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Severe Social Distancing Cut 1918 Death Rate by 30%-50%
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From Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences:

The effect of public health measures on the 1918 influenza pandemic in U.S. cities
Martin C. J. Bootsma and Neil M. Ferguson

PNAS May 1, 2007 104 (18) 7588-7593; https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.0611071104
Edited by Burton H. Singer, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ, and approved March 13, 2007 (received for review December 13, 2006)

… We show that city-specific per-capita excess mortality in 1918 was significantly correlated with 1917 per-capita mortality, indicating some intrinsic variation in overall mortality, perhaps related to sociodemographic factors. In the subset of 23 cities for which we had partial data on the timing of interventions, an even stronger correlation was found between excess mortality and how early in the epidemic interventions were introduced. We then fitted an epidemic model to weekly mortality in 16 cities with nearly complete intervention-timing data and estimated the impact of interventions. The model reproduced the observed epidemic patterns well. In line with theoretical arguments, we found the time-limited interventions used reduced total mortality only moderately (perhaps 10–30%), and that the impact was often very limited because of interventions being introduced too late and lifted too early. San Francisco, St. Louis, Milwaukee, and Kansas City had the most effective interventions, reducing transmission rates by up to 30–50%.

Philadelphia had about twice the death rate of St. Louis. This is often blamed on a very popular war bond parade held in Philadelphia on September 28, 1918 for which 200,000 turned out. Within days, the hospitals were overflowing.

My assumption would be that overflowing the hospitals would be worse in 2020 than in 1918 due to hospitals being able to do a lot more today.

Also from PNAS:

Pandemic influenza: Studying the lessons of history
Stephen S. Morse
PNAS May 1, 2007

… We would be left with other measures, now termed “nonpharmaceutical interventions,” to stave off the worst effects of a pandemic until a vaccine could be produced and widely administered (4, 5). Because many of these interventions, such as closing schools or shutting down mass transit, could be very disruptive to society, it is important to use effective measures in a rational way. But which measures are most effective, and how should they be applied? Do any nonpharmaceutical interventions actually help? Until now, there has been very little systematic examination of these questions. However, different U.S. cities showed marked differences in influenza attack rates and mortality in 1918. Some cities, St. Louis for example, appeared to have weathered the pandemic with far fewer excess deaths than others (6, 7). What distinguished the severely afflicted cities from those that were less heavily stricken? As it happens, different cities took different approaches to implementing interventions. These differences constituted natural experiments and offer an opportunity to address important questions concerning nonpharmaceutical interventions by using the historical data.

Nonpharmaceutical Interventions in 1918
A variety of interventions were available in 1918, from wearing surgical masks to “social distancing” measures (as we call them today) that ranged from closing schools and prohibiting public gatherings to isolating sick people in hospitals or encouraging them to stay home. Most of the interventions then available are identical to the measures that would be considered today (8). Both articles reach similar conclusions, using complementary methods. In the 1918 pandemic, no single intervention was sufficient, although some interventions were more useful than others. As might be expected for a respiratory infection, closing schools, churches, and theaters, for example, appeared to be among the most effective measures. Four or more such interventions implemented at the same time were more effective than only one or two and were more effective than multiple interventions started at different times (6).

Of course, this activity might also be a proxy for how seriously a city viewed the pandemic. Nevertheless, there were significant differences. Timing was especially critical. Both articles demonstrate that these measures were far more effective if applied early and maintained as long as possible. Cities that put several measures in place early (before the cumulative excess death rate reached ≈20–30/100,000 population) experienced peak death rates that were approximately half of those seen in cities that started their interventions later. The authors note that few cities maintained the interventions for >6 weeks, approximately the time it took for one wave of the pandemic to pass through the area. Influenza returned when the interventions were relaxed. Pandemics have tended to come in waves, so a city could implement effective measures and avoid the first wave, only to relax them and be hit by the next.

Bootsma and Ferguson (7), in fact, make the interesting argument that escaping the pandemic entirely may not be the most advantageous strategy because it only leaves everyone susceptible to infection later. How does one keep up the necessary caution for what may be months or longer? Experiences from 1918 suggest that it was possible to get reasonable compliance with precautionary measures for a while, but not indefinitely, even in the more obedient social climate that prevailed in 1918. San Francisco had demonstrations in which citizens defiantly tore off their own masks (9).

Obtaining long-term compliance is likely to be even more difficult today, although there was a relatively high level of public compliance with recommended infection control measures during the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) epidemic in Toronto. These experiences suggest that, although it is difficult to maintain compliance, it is not impossible.

 
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  1. I wonder if there’ll be a revival of family sentiment as Great Uncle Scrooge gets surprise visits from loving nephews/nieces on their way home from the football or hockey…

  2. Anon[254] • Disclaimer says:

    “Severe Social Distancing” basically sounds like being an introvert.

    Given how everyone’s an internet addict these days, and can spend hours binging Netflix or playing video games, social distancing should be a lot easier and tolerable these days. Unlike in the past when you had to physically go to libraries, theaters, parades for stimulation.

    • Replies: @Hail

    “Severe Social Distancing”
     
    Steve doesn't intend this as a stand-alone term, I think; is just using the adjective to modify "social distancing."

    Neither of the linked-to papers use the term. From the first paper:


    reactive social distancing was arguably observed during the severe acute respiratory syndrome epidemic in Hong Kong and Singapore (3, 9).

    Whether the effect in 1918 was caused by people deliberately reducing contacts or by indirect effects (e.g., caring for the sick, absenteeism, or reactive closure of workplaces) cannot be determined.
     

    Notice the second paper puts it in quotation marks:

    A variety of interventions were available in 1918, from wearing surgical masks to “social distancing” measures (as we call them today) that ranged from closing schools and prohibiting public gatherings to isolating sick people in hospitals or encouraging them to stay home. Most of the interventions then available are identical to the measures that would be considered today
     
    Google gives this as one of the only hits for "severe social distancing" used as a stand-alone phrase (total 47 hits; soon to be more as Steve has put it out there):

    Oriental Panorama: British Travellers in 19th Century Turkey
    books . google . com › books
    Reinhold Schiffer - 1999 - ‎Travel

    Severe social distancing between travellers and women was maintained because the latter would normally be encountered without their menfolk and would, ...
     

    , @IHTG
    The positive side of Bowling Alone - plague resistance.
  3. I bought 2 wks of toilet paper today. Buying more tomorrow….

    I thinkthis might get bad. I hope Trump’s dumb ass doesn’t catch the blame for this….

    • Replies: @SFG
    You're the POTUS, you get blame for everything that happens, whether it's your fault or not.
    , @unit472
    Trump better wake up. He said he has no intention of cancelling those rallies he's been holding. He needs to tell the Amerian people we are in a national emergency and all public events are cancelled until further notice. Business as usual will not be able to fend off the virus until November. Better to deal with a recession/depression caused by China on election day than a million or more Wuhan flu deaths.
    , @Feric Jaggar
    Toilet paper? Dang, man, just get yourself a good tersorium. Never wears out. Mine's been in the family for generations now.
  4. One thing is for certain. The obvious solution to the virus is MOAR IMMIGRATION.

    • Replies: @HammerJack
    Open Borders may be the exact antonym of Social Distancing.

    Wonder how they'll play that one.

    , @Tex
    Absolutely, the rapid spread of COVID 19 shows the United States needs to accept tens of thousands of Central American refugees before they get the disease that no one has tested them for. It's Who We Are (tm).
  5. Hail says: • Website
    @Anon
    "Severe Social Distancing" basically sounds like being an introvert.

    Given how everyone's an internet addict these days, and can spend hours binging Netflix or playing video games, social distancing should be a lot easier and tolerable these days. Unlike in the past when you had to physically go to libraries, theaters, parades for stimulation.

    “Severe Social Distancing”

    Steve doesn’t intend this as a stand-alone term, I think; is just using the adjective to modify “social distancing.”

    Neither of the linked-to papers use the term. From the first paper:

    reactive social distancing was arguably observed during the severe acute respiratory syndrome epidemic in Hong Kong and Singapore (3, 9).

    Whether the effect in 1918 was caused by people deliberately reducing contacts or by indirect effects (e.g., caring for the sick, absenteeism, or reactive closure of workplaces) cannot be determined.

    Notice the second paper puts it in quotation marks:

    A variety of interventions were available in 1918, from wearing surgical masks to “social distancing” measures (as we call them today) that ranged from closing schools and prohibiting public gatherings to isolating sick people in hospitals or encouraging them to stay home. Most of the interventions then available are identical to the measures that would be considered today

    Google gives this as one of the only hits for “severe social distancing” used as a stand-alone phrase (total 47 hits; soon to be more as Steve has put it out there):

    Oriental Panorama: British Travellers in 19th Century Turkey
    books . google . com › books
    Reinhold Schiffer – 1999 – ‎Travel

    Severe social distancing between travellers and women was maintained because the latter would normally be encountered without their menfolk and would, …

  6. “Severe Social Distancing” would be a good name for a techno band.

  7. Look at the bright side: The Black Death of the 14th century made the serf labour supply so tight that the serfs could start bidding out their services to the highest bidder, breathing life into social mobility and kicking off a six hundred year rise of freedom and prosperity that has only recently been turned back by the Criminal Elite. Who knows what this culling might bring. In any case, losing half of Philly, SF, NYC, or DC (interesting, that AIPAC story) might be a good thing.e

    • Replies: @Redneck farmer
    It might help individuals who no longer have Grandma/pa spending the legacy on nursing home care. But this isn't the Great Mortality, no matter what some hope.
    , @Neuday
    "Criminal Elite" would be a good name for an NFL team.
  8. Anon[395] • Disclaimer says:

    The powers that be already know quarantine isn’t going to work. The goal is to ‘slow roll’ the epidemic, trying to keep hospitals from being so crushed they can’t offer medical care to an overwhelming wave of patients that would pour in all at once.

    A doctor in Italy made his entire hospital staff take a high-potency Vitamin D shot, and told them daily Vitamin C pills are mandatory for them. All hospitals across the planet ought to copy this to try to reduce sickness among doctors and nurses.

    Other doctors are giving patients Vitamin C in IVs to see if it cuts the severity of the disease. It may help.

    More D for patients would be good too. People in nursing homes tend to have very low Vitamin D levels.

    • Replies: @Lockean Proviso
    Maybe one reason winter virus epidemics tend to abate in warmer months is that people are getting more sun, and consequently, vitamin D.

    The other is that some viruses, including coronavirus, don't survive heat and humidity:

    "at moderate temperatures of 20-30°C, there was a long survival time, but only when the air was dry. Very high temperatures (>30°C) render the coronaviruses inactive"

    https://facilityexecutive.com/2020/02/indoor-humidification-can-reduce-coronavirus-transmission/

    , @HammerJack
    Yeah, let's just try random vitamin megadosing. Why not?

    Ever since AIDS was magically "cured" most people think a vaccine can be developed for absolutely everything, given a few weeks.
    , @res
    Do you have a link talking about your Italy example?

    Here is more on this: "Other doctors are giving patients Vitamin C in IVs to see if it cuts the severity of the disease. It may help."

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-8067189/Chinas-doctors-racing-Vitamin-C-beat-coronavirus.html

    In China, a study is under way to see if high doses of vitamin C can help fight off coronavirus (officially known as COVID-19). Scientists at the Zhongnan Hospital of Wuhan University are testing its effects on 120 patients who have the virus, giving them daily infusions of 24g of vitamin C for seven days. Results have not yet been published.
     
    More details from the trial registration: https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT04264533
    Estimated primary completion date 9/30/20.
    , @Adam Smith

    Other doctors are giving patients Vitamin C in IVs to see if it cuts the severity of the disease. It may help.
     
    It will help.

    Vitamin C is remarkably safe even in enormously high doses. Dr. Klenner administered up to 300 grams per day. Generally, he gave 350 to 700 mg per kilogram (2.2 lb) body weight per day.

    Vitamin C kills viruses while boosting the immune system.

    IV vitamin C will cure any viral infection.
  9. “Severe Social Distancing”

    Naval Ravikant makes an interesting point in his “Coronavirus conversation” with Scott Adams about the word “cold”. A simple boil down is that Northern peoples are cold (distant) towards each other to lessen the spread of colds (illness).

    Naval makes quite a few interesting pandemic related points/observations during their conversation:

  10. … Severe Social Distancing … pandemic …

  11. Anon[395] • Disclaimer says:

    Re: Male vs. Female death rate. It’s known that men have a higher death rate from Covid-19. In fact, I think they have a higher death rate from most known illnesses. Well, has anyone ever pointed out that men are known to indulge in a habit that women don’t, which can easily spread viruses and bacteria from fingers to the interior of the body?

    Yep, men tend to pick their noses. Do people realize that if it had been possible to socialize men more, the entire male gender would have had a longer average lifespan?

    • Replies: @LondonBob
    The initial cases were a group of men in the Wuhan wet market -which is also the cause of the error that the virus attacks men more than women, there are few female market workers. The apparent evidence for this is that large quantities of the virus have been found on the trading floor of another Wuhan wet market - the original Wuhan wet market was perhaps disinfected and its now demolished.

    The best prevention against getting this virus is simple: WASH YOUR HANDS REGULARLY AND DON'T TOUCH YOUR FACE. The virus lived on surfaces for at least nine days. Things like public door handles, lift buttons, stair rails, supermarket trolleys, etc. that are touched by thousands of people daily are going to in all probability carry the virus. The virus can't get through dry skin, but if you rub your eye or suchlike the virus can get at your living tissue. Faeces may also be a route. Clean toilets.
    , @anon
    Why would this be considered a good thing? Most social animals have used higher male death rates to increase adaption of the group to environmental stresses. Also the recent attempts of males in our society to socialize more in the manner of females have been accompanied by greatly increased habits of contact involving fingers, tongues and other penetrating organs with the interiors of neighboring organisms, resulting in viral and bacterial pathways facilitating Mother Nature's efforts to limit male lifespan.
    So there.
    , @S. Anonyia
    This is an interesting fantasy. Men will never have longer lifespans than women as they are larger. More cells = more mutations possible. More can go wrong.

    The oldest man in the world is never a tall man. Sardinians, Mexicans, and Japanese tend to live a really long time, even smokers sometimes. They are not known for their height or athletic lifestyles.

    Meanwhile it isn’t unusual for large Northern European men to keel over in their 70’s of heart issues even if they are health freaks. West African men in the Americas (also large on a global scale) have an even shorter lifespan.

    Anyway, back to COVID-19: if you are under 40 your chance of dying of it is very low, male or female.

    It seems to impact elderly (65 plus) men the worst.

    If it is as remotely bad as they say...that means there is some wealth to be gained for younger generations, possibly. It’s also why there is such a freak out over it: most important people in the world (politicians, business execs) are in their 70’s. Gerontocracy.

  12. Great, as if the social retards of America needed another reason to continue their retardation.

  13. @The Alarmist
    Look at the bright side: The Black Death of the 14th century made the serf labour supply so tight that the serfs could start bidding out their services to the highest bidder, breathing life into social mobility and kicking off a six hundred year rise of freedom and prosperity that has only recently been turned back by the Criminal Elite. Who knows what this culling might bring. In any case, losing half of Philly, SF, NYC, or DC (interesting, that AIPAC story) might be a good thing.e

    It might help individuals who no longer have Grandma/pa spending the legacy on nursing home care. But this isn’t the Great Mortality, no matter what some hope.

  14. On medical care, remember that in an America with half our current population 500 people used to die of measles annually. Last year with over 2,000 cases nobody died, and that’s been true for years. (But they were dropping like flies in American Samoa last year … more primitive medical care?)

  15. @Anon
    "Severe Social Distancing" basically sounds like being an introvert.

    Given how everyone's an internet addict these days, and can spend hours binging Netflix or playing video games, social distancing should be a lot easier and tolerable these days. Unlike in the past when you had to physically go to libraries, theaters, parades for stimulation.

    The positive side of Bowling Alone – plague resistance.

    • Replies: @Hail

    plague resistance
     
    Some areas of Europe were mysteriously unaffected during the Black Plague of the late 1340s while others were hit so hard. No one really knows why the unaffected areas weer spared. Or so I've read.

    Anyone reading this know, or think they might know, why? I can't imagine it was localized rigorous regimes of Severe Social Distancing, but you never know.

  16. @Anon
    Re: Male vs. Female death rate. It's known that men have a higher death rate from Covid-19. In fact, I think they have a higher death rate from most known illnesses. Well, has anyone ever pointed out that men are known to indulge in a habit that women don't, which can easily spread viruses and bacteria from fingers to the interior of the body?

    Yep, men tend to pick their noses. Do people realize that if it had been possible to socialize men more, the entire male gender would have had a longer average lifespan?

    The initial cases were a group of men in the Wuhan wet market -which is also the cause of the error that the virus attacks men more than women, there are few female market workers. The apparent evidence for this is that large quantities of the virus have been found on the trading floor of another Wuhan wet market – the original Wuhan wet market was perhaps disinfected and its now demolished.

    The best prevention against getting this virus is simple: WASH YOUR HANDS REGULARLY AND DON’T TOUCH YOUR FACE. The virus lived on surfaces for at least nine days. Things like public door handles, lift buttons, stair rails, supermarket trolleys, etc. that are touched by thousands of people daily are going to in all probability carry the virus. The virus can’t get through dry skin, but if you rub your eye or suchlike the virus can get at your living tissue. Faeces may also be a route. Clean toilets.

  17. Hail says: • Website
    @IHTG
    The positive side of Bowling Alone - plague resistance.

    plague resistance

    Some areas of Europe were mysteriously unaffected during the Black Plague of the late 1340s while others were hit so hard. No one really knows why the unaffected areas weer spared. Or so I’ve read.

    Anyone reading this know, or think they might know, why? I can’t imagine it was localized rigorous regimes of Severe Social Distancing, but you never know.

    • Replies: @Anon
    Who knows, but survivors gave rise to the English pub!

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3138203/How-Black-Death-drove-survivors-pub-Survivors-plague-turned-beer-wages-soared-years-pandemic.html

    •The Black Death inadvertently gave rise to the birth of the English pub as we know it today

    •Real incomes shot up by 250 per cent between 1300 and 1450

    •Unlike in most of the rest of Europe, English wages stayed high even when population numbers slowly recovered

    It was the devastating pandemic that wiped out half of medieval Britain’s population.

    But the Black Death also had a surprising, and far more cheery, side-effect on our culture.

    It inadvertently gave rise to the birth of the English pub as we know it today...

    Real incomes shot up by 250 per cent between 1300 and 1450... and reached a level by 1500 that would not be permanently exceeded until the 1880s.

    Unlike in most of the rest of Europe, English wages stayed high even when population numbers slowly recovered.

    One consequence of this was that more ale was drunk, brewing became more commercialised, taverns and alehouses for drinking and playing games sprung up and ‘the English pub was born’.

     

  18. @Neoconned
    I bought 2 wks of toilet paper today. Buying more tomorrow....

    I thinkthis might get bad. I hope Trump's dumb ass doesn't catch the blame for this....

    You’re the POTUS, you get blame for everything that happens, whether it’s your fault or not.

  19. @The Germ Theory of Disease
    One thing is for certain. The obvious solution to the virus is MOAR IMMIGRATION.

    Open Borders may be the exact antonym of Social Distancing.

    Wonder how they’ll play that one.

    • Replies: @Hail
    Protest-sign slogan soon to be seen in Europe:

    NO VIRUS IS ILLEGAL
     
    ?
  20. @Anon
    The powers that be already know quarantine isn't going to work. The goal is to 'slow roll' the epidemic, trying to keep hospitals from being so crushed they can't offer medical care to an overwhelming wave of patients that would pour in all at once.

    A doctor in Italy made his entire hospital staff take a high-potency Vitamin D shot, and told them daily Vitamin C pills are mandatory for them. All hospitals across the planet ought to copy this to try to reduce sickness among doctors and nurses.

    Other doctors are giving patients Vitamin C in IVs to see if it cuts the severity of the disease. It may help.

    More D for patients would be good too. People in nursing homes tend to have very low Vitamin D levels.

    Maybe one reason winter virus epidemics tend to abate in warmer months is that people are getting more sun, and consequently, vitamin D.

    The other is that some viruses, including coronavirus, don’t survive heat and humidity:

    “at moderate temperatures of 20-30°C, there was a long survival time, but only when the air was dry. Very high temperatures (>30°C) render the coronaviruses inactive”

    https://facilityexecutive.com/2020/02/indoor-humidification-can-reduce-coronavirus-transmission/

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    Could I turn my thermostat up to 88 and be confident of killing coronavirus in my house? I saw a study saying that SARS can't survive 100 F and 95% humidity, but I'm not sure I can either.
  21. @Anon
    The powers that be already know quarantine isn't going to work. The goal is to 'slow roll' the epidemic, trying to keep hospitals from being so crushed they can't offer medical care to an overwhelming wave of patients that would pour in all at once.

    A doctor in Italy made his entire hospital staff take a high-potency Vitamin D shot, and told them daily Vitamin C pills are mandatory for them. All hospitals across the planet ought to copy this to try to reduce sickness among doctors and nurses.

    Other doctors are giving patients Vitamin C in IVs to see if it cuts the severity of the disease. It may help.

    More D for patients would be good too. People in nursing homes tend to have very low Vitamin D levels.

    Yeah, let’s just try random vitamin megadosing. Why not?

    Ever since AIDS was magically “cured” most people think a vaccine can be developed for absolutely everything, given a few weeks.

  22. @Lockean Proviso
    Maybe one reason winter virus epidemics tend to abate in warmer months is that people are getting more sun, and consequently, vitamin D.

    The other is that some viruses, including coronavirus, don't survive heat and humidity:

    "at moderate temperatures of 20-30°C, there was a long survival time, but only when the air was dry. Very high temperatures (>30°C) render the coronaviruses inactive"

    https://facilityexecutive.com/2020/02/indoor-humidification-can-reduce-coronavirus-transmission/

    Could I turn my thermostat up to 88 and be confident of killing coronavirus in my house? I saw a study saying that SARS can’t survive 100 F and 95% humidity, but I’m not sure I can either.

    • Replies: @Chrisnonymous
    Oddly, I think mid-range humidity is worst for it. I'll have to see if I can find that study again.

    BTW, Steve, Pubmed has articles on the last SARS outbrsak too. You don't have to rely on 1918. Taiwan and Singapore.
    , @Corn
    Sauna may become more popular outside of Finland....
    , @Lockean Proviso
    No, cranking the thermostat up so high is probably not the way to go. Reliance on household temperature and humidity for killing viruses in the home would be unreliable compared to disinfecting contact surfaces regularly, especially those used when entering from outside exposure before washing hands, such as doorknobs, key sets, and faucet handles. Alcohol-saturated paper towels or alcohol sprayed from a mister and wiped to spread are good if using at least 60% alcohol. We used 70% alcohol spray in the biotech class 100 clean room where I used to work. Ammonia, Lysol, or dilute bleach works too.
    New EPA list of recommended disinfectants for COVID:
    https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2020-03/documents/sars-cov-2-list_03-03-2020.pdf

    Humidity of 50% is correlated with a faster virus degradation rate than 20% or 80% in this study of two similar viruses to COVID-19, although 80% is a closer second and 20% a distant third. It would be good for these researchers to try intermediate humidity levels between 50% and 80% to further refine these findings. Their methodology in this study is well thought out.
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2863430/#!po=1.25000

    Higher humidity is good too for lung health, especially if fighting a respiratory infection. You should consider a humidifier for your living space, especially given dry western air.

    If you're concerned about underlying health condition and/or age re coronavirus, consider getting an oxygen concentrator/generator. If the hospitals fill up, they are the next best thing to a ventilator.  Patients are vulnerable due to inflammation in lungs, but breathing purer oxygen maximizes O2 absorption of remaining lung capacity.  Better to have it and not need it than the other way around. As a bonus, breathing concentrated oxygen while working might also boost your healthy productivity– not that you need it, because you're already prolific. Some corporations pump oxygen into meeting rooms to increase meeting efficiency and combat post-lunch drowsiness.

    Also, don't neglect getting exercise even if you're physically distancing. Go out to walk when there aren't many people around or get a home exerciser to do tolerable interval workouts on such as a rower or stationary bike. A velo trainer can be gotten for $50 or so, and any used bike will hook up to it. Schwinn Airdynes are on craigslist and give a total body workout. Cardiovascular fitness is important because it boosts overall health and resilience and reduces stress from being cooped up. Workouts also help keep weight down which is important if lung capacity is reduced due to infection because less body weight consumes less oxygen. Many of the factors cited as increasing mortality from COVID can be reduced or mitigated with physical training.

  23. @Steve Sailer
    Could I turn my thermostat up to 88 and be confident of killing coronavirus in my house? I saw a study saying that SARS can't survive 100 F and 95% humidity, but I'm not sure I can either.

    Oddly, I think mid-range humidity is worst for it. I’ll have to see if I can find that study again.

    BTW, Steve, Pubmed has articles on the last SARS outbrsak too. You don’t have to rely on 1918. Taiwan and Singapore.

  24. Anon[369] • Disclaimer says:
    @Hail

    plague resistance
     
    Some areas of Europe were mysteriously unaffected during the Black Plague of the late 1340s while others were hit so hard. No one really knows why the unaffected areas weer spared. Or so I've read.

    Anyone reading this know, or think they might know, why? I can't imagine it was localized rigorous regimes of Severe Social Distancing, but you never know.

    Who knows, but survivors gave rise to the English pub!

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3138203/How-Black-Death-drove-survivors-pub-Survivors-plague-turned-beer-wages-soared-years-pandemic.html

    •The Black Death inadvertently gave rise to the birth of the English pub as we know it today

    •Real incomes shot up by 250 per cent between 1300 and 1450

    •Unlike in most of the rest of Europe, English wages stayed high even when population numbers slowly recovered

    It was the devastating pandemic that wiped out half of medieval Britain’s population.

    But the Black Death also had a surprising, and far more cheery, side-effect on our culture.

    It inadvertently gave rise to the birth of the English pub as we know it today…

    Real incomes shot up by 250 per cent between 1300 and 1450… and reached a level by 1500 that would not be permanently exceeded until the 1880s.

    Unlike in most of the rest of Europe, English wages stayed high even when population numbers slowly recovered.

    One consequence of this was that more ale was drunk, brewing became more commercialised, taverns and alehouses for drinking and playing games sprung up and ‘the English pub was born’.

  25. @Neoconned
    I bought 2 wks of toilet paper today. Buying more tomorrow....

    I thinkthis might get bad. I hope Trump's dumb ass doesn't catch the blame for this....

    Trump better wake up. He said he has no intention of cancelling those rallies he’s been holding. He needs to tell the Amerian people we are in a national emergency and all public events are cancelled until further notice. Business as usual will not be able to fend off the virus until November. Better to deal with a recession/depression caused by China on election day than a million or more Wuhan flu deaths.

  26. anon[216] • Disclaimer says:

    Wait . . . wait . . . I’m sensing something . . . channeling some guy named Greg.

    Got it: he says if the Philadelphia parade was a first step in discordant propagation, resultant congregating of the sick at hospitals was another. True to most of the history of medicine, the hospitals not only could not help, they could only make matters worse, in this case by spreading the flu to healthy hospital workers.

  27. anon[106] • Disclaimer says:
    @Anon
    Re: Male vs. Female death rate. It's known that men have a higher death rate from Covid-19. In fact, I think they have a higher death rate from most known illnesses. Well, has anyone ever pointed out that men are known to indulge in a habit that women don't, which can easily spread viruses and bacteria from fingers to the interior of the body?

    Yep, men tend to pick their noses. Do people realize that if it had been possible to socialize men more, the entire male gender would have had a longer average lifespan?

    Why would this be considered a good thing? Most social animals have used higher male death rates to increase adaption of the group to environmental stresses. Also the recent attempts of males in our society to socialize more in the manner of females have been accompanied by greatly increased habits of contact involving fingers, tongues and other penetrating organs with the interiors of neighboring organisms, resulting in viral and bacterial pathways facilitating Mother Nature’s efforts to limit male lifespan.
    So there.

  28. @Steve Sailer
    Could I turn my thermostat up to 88 and be confident of killing coronavirus in my house? I saw a study saying that SARS can't survive 100 F and 95% humidity, but I'm not sure I can either.

    Sauna may become more popular outside of Finland….

  29. res says:
    @Anon
    The powers that be already know quarantine isn't going to work. The goal is to 'slow roll' the epidemic, trying to keep hospitals from being so crushed they can't offer medical care to an overwhelming wave of patients that would pour in all at once.

    A doctor in Italy made his entire hospital staff take a high-potency Vitamin D shot, and told them daily Vitamin C pills are mandatory for them. All hospitals across the planet ought to copy this to try to reduce sickness among doctors and nurses.

    Other doctors are giving patients Vitamin C in IVs to see if it cuts the severity of the disease. It may help.

    More D for patients would be good too. People in nursing homes tend to have very low Vitamin D levels.

    Do you have a link talking about your Italy example?

    Here is more on this: “Other doctors are giving patients Vitamin C in IVs to see if it cuts the severity of the disease. It may help.”

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-8067189/Chinas-doctors-racing-Vitamin-C-beat-coronavirus.html

    In China, a study is under way to see if high doses of vitamin C can help fight off coronavirus (officially known as COVID-19). Scientists at the Zhongnan Hospital of Wuhan University are testing its effects on 120 patients who have the virus, giving them daily infusions of 24g of vitamin C for seven days. Results have not yet been published.

    More details from the trial registration: https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT04264533
    Estimated primary completion date 9/30/20.

    • Replies: @Deckin
    24g is a huge amount of Vitamin C. The induced scurvy on the way out of that treatment would be awful if it's not well managed.
    , @Chrisnonymous
    What about statins and anti-platelet therapy in case mechanical ventilation is required?
    Did I send you down a rabbit hole?
  30. And The Lord sayeth, the NEETS shall inherit the Earth.

    Alas, they will not know what to do with the Earth as post-apocalyptic society will lack the ability to produce chicken tenders and anime.

  31. @res
    Do you have a link talking about your Italy example?

    Here is more on this: "Other doctors are giving patients Vitamin C in IVs to see if it cuts the severity of the disease. It may help."

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-8067189/Chinas-doctors-racing-Vitamin-C-beat-coronavirus.html

    In China, a study is under way to see if high doses of vitamin C can help fight off coronavirus (officially known as COVID-19). Scientists at the Zhongnan Hospital of Wuhan University are testing its effects on 120 patients who have the virus, giving them daily infusions of 24g of vitamin C for seven days. Results have not yet been published.
     
    More details from the trial registration: https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT04264533
    Estimated primary completion date 9/30/20.

    24g is a huge amount of Vitamin C. The induced scurvy on the way out of that treatment would be awful if it’s not well managed.

    • Replies: @Chrisnonymous
    Induced scurvy?
  32. @Anon
    The powers that be already know quarantine isn't going to work. The goal is to 'slow roll' the epidemic, trying to keep hospitals from being so crushed they can't offer medical care to an overwhelming wave of patients that would pour in all at once.

    A doctor in Italy made his entire hospital staff take a high-potency Vitamin D shot, and told them daily Vitamin C pills are mandatory for them. All hospitals across the planet ought to copy this to try to reduce sickness among doctors and nurses.

    Other doctors are giving patients Vitamin C in IVs to see if it cuts the severity of the disease. It may help.

    More D for patients would be good too. People in nursing homes tend to have very low Vitamin D levels.

    Other doctors are giving patients Vitamin C in IVs to see if it cuts the severity of the disease. It may help.

    It will help.

    Vitamin C is remarkably safe even in enormously high doses. Dr. Klenner administered up to 300 grams per day. Generally, he gave 350 to 700 mg per kilogram (2.2 lb) body weight per day.

    Vitamin C kills viruses while boosting the immune system.

    IV vitamin C will cure any viral infection.

    • Agree: Twodees Partain
    • Disagree: Rob
    • Replies: @Chrisnonymous
    Tang for AIDS! Who knew?!
  33. @The Alarmist
    Look at the bright side: The Black Death of the 14th century made the serf labour supply so tight that the serfs could start bidding out their services to the highest bidder, breathing life into social mobility and kicking off a six hundred year rise of freedom and prosperity that has only recently been turned back by the Criminal Elite. Who knows what this culling might bring. In any case, losing half of Philly, SF, NYC, or DC (interesting, that AIPAC story) might be a good thing.e

    “Criminal Elite” would be a good name for an NFL team.

  34. Philadelphia had about twice the death rate of St. Louis. This is often blamed on a very popular war bond parade held in Philadelphia on September 28, 1918 for which 200,000 turned out.

    Hard to imagine today, but Philadelphia and St Louis had teams in both major leagues in those days– indeed, until the mid-1950s.

    (Philadelphia is unusual in that their “strong sister” moved away, not the weak one. Imagine the Yankees or Red Sox leaving town. It’s also the only two-team city in which the two never finished in first in the same year. Both finished last multiple times, however.)

    In the 1930s, the annual Army-Navy game in Philadelphia would outdraw the Eagles’ entire season. It was a very different era.

    St Louis hosted the World’s Fair and third modern Olympics in 1904. By 1992, it was unusual that the two events were even held in the same country, Spain.

    In 1912, there was no boxing at the Stockholm Olympics because it was illegal at the time in Sweden. (Obviously this had changed by the time of Ingemar Johansson.) A century later, the UK relaxed their nasty pistol ban for a handful of privileged foreign competitors so they could compete in London.

    The International Olympic Committee had clearly increased in influence in the meantime!

  35. @Anon
    Re: Male vs. Female death rate. It's known that men have a higher death rate from Covid-19. In fact, I think they have a higher death rate from most known illnesses. Well, has anyone ever pointed out that men are known to indulge in a habit that women don't, which can easily spread viruses and bacteria from fingers to the interior of the body?

    Yep, men tend to pick their noses. Do people realize that if it had been possible to socialize men more, the entire male gender would have had a longer average lifespan?

    This is an interesting fantasy. Men will never have longer lifespans than women as they are larger. More cells = more mutations possible. More can go wrong.

    The oldest man in the world is never a tall man. Sardinians, Mexicans, and Japanese tend to live a really long time, even smokers sometimes. They are not known for their height or athletic lifestyles.

    Meanwhile it isn’t unusual for large Northern European men to keel over in their 70’s of heart issues even if they are health freaks. West African men in the Americas (also large on a global scale) have an even shorter lifespan.

    Anyway, back to COVID-19: if you are under 40 your chance of dying of it is very low, male or female.

    It seems to impact elderly (65 plus) men the worst.

    If it is as remotely bad as they say…that means there is some wealth to be gained for younger generations, possibly. It’s also why there is such a freak out over it: most important people in the world (politicians, business execs) are in their 70’s. Gerontocracy.

  36. @Deckin
    24g is a huge amount of Vitamin C. The induced scurvy on the way out of that treatment would be awful if it's not well managed.

    Induced scurvy?

  37. @Adam Smith

    Other doctors are giving patients Vitamin C in IVs to see if it cuts the severity of the disease. It may help.
     
    It will help.

    Vitamin C is remarkably safe even in enormously high doses. Dr. Klenner administered up to 300 grams per day. Generally, he gave 350 to 700 mg per kilogram (2.2 lb) body weight per day.

    Vitamin C kills viruses while boosting the immune system.

    IV vitamin C will cure any viral infection.

    Tang for AIDS! Who knew?!

    • Replies: @Adam Smith
    Scientifically proven to work better than Purple Drank.
  38. @res
    Do you have a link talking about your Italy example?

    Here is more on this: "Other doctors are giving patients Vitamin C in IVs to see if it cuts the severity of the disease. It may help."

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-8067189/Chinas-doctors-racing-Vitamin-C-beat-coronavirus.html

    In China, a study is under way to see if high doses of vitamin C can help fight off coronavirus (officially known as COVID-19). Scientists at the Zhongnan Hospital of Wuhan University are testing its effects on 120 patients who have the virus, giving them daily infusions of 24g of vitamin C for seven days. Results have not yet been published.
     
    More details from the trial registration: https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT04264533
    Estimated primary completion date 9/30/20.

    What about statins and anti-platelet therapy in case mechanical ventilation is required?
    Did I send you down a rabbit hole?

  39. I hope we will not have to cancel the Stanley Cup finals this time.

  40. @The Germ Theory of Disease
    One thing is for certain. The obvious solution to the virus is MOAR IMMIGRATION.

    Absolutely, the rapid spread of COVID 19 shows the United States needs to accept tens of thousands of Central American refugees before they get the disease that no one has tested them for. It’s Who We Are ™.

  41. @HammerJack
    Open Borders may be the exact antonym of Social Distancing.

    Wonder how they'll play that one.

    Protest-sign slogan soon to be seen in Europe:

    NO VIRUS IS ILLEGAL

    ?

  42. It should be frowned upon for researchers to report point estimates, or to make claims of “30-50% reductions” in some metric, without reporting an interval , preferably obtained by a Monte Carlo simulation (or even better, a systematic sensitivity analysis – similar to a Monte, but randomly sampling from the estimated joint density of the parameters).

    The small-sample properties of etimators often diverge wildly (and unpredictably) from the asymptotic properties on which reported p-values depend – and more so when the parameter estimates are deployed in a nonlinear model.

    And there’s no excuse for not performing the Monte in 2007: a standard Monte library is about 50 lines of code. It might add an hour or two to the time taken to perform the analysis, which is pretty trivial. It furnishes superior estimates of parameter ranges compared to amateur-hour appeal to asymptotic properties.

    It might make the writeup harder to get published when it turns out that the 2σ CI for the ‘reduction’ includes zero, but I’ve never understood why that’s an excuse not to do the analysis properly. I guess it gives the Cochrane Collaboration things to work on.

    Cool coronavirus story after the jump…

    [MORE]

    I don’t go to the doctor very often. Perhaps once a year on average, and at least half of all visits are to get a prescription that The Lovely thinks she needs but doesn’t want linked to her medical record (e.g., zolpidem or zopiclone).

    In late December last year, I want to the Toorak Clinic (a couple of blocks from home) to do this duty.

    The doctor I saw was a nice chap of late middle-age, who asked me the right questions, and gave me the script.

    Yesterday it was all over the news that a doc from that clinic had contracted coronavirus, and may have infected as many as 70 patients.

    Turns out that ‘my’ doctor is an interesting cat for two reasons:
    ① He got coronavirus, it felt no worse than a cold and – following guidelines – he didn’t get swabbed (because his overseas trip was to the US, not China or Iran or Italy); and
    ② He is ‘Missy’ Higgins’ Dad. She is a slightly alternative Australian pop singer whose main hit I quite like.

    So that means I am directly linked to – have shaken the hand of, and told plausible lies about insomnia to – someone who contracted, recovered from, and may have transmitted, coronavirus.

    1 degree of separation – but with a nice temporal overlay that makes the apparent proximity irrelevant.

  43. It is important to remember what percentage of the country was rural at that time, too! Frightening!

  44. @Neoconned
    I bought 2 wks of toilet paper today. Buying more tomorrow....

    I thinkthis might get bad. I hope Trump's dumb ass doesn't catch the blame for this....

    Toilet paper? Dang, man, just get yourself a good tersorium. Never wears out. Mine’s been in the family for generations now.

  45. @Steve Sailer
    Could I turn my thermostat up to 88 and be confident of killing coronavirus in my house? I saw a study saying that SARS can't survive 100 F and 95% humidity, but I'm not sure I can either.

    No, cranking the thermostat up so high is probably not the way to go. Reliance on household temperature and humidity for killing viruses in the home would be unreliable compared to disinfecting contact surfaces regularly, especially those used when entering from outside exposure before washing hands, such as doorknobs, key sets, and faucet handles. Alcohol-saturated paper towels or alcohol sprayed from a mister and wiped to spread are good if using at least 60% alcohol. We used 70% alcohol spray in the biotech class 100 clean room where I used to work. Ammonia, Lysol, or dilute bleach works too.
    New EPA list of recommended disinfectants for COVID:
    https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2020-03/documents/sars-cov-2-list_03-03-2020.pdf

    Humidity of 50% is correlated with a faster virus degradation rate than 20% or 80% in this study of two similar viruses to COVID-19, although 80% is a closer second and 20% a distant third. It would be good for these researchers to try intermediate humidity levels between 50% and 80% to further refine these findings. Their methodology in this study is well thought out.
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2863430/#!po=1.25000

    Higher humidity is good too for lung health, especially if fighting a respiratory infection. You should consider a humidifier for your living space, especially given dry western air.

    If you’re concerned about underlying health condition and/or age re coronavirus, consider getting an oxygen concentrator/generator. If the hospitals fill up, they are the next best thing to a ventilator.  Patients are vulnerable due to inflammation in lungs, but breathing purer oxygen maximizes O2 absorption of remaining lung capacity.  Better to have it and not need it than the other way around. As a bonus, breathing concentrated oxygen while working might also boost your healthy productivity– not that you need it, because you’re already prolific. Some corporations pump oxygen into meeting rooms to increase meeting efficiency and combat post-lunch drowsiness.

    Also, don’t neglect getting exercise even if you’re physically distancing. Go out to walk when there aren’t many people around or get a home exerciser to do tolerable interval workouts on such as a rower or stationary bike. A velo trainer can be gotten for $50 or so, and any used bike will hook up to it. Schwinn Airdynes are on craigslist and give a total body workout. Cardiovascular fitness is important because it boosts overall health and resilience and reduces stress from being cooped up. Workouts also help keep weight down which is important if lung capacity is reduced due to infection because less body weight consumes less oxygen. Many of the factors cited as increasing mortality from COVID can be reduced or mitigated with physical training.

  46. @Chrisnonymous
    Tang for AIDS! Who knew?!

    Scientifically proven to work better than Purple Drank.

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