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There are at least many views on the efficacy and cost-effectiveness of lockdowns. The balance of the evidence suggests that they do work, though the effect is confounded in complex ways by people spontaneously engaging in risk-reducing (but GDP-lowering) behavior.

Be that as it may, the point is becoming moot, since they are ending across most of the world. Stocks of what I called “quarantine capital” are running low, the peasants are beginning to rebel. This is political reality, like it or not.

Subsequently, the only realistic way forwards to prevent the epidemic from again hurtling out of control – and this is a near inevitability, considering that almost nowhere have we reached “herd immunity” – is to adopt universal mask wearing

It is beyond doubt the face masks are both highly efficacious at preventing coronavirus spread (see Corona-Chan Didn’t Care Until I Put on the Mask for compiled evidence), and extremely cost-effective (market price of a surgical face mask is 5 cents).

My Twitter followers, at any rate, are quite optimistic about the potential of mass mask usage (80%) to ultimately suppress the epidemic, with 66% believing they can suppress r0 to below 0.9, while another 18% think they have the potential to at least fix the rate of new infections at a more or less constant number with r0 somewhere between 0.9 and 1.1; this will, at least, flatten the curve, and perhaps a new vaccine can be introduced before half the population has to receive the gift of Corona (as implied by r0=1). Another 11% are hardcore pessimists who believe they will make no major difference.

This sentiment may well be correct – a couple of studies published a month ago suggests that 80% mask wearing may be enough to push r0 below one just by itself. r0 plummets even under pessimistic estimates of mask efficacy.

Tian, Liang, Xuefei Li, Fei Qi, Qian-Yuan Tang, Viola Tang, Jiang Liu, Zhiyuan Li, et al. 2020. “Calibrated Intervention and Containment of the COVID-19 Pandemic.arXiv [q-bio.PE]. arXiv. http://arxiv.org/abs/2003.07353.

We then estimate the reduction of the basic reproduction number R0 under specific disease control practices such as contact tracing, testing, social distancing, wearing masks and staying at home. When these measures are implemented in parallel, their effects on R0 multiply. For example, if 70% of the general public wear masks and contact tracing is conducted at 60% efficiency within a 4-day time frame, epidemic growth will be flattened in the hardest hit countries.

Howard, Jeremy, Austin Huang, Zhiyuan Li, Zeynep Tufekci, Vladimir Zdimal, Helene-Mari van der Westhuizen, Arne von Delft, et al. 2020. “Face Masks Against COVID-19: An Evidence Review.MEDICINE & PHARMACOLOGY.

Reducing disease spread requires two things: first, limit contacts of infected individuals via physical distancing and contact tracing with appropriate quarantine, and second, reduce the transmission probability per contact by wearing masks in public, among other measures. The preponderance of evidence indicates that mask wearing reduces the transmissibility per contact by reducing transmission of infected droplets in both laboratory and clinical contexts. Public mask wearing is most effective at stopping spread of the virus when compliance is high. The decreased transmissibility could substantially reduce the death toll and economic impact while the cost of the intervention is low. Thus we recommend the adoption of public cloth mask wearing, as an effective form of source control, in conjunction with existing hygiene, distancing, and contact tracing strategies.

In any case – we should all wear masks, especially indoors. While one can make entirely legitimate cost-benefit arguments for or against lockdowns, there are no such arguments against mask usage. Given what we already knew months ago, refusing to wear masks in places like supermarkets or public transport has long ceased to defensible under any normal ethical system.

Not to mention self-defeating even by the supposed values of this motley of “sovereign citizen”/anti-government types:

https://twitter.com/vilevarangian/status/1262344555661340674

A corollary is that mask wearing prevalence may well now be the single best predictor of the subsequent success or failure of nations to control the epidemic after reopening. As such, attitudes towards mask wearing practices would seem to be an important – and understudied – component of any attempt to forecast Corona’s trajectory across different countries in the coming months.

To date, the only large-scale international poll of whether people wear masks has been carried out by IPSOS.

The East Asians, as well as Italy and India, are all at ~80% or above. Vietnam tops the chart, and to date has registered just 325 cases and zero deaths. Japan was late to lockdown and easygoing about it,

The US is intermediate, with wide regional differentiation. From another poll:

The West does very well, especially California, which coupled with its early lockdown must have greatly help contain its epidemic at a very manageable level. According to Gallup, both the West and North-East are at ~70%. Lowest is the MidWest, with just 46%. Possibly they are now the biggest risk zone. The lowest numbers are in Montana at 23%. Though it’s not exactly that they need them – 600,000 people in a territory 50% larger than the UK, which makes the latter’s <20% all the more shocking.

The other European nations are much lower, with the UK at the very bottom, where just 16% say they are likely to wear masks. No wonder that the epicenter of the epidemic has shifted from Northern Italy to South England.

Consequently, I remain bullish on East Asia’s prospects of continuing to contain Corona, bearish on North-West Europe, and 50/50 on the United States (perhaps the West coast will succeed, while the eastern parts fall).

I would also stress that even in mask-disrespecting countries the situation can still be salvaged. Even 20% adaptation will jump up to 90% if it is legally mandated and backed by hefty fines. Will it create resentment? Perhaps, but far less so than prolonged lockdowns.

As the lockdowns peter out, many of us live in countries that are once again heading into what might be a patently avoidable tragedy.

***

Are these numbers accurate? I think they are – at the very least, they are generally backed by the observations of corresponding friends and acquaintances in various countries.

United Kingdom

Duran chief editor Alexander Mercouris in London, who wrote an excellent review of the coronavirus situation a couple of weeks ago for Consortium News, wrote to me on April 16:

Clearly there is a very deep cultural bias in the West against face covering… I don’t fully understand it myself… In my part of London, where the death toll has been very high (London accounts for around a quarter of British deaths, which are very high by every standard) I would guess that only around 15-20% of people wear face masks when they go out. Moreover because of the – entirely premature – softening of what was already a very soft lockdown, my impression is that the percentage of people who wear face masks in my part of London is actually falling.

The move to ease lockdowns is grossly premature. If it was accompanied with a mandatory requirement to wear face masks when in public, and a well designed system of testing and contact tracing, it might not be so bad. But in the UK nothing like that exists, and nor does it in any other European country that I know of. Even in Germany – which started well, and where I have many contacts – the lockdown has been lifted too early, wearing of face masks is sporadic, and after a very strong start testing has run out of steam. I am sorry to say that I expect a big spike in infections and deaths in Europe this autumn. Lockdowns will have to be reimposed, and morale at that point may start to collapse.

Alexander’s estimate perfectly dovetails with poll results. The observation that mask wearing is actually on the decline in London has been confirmed to me by a second observer.

On May 20, he added:

The parks are now packed with sunbathers and day trippers. I saw no masks and no attempt to maintain social distancing. Elsewhere, in the general area of my house, the streets are full of people, social distancing appears to have been abandoned, and I would guess that the percentage of people who now wear masks has fallen below 5%. Moreover I get hard looks and taunts from some people (mainly young people) precisely because I wear a mask and maintain social distancing rules. In theory social distancing is still mandatory and London is supposed to be still in some form of lockdown. However the government’s messaging is wholly inconsistent and the police are making no attempt to enforce anything anymore.

The number of excess deaths in the UK (which I am sure is due to Covid-19) is now 54K. However most people at least in London think the Covid-19 epidemic is over. Note that the confirmed figure of 54K deaths is up to 8th May 2020. Most estimates assume that the true number is over 60K. If the UK has lost this number of people during a war there would be a huge political crisis. Yet because it is a pandemic and because most of the people who die are old the fact barely registers. I still find that fact staggering.

Looks like the limeys are dedicated Nurgle worshippers.

***

Ireland

An Irish friend writes:

The Chad Ireland is probably at 5%.

***

India

An Indian acquaintance, who also happens to have once been an expat in Russia, writes (also appending the following image):

Indians have just started venturing out and they are very likely – probably more than 90% will have a mask or a gamcha. Traditionally – and this goes back unknown times, Indians cover their face and mouth for hygienic reasons. They use a special hand-women cloth which goes into washing end of day. It is called a gamcha, Office people are already wearing surgical masks and all the rest of population is wearing this handmade gamcha. Modi has been wearing it on all his public TV appearances and country follows that example. In North India it also protects from dust and sand and when there is a heat wave, much like the Arabs, we cover our face with cotton cloth. South India and Western states follow different practices.

India is not a rich country, very crowded, can’t do lockdowns for long. It may thus be the ultimate test of masks’ efficacy under harsh, overcrowded Third World conditions.

***

Russia

I estimated that public mask wearing incidence topped out at ~33% of Muscovites by early April, rising from 25% in late March. (Our lockdown measures began in Moscow began on March 18).

This impression was broadly confirmed by the polls done by VCIOM, which showed mask wearing rising from 13% on March 26, 21% on March 20, and 30% on April 2.

Then it remained stuck at this level for the next month – 30%, I suppose, is Russia’s “steady state” level of mask wearing without government decree. While some other regions of Russia introduced mandatory mask wearing regimes, to seemingly good effect (though I have not done a formal analysis), Moscow’s usually competent Mayor Sobyanin dallied until May 12 to order mandatory masking (and gloving – which I consider needless, and which AFAIK only Romania amongst other countries has done).

Throughout this April, I was frustrated over what I saw as a bizarre commitment to the WHO’s criminal anti-mask recommendations. The Visegrad nations, Austria, and Ukraine – which all did introduce mandatory masking early on – seem to have done better than Russia, to the extent that comparisons can be made (there is no megapolis on Moscow’s scale there; OTOH, all of them have much greater travel links with Europe, and Ukraine had accepted back 100,000’s of returning Gastarbeiters). I am not sure that the Moscow detonation would have happened in the absence of this “West worship.”

Nor was Putin without blame – he delegated most of the responsibility for managing the outbreak to the regions (the non-systemic opposition, which I am hardly a fan of, spun it as an abdication of responsibility – and I can’t say I entirely disagree), and didn’t make at least a centralized federal recommendation (if not outright decree) to implement masking regimes across the country.

I later learned that the Moscow City government acquired Russia’s largest mask producer back in March, where it doubled production up through May. So as it turns out, Sobyanin was “maskpilled” after all, which made the lack of masking recommendations a “white lie” as opposed to blind worship of the West (or rather its ossified and Euro-supremacist public health bureaucracy). Though I still do not agree with its logic. Thing is, masks are easy to DIY. Sew one, or heck, cut up a Tshirt. Surgical masks can be reused – not good for personal protection, but protects others, which over time translates into the same thing.

This must be true due to convexity effects, a point that has incidentally often been made by Nicholas Nassim Taleb in recent months.

As of the time of writing, I would estimate that public mask wearing has increased to 60-70%.

Considering that transmissions outdoors seem to be very rare, this might not be that relevant. In supermarkets, they are at close to 100%, even if a few of the least socially responsible elements pull down their masks while walking about.

***

United States

American friends/acquaintances confirm that well more than 50% of people at least wear masks in supermarkets in the MidWest, and that’s supposed to be the worst region – so I suppose that’s good.

***

Finally, another open question is the extent to which people will continue to respect masking regimes in the future, whether they are largely “socially generated” (as in the Japan or the US), or legally mandated (e.g. Austria, Poland, now most of Russia).

I do not know the answer to this question.

Presumably, most people will continue to mask if they can be fined for declining to do so. Although whether a country like the US can keep it up is open to question – the example of its apathetic British brethren is not encouraging.

 
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  1. Please keep off topic posts to the current Open Thread.

    If you are new to my work, start here.

  2. I remember when the pandemic was first taken as a serious threat, the resistance arsenal included wearing gloves too. Now, only food handlers and cashiers at supermarkets are seen wearing gloves.

    50% seems about right in the SW of the US too.

    Question: It looks like sometime soon outdoor swimming pools will be opening up. Aside from avoiding french-kissing strangers, any special cautions or warnings? Indoor gyms here are already opening up, however, I will not be returning anytime soon, as I’m weary of any indoor environments.

    • Replies: @Philip Owen
    I am a mask vendor these days but nevertheless, gloves of a soft absorbent materials, cotton is perfect, wool OK, are far more important for infection control than masks (other than in crowds in confined spaces). On the other hand, gloves of the wrong material = synthetic are bad news.
    , @Vasilios
    Regarding Public Pools:

    The good news here is:

    A) Chlorine is super effective at killing the virus. It's like bathing in Hand Sanitizer.

    B) Transmission rates outside are much much lower than in enclosed spaces, especially poorly ventilated spaces.

    C) UV light is also effective at killing viruses, and UV light is at its highest level in the summertime.

    D) Vitamin D is great for the immune system and general health.

    This all being said, I would still suggest avoiding anyplace that is overcrowded. Assuming you can keep some distance, the health benefits of being outdoors and exercise should far outweigh the risks.
  3. Then it remained stuck at this level for the next month – 30%, I suppose, is Russia’s “steady state” level of mask wearing without government decree.

    This figure of wearing could be much higher, but with the systematic promotion of wearing masks, and with the availability of these masks. In St. Petersburg, more than 90% wear masks in the metro and shops, although the absence of a mask is not punished in any way (in theory it is supposed to be a fine but only in theory). It is very strange (and sad) that doctors as a Corporation were not able to give correct recommendations to the population and the authorities (different doctors gave different recommendations, there were no collective petitions about the need to wear masks, isolate Moscow, etc.)

  4. market price of a surgical face mask is 5 cents

    This might be outdated info as the prices have soared into hyperinflationary levels in many places since Corona gathered steam in China. At the middle in January it was still possible to buy good quality imported Australian made box of 100 masks for 7 euros or worse cheaper Chinese made for 4 euros in Lithuania, but since then it completely dissapeared from sales for any price for around roughly two months. When imports restarted around late March, initially the price has reached ridiculous 50(!) euros for just 50 of those formerly cheap Chinese masks, now the price has more than halved, but still remains at baffling 20 euro levels.

    • Agree: Ms Karlin-Gerard
  5. Znzn says:

    Hasn’t it just occurred to anybody that maybe Whites and Westerners have been ill disciplined since 180AD and just can not do grind well, or lockdowns that require grinding it out well, thus also why they are falling behind East Asians in colleges particularly in California that now reward grinds and rote learning vs. the short bursts of brainstorming that Whites are good at, compared to East Asians (even though whites can not seem to even achieve this since 1970 or so) Since Jews are Caucasians but not white, I would include them in the not suitable for long grinds category as well.

  6. The only whites that can do grinds very well seem to be the Roman legions, whose whole strategy seems to be outlasting the impetuous Gauls in a slogging match and then routing them when the Gauls start to get tired and run individually.

    • Replies: @animalogic
    "The only whites that can do grinds very well seem to be the Roman legions, whose whole strategy seems to be outlasting the impetuous Gauls in a slogging match and then routing them".
    There's an element of truth here -- the Roman's would grind down enemies. However, it's also a little unfair -- it implies that the Romans lacked tactical/operational subtlety or nuance.
    Dig into the greatest Roman confrontation with Gaul, the battle of Alesia, & I think you will find that "grind" is an inadequate descriptor.
  7. The piece you wrote about London is correct. I see maybe only 10% of people wearing a mask walking outside (I don’t go to shops so I don’t know about indoor spaces). Most people (joggers excluded) observe social distancing rules, but fewer than at the start. I have to say, I don’t wear a mask walking around outside, although I would if I went into an indoor space or somewhere I couldn’t avoid people.

    The number of excess deaths in the UK (which I am sure is due to Covid-19) is now 54K. However most people at least in London think the Covid-19 epidemic is over.

    There have only been around 600 new cases in London over the past fortnight.

  8. Karlin, haven’t you considered that it may be easier for East Asians to sustain lockdowns or tight discipline because they are not as avaricious towards the life of their elders compared to Westerners.

  9. US standard N95/Chinese KN95 masks are 1 euro give or take 5 cents in quantites of less than 340,000 (Twenty foot container) on FCA (Guangdong) terms. FFP2’s, the higher level EU standard (stops oily particles) are maybe 10 to 15 Eurocents higher. I cannot find a way into the Russian procurement system just now. As in the UK, the normal procurement system is being overridden. Also, unlike the UK, Russia is genuinely devolved so each Oblast appears to be doing its own thing. It’s hard to tell. The UK is buying KN95’s centrally for the whole Health and Social Care system but devolved governments and even local authorities are also placing orders for FFP2’s. Russia is not remotely close to meeting requirements for FFP2, Russia officially uses EU standards. Local production capacity is trivial. I have millions a day to offer and machines to make masks and non woven filter material. However, Russia is a face to face business culture. It’s impossible to get there safely even if there were flights, short of a private jet and I wouldn’t want to breathe a hotel air conditioning system even then.

  10. UK says:

    Sao Paulo has had compulsory mask wearing in all public spaces for a very long time now. It also had its parks closed. Adherence was tight. Furthermore, masks were enforced even for walking on the empty pavements over two weeks ago. Yet Coronavirus escalated there during that time even as states like Santa Caterina had barely any mask wearing and open bars and restaurants and few cases, and even less growth.

    I have no explanation to offer but I can say that I’m glad that I am now in a state which has opened up. Public unmasked life really is something to be treasured. I imagine you’ll see for yourself whenever things open up wherever you are too.

    • Replies: @Toronto Russian

    Sao Paulo has had compulsory mask wearing in all public spaces for a very long time now. It also had its parks closed. Adherence was tight. Furthermore, masks were enforced even for walking on the empty pavements over two weeks ago. Yet Coronavirus escalated there during that time even as states like Santa Caterina had barely any mask wearing and open bars and restaurants and few cases, and even less growth.
     
    According to Wikipedia, its population density is almost 3 times lower than Sao Paulo's. Many of the people are descendants of 19th century rural Germans, who earned a high reputation of cleanliness and order wherever they settled. And this quote implies they aren't just white and rich, but actually caring about their neighbors. Hard policing might as well be superfluous in such a society (like in the towns Dieter Kief wrote about in this thread).

    The state's social indexes are among the best in Brazil. It has the highest rate of life expectancy in the country (just like the Federal District), the lowest infant mortality rate and is also the state with the lowest economic inequality and illiteracy in Brazil. Santa Catarina has the 6th highest GDP in the country, with a diverse economy and strong affinities to industrialization. An important export and consumption hub, it is one of the fastest-growing states in the Brazilian economy and accounts for 4% of the country's gross domestic product.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Santa_Catarina_(state)
     
  11. WHO and CDC do not promote mask wearing. Why? Is it because masks are quashing flu epidemics in Asia and thus rendering the argument form mass flu vaccination moot?

    And how can a ‘project’ be simultaneously a masonic conspiracy and anti-elite?

    https://www.unz.com/akarlin/corona-probably-out-of-control-in-dagestan/#comment-3908179

  12. @Mr. Hack
    I remember when the pandemic was first taken as a serious threat, the resistance arsenal included wearing gloves too. Now, only food handlers and cashiers at supermarkets are seen wearing gloves.

    50% seems about right in the SW of the US too.

    Question: It looks like sometime soon outdoor swimming pools will be opening up. Aside from avoiding french-kissing strangers, any special cautions or warnings? Indoor gyms here are already opening up, however, I will not be returning anytime soon, as I'm weary of any indoor environments.

    I am a mask vendor these days but nevertheless, gloves of a soft absorbent materials, cotton is perfect, wool OK, are far more important for infection control than masks (other than in crowds in confined spaces). On the other hand, gloves of the wrong material = synthetic are bad news.

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
    Like I've indicated, it seems that only folks that work in businesses that have to deal with the public, especially restaurants and grocery stores, wear any kind of gloves. Almost invariably, people out and about do not wear gloves. I make sure to wash my hands and arms thoroughly after I've been shopping, etc. If out and about people, I wear a mask. If, however, I go for a walk, I omit people and don't.
  13. @Philip Owen
    I am a mask vendor these days but nevertheless, gloves of a soft absorbent materials, cotton is perfect, wool OK, are far more important for infection control than masks (other than in crowds in confined spaces). On the other hand, gloves of the wrong material = synthetic are bad news.

    Like I’ve indicated, it seems that only folks that work in businesses that have to deal with the public, especially restaurants and grocery stores, wear any kind of gloves. Almost invariably, people out and about do not wear gloves. I make sure to wash my hands and arms thoroughly after I’ve been shopping, etc. If out and about people, I wear a mask. If, however, I go for a walk, I omit people and don’t.

  14. I suspect that the aversion to mask-wearing in the US, Britain and Australia is mostly due to anti-Chinese hysteria. Masks are bad because Chinese wear them and Chinese are nasty foreigners and evil communists.

    Yes, I believe people are that stupid.

    • Replies: @utu
    "Yes, I believe people are that stupid." - People are made that stupid and it can be on purpose. It seems like from the very beginning when everybody could see what was happening in China and then Italy and certainly people in government agencies new that it will come their way CDC was making statements that masks are not effective and the tone in media was a combination of disregard with schadenfreude. Can we blame the epidemic outbreak on just the incompetence? What if the epidemic was necessary to carry out the operation to vilify and isolate China? Steve Bannon and his handlers must love it.
    , @Europe Europa
    No, it's because there is a big cultural aversion to people covering their face in Britain that is difficult and slow to overcome. If someone walked into pay for petrol with a motorbike helmet on in the UK they would likely be refused service until they removed it, whereas I've seen it happen in many other countries and no one cares if they're wearing the helmet in the shop or not.

    Basically, face covering in the UK is strongly associated with being a criminal, so to suddenly go from mask wearing being a huge cultural taboo to being the norm is a huge ask, because people's natural response to the idea of wearing a mask is to assume that people will think they're some sort of criminal.

  15. utu says:

    “This must be true due to convexity effects, a point that has incidentally often been made by Nicholas Nassim Taleb in recent months.” – Taleb is on the right side in this debate but his “nonlinearity” and “convexity effects” is just his usual Levantine merchant BS and hucksterism. Though is right about ‘these imbeciles’.

  16. UK says:

    Tragically, the various European sides in World Was One proved themselves to be the absolute global historical champions in “grinding it out”.

    Indeed, the entire Western way of warfare, going back to the Greeks, is distinct from the rest of the world because of this characteristic.

    Even the ISAF effort in Afghanistan displays this, though more as a farce. I mean what on earth was 20 years of grinding it out for?

    Of course that is a lot of pointless and harmful grinding it out, but then so is the way many Chinese children are used by their parents…

  17. utu says:
    @dfordoom
    I suspect that the aversion to mask-wearing in the US, Britain and Australia is mostly due to anti-Chinese hysteria. Masks are bad because Chinese wear them and Chinese are nasty foreigners and evil communists.

    Yes, I believe people are that stupid.

    “Yes, I believe people are that stupid.” – People are made that stupid and it can be on purpose. It seems like from the very beginning when everybody could see what was happening in China and then Italy and certainly people in government agencies new that it will come their way CDC was making statements that masks are not effective and the tone in media was a combination of disregard with schadenfreude. Can we blame the epidemic outbreak on just the incompetence? What if the epidemic was necessary to carry out the operation to vilify and isolate China? Steve Bannon and his handlers must love it.

    • Replies: @dfordoom

    What if the epidemic was necessary to carry out the operation to vilify and isolate China?
     
    I don't buy the idea that the epidemic was manufactured for that purpose, but it has certainly been used to carry out the operation to vilify and isolate China.

    And idiot alt-righters with their China hatred are playing into the hands of those who want another Cold War.
  18. Oxford University study of the Brit-bongs:

    59% per cent believe that to some extent the government is misleading the public

    62% agree to some extent that the virus is man-made

    21% believe the virus is a hoax

    The above from Aangirfan’s extensive coverage on her site, most recently:

    http://aanirfan.blogspot.com/2020/05/coronavirus-33.html

    • Replies: @Kent Nationalist

    21% believe the virus is a hoax

     

    It's annoying how millions of people will believe that one thing which obviously is happening isn't happening, but won't believe that one thing which obviously didn't happen didn't happen.
    , @The Alarmist

    21% believe the virus is a hoax
     
    The virus is real; the response is the hoax.
  19. @brabantian
    Oxford University study of the Brit-bongs:

    59% per cent believe that to some extent the government is misleading the public

    62% agree to some extent that the virus is man-made

    21% believe the virus is a hoax

    The above from Aangirfan's extensive coverage on her site, most recently:

    http://aanirfan.blogspot.com/2020/05/coronavirus-33.html

    21% believe the virus is a hoax

    It’s annoying how millions of people will believe that one thing which obviously is happening isn’t happening, but won’t believe that one thing which obviously didn’t happen didn’t happen.

  20. @utu
    "Yes, I believe people are that stupid." - People are made that stupid and it can be on purpose. It seems like from the very beginning when everybody could see what was happening in China and then Italy and certainly people in government agencies new that it will come their way CDC was making statements that masks are not effective and the tone in media was a combination of disregard with schadenfreude. Can we blame the epidemic outbreak on just the incompetence? What if the epidemic was necessary to carry out the operation to vilify and isolate China? Steve Bannon and his handlers must love it.

    What if the epidemic was necessary to carry out the operation to vilify and isolate China?

    I don’t buy the idea that the epidemic was manufactured for that purpose, but it has certainly been used to carry out the operation to vilify and isolate China.

    And idiot alt-righters with their China hatred are playing into the hands of those who want another Cold War.

    • Agree: Anatoly Karlin
    • Replies: @utu
    I did not say that the epidemic was manufactured. On this issue I am agnostic and open to see more evidence. What I said is that the West missed every opportunity to timely respond to the epidemic and quash it so it occurred to me that it was not just the usual incompetence of our political class but the incompetence was amplified on purpose to manufacture the strong and global anti-Chinese sentiments.
    , @Hemid
    Alt right media characters are uniformly Sinophilic, more so even than white communists are. Their fealty to China, even before the virus, is so mindless and implausible it looks like a fed op (because, like all alt-right things, it is).

    Anti-China sentiment is only notable among average Republican voters and black people. It's a lower middle / underclass phenomenon, an antiestablishment reflex. The fed right has none of those.
    , @Anonymous (n)
    Actually the major twin planks of any sane right wing policy platform in the US have always been cutting down on immigration and reversing the deindustrialization wrought by neoliberal trade policy. That's what "MAGA" was always about during the "candidate Trump" era before it devolved into your standard tax cuts for the elites and fellating Israel GOP cuckery once Trump was actually in office. Cutting our dependence on China has been one of the distinguishing features of the "real" right vs the neocon controlled cucks since at least the time of Pat Buchanan, and if there is one good thing that comes out of Corona despite Trump's utterly incompetent handling of it it will be strengthening the push to economically deinvest from China.

    In a more general sense, Corona should have been a godsend to the America-First wing of the Right after being stifled for the first 3 years of the Trump administration. Here you have the perfect opportunity to highlight the pitfalls of open borders globalism as the whole problem was at its root a creation of the globohomo paradigm. Foreigners brought it here, and our dependence on foreign countries for basic manufacturing crippled our ability to respond to it and put thousands of our first responders at risk of death and disability from lack of PPE as well as raising the specter of major shortages of crucial pharmaceutical products.

    Instead, Trump botched it by trying to downplay the whole situation in an idiotic attempt to prop up the stock market that was always doomed to fail. At a stroke, he reversed the polarity of the situation and instead of Corona being a tool the Right could use against globohomo, it's now a tool globohomo can use against the Right. It's perhaps one of the most comically incompetent bits of politics in the last hundred years: giving up the right to use Corona in furtherance of your long term political goals in exchange for delaying the stock market selloff by at most a few days. It's so idiotic that it absolutely boggles the mind but it's completely in character for the buffoon in the White House. What's truly pathetic is how many people on the Right, even those on sites like this one that usually know better, followed the clown over the cliff to moronic derangement.

  21. The German numbers are from before mask wearing became mandatory in shops/public transport. By my observation +95% are wearing masks in shops. Close to nobody is wearing masks outdoors.

    The first state (commie-run Thuringia) has now decided to stop mandatory mask wearing at the beginning of June. Will be interesting to see what happens there.

  22. utu says:
    @dfordoom

    What if the epidemic was necessary to carry out the operation to vilify and isolate China?
     
    I don't buy the idea that the epidemic was manufactured for that purpose, but it has certainly been used to carry out the operation to vilify and isolate China.

    And idiot alt-righters with their China hatred are playing into the hands of those who want another Cold War.

    I did not say that the epidemic was manufactured. On this issue I am agnostic and open to see more evidence. What I said is that the West missed every opportunity to timely respond to the epidemic and quash it so it occurred to me that it was not just the usual incompetence of our political class but the incompetence was amplified on purpose to manufacture the strong and global anti-Chinese sentiments.

    • Replies: @dfordoom

    I did not say that the epidemic was manufactured. On this issue I am agnostic and open to see more evidence. What I said is that the West missed every opportunity to timely respond to the epidemic and quash it so it occurred to me that it was not just the usual incompetence of our political class but the incompetence was amplified on purpose to manufacture the strong and global anti-Chinese sentiments.
     
    I probably misunderstood you. Thanks for the clarification.

    In that case I pretty much entirely agree with you.
  23. The common light blue, paper towel-like mask with loose rubber band loops strapped behind the ears is not PPE. Very little if any reduction in R0 from use of this 2 cent item.

    A proper USA 3M N95 mask costs at least $7, fits closely around the mouth and nose, has a check valve for exhalation, has a service life of 8 hours and will not be available to the civilian U.S. population until at least early 2021 and then only in very limited quantities.

    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
    Wrong, and discussed extensively in the post. If you have proper studies arguing the opposite - feel free to lay them out.
  24. @dfordoom

    What if the epidemic was necessary to carry out the operation to vilify and isolate China?
     
    I don't buy the idea that the epidemic was manufactured for that purpose, but it has certainly been used to carry out the operation to vilify and isolate China.

    And idiot alt-righters with their China hatred are playing into the hands of those who want another Cold War.

    Alt right media characters are uniformly Sinophilic, more so even than white communists are. Their fealty to China, even before the virus, is so mindless and implausible it looks like a fed op (because, like all alt-right things, it is).

    Anti-China sentiment is only notable among average Republican voters and black people. It’s a lower middle / underclass phenomenon, an antiestablishment reflex. The fed right has none of those.

    • Replies: @Jaakko Raipala
    Even the majority of Democrat voters have negative views of China. Also, more educated people are more likely to have negative views of China, not the other way around.

    https://www.pewresearch.org/global/2020/04/21/u-s-views-of-china-increasingly-negative-amid-coronavirus-outbreak/

    72 % vs 62 % is not a major gap, though it is statistically significant.

    In the current political campaign standoff the Democrats are trying to blame Trump for corona while the Republicans are trying to blame China so anti-Chinese sentiment among Democrats gets muffled while among Republicans it gets amplified. If the President was a Democrat you'd see these roles somewhat reversed.

    When alt-right "leaders" like Richard Spencer come out against Hong Kong protests etc, they're reflexively opposing the Harvard educated worldview, not the other way around. American leftist elites are firmly anti-CCP, it's just that they want a different type of campaign that Trump does - they want less direct confrontation and more ideological subversion with their NGO / media / intelligence agency complex.
  25. In regards to mask wearing in Ireland, it may be notably higher than 5% in Dublin city proper where the outbreak began and is concentrated. However, elsewhere in the country my and my contacts’ experience suggests 5% is an optimistic figure.

    Despite the abysmal adoption rate of masks, we have controlled the pandemic to the point where only ~50 new cases are detected daily. Our testing regime is quite good, so I consider that figure reliable.

    The success we’ve had in shutting down the pandemic is quite confounding to me, given the lack of masks and especially considering that our lockdown has been very lax. In my own experience people don’t take social distancing in shops and other indoor areas particularly seriously, and the parks and beaches remain crowded thanks to good weather.

    This makes me wonder if outdoor temperature and sunlight (as we know UV kills coronachan) is undervalued in its controlling effect on transmission, since Ireland has had a solid 6 weeks of excellent weather and sunshine – which is highly unusual, and perhaps very lucky.

    If this is the case, it gives me great concern for a second wave in the autumn.

    • Agree: Anatoly Karlin
    • Replies: @Lars Porsena
    If there is strong seasonality for this virus, why is it hitting Brazil now? Am I missing something about the climate of Brazil?
  26. The Visegrad nations, Austria, and Ukraine – which all did introduce mandatory masking early on – seem to have done better than Russia, to the extent that comparisons can be made (there is no megapolis on Moscow’s scale there; OTOH, all of them have much greater travel links with Europe, and Ukraine had accepted back 100,000’s of returning Gastarbeiters). I am not sure that the Moscow detonation would have happened in the absence of this “West worship.”

    It’s annoying that you continue to make the same point, when I already exposed it to be untrue. The Ukraine is testing 7000 people per day. Russia is testing 250.000. How the fuck do you even try to compare that?

    Perversely, you seem to be rewarding Ukrainian regime for keeping testing at a bare minimum. ‘You can’t have a big epidemic when you don’t test’. Then there is Visegrad superstar Poland. Take a look at this chart and tell me in what way Polish measures succeeded?

    Why is the number of new cases not declining in Poland? They wear masks and the country is under economy crushing lockdown. Where did you get this idea that Poland’s doing better?

    Worshipping a bunch of shitty Eastern European countries is even lamer than West worship. At least Western countries have something going for them, so worship can be at least somewhat justified, but Poland? Come on!

    • Agree: Ms Karlin-Gerard
  27. What our leaders should do is apologize over creating this enormous panic over a flu. Masks vs. no masks is a pointless debate when the doomsayers have been thoroughly proven wrong and we should obviously just cancel all the corona measures and go back to normal life.

    Mask use in Helsinki among non-Asian men is roughly 0 % and among women a few %. The streets are full of people again and few people seem to take the virus seriously at this point but men didn’t use masks even at the height of the panic.

    • Agree: LondonBob
    • Replies: @melanf
    This is probably good advice for Finland or neighboring Karelia, but not for megapolis.
    , @Philip Owen
    It is now very clear from figures that I analyze that in cities smaller than Manchester the death rate has been omparable to the 2018 flu. The difference is that the flu took its toll over 5 months and SARS2 in about 5 weeks. The big UK cities with extraordinary numbers of excess deaths were London, Birmingham, Manchester and Glasgow. Liverpool, Leeds and Newcastle not so much. The first group all have international airports which stayed open as much as possible. The second group. Other factors may apply such as immigrants communities but the second group and some not mentioned also have heavy concentrations of immigrants (Bristol, Leicester for example). They have not had such strong spikes of excess deaths. Airports, density and mass transit journeys all appear to have a role in broadening the attack rate. So a broad attack rate but the worst infections per 100,000 were in the left behind former industrial areas particularly those with a steel industry connection.

    I suspect masks will reduce infection in multi million cities. Elsewhere other dynamics are important.
  28. @Hemid
    Alt right media characters are uniformly Sinophilic, more so even than white communists are. Their fealty to China, even before the virus, is so mindless and implausible it looks like a fed op (because, like all alt-right things, it is).

    Anti-China sentiment is only notable among average Republican voters and black people. It's a lower middle / underclass phenomenon, an antiestablishment reflex. The fed right has none of those.

    Even the majority of Democrat voters have negative views of China. Also, more educated people are more likely to have negative views of China, not the other way around.

    https://www.pewresearch.org/global/2020/04/21/u-s-views-of-china-increasingly-negative-amid-coronavirus-outbreak/

    72 % vs 62 % is not a major gap, though it is statistically significant.

    In the current political campaign standoff the Democrats are trying to blame Trump for corona while the Republicans are trying to blame China so anti-Chinese sentiment among Democrats gets muffled while among Republicans it gets amplified. If the President was a Democrat you’d see these roles somewhat reversed.

    When alt-right “leaders” like Richard Spencer come out against Hong Kong protests etc, they’re reflexively opposing the Harvard educated worldview, not the other way around. American leftist elites are firmly anti-CCP, it’s just that they want a different type of campaign that Trump does – they want less direct confrontation and more ideological subversion with their NGO / media / intelligence agency complex.

    • Agree: EldnahYm
  29. @dfordoom

    What if the epidemic was necessary to carry out the operation to vilify and isolate China?
     
    I don't buy the idea that the epidemic was manufactured for that purpose, but it has certainly been used to carry out the operation to vilify and isolate China.

    And idiot alt-righters with their China hatred are playing into the hands of those who want another Cold War.

    Actually the major twin planks of any sane right wing policy platform in the US have always been cutting down on immigration and reversing the deindustrialization wrought by neoliberal trade policy. That’s what “MAGA” was always about during the “candidate Trump” era before it devolved into your standard tax cuts for the elites and fellating Israel GOP cuckery once Trump was actually in office. Cutting our dependence on China has been one of the distinguishing features of the “real” right vs the neocon controlled cucks since at least the time of Pat Buchanan, and if there is one good thing that comes out of Corona despite Trump’s utterly incompetent handling of it it will be strengthening the push to economically deinvest from China.

    In a more general sense, Corona should have been a godsend to the America-First wing of the Right after being stifled for the first 3 years of the Trump administration. Here you have the perfect opportunity to highlight the pitfalls of open borders globalism as the whole problem was at its root a creation of the globohomo paradigm. Foreigners brought it here, and our dependence on foreign countries for basic manufacturing crippled our ability to respond to it and put thousands of our first responders at risk of death and disability from lack of PPE as well as raising the specter of major shortages of crucial pharmaceutical products.

    Instead, Trump botched it by trying to downplay the whole situation in an idiotic attempt to prop up the stock market that was always doomed to fail. At a stroke, he reversed the polarity of the situation and instead of Corona being a tool the Right could use against globohomo, it’s now a tool globohomo can use against the Right. It’s perhaps one of the most comically incompetent bits of politics in the last hundred years: giving up the right to use Corona in furtherance of your long term political goals in exchange for delaying the stock market selloff by at most a few days. It’s so idiotic that it absolutely boggles the mind but it’s completely in character for the buffoon in the White House. What’s truly pathetic is how many people on the Right, even those on sites like this one that usually know better, followed the clown over the cliff to moronic derangement.

    • Agree: Anatoly Karlin
    • Replies: @EldnahYm
    Agreed with your main point, but a few nitpicky points I want to add:

    - I don't know where Steve Bannon fits in the alt-right/alt-light category, but he is an example of someone directly involved with MAGA who has been on board with the foreign policy hostility shenanigans towards China since the beginning. So I would argue dfordoom is correct in criticizing idiotic right wingers on this issue, and that blaming future foreign policy idiocy towards China only on neocons is a mistake.

    - Even without dependence on China, with foreigners all kept out, and with adequate production of masks and other supplies, the U.S. still would not have prevented a major outbreak. What was lacking was the political will to aggressively quarantine all people returning from Italy. Travelers from Italy were a far bigger problem than China, and so we would still have had a major outbreak. This particular issue is not about globalization, it's more about the decadence of public health officials(they similarly bungled the AIDS epidemic, and have consistently made moronic statements about the ineffectiveness of quarantines).

    - To the extent that he articulated a consistent message at all, I wouldn't say Trump was necessarily anti-globalization all the time. In some cases he just argued the U.S. should have more policies that benefit U.S. exporters, because other countries are cheating. The only reason I bring this point up at all, is that "America first" should not necessarily be about making the world better for U.S. exporters. In some cases that might be the right policy, but in others the correct policy will be to have less trade overall. Then there are cases like foreign companies moving operations inside the U.S., an issue where I have not seen an articulate position offered by anyone.
  30. @Jaakko Raipala
    What our leaders should do is apologize over creating this enormous panic over a flu. Masks vs. no masks is a pointless debate when the doomsayers have been thoroughly proven wrong and we should obviously just cancel all the corona measures and go back to normal life.

    Mask use in Helsinki among non-Asian men is roughly 0 % and among women a few %. The streets are full of people again and few people seem to take the virus seriously at this point but men didn't use masks even at the height of the panic.

    This is probably good advice for Finland or neighboring Karelia, but not for megapolis.

    • Replies: @Jaakko Raipala
    To the contrary, it's even better advice for big cities since herd immunity in hubs is the way to stop this virus.

    Remember when we were told that we need to "flatten the curve" and slow the spread so that health services aren't overwhelmed? This idea implies that the disease is going to spread until herd immunity and in affected population centers most are going to get it. The health services are not overwhelmed and they won't be as now we know for sure that this virus is not very dangerous.

    At this point the important thing to tell people is that there's really no need to worry about getting this virus unless you're very old or already sick. Most people who get it won't even notice it. Just get the gift and contribute to herd immunity.
  31. Anatoly,

    I believe the best preventative from catching Covid 19 is being Dead. I am sure you with your brilliant mind can find some kind of proof that a previous encounter with Death is the best preventative for Covid induced illness. Could you please get with Neil Ferguson and develop a Computer Statistical Model so we can be certain that Death is the best preventative.

    Thanks, Professor G

  32. @melanf
    This is probably good advice for Finland or neighboring Karelia, but not for megapolis.

    To the contrary, it’s even better advice for big cities since herd immunity in hubs is the way to stop this virus.

    Remember when we were told that we need to “flatten the curve” and slow the spread so that health services aren’t overwhelmed? This idea implies that the disease is going to spread until herd immunity and in affected population centers most are going to get it. The health services are not overwhelmed and they won’t be as now we know for sure that this virus is not very dangerous.

    At this point the important thing to tell people is that there’s really no need to worry about getting this virus unless you’re very old or already sick. Most people who get it won’t even notice it. Just get the gift and contribute to herd immunity.

    • Disagree: Anonymous (n)
    • Replies: @melanf

    To the contrary, it’s even better advice for big cities since herd immunity in hubs is the way to stop this virus.
     
    This is not the best option. In St. Petersburg, right now, volunteers are being recruited to test the coronavirus vaccine.
    https://www.urdupoint.com/en/world/volunteers-in-russias-st-petersburg-to-part-925927.html

    In Moscow, another team of scientists is already testing the vaccine on themselves.
    https://www.rt.com/russia/489435-coronavirus-vaccine-test-themselves/

    Such studies are being conducted everywhere in the world, so there is a chance that a vaccine will soon appear. But even if there is no vaccine - there are already accurate tests giving the result in a few hours. If such tests are mass-produced, the coronavirus can be destroyed even without a vaccine. At least for this, it is necessary to fight the spread of the coronavirus, correctly hoping for a powerful weapon against the virus that will appear

    The health services are not overwhelmed and they won’t be as now we know for sure that this virus is not very dangerous.
     
    This is simply not true. In St. Petersburg (where the epidemic is quite moderate for a megalopolis), health services are overwhelmed. The only thing that saves health services is that new hospitals have been hastily created. For example, the St. Petersburg exhibition center-before and now

    http://img3.dp.ru/images/article/2020/03/05/FA8BB0DA-2D92-4D2F-BC31-6F920D883462.jpg

    https://cdn.spbdnevnik.ru/uploads/block/image/427221/__large___medium_A54I5253.jpg.jpg.jpg

    And St. Petersburg is currently a relatively successful case among megacities
  33. @utu
    I did not say that the epidemic was manufactured. On this issue I am agnostic and open to see more evidence. What I said is that the West missed every opportunity to timely respond to the epidemic and quash it so it occurred to me that it was not just the usual incompetence of our political class but the incompetence was amplified on purpose to manufacture the strong and global anti-Chinese sentiments.

    I did not say that the epidemic was manufactured. On this issue I am agnostic and open to see more evidence. What I said is that the West missed every opportunity to timely respond to the epidemic and quash it so it occurred to me that it was not just the usual incompetence of our political class but the incompetence was amplified on purpose to manufacture the strong and global anti-Chinese sentiments.

    I probably misunderstood you. Thanks for the clarification.

    In that case I pretty much entirely agree with you.

  34. @Jaakko Raipala
    To the contrary, it's even better advice for big cities since herd immunity in hubs is the way to stop this virus.

    Remember when we were told that we need to "flatten the curve" and slow the spread so that health services aren't overwhelmed? This idea implies that the disease is going to spread until herd immunity and in affected population centers most are going to get it. The health services are not overwhelmed and they won't be as now we know for sure that this virus is not very dangerous.

    At this point the important thing to tell people is that there's really no need to worry about getting this virus unless you're very old or already sick. Most people who get it won't even notice it. Just get the gift and contribute to herd immunity.

    To the contrary, it’s even better advice for big cities since herd immunity in hubs is the way to stop this virus.

    This is not the best option. In St. Petersburg, right now, volunteers are being recruited to test the coronavirus vaccine.
    https://www.urdupoint.com/en/world/volunteers-in-russias-st-petersburg-to-part-925927.html

    In Moscow, another team of scientists is already testing the vaccine on themselves.
    https://www.rt.com/russia/489435-coronavirus-vaccine-test-themselves/

    Such studies are being conducted everywhere in the world, so there is a chance that a vaccine will soon appear. But even if there is no vaccine – there are already accurate tests giving the result in a few hours. If such tests are mass-produced, the coronavirus can be destroyed even without a vaccine. At least for this, it is necessary to fight the spread of the coronavirus, correctly hoping for a powerful weapon against the virus that will appear

    The health services are not overwhelmed and they won’t be as now we know for sure that this virus is not very dangerous.

    This is simply not true. In St. Petersburg (where the epidemic is quite moderate for a megalopolis), health services are overwhelmed. The only thing that saves health services is that new hospitals have been hastily created. For example, the St. Petersburg exhibition center-before and now

    And St. Petersburg is currently a relatively successful case among megacities

    • Agree: Anatoly Karlin, dfordoom
    • Replies: @neutral
    I just see empty beds, so unless this was supposed to show the under construction part of this, does this not show that there was no need for this?
    , @Jaakko Raipala
    Of course there's already a vaccination method for the corona virus - you just infect a person with the virus and let their body develop antibodies. That's what a rapidly rushed vaccine is going to be. The "vaccination strategy" is not an alternative to herd immunity, it IS herd immunity, except that you'll waste time and resources in all these measures to prevent the spread of the disease and then you'll spend more time and resources on a program to inject people with the virus anyway.

    Might as well just let the disease spread since 99.9 % of us will either not notice a thing or at most have to spend a few days under blankets. A small number of people will develop complications - but a small number of people will develop complications after a vaccine as well and the rushed first vaccine that's essentially the same as being naturally exposed to the disease is rather likely to have a similar rate of complications.

    There are more developed vaccines where instead of the actual pathogen they inject you with a cocktail of modified particles that spark a similar immune system response in the body but do not have the same risk of actually causing disease. These are the vaccines that require years of testing to make sure that they have no serious side effects or risks - there have been some serious horror stories when experimental treatments have been rushed.

    I was hoping to catch the corona virus (and I may have) so that I get natural immunity and perhaps become a living source of vaccine, eg. blood plasma transfusions to elderly relatives could be a safe form of vaccination. I would also happily be a human trial for the kind of first generation vaccine that's basically just injecting the virus and causing the disease in me. We already know that this is not very dangerous to a healthy man of my age.

    However when people talk about a corona virus vaccine, they expect the same kind of engineered and trial tested vaccines that have been perfected over decades for other diseases. That can't be rushed and the risks are going to be uncertain for anyone who takes one of these early on. I would not take one of these experimental vaccines now. Why would I risk it when the corona virus is not a real risk to me?

    Anyway, the point is, rushed vaccine vs. controlled spread of the disease is a false distinction. The rushed vaccine will just be another way of spreading the disease to achieve herd immunity.
    , @Dmitry

    testing the vaccine on themselves.
     
    This is a bit eccentric - Aleksandr Gintsburg, director of Ministry of Health's epidemiology/microbiology research centre (in Russia), claims he has already injected himself with the vaccine.

    This old grandfather has survived, and not turned into the incredible Hulk. ^
    https://www.gazeta.ru/social/2020/05/25/13095349.shtml

    However, they are only doing preclinical trials of that vaccine at the moment.

    So their timeline is further behind than other vaccine development, where they are beginning human trials.

    Generally, most optimists still predict the successful/tested vaccination will not be at least until the end of 2020.

  35. I always laugh when I see people driving around wearing a mask. I have a pack of Chinese KN95 masks, and you should see the looks I get when people see the Pinyin branding on it.

    BTW, those fancy N95 masks with exhaust valves severely diminish the protective value to others.

  36. @trelane
    The common light blue, paper towel-like mask with loose rubber band loops strapped behind the ears is not PPE. Very little if any reduction in R0 from use of this 2 cent item.

    A proper USA 3M N95 mask costs at least $7, fits closely around the mouth and nose, has a check valve for exhalation, has a service life of 8 hours and will not be available to the civilian U.S. population until at least early 2021 and then only in very limited quantities.

    Wrong, and discussed extensively in the post. If you have proper studies arguing the opposite – feel free to lay them out.

    • Replies: @trelane
    Fake masks don't provide much real protection IMHO.
  37. @brabantian
    Oxford University study of the Brit-bongs:

    59% per cent believe that to some extent the government is misleading the public

    62% agree to some extent that the virus is man-made

    21% believe the virus is a hoax

    The above from Aangirfan's extensive coverage on her site, most recently:

    http://aanirfan.blogspot.com/2020/05/coronavirus-33.html

    21% believe the virus is a hoax

    The virus is real; the response is the hoax.

  38. @melanf

    To the contrary, it’s even better advice for big cities since herd immunity in hubs is the way to stop this virus.
     
    This is not the best option. In St. Petersburg, right now, volunteers are being recruited to test the coronavirus vaccine.
    https://www.urdupoint.com/en/world/volunteers-in-russias-st-petersburg-to-part-925927.html

    In Moscow, another team of scientists is already testing the vaccine on themselves.
    https://www.rt.com/russia/489435-coronavirus-vaccine-test-themselves/

    Such studies are being conducted everywhere in the world, so there is a chance that a vaccine will soon appear. But even if there is no vaccine - there are already accurate tests giving the result in a few hours. If such tests are mass-produced, the coronavirus can be destroyed even without a vaccine. At least for this, it is necessary to fight the spread of the coronavirus, correctly hoping for a powerful weapon against the virus that will appear

    The health services are not overwhelmed and they won’t be as now we know for sure that this virus is not very dangerous.
     
    This is simply not true. In St. Petersburg (where the epidemic is quite moderate for a megalopolis), health services are overwhelmed. The only thing that saves health services is that new hospitals have been hastily created. For example, the St. Petersburg exhibition center-before and now

    http://img3.dp.ru/images/article/2020/03/05/FA8BB0DA-2D92-4D2F-BC31-6F920D883462.jpg

    https://cdn.spbdnevnik.ru/uploads/block/image/427221/__large___medium_A54I5253.jpg.jpg.jpg

    And St. Petersburg is currently a relatively successful case among megacities

    I just see empty beds, so unless this was supposed to show the under construction part of this, does this not show that there was no need for this?

    • Replies: @melanf

    I just see empty beds, so unless this was supposed to show the under construction part of this, does this not show that there was no need for this?
     
    This is a picture of when the hospital was being prepared. Now there are more than 500 people there, but it is strictly forbidden to take photos. However, these are mostly patients with a mild form, who were driven there for the sake of isolation (if old people, pregnant women, etc. live in their house).
    But other new hospitals have been created for the seriously ill, with several thousand new hospital beds. And this is with a very moderate coronavirus epidemic
  39. @Znzn
    The only whites that can do grinds very well seem to be the Roman legions, whose whole strategy seems to be outlasting the impetuous Gauls in a slogging match and then routing them when the Gauls start to get tired and run individually.

    “The only whites that can do grinds very well seem to be the Roman legions, whose whole strategy seems to be outlasting the impetuous Gauls in a slogging match and then routing them”.
    There’s an element of truth here — the Roman’s would grind down enemies. However, it’s also a little unfair — it implies that the Romans lacked tactical/operational subtlety or nuance.
    Dig into the greatest Roman confrontation with Gaul, the battle of Alesia, & I think you will find that “grind” is an inadequate descriptor.

  40. It’s “Southern England”, or possibly “the South of England”. No one says “South England”, that sounds very American sort of phraseology to me.

    • Agree: UK
  41. @dfordoom
    I suspect that the aversion to mask-wearing in the US, Britain and Australia is mostly due to anti-Chinese hysteria. Masks are bad because Chinese wear them and Chinese are nasty foreigners and evil communists.

    Yes, I believe people are that stupid.

    No, it’s because there is a big cultural aversion to people covering their face in Britain that is difficult and slow to overcome. If someone walked into pay for petrol with a motorbike helmet on in the UK they would likely be refused service until they removed it, whereas I’ve seen it happen in many other countries and no one cares if they’re wearing the helmet in the shop or not.

    Basically, face covering in the UK is strongly associated with being a criminal, so to suddenly go from mask wearing being a huge cultural taboo to being the norm is a huge ask, because people’s natural response to the idea of wearing a mask is to assume that people will think they’re some sort of criminal.

  42. @neutral
    I just see empty beds, so unless this was supposed to show the under construction part of this, does this not show that there was no need for this?

    I just see empty beds, so unless this was supposed to show the under construction part of this, does this not show that there was no need for this?

    This is a picture of when the hospital was being prepared. Now there are more than 500 people there, but it is strictly forbidden to take photos. However, these are mostly patients with a mild form, who were driven there for the sake of isolation (if old people, pregnant women, etc. live in their house).
    But other new hospitals have been created for the seriously ill, with several thousand new hospital beds. And this is with a very moderate coronavirus epidemic

  43. Masks are stupid. They don’t really help a lot. Masks are filthy and not helpful for breathing. They won’t protect you from serious stuff. And for most people who will never be sick from this virus, they are worthless. They are more an exercise in social conformity. That’s why Asians love it.

    Perhaps this was all a Muslim plot to legalize burkas for all? Maybe they need to complement it with a lice epidemic in order to promote hair covering as well?

    Basically, face covering in the UK is strongly associated with being a criminal.

    And they are right. See Antifa and all. Or terrrorists. Or blacks. Whatever. Who says a lot of people in this brave new multiculti world won’t use this new fad for masks for robberies and other criminal acts?

    In high-trust societies becoming low-trust, it is important to see people’s faces. It gives us a lot of information about others.

    Do masks mess up with face recognition systems? Well maybe that would be one positive aspect, but if it is mandatory, it kind of defeats the purpose. We are all in the NWO already anyway.

    • Replies: @128
    Your posts happen to fit your name.
  44. In finland around 5% wear masks. But because our culture is introverted and population is not densely populated we are doing allright.

  45. @Dumbo
    Masks are stupid. They don't really help a lot. Masks are filthy and not helpful for breathing. They won't protect you from serious stuff. And for most people who will never be sick from this virus, they are worthless. They are more an exercise in social conformity. That's why Asians love it.

    Perhaps this was all a Muslim plot to legalize burkas for all? Maybe they need to complement it with a lice epidemic in order to promote hair covering as well?

    Basically, face covering in the UK is strongly associated with being a criminal.
     
    And they are right. See Antifa and all. Or terrrorists. Or blacks. Whatever. Who says a lot of people in this brave new multiculti world won't use this new fad for masks for robberies and other criminal acts?

    In high-trust societies becoming low-trust, it is important to see people's faces. It gives us a lot of information about others.

    Do masks mess up with face recognition systems? Well maybe that would be one positive aspect, but if it is mandatory, it kind of defeats the purpose. We are all in the NWO already anyway.

    Your posts happen to fit your name.

    • Replies: @Dumbo
    A brilliant witticism. I'm impressed. Move over, Oscar Wilde.
  46. @Jaakko Raipala
    What our leaders should do is apologize over creating this enormous panic over a flu. Masks vs. no masks is a pointless debate when the doomsayers have been thoroughly proven wrong and we should obviously just cancel all the corona measures and go back to normal life.

    Mask use in Helsinki among non-Asian men is roughly 0 % and among women a few %. The streets are full of people again and few people seem to take the virus seriously at this point but men didn't use masks even at the height of the panic.

    It is now very clear from figures that I analyze that in cities smaller than Manchester the death rate has been omparable to the 2018 flu. The difference is that the flu took its toll over 5 months and SARS2 in about 5 weeks. The big UK cities with extraordinary numbers of excess deaths were London, Birmingham, Manchester and Glasgow. Liverpool, Leeds and Newcastle not so much. The first group all have international airports which stayed open as much as possible. The second group. Other factors may apply such as immigrants communities but the second group and some not mentioned also have heavy concentrations of immigrants (Bristol, Leicester for example). They have not had such strong spikes of excess deaths. Airports, density and mass transit journeys all appear to have a role in broadening the attack rate. So a broad attack rate but the worst infections per 100,000 were in the left behind former industrial areas particularly those with a steel industry connection.

    I suspect masks will reduce infection in multi million cities. Elsewhere other dynamics are important.

  47. Only terrorists wear masks.

  48. @128
    Your posts happen to fit your name.

    A brilliant witticism. I’m impressed. Move over, Oscar Wilde.

    • Replies: @128
    If the shoe fits?
  49. @Dumbo
    A brilliant witticism. I'm impressed. Move over, Oscar Wilde.

    If the shoe fits?

  50. If one compares the Germanic parts of Switzerland with Austria, one finds no difference in the CO-19 numbers. Masks are obligatory in Austria whereas they are not in Switzerland (and lots of Swiss people don’t wear masks indeed).
    For example, for yesterday there was one additional death reported from Austria and none for Switzerland and about 50 new cases for Austria and thirty for Switzerland (but these are basically the numbers now for the 8 Million+ Swiss respectively Austrian citizens – and they can be the other way round as well).

    There is a comparable experiment going on in the German cities of Jena and Rostock – Jena asked its citizens early on to wear masks, whereas Rostock just asked for social distancing and the control for incoming strangers. – No difference in the CO-19 numbers. Both cities doing better than average.

    • Replies: @melanf

    There is a comparable experiment going on in the German cities of Jena and Rostock – Jena asked its citizens early on to wear masks, whereas Rostock just asked for social distancing and the control for incoming strangers. – No difference in the CO-19 numbers. Both cities doing better than average.
     
    It is necessary to compare large cities with metro and popular public transport. Small cities with a sane population (or even a moderately insane population) will successfully resist infection even without masks
  51. @melanf

    To the contrary, it’s even better advice for big cities since herd immunity in hubs is the way to stop this virus.
     
    This is not the best option. In St. Petersburg, right now, volunteers are being recruited to test the coronavirus vaccine.
    https://www.urdupoint.com/en/world/volunteers-in-russias-st-petersburg-to-part-925927.html

    In Moscow, another team of scientists is already testing the vaccine on themselves.
    https://www.rt.com/russia/489435-coronavirus-vaccine-test-themselves/

    Such studies are being conducted everywhere in the world, so there is a chance that a vaccine will soon appear. But even if there is no vaccine - there are already accurate tests giving the result in a few hours. If such tests are mass-produced, the coronavirus can be destroyed even without a vaccine. At least for this, it is necessary to fight the spread of the coronavirus, correctly hoping for a powerful weapon against the virus that will appear

    The health services are not overwhelmed and they won’t be as now we know for sure that this virus is not very dangerous.
     
    This is simply not true. In St. Petersburg (where the epidemic is quite moderate for a megalopolis), health services are overwhelmed. The only thing that saves health services is that new hospitals have been hastily created. For example, the St. Petersburg exhibition center-before and now

    http://img3.dp.ru/images/article/2020/03/05/FA8BB0DA-2D92-4D2F-BC31-6F920D883462.jpg

    https://cdn.spbdnevnik.ru/uploads/block/image/427221/__large___medium_A54I5253.jpg.jpg.jpg

    And St. Petersburg is currently a relatively successful case among megacities

    Of course there’s already a vaccination method for the corona virus – you just infect a person with the virus and let their body develop antibodies. That’s what a rapidly rushed vaccine is going to be. The “vaccination strategy” is not an alternative to herd immunity, it IS herd immunity, except that you’ll waste time and resources in all these measures to prevent the spread of the disease and then you’ll spend more time and resources on a program to inject people with the virus anyway.

    Might as well just let the disease spread since 99.9 % of us will either not notice a thing or at most have to spend a few days under blankets. A small number of people will develop complications – but a small number of people will develop complications after a vaccine as well and the rushed first vaccine that’s essentially the same as being naturally exposed to the disease is rather likely to have a similar rate of complications.

    There are more developed vaccines where instead of the actual pathogen they inject you with a cocktail of modified particles that spark a similar immune system response in the body but do not have the same risk of actually causing disease. These are the vaccines that require years of testing to make sure that they have no serious side effects or risks – there have been some serious horror stories when experimental treatments have been rushed.

    I was hoping to catch the corona virus (and I may have) so that I get natural immunity and perhaps become a living source of vaccine, eg. blood plasma transfusions to elderly relatives could be a safe form of vaccination. I would also happily be a human trial for the kind of first generation vaccine that’s basically just injecting the virus and causing the disease in me. We already know that this is not very dangerous to a healthy man of my age.

    However when people talk about a corona virus vaccine, they expect the same kind of engineered and trial tested vaccines that have been perfected over decades for other diseases. That can’t be rushed and the risks are going to be uncertain for anyone who takes one of these early on. I would not take one of these experimental vaccines now. Why would I risk it when the corona virus is not a real risk to me?

    Anyway, the point is, rushed vaccine vs. controlled spread of the disease is a false distinction. The rushed vaccine will just be another way of spreading the disease to achieve herd immunity.

    • Replies: @melanf

    Anyway, the point is, rushed vaccine vs. controlled spread of the disease is a false distinction. The rushed vaccine will just be another way of spreading the disease to achieve herd immunity.
     
    Vaccination means the spread of a mild and non-contagious form of infection, with the number of cases / deaths several orders of magnitude less than the number of cases / deaths caused by the spread of a natural infection. This is a fundamental difference
    , @UK

    I would not take one of these experimental vaccines now. Why would I risk it when the corona virus is not a real risk to me
     
    This points to an interesting fact. For a cure to be worth it, it has to be less bad than the disease; and given that this disease is almost ephemeral for everyone already healthy under 60, it seems that the standard which a vaccine would have to pass would be very high indeed.

    I suspect that any initial vaccine will be given to the elderly and infirm and may even be advised against for those who are younger.

    I suspect we'll see but it would follow the same pattern as the flu vaccine in this case. It is also likely to be similarly only partially effective.
    , @Anatoly Karlin
    Assuming you're talking of variolation, that's a reasonable strategy to pursue, if the chances of eventual wide spread are assessed to be very high anyway. Robin Hanson has been pushing it from the start. However, will it be politically feasible?
    , @Dumbo
    Yeah, right, let's make people get voluntarily infected with a lung virus by letting a Chinese from a wet market cough in their face. Right or wrong, most people trust "vaccines" and are afraid of "viruses", even though they are actually basically the same thing (in attenuated form).
  52. @Jaakko Raipala
    Of course there's already a vaccination method for the corona virus - you just infect a person with the virus and let their body develop antibodies. That's what a rapidly rushed vaccine is going to be. The "vaccination strategy" is not an alternative to herd immunity, it IS herd immunity, except that you'll waste time and resources in all these measures to prevent the spread of the disease and then you'll spend more time and resources on a program to inject people with the virus anyway.

    Might as well just let the disease spread since 99.9 % of us will either not notice a thing or at most have to spend a few days under blankets. A small number of people will develop complications - but a small number of people will develop complications after a vaccine as well and the rushed first vaccine that's essentially the same as being naturally exposed to the disease is rather likely to have a similar rate of complications.

    There are more developed vaccines where instead of the actual pathogen they inject you with a cocktail of modified particles that spark a similar immune system response in the body but do not have the same risk of actually causing disease. These are the vaccines that require years of testing to make sure that they have no serious side effects or risks - there have been some serious horror stories when experimental treatments have been rushed.

    I was hoping to catch the corona virus (and I may have) so that I get natural immunity and perhaps become a living source of vaccine, eg. blood plasma transfusions to elderly relatives could be a safe form of vaccination. I would also happily be a human trial for the kind of first generation vaccine that's basically just injecting the virus and causing the disease in me. We already know that this is not very dangerous to a healthy man of my age.

    However when people talk about a corona virus vaccine, they expect the same kind of engineered and trial tested vaccines that have been perfected over decades for other diseases. That can't be rushed and the risks are going to be uncertain for anyone who takes one of these early on. I would not take one of these experimental vaccines now. Why would I risk it when the corona virus is not a real risk to me?

    Anyway, the point is, rushed vaccine vs. controlled spread of the disease is a false distinction. The rushed vaccine will just be another way of spreading the disease to achieve herd immunity.

    Anyway, the point is, rushed vaccine vs. controlled spread of the disease is a false distinction. The rushed vaccine will just be another way of spreading the disease to achieve herd immunity.

    Vaccination means the spread of a mild and non-contagious form of infection, with the number of cases / deaths several orders of magnitude less than the number of cases / deaths caused by the spread of a natural infection. This is a fundamental difference

    • Replies: @Jaakko Raipala

    Vaccination means the spread of a mild and non-contagious form of infection,
     
    Maybe in a dictionary but to journalists vaccination, immunization, inoculation etc are all the same thing and used interchangeably. So two different things:

    (a) The semi-guaranteed immunity through inoculation: give some of the virus to a person to get the body to learn to produce antibodies. We know that the body can defeat this virus, therefore we know that this is possible and can be produced quickly with the downside that people might get symptoms.

    (b) The not guaranteed further developments: creating a virus or parts of virus that doesn't cause disease but that's still close enough in structure to the corona virus to provoke the immune system to produce antibodies. No one knows when or whether we'll come up with such a substance and side effects will not be known for sure until years of trials so it might eventually turn out to be worse than the actual disease.

    When you see the press talking about a vaccine that might be coming soon they're usually talking about (a) but people assume that they're talking about (b). If some doc injected stuff into himself and he now says that he has antibodies, it's probably (a).

    Since (a) is not really that different from just having the virus naturally and we already know that this virus does basically nothing to healthy young people we might as well just encourage natural spread among the youth. We could do (a) too as it seems like it would be acceptable to the public in a way that controlled spread towards herd immunity isn't (which makes no sense but people aren't rational right now).

    The plan of waiting for (b) really does not make sense in a risk balance perspective. We can either have healthy people experience a flu like disease and develop safe natural antibodies or we can rush to give everyone some synthetic substance that has been politically given a pass to skip the usual trials for long term side effects.
  53. @Dieter Kief
    If one compares the Germanic parts of Switzerland with Austria, one finds no difference in the CO-19 numbers. Masks are obligatory in Austria whereas they are not in Switzerland (and lots of Swiss people don't wear masks indeed).
    For example, for yesterday there was one additional death reported from Austria and none for Switzerland and about 50 new cases for Austria and thirty for Switzerland (but these are basically the numbers now for the 8 Million+ Swiss respectively Austrian citizens - and they can be the other way round as well).

    There is a comparable experiment going on in the German cities of Jena and Rostock - Jena asked its citizens early on to wear masks, whereas Rostock just asked for social distancing and the control for incoming strangers. - No difference in the CO-19 numbers. Both cities doing better than average.

    There is a comparable experiment going on in the German cities of Jena and Rostock – Jena asked its citizens early on to wear masks, whereas Rostock just asked for social distancing and the control for incoming strangers. – No difference in the CO-19 numbers. Both cities doing better than average.

    It is necessary to compare large cities with metro and popular public transport. Small cities with a sane population (or even a moderately insane population) will successfully resist infection even without masks

    • Replies: @Dieter Kief
    There is hardly any metro line in any of the two countries. None in Basel, Zürich, Salzburg, Graz... a few lines in Vienna - that's it. The biggest Swiss city is Zürich with 350 000 Inhabitants...
  54. UK says:
    @Jaakko Raipala
    Of course there's already a vaccination method for the corona virus - you just infect a person with the virus and let their body develop antibodies. That's what a rapidly rushed vaccine is going to be. The "vaccination strategy" is not an alternative to herd immunity, it IS herd immunity, except that you'll waste time and resources in all these measures to prevent the spread of the disease and then you'll spend more time and resources on a program to inject people with the virus anyway.

    Might as well just let the disease spread since 99.9 % of us will either not notice a thing or at most have to spend a few days under blankets. A small number of people will develop complications - but a small number of people will develop complications after a vaccine as well and the rushed first vaccine that's essentially the same as being naturally exposed to the disease is rather likely to have a similar rate of complications.

    There are more developed vaccines where instead of the actual pathogen they inject you with a cocktail of modified particles that spark a similar immune system response in the body but do not have the same risk of actually causing disease. These are the vaccines that require years of testing to make sure that they have no serious side effects or risks - there have been some serious horror stories when experimental treatments have been rushed.

    I was hoping to catch the corona virus (and I may have) so that I get natural immunity and perhaps become a living source of vaccine, eg. blood plasma transfusions to elderly relatives could be a safe form of vaccination. I would also happily be a human trial for the kind of first generation vaccine that's basically just injecting the virus and causing the disease in me. We already know that this is not very dangerous to a healthy man of my age.

    However when people talk about a corona virus vaccine, they expect the same kind of engineered and trial tested vaccines that have been perfected over decades for other diseases. That can't be rushed and the risks are going to be uncertain for anyone who takes one of these early on. I would not take one of these experimental vaccines now. Why would I risk it when the corona virus is not a real risk to me?

    Anyway, the point is, rushed vaccine vs. controlled spread of the disease is a false distinction. The rushed vaccine will just be another way of spreading the disease to achieve herd immunity.

    I would not take one of these experimental vaccines now. Why would I risk it when the corona virus is not a real risk to me

    This points to an interesting fact. For a cure to be worth it, it has to be less bad than the disease; and given that this disease is almost ephemeral for everyone already healthy under 60, it seems that the standard which a vaccine would have to pass would be very high indeed.

    I suspect that any initial vaccine will be given to the elderly and infirm and may even be advised against for those who are younger.

    I suspect we’ll see but it would follow the same pattern as the flu vaccine in this case. It is also likely to be similarly only partially effective.

  55. @Jaakko Raipala
    Of course there's already a vaccination method for the corona virus - you just infect a person with the virus and let their body develop antibodies. That's what a rapidly rushed vaccine is going to be. The "vaccination strategy" is not an alternative to herd immunity, it IS herd immunity, except that you'll waste time and resources in all these measures to prevent the spread of the disease and then you'll spend more time and resources on a program to inject people with the virus anyway.

    Might as well just let the disease spread since 99.9 % of us will either not notice a thing or at most have to spend a few days under blankets. A small number of people will develop complications - but a small number of people will develop complications after a vaccine as well and the rushed first vaccine that's essentially the same as being naturally exposed to the disease is rather likely to have a similar rate of complications.

    There are more developed vaccines where instead of the actual pathogen they inject you with a cocktail of modified particles that spark a similar immune system response in the body but do not have the same risk of actually causing disease. These are the vaccines that require years of testing to make sure that they have no serious side effects or risks - there have been some serious horror stories when experimental treatments have been rushed.

    I was hoping to catch the corona virus (and I may have) so that I get natural immunity and perhaps become a living source of vaccine, eg. blood plasma transfusions to elderly relatives could be a safe form of vaccination. I would also happily be a human trial for the kind of first generation vaccine that's basically just injecting the virus and causing the disease in me. We already know that this is not very dangerous to a healthy man of my age.

    However when people talk about a corona virus vaccine, they expect the same kind of engineered and trial tested vaccines that have been perfected over decades for other diseases. That can't be rushed and the risks are going to be uncertain for anyone who takes one of these early on. I would not take one of these experimental vaccines now. Why would I risk it when the corona virus is not a real risk to me?

    Anyway, the point is, rushed vaccine vs. controlled spread of the disease is a false distinction. The rushed vaccine will just be another way of spreading the disease to achieve herd immunity.

    Assuming you’re talking of variolation, that’s a reasonable strategy to pursue, if the chances of eventual wide spread are assessed to be very high anyway. Robin Hanson has been pushing it from the start. However, will it be politically feasible?

  56. I was hoping the piece would touch on who produces the masks and how self-sufficient countries are.

    Do the Russians, like the Brits, look hopefully to the skies for a Great White Chinese Bird to bring them millions of masks, or do they make their own?

    • Replies: @Dmitry
    In Russia, locally there's only one factory which can produce a "real mask" (if you mean one which is internationally certified to protect you i.e. Russian equivalent of 3M, Draeger or Mine Safety Appliances). This is the Sorbent plant in Perm.

    Production of such "real masks" is locally quite low - a complete failure relative to how it was in the USSR. However, the population did not understand anything about masks - and it was still possible to buy one online in Russia until early April directly from the factory (because the population does not understand about the different masks, and they believe the medical mask can protect you).

    In terms of "medical masks" (which are not certified to protect you), in Russia there's both a massive importation from China and also a massive ramp up of local production.

    -

    This is kind of mask might possibly help to lower the rate of infectivity of the virus, by protecting the other people from the person who wears the mask - so it's a good policy that in many regions of Russia now there is a mask regime and it is compulsory to wear it (the opposite of the situation in the UK).

    Evidence is currently still a bit anecdotal though - i.e. that in Asian countries where wearing such medical masks is common, the epidemic has spread much less easily. Considering the low cost of the policy though and the possibility of success, I cannot see why it is not compulsory to wear such medical mask in countries like the UK yet.

    , @Philip Owen
    I am opening discussions about mask making machines with two Russian clothes factories that are currently making 3 ply surgical masks. They are not entirely broke so maybe there will be some local production. Russia was not self sufficient in masks for the construction industry, not that they were widely worn.
    , @Anatoly Karlin
    Russia produces enough of its own masks now.
  57. @melanf

    To the contrary, it’s even better advice for big cities since herd immunity in hubs is the way to stop this virus.
     
    This is not the best option. In St. Petersburg, right now, volunteers are being recruited to test the coronavirus vaccine.
    https://www.urdupoint.com/en/world/volunteers-in-russias-st-petersburg-to-part-925927.html

    In Moscow, another team of scientists is already testing the vaccine on themselves.
    https://www.rt.com/russia/489435-coronavirus-vaccine-test-themselves/

    Such studies are being conducted everywhere in the world, so there is a chance that a vaccine will soon appear. But even if there is no vaccine - there are already accurate tests giving the result in a few hours. If such tests are mass-produced, the coronavirus can be destroyed even without a vaccine. At least for this, it is necessary to fight the spread of the coronavirus, correctly hoping for a powerful weapon against the virus that will appear

    The health services are not overwhelmed and they won’t be as now we know for sure that this virus is not very dangerous.
     
    This is simply not true. In St. Petersburg (where the epidemic is quite moderate for a megalopolis), health services are overwhelmed. The only thing that saves health services is that new hospitals have been hastily created. For example, the St. Petersburg exhibition center-before and now

    http://img3.dp.ru/images/article/2020/03/05/FA8BB0DA-2D92-4D2F-BC31-6F920D883462.jpg

    https://cdn.spbdnevnik.ru/uploads/block/image/427221/__large___medium_A54I5253.jpg.jpg.jpg

    And St. Petersburg is currently a relatively successful case among megacities

    testing the vaccine on themselves.

    This is a bit eccentric – Aleksandr Gintsburg, director of Ministry of Health’s epidemiology/microbiology research centre (in Russia), claims he has already injected himself with the vaccine.

    This old grandfather has survived, and not turned into the incredible Hulk. ^
    https://www.gazeta.ru/social/2020/05/25/13095349.shtml

    However, they are only doing preclinical trials of that vaccine at the moment.

    So their timeline is further behind than other vaccine development, where they are beginning human trials.

    Generally, most optimists still predict the successful/tested vaccination will not be at least until the end of 2020.

    • Replies: @melanf

    This is a bit eccentric – Aleksandr Gintsburg, director of Ministry of Health’s epidemiology/microbiology research centre (in Russia), claims he has already injected himself with the vaccine.
     
    Well this is quite in the tradition of bacteriology and Virology


    Generally, most optimists still predict the successful/tested vaccination will not be at least until the end of 2020.
     
    Such developments are going everywhere-perhaps wherever scientists will achieve success sooner
  58. @YetAnotherAnon
    I was hoping the piece would touch on who produces the masks and how self-sufficient countries are.

    Do the Russians, like the Brits, look hopefully to the skies for a Great White Chinese Bird to bring them millions of masks, or do they make their own?

    In Russia, locally there’s only one factory which can produce a “real mask” (if you mean one which is internationally certified to protect you i.e. Russian equivalent of 3M, Draeger or Mine Safety Appliances). This is the Sorbent plant in Perm.

    Production of such “real masks” is locally quite low – a complete failure relative to how it was in the USSR. However, the population did not understand anything about masks – and it was still possible to buy one online in Russia until early April directly from the factory (because the population does not understand about the different masks, and they believe the medical mask can protect you).

    In terms of “medical masks” (which are not certified to protect you), in Russia there’s both a massive importation from China and also a massive ramp up of local production.

    This is kind of mask might possibly help to lower the rate of infectivity of the virus, by protecting the other people from the person who wears the mask – so it’s a good policy that in many regions of Russia now there is a mask regime and it is compulsory to wear it (the opposite of the situation in the UK).

    Evidence is currently still a bit anecdotal though – i.e. that in Asian countries where wearing such medical masks is common, the epidemic has spread much less easily. Considering the low cost of the policy though and the possibility of success, I cannot see why it is not compulsory to wear such medical mask in countries like the UK yet.

  59. @UK
    Sao Paulo has had compulsory mask wearing in all public spaces for a very long time now. It also had its parks closed. Adherence was tight. Furthermore, masks were enforced even for walking on the empty pavements over two weeks ago. Yet Coronavirus escalated there during that time even as states like Santa Caterina had barely any mask wearing and open bars and restaurants and few cases, and even less growth.

    I have no explanation to offer but I can say that I'm glad that I am now in a state which has opened up. Public unmasked life really is something to be treasured. I imagine you'll see for yourself whenever things open up wherever you are too.

    Sao Paulo has had compulsory mask wearing in all public spaces for a very long time now. It also had its parks closed. Adherence was tight. Furthermore, masks were enforced even for walking on the empty pavements over two weeks ago. Yet Coronavirus escalated there during that time even as states like Santa Caterina had barely any mask wearing and open bars and restaurants and few cases, and even less growth.

    According to Wikipedia, its population density is almost 3 times lower than Sao Paulo’s. Many of the people are descendants of 19th century rural Germans, who earned a high reputation of cleanliness and order wherever they settled. And this quote implies they aren’t just white and rich, but actually caring about their neighbors. Hard policing might as well be superfluous in such a society (like in the towns Dieter Kief wrote about in this thread).

    The state’s social indexes are among the best in Brazil. It has the highest rate of life expectancy in the country (just like the Federal District), the lowest infant mortality rate and is also the state with the lowest economic inequality and illiteracy in Brazil. Santa Catarina has the 6th highest GDP in the country, with a diverse economy and strong affinities to industrialization. An important export and consumption hub, it is one of the fastest-growing states in the Brazilian economy and accounts for 4% of the country’s gross domestic product.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Santa_Catarina_(state)

    • Replies: @UK
    What would the police be policing? In the morning I was forced to wear a mask on an empty pavement in Sao Paulo, in the evening, and after a long drive, I was quite legally in a busy pub in neighbouring state having a drink.

    Sao Paulo continued to get worse, meanwhile Santa Caterina remained largely unaffected and has relaxed even more since.

    Also, I may very likely be immune but I can't be the only self-exile from SP.
  60. @melanf

    Anyway, the point is, rushed vaccine vs. controlled spread of the disease is a false distinction. The rushed vaccine will just be another way of spreading the disease to achieve herd immunity.
     
    Vaccination means the spread of a mild and non-contagious form of infection, with the number of cases / deaths several orders of magnitude less than the number of cases / deaths caused by the spread of a natural infection. This is a fundamental difference

    Vaccination means the spread of a mild and non-contagious form of infection,

    Maybe in a dictionary but to journalists vaccination, immunization, inoculation etc are all the same thing and used interchangeably. So two different things:

    (a) The semi-guaranteed immunity through inoculation: give some of the virus to a person to get the body to learn to produce antibodies. We know that the body can defeat this virus, therefore we know that this is possible and can be produced quickly with the downside that people might get symptoms.

    (b) The not guaranteed further developments: creating a virus or parts of virus that doesn’t cause disease but that’s still close enough in structure to the corona virus to provoke the immune system to produce antibodies. No one knows when or whether we’ll come up with such a substance and side effects will not be known for sure until years of trials so it might eventually turn out to be worse than the actual disease.

    When you see the press talking about a vaccine that might be coming soon they’re usually talking about (a) but people assume that they’re talking about (b). If some doc injected stuff into himself and he now says that he has antibodies, it’s probably (a).

    Since (a) is not really that different from just having the virus naturally and we already know that this virus does basically nothing to healthy young people we might as well just encourage natural spread among the youth. We could do (a) too as it seems like it would be acceptable to the public in a way that controlled spread towards herd immunity isn’t (which makes no sense but people aren’t rational right now).

    The plan of waiting for (b) really does not make sense in a risk balance perspective. We can either have healthy people experience a flu like disease and develop safe natural antibodies or we can rush to give everyone some synthetic substance that has been politically given a pass to skip the usual trials for long term side effects.

  61. Is a hard lockdown like what Karlin is proposing even Constitutional, rememy that Trump has no legal authority for declare a federal lockdown.

  62. @Mr. Hack
    I remember when the pandemic was first taken as a serious threat, the resistance arsenal included wearing gloves too. Now, only food handlers and cashiers at supermarkets are seen wearing gloves.

    50% seems about right in the SW of the US too.

    Question: It looks like sometime soon outdoor swimming pools will be opening up. Aside from avoiding french-kissing strangers, any special cautions or warnings? Indoor gyms here are already opening up, however, I will not be returning anytime soon, as I'm weary of any indoor environments.

    Regarding Public Pools:

    The good news here is:

    A) Chlorine is super effective at killing the virus. It’s like bathing in Hand Sanitizer.

    B) Transmission rates outside are much much lower than in enclosed spaces, especially poorly ventilated spaces.

    C) UV light is also effective at killing viruses, and UV light is at its highest level in the summertime.

    D) Vitamin D is great for the immune system and general health.

    This all being said, I would still suggest avoiding anyplace that is overcrowded. Assuming you can keep some distance, the health benefits of being outdoors and exercise should far outweigh the risks.

    • Thanks: Mr. Hack
    • Replies: @paranoid goy

    B) Transmission rates outside are much much lower than in enclosed spaces, especially poorly ventilated spaces
     
    But, but, Karlin says we must stay indoors and wear our masks indoors and ooh this is so terrible.
    This covert plandemic could have served a wonderful purpose for mankind to practice drills for when Zion releases their Final Solution. Instead we rip the last bit of dignity from people who would have known better if they ever picked up a book that has no sexual perversions or autobiographic fables of fame and power.
    I especially like the bit where men don't wear masks for fear of looking like queers. Only a queer would not understand that attitude. It is not about looking gay, it is about looking like a friggin' wimp that believes every scary story they hear.
    This is about as low as Karlin has ever gone.
  63. @YetAnotherAnon
    I was hoping the piece would touch on who produces the masks and how self-sufficient countries are.

    Do the Russians, like the Brits, look hopefully to the skies for a Great White Chinese Bird to bring them millions of masks, or do they make their own?

    I am opening discussions about mask making machines with two Russian clothes factories that are currently making 3 ply surgical masks. They are not entirely broke so maybe there will be some local production. Russia was not self sufficient in masks for the construction industry, not that they were widely worn.

    • Replies: @melanf

    Russia was not self sufficient in masks for the construction industry, not that they were widely worn.
     
    The problem with masks is a mystery to me. In the St. Petersburg planetarium, when the epidemic began, robots and mechanisms that were shown to children were assembled into a line that produced 20 thousand masks a day

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SjMYTiV45N8&feature=emb_logo

    If the planetarium (!) is able to create a semi-automatic line for the production of masks in a few days, then why were the giants of the industry so clumsy?
  64. @Dmitry

    testing the vaccine on themselves.
     
    This is a bit eccentric - Aleksandr Gintsburg, director of Ministry of Health's epidemiology/microbiology research centre (in Russia), claims he has already injected himself with the vaccine.

    This old grandfather has survived, and not turned into the incredible Hulk. ^
    https://www.gazeta.ru/social/2020/05/25/13095349.shtml

    However, they are only doing preclinical trials of that vaccine at the moment.

    So their timeline is further behind than other vaccine development, where they are beginning human trials.

    Generally, most optimists still predict the successful/tested vaccination will not be at least until the end of 2020.

    This is a bit eccentric – Aleksandr Gintsburg, director of Ministry of Health’s epidemiology/microbiology research centre (in Russia), claims he has already injected himself with the vaccine.

    Well this is quite in the tradition of bacteriology and Virology

    Generally, most optimists still predict the successful/tested vaccination will not be at least until the end of 2020.

    Such developments are going everywhere-perhaps wherever scientists will achieve success sooner

  65. @Jaakko Raipala
    Of course there's already a vaccination method for the corona virus - you just infect a person with the virus and let their body develop antibodies. That's what a rapidly rushed vaccine is going to be. The "vaccination strategy" is not an alternative to herd immunity, it IS herd immunity, except that you'll waste time and resources in all these measures to prevent the spread of the disease and then you'll spend more time and resources on a program to inject people with the virus anyway.

    Might as well just let the disease spread since 99.9 % of us will either not notice a thing or at most have to spend a few days under blankets. A small number of people will develop complications - but a small number of people will develop complications after a vaccine as well and the rushed first vaccine that's essentially the same as being naturally exposed to the disease is rather likely to have a similar rate of complications.

    There are more developed vaccines where instead of the actual pathogen they inject you with a cocktail of modified particles that spark a similar immune system response in the body but do not have the same risk of actually causing disease. These are the vaccines that require years of testing to make sure that they have no serious side effects or risks - there have been some serious horror stories when experimental treatments have been rushed.

    I was hoping to catch the corona virus (and I may have) so that I get natural immunity and perhaps become a living source of vaccine, eg. blood plasma transfusions to elderly relatives could be a safe form of vaccination. I would also happily be a human trial for the kind of first generation vaccine that's basically just injecting the virus and causing the disease in me. We already know that this is not very dangerous to a healthy man of my age.

    However when people talk about a corona virus vaccine, they expect the same kind of engineered and trial tested vaccines that have been perfected over decades for other diseases. That can't be rushed and the risks are going to be uncertain for anyone who takes one of these early on. I would not take one of these experimental vaccines now. Why would I risk it when the corona virus is not a real risk to me?

    Anyway, the point is, rushed vaccine vs. controlled spread of the disease is a false distinction. The rushed vaccine will just be another way of spreading the disease to achieve herd immunity.

    Yeah, right, let’s make people get voluntarily infected with a lung virus by letting a Chinese from a wet market cough in their face. Right or wrong, most people trust “vaccines” and are afraid of “viruses”, even though they are actually basically the same thing (in attenuated form).

  66. UK says:
    @Toronto Russian

    Sao Paulo has had compulsory mask wearing in all public spaces for a very long time now. It also had its parks closed. Adherence was tight. Furthermore, masks were enforced even for walking on the empty pavements over two weeks ago. Yet Coronavirus escalated there during that time even as states like Santa Caterina had barely any mask wearing and open bars and restaurants and few cases, and even less growth.
     
    According to Wikipedia, its population density is almost 3 times lower than Sao Paulo's. Many of the people are descendants of 19th century rural Germans, who earned a high reputation of cleanliness and order wherever they settled. And this quote implies they aren't just white and rich, but actually caring about their neighbors. Hard policing might as well be superfluous in such a society (like in the towns Dieter Kief wrote about in this thread).

    The state's social indexes are among the best in Brazil. It has the highest rate of life expectancy in the country (just like the Federal District), the lowest infant mortality rate and is also the state with the lowest economic inequality and illiteracy in Brazil. Santa Catarina has the 6th highest GDP in the country, with a diverse economy and strong affinities to industrialization. An important export and consumption hub, it is one of the fastest-growing states in the Brazilian economy and accounts for 4% of the country's gross domestic product.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Santa_Catarina_(state)
     

    What would the police be policing? In the morning I was forced to wear a mask on an empty pavement in Sao Paulo, in the evening, and after a long drive, I was quite legally in a busy pub in neighbouring state having a drink.

    Sao Paulo continued to get worse, meanwhile Santa Caterina remained largely unaffected and has relaxed even more since.

    Also, I may very likely be immune but I can’t be the only self-exile from SP.

    • Replies: @Toronto Russian
    Thanks for your insight. There is of course a lot of unknowns in the situation. Pub goers are a small percentage of the population, and maybe their effect is simply cancelled out by hygienic habits of the majority. "Small cities with a sane population (or even a moderately insane population) will successfully resist infection even without masks" - melanf.

    The only small community in Canada where the virus spread like wildfire (it incredibly has more cases than the provincial capital, with 100 times smaller population) is a Métis village of La Loche in the far north of Saskatchewan. Like many of its kind, a hotspot of addiction and social disfunction. Other Aboriginal places barricaded themselves from the outside world from the start, knowing well what would happen if the virus got in, and were luckier than La Loche at not letting it in. In normal towns and villages with normal habits of the population, on the contrary - even if it gets in, transmission (outside nursing homes) is very low.

    Masks, as far as I know, weren't mandatory anywhere in Canada and no politician or health official appeared in them on TV.
  67. @Anonymous (n)
    Actually the major twin planks of any sane right wing policy platform in the US have always been cutting down on immigration and reversing the deindustrialization wrought by neoliberal trade policy. That's what "MAGA" was always about during the "candidate Trump" era before it devolved into your standard tax cuts for the elites and fellating Israel GOP cuckery once Trump was actually in office. Cutting our dependence on China has been one of the distinguishing features of the "real" right vs the neocon controlled cucks since at least the time of Pat Buchanan, and if there is one good thing that comes out of Corona despite Trump's utterly incompetent handling of it it will be strengthening the push to economically deinvest from China.

    In a more general sense, Corona should have been a godsend to the America-First wing of the Right after being stifled for the first 3 years of the Trump administration. Here you have the perfect opportunity to highlight the pitfalls of open borders globalism as the whole problem was at its root a creation of the globohomo paradigm. Foreigners brought it here, and our dependence on foreign countries for basic manufacturing crippled our ability to respond to it and put thousands of our first responders at risk of death and disability from lack of PPE as well as raising the specter of major shortages of crucial pharmaceutical products.

    Instead, Trump botched it by trying to downplay the whole situation in an idiotic attempt to prop up the stock market that was always doomed to fail. At a stroke, he reversed the polarity of the situation and instead of Corona being a tool the Right could use against globohomo, it's now a tool globohomo can use against the Right. It's perhaps one of the most comically incompetent bits of politics in the last hundred years: giving up the right to use Corona in furtherance of your long term political goals in exchange for delaying the stock market selloff by at most a few days. It's so idiotic that it absolutely boggles the mind but it's completely in character for the buffoon in the White House. What's truly pathetic is how many people on the Right, even those on sites like this one that usually know better, followed the clown over the cliff to moronic derangement.

    Agreed with your main point, but a few nitpicky points I want to add:

    – I don’t know where Steve Bannon fits in the alt-right/alt-light category, but he is an example of someone directly involved with MAGA who has been on board with the foreign policy hostility shenanigans towards China since the beginning. So I would argue dfordoom is correct in criticizing idiotic right wingers on this issue, and that blaming future foreign policy idiocy towards China only on neocons is a mistake.

    – Even without dependence on China, with foreigners all kept out, and with adequate production of masks and other supplies, the U.S. still would not have prevented a major outbreak. What was lacking was the political will to aggressively quarantine all people returning from Italy. Travelers from Italy were a far bigger problem than China, and so we would still have had a major outbreak. This particular issue is not about globalization, it’s more about the decadence of public health officials(they similarly bungled the AIDS epidemic, and have consistently made moronic statements about the ineffectiveness of quarantines).

    – To the extent that he articulated a consistent message at all, I wouldn’t say Trump was necessarily anti-globalization all the time. In some cases he just argued the U.S. should have more policies that benefit U.S. exporters, because other countries are cheating. The only reason I bring this point up at all, is that “America first” should not necessarily be about making the world better for U.S. exporters. In some cases that might be the right policy, but in others the correct policy will be to have less trade overall. Then there are cases like foreign companies moving operations inside the U.S., an issue where I have not seen an articulate position offered by anyone.

    • Replies: @Anonymous (n)
    Well, my argument is that a somewhat hostile foreign policy stance towards China has long been the correct path the United States should have followed, as opposed to the actual foreign policy the US has pursued that has ruined America's economic and strategic position vis a vis China. It was understood very early after WWII that the Soviet Union was an adversary, and a policy of containment was thus quickly instituted in response. It has long been just as evident that China is also an adversary and one that will increasingly act in an adversarial fashion as it continues to get stronger, yet instead of containment US policy for the past several decades has been to facilitate and strengthen its rise at the expense of our own national strength.

    So I'm not blaming the neocons for hostility towards China, quite the opposite. I'm blaming them for the lack of such hostility until very recently, which has allowed the Chinese to strip away our industrial base and catapult themselves into Great Power status with the actual support of the United States via our moronic trade policy. The fact this has recently been changing is good news, albeit in a very meta way. What I mean by that is that at this point the ruling structure of the United States today and into the future is anti-Western Civilization and anti Western Peoples, so strengthening the position of the United States as a geopolitical entity and thus strengthening its ruling elite can in some ways be considered as against the interest of the actual American people. lol

    As to the extent to which China can or cannot be blamed for Covid in America, that isn't the primary point. The point is that we on the right should have employed Covid in a fashion the left has used so effectively over the last century: never let a good crisis go to waste. As I explained in my original post, the basic, easy to understand aspects of Covid as an overall phenomenon that can be readily fed to the public are inherently anti-globalization. Politics is the pursuit of advantage and not the pursuit of truth, so our approach should have been to play up Covid and play up the related anti-globalist message to maximum effect.

    , @dfordoom

    Even without dependence on China, with foreigners all kept out, and with adequate production of masks and other supplies, the U.S. still would not have prevented a major outbreak. What was lacking was the political will to aggressively quarantine all people returning from Italy. Travelers from Italy were a far bigger problem than China, and so we would still have had a major outbreak.
     
    Yes. Absolutely correct.
  68. @melanf

    There is a comparable experiment going on in the German cities of Jena and Rostock – Jena asked its citizens early on to wear masks, whereas Rostock just asked for social distancing and the control for incoming strangers. – No difference in the CO-19 numbers. Both cities doing better than average.
     
    It is necessary to compare large cities with metro and popular public transport. Small cities with a sane population (or even a moderately insane population) will successfully resist infection even without masks

    There is hardly any metro line in any of the two countries. None in Basel, Zürich, Salzburg, Graz… a few lines in Vienna – that’s it. The biggest Swiss city is Zürich with 350 000 Inhabitants…

    • Replies: @melanf

    There is hardly any metro line in any of the two countries. None in Basel, Zürich, Salzburg, Graz… a few lines in Vienna – that’s it. The biggest Swiss city is Zürich with 350 000 Inhabitants…
     
    That's it. When people live in small towns (where they move on foot, in their own cars or bicycles), have a normal education and take care of their health, the epidemic can be suppressed without masks and lockdown. But megacities where people have to go to work every day in crowded subway cars, this is a completely different case. Masks are necessary here


    For example, the Republic of Karelia in Russia (615 000 populations) - 316 infections were detected, 121 were cured, and 1 person was officially recognized as dead from coronavirus. There may have been unrecognized deaths from coronavirus, but even so, the results per capita are better than in Switzerland, although the population ignores anti-epidemic prescriptions

    https://i1.wp.com/gubdaily.ru/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/7-3.jpg?resize=720%2C429&ssl=1

    But it won't work in megacities
  69. @YetAnotherAnon
    I was hoping the piece would touch on who produces the masks and how self-sufficient countries are.

    Do the Russians, like the Brits, look hopefully to the skies for a Great White Chinese Bird to bring them millions of masks, or do they make their own?

    Russia produces enough of its own masks now.

  70. This is just bizarre. Why western countries seems to have this totally bizarre objection to masks when it can save lives and the economy at the same time.

    Isn’t the economy more important than your lives? So why is a piece of filter on your face worst than risking your life?

    • Replies: @Philip Owen
    The evidence is not clear. There is quite a lot of evidence that masks make things worse. Also that schools should stay open and mitigation is the better strategy until a vaccine is certain.

    https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/review-of-the-evidence-base-underpinning-the-uk-influenza-pandemic-preparedness-strategy

  71. @Astuteobservor II
    This is just bizarre. Why western countries seems to have this totally bizarre objection to masks when it can save lives and the economy at the same time.

    Isn't the economy more important than your lives? So why is a piece of filter on your face worst than risking your life?

    The evidence is not clear. There is quite a lot of evidence that masks make things worse. Also that schools should stay open and mitigation is the better strategy until a vaccine is certain.

    https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/review-of-the-evidence-base-underpinning-the-uk-influenza-pandemic-preparedness-strategy

    • LOL: Anonymous (n)
    • Replies: @Astuteobservor II
    Shit, doctors and nurses must like wearing them as fashion statements.

    TIL.

    🤣
  72. @Anatoly Karlin
    Wrong, and discussed extensively in the post. If you have proper studies arguing the opposite - feel free to lay them out.

    Fake masks don’t provide much real protection IMHO.

    • Replies: @trelane
    I would think the burden of proof would be on you: that 2 cent masks work as well as proper N95 masks.

    The null hypothesis and so forth Anatoly, &etc.

  73. https://m.vz.ru/news/2020/5/25/1041322.html

    I have been saying this from the beginning but soros-karlin continues to promote sinister lies by deranged retard western apparatus.
    The link is clear, and exactly the same information that has been released every day for the last 2 months by the authorities ….. listing number of deaths WITH COVID-19 together with the accompanying conditions of the group of people within that list,irrelevant to if it was the causing factor. It could not be any clearer.

    The confusion, willingly circulated by anti-patriots/Liberasts/cretins is that cause of death on death certificate is exact same thing that goes into official statistics of COVID-19 deaths–it isn’t.

    COVID-19 official deaths in Moscow, go with the “died with” or “tested positive for COVID-19” for something the doctor may have put down to on the certificate as some heart disease, pneumonia, diabetes or whatever chronic disease.

    Karlin is supposedly in Russia, presumably he values his own life and follows what his happening, plus it assists in his blogging……. so why is he acting willfully dumb and corrupt by promoting nonsense like Russia artificially lowering our death numbers?

    AK: You can go back to using “Gerard”, this Karlin-Gerard gag has gotten annoying for me.

    • Thanks: Ms Karlin-Gerard
  74. @trelane
    Fake masks don't provide much real protection IMHO.

    I would think the burden of proof would be on you: that 2 cent masks work as well as proper N95 masks.

    The null hypothesis and so forth Anatoly, &etc.

  75. @UK
    What would the police be policing? In the morning I was forced to wear a mask on an empty pavement in Sao Paulo, in the evening, and after a long drive, I was quite legally in a busy pub in neighbouring state having a drink.

    Sao Paulo continued to get worse, meanwhile Santa Caterina remained largely unaffected and has relaxed even more since.

    Also, I may very likely be immune but I can't be the only self-exile from SP.

    Thanks for your insight. There is of course a lot of unknowns in the situation. Pub goers are a small percentage of the population, and maybe their effect is simply cancelled out by hygienic habits of the majority. “Small cities with a sane population (or even a moderately insane population) will successfully resist infection even without masks” – melanf.

    The only small community in Canada where the virus spread like wildfire (it incredibly has more cases than the provincial capital, with 100 times smaller population) is a Métis village of La Loche in the far north of Saskatchewan. Like many of its kind, a hotspot of addiction and social disfunction. Other Aboriginal places barricaded themselves from the outside world from the start, knowing well what would happen if the virus got in, and were luckier than La Loche at not letting it in. In normal towns and villages with normal habits of the population, on the contrary – even if it gets in, transmission (outside nursing homes) is very low.

    Masks, as far as I know, weren’t mandatory anywhere in Canada and no politician or health official appeared in them on TV.

  76. @EldnahYm
    Agreed with your main point, but a few nitpicky points I want to add:

    - I don't know where Steve Bannon fits in the alt-right/alt-light category, but he is an example of someone directly involved with MAGA who has been on board with the foreign policy hostility shenanigans towards China since the beginning. So I would argue dfordoom is correct in criticizing idiotic right wingers on this issue, and that blaming future foreign policy idiocy towards China only on neocons is a mistake.

    - Even without dependence on China, with foreigners all kept out, and with adequate production of masks and other supplies, the U.S. still would not have prevented a major outbreak. What was lacking was the political will to aggressively quarantine all people returning from Italy. Travelers from Italy were a far bigger problem than China, and so we would still have had a major outbreak. This particular issue is not about globalization, it's more about the decadence of public health officials(they similarly bungled the AIDS epidemic, and have consistently made moronic statements about the ineffectiveness of quarantines).

    - To the extent that he articulated a consistent message at all, I wouldn't say Trump was necessarily anti-globalization all the time. In some cases he just argued the U.S. should have more policies that benefit U.S. exporters, because other countries are cheating. The only reason I bring this point up at all, is that "America first" should not necessarily be about making the world better for U.S. exporters. In some cases that might be the right policy, but in others the correct policy will be to have less trade overall. Then there are cases like foreign companies moving operations inside the U.S., an issue where I have not seen an articulate position offered by anyone.

    Well, my argument is that a somewhat hostile foreign policy stance towards China has long been the correct path the United States should have followed, as opposed to the actual foreign policy the US has pursued that has ruined America’s economic and strategic position vis a vis China. It was understood very early after WWII that the Soviet Union was an adversary, and a policy of containment was thus quickly instituted in response. It has long been just as evident that China is also an adversary and one that will increasingly act in an adversarial fashion as it continues to get stronger, yet instead of containment US policy for the past several decades has been to facilitate and strengthen its rise at the expense of our own national strength.

    So I’m not blaming the neocons for hostility towards China, quite the opposite. I’m blaming them for the lack of such hostility until very recently, which has allowed the Chinese to strip away our industrial base and catapult themselves into Great Power status with the actual support of the United States via our moronic trade policy. The fact this has recently been changing is good news, albeit in a very meta way. What I mean by that is that at this point the ruling structure of the United States today and into the future is anti-Western Civilization and anti Western Peoples, so strengthening the position of the United States as a geopolitical entity and thus strengthening its ruling elite can in some ways be considered as against the interest of the actual American people. lol

    As to the extent to which China can or cannot be blamed for Covid in America, that isn’t the primary point. The point is that we on the right should have employed Covid in a fashion the left has used so effectively over the last century: never let a good crisis go to waste. As I explained in my original post, the basic, easy to understand aspects of Covid as an overall phenomenon that can be readily fed to the public are inherently anti-globalization. Politics is the pursuit of advantage and not the pursuit of truth, so our approach should have been to play up Covid and play up the related anti-globalist message to maximum effect.

  77. @Philip Owen
    The evidence is not clear. There is quite a lot of evidence that masks make things worse. Also that schools should stay open and mitigation is the better strategy until a vaccine is certain.

    https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/review-of-the-evidence-base-underpinning-the-uk-influenza-pandemic-preparedness-strategy

    Shit, doctors and nurses must like wearing them as fashion statements.

    TIL.

    🤣

    • Replies: @Philip Owen
    https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/review-of-the-evidence-base-underpinning-the-uk-influenza-pandemic-preparedness-strategy
  78. @Dieter Kief
    There is hardly any metro line in any of the two countries. None in Basel, Zürich, Salzburg, Graz... a few lines in Vienna - that's it. The biggest Swiss city is Zürich with 350 000 Inhabitants...

    There is hardly any metro line in any of the two countries. None in Basel, Zürich, Salzburg, Graz… a few lines in Vienna – that’s it. The biggest Swiss city is Zürich with 350 000 Inhabitants…

    That’s it. When people live in small towns (where they move on foot, in their own cars or bicycles), have a normal education and take care of their health, the epidemic can be suppressed without masks and lockdown. But megacities where people have to go to work every day in crowded subway cars, this is a completely different case. Masks are necessary here

    For example, the Republic of Karelia in Russia (615 000 populations) – 316 infections were detected, 121 were cured, and 1 person was officially recognized as dead from coronavirus. There may have been unrecognized deaths from coronavirus, but even so, the results per capita are better than in Switzerland, although the population ignores anti-epidemic prescriptions

    https://i1.wp.com/gubdaily.ru/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/7-3.jpg?resize=720%2C429&ssl=1

    But it won’t work in megacities

    • Replies: @Dieter Kief
    Isn't it so that your Karelian example should not exist - as well as Switzerland and Austria, according to the rather alarmist voices heard around Unz Review and West Hunter?

    I do get the impression that what happens in Switzerland, which is quite reliable for me because I know what's going on there from up close, is the counter-example to the alarmism, which sprang from models in the beginning - and from outlier developments like those in Northern Italy for example, which are still not really understood, I'd hold.
    Might well be that what happened in Northern Italy and in Mulhouse in Alsace and in Madrid might not happen again in Europe for mostly five reasons:

    1) CO-19 is now better known.

    2) Masks etc. for hospitals (!) and tests are in decent supply.

    3) Intubation is not practiced as often as it was and thus less deadly.

    4) Superspreader events can be detected much faster now (more and better tests)

    5) The elderly are better protected

    6) More masks and/or social distancing in Subways and crowded public places (buses, supermarkets)

    Ok, it's six; might even have overlooked one - but that looks good, doesn't it?

  79. @Philip Owen
    I am opening discussions about mask making machines with two Russian clothes factories that are currently making 3 ply surgical masks. They are not entirely broke so maybe there will be some local production. Russia was not self sufficient in masks for the construction industry, not that they were widely worn.

    Russia was not self sufficient in masks for the construction industry, not that they were widely worn.

    The problem with masks is a mystery to me. In the St. Petersburg planetarium, when the epidemic began, robots and mechanisms that were shown to children were assembled into a line that produced 20 thousand masks a day

    If the planetarium (!) is able to create a semi-automatic line for the production of masks in a few days, then why were the giants of the industry so clumsy?

    • Replies: @Philip Owen
    They can make 3 ply surgical masks perhaps. For 5 ply KN95s and better, the right filter material is required and construction is more complex.
    , @Philip Owen
    I'd have to add that it is not a clean room environment. The masks would be contaminated during manufacture. It sounds mad as they will be abused immediately on opening but it is a requirement and in disciplined hands it matters.
  80. @EldnahYm
    Agreed with your main point, but a few nitpicky points I want to add:

    - I don't know where Steve Bannon fits in the alt-right/alt-light category, but he is an example of someone directly involved with MAGA who has been on board with the foreign policy hostility shenanigans towards China since the beginning. So I would argue dfordoom is correct in criticizing idiotic right wingers on this issue, and that blaming future foreign policy idiocy towards China only on neocons is a mistake.

    - Even without dependence on China, with foreigners all kept out, and with adequate production of masks and other supplies, the U.S. still would not have prevented a major outbreak. What was lacking was the political will to aggressively quarantine all people returning from Italy. Travelers from Italy were a far bigger problem than China, and so we would still have had a major outbreak. This particular issue is not about globalization, it's more about the decadence of public health officials(they similarly bungled the AIDS epidemic, and have consistently made moronic statements about the ineffectiveness of quarantines).

    - To the extent that he articulated a consistent message at all, I wouldn't say Trump was necessarily anti-globalization all the time. In some cases he just argued the U.S. should have more policies that benefit U.S. exporters, because other countries are cheating. The only reason I bring this point up at all, is that "America first" should not necessarily be about making the world better for U.S. exporters. In some cases that might be the right policy, but in others the correct policy will be to have less trade overall. Then there are cases like foreign companies moving operations inside the U.S., an issue where I have not seen an articulate position offered by anyone.

    Even without dependence on China, with foreigners all kept out, and with adequate production of masks and other supplies, the U.S. still would not have prevented a major outbreak. What was lacking was the political will to aggressively quarantine all people returning from Italy. Travelers from Italy were a far bigger problem than China, and so we would still have had a major outbreak.

    Yes. Absolutely correct.

  81. @Vasilios
    Regarding Public Pools:

    The good news here is:

    A) Chlorine is super effective at killing the virus. It's like bathing in Hand Sanitizer.

    B) Transmission rates outside are much much lower than in enclosed spaces, especially poorly ventilated spaces.

    C) UV light is also effective at killing viruses, and UV light is at its highest level in the summertime.

    D) Vitamin D is great for the immune system and general health.

    This all being said, I would still suggest avoiding anyplace that is overcrowded. Assuming you can keep some distance, the health benefits of being outdoors and exercise should far outweigh the risks.

    [MORE]

    B) Transmission rates outside are much much lower than in enclosed spaces, especially poorly ventilated spaces

    But, but, Karlin says we must stay indoors and wear our masks indoors and ooh this is so terrible.
    This covert plandemic could have served a wonderful purpose for mankind to practice drills for when Zion releases their Final Solution. Instead we rip the last bit of dignity from people who would have known better if they ever picked up a book that has no sexual perversions or autobiographic fables of fame and power.
    I especially like the bit where men don’t wear masks for fear of looking like queers. Only a queer would not understand that attitude. It is not about looking gay, it is about looking like a friggin’ wimp that believes every scary story they hear.
    This is about as low as Karlin has ever gone.

  82. Sean says:

    Are there kinds of immunity to covid that rely on things that antibody tests do not measure? It is all very uncertain, but probably. Consider, the trajectories of the epidemics in European inhabited countries seem to be following the same rise and then fall before very many people have antibodies to the virus pattern, and whether they are locked down with PPE used or not, Sweden does not seem to be having a wildfire spread even though we are told only a small proportion of Swedes are immune.

  83. @melanf

    There is hardly any metro line in any of the two countries. None in Basel, Zürich, Salzburg, Graz… a few lines in Vienna – that’s it. The biggest Swiss city is Zürich with 350 000 Inhabitants…
     
    That's it. When people live in small towns (where they move on foot, in their own cars or bicycles), have a normal education and take care of their health, the epidemic can be suppressed without masks and lockdown. But megacities where people have to go to work every day in crowded subway cars, this is a completely different case. Masks are necessary here


    For example, the Republic of Karelia in Russia (615 000 populations) - 316 infections were detected, 121 were cured, and 1 person was officially recognized as dead from coronavirus. There may have been unrecognized deaths from coronavirus, but even so, the results per capita are better than in Switzerland, although the population ignores anti-epidemic prescriptions

    https://i1.wp.com/gubdaily.ru/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/7-3.jpg?resize=720%2C429&ssl=1

    But it won't work in megacities

    Isn’t it so that your Karelian example should not exist – as well as Switzerland and Austria, according to the rather alarmist voices heard around Unz Review and West Hunter?

    I do get the impression that what happens in Switzerland, which is quite reliable for me because I know what’s going on there from up close, is the counter-example to the alarmism, which sprang from models in the beginning – and from outlier developments like those in Northern Italy for example, which are still not really understood, I’d hold.
    Might well be that what happened in Northern Italy and in Mulhouse in Alsace and in Madrid might not happen again in Europe for mostly five reasons:

    1) CO-19 is now better known.

    2) Masks etc. for hospitals (!) and tests are in decent supply.

    3) Intubation is not practiced as often as it was and thus less deadly.

    4) Superspreader events can be detected much faster now (more and better tests)

    5) The elderly are better protected

    6) More masks and/or social distancing in Subways and crowded public places (buses, supermarkets)

    Ok, it’s six; might even have overlooked one – but that looks good, doesn’t it?

    • Agree: Sean
    • Replies: @Philip Owen
    More important tan masks "Wash your hands!"
    , @melanf
    Among the forecasts that I read in January, the forecasts of pessimists (who demanded urgent measures against the global pandemic) were justified. If these pessimists had been listened to (and the borders closed immediately), the pandemic would have been avoided
  84. @AltSerrice
    In regards to mask wearing in Ireland, it may be notably higher than 5% in Dublin city proper where the outbreak began and is concentrated. However, elsewhere in the country my and my contacts' experience suggests 5% is an optimistic figure.

    Despite the abysmal adoption rate of masks, we have controlled the pandemic to the point where only ~50 new cases are detected daily. Our testing regime is quite good, so I consider that figure reliable.

    The success we've had in shutting down the pandemic is quite confounding to me, given the lack of masks and especially considering that our lockdown has been very lax. In my own experience people don't take social distancing in shops and other indoor areas particularly seriously, and the parks and beaches remain crowded thanks to good weather.

    This makes me wonder if outdoor temperature and sunlight (as we know UV kills coronachan) is undervalued in its controlling effect on transmission, since Ireland has had a solid 6 weeks of excellent weather and sunshine - which is highly unusual, and perhaps very lucky.

    If this is the case, it gives me great concern for a second wave in the autumn.

    If there is strong seasonality for this virus, why is it hitting Brazil now? Am I missing something about the climate of Brazil?

    • Replies: @Jaakko Raipala
    Most of Brazil is on the other side of the equator so they're moving into winter when we are moving into summer.

    Their population seems to be in two concentrations, near the equator where you have almost no seasons and in the south which does have seasons and of course the inverse of our seasons so their in late autumn now. I have no idea whether that's actually a typical flu season for them though.
  85. @Lars Porsena
    If there is strong seasonality for this virus, why is it hitting Brazil now? Am I missing something about the climate of Brazil?

    Most of Brazil is on the other side of the equator so they’re moving into winter when we are moving into summer.

    Their population seems to be in two concentrations, near the equator where you have almost no seasons and in the south which does have seasons and of course the inverse of our seasons so their in late autumn now. I have no idea whether that’s actually a typical flu season for them though.

  86. @melanf

    Russia was not self sufficient in masks for the construction industry, not that they were widely worn.
     
    The problem with masks is a mystery to me. In the St. Petersburg planetarium, when the epidemic began, robots and mechanisms that were shown to children were assembled into a line that produced 20 thousand masks a day

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SjMYTiV45N8&feature=emb_logo

    If the planetarium (!) is able to create a semi-automatic line for the production of masks in a few days, then why were the giants of the industry so clumsy?

    They can make 3 ply surgical masks perhaps. For 5 ply KN95s and better, the right filter material is required and construction is more complex.

  87. @Dieter Kief
    Isn't it so that your Karelian example should not exist - as well as Switzerland and Austria, according to the rather alarmist voices heard around Unz Review and West Hunter?

    I do get the impression that what happens in Switzerland, which is quite reliable for me because I know what's going on there from up close, is the counter-example to the alarmism, which sprang from models in the beginning - and from outlier developments like those in Northern Italy for example, which are still not really understood, I'd hold.
    Might well be that what happened in Northern Italy and in Mulhouse in Alsace and in Madrid might not happen again in Europe for mostly five reasons:

    1) CO-19 is now better known.

    2) Masks etc. for hospitals (!) and tests are in decent supply.

    3) Intubation is not practiced as often as it was and thus less deadly.

    4) Superspreader events can be detected much faster now (more and better tests)

    5) The elderly are better protected

    6) More masks and/or social distancing in Subways and crowded public places (buses, supermarkets)

    Ok, it's six; might even have overlooked one - but that looks good, doesn't it?

    More important tan masks “Wash your hands!”

    • Replies: @Dieter Kief
    Masks in Jena and Austria vs. no masks in Rostock and Switzerland with the same outcome so far seems to indicate that the overall cautious approach (including washing your hands more often) in both German cities and in both countries might have made the difference.

    It's an interesting big experiment. Austria was a bit faster in closing its southern borders to Northern Italy than Switzerland - this is probably the reason for the difference in the death-toll - plus, the Swiss official CO-19 death numbers might be a bit more reliable because especially in the beginning of the outbreak, there were some Austrian officials, who were quite reluctant to admit that CO-19 had hit Austria already. - They were anxious, that tourism - especially in the famous ski-resorts like Ischgl - would suffer. - That turned out to be too true...

  88. @Philip Owen
    More important tan masks "Wash your hands!"

    Masks in Jena and Austria vs. no masks in Rostock and Switzerland with the same outcome so far seems to indicate that the overall cautious approach (including washing your hands more often) in both German cities and in both countries might have made the difference.

    It’s an interesting big experiment. Austria was a bit faster in closing its southern borders to Northern Italy than Switzerland – this is probably the reason for the difference in the death-toll – plus, the Swiss official CO-19 death numbers might be a bit more reliable because especially in the beginning of the outbreak, there were some Austrian officials, who were quite reluctant to admit that CO-19 had hit Austria already. – They were anxious, that tourism – especially in the famous ski-resorts like Ischgl – would suffer. – That turned out to be too true…

  89. @Dieter Kief
    Isn't it so that your Karelian example should not exist - as well as Switzerland and Austria, according to the rather alarmist voices heard around Unz Review and West Hunter?

    I do get the impression that what happens in Switzerland, which is quite reliable for me because I know what's going on there from up close, is the counter-example to the alarmism, which sprang from models in the beginning - and from outlier developments like those in Northern Italy for example, which are still not really understood, I'd hold.
    Might well be that what happened in Northern Italy and in Mulhouse in Alsace and in Madrid might not happen again in Europe for mostly five reasons:

    1) CO-19 is now better known.

    2) Masks etc. for hospitals (!) and tests are in decent supply.

    3) Intubation is not practiced as often as it was and thus less deadly.

    4) Superspreader events can be detected much faster now (more and better tests)

    5) The elderly are better protected

    6) More masks and/or social distancing in Subways and crowded public places (buses, supermarkets)

    Ok, it's six; might even have overlooked one - but that looks good, doesn't it?

    Among the forecasts that I read in January, the forecasts of pessimists (who demanded urgent measures against the global pandemic) were justified. If these pessimists had been listened to (and the borders closed immediately), the pandemic would have been avoided

    • Replies: @dfordoom

    If these pessimists had been listened to (and the borders closed immediately), the pandemic would have been avoided
     
    Yep. For western Europe, Britain and the US this has been an entirely self-inflicted injury. In an ideal world the political leaders in those places would be held accountable for their failures.
    , @Dieter Kief
    Some January and or February forecasts could have led to a perfect solution. I agree. but that was not my point. My point is: The basis for a decent calculation of the IFR has declined. In Europe, it is not 1%, and not even 0,5 %, but below.
  90. @melanf
    Among the forecasts that I read in January, the forecasts of pessimists (who demanded urgent measures against the global pandemic) were justified. If these pessimists had been listened to (and the borders closed immediately), the pandemic would have been avoided

    If these pessimists had been listened to (and the borders closed immediately), the pandemic would have been avoided

    Yep. For western Europe, Britain and the US this has been an entirely self-inflicted injury. In an ideal world the political leaders in those places would be held accountable for their failures.

  91. @melanf
    Among the forecasts that I read in January, the forecasts of pessimists (who demanded urgent measures against the global pandemic) were justified. If these pessimists had been listened to (and the borders closed immediately), the pandemic would have been avoided

    Some January and or February forecasts could have led to a perfect solution. I agree. but that was not my point. My point is: The basis for a decent calculation of the IFR has declined. In Europe, it is not 1%, and not even 0,5 %, but below.

  92. I’ve been looking at the EU public tendering system. The Spanish Government was paying €3.25 a KN95 (Sino-Amerian quality) mask in quantities of 50,000 6 weeks ago. Now there are no new tenders for KN95. All new tenders are demanding FFP2 (EU quality) or higher. The desperation phase is over. I can’t tell what current prices are as there is a two week delay in the system to give suppliers some commercial protection. Basically, if your price wins one, it will probably win them all during those two weeks. Nevertheless the purpose of public procurement systems is to provoke price war amongst suppliers.

  93. @melanf

    Russia was not self sufficient in masks for the construction industry, not that they were widely worn.
     
    The problem with masks is a mystery to me. In the St. Petersburg planetarium, when the epidemic began, robots and mechanisms that were shown to children were assembled into a line that produced 20 thousand masks a day

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SjMYTiV45N8&feature=emb_logo

    If the planetarium (!) is able to create a semi-automatic line for the production of masks in a few days, then why were the giants of the industry so clumsy?

    I’d have to add that it is not a clean room environment. The masks would be contaminated during manufacture. It sounds mad as they will be abused immediately on opening but it is a requirement and in disciplined hands it matters.

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