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I’ve been pointing out for a few days that ski vacationers seem to come up in the news a lot in connection with the virus. I could be totally wrong about this, but my unscientific impression is that a fair amount of the spread around Europe (such as to Iceland) is being traced to ski vacationers in the Italian and now Austrian Alps.

Why? Well, this is of course prime ski season, when temperatures are still cold but days are longer than in December.

But it’s also a fairly big time of the year for golf vacations in the U.S. to Florida, Palm Springs, and, lately, Myrtle Beach in South Carolina.

In general, ski travelers and golf travelers tend to be similar affluent demographics, with ski vacationers tending to be somewhat younger and more vigorous. Also, ski vacations tend to be more for mom and sis as well as dad and jr., while family golf vacations lean more toward father and son. (If you watch the Winter Olympics, young Olympic skiers and snowboarders seem to belong to Nice Happy Families.)

All this suggests that golf trippers should be hit at least as hard per capita as ski trippers.

But, to the extent I’m right (which is highly questionable, of course), they are not.

Why not?

The most obvious difference could be that skiers head for cold places and winter golfers head for the warm places.

Why do we get more colds and flus when it is cold?

Oddly, there isn’t much settled science on this question. One possible answer is because our noses tend to run more in the cold, which spreads more germs around. Maybe skiers’ noses run more than golfers’ noses, on average?

I’m way out on a limb here in terms of chains of evidence and reasoning, so don’t take this seriously, but that might be good news because the northern hemisphere is approaching Spring.

 
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  1. It IS good news that our hemisphere is approaching spring (but not so much for people in the Southern…)

    As you say, many of the same people ski and play golf. I would posit that skiers fly to more distant places, more international. Think: how many golfers fly to other continents to play golf? Okay, there is Scotland, but other than that, you guys mostly travel inside your own country.

    The cold — and dry — aspect is probably the biggest, though.

    Then again, maybe Tom Hanks Disease disproportionately effects handsome, vibrant people — like skiers. Sorry 🙂

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar

    It IS good news that our hemisphere is approaching spring (but not so much for people in the Southern…)
     
    Other than Patagonia, Tasmania, and New Zealand's South Island, there is almost no inhabited land between 40°S and the pole. What would they know of winter?

    That's the equivalent of Philadelphia, Cape Mendocino, or the northern border of Kansas.

    Or Madrid and Sardinia.


    https://bubblyprofessor.files.wordpress.com/2020/01/mind-your-latitude-40-.jpg?w=768&h=576

    https://bubblyprofessor.files.wordpress.com/2019/01/mind-your-latitude-40-degrees-north.png?w=768&h=577
    , @SaneClownPosse
    Only a small percentage of total US skiers travel internationally.
    Mostly High Value Targets, I meant to say "Clients" and their privileged families.

    Being out in the cold reduces your body's abilities to fight invasions. Your lungs are breathing in cold air, no matter how many layers you wear.

    Skiing can be much more physically demanding than golfing. Tiring the skier as the day goes on. How many moguls (round hills on the slopes that are carved by skiers) are there on a golf course? Even a walking golfer is not exerting the effort of a skier on moderate downhill runs. When I was younger, we got in about 18 runs in a day at Mt. Shasta and at a much higher elevation than the usual golf course.

    It is a reasonable assumption.

    Are there any all weather golf courses co-located with ski areas?
  2. I’ve seen three other theories for why cold weather makes viral outbreaks more likely:

    1 Cold air is dry, and heating further reduces the relative humidity of indoor air. Dry air dries out nasal membranes, leaving them more vulnerable to viral infection.

    2 Viruses survive outside the human body longer in cold dry air than in warm moist air, making it more likely someone will pick them up. And sunlight might also suppress or even kill some viruses.

    3 People huddle together in close quarters in cold weather, and hence are more likely to transmit viruses directly to others. This might be the case for getmutlich environments such as ski resorts.

    • Replies: @DanHessinMD
    Yes.
    , @A1
    If you look at a big ski resort - Whistler, Vail - they are set up like cruise ships where the guests are funneled into common areas to spend their money. There are common areas like lodges, eating areas, washrooms and a limited number of places to eat at night coupled with some select nightlife. Even though you are in the middle of nowhere these places are really small for down hill skiers.

    The gondola ride is long enough and warm enough to share air with the other 6 or 8 people. You are not going to catch anything on a chair but the big resorts have gondolas to handle the high traffic and then use chairs in a hub and spoke arrangement.

    Compare this to Nordic Skiing where you have not seen any mass outbreaks as the skiers are pretty much in social isolation the whole time.

    Add in an international set - notice they are not getting sick at Fernie or Switzer - and you get a petri dish. Not as bad as a cruise ship but more so than golf.
  3. This is the most important discussion in the world right now.

    The ambient air = COVID-19 nexus is really really strong:

    Sajadi et al. (2020) Temperature and Latitude Analysis to Predict Potential Spread and Seasonality for COVID-19
    https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3550308

    Wang et al. (2020) High Temperature and High Humidity Reduce the Transmission of COVID-19
    https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3551767

    Indoors, most everyone is at around 70 F / 21 C. The only available variable is humidity.

    We are shuttering the global economy and causing certain global depression in the belief that otherwise everyone will die when warm, humid weather stops this thing. Tragic stupidity.

    Actually the mechanism is explained very clearly in these two documents:

    Kudo et al. (2019) Low ambient humidity impairs barrier function and innate resistance against influenza infection. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2019

    Gough, March 1, 2020. Fighting the Flu with Humidity: Researchers discover immune system benefits of humidity https://medium.com/@ngough_bioserendipity/fight Fighting the Flu with Humidity Researchers discover immune system benefits of humiditying-the-flu-with-humidity-28d4ccb42bd7

    Everyone has ‘innate immunity’ — you have cilia enclosed in snot that clears out viruses from the body. That is the part of the immune system that doesn’t need to “know” the pathogen.

    When it is cold the snot gets more viscous. When it is dry, the snot dries and hardens. Either way, the innate immune system doesn’t work when it gets cold, or dry.

    Trump apparently had a big coronavirus party at Mar-a-lago and was fine. Very warm, very humid. Not problem.

    The big risk seems to be when people gather outdoors in the cold (which is what skiing is). Milan has tons and tons of people walking around outdoors in winter. The virus survives a long time in winter air, at the same moment that their innate immunity is solved.

    The world will not see environmental solutions. Instead everyone will panic.

    In warm and humid spring this will go away for certain. The tropical countries have virtually no problem.

    Meanwhile GDP will post a -40% year over year print, if you annualize the numbers. Steeper than the 1930s, while Coronavirus will give us fewer deaths than a normal US flu season.

    The panic and the inability to reason is very very sad.

    • Thanks: PiltdownMan, Polynikes, res
    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    Dan, do you have central heating rather than radiators? If so, what do you keep your temperature set at?
    , @danand

    “Everyone has ‘innate immunity’ — you have cilia enclosed in snot that clears out viruses from the body. That is the part of the immune system that doesn’t need to “know” the pathogen.

    Trump apparently had a big coronavirus party at Mar-a-lago and was fine. Very warm, very humid. Not problem.”

     
    Dr. Hessin, are you saying that Trump, who seems to constantly have the “sniffles”, is genetically predispositioned towards no getting infected with viruses 🦠?
    , @Bill P
    It isn't just the cilia and immune system. Think about it: particles fall to the ground when they get wet. In humid conditions the virus will fall from nose level to the ground, and when it's sunny the uv will kill the virus.

    A lot of this is mechanical.

    In ski resorts it's dry from the heating, people crowd together in indoor lodges with poor ventilation, and there's no sunlight inside.

    Of course this doesn't mean that it can't be spread in tropical places, where people hang out in clubs at night. It's just you're a lot more likely to pick it up skiing in Austria than golfing in Florida, all else being equal. But I wouldn't want to hang out at some nightclub in Puerto Rico if the bug was going around San Juan.
    , @Yojimbo/Zatoichi
    Then the best bet is to hope for a rather lengthy, drawn out, very, very, hot and humid spring/summer season(s). Above average in relative humidity. That should certainly help to reduce the total number of deaths and/or people catching it. Like, places experiencing above 90 F outdoors for weeks at a time. That will certainly help reduce the risk.
    , @El Dato

    Meanwhile GDP will post a -40% year over year print, if you annualize the numbers. Steeper than the 1930s, while Coronavirus will give us fewer deaths than a normal US flu season.
     
    MUH GDP

    Let's wait until those "GDP numbers" are in. For now, there is only stockmarket madness.

    May even be good - no money for foreign wars, I'm for it. Not that that's going to happen.

    As for betting everything on "COVID ain't gonna survive because of heat", what if you are wrong? What if you are not wrong but weather stays cold?

    , @S. Anonyia
    Are you sure humidity and heat kill the disease? One of the fastest growing clusters in the U.S is the New Orleans metro area. Most cases appear to be community transmission. From 2 earlier in the week to 75 + in days.

    I wish what you were saying was true...
    , @Hypnotoad666

    The tropical countries have virtually no problem.
     
    This seems like an important observation. Why is the virus ripping through ski lodges but not the fetid slums of Nigeria, or wherever? And does this mean global warming deserves credit for saving lives?
    , @Hypnotoad666
    So, for the first time in human history, it's actually important to say: "It's not the heat, it's the humidity."
    , @res
    Dan, have you run across anything about altitude in your research? I am uncertain what effect altitude would have given that absolute humidity (water vapor by air volume) varies with pressure while specific humidity (water vapor by air mass) does not.

    Altitude is another big difference between skiing and golf.

    My guess would be the most relevant altitude would be the ski lodge where (I think) transmission is most likely to occur. I assume this corresponds roughly to the base elevation. Here is a page with base elevations for North American ski areas:
    https://www.onthesnow.com/north-america/statistics.html

    This page gives pressure in atmospheres by elevation:
    https://www.mide.com/air-pressure-at-altitude-calculator
    At 5,000 feet the pressure is 0.83 atmospheres while at 10,000 feet the pressure is 0.69 atmospheres.

    Here is an article discussing ski resort closures.
    https://www.bellinghamherald.com/news/article241201016.html

    And I thought this was a telling statement:
    https://www.wagnerskis.com/journal/cold-flu-symptoms-remedies/

    From December to nearly the end of March it seems like everyone you encounter in a ski town has just had an illness, currently has a cold or the flu, or will soon start sniffling.
     
    , @Faraday's Bobcat
    I would like to believe that it's as simple as you say, but the CV is in Central America and India now. Does cold/dry promote contagion but not severity? I don't know whether those places have community spread yet or not and their deaths are still low.

    The Spanish Flu peaked in October of 1918, then tailed off by Christmas. Wasn't it also respiratory spread?
    , @HA
    "In warm and humid spring this will go away for certain."

    What about the Southern hemispheres?

    Right now, in Sydney, the temperatures over the last week have been in the mid 70's with humidity in the upper 60's. The last few months were even warmer. The coronavirus spread there is certainly not near Italian levels, but that's also arguably because screening has been diligent. (Though not diligent enough for Tom Hanks --he caught his coronavirus on Australia's warm and humid Gold Coast while shooting a film.)

  4. I’ll go with the running nose theory. Wherever I go these days, I’m surrounded by drooping nooses, err.. dripping noses.

    • Replies: @(((Owen)))

    Wherever I go these days, I’m surrounded by drooping nooses,
     
    That explains why skiing is so white, I suppose. It's whiter than a Klan rally out there on the slopes. The apres ski festivities are like a social and lively and exciting version of Iowa—so exactly the opposite of Iowa, except still all white.
  5. People cough more when they’re going in and out from exertion in the cold, and they would be more likely to spread the virus in cozy ski chalets and bars. Mountain real estate is less available and indoor spaces are smaller for better heating compared to golf areas. A runny nose might be dismissed as the consequence of outdoor cold exertion. Alpine air is cold and dry.

    Let’s hope this northern pandemic begins to abate when it gets warm. If it does, rather than becoming complacent, can we expect that ventilator manufacturing would increase and preparations continue?

    Ventilator Maker: We can ramp up production 5-fold
    https://www.forbes.com/sites/baldwin/2020/03/14/ventilator-maker-we-can-ramp-up-production-five-fold/

    • Replies: @ic1000
    Lockean Proviso, thanks for linking that article in the current issue of Forbes, Ventilator Maker: We can ramp up production 5-fold. Fair-use extract:

    The German government just placed an order for 10,000 mechanical ventilators. What’s the U.S. government doing about a potential shortage here? Not much, it seems... U.S. hospitals have something like 62,000 up-to-date machines immediately available, plus another 99,000 obsolete units that could be pulled out of storage... Could manufacturers of these devices boost output?

    “We could increase production five-fold in a 90- to 120-day period,” says [the CEO of a domestic manufacturer.] He’d have to tool up production lines, train assemblers and testers and get parts. Accelerating the parts delivery might be the toughest task, he says...

    [He] estimates that worldwide production capacity is in the range of 40,000 to 50,000 units a year... What would it cost to inject 50,000 machines into the U.S. hospital system? [Hospital-level machines cost $25,000 to $50,000...]
     

    The article is iSteve-bait. Somebody could spend money today on the chance that advance efforts will turn out to have been needed in a few months... But who?

    Steve, maybe you could see to it that one of Tucker Carlson's staffers reads your next post. Then Carlson could mention this on the air, somebody else would brief Trump, and, just maybe, the idea might catch his fancy.

    By the way, there is a purpose-built Federal agency whose mission is to spend tens of millions in private-sector contracts, in order to develop and stockpile stuff that might suddenly be urgently needed for a public-health emergency. Bio-terrorism, dirty bomb attack, that kind of thing.

    BARDA.


    BARDA's mission is to develop and procure needed medical countermeasures, including vaccines, therapeutics, diagnostics, and non-pharmaceutical countermeasures, against a broad array of public health threats, whether natural or intentional in origin.... BARDA's vision for the next five years is to enhance the capability of the U.S. Government to respond quickly to both known and emerging threats by supporting the development of a comprehensive portfolio of medical countermeasures, needed manufacturing infrastructure, and countermeasure production platforms while establishing an affordable and sustainable foundation for the maintenance and future operations of the PHEMCE [Public Health Emergency Medical Countermeasures Enterprise].
     
    How about it?
    , @ic1000
    More Stevebait from that Forbes article:

    There’s another element of treatment capacity, just as scary: staffing. A ventilator... needs to be meticulously calibrated to the patient, and if the calibration is not done right or is not updated, the patient is doomed... Will there be enough doctors and therapists?

    In a crisis, the hospitals will have to get creative... A report yesterday by the critical-care society postulated an emergency staffing that has one ICU doctor overseeing 96 patients on ventilators. That doctor would command a staff of four non-ICU MDs brought in from other assignments, each of them looking after eight respiratory therapists, four ICU nurses and 12 non-ICU nurses... It would be a stretch.

    Could there be a round of emergency training?... Perhaps fourth-year students could be drafted... Retired doctors and nurses... would be at high risk if infected.

    But there would be a role for quick courses in how to set up a particular model of ventilator and help the MD get the desired output. In a test run [several years ago, 16 hours of instruction] in machine operation were given to medically trained people who had never seen the machine before: nurses, physicians, physical therapists and veterinarians... the veterinarians scored the best.
     
  6. @The Last Real Calvinist
    I've seen three other theories for why cold weather makes viral outbreaks more likely:

    1 Cold air is dry, and heating further reduces the relative humidity of indoor air. Dry air dries out nasal membranes, leaving them more vulnerable to viral infection.

    2 Viruses survive outside the human body longer in cold dry air than in warm moist air, making it more likely someone will pick them up. And sunlight might also suppress or even kill some viruses.

    3 People huddle together in close quarters in cold weather, and hence are more likely to transmit viruses directly to others. This might be the case for getmutlich environments such as ski resorts.

    Yes.

  7. @DanHessinMD
    This is the most important discussion in the world right now.

    The ambient air = COVID-19 nexus is really really strong:

    Sajadi et al. (2020) Temperature and Latitude Analysis to Predict Potential Spread and Seasonality for COVID-19
    https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3550308

    Wang et al. (2020) High Temperature and High Humidity Reduce the Transmission of COVID-19
    https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3551767

    Indoors, most everyone is at around 70 F / 21 C. The only available variable is humidity.

    We are shuttering the global economy and causing certain global depression in the belief that otherwise everyone will die when warm, humid weather stops this thing. Tragic stupidity.

    Actually the mechanism is explained very clearly in these two documents:

    Kudo et al. (2019) Low ambient humidity impairs barrier function and innate resistance against influenza infection. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2019

    Gough, March 1, 2020. Fighting the Flu with Humidity: Researchers discover immune system benefits of humidity https://medium.com/@ngough_bioserendipity/fight Fighting the Flu with Humidity Researchers discover immune system benefits of humiditying-the-flu-with-humidity-28d4ccb42bd7

    Everyone has 'innate immunity' -- you have cilia enclosed in snot that clears out viruses from the body. That is the part of the immune system that doesn't need to "know" the pathogen.

    When it is cold the snot gets more viscous. When it is dry, the snot dries and hardens. Either way, the innate immune system doesn't work when it gets cold, or dry.

    Trump apparently had a big coronavirus party at Mar-a-lago and was fine. Very warm, very humid. Not problem.

    The big risk seems to be when people gather outdoors in the cold (which is what skiing is). Milan has tons and tons of people walking around outdoors in winter. The virus survives a long time in winter air, at the same moment that their innate immunity is solved.

    The world will not see environmental solutions. Instead everyone will panic.

    In warm and humid spring this will go away for certain. The tropical countries have virtually no problem.

    Meanwhile GDP will post a -40% year over year print, if you annualize the numbers. Steeper than the 1930s, while Coronavirus will give us fewer deaths than a normal US flu season.

    The panic and the inability to reason is very very sad.

    Dan, do you have central heating rather than radiators? If so, what do you keep your temperature set at?

    • Replies: @Buzz Mohawk
    Steve, clarify. You probably mean forced air heat when you say "central heating." We have mid-century central heat in our modest fixer-upper, with cast-iron radiators that run around the exterior perimeters of every room. It is perfect and not as dry. Forced air coming out of vents, which you probably have, dries things out terribly.
    , @Yojimbo/Zatoichi
    I keep mine at around 80 F during winter (it's gas, much cheaper than electric). Haven't had the flu in a long time. I make no apologies for it either. The wintertime is when you're supposed to turn on the heat.
    , @DanHessinMD
    Just an ordinary gas furnace. We keep it at 73, because my wife thinks 70 is freezing.

    This has to be a simulation and I'm the only one in it right? Folks cannot be so perfectly unable to see what is so obvious to me can they?
  8. In retrospect the global passenger airline should have just been shut down straight away. So much transmission, almost every case is someone who just returned back from Italy or Spain. Holidays are a luxury and business can be conducted by remotely. Would have been easier to manage the economic blow to just one industry.

    • Replies: @dearieme
    True, but you'd probably have to shut it down very quickly. The Chinese cover-up may well have damaged the opportunity beyond saving. As is so often the case, calm rationality is to be found in the British strategy document of 2011.

    "There are no plans to attempt to close borders ... The UK generally has a high level of international connectivity, and so is likely to be one of the earlier countries to receive infectious individuals. Modelling suggests that imposing a 90% restriction on all air travel to the UK at the point a pandemic emerges would only delay the peak of a pandemic wave by one to two weeks. ... During 2009 it became clear that the pandemic virus had already spread widely before international authorities were alerted, suggesting that in any case the point of pandemic emergence had been missed by several weeks. ...

    Given the expected two to three day incubation period for pandemic influenza, there is no evidence of any public health benefit to be gained from meeting planes from affected countries or similar pro-active measures such as thermal scanning or other screening methods. Such measures are largely ineffective, impractical to implement, and highly resource intensive."


    Editor's confession: I added an Oxford comma.

    Anyway, since Mr Trump never did build his wall there's a wide-open gap in US border control.

  9. Cold weather does seem to make viral respiratory disease more easy to contract, but for this virus, I note that humid, equatorial Singapore has kept the infection rate down only by a massive public health/civil defense measures that cracked down early, in January, and has successfully contact traced and quarantined the contacts of every single person afflicted. Equally tropical Malaysia, which is not as efficient, is seeing cases rising rapidly. And there are now reported cases cropping up in sub-Saharan Africa.

    All of which leads me to believe that warmer weather is not going to be a mitigant in any great measure.

    IMHO, of course.

    • Replies: @LondonBob
    Sure Singapore has been very organised but how much has the weather helped? Thailand heaves with Chinese tourists and yet they have had no outbreak, they are the true outlier that must be explained. SE Asian has remained outbreak free.
  10. Everyone can humidify and shield themselves very strongly against viral respiratory infections.

    After we pick up the pieces from our totally unnecessary economic collapse, I hope people will figure out at least that much. Probably not.

    Deaths from this are still under 100 in America, and spring is days away. I knew this was an intellectually stunted age, but this is really remarkable.

    Have fun figuring this out how to fix our economic collapse, titans of industry. You couldn’t rub two brain cells together to figure this humidity thing out. It seemed really easy from this vantage point.

    More research, not that anyone cares:

    1. Makinen et al. (2009) Cold temperature and low humidity are associated with increased occurrence of respiratory tract infections. Respiratory Medicine, Volume 103, Issue 3, March 2009, Pages 456-462

    2. Salah et al. (1988) Nasal mucociliary transport in healthy subjects is slower when breathing dry air. Eur Respir J. 1988 Oct;1(9):852-5.

    My solution is to cut global science budgets to zero. Nobody reads the papers anyway, even when their life depends on it. We can instead invest in more hand sanitizer. Can never have enough of that, after all.

    • Agree: Buzz Mohawk
    • Disagree: El Dato
    • Replies: @PiltdownMan
    If, from the start, the news and public information "take" on Covid-19 had been that it is a particularly unpleasant winter season respiratory virus, that, relative to most annual flus, tends to kill the elderly at a significantly higher rate, I bet the reaction of the markets would likely have been far more muted.

    No-one seems to be paying any attention to the fact that the overwhelming majority of cases that get so bad that the person dies, is of people of retirement age, mostly septuagenarians and octogenarians.
    , @Neoconned
    Serious question....i live in the Deep South & there are Corona cases confirmed....

    I'm not disagreeing w your claim but how for instance do ypu explain the outbreak in Italy?
    , @res
    What's even sadder is that your analysis is also relevant to the seasonal flu which kills hundreds of thousands of people annually.
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6815659/

    The big open question I see is the relative importance of humidity to virus transmission and individual disease course. The former would imply the need to humidify common spaces, while the latter would make individual spaces important as well.

    After this is all over it will be interesting to look at the following in comparison to H1N1 in 2009:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Influenza_A_virus_subtype_H1N1
    - The mortality and infection rates.
    - The countermeasures taken (both in the US and elsewhere).
    - The media furor in general.
    - The US media response to the actions of the respective presidents given the outcomes.

    P.S. I understand your frustration, but I think your sarcastic last paragraph was unproductive. Especially since the optimal response may be to do multiple things.

    P.P.S. One personal tidbit. I have been sick the last few days. Not sure if it is COVID-19. My symptoms are worse than I see with the usual seasonal flu (which I rarely get), but not really that serious--and are improving. Haven't been tested given that I don't think I qualify so just self quarantining. This is one of the reasons I go on about the likely undercounting of cases.
  11. @PiltdownMan
    Cold weather does seem to make viral respiratory disease more easy to contract, but for this virus, I note that humid, equatorial Singapore has kept the infection rate down only by a massive public health/civil defense measures that cracked down early, in January, and has successfully contact traced and quarantined the contacts of every single person afflicted. Equally tropical Malaysia, which is not as efficient, is seeing cases rising rapidly. And there are now reported cases cropping up in sub-Saharan Africa.

    All of which leads me to believe that warmer weather is not going to be a mitigant in any great measure.

    IMHO, of course.

    Sure Singapore has been very organised but how much has the weather helped? Thailand heaves with Chinese tourists and yet they have had no outbreak, they are the true outlier that must be explained. SE Asian has remained outbreak free.

    • Replies: @JMcG
    Philippines seems to be suffering an outbreak.
  12. @Steve Sailer
    Dan, do you have central heating rather than radiators? If so, what do you keep your temperature set at?

    Steve, clarify. You probably mean forced air heat when you say “central heating.” We have mid-century central heat in our modest fixer-upper, with cast-iron radiators that run around the exterior perimeters of every room. It is perfect and not as dry. Forced air coming out of vents, which you probably have, dries things out terribly.

    • Replies: @TomSchmidt
    That's not quite right. Forced air heating has no direct effect on humidity. What happens with most forced air systems is that they increase air movement, and most houses use ineffective methods of insulation (I.e. not sprayed foam) which allow the warmer, moister air to seep out through cracks to the outside, to be replaced by the cold, dry air from outside.

    In a modern, tightly-constructed house with maybe .1 air changes per hour, this is not a problem. Modern average construction gets to about .25, but houses built before about 1990 might have .4 or .5. Older houses go .8 or .9; my house blew a 1.26 or so on a blower door test. Older heating systems like circulating radiators handled this better; even better that that was steam heat, where a valve would release water vapor into the room.

    Since updating the house, we have been warm and comfortable With radiant heated floors in winter, and central air in summer, with vents in the ceiling where cold air is supposed to drop from (many forced air heating systems are also used for central air, a distaster as the vents are either on the floor [good for heat] or the ceiling [good for cooling], a false economy).

    There's a larger issue that ties together a lot of themes. We are tremendously profligate in our use of energy at home. The water you heat using nonrenewable fossil fuels for your shower is used for that purpose for 1.5 seconds before it's flushed away down the sewer, with all the hard work of heating it thrown out too. We spend a tremendous amount of money to heat cold winter Air that comes into our houses because they are not well insulated. That cold winter air has an effect on our comfort and our health, too.

    A real green new deal would involve the retrofitting of all of the houses of America that are not up to a proper energy standard. This would save a tremendous amount of greenhouse gas in emissions, do a better job of preserving health of Americans during the winter, and put a lot of unemployed and unemployable man back to work. If fracking had not made natural gas so cheap, we'd have done it already.
    , @Jack D
    Really old fashioned steam heat, the kind with the hissing radiators, provides a certain amount of humidity because it blows moist air out of the release valves every time the steam comes up (and sometimes even leaks a little steam too).

    Hot water heating, whether with baseboards or big radiators (which is what you probably have) does not add any humidity vs. hot air heat. Maybe you end up with a little more because hot air heat tends to pressurize the house such that you are sucking in more outside air which is relatively dry once you get done heating it.

    But OTOH, hot air heat lends itself to the installation of a central, plumbed in humidifier, which is the easiest way to humidify your house.

    On the 3rd hand, if you have radiators you can put pans of water on top of them and the heat from the radiator should evaporate that water fairly quickly, but it is a pain in the ass to constantly refill the pan.
  13. @DanHessinMD
    This is the most important discussion in the world right now.

    The ambient air = COVID-19 nexus is really really strong:

    Sajadi et al. (2020) Temperature and Latitude Analysis to Predict Potential Spread and Seasonality for COVID-19
    https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3550308

    Wang et al. (2020) High Temperature and High Humidity Reduce the Transmission of COVID-19
    https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3551767

    Indoors, most everyone is at around 70 F / 21 C. The only available variable is humidity.

    We are shuttering the global economy and causing certain global depression in the belief that otherwise everyone will die when warm, humid weather stops this thing. Tragic stupidity.

    Actually the mechanism is explained very clearly in these two documents:

    Kudo et al. (2019) Low ambient humidity impairs barrier function and innate resistance against influenza infection. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2019

    Gough, March 1, 2020. Fighting the Flu with Humidity: Researchers discover immune system benefits of humidity https://medium.com/@ngough_bioserendipity/fight Fighting the Flu with Humidity Researchers discover immune system benefits of humiditying-the-flu-with-humidity-28d4ccb42bd7

    Everyone has 'innate immunity' -- you have cilia enclosed in snot that clears out viruses from the body. That is the part of the immune system that doesn't need to "know" the pathogen.

    When it is cold the snot gets more viscous. When it is dry, the snot dries and hardens. Either way, the innate immune system doesn't work when it gets cold, or dry.

    Trump apparently had a big coronavirus party at Mar-a-lago and was fine. Very warm, very humid. Not problem.

    The big risk seems to be when people gather outdoors in the cold (which is what skiing is). Milan has tons and tons of people walking around outdoors in winter. The virus survives a long time in winter air, at the same moment that their innate immunity is solved.

    The world will not see environmental solutions. Instead everyone will panic.

    In warm and humid spring this will go away for certain. The tropical countries have virtually no problem.

    Meanwhile GDP will post a -40% year over year print, if you annualize the numbers. Steeper than the 1930s, while Coronavirus will give us fewer deaths than a normal US flu season.

    The panic and the inability to reason is very very sad.

    “Everyone has ‘innate immunity’ — you have cilia enclosed in snot that clears out viruses from the body. That is the part of the immune system that doesn’t need to “know” the pathogen.

    Trump apparently had a big coronavirus party at Mar-a-lago and was fine. Very warm, very humid. Not problem.”

    Dr. Hessin, are you saying that Trump, who seems to constantly have the “sniffles”, is genetically predispositioned towards no getting infected with viruses 🦠?

    • Replies: @ic1000
    > Dr. Hessin, are you saying that...

    FYI, it looks like @DanHessinMD is a contraction for "Dan Hess in Maryland". I think his advice on humidifying indoor air is worth heeding (I just did so, myself).
  14. @Steve Sailer
    Dan, do you have central heating rather than radiators? If so, what do you keep your temperature set at?

    I keep mine at around 80 F during winter (it’s gas, much cheaper than electric). Haven’t had the flu in a long time. I make no apologies for it either. The wintertime is when you’re supposed to turn on the heat.

  15. @DanHessinMD
    This is the most important discussion in the world right now.

    The ambient air = COVID-19 nexus is really really strong:

    Sajadi et al. (2020) Temperature and Latitude Analysis to Predict Potential Spread and Seasonality for COVID-19
    https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3550308

    Wang et al. (2020) High Temperature and High Humidity Reduce the Transmission of COVID-19
    https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3551767

    Indoors, most everyone is at around 70 F / 21 C. The only available variable is humidity.

    We are shuttering the global economy and causing certain global depression in the belief that otherwise everyone will die when warm, humid weather stops this thing. Tragic stupidity.

    Actually the mechanism is explained very clearly in these two documents:

    Kudo et al. (2019) Low ambient humidity impairs barrier function and innate resistance against influenza infection. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2019

    Gough, March 1, 2020. Fighting the Flu with Humidity: Researchers discover immune system benefits of humidity https://medium.com/@ngough_bioserendipity/fight Fighting the Flu with Humidity Researchers discover immune system benefits of humiditying-the-flu-with-humidity-28d4ccb42bd7

    Everyone has 'innate immunity' -- you have cilia enclosed in snot that clears out viruses from the body. That is the part of the immune system that doesn't need to "know" the pathogen.

    When it is cold the snot gets more viscous. When it is dry, the snot dries and hardens. Either way, the innate immune system doesn't work when it gets cold, or dry.

    Trump apparently had a big coronavirus party at Mar-a-lago and was fine. Very warm, very humid. Not problem.

    The big risk seems to be when people gather outdoors in the cold (which is what skiing is). Milan has tons and tons of people walking around outdoors in winter. The virus survives a long time in winter air, at the same moment that their innate immunity is solved.

    The world will not see environmental solutions. Instead everyone will panic.

    In warm and humid spring this will go away for certain. The tropical countries have virtually no problem.

    Meanwhile GDP will post a -40% year over year print, if you annualize the numbers. Steeper than the 1930s, while Coronavirus will give us fewer deaths than a normal US flu season.

    The panic and the inability to reason is very very sad.

    It isn’t just the cilia and immune system. Think about it: particles fall to the ground when they get wet. In humid conditions the virus will fall from nose level to the ground, and when it’s sunny the uv will kill the virus.

    A lot of this is mechanical.

    In ski resorts it’s dry from the heating, people crowd together in indoor lodges with poor ventilation, and there’s no sunlight inside.

    Of course this doesn’t mean that it can’t be spread in tropical places, where people hang out in clubs at night. It’s just you’re a lot more likely to pick it up skiing in Austria than golfing in Florida, all else being equal. But I wouldn’t want to hang out at some nightclub in Puerto Rico if the bug was going around San Juan.

    • Replies: @TheDividualist
    One of the biggest outbreaks in Austria was in Ischgl which is a ski resort small town know for its nightlife.

    But when people party to techno traxx in a nightlife club, it is hot and humid and they are very sweaty. I don't know.
  16. @DanHessinMD
    This is the most important discussion in the world right now.

    The ambient air = COVID-19 nexus is really really strong:

    Sajadi et al. (2020) Temperature and Latitude Analysis to Predict Potential Spread and Seasonality for COVID-19
    https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3550308

    Wang et al. (2020) High Temperature and High Humidity Reduce the Transmission of COVID-19
    https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3551767

    Indoors, most everyone is at around 70 F / 21 C. The only available variable is humidity.

    We are shuttering the global economy and causing certain global depression in the belief that otherwise everyone will die when warm, humid weather stops this thing. Tragic stupidity.

    Actually the mechanism is explained very clearly in these two documents:

    Kudo et al. (2019) Low ambient humidity impairs barrier function and innate resistance against influenza infection. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2019

    Gough, March 1, 2020. Fighting the Flu with Humidity: Researchers discover immune system benefits of humidity https://medium.com/@ngough_bioserendipity/fight Fighting the Flu with Humidity Researchers discover immune system benefits of humiditying-the-flu-with-humidity-28d4ccb42bd7

    Everyone has 'innate immunity' -- you have cilia enclosed in snot that clears out viruses from the body. That is the part of the immune system that doesn't need to "know" the pathogen.

    When it is cold the snot gets more viscous. When it is dry, the snot dries and hardens. Either way, the innate immune system doesn't work when it gets cold, or dry.

    Trump apparently had a big coronavirus party at Mar-a-lago and was fine. Very warm, very humid. Not problem.

    The big risk seems to be when people gather outdoors in the cold (which is what skiing is). Milan has tons and tons of people walking around outdoors in winter. The virus survives a long time in winter air, at the same moment that their innate immunity is solved.

    The world will not see environmental solutions. Instead everyone will panic.

    In warm and humid spring this will go away for certain. The tropical countries have virtually no problem.

    Meanwhile GDP will post a -40% year over year print, if you annualize the numbers. Steeper than the 1930s, while Coronavirus will give us fewer deaths than a normal US flu season.

    The panic and the inability to reason is very very sad.

    Then the best bet is to hope for a rather lengthy, drawn out, very, very, hot and humid spring/summer season(s). Above average in relative humidity. That should certainly help to reduce the total number of deaths and/or people catching it. Like, places experiencing above 90 F outdoors for weeks at a time. That will certainly help reduce the risk.

  17. @DanHessinMD
    Everyone can humidify and shield themselves very strongly against viral respiratory infections.

    After we pick up the pieces from our totally unnecessary economic collapse, I hope people will figure out at least that much. Probably not.

    Deaths from this are still under 100 in America, and spring is days away. I knew this was an intellectually stunted age, but this is really remarkable.

    Have fun figuring this out how to fix our economic collapse, titans of industry. You couldn't rub two brain cells together to figure this humidity thing out. It seemed really easy from this vantage point.

    More research, not that anyone cares:

    1. Makinen et al. (2009) Cold temperature and low humidity are associated with increased occurrence of respiratory tract infections. Respiratory Medicine, Volume 103, Issue 3, March 2009, Pages 456-462

    2. Salah et al. (1988) Nasal mucociliary transport in healthy subjects is slower when breathing dry air. Eur Respir J. 1988 Oct;1(9):852-5.

    My solution is to cut global science budgets to zero. Nobody reads the papers anyway, even when their life depends on it. We can instead invest in more hand sanitizer. Can never have enough of that, after all.

    If, from the start, the news and public information “take” on Covid-19 had been that it is a particularly unpleasant winter season respiratory virus, that, relative to most annual flus, tends to kill the elderly at a significantly higher rate, I bet the reaction of the markets would likely have been far more muted.

    No-one seems to be paying any attention to the fact that the overwhelming majority of cases that get so bad that the person dies, is of people of retirement age, mostly septuagenarians and octogenarians.

    • Replies: @Bill P
    Frankly, nobody would have paid this virus much attention 100 years ago. Yes, it would have killed people then, too, but the age distribution would have made it seem minor except to physicians who were in a position to notice.

    We should be worried now because more of us are old (which is itself a topic for another discussion), but that should be balanced against the costs. If the old are rich, as they currently are, shouldn't they pay some of the costs?

    I'm all for stopping Covid 19 in its tracks. I want my parents to be happy and healthy and to have fun with their grandkids, but it seems like I am asked to bear the brunt of the costs even as their assets are being rescued, also not to my benefit.

    Why is the govt. bailing them out in this crisis and making my family face the risks even while propping up the outrageous cost of housing? Why not let them take a haircut instead? That way they could be saved and their kids could get some relief. Seems like a fair deal.
    , @danand

    “If, from the start, the news and public information “take” on Covid-19 had been that it is a particularly unpleasant winter season respiratory virus, that, relative to most annual flus, tends to kill the elderly at a significantly higher rate, I bet the reaction of the markets would likely have been far more muted.”
     
    Piltdownman, As Italy 🇮🇹 is the current SARS-Cov-2 hotspot, I though I’d link this pre-pandemic study from August ‘19:

    “Highlights - Investigating the impact of influenza on excess mortality in all ages in Italy during recent seasons (2013/14–2016/17 seasons):

    In the winter seasons from 2013/14 to 2016/17, an estimated average of 5,290,000 ILI cases occurred in Italy, corresponding to an incidence of 9%.

    More than 68,000 deaths attributable to flu epidemics were estimated in the study period.

    Italy showed a higher influenza attributable excess mortality compared to other European countries, especially in the elderly.
     
    https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1201971219303285

    As for the equity markets, at least the US markets, they were, still all, way overvalued for anything short of a very robust economy over the next decade. 2016 levels were ballpark for the economy we were running prior to the outbreak. The markets had simply predicting an alternate future.
  18. Russia has a lot of skiers, relatively few golfers, and not too many residents with Hanks; roughy 70 positives. But perhaps it’s just another case of the more you test, the more you know.

    • Replies: @prime noticer
    "Russia has a lot of skiers, relatively few golfers"

    Russia has no golfers. most countries don't. nobody golfs. nobody can afford to build and maintain golf courses. there's not one player from Russia or Brazil with a PGA card. or lots of other huge nations.

    it is the ultimate first world recreational sport. it has by far, the biggest, most expensive playing surface ever devised.

    i've pointed this out to Steve like 5 times over the last 20 years.

    it would be like saying why are no NASCAR drivers getting Covid-19 from international NASCAR races, then bringing it back to the south?

    , @DanHessinMD
    I would express Russia to get hit harder next, and then be dealing with it well into spring. They closed their borders very early, but its there now.
  19. Apres ski is a way bigger deal than apres golf

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    Skiing is much more coed than golf
    , @Steve Sailer
    Skiing is much more coed than golf so there is more nightlife. Much higher chance of kissing apres ski than apres golf.
  20. No one’s mentioned it yet but another hypothesis as to why there are more respiratory disease outbreaks in the winter is that less sun exposure leads to less vitamin D production and that vitamin D improves immune function.

    • Replies: @UKMatt
    Good point.

    I'd say golfers spend more time on average outdoors all year round. Probaly higher levels of vit D.

    Some good studies out there about vit D levels (supplementation) and protection against colds etc.
    https://news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2017/02/study-confirms-vitamin-d-protects-against-cold-and-flu/

    https://www.bmj.com/content/356/bmj.i6583

    Good one here about VIT D and aquired pneumonia
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31567995

    Makes ya think!
  21. @DanHessinMD
    This is the most important discussion in the world right now.

    The ambient air = COVID-19 nexus is really really strong:

    Sajadi et al. (2020) Temperature and Latitude Analysis to Predict Potential Spread and Seasonality for COVID-19
    https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3550308

    Wang et al. (2020) High Temperature and High Humidity Reduce the Transmission of COVID-19
    https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3551767

    Indoors, most everyone is at around 70 F / 21 C. The only available variable is humidity.

    We are shuttering the global economy and causing certain global depression in the belief that otherwise everyone will die when warm, humid weather stops this thing. Tragic stupidity.

    Actually the mechanism is explained very clearly in these two documents:

    Kudo et al. (2019) Low ambient humidity impairs barrier function and innate resistance against influenza infection. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2019

    Gough, March 1, 2020. Fighting the Flu with Humidity: Researchers discover immune system benefits of humidity https://medium.com/@ngough_bioserendipity/fight Fighting the Flu with Humidity Researchers discover immune system benefits of humiditying-the-flu-with-humidity-28d4ccb42bd7

    Everyone has 'innate immunity' -- you have cilia enclosed in snot that clears out viruses from the body. That is the part of the immune system that doesn't need to "know" the pathogen.

    When it is cold the snot gets more viscous. When it is dry, the snot dries and hardens. Either way, the innate immune system doesn't work when it gets cold, or dry.

    Trump apparently had a big coronavirus party at Mar-a-lago and was fine. Very warm, very humid. Not problem.

    The big risk seems to be when people gather outdoors in the cold (which is what skiing is). Milan has tons and tons of people walking around outdoors in winter. The virus survives a long time in winter air, at the same moment that their innate immunity is solved.

    The world will not see environmental solutions. Instead everyone will panic.

    In warm and humid spring this will go away for certain. The tropical countries have virtually no problem.

    Meanwhile GDP will post a -40% year over year print, if you annualize the numbers. Steeper than the 1930s, while Coronavirus will give us fewer deaths than a normal US flu season.

    The panic and the inability to reason is very very sad.

    Meanwhile GDP will post a -40% year over year print, if you annualize the numbers. Steeper than the 1930s, while Coronavirus will give us fewer deaths than a normal US flu season.

    MUH GDP

    Let’s wait until those “GDP numbers” are in. For now, there is only stockmarket madness.

    May even be good – no money for foreign wars, I’m for it. Not that that’s going to happen.

    As for betting everything on “COVID ain’t gonna survive because of heat”, what if you are wrong? What if you are not wrong but weather stays cold?

    • Replies: @DanHessinMD
    Did you read all the literature, including these papers from last week?

    1. Sajadi et al. (2020) Temperature and Latitude Analysis to Predict Potential Spread and Seasonality for COVID-19
    https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3550308

    2. Wang et al. (2020) High Temperature and High Humidity Reduce the Transmission of COVID-19

    https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3551767

    People can humidify. Nobody young is dying, FFS.

    But lets nuke the planet from outer space, just to be sure.
  22. @Anonymous
    Apres ski is a way bigger deal than apres golf

    Skiing is much more coed than golf

  23. @Anonymous
    Apres ski is a way bigger deal than apres golf

    Skiing is much more coed than golf so there is more nightlife. Much higher chance of kissing apres ski than apres golf.

    • Replies: @Yojimbo/Zatoichi
    Serious question: For those golfers who play at private country clubs and not public links, wouldn't the quality of nightlife roughly average out to the same as for high end skiers? As golf does tend to be played in warmer, hotter months of the year, and is played during the daytime, it's not as if the high end golfers all dutifully go home at 8 PM to bed. Especially if they're playing at high end private country clubs with suitable nightly entertainments.
    , @Dieter Kief

    more nightlife. Much higher chance of kissing apres ski than apres golf.
     
    The coed thing out in the cold - I don't know, I wouldnt think that that has a big impact. People are away from one another, not least because of these skis at their feet. Dutch on ski - that means a circle of three meters at least around anybody, because they are too long for skis and not that good driving around on them either (I was severly hurt only one time in my many decades of skiing, and that was, when an out of control Dutch guy hit me badly from behind. Same with my uncle Rudi - who spent some time in a hospital afterwards, and with my wife, who recovered quickly.

    Hugging and kissing and embracing one another, dancing in incredibly packed places where the condensed water runs down the walls in little streams. - Après ski is a body contact activity. The huts are packed with people - that's the fun part of it, too - as long as you are young or at least feel young enough to engage in this sort of socializing. A perfect stage for viruses.

    , @Yngvar
    You're going to jinx the "ski trippers" versus golfers discrepancy if you keep up making this comparison, for sure. :)
  24. @PiltdownMan
    If, from the start, the news and public information "take" on Covid-19 had been that it is a particularly unpleasant winter season respiratory virus, that, relative to most annual flus, tends to kill the elderly at a significantly higher rate, I bet the reaction of the markets would likely have been far more muted.

    No-one seems to be paying any attention to the fact that the overwhelming majority of cases that get so bad that the person dies, is of people of retirement age, mostly septuagenarians and octogenarians.

    Frankly, nobody would have paid this virus much attention 100 years ago. Yes, it would have killed people then, too, but the age distribution would have made it seem minor except to physicians who were in a position to notice.

    We should be worried now because more of us are old (which is itself a topic for another discussion), but that should be balanced against the costs. If the old are rich, as they currently are, shouldn’t they pay some of the costs?

    I’m all for stopping Covid 19 in its tracks. I want my parents to be happy and healthy and to have fun with their grandkids, but it seems like I am asked to bear the brunt of the costs even as their assets are being rescued, also not to my benefit.

    Why is the govt. bailing them out in this crisis and making my family face the risks even while propping up the outrageous cost of housing? Why not let them take a haircut instead? That way they could be saved and their kids could get some relief. Seems like a fair deal.

    • Replies: @Polynikes
    A hundred years ago... try ten. The 09 swine flu killed from 13k (cdc low estimate) to 75k (one statistical retrospective I saw). Infected millions.

    It barely got passing mention on the news for a month. This seems to be about the same, if not a little worse, but we’ve gone crazy this time.

    Will be interesting to look back on. Stay safe everyone.
    , @Autochthon
    I agree. The whole brouhaha is about protecting the greedy old people who've ruined the world. The more deaths of the boomers and their predecessors, the better. It could not happen to more deserving groups. Are some individuals innocent? Of course. Any losses to them are lamentable if unavoidable. Remember the female physician who always appears with Dr. Fauci and her recent babble about how young people must all panic and quarantine themselves? Yeah, that's because she knows that they know it's a bullshit thing that kills old, sick people who need to die already anyway and are just vampiric parasites.

    Help the movement: go about your business and cough any time you see anyone over, say, sixty. (It's kind of like a drinking game played whenever a character in a movie says a certain phrase.)
  25. @LondonBob
    In retrospect the global passenger airline should have just been shut down straight away. So much transmission, almost every case is someone who just returned back from Italy or Spain. Holidays are a luxury and business can be conducted by remotely. Would have been easier to manage the economic blow to just one industry.

    True, but you’d probably have to shut it down very quickly. The Chinese cover-up may well have damaged the opportunity beyond saving. As is so often the case, calm rationality is to be found in the British strategy document of 2011.

    “There are no plans to attempt to close borders … The UK generally has a high level of international connectivity, and so is likely to be one of the earlier countries to receive infectious individuals. Modelling suggests that imposing a 90% restriction on all air travel to the UK at the point a pandemic emerges would only delay the peak of a pandemic wave by one to two weeks. … During 2009 it became clear that the pandemic virus had already spread widely before international authorities were alerted, suggesting that in any case the point of pandemic emergence had been missed by several weeks. …

    Given the expected two to three day incubation period for pandemic influenza, there is no evidence of any public health benefit to be gained from meeting planes from affected countries or similar pro-active measures such as thermal scanning or other screening methods. Such measures are largely ineffective, impractical to implement, and highly resource intensive.”

    Editor’s confession: I added an Oxford comma.

    Anyway, since Mr Trump never did build his wall there’s a wide-open gap in US border control.

    • Replies: @LondonBob
    Might not have brought R down to zero but it would have massively lowered transmission. I actually think that is the biggest flaw in the document, typical open borders defeatism. Compared to some of the measures being taken it would have been a mild action to close the airports to passengers, something that is being done anyway, even though it is too late.

    I wonder if the NGOs are still ferrying immigrants across the Med?
  26. @PiltdownMan
    If, from the start, the news and public information "take" on Covid-19 had been that it is a particularly unpleasant winter season respiratory virus, that, relative to most annual flus, tends to kill the elderly at a significantly higher rate, I bet the reaction of the markets would likely have been far more muted.

    No-one seems to be paying any attention to the fact that the overwhelming majority of cases that get so bad that the person dies, is of people of retirement age, mostly septuagenarians and octogenarians.

    “If, from the start, the news and public information “take” on Covid-19 had been that it is a particularly unpleasant winter season respiratory virus, that, relative to most annual flus, tends to kill the elderly at a significantly higher rate, I bet the reaction of the markets would likely have been far more muted.”

    Piltdownman, As Italy 🇮🇹 is the current SARS-Cov-2 hotspot, I though I’d link this pre-pandemic study from August ‘19:

    “Highlights – Investigating the impact of influenza on excess mortality in all ages in Italy during recent seasons (2013/14–2016/17 seasons):

    In the winter seasons from 2013/14 to 2016/17, an estimated average of 5,290,000 ILI cases occurred in Italy, corresponding to an incidence of 9%.

    More than 68,000 deaths attributable to flu epidemics were estimated in the study period.

    Italy showed a higher influenza attributable excess mortality compared to other European countries, especially in the elderly.

    https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1201971219303285

    As for the equity markets, at least the US markets, they were, still all, way overvalued for anything short of a very robust economy over the next decade. 2016 levels were ballpark for the economy we were running prior to the outbreak. The markets had simply predicting an alternate future.

  27. Skiing is too dangerous for me. From broken legs to Sonny Bono to viruses. I drove through Vail once. While it certainly looked nice, it also had a superficial prefab quality. Not a lot of character. I understand the place has only existed since the 60s.

    I guess golf is snobby too, but I got that vibe pretty strong in Vail (although Aspen is probably worse).

    • Replies: @Lockean Proviso
    It really depends where you ski. I grew up skiing and it's a higher-income activity at destination resorts with lots of fly-ins, but there are other more downscale ski areas where locals ski and families live, with folks driving up for the weekend. For example, eastern skiing in NC, NY, and WV, or more utilitarian spots such as those in the CA mountains closer to LA. Big Sky, MT, A-Basin, CO, and Taos, NM used to be affordable, middle-class ski areas for a week of big mountain skiing. I don't know if it's like that now. Vail and Aspen were always hoity-toity, but the skiing itself there is excellent.
    , @Known Fact
    Not just broken legs -- what about that European executive whose coat got caught in the skilift and choked him to death.
    , @HallParvey

    I guess golf is snobby too,
     
    Golf teaches humility. This is especially important with rich people. When a person begins to think he is god on earth, a round of golf can teach him otherwise. This assumes that he is able to learn.
  28. Unlike golf skiing is a very prole activity. It really does not cost much to ski or snowboard and the equipment costs less too. Golf on the other hand would inconvenience wealthy people.

    My policy suggestion is quarantine people over 30 or maybe 40. Once the kids have got immunity then you can raise the age up.

    I personally wonder if much of the Chinese success was simply most Chinese caught it, showed no symptoms or had a mild case. After a while the disease afflicted the people with the weakest immune response leaving China with herd immunity.

    • Replies: @Yawrate
    Skiing can be very expensive with day passes costing over $100 for the big fancy resorts. Not to mention the cost of the equipment and accommodations.

    Of course skiing can always be had on the cheap but that is usually a thing the local working class figures out by necessity.
    , @ATate
    > It really does not cost much to ski or snowboard and the equipment costs less too

    Skiing is way more expensive. Like Steve said, Golf is mostly made up of males. But skiing involves the whole family.

    Average price of a lift ticket in the US; $94
    That's one day of skiing for one person
    Average cost of skis, boots, binding, poles; $650
    https://www.snow-online.com/skimag/lift-ticket-prices-united-states-canada-europe.htm
    https://www.globosurfer.com/cost-of-skiing/


    Average price of a round of golf (with cart) in the US; $36
    Average price of Golf clubs; $300
    https://golfweek.usatoday.com/2018/12/28/what-is-the-average-cost-of-a-round-of-golf/
    https://www.golfstorageguide.com/how-much-do-golf-clubs-cost/


    When my wife and I go golfing we go to the local City Courses, and pay around $35-45 per 18 holes. We have decent little push carts for the clubs, and can get the cost down if we Golf later in the night during the summer after 5pm the price goes down by half during the week.

    Skiing? My local mountain prices for my 2 boys are $38 each for the lift ticket, $45 each for me and my wife. Plus gear, clothes (ask me how much a good parka is, now how much are some decent ski bibs, gloves, hat's, socks) X 4.

    So yeah, Skiing is probably "prole" but it sure as fuck ain't cheaper than Golf. Plus, go to the 19th hole on a weekend and I'm sure you'll be charmed by the high society cigar chomping swill drinkers there. Definitely classy dudes in that "sport" for sure.

    , @MKP
    "Unlike golf skiing is a very prole activity. It really does not cost much to ski or snowboard and the equipment costs less too."


    Can't tell if this is a serious comment or a joke?
  29. Cold air causes dyskinesia (slow, dysfunctional movement) of the cilia, those diminutive hairs that sweep pathogens up up and away. Ciliapathy. This causes pathogen adhesion, then colonization. So, in a cold place, outdoors wear a mask or breathe through a scarf to warm the inhaled air. In the home, keep it warm, and hang up some wet towels to evaporate. Your own little mini-Africa. You could even hang-up some posters of giraffes and elephants to enhance the vibe.

    Ask a virologist about doing this, and he will say nah. But ask if it would be “reasonable” and he would say yes.

  30. Unsavory to think about but skiers and snowboarders are constantly wiping their noses with the back of their gloves. Some gloves even have a soft patch on the back just for this purpose. Then the gloves get wiped against the ski pants, etc. Then everyone piles onto a lift or into a gondola, cheek by jowl, with a crowd, all of whom are covered in snot.

  31. @DanHessinMD
    This is the most important discussion in the world right now.

    The ambient air = COVID-19 nexus is really really strong:

    Sajadi et al. (2020) Temperature and Latitude Analysis to Predict Potential Spread and Seasonality for COVID-19
    https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3550308

    Wang et al. (2020) High Temperature and High Humidity Reduce the Transmission of COVID-19
    https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3551767

    Indoors, most everyone is at around 70 F / 21 C. The only available variable is humidity.

    We are shuttering the global economy and causing certain global depression in the belief that otherwise everyone will die when warm, humid weather stops this thing. Tragic stupidity.

    Actually the mechanism is explained very clearly in these two documents:

    Kudo et al. (2019) Low ambient humidity impairs barrier function and innate resistance against influenza infection. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2019

    Gough, March 1, 2020. Fighting the Flu with Humidity: Researchers discover immune system benefits of humidity https://medium.com/@ngough_bioserendipity/fight Fighting the Flu with Humidity Researchers discover immune system benefits of humiditying-the-flu-with-humidity-28d4ccb42bd7

    Everyone has 'innate immunity' -- you have cilia enclosed in snot that clears out viruses from the body. That is the part of the immune system that doesn't need to "know" the pathogen.

    When it is cold the snot gets more viscous. When it is dry, the snot dries and hardens. Either way, the innate immune system doesn't work when it gets cold, or dry.

    Trump apparently had a big coronavirus party at Mar-a-lago and was fine. Very warm, very humid. Not problem.

    The big risk seems to be when people gather outdoors in the cold (which is what skiing is). Milan has tons and tons of people walking around outdoors in winter. The virus survives a long time in winter air, at the same moment that their innate immunity is solved.

    The world will not see environmental solutions. Instead everyone will panic.

    In warm and humid spring this will go away for certain. The tropical countries have virtually no problem.

    Meanwhile GDP will post a -40% year over year print, if you annualize the numbers. Steeper than the 1930s, while Coronavirus will give us fewer deaths than a normal US flu season.

    The panic and the inability to reason is very very sad.

    Are you sure humidity and heat kill the disease? One of the fastest growing clusters in the U.S is the New Orleans metro area. Most cases appear to be community transmission. From 2 earlier in the week to 75 + in days.

    I wish what you were saying was true…

    • Replies: @nebulafox
    I live-quite literally-nearly on the equator. Can confirm that humidity and heat do not stop corona-chan.
  32. Bad golfers are particularly immune. By the end of the round they are far behind the others and probably not on speaking terms with the others. When the other 3 grab a beer at the clubhouse and BS about the round and their game, the bad golfer has an important errand they need to go do.

    Yes, I am immune. It is a hard burden to bear.

  33. After a day of skiing, lots of people sit around in the lodge and drink and talk; all together at the same time at the end of the day; I know this because I was once a skier. Lots of opportunity for person-to-person spread. I don’t know much about golfing culture — is there a similar communal experience? Perhaps not, since people finish at different times throughout the day, maybe stop at the 19th hole for a quick drink but then go home. Not as much person-to-person exposure maybe. That would be my theory.

  34. @George
    Unlike golf skiing is a very prole activity. It really does not cost much to ski or snowboard and the equipment costs less too. Golf on the other hand would inconvenience wealthy people.

    My policy suggestion is quarantine people over 30 or maybe 40. Once the kids have got immunity then you can raise the age up.

    I personally wonder if much of the Chinese success was simply most Chinese caught it, showed no symptoms or had a mild case. After a while the disease afflicted the people with the weakest immune response leaving China with herd immunity.

    Skiing can be very expensive with day passes costing over $100 for the big fancy resorts. Not to mention the cost of the equipment and accommodations.

    Of course skiing can always be had on the cheap but that is usually a thing the local working class figures out by necessity.

    • Replies: @(((Owen)))

    day passes costing over $100 for the big fancy resorts.
     
    One hundred dollars? Are you reporting from 1988?

    Vail $209
    Beaver Creek $209
    Park City $179
    Deer Valley $180
    Sun Valley $149
    Winter Park $169
    Keystone $169
    Copper Mountain $178
    Breckenridge $189
    Steamboat $179
    Aspen $179
  35. @Bill P
    Frankly, nobody would have paid this virus much attention 100 years ago. Yes, it would have killed people then, too, but the age distribution would have made it seem minor except to physicians who were in a position to notice.

    We should be worried now because more of us are old (which is itself a topic for another discussion), but that should be balanced against the costs. If the old are rich, as they currently are, shouldn't they pay some of the costs?

    I'm all for stopping Covid 19 in its tracks. I want my parents to be happy and healthy and to have fun with their grandkids, but it seems like I am asked to bear the brunt of the costs even as their assets are being rescued, also not to my benefit.

    Why is the govt. bailing them out in this crisis and making my family face the risks even while propping up the outrageous cost of housing? Why not let them take a haircut instead? That way they could be saved and their kids could get some relief. Seems like a fair deal.

    A hundred years ago… try ten. The 09 swine flu killed from 13k (cdc low estimate) to 75k (one statistical retrospective I saw). Infected millions.

    It barely got passing mention on the news for a month. This seems to be about the same, if not a little worse, but we’ve gone crazy this time.

    Will be interesting to look back on. Stay safe everyone.

  36. @dearieme
    True, but you'd probably have to shut it down very quickly. The Chinese cover-up may well have damaged the opportunity beyond saving. As is so often the case, calm rationality is to be found in the British strategy document of 2011.

    "There are no plans to attempt to close borders ... The UK generally has a high level of international connectivity, and so is likely to be one of the earlier countries to receive infectious individuals. Modelling suggests that imposing a 90% restriction on all air travel to the UK at the point a pandemic emerges would only delay the peak of a pandemic wave by one to two weeks. ... During 2009 it became clear that the pandemic virus had already spread widely before international authorities were alerted, suggesting that in any case the point of pandemic emergence had been missed by several weeks. ...

    Given the expected two to three day incubation period for pandemic influenza, there is no evidence of any public health benefit to be gained from meeting planes from affected countries or similar pro-active measures such as thermal scanning or other screening methods. Such measures are largely ineffective, impractical to implement, and highly resource intensive."


    Editor's confession: I added an Oxford comma.

    Anyway, since Mr Trump never did build his wall there's a wide-open gap in US border control.

    Might not have brought R down to zero but it would have massively lowered transmission. I actually think that is the biggest flaw in the document, typical open borders defeatism. Compared to some of the measures being taken it would have been a mild action to close the airports to passengers, something that is being done anyway, even though it is too late.

    I wonder if the NGOs are still ferrying immigrants across the Med?

  37. People group closely together in smaller, unventilated indoor spaces in the cold, so viruses are more concentrated in the atmosphere and closer to noses.

  38. CK says:

    In Southern European countries there is a cultural tradition of men kissing men in greeting/departures. In the Islamic world that same cultural behaviour obtains.
    In Northern climes the tradition is the handshake ( no knives in the main hand).
    In the East, the tradition is the bow.
    Climate and culture or kiss less and raise the heat and humidity.

  39. @Buzz Mohawk
    Steve, clarify. You probably mean forced air heat when you say "central heating." We have mid-century central heat in our modest fixer-upper, with cast-iron radiators that run around the exterior perimeters of every room. It is perfect and not as dry. Forced air coming out of vents, which you probably have, dries things out terribly.

    That’s not quite right. Forced air heating has no direct effect on humidity. What happens with most forced air systems is that they increase air movement, and most houses use ineffective methods of insulation (I.e. not sprayed foam) which allow the warmer, moister air to seep out through cracks to the outside, to be replaced by the cold, dry air from outside.

    In a modern, tightly-constructed house with maybe .1 air changes per hour, this is not a problem. Modern average construction gets to about .25, but houses built before about 1990 might have .4 or .5. Older houses go .8 or .9; my house blew a 1.26 or so on a blower door test. Older heating systems like circulating radiators handled this better; even better that that was steam heat, where a valve would release water vapor into the room.

    Since updating the house, we have been warm and comfortable With radiant heated floors in winter, and central air in summer, with vents in the ceiling where cold air is supposed to drop from (many forced air heating systems are also used for central air, a distaster as the vents are either on the floor [good for heat] or the ceiling [good for cooling], a false economy).

    There’s a larger issue that ties together a lot of themes. We are tremendously profligate in our use of energy at home. The water you heat using nonrenewable fossil fuels for your shower is used for that purpose for 1.5 seconds before it’s flushed away down the sewer, with all the hard work of heating it thrown out too. We spend a tremendous amount of money to heat cold winter Air that comes into our houses because they are not well insulated. That cold winter air has an effect on our comfort and our health, too.

    A real green new deal would involve the retrofitting of all of the houses of America that are not up to a proper energy standard. This would save a tremendous amount of greenhouse gas in emissions, do a better job of preserving health of Americans during the winter, and put a lot of unemployed and unemployable man back to work. If fracking had not made natural gas so cheap, we’d have done it already.

  40. I ain’t sweating it. In New Port Richey, Florida everything’s stilll open, I can get in and out of the hospital where my brother’s been in intensive care for two week. They screen you a little, ask a few questions, but there’s been no banning of visitors–so far. The grocers and restaurants are open with plenty of potty-paper. Down in St. Pete they cancelled the F-1 and Indycar race this past weekend and of course, they cancelled The Player’s tourny this weekend.

    Steve, I don’t know why they can’t test/screen the golfers and let them go play to the TV cameras with no crowds. Same for baseball, basketball and especially racing. They lose the gate, concessions and parking, but KEEP the TV money and advertising. TV money might go up because MORE people will be watching. Sports is big money because of TV. Seems silly to me that three spectator sports are going to unravel multi-billion dollar advertising arrangements simply because there’s no gate.

    They HAVE to be considering this.

  41. @Steve Sailer
    Dan, do you have central heating rather than radiators? If so, what do you keep your temperature set at?

    Just an ordinary gas furnace. We keep it at 73, because my wife thinks 70 is freezing.

    This has to be a simulation and I’m the only one in it right? Folks cannot be so perfectly unable to see what is so obvious to me can they?

  42. In my misspent youth, ski trips involved a lot more hooking up than any golf trip I’ve ever heard of.

  43. @DanHessinMD
    Everyone can humidify and shield themselves very strongly against viral respiratory infections.

    After we pick up the pieces from our totally unnecessary economic collapse, I hope people will figure out at least that much. Probably not.

    Deaths from this are still under 100 in America, and spring is days away. I knew this was an intellectually stunted age, but this is really remarkable.

    Have fun figuring this out how to fix our economic collapse, titans of industry. You couldn't rub two brain cells together to figure this humidity thing out. It seemed really easy from this vantage point.

    More research, not that anyone cares:

    1. Makinen et al. (2009) Cold temperature and low humidity are associated with increased occurrence of respiratory tract infections. Respiratory Medicine, Volume 103, Issue 3, March 2009, Pages 456-462

    2. Salah et al. (1988) Nasal mucociliary transport in healthy subjects is slower when breathing dry air. Eur Respir J. 1988 Oct;1(9):852-5.

    My solution is to cut global science budgets to zero. Nobody reads the papers anyway, even when their life depends on it. We can instead invest in more hand sanitizer. Can never have enough of that, after all.

    Serious question….i live in the Deep South & there are Corona cases confirmed….

    I’m not disagreeing w your claim but how for instance do ypu explain the outbreak in Italy?

    • Replies: @Polynikes
    According to the article I read it is optimal between 5-10 degrees C. All the worst places—Wuhan, Korea, Iran, and N. Italy—were in that range.

    They’ll fade out, but others like Germany and England will come into that range.
  44. Also Steve….doesnt cold air scar your lungs openibg them up to new infections?

  45. @LondonBob
    Sure Singapore has been very organised but how much has the weather helped? Thailand heaves with Chinese tourists and yet they have had no outbreak, they are the true outlier that must be explained. SE Asian has remained outbreak free.

    Philippines seems to be suffering an outbreak.

    • Replies: @LondonBob
    Be interesting to see if they get a sustained outbreak like Northern Italy, Qom, Wuhan, or if it is limited transmission from tourists. Hot weather doesn't stop it dead but lets hope it does slow it.
  46. @El Dato

    Meanwhile GDP will post a -40% year over year print, if you annualize the numbers. Steeper than the 1930s, while Coronavirus will give us fewer deaths than a normal US flu season.
     
    MUH GDP

    Let's wait until those "GDP numbers" are in. For now, there is only stockmarket madness.

    May even be good - no money for foreign wars, I'm for it. Not that that's going to happen.

    As for betting everything on "COVID ain't gonna survive because of heat", what if you are wrong? What if you are not wrong but weather stays cold?

    Did you read all the literature, including these papers from last week?

    1. Sajadi et al. (2020) Temperature and Latitude Analysis to Predict Potential Spread and Seasonality for COVID-19
    https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3550308

    2. Wang et al. (2020) High Temperature and High Humidity Reduce the Transmission of COVID-19

    https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3551767

    People can humidify. Nobody young is dying, FFS.

    But lets nuke the planet from outer space, just to be sure.

  47. @Steve Sailer
    Skiing is much more coed than golf so there is more nightlife. Much higher chance of kissing apres ski than apres golf.

    Serious question: For those golfers who play at private country clubs and not public links, wouldn’t the quality of nightlife roughly average out to the same as for high end skiers? As golf does tend to be played in warmer, hotter months of the year, and is played during the daytime, it’s not as if the high end golfers all dutifully go home at 8 PM to bed. Especially if they’re playing at high end private country clubs with suitable nightly entertainments.

    • Replies: @snorlax
    Golfers are OLD. Median age well north of 60. Oldsters aren't really into nightlife.
  48. @RichardTaylor
    Skiing is too dangerous for me. From broken legs to Sonny Bono to viruses. I drove through Vail once. While it certainly looked nice, it also had a superficial prefab quality. Not a lot of character. I understand the place has only existed since the 60s.

    I guess golf is snobby too, but I got that vibe pretty strong in Vail (although Aspen is probably worse).

    It really depends where you ski. I grew up skiing and it’s a higher-income activity at destination resorts with lots of fly-ins, but there are other more downscale ski areas where locals ski and families live, with folks driving up for the weekend. For example, eastern skiing in NC, NY, and WV, or more utilitarian spots such as those in the CA mountains closer to LA. Big Sky, MT, A-Basin, CO, and Taos, NM used to be affordable, middle-class ski areas for a week of big mountain skiing. I don’t know if it’s like that now. Vail and Aspen were always hoity-toity, but the skiing itself there is excellent.

  49. @Steve Sailer
    Skiing is much more coed than golf so there is more nightlife. Much higher chance of kissing apres ski than apres golf.

    more nightlife. Much higher chance of kissing apres ski than apres golf.

    The coed thing out in the cold – I don’t know, I wouldnt think that that has a big impact. People are away from one another, not least because of these skis at their feet. Dutch on ski – that means a circle of three meters at least around anybody, because they are too long for skis and not that good driving around on them either (I was severly hurt only one time in my many decades of skiing, and that was, when an out of control Dutch guy hit me badly from behind. Same with my uncle Rudi – who spent some time in a hospital afterwards, and with my wife, who recovered quickly.

    Hugging and kissing and embracing one another, dancing in incredibly packed places where the condensed water runs down the walls in little streams. – Après ski is a body contact activity. The huts are packed with people – that’s the fun part of it, too – as long as you are young or at least feel young enough to engage in this sort of socializing. A perfect stage for viruses.

  50. There’s probably 1000 times more skiers than golfers world-wide.

    There’s your answer.

  51. @danand

    “Everyone has ‘innate immunity’ — you have cilia enclosed in snot that clears out viruses from the body. That is the part of the immune system that doesn’t need to “know” the pathogen.

    Trump apparently had a big coronavirus party at Mar-a-lago and was fine. Very warm, very humid. Not problem.”

     
    Dr. Hessin, are you saying that Trump, who seems to constantly have the “sniffles”, is genetically predispositioned towards no getting infected with viruses 🦠?

    > Dr. Hessin, are you saying that…

    FYI, it looks like is a contraction for “Dan Hess in Maryland”. I think his advice on humidifying indoor air is worth heeding (I just did so, myself).

  52. @Buzz Mohawk
    Steve, clarify. You probably mean forced air heat when you say "central heating." We have mid-century central heat in our modest fixer-upper, with cast-iron radiators that run around the exterior perimeters of every room. It is perfect and not as dry. Forced air coming out of vents, which you probably have, dries things out terribly.

    Really old fashioned steam heat, the kind with the hissing radiators, provides a certain amount of humidity because it blows moist air out of the release valves every time the steam comes up (and sometimes even leaks a little steam too).

    Hot water heating, whether with baseboards or big radiators (which is what you probably have) does not add any humidity vs. hot air heat. Maybe you end up with a little more because hot air heat tends to pressurize the house such that you are sucking in more outside air which is relatively dry once you get done heating it.

    But OTOH, hot air heat lends itself to the installation of a central, plumbed in humidifier, which is the easiest way to humidify your house.

    On the 3rd hand, if you have radiators you can put pans of water on top of them and the heat from the radiator should evaporate that water fairly quickly, but it is a pain in the ass to constantly refill the pan.

    • Replies: @Steve from Detroit
    Every house I have owned has had a gas-forced furnace. I have had multiple types/brands/makes of humidifiers attached to each of my furnaces, and none of them have worked worth a damn. I have adjusted the humidistat, changed all of the filters, had technicians come out and nothing seems to work. I would be glad to hear any suggestions, though I may simply be too stupid to accomplish this seemingly simple task.

    I have resorted to simply buying room humidifiers to accomplish the goal.
  53. @Lockean Proviso
    People cough more when they're going in and out from exertion in the cold, and they would be more likely to spread the virus in cozy ski chalets and bars. Mountain real estate is less available and indoor spaces are smaller for better heating compared to golf areas. A runny nose might be dismissed as the consequence of outdoor cold exertion. Alpine air is cold and dry.

    Let's hope this northern pandemic begins to abate when it gets warm. If it does, rather than becoming complacent, can we expect that ventilator manufacturing would increase and preparations continue?

    Ventilator Maker: We can ramp up production 5-fold
    https://www.forbes.com/sites/baldwin/2020/03/14/ventilator-maker-we-can-ramp-up-production-five-fold/

    Lockean Proviso, thanks for linking that article in the current issue of Forbes, Ventilator Maker: We can ramp up production 5-fold. Fair-use extract:

    The German government just placed an order for 10,000 mechanical ventilators. What’s the U.S. government doing about a potential shortage here? Not much, it seems… U.S. hospitals have something like 62,000 up-to-date machines immediately available, plus another 99,000 obsolete units that could be pulled out of storage… Could manufacturers of these devices boost output?

    “We could increase production five-fold in a 90- to 120-day period,” says [the CEO of a domestic manufacturer.] He’d have to tool up production lines, train assemblers and testers and get parts. Accelerating the parts delivery might be the toughest task, he says…

    [He] estimates that worldwide production capacity is in the range of 40,000 to 50,000 units a year… What would it cost to inject 50,000 machines into the U.S. hospital system? [Hospital-level machines cost $25,000 to $50,000…]

    The article is iSteve-bait. Somebody could spend money today on the chance that advance efforts will turn out to have been needed in a few months… But who?

    Steve, maybe you could see to it that one of Tucker Carlson’s staffers reads your next post. Then Carlson could mention this on the air, somebody else would brief Trump, and, just maybe, the idea might catch his fancy.

    By the way, there is a purpose-built Federal agency whose mission is to spend tens of millions in private-sector contracts, in order to develop and stockpile stuff that might suddenly be urgently needed for a public-health emergency. Bio-terrorism, dirty bomb attack, that kind of thing.

    BARDA.

    BARDA’s mission is to develop and procure needed medical countermeasures, including vaccines, therapeutics, diagnostics, and non-pharmaceutical countermeasures, against a broad array of public health threats, whether natural or intentional in origin…. BARDA’s vision for the next five years is to enhance the capability of the U.S. Government to respond quickly to both known and emerging threats by supporting the development of a comprehensive portfolio of medical countermeasures, needed manufacturing infrastructure, and countermeasure production platforms while establishing an affordable and sustainable foundation for the maintenance and future operations of the PHEMCE [Public Health Emergency Medical Countermeasures Enterprise].

    How about it?

    • Replies: @Lockean Proviso
    Yes, converting to a crisis-response manufacturing base needs to be a big priority. It would be nationally proactive and not just the reactive scrambling by local hospitals to get machines and supplies also sought by other hospitals. While Republicans are leery of socialist policy, they could look at this as a version of the usual defense contracts and corporate subsidies that they're used to supporting. It would also boost a domestic manufacturing sector that will otherwise falter, a goal in line with Trump's [alleged] agenda.

    Maybe if Tucker drives over to see Donald again, he could also explain that keeping his voters alive, many who are over 60, is really important.
  54. @Lockean Proviso
    People cough more when they're going in and out from exertion in the cold, and they would be more likely to spread the virus in cozy ski chalets and bars. Mountain real estate is less available and indoor spaces are smaller for better heating compared to golf areas. A runny nose might be dismissed as the consequence of outdoor cold exertion. Alpine air is cold and dry.

    Let's hope this northern pandemic begins to abate when it gets warm. If it does, rather than becoming complacent, can we expect that ventilator manufacturing would increase and preparations continue?

    Ventilator Maker: We can ramp up production 5-fold
    https://www.forbes.com/sites/baldwin/2020/03/14/ventilator-maker-we-can-ramp-up-production-five-fold/

    More Stevebait from that Forbes article:

    There’s another element of treatment capacity, just as scary: staffing. A ventilator… needs to be meticulously calibrated to the patient, and if the calibration is not done right or is not updated, the patient is doomed… Will there be enough doctors and therapists?

    In a crisis, the hospitals will have to get creative… A report yesterday by the critical-care society postulated an emergency staffing that has one ICU doctor overseeing 96 patients on ventilators. That doctor would command a staff of four non-ICU MDs brought in from other assignments, each of them looking after eight respiratory therapists, four ICU nurses and 12 non-ICU nurses… It would be a stretch.

    Could there be a round of emergency training?… Perhaps fourth-year students could be drafted… Retired doctors and nurses… would be at high risk if infected.

    But there would be a role for quick courses in how to set up a particular model of ventilator and help the MD get the desired output. In a test run [several years ago, 16 hours of instruction] in machine operation were given to medically trained people who had never seen the machine before: nurses, physicians, physical therapists and veterinarians… the veterinarians scored the best.

    • Replies: @Lockean Proviso
    Since there will be a lot of idled workers, funding the training of some in a crash course on COVID-specific care and ventilator operation would be wise. Under-30s would be ideal because they're less likely to get too sick, if at all, to work. Maybe if offsite coronavirus wards such as at armories or dormitories were set up, it would also be less of a concern if some of the young staff got infected because they could carry on with less concern about infecting non-coronavirus patients at the main hospital, especially if the 'COVID Care Corps' staffers could live on-site during their temporary service to avoid community transmission. Pay them enough to get recruits and incorporate some college loan forgiveness and/or GI Bill eligibility.
    , @Jack D
    This is Dr. Farquar. Though this is not his usual specialty, he has volunteered to care for you during this emergency as our regular ICU doctors are stretched thin - some have themselves become ill.

    Patient (gasps): Nice to meet, you Dr. Farquar. It is very brave of you to come into the ICU at such a dangerous time. What is your usual specialty?

    Dr. Farquar: I'm a veterinarian. I usually care for horses. Can you please extend your hoof.. I mean arm.
    , @snorlax
    Unless TV steered me wrong, veterinarians are great at operating on gunshot wounds.
  55. @George
    Unlike golf skiing is a very prole activity. It really does not cost much to ski or snowboard and the equipment costs less too. Golf on the other hand would inconvenience wealthy people.

    My policy suggestion is quarantine people over 30 or maybe 40. Once the kids have got immunity then you can raise the age up.

    I personally wonder if much of the Chinese success was simply most Chinese caught it, showed no symptoms or had a mild case. After a while the disease afflicted the people with the weakest immune response leaving China with herd immunity.

    > It really does not cost much to ski or snowboard and the equipment costs less too

    Skiing is way more expensive. Like Steve said, Golf is mostly made up of males. But skiing involves the whole family.

    Average price of a lift ticket in the US; $94
    That’s one day of skiing for one person
    Average cost of skis, boots, binding, poles; $650
    https://www.snow-online.com/skimag/lift-ticket-prices-united-states-canada-europe.htm
    https://www.globosurfer.com/cost-of-skiing/

    Average price of a round of golf (with cart) in the US; $36
    Average price of Golf clubs; $300
    https://golfweek.usatoday.com/2018/12/28/what-is-the-average-cost-of-a-round-of-golf/
    https://www.golfstorageguide.com/how-much-do-golf-clubs-cost/

    When my wife and I go golfing we go to the local City Courses, and pay around $35-45 per 18 holes. We have decent little push carts for the clubs, and can get the cost down if we Golf later in the night during the summer after 5pm the price goes down by half during the week.

    Skiing? My local mountain prices for my 2 boys are $38 each for the lift ticket, $45 each for me and my wife. Plus gear, clothes (ask me how much a good parka is, now how much are some decent ski bibs, gloves, hat’s, socks) X 4.

    So yeah, Skiing is probably “prole” but it sure as fuck ain’t cheaper than Golf. Plus, go to the 19th hole on a weekend and I’m sure you’ll be charmed by the high society cigar chomping swill drinkers there. Definitely classy dudes in that “sport” for sure.

  56. The spread of the disease seems to be related to cold dry air but not the fatality rate. Germany, Norway, Sweden, and Denmark have a total of 7,990 cases but only 20 deaths. A fatality rate of just 0.25%. (https://www.nytimes.com/news-event/coronavirus)

    Perhaps the virus survives outside the host well in cold dry air, but once inside the host, cold dry air buffers the effects.

    Or maybe the aforementioned countries test often and have the proper numerator to accurately calculate the fatality rate.

  57. @Jack D
    Really old fashioned steam heat, the kind with the hissing radiators, provides a certain amount of humidity because it blows moist air out of the release valves every time the steam comes up (and sometimes even leaks a little steam too).

    Hot water heating, whether with baseboards or big radiators (which is what you probably have) does not add any humidity vs. hot air heat. Maybe you end up with a little more because hot air heat tends to pressurize the house such that you are sucking in more outside air which is relatively dry once you get done heating it.

    But OTOH, hot air heat lends itself to the installation of a central, plumbed in humidifier, which is the easiest way to humidify your house.

    On the 3rd hand, if you have radiators you can put pans of water on top of them and the heat from the radiator should evaporate that water fairly quickly, but it is a pain in the ass to constantly refill the pan.

    Every house I have owned has had a gas-forced furnace. I have had multiple types/brands/makes of humidifiers attached to each of my furnaces, and none of them have worked worth a damn. I have adjusted the humidistat, changed all of the filters, had technicians come out and nothing seems to work. I would be glad to hear any suggestions, though I may simply be too stupid to accomplish this seemingly simple task.

    I have resorted to simply buying room humidifiers to accomplish the goal.

    • Agree: Jack D
    • Replies: @PiltdownMan
    The humidifiers that work best are the cheapest ones—the plug in, plastic reservoir steam humidifiers that cost about ten bucks on sale. You fill them up with water, throw in half a teaspoon of salt, and they work like a charm. The salt dose doesn't need to be replenished until (or unless) you wash the reservoir out. The only downside is that you have to fill them every day, but there's really no reason why someone can't produce a model that can be connected to the house's water supply.
  58. @RichardTaylor
    Skiing is too dangerous for me. From broken legs to Sonny Bono to viruses. I drove through Vail once. While it certainly looked nice, it also had a superficial prefab quality. Not a lot of character. I understand the place has only existed since the 60s.

    I guess golf is snobby too, but I got that vibe pretty strong in Vail (although Aspen is probably worse).

    Not just broken legs — what about that European executive whose coat got caught in the skilift and choked him to death.

  59. A lot of folks have made this point already, but in general I’d say that golf is a far more hygienic activity than skiing.

    There are no lift lines or gondolas in golf. You spend most of the day by yourself, or in a small group of 2-4 people.

    I also believe that golf clubhouses are far more cleaner and less crowded than ski lodges. Ski lodges, particularly in the food and restroom areas, are fairly gross places if you really stop and think about it.

  60. A WOR caller just suggested that golf is one of the safest, most social-distanced activities you can still enjoy right now — unless state govs close the golf courses to further punish us all. Just do it yourself, don’t use a (possibly infected) caddie. And don’t share any clubs

  61. Sanitary conditions at ye olde ski lodge cafeteria can be pretty gross.

    • Replies: @TheDividualist
    I wanted to say "not in Austria", but then again the way these "onesies" ski clothes many people were work is women have difficulty peeing and that combined with the usual hovering might mean pissing all over the place. But to my experience in Zell am See or Semmering the cleaning staff is doing a good job.
    , @Reg Cæsar

    Sanitary conditions at ye olde ski lodge cafeteria can be pretty gross.
     
    On the other hand, don't most of them include saunas? Spread that löyly around!


    https://www.tylolife.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/44.jpg


    https://www.chi-athenaeum.org/assets/components/phpthumbof/cache/LOYLY_SAUNA-1.68197ced315f7c64e8dedd5b94c443ae.jpg
  62. @DanHessinMD
    This is the most important discussion in the world right now.

    The ambient air = COVID-19 nexus is really really strong:

    Sajadi et al. (2020) Temperature and Latitude Analysis to Predict Potential Spread and Seasonality for COVID-19
    https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3550308

    Wang et al. (2020) High Temperature and High Humidity Reduce the Transmission of COVID-19
    https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3551767

    Indoors, most everyone is at around 70 F / 21 C. The only available variable is humidity.

    We are shuttering the global economy and causing certain global depression in the belief that otherwise everyone will die when warm, humid weather stops this thing. Tragic stupidity.

    Actually the mechanism is explained very clearly in these two documents:

    Kudo et al. (2019) Low ambient humidity impairs barrier function and innate resistance against influenza infection. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2019

    Gough, March 1, 2020. Fighting the Flu with Humidity: Researchers discover immune system benefits of humidity https://medium.com/@ngough_bioserendipity/fight Fighting the Flu with Humidity Researchers discover immune system benefits of humiditying-the-flu-with-humidity-28d4ccb42bd7

    Everyone has 'innate immunity' -- you have cilia enclosed in snot that clears out viruses from the body. That is the part of the immune system that doesn't need to "know" the pathogen.

    When it is cold the snot gets more viscous. When it is dry, the snot dries and hardens. Either way, the innate immune system doesn't work when it gets cold, or dry.

    Trump apparently had a big coronavirus party at Mar-a-lago and was fine. Very warm, very humid. Not problem.

    The big risk seems to be when people gather outdoors in the cold (which is what skiing is). Milan has tons and tons of people walking around outdoors in winter. The virus survives a long time in winter air, at the same moment that their innate immunity is solved.

    The world will not see environmental solutions. Instead everyone will panic.

    In warm and humid spring this will go away for certain. The tropical countries have virtually no problem.

    Meanwhile GDP will post a -40% year over year print, if you annualize the numbers. Steeper than the 1930s, while Coronavirus will give us fewer deaths than a normal US flu season.

    The panic and the inability to reason is very very sad.

    The tropical countries have virtually no problem.

    This seems like an important observation. Why is the virus ripping through ski lodges but not the fetid slums of Nigeria, or wherever? And does this mean global warming deserves credit for saving lives?

  63. @DanHessinMD
    This is the most important discussion in the world right now.

    The ambient air = COVID-19 nexus is really really strong:

    Sajadi et al. (2020) Temperature and Latitude Analysis to Predict Potential Spread and Seasonality for COVID-19
    https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3550308

    Wang et al. (2020) High Temperature and High Humidity Reduce the Transmission of COVID-19
    https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3551767

    Indoors, most everyone is at around 70 F / 21 C. The only available variable is humidity.

    We are shuttering the global economy and causing certain global depression in the belief that otherwise everyone will die when warm, humid weather stops this thing. Tragic stupidity.

    Actually the mechanism is explained very clearly in these two documents:

    Kudo et al. (2019) Low ambient humidity impairs barrier function and innate resistance against influenza infection. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2019

    Gough, March 1, 2020. Fighting the Flu with Humidity: Researchers discover immune system benefits of humidity https://medium.com/@ngough_bioserendipity/fight Fighting the Flu with Humidity Researchers discover immune system benefits of humiditying-the-flu-with-humidity-28d4ccb42bd7

    Everyone has 'innate immunity' -- you have cilia enclosed in snot that clears out viruses from the body. That is the part of the immune system that doesn't need to "know" the pathogen.

    When it is cold the snot gets more viscous. When it is dry, the snot dries and hardens. Either way, the innate immune system doesn't work when it gets cold, or dry.

    Trump apparently had a big coronavirus party at Mar-a-lago and was fine. Very warm, very humid. Not problem.

    The big risk seems to be when people gather outdoors in the cold (which is what skiing is). Milan has tons and tons of people walking around outdoors in winter. The virus survives a long time in winter air, at the same moment that their innate immunity is solved.

    The world will not see environmental solutions. Instead everyone will panic.

    In warm and humid spring this will go away for certain. The tropical countries have virtually no problem.

    Meanwhile GDP will post a -40% year over year print, if you annualize the numbers. Steeper than the 1930s, while Coronavirus will give us fewer deaths than a normal US flu season.

    The panic and the inability to reason is very very sad.

    So, for the first time in human history, it’s actually important to say: “It’s not the heat, it’s the humidity.”

    • Replies: @Wency
    When it comes to human discomfort and heat stroke, it's always the wet-bulb temperature. I.e., it's both the heat and humidity.

    For the virus, it seems it is indeed the absolute (not relative) humidity. 110 degrees and bone dry does you no good. But from what I gather, 35 degrees and 100% relative humidity isn't much better.
  64. @ic1000
    Lockean Proviso, thanks for linking that article in the current issue of Forbes, Ventilator Maker: We can ramp up production 5-fold. Fair-use extract:

    The German government just placed an order for 10,000 mechanical ventilators. What’s the U.S. government doing about a potential shortage here? Not much, it seems... U.S. hospitals have something like 62,000 up-to-date machines immediately available, plus another 99,000 obsolete units that could be pulled out of storage... Could manufacturers of these devices boost output?

    “We could increase production five-fold in a 90- to 120-day period,” says [the CEO of a domestic manufacturer.] He’d have to tool up production lines, train assemblers and testers and get parts. Accelerating the parts delivery might be the toughest task, he says...

    [He] estimates that worldwide production capacity is in the range of 40,000 to 50,000 units a year... What would it cost to inject 50,000 machines into the U.S. hospital system? [Hospital-level machines cost $25,000 to $50,000...]
     

    The article is iSteve-bait. Somebody could spend money today on the chance that advance efforts will turn out to have been needed in a few months... But who?

    Steve, maybe you could see to it that one of Tucker Carlson's staffers reads your next post. Then Carlson could mention this on the air, somebody else would brief Trump, and, just maybe, the idea might catch his fancy.

    By the way, there is a purpose-built Federal agency whose mission is to spend tens of millions in private-sector contracts, in order to develop and stockpile stuff that might suddenly be urgently needed for a public-health emergency. Bio-terrorism, dirty bomb attack, that kind of thing.

    BARDA.


    BARDA's mission is to develop and procure needed medical countermeasures, including vaccines, therapeutics, diagnostics, and non-pharmaceutical countermeasures, against a broad array of public health threats, whether natural or intentional in origin.... BARDA's vision for the next five years is to enhance the capability of the U.S. Government to respond quickly to both known and emerging threats by supporting the development of a comprehensive portfolio of medical countermeasures, needed manufacturing infrastructure, and countermeasure production platforms while establishing an affordable and sustainable foundation for the maintenance and future operations of the PHEMCE [Public Health Emergency Medical Countermeasures Enterprise].
     
    How about it?

    Yes, converting to a crisis-response manufacturing base needs to be a big priority. It would be nationally proactive and not just the reactive scrambling by local hospitals to get machines and supplies also sought by other hospitals. While Republicans are leery of socialist policy, they could look at this as a version of the usual defense contracts and corporate subsidies that they’re used to supporting. It would also boost a domestic manufacturing sector that will otherwise falter, a goal in line with Trump’s [alleged] agenda.

    Maybe if Tucker drives over to see Donald again, he could also explain that keeping his voters alive, many who are over 60, is really important.

  65. When your spine is cracking and your hands, they shake
    Heart is bursting and your butt’s gonna break
    Woman’s cussing, you can hear her scream
    Feel like murder in the first degree

    Ain’t nobody slowing down no way
    Everybody’s stepping on their accelerator
    Don’t matter where you are
    Everybody’s gonna need a ventilator

    When you’re trapped and circled with no second chances
    Code of living is your gun in hand
    Can’t be browed by beating, can’t be cowed by words
    Messed by cheating, ain’t gonna ever learn

    Everybody walking ’round
    Everybody trying to step on their Creator
    Don’t matter where you are, everybody, everybody gonna
    Need some kind of ventilator, some kind of ventilator
    Come down and get it

    What you gonna do about it, what you gonna do?
    What you gonna do about it, what you gonna do?
    Gonna fight it, gonna fight it
    Gonna fight it, gonna fight it
    Gonna fight it, gonna fight it
    Gonna fight it, gonna fight it
    Gonna fight it, gonna fight it
    Gonna fight it, gonna fight it
    Gonna fight it, gonna fight it

  66. @ic1000
    More Stevebait from that Forbes article:

    There’s another element of treatment capacity, just as scary: staffing. A ventilator... needs to be meticulously calibrated to the patient, and if the calibration is not done right or is not updated, the patient is doomed... Will there be enough doctors and therapists?

    In a crisis, the hospitals will have to get creative... A report yesterday by the critical-care society postulated an emergency staffing that has one ICU doctor overseeing 96 patients on ventilators. That doctor would command a staff of four non-ICU MDs brought in from other assignments, each of them looking after eight respiratory therapists, four ICU nurses and 12 non-ICU nurses... It would be a stretch.

    Could there be a round of emergency training?... Perhaps fourth-year students could be drafted... Retired doctors and nurses... would be at high risk if infected.

    But there would be a role for quick courses in how to set up a particular model of ventilator and help the MD get the desired output. In a test run [several years ago, 16 hours of instruction] in machine operation were given to medically trained people who had never seen the machine before: nurses, physicians, physical therapists and veterinarians... the veterinarians scored the best.
     

    Since there will be a lot of idled workers, funding the training of some in a crash course on COVID-specific care and ventilator operation would be wise. Under-30s would be ideal because they’re less likely to get too sick, if at all, to work. Maybe if offsite coronavirus wards such as at armories or dormitories were set up, it would also be less of a concern if some of the young staff got infected because they could carry on with less concern about infecting non-coronavirus patients at the main hospital, especially if the ‘COVID Care Corps’ staffers could live on-site during their temporary service to avoid community transmission. Pay them enough to get recruits and incorporate some college loan forgiveness and/or GI Bill eligibility.

  67. @George
    Unlike golf skiing is a very prole activity. It really does not cost much to ski or snowboard and the equipment costs less too. Golf on the other hand would inconvenience wealthy people.

    My policy suggestion is quarantine people over 30 or maybe 40. Once the kids have got immunity then you can raise the age up.

    I personally wonder if much of the Chinese success was simply most Chinese caught it, showed no symptoms or had a mild case. After a while the disease afflicted the people with the weakest immune response leaving China with herd immunity.

    “Unlike golf skiing is a very prole activity. It really does not cost much to ski or snowboard and the equipment costs less too.”

    Can’t tell if this is a serious comment or a joke?

    • Replies: @J.Ross
    There was an excellent thread a short while ago about a government surveyor who recognized and exploited a great ski slope near LA. It included many personal experience claims. Skiing was a universal activity which was gentrified. Golf has never been universal or accessible.
    , @Forbes
    Clearly a joke. Or massively uninformed.
  68. Oddly, there isn’t much settled science on this question.

    Uh, yeah, there is: Coronaviridae are more durable and transmissible outside the human body in colder, drier environments.

  69. @DanHessinMD
    This is the most important discussion in the world right now.

    The ambient air = COVID-19 nexus is really really strong:

    Sajadi et al. (2020) Temperature and Latitude Analysis to Predict Potential Spread and Seasonality for COVID-19
    https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3550308

    Wang et al. (2020) High Temperature and High Humidity Reduce the Transmission of COVID-19
    https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3551767

    Indoors, most everyone is at around 70 F / 21 C. The only available variable is humidity.

    We are shuttering the global economy and causing certain global depression in the belief that otherwise everyone will die when warm, humid weather stops this thing. Tragic stupidity.

    Actually the mechanism is explained very clearly in these two documents:

    Kudo et al. (2019) Low ambient humidity impairs barrier function and innate resistance against influenza infection. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2019

    Gough, March 1, 2020. Fighting the Flu with Humidity: Researchers discover immune system benefits of humidity https://medium.com/@ngough_bioserendipity/fight Fighting the Flu with Humidity Researchers discover immune system benefits of humiditying-the-flu-with-humidity-28d4ccb42bd7

    Everyone has 'innate immunity' -- you have cilia enclosed in snot that clears out viruses from the body. That is the part of the immune system that doesn't need to "know" the pathogen.

    When it is cold the snot gets more viscous. When it is dry, the snot dries and hardens. Either way, the innate immune system doesn't work when it gets cold, or dry.

    Trump apparently had a big coronavirus party at Mar-a-lago and was fine. Very warm, very humid. Not problem.

    The big risk seems to be when people gather outdoors in the cold (which is what skiing is). Milan has tons and tons of people walking around outdoors in winter. The virus survives a long time in winter air, at the same moment that their innate immunity is solved.

    The world will not see environmental solutions. Instead everyone will panic.

    In warm and humid spring this will go away for certain. The tropical countries have virtually no problem.

    Meanwhile GDP will post a -40% year over year print, if you annualize the numbers. Steeper than the 1930s, while Coronavirus will give us fewer deaths than a normal US flu season.

    The panic and the inability to reason is very very sad.

    Dan, have you run across anything about altitude in your research? I am uncertain what effect altitude would have given that absolute humidity (water vapor by air volume) varies with pressure while specific humidity (water vapor by air mass) does not.

    Altitude is another big difference between skiing and golf.

    My guess would be the most relevant altitude would be the ski lodge where (I think) transmission is most likely to occur. I assume this corresponds roughly to the base elevation. Here is a page with base elevations for North American ski areas:
    https://www.onthesnow.com/north-america/statistics.html

    This page gives pressure in atmospheres by elevation:
    https://www.mide.com/air-pressure-at-altitude-calculator
    At 5,000 feet the pressure is 0.83 atmospheres while at 10,000 feet the pressure is 0.69 atmospheres.

    Here is an article discussing ski resort closures.
    https://www.bellinghamherald.com/news/article241201016.html

    And I thought this was a telling statement:
    https://www.wagnerskis.com/journal/cold-flu-symptoms-remedies/

    From December to nearly the end of March it seems like everyone you encounter in a ski town has just had an illness, currently has a cold or the flu, or will soon start sniffling.

    • Replies: @neprof
    Higher altitudes would cause low-lander lungs to expand the first couple of days. Maybe that makes them more receptive to the virus.
    , @DanHessinMD
    "Dan, have you run across anything about altitude in your research? I am uncertain what effect altitude would have given that absolute humidity (water vapor by air volume) varies with pressure while specific humidity (water vapor by air mass) does not."

    Not enough datapoints on altitude. But very dry winter air is big trouble.

    Large, packed outdoor gatherings in chilly weather seem to be trouble. Milan has tens of thousands of tourists mixed with locals milling about outdoors in the walkable squares. Spain had a huge women's march. New Orleans had Mardi Gras.

    There are two separate benefits of warm, humid air:

    (1) The virus doesn't live long in warm, humid air.

    (2) The respiratory immune system works much better when it is warm and humid. When it is cold, the mucus is too viscous and the cilia don't to their job. Also when it is dry, the mucus dries and gets more viscous and again, the cilia can't do their job.

    The second of these is a really big deal. Warm and humid air helps a lot *after* infection, which explains why the death rate in tropical countries from this is very low.

    It should be noted that the death rate from this can never be zero. Some people are so old/sick they will succumb no matter what. Respiratory failure has always been a huge cause of death of oldies.

  70. @Bill P
    It isn't just the cilia and immune system. Think about it: particles fall to the ground when they get wet. In humid conditions the virus will fall from nose level to the ground, and when it's sunny the uv will kill the virus.

    A lot of this is mechanical.

    In ski resorts it's dry from the heating, people crowd together in indoor lodges with poor ventilation, and there's no sunlight inside.

    Of course this doesn't mean that it can't be spread in tropical places, where people hang out in clubs at night. It's just you're a lot more likely to pick it up skiing in Austria than golfing in Florida, all else being equal. But I wouldn't want to hang out at some nightclub in Puerto Rico if the bug was going around San Juan.

    One of the biggest outbreaks in Austria was in Ischgl which is a ski resort small town know for its nightlife.

    But when people party to techno traxx in a nightlife club, it is hot and humid and they are very sweaty. I don’t know.

  71. @International Jew
    Sanitary conditions at ye olde ski lodge cafeteria can be pretty gross.

    I wanted to say “not in Austria”, but then again the way these “onesies” ski clothes many people were work is women have difficulty peeing and that combined with the usual hovering might mean pissing all over the place. But to my experience in Zell am See or Semmering the cleaning staff is doing a good job.

    • Replies: @(((Owen)))

    women have difficulty peeing and that combined with the usual hovering might mean pissing all over the place.
     
    Unless a person is very, very sick, urine is sterile.

    That's right. You can drink it.

    https://youtu.be/qOcqF-owWe8?t=45
  72. Yes, Yes.

    Which is why next winter dont go skiing, go to hawaii and to the beach. Stay out of the big hotels, get an AirNb and enjoy the humid tradewinds.

  73. @Hypnotoad666
    So, for the first time in human history, it's actually important to say: "It's not the heat, it's the humidity."

    When it comes to human discomfort and heat stroke, it’s always the wet-bulb temperature. I.e., it’s both the heat and humidity.

    For the virus, it seems it is indeed the absolute (not relative) humidity. 110 degrees and bone dry does you no good. But from what I gather, 35 degrees and 100% relative humidity isn’t much better.

  74. @DanHessinMD
    Everyone can humidify and shield themselves very strongly against viral respiratory infections.

    After we pick up the pieces from our totally unnecessary economic collapse, I hope people will figure out at least that much. Probably not.

    Deaths from this are still under 100 in America, and spring is days away. I knew this was an intellectually stunted age, but this is really remarkable.

    Have fun figuring this out how to fix our economic collapse, titans of industry. You couldn't rub two brain cells together to figure this humidity thing out. It seemed really easy from this vantage point.

    More research, not that anyone cares:

    1. Makinen et al. (2009) Cold temperature and low humidity are associated with increased occurrence of respiratory tract infections. Respiratory Medicine, Volume 103, Issue 3, March 2009, Pages 456-462

    2. Salah et al. (1988) Nasal mucociliary transport in healthy subjects is slower when breathing dry air. Eur Respir J. 1988 Oct;1(9):852-5.

    My solution is to cut global science budgets to zero. Nobody reads the papers anyway, even when their life depends on it. We can instead invest in more hand sanitizer. Can never have enough of that, after all.

    What’s even sadder is that your analysis is also relevant to the seasonal flu which kills hundreds of thousands of people annually.
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6815659/

    The big open question I see is the relative importance of humidity to virus transmission and individual disease course. The former would imply the need to humidify common spaces, while the latter would make individual spaces important as well.

    After this is all over it will be interesting to look at the following in comparison to H1N1 in 2009:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Influenza_A_virus_subtype_H1N1
    – The mortality and infection rates.
    – The countermeasures taken (both in the US and elsewhere).
    – The media furor in general.
    – The US media response to the actions of the respective presidents given the outcomes.

    P.S. I understand your frustration, but I think your sarcastic last paragraph was unproductive. Especially since the optimal response may be to do multiple things.

    P.P.S. One personal tidbit. I have been sick the last few days. Not sure if it is COVID-19. My symptoms are worse than I see with the usual seasonal flu (which I rarely get), but not really that serious–and are improving. Haven’t been tested given that I don’t think I qualify so just self quarantining. This is one of the reasons I go on about the likely undercounting of cases.

    • Replies: @HA
    "My symptoms are worse than I see with the usual seasonal flu..."

    There is no such thing as "usual seasonal flu". There is the common cold (i.e. the other coronavirus), which is what I think you real mean, and then there is influenza, for which shots are readily available come autumn.

    The common cold is a minor annoyance for most. Whereas getting the flu can be a death sentence or at least a stay in a hospital, even occasionally for otherwise healthy people, which is why a shot is considered a good idea by the medical establishment.

    , @danand

    “I have been sick the last few days. Not sure if it is COVID-19. Haven’t been tested given that I don’t think I qualify so just self quarantining.”
     
    Res, wish you a speedy and full recovery, and truly appreciate your efforts to self quarantine. Hopefully, if it’s #19, you’ll build immunity and become one the “herd” it looks like we may end up needing.
    , @Dieter Kief
    Best wishes res! Take your time to recover. I missed your posts already.
    , @Paleo Liberal
    Speedy recovery!
  75. Why do we get more colds and flus when it is cold?

    It’s because coronaviruses are large and fragile, and they thrive in colder temperatures and fall apart and “die” in warmer temperature.

    Higher temperature = higher average kinetic energy of molecules.

    This higher average kinetic energy increases the odds a molecule will impact the virus and break part of it. Literally break it.

    We know already about hot coffee and tea, hot salt water rinses, and the benefits of steam baths and sauna to abort colds. There is a book by Dan Lee Dimke (PhD) that proposes using a spray bottle and a hair dryer to create a steam bath for the nasal passages. Comments, anyone?

    • Replies: @Dieter Kief
    My mother used to make steam in a pot of boiling water - with some camille-extract added - and we kids were told to sit there with a towel slung aound our heads and not burn our noses while inhaling for - semmingly endless - 15 minues. I hated it, but usually we kids recovered fast - even from the nasty sinus-infections (is thsi the right term - in German its forehead caves and side caves).
  76. @ic1000
    More Stevebait from that Forbes article:

    There’s another element of treatment capacity, just as scary: staffing. A ventilator... needs to be meticulously calibrated to the patient, and if the calibration is not done right or is not updated, the patient is doomed... Will there be enough doctors and therapists?

    In a crisis, the hospitals will have to get creative... A report yesterday by the critical-care society postulated an emergency staffing that has one ICU doctor overseeing 96 patients on ventilators. That doctor would command a staff of four non-ICU MDs brought in from other assignments, each of them looking after eight respiratory therapists, four ICU nurses and 12 non-ICU nurses... It would be a stretch.

    Could there be a round of emergency training?... Perhaps fourth-year students could be drafted... Retired doctors and nurses... would be at high risk if infected.

    But there would be a role for quick courses in how to set up a particular model of ventilator and help the MD get the desired output. In a test run [several years ago, 16 hours of instruction] in machine operation were given to medically trained people who had never seen the machine before: nurses, physicians, physical therapists and veterinarians... the veterinarians scored the best.
     

    This is Dr. Farquar. Though this is not his usual specialty, he has volunteered to care for you during this emergency as our regular ICU doctors are stretched thin – some have themselves become ill.

    Patient (gasps): Nice to meet, you Dr. Farquar. It is very brave of you to come into the ICU at such a dangerous time. What is your usual specialty?

    Dr. Farquar: I’m a veterinarian. I usually care for horses. Can you please extend your hoof.. I mean arm.

    • Replies: @Grace Jones
    Haven't you heard the old vets' joke that an MD is just a veterinarian who only works on one species of animal?
  77. Why Skiers Instead of Golfers?

    The wax? How are surfers doing?

  78. @International Jew
    Sanitary conditions at ye olde ski lodge cafeteria can be pretty gross.

    Sanitary conditions at ye olde ski lodge cafeteria can be pretty gross.

    On the other hand, don’t most of them include saunas? Spread that löyly around!

  79. @Steve Sailer
    Skiing is much more coed than golf so there is more nightlife. Much higher chance of kissing apres ski than apres golf.

    You’re going to jinx the “ski trippers” versus golfers discrepancy if you keep up making this comparison, for sure. 🙂

  80. @ic1000
    More Stevebait from that Forbes article:

    There’s another element of treatment capacity, just as scary: staffing. A ventilator... needs to be meticulously calibrated to the patient, and if the calibration is not done right or is not updated, the patient is doomed... Will there be enough doctors and therapists?

    In a crisis, the hospitals will have to get creative... A report yesterday by the critical-care society postulated an emergency staffing that has one ICU doctor overseeing 96 patients on ventilators. That doctor would command a staff of four non-ICU MDs brought in from other assignments, each of them looking after eight respiratory therapists, four ICU nurses and 12 non-ICU nurses... It would be a stretch.

    Could there be a round of emergency training?... Perhaps fourth-year students could be drafted... Retired doctors and nurses... would be at high risk if infected.

    But there would be a role for quick courses in how to set up a particular model of ventilator and help the MD get the desired output. In a test run [several years ago, 16 hours of instruction] in machine operation were given to medically trained people who had never seen the machine before: nurses, physicians, physical therapists and veterinarians... the veterinarians scored the best.
     

    Unless TV steered me wrong, veterinarians are great at operating on gunshot wounds.

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar

    Unless TV steered me wrong, veterinarians are great at operating on gunshot wounds.
     
    As are taxidermists.


    https://sweatandsprezzatura.files.wordpress.com/2010/09/062108.jpg?w=376&h=316
  81. @DanHessinMD
    This is the most important discussion in the world right now.

    The ambient air = COVID-19 nexus is really really strong:

    Sajadi et al. (2020) Temperature and Latitude Analysis to Predict Potential Spread and Seasonality for COVID-19
    https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3550308

    Wang et al. (2020) High Temperature and High Humidity Reduce the Transmission of COVID-19
    https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3551767

    Indoors, most everyone is at around 70 F / 21 C. The only available variable is humidity.

    We are shuttering the global economy and causing certain global depression in the belief that otherwise everyone will die when warm, humid weather stops this thing. Tragic stupidity.

    Actually the mechanism is explained very clearly in these two documents:

    Kudo et al. (2019) Low ambient humidity impairs barrier function and innate resistance against influenza infection. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2019

    Gough, March 1, 2020. Fighting the Flu with Humidity: Researchers discover immune system benefits of humidity https://medium.com/@ngough_bioserendipity/fight Fighting the Flu with Humidity Researchers discover immune system benefits of humiditying-the-flu-with-humidity-28d4ccb42bd7

    Everyone has 'innate immunity' -- you have cilia enclosed in snot that clears out viruses from the body. That is the part of the immune system that doesn't need to "know" the pathogen.

    When it is cold the snot gets more viscous. When it is dry, the snot dries and hardens. Either way, the innate immune system doesn't work when it gets cold, or dry.

    Trump apparently had a big coronavirus party at Mar-a-lago and was fine. Very warm, very humid. Not problem.

    The big risk seems to be when people gather outdoors in the cold (which is what skiing is). Milan has tons and tons of people walking around outdoors in winter. The virus survives a long time in winter air, at the same moment that their innate immunity is solved.

    The world will not see environmental solutions. Instead everyone will panic.

    In warm and humid spring this will go away for certain. The tropical countries have virtually no problem.

    Meanwhile GDP will post a -40% year over year print, if you annualize the numbers. Steeper than the 1930s, while Coronavirus will give us fewer deaths than a normal US flu season.

    The panic and the inability to reason is very very sad.

    I would like to believe that it’s as simple as you say, but the CV is in Central America and India now. Does cold/dry promote contagion but not severity? I don’t know whether those places have community spread yet or not and their deaths are still low.

    The Spanish Flu peaked in October of 1918, then tailed off by Christmas. Wasn’t it also respiratory spread?

    • Replies: @res
    With respect to the flu, the Tropics are different for some reason.
    https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2013/03/08/173816815/flu-risk-and-weather-its-not-the-heat-its-the-humidity

    https://media.npr.org/assets/img/2013/03/08/humiditymap_custom-fce122984fe0bcd07b7b3743a002712c1697f462-s1600-c85.jpg

    The Spanish Flu peaked in October of 1918, then tailed off by Christmas.
     
    Do you have a good reference for the behavior over time? This link talks about another wave in early 2019 subsiding in the summer.
    https://www.cdc.gov/flu/pandemic-resources/1918-commemoration/pandemic-timeline-1918.htm
  82. i think Steve’s brain is melting down.

    nobody plays golf. nobody cares about golf. there ARE NOT lots of golfers everywhere in every country, playing warm courses during the northern hemisphere winter, then flying back to bring Covid-19 to the rest of the population.

    these golf guys are in some kind of bubble, where they think the world actually cares about something that only Americans play or can even afford to play. there are no golf courses in most of the world. nobody cares. all the majors are played in the US, plus one in the UK. even tennis has all 4 majors on different continents.

    more people play rugby than golf. actually, they’re lucky they got the rugby world cup done a few months ago.

    • Troll: International Jew
  83. @Buzz Mohawk
    It IS good news that our hemisphere is approaching spring (but not so much for people in the Southern...)

    As you say, many of the same people ski and play golf. I would posit that skiers fly to more distant places, more international. Think: how many golfers fly to other continents to play golf? Okay, there is Scotland, but other than that, you guys mostly travel inside your own country.

    The cold -- and dry -- aspect is probably the biggest, though.

    Then again, maybe Tom Hanks Disease disproportionately effects handsome, vibrant people -- like skiers. Sorry :)

    It IS good news that our hemisphere is approaching spring (but not so much for people in the Southern…)

    Other than Patagonia, Tasmania, and New Zealand’s South Island, there is almost no inhabited land between 40°S and the pole. What would they know of winter?

    That’s the equivalent of Philadelphia, Cape Mendocino, or the northern border of Kansas.

    Or Madrid and Sardinia.

    • Replies: @JRB
    You forget Capetown, an ideal place for a virus to overwinter.
  84. @danand
    Russia has a lot of skiers, relatively few golfers, and not too many residents with Hanks; roughy 70 positives. But perhaps it’s just another case of the more you test, the more you know.

    “Russia has a lot of skiers, relatively few golfers”

    Russia has no golfers. most countries don’t. nobody golfs. nobody can afford to build and maintain golf courses. there’s not one player from Russia or Brazil with a PGA card. or lots of other huge nations.

    it is the ultimate first world recreational sport. it has by far, the biggest, most expensive playing surface ever devised.

    i’ve pointed this out to Steve like 5 times over the last 20 years.

    it would be like saying why are no NASCAR drivers getting Covid-19 from international NASCAR races, then bringing it back to the south?

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar

    it would be like saying why are no NASCAR drivers getting Covid-19 from international NASCAR races, then bringing it back to the south?
     
    Actually, they have stock car racing in other countries. But the stock is so alien, it wouldn't dovetail with NASCAR.



    https://www.arabianbusiness.com/public/styles/full_img/public/images/2019/04/15/dakar-rally.jpg?itok=F0Ho7MfO

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YWue6coP4bU

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xmLrhhKH_9o&t=0m25s
    , @Danindc
    Stats show 8 million avid golfers to 7 million skiers and 5 million snowboarders. That’s “avid” golfers. Occasional golfers is 23 million. What say you?
  85. Though it sometimes doesn’t seem like it, golfers spend much less time waiting for the tee box than skiers spend in lift lines.

  86. HA says:
    @res
    What's even sadder is that your analysis is also relevant to the seasonal flu which kills hundreds of thousands of people annually.
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6815659/

    The big open question I see is the relative importance of humidity to virus transmission and individual disease course. The former would imply the need to humidify common spaces, while the latter would make individual spaces important as well.

    After this is all over it will be interesting to look at the following in comparison to H1N1 in 2009:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Influenza_A_virus_subtype_H1N1
    - The mortality and infection rates.
    - The countermeasures taken (both in the US and elsewhere).
    - The media furor in general.
    - The US media response to the actions of the respective presidents given the outcomes.

    P.S. I understand your frustration, but I think your sarcastic last paragraph was unproductive. Especially since the optimal response may be to do multiple things.

    P.P.S. One personal tidbit. I have been sick the last few days. Not sure if it is COVID-19. My symptoms are worse than I see with the usual seasonal flu (which I rarely get), but not really that serious--and are improving. Haven't been tested given that I don't think I qualify so just self quarantining. This is one of the reasons I go on about the likely undercounting of cases.

    “My symptoms are worse than I see with the usual seasonal flu…”

    There is no such thing as “usual seasonal flu”. There is the common cold (i.e. the other coronavirus), which is what I think you real mean, and then there is influenza, for which shots are readily available come autumn.

    The common cold is a minor annoyance for most. Whereas getting the flu can be a death sentence or at least a stay in a hospital, even occasionally for otherwise healthy people, which is why a shot is considered a good idea by the medical establishment.

  87. HA says:
    @DanHessinMD
    This is the most important discussion in the world right now.

    The ambient air = COVID-19 nexus is really really strong:

    Sajadi et al. (2020) Temperature and Latitude Analysis to Predict Potential Spread and Seasonality for COVID-19
    https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3550308

    Wang et al. (2020) High Temperature and High Humidity Reduce the Transmission of COVID-19
    https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3551767

    Indoors, most everyone is at around 70 F / 21 C. The only available variable is humidity.

    We are shuttering the global economy and causing certain global depression in the belief that otherwise everyone will die when warm, humid weather stops this thing. Tragic stupidity.

    Actually the mechanism is explained very clearly in these two documents:

    Kudo et al. (2019) Low ambient humidity impairs barrier function and innate resistance against influenza infection. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2019

    Gough, March 1, 2020. Fighting the Flu with Humidity: Researchers discover immune system benefits of humidity https://medium.com/@ngough_bioserendipity/fight Fighting the Flu with Humidity Researchers discover immune system benefits of humiditying-the-flu-with-humidity-28d4ccb42bd7

    Everyone has 'innate immunity' -- you have cilia enclosed in snot that clears out viruses from the body. That is the part of the immune system that doesn't need to "know" the pathogen.

    When it is cold the snot gets more viscous. When it is dry, the snot dries and hardens. Either way, the innate immune system doesn't work when it gets cold, or dry.

    Trump apparently had a big coronavirus party at Mar-a-lago and was fine. Very warm, very humid. Not problem.

    The big risk seems to be when people gather outdoors in the cold (which is what skiing is). Milan has tons and tons of people walking around outdoors in winter. The virus survives a long time in winter air, at the same moment that their innate immunity is solved.

    The world will not see environmental solutions. Instead everyone will panic.

    In warm and humid spring this will go away for certain. The tropical countries have virtually no problem.

    Meanwhile GDP will post a -40% year over year print, if you annualize the numbers. Steeper than the 1930s, while Coronavirus will give us fewer deaths than a normal US flu season.

    The panic and the inability to reason is very very sad.

    “In warm and humid spring this will go away for certain.”

    What about the Southern hemispheres?

    Right now, in Sydney, the temperatures over the last week have been in the mid 70’s with humidity in the upper 60’s. The last few months were even warmer. The coronavirus spread there is certainly not near Italian levels, but that’s also arguably because screening has been diligent. (Though not diligent enough for Tom Hanks –he caught his coronavirus on Australia’s warm and humid Gold Coast while shooting a film.)

    • Replies: @Charles Erwin Wilson

    (Though not diligent enough for Tom Hanks –he caught his coronavirus on Australia’s warm and humid Gold Coast while shooting a film.)
     
    I heard Joe Biden sneezed on Hanks, licked Rita Wilson's fingers, and stuck his handkerchief in their luggage before they went to Australia.
  88. @snorlax
    Unless TV steered me wrong, veterinarians are great at operating on gunshot wounds.

    Unless TV steered me wrong, veterinarians are great at operating on gunshot wounds.

    As are taxidermists.

  89. @RichardTaylor
    Skiing is too dangerous for me. From broken legs to Sonny Bono to viruses. I drove through Vail once. While it certainly looked nice, it also had a superficial prefab quality. Not a lot of character. I understand the place has only existed since the 60s.

    I guess golf is snobby too, but I got that vibe pretty strong in Vail (although Aspen is probably worse).

    I guess golf is snobby too,

    Golf teaches humility. This is especially important with rich people. When a person begins to think he is god on earth, a round of golf can teach him otherwise. This assumes that he is able to learn.

  90. @res
    What's even sadder is that your analysis is also relevant to the seasonal flu which kills hundreds of thousands of people annually.
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6815659/

    The big open question I see is the relative importance of humidity to virus transmission and individual disease course. The former would imply the need to humidify common spaces, while the latter would make individual spaces important as well.

    After this is all over it will be interesting to look at the following in comparison to H1N1 in 2009:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Influenza_A_virus_subtype_H1N1
    - The mortality and infection rates.
    - The countermeasures taken (both in the US and elsewhere).
    - The media furor in general.
    - The US media response to the actions of the respective presidents given the outcomes.

    P.S. I understand your frustration, but I think your sarcastic last paragraph was unproductive. Especially since the optimal response may be to do multiple things.

    P.P.S. One personal tidbit. I have been sick the last few days. Not sure if it is COVID-19. My symptoms are worse than I see with the usual seasonal flu (which I rarely get), but not really that serious--and are improving. Haven't been tested given that I don't think I qualify so just self quarantining. This is one of the reasons I go on about the likely undercounting of cases.

    “I have been sick the last few days. Not sure if it is COVID-19. Haven’t been tested given that I don’t think I qualify so just self quarantining.”

    Res, wish you a speedy and full recovery, and truly appreciate your efforts to self quarantine. Hopefully, if it’s #19, you’ll build immunity and become one the “herd” it looks like we may end up needing.

    • Thanks: res
  91. @Yojimbo/Zatoichi
    Serious question: For those golfers who play at private country clubs and not public links, wouldn't the quality of nightlife roughly average out to the same as for high end skiers? As golf does tend to be played in warmer, hotter months of the year, and is played during the daytime, it's not as if the high end golfers all dutifully go home at 8 PM to bed. Especially if they're playing at high end private country clubs with suitable nightly entertainments.

    Golfers are OLD. Median age well north of 60. Oldsters aren’t really into nightlife.

    • Replies: @Marty
    Also, club golfers prefer morning golf. At the Olympic Club after 2 p.m., you’d have a hard time hitting anyone with a Gatling gun.
    , @Yojimbo/Zatoichi
    e.g. Eldrick (when in his prime at 20's and 30's was PGA leader) is not yet 45, so still in his prime. Other PGAers like Jordan Spieth aren't yet thirty. Might want to rethink that.

    So the question remains: Aren't there any golfers who are into the nightlife? Doesn't anyone remember John Daly?

    Also as some have pointed out, golfers tend to outearn skiers. Skiing is more prole-ish than is golf.
    , @CCZ
    Not all golfers.

    The PGA announced on Wednesday that South African golfer Victor Lange has tested positive for COVID-19.

    Lange represents the first confirmed case of the coronavirus among players connected to the PGA Tour. He plays on PGA Tour Latinoamérica.

    The 26-year-old disclosed his illness to the PGA and reported that he has no symptoms. He’s expected to make a full recovery, according to the PGA.
  92. @Faraday's Bobcat
    I would like to believe that it's as simple as you say, but the CV is in Central America and India now. Does cold/dry promote contagion but not severity? I don't know whether those places have community spread yet or not and their deaths are still low.

    The Spanish Flu peaked in October of 1918, then tailed off by Christmas. Wasn't it also respiratory spread?

    With respect to the flu, the Tropics are different for some reason.
    https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2013/03/08/173816815/flu-risk-and-weather-its-not-the-heat-its-the-humidity

    The Spanish Flu peaked in October of 1918, then tailed off by Christmas.

    Do you have a good reference for the behavior over time? This link talks about another wave in early 2019 subsiding in the summer.
    https://www.cdc.gov/flu/pandemic-resources/1918-commemoration/pandemic-timeline-1918.htm

    • Replies: @Yojimbo/Zatoichi
    Heat and humidity (excessively high) go hand in hand. Extreme cold temperatures equate to low or moderate (at best) humidity. The tropics are certainly more humid than say, the North Pole or Russia/Scandinavia in winter.

    Come on.
    , @HA
    "Do you have a good reference for the behavior over time?"

    Here's a mention of some of the weather-related effects on the virus:


    We don’t know how the virus will behave across the year either. Other human coronaviruses tend to peak in the winter, while lying low during the high humidity and temperatures of the summer. But it’s unclear whether SARS-CoV-2 will do the same. One study showed that, across the globe, the biggest outbreaks have occurred within a narrow band of climate. But a more granular analysis across Chinese provinces showed that the virus can still easily spread in humid areas, and a third modeling study concluded that “SARS-CoV-2 can proliferate at any time of year.” The bottom line: There’s a very wide range of possible futures.
     
    While it is good to know that scientists haven't ignored the heat/humidity connections, as previously claimed, there's no consensus that the virus will abate, much less go away, once warmer weather comes to the Northern hemisphere.

    Which is not heartening news. That being said, may you have a speedy recovery.

  93. Well…. this is not empirical, so, it’s basically speculative: I think I got over Covid-19 3-4 weeks ago. I didn’t get tested- hence, it remains speculative- but virtually all symptoms were present (fever, shortness of breath, perhaps viral pneumonia, cold extremities,…).

    I just drank a lot of tea; C-vitamins, Aspirin C, …..

    I didn’t cough a lot, but soreness of throat…better not to expatiate on it.

    Now, it’s been ca. 15-20 days since fever and high temperature ceased & I’m still tired. I’ve never experienced anything like that (I’m 45). For ca. 5 days I basically couldn’t sit in a chair; I just lay in a bed, completely exhausted.

    Perhaps 6-10 days after it was gone, slightest physical effort was immensely difficult. For instance, just to bring some chopped wood in a basket (something trivial in normal circumstances) resulted in so profuse sweating I was forced to change a completely wet shirt at least 2 times a day.

    Now it’s much better, but I’m still tired.

    Even if it hadn’t been Corona-chan- as I said, I didn’t get tested because it all happened before the peak of the panic- I guess I’m, for the time being, at least, immune to any similar viral infection.

    • Replies: @res
    Glad you are better. That sounds much worse than what I have. But this is the worst I have been sick in a LONG time.

    One thing that seemed to help me (mainly with throat and congestion issues) was oil of oregano. I put three drops (it is potent, stinky stuff) in a cup of warm water than alternated drinking and breathing in the vapors. Here is some more information. But note that they recommend never ingesting essential oils. Do your own research and use at your own risk!

    https://www.healthline.com/health/oregano-oil-for-cold
  94. @JMcG
    Philippines seems to be suffering an outbreak.

    Be interesting to see if they get a sustained outbreak like Northern Italy, Qom, Wuhan, or if it is limited transmission from tourists. Hot weather doesn’t stop it dead but lets hope it does slow it.

  95. @snorlax
    Golfers are OLD. Median age well north of 60. Oldsters aren't really into nightlife.

    Also, club golfers prefer morning golf. At the Olympic Club after 2 p.m., you’d have a hard time hitting anyone with a Gatling gun.

  96. A whopping 1000 COVID-19 cases have by now been traced back to one ski resort in Austria: Ischgl.

    People in the Netherlands, Iceland, Norway and many a city in Germany as well as quite a few Austrians have all been infected in this one posh little ski-resort Ischgl in Austria (known for its brimming with sexual energy apès-ski bars…). German daily Die weLT calls Ischgl today the European Corona-breeding place.

    https://www.welt.de/wissenschaft/article206592389/Coronavirus-Wie-Skiort-Ischgl-zur-europaeischen-Brutstaette-wurde.html

    • Thanks: res
  97. @Mr Mox
    I'll go with the running nose theory. Wherever I go these days, I'm surrounded by drooping nooses, err.. dripping noses.

    Wherever I go these days, I’m surrounded by drooping nooses,

    That explains why skiing is so white, I suppose. It’s whiter than a Klan rally out there on the slopes. The apres ski festivities are like a social and lively and exciting version of Iowa—so exactly the opposite of Iowa, except still all white.

  98. @Neoconned
    Serious question....i live in the Deep South & there are Corona cases confirmed....

    I'm not disagreeing w your claim but how for instance do ypu explain the outbreak in Italy?

    According to the article I read it is optimal between 5-10 degrees C. All the worst places—Wuhan, Korea, Iran, and N. Italy—were in that range.

    They’ll fade out, but others like Germany and England will come into that range.

  99. @Yawrate
    Skiing can be very expensive with day passes costing over $100 for the big fancy resorts. Not to mention the cost of the equipment and accommodations.

    Of course skiing can always be had on the cheap but that is usually a thing the local working class figures out by necessity.

    day passes costing over $100 for the big fancy resorts.

    One hundred dollars? Are you reporting from 1988?

    Vail $209
    Beaver Creek $209
    Park City $179
    Deer Valley $180
    Sun Valley $149
    Winter Park $169
    Keystone $169
    Copper Mountain $178
    Breckenridge $189
    Steamboat $179
    Aspen $179

    • Replies: @Peter Akuleyev
    Skiing in Austria is much much cheaper. You can still get a day pass for under $100 at Bad Gastein or Bad Ischgl.
  100. I’ve read that people tend to catch cold in colder months because cold weather causes blood vessels to constrict, making it harder for white blood cells in your body to get to the germs to kill them.

  101. @TheDividualist
    I wanted to say "not in Austria", but then again the way these "onesies" ski clothes many people were work is women have difficulty peeing and that combined with the usual hovering might mean pissing all over the place. But to my experience in Zell am See or Semmering the cleaning staff is doing a good job.

    women have difficulty peeing and that combined with the usual hovering might mean pissing all over the place.

    Unless a person is very, very sick, urine is sterile.

    That’s right. You can drink it.

    • Replies: @J.Ross
    Urine is sterile when it leaves your nephrons (little purification coils in your kidneys), then it passes through your kawhatsis.
    , @Reg Cæsar

    Unless a person is very, very sick, urine is sterile.

    That’s right. You can drink it.
     
    And get a month's RDA of ammonia, if not a year's. It's sterile for a reason.
  102. @snorlax
    Golfers are OLD. Median age well north of 60. Oldsters aren't really into nightlife.

    e.g. Eldrick (when in his prime at 20’s and 30’s was PGA leader) is not yet 45, so still in his prime. Other PGAers like Jordan Spieth aren’t yet thirty. Might want to rethink that.

    So the question remains: Aren’t there any golfers who are into the nightlife? Doesn’t anyone remember John Daly?

    Also as some have pointed out, golfers tend to outearn skiers. Skiing is more prole-ish than is golf.

  103. @res
    With respect to the flu, the Tropics are different for some reason.
    https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2013/03/08/173816815/flu-risk-and-weather-its-not-the-heat-its-the-humidity

    https://media.npr.org/assets/img/2013/03/08/humiditymap_custom-fce122984fe0bcd07b7b3743a002712c1697f462-s1600-c85.jpg

    The Spanish Flu peaked in October of 1918, then tailed off by Christmas.
     
    Do you have a good reference for the behavior over time? This link talks about another wave in early 2019 subsiding in the summer.
    https://www.cdc.gov/flu/pandemic-resources/1918-commemoration/pandemic-timeline-1918.htm

    Heat and humidity (excessively high) go hand in hand. Extreme cold temperatures equate to low or moderate (at best) humidity. The tropics are certainly more humid than say, the North Pole or Russia/Scandinavia in winter.

    Come on.

    • Replies: @res
    I think you missed the point. Which was that flu season happened in the colder/lower humidity times in most places but in the warmer/higher humidity times in the tropics. I think that is odd. Anyone have an explanation?
  104. @(((Owen)))

    women have difficulty peeing and that combined with the usual hovering might mean pissing all over the place.
     
    Unless a person is very, very sick, urine is sterile.

    That's right. You can drink it.

    https://youtu.be/qOcqF-owWe8?t=45

    Urine is sterile when it leaves your nephrons (little purification coils in your kidneys), then it passes through your kawhatsis.

  105. @MKP
    "Unlike golf skiing is a very prole activity. It really does not cost much to ski or snowboard and the equipment costs less too."


    Can't tell if this is a serious comment or a joke?

    There was an excellent thread a short while ago about a government surveyor who recognized and exploited a great ski slope near LA. It included many personal experience claims. Skiing was a universal activity which was gentrified. Golf has never been universal or accessible.

  106. A1 says:
    @The Last Real Calvinist
    I've seen three other theories for why cold weather makes viral outbreaks more likely:

    1 Cold air is dry, and heating further reduces the relative humidity of indoor air. Dry air dries out nasal membranes, leaving them more vulnerable to viral infection.

    2 Viruses survive outside the human body longer in cold dry air than in warm moist air, making it more likely someone will pick them up. And sunlight might also suppress or even kill some viruses.

    3 People huddle together in close quarters in cold weather, and hence are more likely to transmit viruses directly to others. This might be the case for getmutlich environments such as ski resorts.

    If you look at a big ski resort – Whistler, Vail – they are set up like cruise ships where the guests are funneled into common areas to spend their money. There are common areas like lodges, eating areas, washrooms and a limited number of places to eat at night coupled with some select nightlife. Even though you are in the middle of nowhere these places are really small for down hill skiers.

    The gondola ride is long enough and warm enough to share air with the other 6 or 8 people. You are not going to catch anything on a chair but the big resorts have gondolas to handle the high traffic and then use chairs in a hub and spoke arrangement.

    Compare this to Nordic Skiing where you have not seen any mass outbreaks as the skiers are pretty much in social isolation the whole time.

    Add in an international set – notice they are not getting sick at Fernie or Switzer – and you get a petri dish. Not as bad as a cruise ship but more so than golf.

  107. OK Steve – I don’t think any of your respondents are downhill skiers. A few alluded to the issues, but with 40+ years under my boards, here’s my explanation (from slopes to lunch to apres:

    1) Skiers are surrounded by other skiers. You stand in a lift line to get on a lift. You ride the lift with with 2 to 6 on a chair; anywhere from 8 to 60 in a cabin or gondola. You’re in EXTREME proximity to other people.
    2) Getting on and off lifts (of any modern type) you are touching MANY surfaces. Hand rails, safety bars, etc. Have COVID-19, wipe your nose, grab the safety bar. Next rider grabs bar, rubs nose. Virus transmission complete.
    3) Lodges are communal and not particularly clean. Again, wipe your nose and then put your gloves/hat/etc on the table. The table MAY be wiped, but certainly not with bleach, etc. Easy transmission.
    4) Stop for a toddy at the pub afterward – again a close packed group.
    5) And we haven’t discussed public spaces at hotels, indoor pools, hot tubs, saunas, etc.
    6) Finally, for whoever said skiing is a “prole” sport hasn’t probably been in 30+ years. Day lift tickets are $150+. A skiing DAY (ticket, lunch, dinner, overnight lodging) is easily $500 a person at a mid-level resort (NOT Aspen).

    The demographics are similar to golf, but the environment is completely different.

    • Replies: @Yojimbo/Zatoichi
    Not quite the same demographics. Compare elite golfing to this "elite" skiing. Elite golf clubs/country clubs can range for membership of 50-100k per yr. Now then. WHAT skiing outing costs 50-100k per yr?

    None.

    In other words, those who primarily choose golf over skiing probably wont get Corona. Also, for those who walk and don't ride the cart, there's even less likelihood of catching it. Notice all these Corona cases that can be traced to skiing, or where at a ski resort, as opposed to catching it while on a golf course.

    Unlike skiing, golfing is done primarily in warm areas, in warm climate, with certainly more humidity than conditions done while skiing downhill for a couple of minutes. Skiing culture is based on instant gratification, while golf requires patience.

    Also, which sport facilitates businesses getting done for the top 1%, while actually on the course or slope? Golf.

    No brainer. Wanna stay alive and make money while you're at it? Play golf and live longer.

  108. https://www.abc12.com/content/news/Mid-Michigan-Reacts-to-First-Local-Coronavirus-Diagnosis-568808771.html
    The third local case is this doctor who works at the hospital.

    According to the Bay County Health Department, the doctor was likely exposed during an out of state ski trip. He returned home and continued seeing patients, before suspecting something, quarantining himself and awaiting an ultimately positive test result.

    This doctor took a ski vacation inside the country, not in Italy. Maybe your body is physically colder so your immune system is not functioning well. Compounded with the runny noses.

  109. @prime noticer
    "Russia has a lot of skiers, relatively few golfers"

    Russia has no golfers. most countries don't. nobody golfs. nobody can afford to build and maintain golf courses. there's not one player from Russia or Brazil with a PGA card. or lots of other huge nations.

    it is the ultimate first world recreational sport. it has by far, the biggest, most expensive playing surface ever devised.

    i've pointed this out to Steve like 5 times over the last 20 years.

    it would be like saying why are no NASCAR drivers getting Covid-19 from international NASCAR races, then bringing it back to the south?

    it would be like saying why are no NASCAR drivers getting Covid-19 from international NASCAR races, then bringing it back to the south?

    Actually, they have stock car racing in other countries. But the stock is so alien, it wouldn’t dovetail with NASCAR.

  110. @(((Owen)))

    women have difficulty peeing and that combined with the usual hovering might mean pissing all over the place.
     
    Unless a person is very, very sick, urine is sterile.

    That's right. You can drink it.

    https://youtu.be/qOcqF-owWe8?t=45

    Unless a person is very, very sick, urine is sterile.

    That’s right. You can drink it.

    And get a month’s RDA of ammonia, if not a year’s. It’s sterile for a reason.

    • Replies: @PiltdownMan
    Crazy Indians are drinking cow urine to prevent Covid-19. That's on par with the Iranians claiming that they can't get Covid-19 in crowds gathering at their shrines.

    https://www.hindustantimes.com/bollywood/richa-chadha-is-shocked-at-men-distributing-cow-urine-at-gaumutra-party-to-prevent-coronavirus-noooo/story-owwGkezxsr1YdjRRoV89fP.html
  111. Today’s weather map is topsy-turvy. Perfectly clear in Seattle. Raining in L.A., but almost nowhere else. (Okay, Memphis.)

    Winter storm warnings in Los Angeles County. WDTM?

  112. @res
    What's even sadder is that your analysis is also relevant to the seasonal flu which kills hundreds of thousands of people annually.
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6815659/

    The big open question I see is the relative importance of humidity to virus transmission and individual disease course. The former would imply the need to humidify common spaces, while the latter would make individual spaces important as well.

    After this is all over it will be interesting to look at the following in comparison to H1N1 in 2009:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Influenza_A_virus_subtype_H1N1
    - The mortality and infection rates.
    - The countermeasures taken (both in the US and elsewhere).
    - The media furor in general.
    - The US media response to the actions of the respective presidents given the outcomes.

    P.S. I understand your frustration, but I think your sarcastic last paragraph was unproductive. Especially since the optimal response may be to do multiple things.

    P.P.S. One personal tidbit. I have been sick the last few days. Not sure if it is COVID-19. My symptoms are worse than I see with the usual seasonal flu (which I rarely get), but not really that serious--and are improving. Haven't been tested given that I don't think I qualify so just self quarantining. This is one of the reasons I go on about the likely undercounting of cases.

    Best wishes res! Take your time to recover. I missed your posts already.

    • Thanks: res
  113. @James Speaks

    Why do we get more colds and flus when it is cold?
     
    It's because coronaviruses are large and fragile, and they thrive in colder temperatures and fall apart and "die" in warmer temperature.

    Higher temperature = higher average kinetic energy of molecules.

    This higher average kinetic energy increases the odds a molecule will impact the virus and break part of it. Literally break it.

    We know already about hot coffee and tea, hot salt water rinses, and the benefits of steam baths and sauna to abort colds. There is a book by Dan Lee Dimke (PhD) that proposes using a spray bottle and a hair dryer to create a steam bath for the nasal passages. Comments, anyone?

    My mother used to make steam in a pot of boiling water – with some camille-extract added – and we kids were told to sit there with a towel slung aound our heads and not burn our noses while inhaling for – semmingly endless – 15 minues. I hated it, but usually we kids recovered fast – even from the nasty sinus-infections (is thsi the right term – in German its forehead caves and side caves).

  114. @MKP
    "Unlike golf skiing is a very prole activity. It really does not cost much to ski or snowboard and the equipment costs less too."


    Can't tell if this is a serious comment or a joke?

    Clearly a joke. Or massively uninformed.

  115. @HA
    "In warm and humid spring this will go away for certain."

    What about the Southern hemispheres?

    Right now, in Sydney, the temperatures over the last week have been in the mid 70's with humidity in the upper 60's. The last few months were even warmer. The coronavirus spread there is certainly not near Italian levels, but that's also arguably because screening has been diligent. (Though not diligent enough for Tom Hanks --he caught his coronavirus on Australia's warm and humid Gold Coast while shooting a film.)

    (Though not diligent enough for Tom Hanks –he caught his coronavirus on Australia’s warm and humid Gold Coast while shooting a film.)

    I heard Joe Biden sneezed on Hanks, licked Rita Wilson’s fingers, and stuck his handkerchief in their luggage before they went to Australia.

  116. The answer is very simple. European „skiers“ are often twenty somethings who spend a lot of their time in crowded après ski parties in low roofed wooden chalets where they drink and share bodily fluids. Nothing like that exists in golf. One „Skihütte“ in Bad Ischgl Austria has been identified as the source of most the initial Danish outbreak.

    In German: https://www.profil.at/oesterreich/coronavirus-daenen-ischgl-tirol-11387409

  117. @(((Owen)))

    day passes costing over $100 for the big fancy resorts.
     
    One hundred dollars? Are you reporting from 1988?

    Vail $209
    Beaver Creek $209
    Park City $179
    Deer Valley $180
    Sun Valley $149
    Winter Park $169
    Keystone $169
    Copper Mountain $178
    Breckenridge $189
    Steamboat $179
    Aspen $179

    Skiing in Austria is much much cheaper. You can still get a day pass for under $100 at Bad Gastein or Bad Ischgl.

    • Replies: @The Wild Geese Howard

    Skiing in Austria is much much cheaper.
     
    Skiing in Europe is far cheaper in general.

    You can still get day tickets to classic French resorts like Les 2 Alpes and Alpe d'Huez for 50-60 euros.

    I think it has to do with the generally stronger ski culture in Europe, which means a larger market demographic, so the resorts are able to typically offer a lower day ticket price.

    The stronger ski culture in Europe also means almost no snowboarders.

  118. @prime noticer
    "Russia has a lot of skiers, relatively few golfers"

    Russia has no golfers. most countries don't. nobody golfs. nobody can afford to build and maintain golf courses. there's not one player from Russia or Brazil with a PGA card. or lots of other huge nations.

    it is the ultimate first world recreational sport. it has by far, the biggest, most expensive playing surface ever devised.

    i've pointed this out to Steve like 5 times over the last 20 years.

    it would be like saying why are no NASCAR drivers getting Covid-19 from international NASCAR races, then bringing it back to the south?

    Stats show 8 million avid golfers to 7 million skiers and 5 million snowboarders. That’s “avid” golfers. Occasional golfers is 23 million. What say you?

  119. @res
    What's even sadder is that your analysis is also relevant to the seasonal flu which kills hundreds of thousands of people annually.
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6815659/

    The big open question I see is the relative importance of humidity to virus transmission and individual disease course. The former would imply the need to humidify common spaces, while the latter would make individual spaces important as well.

    After this is all over it will be interesting to look at the following in comparison to H1N1 in 2009:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Influenza_A_virus_subtype_H1N1
    - The mortality and infection rates.
    - The countermeasures taken (both in the US and elsewhere).
    - The media furor in general.
    - The US media response to the actions of the respective presidents given the outcomes.

    P.S. I understand your frustration, but I think your sarcastic last paragraph was unproductive. Especially since the optimal response may be to do multiple things.

    P.P.S. One personal tidbit. I have been sick the last few days. Not sure if it is COVID-19. My symptoms are worse than I see with the usual seasonal flu (which I rarely get), but not really that serious--and are improving. Haven't been tested given that I don't think I qualify so just self quarantining. This is one of the reasons I go on about the likely undercounting of cases.

    Speedy recovery!

    • Thanks: res
  120. @res
    With respect to the flu, the Tropics are different for some reason.
    https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2013/03/08/173816815/flu-risk-and-weather-its-not-the-heat-its-the-humidity

    https://media.npr.org/assets/img/2013/03/08/humiditymap_custom-fce122984fe0bcd07b7b3743a002712c1697f462-s1600-c85.jpg

    The Spanish Flu peaked in October of 1918, then tailed off by Christmas.
     
    Do you have a good reference for the behavior over time? This link talks about another wave in early 2019 subsiding in the summer.
    https://www.cdc.gov/flu/pandemic-resources/1918-commemoration/pandemic-timeline-1918.htm

    “Do you have a good reference for the behavior over time?”

    Here’s a mention of some of the weather-related effects on the virus:

    We don’t know how the virus will behave across the year either. Other human coronaviruses tend to peak in the winter, while lying low during the high humidity and temperatures of the summer. But it’s unclear whether SARS-CoV-2 will do the same. One study showed that, across the globe, the biggest outbreaks have occurred within a narrow band of climate. But a more granular analysis across Chinese provinces showed that the virus can still easily spread in humid areas, and a third modeling study concluded that “SARS-CoV-2 can proliferate at any time of year.” The bottom line: There’s a very wide range of possible futures.

    While it is good to know that scientists haven’t ignored the heat/humidity connections, as previously claimed, there’s no consensus that the virus will abate, much less go away, once warmer weather comes to the Northern hemisphere.

    Which is not heartening news. That being said, may you have a speedy recovery.

    • Replies: @res

    Here’s a mention of some of the weather-related effects on the virus:
     
    Thanks for the references. I was actually asking about the time course of the 1918 epidemic (and please excuse my 2019/1919 mistake), but the current info is even more relevant.

    While it is good to know that scientists haven’t ignored the heat/humidity connections, as previously claimed, there’s no consensus that the virus will abate, much less go away, once warmer weather comes to the Northern hemisphere.
     
    I think it is fair to say the heat/humidity connection is getting far less attention than it should. For instance, it seems most important to institute countermeasures in areas in the sweet spot for virus transmission right now.

    I don't know about consensus, but your last link says (the abstract):

    There is an urgent need to project how transmission of the novel betacoronavirus SARS-CoV-2 will unfold in coming years. These dynamics will depend on seasonality, the duration of immunity, and the strength of cross-immunity to/from the other human coronaviruses. Using data from the United States, we measured how these factors affect transmission of human betacoronaviruses HCoV-OC43 and HCoV-HKU1. We then built a mathematical model to simulate transmission of SARS-CoV-2 through the year 2025. We project that recurrent wintertime outbreaks of SARS-CoV-2 will probably occur after an initial pandemic wave. We summarize the full range of plausible transmission scenarios and identify key data still needed to distinguish between them, most importantly longitudinal serological studies to determine the duration of immunity to SARS-CoV-2.
     
    Basically, they expect a summer lull. Which is why I think extreme countermeasures right now are questionable in relatively warm/humid areas.

    That being said, may you have a speedy recovery.
     
    Thank you.
    , @DanHessinMD
    "While it is good to know that scientists haven’t ignored the heat/humidity connections, as previously claimed, there’s no consensus that the virus will abate, much less go away, once warmer weather comes to the Northern hemisphere."

    The evidence could not be more overwhelming. Zero big community breakouts in any tropical country and almost no deaths.

    Regulars at Sailer's blog should know that 'experts' are often unwilling to see the blindingly obvious.
  121. @Stein Erickson
    OK Steve - I don't think any of your respondents are downhill skiers. A few alluded to the issues, but with 40+ years under my boards, here's my explanation (from slopes to lunch to apres:

    1) Skiers are surrounded by other skiers. You stand in a lift line to get on a lift. You ride the lift with with 2 to 6 on a chair; anywhere from 8 to 60 in a cabin or gondola. You're in EXTREME proximity to other people.
    2) Getting on and off lifts (of any modern type) you are touching MANY surfaces. Hand rails, safety bars, etc. Have COVID-19, wipe your nose, grab the safety bar. Next rider grabs bar, rubs nose. Virus transmission complete.
    3) Lodges are communal and not particularly clean. Again, wipe your nose and then put your gloves/hat/etc on the table. The table MAY be wiped, but certainly not with bleach, etc. Easy transmission.
    4) Stop for a toddy at the pub afterward - again a close packed group.
    5) And we haven't discussed public spaces at hotels, indoor pools, hot tubs, saunas, etc.
    6) Finally, for whoever said skiing is a "prole" sport hasn't probably been in 30+ years. Day lift tickets are $150+. A skiing DAY (ticket, lunch, dinner, overnight lodging) is easily $500 a person at a mid-level resort (NOT Aspen).

    The demographics are similar to golf, but the environment is completely different.

    Not quite the same demographics. Compare elite golfing to this “elite” skiing. Elite golf clubs/country clubs can range for membership of 50-100k per yr. Now then. WHAT skiing outing costs 50-100k per yr?

    None.

    In other words, those who primarily choose golf over skiing probably wont get Corona. Also, for those who walk and don’t ride the cart, there’s even less likelihood of catching it. Notice all these Corona cases that can be traced to skiing, or where at a ski resort, as opposed to catching it while on a golf course.

    Unlike skiing, golfing is done primarily in warm areas, in warm climate, with certainly more humidity than conditions done while skiing downhill for a couple of minutes. Skiing culture is based on instant gratification, while golf requires patience.

    Also, which sport facilitates businesses getting done for the top 1%, while actually on the course or slope? Golf.

    No brainer. Wanna stay alive and make money while you’re at it? Play golf and live longer.

  122. @Peter Akuleyev
    Skiing in Austria is much much cheaper. You can still get a day pass for under $100 at Bad Gastein or Bad Ischgl.

    Skiing in Austria is much much cheaper.

    Skiing in Europe is far cheaper in general.

    You can still get day tickets to classic French resorts like Les 2 Alpes and Alpe d’Huez for 50-60 euros.

    I think it has to do with the generally stronger ski culture in Europe, which means a larger market demographic, so the resorts are able to typically offer a lower day ticket price.

    The stronger ski culture in Europe also means almost no snowboarders.

  123. Maybe skiers’ noses run more than golfers’ noses, on average?

    As the child of a longtime ski bum, I did a ton of skiing as a kid and through my teens (very little as an adult because it’s time-consuming and expensive- possibly worse than golf in that regard). From ages 7-15 I was probably on the slopes almost every single weekend during the winter, and I can confirm that runny noses are definitely endemic to skiers. There’s also usually a layer of condensed breath/saliva/snot that will accumulate on your neck-warmer or mask in front of the nose and mouth, which will sometimes freeze into a solid crust. Everyone then peels off his sweaty and snotty clothes in the densely-packed lodge, in an atmosphere hermetically sealed against the exterior cold.

  124. @S. Anonyia
    Are you sure humidity and heat kill the disease? One of the fastest growing clusters in the U.S is the New Orleans metro area. Most cases appear to be community transmission. From 2 earlier in the week to 75 + in days.

    I wish what you were saying was true...

    I live-quite literally-nearly on the equator. Can confirm that humidity and heat do not stop corona-chan.

    • Agree: PiltdownMan
  125. @Reg Cæsar

    It IS good news that our hemisphere is approaching spring (but not so much for people in the Southern…)
     
    Other than Patagonia, Tasmania, and New Zealand's South Island, there is almost no inhabited land between 40°S and the pole. What would they know of winter?

    That's the equivalent of Philadelphia, Cape Mendocino, or the northern border of Kansas.

    Or Madrid and Sardinia.


    https://bubblyprofessor.files.wordpress.com/2020/01/mind-your-latitude-40-.jpg?w=768&h=576

    https://bubblyprofessor.files.wordpress.com/2019/01/mind-your-latitude-40-degrees-north.png?w=768&h=577

    You forget Capetown, an ideal place for a virus to overwinter.

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar

    You forget Capetown...

     

    I meant between 40°S and the South Pole.
  126. Golfers are the only group of human beings more likely to get struck by lightning than infected by coronavirus.

  127. @res
    Dan, have you run across anything about altitude in your research? I am uncertain what effect altitude would have given that absolute humidity (water vapor by air volume) varies with pressure while specific humidity (water vapor by air mass) does not.

    Altitude is another big difference between skiing and golf.

    My guess would be the most relevant altitude would be the ski lodge where (I think) transmission is most likely to occur. I assume this corresponds roughly to the base elevation. Here is a page with base elevations for North American ski areas:
    https://www.onthesnow.com/north-america/statistics.html

    This page gives pressure in atmospheres by elevation:
    https://www.mide.com/air-pressure-at-altitude-calculator
    At 5,000 feet the pressure is 0.83 atmospheres while at 10,000 feet the pressure is 0.69 atmospheres.

    Here is an article discussing ski resort closures.
    https://www.bellinghamherald.com/news/article241201016.html

    And I thought this was a telling statement:
    https://www.wagnerskis.com/journal/cold-flu-symptoms-remedies/

    From December to nearly the end of March it seems like everyone you encounter in a ski town has just had an illness, currently has a cold or the flu, or will soon start sniffling.
     

    Higher altitudes would cause low-lander lungs to expand the first couple of days. Maybe that makes them more receptive to the virus.

    • Replies: @res

    Higher altitudes would cause low-lander lungs to expand the first couple of days. Maybe that makes them more receptive to the virus.
     
    Good point. Low-landers would also be breathing faster and deeper.
    https://www.altitude.org/high-altitude
  128. @Steve from Detroit
    Every house I have owned has had a gas-forced furnace. I have had multiple types/brands/makes of humidifiers attached to each of my furnaces, and none of them have worked worth a damn. I have adjusted the humidistat, changed all of the filters, had technicians come out and nothing seems to work. I would be glad to hear any suggestions, though I may simply be too stupid to accomplish this seemingly simple task.

    I have resorted to simply buying room humidifiers to accomplish the goal.

    The humidifiers that work best are the cheapest ones—the plug in, plastic reservoir steam humidifiers that cost about ten bucks on sale. You fill them up with water, throw in half a teaspoon of salt, and they work like a charm. The salt dose doesn’t need to be replenished until (or unless) you wash the reservoir out. The only downside is that you have to fill them every day, but there’s really no reason why someone can’t produce a model that can be connected to the house’s water supply.

    • Replies: @Jack D
    Some of the plumbed in central humidifiers work on the steam boiling principle. Their internal construction looks like a $10 drugstore humidifier - they're made of the same cheap plastic that is used for toys. But for some reason they sell for $1,000 plus installation.
  129. @Bardon Kaldian
    Well.... this is not empirical, so, it's basically speculative: I think I got over Covid-19 3-4 weeks ago. I didn't get tested- hence, it remains speculative- but virtually all symptoms were present (fever, shortness of breath, perhaps viral pneumonia, cold extremities,...).

    I just drank a lot of tea; C-vitamins, Aspirin C, .....

    I didn't cough a lot, but soreness of throat...better not to expatiate on it.

    Now, it's been ca. 15-20 days since fever and high temperature ceased & I'm still tired. I've never experienced anything like that (I'm 45). For ca. 5 days I basically couldn't sit in a chair; I just lay in a bed, completely exhausted.

    Perhaps 6-10 days after it was gone, slightest physical effort was immensely difficult. For instance, just to bring some chopped wood in a basket (something trivial in normal circumstances) resulted in so profuse sweating I was forced to change a completely wet shirt at least 2 times a day.

    Now it's much better, but I'm still tired.

    Even if it hadn't been Corona-chan- as I said, I didn't get tested because it all happened before the peak of the panic- I guess I'm, for the time being, at least, immune to any similar viral infection.

    Glad you are better. That sounds much worse than what I have. But this is the worst I have been sick in a LONG time.

    One thing that seemed to help me (mainly with throat and congestion issues) was oil of oregano. I put three drops (it is potent, stinky stuff) in a cup of warm water than alternated drinking and breathing in the vapors. Here is some more information. But note that they recommend never ingesting essential oils. Do your own research and use at your own risk!

    https://www.healthline.com/health/oregano-oil-for-cold

    • Agree: Bardon Kaldian
  130. @Yojimbo/Zatoichi
    Heat and humidity (excessively high) go hand in hand. Extreme cold temperatures equate to low or moderate (at best) humidity. The tropics are certainly more humid than say, the North Pole or Russia/Scandinavia in winter.

    Come on.

    I think you missed the point. Which was that flu season happened in the colder/lower humidity times in most places but in the warmer/higher humidity times in the tropics. I think that is odd. Anyone have an explanation?

  131. @HA
    "Do you have a good reference for the behavior over time?"

    Here's a mention of some of the weather-related effects on the virus:


    We don’t know how the virus will behave across the year either. Other human coronaviruses tend to peak in the winter, while lying low during the high humidity and temperatures of the summer. But it’s unclear whether SARS-CoV-2 will do the same. One study showed that, across the globe, the biggest outbreaks have occurred within a narrow band of climate. But a more granular analysis across Chinese provinces showed that the virus can still easily spread in humid areas, and a third modeling study concluded that “SARS-CoV-2 can proliferate at any time of year.” The bottom line: There’s a very wide range of possible futures.
     
    While it is good to know that scientists haven't ignored the heat/humidity connections, as previously claimed, there's no consensus that the virus will abate, much less go away, once warmer weather comes to the Northern hemisphere.

    Which is not heartening news. That being said, may you have a speedy recovery.

    Here’s a mention of some of the weather-related effects on the virus:

    Thanks for the references. I was actually asking about the time course of the 1918 epidemic (and please excuse my 2019/1919 mistake), but the current info is even more relevant.

    While it is good to know that scientists haven’t ignored the heat/humidity connections, as previously claimed, there’s no consensus that the virus will abate, much less go away, once warmer weather comes to the Northern hemisphere.

    I think it is fair to say the heat/humidity connection is getting far less attention than it should. For instance, it seems most important to institute countermeasures in areas in the sweet spot for virus transmission right now.

    I don’t know about consensus, but your last link says (the abstract):

    There is an urgent need to project how transmission of the novel betacoronavirus SARS-CoV-2 will unfold in coming years. These dynamics will depend on seasonality, the duration of immunity, and the strength of cross-immunity to/from the other human coronaviruses. Using data from the United States, we measured how these factors affect transmission of human betacoronaviruses HCoV-OC43 and HCoV-HKU1. We then built a mathematical model to simulate transmission of SARS-CoV-2 through the year 2025. We project that recurrent wintertime outbreaks of SARS-CoV-2 will probably occur after an initial pandemic wave. We summarize the full range of plausible transmission scenarios and identify key data still needed to distinguish between them, most importantly longitudinal serological studies to determine the duration of immunity to SARS-CoV-2.

    Basically, they expect a summer lull. Which is why I think extreme countermeasures right now are questionable in relatively warm/humid areas.

    That being said, may you have a speedy recovery.

    Thank you.

  132. @PiltdownMan
    The humidifiers that work best are the cheapest ones—the plug in, plastic reservoir steam humidifiers that cost about ten bucks on sale. You fill them up with water, throw in half a teaspoon of salt, and they work like a charm. The salt dose doesn't need to be replenished until (or unless) you wash the reservoir out. The only downside is that you have to fill them every day, but there's really no reason why someone can't produce a model that can be connected to the house's water supply.

    Some of the plumbed in central humidifiers work on the steam boiling principle. Their internal construction looks like a $10 drugstore humidifier – they’re made of the same cheap plastic that is used for toys. But for some reason they sell for $1,000 plus installation.

  133. @neprof
    Higher altitudes would cause low-lander lungs to expand the first couple of days. Maybe that makes them more receptive to the virus.

    Higher altitudes would cause low-lander lungs to expand the first couple of days. Maybe that makes them more receptive to the virus.

    Good point. Low-landers would also be breathing faster and deeper.
    https://www.altitude.org/high-altitude

  134. @Jack D
    This is Dr. Farquar. Though this is not his usual specialty, he has volunteered to care for you during this emergency as our regular ICU doctors are stretched thin - some have themselves become ill.

    Patient (gasps): Nice to meet, you Dr. Farquar. It is very brave of you to come into the ICU at such a dangerous time. What is your usual specialty?

    Dr. Farquar: I'm a veterinarian. I usually care for horses. Can you please extend your hoof.. I mean arm.

    Haven’t you heard the old vets’ joke that an MD is just a veterinarian who only works on one species of animal?

  135. Skiers tend to share quarters, eat together, and use bathroom facilities more together than golfers.

    The fecal contamination route is being ignored in the west. A given in the East Asian nations that have had some early encouraging progress in controlling outbreaks.

    Published studies on existence of virus in feces of presymptomatic cases, how it contaminates bathrooms, etc.

    This doesn’t mean aerosol/airborne isn’t another route. But the fecal oral deal is definitely a contributor instiutionalized populations get super rapid spread.

    Incidentally, masks keep you from touching your face if nothing else, and that alone is a huge deal. Every Japanese schoolchild knows this.

    • Agree: PiltdownMan
    • Replies: @anonguy
    Oh yeah, it isn't just from not washing hands in bathroom.

    The aerosol from flushing toilets gets all over the place in a bathroom and in the air, esp when flushing without lid down.

    Well documented. Japanese peer reviewed paper about bathroom contamination.

    Previous to that, Chinese had documented the presence of virus in feces during incubation phase.

  136. @Reg Cæsar

    Unless a person is very, very sick, urine is sterile.

    That’s right. You can drink it.
     
    And get a month's RDA of ammonia, if not a year's. It's sterile for a reason.

    Crazy Indians are drinking cow urine to prevent Covid-19. That’s on par with the Iranians claiming that they can’t get Covid-19 in crowds gathering at their shrines.

    https://www.hindustantimes.com/bollywood/richa-chadha-is-shocked-at-men-distributing-cow-urine-at-gaumutra-party-to-prevent-coronavirus-noooo/story-owwGkezxsr1YdjRRoV89fP.html

    • Replies: @Jack D
    No, the Iranians are an order of magnitude higher in nuttiness. Drinking cow urine sounds repulsive to us (but a different cow secretion - cow milk - we think is yummy) and it sure won't prevent Covid, but it is basically harmless (in small quantities). Iranians gathering crowds at shrines is a sure method for spreading the epidemic.

    Americans tend to have a broad brush view of foreign cultures, whether they are left or right. Either all foreign cultures are equally great or else all foreign cultures are equally bad. In fact there are gradations of good and bad. You'll notice that when in the UK they have problems with "Asians" (meaning S. Asians meaning subcontinentals), 99% of the time the Asians in question are Muslims and not Hindu.
  137. @anonguy
    Skiers tend to share quarters, eat together, and use bathroom facilities more together than golfers.

    The fecal contamination route is being ignored in the west. A given in the East Asian nations that have had some early encouraging progress in controlling outbreaks.

    Published studies on existence of virus in feces of presymptomatic cases, how it contaminates bathrooms, etc.

    This doesn't mean aerosol/airborne isn't another route. But the fecal oral deal is definitely a contributor instiutionalized populations get super rapid spread.

    Incidentally, masks keep you from touching your face if nothing else, and that alone is a huge deal. Every Japanese schoolchild knows this.

    Oh yeah, it isn’t just from not washing hands in bathroom.

    The aerosol from flushing toilets gets all over the place in a bathroom and in the air, esp when flushing without lid down.

    Well documented. Japanese peer reviewed paper about bathroom contamination.

    Previous to that, Chinese had documented the presence of virus in feces during incubation phase.

    • Replies: @International Jew

    Well documented. Japanese peer reviewed paper about bathroom contamination.
     
    Peers reviewing a paper about peeing strikes me as a conflict of interest.
  138. @JRB
    You forget Capetown, an ideal place for a virus to overwinter.

    You forget Capetown…

    I meant between 40°S and the South Pole.

    • Replies: @JRB
    Of course you said so, but that is not the point. There are only a limited number of places where these type of viruses can overwinter or more exactly oversummer. Capetown and its surroundings are cold enough in July and August even if it's above 40°S .
  139. @Reg Cæsar

    You forget Capetown...

     

    I meant between 40°S and the South Pole.

    Of course you said so, but that is not the point. There are only a limited number of places where these type of viruses can overwinter or more exactly oversummer. Capetown and its surroundings are cold enough in July and August even if it’s above 40°S .

  140. The most obvious difference could be that skiers head for cold places and winter golfers head for the warm places. Why do we get more colds and flus when it is cold? Oddly, there isn’t much settled science on this question. One possible answer is because our noses tend to run more in the cold, which spreads more germs around. Maybe skiers’ noses run more than golfers’ noses, on average?

    So you want to take a ski trip?

    1) Take crowded airplane to and from your destination.
    2) Take (probably seldom-cleaned) shuttle van to and from the airport to your lodge.
    3) Take tram/chairlift up the slope within feet or inches of scores of random people, probably at least one of whom will have some respiratory virus or another, because it’s that time of year.
    4) Use seldom-cleaned, overused bathrooms frequented by people who don’t wash their hands, because they’re going to be putting their gloves right back on.

    Honestly, I hope this whole pandemic gives skiing a bad name, because they industry (consolidating like so many others) has been jacking the prices up on us for the last few years and it’s about damn time it stopped. $140/day for a stupid ski pass. What a joke. Hopefully this scares a few people away.

  141. @anonguy
    Oh yeah, it isn't just from not washing hands in bathroom.

    The aerosol from flushing toilets gets all over the place in a bathroom and in the air, esp when flushing without lid down.

    Well documented. Japanese peer reviewed paper about bathroom contamination.

    Previous to that, Chinese had documented the presence of virus in feces during incubation phase.

    Well documented. Japanese peer reviewed paper about bathroom contamination.

    Peers reviewing a paper about peeing strikes me as a conflict of interest.

    • LOL: Eagle Eye
  142. Besides gondolas and trams, large modern European/US resorts also have big bubble shields that lower over the front of the chairlifts, so skiers can spend a good part of their day breathing in an enclosed space.

  143. @Steve Johnson
    No one's mentioned it yet but another hypothesis as to why there are more respiratory disease outbreaks in the winter is that less sun exposure leads to less vitamin D production and that vitamin D improves immune function.

    Good point.

    I’d say golfers spend more time on average outdoors all year round. Probaly higher levels of vit D.

    Some good studies out there about vit D levels (supplementation) and protection against colds etc.
    https://news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2017/02/study-confirms-vitamin-d-protects-against-cold-and-flu/

    https://www.bmj.com/content/356/bmj.i6583

    Good one here about VIT D and aquired pneumonia
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31567995

    Makes ya think!

  144. @Bill P
    Frankly, nobody would have paid this virus much attention 100 years ago. Yes, it would have killed people then, too, but the age distribution would have made it seem minor except to physicians who were in a position to notice.

    We should be worried now because more of us are old (which is itself a topic for another discussion), but that should be balanced against the costs. If the old are rich, as they currently are, shouldn't they pay some of the costs?

    I'm all for stopping Covid 19 in its tracks. I want my parents to be happy and healthy and to have fun with their grandkids, but it seems like I am asked to bear the brunt of the costs even as their assets are being rescued, also not to my benefit.

    Why is the govt. bailing them out in this crisis and making my family face the risks even while propping up the outrageous cost of housing? Why not let them take a haircut instead? That way they could be saved and their kids could get some relief. Seems like a fair deal.

    I agree. The whole brouhaha is about protecting the greedy old people who’ve ruined the world. The more deaths of the boomers and their predecessors, the better. It could not happen to more deserving groups. Are some individuals innocent? Of course. Any losses to them are lamentable if unavoidable. Remember the female physician who always appears with Dr. Fauci and her recent babble about how young people must all panic and quarantine themselves? Yeah, that’s because she knows that they know it’s a bullshit thing that kills old, sick people who need to die already anyway and are just vampiric parasites.

    Help the movement: go about your business and cough any time you see anyone over, say, sixty. (It’s kind of like a drinking game played whenever a character in a movie says a certain phrase.)

    • Replies: @The Wild Geese Howard
    I'm not sure I'd go quite as far, though I can't say I'm in love with the idea of special early-morning grocery shopping hours for seniors.

    Mainly because, in the event a truck shows up with new stock overnight, why should anyone get first dibs on that stock simply because of their age?
    , @Anon
    Oh yeah? Check this out...from the NYPost:

    “A Belgian doctor working to battle the coronavirus says he’s treated several seriously ill young patients — and their lung scans were “nothing short of terrifying,” according to reports.

    Dr. Ignace Demeyer, who works at a hospital in Aalst, said an increasing number of people between the ages of 30 and 50 have presented with severe symptoms, despite having “blank medical records” that show no underlying conditions that would make them high-risk, the Brussels Times reported.

    “They just walk in, but they are terribly affected by the virus,” Demeyer told the Belgian broadcaster VRT.

    He said CT scans indicated they were suffering from severe lung damage.”
  145. @danand
    Russia has a lot of skiers, relatively few golfers, and not too many residents with Hanks; roughy 70 positives. But perhaps it’s just another case of the more you test, the more you know.

    I would express Russia to get hit harder next, and then be dealing with it well into spring. They closed their borders very early, but its there now.

  146. @HA
    "Do you have a good reference for the behavior over time?"

    Here's a mention of some of the weather-related effects on the virus:


    We don’t know how the virus will behave across the year either. Other human coronaviruses tend to peak in the winter, while lying low during the high humidity and temperatures of the summer. But it’s unclear whether SARS-CoV-2 will do the same. One study showed that, across the globe, the biggest outbreaks have occurred within a narrow band of climate. But a more granular analysis across Chinese provinces showed that the virus can still easily spread in humid areas, and a third modeling study concluded that “SARS-CoV-2 can proliferate at any time of year.” The bottom line: There’s a very wide range of possible futures.
     
    While it is good to know that scientists haven't ignored the heat/humidity connections, as previously claimed, there's no consensus that the virus will abate, much less go away, once warmer weather comes to the Northern hemisphere.

    Which is not heartening news. That being said, may you have a speedy recovery.

    “While it is good to know that scientists haven’t ignored the heat/humidity connections, as previously claimed, there’s no consensus that the virus will abate, much less go away, once warmer weather comes to the Northern hemisphere.”

    The evidence could not be more overwhelming. Zero big community breakouts in any tropical country and almost no deaths.

    Regulars at Sailer’s blog should know that ‘experts’ are often unwilling to see the blindingly obvious.

    • Replies: @HA
    "The evidence could not be more overwhelming. Zero big community breakouts in any tropical country and almost no deaths."


    The words "could not be more overwhelming" evidently do not mean what you think they do. No one as far as I know is saying that hot weather won't kill this thing (unlike say, MERS or SARS, two other related viruses which thrived in hot weather). No one is saying that the bigger threat to a warm country like Australia and Indonesia right now isn't from people flying in from certain colder places than from locals who have stayed put. Again, maybe this will all go away (in the Northern hemisphere, at least) come spring, as you say. It's certainly a possibility, maybe one with a high probability. But from what I can tell, that probability is farther from 100% than you're implying.

    If you could go through the links I provided that discount the weather hypothesis and show how they are wrong, that would be helpful. Otherwise, in light of you apparently not even having gone through those links, or else dismissing them without mention, and failing to even put a probability around what you're saying and who your work, consider your evidence to be far more underwhelming than your assertiveness warrants.

  147. @res
    Dan, have you run across anything about altitude in your research? I am uncertain what effect altitude would have given that absolute humidity (water vapor by air volume) varies with pressure while specific humidity (water vapor by air mass) does not.

    Altitude is another big difference between skiing and golf.

    My guess would be the most relevant altitude would be the ski lodge where (I think) transmission is most likely to occur. I assume this corresponds roughly to the base elevation. Here is a page with base elevations for North American ski areas:
    https://www.onthesnow.com/north-america/statistics.html

    This page gives pressure in atmospheres by elevation:
    https://www.mide.com/air-pressure-at-altitude-calculator
    At 5,000 feet the pressure is 0.83 atmospheres while at 10,000 feet the pressure is 0.69 atmospheres.

    Here is an article discussing ski resort closures.
    https://www.bellinghamherald.com/news/article241201016.html

    And I thought this was a telling statement:
    https://www.wagnerskis.com/journal/cold-flu-symptoms-remedies/

    From December to nearly the end of March it seems like everyone you encounter in a ski town has just had an illness, currently has a cold or the flu, or will soon start sniffling.
     

    “Dan, have you run across anything about altitude in your research? I am uncertain what effect altitude would have given that absolute humidity (water vapor by air volume) varies with pressure while specific humidity (water vapor by air mass) does not.”

    Not enough datapoints on altitude. But very dry winter air is big trouble.

    Large, packed outdoor gatherings in chilly weather seem to be trouble. Milan has tens of thousands of tourists mixed with locals milling about outdoors in the walkable squares. Spain had a huge women’s march. New Orleans had Mardi Gras.

    There are two separate benefits of warm, humid air:

    (1) The virus doesn’t live long in warm, humid air.

    (2) The respiratory immune system works much better when it is warm and humid. When it is cold, the mucus is too viscous and the cilia don’t to their job. Also when it is dry, the mucus dries and gets more viscous and again, the cilia can’t do their job.

    The second of these is a really big deal. Warm and humid air helps a lot *after* infection, which explains why the death rate in tropical countries from this is very low.

    It should be noted that the death rate from this can never be zero. Some people are so old/sick they will succumb no matter what. Respiratory failure has always been a huge cause of death of oldies.

  148. High end ski areas attract spring break college kids and international jet-setters. Golf, not so much. These people all party together and commingle with strangers after for long apres ski in cramped quarters. Vail got it, but not nearby family-oriented Beaver Creek.

  149. Also, the service staff are seasonal young employees, often living in group homes in these expensive areas.

  150. @PiltdownMan
    Crazy Indians are drinking cow urine to prevent Covid-19. That's on par with the Iranians claiming that they can't get Covid-19 in crowds gathering at their shrines.

    https://www.hindustantimes.com/bollywood/richa-chadha-is-shocked-at-men-distributing-cow-urine-at-gaumutra-party-to-prevent-coronavirus-noooo/story-owwGkezxsr1YdjRRoV89fP.html

    No, the Iranians are an order of magnitude higher in nuttiness. Drinking cow urine sounds repulsive to us (but a different cow secretion – cow milk – we think is yummy) and it sure won’t prevent Covid, but it is basically harmless (in small quantities). Iranians gathering crowds at shrines is a sure method for spreading the epidemic.

    Americans tend to have a broad brush view of foreign cultures, whether they are left or right. Either all foreign cultures are equally great or else all foreign cultures are equally bad. In fact there are gradations of good and bad. You’ll notice that when in the UK they have problems with “Asians” (meaning S. Asians meaning subcontinentals), 99% of the time the Asians in question are Muslims and not Hindu.

  151. @Autochthon
    I agree. The whole brouhaha is about protecting the greedy old people who've ruined the world. The more deaths of the boomers and their predecessors, the better. It could not happen to more deserving groups. Are some individuals innocent? Of course. Any losses to them are lamentable if unavoidable. Remember the female physician who always appears with Dr. Fauci and her recent babble about how young people must all panic and quarantine themselves? Yeah, that's because she knows that they know it's a bullshit thing that kills old, sick people who need to die already anyway and are just vampiric parasites.

    Help the movement: go about your business and cough any time you see anyone over, say, sixty. (It's kind of like a drinking game played whenever a character in a movie says a certain phrase.)

    I’m not sure I’d go quite as far, though I can’t say I’m in love with the idea of special early-morning grocery shopping hours for seniors.

    Mainly because, in the event a truck shows up with new stock overnight, why should anyone get first dibs on that stock simply because of their age?

    • Replies: @SaneClownPosse
    How would you feel about women and children being first in line?
  152. HA says:
    @DanHessinMD
    "While it is good to know that scientists haven’t ignored the heat/humidity connections, as previously claimed, there’s no consensus that the virus will abate, much less go away, once warmer weather comes to the Northern hemisphere."

    The evidence could not be more overwhelming. Zero big community breakouts in any tropical country and almost no deaths.

    Regulars at Sailer's blog should know that 'experts' are often unwilling to see the blindingly obvious.

    “The evidence could not be more overwhelming. Zero big community breakouts in any tropical country and almost no deaths.”

    The words “could not be more overwhelming” evidently do not mean what you think they do. No one as far as I know is saying that hot weather won’t kill this thing (unlike say, MERS or SARS, two other related viruses which thrived in hot weather). No one is saying that the bigger threat to a warm country like Australia and Indonesia right now isn’t from people flying in from certain colder places than from locals who have stayed put. Again, maybe this will all go away (in the Northern hemisphere, at least) come spring, as you say. It’s certainly a possibility, maybe one with a high probability. But from what I can tell, that probability is farther from 100% than you’re implying.

    If you could go through the links I provided that discount the weather hypothesis and show how they are wrong, that would be helpful. Otherwise, in light of you apparently not even having gone through those links, or else dismissing them without mention, and failing to even put a probability around what you’re saying and who your work, consider your evidence to be far more underwhelming than your assertiveness warrants.

    • Replies: @HA
    Sorry, got cut off:

    ...to even put a probability around what you’re saying and show your work, so to speak,...
  153. @HA
    "The evidence could not be more overwhelming. Zero big community breakouts in any tropical country and almost no deaths."


    The words "could not be more overwhelming" evidently do not mean what you think they do. No one as far as I know is saying that hot weather won't kill this thing (unlike say, MERS or SARS, two other related viruses which thrived in hot weather). No one is saying that the bigger threat to a warm country like Australia and Indonesia right now isn't from people flying in from certain colder places than from locals who have stayed put. Again, maybe this will all go away (in the Northern hemisphere, at least) come spring, as you say. It's certainly a possibility, maybe one with a high probability. But from what I can tell, that probability is farther from 100% than you're implying.

    If you could go through the links I provided that discount the weather hypothesis and show how they are wrong, that would be helpful. Otherwise, in light of you apparently not even having gone through those links, or else dismissing them without mention, and failing to even put a probability around what you're saying and who your work, consider your evidence to be far more underwhelming than your assertiveness warrants.

    Sorry, got cut off:

    …to even put a probability around what you’re saying and show your work, so to speak,…

  154. @Buzz Mohawk
    It IS good news that our hemisphere is approaching spring (but not so much for people in the Southern...)

    As you say, many of the same people ski and play golf. I would posit that skiers fly to more distant places, more international. Think: how many golfers fly to other continents to play golf? Okay, there is Scotland, but other than that, you guys mostly travel inside your own country.

    The cold -- and dry -- aspect is probably the biggest, though.

    Then again, maybe Tom Hanks Disease disproportionately effects handsome, vibrant people -- like skiers. Sorry :)

    Only a small percentage of total US skiers travel internationally.
    Mostly High Value Targets, I meant to say “Clients” and their privileged families.

    Being out in the cold reduces your body’s abilities to fight invasions. Your lungs are breathing in cold air, no matter how many layers you wear.

    Skiing can be much more physically demanding than golfing. Tiring the skier as the day goes on. How many moguls (round hills on the slopes that are carved by skiers) are there on a golf course? Even a walking golfer is not exerting the effort of a skier on moderate downhill runs. When I was younger, we got in about 18 runs in a day at Mt. Shasta and at a much higher elevation than the usual golf course.

    It is a reasonable assumption.

    Are there any all weather golf courses co-located with ski areas?

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    Most ski resorts have a golf course at the base of the mountain to get some summer visitors for the lodge. You can hit the ball further at high altitude so they are ego boosting to play.

    But, yes, skiing is much more tiring than playing golf.

  155. @The Wild Geese Howard
    I'm not sure I'd go quite as far, though I can't say I'm in love with the idea of special early-morning grocery shopping hours for seniors.

    Mainly because, in the event a truck shows up with new stock overnight, why should anyone get first dibs on that stock simply because of their age?

    How would you feel about women and children being first in line?

  156. Enthusiastic skier chiming in.

    My guess is that skiers stay at densely packed chalets to save on costs (and to party). This especially applies to college students without much means.

    You also need to stay close to people on the ski lifts (both in the air and in queues to them). The restaurants/cafes at ski resorts are often jam-packed and full of heavily sweating people.

    I never played golf, but it strikes me as something that most people just drive to in a single day and where they don’t spend much time very close together.

  157. @SaneClownPosse
    Only a small percentage of total US skiers travel internationally.
    Mostly High Value Targets, I meant to say "Clients" and their privileged families.

    Being out in the cold reduces your body's abilities to fight invasions. Your lungs are breathing in cold air, no matter how many layers you wear.

    Skiing can be much more physically demanding than golfing. Tiring the skier as the day goes on. How many moguls (round hills on the slopes that are carved by skiers) are there on a golf course? Even a walking golfer is not exerting the effort of a skier on moderate downhill runs. When I was younger, we got in about 18 runs in a day at Mt. Shasta and at a much higher elevation than the usual golf course.

    It is a reasonable assumption.

    Are there any all weather golf courses co-located with ski areas?

    Most ski resorts have a golf course at the base of the mountain to get some summer visitors for the lodge. You can hit the ball further at high altitude so they are ego boosting to play.

    But, yes, skiing is much more tiring than playing golf.

  158. Anon[310] • Disclaimer says:
    @Autochthon
    I agree. The whole brouhaha is about protecting the greedy old people who've ruined the world. The more deaths of the boomers and their predecessors, the better. It could not happen to more deserving groups. Are some individuals innocent? Of course. Any losses to them are lamentable if unavoidable. Remember the female physician who always appears with Dr. Fauci and her recent babble about how young people must all panic and quarantine themselves? Yeah, that's because she knows that they know it's a bullshit thing that kills old, sick people who need to die already anyway and are just vampiric parasites.

    Help the movement: go about your business and cough any time you see anyone over, say, sixty. (It's kind of like a drinking game played whenever a character in a movie says a certain phrase.)

    Oh yeah? Check this out…from the NYPost:

    “A Belgian doctor working to battle the coronavirus says he’s treated several seriously ill young patients — and their lung scans were “nothing short of terrifying,” according to reports.

    Dr. Ignace Demeyer, who works at a hospital in Aalst, said an increasing number of people between the ages of 30 and 50 have presented with severe symptoms, despite having “blank medical records” that show no underlying conditions that would make them high-risk, the Brussels Times reported.

    “They just walk in, but they are terribly affected by the virus,” Demeyer told the Belgian broadcaster VRT.

    He said CT scans indicated they were suffering from severe lung damage.”

  159. @snorlax
    Golfers are OLD. Median age well north of 60. Oldsters aren't really into nightlife.

    Not all golfers.

    The PGA announced on Wednesday that South African golfer Victor Lange has tested positive for COVID-19.

    Lange represents the first confirmed case of the coronavirus among players connected to the PGA Tour. He plays on PGA Tour Latinoamérica.

    The 26-year-old disclosed his illness to the PGA and reported that he has no symptoms. He’s expected to make a full recovery, according to the PGA.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    Thanks for the update.
  160. @CCZ
    Not all golfers.

    The PGA announced on Wednesday that South African golfer Victor Lange has tested positive for COVID-19.

    Lange represents the first confirmed case of the coronavirus among players connected to the PGA Tour. He plays on PGA Tour Latinoamérica.

    The 26-year-old disclosed his illness to the PGA and reported that he has no symptoms. He’s expected to make a full recovery, according to the PGA.

    Thanks for the update.

    • Replies: @CCZ
    https://www.palmbeachpost.com/sports/20200316/coronavirus-in-florida-palm-beach-par-3-first-local-course-to-close-due-to-pandemic

    Palm Beach Par 3 may be the first South Florida course to close because of the coronavirus, but it won’t be the last. Expect many others, especially government-owned, to close in the next few days. (Later Monday, the city of Hollywood announced it was closing its three golf courses).

    Until Monday’s news, South Florida golf courses had weathered the coronavirus storm because of the warm weather and nature of the sport. It is played outdoors with plenty of fresh air and room for social distancing.

    But business has dropped about 20 percent in the last week and it’s only going to get worse.

    https://www.palmbeachpost.com/sports/20200316/coronavirus-in-florida-palm-beach-par-3-first-local-course-to-close-due-to-pandemic
  161. @Steve Sailer
    Thanks for the update.

    https://www.palmbeachpost.com/sports/20200316/coronavirus-in-florida-palm-beach-par-3-first-local-course-to-close-due-to-pandemic

    Palm Beach Par 3 may be the first South Florida course to close because of the coronavirus, but it won’t be the last. Expect many others, especially government-owned, to close in the next few days. (Later Monday, the city of Hollywood announced it was closing its three golf courses).

    Until Monday’s news, South Florida golf courses had weathered the coronavirus storm because of the warm weather and nature of the sport. It is played outdoors with plenty of fresh air and room for social distancing.

    But business has dropped about 20 percent in the last week and it’s only going to get worse.

    https://www.palmbeachpost.com/sports/20200316/coronavirus-in-florida-palm-beach-par-3-first-local-course-to-close-due-to-pandemic

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