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Maybe they already have provisions like this, but if they don’t, Congress, lower level legislatures, city councils, and other deliberative bodies should pass emergency legislation allowing them to convene and vote online in case they can’t raise a quorum in person due to quarantine. Don’t wait. Do it on Thursday.

Then, Congress should vote to appropriate a giant amount of money to the fight against COVID-19: a huge round number that gets attention, like, I dunno, $100,000,000,000. They don’t have to specify what it all is for yet, but specify some minimums like at least 10% will go to toward finding a vaccine, 10% toward treatment research, etc. Offer a billion dollar prize for a vaccine.

Then they should delegate emergency authority to bodies like state departments of public health (or whatever is appropriate) for loosening medical regulations to allow doctors to focus on the coming critical cases.

They should look at temporary steps to allow doctors to avoid a lot of routine face-to-face busywork. For example, grant doctors the temporary right for a few months to prescribe antibiotics for children’s earaches to parents over the phone.

Let doctors extend prescriptions without office visits for renewals.

Let nurses write prescriptions.

Allow doctors to charge for phone calls as well as appointments.

Insurance companies should step up and announce temporary changes that would free up doctors’ time.

People in positions of responsibility need to gameplan for scenarios and make sure there aren’t dumb regulations standing in the way of solutions, the way the FDA and CDC between them both botched testing and then twiddled their thumbs for weeks after they knew about the problem because there was a rule and you can’t just go around changing rules you know.

For example, hospitals may need to set up tents in their parking lots before this over. What rules on the books might get in the way? What are the steps to override the rules?

iSteve commenter eugyppius writes:

The US is ca. 16 days behind Italy, that is still outside the ca. 10-day incubation window in which the system-swamping infections are guaranteed yet invisible. Like everyone else they have not been testing though, so the situation could still be vastly more dire than it seems. On the other hand, drastic action, while politically unlikely, has substantial mitigating potential for America.

In a fantasy world all nonessential employees would be sent home right now, most schools would close right now, highways airports bus and train stations closed to all nonessential traffic right now, curfews imposed right now. The government would take control of whatever supply of n95 masks remains in the market, directly arrange the further manufacture of more masks as in Taiwan, and ration their distribution: ensuring that older people and essential employees who need to commute/be outside in major cities have a supply. If masks can be successfully rationed and distributed, there should be rules enacted to enforce their use.

Then, reports from Italy suggest medical ventilators are one of the crucial bottlenecks. Can more such machines be obtained at short notice? Downmarket knockoffs put into service? Older obsolete tech dusted off and plugged back in? I have no idea, but they need to start ramping up icu capacity now, before the demand is there. Otherwise, they’ll have to ramp it up while denying care to many suffocating patients.

 
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  1. Anon[386] • Disclaimer says:

    https://www.accuweather.com/en/health-wellness/coronavirus-expert-says-the-virus-will-burn-itself-out-in-about-6-months/679415

    “Three things the virus does not like: 1. Sunlight, 2. Temperature, and 3. Humidity,” Nicholls said in response to a question about when he thinks confirmed cases will peak.

    “Sunlight will cut the virus’ ability to grow in half so the half-life will be 2.5 minutes and in the dark it’s about 13 to 20 [minutes],” Nicholls said. “Sunlight is really good at killing viruses.”

    For that reason, he also added that he doesn’t expect areas such as Australia, Africa and the Southern hemisphere to see high rates of infection because they are in the middle of summer.

    Regarding temperatures, Nicholls said the warmer the better for stopping the spread of the virus, according to the transcript of the conference call.

    “The virus can remain intact at 4 degrees (39 degrees Fahrenheit) or 10 degrees (50 F) for a longer period of time,” Nicholls said, referring to Celsius measurements, according to the transcript. “But at 30 degrees (86 degrees F) then you get inactivation. And high humidity — the virus doesn’t like it either,” he added, the transcript of the call showed.

    However, Nicholls also said that he doesn’t consider SARS or MERS, a Middle Eastern novel virus that spread in 2012, to be an accurate comparison for this year’s outbreak. Rather, the novel coronavirus most closely relates to a severe case of the common cold.

    “Compared to SARS and MERS, we are talking about a coronavirus that has a mortality rate of eight to 10 times less deadly to SARS to MERS,” Nicholls said. “So, a correct comparison is not SARS or MERS but a severe cold. Basically, this is a severe form of the cold.”

    Similar to a common cold, the surrounding environment of the outbreak plays an important role in determining the survivability and spreadability of the virus, he continued. Because of the impending shift in seasons, Nicholls said he expects the spread of the virus to be curbed in a matter of months.

    “I think it will burn itself out in about six months,” Nicholls said.

  2. Anon[323] • Disclaimer says:

    I, for one, am very thankful Hillary Clinton isn’t president during this crisis. She’d be vindictively blaming Republicans for the bad fate that screwed up her presidency. But I doubt even Covid-19 can make her stop regretting that she’s not in Trump’s shoes.

    • Replies: @Mr McKenna
    , @anon
  3. My big-name grocery pharmacy refused to refill an Rx a few days ago, because the current supply hadn’t run out yet. Fortunately it’s not a life-saving drug, but it’s also not anything anyone would or could abuse. Sort of wish it were; that might come in handy soon.

  4. Deadite says:

    CDCs early idiocy is Trumps fault because he obviously had all sorts of time to investigate all the time bombs left by Obola. So now I’ll just vote for a socialist who will make my kids wear dresses and reinstitute the rules that slowed down this response.

    I’ll point out that FDA has a long history of blocking good and inexpensive medical advances. They blocked 3D printing of children’s prothetics for years before they were finally forced to allow its usage. That’s not Tromps fault. But it is the deep states.

    I’m for giving trump another 4 years. He hasn’t been perfect but he’s better than anything I have seen since Reagan. Anyone who disagrees just either wants to see the world burn or actually loves themselves a little socialism.

    • Replies: @Anon
    , @Chief Seattle
  5. Habeaus corpus could not be suspended, per the U.S Constitution, but all civil cases could be. And the majority of criminal cases beyond arraignment could be delayed, so long as the accused be put on either probation or is held for a term that isn’t “unreasonable.”

    But criminal arraignments almost always have to be in person. The courts would have to be minimally working.

    I fear for the jails and prisons. Those places are filthy.

  6. Anonymous[413] • Disclaimer says:

    Apparently Tom Hanks died earlier today from the coronavirus in Australia.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
  7. Anonymous[830] • Disclaimer says:

    Good thinking from Steve as usual. Can we get another smart Steve, Steve Bannon back in the White House please? He was what made 2016 candidate Trump so smart. It is upsetting to think how many sub 120 IQs are running things right now.

    • Replies: @Autochthon
  8. The ruthless corporate risk management of paying civil damages remains the same:

    Pay attention to those that do not rely on pro bono legal counsel for recovery — except for cases involving minority shakedown racketeers.

    I can imagine “community organizers” getting out in front of this one with all manner of threats if their “communities” aren’t provided priority during triage.

    • Replies: @Redneck farmer
  9. Anonymous[251] • Disclaimer says:

    Per capita number of hospital beds is one metric in this crisis. Here is a list ranking by EU country:

    Obviously each system needs enough extra staff to keep working after some staff gets the virus. We will probably need a system for rotating staff around the country like firefighters during wildfire season. Unfortunately rookie volunteers are useless. Without real training they will get sick and become a burden so I’ve heard.

    In Italy a major problem is a lack of breathing machines. No idea what the situation is in the states.

    ……….

    Also Cernovich twitter has Italian report of wartime triage and an Italian lady reporting from a hot zone that younger patients are now coming into their system. Hopefully that is a stat anomaly and not a virus mutation.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  10. SnakeEyes says:

    Wow. You are just in full panic mode now.

    • Troll: eugyppius, Mr McKenna
    • Replies: @Redneck farmer
  11. epebble says:

    The critical bottleneck items are 1. test kits 2. ICU beds, hardware like ventilators, respirators etc., 3. Protective gear + training to use them correctly, all the time. None of these will be helped much by legislation. These are all results of good planning and procurement. Helping doctors avoid red tape is laudable, but stuff will hit the fan if some nurse prescribes an antibiotic in a hurry without checking out allergies or side effects and a child dies. Will the nurse be liable? Can she purchase liability insurance without board certification? difficult problems. Video consultation with doctors is already here (we use it).

  12. The President has broad powers if he declares a national emergency. Require all Americans and legal residents to be tested for the coronavirus. If someone can’t prove their status, kick them out.

    Too extreme you say? Hey, Lincoln killed 700,000 actual Americans to “save the Union”. Can’t we kick out illegals to do the same?

    • Replies: @Dissident
  13. Anon[275] • Disclaimer says:

    The researchers in Seattle ignored the ethics rules and reanalyzed flu swabs and found coronavirus going way back in kids with no travel history. When they went public the state shut the study down. Today’s New York Times, via Althouse blog.

    This is like laws against torture. In those ticking bomb/New York will be destroyed scenarios, you know the bad guy will be tortured to give up the code, no matter what the law says.

    • Replies: @Autochthon
    , @Anon
  14. eugyppius says:

    The US is ca. 16 days behind Italy, that is still outside the ca. 10-day incubation window in which the system-swamping infections are guaranteed yet invisible. Like everyone else they have not been testing though, so the situation could still be vastly more dire than it seems. On the other hand, drastic action, while politically unlikely, has substantial mitigating potential for America.

    In a fantasy world all nonessential employees would be sent home right now, most schools would close right now, highways airports bus and train stations closed to all nonessential traffic right now, curfews imposed right now. The government would take control of whatever supply of n95 masks remains in the market, directly arrange the further manufacture of more masks as in Taiwan, and ration their distribution: ensuring that older people and essential employees who need to commute/be outside in major cities have a supply. If masks can be successfully rationed and distributed, there should be rules enacted to enforce their use.

    Then, reports from Italy suggest medical ventilators are one of the crucial bottlenecks. Can more such machines be obtained at short notice? Downmarket knockoffs put into service? Older obsolete tech dusted off and plugged back in? I have no idea, but they need to start ramping up icu capacity now, before the demand is there. Otherwise, they’ll have to ramp it up while denying care to many suffocating patients.

  15. There is a lot of bathwater with your baby.

    Nurses are not remotely qualified to prescribe medications.

    Antibiotics are insanely overprescribed as it is; inviting prescriptions absent a clinical examination is madness. Any number of those children’s earaches are due to a virus, anyway. This madness breeds bacteria the like of which shall make the current virus seem like the common cold. As an enthusiast for evolutionary biology, you should know why, and know better.

    Prescriptions are already commonly renewed via telephone, or even effectively automatically, when merited (as for chronic conditions, such as acid reflux and drugs like omeprazole).

    Much else you recommend is indeed wise.

    Which, of course, means it shan’t be done. Because Clown World.

  16. @Anonymous

    Steve Bannon may well be the most intelligent man on the planet. Naturally, he is a pariah ignored by nearly all the world. (Although the Chinese, being wily bastards, probably pay attention to his ideas –Mark 6:4 and all that….)

  17. Congress, lower level legislatures

    In a properly functioning federation, Congress is the “lower-level legislature”.

    Let doctors extend prescriptions without office visits for renewals.

    I gave up taste and common sense for Lent and checked out Masters of Sex from the library. The first question that cones to mind is how Masters and Johnson would have handled this. It’s kind of hard to imagine their treatments administered over the phone.

    A half-century ago, anyway. We have VR, Skype, holograms, and all sorts of new toys today.

  18. @Anon

    I am a combat veteran here sick of this misconception. The empirical data are indisputable: tortured people will tell lies, as they often don’t know the sought information and simply want the agony to stop. Furthermore, people who know their captors are honourable both surrender and cooperate more readily.

    A significant reason for the U.S.A.’s unprecedented military success, as a matter of historical fact, owes to its reputation for honourable treatment of the vanquished.

    • Replies: @peterike
    , @Anon
  19. one thing they should definitely not do is secure the border.

    10,000 boomers may die, but losing our open borders is an unthinkable casualty.

    • Replies: @Travis
  20. @Anon

    Since I didn’t hear the President in real time, I didn’t know until just now that he actually used the phrase “foreign virus” in his announcement. That’s guaranteed to make the NYTs of the world absolutely apoplectic. So there’s another silver lining.

    • Replies: @Coemgen
  21. Agreed. There needs to be a mechanism to suspend the usual nonsense bureaucratic regulations in the face of a true emergency. Does the President or Congress have this legal authority? If so, how do they trigger it? I honestly don’t know.

    I know many normal procedures and civil liberties can be temporarily suspended under the concept of “war powers.” It seems as though an epidemic is every bit as exigent. (By way of historical comparison, the 1918-19 flu epidemic killed approximately 5× the number of Americans killed in WWI.)

    Issues calling for suspension of usual rules and regulations would include: (a) mandatory quarantine of confirmed infections; (b) mandatory quarantine or travel bans on travelers from suspect areas; (c) prohibition of mass physical gatherings; and (d) fast -tracking of potential vaccines based on a rational tradeoff between the potential harm of an imperfect vaccine vs. deaths from no vaccine at all. (In other words, suspension of normal product liability laws and FDA approval regs.)

    You have to realize that a mere 1% mortality rate × a 50% infection rate × a 320 million population = approximately 1.6 million dead Americans. Which is equal to approximately: 500 9-11 attacks; 4 WW II’s; 3 Civil Wars; or 25 Vietnan Wars.

  22. You know, Taiwan really wasn’t hit that badly by this.

    • Replies: @eugyppius
  23. Anonymous[137] • Disclaimer says:

  24. Allow doctors to charge for phone calls as well as appointments.

    How would this help? I see reason to suspect many doctors are in it for the money and will see this as nothing but an opportunity to take more of it home. I do grant that those are not the doctors someone infected with the coronavirus, or with any condition, would like to see, given a choice. But why would not just forcing them to treat patients for free (for now, of course) or for future, public compensation, be more effective? What about forcing health insurance companies to act, rather than counting on their good will? Quarantine is, after all, about being forced to stay home for the public good and we peasants have to obey it, do we not?

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
  25. Anonymous[334] • Disclaimer says:
    @Anon

    I click your link and the first thing I see is another article titled ‘Experts skeptical that warm weather will slow COVID-19 outbreak’ on the right

    Everyone’s an expert. Funny

  26. anon[108] • Disclaimer says:
    @Anon

    I, for one, am very thankful Hillary Clinton isn’t president during this crisis.

    Perhaps the pandemic wouldn’t be noticed all much during the major war with Russia.

    • LOL: eugyppius
    • Replies: @peterike
  27. @gabriel alberton

    The idea is to let doctors be compensated for their time for talking on the phone as well as in person. It puts the incentives right.

    • Agree: JimDandy, ic1000
    • Replies: @Anonymous
    , @utu
  28. @Anon

    For that reason, he also added that he doesn’t expect areas such as Australia, Africa and the Southern hemisphere to see high rates of infection because they are in the middle of summer.

    They most certainly are not–the equinox is just a week from now. It’ll be interesting to see how the southern nations fare a month or two from now as winter begins to approach.

    Meanwhile, there are (a few) equatorial nations in trouble, and some places like Hong Kong which you might think would be suffering but aren’t.

    Mind you, I hope (for my own country’s sake) that warm weather will help. But I don’t know it. We have a lot yet to learn.

  29. peterike says:
    @Autochthon

    The empirical data are indisputable: tortured people will tell lies, as they often don’t know the sought information and simply want the agony to stop.

    Yeah, but torture is very, very good at getting verifiable information from someone who knows it. Such as, “What is the combination for this safe?” Which you can then immediately test. So you have to be smart enough to torture for the right kinds of information.

    “Is it safe?”

    • Replies: @Peter D. Bredon
  30. peterike says:
    @anon

    Perhaps the pandemic wouldn’t be noticed all much during the major war with Russia.

    Does the heat of a nuclear explosion kill viruses? There’s your solution.

  31. Dissident says:
    @RichardTaylor

    Require all Americans and legal residents to be tested for the coronavirus. If someone can’t prove their status, kick them out.

    Wouldn’t that be sacrificing our diversity? As bad as a pandemic can be, wouldn’t the greater tragedy be if we were to…

    • LOL: RichardTaylor
  32. SafeNow says:

    Yes, money money money money makes the virus fight go round. Trump, when this began, should have told the clown-car CDC: “Just tell me how much you need. Money is no object. And, if it turns out you did not ask for enough, feel free to come back to me at any time.” Instead, Trump went into his “make a deal” default mode. The Democrats repeated the error of trying to cut a deal with the CDC and the virus. Pay now, better late than never. Add to direct medical funding: money to sooth those offended by the political incorrectness of having laws apply to everybody in this case. If it’s even possible to have laws apply to everybody — maybe that ship has already sailed.

    Regarding flexibility in the face of bureaucratic regulations, I am reminded of the hurricane Katrina emergency. Every agency except the Coast Guard went into gridlock. Many attributed this to a philosophy of “take rescue action now, get permission later.”

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
  33. Lot says:

    The annual migration of more than a million low-IQ third worlders is a far bigger emergency than the death of a few thousand boomers.

    Trump did some good on this front for sure, but ultimately he prioritized and used most of his political capital on a tax for the ultra-rich.

    I expect the same to happen here.

  34. Sean says:

    Quote from doctor character in Stephen King’s The Stand : “I took an oath to care for my patients, not die with them”.

  35. @James Bowery

    Martial law and a few mass executions tend to increase the common sense level.

  36. Anon[249] • Disclaimer says:
    @Autochthon

    I am a combat veteran …

    You probably have tattoos … yecch!

    I think you’re talking about the various “studies” from progressive psychiatric organizations that came out circa 2008 and beyond? The patient zero of that genre was a report from a European association of psychiatrists that was authored by a vet who supposedly had indirect experience with torture. This was more in the nature of an op-ed or press release than research.

    [MORE]

    Compare the videos and announcements from psychologists definitively announcing that President Trump has this, that, or the other syndrome that will definitely result in his imminent meltdown. I think there’s a superedit of those on YouTube. It’s like transgender stuff: Understandably psychiatrists who think torture has its place just keep their mouths shut, while those who agree virtue signal.

    Certainly in many cases the tortured will say what they think you want to hear. The solution to this is don’t ask such questions. In the hypothetical in my original comment, a code was needed to defuse a nuke. There are too many digits so you can’t just try them all. In this case a lie is easily detected. There are three situations: The guy doesn’t know, the guy knows but lies, and the guy knows and tells you. Just let the guy know that the first two situations will result in torture. A scenario like that may never happen, but torture would be quite effective and I assume that a law against torture would be ignored, which was my point, in reference to laws and regulations about medical testing and research.

    Practically speaking, you would only torture in limited cases where you know a lot more about the target and his contacts than he thinks you know. (This in fact is how a grand jury operates, and why it’s trivially easy to charge even very smart people with lying to a grand jury after their testimony.) You first ask many questions to which you know the answers to get a baseline on how straight the guy is going to be with you. Perhaps you spend days on this phase. You don’t let on when he lies, but you periodically torture both on answers you know are true and are false. Ideally the interrogator is not privy to the information your team has, to get a double-blind check. Then you hit him with the one piece of information you are really concerned about. You sanity check his answer against what else you know about him that he doesn’t know you know.

    I’m not saying torture should be legal or used by our military. I’m just saying that idea that it cannot “work” is silly and is not the reason we shouldn’t do it. You listed other reasons that are perfectly sound.

  37. @Anon

    For that reason, he also added that he doesn’t expect areas such as Australia, Africa and the Southern hemisphere to see high rates of infection because they are in the middle of summer.

    No, it’s the end of summer. Like mid-September here.

  38. @SafeNow

    Every agency except the Coast Guard went into gridlock.

    Semper paratus.

    • Thanks: SafeNow
  39. Anon[249] • Disclaimer says:
    @Anon

    ‘It’s Just Everywhere Already’: How Delays in Testing Set Back the U.S. Coronavirus Response
    A series of missed chances by the federal government to ensure more widespread testing came during the early days of the outbreak, when containment would have been easier.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/10/us/coronavirus-testing-delays.html

    An example that there are still pockets of good reporting at the New York Times, this article by a physician-reporter and an ex-Seattle Times NYT staffer with seven additional bylines at the end of the piece:

    The first confirmed American case of the coronavirus had landed in her area. Had the man infected anyone else? Was the deadly virus already lurking in other communities and spreading?

    As luck would have it, Dr. Chu had a way to monitor the region. For months she and a team of researchers had been collecting nasal swabs from residents experiencing flue symptoms throughout the Puget Sound region.

    To repurpose the tests for monitoring the coronavirus, they would need the support of state and federal officials, but officials repeatedly rejected the idea.

    By Feb. 25, Dr. Chu and her colleagues could not bear to wait any longer. They began performing coronavirus tests, without government approval. They quickly had a positive test from a local teenager with no recent travel history. The coronavirus had already established itself on American soil without anybody realizing it.

    “It must have been here this entire time,” Dr. Chu recalled thinking with dread. “It’s just everywhere already.”

    On Monday night, state regulators told them to stop testing altogether.

    CYA:

    Looking back, Dr. Chu said she understood why the regulations that stymied the flu study’s efforts for weeks existed. “Those protections are in place for a reason,” she said. “You want to protect human subjects. You want to do things in an ethical way.”

  40. Anonymous[278] • Disclaimer says:
    @Steve Sailer

    I already did this when I got shingles in late January. Our insurance company has an ap for it on the phone, so I signed up in about 10 minutes- it used Facetime to have us meet. After 5 minutes in a digital waiting room, a doctor appeared from his desk. He was an African immigrant with a thick accent, but was very professional. I showed him my rash with the phone and he confirmed my shingles suspicion. This appointment was at midnight, so very convenient.

    This exists and I was pleased with the result.

  41. eugyppius says:
    @Anon

    Hong Kong absolutely followed Nicholls’s advice and treated covid19 like a bad cold. I mean they ignored the epidemic entirely and they did not restrict travel with the rest of china and they did not put everyone in masks. Oh wait…

    That Accuweather interview with John Nicholls was on 11 February.

    By the end of February Nicholls was singing a different tune to the few newspapers still bothering to interview him.

    Here he is worrying that hospitals in Iran are not equipped to handle the outbreak there:

    https://www.latimes.com/world-nation/story/2020-02-25/how-iran-became-a-hot-zone-for-coronavirus-in-middle-east

    Here he is worrying about the danger covid19 poses to healthcare professionals untrained to deal with highly infectious diseases and drawing comparisons to SARS:

    https://www.advisory.com/daily-briefing/2020/02/27/coronavirus-workers

    As for the effects of temperature, humidity and light on the virus, the jury is still very much out on that.

    • Replies: @Sean
  42. Anon[135] • Disclaimer says:

    Living in Japan through the earthquake and the Fukushima nuclear meltdown — excuse me, that’s racist, the “NuMel-11” incident — and watching the whole thing happen on NHK throughout the day, I came to recognize that there was a big problem with having politicians in charge during crises. They can’t help but try to cover their asses and think about damage to their careers.

    For instance, Japan had previously, years before, vented radioactive gas from a reactor on the Sea of Japan. This triggered a two-week media hand wringing. After the earthquake one of the Fukushima reactor buildings was getting more and more pressurized. Venting was tabled and rejected, presumably because of memories of the previous incident.

    With nobody taking any action, eventually, as I watched it on live television, the roof of the reactor blew off. The newscasters stopped talking for a few seconds and then said something like, “I … wonder what that was ….”

    An idea gradually developed in my mind: There should be an emergency nuclear response team, perhaps centered in the Japanese army or air force with supplemental staff and technocrats, with planes, helicopters, and generators, ready to deal with nuclear emergencies and capable of taking over reactors and running them. And a key part of my idea was that there would be a law that gave the team governing power over politicians for a couple of weeks or a month or an indefinite time, to make and execute unpopular decisions like radioactive venting and sea dumps, evacuations, and commandeering of corporate property. The government could seize back power by voting a new law, but the ass-covering assumption for them would be that the emergency response team was in charge.

    I could see a similar thing for pandemics. Honestly, the U.S. is too big and with too many levels of government, and too diverse and politically divided for this to work, I think, but it would work just fine in Japan. The problem with a pandemic is that you’d have to trigger the emergency team about a month before there was enough lying-eyes proof to the general public and to politicians that it was a real crisis.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    , @Sean
  43. @Anon

    Three days in a row at Fukushima, building exploded. That was concerning. The Japanese did not distinguish themselves at emergency management of their nuclear power plant.

  44. Back in the ’90s, the Capitol Steps had a cute ditty entitled Superfrantic Unproductive Nothing Legislation, set, of course, to a beloved tune from Mary Poppins.

  45. Sean says:
    @eugyppius

    Treatment for hypertension is by ACE Inhibitors. The virus, SARS-CoV-2, the virus that we are talking about (causes COVID-19 illness), enters the lungs through ACE2 receptors, and those with hypertension have worse outcomes than those with any other underlying condition.

    https://www.west-info.eu/majority-of-italian-men-suffer-high-blood-pressure/

    For seasonal flu each sufferer infects one person on average. Just because it is a virus does not mean it will spread like wildfire. Pandemic influenza is supposed to ‘shift mortality’ to younger age groups. that has not happened.

    • Replies: @eugyppius
  46. utu says:
    @Steve Sailer

    Allow hospitals to refuse treatment to people who are indigent and who have no insurance?

  47. eugyppius says:

    OT, small Germany update:

    The daily coronavirus podcast where NDR interviews Christian Drosten (https://www.ndr.de/nachrichten/info/podcast4684.html) is a helpful window into the thinking of the German healthcare establishment. It was the source of all the heat-will-not-save-us reports from the last few days.

    The current idea seems to be that they will slow the rate of infections (how? so far the only measures are these worthless govt guidelines that tell you to wash your hands and a general Verbot against all events with more than 1000 attendees) so that we reach a peak slowly sometime in the summer.

    Anyway, listening to back episodes is kind of amusing. Episode titles:

    27 February: “Panic is inappropriate”
    28 February: “It’s not black and white”

    Then a change in tone after the weekend:

    2 March: “Infections will keep increasing”
    3 March: “We need practical solutions”
    this past Monday: “We have to protect the elderly”
    Tuesday: “Cancel big events”
    yesterday: “We must act with purpose”.

    Really kind of grating is Drosten’s constant unending praise for the superior healthcare resources of Germany. Particularly he is very fond of laboratory facilities here and he keeps saying how extensive testing has been, which has prompted skeptical questions even from his interviewer, who notes that that is not the experience of basically anyone on the ground. But, Drosten thinks Germany has tested extensively enough to have a uniquely comprehensive picture of the epidemic, such that he believes we are not 8 days behind Italy (as assuming a similar level of testing across the EU would suggest) but rather a month to six weeks.

    So, Germany will continue to make halfearted arrangements lethargically. In my little research group about a fifth of people are out sick with “bad colds”. One of my colleagues, recently recovered from his cold, suggested we close up shop and was advised against appearing to panic. We canceled some stupid talk according to government guidelines about unnecessary events and then people accused us of panicking. In a conversation the health crisis in Italy came up and one of my Gutmensch colleagues, who is always finding ways to protect the environment through obscure measures of self-abnegation, scoffed that Italians are overdramatic and they go to the doctor for any reason at all.

    • Replies: @Sean
  48. Coemgen says:
    @Mr McKenna

    Trump also used the word “martial” in his speech – another shot across the NYT’s bow.

    • Thanks: Mr McKenna
  49. Sean says:
    @Anon

    For instance, Japan had previously, years before, vented radioactive gas from a reactor on the Sea of Japan. This triggered a two-week media hand wringing. After the earthquake one of the Fukushima reactor buildings was getting more and more pressurized. Venting was tabled and rejected, presumably because of memories of the previous incident.

    Yes, they cover their political hindquarters from the most immediate threat. So they might underreact, but they can also overreact. In his recent talk with Sean Carroll, Martin Rees, he who a decade ago predicted a million deaths from a bio threat by 2020, said the Japs mass evacuation after Fukushima was way over the top. Old folk don’t have to worry that much about radiation. Elderly peasants could have been left in their homes.

    The right thing to do politically at the time is always clear, though in retrospect it can be seen to have been disastrous paralysis. However, an overreaction can be objectively counterproductive. I do not think it is clear that the things being called for are necessary.

  50. eugyppius says:
    @Sean

    For seasonal flu each sufferer infects one person on average.

    An r0 of 1. By comparison, health officials right now estimate that the r0 of covid19 in Germany is just under 3 though they admit the figure is highly uncertain and could be higher.

    Pandemic influenza is supposed to ‘shift mortality’ to younger age groups. that has not happened.

    Covid 19 is not pandemic influenza. And this:

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3554498/

    From their conclusion:

    Pandemic influenza does not ‘shift’ mortality to younger age groups; rather, the mortality level is reset by the virulence of the emerging virus and is moderated by immunity of past experience.

    In events like the spanish influenza older demographics had some limited immunity from a prior pandemic flu in the later 19th century. The younger generation had less protection and experienced higher mortality. Nobody has immunity to covid19, save for the few recently infected.

  51. astrolabe says:

    If you aren’t getting lots of sunshine, you might want to take a high-dose daily vitamin D supplement. https://www.bmj.com/content/356/bmj.i6583

    • Agree: Liza
    • Disagree: Sean
  52. Sean says:
    @eugyppius

    So, Germany will continue to make halfearted arrangements lethargically

    You know what a German doctor would diagnose?

    Regarded as a sign of excellent health elsewhere, in Germany low blood pressure is seen as a disease responsible for weakness and fatigue and is treated with drugs to boost it. … It is known as “constitutional hypotension” in German medical textbooks, but the diagnosis is not well accepted elsewhere

    Uniquely, low blood pressure is considered a medical problem in Germany. I suspect the genetic tendency to hypertension is relatively rare among Germans. They have the world’s highest concentration of hospitals, and job security enough to stay home when ill, Germany has the wherewithal to handle the coronavirus better than any other country; yes, but 1,908 cases and only three deaths? That is not just gründlichkeit, it’s biodiversity.

    • Replies: @eugyppius
  53. eugyppius says:
    @Sean

    I suspect the genetic tendency to hypertension is relatively rare among Germans.

    German men have high blood-pressure rates almost identical to those in Italy, at 55% or just above.

    yes, but 1,908 cases and only three deaths? That is not just gründlichkeit, it’s biodiversity.

    The German pandemic has barely started, and almost all those cases are very new (on 4 March, open cases were at a mere 262). It takes weeks for deaths and critical cases to emerge from the pool of total infections.

    You can very roughly gauge the progress of a national pandemic by the percentage of total cases that have been resolved by recovery/death. In Germany that is only 28 out of 1,966, or 1.4%. As you go up the infection curve, the rate of infection slows and the number of dead/recovered increase, you reach a stage like Italy: 15% of cases closed (much higher death/critical rate); as you near the end you reach a stage like China right now, 81% of cases closed (still higher death/critical rate).

    German Gründlichkeit is sad myth right now. We are not doing anything remotely like South Korea or Taiwan, countries that truly took steps to mitigate the epidemic and appear to be surviving it without public health catastrophe.

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
    , @Sean
  54. Felix M says:

    Drafting legislation is very complex, very much like writing a computer program. Lots of different things to keep track of.

    (Yes, I have been responsible for preparing complex legislation. It took twice as long as planned, but it worked.)

    Lots of smaller jurisdictions aren’t going to have the expertise to draft good legislation. I suggest the federal D o J look at preparing a suite of standard Bills (for States, counties, etc).

  55. Anon[135] • Disclaimer says:
    @Deadite

    CDCs early idiocy is Trumps fault because he obviously had all sorts of time to investigate all the time bombs left by Obola.

    This isn’t fair. If you remember, for the first year or two Trump had a real problem filling jobs. There was a mafia-like attitude from both the Democrats and the mainstream Republicans: “Nice career you got there, it’d be a shame if you went to work for Trump and never got another job after that.”

    Trump was, and still is, sabotaged by bureaucrats. Sessions and Miller were/is pretty good at rooting that shit out, but there is a lot of government that needs de-swamping. I’m sure the CDC is not high on the list of priorities. But you need to put your own people in deep to figure this stuff out, and Trump was not able to do that quickly for reasons beyond his practical control.

    • Agree: YetAnotherAnon
    • Replies: @Deadite
    , @Anon
  56. Felix M says:

    Mr Trump has stopped travel from Europe to the US. Commendable.

    But this won’t apply to travel from the United Kingdom. This seems sheer lunacy. Has anyone got an idea about the basis for this exception?

    Oh, and does this mean that, while Pierre can’t fly directly from Paris to NY, he can go to London and then fly to the US?

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
  57. eugyppius says:
    @SimplePseudonymicHandle

    This just keeps coming up. Already by 31 December Taiwanese officials were inspecting all flights from Wuhan; by 26 Jan., all arrivals from Wuhan banned, extended to almost all mainland travel by the end of the month. Mandatory quarantine for arrivals from other effected areas, mass temperature checks in airports. The whole population has extensive experience from the SARS outbreak. Since early Feb. everyone in Taiwan is wearing facemasks in public. Major measures introduced to ration them and ensure their availability. Schools (the best theory is that kids spread the disease asymptomatically among themselves, and that it then spreads from them to more vulnerable older adults) were kept closed until 25 Feb. They have banned the docking of all cruise ships, banned travel to mainland China. Key healthcare employees are not allowed to travel anywhere with serious infections until June.

    So Taiwan was not badly hit because they did everything that we in the west have not done. Above, all, border controls to keep the virus from establishing itself.

  58. @Felix M

    Especially because the British government’s plan seems to be to let things rip and see what happens.

  59. @Anonymous

    Perhaps “greatly exaggerated”?

  60. dearieme says:

    “Let doctors extend prescriptions without office visits for renewals.”

    For heaven’s sake don’t you have that already? I ask my GP for repeat prescriptions over the internet, she sends the info to the pharmacy, and we collect. Or if we can’t, it delivers.

    I am, to put it mildly, not an uncritical admirer of the NHS, but on this surely it is superior?

    Of course, the GP retains the right – and presumably duty – to phone me, or to call me in, or to call on me, if she’s unsure of the wisdom of repeating the prescription.

    • Replies: @Hemid
    , @Tex
    , @Peter D. Bredon
  61. @Deadite

    That’s fine. But he would look a lot better if he took the virus seriously instead of berating it on twitter. Ensure basic supplies, encourage hygeine. Simple competency. That’s all it takes.

    And fire that CDC idiot Redfield at the first opportunity. Plus whoever leads the plague response. The CDC was worse than useless in this case. They actually prevented academic labs from running tests.

    And this is not an issue of “reagents”. The initial testing uses PCR which is a very well established protocol used to detect if small amounts of a DNA are present. The only thing different about testing for Covid-19 is the specific DNA sequence. And that was published in late January. So while the test is relatively expensive compared to an antibody test, it’s well within the capabilities of any large university or cancer hospital. America has the capability here in spades and instead of organizing that, the CDC actively blocked it.

  62. Deadite says:
    @Anon

    Perhaps I should have used the sarcasm quote.

  63. Travis says:
    @prime noticer

    750,000 boomers may succumb to this virus over the next 12 months, but we will grant 900,000 greencards over the same period and allow 450,000 illegal aliens to cross our border.

    we have about 70 million boomers, if half are infected this year as predicted, and the fatality rate is 2% for elderly boomers , we should expect 700,000 boomer deaths from CV. If the fatality rates are higher, like in Italy, we would expect 1.4 million Boomer deaths from CV this year.

    80% of boomers are white, so the demographics of this pandemic will result a faster demographic change. Whites will become a minority by 2030 instead of 2040. The average age of American whites is 47 while the average age of African-Americans is 32 and the average age of hispanics is 25.

    in the worst case scenario, 5 million Americans die from CV which would reduce the white population by 4 million over the next 12 months.

    If Trump wants to get re-elected he will need to quickly reduce the spread of CV , as it is projected to kill many of his voters. CV will have little affect of the millennials and people of color (because most of them are under the age of 35)

  64. Hemid says:
    @dearieme

    Some insurance companies have something wrong in their management/algorithms that’s led them to maximize wasting doctors’ and patients’ time with things like in-office prescription renewal. My wife’s insurance covers more of her expenses than mine does, but she has to “go in” to accomplish anything. A recent ten-minute outpatient surgery with almost no possible side effects cost her four visits and a half week off work. She’s much healthier than I am, but she has appointments all the time.

    My insurance company lets me do most anything by pushing numbers on my phone. I typically only visit an office if I have to be stuffed into a machine or provide test samples. It’s a small company with very high revenue for its size and good patient outcomes, but it’s not regarded as an “industry leader” for others to emulate, because all it does is work and make money efficiently.

    The American market doesn’t select for that. It selects for exceeding lawful maximum political donations in ways that only mega-corporations can afford/arrange.

  65. A lot of sensible suggestions, but NOT online voting. XKCD tells it like it is.

    https://xkcd.com/2030/

  66. Tex says:
    @dearieme

    For heaven’s sake don’t you have that already? I ask my GP for repeat prescriptions over the internet, she sends the info to the pharmacy, and we collect. Or if we can’t, it delivers.

    I don’t get delivery, but it’s an option with many pharmacies (for many years I delivered for a family-owned drug store in Florida). If I’m out of refills the pharmacy just checks with the doctor. Electronic prescriptions are pretty common in the US and actually mandated for certain prescriptions.

  67. @eugyppius

    German men have high blood-pressure rates almost identical to those in Italy, at 55% or just above.

    But, unlike Italians, they keep it all abgefüllt, only occasionally exploding in an invasion of France or Poland.

  68. Corvinus says:

    See, now this commentary is worthwhile, Mr. Sailer. Except where does President Trump stand on these issues? What say you?

  69. @peterike

    “Such as, “What is the combination for this safe?” Which you can then immediately test.”

    Right, because in the bomb scenario, you and the guy are handcuffed to the device but you calmly punch in the right code: 007.

  70. @dearieme

    My experience is that the sawbones will only approve a certain number, 2 or 3, renewals, then require an office visit. Gotta keep the churn going!

  71. Sean says:
    @eugyppius

    When France and Germany both had about 1000 cases France had thirty deaths, Germany had three.

    Hypertension is the condition that makes you most likely to die of the Coronavirus, and hypertension is common in China, 90% of elderly Chinese have it. They presumably get the medical treatment for the condition that is standard, everywhere but Germany.

    Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors are heart medications that widen, or dilate, your blood vessels. That increases the amount of blood your heart pumps and lowers blood pressure

    German doctors are the only ones in the world to treat low blood pressure as a bad thing, and so are likely to, by international standards, undertreat high blood pressure. Eh?

    https://www.bmj.com/content/368/bmj.m606/rr-10
    The interesting article by Dr Xiao-Wei Xu and coauthors (1) follows another nice contribution focused on the clinical features of SARS-CoV-2-infected patients from Wuhan, China2. In the latter work diabetes, hypertension and cardiovascular disease (CVD) were reported to occur as frequent comorbidities in hospitalized patients with CoViD-19 (CoronaVirus Disease 2019) (2), an interstitial pneumonia caused by the newly discovered SARS-CoV-2, […] “Indeed, based upon the clear-cut evidence of an ACE inhibitor-induced upregulation of ACE2 previously shown in murine models (7), this could additionally speed-up viral uptake and host’s pulmonary tissue colonization, should a similar mechanism of ACE2 upregulation take place also in SARS-CoV-2-infected humans”

    Germany now has 2,512 cases with five deaths. Yet Germany has the highest median age in Europe.

    • Replies: @eugyppius
  72. My guess, the very last thing the Feds would ever consider would involve loosening various rules, restrictions and assorted obstacles. These people live to control the lives of others. If they end up controlling 35% less slaves, they’re good with that outcome.

  73. eugyppius says:
    @Sean

    When France and Germany both had about 1000 cases France had thirty deaths, Germany had three.

    As much as I hate to admit it, because Germany has been truly terrible, probably better testing in Germany, better view of the pandemic earlier on.

    • Replies: @Sean
  74. Fund all salaries for employees and all profits for employers with Friedman’s helicopter money, that is, quantitative easing for the citizenry, through the Federal Reserve (bring helicopter Ben Bernanke out of retirement to oversee the project, since he has written on the subject). In addition, shut down everything-no work, school, shopping, entertainment, or any other social crowding phenomena. Delivery of essential things can work (Bezos gets richer, but in this case, it is deserved). Recalibrate June 1-if virus contained by combination of social distancing and higher temperature as summer arrives, return to normal. If not, continue as just described. A Black Swan event requires outside the box thinking. Carry on.

  75. Sean says:
    @eugyppius

    … better view of the pandemic earlier on.

    France now has 2,876 Cases and 61 Deaths. Still comparable with Germany in number of cases and still ten times more dead. The French never adopt thinking that does not have a French pedigree.

    Germans are off sick average of 17 days per year, and visit their doctors an average of 17 times per year. No wonder. If they are feeling a little bit run down their respected doctor gives them kreislauf-medikamente to raise their blood pressure, something that would be considered malpractice in the USA.

    Chancellor Merkel said today that two-thirds of the population of her country could become infected by COVID-19, a prediction tantamount to farce, but one that will will crash the nation’s stock market if taken at all seriously. Germans always have to go to extremes.

    • Replies: @eugyppius
    , @eugyppius
  76. eugyppius says:
    @Sean

    France now has 2,876 Cases and 61 Deaths. Still comparable with Germany in number of cases and still ten times more dead.

    We are boxing with shadows, discussing these numbers, if we don’t know exactly who gets tested and why under what conditions. It is right now the better half of caution to presume that France has a higher threshold for administering tests and has a more advanced pandemic and Germany has simply detected more cases and we’re actually earlier than it looks. The latter is also what health officials are saying, which you could read in one of two ways.

    I have lower blood pressure. No doctors have ever said a word to me about it. I have never heard of ‘constitutional hypotension’. I don’t know anything about that so I can’t comment.

    Merkel gave that number yesterday. She was probably talking about the course of the disease over the next several years. Germans aren’t going to extremes, they are doing nothing. Today Christian Drosten on the NDR corona podcast worried about the domestic consequences of closing schools too quickly, especially the consequences for women and their works schedules. He said we should all avoid going to clubs or parties but that that was also a personal decision.

  77. eugyppius says:
    @Sean

    France now has 2,876 Cases and 61 Deaths. Still comparable with Germany in number of cases and still ten times more dead.

    We are boxing with shadows, discussing these numbers, if we don’t know exactly who gets tested and why under what conditions. It is right now the better half of caution to presume that France has a higher threshold for administering tests and has a more advanced pandemic and Germany has simply detected more cases and we’re actually earlier than it looks. The latter is also what health officials are saying, which you could read in one of two ways.

    I have lower blood pressure. No doctors have ever said a word to me about it. I have never heard of ‘constitutional hypotension’. I don’t know anything about that so I can’t comment.

    Merkel gave that number yesterday. She was probably talking about the course of the disease over the next several years. Germans aren’t going to extremes, they are doing nothing. Today Christian Drosten on the NDR corona podcast worried about the domestic consequences of closing schools too quickly, especially the consequences for women and their works schedules. He said we should all avoid going to clubs or parties but that that was also a personal decision.

  78. epebble says:

    One trivial rule change, is to allow all the ethanol from Midwest corn to be bottled and sold as disinfectant instead of being blended in with gasoline. With oil prices practically going to zero, there is no value in wasting ethanol by burning when it can be used to prevent infection and save lives.

  79. An unanticipated upside has been that we have been forced to conduct more work, meetings, appointments, etc, virtually from home. He’ve been forced to discover how to do it, that it’s easy, and that it’s effective. The longest lasting effect of this concern/panic may be the reduction in vehicular traffic. Bad for the auto industry, good for the rest of us.

  80. As if what we need is a reliable and steady supply of NEW LAWS.

  81. Anon[323] • Disclaimer says:
    @Anon

    If Trump is successfully thwarted by various other political actors, why is he running for reelection? Worse, why are you considering reelecting him?

  82. Anonymous[260] • Disclaimer says:
    @Anonymous

    The Germans are still prepping for WW3.

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