuhan).

    Steven Mosher is a religious zealot who has found a ready audience during crisis because anxiety over the virus has made people not reason normally. I think Unz’s own stubbornness about the corona being an American manufactured bioweapon shows a similar breakdown in normal reasoning.

  259. @The Grim Joker
    Absolute nonsense ! When the public is sufficiently panicked, some slick drug company will pop their vaccine on the market at big bucks a pop. Lots of suckers will get reeled in before we hear "the pandemic is under control".

    Given the deaths in China vs the 1.5B population I would have to get a new calculator to do the percentage.

    So when I read this drivel I yawn but I become irritated seeing daily photos of everyone on the internet news sites wearing masks. Time for another drama to replace this one !

    This virus thing is becoming boring !

    This virus thing is becoming boring !

    Agree…..I was promised zombies…..where the hell are my zombies?

  260. if rednecks in Appalachia had caused this by eating possums, we’d never hear the end of it.

    but since it was due to the Chinese, after western scientists develop a vaccine or cure for Covid-19, a year later we’ll go back to Unz posts about how the technologically superior Chinese are going to take over the world.

    well, they might, but not because they’re smarter. they are so very clearly technologically inferior and societally backwards. they’re smart enough to be dangerous. that’s about it.

    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh

    well, they might, but not because they’re smarter. they are so very clearly technologically inferior and societally backwards. they’re smart enough to be dangerous. that’s about it.

     

    China has already demonstrated a much better response than most governments in its ability to contain the virus, so your rambles are quite misplaced. The US response, for example, is for the CDC is stumble around in confusion.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2020/02/25/cdc-coronavirus-test/

    While South Korea has run more than 35,000 coronavirus tests, the United States has tested only 426 people, not including people who returned on evacuation flights. Only about a dozen state and local laboratories can now run tests outside of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta because the CDC kits sent out nationwide earlier this month included a faulty component.
     
    In the end, China might end up demonstrating if anything, that it has that is fully capable of acting decisively and effectively in a disaster in comparison to rivals.
  261. @Europe Europa
    I would actually say Britain has less soft power today than in the past despite being an English speaking country. How many people outside of Britain could name many current famous British singers or entertainers? It seems to me that Britain has excelled far more in past decades at this than it does today.

    Other than James Bond and Monty Python, etc, (which are all from decades ago), how many non-British people could name recent British films and TV series? A lot of Britain's soft power used to be derived from the royal family but they are increasingly disliked and regarded as a laughing stock around the world so it's debatable if even they generate much soft power any more. Britain also under performs in the tech/innovation world in comparison to Japan and South Korea in my opinion, what has Britain invented/produced in relatively recent years that people associate as British technology? I can't think of anything.

    Britain still has enormous soft power around the world, esp. in their former colonies. British lit from Shakespeare to Jane Austen to modern day Harry Potter continue to be popular and well read in the US and the world.

    British movies like Harry Potter, James Bond, Sherlock Holmes, King’s Speech, British TV shows like Downton Abbey, Masterpiece Theater, British pop stars like Adele, Coldplay, actors like Emma Watson, Emma Thompson, Helena Bonham Carter, Jude Law, Keira Knightly, Colin Firth, Michael Caine, Ian McKellen, Jeremy Irons, Maggie Smith, Judi Dench, Pierce Brosnan, Daniel Craig, Daniel Day Lewis, Anthony Hopkins, Helen Mirren and many others are household names in the US and popular the world over. Even in the world of sports, David Beckham and Lewis Hamilton are well known the world over.

    The Royal Family continues to be very popular in the US and the world. Both Prince William and Prince Harry’s weddings were widely watched in the US and the world. The BBC accent continues to be regarded as the most proper form of English by most people in the world.

    • Replies: @Staedtler
    British pop culture is biggest in Ireland and Australia and New Zealand. Elsewhere, it's mostly known by piggybacking on Hollywood and the US market. Most British pop culture and figures are known in the US and elsewhere because they appear in Hollywood productions. Most Americans and people around the world would have no idea who Daniel Craig was if he wasn't in Hollywood's James Bond movies.

    American English is the form of English that's generally taught and studied around the world. That's generally the accent that's in demand among English teachers.
  262. @AnonFromTN

    Vogons like shouting and blowing things up.
     
    That sounds like neocons. Vogons might be disgusting, but not nearly as much as neocons. The only good thing one can say about neocons as compared to vogons, neocons don’t write poetry.

    neocons don’t write poetry

    Forgot to add that they still might be using “poetry appreciation chair” at Guantanamo.

  263. If the Queen’s Consort Prince Philip were deceased we’d have a ready answer for the source of this Corona virus.

    He’s on record that if he were dead he’d like to return as a ‘killer virus’ as a sort of parting shot..err..gift, to humanity.


    Prince Philip

    ‘If I were reincarnated I would wish to be returned to earth as a killer virus to lower human population levels.’

    https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/162685-if-i-were-reincarnated-i-would-wish-to-be-returned

    • Replies: @Bert
    Prince Philip, aka Boca Negra
  264. @UK

    Look, all of this would be totally absurd and ridiculous unless we had a crazy government. But we *do* have a crazy government…
     
    A simpler hypothesis:

    Believing this is totally absurd and ridiculous, but then you could be crazy...

    Schizophrenia. Within 5 years. Mark my words.

    • Replies: @Astuteobservor II
    Did both you and UK both bought the bridge I was selling? You are the perfect customers, never question, just pays whatever I asks for. 🤣

    The more random new anons pop out to defend this, the more believable this bio weapon theory becomes.
  265. @prime noticer
    if rednecks in Appalachia had caused this by eating possums, we'd never hear the end of it.

    but since it was due to the Chinese, after western scientists develop a vaccine or cure for Covid-19, a year later we'll go back to Unz posts about how the technologically superior Chinese are going to take over the world.

    well, they might, but not because they're smarter. they are so very clearly technologically inferior and societally backwards. they're smart enough to be dangerous. that's about it.

    well, they might, but not because they’re smarter. they are so very clearly technologically inferior and societally backwards. they’re smart enough to be dangerous. that’s about it.

    China has already demonstrated a much better response than most governments in its ability to contain the virus, so your rambles are quite misplaced. The US response, for example, is for the CDC is stumble around in confusion.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2020/02/25/cdc-coronavirus-test/

    While South Korea has run more than 35,000 coronavirus tests, the United States has tested only 426 people, not including people who returned on evacuation flights. Only about a dozen state and local laboratories can now run tests outside of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta because the CDC kits sent out nationwide earlier this month included a faulty component.

    In the end, China might end up demonstrating if anything, that it has that is fully capable of acting decisively and effectively in a disaster in comparison to rivals.

    • Agree: Ron Unz, AnonFromTN
    • Replies: @Ron Unz

    China has already demonstrated a much better response than most governments in its ability to contain the virus, so your rambles are quite misplaced. The US response, for example, is for the CDC is stumble around in confusion....In the end, China might end up demonstrating if anything, that it has that is fully capable of acting decisively and effectively in a disaster in comparison to rivals.
     
    Consider a particularly ironic outcome of this situation, not particularly likely but certainly possible...

    Everyone knows that America's ruling elites are criminal, crazy, and also extremely incompetent.

    So perhaps the coronavirus outbreak was indeed a deliberate biowarfare attack against China, hitting that nation just before Lunar New Year, the worst possible time to produce a permanent nationwide pandemic. However, the PRC responded with remarkable speed and efficiency, implementing by far the largest quarantine in human history, and the deadly disease now seems to be in decline there.

    Meanwhile, the disease naturally leaks back into the US, and despite all the advance warning, our totally incompetent government mismanages the situation, producing a huge national health disaster, and the collapse of our economy and decrepit political system.

    As I said, not particularly likely, but certainly a very fitting end to the American Empire...
    , @SomeoneInAsia
    Please don't go around singing China's praises when you know the sorry state to which this country has descended. If the Chinese government were any good it would have nipped the coronavirus in the bud at the very outset by heeding the initial warning signs and alerting everyone. But what did it do instead? It tried (typically) to hush-hush everything, resulting in the sorry mess we now see before us. It's the same sorry story as with the SARS outbreak. Quite evidently some people simply never learn. As for its 'effectiveness' in containing the virus, well, if that means slowly starving entire areas of people by cutting off all supply lines to them for fear of contracting and spreading the disease, or stuffing people who are still alive into body bags and sending them straight to crematoria, or refusing help from other countries, then I suppose I'd agree...

    I'm not trying to defend the US, by the way. The US has caused untold human suffering all over the world, as has been shown by people like the late William Blum. But pointing out others' wrongs doesn't absolve you of your own. Two wrongs don't make a right.

    China used to be a land of high culture but ever since the communist takeover everything there has basically gone south. Hopefully the coronavirus will finally herald the end of the communist era and China can start anew. But then again, looking at the bloody mess to which modern industrial 'civilization' is leading us all...
  266. @Anon10
    Rush Limbaugh said on his show yesterday that the coronavirus is a Chinese conspiracy to bring down Trump.

    So far we've had prominent mainstream conservative and Republican figures, from GOP senators and politicians to media figures like Limbaugh, explicitly or implicitly suggest that the coronavirus is some sort of Chinese conspiracy.

    From all the evidence I've seen so far, I have no reason to believe that this outbreak being a US conspiracy against China is any less plausible than it being a Chinese conspiracy against Trump. And since the Chinese conspiracy idea is mainstream now and has been suggested publicly by prominent mainstream figures, I don't think there's any grounds to claim that theorizing about a possible US conspiracy is somehow out of line or absurd on its face.

    https://thehill.com/homenews/media/484506-limbaugh-claims-coronavirus-is-being-weaponized-to-bring-down-trump

    "Folks, this coronavirus thing, I want to try to put this in perspective for you. It looks like the coronavirus is being weaponized as yet another element to bring down Donald Trump," Limbaugh said.

    "You think I’m wrong about this? You think I’m missing it by saying that’s ... Yeah, I’m dead right on this. The coronavirus is the common cold, folks," he continued.

    Limbaugh then pointed to large drops in the stock market in recent days thought to be caused by fears of the coronavirus outbreak, and repeated a debunked conspiracy theory that the disease was a released bioweapon.

    "Ninety-eight percent of people who get the coronavirus survive," he said. "It’s a respiratory system virus. It probably is a ChiCom laboratory experiment that is in the process of being weaponized. All superpower nations weaponize bioweapons."
     

    Rush Limbaugh said on his show yesterday that the coronavirus is a Chinese conspiracy to bring down Trump.

    Sounds just as plausible as that the Holocaust was a Jewish conspiracy to bring down Hitler. /s

    Seriously, would China respond to Trump’s trade war against them by wrecking themselves in the hope of eventually bringing down the US economy with themselves by possibly causing the worst global recession in some 100 years eventually?

    • Replies: @Anon10
    From a cui bono perspective, the US conspiracy theory is more plausible than Limbaugh's China conspiracy theory.

    Slowing down China's economic growth and reducing its international trade is in the US geopolitical interest. That is the whole point of the tariffs, trade war, sanctions on Huawei, and push to move supply chains out of China.
  267. @Ron Unz
    Well, personally I think the jury is still out whether East Asians are far more vulnerable to the new coronavirus than whites. The outbreaks in Iran and Italy shift the likelihood somewhat, but it's still early. Personally, I think the evidence from that cruise ship might be most definitive.

    But if whites are indeed as vulnerable, I'd think that the West might be hit much harder than China. After all, can we possibly imagine the sort of national lock-down that China has implemented, apparently with considerable success?

    And I'm still very suspicious about the circumstances of the outbreak. It hit China just before Lunar New Year, the absolutely worst possible time, and the epicenter was Wuhan, a key transport hub. It really seems an *astonishing* coincidence that 300 American military servicemen had been visiting Wuhan just prior to the outbreak, at a peak of international tension.

    How would Americans react if 300 PRC officers had visited Chicago, and immediately afterwards, a deadly new plague broke out in that city, with a major risk of spreading throughout the country?

    Isn't it also rather suspicious that Iran has been hit so hard? So the two countries in the world most subject to current American hostility just tend to be especially "unlucky"...

    As for "soft power," I suspect it largely reflects a heavily-lagging indicator of economic/political power, only somewhat shifted by considerations of pop-culture. If China continues on its economic/political trajectory, I think it will have plenty of soft power 30-40 years down the road. And if American society/economy collapses, so soon afterward will our soft power, ignorant rap-stars and basketball players notwithstanding.

    Isn’t it also rather suspicious that Iran has been hit so hard?

    All large powers who don’t get on with the US will end up dealing with China instead, thereby catching a cold whenever Beijing sneezes.

    But it does seem exceptionally unlucky that even the deputy health minister has caught CV. Just as it was unlucky that Iran shot down a Ukrainian airliner. CV is undermining China AND Iran in suspiciously convenient ways for Trump and his ilk. Even the Italian outbreak is helping Salvini.

    I half expect to watch a documentary in 30 years with people interviewed in silhouette taking about how they engineered the virus to take down America’s enemies.

    • Agree: Ron Unz
  268. @Anon10
    Rush Limbaugh said on his show yesterday that the coronavirus is a Chinese conspiracy to bring down Trump.

    So far we've had prominent mainstream conservative and Republican figures, from GOP senators and politicians to media figures like Limbaugh, explicitly or implicitly suggest that the coronavirus is some sort of Chinese conspiracy.

    From all the evidence I've seen so far, I have no reason to believe that this outbreak being a US conspiracy against China is any less plausible than it being a Chinese conspiracy against Trump. And since the Chinese conspiracy idea is mainstream now and has been suggested publicly by prominent mainstream figures, I don't think there's any grounds to claim that theorizing about a possible US conspiracy is somehow out of line or absurd on its face.

    https://thehill.com/homenews/media/484506-limbaugh-claims-coronavirus-is-being-weaponized-to-bring-down-trump

    "Folks, this coronavirus thing, I want to try to put this in perspective for you. It looks like the coronavirus is being weaponized as yet another element to bring down Donald Trump," Limbaugh said.

    "You think I’m wrong about this? You think I’m missing it by saying that’s ... Yeah, I’m dead right on this. The coronavirus is the common cold, folks," he continued.

    Limbaugh then pointed to large drops in the stock market in recent days thought to be caused by fears of the coronavirus outbreak, and repeated a debunked conspiracy theory that the disease was a released bioweapon.

    "Ninety-eight percent of people who get the coronavirus survive," he said. "It’s a respiratory system virus. It probably is a ChiCom laboratory experiment that is in the process of being weaponized. All superpower nations weaponize bioweapons."
     

    One of the great things about this new reality is that you get to choose any facts you wish to believe in, I’ve noticed.

    It is kinda fun.

  269. @china-russia-all-the-way
    Chinese contractors are building the Qom to Tehran high speed railway. Due to sanctions, I don't think there are many projects undertaken by Chinese companies in Iran.

    Chinese contractors are building the Qom to Tehran high speed railway.

    Okay, that’s certainly a possible disease vector for Qom. But how many Chinese workers are in that vicinity, compared to e.g. the vast number of Chinese workers on huge numbers of projects elsewhere in the world?

    I’m certainly not claiming that the epicenter of an top outbreak being in Qom, Iran *proves* anything. It just seems *awfully* suspicious to me…

    • Replies: @A123
    Iran having a problem is unsurprising. It is a confluence point for multiple risk factors.

    -1- Scientists strongly suspect that smoking reduces resistance to CoV19.
    -2- Chinese men and Iranian men smoke, often heavily.
    -3- Iranian smoking practices use Hookas, which are rarely clinically disinfected between uses.

    Chinese infecting Iranians (or vice versa) is not suspicious, and could be considered inevitable.
    ____

    Are there other locations where all three factors pile up?

    Malaysian men smoke more than Chinese men, but I do not believe they use group tobacco devices like hookas.

    PEACE 😇
    , @Jim Christian
    Lots of Chinese port-construction folks are building a deep water dock in Haifa and nearly to Tel Aviv, are they not, Ron? Reading a couple of the locals like JP, not much of a local peep about it inside Israel. Bet they're on it though.

    Ron, any squawking about Bernie giving the finger to AIPAC and his severe criticism of Israel's treatment of Palestinians? It seems to have gone down the memory hole. The next debate should be precious. Someone is going to get on Bernie for that. How dare he?

  270. @Europe Europa
    For the sheer size of the country, China is almost completely devoid of soft power. Unlike South Korea and Japan, China has almost no cultural exports that are popular anywhere else in the world. All China is known for is its authoritarianism and exporting huge amounts of cheap goods, most non-Chinese people would struggle to name a famous person or movie, etc, from mainland China.

    The only internationally well known pop culture figures that Chinese culture has produced have been from Hong Kong, which is obviously highly Westernised in comparison to mainland China. People like Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan.

    Lao Tzu and Taoism.

  271. @utu
    Jennifer Zeng is Falun Gong operator.

    Geez. This agent anon loves spamming retarded YouTube links from all sorts of hacks.

    It almost feels like he is an anon working for the letter agencies. Wait………..

    • Replies: @Alfred
    Agent76 stated a fact.

    Why the ad hominem?

    Do you deny it?
  272. @jay
    I am surprised that it isn't spreading like wildfire in India

    Lack of exotic meats plus curry powder/fresh chillies kills germs and boots the immune system.

    • Replies: @glib
    It is more likely due to higher vitamin D status. By the same argument, I predict that there will be no outbreak in Venezuela.
  273. @Pheasant
    Lack of exotic meats plus curry powder/fresh chillies kills germs and boots the immune system.

    It is more likely due to higher vitamin D status. By the same argument, I predict that there will be no outbreak in Venezuela.

    • Thanks: Pheasant
  274. @AaronB
    Schizophrenia. Within 5 years. Mark my words.

    Did both you and UK both bought the bridge I was selling? You are the perfect customers, never question, just pays whatever I asks for. 🤣

    The more random new anons pop out to defend this, the more believable this bio weapon theory becomes.

  275. @Alfred
    Could it be a solution for many of much of Africa's problems?

    Black Africans have superb immune systems. No one can survive there otherwise.

    A study released today in Cell has found that Africans have a stronger immune response to infection when compared to Europeans, in part because early Europeans interbred with Neanderthals. We talked to lead author Lluis Quintana-Murci of Institut Pasteur and CNRS in Paris to find out why there are both positives and negatives to having a weaker immune system.

    Europeans have weaker immune systems than Africans, in part because of Neanderthal DNA

    Black people are much more affected by respirotory diseases.

  276. @Ron Unz

    Chinese contractors are building the Qom to Tehran high speed railway.
     
    Okay, that's certainly a possible disease vector for Qom. But how many Chinese workers are in that vicinity, compared to e.g. the vast number of Chinese workers on huge numbers of projects elsewhere in the world?

    I'm certainly not claiming that the epicenter of an top outbreak being in Qom, Iran *proves* anything. It just seems *awfully* suspicious to me...

    Iran having a problem is unsurprising. It is a confluence point for multiple risk factors.

    -1- Scientists strongly suspect that smoking reduces resistance to CoV19.
    -2- Chinese men and Iranian men smoke, often heavily.
    -3- Iranian smoking practices use Hookas, which are rarely clinically disinfected between uses.

    Chinese infecting Iranians (or vice versa) is not suspicious, and could be considered inevitable.
    ____

    Are there other locations where all three factors pile up?

    Malaysian men smoke more than Chinese men, but I do not believe they use group tobacco devices like hookas.

    PEACE 😇

    • Replies: @Denis

    Iran having a problem is unsurprising. It is a confluence point for multiple risk factors.

    -1- Scientists strongly suspect that smoking reduces resistance to CoV19.
    -2- Chinese men and Iranian men smoke, often heavily.
    -3- Iranian smoking practices use Hookas, which are rarely clinically disinfected between uses.

    Chinese infecting Iranians (or vice versa) is not suspicious, and could be considered inevitable.
     
    Yes, as we all know, Iranians are the only people who smoke and use hookah and have relations with China.

    Just forget about the rest of the Muslim world, India, Central Asia, and significant chunks of Africa and Europe, and this makes perfect sense.

    I present to you the 15 best hookah lounges in Malaysia:

    https://theculturetrip.com/asia/malaysia/articles/the-15-best-shisha-bars-in-kuala-lumpur-malaysia/
  277. Excuse me for butting in . . .

    anything is possible. It is possible that the virus will beciome unmanageable However, to date:

    Coronavirus Cases:
    80,423

    Deaths:
    2,711

    Recovered:
    27,913

    Active Cases \Currently
    49,799

    Infected Patients
    40,588 (82%)

    49,799
    Currently Infected Patients

    40,588 (82%)
    in Mild Condition

    9,211 (18%)
    Serious or Critical

    https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/

    ———————————–

    It appears managed at the moment.

    • Replies: @Aedib
    We should wait and observe what will happen with outbursts in third-world countries to reach your conclusion.
  278. @Anatoly Karlin
    Please keep off topic posts to the current Open Thread.

    If you are new to my work, start here.

    Anatoly, how are ya? Great work, as always. Seems like it’s been awhile,

    So, you figure they’re paying folks off, prisoners, maybe, trying to develop a vaccine of some sort? Not a forced thing, more like a Dirty Dozen scenario, voluntary-like? How WOULD they build a vaccination without rapid, exhaustive research on people? And that’s to leave out the question of racial characteristics-sensitive to the death.

    Safe to say China’s on that track one way or the ‘other’?

  279. @awry

    Rush Limbaugh said on his show yesterday that the coronavirus is a Chinese conspiracy to bring down Trump.
     
    Sounds just as plausible as that the Holocaust was a Jewish conspiracy to bring down Hitler. /s

    Seriously, would China respond to Trump's trade war against them by wrecking themselves in the hope of eventually bringing down the US economy with themselves by possibly causing the worst global recession in some 100 years eventually?

    From a cui bono perspective, the US conspiracy theory is more plausible than Limbaugh’s China conspiracy theory.

    Slowing down China’s economic growth and reducing its international trade is in the US geopolitical interest. That is the whole point of the tariffs, trade war, sanctions on Huawei, and push to move supply chains out of China.

    • Agree: Wizard of Oz
  280. @Hyperborean

    Maybe, someone can correct me if I’m wrong, but I think that in China girls at school often don’t wear uniforms that include skirts. It has occurred to me that the skirt uniform might be part of Japan’s success over the West, in the perpetuation of traditional sex relations, though perhaps it may be more deeply routed in psychobiology.
     
    Regular Mainland Chinese uniforms are basically just tracksuits with short-sleeve shirt underneath, usually rather colourful too (though there are formal uniforms as well for more serious events).

    https://www.chinadaily.com.cn/china/images/attachement/jpg/site1/20150920/b083fe955fd617686d9547.jpg

    I personally think this would be more proper:

    http://images.china.cn/attachement/jpg/site1007/20150529/0019b91ecaeb16d218f005.jpg

    At my school formal uniforms are worn for Monday formalities and girls can wear either skirts or trousers (the factor tends to be the season).

    Although they are a minority, I have been noticing more young bourgeois-looking girls wear Japanese-style seifuku in their free time.

    Traditional Japanese school uniforms are basically just an adaptation of 19th century European military uniforms (army/gakuran for boys and navy/serafuku for girls) adopted as part of the "Civilisation and Enlightenment" (文明開化) reforms.

    I’m guessing that this transmania doesn’t even exist in Japan.
     
    Well, Japanese don't seem so different in this regard:


    At Kashiwanoha Junior High School, which opened in Kashiwa, Chiba Prefecture, in April, students can freely choose whether to wear skirts or slacks or ties or ribbons with blazers, regardless of their sex.

    Originally, the school did not intend to make students wear a uniform, but had to change course because nearly 90 percent of parents and prospective students surveyed wanted one.

    [...]

    Similar moves are spreading in Japan, with a junior high school in Fukuoka Prefecture preparing to abandon the stand-up collars and sailor suits for blazers that will let students mix and match with skirts or trousers when the April 2019 school year kicks off.

    In Tokyo, the Setagaya Ward Board of Education is set to follow suit in April, while boards of education in the cities of Osaka and Fukuoka plan to broach the topic in the near future.

    [...]

    In 2014, there were 606 cases of consultations related to gender dysphoria, according to a survey by the Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Ministry covering elementary, junior high and high schools across Japan.

    The following year, the ministry issued a notice encouraging schools to improve support for sexual minorities and pay consideration to their clothing, hairstyles, and bathroom use.
     
    https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2018/06/21/national/social-issues/school-uniforms-go-unisex-japanese-schools-seek-better-fit-lgbt-students/

    Regular Mainland Chinese uniforms are basically just tracksuits with short-sleeve shirt underneath

    This is about my perception of the mainland. I don’t know but tracksuits seem odd to me. I don’t understand specifically why they are used. Maybe, it is easy and cheap to make them in different colors? Although, I can see how skirts might not be as practical in winter, for Northern climes. Or maybe they are easier to clean?

    I have heard that there is a slight but noticeable trend away from skirts in Japan, on the street level, for women done with school, but it still seems like a really big difference, when compared to the West. I don’t think it is a trend of convergence with the West, just a bit of more freedom for the bull dykes, or local Japanese equivalent.

    One thing that I think is true of Japan is that young men seem to have what in the West would be considered more feminine hair. It tends to be a bit longer, more styled, often dyed. I don’t know whether this is an organic thing, or whether it comes from the influence of TV, etc. How they try to differentiate male characters by their hairstyle, since they don’t have the natural color differentiation of Europeans. But I’m not sure if this would be permitted in school.

    I can’t claim any great knowledge of Japanese entertainment, but I think the general tendency for fanservice in anime, paired with the common trope of the dirty-minded male, who admires the female form is also a much healthier cultural attitude than the West, where almost all the sexual references (quite frequent) seem to be about trivializing sex.

    The following year, the ministry issued a notice encouraging schools to improve support for sexual minorities and pay consideration to their clothing, hairstyles, and bathroom use.

    A pity, this. Still, I wonder what the stats are on a comparative basis. The divorce rate in Japan is still quite low, as I understand it.

    Back when I went to school, the only guy who wore anything like a dress, was a guy wore a kilt because he had Scottish blood. He was definitely non-conformist, but not a queer.

  281. @Ron Unz

    Chinese contractors are building the Qom to Tehran high speed railway.
     
    Okay, that's certainly a possible disease vector for Qom. But how many Chinese workers are in that vicinity, compared to e.g. the vast number of Chinese workers on huge numbers of projects elsewhere in the world?

    I'm certainly not claiming that the epicenter of an top outbreak being in Qom, Iran *proves* anything. It just seems *awfully* suspicious to me...

    Lots of Chinese port-construction folks are building a deep water dock in Haifa and nearly to Tel Aviv, are they not, Ron? Reading a couple of the locals like JP, not much of a local peep about it inside Israel. Bet they’re on it though.

    Ron, any squawking about Bernie giving the finger to AIPAC and his severe criticism of Israel’s treatment of Palestinians? It seems to have gone down the memory hole. The next debate should be precious. Someone is going to get on Bernie for that. How dare he?

  282. I am turning-up the thermostats and humidifying the house, creating my own little tropical-climate sub-zone, my own little extreme-global-warming zone. (Studies seem to show that heat might deactivate viruses). On the outside, the theory I have is cold air can cause ciliary dyskinesia, leading to adhesion and colonization of pathogens. Thus the value of wearing a mask…warming the inhaled air. Of course, the anti- drill baby drill crowd will never say turn up the thermostat.

  283. @iffen
    So you are saying that the medical industry "knows" that the flu kills people, but they just put down things like pneumonia and heart attack on the death certificates?

    Certainly in the UK, the immediate cause of death goes on the certificate.

  284. I call BS Corona is going to kill a few thousands at most . Every time someone catches a cold the media says the sky is falling . SARS OMG a catastrophe and what ? A thousand deaths . And what if Corona does kill millions ? With 7,000,000,000 people what are millions ? 10,000,000 <1% . Corona is clickbait that the Americans will use to advance their program of advancing chaos to make it dangerous to disobey . Personally I hope Corona kills A billion+ . Shit I'll volunteer to be one .

    • Replies: @Dave Bowman

    Personally I hope Corona kills A billion+
     
    No problem at all from me.

    Just so long as they're all Jews, Moslems and Africans.

    Wow. Did I say that out loud ? My bad.
  285. @EliteCommInc.
    Excuse me for butting in . . .


    anything is possible. It is possible that the virus will beciome unmanageable However, to date:

    Coronavirus Cases:
    80,423


    Deaths:
    2,711


    Recovered:
    27,913

    Active Cases \Currently
    49,799


    Infected Patients
    40,588 (82%)


    49,799
    Currently Infected Patients

    40,588 (82%)
    in Mild Condition

    9,211 (18%)
    Serious or Critical


    https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/

    -----------------------------------

    It appears managed at the moment.

    We should wait and observe what will happen with outbursts in third-world countries to reach your conclusion.

  286. 2020: A new era begins by Charles November 17, 2014

    We had just such a mutation in 1980, marking the start of the new era. And then in 2000 the conjunction occurred back in an Earth sign. So until 2020, we’re still under the influence of the Earth sign conjunction. But that 2000 conjunction is the last Earth sign conjunction for many years. Because from 2020, conjunctions will be in Air signs. Until 2159!

    https://astrologyschool.net/2020-a-new-era-begins/

    “Triple conjunctions of Jupiter and Saturn are rare enough to be regarded as indicators of major cultural change, much like the Trigonalis. It was just such a triple conjunction in Pisces – anciently regarded as the sign of the Jews – that led the Magi to search for “The King of the Jews” in 7 BCE. (Magi translates as ‘astrologers’.) There have been only two triple conjunctions in the current earth sign series, that being the 1940-41 and 1980-81 trios – the latter being the ‘interruptor’ alignment in Libra that broke the all-earth sign series begun in 1842. There won’t be another triple conjunction until the 2238-39 series in Cancer.”

    http://www.astropro.com/features/tables/geo/ju-sa/ju000sa.html

    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
    I hope that you remain and provide a great deal more ancient wisdom; Unz has long needed a soothsayer of the stars to round out our collection of characters, now you have come finally to fufill that gap.
  287. @Dr. E. Black
    2020: A new era begins by Charles November 17, 2014

    We had just such a mutation in 1980, marking the start of the new era. And then in 2000 the conjunction occurred back in an Earth sign. So until 2020, we’re still under the influence of the Earth sign conjunction. But that 2000 conjunction is the last Earth sign conjunction for many years. Because from 2020, conjunctions will be in Air signs. Until 2159!

    https://astrologyschool.net/2020-a-new-era-begins/

    "Triple conjunctions of Jupiter and Saturn are rare enough to be regarded as indicators of major cultural change, much like the Trigonalis. It was just such a triple conjunction in Pisces – anciently regarded as the sign of the Jews - that led the Magi to search for "The King of the Jews" in 7 BCE. (Magi translates as 'astrologers'.) There have been only two triple conjunctions in the current earth sign series, that being the 1940-41 and 1980-81 trios – the latter being the 'interruptor' alignment in Libra that broke the all-earth sign series begun in 1842. There won't be another triple conjunction until the 2238-39 series in Cancer."

    http://www.astropro.com/features/tables/geo/ju-sa/ju000sa.html

    I hope that you remain and provide a great deal more ancient wisdom; Unz has long needed a soothsayer of the stars to round out our collection of characters, now you have come finally to fufill that gap.

    • Agree: Mr. Hack
    • Replies: @songbird
    Agree, but don't you think astrology is too mundane for Unz?

    What I would prefer is a practitioner of one of the African arts. Nggàm, which uses the perturbances of crabs and spiders in a bowl, or Ifá, which uses nuts on a divination tray.
    , @iffen
    Whoa! Dude. It really is the Age of Aquarius. Far out.
  288. @A123
    Iran having a problem is unsurprising. It is a confluence point for multiple risk factors.

    -1- Scientists strongly suspect that smoking reduces resistance to CoV19.
    -2- Chinese men and Iranian men smoke, often heavily.
    -3- Iranian smoking practices use Hookas, which are rarely clinically disinfected between uses.

    Chinese infecting Iranians (or vice versa) is not suspicious, and could be considered inevitable.
    ____

    Are there other locations where all three factors pile up?

    Malaysian men smoke more than Chinese men, but I do not believe they use group tobacco devices like hookas.

    PEACE 😇

    Iran having a problem is unsurprising. It is a confluence point for multiple risk factors.

    -1- Scientists strongly suspect that smoking reduces resistance to CoV19.
    -2- Chinese men and Iranian men smoke, often heavily.
    -3- Iranian smoking practices use Hookas, which are rarely clinically disinfected between uses.

    Chinese infecting Iranians (or vice versa) is not suspicious, and could be considered inevitable.

    Yes, as we all know, Iranians are the only people who smoke and use hookah and have relations with China.

    Just forget about the rest of the Muslim world, India, Central Asia, and significant chunks of Africa and Europe, and this makes perfect sense.

    I present to you the 15 best hookah lounges in Malaysia:

    https://theculturetrip.com/asia/malaysia/articles/the-15-best-shisha-bars-in-kuala-lumpur-malaysia/

  289. “Because from 2020, conjunctions will be in Air signs. Until 2159!

    A brighter future for some

    ” . . . a nightmare to others.”

    Excaliber, Merlin (Nicol Williamson)

    . . . Oy!

  290. @Ayatollah Smith
    Anatoly Karlin said:

    " . . . mortality with ventilators, drugs, doctors, etc. seems to be ~1% versus 2-3% for people left to their own devices . . ."

    I have seen no evidence to justify this claim. Nobody is collecting statistics on which infected persons have been treated (the control group) and which left on thier own to die.

    I suppose I shouldn't complain, but much of this article is similar, poorly-thought-out ideological wishful thinking, masquerading as authoritative fact.

    Karlin has no apparent credentials to support 80% of his statements, and the same seems to be true of other of his articles. If I'm to believe what I read, Mr. Karlin is a statistician, actuary, economist, philosopher, engineer, micro-biologist with a specialty in pathogen epidemics, a world-class political analyst, renowned social historian and many other things.

    I'm sorry to say this but, if I possessed half the credentials of Mr. Karlin, I wouldn't be writing small articles and asking readers for a few dollars in contributions to support myself.

    Are you that fat faggot that has a crush on AK?

    • Replies: @Denis
    Who, Matt Forney? He's a refugee in Armenia, Ayatollah Smith prefers China.
  291. @Daniel Chieh
    I hope that you remain and provide a great deal more ancient wisdom; Unz has long needed a soothsayer of the stars to round out our collection of characters, now you have come finally to fufill that gap.

    Agree, but don’t you think astrology is too mundane for Unz?

    What I would prefer is a practitioner of one of the African arts. Nggàm, which uses the perturbances of crabs and spiders in a bowl, or Ifá, which uses nuts on a divination tray.

    • LOL: Daniel Chieh
  292. The Coronavirus Sign of Moshiach

  293. @d dan

    "Unlike South Korea and Japan, China has almost no cultural exports that are popular anywhere else in the world"
     
    Not true. There are Chinese drama series, movies, literature, music and dance (pop or classical), etc that are very popular in Korea, Japan, ASEAN, central Asia and other developing countries. Many Chinese (including Hong Kong and Taiwan) movie and music stars are very famous in Asia. Some forms of Chinese arts like martial arts (TaiChi, Shaolin, etc), cuisine, calligraphy, ancient philosophies and thoughts, etc are also popular in western world. Chinese language is the second most popular foreign language that people study in the world.

    Of course, Chinese-bashing and Chinese-boosting are two of the most lucrative industries in the West. Not to mention Chinese-gazing, Chinese-guessing and Chinese-bickering, etc. They are also the most favorite hobbies of netizens worldwide.

    Every village in the UK has a Chinese takeaway. I cook stir fry and we eat it with chopsticks.

  294. @Just Passing Through
    Another thing is that there are a large number of Sikhs working on Italian farms, a fairly unskilled job. And I too was surprised to see the number of Chinese in Italy. The latters' numbers will only increase on the future owing to Italy's participation in the Belt & Road Initiative. The Chinese even offered to build Britains new high-speed rail line...with Chinese workers!

    It is probably like here in the UK, where many Eastern Europeans come to pick fruits for farmers because the natives simply won't work for the wages they give out.

    I bet all those dead in Italy are ethnic Chinese.

    > I bet all those dead in Italy are ethnic Chinese.

    A rough estimation of the ethnic susceptibility to COVID19 can be obtained from Piffer’s repat data from Wuhan where the Chinese policy is that dual citizenship ethnic Chinese are not allowed to leave (Taiwanese seem to be the exception). Italian seems to be naturally COVID19 susceptible.

    Rank | NInfectedPerKCapita | NInfected | N | Country
    1 24.27 | 5 | 206 | Japan
    2 18.52 | 1 | 54 | Italy <—
    3 16.13 | 2 | 124 | Germany
    4 5.13 | 1 | 195 | USA
    5 5.0 | 3 | 600 | USA 2
    6 4.05 | 1 | 247 | Taiwan <—
    7 3.94 | 1 | 254 | France 2
    8 2.86 | 2 | 700 | S.Korea
    9 0.0 | 0 | 179 | France
    10 0.0 | 0 | 174 | Canada

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    Belgium: 1 out of 9.

    https://twitter.com/aledeniz/status/1226103425508790275
  295. @Daniel Chieh
    I hope that you remain and provide a great deal more ancient wisdom; Unz has long needed a soothsayer of the stars to round out our collection of characters, now you have come finally to fufill that gap.

    Whoa! Dude. It really is the Age of Aquarius. Far out.

    • Replies: @Jim Christian

    Whoa! Dude. It really is the Age of Aquarius. Far out.
     
    Hey, Iffs? Remember the fakie age of Aquarius back in the late 60s, early 70's? If got so bad that at parties with starry ones, the legend has it a man would introduce himself to a woman:

    He: "Fred, Cancer!"

    She: "Hi! Julie, bladder infection!".
    Ba-da-boom.
    , @Alfred
    deleted
  296. @Jose Alan Guerrero
    China's lack of soft power is old news, actually China since 2017 has more soft power than ever.

    New icons of Chinese Internet-culture such as TikTok, fantasy novels and online dramas are gaining traction in Thailand, bringing fresh elements to the promotion of Chinese culture in the Southeast Asian country.

    As a teacher of Confucius Institute at Mahasarakham University, he has been working in a high school in Nongkrusi county, Kalasin Province since June of 2018. However, on the platform of TikTok, a leading video-sharing app, he managed to become a Chinese teacher with influence beyond Kalasin.

    "I've got over 10,000 followers on TikTok and most of them are Thai students who are learning Chinese," said 25-year-old Zuo, who has become a Internet celebrity by posting videos of Chinese-teaching lessons on TikTok.

    In addition to platforms like TikTok, Chinese online dramas and novels also gave Thai fans reading and watching frenzies.

    In renowned chained stores named "Asian Books" in Bangkok, capital of Thailand, a number of Chinese web novels featuring Wuxia (martial heroes), Xianxia (immortal heroes) and Xuanhuan (fantasy featuring adventures and wars) have been translated into Thai and have topped the best-seller list in the area of Chinese books for a long time.

    In 2019, a Chinese web series named The Untamed, telling adventures of two investigators who travel around to solve a series of murders, has become a real hit in Thailand.

    "Its beautiful scenery, vivid CGI, intriguing plots, and good acting make it very attractive to young people in Thailand. When the cast of The Untamed visited here in September, it became the hottest topic on social networks," Nid said, adding that many of her friends followed the series like crazy.

    Of course we in the West cannot gauge the extent of China’s “soft power,” since virtually no one here speaks Chinese and very few people are actually interested in Chinese culture, either ancient or modern. We are in a sense in a different universe.

    For thousands of years, when Europeans were still hunkered down in stone hovels etc. China has had vast “soft power” throughout Asia. Throughout history virtually all Asian cultures that aspired to statehood have looked to and borrowed from China in one way or another. Westerners must grasp the fact that their definition of “soft power” is not universal but actually is quite provincial. It is kind of pathetic that so many equate “soft cultural power” with crap like video games and sports stars. The very concept of sophistication is a product of Chinese culture, most notably, 13th-century cities of the Southern Song such as Hangzhou. Marco Polo could not believe his eyes when he visited this city. Compared to it Venice was a rat trap. “Hangzhou is one of China’s seven ancient capitals and has been designated a “Historic and Cultural City” by the government. Its history can be traced back over 2,200 years to the Qin dynasty (221-206 BC). It flourished after being linked with the north via the Grand Canal, which starts in Beijing and ends in Hangzhou.”

    See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grand_Canal_(China)

    China is still the cultural leader of Asia.

    Soft power shmoft power.

    • Disagree: Daniel Chieh
    • Replies: @songbird

    Marco Polo could not believe his eyes when he visited this city. Compared to it Venice was a rat trap.
     
    The idea that Europe was the ass-end of the world in the Middle Ages is somewhat undermined by all the soaring cathedrals, like St. Mark's in Venice. Can you point to anything similar in Hangzhou?
    , @Poco
    May Europeans embrace their provincialism. Amen.
  297. @Ron Unz
    Well, personally I think the jury is still out whether East Asians are far more vulnerable to the new coronavirus than whites. The outbreaks in Iran and Italy shift the likelihood somewhat, but it's still early. Personally, I think the evidence from that cruise ship might be most definitive.

    But if whites are indeed as vulnerable, I'd think that the West might be hit much harder than China. After all, can we possibly imagine the sort of national lock-down that China has implemented, apparently with considerable success?

    And I'm still very suspicious about the circumstances of the outbreak. It hit China just before Lunar New Year, the absolutely worst possible time, and the epicenter was Wuhan, a key transport hub. It really seems an *astonishing* coincidence that 300 American military servicemen had been visiting Wuhan just prior to the outbreak, at a peak of international tension.

    How would Americans react if 300 PRC officers had visited Chicago, and immediately afterwards, a deadly new plague broke out in that city, with a major risk of spreading throughout the country?

    Isn't it also rather suspicious that Iran has been hit so hard? So the two countries in the world most subject to current American hostility just tend to be especially "unlucky"...

    As for "soft power," I suspect it largely reflects a heavily-lagging indicator of economic/political power, only somewhat shifted by considerations of pop-culture. If China continues on its economic/political trajectory, I think it will have plenty of soft power 30-40 years down the road. And if American society/economy collapses, so soon afterward will our soft power, ignorant rap-stars and basketball players notwithstanding.

    You missed some of the most suspicious actions.

    1) Just a month before the outbreak, the PirBright Institute (backed by Bill Gates) ran a simulation based on a Corona Virus pandemic and they did not invite China. What are the odds? Watch all five videos, it is uncanny how they were able to predict what is actually happening. This event was needed to coordinate the world against China in the aftermath.

    2) Whitney Webb straight from Unz links Corona Virus to Darpa. Some of the most salient points:

    – Israels development of Bioweapons that can target based on race.

    – Pentagons ties to using bats as bioweapons:
    https://www.stripes.com/news/us/us-military-is-interested-in-bats-as-possible-defenders-against-bioweapons-1.542849

    – Darpa funding virus research on bats:
    https://www.bozemandailychronicle.com/news/montana_state_university/msu-project-to-prevent-bat-borne-diseases-wins-million-grant/article_805eb8ec-763c-53ff-87da-3d9c2466cd61.html

    https://source.colostate.edu/wuhan-coronavirus-once-again-on-the-brink-of-a-global-health-crisis-csu-researchers-respond/

    Get this, the US lifted a moratorium on Gain of function Viral Testing. Gain of function is making viruses more deadly and more contagious.
    https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/d34vyj/the-us-will-fund-research-to-make-pathogens-deadlier-again

    Darpa announced in 2018 a program to focus on animal reservoirs of disease, specifically Bats.
    https://www.darpa.mil/news-events/2018-01-04

    Pentagons research into SARA and MERS.
    https://www.grease-network.org/content/download/5407/40323/version/1/file/2017+CBEP+SPR+Program+Book_Final.pdf

    https://www.unz.com/wwebb/bats-gene-editing-and-bioweapons-recent-darpa-experiments-raise-concerns-amid-coronavirus-outbreak/

    3) The US has a prior history of using bioweapons.

    https://www.counterpunch.org/2017/05/26/the-dirty-secret-of-the-korean-war/
    https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/pentagon-ticks-insects-biological-weapons-congress-bill-chris-smith-a9006701.html

    PNAC calling race based weapons a politically useful tool.
    https://archive.org/details/RebuildingAmericasDefenses/page/n5/mode/2up

    • Replies: @Mustapha Mond
    "1) Just a month before the outbreak, the PirBright Institute (backed by Bill Gates) ran a simulation based on a Corona Virus pandemic and they did not invite China."

    Wrong, wrong, wrong. An otherwise fine post gets marred by repeating the same misinformation about China not being invited to this oh-so-suspicious forum.

    As I posted previously multiple times here on Unz, China was not only invited, the head of China's CDC, Dr George F Gao, was openly listed as one of the 15 "stars" who were headlined to be at the event: http://www.centerforhealthsecurity.org/event201/players/index.html

    And here's his bio on the website: http://www.centerforhealthsecurity.org/event201/players/gao.html

    Fact checking is always a good idea, no matter how much you trust the source, or 'want to believe'.

    Otherwise, a nice, concise list of good links for those unfamiliar with this issue.

    Cheers!

    MM
  298. @Bert
    You sound like you don't believe that scientists should think deeply about how the world works, test their ideas and communicate their results. Unless I am misinterpreting your scornful tone, you apparently would rather rely on the intuition of an uniformed person. That's your option of course.

    However in case you would like to know something about the theory of virulence, I'll try to explain the basic concept. First, get rid of the idea that there is "a virus." As is typical of organisms, within a large virus population there are different genotypes. The theory is interested in how the different genotypes increase in frequency, or not, within the virus population as a function of the genotypes' rates of reproduction.

    However, and crucially, there are two levels at which a virus populations exists. The wider level is all the individual viruses out for delivery, so to speak. The narrow level is the population of viruses replicating in each host individual, let's just say in Lance Welton for purposes of explication. Put simply, there is competition among viral genotypes within a single host. Some genotypes replicate faster than others. Genotypes Joe, Bill and Frank are easygoing, but Jamal is a stud. So when viral particles leave old Lance Welton to go out for delivery, there will be proportionally more baby Jamals than baby Joes, Bills and Franks compared with the genotypes that infected Lance originally.

    Now probably all those extra viruses due to Jamal's studliness make Lance feel worse than if Jamal hadn't been in him. But that doesn't matter as long as transmission to another host is easy. In fact it doesn't even matter if all the little Jamals kill Lance as long as he has infected at least one new host before he goes belly up.

    What we have here is a tradeoff between rapid viral reproduction within a host and the requirement of allowing the host to live long enough to pass on the infection. Virulence is not an asset. It is a evolutionary byproduct of the ecology of the virus-host interaction, specifically of very easy transmission. Cholera, while not viral of course, is considered an example of a virulent pathogen that is very easily transmitted in the absence of sewage systems. There is a lot more involved in the theory of the evolution of virulence, like incubation period, asymptomatic transmission (both capable of evolving), but the key idea is the tradeoff of rapid reproduction within a single host (competition among different viral genotpes) and the transmission probability stemming from the array of genotypes in that host.

    Evolutionary theory expects that stable long-term host-pathogen relationships will settle into something relatively benign, like the common cold you cite. However, the cholera-style situation does evolve if the host-pathogen ecology makes it possible. Human beings crowded together in cities is a very promising ecology for fast reproducing variants of a new virus transmitted by droplets, fomites, aerosol, and body fluids. In the absence of quarantines and lockdowns, Covid-19 could probably evolve to be more like Jamal than it is now.

    Regardless of all your twisting and turning, it is a fact that all the old and successful viruses are (as you put it) relatively benign. Virulence remains a feature of new viruses or new strains of older ones. I am also still to be convinced that there is a necessary correlation between infectiousness and virulence, which you appear to be implying.

    As you have admitted yourself……

    Evolutionary theory expects that stable long-term host-pathogen relationships will settle into something relatively benign, like the common cold

    I reckon you need something a little more substantial to argue the opposite.

    • Replies: @reiner Tor

    old and successful viruses are (as you put it) relatively benign
     
    Except smallpox, measles, and a bunch of others, each of which was at least as virulent as COVID-19, and wasn’t harmed by the virulence until we developed a vaccine against them.

    It’s a remarkably ignorant theory that virulence must be harmful to the bug. I know lots of supposed experts believe that, but they are wrong. The bug doesn’t care if it kills you or you get cured: either way, it has to stop replicating in your body.

    , @Bert
    What you refer to as twisting and turning is natural selection, a process recognized by one Charles Darwin in the mid-1830's. I guess you are a creationist who enjoys all the benefits artificial selection has provided to agricultural production, but who can't admit that a similar process works without human intervention whenever different species interact intensively.
    , @Bert
    You can't get more substantial than an actual real life demonstration of the theory's predictions, as described by the person who had the original insights into the relationship between transmission effectiveness and virulence.

    The words of Paul Ewald, professor of evolutionary medicine, U. of Louisville:

    Once we understand the factors that favor increased harmfulness and decreased harmfulness, then we can ask the question, "Can we do certain things that would favor organisms evolving toward mildness?"

    In some cases we might want to have a harmful organism -- for example, if we were generating an organism to control an agricultural pest. But in terms of human diseases, generally it's in our interest to have the disease organisms be as mild as possible.

    What we can do depends on the particular category of disease organism we're looking at. For example, for diarrheal disease organisms, we know that waterborne transmission should favor the harmful competitors among those disease organisms. If we clean up the water supplies, we should be favoring the milder competitors. When we look at the population of disease organisms in any given area, we see both mild and harmful strains. The mild strains are there, sort of hanging on; all we need to do is tip the competitive balance in favor of those mild strains.

    One way we can do that is by investing in clean-up of water supplies and also investing in adequate sewage disposal. If we do that, then we should get not only the benefit that most people would recognize -- reduced frequency of infection in the population -- but also we should be molding those disease organisms toward mildness. We should be taking control of the evolution of those disease organisms, favoring those mild strains and thereby essentially domesticating those disease organisms, making them into mild versions of what was there before. With a mild version, most people won't even know they're infected. It'll be almost like those people having a free, live vaccine, and, like a vaccine, those mild organisms can generate immunity that will protect against harmful organisms that might arise through mutation or might come into the area as a result of infiltration from other countries which hadn't cleaned up their water supplies.

    We can look at the experience in South America and Central America as a kind of a natural experiment that allows us to evaluate these ideas. In 1991, cholera came into Peru and then quickly, within a couple of years, spread all throughout South and Central America. Some countries had clean water supplies, and other countries had contaminated water supplies. What we find is that when the organism invaded countries with clean water supplies, the organism dropped in its harmfulness.

    In contrast, the organisms that invaded countries with poor water supplies, countries like Ecuador, evolved increased harmfulness over time. They've actually become more toxigenic -- they produce more toxin than they did at the outset. So that's very worrisome for those countries with poor water supplies. It means that the next time conditions are ripe for a cholera epidemic, they may have a worse problem than they've had in the past.
     
  299. @A123

    Well, I’m obviously not suggesting that *most* of the 300 military personnel visiting Wuhan just prior to the outbreak were involved. But suppose just 2-3 US “ringers” were included to release the virus during their spare time, perhaps during their visits to the local “wet market.” Again, the timing seems *extremely* suspicious.
     
    Leaving a trail back to yourself is incredibly bad fieldcraft. Using soldiers that are almost sure to be monitored is too likely to be caught in the act. Without some additional facts, the timing is simple coincidence not suspicious.
    ____

    Also, Trump just won on trade. Creating a trade problem immediately before an election makes no sense for the U.S. administration.

    There is no motive unless a 3rd party is conspiring against both the U.S. And China trying to start a war.

    PEACE 😇

    Now is the perfect time to implement Corona Virus if you are Trump.

    The stock market needed to crash anyways, now he can blame it on China. The Corona Virus was preceded by a viral attack on China’s pork and chicken industry, so when China starts to buy more American farm products Trump can say he delivered to his base. Plus Wilbur Ross is on record as saying this wil lead to more companies building in America.

    As far as using US soldiers, it makes perfect sense to do so. Civilians flying in would be monitored, and you can’t have someone get caught with a vial full of super virus as that would really be tracable to the source.

    Using US soldiers makes perfect sense because they can fly in with their equipment and they won’t be inspected with the same scrutiny as a civilian would.

    • Replies: @Gleimhart Mantooso
    Yeah, I bet the CIA would have a really hard time secreting the virus into China, therefore, 300 U.S. soldiers were used instead!

    Looks like you've got it all figured out, like all the other geniuses here at Unz World.
  300. @iffen
    Are you that fat faggot that has a crush on AK?

    Who, Matt Forney? He’s a refugee in Armenia, Ayatollah Smith prefers China.

  301. My interest in learning Chinese language was born thanks to Chinese soft power, once I became addicted to the tv drama “Yanxi Palace” I felt a growing interest and support for China, so yes, Chinese have made progress in soft power, though they still don’t have as much as South Korea nor Japan, ceirtanly China have these last years more visits achieved from international tourists than most countries in the world, being in the top 10 tourist destinations.

    “If you look at successful examples like the US, Korea or Japan, it’s much broader than using traditional culture or education as a medium,” said Lee, an assistant professor at Korea’s Inha University, noting that success stories, whether it is rap music, K-pop or manga, as well as online Chinese novels, are based on “international outlook or common stories” that people from around the world can make their own.
    The past year has seen China make some major inroads into international popular culture, like the rise of Chinese-developed app TikTok to become a global teenage phenomenon, or growing popularity of Chinese dramas, which saw The Story of Yanxi Palace – a tale of intrigue among feuding imperial concubines – topping last year’s Google search list for television programmes.

    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
    It occurs to me that all references to soft power that I have read on this thread might usefully have added a distinction between (say) influence (including random influence) and power. No doubt Hollywood has done much to change sexual mores round the world but it doesn't follow that the US can deliberately extract much benefit from its soft power.
  302. @Mr. Hack
    I'm impressed with the level of understanding that some of the commentators here posses about the biological processes involved with the corona virus. I see that a new vaccination is already being developed and is moving right along. I'd be grateful if somebody could answer a couple of questions that I have:

    1) Will the corona virus still be around next year, 5 years from now, 10 years down the road? Or will it disappear like other flu strains that mutate and change year to year?

    2) Is it possible that any vaccination against this particular virus will just be incorporated into the whole battery of viruses that are included within the yearly "flu shot"?

    Thanks!

    What will happen to CoViD.19? Just like what WHO asserted, it will blend in with other flu viruses/viruii with reduce fatality as the vaccines should have been developed by then. US has specifically tracked some flu variants, e.g. A (H3), A (2009 H1N1), A (Subtyping not Performed), B, H3N2v, BVic, BYam. It seems that for US SARS is not important enough, while the H1N1.09 swine flu is still lingering on 10 years later.

    • Thanks: Mr. Hack
    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
    So,the long and short of it it that corona virus is not more lethal that other types of flue type viruses. After all, approximately 10,000 people per year die in the U.S because of flue related complications, and no one is getting bent way out of shape over this.
  303. @Europe Europa
    I would actually say Britain has less soft power today than in the past despite being an English speaking country. How many people outside of Britain could name many current famous British singers or entertainers? It seems to me that Britain has excelled far more in past decades at this than it does today.

    Other than James Bond and Monty Python, etc, (which are all from decades ago), how many non-British people could name recent British films and TV series? A lot of Britain's soft power used to be derived from the royal family but they are increasingly disliked and regarded as a laughing stock around the world so it's debatable if even they generate much soft power any more. Britain also under performs in the tech/innovation world in comparison to Japan and South Korea in my opinion, what has Britain invented/produced in relatively recent years that people associate as British technology? I can't think of anything.

    Mobile phones. The brand names may have been Scandinavian, Japanese and American but the technology inside was British. There is a cluster of technology consultants around Cambridge that do the work. Basestations, +ARM +Transputers +LCD basic patents + billing software. A recent court case over patents revealed that the iPhone was designed by a consultancy near Hertford (comutting distance from Cambridge).

    Composite aircraft wings, notably Airbus.

    Lots of pharmaceuticals.

    Very few consumer brands. The high price of oil wiped them out starting in the 1980’s.

  304. @America1st
    Coronavirus is just more proof why Globalization is a bad idea.

    Globalism is mostly confined to White countries. Increased tourism however is worldwide thanks to more affordable air travel. Things like coronavirus are going to spread faster and wider as a result of that.

  305. by Tyler Durden
    Mon, 12/16/2019 – 05:11

    It’s D-Day For The Repo Market: On Monday $100 Billion In Liquidity Will Be Drained – What Happens Next?

    https://www.zerohedge.com/markets/its-d-day-repo-market-monday-100-billion-liquidity-will-be-drained-what-happens-next

  306. @c matt

    So the two countries in the world most subject to current American hostility just tend to be especially “unlucky”…
     
    I guess they threw Italy into the mix just to put us off the trail. They didn't like Salvini anyway.

    Yes, they would have no problem deliberately introducing the virus into Italy as a red herring. Those who perpetrated the disgusting Operation Gladio on the Italian public, the brave CIA, would be willing to do anything if it served their dark purposes. While I hope there’s another explanation, there’s a weirdness about the Italian coronavirus that I don’t believe can be explained merely by person to person contact, just like in Wuhan, just like in Iran. It doesn’t appear to spread this fast everywhere.

    • Replies: @Robjil
    I noticed that too that there has not been "Isis" events in Italy at all. Meanwhile in the rest of western Europe, in the past few years, there has been numerous Isis jigs going on.

    Italians are too savvy for that since Judge Felice Casson discovered in 1990 that US/NATO was doing many "terrorist" events for decades in Italy as Operation Gladio.

    This Corona virus strike at Italy could be for Italy not allowing Isis -like "events" to go on like in the rest of western Europe.

  307. @Tom Welsh
    "...most non-Chinese people would struggle to name a famous person or movie, etc, from mainland China".

    Yes, because that's what is really important. Not civilization, culture, raising literally hundreds of millions from poverty to middle-class comfort, fairness, the rule of law, and a dedication to peace.

    National importance depends critically on the number of celebs. The nation with the Kardashians and Trump wins hands down.

    Because the Kardishians and Trump are the sum total of American existence.

    Your logic is unassailable.

    Silly Sinophiles of Unz World, Unite!

  308. @Skeptikal
    Of course we in the West cannot gauge the extent of China's "soft power," since virtually no one here speaks Chinese and very few people are actually interested in Chinese culture, either ancient or modern. We are in a sense in a different universe.
    '
    For thousands of years, when Europeans were still hunkered down in stone hovels etc. China has had vast "soft power" throughout Asia. Throughout history virtually all Asian cultures that aspired to statehood have looked to and borrowed from China in one way or another. Westerners must grasp the fact that their definition of "soft power" is not universal but actually is quite provincial. It is kind of pathetic that so many equate "soft cultural power" with crap like video games and sports stars. The very concept of sophistication is a product of Chinese culture, most notably, 13th-century cities of the Southern Song such as Hangzhou. Marco Polo could not believe his eyes when he visited this city. Compared to it Venice was a rat trap. "Hangzhou is one of China's seven ancient capitals and has been designated a "Historic and Cultural City" by the government. Its history can be traced back over 2,200 years to the Qin dynasty (221-206 BC). It flourished after being linked with the north via the Grand Canal, which starts in Beijing and ends in Hangzhou."

    See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grand_Canal_(China)

    China is still the cultural leader of Asia.

    Soft power shmoft power.

    Marco Polo could not believe his eyes when he visited this city. Compared to it Venice was a rat trap.

    The idea that Europe was the ass-end of the world in the Middle Ages is somewhat undermined by all the soaring cathedrals, like St. Mark’s in Venice. Can you point to anything similar in Hangzhou?

    • Replies: @Skeptikal
    You are funny. You make my point for me about the provincialism of Westerners when they start to blather on about soft power.

    So if there isn't a cathedral in Hangzhou, there was no cultural accomplishment!
    It has to be a Western cathedral. How convenient.
    The cathedrals are indeed beautiful and impressive. But they are not the singular benchmarks for cutlural or artistic achievement. In fact, I find the morterless masonry of the Incas more impressive and mysterious in its peculiar genius than even the cathedrals of Europe.
    There was nothing like the culture of Hangzhou in Europe.
    There was nothing like the Beijing-Hangzhou Canal
    There was nothing like the prowess and artistry of the Southern Song ceramics.
    There was nothing like the sophistication of Chinese administration and finances.

    I am not going to play this childish "prove it to me" with know-nothings who cannot be bothered to educate themselves and sit in their corners yammering about Western cultural and intellectual superiority.
    , @JohnPlywood
    "Middle Ages" is a broad time frame stetching from 400s to early 1000s. St. Mark's is on the tail end of that era, and architecturally that period was separate from the truly decrepit period that was the middle ages. Besides, the St. Mark's basilica is just a ripoff of Turkic and Iranian architecture, which the west kept imitating with its reflecting pools (Taj Mahal, Chehel Sotoun) and its gazebos. Christian Europe was truly impoverished, both in mind, body and soul. Only by rejecting that disastrous religion, crushing the skulls of anyone who defended it, and opening our minds did we make it out of the abyss. Where modern Europe really excelled was never beauty or originality of art, but physical science and weapons creation.
  309. @songbird

    I am interested in what effect this will have on the PRC’s soft power.
     
    If you are talking about the schema of China in the heads of the average African, etc., then it won't be but the tiniest blip. I am sure it doesn't even register in many people of the third world.

    In the West, China will remain the big non-white country, so it will be lionized, as people are attracted to power, and it is relatively safe to reference.

    If we are speaking of the decade as a whole, it is microscopically trivial compared to the effect another decade of immigration will have on the West. Western Europe may be facing its 11th hour, right now. There are rumors that the UK will do away with the next census.

    In the West, China will remain the big non-white country, so it will be lionized, as people are attracted to power, and it is relatively safe to reference.

    In reality however, China is vilified in “the West.”

    • Replies: @songbird
    If you view China as a Han ethnic construct, antipathy to it (in the West) is very low compared to most other ethnic constructs: such as core-Americans, European nationalists, or worse still, Russia.

    I've heard people evoke Russia in conspiracies, in real life. Not just on the internet.

    The only large, noteworthy, homogeneous country with lessor antipathy in the West is Japan. But it is something of a double-edged sword, as Japan is nowhere near as praised as China because it doesn't have the same power and has been stagnating.
  310. @Saff32
    Now is the perfect time to implement Corona Virus if you are Trump.

    The stock market needed to crash anyways, now he can blame it on China. The Corona Virus was preceded by a viral attack on China's pork and chicken industry, so when China starts to buy more American farm products Trump can say he delivered to his base. Plus Wilbur Ross is on record as saying this wil lead to more companies building in America.

    As far as using US soldiers, it makes perfect sense to do so. Civilians flying in would be monitored, and you can't have someone get caught with a vial full of super virus as that would really be tracable to the source.

    Using US soldiers makes perfect sense because they can fly in with their equipment and they won't be inspected with the same scrutiny as a civilian would.

    Yeah, I bet the CIA would have a really hard time secreting the virus into China, therefore, 300 U.S. soldiers were used instead!

    Looks like you’ve got it all figured out, like all the other geniuses here at Unz World.

    • LOL: another fred
  311. @Mattyimlac
    Fun theory but it would make more sense if paired with some theory of how the US took secret steps to protect its own population, e.g., slipped a vaccine in the drinking water. But it is hard to think of a plausible theory of that sort.

    The way the “secret steps” would work is that the US would come out with a vaccine just in the nick of time to save the US. As a result of US ingenuity, donchaknow. No silliness about the water supply necessary. The lizard people in DC don’t care if a few thousand Americans die.

  312. @Daniel Chieh

    well, they might, but not because they’re smarter. they are so very clearly technologically inferior and societally backwards. they’re smart enough to be dangerous. that’s about it.

     

    China has already demonstrated a much better response than most governments in its ability to contain the virus, so your rambles are quite misplaced. The US response, for example, is for the CDC is stumble around in confusion.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2020/02/25/cdc-coronavirus-test/

    While South Korea has run more than 35,000 coronavirus tests, the United States has tested only 426 people, not including people who returned on evacuation flights. Only about a dozen state and local laboratories can now run tests outside of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta because the CDC kits sent out nationwide earlier this month included a faulty component.
     
    In the end, China might end up demonstrating if anything, that it has that is fully capable of acting decisively and effectively in a disaster in comparison to rivals.

    China has already demonstrated a much better response than most governments in its ability to contain the virus, so your rambles are quite misplaced. The US response, for example, is for the CDC is stumble around in confusion….In the end, China might end up demonstrating if anything, that it has that is fully capable of acting decisively and effectively in a disaster in comparison to rivals.

    Consider a particularly ironic outcome of this situation, not particularly likely but certainly possible…

    Everyone knows that America’s ruling elites are criminal, crazy, and also extremely incompetent.

    So perhaps the coronavirus outbreak was indeed a deliberate biowarfare attack against China, hitting that nation just before Lunar New Year, the worst possible time to produce a permanent nationwide pandemic. However, the PRC responded with remarkable speed and efficiency, implementing by far the largest quarantine in human history, and the deadly disease now seems to be in decline there.

    Meanwhile, the disease naturally leaks back into the US, and despite all the advance warning, our totally incompetent government mismanages the situation, producing a huge national health disaster, and the collapse of our economy and decrepit political system.

    As I said, not particularly likely, but certainly a very fitting end to the American Empire…

    • Agree: clickkid
    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
    Another exhibit for the Amero-pessimism case.

    https://twitter.com/akarlin88/status/1232443837777244160
    , @clickkid
    Yes!

    One senses a palpable feeling of deep frustration amongst the American - and other - China-bashers that this has been such a formidable and breathtaking response by the Government and People of China.

    They twist and they spin every statement and every action, in order to score propaganda points.

    They say that in Mandarin the character for 'opportunity' is the same as the character for 'crisis'. I don't know if that's true, but it could well turn out that the one of the most lasting impressions of this crisis for the watching world will be how well China's system dealt with it. Should this virus spread through Europe and America in the coming months, then we shall all come to a better appreciation of that.

    Let's see how the West copes with Covid-19.
    , @John Arthur
    I think the whole thing is somewhat overstated

    I think all the empirical evidence showcases that the Wuhan government bungled the response immensely, hiding information of the Coronavirus until it was too late.

    But virtually all the other local and the national Chinese governments did an exceptional job with containing the virus, especially Xi Jinping's leadership. I think college students are going to study the rapid response of the National Government in future textbooks on crisis mamagement. Therefore the non-Wuhan areas had low levels of coronavirus.

    In addition, outside of Iran, which isn't really that competent, the only areas to have a substantial number of coronavirus cases are areas with a massive legal/illegal Chinese population.

    America has some 50 cases, but has the largest Chinese
    diaspora of 6 million Chinese and the largest in overall travel with China. Now maybe the real number of cases is substantially higher, but I really doubt that. Given the absolute hammering South Korea, Italy, and Japan are having, America seems pretty good, given its demographics.

    I can't predict what is going to happen next, but I think countries like India and Bangladesh are going to be annihilated by this virus.

    Also, the bioweapon meme seems kinda dumb to me. America's East Asian population is vastly overrepresented in our Technology and Bureaucracy fields, and are very responsible for even our Deep State. They hold a *huge* chunk of America on our shoulders, including the federal gov. If such a thing was deliberate by America, wouldn't that destroy the Federal Government as well? Wouldn't some Chinese/Korean/Japanese/Vietnamese in the higher up know what was going on and spill the truth? Even our bioweapons industry is probably disproportionately East Asian, wouldn't some East Asian realize their work is being used to kill someone? If America was releasing a bioweapon to kill your Chinese grandmother, you would probably speak up.

    Then again, the Military Games coincidence is absolutely fascinating, and it is amazing the media does not pick up on that. Did someone check if any of the other country participants got infected as well? If so, then I think it settles it...
    , @Richard B

    As I said, not particularly likely, but certainly a very fitting end to the American Empire…
     
    Agreed.

    But a more appropriate, more accurate name for it than "American" would be

    The Empire of Jewish Supremacy Inc.

    I've said it before and will say it again, because it's worth repeating,


    Who needs a Conspiracy Theory when you have The Unz Review?
     
    , @S

    So perhaps the coronavirus outbreak was indeed a deliberate biowarfare attack against China...However, the PRC responded with remarkable speed and efficiency...Meanwhile, the disease naturally leaks back into the US...producing a huge national health disaster, and the collapse of our economy and decrepit political system...As I said, not particularly likely, but certainly a very fitting end to the American Empire…
     
    As with most everybody else, I certainly hope there's nothing to that idea.

    Gotta say, it's remarkably like the plot of an old 1968 episode of Star Trek. On a parallel Earth, a biological war between the United States and Red China leaves the Chinese dominating the world, while a completely devolved United States is reduced to being just a couple of notches above being a nation of cave dwellers.

    https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-qgVQW3AxwU4/VnKhgXQa7pI/AAAAAAAAKgg/6sIOjMKuJgk/s1600/tos-223-the-omega-glory%2B%252828%2529.png
    The Yangs

    'That which is ours, is ours again.'

    MCCOY: Yes. I'm convinced that once there was a frightening biological war that existed here...

    KIRK: If my ancestors were forced out of the cities into the deserts, the hills..

    SPOCK: Yes. I see, Captain. They would've learned to wear skins, adopted stoic mannerisms, learned the bow and the lance.

    KIRK: Living like the Indians, and finally even looking like the American Indian. American. Yangs? Yanks? Spock, Yankees!

    SPOCK: Kohms? Communists? The parallel is almost too close, Captain. It would mean they fought the war your Earth avoided, and in this case, the Asiatics won and took over this planet.

    KIRK: But if it were true, all these generations of Yanks fighting to regain their land.

    MCCOY: You're a romantic, Jim.
     
    http://www.chakoteya.net/StarTrek/54.htm
    , @S

    So perhaps the coronavirus outbreak was indeed a deliberate biowarfare attack against China...However, the PRC responded with remarkable speed and efficiency...Meanwhile, the disease naturally leaks back into the US...producing a huge national health disaster, and the collapse of our economy and decrepit political system...As I said, not particularly likely, but certainly a very fitting end to the American Empire…
     
    As with most everybody else, I certainly hope there's nothing to that idea.

    Gotta say, it's remarkably like the plot of an old 1968 episode of Star Trek. On a parallel Earth, a biological war between the United States and Red China leaves the Chinese dominating the world, while a completely devolved United States is reduced to being just a couple of notches above being a nation of cave dwellers.

    https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-qgVQW3AxwU4/VnKhgXQa7pI/AAAAAAAAKgg/6sIOjMKuJgk/s1600/tos-223-the-omega-glory%2B%252828%2529.png
    The Yangs

    'That which is ours, is ours again.'

    MCCOY: Yes. I'm convinced that once there was a frightening biological war that existed here...

    KIRK: If my ancestors were forced out of the cities into the deserts, the hills..

    SPOCK: Yes. I see, Captain. They would've learned to wear skins, adopted stoic mannerisms, learned the bow and the lance.

    KIRK: Living like the Indians, and finally even looking like the American Indian. American. Yangs? Yanks? Spock, Yankees!

    SPOCK: Kohms? Communists? The parallel is almost too close, Captain. It would mean they fought the war your Earth avoided, and in this case, the Asiatics won and took over this planet.

    KIRK: But if it were true, all these generations of Yanks fighting to regain their land.

    MCCOY: You're a romantic, Jim.
     
    http://www.chakoteya.net/StarTrek/54.htm
  313. And a song to ICE the CAKE 🙂

  314. @Ron Unz

    China has already demonstrated a much better response than most governments in its ability to contain the virus, so your rambles are quite misplaced. The US response, for example, is for the CDC is stumble around in confusion....In the end, China might end up demonstrating if anything, that it has that is fully capable of acting decisively and effectively in a disaster in comparison to rivals.
     
    Consider a particularly ironic outcome of this situation, not particularly likely but certainly possible...

    Everyone knows that America's ruling elites are criminal, crazy, and also extremely incompetent.

    So perhaps the coronavirus outbreak was indeed a deliberate biowarfare attack against China, hitting that nation just before Lunar New Year, the worst possible time to produce a permanent nationwide pandemic. However, the PRC responded with remarkable speed and efficiency, implementing by far the largest quarantine in human history, and the deadly disease now seems to be in decline there.

    Meanwhile, the disease naturally leaks back into the US, and despite all the advance warning, our totally incompetent government mismanages the situation, producing a huge national health disaster, and the collapse of our economy and decrepit political system.

    As I said, not particularly likely, but certainly a very fitting end to the American Empire...

    Another exhibit for the Amero-pessimism case.

    • Replies: @Hail

    -Has the flu. Not coronavirus
    -Billed $3,270
    -Works for medical device company that doesn't offer insurance
     
    This is basically a "Bernie Sanders 2020" ad.
  315. @Weston Waroda
    Yes, they would have no problem deliberately introducing the virus into Italy as a red herring. Those who perpetrated the disgusting Operation Gladio on the Italian public, the brave CIA, would be willing to do anything if it served their dark purposes. While I hope there's another explanation, there's a weirdness about the Italian coronavirus that I don't believe can be explained merely by person to person contact, just like in Wuhan, just like in Iran. It doesn't appear to spread this fast everywhere.

    I noticed that too that there has not been “Isis” events in Italy at all. Meanwhile in the rest of western Europe, in the past few years, there has been numerous Isis jigs going on.

    Italians are too savvy for that since Judge Felice Casson discovered in 1990 that US/NATO was doing many “terrorist” events for decades in Italy as Operation Gladio.

    This Corona virus strike at Italy could be for Italy not allowing Isis -like “events” to go on like in the rest of western Europe.

    • Agree: Alfred
  316. @Ron Unz

    China has already demonstrated a much better response than most governments in its ability to contain the virus, so your rambles are quite misplaced. The US response, for example, is for the CDC is stumble around in confusion....In the end, China might end up demonstrating if anything, that it has that is fully capable of acting decisively and effectively in a disaster in comparison to rivals.
     
    Consider a particularly ironic outcome of this situation, not particularly likely but certainly possible...

    Everyone knows that America's ruling elites are criminal, crazy, and also extremely incompetent.

    So perhaps the coronavirus outbreak was indeed a deliberate biowarfare attack against China, hitting that nation just before Lunar New Year, the worst possible time to produce a permanent nationwide pandemic. However, the PRC responded with remarkable speed and efficiency, implementing by far the largest quarantine in human history, and the deadly disease now seems to be in decline there.

    Meanwhile, the disease naturally leaks back into the US, and despite all the advance warning, our totally incompetent government mismanages the situation, producing a huge national health disaster, and the collapse of our economy and decrepit political system.

    As I said, not particularly likely, but certainly a very fitting end to the American Empire...

    Yes!

    One senses a palpable feeling of deep frustration amongst the American – and other – China-bashers that this has been such a formidable and breathtaking response by the Government and People of China.

    They twist and they spin every statement and every action, in order to score propaganda points.

    They say that in Mandarin the character for ‘opportunity’ is the same as the character for ‘crisis’. I don’t know if that’s true, but it could well turn out that the one of the most lasting impressions of this crisis for the watching world will be how well China’s system dealt with it. Should this virus spread through Europe and America in the coming months, then we shall all come to a better appreciation of that.

    Let’s see how the West copes with Covid-19.

    • Agree: Robjil, Seraphim
    • Replies: @thetruth
    “They say that in Mandarin the character for ‘opportunity’ is the same as the character for ‘crisis’. I don’t know if that’s true, ”

    In Chinese, ‘crisis’ and ‘opportunity’ are two different Characters, used together, as an expression. pronounced as Wei Ji. So Crisis can also be used as an opportunity. China will definitely use this Covid-19 crisis as an opportunity. just wait and see.
  317. “We should wait and observe what will happen with outbursts in third-world countries to reach your conclusion.”

    Well,

    I think that is my point. There are roughly 7.3 billion people on the planet. What represents a pandemic: here’s one answer

    https://www.webmd.com/cold-and-flu/features/what-is-pandemic#1

    https://www.who.int/csr/disease/swineflu/frequently_asked_questions/pandemic/en/

    In examining the core cases here, the number of recoveries thus far are high. Thus far the current status according to WHO – this is not yet a pandemic . . . pandemic on waiting — well maybe. The economic response is based on suspicions that it will be a severe global crisis — again maybe.

    At the moment – not so much.

    I am taken to view the matter this way. Because I don’t sleep around , people think I must be in the closet as a someone who engages in same sex relations . . . all I can say is , I don’t, haven’t won’t . . ,

    Laugh . . . at least not yet.

  318. “It beggars belief that there aren’t similar or bigger clusters all over Europe, North America, and much of the world even outside East Asia.

    To which one might rejoinder, why haven’t they been detected yet? ”

    Well, at least between Myanmar and Laos, both which have no recorded cases, Mynanmar has taken action to make sure no one knows what to do in case of an infection. In the past when students protested as in 1962, the military blew up the student union building. When students protested in 1988, they moved universities far outside of Rangoon and shortened the length of a yearly course of studies to three months.

    Now, the military dictatorship, sorry, the newly reformed government, passed a law that bans COVID-19 information from reaching the public via media.

    https://www.mmtimes.com/news/bill-seeks-control-news-outbreaks.html

    Of course, these two highly suspect American expats in Yangon didn’t get the memo and live streamed their own version of Wuhan Virus information over Facebook. Either they’re informative to three veiwers who know nothing at all or they bored the viewers to death, so they needn’t fear contracting the deadly virus anyway.

    I particularly like the point (5:20) at which the teacher switched from speaking English to ME SPEAK BASIC English for veiwers who can’t speak English. Wow. (click on blue link for video)

    Classes cancelled for 2 weeks due to Coronovirus.

    Mingalarbar, I am Matthew Ortiz, President of The American Institute in Yangon. I am making this video to explain to our students that we will be cancelling (delaying) classes for 2 weeks due safety concerns about the Coronavirus that is destroying China and is a serious threat to Myanmar.Today is January 29th in Myanmar at 2am. I’m in the US at 2pm on January 28th.Please do not ask for refunds. We are not cancelling classes, you will receive your classes but they are being delayed. We are doing this for YOUR SAFETY. We feel it is our responsibility to make sure that our school is not a place where our students might get infected. Of course, we wish that we can be wrong about this and it turns out to be a small problem. But, “it is better to be safe than sorry.”Please let me educate you and the public as to you what we know about this and what our concerns are. Please forgive me for my English level, I will use the lowest level English I can so that the most people can understand me. I will attempt to have my staff make subtitles later.First, this is the most transmittable fatal disease in my 40 year lifetime. This is more bad that SARS, Swine Flu, or Bird flu. I never worried about these other diseases. My opinion is based on what I see from credible sources and the math. I will talk about the math later.Our decision to close our school of two weeks is based largely on the decision by Hong Kong to close all schools for 2 weeks. Hong Kong is also doing other things like closing public locations and have started closing their borders. Mongolia has also closed their borders and Japan is discussing closing their borders. Myanmar is high risk due to location and trade with China. I hope Myanmar will close borders immediately.Things we know:1. Screening fevers doesn’t work.This disease can make people sick before they show symptoms. On day 1, someone coughs in my face. I feel worried so I watch my health for 2 or 3 days. But I don’t feel sick so I think I’m ok. But, after 5 days I can make other people sick. US CDC estimates if I go to room with 10 people, 2 people will sick after. They also estimate that each 1 sick person will make another 14 people sick. But, this infection is before feeling sick. After 2-3 weeks I will start feeling sick. But, I have already infected my family, my friends, and my coworkers before I felt sick. After 4-8 weeks I feel very bad, and if I’m not strong enough I will die.People think that only old and weak people will die. But statistics show that it is starting to kill younger healthy people. It is possible it is mutating to get stronger.This disease is not worst because it kills. It is worst because it has the highest infection probability combined with fatality. People are saying that SARS has a more deadly rate. Not true yet. SARS has 15 years of cases to do the math. The first groups of people with this disease are not dead YET, so the fatality rate cannot yet be determined accurately.Now is the most dangerous time; because it is infection of people without symptoms. After people see others with symptoms they are more careful. But, right now people are not careful enough because they are complacent because. Look at China. People only started to care after people were falling down dead. But, by this time, already too many infected.The first cases in China are thought to be December 8th for infection at meat market. So, for 3 weeks they were infecting others. Only January 15th people started to see problems. I think January 15th is start day of risk for Myanmar. On this date infected people were likely arrived from China and started spreading in Myanmar. That means right now is day 13 for Myanmar. So, for this 13 days, 5 people were not spreading much. That means 8 days, some are just now starting to feel sick; but 90% of infected people don’t feel sick yet. For another 2 weeks this will continue to spread until it is so bad that people can see everywhere. So, right now is the most dangerous time. People to be careful NOW.We know that China is lying about the numbers. Wuhan had 49,000 registered hospital beds but they are not enough. 2 days ago a Nurse in Wuhan said 90,000 patients. That is probably double now, but I cannot find any new information from China in last 24 hours; which is very bad.Next, authorities are only telling health care workers to wear masks. This is wrong. Hospitals are not yet the most dangerous places, because infected people are not yet going to the hospitals. The most dangerous places right now are:1. Airports2. Bus, train, taxi drivers3. HospitalsBut, in 3 weeks it will be:1. Hospitals2. Transportation workers3. SchoolsThe good news. Myanmar has a head start by being a 2nd hit country. We have 3 weeks warning and now US CDC is working on a vaccine. I think it will take maybe 3 weeks to make a vaccine and US will share it with other countries first.We will give to other countries first because that is the most effective way to protect ourselves. If I go to the hospital in US and say I have been in contact with Chinese on airplane last week for example; I will get very very good care. But, in Myanmar the care is not as good as the US. So, we will give vaccine first to places with most need. If we stop infections overseas that will protect US more.This is also why I chose 2 weeks for closing school, because I feel mostly confident that in 3 weeks will be enough time for a vaccine. If not, then we will extend.Our school does not involve in Myanmar politics, this is your country so you should decide. But, for this we want to say that we hope that Myanmar will close the borders as soon as possible. Myanmar has most advantage from this in Asia. Myanmar can most strongly control borders. I am happy to hear that even insurgent groups in Shan and Wa are closing their borders and educating their people. If Myanmar can close its 2 airports and few border crossings; it can buy Myanmar more time for vaccine.Next, who is most danger. Because of how this is spreading, the people most danger are airline crew, people who work at airline boarding gates, and immigration officers. Because they talk to the most people travelling from China, they are highest risk. They should wear masks. Next most danger is these people’s families. Unfortunately, many have already infected their families. These people should stay in hotels near airports; don’t see their families; so they can protect their families. Next is people who work on buses, trains, and taxi drivers. This is also because they talk to the most people. The more social your job with travel, the higher your risk. Again, I hope that we can be lucky and I hope I am wrong. But, it is my responsibility to do what I can to protect my students, and to help people to understand as much as possible. I also hope that other schools and public places in Myanmar will also decide to take responsible actions to protect their students.

    Posted by American Institute on Tuesday, January 28, 2020

    Of course, two experts are better than one, so in the next video, these guys made things easier for their viewers. I can’t stress enough how much these guys are a throwback to the long gone days of expats burrowed into someplace in South East Asia and started a school, cuz, hey, speaking English is the same as teaching English, ain’t it?

    Open discussion about Coronavirus with Professor David Nickels and American Institute Founder Matthew Ortiz

    Posted by American Institute on Saturday, February 15, 2020

  319. @Hail
    I am interested in what effect this will have on the PRC's soft power.

    Soft power is universally acknowledged as real, if amorphous and hard to quantify.

    I'd say China was making slow but steady gains in the 2010s, and then, poetically, in the very last week of the decade, this new virus began to get mentions, setting the stage for a Q1 2020 that has got to be among the worst for China's image in a long time; possibly since June 1989.

    Effects on image / soft power: On one hand, the virus started in China, apparently because of "non-First World" behavior by some Chinese at that live-animal market; and there is no way to make the PRC regime look good in its initial reaction (the cover-up, including the secret-police's threatening of the doctor who discovered it, the doctor in his 30s who later died of the virus). On the other hand, their efforts, as Anatoly writes here, have been effective within China itself at containment.

    Net effect on China's soft power for the 2020s?

    China has zero soft power. Most people around the world don’t much like the Chinese, even in Asia. They are known for their bad manners, bad English and dishonesty the world over. By refusing to ground all outbound flights back in January and continuing to export this virus everywhere, if the coronavirus gets worse in lawless places like India, Mideast or Africa, ethnic Chinese (or even all East or Southeast Asians) can quickly become targets of violence. They are already targets of racism in Europe with people covering their faces when they’re near Asian people on trains etc. It doesn’t matter how much soft power Japan and Korea has, most people can’t tell the difference so China is making all Asians look bad.

    The only good thing that could come out of this pandemic is the end of globalism, and hopefully, cutting international travels by at least 50%, esp. to/from Asia.

    • Agree: Tusk
    • Replies: @Hail

    China has zero soft power. Most people around the world don’t much like the Chinese, even in Asia.
     
    What you say about negative attitudes towards China is not wrong, but also remember that life is never static; I think China made real soft-power gains in the 2010s. Low-hanging fruit, considering where their image was at in earlier decades, true, but still.

    Imagine a giant, cosmic Soft-Power Scoreboard, observed by gods or by extra-terrestrials, observing Earth affairs from afar as we might look on the entities in a computer game. Imagine each country is assigned a soft power score, pegged to a decade, updating at the start of each 5 or 10 year to reflect fluctuations of the previous years. There is just no way for me to imagine that China's final score in the 2010s did NOT end up higher than it had been in the 2000s, which in turn was higher than the 1990s.

    , @Staedtler
    I don't know that they're more hated than Americans are. In much of the world, if you're identified as an American, you'll be targeted with violence. This is why Americans are told to say they're Canadian instead in much of the world.

    Even in Europe, there's a strong undercurrent of anti-Americanism, despite cultural similarity. And as America becomes less European, cultural similarity with Europe will decline, and Europeans will dislike Americans even more.
    , @JUSA

    if the coronavirus gets worse in lawless places like India, Mideast or Africa, ethnic Chinese (or even all East or Southeast Asians) can quickly become targets of violence.
     
    As I predicted...try here in the US, but of course you can predict the race of the attacker:

    https://nypost.com/2020/02/05/woman-wearing-face-mask-attacked-in-possible-coronavirus-hate-crime/
  320. @UK
    This makes no sense at all. It proves Dunning-Krueger. One has to have a certain amount of knowledge and intelligence to realise how dumb and ignorant you are. Don't ingest hydrogen peroxide. It is idiotic.

    You have a very closed mind.

    That’s all I have to say.

  321. @Europe Europa
    I agree, I would say that the pass Japan gets on its WW2 war crimes is largely a result of its considerable amount of soft power. Most people like Japanese culture to the point they find it difficult to see them in the context of being the "bad guys", not so with Germany and German culture.

    Most people like Japanese culture to the point they find it difficult to see them in the context of being the “bad guys”, not so with Germany and German culture.

    This is entirely predictable based on who largely runs the Hollywood and the media.

    If strong-ethnocentric Chinese ran Hollywood and the US media, it’d be different.

    As china-russia-all-the-way says above,

    Soft power is determined to a large extent by media

  322. @Anatoly Karlin
    Another exhibit for the Amero-pessimism case.

    https://twitter.com/akarlin88/status/1232443837777244160

    -Has the flu. Not coronavirus
    -Billed $3,270
    -Works for medical device company that doesn’t offer insurance

    This is basically a “Bernie Sanders 2020” ad.

    • Agree: utu
  323. @dux.ie
    What will happen to CoViD.19? Just like what WHO asserted, it will blend in with other flu viruses/viruii with reduce fatality as the vaccines should have been developed by then. US has specifically tracked some flu variants, e.g. A (H3), A (2009 H1N1), A (Subtyping not Performed), B, H3N2v, BVic, BYam. It seems that for US SARS is not important enough, while the H1N1.09 swine flu is still lingering on 10 years later.

    https://i.ibb.co/FxBSLW9/h1n1recur.png

    So,the long and short of it it that corona virus is not more lethal that other types of flue type viruses. After all, approximately 10,000 people per year die in the U.S because of flue related complications, and no one is getting bent way out of shape over this.

  324. Howdy,

    How did it get the name, CORONA, and why was it named that

    Hundreds of millions are going to die directly from The Wrath Of GOD;
    O, so why not start, now………….

    AYE………….

  325. @Realist

    Corona Will Kill Millions & Crater the World Economy
     
    Too many chicken littles. The Y2K of 2020.

    Don’t forget the polar ice caps melting. Any day now, just wait!

    • Agree: Realist
  326. @Bill

    In the West, China will remain the big non-white country, so it will be lionized, as people are attracted to power, and it is relatively safe to reference.
     
    In reality however, China is vilified in "the West."

    If you view China as a Han ethnic construct, antipathy to it (in the West) is very low compared to most other ethnic constructs: such as core-Americans, European nationalists, or worse still, Russia.

    I’ve heard people evoke Russia in conspiracies, in real life. Not just on the internet.

    The only large, noteworthy, homogeneous country with lessor antipathy in the West is Japan. But it is something of a double-edged sword, as Japan is nowhere near as praised as China because it doesn’t have the same power and has been stagnating.

  327. @dux.ie
    > I bet all those dead in Italy are ethnic Chinese.

    A rough estimation of the ethnic susceptibility to COVID19 can be obtained from Piffer's repat data from Wuhan where the Chinese policy is that dual citizenship ethnic Chinese are not allowed to leave (Taiwanese seem to be the exception). Italian seems to be naturally COVID19 susceptible.

    Rank | NInfectedPerKCapita | NInfected | N | Country
    1 24.27 | 5 | 206 | Japan
    2 18.52 | 1 | 54 | Italy <---
    3 16.13 | 2 | 124 | Germany
    4 5.13 | 1 | 195 | USA
    5 5.0 | 3 | 600 | USA 2
    6 4.05 | 1 | 247 | Taiwan <---
    7 3.94 | 1 | 254 | France 2
    8 2.86 | 2 | 700 | S.Korea
    9 0.0 | 0 | 179 | France
    10 0.0 | 0 | 174 | Canada

    Belgium: 1 out of 9.

  328. @Delta G
    So refreshing and INFORMATIVE to read about the Public Health Event by people who know nothing about Biology, Medicine, Public Health or anything related to these subjects. Wild Speculation which serves the purpose of the dis-information managers who plant the seeds for the Wild Speculation.



    Corona Virus doesn't need to do anything. Humans spreading BS is all that is needed today to bring down Civilization, if you could call the current state of affairs Civilization.

    The Corona Virus Pandemic story has the same level of factual basis as the story the Russians are backing both "The Donald" and "The Bern". All are farcical beyond belief and would be humorous if not taken so Seriously by the Serious.

    China's response to the outbreak of the disease is without question over the top and unprecedented. This has caused a spread of over the top and unprecedented actions around the world.

    Are any of these actions necessary?

    Have these actions really contained the spread of the disease?

    Is the Chinese Government using the Corona outbreak as a cover for some other purpose?

    Certainly, the US is using the Corona outbreak to spread Wild Speculation for the benefit of Who?

    Bioweapon my Ass. Bullshit story line and free Terror and Fear Creator, you BET!!!

    Be very FEARFUL my Citizens. The Intelligence Community is here to protect you. Have complete and unwavering Trust in us.

    Is the Chinese Government using the Corona outbreak as a cover for some other purpose?

    Definitely.

    Iranian too.

    Related to trade war/sanctions I feel.

    The bottom line, everybody on top wins, in this game.Say….up to 20 %.
    The rest are designated losers. Lower in the pyramid worse it is.

    The elderly underclass in particular.

    Good gig…for some. So far works like charm.

    • Replies: @Commentator Mike
    This could favour many. Confining citizens to quarantine in their flats and houses, or large hospital facilities, sure will kill off any large gatherings of anti-government protesters. In the future such viral epidemics and pandemics could be hoaxed when needed to stifle some protest movement.

    Banning cash money because it transmits viruses could be something favoured by banks.

    Greater control of the population through medical/health authorities and greater profits for the pharmaceutical industry.

    Off course it can also turn people against foreigners as these could be carriers of communicable diseases. At the moment this seems directed only at the Chinese and those who have been in contact with them.
  329. @unit472
    The virus is here and it will do as it pleases. We can't change that in the short term. The effects will be bad for China and its coalition of bottom feeder states. Russia, Iran, Syria, Venezuela and North Korea will be hit hard.

    Whatever you think of Trump's 'maximum pressure' program on Iran the virus has ramped it up and made it leakproof as Pakistan, Turkey, Jordan et al close their borders to Iran. The drop in oil demand even more than the fall in price will hit Russia and Venezuela hard. Venezuela will likely default on the loans Russia and China made to it. North Korea is finished too.

    Western companies will flee China and bring their factories home. Clients of Xi will rue the day they signed up for Belt and Road projects and only get coronavirus in return. Its almost as if coronavirus was designed to vindicate Trump and MAGA.

    What we know so far suggests more the World War Z narrative (hitting wealthy, jet-set countries hard) than your proposed narrative of China’s BRI buddies getting hit hard. At least in terms of the virology, not the soft-power hit, on which I would more agree.

    But, then, we do not have perfect information. There may be many cases in certain countries we have heard nothing of. As Anatoly says:

    Meanwhile, carriers need not be symptomatic to transmit. At such early stages, you are only going to identify these clusters by intensive testing, which as I understand nobody apart from Italy and South Korea is really doing yet. One might make a comparison to a tsunami. Undetectable when it’s out in the deep ocean, unless you’re specifically looking for it

    The latest I have seen is that South Korea’s testing situation was as follows (this is about as of 24 hours ago):

    37,000 persons tested, mainly cases stemming from the Shinchonji cult
    – 22,550 found not infected
    – 13,250 results pending
    – 900 confirmed infected , of which 9 dead.

    Among the current pool of testees, it will presumably to rise to 25 to 35 deaths, if the S.Korea deaths follow the same death rate as observed elsewhere and including the likely infected among the results-pending group.

    Of those with results known (22,550 negative + 900 positive = 23,450), the infection rate of contactees was therefore 3.5% to 4%. They only use the limited testing resources on people who came into contact with a known infected person, so this suggests that if you had at-least-moderate close-quarter dealings with a COVID19-infectee, your odds (actually an East Asian’s odds) of getting it could well be less than 1 in 30. Obviously this would rise with very close-quarter-, long-term contact.

    The odds of death, in turn, are known to be less than 1 in 200 (<0.5%) for most people without preexisting health problems, and as low as 1 in 500 (0.2%) for healthy, core-working-age people. The chance of dying from a single case of close contact with a COVID19-infectee are therefore no higher for most of us than 1-in-1500, at least the way I read the data.

    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
    I recall many years ago getting an admission from the Director of our Anti Cancer Council that the legislation intended to curb tobacco use would be bad for the national and state budget because those killed were typically just beyond pensionable and medically expensive retirement age - and tobacco taxes were high. Surely someone can work that sort of reasoning into analysis of the effects of the Coronavirus outbreak. Not comforting for the many retired and other elderly folk on UR perhaps :-)
    , @Hail
    Update on South Korea cases:

    https://www.unz.com/isteve/coronavirus-prepping/#comment-3737157

    As of today:


    46,000 South Koreans have been tested, mainly cases stemming from the Shinchonji armageddon cult, either cult members or close-quarter-contacts of cult members.
    – 28,247 found not infected;
    – 16,734 results pending;
    – 1,146 infected
    — > of whom, 12 have died;
    — > of whom, 22 have been certified fully recovered, no longer virus carriers, and released. These are the earlier cases, e.g. return-travelers from China diagnosed in late January; not associated with the Shinchonji Doomsday Cult superspreader events; the large majority, 1,100 people, remain under quarantine.
     
    Plus one US soldier infected, who was stationed near the biggest superspreading event by the Shinchonji doomsday cult; unclear how he was infected.

    This growing data suggests that if you come into reasonably close but non-prolonged contact with a COVID19-infected person, you are at a 4% of getting it yourself. What are the same odds for regular flu?

  330. @MarkU
    Regardless of all your twisting and turning, it is a fact that all the old and successful viruses are (as you put it) relatively benign. Virulence remains a feature of new viruses or new strains of older ones. I am also still to be convinced that there is a necessary correlation between infectiousness and virulence, which you appear to be implying.

    As you have admitted yourself......

    Evolutionary theory expects that stable long-term host-pathogen relationships will settle into something relatively benign, like the common cold
     
    I reckon you need something a little more substantial to argue the opposite.

    old and successful viruses are (as you put it) relatively benign

    Except smallpox, measles, and a bunch of others, each of which was at least as virulent as COVID-19, and wasn’t harmed by the virulence until we developed a vaccine against them.

    It’s a remarkably ignorant theory that virulence must be harmful to the bug. I know lots of supposed experts believe that, but they are wrong. The bug doesn’t care if it kills you or you get cured: either way, it has to stop replicating in your body.

    • Agree: songbird
    • Replies: @Skeptikal
    "Except smallpox, measles, and a bunch of others, each of which was at least as virulent as COVID-19, and wasn’t harmed by the virulence until we developed a vaccine against them. "

    Er, how many people actually died of measles before the development of the vaccine?
    If they got the infection as a child?
    When they are "supposed" to get it?
    Smallpox was more virulent than measles.
    Milkmaids who were xposed to cow pox had immunity against measles.
    We cannot keep trashing our immune systems to avoid a few deaths.
    No one likes death, but a few are better than a lot.
    I should think the best defense against any virus would be a robust immune system.
    , @Bert
    The link provides data on deaths from measles and the reduction thereof by vaccines. Useful for arguing with fools if you want keep doing that.

    https://www.cdc.gov/measles/downloads/measlesdataandstatsslideset.pdf
    , @Bert
    Paul Ewald, head of the program in evolutionary medicine at U. of Louisville, orginated a verbal theory of how virulence is affected by transmission ecology. Others subsequently elaborated Ewald's ideas mathematically , as reviewed in a paper I linked to earlier. The link here provides an interview with Ewald where he summarizes his verbal theory.

    https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/evolution/library/01/6/text_pop/l_016_06.html

    The estimate of a 4% risk of becoming infected by each instance of close proximity to a person already infected by Covid-19 means that walking slowly through a crowd where some are infected would provide a substantial probability of getting infected. If infection is that easy for the virus when urban populations are behaving as they wish, then there seems to be a lot of room for the virus to evolve a shorter incubation a period and more rapid within-host reproduction (= greater virulence) without much reducing the transmission probability.
  331. @JUSA
    Soft power usually comes after a country reaches OECD status, i.e. when it has satisfied its basic needs. People in the world don't usually look up to or try to emulate poor peasants and beggars. Also most countries in the world do not have soft power due to language barriers. Name one famous entertainer or recent movie from Scandinavia, France or Germany? English is the only true lingua franca of the world.

    Japan's soft power comes from its food, not too many are familiar with their pop stars or movie stars.

    K-pop only succeeds because it blindly apes US pop music. Nothing original comes out of Korea, a Hyundai looks like a Mercedes, a Kia looks like a Toyota, Samsung phones all look like iPhones. Now even their pop music looks like carbon copies of US pop music, and their pop stars all have massive plastic surgery to try to look as Western as possible.

    Korean drama TV shows and movies are quite different from US Hollywood productions in content and style. They originally became very popular along with K-pop in other Asian countries because of culturally similarity.

    Nowadays, in most Asian countries and many other countries, they have their own domestic media entertainment or are into other Asian media such as Korean shows and music.

    American pop music and films don’t dominate like they used to. The biggest Hollywood blockbusters like superhero movies are popular, but the more regular movies and pop music are most popular in the Anglosphere and European countries with good English speakers.

  332. @Anatoly Karlin

    In the 1970s, Russian films were considered everywhere to be one of the best three...
     
    Apart from a few well-known classics (some of them quite undeserved and driven mainly by boomer nostalgia - The Diamond Arm in particular comes to mind), vast majority of it was insufferable kitsch or derivative works with totally senseless plots.

    Can't really judge as to the quality of today's Russian filmography as you only watch 5 movies a year. But I'm quite certain it'd be regarded as a Golden Age if there was no Hollywood as a basis of comparison.

    vast majority of it was insufferable

    Popularist cinema of that time was wonderful, soulful and witty. I mean, everyone enjoys films by Gaidai, Chulyukin, Ryazanov. Moreover, they are still popular in America today.

    And then the arthouse Soviet cinema, was one of the best in the world, along with American and Japanese.

    This is not some idiosyncratic view – the greatest international artists like Akira Kurasawa, Ingmar Bergman, loved Soviet cinema.

    today’s Russian filmography as you only watch 5 movies a year. But I’m quite certain it’d be regarded as a Golden Age

    Golden Age of Shit. I don’t think even that would accurate, because “Golden age of shit” would imply something that people notice or care about. But I find it difficult that even the producers and directors can watch most of this shit.

    Well, to be fair, Zvyagantsev and maybe Yuri Bykov, have some kind of talent, even if you disliked their films there is some talent there, so it’s not completely at the bottom, and Russian film can be ranked (if you ignore all the shit) better than some countries as a result of them.

    no Hollywood as a basis of comparison.

    I think (although I did not watch perhaps enough films) Hollywood has improved in the last few years, but it’s also declined undoubtedly* since the 1980s. The lowest level was about 10 years ago.

    But even if last year there were some quite good films, there it is still net decline – if you think about how wonderful actually just mainstream popularist “trashy” Hollywood films could be in the 1980s: e.g. Aliens, Bladerunner, Terminator, Last of Mohicans, etc.

  333. @Daniel Chieh

    well, they might, but not because they’re smarter. they are so very clearly technologically inferior and societally backwards. they’re smart enough to be dangerous. that’s about it.

     

    China has already demonstrated a much better response than most governments in its ability to contain the virus, so your rambles are quite misplaced. The US response, for example, is for the CDC is stumble around in confusion.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2020/02/25/cdc-coronavirus-test/

    While South Korea has run more than 35,000 coronavirus tests, the United States has tested only 426 people, not including people who returned on evacuation flights. Only about a dozen state and local laboratories can now run tests outside of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta because the CDC kits sent out nationwide earlier this month included a faulty component.
     
    In the end, China might end up demonstrating if anything, that it has that is fully capable of acting decisively and effectively in a disaster in comparison to rivals.

    Please don’t go around singing China’s praises when you know the sorry state to which this country has descended. If the Chinese government were any good it would have nipped the coronavirus in the bud at the very outset by heeding the initial warning signs and alerting everyone. But what did it do instead? It tried (typically) to hush-hush everything, resulting in the sorry mess we now see before us. It’s the same sorry story as with the SARS outbreak. Quite evidently some people simply never learn. As for its ‘effectiveness’ in containing the virus, well, if that means slowly starving entire areas of people by cutting off all supply lines to them for fear of contracting and spreading the disease, or stuffing people who are still alive into body bags and sending them straight to crematoria, or refusing help from other countries, then I suppose I’d agree…

    I’m not trying to defend the US, by the way. The US has caused untold human suffering all over the world, as has been shown by people like the late William Blum. But pointing out others’ wrongs doesn’t absolve you of your own. Two wrongs don’t make a right.

    China used to be a land of high culture but ever since the communist takeover everything there has basically gone south. Hopefully the coronavirus will finally herald the end of the communist era and China can start anew. But then again, looking at the bloody mess to which modern industrial ‘civilization’ is leading us all…

    • Disagree: Daniel Chieh, Alfred
  334. Largely agree.
    I’ve seen reports that air pollution is down 50-80% in China and that 730 million people are under some sort of lock-down ( the latter by the NYT so probably wrong)

    This site, administered by Johns Hopkins seems to be the official go-to site.

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

    What’s interesting are the two columns on the right: “Deaths” and “Recovered”

    The number of cases “resolved: either dead or cured is about 30,000 – 2,700 of those died.
    That’s a 9% death rate, not the 2-3 % currently promulgated.

    The Rhetoric of the PRC Government is not consonant with the facts.

    It’s intriguing that Patient Zero showed up on Dec 1st in text below.
    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8016077/First-coronavirus-patient-NO-connection-Wuhan-seafood-market.html

    But:
    Johns Hopkins and Bill Gates knew it was coming 6 weeks before Dec1

    http://www.centerforhealthsecurity.org/event201/

    Funnt Dat, No?

  335. @JUSA
    Britain still has enormous soft power around the world, esp. in their former colonies. British lit from Shakespeare to Jane Austen to modern day Harry Potter continue to be popular and well read in the US and the world.

    British movies like Harry Potter, James Bond, Sherlock Holmes, King's Speech, British TV shows like Downton Abbey, Masterpiece Theater, British pop stars like Adele, Coldplay, actors like Emma Watson, Emma Thompson, Helena Bonham Carter, Jude Law, Keira Knightly, Colin Firth, Michael Caine, Ian McKellen, Jeremy Irons, Maggie Smith, Judi Dench, Pierce Brosnan, Daniel Craig, Daniel Day Lewis, Anthony Hopkins, Helen Mirren and many others are household names in the US and popular the world over. Even in the world of sports, David Beckham and Lewis Hamilton are well known the world over.

    The Royal Family continues to be very popular in the US and the world. Both Prince William and Prince Harry's weddings were widely watched in the US and the world. The BBC accent continues to be regarded as the most proper form of English by most people in the world.

    British pop culture is biggest in Ireland and Australia and New Zealand. Elsewhere, it’s mostly known by piggybacking on Hollywood and the US market. Most British pop culture and figures are known in the US and elsewhere because they appear in Hollywood productions. Most Americans and people around the world would have no idea who Daniel Craig was if he wasn’t in Hollywood’s James Bond movies.

    American English is the form of English that’s generally taught and studied around the world. That’s generally the accent that’s in demand among English teachers.

    • Replies: @Dmitry
    English culture is very popular in many many different countries. Harry Potter dominates children of all developed countries, and anything like Pink Floyd or Beatles or even is still popular with millions of adults in all kinds of countries. For example, in Japan, not only Beatles is still the most fashionable thing, but even Beatrix Potter.
  336. @AnonFromTN
    In fact, Hollywood comparison would lead one to overrate any movie. Hollywood ran out of steam 15-20 years ago. Now it makes virtually exclusively shit, where when someone walks, slips, and falls passes for humor. What’s even worse, Hollywood ran out of creativity. When I see an ad for a new movie on TV, with presumably hottest scenes, I always have a feeling that I have seen this already, likely more than once. Deep down they know that, hence their obsession with remakes of old movies.
    In contrast, Soviet comedies like The Diamond Arm, Ivan Vasilievich is Changing Profession, or The Fall Marathon are truly funny and inventive.

    Can’t judge the current scene, haven’t lived in Russia since 1991. Saw TV series Liquidation recently. It’s not bad, and it is purely Soviet in every way.

    Hollywood was in the worst about 10 years ago (or maybe 15 years ago?).

    To be fair, nowadays there is some improvement in Hollywood films in the last 5 (?) years, so they are now at a more mediocre level.

    For example, the most Hollywood famous films of this/last year: Joker, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, Ford against Ferrari, 1917, etc.

    ^ These are 6/10 or perhaps even 7/10 films. They’re not great films at all, they are not great art. But they are also not very bad, unentertaining, unwatchable, etc.

  337. @Europe Europa
    For the sheer size of the country, China is almost completely devoid of soft power. Unlike South Korea and Japan, China has almost no cultural exports that are popular anywhere else in the world. All China is known for is its authoritarianism and exporting huge amounts of cheap goods, most non-Chinese people would struggle to name a famous person or movie, etc, from mainland China.

    The only internationally well known pop culture figures that Chinese culture has produced have been from Hong Kong, which is obviously highly Westernised in comparison to mainland China. People like Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan.

    If you mean China since the communist takeover, then I’ll fully agree with all you said. But before then China has actually come up with plenty of things that were very much worth coming up with. The Koreans, Japanese and Vietnamese all adopted heaps of them.

  338. @JUSA
    China has zero soft power. Most people around the world don't much like the Chinese, even in Asia. They are known for their bad manners, bad English and dishonesty the world over. By refusing to ground all outbound flights back in January and continuing to export this virus everywhere, if the coronavirus gets worse in lawless places like India, Mideast or Africa, ethnic Chinese (or even all East or Southeast Asians) can quickly become targets of violence. They are already targets of racism in Europe with people covering their faces when they're near Asian people on trains etc. It doesn't matter how much soft power Japan and Korea has, most people can't tell the difference so China is making all Asians look bad.

    The only good thing that could come out of this pandemic is the end of globalism, and hopefully, cutting international travels by at least 50%, esp. to/from Asia.

    China has zero soft power. Most people around the world don’t much like the Chinese, even in Asia.

    What you say about negative attitudes towards China is not wrong, but also remember that life is never static; I think China made real soft-power gains in the 2010s. Low-hanging fruit, considering where their image was at in earlier decades, true, but still.

    Imagine a giant, cosmic Soft-Power Scoreboard, observed by gods or by extra-terrestrials, observing Earth affairs from afar as we might look on the entities in a computer game. Imagine each country is assigned a soft power score, pegged to a decade, updating at the start of each 5 or 10 year to reflect fluctuations of the previous years. There is just no way for me to imagine that China’s final score in the 2010s did NOT end up higher than it had been in the 2000s, which in turn was higher than the 1990s.

  339. @Staedtler
    British pop culture is biggest in Ireland and Australia and New Zealand. Elsewhere, it's mostly known by piggybacking on Hollywood and the US market. Most British pop culture and figures are known in the US and elsewhere because they appear in Hollywood productions. Most Americans and people around the world would have no idea who Daniel Craig was if he wasn't in Hollywood's James Bond movies.

    American English is the form of English that's generally taught and studied around the world. That's generally the accent that's in demand among English teachers.

    English culture is very popular in many many different countries. Harry Potter dominates children of all developed countries, and anything like Pink Floyd or Beatles or even is still popular with millions of adults in all kinds of countries. For example, in Japan, not only Beatles is still the most fashionable thing, but even Beatrix Potter.

    • Replies: @Staedtler
    Yes, Harry Potter is popular around the world. But that's mainly because of the Hollywood movies made by Warner Bros.

    The Beatles et al are mainly popular because of the British Invasion i.e. because they became popular in the US first.

    Very few Japanese are likely to have heard of Beatrix Potter.
  340. @JUSA
    China has zero soft power. Most people around the world don't much like the Chinese, even in Asia. They are known for their bad manners, bad English and dishonesty the world over. By refusing to ground all outbound flights back in January and continuing to export this virus everywhere, if the coronavirus gets worse in lawless places like India, Mideast or Africa, ethnic Chinese (or even all East or Southeast Asians) can quickly become targets of violence. They are already targets of racism in Europe with people covering their faces when they're near Asian people on trains etc. It doesn't matter how much soft power Japan and Korea has, most people can't tell the difference so China is making all Asians look bad.

    The only good thing that could come out of this pandemic is the end of globalism, and hopefully, cutting international travels by at least 50%, esp. to/from Asia.

    I don’t know that they’re more hated than Americans are. In much of the world, if you’re identified as an American, you’ll be targeted with violence. This is why Americans are told to say they’re Canadian instead in much of the world.

    Even in Europe, there’s a strong undercurrent of anti-Americanism, despite cultural similarity. And as America becomes less European, cultural similarity with Europe will decline, and Europeans will dislike Americans even more.

  341. @reiner Tor

    old and successful viruses are (as you put it) relatively benign
     
    Except smallpox, measles, and a bunch of others, each of which was at least as virulent as COVID-19, and wasn’t harmed by the virulence until we developed a vaccine against them.

    It’s a remarkably ignorant theory that virulence must be harmful to the bug. I know lots of supposed experts believe that, but they are wrong. The bug doesn’t care if it kills you or you get cured: either way, it has to stop replicating in your body.

    “Except smallpox, measles, and a bunch of others, each of which was at least as virulent as COVID-19, and wasn’t harmed by the virulence until we developed a vaccine against them. ”

    Er, how many people actually died of measles before the development of the vaccine?
    If they got the infection as a child?
    When they are “supposed” to get it?
    Smallpox was more virulent than measles.
    Milkmaids who were xposed to cow pox had immunity against measles.
    We cannot keep trashing our immune systems to avoid a few deaths.
    No one likes death, but a few are better than a lot.
    I should think the best defense against any virus would be a robust immune system.

  342. @songbird

    Marco Polo could not believe his eyes when he visited this city. Compared to it Venice was a rat trap.
     
    The idea that Europe was the ass-end of the world in the Middle Ages is somewhat undermined by all the soaring cathedrals, like St. Mark's in Venice. Can you point to anything similar in Hangzhou?

    You are funny. You make my point for me about the provincialism of Westerners when they start to blather on about soft power.

    So if there isn’t a cathedral in Hangzhou, there was no cultural accomplishment!
    It has to be a Western cathedral. How convenient.
    The cathedrals are indeed beautiful and impressive. But they are not the singular benchmarks for cutlural or artistic achievement. In fact, I find the morterless masonry of the Incas more impressive and mysterious in its peculiar genius than even the cathedrals of Europe.
    There was nothing like the culture of Hangzhou in Europe.
    There was nothing like the Beijing-Hangzhou Canal
    There was nothing like the prowess and artistry of the Southern Song ceramics.
    There was nothing like the sophistication of Chinese administration and finances.

    I am not going to play this childish “prove it to me” with know-nothings who cannot be bothered to educate themselves and sit in their corners yammering about Western cultural and intellectual superiority.

    • LOL: Tusk
  343. When in panic it is best to remember this: Wars are won best with disinformation. Bombing of civilian targets with napalm, like e.g. Dresden in 1945, or Vietnam, were spectacular displays of fireworks, but strategically achieved nothing.

    With billions coiling in fear in front of their evening news TV the “corona” doodah is definitely a masterpiece of disinfo. Billions!

    I wonder, if Mr. Sun Tzu, the founder of disinfo warfare, would be impressed that his lessons were so spectacularly effective here, or would he be rather pissed off that it was his enemy who outwitted him using his own weapons (and thus getting him ready to commit a nice hara-kiri)?

    When the “multipolar” SJWs, China and Russia in particular, finally cave in and beg for mercy, then, and only then will the “boys” announce a break-through antidote – and available only from, you guessed it, the US. It will be aptly called the “kippah” ( as in the opposite of “crown”, in case you missed the irony).

    Ask yourself this question: how is it possible that the Chief Indian, in his rudimentary white long-johns and his sleeveless jacket, was embracing Mr. Trump with so much affection this week, after he hugged with no less affection Mr. Putin and Mr. Xi just a year ago, and then promising them an eternal love, and plenty of S400 to procure? Did Mr. Trump slip hime some early samples of the kippah antidote? Or perhaps this whole multipolar crusade was just that, only a Richard the Lion-Heart, crusade?

  344. @china-russia-all-the-way
    South Korea has 20 times more worldwide media impact than China. But the point of my post is I don't see cultural exports as the metric for soft power. I look at soft power as revolving around 2 questions. Cultural exports can influence the answers to 2 questions. But in the grand scheme of things cultural exports like entertainment really aren't that important for soft power (according to the way I look at it).

    What are the two questions?

  345. @Ron Unz

    China has already demonstrated a much better response than most governments in its ability to contain the virus, so your rambles are quite misplaced. The US response, for example, is for the CDC is stumble around in confusion....In the end, China might end up demonstrating if anything, that it has that is fully capable of acting decisively and effectively in a disaster in comparison to rivals.
     
    Consider a particularly ironic outcome of this situation, not particularly likely but certainly possible...

    Everyone knows that America's ruling elites are criminal, crazy, and also extremely incompetent.

    So perhaps the coronavirus outbreak was indeed a deliberate biowarfare attack against China, hitting that nation just before Lunar New Year, the worst possible time to produce a permanent nationwide pandemic. However, the PRC responded with remarkable speed and efficiency, implementing by far the largest quarantine in human history, and the deadly disease now seems to be in decline there.

    Meanwhile, the disease naturally leaks back into the US, and despite all the advance warning, our totally incompetent government mismanages the situation, producing a huge national health disaster, and the collapse of our economy and decrepit political system.

    As I said, not particularly likely, but certainly a very fitting end to the American Empire...

    I think the whole thing is somewhat overstated

    I think all the empirical evidence showcases that the Wuhan government bungled the response immensely, hiding information of the Coronavirus until it was too late.

    But virtually all the other local and the national Chinese governments did an exceptional job with containing the virus, especially Xi Jinping’s leadership. I think college students are going to study the rapid response of the National Government in future textbooks on crisis mamagement. Therefore the non-Wuhan areas had low levels of coronavirus.

    In addition, outside of Iran, which isn’t really that competent, the only areas to have a substantial number of coronavirus cases are areas with a massive legal/illegal Chinese population.

    America has some 50 cases, but has the largest Chinese
    diaspora of 6 million Chinese and the largest in overall travel with China. Now maybe the real number of cases is substantially higher, but I really doubt that. Given the absolute hammering South Korea, Italy, and Japan are having, America seems pretty good, given its demographics.

    I can’t predict what is going to happen next, but I think countries like India and Bangladesh are going to be annihilated by this virus.

    Also, the bioweapon meme seems kinda dumb to me. America’s East Asian population is vastly overrepresented in our Technology and Bureaucracy fields, and are very responsible for even our Deep State. They hold a *huge* chunk of America on our shoulders, including the federal gov. If such a thing was deliberate by America, wouldn’t that destroy the Federal Government as well? Wouldn’t some Chinese/Korean/Japanese/Vietnamese in the higher up know what was going on and spill the truth? Even our bioweapons industry is probably disproportionately East Asian, wouldn’t some East Asian realize their work is being used to kill someone? If America was releasing a bioweapon to kill your Chinese grandmother, you would probably speak up.

    Then again, the Military Games coincidence is absolutely fascinating, and it is amazing the media does not pick up on that. Did someone check if any of the other country participants got infected as well? If so, then I think it settles it…

    • Replies: @John Arthur
    One more thing,
    I think the bioweapon theory, that America sent it out, would be likely if it weren't for the fact that the Chinese were *extremely highly* overrepresented in Technology, Finance, Law, Academia, etc. Releasing something that can kill the Chinese just seems like a completely suicidal move to me, since America's relies far more on its 5-6 million Chinese, then China relies on an equal amount of Chinese. Sure, I can see punishing the Iraqi people, but China and even Iranian seems like a stretch, since the Iranians are also important to America as well.

    For example, if the Coronavirus is a bioweapon and kills 100,000 Chinese in China, then it is horrible, but not the end of the world for that country, and I suspect that country can and will make a full recovery.

    But for America, 100,000 Chinese dead, depending on location of impact, can mean the complete collapse of our Technology industry, a huge chunk of our highly skilled labor in our urban cities, a massive chunk of our Science research, a massive chunk of Wall Street, the list goes on and on...

    The Deep State would have to be borderline mentally retarded to do this, and even the Deep State Federal Government is disproporationally Chinese! They would have to be suicidal and mentally retarded, beyond anything that we have seen before. For sure, this is plasuable, but is this really the case this time?

    If it is true that this is a bioweapon, than America's government and its leaders should be shoved down a meat grinder...
  346. @John Arthur
    I think the whole thing is somewhat overstated

    I think all the empirical evidence showcases that the Wuhan government bungled the response immensely, hiding information of the Coronavirus until it was too late.

    But virtually all the other local and the national Chinese governments did an exceptional job with containing the virus, especially Xi Jinping's leadership. I think college students are going to study the rapid response of the National Government in future textbooks on crisis mamagement. Therefore the non-Wuhan areas had low levels of coronavirus.

    In addition, outside of Iran, which isn't really that competent, the only areas to have a substantial number of coronavirus cases are areas with a massive legal/illegal Chinese population.

    America has some 50 cases, but has the largest Chinese
    diaspora of 6 million Chinese and the largest in overall travel with China. Now maybe the real number of cases is substantially higher, but I really doubt that. Given the absolute hammering South Korea, Italy, and Japan are having, America seems pretty good, given its demographics.

    I can't predict what is going to happen next, but I think countries like India and Bangladesh are going to be annihilated by this virus.

    Also, the bioweapon meme seems kinda dumb to me. America's East Asian population is vastly overrepresented in our Technology and Bureaucracy fields, and are very responsible for even our Deep State. They hold a *huge* chunk of America on our shoulders, including the federal gov. If such a thing was deliberate by America, wouldn't that destroy the Federal Government as well? Wouldn't some Chinese/Korean/Japanese/Vietnamese in the higher up know what was going on and spill the truth? Even our bioweapons industry is probably disproportionately East Asian, wouldn't some East Asian realize their work is being used to kill someone? If America was releasing a bioweapon to kill your Chinese grandmother, you would probably speak up.

    Then again, the Military Games coincidence is absolutely fascinating, and it is amazing the media does not pick up on that. Did someone check if any of the other country participants got infected as well? If so, then I think it settles it...

    One more thing,
    I think the bioweapon theory, that America sent it out, would be likely if it weren’t for the fact that the Chinese were *extremely highly* overrepresented in Technology, Finance, Law, Academia, etc. Releasing something that can kill the Chinese just seems like a completely suicidal move to me, since America’s relies far more on its 5-6 million Chinese, then China relies on an equal amount of Chinese. Sure, I can see punishing the Iraqi people, but China and even Iranian seems like a stretch, since the Iranians are also important to America as well.

    For example, if the Coronavirus is a bioweapon and kills 100,000 Chinese in China, then it is horrible, but not the end of the world for that country, and I suspect that country can and will make a full recovery.

    But for America, 100,000 Chinese dead, depending on location of impact, can mean the complete collapse of our Technology industry, a huge chunk of our highly skilled labor in our urban cities, a massive chunk of our Science research, a massive chunk of Wall Street, the list goes on and on…

    The Deep State would have to be borderline mentally retarded to do this, and even the Deep State Federal Government is disproporationally Chinese! They would have to be suicidal and mentally retarded, beyond anything that we have seen before. For sure, this is plasuable, but is this really the case this time?

    If it is true that this is a bioweapon, than America’s government and its leaders should be shoved down a meat grinder…

    • Replies: @Ron Unz

    I think the bioweapon theory, that America sent it out, would be likely if it weren’t for the fact that the Chinese were *extremely highly* overrepresented in Technology, Finance, Law, Academia, etc. Releasing something that can kill the Chinese just seems like a completely suicidal move to me
     
    Sure. But the question of whether the coronavirus is especially lethal for Chinese is somewhat independent of whether it was a bioweapon attack. Earlier on, the former case looked more likely, but now it looks somewhat less likely. We'll probably know better in another week or so.

    Keep in mind that as of now, the coronavirus doesn't seem especially lethal, having maybe 2% fatalities or something like that. So even if it had successfully spread throughout China, the primary impact would have been economic and social/political. And relatively few Chinese in the US would have been killed.

    Still, Mark Zuckerberg's wife is Chinese as was one of Rupert Murdoch's, and their children would presumably be rather susceptible. Neither of those individuals might appreciate that sort of bioweapon.

    Anyway, right now it seems less likely to be racially-targeted. But that doesn't really settle whether it or not it was a bioweapon attack.

    One major disadvantage of being a totally crazy government is that lots of people start suspecting you of doing things even if you actually didn't...
    , @utu
    The most important meme that is being created is that the Chinese spread the plague, that they are responsible for it....

    Coronavirus Has Europe Treating Chinese People Like the Plague
    https://www.thedailybeast.com/coronavirus-has-europe-treating-chinese-people-like-the-plague

    Chinese communities warn of Italy 'racism' over virus
    https://news.yahoo.com/chinese-communities-warn-italy-racism-over-virus-033805887.html
     

    The meme seems to be pretty spontaneous. Media and governments can even warn against the prejudice. Nobody needs to to drive and push the meme explicitly as Germans did in the occupied Poland in WWII:

    https://cdn1.imggmi.com/uploads/2020/2/26/c8188416ec62e969bfa68b6671cb3ab3-full.jpg

    German propaganda poster that was plastered on the streets of German-occupied Poland: Jews - Lice - Typhus

    https://slate.com/technology/2014/08/typhus-and-lice-in-jewish-ghettos-nazi-doctors-perverse-groupthink.html

  347. @Dmitry
    English culture is very popular in many many different countries. Harry Potter dominates children of all developed countries, and anything like Pink Floyd or Beatles or even is still popular with millions of adults in all kinds of countries. For example, in Japan, not only Beatles is still the most fashionable thing, but even Beatrix Potter.

    Yes, Harry Potter is popular around the world. But that’s mainly because of the Hollywood movies made by Warner Bros.

    The Beatles et al are mainly popular because of the British Invasion i.e. because they became popular in the US first.

    Very few Japanese are likely to have heard of Beatrix Potter.

    • Replies: @utu
    "The Beatles et al are mainly popular because of the British Invasion i.e. because they became popular in the US first." - Exactly. Just like pizza: S. Italy ---> the US ---> the World including N. Italy.
    , @reiner Tor
    Harry Potter books had a wide readership in Hungary before the movies already.
    , @Europe Europa
    The Beatles were so long ago that they are hardly a reflection of modern British soft power, same with the popularity of Monty Python in many countries.

    British soft power seems to be based on the past, it doesn't seem to be being renewed.
    , @Dmitry
    No, Harry Potter is popular because of books written by J.K. Rowling, while in London. It's not popular because of America.

    For example, in Russia, millenials (and even Generation Z) love Harry Potter books, while the films are also very popular, but not to the same amount as the books.

    Beatrix Potter is most popular in Japan, especially with young Japanese women.

    Beatles are not popular because of America - they are popular because of the melodies. And all kinds of other English pop music similarly. For example, often its more popular in Japan than in America.

    -

    As for the best American culture, sometimes it's more popular outside America, than inside America (for example, note how many great Jazz albums are produced and released only in Japan, and then American jazz fans have to order them from Japan). It's not spread by advertising, but rather by its intrinsic value.

  348. & Crater the World Economy

    I don’t think anyone in this thread has addressed the economic hit that various countries may take from the COVID19 panic.

    Take it for what you think it’s worth, but the White House National Economic Council & Council of Economic Advisers released a COVID19 report on Feb. 2 quantifying the expected economic hit:

    Baseline prediction: COVID19 causes a US loss of -0.2 GDP growth, e.g. lowering 2.0% growth to 1.8%;
    High-end prediction (100,000 deaths worldwide): COVID19 causes a US loss of -1.0 GDP growth, e.g. lowering 2.0% growth to 1.0%;
    Worst-case (“pandemic”): A YS net GDP loss equal to that of a typical mild recession.

    Head of the White House National Economic Council, Larry Kudlow (b.1947), is being attacked in the media today for saying the US has contained COVID19, while the CDC is signalling that its spread is now inevitable and San Francisco declaring an emergency.

    (Not that it’s a bad idea to be/get prepared, but would you be that surprised if it turned out San Francisco’s decision-making process in declaring this COVID19 emergency now was more to spite Kudlow and Trump than for legitimate, immediate reasons?)

  349. @John Arthur
    One more thing,
    I think the bioweapon theory, that America sent it out, would be likely if it weren't for the fact that the Chinese were *extremely highly* overrepresented in Technology, Finance, Law, Academia, etc. Releasing something that can kill the Chinese just seems like a completely suicidal move to me, since America's relies far more on its 5-6 million Chinese, then China relies on an equal amount of Chinese. Sure, I can see punishing the Iraqi people, but China and even Iranian seems like a stretch, since the Iranians are also important to America as well.

    For example, if the Coronavirus is a bioweapon and kills 100,000 Chinese in China, then it is horrible, but not the end of the world for that country, and I suspect that country can and will make a full recovery.

    But for America, 100,000 Chinese dead, depending on location of impact, can mean the complete collapse of our Technology industry, a huge chunk of our highly skilled labor in our urban cities, a massive chunk of our Science research, a massive chunk of Wall Street, the list goes on and on...

    The Deep State would have to be borderline mentally retarded to do this, and even the Deep State Federal Government is disproporationally Chinese! They would have to be suicidal and mentally retarded, beyond anything that we have seen before. For sure, this is plasuable, but is this really the case this time?

    If it is true that this is a bioweapon, than America's government and its leaders should be shoved down a meat grinder...

    I think the bioweapon theory, that America sent it out, would be likely if it weren’t for the fact that the Chinese were *extremely highly* overrepresented in Technology, Finance, Law, Academia, etc. Releasing something that can kill the Chinese just seems like a completely suicidal move to me

    Sure. But the question of whether the coronavirus is especially lethal for Chinese is somewhat independent of whether it was a bioweapon attack. Earlier on, the former case looked more likely, but now it looks somewhat less likely. We’ll probably know better in another week or so.

    Keep in mind that as of now, the coronavirus doesn’t seem especially lethal, having maybe 2% fatalities or something like that. So even if it had successfully spread throughout China, the primary impact would have been economic and social/political. And relatively few Chinese in the US would have been killed.

    Still, Mark Zuckerberg’s wife is Chinese as was one of Rupert Murdoch’s, and their children would presumably be rather susceptible. Neither of those individuals might appreciate that sort of bioweapon.

    Anyway, right now it seems less likely to be racially-targeted. But that doesn’t really settle whether it or not it was a bioweapon attack.

    One major disadvantage of being a totally crazy government is that lots of people start suspecting you of doing things even if you actually didn’t…

    • Thanks: John Arthur
    • Replies: @Montechristoff
    Ron, regardless of how who looks at you, the major problem persists in the way the top reacts to crisis situations. Just look at New York, Houston, Puerto Rico, Gulf of Mexico, not to mention Catrina. Pure incompetence.
    , @Wizard of Oz
    "Less likely to be racially targeted"? Do you mean to say (also) that it is unlikely to be - by chance of nature - more likely to infect East Asians?
    , @Realist

    Sure. But the question of whether the coronavirus is especially lethal for Chinese is somewhat independent of whether it was a bioweapon attack. Earlier on, the former case looked more likely, but now it looks somewhat less likely. We’ll probably know better in another week or so.
     
    The fact that a few non east asians have been affected by the coronavirus does not preclude the possibility that it was a directed bioweapon. It is possible that a few non east asians may share a genomic segment, that is more prevalent in east asians, andis a pathway to infection. This will not be known until and unless genomic testing is completed.
  350. @anonymous coward
    Okay boomer.

    “Re ‘yes boomer’

    Do you not think it strange how willingly younger people have decided to replace their critical faculties with memes?

    It must be very convenient. Instead of forming and then expressing an opinion, you can just blurt out a meme.

    Intellectually, it is an achievement that we would normally applaud in a parrot, but not so much in a human.”

    It would appear that Kim completely nailed it and your comment confirms that.

    • Replies: @anonymous coward
    Let me unpack that for NPC boomers: since boomers are NPC's, it is not worth the time or effort to speak to them as if they're real people. Canned keywords suffice.
  351. @Staedtler
    Yes, Harry Potter is popular around the world. But that's mainly because of the Hollywood movies made by Warner Bros.

    The Beatles et al are mainly popular because of the British Invasion i.e. because they became popular in the US first.

    Very few Japanese are likely to have heard of Beatrix Potter.

    “The Beatles et al are mainly popular because of the British Invasion i.e. because they became popular in the US first.” – Exactly. Just like pizza: S. Italy —> the US —> the World including N. Italy.

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    Pizza is very good in Northern Italy, but it’s like shit in the USA. How could it be adopted in Northern Italy from the USA, if North Italian pizza is more similar to South Italian pizza than to the American version?
  352. @Anatoly Karlin
    Please keep off topic posts to the current Open Thread.

    If you are new to my work, start here.

    Here are three mortality charts courtesy of Brian Wang at Next Big Future:

    • Replies: @sudden death
    So prime demographic cohort of Trump voters are most likely to die from SARS 2.0 in US, at least initially at the start of inevitable outbreak. USA currently is faring among absolutely the worst countries in the world regarding detection of infected people, so in a matter of few weeks it will blow up spectacularly, as hospital staff together with patients in US are being infected left and right now.

    My prediction is that at some point stock market(s) will be closed in US like it was closed in 1914, election rallies will be stopped too. US elections might probably be postponed indefinetely too, but it will be clear at the end of the summer.

  353. @John Arthur
    One more thing,
    I think the bioweapon theory, that America sent it out, would be likely if it weren't for the fact that the Chinese were *extremely highly* overrepresented in Technology, Finance, Law, Academia, etc. Releasing something that can kill the Chinese just seems like a completely suicidal move to me, since America's relies far more on its 5-6 million Chinese, then China relies on an equal amount of Chinese. Sure, I can see punishing the Iraqi people, but China and even Iranian seems like a stretch, since the Iranians are also important to America as well.

    For example, if the Coronavirus is a bioweapon and kills 100,000 Chinese in China, then it is horrible, but not the end of the world for that country, and I suspect that country can and will make a full recovery.

    But for America, 100,000 Chinese dead, depending on location of impact, can mean the complete collapse of our Technology industry, a huge chunk of our highly skilled labor in our urban cities, a massive chunk of our Science research, a massive chunk of Wall Street, the list goes on and on...

    The Deep State would have to be borderline mentally retarded to do this, and even the Deep State Federal Government is disproporationally Chinese! They would have to be suicidal and mentally retarded, beyond anything that we have seen before. For sure, this is plasuable, but is this really the case this time?

    If it is true that this is a bioweapon, than America's government and its leaders should be shoved down a meat grinder...

    The most important meme that is being created is that the Chinese spread the plague, that they are responsible for it….

    Coronavirus Has Europe Treating Chinese People Like the Plague
    https://www.thedailybeast.com/coronavirus-has-europe-treating-chinese-people-like-the-plague

    Chinese communities warn of Italy ‘racism’ over virus
    https://news.yahoo.com/chinese-communities-warn-italy-racism-over-virus-033805887.html

    The meme seems to be pretty spontaneous. Media and governments can even warn against the prejudice. Nobody needs to to drive and push the meme explicitly as Germans did in the occupied Poland in WWII:

    German propaganda poster that was plastered on the streets of German-occupied Poland: Jews – Lice – Typhus

    https://slate.com/technology/2014/08/typhus-and-lice-in-jewish-ghettos-nazi-doctors-perverse-groupthink.html

    • Thanks: John Arthur
    • Replies: @JUSA
    Sorry but people do have reason to think the disease was brought into their country by someone from China. In the story you linked, the first 2 cases in Italy were 2 elderly Chinese tourists who were traveling with a group of 100 near Milan. And now Milan is near the center of the outbreak. The first death in Italy was in Padua, just outside Venice, and that same tourist group most likely also visited Venice since that's where most tourists go.

    This ties to what I've been saying. Chinese tourists were never popular to begin with due to their bad manners, bad English and they are everywhere, now they are positively loathed and despised since China continues to allow them to leave the country and spread the virus everywhere. If China had done the responsible thing and shut down all outbound air travels the day they shut down Wuhan, the world would not be looking at a Pandemic right now. China brought this upon the world, now they need to bear the consequence of the world's fear and loathing of their people. The unfortunate part is, all Asians are now looked upon negatively because most non-Asians can't tell them apart, so now they probably hate the mainland Chinese even more.

  354. @Jose Alan Guerrero
    My interest in learning Chinese language was born thanks to Chinese soft power, once I became addicted to the tv drama "Yanxi Palace" I felt a growing interest and support for China, so yes, Chinese have made progress in soft power, though they still don't have as much as South Korea nor Japan, ceirtanly China have these last years more visits achieved from international tourists than most countries in the world, being in the top 10 tourist destinations.

    “If you look at successful examples like the US, Korea or Japan, it’s much broader than using traditional culture or education as a medium,” said Lee, an assistant professor at Korea’s Inha University, noting that success stories, whether it is rap music, K-pop or manga, as well as online Chinese novels, are based on “international outlook or common stories” that people from around the world can make their own.
    The past year has seen China make some major inroads into international popular culture, like the rise of Chinese-developed app TikTok to become a global teenage phenomenon, or growing popularity of Chinese dramas, which saw The Story of Yanxi Palace – a tale of intrigue among feuding imperial concubines – topping last year’s Google search list for television programmes.

    It occurs to me that all references to soft power that I have read on this thread might usefully have added a distinction between (say) influence (including random influence) and power. No doubt Hollywood has done much to change sexual mores round the world but it doesn’t follow that the US can deliberately extract much benefit from its soft power.

  355. @AnonFromTN
    In fact, Hollywood comparison would lead one to overrate any movie. Hollywood ran out of steam 15-20 years ago. Now it makes virtually exclusively shit, where when someone walks, slips, and falls passes for humor. What’s even worse, Hollywood ran out of creativity. When I see an ad for a new movie on TV, with presumably hottest scenes, I always have a feeling that I have seen this already, likely more than once. Deep down they know that, hence their obsession with remakes of old movies.
    In contrast, Soviet comedies like The Diamond Arm, Ivan Vasilievich is Changing Profession, or The Fall Marathon are truly funny and inventive.

    Can’t judge the current scene, haven’t lived in Russia since 1991. Saw TV series Liquidation recently. It’s not bad, and it is purely Soviet in every way.

    IPTV 5 bucks a month derp all languages even films included.

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
    Thanks! However, I did not watch any TV for the last 10+ years and it feels so good that I don’t want to start again.
  356. Well, ain’t it just awesome that we have such a wonderful healthcare system (racket) in the land of the free? Millions of people here will avoid or delay going to a doctor or ER simply because they can’t afford to. Along with the fact that millions already have weak immune systems because of poor preventative care, poor health, poor diets, etc…

    Add in the large homeless populations in every large and even small cities and towns now, lots of unsanitary practices, disease will spread like fire..

    Add in incompetent, greedy, corrupt govt, who I honestly wouldn’t doubt started this. The greedy mfers would probably let the virus spread a little just to make the medical industry rich. Haha

    Sounds like a SHTF scenario to me Bob. Times like this, I’m glad I live in the middle of nowhere.
    Not good!

    Theres still fewer people that have actually died from this Coronavirus than die in the US every year of the flu. So I don’t know whether to panic yet or not.

  357. I’m sick of the CDC telling us an outbreak is “imminent”. Why can’t we just shut down all international flights for 30 days? The only thing that’s holding us back is money. Because the airlines are afraid they’d go bankrupt. Too damn bad! If this results in a mass outbreak, our economy is going to take a much bigger hit than the losses incurred by the airlines. This is stupidity times ten.

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
    This is not stupidity as such, this is severe myopia caused by insatiable greed. For most for-profit corporations long-term planning means thinking about their the next quarter share price. For-profit entities are like prostitutes for whom overnight stay is a long-term relationship. Remember Merck blunder with Vioxx? Or more recent Boeing blunder with 737MAX? It’s exactly the same thing caused by the same kind of thinking.
  358. @Brutiss
    IPTV 5 bucks a month derp all languages even films included.

    Thanks! However, I did not watch any TV for the last 10+ years and it feels so good that I don’t want to start again.

  359. @JUSA
    I'm sick of the CDC telling us an outbreak is "imminent". Why can't we just shut down all international flights for 30 days? The only thing that's holding us back is money. Because the airlines are afraid they'd go bankrupt. Too damn bad! If this results in a mass outbreak, our economy is going to take a much bigger hit than the losses incurred by the airlines. This is stupidity times ten.

    This is not stupidity as such, this is severe myopia caused by insatiable greed. For most for-profit corporations long-term planning means thinking about their the next quarter share price. For-profit entities are like prostitutes for whom overnight stay is a long-term relationship. Remember Merck blunder with Vioxx? Or more recent Boeing blunder with 737MAX? It’s exactly the same thing caused by the same kind of thinking.

  360. @Hail
    What we know so far suggests more the World War Z narrative (hitting wealthy, jet-set countries hard) than your proposed narrative of China's BRI buddies getting hit hard. At least in terms of the virology, not the soft-power hit, on which I would more agree.

    But, then, we do not have perfect information. There may be many cases in certain countries we have heard nothing of. As Anatoly says:


    Meanwhile, carriers need not be symptomatic to transmit. At such early stages, you are only going to identify these clusters by intensive testing, which as I understand nobody apart from Italy and South Korea is really doing yet. One might make a comparison to a tsunami. Undetectable when it’s out in the deep ocean, unless you’re specifically looking for it
     
    The latest I have seen is that South Korea's testing situation was as follows (this is about as of 24 hours ago):

    37,000 persons tested, mainly cases stemming from the Shinchonji cult
    - 22,550 found not infected
    - 13,250 results pending
    - 900 confirmed infected , of which 9 dead.

    Among the current pool of testees, it will presumably to rise to 25 to 35 deaths, if the S.Korea deaths follow the same death rate as observed elsewhere and including the likely infected among the results-pending group.

    Of those with results known (22,550 negative + 900 positive = 23,450), the infection rate of contactees was therefore 3.5% to 4%. They only use the limited testing resources on people who came into contact with a known infected person, so this suggests that if you had at-least-moderate close-quarter dealings with a COVID19-infectee, your odds (actually an East Asian's odds) of getting it could well be less than 1 in 30. Obviously this would rise with very close-quarter-, long-term contact.

    The odds of death, in turn, are known to be less than 1 in 200 (<0.5%) for most people without preexisting health problems, and as low as 1 in 500 (0.2%) for healthy, core-working-age people. The chance of dying from a single case of close contact with a COVID19-infectee are therefore no higher for most of us than 1-in-1500, at least the way I read the data.

    I recall many years ago getting an admission from the Director of our Anti Cancer Council that the legislation intended to curb tobacco use would be bad for the national and state budget because those killed were typically just beyond pensionable and medically expensive retirement age – and tobacco taxes were high. Surely someone can work that sort of reasoning into analysis of the effects of the Coronavirus outbreak. Not comforting for the many retired and other elderly folk on UR perhaps 🙂

    • Replies: @Skeptikal
    Well, I am semi-retired, in my seventies, and I am not worried about the CV. I haven't ever had a flu shot. I have not been sick for over two years. Three years ago I had a very bad case of something that put me out of action for three weeks. A whole slew of symptoms, including total loss of appetite I normally eat quite a lot), headache, sore throat, congestion, etc. But it never occurred to me to go to the doctor. I just stayed home and slept and read books. Couldn't eat. Lost 5 lbs in about a week. Could only eat 2 boiled eggs and some crackers every day. It took me an additional two weeks to start to recover normal energy, etc. So, I figure my immune system got a workout. I haven't been sick since then, despite quite a lot of stress. Touch wood.

    If CV takes me out, so be it.

  361. @vot tak
    Is there a relevant point to this article?

    Relevant points is exactly what statistics are supposed to be. We moderns believe in them like.., like nothing else…

    So some of the boys here have a fetish for statistics, they have caught the statistics virus so to speak, it is a non lethal virus, though often not so good for the organs of digestion, which might get upset if the statistics are bad news. I don’t know whether there are statistics to prove that, yet.

    Statistics makes a man and authorities look bigger, on track with reality and capable of prophetizing the future, like authorities they will look, even the owner of this site has the data counting virus, no wonder, we are all food for statistic, all websites do it, social media do it, governments do it, institutions do it, we all do it. Technically as a human you do not exist, except for these statistics, which are good for selling the sheep something or leading the sheep somewhere. Now donate some on the bottom of the page, as statistics are worth money. And be glad that the shepherds keep up with counting the sheep.

  362. @utu
    The most important meme that is being created is that the Chinese spread the plague, that they are responsible for it....

    Coronavirus Has Europe Treating Chinese People Like the Plague
    https://www.thedailybeast.com/coronavirus-has-europe-treating-chinese-people-like-the-plague

    Chinese communities warn of Italy 'racism' over virus
    https://news.yahoo.com/chinese-communities-warn-italy-racism-over-virus-033805887.html
     

    The meme seems to be pretty spontaneous. Media and governments can even warn against the prejudice. Nobody needs to to drive and push the meme explicitly as Germans did in the occupied Poland in WWII:

    https://cdn1.imggmi.com/uploads/2020/2/26/c8188416ec62e969bfa68b6671cb3ab3-full.jpg

    German propaganda poster that was plastered on the streets of German-occupied Poland: Jews - Lice - Typhus

    https://slate.com/technology/2014/08/typhus-and-lice-in-jewish-ghettos-nazi-doctors-perverse-groupthink.html

    Sorry but people do have reason to think the disease was brought into their country by someone from China. In the story you linked, the first 2 cases in Italy were 2 elderly Chinese tourists who were traveling with a group of 100 near Milan. And now Milan is near the center of the outbreak. The first death in Italy was in Padua, just outside Venice, and that same tourist group most likely also visited Venice since that’s where most tourists go.

    This ties to what I’ve been saying. Chinese tourists were never popular to begin with due to their bad manners, bad English and they are everywhere, now they are positively loathed and despised since China continues to allow them to leave the country and spread the virus everywhere. If China had done the responsible thing and shut down all outbound air travels the day they shut down Wuhan, the world would not be looking at a Pandemic right now. China brought this upon the world, now they need to bear the consequence of the world’s fear and loathing of their people. The unfortunate part is, all Asians are now looked upon negatively because most non-Asians can’t tell them apart, so now they probably hate the mainland Chinese even more.

  363. @Ron Unz
    Well, personally I think the jury is still out whether East Asians are far more vulnerable to the new coronavirus than whites. The outbreaks in Iran and Italy shift the likelihood somewhat, but it's still early. Personally, I think the evidence from that cruise ship might be most definitive.

    But if whites are indeed as vulnerable, I'd think that the West might be hit much harder than China. After all, can we possibly imagine the sort of national lock-down that China has implemented, apparently with considerable success?

    And I'm still very suspicious about the circumstances of the outbreak. It hit China just before Lunar New Year, the absolutely worst possible time, and the epicenter was Wuhan, a key transport hub. It really seems an *astonishing* coincidence that 300 American military servicemen had been visiting Wuhan just prior to the outbreak, at a peak of international tension.

    How would Americans react if 300 PRC officers had visited Chicago, and immediately afterwards, a deadly new plague broke out in that city, with a major risk of spreading throughout the country?

    Isn't it also rather suspicious that Iran has been hit so hard? So the two countries in the world most subject to current American hostility just tend to be especially "unlucky"...

    As for "soft power," I suspect it largely reflects a heavily-lagging indicator of economic/political power, only somewhat shifted by considerations of pop-culture. If China continues on its economic/political trajectory, I think it will have plenty of soft power 30-40 years down the road. And if American society/economy collapses, so soon afterward will our soft power, ignorant rap-stars and basketball players notwithstanding.

    And I’m still very suspicious about the circumstances of the outbreak. It hit China just before Lunar New Year, the absolutely worst possible time, and the epicenter was Wuhan, a key transport hub. It really seems an *astonishing* coincidence that 300 American military servicemen had been visiting Wuhan just prior to the outbreak, at a peak of international tension.

    So, let me see if I am getting this; it is an “astonishing” coincidence that the US sent some soldiers to an Olympic-style military event weeks before the coronavirus, but mere statististical noise, that the epicenter of the virus was 200 yards from China’s most advanced bioweapon’s lab?

    • Replies: @iffen
    Some people have the low threshold astonishment gene.
    , @Thomm
    In a similar vein, note that Ron Unz’s recent decision to recognize and encourage certain commenters fits into his overall strategy.

    He recognized six commenters, of which two are Muslims but none are WNs. This is another important m0ve in his game of chess, and comprises of Step 5.

    Step 1 : Make a website that WNs use (since they can never build anything on their own). Let any and all anti-Semitic slurs stand on the website to make WN wiggers complacent and even keyboard-courageous.
    Step 2 : Recruit the 2-3 intelligent authors that WNs read (Sailer, Derbyshire, etc.) who happen to bad at making money, so that they write for very little payment.
    Step 3 : After a few years, start pushing for normalization of Hispanics (even if illegal; especially if illegal).
    Step 4 : Deploy columnists like Fred Reed and Chanda Chisala to generate even more confusion.
    Step 5 : Elevate six commenters, of which two are Muslims, but none are White Trashionalists, in order to generate friction between the two in true Hasbara style.

    This is another step in RUnzie Baby’s campaign to boil the frog, and the temperature has now risen from 160 degrees F to 170 degrees F.

    I am strongly in support of RUnzie Baby's objectives. If only he knew how to work in teams....

  364. @Hail
    What we know so far suggests more the World War Z narrative (hitting wealthy, jet-set countries hard) than your proposed narrative of China's BRI buddies getting hit hard. At least in terms of the virology, not the soft-power hit, on which I would more agree.

    But, then, we do not have perfect information. There may be many cases in certain countries we have heard nothing of. As Anatoly says:


    Meanwhile, carriers need not be symptomatic to transmit. At such early stages, you are only going to identify these clusters by intensive testing, which as I understand nobody apart from Italy and South Korea is really doing yet. One might make a comparison to a tsunami. Undetectable when it’s out in the deep ocean, unless you’re specifically looking for it
     
    The latest I have seen is that South Korea's testing situation was as follows (this is about as of 24 hours ago):

    37,000 persons tested, mainly cases stemming from the Shinchonji cult
    - 22,550 found not infected
    - 13,250 results pending
    - 900 confirmed infected , of which 9 dead.

    Among the current pool of testees, it will presumably to rise to 25 to 35 deaths, if the S.Korea deaths follow the same death rate as observed elsewhere and including the likely infected among the results-pending group.

    Of those with results known (22,550 negative + 900 positive = 23,450), the infection rate of contactees was therefore 3.5% to 4%. They only use the limited testing resources on people who came into contact with a known infected person, so this suggests that if you had at-least-moderate close-quarter dealings with a COVID19-infectee, your odds (actually an East Asian's odds) of getting it could well be less than 1 in 30. Obviously this would rise with very close-quarter-, long-term contact.

    The odds of death, in turn, are known to be less than 1 in 200 (<0.5%) for most people without preexisting health problems, and as low as 1 in 500 (0.2%) for healthy, core-working-age people. The chance of dying from a single case of close contact with a COVID19-infectee are therefore no higher for most of us than 1-in-1500, at least the way I read the data.

    Update on South Korea cases:

    https://www.unz.com/isteve/coronavirus-prepping/#comment-3737157

    As of today:

    46,000 South Koreans have been tested, mainly cases stemming from the Shinchonji armageddon cult, either cult members or close-quarter-contacts of cult members.
    – 28,247 found not infected;
    – 16,734 results pending;
    – 1,146 infected
    — > of whom, 12 have died;
    — > of whom, 22 have been certified fully recover