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How Long to Shut Down? Let's Procrastinate on Making That Decision
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When should we shut down? As soon as possible.

When should we decide when to open up again? As late as possible.

Let’s procrastinate in making that decision to reopen.

It might turn out to be a good idea to reopen on Easter (April 12). (It probably won’t, but it might.) When would be the right time to make that decision? Oh, about 11:59 PM on Holy Saturday. If we have really turned the corner by Easter, well, ring out the church bells to announce our victory over the foe. But if the battle is still ongoing, let’s postpone declaring victory until it’s for real.

Right now we are flying fairly blind. But each day, the human race is learning more and more about our adversary. Probably more new knowledge about one subject is being uncovered daily than at any other point in human history. So let’s not shortcircuit the learning process by deciding now when lockdown will be over. Let’s make the decision not 2.5 weeks before Easter, but at the last possible moment when we will know vastly more than we do right now.

 
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  1. nebulafox says:

    As long as is necessary. If Wall Street wants people to die for the stock market, too goddamned bad. If employers don’t want to give up their draconian policies on sick leave, they need to get over it or face jail time. If people want to travel in or out of the US, they’d better shelve those plans or face dire consequences. This is a national emergency, and needs to be treated as such. The US health care system is singularly ill-suited for a pandemic. The best we can do is allocate all possible resources toward weathering the storm, using the decentralized nature of most US metro areas to our advantage, and hopefully learn a lesson here.

    My Domitianic tendencies are coming to the forefront here.

  2. CAL2 says:

    We can’t stay shutdown without the economy collapsing. So far, no one has shown this to be something more significant than a very bad flu type disease. It’s not the flu but it is not the black plague either. Things have to start moving again in two weeks tops. The economy is going to be bad enough as it is. We can leaving nursing homes and older people sheltering in place.

  3. Aardvark says:

    Trying to be done by April 12 sounds like a tidy little script:

    1. Turn on Corona Virus
    2. Scare people, close businesses, create financial havoc, get tyrannical with power grabs.
    3. Pass a bill with lots of payoffs to buy votes and insert a bunch of unrelated legislation like D.I.E. initiatives.
    4. Turn-off CV.

    All done!

    • Replies: @guest007
    , @The Alarmist
  4. I’m still swinging wildly (like the stock market) between extremes on the danger of this virus. At one moment it seems horrible (overflowing ICUs), but then, is it really credible that China squelched the virus by confinement, testing and whatever after it had spread freely in a city of 13 million people? If the present toll of deaths in China is at all accurate, I’d say this thing has been overblown. But I am checked in reaching that conclusion by the numbers needing ventilation in the hospitals. I can’t reconcile the two.

    • Agree: vhrm, Red Pill Angel
  5. Danindc says:

    My hope was for Trump, in early May, to bring out Tiger Woods to make announcement that the US Open golf championship would take place as scheduled on June 18th. The final day is Father’s Day and that would be a National day of celebration…all assuming things settle down of course.

    If Easter works all the better. Maybe we can get things running in Easter and can shoot for 6/18 as complete return to normalcy. We do need to celebrate once we get past this though.

  6. Right now we are flying fairly blind.

    The case fatality rate for H1N1 (from 2009) still isn’t known. It was all over the place.

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3809029/

    Let’s make the decision not 2.5 weeks before Easter, but at the last possible moment when we will know vastly more than we do right now.

    Why do we think if we beat this virus, we get to live forever? Between now and April 12, literally 125,000 Americans will die from other causes. Worry about the other 95% of mortality. What makes their deaths less important?

    • Replies: @another fred
  7. Sean says:

    https://www.history.com/news/spanish-flu-deaths-october-1918

    Few cities were struck harder than Philadelphia where Public Health Director Wilmer Krusen ignored pleas from doctors and refused to cancel a parade to promote the sale of government war bonds that was attended by 200,000 people. […] Over 11,000 Philadelphia residents died in October 1918, including 759 on the worst day of the outbreak. Drivers of open carts kept a near-constant vigil circling streets while hollering, “Bring out your dead!” They then deposited the collected corpses in mass graves excavated by steam shovels.

    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/health-fitness/body/coronavirus-spanish-flu-dark-history-keep-calm-carry-advice/

    President Wilson led a parade of 25,000 New Yorkers down the ‘Avenue of the Allies’ in October 1918. “That same week, 2,100 New Yorkers died of influenza,” writes Arnold.

    Wilson got it himself in early 1919, which may have led to WW2 as he was dazed and paranoid thereafter, and at the Peace Conference and failed to uphold his 14 Points. Biden is already dazed and coughing.

  8. Bleuteaux says:
    @nebulafox

    No one is dying for the stock market, asshole. But plenty of small business owners will start dying if we keep the economy shut down purely to save Boomers like yourself.

    • Thanks: Redneck farmer
    • Replies: @SFG
    , @Thea
  9. Ron Unz says:

    Well, the relatively unmoderated nature of this website naturally tends to attract all sorts of “heterodox” views regarding the Coronavirus…

    Quite a lot of the people here seem to think “It’s Just the Flu!!!” and all the reports and projections of vast numbers of deaths are merely a hoax by the Deep State or somebody. I sincerely hope they’re correct, but I tend to doubt it.

    Another claim by various “excited” people is that the Coronavirus was unleashed upon America by the “Zionist Jews,” who believe it’s a great thing if huge numbers of Americans die from it. I’d also regarded this notion as rather implausible, and tut-tutted a bit at the individuals promoting it.

    But then yesterday I read the views of “Jack D” on the Coronavirus:

    An uncontrolled pandemic (which we are not going to have anyway) is GOOD for the economy and for working people once it is over. After the Black Death, wages went up because labor was more scarce. Killing off mainly older and sicker people controls future health care costs, it makes the math better for social security and pensions, etc.

    There are definitely going to be winners and losers – the cruise business may never fully recover. Domestic makers of masks are going to have a permanently larger market. And so on. Certainly the most recent bull market has come to a close. But long term, the 1920s, after the Spanish Flu, was a period of great prosperity.

    https://www.unz.com/isteve/so-uh-what-just-happened/#comment-3794347

    Now “Jack D” is one of the most frequent commenters on this website, and my strong impression is that he’s a “Zionist Jew.” The very casual manner in which he expressed his sentiments strongly suggests that they’re quite widespread within his social circle.

    So perhaps I therefore owe an apology to all those “excited” commenters…

  10. Neoconned says:
    @nebulafox

    I’m fine w extending out the quarantine BUT there must be contingencies….saying price gouging is illegal means jack all when ppl are willing to pay such a price….

    Trump is also going to have to outlaw evictions and dare i say utility cutoffs. Call it a bailout call it whatever.

    Yesterday i had 2 young black girls….maybe 10ish….

    They literally were going door to door @ my apt complex knocking on doors BEGGING FOR MONEY. I imagine the landlord will have an eviction notice on their door by tomorrow.

    My mother came over on her day off to spend time w my daughter. As she was waiting on me out in the car they came up & asked if they could clean her car for $1….when she told them she had no cash they replied literally “but I need money….”

    I dunno if they did this of their own volition or if their parents put them up to it as some kind of scam trick….

    I wonder if this is fallout from the virus….and $1200 doesn’t fo far in places like Southern California….

    • Replies: @Anon
  11. Ano says:

    Mr Sailer,

    The prudent public policy response is a phasing-out of restrictions, step by cautious step.

    But there will be no VE or VJ Day. There will be no ‘all clear’ air raid siren signalling it is safe for you to emerge from your walk-in closet.

    (We once, in our hubris, declared victory over TB remember.)

    The virus is now part of our ecology. We will have to live with it, and place our faith in immunity and its mutation into a less virulent/deadly strain.

    In all likelihood, for some years ahead, there will be flare ups, here and there in the US and the world.

    Meanwhile, Beijing will carry on bio-engineering/bio-weapon-ing; many Chinese will carry on gorging on all sorts of odd critters; their wet markets will carry on their brisk trade in those critters.

    Hmm, probably best you stay a homebound recluse.

    PS: How’s that spreading typhus in LA going?

  12. George says:

    Sweden bucks global trend with experimental virus strategy | Free to read
    Fewer restrictions than other leading countries and schools remain open

    https://www.ft.com/content/31de03b8-6dbc-11ea-89df-41bea055720b

    Mexico too.

    Males 30 and under should be allowed free passage. Females probably a much older age.

    Daily death stats from NYC
    https://www1.nyc.gov/assets/doh/downloads/pdf/imm/covid-19-daily-data-summary-deaths.pdf

    Already the lock down is starting to be a farce. NJ immediately made liquor an essential business, and never shut down the lottery although the customers are disappearing rapidly anyway. NJ now wants an exception for childcare of ‘essential’ workers. Which will be interesting given the small businesses involved may not be able to function with such a reduced customer base.

    • Replies: @guest007
  13. Rush said it best, Steve: If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice. What a great line from a great song, called Free Will, something the reaction to this Kung Flu will result in a great loss of. Nice going, panic-mongers!

  14. Anonymous[193] • Disclaimer says:

    Jack D might be a “Zionist Jew” but he’s maybe also “on the spectrum” as many of the commenters here are. This latter attribute provides perhaps more explanatory power for his callous sentiments.

    Anyway, COVID-19 likely does resemble the flu in one big way: the mortality rate. Flu kills .1% of its victims annually, while COVID-19 kills probably not more than .2%, making it perhaps twice as deadly. What sets it apart and makes it so dangerous is how infectious it is (R0 of flu=1.3. R0 of COVID-19=2), and it has probably already infected millions of Americans. If it ran its course unimpeded it would infect half the country and kill .2% of those it infects, or 320,000 people. (“flu” infects about 40 million Americans and kills 40 thousand annually). This infection rate can be brought down with shutdowns/”social distancing” (expensive) and face masks (cheap).

    East Asia has very effectively arrested the infection rate, perhaps mostly through face mask usage. This could be done in the West too, but in addition to the obstacle of acquiring and deploying the masks there’s the even greater obstacle of getting people to be willing to be seen with them in public. Perhaps television anchors, congressmen and even POTUSes could lead by example to help overcome this stigma.

    Of course there’s the morbidly amusing possibility that Democrats will refuse to wear face masks because they saw Trump wearing one, so maybe that’s not a good idea.

    • Replies: @Thomas
  15. Neoconned says:
    @Ron Unz

    https://www.google.com/amp/s/thebulletin.org/2020/03/experts-know-the-new-coronavirus-is-not-a-bioweapon-they-disagree-on-whether-it-could-have-leaked-from-a-research-lab/amp/

    Ron many experts are saying its NOT a bioweapon….however there is disagreement on whether or not it was leaked from a lab…

    Or perhaps its not bioengineered BUT they took it from a lab and WHOOPS exposed those GIs going to the Wuhan military Olympics or whatever those things were….

  16. @Ron Unz

    Good grief.

    Jack D was clearly commenting specifically about economics, responding to a comment about the Coronavirus epidemic’s likely effect on our economy. The Black Death example is a standard lesson from high school history.

    Around here, most of us are familiar with the idea that the good of the economy and the good of the nation are different concepts, and that weighing the relative value of each is an act of judgment.

    • Agree: keypusher
  17. Suggesting a timeline is not the same as inflexibly committing to it, which Trump and other pols haven’t done. If things look way, way worse on April 5 than they do today, of course no one will still be talking about reopening on April 12.

    Uncertainty is the killer, and it’s killing the most vulnerable, those who live paycheck to paycheck or gig to gig and are now getting a much smaller check or none at all. There are millions of people out there living week to week, paying to rent a room in someone’s house, etc. Giving them an idea of when things might start to move back toward recovery, is a huge aid to them and the people expecting money from them. Your 11:59 idea assumes that everyone is capable of freezing in place indefinitely, until and then immediately springing back to work the next morning. Providing general guidance and updating the guidance as events evolve is the right way to go.

    • Replies: @Glaivester
  18. Anonymous[397] • Disclaimer says:
    @Ron Unz

    So perhaps I therefore owe an apology to all those “excited” commenters…

    I think it’s taking a rather huge jump to assert a group collectively, or through an agent, “unleashed” it, when they’re more likely to simply be rooting for it, based on tribal wishful thinking. Truth to tell, pointed tribal wishful thinking has occupied the minds of everyone, every day, since this scourge began. And long before.

    Call it the ever present, “just enough of me, but way too many of you” syndrome. We all root for what’s best for our tribe, and what’s not so great for the other, competing tribe.

    What if there were 30 million less illegal aliens in this country by the end of the year? What if Abraham Lincoln had lived, and shipped the majority of freed slaves back to their country of origin, as he’d hoped to do? How great would our country be then?

    We all indulge in that manner of wishful thinking. That’s common. Doing much about it has become relatively rare. I think Jack D. Is just another wishful thinker.

  19. Ragno says:

    I’ve seen one too many #NotDying4WallStreet hashtags in use among the blue-checkmark parasites who already do all they can to make daily life intolerable in our country, being strongly in favor of no borders, abolishing ICE, support for antifa, releasing felons w/o bail, looking the other way on crimes under $1000 (but bringing the full force of the law on shopowners using force to stop thieves), and – of course – decriminalizing street-shitters in San Francisco and elsewhere (a public-health time bomb already paying “dividends” in our major cities).

    Basically, the very same mutts who whine about anachronisms like “the Klan”, yet form menacing mobs at the drop of a hat, snarling at outrages such as insisting that all lives matter (which now, unbelievably, is verboten to utter aloud without immediate reprisals) are demanding we “not die for Wall St.” Plunging the country and, in our immediate wake, the rest of the world, into a second Great Depression is okay, cuz they, like, haven’t given that one too much, like, thought yet.

    As is usually the case, I’d prefer to keep a long arm’s length away from any self-serving moral crusades that come codified in a hashtag.

    • Agree: Achmed E. Newman, Hail
    • Replies: @res
    , @Corn
  20. Get Tucker on it, Steve.

  21. unit472 says:

    As I think about the ‘problem’ I don’t see why we can’t do both. Allow those who want to ‘get back to work’ to do so and those who fear becoming infected to stay ‘locked down’. I live in a concrete condo building. I can stay inside my cocoon and order take out and I might choose to do that as I’m 68 and retired. OTOH it makes no difference to me if a neighbor decides he/she needs to get back to work. They only become mutually exclusive if one side enforces its will on the other. No one is going to insist I go out but if enough voters through their government insist on a total ‘lockdown’ those who need to earn a living may find they have no jobs or work to return to.

    Already grocery stores are setting aside an early morning hour for ‘seniors only’ shopping and many are working from home. The people who are really being ‘punished’ are those who work in factories, construction and public facing businesses like hotels/casinos, airlines and the aforementioned grocery stores. Why is it OK to demand grocery store workers ( who aren’t highly paid) report to work for the convenience of everyone else. If they have no choice but to risk infection for the common good why not demand the same of everyone else?

    • Replies: @guest007
  22. Kim says:

    The labor shortages resulting from the Black Death led to legislation tying labor more closely to the land, i.e., for many a deepened servitude, while unworked land was taken over by the local lords.

    So, it wasn’t really all cakes and ale for the working man. In fact, the BD increased the power, control and wealth of the ruling classes. Sound familiar?

    • Replies: @David
  23. @Ron Unz

    I don’t think there there’s any hoax going on. That’s not the right word. What there is is something that could never have been seen before the 24/7 internet in one’s pocket or hands. That is, an infotainment panic-fest that has pushed even the most intelligent people into a frenzy on this.

    Yes, of course the susceptible (elderly, people with certain conditions) should take extreme precautions – staying home, rejecting visitors, cleaning obsessively, etc. That is entirely up to them. This world’s gotten to where people have been made to feel their governments are their nannies. That is why they look to them for advice and pay attention to some of the stupidest of advice and orders.

    I also don’t think there’s too much call for conspiracy theories in this case. Whether it’s the Zionists, the Deep State (a big one for you, Ron), or the Chinese, you’re gonna hear them all. The dubbing of this thing “the China virus”, “Chinese virus”, “Kung Flu”, etc, should not be anything for anyone to get buttsore about. It’s not putting the blame on anyone (except, perhaps, those Globalists that push for huge migrations and travel between different areas of the world). Nobody is BLAMING the Chinese, contrary to what most who are not as good with English as they sound would tell you. We just figure it came from China for lots of reasons, and with lots of predecessors as examples.

    I don’t agree that it’s just peachy if a lot of people die from this. The thing is, it is, and will continue to be difficult to separate deaths very specifically from the Kung Flu from those deaths that would have happened to old people with other complications. As you wrote, this is not like the Global Climate Disruption(TM) nonsense, in that we’ll at least know about mortality pretty soon. I think the number of deaths completely attributable to this virus alone won’t be anywhere near your numbers.

    You can make math models any way you wish, Ron, but if you start out with lots of assumptions, the models are garbage.

    • Agree: Louis Renault, Hail
    • Replies: @dfordoom
  24. Frank G says:

    Trump’s no blogger but I would wager he has good reasons for doing what he does, Steve.

    • Replies: @Rob (London)
  25. @Ron Unz

    Now “Jack D” is one of the most frequent commenters on this website, and my strong impression is that he’s a “Zionist Jew.” The very casual manner in which he expressed his sentiments strongly suggests that they’re quite widespread within his social circle.

    Yeah, but Jack’s views are not that different from my own, and I am just a regular post-Christian who is completely agnostic about religion, as most educated people are these days. (Nobody is suggesting that we should have a national day of prayer and contrition to defeat the virus–except, perhaps, the odd TV preacher who sees that there is a buck or two to be made.)

    These views may be expressed rather laconically, but then that is in the nature of public commentary, where expressing views that others find shocking is designed to get attention.

    There is a genuine split in our population in beliefs on many issues, and the most obvious split is the left-right split in politics where both sides have sincerely held opposing beliefs to the extent that both sides believe that the other side is in bad faith.

    Hence, even when both teams in Congress get together to enact an emergency bill, both sides are quite sincerely accusing the other side of “playing politics.”

    Likewise, when it comes to the corona virus and what we as a society should do about it, there are sincere opposing views that can only be reconciled when we have a final outcome.

    https://www.zerohedge.com/geopolitical/12-experts-question-covid-19-panic

    In the article linked to here, from the stock market blog Zero Hedge, the views of 12 medically distinguished physician virologist and epidemiologists who are completely opposed to the mass quarantine and lockdown method of dealing with the threat to the health care system posed by the COVID19 virus are laid out.

    Here is a taste:

    * *

    Dr Yoram Lass is an Israeli physician, politician and former Director General of the Health Ministry. He also worked as Associate Dean of the Tel Aviv University Medical School and during the 1980s presented the science-based television show Tatzpit.

    What he says:

    Italy is known for its enormous morbidity in respiratory problems, more than three times any other European country. In the US about 40,000 people die in a regular flu season and so far 40-50 people have died of the coronavirus, most of them in a nursing home in Kirkland, Washington.

    …there is a very good example that we all forget: the swine flu in 2009. That was a virus that reached the world from Mexico and until today there is no vaccination against it. But what? At that time there was no Facebook or there maybe was but it was still in its infancy. The coronavirus, in contrast, is a virus with public relations.

    or:

    Prof. Hendrik Streeck is a German HIV researcher, epidemiologist and clinical trialist. He is professor of virology, and the director of the Institute of Virology and HIV Research, at Bonn University.

    What he says:

    The new pathogen is not that dangerous, it is even less dangerous than Sars-1. The special thing is that Sars-CoV-2 replicates in the upper throat area and is therefore much more infectious because the virus jumps from throat to throat, so to speak. But that is also an advantage: Because Sars-1 replicates in the deep lungs, it is not so infectious, but it definitely gets on the lungs, which makes it more dangerous.

    You also have to take into account that the Sars-CoV-2 deaths in Germany were exclusively old people. In Heinsberg, for example, a 78-year-old man with previous illnesses died of heart failure, and that without Sars-2 lung involvement. Since he was infected, he naturally appears in the Covid 19 statistics. But the question is whether he would not have died anyway, even without Sars-2.

    – Interview in Frankfurter Allgemeine, 16th March 2020

    And 10 more.

    • Agree: Polynikes, Jack D, ia, dfordoom
    • Thanks: Hail
  26. Dan Smith says:

    The governor of my home state (MN) has ordered continuation of the stay at home shut down with the rationale that it will not alter the overall infection rate, simply delay and spread it out some so that hospitals and ICUs aren’t overwhelmed. His modelers are telling him this. So the peak illness will hit in 14 weeks rather than six. Predicting the overall infection rate of 40-80% of state residents. If one accepts the current death rate as 1.3%, and take 60% as the infection rate, that means 35,000 dead Minnesotans. I’m still clinging to my skepticism. Epidemiologists are good detectives, but I’m not sure they’re any better at forecasting long term trends than the Weather Channel or those infomercial guys that claim to have a system for picking stocks. I’m 69, in good health and with the lockdown I’m not getting out much. Golf courses are closed. I’ll report back in July on the fate of the Gopher State.

  27. Trump might have already made up his mind. Whether he’ll have his way is something else, but he gives some indications he’s determined to have businesses reopen by Easter — or even earlier, in the Holy Week — if it’s accurate that he said he wants to see, paraphrasing, “churches packed all around the country”.

    I’m not an epidemiologist, and I don’t have any double-blind studies supporting my view, but I personally find this bad. Having a fixed date as a goal may lead to less attention being paid to the evolution of what’s happening. “A thousand deaths or so? How many cases? Okay, well, but Easter is in 18 days, right? Wait, make that 17… not that many days, don’t we better get ready to reopen?”

    • Replies: @William Badwhite
  28. @Ron Unz

    Covod19 seems to have hit Israel and NYC pretty hard. A few 100 Israelis returned from the Dolomites infected.

    Apart from being The Usual Suspects, there isn’t anything concrete to point at ZOG.

    The best guess, so far, is that this was down to the idiot Chinese reopening their wet markets after SARS was contained.

    No doubt, the genealogy of the virus will eventually emerge from looking at the RNA sequences of the variants.

    But so far the main lesson is: Do Not Eat Fucking Pangolins.

    • Replies: @Redneck farmer
  29. Tiny Duck says:

    How can you guys support Trump after he flubbed the dub like this? Look at how China and Japan have handled the crisis compared to him. Just complete incompetence.

    It seems to me that HBD has been thoroughly discredited. Just look at how Nations of Color have handled this compared to the “west”.

    https://www.miamiherald.com/opinion/opn-columns-blogs/leonard-pitts-jr/article241344641.html

    “So there’s nothing here to doubt. We’re dealing with Republican bigotry. Again.”

    • Replies: @Rob (London)
  30. Dano says:

    “When should we shut down? As soon as possible.

    When should we decide when to open up again? As late as possible.

    Let’s procrastinate in making that decision to reopen….”

    Sad, sad, sad, sad.

  31. iffen says:
    @nebulafox

    The US health care system industry is singularly ill-suited for a pandemic.

    The US health care industry is ill-suited for many things, not spreading infectious diseases is just one of the most glaring. I don’t know anyone with the corona, but I personally know plenty of people who have had their lives ended or destroyed by MRSA after routine surgery, by a perforated colon after routine colonoscopy, by mangled sciatic nerves after routine surgery, by a perforated stomach after routine surgery, by intestines stapled shut after routine surgery, by destroyed esophageal muscles after routine surgery, etc., etc., etc.

  32. This economy is just like the Great Depression. What we will need for recovery is a Good War. It worked the last time.

  33. Well, this is the benefit of having a big country. Everywhere doesn’t have to open at once. NYC should remain closed for a lot longer to protect the rest of us. Finance can be done remotely, in fact it mostly already is remote, the HFT algos run out of data centers in NJ.

    When we do reopen it would be nice to immediately go hard on setting us up for the fall 2020/winter 21 re-run of this thing.

    We have like 6 months to ramp up domestic mask production (cheap cheap cheap and easy to wear is the most important thing – a bandana over your face is >50% effective in stopping the virus particles… so this is not complicated) and establish chloroquine domestic production. This plus figuring out safer food handling and distribution. This should be doable. Also develop some kind of automatic package disinfecting machine running in Amazon/etc warehouses to prevent transmission from people ordering delivery goods too.

    As for “the economy”, this summer is the perfect time for INFRASTRUCTURE. Trump should dust off the Works Progress Administration and the CCC. Hunter Don JR could be the lead on the CCC, take guys out into the country and live in camps while building parks and outdoorsy stuff. The WPA would focus on building infrastructure to support more domestic manufacturing and also building out more facilities for safe screening/testing. The pics of people in mass crowds and lines in NYC can’t be repeated in parts of the country that matter.

  34. One of the things we are taught in management courses is that after the Bay of Pigs, US presidents instituted a dialectic process in policy-making in which different points of view were argued in front of presidents to avoid making the mistakes of the Abilene Paradox, by which everyone goes along with a plan that they personally oppose so as to avoid conflict with others.

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

    see also:

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

    … pluralistic ignorance is a situation in which a majority of group members privately reject a norm, but go along with it because they assume, incorrectly, that most others accept it.

    One wonders how this decision-making process is working out in the era of Trump, when the US populations seems to be genuinely divided between those who believe Trump is a visionary who sees what others do not see, and those who believe Trump is a charlatan who sees that people are gullible and will believe anything.

    • Replies: @SFG
    , @Rosie
    , @David
  35. @nebulafox

    No, your craven, totalitarian core is unmasking itself.

  36. There is some possibility that the Pangolin trade contributed to Coronavirus.

    If the Chinese had just listened to Angelababy …

  37. Steve is continuing to soil his underalls. It is a reflection of how feminized we have become.

    • Agree: AnonAnon
    • LOL: theMann
  38. Polynikes says:

    You can almost tell what someone does for a living based on their views of the shutdown. Stay at home free lance author = shut it down!! Actually produce, deliver something, or otherwise have to interact with people = let’s get this thing going.

    FYI, there are no “it’s just the flu” people, so keep arguing against that straw man. It’s unconvincing. There are people like me who think the numbers indicate it is just another version of previous coronaviruses (eg the swine flu*) with similar lethality , and wonder why we’re shutting the world down now when before a few hundred thousand deaths worldwide never caused us to blink.

    *Note that the death tally for this corona virus will be a bit higher since it seems to target the old and infirm, whereas previous versions attacked, and killed, younger people who could fight it of better. I’m not sure the net effects on society are that much worse, but that’s not a fun calculation.

    • Agree: AnonAnon
  39. @Jonathan Mason

    The Dems are explicitly playing politics with the relief bill.

    They have 3 constituencies.

    1. Urban poor. These people are already Provided for by the normal programs that are already funded. And the Dems cynically know that they are not going to lose this vote bank no matter what they do.

    2. Superrich. Don’t actually need relief, but do want special carve outs for profit.

    3. Urban professional/managerial class These don’t need relief either, they are telecommuting just fine.

    Meanwhile the GOP main constituency is small/medium business owners. This group is fucked. Completely fucked.

    So Dems have massive leverage and they are using it.

    GOP was accidentally trying to do the right thing but they seem to have given up because again the other side has the power

  40. Rio has outsourced favela lockdowns to the local mafia. ( “Coisa Nossa”?)

    Gangs call curfews as coronavirus hits Rio favelas

    “Threatening messages which circulated in the city’s notorious favelas warn that gangsters will teach people to ‘respect’ an 8pm shutdown, Brazilian media says.”

    Brazilian police fly a helicopter to create a sandstorm and chase people off a beach to enforce coronavirus lockdown – as GANGS vow to enforce curfew in Rio’s favelas

  41. roo_ster says:

    The usa should never have shut down in the first place. The shutdownders should have been slapped down like the hysterical women they are.

    • Replies: @Western
  42. SFG says:
    @Ron Unz

    Even I thought that was nasty on Jack’s part.

    For my part I think Israel should have the right to exist (not that America has to fight their wars), am of partial Ashkenazi ancestry (half), and I’m disgusted at the people who think we should let old people die to avoid a drop in the GDP for a few quarters.

    Like, really, guys, you think the people running things don’t have Mom and Dad holed up in the Hamptons with a lifetime supply of hand sanitizer? No, they want your parents to die for the Dow. I’m sure letting all the old people die would be good for the economy. Just remember, eventually you’ll be old too, unless you die first.

    • Replies: @Paul Mendez
    , @Lot
    , @Jack D
  43. Drew says:
    @Ron Unz

    I’m an orthodox Roman Catholic and I agree with Jack D. Historically, plagues have led to economic booms for the young and/or healthy by clearing out the old and infirm, while massive population growth tends to lead poverty and immiseration. While I don’t wish a plague on the world by any stretch, I don’t fear it’s consequences, either. Plagues clear out social deadweight, giving the survivors lots more breathing room. It’s part of Nature’s cycles, which is why heavy resistance to it tends to have the same effect as surrendering to it, since having young healthy people be idle has as negative a consequence on outcomes as having them transmit the disease. At the end of the day, we all owe our existence to God’s mercy, even if it’s through his handmaiden of Nature.

    • Agree: ia
  44. The Z Blog says: • Website

    Three million people just filed for unemployment: https://www.wsj.com/articles/surge-in-unemployment-claims-sparks-delayed-checks-amid-coronavirus-crisis-11585059384

    I think you are about to find out that the rest of the world is not ready to live their remaining days in a closet in order to “beat our great adversary.”

  45. Way way wait. More knowledge learned on a daily basis of a subject than at any time in human history? There was that interval during 1939-1945 that would definitely put that theory out to pasture.

  46. SFG says:
    @Jonathan Mason

    I think Trump is a charlatan who sees that people are gullible and will believe anything.

    Before this, I thought putting up with him for another 4 years was the price to pay to avoid swamping the country with illegal immigrants and allowing ‘woke’ people to throw every white man they can out of a job. And watching the tears of liberals around me was going to be a truly glorious thing.

    Watching him mishandle an epidemic is making me reevaluate that. This virus isn’t *that* lethal compared to, say, Ebola. But who’s to say the next one won’t be?

  47. eD says:
    @Jonathan Mason

    Also from the Off Guardian website, though they may be using the same source of information:

    https://off-guardian.org/2020/03/24/12-experts-questioning-the-coronavirus-panic/

    One thing I’ve noticed is that this is one of those events when the crazy, irresponsible, tin foil hat view (“its just the flu”) is the view that is backed by actual experts in the field as opposed to TV talking heads.

  48. Anon[876] • Disclaimer says:
    @nebulafox

    Bullshit. This was all a hyped up false flag operation by the oligarchs in some Quantivirus Easing to shift Wall Street and the money supply. As Larry Kudlow has said, when it is all said and done with the emergency spending it could total 5 or 6 trillion. So, a portion of the $2 trillion goes to the American people ($1200 to some families and SBA loans for small businesses ) and the other trillions to Wall Street and the usurers.

    You use White Helmets to initiate false flags to start Middle East wars for the oligarchs.

    You use White Coats to initiate false flags to shift Wall Street and the money supply for the oligarchs.

    The White House COVID-19 Task Force is run by Col. Deborah Birx, M.D. (U.S. Army, ret.)

    • Replies: @Corvinus
    , @Fun
  49. @Ron Unz

    Ron,

    Your work here is stellar, really it is, but you and Steve are both being a bit crazy on this particular issue.

    England supposedly already has half of its population infected by this particular flu.

    So what the heck is a point of a lockdown there?

    More importantly, what’s the point of this proposed law over there?

    The NHS wants to “…provide indemnity for clinical negligence liabilities arising from NHS activities carried out for the purposes of dealing with, or because of, the coronavirus outbreak…”

    https://off-guardian.org/2020/03/21/coronavirus-crackdown-beware-the-new-normal/

  50. @nebulafox

    If Wall Street wants people to die for the stock market, too goddamned bad.

    The only thing fouler than your mouth is the fact that I have to keep repeating myself to you people:

    This is not about grandparents versus the economy

    Wall Street doesn’t give a crap if no one works.

    If no one works, the big corporations will survive. It is the small businesses and small towns who will suffer, or be turned into welfare queens.

    For example, in Pennsylvania, the idiot governor and his Jewish transsexual Secretary of Health are forbidding dentists from doing emergency dental work. So, people with dental emergencies have to go to hospitals, where they typically get prescribed opioids. Classic “Kosher sandwich” move there. Pennsylvania has been particularly stupid, banal, and aggressively lately; they also briefly tried to prevent truckers from being able to take rest breaks in that state. But that is the kind of thing you’re enabling when you permit fanatical Democrats to have “emergency powers” to stop something that, according to the Democrats themselves, is only a problem because our hospital system isn’t sufficiently prepared.

    If it’s true that 50% of Britain already has been infected, and if it’s true what Andrew Cuomo says that 80% of New Yorkers will get infected despite a lockdown, then the most obvious conclusion is that the able and willing should be allowed to get back to work within a range of basic precautions.

    But you people, many of you supposedly dissidents, apparently trust the same governments who deliberately lied to us about the effectiveness of masks so that they could buy them up for their medical professionals*. Get real!

    This crackdown is completely unprecedented in western history. It’s already worse than 9/11, but many of you can’t bring yourselves to admit that the big and wealthy will be insulated from the effects of this police state lockdown.

    * Tacitly admitted by the NYT here: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/17/opinion/coronavirus-face-masks.html

    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
  51. @Ron Unz

    Not ‘Zionist Jews” exactly, but you could make a case for Jewish Emancipation, mainly in the 19th Century, paving the way for the virus:

    – Jews emancipated in Europe after centuries of usury and money-lending

    – Marxism (the Jewish projection that the competent are simply parasites)

    – Collectivisation of farming in China

    – Great Chinese Famine leads to Chinese having peculiar tastes in wild animals – snakes, bats, turtles etc, in order to stay alive

    – Communist party formally allowing wet markets with snakes etc all mixing together

    – Global pandemic

    • Replies: @Jack D
  52. eD says:

    The UK government is stating that it no longer considers this thing a “High Consequence Infectious Disease” (HCID)”

    https://www.gov.uk/guidance/high-consequence-infectious-diseases-hcid#status-of-covid-19

    The webpage I linked to includes a definition of just what a High Consequence Infectious Disease is.

  53. Nationwide we are recording 10,000 new cases every day. On the bright side the curve now seems to be getting linear, not exponential. But the idea that we can stop the distancing in just 2 weeks seems premature. I wish Trump would let the experts do all the talking.

  54. @Achmed E. Newman

    WTH? How’d the software switch out my Rush video with Supertramp? Truly weird….

    Here:

    • Replies: @BenKenobi
  55. Doc Bob says:
    @Ron Unz

    So the Zionist Jews, in their anger at the american gentile, targeted first…
    …wuhan, China?? and then next!
    New York City!!! Home to the largest Jewish population outside of Israel!?

    Wow, mossad’s really fallen apart. There used to be smart guys running it.

    • LOL: Achmed E. Newman
  56. @eD

    One thing I’ve noticed is that this is one of those events when the crazy, irresponsible, tin foil hat view (“its just the flu”) is the view that is backed by actual experts in the field as opposed to TV talking heads.

    It isn’t just the flu.

    But keep in mind that very few dissidents are actually saying that.

    What they/we are saying is that it is a severe flu, but not as bad as Spanish flu, and certainly not something that merits a police state crackdown.

    “It’s just the flu” is a caricature of an actually serious position. The caricature is being thrown about by bloggers who seem to enjoy doom and gloom for fun’s sake, by more sober but frightened bloggers, and by the media, who report every single death without reporting any of the tens of thousands of recoveries and benign cases.

    • Agree: Polynikes
  57. Hibernian says:
    @nebulafox

    If Wall Street wants people to die for the stock market…

    Assumes facts not in evidence, both medical and economic. This is a simultaneous crash of both the stock market and employment, and statistics ignore comorbidity.

    • Agree: Lot
  58. Hibernian says:
    @Sean

    Yea, if Wilson had been healthy, everything would have been rosy.

    • Replies: @Paul Jolliffe
    , @Sean
  59. Hibernian says:
    @Jonathan Mason

    …completely agnostic about religion, as most educated people are these days.

    Speak for yourself, buddy.

    (Nobody is suggesting that we should have a national day of prayer and contrition to defeat the virus–except, perhaps, the odd TV preacher who sees that there is a buck or two to be made.)

    The national day of prayer and contrition is called the Sabbath. Unfortunately, we’re locked out of our churches all seven days of the week.

  60. Luke Lea says:

    Is there any polling on how the elderly feel about crashing the economy to extend their lives?

    Wouldn’t it be useful to know how the various age cohorts feel about the this difficult trade-off? Right now a few morally self-righteous, guilt-tripping loud-mouths are shutting down the conversation by asserting that no amount of material sacrifice is too great to save human lives.

    Yet in times of war — and this is a kind of war it is widely agreed — we regularly approve of the idea of sacrificing the lives of a few (and they among the youngest and healthiest among us) in order to protect the interests of the many. Why is this any different?

    But alas it is going to require all the eloquence that a real statesman can muster to put this question fairly before the American people, and it isn’t at all clear that Trump is the man.

    • Agree: Lot
  61. Hail says: • Website
    @Ron Unz

    Quite a lot of the people here seem to think “It’s Just the Flu

    Remove the hysteria and the media campaign, and that is about right.

    The hysteria around this is much worse than than “The Virus;” the overreaction and mass-hysteria campaign driving the shutdowns will be remembered as one of the biggest fiascos of our time.

    Truly a monumental mistake to have taken this seriously, treating it like a nuclear war or like uncontrolled Ebola, triggering a major recession for nothing. The mistake has a decision chain with international aspects to it but I would primary blame the media, who in this affair have definitely earned their nickname The Enemy of the People.

    I invite all to watch this by Dr. Wolfgang Wodarg, if they haven’t seen it:

    If you inherently distrust all content in video form, see Dr. Wodarg’s website (German), which has much of the same content here presents, dispersed.

    The German health authorities have tracked flu-like respiratory diseases closely over many years, and here are the results; the solid line is Dec. 31/Jan. 1 for the period in question, and each hashmark is a week. You’ll notice no significant rise in total flu, and the 2016-17 and 2017-18 seasons both worse.

    And this by Dr. John Iodannis of Stanford:

    A fiasco in the making? As the coronavirus pandemic takes hold, we are making decisions without reliable data

  62. Alfa158 says:
    @SFG

    That’s why I’m hoping we learn something from this. Covid-19 could just as easily have been another disease with the same long period of contagion before symptoms appear, but with a fatality rate of 30-60% like smallpox or the bubonic plague. We dodged a real bomb this time.

    • Replies: @Paleo Liberal
  63. Hail says: • Website

    Right now we are flying fairly blind

    I agree. The blind (the people) being led by histrionic, schizophrenic, and blind streetcorner-doomsday-nut mental-dwarves (the media).

    • Replies: @Anon
  64. A123 says:
    @Ron Unz

    It is more than the flu…. However, the reaction seems to excessive versus the actual events.

    Let us compare WUHAN-19 to other diseases. (1)

    average number of fatalities per year, worldwide, attributed to seasonal flu viruses (approximately 468,000); 2) the number of reported COVID-19 fatalities to date, worldwide, per the World Health Organization (18,440); 3) the number of seasonal flu deaths in the U.S. during the 2017-18 season, i.e., two years ago (61,000); and 4) the number of U.S. COVID-19 fatalities to date, as reported by the Centers for Disease Control (737).

    The Fake Stream Media coverage has been extremely poor, overly histerical, and politically deranged. As a result there is a public panic. The government has to fight that panic even though it is not well grounded in science.

    Q: “How long to maintain the public shutdown?”
    A: “Long enough to deal with the panic.”

    As long as the Fake Media keeps pushing anti-science, the government will have to extend the shutdown. Because Trump’s restart plan is grounded in science, the liars will not let it happen.

    PEACE 😷
    _______

    (1) https://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2020/03/covid-19-fatalities-so-far.php

    • Replies: @The Alarmist
  65. @nebulafox

    Unemployment kills, by suicide & drugs & crime & poverty.

    Bankruptcies kill.

    Social isolation & distrust kills.

    • Replies: @AaronInMVD
  66. Totally OT I’m afraid, but surely the South Bank Centre in London, home of the National Theatre, has to be one of the most disgusting buildings in the world?

    It has the air of a crematorium built by evil alien invaders.

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

    • Agree: Daniel Williams
    • Replies: @duncsbaby
  67. @nebulafox

    This is a national emergency, and needs to be treated as such.

    Show me the bodies stacked up like cordwood.

    The US health care system is singularly ill-suited for a pandemic.

    The US and global just-in-time economies are completely unable to function without continual, steady cash-flow. They are unable to snap back from disruptions to that cash flow.

    The economy has to get turned on sooner rather than later. Otherwise, you are going to see plenty of death from crime, cabin fever, drug abuse, social isolation, and general hopelessness soon enough.

    As I’ve said, Mad Max is only fun to watch on TV. 99.999% of us are not capable of functioning in that scenario, myself included.

    • Agree: MikeatMikedotMike
    • Thanks: Redneck farmer
    • Replies: @anonguy
  68. DeBlasio shutting down some pick-up b-ball. Maybe he’ll relent if the kids vow to play zone instead of tight man-to-man…

    https://nypost.com/2020/03/25/de-blasio-removing-some-city-basketball-hoops-to-stop-games-during-coronavirus/

    The major news in NYC this morning is that Elmhurst Hospital is now “ground zero.” That’s in a very Asian section of Queens

  69. @SFG

    I’m disgusted at the people who think we should let old people die to avoid a drop in the GDP for a few quarters.

    But they’re going to die anyway! It’s not like they’re immortal.

    Which is worse? An old person who loses a few of their last (probably crappy) years of life, or a young person sentenced to 50 years of diminished opportunities. Studies show that those entering the workforce during a depression are permanently disadvantaged.

    • Agree: AaronInMVD
  70. @Alfa158

    True.

    Epidemiologists warned us Something Bad was coming soon. They just didn’t know when, or how bad.

    And this will happen again. The next time might not be as bad, or it could be far worse.

    • Replies: @Yojimbo/Zatoichi
  71. @Hibernian

    Hibernian,

    I completely agree with your sarcastic comment about Woodrow Wilson. (“Yea, if Wilson had been healthy, everything would have been rosy.”)

    Wilson’s decision to put America into WWI was solely to satisfy his own ego – he wanted to dominate the post-war peace conference, at which he could attend only if America was in the war. He thought he was so smart and so persuasive that if only he was at Versailles, then he (and he alone!) would dominate the proceedings and craft a post-war peace that would make futures wars obsolete.

    Woodrow Wilson was a fool, and a helluva lot of people (not just American troops) paid the ultimate price.

    Had America not entered WWI, there certainly would have been some kind of negotiated compromise worked out between Germany and England at some point later in 1917. Millions of lives would have been spared. There would have been no Treaty of Versailles with all of its consequences. No one would have ever heard of Adolf Hitler. No WWII. No Holocaust.

    Woodrow Wilson made the single most catastrophic decision of any world leader at any point in the 20th century.

    To hell with him.

    • Replies: @Deckin
  72. @Luke Lea

    Yet in times of war — and this is a kind of war it is widely agreed — we regularly approve of the idea of sacrificing the lives of a few (and they among the youngest and healthiest among us) in order to protect the interests of the many. Why is this any different?

    But alas it is going to require all the eloquence that a real statesman can muster to put this question fairly before the American people, and it isn’t at all clear that Trump is the man.

    Like this?

    More seriously, a huge part of the problem is that Big Entertainment and Big Pharma have convinced Westerners they are all going to live forever, or at least until 150 years old.

    Another huge part of the problem is that the lingering elderly are a huge revenue stream for Big Pharma and Big Insurance. We certainly can’t be cutting into their profit margins, now can we?

  73. Lot says:
    @Ron Unz

    “ The very casual manner in which he expressed his sentiments strongly suggests that they’re quite widespread within his social circle.”

    The economic effects of the Black Death is one of the most studied topics by economic historians, and Jack D is obviously aware of this.

    Ever think your tendency toward histrionic libel and paranoia, and ethnomasochism is why you’re a lonely old fool?

  74. Anon[402] • Disclaimer says:

    I have a family member in another state who was diagnosed with it. He is over 60 and generally gets sick with anything before others in the family get it. He has spent three or so days in the hospital so far. Hospital said he has is not seeing strong symptoms and he is being sent home in a couple of days.

    His wife also has it and feels fine after minor fever. Others in the family who were exposed to them two weeks ago still have not developed symptoms.

    • Replies: @another fred
  75. @Hail

    The hysteria around this is much worse than than “The Virus;” the overreaction and mass-hysteria campaign driving the shutdowns will be remembered as one of the biggest fiascos of our time.

    This thing is turning into the fiasco that Y2K was supposed to be.

    Again, Big Media, show me the images of bodies stacked up like cordwood in Wuhan and NYC if you want me to take your hysteria seriously.

  76. anon[134] • Disclaimer says:

    It’s not like it is purely a Federal decision to shut down or open up the economy. It may be necessary to shut down for a longer period, but there are enormous costs to an abundance of caution.

    In addition, NY is larger than most European Countries, and there need to be appropriate strategies for each general region.

    I know it was shocking to some that reopening was even on the table. But it was one thing to cancel the NCAA Tournament and another to throw millions out of work. People are getting (maybe) a few weeks of pay, so we need to be thinking of doing something else in a few weeks.

  77. False dilemma.

    The answer is yes: Maintain lockdown for sickly boomerds.

    The answer is yes: Reopen the world for everyone else.

    I, and every thinking rational person, made this decision not two weeks from now, but two weeks ago.

  78. AaronInMVD says: • Website
    @Paul Mendez

    I have to agree. For all the panic that’s been whipped up we have come to the point where it is impossible for the cost of the response to the virus to come under the cost of doing nothing.

    There are plenty of historical examples of pandemics in mammals.

    Anyways for having the panic, what we are getting is a 9/11 moment for “biosecurity” which will further reduce the space available for human freedom. Like 9/11 there’s not going to be any coming back from this. Sure locking down now for this novel virus seems exceptional, but what happens in future years when the folks picking strains for the flu vaccine guess wrong. The precedent’s being set now that all lives must be saved at ALL cost, and so this new “security theater” show will probably never stop.

    Never mind that most people aren’t useful for anything at all, the future of humanity will be organized as the most pointless factory farm imaginable. The sanctity of ALL lives will continue to beat out any concerns of quality of lives for reasons relating the the shortcomings of democracy, and the world will be poorer for it.

    • Thanks: Achmed E. Newman
  79. guest007 says:

    The choice if not whether social distancing for months is a crashing economy or a burn out strategy with more deaths for old people and a full economic recovery.

    A burn our scenario means that the healthcare system crashes with no assurance that the economy really recover. The entire world is being affected. At best is would be a small, partial recover in certain sectors. Does anyone really believe that people will go back to purchasing homes, cars, or vacations while hospitals are overwhelmed, your dentist is shut down, and many people refuse to still go to work.

    It is amazing how many people who are screaming communism because of being asked to self-isolate believe that healthcare workers, first responders, and law enforcement can be forced to go back to work in unsafe solutions.

    Instead of worrying about a calendar date, everyone will know it is safe to ease up on self-isolation when hand sanitize, Lysol, and Clorox wipes are available at stores and the healthcare system is not worried about masks, gloves, or gowns. In addition, until masks are available for the everyman, opening up society is idiotic.

    • Agree: Sebastian Hawks
  80. @Paul Mendez

    Yes, but studies also show that people who die are permanently disadvantaged

  81. neutral says:
    @SFG

    Here is something from the NYT

    https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/25/nyregion/nyc-coronavirus-hospitals.html

    13 deaths a day and this they call apocalyptic, the fear will end up killing more people than this virus will.

    • Replies: @Alexander Turok
  82. @SFG

    “Watching him mishandle an epidemic is making me reevaluate that.”

    Our President is doing the best he can whilst hobbled by a hateful media.

    I got a postcard full of common sense from our President’s Administration exhorting Americans to behave exactly as I’ve advised on this blog. Trump is not demanding or suggesting a lockdown – state governors are wetting themselves publicly and intentionally harming their economies to spite our President.

    Your ire is misdirected. Our President proves himself daily an eminently wise leader.

  83. Jack D says:
    @Ron Unz

    There’s a big difference between wishing or wanting something to happen and predicting what is going to happen.

    I wish everyone good health. I wish that the Chinese did not love bat soup and that we could have been spared this plague. I wish that the authorities will take reasonable measures to prevent deaths (including my own and those of my loved ones) from this plague, without throwing us into a years long depression that will take even more lives (and make many more people only WISH that they were dead). I wish that the US government bureaucracies were more competent than they really are and had really prepared for a pandemic instead of worrying about racism or other nonsense. I wish a lot of things.

    But none of those wishes prevent me from making a cool headed assessment (and I have to say that cool has been severely lacking on all sides – naturally this is a fraught topic but it’s hard to make a level headed analysis when you lose your cool) of what the long term effect of plagues are on economies based on historical experience.

    I have no idea what being a “Zionist Jew” has to do with any of this. I The predictions that I made regarding the long term effects of the Chinese Virus on the economy of the US are equally true for Israel – this doesn’t mean that I wish them dead either.

    • Replies: @AnotherDad
    , @Kylie
    , @SFG
  84. Anon[548] • Disclaimer says:

    April 20th. That would be close to one month “down”. Its a Monday.

  85. @Ron Unz

    Ron, are your transitioning?

    Jack’s saying true things. “once it is over” the post-epidemic world tends to be pretty nice for workers**. This is historically well documented.

    But you’re shrieking about him saying something true and not being sufficiently mindful of hurt feelings. I.e. you’re acting like a girl.

    Exactly the same sort of “microaggression!”, “triggering!”, “safe spaces” nonsense that is killing any intellectual life on our campuses.

    ~~~

    Note: i’m well aware that in US, as soon as the epidemic is over … our “leaders” will call for … “more immigration!” to “rebuild”. Ergo destroying whatever small benefit a small epidemic like this one might offer.

    • Replies: @dfordoom
  86. Lot says:
    @SFG

    “ No, they want your parents to die for the Dow.”

    What an awful anti-science, anti-intellectual meme.

    SFG, when you see yourself agreeing with Ron Unz doesn’t that tell you that you should consider your view a bit further?

    A basic ingredient of advanced civilization is the ability to weigh the value of government policies that have economic costs and public and private health benefits. To take one example, the decision to add soft barriers to highways requires planners to use statistics on the number of lives they will save versus the cost of installing them.

    Calling such weighing in the Covid context as dying for the Dow is really awful.

    “ Like, really, guys, you think the people running things don’t have Mom and Dad holed up in the Hamptons with a lifetime supply of hand sanitizer? ”

    The 0.1% are always going to be fine. They have far more money than they or their children would ever spend. Pointing out they will be OK under any particular policy therefore does not imply anything.

    A prolonged shutdown would have an effect on the US economy similar or greater than the Great Depression. And it isn’t even clear it would save more elderly people than the disruption, isolation, and suicides would kill.

    Trump is right to say the burden on those advocating this isn’t even close to met.

  87. @SFG

    Identical logic to “masks aren’t 100% effective, so don’t use them.” Trump’s not 100% effective, so we’d be better off with the people who called a travel ban from an epidemic China racist and are trying to ban the prescription of promising Wuflu treatments to own drumpf.

    The mismanagement of the pandemic isn’t specific to Trump, it’s being played out across the western world because the deficiency of response is a structural problem inherent to liberal democracy (and in fact Trump’s response has been above average compared to most of the Western world, though still insufficient). Everything that might prevent a pandemic (closed borders, strict vetting and quarantine of foreign entries), or effectively combat one (technological surveilance, contact tracking, forcible isolation of the infected, travel restrictions) are illiberal and therefore seen as impossible because they are ideologically impossible to western elites. Since liberalism is the primary problem in addressing the issue, any other politician who is that much more within the liberal paradigm would almost certainly handle it that much worse.

    • Replies: @Alexander Turok
  88. Sean says:
    @Hibernian

    Coronavirus, Spanish flu, and the dark history of ‘Keep Calm and Carry On’
    Sir Arthur told the Royal Society of Medicine that Britain’s “major duty” was to “carry on” largely as normal, “even when risk to health and life is involved”.

    In startlingly honest language, Sir Arthur told the conference: “The relentless needs of warfare justify the risks of spreading infection and the associated creation of a more virulent type of disease.”

    • Replies: @Pincher Martin
  89. @Lot

    Idiot argument, the great depression didn’t substantially increase the death rate. An economic disruption almost certainly won’t kill even close to the number an uncontrolled epidemic will, full stop. That it might doesn’t even border on plausible.

  90. Jack D says:
    @SFG

    Like, really, guys, you think the people running things don’t have Mom and Dad holed up in the Hamptons with a lifetime supply of hand sanitizer?

    That’s ridiculous. No one is safe from this. Princes have it. The frigging Heir to the Throne of England has it. Millionaires have it. Rich people are MORE likely to have it. Usually, the “World Ends – Women and Minorities Hit Hardest” (or the alt.right variation “This is designed to punish Deplorables”) is an effective emotional appeal because we want everything to be equitable, even diseases, but viruses really don’t give a damn about who they infect.

    BTW, in the post that Ron cites, I never said that we should let old people die. I was just trying to give a rational prediction of the long term economic results. It really looks, now that our incompetent authorities have totally failed at testing, contact tracing and containment, that this disease is going to course thru our population whether we like it or not. Making predictions about future economic performance has nothing to do with that one way or the other. If I talk about the consequences of a hurricane (which BTW include lots of new construction and an improved housing stock once rebuilding is complete), that doesn’t meant that I wish for hurricanes or recommend throwing open the flood gates.

    • Replies: @Pincher Martin
  91. @Paul Mendez

    Which is worse? An old person who loses a few of their last (probably crappy) years of life, or a young person sentenced to 50 years of diminished opportunities.

    It’s amazing how many people believe that what would be at most a few months, and most likely a few weeks, of enforced economic depression is bound to be a permanent lifetime depression. Where do they get these stupid ideas?

  92. AKAHorace says:
    @Ron Unz

    Ron Unz,

    Whatever JackD said or did not say, do you really think that the authors of a world wide conspiracy to spread a deadly disease would casually announce it on your website ?

  93. anon[134] • Disclaimer says:

    Quite a lot of the people here seem to think “It’s Just the Flu

    It is like the flu except it creates a surge in medical demand, which creates additional problems. All this focus on confirmed cases (a function of actual cases and testing) and deaths (the single most lagging indicator) is ignoring the event that is the immediate cause of the crisis. Namely the surge demand for hospitalization.

    This surge is concentrated and very public. As such, it has the emotional impact of a plane crash. People are shocked and horrified in a manner out of proportion to raw numbers. And the raw numbers are not small. Plus, it severely degrades the effectiveness of the entire hospital system, with the accompanying morbidity and mortality.

    We need to explain why and how this is happening as well a way to manage the surge of hospital demand. This will last until the hospital crisis is solved. So develop data on that and you might find either an answer or at least some consensus.

    Back to the Diamond Princess, out of 700 confirmed cases, about 35 or 5% required hospitalization. Age adjusted, its probably about half that or less. This is the data needed to manage this. This number has to be managed down one way or the other.

  94. @Jack D

    Germany’s death toll over the last four days:

    March 23rd – 31

    March 24th – 28

    March 25th – 35

    March 26th – 49

    So, Sean, with three days to go how are you feeling about that bet that Germany would NOT have ten deaths a day from coronavirus starting on March 29th?

    • Agree: Ron Unz
    • Replies: @Pincher Martin
    , @Sean
  95. Anon[584] • Disclaimer says:

    I’ve noticed an unusually large Covid-19 cluster in San Jose. San Jose is 1/3 Asian, according to Wiki. They have 459 cases for a population of around 1 million, and 17 deaths.

    By contrast, Los Angeles has 812 cases for a population of almost 4 times that number, and 13 deaths. So San Jose has double the cases they should have and a higher death rate than LA.

  96. Whiskey says: • Website

    About 200 people have died in NY state. That’s a bad weekend in Chicago. Just lead poisoning there.

    It’s a transparent attempt to create 50% unemployment to get Biden elected.

    Already many if not most small businesses are over. The people who ran them bankrupt. Their employees out of a job. Many permanently. We are letting prisoners out of jail. While closing gun stores. Cops are saying in Cincinnati they will not answer 911 calls.

    Asians and elderly rich people are at risk. The rest of us not so much.

    Steve and Rons principal mental failing is trusting the female hysterical media. They lie. Always.

    Trump mentioned a malaria drug and every Dem gov banned it by executive order. What does that tell you?

    It’s a serious problem for Asians and the elderly. Men especially women to a lesser degree.

    Female panic and hysterical reactions are not helpful.

    • Replies: @Barnard
    , @Anonymous Jew
  97. Anon[584] • Disclaimer says:
    @Hail

    The media aren’t hyping Covid-19 in any special way. They hype everything. Hype is how they earn a living.

  98. Rosie says:
    @Jonathan Mason

    One of the things we are taught in management courses is that after the Bay of Pigs, US presidents instituted a dialectic process in policy-making in which different points of view were argued in front of presidents to avoid making the mistakes of the Abilene Paradox, by which everyone goes along with a plan that they personally oppose so as to avoid conflict with others.

    This seems like common sense to me. I can’t imagine making a decision any other way.

  99. @Sean

    Yeah but Biden’s been in a daze for the last few years, so it’s hard to determine as of yet if it’s virus induced.

  100. I just tried to call my car lessor to extend my lease. The recording said if its about your lease payment there are too many calls so please wait until the week it is due to call.

    So if one week without pay means many people cannot make their car payments, then the banks must either repossess the car and try to resell it (good luck) or write off all or part of the loan. But loans are made from other people’s deposits so millions of bad loans mean millions of lost deposits.

    Government insurance can give you money in place of your deposit, but money alone does not make goods and services, otherwise no one would have to work. Business bank accounts are not insured.

    Already I saw three “for rent” signs in stores of a small town I drive through. Last week 3.3 million people applied for unemployment. All the output they were producing is gone.

    • Replies: @Dacian Julien Soros
  101. Rosie says:
    @Luke Lea

    Is there any polling on how the elderly feel about crashing the economy to extend their lives?

    Good question. I think you also have to take the possibility of suicide very seriously. Middle-aged men who lose their ability to provide for their families would be disproportionately affected, of course.

    I don’t know enough about this to have strong feelings either way, but I certainly don’t think the case is clear enough to warrant demonization of either side.

  102. @Paleo Liberal

    You do realize that it’s way to play chicken little, and espouse throughout your lifetime that something bad is gonna occur somewhere, someplace, and at some time?

    At least Jeane Dixon gave a few falsifiable details regarding her most famous prediction.

    • Replies: @Paleo Liberal
  103. tbmcc says:

    How about the elderly (I’m 68) and everybody else take some f-n personal responsibility for their health. If Washington, Jefferson and the other founders could have foreseen what we have become, they probably wouldn’t have bothered. Semper Fidelis.

    • Replies: @G. Poulin
  104. I’ve come around to the Ramzpaul view, as he makes the best case of all the pundits I have listened to.

    Isolate places like NYC where there are big numbers……and let Arkansas go back to work.

    It’s likely that the virus has been here longer than people think, which means that herd immunity should be kicking in. Chances are that a good number of Americans have already been exposed and showed no symptoms at all. 80% show zero to mild symptoms.

    I’ve suggested there should be mass testing, but the tests appear to be somewhat inaccurate. I believe that Japan and Korea have utilized testing to isolate the infected, and with mass use of masks have got the numbers down.

    If Trump lifts the lockdown and people go back to work, surely the (((MSM))) will find ONE cute little girl in pigtails dying of the CV and blame it on the bad orange man.

    Generally speaking young people are not in great danger from this virus.

    My fear is that the lockdown will cause a depression, and with it massive craziness, substance abuse, suicide, rioting, looting, and civil strife. I predict a black chimpout a thousand times worse than Katrina.

    It’s not a matter of “letting old people die” and this argument is both stupid and intellectually dishonest. If the lockdown is lifted, old folks should stay home, visitors should wear masks, etc. ,
    and in fact most of the at risk elderly probably spend most of their time inside a safe space anyway.

    I’ve seen quite a few clips of CV patients/victims and some say it was just like a bad cold. And of course I have seen the clips of victims on ventilators. Obviously the virus impacts people in different degrees of severity, and/or there are different strains/mutations of the virus.

    At this point when I see math models my eyes just glaze over because every extrapolation is different than the last one I saw. TBH I’m simply wore out regarding prognostications. The other aspect is that NOBODY really knows how many people have been exposed to the virus, and without that information, nobody can make an accurate predictive model or death rate assessment.

    I do think that people have gone crazy. The other day I had to have a prescription filled, and I got in line at the pharmacy….and a chubby young woman chewed me out, said I was “Too close, back up, observe social distancing!” I was really shocked. I was not too close to the crazy lady. I might not have been the full six feet away, but I was a good four feet in back of her. Her reaction was uncalled for and obnoxious.
    Then when I left the pharmacy, there was a raggedy black man on the corner yelling, “SADDAM AND GOMORRAH! EVERYBODY GONNA DIE!”

    • Replies: @guest007
  105. Testing12 says:

    Reason is a slave to the passions and it is interesting that the bloggers most frantic about COVID-19, despite being otherwise skeptical of the MSM narratives, are those who are most personally susceptible to infection. There is a lot to be concerned about with novel coronavirus but also a lot to be skeptical about.

    When I read post after post of COVID-19 fearporn on a couple of popular hbd-sphere blogs written by older gentlemen it feels like a higher-IQ, more indirect version of “let’s talk about me” NYT articles. A marked decrease in typical levels of objectivity.

  106. Maybe there’s an old-young deal to be had?

    We old people to agree to open things up so the economy can rev back up and young people have jobs.

    In return young women have to immediately go on a diet, hit the gym and have any tattoos removed.

    If i’m going die gasping for air, i want to do waddling down the beach gawking at some first class bikini bods.

    • Replies: @Redneck farmer
    , @MKP
  107. Sean says:
    @Lot

    A basic ingredient of advanced civilization is the ability to weigh the value of government policies that have economic costs and public and private health benefits.

    That is what they do behind closed doors anyway, then they find some moralistic reason for obeying the dictates of realism. However,there is no war on. like in 1918. The situation would be more similar to the Irish Famine and associated deaths from disease. A number of landlords were shot.

    [T}he burden on those advocating this

    It would be a very brave politician who openly argued with hard clarity against it, knowing he would be seen, rightly or wrongly, as having caused the deaths of thousands of people. For such a person, there would be the knowledge it could only be matter of time before some bereaved relative or loved one carried out a reprisal.

  108. @SFG

    Compare Trump to a Senile Biden, Pelosi’s attempted bailout re-purpose, and the ossified FDA response and Trump doesn’t look so bad in comparison.
    Perhaps Tucker Carlson would be an improvement, but he’s not currently an option.

    • Replies: @Alexander Turok
  109. Anonymous[109] • Disclaimer says:

    As Will Ferrell says in Zoolander, I feel like I’m taking crazy pills here.

    We’re making massive decisions that are tanking the global economy, with consequences we can only begin to understand at this point. But we’re doing so on the basis of very poor data. We have little understanding of the real severity of this disease. It might be bad enough to justify what we’re doing, or it might not be. We need to find out now. This is absolutely critical.

    Specifically, we need to know how close the Infection Fatality Rate is to current estimates of the Case Fatality Rate. In order to determine this, we need to know what percentages of various populations are or have been infected. There is a very wide range of estimates of how many people have few or no symptoms. If that number is high, the big fatality predictions we’ve been hearing could be much too high. If it’s low, they could be accurate.

    Rough guesses based on the Diamond Princess, NBA players, and so on are interesting but highly debatable. To find out the truth, we need many tests of large, random samples of the population.

    As long as there remains a testing bottleneck, we should be diverting many of the tests from symptomatic individuals in order to do this. Now that there’s community spread, testing sick people has less utility. People with symptoms should assume they have the virus and isolate. If they’re bad enough, they should go to the hospital. Tests are not needed for this.

    Tell me if I’m missing something obvious here. We should be increasing ventilator capacity, preparing for all contingencies, etc. But random testing to determine the actual spread of the virus might be the most important thing we could do right now. Why isn’t there more discussion of this?

    • Agree: Spud Boy
  110. @Jack D

    Spot on reply Jack.

    Noticing facts, doing analysis and predicting are not the same as “wishing for”.

    In fact, that’s the whole point of Steve’s blog–noticing. Heck i wish blacks weren’t as low-IQ, as impulsive and crime prone as they are. That Jews weren’t as clever as they are. Heck, that homosexuals didn’t exist. That young women were in better shape and didn’t have these ugly tattoos. That this Chinese corona virus wasn’t around. All these things would make life in America better.

    But that is not the world we live in.

    • Replies: @anon
  111. res says:

    OT: If anyone wants to learn more about epidemiology (in the context of COVID-19) in a structured online learning environment Johns Hopkins is offering some programs.

    The COVID-19 epidemic has generated both curiosity and confusion about the science behind control efforts, so we’d like to let you know about two relevant learning opportunities from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.
    Fighting COVID-19 with Epidemiology: A Johns Hopkins Teach-Out, a free two-week learning event, beginning Tuesday, March 31
    Epidemiology in Public Health Practice Specialization, an on-demand five-course sequence that goes into even greater depth about the field and its tools, available now

    [MORE]

    In Fighting COVID-19 with Epidemiology: A Johns Hopkins Teach-Out, three members of our Department of Epidemiology faculty will lead you through a two-week exploration of the epidemiologic toolset that helps us answer pressing questions like:
    • How many people have been infected?
    • How do we measure who is infected?
    • How infectious is the virus?
    • What can we do to fight it?

    In addition to a basic understanding of these essential tools, this Teach-Out provides an opportunity for you to learn and connect with one another while continuing to practice the social distancing measures that will help keep us all safe. We also provide you with some tangible calls to action that will empower you to make a meaningful contribution to the fight against COVID-19.

    In the Epidemiology in Public Health Practice Specialization, a team of five faculty members from the Department of Epidemiology lead you through an in-depth examination of the field. Over the five courses listed below, you’ll learn to use the core toolset of professional epidemiology.
    1. Essential Epidemiologic Tools for Public Health Practice
    2. Data and Health Indicators for Public Health Practice
    3. Surveillance Systems: The Building Blocks
    4. Surveillance Systems: Analysis, Dissemination, and Special Systems
    5. Outbreaks and Epidemics

    Along the way, you’ll learn to measure the health of populations, assess interventions, collect and analyze data, and investigate outbreaks and epidemics by completing a series of skill-building exercises, reflection activities, and short projects.

    We invite you to join us as we learn together about how epidemiology helps in the fight against diseases like COVID-19. We’re all in this together!

  112. Nowhere does our President advise a shutdown. As patriotic Americans, let us stop panicking and instead heed our President’s wise counsel.

  113. epebble says:
    @Ron Unz

    Jack D, is simply being wrong in his prediction that a megadeath is an economic positive. But your giving credence to the theory that this is Bio-warfare by USA is anti-national, if not outright treasonous. I would any day have Jack D as a friend. You are a despicable leper.

  114. anon[230] • Disclaimer says:

    This pandemic has revealed the fact that most people are at best borderline innumerate. Even among the allegedly smarter than average it is obvious many, many cannot fathom what “denominator” means – grade school fractions. Nor can most people understand elementary probability: “1 in 1,000” vs. “1 in 10,000” vs. “1 in 100”.

    It is not possible to have a serious conversation with most people about the current situation, because it involves numbers different from football scores. Very illuminating. But also a bit depressing.

  115. On the one hand, we view this virus which has so far killed about 3 out of every one million Americans as the greatest threat to civilization ever.

    That is obviously false. But that is our consensus view. Fine. Let’s go with that.

    Well, we are unable to do the one thing that reliably reduces transmission: everyone wears a simple mask in public. This gets R0 under 1, and that is all you need.

    Even if a mask is only 80% effective, the odds of one person wearing a mask transmitting to another wearing a mask is reduced to 0.2 x 0.2 = 0.04 percent of the previous level. So if R0 was 3.5, now it would now be 0.14 for the everyone-wears-a-mask society. This makes sense: Every country where everyone wears a mask stopped community spread, no exceptions.

    Instead we shut down our economy, have 100 million people not working, and still haven’t taken the first first step to stop the virus, which is that everyone wears a mask in public.

    Our Congress was meeting continuously for the last 3 days on the very subject of dealing with the Coronavirus situation, a bunch of high-risk senior citizens grouped tightly an enclosed space for days on end, far exceeding the numbers they warned us about and C-SPAN shows me that there are zero masks.

    To sum up, our strategy consists of two parts:
    (1) Remove our economy.
    (2) Let the virus run and get herd immunity (by not taking the central step of wearing masks).

    If (2) is the path anyway, it would have been better if we didn’t take step (1).

    On the bright side, everyone who sits alone in self-imposed solitary confinement as the nation collapses into poverty has exceedingly clean, if somewhat chafed, hands.

    (I was hammering about how winter humidification helps and it still will — see https://www.annualreviews.org/doi/pdf/10.1146/annurev-virology-012420-022445 and especially figures 3-5 — but if people won’t wear masks, which is the obvious first step, there is no hope that they will take that secondary step.)

    Obviously a mask looks dorky, but you can wear all sorts of colors, and funny messages, and sell ad space. It could be great fun!

    This crisis was so easy to solve. All the Asians solved it, by doing the same thing they have done for a generation.

    In conclusion, to quote the Derb, we are doomed.

  116. anon[230] • Disclaimer says:
    @AnotherDad

    Noticing facts, doing analysis and predicting are not the same as “wishing for”.

    “Describing” vs. “prescribing”. In the modern “feelz rule, realz drool” world that is not comprehensible.

    “IF you drive that car without oil in the engine THEN it will break down” is not the same thing as “You SHOULD drive that car without oil in the engine”. But to most special snowflakes, it is literally the same thing.

    One expects educated people to know the difference between what “is” and what “should be”, but one is almost always disappointed.

  117. robot says: • Website

    It seems like almost everybody is on the front line now, and deserves hazard pay, so once people are able to certify they’ve acquired immunity, they’ll be able to write their own ticket…

    The longer it takes to start certifying people, though, the more critical systems are going to massively fail.

  118. Lurker says:
    @Hail

    You’ll notice no significant rise in total flu, and the 2016-17 and 2017-18 seasons both worse.

    If everyone is isolating, washing hands, disinfecting etc then that should impact the spread of boring old fashioned flu and colds.

  119. Spud Boy says:

    Santa Clara county, CA has announced schools will be closed through May 1st.

    I guess teachers have decided they prefer being at home. Who’d have thought?

    My three elementary age children are driving me nuts 14 hours a day.

  120. Corvinus says:

    “When should we shut down? As soon as possible. When should we decide when to open up again? As late as possible.”

    Thanks for responding to my inquiries, Mr. Sailer. Still cagey on this front, but you are making ever slight progress!

    “It might turn out to be a good idea to reopen on Easter (April 12). (It probably won’t, but it might.)”

    Most likely Trump will already have made his decision by then on his own accord, or he might go against his inclination by actually listening to the medical experts. Maybe. Then, again, perhaps not. Right, Mr. Sailer?

    • Troll: fish
    • Replies: @Thomas
    , @Bel Riose
  121. Corvinus says:
    @nebulafox

    Gold box for your comment! We are not ready to #DieForTheDow.

  122. @Jonathan Mason

    The 40-50 deaths is dated. The U.S. death toll from COVID-19 is over 1,000 now.

    • Replies: @Spud Boy
    , @Enochian
  123. Muggles says:

    One thing I notice here in the comments is the very odd and contradictory duality between those who appear to be total cynics about everything, and their often simultaneous criticisms and laments, complaints and nutty conspiracy ideas about why Big Brother and the medical establishment (basically everyone but themselves) somehow “failed” to adequately prepare for this.

    The fake Wise Men (only men post here I suspect) spout foolish cynicism about why we can’t trust anything anyone says (other than perhaps some Chinese propaganda team) because they are evil and self serving. So Wall St., the feds, the Medical Establishment (their own doctors?), Big Pharma, the Trump administration, oh, and the Jews and Zionists, all want to make this evil disease worse for you and me.

    But at the same time they hold an unstated belief that these same entities have somehow “failed” everyone because you know, they aren’t omniscient. All of these groups didn’t have stockpiles and detailed plans for dealing with something that didn’t exist six months ago. So they blame Mommy and Daddy for all of their problems even though they hate them and claim not to ever believe what they say.

    This line of childish thinking is akin to an atheist blaming God for everything and also blaming God for not solving all of mankind’s problems. Snarling at something you claim you don’t ever believe or trust, for failing to prevent Bad Things, is an obvious logical fallacy at the very least. But being Mr. Cynic means never having to say you’re sorry. This isn’t just a right-wing tendency either.

  124. POTUS is talking it over as to what to do RIGHT NOW!

  125. @Ron Unz

    JackD – “After the Black Death, wages went up because labor was more scarce. “

    It’s true, it was a mortal wound to feudalism. If there wasn’t enough labour around to cultivate your land, you were desperate for labour, and you had picked up four or five good workers who were rightly the serfs of a baron in the next county, would you return them to him or keep them on as paid labour, where they’d previously been serfs?

    But it’s a totally irrelevant point. Our elites will just import more cheap labour if coronachan impacts labour availability. The US and UK are still accepting visitors from all over the world.

    • Replies: @nebulafox
  126. Bill says:
    @Ron Unz

    Quite a lot of the people here seem to think “It’s Just the Flu!!!” and all the reports and projections of vast numbers of deaths are merely a hoax by the Deep State or somebody.

    A remarkable thing about this view (in addition to its wild counterfactuality) is that, up until thirty seconds ago, the Deep State was enthusiastically promoting the idea that it’s just the flu and many of its mouthpieces continue to do so.

    • Replies: @anonguy
  127. Hail says: • Website
    @Hail

    A few more thoughts on this Big Mistake:

    (How the panic started, identifying the chain reaction and parties involved [almost all of them innocent of malice as such]; why the media loves the ‘Coronavirus Crisis;’ the inevitable Deaths of Despair, which the media will not cover; the inevitable lowered birth rate, which the media will not cover; imagining what the Definitive History of the Coronavirus Panic of 2020 will look like, when written in [say] the 2030s; political realignments, with many anti-Trump people saying Trump Is Right; a notable case of technology being weaponized against us.)

    _________________

    A reply to Ron Unz deep in the comments of a previous thread on why the proposed 1.0% death rate is too high.

    __________________

    How it started; identifying the sources of the chain reaction. For those who, like me, have come around to the idea that the Coronavirus Panic was/(is) unnecessary, a media mass-hysteria, the important question to ask is how it happened.

    My thinking is this: The germ (so to speak) of this hysteria was the disaster-movie-like scary pictures of hazmat suits out of the Chinese interior (which, in retrospect, was the original, severe overreaction after what was arguably an ‘underreaction’ initially, involving government thugs threatening/intimidating a doctor; classic CCP).

    A slow-moving chain reaction followed, which was international in character and which was pushed aggressively by the media. It triggered well-documented mass-hysteria-like behaviors that will seem embarrassing in retrospect. People started clamoring to “Do Something,” and it got out of hand, quick. An eclectic mix of people, some induced to panic by the media and many simply pushing their own interests, began demanding total shutdowns and indefinite closures, eventually succeeding to that end, all to all of our long-term detriment. Considering how minor this virus is (though it looks scary if covered with scary pictures and saturation-coverage shoved at you every day), this was even to the detriment of actual disease control going forward. Say there is a serious virus crisis in the future, something like Ebola on the loose all over America; after this fiasco, people will be less likely to take anything like that seriously (“remember Coronavirus?”).

    Who were the groups that hijacked the ship, tied up the captain and his crew (some crew joining in the mutiny), and steered us over the edge? The groups, if we can call them that (often the better word may be “personality type”) that have aligned behind Shut Everything Down Indefinitely, are truly diverse — in the classic sense of that word. I am sure others can think of more categories, or express them better, but here are a few that come to my mind:

    [MORE]

    — People who do not need to work (at all). It costs nothing for a stay-at-home mom to agitate for shutting everything down (her husband is paying the bills)

    — Those with personality-based social grievances (“I like staying inside, so just shut everything down! Finally others, too, can see what it’s like. It’s great! Win-win!”), who stand to gain by all of society reinforcing what they would want to do anyway;

    — That section of people who do office work which can be “done from home” and who want closures so that they can get what they assumed would be a soft-vacation for a while, i.e., opportunists;

    — miscellaneous Virtue Signallers, though they will tend to overlap with the above categories. There are apparently celebrities lecturing people to stay home and showing what their Stay Home lifestyle is like in their multi-million-dollar mansions with all the luxuries and no need to work (if one can call what most celebrities do, ‘work’), unless they want to;

    — miscellaneous other grievances and hobby-horses, including the “Doomer” element, some of whom literally cheer on “The Virus;”

    — and of course a bloodthirsty Enemy of the People media milking creating a crisis and giving all the above their marching orders. The media is the guy with the bullhorn at the back of the boat yelling at the rowers to keep them at moving at a steady pace, ever onwards (in this case, towards panic and dismay).

    — The chain of authority-figures, many/most/all of whom fit into one or more of the above categories, but all of whom are beholden to hysterical constituents, all vowing to “Do Something” in response to the media-induced hysteria. Every time one of them “Do Something,” the next one feels the need to one up. “If that ‘Do Something’ that other guy did is a good idea, I will ‘Do Something x 1.25!’ I am a hero!” This is a traceable chain reaction of overreactions and closures that are more and more comprehensive and extend longer and longer. A fiasco worthy of the name.

    But back the origin. It did/does all seem like a disaster movie, complete with cuts to people scurrying around in hazmat suits, scenes of people dying, and rolling “infection counts” and “deaths counts.” It is all as if a script were playing out. It was certainly exacerbated by being ‘international’ in scope. One country was ‘hit’ after another, as you’d see in such pandemic or zombie movies. A movie-like timeline.

    In fact, this very ‘movie’ aspect to the Corona Crisis has brought out another class of people at the head of the pitchfork mob: Those who want High Drama and who can role-play that they are living in an exciting movie, indeed that they are protagonists in the(ir) movie. The media is definitely guilty of this (see next) but this psychology can also affect non-media people. There are cases of this aplenty on this very website, the Unz Review.

    __________________

    On why the media loves the Coronavirus Crisis and wants it to go on.

    The media loves this. They are living a dream. For local news, it’s snowstorm-or-earthquake-or-hurricane-24/7 now (select disaster depending on your locale), at which time people finally tune in, at which time local media gets the attention they so crave. For big-time media, like cable news, it’s comparable. They are news-addicts who imagine themselves to be protagonists in a disaster-movie anyway (call it a personality-type) and so this is really a kind of drug to them. The media, IOW, are now Important Heroes and will gladly play the role, indefinitely.

    To the news-addict people in cable-news-type media, this is not necessarily totally novel. Usually, though, they can’t get enough people riled up enough (e.g., the at-times-histrionic promotion of the Russia Controls Trump conspiracy theory by some in the media), and in the past, there were also significant technological constraints (through the proverbial Walter Cronkite era and beyond, the “news” was a morning newspaper and a brief, serious evening news broadcast, vs. today’s all-day saturation ‘news’). Their stars have aligned on this one, though, and the media gets to live out their dream.

    The media, therefore, soaks up the attention, and cares not how many people’s lives they ruin through unemployment and despair, wasted time, disrupted lives, and eventually and inevitably Deaths of Despair, which will almost certainly be greater in magnitude than the marginal “virus deaths.” They really, really want their narrative.

    ____________________

    Who the media has hurt, is hurting, will hurt. One thing I have not seen mentioned is the inevitable decline in the birth rate during the extended crisis, which I am 100% confident will be ignored by the same media that has pushed a nuclear-war-style panic over a minor “New Virus!” that has a victim profile exactly the same as the seasonal flu, possibly somewhat worse (but that’s life; there are always people on the margins at risk).

    Think how irrational it is: The Enemy of the People has induced a mass panic to save x thousand 85-year-old terminal cancer patients at the expenses of x thousands of babies who will never be born, because birth rates always drop during recessions and social disruptions/panics. These are infants would have been conceived, given normal circumstances, had there been no mass-hysteria, shutdowns, and recession, but specifically because of the panic, recession, and uncertainty, the would-be parents choose to delay; eventually, things change, the couple splits apart (would have stayed together had there been a child), or eventually the biological-clock comes in and it’s too late, whatever. There will be many fewer births than there would have been. It is for this reason that I confidently label the media The Enemy of the People, in this case the enemy of people who ought to have been born, the voiceless. Imagine if the months 9 months before you were born had a media hysteria that shut down society? What are the chances you would have been born? What are the chances your parents would have waited?

    But as for the more tangible Death of Despair, more-or-less healthy people now living who will die, some of which will be by their own hand: Just as the media didn’t/doesn’t care at all about the White Death phenomenon (the rising white deaths to drugs, depression, and suicide that lowered white US life expectancy in the 2010s), they will not care at all when the entirely predictable suicides begin. The people who were not doing well to begin with but were employed may now face long-term unemployment. Needless to say, there will be no saturation media coverage for those deaths. They’re just a bunch of Can’t-Work-From-Home Losers anyway, just like those Middle America losers in the White Death phenomenon.

    _________________________

    The definitive history of the Coronavirus Panic of 2020 remains to be written years into the future, but it looks like this, in outline:

    A series of countries all went over the edge of severe overreaction because of an unnecessary, media-induced hysteria about a minor “new” virus (actually a variant of a long-existing virus strain called coronavirus known to regularly cause seasonal flu). One after another, governments were unable to resist the scare-stories.

    Come to think of it, it was a kind of policy-AIDS. The normal “immune reaction” in government affairs and policy is to brush away hysterical stories or those based in paranoia, e.g. about alien abductions, werewolves (etc.), or Killer Viruses around the corner. The normal immune reaction was weakened and appeared in mid-March to have caved-in. Data-based thinking, by those who normally should be doing it, by those in power and those advising them, was suspended. Only a few voices left holding the flag.

    (I credit the Wall Street Journal for holding the flag of rational thinking during this crisis; I have never necessarily had a high opinion of them, but I must say they have forever earned my respect, at least in principle. The other voices of opposition to the Mass Hysteria are relatively scattered. I see some consistent non-‘Doomer’ voices but few-to-none who hold a media megaphone still willing to stick their necks out during the height of the hysteria. Tucker Carlson has, sadly, let his people down and joined the mob, as far as I can tell; Laura Ingraham has done better.)

    __________________

    Political realignments. I have already seen this begin, as I am sure you have too, if you’ve noticed it. Even for those normally in consensus in the comment section here, I see it; a new fissure of opinion. This fiasco is the kind of thing that triggers political realignments.

    The alignment was one unseen before. It is: (1) The Close Down Society-for-12-Months crowd, if they can sustain their energy and get enough people to cower before their charts of exponential-growth curves and plain-old-bad-math “death rates,” and the Never Before Seen Virus narrative, vs. (2) the people who come around to admitting this Panic was all a big mistake, which for many is going to be somewhat emotionally hard to do but is inevitably necessary, unless you really are the worst kind of Doomer who wants society to hurt, or even to end.

    I don’t think the two groups had a clear, pre-existing split, and so it cuts across the previous splits. Anecdotally, I’ve heard quite a few anti-Trump people say “Trump is right on this one,” often prefacing with something like “I have never agreed with Trump on anything, but he’s right here.”

    __________________

    When too much information is a very bad thing. Finally, I’d also say this was a case of our technology being weaponized against us; a tragedy worthy of future study.

    If this “New Virus!” hadn’t been publicized, I am thinking no one would even have noticed that there was any such thing. (The Italian health system has been overwhelmed with flu victims in past years and no one cared or noticed, except perhaps locally in Italy; Italy for whatever reason has well over 3x the seasonal flu deaths as the US in the 2010s.)

    The Chinese virus experts in Wuhan discovered it because they have their best virologists assembled there, in Wuhan, anyway. It’s their livelihood, their career, to look for these things. In past eras, it may have been noted and quietly made the rounds of medical journals. Other new virus mutations that cause flu-like symptoms are never found at all, make the rounds, and life goes on.

    Had it not been ‘discovered,’ it looks likely that no one would notice it much, amid the baseline flu-like deaths, deaths that take away a portion of our weakest and most elderly every year. Always have, and always will — so long as humans are mortal beings.

    • Replies: @dfordoom
    , @Alexander Turok
  128. Bill says:
    @Lot

    A prolonged shutdown would have an effect on the US economy similar or greater than the Great Depression.

    It’s the covid-doomers who are coming to wild conclusions without adequate evidence, though.

  129. @Pincher Martin

    Sorry, Jack, but that should’ve been addressed to Sean’s post, not yours.

  130. Ron Unz says:
    @Hail

    The hysteria around this is much worse than than “The Virus;” the overreaction and mass-hysteria campaign driving the shutdowns will be remembered as one of the biggest fiascos of our time.

    Well, I really, *really* hope you’re correct and “It’s Just the Flu!!” but I tend to doubt it. There seem to be lots of very knowledgeable experts saying they expect a million dead Americans…if we’re lucky!

    And here’s a link to Greg Cochran’s presentation of some of the alarming figures out of Northern Italy, seeming to show that death rates have jumped by a factor of ten:

    https://westhunt.wordpress.com/2020/03/25/just-another-flu-in-bergamo/

    But as I keep on emphasizing, this isn’t an argument over Global Warming, in which we’ll have to wait decades to find out who was right.

    I’m absolutely no expert myself, but within a few weeks we’ll probably know which ones were correct.

    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
  131. @Sean

    Germany’s death toll over the last four days:

    March 23rd – 31

    March 24th – 28

    March 25th – 35

    March 26th – 49

    So, Sean, with three days to go, how are you feeling about that bet that Germany would NOT have ten deaths a day or more from coronavirus starting on March 29th?

  132. Bill says:
    @eD

    “It’s just the flu” was the conventional wisdom, trumpeted far and wide by every media, government, and expert outlet up until very recently. The Chamber of Commerce PR machine continues to promote it. The groaning army of conservative NPCs repeats it constantly. Describing it as a tin foil hat view is starkly delusional.

  133. wren says:

    Hydroxychloroquine seems to work, and every day I am reading of more evidence that it will genuinely cut the duration of this pandemic.

    Someone said that this will allow the country to gradually go back to work, safely. But it won’t be like turning a light switch suddenly from off to on in one day. It will be more like gradually sliding a dimmer switch up from off to on over the course of weeks or months. (Yeah, okay, scott Adams said it.)

    Some of this is due to availability issues of hydroxychloroquine, which is one reason the government (other than trump) is not promoting it. Some doctors are already hoarding it, for example.

    Of course, the press just goes against anything trump says, so perhaps that will actually help in this case.

    Of course too, it may not work, but I haven’t seen many examples where it really didn’t work. Has anyone?

    • Replies: @Bill
    , @Dacian Julien Soros
  134. @Pincher Martin

    Check out Peter Schiff on U Tube. he is the man who predicted the 2008 housing crash; more recently he predicted that the Fed could never complete the normalization of interest rates; he predicted the Fed would lower interest rates to zero. And now he is predicting that the bubble economy, based on debt, will collapse even if the quarantine is lifted by Easter. Remember, he was laughed at in 2007 and 2008, he was right and all the experts were wrong. Check him out!

    • Replies: @Pincher Martin
  135. Ron Unz says:
    @Pincher Martin

    It’s amazing how many people believe that what would be at most a few months, and most likely a few weeks, of enforced economic depression is bound to be a permanent lifetime depression. Where do they get these stupid ideas?

    Exactly. I’ll admit I was totally shocked when the Chinese government shut down their entire economy and locked down 700 million people in quarantine. But it seems to have worked remarkably well, and they’re now restarting their economy, with only a few thousand dead and very minor permanent damage.

    I’ve always had a very high opinion of the PRC government, but they exceeded my expectations.

    Meanwhile, the US is taking a different approach, which seems much more doubtful.

    On the bright side, Silicon Valley and then California overall led the nation in locking things down, and therefore seems to have largely avoided the disaster that we’re starting to see in New York, Louisiana, and Florida.

    The reason CA Gov. Newsom locked down the state was the experts told him without drastic action, there would probably be over 25M infected Californians within a couple of months, a collapse of the health care system, and probably a million dead Californians by early summer. So I’m very glad that Newsom listened to the experts.

    Unfortunately, if the Coronavirus sweeps across the rest of the country, it will be very hard to keep it out of California. Maybe the Calexit Movement will revive.

    But who knows? Maybe I’m just a gullible idiot and it’s just a hoax like lots of people are saying…

  136. @Pincher Martin

    It’s amazing how many people believe that what would be at most a few months, and most likely a few weeks, of enforced economic depression is bound to be a permanent lifetime depression. Where do they get these stupid ideas?

    They are not stupid ideas. With the damage done to certain industries like travel, tourism, hotels, oil, it could take years to fully recover, especially if people started defaulting on home mortgages and car payments thus driving down real estate prices and destroying people’s credit records. There is also the possibility of large numbers filing for bankruptcy over medical bills.

    Certain areas of the US would be hit worse than others, for example in beach resorts many businesses might go out of business. Certain states would crumble. Large cities might become deserted, as has already happened with Detroit after the fall of the automobile industry and other formerly prosperous cities in the heartland of the US.

    Civil disobedience and rioting could break out and destroy communities.

    Are you familiar with the plot of the book and movie Jaws, which is all about a mayor covering up the shark deaths so as not to spoil the Memorial Day commercial bonanza for the fictional town of Amity?

    It is a fact often cited that a majority of Americans could not find $500 in cash for an emergency bill.

    Of course I hope, and I hope we all hope, that this thing will be brief and everyone will be able to get back to work, but it is not a given. This is how civilizations die. The Roman highways, aquaducts, walls, temples, stagecoaches, mail services, bathhouses were marvels of their age, but they eventually fell into ruins and walls and temples were used for quarries.

    • Replies: @Thomas
    , @Pincher Martin
  137. @Sean

    Wilson led to WWII by involving the US in WWI. The 1918 flu was bad enough on it’s own merits without further sullying it by blaming it for the results Wilson’s policies.

  138. DJ says:

    “…each day, the human race is learning more and more about our adversary.” We don’t have an adversary, we have two. As Sowell reminds us, there are no solutions, only trade-offs.

    I, for one, am sick to death of being accused of heartlessness for raising the question of whether this is worthwhile. As if trade-offs between wealth and life aren’t a reality. As if a depression wouldn’t have its own fatalities. As if a strong economy weren’t necessary for any prolonged battle against coronavirus (or the next one).

    Grow up, people. There is no safe choice.

  139. BenKenobi says:

    Man, Mr. Unz sure can get our local red-sea-pedestrians’ panties in a twist!

    EL-OH-EL

  140. @Ron Unz

    But who knows? Maybe I’m just a gullible idiot and it’s just a hoax like lots of people are saying…

    It is not a hoax, but is probably a gross political overreaction to a public health problem that could be dealt with by the usual public health measures in the affected communities.

    When AIDS was a new disease in the early 1980’s there was a lot of hysterical talk by chastity campaigners, but it is still around and has rarely spread significantly outside the initial population of gays and people who shared needles to inject drugs, and some of the sexual partners and babies of those people.

    People used to spread rumors about the virus being small enough to creep through holes in condoms, rather ignoring the fact that a virus is not a flea or a mite, but an entity that needs to be carried by some liquid or blood that cannot pass through a condom.

    People love to scare themselves. People love Stephen King books. People love scary movies. People love to get on social media to scare their friends about the latest disease.

    • Replies: @Jenner Ickham Errican
  141. Thomas says:
    @Corvinus

    Most likely Trump will already have made his decision by then on his own accord, or he might go against his inclination by actually listening to the medical experts. Maybe.

    Trump isn’t really the one making any decisions about quarantines or shelter-in-place orders. Those decisions are being made by governors and mayors. It would be Constitutionally questionable whether Trump even could order a nationwide quarantine (and it would almost certainly be unconstitutional for him to try to end a local one).

    The issue has been though what the effects are of his comments and the federal government’s recommendations on the behavior of state and local governments, and individuals. Some Republican governors, like Ron DeSantis in Florida, seem to be taking cues from Trump in not ordering a shutdown. Conversely, Democratic states may just figure “do the opposite of whatever Trump says.” Such is the state of our politics.

    My guess is that events are likely to make the decision more than anything else. If by Easter, the situation in New York has continued to get worse at the rate it has been, even the hedge fund guys Donald, Jared and Ivanka are probably listening to might have to admit “maybe we better wait a bit longer.”

    • Replies: @Corvinus
  142. @RichardTaylor

    What makes their deaths less important?

    It’s the part about overwhelming the healthcare system that matters.

    That will make it more likely for people to die after car wrecks, other diseases, and any other cause of being taken to the hospital, plus kill a bunch of doctors and nurses.

    New York City is just beginning to feel the force of such a catastrophe. Look at Italy and learn.

    Even if we were to be completely cold about it and abandon those over 70 who were infected, there would still be enough of those younger to overwhelm the system.

    One can make an argument that it is the responsibility of the older to shelter in place, and that is probably what will eventually happen, but right now they are trying to avoid a sudden flood of critical care patients.

    • Agree: Mark G.
  143. Hail says: • Website
    @eD

    this is one of those events when the crazy, irresponsible, tin foil hat view (“its just the flu”) is the view that is backed by actual experts in the field as opposed to TV talking heads.

    Good point.

    I wrote about this in a long comment above which included thoughts on how this event has triggered a political realignment, or so I have observed/heard first hand.

    Anecdotally, I’ve heard quite a few anti-Trump people say “Trump is right on this one,” often prefacing with something like “I have never agreed with Trump on anything, but he’s right here.”

    It’s at least a temporary realignment, as long as the Corona Panic lasts, and they are talking about April and May at least. Maybe a lasting realignment? It’s hard to tell if it will be lasting, and if so, what the real nature of it is. At the least, maybe it’s one that has the energy in it to last thru voting day Nov. 2020.

    Your observation of the so-called “tin foil hat” people being in agreement with the experts is another example of the same realignment, viewed from a different angle.

    __________

    I guess I am one of the “crazy, irresponsible, tin foil hat view” people who is very skeptical that this is the doomsday scenario we have been sold by the media and some alarmists. I have concluded that it is, to simplify a highly complex thing (see above if you want many more thoughts), a media -created panic for which people in the media ought to really be ashamed of themselves.

    Like most the rest of the regulars here, I was following the ‘Corona story’ more-or-less regularly from its emergence in January, through February, when it was still something distant and theoretical in the US itself, of real interest to only a few, to those who regularly follow and analyze the news and world events. With all the data we now have, I have now concluded that it was a mistake outright to react as the world has done. Caution, yes; this kind of overreaction, no. Fiasco. The serious, actual experts (to the extent anyone has asked their opinions) are largely in agreement, it would seem, though others can’t help themselves from piling on and joining the pitchfork mob, and others are so narrowly focused on their field of expertise that they see nothing else, that all life, all reality, is as a disease-suppression video game.

    I stopped actively visiting this site when I sensed the panic starting to emerge (you can confirm that my last comment before today was March 10), figuring it was not a good use of time, and decided at that time to also make a real effort to minimize exposure to the media (without cutting it off entirely), to the extent I could, sensing the oncoming mass hysteria; I could see the outlines of it. I thought to myself it would last a few weeks and assumed a good chance it would come and go by March 31. We are still in it, and with the piling-on (the serious mistake of society-wide closures), it looks impossible that March 31 will be the end; that plus two weeks maybe at most optimistic (Easter 2020, April 12).

    Being that we always need/want more data, I wasn’t absolutely sure one way or another, as of March 10 when I stopped visiting this website. In the meantime, stepping away from actively following the Corona narrative from usual sources, I began reading, observing, and gaining perspective from other places, always with an eye to data analysis and the views of actual experts, to the extent one can find them. Sometime about March 15, 16, or 17, I realized we’d already gone too far, and was beginning to seriously question the Coronavirus Panic. By the end of that week (March 20), I had seen enough to be strongly against the Panic and the entire Corona Narrative. This Bubonic Plague or nuclear-war-like reaction was a serious, serious mistake. A wrong turn down a road to ruin paved largely with good intentions, to mix metaphors.

    Reviewing some of the comments here, I see some in the same place, others not, again suggesting a political realignment along a new axis. I have great respect for the wisdom of the comment-section here. I have long known the commentariat here to be wise, rational, and above-the-fray, and therefore am not surprised that per capita many more here are Corona Skeptics, or however to label us, or against the Shut Everything Down Indefinitely mob mentality.

    • Replies: @Ron Unz
    , @Lot
  144. Ron Unz says:
    @Ron Unz

    I’ve always had a very high opinion of the PRC government, but they exceeded my expectations.

    Meanwhile, the US is taking a different approach, which seems much more doubtful.

    The remarkable contrast between how China and the US/Europe have reacted to the Coronavirus epidemic brought to mind my article from a few years ago:

    https://www.unz.com/runz/chinas-rise-americas-fall/

    But I never thought things would take so rapid and decisive a turn.

    • Replies: @Sean
  145. anonguy says:
    @The Wild Geese Howard

    The US and global just-in-time economies are completely unable to function without continual, steady cash-flow. They are unable to snap back from disruptions to that cash flow.

    This is a bug, not a feature, don’t you think? Unless one believes that steady state undisrupted operations are how human events work.

    Seems like a lot of people have gotten that idea in recent decades, as it had been working pretty well.

    This is a good time to check one’s normalcy bias.

    • Agree: nebulafox
  146. Wilkey says:

    “Let’s make the decision not 2.5 weeks before Easter, but at the last possible moment when we will know vastly more than we do right now.”

    From your blog to Tucker Carlson’s eyes to the presidents ears.

  147. @nebulafox

    Working people all over the country might enjoy having jobs and being able to pay for food and housing, education and health care after even after the current pan[dem]ic is over. I’d venture a guess that most responsible people would readily accept some increase in their personal health risk to preserve their family wellbeing. Wouldn’t you?

    I know we’re currently being encouraged in the ethos that maximizing personal safety is the only possible human value but I don’t think men (who have as a class earned their bread and beans in coal mines and trench combat) are generally given to this sort of thinking.

    Furthermore… the naive view of “wall street” as some clearly separable entity is childish. I don’t think most people even know what they think they mean when they say that. To take one example CalPERS (California public retirement fund) has about $400 billion dollars invested and about as big a dog on “wall street” as there is. If they went belly about over 1.6 million former school teachers, janitors, police officers, firemen, etc are suddenly facing penury in their old age. This is one of many such entities.

    The financial profession has plenty to dislike but “wall street” in the sense you mean is ALSO synonymous with the accumulated wealth and security of the kulaks. There are certainly some genuine weevils in the community granary and yes burning the granary down may be an inconvenience to them… but what will the town eat afterward?

    • Thanks: Daniel Williams
    • Replies: @Paleo Liberal
  148. Spud Boy says:
    @Dave Pinsen

    “The U.S. death toll from COVID-19 is over 1,000 now.”

    OK, so we’re up to 1/30th the number who die annually from regular flus, and 1/100th the number who died in the 1968 pandemic, when we had half the current population. Big whoop.
    .
    .

    • Replies: @Dave Pinsen
    , @Thea
  149. res says:
    @Ragno

    “Luckily” for us we have Corvinus to keep us informed of the latest Astroturfed talking points.

  150. Ron Unz says:
    @Hail

    I stopped actively visiting this site when I sensed the panic starting to emerge (you can confirm that my last comment before today was March 10), figuring it was not a good use of time, and decided at that time to also make a real effort to minimize exposure to the media (without cutting it off entirely), to the extent I could, sensing the oncoming mass hysteria; I could see the outlines of it. I thought to myself it would last a few weeks and assumed a good chance it would come and go by March 31. We are still in it, and with the piling-on (the serious mistake of society-wide closures), it looks impossible that March 31 will be the end; that plus two weeks maybe at most optimistic (Easter 2020, April 12).

    Exactly. I think within another three or four weeks, we should know perfectly well whether the “mainstream experts” or the “debunkers” are the ones correct about the Coronavirus epidemic. It’s nothing at all like arguing about Global Warming.

    • Agree: Jonathan Mason, wren
    • Replies: @Hail
  151. BenKenobi says:
    @Achmed E. Newman

    Well, Achmed, consider the conspiracy angle.

    That Supertramp album cover has long been cited as one of many weird “predictions” of 9/11. Look at the tray held by the waitress. Right above it, the Twin Towers. The “U” and “P” look like a backwards 9/11.

    The internet is trying to tell us something! Will we listen?

    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
  152. @jimmyriddle

    I make sure when I eat pangolins, they’re not fucking.

  153. SFG says:
    @Bleuteaux

    I believe he is a Gen-Xer.

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
    , @nebulafox
  154. @DanHessinMD

    A fairly simple answer as to why few in the US are wearing masks.

    1. There are few for sale online or in the US.

    This is chiefly because:

    2. For inane reasons, the US outsourced it’s face mask production to China, as it has so many industries.

    So the COVID-19 was not only originally “Made in China”, but now so are the face masks which can help go a long way to reducing the rate of infection.

  155. According to the CDC there are 480k deaths from cigarettes annually. 36,500 from traffic accidents.

    We allow driving because of its utility and cigarettes (almost banned) because of individual freedoms.

    As others have said, end the shutdown and let people resume life at their own risk, with the following caveats:

    1. People serving the elderly and sick (eg nursing home staff; nurses) need to self isolate. The government can subsidize them. Nursing homes and other similar institutions need to be in quarantine.

    2. Let everyone know (like tobacco) that you assume your own risks and that for COVID-19 healthcare will be rationed by age. You smoke, you may die prematurely but it’s on you. You’re like my dad – in his 70s with two major heart surgeries – you self quarantine or risk death. It’s up to each individual to decide what precautions are appropriate.

    3. Pass legislation for additional benefits/employment protection/leave for the old and sick that can’t work from home.

    We can’t stop everything for this. It’s likely to linger for 1-2 years. We lose hundreds of thousands every year to keep our freedoms (smoking) and utility (driving). Looks like more people than average are going to have to die for freedom and utility this year. So what? If you have a problem with that then don’t leave your house.

  156. @AnotherDad

    Please run for Senate, we need your common sense there!

  157. moshe says:

    “Right now we are flying fairly blind. But each day, the human race is learning more and more about our adversary. Probably more new knowledge about one subject is being uncovered daily than at any other point in human history. So let’s not shortcircuit the learning process by deciding now when lockdown will be over. Let’s make the decision not 2.5 weeks before Easter, but at the last possible moment when we will know vastly more than we do right now.”

    I’m a sucker for inspiring humanitarian stuff. I’m officially moving my position a bit closer to appreciation for this new religion.

    I’m all for more human happiness and health too. If this gets us there that will be great. I only want my small piece of the pie. As a nomad I don’t know whether or how to receive my Trump-bux. But, whatever. Maybe the knowledge learned and the good will earned will both exist and do some good for us all.

    Three Cheers for Steve Sailer’s optimism and let’s hope he’s right.

    • Replies: @anonguy
  158. guest007 says:
    @Aardvark

    IF the death rate is still accelerating on April 12, most governors and mayors will not back off of stay at home order and social distancing. President Trump has done little to control the pandemic and thus, there is little that the federal government can change to get people back to work.

    Do you really think the NBA will start playing again or Disneyworld will open up because President Trump says so while hospitals are still overwhelmed, one can still not purchase hand sanitizer, and the rest of the world is still closed?

    • Replies: @Corvinus
  159. Thomas says:
    @Jonathan Mason

    The consequences to the economy the #ReOpen crowd keep crowing about seem overblown, and, as much as anything, like a case of “fighting the last war” based on experience from the last recession. I think too many people are just gun shy from 2008.

    There’s no reason to expect that what the economic aftermath of this will be has to be years and years of misery. This isn’t a case like 2008 where Wall Street screwed everything up with their MBSes, CDOs, CDSs, tranches and other financial wizardry that created a systemic problem. This is an exogenous event that basically just caused a halt-in-place of a significant portion of economic activity. Pretend it was an asteroid strike, if you want. It’s reasonable to expect that when it passes, demand is going to be extremely strong. I had a vacation planned next week, for example, that’s obviously off now, but I’m definitely planning to take it again whenever the “all-clear” is given. Many other people will do the same.

    As far as the consequences regarding credit, loans and personal finance are concerned, there’s likely going to have to be some arrangements made and some belt-tightening. The federal government has already approved forbearances on student loans and federally-backed home loans. Affected states and localities are instituting eviction and foreclosure moratoriums. The courts are effectively closed many places, at least for in-person hearings, so good luck getting a judgment against a debtor. The banks are probably just going to have to throw us a bone here and wait for their money. Given that Congress just forked over the equivalent of more than a quarter of the country’s GDP to them in “stimulus,” I think they ought to pay it forward a little.

    One thing I’m worried about right now though: too many earnest, productive citizens who have never even thought before in their lives about calling up their creditors to ask for a forbearance, who would be ashamed if they did, and who are going to let themselves get into their own personal financial crisis as a result.

  160. Corn says:
    @Ragno

    “ Plunging the country and, in our immediate wake, the rest of the world, into a second Great Depression is okay, cuz they, like, haven’t given that one too much, like, thought yet.”

    Have you heard the phrase being bandied about that this pandemic is “the socialists’ 9/11”?

    For alot of these degenerates crashing the economy is a feature, not a bug. If pandemonium panic causes enough economic discomfort then the media will depict Trump as Herbert Hoover 2.0, Senile Biden will be praised as carrying FDR’s mantle, and then it’s Goodbye Borders and Hello Green New Deal!

  161. Corvinus says:
    @Anon

    “This was all a hyped up false flag operation by the oligarchs in some Quantivirus Easing to shift Wall Street and the money supply.”

    Wait, I thought that the Covid-19 pandemic would finally bring globalism and immigration to its knees, and Jewish banking cabal will come to a screeching halt!

    https://culturewars.com/news/the-coronavirus-and-the-culture-war

    Just as the Black Death, which carried off 40 percent of Europe’s population in the mid-14th century, signaled the end of the Middle Ages in de Mattei’s eyes, so the coronavirus pandemic signals the end of the American Empire and the era of Globalization, as practiced by oligarchs like George Soros. Globalization is both the perpetrator and ultimate victim of the current crisis because it “destroys space and pulverizes distances.” But because God is in charge of history Globalization finds itself subjected to the cunning of reason which has created “social distance, the isolation of the individual and quarantine,” all of which are “diametrically opposed to the ‘open society’ hoped for by George Soros.” De Mattei believes that the pandemic is bringing an end to “the world without borders.”

  162. anonguy says:
    @Bill

    Same thing with the notion that it is an engineered Chinese bioweapon.

    China appears to have been as surprised by many aspects of this virus as is the West.

    • Replies: @Bill
  163. @DanHessinMD

    Obviously a mask looks dorky, but you can wear all sorts of colors, and funny messages, and sell ad space. It could be great fun!

    Dude, this is America.

    Looking cool is far more important than trying to stay healthy.

  164. guest007 says:
    @George

    One needs to look up what is happening in Sweden before discussing what is happening in Sweden.

    On a per capita basis, Sweden has more positive cases and more deaths than the U.S.

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

    https://www.thelocal.se/

  165. @Anon

    Cytokine storms are how this virus kills (mostly, there are some plain vanilla pneumonia deaths). Cytokine storms are triggered by genetic circumstances combined with age related immune senescence. That makes this thing very selective. You should take comfort in the fact that your relatives have survived.

  166. Trump promised Easter, goshdarnit, and so like The Wall, it WILL be by Easter … not sure which year, but Easter, dammit!

  167. moshe says:
    @Ron Unz

    Having read Mein Kampf, one of the things I agree with Hitler about is that:

    The only thing worse than a “Zionist Jew” is a non-Zionist Jew.

    That’s you Ron.

    Hitler considered you a far more dangerous sort of Jew than the openly Zionist Jew and he was right.

    The Zionist Jew at keast has a Homeland and a Nationality. YOU are the unconnected metropolitan, international Jew with no loyalties at all but to your odd ways of making money and influencing the public discourse based upon the peculiarities of his own mental illness.

    YOU are the enemy of mankind and everyone, Jew and Gentile alike know it. None would trust you as long as your mishapen head. And nobody wants to be around you.

    You still have a choice however.

    The people who live watchingbyou disembowel your homemade Zionist Jew Pinata will happily disembowel you too once you’ve served your purpose.

    The Zionist Jews hiwever will cease regarding you as the race-traitor TO CIVILIZATION that you are, once you stop being one.

    I wish you well. What good people hate is not the sinner but the sin. And sin generally does not arise from a happy and settled soul. I wish you happiness and a settled soul. May you have all good things Ron Unz. And may the new you be a better friend to us all. Zionist and non Zionist and Mexican and Muslim alike.

    Be well.

  168. guest007 says:
    @unit472

    If people want to go out and ignore public health recommendations, shouldn’t those risk tolerate also sign a do not treat/do not resuscitate order so that the brave do not become a burden to healthcare.

    People seem willing to accept risk until they get sick and then they demand to be saved.

    Everyone should ask themselves if they would fly on a commercial jet if a jet crashed once a day. Unless one is willing to accept that risk, one should just shut up about accepting a much higher level of risk.

    • Replies: @Sam Haysom
  169. @Aardvark

    Trying to be done by April 12 sounds like a tidy little script:

    1. Turn on Corona Virus
    2. Scare people, close businesses, create financial havoc, get tyrannical with power grabs.
    3. Pass a bill with lots of payoffs to buy votes and insert a bunch of unrelated legislation like D.I.E. initiatives.
    4. Turn-off CV.

    All done!

    5. Wait a suitable period for dumb money to pour back into markets.
    6. GoTo 1:

    There, fixed it for ya’

    • LOL: Aardvark
  170. @SFG

    …to save Boomers like yourself.

    I believe he is a Gen-Xer.

    Don’t expect precision from those who resort to such idiotic terms.

  171. Anonymous[326] • Disclaimer says:
    @CAL2

    “So far no one has shown this to be more than a bad flu.”

    Wrong. We don’t run out of ventilators during flu season. Many, many doctors have shown this to be a serious threat. It is SARS 2. If you believe the entire world is quarantined over a hoax, you need psychological help. The economy is not the issue. I don’t care what the stock market does, it had always been a scam and a grift.

    Let’s be a real country again that solves real problems, not just worker bees for the banking elite.

    And the economy will be ruined either way. It will rebound faster if the virus is actually contained.

    Please stop listening to the likes of Charlie Kirk and Donald Trump. They are wrong on this and so are you.

    • Replies: @CAL2
  172. Anon[480] • Disclaimer says:

    Italy’s infection rate has almost matched China’s. Italy’s 8.1K deaths are also more likely to be what China’s actual death rate was at this stage.

  173. wren says:
    @Ron Unz

    I’ve always had a very high opinion of the PRC government, but they exceeded my expectations.

    I no longer know if you are being serious.

    As far as I know, and anyone can correct me if I am wrong, the PRC government has never been a big fan of alternative media.

    Or maybe alternative media is not important?

    Or maybe they just never needed it?

    Or maybe I’m just not smart enough to understand your game. The other day you were praising Goebbels or Hitler joking about the Jews, which I couldn’t figure out either.

    I’m missing something, and I can’t understand it.

  174. @A123

    It would look scarier on a logarithmic scale.

    A: “Long enough to deal with the panic.”

    Whose panic! Cuts at least two ways.

  175. This might be of use to some readers:

    10 misconceptions about the 1918 flu, the ‘greatest pandemic in history’

    It’s refreshing to see them use misconception rather than the godawful inaccurate and cynical myth that lazy “journalists” are prone to.

  176. AaronB says:
    @Ron Unz

    Please, Ron, I think we both know you thought “it was the Jews” all along 🙂

  177. Anon[217] • Disclaimer says:
    @DanHessinMD

    I’ve been wearing a mask to work for the past 3 weeks to total derision from my co-workers and even my boss. “Paranoid”, “that mask isn’t going to help you”, “we’re all probably infected anyway”. Now I’m still feeling healthy and half the place is out sick. Where do I work? A hospital laboratory!

  178. Testing12 says:
    @Ron Unz

    “I’ve always had a very high opinion of the PRC government…”

    I predict this remark will not age well.

    • Replies: @Lot
  179. Anonymous[326] • Disclaimer says:

    What percent of the bootstrappy “let’s get back to work” crowd are actually just worried about food insecurity for themselves? Because the answer to that is for the government to

    PAY PEOPLE TO STAY HOME

    The amount of money created out of thin air this month and given to banks is an abomination. We should be demanding that an equal amount be given directly to the people to stay home and pay their bills. Optionally, once it’s all over, we demand the banks pay it all back (both the money they took now and from 2008, with interest.)

    Our government supposedly works for the people. We are not slaves to banks. Demand the government do something for you for once.

    MMT, quantatative easing, money printer go burr- it is all a means of enslaving working people. Demand its end!

    To those who say, “I would gladly die to stave off a depression,” I say that I would gladly suffer a ten year depression to drive bankers from our shores! This is our chance to get our country back. Have patience, and do what is right for the people.

  180. @CAL2

    Well, this de-escalated quickly:

    However, after just one day of ordered lockdowns in the U.K., [Neil] Ferguson is presenting drastically downgraded estimates, revealing that far more people likely have the virus than his team figured. Now, the epidemiologist predicts, hospitals will be just fine taking on COVID-19 patients and estimates 20,000 or far fewer people will die from the virus itself or from its agitation of other ailments, as reported by New Scientist Wednesday.

    Ferguson thus dropped his prediction from 500,000 dead to 20,000.

    https://www.dailywire.com/news/epidemiologist-behind-highly-cited-coronavirus-model-admits-he-was-wrong-drastically-revises-model

  181. Sean says:
    @Ron Unz

    Par for the course that disease weakens and makes ripe for subjugation. The Conquistadors and before that the Yamnaya crushed enervated peoples.

    • Replies: @anon
  182. Jack D says:
    @TelfoedJohn

    Great Chinese Famine leads to Chinese having peculiar tastes in wild animals – snakes, bats, turtles etc, in order to stay alive

    1. The Chinese have been having famines for centuries although the Great Chinese Famine was a biggie. (OTOH, they don’t have famines anymore.)

    2. The Chinese have been eating exotic critters for centuries too. This is has more to do with their system of traditional medicine than their history of famine. Good luck gathering up (or affording to buy) enough expensive snake penises to stave off the hunger of a billion people. OTOH, if a few guys need some traditional Viagra, a wee pinch will suffice.

  183. @Yojimbo/Zatoichi

    You completely miss the point.

    We have armies because someone will cause trouble somewhere are we must be prepared.

    My city has tornado sirens because we know a tornado will land sometime, and we don’t know where or when or how big.

    We have a fire department and a police department and hospitals because some bad things will happen, but we don’t know what or when or how bad.

    So we prepare.

    Scientists warned about Katrina and Sandy years before they happened, but we were not prepared, which was a terrible dereliction of duty. These will happen again and we are still not prepared.

    We were warned there would be a major pandemic by 2020, and we were not prepared. In fact His Royal Trumpness made us even less prepared.

    The job of government is to be prepared and protect us against known disasters.

    Saying someone predicting the inevitable is “chicken little” is foolish.

    • Replies: @Buroaker
  184. @adreadline

    Trump might have already made up his mind.

    Or he might not have. You are just speculating.

    Having a fixed date as a goal

    Its called a deadline. They’re very effective at keeping people focused and on task. Deadlines can always be pushed back.

  185. Yusef says:
    @Sean

    Hey there buddy,

    Doesn’t it bother you at all to use as your examples of potential severity occurrences of more than 100 years ago? Can you demonstrate for me why we should see 2020 as similar to 1918? For my part, I can list numerous differences.

    Besides that, is it really fair to compare allowing a parade with not allowing people to go to work? Sure, whatever the severity of this virus actually turns out to be, and I have my own serious doubts, I wouldn’t for a moment balk if authorities banned parades for the duration of the crisis.

    Where I do sympathize with you is that 100 years to prepare and plan could have and should have given us the opportunity to respond so much better than we are evidently able to do. We are miles ahead logistically, organizationally, and in terms of understanding public health requirements than we were in 1918, (I’m not even talking technologically, medical or otherwise) but this is not reflected in this train wreck of a response.

    This is part of what makes me doubt what’s happening. We’re stupid, but we are not this stupid.

    • Replies: @Sean
  186. We *just now* sent a warship through Taiwan strait antagonizing China, during our negotiations for med supplies from China – for the sake of ally Taiwan who also isn’t exporting masks to us despite being top per capita mask maker on earth -6X per capita production of China with 12.6 Million per day for 23.8 Million people – I’ve been trying to get the word out on this emailing hundreds of journalists but so far only Steve and Kevin Drum have been interested enough to post on it. Getting medical equipment from anyone China or Taiwan, obviously isn’t our government’s top goal right now. How do we get this on Tucker Carlson’s radar? The segment writes itself.

    See Reuters: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-taiwan-security-usa/u-s-warship-sails-through-taiwan-strait-amid-heightened-china-tensions-idUSKBN21D03V

    See Kevin Drum: https://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2020/03/can-we-get-more-surgical-masks-from-taiwan/

  187. G. Poulin says:
    @tbmcc

    Yeah, if Washington could have seen what we’ve become he would have gone crawling to King George , begging the monarch’s forgiveness. Time to put an end to this shit hole of a republic.

  188. Barnard says:
    @Whiskey

    It’s a transparent attempt to create 50% unemployment to get Biden elected.

    You might be able to make a case it is an attempt to get Biden replaced on the ticket with Andrew Cuomo at the convention. Biden’s performance since going to hiding has been even worse than his campaign appearances. It wouldn’t be surprising if the Democrats intentionally infected him so they could run a replacement candidate and use Joe as a martyr.

  189. @nebulafox

    I’d make a suggestion that you take your panties off for a while, it seems that they are on WAY TOO TIGHT.

  190. Spud Boy says:

    Dr. Drew has a hot (IMHO) take that elevators are a significant source of transmission of the virus. Most Chinese live in high rises with elevators and we can see what’s happening in NY City, as compared to CA where there are relatively few tall buildings and elevators.
    .
    .

  191. @diegodepaloma

    How does the joke go? Peter Schiff has correctly forecast twenty out of the last three recessions.

    • LOL: Ron Unz
    • Replies: @Mark G.
  192. @Thomas

    This will have deeper and more lasting economic impact than 2008. People weren’t afraid to go to restaurants in 2008.

  193. @Ron Unz

    On the bright side, Silicon Valley and then California overall led the nation in locking things down, and therefore seems to have largely avoided the disaster that we’re starting to see in New York, Louisiana, and Florida.

    Agreed. I feel much more comfortable living in the Bay Area right now than I would in New York. If New Yorkers don’t get a handle on it soon, and it may already be too late, their state will begin to resemble Italy or Spain.

  194. @Jonathan Mason

    They are not stupid ideas. With the damage done to certain industries like travel, tourism, hotels, oil, it could take years to fully recover, especially if people started defaulting on home mortgages and car payments thus driving down real estate prices and destroying people’s credit records. There is also the possibility of large numbers filing for bankruptcy over medical bills.

    Every problem you mention – both here in this passage and in the rest of your post – is more easily handled with a sharp, short overreaction than with trying to get back to business-as-usual as soon as possible and let the flu run its course with minimal interventions.

    The travel industry can handle a two-month hiatus with government support. It cannot handle a multi-year downturn in its market in which it would be impossible for the government to continually bolster it.

    The travel industry is heavily dependent on customers who are older than fifty. If you don’t beat this virus now, how eager do you think that large customer base will be to get back to their cruise ships and travel itineraries as the flu continues to rampage through their demographic ranks and hospitals continue to be overburdened?

  195. Anon[223] • Disclaimer says:
    @Ron Unz

    Ron,
    Why has California’s government been so much better at stuff like this than other countries? I’m fairly young, but I grew up in 90s California, and while the state certainly has problems, it has done much better than all the other states in the country. I even thought at one point the decreasing White Minority would at least lead to stagnation, just due to the lack of Anglo influence in the state government.

    Yet, it is doing far better than other states, and vastly beating expectations for a locality that now is only 30% White and 70% non-White, with a substantial number of them being Non-Asian Minorities.

    Another interesting thing, Texas is also doing well, in having low cases and deaths despite not shutting down. They seem to be following the Japan/South Korea model, with a lot of masks and drive by testing.

    • Replies: @Ron Unz
  196. anon[343] • Disclaimer says:

    Many natural phenomena demonstrate the sigmoid function.

    https://infogalactic.com/info/Sigmoid_function

    A pandemic is one of them. The Johns Hopkins dashboard had a graph of cases in China that turned out to be a sigmoid. That part of the dashboard is now dominated by “cases outside”, for obvious reasons.

    Ignoring all the panic and noise and political posturing, the question is:

    Where is the US on that sigmoid?

    By casual inspection it can be seen that COVID-19 is nonuniformly distributed, therefore different states are at different parts of the curve. It should be obvious that CA and NY will reach the point of saturation sooner than Wyoming.

    The answer to iSteve’s question is “it depends”. One thing is certain, declaring “mission accomplished” too soon will have bad results for people.

    • Replies: @another fred
  197. I think we have all the data we need right now but nobody is looking at it. Here is what I mean.

    The quarantining and social distancing measures that have sprung up like hedges all throughout the land ought to be effective against the common cold, the seasonal flu, gastroenteritis, and a bunch of other things which themselves also cause a steady and predictable number of hospitalizations. Most of these diseases have comparable or shorter incubation periods than corona is purported to have. If the distancing is working, then hospitals ought to be rather underwhelmed right now with infectious disease cases.

    Is anybody even looking at that? Has anybody reported on that? What’s going on with ordinary influenza right now? That ought to serve as a pretty good proxy for what’s going on with Covid-19 and, let me tell you, if we’re not seeing any reduction in influenza-related hospitalizations or deaths, then it becomes icily clear that this whole stupid shutdown was unnecessary and ruinous and somebody needs to pay big time.

  198. J.Ross says:

    Let’s talk about identifying and destroying targets with a goal of merciless humiliation. File with people, from a certain supremacist group feared by many governments, violating quarantines and deliberately spitting on groceries. Notice that “Greenland” refers to the name of the company, not the North Atlantic country.
    The Sydney Morning Herald:

    China raided in bulk Australia’s supplies of masks, hand sanitiser, antibacterial wipes and essential medical supplies and shipped them back to China.
    This exercise went on for weeks through January and February.
    China sourced 3 million protective masks, 700,000 hazmat suits and 500,000 pairs of protective gloves from “Australia, Canada, Turkey and other countries.”
    The goods shipped in bulk to China include the very items that have been in short supply for Australian citizens as well as health professionals.

    https://archive.vn/VFQse
    https://archive.vn/TPKiP
    https://archive.vn/hYvJN
    https://archive.vn/VFQse
    Anon summarizes:

    [“Greenlanders”] bought this stuff in January and February, realizing that the [Chinese virus] was going to get bad. The Australian Government could have banned the export of all these things. But no one in the Australian Government was concerned.

    Tell me again about how our government is protecting us from the Phantom Nazis. This is the kind of thing that gives government a legitimate reason to exist. A government which does not respond to this should not be allowed to exist.

  199. anon[343] • Disclaimer says:
    @Sean

    The Conquistadors and before that the Yamnaya crushed enervated peoples.

    Which Conquistadors are you referring to? Not Cortez, nor Pizarro for sure.
    Bernal Diaz del Castillo’s work “The Conquest of New Spain” makes that clear, and it is a first-person account not some history book.

    Don’t be lazy.

  200. @Ron Unz

    There seem to be lots of very knowledgeable experts saying they expect a million dead Americans…

    Of course there’ll be a million dead Americans over the next 3 or 4 months! That’s because about 3,000,000 or so die every year. The questions are: How many would have died from another health problem during that same period? How many deaths are from the Kung Flu complicating already existing conditions? How many died from the Kung Flu instead of just “the flu”? (OK, that’s just a more specific version of the first question.)

    I think the argument’s resolution won’t be quite so simple, even after a few months. They’ll be people on all sides saying they were right. Not many but Ron Paul and I seem to be question the use of this panic-fest to implement harder-core Socialism though (… and a few good commenters here, I should add.)

    …if we’re lucky!

    … it’ll hit Washington, FS like a ton of bricks. Again, there’s that wishful thinking though …

    • Replies: @Pincher Martin
    , @Hail
  201. @BenKenobi

    Yeah, the internet is trying to tell us something all right … ;-}

    I can’t even see that backwards 9/11 – do I need to squint? BTW, when did we go from playing records backwards to learn Satanic stuff to looking at the album cover? There are no album covers anymore, hell there are no albums either.

    • Replies: @Mr. Anon
  202. @Dr. DoomNGloom

    the ossified FDA response

    Which he neither prevented nor took any responsibility for?

    • Replies: @BenKenobi
  203. J1234 says:

    When should we shut down? As soon as possible.

    When should we decide when to open up again? As late as possible.

    Let’s procrastinate in making that decision to reopen.

    It might turn out to be a good idea to reopen on Easter (April 12). (It probably won’t, but it might.) When would be the right time to make that decision? Oh, about 11:59 PM on Holy Saturday. If we have really turned the corner by Easter, well, ring out the church bells to announce our victory over the foe. But if the battle is still ongoing, let’s postpone declaring victory until its for real.

    Right now we are flying fairly blind. But each day, the human race is learning more and more about our adversary. Probably more new knowledge about one subject is being uncovered daily than at any other point in human history. So let’s not shortcircuit the learning process by deciding now when lockdown will be over. Let’s make the decision not 2.5 weeks before Easter, but at the last possible moment when we will know vastly more than we do right now.

    Well said. This is the intelligent approach.

    I think Trump says, “Let’s reopen on Easter,” to encourage Wall St. and others, knowing that it may not happen. I do hear some encouraging news on the epidemic front, but I agree that we can’t know til we get there.

  204. Buroaker says:
    @Paleo Liberal

    The Catastrophe Theory of Reform has over the millennium proved the most durable human preparatory scheme.
    “We didn’t start the Fire”~ Bill Joel

  205. Fun says:
    @Anon

    Wall Street bailouts are never going to outweigh COVID-19 economic losses. Stimulus bills are tourniquets, not golden parachutes.

  206. @moshe

    A vicious, stupid, mean spirited, pointless screed.

    Unz.com is one of the only sites that actually allows real free speech and the free exchange of ideas.

    While I don’t always agree with Ron on every issue, it’s evident that he has solid intellectual integrity.

    The very fact that your nasty butt hurt post is allowed to remain proves my point.

    Furthermore….I have never seen Ron write anything so bitter and hateful….so maybe you’re the one who actually needs the introspection and soul searching.

  207. Enochian says:
    @Dave Pinsen

    1,000 deaths is outdated too. There are 80,000 confirmed cases in the U.S. right now, and a significant fraction of those 80,000 are certain to die unless a miraculous cure is found within the next week or two. It won’t be. There’s not much we can do about that, but there are things we can do to avoid having this same conversation next week when it’s 250,000, or the week after when it’s going to be a million.

    • Agree: Thomas
    • Replies: @another fred
  208. @Athletic and Whitesplosive

    He’s 0% percent effective. He’s slightly better than the Dems but he’s suppressing the development of a real Right. I previously said I’d vote for the lesser of two evils. Now I’m planning on staying home.

    • Replies: @Rob (London)
  209. David says:
    @Kim

    Landowners were themselves happy to break any law in their efforts to tempt scarce labor onto their lands.

  210. @Je Suis Omar Mateen

    Another entrant in the competition for this year’s Darwin Award!

    • Replies: @Je Suis Omar Mateen
  211. @Anonymousse

    There are a large number of people who are still going to work in conditions of varying risk.

    My son works in a factory that is open because essential stuff is made there. Low to moderate risk.

    My wife is a health care worker and sees patients. I don’t want to think about the risk.

    I work from home. My main risk is catching it from a family member. Zero risk of me catching it from or spreading it to anyone else at my work.

    My other kids have had their work shut down.

    The point is, by us not getting sick, that is less risk of the ones who have to work getting sick.

    Already two health care workers in my county have tested positive. They can’t treat patients. Patients they already treated are at risk. In some parts of the country health care workers have already died.

    So if you get sick, who will care for you?

  212. Taleb says better safe than sorry.

    That’s too intelligent for you mooks.

    Something your grandma used to say is too intelligent for you mooks.

    Small businesses in Russia and China and Cuba will do just fine. Despite a long lockdown. Because Communist governments own the banks. And then, communists work together to overcome difficulties, whatever they are.

    Explain to me how capitalism, free markets, will help us end the plague.

    Hardehar. I am laughing ahead of time at you pathetic attempts to explain that.

    You mooks just sit alone and bitch. And think you’re intellectuals.

    • Replies: @Yusef
  213. @Thomas

    I think too many people are just gun shy from 2008.

    Yes, well there were massive bankruptcies in 2008, especially for people who owned real estate, and perhaps the multi-trillion interventions will prevent that this time. Let’s hope so, and a quick end to the quarantines will help business to get back to normal before permanent damage is done.

    A three month moratorium on all mortgage payments, rents, car payments, credit card payments, commercial loans, etc. for anyone who wanted it would be a big help. (I personally would not need to take advantage of these) and then everything could start up again.

    But there could be a lot of changes in the future.

    August 31st, 2018

    President Donald Trump told lawmakers on Thursday he wants to scrap a pay raise for civilian federal workers, saying the nation’s budget couldn’t support it.

    In a letter to House and Senate leaders, Trump described the pay increase as “inappropriate.”
    “We must maintain efforts to put our Nation on a fiscally sustainable course, and Federal agency budgets cannot sustain such increases,” the President wrote.

    https://www.cnn.com/2018/08/30/politics/trump-cancels-federal-employee-pay-raises/index.html

    So how come we now have (literally) trillions of dollars to spend to slow the spread in the US of a flu virus that has swept the planet . It may be a worse than average flu virus, admittedly.

    What else can we do in the future with a few trillion dollars? Perhaps a month’s paid vacation for everybody at the heart of each flu season, to get as many Americans as possible out of the country, and slow the spread of flu, which kills millions each year.

    And we can have walls built along the Mexican and Canadian borders (both Canadian borders) for just a few billion dollars each, and provide a huge number of jobs in construction of these three walls. We can offer free birthing for all mothers who are US citizens with a copay of just $10, to encourage people to have babies, and free child care up to school age, and free formula or powdered milk for 2 years.

    Now that we have opened the spigot, there is so much that can be done, now that all the BS about not being able to afford things has been exploded, and we can just print money if we need it without any economic consequences. After all, the whole point of having the world’s most popular currency is that we can do what we want with it and not worry about exchange rates.

    Or is there possibly something that I am missing?

  214. @Hypnotoad666

    The drop in the prediction seems partly (mostly?) due to his estimate of the success of measures taken.

    A somewhat more objective version of the story:

    “New data from the rest of Europe suggests that the outbreak is running faster than expected, said Ferguson. As a result, epidemiologists have revised their estimate of the reproduction number (R0) of the virus. This measure of how many other people a carrier usually infects is now believed to be just over three, he said, up from 2.5. “That adds more evidence to support the more intensive social distancing measures,” he said.

    Read more: https://www.newscientist.com/article/2238578-uk-has-enough-intensive-care-units-for-coronavirus-expert-predicts/#ixzz6HpbBs0Wt

  215. wren says:

    Since we are all letting our conspiracy flags fly, I am now coming to conclusion that Fauci is pushing for a shutdown for too long in order to kill the economy so that Cuomo can be installed as leader.

    https://theconservativetreehouse.com/2020/03/21/political-health-the-motives-of-a-very-very-political-dr-fauci/

    https://theconservativetreehouse.com/2020/03/22/the-chosen-one-rises/#more-187073

    None of this is to say that this ISN’T a serious virus. I am taking it very seriously. But very strange things are going on too!

  216. Sean says:
    @Yusef

    People failing to isolate were called “slackers” in 1918-19. Having their head forced into a barrel filled with oil gave them an idea of what the folk that got infected were suffering. As it seems that might be necessary again, time for the American Protective League to make a comback I think.

    • Replies: @Paleo Liberal
    , @Anon
    , @Yusef
  217. David says:
    @Jonathan Mason

    divided between those who believe Trump is a visionary who sees what others do not see, and those who believe Trump is a charlatan

    It’s a false dichotomy. Trump’s ideas aren’t visionary. Most of them are common sense.

  218. @Spud Boy

    Do you not understand the implications of exponential growth? The number of deaths is up 27% in 24 hours.

  219. Thomas says:
    @Dave Pinsen

    People may not have been afraid to go to restaurants in 2008, but they were losing their homes, and trillions of dollars in value and demand was just disappearing. I’m sure that whether or not people are going out to sit down at restaurants, they’re still eating food. “Restaurants are closing” is going to be the new “crops are rotting in the fields” scare tactic.

    • Replies: @Dave Pinsen
  220. BenKenobi says:
    @Alexander Turok

    It seems Mr. Trump is only President when he can be blamed for something.

    Any other time: annnnd heeeeerrrre come the injunctions!

    • Replies: @Alexander Turok
  221. @Jonathan Mason

    Casa Blanca Fulla Dollars starring Clint Trumpwood as the Casino Boss With a Goldmine and a Heart of Gold.

  222. Thomas says:
    @Jonathan Mason

    So how come we now have (literally) trillions of dollars to spend to slow the spread in the US of a flu virus that has swept the planet . It may be a worse than average flu virus, admittedly.

    This isn’t a flu virus at all, neither biologically nor in its individual and epidemiological impact. As far as we can tell so far, it’s 10-30 times deadlier than seasonal flu, more than twice as infectious, and has an incubation period three times as long.

    • Replies: @Jonathan Mason
  223. Lot says:
    @Testing12

    While I am not completely sure, I think this is *extremely suspicious,* and have a theory explaining it as well as Godfree Roberts.

    • LOL: Testing12
    • Replies: @anon
    , @AnonFrogger
  224. Bill says:
    @anonguy

    Yeah, the reaction of the US government and media has been paranoid and bizarre. Pompeo claimed the other day that Iran had a big role in spreading the virus. Multiple high officials have made these dark allusions to how China will be made to pay for the pandemic. There are all these articles and bots claiming that China hid the pandemic or was incompetent in fighting it or something and is therefore responsible. All crazy stuff.

    • Agree: Ron Unz
    • Replies: @anonguy
  225. Thomas says:
    @Anonymous

    Anyway, COVID-19 likely does resemble the flu in one big way: the mortality rate. Flu kills .1% of its victims annually, while COVID-19 kills probably not more than .2%, making it perhaps twice as deadly.

    Where did you get that number? Lowest I’ve seen is in the 1% range.

  226. Enochian says:

    What will the world of international travel look like after the worst of this? The world may be partitioned between those countries who are covid free (so far only PRC) and those where it continues to circulate. China has something like 100 million international trips into/out from the country every year, and even universal testing of all those people for the virus might not be good enough to stop it from flowing back into the country. Likewise there are many third world countries that I can’t see ever really eradicating the virus.

  227. Bill says:
    @wren

    Why do you think hydroxychloroquine works? The studies done so far don’t say that. I don’t think anyone really knows whether it improves the course of the disease or not at this point. When you say this:

    I haven’t seen many examples where it really didn’t work.

    are you seriously suggesting that there are not lots of people who were treated with hydroxychloroquine and died?

    • Disagree: The Wild Geese Howard
  228. Kylie says:
    @Jack D

    Jack D, I’m over 60 with minor respiratory problems (otherwise healthy). I didn’t take your cool-headed assessment of the advantages of a reduced number of vulnerable people as a death wish aimed at the old folks.

    Cool-headed is not the same as cold-hearted. Speculative thought is not the same as genocidal wishing. Of course, I don’t need to tell you that.

  229. ATBOTL says:
    @Ron Unz

    Zionist Neoocons and Evangelical Christian Boomers are basically the same now. This is coming from the larger neocon aligned Rush/Hannity style conservatism, ie “boomer conservatism.” You can read similar comments on Free Republic, except they don’t give historical examples. What’s behind this is a primitive desire to downplay bad news when a GOP president is in office. If you recall, boomer conservatives and neocons were like this about the housing bubble. They did not want to hear anything negative about the economy that might reflect poorly on Saint Dubya.

    • Agree: Ron Unz, Testing12
  230. @Achmed E. Newman

    this Kung Flu

    I think I prefer “Flu Manchu”.

    Stay six feet from those nails!

  231. vhrm says:
    @Luke Lea

    Is there any polling on how the elderly feel about crashing the economy to extend their lives?

    It’s not just about the economy, but also the quality of those extended lives.

    How many want to live their last months under house / room arrest (in assisted living communities) without being able to see their families, friends or going for a walk outside?

  232. MKP says:
    @AnotherDad

    I seriously can’t read through three posts on this site without seeing some comment complaining about tattoos on young women.

    Am I the only one who finds them hot?

  233. anon[343] • Disclaimer says:
    @Lot

    … have a theory explaining it as well as Godfree Roberts.

    You should discuss this theory with John Derbyshire sometime.

    • Replies: @Lot
  234. @John Burns, Gettysburg Partisan

    Excellent comment, Mr. Burns. I’m not sure why we don’t agree more.

  235. @Ron Unz

    Simply amazing. Silicon Valley or California wouldn’t have to be in lockdown to mitigate the Wuhan virus spread — there are American states doing just fine without extreme measures — if it wasn’t for all this wonderful local diversity. It’s almost like if our population were somehow actually from here, and not constantly going back and forth between their homelands and here, we wouldn’t have to worry about lockdowns over imported diseases. Seriously — it’s almost like you want to give California credit for being asisine in trying to cleanup a mess it helped create. No.

    Btw — how much cash do you have left Ron? I beg you to sponsor CalExit. America would keep 90 percent of the land anyway, and the Bay Area and Los Angeles could become city states that facilitate ease of quarantine.

    And since we know Mexicans don’t litter, I’m sure those regions will do fine.

    Sounds like a win-win situation for all.

    • Replies: @Alexander Turok
  236. fenster says:

    Is there any good information on the deaths? The basics like gender, age, pre-existing conditions but also any other characteristics? And any information on the circumstances of infection? Assuming most of the deaths are elderly and infirm what do we know about how they got it? The nursing home in Washington State is sometimes left out of the stats as a special case. But how special is it? How often did the dead get infected in an institutional situation? A hospital, even, that they may have been in for a respiratory problem? A household suitably quarantined with other family members and close quarters promoting infection rather than the opposite?

    The Italy numbers are stunning in terms of the deaths being almost exclusively a function of the very old PLUS more than one serious pre-existing condition. It has been theorized that the spike may be due to entire hospitals “catching” it.

    What if the measures we are taking are promoting the spread? If that is the case your argument to go slow may not make sense. We are possibly making it worse so why keep it up?

    Or it could be a blessing in disguise. If it turns out that many many more people are already infected than we have supposed our efforts to avoid herd immunity may end up promoting it. And that may be a good thing.

  237. dfordoom says: • Website
    @Achmed E. Newman

    Nobody is BLAMING the Chinese

    There are people on this very site who are doing just that.

    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
  238. Thea says:
    @Bleuteaux

    The blame rests squarely in Beijing not with American boomers. F China f them up the rear for this mess

  239. @Thomas

    This isn’t a flu virus at all, neither biologically nor in its individual and epidemiological impact. As far as we can tell so far, it’s 10-30 times deadlier than seasonal flu, more than twice as infectious, and has an incubation period three times as long.

    Who is “we”? Are you actually a research scientist, or a White House intern? No it is not identical to influenza in the respects y0u are mentioning, but in terms of the symptoms and the supportive care required there is no practical difference and if the coronavirus had not been identified in China, it would still have been diagnosed as:

    ICD-10 J11.08 Influenza due to unidentified influenza virus with specified pneumonia

    rather than:

    ICD-10 U07.1 COVID-19 for a diagnosis of COVID-19 confirmed by laboratory testing.

    or

    ICD-10 U07.2 COVID-19, for a clinical or epidemiological diagnosis of COVID-19 where laboratory confirmation is inconclusive or not available.

    Either may be used as a cause of death.

    Anyway, I maintain that for practical purposes in clinical practice, there is little difference from flu.

    For example when a patient presents for symptoms, it would make sense to test for both flu and COVID-19 as it would be very difficult to make a differential diagnosis without testing, especially when you are dealing with many patients in limited time and many will be poor historians, second language speakers, and so on, besides which the flu test only takes two minutes at most to get a result–usually less.

    I also think that claims that the death rate is 10 to 30 times more deadly than flu in the same population will be found to be inaccurate when more US data is in.

    • Replies: @Sean
    , @Thomas
    , @Pincher Martin
  240. @moshe

    Unz.com was an odd place to post that message. Kinda like you have a rib bone in your mouth and sauce running down your chin while you tell the chef, “And another thing about you fucking barbecue guys…”

  241. @Dave Pinsen

    “This will have deeper and more lasting economic impact than 2008. People weren’t afraid to go to restaurants in 2008.”

    Lol. People aren’t afraid of restaurants; governors shut them down.

    • Replies: @Dave Pinsen
  242. @UK

    As always, Queen Ann is both brilliant and right.

  243. Anon[567] • Disclaimer says:
    @Ron Unz

    The best rebuttal of Jack D’s optimistic idea that there’d be full employment after the die off was the person who commented that 14th century Europe didn’t have a gazillion Hispanic Indian and Asian cheap workers willing and able to get here and offer themselves to replace both the deal and alive Americans

    Saw something on freerepublic. The chamber of commerce is lobbying against Trump’s idea of bringing back manufacture of medicines and medical equipment back to America. Cof C wants to keep essential medical supplies coming from China.

  244. @Alexander Turok

    “Another entrant in the competition for this year’s Darwin Award!”

    I’m a healthy GenX man, so the kung flu is harmless. For me it is a relaxing staycation and opportunity to create playsome memes whilst honing my ‘shopfu.

    You can’t spell kung flu without F-U-N.

    We ❤ you corona-chan!

    • Replies: @The Wild Geese Howard
  245. @BenKenobi

    What the f*** are you talking about? I blamed Obama for his failures, never accepted his “all my problems are Bush’s fault.” I’ll blame senile Joe in ten months.

  246. dfordoom says: • Website
    @AnotherDad

    i’m well aware that in US, as soon as the epidemic is over … our “leaders” will call for … “more immigration!” to “rebuild”.

    True, except that the loudest calls for more immigration to get the economy rolling again will come from the corporate sector, and even more especially from small business and from farmers.

  247. @neutral

    That’s because you do not understand exponential growth.

  248. Enochian says:

    For anyone not keeping track, the US has just become the world leader in confirmed corona cases.

  249. vhrm says:
    @DanHessinMD

    To sum up, our strategy consists of two parts:
    (1) Remove our economy.
    (2) Let the virus run and get herd immunity (by not taking the central step of wearing masks).

    If (2) is the path anyway, it would have been better if we didn’t take step (1).

    Exactly. And in California we’ve (it seems) the cirve was already flat enough.
    Not clear if the shelter in place (well in it’s second week here) did anything, or how much it did,
    but hospital capacity is sitting empty and we’re not burning through as fast as we could anyway. Which means we’re going to drag this out even longer and exacerbate both economic and social damage and change.

    I understand there’s lag between action and its reflection in the numbers.

    I understand a desire to be conservative in the face of the unknown when there’s big potential downside…

    But the cost / benefit of the shutdown is just insane (not just because the costs are huge, but also the benefits are “not high”… i.e low or at least seriously questionable) especially compared to other options.

  250. Ron Unz says:
    @Anon

    Why has California’s government been so much better at stuff like this than other countries? I’m fairly young, but I grew up in 90s California, and while the state certainly has problems, it has done much better than all the other states in the country. I even thought at one point the decreasing White Minority would at least lead to stagnation, just due to the lack of Anglo influence in the state government.

    Well, California’s become a one-party Democratic state over the last couple of decades. That has some negative consequences, but some positive ones as well. Most of the politicians and political issues have gotten pretty bland and boring, rather than ideologically polarized. But bland and boring means that necessary action doesn’t become a bitter ideological football.

    Frankly, I’ve never thought much of Gov. Gavin Newsom, who’s always struck me as an empty suit. But the local medical experts went to him and said that unless he locked down the state, probably 25M Californians would get infected in the next couple of months, and maybe a million of them would die.

    So Gov. Newson said “Gee, it would make me look kind of bad on TV if a million Californians died in the next couple of months, so maybe I should lock down the state,” and that’s what he did. And as far as I can tell, all the business leaders and union leaders and everyone else agreed that probably avoiding a million deaths in California was a pretty good idea. Frankly, I haven’t come across a single significant critic of the lock-down.

    Remember, I live in Santa Clara county, which was the national epicenter of the Coronavirus epidemic a couple of weeks ago. Now, the spread of the disease seems to have been almost halted, though obviously there’s a lag in deaths as infected people expire. If the local government hadn’t done the sensible thing, we might be ahead of NYC by now, maybe even up with Northern Italy.

    Meanwhile, everything’s perfectly fine here in Palo Alto, though the streets are much more quiet than usual. When I went to Costco yesterday, around 15% of the shoppers were wearing masks. For me, the biggest inconvenience is that I always read my morning papers in a local coffee shop, and now I have to read them at home. And it’s irritating that the restaurants are closed. But I’d still say that’s better than a million Californians dying, maybe even including me or people I know.

    As for Texas, I don’t know anything about the situation there. They seem to have had very few early cases, so perhaps they haven’t been “tested” yet. But California was ground-zone, and that empty-suit Gov. Newsom made himself a hero by deciding not to kill off his own voters.

    I think the biggest problem going forward will be if California largely controls the Coronavirus outbreak, but it becomes completely uncontrolled in New York, Florida, and other parts of the country. Maybe they’ll be revived talk of a “Calexit”…

    • Replies: @wren
  251. Deckin says:
    @Paul Jolliffe

    Bertrand Russell, at the time, in real time, actually made the stronger case that Britain’s involvement was the true bone-headed one. The inevitable armistice that would have ended the war between France and the Germanic powers would have probably left the Kaiser on the throne and might even have moved Russia off their path to Bolshevism. By the time Wilson got into the act, it was probably too late anyway.

  252. Bel Riose says:
    @Corvinus

    1. Sources?

    2. And what are YOU going to do about it ?

    • Replies: @Corvinus
  253. dfordoom says: • Website
    @Hail

    the inevitable lowered birth rate, which the media will not cover

    It surprises me that more people here haven’t figured out out that the panic is going to result in plummeting birth rates.

    This might be temporary but if there’s long-term economic misery and a long-term loss of confidence in the future then the fall in birth rates might be long-term as well. This could conceivably move us much closer to demographic collapse.

    • Replies: @Keypusher
  254. Western says:
    @roo_ster

    I wonder if Fauci told Obama to shut down in 2009 and Obama said no? I saw a story about Biden saying in 2009 that there is no way we can shut down for h1n1.

  255. SFG says:
    @Jack D

    Fair enough. I apologize.

    And, yeah, while I have my reservations with Israeli influence on American foreign policy, I don’t think they’re behind this thing.

    In fact it was a lot of the conspiracy theories on this site of that nature that led me to dismiss the coronavirus until too late.

  256. Corvinus says:
    @moshe

    “YOU are the enemy of mankind and everyone, Jew and Gentile alike know it.”

    More like YOU think that way.

    “The people who live watching by ou disembowel your homemade Zionist Jew Pinata will happily disembowel you too once you’ve served your purpose.”

    LOL. You’re the type who hopes some else does the dirty work. Hate to break it to you, but there is not going to be this well spring of Pinochet inspired helicopter Jew tossing as you desperately want to believe.

    • Replies: @SFG
  257. Here’s the latest in Trump’s phenomenal deal-making: his companies are barred from aid:

    https://www.yahoo.com/huffpost/coronavirus-stimulus-checks-eligibility-relief-payment-234022608.html

    Did you decide to work for Trump? Trump did this (I think stupid) bailout to protect everyone’s job … but not yours. Enjoy paying for the bailout for everyone else! This is a metaphor for his whole Presidency. But go on supporting him. I’m sure he’ll fight for you tooth and nail!

  258. Sean says:
    @Jonathan Mason

    I maintain that for practical purposes in clinical practice, there is little difference from flu.

    But for hospital management there is an insurmountable problem of tempo. The hospitals simply could not keep up, and the deaths would soon be of people with secondary infections who would have recovered with treatment but died because there was not enough treatment to go around. It is a novel challenge to herd immunity that will make too many people sick too quickly. Understand?

  259. Mark G. says:
    @Pincher Martin

    How does the joke go? Peter Schiff has correctly forecast twenty out of the last three recessions.

    After the 2000 recession he predicted another one. He was correct. After the 2008 recession he predicted another one. He appears to be correct again. So he appears to be more correct than all the people who were claiming that we reached an era of permanent prosperity because of the wise policies being followed by our government.

    • Replies: @Keypusher
    , @Pincher Martin
  260. @Jonathan Mason

    a public health problem that could be dealt with by the usual public health measures in the affected communities

    If it isn’t a hoax, like you say it isn’t, then no: “the usual public health measures” didn’t work in China, Italy, Spain… and the “affected communities” are likely to be the whole world due to elevated death rates (directly) from COVID-19.

    People love to scare themselves … People love to get on social media to scare their friends about the latest disease.

    In Aesop’s fable “The Boy Who Cried Wolf,” the usual takeaway is a lesson to the young not to be liars lest no one believe the child when telling an urgent truth.

    One perhaps overlooked—yet no less grave—implication of the fable: Wolves exist, including Big Bad Ones that can suddenly, catastrophically, end many, many, human lives.

    Here on Unz we have an argument between villagers (where the Wolf hasn’t yet ripped through): Is the virus really a wolf, and if so, is the unchecked Virus Wolf as Big and Bad and deadly as the Italians, etc. (via various media conduits, mainstream and not) say it is?

    If one takes the Jack D entitlement beneficiaries mass cull utilitarian view, the possibility of millions of American mostly oldsters suddenly dead is no big deal. To him it would be “GOOD” for those surviving descendants who are “working people.”

    One minor problem: If the coming numbers of viral dead are even a small fraction of, say, reported WWII Axis-run camp deaths, according to some Italian numbers it may be tough to expediently cremate the viral dead even with our advanced 21st-Century technology.

    https://www.npr.org/2020/03/23/820009377/italy-witnesses-relentless-rise-in-covid-19-deaths

    • Replies: @vhrm
    , @Jack D
  261. Corvinus says:
    @Thomas

    “Trump isn’t really the one making any decisions about quarantines or shelter-in-place orders. Those decisions are being made by governors and mayors.”

    He is making decisions on how his administration should attack Covid-19, which seems to fly in the face of medical experts and is falling woefully short, according to the needs of said governors and mayors. His plan is that he will take credit for anything good and blame others for anything bad.

    “It would be Constitutionally questionable whether Trump even could order a nationwide quarantine (and it would almost certainly be unconstitutional for him to try to end a local one).”

    Indeed.

    https://www.lawfareblog.com/can-federal-government-override-state-government-rules-social-distancing-promote-economy

    “Some Republican governors, like Ron DeSantis in Florida, seem to be taking cues from Trump in not ordering a shutdown. Conversely, Democratic states may just figure “do the opposite of whatever Trump says.” Such is the state of our politics.”

    Good point.

    “My guess is that events are likely to make the decision more than anything else. If by Easter, the situation in New York has continued to get worse at the rate it has been, even the hedge fund guys Donald, Jared and Ivanka are probably listening to might have to admit “maybe we better wait a bit longer.”

    The voice of the corporate class is VERY loud. #DieForTheDow

    So we must bear in mind in the words of Jus’ Sayin’–Americans, and the developed world in general, have forgotten just how bad infectious disease epidemics can be and what difficult public health measures measures may be needed to curb them. As the projections above should suggest, now is a time for urgent public health measures to control what in their absence could become a catastrophe. Unfortunately, the populations of developed nations, the USA in particular, have become accustomed to the luxury of ignoring the dangers of infectious diseases and infectious disease epidemics.”

  262. @Sean

    I thought the “slackers” were men who did not register for the WW I draft.

    In my own family, my grandmother was the youngest of 5 kids. Her 4 older brothers all volunteered, even though 2 were legally underage. They lied about their ages to enlist.

    • Replies: @Sean
  263. “When should we shut down? As soon as possible. When should we decide when to open up again? As late as possible. Let’s procrastinate in making that decision to reopen.”

    sorry, but no. we’re all gonna do what the already semi retired Boomer says? especially since he can sit at home, making money writing articles and still getting paid.

    a lot of us have to go out to work, and we’re younger, and haven’t lived most of our lives yet. as late as possible? fuck that man. forget keeping the entire country closed for 3 or 4 months so you guys can keep the danger to a minimum for your mostly lived out Boomer lives. you’re gonna put half the small businesses out of business just so you can live a few more years. that’s absolutely your plan.

    i now think this is primarily about Boomers, secondarily about Democrats using a miracle from God to take out Trump.

    i hate it, but i’m gonna have to pile on. screw Boomers. you guys actually are ruining something now. keep the country closed as long as possible so we go into a depression, as long as a couple Boomers lives can be spared from this weak virus? no thank you.

    • Replies: @dfordoom
  264. “When should we shut down? As soon as possible”

    It depends what getz shut down. I took a drive yesterday and today along the lakefront. Yesterday saw a whole lotta peoples enjoying themselves, jogging, strolling etc and even playing outdoor team basketball . This was strange as the gov and city leader called for a lock down. Today were less people but then again the weather was lousy.

    I just hope the interstate highways don’t get closed just in case I want to go west and enjoy some mountain scenery. Even if the rest stops close this would impact me as I am a senior denizen and need frequent rest stops but then I could always bring along a bucket to help me out. I made plans to go west a month ago or so and then this (Corona Virus) came along.

  265. @dfordoom

    For creating it, or for just traveling and spreading it? Lots of people spread the thing. Saying bad things about people spreading the virus is not blaming the Chinese for this virus existing.

    Point out a comment. (I don’t read all the posts/articles from the Commies, but they’d not have been the ones with this theory).

  266. Thea says:
    @Spud Boy

    The hospitals will be overwhelmed so that if you have an ordinary emergency like a car accident or appendicitis you won’t be treated in a timely fashion if at all.

    Most people have some immunity to the flu but we don’t have immunity to this. It spreads like fire in dry kindling.

    My in-laws and parents are Boomers of an age to die from this. Not something I relish. But as cold as it sounds, I’m not sad that it will hit the obese hard. That crap needs to end.

  267. Anon[567] • Disclaimer says:
    @Neoconned

    It was probably a trick or scam. Like all those little black kids selling candy allegedly to raise funds for sports and activities. But it’s really some shady guy who buys the candy wholesale and sends the kids out.

    As for evictions, the stores and restaurants were closed around March 15th and rents not due till April First.

    There are of course some who didn’t pay February and March rent against whom evictions will be soon filed. But February and March rent has nothing to do with the Chinese Plague and people laid off.

    Remember, those on welfare and retirement will continue getting welfare and SS. Those laid off will get unemployment for 6 months and then an extension.

    So no one’s starving just now. Biggest problem is the unemployment amount. It’s basically half the wage but with a limit such as $500 a week. Half the wage is often what is left after the tax SS Medicare and other deductions.

  268. @MKP

    tattoos on young women.

    Am I the only one who finds them hot?

    Might be a function of my age or the average commenter age, but I think there are very few female bodies that would be improved by a tramp stamp.

    OTOH, it is a kind of DTF signifier, so maybe hot in that sense, the same sense that makes cheap ‘sexy’ underwear on a girl hotter than expensive silks for some reason. Strange, how potent cheap underwear can be.

  269. @Hail

    “Bush’s approval rating shot up after 9/11, therefore, Bush did it,” is simply not a rational argument.

    — Those with personality-based social grievances (“I like staying inside, so just shut everything down! Finally others, too, can see what it’s like. It’s great! Win-win!”), who stand to gain by all of society reinforcing what they would want to do anyway;

    It reminds me of the myth of sexually transmitted diseases, created by nerds with a grievance against the jocks.

    The media, therefore, soaks up the attention, and cares not how many people’s lives they ruin through unemployment and despair, wasted time, disrupted lives, and eventually and inevitably Deaths of Despair, which will almost certainly be greater in magnitude than the marginal “virus deaths.” They really, really want their narrative.

    Kind of like how the civilian death rate skyrocketed during WWII. Except it didn’t.

    Think how irrational it is: The Enemy of the People has induced a mass panic to save x thousand 85-year-old terminal cancer patients at the expenses of x thousands of babies who will never be born, because birth rates always drop during recessions and social disruptions/panics. These are infants would have been conceived, given normal circumstances, had there been no mass-hysteria, shutdowns, and recession, but specifically because of the panic, recession, and uncertainty, the would-be parents choose to delay; eventually, things change, the couple splits apart (would have stayed together had there been a child), or eventually the biological-clock comes in and it’s too late, whatever.

    I think we often do spend far too much on futile, end of life medicine. This isn’t that. 1% of people in their 50s who are infected die. Letting elderly people, many of whom have decades ahead of them, die so that mommy and daddy can afford a second car is the kind of attitude which I suspect fosters a sterile society. If you look at high-fertility groups, they tend to those who feature communitarianism and respect for elders.

    • Disagree: The Wild Geese Howard
  270. wren says:
    @Bill

    are you seriously suggesting that there are not lots of people who were treated with hydroxychloroquine and died?

    Yeah, that’s what I would like to hear about.

    Today I saw the first study suggesting it doesn’t work, but still, no one who took it died.

    https://www.forbes.com/sites/tarahaelle/2020/03/25/chloroquine-use-for-covid-19-shows-no-benefit-in-first-small-but-limited-controlled-trial/#b5039644c866

    • Replies: @vhrm
  271. SFG says:
    @Corvinus

    Pinochet wasn’t even antisemitic; they didn’t go after you unless you were a liberal or pissed them off.

  272. Anonymous[397] • Disclaimer says:

    Well, Amazon delivered my bubble yesterday. Fits me fine, but so far, I’ve only been wearing it around the house. I’m going to wait for a few thousand more deaths to avoid people hassling me at Whole Foods. I don’t like people looking at me. I sure don’t want to go through what this poor lady went through..

  273. wren says:
    @MKP

    tattoos on young women.

    Am I the only one who finds them hot?

    It has been explained to me that “if she’s stupid enough to get that unfortunate tattoo, she’s stupid enough to get in bed with me.”

    • Replies: @Alexander Turok
    , @anon
  274. Anon[567] • Disclaimer says:
    @Sean

    Read the article you posted. It clearly states that APL and others only used the term “slackers” for draft evaders. APL looked for German subversives during the war. After the armistice they looked for leftist agitators and labor union organizers. There is not a word about the 1918 deadly flu epidemic. They were looking for leftist agitators, not flu sufferers after the war

  275. Anon[205] • Disclaimer says:
    @nebulafox

    I couldn’t disagree more. This entire matter has become a joke IMHO. The US surveillance state is only going to expand and most will become even more-so enslaved by the globalist thugs.

    Pastor Dr. Chuck Baldwin recently put out a great piece on this happening in addition to The Rutherford Institute.

  276. Anonymous[397] • Disclaimer says:
    @MKP

    I seriously can’t read through three posts on this site without seeing some comment complaining about tattoos on young women.

    Am I the only one who finds them hot?

    Ask Me About my Divorced Parents!

    – Subtitle of All Tatoo’s

  277. Lot says:
    @anon

    Derb doesn’t need ChiCom help, he’s Chinawoman catnip: 6 foot 6, speaks mandarin with a charming English accent, was in a Bruce Lee movie, writes bestsellers about math.

    • LOL: Thomas
    • Replies: @wren
  278. Shmendrix says:
    @moshe

    I’ll be honest: If I looked like Ron, I’d probably have an axe to grind with “The Jews” as well. Who would want to go through life looking like a Jules Streicher caricature straight out of Der Stürmer? Genetics is real!

  279. @XYZ (no Mr.)

    There aren’t many Chinese in Italy.

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
  280. anonguy says:
    @moshe

    Three Cheers for Steve Sailer’s optimism and let’s hope he’s right.

    Definitely an improvement over the female journalist hair stuff. Hope he keeps it up, that will help make him right, no?

  281. @wren

    On the other hand, it recalls an old quote: “I don’t care to belong to any club that will have me as a member.”

  282. @Achmed E. Newman

    It doesn’t shock me! 🙂

    From history here, you and I agree probably something like 65% or 75% of the time. That’s about the same as my in-real-life friendships with other right-libertarians.

    I just happen to post replies more often if I disagree with someone.

  283. @Whiskey

    Where’s the data on Asians besides ACE2 speculation? You need to correct for how stats are gathered (infected, co-morbidity etc) and also factors like gender, age, health, smoking, even latent tuberculosis. Korea is leagues ahead of Seattle and Italy. Do Koreans have special immunity? I believe most victims in Seattle are White, but age and a single (seemingly all-White) nursing home are obviously bigger factors here. Italians smoke like chimneys and live with their grandkids. Korea’s infected are disproportionately young and female.

    There are obviously racial differences – as with IQ, height and everything else – but you need to compare apples to apples and I don’t see any really good data at the moment. I think the US will have good data on race differences in a couple months.

    It does seem like a lot of youngish Blacks have died but time and data will tell.

  284. dfordoom says: • Website
    @prime noticer

    i hate it, but i’m gonna have to pile on. screw Boomers. you guys actually are ruining something now. keep the country closed as long as possible so we go into a depression, as long as a couple Boomers lives can be spared from this weak virus? no thank you.

    Give up the silly generational nonsense. I’m a Boomer and I’m opposed to shutting down the economy. And all the Boomers I know are opposed to it. The only person I know who is fully in favour of economic shutdown is a Millennial.

    This crazy panic is driven by the media and by scared politicians, not Boomers.

    • Agree: vhrm, Robert Dolan
  285. @Deckin

    You’re correct.

    The great American revisionist Harry Elmer Barnes wrote the best history book on the subject, ‘Who Started World War 1?’

  286. anon[205] • Disclaimer says:
    @wren

    tattoos on young women.

    Tattoos are a sign mutilation and vanity; they’re a form of modernistic individualism that’s incompatible with authentic Christianity.

    Furthermore, tattoos are pagan and diminish a woman’s femininity.

    • Replies: @wren
    , @Agathoklis
  287. wren says:
    @Lot

    My guess is that, like some commenters here, Unz may end up with an Asian wife, and after watching his hapa Ashkenazi/Asian full ASD kids struggle to compete with all the kids in his neighborhood from Shanghai or Mumbai or wherever may rethink some of his policy prescriptions.

  288. Sean says:
    @Pincher Martin

    Wishing that I had paid more attention to my maths teacher brother having brought our parents bags of toilet paper and groceries almost three weeks ago. after messing around with graphs ect. He has never seen Contagion as far as I know, but he did have the advantage of catching Hepatitis B a while back (prolly from eating out with his family there was a slew of infection in the area he was told by the medical detectives). He stays fit so when after weeks of fatigue he got the diagnoses he was a bit depressed. But then he got a call asking him to drive a long way and donate blood; it turned out he was an antibody factory the like of which the lab processing his tests had never seen. So then he felt more like Champion the Wonder Horse.

  289. anonguy says:
    @Bill

    My impression is that local city/provincial gov kept their head in the sand amidst initial spread.

    Like we are seeing governments doing all over the place now.

    But when the central gov. got a clear picture of what was going on, they went full ban hammer Tienanmen style.

    That isn’t to say it didn’t escape from the virology lab or wherever in Wuhan, they studied these things, so some slack professor or grad students, easy to see that scenario.

    Occam’s Razor plus never attribute to malice that which can be explained by incompetence.

    Or it came directly from a wildlife source. One argument I’ve seen about that is that it is a little too much point sourced around Wuhan wet market.

    When something jumps from man to animal in this kind of economy, you probably would have seen it popping up at other nearby markets served by same distributor or wild population, along with supply chain of where people ranch or capture these things and there were no early cases like that.

    Most credible theory at the moment is careless practices at research institute contaminating nearby market. This includes anything from cleanliness issues to people selling instead of burning bat carcasses.

    There was some very early patient who apparently had no obvious connection to market, otherwise the Chinese claimed to have traced it all to the market. So who knows about this one guy.

    • Replies: @nebulafox
    , @Bill
  290. Keypusher says:
    @Mark G.

    So he appears to be more correct than all the people who were claiming that we reached an era of permanent prosperity because of the wise policies being followed by our government.

    No one, in other words.

    • Replies: @Mark G.
  291. Keypusher says:
    @dfordoom

    Demographic collapse already happened. Shouldn’t someone named dfordoom know that?

    • Replies: @dfordoom
  292. wren says:
    @Ron Unz

    Ron, I would like to thank you for hosting Steve, and I personally really appreciate it.

    I don’t understand the economics of this website, and maybe there is some payoff that I am not aware of, but it looks to me like the money for it just comes out of your pocket, so thank you.

    After watching videos of the chinese government welding people into their homes, chaining people into their homes, boarding people into their homes, having bulldozers dump giant mountains of dirt in front of their doors so that they can’t be opened, videos of police beating up women whose crime is not being able to afford a mask, of police throwing people into vans to be sent away and watching videos of police commandeering whatever they want from citizens, I hope California follows a different path.

    It looks like Taiwan and Korea could do it while remaining quite open. Hopefully California, too.

    • Replies: @Ron Unz
  293. Thomas says:
    @Jonathan Mason

    What you’re saying makes absolutely no sense. When is the last time a seasonal flu outbreak was crashing regional and national health care systems? Why would there be “hot spots” if this thing were barely distinguishable from a normal seasonal flu (especially given that we’re already acknowledged to be in a particularly bad flu season along with the COVID-19 outbreak)?

    • Agree: Pincher Martin
    • Replies: @Yusef
  294. Thomas says:
    @Steve Sailer

    The world ended because of a hot take by a Wilks brothers mouthpiece. Fitting.

  295. mrboast says:

    Freelance author working via laptop, who solicits financial support via email, supports shelter in place for all. Shocker.

    • Replies: @AnonFrogger
  296. @MKP

    I seriously can’t read through three posts on this site without seeing some comment complaining about tattoos on young women.

    I always thought those were intended as a….uh….target for my….uh….artillery.

    • Replies: @Kibernetika
  297. @Frank G

    His reasons are wanting to keep the economy on track (whatever the cost) in order to stand a good chance of winning the general election. For him, those are good reasons. For everyone else, well.

    Even by his low standards, Trump’s mendacity in the course of this emergency has been spectacular. He is willing to throw potentially millions of his fellow citizens under the bus in order to secure re-election.

    • Replies: @tbmcc
  298. MKP says:
    @Achmed E. Newman

    Fair enough. Still, you’d probably admit that it’s odd how often the subject is dragged into completely unrelated discussions.

    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
    , @anon
  299. @Tiny Duck

    We’ve never spoken, although I’ve read many of your messages on Steve’s blog. I disagree with nearly all of them, but even a stopped clock is right twice a day. You are right about Trump. The fact that no one has taken you to task on this thread suggests to me that even his die-hard supporters here simply cannot bear to support his execrable behaviour over the last two weeks. This is not how any leader should handle an emergency of this sort.

  300. @Alexander Turok

    I think 0% is being generous. He’s trying to herd Americans back into commuter trains and workplaces within just over two weeks, by which time the virus will probably be killing hundreds of people every day even with stringent quarantine measures in place. The egregiousness of his mishandling of the situation is off the scale.

    I get it, he’s the anti-immigration president you (plural) never thought you would get, so you are holding him close and protecting him. But surely there must be a limit?

    As for the Democrats, Biden has been pathetically absent, but he has no levers to pull in this emergency even if he wished to. Governors Newsom and (especially) Cuomo are becoming very high-profile figures though… I wonder if one or more of them might find themselves being ushered towards the Democratic general election ticket in four years. Or sooner.

  301. vhrm says:
    @Jenner Ickham Errican

    One minor problem: If the coming numbers of viral dead are even a small fraction of, say, reported WWII Axis-run camp deaths, according to some Italian numbers it may be tough to expediently cremate the viral dead even with our advanced 21st-Century technology.

    It won’t generally apply to the current demographic, but in the 21st century we have _other_ cremation issues:

    https://nypost.com/2017/04/26/overly-obese-body-sets-crematorium-on-fire/

  302. @MKP

    It was related to AnotherDad’s discussions of women at the beach, which was related to .. Keven Bacon somehow … Anyway, I’d rather see a nice-figured girl with a FEW tattoos than a beautifully-skinned, uhh, full-figured gal, so I’ll grant you that much.

  303. “His reasons are wanting to keep the economy on track (whatever the cost) in order to stand a good chance of winning the general election.”

    no shit genius. did you realize that all on your own?

    what should he do? just fall on his sword, sacrifice everything to make sure the US is a nice, clean, hygienic place for the Democrats so Joe Biden can easily sweep into office and the 100 year unopposed reign of the Democrat party begins? what kind of an option is that?

    he has to thread the needle. he’s in the worst position ever since the civil war. and make no mistake, we’re IN a civil war right now. Democrats will do ANYTHING to get Trump out of office and begin their permanent monopoly over America.

    you know who thinks Trump should do the ‘smart’ thing and shut down the country for 6 months, leading to the biggest depression in the history of the world? every Democrat. that’s who.

    Democrats will then open all borders, end all travel bans, and tell average Americans “Who cares” when they complain they’re dying from diseases. how could anybody think otherwise? they openly state that is their plan. Democrats want to ally with China and end America. Trump wants America to continue to exist and resists China. it’s an easy choice.

    • Replies: @gabriel alberton
  304. wren says:
    @anon

    Oh, I didn’t say I find them hot. I was quoting someone else. I didn’t properly format the html in my comment, I guess.

  305. @anon

    In ancient Greece and Byzantium, tattoos and other body markings were seen as a sign of slavery or barbarism. Pagan and Christian Greeks (and Romans) did not tattoo themselves as they did not believe in disfiguring the body. Hence, why they detested the practice of circumcision so much and why St Paul did not demand early non-Jewish Christians follow the Law.

  306. vhrm says:
    @wren

    This was hydroxychloroquine on top of

    Usual care included bed rest, oxygen inhalation, and antiviral or antibiotic drugs as needed or recommended according to the hospital’s treatment plan. All patients in both groups received interferon alpha with a nebulizer, and umifenovir—an antiviral treatment approved in China for influenza—was administered to 67% of the usual care patients and 80% of the patients receiving hydroxychloroquine. Two patients received lopinavir-ritonavir, an anti-viral normally used to treat HIV infections.

    So they were pumping these guys full of stuff already.
    Still disappointing that it didn’t show any incremental effect.

  307. @Achmed E. Newman

    Of course there’ll be a million dead Americans over the next 3 or 4 months! That’s because about 3,000,000 or so die every year.

    That must be why all the hospitals in the hardest-hit areas are being overwhelmed and why new hospitals are having to be built or refigured from other types of facilities. Because it’s just business as usual in the number of deaths this virus is causing.

    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
  308. nebulafox says:
    @MKP

    Doesn’t stop me from having sex with them, but no, not my preference. I don’t think they look good on men, either.

    Just not my thing. Doesn’t mean it can’t be someone else’s.

  309. @Jonathan Mason

    I also think that claims that the death rate is 10 to 30 times more deadly than flu in the same population will be found to be inaccurate when more US data is in.

    How much data do you need? I suspect if you can’t figure it out now, you never will, just as some idiots still claim WMD were in Iraq.

  310. @Jack D

    And yet Germany’s leaders are having new hospitals built and calling this the biggest crisis to hit Germany since WW2.

    • Replies: @Anon
  311. @Je Suis Omar Mateen

    President Trump is *reacting* to the situation well. Unfortunately getting ahead of a plague means using some powers of prediction and math. And the CDC royally screwed the pooch on that measure. If they started mass testing in early February then the extent and carriers of the disease in the United States would have been known and could have been handled with far less disruption.

    So under President Trump, the CDC, an organization with 11,000 employees and a budget of $6.5 billion per year couldn’t figure out how to distribute a basic PCR test that was already being used by countries around the world.

    And because of that monumental incompetence people panicked. As people will when faced with massive unknowns, untrustworthy authorities, and the risk of death. CDC incompetence cost our nation Trillions of Dollars.

    • Agree: Polymath
  312. @Thomas

    People losing “their” homes were often people who barely made any mortgage payments – and some who made none, e.g., the Brazilian maid in the Bay Area who got put in a McMansion with a NINJA loan by a corrupt Brazilian mortgage broker. Many such cases.

    The stock market crashed, but the recession wasn’t a pimple on the ass of this one.

    Restaurants are a trillion dollar industry in the U.S. Other than Walmart, Costco, Target, and the grocery store and pharmacy chains, the retail economy is dead now.

  313. nebulafox says:
    @anonguy

    I guess accidents caused by laziness or incompetence are a lot less juicy than some grand conspiracy? Similar dynamic to when a nobody assassinates a prominent figure. Internet man’s attraction to conspiracy theories aside, no one seems to want to believe that some little man can wreak hell or alter history.

    I do find the idea that the Chinese intentionally set loose the virus for whatever reason bizarre. It completely contradicts their actions in Hubei once they realized what was going on. Nobody wanted this. Anywhere.

    • Agree: Charon, Mr McKenna
    • Replies: @anonguy
    , @Achmed E. Newman
  314. Charon says:
    @Jack D

    I like it, Jack! Your incessant holocaust references are becoming a bit more subtle today.

  315. @Je Suis Omar Mateen

    They’re open for takeout and not many people are ordering from them.

    Look, I’m not saying all the changes from this will be bad – some may be good – but there will be lasting economic and behavioral changes. I think you’ll see a consolidation in the restaurant industry, with more emphasis on open kitchens. You’ll see more home schooling, more stay-at-home parenting, less use of daycare, more working from home, and less commuting.

    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
  316. nebulafox says:
    @SFG

    I’m a 20-something. It’s why I own it when I don’t know stuff and am corrected on stuff I don’t know.

    But one thing I definitely do know for painful personal reasons right now is that this virus isn’t a joke, and anybody who suggests it is isn’t worth bothering with.

    • Replies: @The Wild Geese Howard
  317. Charon says:
    @Jonathan Mason

    We can offer free birthing for all mothers who are US citizens with a copay of just $10, to encourage people to have babies, and free child care up to school age, and free formula or powdered milk for 2 years.

    Great plan! 330 million people in the country aren’t enough, let’s have a few hundred million more. With an emphasis on the poor and stupid, as you’re proposing.

  318. @Jack D

    ITALIAN MAYOR: WE CAN’T CREMATE BODIES FAST ENOUGH TO KEEP UP WITH CORONAVIRUS DEATHS

    What’s ‘dog whistle’ in Italian?

    That mayor could be arrested for Holocaust denial! Mamma mia!

  319. @Ron Unz

    Interesting that the entirely Jewish municipality of Kiryas Joel, New York has the nations highest poverty rate, highest percentage rate of population on food stamps and lowest median average age- 13.2 yrs- also may have the highest rate of hydroxychloroquine prescriptions in the USA.
    Google: Dr. Vlad Zelenko.

  320. anon[852] • Disclaimer says:
    @MKP

    Still, you’d probably admit that it’s odd how often the subject is dragged into completely unrelated discussions.

    Boomers tend to look down on ink. Especially on girls.

  321. @Pincher Martin

    Doesn’t it have to do with the way that one dies (or hopefully recovers) from this disease? It’s the ICUs in some areas that are overwhelmed. I don’t know if your average “old-age” sufferer would go through the ICU like this. On the whole, I doubt the total numbers at years end will be significantly different than last year.

    Watch the total numbers. Don’t be so freaked-out.

    • Replies: @Pincher Martin
  322. @The Wild Geese Howard

    I always thought those were intended as a….uh….target for my….uh….artillery.

    Artillery guys do talk about Donkey Dick/Kongs/Schlongs. World’s biggest Q-Tip for cleaning the pipe 😉

    Para exemplo:

  323. MBlanc46 says:
    @CAL2

    I don’t know the answer to Mr Sailer’s questions. But your suggestion seems about as good as any other, and better than most.

  324. anonguy says:
    @nebulafox

    Plus, no vaccines, which is presumably part of the kit for a bioweapon.

    For your own side, ya know.

  325. @nebulafox

    AGREED with this one, though not that 1st post of yours.

  326. Ron Unz says:
    @wren

    After watching videos of the chinese government welding people into their homes, chaining people into their homes, boarding people into their homes, having bulldozers dump giant mountains of dirt in front of their doors so that they can’t be opened, videos of police beating up women whose crime is not being able to afford a mask, of police throwing people into vans to be sent away and watching videos of police commandeering whatever they want from citizens, I hope California follows a different path.

    Well, I haven’t see any of those particular videos from China. But I have seen Spiderman swinging between skyscrapers in a film.

    Maybe some of the knowledgeable Chinese commenters here can provide their own appraisal of how accurate and representative those particular China videos might be. Supposedly, the Falun Gong sect loves producing the most ridiculous anti-PRC propaganda videos, and perhaps those are part of it.

    But as for the Silicon Valley area, it went into total lock-down about ten days ago, the first in America. And everything’s been perfectly fine here, though some of the Palo Alto seniors were saying they were heartbroken about their Senior Prom being cancelled.

    • Replies: @XYZ (no Mr.)
    , @wren
    , @MattinLA
  327. @Ron Unz

    No, things are not fine, they are quiet, not the same thing at all. I happen to know several small businesses in Campbell — that’s a city in Santa Clara County, by the way, if you didn’t know that Ron — that are hurting rather badly. And a few in Cupertino, too.

    • Replies: @Autochthon
  328. nebulafox says:
    @YetAnotherAnon

    Yes, but consider that the Black Death’s older brother killed antiquity for good, more than any other factor. The geopolitical consequences of that pandemic were arguably even greater than the Black Death’s when you consider what the mass depopulation of Byzantium and Persia meant when the Arabs showed up.

    Pandemics disrupt whatever prevailing order they are in. Corona-chan is no bubonic plague. It doesn’t even seem to be an Ebola, thank goodness. But it does seem to be a serious disease at a time when there is more obesity, population density, and old people than ever. The globe is also lot more interconnected than it used to be, and in some ways, the economic structure is more fragile, more dependent on everything going smoothly. That’s not how life works.

    As far as the economy goes, we’re going to get an economic crunch no matter what we do. That’s a fait accompli, a result of the choices we’ve made about the structure of the global economic system. There are some (negative) things about the US that are likely going to make things worse than they have to be, but economic contraction is going to happen no matter what. So long-term, the quickest route to recovery is to not have mass death or to have the pandemic stretch on for years. Nip it in the bud with damage control.

    • Agree: Sean
  329. CAL2 says:
    @Anonymous

    You can panic and have everyone locked down with life grinding to a halt or you can take specific actions that don’t.

    – Lock down nursing homes and other elderly facilities
    – Provide shelter in place for other in danger groups
    – Encourage social distancing

    We aren’t going to run out of ventilators as long as we follow reasonable measures. You know, not do an Italy or NYC where they were literally encouraging people to go hug Chinese people.

    Look at the cruise ship results with a closed ecosystem.

    • Replies: @The Wild Geese Howard
  330. @guest007

    If a plane crashed ever day you are talking about 100K+ fatalities a year. We are barely at 1000 dead boomers from the Y2K flu.

    People that makes this argument better not drive cars. Honestly if you support the lock it down until the superannuated feel safe you better be emptying your 401K into pandemic relief funds and never driving again.

  331. Mark G. says:
    @Keypusher

    No one, in other words.

    Are you saying no one was claiming that government policies would lead to permanent prosperity? If that were the case and most people admitted that these policies wouldn’t work then why have these policies been pursued for the last 25 years leading to two previous and now a third economic crisis? The truth is that the conventional wisdom emanating from government officials and the mainstream media has failed and the people pushing that should have been discredited by now while people like Peter Schiff, David Stockman and others who have been issuing warnings about what would happen should have been listened to.

    • Replies: @keypusher
  332. @Dave Pinsen

    Other than your first item, those sound like bright silver linings, Dave.

    • Agree: Corn
    • Replies: @Dave Pinsen
  333. Bill says:
    @The Wild Geese Howard

    There’s nothing there. Three small studies with soft endpoints and an in vitro study. One of them is in Chinese.

  334. Bill says:
    @anonguy

    Maybe. What people miss in retrospect is that there was no covid-19 at the time local officials were not freaking out. Another thing they are missing is the likely false alarms in the past. Most odd clusters of conditions are just that, odd clusters of conditions.

    • Replies: @anonguy
  335. wren says:
    @Ron Unz

    I am curious to hear what Chinese commenters have to say. I’d say what I saw was very real, but I don’t know how widespread it was.

    You can search youtube for plenty of examples.

    I have to say the videos from Falun Gong and Uyghur Twitter users have been some of the most illuminating.

  336. MattinLA says:

    Let’s wait until the last second to make the decision to end the lockdown so that we can learn more facts before we act? Funny, the same reasoning wasn’t used before we vaporized 30 million livelihoods…

  337. MattinLA says:
    @Ron Unz

    Lisren, we all understand that Ron is a high-functioning psycopath. We haven’t cared, because this site has been useful. But let us not forget, again, that Ron is a psycopath, and once his site becomes non-useful, we will move on…

    • Replies: @Sean
  338. Corvinus says:
    @Bel Riose

    “1. Sources?”

    A–https://nymag.com/intelligencer/2020/03/why-was-it-so-hard-to-raise-the-alarm-on-coronavirus.html

    B–TRUMP (under a month ago): “[We have] 15 people [with coronavirus in the United States], and the 15 within a couple of days is going to be down to close to zero, [so] that’s a pretty good job we’ve done. Current U.S. coronavirus cases (March 26) –> 81,332

    C–Louisiana Governor Edwards stated that if the coronavirus case curve is not flattened, New Orleans will exhaust ventilator capacity by April 2 and bed space by April 7. “This isn’t conjecture. This isn’t some flimsy theory. This isn’t some scare tactic. This is what’s going to happen.”

    D–https://www.propublica.org/article/coronavirus-hospitalization-numbers-are-spotty-journalists-help-us-fill-in-the-gaps?

    E–https://twitter.com/RVAwonk/status/1243236096223457283

    F–https://twitter.com/AndrewFeinberg/status/1243234024388165634

    G–https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2020/03/26/trumps-coronavirus-self-congratulation-tour-illustrated/?utm_source=twitter&utm_campaign=wp_main&utm_medium=social

    “2. And what are YOU going to do about it ?”

    Follow my Jewish overlords in telling me to follow social distancing and adhere to the stay at home order! 🙂

  339. @nebulafox

    But one thing I definitely do know for painful personal reasons right now is that this virus isn’t a joke, and anybody who suggests it is isn’t worth bothering with.

    Explain.

  340. @prime noticer

    what should he do? just fall on his sword, sacrifice everything to make sure the US is a nice, clean, hygienic place for the Democrats so Joe Biden can easily sweep into office and the 100 year unopposed reign of the Democrat party begins? what kind of an option is that?

    I agree. A president trying to mitigate a social catastrophe in his country at the cost of his reelection? What kind of option is that? I know what it is — it is NOT an option. It’d be madness.

    he has to thread the needle. he’s in the worst position ever since the civil war. and make no mistake, we’re IN a civil war right now. Democrats will do ANYTHING to get Trump out of office and begin their permanent monopoly over America.

    This coronavirus thing is a hoax. Who tells me that, among many evidently trustable people? You, of course. The deaths that are just beginning to pile on are a hoax. Hoax hoax hoax. That exponential growth thing? Hoax. Just the flu.

    But what is not a hoax is that there is a civil war in the US right now. That’s why there are so many bodies around. Right now. I’d need just to look around and see the bodies, but thanks to you and others like you, I don’t even need to. I know there is a civil war going on in the US — no doubt about it, make no mistake.

    • Replies: @NYCTexan
  341. Anon[205] • Disclaimer says:
    @Pincher Martin

    The biggest crisis to hit Germany since WWII isn’t coronavirus, it was the hordes of Middle Eastern and North African immigrants who were welcomed with open arms by an insane woman!

    My homeland has been decimated.

    • Replies: @Pincher Martin
  342. Lot says:
    @Hail

    I’ve also been following CV since about Jan 20, back when you had to dig for info on Chinese twitter.

    Perhaps not good for my mental health, but saved me a ton of losses in the stock market!

  343. @Intelligent Dasein

    Actually, yes, the HK government has done exactly what you’re looking for, as I noted in a comment yesterday:

    Coronavirus measures help Hong Kong flu season end early

    The flu season here has been declared competely over, many weeks before usual, and with just a fraction of the normal number of cases/deaths. That is pretty hard evidence that the social distancing/masking measures in place here for the past nine weeks have made a difference.

    • Replies: @Intelligent Dasein
  344. dfordoom says: • Website
    @Keypusher

    Demographic collapse already happened. Shouldn’t someone named dfordoom know that?

    Demographic collapse has only just started. I’m not called dfordoom for nothing!

  345. anonguy says:
    @Bill

    Exactly. Bureaucratic inertia.

    Who are we to blame them for not going ballistic over a local spike in Influenza Like Illness when we have sat idly by watching nations and 10 percent of the worlds population going into quarantine.

    An event unprecedented in human history.

    It was really weird watching USA completely ignore this, blue and red, when these epic unparalleled events were going on in China.

    Trump committed controlled flight into terrain. No matter how good a pilot you have been, this is something you are never supposed to do even once in a career. Or a Navy captain running a ship aground.

    Doesn’t mean that one wasn’t good up until that point, but those are disqualifying acts of negligence, constructively, just by the outcome.

    Ditto for Trump’s performance on virus. And he continues to make it worse.

    He’s risking getting his ass 25th-ed

    • Agree: Ron Unz
    • Troll: fenestol
  346. @Mark G.

    It’s always difficult when someone doesn’t get the joke and I’m forced to explain it.

    Recessions are periodic events. If I predict one every year, I will eventually be right about one-out-of-every-eight years.

    Peter Schiff is that kind of forecaster. He predicts doom. And if you continually predict doom, when something really bad eventually happens, you look pretty good.

    The Peter Schiffs of the world are looking good right now. I don’t see how that makes up for all the years their forecasts didn’t look so good.

    • Replies: @Mark G.
  347. @XYZ (no Mr.)

    Cupertino is a city in China, so to Hell with it. Campbell is a city filled with leftist, hipster doofuses working for outfits like Google, Microsoft, and Apple (and those catering to them) so they are responsible for the trouble in the first place; to Hell with them, too.

  348. duncsbaby says:
    @YetAnotherAnon

    Those cement benches look inviting.

  349. @Anon

    I don’t disagree. After all, the coronavirus will go away some day. I was just reporting what your leaders are saying.

  350. @Achmed E. Newman

    Doesn’t it have to do with the way that one dies (or hopefully recovers) from this disease?

    That’s a fair point, and one I had not considered before. It does seem to take a long time to die from coronavirus, presumably much longer than it does from the flu.

    But I’d need to see some data on this before assuming the anecdotal evidence being reported is wrong.

    Watch the total numbers. Don’t be so freaked-out.

    The problem will be that when everyone is freaking out it will be too late to do anything about it.

    • Replies: @Hail
  351. guest007 says:
    @Sam Haysom

    Spain has been over 400 deaths per day for the last four days. That is the equivalent of a jumbo jet crashing in Spain every day. The same goes for Italy and probably several other countries that are underreporting.

    The difference with cars is that I have some control over the car by being the driver or knowing the driver. If everyone is forced to go back to work, I and many other will have no control of their risks.

    Besides, do you really think that organizations will start having conventions agains while the number of deaths in the U.S. is doubling every three days? Do you think that Disneyworld would really open back up while the number of cases in Florida is accelerating?

    • Replies: @Jonathan Mason
  352. Mark G. says:
    @Pincher Martin

    Recessions are periodic events. If I predict one every year, I will eventually be right about one-out-of-every-eight years.

    The type of crashes that occurred in 2000, 2008 and the one occurring now are not periodic events that occur about once every eight years. They are more along the lines of the 1929 crash. The 1929 crash was caused by government intervention in the economy and the crisis was made worse by even more government intervention. There had been a recession in 1921 and, following the advice of his Treasury Secretary Andrew Mellon, Harding kept the recession kept short by following a government hands off policy.

    The Federal Reserve had been put in place to prevent a recurrence of the Panic of 1907 but what happened in 1929 and more recently, 3 times now, were worse. By treating occurrences like these as something inevitable you are letting the people responsible for them off the hook.

    • Replies: @Pincher Martin
  353. @The Last Real Calvinist

    I’m already aware of the Hong Kong article. I’m talking about here in the Western world which isn’t a tiny island, which is following very different procedures, where people do not wear masks because there aren’t any, and where millions of people have lost their jobs. We need to see this data from American hospitals, and it should be available by now.

    Obviously, if isolate everyone from everyone else then you will have a pretty sharp drop in infectious diseases, but what we are doing doesn’t seem to do that and it is scuttling the economy. We’ve managed to combine the worst of both worlds.

    • Replies: @Paco Wové
  354. @anon

    Where is the US on that sigmoid?

    You can get national data here:

    https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/cases-updates/cases-in-us.html?CDC_AA_refVal=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.cdc.gov%2Fcoronavirus%2F2019-ncov%2Fcases-in-us.html

    Scroll down to the box below the “Cumulative total…” chart, and copy the data to an excel sheet.

    The lack of testing may have biased the data, but we may be past the inflection point and rolling over (on a log of cases plot). OR the change in slope may be an artifact of the bulge created by the increase in testing. We need another week or two to be sure, but the data is there to watch.

  355. Kyle says:

    The shutdown should last until I personally can’t afford rent. Isn’t that obvious?

  356. @Enochian

    … a significant fraction of those 80,000 are certain to die unless a miraculous cure is found within the next week or two.

    Mean lag between diagnosis and death is approx. two weeks.

  357. Kyle says:
    @DanHessinMD

    Even if a mask is only 80% effective, the odds of one person wearing a mask transmitting to another wearing a mask is reduced to 0.2 x 0.2 = 0.04 percent of the previous level. So if R0 was 3.5, now it would now be 0.14 for the everyone-wears-a-mask society.

    I think your math is off. With Ro = 3.5 as a given you’re assuming that the transmission rate between non masked people is 100%.

  358. @Lot

    Oh please. There ain’t a single millionaire in the country who’s wanting for female attention.

  359. @mrboast

    Moron on the internet derogates working as a freelance author but is almost certainly a 300 lbs. oaf in real life.

  360. @CAL2

    Look at the cruise ship results with a closed ecosystem.

    I keep coming back to the Diamond Princess as well.

    Particularly with regard to the age skew among that ship’s population. Given that age skew the fatality rates should have been far higher if Covid-19 is the new Spanish Flu/Black Death.

    Of course, the people who want to promote this hysteria will be here shortly to tell me the fatality rate was so low because the cruisers had, “amazing medical care.”

    Based on the reporting out there, their care didn’t seem to be anything other than standard, isolated bed rest in a hospital.

  361. @Sam Haysom

    If a plane crashed ever day you are talking about 100K+ fatalities a year. We are barely at 1000 dead boomers from the Y2K flu.

    I’ll start buying the hysteria when Cuomo’s daily pressers include footage of bodies stacked like cordwood in the Bellevue Hospital parking lot.

    Of course, that can also be hoaxed with enough mannequins and crash test dummies.

  362. @Alexander Turok

    There aren’t many Chinese in Italy.

    Not anymore!

  363. Yusef says:
    @Sean

    Sean,

    You didn’t respond to a single point I made, or answer any of the questions. I think you need to dunk your head into a bucket of ice water to regain possession of your faculties. You will need them in a time like this.

    I’ve been lurking for awhile, but that was the first comment I’ve posted here. I’m disappointed. Why does it have to be that for every event and issue there has to be a stiff bifurcation into false dichotomies? Why does it have to be there’s no way to bridge the gap once it has formed?

    Here and now, we are in deep, deep doodoo.

    Nevertheless we’re cooperating with whatever it is forcing us to “take sides”. The sides on this issue: 1) those who feel any measures, no matter how extreme and damaging in other ways MUST be taken because the virus is so dangerous NOT to take these extreme measures would be worse; 2) measures taken must be carefully assessed so that the cure is not worse than the disease. This means some damage must be accepted and some lives must be sacrificed.

    To side one, side two appears callous and indifferent to the suffering of others. Side one thinks side two does not appreciate how deadly the virus is and how extreme measures must be tolerated. Side one thinks side two cares more about Wall Street than about lives.

    Side two thinks side one is giving over to panic and hysteria. Side two questions the rationality of the extreme measures, and even wonders at their effectiveness. Even in containing the pandemic. Side two seems to have a much broader perspective than side one, wonders about the long term effects of the response so far, calculates the offsetting costs and negative effects of such features of the response as shutting down.

    I don’t feel like going on. My point is more simple anyway. We need to examine each side’s reasoning and question and counter it when necessary. We need to answer questions posed to us, and if we can’t, we need to recognize we can’t. If we are flying blind, we need to realize we are flying blind. During such a crisis, we can’t afford the cardinal errors of self-righteousness and the arrogance of allowing ourselves to believe we know with certainty what we don’t know at all.

    • Replies: @Sean
  364. Anonymous[567] • Disclaimer says:
    @MKP

    You should by now this is an old man site obsessed with the hair, clothes, tastes in food, furniture, music, movies, anything and everything done by the under 40 age group.

    They forget that 50,60 years ago the greatest generation old men were ranting about the young men who are now old and about girls with long hair, bell bottom pants, all clothing, styles, the horrors of pierced earrings for girls, hair longer than 3 inches for men and boys, draft dodgers and Vietnam protestors, the music the young enjoyed and everything about the young in general.

    • Disagree: YetAnotherAnon
    • Replies: @YetAnotherAnon
  365. Sean says:
    @MattinLA

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-china-52059085

    China has announced a temporary ban on all foreign visitors, even if they have visas or residence permit. Although China reported its first locally-transmitted coronavirus case for three days on Friday, almost all its new cases now come from abroad. There were 55 new cases across China on Thursday – 54 of them from overseas. In Hubei – the province where the outbreak began – there were no new confirmed or suspected cases on Thursday.

    One can totally believe them about not using Gestapo tactics, or about having virtually eliminated domestic COVID 19. Not both. That they are banning air travel into China by foreigners suggest they have beaten it domestically .

  366. @guest007

    Do you think that Disneyworld would really open back up while the number of cases in Florida is accelerating?

    They could have a really scary corona virus chamber of horrors ride that would be educational for children.

    • LOL: HammerJack
  367. Sean says:
    @Yusef

    . The sides on this issue: 1) those who feel any measures, no matter how extreme and damaging in other ways MUST be taken because the virus is so dangerous NOT to take these extreme measures would be worse; 2) measures taken must be carefully assessed so that the cure is not worse than the disease. This means some damage must be accepted and some lives must be sacrificed.

    Businesses that obey are all going to be in the same boat, the greedy will be boycotted in the aftermath. Politicians and businesspeople are free to call for a ending of the lockdown and see if they get a echo from the public.

    Re 1, I take a different view inasmuch as the outcomes are asymmetrical and we already know all we need to know. Those who call for more information are not kidding anyone what they are about.

    Re 2 I suspect those who say some people’s lives must be sacrificed have minimising hurt to themselves as a priority, That is where comercial / social ostracism and–if it must be–a little physical feedback will come into the lives of the obdurate. I hope such will not be necessary.

  368. @scrivener3

    “All the output they were producing is gone.” Oh, no! Those were American workers. You know the sort, 16 hour a day, hard work, beautiful yuuge output. Per first google hit:

    “The Most Popular Professions in the United States
    – Retail Salespersons. This is the most common profession, and includes about 4.5 million salespeople across the country. …
    – Cashiers. …
    – Office Clerks. …
    – Food Preparation And Serving Workers. …
    – Customer Service Representatives. ”

    Job or no job, output or no output, baseball is equally interesting.

  369. guest007 says:
    @Robert Dolan

    You can look up the testing data here:

    https://covidtracking.com/us-daily/

    The U.S. appears to be capable of doing about 100K tests a day now but the results take several days.

    However, testing and masks will never make up for social distance. Now mayor or governor is going to back off of stay at home orders while hospitals do not have enough masks or gowns, average citizens cannot purchase masks, and there are shortages of lysol, hand sanitizer, and wipes.

  370. @wren

    Where do you find “more” evidence? Do you read about the same study again and again, and count that as “more” evidence?

  371. @moshe

    You are unfair, he seems to be anchored in America for the most part. His references to Israel are not more out of place than the Japanese obsessions seen in some Western anime fans. I don’t think that he signed up for the Zionist military, like Rahm Emmanuel, so he’s all talk.

  372. tbmcc says:
    @Rob (London)

    Just like every politician throughout history.

  373. Yusef says:
    @obwandiyag

    “Better safe than sorry” leaves begging the real question: what is the best course of action to be safe? Is it safest to “hunker down”? Potentially. However, one can envision many circumstances in which hunkering down will turn out to be the least safe.

    “Small businesses in Russia and China and Cuba will do just fine. Despite a long lock down. Because Communist governments own the banks. And then, communists work together to overcome difficulties, whatever they are.”

    Is it meaningful or legitimate to speak of small business in “Russia and China and Cuba”? Certainly not in the same way we speak of small business in the U.S. There is no private enterprise in these countries. What is your point, exactly?

    “Explain to me how capitalism, free markets, will help us end the plague.”

    I assume you believe people who fear the tactic of shutting down the economy to fight the plague argue capitalism and free markets will help us end the plague. As I see shutting down the economy as potentially a damaging course of action more dangerous than the virus itself, I can say I do not so argue, exactly. I think that there are disadvantages for the health of people which must be carefully weighed against advantages. If after some consideration– and I say some because so far I am not convinced we’ve had any— we can agree to shutting everything down. However, we’ve already shut things down, so it better be the case that shutting things down was a wise course of action.

    “You mooks just sit alone and bitch. And think you’re intellectuals.”

    You better hope we’re following a wise course of action, name caller. We’re all going to suffer one way or the other. Who are you to call other people mooks?

    • Replies: @obwandiyag
  374. Yusef says:
    @Thomas

    When is the last time a seasonal flu outbreak was crashing regional and national health care systems?

    When is the last time we’ve had this kind of hype stirring people into panic? People are very suggestible. Some people are going to the hospital with a sniffle because it has been suggested to them they may have the early symptoms of Covid-19 and “better safe than sorry.”

  375. @Intelligent Dasein

    Exactly. I fear our “shutdown” policies will be indiscriminate enough to severely damage peoples lives and livelihoods without being targeted and strong enough to actually eliminate the disease.

  376. HA says:

    The Beijing Film Bureau ordered all of China’s movie theaters to close again without explanation after hundreds had already reopened.

  377. @Mark G.

    The type of crashes that occurred in 2000, 2008 and the one occurring now are not periodic events that occur about once every eight years.

    All three were different. The first was a typical recession. The second was not. And the third is being deliberately created for a public purpose.

    The recession in 2000 was incredibly mild, despite the large drop in the stock market after the Dotcom excesses. Unemployment topped out at 6.3 percent and the drop in output lasted less than a year.

    Peter Schiff gets little credit for this event. Too low on his Doomsday meter. The huge drop in the markets notwithstanding.

    The Great Recession was a genuinely scary financial event which created a long and deep recession. Unemployment topped out at 10 percent, the highest in over two decades, and the drop in output lasted for a year and a half, which was the longest since the Great Depression.

    Peter Schiff gets credit for this event. About medium on his Doomsday meter.

    This latest recession is entirely self-inflicted for public health reasons. We didn’t stumble into this recession because of overexuberance. We ordered it to go. Why Peter Schiff should get any credit for it is beyond me.

    They are more along the lines of the 1929 crash.

    That was true of only the Great Recession of 2007-09. The notion that you would compare the Dotcom bubble or this recent event to the Great Depression is perverse.

    The Federal Reserve had been put in place to prevent a recurrence of the Panic of 1907 but what happened in 1929 and more recently, 3 times now, were worse. By treating occurrences like these as something inevitable you are letting the people responsible for them off the hook.

    The business cycle is inevitable. Recessions will periodically happen. So will wars and pandemics. And if you thought the economy was bad after the Federal Reserve took over, you should study the 19th-century panics in which drops in outputs were dramatic, recessions looks years to overcome, and the only thing preventing mass unemployment that could threaten the stability of society were widespread families farms.

    • Replies: @Mark G.
  378. Latest from Fauci…..says CV is just a bad flu…….0.1% death rate.

    We’ve totally been had.

    Two trillion pissed in the wind.

    350 million for “refugees.”

    Wrecked economy……abused populace…….

    Who benefits?

    Which tiny group ALWAYS benefits?

    • Replies: @The Wild Geese Howard
  379. @Not my economy

    “…it would be nice to immediately go hard on setting us up for the fall 2020/winter 21 re-run of this thing.”

    Bite your tongue!

  380. Mark G. says:
    @Pincher Martin

    This latest recession is entirely self-inflicted for public health reasons. We didn’t stumble into this recession because of overexuberance. We ordered it to go. Why Peter Schiff should get any credit for it is beyond me.

    When the Fed tried to normalize rates in 2018 the stock market tanked. Before the last Fed hike in December 2018 Schiff predicted it would be the last one. He was correct. The Fed had to slash rates 3 times in 2019. It also had to relaunch QE.

    The current government measures are just an extension of what has been happening for the last year. The economy has been teetering on the verge of a collapse for over a year now. The coronavirus just came along and gave it the final shove.

    • Replies: @Pincher Martin
    , @vhrm
  381. @Yusef

    You don’t know nothing but you pretend you’re all–smart.

    Yes of course there are small businesses in Cuba Russia and China. Right there you prove you are an idiot.

    Alright, so carefully go out there and look for sick people to breathe on you. Go ahead. Be free. Express your capitalist freedom.

    Taleb says better safe than sorry. He says draconian is good. He is an arch-capitalist and smarter than you. He says, I hope I’m wrong. I hope very much to be proved to be completely mistaken. But–better safe than sorry.

    As do I. Because we are smarter than you.

    • Replies: @tbmcc
  382. @Mark G.

    When the Fed tried to normalize rates in 2018 the stock market tanked. Before the last Fed hike in December 2018 Schiff predicted it would be the last one. He was correct. The Fed had to slash rates 3 times in 2019. It also had to relaunch QE.

    What has this got to do with anything? The stock market is not the economy. Economic growth was decent in 2018 and 2019.

    The current government measures are just an extension of what has been happening for the last year.

    No, they’re not. The “current government measures” are designed to help the U.S. deal with a public health crisis as it shuts down large parts of the economy. They aren’t a continuation of anything.

    Was the economy headed into recession before coronavirus? Maybe. But that’s pretty normal after 10 years of uninterrupted growth. The only reason we are headed into a sharp and dramatic drop in output is entirely because of self-imposed measures to shut down the economy and save lives.

    Peter Schiff gets no credit for that because he didn’t predict it.

    • Replies: @Mark G.
  383. vhrm says:
    @Mark G.

    When the Fed tried to normalize rates in 2018 the stock market tanked. Before the last Fed hike in December 2018 Schiff predicted it would be the last one. He was correct. The Fed had to slash rates 3 times in 2019. It also had to relaunch QE.

    The current government measures are just an extension of what has been happening for the last year. The economy has been teetering on the verge of a collapse for over a year now. The coronavirus just came along and gave it the final shove.

    Imo, the economy was over-juiced by very cheap money by a Fed that was unwilling to take away the punch bowl. That’s not “teetering on the verge of collapse”.

    They could have started deflating the bubble years ago. The markets would have gone down some. People might actually get some interest on their savings. People would stop buying junk bonds as if they’re AAA… there would be houses on the market for under $1m…
    All sorts of normal things could have happened.

    • Replies: @The Wild Geese Howard
  384. @Anonymous

    “obsessed with the hair, clothes, tastes in food, furniture, music, movies, anything and everything done by the under 40 age group”

    I guess hair may be right, “blue-hair” becoming shorthand for hysterical feminist anti-Trumper. But you see blue hair on 50 year old childless college lecturers.

    clothes – really? Apart from ass-showing baggy pants on rap fans, but that was decades back.

    Tastes in food, I suppose mocking the 126 different ways to describe a coffee and the various exotic foods/grains is indeed a thing.

    Furniture? No generation who thought the hanging basket chair was cool is entitled to do that.

    Music, movies – there’s a reason my 20somethings are all into old music, even stuff I didn’t take much notice of like Townes van Zandt, or actively disliked, like CSNY.

    But all movies are the work of Satan’s disciples, I’m grateful to Steve for watching them so that I don’t have to.

  385. NYCTexan says:
    @gabriel alberton

    If one assumes that the number of asymptomatic or minimally symptomatic cases is several times as high as the number of reported cases, the case fatality rate may be considerably less than 1%. This suggests that the overall clinical consequences of Covid-19 may ultimately be more akin to those of a severe seasonal influenza (which has a case fatality rate of approximately 0.1%) or a pandemic influenza (similar to those in 1957 and 1968) rather than a disease similar to SARS or MERS, which have had case fatality rates of 9 to 10% and 36%, respectively.

    -Anthony S. Fauci, M.D., H. Clifford Lane, M.D., and Robert R. Redfield, M.D. New England Journal of Medicine

    Try again.

    • Replies: @gabriel alberton
  386. Hail says: • Website
    @Achmed E. Newman

    Thank you, AEN.

    Moving away from Scary Big Numbers, I’d propose thinking in terms of percentages.

    The normal US death rate in the 2010s was 0.80% to 0.85% per year. That is, of all the people living today (as of this writing on March 28, 2020), 0.8% or a bit more will statistically be dead by March 28, 2021, the normal expected death rate absent any crisis of any kind.

    Humans are mortal beings. It’s the way it is; sad in individual cases (especially when the deaths were young and unnecessary, like suicides or murders) but statistically a constant at at least some baseline level.

    Now let’s project from Jan. 1, 2020, to Jan. 1, 2025. Exactly five years. A little over 4% of those who were living in the USA as of Jan. 1, 2020 are statistically expected to be dead by Jan. 1, 2025 (0.008*5); partially replaced by new births in the same period (with the remainder rounded-out by The Real Americans, immigrants from Guatemala, Ethiopia, and etc.)

    By what manner are these 0.8% or so dying. Various, of course, with “winter flu” (in reality a combination of any number of respiratory-illness-causing viruses, including the now-boogeyman coronaviruses) helps push some of our weakest and most vulnerable over the edge any year.

    Apparently the better performers in the OECD are able to limit direct flue deaths to .01%/year (i.e., 1 in 10,000 are lost at-least-arguably-attributable flu, though almost always hitting the weakest and most vulnerable). The worse-end performers end up at more like .03% lost to flu per year; a very bad flu season would push this up to, say, .05%, and the occasional flu pandemic such as the 1968-69 Hong Kong Flu might out it somewhat higher still, all still generally drawing from the same at-risk groups. (Which is what made the WWI-exacerbated 1918 pandemic so terrible, is that it broke with the norm and just as often hit those in their prime.)

    If anyone has followed me so far, here is the punch-line, as it were. The deaths being attributed to The Novel Coronavirus Virus look set to be be well under 0.1% of total population (Dr. Ioannidis of Stanford has now proposed a likely final death toll of <0.01% of total population or up to 0.03%). The Corona Death Toll is going to have a very big overlap with the statistically expected 4.0%-to-4.2% society-wide deaths, for the period Today-plus-five-years. Maybe even a majority overlap, remembering that the median death is age 82 with serious preexiting health conditions. These are very sick and at-risk people who would be at real risk of being pushed over the edge during any flu season. There are relatively few ‘fluke’ deaths of highly healthy people below about age 80, and none at all of healthy persons below 50.

  387. Mark G. says:
    @Pincher Martin

    What has this got to do with anything? The stock market is not the economy. Economic growth was decent in 2018 and 2019.

    If economic growth was decent in 2019 then why did the Fed cut rates three times that year? The answer to that question was that economic growth was slowing. U.S economic growth was 3.4% in the third quarter of 2018 but only 1.9% in the third quarter of 2019. The Fed cut rates for the third time in response to that.

    That was not a big secret. It was widely reported in the media at the time as a few minutes time spent googling would show. The previous attempts by the government to put off the inevitable collapse Schiff and others were warning about were never going to work. The current gargantuan stimulus bill is not mostly about dealing with coronavirus. It’s mostly about bailing out people who made bad decisions. This will create a moral hazard situation encouraging people in the future to make more bad decisions. The bill will also funnel money to the politically connected. It will add on to the levels of government debt that will burden future generations or inflation and higher prices for everyone if the government just prints up the money.

  388. Hail says: • Website
    @Pincher Martin

    need to see some data on this before assuming the anecdotal evidence being reported is wrong

    First-world health systems getting swamped, to a degree, at the peak of flu season is not necessarily unusual. Some flu seasons are worse than others because of constant virus mutations and certain other reasons, and at peak periods, swamping does happen, including the much-trumpeted lack of ICU beds.

    (It’s also partly a function of what powerful medical technology we are blessed with, leading to longer lifespans than ever and the ability to keep the immuno-compromised alive better than any civilization in history. These are strengths that this Panic has turned into weaknesses.)

    In fact, this ‘swamping’ happened in certain areas of Italy itself during several flu seasons of the 2010s. Needless to say, it didn’t make international news, much less trigger a worldwide panic.

    https://www.anti-empire.com/milan-italy-was-overwhelmed-with-viral-lung-disease-patients-as-recently-as-2018-without-feeding-a-global-hysteria/

    The link translates and comments on a Jan. 2018 local news article out of Milan on how the flu that year was swamping the local health system.

    Giuseppe Foti, at the helm of the San Gerardo emergency in Monza, does the math: «Three patients hospitalized until December 22nd, 6 from December 22nd to 31st, 8 from January 1st to today. The problem is serious. From this week [Jan. 10, 2018] we have been forced to suspend bookings of ICU beds for surgical patients with scheduled interventions ».

    Federico Pappalardo, head of intensive care at San Raffaele, admits: “Today other non-urgent operations will be skipped”. Giacomo Grasselli, medical director of the resuscitation of the Policlinico, is in the same situation: “The risk of postponing elective surgery for patients who need postoperative care in intensive care is a problem on the agenda”.

    This is exactly the same thing we heard in March 2020 out of Italy. The difference is that today we have an international media drumbeat with lots of auxiliaries playing the role of protagonists in a Killer Virus disaster movie script they have pumped up and are playing out in their minds, what I have come to see as a mass delusion created by the media — whereas no one cared in Jan. 2018.

    • Replies: @Pincher Martin
  389. @Hail

    There are relatively few ‘fluke’ deaths of highly healthy people below about age 80, and none at all of healthy persons below 50.

    I agree with most of what you say, but I think we need more information to confirm that no “healthy” person below 50 dies of this disease. It may well be true, and I hope it is true, but it is a kind of missing link on which so much depends.

    • Replies: @Jack D
  390. @Mark G.

    If economic growth was decent in 2019 then why did the Fed cut rates three times that year? The answer to that question was that economic growth was slowing.

    It is pretty recent that Trump cut back on an agreed pay raise for government employees due to what he said was a poor economy.

    Trump is justifying ordering the cut on the grounds that the country is in the midst of a ‘national emergency or serious economic conditions affecting the general welfare,’

    https://www.rawstory.com/2020/02/trump-quietly-slashed-pay-raise-for-federal-workers-a-day-before-claiming-us-economy-is-best-in-history/

    https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2020/02/trump-cuts-scheduled-federal-pay-raise-serious-economic-conditions.html

  391. Hail says: • Website
    @Ron Unz

    I think within another three or four weeks, we should know perfectly well whether the “mainstream experts” or the “debunkers” are the ones correct about the Coronavirus epidemic

    Ideally.

    I fear it could be that the Truth will be much less important than the Narrativel, as this has become such a big deal. The successful imposition of a soft form of martial law (as this year opened, predicting such a thing would be dismissed as paranoia not Alex Jones-level paranoia); with a sudden jump in unemployment; with people talking about a Great Depression-level economic contraction.

    A good analysis today by the commenter prime noticer outlines one view of this I find plausible, if maybe hyperbolic to make the point.

    Critics of Donald Trump have long alleged (not without basis) that his m.o. is to stumble along with one misstep or bungled maneuver after another, and then just declare victory and move on. If the virus turns out to be as minor as Dr. Ioannidis and others argue, the forces behind this “lockdown” response, which I would blame primarily on the media apparatus and its allies, can still just pull a DJT-style ‘Declare Victory.’ “It would have been very, very bad; trust us; but we heroically stopped it. All at the simple cost of 20% unemployment and restriction of various freedoms that were unpatriotic anyway; and some loser small businesses, but they probably just exploited their workers anyway.”

    • Replies: @dfordoom
  392. @Mark G.

    If economic growth was decent in 2019 then why did the Fed cut rates three times that year?

    Political pressure. Trump has aggressively criticized the Fed over the last two years to make sure his election campaign is primed with cheap liquidity.

    Heres’s Trump being quoted by the WP in July of 2018:

    The president — who has craved low rates since building his real estate fortune with the liberal use of debt — said Fed Chair Jerome H. Powell’s plan to continue gradually raising short-term rates was undermining the administration’s efforts to spur economic growth.

    “I’m not thrilled,” the president told CNBC. “I am not happy about it. . . . I don’t like all of this work that we’re putting into the economy and then I see rates going up.”

    Trump then blasted the Fed again several more times in 2019, and then again in both January and March of this year. Trump’s January criticism came before the coronavirus effect hit the markets. Here are a couple of highlights of what Trump said at Davos just after the New Year in his criticism of the Fed:

    * Trump took his biggest swipe yet at the Federal Reserve, saying that his economic achievements, which have helped the U.S. remain “by far the strongest economic power in the world,” came despite the central bank’s policies holding back the U.S. economy.

    * Trump also spoke about the U.S. being forced to compete with nations that are getting negative rates: “They get paid to borrow money, something I could get used to very quickly,” he said. “Love that.”

    So a man who before he became president spent his life in the field of the highly-leveraged market of real estate claims he could “get used” to “negative rates” is constantly criticizing the Fed for … wait for it … not lowering rates, and you wonder why the Fed lowered rates three times in 2019?

    No president other than perhaps Lyndon Johnson has been as critical of the Fed as Trump, and Johnson’s pressure was mostly applied privately. Trump’s criticism of the Fed has always been public and always about the rates being too high.

    The answer to that question was that economic growth was slowing.

    So what? It’s natural for economic growth to slow as the labor market tightens after an economy has been through a multi-year run without a recession. Growth in 2018 and 2019 was still moderate. Trump just wanted it juiced even more.

    The current gargantuan stimulus bill is not mostly about dealing with coronavirus. It’s mostly about bailing out people who made bad decisions.

    When a business fails, it’s usually because it made bad decisions. When entire sectors of the economy fail nearly overnight, it’s because someone else made a bad decision.

  393. @Robert Dolan

    Exactly correct.

    This whole thing is a psyop to take our money and our freedoms.

    The virus was a cover to let air out of the market bubble.

    You can rest assured that billions were made by MMs, tutes, and central banks that bought puts and shorted equities.

    Then, they can turn around with those billions and snap up distressed assets for pennies on the dollar.

    If the Dems take the WH we’ll never hear a peep about Covid-19 again, other than, “oh, trust us, that strain has been added to this year’s flu vaccine.”

  394. @vhrm

    All sorts of normal things could have happened.

    Totally agreed.

    Sadly, Clown World is all about short-term, extreme thinking.

    Thus, the typical trader is no longer thinking, “How can I make $1 million over 10 years by grinding out small wins?”

    They are thinking, “How can I lay on a trade that will make $1 million tomorrow?!”

  395. @Hail

    There are relatively few ‘fluke’ deaths of highly healthy people below about age 80, and none at all of healthy persons below 50.

    Uh, there have been several possible Corona-related deaths under 50.

    The hatestream media has made sure to hype them as much as possible:

    https://duckduckgo.com/?t=ffab&q=young+corona+deaths&ia=web

  396. @Hail

    First-world health systems getting swamped, to a degree, at the peak of flu season is not necessarily unusual.

    Italy has already had 10,000 of its citizens die of this disease in the last five weeks, and a lot more are in death’s pipeline.

    If you think this is business as usual, dig up the new stories from the previous flu seasons which show Italy …

    1) ordering triage nationally as a way to prepare Italy’s hospitals in regions unaffected by the virus to determine after the tsunami hits which patients can be hooked up to a ventilator and which patients are out of luck…

    2) using Italian military conveys to truck the corpses of flu patients to crematoria and makeshift cemeteries, which can’t cope with the additional numbers …

    3) closing off its nation and effectively shutting down for weeks.

    Answer me this question, if 10,000 Italians have died because of the coronavirus in five weeks, how many would’ve died if Italy just pretended this was a normal flu season?

    50,000?

    100,000?

    More?

  397. Jack D says:
    @Jonathan Mason

    Up to age 49, the death rate ranges from 0 (at 0 years) to .32% (1 out of 300 infected) for the 20-49 group.

    https://www.cebm.net/covid-19/global-covid-19-case-fatality-rates/

    So even if those dying before age 50 were healthy to begin with (and I suspect many were not) you are not talking about a lot of deaths. It’s not zero but it’s not a very big number either. It seems like many (0r at least some) of the below 50 previously healthy mortality is among medical professionals who somehow get a big dose of the virus.

    • Replies: @Pincher Martin
  398. tbmcc says:
    @obwandiyag

    You seem to be the embodiment of the Dunning-Kruger effect. We wuz Kangs!

  399. @Jack D

    Many of the below-50 are hospitalized and some of them might develop permanent respiratory problems even after they recover. We don’t know yet. What we do know is that the health problems associated with this disease linger much longer than they do with the flu even when it doesn’t kill you.

  400. dfordoom says: • Website
    @Hail

    If the virus turns out to be as minor as Dr. Ioannidis and others argue, the forces behind this “lockdown” response, which I would blame primarily on the media apparatus and its allies, can still just pull a DJT-style ‘Declare Victory.’ “It would have been very, very bad; trust us; but we heroically stopped it. All at the simple cost of 20% unemployment and restriction of various freedoms that were unpatriotic anyway; and some loser small businesses, but they probably just exploited their workers anyway.”

    Yep.

    And in the future every time there’s even the most minor health “crisis” they’ll demand that we employ the same methods that were so spectacularly successful in 2020.

    Truth is whatever we’re told it is. As Steve might say, truth is whatever those with the megaphone declare it to be.

    Interestingly we’ll also undoubtedly be told that the only way to deal with the economic costs of regular shutdowns will be to increase immigration.

  401. RW says:
    @Ron Unz

    I was going to say very much the same thing when I clicked on this article. I’m not Jewish or a Zionist, and intelligent people bat these kinds of ideas around in an informal setting.

  402. keypusher says:
    @Mark G.

    Are you saying no one was claiming that government policies would lead to permanent prosperity?

    Yes, that’s exactly what I’m saying. Find me someone claiming that government policies would lead to permanent prosperity. You can’t, because such people do not exist.

    • Replies: @Mark G.
  403. Mr. Anon says:
    @Achmed E. Newman

    BTW, when did we go from playing records backwards to learn Satanic stuff to looking at the album cover? There are no album covers anymore, hell there are no albums either.

    No need for all the arcane symbol divinition anymore. The videos of contemporary pop-songs feature people in goat-horns dry-humping upside down crosses and the like. They don’t even hide their satanic imagery anymore.

  404. Lurker says:
    @Deckin

    Indeed. Britain’s position vs Germany in WW1 and WW2 is that of the US – just writ smaller.

  405. Mark G. says:
    @keypusher

    Yes, that’s exactly what I’m saying. Find me someone claiming that government policies would lead to permanent prosperity. You can’t, because such people do not exist.

    Donald Trump saying there will be no recession and he will always find a way to prevent one:

    https://www.politico.com/story/2019/08/23/donald-trump-recession-1472540
    .

  406. @NYCTexan

    -Anthony S. Fauci, M.D., H. Clifford Lane, M.D., and Robert R. Redfield, M.D. New England Journal of Medicine

    Try again.

    Very well:

    Fauci warns coronavirus could kill as many as 200,000 Americans

    As U.S. death toll surpasses 4,600, Fauci says the real turning point in coronavirus mitigation won’t happen until there’s a vaccine

    I don’t know why you replied with that Fauci quote, however. What are you saying, or trying to say? That he’s agreeing it’s a hoax? We all know it’s a hoax. Duh. I don’t need Fauci to fell me that. Do you?

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