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Telluride Test First Wave: 643 Negative Out of 645
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I mentioned awhile ago that San Miguel County, Colorado (home to the ski town of Telluride) is starting an antibody test that hopes to test the majority of the county’s 8,000 residents. One optimistic theory is that millions of Americans have already had coronavirus so lots of people are (hopefully) immune and we’re that much closer to herd immunity. Because of the testing shortage, there hasn’t been much in the way of random sampling yet.

Here are the results of the initial wave:

Posted on: March 24, 2020
First Set of Results for COVID-19 Blood Test

(March 24, 2020) — San Miguel County, CO — San Miguel County Department of Public Health and Environment today received the results for the first group of those who had the COVID-19 ELISA blood test.

The group of 645, first responders and their families, all tested negative. Two parties had a mild signal change, although not enough to change the negative test results. In some cases, this can indicate early seroconversion. Public Health has spoken directly to these two individuals.

“Although the results did not come back as positive, we have asked them to self-quarantine for 14 days. Additionally, we have requested them to take the PCR nasal swab to compare the two tests,” Grace Franklin, Director of Public Health said.

It sounds like they should have done the PCR test along with the antibody test to compare how they work.

Negative blood test results indicate that a person has not had exposure to the virus and therefore remains susceptible to becoming infected. This test should be repeated after 14 days to detect any changes in immune status.

Okay, so none of the 645 tested positive, two were in a gray area and 643 negative.

These first responders are townies rather than international jet setters.

Some other ski towns have had bad outbreaks, but there could be a fair amount of randomness in the results due to the small sample size of visitors. Telluride is extremely remote at 9,000 feet at the end of a single road in the huge San Juan Mountains of southwest Colorado. One airline, Boutique Air, serves it, but lots of its regulars arrive on private planes. It could be that it just happened that virtually nobody with virus showed up this year. Or … what?

Pattern recognition has proven difficult in this epidemic. For example, I’ve been pointing out the role of skiing in the spread. But here’s a famous ski town with, apparently, very little.

Tyler Cowen asks, “Where does all the heterogeneity come from?” and cites numerous seemingly contradictory numbers from around the world.

 
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  1. Maybe the Coronavirus isn’t quite as novel as we think? Perhaps it has been around awhile, with one easier to spread strain, the others not so much?

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    This may be true. I’ve been ranting for weeks now about this being a significant number if not the majority of the 80% of people tested this winter for flu -like illnesses who are negative for either flu strains. Something else pushed high ER #s starting around Christmas.

    There were 14,000 people traveling between China and the US each day in 2019. If this started as late as November in Wuhan as some suspect, it was likely in the more heavily Asian US West Coast or NYC area seeing it hit by the end of Christmas break after family travel with expats. My kids school in NJ, with many Asian families had one of its worst illness outbreaks and actually closed one day at the end of January for cleaning and an attempt to break the transmission cycle. They thought it was influenza.

    The idea that patient zero was at Wuhan Wet Market in December is silly.
    , @Known Fact
    I remain ambivalent about the benefits of testing -- especially as I'm increasingly wondering if the general public and my fellow idiot journalists are mixing up the dangerous COVID-19 with all the other coronaviruses that have already been floating around out there. Maybe a new generation of tests will help solve that ambiguity.
    , @ic1000
    Re: coronavirus novelty. In the 1990s, two human coronavirus strains were known. In the course of stepped-up research in the late 2000s in the aftermath of SARS, two more were identified. Among them, HKU1, NL63, OC43, and 229E account for 15% to ~25% of common colds. There are also a few reports on PubMed identifying these strains as the culprits for severe respiratory disease in a number of populations, so they aren't entirely benign.

    The FDA's FAQ warns that Covid-19 serology tests may have cross-reactivity to the viral antigens of one or more of these strains. Knowing the profile of the particular test being used is crucial to interpretation.

    The group of 645, first responders and their families, all tested negative. Two parties had a mild signal change, although not enough to change the negative test results. In some cases, this can indicate early seroconversion.
     
    Zero (or 2) of 645 is evidence that this antibody test doesn't cross-react to the known hCoV strains.

    Here is a March 20th preprint from Erasmus University in the Netherlands, Nisreen Okba et al., that delves into the subject. They characterized one serology test that doesn't cross-react, and another that does (PDF page 7). Interestingly, most of the preprints I've read report that patient antibodies to SARS-2 antigens cross-react to SARS antigens. (Fortunately, the SARS and MERS viruses were contained. Since they aren't in circulation, they don't complicate interpetation.)
  2. “Pattern recognition has proven difficult in this epidemic. ”

    Except that the virus seems to kill mostly elderly people with preexisting ailments. Seems like a pretty significant pattern to me.

    • Replies: @Franz

    Except that the virus seems to kill mostly elderly people with preexisting ailments. Seems like a pretty significant pattern to me.
     
    The flu has always killed the elderly and people with preexisting conditions.

    What they're doing the hustle-shuffle now about is: How many of those dying of flu also test positive for the Coronavirus?

    Redneck farmer, above, probably nailed it. This thing is not new, no newer than the flu. Influenza, by itself, actually IS new, at least as we've known it over the past 120 years, give or take. Flu hit like clockwork every fifty years. Then power lines went up, radio, etc., since which we have a flu season every winter, when human immune systems are sometimes overloaded anyway. Human activity in this one case actually tripped an inborn kill switch.

    (Still, let's be clear: The Covid-19 victims on the cruise ship had bad hearts, hypertension, others, and were mostly over-75. These people would have been lucky to live anyway. Call it death by old age.)

    Turns out two things I bet on a month ago are working out:

    First. Call it Covid-19, call it flu, it's the same thing. Every year a new strain shows up. Going bananas over this one is novel. So it's a diversion of some sort. What sort?

    Second, both in South Korea and in Boston megadoses of Vitamin C, given in IV format, are lessening symptoms and aiding the cure. Pauling, Levy, and all the other guys (sorry gals they were mostly fellas) who said ascorbic is medicine's missing link, were right. It works. Somebody snarked on me for saying so, but I was right. It really does work. Some extra C at mealtimes? Yep.
    , @Kim
    Shhhh! You'll spoil the fun!
    , @Je Suis Omar Mateen
    My local fakestream media wax orgasmic over every fresh CoronaKill, but to their credit they faithfully disclose the age and preexisting diseases of every decedent. Thus far, all were boomers in lousy health, nudged gently into the Great Beyond by kungflu.

    Our President is correct: it's time to end this Democratic governors hoax and get back to work.
    , @LondonBob
    The other pattern is the same as for the Spanish Flu, Italians especially hard hit.

    A 1921 investigation into Spanish Flu, in The American Journal of Hygiene, reported ethnic differences in mortality from the virus, commenting that, in comparison to other immigrants, the death rate was “enormously high among Italians” but “lower than would be expected among persons of Irish, English and German stock,” presumably based on the mortality rate that poverty would predict [Influenza: An Epidemiologic Study, by Warren Taylor Vaughan, American Journal of Hygiene, 1921].

    The pandemic scythed through urban America’s Little Italies, and Italian-Americans had one of the very highest mortality rates in the entire country [America's Forgotten Pandemic: The Influenza of 1918, by Alfred Crosby, 2003, pp.227-228].
  3. Healthy lungs and ages old social distancing – as in Iceland, at which Tyler Coen looks with great curiosity – result in small numbers of Corona patients – lesser lung protections (small numbers of vaccinated people) and lots of social contact like in Wuhan (and in New York?), and the numbers are up.
    That would be one type of explanantion. I’m sure, there are many others. A factor in the lung-differences could be ACE2.

    • Replies: @Sebastian Hawks
    "lots of social contact like in Wuhan (and in New York?), and the numbers are up"

    Getting on a crowded bus or subway car with one infected person breathing out aerosol with the virus is a disaster. I wonder if the one of the long term effects from this thing will be an urge to get out of the cities and live in smaller towns? The "Geez, let's all get rid of our cars and use public transportation." campaign of hipsters may come to a screeching halt. Maybe these carpetbagging CEOs who were hired to run companies like Caterpillar and ADM, walked into town, and then decided to steal their headquarters from their historic locations in Peoria and Decatur because these carpetbaggers missed the bright lights and big city too much will put them back in their proper locations. Hopefully these bastards all die of Coronavirus they catch locked up in Chicago and the headquarters can be put back where they belong in uncrowded open cities with affordable housing. What they did was like hiring some "expert" from out of town to be president of the Green Bay Packers who decided he was "too good for Green Bay" and wanted to live in Miami Beach so now we will have the Miami Beach Packers.

  4. WASHINGTON

    President Donald Trump has approved a disaster declaration for Colorado, allowing additional federal assistance for the state, tribal and local response to the coronavirus outbreak.

    Gov. Jared Polis said in a statement Saturday that the declaration ensures that the state “can be on a level playing field with other states that already have this status like New York and Washington when it comes to federal disaster funding and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) assistance.”

    As with Hollywood stars, so it goes with the nation’s governors. It’s a status thing. Just look at poor old Kathy Griffin. Got herself admitted to hospital in the middle of all this and it turned out to be just a severe case of attention-seeking drama queen.

    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
    Agreed, Mr. McKenna.

    I'm nobody if I just close the bars, restaurants, and discos like the rest of 'em. I'll really stand out at the Governor's Conference in the Virgin Islands this year, if I tell people they can't get together in groups of 3 or more ... except for sex. Wait! You're telling me the Governor of New Mexico has already done that? OK, everyone in Kansas, stay in the bathtub, or else!
    , @Realist

    As with Hollywood stars, so it goes with the nation’s governors. It’s a status thing. Just look at poor old Kathy Griffin. Got herself admitted to hospital in the middle of all this and it turned out to be just a severe case of attention-seeking drama queen.
     
    Why would the stupid bitch go to mexico...doesn't she have enough money to go to a nice place?

    She had a case of Montezuma's revenge.
  5. Excuse me, but I’ve wanted to say this for a few days now:

    Curiouser and curiouser.

  6. Spreads further in cities, small towns less so. I still wonder if it is the planes flying to and from these destinations that is accelerating things, maybe some catch it in a bar, restaurant or cabin then they infect several others on the plane back. I gather the first cases in Jamaica as well as several other Caribbean islands were British tourists from London, did they have it already in London or pick it up traveling there. So many of the initial cases here were people returning from holiday in Spain or Italy, did all of them get it when there or from a fellow traveler returning home?

    • Replies: @Altai
    Theoretically for the US the incentives should have been even higher for the US to stop importation. For the US there is a massive amount of internal movement inside it's borders but movement outside is far less and is not typically of any vital purpose. So for the US it would have been far less painful to cut itself off to avoid massive spread inside it's borders that would require far more painful measures to contain.

    What is so vital about direct flights from New York to Milan that they couldn't have been stopped for a few weeks or months to forestall the shitshow that's going on now?

    This whole thing is so revealing of modern politicians fear of responsibility and their manager-like qualities. Usually you could cynically say they're pushing a decision off to save themselves having to make it or because it buys them many months. In this case you have them putting off decisions whose consequences will be felt in days. All these measures were inevitable when decisions were not taken to cut off Lombardy which inevitably happened but those few days of delays now make all the measures taken have to be so much more disruptive and harsher. And everyone knew this. That is a pathological failure of leadership, there is no virus lobby you can blame.

    Every last one of them was waiting for somebody else to make the first move so they could follow. When Denmark enacted the 'lock-down' measures somebody leaked internal emails from medical advisers and ministers in Ireland that forced the Irish government to announce similar measures and from there European governments began one to by one to follow.

    , @ThreeCranes
    The airplane thing is starting to smell. Analogous to air-conditioning systems in convention centers and Legionnaires’.
    , @Realist

    Spreads further in cities, small towns less so.
     
    People are packed like sardines...not too hard to understand.
  7. deCode in Iceland did a population survey a few days ago, they found two weeks ago 1% of the population had been infected from their estimates by March 17th. The question of if it would spread faster in a smaller population or if people simply knowing each other better would allow better quarantine, contact tracing and avoidance of others is an interesting one though.

    But Iceland imported a monster (For it’s size) 40 cases in just two planes from Milan in late February.

    But again, these people were immediately put in quaratine along with anyone they lived with.

    More recent estimates have been a bit lower.

    https://nordiclifescience.org/covid-19-first-results-of-the-voluntary-screening-in-iceland/

  8. @LondonBob
    Spreads further in cities, small towns less so. I still wonder if it is the planes flying to and from these destinations that is accelerating things, maybe some catch it in a bar, restaurant or cabin then they infect several others on the plane back. I gather the first cases in Jamaica as well as several other Caribbean islands were British tourists from London, did they have it already in London or pick it up traveling there. So many of the initial cases here were people returning from holiday in Spain or Italy, did all of them get it when there or from a fellow traveler returning home?

    Theoretically for the US the incentives should have been even higher for the US to stop importation. For the US there is a massive amount of internal movement inside it’s borders but movement outside is far less and is not typically of any vital purpose. So for the US it would have been far less painful to cut itself off to avoid massive spread inside it’s borders that would require far more painful measures to contain.

    What is so vital about direct flights from New York to Milan that they couldn’t have been stopped for a few weeks or months to forestall the shitshow that’s going on now?

    This whole thing is so revealing of modern politicians fear of responsibility and their manager-like qualities. Usually you could cynically say they’re pushing a decision off to save themselves having to make it or because it buys them many months. In this case you have them putting off decisions whose consequences will be felt in days. All these measures were inevitable when decisions were not taken to cut off Lombardy which inevitably happened but those few days of delays now make all the measures taken have to be so much more disruptive and harsher. And everyone knew this. That is a pathological failure of leadership, there is no virus lobby you can blame.

    Every last one of them was waiting for somebody else to make the first move so they could follow. When Denmark enacted the ‘lock-down’ measures somebody leaked internal emails from medical advisers and ministers in Ireland that forced the Irish government to announce similar measures and from there European governments began one to by one to follow.

  9. A factor at work in Italy that is hardly known: Italy is the country in Europe with the highest number of deaths caused by antibiotics-resistance:

    https://www.thelancet.com/action/showPdf?pii=S1473-3099%2818%2930605-4%20

    A quote from The Lancet

    Findings From EARS-Net data collected between Jan 1, 2015, and Dec 31, 2015, we estimated 671689 (95% uncertainty
    interval [UI] 583148–763 966) infections with antibiotic-resistant bacteria, of which 63·5% (426277 of 671 689) were
    associated with health care. These infections accounted for an estimated 33 110 (28 480–38 430) attributable deaths
    and 874541 (768837–989068) DALYs. The burden for the EU and EEA was highest in infants (aged <1 year) and
    people aged 65 years or older, had increased since 2007, and was highest in Italy and Greece.

    • Replies: @NOTA
    I wonder if that corresponds to worse infection control in hospitals.
  10. Anon[336] • Disclaimer says:

    OT

    If North and South America would ship in stocks of African animals, especially herbivores, to replace all the megafauna killed off by the First Nations and the Second Nations (who killed off the First Nations) during the Pleistocene, it would fill an ecological niche that has been lacking since the last Ice Age ended.

    Pablo Escobar’s Hippos Fill a Hole Left Since Ice Age Extinctions
    Invasive herbivore mammals seem to restore functions missing in some food webs and ecosystems since the Pleistocene era.
    https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/26/science/pablo-escobar-hippos.html

    I want American giraffes and elephants!

    Nobody talks about it, but you know as sure as God made little green apples that megafauna will go extinct in Africa within a century. I mean, be real. The animals’ habitat is contained within dysfunctional shithole countries, and the human population is set to grow to a trillion people, a few of which will remain in Africa and kill and eat the animals that they don’t sell to Chinese herbal medicine makers.

    While the genetic diversity of the various species is still reasonably diverse, let’s ship a bunch of them to the U.S. and Canada, make a humongous binational park, and let them run wild.

    • Agree: John Achterhof
    • Disagree: Jack Armstrong
    • Replies: @Anon
    From 2005:

    Pleistocene Rewilding
    https://www.nytimes.com/2005/12/11/magazine/pleistocene-rewilding.html

    Thirteen thousand years ago, truly mega fauna, including lions, cheetahs, camels and five kinds of elephant, also walked the land -- and still would today, had humans not come along to speed their extinction....

    Why not bring 'em back? In August, in a paper titled "Re-Wilding North America," a team of naturalists led by Josh Donlan, a Cornell University graduate student, proposed to do exactly that. Many of these large vertebrates now face extinction in Africa and Asia, the authors note; meanwhile, the Great Plains area is slowly emptying of its people. No time like the present to restore the Pleistocene-era wilderness....

    Of course, the reintroduced beasts wouldn't be the exact same species as the originals, merely their closest living kin....

    A Pleistocene Park would press us to put our money where our mouth is: You want wild nature? You got it, right next door. No doubt the creatures of the Pleistocene would love a second crack at humankind. Are we game?
     
    , @psmith
    Why not bison restoration in NA?

    (And how do you feel about wolves?)
    , @Joe Stalin
    Jurassic Hunting Park U.S.A. That would be F'ing Cool!
    , @Lot
    Agree!

    Also, time to try again to being penguins to Alaska and Maine.

    Talk about charismatic!

    https://wherehavethepenguinsgone.files.wordpress.com/2011/02/emperor-penguin-antarctica1.jpg
    , @obwandiyag
    But the poor suffering ranchers. All they get is a subsidy from the government for every calf (all two) killed by wolves reimbursing them for the full value. Those poor suffering ranchers. They remind me of the poor suffering fishermen and the poor suffering loggers. They're suffering. Help them somebody please.
    , @Anonymous
    I've loong advocated bringing the sport of cheetah coursing into the Americas. Kind of like falconry, but with cheetahs. A cheetah is only dangerous to humans if it hits you at 60 mph.
  11. @MikeatMikedotMike
    "Pattern recognition has proven difficult in this epidemic. "

    Except that the virus seems to kill mostly elderly people with preexisting ailments. Seems like a pretty significant pattern to me.

    Except that the virus seems to kill mostly elderly people with preexisting ailments. Seems like a pretty significant pattern to me.

    The flu has always killed the elderly and people with preexisting conditions.

    What they’re doing the hustle-shuffle now about is: How many of those dying of flu also test positive for the Coronavirus?

    Redneck farmer, above, probably nailed it. This thing is not new, no newer than the flu. Influenza, by itself, actually IS new, at least as we’ve known it over the past 120 years, give or take. Flu hit like clockwork every fifty years. Then power lines went up, radio, etc., since which we have a flu season every winter, when human immune systems are sometimes overloaded anyway. Human activity in this one case actually tripped an inborn kill switch.

    (Still, let’s be clear: The Covid-19 victims on the cruise ship had bad hearts, hypertension, others, and were mostly over-75. These people would have been lucky to live anyway. Call it death by old age.)

    Turns out two things I bet on a month ago are working out:

    First. Call it Covid-19, call it flu, it’s the same thing. Every year a new strain shows up. Going bananas over this one is novel. So it’s a diversion of some sort. What sort?

    Second, both in South Korea and in Boston megadoses of Vitamin C, given in IV format, are lessening symptoms and aiding the cure. Pauling, Levy, and all the other guys (sorry gals they were mostly fellas) who said ascorbic is medicine’s missing link, were right. It works. Somebody snarked on me for saying so, but I was right. It really does work. Some extra C at mealtimes? Yep.

    • Replies: @El Dato

    First. Call it Covid-19, call it flu, it’s the same thing.
     
    This is stupid, stop it. It's not even the same virus.

    Second, both in South Korea and in Boston megadoses of Vitamin C, given in IV format, are lessening symptoms and aiding the cure.
     
    Citation needed, and I don't mean from quack journals.

    If you give "megadoses of vitamin C" (which has helped no-one who doesn't suffer scurvy, ever, and is pushed by marketers wanting to sell you "enhanced aspirin" and is certainly not something that is practices in a hospital setting) you have another big problem because that's TOXIC.

    , @Anonymous
    Not so much as a diversion as a final system failure. The megacities are failing. They have no economic base except politics (finance bring a political rather than an economic enterprise, one supported by the Fed etc.) This year the megacity party (the Democrats) have so much internal squabbling over race and sex and money ("intersectionality") that they don't really see the external world anymore, and that is because their income stream minus consumption and deprecation is negative, while their debt is immense.

    The analogy is to an old second car. When the tires finally need replacing and the credit card borrowing is high, that replacement bill might be just the bit of maintenance cost that makes the owner sell or junk the car. The cities are on the verge of being junked: People are already fleeing them, and the feasibility of telecommuting is being strongly demonstrated. The NYC Mayor seems unable to say much more than "give me more money or I'll do X", with "X" being something that nobody cares very much about today.

    Not that the system failure will be easy or trivial or, in fact, anything but tragic -- but that it is now both irreversible and worldwide. That's why COVID-19 is important.
  12. @MikeatMikedotMike
    "Pattern recognition has proven difficult in this epidemic. "

    Except that the virus seems to kill mostly elderly people with preexisting ailments. Seems like a pretty significant pattern to me.

    Shhhh! You’ll spoil the fun!

  13. Townies don’t rub elbows with or kiss-kiss the jet-set.

  14. Anon[336] • Disclaimer says:
    @Anon
    OT

    If North and South America would ship in stocks of African animals, especially herbivores, to replace all the megafauna killed off by the First Nations and the Second Nations (who killed off the First Nations) during the Pleistocene, it would fill an ecological niche that has been lacking since the last Ice Age ended.

    Pablo Escobar’s Hippos Fill a Hole Left Since Ice Age Extinctions
    Invasive herbivore mammals seem to restore functions missing in some food webs and ecosystems since the Pleistocene era.
    https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/26/science/pablo-escobar-hippos.html

    I want American giraffes and elephants!

    Nobody talks about it, but you know as sure as God made little green apples that megafauna will go extinct in Africa within a century. I mean, be real. The animals' habitat is contained within dysfunctional shithole countries, and the human population is set to grow to a trillion people, a few of which will remain in Africa and kill and eat the animals that they don't sell to Chinese herbal medicine makers.

    While the genetic diversity of the various species is still reasonably diverse, let's ship a bunch of them to the U.S. and Canada, make a humongous binational park, and let them run wild.

    From 2005:

    Pleistocene Rewilding
    https://www.nytimes.com/2005/12/11/magazine/pleistocene-rewilding.html

    Thirteen thousand years ago, truly mega fauna, including lions, cheetahs, camels and five kinds of elephant, also walked the land — and still would today, had humans not come along to speed their extinction….

    Why not bring ’em back? In August, in a paper titled “Re-Wilding North America,” a team of naturalists led by Josh Donlan, a Cornell University graduate student, proposed to do exactly that. Many of these large vertebrates now face extinction in Africa and Asia, the authors note; meanwhile, the Great Plains area is slowly emptying of its people. No time like the present to restore the Pleistocene-era wilderness….

    Of course, the reintroduced beasts wouldn’t be the exact same species as the originals, merely their closest living kin….

    A Pleistocene Park would press us to put our money where our mouth is: You want wild nature? You got it, right next door. No doubt the creatures of the Pleistocene would love a second crack at humankind. Are we game?

  15. In case anyone was wondering why the obscure little town of Telluride had mass testing:

    “A Telluride couple is paying for their entire county’s coronavirus tests. “

  16. OT:

    Here’s a story about a Texas supermarket and grocery firm, H-E-B, that started planning for Covid-19 in January.

    Impressive.

    https://www.texasmonthly.com/food/heb-prepared-coronavirus-pandemic/

    • Thanks: botazefa
  17. @Mr McKenna

    WASHINGTON

    President Donald Trump has approved a disaster declaration for Colorado, allowing additional federal assistance for the state, tribal and local response to the coronavirus outbreak.

    Gov. Jared Polis said in a statement Saturday that the declaration ensures that the state "can be on a level playing field with other states that already have this status like New York and Washington when it comes to federal disaster funding and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) assistance.”
     

    As with Hollywood stars, so it goes with the nation's governors. It's a status thing. Just look at poor old Kathy Griffin. Got herself admitted to hospital in the middle of all this and it turned out to be just a severe case of attention-seeking drama queen.

    Agreed, Mr. McKenna.

    I’m nobody if I just close the bars, restaurants, and discos like the rest of ’em. I’ll really stand out at the Governor’s Conference in the Virgin Islands this year, if I tell people they can’t get together in groups of 3 or more … except for sex. Wait! You’re telling me the Governor of New Mexico has already done that? OK, everyone in Kansas, stay in the bathtub, or else!

  18. @LondonBob
    Spreads further in cities, small towns less so. I still wonder if it is the planes flying to and from these destinations that is accelerating things, maybe some catch it in a bar, restaurant or cabin then they infect several others on the plane back. I gather the first cases in Jamaica as well as several other Caribbean islands were British tourists from London, did they have it already in London or pick it up traveling there. So many of the initial cases here were people returning from holiday in Spain or Italy, did all of them get it when there or from a fellow traveler returning home?

    The airplane thing is starting to smell. Analogous to air-conditioning systems in convention centers and Legionnaires’.

  19. This should be done in a town in NY, NJ, CT first. Not Colorado.

  20. How do you guys feel about investing in annuities with participation in the stock market?
    An annuity would seem like a good way to participate in the market’s upside, while protecting one’s principal (you don’t participate in market declines).

    Also, what do you think about a guaranteed fixed lifetime income? I’ve researched an annuity from Global Atlantic that pays 6.3% of the principal per year (until death). If there’s anything left in the annuity before death, your descendants inherit it.

    • LOL: Testing12
    • Replies: @Redneck farmer
    Our local financial services guy on the radio hates all but one annuity. He considers them ripoffs. Unfortunately, I can't remember the he says isn't bad.
    , @Jonathan Mason

    How do you guys feel about investing in annuities with participation in the stock market?

    An annuity would seem like a good way to participate in the market’s upside, while protecting one’s principal (you don’t participate in market declines).
     

    The devil is all in the details. Usually annuities do not represent good value for money as a huge amount is creamed off in commissions and expenses. I do not see how they can offer a plan that participates in stock market upside, but has no downside. Sounds like a trick to me.

    Also, they usually operate on the basis that when you die, they keep the capital, not that there is a residue, that is how they are able to offer higher than market rates--you die, they win.

    The most cost effective way to participate in the upside (that you hope for) would be to simply buy shares in SPY which is the Exchange Traded Fund for the S&P 500 and hold them for ever. This also pays a dividend, currently 1.9%, but could go well over 2% if the markets decline more, (which I expect to happen), so if you left in the dividend until you retired, it could be reinvested in ever more shares, thus growing your capital.

    https://finance.yahoo.com/quote/SPY

    This way you would pay no sales or brokerage commissions, or only nominal amounts, would keep all of your capital for your heirs, and would participate 100% in any capital appreciation.**

    If Donald Trump had done this with his inheritance, he would be substantially richer now than he is.

    ** This is for discussion only and should not in any way be interpreted as professional investment advice. Consult a professional, but be aware that they might try to steer you towards what is profitable for them, rather than what is best for you.

    , @Buzz Mohawk
    A long time ago, in an office far far away, we referred to annuities as glorified CDs. Think of them that way.

    "Participation in the stock market" defeats the purpose of an annuity.

    If you can really get a guaranteed 6.3% on your principal for the rest of your life, and if your principal is enough for you to live on like a trust fund baby, then you have something that sounds too good to be true. Check the details. Nothing is earning a guaranteed 6.3% today, and I can't see how anybody could forecast it out and guarantee that to you.
    , @anon
    As a concept, an annuity makes a lot of sense. In practice, they are frequently plagued by high commissions and fees and complexity.

    As a very general rule, if someone is selling one, I would avoid it. If you are shopping for one, then you are probably ok. If it seems like a great deal, you probably don't understand it. If you actually read the prospectus, you're a better man than me.
    , @Lot
    No to annuities. Fees are way too high.

    SPY is better, but better still is its lower-fee non-profit Vanguard version: VOO. Exact same investments, but better returns because of slightly lower fee and you sidestep paying management fees to a Wall Street manager, which is good on principle.

    As Buzz says, they border on scams. Buy a CD and bond fund for security and get your stock market upside by buying an index fund at the same time.

    , @The Wild Geese Howard

    Also, what do you think about a guaranteed fixed lifetime income? I’ve researched an annuity from Global Atlantic that pays 6.3% of the principal per year (until death). If there’s anything left in the annuity before death, your descendants inherit it.
     
    6.3% is extremely high for an annuity rate of return. How large is Global Atlantic? What are their total dollar assets under management?

    I've dealt with annuities from Transamerica and PacLife in the recent past. Trying to do anything is an enormous pain in the ass because almost any transaction requires you to fill out a form and fax it back to them. Or, you may have to have the form notarized and mail it back to them.

    Their websites are useless for any task other than checking the value of the annuity. On top of this, you usually need to deal with a middleman like a banker at your local Chase or BoA branch to get the form in the first place.

    Personally, I've been doing well buying put options against indexes and equities in the airline, hotel, and restaurant sectors. Some have suggested buying LEAPS straddle options on equities that could go bankrupt or come roaring back. My maximum position sizes are 2-3% of my brokerage account, or 1-2% of my overall portfolio.

  21. @Mr McKenna

    WASHINGTON

    President Donald Trump has approved a disaster declaration for Colorado, allowing additional federal assistance for the state, tribal and local response to the coronavirus outbreak.

    Gov. Jared Polis said in a statement Saturday that the declaration ensures that the state "can be on a level playing field with other states that already have this status like New York and Washington when it comes to federal disaster funding and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) assistance.”
     

    As with Hollywood stars, so it goes with the nation's governors. It's a status thing. Just look at poor old Kathy Griffin. Got herself admitted to hospital in the middle of all this and it turned out to be just a severe case of attention-seeking drama queen.

    As with Hollywood stars, so it goes with the nation’s governors. It’s a status thing. Just look at poor old Kathy Griffin. Got herself admitted to hospital in the middle of all this and it turned out to be just a severe case of attention-seeking drama queen.

    Why would the stupid bitch go to mexico…doesn’t she have enough money to go to a nice place?

    She had a case of Montezuma’s revenge.

    • Replies: @M_Young
    My thought exactly. At least about her illness.

    Mexico is actually pretty nice if you go to the right places and keep your situational awareness high.

  22. @LondonBob
    Spreads further in cities, small towns less so. I still wonder if it is the planes flying to and from these destinations that is accelerating things, maybe some catch it in a bar, restaurant or cabin then they infect several others on the plane back. I gather the first cases in Jamaica as well as several other Caribbean islands were British tourists from London, did they have it already in London or pick it up traveling there. So many of the initial cases here were people returning from holiday in Spain or Italy, did all of them get it when there or from a fellow traveler returning home?

    Spreads further in cities, small towns less so.

    People are packed like sardines…not too hard to understand.

  23. Robert Redford’s Sundance Film Festival is held in Park City, Utah. The Telluride Film Festival is different. I know these details are important to solving this problem.

    — Bigoted boomer too stupid to use the internet, who should just die now

    • Replies: @education realist
    Beat me to it!
    , @cthulhu
    The Telluride Film Festival is held at the end of summer.

    Telluride is not at all like the ultra-glitzy Vail and Aspen; it’s not a place to see and be seen. It’s more like the Colorado version of the North County San Diego municipality of Rancho Santa Fe: a place where the rich and famous go to and own homes to NOT be recognized. I’ve seen plenty of famous people in both places, and it is considered extraordinarily gauche to make anything out of it.

    Telluride has a really great ski mountain too, and a lot more uphill capacity than beds - fantastic place to ski, and a very cool vibe. Wish I could afford to own a winter house there.
  24. So basically it’s not at high prevalence everywhere and there’s plenty of grist left for the corona mills. I talked to some people this week who thought 30% of people magically already had it with no symptoms and we were approaching the end. No. It’s like SARS it’s bad.

    • Replies: @Kratoklastes

    I talked to some people this week who thought 30% of people magically already had it with no symptoms and we were approaching the end.
     
    That conflates a bunch of things that are true, and then reaches a reasonable conclusion by the wrong mechanism.

    About 30% of people who test positive are asymptomatic: that's not a matter of significant controversy, and there's no magic involved.

    Someone has gotten the wrong end of the stick. They have read (or heard)

    "30% of people who have it are asymps"
     
    and interpreted it as

    "30% of people have it and are asymps".
     
    This is due to the fact that functional literacy is extremely low. Most people cannot consistently parse conditional statements correctly.

    As to the SKor testing...

    The SKor testing found that
    • ~57% of the people who tested positive were under 50.
    • 27% (more than half the under-50s) were between 20 and 29.

    Again - there will be people who read (or hear)

    "57% of SKors who tested positive were under 50"
     
    and interpret it as

    "57% of SKors who were under 50, tested positive".
     
    The total positive tests were 9332 (as at March 27), so ~that's ~5400 people aged 1-50 and ~2520 in their 20s.

    There are (roughly) 32.3 million SKors under 50 (source: South Korea: Population Pyramid 2018 [rather, the JSON file that populates the popups]).

    The infection rate in the entire 1-50 age cohort of the population is ~5400/32300000 - which rounds up 0.017%.

    The age distribution of fatalities was drastically different, with a massive skew to the old.

    The combined 30-49 age group had a death rate of 0.1% of the age-group infected (which is basically 0% of the population-wide age-group), and there were zero deaths of people under 30.

    (The age-fatality breakdown is from data as at March 16th; at the time SKor had a death count of 91 overall - it's now 152, but the age-fatality distribution hasn't changed appreciably).

    .

    Given that this is the most-tested population in the world (we are reliably informed), the correct conclusion to draw is that it's mildly interesting that there's a pathogen that makes old sick people die a bit earlier (without appreciably changing their life expectancy as a cohort).

    I think the formal term for this phenomenon is the one I've been using for a while... nothngburger.
  25. Thanks for the update. My gut feeling is that the idea that there are thousands of hidden, asymptomatic cases is just wishful thinking. The country that has done the most testing – South Korea – hasn’t found a significant number. Their fatality rate of ~1.6% is probably the best global estimate currently.

    • Replies: @jon

    The country that has done the most testing – South Korea – hasn’t found a significant number. Their fatality rate of ~1.6% is probably the best global estimate currently.
     
    Their death rate may be on the low side because they had a huge number of young (mostly women) cult members who were in their confirmed cases stats.
  26. @Anon
    OT

    If North and South America would ship in stocks of African animals, especially herbivores, to replace all the megafauna killed off by the First Nations and the Second Nations (who killed off the First Nations) during the Pleistocene, it would fill an ecological niche that has been lacking since the last Ice Age ended.

    Pablo Escobar’s Hippos Fill a Hole Left Since Ice Age Extinctions
    Invasive herbivore mammals seem to restore functions missing in some food webs and ecosystems since the Pleistocene era.
    https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/26/science/pablo-escobar-hippos.html

    I want American giraffes and elephants!

    Nobody talks about it, but you know as sure as God made little green apples that megafauna will go extinct in Africa within a century. I mean, be real. The animals' habitat is contained within dysfunctional shithole countries, and the human population is set to grow to a trillion people, a few of which will remain in Africa and kill and eat the animals that they don't sell to Chinese herbal medicine makers.

    While the genetic diversity of the various species is still reasonably diverse, let's ship a bunch of them to the U.S. and Canada, make a humongous binational park, and let them run wild.

    Why not bison restoration in NA?

    (And how do you feel about wolves?)

  27. It’s rather simple. Virus doesn’t like fresh air and sunshine. Wuhan during the height of the epidemic was having a major air pollution event. Smog and haze is a perfect vector to carry the virus. Combine that with the average lung condition of the average Chinese in Wuhan, and you’ve got a pandemic. Telluride is rather healthy. That’s why you don’t see major outbreaks in places like the Philippines or the continent of Africa: The air is mostly clean and there’s lots of sunshine.

  28. @Anon
    OT

    If North and South America would ship in stocks of African animals, especially herbivores, to replace all the megafauna killed off by the First Nations and the Second Nations (who killed off the First Nations) during the Pleistocene, it would fill an ecological niche that has been lacking since the last Ice Age ended.

    Pablo Escobar’s Hippos Fill a Hole Left Since Ice Age Extinctions
    Invasive herbivore mammals seem to restore functions missing in some food webs and ecosystems since the Pleistocene era.
    https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/26/science/pablo-escobar-hippos.html

    I want American giraffes and elephants!

    Nobody talks about it, but you know as sure as God made little green apples that megafauna will go extinct in Africa within a century. I mean, be real. The animals' habitat is contained within dysfunctional shithole countries, and the human population is set to grow to a trillion people, a few of which will remain in Africa and kill and eat the animals that they don't sell to Chinese herbal medicine makers.

    While the genetic diversity of the various species is still reasonably diverse, let's ship a bunch of them to the U.S. and Canada, make a humongous binational park, and let them run wild.

    Jurassic Hunting Park U.S.A. That would be F’ing Cool!

  29. Probably not a lot of nursing homes in Telluride.

    One piece of information we are not getting is where people are testing positive for cornona virus? What percentage are residents of nursing homes? Prisons? (I have not heard of any prison cases yet on Florida, and the Florida dashboard is not showing zero infections in several counties with prisons, but of course that could change in an instant).

    Here’s an interesting statistic. Miami-Dade, which I have been following, is showing 1121 cases with an average age of only 48, meaning that more than half of cases must be less than 50 years of age. In the neighboring counties of Broward and Palm Beach, which also have a lot of cases, the average ages are 48 and 50 respectively.

    These three counties account for more than 50% of the total Florida cases. Elsewhere in Florida corona virus hotspots Tampa (Hillsborough County) goes even younger with an average age of 44, and Orlando (Orange County) with an average age of 46 and only in Jacksonville, which is nobody’s idea of a retirement destination, is the average age over 50.

    Of course it could be that the Florida Department of Health statistics are just wrong. For Baker County, the first county alphabetically, the range of ages for 7 cases is given as 55-97, with an average age of 53, so I don’t know how they get that unless the age of some cases is unknown and the algorithm assigns them an age of 0.

    In Miami-Dade, the age range is shown to be 3-120, which is amazing. Might be a story there.

    However, I think we have to assume that the Florida Department of Health web site is the best source of information for Florida, even if it has some errors.

    You can see the Florida corona virus map here:

    https://experience.arcgis.com/experience/96dd742462124fa0b38ddedb9b25e429

    Yesterday shows a slight dip in the number of new cases for the whole of Florida, which could be promising. The site is updated two times daily, around 11:00 am and 7 p.m. This morning only 110 cases have been added, which looks like a huge drop for half-day data, and if there is no huge number added this evening, it will be a significant drop from yesterday.

    The more I look at the Florida Department of Health reports, the less I trust the figures, as I see that the total for yesterday (Saturday) has now been increased since I went to bed last night and it looks as if a batch of results for yesterday may have come in after the site was updated yesterday and then added today to the numbers for yesterday, rather than added to today’s numbers.

    I guess in the long run the numbers will smooth out.

    • Replies: @ThreeCranes
    From the map it would appear as though The Forgotten Coast is truly named. I hope it remains so.
  30. @JohnnyWalker123
    How do you guys feel about investing in annuities with participation in the stock market?
    An annuity would seem like a good way to participate in the market's upside, while protecting one's principal (you don't participate in market declines).

    Also, what do you think about a guaranteed fixed lifetime income? I've researched an annuity from Global Atlantic that pays 6.3% of the principal per year (until death). If there's anything left in the annuity before death, your descendants inherit it.

    Our local financial services guy on the radio hates all but one annuity. He considers them ripoffs. Unfortunately, I can’t remember the he says isn’t bad.

    • Replies: @res

    Our local financial services guy on the radio hates all but one annuity. He considers them ripoffs. Unfortunately, I can’t remember the he says isn’t bad.
     
    The one he sells?
  31. Anonymous[367] • Disclaimer says:
    @Redneck farmer
    Maybe the Coronavirus isn't quite as novel as we think? Perhaps it has been around awhile, with one easier to spread strain, the others not so much?

    This may be true. I’ve been ranting for weeks now about this being a significant number if not the majority of the 80% of people tested this winter for flu -like illnesses who are negative for either flu strains. Something else pushed high ER #s starting around Christmas.

    There were 14,000 people traveling between China and the US each day in 2019. If this started as late as November in Wuhan as some suspect, it was likely in the more heavily Asian US West Coast or NYC area seeing it hit by the end of Christmas break after family travel with expats. My kids school in NJ, with many Asian families had one of its worst illness outbreaks and actually closed one day at the end of January for cleaning and an attempt to break the transmission cycle. They thought it was influenza.

    The idea that patient zero was at Wuhan Wet Market in December is silly.

  32. @JohnnyWalker123
    How do you guys feel about investing in annuities with participation in the stock market?
    An annuity would seem like a good way to participate in the market's upside, while protecting one's principal (you don't participate in market declines).

    Also, what do you think about a guaranteed fixed lifetime income? I've researched an annuity from Global Atlantic that pays 6.3% of the principal per year (until death). If there's anything left in the annuity before death, your descendants inherit it.

    How do you guys feel about investing in annuities with participation in the stock market?

    An annuity would seem like a good way to participate in the market’s upside, while protecting one’s principal (you don’t participate in market declines).

    The devil is all in the details. Usually annuities do not represent good value for money as a huge amount is creamed off in commissions and expenses. I do not see how they can offer a plan that participates in stock market upside, but has no downside. Sounds like a trick to me.

    Also, they usually operate on the basis that when you die, they keep the capital, not that there is a residue, that is how they are able to offer higher than market rates–you die, they win.

    The most cost effective way to participate in the upside (that you hope for) would be to simply buy shares in SPY which is the Exchange Traded Fund for the S&P 500 and hold them for ever. This also pays a dividend, currently 1.9%, but could go well over 2% if the markets decline more, (which I expect to happen), so if you left in the dividend until you retired, it could be reinvested in ever more shares, thus growing your capital.

    https://finance.yahoo.com/quote/SPY

    This way you would pay no sales or brokerage commissions, or only nominal amounts, would keep all of your capital for your heirs, and would participate 100% in any capital appreciation.**

    If Donald Trump had done this with his inheritance, he would be substantially richer now than he is.

    ** This is for discussion only and should not in any way be interpreted as professional investment advice. Consult a professional, but be aware that they might try to steer you towards what is profitable for them, rather than what is best for you.

    • Replies: @res

    If Donald Trump had done this with his inheritance, he would be substantially richer now than he is.
     
    Including his living expenses? I've gotten a bit tired of this canard, but maybe someone has done a realistic comparison this time? That demonstrates your point?

    Here is one of the better attempts I have seen at a real analysis.
    https://www.quora.com/Is-it-true-that-Donald-Trump-would-be-much-richer-if-he-had-simply-invested-his-inheritance-in-a-good-equity-fund-and-let-it-grow
  33. iSteve:

    I think some of my esteemed reader-colleagues of your fine Web site are not getting the distinction between a PCR test and an antibody test.

    OK, people, don’t go all Peter Duesberg on me regarding the degree of scientific certainty of the HIV/AIDS hypothesis — this is an analogy that everyone is familiar with given the amount of press coverage. In an HIV/AIDS analogy, the PCR test is your “viral load” — this is something you only do on someone who has AIDS to determine of their “drug cocktail” (combination of anti-retroviral medicines) is having the intended effect. The antibody test is where you go out and get checked to see if you have HIV and are at risk of developing AIDS. That test determines if you are “pos.”

    “Pos” for HIV is not a good thing, or it is at least good to know this state of affairs that a person isn’t spreading HIV to other people. “Pos” for an antibody corona virus test would be a great thing, both for the person who is “pos” and everyone around them. It is believed that such a person would only not be a source for further spread (presuming their “viral load” PCR test is negative and they don’t have overt cold or flu symptoms), such a person may be immune from catching it again, presuming there are not multiple strains out there or that the virus is mutating into immunologically different strains.

    Yeah, yeah, this is an initial trial, it is among the local inhabitants of a small, mountain community and has it been tested on people who have survived active cases to know if the antibody test even works? But initially, at least, it appears to shoot to heck my theory that we all have been “exposed” by now and that we can go back to work and deal with as best we are able those unfortunate to be on the far edges of the Bell Curve and die from it.

    If this study is confirmed, it would establish that 1) the deadliness is perhaps in the high sub-1 percent range, taking into account people with mild symptoms who haven’t been tested for “viral load” with PCR, 2) we need to keep hunkering down to as best we can contain this thing.

    It also suggests that “herd immunity” is a non-starter unless you want to kill about a million Americans to acquire it in this country. Maybe very few people have gotten this virus and we need to keep it that way?

    By the way, people (cough, Mr. Unz, cough), share more data and less scolding/snark. We are all in this together.

    One additional compliment — iSteve appears to be an island of sanity on this topic — let’s keep it civil and keep it that way.

  34. We went skiing in mid-February in Breckenridge with another couple from Atlanta (she works for the CDC). They both took sick with flu symptoms on return; she thinks they had the Coronavirus and got over it. We had no symptoms, but we were on a different flight back to San Jose. If they had it, they might have caught it on the Denver-Atlanta flight.

  35. @Anon
    OT

    If North and South America would ship in stocks of African animals, especially herbivores, to replace all the megafauna killed off by the First Nations and the Second Nations (who killed off the First Nations) during the Pleistocene, it would fill an ecological niche that has been lacking since the last Ice Age ended.

    Pablo Escobar’s Hippos Fill a Hole Left Since Ice Age Extinctions
    Invasive herbivore mammals seem to restore functions missing in some food webs and ecosystems since the Pleistocene era.
    https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/26/science/pablo-escobar-hippos.html

    I want American giraffes and elephants!

    Nobody talks about it, but you know as sure as God made little green apples that megafauna will go extinct in Africa within a century. I mean, be real. The animals' habitat is contained within dysfunctional shithole countries, and the human population is set to grow to a trillion people, a few of which will remain in Africa and kill and eat the animals that they don't sell to Chinese herbal medicine makers.

    While the genetic diversity of the various species is still reasonably diverse, let's ship a bunch of them to the U.S. and Canada, make a humongous binational park, and let them run wild.

    Agree!

    Also, time to try again to being penguins to Alaska and Maine.

    Talk about charismatic!

  36. This is a good thing to follow.

  37. @Redneck farmer
    Maybe the Coronavirus isn't quite as novel as we think? Perhaps it has been around awhile, with one easier to spread strain, the others not so much?

    I remain ambivalent about the benefits of testing — especially as I’m increasingly wondering if the general public and my fellow idiot journalists are mixing up the dangerous COVID-19 with all the other coronaviruses that have already been floating around out there. Maybe a new generation of tests will help solve that ambiguity.

  38. @JohnnyWalker123
    How do you guys feel about investing in annuities with participation in the stock market?
    An annuity would seem like a good way to participate in the market's upside, while protecting one's principal (you don't participate in market declines).

    Also, what do you think about a guaranteed fixed lifetime income? I've researched an annuity from Global Atlantic that pays 6.3% of the principal per year (until death). If there's anything left in the annuity before death, your descendants inherit it.

    A long time ago, in an office far far away, we referred to annuities as glorified CDs. Think of them that way.

    “Participation in the stock market” defeats the purpose of an annuity.

    If you can really get a guaranteed 6.3% on your principal for the rest of your life, and if your principal is enough for you to live on like a trust fund baby, then you have something that sounds too good to be true. Check the details. Nothing is earning a guaranteed 6.3% today, and I can’t see how anybody could forecast it out and guarantee that to you.

    • Replies: @Jonathan Mason

    If you can really get a guaranteed 6.3% on your principal for the rest of your life, and if your principal is enough for you to live on like a trust fund baby, then you have something that sounds too good to be true.
     
    You used to be able to get deals like this, or even better, but then they sent Madoff to prison and it has not been the same since.

    Yes, VOO is a better deal than SPY if you can buy into it in your jurisdiction.
  39. anon[377] • Disclaimer says:
    @JohnnyWalker123
    How do you guys feel about investing in annuities with participation in the stock market?
    An annuity would seem like a good way to participate in the market's upside, while protecting one's principal (you don't participate in market declines).

    Also, what do you think about a guaranteed fixed lifetime income? I've researched an annuity from Global Atlantic that pays 6.3% of the principal per year (until death). If there's anything left in the annuity before death, your descendants inherit it.

    As a concept, an annuity makes a lot of sense. In practice, they are frequently plagued by high commissions and fees and complexity.

    As a very general rule, if someone is selling one, I would avoid it. If you are shopping for one, then you are probably ok. If it seems like a great deal, you probably don’t understand it. If you actually read the prospectus, you’re a better man than me.

  40. @JohnnyWalker123
    How do you guys feel about investing in annuities with participation in the stock market?
    An annuity would seem like a good way to participate in the market's upside, while protecting one's principal (you don't participate in market declines).

    Also, what do you think about a guaranteed fixed lifetime income? I've researched an annuity from Global Atlantic that pays 6.3% of the principal per year (until death). If there's anything left in the annuity before death, your descendants inherit it.

    No to annuities. Fees are way too high.

    SPY is better, but better still is its lower-fee non-profit Vanguard version: VOO. Exact same investments, but better returns because of slightly lower fee and you sidestep paying management fees to a Wall Street manager, which is good on principle.

    As Buzz says, they border on scams. Buy a CD and bond fund for security and get your stock market upside by buying an index fund at the same time.

    • Replies: @Known Fact
    When I mystery shopped bankers I heard dozens of them try to pitch me an annuity, and it never struck me as something I'd actually want to look into in real life (as opposed to feigning interest as part of the mystery-shopping scenario). Seems there are more flexible and less confusing ways to grind out investment income
  41. @Buzz Mohawk
    Robert Redford's Sundance Film Festival is held in Park City, Utah. The Telluride Film Festival is different. I know these details are important to solving this problem.

    -- Bigoted boomer too stupid to use the internet, who should just die now

    Beat me to it!

  42. @MikeatMikedotMike
    "Pattern recognition has proven difficult in this epidemic. "

    Except that the virus seems to kill mostly elderly people with preexisting ailments. Seems like a pretty significant pattern to me.

    My local fakestream media wax orgasmic over every fresh CoronaKill, but to their credit they faithfully disclose the age and preexisting diseases of every decedent. Thus far, all were boomers in lousy health, nudged gently into the Great Beyond by kungflu.

    Our President is correct: it’s time to end this Democratic governors hoax and get back to work.

    • Replies: @Polymath
    All boomers? None 75 or older?
    , @The Wild Geese Howard

    My local fakestream media wax orgasmic over every fresh CoronaKill, but to their credit they faithfully disclose the age and preexisting diseases of every decedent.
     
    Your local media must've missed or ignored the memo about concealing the co-morbidity status of those decedents with Corona, due to, "....privacy concerns."
  43. @Lot
    No to annuities. Fees are way too high.

    SPY is better, but better still is its lower-fee non-profit Vanguard version: VOO. Exact same investments, but better returns because of slightly lower fee and you sidestep paying management fees to a Wall Street manager, which is good on principle.

    As Buzz says, they border on scams. Buy a CD and bond fund for security and get your stock market upside by buying an index fund at the same time.

    When I mystery shopped bankers I heard dozens of them try to pitch me an annuity, and it never struck me as something I’d actually want to look into in real life (as opposed to feigning interest as part of the mystery-shopping scenario). Seems there are more flexible and less confusing ways to grind out investment income

  44. There is something else we should factor in : not everybody in contact with the virus gets infected (and develops antibodies).

    There are a lot of “chalenge” studies where they put a lot of influenza or common cold virus in the nose of the participants… and not everybody gets infected.

    For example, in this one (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC89939/), only half get infected.

    So quite a bunch of people will not develop antibodies against this coronavirus, but it does not mean they are vulnerable or at risk of transmitting it – quite the contrary for those who got the virus but did not get infected.

    • Agree: Western
  45. @Jonathan Mason

    How do you guys feel about investing in annuities with participation in the stock market?

    An annuity would seem like a good way to participate in the market’s upside, while protecting one’s principal (you don’t participate in market declines).
     

    The devil is all in the details. Usually annuities do not represent good value for money as a huge amount is creamed off in commissions and expenses. I do not see how they can offer a plan that participates in stock market upside, but has no downside. Sounds like a trick to me.

    Also, they usually operate on the basis that when you die, they keep the capital, not that there is a residue, that is how they are able to offer higher than market rates--you die, they win.

    The most cost effective way to participate in the upside (that you hope for) would be to simply buy shares in SPY which is the Exchange Traded Fund for the S&P 500 and hold them for ever. This also pays a dividend, currently 1.9%, but could go well over 2% if the markets decline more, (which I expect to happen), so if you left in the dividend until you retired, it could be reinvested in ever more shares, thus growing your capital.

    https://finance.yahoo.com/quote/SPY

    This way you would pay no sales or brokerage commissions, or only nominal amounts, would keep all of your capital for your heirs, and would participate 100% in any capital appreciation.**

    If Donald Trump had done this with his inheritance, he would be substantially richer now than he is.

    ** This is for discussion only and should not in any way be interpreted as professional investment advice. Consult a professional, but be aware that they might try to steer you towards what is profitable for them, rather than what is best for you.

    If Donald Trump had done this with his inheritance, he would be substantially richer now than he is.

    Including his living expenses? I’ve gotten a bit tired of this canard, but maybe someone has done a realistic comparison this time? That demonstrates your point?

    Here is one of the better attempts I have seen at a real analysis.
    https://www.quora.com/Is-it-true-that-Donald-Trump-would-be-much-richer-if-he-had-simply-invested-his-inheritance-in-a-good-equity-fund-and-let-it-grow

    • Replies: @Jonathan Mason
    If his father's estate valued at $400 million had been invested in the S&P 500 with a dividend of 2%, that would have been $8 million per year in income. (Plus Trump already owned Trump Tower since the 80s.)

    https://qz.com/1411006/trumps-413-million-inheritance-doesnt-explain-his-mysterious-cash-spending/

    $400 million invested in the S&P 500 at the time of his father's death would now be worth about $700 million after the recent drop and he would not have had to do ANY work, and would not have any debt. Sure some taxes would have had to be paid, but very wealthy people can get around that by putting funds in family trusts, etc.

    At the present time we have no idea how much Trump is net worth, as we do not know the book value of his assets, the revenue streams, or the amount of debt carried, but we can reasonable assume that even if he had never worked at all, he would be extremely wealthy if he had just dumped his inherited wealth in the S&P 500, which is really the point I was making in the original post in response to the original enquiry.
    , @Jack Armstrong
    He’s had a hell of a lot more fun.
  46. @Dieter Kief
    Healthy lungs and ages old social distancing - as in Iceland, at which Tyler Coen looks with great curiosity - result in small numbers of Corona patients - lesser lung protections (small numbers of vaccinated people) and lots of social contact like in Wuhan (and in New York?), and the numbers are up.
    That would be one type of explanantion. I'm sure, there are many others. A factor in the lung-differences could be ACE2.

    “lots of social contact like in Wuhan (and in New York?), and the numbers are up”

    Getting on a crowded bus or subway car with one infected person breathing out aerosol with the virus is a disaster. I wonder if the one of the long term effects from this thing will be an urge to get out of the cities and live in smaller towns? The “Geez, let’s all get rid of our cars and use public transportation.” campaign of hipsters may come to a screeching halt. Maybe these carpetbagging CEOs who were hired to run companies like Caterpillar and ADM, walked into town, and then decided to steal their headquarters from their historic locations in Peoria and Decatur because these carpetbaggers missed the bright lights and big city too much will put them back in their proper locations. Hopefully these bastards all die of Coronavirus they catch locked up in Chicago and the headquarters can be put back where they belong in uncrowded open cities with affordable housing. What they did was like hiring some “expert” from out of town to be president of the Green Bay Packers who decided he was “too good for Green Bay” and wanted to live in Miami Beach so now we will have the Miami Beach Packers.

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar

    What they did was like hiring some “expert” from out of town to be president of the Green Bay Packers who decided he was “too good for Green Bay” and wanted to live in Miami Beach so now we will have the Miami Beach Packers.
     
    He would have to merge the two cities to do that. Good luck with that. There is no municipality in the US situated in two states. Bristol, Bluefield, Union City, Texarkana, and Kansas City are pairs of separate entities.

    Lloydminster straddles the Alberta-Saskatchewan border. The town was split in two by the erection of the provinces, and it took decades of work to reunite it.

    The city's namesake held interesting views:


    [George] Lloyd believed that Canada should be populated by British immigrants. In 1928 he wrote a letter to The Globe and Mail stating that the Canadian Pacific Railway was "dumping aliens" into the West, and that government policies should be set restricting the numbers of "non-preferred Europeans". In his capacity as a rector and teacher in the West he took pains to ensure that the children of non-British immigrants were encouraged to learn English and to learn about British history. In a letter to his clergy, he characterized Eastern Europeans as "dirty, ignorant, garlic-smelling, and undesirable continentalists." Lloyd also stated that "the real question at stake is not whether these people can grow potatoes, but whether you would like your daughter to marry them" and declared that Canada was in danger of becoming a "mongrel nation".

    Lloyd stated that he wanted Black and Asian Canadians shipped back to "where they came from", a proposal so extreme that not even the local Ku Klux Klan supported it.
     

    There was a Ku Klux Kanada!? Holy kow!

    Did they root for the Swastikas?

    , @vinny
    There's something to be said for NYC versus Blaine Co., Idaho. Blaine county has a huge infection rate and 1 ICU bed. NYC has a huge infection rate and just spun up 3000 beds on 34th St.
    , @Hibernian
    Caterpillar moved their HQ to a Chicago suburb, not downtown.

    What they did was like hiring some “expert” from out of town to be president of the Green Bay Packers who decided he was “too good for Green Bay” and wanted to live in Miami Beach so now we will have the Miami Beach Packers.
     
    Curly Lambeau, the long time GM/Coach of the Packers from about 1920 to about 1950 (and owner for one year and player for more than one year in the early '20s), plotted to move them to LA in the mid to late '40s even though they already had a charter that made this almost impossible.
  47. @res

    If Donald Trump had done this with his inheritance, he would be substantially richer now than he is.
     
    Including his living expenses? I've gotten a bit tired of this canard, but maybe someone has done a realistic comparison this time? That demonstrates your point?

    Here is one of the better attempts I have seen at a real analysis.
    https://www.quora.com/Is-it-true-that-Donald-Trump-would-be-much-richer-if-he-had-simply-invested-his-inheritance-in-a-good-equity-fund-and-let-it-grow

    If his father’s estate valued at $400 million had been invested in the S&P 500 with a dividend of 2%, that would have been $8 million per year in income. (Plus Trump already owned Trump Tower since the 80s.)

    https://qz.com/1411006/trumps-413-million-inheritance-doesnt-explain-his-mysterious-cash-spending/

    $400 million invested in the S&P 500 at the time of his father’s death would now be worth about $700 million after the recent drop and he would not have had to do ANY work, and would not have any debt. Sure some taxes would have had to be paid, but very wealthy people can get around that by putting funds in family trusts, etc.

    At the present time we have no idea how much Trump is net worth, as we do not know the book value of his assets, the revenue streams, or the amount of debt carried, but we can reasonable assume that even if he had never worked at all, he would be extremely wealthy if he had just dumped his inherited wealth in the S&P 500, which is really the point I was making in the original post in response to the original enquiry.

    • Replies: @res

    If his father’s estate valued at $400 million
     
    Any evidence the estate was actually worth that in the 1970s? Because the article you linked states:

    Between the ages of 3 and 58, president Donald Trump inherited at least $413 million from his father’s business empire
    ...
    The last tranche came in 2004—years after his father, Fred, died—when Trump and his siblings sold off their father’s empire. The deal seems to have been done in a rush, and they offloaded the building for hundreds of millions less than it was worth, the Times reports. Nonetheless, Donald picked up $177.3 million, or $236.2 million at today’s rates, the Times reports.
     
    And how exactly was the estate distributed? Trump has three living siblings (Fred died in 1981).
    https://www.businessinsider.com/donald-trump-sibling-bios-judge-sister-alcoholic-brother-retirees-2018-10

    Back to you.

    Plus Trump already owned Trump Tower since the 80s
     
    Nothing like double counting assets. If Trump owed everything to the inheritance then that includes Trump Tower.

    $400 million invested in the S&P 500 at the time of his father’s death would now be worth about $700 million
     
    Not sure where you got this, but it is wrong (try laying out your calculation in more detail). Was it an attempt to summarize that Quora answer? Because if so try reading it again. It is telling that you did not try to engage with that answer in quantitative fashion.

    At the present time we have no idea how much Trump is net worth, as we do not know the book value of his assets, the revenue streams, or the amount of debt carried
     
    There is a broad range of uncertainty in the estimates, but billions seems to be the correct unit to use.

    we can reasonable assume that even if he had never worked at all, he would be extremely wealthy if he had just dumped his inherited wealth in the S&P 500, which is really the point I was making in the original post in response to the original enquiry.
     
    If so, then maybe next time try saying what you mean. Because you made a very specific statement (which I quoted) which was not that.

    P.S. The TDS really is tedious. You realize we can get that 24/7 from the MSM if we want it, right?
    , @Steve Sailer
    I kind of get the impression Trump spends more than $8 million per year.
  48. Superspreader events seem to play a very large part — instead of most patients being somewhat infectious, a few are enormously contagious, which would tend to give very spotty outbreaks and heterogeneity.

  49. @Je Suis Omar Mateen
    My local fakestream media wax orgasmic over every fresh CoronaKill, but to their credit they faithfully disclose the age and preexisting diseases of every decedent. Thus far, all were boomers in lousy health, nudged gently into the Great Beyond by kungflu.

    Our President is correct: it's time to end this Democratic governors hoax and get back to work.

    All boomers? None 75 or older?

    • Replies: @Je Suis Omar Mateen
    Most are over 75. I lazily dub all Americans supra 55 as boomers.
  50. I’m pretty sure the Sundance film Festival is in Park City, not Telluride.

    • Replies: @Anon
    Yep. Redford, “The Sundance Kid”, hosts his festival in Park City.
  51. @Redneck farmer
    Maybe the Coronavirus isn't quite as novel as we think? Perhaps it has been around awhile, with one easier to spread strain, the others not so much?

    Re: coronavirus novelty. In the 1990s, two human coronavirus strains were known. In the course of stepped-up research in the late 2000s in the aftermath of SARS, two more were identified. Among them, HKU1, NL63, OC43, and 229E account for 15% to ~25% of common colds. There are also a few reports on PubMed identifying these strains as the culprits for severe respiratory disease in a number of populations, so they aren’t entirely benign.

    The FDA’s FAQ warns that Covid-19 serology tests may have cross-reactivity to the viral antigens of one or more of these strains. Knowing the profile of the particular test being used is crucial to interpretation.

    The group of 645, first responders and their families, all tested negative. Two parties had a mild signal change, although not enough to change the negative test results. In some cases, this can indicate early seroconversion.

    Zero (or 2) of 645 is evidence that this antibody test doesn’t cross-react to the known hCoV strains.

    Here is a March 20th preprint from Erasmus University in the Netherlands, Nisreen Okba et al., that delves into the subject. They characterized one serology test that doesn’t cross-react, and another that does (PDF page 7). Interestingly, most of the preprints I’ve read report that patient antibodies to SARS-2 antigens cross-react to SARS antigens. (Fortunately, the SARS and MERS viruses were contained. Since they aren’t in circulation, they don’t complicate interpetation.)

    • Replies: @ic1000
    Test cross-reactivity brings up a question that should be answered by now, but has not been (to my knowledge). Is recent infection by hCoV HKU1, NL63, OC43, or 229E protective against SARS-CoV-2?

    This 1972 paper estimated that about 14% of one group of working people had a serum antibody profile showing that they had experienced a coronavirus infection in the past year.

    Would we know if this class of people in Wuhan, Lombardy, Qom, or New York City were resistant or immune to Covid-19 infection? Or if, once infected, the course of disease in these people was milder? (Based on some animal-model SARS studies, it might conceivably be more severe.)

    This would be a very worthwhile piece of information!

    The South China Morning Post carried an article about a symptomatic 'Patient A', one of 48 passengers who took a 4-hour intercity bus ride. Although CCTV showed he didn't interact with anybody, he infected nine people. Their seats are shown here:
    https://cdn.i-scmp.com/sites/default/files/d8/images/methode/2020/03/11/2367f83c-61fc-11ea-8e9f-2d196083a37c_972x_161511.jpg
    How did those nine differ from the other ~40? It's something besides "sat close to Patient A". Sure would be nice to know.

    Steve's recent Taki's piece noted that Pearl Harbor's shipyard workers completed 90 days' worth of repairs on the crippled Yorktown in about 72 hours, enabling it to sail for Midway Island.

    Almost all biomedical research labs not directly engaged in coronavirus research are shut down as non-essential. That's an amazing talent pool (and trove of equipment) that's mostly idle.

    While a whole series of questions on the pandemic are rotting in the fields.

    Could some fraction of the CARES $2 trillion be directed to making 2020 America more like 1942 America, in this respect?

    , @RonaldB
    There's another question floating around. Some people claim there is an asymptomatic version of Clovid-19 going around, conferring unknown immunity on a lot of people. This is one of the mystery factors in the question of what is really the death rate of infection.

    I presume an asymptomatic version would produce the antibodies identifiable by the test. So, the Telluride results seem to be evidence against the unseen, asymptomatic variant hypothesis.
  52. @Jonathan Mason
    If his father's estate valued at $400 million had been invested in the S&P 500 with a dividend of 2%, that would have been $8 million per year in income. (Plus Trump already owned Trump Tower since the 80s.)

    https://qz.com/1411006/trumps-413-million-inheritance-doesnt-explain-his-mysterious-cash-spending/

    $400 million invested in the S&P 500 at the time of his father's death would now be worth about $700 million after the recent drop and he would not have had to do ANY work, and would not have any debt. Sure some taxes would have had to be paid, but very wealthy people can get around that by putting funds in family trusts, etc.

    At the present time we have no idea how much Trump is net worth, as we do not know the book value of his assets, the revenue streams, or the amount of debt carried, but we can reasonable assume that even if he had never worked at all, he would be extremely wealthy if he had just dumped his inherited wealth in the S&P 500, which is really the point I was making in the original post in response to the original enquiry.

    If his father’s estate valued at $400 million

    Any evidence the estate was actually worth that in the 1970s? Because the article you linked states:

    Between the ages of 3 and 58, president Donald Trump inherited at least $413 million from his father’s business empire

    The last tranche came in 2004—years after his father, Fred, died—when Trump and his siblings sold off their father’s empire. The deal seems to have been done in a rush, and they offloaded the building for hundreds of millions less than it was worth, the Times reports. Nonetheless, Donald picked up $177.3 million, or $236.2 million at today’s rates, the Times reports.

    And how exactly was the estate distributed? Trump has three living siblings (Fred died in 1981).
    https://www.businessinsider.com/donald-trump-sibling-bios-judge-sister-alcoholic-brother-retirees-2018-10

    Back to you.

    Plus Trump already owned Trump Tower since the 80s

    Nothing like double counting assets. If Trump owed everything to the inheritance then that includes Trump Tower.

    $400 million invested in the S&P 500 at the time of his father’s death would now be worth about $700 million

    Not sure where you got this, but it is wrong (try laying out your calculation in more detail). Was it an attempt to summarize that Quora answer? Because if so try reading it again. It is telling that you did not try to engage with that answer in quantitative fashion.

    At the present time we have no idea how much Trump is net worth, as we do not know the book value of his assets, the revenue streams, or the amount of debt carried

    There is a broad range of uncertainty in the estimates, but billions seems to be the correct unit to use.

    we can reasonable assume that even if he had never worked at all, he would be extremely wealthy if he had just dumped his inherited wealth in the S&P 500, which is really the point I was making in the original post in response to the original enquiry.

    If so, then maybe next time try saying what you mean. Because you made a very specific statement (which I quoted) which was not that.

    P.S. The TDS really is tedious. You realize we can get that 24/7 from the MSM if we want it, right?

    • Replies: @Dieter Kief
    Uhh res - you've recovered quickly. Congrats.
  53. @Buzz Mohawk
    A long time ago, in an office far far away, we referred to annuities as glorified CDs. Think of them that way.

    "Participation in the stock market" defeats the purpose of an annuity.

    If you can really get a guaranteed 6.3% on your principal for the rest of your life, and if your principal is enough for you to live on like a trust fund baby, then you have something that sounds too good to be true. Check the details. Nothing is earning a guaranteed 6.3% today, and I can't see how anybody could forecast it out and guarantee that to you.

    If you can really get a guaranteed 6.3% on your principal for the rest of your life, and if your principal is enough for you to live on like a trust fund baby, then you have something that sounds too good to be true.

    You used to be able to get deals like this, or even better, but then they sent Madoff to prison and it has not been the same since.

    Yes, VOO is a better deal than SPY if you can buy into it in your jurisdiction.

    • Replies: @Jim Don Bob

    Yes, VOO is a better deal than SPY if you can buy into it in your jurisdiction.
     
    Please explain VOO and SPY. Thanks.
  54. @Sebastian Hawks
    "lots of social contact like in Wuhan (and in New York?), and the numbers are up"

    Getting on a crowded bus or subway car with one infected person breathing out aerosol with the virus is a disaster. I wonder if the one of the long term effects from this thing will be an urge to get out of the cities and live in smaller towns? The "Geez, let's all get rid of our cars and use public transportation." campaign of hipsters may come to a screeching halt. Maybe these carpetbagging CEOs who were hired to run companies like Caterpillar and ADM, walked into town, and then decided to steal their headquarters from their historic locations in Peoria and Decatur because these carpetbaggers missed the bright lights and big city too much will put them back in their proper locations. Hopefully these bastards all die of Coronavirus they catch locked up in Chicago and the headquarters can be put back where they belong in uncrowded open cities with affordable housing. What they did was like hiring some "expert" from out of town to be president of the Green Bay Packers who decided he was "too good for Green Bay" and wanted to live in Miami Beach so now we will have the Miami Beach Packers.

    What they did was like hiring some “expert” from out of town to be president of the Green Bay Packers who decided he was “too good for Green Bay” and wanted to live in Miami Beach so now we will have the Miami Beach Packers.

    He would have to merge the two cities to do that. Good luck with that. There is no municipality in the US situated in two states. Bristol, Bluefield, Union City, Texarkana, and Kansas City are pairs of separate entities.

    Lloydminster straddles the Alberta-Saskatchewan border. The town was split in two by the erection of the provinces, and it took decades of work to reunite it.

    The city’s namesake held interesting views:

    [George] Lloyd believed that Canada should be populated by British immigrants. In 1928 he wrote a letter to The Globe and Mail stating that the Canadian Pacific Railway was “dumping aliens” into the West, and that government policies should be set restricting the numbers of “non-preferred Europeans”. In his capacity as a rector and teacher in the West he took pains to ensure that the children of non-British immigrants were encouraged to learn English and to learn about British history. In a letter to his clergy, he characterized Eastern Europeans as “dirty, ignorant, garlic-smelling, and undesirable continentalists.” Lloyd also stated that “the real question at stake is not whether these people can grow potatoes, but whether you would like your daughter to marry them” and declared that Canada was in danger of becoming a “mongrel nation”.

    Lloyd stated that he wanted Black and Asian Canadians shipped back to “where they came from”, a proposal so extreme that not even the local Ku Klux Klan supported it.

    There was a Ku Klux Kanada!? Holy kow!

    Did they root for the Swastikas?

    • Replies: @ATBOTL
    It's weird how ethnocentrism in WASPs increased in the 1920's just before collapsing completely.
  55. @ic1000
    Re: coronavirus novelty. In the 1990s, two human coronavirus strains were known. In the course of stepped-up research in the late 2000s in the aftermath of SARS, two more were identified. Among them, HKU1, NL63, OC43, and 229E account for 15% to ~25% of common colds. There are also a few reports on PubMed identifying these strains as the culprits for severe respiratory disease in a number of populations, so they aren't entirely benign.

    The FDA's FAQ warns that Covid-19 serology tests may have cross-reactivity to the viral antigens of one or more of these strains. Knowing the profile of the particular test being used is crucial to interpretation.

    The group of 645, first responders and their families, all tested negative. Two parties had a mild signal change, although not enough to change the negative test results. In some cases, this can indicate early seroconversion.
     
    Zero (or 2) of 645 is evidence that this antibody test doesn't cross-react to the known hCoV strains.

    Here is a March 20th preprint from Erasmus University in the Netherlands, Nisreen Okba et al., that delves into the subject. They characterized one serology test that doesn't cross-react, and another that does (PDF page 7). Interestingly, most of the preprints I've read report that patient antibodies to SARS-2 antigens cross-react to SARS antigens. (Fortunately, the SARS and MERS viruses were contained. Since they aren't in circulation, they don't complicate interpetation.)

    Test cross-reactivity brings up a question that should be answered by now, but has not been (to my knowledge). Is recent infection by hCoV HKU1, NL63, OC43, or 229E protective against SARS-CoV-2?

    This 1972 paper estimated that about 14% of one group of working people had a serum antibody profile showing that they had experienced a coronavirus infection in the past year.

    Would we know if this class of people in Wuhan, Lombardy, Qom, or New York City were resistant or immune to Covid-19 infection? Or if, once infected, the course of disease in these people was milder? (Based on some animal-model SARS studies, it might conceivably be more severe.)

    This would be a very worthwhile piece of information!

    The South China Morning Post carried an article about a symptomatic ‘Patient A’, one of 48 passengers who took a 4-hour intercity bus ride. Although CCTV showed he didn’t interact with anybody, he infected nine people. Their seats are shown here:How did those nine differ from the other ~40? It’s something besides “sat close to Patient A”. Sure would be nice to know.

    Steve’s recent Taki’s piece noted that Pearl Harbor’s shipyard workers completed 90 days’ worth of repairs on the crippled Yorktown in about 72 hours, enabling it to sail for Midway Island.

    Almost all biomedical research labs not directly engaged in coronavirus research are shut down as non-essential. That’s an amazing talent pool (and trove of equipment) that’s mostly idle.

    While a whole series of questions on the pandemic are rotting in the fields.

    Could some fraction of the CARES $2 trillion be directed to making 2020 America more like 1942 America, in this respect?

  56. anon[381] • Disclaimer says:

    There’s an obvious difference between Aspen and Telluride that affects the jet set.

    Aspen airport is on the floor of the valley, is safe for bizjets and small commuter airline turboprops:

    Telluride airport is on a mesa above the valley, It is rated as one of the 10 most difficult airports in the US to fly into / out of. I believe it is a “one-way” landing: all landings to the east, all takeoffs to the west, regardless of what the wind is doing. Probably not the best place to take a larger bizjet, but twins like the King Air would be ok.

    Most likely the easiest way for a true jet setter to get to Telluride is to fly to another airport such as Durango or maybe Cortez and hire a private limo for the drive to Telluride. Pretty sure the Aspen ski run network is more extensive than Telluride, too.

    tl;dr
    Tellluride is the place for old hippy ski bums and other countercultural ski fans, ski families, and so forth. Aspen is a place to see and be seen by the right people while wearing ski clothes.

    • Replies: @cthulhu
    It’s a VFR only airport too - so plenty of time when it’s not open. It used to be the highest commercial airport in the US, but I think some other site has passed it by now. You’re correct about it being one way. IIRC, Montrose is the nearest full-sized airport - it can handle 737s. The first time I flew into Telluride, it was in a Beech 1900 - a stretched King Air - and the crew left the door to the cockpit open; I had a great view of the (quite interesting) approach :-)

    There are plenty of the Beautiful People who go to Telluride, they just do it for the skiing.

  57. @Realist

    As with Hollywood stars, so it goes with the nation’s governors. It’s a status thing. Just look at poor old Kathy Griffin. Got herself admitted to hospital in the middle of all this and it turned out to be just a severe case of attention-seeking drama queen.
     
    Why would the stupid bitch go to mexico...doesn't she have enough money to go to a nice place?

    She had a case of Montezuma's revenge.

    My thought exactly. At least about her illness.

    Mexico is actually pretty nice if you go to the right places and keep your situational awareness high.

    • Replies: @Realist

    Mexico is actually pretty nice if you go to the right places and keep your situational awareness high.
     
    Why would you go on vacation where you have to be on high alert?
  58. @res

    If his father’s estate valued at $400 million
     
    Any evidence the estate was actually worth that in the 1970s? Because the article you linked states:

    Between the ages of 3 and 58, president Donald Trump inherited at least $413 million from his father’s business empire
    ...
    The last tranche came in 2004—years after his father, Fred, died—when Trump and his siblings sold off their father’s empire. The deal seems to have been done in a rush, and they offloaded the building for hundreds of millions less than it was worth, the Times reports. Nonetheless, Donald picked up $177.3 million, or $236.2 million at today’s rates, the Times reports.
     
    And how exactly was the estate distributed? Trump has three living siblings (Fred died in 1981).
    https://www.businessinsider.com/donald-trump-sibling-bios-judge-sister-alcoholic-brother-retirees-2018-10

    Back to you.

    Plus Trump already owned Trump Tower since the 80s
     
    Nothing like double counting assets. If Trump owed everything to the inheritance then that includes Trump Tower.

    $400 million invested in the S&P 500 at the time of his father’s death would now be worth about $700 million
     
    Not sure where you got this, but it is wrong (try laying out your calculation in more detail). Was it an attempt to summarize that Quora answer? Because if so try reading it again. It is telling that you did not try to engage with that answer in quantitative fashion.

    At the present time we have no idea how much Trump is net worth, as we do not know the book value of his assets, the revenue streams, or the amount of debt carried
     
    There is a broad range of uncertainty in the estimates, but billions seems to be the correct unit to use.

    we can reasonable assume that even if he had never worked at all, he would be extremely wealthy if he had just dumped his inherited wealth in the S&P 500, which is really the point I was making in the original post in response to the original enquiry.
     
    If so, then maybe next time try saying what you mean. Because you made a very specific statement (which I quoted) which was not that.

    P.S. The TDS really is tedious. You realize we can get that 24/7 from the MSM if we want it, right?

    Uhh res – you’ve recovered quickly. Congrats.

    • Replies: @res
    Thanks (I think ; ). Out of self-quarantine (though still mostly keeping to myself) and got a good exercise session in which seems to have energized me a bit.
  59. @Franz

    Except that the virus seems to kill mostly elderly people with preexisting ailments. Seems like a pretty significant pattern to me.
     
    The flu has always killed the elderly and people with preexisting conditions.

    What they're doing the hustle-shuffle now about is: How many of those dying of flu also test positive for the Coronavirus?

    Redneck farmer, above, probably nailed it. This thing is not new, no newer than the flu. Influenza, by itself, actually IS new, at least as we've known it over the past 120 years, give or take. Flu hit like clockwork every fifty years. Then power lines went up, radio, etc., since which we have a flu season every winter, when human immune systems are sometimes overloaded anyway. Human activity in this one case actually tripped an inborn kill switch.

    (Still, let's be clear: The Covid-19 victims on the cruise ship had bad hearts, hypertension, others, and were mostly over-75. These people would have been lucky to live anyway. Call it death by old age.)

    Turns out two things I bet on a month ago are working out:

    First. Call it Covid-19, call it flu, it's the same thing. Every year a new strain shows up. Going bananas over this one is novel. So it's a diversion of some sort. What sort?

    Second, both in South Korea and in Boston megadoses of Vitamin C, given in IV format, are lessening symptoms and aiding the cure. Pauling, Levy, and all the other guys (sorry gals they were mostly fellas) who said ascorbic is medicine's missing link, were right. It works. Somebody snarked on me for saying so, but I was right. It really does work. Some extra C at mealtimes? Yep.

    First. Call it Covid-19, call it flu, it’s the same thing.

    This is stupid, stop it. It’s not even the same virus.

    Second, both in South Korea and in Boston megadoses of Vitamin C, given in IV format, are lessening symptoms and aiding the cure.

    Citation needed, and I don’t mean from quack journals.

    If you give “megadoses of vitamin C” (which has helped no-one who doesn’t suffer scurvy, ever, and is pushed by marketers wanting to sell you “enhanced aspirin” and is certainly not something that is practices in a hospital setting) you have another big problem because that’s TOXIC.

    • Replies: @Franz
    All the citation I have at the time is a general article that exposes a blunder (I've already replied to doctors at 2 locations that the amount of C they are giving is so far too low) --

    https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/11252320/coronavirus-doctors-treating-patients-vitamin-c-significantly-better/

    "Flu" is a catch-all. There is no specific bug causing it. New strains come and go every year. Some stick around, some mutate, some die. No reason to assume this season is any different.

    For more use of sodium ascorbate, the specific places using it in the States and Asia. My guess is there's more gpoing on than being reported because it's often an impromptu protocol.
  60. @ic1000
    Re: coronavirus novelty. In the 1990s, two human coronavirus strains were known. In the course of stepped-up research in the late 2000s in the aftermath of SARS, two more were identified. Among them, HKU1, NL63, OC43, and 229E account for 15% to ~25% of common colds. There are also a few reports on PubMed identifying these strains as the culprits for severe respiratory disease in a number of populations, so they aren't entirely benign.

    The FDA's FAQ warns that Covid-19 serology tests may have cross-reactivity to the viral antigens of one or more of these strains. Knowing the profile of the particular test being used is crucial to interpretation.

    The group of 645, first responders and their families, all tested negative. Two parties had a mild signal change, although not enough to change the negative test results. In some cases, this can indicate early seroconversion.
     
    Zero (or 2) of 645 is evidence that this antibody test doesn't cross-react to the known hCoV strains.

    Here is a March 20th preprint from Erasmus University in the Netherlands, Nisreen Okba et al., that delves into the subject. They characterized one serology test that doesn't cross-react, and another that does (PDF page 7). Interestingly, most of the preprints I've read report that patient antibodies to SARS-2 antigens cross-react to SARS antigens. (Fortunately, the SARS and MERS viruses were contained. Since they aren't in circulation, they don't complicate interpetation.)

    There’s another question floating around. Some people claim there is an asymptomatic version of Clovid-19 going around, conferring unknown immunity on a lot of people. This is one of the mystery factors in the question of what is really the death rate of infection.

    I presume an asymptomatic version would produce the antibodies identifiable by the test. So, the Telluride results seem to be evidence against the unseen, asymptomatic variant hypothesis.

  61. @Redneck farmer
    Our local financial services guy on the radio hates all but one annuity. He considers them ripoffs. Unfortunately, I can't remember the he says isn't bad.

    Our local financial services guy on the radio hates all but one annuity. He considers them ripoffs. Unfortunately, I can’t remember the he says isn’t bad.

    The one he sells?

    • Thanks: JMcG
  62. @Dieter Kief
    Uhh res - you've recovered quickly. Congrats.

    Thanks (I think ; ). Out of self-quarantine (though still mostly keeping to myself) and got a good exercise session in which seems to have energized me a bit.

    • Replies: @Dieter Kief
    Where's we heading?
    I don't know, Sal, but we gotta keep going!

    Jack Kerouac - I've read these sentences from The Dharma Bums quite a few possible deaths ago, so: My quote might only hit the sweet spot of Kerouacs thought and be not correct - but it (in this who knows? maybe crude -version) kept me going indeed - and I hope it will serve the same purpose for you too! - Take care - and be well res!

  63. I’ve been partial to this optimistic theory for several reasons. But like I’ve said before one thing both sides should agree is paramount is widespread testing of the population, whether at risk or not. Only then can we have reasonably accurate data to work from. It is also a key feature of the response from other countries that have nipped Corona in the bud.

    Even assuming worst case scenario, as a country we need to agree when enough is enough. I do NOT agree that a nationwide depression is an acceptable cost to pay for a sickness that mostly impacts the elderly. Many high IQ pontificators on this blog who want an indefinite lockdown are incredibly biased because they are elderly/poor health themselves and are high enough on the economic scale to insulate themselves from a depression (or to think they can). Most of us want to accept certain risks and get the country working again else flirt with absolute economic disaster.

    You guys want to put border policy up for a vote? Let’s put our nationwide Corona response up for a vote as well. Some of you fossils may not like the results! But our collective future hangs on this.

    • Replies: @obwandiyag
    Fuck you please.

    The silver lining is that young people die too.

  64. @Jonathan Mason
    Probably not a lot of nursing homes in Telluride.

    One piece of information we are not getting is where people are testing positive for cornona virus? What percentage are residents of nursing homes? Prisons? (I have not heard of any prison cases yet on Florida, and the Florida dashboard is not showing zero infections in several counties with prisons, but of course that could change in an instant).

    Here's an interesting statistic. Miami-Dade, which I have been following, is showing 1121 cases with an average age of only 48, meaning that more than half of cases must be less than 50 years of age. In the neighboring counties of Broward and Palm Beach, which also have a lot of cases, the average ages are 48 and 50 respectively.

    These three counties account for more than 50% of the total Florida cases. Elsewhere in Florida corona virus hotspots Tampa (Hillsborough County) goes even younger with an average age of 44, and Orlando (Orange County) with an average age of 46 and only in Jacksonville, which is nobody's idea of a retirement destination, is the average age over 50.


    Of course it could be that the Florida Department of Health statistics are just wrong. For Baker County, the first county alphabetically, the range of ages for 7 cases is given as 55-97, with an average age of 53, so I don't know how they get that unless the age of some cases is unknown and the algorithm assigns them an age of 0.

    In Miami-Dade, the age range is shown to be 3-120, which is amazing. Might be a story there.

    However, I think we have to assume that the Florida Department of Health web site is the best source of information for Florida, even if it has some errors.

    You can see the Florida corona virus map here:

    https://experience.arcgis.com/experience/96dd742462124fa0b38ddedb9b25e429

    Yesterday shows a slight dip in the number of new cases for the whole of Florida, which could be promising. The site is updated two times daily, around 11:00 am and 7 p.m. This morning only 110 cases have been added, which looks like a huge drop for half-day data, and if there is no huge number added this evening, it will be a significant drop from yesterday.

    The more I look at the Florida Department of Health reports, the less I trust the figures, as I see that the total for yesterday (Saturday) has now been increased since I went to bed last night and it looks as if a batch of results for yesterday may have come in after the site was updated yesterday and then added today to the numbers for yesterday, rather than added to today's numbers.

    I guess in the long run the numbers will smooth out.

    From the map it would appear as though The Forgotten Coast is truly named. I hope it remains so.

  65. Wu Flu started in China.

    Wu Flu spread around the world because Chinese, travelling, immigrating, working around the world, went back to China for Chinese New Year in January, then back to their immigrant/guest worker jobs and as foreign students in Europe and the USA.

    That’s how it spread.

    • Agree: Jim Don Bob
  66. @Reg Cæsar

    What they did was like hiring some “expert” from out of town to be president of the Green Bay Packers who decided he was “too good for Green Bay” and wanted to live in Miami Beach so now we will have the Miami Beach Packers.
     
    He would have to merge the two cities to do that. Good luck with that. There is no municipality in the US situated in two states. Bristol, Bluefield, Union City, Texarkana, and Kansas City are pairs of separate entities.

    Lloydminster straddles the Alberta-Saskatchewan border. The town was split in two by the erection of the provinces, and it took decades of work to reunite it.

    The city's namesake held interesting views:


    [George] Lloyd believed that Canada should be populated by British immigrants. In 1928 he wrote a letter to The Globe and Mail stating that the Canadian Pacific Railway was "dumping aliens" into the West, and that government policies should be set restricting the numbers of "non-preferred Europeans". In his capacity as a rector and teacher in the West he took pains to ensure that the children of non-British immigrants were encouraged to learn English and to learn about British history. In a letter to his clergy, he characterized Eastern Europeans as "dirty, ignorant, garlic-smelling, and undesirable continentalists." Lloyd also stated that "the real question at stake is not whether these people can grow potatoes, but whether you would like your daughter to marry them" and declared that Canada was in danger of becoming a "mongrel nation".

    Lloyd stated that he wanted Black and Asian Canadians shipped back to "where they came from", a proposal so extreme that not even the local Ku Klux Klan supported it.
     

    There was a Ku Klux Kanada!? Holy kow!

    Did they root for the Swastikas?

    It’s weird how ethnocentrism in WASPs increased in the 1920’s just before collapsing completely.

  67. “All this ‘heterogeneity’” comes from the fact that lies damn lies statistics. As I have been at great pains to point out. For instance to you IQistas. Whatever happened to that? Whatever happened to the critical importance of IQ? I thought it was the most salient topic in the world. Wha it go?

    Could it be that the current crisis is proving that experts are kind of stupid. I’ll tell ya. I don’t know. Which is what more people ought to be saying.

  68. @Testing12
    I've been partial to this optimistic theory for several reasons. But like I've said before one thing both sides should agree is paramount is widespread testing of the population, whether at risk or not. Only then can we have reasonably accurate data to work from. It is also a key feature of the response from other countries that have nipped Corona in the bud.

    Even assuming worst case scenario, as a country we need to agree when enough is enough. I do NOT agree that a nationwide depression is an acceptable cost to pay for a sickness that mostly impacts the elderly. Many high IQ pontificators on this blog who want an indefinite lockdown are incredibly biased because they are elderly/poor health themselves and are high enough on the economic scale to insulate themselves from a depression (or to think they can). Most of us want to accept certain risks and get the country working again else flirt with absolute economic disaster.

    You guys want to put border policy up for a vote? Let's put our nationwide Corona response up for a vote as well. Some of you fossils may not like the results! But our collective future hangs on this.

    Fuck you please.

    The silver lining is that young people die too.

    • Replies: @Sam Haysom
    I bet you don’t like My Generation so much anymore do you boomer. Lmao the eternal footman coming playa.
  69. @MikeatMikedotMike
    "Pattern recognition has proven difficult in this epidemic. "

    Except that the virus seems to kill mostly elderly people with preexisting ailments. Seems like a pretty significant pattern to me.

    The other pattern is the same as for the Spanish Flu, Italians especially hard hit.

    A 1921 investigation into Spanish Flu, in The American Journal of Hygiene, reported ethnic differences in mortality from the virus, commenting that, in comparison to other immigrants, the death rate was “enormously high among Italians” but “lower than would be expected among persons of Irish, English and German stock,” presumably based on the mortality rate that poverty would predict [Influenza: An Epidemiologic Study, by Warren Taylor Vaughan, American Journal of Hygiene, 1921].

    The pandemic scythed through urban America’s Little Italies, and Italian-Americans had one of the very highest mortality rates in the entire country [America’s Forgotten Pandemic: The Influenza of 1918, by Alfred Crosby, 2003, pp.227-228].

  70. @Sebastian Hawks
    "lots of social contact like in Wuhan (and in New York?), and the numbers are up"

    Getting on a crowded bus or subway car with one infected person breathing out aerosol with the virus is a disaster. I wonder if the one of the long term effects from this thing will be an urge to get out of the cities and live in smaller towns? The "Geez, let's all get rid of our cars and use public transportation." campaign of hipsters may come to a screeching halt. Maybe these carpetbagging CEOs who were hired to run companies like Caterpillar and ADM, walked into town, and then decided to steal their headquarters from their historic locations in Peoria and Decatur because these carpetbaggers missed the bright lights and big city too much will put them back in their proper locations. Hopefully these bastards all die of Coronavirus they catch locked up in Chicago and the headquarters can be put back where they belong in uncrowded open cities with affordable housing. What they did was like hiring some "expert" from out of town to be president of the Green Bay Packers who decided he was "too good for Green Bay" and wanted to live in Miami Beach so now we will have the Miami Beach Packers.

    There’s something to be said for NYC versus Blaine Co., Idaho. Blaine county has a huge infection rate and 1 ICU bed. NYC has a huge infection rate and just spun up 3000 beds on 34th St.

  71. @Anon
    OT

    If North and South America would ship in stocks of African animals, especially herbivores, to replace all the megafauna killed off by the First Nations and the Second Nations (who killed off the First Nations) during the Pleistocene, it would fill an ecological niche that has been lacking since the last Ice Age ended.

    Pablo Escobar’s Hippos Fill a Hole Left Since Ice Age Extinctions
    Invasive herbivore mammals seem to restore functions missing in some food webs and ecosystems since the Pleistocene era.
    https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/26/science/pablo-escobar-hippos.html

    I want American giraffes and elephants!

    Nobody talks about it, but you know as sure as God made little green apples that megafauna will go extinct in Africa within a century. I mean, be real. The animals' habitat is contained within dysfunctional shithole countries, and the human population is set to grow to a trillion people, a few of which will remain in Africa and kill and eat the animals that they don't sell to Chinese herbal medicine makers.

    While the genetic diversity of the various species is still reasonably diverse, let's ship a bunch of them to the U.S. and Canada, make a humongous binational park, and let them run wild.

    But the poor suffering ranchers. All they get is a subsidy from the government for every calf (all two) killed by wolves reimbursing them for the full value. Those poor suffering ranchers. They remind me of the poor suffering fishermen and the poor suffering loggers. They’re suffering. Help them somebody please.

  72. @Je Suis Omar Mateen
    My local fakestream media wax orgasmic over every fresh CoronaKill, but to their credit they faithfully disclose the age and preexisting diseases of every decedent. Thus far, all were boomers in lousy health, nudged gently into the Great Beyond by kungflu.

    Our President is correct: it's time to end this Democratic governors hoax and get back to work.

    My local fakestream media wax orgasmic over every fresh CoronaKill, but to their credit they faithfully disclose the age and preexisting diseases of every decedent.

    Your local media must’ve missed or ignored the memo about concealing the co-morbidity status of those decedents with Corona, due to, “….privacy concerns.”

  73. @res
    Thanks (I think ; ). Out of self-quarantine (though still mostly keeping to myself) and got a good exercise session in which seems to have energized me a bit.

    Where’s we heading?
    I don’t know, Sal, but we gotta keep going!

    Jack Kerouac – I’ve read these sentences from The Dharma Bums quite a few possible deaths ago, so: My quote might only hit the sweet spot of Kerouacs thought and be not correct – but it (in this who knows? maybe crude -version) kept me going indeed – and I hope it will serve the same purpose for you too! – Take care – and be well res!

  74. Cabin Fever – re:View

    We live in a nightmare world, so why not talk about Eli Roth??

    Mike and Jay discuss Roth’s first movie Cabin Fever from 2002 and if it holds up.

    • Thanks: Tusk
  75. @Polymath
    All boomers? None 75 or older?

    Most are over 75. I lazily dub all Americans supra 55 as boomers.

  76. @Smithsonian_6
    Thanks for the update. My gut feeling is that the idea that there are thousands of hidden, asymptomatic cases is just wishful thinking. The country that has done the most testing - South Korea - hasn't found a significant number. Their fatality rate of ~1.6% is probably the best global estimate currently.

    The country that has done the most testing – South Korea – hasn’t found a significant number. Their fatality rate of ~1.6% is probably the best global estimate currently.

    Their death rate may be on the low side because they had a huge number of young (mostly women) cult members who were in their confirmed cases stats.

  77. @415 reasons
    So basically it’s not at high prevalence everywhere and there’s plenty of grist left for the corona mills. I talked to some people this week who thought 30% of people magically already had it with no symptoms and we were approaching the end. No. It’s like SARS it’s bad.

    I talked to some people this week who thought 30% of people magically already had it with no symptoms and we were approaching the end.

    That conflates a bunch of things that are true, and then reaches a reasonable conclusion by the wrong mechanism.

    About 30% of people who test positive are asymptomatic: that’s not a matter of significant controversy, and there’s no magic involved.

    Someone has gotten the wrong end of the stick. They have read (or heard)

    30% of people who have it are asymps

    and interpreted it as

    30% of people have it and are asymps“.

    This is due to the fact that functional literacy is extremely low. Most people cannot consistently parse conditional statements correctly.

    As to the SKor testing…

    The SKor testing found that
    • ~57% of the people who tested positive were under 50.
    • 27% (more than half the under-50s) were between 20 and 29.

    Again – there will be people who read (or hear)

    57% of SKors who tested positive were under 50

    and interpret it as

    57% of SKors who were under 50, tested positive“.

    The total positive tests were 9332 (as at March 27), so ~that’s ~5400 people aged 1-50 and ~2520 in their 20s.

    There are (roughly) 32.3 million SKors under 50 (source: South Korea: Population Pyramid 2018 [rather, the JSON file that populates the popups]).

    The infection rate in the entire 1-50 age cohort of the population is ~5400/32300000 – which rounds up 0.017%.

    The age distribution of fatalities was drastically different, with a massive skew to the old.

    The combined 30-49 age group had a death rate of 0.1% of the age-group infected (which is basically 0% of the population-wide age-group), and there were zero deaths of people under 30.

    (The age-fatality breakdown is from data as at March 16th; at the time SKor had a death count of 91 overall – it’s now 152, but the age-fatality distribution hasn’t changed appreciably).

    .

    Given that this is the most-tested population in the world (we are reliably informed), the correct conclusion to draw is that it’s mildly interesting that there’s a pathogen that makes old sick people die a bit earlier (without appreciably changing their life expectancy as a cohort).

    I think the formal term for this phenomenon is the one I’ve been using for a while… nothngburger.

    • Replies: @415 reasons
    If it’s a nothingburger then I assume you’d be willing to volunteer for the placebo arm of a vaccine trial where they give you a SARS-CoV-2 challenge at the end?
  78. @M_Young
    My thought exactly. At least about her illness.

    Mexico is actually pretty nice if you go to the right places and keep your situational awareness high.

    Mexico is actually pretty nice if you go to the right places and keep your situational awareness high.

    Why would you go on vacation where you have to be on high alert?

  79. @El Dato

    First. Call it Covid-19, call it flu, it’s the same thing.
     
    This is stupid, stop it. It's not even the same virus.

    Second, both in South Korea and in Boston megadoses of Vitamin C, given in IV format, are lessening symptoms and aiding the cure.
     
    Citation needed, and I don't mean from quack journals.

    If you give "megadoses of vitamin C" (which has helped no-one who doesn't suffer scurvy, ever, and is pushed by marketers wanting to sell you "enhanced aspirin" and is certainly not something that is practices in a hospital setting) you have another big problem because that's TOXIC.

    All the citation I have at the time is a general article that exposes a blunder (I’ve already replied to doctors at 2 locations that the amount of C they are giving is so far too low) —

    https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/11252320/coronavirus-doctors-treating-patients-vitamin-c-significantly-better/

    “Flu” is a catch-all. There is no specific bug causing it. New strains come and go every year. Some stick around, some mutate, some die. No reason to assume this season is any different.

    For more use of sodium ascorbate, the specific places using it in the States and Asia. My guess is there’s more gpoing on than being reported because it’s often an impromptu protocol.

  80. @Tim
    I'm pretty sure the Sundance film Festival is in Park City, not Telluride.

    Yep. Redford, “The Sundance Kid”, hosts his festival in Park City.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    Thanks.
  81. @Sebastian Hawks
    "lots of social contact like in Wuhan (and in New York?), and the numbers are up"

    Getting on a crowded bus or subway car with one infected person breathing out aerosol with the virus is a disaster. I wonder if the one of the long term effects from this thing will be an urge to get out of the cities and live in smaller towns? The "Geez, let's all get rid of our cars and use public transportation." campaign of hipsters may come to a screeching halt. Maybe these carpetbagging CEOs who were hired to run companies like Caterpillar and ADM, walked into town, and then decided to steal their headquarters from their historic locations in Peoria and Decatur because these carpetbaggers missed the bright lights and big city too much will put them back in their proper locations. Hopefully these bastards all die of Coronavirus they catch locked up in Chicago and the headquarters can be put back where they belong in uncrowded open cities with affordable housing. What they did was like hiring some "expert" from out of town to be president of the Green Bay Packers who decided he was "too good for Green Bay" and wanted to live in Miami Beach so now we will have the Miami Beach Packers.

    Caterpillar moved their HQ to a Chicago suburb, not downtown.

    What they did was like hiring some “expert” from out of town to be president of the Green Bay Packers who decided he was “too good for Green Bay” and wanted to live in Miami Beach so now we will have the Miami Beach Packers.

    Curly Lambeau, the long time GM/Coach of the Packers from about 1920 to about 1950 (and owner for one year and player for more than one year in the early ’20s), plotted to move them to LA in the mid to late ’40s even though they already had a charter that made this almost impossible.

  82. @Anon
    Yep. Redford, “The Sundance Kid”, hosts his festival in Park City.

    Thanks.

    • Replies: @Buzz Mohawk
    You're welcome.
  83. @JohnnyWalker123
    How do you guys feel about investing in annuities with participation in the stock market?
    An annuity would seem like a good way to participate in the market's upside, while protecting one's principal (you don't participate in market declines).

    Also, what do you think about a guaranteed fixed lifetime income? I've researched an annuity from Global Atlantic that pays 6.3% of the principal per year (until death). If there's anything left in the annuity before death, your descendants inherit it.

    Also, what do you think about a guaranteed fixed lifetime income? I’ve researched an annuity from Global Atlantic that pays 6.3% of the principal per year (until death). If there’s anything left in the annuity before death, your descendants inherit it.

    6.3% is extremely high for an annuity rate of return. How large is Global Atlantic? What are their total dollar assets under management?

    I’ve dealt with annuities from Transamerica and PacLife in the recent past. Trying to do anything is an enormous pain in the ass because almost any transaction requires you to fill out a form and fax it back to them. Or, you may have to have the form notarized and mail it back to them.

    Their websites are useless for any task other than checking the value of the annuity. On top of this, you usually need to deal with a middleman like a banker at your local Chase or BoA branch to get the form in the first place.

    Personally, I’ve been doing well buying put options against indexes and equities in the airline, hotel, and restaurant sectors. Some have suggested buying LEAPS straddle options on equities that could go bankrupt or come roaring back. My maximum position sizes are 2-3% of my brokerage account, or 1-2% of my overall portfolio.

  84. @Jonathan Mason
    If his father's estate valued at $400 million had been invested in the S&P 500 with a dividend of 2%, that would have been $8 million per year in income. (Plus Trump already owned Trump Tower since the 80s.)

    https://qz.com/1411006/trumps-413-million-inheritance-doesnt-explain-his-mysterious-cash-spending/

    $400 million invested in the S&P 500 at the time of his father's death would now be worth about $700 million after the recent drop and he would not have had to do ANY work, and would not have any debt. Sure some taxes would have had to be paid, but very wealthy people can get around that by putting funds in family trusts, etc.

    At the present time we have no idea how much Trump is net worth, as we do not know the book value of his assets, the revenue streams, or the amount of debt carried, but we can reasonable assume that even if he had never worked at all, he would be extremely wealthy if he had just dumped his inherited wealth in the S&P 500, which is really the point I was making in the original post in response to the original enquiry.

    I kind of get the impression Trump spends more than $8 million per year.

    • Replies: @res

    I kind of get the impression Trump spends more than $8 million per year.
     
    There is also the small detail of how much tax would be due on that $8 million of dividends each year.

    For some perspective, when Trump went bankrupt in 1990 his personal spending allowance was $5.4 million per year, but supposed to decline from there (anyone know what actually happened?).
    https://www.chicagotribune.com/news/ct-xpm-1990-06-25-9002210222-story.html

    This year`s $5.4 million personal allowance will be cut to $4.5 million next year and $3 million annually starting in 1992. Trump will be required to produce receipts for all personal and household expenses.

    That is certain to put a serious crimp in a free-spending lifestyle that included a 284-foot yacht that he says is too small, a Boeing 727, a helicopter and a Florida mansion with 118 rooms.

    Interest payments and upkeep on his Florida place, Mar-A-Lago, cost about $2 million a year-and it is his third home. He also has a Trump Tower penthouse and a Connecticut mansion.
     
    , @Jack Armstrong
    Are you taking into account his senior citizen discounts?
    , @Jonathan Mason
    In Trump's 1987 book The Art of The Deal, it appears that Trump was independently wealthy at least 13 years before the death of his father, having parlayed an initial loan from his father into an extensive real estate empire of his own.

    I don’t do it for the money. I got enough. Much more than I’ll ever need. I do it to do it. Deals are my art form. Other people play beautifully on canvas or write wonderful poetry. I like making deals. Preferably big deals. That’s how I get my kicks.[TAOTD]

    So the money he inherited from his father was the icing on the cake, an icing that soon turned into goo when he turned his artistic talents to the canvas of the casino business and slid into bankruptcies.

    He would have done better financially just to put that inherited money into a stock index fund and continue to live large as before.

    And the younger of them said to his father, Father, give me the portion of goods that falleth to me. And he divided unto them his living.

    And not many days after the younger son gathered all together, and took his journey into a far country, and there wasted his substance with riotous living. [Luke, Ch. 15]
  85. @Buzz Mohawk
    Robert Redford's Sundance Film Festival is held in Park City, Utah. The Telluride Film Festival is different. I know these details are important to solving this problem.

    -- Bigoted boomer too stupid to use the internet, who should just die now

    The Telluride Film Festival is held at the end of summer.

    Telluride is not at all like the ultra-glitzy Vail and Aspen; it’s not a place to see and be seen. It’s more like the Colorado version of the North County San Diego municipality of Rancho Santa Fe: a place where the rich and famous go to and own homes to NOT be recognized. I’ve seen plenty of famous people in both places, and it is considered extraordinarily gauche to make anything out of it.

    Telluride has a really great ski mountain too, and a lot more uphill capacity than beds – fantastic place to ski, and a very cool vibe. Wish I could afford to own a winter house there.

  86. @anon
    There's an obvious difference between Aspen and Telluride that affects the jet set.

    Aspen airport is on the floor of the valley, is safe for bizjets and small commuter airline turboprops:

    https://aerosoft-shop.com/shop-rd/bilder/screenshots/xplane/aspen-xp/aspen-xp-(8).jpg

    Telluride airport is on a mesa above the valley, It is rated as one of the 10 most difficult airports in the US to fly into / out of. I believe it is a "one-way" landing: all landings to the east, all takeoffs to the west, regardless of what the wind is doing. Probably not the best place to take a larger bizjet, but twins like the King Air would be ok.

    https://www.boldmethod.com/images/blog/lists/2014/07/most-difficult-airports-in-the-united-states/6-telluride.jpg

    Most likely the easiest way for a true jet setter to get to Telluride is to fly to another airport such as Durango or maybe Cortez and hire a private limo for the drive to Telluride. Pretty sure the Aspen ski run network is more extensive than Telluride, too.

    tl;dr
    Tellluride is the place for old hippy ski bums and other countercultural ski fans, ski families, and so forth. Aspen is a place to see and be seen by the right people while wearing ski clothes.

    It’s a VFR only airport too – so plenty of time when it’s not open. It used to be the highest commercial airport in the US, but I think some other site has passed it by now. You’re correct about it being one way. IIRC, Montrose is the nearest full-sized airport – it can handle 737s. The first time I flew into Telluride, it was in a Beech 1900 – a stretched King Air – and the crew left the door to the cockpit open; I had a great view of the (quite interesting) approach 🙂

    There are plenty of the Beautiful People who go to Telluride, they just do it for the skiing.

  87. @Steve Sailer
    I kind of get the impression Trump spends more than $8 million per year.

    I kind of get the impression Trump spends more than $8 million per year.

    There is also the small detail of how much tax would be due on that $8 million of dividends each year.

    For some perspective, when Trump went bankrupt in 1990 his personal spending allowance was $5.4 million per year, but supposed to decline from there (anyone know what actually happened?).
    https://www.chicagotribune.com/news/ct-xpm-1990-06-25-9002210222-story.html

    This year`s $5.4 million personal allowance will be cut to $4.5 million next year and $3 million annually starting in 1992. Trump will be required to produce receipts for all personal and household expenses.

    That is certain to put a serious crimp in a free-spending lifestyle that included a 284-foot yacht that he says is too small, a Boeing 727, a helicopter and a Florida mansion with 118 rooms.

    Interest payments and upkeep on his Florida place, Mar-A-Lago, cost about $2 million a year-and it is his third home. He also has a Trump Tower penthouse and a Connecticut mansion.

  88. @Anon
    OT

    If North and South America would ship in stocks of African animals, especially herbivores, to replace all the megafauna killed off by the First Nations and the Second Nations (who killed off the First Nations) during the Pleistocene, it would fill an ecological niche that has been lacking since the last Ice Age ended.

    Pablo Escobar’s Hippos Fill a Hole Left Since Ice Age Extinctions
    Invasive herbivore mammals seem to restore functions missing in some food webs and ecosystems since the Pleistocene era.
    https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/26/science/pablo-escobar-hippos.html

    I want American giraffes and elephants!

    Nobody talks about it, but you know as sure as God made little green apples that megafauna will go extinct in Africa within a century. I mean, be real. The animals' habitat is contained within dysfunctional shithole countries, and the human population is set to grow to a trillion people, a few of which will remain in Africa and kill and eat the animals that they don't sell to Chinese herbal medicine makers.

    While the genetic diversity of the various species is still reasonably diverse, let's ship a bunch of them to the U.S. and Canada, make a humongous binational park, and let them run wild.

    I’ve loong advocated bringing the sport of cheetah coursing into the Americas. Kind of like falconry, but with cheetahs. A cheetah is only dangerous to humans if it hits you at 60 mph.

  89. Anonymous[194] • Disclaimer says:
    @Franz

    Except that the virus seems to kill mostly elderly people with preexisting ailments. Seems like a pretty significant pattern to me.
     
    The flu has always killed the elderly and people with preexisting conditions.

    What they're doing the hustle-shuffle now about is: How many of those dying of flu also test positive for the Coronavirus?

    Redneck farmer, above, probably nailed it. This thing is not new, no newer than the flu. Influenza, by itself, actually IS new, at least as we've known it over the past 120 years, give or take. Flu hit like clockwork every fifty years. Then power lines went up, radio, etc., since which we have a flu season every winter, when human immune systems are sometimes overloaded anyway. Human activity in this one case actually tripped an inborn kill switch.

    (Still, let's be clear: The Covid-19 victims on the cruise ship had bad hearts, hypertension, others, and were mostly over-75. These people would have been lucky to live anyway. Call it death by old age.)

    Turns out two things I bet on a month ago are working out:

    First. Call it Covid-19, call it flu, it's the same thing. Every year a new strain shows up. Going bananas over this one is novel. So it's a diversion of some sort. What sort?

    Second, both in South Korea and in Boston megadoses of Vitamin C, given in IV format, are lessening symptoms and aiding the cure. Pauling, Levy, and all the other guys (sorry gals they were mostly fellas) who said ascorbic is medicine's missing link, were right. It works. Somebody snarked on me for saying so, but I was right. It really does work. Some extra C at mealtimes? Yep.

    Not so much as a diversion as a final system failure. The megacities are failing. They have no economic base except politics (finance bring a political rather than an economic enterprise, one supported by the Fed etc.) This year the megacity party (the Democrats) have so much internal squabbling over race and sex and money (“intersectionality”) that they don’t really see the external world anymore, and that is because their income stream minus consumption and deprecation is negative, while their debt is immense.

    The analogy is to an old second car. When the tires finally need replacing and the credit card borrowing is high, that replacement bill might be just the bit of maintenance cost that makes the owner sell or junk the car. The cities are on the verge of being junked: People are already fleeing them, and the feasibility of telecommuting is being strongly demonstrated. The NYC Mayor seems unable to say much more than “give me more money or I’ll do X”, with “X” being something that nobody cares very much about today.

    Not that the system failure will be easy or trivial or, in fact, anything but tragic — but that it is now both irreversible and worldwide. That’s why COVID-19 is important.

  90. @obwandiyag
    Fuck you please.

    The silver lining is that young people die too.

    I bet you don’t like My Generation so much anymore do you boomer. Lmao the eternal footman coming playa.

  91. This doesn’t close the book on the question at hand. In Korea 20% of those tested show no symptoms at all (6:30 at https://youtu.be/gAk7aX5hksU?t=385)

  92. @Kratoklastes

    I talked to some people this week who thought 30% of people magically already had it with no symptoms and we were approaching the end.
     
    That conflates a bunch of things that are true, and then reaches a reasonable conclusion by the wrong mechanism.

    About 30% of people who test positive are asymptomatic: that's not a matter of significant controversy, and there's no magic involved.

    Someone has gotten the wrong end of the stick. They have read (or heard)

    "30% of people who have it are asymps"
     
    and interpreted it as

    "30% of people have it and are asymps".
     
    This is due to the fact that functional literacy is extremely low. Most people cannot consistently parse conditional statements correctly.

    As to the SKor testing...

    The SKor testing found that
    • ~57% of the people who tested positive were under 50.
    • 27% (more than half the under-50s) were between 20 and 29.

    Again - there will be people who read (or hear)

    "57% of SKors who tested positive were under 50"
     
    and interpret it as

    "57% of SKors who were under 50, tested positive".
     
    The total positive tests were 9332 (as at March 27), so ~that's ~5400 people aged 1-50 and ~2520 in their 20s.

    There are (roughly) 32.3 million SKors under 50 (source: South Korea: Population Pyramid 2018 [rather, the JSON file that populates the popups]).

    The infection rate in the entire 1-50 age cohort of the population is ~5400/32300000 - which rounds up 0.017%.

    The age distribution of fatalities was drastically different, with a massive skew to the old.

    The combined 30-49 age group had a death rate of 0.1% of the age-group infected (which is basically 0% of the population-wide age-group), and there were zero deaths of people under 30.

    (The age-fatality breakdown is from data as at March 16th; at the time SKor had a death count of 91 overall - it's now 152, but the age-fatality distribution hasn't changed appreciably).

    .

    Given that this is the most-tested population in the world (we are reliably informed), the correct conclusion to draw is that it's mildly interesting that there's a pathogen that makes old sick people die a bit earlier (without appreciably changing their life expectancy as a cohort).

    I think the formal term for this phenomenon is the one I've been using for a while... nothngburger.

    If it’s a nothingburger then I assume you’d be willing to volunteer for the placebo arm of a vaccine trial where they give you a SARS-CoV-2 challenge at the end?

    • Replies: @Kratoklastes

    I assume you’d be willing to volunteer for the placebo arm of a vaccine trial where they give you a SARS-CoV-2 challenge at the end?
     
    If I did not have a weird superstition about dying ironically[1], I would be willing to be deliberately infected with coronavirus and remain completely untreated.

    The odds of someone in my demographic [2] dying from coronavirus, is so close to zero that the only risk is the universe's apparent sense of irony.

    For the same reason, I would not play 1-shot Russian Roulette with a 12,500-chamber revolver (with 'fair spins', that gives roughly the same odds).

    [1] This is the same reason that I ride my bike indoor on a smart trainer, instead of on bike-paths (with rare requirements to ride in bike lanes with traffic). I know - to a decent level of precision - that the risk of death on the roads as a cyclist is absolutely minuscule. It would be hyper-ironic to die because of an outlier.

    [2] 55, male, RHR 56bpm, near-elite VO2max, never-smoker, no chronic illness.
  93. @Dieter Kief
    A factor at work in Italy that is hardly known: Italy is the country in Europe with the highest number of deaths caused by antibiotics-resistance:

    https://www.thelancet.com/action/showPdf?pii=S1473-3099%2818%2930605-4%20


    A quote from The Lancet

    Findings From EARS-Net data collected between Jan 1, 2015, and Dec 31, 2015, we estimated 671689 (95% uncertainty
    interval [UI] 583148–763 966) infections with antibiotic-resistant bacteria, of which 63·5% (426277 of 671 689) were
    associated with health care. These infections accounted for an estimated 33 110 (28 480–38 430) attributable deaths
    and 874541 (768837–989068) DALYs. The burden for the EU and EEA was highest in infants (aged <1 year) and
    people aged 65 years or older, had increased since 2007, and was highest in Italy and Greece.

    I wonder if that corresponds to worse infection control in hospitals.

    • Replies: @Dieter Kief
    I think there's quite a lot of reasons for that, one being infection control in hospitals as you say, but - antibiotics-resistance is now a death sentence - especially for old people with rather weak immune systems. So - the old Italians are paying a collective pice now for a rather sloppy antibiotics-appllication in the past.

    As so often. These bad news for Italy is indeed good news for other countries, who took more care concerning the treatment with antibiotics in the past.

  94. @NOTA
    I wonder if that corresponds to worse infection control in hospitals.

    I think there’s quite a lot of reasons for that, one being infection control in hospitals as you say, but – antibiotics-resistance is now a death sentence – especially for old people with rather weak immune systems. So – the old Italians are paying a collective pice now for a rather sloppy antibiotics-appllication in the past.

    As so often. These bad news for Italy is indeed good news for other countries, who took more care concerning the treatment with antibiotics in the past.

  95. @res

    If Donald Trump had done this with his inheritance, he would be substantially richer now than he is.
     
    Including his living expenses? I've gotten a bit tired of this canard, but maybe someone has done a realistic comparison this time? That demonstrates your point?

    Here is one of the better attempts I have seen at a real analysis.
    https://www.quora.com/Is-it-true-that-Donald-Trump-would-be-much-richer-if-he-had-simply-invested-his-inheritance-in-a-good-equity-fund-and-let-it-grow

    He’s had a hell of a lot more fun.

    • Agree: res
  96. @Steve Sailer
    I kind of get the impression Trump spends more than $8 million per year.

    Are you taking into account his senior citizen discounts?

  97. @Jonathan Mason

    If you can really get a guaranteed 6.3% on your principal for the rest of your life, and if your principal is enough for you to live on like a trust fund baby, then you have something that sounds too good to be true.
     
    You used to be able to get deals like this, or even better, but then they sent Madoff to prison and it has not been the same since.

    Yes, VOO is a better deal than SPY if you can buy into it in your jurisdiction.

    Yes, VOO is a better deal than SPY if you can buy into it in your jurisdiction.

    Please explain VOO and SPY. Thanks.

    • Replies: @Jonathan Mason
    SPY is an Exchange Traded Fund that represents the Standard and Poors 500 index, which is composed of the 500 largest companies by capitalization in the US and includes the 30 Dow Jones Industrial Average stocks plus 470 others.

    Every so often companies that are failing are removed from the index and companies that are up-and-coming replace them.Hence the index has a built in tendency to move upwards all on its own.

    SPY is itself traded like a stock that pays a dividend and you can also buy and sell options on SPY. The ETF is rebalanced at the end of each day, so trading in SPY can have an effect on the whole of the stock market.

    VOO is a Vanguard ETF that also represents the Standard and Poor's 500 index stocks, but has slightly lower administrative costs than SPY, so is good for the long term holder, but not quite as easy to trade in and out of, or indeed to day trade. It also options.

    Today VOO closed at S240.28, whereas SPY closed at 261.56, which is exactly 1/10th of the SPI (the underlying index.) I am not quite sure why there is a difference, but anyway the two funds have at some point drifted apart, though for practical purposes they are the same thing. SPY was up 3.21% today, whereas VOO was up 3.19%.

    I hope that helps a bit.
  98. @Jim Don Bob

    Yes, VOO is a better deal than SPY if you can buy into it in your jurisdiction.
     
    Please explain VOO and SPY. Thanks.

    SPY is an Exchange Traded Fund that represents the Standard and Poors 500 index, which is composed of the 500 largest companies by capitalization in the US and includes the 30 Dow Jones Industrial Average stocks plus 470 others.

    Every so often companies that are failing are removed from the index and companies that are up-and-coming replace them.Hence the index has a built in tendency to move upwards all on its own.

    SPY is itself traded like a stock that pays a dividend and you can also buy and sell options on SPY. The ETF is rebalanced at the end of each day, so trading in SPY can have an effect on the whole of the stock market.

    VOO is a Vanguard ETF that also represents the Standard and Poor’s 500 index stocks, but has slightly lower administrative costs than SPY, so is good for the long term holder, but not quite as easy to trade in and out of, or indeed to day trade. It also options.

    Today VOO closed at S240.28, whereas SPY closed at 261.56, which is exactly 1/10th of the SPI (the underlying index.) I am not quite sure why there is a difference, but anyway the two funds have at some point drifted apart, though for practical purposes they are the same thing. SPY was up 3.21% today, whereas VOO was up 3.19%.

    I hope that helps a bit.

    • Thanks: Jim Don Bob
    • Replies: @res
    This site claims VOO is more tax efficient than SPY. Any idea if that is true and if so why?
    https://www.askfinny.com/posts/vanguard-voo-etf-complete-review

    VOO is also more tax efficient than SPY. VOO’s tax cost ratio (return reduction because of taxes investors pay on distributions) is 0.50%. SPY’s tax cost ratio is 0.92%.
     
  99. @Jonathan Mason
    SPY is an Exchange Traded Fund that represents the Standard and Poors 500 index, which is composed of the 500 largest companies by capitalization in the US and includes the 30 Dow Jones Industrial Average stocks plus 470 others.

    Every so often companies that are failing are removed from the index and companies that are up-and-coming replace them.Hence the index has a built in tendency to move upwards all on its own.

    SPY is itself traded like a stock that pays a dividend and you can also buy and sell options on SPY. The ETF is rebalanced at the end of each day, so trading in SPY can have an effect on the whole of the stock market.

    VOO is a Vanguard ETF that also represents the Standard and Poor's 500 index stocks, but has slightly lower administrative costs than SPY, so is good for the long term holder, but not quite as easy to trade in and out of, or indeed to day trade. It also options.

    Today VOO closed at S240.28, whereas SPY closed at 261.56, which is exactly 1/10th of the SPI (the underlying index.) I am not quite sure why there is a difference, but anyway the two funds have at some point drifted apart, though for practical purposes they are the same thing. SPY was up 3.21% today, whereas VOO was up 3.19%.

    I hope that helps a bit.

    This site claims VOO is more tax efficient than SPY. Any idea if that is true and if so why?
    https://www.askfinny.com/posts/vanguard-voo-etf-complete-review

    VOO is also more tax efficient than SPY. VOO’s tax cost ratio (return reduction because of taxes investors pay on distributions) is 0.50%. SPY’s tax cost ratio is 0.92%.

    • Replies: @Jonathan Mason
    It has to do with how the dividends on the underlying stock is taxed when you take withdrawals. There are different tax rates for dividends and capital gains. That is all I know.
  100. @res
    This site claims VOO is more tax efficient than SPY. Any idea if that is true and if so why?
    https://www.askfinny.com/posts/vanguard-voo-etf-complete-review

    VOO is also more tax efficient than SPY. VOO’s tax cost ratio (return reduction because of taxes investors pay on distributions) is 0.50%. SPY’s tax cost ratio is 0.92%.
     

    It has to do with how the dividends on the underlying stock is taxed when you take withdrawals. There are different tax rates for dividends and capital gains. That is all I know.

    • Replies: @res
    Thanks. That would make sense, but even given that how would VOO and SPY have such different (almost a factor of two) tax cost ratios? Is asset allocation the only way to change the dividends/capital gains split, or is there a possible accounting subtlety enabling it? Could a difference in acquisition dates (hence the basis) do it?
  101. @415 reasons
    If it’s a nothingburger then I assume you’d be willing to volunteer for the placebo arm of a vaccine trial where they give you a SARS-CoV-2 challenge at the end?

    I assume you’d be willing to volunteer for the placebo arm of a vaccine trial where they give you a SARS-CoV-2 challenge at the end?

    If I did not have a weird superstition about dying ironically[1], I would be willing to be deliberately infected with coronavirus and remain completely untreated.

    The odds of someone in my demographic [2] dying from coronavirus, is so close to zero that the only risk is the universe’s apparent sense of irony.

    For the same reason, I would not play 1-shot Russian Roulette with a 12,500-chamber revolver (with ‘fair spins’, that gives roughly the same odds).

    [1] This is the same reason that I ride my bike indoor on a smart trainer, instead of on bike-paths (with rare requirements to ride in bike lanes with traffic). I know – to a decent level of precision – that the risk of death on the roads as a cyclist is absolutely minuscule. It would be hyper-ironic to die because of an outlier.

    [2] 55, male, RHR 56bpm, near-elite VO2max, never-smoker, no chronic illness.

    • Replies: @415 reasons
    So... no? That's what I thought lol
  102. @Jonathan Mason
    It has to do with how the dividends on the underlying stock is taxed when you take withdrawals. There are different tax rates for dividends and capital gains. That is all I know.

    Thanks. That would make sense, but even given that how would VOO and SPY have such different (almost a factor of two) tax cost ratios? Is asset allocation the only way to change the dividends/capital gains split, or is there a possible accounting subtlety enabling it? Could a difference in acquisition dates (hence the basis) do it?

    • Replies: @Jonathan Mason
    I don't really know, but I think it could be something to do with SPY being balanced at the end of every day, and VOO matching investors who are withdrawing funds with investors who are adding funds.

    Another interesting point is that if you hold SPY in a taxable account and sell during a downturn to take a tax loss, you cannot buy the same stock back within 30 days otherwise for tax purposes this will be considered a "wash sale", that is as if the sale never took place for tax purposes.

    But, you can sell your SPY for a loss and put the money in VOO without being penalized for taxes, even though it is really the same investment. So a bit of a loophole there for you. However in non-taxed (i.e. retirement accounts like 401K and IRA, there is no wash rule as the profits are not taxed until you take a distribution (which could be years later.)
  103. @res
    Thanks. That would make sense, but even given that how would VOO and SPY have such different (almost a factor of two) tax cost ratios? Is asset allocation the only way to change the dividends/capital gains split, or is there a possible accounting subtlety enabling it? Could a difference in acquisition dates (hence the basis) do it?

    I don’t really know, but I think it could be something to do with SPY being balanced at the end of every day, and VOO matching investors who are withdrawing funds with investors who are adding funds.

    Another interesting point is that if you hold SPY in a taxable account and sell during a downturn to take a tax loss, you cannot buy the same stock back within 30 days otherwise for tax purposes this will be considered a “wash sale”, that is as if the sale never took place for tax purposes.

    But, you can sell your SPY for a loss and put the money in VOO without being penalized for taxes, even though it is really the same investment. So a bit of a loophole there for you. However in non-taxed (i.e. retirement accounts like 401K and IRA, there is no wash rule as the profits are not taxed until you take a distribution (which could be years later.)

    • Replies: @res
    Thanks! I actually ran across an article talking about that wash sale loophole while researching for my earlier comments. An excellent point for you to make though since it was only dumb luck I had seen it.
  104. @Jonathan Mason
    I don't really know, but I think it could be something to do with SPY being balanced at the end of every day, and VOO matching investors who are withdrawing funds with investors who are adding funds.

    Another interesting point is that if you hold SPY in a taxable account and sell during a downturn to take a tax loss, you cannot buy the same stock back within 30 days otherwise for tax purposes this will be considered a "wash sale", that is as if the sale never took place for tax purposes.

    But, you can sell your SPY for a loss and put the money in VOO without being penalized for taxes, even though it is really the same investment. So a bit of a loophole there for you. However in non-taxed (i.e. retirement accounts like 401K and IRA, there is no wash rule as the profits are not taxed until you take a distribution (which could be years later.)

    Thanks! I actually ran across an article talking about that wash sale loophole while researching for my earlier comments. An excellent point for you to make though since it was only dumb luck I had seen it.

  105. @Steve Sailer
    I kind of get the impression Trump spends more than $8 million per year.

    In Trump’s 1987 book The Art of The Deal, it appears that Trump was independently wealthy at least 13 years before the death of his father, having parlayed an initial loan from his father into an extensive real estate empire of his own.

    I don’t do it for the money. I got enough. Much more than I’ll ever need. I do it to do it. Deals are my art form. Other people play beautifully on canvas or write wonderful poetry. I like making deals. Preferably big deals. That’s how I get my kicks.[TAOTD]

    So the money he inherited from his father was the icing on the cake, an icing that soon turned into goo when he turned his artistic talents to the canvas of the casino business and slid into bankruptcies.

    He would have done better financially just to put that inherited money into a stock index fund and continue to live large as before.

    And the younger of them said to his father, Father, give me the portion of goods that falleth to me. And he divided unto them his living.

    And not many days after the younger son gathered all together, and took his journey into a far country, and there wasted his substance with riotous living. [Luke, Ch. 15]

  106. @Kratoklastes

    I assume you’d be willing to volunteer for the placebo arm of a vaccine trial where they give you a SARS-CoV-2 challenge at the end?
     
    If I did not have a weird superstition about dying ironically[1], I would be willing to be deliberately infected with coronavirus and remain completely untreated.

    The odds of someone in my demographic [2] dying from coronavirus, is so close to zero that the only risk is the universe's apparent sense of irony.

    For the same reason, I would not play 1-shot Russian Roulette with a 12,500-chamber revolver (with 'fair spins', that gives roughly the same odds).

    [1] This is the same reason that I ride my bike indoor on a smart trainer, instead of on bike-paths (with rare requirements to ride in bike lanes with traffic). I know - to a decent level of precision - that the risk of death on the roads as a cyclist is absolutely minuscule. It would be hyper-ironic to die because of an outlier.

    [2] 55, male, RHR 56bpm, near-elite VO2max, never-smoker, no chronic illness.

    So… no? That’s what I thought lol

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