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The problem with the future is that it hasn’t happened yet. I had a hard time explaining this to my finance students in a discussion of accounting and budgeting. Accounting is replete with risks and uncertainties, but for the most part they are risks and uncertainties associated with whether you put things that already happened into the proper and most useful buckets. Budgeting has all those risks, combined with the much more significant risk that things have not happened yet, and that your tool for managing the future my not only be off as a result of internal factors but external factors not under your control.

Figuring out what to do about the virus is a future-oriented task and as such it benefits by, but is also constrained by, projections about the future. It is wise to take both benefits and limitations into account explicitly in fashioning policy but there is, if you will, a limit to this. It is hard to make allowances for known unknowns. Harder still to make allowances for unknown unknowns. Harder yet again if the object of high uncertainty is of grave consequence, for it is here that the “fat tails” that Taleb discusses reside. Sometimes the hardest things to make subject to probabilities are the ones that will kill you if you are wrong.

It is for this reason that the heart of leadership will always be characterized by hard to quantify words like “prudence” rather than fake precise words like “efficiency”. One of the reasons we bend to the need for leaders is that from time to time we need someone to deal with fat tails.

The data are there. Some high quality, some low quality, some missing, some faked. The projections can be cranked out. But the uncertainties create options and paths that do not answer themselves.

The cost-benefit can be done, though it is near impossible given the moral, technical and political difficulties associated with fixing the value of a human life. And which life? Maybe that budding nuclear scientist that efficiency says to spare. Maybe aging, ailing, failing grandpa living up the stairs, who can only rely on the charity and care that is part of our tradition.

So what about that virus? The answer is hardly a given, and in the end will express something of the character of the people and the leaders they have in place to handle these kinds of problems.

This is all to say the best path is inextricably bound up with questions of values, habits and culture. Public health, like the politics embedded in it, is downstream from culture, and culture will act both as a judge of appropriateness and risk and as a constraint on actual behavior.

A doctoral candidate who is in Shanghai has written about his optimism over the ability of cultures to rapidly adapt, and that crushing the virus by flattening the curve is possible as long as people adapt.

I’m sitting in Shanghai and life is perfectly pleasant. Without imports from abroad there would be no cases at all. But freedom of travel and assembly is *selectively* curtailed. Society has got its act together for this purpose.

It’s actually a simple formula. The better organized society is towards this purpose, the less freedom needs to be curtailed to achieve effective control of the virus. What is happening effectively in China is this is being done dynamically in response to local conditions. . .

Painfully and messily, behavior change is happening in Europe and America. It will bring the virus replication under control. And then it will be possible to rebuild freedoms step by step. That is the correct answer.

That’s a nice thought but might it not be possible that different cultures will not adapt, or adapt as quickly as Chinese culture has done? There are benefits and drawbacks to living in a culture that puts the individual first. One of the drawbacks is that it may be slower to respond to challenges that put a premium on the ability to adapt rapidly in ways that align with collective, not individual, aims.

Cultures change when faced with challenges to their underlying values but such change is typically slow, and happens only when there has been some Darwinian thinning of ideas or even the people that hold them. So count me a skeptic on whether Americans will lurch effectively toward Chinese ways.

Lenin (b. 1870) posed the question “what is to be done?” My initial answer comes from the American management theorist Mary Parker Follett (b. 1868). Look for the Law of the Situation. Often (though not always) the path forward is made clear through a deep understanding of the current situation.

That’s a bit Pollyannish to be sure, and Follett herself came to the notion in trying to find ways to make the giving of orders more palatable. But in the process of making for healthier interaction between superiors and subordinates she brushed up against an important truth: managers should spend more time and attention understanding the situation. Not only will it make the order go down better if it is seen as neutral thing. There is also the possible benefit that the situation may actually yield secrets about the future.

Of course people do this every day, including with respect to the virus. But it is wise to constantly check and recheck assumptions.

We are approaching the world of Daniel Kahneman here. Most of our thinking is less thoughtful than it should be. We rely on useful generalizations, rules of thumb and heuristics and most of the time they work. But nature provided a fallback in what Kahneman calls System 2: from time to time you need to do a counter-intuitive reality check on the heuristics you rely on most of the time.

Note that in Kahneman’s view this is just part of the human dilemma. We need to simplify. Sometimes our rules of thumb won’t work. We don’t know exactly when to proceed and when to reflect. That may require good intuition. How do I feel about things? Are my models working or do they need a good roughing up?

When as an amateur you are pitched headfirst into a crisis, one in which by its nature you have an interest and play a part, you cannot help but rely heavily on heuristics, many of which may end up thin reeds for action. This problem is compounded when the phenomenon in play is fast moving and poorly understood by the experts, with the result that you get the pronounced impression that they, too, are improvising and building models on sand.

Take the concept of “flattening the curve.”

We see a bell curve indicating the life cycle of the virus without mitigation. The we see a wider but shorter bell curve of the same volume, this one cresting just under a line indicating hospital ICU capacity. Brilliant! It went viral and now “flattening the curve” is a rallying cry.

But whether flattening the curve is useful in practice is almost wholly dependent on Follett’s “situation”. We are drawn to the chart like moths to a flame. But perhaps this is one of those times we should say to ourselves “wait a minute. That sounds good but is it?”

Joscha Bach has written an article for Medium in which he says no. Perhaps it is time to take a Kahneman pause and rigorously vet our heuristics. And to ask the Follett question: what is the situation? And can we derive a Law of the Situation from an understanding of it. It does not have to be an Iron Law–just a better law, one that takes account of counter-intuitive self-directed reflection and analysis?

Bach argues that if you employ the conventional wisdom assumptions on rate of contagion and mortality the growth in infections and, in turn, in ICU stays, will be several orders of magnitude greater than out system can handle.

The curve without mitigation overwhelms the hospital capacity line so greatly that it makes no sense to even try to flatten it with our current mitigation approach. Don’t preach flatten the curve without putting the actual numbers in. To do so only wastes precious time as the exponential growth continues. Bach argues for an immediate switch to Chinese-style hard measures on the grounds that since they worked there they have a fighting chance of working here, and we delude ourselves with all the talk of flattening the curve.

But two can plan the game of What is the Situation? Does Bach get the situation right?

Damned if I know.


Maybe there’s no need to know. But amateurs are citizens, too, and up to their necks in the public health questions since they are, well, public. That fact, combined with the intuited sense that the experts don’t have their act fully together yet either, argues for active amateur engagement. So in that spirit here are a bunch of questions I have. Questions, mind you, not answers, and offered in the spirit of intellectual modesty and policy prudence.

Flattening the Curve. How good an approach is flattening the curve? As I wrote in the last post one can challenge the concept on the grounds that it creates unreasonable expectations about not breaking ICU capacity given assumptions made in connection with three main variables: contagion rate, mortality rate and efficacy of our relatively non-intrusive mitigation approach. I will get back to this question at the end.

Assumptions that Drive the Model. Related: how good are the contagion and mortality assumptions that form the basis of most of our thinking? The WHO has pegged mortality in the 3+% range–scary, if you assume widespread contagion. Folks I respect like Greg Cochran says it is likely worse than this.

This pessimism was recently backed up in an article in Lancet. The authors note that deaths follow onset by several weeks and so a more appropriate way to measure mortality is to use deaths in the numerator but to use in the denominator not cases on that day but cases reported two weeks before. Given that the curve was sharply upwardly sloping at the outset, the use of a smaller number in the denominator pushes mortality rate way up.

If we employ even more pessimistic assumptions flattening the curve gets harder, and may require draconian measures to tame.

But is the pessimism warranted? The Chinese maintain their vigorous contact tracing means they caught nearly all the cases. Various data on illnesses not immediately connected to COVID-19 suggests few actually turned up to be COVID-19. Thus (unlike the situation in the United States, where total cases may be much higher than those identified to date) it can be argued that mortality rate in China can be inferred fairly well on the basis of known cases on file.

But did this assumption hold at the outset of the outbreak? What confidence do we have that pushing the date of earliest deaths back a full two weeks will not land us in territory in which the actual cases would have been undercounted relative to the deaths that would be later connected to them?

Added to that is the suggestion, advanced by the WHO and presumably endorsed by the Chinese, that the high initial mortality rate had something to do with the health system being unprepared and surprised.

As of 20 February, 2114 of the 55,924 laboratory confirmed cases have died (crude fatality ratio [CFR2] 3.8%) (note: at least some of whom were identified using a case definition that included pulmonary disease). The overall CFR varies by location and intensity ofmtransmission (i.e. 5.8% in Wuhan vs. 0.7% in other areas in China). In China, the overall CFR was higher in the early stages of the outbreak (17.3% for cases with symptom onset from 1-10 January) and has reduced over time to 0.7% for patients with symptom onset after 1 February (Figure 4). The Joint Mission noted that the standard of care has evolved over the course of the outbreak (emphasis added).

And then consider this graph, from the WHO’s latest Situation Report.

The mortality rate in Hubei (Wuhan’s province) is far higher than the rest of the country. Moreover Hubei evidences by far the largest number of cases overall–about 85% of the total for all China. An examination of the mortality rates in the other 15% of the country reveals them to be quite low. The mortality rate in the province with the next highest number of cases (Guangdong) is .5%–a normal flu number. Mortality rates in the other provinces can be a bit higher but not overly, and some provinces report no deaths (such as Shanxi, with 133 cases).

Take a look at the WHO’s graph on case fatality ratio in Wuhan, Hubei outside Wuhan, China outside Hubei and all China.

We see extremely high mortality rates at the outset in Wuhan, driving up the number for China overall that is embedded within it, and the experience of which will affect all manner of summary data down the road. Neither Hubei outside Wuhan nor China outside Hubei show a similar initially high level of mortality.

Isn’t there something odd about the Wuhan curve? The month of January, which is the main period captured here, was a period in which new cases (and according to the Chinese essentially all cases) were rising rapidly in the now familiar exponential way.

Yet all through this period mortality in Wuhan was dropping.

I am not sure what this suggests.

This recent article–apparently scholarly but not yet peer reviewed–takes its own look at Wuhan.

We found that the latest estimates of the death risk in Wuhan could be as high as 20% in the epicenter of the epidemic whereas we estimate it ~1% in the relatively mildly-affected areas. Because the elevated death risk estimates are likely associated with a breakdown of the medical/health system, enhanced public health interventions including social distancing and movement restrictions should be effectively implemented to bring the epidemic under control.

But that, too, seems odd. Maybe Wuhan’s mortality rate is mathematically around 20% but before advancing that as a mortality rate suitable for export one should understand its meaning. It does not seem likely that it would have been a function of the breakdown of the system–breakdowns are evident when things get worse, not better.

Additionally, while social distancing and movement restrictions may be justified as a way to avoid stress to the health care system reducing contagion in and of itself would not seem to lead to a lower death rate, all else being equal. Most people who contract the virus will not need intensive medical care and will not die. Death comes to two kinds of people who get as far as critical care: those the medical system could not save (about half, in China’s experience) and those who get better after intensive care, whether or not they may have recovered anyway (another half). You want a robust intensive care system to save the 50% that can be saved, given existing standards of care. The others would have died no matter what.

So perhaps the high initial levels of mortality in Wuhan are not a function of an overwhelmed system but something of the opposite: an underprepared and surprised system. Maybe the system had the capacity to save a high percentage but did not know how to do it.

In turn that suggests the possibility that the 50% chance of death after intensive care admission may be too high as a going-forward assumption, as it may have the one-time bad experience at the outset embedded in it. China’s experience after critical care in ICU is 50/50 overall–but did that change over time? And what is the current ratio, reflecting more experience, less surprise and the possibility of more robust protocols and pharmaceutical interventions?

Add to that the idea that China may not have mastered the problem of the denominator to the extent they claim, especially at the beginning of the outbreak. That too may lead to the prospect of a better number from a looking-forward perspective.

Then consider again the numbers on the chart above, the ones that showed very low mortality in the 15% of cases outside Hubei. What is the explanation for this in light of the discussion above relative to Wuhan?

One might argue that it is all a matter of time lag–provinces other than Hubei will soon hit those high levels–or they would have, if draconian restrictions were not put in place. I don’t know the sequence here and am not sure how to find it. But consider: the mean time in China from onset to serious conditions necessitating an ICU is several days, and when death comes it comes between two and eight weeks of onset. I believe I have read a mean value there of three weeks.

Granted the community spread of the virus was most intense in the province where it originated. But would not the other provinces in China now have sufficient time and experience under their belts to see a rush to ICUs and to Wuhan-style mortality rates?

Mortality in the United States. We have tended to take assumptions from the more intensively studied China and, to a lesser extent, Italy, and pump them into our experience. Here, optimists say we can do a good enough job flattening the curve and pessimists say hell is about to break loose.

But what do we know of our own numbers? I know there are places reporting more deaths than the CDC but since that is our official agency let’s go there.

As of this morning (the page may have changed when you visit) the CDC reports 41 deaths in the United States. While other sites provide cumulative data I cannot find any on the CDC site. But I do know this: the number has been 41 for at least three days running now, and was not much lower in the immediately prior period when I started looking. And recall that something over half of that number is due to one cluster in one life care center in Washington State. Deaths associated with that center unfortunately continue to come in day by day. But one way or another deaths are low nationally, and no move to exponentiality is evident.

By contrast our number of known cases is going up more sharply, and may go up like a rocket if the testing regime about to take effect discovers a lot of new cases. If that is the case we will have a serious denominator problem. All the more reason to focus on deaths, until such time as we can confidently produce a useful denominator for mortality rate. Until them while mortality rate might typically be a lagging indicator it may have to serve as a leading one.

Why no exponential growth yet? One can argue 1) law of small numbers and 2) it is early yet–you’ll see. But keep in mind that in China onset to death started happening in two weeks. We have just over that experience in the United States data, and should start to see exponentiality in deaths that to some extent mirror cases.

And if, to choose a recent example, Ohio has as its health director suggested over 100,000 hidden cases and not the 5 it had on the books, would we not be seeing an exceedingly large number of Ohio deaths starting around now? If deaths occur (per China) from weeks two through eight Ohio at a mortality rate of 3.5% Ohio might expect 3,500 deaths between now and a month and a half from now. Not saying it won’t happen; not saying it will. But if we are going to plot China’s experience on ours it is an important thing to keep track of.

ICU stress in the United States. And then take the issue of ICU stress. As discussed above the experience in China was that the gap between onset and need for intensive care was very small, a matter of a few days. We have had more than that time go by with United States cases. If Ohio had 100,000 cases when the state official put the number out surely some significant percentage of them would date back days or even weeks. And if, per China, 20% of cases require ICU-style care, we should have seen 20,000 new ICU-demand cases in Ohio already. Have we? Maybe I missed something but I seem to think the ICU crisis is around the corner, and not here yet.

The denominator problem. China says it counted all its cases and its contagion and mortality rates follow that conclusion. But if we accept that conclusion we are forced into the near-inevitability in the US of system collapse (per the Medium article cited in the last post), especially if — yikes! — our known cases skyrocket after testing. We would then also have to explain why death rates and ICU admissions do not seem to conform to China data expectations.

Perhaps we will find a ton of new cases–but then unless deaths spike too in short order we are left to explain why the virus here seems less deadly.

Perhaps we will not find many new cases. In that instance the cases and death rate may resemble the rate seen in China–but then we are left to explain the lower contagion rate.

I don’t want to get conspiratorial about it but it is not a given that everyone worldwide is equally susceptible to infection. The WHO said it was a reasonable inference to make but the analysis has not been done, and China may not be the ideal place to do it. The United States is a very diverse society. I wonder if data collection will be limited to an analysis of gender, age and pre-existing condition, or if other variables are taken into account. Maybe groups differ by susceptibility, or even likelihood of death. If that were not possible we would not have nations working on biological weapons capable of discrimination–not to say that is at work here!

Who is at risk? The China data suggest that, at least in China, the elderly and/or those with pre-existing conditions are more at risk, and greatly so. This comprehensive report on the experience in China has interesting data in this regard.

The case fatality rate from age 0 to age 40 is .2%. Ages 40-50 is .4%. Spitting distance of noal flu. Age 50 it jumps to 1.3%. Only begins to get severe at the next three breaks: 3.6% (60-69), 8% (70-79), 14.8% (80+). In terms of numbers, around 80% of deaths occurred among those 60 and above.

Various pre-existing conditions are also analyzed, and found to be important predictors of mortality. But the data are not displayed at a level of detail that breaks out the effect of pre-existing condition on age brackets. Suffice to say that some of the cases connecting to pre-existing condition will be found below age 60, further increasing the gap between older and younger. Additionally, while a good deal of the pre-existing condition cases will be connected to older individuals, to the extent their effect is pronounced it becomes easier to identify the elderly with the highest risk of mortality.

And here is data by period. Note these data are in keeping with the Wuhan discussion above. Wuhan comprises the great majority of cases (85%) AND in Wuhan and Wuhan alone we had the reverse curve going on: many more deaths initially than later.

What is to be done? The solutions to date seem to be of two types. The first is “contain the contagion, flatten the curve, crush the bastard” seen in most countries in various forms. We look to control the behavior of all mostly to reduce the deaths of the few that are most likely to perish.

It is not that we are unmindful of the travails of a young person getting flu-like symptoms, or even a middle aged person spending a few days in the hospital with no great risk of death. But the main game here is preventing deaths, which means preventing the deaths of those who are most likely to die. The way we limit deaths is through the reduction of contagion in the population. The Chinese opted for intrusive measures; the West, so far, less so. But both are aiming at the same thing: contagion as a proxy for limiting death.

The second is the “controlled burn” approach, the path taken by the UK. Here the idea is to sever the connection between contagion and mortality. The contagion can be at any level among those who are highly unlikely to die from it. But protect the targets.

Is this feasible? Once again we come back to Follett’s Law of the Situation. What does the actual situation suggest?

One way to reason through to an understanding of a situation is to start with an exaggerated version of reality and tweak it. As a thought experiment consider a virus that manifests itself as a regular flu with the exception of two known individuals: Trump and Pelosi (selected to reduce bias in favor of preference for death). If these two catch the bug they die.

  1. we know precisely who is at risk of death.
  2. we know everyone else gets the regular flu
  3. we know the measures needed to protect Trump and Pelosi. They are affordable (only two people) and achievable (assuming the virus is not The Terminator and can be stopped with reasonable effort.

In that case there is no doubt we undertake controlled burn, combined with whatever efforts are required to shield the targets from the necessary firestorm outside.

That is not the actual situation of course. But how far is the real situation from the ideal? And at what point do you abandon controlled burn for crush the bastard?

First, consider the knowledge of targets. The world does not cleave into two neatly, with those who are going to die with red shirts and those who will not die with blue shirts. But we do know a lot about who the red shirts are. You will catch most of them by considering age. The elderly are a growing part of our population but they are discrete, and fewer in number at the higher age ranges.

Moreover a high percentage of these people live in managed situations. That works the wrong way when the virus is let loose, as happened in Washington State. But if one is going to effect very tight Chinese style movement restrictions and hygiene safeguards it is a lot more efficient and economical to focus on the vulnerable already living in conditions that can be tightly controlled.

In turn it could be the focus of public and community efforts to identify and manage others not living in such communities–the elderly living alone or with family, or younger people with serious pre-existing conditions.

What about those who are then not tightly controlled, and are left to socialize as they will? Some will contract the virus as they would the normal flu, and some would die as with the flu. Those numbers will be somewhat higher than the flu based on China’s experience. But provided we did a good job identifying those inside the firewall those opting to live outside of it might take the risk.

Further, nothing stops the careful young healthy person from self-quarantine as desired. They may have a marginally higher rate of infection if the virus rages outside and their living situation is not totally buttoned up. But the most likely worst case is that they get a nasty flu if a visiting friend sneezes unexpectedly on a visit.

The younger and healthier may be willing to take the risk. First, lifestyle is not crimped! But in addition coming down with a bad flu today may confer immunity for later. The WHO report says further study is needed on whether exposure confers immunity but it apparently did in the Spanish Flu epidemic, the first year of which was bad but the second year of which was the world-killer. The younger and healthier might prefer a nasty bout of flu this year over much more certain death next.

And from a collective point of view if exposure results in immunity the more infected this year on the free side of the firewall the less kindling the flu has to spread. And that logic applies with more force to the denial of kindling to any second year virus with potentially much greater lethality.

All good policy decisions–by which I mean all difficult and consequential policy decisions–are close run things, with the answers not obvious. They may not always be 49-51 propositions but seldom are they 99-1 slam dunks. Whether controlled burn is preferable to crush the bastard depends on a lot of things: how far a messy reality differs from whatever model is trotted out in support, the lack of good data that may compromise any attempt to think in a more subtle way, the fact that some issues (such as public health) unfold in a dynamic environment, replete with multiple actor game theory implications that produce their own uncertainties.

But that’s why we have leaders–to make these kinds of calls. Right now I am attracted to the controlled burn notion based on my own read of data and situation. But I am an amateur, a citizen, and not the leader/decision maker. Our leaders do not seem to be following the UK path of controlled burn and are doubling down on crush the bastard. Since I wish for a good outcome more than I aspire to be right I hope that is the right call.

About Fenster: Gainfully employed for thirty years, including as one of those high paid college administrators faculty complain about. Earned Ph.D. late in life and converted to the faculty side. Those damn administrators are ruining everything.

(Republished from Uncouth Reflections by permission of author or representative)
• Category: Economics, Science • Tags: American Media, Coronavirus, Disease 
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  1. ” The we see a wider but shorter bell curve of the same volume”

    Now there’s a lie. The area,( which is what you meant by volume) i.e. total number of cases, is at least twice as large in the unflattened curve.

  2. Uradel666 says:

    Now, you see something of what we have to stand doing the vaccination (immunization).

    Imagine that this “Coronavirus epidemic” is big scale model of what is happening in our body when we get the vaccines; the pandemic outbreak of foreign genome.

    Let’s look at what happens. Within a few minutes to a few hours after the vaccination you take immediately into your gene pool the foreign modified and combined vaccine-borne genome. Mild Symptoms shortly after the vaccination is the indication of the immunized collision between Human DNA and Virus’s. Study specific data shows that the human genome inherits up to 15-20% of virus DNA. Once infectious diseases are finished, your immune system naturally filters and singles out the vital portion of foreign genetic material and gets it inside the Human DNA. This is a good piece of foreign DNA embedded in Human’s. But it is another thing that after the vaccination you take immediately into your gene pool the foreign modified and combined vaccine-borne genome which is not controllable by our Immune System at the time. At the end of the day you are ready-made dress form.

    It will be recalled that COVID-19 is the binary virus, of two combined portions, HIV and Corona. It means it was made for the Adult and Elderly Vaccination.

    You are Welcome!

  3. Will suicidal individuals embrace this flu with open arms… and no masks?

    When your time is up, your time is up. Even more reason to enjoy every minute and every second of it.

    • Replies: @calculator
  4. @Bill Jones

    There are two ways to calculate this with enough accuracy for argument: You can use calculus, or you can simply draw out the two curves at the same scale on two sheets of the same weight of paper, cut them out, and weigh the pieces.

    The argument is that the total number of cases will be the same, but by widening the curve, the hospitals are not overwhelmed by a high peak demand.

    The counter-argument is “the narrower curve is higher, therefore it means more cases total”.

    Either calculus or the old cut-out-and-weigh methods will determine whether the argument or counter-argument are correct.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    , @Jim A.
  5. refl says:

    So for about a week now, has gone into overdrive on Corona virus reporting. This has happened with other sites that are my trusted reading (I note especially, via which even the article from oldmicrobiologist was taken).

    I want to make this short and plain:
    – what is happening here carries all the marks of managed hysteria in the mainstream media, against which sites like this should push the counternarrative.
    – we have seen such a tremendous number of braindead lies in the mainstream media in recent years (from Russiagate to the Arab spring to Trumpophobia and so on). I will not even mention the whole 9/11 complex.
    In all these cases, the official line was outlandishly far of the mark. You can even say that the mainstream lived in a parallel universe while only the happy few could break out from the matrix.
    Why on earth should I believe the story now, when western society as a whole is under supposed atack from a danger as invisible as a virus? 9/11 was Hollywood, so why on earth should I not call this here out as scripted reality.

    – once and for all: there is up to now no excess mortality, the test that is being made for Corona has not been properly validated, few people can really estimate what has been going on in China and the agendas in the background, which have nothing to do with public health and everything with the faltering globalist proyect are there for anyone plain to see.

    If places like don’t manage to cut through this web of disinfornation, one casualty of this stage managed crisis might well be the trustabiliy of the alternative media.

    A good article that I found on the issue was on Corbett Report.

    Please, Mr. Unz, provide us with some sanity!

  6. Yes, controlled burn please.
    As a Chinese, I’d like to see how things turns out the other way. The price to be paid by crush the bastard is high. I wondered what if we dealt it differently.
    But who knows, this virus is not only racist against the old and sick, its also raciest against east Asian. Plus population density changed, temperature changed, living condition differences… It’s never the same terms.
    What happens in Italy and Iran is not clear yet. Not sure whether it’s the same virus strain. More study needed.

    • Replies: @Old and Grumpy
  7. Franz says:

    It’s bullshit. fella.

    I’m near 79, still working, and went to two movies and five restaurants this week and the whole thing is a total, unmitigated CROCK.

    Nothing is happening. It’s panic city. And if you say “NO” you can’t get no virus.

    Old story: In the middle of the AIDS epidemic Gore Vidal went to (place where lots of gay sex was happening). His friends asked him, “What the hell are you doing?” and Gore answered, “Trying to get AIDS.” And it never happened.

    Can’t. Gore said fukkit, it’s a lie. And he got nothing.

    Coronavirus is Shite., scuse my French. It’s hysteria and nothing else. Do what you want. Die if you want but it’s a lie.

    • Replies: @refl
    , @Bill Jones
    , @HallParvey
  8. Alfred says:

    That “latest stuation report” is dated March 01, 2020.

    For the current situation according to the WHO, try this:

    Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Situation

    • Replies: @Old and Grumpy
  9. Alfred says:
    @Bill Jones

    Do you also think that the dancing girls are hiding their fat? 🙂

  10. Flattening the curve is merely ensuring you have enough ICU beds to handle the dead and dying … it is no guarantee you will reduce their quantum.

    • Agree: Old and Grumpy
    • Replies: @Alfred
  11. @Uradel666

    Where did you earn your PhD in epidemiology?

    • Replies: @Anon
    , @Uradel666
  12. gotmituns says:

    Here’s how I self quarantine. I walk a lot and that way no one comes near me. People in America refuse to walk any further than their car which is always close by. Plus, I’m outdoors and I’m always keeping my immune system well maintained.

  13. refl says:

    Thank you for your sanity. My parents are 82 and 81 years old and I am blessed that they are still around and all the care that they need for now is regular phonecalls and ocassional visits. For years now, I have been on stand by to sense the moment when I have to jump in.
    I have tried to bring the message through to them, as they are in the age group where this mindless panic can indeed be a cause of death.

    But to imagine all those people who are alone now, not only the elderly, who are already depressed by their lonesome way of life – and now the dictate is “social distancing”? I do not want to know how many are silently giving in to their dark thoughts of suicide.
    Therefore, all of us who have maintained their sanity have the duty to call out to anyone we meet that Corona is a hoax, more massive still then 9/11 was.

  14. Sean says:

    As Esquire magazine once noted: “Paul Ewald is a short-seller of global pandemics. He bets against them when panic reaches its peak – when natural precaution has turned to frenzy, and experts who should know better turn into shameless touts. He has short-sold Sars and bet against bird flu, and in both cases he was famously right.

    It is (Cochran’s former associate) Professor Ewald’s contention that China’s concentration camps are where a vastly more virulent second wave may come from. “If the Chinese government cannot or does not curb the transmission of the novel coronavirus in Xinjiang, it’s possible that it will evolve, as the influenza virus did in 1918, to become even more dangerous to humans”.

    The Chinese Communist Party are the force of evil. No good will come has come from collaborating with them.Will we stop?

    • Troll: Alfred
    • Replies: @Nonny Mouse
  15. Anonymous[247] • Disclaimer says:

    High mortality rate at the beginning might also suggest a higher proportion of old and other immunocompromised people getting infected. They, and their families/friends, probably didn’t care much when it was “just a flu” but became extra careful when bodies started piling up and the stats started rolling in. 14% death rate is scary.

  16. utu says:

    Case fatality ratio curves are all decreasing chiefly because the denominator is lagging and does include no or mild symptom cases. It is also likely that the treatment methods are getting better with with time.

    Why the case fatality ratio curve is higher for Hubei? Wuhan in Hubei was hit first. Could it be that other places benefited from the experience of Hubei? Is it possible that when you have lower density of cases you can protect old people who are the most vulnerable better?

    I wish the author would discuss Italy? Why Italy is so bad?

  17. @Sean

    I have the opposite impression. We’ve heard a lot from Godfrey Roberts on this subject here and to me he is credible. US police kill phenomenal numbers, there’s a government force that attacks people’s houses and kills, there’s the Waco massacre. There are enormous numbers in US prisons. China seems a lot better, and their police, normally, are not even armed!

    The US persecutes, China does not.

  18. Anonymous[186] • Disclaimer says:

    Coronavirus doesn’t have DNA because it’s an RNA virus. Please stop talking out of your ass.

    • Replies: @Uradel666
  19. Anonymous[186] • Disclaimer says:
    @alex in San Jose AKA Digital Detroit

    Another factor is that a short and sharp epidemic will make people more willing to take it seriously, so it could burn itself out much faster.

  20. But that’s why we have leaders–to make these kinds of calls. Right now I am attracted to the controlled burn notion based on my own read of data and situation. But I am an amateur, a citizen, and not the leader/decision maker. Our leaders do not seem to be following the UK path of controlled burn and are doubling down on crush the bastard. Since I wish for a good outcome more than I aspire to be right I hope that is the right call.

    Yes, in “lab” conditions, larger controlled quarantined environments, containers, multiple if possible. Testing every individual multiple times ideally. Ditto for strict environments theories. Quarantining and cutting social and economic flows of people is the delimiter of both the containers-types. That must precede a general policy other then partitioned mulitple containments. Testing and lab-experimenting. Gathering better data, share data globally. Would these be something?

  21. @AnnFromBeijing

    You believe your government? How quaint.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  22. @Alfred

    Believing WHO means believing all governments. Even more quaint.

  23. Alfred says:
    @The Alarmist

    Flattening the curve is merely ensuring you have enough ICU beds to handle the dead and dying

    Most people who go on the ICU do not die. However, many of them would otherwise have died. The ICU is not some sort of death sentence!

    By spreading it out, the same ICU and personnel can save more lives. It is not just a matter of the machinery. Trained personnel is another limited resource. The ICU is extremely labour intensive.

    China now has a huge surplus of ICU’s and trained staff. I suggest Trump eats a little humble pie and asks for a loan of these scarce resources for the duration of this emergency. Of course, he and all the others of both parties, would much prefer to see a million or two Americans die. I will not be holding my breath. 🙁

  24. bjondo says:

    Too damned long to read.
    Could die of FtDet-19 first.

    8000 dead out of 7 billion earthlings thru 3/18.
    Seems it takes some effort to die from FtDet.

    I am going to gamble, take a chance,
    come out of my converted missile silo
    somewhere in North Dakota.

    Well stocked with pickles and peanut butter.
    Email if you would like a jar – 1/2 price.

    Unemployment, curfews, Marshall law,
    behavioral changes, new “patriot” type laws
    on the way – for our good, econ destruction,
    occupying Trump with Russia gate,
    Impeachment, drone murder, coronavirus.

    We should be thankful: No dead in Yidrael.

    Almost heaven for the NeoLibCons.

    5 dancing shlomos

    • Replies: @Gilmorel2
  25. Fenster, I don’t have time to read all this. Can you boil it down to 500 words?

  26. @Franz

    I’m reminded of a phrase I first heard in the YUK during the Thatcher regime.
    “The action is in the reaction” relating to IRA terrorism. Very little action is needed to achieve a great deal of reaction.
    We saw that on 9/11

  27. fenster says:
    @Bill Jones

    Not a lie, just inattentiveness I think. But I didn’t take the curves to be mathematical simulations but illustrations of the benefit of flattening–i/e. spread the cases out to fit under ICU capacity. So in that sense I may have missed the actual volumes in the graph. I hope it does not detract too much from the main point.

    • Replies: @Bill Jones
  28. Antares says:

    Good arguments, and thanks for the link to Corbett Report!

  29. @utu

    33% of Italy’s population is over 55 years of age and 22% are over 65 years old. Compare this to the table of age distribution of deaths given above in Fenster’s article. Considering so many old people one would expect high numbers of those dying. Most of Europe has an aging population but Italy more than any other country.

    Also, considering that this virus doesn’t kill any infants or children, is it really worse than the seasonal flu which does?

    In the US for seasonal flu and child mortality:

    While relatively rare, some children die from flu each year. Since 2004-2005, flu-related deaths in children reported to CDC during regular flu seasons have ranged from 37 to 187 deaths. Even though the reported number of deaths during the 2017-2018 flu season was 187, CDC’s mathematical models that account for the underreporting of flu-related deaths in children estimate the actual number was closer to 600.

    According to aforementioned table, deaths due to coronavirus for those under 9 years of age are
    0% = 0.

    So which is worse and requires more panicking and stricter emergency measures: that which kills mostly the very old (coronavirus), or that which kills both the very old and the very young (influenza)?

  30. V. Hickel says:

    Great article Mr. Unz but why the pseudonym?

  31. Anonymous[250] • Disclaimer says:

    But perhaps this is one of those times we should say to ourselves “wait a minute. That sounds good but is it?”

    We’re sitting around worrying with good reason about the Keynesian economic house of cards blowing down and now blatant gaslighting proving the social/mainstream media and gov are virtually one, but meanwhile other former bedrock “sciences” such as Darwinian biology, particle physics, and cosmology are being revealed as fig leafs covering other impossibly contradictory assumptions regarding the nature of reality. Taken together we’re living through a Hegelian upending of what is real, or denial of the Logos at the hand of an enemy now firmly in control, with the implications probably worse than going without groceries.

    To paraphrase Eliot, if we’re remembered as a people at all, it’ll be as the whimpering hollow men “hunkering down” or “sheltering in place,” who were gaslighted into believing the Hegelian reversal of what’s real is what’s real, such that the media’s fanning the flames of hysteria and panic is really its opposite, or letting the sounds of rats’ feet over broken glass coming from the TV determine our actions and beliefs.

  32. anonymous[400] • Disclaimer says:

    It’s reported that some people with the virus don’t even know they have it and don’t feel sick. What sort of killer virus is that? Everyone acts as if this thing is 100% fatal which is ludicrous. Fear and panic are being deliberately created to stampede the masses. Some of the supposed medication cures appear to be somewhat toxic. Wouldn’t be surprising if mandatory vaccinations become part of the agenda.Herding large numbers of people together as they did at the airports was a good way of spreading this killer virus. Britain has a looser approach so we’ll be able to compare outcomes. False flag enabling another turn of the Homeland Security screw? Economic warfare against China combined with having a cover story for the bursting of the American economic bubble which was about to happen anyway?

    • Replies: @Kim
  33. For those interested in the impact of seasonal flu in China this seems like a good paper:

    It concludes:

    We estimated that 88 100 influenza-associated excess respiratory deaths occurred in mainland China during an influenza season

    So compare the 3,217 deaths due to coronavirus in China. This is the latest figure, but it seems to be waning now in China and we shouldn’t expect many more. That’s out of a reported 81,020 coronavirus cases, but then we have to ask if there weren’t many other unreported cases which didn’t result in any deaths which would make the fatality rate even lower. Of course we don’t know what the final death toll due to the coronavirus would have been if China had not implemented the preventive measures it did, so comparing the two sets of data comes with this caveat. And the adopted preventive measures should also reduce significantly the incidence and deaths due to seasonal influenza this season.

    • Thanks: utu
  34. Che Guava says:

    The two biggest laughs I had today were both courtesy of the Daily Stormer (and probably /pol).

    One was a collage of Al Pacino sitting behind his during the final scenes of Scarface II (yes, I like the original, too). It really made me Lol on the way to work.

    Instead nf sitting behind a mountain of cocaine, Tony Montana sits behind a hoard of toilet paper.

    The other great Stormer Lol of this evening, was the conversion of 「Venezuala runs out of tohlet paper because of socialism」to 「America runs out of toilet paper due to capitalism」.

    I love to read that site after work, iit often makes me LOlL.

    Of course, i love this site, too,

    The senior Viet co-worker in the samero room assures me that the panic is over in the slightly northern part of Tokyo where he lives. I couldn’t see any in stock at any place close to my home.

    Not an emergency, have enough for a week or two, with use of tissues.

    IMHO, the panic buying is nonsense.

    Perhaps those penple really relish the idea of an apocalyptic scenario?

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    , @Poco
  35. “But that’s why we have leaders “! Our leaders are elite psychopaths and we live in pathocracies and plutocracies , they lie to us all the time and we are being lied to about the psyop known as the Coronavirus pandemic , when the dust settles they will have seized more control over our lives which is part of their agenda.

  36. @refl

    This virus is lethal in cold climes. In sunny tropical countries where the sun is shining, it fizzles out. Some examples are Thailand, India, Bangladesh and most African countries where health care is woefully inadequate.
    Even in the countries where it’s raging, it’s nowhere as lethal as it’s being made out to be. Take it with a pinch of salt or a better still with a bit of sunshine.

    • Replies: @refl
    , @Bill Jones
  37. Coronavirus and Climate Change – #PropagandaWatch

    Video Link

  38. @fenster

    I’m a derivatives guy and I’ve looked at far too many charts like that.
    My first thought on this was that the underlying percentage of the population ultimately exposed stays the same only the speed of spread differs and the difference in fatalities is a function of availability of medical care- Swamped v not Swamped which implies it’s being “cured”.
    If there is no cure then the care provided by the non Swamped systems is merely better quality palliative care.
    Given equality of outcome (with different levels of comfort) then I’m all for a rapid boil-off in as few months as possible rather than a long slow simmer.

    As far as I can see those most vulnerable are often suffering from other conditions that seem to be overlooked when a death can be conveniently attributed to the corona virus.
    As with everything in the West today, there’s far too much incentive for misinformation to really indulge in anything other than idle speculation.

  39. “Coronavirus comes in many, many different forms, and most of them are similar to just a cold virus,” Taege said. “This will be the third known episode of a coronavirus that had a significant impact on health beyond just a cold,” the first two being SARS and MERS. It’s easy to forget the clear and present danger posed by influenza because it’s always there, sickening millions and killing thousands every year during flu season, said Dr. Bernard Camins, medical director for infection prevention at the Mount Sinai Health System in New York City. The CDC predicts that at least 12,000 Americans will die from the flu in any given year. As many as 61,000 people died in the 2017-2018 flu season, and 45 million were infected.
    All excerpts are from

    • Thanks: Sick of Orcs
  40. refl says:
    @Rev. Spooner

    I am writing from Germany and on this ocassion learned that in 2017 this country experienced a flu epidemic with 30 000 dead – which noone noticed. Today, there is massive hysteria about 17 cases tested positive for Corona.
    What is more, is that in these cases – actually in all cases anywhere that have been tested, where people died ‘of Corona virus’ – 1) the person died and 2) there were Corona viruses present. There need not be any relation between the two.

    The trick with countries that have inadeaquate healthcare is simple – they do not test and do not even have the means for it. And people there do not get old anyway.

    You know why African countries have so huge numbers of Aids? – While in Europe and North America Aids is found out by test, in Africa they cannot afford the test and therefore the symptoms are regarded as evidence for an Aids infection. Stupidly, the same symptoms also show with malnutrition and a number of other diseases which are endemic in countries with huge levels of poverty.

    The more I think about it, the more I believe that what we are witnessing is the dumping down of once formidable European healthcare to the level of subsaharan Africa. Next time round we will have medicine men for cure.

  41. Anonymous[200] • Disclaimer says:
    @Old and Grumpy

    His government is better than ours so I’m not surprised. Chinese people’s lives have been improving for generations and, believe it or not, they’re not even trying to genocide them.

    I wish I could trust my government.

  42. Gilmorel2 says:

    I’m interested. My email is [email protected]. I have a pregnant wife.

  43. Anonymous[146] • Disclaimer says:
    @Che Guava

    Andrew Anglin is hilarious. I still remember his message to the goyim from a week or so ago. Paraphrasing:

    “Whatever comes next, you know you’re going to need more toilet paper.”

    • Agree: Che Guava
  44. @Franz

    SSSSHHHHHHH. If you short circuit the panic by telling the truth, the border wall will never get built. This panic is just what was needed.

    What better motive to keep other people out of the country than prevention of disease. See the cloud. Notice the silver lining. But keep quiet. Mums the word.

    • Replies: @Poco
  45. ld says:

    March break students partying in packed beaches in the US
    Generation Z doing its best to kill Grandpa

  46. Anon[226] • Disclaimer says:
    @Gleimhart Mantooso

    Where did you earn your PhD in epidemiology?

    Doncha know that PhD stands for piled higher and deeper? Why would anyone really need a PhD in epidemiology if they’re so ignorant of mathematics they don’t know how to calculate the areas under two curves?

  47. ricpic says:

    Grandpa in the attic should be treated with as much care as the budding nuclear scientist.

    Because it’s not about efficiency. It’s about rachmonis. Without mercy the most efficient society in the world is finally a nightmare.

  48. Poco says:

    My suspicion is that the DNC and globalist scum, operating under the rubric of never letting a crisis go to waste, planned to use this relatively non-lethal outbreak to pan Donald Trump and demand open borders to save the poor foreigners. It boomeranged on them and blew up in their face when he started closing borders and most people agreed with him. . they are stupid.
    What they would have done is form committees, task-forces, and investigations on how it effects minorities.

    • Replies: @Herald
  49. o waste, planned to use this relatively non-lethal outbreak to pan Donald Trump and demand open borders to save the poor foreigners. It boomeranged on them and blew up in their

  50. @Anonymous

    Agree. Personally, I’ve realized that the ideal for me would be to “get it, not spread it” – I’d rather have it at age 58 than 68. And I feel I’m more prepared now, as the US economy is slowly sliding into Shitsville, and as I keep saying, in 2000 I had a car, in 2010 I had a motorcycle, in 2020 I have a bicycle, in 2030 I may be lucky to have a pair of shoes. I have a safe place to live and an employer and an actual income, and some points of contact with the medical system. 10 years from now I may have none of these things.

  51. Herald says:

    It’s lethal, that’s for sure, get up to date.

    Reducing everything down to Punch and Judy politics is not going to provide any new insight and is often a ploy used by those whose covert aim is to stifle sensible discussion.

    • Replies: @Poco
  52. @refl

    A month or two ago, there was a flu that I got that got into my lungs more than the average flu, I was coughing a lot, it was pretty gross. And no one mentions that this flu came through. I wanna say it was around December, not sure. But it was bad. But no one’s mentioning this.

    Indeed, with no testing, and with widespread malnutrition, lots of fatalities can get mis-attributed. One of my younger sisters almost died of starvation, but on paper it would have been pneumonia which of course went untreated because access to medical care in the USA is very difficult. What cured it was, we moved to a different area and somehow that got us access to a different doctor who prescribed antibiotics for her, and also it was easier to go to school which had those Socialist school lunches that were a lifeline for so many kids in the hungry 70s. It was a better area for fishing and foraging too. There were also more people around to befriend and beg for food or somehow connive them out of some. In the old place, one method was to sneak in through windows and steal food from people’s kitchens but most people kept their windows locked so it was not really a good way to survive. And being the US, no doubt we’d have been killed if caught.

    This is why people leave the more sparsely populated areas for areas with more people. It’s just a matter of survival.

  53. Uradel666 says:
    @Gleimhart Mantooso

    Whether you need my information to be proved or you have some overhead questions, you can go to any medical database in this instance.

    However, if you have particular issues arise in your mind I will reply immediately to the questions.

  54. Uradel666 says:

    I didn’t tell that Corona had DNA.
    You have drawn the fallacious deduction over my comment.
    Mind what you’re about! You missed the main point of the story:
    within a few minutes to a few hours after the vaccination, sometimes days, you take directly into your gene pool the foreign modified and combined vaccineborne genome which is not controllable by our immune system at that time.

    Because the genetic engineering uses only a specific portion of foreign Genetic Material, it is nothing of any value what kind of Genetic Materials are used there, either DNA or RNA; or Virus, Bacteria, Fungus or Human’s, or even artificial genetic material. It is called DNA or RNA Chimera. And you pass it from one generation to another with ensuring positive development results.

    Study that you may learn….

  55. @ricpic

    I’m not familiar with the term “rachmonis”.

    My Collins dictionary dictionary has:

    Rachmanism as: extortion or exploitation by a landlord of tenants of dilapidated or slum property, esp when involving intimidation or use of racial fears to drive out sitting tenants whose rent is fixed at a low rate; after Perec Rachman (1920–62), British property owner born in Poland.

    But not a real Pole I guess; maybe one of those (()).

    I’m not sure if the term is appropriate in your intended context, but I think I agree with the sentiment of your comment.

  56. Poco says:

    You should shelter in place.

    • Troll: Herald
  57. Poco says:
    @Che Guava

    People absolutely revel in the idea of an apocalyptic scenario. Global warming, Ice Age, nuclear destruction, biological warfare, meteor strikes, 2nd coming, Meggido, Gog and Magog. People are nuts. They want to meet their end with a properly wiped hiney. Go figure.

    • Replies: @Che Guava
  58. Anon[205] • Disclaimer says:

    Likewise! While visiting St. Petersburg, Russia this past summer, I walked nearly 10 miles a day and up to 25 a couple of times. It was wonderful — pleasant people and stunning, inspiring scenery (Orthodox Cathedrals).

    Here in the United States, I spend an exorbitant amount of time in the back country of the Rocky Mountains — hiking, trail running, alpine climbing, mountaineering, and hunting.

    But I know that people like us are becoming scarce in the United States as our country has an obesity rate of 35 percent, nearly double the second most obese nation in the world, Australia (according to the 2019 CDC Obesity Report).

  59. @alex in San Jose AKA Digital Detroit

    Well, I don’t speak Yiddish or Hebrew, or have either dictionary. OK, I see now it’s on the Internet. Mercy or pity … hmm, not something I’d associate with Jews … except for their own, as family would be.

  60. @Commentator Mike

    When I was just barely into high school, I had to write a book review and I used a book about Albert Einstein because I dunno, that’s what I got off the book mobile or something. And something in it that shook me to my core was where it was casually mentioned that it was a custom to invite a poor Jewish student to Friday night dinner, the best dinner of the week.

    It shook me to my core because even within my own family, if you were poor, the rich ones wanted you dead or at least 1000s of miles away.

    Jews actually give a flying fuck about their own. Imagine that! White genocide? Eh *shrug* why not I don’t care, whites don’t give a shit about me so why should I care? Jewish genocide, now I’m gonna get pissed off because people who care about people even if only their own people, are actual people to me.

    • Disagree: Jett Rucker
  61. @Anon

    The standard figures are 1/3 normal weight, 1/3 overweight, 1/3 obese. I think the curve is pushing more toward maybe 20% normal weight, and 40%-40% the other two catagories.

    Watch the movie “The Widowmaker” – you can be of normal weight and still get type II diabetes, and well on your way to a heart attack even if you’re of normal BMI on the standard American diet. It’s free on YouTube and quite interesting.

  62. Kim says:

    They have got the population (the rubes) looking at the “pandemic” hand when they should be looking at the “stealing” hand.

    Over this last week Big Corp has already received trillions in bailouts. Companies that these last ten years used low interest rates (close to free money) to borrow to buy back their shares at ridiculously overvalued prices. Companies that for years have had no profits at all!

    But now that the prices have cratered – as they always do – they are getting massively bailed out and the Fed is proposing to buy their shares at 100 cents on the dollar of a notional value. So they will not lose a cent.

    And that is why they are not offering a word of protest at being shut down for weeks. Because the Fed system is helping them keep all of their unjustified profits.

    Only a fool can’t see this for what it is: the diversion for a massive coordinated theft, the greatest in the history of the planet.

    • Agree: 9/11 Inside job
    • Replies: @calculator
    , @RadicalCenter
  63. Jett Rucker says: • Website
    @Bill Jones

    The we see …

    How are we going to combat an epidemic when we can’t/won’t even spell out the words we’re using intelligibly? Language is loose enough without such meaning-damaging carelessness.

    The article itself is replete with non-editing.

    Pity. Tragic pity, at least potentially.

    We are doomed.

  64. Jett Rucker says: • Website

    First, lifestyle is not crimped!


    Whose lifestyle? Crimped how? By what? Why?

  65. Jett Rucker says: • Website

    You are ready-made dress form…

    Do tell.

  66. @Nonny Mouse

    The US persecutes, China does not.

    Sure. If you say so, Chief.

  67. @gotmituns

    People in America refuse to walk any further than their car which is always close by.

    No Unz thread is complete without needless stereotyping of Americans. Yes, gotmituns, you’re the only one of us who walks, cuz you’re so special. Now you get sit at the cool kid’s table.

    • Agree: RadicalCenter
  68. @Daniel Rich

    I did a tour in SE Asia up in the central highlands. I can tell you what you say is right. A good Viet mortar man can put a round between your balls even if you are lying on them. I saw the squad gunner and another guy receive a bulls eye shot. However the revelation for me was a red hot shard whizzing by my head and sticking into a stump. If I had been 2-3 inches more forward it would have cut off the top of my head. If at that moment someone had come along with a bathtub of any virus and asked us to jump in and also slurp it up, not a soul would have hesitated just to be quarantined for a year maybe ? LOL. I used up all my fear in those terrible days and have never been afraid of anything since. It is incredible how this Corona thing has everyone spooked and everyone who can flogs it on to greater hysteria and speculation. We have become a nation of pussies frightened of everything including our own shadow. It was not my turn then. Perhaps I will slip on a banana skin and split my head open as should have happened so long ago. You are right Danny, one day this life will be gone for each and everyone of us.

    The Man above says where, when and how. There is no why ! For all its trials and tribulations this is a beautiful world and a wonderful life. Dont waste it worrying about this silly virus and the fallout of any. You only get one chance at this existence and then oblivion !

    • Replies: @refl
  69. @Kim

    Right on. Once all the money is deployed and gets ripped off the virus will be “contained” “controlled” “vanquished” and we can get back to normal but only after billions of people get that vaccine shot at say $100 per needle??

    Everyone will then say “I cant understand all the confusion and hysteria. It looks like we have been duped”.

    All will be well until next year when a new virus with a beer/ number name appears and we go through the same thing again. We must be like the drunk in the alley who gets rolled regularly and can never understand why. The public today is the John but do we know the Pimp ?

  70. @Anon

    Well we live in the USA, the greatest country in the world and as such we need not abide by the laws of nature. That is why we can safely stay indoors all year our major exercise routine being video games, the TV remote controller and vigorous walks to the fridge, smoke, drink, use recreational drugs, pop endless pills, take in whatever medication is thrown our way and eat nothing but tinned, processed and fast food from the dozen or so shops on every corner and indulge in all the self abuse we can handle. How can we ever get sick or attract/ contract a virus with all that clean living ?

  71. Jim A. says:
    @alex in San Jose AKA Digital Detroit

    There are two ways to calculate this with enough accuracy for argument: You can use calculus, or you can simply draw out the two curves at the same scale on two sheets of the same weight of paper, cut them out, and weigh the pieces.

    There is a third way using a device called a planimeter. Simply trace the outline of a two dimension figure and the device reads out the area.

  72. Jim A. says:

    There are two ways to calculate this with enough accuracy for argument: You can use calculus, or you can simply draw out the two curves at the same scale on two sheets of the same weight of paper, cut them out, and weigh the pieces.

    There is a third way using a device called a planimeter. Simply trace the outline of a two dimension figure and the device reads out the area.

    • Replies: @Bill Jones
  73. @Kim

    You’re right, Kim.

    Just read that Germany’s public bank is issuing 1% loans to small businesses. We should do the same and much more.

    The current virus economic relief plan is another ripoff and fleecing of taxpayers and the people. Public Banking Institute points out that banks are getting funds at or near zero interest and then profiting by lending it to us at rates up to 3.75%.

    Instead, CUT OUT THE BANKS AND HELP US CITIZENS DIRECTLY. Keep the fed reserve out of it too.

    The fed gov itself should offer 0% or 1% loans for Americans to refinance their mortgage and vehicle loans. Exclude nobody or only the very very high income group (day, a couple earning over a half a million per year for a family).

    Is the goal to further enrich the banks or to help us as much as possible as affordable as possible? We can see the answer in front of us.

  74. refl says:

    a nation of pussies

    The longer this goes, the more I get that this is the problem – the first sign of crisis was people hoarding toilett paper of all things. Now, it is the smell of antiseptics so strong and nauseating that it makes you want to befriend any type of flu that god created.
    What sort of people is this that take on such habits? In what relation are they to their own bodies? Have they ever even had the sensual experience of investigating the inside of their own nose? Let alone anything of the more adult stuff?
    If I had ever taken an interest, what LGTBXwhatthefuck sex life was like, this would answer my question. And now such types form governments???

    • Replies: @calculator
  75. @Jim A.

    That’s cool, thanks for that. I had no idea such a beast existed (smells like some of that White Man’s Magic.) I see on Amazon that for Americans they are now called “take off tools” as Idiocracy rolls on.

    Don’t know what I’ll do with mine but like the old slide rule it seems like a gotta have.

    Spacial and volumetric awareness is one of the “comes with the IQ” things. In the original post the area disparities were stark.

  76. @refl

    There are few hard men left. I think our generation and the previous ones have disappeared for ever. What is considered a catastrophe these days would be considered a joke in my youth. Back in the day the average Grandpa and Grandma might wake up with a cold on a freezing winter day and still go out to put in 12 hours of back breaking labour with nary a complaint or indication they dont feel well.

    Today a sniffle takes out a whole city block with everyone signalling they are unwell and hungry for some sort of recognition and sympathy that is if they manage to even get out of bed.

    This virus has the whole world fleeing like mice. I shudder to think what it would be like when we have another world wide conflagration with millions dead, maimed, disfigured and mentally unhinged. We have too many pansies and fruitcakes around, frightened out of their minds at everything, offended by everything and floored and paralysed by every stupid little everything. Every door handle, pencil, glass and coffee cup must be wiped down. The girl at my local coffee shop, a single mother with three kids quit because she must wash her hands in soapy hot water everytime she takes cash leaving her hands dry, cracked and blistered and bleeding. The Dude at the water store kicked out several customers when they demanded to know whether he had wiped down, sanitised, sterilised and blow torched every surface including the ceiling.

    Safe spaces, micro aggressions, trigger words, colouring books, trauma counselling ! Never mind stockpiling toilet paper and drinking water. We may have to wipe our asses with dried grass (if available) and drink runoff from the roof or puddles on the ground. We had better grow a spine and some nuts or we are in for some heavy duty heartache.

    • Agree: Commentator Mike
  77. Well I went to the supermarket yesterday and there were few people. The pleasant surprise was that the isles with the bread and toilet paper were full and I was the only one interested in buying these goods. The virus thing seems to have fizzled out and slowly dying (no pun intended) as people get fed up with the constant barrage of b/s . There were also no fights or arguments with unmasked dudes or hoes projecting their poisonous spittle into each other’s faces. BUT, I see there is a Locust problem in Africa that may cause widespread famine. Maybe the press is gearing up for a different “catastrophe”. Watch out folks ! After all this Corona aid money is embezzled you may be asked to contribute some more to save the Dark Continent or even our continent. I predict this pestilential swarm could invade Chicago and Baltimore

    We get out of one drama just in time for the next ??

  78. Che Guava says:

    ht is somewhat depenendent on culture

  79. @Jim A.

    Oh yeah I remember a wonderful write up on the planimeter by, I believe, Jearl Walker, a great Scientific American explainer. But I doubt the avg. person has one lying around.

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