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MIT Economist: Yup, NYC's Achilles Heel Was the Subways
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A new paper by an MIT economist:

The Subways Seeded the Massive Coronavirus Epidemic in New York City
Jeffrey E. Harris*
Department of Economics
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
[email protected]
April 13, 2020

Abstract. New York City’s multitentacled subway system was a major disseminator – if not the principal transmission vehicle – of coronavirus infection during the initial takeoff of the massive epidemic that became evident throughout the city during March 2020. The near shutoff of subway ridership in Manhattan – down by over 90 percent at the end of March – correlates strongly with the substantial increase in the doubling time of new cases in this borough. Maps of subway station turnstile entries, superimposed upon zip code-level maps of reported coronavirus incidence, are strongly consistent with subway-facilitated disease propagation. Local train lines appear to have a higher propensity to transmit infection than express lines. Reciprocal seeding of infection appears to be the best explanation for the emergence of a single hotspot in Midtown West in Manhattan. Bus hubs may have served as secondary transmission routes out to the periphery of the city.

Is there much of a Plan B for getting around NYC without the subway? NYC’s giant subway system is a hugely valuable resource most of the time, but precisely because so many people are dependent upon it that it becomes an anchor during epidemics.

The Metropolitan Transit Authority’s decision to cut back its train service to accommodate the reduced demand may have indeed helped to shore up the agency’s financial position, but it most likely accelerated the spread of coronavirus throughout the city. That’s because the resulting reduction in train service tended to maintain passenger density, the key factor driving viral propagation (Goldbaum and Cook 2020). How ironic it is that, from the public health perspective, the optimal policy would have been to double – maybe even triple – the frequency of train service. The agency’s decision to convert multiple express lines into local service only enhanced the risk of contagion (Goldbaum 2020). How ironic it is that the preferred policy would have been to run even more express lines. We have not seen any public data on the incremental cost of the agency’s decision to begin to disinfect subway cars twice daily. Still, it is natural to inquire why the cars weren’t disinfected every time they emptied out of passengers at both ends of the line.

A crucial question is how much good could universal masking do for the subway system?

By the way, how many examples have we had yet of criminals using face masks to get around facial recognition cameras? Do banks let you come in the door wearing a mask? When I walk in my bank, an employee almost always greets me effusively. This is has a dual benefit in cutting down bank robberies: it inclines entrants to lift their faces up where a camera can record them, and it seems to discourage bank robbers. Apparently, a lot of would-be bank robbers chicken out at the last moment, and a friendly smile can be the nudge they need to keep walking.

 
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  1. Are there transit cops giving free and mandatory masks to everyone at subway entrances? Should be. Janitors constantly wiping every surface would help too.

    • Replies: @Jack D

    Janitors constantly wiping every surface would help too.
     
    Maybe that's possible in a place like China or Japan where people still work. NYC upped their subway car wiping routine to something like once every 2 weeks (vs. the old routine of never) and this was a major accomplishment, especially since a considerable portion of their workforce used the epidemic as an excuse to stay home on "sick leave" (no more pesky doctor's notes required). A truly effective cleaning regime is probably not possible in NY unless they can develop robots that will spray the cars down. They could never get or afford the labor required to do this effectively.
  2. There are a lot of subways in the world. Except for those in the US and the former USSR, nearly all of them let you walk between cars while the train is in motion. Is that good or bad, vis-à-vis viruses?

    • Replies: @Polynikes
    This was my first thought as well. What about all the other subways? Surely Italy has the second largest subway system?

    I’ve been on the subways in Tokyo and Seoul. They are quite elaborate too, although much cleaner than NYC’s.

    The MIT article sounds intuitive. Maybe even it’s largely right. But there doesn’t seem to be a magic bullet with this particular virus.
    , @Jack D

    nearly all of them let you walk between cars while the train is in motion. Is that good or bad, vis-à-vis viruses?
     
    It's a red herring. What % of riders actually bother to walk between cars even where it is possible to do so? And in systems where people are packed like sardines in rush hour, even if you wanted to walk to another car you couldn't make it thru the pack between the entrance door and the end door. Since people are randomly mixed on the platforms and in the individual cars already (and riders often take more than one train to get to their destination), adding a small (or even a large) amount of between car movement does little to change the virus spread.
  3. Thinking out loud here: A bunch of Saudis commanded by a Saudi hiding in Afghanistan allegedly manage to knock down the Twin Towers and kill 3,000 New Yorkers, so America goes to war with Iraq.

    Now a bunch of Chinese have shut down the economy, neutralized a couple USN aircraft carriers and killed 10,000 New Yorkers. Where’s the war gonna be?

    • Replies: @Mr McKenna
    Pretty obvious that we should bomb Syria or Yemen.

    Bombing China would be racist, not to mention dangerous.
    , @Semperluctor
    Exactly.
    Imagine that an enemy state had exploded a few dirty bombs in 5 to 10 US cities, killing say 50k people, and causing 5 trillion dollars in damages to the economy. We would go to war in the blink of an eye. Of course, China has nuclear weapons, so the response has to be asymmetrical. No worries. Cancel their debt holdings and impose crippling sanctions. As another commenter said on this site: where are they going to do, refuse to sell us their junk? Only caveat is to wait until our supply lines from Europe etc of key meds are safely established.
    , @MikeatMikedotMike
    Diego Garcia has been getting a bit uppity lately...
    , @Kyle
    Viruses are naturally occurring. New viruses will always mutate so this risk always exists. If it’s proven that this virus was incubated in the Wuhan research facility then you may have a point. But otherwise that opinion is invalid.
    , @Stan
    Iran obviously.
    , @JMcG
    Wherever Israel wants.
    , @captflee
    Bermuda. Decent shopping.
    , @William Badwhite

    Now a bunch of Chinese have shut down the economy, neutralized a couple USN aircraft carriers and killed 10,000 New Yorkers. Where’s the war gonna be?
     
    Duh. Russia obviously.
    , @anonymous1963
    Whereever Israel decides.
  4. No doubt, but still no good explanation why Tokyo, which has more heavily used subway system than NYC, has, to date, all of 39 cvirus deaths.

    Can’t believe mask-wearing is the only variable.

    BCG vaccination seems like a promising explanation.

    • Thanks: hhsiii
    • Replies: @leterip
    I agree that Tokyo's more packed subways not causing virus spread is very significant. And confounds this MIT theory.

    I hope the BCG vaccination is the answer, but the more recent studies seem less promising.

    I think masks and/or Japan's obsession with hygiene is also a possible explanation.
    , @The Last Real Calvinist
    Hong Kong's MTR carries the exact same number of passengers per year as NYC's subway, i.e. 1.7 billion.

    Hong Kong has recorded just over 1,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases. The fatality total right now is 4. That's a fatality rate of 0.4%, so pretty low.

    The virus has been around these parts at least since January. Nearly all HK people have been wearing masks everywhere in public since that time.

    Masks might not explain all of the discrepancy between NYC and HK, but they definitely seem to be important.

    , @utu
    Consider a possibility that BCG offers a significant protection against the covid virus.
    https://www.novinite.com/articles/204095/Countries+with+Mandatory+Policies+to+BCG+Vaccine+Register+Fewer+Coronavirus+Deaths

    If covid was a bioweapon probably it was known to its maker that BCG vaccination offered a protection. The country behind the bioweapon would be BCG vaccinated.

    World map of BCG vaccinations.
    https://www.researchgate.net/figure/Map-displaying-BCG-vaccination-policy-by-country-A-The-country-currently-has-universal_fig2_50892386

    Here CVS files with specific info on BCG coverage per country.
    https://apps.who.int/gho/data/node.main.A830?lang=en

    So we can exclude the US, Israel and Italy who never practuced BCG vaccination from the list of the suspects. We can safely exclude most of the western Europe that stopped BCG vaccinating years ago. So who is left? Russia and Japan! Would Russia or Japan benefit from a conflict between China and the West? Russia much more than Japan. Russia could stay on teh sidelines and come into the
    conflict in the very end as a savior. Where would Russia or Japan deploy it first? Obviously China to establish the provenance of the virus (after all it is coronavirus that could come form bats, pangolins...) in the eye of everybody in the world so blaming China would become a nationals sport in many countries. And then the virus would be deployed to Iran to redirect the blame on the US and Israel so China would have its culprit as well.

    , @LemmusLemmus
    I've been told by people who know that talking is unusual in Tokyo subways. That's sure to play some role, though how big is unclear.
    , @Almost Missouri
    NYC is filthy. Tokyo is clean.

    Also, NYC has much more wretched refuse of the globe's teeming shores.
    , @Buffalo Joe
    Len, my wife and I have rode the subways in Japan and Hong Kong, packed in like sardines, but little conversation and the most telling feature...clean. spotlessly clean, like Disney Park clean. The numbers for Japan and Hong Kong makes me wonder if there isn't already a "herd immunity" in these two countries. Would be worth a study.
    , @AnotherDad

    Can’t believe mask-wearing is the only variable.
     
    Well, of course, it's not the *only* variable.

    Sure the Japanese are much more fastidious and much more conscientious about following social norms than NYC's "huddled masses" and "wretched refuse".

    But seriously, this is a respiratory disease. Sure it can attack other organs, but it hammers the lungs and from the lungs people ... breathe the damn thing out!

    We've trotted out all sorts of tedious school marm bullshit--closing beaches ... oh, that humid salt air is so bad for you; closing golf--a true contact sport, closing parks--uh, oh, more fresh air ...
    --and yet won't get on with just wearing masks. So some infected jamoke can sneeze and breathe corona-chan all over other folks. Genius!
    , @Bugg
    Would wager a YUGE sum Tokyo riders are way cleaner and neater than NYC riders. And that Tokyo cleans it's trains more often than the 3 days NYC has only instituted since this crisis began. And Tokyo doesn't allow bums to set up house on subway cars.

    Warren Wilhelm is whining all day about social distancing. But if you don't shut down mass transit, there' no point to any of that . And shutting down subways and buses to a liberal is akin to stabbing a vampire in the heart with a cross in noon daylight and jamming garlic cloves in the wound.The idea that suburbanites commuting by themselves in their cars to an office park being significantly safer and healthier than the subway to an office tower in Manhattan with elevators, sealed windows and climate control recirculated air is UNTHINKABLE.
  5. It’s ironic that the subways helped spread this disease when part of the purpose of the subways was to minimize disease by not having workers crammed into housing right next to their factories.

    It’s hard to see how there wouldn’t be less disease propagation with everyone wearing masks on subways. Maybe the poles people grab onto could be plated in copper too.

    As for your question about whether you can wear masks in a bank, the answer here is yes. I stopped in to BofA branches twice in the last few weeks to get quarters. The first time, I was one of two people wearing masks, the other being a teller. The second time, Everyone had on a mask, and the door was locked when I got there. A bank employee was letting in a few customers at a time, and there were markings on the floor to facilitate distancing.

    • Replies: @Chrisnonymous

    Maybe the poles people grab onto could be plated in copper too.... I stopped in to BofA branches twice in the last few weeks to get quarters....
     
    Shouldn't you be getting pennies?
    , @Buffalo Joe
    Dave, my local branch of M&T Bank, walking distance from my house, appointment only.
  6. This MIT Jamoke is ripping me off! From what I posted five scant days ago here:

    Clyde says:
    April 10, 2020 at 7:29 pm GMT • 100 Words
    NYC subways can kill ya dead! Philadelphia subway system is small and the population is not using it nearly as much per capita every day as in NYC. This is my guess…I don’t have the stats. But NYC is known for its extensive and high ridership subway system. Where the price of a slice and the subway fare rise in parallel. (Pizza)

    But then you have the extensive Tokyo subway system which is known for having crammer personnel on the platforms who push the sardines into the can. Into very high proximity with each other who are all wearing masks. The Japanese must be doing a great Covid19 testing job to counteract the “subway effect”. Conclusion: The Japanese are obsessive about keeping a healthy nation while New Yorkers (City) are too wild and crazy to submit to Covid19 disciplines.

    • Agree: Jack Armstrong
    • Replies: @AnonAnon

    Conclusion: The Japanese are obsessive about keeping a healthy nation while New Yorkers (City) are too wild and crazy to submit to Covid19 disciplines.
     
    There is speculation that Japan’s universal tuberculosis BCG vaccine is helping keep their numbers down: https://fortune.com/2020/04/02/coronavirus-vaccine-tb-deaths/
    , @Daniel Williams
    Yeah, but you’re ripping me off! I speculated here about the NYC subway several days before that. Steve and I discussed moving healthcare workers other ways.
  7. @BenKenobi
    Thinking out loud here: A bunch of Saudis commanded by a Saudi hiding in Afghanistan allegedly manage to knock down the Twin Towers and kill 3,000 New Yorkers, so America goes to war with Iraq.

    Now a bunch of Chinese have shut down the economy, neutralized a couple USN aircraft carriers and killed 10,000 New Yorkers. Where’s the war gonna be?

    Pretty obvious that we should bomb Syria or Yemen.

    Bombing China would be racist, not to mention dangerous.

    • Replies: @Lugash
    No, we should bomb Russia.
    , @Whitey Whiteman III
    Reminiscent of the Tark quote, "The NCAA was so mad at Kentucky they gave Cleveland State two more years of probation."
  8. The Moscow Metro has comparable extent to the New York City Subway, and while the corona virus is still spreading exponentially in Moscow (and the rest of Russia), the exponential rate is decreasing. While a subway system no doubt spreads infection, I would guess that the bigger factor is the level of international connectedness and the degree of early, undetected spread of infection.

    Did New York City UV irradiate the subway cars every day? Moscow does:

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    My vague recollection is that riding the Moscow subway was more pleasant, less crowded, cleaner than riding the NYC subway.
  9. Along with subways, there are (very) crowded offices, housing, and sidewalks.
    Restaurants, clubs, theatres. Lots of opportunities for transmission.

    Having done just about everything short of irradiating my groceries this evening, before bringing them into the house, I did spare a thought for those who live in cramped apartments. Who not only have no way of performing stunts like I did today in my driveway, but who also have such small kitchens that they have to go shopping often.

    So, are we over the hump yet, or not?

  10. @The Big Red Scary
    The Moscow Metro has comparable extent to the New York City Subway, and while the corona virus is still spreading exponentially in Moscow (and the rest of Russia), the exponential rate is decreasing. While a subway system no doubt spreads infection, I would guess that the bigger factor is the level of international connectedness and the degree of early, undetected spread of infection.

    Did New York City UV irradiate the subway cars every day? Moscow does:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ySGxmOYXcOY

    My vague recollection is that riding the Moscow subway was more pleasant, less crowded, cleaner than riding the NYC subway.

    • Replies: @The Big Red Scary
    Currently, yes, the Moscow Metro is cleaner and more pleasant the New York Subway. Certainly the Metro stations are a point of pride for the city of Moscow, and nowadays are well taken care of. But the difference in pleasantness of riding is, I suspect, mostly to do with the difference in one's fellow riders, not to put too fine a point on it.

    As for less crowded, I'm not sure. I avoid the Moscow Metro at rush hour, and have never ridden the New York Subway at rush hour. At any rate, according to La Wik, the average number of daily riders is
    6.99 million for Moscow and 5.58 million for New York, so roughly comparable. On the other hand, the Moscow Metro is getting better every year, as the incredibly noisy old wagons are replaced with new, quiet wagons (ostensibly made by real Russian proles), whereas I suspect the New York Subway is getting worse and worse, like much infrastructure in the US.
    , @Hebrew National
    The really nice thing about the Moscow subway is that you can't fall onto the tracks because it has an external wall like an elevator does.
    , @jbwilson24
    Moscow's metro is nicer than Toronto or Boston, and yes, than NYC.

    Part of it is I don't feel compelled to watch out for hordes of black 'youth' rampaging around. Even in Toronto I have routinely seen packs of blacks urinate on the platforms and threaten other passengers.
  11. @BenKenobi
    Thinking out loud here: A bunch of Saudis commanded by a Saudi hiding in Afghanistan allegedly manage to knock down the Twin Towers and kill 3,000 New Yorkers, so America goes to war with Iraq.

    Now a bunch of Chinese have shut down the economy, neutralized a couple USN aircraft carriers and killed 10,000 New Yorkers. Where’s the war gonna be?

    Exactly.
    Imagine that an enemy state had exploded a few dirty bombs in 5 to 10 US cities, killing say 50k people, and causing 5 trillion dollars in damages to the economy. We would go to war in the blink of an eye. Of course, China has nuclear weapons, so the response has to be asymmetrical. No worries. Cancel their debt holdings and impose crippling sanctions. As another commenter said on this site: where are they going to do, refuse to sell us their junk? Only caveat is to wait until our supply lines from Europe etc of key meds are safely established.

    • Replies: @yakushimaru
    You make it sounds as if USA's Iraq and Afghan wars are somehow Good Things for American people and you come here to read Sailer. I really have to wonder how much Steve Sailer do you really read?

    Scapegoating and blindly following your chosen leader as if it is a Sports League kind of thing are all you morons care about, know about.
    , @Dave Pinsen
    A couple of economists suggested canceling China's US debt holdings earlier this month: https://amgreatness.com/2020/04/02/payback-time-for-china/
    , @Buffalo Joe
    Semp, you and a few others have this virus as a Chinese weapon, but why kill your customers? If China wanted to kill off population why not unleash this on Africa, a continent of immense untapped natural resources?
  12. @Len
    No doubt, but still no good explanation why Tokyo, which has more heavily used subway system than NYC, has, to date, all of 39 cvirus deaths.

    Can't believe mask-wearing is the only variable.

    BCG vaccination seems like a promising explanation.

    I agree that Tokyo’s more packed subways not causing virus spread is very significant. And confounds this MIT theory.

    I hope the BCG vaccination is the answer, but the more recent studies seem less promising.

    I think masks and/or Japan’s obsession with hygiene is also a possible explanation.

    • Replies: @Hodag
    People in Tokyo are also much less likely to appear in WorldstarHipHop videos than people in NYC. Personal behavior counts in this epidemic. People have been told to avoid other people. If you follow the rules you do this. If for whatever reason you don't follow rules (religious or by inclination) than you don't get it.
    , @Divine Right

    I agree that Tokyo’s more packed subways not causing virus spread is very significant. And confounds this MIT theory.
     
    Does it? Most of NYC's coronavirus cases came from Europe; Italy seeded Europe from China. Presumably, NYC is more of a target destination for Europeans than Tokyo during the Jan - March period. Alternatively, NYC held a large parade or festival during the period in question, IIRC. Officials told the public to go and a great many did, including European tourists. Parade or subway? Or both?

    “We want New Yorkers to go about their everyday lives — use the subway, take the bus, etc.,” city Health Commissioner Dr. Oxiris Barbot said, explaining that COVID-19 “is not an illness that can be easily spread through casual contact.”

    https://apnews.com/6b9d9bf2f753ba7944c4dac379b3c5bb

     

  13. @Clyde
    This MIT Jamoke is ripping me off! From what I posted five scant days ago here:

    Clyde says:
    April 10, 2020 at 7:29 pm GMT • 100 Words
    NYC subways can kill ya dead! Philadelphia subway system is small and the population is not using it nearly as much per capita every day as in NYC. This is my guess…I don’t have the stats. But NYC is known for its extensive and high ridership subway system. Where the price of a slice and the subway fare rise in parallel. (Pizza)

    But then you have the extensive Tokyo subway system which is known for having crammer personnel on the platforms who push the sardines into the can. Into very high proximity with each other who are all wearing masks. The Japanese must be doing a great Covid19 testing job to counteract the “subway effect”. Conclusion: The Japanese are obsessive about keeping a healthy nation while New Yorkers (City) are too wild and crazy to submit to Covid19 disciplines.
     

    Conclusion: The Japanese are obsessive about keeping a healthy nation while New Yorkers (City) are too wild and crazy to submit to Covid19 disciplines.

    There is speculation that Japan’s universal tuberculosis BCG vaccine is helping keep their numbers down: https://fortune.com/2020/04/02/coronavirus-vaccine-tb-deaths/

  14. That’s because the resulting reduction in train service tended to maintain passenger density, the key factor driving viral propagation

    Fortunately Japan hasn’t fallen into this trap… yet.

    https://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/20200408_11/

  15. It’s difficult for people outside of NYC to imagine how vital the subway is in everyday life. It is massively extensive—so much so that you really notice when a neighborhood (e.g. most of Museum Mile on the upper east side) isn’t serviced by one (for Museum mile, the closest subway is the 4-5-6 line, which is several long blocks away, separated by wide avenues, and is famously overcrowded because it runs so slowly).

    And it runs 24 hours a day (a worldwide megacity rarity—even London and Paris shut down their subways at night), and is cheap for long distance travel—same price to take a one-stop trip as a 35-stop trip, so you can live very far away and commute for less than what most people pay in other cities for a commuter rail.

    In most U.S. cities, subways are vital, but in NYC they are a lifeblood. No subway, no city economy. In most other cities I’ve lived in, if the subway went down, the city would survive, crankily, with buses and taxis. In NYC, if the subway went down, even with every bus and taxi running, it wouldn’t work. Too large, too extensive.

    And the Giuliani/Bloomberg crime crackdown made it even more reliable and vital. I can remember several 3am subway rides in NYC during my poor drunk days during those years, and there wasn’t even a hint of danger on those subways then, even for an obvious mark like me—white, young, traveling alone, clearly inebriated. If it had been the 1970s I would have been mugged twice and likely knocked unconscious by “youths.”

    • Replies: @peterike

    And the Giuliani/Bloomberg crime crackdown made it even more reliable and vital. I can remember several 3am subway rides in NYC during my poor drunk days during those years, and there wasn’t even a hint of danger on those subways then,
     
    Sadly, in the Age of DeBlasio, that is changing. Prior to the shutdown, virtually every train once again had some annoying beggar of one sort or another: stinky homeless guy, pushy black 15 year old selling chocolate bars, etc. These always add a feeling of dread.

    Also, more and more cars had the added benefit of a homeless person sleeping on them, often with a full cartload of homeless person stuff. In the shutdown, it seems entire train lines are now being turned into homeless shelters.

    https://ijr.com/homeless-new-yorkers-sleeping-subways/

    Turnstile jumping fare-beating by young people of blackness is also now effectively allowed.

    DeBlasio is a disaster in every way.
    , @Hibernian

    In most other cities I’ve lived in, if the subway went down, the city would survive, crankily, with buses and taxis.
     
    It's my understanding that, during the '66 subway strike, Wall Street and possibly Midtown workers used a combination of commuter trains, driving, and walking, including walking over the Brooklyn Bridge. Of course there was increased absenteeism, and the strike was settled relatively quickly.
    , @hhsiii
    I moved to NYC in 1987, and had been coming since I was a kid. My parents got married in NYC.

    I got mugged once in the subway system. In a station stairwell, not on the subway itself. 1989 or so. Although around that same time a kid showed me a handgun in his waistband.

    And once a cop threatened me with his police dog unless I moved to the other end of the car. I was a bit of a scruffy looking intern for MacNeil/Lehrer at the time. But I had a tie on. Never understood what was up with that.

    But definitely things felt more dangerous then, even though I lucked out and had few incidents.

    I live on 77th and Lex. Right at the 6 train local stop and across from Lenox Hill Hospital entrance. I stopped commuting downtown on 3/13 but still rode subway now and then. But not since late March. They were still running plenty of trains and it was about 5-6 people per car. And if I had time and only a 15-20 block trip, sometimes the bus. But again, not since late March.
  16. @Semperluctor
    Exactly.
    Imagine that an enemy state had exploded a few dirty bombs in 5 to 10 US cities, killing say 50k people, and causing 5 trillion dollars in damages to the economy. We would go to war in the blink of an eye. Of course, China has nuclear weapons, so the response has to be asymmetrical. No worries. Cancel their debt holdings and impose crippling sanctions. As another commenter said on this site: where are they going to do, refuse to sell us their junk? Only caveat is to wait until our supply lines from Europe etc of key meds are safely established.

    You make it sounds as if USA’s Iraq and Afghan wars are somehow Good Things for American people and you come here to read Sailer. I really have to wonder how much Steve Sailer do you really read?

    Scapegoating and blindly following your chosen leader as if it is a Sports League kind of thing are all you morons care about, know about.

    • Agree: John Achterhof, Bill
    • Replies: @Chrisnonymous
    Dude. Did you choose your username after a J-Pop star? L-)
    , @Semperluctor
    Huh? This is a good example of both (a) a straw man argument and (b) an ad hominem attack. Both those wars were strategic errors and cynical abuses of power. But, the matter with China should be determined on its merits. China has committed a grave harm against this country. Even if I held the opinions about the Iraq wars that you think I do (and I do not), that would not alter the correctness of my analysis about the grave harm done to us by China.
    I read this site as the host knows how to frame interesting questions, and most of the time the comments are thought provoking.

    Your comment amounts to the following in terms of a logic statement.
    The Iraq and Afghanistan wars were bad
    All of the opinions are worthless of those who think those wars were good.
    SL thinks those wars were good.
    Therefore his opinions on Covid19 and China are worthless.

    I will politely suggest that you reconsider your argumentation.
  17. Anonymous[186] • Disclaimer says:

    A carrier subject goes down into the subway, coughs up some phlegm, spits on the platform, then gets on the subway. The spit and phlegm dry up into particulate. Every time a train enters and leaves the station, the winds generated set the particulate aloft, and carries it down the tunnel. Eventually it travels to the next platform, flying high thanks to the motion and increase of air pressure of the incoming train.

    The virus particulate lands on the subjects eye, up his nose, since his mask was pulled below his nose for easier breathing, or blows into his ear. The place nobody thinks to cover.

    Aaaand ya got another carrier.

    Incidentally, let’s not forget New York City sidewalks. Likely teeming with virus particulate. Catch some on your shoes, bring it into your apartment. Every day. It’s just a matter of time, friendo.

    If you currently reside in Manhattan, it sucks a monumentally large bag of dicks to be you.

    • Replies: @Ozymandias
    "If you currently reside in Manhattan, it sucks a monumentally large bag of dicks to be you."

    And now Chinese Disease has made it even worse.
    , @Buck Ransom
    So, what will be the Plannedemic's impact on the happy-face urbanist propaganda we have been getting for years, about how we all need to abandon our cars and suburbia to return to the splendors of mass transit and a 300-square-foot luxury pod apartment? Especially if the current oil glut continues and you can tank up the Escalade for about $15? We can all stay put and stock up multiple Sub-Zero freezers with designer ice cream, just like San Fran Nan on Easter Sunday.
    , @Peter D. Bredon
    "If you currently reside in Manhattan, it sucks a monumentally large bag of dicks to be you."

    If you currently reside in Manhattan, you likely ARE a monumentally dick; and not in a good way.
    , @yarro
    Very instructive observation, because almost all subways systems in NE Asia have platform screen doors. There is no wind, no pressure of the incoming train...
  18. Seoul, South Korea also has a very extensive subway system, upon which the public relies greatly, but has not experienced NYC’s apocalyptic pandemic. It’s not the subway, it’s the public health infrastructure and compliance by the population. Let me quote from my comment elsewhere:

    It is quite true that you don’t have to “lock down the whole country” to achieve effective social distancing. South Korea is a very good example of that. To that end, watch the following clip about the experience of one Korean young man who underwent the testing and quarantine process (Talha should be excited – he’s a Muslim convert):

    Note the following salient points:

    1. He traveled overseas, so was examined at the airport (as the public health official tells him at the beginning of the clip). No symptoms then.

    2. He is requested to come by his own car (no public transport) to be tested. Since he doesn’t own a private car, an ambulance is sent to him instead. I’d imagine that ambulance is thoroughly disinfected before and after.

    3. The testing is scheduled the SAME DAY at 4 PM.

    4. He is tested and given various disinfection supplies and told to self-quarantine for 14 days. He is issued special trash bags (to be used at the end of the quarantine, which a special public health team will pick up and dispose). All costs are covered by the government.

    5. He is assigned a government official who immediately notes via a phone call that his mobile phone GPS was disabled the day before. The official tells him, albeit very pleasantly and with laughter, that he must keep the phone on in order for her to track his movements during the self-quarantine and that another incidence of GPS disabling will result in the dispatch of a police officer to track him down!

    6. The public official also tells him the government will provide food and supplies during the self-quarantine, so that he doesn’t get out of his home.

    7. The testing result is avaiable the next day by 10 AM digitally (that’s 4 PM to 10 AM the next day – that’s something like 2 working hours – obviously the testing center is working overnight).

    8. The testing result is negative, but he is still required to self-quarantine for 14 days.

    9. What is not shown in the clip is that, had he tested positive, his presence (by GPS-locator) would have shown up on a special app for nearby residents, so that they could avoid him and other infected people.

    If a country is able to implement a system such as this effectively, speedily, and competently, yes, absolutely, you don’t have to issue any kind of a broadly-enforced lockdown. But the sad fact is that very few countries are able to do so, for budgetary, infrastructure, competence, legal, and cultural reasons.

    • Replies: @Stebbing Heuer
    Exactly.

    You people don't believe me when I tell you your country is a third-world country.

    Middle class disappearing.

    Despairing working class killing itself with fentanyl (that for some reason, your novelty-sized military-intelligence complex simply can't stop from entering the country).

    Military engaged in endless, wealth-destroying wars for endless square miles of sand, because you've allowed a much smaller and poorer country to buy, blackmail and bully your elite into doing its bidding.

    Utterly corrupt elites selling out the wealth-producing industrial base for short-term profits, only to be bailed out with limitless money printed at will when their dumb bets go wrong - how many trillions are we up to now? How many left to come?

    Intelligence agencies conspiring to overthrow an elected president, with the full assistance of a controlled media complex.

    Now you find yourselves suffering from a pandemic that first-world countries with functioning societies and governments have had no trouble containing.

    And you sit around scratching your heads saying 'Why is this happening to us? How could this happen in the US? Maybe it's the subway?'

    Remember the pictures of nurses wearing garbage bags in place of proper PPE?

    The rest of us are wondering when the penny is going to drop.

    , @Je Suis Omar Mateen
    "The testing result is negative, but he is still required to self-quarantine for 14 days.... If a country is able to implement a system such as this effectively, speedily, and competently, yes, absolutely, you don’t have to issue any kind of a broadly-enforced lockdown."

    Boomers everywhere just creamed their Depends a little.
    , @Polynikes
    Having lived there for a short while, I believe it. They keep close tabs on people in general. Far from a western democracy, although a pleasant and nice country I thought.

    I wouldn’t want the above style system. It’s not worth submitting (what we have left) to the surveillance state for the flu. That so many of you pine for it, is scary in and of itself.
    , @Jack D

    He is assigned a government official who immediately notes via a phone call that his mobile phone GPS was disabled the day before. The official tells him, albeit very pleasantly and with laughter, that he must keep the phone on in order for her to track his movements during the self-quarantine and that another incidence of GPS disabling will result in the dispatch of a police officer to track him down!
     
    Yesterday I saw an interview with a Taiwanese-American who was quarantined in Taiwan. He said that at some point his phone battery ran out and 10 minutes later 2 cops showed up at his door.
  19. Why so much Coronavirus cases in NYC? They’re getting a cash bounty from the Federal government of $39,000 for every person they can claim was on a ventilator. The equivalent of a welfare queen with 40 children.

    Hospital Reimbursement for Uninsured COVID-19 Cases May Total $42B

    …Hospital reimbursement for the treatment of uninsured COVID-19 patients could account for more than 40 percent of the $100 billion earmarked for hospitals

    Hospitals Get Paid More to List Patients as COVID-19 and Three Times as Much if the Patient Goes on Ventilator

    …Medicare is determining that if you have a COVID-19 admission to the hospital you get $13,000. If that COVID-19 patient goes on a ventilator you get $39,000, three times as much.

    • Agree: Je Suis Omar Mateen
    • Replies: @Je Suis Omar Mateen
    "Medicare is determining that if you have a COVID-19 admission to the hospital you get $13,000. If that COVID-19 patient goes on a ventilator you get $39,000, three times as much."

    This is why the kungflu bodycount is fake after it hit 12,000. Money, power, and poontang make the world go round.

    So what percent post-12K is fake? 50%? 90%?

    CoronaHoax.

  20. Anonymous[270] • Disclaimer says:

    The criminally negligent CDC advice that masks are not of much use was a major contributing factor. Large proportion of eventual NYC deaths has to be attributed to the sheer incompetence by CDC.

    • Disagree: Je Suis Omar Mateen
  21. @Semperluctor
    Exactly.
    Imagine that an enemy state had exploded a few dirty bombs in 5 to 10 US cities, killing say 50k people, and causing 5 trillion dollars in damages to the economy. We would go to war in the blink of an eye. Of course, China has nuclear weapons, so the response has to be asymmetrical. No worries. Cancel their debt holdings and impose crippling sanctions. As another commenter said on this site: where are they going to do, refuse to sell us their junk? Only caveat is to wait until our supply lines from Europe etc of key meds are safely established.

    A couple of economists suggested canceling China’s US debt holdings earlier this month: https://amgreatness.com/2020/04/02/payback-time-for-china/

  22. @Steve Sailer
    My vague recollection is that riding the Moscow subway was more pleasant, less crowded, cleaner than riding the NYC subway.

    Currently, yes, the Moscow Metro is cleaner and more pleasant the New York Subway. Certainly the Metro stations are a point of pride for the city of Moscow, and nowadays are well taken care of. But the difference in pleasantness of riding is, I suspect, mostly to do with the difference in one’s fellow riders, not to put too fine a point on it.

    As for less crowded, I’m not sure. I avoid the Moscow Metro at rush hour, and have never ridden the New York Subway at rush hour. At any rate, according to La Wik, the average number of daily riders is
    6.99 million for Moscow and 5.58 million for New York, so roughly comparable. On the other hand, the Moscow Metro is getting better every year, as the incredibly noisy old wagons are replaced with new, quiet wagons (ostensibly made by real Russian proles), whereas I suspect the New York Subway is getting worse and worse, like much infrastructure in the US.

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar

    6.99 million for Moscow and 5.58 million for New York
     
    Moscow is much more spread out, though. There is nothing like Manhattan there.

    The city's population density of 26,403 people per square mile (10,194/km²), makes it the densest of any American municipality with a population above 100,000. Manhattan's population density is 66,940 people per square mile (25,846/km²)*, highest of any county in the United States.


    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographics_of_New_York_City#Population

    *[The adjacent table shows 72,033 (27,826)]

    Moscow has a density of 8,537.2 people per square kilometer.

    https://worldpopulationreview.com/world-cities/moscow-population/
     
    Moscow is about 94% Slavic:

    https://moscow.touristgems.com/country/17304-population-of-moscow/

    So it's a combination of diversity and density. The densest parts of NYC would also be the whitest parts, whether you go by residence or employment. (So would the least dense.)
  23. The Metropolitan Transit Authority’s decision to cut back its train service to accommodate the reduced demand

    The dimwit Mayor of London did the same thing. The trouble is you need a larger-than-life alternative candidate if someone other than a production-line lefty is to be elected Mayor.

    • Replies: @Hibernian
    The last big city mayor at least in the US who made any sense at all was Bloomberg, and he was a pale shadow of Rudy Giuliani.
  24. @Len
    No doubt, but still no good explanation why Tokyo, which has more heavily used subway system than NYC, has, to date, all of 39 cvirus deaths.

    Can't believe mask-wearing is the only variable.

    BCG vaccination seems like a promising explanation.

    Hong Kong’s MTR carries the exact same number of passengers per year as NYC’s subway, i.e. 1.7 billion.

    Hong Kong has recorded just over 1,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases. The fatality total right now is 4. That’s a fatality rate of 0.4%, so pretty low.

    The virus has been around these parts at least since January. Nearly all HK people have been wearing masks everywhere in public since that time.

    Masks might not explain all of the discrepancy between NYC and HK, but they definitely seem to be important.

    • Replies: @Hail
    Berliners, heavy public-transportation users, were not wearing masks, even as (later-)confirmed transmission was going on throughout Germany and pre-Shutdowns.
  25. @Twinkie
    Seoul, South Korea also has a very extensive subway system, upon which the public relies greatly, but has not experienced NYC's apocalyptic pandemic. It's not the subway, it's the public health infrastructure and compliance by the population. Let me quote from my comment elsewhere:

    It is quite true that you don’t have to “lock down the whole country” to achieve effective social distancing. South Korea is a very good example of that. To that end, watch the following clip about the experience of one Korean young man who underwent the testing and quarantine process (Talha should be excited – he’s a Muslim convert):

    https://youtu.be/aR3d0FWEp6g

    Note the following salient points:

    1. He traveled overseas, so was examined at the airport (as the public health official tells him at the beginning of the clip). No symptoms then.

    2. He is requested to come by his own car (no public transport) to be tested. Since he doesn’t own a private car, an ambulance is sent to him instead. I’d imagine that ambulance is thoroughly disinfected before and after.

    3. The testing is scheduled the SAME DAY at 4 PM.

    4. He is tested and given various disinfection supplies and told to self-quarantine for 14 days. He is issued special trash bags (to be used at the end of the quarantine, which a special public health team will pick up and dispose). All costs are covered by the government.

    5. He is assigned a government official who immediately notes via a phone call that his mobile phone GPS was disabled the day before. The official tells him, albeit very pleasantly and with laughter, that he must keep the phone on in order for her to track his movements during the self-quarantine and that another incidence of GPS disabling will result in the dispatch of a police officer to track him down!

    6. The public official also tells him the government will provide food and supplies during the self-quarantine, so that he doesn’t get out of his home.

    7. The testing result is avaiable the next day by 10 AM digitally (that’s 4 PM to 10 AM the next day – that’s something like 2 working hours – obviously the testing center is working overnight).

    8. The testing result is negative, but he is still required to self-quarantine for 14 days.

    9. What is not shown in the clip is that, had he tested positive, his presence (by GPS-locator) would have shown up on a special app for nearby residents, so that they could avoid him and other infected people.

    If a country is able to implement a system such as this effectively, speedily, and competently, yes, absolutely, you don’t have to issue any kind of a broadly-enforced lockdown. But the sad fact is that very few countries are able to do so, for budgetary, infrastructure, competence, legal, and cultural reasons.

    Exactly.

    You people don’t believe me when I tell you your country is a third-world country.

    Middle class disappearing.

    Despairing working class killing itself with fentanyl (that for some reason, your novelty-sized military-intelligence complex simply can’t stop from entering the country).

    Military engaged in endless, wealth-destroying wars for endless square miles of sand, because you’ve allowed a much smaller and poorer country to buy, blackmail and bully your elite into doing its bidding.

    Utterly corrupt elites selling out the wealth-producing industrial base for short-term profits, only to be bailed out with limitless money printed at will when their dumb bets go wrong – how many trillions are we up to now? How many left to come?

    Intelligence agencies conspiring to overthrow an elected president, with the full assistance of a controlled media complex.

    Now you find yourselves suffering from a pandemic that first-world countries with functioning societies and governments have had no trouble containing.

    And you sit around scratching your heads saying ‘Why is this happening to us? How could this happen in the US? Maybe it’s the subway?’

    Remember the pictures of nurses wearing garbage bags in place of proper PPE?

    The rest of us are wondering when the penny is going to drop.

    • Agree: Mark G.
    • Replies: @Bert
    I have believed for twenty years that the USA is a third world country.

    Evidence: https://heavy.com/news/2020/04/pensacola-florida-block-party-video-covid-19/
    , @JMcG
    Agree completely. Pointing out that the fentanyl comes from China. There’s no end to the delights we receive from that dump.
  26. @Twinkie
    Seoul, South Korea also has a very extensive subway system, upon which the public relies greatly, but has not experienced NYC's apocalyptic pandemic. It's not the subway, it's the public health infrastructure and compliance by the population. Let me quote from my comment elsewhere:

    It is quite true that you don’t have to “lock down the whole country” to achieve effective social distancing. South Korea is a very good example of that. To that end, watch the following clip about the experience of one Korean young man who underwent the testing and quarantine process (Talha should be excited – he’s a Muslim convert):

    https://youtu.be/aR3d0FWEp6g

    Note the following salient points:

    1. He traveled overseas, so was examined at the airport (as the public health official tells him at the beginning of the clip). No symptoms then.

    2. He is requested to come by his own car (no public transport) to be tested. Since he doesn’t own a private car, an ambulance is sent to him instead. I’d imagine that ambulance is thoroughly disinfected before and after.

    3. The testing is scheduled the SAME DAY at 4 PM.

    4. He is tested and given various disinfection supplies and told to self-quarantine for 14 days. He is issued special trash bags (to be used at the end of the quarantine, which a special public health team will pick up and dispose). All costs are covered by the government.

    5. He is assigned a government official who immediately notes via a phone call that his mobile phone GPS was disabled the day before. The official tells him, albeit very pleasantly and with laughter, that he must keep the phone on in order for her to track his movements during the self-quarantine and that another incidence of GPS disabling will result in the dispatch of a police officer to track him down!

    6. The public official also tells him the government will provide food and supplies during the self-quarantine, so that he doesn’t get out of his home.

    7. The testing result is avaiable the next day by 10 AM digitally (that’s 4 PM to 10 AM the next day – that’s something like 2 working hours – obviously the testing center is working overnight).

    8. The testing result is negative, but he is still required to self-quarantine for 14 days.

    9. What is not shown in the clip is that, had he tested positive, his presence (by GPS-locator) would have shown up on a special app for nearby residents, so that they could avoid him and other infected people.

    If a country is able to implement a system such as this effectively, speedily, and competently, yes, absolutely, you don’t have to issue any kind of a broadly-enforced lockdown. But the sad fact is that very few countries are able to do so, for budgetary, infrastructure, competence, legal, and cultural reasons.

    “The testing result is negative, but he is still required to self-quarantine for 14 days…. If a country is able to implement a system such as this effectively, speedily, and competently, yes, absolutely, you don’t have to issue any kind of a broadly-enforced lockdown.”

    Boomers everywhere just creamed their Depends a little.

    • LOL: Redneck farmer
    • Replies: @Twinkie
    They are probably concerned about a false negative and is being risk-averse. Tests are not 100% accurate.
  27. @Len
    No doubt, but still no good explanation why Tokyo, which has more heavily used subway system than NYC, has, to date, all of 39 cvirus deaths.

    Can't believe mask-wearing is the only variable.

    BCG vaccination seems like a promising explanation.

    Consider a possibility that BCG offers a significant protection against the covid virus.
    https://www.novinite.com/articles/204095/Countries+with+Mandatory+Policies+to+BCG+Vaccine+Register+Fewer+Coronavirus+Deaths

    If covid was a bioweapon probably it was known to its maker that BCG vaccination offered a protection. The country behind the bioweapon would be BCG vaccinated.

    World map of BCG vaccinations.
    https://www.researchgate.net/figure/Map-displaying-BCG-vaccination-policy-by-country-A-The-country-currently-has-universal_fig2_50892386

    Here CVS files with specific info on BCG coverage per country.
    https://apps.who.int/gho/data/node.main.A830?lang=en

    So we can exclude the US, Israel and Italy who never practuced BCG vaccination from the list of the suspects. We can safely exclude most of the western Europe that stopped BCG vaccinating years ago. So who is left? Russia and Japan! Would Russia or Japan benefit from a conflict between China and the West? Russia much more than Japan. Russia could stay on teh sidelines and come into the
    conflict in the very end as a savior. Where would Russia or Japan deploy it first? Obviously China to establish the provenance of the virus (after all it is coronavirus that could come form bats, pangolins…) in the eye of everybody in the world so blaming China would become a nationals sport in many countries. And then the virus would be deployed to Iran to redirect the blame on the US and Israel so China would have its culprit as well.

    • Thanks: TomSchmidt
    • Replies: @The Big Red Scary

    So who is left? Russia and Japan!
     
    Nah. It's definitely Greenland. Just look at this guy:

    https://www.greenland-travel.com/inspiration/culture/inuit-the-population-and-culture-in-greenland/

  28. @Hippopotamusdrome
    Why so much Coronavirus cases in NYC? They're getting a cash bounty from the Federal government of $39,000 for every person they can claim was on a ventilator. The equivalent of a welfare queen with 40 children.


    Hospital Reimbursement for Uninsured COVID-19 Cases May Total $42B

    ...Hospital reimbursement for the treatment of uninsured COVID-19 patients could account for more than 40 percent of the $100 billion earmarked for hospitals

     



    Hospitals Get Paid More to List Patients as COVID-19 and Three Times as Much if the Patient Goes on Ventilator

    ...Medicare is determining that if you have a COVID-19 admission to the hospital you get $13,000. If that COVID-19 patient goes on a ventilator you get $39,000, three times as much.

     

    “Medicare is determining that if you have a COVID-19 admission to the hospital you get $13,000. If that COVID-19 patient goes on a ventilator you get $39,000, three times as much.”

    This is why the kungflu bodycount is fake after it hit 12,000. Money, power, and poontang make the world go round.

    So what percent post-12K is fake? 50%? 90%?

    CoronaHoax.

    • Replies: @Polynikes
    They’re retroactively coding old patients to get the body count up and collect more money.

    I guess I don’t blame them. The government is trying to put them out of business. More than a hundred hospitals nationwide have shut down due to lack of patients.
    , @Hail

    “Medicare is determining that if you have a COVID-19 admission to the hospital you get $13,000. If that COVID-19 patient goes on a ventilator you get $39,000, three times as much.”
     
    From commenter Methen's poem, 'THE COVID CABAL':

    _________________________________
    They hired their flakes to make us their fools,
    Their media, their networks, their paid-off tools,
    Phoney politicians, agencies, spin doctors galore,
    Anything to make the death number soar.
    The bug is a cover for where they have blundered,
    The Fed and markets and all they have plundered.
    Hyping the virus to shut down your nation
    Like it was threatening everything in creation.

    [...]

    All experts were shunned not in their pay
    Like Dr. Wodarg who had something to say:
    “It started with a virologist who found a test
    For something a bit different from all of the rest.
    They brought in the media to help count the score
    And somehow the truth was of no matter anymore.
    Don’t make the virus shut down your nation
    It is not a threat to everything in creation.

    [...]

    They have shut down the truth, and shut down clarity,
    To make more corruption, and more irregularity.
    Weakness is the real virus shutting down your nation.
    Let us be rid of it and save everything in creation.
    _________________________________

  29. @Anonymous
    A carrier subject goes down into the subway, coughs up some phlegm, spits on the platform, then gets on the subway. The spit and phlegm dry up into particulate. Every time a train enters and leaves the station, the winds generated set the particulate aloft, and carries it down the tunnel. Eventually it travels to the next platform, flying high thanks to the motion and increase of air pressure of the incoming train.

    The virus particulate lands on the subjects eye, up his nose, since his mask was pulled below his nose for easier breathing, or blows into his ear. The place nobody thinks to cover.

    Aaaand ya got another carrier.

    Incidentally, let’s not forget New York City sidewalks. Likely teeming with virus particulate. Catch some on your shoes, bring it into your apartment. Every day. It’s just a matter of time, friendo.

    If you currently reside in Manhattan, it sucks a monumentally large bag of dicks to be you.

    “If you currently reside in Manhattan, it sucks a monumentally large bag of dicks to be you.”

    And now Chinese Disease has made it even worse.

  30. @utu
    Consider a possibility that BCG offers a significant protection against the covid virus.
    https://www.novinite.com/articles/204095/Countries+with+Mandatory+Policies+to+BCG+Vaccine+Register+Fewer+Coronavirus+Deaths

    If covid was a bioweapon probably it was known to its maker that BCG vaccination offered a protection. The country behind the bioweapon would be BCG vaccinated.

    World map of BCG vaccinations.
    https://www.researchgate.net/figure/Map-displaying-BCG-vaccination-policy-by-country-A-The-country-currently-has-universal_fig2_50892386

    Here CVS files with specific info on BCG coverage per country.
    https://apps.who.int/gho/data/node.main.A830?lang=en

    So we can exclude the US, Israel and Italy who never practuced BCG vaccination from the list of the suspects. We can safely exclude most of the western Europe that stopped BCG vaccinating years ago. So who is left? Russia and Japan! Would Russia or Japan benefit from a conflict between China and the West? Russia much more than Japan. Russia could stay on teh sidelines and come into the
    conflict in the very end as a savior. Where would Russia or Japan deploy it first? Obviously China to establish the provenance of the virus (after all it is coronavirus that could come form bats, pangolins...) in the eye of everybody in the world so blaming China would become a nationals sport in many countries. And then the virus would be deployed to Iran to redirect the blame on the US and Israel so China would have its culprit as well.

    So who is left? Russia and Japan!

    Nah. It’s definitely Greenland. Just look at this guy:

    https://www.greenland-travel.com/inspiration/culture/inuit-the-population-and-culture-in-greenland/

  31. https://www.who.int/news-room/commentaries/detail/bacille-calmette-guérin-(bcg)-vaccination-and-covid-19

    Bacille Calmette-Guérin (BCG) vaccination and COVID-19
    Scientific Brief

    There is no evidence that the Bacille Calmette-Guérin vaccine (BCG) protects people against infection with COVID-19 virus. Two clinical trials addressing this question are underway, and WHO will evaluate the evidence when it is available. In the absence of evidence, WHO does not recommend BCG vaccination for the prevention of COVID-19. WHO continues to recommend neonatal BCG vaccination in countries or settings with a high incidence of tuberculosis.1

    There is experimental evidence from both animal and human studies that the BCG vaccine has non-specific effects on the immune system. These effects have not been well characterized and their clinical relevance is unknown.2,3

    On 11 April 2020, WHO updated its ongoing evidence review of the major scientific databases and clinical trial repositories, using English, French and Chinese search terms for COVID-19, coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2 and BCG.

    The review yielded three preprints (manuscripts posted online before peer-review), in which the authors compared the incidence of COVID-19 cases in countries where the BCG vaccine is used with countries where it is not used and observed that countries that routinely used the vaccine in neonates had less reported cases of COVID-19 to date. Such ecological studies are prone to significant bias from many confounders, including differences in national demographics and disease burden, testing rates for COVID-19 virus infections, and the stage of the pandemic in each country.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    If you have two neighboring countries with quite different levels of the virus, some health care policy difference, such as which vaccines are mandated, is not an implausible factor.
  32. @Len
    No doubt, but still no good explanation why Tokyo, which has more heavily used subway system than NYC, has, to date, all of 39 cvirus deaths.

    Can't believe mask-wearing is the only variable.

    BCG vaccination seems like a promising explanation.

    I’ve been told by people who know that talking is unusual in Tokyo subways. That’s sure to play some role, though how big is unclear.

    • Replies: @Anon87
    You can talk, but quietly. Talking on the phone is NOT allowed. Good luck with that rule in NY.
  33. @utu
    https://www.who.int/news-room/commentaries/detail/bacille-calmette-guérin-(bcg)-vaccination-and-covid-19

    Bacille Calmette-Guérin (BCG) vaccination and COVID-19
    Scientific Brief

    There is no evidence that the Bacille Calmette-Guérin vaccine (BCG) protects people against infection with COVID-19 virus. Two clinical trials addressing this question are underway, and WHO will evaluate the evidence when it is available. In the absence of evidence, WHO does not recommend BCG vaccination for the prevention of COVID-19. WHO continues to recommend neonatal BCG vaccination in countries or settings with a high incidence of tuberculosis.1

    There is experimental evidence from both animal and human studies that the BCG vaccine has non-specific effects on the immune system. These effects have not been well characterized and their clinical relevance is unknown.2,3

    On 11 April 2020, WHO updated its ongoing evidence review of the major scientific databases and clinical trial repositories, using English, French and Chinese search terms for COVID-19, coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2 and BCG.

    The review yielded three preprints (manuscripts posted online before peer-review), in which the authors compared the incidence of COVID-19 cases in countries where the BCG vaccine is used with countries where it is not used and observed that countries that routinely used the vaccine in neonates had less reported cases of COVID-19 to date. Such ecological studies are prone to significant bias from many confounders, including differences in national demographics and disease burden, testing rates for COVID-19 virus infections, and the stage of the pandemic in each country.

    If you have two neighboring countries with quite different levels of the virus, some health care policy difference, such as which vaccines are mandated, is not an implausible factor.

    • Replies: @utu
    Here are all preprints of papers that look at covid epidemiology and BCG.

    https://www.medrxiv.org/search/BCG%2Bcovid%2B

    This paper takes into. account the confounding variables of life expectancy and country temperature

    https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.03.30.20048165v1.full.pdf
    Figure 2: Effect of BCG vaccination policy on COVID-19
    a. The boxplot of total cases per one million population sorted by BCG Group in countries with life expectancy higher than 78 years. Groups B and C (no current BCG vaccination) show a significantly higher rate of cases of COVID-19 compared to Group A (countries currently implementing BCG vaccination). Groups B and C (no current BCG vaccination) show a significantly (p = .0024 and p = .0326) higher rate of cases of COVID-19 compared to Group A (countries currently implementing BCG vaccination)
     
    If I am reading Fig. 2 correctly, the countries w/o BCG have higher covid deaths rate by 1-1.5 st.dev.

    I am skeptical about how the deaths rates were derived as different countries are at different stages of the epidemic.
    , @utu
    Yes, like Portugal vs. Spain and West Germany vs. East Germany

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:COVID-19_outbreak_Germany_per_capita_cases_map.svg
  34. It couldn’t be the cramped living conditions in NYC with single family houses being converted to flop houses for immigrants and domestic migrants?

    NYC is not the only extensive transportation system. Beyond other rail systems like Tokyo every third world city has massive bus and jitney systems which are even more crowded.

    Being a CoronaSceptic, why aren’t Orthodox Jews all dead? Not to mention Sweden, Belarus and Arkansas.

    Lakewood cops break up catered backyard party, shut crowded toy store open despite coronavirus rules

    https://www.nj.com/coronavirus/2020/04/lakewood-cops-break-up-catered-backyard-party-shut-crowded-toy-store-open-despite-coronavirus-rules.html

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    Ultra-orthodox Jews have higher infection rates than just about any other group in America. You can see it in L.A. neighborhood stats, even though L.A. doesn't have many black hats.
  35. Many Asian cities (e.g. HK, Seoul, Tokyo, etc.) have heavily used subways and high density housing — as much or moreso than NY in most of these cities — yet they don’t have anywhere near the number of cases.
    The subway/density probably explains a lot of the difference between NY other American cities, but it’s obviously a problem that can be dealt with.
    Mask wearing is ubiquitous in Asian countries and certainly plays a role.

    • Replies: @epebble
    Jakarta, Delhi, Manila, Sao Paulo, Mexico City all have dense urban transport, crowded housing.

    Deaths in Indonesia, India, Philippines, Brazil, Mexico = 469, 405, 349, 1590, 406
  36. @Reg Cæsar
    There are a lot of subways in the world. Except for those in the US and the former USSR, nearly all of them let you walk between cars while the train is in motion. Is that good or bad, vis-à-vis viruses?



    https://imgs.6sqft.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/20032942/Open-Gangway-Subway-Cars-Map.jpg

    This was my first thought as well. What about all the other subways? Surely Italy has the second largest subway system?

    I’ve been on the subways in Tokyo and Seoul. They are quite elaborate too, although much cleaner than NYC’s.

    The MIT article sounds intuitive. Maybe even it’s largely right. But there doesn’t seem to be a magic bullet with this particular virus.

    • Replies: @Hail
    As only one example:

    Berlin.

    The proportion of Berlin residents who are on the subway or other train every day is comparable to New York City's.

    If subways are such virus death traps, what explains that Berlin has only 62 coronavirus-positive deaths to date? And that new cases and deaths are now in steady decline?

    We know the virus was spreading in Germany for many weeks before their shutdowns occurred, and if this Subway Hypothesis is correct in general terms, Berlin should have been devastated by the Corona Apocalypse. (Given the multiplier that we know past-positives have on the denominator [e.g., the Gangelt study and the currently-ongoing big Stockholm study] puts the expected true fatality rate at probably no more than 0.2% in Berlin; depending on local factors, maybe generalizable to an all-population representative sample in which virus-attributable deaths round to 0.0%.)

    Something is wrong here.

    From the paper:


    While we’ve got a few more maps up our sleeve, we’re already at a juncture where some readers may react with extreme skepticism. We’ve already admitted we don’t have a cleanly designed natural experiment. None of Dr. Snow’s successors – He died of a stroke at age 45, four years after the handle came off the Broad Street pump. – managed to get the Flushing Local and the rest of the MTA abruptly shut down at the end of February. Without such evidence, the naysayers will assert that any diffuse, multitentacled network that traverses most of the city could be correlated spatially with the spread of coronavirus infection documented above.
     
    The author then proposes garbage trucks, a strawman?, and then demolishes it.
  37. @George
    It couldn't be the cramped living conditions in NYC with single family houses being converted to flop houses for immigrants and domestic migrants?

    NYC is not the only extensive transportation system. Beyond other rail systems like Tokyo every third world city has massive bus and jitney systems which are even more crowded.

    Being a CoronaSceptic, why aren't Orthodox Jews all dead? Not to mention Sweden, Belarus and Arkansas.

    Lakewood cops break up catered backyard party, shut crowded toy store open despite coronavirus rules

    https://www.nj.com/coronavirus/2020/04/lakewood-cops-break-up-catered-backyard-party-shut-crowded-toy-store-open-despite-coronavirus-rules.html

    Ultra-orthodox Jews have higher infection rates than just about any other group in America. You can see it in L.A. neighborhood stats, even though L.A. doesn’t have many black hats.

    • Replies: @Federalist
    So, this virus is killing Jews, blacks, and subway riders in NYC? As a white, gentile suburbanite who has been lectured on racism, anti-semitism, and of the glories of public transportation...never mind. I better not.
  38. @Twinkie
    Seoul, South Korea also has a very extensive subway system, upon which the public relies greatly, but has not experienced NYC's apocalyptic pandemic. It's not the subway, it's the public health infrastructure and compliance by the population. Let me quote from my comment elsewhere:

    It is quite true that you don’t have to “lock down the whole country” to achieve effective social distancing. South Korea is a very good example of that. To that end, watch the following clip about the experience of one Korean young man who underwent the testing and quarantine process (Talha should be excited – he’s a Muslim convert):

    https://youtu.be/aR3d0FWEp6g

    Note the following salient points:

    1. He traveled overseas, so was examined at the airport (as the public health official tells him at the beginning of the clip). No symptoms then.

    2. He is requested to come by his own car (no public transport) to be tested. Since he doesn’t own a private car, an ambulance is sent to him instead. I’d imagine that ambulance is thoroughly disinfected before and after.

    3. The testing is scheduled the SAME DAY at 4 PM.

    4. He is tested and given various disinfection supplies and told to self-quarantine for 14 days. He is issued special trash bags (to be used at the end of the quarantine, which a special public health team will pick up and dispose). All costs are covered by the government.

    5. He is assigned a government official who immediately notes via a phone call that his mobile phone GPS was disabled the day before. The official tells him, albeit very pleasantly and with laughter, that he must keep the phone on in order for her to track his movements during the self-quarantine and that another incidence of GPS disabling will result in the dispatch of a police officer to track him down!

    6. The public official also tells him the government will provide food and supplies during the self-quarantine, so that he doesn’t get out of his home.

    7. The testing result is avaiable the next day by 10 AM digitally (that’s 4 PM to 10 AM the next day – that’s something like 2 working hours – obviously the testing center is working overnight).

    8. The testing result is negative, but he is still required to self-quarantine for 14 days.

    9. What is not shown in the clip is that, had he tested positive, his presence (by GPS-locator) would have shown up on a special app for nearby residents, so that they could avoid him and other infected people.

    If a country is able to implement a system such as this effectively, speedily, and competently, yes, absolutely, you don’t have to issue any kind of a broadly-enforced lockdown. But the sad fact is that very few countries are able to do so, for budgetary, infrastructure, competence, legal, and cultural reasons.

    Having lived there for a short while, I believe it. They keep close tabs on people in general. Far from a western democracy, although a pleasant and nice country I thought.

    I wouldn’t want the above style system. It’s not worth submitting (what we have left) to the surveillance state for the flu. That so many of you pine for it, is scary in and of itself.

    • Replies: @Twinkie

    That so many of you pine for it, is scary in and of itself.
     
    I don’t.
    , @botazefa

    I wouldn’t want the above style system. It’s not worth submitting (what we have left) to the surveillance state for the flu. That so many of you pine for it, is scary in and of itself.
     
    This.

    I saw Gavin Newsome talking on TV yesterday about the new normal we'll be returning to. Mandatory mask wearing. Health tracking apps on our phones. Subjected to fever checks before we're allowed entry to restaurants. Great - just what I need, an Applebees hostess who can barely figure out where to seat a four top during a slow lunch arguing with me about the definition of a fever.

    Is this what America wants? Really? Has the collective IQ dropped so much that we are voluntarily throwing away our dignity as free citizens over a mildly deadly cold virus?

    Steve - love your work but I'm convinced you've drunk the proverbial kool aid here. The foolish mass hysteria is terrifying and it's a bit shocking that you are engaging in it. Let me walk you back from the cliff: Do you really think the gov't identified the true US patient zero or is it highly likely the virus hit our shores many days sooner? Given how retarded American nose nose pickers are, do you really think the mild lockdowns we're facing have made any difference? "But we've flattened the curve," due to lockdowns you may say, to which I'd remind you: correlation is not causation and the upward curve was all about testing ramping up, not infections spiking.

    1. Where are the bodies in the streets?
    2. Where is the massive death toll?
    3. Where are the hospitals actually, not potentially but factually overflowing?
    4. Who is actually out of PPE? Garbage bag gown wearing nurse instagram photos are not evidence.
    5. Where are the press conferences featuring hospital CEO's begging for masks?
    6. How come children aren't dying? That's pretty unusual for epidemics isn't it? Is it because they tend mot to have pre-existing conditions? What's the takeaway from that?

    The whole of America seems led by the likes of Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb, George Stepenaupolis and Lester Holt - all uncritically parroting CDC press releases. All actors, if we're being honest. There's very little actual journalism happening. There's blind uncritical trust of 'expert opinion.'

    And the blue lighted buildings phenomenon, supposedly a message of support for the "heroes" on the front line. Talk about false idols!

    Stinks to high heaven. Has "CIA Wartime Propaganda for The Homeland" written all over it. We are still in a declared war, are we not?

    Before all this, it was reported that half of all Americans has less than $400 in savings. How are they surviving? What message are we sending, vis-a-vis us shutting down the economy, ostensibly to extend the lives of the most medically vulnerable among us?
  39. @Steve Sailer
    If you have two neighboring countries with quite different levels of the virus, some health care policy difference, such as which vaccines are mandated, is not an implausible factor.

    Here are all preprints of papers that look at covid epidemiology and BCG.

    https://www.medrxiv.org/search/BCG%2Bcovid%2B

    This paper takes into. account the confounding variables of life expectancy and country temperature

    https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.03.30.20048165v1.full.pdf
    Figure 2: Effect of BCG vaccination policy on COVID-19
    a. The boxplot of total cases per one million population sorted by BCG Group in countries with life expectancy higher than 78 years. Groups B and C (no current BCG vaccination) show a significantly higher rate of cases of COVID-19 compared to Group A (countries currently implementing BCG vaccination). Groups B and C (no current BCG vaccination) show a significantly (p = .0024 and p = .0326) higher rate of cases of COVID-19 compared to Group A (countries currently implementing BCG vaccination)

    If I am reading Fig. 2 correctly, the countries w/o BCG have higher covid deaths rate by 1-1.5 st.dev.

    I am skeptical about how the deaths rates were derived as different countries are at different stages of the epidemic.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    Have they found any natural experiments, such as two EU neighbors with lots of cross-border contacts where there is a sharp difference that might be due to whether the national health board mandated the BCG vaccine many decades ago?
  40. @Je Suis Omar Mateen
    "Medicare is determining that if you have a COVID-19 admission to the hospital you get $13,000. If that COVID-19 patient goes on a ventilator you get $39,000, three times as much."

    This is why the kungflu bodycount is fake after it hit 12,000. Money, power, and poontang make the world go round.

    So what percent post-12K is fake? 50%? 90%?

    CoronaHoax.

    They’re retroactively coding old patients to get the body count up and collect more money.

    I guess I don’t blame them. The government is trying to put them out of business. More than a hundred hospitals nationwide have shut down due to lack of patients.

    • Replies: @Twinkie
    That only helps hospitals with ICUs. Various non-emergent/office medical practices (peds, derm, internal med, etc.) and ambulatory surgery have suffered gigantic losses. I am a shareholder in a healthcare company that owns numerous practices and facilities, and we are burning through over $15 million a week of our cash reserves since the pandemic began as we shut down all elective/non-emergent cases. That’s on top of the lost revenues, so the total losses are many millions more per week.

    These past few weeks have cost me a hefty six figure in income, and it’s probably not yet done for 2020.

    My wife is the head of a healthcare facility. She is salaried, but took a big cut to save staff from furlough and obviously there won’t be any bonus or profit-sharing this year.

    Now, I’m not complaining - my family and I are much more fortunate than the vast majority of Americans, but objectively this year is going to be pretty ugly for my family finances (we’ve decided to continue to pay all our employees, contractors, and service providers, and are absorbing the losses).
  41. @utu
    Here are all preprints of papers that look at covid epidemiology and BCG.

    https://www.medrxiv.org/search/BCG%2Bcovid%2B

    This paper takes into. account the confounding variables of life expectancy and country temperature

    https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.03.30.20048165v1.full.pdf
    Figure 2: Effect of BCG vaccination policy on COVID-19
    a. The boxplot of total cases per one million population sorted by BCG Group in countries with life expectancy higher than 78 years. Groups B and C (no current BCG vaccination) show a significantly higher rate of cases of COVID-19 compared to Group A (countries currently implementing BCG vaccination). Groups B and C (no current BCG vaccination) show a significantly (p = .0024 and p = .0326) higher rate of cases of COVID-19 compared to Group A (countries currently implementing BCG vaccination)
     
    If I am reading Fig. 2 correctly, the countries w/o BCG have higher covid deaths rate by 1-1.5 st.dev.

    I am skeptical about how the deaths rates were derived as different countries are at different stages of the epidemic.

    Have they found any natural experiments, such as two EU neighbors with lots of cross-border contacts where there is a sharp difference that might be due to whether the national health board mandated the BCG vaccine many decades ago?

  42. @Steve Sailer
    If you have two neighboring countries with quite different levels of the virus, some health care policy difference, such as which vaccines are mandated, is not an implausible factor.

    Yes, like Portugal vs. Spain and West Germany vs. East Germany

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:COVID-19_outbreak_Germany_per_capita_cases_map.svg

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    Thanks.

    We have a bunch of odd results, such as Spain and Portugal having very different trajectories, which might have something to do with obscure bureaucratic decisions in 1950 about which vaccines to mandate.

  43. @utu
    Yes, like Portugal vs. Spain and West Germany vs. East Germany

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:COVID-19_outbreak_Germany_per_capita_cases_map.svg

    Thanks.

    We have a bunch of odd results, such as Spain and Portugal having very different trajectories, which might have something to do with obscure bureaucratic decisions in 1950 about which vaccines to mandate.

    • Replies: @epebble
    Canada vs. USA vs. Mexico is also a headscratcher:

    Deaths: 903, 26200, 406

    Deaths per million: 24, 79, 3

    Another one: U.K. vs. Ireland

    Deaths: 12868, 406

    Deaths per million: 190, 82

    Either CV is enigmatic or the statistics have different definitions and are not comparable.
    , @Anon 2
    Compare two neighbors with roughly the same climate and the same
    area, Germany and Poland.

    Germany (82 million) 43 dead/1 million
    Poland (40 million) 8 dead/1 million

    In Poland BCG vaccinations are mandatory, in Germany they are not.
    Another difference may be that face masks (and more recently gloves)
    are also mandatory in Poland. On April 19 Poland is
    planning to start returning to normal. Poland is a cohesive, homogeneous,
    no-nonsense country with extremely low levels of social dysfunction, which helps in
    times of crisis

  44. @Polynikes
    Having lived there for a short while, I believe it. They keep close tabs on people in general. Far from a western democracy, although a pleasant and nice country I thought.

    I wouldn’t want the above style system. It’s not worth submitting (what we have left) to the surveillance state for the flu. That so many of you pine for it, is scary in and of itself.

    That so many of you pine for it, is scary in and of itself.

    I don’t.

    • Agree: Polynikes
  45. Japan makes intensive use of public transportation and has had few deaths from this ailment. A ‘no-mask-no-gloves-no-service” rule enforced by armed guards at every station might be sufficient to put an end to the problems.

  46. @Polynikes
    They’re retroactively coding old patients to get the body count up and collect more money.

    I guess I don’t blame them. The government is trying to put them out of business. More than a hundred hospitals nationwide have shut down due to lack of patients.

    That only helps hospitals with ICUs. Various non-emergent/office medical practices (peds, derm, internal med, etc.) and ambulatory surgery have suffered gigantic losses. I am a shareholder in a healthcare company that owns numerous practices and facilities, and we are burning through over $15 million a week of our cash reserves since the pandemic began as we shut down all elective/non-emergent cases. That’s on top of the lost revenues, so the total losses are many millions more per week.

    These past few weeks have cost me a hefty six figure in income, and it’s probably not yet done for 2020.

    My wife is the head of a healthcare facility. She is salaried, but took a big cut to save staff from furlough and obviously there won’t be any bonus or profit-sharing this year.

    Now, I’m not complaining – my family and I are much more fortunate than the vast majority of Americans, but objectively this year is going to be pretty ugly for my family finances (we’ve decided to continue to pay all our employees, contractors, and service providers, and are absorbing the losses).

    • Replies: @Polynikes
    I know someone who works for Mayo. They report similar stories. Family members that are in health care report they’re still being paid but work is scarce (they’re more routine care doctors and nurses). I won’t pretend to understand your industry but am a little shocked at how hard it has hit the one industry at the center of this crisis. There will be other industries potentially devastated.

    I’m an American economy optimist by nature, but every day I get a little more worried about the likelihood that we pull out of this quickly or at all. I’m glad your family is doing well financially and will persevere. I also know it doesn’t ease the mental side and stress of having that kind of shock hit you business, even if it survives. Best of luck to you.
    , @The Alarmist

    She is salaried, but took a big cut to save staff from furlough and obviously there won’t be any bonus or profit-sharing this year.
     
    I just had a funny conversation with my boss, to whom I complained earler this year that I couldn't hedge against certain movements in credit spreads without blowing the whole purpose of the underlying investment stategy;

    Boss: "Gee, I guess the credit spreads that worked against your bonus last year are working for your bonus this year."

    Me: "Yeah, that would be nice, but what makes you think there will be a bonus pool for this year? What makes you sure there will be a company after this year?"

    I had a great Q1, but I may as well be pissing in the ocean.
  47. I haven’t read that article in full, but first impression, it’s a stupid idea.

    Initial Google search:
    -New York has 10 million daily subway passengers.
    -Tokyo has 8 million daily subway passengers… but that is only 25% of its daily rail system usage!!

    The Tokyo subway/rail system is likely much, much larger and trafficked by many, many more people and hasn’t spread the virus all over the Kanto region, despite the fact that the virus has been in Tokyo for a lot longer than in New York and Tokyo hasn’t been shut down until recently.

    Also, Hong Kong has a subway system. Singapore has a subway system. Seoul has a subway system. Beijing has a subway system.
    I don’t know about Taipei, but I bet yes.
    And has the London tube seeded the virus all over London?

    Also, if combining more lines into fewer lines increased the spread of the disease, then the airlines shutting down their routes must have caused increased spread of the virus all over the country, right?

    No, there is some other factor affecting New York, unless the smell of urine and the presence of black riders affects a subway’s effect on viral transmission.

    • Replies: @The Last Real Calvinist

    I don’t know about Taipei, but I bet yes.

     

    Absolutely, yes it does; an extensive one.
  48. @yakushimaru
    You make it sounds as if USA's Iraq and Afghan wars are somehow Good Things for American people and you come here to read Sailer. I really have to wonder how much Steve Sailer do you really read?

    Scapegoating and blindly following your chosen leader as if it is a Sports League kind of thing are all you morons care about, know about.

    Dude. Did you choose your username after a J-Pop star? L-)

  49. @Dave Pinsen
    It's ironic that the subways helped spread this disease when part of the purpose of the subways was to minimize disease by not having workers crammed into housing right next to their factories.

    It's hard to see how there wouldn't be less disease propagation with everyone wearing masks on subways. Maybe the poles people grab onto could be plated in copper too.

    As for your question about whether you can wear masks in a bank, the answer here is yes. I stopped in to BofA branches twice in the last few weeks to get quarters. The first time, I was one of two people wearing masks, the other being a teller. The second time, Everyone had on a mask, and the door was locked when I got there. A bank employee was letting in a few customers at a time, and there were markings on the floor to facilitate distancing.

    Maybe the poles people grab onto could be plated in copper too…. I stopped in to BofA branches twice in the last few weeks to get quarters….

    Shouldn’t you be getting pennies?

    • Replies: @tr
    Quarters contain more copper than pennies. On the other hand, pennies are mainly zinc which is curative not preventive.
  50. @Je Suis Omar Mateen
    "The testing result is negative, but he is still required to self-quarantine for 14 days.... If a country is able to implement a system such as this effectively, speedily, and competently, yes, absolutely, you don’t have to issue any kind of a broadly-enforced lockdown."

    Boomers everywhere just creamed their Depends a little.

    They are probably concerned about a false negative and is being risk-averse. Tests are not 100% accurate.

    • Agree: Johann Ricke
  51. @Len
    No doubt, but still no good explanation why Tokyo, which has more heavily used subway system than NYC, has, to date, all of 39 cvirus deaths.

    Can't believe mask-wearing is the only variable.

    BCG vaccination seems like a promising explanation.

    NYC is filthy. Tokyo is clean.

    Also, NYC has much more wretched refuse of the globe’s teeming shores.

    • Replies: @Anon87
    Masks, hygiene, BMI, all very different.
    , @Faraday's Bobcat
    Yeah, having ridden both the NYC and Tokyo subways in the August heat, I can attest that the difference in cleanliness is stark. I wonder how many New Yorkers think the "summer subway smell" exists in every city? It doesn't. In NYC you can smell it on the sidewalks - all you have to do is stand within 50 feet of a grate.
    , @Travis
    True, NYC is filthy and filled with people of color.

    85% of the NYC fatalities are among those over the age of 60...
    62% of the NYC Wahu flu deaths in NYC are among Blacks and Hispanics,
    27% of the NYC victims are white and just 7% were Asian.
    2% of the NYC deaths are whites under the age of 50
  52. Who could have known that the subways would make an excellent way to disseminate a virus?

    A study of the vulnerability of subway passengers in New York City to covert action with biological agents
    Department of the Army, Fort Detrick, January 1968

    “A series of trials was conducted to evaluate the vulnerability of subway systems to covert biological attack. The trials were conducted in three major north-south subway lines within an approximate 2 square-mile area of mid-manhattan, New York City. A Harmless simulant biological agent was disseminated both within the subway tubes and from the street into subway stations. Dropping an agent device onto the subway roadbed from a rapidly moving train proved an easy and effective method for the covert contamination of portions of subway lines.

    Agent delivered in this manner was aerosolized and dispersed rapidly by the movement of trains, penetrating stations and trains in the area and persisting there for one hour or more. Dissemination of agent into subway stations via the air intake grills at street level also proved feasible, although the degree of contamination and persistence were lower, primarily because of the smaller amounts of agent disseminated in the trials with this method.

    Conversion of the simulant data from the trials to equivalent data for pathogenic agents indicated that similar covert attacks with a pathogenic agent during peak traffic periods could be expected to expose large numbers of people to infection and subsequent illness or death. Although complete protections of subways against covert biological attack probably cannot be provided under any circumstances, the hazard probably can be reduced by education plus expanded security measures.”

    I read about it in Richard Preston’s excellent 1998 novel The Cobra Event:

    The study described how Army researchers had filled glass lightbulbs with a dry, powdered bacterial-spore preparation, finer than confectioner’s sugar. The particles were in the size range of one to five microns, the lung-friendly particle size. The bacterial agent was Bacillus globigii, an organism that normally doesn’t cause disease in humans. It forms spores. The Army researchers had gone to various locations in the New York subway, including the Times Square subway station, and they had dropped the lightbulbs full of spores on the tracks. The lightbulbs had shattered and the spores had flown up into the air in puffs of gray dust. Just a few lightbulbs were broken this way, not many, and they contained altogether perhaps ten ounces of spores. Then the Army researchers fanned out and found that within days the spores had disseminated throughout New York City. Spores from Times Square were driven far into the Bronx by the plunger action of the subway trains whooshing through the tunnels—those trains were like pistons, driving the spores in the air through the tunnels for many miles. The spores drifted out of the subway entrances into the neighborhoods.

    • Thanks: hhsiii
  53. @R.G. Camara
    It's difficult for people outside of NYC to imagine how vital the subway is in everyday life. It is massively extensive---so much so that you really notice when a neighborhood (e.g. most of Museum Mile on the upper east side) isn't serviced by one (for Museum mile, the closest subway is the 4-5-6 line, which is several long blocks away, separated by wide avenues, and is famously overcrowded because it runs so slowly).

    And it runs 24 hours a day (a worldwide megacity rarity---even London and Paris shut down their subways at night), and is cheap for long distance travel---same price to take a one-stop trip as a 35-stop trip, so you can live very far away and commute for less than what most people pay in other cities for a commuter rail.

    In most U.S. cities, subways are vital, but in NYC they are a lifeblood. No subway, no city economy. In most other cities I've lived in, if the subway went down, the city would survive, crankily, with buses and taxis. In NYC, if the subway went down, even with every bus and taxi running, it wouldn't work. Too large, too extensive.

    And the Giuliani/Bloomberg crime crackdown made it even more reliable and vital. I can remember several 3am subway rides in NYC during my poor drunk days during those years, and there wasn't even a hint of danger on those subways then, even for an obvious mark like me---white, young, traveling alone, clearly inebriated. If it had been the 1970s I would have been mugged twice and likely knocked unconscious by "youths."

    And the Giuliani/Bloomberg crime crackdown made it even more reliable and vital. I can remember several 3am subway rides in NYC during my poor drunk days during those years, and there wasn’t even a hint of danger on those subways then,

    Sadly, in the Age of DeBlasio, that is changing. Prior to the shutdown, virtually every train once again had some annoying beggar of one sort or another: stinky homeless guy, pushy black 15 year old selling chocolate bars, etc. These always add a feeling of dread.

    Also, more and more cars had the added benefit of a homeless person sleeping on them, often with a full cartload of homeless person stuff. In the shutdown, it seems entire train lines are now being turned into homeless shelters.

    https://ijr.com/homeless-new-yorkers-sleeping-subways/

    Turnstile jumping fare-beating by young people of blackness is also now effectively allowed.

    DeBlasio is a disaster in every way.

    • Agree: sayless
  54. @Twinkie
    That only helps hospitals with ICUs. Various non-emergent/office medical practices (peds, derm, internal med, etc.) and ambulatory surgery have suffered gigantic losses. I am a shareholder in a healthcare company that owns numerous practices and facilities, and we are burning through over $15 million a week of our cash reserves since the pandemic began as we shut down all elective/non-emergent cases. That’s on top of the lost revenues, so the total losses are many millions more per week.

    These past few weeks have cost me a hefty six figure in income, and it’s probably not yet done for 2020.

    My wife is the head of a healthcare facility. She is salaried, but took a big cut to save staff from furlough and obviously there won’t be any bonus or profit-sharing this year.

    Now, I’m not complaining - my family and I are much more fortunate than the vast majority of Americans, but objectively this year is going to be pretty ugly for my family finances (we’ve decided to continue to pay all our employees, contractors, and service providers, and are absorbing the losses).

    I know someone who works for Mayo. They report similar stories. Family members that are in health care report they’re still being paid but work is scarce (they’re more routine care doctors and nurses). I won’t pretend to understand your industry but am a little shocked at how hard it has hit the one industry at the center of this crisis. There will be other industries potentially devastated.

    I’m an American economy optimist by nature, but every day I get a little more worried about the likelihood that we pull out of this quickly or at all. I’m glad your family is doing well financially and will persevere. I also know it doesn’t ease the mental side and stress of having that kind of shock hit you business, even if it survives. Best of luck to you.

  55. So, massively overpopulated Hell Holes – either big ones like China or urban pockets like NYC – are prone to the rapid spread of epidemics. Who knew?

  56. @BenKenobi
    Thinking out loud here: A bunch of Saudis commanded by a Saudi hiding in Afghanistan allegedly manage to knock down the Twin Towers and kill 3,000 New Yorkers, so America goes to war with Iraq.

    Now a bunch of Chinese have shut down the economy, neutralized a couple USN aircraft carriers and killed 10,000 New Yorkers. Where’s the war gonna be?

    Diego Garcia has been getting a bit uppity lately…

    • Replies: @fish

    Diego Garcia has been getting a bit uppity lately…
     
    Yes.....time for a sound thrashing!
  57. Something else the big hotspots have in common, even more than mass transit, are prolific use of elevators.

  58. @Twinkie
    That only helps hospitals with ICUs. Various non-emergent/office medical practices (peds, derm, internal med, etc.) and ambulatory surgery have suffered gigantic losses. I am a shareholder in a healthcare company that owns numerous practices and facilities, and we are burning through over $15 million a week of our cash reserves since the pandemic began as we shut down all elective/non-emergent cases. That’s on top of the lost revenues, so the total losses are many millions more per week.

    These past few weeks have cost me a hefty six figure in income, and it’s probably not yet done for 2020.

    My wife is the head of a healthcare facility. She is salaried, but took a big cut to save staff from furlough and obviously there won’t be any bonus or profit-sharing this year.

    Now, I’m not complaining - my family and I are much more fortunate than the vast majority of Americans, but objectively this year is going to be pretty ugly for my family finances (we’ve decided to continue to pay all our employees, contractors, and service providers, and are absorbing the losses).

    She is salaried, but took a big cut to save staff from furlough and obviously there won’t be any bonus or profit-sharing this year.

    I just had a funny conversation with my boss, to whom I complained earler this year that I couldn’t hedge against certain movements in credit spreads without blowing the whole purpose of the underlying investment stategy;

    Boss: “Gee, I guess the credit spreads that worked against your bonus last year are working for your bonus this year.”

    Me: “Yeah, that would be nice, but what makes you think there will be a bonus pool for this year? What makes you sure there will be a company after this year?”

    I had a great Q1, but I may as well be pissing in the ocean.

  59. @Stebbing Heuer
    Exactly.

    You people don't believe me when I tell you your country is a third-world country.

    Middle class disappearing.

    Despairing working class killing itself with fentanyl (that for some reason, your novelty-sized military-intelligence complex simply can't stop from entering the country).

    Military engaged in endless, wealth-destroying wars for endless square miles of sand, because you've allowed a much smaller and poorer country to buy, blackmail and bully your elite into doing its bidding.

    Utterly corrupt elites selling out the wealth-producing industrial base for short-term profits, only to be bailed out with limitless money printed at will when their dumb bets go wrong - how many trillions are we up to now? How many left to come?

    Intelligence agencies conspiring to overthrow an elected president, with the full assistance of a controlled media complex.

    Now you find yourselves suffering from a pandemic that first-world countries with functioning societies and governments have had no trouble containing.

    And you sit around scratching your heads saying 'Why is this happening to us? How could this happen in the US? Maybe it's the subway?'

    Remember the pictures of nurses wearing garbage bags in place of proper PPE?

    The rest of us are wondering when the penny is going to drop.

    I have believed for twenty years that the USA is a third world country.

    Evidence: https://heavy.com/news/2020/04/pensacola-florida-block-party-video-covid-19/

    • Replies: @Stebbing Heuer
    Thank heavens.

    The sooner America recognises the problem, the sooner America can begin fixing it.

    The only alternative is the current path of Brasilianisation.
  60. @LemmusLemmus
    I've been told by people who know that talking is unusual in Tokyo subways. That's sure to play some role, though how big is unclear.

    You can talk, but quietly. Talking on the phone is NOT allowed. Good luck with that rule in NY.

  61. @Len
    No doubt, but still no good explanation why Tokyo, which has more heavily used subway system than NYC, has, to date, all of 39 cvirus deaths.

    Can't believe mask-wearing is the only variable.

    BCG vaccination seems like a promising explanation.

    Len, my wife and I have rode the subways in Japan and Hong Kong, packed in like sardines, but little conversation and the most telling feature…clean. spotlessly clean, like Disney Park clean. The numbers for Japan and Hong Kong makes me wonder if there isn’t already a “herd immunity” in these two countries. Would be worth a study.

  62. @Almost Missouri
    NYC is filthy. Tokyo is clean.

    Also, NYC has much more wretched refuse of the globe's teeming shores.

    Masks, hygiene, BMI, all very different.

  63. New York Subway ridership has far more people with comorbidities than Tokyo or Korea. New York has a lot more immigrants with third world diseases. Native New Yorkers are fatter than Southeast Asians. Covid targets those who have a preexisting medical condition.

  64. @Dave Pinsen
    It's ironic that the subways helped spread this disease when part of the purpose of the subways was to minimize disease by not having workers crammed into housing right next to their factories.

    It's hard to see how there wouldn't be less disease propagation with everyone wearing masks on subways. Maybe the poles people grab onto could be plated in copper too.

    As for your question about whether you can wear masks in a bank, the answer here is yes. I stopped in to BofA branches twice in the last few weeks to get quarters. The first time, I was one of two people wearing masks, the other being a teller. The second time, Everyone had on a mask, and the door was locked when I got there. A bank employee was letting in a few customers at a time, and there were markings on the floor to facilitate distancing.

    Dave, my local branch of M&T Bank, walking distance from my house, appointment only.

    • Replies: @Dave Pinsen
    Some other banks here are like that too. The BofA I went to last time was my 3rd stop. 1st was a closer BofA, which has temporarily closed; 2nd was a regional bank that had a sign saying it was only open for appointments with account holders (I don't have an account with BofA, but when they're open, they give me quarters in exchange for cash without issue).
  65. @Semperluctor
    Exactly.
    Imagine that an enemy state had exploded a few dirty bombs in 5 to 10 US cities, killing say 50k people, and causing 5 trillion dollars in damages to the economy. We would go to war in the blink of an eye. Of course, China has nuclear weapons, so the response has to be asymmetrical. No worries. Cancel their debt holdings and impose crippling sanctions. As another commenter said on this site: where are they going to do, refuse to sell us their junk? Only caveat is to wait until our supply lines from Europe etc of key meds are safely established.

    Semp, you and a few others have this virus as a Chinese weapon, but why kill your customers? If China wanted to kill off population why not unleash this on Africa, a continent of immense untapped natural resources?

    • Replies: @Bill
    It's a comical effort to deflect attention from the culpability of US elites. The GOP faithful, being what they are, don't get the joke and mindlessly go along with it.

    Idiocracy really is a documentary.
    , @Semperluctor
    Hello.

    I don’t for a moment believe that this was deliberate. The TSD trolls (not you!) who screech “Trump supporter” are just creating a straw man to knock down. I agree that our leaders, on both sides of the political divide, have been barely competent. But that does not excuse the greater, and gross negligence of the Chinese authorities. The operative cause here is either the Wuhan wet markets or that lab, compounded by the CCP allowing hundreds of thousands to travel before they locked down. Our own errors contributed to the problem, but in terms of contributory negligence, the apportionment goes (insert your own numbers) perhaps 80/20 China/US.

    Put another way: if someone is riding a motorcycle on the sidewalk (the wetmarkets in this example) that is inherently and unreasonably dangerous. He is responsible for the harm that he causes to the pedestrians, even if some of those pedestrians themselves failed to take ordinary care and to jump out of his way. I am not sure what the Japanese handle fellow cannot grasp about that. Why are commenters here carrying water for gross negligence?
  66. @Len
    No doubt, but still no good explanation why Tokyo, which has more heavily used subway system than NYC, has, to date, all of 39 cvirus deaths.

    Can't believe mask-wearing is the only variable.

    BCG vaccination seems like a promising explanation.

    Can’t believe mask-wearing is the only variable.

    Well, of course, it’s not the *only* variable.

    Sure the Japanese are much more fastidious and much more conscientious about following social norms than NYC’s “huddled masses” and “wretched refuse”.

    But seriously, this is a respiratory disease. Sure it can attack other organs, but it hammers the lungs and from the lungs people … breathe the damn thing out!

    We’ve trotted out all sorts of tedious school marm bullshit–closing beaches … oh, that humid salt air is so bad for you; closing golf–a true contact sport, closing parks–uh, oh, more fresh air …
    –and yet won’t get on with just wearing masks. So some infected jamoke can sneeze and breathe corona-chan all over other folks. Genius!

    • Agree: Old Prude
    • Replies: @Art Deco
    Sure the Japanese are much more fastidious and much more conscientious about following social norms than NYC’s “huddled masses” and “wretched refuse”.

    Do you think that applies to Koreans and Chinese as well?

    https://www.thebeijinger.com/forum/2010/04/02/china-breath
    , @David
    Japanese never blow their noses in public. Seems like a practice we could adopt.
  67. If NYC was a functioning metropolis DeBlasio would have had kiosks in at least 10 high-traffic subway stations where they handed out masks for free or for a nominal fee, say a dollar. That would be the kind of quick-thinking government intervention that everyone could get behind. But that’s not DeBlasio. He’d probably note that the MTA is a state agency and that’s Cuomo’s job. Or make sure the masks only went to persons of color, or the undocumented. I’m not really a fan of gun-grabber Bloomberg but he would have done much better during this mess.

  68. @Almost Missouri
    NYC is filthy. Tokyo is clean.

    Also, NYC has much more wretched refuse of the globe's teeming shores.

    Yeah, having ridden both the NYC and Tokyo subways in the August heat, I can attest that the difference in cleanliness is stark. I wonder how many New Yorkers think the “summer subway smell” exists in every city? It doesn’t. In NYC you can smell it on the sidewalks – all you have to do is stand within 50 feet of a grate.

  69. @Anonymous
    A carrier subject goes down into the subway, coughs up some phlegm, spits on the platform, then gets on the subway. The spit and phlegm dry up into particulate. Every time a train enters and leaves the station, the winds generated set the particulate aloft, and carries it down the tunnel. Eventually it travels to the next platform, flying high thanks to the motion and increase of air pressure of the incoming train.

    The virus particulate lands on the subjects eye, up his nose, since his mask was pulled below his nose for easier breathing, or blows into his ear. The place nobody thinks to cover.

    Aaaand ya got another carrier.

    Incidentally, let’s not forget New York City sidewalks. Likely teeming with virus particulate. Catch some on your shoes, bring it into your apartment. Every day. It’s just a matter of time, friendo.

    If you currently reside in Manhattan, it sucks a monumentally large bag of dicks to be you.

    So, what will be the Plannedemic’s impact on the happy-face urbanist propaganda we have been getting for years, about how we all need to abandon our cars and suburbia to return to the splendors of mass transit and a 300-square-foot luxury pod apartment? Especially if the current oil glut continues and you can tank up the Escalade for about $15? We can all stay put and stock up multiple Sub-Zero freezers with designer ice cream, just like San Fran Nan on Easter Sunday.

  70. Steve’s Moscow correspondent nailed it. NYC, Tokyo, HK, Seoul, London, etc., all have super great, heavily used, world-class subway systems. Yes, these Asian cities have ubiquitous mask usage–but all these super systems are not diverse. London is diverse yes, but not NYC diverse. Tokyo, HK and Seoul are very international cities (Moscow less so), but their diversity is (by NYC standards) not super high. NYC subway diversity is the Mt. Olympus of diversity. Even more diverse than the streets above.

    So NYC has super international diversity, highly traveled subway system, great density, no mask/glove usage, lots of poor people, incompetent leadership and health agencies (no way they are tracing peep in a super-competent Korean manner), so the result is lots of older NYorkers get killed. After this is over nothing will be done in NYC to address any of its failings–with the exception of more mask storage and ventilators (even then lots of the ventilators will fall into disrepair over the years).

    • Replies: @Buffalo Joe
    Sam, if the only result of this pandemic in NY and NYC was the end of one party rule, that would be great. Amazingly, while Cuomo presides over this disaster, his national poll numbers go up.
  71. @Clyde
    This MIT Jamoke is ripping me off! From what I posted five scant days ago here:

    Clyde says:
    April 10, 2020 at 7:29 pm GMT • 100 Words
    NYC subways can kill ya dead! Philadelphia subway system is small and the population is not using it nearly as much per capita every day as in NYC. This is my guess…I don’t have the stats. But NYC is known for its extensive and high ridership subway system. Where the price of a slice and the subway fare rise in parallel. (Pizza)

    But then you have the extensive Tokyo subway system which is known for having crammer personnel on the platforms who push the sardines into the can. Into very high proximity with each other who are all wearing masks. The Japanese must be doing a great Covid19 testing job to counteract the “subway effect”. Conclusion: The Japanese are obsessive about keeping a healthy nation while New Yorkers (City) are too wild and crazy to submit to Covid19 disciplines.
     

    Yeah, but you’re ripping me off! I speculated here about the NYC subway several days before that. Steve and I discussed moving healthcare workers other ways.

  72. @leterip
    I agree that Tokyo's more packed subways not causing virus spread is very significant. And confounds this MIT theory.

    I hope the BCG vaccination is the answer, but the more recent studies seem less promising.

    I think masks and/or Japan's obsession with hygiene is also a possible explanation.

    People in Tokyo are also much less likely to appear in WorldstarHipHop videos than people in NYC. Personal behavior counts in this epidemic. People have been told to avoid other people. If you follow the rules you do this. If for whatever reason you don’t follow rules (religious or by inclination) than you don’t get it.

  73. @Bruce
    Are there transit cops giving free and mandatory masks to everyone at subway entrances? Should be. Janitors constantly wiping every surface would help too.

    Janitors constantly wiping every surface would help too.

    Maybe that’s possible in a place like China or Japan where people still work. NYC upped their subway car wiping routine to something like once every 2 weeks (vs. the old routine of never) and this was a major accomplishment, especially since a considerable portion of their workforce used the epidemic as an excuse to stay home on “sick leave” (no more pesky doctor’s notes required). A truly effective cleaning regime is probably not possible in NY unless they can develop robots that will spray the cars down. They could never get or afford the labor required to do this effectively.

    • Replies: @The Last Real Calvinist

    NYC upped their subway car wiping routine to something like once every 2 weeks (vs. the old routine of never) and this was a major accomplishment, especially since a considerable portion of their workforce used the epidemic as an excuse to stay home on “sick leave” (no more pesky doctor’s notes required).

     

    Are they still only wiping down trains every two weeks? That's too sad to contemplate.

    HK's MTR has posted this info on their cleaning schedule and other anti-COVID measures:

    ***Using 1:99 diluted household bleach to clean and disinfect the facilities every 2 hours in stations and every time the train reaches the last stop.

    ***Disinfection points in stations providing hand sanitiser for passengers to clean their hands.

    ***Enhanced frequency of fresh air intake to facilitate better ventilation in stations.

    ***Increased frequency of cleaning and replacing the air-conditioner filters in stations.
     
    Since even the longest MTR lines take under an hour to travel from end to end, this means MTR trains are being wiped down more than once an hour.
  74. @Polynikes
    Having lived there for a short while, I believe it. They keep close tabs on people in general. Far from a western democracy, although a pleasant and nice country I thought.

    I wouldn’t want the above style system. It’s not worth submitting (what we have left) to the surveillance state for the flu. That so many of you pine for it, is scary in and of itself.

    I wouldn’t want the above style system. It’s not worth submitting (what we have left) to the surveillance state for the flu. That so many of you pine for it, is scary in and of itself.

    This.

    I saw Gavin Newsome talking on TV yesterday about the new normal we’ll be returning to. Mandatory mask wearing. Health tracking apps on our phones. Subjected to fever checks before we’re allowed entry to restaurants. Great – just what I need, an Applebees hostess who can barely figure out where to seat a four top during a slow lunch arguing with me about the definition of a fever.

    Is this what America wants? Really? Has the collective IQ dropped so much that we are voluntarily throwing away our dignity as free citizens over a mildly deadly cold virus?

    Steve – love your work but I’m convinced you’ve drunk the proverbial kool aid here. The foolish mass hysteria is terrifying and it’s a bit shocking that you are engaging in it. Let me walk you back from the cliff: Do you really think the gov’t identified the true US patient zero or is it highly likely the virus hit our shores many days sooner? Given how retarded American nose nose pickers are, do you really think the mild lockdowns we’re facing have made any difference? “But we’ve flattened the curve,” due to lockdowns you may say, to which I’d remind you: correlation is not causation and the upward curve was all about testing ramping up, not infections spiking.

    1. Where are the bodies in the streets?
    2. Where is the massive death toll?
    3. Where are the hospitals actually, not potentially but factually overflowing?
    4. Who is actually out of PPE? Garbage bag gown wearing nurse instagram photos are not evidence.
    5. Where are the press conferences featuring hospital CEO’s begging for masks?
    6. How come children aren’t dying? That’s pretty unusual for epidemics isn’t it? Is it because they tend mot to have pre-existing conditions? What’s the takeaway from that?

    The whole of America seems led by the likes of Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb, George Stepenaupolis and Lester Holt – all uncritically parroting CDC press releases. All actors, if we’re being honest. There’s very little actual journalism happening. There’s blind uncritical trust of ‘expert opinion.’

    And the blue lighted buildings phenomenon, supposedly a message of support for the “heroes” on the front line. Talk about false idols!

    Stinks to high heaven. Has “CIA Wartime Propaganda for The Homeland” written all over it. We are still in a declared war, are we not?

    Before all this, it was reported that half of all Americans has less than $400 in savings. How are they surviving? What message are we sending, vis-a-vis us shutting down the economy, ostensibly to extend the lives of the most medically vulnerable among us?

    • Agree: Semperluctor, AnonAnon
    • Replies: @Buffalo Joe
    Bota, great comment, with no personal attacks. Lots to think about. Oh, and the journalism will come later when all the talking heads publish their books about living through the pandemic in the time of Trump. Thank you.
  75. @BenKenobi
    Thinking out loud here: A bunch of Saudis commanded by a Saudi hiding in Afghanistan allegedly manage to knock down the Twin Towers and kill 3,000 New Yorkers, so America goes to war with Iraq.

    Now a bunch of Chinese have shut down the economy, neutralized a couple USN aircraft carriers and killed 10,000 New Yorkers. Where’s the war gonna be?

    Viruses are naturally occurring. New viruses will always mutate so this risk always exists. If it’s proven that this virus was incubated in the Wuhan research facility then you may have a point. But otherwise that opinion is invalid.

  76. @Buffalo Joe
    Dave, my local branch of M&T Bank, walking distance from my house, appointment only.

    Some other banks here are like that too. The BofA I went to last time was my 3rd stop. 1st was a closer BofA, which has temporarily closed; 2nd was a regional bank that had a sign saying it was only open for appointments with account holders (I don’t have an account with BofA, but when they’re open, they give me quarters in exchange for cash without issue).

    • Replies: @hhsiii
    Doing laundry or parking?
  77. @AnotherDad

    Can’t believe mask-wearing is the only variable.
     
    Well, of course, it's not the *only* variable.

    Sure the Japanese are much more fastidious and much more conscientious about following social norms than NYC's "huddled masses" and "wretched refuse".

    But seriously, this is a respiratory disease. Sure it can attack other organs, but it hammers the lungs and from the lungs people ... breathe the damn thing out!

    We've trotted out all sorts of tedious school marm bullshit--closing beaches ... oh, that humid salt air is so bad for you; closing golf--a true contact sport, closing parks--uh, oh, more fresh air ...
    --and yet won't get on with just wearing masks. So some infected jamoke can sneeze and breathe corona-chan all over other folks. Genius!

    Sure the Japanese are much more fastidious and much more conscientious about following social norms than NYC’s “huddled masses” and “wretched refuse”.

    Do you think that applies to Koreans and Chinese as well?

    https://www.thebeijinger.com/forum/2010/04/02/china-breath

  78. @Buffalo Joe
    Semp, you and a few others have this virus as a Chinese weapon, but why kill your customers? If China wanted to kill off population why not unleash this on Africa, a continent of immense untapped natural resources?

    It’s a comical effort to deflect attention from the culpability of US elites. The GOP faithful, being what they are, don’t get the joke and mindlessly go along with it.

    Idiocracy really is a documentary.

  79. Hail says: • Website
    @Polynikes
    This was my first thought as well. What about all the other subways? Surely Italy has the second largest subway system?

    I’ve been on the subways in Tokyo and Seoul. They are quite elaborate too, although much cleaner than NYC’s.

    The MIT article sounds intuitive. Maybe even it’s largely right. But there doesn’t seem to be a magic bullet with this particular virus.

    As only one example:

    Berlin.

    The proportion of Berlin residents who are on the subway or other train every day is comparable to New York City’s.

    If subways are such virus death traps, what explains that Berlin has only 62 coronavirus-positive deaths to date? And that new cases and deaths are now in steady decline?

    We know the virus was spreading in Germany for many weeks before their shutdowns occurred, and if this Subway Hypothesis is correct in general terms, Berlin should have been devastated by the Corona Apocalypse. (Given the multiplier that we know past-positives have on the denominator [e.g., the Gangelt study and the currently-ongoing big Stockholm study] puts the expected true fatality rate at probably no more than 0.2% in Berlin; depending on local factors, maybe generalizable to an all-population representative sample in which virus-attributable deaths round to 0.0%.)

    Something is wrong here.

    From the paper:

    While we’ve got a few more maps up our sleeve, we’re already at a juncture where some readers may react with extreme skepticism. We’ve already admitted we don’t have a cleanly designed natural experiment. None of Dr. Snow’s successors – He died of a stroke at age 45, four years after the handle came off the Broad Street pump. – managed to get the Flushing Local and the rest of the MTA abruptly shut down at the end of February. Without such evidence, the naysayers will assert that any diffuse, multitentacled network that traverses most of the city could be correlated spatially with the spread of coronavirus infection documented above.

    The author then proposes garbage trucks, a strawman?, and then demolishes it.

    • Thanks: Polynikes
  80. @Twinkie
    Seoul, South Korea also has a very extensive subway system, upon which the public relies greatly, but has not experienced NYC's apocalyptic pandemic. It's not the subway, it's the public health infrastructure and compliance by the population. Let me quote from my comment elsewhere:

    It is quite true that you don’t have to “lock down the whole country” to achieve effective social distancing. South Korea is a very good example of that. To that end, watch the following clip about the experience of one Korean young man who underwent the testing and quarantine process (Talha should be excited – he’s a Muslim convert):

    https://youtu.be/aR3d0FWEp6g

    Note the following salient points:

    1. He traveled overseas, so was examined at the airport (as the public health official tells him at the beginning of the clip). No symptoms then.

    2. He is requested to come by his own car (no public transport) to be tested. Since he doesn’t own a private car, an ambulance is sent to him instead. I’d imagine that ambulance is thoroughly disinfected before and after.

    3. The testing is scheduled the SAME DAY at 4 PM.

    4. He is tested and given various disinfection supplies and told to self-quarantine for 14 days. He is issued special trash bags (to be used at the end of the quarantine, which a special public health team will pick up and dispose). All costs are covered by the government.

    5. He is assigned a government official who immediately notes via a phone call that his mobile phone GPS was disabled the day before. The official tells him, albeit very pleasantly and with laughter, that he must keep the phone on in order for her to track his movements during the self-quarantine and that another incidence of GPS disabling will result in the dispatch of a police officer to track him down!

    6. The public official also tells him the government will provide food and supplies during the self-quarantine, so that he doesn’t get out of his home.

    7. The testing result is avaiable the next day by 10 AM digitally (that’s 4 PM to 10 AM the next day – that’s something like 2 working hours – obviously the testing center is working overnight).

    8. The testing result is negative, but he is still required to self-quarantine for 14 days.

    9. What is not shown in the clip is that, had he tested positive, his presence (by GPS-locator) would have shown up on a special app for nearby residents, so that they could avoid him and other infected people.

    If a country is able to implement a system such as this effectively, speedily, and competently, yes, absolutely, you don’t have to issue any kind of a broadly-enforced lockdown. But the sad fact is that very few countries are able to do so, for budgetary, infrastructure, competence, legal, and cultural reasons.

    He is assigned a government official who immediately notes via a phone call that his mobile phone GPS was disabled the day before. The official tells him, albeit very pleasantly and with laughter, that he must keep the phone on in order for her to track his movements during the self-quarantine and that another incidence of GPS disabling will result in the dispatch of a police officer to track him down!

    Yesterday I saw an interview with a Taiwanese-American who was quarantined in Taiwan. He said that at some point his phone battery ran out and 10 minutes later 2 cops showed up at his door.

  81. @Mr McKenna
    Pretty obvious that we should bomb Syria or Yemen.

    Bombing China would be racist, not to mention dangerous.

    No, we should bomb Russia.

  82. Hail says: • Website
    @Je Suis Omar Mateen
    "Medicare is determining that if you have a COVID-19 admission to the hospital you get $13,000. If that COVID-19 patient goes on a ventilator you get $39,000, three times as much."

    This is why the kungflu bodycount is fake after it hit 12,000. Money, power, and poontang make the world go round.

    So what percent post-12K is fake? 50%? 90%?

    CoronaHoax.

    “Medicare is determining that if you have a COVID-19 admission to the hospital you get $13,000. If that COVID-19 patient goes on a ventilator you get $39,000, three times as much.”

    From commenter Methen’s poem, ‘THE COVID CABAL’:

    _________________________________
    They hired their flakes to make us their fools,
    Their media, their networks, their paid-off tools,
    Phoney politicians, agencies, spin doctors galore,
    Anything to make the death number soar.
    The bug is a cover for where they have blundered,
    The Fed and markets and all they have plundered.
    Hyping the virus to shut down your nation
    Like it was threatening everything in creation.

    […]

    All experts were shunned not in their pay
    Like Dr. Wodarg who had something to say:
    “It started with a virologist who found a test
    For something a bit different from all of the rest.
    They brought in the media to help count the score
    And somehow the truth was of no matter anymore.
    Don’t make the virus shut down your nation
    It is not a threat to everything in creation.

    […]

    They have shut down the truth, and shut down clarity,
    To make more corruption, and more irregularity.
    Weakness is the real virus shutting down your nation.
    Let us be rid of it and save everything in creation.
    _________________________________

  83. @Reg Cæsar
    There are a lot of subways in the world. Except for those in the US and the former USSR, nearly all of them let you walk between cars while the train is in motion. Is that good or bad, vis-à-vis viruses?



    https://imgs.6sqft.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/20032942/Open-Gangway-Subway-Cars-Map.jpg

    nearly all of them let you walk between cars while the train is in motion. Is that good or bad, vis-à-vis viruses?

    It’s a red herring. What % of riders actually bother to walk between cars even where it is possible to do so? And in systems where people are packed like sardines in rush hour, even if you wanted to walk to another car you couldn’t make it thru the pack between the entrance door and the end door. Since people are randomly mixed on the platforms and in the individual cars already (and riders often take more than one train to get to their destination), adding a small (or even a large) amount of between car movement does little to change the virus spread.

    • Replies: @Hebrew National
    Walking between cars is ok on the San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART). I do it myself if I'm on a car that has busted air conditioning, too much urine smell or just too many people. Youths, for their part, travel between cars all the time, in search of opportunities.

    I guess I should have used the past tense there...

  84. @The Last Real Calvinist
    Hong Kong's MTR carries the exact same number of passengers per year as NYC's subway, i.e. 1.7 billion.

    Hong Kong has recorded just over 1,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases. The fatality total right now is 4. That's a fatality rate of 0.4%, so pretty low.

    The virus has been around these parts at least since January. Nearly all HK people have been wearing masks everywhere in public since that time.

    Masks might not explain all of the discrepancy between NYC and HK, but they definitely seem to be important.

    Berliners, heavy public-transportation users, were not wearing masks, even as (later-)confirmed transmission was going on throughout Germany and pre-Shutdowns.

  85. @BenKenobi
    Thinking out loud here: A bunch of Saudis commanded by a Saudi hiding in Afghanistan allegedly manage to knock down the Twin Towers and kill 3,000 New Yorkers, so America goes to war with Iraq.

    Now a bunch of Chinese have shut down the economy, neutralized a couple USN aircraft carriers and killed 10,000 New Yorkers. Where’s the war gonna be?

    Iran obviously.

  86. @Steve Sailer
    Thanks.

    We have a bunch of odd results, such as Spain and Portugal having very different trajectories, which might have something to do with obscure bureaucratic decisions in 1950 about which vaccines to mandate.

    Canada vs. USA vs. Mexico is also a headscratcher:

    Deaths: 903, 26200, 406

    Deaths per million: 24, 79, 3

    Another one: U.K. vs. Ireland

    Deaths: 12868, 406

    Deaths per million: 190, 82

    Either CV is enigmatic or the statistics have different definitions and are not comparable.

    • Replies: @Polynikes

    Either CV is enigmatic or the statistics have different definitions and are not comparable
     
    Maybe a little bit of both, but a lot of the last it seems. The US changed how it counted deaths just two weeks ago. It reminds us that these in-the-moment projections with dirty numbers are as much art as science--which is why so many of the ill-thinking dogmatic scientists were way off and continue to be.

    If I had to take a stab at your numbers, I'd say throw Mexico out. Numbers are probably unreliable for multiple reasons: they don't test, they don't care, it's too warm there, people die of too many other things for it register, etc...

    The Canada v. US thing is interesting. It could be weather. It could be space (subtract NYC's numbers and the US's look a whole lot different). What confounds me about Canada is Vancouver. Huge Chinese presence, fairly large city, mild winter-ish weather and even a ski destination (if you buy Steve's theory)--by all accounts it should have more than it does.

    UK v. Ireland - again, if you discount London, I wonder what things look like. Ireland is pretty rural. Dublin is only about a million people. It could be a testing/counting issue as well.

    One thing is for sure, I think a retrospective--if done honestly by competent people-- on this whole thing will be interesting to read in one or five years.
  87. We are going to … sue China. Trump will fight the election on reparations from China to those hurt via seizure of assets and tariffs helping domestic manufacturers and Dems will oppose because racist.

    That is the developing battle.

  88. Well. So now can we switch to 100% driverless cars and enact a $500 billion program for 50-storey parking garages in all our plague-torn blue cities?

    • Replies: @Jack D
    If you have driverless cars you don't need 50 story parking garages. The car can just drive itself to a surface lot on the outskirts of downtown where land is relatively cheap and abundant and then pick you up again at the end of the day. Or maybe just go on to the next customer (in between passengers the interior of the car would be irradiated with UV light to kill all the germs).
  89. @Steve Sailer
    My vague recollection is that riding the Moscow subway was more pleasant, less crowded, cleaner than riding the NYC subway.

    The really nice thing about the Moscow subway is that you can’t fall onto the tracks because it has an external wall like an elevator does.

    • Replies: @Jack D
    These are called "platform screen doors" and are extremely common in metro systems all over the world EXCEPT in the US. The Leningrad system was the 1st to have them.

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

    Americans like to think of themselves as living in an advanced country but when it comes to mass transit we are anything but. NYC was among the 1st (though not THE first) cities to have a subway system but the fact that it was mostly built 100+ years ago puts it at a disadvantage vs many much newer systems.

    As does the fact that government construction in the US (esp. NY) is incredibly expensive. It is not technically impossible to retrofit PSD's onto an older system but given the cost and speed at which mass transit related construction proceeds in NY it is completely impractical - it would cost billions and take many years. They barely have enough money to fund the existing system and PSDs are not even under consideration.

    The drivers would also need to be retrained or technology implemented so that the trains will stop at a precise point where the car door line up precisely with the platform doors, contrary to the current practice where the stopping point is "close enough for government work" - as long as the last set of doors is not out in the tunnel, it's good enough.

    , @ScarletNumber
    So the platform door is closed before the train arrives and it opens when the train arrives?
  90. @Jack D

    nearly all of them let you walk between cars while the train is in motion. Is that good or bad, vis-à-vis viruses?
     
    It's a red herring. What % of riders actually bother to walk between cars even where it is possible to do so? And in systems where people are packed like sardines in rush hour, even if you wanted to walk to another car you couldn't make it thru the pack between the entrance door and the end door. Since people are randomly mixed on the platforms and in the individual cars already (and riders often take more than one train to get to their destination), adding a small (or even a large) amount of between car movement does little to change the virus spread.

    Walking between cars is ok on the San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART). I do it myself if I’m on a car that has busted air conditioning, too much urine smell or just too many people. Youths, for their part, travel between cars all the time, in search of opportunities.

    I guess I should have used the past tense there…

    • Replies: @Buffalo Joe
    Heb, wait, you want me to believe that there are BART cars that have working AC and don't reek of urine? I read the San Francisco Cronicle on line, and that BART car would be as easy to find as a unicorn. Stay safe and don't step on any needles.
  91. “multitentacled subway system ”

    Anti-Semite!

  92. White home invaders “with a plan” thwarted by husband using wife’s handgun.

    • Replies: @JMcG
    I love a happy ending. It’s like the end of Easy Rider ( Thanks Achmed!)
  93. @Anonymous
    A carrier subject goes down into the subway, coughs up some phlegm, spits on the platform, then gets on the subway. The spit and phlegm dry up into particulate. Every time a train enters and leaves the station, the winds generated set the particulate aloft, and carries it down the tunnel. Eventually it travels to the next platform, flying high thanks to the motion and increase of air pressure of the incoming train.

    The virus particulate lands on the subjects eye, up his nose, since his mask was pulled below his nose for easier breathing, or blows into his ear. The place nobody thinks to cover.

    Aaaand ya got another carrier.

    Incidentally, let’s not forget New York City sidewalks. Likely teeming with virus particulate. Catch some on your shoes, bring it into your apartment. Every day. It’s just a matter of time, friendo.

    If you currently reside in Manhattan, it sucks a monumentally large bag of dicks to be you.

    “If you currently reside in Manhattan, it sucks a monumentally large bag of dicks to be you.”

    If you currently reside in Manhattan, you likely ARE a monumentally dick; and not in a good way.

  94. @Steve Sailer
    Ultra-orthodox Jews have higher infection rates than just about any other group in America. You can see it in L.A. neighborhood stats, even though L.A. doesn't have many black hats.

    So, this virus is killing Jews, blacks, and subway riders in NYC? As a white, gentile suburbanite who has been lectured on racism, anti-semitism, and of the glories of public transportation…never mind. I better not.

  95. @Steve Sailer
    Thanks.

    We have a bunch of odd results, such as Spain and Portugal having very different trajectories, which might have something to do with obscure bureaucratic decisions in 1950 about which vaccines to mandate.

    Compare two neighbors with roughly the same climate and the same
    area, Germany and Poland.

    Germany (82 million) 43 dead/1 million
    Poland (40 million) 8 dead/1 million

    In Poland BCG vaccinations are mandatory, in Germany they are not.
    Another difference may be that face masks (and more recently gloves)
    are also mandatory in Poland. On April 19 Poland is
    planning to start returning to normal. Poland is a cohesive, homogeneous,
    no-nonsense country with extremely low levels of social dysfunction, which helps in
    times of crisis

  96. @Hebrew National
    The really nice thing about the Moscow subway is that you can't fall onto the tracks because it has an external wall like an elevator does.

    These are called “platform screen doors” and are extremely common in metro systems all over the world EXCEPT in the US. The Leningrad system was the 1st to have them.

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

    Americans like to think of themselves as living in an advanced country but when it comes to mass transit we are anything but. NYC was among the 1st (though not THE first) cities to have a subway system but the fact that it was mostly built 100+ years ago puts it at a disadvantage vs many much newer systems.

    As does the fact that government construction in the US (esp. NY) is incredibly expensive. It is not technically impossible to retrofit PSD’s onto an older system but given the cost and speed at which mass transit related construction proceeds in NY it is completely impractical – it would cost billions and take many years. They barely have enough money to fund the existing system and PSDs are not even under consideration.

    The drivers would also need to be retrained or technology implemented so that the trains will stop at a precise point where the car door line up precisely with the platform doors, contrary to the current practice where the stopping point is “close enough for government work” – as long as the last set of doors is not out in the tunnel, it’s good enough.

    • Replies: @Joe Stalin
    "Americans like to think of themselves as living in an advanced country but when it comes to mass transit we are anything but."

    In Chicago, we simply think of the CTA as a government agency to supply minorities with well-paying jobs. Simply listen to CTA bus drivers talking to each other and what do they talk about: MONEY. Apartment buildings they own. The nice cars they own.

    It's like when you hear Chicago Public School teachers talk about their salary. Just go to the parking lot of a CPS school and note there there are NO decrepit automobiles.

    In the 1960s, bus service was 24/7 in Chicago. Now many buses don't run on weekends and have limited or no night schedules. This is to give union CTA employees their demands.
    , @Hebrew National
    I'm no authority on the world's subways but I haven't seen such walls either in Paris or London.

    Since you asked, here's my Moscow subway story. A story from the "underground" as it were.

    So I'm eating breakfast one clear cold winter morning and in my bread I find a human nose! I'm like, Yikes, because I heard talk about some crazy axe murderer upstairs. Anyway, I put the nose into an ice chest, put on my best coat and head for the subway. I hear a train pull up but of course I can't see it for the wall. I get in anyway when the doors open. Inside, everybody's chained to the floor! Turns out I'm on an express to the White Sea canal project. Two weeks later, we get off and I realize someone's stolen my coat.
  97. @Christopher Chantrill
    Well. So now can we switch to 100% driverless cars and enact a $500 billion program for 50-storey parking garages in all our plague-torn blue cities?

    If you have driverless cars you don’t need 50 story parking garages. The car can just drive itself to a surface lot on the outskirts of downtown where land is relatively cheap and abundant and then pick you up again at the end of the day. Or maybe just go on to the next customer (in between passengers the interior of the car would be irradiated with UV light to kill all the germs).

  98. @The Big Red Scary
    Currently, yes, the Moscow Metro is cleaner and more pleasant the New York Subway. Certainly the Metro stations are a point of pride for the city of Moscow, and nowadays are well taken care of. But the difference in pleasantness of riding is, I suspect, mostly to do with the difference in one's fellow riders, not to put too fine a point on it.

    As for less crowded, I'm not sure. I avoid the Moscow Metro at rush hour, and have never ridden the New York Subway at rush hour. At any rate, according to La Wik, the average number of daily riders is
    6.99 million for Moscow and 5.58 million for New York, so roughly comparable. On the other hand, the Moscow Metro is getting better every year, as the incredibly noisy old wagons are replaced with new, quiet wagons (ostensibly made by real Russian proles), whereas I suspect the New York Subway is getting worse and worse, like much infrastructure in the US.

    6.99 million for Moscow and 5.58 million for New York

    Moscow is much more spread out, though. There is nothing like Manhattan there.

    The city’s population density of 26,403 people per square mile (10,194/km²), makes it the densest of any American municipality with a population above 100,000. Manhattan’s population density is 66,940 people per square mile (25,846/km²)*, highest of any county in the United States.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographics_of_New_York_City#Population

    *[The adjacent table shows 72,033 (27,826)]

    Moscow has a density of 8,537.2 people per square kilometer.

    https://worldpopulationreview.com/world-cities/moscow-population/

    Moscow is about 94% Slavic:

    https://moscow.touristgems.com/country/17304-population-of-moscow/

    So it’s a combination of diversity and density. The densest parts of NYC would also be the whitest parts, whether you go by residence or employment. (So would the least dense.)

  99. @Jack D
    These are called "platform screen doors" and are extremely common in metro systems all over the world EXCEPT in the US. The Leningrad system was the 1st to have them.

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

    Americans like to think of themselves as living in an advanced country but when it comes to mass transit we are anything but. NYC was among the 1st (though not THE first) cities to have a subway system but the fact that it was mostly built 100+ years ago puts it at a disadvantage vs many much newer systems.

    As does the fact that government construction in the US (esp. NY) is incredibly expensive. It is not technically impossible to retrofit PSD's onto an older system but given the cost and speed at which mass transit related construction proceeds in NY it is completely impractical - it would cost billions and take many years. They barely have enough money to fund the existing system and PSDs are not even under consideration.

    The drivers would also need to be retrained or technology implemented so that the trains will stop at a precise point where the car door line up precisely with the platform doors, contrary to the current practice where the stopping point is "close enough for government work" - as long as the last set of doors is not out in the tunnel, it's good enough.

    “Americans like to think of themselves as living in an advanced country but when it comes to mass transit we are anything but.”

    In Chicago, we simply think of the CTA as a government agency to supply minorities with well-paying jobs. Simply listen to CTA bus drivers talking to each other and what do they talk about: MONEY. Apartment buildings they own. The nice cars they own.

    It’s like when you hear Chicago Public School teachers talk about their salary. Just go to the parking lot of a CPS school and note there there are NO decrepit automobiles.

    In the 1960s, bus service was 24/7 in Chicago. Now many buses don’t run on weekends and have limited or no night schedules. This is to give union CTA employees their demands.

    • Replies: @Buffalo Joe
    Joe, BINGO! Don't know any bus drivers but teachers always talk about money and around here they make lots of it.
  100. @BenKenobi
    Thinking out loud here: A bunch of Saudis commanded by a Saudi hiding in Afghanistan allegedly manage to knock down the Twin Towers and kill 3,000 New Yorkers, so America goes to war with Iraq.

    Now a bunch of Chinese have shut down the economy, neutralized a couple USN aircraft carriers and killed 10,000 New Yorkers. Where’s the war gonna be?

    Wherever Israel wants.

  101. @BenKenobi
    Thinking out loud here: A bunch of Saudis commanded by a Saudi hiding in Afghanistan allegedly manage to knock down the Twin Towers and kill 3,000 New Yorkers, so America goes to war with Iraq.

    Now a bunch of Chinese have shut down the economy, neutralized a couple USN aircraft carriers and killed 10,000 New Yorkers. Where’s the war gonna be?

    Bermuda. Decent shopping.

  102. @Sam Lowry
    Steve's Moscow correspondent nailed it. NYC, Tokyo, HK, Seoul, London, etc., all have super great, heavily used, world-class subway systems. Yes, these Asian cities have ubiquitous mask usage--but all these super systems are not diverse. London is diverse yes, but not NYC diverse. Tokyo, HK and Seoul are very international cities (Moscow less so), but their diversity is (by NYC standards) not super high. NYC subway diversity is the Mt. Olympus of diversity. Even more diverse than the streets above.

    So NYC has super international diversity, highly traveled subway system, great density, no mask/glove usage, lots of poor people, incompetent leadership and health agencies (no way they are tracing peep in a super-competent Korean manner), so the result is lots of older NYorkers get killed. After this is over nothing will be done in NYC to address any of its failings--with the exception of more mask storage and ventilators (even then lots of the ventilators will fall into disrepair over the years).

    Sam, if the only result of this pandemic in NY and NYC was the end of one party rule, that would be great. Amazingly, while Cuomo presides over this disaster, his national poll numbers go up.

  103. @R.G. Camara
    It's difficult for people outside of NYC to imagine how vital the subway is in everyday life. It is massively extensive---so much so that you really notice when a neighborhood (e.g. most of Museum Mile on the upper east side) isn't serviced by one (for Museum mile, the closest subway is the 4-5-6 line, which is several long blocks away, separated by wide avenues, and is famously overcrowded because it runs so slowly).

    And it runs 24 hours a day (a worldwide megacity rarity---even London and Paris shut down their subways at night), and is cheap for long distance travel---same price to take a one-stop trip as a 35-stop trip, so you can live very far away and commute for less than what most people pay in other cities for a commuter rail.

    In most U.S. cities, subways are vital, but in NYC they are a lifeblood. No subway, no city economy. In most other cities I've lived in, if the subway went down, the city would survive, crankily, with buses and taxis. In NYC, if the subway went down, even with every bus and taxi running, it wouldn't work. Too large, too extensive.

    And the Giuliani/Bloomberg crime crackdown made it even more reliable and vital. I can remember several 3am subway rides in NYC during my poor drunk days during those years, and there wasn't even a hint of danger on those subways then, even for an obvious mark like me---white, young, traveling alone, clearly inebriated. If it had been the 1970s I would have been mugged twice and likely knocked unconscious by "youths."

    In most other cities I’ve lived in, if the subway went down, the city would survive, crankily, with buses and taxis.

    It’s my understanding that, during the ’66 subway strike, Wall Street and possibly Midtown workers used a combination of commuter trains, driving, and walking, including walking over the Brooklyn Bridge. Of course there was increased absenteeism, and the strike was settled relatively quickly.

  104. @Stebbing Heuer
    Exactly.

    You people don't believe me when I tell you your country is a third-world country.

    Middle class disappearing.

    Despairing working class killing itself with fentanyl (that for some reason, your novelty-sized military-intelligence complex simply can't stop from entering the country).

    Military engaged in endless, wealth-destroying wars for endless square miles of sand, because you've allowed a much smaller and poorer country to buy, blackmail and bully your elite into doing its bidding.

    Utterly corrupt elites selling out the wealth-producing industrial base for short-term profits, only to be bailed out with limitless money printed at will when their dumb bets go wrong - how many trillions are we up to now? How many left to come?

    Intelligence agencies conspiring to overthrow an elected president, with the full assistance of a controlled media complex.

    Now you find yourselves suffering from a pandemic that first-world countries with functioning societies and governments have had no trouble containing.

    And you sit around scratching your heads saying 'Why is this happening to us? How could this happen in the US? Maybe it's the subway?'

    Remember the pictures of nurses wearing garbage bags in place of proper PPE?

    The rest of us are wondering when the penny is going to drop.

    Agree completely. Pointing out that the fentanyl comes from China. There’s no end to the delights we receive from that dump.

  105. @dearieme
    The Metropolitan Transit Authority’s decision to cut back its train service to accommodate the reduced demand

    The dimwit Mayor of London did the same thing. The trouble is you need a larger-than-life alternative candidate if someone other than a production-line lefty is to be elected Mayor.

    The last big city mayor at least in the US who made any sense at all was Bloomberg, and he was a pale shadow of Rudy Giuliani.

  106. @botazefa

    I wouldn’t want the above style system. It’s not worth submitting (what we have left) to the surveillance state for the flu. That so many of you pine for it, is scary in and of itself.
     
    This.

    I saw Gavin Newsome talking on TV yesterday about the new normal we'll be returning to. Mandatory mask wearing. Health tracking apps on our phones. Subjected to fever checks before we're allowed entry to restaurants. Great - just what I need, an Applebees hostess who can barely figure out where to seat a four top during a slow lunch arguing with me about the definition of a fever.

    Is this what America wants? Really? Has the collective IQ dropped so much that we are voluntarily throwing away our dignity as free citizens over a mildly deadly cold virus?

    Steve - love your work but I'm convinced you've drunk the proverbial kool aid here. The foolish mass hysteria is terrifying and it's a bit shocking that you are engaging in it. Let me walk you back from the cliff: Do you really think the gov't identified the true US patient zero or is it highly likely the virus hit our shores many days sooner? Given how retarded American nose nose pickers are, do you really think the mild lockdowns we're facing have made any difference? "But we've flattened the curve," due to lockdowns you may say, to which I'd remind you: correlation is not causation and the upward curve was all about testing ramping up, not infections spiking.

    1. Where are the bodies in the streets?
    2. Where is the massive death toll?
    3. Where are the hospitals actually, not potentially but factually overflowing?
    4. Who is actually out of PPE? Garbage bag gown wearing nurse instagram photos are not evidence.
    5. Where are the press conferences featuring hospital CEO's begging for masks?
    6. How come children aren't dying? That's pretty unusual for epidemics isn't it? Is it because they tend mot to have pre-existing conditions? What's the takeaway from that?

    The whole of America seems led by the likes of Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb, George Stepenaupolis and Lester Holt - all uncritically parroting CDC press releases. All actors, if we're being honest. There's very little actual journalism happening. There's blind uncritical trust of 'expert opinion.'

    And the blue lighted buildings phenomenon, supposedly a message of support for the "heroes" on the front line. Talk about false idols!

    Stinks to high heaven. Has "CIA Wartime Propaganda for The Homeland" written all over it. We are still in a declared war, are we not?

    Before all this, it was reported that half of all Americans has less than $400 in savings. How are they surviving? What message are we sending, vis-a-vis us shutting down the economy, ostensibly to extend the lives of the most medically vulnerable among us?

    Bota, great comment, with no personal attacks. Lots to think about. Oh, and the journalism will come later when all the talking heads publish their books about living through the pandemic in the time of Trump. Thank you.

    • Thanks: botazefa
  107. @Jon
    Many Asian cities (e.g. HK, Seoul, Tokyo, etc.) have heavily used subways and high density housing -- as much or moreso than NY in most of these cities -- yet they don't have anywhere near the number of cases.
    The subway/density probably explains a lot of the difference between NY other American cities, but it's obviously a problem that can be dealt with.
    Mask wearing is ubiquitous in Asian countries and certainly plays a role.

    Jakarta, Delhi, Manila, Sao Paulo, Mexico City all have dense urban transport, crowded housing.

    Deaths in Indonesia, India, Philippines, Brazil, Mexico = 469, 405, 349, 1590, 406

  108. @Hebrew National
    Walking between cars is ok on the San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART). I do it myself if I'm on a car that has busted air conditioning, too much urine smell or just too many people. Youths, for their part, travel between cars all the time, in search of opportunities.

    I guess I should have used the past tense there...

    Heb, wait, you want me to believe that there are BART cars that have working AC and don’t reek of urine? I read the San Francisco Cronicle on line, and that BART car would be as easy to find as a unicorn. Stay safe and don’t step on any needles.

    • Replies: @The Wild Geese Howard
    Meanwhile, in Albany, NY:

    Andrew Cuomo Orders New Yorkers to Wear Masks in Public:

    https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2020/04/15/andrew-cuomo-orders-new-yorkers-to-wear-masks-in-public/

    Dafuq?

    More seriously, I can't decide if this upward holiness spiral is leading to health Stalinism or Jonestown nation.

    Or, perhaps just a little from column A and a little from column B.
  109. @MikeatMikedotMike
    Diego Garcia has been getting a bit uppity lately...

    Diego Garcia has been getting a bit uppity lately…

    Yes…..time for a sound thrashing!

  110. After reading all of this, particularly about NYC subways versus the civilized world, I suggest this:

    An end to the subsidization of Moocherism. That is, paying people who can otherwise do simple work for not doing so. This comes under many guises. Outright welfare, “disability” paid to the able, long stints on basically voluntary unemployment, etc.

    What seems obvious is that in many nations moocherism isn’t tolerated. Asia is good about this.

    Let’s face it, cleaning subways and enforcing civilized behavior isn’t hard if you pay someone to do that. Ditto cleaning sidewalks and other public places. Also you add some modest health insurance and retirement (which otherwise moochers get for zero productivity anyway) and you change back into a civilized, safer and cleaner society. As things get more populated with attendant health problems due to crowded conditions, these things are even more important.

    Most of the “Homeless” being catered to, at huge cost, can work at these tasks. Also cleaning parks and being “safety wardens” can be done with little training. You can motivate with bonuses and also hire older supervisors. Under the guise of “cost cutting” (to pay huge salaries to bureaucrats and union protected goof offs) you can pay living wages to these former moochers, now providers of basic civilized society. That used to happen. Not long ago, either.

    Moochers won’t like it of course. Tough. For the few who can’t work, “wards of the state” won’t be such a nice lifestyle. Crazies in hospitals where they belong. Criminals can break rocks.

    The “Chinese model” or Asian model works to good effect. Freedom here doesn’t mean we have to create a Moocher class of parasites which is sustained by bad ideas of liberal elites and ruling class hucksters. Read Mark Twain on the subject of moochers and grifters. Moochers haven’t disappeared, but now they are turned into human “pets” to be fed by benevolent taxpayers. Sad.

  111. @Buffalo Joe
    Heb, wait, you want me to believe that there are BART cars that have working AC and don't reek of urine? I read the San Francisco Cronicle on line, and that BART car would be as easy to find as a unicorn. Stay safe and don't step on any needles.

    Meanwhile, in Albany, NY:

    Andrew Cuomo Orders New Yorkers to Wear Masks in Public:

    https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2020/04/15/andrew-cuomo-orders-new-yorkers-to-wear-masks-in-public/

    Dafuq?

    More seriously, I can’t decide if this upward holiness spiral is leading to health Stalinism or Jonestown nation.

    Or, perhaps just a little from column A and a little from column B.

    • Replies: @Buffalo Joe
    Howard, Cuomo's lateness to all preventative measures is totally ignored by the press. Whereas any miss steps by Trump are magnified. Of course having your MSM brother cheering you on, sans the pom poms and spanky, is good.
  112. @epebble
    Canada vs. USA vs. Mexico is also a headscratcher:

    Deaths: 903, 26200, 406

    Deaths per million: 24, 79, 3

    Another one: U.K. vs. Ireland

    Deaths: 12868, 406

    Deaths per million: 190, 82

    Either CV is enigmatic or the statistics have different definitions and are not comparable.

    Either CV is enigmatic or the statistics have different definitions and are not comparable

    Maybe a little bit of both, but a lot of the last it seems. The US changed how it counted deaths just two weeks ago. It reminds us that these in-the-moment projections with dirty numbers are as much art as science–which is why so many of the ill-thinking dogmatic scientists were way off and continue to be.

    If I had to take a stab at your numbers, I’d say throw Mexico out. Numbers are probably unreliable for multiple reasons: they don’t test, they don’t care, it’s too warm there, people die of too many other things for it register, etc…

    The Canada v. US thing is interesting. It could be weather. It could be space (subtract NYC’s numbers and the US’s look a whole lot different). What confounds me about Canada is Vancouver. Huge Chinese presence, fairly large city, mild winter-ish weather and even a ski destination (if you buy Steve’s theory)–by all accounts it should have more than it does.

    UK v. Ireland – again, if you discount London, I wonder what things look like. Ireland is pretty rural. Dublin is only about a million people. It could be a testing/counting issue as well.

    One thing is for sure, I think a retrospective–if done honestly by competent people– on this whole thing will be interesting to read in one or five years.

  113. @Almost Missouri
    NYC is filthy. Tokyo is clean.

    Also, NYC has much more wretched refuse of the globe's teeming shores.

    True, NYC is filthy and filled with people of color.

    85% of the NYC fatalities are among those over the age of 60…
    62% of the NYC Wahu flu deaths in NYC are among Blacks and Hispanics,
    27% of the NYC victims are white and just 7% were Asian.
    2% of the NYC deaths are whites under the age of 50

  114. @R.G. Camara
    It's difficult for people outside of NYC to imagine how vital the subway is in everyday life. It is massively extensive---so much so that you really notice when a neighborhood (e.g. most of Museum Mile on the upper east side) isn't serviced by one (for Museum mile, the closest subway is the 4-5-6 line, which is several long blocks away, separated by wide avenues, and is famously overcrowded because it runs so slowly).

    And it runs 24 hours a day (a worldwide megacity rarity---even London and Paris shut down their subways at night), and is cheap for long distance travel---same price to take a one-stop trip as a 35-stop trip, so you can live very far away and commute for less than what most people pay in other cities for a commuter rail.

    In most U.S. cities, subways are vital, but in NYC they are a lifeblood. No subway, no city economy. In most other cities I've lived in, if the subway went down, the city would survive, crankily, with buses and taxis. In NYC, if the subway went down, even with every bus and taxi running, it wouldn't work. Too large, too extensive.

    And the Giuliani/Bloomberg crime crackdown made it even more reliable and vital. I can remember several 3am subway rides in NYC during my poor drunk days during those years, and there wasn't even a hint of danger on those subways then, even for an obvious mark like me---white, young, traveling alone, clearly inebriated. If it had been the 1970s I would have been mugged twice and likely knocked unconscious by "youths."

    I moved to NYC in 1987, and had been coming since I was a kid. My parents got married in NYC.

    I got mugged once in the subway system. In a station stairwell, not on the subway itself. 1989 or so. Although around that same time a kid showed me a handgun in his waistband.

    And once a cop threatened me with his police dog unless I moved to the other end of the car. I was a bit of a scruffy looking intern for MacNeil/Lehrer at the time. But I had a tie on. Never understood what was up with that.

    But definitely things felt more dangerous then, even though I lucked out and had few incidents.

    I live on 77th and Lex. Right at the 6 train local stop and across from Lenox Hill Hospital entrance. I stopped commuting downtown on 3/13 but still rode subway now and then. But not since late March. They were still running plenty of trains and it was about 5-6 people per car. And if I had time and only a 15-20 block trip, sometimes the bus. But again, not since late March.

  115. @AnotherDad

    Can’t believe mask-wearing is the only variable.
     
    Well, of course, it's not the *only* variable.

    Sure the Japanese are much more fastidious and much more conscientious about following social norms than NYC's "huddled masses" and "wretched refuse".

    But seriously, this is a respiratory disease. Sure it can attack other organs, but it hammers the lungs and from the lungs people ... breathe the damn thing out!

    We've trotted out all sorts of tedious school marm bullshit--closing beaches ... oh, that humid salt air is so bad for you; closing golf--a true contact sport, closing parks--uh, oh, more fresh air ...
    --and yet won't get on with just wearing masks. So some infected jamoke can sneeze and breathe corona-chan all over other folks. Genius!

    Japanese never blow their noses in public. Seems like a practice we could adopt.

    • Replies: @Buffalo Joe
    David, Japanese love, love baseball. Fans since before WWII. Is there any sport or endeavor where people spit more? Spitting seems to be an American thing. Sad, but I chewed tobacco and dipped snuff for years. Gross habit.
  116. @Joe Stalin
    "Americans like to think of themselves as living in an advanced country but when it comes to mass transit we are anything but."

    In Chicago, we simply think of the CTA as a government agency to supply minorities with well-paying jobs. Simply listen to CTA bus drivers talking to each other and what do they talk about: MONEY. Apartment buildings they own. The nice cars they own.

    It's like when you hear Chicago Public School teachers talk about their salary. Just go to the parking lot of a CPS school and note there there are NO decrepit automobiles.

    In the 1960s, bus service was 24/7 in Chicago. Now many buses don't run on weekends and have limited or no night schedules. This is to give union CTA employees their demands.

    Joe, BINGO! Don’t know any bus drivers but teachers always talk about money and around here they make lots of it.

  117. @The Wild Geese Howard
    Meanwhile, in Albany, NY:

    Andrew Cuomo Orders New Yorkers to Wear Masks in Public:

    https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2020/04/15/andrew-cuomo-orders-new-yorkers-to-wear-masks-in-public/

    Dafuq?

    More seriously, I can't decide if this upward holiness spiral is leading to health Stalinism or Jonestown nation.

    Or, perhaps just a little from column A and a little from column B.

    Howard, Cuomo’s lateness to all preventative measures is totally ignored by the press. Whereas any miss steps by Trump are magnified. Of course having your MSM brother cheering you on, sans the pom poms and spanky, is good.

  118. @David
    Japanese never blow their noses in public. Seems like a practice we could adopt.

    David, Japanese love, love baseball. Fans since before WWII. Is there any sport or endeavor where people spit more? Spitting seems to be an American thing. Sad, but I chewed tobacco and dipped snuff for years. Gross habit.

  119. @Chrisnonymous

    Maybe the poles people grab onto could be plated in copper too.... I stopped in to BofA branches twice in the last few weeks to get quarters....
     
    Shouldn't you be getting pennies?

    Quarters contain more copper than pennies. On the other hand, pennies are mainly zinc which is curative not preventive.

  120. @Mr McKenna
    Pretty obvious that we should bomb Syria or Yemen.

    Bombing China would be racist, not to mention dangerous.

    Reminiscent of the Tark quote, “The NCAA was so mad at Kentucky they gave Cleveland State two more years of probation.”

    • Thanks: Mr McKenna
  121. @Steve Sailer
    My vague recollection is that riding the Moscow subway was more pleasant, less crowded, cleaner than riding the NYC subway.

    Moscow’s metro is nicer than Toronto or Boston, and yes, than NYC.

    Part of it is I don’t feel compelled to watch out for hordes of black ‘youth’ rampaging around. Even in Toronto I have routinely seen packs of blacks urinate on the platforms and threaten other passengers.

  122. @BenKenobi
    Thinking out loud here: A bunch of Saudis commanded by a Saudi hiding in Afghanistan allegedly manage to knock down the Twin Towers and kill 3,000 New Yorkers, so America goes to war with Iraq.

    Now a bunch of Chinese have shut down the economy, neutralized a couple USN aircraft carriers and killed 10,000 New Yorkers. Where’s the war gonna be?

    Now a bunch of Chinese have shut down the economy, neutralized a couple USN aircraft carriers and killed 10,000 New Yorkers. Where’s the war gonna be?

    Duh. Russia obviously.

  123. @Len
    No doubt, but still no good explanation why Tokyo, which has more heavily used subway system than NYC, has, to date, all of 39 cvirus deaths.

    Can't believe mask-wearing is the only variable.

    BCG vaccination seems like a promising explanation.

    Would wager a YUGE sum Tokyo riders are way cleaner and neater than NYC riders. And that Tokyo cleans it’s trains more often than the 3 days NYC has only instituted since this crisis began. And Tokyo doesn’t allow bums to set up house on subway cars.

    Warren Wilhelm is whining all day about social distancing. But if you don’t shut down mass transit, there’ no point to any of that . And shutting down subways and buses to a liberal is akin to stabbing a vampire in the heart with a cross in noon daylight and jamming garlic cloves in the wound.The idea that suburbanites commuting by themselves in their cars to an office park being significantly safer and healthier than the subway to an office tower in Manhattan with elevators, sealed windows and climate control recirculated air is UNTHINKABLE.

    • Replies: @Buffalo Joe
    Bugg, great point, recirculated air. Whenever there is an outbreak of Legionaires disease the end result is a total cleaning of duct systems.
    , @PiltdownMan

    Would wager a YUGE sum Tokyo riders are way cleaner and neater than NYC riders.
     
    Judge for yourself. Below, my commute for a couple of years in the early 2000s.

    https://youtu.be/bT5aSI-XQEg
    , @Art Deco
    https://www.soakology.co.uk/blog/bathing-habits-of-the-world/


    Not sure how reliable the data is here, but it appears as if countries with a full complement of indoor plumbing in each household have roughly similar bathing habits.
  124. @Hebrew National
    The really nice thing about the Moscow subway is that you can't fall onto the tracks because it has an external wall like an elevator does.

    So the platform door is closed before the train arrives and it opens when the train arrives?

    • Replies: @The Last Real Calvinist

    So the platform door is closed before the train arrives and it opens when the train arrives?

     

    That's exactly how it works in HK's MTR, for example. You go through two sets of doors to get into the train.

    The full-length doors looks like this in underground stations:

    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/3/3b/MTR_AWE_Platform_1.JPG

    Outdoor stations have head-height barriers/doors:

    https://www.hkfastfacts.com/wp-content/uploads/20140804_151336.jpg
    , @Hebrew National
    Ideally. Though if New York tried building something like that, they'd probably get the sequence backwards.
  125. @Bert
    I have believed for twenty years that the USA is a third world country.

    Evidence: https://heavy.com/news/2020/04/pensacola-florida-block-party-video-covid-19/

    Thank heavens.

    The sooner America recognises the problem, the sooner America can begin fixing it.

    The only alternative is the current path of Brasilianisation.

  126. @BenKenobi
    Thinking out loud here: A bunch of Saudis commanded by a Saudi hiding in Afghanistan allegedly manage to knock down the Twin Towers and kill 3,000 New Yorkers, so America goes to war with Iraq.

    Now a bunch of Chinese have shut down the economy, neutralized a couple USN aircraft carriers and killed 10,000 New Yorkers. Where’s the war gonna be?

    Whereever Israel decides.

  127. @Bugg
    Would wager a YUGE sum Tokyo riders are way cleaner and neater than NYC riders. And that Tokyo cleans it's trains more often than the 3 days NYC has only instituted since this crisis began. And Tokyo doesn't allow bums to set up house on subway cars.

    Warren Wilhelm is whining all day about social distancing. But if you don't shut down mass transit, there' no point to any of that . And shutting down subways and buses to a liberal is akin to stabbing a vampire in the heart with a cross in noon daylight and jamming garlic cloves in the wound.The idea that suburbanites commuting by themselves in their cars to an office park being significantly safer and healthier than the subway to an office tower in Manhattan with elevators, sealed windows and climate control recirculated air is UNTHINKABLE.

    Bugg, great point, recirculated air. Whenever there is an outbreak of Legionaires disease the end result is a total cleaning of duct systems.

  128. I wonder if one of the reasons the NYC subway is so much worse then the, say, Tokyo is the large class of people in NYC who spend their rides yelling, singing, dancing etc, spraying viruses everywhere.

    • Replies: @Joe Stalin
    On the other hand, Tokyo will surprise you with, oh, poison gas on the train.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FR7QEo5ruUE
  129. @vinny
    I wonder if one of the reasons the NYC subway is so much worse then the, say, Tokyo is the large class of people in NYC who spend their rides yelling, singing, dancing etc, spraying viruses everywhere.

    On the other hand, Tokyo will surprise you with, oh, poison gas on the train.

  130. @leterip
    I agree that Tokyo's more packed subways not causing virus spread is very significant. And confounds this MIT theory.

    I hope the BCG vaccination is the answer, but the more recent studies seem less promising.

    I think masks and/or Japan's obsession with hygiene is also a possible explanation.

    I agree that Tokyo’s more packed subways not causing virus spread is very significant. And confounds this MIT theory.

    Does it? Most of NYC’s coronavirus cases came from Europe; Italy seeded Europe from China. Presumably, NYC is more of a target destination for Europeans than Tokyo during the Jan – March period. Alternatively, NYC held a large parade or festival during the period in question, IIRC. Officials told the public to go and a great many did, including European tourists. Parade or subway? Or both?

    “We want New Yorkers to go about their everyday lives — use the subway, take the bus, etc.,” city Health Commissioner Dr. Oxiris Barbot said, explaining that COVID-19 “is not an illness that can be easily spread through casual contact.”

    https://apnews.com/6b9d9bf2f753ba7944c4dac379b3c5bb

    • Replies: @Jane Plain
    It doesn't confound the theory.

    The authors of the study aren't saying that it was impossible to stop the virus from entering the US, only that once it did, the subways of a major metropolis were a petri dish/conveyor belt.

    The zips that are hardest hit are populated by people who kept taking the subways after the shutdown, because they HAD to go to work. Essential, you know?

    Jesus, are people here THAT stupid? I guess they are.
  131. @Divine Right

    I agree that Tokyo’s more packed subways not causing virus spread is very significant. And confounds this MIT theory.
     
    Does it? Most of NYC's coronavirus cases came from Europe; Italy seeded Europe from China. Presumably, NYC is more of a target destination for Europeans than Tokyo during the Jan - March period. Alternatively, NYC held a large parade or festival during the period in question, IIRC. Officials told the public to go and a great many did, including European tourists. Parade or subway? Or both?

    “We want New Yorkers to go about their everyday lives — use the subway, take the bus, etc.,” city Health Commissioner Dr. Oxiris Barbot said, explaining that COVID-19 “is not an illness that can be easily spread through casual contact.”

    https://apnews.com/6b9d9bf2f753ba7944c4dac379b3c5bb

     

    It doesn’t confound the theory.

    The authors of the study aren’t saying that it was impossible to stop the virus from entering the US, only that once it did, the subways of a major metropolis were a petri dish/conveyor belt.

    The zips that are hardest hit are populated by people who kept taking the subways after the shutdown, because they HAD to go to work. Essential, you know?

    Jesus, are people here THAT stupid? I guess they are.

  132. @Chrisnonymous
    I haven't read that article in full, but first impression, it's a stupid idea.

    Initial Google search:
    -New York has 10 million daily subway passengers.
    -Tokyo has 8 million daily subway passengers... but that is only 25% of its daily rail system usage!!

    The Tokyo subway/rail system is likely much, much larger and trafficked by many, many more people and hasn't spread the virus all over the Kanto region, despite the fact that the virus has been in Tokyo for a lot longer than in New York and Tokyo hasn't been shut down until recently.

    Also, Hong Kong has a subway system. Singapore has a subway system. Seoul has a subway system. Beijing has a subway system.
    I don't know about Taipei, but I bet yes.
    And has the London tube seeded the virus all over London?

    Also, if combining more lines into fewer lines increased the spread of the disease, then the airlines shutting down their routes must have caused increased spread of the virus all over the country, right?

    No, there is some other factor affecting New York, unless the smell of urine and the presence of black riders affects a subway's effect on viral transmission.

    I don’t know about Taipei, but I bet yes.

    Absolutely, yes it does; an extensive one.

  133. @Jack D

    Janitors constantly wiping every surface would help too.
     
    Maybe that's possible in a place like China or Japan where people still work. NYC upped their subway car wiping routine to something like once every 2 weeks (vs. the old routine of never) and this was a major accomplishment, especially since a considerable portion of their workforce used the epidemic as an excuse to stay home on "sick leave" (no more pesky doctor's notes required). A truly effective cleaning regime is probably not possible in NY unless they can develop robots that will spray the cars down. They could never get or afford the labor required to do this effectively.

    NYC upped their subway car wiping routine to something like once every 2 weeks (vs. the old routine of never) and this was a major accomplishment, especially since a considerable portion of their workforce used the epidemic as an excuse to stay home on “sick leave” (no more pesky doctor’s notes required).

    Are they still only wiping down trains every two weeks? That’s too sad to contemplate.

    HK’s MTR has posted this info on their cleaning schedule and other anti-COVID measures:

    ***Using 1:99 diluted household bleach to clean and disinfect the facilities every 2 hours in stations and every time the train reaches the last stop.

    ***Disinfection points in stations providing hand sanitiser for passengers to clean their hands.

    ***Enhanced frequency of fresh air intake to facilitate better ventilation in stations.

    ***Increased frequency of cleaning and replacing the air-conditioner filters in stations.

    Since even the longest MTR lines take under an hour to travel from end to end, this means MTR trains are being wiped down more than once an hour.

  134. @ScarletNumber
    So the platform door is closed before the train arrives and it opens when the train arrives?

    So the platform door is closed before the train arrives and it opens when the train arrives?

    That’s exactly how it works in HK’s MTR, for example. You go through two sets of doors to get into the train.

    The full-length doors looks like this in underground stations:

    Outdoor stations have head-height barriers/doors:

  135. @yakushimaru
    You make it sounds as if USA's Iraq and Afghan wars are somehow Good Things for American people and you come here to read Sailer. I really have to wonder how much Steve Sailer do you really read?

    Scapegoating and blindly following your chosen leader as if it is a Sports League kind of thing are all you morons care about, know about.

    Huh? This is a good example of both (a) a straw man argument and (b) an ad hominem attack. Both those wars were strategic errors and cynical abuses of power. But, the matter with China should be determined on its merits. China has committed a grave harm against this country. Even if I held the opinions about the Iraq wars that you think I do (and I do not), that would not alter the correctness of my analysis about the grave harm done to us by China.
    I read this site as the host knows how to frame interesting questions, and most of the time the comments are thought provoking.

    Your comment amounts to the following in terms of a logic statement.
    The Iraq and Afghanistan wars were bad
    All of the opinions are worthless of those who think those wars were good.
    SL thinks those wars were good.
    Therefore his opinions on Covid19 and China are worthless.

    I will politely suggest that you reconsider your argumentation.

  136. @Buffalo Joe
    Semp, you and a few others have this virus as a Chinese weapon, but why kill your customers? If China wanted to kill off population why not unleash this on Africa, a continent of immense untapped natural resources?

    Hello.

    I don’t for a moment believe that this was deliberate. The TSD trolls (not you!) who screech “Trump supporter” are just creating a straw man to knock down. I agree that our leaders, on both sides of the political divide, have been barely competent. But that does not excuse the greater, and gross negligence of the Chinese authorities. The operative cause here is either the Wuhan wet markets or that lab, compounded by the CCP allowing hundreds of thousands to travel before they locked down. Our own errors contributed to the problem, but in terms of contributory negligence, the apportionment goes (insert your own numbers) perhaps 80/20 China/US.

    Put another way: if someone is riding a motorcycle on the sidewalk (the wetmarkets in this example) that is inherently and unreasonably dangerous. He is responsible for the harm that he causes to the pedestrians, even if some of those pedestrians themselves failed to take ordinary care and to jump out of his way. I am not sure what the Japanese handle fellow cannot grasp about that. Why are commenters here carrying water for gross negligence?

    • Replies: @Buffalo Joe
    Semp, very nice reply. Thank you. Stay safe.
  137. @Dave Pinsen
    Some other banks here are like that too. The BofA I went to last time was my 3rd stop. 1st was a closer BofA, which has temporarily closed; 2nd was a regional bank that had a sign saying it was only open for appointments with account holders (I don't have an account with BofA, but when they're open, they give me quarters in exchange for cash without issue).

    Doing laundry or parking?

  138. @Jack D
    These are called "platform screen doors" and are extremely common in metro systems all over the world EXCEPT in the US. The Leningrad system was the 1st to have them.

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

    Americans like to think of themselves as living in an advanced country but when it comes to mass transit we are anything but. NYC was among the 1st (though not THE first) cities to have a subway system but the fact that it was mostly built 100+ years ago puts it at a disadvantage vs many much newer systems.

    As does the fact that government construction in the US (esp. NY) is incredibly expensive. It is not technically impossible to retrofit PSD's onto an older system but given the cost and speed at which mass transit related construction proceeds in NY it is completely impractical - it would cost billions and take many years. They barely have enough money to fund the existing system and PSDs are not even under consideration.

    The drivers would also need to be retrained or technology implemented so that the trains will stop at a precise point where the car door line up precisely with the platform doors, contrary to the current practice where the stopping point is "close enough for government work" - as long as the last set of doors is not out in the tunnel, it's good enough.

    I’m no authority on the world’s subways but I haven’t seen such walls either in Paris or London.

    Since you asked, here’s my Moscow subway story. A story from the “underground” as it were.

    So I’m eating breakfast one clear cold winter morning and in my bread I find a human nose! I’m like, Yikes, because I heard talk about some crazy axe murderer upstairs. Anyway, I put the nose into an ice chest, put on my best coat and head for the subway. I hear a train pull up but of course I can’t see it for the wall. I get in anyway when the doors open. Inside, everybody’s chained to the floor! Turns out I’m on an express to the White Sea canal project. Two weeks later, we get off and I realize someone’s stolen my coat.

    • Replies: @Jack D
    Very surrealistic!

    I will tell you a true story about a very long train journey. When my mother's family was put on a Soviet train taking them to exile beyond the Urals (80 years ago this week) . Think of the train in Dr. Zhivago, except not as nice. Anyway, after about 4 or 5 days on this train, the passengers noticed that no one had made any provision to feed them. The NKVD did give you a few minutes to pack when they arrested you and some people had hastily grabbed some bread or whatever, but that had all run out. So the passengers complained to the train conductor. (I will add at this point that Russian train stations, at least in those days, had large samovars for the use of the passengers - same idea as a public water fountain but with boiling water). Anyway, the conductor cheerily replied in a sort of Russian version of a cockney accent, "No worries, mates, 'eres PLENTY of 'ot water at the next station. PLENTY of 'ot water."
    , @anon
    I don't believe that story happened on the Moscow subway. It could only have happened on the St. Petersburg subway. Did you get a look at your nose's forged passport? If so, was the picture any good?

    Too bad about the overcoat. Did anyone help you try to find it?

  139. @ScarletNumber
    So the platform door is closed before the train arrives and it opens when the train arrives?

    Ideally. Though if New York tried building something like that, they’d probably get the sequence backwards.

  140. @Joe Stalin
    White home invaders "with a plan" thwarted by husband using wife's handgun.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_QuVRfH690o

    I love a happy ending. It’s like the end of Easy Rider ( Thanks Achmed!)

  141. I can’t believe that no one has pointed out that there’s no math in that paper: it’s just a bunch of qualitative speculation. The subway may well have been a virus vector (just look at all those MTA employees who got sick), but that paper doesn’t provide good evidence one way or the other.

  142. @Bugg
    Would wager a YUGE sum Tokyo riders are way cleaner and neater than NYC riders. And that Tokyo cleans it's trains more often than the 3 days NYC has only instituted since this crisis began. And Tokyo doesn't allow bums to set up house on subway cars.

    Warren Wilhelm is whining all day about social distancing. But if you don't shut down mass transit, there' no point to any of that . And shutting down subways and buses to a liberal is akin to stabbing a vampire in the heart with a cross in noon daylight and jamming garlic cloves in the wound.The idea that suburbanites commuting by themselves in their cars to an office park being significantly safer and healthier than the subway to an office tower in Manhattan with elevators, sealed windows and climate control recirculated air is UNTHINKABLE.

    Would wager a YUGE sum Tokyo riders are way cleaner and neater than NYC riders.

    Judge for yourself. Below, my commute for a couple of years in the early 2000s.

  143. @Semperluctor
    Hello.

    I don’t for a moment believe that this was deliberate. The TSD trolls (not you!) who screech “Trump supporter” are just creating a straw man to knock down. I agree that our leaders, on both sides of the political divide, have been barely competent. But that does not excuse the greater, and gross negligence of the Chinese authorities. The operative cause here is either the Wuhan wet markets or that lab, compounded by the CCP allowing hundreds of thousands to travel before they locked down. Our own errors contributed to the problem, but in terms of contributory negligence, the apportionment goes (insert your own numbers) perhaps 80/20 China/US.

    Put another way: if someone is riding a motorcycle on the sidewalk (the wetmarkets in this example) that is inherently and unreasonably dangerous. He is responsible for the harm that he causes to the pedestrians, even if some of those pedestrians themselves failed to take ordinary care and to jump out of his way. I am not sure what the Japanese handle fellow cannot grasp about that. Why are commenters here carrying water for gross negligence?

    Semp, very nice reply. Thank you. Stay safe.

  144. @Bugg
    Would wager a YUGE sum Tokyo riders are way cleaner and neater than NYC riders. And that Tokyo cleans it's trains more often than the 3 days NYC has only instituted since this crisis began. And Tokyo doesn't allow bums to set up house on subway cars.

    Warren Wilhelm is whining all day about social distancing. But if you don't shut down mass transit, there' no point to any of that . And shutting down subways and buses to a liberal is akin to stabbing a vampire in the heart with a cross in noon daylight and jamming garlic cloves in the wound.The idea that suburbanites commuting by themselves in their cars to an office park being significantly safer and healthier than the subway to an office tower in Manhattan with elevators, sealed windows and climate control recirculated air is UNTHINKABLE.

    https://www.soakology.co.uk/blog/bathing-habits-of-the-world/

    Not sure how reliable the data is here, but it appears as if countries with a full complement of indoor plumbing in each household have roughly similar bathing habits.

  145. It could well be a factor in the very high UK rate of coronavirus infections. In London there is the tube and many commuter trains and buses, but in the rest of the UK people also bus it to work a lot, or use trains, and the green movement has generally done as much as possible to prevent people going into city centers with personal vehicles as it can.

    Also in the UK, they don’t have school buses and many children go to school on the same buses used by workers and shoppers.

    Whereas, here in Florida although there is some public transportation for the very poor and students, on the whole people have to use their own vehicles to get from A to B and the infection rate per head of population is about ten times lower than in the UK, and a lot of it is concentrated in a very few cities and in nursing homes.

    I don’t like how it looks for third world countries where twice as many passengers are crammed into each taxi or bus as in first world countries.

  146. @Hebrew National
    I'm no authority on the world's subways but I haven't seen such walls either in Paris or London.

    Since you asked, here's my Moscow subway story. A story from the "underground" as it were.

    So I'm eating breakfast one clear cold winter morning and in my bread I find a human nose! I'm like, Yikes, because I heard talk about some crazy axe murderer upstairs. Anyway, I put the nose into an ice chest, put on my best coat and head for the subway. I hear a train pull up but of course I can't see it for the wall. I get in anyway when the doors open. Inside, everybody's chained to the floor! Turns out I'm on an express to the White Sea canal project. Two weeks later, we get off and I realize someone's stolen my coat.

    Very surrealistic!

    I will tell you a true story about a very long train journey. When my mother’s family was put on a Soviet train taking them to exile beyond the Urals (80 years ago this week) . Think of the train in Dr. Zhivago, except not as nice. Anyway, after about 4 or 5 days on this train, the passengers noticed that no one had made any provision to feed them. The NKVD did give you a few minutes to pack when they arrested you and some people had hastily grabbed some bread or whatever, but that had all run out. So the passengers complained to the train conductor. (I will add at this point that Russian train stations, at least in those days, had large samovars for the use of the passengers – same idea as a public water fountain but with boiling water). Anyway, the conductor cheerily replied in a sort of Russian version of a cockney accent, “No worries, mates, ‘eres PLENTY of ‘ot water at the next station. PLENTY of ‘ot water.”

    • Replies: @anon
    When my mother’s family was put on a Soviet train taking them to exile beyond the Urals (80 years ago this week) .

    That would be early 1940. Are you complaining, or just telling a story? I'll assume a little of both.

    A few years ago I met a couple of Russians, the woman was from Kazakhstan but was clearly European Russian physically and very charming in her demeanor. In conversation she told me that her grandmother had been removed from her home city in 1940 and internally "deported" to Kazakhstan. I asked where that woman was from? Leningrad. I congratulated her grandmother on her good fortune. She was nonplussed.

    Frankly, the odds are that the grandmother's internal deportation is a huge factor in the modern woman's existence. The 900 day siege of Leningrad by the Wehrmacht was truly terrible and triply so for civilians in the city. I'm certain that quite a few who were internally exiled by the Soviets immediately before the war benefited, because however bad life in a camp east of the Urals or out in the desert might have been it wasn't a war zone.

    If you read Solzhenitsyn's "Gulag" books and others, train rides in the USSR varied quite a lot in quality even for zeks. Especially in the years 1920 - 1954.
  147. @Anonymous
    A carrier subject goes down into the subway, coughs up some phlegm, spits on the platform, then gets on the subway. The spit and phlegm dry up into particulate. Every time a train enters and leaves the station, the winds generated set the particulate aloft, and carries it down the tunnel. Eventually it travels to the next platform, flying high thanks to the motion and increase of air pressure of the incoming train.

    The virus particulate lands on the subjects eye, up his nose, since his mask was pulled below his nose for easier breathing, or blows into his ear. The place nobody thinks to cover.

    Aaaand ya got another carrier.

    Incidentally, let’s not forget New York City sidewalks. Likely teeming with virus particulate. Catch some on your shoes, bring it into your apartment. Every day. It’s just a matter of time, friendo.

    If you currently reside in Manhattan, it sucks a monumentally large bag of dicks to be you.

    Very instructive observation, because almost all subways systems in NE Asia have platform screen doors. There is no wind, no pressure of the incoming train…

  148. anon[508] • Disclaimer says:
    @Jack D
    Very surrealistic!

    I will tell you a true story about a very long train journey. When my mother's family was put on a Soviet train taking them to exile beyond the Urals (80 years ago this week) . Think of the train in Dr. Zhivago, except not as nice. Anyway, after about 4 or 5 days on this train, the passengers noticed that no one had made any provision to feed them. The NKVD did give you a few minutes to pack when they arrested you and some people had hastily grabbed some bread or whatever, but that had all run out. So the passengers complained to the train conductor. (I will add at this point that Russian train stations, at least in those days, had large samovars for the use of the passengers - same idea as a public water fountain but with boiling water). Anyway, the conductor cheerily replied in a sort of Russian version of a cockney accent, "No worries, mates, 'eres PLENTY of 'ot water at the next station. PLENTY of 'ot water."

    When my mother’s family was put on a Soviet train taking them to exile beyond the Urals (80 years ago this week) .

    That would be early 1940. Are you complaining, or just telling a story? I’ll assume a little of both.

    A few years ago I met a couple of Russians, the woman was from Kazakhstan but was clearly European Russian physically and very charming in her demeanor. In conversation she told me that her grandmother had been removed from her home city in 1940 and internally “deported” to Kazakhstan. I asked where that woman was from? Leningrad. I congratulated her grandmother on her good fortune. She was nonplussed.

    Frankly, the odds are that the grandmother’s internal deportation is a huge factor in the modern woman’s existence. The 900 day siege of Leningrad by the Wehrmacht was truly terrible and triply so for civilians in the city. I’m certain that quite a few who were internally exiled by the Soviets immediately before the war benefited, because however bad life in a camp east of the Urals or out in the desert might have been it wasn’t a war zone.

    If you read Solzhenitsyn’s “Gulag” books and others, train rides in the USSR varied quite a lot in quality even for zeks. Especially in the years 1920 – 1954.

    • Replies: @Hebrew National
    It sounds like JackD's family, same as mine, lived in the border lands that the USSR annexed between September 1939 and June 1941 — the Baltics, eastern Poland and Moldavia. The USSR exiled a lot of the more successful and prominent people of those regions, at considerable loss of life. For Jews caught in that, the exile eastwards was nonetheless better than staying behind and getting caught by the Einsatzgruppen.
  149. @Hebrew National
    I'm no authority on the world's subways but I haven't seen such walls either in Paris or London.

    Since you asked, here's my Moscow subway story. A story from the "underground" as it were.

    So I'm eating breakfast one clear cold winter morning and in my bread I find a human nose! I'm like, Yikes, because I heard talk about some crazy axe murderer upstairs. Anyway, I put the nose into an ice chest, put on my best coat and head for the subway. I hear a train pull up but of course I can't see it for the wall. I get in anyway when the doors open. Inside, everybody's chained to the floor! Turns out I'm on an express to the White Sea canal project. Two weeks later, we get off and I realize someone's stolen my coat.

    I don’t believe that story happened on the Moscow subway. It could only have happened on the St. Petersburg subway. Did you get a look at your nose’s forged passport? If so, was the picture any good?

    Too bad about the overcoat. Did anyone help you try to find it?

    • Replies: @Hebrew National
    You'll find full answers to your questions if you look them up on Gogol.
  150. @anon
    I don't believe that story happened on the Moscow subway. It could only have happened on the St. Petersburg subway. Did you get a look at your nose's forged passport? If so, was the picture any good?

    Too bad about the overcoat. Did anyone help you try to find it?

    You’ll find full answers to your questions if you look them up on Gogol.

  151. @anon
    When my mother’s family was put on a Soviet train taking them to exile beyond the Urals (80 years ago this week) .

    That would be early 1940. Are you complaining, or just telling a story? I'll assume a little of both.

    A few years ago I met a couple of Russians, the woman was from Kazakhstan but was clearly European Russian physically and very charming in her demeanor. In conversation she told me that her grandmother had been removed from her home city in 1940 and internally "deported" to Kazakhstan. I asked where that woman was from? Leningrad. I congratulated her grandmother on her good fortune. She was nonplussed.

    Frankly, the odds are that the grandmother's internal deportation is a huge factor in the modern woman's existence. The 900 day siege of Leningrad by the Wehrmacht was truly terrible and triply so for civilians in the city. I'm certain that quite a few who were internally exiled by the Soviets immediately before the war benefited, because however bad life in a camp east of the Urals or out in the desert might have been it wasn't a war zone.

    If you read Solzhenitsyn's "Gulag" books and others, train rides in the USSR varied quite a lot in quality even for zeks. Especially in the years 1920 - 1954.

    It sounds like JackD’s family, same as mine, lived in the border lands that the USSR annexed between September 1939 and June 1941 — the Baltics, eastern Poland and Moldavia. The USSR exiled a lot of the more successful and prominent people of those regions, at considerable loss of life. For Jews caught in that, the exile eastwards was nonetheless better than staying behind and getting caught by the Einsatzgruppen.

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