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Thursday, April 2, 2020

Broken Record

From the beginning of this ChiCom virus crisis (here, for example, a posting from January 27) this humble blog has expressed great doubts about the seriousness of the current epidemic/pandemic. I have been shouting to the computer screen that the data, as biased as they are, DO NOT show what the media and the "experts" are telling us.

That data produced by "experts" screaming about DOOM do not comply with the models produced and relied upon by those very same "experts." Simply put, people are not and have not been dying at the rates and in the numbers the models have been predicting. The mortality rate, even if we accept the highly improbable assumption that all who die with the ChiCom virus in their system died from the ChiCom virus, is about the same for a bad flu season, and is declining. The hospitals in the USA are not overwhelmed, not even in New York, the so-called "epicenter" of the virus in America. In fact, CBS news, pioneers in fake news drama of our times, had to rely on footage from an Italian hospital, and pass it off as that from an American hospital.

Yes, if you are an old fart with underlying conditions--such as your humble blogger--you are at greater risk from this virus than if you're a young'un. That, however, is true with just about any illness you care to name.

The Communist Chinese lied about the origins and contagiousness of the virus. No doubt. They withheld critical data that could have helped Western "experts" see how serious or not of a problem we might face in countries with modern medical services. As I have noted before, the cover-up was worse than the crime; the ChiComs could not let the world see how bad China's public health and medical services are. Living conditions in most of China are dire, miserable, really. No matter what Bernie Sanders claims, China remains a poor country.

Western leaders, quick to panic, immediately shut down our economies to "fight" the virus. Instead of adopting common sense measures, and making sensible recommendations to the public, our leaders, bamboozled by the "experts" and the hair-on-fire media have begun dismantling our economies and societies in an effort to "protect" us.

Save us from our saviors!

From watching the latest White House Corona Virus press conference, it seems obvious that President Trump is realizing that his initial skepticism was correct. Notice how he kept interrupting Dr. Birx to stress that the infamous "curve" is not the same everywhere in the USA, and that measures appropriate for one part of our vast country might not be for another. I still have a slight hope that the President is going to start to turn this around.

We cannot keep waiting for another "rescue" package. We already see the Dems licking their chops about another multi-trillion dollar pork-fest concentrating on infrastructure. Great. Let's have the government take over the entire economy. Right. They are going to give us the Green New Deal whether we want it or not. The green, by the way, comes from the color of dollars and has nothing to do with saving Gaia.

Yes, without a doubt, keep insisting, demanding, requiring that basic manufacturing be returned to the USA. Let, if you want, the Communist Chinese keep their global dominance of the flip-flop market and cheap luggage. We'll take back the rest.

It is time to switch the lights back on before it is too late.

PS: I should have added this reference; it is from the always entertaining and educational No Pasaran blog which has an excellent piece on the bad math being used in the crisis.

27 comments:

  1. Considering a cure is available, hydroxychloroquine combined with azithromycin, I do not see why all these people are dying. Surely it is bad practice to withhold a possibly lifesaving drug cocktail from people who would otherwise die, even if the cocktail hasn't jumped through all the FDA's hoops. Both drugs are individually proven safe.

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    Replies
    1. Last I heard, Cuomo signed an executive order forbidding doctors from prescribing chloroquine. Anyone know if that ban is still in place?

      Delete
    2. Michael Lonie,
      Considering a cure is available, hydroxychloroquine combined with azithromycin, I do not see why all these people are dying.

      That would be because neither of those things, not individually and not in concert, cure COVID19. It's a confusion of correlation and causation based on a fleeting statistical anomaly with no underlying truth, latched onto because humans desire control in a world where we have little. It's just quackery.

      Delete
    3. One Brow, 'cure' may be too strong, but so is 'quackery'
      https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0924857920300996

      Delete
    4. Doctor Weasel,

      https://sciencebasedmedicine.org/are-hydroxychloroquine-and-azithromycin-an-effective-treatment-for-covid-19/

      People promoting bad medicine have ittle trouble creating bad studies.

      Delete
    5. Your link doesn't back up your claim. It does not refute the possibility, only states (imo, accurately) that there's not currently enough evidence to claim the regimen is effective. I'd put the bar of 'promoting bad medicine' as suggesting treatments which are shown not to be effective. Even then, such dismissal also depends upon the status of patients.

      - reader #1482

      Delete
    6. reader #1482,

      Science generally doesn't deny possibilities. I could list 500 different drugs which have not been tested on COVID19 and therefore have not been "shown not to be effective" (which is itself a slight error in interpreting the results of such an experiment). That doesn't mean we should be injecting any/all of these 500 drugs into COVID19 patients. There needs to be some reason to think it will work. Chloroquine has never shown any usefulness against any other corona virus, so why would we think it would here?

      Delete
    7. Because, Chloroquine has been effective in treating Immune System problems, Lupus and Rheumatoid Arthritis for example. Probably not effective against the Virus, but effective against the Immune System problems caused by the Virus that result in Deaths.

      Delete
    8. This virus doesn't cause immune system problems. It causes respiratory problems.

      Delete
    9. So explain this statement:

      "COVID-19 starts out in the lungs like the common cold coronaviruses, but then causes havoc with the immune system that can lead to long-term lung damage or death."

      From here:
      https://www.sciencealert.com/why-is-this-coronavirus-so-much-more-dangerous-a-coronavirus-expert-explains


      Delete
    10. Your own article explains it:

      How the virus makes people sick

      SARS-CoV-2 grows in type II lung cells, which secrete a soap-like substance that helps air slip deep into the lungs, and in cells lining the throat. As with SARS, most of the damage in COVID-19, the illness caused by the new coronavirus, is caused by the immune system carrying out a scorched earth defense to stop the virus from spreading.

      Millions of cells from the immune system invade the infected lung tissue and cause massive amounts of damage in the process of cleaning out the virus and any infected cells.


      Autoimmune diseases (like lupus or RA) see *healthy* cells attacked by the immune system. If you prevent *infected* cells from being attacked, you extend the course of the disease.

      Also from your article:
      SARS-CoV-2 is more severe than seasonal influenza in part because it has many more ways to stop cells from calling out to the immune system for help.

      Given that, why would you try to further suppress the immune system?

      Delete
  2. It's getting to the point where I, an old geezer who's taking precautions, think I'd rather risk infection teaching a living, face-to-face class of teenagers even though schools are germ factories. But I am also impressed that our researchers and physicians, once they recognized the seriousness of the epidemic, went to work.

    ReplyDelete
  3. The whole reliance on computer modeling reminds me of an econometrics (computer modeling) class I took in grad school back in the dark ages. That class was taught by the modeling guru of the time and something really bothered me about it. But I couldn't put a finger on it until once day I was driving down the freeway and road slop made my windshield nearly impossible to see through. Then it hit me: modeling is like driving your car using only the rearview mirror. In effect you are using the past to predict the future. Now you can change the weights you use in the model (using the freeway example, if you think that the road might be heading left, you might put more weight on the number of left turns you have already made) but that is substituting the modeler's value judgment and may or may not be indicative of where the road is actually going. I have been extremely skeptical of modeling complex systems ever since. The models can be useful when dealing with highly predictable systems (like planetary motion) but their uselessness grows exponentially as complexity increases. It is the ultimate hubris to assume that we as humans have the knowledge to predict and is the reason such things are doomed to failure (see the USSR).

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  4. I always understood the late USSR and their methods as I was exposed to them many times long ago. But these Chinese Communists? They seem obvious but exceptionally devious. This virus is their economic opportunity to use their allies in the MSM and Democrats to defeat the one man who has bested them all--Donald Trump.

    Might the ChiComs go really big and launch a military assault on US in the South China Sea or even Taiwan I wonder?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Truly, I wouldn't put it past them, especially given the activity in the Spratleys. Makes one realize that the commander of the USS Roosevelt gravely erred in making his letter to the Pentagon public. Definitely a violation of OPSEC especially in times like these. From what I've read, he was justifiably removed.

      Delete
    2. "The paper tiger has nuclear teeth" -- Mao.

      It is possible (low probability, of course) that we are seeing the opening move in a different kind of war -- an economic war. The US was dangerously dependent on China before this event. Once China starts buying up bankrupt US companies, we may find ourselves even more dependent on China afterwards.

      What need would China have to launch a very destructive military war once they can bring the US to its knees with the threat of a simple trade embargo? Most of the products of US universities would be quite happy with a deal which gives China command of all of Asia in exchange for keeping the iPhones coming.

      If we wanted to send a message of our weakness to the Chinese leadership, we could hardly do better than take one of our vaunted aircraft carriers out of action because of a fear of Covid-19 among its young vigorous crew -- although Covid-19 is less dangerous to those sailors than the diseases they likely pick up during shore leave in Subic Bay. Meanwhile, China's navy is at sea, carrying out exercises.

      Just like Covid-19 exploits weakness in the physical systems of the old & sick, the Chinese leadership happily exploits the weaknesses in our tired political/academic/media system. The problem is not China; the problem is us.

      Delete
    3. "Might the ChiComs go really big and launch a military assault on [US in the South China Sea] or even [Taiwan] I wonder?"

      No.

      First, Taiwan as a whole isn't comparable to an American carrier or Submarine (no, that's not hyperbole).

      Scenario: PRC probably wouldn't want to make a direct attack on Taiwan, initially, China would focus on economic isolation and naval blockades, the PRC did this "small-scale" in the past, seizing merchant ships with ROC-origin and destined goods and other demonstrations. But in making a serious attempt to "isolate" Taiwan with force, the risks to China far outweigh the benefits...

      ...because if the American Executive intervenes by getting equally serious about China, this wargame is over.

      If the US Navy implements a blockade, they're stopping any tanker carrying Chinese-slated oil anywhere from the Gulf of Aden to the Straights of Malacca to the Lombok Straight, etc, any bulker slated for China from Africa is likewise a port queen or DIW, anything going out of China by sea is land-locked (Good luck with that One Road), etc. The US proceeds to place holds on Chinese assets wholesale (the logical continuation of what it's doing to some of China's corporations) and Treasuries (they're all serial numbers in memory states, worthless if rendered "unredeemable"), etc, etc, etc.

      Really, the book-keeping is somewhat of an afterthought next to the practical reality. Currency, whether Treasury Notes or Federal Notes, must ultimately be redeemed for goods and services as proof of value. If not, the paper (and manipulations of the electric field cycling through registers) are worthless. And the bean counters rewrite the books to fit the new reality, because paper manipulation has yet to outwit the laws of supply, demand, and Physics.

      Again, an American Carrier or Submarine can create this effect by reshaping the systemic foundation of China's ability to supply and feed itself.

      The whole of Taiwan's economy and military can't.

      The truly scary part is that the US really wouldn't have to go this far. America need only return to the pre-1969 Cold War mentality with China.

      Look at the food on your table; everything you take for granted depends on innumerable inputs. From the reefer decks and trucks that ensure food is delivered on time and unspoilt, to the packaging, to the very preservatives you eat (yes, you're eating crude oil). Let's not talk about all the other things from agricultural fertilizers, equipment and chemical precursors, to the very "infrastructure" from bitumen to make and maintain roads on which that food is distributed, to the ethylene insulation that sheathes every conductor or fiber-optic cable that power refrigeration and facilitate distribution,to the pumping stations and technology that pressurize and supply drinking water (and rehydrate dry foods) and sewage disposal, etc.

      Gasoline, Diesel and Kerosene are almost an afterthought.

      For too many reasons to count, far beyond simple agricultural imports, the Chinese people will see their food (and water) costs go through the roof and their quality of life crater - far worse than any flood or drought in the Northern Plains (because they are mitigated by a trade system today, which is an extension of the WW2 supply system the US built).

      America goes through a recession as it shifts manufacturing domestically and to other countries like India (a drastic version of what has happened via countries like Thailand and Vietnam). It certainly doesn't need China to feed itself or keep the oil flowing in North America.

      China starves to death.

      What's the point?

      These days, information is distributed and disseminated faster, and deterrence invokes systemic responses long before the predictable effects can be felt.

      So the key for China is to separate the ROC and the USA, to keep the Sword from falling - always has been since 1949, and the number of Swords have only grown since 1969.

      Delete
  5. Simply put, people are not and have not been dying at the rates and in the numbers the models have been predicting.

    Did you remember to put those numbers in a time-adjusted comparison to allow for 10 days or so for the disease to run its course?

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    Replies
    1. It's looking more and more like case-fatality-rate maybe about 5 x influenza, not the 20 x claimed earlier.
      It appears to have the ability to route underdeveloped medical systems (think socialized medicine countries), but the jury is still out in NY. Hospitals appear busy enough to be "opening floors we haven't had open in a long time", but that's, at least yet, not overrun.
      Nobody's pretending this is a joke, but the response does appear to be more and more 'joking'.
      There are places where pretty much everybody's staying home... yet the government needs to impose a 'shelter-in-place' afterwards. There's the mayor of LA deputizing his friends (volunteers, to avoid accountability) to go shutdown mis-favored businesses. I'm guessing political donations have as much impact on whether your power and water gets cut as anything else.

      - reader #1482

      Delete
    2. One Brow, you can fiddle all you want with the stats, the models ain't calling it right: Just like Global Cooling/Warming/Whatever . . .

      Delete
    3. Models seem to be getting shaky right now and maybe more so by mid month. If the White House task force can include more economy speakers, I think there will be quicker change and more likely some answers on when do we turn the American economy loose again.

      Delete
    4. DiploMad,
      One Brow, you can fiddle all you want with the stats, the models ain't calling it right: Just like Global Cooling/Warming/Whatever . . .

      Thank you for confirming you are as incorrect of the predictions of the models on global warming as you are on infectious diseases.

      Of course, you don't seem to believe in expertise, generally. I'll keep in mind that when you comment on how the State Department works, you don't think your opinion is any better than mine.

      Delete
    5. One Brow, You conflate all so-called 'experts' and what they are peddling.
      When Mr. Mad tells you the state department needs you to start living in a cave in order to save the world, yes, you should question his expertise. :)

      Outrageous claims require outrageous evidence.

      - reader #1482

      Delete
    6. Ignore One Brow. He emits loud word salads of little to no meaning. He's a troll seeking readers for his own blog.

      Delete
  6. reader #1482,
    One Brow, You conflate all so-called 'experts' and what they are peddling.

    You responded to a comment above where I distinguished between the reliability of different experts.

    When Mr. Mad tells you the state department needs you to start living in a cave in order to save the world, yes, you should question his expertise. :)

    Outrageous claims require outrageous evidence.


    I agree completely.

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  7. DiploMad,
    Ignore One Brow. He emits loud word salads of little to no meaning. He's a troll seeking readers for his own blog.

    I rarely write posts, and make not a single penny from my blog, nor do I need an audience. If I were trying to drive traffic to my blog, I would link to it, or at least mention it, more than one time, don't you think. Probably half the commentators forgot I had one until you reminded them.

    Of course, as a global warming denialist, things like facts mean little to you. So, feel free to believe as you will.

    ReplyDelete