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What’s new?

How’s the stock market doing?

My interpretation of the Efficient Markets Hypothesis is not that the stock market is always correct about interpreting news, it was that it is very fast at reading the news. E.g., if the headline in your daily newspaper is “Huge Study Proves iPhone Causes Lethal Brain Cancer,” and you think to yourself, “You know, I should get out my computer and sell my Apple stock,” well, you’re too late.

But in this case, the markets had all the news for about 7 weeks and just didn’t interpret the news correctly until about February 20 as being really bad.

From Nature on the big question of shutting the schools:

5 March 15:30 GMT — China study suggests children are as likely to be infected as adults

Children are just as likely to become infected with the new coronavirus as adults, finds one of the most detailed studies yet published on the spread of the virus, known as SARS-CoV-2. The analysis — based on data from Shenzhen in China — provides a partial answer to one of the most pressing questions surrounding the outbreak: the role of children.

Previous studies have suggested that kids are much less likely than other age groups to develop severe symptoms when infected by the coronavirus. But it was not clear whether this was because they weren’t getting infected or because they were fighting off the infection more effectively.

“Kids are just as likely to get infected and they’re not getting sick,” says Justin Lessler, an infectious-disease epidemiologist at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore, Maryland. He co-led the study with three other epidemiologists — Qifang Bi, also at Johns Hopkins, Ting Ma at the Harbin Institute of Technology in Shenzhen and Tiejian Feng at the Shenzhen Center for Disease Control and Prevention. They posted the analysis to the medRxiv preprint server on 4 March.

The study is unique in that it looked at not only people who were infected with the virus, but also large numbers of their close contacts, some of whom were infected and many of whom were not. The researchers followed 391 people who were diagnosed on the basis of their symptoms, and 1,286 of their close contacts to see whether these contacts tested positive for the virus even if they didn’t show symptoms. Overall, the team found that children under 10 who had potentially been exposed to the virus were just as likely to become infected as other age groups, with between 7% and 8% of contacts of known cases later testing positive.

The authors also found that people who lived in the same household as someone infected with the virus were about six times more likely get infected than those who made contact with an infected person in other settings.

“This may be the first clear evidence that children are as susceptible as adults to SARS-CoV-2 infection,” says Ben Cowling, an infectious-disease epidemiologist at the University of Hong Kong. He wonders whether the fact that outbreaks haven’t been observed in schools could be down to the fact that children’s symptoms are mild.

Lessler says it’s still not clear whether children are important in transmitting the virus, as they are for influenza; children routinely develop flu symptoms and are common hubs in chains of transmission.

If children aren’t very symptomatic, are they still spreading the infections?

“That’s one of the current critical remaining questions and we’re trying to figure out how to answer it,” he says. “I have a 7-month-old and a 6-year-old and I can’t imagine that, if they have any virus at all, they’re not getting it on somebody.”

The study could have important implications for slowing the spread of the virus through measures such as school closures. “Once we say containment is not an option, we can’t ignore the kids,” says Lessler.

“This is a key piece of data that may support school closures as an effective intervention,” Caitlin Rivers, an epidemiologist at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, said in a tweet on 5 March.

 
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  1. The point in reducing transmissions is just so that the load upon the medical system can be distributed a bit better over time. We don’t have anywhere near the excess capacity required to handle a 30% increase in demand for hospital beds. Personally I’m hoping that warm weather is going to help.

    Frankly more worried about the economic effects just now.

    • Agree: ben tillman
    • Replies: @ben tillman

    Frankly more worried about the economic effects just now.
     
    And the effects on the election.
  2. Anyone who has had children knows they are little petri dishes for germs. As soon as they go to preschool they all infect each other and then bring the germs home to infect their parents.

    Besides, data shows (counter-intuitively), that most kids learn more when they are away from school anyway.

    I say shutter the schools.

    • Replies: @Bard of Bumperstickers
    It seems the kids are immune to it, though. Has anyone heard of one child anywhere dying from it? One comment at Zero Hedge's plethora of corona reportage noticed that many countries wonder how to deal with their aging populace. My money's on bioweapon.
    , @anonymous

    Besides, data shows (counter-intuitively), that most kids learn more when they are away from school anyway.

    I say shutter the schools.
     
    So far, almost all the deaths from the virus have been Asian or Eurasian.

    I say shutter Arcadia. 🔒
    , @Adam Smith
    counter-intuitively?

    Clearly you jest...?

    Perhaps you have never stepped foot inside an American Public Indoctrination/Daycare Center or heard of John Taylor Gatto.

    I agree, shutter the skools!

    Leave them kids alone.
    , @SunBakedSuburb
    "I say shutter the schools."

    In neighborhoods with large black populations public schools serve as babysitters. If the schools are shuttered these neighborhoods will experience even more havoc and disorder. We could put these loosed black kids on a cruise ship.
    , @dfordoom

    I say shutter the schools.
     
    When you think about it schools are a seriously dumb idea. They're not just disastrous from a public health point of view. Kids also pick up bad behaviour from other kids. In fact they pick up bad behaviour from their teachers these days.

    If the homeschoolers were smart they'd see this as the greatest opportunity they're ever going to get. They should be using the line, "I homeschool my kids to save lives."
  3. Of course the kids are spreading the virus. Who else gets packed like sardines into an unhygienic environment then comes home to innocently share all that grime with the adult members of their family. Adults who take the kiddies grocery shopping before discovering that Jr. has fever and a runny, runny nose. Then after taking their ill offspring to the doctor drag the child into the drugstore right after for their prescription. At the point of greatest infectiousness, Jr. leaves a snail trail of snot across the handle of a buggy and will probably go to the bathroom as well where he will bravely flush the toilet and turn the handle on the sink all by himself. He’ll also leave a little handprint on the metal plate of the bathroom door especially on the way out if he doesn’t wash his hands. Then there are the fits of sneezing/coughing. But someone will insist on swabbing the insides of cheeks, taking blood and using complicated mathematical models to reach the same conclusion.

    • LOL: bomag
    • Replies: @HammerJack
    Florence King lives!
    She lives, I tell you!
    , @Bard of Bumperstickers
    #banweaponizedchildren
    , @SunBakedSuburb
    "runny, runny nose"

    I've just found a new name for Bum Puke, my neo-punk band. Thanks.
    , @Alan Mercer
    I can hear the gentle rustle of your ovaries shriveling.
  4. I mean, I come here for wisdom. Tell me what to do.

    • LOL: Bardon Kaldian
    • Replies: @San Fernando Curt
    Wash your hands and don't be afraid.
    , @NOTA
    stay away from crowds and wash your damned hands
  5. Would seem as obvious as the markets were going to sell off that you should close schools. The Orientals have closed them so so should we, no point leaving it too late.

    • Replies: @Bard of Bumperstickers
    Speaking of preventing spread of disease: https://www.breitbart.com/europe/2020/03/07/finlands-millennial-feminist-govt-helping-greece-by-sending-border-guards-help-migrants-claim-asylum/

    #quarantinefeminists Today, Greece, tomorrow, Finland. Inviting rape culture.

  6. It is weird how slow the market was to digest all the news. I suggested readers hedge before the market started reacting:

    The oil market drop is amazing though. Some economist or political pundit on Twitter wondered why odds of a recession and odds of Trump winning re-election were both over 50% now: I suspect it’s because this recession will be starting from <4% unemployment and be accompanied by cheap gas, so not so painful.

    • Replies: @Mr McKenna

    I suspect it’s because this recession will be starting from <4% unemployment and be accompanied by cheap gas, so not so painful.
     
    It's the nature of economic contractions to result in cheap everything. Of course, it's all relative, but typically in a severe reversal the only items which retain pricing power are foodstuffs and emergency medical services.

    In the current situation demand for the latter will be skyrocketing, but supply isn't particularly elastic. And of course in our society the pricing of medical services is 'complex' to put it simply.

    Epidemics come and go, but they're extremely hard to predict and this one may indeed be a major Black Swan. Our economic expansion was getting long in the tooth anyway, so the drama just now on Wall Street (as you say) isn't totally surprising.

    , @Bill Jones
    The oil market drop seems to be at Vlad's behest.
    There's a piece at Zero Hedge (can't be bothered to find it) has him doing a big fuck you to the clowns who have gone out of their way to antagonize him.
    He would not agree to to a production cut at OPEC. He seems to be the marginal cost producer, or as near as dammit. He can live with $30 oil. the US and Saudi can't.
    , @anon
    Asset prices are broadly determined by an underlying interest rate. With bonds, it is pretty much a formula. Stocks can be thought of as badly behaved bonds.

    Unless or until effective interest rates rise, not that much can happen.

    So.... my thinking about Covid-19 was that the largest risk was:

    1. Supply chain and other disruptions in economic activity.
    2. Shortages.
    3. Inflationary shock.
    4. Inflationary expectations --> effective interest rates rise.
    5. Asset prices tank.

    Those looking for a collapse in the credit markets are like militaries planning to re fight WW 2. It will take at least a full generation before it would repeat. Not to say there won't be WW 3. Just don't expect a repeat.

    So, absent inflation, I can't see anything that serious. Except volatility. Which isn't a problem.

    This is a less commonly expressed perspective, but hardly original. FWIW.
    , @Dave Pinsen
    In the black despite today.

    https://twitter.com/dpinsen/status/1237180827114582017?s=21
  7. Coronavirus Open Thread

    Poor choice of words.

    Closed threads:

    Open:

  8. The Efficient Market Hypotheses (in this case really the Efficient Stock Market Hypothesis) is for challenged people who think truth magically emerges from traders armed with barely debugged software scanning headlines with neural network recognizers. Mix in completely mad-hatterish hedge fund monstrosities and short selling and you are all set. These people probably do ouija board session in rheir spare time and buy pop psych books at the airport.

    The Rothbard Insitute is keeping it generally real: https://mises.org/library/efficient-market-conjecture

    • Replies: @SFG
    The point of free market fundamentalism was to create an ideology that would allow businessmen to avoid taxes and regulations. Don't do anything, the invisible hand will take care of everything.

    Just like the left ideologies shift to accommodate the Democratic Party's coalition of the moment. There are old Schlesinger books about how Andrew Jackson stood up for the little guy, back when it included blue-collar Southerners and European immigrants in northern cities. Now it's everyone-except-white-men, so there are elaborate intersectional demonologies of white men.

    The coalition comes first, the ideology comes after that. Or perhaps ideologies that don't lead to a winning coalition don't spread --the intellectual dark web hasn't really gotten anywhere electorally, for instance, and neither has effective altruism or rationalism, to take a few always-online ideologies I'm vaguely familiar with. Even neoreaction wasn't influential until it got big into white identity politics to pick up disaffected blue-collar white guys (and became the alt-right).
    , @The Alarmist

    The Efficient Market Hypotheses [sic] ....
     
    Is merely a hypothesis: It is not even robust enough to be a theory of how the markets work. It gives young MBA skulls full of mush something to blather on about in a vain attempt to sound like they know something.

    Reminds me of a finance class where I talked about gambling in the markets, a comment which left the prof a bit indignant, and in his tirade he made some comment about Blue Chip companies; I had just read Market Wizards, and one of the classic interviews had a trader who had faced a similar comment, to which he said something to the effect of, "I learned that the Blue Chip was the biggest chip in Monte Carlo, so I threw away Graham and Dodd and bought Beat the Dealer, and I've been winning ever since." So I shared a highlighted copy of the book with him. I'm still surprised he let me ace his class.

  9. There is unambiguously bad news and there is news that is bad but leaves some room for hope. An example of the former: nuclear war in progress between India and Pakistan. That would crash the market immediately, if temporarily. The coronavirus news was less clear cut, especially given the large numbers of reality deniers online, e.g., Unz’s Uneducables. This rhetorical fog and the political reflex of not facing problems allowed the market to proceed through a slow turn on DJIA that involved a brief retracement to an expected level, and then the technical state of the market was sufficient for the bottom to fall out.

    The suspension of trading just before 10 pm EST last night is good news. Now maybe the USA will at least try to slow the epidemic with lockdowns so that the medical system does not collapse entirely.

    • Replies: @22pp22
    Why are you here?
  10. @Dave Pinsen
    It is weird how slow the market was to digest all the news. I suggested readers hedge before the market started reacting:

    https://twitter.com/portfolioarmor/status/1228044343954563074?s=21

    The oil market drop is amazing though. Some economist or political pundit on Twitter wondered why odds of a recession and odds of Trump winning re-election were both over 50% now: I suspect it’s because this recession will be starting from <4% unemployment and be accompanied by cheap gas, so not so painful.

    I suspect it’s because this recession will be starting from <4% unemployment and be accompanied by cheap gas, so not so painful.

    It’s the nature of economic contractions to result in cheap everything. Of course, it’s all relative, but typically in a severe reversal the only items which retain pricing power are foodstuffs and emergency medical services.

    In the current situation demand for the latter will be skyrocketing, but supply isn’t particularly elastic. And of course in our society the pricing of medical services is ‘complex’ to put it simply.

    Epidemics come and go, but they’re extremely hard to predict and this one may indeed be a major Black Swan. Our economic expansion was getting long in the tooth anyway, so the drama just now on Wall Street (as you say) isn’t totally surprising.

  11. London stock futures are down more than 8% now. US futures have a limit that keeps them from dropping more than 5%. Could be a 1,500+ point drop for the Dow Monday.

    • Replies: @midtown
    Stay out for now, but soon there will be some amazing investment opportunities in the stock market. China's experience has partially allayed my fears -- after a rough start, their infections seem to be declining and they are working again. So after a drop, which we needed anyway, we should stabilize and build again. Then again, I give the boogaloo a 20% chance of arising out of all this, too.
  12. It is not just the efficient market theory, the gov’t everywhere are slow to react.

    Chinese gov’t, now we all know, was too slow for about 10 days, maybe more. But since then, the gov’t of most other countries proved to be no better, or, actually, worse.

    And it is not just market and gov’t, but people everywhere, seem to be slow to react. Still large gatherings everywhere.

  13. Who says there’s never any good news?

    CPAC, AIPAC BOTH CONFIRM ATTENDEES HAD CORONAVIRUS

    https://www.infowars.com/cpac-aipac-both-confirm-attendees-had-coronavirus-schlapp-shook-president-trumps-hand/

    I do apologize for the source.

    We obviously should encourage as many meetings of Regime politicians as possible. If sixty is the new forty, this offers the opportunity to make seventy the new ninety.

    GenXers, your time is nigh.

    • Thanks: HammerJack
    • Replies: @Justvisiting
    I used to be an atheist until I learned about this:

    https://www.wbtv.com/2020/03/08/rector-prominent-washington-dc-church-tests-positive-coronavirus/

    Lots of prominent DC types go to this church or hang out with those who do.

    Praise the Lord! He has chosen DC patient zero! ;-)
  14. My interpretation of the Efficient Markets Hypothesis is not that the stock market is always correct about interpreting news, it was that it is very fast at reading the news. E.g., if the headline in your daily newspaper is “Huge Study Proves iPhone Causes Lethal Brain Cancer,” and you think to yourself, “You know, I should get out my computer and sell my Apple stock,” well, you’re too late.

    The stockmarket is mostly gambling now, particularly at a time like this all the moves will be basically gambling for short term advantage. (Buy stocks in manufacturers of UV-C devices for their short term boost for the next few months/year until the vaccine comes) It’s not real, no real wealth is being ‘lost’ in these market tumbles, that money is allocated for short-term stock market speculation and will return to it someplace. So people are anxious to respond to news because they know others are and are trying to earn money off the ‘greater fools’.

    This is exactly why there should be taxes on HFT. With the UK leaving the EU there is a greater chance of this happening in the EU. (But we may be too late into neoliberal TINA land for this to take place) 3-5% doesn’t hurt much for a small trader (They may even be trading in amounts too low to be taxed) but for a mega bank/hedge fund making massive short-term bets, it could wipe out the potential profits from their market gambling and make them more circumspect in their trades leading to a more rational market with money invested longer term in more productive areas.

    • Agree: utu, YetAnotherAnon
    • Replies: @Anon

    The stockmarket is mostly gambling now, particularly at a time like this all the moves will be basically gambling for short term advantage.
     
    Now?

    “I’ve never had any great moral problems with gambling because most of the objections seem hypocritical to me. The New York Stock Exchange happens to be the biggest casino in the world. The only thing that makes it different from the average casino is that the players dress in blue pinstripe suits and carry leather briefcases.” — Donald Trump, Trump: The Art of the Deal (Random House, 1987).

    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/1/1c/Trump_the_art_of_the_deal.jpg
     
  15. @miss marple
    Of course the kids are spreading the virus. Who else gets packed like sardines into an unhygienic environment then comes home to innocently share all that grime with the adult members of their family. Adults who take the kiddies grocery shopping before discovering that Jr. has fever and a runny, runny nose. Then after taking their ill offspring to the doctor drag the child into the drugstore right after for their prescription. At the point of greatest infectiousness, Jr. leaves a snail trail of snot across the handle of a buggy and will probably go to the bathroom as well where he will bravely flush the toilet and turn the handle on the sink all by himself. He'll also leave a little handprint on the metal plate of the bathroom door especially on the way out if he doesn't wash his hands. Then there are the fits of sneezing/coughing. But someone will insist on swabbing the insides of cheeks, taking blood and using complicated mathematical models to reach the same conclusion.

    Florence King lives!
    She lives, I tell you!

  16. FTSE is actually 8% down, Guardian reporting no price matching for a few stocks.

    https://www.theguardian.com/business/live/2020/mar/09/markets-plunge-crash-financial-crisis-coronavirus-ftse-italy-oil-price-dow-business-live

    But the 30% oil price drop is massive. If you have oil heating, fill your boots or your tank.

    Oddly, the Italian index is only a few per cent down.

  17. “This is a key piece of data that may support school closures as an effective intervention,”

    Are the staff still going to get paid + Platinum Healthcare benefits, while parents have to pay to mind their kids and pay school taxes?

    I thought the way it was supposed to work is kids got immunities early so they they were prepared as adults.

    Coronavirus live updates: stock markets plunge as infections pass 110,000
    https://www.theguardian.com/world/live/2020/mar/09/coronavirus-live-updates-outbreak-italy-lockdown-quarantine-uk-usa-america-australia-recession-fears-update-latest-news

    The 110,000 number is the total number of people who ever had the disease. Subtract recoveries and deaths and you get like 42,000. I think the Johns Hopkins map is misrepresenting the severity. It should lead with total active cases not total cases ever. and the circles are way too large.

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

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/

    Click on "show graph" on "Active Cases". Active cases began increasing from a few days ago as the international increases outweighed the recoveries in China, which slowed up because most are recovered there now.

    The genie is not going back in the bottle. Open bordersism (even Schengen) combined with densely populous countries with stupid people, stupid leaders, poor health practices and infrastructure will see to it that most people get this in the next year. Those countries will be incubators and reservoirs. China did also not shut off world travel when they might have. That is going to cost their economy.

    How is Germany treating their patients? Do they have a secret or are they bad at counting deaths? No deaths reported thus far, 1k cases... what is their one weird trick?

    Key for me I think is rest, sleep, vitamin C and multivitamins daily, and if we get sick I will be having 4g C daily, spaced throughout. Social distancing, minimizing travel, etc. Hopefully they close the schools too.
    , @415 reasons
    There may be >1 million current cases in Iran.
  18. The oil market drop is amazing though.

    The Saudis deciding to open the spigots just as the world economy was going in the tank has to rank as one of their all-time dumb moves at self-inflicted harm.

    • Replies: @snorlax
    A global economic recession isn't good for oil prices either, and (temporarily) opening the spigots is an effective form of stimulus. Also low oil prices hurt the Saudis' enemies (Iran, Qatar, Russia) more than they hurt the Saudis.
    , @HammerJack
    My guess is either 1] they wouldn't have done it if they didn't have to (cash crunch) or 2] they perceive an opportunity to deliver a coup de grace to certain competitors.

    Ah, I see you now snorlax!

  19. Anonymous[352] • Disclaimer says:

    Trump should call for a national 2 week self quarantine. If he gave the people 3 weeks to prepare, he could close the down the federal government except for essentials like law enforcement, and close all the public schools as well (by stopping payment for the two weeks.) He could close down interstates and call on private businesses to close for two weeks. Either an executive order or a new bill from congress could give employees and tenants special rights during this two week period. FEMA could hand out emergency food packages to families who need them. Literally why do we even have rulers or pay taxes if they cannot act in times like these?

    Close the stock exchange. Sure it will drop leading up to the quarantine, but rally sky high once the virus is under control.

    He needs to do this. Potentially millions of boomers could die if he doesn’t. This wont be like the fake wall that he claims he built. He cannot lie or skew or spin this or wish it away. He must act now.

    • Agree: Rob
    • Replies: @Bert
    You are absolutely correct.
    , @Bill Jones
    Which Federal Law Enforcement functions do you think are necessary?

    Sane people would close them first.

    , @BB753
    "Potentially millions of boomers could die if he doesn’t."

    No, we can't have that! Boomers are destined to be immortal! What about the Silents, hey? Do THEY deserve to die?
    , @Travis
    first step is shut down all international air travel.
    Last week alone hundreds of thousands of foreigners flew into the United States. Instead of imposing travel restrictions on Americans, we should first ban all foreigners from entering our nation, since we cannot effectively monitor travelers for the virus, as it takes weeks to develop symptoms.

    Trump supporters would embrace this travel ban on all foreigners. Democrats would not be able to attack the policy for being racist , since it would mostly effect Europeans. Would be fun watching the democrats attempt to attack this policy.
    , @Corvinus
    "Trump should call for a national 2 week self quarantine."

    He says it's contained. No need to go all Chicken Little. Besides, Pence is on the case!
  20. @Pincher Martin

    The oil market drop is amazing though.
     
    The Saudis deciding to open the spigots just as the world economy was going in the tank has to rank as one of their all-time dumb moves at self-inflicted harm.

    A global economic recession isn’t good for oil prices either, and (temporarily) opening the spigots is an effective form of stimulus. Also low oil prices hurt the Saudis’ enemies (Iran, Qatar, Russia) more than they hurt the Saudis.

    • Replies: @Pincher Martin

    A global economic recession isn’t good for oil prices either, and (temporarily) opening the spigots is an effective form of stimulus. Also low oil prices hurt the Saudis’ enemies (Iran, Qatar, Russia) more than they hurt the Saudis.
     
    Increasing supply in the face of reduced demand is a recipe for crashing prices, which is what we are seeing. The Saudis will soon discover that they are slitting their own wrists in the hope they can cut Russia and Iran's throats.

    BTW, the Saudis attempted something similar against U.S. frackers a few years ago. It failed.
    , @LondonBob
    Saudi Arabia and Russia aren't enemies. It was the Russians who refused to cut output, they have the lowest cost base and lowest breakeven price to balance their budget, they want to, and will, put US shale out of business. This will also devastate the US financial system due to exposure to shale bonds.
  21. @Pincher Martin

    The oil market drop is amazing though.
     
    The Saudis deciding to open the spigots just as the world economy was going in the tank has to rank as one of their all-time dumb moves at self-inflicted harm.

    My guess is either 1] they wouldn’t have done it if they didn’t have to (cash crunch) or 2] they perceive an opportunity to deliver a coup de grace to certain competitors.

    Ah, I see you now snorlax!

    • Agree: Houston 1992
  22. How’s the stock market doing?

    Good time to buy.

    A few months ago, as the stock market was driving to all-time highs, I began allocating 100% of my new investment monies to bonds. Typically, I don’t deviate from my investment allocation, but we haven’t had a bear market in over ten years and the exuberance in the markets was feeling forced.

    Last week, I switched back to buying stocks funds, much earlier than I anticipated.

    If this downturn continues, we’ll soon be in a bear market, and I’ll start moving my bond allocation entirely over to stocks.

    As Warren Buffett says, if you like buying stocks, why would you dislike buying them when they are cheap?

    • Replies: @SFG
    I actually was doing something like that. I messed up the timing with the retirement fund, though, and it started buying (stock-weighted) target-date funds instead.

    There is a big buying opportunity ahead, no question there; the problem, as always, is when the dip ends...
    , @MBlanc46
    Mme B was on the phone with her broker this morning. Buy when everyone else is selling. I never got round to an econ course, but even I understand this.
  23. @Bert
    There is unambiguously bad news and there is news that is bad but leaves some room for hope. An example of the former: nuclear war in progress between India and Pakistan. That would crash the market immediately, if temporarily. The coronavirus news was less clear cut, especially given the large numbers of reality deniers online, e.g., Unz's Uneducables. This rhetorical fog and the political reflex of not facing problems allowed the market to proceed through a slow turn on DJIA that involved a brief retracement to an expected level, and then the technical state of the market was sufficient for the bottom to fall out.

    The suspension of trading just before 10 pm EST last night is good news. Now maybe the USA will at least try to slow the epidemic with lockdowns so that the medical system does not collapse entirely.

    Why are you here?

    • Replies: @Bert
    To get Ron Unz to institute matriculation standards. Check out Project 100,000 aka McNamara's Morons.
  24. @Bill Jones
    Who says there's never any good news?


    CPAC, AIPAC BOTH CONFIRM ATTENDEES HAD CORONAVIRUS


    https://www.infowars.com/cpac-aipac-both-confirm-attendees-had-coronavirus-schlapp-shook-president-trumps-hand/

    I do apologize for the source.


    We obviously should encourage as many meetings of Regime politicians as possible. If sixty is the new forty, this offers the opportunity to make seventy the new ninety.

    GenXers, your time is nigh.

    I used to be an atheist until I learned about this:

    https://www.wbtv.com/2020/03/08/rector-prominent-washington-dc-church-tests-positive-coronavirus/

    Lots of prominent DC types go to this church or hang out with those who do.

    Praise the Lord! He has chosen DC patient zero! 😉

    • Replies: @Alden
    Alleluia alleluia I do hope this pastor greets every church goer with a handshake after the service. I hope this church has coffee and pastry after the service with lots of hand touching on cups plates and pastries.
  25. @snorlax
    A global economic recession isn't good for oil prices either, and (temporarily) opening the spigots is an effective form of stimulus. Also low oil prices hurt the Saudis' enemies (Iran, Qatar, Russia) more than they hurt the Saudis.

    A global economic recession isn’t good for oil prices either, and (temporarily) opening the spigots is an effective form of stimulus. Also low oil prices hurt the Saudis’ enemies (Iran, Qatar, Russia) more than they hurt the Saudis.

    Increasing supply in the face of reduced demand is a recipe for crashing prices, which is what we are seeing. The Saudis will soon discover that they are slitting their own wrists in the hope they can cut Russia and Iran’s throats.

    BTW, the Saudis attempted something similar against U.S. frackers a few years ago. It failed.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    It might work against the electric car to some extent though. If demand slows, then driving the price through the floor also doesn't cost you so much as volume is low.

    ---

    Case load increases about 100x per month. At 10k beginning of March, to 60% of 8B people....

    1Mar 10k
    1Apr 1M
    1May 100M
    1Jun 10B (no more people to infect)

    If it continues at the current pace the first wave is over by June. That would be when a lot of those cases die.

    If we are successful in slowing it down it will take longer to wash through. There may be a second or third wave though.
  26. The Financial Times has a good article explaining the drop in oil prices at this time. Basically, another headstrong and risky move by the prince.

    https://www.ft.com/content/59dcba56-61a2-11ea-b3f3-fe4680ea68b5

  27. The Financial Times has a good article explaining the drop in oil prices at this time. Basically, it’s another headstrong and risky gamble by the crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman.

    https://www.ft.com/content/59dcba56-61a2-11ea-b3f3-fe4680ea68b5

    • Replies: @epebble
    What is strange is both MBS and Putin engaging in this scorched earth price war that will unseat Trump when he has been a very good friend to both of them. Trump has resisted extraordinary pressure from within his own party to resist both of them more robustly but still managed to give them freedom to do whatever they want. They could have shown some gratitude at least till the election. Four more years of Trump would be extremely beneficial to Putin if he can persuade Trump to pull out of or dissolve NATO.
  28. Anonymous[186] • Disclaimer says:

    At least Mexicans, instead of panicking, are accepting the
    “chinaman’s virus” threat with a cheerful demeanor:

    https://mobile.twitter.com/brightislandusa/status/1236295112080187398

  29. Seems to me, this confirms the importance of a robust school-to-prison pipeline.

    • LOL: Redneck farmer
    • Replies: @HammerJack
    What causes one virus to be so much more contagious than another? And how can we intensify this effect?
  30. One thing sticks out a mile to me. I have followed the endless American discussions about your health care system. None of its opponents, not one that I have seen, pointed out that a glaring weakness is its (probable) inability to handle a serious epidemic. In fact public health considerations have played no part in anything I’ve read. The debate has concerned itself solely with private health care, albeit private healthcare for many members of the public.

    Why should that be?

    Anyway, if things go badly the opponents of the present system will pretend that they foresaw its shortcomings in the face of an epidemic long ago.

    Note: the most obvious shortcoming so far has been the criminal incompetence of the CDC, which is presumably a nest of Dems and apparently as mutton-headed as you’d expect of a part of the federal government.

    • Replies: @Buzz Mohawk
    That mutton-headedness is of course usually a characteristic of government involvement in private affairs. This is why I would never trade my health care in America for whatever is available anywhere else.

    You will find, when you get down to it, that most people would rather have access to what we have here. What does that tell you?

    Endless discussions indeed, that go nowhere and should just die, like someone waiting for healthcare in a government-run system.

    No one I know here ever has any doubt about the care they can get here. It is that good, and always has been. Again, what does that say?

    If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

    Oh, re facing an epidemic: That is more a function of liberty. Sometimes it's rough, but it's worth it.

    https://i.pinimg.com/236x/48/e8/17/48e8170a356a8323094a1694ac423981.jpg
    , @JMcG
    The CDC has had an obsession with studying gun violence as a public health hazard for years now. It’s a joke, as is most of the USG these days.
  31. @El Dato
    The Efficient Market Hypotheses (in this case really the Efficient Stock Market Hypothesis) is for challenged people who think truth magically emerges from traders armed with barely debugged software scanning headlines with neural network recognizers. Mix in completely mad-hatterish hedge fund monstrosities and short selling and you are all set. These people probably do ouija board session in rheir spare time and buy pop psych books at the airport.

    The Rothbard Insitute is keeping it generally real: https://mises.org/library/efficient-market-conjecture

    The point of free market fundamentalism was to create an ideology that would allow businessmen to avoid taxes and regulations. Don’t do anything, the invisible hand will take care of everything.

    Just like the left ideologies shift to accommodate the Democratic Party’s coalition of the moment. There are old Schlesinger books about how Andrew Jackson stood up for the little guy, back when it included blue-collar Southerners and European immigrants in northern cities. Now it’s everyone-except-white-men, so there are elaborate intersectional demonologies of white men.

    The coalition comes first, the ideology comes after that. Or perhaps ideologies that don’t lead to a winning coalition don’t spread –the intellectual dark web hasn’t really gotten anywhere electorally, for instance, and neither has effective altruism or rationalism, to take a few always-online ideologies I’m vaguely familiar with. Even neoreaction wasn’t influential until it got big into white identity politics to pick up disaffected blue-collar white guys (and became the alt-right).

  32. @Pincher Martin

    How’s the stock market doing?
     
    Good time to buy.

    A few months ago, as the stock market was driving to all-time highs, I began allocating 100% of my new investment monies to bonds. Typically, I don't deviate from my investment allocation, but we haven't had a bear market in over ten years and the exuberance in the markets was feeling forced.

    Last week, I switched back to buying stocks funds, much earlier than I anticipated.

    If this downturn continues, we'll soon be in a bear market, and I'll start moving my bond allocation entirely over to stocks.

    As Warren Buffett says, if you like buying stocks, why would you dislike buying them when they are cheap?

    I actually was doing something like that. I messed up the timing with the retirement fund, though, and it started buying (stock-weighted) target-date funds instead.

    There is a big buying opportunity ahead, no question there; the problem, as always, is when the dip ends…

    • Replies: @Pincher Martin

    There is a big buying opportunity ahead, no question there; the problem, as always, is when the dip ends…
     
    I don't worry about the exact timing. I just note that when you buy a bear, you're always rewarded years later. And when you buy a bull, you're rarely rewarded.

    The best time to buy U.S. stocks over the last 100 years? During the Great Depression.

    The second best time? During the stagflation of the mid- and late-seventies.

    More recently, if you bought stocks through the stock market meltdowns of 2002-02 and 2007-09, then you did very well.

    This is a buying opportunity. Smart people should use it.
    , @The Wild Geese Howard

    There is a big buying opportunity ahead, no question there; the problem, as always, is when the dip ends…
     
    In this environment make sure your position is limited risk. Buying and holding an equity or selling puts is a recipe for heartache and large losses.
  33. @22pp22
    Why are you here?

    To get Ron Unz to institute matriculation standards. Check out Project 100,000 aka McNamara’s Morons.

    • LOL: John Regan
  34. @International Jew
    Seems to me, this confirms the importance of a robust school-to-prison pipeline.

    What causes one virus to be so much more contagious than another? And how can we intensify this effect?

  35. @Anonymous
    Trump should call for a national 2 week self quarantine. If he gave the people 3 weeks to prepare, he could close the down the federal government except for essentials like law enforcement, and close all the public schools as well (by stopping payment for the two weeks.) He could close down interstates and call on private businesses to close for two weeks. Either an executive order or a new bill from congress could give employees and tenants special rights during this two week period. FEMA could hand out emergency food packages to families who need them. Literally why do we even have rulers or pay taxes if they cannot act in times like these?

    Close the stock exchange. Sure it will drop leading up to the quarantine, but rally sky high once the virus is under control.

    He needs to do this. Potentially millions of boomers could die if he doesn't. This wont be like the fake wall that he claims he built. He cannot lie or skew or spin this or wish it away. He must act now.

    You are absolutely correct.

  36. Anon[127] • Disclaimer says:
    @Altai

    My interpretation of the Efficient Markets Hypothesis is not that the stock market is always correct about interpreting news, it was that it is very fast at reading the news. E.g., if the headline in your daily newspaper is “Huge Study Proves iPhone Causes Lethal Brain Cancer,” and you think to yourself, “You know, I should get out my computer and sell my Apple stock,” well, you’re too late.
     
    The stockmarket is mostly gambling now, particularly at a time like this all the moves will be basically gambling for short term advantage. (Buy stocks in manufacturers of UV-C devices for their short term boost for the next few months/year until the vaccine comes) It's not real, no real wealth is being 'lost' in these market tumbles, that money is allocated for short-term stock market speculation and will return to it someplace. So people are anxious to respond to news because they know others are and are trying to earn money off the 'greater fools'.

    This is exactly why there should be taxes on HFT. With the UK leaving the EU there is a greater chance of this happening in the EU. (But we may be too late into neoliberal TINA land for this to take place) 3-5% doesn't hurt much for a small trader (They may even be trading in amounts too low to be taxed) but for a mega bank/hedge fund making massive short-term bets, it could wipe out the potential profits from their market gambling and make them more circumspect in their trades leading to a more rational market with money invested longer term in more productive areas.

    The stockmarket is mostly gambling now, particularly at a time like this all the moves will be basically gambling for short term advantage.

    Now?

    “I’ve never had any great moral problems with gambling because most of the objections seem hypocritical to me. The New York Stock Exchange happens to be the biggest casino in the world. The only thing that makes it different from the average casino is that the players dress in blue pinstripe suits and carry leather briefcases.” — Donald Trump, Trump: The Art of the Deal (Random House, 1987).

  37. Drive through testing stations, once there are enough kits. No waiting room transmission.

  38. @Hypnotoad666
    Anyone who has had children knows they are little petri dishes for germs. As soon as they go to preschool they all infect each other and then bring the germs home to infect their parents.

    Besides, data shows (counter-intuitively), that most kids learn more when they are away from school anyway.

    I say shutter the schools.

    It seems the kids are immune to it, though. Has anyone heard of one child anywhere dying from it? One comment at Zero Hedge’s plethora of corona reportage noticed that many countries wonder how to deal with their aging populace. My money’s on bioweapon.

    • Replies: @Hypnotoad666

    It seems the kids are immune to it, though.
     
    I think you are right that the mortality rate is super-low for the young. But they still act as carriers. So it would be more for everyone else's protection than for the kids themselves to shutdown that particular disease vector.
  39. @miss marple
    Of course the kids are spreading the virus. Who else gets packed like sardines into an unhygienic environment then comes home to innocently share all that grime with the adult members of their family. Adults who take the kiddies grocery shopping before discovering that Jr. has fever and a runny, runny nose. Then after taking their ill offspring to the doctor drag the child into the drugstore right after for their prescription. At the point of greatest infectiousness, Jr. leaves a snail trail of snot across the handle of a buggy and will probably go to the bathroom as well where he will bravely flush the toilet and turn the handle on the sink all by himself. He'll also leave a little handprint on the metal plate of the bathroom door especially on the way out if he doesn't wash his hands. Then there are the fits of sneezing/coughing. But someone will insist on swabbing the insides of cheeks, taking blood and using complicated mathematical models to reach the same conclusion.

    #banweaponizedchildren

  40. I just got back from Japan, and came through MSP. The only sort of health screening that went on was being asked, “did you visit China?”. The bathrooms didn’t even have soap at the sinks! I feared getting the flu more from all the obese slobs sneezing, picking their nose (not a joke), coughing into their hands, etc. than the obsessive cleaning and mask wearing Japanese.

    Comparing the two, I really think we have to reconsider that the US is a “first world” country. I don’t know if there are official definitions for being “second world”, but I know we aren’t third world. Yet. I’m sure we have all sensed or noticed the slipping of standards at home in manners, dress, cleanliness, cell phone use, but nothing was more jarring than coming back and having it really hit home how bad it is here. If the US is still first world, Japan needs a name for the next level that they live at.

    I couldn’t help but have the feeling while I was there that, “Is this what peak America was like?” I had a great time, but had that gnawing observation hanging over me which was kind of a downer. And for the love of God Japan, do not blow it by ever opening your borders!!!!

    • Replies: @Lugash
    Agree.
    , @S. Anonyia
    Right. We have a massive underclass who can’t even be bothered to change our of their pajamas while shopping. Crosses all races at this point, except maybe NE Asians.

    The absolute nicest places in America (top 5 percent) are certainly nicer than much of Western Europe. But the upper middle class suburbs (top 10 percent) aren’t really any better than your typical village in Western Europe. Beyond the top 15 percent of the socioeconomic strata everyone is undeniably worse off than the folk of Western Europe (perhaps Japan/S. Korea, Central/Southern Europe, too, but I can’t judge as I haven’t traveled there yet)

    Only the upper middle class parts of America are 1st world.

    I’d say we are halfway between first world and Latin America. Second world.

    , @The Wild Geese Howard

    Comparing the two, I really think we have to reconsider that the US is a “first world” country. I don’t know if there are official definitions for being “second world”, but I know we aren’t third world.
     
    I was just in Kansas City, MO.

    They have Third World levels of trash along their major thoroughfares.

    I encountered more debris and junk ON their major roads in one day than I did in 4+ years in the actual Third World.

    C'est la vie.
  41. @LondonBob
    Would seem as obvious as the markets were going to sell off that you should close schools. The Orientals have closed them so so should we, no point leaving it too late.

    Speaking of preventing spread of disease: https://www.breitbart.com/europe/2020/03/07/finlands-millennial-feminist-govt-helping-greece-by-sending-border-guards-help-migrants-claim-asylum/

    #quarantinefeminists Today, Greece, tomorrow, Finland. Inviting rape culture.

  42. @dearieme
    One thing sticks out a mile to me. I have followed the endless American discussions about your health care system. None of its opponents, not one that I have seen, pointed out that a glaring weakness is its (probable) inability to handle a serious epidemic. In fact public health considerations have played no part in anything I've read. The debate has concerned itself solely with private health care, albeit private healthcare for many members of the public.

    Why should that be?

    Anyway, if things go badly the opponents of the present system will pretend that they foresaw its shortcomings in the face of an epidemic long ago.

    Note: the most obvious shortcoming so far has been the criminal incompetence of the CDC, which is presumably a nest of Dems and apparently as mutton-headed as you'd expect of a part of the federal government.

    That mutton-headedness is of course usually a characteristic of government involvement in private affairs. This is why I would never trade my health care in America for whatever is available anywhere else.

    You will find, when you get down to it, that most people would rather have access to what we have here. What does that tell you?

    Endless discussions indeed, that go nowhere and should just die, like someone waiting for healthcare in a government-run system.

    No one I know here ever has any doubt about the care they can get here. It is that good, and always has been. Again, what does that say?

    If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

    Oh, re facing an epidemic: That is more a function of liberty. Sometimes it’s rough, but it’s worth it.

    • Replies: @Redneck farmer
    I keep trying to explain to people: 1. You don't want to pay the taxes to get the kind of health care you want. 2. You won't tolerate the kind of rationing necessary to make a government paid system affordable.
    Personally, I can reluctantly go along with a taxpayer funded basic health insurance plan. Most people though, "want to go to the Mayo Clinic for free".
    , @dearieme
    I realise that Franklin was the Founding Father who really was a clever chap but his remark is rather silly. It ignores the possibility of temporarily giving up some liberty in an emergency and then reclaiming it afterwards. It also ignores the reality that all human society is the result of compromises between various different characteristics that people value - liberty and security are only two of them.
  43. I’m short in limited risk positions.

    I hope everyone else is doing the same or parking in cash.

  44. Research shows that viruses similar to Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) are far less contagious when humidity is high. Cold and flu peak during the winter months in temperate zones, when indoor humidity is low. Influenza and cold viruses survive far longer in the air when the ambient humidity is low than when the ambient humidity is high. Further, there is strong evidence that the severity of flu-related respiratory infection is similarly humidity dependent, as lower humidity leads to more severe viral respiratory infection and greater likelihood of death. Influenza and Novel Coronavirus are very similar in that death typically results from pneumonia that leads to acute respiratory failure.

    Thus, indoor humidification, particularly to 50% relative humidity or higher, is a strong defense against Novel Coronavirus, by two different mechanisms. First, by reducing the amount of time that virus particles remain infectious in the air, humidification substantially reduces R0, the reproductive number that represents outbreak contagiousness. Second, by reducing severity of respiratory infection, mortality rates from Novel Coronavirus, currently estimated at 2.3%, will be substantially reduced.

    • Replies: @Johann Ricke

    Thus, indoor humidification, particularly to 50% relative humidity or higher, is a strong defense against Novel Coronavirus, by two different mechanisms.
     
    The humidity in Wuhan averages 75% year-round.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wuhan#Climate

    Based on average incomes in China, and anecdotal info from other forums, indoor home heating is probably not particularly common in winter for the city's residents, so low humidity is not likely a problem.
    , @Lugash
    I hope this is correct since it makes for an easy mitigation method, but the virus breaking out in Washington, Oregon and Florida doesn't seem so.
  45. To me, it is madness that the possibility of people protecting themselves through humidification is hardly discussed. Anyone can protect themselves substantially by raising the humidity in their home or office, simply by a humidifier or pot of boiling water.

    The research on this is extensive:

    I. Virus particles remain active longer in dry air than in humid air: citations

    1. Noti et al. (2013) High Humidity Leads to Loss of Infectious Influenza Virus from Simulated Coughs. PLoS One. 2013; 8(2): e57485.

    2. Tamerius JD, et al. (2013) Environmental predictors of seasonal influenza epidemics across temperate and tropical climates. PLoS Pathog 9:e1003194, and erratum 2013 Nov;9(11).

    [MORE]

    3. Shaman J, Pitzer VE, Viboud C, Grenfell BT, Lipsitch M (2010) Absolute humidity and the seasonal onset of influenza in the continental United States. PLoS Biol 8(2): e1000316.

    4. Shaman J, Goldstein E, Lipsitch M (2011) Absolute humidity and pandemic versus epidemic influenza. Am J Epidemiol 173: 127–135

    5. Lowen AC, Mubareka S, Steel J, Palese P (2007) Influenza virus transmission is dependent on relative humidity and temperature. PLoS Pathog 3(10): 1470–1476.

    6. Schaffer FL, Soergel ME, Straube DC (1976) Survival of airborne influenza virus: effects of propagating host, relative humidity, and composition of spray fluids, Arch Virol. 51: 263–273.

    7. Hanley BP, Borup B (2010) Aerosol influenza transmission risk contours: A study of humid tropics versus winter temperate zone. Virol J 7: 98.

    8. Yang W, Marr LC (2011) Dynamics of airborne influenza A viruses indoors and dependence on humidity. PloS One 6(6): e21481.

    9. Shaman and Kohn (2009) Absolute humidity modulates influenza survival, transmission, and seasonality. PNAS March 3, 2009 106 (9) 3243-3248

    II. Susceptibility to respiratory infection is greater when ambient humidity is low than when ambient humidity is high: citations

    1. Kudo et al. Low ambient humidity impairs barrier function and innate resistance against influenza infection. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2019.

    2. Makinen et al. Cold temperature and low humidity are associated with increased occurrence of respiratory tract infections. Respiratory Medicine, Volume 103, Issue 3, March 2009, Pages 456-462

    3. Eccles R (2002) An explanation for the seasonality of acute upper respiratory tract viral infections. Acta Otolaryngol 122:183–191.

    4. Iwasaki A, Pillai PS (2014) Innate immunity to influenza virus infection. Nat Rev Immunol 14:315–328.

    5. Chen X, et al. (2018) Host immune response to influenza a virus infection. Front Immunol 9:320.

    6. Taubenberger JK, Morens DM (2008) The pathology of influenza virus infections. Annu Rev Pathol 3:499–522.

    7. Bustamante-Marin XM, Ostrowski LE (2017) Cilia and mucociliary clearance. Cold Spring Harb Perspect Biol 9:a028241.

    8. Oozawa H, et al. (2012) Effect of prehydration on nasal mucociliary clearance in low relative humidity. Auris Nasus Larynx 39:48–52.

    9. Kudo E, et al. (2019) Low ambient humidity impairs barrier function, innate resistance against influenza infection. NCBI BioProject. Available at https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/ bioproject/PRJNA528197. Deposited March 20, 2019.

    • Thanks: J.Ross, PiltdownMan
    • Replies: @Jack D
    It can't just be humidity because colds and flu wane in the summer months even in extremely dry climates like Las Vegas where the daytime summer humidity is no more than 20%. If it was really just humidity then back in the day when were still sane and functional, indoor humidification would have been universally introduced the same as we introduced indoor plumbing and other basic public health measures.
    , @PiltdownMan
    Until a couple of weeks ago, Singapore had the highest number of Covid-19 cases of any country outside China. While they’re working hard to contain it, new cases appear to be accelerating. Although few in absolute terms, it still has a high per capital rate of infection.

    Eqatorial Singapore, along with Manaus, Brazil, is one of the most consistently humid major cities in the world with relative humidity almost never falling below 60% RH.

  46. Globalisation kills.

    Autarchy Now !

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Autarky

    • Replies: @Bert
    Autarky administered by Demarchy Now!
  47. The key is **indoor** humidity, since everyone and particularly the sick, are indoors most of the time.

    Seattle right now is 37 degrees with 83% humidity. Humid, right? Not indoors! That translates to 25% humidity at 72 degrees. So Seattle is now pretty dry (indoors where it matters)!

    In Wuhan, the origin of Coronavirus, the outbreak has stopped dead in its tracks, was 59 degrees yesterday with 94% humidity. That translates to 62% humidity when you warm that air to 72 degrees.

    The rapid decrease of Coronavirus in China as humidity skyrocketed is very strong confirmation that humidity is protective against Coronavirus.

    In fact, everywhere that has had strong Coronavirus outbreaks, the indoor air was very dry. Northern Italy (but not Southern Italy!) Iran. South Korea. Meanwhile, no outbreaks where the air is very humid. Singapore got affected early and yet there was no big outbreak and not a single person has died of Coronavirus there! Nothing in Africa. Almost nothing in South America. Humidity is a very big deal, and everyone can protect themselves with simply a pot of boiling water or humidifier in their home!!

    So what we are seeing with Coronavirus strongly supports the idea that humidity is protective against Coronavirus. Which is what you would expect if Coronavirus is similar to most other respiratory viral infections.

    If people knew they could protect themselves after infection from COVID-19, wouldn’t it go a long way to stop the panic?

    • Replies: @utu

    Seattle right now is 37 degrees with 83% humidity. Humid, right? Not indoors! That translates to 25% humidity at 72 degrees. So Seattle is now pretty dry (indoors where it matters)!
     
    Wrong! Apparently you haven't read the papers you have cited here. This is not about relative humidity but about absolute humidity. The absolute humidity in Seattle now is the same whether indoors or outdoors.

    https://www.webmd.com/cold-and-flu/news/20090213/influenza-linked-to-absolute-humidity
    They showed that relative humidity explains only about 3% of flu virus survival. After looking at the data focusing on absolute humidity, they found “dramatic” rises in both variability of transmission (from the 12% found earlier, to 50%) and survival (from 36% to 90%).
     
    Though you are correct that humidifiers would help. And higher temperature would help because then you can pack the air with more water vapor. In other words keep your apt warm with humidifier on.
  48. @Dave Pinsen
    It is weird how slow the market was to digest all the news. I suggested readers hedge before the market started reacting:

    https://twitter.com/portfolioarmor/status/1228044343954563074?s=21

    The oil market drop is amazing though. Some economist or political pundit on Twitter wondered why odds of a recession and odds of Trump winning re-election were both over 50% now: I suspect it’s because this recession will be starting from <4% unemployment and be accompanied by cheap gas, so not so painful.

    The oil market drop seems to be at Vlad’s behest.
    There’s a piece at Zero Hedge (can’t be bothered to find it) has him doing a big fuck you to the clowns who have gone out of their way to antagonize him.
    He would not agree to to a production cut at OPEC. He seems to be the marginal cost producer, or as near as dammit. He can live with $30 oil. the US and Saudi can’t.

    • Agree: LondonBob
    • Replies: @Dave Pinsen
    I think he wanted it low enough to hurt shale producers, but not this low. Saudi Arabia pushed it this low to hurt Russia for not going a long with OPEC's proposed supply cuts.
  49. Most trading is done by computers.
    Odds are – computers aren’t programmed to detect unexpected flu-like contagions demonstrating a 1.5X growth rate inside inflection point, let alone programmed with the expectation that such a growth rate if detected will have a conclusory effect of shutting down supply chains. Or: even if they did – it’s likely they aren’t programmed to register the signal as real until – about now, because frankly – that’s about how long it would take to take the pure quantitative signal seriously unless you were working from qualitative factors (“professionals close say take this seriously even though the numbers haven’t spoken yet”) that they probably aren’t programmed for.

    Once the effect is in the impact on petroleum is understandable. 1) it’s over-correcting – on purpose – it’s like hitting the brakes hard because you didn’t see the obstacle or hazard in the road until almost too late – it looks like panic but it’s just necessary correction, plus 2) in case you don’t know – global petroleum stocks are very well understood by the markets and there happens to be plenty in stock so if there’s a slow-down that was missed you can expect a heavy correction. Expect the reverse correction to be almost equally quick – more smooth, but still rapid. Petroleum markets have become highly fluid, dynamic and hard-data driven so there’s good news – by themselves, they shouldn’t be taken as predictors of a long-term recession. This is more like a wake in a wave that dropped the whole boat really far so it upsets the stomach. Question is: more wave coming or mostly smooth sailing ahead, because if the latter – the force of millions of tons of smooth ocean waves (or ordinary massive daily global commerce) will clear out the effect of the wake.

  50. Three weeks ago, China’s Hubei province alone was seeing 2,500 new cases a day. Yesterday, China was down to about 46 new cases.

    The rest of the world saw over 3600 new cases yesterday. There’s something to be learned from China and how it has managed the disease after the initial period of mismanagement at the provincial level, I think.

    • Replies: @SimplePseudonymicHandle
    It won't even come to that.
    , @DanHessinMD
    Hubei's weather went from wintry to summery.
  51. @Buzz Mohawk
    That mutton-headedness is of course usually a characteristic of government involvement in private affairs. This is why I would never trade my health care in America for whatever is available anywhere else.

    You will find, when you get down to it, that most people would rather have access to what we have here. What does that tell you?

    Endless discussions indeed, that go nowhere and should just die, like someone waiting for healthcare in a government-run system.

    No one I know here ever has any doubt about the care they can get here. It is that good, and always has been. Again, what does that say?

    If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

    Oh, re facing an epidemic: That is more a function of liberty. Sometimes it's rough, but it's worth it.

    https://i.pinimg.com/236x/48/e8/17/48e8170a356a8323094a1694ac423981.jpg

    I keep trying to explain to people: 1. You don’t want to pay the taxes to get the kind of health care you want. 2. You won’t tolerate the kind of rationing necessary to make a government paid system affordable.
    Personally, I can reluctantly go along with a taxpayer funded basic health insurance plan. Most people though, “want to go to the Mayo Clinic for free”.

    • Replies: @Jack D
    I think most people understand that the government can't give everyone the same kind of car that rich people drive for free or the same kind of house that they live in - there's just not enough money to do this. But for some reason they think that the government can give everyone rich people quality health care for free. The level of muddled heading thinking about health care in the US ("health care is a right") is off the charts.

    Most countries that have nationalized health care have systems of supplemental private insurance. If you need a knee replacement and you are on the national health care you can get on the list and get it in 5 years or if you have the private insurance you can get it right away.
    , @utu
    Most people though, “want to go to the Mayo Clinic for free”.. - And most people in the US can go good hospitals though not for free because their employers, partly they themselves and/or government pay for it. The problem is that there are 40 million or so people who do not have an adequate insurance. Should the remaining 290 million chip in? 14% increase of premium for everybody: employers, employees and government to cover the uninsured 40 millions.
  52. @dearieme
    One thing sticks out a mile to me. I have followed the endless American discussions about your health care system. None of its opponents, not one that I have seen, pointed out that a glaring weakness is its (probable) inability to handle a serious epidemic. In fact public health considerations have played no part in anything I've read. The debate has concerned itself solely with private health care, albeit private healthcare for many members of the public.

    Why should that be?

    Anyway, if things go badly the opponents of the present system will pretend that they foresaw its shortcomings in the face of an epidemic long ago.

    Note: the most obvious shortcoming so far has been the criminal incompetence of the CDC, which is presumably a nest of Dems and apparently as mutton-headed as you'd expect of a part of the federal government.

    The CDC has had an obsession with studying gun violence as a public health hazard for years now. It’s a joke, as is most of the USG these days.

  53. @Anonymous
    Trump should call for a national 2 week self quarantine. If he gave the people 3 weeks to prepare, he could close the down the federal government except for essentials like law enforcement, and close all the public schools as well (by stopping payment for the two weeks.) He could close down interstates and call on private businesses to close for two weeks. Either an executive order or a new bill from congress could give employees and tenants special rights during this two week period. FEMA could hand out emergency food packages to families who need them. Literally why do we even have rulers or pay taxes if they cannot act in times like these?

    Close the stock exchange. Sure it will drop leading up to the quarantine, but rally sky high once the virus is under control.

    He needs to do this. Potentially millions of boomers could die if he doesn't. This wont be like the fake wall that he claims he built. He cannot lie or skew or spin this or wish it away. He must act now.

    Which Federal Law Enforcement functions do you think are necessary?

    Sane people would close them first.

    • Replies: @John Burns, Gettysburg Partisan
    The U.S. Marshals are at least a constitutional body.

    The rest of them can go straight to Hell.

    The border should be policed by the U.S. Army as it once was.
  54. While you are panicking, the French have their priorities straight.
    Smurf it up, and laugh at some puny virus!

  55. anon[260] • Disclaimer says:
    @Dave Pinsen
    It is weird how slow the market was to digest all the news. I suggested readers hedge before the market started reacting:

    https://twitter.com/portfolioarmor/status/1228044343954563074?s=21

    The oil market drop is amazing though. Some economist or political pundit on Twitter wondered why odds of a recession and odds of Trump winning re-election were both over 50% now: I suspect it’s because this recession will be starting from <4% unemployment and be accompanied by cheap gas, so not so painful.

    Asset prices are broadly determined by an underlying interest rate. With bonds, it is pretty much a formula. Stocks can be thought of as badly behaved bonds.

    Unless or until effective interest rates rise, not that much can happen.

    So…. my thinking about Covid-19 was that the largest risk was:

    1. Supply chain and other disruptions in economic activity.
    2. Shortages.
    3. Inflationary shock.
    4. Inflationary expectations –> effective interest rates rise.
    5. Asset prices tank.

    Those looking for a collapse in the credit markets are like militaries planning to re fight WW 2. It will take at least a full generation before it would repeat. Not to say there won’t be WW 3. Just don’t expect a repeat.

    So, absent inflation, I can’t see anything that serious. Except volatility. Which isn’t a problem.

    This is a less commonly expressed perspective, but hardly original. FWIW.

    • Replies: @anon
    The point being, my primary concern, inflation --> interest rates is belied by commodity price decreases in oil in particular. Followed by other disinflationary pressures.

    Other than that, there is no particular reason for a sharp and prolonged recession like 2008.

    However, todays markets are more susceptible to volatility due to computers, indexing, CNBC, etc. A decline of 20% in stock prices over several months would not have seemed surprising given the aging bull market, valuations, etc.. 20% in 2 weeks seems like a huge shock, but some of the speed is due to increased volatility, not an underlying deterioration in economic fundamentals.

    This is a version of conventional thought, so its value is somewhat limited. But, the key metrics are is interest rates in all their permutations. So called real interest rates, inflation rates and expectations, nominal interest rates (what you pay), and on and on.

    Inflation and interest rates look like they will remain low, so I'm not particularly concerned. But if they rise ... all bets are off. Good luck everyone.
  56. @Buzz Mohawk
    That mutton-headedness is of course usually a characteristic of government involvement in private affairs. This is why I would never trade my health care in America for whatever is available anywhere else.

    You will find, when you get down to it, that most people would rather have access to what we have here. What does that tell you?

    Endless discussions indeed, that go nowhere and should just die, like someone waiting for healthcare in a government-run system.

    No one I know here ever has any doubt about the care they can get here. It is that good, and always has been. Again, what does that say?

    If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

    Oh, re facing an epidemic: That is more a function of liberty. Sometimes it's rough, but it's worth it.

    https://i.pinimg.com/236x/48/e8/17/48e8170a356a8323094a1694ac423981.jpg

    I realise that Franklin was the Founding Father who really was a clever chap but his remark is rather silly. It ignores the possibility of temporarily giving up some liberty in an emergency and then reclaiming it afterwards. It also ignores the reality that all human society is the result of compromises between various different characteristics that people value – liberty and security are only two of them.

    • Agree: Dissident, dfordoom
    • Replies: @kihowi
    Being accurate means using words like relatively, on the whole, mostly, temporarily, generally, probably, etc. Doesn't make for good quotes. Quotes appeal to people's religious instinct; a simple short formula that's Wise and True. A good rule of thumb is: the more stock phrases someone uses, the less they've thought about the issue.
    , @anonymous

    I realise that Franklin was the Founding Father who really was a clever chap but his remark is rather silly. It ignores the possibility of temporarily giving up some liberty in an emergency and then reclaiming it afterwards. It also ignores the reality that all human society is the result of compromises between various different characteristics that people value – liberty and security are only two of them.
     
    Franklin never said it. It's an old liberal meme that was debunked years ago.

    Conclusion: Benjamin Franklin was a clever chap. Buzz Mohawk... not so much.
    , @BigJimSportCamper
    Somehow the reclaiming part never happens, temporarily becomes permanent.
    , @Buzz Mohawk
    Indeed I misapplied an already muddled Franklin quote to this case. My point was not in regard to temporary measures such as quarantines and travel restrictions, which I favor as much as anyone. It was about how the balance between private and government work in health fields will sometimes yield bumpy results in a free society.

    Basically, when you put the government in charge of something, you can expect crap at a higher frequency. This is why we must keep the medical profession private in our country. I was addressing your subject of the endless American debate about health care. Obviously a country needs a CDC-type agency to handle things like this. I am not arguing against that.

    , @Hibernian

    ...temporarily giving up some liberty in an emergency and then reclaiming it afterwards.
     
    In the US, this happened after the Civil War and WW1, but not after the Depression and WW2. Before 1933 but not after 1933.
    , @Anonymous
    That makes me think of the income tax, which was originally sold to the public as a temporary imposition that would only affect the rich.
  57. Here is a link to a comment I made yesterday as a primer on Covid19 immunoassays, on the “stale” iSteve thread to “Restarting the economy”.

    • Replies: @Jack Armstrong
    Worth a look. IMHO.
  58. @PiltdownMan
    The Financial Times has a good article explaining the drop in oil prices at this time. Basically, it’s another headstrong and risky gamble by the crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman.

    https://www.ft.com/content/59dcba56-61a2-11ea-b3f3-fe4680ea68b5

    What is strange is both MBS and Putin engaging in this scorched earth price war that will unseat Trump when he has been a very good friend to both of them. Trump has resisted extraordinary pressure from within his own party to resist both of them more robustly but still managed to give them freedom to do whatever they want. They could have shown some gratitude at least till the election. Four more years of Trump would be extremely beneficial to Putin if he can persuade Trump to pull out of or dissolve NATO.

    • Replies: @Peter Akuleyev
    Putin was counting on Bernie as the nominee. The Russians now believe Biden will win an election against Trump - Biden has almost all the American elites on his side and Trump's recent performance has been spotty. And even if Trump wins re-election he will be an aging, increasingly erratic lame duck and probably at the mercy of the usual Deep State hawks. So the Russians are not counting on a friendly Trump going forward.

    On top of that when will Russia have a better opportunity than right now to torpedo the American shale oil industry and stop the US expansion of LNG to Europe? While Putin is destroying the American oil and LNG export industry Trump is tweeting about low gas prices and distracted by Corona. Putin has always been good at knowing when his opponents are weakest.
    , @Bill Jones
    What utter bollocks. What a tool of the State you are.

    " resist both of them more robustly "

    Resist their doing what?
  59. I’ve been saying all along that there was no reason to think that children were immune from the disease. They’re humans and this virus is capable of infecting humans.

    Probably what happens is that their strong immune system is able to fight off the disease to the point where they never really develop symptoms. But I would bet that they are shedding virus particles while they are infected. The idea that they are not contagious is as dumb as the idea that they are completely immune.

    • Agree: Adam Smith, 415 reasons
  60. Anonymous[286] • Disclaimer says:
    @George
    “This is a key piece of data that may support school closures as an effective intervention,”

    Are the staff still going to get paid + Platinum Healthcare benefits, while parents have to pay to mind their kids and pay school taxes?

    I thought the way it was supposed to work is kids got immunities early so they they were prepared as adults.

    Coronavirus live updates: stock markets plunge as infections pass 110,000
    https://www.theguardian.com/world/live/2020/mar/09/coronavirus-live-updates-outbreak-italy-lockdown-quarantine-uk-usa-america-australia-recession-fears-update-latest-news

    The 110,000 number is the total number of people who ever had the disease. Subtract recoveries and deaths and you get like 42,000. I think the Johns Hopkins map is misrepresenting the severity. It should lead with total active cases not total cases ever. and the circles are way too large.

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

    https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/

    Click on “show graph” on “Active Cases”. Active cases began increasing from a few days ago as the international increases outweighed the recoveries in China, which slowed up because most are recovered there now.

    The genie is not going back in the bottle. Open bordersism (even Schengen) combined with densely populous countries with stupid people, stupid leaders, poor health practices and infrastructure will see to it that most people get this in the next year. Those countries will be incubators and reservoirs. China did also not shut off world travel when they might have. That is going to cost their economy.

    How is Germany treating their patients? Do they have a secret or are they bad at counting deaths? No deaths reported thus far, 1k cases… what is their one weird trick?

    Key for me I think is rest, sleep, vitamin C and multivitamins daily, and if we get sick I will be having 4g C daily, spaced throughout. Social distancing, minimizing travel, etc. Hopefully they close the schools too.

    • Replies: @JRB
    There are some deaths now in Germany, but less then in Spain and France (where the pandemic started at the same time) and far less then in Italy (where the pandemic started 1o days earlier). For most people the virus apparently needs at least 10-14 days to kill them off. There also seems to be some truth in the theory that North- and West-Europeans and also Negroes have "better" ACE2-receptors, making them less prone to the disease.
  61. Anonymous[286] • Disclaimer says:
    @Pincher Martin

    A global economic recession isn’t good for oil prices either, and (temporarily) opening the spigots is an effective form of stimulus. Also low oil prices hurt the Saudis’ enemies (Iran, Qatar, Russia) more than they hurt the Saudis.
     
    Increasing supply in the face of reduced demand is a recipe for crashing prices, which is what we are seeing. The Saudis will soon discover that they are slitting their own wrists in the hope they can cut Russia and Iran's throats.

    BTW, the Saudis attempted something similar against U.S. frackers a few years ago. It failed.

    It might work against the electric car to some extent though. If demand slows, then driving the price through the floor also doesn’t cost you so much as volume is low.

    Case load increases about 100x per month. At 10k beginning of March, to 60% of 8B people….

    1Mar 10k
    1Apr 1M
    1May 100M
    1Jun 10B (no more people to infect)

    If it continues at the current pace the first wave is over by June. That would be when a lot of those cases die.

    If we are successful in slowing it down it will take longer to wash through. There may be a second or third wave though.

    • Replies: @Pincher Martin

    It might work against the electric car to some extent though. If demand slows, then driving the price through the floor also doesn’t cost you so much as volume is low.
     
    I doubt it. It certainly didn't work against U.S. frackers a few years ago.

    I just heard that Saudi Arabia needs oil at about $80 a barrel to meet its fiscal requirements. Oil is trading at $30 to $35 right now. The Saudi economy will collapse if this price stays around current levels. They can't sustain this.
  62. If children aren’t very symptomatic, are they still spreading the infections?

    Yes. Yes they are.

    Now get those little asymptomatic carriers off to skool.

  63. One thing I haven’t heard mentioned about the virus is whether there might be different susceptibilities in different races.

    I gather that coronaviruses originate in East Asia.

    Might they be less susceptible than those of, say, European ancestry?

    The numbers in Italy seem pretty different from those of S Korea, though other things might of course explain the discrepancy.

    • Replies: @anonymous

    One thing I haven’t heard mentioned about the virus is whether there might be different susceptibilities in different races.
     
    Now you have...

    https://evoandproud.blogspot.com/2020/03/coevolution-with-plague.html
    , @Justvisiting
    The only thing that seems to pause this virus temporarily is quarantines.

    There is no evidence that anyone is immune, or that it can be paused any other way.

    There is no evidence that it can be stopped permanently at this time.

    The implications for the world economy are or should be obvious (at least until a vaccine is developed).
    , @Jack D
    There was some talk that Asians might be MORE susceptible due to higher prevalence of the ACE2 gene.

    https://www.nature.com/articles/s41421-020-0147-1

    However, it's clear that Europeans are also susceptible to the disease. At the level at which viruses are concerned, all humans (indeed many mammals) are similar enough to be infected. Maybe the rates of infection and mortality will vary somewhat between the races but not enough for it to be of no concern to Europeans.
    , @SunBakedSuburb
    "whether there might be different susceptibilities in different races"

    Race is a social construct. Get with the program or lose your job.
    , @epebble
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2019%E2%80%9320_coronavirus_outbreak_by_country_and_territory#Outbreak_by_country_and_territory

    Shows large populations seemingly unaffected while a handful of countries, (mostly East Asian and White) bearing the brunt.

    Hard to draw any conclusion when Africa, South Asia, East Europe/Eurasia and South & Central America are seemingly unaffected when others are in terror.
  64. Italy had less patients than we did 14 days ago and now it’s at around 7000 patients and 360+ deaths. You do the math on the fatality rate (hint: well north of 0.5%). They are saying they will implement critical care restrictions on who gets the vent.

    Iran’s medical system, from an outsider’s view, has collapsed.

    It’s only a matter of time before we start seeing it here in the US, and with it healthcare workers refusing to work due to a lack of control over how this thing spreads. We have lost control of this. Now it’s just a matter of watching the headlines.

    • Agree: Bert
    • Replies: @Dumbo
    The fatality rate in Italy seems to be around 4% at this point, BUT, this is among those who have been diagnosed and are hospitalized. It is likely that there are many more cases that are asymptomatic or no different from a regular flu and thus are not tested. It is the same in the U.S., I doubt that the number of 500-600 is accurate, it must be much more. But yes, I don't know how if a Chinese-style quarantine could work in the U.S.
  65. anonymous[186] • Disclaimer says:
    @Hypnotoad666
    Anyone who has had children knows they are little petri dishes for germs. As soon as they go to preschool they all infect each other and then bring the germs home to infect their parents.

    Besides, data shows (counter-intuitively), that most kids learn more when they are away from school anyway.

    I say shutter the schools.

    Besides, data shows (counter-intuitively), that most kids learn more when they are away from school anyway.

    I say shutter the schools.

    So far, almost all the deaths from the virus have been Asian or Eurasian.

    I say shutter Arcadia. 🔒

  66. @El Dato
    The Efficient Market Hypotheses (in this case really the Efficient Stock Market Hypothesis) is for challenged people who think truth magically emerges from traders armed with barely debugged software scanning headlines with neural network recognizers. Mix in completely mad-hatterish hedge fund monstrosities and short selling and you are all set. These people probably do ouija board session in rheir spare time and buy pop psych books at the airport.

    The Rothbard Insitute is keeping it generally real: https://mises.org/library/efficient-market-conjecture

    The Efficient Market Hypotheses [sic] ….

    Is merely a hypothesis: It is not even robust enough to be a theory of how the markets work. It gives young MBA skulls full of mush something to blather on about in a vain attempt to sound like they know something.

    Reminds me of a finance class where I talked about gambling in the markets, a comment which left the prof a bit indignant, and in his tirade he made some comment about Blue Chip companies; I had just read Market Wizards, and one of the classic interviews had a trader who had faced a similar comment, to which he said something to the effect of, “I learned that the Blue Chip was the biggest chip in Monte Carlo, so I threw away Graham and Dodd and bought Beat the Dealer, and I’ve been winning ever since.” So I shared a highlighted copy of the book with him. I’m still surprised he let me ace his class.

    • Replies: @Downstream from Culture
    As far as I can tell it's pretty much all gambling.

    It'd be fun to compare the market caps of 50 random stocks in 1980 to their discounted FCFs through 2019. Would any of them be remotely close?

    People like to make investments hoping that they'll appreciate in price more than they care about getting directly paid back, it seems.
  67. @Hypnotoad666
    Anyone who has had children knows they are little petri dishes for germs. As soon as they go to preschool they all infect each other and then bring the germs home to infect their parents.

    Besides, data shows (counter-intuitively), that most kids learn more when they are away from school anyway.

    I say shutter the schools.

    counter-intuitively?

    Clearly you jest…?

    Perhaps you have never stepped foot inside an American Public Indoctrination/Daycare Center or heard of John Taylor Gatto.

    I agree, shutter the skools!

    Leave them kids alone.

    • Replies: @Hypnotoad666

    Leave them kids alone.
     
    They don't need no education.

    And Btw, how can you have your pudding, when you won't eat your meat?

    https://youtu.be/YR5ApYxkU-U?t=141
  68. Anonymous[373] • Disclaimer says:

    DOOMERZ!

    If kids are the super secret asymptomatic carriers… then why aren’t (adult) school teachers the hardest hit demographic on the planet? The teachers are locked inside classrooms all day with 30-40 supposed deadly virus carriers! Yet the teachers are not dropping like flies. They are not being attrited like WWI soldiers in the trenches. No headlines anywhere about waves of teachers filling ICUs.

    Riddle me this, my doomz.

    • Replies: @The Wild Geese Howard
    School codes are still fairly stringent regarding internal air temperature and humidity and how often the restrooms are cleaned and disinfected?
    , @james wilson
    Teechers are better immunized from disease due to their continual exposure to it.
  69. Old timey 80s style 666 conspiracy theory:

    Disinfo: Coronavirus: A Wuhan laboratory sponsored by Soros, virus affects only Mongoloid race

    There is a biolaboratory in Wuhan – until recently, nothing was known about it. Its address is Gaoxin, three sixes –…it exists thanks to the money of the famous banker George Soros

    Disproof

    Conspiracy theory. This is a pro-Kremlin narrative about the coronavirus.

    Additionally, there is no proof that Soros would be linked to the coronavirus.

    .

    [WuXiAppTec]
    Our Locations

    WuXi AppTec (Wuhan)
    Small molecule drug discovery and research services
    666 Gaoxin Road East Lake High-tech Development Zone Wuhan 430075, China

    WuXi ATU
    Cell therapy products, gene carrier research and development, production
    …Wuxi, Jiangsu, China…

  70. anonymous[186] • Disclaimer says:
    @candid_observer
    One thing I haven't heard mentioned about the virus is whether there might be different susceptibilities in different races.

    I gather that coronaviruses originate in East Asia.

    Might they be less susceptible than those of, say, European ancestry?

    The numbers in Italy seem pretty different from those of S Korea, though other things might of course explain the discrepancy.

    One thing I haven’t heard mentioned about the virus is whether there might be different susceptibilities in different races.

    Now you have…

    https://evoandproud.blogspot.com/2020/03/coevolution-with-plague.html

    • Replies: @candid_observer
    He has a curious argument that East Asians might be more vulnerable to coronavirus, because it might ward off more serious lung diseases like tuberculosis.

    I guess that this might be true. But the mechanism strikes me as a bit of the Rube Goldberg. Is evolution of susceptibility to disease usually so complicated?

    I'd think that the more direct negative effects of coronavirus might prevail instead.
  71. @candid_observer
    One thing I haven't heard mentioned about the virus is whether there might be different susceptibilities in different races.

    I gather that coronaviruses originate in East Asia.

    Might they be less susceptible than those of, say, European ancestry?

    The numbers in Italy seem pretty different from those of S Korea, though other things might of course explain the discrepancy.

    The only thing that seems to pause this virus temporarily is quarantines.

    There is no evidence that anyone is immune, or that it can be paused any other way.

    There is no evidence that it can be stopped permanently at this time.

    The implications for the world economy are or should be obvious (at least until a vaccine is developed).

  72. Anonymous[195] • Disclaimer says:

    Head of the Port Authority of NYNJ has COVID-19

    • Replies: @Anon
    The governor just announced that at the same press conference where he launched a New York State brand of hand sanitizer to compete with Purell. It was so bizarre I thought I was watching an SNL skit. It's on YouTube, but I can't paste the URL in from a tablet.
    , @prosa123
    He may have it but he's well enough to work from home, despite being an older man.
  73. “How’s the stock market doing?”

    Best case, bottomed, or close, today:

    69612F00-B418-45CA-8687-CEC6C4EA3476

    Other likelihoods:

    5DFDC825-2D1B-4ED9-BFBD-71B07BE7E6B2

    ~2,350 or ~1800 not unreasonable, but you’d have to be a George Soros to have even a spits guess at coming close to calling it.

  74. Slightly off topic but it remains a fact that no one either 1.) Knows how this little critter originated or 2.) If they do, they ain’t sayin’ nothin’.

    Frankly, I would be more accepting of things if we knew for certain that this virus, which we already knew was naturally occurring, had mutated and was spread via consuming Dracula’s spawn but more and more I am finding that theory less and less plausible.

  75. @Hypnotoad666
    Anyone who has had children knows they are little petri dishes for germs. As soon as they go to preschool they all infect each other and then bring the germs home to infect their parents.

    Besides, data shows (counter-intuitively), that most kids learn more when they are away from school anyway.

    I say shutter the schools.

    “I say shutter the schools.”

    In neighborhoods with large black populations public schools serve as babysitters. If the schools are shuttered these neighborhoods will experience even more havoc and disorder. We could put these loosed black kids on a cruise ship.

  76. Anonymous[373] • Disclaimer says:

    There’s no evidence that patients who test positive are likely to be parents of school age children.

    There’s no evidence that patients who test positive are likely to be teachers.

    Read the foggy conclusion at the bottom of the article excerpt. Not that this study is the last word by any means anyway.

    School age children as asymptomatic spreaders is a theory not supported by much evidence at all. We’re well into March and if school age children was an important vector it would’ve been identified a long time ago! Instead we get mysterious impenetrable fog on this issue.

  77. @miss marple
    Of course the kids are spreading the virus. Who else gets packed like sardines into an unhygienic environment then comes home to innocently share all that grime with the adult members of their family. Adults who take the kiddies grocery shopping before discovering that Jr. has fever and a runny, runny nose. Then after taking their ill offspring to the doctor drag the child into the drugstore right after for their prescription. At the point of greatest infectiousness, Jr. leaves a snail trail of snot across the handle of a buggy and will probably go to the bathroom as well where he will bravely flush the toilet and turn the handle on the sink all by himself. He'll also leave a little handprint on the metal plate of the bathroom door especially on the way out if he doesn't wash his hands. Then there are the fits of sneezing/coughing. But someone will insist on swabbing the insides of cheeks, taking blood and using complicated mathematical models to reach the same conclusion.

    “runny, runny nose”

    I’ve just found a new name for Bum Puke, my neo-punk band. Thanks.

  78. If only there were an ignorant sixteen-year-old girl with mental problems to tell us what to do.

  79. @candid_observer
    One thing I haven't heard mentioned about the virus is whether there might be different susceptibilities in different races.

    I gather that coronaviruses originate in East Asia.

    Might they be less susceptible than those of, say, European ancestry?

    The numbers in Italy seem pretty different from those of S Korea, though other things might of course explain the discrepancy.

    There was some talk that Asians might be MORE susceptible due to higher prevalence of the ACE2 gene.

    https://www.nature.com/articles/s41421-020-0147-1

    However, it’s clear that Europeans are also susceptible to the disease. At the level at which viruses are concerned, all humans (indeed many mammals) are similar enough to be infected. Maybe the rates of infection and mortality will vary somewhat between the races but not enough for it to be of no concern to Europeans.

    • Replies: @candid_observer
    If coronaviruses mostly (entirely?) originate in East Asia, it makes little sense that East Asians would be more vulnerable than other populations, rather than the other way around.

    Maybe there's some general argument that the rates shouldn't differ across races, but I'm not sure what it is.

    , @BB753
    Has the virus been, uh, tested on Africans?
  80. @SFG
    I actually was doing something like that. I messed up the timing with the retirement fund, though, and it started buying (stock-weighted) target-date funds instead.

    There is a big buying opportunity ahead, no question there; the problem, as always, is when the dip ends...

    There is a big buying opportunity ahead, no question there; the problem, as always, is when the dip ends…

    I don’t worry about the exact timing. I just note that when you buy a bear, you’re always rewarded years later. And when you buy a bull, you’re rarely rewarded.

    The best time to buy U.S. stocks over the last 100 years? During the Great Depression.

    The second best time? During the stagflation of the mid- and late-seventies.

    More recently, if you bought stocks through the stock market meltdowns of 2002-02 and 2007-09, then you did very well.

    This is a buying opportunity. Smart people should use it.

    • Agree: James N. Kennett
  81. @candid_observer
    One thing I haven't heard mentioned about the virus is whether there might be different susceptibilities in different races.

    I gather that coronaviruses originate in East Asia.

    Might they be less susceptible than those of, say, European ancestry?

    The numbers in Italy seem pretty different from those of S Korea, though other things might of course explain the discrepancy.

    “whether there might be different susceptibilities in different races”

    Race is a social construct. Get with the program or lose your job.

  82. @Jack D
    There was some talk that Asians might be MORE susceptible due to higher prevalence of the ACE2 gene.

    https://www.nature.com/articles/s41421-020-0147-1

    However, it's clear that Europeans are also susceptible to the disease. At the level at which viruses are concerned, all humans (indeed many mammals) are similar enough to be infected. Maybe the rates of infection and mortality will vary somewhat between the races but not enough for it to be of no concern to Europeans.

    If coronaviruses mostly (entirely?) originate in East Asia, it makes little sense that East Asians would be more vulnerable than other populations, rather than the other way around.

    Maybe there’s some general argument that the rates shouldn’t differ across races, but I’m not sure what it is.

    • Replies: @Jack D
    This is a NOVEL (new) to humans coronavirus. That the local humans were or were not vulnerable to it is irrelevant to the virus. The virus was just doing its thing in bats or whatever and then the local humans got their hands (literally) on it. Could have happened anywhere except that Chinese happen to like bat soup more than most people.
  83. @Anonymous
    Trump should call for a national 2 week self quarantine. If he gave the people 3 weeks to prepare, he could close the down the federal government except for essentials like law enforcement, and close all the public schools as well (by stopping payment for the two weeks.) He could close down interstates and call on private businesses to close for two weeks. Either an executive order or a new bill from congress could give employees and tenants special rights during this two week period. FEMA could hand out emergency food packages to families who need them. Literally why do we even have rulers or pay taxes if they cannot act in times like these?

    Close the stock exchange. Sure it will drop leading up to the quarantine, but rally sky high once the virus is under control.

    He needs to do this. Potentially millions of boomers could die if he doesn't. This wont be like the fake wall that he claims he built. He cannot lie or skew or spin this or wish it away. He must act now.

    “Potentially millions of boomers could die if he doesn’t.”

    No, we can’t have that! Boomers are destined to be immortal! What about the Silents, hey? Do THEY deserve to die?

    • Replies: @Travis
    Most of the "Silents" have already passed away. Just 24 million still living compared to about 67 million Boomers.

    if half the boomers get COVID-19, and 2% die, it would result in 700,000 boomer deaths.
    If half the Silents get sick and 5% of them die it would be about 600,000 deaths

    last year 1,700,000 boomers perished. So if an additional 700,000 boomers die we would see the number of boomers fall from 67 million to 64.5 million.

    https://incendar.com/baby_boomer_deathclock.php
  84. @ic1000
    Here is a link to a comment I made yesterday as a primer on Covid19 immunoassays, on the "stale" iSteve thread to "Restarting the economy".

    Worth a look. IMHO.

  85. @Jack D
    There was some talk that Asians might be MORE susceptible due to higher prevalence of the ACE2 gene.

    https://www.nature.com/articles/s41421-020-0147-1

    However, it's clear that Europeans are also susceptible to the disease. At the level at which viruses are concerned, all humans (indeed many mammals) are similar enough to be infected. Maybe the rates of infection and mortality will vary somewhat between the races but not enough for it to be of no concern to Europeans.

    Has the virus been, uh, tested on Africans?

  86. @George
    “This is a key piece of data that may support school closures as an effective intervention,”

    Are the staff still going to get paid + Platinum Healthcare benefits, while parents have to pay to mind their kids and pay school taxes?

    I thought the way it was supposed to work is kids got immunities early so they they were prepared as adults.

    Coronavirus live updates: stock markets plunge as infections pass 110,000
    https://www.theguardian.com/world/live/2020/mar/09/coronavirus-live-updates-outbreak-italy-lockdown-quarantine-uk-usa-america-australia-recession-fears-update-latest-news

    The 110,000 number is the total number of people who ever had the disease. Subtract recoveries and deaths and you get like 42,000. I think the Johns Hopkins map is misrepresenting the severity. It should lead with total active cases not total cases ever. and the circles are way too large.

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

    There may be >1 million current cases in Iran.

  87. @Justvisiting
    I used to be an atheist until I learned about this:

    https://www.wbtv.com/2020/03/08/rector-prominent-washington-dc-church-tests-positive-coronavirus/

    Lots of prominent DC types go to this church or hang out with those who do.

    Praise the Lord! He has chosen DC patient zero! ;-)

    Alleluia alleluia I do hope this pastor greets every church goer with a handshake after the service. I hope this church has coffee and pastry after the service with lots of hand touching on cups plates and pastries.

  88. Anonymous[373] • Disclaimer says:

    MY DOOMZ!

    Have you noticed that all of the business/school/event closures are top down? Meaning nothing is bottom up: closing because of waves of people calling in sick.

    But is it still early days? Really? I thought Trump admin test incompetence was disguising widespread disease already here in America for many weeks?

    Consider that there is widespread disease out there right now but the disease is mild except for two small groups elderly and immune compromised.

    PROJECT FEAR keeps pumping case numbers but huge % of cases are mild or no symptoms.

    The nature of this virus guarantees massive unreported cases.

    Meaning the death rates are vastly overstated and they will keep dropping as the true extent of spread is revealed.

    Sadly it’s a codger killer. Old folks are at high risk. Those at Kirkland care center were in double jeopardy because of underlying conditions. Old and compromised are in extreme danger.

  89. @Adam Smith
    counter-intuitively?

    Clearly you jest...?

    Perhaps you have never stepped foot inside an American Public Indoctrination/Daycare Center or heard of John Taylor Gatto.

    I agree, shutter the skools!

    Leave them kids alone.

    Leave them kids alone.

    They don’t need no education.

    And Btw, how can you have your pudding, when you won’t eat your meat?

    • Replies: @Adam Smith
    You can't have any pudding if you don't eat your meat!
  90. @Jack Henson
    Italy had less patients than we did 14 days ago and now it's at around 7000 patients and 360+ deaths. You do the math on the fatality rate (hint: well north of 0.5%). They are saying they will implement critical care restrictions on who gets the vent.

    Iran's medical system, from an outsider's view, has collapsed.

    It's only a matter of time before we start seeing it here in the US, and with it healthcare workers refusing to work due to a lack of control over how this thing spreads. We have lost control of this. Now it's just a matter of watching the headlines.

    The fatality rate in Italy seems to be around 4% at this point, BUT, this is among those who have been diagnosed and are hospitalized. It is likely that there are many more cases that are asymptomatic or no different from a regular flu and thus are not tested. It is the same in the U.S., I doubt that the number of 500-600 is accurate, it must be much more. But yes, I don’t know how if a Chinese-style quarantine could work in the U.S.

    • Replies: @Jack Henson
    And how many people dying of this are being labeled as some other respiratory/pulmonary issue as cause of death. That's all "if my aunt had balls she'd be my uncle" territory.

    What's Italy's rate for obesity, diabetes, and cardiac issues vs. America? What's the elderly population look like? Those are all huge comorbidities and mortalities for this.

    Just saying that there's a lot of dysgenics in America that's being ignored with "Well ahc-tually" followed by convenient one way numbers voodoo that assumes a best case scenario.

    You're probably going to lose at least one older relative because of this, and yet the people who were telling us DA FLU continue to double down on being wrong.

  91. Rob says:

    So children get the Wuhan virus, but don’t get sick. Asymptomatic adults shed virus for, what, two weeks before they get sick? If children are infectious while mostly asymptomatic that is really bad. One evolutionary pressure that can lead to a low level of optimal virulence is not being vector-borne. Colds spread better when your out sneezing and coughing in public. A cold that gets you so sick you stay home doesn’t spread as well. Malaria spreads just fine when your too sick to move much, because a relatively asymptomatic mosquito spreads the infection.

    You see where I’m going with this? Children are asymptomatic vectors for Wuhan coronavirus. The disease has little pressure to evolve to a lower level of virulence. It’s vector-borne.

    They need to close schools. Figure out some way to feed the indigent kids. Or keep them in school, and let out the kids of responsible parents.

    If kids are carriers covid 19 is not going to get much milder. I’m not an epidemiologist, so don’t panic, but the logic is good.

    • Replies: @Jack D
    The thing about feeding the kids is BS. Where do these kids eat during the summer? During school breaks? Give them McDonalds vouchers.
    , @Coemgen

    So children get the Wuhan virus, but don’t get sick.
     
    Don't believe that. There's plenty of video on youtube that tells a different story though the narrations are usually in Mandarin.
    , @anonguy
    There is essentially a 1.0 correlation between how early a city shut schools and how well were their overall outcomes during Spanish Flu.

    Spanish Flu was extensively studied, then forgotten. Many lessons there for this black swan.

    Hey, it isn't me, Sequoia Capital called it that last week, their only other calls were 9/11 and 2008 crash.
  92. @anonymous

    One thing I haven’t heard mentioned about the virus is whether there might be different susceptibilities in different races.
     
    Now you have...

    https://evoandproud.blogspot.com/2020/03/coevolution-with-plague.html

    He has a curious argument that East Asians might be more vulnerable to coronavirus, because it might ward off more serious lung diseases like tuberculosis.

    I guess that this might be true. But the mechanism strikes me as a bit of the Rube Goldberg. Is evolution of susceptibility to disease usually so complicated?

    I’d think that the more direct negative effects of coronavirus might prevail instead.

    • Replies: @candid_observer
    Even if the mechanism the author suggested was operating, it may well be that East Asians have evolved by striking a balance between the rate of death due to coronavirus and that of the more serious diseases it may ward off. In other populations, the death rate from coronavirus might be much higher, having little to no exposure to it.
  93. @Bard of Bumperstickers
    It seems the kids are immune to it, though. Has anyone heard of one child anywhere dying from it? One comment at Zero Hedge's plethora of corona reportage noticed that many countries wonder how to deal with their aging populace. My money's on bioweapon.

    It seems the kids are immune to it, though.

    I think you are right that the mortality rate is super-low for the young. But they still act as carriers. So it would be more for everyone else’s protection than for the kids themselves to shutdown that particular disease vector.

  94. One thing that this crisis shows is that, when there’s a will, countries and governments have no problem limiting the free movement of people. So it basically shows that this idea that “it’s impossible to contain migration” is bollocks. It would be much easier to reduce immigration to zero, today, and even expel all migrants, than to impose the drastic measures such as have been imposed in Italy due to the coronavirus.

    What this says is that governments do not see immigration as a crisis or as a danger at all, even though their long-term effects are arguably worse than a virus that kills 3% of its victims*. You can recover from that, but not from population replacement, which is happening at a much larger rate than 3%.

    * I think the number is lower, because this percentage is over those who have been diagnosed and hospitalized, but there are likely many more cases which were asymptomatic or with mild symptoms and were therefore not tested.

  95. @Anonymous
    Trump should call for a national 2 week self quarantine. If he gave the people 3 weeks to prepare, he could close the down the federal government except for essentials like law enforcement, and close all the public schools as well (by stopping payment for the two weeks.) He could close down interstates and call on private businesses to close for two weeks. Either an executive order or a new bill from congress could give employees and tenants special rights during this two week period. FEMA could hand out emergency food packages to families who need them. Literally why do we even have rulers or pay taxes if they cannot act in times like these?

    Close the stock exchange. Sure it will drop leading up to the quarantine, but rally sky high once the virus is under control.

    He needs to do this. Potentially millions of boomers could die if he doesn't. This wont be like the fake wall that he claims he built. He cannot lie or skew or spin this or wish it away. He must act now.

    first step is shut down all international air travel.
    Last week alone hundreds of thousands of foreigners flew into the United States. Instead of imposing travel restrictions on Americans, we should first ban all foreigners from entering our nation, since we cannot effectively monitor travelers for the virus, as it takes weeks to develop symptoms.

    Trump supporters would embrace this travel ban on all foreigners. Democrats would not be able to attack the policy for being racist , since it would mostly effect Europeans. Would be fun watching the democrats attempt to attack this policy.

  96. @candid_observer
    One thing I haven't heard mentioned about the virus is whether there might be different susceptibilities in different races.

    I gather that coronaviruses originate in East Asia.

    Might they be less susceptible than those of, say, European ancestry?

    The numbers in Italy seem pretty different from those of S Korea, though other things might of course explain the discrepancy.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2019%E2%80%9320_coronavirus_outbreak_by_country_and_territory#Outbreak_by_country_and_territory

    Shows large populations seemingly unaffected while a handful of countries, (mostly East Asian and White) bearing the brunt.

    Hard to draw any conclusion when Africa, South Asia, East Europe/Eurasia and South & Central America are seemingly unaffected when others are in terror.

  97. @snorlax
    A global economic recession isn't good for oil prices either, and (temporarily) opening the spigots is an effective form of stimulus. Also low oil prices hurt the Saudis' enemies (Iran, Qatar, Russia) more than they hurt the Saudis.

    Saudi Arabia and Russia aren’t enemies. It was the Russians who refused to cut output, they have the lowest cost base and lowest breakeven price to balance their budget, they want to, and will, put US shale out of business. This will also devastate the US financial system due to exposure to shale bonds.

  98. @dearieme
    I realise that Franklin was the Founding Father who really was a clever chap but his remark is rather silly. It ignores the possibility of temporarily giving up some liberty in an emergency and then reclaiming it afterwards. It also ignores the reality that all human society is the result of compromises between various different characteristics that people value - liberty and security are only two of them.

    Being accurate means using words like relatively, on the whole, mostly, temporarily, generally, probably, etc. Doesn’t make for good quotes. Quotes appeal to people’s religious instinct; a simple short formula that’s Wise and True. A good rule of thumb is: the more stock phrases someone uses, the less they’ve thought about the issue.

  99. Anon[158] • Disclaimer says:

    So the CDC, Dr. Fauci, and Governor Newsom have all “recommended” that Americans not go on cruises. And yet cruises are still departing from American ports. Somehow I think the Chinese would come up with a way to completely eliminate this infection vector.

    By the way, the American military is undertaking a multiday operation to disembark thousands of passengers from a cruise ship at the port of Oakland and transport them to four military bases around the country, as well as forwarding on foreign citizens to their countries. I trust that invoices covering the costs will be sent to the cruise company and the passengers?

    • Replies: @Thea
    On January 20, 2020 Forbes published an article about how this was to be a great decade for the cruise industry. Oops.
  100. @Dumbo
    The fatality rate in Italy seems to be around 4% at this point, BUT, this is among those who have been diagnosed and are hospitalized. It is likely that there are many more cases that are asymptomatic or no different from a regular flu and thus are not tested. It is the same in the U.S., I doubt that the number of 500-600 is accurate, it must be much more. But yes, I don't know how if a Chinese-style quarantine could work in the U.S.

    And how many people dying of this are being labeled as some other respiratory/pulmonary issue as cause of death. That’s all “if my aunt had balls she’d be my uncle” territory.

    What’s Italy’s rate for obesity, diabetes, and cardiac issues vs. America? What’s the elderly population look like? Those are all huge comorbidities and mortalities for this.

    Just saying that there’s a lot of dysgenics in America that’s being ignored with “Well ahc-tually” followed by convenient one way numbers voodoo that assumes a best case scenario.

    You’re probably going to lose at least one older relative because of this, and yet the people who were telling us DA FLU continue to double down on being wrong.

    • Replies: @JRB
    Nearly all deaths in Italy are over 60 with one or more other diseases.
  101. Anon[158] • Disclaimer says:
    @Anonymous
    Head of the Port Authority of NYNJ has COVID-19

    The governor just announced that at the same press conference where he launched a New York State brand of hand sanitizer to compete with Purell. It was so bizarre I thought I was watching an SNL skit. It’s on YouTube, but I can’t paste the URL in from a tablet.

    • Replies: @Barnard
    I had to look that up to believe it. Cuomo is bragging about it being 75% alcohol instead of just 60% like Purell and that it was made by prisoners. They are making 100,000 gallons a week and will "ramp up" production as necessary. Of course within an hour he was getting blasted by pro prisoner groups for using "slave labor" to produce it. We are so far beyond parody I don't know how we can keep this going.

    https://nypost.com/2020/03/09/cuomo-slammed-by-justice-group-over-hand-sanitizer-made-using-slave-labor/
  102. It’s bad enough that Joe Biden is the official candidate of the establishment and has criminal Clinton cronies from traveling in the same circles, but his computer guy is actually the election-fixing slimeball responsible for a huge part of the Russian Hackers hoax.

    Biden’s IT director Warren Flood (who also speaks Russian) faked the Guccifer document that started the “Russian hacked the DNC” story.

    https://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2020/03/breaking-exclusive-joe-bidens-former-it-director-warren-flood-implicated-in-russia-hacked-the-dnc-email-narrative/

  103. @BB753
    "Potentially millions of boomers could die if he doesn’t."

    No, we can't have that! Boomers are destined to be immortal! What about the Silents, hey? Do THEY deserve to die?

    Most of the “Silents” have already passed away. Just 24 million still living compared to about 67 million Boomers.

    if half the boomers get COVID-19, and 2% die, it would result in 700,000 boomer deaths.
    If half the Silents get sick and 5% of them die it would be about 600,000 deaths

    last year 1,700,000 boomers perished. So if an additional 700,000 boomers die we would see the number of boomers fall from 67 million to 64.5 million.

    https://incendar.com/baby_boomer_deathclock.php

  104. @DanHessinMD
    Research shows that viruses similar to Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) are far less contagious when humidity is high. Cold and flu peak during the winter months in temperate zones, when indoor humidity is low. Influenza and cold viruses survive far longer in the air when the ambient humidity is low than when the ambient humidity is high. Further, there is strong evidence that the severity of flu-related respiratory infection is similarly humidity dependent, as lower humidity leads to more severe viral respiratory infection and greater likelihood of death. Influenza and Novel Coronavirus are very similar in that death typically results from pneumonia that leads to acute respiratory failure.

    Thus, indoor humidification, particularly to 50% relative humidity or higher, is a strong defense against Novel Coronavirus, by two different mechanisms. First, by reducing the amount of time that virus particles remain infectious in the air, humidification substantially reduces R0, the reproductive number that represents outbreak contagiousness. Second, by reducing severity of respiratory infection, mortality rates from Novel Coronavirus, currently estimated at 2.3%, will be substantially reduced.

    Thus, indoor humidification, particularly to 50% relative humidity or higher, is a strong defense against Novel Coronavirus, by two different mechanisms.

    The humidity in Wuhan averages 75% year-round.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wuhan#Climate

    Based on average incomes in China, and anecdotal info from other forums, indoor home heating is probably not particularly common in winter for the city’s residents, so low humidity is not likely a problem.

  105. @epebble
    What is strange is both MBS and Putin engaging in this scorched earth price war that will unseat Trump when he has been a very good friend to both of them. Trump has resisted extraordinary pressure from within his own party to resist both of them more robustly but still managed to give them freedom to do whatever they want. They could have shown some gratitude at least till the election. Four more years of Trump would be extremely beneficial to Putin if he can persuade Trump to pull out of or dissolve NATO.

    Putin was counting on Bernie as the nominee. The Russians now believe Biden will win an election against Trump – Biden has almost all the American elites on his side and Trump’s recent performance has been spotty. And even if Trump wins re-election he will be an aging, increasingly erratic lame duck and probably at the mercy of the usual Deep State hawks. So the Russians are not counting on a friendly Trump going forward.

    On top of that when will Russia have a better opportunity than right now to torpedo the American shale oil industry and stop the US expansion of LNG to Europe? While Putin is destroying the American oil and LNG export industry Trump is tweeting about low gas prices and distracted by Corona. Putin has always been good at knowing when his opponents are weakest.

    • Replies: @J.Ross
    >wind blows east
    Aha, Putin was counting on this!
    >wind blows west
    Once again we see the brilliant hand of Putin, this is precisely according to keikaku.*

    *Translator's note: keikaku means "plan."
  106. @candid_observer
    He has a curious argument that East Asians might be more vulnerable to coronavirus, because it might ward off more serious lung diseases like tuberculosis.

    I guess that this might be true. But the mechanism strikes me as a bit of the Rube Goldberg. Is evolution of susceptibility to disease usually so complicated?

    I'd think that the more direct negative effects of coronavirus might prevail instead.

    Even if the mechanism the author suggested was operating, it may well be that East Asians have evolved by striking a balance between the rate of death due to coronavirus and that of the more serious diseases it may ward off. In other populations, the death rate from coronavirus might be much higher, having little to no exposure to it.

    • Replies: @Johann Ricke
    The outsized Chinese reaction may be related to the large number of deaths from the coronavirus relative to its flu numbers, which are tiny, relative to the US:

    There were 56 flu deaths in January, the commission said Monday, compared with five in December. China reported only 38 deaths for all of 2017, well below numbers in the U.S. and elsewhere.

    Flu deaths are difficult to estimate. The World Health Organization said many flu deaths occur among the elderly and are often attributed to an underlying medical condition. Once a flu season ends, statistical models can help form a more accurate estimate. The flu kills between 12,000 and 56,000 people in the U.S. each year, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which estimates that this season's death toll will be at the upper range.
     
    The fact that deaths from one province per day were outpacing the (tiny) monthly nationwide flu totals for prior years probably spooked the Chinese mucky mucks.
    , @Peter Frost
    "it may well be that East Asians have evolved by striking a balance between the rate of death due to coronavirus and that of the more serious diseases it may ward off. "

    Most coronaviruses are not fatal. The common cold is often a coronavirus.


    In humans, coronaviruses cause respiratory tract infections that are typically mild, such as some cases of the common cold (among other possible causes, predominantly rhinoviruses), though rarer forms can be lethal, such as SARS, MERS, and COVID-19.
     
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coronavirus

    My argument is that regular infection of lung tissue by coronaviruses acts as a crude vaccination against more serious pulmonary infections, like tuberculosis, pneumatic plague, and lethal strains of coronavirus. Susceptibility to coronaviruses should be greatest in populations that have a long history of crowded social environments and, hence, selection for this kind of vaccination.

    I don't think I'm being overly speculative. Cross-immunity has been shown between pneumatic plague and other common viruses, like herpesvirus and cytomegalovirus. But the "vaccination" has to be repeated and regular (the beneficial effects decline after six months).

  107. Anon[292] • Disclaimer says:

    The Italian death rate spike appears to be mainly among Chinese imported to work in garment factories in northern Italy (the center of their fashion industry).

    2 generations ago, these Chinese people would have been working in a rice paddy, getting plenty of exercise and vitamin D in their skins from the sunlight. In an Italian garment factory, they’re sitting chairs all day indoors getting very little exercise and very little sunlight. Their vitamin D stores are almost nil right now at the end of winter. The medical establishment has gradually begun to realize that D is very important to prevent illnesses. See the link at the bottom. “People who had been vitamin D deficient when they enrolled in the studies saw more benefit. Their risk of infection was cut in half, according to the findings.”

    Secondly, Chinese don’t eat milk products, which is how Europeans have traditionally gotten vitamin D over the centuries during winter, via cheese and butter. So it’s very likely these garment workers have not been supplementing with D in their diet. Thirdly, by living in Italy, they likely don’t have access to traditional Chinese foods that contain Vitamin D and have been eating junk food Italian-style. They’ve been done in by poor diet and lack of sunlight during winter.

    https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2017/02/16/515428944/a-bit-more-vitamin-d-might-reduce-winter-colds-and-flu

    More mainland Chinese work desk jobs than they used to, and again, they don’t eat diary products with Vitamin D in them. My suspicion is that mainland Chinese are a lot lower in vitamin D stores in general than they used to be a couple of generations ago when most of them were peasants.

    • Replies: @Colin Wright
    A tale of two posts.

    Mine (elsewhere):

    'Well, there you go.

    'Italy has a lot of immigrant Chinese garment workers -- Chinese companies literally bring their staff to Italy so that their garments can say 'made in Italy.'

    'Now, in a normal world, one would assume that if the deaths were in fact concentrated in this population, the media would say so. But in the age of political correctness, who knows? Who is it who is getting sick in Italy?

    'We don't know. If there was something significant there, they'd hide it.

    'So we get to guess.'


    Then we get the post at Unz...

    '... The Italian death rate spike appears to be mainly among Chinese imported to work in garment factories in northern Italy (the center of their fashion industry)...'

    Fuck me. I mean, yeah, confirmation bias, but...

  108. There isn’t anything I feel empowered to do considering the human loss or the market loss. But I did consider three items which might possibly be of some small interest.

    1. Snot. In either I, Claudius or Claudius the God (I distinctly recall it was one or the other but it has been a long time since I read them) Claudius’s doctor instructs him to not blow his nose. Nasal mucous secretion is the body’s first line of defense against disease. If the snot drips outside onto his face then wiping with a handkerchief is permissible but forcing out snot is strongly dis-recommended.

    2. Hospitals and related medical facilities. Another poster on another thread asserted, and nobody protested, DO NOT go to the hospital unless you want to die. Related: there was a much blogged-about essay a few years ago by a physician, How Doctors Die. It was discussed ad nauseum on slatestarcodex for example.

    https://www.zocalopublicsquare.org/2011/11/30/how-doctors-die/ideas/nexus/

    3. At my local Safeway patronized by hordes of Chinese-Americans I have yet to see one with a surgical mask. I haven’t been there in a week and will be interested to see if there is a change. If the Chinese-Americans aren’t panicking I don’t think any Americans should panic. I have only seen three masks. Two were clerks in the Walmart pharmacy-drugs section and one was a Walmart greeter-receipt-verify guy. None of the three were Chinese. I work at home and do not take public transportation or attend many public events so my observation opportunities are sparse.

  109. GERMANY STANDS WITH EMBATTLED GREECE
    Turks are still bringing military vehicles right up to the border and attempting to damage Greek facilities. The buffaloed “refugees” are still being massed. Greece is receiving material aid and personnel.
    https://www.dw.com/en/germanys-merkel-turkeys-handling-of-migrant-and-refugee-crisis-unacceptable/a-52688912

  110. @Peter Akuleyev
    Putin was counting on Bernie as the nominee. The Russians now believe Biden will win an election against Trump - Biden has almost all the American elites on his side and Trump's recent performance has been spotty. And even if Trump wins re-election he will be an aging, increasingly erratic lame duck and probably at the mercy of the usual Deep State hawks. So the Russians are not counting on a friendly Trump going forward.

    On top of that when will Russia have a better opportunity than right now to torpedo the American shale oil industry and stop the US expansion of LNG to Europe? While Putin is destroying the American oil and LNG export industry Trump is tweeting about low gas prices and distracted by Corona. Putin has always been good at knowing when his opponents are weakest.

    >wind blows east
    Aha, Putin was counting on this!
    >wind blows west
    Once again we see the brilliant hand of Putin, this is precisely according to keikaku.*

    [MORE]

    *Translator’s note: keikaku means “plan.”

  111. anon[260] • Disclaimer says:
    @anon
    Asset prices are broadly determined by an underlying interest rate. With bonds, it is pretty much a formula. Stocks can be thought of as badly behaved bonds.

    Unless or until effective interest rates rise, not that much can happen.

    So.... my thinking about Covid-19 was that the largest risk was:

    1. Supply chain and other disruptions in economic activity.
    2. Shortages.
    3. Inflationary shock.
    4. Inflationary expectations --> effective interest rates rise.
    5. Asset prices tank.

    Those looking for a collapse in the credit markets are like militaries planning to re fight WW 2. It will take at least a full generation before it would repeat. Not to say there won't be WW 3. Just don't expect a repeat.

    So, absent inflation, I can't see anything that serious. Except volatility. Which isn't a problem.

    This is a less commonly expressed perspective, but hardly original. FWIW.

    The point being, my primary concern, inflation –> interest rates is belied by commodity price decreases in oil in particular. Followed by other disinflationary pressures.

    Other than that, there is no particular reason for a sharp and prolonged recession like 2008.

    However, todays markets are more susceptible to volatility due to computers, indexing, CNBC, etc. A decline of 20% in stock prices over several months would not have seemed surprising given the aging bull market, valuations, etc.. 20% in 2 weeks seems like a huge shock, but some of the speed is due to increased volatility, not an underlying deterioration in economic fundamentals.

    This is a version of conventional thought, so its value is somewhat limited. But, the key metrics are is interest rates in all their permutations. So called real interest rates, inflation rates and expectations, nominal interest rates (what you pay), and on and on.

    Inflation and interest rates look like they will remain low, so I’m not particularly concerned. But if they rise … all bets are off. Good luck everyone.

  112. Another COVID-19 hate crime, oddly the offender is just referred to as ‘the passenger’. I wonder what race the person who ranted at an Asian guy on the NY subway was? I mean, I can see a black man in the video but even then they won’t name him as a black man in the article about a hate crime! It actually looks like a mentally disturbed (He sprays him with an air freshener) black man but I suppose ‘racism’ is a special crime where that doesn’t count, it’s still societies fault!

    https://www.nbcwashington.com/news/national-international/irate-subway-passenger-sprays-asian-man-with-air-freshener-over-coronavirus-concerns/2233965/

    What’s funny is the spread of the virus in New York is happening through a massive cluster in New Rochelle (80+ cases so far) among an Orthodox enclave. It’s spreading between other Orthodox enclaves in New York State and New York City. One case (The first confirmed in Kansas) even popped up in a Kansas city suburb with an Orthodox enclave, the case had recently been to New Rochelle. The AIPAC cases were also members of the New Rochelle Orthodox enclave.

    https://eu.lohud.com/story/news/2020/03/05/coronavirus-new-rochelle-case-stretches-to-aipac-washington/4962585002/

    If you’re in NYC avoid standing too close to the Orthodox on the subway.

    Currently the main wikipedia article on the outbreak in English has the last words of the introduction as “The wider impact of the outbreak has included social and economic instability, as well as xenophobia and racism against people of Chinese and East Asian descent, and the spread of misinformation and conspiracy theories about the virus online.”. I wonder how long that will be there once it becomes clear whose doing the hate crimes. They even have a list of hate crimes, though they are predictably lame (Lots of unsubstantiated claims of increased racism and low bookings at chinese restaurants.) and even the ones in Western countries seem to be almost exclusively by non-whites.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xenophobia_and_racism_related_to_the_2019%E2%80%9320_coronavirus_outbreak

    • Replies: @Altai
    https://www.zerohedge.com/s3/files/inline-images/Screen%20Shot%202020-03-09%20at%2011.43.40%20AM.png

    For example, this. 'Westchester' means New Rochelle and New Rochelle means the Orthodox enclave there. I'm not sure if they know how the New Rochelle synagogue was infected but it seems to be the major outbreak in the US right now. Maybe responsible for why Israel was so anxious to put measures in place against US travellers before Trump got offended and they made it a more general ban that included the US.

    https://eu.lohud.com/story/news/2020/03/05/coronavirus-new-rochelle-case-stretches-to-aipac-washington/4962585002/
    , @Dissident

    If you’re in NYC avoid standing too close to the Orthodox anyone on the subway.
     
    If you’re in NYC avoid standing too close to anyone on taking the subway altogether.

    Avoiding close contact with hordes of people is simply impossible when riding NYC mass transit. Perhaps between the hours of midnight-5:00 AM, but riding during those hours presents more immediate threats...
    ~ ~ ~
    https://i.imgur.com/K37pWIu.png
    Even in their frenzy to stay on top of covering this rapidly developing public health crisis, the estimable New York Times still manages to promote that which is perennially responsible for any number of other such crises: sodomite degeneracy.

    Ah, the NYT. Where would we be without them?

  113. Anonymous[373] • Disclaimer says:

    How is Germany treating their patients? Do they have a secret or are they bad at counting deaths? No deaths reported thus far, 1k cases… what is their one weird trick?

    ACE2 dynamics kicking in…

    No Chinese worker colonies in Germany.

    East Asians of any kind thin on the ground.

    BTW re Diamond Princess fatalities:

    NHK Japan news reporting 2 of 7 fatalities are foreigners. So 5 deaths were Japanese and 2 were of undetermined race.

    Most people don’t understand Diamond Princess is an Asian cruiser.

    Most people don’t understand Italy has a very large Chinese worker population ~300k plus not including illegals.

    Murky Iran picture might be an effect of Belt & Road outreach from China.

    Media blackout on race/ethnicity in regard to this virus is telling.

  114. @Anonymous
    It might work against the electric car to some extent though. If demand slows, then driving the price through the floor also doesn't cost you so much as volume is low.

    ---

    Case load increases about 100x per month. At 10k beginning of March, to 60% of 8B people....

    1Mar 10k
    1Apr 1M
    1May 100M
    1Jun 10B (no more people to infect)

    If it continues at the current pace the first wave is over by June. That would be when a lot of those cases die.

    If we are successful in slowing it down it will take longer to wash through. There may be a second or third wave though.

    It might work against the electric car to some extent though. If demand slows, then driving the price through the floor also doesn’t cost you so much as volume is low.

    I doubt it. It certainly didn’t work against U.S. frackers a few years ago.

    I just heard that Saudi Arabia needs oil at about $80 a barrel to meet its fiscal requirements. Oil is trading at $30 to $35 right now. The Saudi economy will collapse if this price stays around current levels. They can’t sustain this.

    • Replies: @The Wild Geese Howard

    I just heard that Saudi Arabia needs oil at about $80 a barrel to meet its fiscal requirements.
     
    This is from 2017, and it quotes the IMF stating the Saudis needed $70 to breakeven for 2018:

    https://oilprice.com/Energy/Oil-Prices/Saudis-Need-70-Oil-To-Break-Even.html

    Given inflation since then, I can see $80 being their 2020 breakeven.
  115. @Bill Jones
    The oil market drop seems to be at Vlad's behest.
    There's a piece at Zero Hedge (can't be bothered to find it) has him doing a big fuck you to the clowns who have gone out of their way to antagonize him.
    He would not agree to to a production cut at OPEC. He seems to be the marginal cost producer, or as near as dammit. He can live with $30 oil. the US and Saudi can't.

    I think he wanted it low enough to hurt shale producers, but not this low. Saudi Arabia pushed it this low to hurt Russia for not going a long with OPEC’s proposed supply cuts.

    • Replies: @Bill Jones
    The Russian finance ministry reckons they can live with $30 oil for 6-10 years. They have real assets it seems in their Sovereign Wealth Fund, of $159 Billion.
    https://www.rt.com/business/482638-russia-oil-prices-fall/

    The Saudi's need a minimum of $50 over their production cost for the welfare programs that are buying them the throne. Much below that and the riots turn real nasty. That's why they're selling off everything they can: $200 billion over and above Aramco.
    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-saudi-privatisation-idUSKBN1DV45V

    Here are the banks with the highest energy (read fracking) exposure.
    Surprise, surprise, all the usual suspects
    https://www.zerohedge.com/markets/these-are-banks-most-energy-exposure
  116. Anonymous[255] • Disclaimer says:

    Cue obligatory depiction of 17th century plague doctor woodcut print, with said doctor sporting that curious and weird bird-headed beaked mask in combination with a wide brimmed leather hat.
    Scaring the bejesus out of little kids everywhere in times of anxiety and epidemic for the past 300 years.

    • Thanks: Achmed E. Newman
    • Replies: @Anonymous
    CORVID-19
  117. @candid_observer
    If coronaviruses mostly (entirely?) originate in East Asia, it makes little sense that East Asians would be more vulnerable than other populations, rather than the other way around.

    Maybe there's some general argument that the rates shouldn't differ across races, but I'm not sure what it is.

    This is a NOVEL (new) to humans coronavirus. That the local humans were or were not vulnerable to it is irrelevant to the virus. The virus was just doing its thing in bats or whatever and then the local humans got their hands (literally) on it. Could have happened anywhere except that Chinese happen to like bat soup more than most people.

  118. I got this humidifier on Amazon, it’s pretty good for a small bedroom:

    Homasy Cool Mist Humidifier… https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07W3RWG49

    I also picked up one of those plug-in UV disinfector lamp/fans. It seems to have a noticeable effect on odors as well.

  119. @Altai
    Another COVID-19 hate crime, oddly the offender is just referred to as 'the passenger'. I wonder what race the person who ranted at an Asian guy on the NY subway was? I mean, I can see a black man in the video but even then they won't name him as a black man in the article about a hate crime! It actually looks like a mentally disturbed (He sprays him with an air freshener) black man but I suppose 'racism' is a special crime where that doesn't count, it's still societies fault!

    https://www.nbcwashington.com/news/national-international/irate-subway-passenger-sprays-asian-man-with-air-freshener-over-coronavirus-concerns/2233965/

    What's funny is the spread of the virus in New York is happening through a massive cluster in New Rochelle (80+ cases so far) among an Orthodox enclave. It's spreading between other Orthodox enclaves in New York State and New York City. One case (The first confirmed in Kansas) even popped up in a Kansas city suburb with an Orthodox enclave, the case had recently been to New Rochelle. The AIPAC cases were also members of the New Rochelle Orthodox enclave.

    https://eu.lohud.com/story/news/2020/03/05/coronavirus-new-rochelle-case-stretches-to-aipac-washington/4962585002/

    If you're in NYC avoid standing too close to the Orthodox on the subway.

    Currently the main wikipedia article on the outbreak in English has the last words of the introduction as "The wider impact of the outbreak has included social and economic instability, as well as xenophobia and racism against people of Chinese and East Asian descent, and the spread of misinformation and conspiracy theories about the virus online.". I wonder how long that will be there once it becomes clear whose doing the hate crimes. They even have a list of hate crimes, though they are predictably lame (Lots of unsubstantiated claims of increased racism and low bookings at chinese restaurants.) and even the ones in Western countries seem to be almost exclusively by non-whites.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xenophobia_and_racism_related_to_the_2019%E2%80%9320_coronavirus_outbreak

    For example, this. ‘Westchester’ means New Rochelle and New Rochelle means the Orthodox enclave there. I’m not sure if they know how the New Rochelle synagogue was infected but it seems to be the major outbreak in the US right now. Maybe responsible for why Israel was so anxious to put measures in place against US travellers before Trump got offended and they made it a more general ban that included the US.

    https://eu.lohud.com/story/news/2020/03/05/coronavirus-new-rochelle-case-stretches-to-aipac-washington/4962585002/

  120. Anonymous[373] • Disclaimer says:

    Waited all last week for the Seattle emergency rooms ICUs to take the first waves.

    As of today it’s still all top down closings.

    Bottom up mass worker sick-outs not happening.

    Gonna happen very very soon right?

    Whassup my doomzzzzz…

  121. @The Alarmist

    The Efficient Market Hypotheses [sic] ....
     
    Is merely a hypothesis: It is not even robust enough to be a theory of how the markets work. It gives young MBA skulls full of mush something to blather on about in a vain attempt to sound like they know something.

    Reminds me of a finance class where I talked about gambling in the markets, a comment which left the prof a bit indignant, and in his tirade he made some comment about Blue Chip companies; I had just read Market Wizards, and one of the classic interviews had a trader who had faced a similar comment, to which he said something to the effect of, "I learned that the Blue Chip was the biggest chip in Monte Carlo, so I threw away Graham and Dodd and bought Beat the Dealer, and I've been winning ever since." So I shared a highlighted copy of the book with him. I'm still surprised he let me ace his class.

    As far as I can tell it’s pretty much all gambling.

    It’d be fun to compare the market caps of 50 random stocks in 1980 to their discounted FCFs through 2019. Would any of them be remotely close?

    People like to make investments hoping that they’ll appreciate in price more than they care about getting directly paid back, it seems.

    • Replies: @The Alarmist

    It’d be fun to compare the market caps of 50 random stocks in 1980 to their discounted FCFs through 2019. Would any of them be remotely close?
     
    It would be meaningless if you couldn't get your hands on the ex ante discount rate assumptions from those days. The rates we're experiencing these past few days would be inconceivable to analysts back then. We are rapidly approaching a world where there is no time value of money, a world where they try to have capitalism without capital.
  122. I was out for dinner last night here in downtown Vancouver and there were nothing but White people in the less-than-half-empty restaurant, which normally would be bustling with loathsome diversity.

    THANK YOU CORONA-CHAN!

  123. Anon[292] • Disclaimer says:

    Also important: Smoking reduces your vitamin D levels and makes you more likely to get sick because of your low vitamin D levels.

    https://www.livestrong.com/article/233579-smoking-and-vitamin-absorption/

    I’ll say it again, because no one seems to understand the importance of this:

    1) Chinese men smoke like chimneys. All southeast Asian men do this.
    2) Chinese people do not get vitamin D in milk products because they don’t eat milk products.
    3) Many Chinese people in the last couple of generations don’t get enough winter sunlight to give them vitamin D production in their skin because they’re working more middle-class indoor jobs instead of outdoor jobs in the rice fields.
    4) The only other way left to get Vitamin D is from meat fat, but the Chinese still don’t eat as much meat as Westerners do.

    Therefore, modern China is very vitamin D deficient, especially by the end of the winter.

    This, in a nutshell, is why the modern Chinese have become a virus factory, especially for various types of flu viruses. They have become a perfect petri dish for breeding mutant viruses and passing them along to everyone else.

  124. Of course t he “free market” isn’t “efficient” whatever that means.

    But maybe this time it is, because this new virus is a tempest in a teapot. Like all the other scares.

  125. @DanHessinMD
    To me, it is madness that the possibility of people protecting themselves through humidification is hardly discussed. Anyone can protect themselves substantially by raising the humidity in their home or office, simply by a humidifier or pot of boiling water.

    The research on this is extensive:

    I. Virus particles remain active longer in dry air than in humid air: citations

    1. Noti et al. (2013) High Humidity Leads to Loss of Infectious Influenza Virus from Simulated Coughs. PLoS One. 2013; 8(2): e57485.

    2. Tamerius JD, et al. (2013) Environmental predictors of seasonal influenza epidemics across temperate and tropical climates. PLoS Pathog 9:e1003194, and erratum 2013 Nov;9(11).

    3. Shaman J, Pitzer VE, Viboud C, Grenfell BT, Lipsitch M (2010) Absolute humidity and the seasonal onset of influenza in the continental United States. PLoS Biol 8(2): e1000316.

    4. Shaman J, Goldstein E, Lipsitch M (2011) Absolute humidity and pandemic versus epidemic influenza. Am J Epidemiol 173: 127–135


    5. Lowen AC, Mubareka S, Steel J, Palese P (2007) Influenza virus transmission is dependent on relative humidity and temperature. PLoS Pathog 3(10): 1470–1476.

    6. Schaffer FL, Soergel ME, Straube DC (1976) Survival of airborne influenza virus: effects of propagating host, relative humidity, and composition of spray fluids, Arch Virol. 51: 263–273.

    7. Hanley BP, Borup B (2010) Aerosol influenza transmission risk contours: A study of humid tropics versus winter temperate zone. Virol J 7: 98.

    8. Yang W, Marr LC (2011) Dynamics of airborne influenza A viruses indoors and dependence on humidity. PloS One 6(6): e21481.

    9. Shaman and Kohn (2009) Absolute humidity modulates influenza survival, transmission, and seasonality. PNAS March 3, 2009 106 (9) 3243-3248

    II. Susceptibility to respiratory infection is greater when ambient humidity is low than when ambient humidity is high: citations

    1. Kudo et al. Low ambient humidity impairs barrier function and innate resistance against influenza infection. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2019.

    2. Makinen et al. Cold temperature and low humidity are associated with increased occurrence of respiratory tract infections. Respiratory Medicine, Volume 103, Issue 3, March 2009, Pages 456-462

    3. Eccles R (2002) An explanation for the seasonality of acute upper respiratory tract viral infections. Acta Otolaryngol 122:183–191.

    4. Iwasaki A, Pillai PS (2014) Innate immunity to influenza virus infection. Nat Rev Immunol 14:315–328.

    5. Chen X, et al. (2018) Host immune response to influenza a virus infection. Front Immunol 9:320.

    6. Taubenberger JK, Morens DM (2008) The pathology of influenza virus infections. Annu Rev Pathol 3:499–522.

    7. Bustamante-Marin XM, Ostrowski LE (2017) Cilia and mucociliary clearance. Cold Spring Harb Perspect Biol 9:a028241.

    8. Oozawa H, et al. (2012) Effect of prehydration on nasal mucociliary clearance in low relative humidity. Auris Nasus Larynx 39:48–52.

    9. Kudo E, et al. (2019) Low ambient humidity impairs barrier function, innate resistance against influenza infection. NCBI BioProject. Available at https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/ bioproject/PRJNA528197. Deposited March 20, 2019.

    It can’t just be humidity because colds and flu wane in the summer months even in extremely dry climates like Las Vegas where the daytime summer humidity is no more than 20%. If it was really just humidity then back in the day when were still sane and functional, indoor humidification would have been universally introduced the same as we introduced indoor plumbing and other basic public health measures.

    • Replies: @Bert
    Indoor humidification's connection to public health is not as obvious as that of indoor plumbing. And raw sewage in the gutter is a public matter for sure. In the 1970's humongous humidifiers were in use in Michigan in the winter.
    , @res
    I gave some numbers for how specific humidity corresponds to relative humidity at different temperatures in this comment:
    https://www.unz.com/anepigone/covid-19s-hard-fail/#comment-3761385

    A 0.005 kg/kg specific humidity corresponds to 19% relative humidity (RH) at 30 C, 66% RH at 10C, or 100% RH at freezing.

    I don't doubt there is more to the summer lull than humidity (vitamin D exposure comes to mind), but it seems like humidity is important. DanHessinMD gave a bunch of references in another thread (see my link above) supporting his idea.

    Some questions I have not seen addressed are whether indoor humidification only would help and whether humidity affects susceptibility, transmissibility, or both.

    If it was really just humidity then back in the day when were still sane and functional, indoor humidification would have been universally introduced the same as we introduced indoor plumbing and other basic public health measures.
     
    Only if we understood the connection. Given running water, humidification is pretty easy. Leave out pans of water--ideally on a stove.
  126. @Anonymous
    DOOMERZ!

    If kids are the super secret asymptomatic carriers... then why aren't (adult) school teachers the hardest hit demographic on the planet? The teachers are locked inside classrooms all day with 30-40 supposed deadly virus carriers! Yet the teachers are not dropping like flies. They are not being attrited like WWI soldiers in the trenches. No headlines anywhere about waves of teachers filling ICUs.

    Riddle me this, my doomz.

    School codes are still fairly stringent regarding internal air temperature and humidity and how often the restrooms are cleaned and disinfected?

    • Replies: @res
    The numbers I see are something like 30-60% RH which at room temperature is roughly 0.005 - 0.01 kg/kg specific humidity.

    One discussion of this: https://www.polygongroup.com/en-US/blog/temporary-humidity-control--preventing-illness-in-schools/

    Effects of Low Relative Humidity Levels
    Discomfort: Low humidity levels may dry mucous membranes, eyes and throats. In healthy students, the dry conditions may cause discomfort, which may distract them from classroom activities. In those who have a cold, rhinitis or bronchial constrictions, low humidity levels may exacerbate symptoms.
    Spread of illnesses: Overly dry conditions may increase the incidences of some illnesses, particularly in children. Some bacteria, viruses, and pathogens thrive in environments with relative low humidity levels, especially when proper ventilation and temporary humidity control solutions lack. Examples include: Rhinovirus, Human rotavirus, Influenza, Measles, Herpesvirus, Varicellae, Rubella, Mycoplasma pneumonia, Streptococcus
     
  127. @SFG
    I actually was doing something like that. I messed up the timing with the retirement fund, though, and it started buying (stock-weighted) target-date funds instead.

    There is a big buying opportunity ahead, no question there; the problem, as always, is when the dip ends...

    There is a big buying opportunity ahead, no question there; the problem, as always, is when the dip ends…

    In this environment make sure your position is limited risk. Buying and holding an equity or selling puts is a recipe for heartache and large losses.

  128. @Redneck farmer
    I keep trying to explain to people: 1. You don't want to pay the taxes to get the kind of health care you want. 2. You won't tolerate the kind of rationing necessary to make a government paid system affordable.
    Personally, I can reluctantly go along with a taxpayer funded basic health insurance plan. Most people though, "want to go to the Mayo Clinic for free".

    I think most people understand that the government can’t give everyone the same kind of car that rich people drive for free or the same kind of house that they live in – there’s just not enough money to do this. But for some reason they think that the government can give everyone rich people quality health care for free. The level of muddled heading thinking about health care in the US (“health care is a right”) is off the charts.

    Most countries that have nationalized health care have systems of supplemental private insurance. If you need a knee replacement and you are on the national health care you can get on the list and get it in 5 years or if you have the private insurance you can get it right away.

    • Replies: @Johann Ricke

    If you need a knee replacement and you are on the national health care you can get on the list and get it in 5 years or if you have the private insurance you can get it right away.
     
    If only rationing were restricted to knee replacements. In reality, it extends to cancer treatment. I know a guy who might not be around today if he had waited in line instead of having a private insurance supplement.
    , @YetAnotherAnon
    "If you need a knee replacement and you are on the national health care you can get on the list and get it in 5 years or if you have the private insurance you can get it right away."

    But... unless you're an athlete or very wealthy (City/Wall Street wealthy), isn't it around the time you start to need new knees/heart valves/hips also when the insurance premiums become unaffordable?

    (A relative aged 75 with heart trouble and private insurance was given balloon angioplasty instead of stents twenty years back, dropped dead not long after, he'd have done better on the NHS. Conversely another younger relative with a brain aneurysm was diagnosed by the NHS with migraine when a £500 NMR scan would have picked it up - in his place I'd have paid for it. Too late now, only found at the autopsy.)

    , @Jonathan Mason

    But for some reason they think that the government can give everyone rich people quality health care for free.
     
    Has any other country ever tried such a thing, or something close to it? What was the result? Did they have to revert to insurance policies with such massive deductibles and copays that they amounted to nothing more than a backstop against bankruptcy in the event of a serious health problem?
  129. @candid_observer
    Even if the mechanism the author suggested was operating, it may well be that East Asians have evolved by striking a balance between the rate of death due to coronavirus and that of the more serious diseases it may ward off. In other populations, the death rate from coronavirus might be much higher, having little to no exposure to it.

    The outsized Chinese reaction may be related to the large number of deaths from the coronavirus relative to its flu numbers, which are tiny, relative to the US:

    There were 56 flu deaths in January, the commission said Monday, compared with five in December. China reported only 38 deaths for all of 2017, well below numbers in the U.S. and elsewhere.

    Flu deaths are difficult to estimate. The World Health Organization said many flu deaths occur among the elderly and are often attributed to an underlying medical condition. Once a flu season ends, statistical models can help form a more accurate estimate. The flu kills between 12,000 and 56,000 people in the U.S. each year, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which estimates that this season’s death toll will be at the upper range.

    The fact that deaths from one province per day were outpacing the (tiny) monthly nationwide flu totals for prior years probably spooked the Chinese mucky mucks.

  130. @Dave Pinsen
    London stock futures are down more than 8% now. US futures have a limit that keeps them from dropping more than 5%. Could be a 1,500+ point drop for the Dow Monday.

    Stay out for now, but soon there will be some amazing investment opportunities in the stock market. China’s experience has partially allayed my fears — after a rough start, their infections seem to be declining and they are working again. So after a drop, which we needed anyway, we should stabilize and build again. Then again, I give the boogaloo a 20% chance of arising out of all this, too.

    • Replies: @Dave Pinsen
    China's experience shows the virus can be controlled if everybody pretty much stays home for a few weeks. We're not doing that yet. We should be. Trump should rip the band aid off, and take the economic hit now, and ground us for a month. Still plenty of time for the economy to roar back in time for the election.
  131. @candid_observer
    Even if the mechanism the author suggested was operating, it may well be that East Asians have evolved by striking a balance between the rate of death due to coronavirus and that of the more serious diseases it may ward off. In other populations, the death rate from coronavirus might be much higher, having little to no exposure to it.

    “it may well be that East Asians have evolved by striking a balance between the rate of death due to coronavirus and that of the more serious diseases it may ward off. ”

    Most coronaviruses are not fatal. The common cold is often a coronavirus.

    In humans, coronaviruses cause respiratory tract infections that are typically mild, such as some cases of the common cold (among other possible causes, predominantly rhinoviruses), though rarer forms can be lethal, such as SARS, MERS, and COVID-19.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coronavirus

    My argument is that regular infection of lung tissue by coronaviruses acts as a crude vaccination against more serious pulmonary infections, like tuberculosis, pneumatic plague, and lethal strains of coronavirus. Susceptibility to coronaviruses should be greatest in populations that have a long history of crowded social environments and, hence, selection for this kind of vaccination.

    I don’t think I’m being overly speculative. Cross-immunity has been shown between pneumatic plague and other common viruses, like herpesvirus and cytomegalovirus. But the “vaccination” has to be repeated and regular (the beneficial effects decline after six months).

    • Thanks: Hail
    • Replies: @Anonymous
    Peter:

    What if you test as EBV or CMV positive on a blood test? Does that give you some immunity?

    What about HLAB27 gene that seems to have anti-viral properties/outcomes? (HIV doesn’t progress to AIDS, HepC and some Influenza doesn’t progress?

    I know some people can’t get a Norovirus because the Norovirus receptor doesn’t exist in some people:

    https://blogs.plos.org/collections/why-doesnt-everyone-get-sick-with-winter-vomiting-disease/
  132. @Anonymous
    DOOMERZ!

    If kids are the super secret asymptomatic carriers... then why aren't (adult) school teachers the hardest hit demographic on the planet? The teachers are locked inside classrooms all day with 30-40 supposed deadly virus carriers! Yet the teachers are not dropping like flies. They are not being attrited like WWI soldiers in the trenches. No headlines anywhere about waves of teachers filling ICUs.

    Riddle me this, my doomz.

    Teechers are better immunized from disease due to their continual exposure to it.

    • Replies: @David
    There must be a trade-off though. I wonder how all the immunological energy is paid for. Is the only downside a reduced likelihood of having lived so long?
  133. @Jack D
    I think most people understand that the government can't give everyone the same kind of car that rich people drive for free or the same kind of house that they live in - there's just not enough money to do this. But for some reason they think that the government can give everyone rich people quality health care for free. The level of muddled heading thinking about health care in the US ("health care is a right") is off the charts.

    Most countries that have nationalized health care have systems of supplemental private insurance. If you need a knee replacement and you are on the national health care you can get on the list and get it in 5 years or if you have the private insurance you can get it right away.

    If you need a knee replacement and you are on the national health care you can get on the list and get it in 5 years or if you have the private insurance you can get it right away.

    If only rationing were restricted to knee replacements. In reality, it extends to cancer treatment. I know a guy who might not be around today if he had waited in line instead of having a private insurance supplement.

    • Replies: @Jack D
    Whatever. You get what you pay for. You want free health care, don't expect high quality. You don't go to the soup kitchen to get a gourmet meal.
  134. anonymous[186] • Disclaimer says:
    @dearieme
    I realise that Franklin was the Founding Father who really was a clever chap but his remark is rather silly. It ignores the possibility of temporarily giving up some liberty in an emergency and then reclaiming it afterwards. It also ignores the reality that all human society is the result of compromises between various different characteristics that people value - liberty and security are only two of them.

    I realise that Franklin was the Founding Father who really was a clever chap but his remark is rather silly. It ignores the possibility of temporarily giving up some liberty in an emergency and then reclaiming it afterwards. It also ignores the reality that all human society is the result of compromises between various different characteristics that people value – liberty and security are only two of them.

    Franklin never said it. It’s an old liberal meme that was debunked years ago.

    Conclusion: Benjamin Franklin was a clever chap. Buzz Mohawk… not so much.

    • Replies: @res
    Debunking statements are much better when they include evidence. Anyone reading iSteve should be well aware of that given all of the "debunking" the MSM engages in.

    As far as I can tell, Franklin wrote it (even better than saying it in terms of documentation), but it actually meant something different than the meaning usually assigned.

    https://www.lawfareblog.com/what-ben-franklin-really-said

    Anyone know more about this?
    , @Buzz Mohawk
    Touché.

    What Franklin wrote was this:

    “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety”
     
    In a 1755 letter concerning a very particular subject, described here.

    It has been quoted and paraphrased so much that I am indeed guilty of applying it too broadly. I stand corrected, and I am in fact in favor of necessary quarantines and travel restrictions at times such as these.

    To describe the CDC as bungling this case, though, is simply to confirm what happens often in a free society trying to balance government and private activities. We muddle through, even with "not so much" clever Citizens like me.

    Thank you very much.
  135. Anonymous[367] • Disclaimer says:

    Peter:

    What if you test as EBV or CMV positive on a blood test? Does that give you some immunity?

    What about HLAB27 gene that seems to have anti-viral properties/outcomes? (HIV doesn’t progress to AIDS, HepC and some Influenza doesn’t progress?

    I know some people can’t get a Norovirus because the Norovirus receptor doesn’t exist in some people:

    https://blogs.plos.org/collections/why-doesnt-everyone-get-sick-with-winter-vomiting-disease/

  136. @YetAnotherAnon
    Globalisation kills.

    Autarchy Now !


    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Autarky

    Autarky administered by Demarchy Now!

  137. Anonymous[528] • Disclaimer says:

    We’ve had FIVE deaths in the United States so far.

    Some perspective: We lose 100 a day in car accidents. Worldwide, it’s 3,000 a day. Yes, I understand exponential growth but there are obvious limiting factors. Or else every living thing would’ve been killed long ago.

    This panic is stupid.

    • Agree: Colin Wright
    • Replies: @The Wild Geese Howard

    This panic is stupid.
     
    I think it's a symptom of the increasing frustration of the Libtards who were sure that Orange Man Bad was going to be impeached and jailed by now.
    , @Grahamsno(G64)
    The situation is rapidly evolving



    USA 729 +25 27 +1 15 687 8 2.2

    The first three headers are No of cases, New Cases, Fatalities


    https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/
  138. @Jack D
    I think most people understand that the government can't give everyone the same kind of car that rich people drive for free or the same kind of house that they live in - there's just not enough money to do this. But for some reason they think that the government can give everyone rich people quality health care for free. The level of muddled heading thinking about health care in the US ("health care is a right") is off the charts.

    Most countries that have nationalized health care have systems of supplemental private insurance. If you need a knee replacement and you are on the national health care you can get on the list and get it in 5 years or if you have the private insurance you can get it right away.

    “If you need a knee replacement and you are on the national health care you can get on the list and get it in 5 years or if you have the private insurance you can get it right away.”

    But… unless you’re an athlete or very wealthy (City/Wall Street wealthy), isn’t it around the time you start to need new knees/heart valves/hips also when the insurance premiums become unaffordable?

    (A relative aged 75 with heart trouble and private insurance was given balloon angioplasty instead of stents twenty years back, dropped dead not long after, he’d have done better on the NHS. Conversely another younger relative with a brain aneurysm was diagnosed by the NHS with migraine when a £500 NMR scan would have picked it up – in his place I’d have paid for it. Too late now, only found at the autopsy.)

    • Replies: @Bill Jones
    Like all doctors Socialized Medicine buries its mistakes. The difference is there's nothing in it for the ambulance chasers.
  139. @Jack D
    It can't just be humidity because colds and flu wane in the summer months even in extremely dry climates like Las Vegas where the daytime summer humidity is no more than 20%. If it was really just humidity then back in the day when were still sane and functional, indoor humidification would have been universally introduced the same as we introduced indoor plumbing and other basic public health measures.

    Indoor humidification’s connection to public health is not as obvious as that of indoor plumbing. And raw sewage in the gutter is a public matter for sure. In the 1970’s humongous humidifiers were in use in Michigan in the winter.

  140. utu says:
    @DanHessinMD
    The key is **indoor** humidity, since everyone and particularly the sick, are indoors most of the time.

    Seattle right now is 37 degrees with 83% humidity. Humid, right? Not indoors! That translates to 25% humidity at 72 degrees. So Seattle is now pretty dry (indoors where it matters)!

    In Wuhan, the origin of Coronavirus, the outbreak has stopped dead in its tracks, was 59 degrees yesterday with 94% humidity. That translates to 62% humidity when you warm that air to 72 degrees.

    The rapid decrease of Coronavirus in China as humidity skyrocketed is very strong confirmation that humidity is protective against Coronavirus.

    In fact, everywhere that has had strong Coronavirus outbreaks, the indoor air was very dry. Northern Italy (but not Southern Italy!) Iran. South Korea. Meanwhile, no outbreaks where the air is very humid. Singapore got affected early and yet there was no big outbreak and not a single person has died of Coronavirus there! Nothing in Africa. Almost nothing in South America. Humidity is a very big deal, and everyone can protect themselves with simply a pot of boiling water or humidifier in their home!!

    So what we are seeing with Coronavirus strongly supports the idea that humidity is protective against Coronavirus. Which is what you would expect if Coronavirus is similar to most other respiratory viral infections.

    If people knew they could protect themselves after infection from COVID-19, wouldn't it go a long way to stop the panic?

    Seattle right now is 37 degrees with 83% humidity. Humid, right? Not indoors! That translates to 25% humidity at 72 degrees. So Seattle is now pretty dry (indoors where it matters)!

    Wrong! Apparently you haven’t read the papers you have cited here. This is not about relative humidity but about absolute humidity. The absolute humidity in Seattle now is the same whether indoors or outdoors.

    https://www.webmd.com/cold-and-flu/news/20090213/influenza-linked-to-absolute-humidity
    They showed that relative humidity explains only about 3% of flu virus survival. After looking at the data focusing on absolute humidity, they found “dramatic” rises in both variability of transmission (from the 12% found earlier, to 50%) and survival (from 36% to 90%).

    Though you are correct that humidifiers would help. And higher temperature would help because then you can pack the air with more water vapor. In other words keep your apt warm with humidifier on.

    • Replies: @DanHessinMD
    We are saying the same thing. My point is the cold air that seems humid may really be dry.
  141. @miss marple
    Of course the kids are spreading the virus. Who else gets packed like sardines into an unhygienic environment then comes home to innocently share all that grime with the adult members of their family. Adults who take the kiddies grocery shopping before discovering that Jr. has fever and a runny, runny nose. Then after taking their ill offspring to the doctor drag the child into the drugstore right after for their prescription. At the point of greatest infectiousness, Jr. leaves a snail trail of snot across the handle of a buggy and will probably go to the bathroom as well where he will bravely flush the toilet and turn the handle on the sink all by himself. He'll also leave a little handprint on the metal plate of the bathroom door especially on the way out if he doesn't wash his hands. Then there are the fits of sneezing/coughing. But someone will insist on swabbing the insides of cheeks, taking blood and using complicated mathematical models to reach the same conclusion.

    I can hear the gentle rustle of your ovaries shriveling.

    • LOL: Malcolm X-Lax
  142. @PiltdownMan
    Three weeks ago, China's Hubei province alone was seeing 2,500 new cases a day. Yesterday, China was down to about 46 new cases.

    The rest of the world saw over 3600 new cases yesterday. There's something to be learned from China and how it has managed the disease after the initial period of mismanagement at the provincial level, I think.

    It won’t even come to that.

  143. @Anonymous
    Head of the Port Authority of NYNJ has COVID-19

    He may have it but he’s well enough to work from home, despite being an older man.

  144. @Dave Pinsen
    I think he wanted it low enough to hurt shale producers, but not this low. Saudi Arabia pushed it this low to hurt Russia for not going a long with OPEC's proposed supply cuts.

    The Russian finance ministry reckons they can live with $30 oil for 6-10 years. They have real assets it seems in their Sovereign Wealth Fund, of $159 Billion.
    https://www.rt.com/business/482638-russia-oil-prices-fall/

    The Saudi’s need a minimum of $50 over their production cost for the welfare programs that are buying them the throne. Much below that and the riots turn real nasty. That’s why they’re selling off everything they can: $200 billion over and above Aramco.
    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-saudi-privatisation-idUSKBN1DV45V

    Here are the banks with the highest energy (read fracking) exposure.
    Surprise, surprise, all the usual suspects
    https://www.zerohedge.com/markets/these-are-banks-most-energy-exposure

    • Thanks: The Wild Geese Howard
  145. @dearieme
    I realise that Franklin was the Founding Father who really was a clever chap but his remark is rather silly. It ignores the possibility of temporarily giving up some liberty in an emergency and then reclaiming it afterwards. It also ignores the reality that all human society is the result of compromises between various different characteristics that people value - liberty and security are only two of them.

    Somehow the reclaiming part never happens, temporarily becomes permanent.

    • Agree: Polynikes
  146. utu says:
    @Redneck farmer
    I keep trying to explain to people: 1. You don't want to pay the taxes to get the kind of health care you want. 2. You won't tolerate the kind of rationing necessary to make a government paid system affordable.
    Personally, I can reluctantly go along with a taxpayer funded basic health insurance plan. Most people though, "want to go to the Mayo Clinic for free".

    Most people though, “want to go to the Mayo Clinic for free”.. – And most people in the US can go good hospitals though not for free because their employers, partly they themselves and/or government pay for it. The problem is that there are 40 million or so people who do not have an adequate insurance. Should the remaining 290 million chip in? 14% increase of premium for everybody: employers, employees and government to cover the uninsured 40 millions.

  147. Trump is toast. He can’t even comprehend the magnitude of the problems with COVID-19. One problem is that we need massive government intervention to spread out the incidence of new cases to lessen the load on hospitals. The other is that we need massive government intervention to keep the economy running, and by providing funds to people who work for a living.

    Trump does not get this and he will fail miserable between now and November. If we’re lucky, he’ll be removed from office by any means necessary. Too bad Schiff and Pelosi blew their credibility on the phony impeachment issue. We need to remove Trump for incapacity to do the job.

    Biden is toast. He’s senile and unable to respond effectively.

    I hope Bernie survives. He’s old and has a heart condition, both make him more likely than others to succumb to the disease.

    If Bernie survives, he’s a shoo-in. Bernie is a socialist and the only way to handle the novel disease is through socialism. Market forces are too slow to react.

    If Bernie survives and gets elected, national single payer insurance is probably going to happen and in a way that benefits the patients rather then the insurance companies.

    • Replies: @Whiskey
    I gotta get some of your drugs. In a diverse multicultural society single payer health care merges the DMV and jury duty with the ER.

    Big shots politically get all the best doctors and you get a PA from the Dominican. In six months.

    I live in Mexifornia Central. And even those people don't want to lose their lousy healthcare for worse. And they are Bernie ride or die.

    Wow just wow more open borders during a global plague. Thus is a 4 chan wet dream.
  148. Trump is finished.

    The game changed and this is one for which he is less suited, judging by his performance thus far.

    This is the end of the Boomer cycle, and by that I mean the Summer of Love cohort that morphed into the Greed Is Good philosophy.

    Really just aged out.

    Pretty much everything that is being done wrong in the coronavirus battle is motivated by greed of one sort or another.

    Try suggesting to someone in East Asia that this is all just some domestic USA red/blue palace intrigue hoax and we don’t need to take measures.

    Start with Xi Jinping, see what he says.

    • Agree: James Speaks
  149. OT:

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
    Mate.


    https://i.stack.imgur.com/MKyoc.png


    This was the Nordic equivalent of Beach Blanket Bingo.

  150. @DanHessinMD
    Research shows that viruses similar to Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) are far less contagious when humidity is high. Cold and flu peak during the winter months in temperate zones, when indoor humidity is low. Influenza and cold viruses survive far longer in the air when the ambient humidity is low than when the ambient humidity is high. Further, there is strong evidence that the severity of flu-related respiratory infection is similarly humidity dependent, as lower humidity leads to more severe viral respiratory infection and greater likelihood of death. Influenza and Novel Coronavirus are very similar in that death typically results from pneumonia that leads to acute respiratory failure.

    Thus, indoor humidification, particularly to 50% relative humidity or higher, is a strong defense against Novel Coronavirus, by two different mechanisms. First, by reducing the amount of time that virus particles remain infectious in the air, humidification substantially reduces R0, the reproductive number that represents outbreak contagiousness. Second, by reducing severity of respiratory infection, mortality rates from Novel Coronavirus, currently estimated at 2.3%, will be substantially reduced.

    I hope this is correct since it makes for an easy mitigation method, but the virus breaking out in Washington, Oregon and Florida doesn’t seem so.

    • Replies: @anonguy
    The US authorities are ignoring fecal/oral contamination route.

    There is ample science/data based evidence of this emerging and reported in East Asian press and the authorities there are treating this as a factor.

    This is a factor in why institutionalized populations are having breakouts.

    It likely is a factor in West Coast breakouts with homeless issue.

    , @DanHessinMD
    The Florida cases are new and don't yet represent a local outbreak. Tropical and subtropical regions have not been hit hard by this. Singapore hasn't recorded a single death.

    Regarding Washington and Oregon, what matters is indoor humidity.

    Yesterday, Seattle was 37 degrees F with 83% humidity. Humid, right? Not indoors! That translates to 25% humidity at 72 degrees when you warm that air. So Seattle is now pretty dry indoors, which is what matters!
    , @James Speaks
    The virus is in Florida. Right now it's Bike Week (party like no tomorrow - Bikers can't get COVID19 b/c Harley-Davidson) and then it's Spring Break. The pandemic will hit the First of April and by May 1 it will all be over.
  151. Anonymous[201] • Disclaimer says:

    Kirkland WA Lifecare NH update—120 patients were in facility, updated now to 19 dead patients.

    http://freerepublic.com/focus/f-chat/3822786/posts?q=1&#038;;page=1261

    …this particular multi part FR virus thread is informative. (Yes the FR commenters suck for many other topics. As if UNZ commenters are any different hahahaha)

    Anyway subtract the Kirkland Catastrophe and there are hardly any US deaths, my doomzzzz.

  152. anonymous[186] • Disclaimer says:

    But for some reason they think that the government can give everyone rich people quality health care for free.

    Folks should be careful what they ask for…

    https://www.tiktok.com/@paulinekayy/video/6801643431014780165

  153. @Lugash
    I hope this is correct since it makes for an easy mitigation method, but the virus breaking out in Washington, Oregon and Florida doesn't seem so.

    The US authorities are ignoring fecal/oral contamination route.

    There is ample science/data based evidence of this emerging and reported in East Asian press and the authorities there are treating this as a factor.

    This is a factor in why institutionalized populations are having breakouts.

    It likely is a factor in West Coast breakouts with homeless issue.

  154. According to your theory that means the market knew this was a relative nothing burger. When the market recovers in a week or two, the smart money that went long here was also correct in knowing this was an artificial and exaggerated panic.

  155. Saudi Arabia is trying to take out US shale, Russia is not sure what they want to do, and suddenly the 3 biggest oil producers are in a battle.

    OPEC is mostly hypothetical now, like NATO. every member is incentivized to cheat, and they have been cheating somewhat regularly since 2000. similar to NATO, which is really just the US military today, with most other members not even pretending to maintain appearances.

    does anybody realize OPEC is headquartered in Austria? i didn’t until last week. and it has been headquartered there since 1965. man, if that doesn’t say everything about HBD.

    • Replies: @YetAnotherAnon
    "does anybody realize OPEC is headquartered in Austria? i didn’t until last week. and it has been headquartered there since 1965."

    Boomers may remember, because this happened in the 1970s at OPEC HQ in Vienna.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/OPEC_siege

    "As Carlos entered the conference room and fired shots into the ceiling, the delegates ducked under the table. The terrorists searched for Ahmed Zaki Yamani (Saudi Oil Minister) and then divided the sixty-three hostages into groups. Delegates of friendly countries were moved toward the door, 'neutrals' were placed in the centre of the room and the 'enemies' were placed along the back wall, next to a stack of explosives. This last group included those from Saudi Arabia, Iran, Qatar and the UAE. Carlos demanded that a bus be provided to take his group and the hostages to the airport, where a DC-9 airplane and crew would be waiting. In the meantime, Carlos briefed Yamani on his plan to eventually fly to Aden, where Yamani and Amuzegar would be killed. "
     
    The Algerians agreed to the terrorists going free on condition Yamani's life was spared.

    "On returning to the plane Carlos stood before Yamani and Amuzegar and expressed his regret at not being able to murder them."
    , @The Wild Geese Howard

    does anybody realize OPEC is headquartered in Austria? i didn’t until last week. and it has been headquartered there since 1965. man, if that doesn’t say everything about HBD.
     
    Of course it is.

    It makes it far more convenient for the OPEC delegations to go out, drink alcohol, eat pork, and degrade white women after they finish their meetings.
    , @Anonymous
    You can't put this in an oil producing country because nobody would trust the hosts not to bug the negotiation rooms, hotels, etc. The Austrians don't care. Nothing to do with HBD.
  156. @MEH 0910
    OT:
    https://twitter.com/nytimes/status/1237000391587487744

    Mate.

    This was the Nordic equivalent of Beach Blanket Bingo.

    • LOL: Redneck farmer
  157. So far, the Corona Virus looks to me to be a fairly typical flu epidemic; indeed, if I recall aright, the disease can be so mild that a fifth of the victims won’t even realize they’ve caught it.

    Supposedly, by some point in April, we’ll all have been exposed, and then the outbreak will be more or less over.

    …and yet, the economy’s going into collapse world-wide, states of emergency are being declared, there are runs in the stores on staples, etc, etc. I was in Costco today, and two-thirds of the shoppers were buying toilet paper or paper towels. No one had sugar; the store was already out.

    One wonders what would happen if we ran into a real problem?

  158. The question that has yet to be satisfactorily answered is whether the Chinese coronavirus was intended to be used against China’s Uyhgur population.

  159. Lordy.

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/live/2020/mar/09/coronavirus-live-updates-outbreak-italy-lockdown-quarantine-uk-usa-america-australia-recession-fears-update-latest-news

    All of Italy will be placed under the lockdown conditions thus far imposed upon the so-called “red zone” in the north of the country, the Italian prime minister Giuseppe Conte has said.

    The restrictions will include banning all public gatherings and preventing all movement other than for work and emergencies. According to the Reuters news agency, he has said the decision was necessary to protect Italy’s most vulnerable citizens and that the right course of action now is for people to stay at home.

    The announcement in Italy spells out the restriction of movement of more than 60 million people.

    The decree provides for banning all public events, closing cinemas, theatres, gyms, discos and pubs, funerals, weddings and all sport events, including Serie A matches. All schools and universities will remain closed until 3 April.

  160. @Lugash
    I hope this is correct since it makes for an easy mitigation method, but the virus breaking out in Washington, Oregon and Florida doesn't seem so.

    The Florida cases are new and don’t yet represent a local outbreak. Tropical and subtropical regions have not been hit hard by this. Singapore hasn’t recorded a single death.

    Regarding Washington and Oregon, what matters is indoor humidity.

    Yesterday, Seattle was 37 degrees F with 83% humidity. Humid, right? Not indoors! That translates to 25% humidity at 72 degrees when you warm that air. So Seattle is now pretty dry indoors, which is what matters!

  161. @PiltdownMan
    Three weeks ago, China's Hubei province alone was seeing 2,500 new cases a day. Yesterday, China was down to about 46 new cases.

    The rest of the world saw over 3600 new cases yesterday. There's something to be learned from China and how it has managed the disease after the initial period of mismanagement at the provincial level, I think.

    Hubei’s weather went from wintry to summery.

  162. @james wilson
    Teechers are better immunized from disease due to their continual exposure to it.

    There must be a trade-off though. I wonder how all the immunological energy is paid for. Is the only downside a reduced likelihood of having lived so long?

  163. Jim Sciutto, on Twitter:

    @jimsciutto
    Conversation on the train:

    Man on my left: “Coronavirus is just the flu. It’s all panic.” (Points to man on my right wearing a mask) “See? Mass hysteria.”

    Man on right: “Actually I’m a microbiologist.”

    Man on left: “Why a mask?”

    Man on right: “I know how pandemics spread.”
    ————————————-

    Didn’t they tell us that only infected people should be wearing masks, Jim “Pro” Sciutto? Nevermind. That conversation didn’t really happen.

    • Replies: @J.Ross
    This is like a less creepy but equally dumb version of lefties reporting to twitter that their three year old demands to know why Donald Trump is destroying the Earth.
  164. anonymous[552] • Disclaimer says:

    Transwomyn hit hardest:

    Me trying to not touch my face. pic.twitter.com/y75Idk4VFi— Julie Johnston 🏳️‍🌈 (@queermsfrizzle) March 9, 2020

    • Replies: @The Alarmist

    Transwomyn hit hardest:
     
    Now that you mention this, since it is now OK for transwomyn to compete in girl's sports, is it now OK to hit girls? How about hitting transwomyn? Can a transwomyn hit cis-girls?
  165. @Anonymous
    Trump should call for a national 2 week self quarantine. If he gave the people 3 weeks to prepare, he could close the down the federal government except for essentials like law enforcement, and close all the public schools as well (by stopping payment for the two weeks.) He could close down interstates and call on private businesses to close for two weeks. Either an executive order or a new bill from congress could give employees and tenants special rights during this two week period. FEMA could hand out emergency food packages to families who need them. Literally why do we even have rulers or pay taxes if they cannot act in times like these?

    Close the stock exchange. Sure it will drop leading up to the quarantine, but rally sky high once the virus is under control.

    He needs to do this. Potentially millions of boomers could die if he doesn't. This wont be like the fake wall that he claims he built. He cannot lie or skew or spin this or wish it away. He must act now.

    “Trump should call for a national 2 week self quarantine.”

    He says it’s contained. No need to go all Chicken Little. Besides, Pence is on the case!

    • Troll: YetAnotherAnon
  166. @Jack D
    It can't just be humidity because colds and flu wane in the summer months even in extremely dry climates like Las Vegas where the daytime summer humidity is no more than 20%. If it was really just humidity then back in the day when were still sane and functional, indoor humidification would have been universally introduced the same as we introduced indoor plumbing and other basic public health measures.

    I gave some numbers for how specific humidity corresponds to relative humidity at different temperatures in this comment:
    https://www.unz.com/anepigone/covid-19s-hard-fail/#comment-3761385

    A 0.005 kg/kg specific humidity corresponds to 19% relative humidity (RH) at 30 C, 66% RH at 10C, or 100% RH at freezing.

    I don’t doubt there is more to the summer lull than humidity (vitamin D exposure comes to mind), but it seems like humidity is important. DanHessinMD gave a bunch of references in another thread (see my link above) supporting his idea.

    Some questions I have not seen addressed are whether indoor humidification only would help and whether humidity affects susceptibility, transmissibility, or both.

    If it was really just humidity then back in the day when were still sane and functional, indoor humidification would have been universally introduced the same as we introduced indoor plumbing and other basic public health measures.

    Only if we understood the connection. Given running water, humidification is pretty easy. Leave out pans of water–ideally on a stove.

    • Replies: @Jack D
    Not that easy. You need a lot of energy to heat or otherwise vaporize the water, especially if you want to humidify your whole house and not just one room. Do the math (I'm too lazy) - you have to evaporate a LOT of water to humidify your house in the winter. The more your house leaks (warm moist) air the more water you have to add. And add too much and your windows fog, mold starts to grow, etc. A modern house with good air sealing might not need a lot of humidification - you get a certain amount from showers, cooking, etc.


    I used to have a whole house humidifier attached to my furnace. It was a maintenance headache. Water has minerals in it and when you evaporate the water the minerals get left behind and make a mess. Now I have an ultrasonic room humidifier for my bedroom. It's a pain in the ass to fill and it leaves white dust (dried out minerals) everywhere in the room.
  167. So, the DJIA lost 2,000 points or about 7.8%. How much of this is a market correction after a ten+ year bull market? How much is Russia v. Saudi oil warfare or Coronavirus? How will this be spinned? President Trump can pin this on the CFluWu virus (not too bad), oil price changes (mostly great for consumers) and fake news media hyping market instability so Mr. Trump can’t cross the country crowing about everyone’s 401Ks (imaginary).

    Personally, although the CFluWu is terrifying to anyone who doesn’t follow the CDC’s Influenza page, I think it will blow over by May. For comparison purposes, with the influenza virus, the Center for Disease Control provides this estimate for the period from October 1, 2019, through February 29, 2020:

    2019-2020 U.S. Flu Season: Preliminary Burden Estimates
    =========================================
    34,000,000 – 49,000,000 flu illnesses
    16,000,000 – 23,000,000 flu medical visits
    350,000 – 620,000 flu hospitalizations
    20,000 – 52,000 flu deaths

    https://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/burden/preliminary-in-season-estimates.htm

  168. @The Wild Geese Howard
    School codes are still fairly stringent regarding internal air temperature and humidity and how often the restrooms are cleaned and disinfected?

    The numbers I see are something like 30-60% RH which at room temperature is roughly 0.005 – 0.01 kg/kg specific humidity.

    One discussion of this: https://www.polygongroup.com/en-US/blog/temporary-humidity-control–preventing-illness-in-schools/

    Effects of Low Relative Humidity Levels
    Discomfort: Low humidity levels may dry mucous membranes, eyes and throats. In healthy students, the dry conditions may cause discomfort, which may distract them from classroom activities. In those who have a cold, rhinitis or bronchial constrictions, low humidity levels may exacerbate symptoms.
    Spread of illnesses: Overly dry conditions may increase the incidences of some illnesses, particularly in children. Some bacteria, viruses, and pathogens thrive in environments with relative low humidity levels, especially when proper ventilation and temporary humidity control solutions lack. Examples include: Rhinovirus, Human rotavirus, Influenza, Measles, Herpesvirus, Varicellae, Rubella, Mycoplasma pneumonia, Streptococcus

  169. @Anon
    The governor just announced that at the same press conference where he launched a New York State brand of hand sanitizer to compete with Purell. It was so bizarre I thought I was watching an SNL skit. It's on YouTube, but I can't paste the URL in from a tablet.

    I had to look that up to believe it. Cuomo is bragging about it being 75% alcohol instead of just 60% like Purell and that it was made by prisoners. They are making 100,000 gallons a week and will “ramp up” production as necessary. Of course within an hour he was getting blasted by pro prisoner groups for using “slave labor” to produce it. We are so far beyond parody I don’t know how we can keep this going.

    https://nypost.com/2020/03/09/cuomo-slammed-by-justice-group-over-hand-sanitizer-made-using-slave-labor/

  170. @Downstream from Culture
    As far as I can tell it's pretty much all gambling.

    It'd be fun to compare the market caps of 50 random stocks in 1980 to their discounted FCFs through 2019. Would any of them be remotely close?

    People like to make investments hoping that they'll appreciate in price more than they care about getting directly paid back, it seems.

    It’d be fun to compare the market caps of 50 random stocks in 1980 to their discounted FCFs through 2019. Would any of them be remotely close?

    It would be meaningless if you couldn’t get your hands on the ex ante discount rate assumptions from those days. The rates we’re experiencing these past few days would be inconceivable to analysts back then. We are rapidly approaching a world where there is no time value of money, a world where they try to have capitalism without capital.

  171. @anonymous
    Transwomyn hit hardest:

    Me trying to not touch my face. pic.twitter.com/y75Idk4VFi— Julie Johnston 🏳️‍🌈 (@queermsfrizzle) March 9, 2020
     

    Transwomyn hit hardest:

    Now that you mention this, since it is now OK for transwomyn to compete in girl’s sports, is it now OK to hit girls? How about hitting transwomyn? Can a transwomyn hit cis-girls?

    • Replies: @JimDandy
    Transwomen beat on actual women in professional cage-fighting, and it is considered a cancellable offense to say there's anything wrong with that. Joe Rogan has spoken out against it--and paid the price. When Bernie Sanders mentioned that Rogan essentially endorsed him for president, outrage culture went berserk. How dare Sanders accept an endorsement from such a transphobic white nationalist? (He is absolutely not a white nationalist, or anything close to that.) My sense was that Rogan was shook by this. Whereas he was generally pretty good about mocking political correctness--which is one of the ways he built his massive audience--he has been bending over backwards to show his woke side lately. I don't blame him--he doesn't want to lose his career, or his YouTube privileges--but it's kinda sad to watch.
  172. @anonymous

    I realise that Franklin was the Founding Father who really was a clever chap but his remark is rather silly. It ignores the possibility of temporarily giving up some liberty in an emergency and then reclaiming it afterwards. It also ignores the reality that all human society is the result of compromises between various different characteristics that people value – liberty and security are only two of them.
     
    Franklin never said it. It's an old liberal meme that was debunked years ago.

    Conclusion: Benjamin Franklin was a clever chap. Buzz Mohawk... not so much.

    Debunking statements are much better when they include evidence. Anyone reading iSteve should be well aware of that given all of the “debunking” the MSM engages in.

    As far as I can tell, Franklin wrote it (even better than saying it in terms of documentation), but it actually meant something different than the meaning usually assigned.

    https://www.lawfareblog.com/what-ben-franklin-really-said

    Anyone know more about this?

    • Replies: @Buzz Mohawk
    As I said in my reply to anonymous:

    What Franklin wrote was this:

    “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety”
     
    In a 1755 letter concerning a very particular subject, described here.

    It has been quoted and paraphrased so much that I am indeed guilty of applying it too broadly. I stand corrected, and I am in fact in favor of necessary quarantines and travel restrictions at times such as these.

    To describe the CDC as bungling this case, though, is simply to confirm what happens often in a free society trying to balance government and private activities. We muddle through, even with "not so much" clever Citizens like me.
    , @Charles Erwin Wilson
    Please see my reply to Buzz.
  173. @Rob
    So children get the Wuhan virus, but don’t get sick. Asymptomatic adults shed virus for, what, two weeks before they get sick? If children are infectious while mostly asymptomatic that is really bad. One evolutionary pressure that can lead to a low level of optimal virulence is not being vector-borne. Colds spread better when your out sneezing and coughing in public. A cold that gets you so sick you stay home doesn’t spread as well. Malaria spreads just fine when your too sick to move much, because a relatively asymptomatic mosquito spreads the infection.

    You see where I’m going with this? Children are asymptomatic vectors for Wuhan coronavirus. The disease has little pressure to evolve to a lower level of virulence. It’s vector-borne.

    They need to close schools. Figure out some way to feed the indigent kids. Or keep them in school, and let out the kids of responsible parents.

    If kids are carriers covid 19 is not going to get much milder. I’m not an epidemiologist, so don’t panic, but the logic is good.

    The thing about feeding the kids is BS. Where do these kids eat during the summer? During school breaks? Give them McDonalds vouchers.

    • Agree: Dave Pinsen
    • Replies: @Barnard
    Many inner city schools are setup to serve meals to "at risk" students year round. Typically it is breakfast and lunch and of course these meals are provided for free. In some places they also keep the building open as a defacto free daycare for parents who don't want to line up someone reputable to watch their kids during the summer.
  174. @Johann Ricke

    If you need a knee replacement and you are on the national health care you can get on the list and get it in 5 years or if you have the private insurance you can get it right away.
     
    If only rationing were restricted to knee replacements. In reality, it extends to cancer treatment. I know a guy who might not be around today if he had waited in line instead of having a private insurance supplement.

    Whatever. You get what you pay for. You want free health care, don’t expect high quality. You don’t go to the soup kitchen to get a gourmet meal.

  175. @Jack D
    The thing about feeding the kids is BS. Where do these kids eat during the summer? During school breaks? Give them McDonalds vouchers.

    Many inner city schools are setup to serve meals to “at risk” students year round. Typically it is breakfast and lunch and of course these meals are provided for free. In some places they also keep the building open as a defacto free daycare for parents who don’t want to line up someone reputable to watch their kids during the summer.

    • Replies: @Jack D
    Preventing an epidemic from running out of control is a matter of life and death. Look at what is going on in Italy - in a raging epidemic you quickly outrun the # of ventilators and other medical resources and soon you are just letting people die because you have no way to treat them.

    Pardon my French, but F*ck school lunches. Most of these kids look like they could afford to skip a few meals. Hand out bag lunches in front of the closed school.
  176. @Rob
    So children get the Wuhan virus, but don’t get sick. Asymptomatic adults shed virus for, what, two weeks before they get sick? If children are infectious while mostly asymptomatic that is really bad. One evolutionary pressure that can lead to a low level of optimal virulence is not being vector-borne. Colds spread better when your out sneezing and coughing in public. A cold that gets you so sick you stay home doesn’t spread as well. Malaria spreads just fine when your too sick to move much, because a relatively asymptomatic mosquito spreads the infection.

    You see where I’m going with this? Children are asymptomatic vectors for Wuhan coronavirus. The disease has little pressure to evolve to a lower level of virulence. It’s vector-borne.

    They need to close schools. Figure out some way to feed the indigent kids. Or keep them in school, and let out the kids of responsible parents.

    If kids are carriers covid 19 is not going to get much milder. I’m not an epidemiologist, so don’t panic, but the logic is good.

    So children get the Wuhan virus, but don’t get sick.

    Don’t believe that. There’s plenty of video on youtube that tells a different story though the narrations are usually in Mandarin.

  177. @midtown
    Stay out for now, but soon there will be some amazing investment opportunities in the stock market. China's experience has partially allayed my fears -- after a rough start, their infections seem to be declining and they are working again. So after a drop, which we needed anyway, we should stabilize and build again. Then again, I give the boogaloo a 20% chance of arising out of all this, too.

    China’s experience shows the virus can be controlled if everybody pretty much stays home for a few weeks. We’re not doing that yet. We should be. Trump should rip the band aid off, and take the economic hit now, and ground us for a month. Still plenty of time for the economy to roar back in time for the election.

    • Replies: @Hernan Pizzaro del Blanco
    Trump should ban all foreigners from entering the United States, just as Israel has banned all foreigners from Israel.

    He keeps telling us that Banning flights from China was a good decision, so we should have already banned all Europeans and all Asians from coming to the US.
  178. @anonymous

    I realise that Franklin was the Founding Father who really was a clever chap but his remark is rather silly. It ignores the possibility of temporarily giving up some liberty in an emergency and then reclaiming it afterwards. It also ignores the reality that all human society is the result of compromises between various different characteristics that people value – liberty and security are only two of them.
     
    Franklin never said it. It's an old liberal meme that was debunked years ago.

    Conclusion: Benjamin Franklin was a clever chap. Buzz Mohawk... not so much.

    Touché.

    What Franklin wrote was this:

    “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety”

    In a 1755 letter concerning a very particular subject, described here.

    It has been quoted and paraphrased so much that I am indeed guilty of applying it too broadly. I stand corrected, and I am in fact in favor of necessary quarantines and travel restrictions at times such as these.

    To describe the CDC as bungling this case, though, is simply to confirm what happens often in a free society trying to balance government and private activities. We muddle through, even with “not so much” clever Citizens like me.

    Thank you very much.

  179. @res
    Debunking statements are much better when they include evidence. Anyone reading iSteve should be well aware of that given all of the "debunking" the MSM engages in.

    As far as I can tell, Franklin wrote it (even better than saying it in terms of documentation), but it actually meant something different than the meaning usually assigned.

    https://www.lawfareblog.com/what-ben-franklin-really-said

    Anyone know more about this?

    As I said in my reply to anonymous:

    What Franklin wrote was this:

    “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety”

    In a 1755 letter concerning a very particular subject, described here.

    It has been quoted and paraphrased so much that I am indeed guilty of applying it too broadly. I stand corrected, and I am in fact in favor of necessary quarantines and travel restrictions at times such as these.

    To describe the CDC as bungling this case, though, is simply to confirm what happens often in a free society trying to balance government and private activities. We muddle through, even with “not so much” clever Citizens like me.

    • Replies: @Charles Erwin Wilson

    It has been quoted and paraphrased so much that I am indeed guilty of applying it too broadly. I stand corrected, and I am in fact in favor of necessary quarantines and travel restrictions at times such as these.
     
    Your cessation may be warranted, but the reading of Franklin's remarks by the author of the link you cited is unwarranted. At best, Benjamin Wittes missed the point, at worst, he is willfully misrepresenting Franklin's statement to advance his political agenda. After all, Benjamin Wittes is "editor in chief of Lawfare and a Senior Fellow in Governance Studies at the Brookings Institution" and if you think the Brookings Institution is on the side of American citizens, you are mistaken.
  180. anon[827] • Disclaimer says:

    My interpretation of the Efficient Markets Hypothesis is not that the stock market is always correct about interpreting news, it was that it is very fast at reading the news.

    Ha! That must be why the stock market’s big in New York and London: they get the first printings of the Times.

    My interpretation is that it’s only insider trading if you get caught.

  181. @Lugash
    I hope this is correct since it makes for an easy mitigation method, but the virus breaking out in Washington, Oregon and Florida doesn't seem so.

    The virus is in Florida. Right now it’s Bike Week (party like no tomorrow – Bikers can’t get COVID19 b/c Harley-Davidson) and then it’s Spring Break. The pandemic will hit the First of April and by May 1 it will all be over.

    • Replies: @Known Fact
    Will more college kids God forbid die from COVID or from falling drunk off motel balconies?
  182. @dearieme
    I realise that Franklin was the Founding Father who really was a clever chap but his remark is rather silly. It ignores the possibility of temporarily giving up some liberty in an emergency and then reclaiming it afterwards. It also ignores the reality that all human society is the result of compromises between various different characteristics that people value - liberty and security are only two of them.

    Indeed I misapplied an already muddled Franklin quote to this case. My point was not in regard to temporary measures such as quarantines and travel restrictions, which I favor as much as anyone. It was about how the balance between private and government work in health fields will sometimes yield bumpy results in a free society.

    Basically, when you put the government in charge of something, you can expect crap at a higher frequency. This is why we must keep the medical profession private in our country. I was addressing your subject of the endless American debate about health care. Obviously a country needs a CDC-type agency to handle things like this. I am not arguing against that.

  183. @Dave Pinsen
    China's experience shows the virus can be controlled if everybody pretty much stays home for a few weeks. We're not doing that yet. We should be. Trump should rip the band aid off, and take the economic hit now, and ground us for a month. Still plenty of time for the economy to roar back in time for the election.

    Trump should ban all foreigners from entering the United States, just as Israel has banned all foreigners from Israel.

    He keeps telling us that Banning flights from China was a good decision, so we should have already banned all Europeans and all Asians from coming to the US.

    • Replies: @Dave Pinsen
    That too. In fact, I’d ground most domestic air travel too, with exceptions for cargo flights, and medical flights, and business related to fighting the virus.
  184. There is a lot of “Dear Leader” type adulation in the administrations remarks to the press.

    Has anyone else noticed this?

    • Replies: @Hernan Pizzaro del Blanco
    Yes. At every Corona virus press briefing the members of the task force praise Trump constantly for being the first to ban travelers from China., which kept Americans safe. They keep insisting that Americans are safe thanks to the ban on Travelers from China, yet we have kept the borders open for travelers from Italy and Korea , the hardest hit nations.

    The United States should immediately Announce a complete ban on the entry of all foreigners. If Trump and his minions believe banning flights from China was effective we need to ban flights from Europe and Asia as soon as possible.
  185. @The Alarmist

    Transwomyn hit hardest:
     
    Now that you mention this, since it is now OK for transwomyn to compete in girl's sports, is it now OK to hit girls? How about hitting transwomyn? Can a transwomyn hit cis-girls?

    Transwomen beat on actual women in professional cage-fighting, and it is considered a cancellable offense to say there’s anything wrong with that. Joe Rogan has spoken out against it–and paid the price. When Bernie Sanders mentioned that Rogan essentially endorsed him for president, outrage culture went berserk. How dare Sanders accept an endorsement from such a transphobic white nationalist? (He is absolutely not a white nationalist, or anything close to that.) My sense was that Rogan was shook by this. Whereas he was generally pretty good about mocking political correctness–which is one of the ways he built his massive audience–he has been bending over backwards to show his woke side lately. I don’t blame him–he doesn’t want to lose his career, or his YouTube privileges–but it’s kinda sad to watch.

  186. @prime noticer
    Saudi Arabia is trying to take out US shale, Russia is not sure what they want to do, and suddenly the 3 biggest oil producers are in a battle.

    OPEC is mostly hypothetical now, like NATO. every member is incentivized to cheat, and they have been cheating somewhat regularly since 2000. similar to NATO, which is really just the US military today, with most other members not even pretending to maintain appearances.

    does anybody realize OPEC is headquartered in Austria? i didn't until last week. and it has been headquartered there since 1965. man, if that doesn't say everything about HBD.

    “does anybody realize OPEC is headquartered in Austria? i didn’t until last week. and it has been headquartered there since 1965.”

    Boomers may remember, because this happened in the 1970s at OPEC HQ in Vienna.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/OPEC_siege

    “As Carlos entered the conference room and fired shots into the ceiling, the delegates ducked under the table. The terrorists searched for Ahmed Zaki Yamani (Saudi Oil Minister) and then divided the sixty-three hostages into groups. Delegates of friendly countries were moved toward the door, ‘neutrals’ were placed in the centre of the room and the ‘enemies’ were placed along the back wall, next to a stack of explosives. This last group included those from Saudi Arabia, Iran, Qatar and the UAE. Carlos demanded that a bus be provided to take his group and the hostages to the airport, where a DC-9 airplane and crew would be waiting. In the meantime, Carlos briefed Yamani on his plan to eventually fly to Aden, where Yamani and Amuzegar would be killed. “

    The Algerians agreed to the terrorists going free on condition Yamani’s life was spared.

    “On returning to the plane Carlos stood before Yamani and Amuzegar and expressed his regret at not being able to murder them.”

  187. @Rob
    So children get the Wuhan virus, but don’t get sick. Asymptomatic adults shed virus for, what, two weeks before they get sick? If children are infectious while mostly asymptomatic that is really bad. One evolutionary pressure that can lead to a low level of optimal virulence is not being vector-borne. Colds spread better when your out sneezing and coughing in public. A cold that gets you so sick you stay home doesn’t spread as well. Malaria spreads just fine when your too sick to move much, because a relatively asymptomatic mosquito spreads the infection.

    You see where I’m going with this? Children are asymptomatic vectors for Wuhan coronavirus. The disease has little pressure to evolve to a lower level of virulence. It’s vector-borne.

    They need to close schools. Figure out some way to feed the indigent kids. Or keep them in school, and let out the kids of responsible parents.

    If kids are carriers covid 19 is not going to get much milder. I’m not an epidemiologist, so don’t panic, but the logic is good.

    There is essentially a 1.0 correlation between how early a city shut schools and how well were their overall outcomes during Spanish Flu.

    Spanish Flu was extensively studied, then forgotten. Many lessons there for this black swan.

    Hey, it isn’t me, Sequoia Capital called it that last week, their only other calls were 9/11 and 2008 crash.

  188. @utu

    Seattle right now is 37 degrees with 83% humidity. Humid, right? Not indoors! That translates to 25% humidity at 72 degrees. So Seattle is now pretty dry (indoors where it matters)!
     
    Wrong! Apparently you haven't read the papers you have cited here. This is not about relative humidity but about absolute humidity. The absolute humidity in Seattle now is the same whether indoors or outdoors.

    https://www.webmd.com/cold-and-flu/news/20090213/influenza-linked-to-absolute-humidity
    They showed that relative humidity explains only about 3% of flu virus survival. After looking at the data focusing on absolute humidity, they found “dramatic” rises in both variability of transmission (from the 12% found earlier, to 50%) and survival (from 36% to 90%).
     
    Though you are correct that humidifiers would help. And higher temperature would help because then you can pack the air with more water vapor. In other words keep your apt warm with humidifier on.

    We are saying the same thing. My point is the cold air that seems humid may really be dry.

  189. @JimDandy
    I mean, I come here for wisdom. Tell me what to do.

    Wash your hands and don’t be afraid.

  190. @res
    I gave some numbers for how specific humidity corresponds to relative humidity at different temperatures in this comment:
    https://www.unz.com/anepigone/covid-19s-hard-fail/#comment-3761385

    A 0.005 kg/kg specific humidity corresponds to 19% relative humidity (RH) at 30 C, 66% RH at 10C, or 100% RH at freezing.

    I don't doubt there is more to the summer lull than humidity (vitamin D exposure comes to mind), but it seems like humidity is important. DanHessinMD gave a bunch of references in another thread (see my link above) supporting his idea.

    Some questions I have not seen addressed are whether indoor humidification only would help and whether humidity affects susceptibility, transmissibility, or both.

    If it was really just humidity then back in the day when were still sane and functional, indoor humidification would have been universally introduced the same as we introduced indoor plumbing and other basic public health measures.
     
    Only if we understood the connection. Given running water, humidification is pretty easy. Leave out pans of water--ideally on a stove.

    Not that easy. You need a lot of energy to heat or otherwise vaporize the water, especially if you want to humidify your whole house and not just one room. Do the math (I’m too lazy) – you have to evaporate a LOT of water to humidify your house in the winter. The more your house leaks (warm moist) air the more water you have to add. And add too much and your windows fog, mold starts to grow, etc. A modern house with good air sealing might not need a lot of humidification – you get a certain amount from showers, cooking, etc.

    I used to have a whole house humidifier attached to my furnace. It was a maintenance headache. Water has minerals in it and when you evaporate the water the minerals get left behind and make a mess. Now I have an ultrasonic room humidifier for my bedroom. It’s a pain in the ass to fill and it leaves white dust (dried out minerals) everywhere in the room.

    • Replies: @Johann Ricke

    I used to have a whole house humidifier attached to my furnace. It was a maintenance headache. Water has minerals in it and when you evaporate the water the minerals get left behind and make a mess. Now I have an ultrasonic room humidifier for my bedroom. It’s a pain in the ass to fill and it leaves white dust (dried out minerals) everywhere in the room.
     
    Having tried both, which do you prefer?
    , @Sparkon
    Yes, and even worse, humidifiers and other damp environments can be breeding grounds for all sorts of nasty things that you really don't want suspended in the air.

    “While moisture can be a positive thing, it also poses problems,” says Janice Nolen, an indoor air specialist... “Moist environments provide a wonderful breeding ground for mold and bacteria.” If you neglect to clean your humidifier properly, it can quickly become a cozy incubator for germs—one that aerosolizes those microorganisms and mists them into the air you breathe, she says.

    Lung issues, from flu-like symptoms to serious infection, are your main worries, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). Experts have also identified something they call “humidifier fever,” a form of viral lung inflammation caused by colonized humidifier bacteria.
     

    Time - The Creepy Truth About Humidifiers
  191. Anonymous[367] • Disclaimer says:
    @Peter Frost
    "it may well be that East Asians have evolved by striking a balance between the rate of death due to coronavirus and that of the more serious diseases it may ward off. "

    Most coronaviruses are not fatal. The common cold is often a coronavirus.


    In humans, coronaviruses cause respiratory tract infections that are typically mild, such as some cases of the common cold (among other possible causes, predominantly rhinoviruses), though rarer forms can be lethal, such as SARS, MERS, and COVID-19.
     
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coronavirus

    My argument is that regular infection of lung tissue by coronaviruses acts as a crude vaccination against more serious pulmonary infections, like tuberculosis, pneumatic plague, and lethal strains of coronavirus. Susceptibility to coronaviruses should be greatest in populations that have a long history of crowded social environments and, hence, selection for this kind of vaccination.

    I don't think I'm being overly speculative. Cross-immunity has been shown between pneumatic plague and other common viruses, like herpesvirus and cytomegalovirus. But the "vaccination" has to be repeated and regular (the beneficial effects decline after six months).

    Peter:

    What if you test as EBV or CMV positive on a blood test? Does that give you some immunity?

    What about HLAB27 gene that seems to have anti-viral properties/outcomes? (HIV doesn’t progress to AIDS, HepC and some Influenza doesn’t progress?

    I know some people can’t get a Norovirus because the Norovirus receptor doesn’t exist in some people:

    https://blogs.plos.org/collections/why-doesnt-everyone-get-sick-with-winter-vomiting-disease/

  192. Anonymous[286] • Disclaimer says:

    This is a cool video. You may have seen the growth in cases in log form, but this shows all the countries over time. So you can see the relative exponential growth as speed.

    Really what would show the same thing is just log graphs of cases in all countries rather than just “international”.

    Initially there is a flood of cases found as they test then it increases according to the control measures in use. Eventually it will saturate in the population but we haven’t seen that anywhere yet.

  193. @Jack D
    Not that easy. You need a lot of energy to heat or otherwise vaporize the water, especially if you want to humidify your whole house and not just one room. Do the math (I'm too lazy) - you have to evaporate a LOT of water to humidify your house in the winter. The more your house leaks (warm moist) air the more water you have to add. And add too much and your windows fog, mold starts to grow, etc. A modern house with good air sealing might not need a lot of humidification - you get a certain amount from showers, cooking, etc.


    I used to have a whole house humidifier attached to my furnace. It was a maintenance headache. Water has minerals in it and when you evaporate the water the minerals get left behind and make a mess. Now I have an ultrasonic room humidifier for my bedroom. It's a pain in the ass to fill and it leaves white dust (dried out minerals) everywhere in the room.

    I used to have a whole house humidifier attached to my furnace. It was a maintenance headache. Water has minerals in it and when you evaporate the water the minerals get left behind and make a mess. Now I have an ultrasonic room humidifier for my bedroom. It’s a pain in the ass to fill and it leaves white dust (dried out minerals) everywhere in the room.

    Having tried both, which do you prefer?

    • Replies: @Jack D
    I was getting too much humidity from the whole house unit (condensation on windows) so when it broke I abandoned it in place and switch to the room unit (you can get one with a humidistat to only add the amount you need). If you (1) have a house with older (air leaking) windows so you need to add a lot of humidity and (2) don't mind the cost of installing and maintaining a central humidifier then go with the whole house unit. The room unit has its own inconveniences (need to refill it every night by hand, white dust, only serves 1 room). Next time I replace my furnace I am NOT going to replace the whole house unit.
  194. @James Speaks
    Trump is toast. He can't even comprehend the magnitude of the problems with COVID-19. One problem is that we need massive government intervention to spread out the incidence of new cases to lessen the load on hospitals. The other is that we need massive government intervention to keep the economy running, and by providing funds to people who work for a living.

    Trump does not get this and he will fail miserable between now and November. If we're lucky, he'll be removed from office by any means necessary. Too bad Schiff and Pelosi blew their credibility on the phony impeachment issue. We need to remove Trump for incapacity to do the job.

    Biden is toast. He's senile and unable to respond effectively.

    I hope Bernie survives. He's old and has a heart condition, both make him more likely than others to succumb to the disease.

    If Bernie survives, he's a shoo-in. Bernie is a socialist and the only way to handle the novel disease is through socialism. Market forces are too slow to react.

    If Bernie survives and gets elected, national single payer insurance is probably going to happen and in a way that benefits the patients rather then the insurance companies.

    I gotta get some of your drugs. In a diverse multicultural society single payer health care merges the DMV and jury duty with the ER.

    Big shots politically get all the best doctors and you get a PA from the Dominican. In six months.

    I live in Mexifornia Central. And even those people don’t want to lose their lousy healthcare for worse. And they are Bernie ride or die.

    Wow just wow more open borders during a global plague. Thus is a 4 chan wet dream.

  195. @DanHessinMD
    To me, it is madness that the possibility of people protecting themselves through humidification is hardly discussed. Anyone can protect themselves substantially by raising the humidity in their home or office, simply by a humidifier or pot of boiling water.

    The research on this is extensive:

    I. Virus particles remain active longer in dry air than in humid air: citations

    1. Noti et al. (2013) High Humidity Leads to Loss of Infectious Influenza Virus from Simulated Coughs. PLoS One. 2013; 8(2): e57485.

    2. Tamerius JD, et al. (2013) Environmental predictors of seasonal influenza epidemics across temperate and tropical climates. PLoS Pathog 9:e1003194, and erratum 2013 Nov;9(11).

    3. Shaman J, Pitzer VE, Viboud C, Grenfell BT, Lipsitch M (2010) Absolute humidity and the seasonal onset of influenza in the continental United States. PLoS Biol 8(2): e1000316.

    4. Shaman J, Goldstein E, Lipsitch M (2011) Absolute humidity and pandemic versus epidemic influenza. Am J Epidemiol 173: 127–135


    5. Lowen AC, Mubareka S, Steel J, Palese P (2007) Influenza virus transmission is dependent on relative humidity and temperature. PLoS Pathog 3(10): 1470–1476.

    6. Schaffer FL, Soergel ME, Straube DC (1976) Survival of airborne influenza virus: effects of propagating host, relative humidity, and composition of spray fluids, Arch Virol. 51: 263–273.

    7. Hanley BP, Borup B (2010) Aerosol influenza transmission risk contours: A study of humid tropics versus winter temperate zone. Virol J 7: 98.

    8. Yang W, Marr LC (2011) Dynamics of airborne influenza A viruses indoors and dependence on humidity. PloS One 6(6): e21481.

    9. Shaman and Kohn (2009) Absolute humidity modulates influenza survival, transmission, and seasonality. PNAS March 3, 2009 106 (9) 3243-3248

    II. Susceptibility to respiratory infection is greater when ambient humidity is low than when ambient humidity is high: citations

    1. Kudo et al. Low ambient humidity impairs barrier function and innate resistance against influenza infection. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2019.

    2. Makinen et al. Cold temperature and low humidity are associated with increased occurrence of respiratory tract infections. Respiratory Medicine, Volume 103, Issue 3, March 2009, Pages 456-462

    3. Eccles R (2002) An explanation for the seasonality of acute upper respiratory tract viral infections. Acta Otolaryngol 122:183–191.

    4. Iwasaki A, Pillai PS (2014) Innate immunity to influenza virus infection. Nat Rev Immunol 14:315–328.

    5. Chen X, et al. (2018) Host immune response to influenza a virus infection. Front Immunol 9:320.

    6. Taubenberger JK, Morens DM (2008) The pathology of influenza virus infections. Annu Rev Pathol 3:499–522.

    7. Bustamante-Marin XM, Ostrowski LE (2017) Cilia and mucociliary clearance. Cold Spring Harb Perspect Biol 9:a028241.

    8. Oozawa H, et al. (2012) Effect of prehydration on nasal mucociliary clearance in low relative humidity. Auris Nasus Larynx 39:48–52.

    9. Kudo E, et al. (2019) Low ambient humidity impairs barrier function, innate resistance against influenza infection. NCBI BioProject. Available at https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/ bioproject/PRJNA528197. Deposited March 20, 2019.

    Until a couple of weeks ago, Singapore had the highest number of Covid-19 cases of any country outside China. While they’re working hard to contain it, new cases appear to be accelerating. Although few in absolute terms, it still has a high per capital rate of infection.

    Eqatorial Singapore, along with Manaus, Brazil, is one of the most consistently humid major cities in the world with relative humidity almost never falling below 60% RH.

    • Replies: @Hail
    As of 20 hours ago (March 9), WHO data is:

    Hong Kong
    – 114 cases
    – 3 deaths

    Singapore
    – 150 cases
    – 0 deaths

    Taiwan (called “Taipei and environs” by the WHO)
    – 45 cases
    – 1 death

    Cumulative, HK+TW+SG
    – Total population: 37 million
    – 309 confirmed COVID19 infections, a good portion of which were imported cases
    – 4 deaths

    No mass outbreak in HK+TW+SG, as in Italy and Iran. The latter two have, per capita, about 50x greater the problem as measured by deaths, less as measured by confirmed-case but they are probably still significantly undercounting.

    Same data for March 7 shows little change (while Italy's and Iran's continue to jump), to which commenter Polynikes wrote:


    Maybe gives a little credence to the theory it doesn’t do well in warm weather and will be gone by summer.
     
  196. @Bill Jones
    Which Federal Law Enforcement functions do you think are necessary?

    Sane people would close them first.

    The U.S. Marshals are at least a constitutional body.

    The rest of them can go straight to Hell.

    The border should be policed by the U.S. Army as it once was.

    • Replies: @Bert
    The best border defense of the past was the Texas Rangers.
  197. @Buzz Mohawk
    As I said in my reply to anonymous:

    What Franklin wrote was this:

    “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety”
     
    In a 1755 letter concerning a very particular subject, described here.

    It has been quoted and paraphrased so much that I am indeed guilty of applying it too broadly. I stand corrected, and I am in fact in favor of necessary quarantines and travel restrictions at times such as these.

    To describe the CDC as bungling this case, though, is simply to confirm what happens often in a free society trying to balance government and private activities. We muddle through, even with "not so much" clever Citizens like me.

    It has been quoted and paraphrased so much that I am indeed guilty of applying it too broadly. I stand corrected, and I am in fact in favor of necessary quarantines and travel restrictions at times such as these.

    Your cessation may be warranted, but the reading of Franklin’s remarks by the author of the link you cited is unwarranted. At best, Benjamin Wittes missed the point, at worst, he is willfully misrepresenting Franklin’s statement to advance his political agenda. After all, Benjamin Wittes is “editor in chief of Lawfare and a Senior Fellow in Governance Studies at the Brookings Institution” and if you think the Brookings Institution is on the side of American citizens, you are mistaken.

    • Replies: @Buzz Mohawk
    It is all right to learn from one's opposition, in fact essential. I find Mr. Wittes essay edifying, even though he is an evil monster from the Dark Side.

    You know, you might be right too. In fact, I think you are.

    Also, I might be "not so much" clever, as has now been written by another commenter, but I see nothing inaccurate or illogical in the article I linked to. (Oh, should I type, "in the article to which I linked," just to be grammatically correct?) Your response amounts to an ad hominem against that author: He disagrees with you, so anything he writes is wrong. And you used that to argue against me, someone who is in fact an ally of you, someone who shares your concerns.

    Geez sometimes I feel like leaving this place forever.

    If you people want to really make any difference at all, you are going to have to stop the Aspergery finger-pointing and nit-picking.

    Congratulations. You scored a point. I hope you're happy.

  198. @res
    Debunking statements are much better when they include evidence. Anyone reading iSteve should be well aware of that given all of the "debunking" the MSM engages in.

    As far as I can tell, Franklin wrote it (even better than saying it in terms of documentation), but it actually meant something different than the meaning usually assigned.

    https://www.lawfareblog.com/what-ben-franklin-really-said

    Anyone know more about this?

    Please see my reply to Buzz.

  199. @Anon
    The Italian death rate spike appears to be mainly among Chinese imported to work in garment factories in northern Italy (the center of their fashion industry).

    2 generations ago, these Chinese people would have been working in a rice paddy, getting plenty of exercise and vitamin D in their skins from the sunlight. In an Italian garment factory, they're sitting chairs all day indoors getting very little exercise and very little sunlight. Their vitamin D stores are almost nil right now at the end of winter. The medical establishment has gradually begun to realize that D is very important to prevent illnesses. See the link at the bottom. "People who had been vitamin D deficient when they enrolled in the studies saw more benefit. Their risk of infection was cut in half, according to the findings."

    Secondly, Chinese don't eat milk products, which is how Europeans have traditionally gotten vitamin D over the centuries during winter, via cheese and butter. So it's very likely these garment workers have not been supplementing with D in their diet. Thirdly, by living in Italy, they likely don't have access to traditional Chinese foods that contain Vitamin D and have been eating junk food Italian-style. They've been done in by poor diet and lack of sunlight during winter.

    https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2017/02/16/515428944/a-bit-more-vitamin-d-might-reduce-winter-colds-and-flu

    More mainland Chinese work desk jobs than they used to, and again, they don't eat diary products with Vitamin D in them. My suspicion is that mainland Chinese are a lot lower in vitamin D stores in general than they used to be a couple of generations ago when most of them were peasants.

    A tale of two posts.

    Mine (elsewhere):

    ‘Well, there you go.

    ‘Italy has a lot of immigrant Chinese garment workers — Chinese companies literally bring their staff to Italy so that their garments can say ‘made in Italy.’

    ‘Now, in a normal world, one would assume that if the deaths were in fact concentrated in this population, the media would say so. But in the age of political correctness, who knows? Who is it who is getting sick in Italy?

    ‘We don’t know. If there was something significant there, they’d hide it.

    ‘So we get to guess.’

    Then we get the post at Unz…

    ‘… The Italian death rate spike appears to be mainly among Chinese imported to work in garment factories in northern Italy (the center of their fashion industry)…’

    Fuck me. I mean, yeah, confirmation bias, but…

  200. @Pincher Martin

    It might work against the electric car to some extent though. If demand slows, then driving the price through the floor also doesn’t cost you so much as volume is low.
     
    I doubt it. It certainly didn't work against U.S. frackers a few years ago.

    I just heard that Saudi Arabia needs oil at about $80 a barrel to meet its fiscal requirements. Oil is trading at $30 to $35 right now. The Saudi economy will collapse if this price stays around current levels. They can't sustain this.

    I just heard that Saudi Arabia needs oil at about $80 a barrel to meet its fiscal requirements.

    This is from 2017, and it quotes the IMF stating the Saudis needed $70 to breakeven for 2018:

    https://oilprice.com/Energy/Oil-Prices/Saudis-Need-70-Oil-To-Break-Even.html

    Given inflation since then, I can see $80 being their 2020 breakeven.

    • Thanks: Pincher Martin
  201. @Anonymous
    https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/

    Click on "show graph" on "Active Cases". Active cases began increasing from a few days ago as the international increases outweighed the recoveries in China, which slowed up because most are recovered there now.

    The genie is not going back in the bottle. Open bordersism (even Schengen) combined with densely populous countries with stupid people, stupid leaders, poor health practices and infrastructure will see to it that most people get this in the next year. Those countries will be incubators and reservoirs. China did also not shut off world travel when they might have. That is going to cost their economy.

    How is Germany treating their patients? Do they have a secret or are they bad at counting deaths? No deaths reported thus far, 1k cases... what is their one weird trick?

    Key for me I think is rest, sleep, vitamin C and multivitamins daily, and if we get sick I will be having 4g C daily, spaced throughout. Social distancing, minimizing travel, etc. Hopefully they close the schools too.

    There are some deaths now in Germany, but less then in Spain and France (where the pandemic started at the same time) and far less then in Italy (where the pandemic started 1o days earlier). For most people the virus apparently needs at least 10-14 days to kill them off. There also seems to be some truth in the theory that North- and West-Europeans and also Negroes have “better” ACE2-receptors, making them less prone to the disease.

    • Replies: @Father O'Hara
    2 outta 3 aint bad.
  202. @Anonymous
    We’ve had FIVE deaths in the United States so far.

    Some perspective: We lose 100 a day in car accidents. Worldwide, it’s 3,000 a day. Yes, I understand exponential growth but there are obvious limiting factors. Or else every living thing would’ve been killed long ago.

    This panic is stupid.

    This panic is stupid.

    I think it’s a symptom of the increasing frustration of the Libtards who were sure that Orange Man Bad was going to be impeached and jailed by now.

  203. @prime noticer
    Saudi Arabia is trying to take out US shale, Russia is not sure what they want to do, and suddenly the 3 biggest oil producers are in a battle.

    OPEC is mostly hypothetical now, like NATO. every member is incentivized to cheat, and they have been cheating somewhat regularly since 2000. similar to NATO, which is really just the US military today, with most other members not even pretending to maintain appearances.

    does anybody realize OPEC is headquartered in Austria? i didn't until last week. and it has been headquartered there since 1965. man, if that doesn't say everything about HBD.

    does anybody realize OPEC is headquartered in Austria? i didn’t until last week. and it has been headquartered there since 1965. man, if that doesn’t say everything about HBD.

    Of course it is.

    It makes it far more convenient for the OPEC delegations to go out, drink alcohol, eat pork, and degrade white women after they finish their meetings.

  204. @Jack Henson
    And how many people dying of this are being labeled as some other respiratory/pulmonary issue as cause of death. That's all "if my aunt had balls she'd be my uncle" territory.

    What's Italy's rate for obesity, diabetes, and cardiac issues vs. America? What's the elderly population look like? Those are all huge comorbidities and mortalities for this.

    Just saying that there's a lot of dysgenics in America that's being ignored with "Well ahc-tually" followed by convenient one way numbers voodoo that assumes a best case scenario.

    You're probably going to lose at least one older relative because of this, and yet the people who were telling us DA FLU continue to double down on being wrong.

    Nearly all deaths in Italy are over 60 with one or more other diseases.

  205. Anon[255] • Disclaimer says:

    A critical care physican in Italy reports:

    “The current situation is difficult to imagine and numbers do not explain things at all. Our hospitals are overwhelmed by Covid-19, they are running 200% capacity. We’ve stopped all routine, all ORs have been converted to ITUs and they are now diverting or not treating all other emergencies like trauma or strokes. There are hundreds of pts with severe resp failure and many of them do not have access to anything above a reservoir mask.”

    “Patients above 65 or younger with comorbidities are not even assessed by ITU, I am not saying not tubed, I’m saying not assessed and no ITU staff attends when they arrest. Staff are working as much as they can but they are starting to get sick and are emotionally overwhelmed. Tons of patients with moderate resp failure, that overtime deteriorate to saturate ICUs first, then NIVs, then CPAP hoods, then even O2. Staff gets sick so it gets difficult to cover for shifts, mortality spikes also from all other causes that can’t be treated properly.”

  206. @Thirdtwin
    Jim Sciutto, on Twitter:

    @jimsciutto
    Conversation on the train:

    Man on my left: “Coronavirus is just the flu. It’s all panic.” (Points to man on my right wearing a mask) “See? Mass hysteria.”

    Man on right: “Actually I’m a microbiologist.”

    Man on left: “Why a mask?”

    Man on right: “I know how pandemics spread.”
    ————————————-

    Didn’t they tell us that only infected people should be wearing masks, Jim “Pro” Sciutto? Nevermind. That conversation didn’t really happen.

    This is like a less creepy but equally dumb version of lefties reporting to twitter that their three year old demands to know why Donald Trump is destroying the Earth.

  207. Once a country or region is infected, the number of cases doubles every 5 days.

    Any country that wishes to introduce measures to limit the spread of the virus faces a choice: when to do so.

    The UK is 7 weeks behind Hubei province, and 2 weeks behind Italy, on the exponential curve of early infections. The Italians locked down their Northern provinces a few days ago, and today extended the measures to the entire country.

    The UK government could restrict travel and close schools tomorrow, but instead it will dither until we have today’s Italian levels of infection, and then impose these restrictions. Guess which strategy would lead to the fewest deaths?

    Most US states are at an earlier stage of the epidemic than the UK, and I hope they will learn from our mistakes. If you want a lockdown in order to reduce deaths, do not decide to “see how things turn out” for a week or two. We already know what will happen: the number of cases will double every 5 days. In addition, many people are infected without yet showing symptoms, so in the early stages the number of infected people is about 500 times the number of dead.

    An alternative approach is to let the epidemic/pandemic run its course, without any government intervention beyond normal health care. This is how we would have handled such an epidemic 150 years ago. At worst the number who die in 2020 would be no more than double that of a “typical” year. Most of those who die from coronavirus will be over 80 with other health problems, whose life expectancy is not high.

  208. @Jack D
    Not that easy. You need a lot of energy to heat or otherwise vaporize the water, especially if you want to humidify your whole house and not just one room. Do the math (I'm too lazy) - you have to evaporate a LOT of water to humidify your house in the winter. The more your house leaks (warm moist) air the more water you have to add. And add too much and your windows fog, mold starts to grow, etc. A modern house with good air sealing might not need a lot of humidification - you get a certain amount from showers, cooking, etc.


    I used to have a whole house humidifier attached to my furnace. It was a maintenance headache. Water has minerals in it and when you evaporate the water the minerals get left behind and make a mess. Now I have an ultrasonic room humidifier for my bedroom. It's a pain in the ass to fill and it leaves white dust (dried out minerals) everywhere in the room.

    Yes, and even worse, humidifiers and other damp environments can be breeding grounds for all sorts of nasty things that you really don’t want suspended in the air.

    “While moisture can be a positive thing, it also poses problems,” says Janice Nolen, an indoor air specialist… “Moist environments provide a wonderful breeding ground for mold and bacteria.” If you neglect to clean your humidifier properly, it can quickly become a cozy incubator for germs—one that aerosolizes those microorganisms and mists them into the air you breathe, she says.

    Lung issues, from flu-like symptoms to serious infection, are your main worries, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). Experts have also identified something they call “humidifier fever,” a form of viral lung inflammation caused by colonized humidifier bacteria.

    Time – The Creepy Truth About Humidifiers

    • Thanks: Johann Ricke
  209. @dearieme
    I realise that Franklin was the Founding Father who really was a clever chap but his remark is rather silly. It ignores the possibility of temporarily giving up some liberty in an emergency and then reclaiming it afterwards. It also ignores the reality that all human society is the result of compromises between various different characteristics that people value - liberty and security are only two of them.

    …temporarily giving up some liberty in an emergency and then reclaiming it afterwards.

    In the US, this happened after the Civil War and WW1, but not after the Depression and WW2. Before 1933 but not after 1933.

  210. @Mr McKenna
    The point in reducing transmissions is just so that the load upon the medical system can be distributed a bit better over time. We don't have anywhere near the excess capacity required to handle a 30% increase in demand for hospital beds. Personally I'm hoping that warm weather is going to help.

    Frankly more worried about the economic effects just now.

    Frankly more worried about the economic effects just now.

    And the effects on the election.

  211. @Altai
    Another COVID-19 hate crime, oddly the offender is just referred to as 'the passenger'. I wonder what race the person who ranted at an Asian guy on the NY subway was? I mean, I can see a black man in the video but even then they won't name him as a black man in the article about a hate crime! It actually looks like a mentally disturbed (He sprays him with an air freshener) black man but I suppose 'racism' is a special crime where that doesn't count, it's still societies fault!

    https://www.nbcwashington.com/news/national-international/irate-subway-passenger-sprays-asian-man-with-air-freshener-over-coronavirus-concerns/2233965/

    What's funny is the spread of the virus in New York is happening through a massive cluster in New Rochelle (80+ cases so far) among an Orthodox enclave. It's spreading between other Orthodox enclaves in New York State and New York City. One case (The first confirmed in Kansas) even popped up in a Kansas city suburb with an Orthodox enclave, the case had recently been to New Rochelle. The AIPAC cases were also members of the New Rochelle Orthodox enclave.

    https://eu.lohud.com/story/news/2020/03/05/coronavirus-new-rochelle-case-stretches-to-aipac-washington/4962585002/

    If you're in NYC avoid standing too close to the Orthodox on the subway.

    Currently the main wikipedia article on the outbreak in English has the last words of the introduction as "The wider impact of the outbreak has included social and economic instability, as well as xenophobia and racism against people of Chinese and East Asian descent, and the spread of misinformation and conspiracy theories about the virus online.". I wonder how long that will be there once it becomes clear whose doing the hate crimes. They even have a list of hate crimes, though they are predictably lame (Lots of unsubstantiated claims of increased racism and low bookings at chinese restaurants.) and even the ones in Western countries seem to be almost exclusively by non-whites.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xenophobia_and_racism_related_to_the_2019%E2%80%9320_coronavirus_outbreak

    If you’re in NYC avoid standing too close to the Orthodox anyone on the subway.

    If you’re in NYC avoid standing too close to anyone on taking the subway altogether.

    Avoiding close contact with hordes of people is simply impossible when riding NYC mass transit. Perhaps between the hours of midnight-5:00 AM, but riding during those hours presents more immediate threats…
    ~ ~ ~Even in their frenzy to stay on top of covering this rapidly developing public health crisis, the estimable New York Times still manages to promote that which is perennially responsible for any number of other such crises: sodomite degeneracy.

    Ah, the NYT. Where would we be without them?

    • Replies: @Kibernetika
    "Ah, the NYT. Where would we be without them?"

    Saw that Curtis Sliwa wants to run for mayor. (Jeez, he can't be worse than DeBlasio.)

    https://youtu.be/m_orvLc8Ip4

    My neighbor's high-quality bodega was looted and he gave up on Brooklyn's social capital ;) Learned a lesson.
  212. My wife just arrived home and told me Cisco (CSCO) has closed all of their San Francisco Bay Area campuses/buildings (dozens) for a two week period. All employees will work from home.

  213. @Dave Pinsen
    It is weird how slow the market was to digest all the news. I suggested readers hedge before the market started reacting:

    https://twitter.com/portfolioarmor/status/1228044343954563074?s=21

    The oil market drop is amazing though. Some economist or political pundit on Twitter wondered why odds of a recession and odds of Trump winning re-election were both over 50% now: I suspect it’s because this recession will be starting from <4% unemployment and be accompanied by cheap gas, so not so painful.

    In the black despite today.

    • Replies: @danand

    “In the black despite today.”
     
    Mr. Pinsen, yes bond funds/ETFs, even those filled with low yield paper, are rocketing 🚀. Current issue bonds are “yield nil”, and likely to stay that way for the foreseeable future; or at least until after November’s election. Equities could go any which way: still feel heavy, but Trump may pull it off 🎢.
  214. So a week or so ago Drudge had a link to a story with the following scary headline: Coronavirus Hits Megacity Lagos!

    Lagos has close to 15 million people in it. I’ve heard nothing more about Lagos or much of anything about Africa. Hard to believe if it’s there it isn’t tearing through the cities like wildfire.

    • Replies: @Father O'Hara
    How could they tell?
  215. Anon[255] • Disclaimer says:

    Something odd is going on with Italy’s death rate. It’s currently 5%. Yet compare it to Spain, a similar Latin country. Spain’s death rate is 2.6% right now. France’s death rate is 1.5%. Germany’s death rate is trivial at 0.17% Yet Spain, France, and Germany all have over 1000 reported cases right now, which should begin to give us a reasonable guess at their death rate.

    Italy, Spain, France, and Germany all have a lot of immigrants from black Africa, Arab Africa, Turkey, and the Mideast. Yet Italy is still different. Why the higher death rate in Italy? I suspect Covid-19 is mainly among Chinese workers there.

    However, Italy was hit unusually hard by the 1918 Spanish flu, so there may be something in native Italians that makes them vulnerable to respiratory illnesses. There has been speculation that Southern European countries are not, historically speaking, ‘flu’ countries the way Northern Europe is. Flu and other respiratory illnesses occur more often in Northern countries, so it’s possible the Italians (and the Spaniards) don’t have a population with as many members carrying antibodies to respiratory infections as Northern Europe does.

  216. @Dissident

    If you’re in NYC avoid standing too close to the Orthodox anyone on the subway.
     
    If you’re in NYC avoid standing too close to anyone on taking the subway altogether.

    Avoiding close contact with hordes of people is simply impossible when riding NYC mass transit. Perhaps between the hours of midnight-5:00 AM, but riding during those hours presents more immediate threats...
    ~ ~ ~
    https://i.imgur.com/K37pWIu.png
    Even in their frenzy to stay on top of covering this rapidly developing public health crisis, the estimable New York Times still manages to promote that which is perennially responsible for any number of other such crises: sodomite degeneracy.

    Ah, the NYT. Where would we be without them?

    “Ah, the NYT. Where would we be without them?”

    Saw that Curtis Sliwa wants to run for mayor. (Jeez, he can’t be worse than DeBlasio.)

    My neighbor’s high-quality bodega was looted and he gave up on Brooklyn’s social capital 😉 Learned a lesson.

    • Replies: @Joe Stalin
    I've actually seen Curtis Sliwa downtown Chicago. He and another person in a red beret were carrying an American flag wrapped around a wood board walking up the stairs to the El train.

    I think the flag prop was to indicate the dead from street crime.

  217. @Dave Pinsen
    In the black despite today.

    https://twitter.com/dpinsen/status/1237180827114582017?s=21

    “In the black despite today.”

    Mr. Pinsen, yes bond funds/ETFs, even those filled with low yield paper, are rocketing 🚀. Current issue bonds are “yield nil”, and likely to stay that way for the foreseeable future; or at least until after November’s election. Equities could go any which way: still feel heavy, but Trump may pull it off 🎢.

  218. @Anon87
    I just got back from Japan, and came through MSP. The only sort of health screening that went on was being asked, "did you visit China?". The bathrooms didn't even have soap at the sinks! I feared getting the flu more from all the obese slobs sneezing, picking their nose (not a joke), coughing into their hands, etc. than the obsessive cleaning and mask wearing Japanese.

    Comparing the two, I really think we have to reconsider that the US is a "first world" country. I don't know if there are official definitions for being "second world", but I know we aren't third world. Yet. I'm sure we have all sensed or noticed the slipping of standards at home in manners, dress, cleanliness, cell phone use, but nothing was more jarring than coming back and having it really hit home how bad it is here. If the US is still first world, Japan needs a name for the next level that they live at.

    I couldn't help but have the feeling while I was there that, "Is this what peak America was like?" I had a great time, but had that gnawing observation hanging over me which was kind of a downer. And for the love of God Japan, do not blow it by ever opening your borders!!!!

    Agree.

  219. @Anon
    So the CDC, Dr. Fauci, and Governor Newsom have all "recommended" that Americans not go on cruises. And yet cruises are still departing from American ports. Somehow I think the Chinese would come up with a way to completely eliminate this infection vector.

    By the way, the American military is undertaking a multiday operation to disembark thousands of passengers from a cruise ship at the port of Oakland and transport them to four military bases around the country, as well as forwarding on foreign citizens to their countries. I trust that invoices covering the costs will be sent to the cruise company and the passengers?

    On January 20, 2020 Forbes published an article about how this was to be a great decade for the cruise industry. Oops.

  220. “Cadillac has canceled the April 2nd debut of the Lyriq, the first electric SUV being built on parent company General Motors’ newly unveiled EV platform, as large public gatherings continue to be discouraged amid the new coronavirus outbreak. No replacement date has been chosen.

    GM only just announced the Lyriq last week at an “EV Day” event in Warren, Michigan, that showcased a new modular electric vehicle platform meant to power a wide range of the company’s EVs in the coming years. The Lyriq is supposed to be the first electric luxury SUV from Cadillac, with a sedan — the Celestiq — to follow.”

    2F5923C7-0730-4DD0-A940-FA491A6A9F47

  221. @Anon87
    I just got back from Japan, and came through MSP. The only sort of health screening that went on was being asked, "did you visit China?". The bathrooms didn't even have soap at the sinks! I feared getting the flu more from all the obese slobs sneezing, picking their nose (not a joke), coughing into their hands, etc. than the obsessive cleaning and mask wearing Japanese.

    Comparing the two, I really think we have to reconsider that the US is a "first world" country. I don't know if there are official definitions for being "second world", but I know we aren't third world. Yet. I'm sure we have all sensed or noticed the slipping of standards at home in manners, dress, cleanliness, cell phone use, but nothing was more jarring than coming back and having it really hit home how bad it is here. If the US is still first world, Japan needs a name for the next level that they live at.

    I couldn't help but have the feeling while I was there that, "Is this what peak America was like?" I had a great time, but had that gnawing observation hanging over me which was kind of a downer. And for the love of God Japan, do not blow it by ever opening your borders!!!!

    Right. We have a massive underclass who can’t even be bothered to change our of their pajamas while shopping. Crosses all races at this point, except maybe NE Asians.

    The absolute nicest places in America (top 5 percent) are certainly nicer than much of Western Europe. But the upper middle class suburbs (top 10 percent) aren’t really any better than your typical village in Western Europe. Beyond the top 15 percent of the socioeconomic strata everyone is undeniably worse off than the folk of Western Europe (perhaps Japan/S. Korea, Central/Southern Europe, too, but I can’t judge as I haven’t traveled there yet)

    Only the upper middle class parts of America are 1st world.

    I’d say we are halfway between first world and Latin America. Second world.

    • Agree: JRB
    • Replies: @Hail
    First World society + Third World demographics = ?
    , @LondonBob
    I watched Guy Martin's program with him visiting Japan. He went to the equivalent of a Japanese slum where the Yakuza have a clubhouse, very tidy and orderly, nicer than most areas in London.

    https://youtu.be/Hm2qypnBPNA
    , @Anon87
    Western Europe is quickly falling down the ranks. UK, Germanic areas, Nordic areas, and France all have visible decline from you-know-whos at varying levels. Southern Europe always had a lazy/dirty rep even before the latest invasion. I haven't spent as much time in Eastern Europe, but while it has retained its Old World charm and resisted invaders, it is still kind of a wallet in front pocket area. But Eastern may be sitting pretty in 20 years for anyone wanting to have a Euro vacation, as the traditionally big name places turn into no-gos.

    And to be fair to Europe, none have the equivalent of a Detroit that I can think of. While those exist in the US it is impossible to claim we lead anything.

    I also find it funny when people use "strongest military in history" as a claim of some sort of US superiority or current first world leadership. We all all showy muscles now, like a jacked boxer who looks impressive can't win fights anymore.
  222. @Kibernetika
    "Ah, the NYT. Where would we be without them?"

    Saw that Curtis Sliwa wants to run for mayor. (Jeez, he can't be worse than DeBlasio.)

    https://youtu.be/m_orvLc8Ip4

    My neighbor's high-quality bodega was looted and he gave up on Brooklyn's social capital ;) Learned a lesson.

    I’ve actually seen Curtis Sliwa downtown Chicago. He and another person in a red beret were carrying an American flag wrapped around a wood board walking up the stairs to the El train.

    I think the flag prop was to indicate the dead from street crime.

  223. @S. Anonyia
    Right. We have a massive underclass who can’t even be bothered to change our of their pajamas while shopping. Crosses all races at this point, except maybe NE Asians.

    The absolute nicest places in America (top 5 percent) are certainly nicer than much of Western Europe. But the upper middle class suburbs (top 10 percent) aren’t really any better than your typical village in Western Europe. Beyond the top 15 percent of the socioeconomic strata everyone is undeniably worse off than the folk of Western Europe (perhaps Japan/S. Korea, Central/Southern Europe, too, but I can’t judge as I haven’t traveled there yet)

    Only the upper middle class parts of America are 1st world.

    I’d say we are halfway between first world and Latin America. Second world.

    First World society + Third World demographics = ?

    • Replies: @Anon87
    We are finding out. Slide down away from first, just how long will it take to be officially third?
  224. Hail says: • Website

    Corona-PAC attendee named.

    The CPAC attendee (held Feb. 27, 28, 29, March 1) who was likely carrying the virus during the conference and may have infected others has been named as influential Jewish political activist, social butterfly, and MD in New York, Alan Berger, age 55.

    Alan Berger was named by the Daily Mail on March 9 as the attendee, about ten hours ago as of this writing. (Who is it that says, When you want US breaking news, go first to the UK’s Daily Mail?)

    Word had started spreading in some circles on March 8 that the “CPAC attendee” who had closely hobnobbed with top R-teamers, inducing many of the R-team’s top political names now into self-quarantine, was Alan Berger, but CPAC itself refused to name him. CPAC attendees requesting COVID19 tests were being refused tests because they couldn’t name the person they’d come into contact with:

    Many core attendees knew the name but there was an initial conspiracy of silence. Berger is possibly connected to the NY synagogue network that is a node of the COVID19 outbreak and to the AIPAC attendees with the virus.

    From Daily Mail:

    New Jersey authorities have confirmed that a 55-year-old man from Englewood was quarantined for a presumptive positive attended CPAC. He was in stable condition and has been hospitalized since March 4,

    Dr. Berger works in midtown Manhattan and Borough Park in Brooklyn and also has private practice in New York

    He was head of Cruz’s ‘Jewish leadership team’ during his failed 2016 run

    Berger received his medical degree from Chicago Medical School at Rosalind Franklin University and has been in practice for more than 20 years.

    In 2016 he and his brother Marc joined Cruz’s Jewish leadership Coalition, consisting of several dozen Jewish community leaders and activists who backed Cruz’s failed attempt at becoming the Republican Presidential nominee.

    The previous December he co-hosted a fundraiser for Cruz in New Jersey and attended the Republican Jewish Coalition summit, where he declared his preference for Cruz or Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee over Trump, despite his ties to the Kushners.

    ‘He said, ‘Trust me, I’ll do good for you.’ That may be of concern to people in the community,’ Berger said, when a Politico reporter asked him what he thought of then-candidate Trump’s Middle East policies.

  225. @Pincher Martin

    How’s the stock market doing?
     
    Good time to buy.

    A few months ago, as the stock market was driving to all-time highs, I began allocating 100% of my new investment monies to bonds. Typically, I don't deviate from my investment allocation, but we haven't had a bear market in over ten years and the exuberance in the markets was feeling forced.

    Last week, I switched back to buying stocks funds, much earlier than I anticipated.

    If this downturn continues, we'll soon be in a bear market, and I'll start moving my bond allocation entirely over to stocks.

    As Warren Buffett says, if you like buying stocks, why would you dislike buying them when they are cheap?

    Mme B was on the phone with her broker this morning. Buy when everyone else is selling. I never got round to an econ course, but even I understand this.

    • Agree: Pincher Martin
    • Replies: @Pincher Martin
    Warren Buffett put it best: "Be fearful when others are greedy and greedy when others are fearful.”
  226. @Anon87
    I just got back from Japan, and came through MSP. The only sort of health screening that went on was being asked, "did you visit China?". The bathrooms didn't even have soap at the sinks! I feared getting the flu more from all the obese slobs sneezing, picking their nose (not a joke), coughing into their hands, etc. than the obsessive cleaning and mask wearing Japanese.

    Comparing the two, I really think we have to reconsider that the US is a "first world" country. I don't know if there are official definitions for being "second world", but I know we aren't third world. Yet. I'm sure we have all sensed or noticed the slipping of standards at home in manners, dress, cleanliness, cell phone use, but nothing was more jarring than coming back and having it really hit home how bad it is here. If the US is still first world, Japan needs a name for the next level that they live at.

    I couldn't help but have the feeling while I was there that, "Is this what peak America was like?" I had a great time, but had that gnawing observation hanging over me which was kind of a downer. And for the love of God Japan, do not blow it by ever opening your borders!!!!

    Comparing the two, I really think we have to reconsider that the US is a “first world” country. I don’t know if there are official definitions for being “second world”, but I know we aren’t third world.

    I was just in Kansas City, MO.

    They have Third World levels of trash along their major thoroughfares.

    I encountered more debris and junk ON their major roads in one day than I did in 4+ years in the actual Third World.

    C’est la vie.

  227. @MBlanc46
    Mme B was on the phone with her broker this morning. Buy when everyone else is selling. I never got round to an econ course, but even I understand this.

    Warren Buffett put it best: “Be fearful when others are greedy and greedy when others are fearful.”

    • Agree: MBlanc46
  228. Hail says: • Website
    @PiltdownMan
    Until a couple of weeks ago, Singapore had the highest number of Covid-19 cases of any country outside China. While they’re working hard to contain it, new cases appear to be accelerating. Although few in absolute terms, it still has a high per capital rate of infection.

    Eqatorial Singapore, along with Manaus, Brazil, is one of the most consistently humid major cities in the world with relative humidity almost never falling below 60% RH.

    As of 20 hours ago (March 9), WHO data is:

    Hong Kong
    – 114 cases
    – 3 deaths

    Singapore
    – 150 cases
    – 0 deaths

    Taiwan (called “Taipei and environs” by the WHO)
    – 45 cases
    – 1 death

    Cumulative, HK+TW+SG
    – Total population: 37 million
    – 309 confirmed COVID19 infections, a good portion of which were imported cases
    – 4 deaths

    No mass outbreak in HK+TW+SG, as in Italy and Iran. The latter two have, per capita, about 50x greater the problem as measured by deaths, less as measured by confirmed-case but they are probably still significantly undercounting.

    Same data for March 7 shows little change (while Italy’s and Iran’s continue to jump), to which commenter Polynikes wrote:

    Maybe gives a little credence to the theory it doesn’t do well in warm weather and will be gone by summer.

  229. @anonguy
    There is a lot of "Dear Leader" type adulation in the administrations remarks to the press.

    Has anyone else noticed this?

    Yes. At every Corona virus press briefing the members of the task force praise Trump constantly for being the first to ban travelers from China., which kept Americans safe. They keep insisting that Americans are safe thanks to the ban on Travelers from China, yet we have kept the borders open for travelers from Italy and Korea , the hardest hit nations.

    The United States should immediately Announce a complete ban on the entry of all foreigners. If Trump and his minions believe banning flights from China was effective we need to ban flights from Europe and Asia as soon as possible.

  230. @JRB
    There are some deaths now in Germany, but less then in Spain and France (where the pandemic started at the same time) and far less then in Italy (where the pandemic started 1o days earlier). For most people the virus apparently needs at least 10-14 days to kill them off. There also seems to be some truth in the theory that North- and West-Europeans and also Negroes have "better" ACE2-receptors, making them less prone to the disease.

    2 outta 3 aint bad.

  231. @Malcolm X-Lax
    So a week or so ago Drudge had a link to a story with the following scary headline: Coronavirus Hits Megacity Lagos!

    Lagos has close to 15 million people in it. I've heard nothing more about Lagos or much of anything about Africa. Hard to believe if it's there it isn't tearing through the cities like wildfire.

    How could they tell?

  232. @John Burns, Gettysburg Partisan
    The U.S. Marshals are at least a constitutional body.

    The rest of them can go straight to Hell.

    The border should be policed by the U.S. Army as it once was.

    The best border defense of the past was the Texas Rangers.

  233. @S. Anonyia
    Right. We have a massive underclass who can’t even be bothered to change our of their pajamas while shopping. Crosses all races at this point, except maybe NE Asians.

    The absolute nicest places in America (top 5 percent) are certainly nicer than much of Western Europe. But the upper middle class suburbs (top 10 percent) aren’t really any better than your typical village in Western Europe. Beyond the top 15 percent of the socioeconomic strata everyone is undeniably worse off than the folk of Western Europe (perhaps Japan/S. Korea, Central/Southern Europe, too, but I can’t judge as I haven’t traveled there yet)

    Only the upper middle class parts of America are 1st world.

    I’d say we are halfway between first world and Latin America. Second world.

    I watched Guy Martin’s program with him visiting Japan. He went to the equivalent of a Japanese slum where the Yakuza have a clubhouse, very tidy and orderly, nicer than most areas in London.

    • Replies: @Anon87
    That is great, and doesn't surprise me at all. Japan also had me wondering WHY they are like this? Perfect combo of nature/nuture?

    Visually I'm not great at sorting Chinese from Japanese, but their behaviors usually make it much easier. I assume they share a large % of high IQ genes since the Japanese came from China (right?), but culturally they are very different. How did Japan diverge to make what to me is currently peak society?
    , @George
    @2:09 3 kids share a bike. The 'slum' might be the affordable housing for families. Their rotten kids might be why there is some graffiti. Slum might be a misinterpretation of what is actually just affordable housing.
    , @The Wild Geese Howard
    Having done some reading about Japan, I got the sense that the yazuka had a very close, symbiotic relationship with all levels of the Japanese government.

    Examples like this seem to support that conclusion.
    , @Anonymous
    I read about this somewhere. The reason Yakuza hangouts are so tidy is because apprentice gangsters are made to clean them, and if they're not spotless, they get a beating.
  234. @Hail
    First World society + Third World demographics = ?

    We are finding out. Slide down away from first, just how long will it take to be officially third?

  235. @LondonBob
    I watched Guy Martin's program with him visiting Japan. He went to the equivalent of a Japanese slum where the Yakuza have a clubhouse, very tidy and orderly, nicer than most areas in London.

    https://youtu.be/Hm2qypnBPNA

    That is great, and doesn’t surprise me at all. Japan also had me wondering WHY they are like this? Perfect combo of nature/nuture?

    Visually I’m not great at sorting Chinese from Japanese, but their behaviors usually make it much easier. I assume they share a large % of high IQ genes since the Japanese came from China (right?), but culturally they are very different. How did Japan diverge to make what to me is currently peak society?

    • Replies: @Lockean Proviso

    How did Japan diverge to make what to me is currently peak society?
     
    I don't doubt your description- thank you. However, the Japanese have problems with overwork, sexual exploitation and dysfunction, lack of sufficient fertility, and suicide. I know we're becoming culturally dirty and stupid, but I wonder how to achieve excellence with less dysfunction. Maybe Christianity if it's properly balanced, maybe it's just a genetic balancing act with trade offs.
  236. @S. Anonyia
    Right. We have a massive underclass who can’t even be bothered to change our of their pajamas while shopping. Crosses all races at this point, except maybe NE Asians.

    The absolute nicest places in America (top 5 percent) are certainly nicer than much of Western Europe. But the upper middle class suburbs (top 10 percent) aren’t really any better than your typical village in Western Europe. Beyond the top 15 percent of the socioeconomic strata everyone is undeniably worse off than the folk of Western Europe (perhaps Japan/S. Korea, Central/Southern Europe, too, but I can’t judge as I haven’t traveled there yet)

    Only the upper middle class parts of America are 1st world.

    I’d say we are halfway between first world and Latin America. Second world.

    Western Europe is quickly falling down the ranks. UK, Germanic areas, Nordic areas, and France all have visible decline from you-know-whos at varying levels. Southern Europe always had a lazy/dirty rep even before the latest invasion. I haven’t spent as much time in Eastern Europe, but while it has retained its Old World charm and resisted invaders, it is still kind of a wallet in front pocket area. But Eastern may be sitting pretty in 20 years for anyone wanting to have a Euro vacation, as the traditionally big name places turn into no-gos.

    And to be fair to Europe, none have the equivalent of a Detroit that I can think of. While those exist in the US it is impossible to claim we lead anything.

    I also find it funny when people use “strongest military in history” as a claim of some sort of US superiority or current first world leadership. We all all showy muscles now, like a jacked boxer who looks impressive can’t win fights anymore.

  237. Not to get political but it can be difficult to notice slow decline until you get a stark comparison, like video of Biden today versus from even 8 years ago.

    All that trash on the side of the road in KC I bet kind of became background noise for most people there. They have probably forgotten when it was actually clean.

    But was the BBQ any good?

    • Replies: @The Wild Geese Howard

    But was the BBQ any good?
     
    Unfortunately, it was an overnight trip for a job interview.

    I got a fast food gut bomb and spent the evening at my hotel doing last minute interview preparation.
  238. Prof Whitty’s testimony is worth watching.

  239. @Charles Erwin Wilson

    It has been quoted and paraphrased so much that I am indeed guilty of applying it too broadly. I stand corrected, and I am in fact in favor of necessary quarantines and travel restrictions at times such as these.
     
    Your cessation may be warranted, but the reading of Franklin's remarks by the author of the link you cited is unwarranted. At best, Benjamin Wittes missed the point, at worst, he is willfully misrepresenting Franklin's statement to advance his political agenda. After all, Benjamin Wittes is "editor in chief of Lawfare and a Senior Fellow in Governance Studies at the Brookings Institution" and if you think the Brookings Institution is on the side of American citizens, you are mistaken.

    It is all right to learn from one’s opposition, in fact essential. I find Mr. Wittes essay edifying, even though he is an evil monster from the Dark Side.

    You know, you might be right too. In fact, I think you are.

    Also, I might be “not so much” clever, as has now been written by another commenter, but I see nothing inaccurate or illogical in the article I linked to. (Oh, should I type, “in the article to which I linked,” just to be grammatically correct?) Your response amounts to an ad hominem against that author: He disagrees with you, so anything he writes is wrong. And you used that to argue against me, someone who is in fact an ally of you, someone who shares your concerns.

    Geez sometimes I feel like leaving this place forever.

    If you people want to really make any difference at all, you are going to have to stop the Aspergery finger-pointing and nit-picking.

    Congratulations. You scored a point. I hope you’re happy.

    • Replies: @Charles Erwin Wilson

    He disagrees with you, so anything he writes is wrong. And you used that to argue against me, someone who is in fact an ally of you, someone who shares your concerns.
     
    All right, I am happy to concede your point about learning from your enemy.

    However, in this case I think your original understanding was correct.

    Franklin was making a point about security and liberty. Wittes wants us to believe that he did not, that it was just a minor, self-interested and self-serving point about who pays for security (the Penns) and who enjoys the liberty (Pennsylvanians). Supposedly Franklin is just lobbying to enjoy the liberty while someone else pays for the security, while the oligarchic Penns wanted to block the Assembly from raising taxes necessary for defense. But Franklin is saying that the Penns cannot bribe them with voluntary contributions (and temporary safety) to deny them the benefits of self government, including essential liberty, that they must lose if they take the Penn money.

    Franklin would not have made a security vs. liberty claim unless there already was an understanding that there is a tradeoff between security and liberty. But this is exactly what Wittes denies:

    That famous quote by Benjamin Franklin that “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety” does not mean what it seems to say. Not at all.
     
    Wittes then tries to substitute "individual" for "essential" and omits "temporary" altogether to make his point. Wittes is imposing a present-day understanding on Franklin's 1755 statement.

    Franklin was not describing some tension between government power and individual liberty.
     
    Those changes distort Franklin's plain meaning.

    If you people want to really make any difference at all, you are going to have to stop the Aspergery finger-pointing and nit-picking.
     
    Okay. I'm not sure I can do that, but I can try. :-)
  240. @JimDandy
    I mean, I come here for wisdom. Tell me what to do.

    stay away from crowds and wash your damned hands

  241. @Anonymous
    We’ve had FIVE deaths in the United States so far.

    Some perspective: We lose 100 a day in car accidents. Worldwide, it’s 3,000 a day. Yes, I understand exponential growth but there are obvious limiting factors. Or else every living thing would’ve been killed long ago.

    This panic is stupid.

    The situation is rapidly evolving

    USA 729 +25 27 +1 15 687 8 2.2

    The first three headers are No of cases, New Cases, Fatalities

    https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/

  242. Will Covid affect election turnout? If oldsters don’t vote is that good for Bernie?

  243. @LondonBob
    I watched Guy Martin's program with him visiting Japan. He went to the equivalent of a Japanese slum where the Yakuza have a clubhouse, very tidy and orderly, nicer than most areas in London.

    https://youtu.be/Hm2qypnBPNA

    @2:09 3 kids share a bike. The ‘slum’ might be the affordable housing for families. Their rotten kids might be why there is some graffiti. Slum might be a misinterpretation of what is actually just affordable housing.

  244. @James Speaks
    The virus is in Florida. Right now it's Bike Week (party like no tomorrow - Bikers can't get COVID19 b/c Harley-Davidson) and then it's Spring Break. The pandemic will hit the First of April and by May 1 it will all be over.

    Will more college kids God forbid die from COVID or from falling drunk off motel balconies?

  245. @Buzz Mohawk
    It is all right to learn from one's opposition, in fact essential. I find Mr. Wittes essay edifying, even though he is an evil monster from the Dark Side.

    You know, you might be right too. In fact, I think you are.

    Also, I might be "not so much" clever, as has now been written by another commenter, but I see nothing inaccurate or illogical in the article I linked to. (Oh, should I type, "in the article to which I linked," just to be grammatically correct?) Your response amounts to an ad hominem against that author: He disagrees with you, so anything he writes is wrong. And you used that to argue against me, someone who is in fact an ally of you, someone who shares your concerns.

    Geez sometimes I feel like leaving this place forever.

    If you people want to really make any difference at all, you are going to have to stop the Aspergery finger-pointing and nit-picking.

    Congratulations. You scored a point. I hope you're happy.

    He disagrees with you, so anything he writes is wrong. And you used that to argue against me, someone who is in fact an ally of you, someone who shares your concerns.

    All right, I am happy to concede your point about learning from your enemy.

    However, in this case I think your original understanding was correct.

    Franklin was making a point about security and liberty. Wittes wants us to believe that he did not, that it was just a minor, self-interested and self-serving point about who pays for security (the Penns) and who enjoys the liberty (Pennsylvanians). Supposedly Franklin is just lobbying to enjoy the liberty while someone else pays for the security, while the oligarchic Penns wanted to block the Assembly from raising taxes necessary for defense. But Franklin is saying that the Penns cannot bribe them with voluntary contributions (and temporary safety) to deny them the benefits of self government, including essential liberty, that they must lose if they take the Penn money.

    Franklin would not have made a security vs. liberty claim unless there already was an understanding that there is a tradeoff between security and liberty. But this is exactly what Wittes denies:

    That famous quote by Benjamin Franklin that “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety” does not mean what it seems to say. Not at all.

    Wittes then tries to substitute “individual” for “essential” and omits “temporary” altogether to make his point. Wittes is imposing a present-day understanding on Franklin’s 1755 statement.

    Franklin was not describing some tension between government power and individual liberty.

    Those changes distort Franklin’s plain meaning.

    If you people want to really make any difference at all, you are going to have to stop the Aspergery finger-pointing and nit-picking.

    Okay. I’m not sure I can do that, but I can try. 🙂

    • Replies: @Buzz Mohawk
    Thank you for the thoughtful reply. Very well explained. So, maybe I was right the first time and then deceived by the other commenter and by Wittes. Oh well, at least this has been a worthwhile exploration of the subject.
  246. @Hypnotoad666

    Leave them kids alone.
     
    They don't need no education.

    And Btw, how can you have your pudding, when you won't eat your meat?

    https://youtu.be/YR5ApYxkU-U?t=141

    You can’t have any pudding if you don’t eat your meat!

  247. @LondonBob
    I watched Guy Martin's program with him visiting Japan. He went to the equivalent of a Japanese slum where the Yakuza have a clubhouse, very tidy and orderly, nicer than most areas in London.

    https://youtu.be/Hm2qypnBPNA

    Having done some reading about Japan, I got the sense that the yazuka had a very close, symbiotic relationship with all levels of the Japanese government.

    Examples like this seem to support that conclusion.

  248. @Anon87
    Not to get political but it can be difficult to notice slow decline until you get a stark comparison, like video of Biden today versus from even 8 years ago.

    All that trash on the side of the road in KC I bet kind of became background noise for most people there. They have probably forgotten when it was actually clean.

    But was the BBQ any good?

    But was the BBQ any good?

    Unfortunately, it was an overnight trip for a job interview.

    I got a fast food gut bomb and spent the evening at my hotel doing last minute interview preparation.

    • Replies: @Anon87
    Good luck on the job, but after seeing the area is it something you still want to pursue? I understand everyone has to pay the bills, but it feels like a warning sign.
  249. @Charles Erwin Wilson

    He disagrees with you, so anything he writes is wrong. And you used that to argue against me, someone who is in fact an ally of you, someone who shares your concerns.
     
    All right, I am happy to concede your point about learning from your enemy.

    However, in this case I think your original understanding was correct.

    Franklin was making a point about security and liberty. Wittes wants us to believe that he did not, that it was just a minor, self-interested and self-serving point about who pays for security (the Penns) and who enjoys the liberty (Pennsylvanians). Supposedly Franklin is just lobbying to enjoy the liberty while someone else pays for the security, while the oligarchic Penns wanted to block the Assembly from raising taxes necessary for defense. But Franklin is saying that the Penns cannot bribe them with voluntary contributions (and temporary safety) to deny them the benefits of self government, including essential liberty, that they must lose if they take the Penn money.

    Franklin would not have made a security vs. liberty claim unless there already was an understanding that there is a tradeoff between security and liberty. But this is exactly what Wittes denies:

    That famous quote by Benjamin Franklin that “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety” does not mean what it seems to say. Not at all.
     
    Wittes then tries to substitute "individual" for "essential" and omits "temporary" altogether to make his point. Wittes is imposing a present-day understanding on Franklin's 1755 statement.

    Franklin was not describing some tension between government power and individual liberty.
     
    Those changes distort Franklin's plain meaning.

    If you people want to really make any difference at all, you are going to have to stop the Aspergery finger-pointing and nit-picking.
     
    Okay. I'm not sure I can do that, but I can try. :-)

    Thank you for the thoughtful reply. Very well explained. So, maybe I was right the first time and then deceived by the other commenter and by Wittes. Oh well, at least this has been a worthwhile exploration of the subject.

    • Thanks: Charles Erwin Wilson
  250. @Barnard
    Many inner city schools are setup to serve meals to "at risk" students year round. Typically it is breakfast and lunch and of course these meals are provided for free. In some places they also keep the building open as a defacto free daycare for parents who don't want to line up someone reputable to watch their kids during the summer.

    Preventing an epidemic from running out of control is a matter of life and death. Look at what is going on in Italy – in a raging epidemic you quickly outrun the # of ventilators and other medical resources and soon you are just letting people die because you have no way to treat them.

    Pardon my French, but F*ck school lunches. Most of these kids look like they could afford to skip a few meals. Hand out bag lunches in front of the closed school.

    • Replies: @Jonathan Mason

    Hand out bag lunches in front of the closed school.
     
    That is what they do in my town during school vacations.
  251. @Anon87
    That is great, and doesn't surprise me at all. Japan also had me wondering WHY they are like this? Perfect combo of nature/nuture?

    Visually I'm not great at sorting Chinese from Japanese, but their behaviors usually make it much easier. I assume they share a large % of high IQ genes since the Japanese came from China (right?), but culturally they are very different. How did Japan diverge to make what to me is currently peak society?

    How did Japan diverge to make what to me is currently peak society?

    I don’t doubt your description- thank you. However, the Japanese have problems with overwork, sexual exploitation and dysfunction, lack of sufficient fertility, and suicide. I know we’re becoming culturally dirty and stupid, but I wonder how to achieve excellence with less dysfunction. Maybe Christianity if it’s properly balanced, maybe it’s just a genetic balancing act with trade offs.

    • Replies: @Anon87
    Fair point. I have no doubts about the infallibility of man. While I did see "golden seats" on trains reserved for sick, women, elderly, I did not see the womens only train cars that are needed due to handsy pervs. But that might be the most public of their problems. For the most part, their infamously warped sexual hangups are out of sight versus the inundation in the US. Even the red light area was quaint compared to the old 42nd Street area of NY.

    A still Christian peak-America (arguably post-WW2 to the moon landing) still had its problems. More out of sight at the time. Birthrate certainly wasn't a problem in the US. I didn't get the sense that young people weren't dating in Japan from my observations, but the data doesn't lie.

    Man is imperfect, but I would like to think that similar to the old Lexus motto we are "in pursuit of perfection". America has given up on that for sure, while Japan still seems to want to improve on life.

    Your point about religion has made me think a bit. Christianity certainly helped the West clean up its act, but I can't say it was needed for Japan to achieve what it has. I really can't speak to how much religion overall formed their culture, but something for me to look into. I do think religion helps.
  252. https://www.wired.com/2011/09/contagion-questions-spoilers/

    I asked its chief science adviser: Dr. W. Ian Lipkin, who is the John Snow Professor of Epidemiology, and Director of the Center for Infection and Immunity, at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, dubbed a “master virus-hunter” by master science-writer Carl Zimmer in the New York Times. Here’s our email Q & A. […]
    M: While MEV-1 is the actual bad actor, the movie has a second villain: the corrupt blogger

    L: …On more than one occasion I’ve heard Steven Soderbergh lament the fact that there is no vaccine against stupidity.

    The Royal Astronomer, Martin Rees, predicts that a serious biological threat will emerge to claim at least one million lives by 2020. Only time will tell whether he’s right or wrong.

    https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2020/03/09/a-local-guide-to-the-coronavirus

    It has been determined that the virus is present in human feces. In Asia, Lipkin noted, the plumbing in many kitchens and bathrooms does not include a U-trap—the bend in a pipe that fills with standing water, which in turn blocks polluted air from rising from the sewers. “How long is it in feces?” he asked. “How long is it in the mouth and the nose? How long is it on surfaces? On buckles, seat belts, doorknobs, touch screens, or the TV remote in a hotel room, which, by the way, never gets cleaned and is one of the filthiest things on the planet.”

    Italy is another country with bad toilets, you always have to use a brush. Iran?

    • Replies: @Jack D

    the plumbing in many kitchens and bathrooms does not include a U-trap
     
    This is not quite true. The Chinese practice is to connect the sink to the drain with a flex pipe. An accordion flex pipe is one piece vs. 3 pieces with 2 extra leak point joints that make up a P or S trap. It is quite easy to bend such a pipe into a U shape in order to form a trap but many Chinese plumbers don't do it - probably because it would require another 6" of flex pipe to form the U. The Chinese are nothing if not economical - they will give you the minimum that you pay for and not an inch more (unless you pay them extra). If you form the flex pipe into the proper U shape (and no one moves it later) it functions perfectly well as a trap and in some ways is better (is less likely to leak) than a rigid trap because it has fewer joints and can be bent easily to connect any 2 points at any angle.
  253. @Jack D
    I think most people understand that the government can't give everyone the same kind of car that rich people drive for free or the same kind of house that they live in - there's just not enough money to do this. But for some reason they think that the government can give everyone rich people quality health care for free. The level of muddled heading thinking about health care in the US ("health care is a right") is off the charts.

    Most countries that have nationalized health care have systems of supplemental private insurance. If you need a knee replacement and you are on the national health care you can get on the list and get it in 5 years or if you have the private insurance you can get it right away.

    But for some reason they think that the government can give everyone rich people quality health care for free.

    Has any other country ever tried such a thing, or something close to it? What was the result? Did they have to revert to insurance policies with such massive deductibles and copays that they amounted to nothing more than a backstop against bankruptcy in the event of a serious health problem?

  254. @Jack D
    Preventing an epidemic from running out of control is a matter of life and death. Look at what is going on in Italy - in a raging epidemic you quickly outrun the # of ventilators and other medical resources and soon you are just letting people die because you have no way to treat them.

    Pardon my French, but F*ck school lunches. Most of these kids look like they could afford to skip a few meals. Hand out bag lunches in front of the closed school.

    Hand out bag lunches in front of the closed school.

    That is what they do in my town during school vacations.

  255. @Sean

    https://www.wired.com/2011/09/contagion-questions-spoilers/

    I asked its chief science adviser: Dr. W. Ian Lipkin, who is the John Snow Professor of Epidemiology, and Director of the Center for Infection and Immunity, at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health, dubbed a "master virus-hunter" by master science-writer Carl Zimmer in the New York Times. Here's our email Q & A. [...]
    M: While MEV-1 is the actual bad actor, the movie has a second villain: the corrupt blogger ...

    L: ...On more than one occasion I've heard Steven Soderbergh lament the fact that there is no vaccine against stupidity.

    The Royal Astronomer, Martin Rees, predicts that a serious biological threat will emerge to claim at least one million lives by 2020. Only time will tell whether he's right or wrong.
     
    https://youtu.be/EPpnPoLDB_Y?t=1296

    https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2020/03/09/a-local-guide-to-the-coronavirus

    It has been determined that the virus is present in human feces. In Asia, Lipkin noted, the plumbing in many kitchens and bathrooms does not include a U-trap—the bend in a pipe that fills with standing water, which in turn blocks polluted air from rising from the sewers. “How long is it in feces?” he asked. “How long is it in the mouth and the nose? How long is it on surfaces? On buckles, seat belts, doorknobs, touch screens, or the TV remote in a hotel room, which, by the way, never gets cleaned and is one of the filthiest things on the planet.”
     
    Italy is another country with bad toilets, you always have to use a brush. Iran?

    the plumbing in many kitchens and bathrooms does not include a U-trap

    This is not quite true. The Chinese practice is to connect the sink to the drain with a flex pipe. An accordion flex pipe is one piece vs. 3 pieces with 2 extra leak point joints that make up a P or S trap. It is quite easy to bend such a pipe into a U shape in order to form a trap but many Chinese plumbers don’t do it – probably because it would require another 6″ of flex pipe to form the U. The Chinese are nothing if not economical – they will give you the minimum that you pay for and not an inch more (unless you pay them extra). If you form the flex pipe into the proper U shape (and no one moves it later) it functions perfectly well as a trap and in some ways is better (is less likely to leak) than a rigid trap because it has fewer joints and can be bent easily to connect any 2 points at any angle.

  256. @Johann Ricke

    I used to have a whole house humidifier attached to my furnace. It was a maintenance headache. Water has minerals in it and when you evaporate the water the minerals get left behind and make a mess. Now I have an ultrasonic room humidifier for my bedroom. It’s a pain in the ass to fill and it leaves white dust (dried out minerals) everywhere in the room.
     
    Having tried both, which do you prefer?

    I was getting too much humidity from the whole house unit (condensation on windows) so when it broke I abandoned it in place and switch to the room unit (you can get one with a humidistat to only add the amount you need). If you (1) have a house with older (air leaking) windows so you need to add a lot of humidity and (2) don’t mind the cost of installing and maintaining a central humidifier then go with the whole house unit. The room unit has its own inconveniences (need to refill it every night by hand, white dust, only serves 1 room). Next time I replace my furnace I am NOT going to replace the whole house unit.

    • Thanks: Johann Ricke
  257. @Hypnotoad666
    Anyone who has had children knows they are little petri dishes for germs. As soon as they go to preschool they all infect each other and then bring the germs home to infect their parents.

    Besides, data shows (counter-intuitively), that most kids learn more when they are away from school anyway.

    I say shutter the schools.

    I say shutter the schools.

    When you think about it schools are a seriously dumb idea. They’re not just disastrous from a public health point of view. Kids also pick up bad behaviour from other kids. In fact they pick up bad behaviour from their teachers these days.

    If the homeschoolers were smart they’d see this as the greatest opportunity they’re ever going to get. They should be using the line, “I homeschool my kids to save lives.”

  258. @Hernan Pizzaro del Blanco
    Trump should ban all foreigners from entering the United States, just as Israel has banned all foreigners from Israel.

    He keeps telling us that Banning flights from China was a good decision, so we should have already banned all Europeans and all Asians from coming to the US.

    That too. In fact, I’d ground most domestic air travel too, with exceptions for cargo flights, and medical flights, and business related to fighting the virus.

  259. UK Health Minister Nadine Dorries announced on Tuesday that she has tested positive for coronavirus

    It’s hard not to laugh, so I did.

    https://www.zerohedge.com/geopolitical/new-jersey-declares-state-emergency-coronavirus-cases-triple-greater-new-york

  260. @YetAnotherAnon
    "If you need a knee replacement and you are on the national health care you can get on the list and get it in 5 years or if you have the private insurance you can get it right away."

    But... unless you're an athlete or very wealthy (City/Wall Street wealthy), isn't it around the time you start to need new knees/heart valves/hips also when the insurance premiums become unaffordable?

    (A relative aged 75 with heart trouble and private insurance was given balloon angioplasty instead of stents twenty years back, dropped dead not long after, he'd have done better on the NHS. Conversely another younger relative with a brain aneurysm was diagnosed by the NHS with migraine when a £500 NMR scan would have picked it up - in his place I'd have paid for it. Too late now, only found at the autopsy.)

    Like all doctors Socialized Medicine buries its mistakes. The difference is there’s nothing in it for the ambulance chasers.

  261. @epebble
    What is strange is both MBS and Putin engaging in this scorched earth price war that will unseat Trump when he has been a very good friend to both of them. Trump has resisted extraordinary pressure from within his own party to resist both of them more robustly but still managed to give them freedom to do whatever they want. They could have shown some gratitude at least till the election. Four more years of Trump would be extremely beneficial to Putin if he can persuade Trump to pull out of or dissolve NATO.

    What utter bollocks. What a tool of the State you are.

    ” resist both of them more robustly ”

    Resist their doing what?

  262. @The Wild Geese Howard

    But was the BBQ any good?
     
    Unfortunately, it was an overnight trip for a job interview.

    I got a fast food gut bomb and spent the evening at my hotel doing last minute interview preparation.

    Good luck on the job, but after seeing the area is it something you still want to pursue? I understand everyone has to pay the bills, but it feels like a warning sign.

    • Replies: @The Wild Geese Howard
    Thank you!

    No, I wasn't in love with what I saw of the area or the extremely heavy security at the workplace.

    I have the chance to return to the firm I separated from, and I am taking it.
  263. @Lockean Proviso

    How did Japan diverge to make what to me is currently peak society?
     
    I don't doubt your description- thank you. However, the Japanese have problems with overwork, sexual exploitation and dysfunction, lack of sufficient fertility, and suicide. I know we're becoming culturally dirty and stupid, but I wonder how to achieve excellence with less dysfunction. Maybe Christianity if it's properly balanced, maybe it's just a genetic balancing act with trade offs.

    Fair point. I have no doubts about the infallibility of man. While I did see “golden seats” on trains reserved for sick, women, elderly, I did not see the womens only train cars that are needed due to handsy pervs. But that might be the most public of their problems. For the most part, their infamously warped sexual hangups are out of sight versus the inundation in the US. Even the red light area was quaint compared to the old 42nd Street area of NY.

    A still Christian peak-America (arguably post-WW2 to the moon landing) still had its problems. More out of sight at the time. Birthrate certainly wasn’t a problem in the US. I didn’t get the sense that young people weren’t dating in Japan from my observations, but the data doesn’t lie.

    Man is imperfect, but I would like to think that similar to the old Lexus motto we are “in pursuit of perfection”. America has given up on that for sure, while Japan still seems to want to improve on life.

    Your point about religion has made me think a bit. Christianity certainly helped the West clean up its act, but I can’t say it was needed for Japan to achieve what it has. I really can’t speak to how much religion overall formed their culture, but something for me to look into. I do think religion helps.

  264. Anonymous[315] • Disclaimer says:
    @dearieme
    I realise that Franklin was the Founding Father who really was a clever chap but his remark is rather silly. It ignores the possibility of temporarily giving up some liberty in an emergency and then reclaiming it afterwards. It also ignores the reality that all human society is the result of compromises between various different characteristics that people value - liberty and security are only two of them.

    That makes me think of the income tax, which was originally sold to the public as a temporary imposition that would only affect the rich.

  265. Anonymous[315] • Disclaimer says:
    @Anonymous
    Cue obligatory depiction of 17th century plague doctor woodcut print, with said doctor sporting that curious and weird bird-headed beaked mask in combination with a wide brimmed leather hat.
    Scaring the bejesus out of little kids everywhere in times of anxiety and epidemic for the past 300 years.

    CORVID-19

  266. Anonymous[315] • Disclaimer says:
    @prime noticer
    Saudi Arabia is trying to take out US shale, Russia is not sure what they want to do, and suddenly the 3 biggest oil producers are in a battle.

    OPEC is mostly hypothetical now, like NATO. every member is incentivized to cheat, and they have been cheating somewhat regularly since 2000. similar to NATO, which is really just the US military today, with most other members not even pretending to maintain appearances.

    does anybody realize OPEC is headquartered in Austria? i didn't until last week. and it has been headquartered there since 1965. man, if that doesn't say everything about HBD.

    You can’t put this in an oil producing country because nobody would trust the hosts not to bug the negotiation rooms, hotels, etc. The Austrians don’t care. Nothing to do with HBD.

  267. Anonymous[315] • Disclaimer says:
    @LondonBob
    I watched Guy Martin's program with him visiting Japan. He went to the equivalent of a Japanese slum where the Yakuza have a clubhouse, very tidy and orderly, nicer than most areas in London.

    https://youtu.be/Hm2qypnBPNA

    I read about this somewhere. The reason Yakuza hangouts are so tidy is because apprentice gangsters are made to clean them, and if they’re not spotless, they get a beating.

  268. @Anon87
    Good luck on the job, but after seeing the area is it something you still want to pursue? I understand everyone has to pay the bills, but it feels like a warning sign.

    Thank you!

    No, I wasn’t in love with what I saw of the area or the extremely heavy security at the workplace.

    I have the chance to return to the firm I separated from, and I am taking it.

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