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Only 1/1836 Contacts Outside of Family or Hospital in Taiwan Were Infected
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Countries that didn’t just throw up their hands and give up on contact tracing have interesting data for the rest of us.

Here’s a study of 100 Taiwanese COVID-19 patients and their 2761 “close contacts” in January-March, of whom they infected 22 (0.8%). Taiwan has a remarkably low infection rate, and did a lot of track and trace (which this study summarizes), but the government did not order Shelter In Place, but did push to boost mask production. In general, Taiwan doesn’t trust Red China, so a Taiwanese government official was monitoring chatter on a disreputable Chinese website and thus was clued in early.

Ten of 151 fellow members of the patients’ households were infected (4.6%), 5 of 76 family members who did not live in the house were infected (5.3%), 6 out of 698 health care contacts (0.9%), and 1 out of 1,836 Others (0.05%) (“Others include friends, airline crew members and passengers, and other casual contacts”). The Others were supposed to have at least 15 minutes of face to face contact within two meters:

The definition of a close contact was a person who did not wear appropriate personal protection equipment (PPE) while having face-to-face contact with a confirmed case for more than 15 minutes during the investigation period.

That only 1 out of 1836 non-family/household or non-health care traced contacts were infected seems pretty interesting from the perspective of re-opening the economy. My guess is that Taiwanese were pretty heavily masked up to keep the transmission rate that low.

Say your job was to spend 15 minutes in a row in close contact with each customer for eight hours per day. (Being a cellphone salesman might be like that.) That would be 160 customers per 40 hour week. At that rate, you’d reach your 1,836th customer during your 12th week on the job.

In contrast, at one restaurant in China on January 24 over the course of about an hour, seven diners at adjoining tables next to an infected person who had just left Wuhan. (You can’t wear a mask while eating.)

Similarly, here’s a diagram of a call center in South Korea with infected workers’ desks in blue:

That’s pretty bad.

 
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  1. I love Taiwan, they make the best Chinas.

  2. Just happened to be reading about the Albany Georgia outbreak. It’s like the diametric opposite of Japan or Taiwan.

  3. In general, Taiwan doesn’t trust Red China, so a Taiwanese government official was monitoring chatter on a disreputable Chinese website and thus was clued in early.

    Look, now China is the Great Satan and must be denounced by all Taiwanese rightwingers…

    Well, ignorant retards like those rightwinger Taiwanese can believe whatever ridiculous nonsense they get from DragonNews or however is called their rightwing media outlet.

    While I don’t believe that China has a special love for the truth, they are compelled to tell it for practical reasons. You hear it? Practical reasons!

    Only those Taiwanese with mentalities of an OJ juror could still blame China for the COVID-19 outbreak.

    • Agree: Je Suis Omar Mateen
    • Troll: Bleuteaux
    • Replies: @J.Ross
    I think this is sarcasm. I was one of the Siniots making this argument and stopped once it was clear that, as everybody had already known for years, Chinese have no concept of objective truth and feel obligated to tell the most gratuitous and impossible lies, even in a global safety crisis.
  4. Steve, high infection rate in call centers suggests strongly that talking is a major vector for transmission.

    Elsewhere, apparently meat packing plants have been major superspreading situations in the United States. There have been more than 100 breakouts at meatpacking plants, several of these featuring many hundreds of people.

    https://www.usnews.com/news/healthiest-communities/articles/2020-05-01/cdc-nearly-5-000-meat-plant-workers-infected-by-coronavirus

    What is the commonality of meatpacking plants that is different from almost all other workplaces? Refrigeration. The ‘factory floors’ of meatpacking plants are refrigerated, sometimes to as little as a few degrees above freezing.

    It is known that the virus lives much longer in the air in colder, drier conditions. It is also known that respiratory immunity is worse in colder and drier conditions.

    https://www.annualreviews.org/doi/pdf/10.1146/annurev-virology-012420-022445

    • Replies: @Lugash

    Steve, high infection rate in call centers suggests strongly that talking is a major vector for transmission.
     
    Maybe. Are their any other call center outbreaks than the one in South Korea?

    What is the commonality of meatpacking plants that is different from almost all other workplaces? Refrigeration. The ‘factory floors’ of meatpacking plants are refrigerated, sometimes to as little as a few degrees above freezing.
     
    Most meat packing plants have people in close proximity on the line and lots of times you're physically exerting yourself to do the job (e.g. pushing around sides of bee). Cold also makes your nose more susceptible to viral infiltration.

    In the 90s and 00s packing plants were often staffed by illegals who were crammed a dozen a house. Looking at the interviews with some of the workers now it looks like they might be paid better and aren't living in as tight of quarters.

    https://www.unz.com/isteve/restarting-the-economy/#comment-3757384
    , @Dissident
    Forgive me if you've already answered this but like another reader whom I saw ask, every time I see DanHessinMD I wonder whether it is meant to be Dan Hessin, M.D. or Dan Hess in MD (Maryland).
  5. The contact tracing found only 0.22 secondary cases per patient – yet the number of cases was increasing in Taiwan over the study period. If Taiwan’s R0 were as low as 0.22, the virus would have died out naturally, and contact tracing would have been unnecessary.

    The authors conclude:

    In this study, high transmissibility of COVID-19 before and immediately after symptom onset suggests that finding and isolating symptomatic patients alone may not suffice to contain the epidemic, and more generalized measures may be required, such as social distancing.

    In the context of the paper, this means that asymptomatic patients also spread the disease; symptomatic patients spread the disease before symptoms appear; and the disease spreads more widely than to “close contacts” with 15 minutes of face time.

    In addition, Taiwan had incoming cases from PRC throughout the study period (to March 18th); it saw a surge in cases from March 15th and banned most foreign travel only on 20th March. It would be useful to try to disentangle the incoming primary cases from those caused by transmission within Taiwan, in order to determine Taiwan’s R0.

    The results suggest that contact tracing based on symptoms alone will fail: testing for the virus is essential. It will be extremely hard to trace and eliminate the very large number of “non-close” contacts – people who have shared the same bus or room. And it is vital to quarantine and test incoming travelers.

    According to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/COVID-19_pandemic_in_Taiwan

    Taiwan engaged in 124 discrete action items to prevent the spread of the disease, including early screening of flights from Mainland China and the tracking of individual cases.

    See also https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/taiwan/

    • Replies: @Erik L
    I don't think that would have been R0 because people were aware of the virus and taking steps during this period- that's why they specifically focused on the subset of contacts where they were unprotected and less than 2 meters away for 15 minutes or more. R0 would be the measurement in a completely naive society
  6. Rahan says:

    We’ve got three Chinas today (PRC, Taiwan, Singapore); three Russias (Russia, Ukraine, Belarus); three Serbias (Serbia, Republic Srpska in Bosnia, Montenegro); two Romanias (Romania+Moldova); two Bulgarias (Bulgaria+Macedonia); two Greeces (Greece+Cyprus); two Frances (France+Belgium); two Germanys (Germany+Austra), and six Anglosphericals (US, CAN, AU, NZ, UK, Ireland), maybe soon seven, if Scotland actually goes indie.

    Two Koreas.

    Also a whole cluster of Indias, depending on how you count. From just India+Sri Lanka+Pakistan+Bangladesh+Nepal, to plus the whole of ASEAN thrown in.

    So on a great many of issues, it should be more than possible to measure social performance, controlling for race or religion of political system, depending on the situation.

    • Replies: @Erik Sieven
    Interesting viewpoint. In the case of Germany one could argue that parts of West Germany are in some regards culturally more similar to the Netherlands (and the flemish part of Belgium) than to Austria. But in the end the common language probably still has the effect that all in all Austria is culturally more similar.
    Anyway talking about the Flemish part of Belgium you have for sure two Netherlands. Switzerland is of course another interesting case, standing for a third Germany and a third France.
    You also have two Argentinas, thinking of Uruguay, maybe even three with taking in Chile.
    , @Reg Cæsar

    two Frances (France+Belgium)
     
    And Switzerland.

    two Germanys (Germany+Austra)
     
    And Switzerland.

    Don't forget three Italys-- Italy, San Marino, and-- what else?-- Switzerland.

    Argentina, Uruguay, and southern Brazil are probably more Italian than Vatican City.

    We’ve got three Chinas today (PRC, Taiwan, Singapore)
     
    Hong Kong and Macau. The latter is the densest "country" in the world, and several times as visited as Las Vegas, all of it international.

    And don't forget the various Malayas-- Malaysia, Indonesia, East Timor, Brunei. The Philippines, too, racially.
    , @Twinkie

    So on a great many of issues, it should be more than possible to measure social performance, controlling for race or religion of political system, depending on the situation.
     
    You already gave the most obvious example:

    Two Koreas.
     
  7. Say your job was to spend 15 minutes in a row in close contact with each customer for eight hours per day. (Being a cellphone salesman might be like that.) That would be 160 customers per 40 hour week. At that rate, you’d reach your 1,836th customer during your 12th week on the job.

    That would be pretty slow transmission and would not come close to overwhelming the hospitals which, again, is the point of all this lock down nonsense.

    That would also cover a lot of jobs and argue for opening up most of the economy. As we’ve seen with the grocery worker infection rate, that type of activity just isn’t a high risk compared to normal everyday living or even being locked down in a NYC flat.

  8. @Brás Cubas

    In general, Taiwan doesn’t trust Red China, so a Taiwanese government official was monitoring chatter on a disreputable Chinese website and thus was clued in early.
     
    Look, now China is the Great Satan and must be denounced by all Taiwanese rightwingers...

    Well, ignorant retards like those rightwinger Taiwanese can believe whatever ridiculous nonsense they get from DragonNews or however is called their rightwing media outlet.

    While I don't believe that China has a special love for the truth, they are compelled to tell it for practical reasons. You hear it? Practical reasons!

    Only those Taiwanese with mentalities of an OJ juror could still blame China for the COVID-19 outbreak.

    I think this is sarcasm. I was one of the Siniots making this argument and stopped once it was clear that, as everybody had already known for years, Chinese have no concept of objective truth and feel obligated to tell the most gratuitous and impossible lies, even in a global safety crisis.

    • Replies: @Inverness
    If it's sarcasm it's dangerously subtle for this here internets.
    , @Corvinus
    "Chinese have no concept of objective truth and feel obligated to tell the most gratuitous and impossible lies, even in a global safety crisis."

    IF that be the case, then why has Mr. Sailer linked to their studies?
  9. I don’t see where the co-worker category fall ? Because if you work in an open space, your co-worker interact much more often with you (just by being in the same room) than people you just meet 1 time.

  10. In general, Taiwan doesn’t trust Red China, so a Taiwanese government official was monitoring chatter on a disreputable Chinese website and thus was clued in early.

    Whereas many governors in our country looked at what the ChiComs did and said “Cool! Let’s do that too!”. Janet Mills was probably crestfallen that she couldn’t weld the doors shut on people’s homes.

    • Replies: @anon
    So, if we didn't have NSA/CIA etc., and hired a bunch of interns to monitor chatter on disreputable Chinese websites we could have saved billions of dollars and may be 300,000 lives? Imagine what one can do with a time machine!

    Also, this puts paid to the argument that we were not properly warned by China. If Taiwan did all the right things publicly, and they are a friendly and open country with a lot of travel etc., links to USA, it is hard to argue that we were surprised.
  11. Ten of 151 fellow members of the patients’ households were infected (4.6%), 5 of 76 family members who did not live in the house were infected (5.3%) . . . .

    10/151 = 6.6%, not 4.6%. 5/76 = 6.6%, not 5.3%. The percent figures represent symptomatic infections (7/151 and 4/76), not all infections.

  12. Say your job was to spend 15 minutes in a row in close contact with each customer for eight hours per day. (Being a cellphone salesman might be like that.)

    Mr. Sailer, have you been watching too much Better Call Saul too? It’s set in the early 2000s. People often buy their smartphones through the Internet now, and after this pandemic it can be at least conjectured even more of them will want to do it that way, particularly through a large online retailer led by a certain multibillionaire, who’s also pushing to automatize the whole process as much as possible.

    It is absolutely true, however, that many people (where I live) have as their job selling smartphone accessories/addons in the subway and at traffic lights, or at least used to. Those things are not usually outrageously priced, with the exception of screen protectors. But the fact so many people do that for a living is regarded as a symptom our economy is in the gutter.

  13. People are quick to blame NYC’s high infection rate on density and public transit. But Hong Kong is denser (on the developable land) and even more dependant on transit. Perhaps our Calvinist friend there could elaborate on the local situation.

    This page puts our biggest, densest city
    Cool Map Overlays Show NYC’s Size Compared To Other Major Cities

    https://miro.medium.com/max/1400/0*0aChT1nUj7XaQIxp.

    According to this, Santa Clara may have the most subsidized transit in the US (fares cover 10%), while Hong Kong is at the opposite extreme– transit subsidizes the government (185%):

    The secret, of course, is real estate. The same channel, PolyMatter, pointed out in another video that McDonald’s is more about real estate than food.

    • Replies: @Anon
    Hong Kong doesn't have all the plus-sized blacks and Mexicans.
    , @The Last Real Calvinist
    Hong Kong is doing pretty well at the moment.

    We've had no community-based new cases of COVID-19 in the past 15 days. In that period, there's been just a handful of new cases, all in people arriving at the airport from overseas.

    This past weekend was four days long because of a couple of public holidays. Shopping malls were packed, restaurants busy (although still limited to four people per table), and beaches booming.

    This week the restrictions will be relaxed, with restaurants able to seat parties up to eight together (although not yet the big 12-person round tables so characteristic of Cantonese restaurants). Spas, gyms, and cinemas will be able to reopen. I believe bars/pubs and karaoke joints will have to stay closed, as I suspect will churches and other places that draw big groups.

    The yearly high school exit exams that the local culture obsesses over, the DSEs, were delayed a month, but are now ongoing. They started just over a week ago, and will last till May 25. Daughter C is sitting for her DSE Chinese exam at this very moment. She gets extra space in her exam hall, and has to wear a mask, but on the whole they've gone very smoothly so far. Schools will reopen later this month once the DSEs are done.

    Speaking of masks, everybody's still wearing them in all public indoor spaces, on public transport, and so on. I've noticed more people outdoors eschewing them in the past few days. In offices, some people wear them; some don't. My employer requires us to wear them when out in public parts of our buildings, but in my own office I don't wear one.

    Just a couple of reminders about the HK situation:

    ***In total, HK has had just over 1,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases, and four deaths.

    ***At no time did stores and public transport shut down here. There have been restrictions, and significant periods of 'work from home', but no full lockdown.

    ***Nearly everybody's been wearing masks since late January.

    ***Public buy-in to wearing masks and to enacting other social-distancing measures here is noteworthy. SARS in 2003 got everybody over the hurdles associated with adopting these measures. This time around, for good or ill, almost nobody questioned them.

    ***The border controls here, after some initial government dithering, have been tight. From late March, all overseas arrivals, not just those who test positive, have had to self-quarantine for two weeks. It seems to have worked.

    By the way, that video on HK public transport is interesting, and quite accurate until the end. It left out the part in which the protestors maliciously smashed just about every MTR station in HK, leaving ordinary HK people stranded.

  14. I’m getting the feeling that our re-open crowd won’t act the Taiwanese but more like a frat on their last party before expulsion. Look forward to a huge 2nd wave and to dementia Joe taking the fall elections with a VP Stacy Abrams.

    • Replies: @Je Suis Omar Mateen
    "I’m getting the feeling that our re-open crowd won’t act the Taiwanese but more like a frat on their last party before expulsion."

    Lol, you are describing me exactly. The very second restaurants, bars, pool halls, theaters, bowling alleys open - with or without Democratic governor consent - I will spend every spare moment theres, hour upon hour, all day long, until the money runs out. I own my home free and clear and have $40,000 of unsecured credit burning a hole thru my back pocket, so screw work! I might even dabble in meth to keep the party RAGING ALL NIGHT LONG.

    We Are All In This Together, Together We Are Stronger, and Together We Will Defeat CoronaHoax 🇺🇸

  15. This is interesting– the densest US cities outside the NY metro area:

    Maywood is the third-smallest incorporated city in Los Angeles County… It is the most densely-populated city in California, and has the highest proportion of Latinos, immigrants, and undocumented immigrants in the county.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maywood,_California

    As of 2000, speakers of Spanish as a first language was spoken by 53.30%, while English accounted for 33.40%, Portuguese was 9.11%, French at 1.35%, and Italian was at 1.16% of the population.[11]

    As of 2000, North Bay Village had the second highest percentage of Brazilian residents in the US, with 6.00% of the US populace (only the borough of East Newark, New Jersey had a higher percentage, at 6.20% of US residents.) It had the eighteenth highest percentage of Colombian residents in the US, at 5.29% of the village’s population (tied with Fontainebleau), and the thirty-eighth highest percentage of Cuban residents in the US, at 12.67% of its population. It also had the seventeenth most Dominicans in the US, at 1.84% (tied with Portland, New York,) while it had the twenty-third highest percentage of Peruvians, at 2.17% of all residents. North Bay Village’s Venezuelan community had the fifth highest percentage of residents, which was at 2.15% of the population.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/North_Bay_Village,_Florida

    As of 2000, Spanish was the mother tongue for 40.08%, while English was spoken by 36.86% of all residents. Living up to its nickname of “Little Moscow,” 7.37% of the population had Russian as their first language. Other languages included French (4.08%), Yiddish (2.63%), Hebrew (2.42%), Portuguese (2.01%), Polish (1.38%), Hungarian (0.93%), Italian (0.69%), Arabic (0.66%), German (0.55%), and French Creole (0.35%).

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sunny_Isles_Beach,_Florida

    These were the ten cities or neighborhoods in Los Angeles County with the largest percentage of Latino residents, according to the 2000 census:

    East Los Angeles, California, 96.7%
    Maywood, California, 96.4%
    City Terrace, California, 94.4%
    Huntington Park, California, 95.1%
    Boyle Heights, Los Angeles, 94.0%
    Cudahy, California, 93.8%
    Bell Gardens, California, 93.7%
    Commerce, California 93.4%
    Vernon, California, 92.6%
    South Gate, California, 92.1%

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cudahy,_California

    The ones in bold are in the 25 densest in the US; in California, West Hollywood is the only other one on the list. That city’s Hispanics are of the Ricky Martin variety.

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
    Speaking of Florida, RIP Don Shula.
  16. @Rahan
    We've got three Chinas today (PRC, Taiwan, Singapore); three Russias (Russia, Ukraine, Belarus); three Serbias (Serbia, Republic Srpska in Bosnia, Montenegro); two Romanias (Romania+Moldova); two Bulgarias (Bulgaria+Macedonia); two Greeces (Greece+Cyprus); two Frances (France+Belgium); two Germanys (Germany+Austra), and six Anglosphericals (US, CAN, AU, NZ, UK, Ireland), maybe soon seven, if Scotland actually goes indie.

    Two Koreas.

    Also a whole cluster of Indias, depending on how you count. From just India+Sri Lanka+Pakistan+Bangladesh+Nepal, to plus the whole of ASEAN thrown in.

    So on a great many of issues, it should be more than possible to measure social performance, controlling for race or religion of political system, depending on the situation.

    Interesting viewpoint. In the case of Germany one could argue that parts of West Germany are in some regards culturally more similar to the Netherlands (and the flemish part of Belgium) than to Austria. But in the end the common language probably still has the effect that all in all Austria is culturally more similar.
    Anyway talking about the Flemish part of Belgium you have for sure two Netherlands. Switzerland is of course another interesting case, standing for a third Germany and a third France.
    You also have two Argentinas, thinking of Uruguay, maybe even three with taking in Chile.

    • Replies: @Twinkie

    Interesting viewpoint. In the case of Germany one could argue that parts of West Germany are in some regards culturally more similar to the Netherlands (and the flemish part of Belgium) than to Austria.
     
    Germans of various regions are genetically shifted toward their immediate foreign neighbors. That should not be a surprise since Germany as a unitary nation-state is a modern construct.
  17. The US did contact trace testing on all known cases during January and February. A total of over 3800 tests were run by the CDC, and they found 2 additional positive cases, both inter-familial transmission. 0 outside family contacts were infected by those first known US cases.

    The problem is the cases you don’t know about.

  18. @Reg Cæsar
    This is interesting-- the densest US cities outside the NY metro area:

    Maywood is the third-smallest incorporated city in Los Angeles County... It is the most densely-populated city in California, and has the highest proportion of Latinos, immigrants, and undocumented immigrants in the county.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maywood,_California

    As of 2000, speakers of Spanish as a first language was spoken by 53.30%, while English accounted for 33.40%, Portuguese was 9.11%, French at 1.35%, and Italian was at 1.16% of the population.[11]

    As of 2000, North Bay Village had the second highest percentage of Brazilian residents in the US, with 6.00% of the US populace (only the borough of East Newark, New Jersey had a higher percentage, at 6.20% of US residents.) It had the eighteenth highest percentage of Colombian residents in the US, at 5.29% of the village's population (tied with Fontainebleau), and the thirty-eighth highest percentage of Cuban residents in the US, at 12.67% of its population. It also had the seventeenth most Dominicans in the US, at 1.84% (tied with Portland, New York,) while it had the twenty-third highest percentage of Peruvians, at 2.17% of all residents. North Bay Village's Venezuelan community had the fifth highest percentage of residents, which was at 2.15% of the population.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/North_Bay_Village,_Florida

    As of 2000, Spanish was the mother tongue for 40.08%, while English was spoken by 36.86% of all residents. Living up to its nickname of "Little Moscow," 7.37% of the population had Russian as their first language. Other languages included French (4.08%), Yiddish (2.63%), Hebrew (2.42%), Portuguese (2.01%), Polish (1.38%), Hungarian (0.93%), Italian (0.69%), Arabic (0.66%), German (0.55%), and French Creole (0.35%).

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sunny_Isles_Beach,_Florida


    These were the ten cities or neighborhoods in Los Angeles County with the largest percentage of Latino residents, according to the 2000 census:

    East Los Angeles, California, 96.7%
    Maywood, California, 96.4%
    City Terrace, California, 94.4%
    Huntington Park, California, 95.1%
    Boyle Heights, Los Angeles, 94.0%
    Cudahy, California, 93.8%
    Bell Gardens, California, 93.7%
    Commerce, California 93.4%
    Vernon, California, 92.6%
    South Gate, California, 92.1%

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cudahy,_California

     

    The ones in bold are in the 25 densest in the US; in California, West Hollywood is the only other one on the list. That city's Hispanics are of the Ricky Martin variety.

    Speaking of Florida, RIP Don Shula.

    • Agree: ben tillman
  19. Vietnam claims there were 0 deaths from the virus. does anybody believe some of these numbers?

    the entire anaylsis enterprise operates on shaky numbers and our basic tool of science, counting and measuring things, is not reliable right now.

    • Agree: Mr McKenna, Hail
    • Replies: @Je Suis Omar Mateen
    "Vietnam claims there were 0 deaths from the virus. does anybody believe some of these numbers?"

    The county neighboring my county reports zero kungflu cases whilst my county reports a few hundred. The numbers are utterly bogus. This is a hoax.

    An acquaintance of mine, age 35, was dx'd with kungflu. Sick for three days. Mild fever. Light cough. Fatigue. Matched my symptoms from back in January. Kungflu is an ultra wimpy cold for GenX and Millennials. Oh, and my little nieces got it three weeks ago. Fever of 103, but also short duration, light symptoms, nothing remarkable.

    Hoax, top to bottom.
  20. @Rahan
    We've got three Chinas today (PRC, Taiwan, Singapore); three Russias (Russia, Ukraine, Belarus); three Serbias (Serbia, Republic Srpska in Bosnia, Montenegro); two Romanias (Romania+Moldova); two Bulgarias (Bulgaria+Macedonia); two Greeces (Greece+Cyprus); two Frances (France+Belgium); two Germanys (Germany+Austra), and six Anglosphericals (US, CAN, AU, NZ, UK, Ireland), maybe soon seven, if Scotland actually goes indie.

    Two Koreas.

    Also a whole cluster of Indias, depending on how you count. From just India+Sri Lanka+Pakistan+Bangladesh+Nepal, to plus the whole of ASEAN thrown in.

    So on a great many of issues, it should be more than possible to measure social performance, controlling for race or religion of political system, depending on the situation.

    two Frances (France+Belgium)

    And Switzerland.

    two Germanys (Germany+Austra)

    And Switzerland.

    Don’t forget three Italys– Italy, San Marino, and– what else?– Switzerland.

    Argentina, Uruguay, and southern Brazil are probably more Italian than Vatican City.

    We’ve got three Chinas today (PRC, Taiwan, Singapore)

    Hong Kong and Macau. The latter is the densest “country” in the world, and several times as visited as Las Vegas, all of it international.

    And don’t forget the various Malayas– Malaysia, Indonesia, East Timor, Brunei. The Philippines, too, racially.

  21. @James N. Kennett
    The contact tracing found only 0.22 secondary cases per patient - yet the number of cases was increasing in Taiwan over the study period. If Taiwan's R0 were as low as 0.22, the virus would have died out naturally, and contact tracing would have been unnecessary.

    The authors conclude:

    In this study, high transmissibility of COVID-19 before and immediately after symptom onset suggests that finding and isolating symptomatic patients alone may not suffice to contain the epidemic, and more generalized measures may be required, such as social distancing.
     
    In the context of the paper, this means that asymptomatic patients also spread the disease; symptomatic patients spread the disease before symptoms appear; and the disease spreads more widely than to "close contacts" with 15 minutes of face time.

    In addition, Taiwan had incoming cases from PRC throughout the study period (to March 18th); it saw a surge in cases from March 15th and banned most foreign travel only on 20th March. It would be useful to try to disentangle the incoming primary cases from those caused by transmission within Taiwan, in order to determine Taiwan's R0.

    The results suggest that contact tracing based on symptoms alone will fail: testing for the virus is essential. It will be extremely hard to trace and eliminate the very large number of "non-close" contacts - people who have shared the same bus or room. And it is vital to quarantine and test incoming travelers.

    According to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/COVID-19_pandemic_in_Taiwan

    Taiwan engaged in 124 discrete action items to prevent the spread of the disease, including early screening of flights from Mainland China and the tracking of individual cases.

     

    See also https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/taiwan/

    I don’t think that would have been R0 because people were aware of the virus and taking steps during this period- that’s why they specifically focused on the subset of contacts where they were unprotected and less than 2 meters away for 15 minutes or more. R0 would be the measurement in a completely naive society

  22. Steve- doesn’t your cell phone sales example assume that every one of your customers came in while contagious with the virus? Even so it wouldn’t be exact, right? The chance you get it would be the sum of those 1836 1/1836 chances. Assuming they are independent events I think that comes out to a little less than 1 (i.e. a little less than 100% chance of getting it after you see 1836 contagious customers)

    Am I wrong? could be

  23. anon[225] • Disclaimer says:
    @Mr. Anon

    In general, Taiwan doesn’t trust Red China, so a Taiwanese government official was monitoring chatter on a disreputable Chinese website and thus was clued in early.
     
    Whereas many governors in our country looked at what the ChiComs did and said "Cool! Let's do that too!". Janet Mills was probably crestfallen that she couldn't weld the doors shut on people's homes.

    So, if we didn’t have NSA/CIA etc., and hired a bunch of interns to monitor chatter on disreputable Chinese websites we could have saved billions of dollars and may be 300,000 lives? Imagine what one can do with a time machine!

    Also, this puts paid to the argument that we were not properly warned by China. If Taiwan did all the right things publicly, and they are a friendly and open country with a lot of travel etc., links to USA, it is hard to argue that we were surprised.

  24. Who are those Taiwanese not to trust Red China? If American billionaires and Senators trust Red China and help Red China get rich while hoping to get richer themselves, then everybody should trust Red China.

  25. https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/29/magazine/racial-disparities-covid-19.html

    shocked Steve hasn’t written about this yet (might already be in progress). really curious about the ‘racism causes poor health from stress even controlling for poverty’ study cited.

  26. @Rahan
    We've got three Chinas today (PRC, Taiwan, Singapore); three Russias (Russia, Ukraine, Belarus); three Serbias (Serbia, Republic Srpska in Bosnia, Montenegro); two Romanias (Romania+Moldova); two Bulgarias (Bulgaria+Macedonia); two Greeces (Greece+Cyprus); two Frances (France+Belgium); two Germanys (Germany+Austra), and six Anglosphericals (US, CAN, AU, NZ, UK, Ireland), maybe soon seven, if Scotland actually goes indie.

    Two Koreas.

    Also a whole cluster of Indias, depending on how you count. From just India+Sri Lanka+Pakistan+Bangladesh+Nepal, to plus the whole of ASEAN thrown in.

    So on a great many of issues, it should be more than possible to measure social performance, controlling for race or religion of political system, depending on the situation.

    So on a great many of issues, it should be more than possible to measure social performance, controlling for race or religion of political system, depending on the situation.

    You already gave the most obvious example:

    Two Koreas.

  27. @Erik Sieven
    Interesting viewpoint. In the case of Germany one could argue that parts of West Germany are in some regards culturally more similar to the Netherlands (and the flemish part of Belgium) than to Austria. But in the end the common language probably still has the effect that all in all Austria is culturally more similar.
    Anyway talking about the Flemish part of Belgium you have for sure two Netherlands. Switzerland is of course another interesting case, standing for a third Germany and a third France.
    You also have two Argentinas, thinking of Uruguay, maybe even three with taking in Chile.

    Interesting viewpoint. In the case of Germany one could argue that parts of West Germany are in some regards culturally more similar to the Netherlands (and the flemish part of Belgium) than to Austria.

    Germans of various regions are genetically shifted toward their immediate foreign neighbors. That should not be a surprise since Germany as a unitary nation-state is a modern construct.

    • Replies: @ben tillman

    Germans of various regions are genetically shifted toward their immediate foreign neighbors. That should not be a surprise since Germany as a unitary nation-state is a modern construct.
     
    Linguistically shifted as well.
    , @nebulafox
    I can attest that West Slavic-esque looks and names are very common among the descendants of Germans who fled or were kicked out of the east after 1945. And this was after a lot of people in the East Elbian then-borderlands with Poland changed their names after 1919 to sound more German in an unforgiving postwar environment.

    Of course, it also works both ways, given the near millennia old history of German immigration and settlement across the region: plenty of people in Poland, Lithuania, Ukraine, Czechia and more used to look like they were straight out of an 1930s Berlin approved caricature on the Aryan man, and to this day, a fair amount still do.

  28. @J.Ross
    I think this is sarcasm. I was one of the Siniots making this argument and stopped once it was clear that, as everybody had already known for years, Chinese have no concept of objective truth and feel obligated to tell the most gratuitous and impossible lies, even in a global safety crisis.

    If it’s sarcasm it’s dangerously subtle for this here internets.

  29. @J.Ross
    I think this is sarcasm. I was one of the Siniots making this argument and stopped once it was clear that, as everybody had already known for years, Chinese have no concept of objective truth and feel obligated to tell the most gratuitous and impossible lies, even in a global safety crisis.

    “Chinese have no concept of objective truth and feel obligated to tell the most gratuitous and impossible lies, even in a global safety crisis.”

    IF that be the case, then why has Mr. Sailer linked to their studies?

  30. Anon[233] • Disclaimer says:

    Boy, the Russians have a way with those doctors who don’t want to cooperate in dealing with Covid-19. Three medical people have been shoved out a window. One didn’t want to work while sick, another fought against the establishment of a Covid-only treatment center, and the third was accused of not using precautions and thus infecting others.

    https://www.rferl.org/a/third-russian-doctor-mysteriously-falls-from-hospital-window-amid-coronavirus-outbreak/30591638.html

    Btw, for all you conspiracy theorists out there: What country has been least hit? Germany! It’s all a plot on Merkel’s part. *insert evil Merkel cackle here* Has anyone noticed she’s the only world leader to keep her cool? Has anyone noticed Germany’s death rate is way lower than that of her EU partners? After the UK had the nerve to break away, and Italy began to make noises about wanting freedom too, she grew angry and wanted revenge. She decided to strike with a bioweapon. Kill off all those old nationalists, and after all her EU partners have had their economies destroyed, Merkel is going to loan them to death! They’ll beg her for cash to recover, and she’ll end up owning them after they’re deep in debt to Germany.

  31. @Reg Cæsar
    People are quick to blame NYC's high infection rate on density and public transit. But Hong Kong is denser (on the developable land) and even more dependant on transit. Perhaps our Calvinist friend there could elaborate on the local situation.

    This page puts our biggest, densest city
    Cool Map Overlays Show NYC’s Size Compared To Other Major Cities


    https://miro.medium.com/max/1400/0*0aChT1nUj7XaQIxp.


    According to this, Santa Clara may have the most subsidized transit in the US (fares cover 10%), while Hong Kong is at the opposite extreme-- transit subsidizes the government (185%):


    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=ELy9fOX8vtc

    The secret, of course, is real estate. The same channel, PolyMatter, pointed out in another video that McDonald's is more about real estate than food.

    Hong Kong doesn’t have all the plus-sized blacks and Mexicans.

  32. Anonymous[133] • Disclaimer says:

    Ivermectin study shows it reduces mortality (2 weeks ago)…

    https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3580524

    Ivermectin is non-toxic to humans. Very safe.

    This is the anti-parasite drug you can get at the feed store. Shouldn’t be a big surprise as the hydroxychloroquine anti-malarial drugs are anti-parasite also.

    REALITY CHECK: Covid19 is a weakling virus that bounces right off healthy people and is heavily impacted by commonly available anti-parasite drugs and multiple antibiotics (some people are using doxycycline instead of azithromycin)…

    • Replies: @anon
    Weakling virus? You mean just the flu, bro?

    https://time.com/5831154/juliet-daly-coronavirus-survivor-louisiana/
  33. @Reg Cæsar
    People are quick to blame NYC's high infection rate on density and public transit. But Hong Kong is denser (on the developable land) and even more dependant on transit. Perhaps our Calvinist friend there could elaborate on the local situation.

    This page puts our biggest, densest city
    Cool Map Overlays Show NYC’s Size Compared To Other Major Cities


    https://miro.medium.com/max/1400/0*0aChT1nUj7XaQIxp.


    According to this, Santa Clara may have the most subsidized transit in the US (fares cover 10%), while Hong Kong is at the opposite extreme-- transit subsidizes the government (185%):


    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=ELy9fOX8vtc

    The secret, of course, is real estate. The same channel, PolyMatter, pointed out in another video that McDonald's is more about real estate than food.

    Hong Kong is doing pretty well at the moment.

    We’ve had no community-based new cases of COVID-19 in the past 15 days. In that period, there’s been just a handful of new cases, all in people arriving at the airport from overseas.

    This past weekend was four days long because of a couple of public holidays. Shopping malls were packed, restaurants busy (although still limited to four people per table), and beaches booming.

    This week the restrictions will be relaxed, with restaurants able to seat parties up to eight together (although not yet the big 12-person round tables so characteristic of Cantonese restaurants). Spas, gyms, and cinemas will be able to reopen. I believe bars/pubs and karaoke joints will have to stay closed, as I suspect will churches and other places that draw big groups.

    The yearly high school exit exams that the local culture obsesses over, the DSEs, were delayed a month, but are now ongoing. They started just over a week ago, and will last till May 25. Daughter C is sitting for her DSE Chinese exam at this very moment. She gets extra space in her exam hall, and has to wear a mask, but on the whole they’ve gone very smoothly so far. Schools will reopen later this month once the DSEs are done.

    Speaking of masks, everybody’s still wearing them in all public indoor spaces, on public transport, and so on. I’ve noticed more people outdoors eschewing them in the past few days. In offices, some people wear them; some don’t. My employer requires us to wear them when out in public parts of our buildings, but in my own office I don’t wear one.

    Just a couple of reminders about the HK situation:

    ***In total, HK has had just over 1,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases, and four deaths.

    ***At no time did stores and public transport shut down here. There have been restrictions, and significant periods of ‘work from home’, but no full lockdown.

    ***Nearly everybody’s been wearing masks since late January.

    ***Public buy-in to wearing masks and to enacting other social-distancing measures here is noteworthy. SARS in 2003 got everybody over the hurdles associated with adopting these measures. This time around, for good or ill, almost nobody questioned them.

    ***The border controls here, after some initial government dithering, have been tight. From late March, all overseas arrivals, not just those who test positive, have had to self-quarantine for two weeks. It seems to have worked.

    By the way, that video on HK public transport is interesting, and quite accurate until the end. It left out the part in which the protestors maliciously smashed just about every MTR station in HK, leaving ordinary HK people stranded.

  34. Sort of related: I’m not understanding something basic about cleaning protocols. Even at this late date. Alcohol and bleach and such are supposed to remain on environmental surfaces for a full 15 minutes before being wiped off. That’s how long they take to Kill the Kovid.

    So then, why on earth is washing your hands for 20 seconds remotely adequate? We’ve all read the reports about how incredibly effective ‘plain old soap’ is at Vanquishing the Vid. Why not use soap everywhere then??

    Leaving aside how variable people’s hand-washing techniques are, there’s also the fact that soaps themselves vary wildly in their formulations. It cannot be right. There’s got to be more to the story.

    Is ‘pure’ 99 & 44/100 the stuff to use? Or Elizabeth Arden Visible Difference? Surely one is more effective at Quashing the Quovid than the other. Et cetera. Someone help me out here. If soap is the miracle cleanser, why isn’t it indicated everywhere?

    • Replies: @Jenner Ickham Errican

    Alcohol and bleach and such are supposed to remain on environmental surfaces for a full 15 minutes before being wiped off.
     

    Someone help me out here. If soap is the miracle cleanser, why isn’t it indicated everywhere?
     
    To disinfect surfaces (e.g. doorknobs or a non-porous kitchen countertop upon which store-bought items were placed, etc.), proceed from the assumption that a paper towel wipe with a generous dab of 91% alcohol, or bleach, will kill on contact.

    There’s no need to soak a countertop with a puddle of disinfectant for any length of time—you’ll only be huffing harmful fumes for no good reason. If harsh disinfectants aren’t available, use a paper towel with soap and water.

    Quite possibly the virus isn’t lingering much on random objects anyway; the above procedure is mostly due diligence for peace of mind. As for washing hands, soap and water is fine—due to surfactants in soap, most of the disinfecting effect is from the physically removing of dirt/oil/pathogens from the hands and down the drain.

  35. @DanHessinMD
    Steve, high infection rate in call centers suggests strongly that talking is a major vector for transmission.

    Elsewhere, apparently meat packing plants have been major superspreading situations in the United States. There have been more than 100 breakouts at meatpacking plants, several of these featuring many hundreds of people.

    https://www.usnews.com/news/healthiest-communities/articles/2020-05-01/cdc-nearly-5-000-meat-plant-workers-infected-by-coronavirus

    What is the commonality of meatpacking plants that is different from almost all other workplaces? Refrigeration. The 'factory floors' of meatpacking plants are refrigerated, sometimes to as little as a few degrees above freezing.

    It is known that the virus lives much longer in the air in colder, drier conditions. It is also known that respiratory immunity is worse in colder and drier conditions.

    https://www.annualreviews.org/doi/pdf/10.1146/annurev-virology-012420-022445

    Steve, high infection rate in call centers suggests strongly that talking is a major vector for transmission.

    Maybe. Are their any other call center outbreaks than the one in South Korea?

    What is the commonality of meatpacking plants that is different from almost all other workplaces? Refrigeration. The ‘factory floors’ of meatpacking plants are refrigerated, sometimes to as little as a few degrees above freezing.

    Most meat packing plants have people in close proximity on the line and lots of times you’re physically exerting yourself to do the job (e.g. pushing around sides of bee). Cold also makes your nose more susceptible to viral infiltration.

    In the 90s and 00s packing plants were often staffed by illegals who were crammed a dozen a house. Looking at the interviews with some of the workers now it looks like they might be paid better and aren’t living in as tight of quarters.

    https://www.unz.com/isteve/restarting-the-economy/#comment-3757384

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    Working in a meat packing plant is like skiing but they pay you (not much).
  36. Know how the monolithic lyingpress jumps on Trump every time he makes a mistake, real or apparent?
    Know how this is so consistent that Trump routinely exploits it to trick them into telling the truth?
    Know how this behavior does nothing to bridge, and really it only keeps separate, Scott Adams’ Parallel Powerpoints?
    Imagine lefty media con artists sitting around a table and discussing maybe toning it down to get back some credibility, and then one guy says no, we need to be even more of a clearly scripted echo chamber, and all we’ve been missing is the help of a Sid and Marty Kroft Super Computer from 70s television.

    A new left-wing political action committee advised by retired Army Gen. Stanley McChrystal is reportedly planning to use software that was developed to be used against Islamic terrorists, and was developed using taxpayer money, to combat positive messaging about President Donald Trump’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic in an apparent attempt to upend Trump’s chances at winning re-election.

    “The group, Defeat Disinfo, will use artificial intelligence and network analysis to map discussion of the president’s claims on social media,” The Washington Post reported. “It will seek to intervene by identifying the most popular counter-narratives and boosting them through a network of more than 3.4 million influencers across the country — in some cases paying users with large followings to take sides against the president.”

    https://www.dailywire.com/news/left-wing-group-using-taxpayer-funded-software-designed-to-combat-isis-to-take-down-trump?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=mjk

  37. @Mr McKenna
    Sort of related: I'm not understanding something basic about cleaning protocols. Even at this late date. Alcohol and bleach and such are supposed to remain on environmental surfaces for a full 15 minutes before being wiped off. That's how long they take to Kill the Kovid.

    So then, why on earth is washing your hands for 20 seconds remotely adequate? We've all read the reports about how incredibly effective 'plain old soap' is at Vanquishing the Vid. Why not use soap everywhere then??

    Leaving aside how variable people's hand-washing techniques are, there's also the fact that soaps themselves vary wildly in their formulations. It cannot be right. There's got to be more to the story.

    Is 'pure' 99 & 44/100 the stuff to use? Or Elizabeth Arden Visible Difference? Surely one is more effective at Quashing the Quovid than the other. Et cetera. Someone help me out here. If soap is the miracle cleanser, why isn't it indicated everywhere?

    Alcohol and bleach and such are supposed to remain on environmental surfaces for a full 15 minutes before being wiped off.

    Someone help me out here. If soap is the miracle cleanser, why isn’t it indicated everywhere?

    To disinfect surfaces (e.g. doorknobs or a non-porous kitchen countertop upon which store-bought items were placed, etc.), proceed from the assumption that a paper towel wipe with a generous dab of 91% alcohol, or bleach, will kill on contact.

    There’s no need to soak a countertop with a puddle of disinfectant for any length of time—you’ll only be huffing harmful fumes for no good reason. If harsh disinfectants aren’t available, use a paper towel with soap and water.

    Quite possibly the virus isn’t lingering much on random objects anyway; the above procedure is mostly due diligence for peace of mind. As for washing hands, soap and water is fine—due to surfactants in soap, most of the disinfecting effect is from the physically removing of dirt/oil/pathogens from the hands and down the drain.

    • Agree: ben tillman
    • Replies: @Mr McKenna
    Thanks, that's what I thought and it makes sense, or did until I read a few dozen articles like the following, in this The Year of Our Lord 2020:

    Erica Marie Hartman, an environmental microbiologist at Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill., whose research focuses on resistance, confirms soap, bleach, and alcohol are your best bets...

    Contact time is another key aspect of surface sanitizing. "Disinfection isn't instantaneous," says Hartman. [For a bleach solution], you want to leave it on the surface for 10 minutes before wiping it off. "
    https://www.houselogic.com/organize-maintain/cleaning-decluttering/how-to-disinfect-your-home/
     


    Diluted household bleach disinfects within 10–60 minutes contact time (see Table G.1 below for concentrations and contact times), is widely available at a low cost, and is recommended for surface disinfection in health-care facilities.

    Recommended dilution
    1:100 dilution of 5% sodium hypochlorite is the usual recommendation. Use 1 part bleach to 99 parts cold tap water (1:100 dilution) for disinfection of surfaces.
    Contact times for different uses
    Disinfection by wiping of nonporous surfaces: a contact time of ≥ 10 minutes is recommended.
    Disinfection by immersion of items: a contact time of 30 minutes is recommended.
    N.B. Surfaces must be cleaned of organic materials, such as secretions, mucus, vomit, faeces, blood or other body fluids before disinfection or immersion.
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK214356/
     

    Honestly, there are hundreds of articles like this now, and NU Microbiology & the NIH aren't exactly marginal sources.

    We went overboard with bleach one day about a month ago, chez McK. We were diluting it 50/50 with water! I have the feeling that whatever happens, we'll look back on how crazy we were about now.

    Incidentally, while I agree with you about the mechanical action involved in washing hands, there are also quite a number of attestations regarding the ability of soap to disrupt the virus's structure. Sorry, the hoax's structure. https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/13/health/soap-coronavirus-handwashing-germs.html

    PS: If you've ever owned a swimming pool, you'll get over any fear of chlorine. Though of course chlorine is a hideously poisonous chemical!

    , @Steve Sailer
    Soap whomps the outer layer of the virus hard.
  38. @Twinkie

    Interesting viewpoint. In the case of Germany one could argue that parts of West Germany are in some regards culturally more similar to the Netherlands (and the flemish part of Belgium) than to Austria.
     
    Germans of various regions are genetically shifted toward their immediate foreign neighbors. That should not be a surprise since Germany as a unitary nation-state is a modern construct.

    Germans of various regions are genetically shifted toward their immediate foreign neighbors. That should not be a surprise since Germany as a unitary nation-state is a modern construct.

    Linguistically shifted as well.

  39. @Frank the Prof
    I'm getting the feeling that our re-open crowd won't act the Taiwanese but more like a frat on their last party before expulsion. Look forward to a huge 2nd wave and to dementia Joe taking the fall elections with a VP Stacy Abrams.

    “I’m getting the feeling that our re-open crowd won’t act the Taiwanese but more like a frat on their last party before expulsion.”

    Lol, you are describing me exactly. The very second restaurants, bars, pool halls, theaters, bowling alleys open – with or without Democratic governor consent – I will spend every spare moment theres, hour upon hour, all day long, until the money runs out. I own my home free and clear and have $40,000 of unsecured credit burning a hole thru my back pocket, so screw work! I might even dabble in meth to keep the party RAGING ALL NIGHT LONG.

    We Are All In This Together, Together We Are Stronger, and Together We Will Defeat CoronaHoax 🇺🇸

  40. @prime noticer
    Vietnam claims there were 0 deaths from the virus. does anybody believe some of these numbers?

    the entire anaylsis enterprise operates on shaky numbers and our basic tool of science, counting and measuring things, is not reliable right now.

    “Vietnam claims there were 0 deaths from the virus. does anybody believe some of these numbers?”

    The county neighboring my county reports zero kungflu cases whilst my county reports a few hundred. The numbers are utterly bogus. This is a hoax.

    An acquaintance of mine, age 35, was dx’d with kungflu. Sick for three days. Mild fever. Light cough. Fatigue. Matched my symptoms from back in January. Kungflu is an ultra wimpy cold for GenX and Millennials. Oh, and my little nieces got it three weeks ago. Fever of 103, but also short duration, light symptoms, nothing remarkable.

    Hoax, top to bottom.

    • Replies: @nebulafox
    >“Vietnam claims there were 0 deaths from the virus. does anybody believe some of these numbers?”

    If you believe the Vietnamese government on the exact numbers on... anything, I have a bridge in Brooklyn to sell you, but I don't doubt the general success of their pandemic suppression. Vietnam's come a *long* way in development over the past couple of decades. It's not Taiwan, far from it, but it is far from being Cambodia, either.

  41. @Jenner Ickham Errican

    Alcohol and bleach and such are supposed to remain on environmental surfaces for a full 15 minutes before being wiped off.
     

    Someone help me out here. If soap is the miracle cleanser, why isn’t it indicated everywhere?
     
    To disinfect surfaces (e.g. doorknobs or a non-porous kitchen countertop upon which store-bought items were placed, etc.), proceed from the assumption that a paper towel wipe with a generous dab of 91% alcohol, or bleach, will kill on contact.

    There’s no need to soak a countertop with a puddle of disinfectant for any length of time—you’ll only be huffing harmful fumes for no good reason. If harsh disinfectants aren’t available, use a paper towel with soap and water.

    Quite possibly the virus isn’t lingering much on random objects anyway; the above procedure is mostly due diligence for peace of mind. As for washing hands, soap and water is fine—due to surfactants in soap, most of the disinfecting effect is from the physically removing of dirt/oil/pathogens from the hands and down the drain.

    Thanks, that’s what I thought and it makes sense, or did until I read a few dozen articles like the following, in this The Year of Our Lord 2020:

    Erica Marie Hartman, an environmental microbiologist at Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill., whose research focuses on resistance, confirms soap, bleach, and alcohol are your best bets…

    Contact time is another key aspect of surface sanitizing. “Disinfection isn’t instantaneous,” says Hartman. [For a bleach solution], you want to leave it on the surface for 10 minutes before wiping it off. ”
    https://www.houselogic.com/organize-maintain/cleaning-decluttering/how-to-disinfect-your-home/

    Diluted household bleach disinfects within 10–60 minutes contact time (see Table G.1 below for concentrations and contact times), is widely available at a low cost, and is recommended for surface disinfection in health-care facilities.

    Recommended dilution
    1:100 dilution of 5% sodium hypochlorite is the usual recommendation. Use 1 part bleach to 99 parts cold tap water (1:100 dilution) for disinfection of surfaces.
    Contact times for different uses
    Disinfection by wiping of nonporous surfaces: a contact time of ≥ 10 minutes is recommended.
    Disinfection by immersion of items: a contact time of 30 minutes is recommended.
    N.B. Surfaces must be cleaned of organic materials, such as secretions, mucus, vomit, faeces, blood or other body fluids before disinfection or immersion.
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK214356/

    Honestly, there are hundreds of articles like this now, and NU Microbiology & the NIH aren’t exactly marginal sources.

    We went overboard with bleach one day about a month ago, chez McK. We were diluting it 50/50 with water! I have the feeling that whatever happens, we’ll look back on how crazy we were about now.

    Incidentally, while I agree with you about the mechanical action involved in washing hands, there are also quite a number of attestations regarding the ability of soap to disrupt the virus’s structure. Sorry, the hoax’s structure. https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/13/health/soap-coronavirus-handwashing-germs.html

    PS: If you’ve ever owned a swimming pool, you’ll get over any fear of chlorine. Though of course chlorine is a hideously poisonous chemical!

    • Replies: @Jenner Ickham Errican

    Incidentally, while I agree with you about the mechanical action involved in washing hands, there are also quite a number of attestations regarding the ability of soap to disrupt the virus’s structure.
     
    Right, and I didn’t want to oversell that aspect—you did originally ask, reasonably, about different soaps—and it’s possible that not all soaps are equal. BTW, thanks for the links—good stuff.

    Also, rereading my comment I see that I specified 91% alcohol—upon further googling it seems that 70% might generally be better for disinfecting: supposedly the extra water content helps get the alcohol into pathogen bodies. (91%+ is used as a cleaning solvent on some electronics/metals that could otherwise rust.)

    Chemical Disinfectants

    https://www.cdc.gov/infectioncontrol/guidelines/disinfection/disinfection-methods/chemical.html

    Alcohol

    Mode of Action.

    The most feasible explanation for the antimicrobial action of alcohol is denaturation of proteins. This mechanism is supported by the observation that absolute ethyl alcohol, a dehydrating agent, is less bactericidal than mixtures of alcohol and water because proteins are denatured more quickly in the presence of water.

    Microbicidal Activity.

    Ethyl alcohol, at concentrations of 60%–80%, is a potent virucidal agent inactivating all of the lipophilic viruses (e.g., herpes, vaccinia, and influenza virus) and many hydrophilic viruses (e.g., adenovirus, enterovirus, rhinovirus, and rotaviruses but not hepatitis A virus (HAV) or poliovirus).

    Isopropyl alcohol is not active against the nonlipid enteroviruses but is fully active against the lipid viruses. Studies also have demonstrated the ability of ethyl and isopropyl alcohol to inactivate the hepatitis B virus(HBV) and the herpes virus, and ethyl alcohol to inactivate human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), rotavirus, echovirus, and astrovirus.
     
    , @ben tillman

    Diluted household bleach disinfects within 10–60 minutes contact time (see Table G.1 below for concentrations and contact times), is widely available at a low cost, and is recommended for surface disinfection in health-care facilities.

    Recommended dilution
    1:100 dilution of 5% sodium hypochlorite is the usual recommendation.
     
    Say what? Why would that be the recommendation?

    I start with 10% and dilute 3:1. The resulting mixture is $1.10 a gallon.
  42. @Anonymous
    Ivermectin study shows it reduces mortality (2 weeks ago)...

    https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3580524

    Ivermectin is non-toxic to humans. Very safe.

    This is the anti-parasite drug you can get at the feed store. Shouldn't be a big surprise as the hydroxychloroquine anti-malarial drugs are anti-parasite also.

    REALITY CHECK: Covid19 is a weakling virus that bounces right off healthy people and is heavily impacted by commonly available anti-parasite drugs and multiple antibiotics (some people are using doxycycline instead of azithromycin)...
  43. @Jenner Ickham Errican

    Alcohol and bleach and such are supposed to remain on environmental surfaces for a full 15 minutes before being wiped off.
     

    Someone help me out here. If soap is the miracle cleanser, why isn’t it indicated everywhere?
     
    To disinfect surfaces (e.g. doorknobs or a non-porous kitchen countertop upon which store-bought items were placed, etc.), proceed from the assumption that a paper towel wipe with a generous dab of 91% alcohol, or bleach, will kill on contact.

    There’s no need to soak a countertop with a puddle of disinfectant for any length of time—you’ll only be huffing harmful fumes for no good reason. If harsh disinfectants aren’t available, use a paper towel with soap and water.

    Quite possibly the virus isn’t lingering much on random objects anyway; the above procedure is mostly due diligence for peace of mind. As for washing hands, soap and water is fine—due to surfactants in soap, most of the disinfecting effect is from the physically removing of dirt/oil/pathogens from the hands and down the drain.

    Soap whomps the outer layer of the virus hard.

  44. @Lugash

    Steve, high infection rate in call centers suggests strongly that talking is a major vector for transmission.
     
    Maybe. Are their any other call center outbreaks than the one in South Korea?

    What is the commonality of meatpacking plants that is different from almost all other workplaces? Refrigeration. The ‘factory floors’ of meatpacking plants are refrigerated, sometimes to as little as a few degrees above freezing.
     
    Most meat packing plants have people in close proximity on the line and lots of times you're physically exerting yourself to do the job (e.g. pushing around sides of bee). Cold also makes your nose more susceptible to viral infiltration.

    In the 90s and 00s packing plants were often staffed by illegals who were crammed a dozen a house. Looking at the interviews with some of the workers now it looks like they might be paid better and aren't living in as tight of quarters.

    https://www.unz.com/isteve/restarting-the-economy/#comment-3757384

    Working in a meat packing plant is like skiing but they pay you (not much).

  45. @Mr McKenna
    Thanks, that's what I thought and it makes sense, or did until I read a few dozen articles like the following, in this The Year of Our Lord 2020:

    Erica Marie Hartman, an environmental microbiologist at Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill., whose research focuses on resistance, confirms soap, bleach, and alcohol are your best bets...

    Contact time is another key aspect of surface sanitizing. "Disinfection isn't instantaneous," says Hartman. [For a bleach solution], you want to leave it on the surface for 10 minutes before wiping it off. "
    https://www.houselogic.com/organize-maintain/cleaning-decluttering/how-to-disinfect-your-home/
     


    Diluted household bleach disinfects within 10–60 minutes contact time (see Table G.1 below for concentrations and contact times), is widely available at a low cost, and is recommended for surface disinfection in health-care facilities.

    Recommended dilution
    1:100 dilution of 5% sodium hypochlorite is the usual recommendation. Use 1 part bleach to 99 parts cold tap water (1:100 dilution) for disinfection of surfaces.
    Contact times for different uses
    Disinfection by wiping of nonporous surfaces: a contact time of ≥ 10 minutes is recommended.
    Disinfection by immersion of items: a contact time of 30 minutes is recommended.
    N.B. Surfaces must be cleaned of organic materials, such as secretions, mucus, vomit, faeces, blood or other body fluids before disinfection or immersion.
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK214356/
     

    Honestly, there are hundreds of articles like this now, and NU Microbiology & the NIH aren't exactly marginal sources.

    We went overboard with bleach one day about a month ago, chez McK. We were diluting it 50/50 with water! I have the feeling that whatever happens, we'll look back on how crazy we were about now.

    Incidentally, while I agree with you about the mechanical action involved in washing hands, there are also quite a number of attestations regarding the ability of soap to disrupt the virus's structure. Sorry, the hoax's structure. https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/13/health/soap-coronavirus-handwashing-germs.html

    PS: If you've ever owned a swimming pool, you'll get over any fear of chlorine. Though of course chlorine is a hideously poisonous chemical!

    Incidentally, while I agree with you about the mechanical action involved in washing hands, there are also quite a number of attestations regarding the ability of soap to disrupt the virus’s structure.

    Right, and I didn’t want to oversell that aspect—you did originally ask, reasonably, about different soaps—and it’s possible that not all soaps are equal. BTW, thanks for the links—good stuff.

    Also, rereading my comment I see that I specified 91% alcohol—upon further googling it seems that 70% might generally be better for disinfecting: supposedly the extra water content helps get the alcohol into pathogen bodies. (91%+ is used as a cleaning solvent on some electronics/metals that could otherwise rust.)

    Chemical Disinfectants

    https://www.cdc.gov/infectioncontrol/guidelines/disinfection/disinfection-methods/chemical.html

    Alcohol

    Mode of Action.

    The most feasible explanation for the antimicrobial action of alcohol is denaturation of proteins. This mechanism is supported by the observation that absolute ethyl alcohol, a dehydrating agent, is less bactericidal than mixtures of alcohol and water because proteins are denatured more quickly in the presence of water.

    Microbicidal Activity.

    Ethyl alcohol, at concentrations of 60%–80%, is a potent virucidal agent inactivating all of the lipophilic viruses (e.g., herpes, vaccinia, and influenza virus) and many hydrophilic viruses (e.g., adenovirus, enterovirus, rhinovirus, and rotaviruses but not hepatitis A virus (HAV) or poliovirus).

    Isopropyl alcohol is not active against the nonlipid enteroviruses but is fully active against the lipid viruses. Studies also have demonstrated the ability of ethyl and isopropyl alcohol to inactivate the hepatitis B virus(HBV) and the herpes virus, and ethyl alcohol to inactivate human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), rotavirus, echovirus, and astrovirus.

    • Thanks: Mr McKenna
    • Replies: @Dissident

    70% might generally be better for disinfecting: supposedly the extra water content helps get the alcohol into pathogen bodies.
     
    I'm glad you followed-up with that info, which I had considered noting here.

    (91%+ is used as a cleaning solvent on some electronics/metals that could otherwise rust.)
     
    What about 50% isopropyl alcohol? I've found it commonly available and wonder just what is the intended purpose/ advantage over the 70% or 90% varieties.

    Returning to your earlier comment, upthread:


    As for washing hands, soap and water is fine—due to surfactants in soap, most of the disinfecting effect is from the physically removing of dirt/oil/pathogens from the hands and down the drain.
     
    Right. I've seen the analogy given in which the germs covering one's hands are likened to sticky rice that is physically loosened and removed by the action of the soap and water.

    I am reminded of an April 7th comment that I had read here, found notable and saved.
    https://www.unz.com/isteve/the-future-3/#comment-3821725


    Buzz Mohawk says:
    [...]
    What ever happened to using soap and water just to wash things off? When you simply use the surfactant qualities of soapy water, you are doing nothing but sloughing things off, giving no evolutionary cues to any of it, whereas a “sanitizer” that kills leaves resistant survivors that go on to reproduce.

    As always, life is a very, very complex system, and sometimes the smart people end up being very stupid in their assumption that they can include every variable in their calculations. They can’t.
     

    Incidentally, Firefox's spell-checker (EN-US) falsely flagged surfactant for me.
  46. @DanHessinMD
    Steve, high infection rate in call centers suggests strongly that talking is a major vector for transmission.

    Elsewhere, apparently meat packing plants have been major superspreading situations in the United States. There have been more than 100 breakouts at meatpacking plants, several of these featuring many hundreds of people.

    https://www.usnews.com/news/healthiest-communities/articles/2020-05-01/cdc-nearly-5-000-meat-plant-workers-infected-by-coronavirus

    What is the commonality of meatpacking plants that is different from almost all other workplaces? Refrigeration. The 'factory floors' of meatpacking plants are refrigerated, sometimes to as little as a few degrees above freezing.

    It is known that the virus lives much longer in the air in colder, drier conditions. It is also known that respiratory immunity is worse in colder and drier conditions.

    https://www.annualreviews.org/doi/pdf/10.1146/annurev-virology-012420-022445

    Forgive me if you’ve already answered this but like another reader whom I saw ask, every time I see DanHessinMD I wonder whether it is meant to be Dan Hessin, M.D. or Dan Hess in MD (Maryland).

  47. @Twinkie

    Interesting viewpoint. In the case of Germany one could argue that parts of West Germany are in some regards culturally more similar to the Netherlands (and the flemish part of Belgium) than to Austria.
     
    Germans of various regions are genetically shifted toward their immediate foreign neighbors. That should not be a surprise since Germany as a unitary nation-state is a modern construct.

    I can attest that West Slavic-esque looks and names are very common among the descendants of Germans who fled or were kicked out of the east after 1945. And this was after a lot of people in the East Elbian then-borderlands with Poland changed their names after 1919 to sound more German in an unforgiving postwar environment.

    Of course, it also works both ways, given the near millennia old history of German immigration and settlement across the region: plenty of people in Poland, Lithuania, Ukraine, Czechia and more used to look like they were straight out of an 1930s Berlin approved caricature on the Aryan man, and to this day, a fair amount still do.

    • Replies: @Twinkie

    plenty of people in Poland, Lithuania, Ukraine, Czechia and more used to look like they were straight out of an 1930s Berlin approved caricature on the Aryan man, and to this day, a fair amount still do.
     
    So did many Germand and Polish Jews. Phenotypes can be deceptive.
  48. @Je Suis Omar Mateen
    "Vietnam claims there were 0 deaths from the virus. does anybody believe some of these numbers?"

    The county neighboring my county reports zero kungflu cases whilst my county reports a few hundred. The numbers are utterly bogus. This is a hoax.

    An acquaintance of mine, age 35, was dx'd with kungflu. Sick for three days. Mild fever. Light cough. Fatigue. Matched my symptoms from back in January. Kungflu is an ultra wimpy cold for GenX and Millennials. Oh, and my little nieces got it three weeks ago. Fever of 103, but also short duration, light symptoms, nothing remarkable.

    Hoax, top to bottom.

    >“Vietnam claims there were 0 deaths from the virus. does anybody believe some of these numbers?”

    If you believe the Vietnamese government on the exact numbers on… anything, I have a bridge in Brooklyn to sell you, but I don’t doubt the general success of their pandemic suppression. Vietnam’s come a *long* way in development over the past couple of decades. It’s not Taiwan, far from it, but it is far from being Cambodia, either.

  49. @Jenner Ickham Errican

    Incidentally, while I agree with you about the mechanical action involved in washing hands, there are also quite a number of attestations regarding the ability of soap to disrupt the virus’s structure.
     
    Right, and I didn’t want to oversell that aspect—you did originally ask, reasonably, about different soaps—and it’s possible that not all soaps are equal. BTW, thanks for the links—good stuff.

    Also, rereading my comment I see that I specified 91% alcohol—upon further googling it seems that 70% might generally be better for disinfecting: supposedly the extra water content helps get the alcohol into pathogen bodies. (91%+ is used as a cleaning solvent on some electronics/metals that could otherwise rust.)

    Chemical Disinfectants

    https://www.cdc.gov/infectioncontrol/guidelines/disinfection/disinfection-methods/chemical.html

    Alcohol

    Mode of Action.

    The most feasible explanation for the antimicrobial action of alcohol is denaturation of proteins. This mechanism is supported by the observation that absolute ethyl alcohol, a dehydrating agent, is less bactericidal than mixtures of alcohol and water because proteins are denatured more quickly in the presence of water.

    Microbicidal Activity.

    Ethyl alcohol, at concentrations of 60%–80%, is a potent virucidal agent inactivating all of the lipophilic viruses (e.g., herpes, vaccinia, and influenza virus) and many hydrophilic viruses (e.g., adenovirus, enterovirus, rhinovirus, and rotaviruses but not hepatitis A virus (HAV) or poliovirus).

    Isopropyl alcohol is not active against the nonlipid enteroviruses but is fully active against the lipid viruses. Studies also have demonstrated the ability of ethyl and isopropyl alcohol to inactivate the hepatitis B virus(HBV) and the herpes virus, and ethyl alcohol to inactivate human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), rotavirus, echovirus, and astrovirus.
     

    70% might generally be better for disinfecting: supposedly the extra water content helps get the alcohol into pathogen bodies.

    I’m glad you followed-up with that info, which I had considered noting here.

    (91%+ is used as a cleaning solvent on some electronics/metals that could otherwise rust.)

    What about 50% isopropyl alcohol? I’ve found it commonly available and wonder just what is the intended purpose/ advantage over the 70% or 90% varieties.

    Returning to your earlier comment, upthread:

    As for washing hands, soap and water is fine—due to surfactants in soap, most of the disinfecting effect is from the physically removing of dirt/oil/pathogens from the hands and down the drain.

    Right. I’ve seen the analogy given in which the germs covering one’s hands are likened to sticky rice that is physically loosened and removed by the action of the soap and water.

    [MORE]

    I am reminded of an April 7th comment that I had read here, found notable and saved.
    https://www.unz.com/isteve/the-future-3/#comment-3821725

    Buzz Mohawk says:
    […]
    What ever happened to using soap and water just to wash things off? When you simply use the surfactant qualities of soapy water, you are doing nothing but sloughing things off, giving no evolutionary cues to any of it, whereas a “sanitizer” that kills leaves resistant survivors that go on to reproduce.

    As always, life is a very, very complex system, and sometimes the smart people end up being very stupid in their assumption that they can include every variable in their calculations. They can’t.

    Incidentally, Firefox’s spell-checker (EN-US) falsely flagged surfactant for me.

  50. @Mr McKenna
    Thanks, that's what I thought and it makes sense, or did until I read a few dozen articles like the following, in this The Year of Our Lord 2020:

    Erica Marie Hartman, an environmental microbiologist at Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill., whose research focuses on resistance, confirms soap, bleach, and alcohol are your best bets...

    Contact time is another key aspect of surface sanitizing. "Disinfection isn't instantaneous," says Hartman. [For a bleach solution], you want to leave it on the surface for 10 minutes before wiping it off. "
    https://www.houselogic.com/organize-maintain/cleaning-decluttering/how-to-disinfect-your-home/
     


    Diluted household bleach disinfects within 10–60 minutes contact time (see Table G.1 below for concentrations and contact times), is widely available at a low cost, and is recommended for surface disinfection in health-care facilities.

    Recommended dilution
    1:100 dilution of 5% sodium hypochlorite is the usual recommendation. Use 1 part bleach to 99 parts cold tap water (1:100 dilution) for disinfection of surfaces.
    Contact times for different uses
    Disinfection by wiping of nonporous surfaces: a contact time of ≥ 10 minutes is recommended.
    Disinfection by immersion of items: a contact time of 30 minutes is recommended.
    N.B. Surfaces must be cleaned of organic materials, such as secretions, mucus, vomit, faeces, blood or other body fluids before disinfection or immersion.
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK214356/
     

    Honestly, there are hundreds of articles like this now, and NU Microbiology & the NIH aren't exactly marginal sources.

    We went overboard with bleach one day about a month ago, chez McK. We were diluting it 50/50 with water! I have the feeling that whatever happens, we'll look back on how crazy we were about now.

    Incidentally, while I agree with you about the mechanical action involved in washing hands, there are also quite a number of attestations regarding the ability of soap to disrupt the virus's structure. Sorry, the hoax's structure. https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/13/health/soap-coronavirus-handwashing-germs.html

    PS: If you've ever owned a swimming pool, you'll get over any fear of chlorine. Though of course chlorine is a hideously poisonous chemical!

    Diluted household bleach disinfects within 10–60 minutes contact time (see Table G.1 below for concentrations and contact times), is widely available at a low cost, and is recommended for surface disinfection in health-care facilities.

    Recommended dilution
    1:100 dilution of 5% sodium hypochlorite is the usual recommendation.

    Say what? Why would that be the recommendation?

    I start with 10% and dilute 3:1. The resulting mixture is $1.10 a gallon.

    • Agree: Mr McKenna
  51. ***Nearly everybody’s been wearing masks since late January.

    Silly Hong Kongers! The CDC explained that no one needs masks during a respiratory disease epidemic, they don’t work (except for medical people).

    • Replies: @Mr McKenna
    Just found another potential benefit of China Virus.

    Ruth Bader Ginsburg hospitalized with infection

    https://nypost.com/2020/05/05/ruth-bader-ginsburg-hospitalized-with-infection/
     

    Now work your magic, you evil Chinese microbes. Hey! That Wise Latina is a porker, right? Hope's springing up all 'round. Can you imagine two down? And the Senate in R hands for a few months yet? Oh yeah.

    Hey Wide Latina! Shouldn't you go visit your friend in the hospital? Huh?

  52. @AnotherDad


    ***Nearly everybody’s been wearing masks since late January.
     
    Silly Hong Kongers! The CDC explained that no one needs masks during a respiratory disease epidemic, they don't work (except for medical people).

    Just found another potential benefit of China Virus.

    Ruth Bader Ginsburg hospitalized with infection

    https://nypost.com/2020/05/05/ruth-bader-ginsburg-hospitalized-with-infection/

    Now work your magic, you evil Chinese microbes. Hey! That Wise Latina is a porker, right? Hope’s springing up all ’round. Can you imagine two down? And the Senate in R hands for a few months yet? Oh yeah.

    Hey Wide Latina! Shouldn’t you go visit your friend in the hospital? Huh?

    • Replies: @Stan Adams
    It's bad karma to wish death on anyone. For the sake of your soul, you should hope for nothing worse than your enemy's ending up as a complete invalid connected to expensive machines as hospital bills rapidly deplete his or her savings. It's more humane, you see.

    Remember, boys and girls, we want vegetables, not icicles.
  53. @nebulafox
    I can attest that West Slavic-esque looks and names are very common among the descendants of Germans who fled or were kicked out of the east after 1945. And this was after a lot of people in the East Elbian then-borderlands with Poland changed their names after 1919 to sound more German in an unforgiving postwar environment.

    Of course, it also works both ways, given the near millennia old history of German immigration and settlement across the region: plenty of people in Poland, Lithuania, Ukraine, Czechia and more used to look like they were straight out of an 1930s Berlin approved caricature on the Aryan man, and to this day, a fair amount still do.

    plenty of people in Poland, Lithuania, Ukraine, Czechia and more used to look like they were straight out of an 1930s Berlin approved caricature on the Aryan man, and to this day, a fair amount still do.

    So did many Germand and Polish Jews. Phenotypes can be deceptive.

    • Replies: @Johann Ricke
    Jewish dad, German mom:

    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/3/30/WernerGoldberg.jpg/800px-WernerGoldberg.jpg
  54. @Mr McKenna
    Just found another potential benefit of China Virus.

    Ruth Bader Ginsburg hospitalized with infection

    https://nypost.com/2020/05/05/ruth-bader-ginsburg-hospitalized-with-infection/
     

    Now work your magic, you evil Chinese microbes. Hey! That Wise Latina is a porker, right? Hope's springing up all 'round. Can you imagine two down? And the Senate in R hands for a few months yet? Oh yeah.

    Hey Wide Latina! Shouldn't you go visit your friend in the hospital? Huh?

    It’s bad karma to wish death on anyone. For the sake of your soul, you should hope for nothing worse than your enemy’s ending up as a complete invalid connected to expensive machines as hospital bills rapidly deplete his or her savings. It’s more humane, you see.

    Remember, boys and girls, we want vegetables, not icicles.

    • Replies: @Mr McKenna
    Yeah, I thought about that, but decided that so much is at stake I'd better wish for everything I could.

    PS: Irony noted
  55. @Twinkie

    plenty of people in Poland, Lithuania, Ukraine, Czechia and more used to look like they were straight out of an 1930s Berlin approved caricature on the Aryan man, and to this day, a fair amount still do.
     
    So did many Germand and Polish Jews. Phenotypes can be deceptive.

    Jewish dad, German mom:

  56. @Stan Adams
    It's bad karma to wish death on anyone. For the sake of your soul, you should hope for nothing worse than your enemy's ending up as a complete invalid connected to expensive machines as hospital bills rapidly deplete his or her savings. It's more humane, you see.

    Remember, boys and girls, we want vegetables, not icicles.

    Yeah, I thought about that, but decided that so much is at stake I’d better wish for everything I could.

    PS: Irony noted

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