Monday, April 6, 2020

I'm From Missouri


You get that there's two ways to take that, and they're both complete
opposites of each other, right?
















Prognosticators and Flu-sayers are proposing (and TPTB are listening) that this week and next are the coming peaks of Kung Flu.

You can read their product here.

Are they correct?
I have no wild idea.
I do find it somewhat optimistic, but I'm open to persuasion.
I'd certainly like them to be correct.

When you project the peak in two weeks, at 3000 deaths/day, +/- 5000, that looks like shotgun forecasting.
I see no reason imaginable that things will get that bad, and then suddenly shrink, because Magic Brownies or something.

If they had some explanation for why things will tip over, and work out, beyond "I don't know; it's a mystery." and then actually start trending downward, I'd like to hear it.


Maybe it will work out, maybe it won't, but absent some rational theory, with viable and valid evidence, it sounds to me more like wishful thinking than actual analysis.

It seems to me the only way you know when you've crested a mountain on terrain you've never been to, is to wait until you start walking down instead of up.

IOW, when actual deaths trend downward, and keep on doing that, give a holler.
Forget cases. Testing is so screwed beyond belief, since ever, there's no one in Creation who has any bare clue how many people anywhere have been infected. When California is so backlogged they can't tell you how bad this was on March 20th until May 10th, anyone who says they can predict when this peaks, for any value of "whenever", is smoking controlled substances.

What I do know is this:
There's no vaccine.
There's no widely acknowledged effective treatment.
There's no immunity to it.
There's no way to test for who has had it, and gotten over it.

So unless and until people stop dying daily in growing numbers, and the death trend starts pointing downwards, we're not past the hump yet.

Worse, lifting things like lockdowns at that point may simply trigger the peaks to shift to areas less-affected now. Like everywhere west of the Mississippi River.

And while it would be nice, particularly for residents there, to hear that NYFC is finally over the hump in the pandemic, if we then lift lockdowns, and merely shift the locus of the problem back to the middle of the country or to the Left coast, it would be a pyrrhic victory. [Common Core grads: that's a case where the cure IS "worse than the disease". You could look it up.™]

It seems to me to get past this, you're going to have to first have a rapid-result test in quantity.
Then start by testing everyone working and deemed "essential", so you know they're okay to be out and about.
Then maybe start testing one zip code per day in as many regional areas as you can simultaneously, until they're all tested, and only people with no Kung Flu get out of self-quarantine jail.

Those positive are still in it, and get re-tested every 30 days.

Otherwise you're just turning people loose in the tiger cage, and waiting to see how many get eaten. If lifting lockdowns "just because" happens, and it kills scads of people, the last 0-3 weeks' lockdowns have been a total waste of time. Unlike in Iraq, we have no ability to surge medical resources to fight this, if we declare victory too soon.

So until this thing actually peaks, and we know it based on bona fide truth and accurate numbers, rather than pollyana optimism, I wouldn't put all my chips on this thing tapering off in a week or three, no matter how many Magic Beans the salesman promises us in return for the family cow - or the actual family.

I will believe this thing has peaked - when it actually does.
Not before.

On a personal note, I was notified that one - of numerous - patients I cared for in the last few weeks, and was suspected of Kung Flu, was confirmed positive for it. That doesn't mean I've been exposed to it; that's why we wear PPE. But it means one of the rule-out cases scored snake eyes. It was the first for me, but it won't be the last. (Not least of which because some were tested, and died, and we're still waiting for their test results.) And it means if I pop on any of the symptoms, I've now got skin in the game.

As I said earlier on these pages, all I know is that as of yet, I'm not infected.
Until I am.

So I'll be finding out experientially if the PPE recommendations worked, or not.

Which is the same when you'll know when we're over the hump on this: when you see it (or not) with your own eyes.

When you walk into a swamp you've never been to before, at night, the only thing you know is that the farthest you can walk into it in any direction is halfway. But you can have no idea when you've crossed that point, because you don't know how big that swamp is.

Nobody knows how big this swamp is.

The projections referenced may be spot on, or they may be just quaint little fond wishes, with a sprinkle of hopeium. I can't see where they have any reason to think otherwise, but I'm open to reasonable explanations.

And even if they're right, we've still got a couple of really craptastic weeks coming up, don't we?

Dewey Defeats Truman was a funny headline for actual victor Harry S Truman the next day.

















America Defeats Kung Flu will not be nearly as funny to us the morning after if it turns out Kung Flu won.

Don't believe me on that; ask Shrillary what it felt like to find out that the World's Foremost Experts got it totally wrong, and you believed them. Last I heard, she still hasn't sobered up since that night.



52 comments:

ThatWouldBeTelling said...

There's no way to test for who has had it, and gotten over it.

Not in quantity, yet, and something I've read is that given a proper sample (which we still believe is one of the biggest problems with RT-PCR tests?), they're much less sensitive, maybe only 96%. Which if you have a population that hasn't been hit much with COVID-19, means a lot of your positives will be false, because you're giving them to so many people who haven't had it. On the other hand, if we truly have a huge iceberg of asymptotic or nearly so cases, it would be great to find that out ASAP.

Otherwise, I'm really sorry to say I agree 100% with everything you say. While authorities have mentioned this is going to drag on into the summer, there's not yet any willingness to say how very long it might be. I suppose in part because we don't even know if the current measures will truly flatten the curve, and if it'll be flat enough.

Oh, yeah, there's also what I suspect will be the schwerpunkt for your set of people, the nation's healthcare workers: really running out hard of PPE fairly soon. That surgical mask maker in Texas? No one's willing to give him long term contracts, he knows what this will mean when its over because of how he went all out for the swine flu pandemic, so he's only running one shift. 3M was only set up to immediately double their output in the US through idle machinery and local supply chains, although now they won't be shipping N95 respirators outside the country (in theory). The general Zeitgeist to prevent and punish "profiteering" ... we know what price controls do.

Boy, we're all bundles of cheer today.

Ned2 said...

Where's that 15 minute test?

Where's the go ahead for Ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine use?

Why hasn't Trump fired the heads of the FDA, CDC and several other inept bureaucracies?

Inquiring minds want to know.


One more thing; if this turns out to be just another flu, bro then the current administration could jeopardize it's re-election bigly. Won't change my mind, but millions of low IQ sheeple will want blood.

ThatWouldBeTelling said...

Seems we both spoke too soon, the CDC is riding to our rescue! (that's sarcasm).

"CDC launches studies to get more precise count of undetected Covid-19 cases"

The first [of three series of studies], which has already begun, will be looking at blood samples from people never diagnosed as a case in some of the nation’s Covid-19 hot spots, to see how widely the virus circulated. Later, a national survey, using samples from different parts of the country, will be conducted. A third will look at special populations — health care workers are a top priority — to see how widely the virus has spread within them. Bresee said the CDC hopes to start the national survey in the summer; he gave no timeline for the health workers study.

And now we have a weekly COVIDView to mirror the FluView some of us are familiar with.

And the above answers my question about the CDC actually using their existing public health surveillance systems, the flu one in particular, to get a statistical handle on the incidence of COVID-19. We were promised that would start in early-mid February, and now they say:

Outpatient Influenza-Like Illness Network (ILINet) and National Syndromic Surveillance Program (NSSP)

Two indicators from existing surveillance systems are being monitored to track outpatient or emergency department (ED) visits for potential COVID-19 illness.

* Nationally, the percentage of visits for influenza-like illness (ILI) and COVID-19-like illness (CLI) is elevated compared to what is normally seen at this time.

Recent changes in health care seeking behavior are likely impacting both networks, making it difficult to draw further conclusions at this time. Tracking these systems moving forward will give additional insight into illness related to COVID-19.

[ Big snip of mostly promises of data in future editions. ]

* CDC is modifying existing surveillance systems, many used to track influenza and other respiratory viruses annually, to track COVID-19.

* Visits to outpatient providers and emergency departments for illnesses with symptom presentation similar to COVID-19 are elevated compared to what is normally seen at this time of year. At this time, there is little influenza virus circulation.

[...]

* The percentage of deaths attributed to pneumonia and influenza increased to 8.2% and is above the epidemic threshold of 7.2%. The percent of deaths due to pneumonia has increased sharply since the end of February, while those due to influenza increased modestly through early March and declined this week. This could reflect an increase in deaths from pneumonia caused by non-influenza associated infections including COVID-19.

They're not counting commercial lab tests yet, but they're's data for public health and clinical lab tests, including demographics tested for the former. Week 12-13 shows a substantial lowering in the rate of increase in National Syndromic Surveillance Program (NSSP) of COVID-19-like illness (CLI), "(fever and cough or shortness of breath or difficulty breathing)", while Influenza Like Illness (ILI) shows a drop, and there may be significant overlap between the two. The COVID-19-Associated Hospitalization Surveillance Network (COVID-NET) tracks them by demographics, this is a bad time to be 65+. And 50-64....

ThatWouldBeTelling said...

In other antibody meta-testing news, as of March 26th:

The fourth pathway, "Policy D," applies only to antibody-based serology tests. These tests, whether they come from a commercial manufacturer or are developed by a high-complexity lab, do not need to submit an EUA application at all, and makers can begin selling them and using them on patients as soon as they are validated.

Hillebrenner said there have been 12 developers to date that have notified FDA they are pursuing the Policy D path. A list on the FDA's website, which may have been updated since the webinar, now includes 19 developers of antibody tests. "The FDA has not reviewed the validation of tests offered by these developers, who will not be pursuing EUAs, and is including this list … to provide transparency regarding the notifications submitted to FDA," the website says.


A more recent article clarifies this is as long as the test is not marketed as a sole diagnostic for COVID-19. And the first that got an EUA for that is not so selective or sensitive:

Of the 98 positive [per RT-PCR] samples ["from mild or no clinical symptoms" cases], 91 were positive with IgG or IgM or both. Of the 180 negative samples, 174 were negative.

It may be better for severe cases, but fewer samples were tested, I assume that's not where the primary action for antibody tests is.

Unknown said...

Aesop, many thanks to you...from my family and many others for the advice and warnings over the last few months. I managed to get ahead of the wave here in Houston by about a week; first, over my wife's protests and finally with her shopping list in hand with mine. The lives you've touched, and even saved, extend far beyond what you do in your ER.

Stay safe out there. We are praying for everyone involved in the medical arena in fighting this; my wife's aunt picked up hMPV and then coronavirus while working with patients in San Franschitsco.

Hope@ZeroKelvin, I saw your comment on last Friday's post. Once we're allowed back out of our cages, I'd be happy to buy you a beer...y'all have earned it.

Nick Flandrey said...

"Week 12-13 shows a substantial lowering in the rate of increase in National Syndromic Surveillance Program "

--could be because people assess their symptoms and figure they know what they've got and aren't showing up at health care facilities.

At this point, knowing that I probably won't get any treatment, or a test, I'm not likely to go to the plague ward with just a cough.

n

Bee Ess said...

LMFAO, isn't that CUTE?! The CDC's color coded map tops at 5,000+
SMRT say it with me! We're SMRT SMRT SMRT.

ThatWouldBeTelling said...

This is indeed SMRT: there are 6 reporting categories, 60 entities to report on with only 4 at 0 cases and 2 at 6-50 (island territories), 13 are 5000+, 22% of the total.

Everyone is invited to learn about The Visual Display of Quantitative Information.

Unknown said...

here's my take. right now we are no better off than when the plague hit europe in the 15th century. All THEY could do to fight it was stay away from people who had it!! Sound familiar????? we are lacking tests, medicine to fight it, and in a holding pattern for a good year or 2 until a supposed vaccine in available. How's that vaccine working for fighting cancer and aids???? HMMMMM--just sayin--we really have not progressed to far..........az girl

FredLewers said...

There's a few ways to know a shitstorm is over:

1 people ain't shooting at you anymore.
2 people ain't running around like their heads on fire and their ass is smoldering.
3 people ain't dying in job lots.

We still have 2 out of 3 so it's still raining turds.

FredLewers said...

Yes I'm paranoid. It's a survival trait.

RSR said...

Earlier, late last week, that projection site said something to the effect of: diminishing infection, etc, projections were based upon the assumption of increasing levels of gov't restrictions as infection and death rates increase.

Says today they should be releasing a technical paper on their current models' assumptions, but not posted yet that I see: http://www.healthdata.org/covid/updates
"Starting with today’s release, we use three different weighting schemes to better approximate variation in potential policy impact across social distancing mandates. Our statistical tests suggest that early actions such as school closures may have a larger effect in some communities than expected; in other locations, fully mandated stay-at-home orders may be required for detectable impact. To better capture this community-by-community difference of mandates on social distancing behaviors, we now use an ensemble model of three different weighting schemes. More details will be included in the technical paper that will be released by Tuesday, April 7, and will be published here."

"here" linking to: http://www.healthdata.org/covid

Grandpa said...

Aesop, prayers for you, brother. I know you knew you were going to be exposed, you went anyway. That's some John Wayne shit right there brother - "scared, but you saddle up anyway." May God honor your courage, integrity, and professionalism. And may He set His angels around you for protection.

Bear Claw Chris Lapp said...

Ha predictions same shit as before different day. Pre-mature ejaculation of the people into society will rewind the clock. I am now more concerned since the central US had the opportunity to stay home/social distance (except for stupid I still see out when just driving around for a break) based on coastal information. The stupid will increase early and start the clock ticking again. So I may have to add to the larder while not as risky as Aesop's 24 hour days I still hate to do it but I will take care of my family as best as I can because I still question daily do I have enough because guess what, "I don't know" and neither do the asswipes in government.

Those bastards are already talking about another 2 trillion in stimulus. 1600 plus rigged bullshit on the dow today. When this blows I no longer project depression 2.0 it will be worse. Buying more popcorn and rope on the next outings lamppost in the front yard of every house in most neighborhoods nearby.

Aesop I think about you daily when out expanding the garden and doing other chores. May we one day be able to drink a beer/cocktail and shoot da bull. May God Bless all of us.

Robin Datta said...

A quarter to a half of all persons infected with Kung Flu will be asymptomatic or nearly so. Whether from a different gene resulting in a difference in innate immunity, or a prior exposure to sufficiently similar antigens resulting in adaptive (acquired) immunity, they do have immunity to Kung Flu. It should be easy to distinguish between the two with a reliable antibody test.

Troy Jones III said...

Meanwhile in NYC, they are making plans for "temporary" mass graves. https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/coronavirus-update-if-nyc-cemeteries-get-filled-could-temporary-burials-happen-on-hart-island/ar-BB12ft9N

Bear Claw Chris Lapp said...

Update Tulsa 22 y/o dies of CV. Sad story married with new child born 3 months ago. Local news said no prior health issues. I know people in places of his employer if any new info I will update.

. said...

Robin Datta said...
A quarter to a half of all persons infected with Kung Flu will be asymptomatic or nearly so. Whether from a different gene resulting in a difference in innate immunity, or a prior exposure to sufficiently similar antigens resulting in adaptive (acquired) immunity, they do have immunity to Kung Flu. It should be easy to distinguish between the two with a reliable antibody test.


That's what I was thinking. An antibody test should show if someone has been exposed and recovered/immune, correct?

Not an MD, just thinking that's how a lot of viral illnesses work.

Unknown said...

Aesop, have you read anything about this:

https://i.4cdn.org/pol/1586264476809.png

Dude posted this saying kung flu isnt a respiritory disease, like malaria, it a disease that attacks the red blood cells destroying their ability to carry oxygen. That's why malaria drugs work. It looks like a pneumonia, but that is a by product of it's real function.

How many pneumonias present bilateraly with perfect symmetry?

The post also mentions that ventilators and intubation actually hinder treatment of the actual problem. That's why so many ventilated patients die.
This was posted at 4chan as a png so I cant copy and paste from it, but I would love to hear your take on it, and maybe if it is legit, it can be passed on to docs treating this out your way. I've already shared it with docs I know locally.

Also would love your take on the current and very public battle between Captain Crozier and SECNAV? IMO...The Captain tried to remove the first few corona positive sailors off the carrier before it spread and took the carrier out of the fight.had to pub

SECNAV amd Mavy brass hemed, hawed and bullshitted until the carrier was took out of the pacific, then leaked to the press that the CO leaked trying to scapegoat the CO and deflect their actions which resulted in the removal of 1 of 2 carriers between us and China. After leaking their scapegoat attack of the CO, the SECNAV continued his assault on the CO in person in front of his crew, then he doubled down by publically sparring with T.R. III, called the CO stupid and naive, and then suddenly publically grovelled an apology.

Personally, SECNAV got caught with his pants down thinking he could strong arm the CO and crew of an aircraft carrier for whatever reason to cover the fact that SECNAV is responsible for removing one of two carriers in the pacific, which benefits the CCP.

My money says this was a trap laid, like many have been recently, to root out PRO CCP elements in positions of power.

WHat is your take?

Welcome Black Carter said...

From the New York Post:
"An Illinois man who feared he and his girlfriend had contracted coronavirus fatally shot the woman before turning the gun on himself last Thursday night, authorities said.

Patrick Jesernik, 54, and 59-year-old Cheryl Schriefer — who both eventually tested negative for the virus — were found by authorities inside their Lockport Township home, according to the sheriff’s office in Will County, Illinois.

The pair, who were found in separate rooms, both had gunshot wounds to the head.

A revolver carrying three live rounds was found next to Jesernik. Two spent shell casings were also found nearby, authorities said"

No word whether the empty casings were found in separate rooms, or even closer than "near by".

Reltney McFee said...

Carter: what sort of a "revolver" ejects spent shells?

How many fingerprints were found on that scene, other than from the decedents?

Inquiring minds want to know....

Welcome Black Carter said...

"Carter: what sort of a "revolver" ejects spent shells?"

Hard to believe "near by" = still in the revolver. More top notch reporting by the AR-47 crowd.

johnnyrotten said...

Given the 'revolver' and 'spent shells elsewhere' language, Patrick Jesernik and Cheryl Schriefer must have been past associates of Hillary.

Ray - SoCal said...

Good news is CA Deaths are still in the single digits of the US overall death rate.

Number of Tests done in CA is data is just junk:
https://covidtracking.com/data#state-CA

Tests per day, done over the last 10 days supposedly.

898
2,833
78,400
2,300
3,073
673
2,258
739
1,065
3,933

ThatWouldBeTelling said...

BTW, Ray - SoCal is too modest, he and I have had a long discussion of California numbers and all sorts of testing stuff in this previous appropriately named Numbers topic.

Eyeballing these numbers, it looks like the California department of health has a reporting system that's only picking up very roughly 2,000 tests a day, and with very haphazard continuity. This is where the Fake News that only that many tests were being done in the whole state. The claimed bolus of 78,400 tests in one day is obviously a huge number that were being done by other labs, with only the positive results being reported in a timely manner as required by law.

(Well, you could imagine Qwest has 25% of the world's Roche cobas 8800 machines, 1056 tests per 8 hour shift, it's very cool, and dedicated every single one of them to a 24x7 run for California only.... But I kinda doubt that. Although reagent supply from Roche permitting, they do have some number of cobas 8800/6800 machines. designed in California, and their overall testing volume is down 40% inclusive of the SARS-CoV-2 testing they're doing, because so much routine and elective medicine is being skipped for now.)

My real question is how many COVID-19 deaths are they missing, or better, how much does the inevitable error of this state compare to other states, the US as a whole, and other nations (the latter is likely to be big). Because while our host properly calls our attention to the death rate as the best source of data we have, we know it's only so good.

As a concrete example, as of March 20, the LA public health department, which can probably run tests itself, gave up on containment, and said "Doctors should test symptomatic patients only when 'a diagnostic result will change clinical management or inform public health response.'" So for a while, at best they tried to get a statistical picture of COVID-19 in their county.

Bee Ess said...

Unknown:
Heard the same thing from Chris Martensen's video yesterday. Did a little reading and wrote the following synopsis:

Abstract:
Covid-19 attacks hemoglobin chain and inhibits heme metabolism.
Hydroxychloroquine is an anti-Malarial drug. Malaria is a parasite that live inside the red blood cells and eats the hemoglobin, using that to reproduce.
Covid-19 may be looked at as blood disease.
The results of covid-19 attacking the heme metabolism is:
• attacking the heme 1-beta chain of hemoglobin disassociates the iron to form the porphyrin, which causes less hemoglobin, which in turn inhibits the carrying of oxygen and carbon dioxide
• “The lung cells have extremely intense poisoning and inflammation due to the inability to exchange carbon dioxide and oxygen…”
• TOXIC IRON Ions (Fe+2 or Fe+3) is released into the blood stream which does the damage to the alveolar spaces
This method of attack fits clinical data:
• Blood oxygen levels drops rapidly and early into infection
• Bi-Lateral (always) ground glass opacities appear on chest xrays, this is NOT typical to normal pneumonia (bacterial infection), the release of toxic iron into the blood streams or directly into the alveolar sacs would explain the bilateral nature
• Multiple organ failure (due to lack of oxygen, not a viral attack on organs?)
• Vit-C mega dose therapy eases worst of symptoms (because vit c = very strong antioxidant)
https://chemrxiv.org/articles/covid-19_disease_orf8_and_surface_glycoprotein_inhibit_heme_metabolism_by_binding_to_porphyrin/11938173

Caveat:
Nobody knows how the virus gets into the red blood cells (if that is actually happening).
Unknown how the virus could replicate within the red blood cell, as it lacks the “machinery” necessary for viral replication.

Anecdotal:
Blood type may affect Covid-19 risk. A = significantly higher risk, O = significantly lower risk.
https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.03.11.20031096v2

Aesop said...

1) CA testing is a joke.
2) The theory that this is a hemoglobin/RBC problem, rather than a respiratory one, is interesting. I have no clinical data to confirm nor deny either side of the theory.
3) Anyone committing suicide over this is clearly mentally deficient.
4) Robert Gore's essay is pure hokum, based on no observable evidence nor historical precedent in this country. It is based on some hysterical presumptions. The two are not interchangeable.
5) The acting SecNav was probably right to relieve the skipper of the Teddy. And more right to resign himself, as well. More and more, the Navy is becoming the headless Nancypants branch of military service formerly reserved to the Air Farce.
Or perhaps the Girl Scouts.
It's amazing how much damage the Obozo-era reign of terror did to the armed forces, and it will take a generation - or more - to unf**k.

ThatWouldBeTelling said...

Charles in VA:

You're a Covidiot.

I mean, we already knew that in general, but this may be the first time you've so totally ignored what our host is saying (why are you even here?).

Death rates rise precipitously when healthcare systems run out of capacity. So it wouldn't actually be your claimed "97.3%" survival rate (which is b***shit, no one can calculate it until we do antibody surveys of populations through which it's already run), and even then ... well, yes, given your Zieg Heil, I can see you're no doubt a fan of Akition T4, seeing as how by your own calculation you're willing to write of 9 million American lives. That's before the rate gets, say doubled or tripled, because we've run out of capacity. As well as all those who die because there isn't capacity to treat the normal accidents and illnesses.

As for your food chain hysteria, we're a food superpower, and it doesn't take much to provide the basic requirements in calories, fats, protein, etc. If things get desperate, we can stop burning food for fuel, and thin out our herds and flocks.

But, without any support at all, you're claiming there's a specific plan to implement a terror famine. Who's going to enforce that, I wonder, against a massively armed populace, especially in a bunch of farming states? What sort of propaganda campaign could make it work, with all sorts of radio systems allowing the word to get out to other countries, to our military forces, etc. Who would be wondering if the Internet gets turned off in CONUS.

You're in fact saying our ruling class ... well, yes, I'm actually quite willing to believe, we are after all in a civil war with them, is more bloodthirsty than the Chinese Communist Party. But what you're saying they plan to do is a very dangerous game to play. Especially when they've shown such disdain for the military etc.

Or looking at your followup message, you're just a Premillennial Dispensationalist. Again, an idiot. The premillennial part, being so certain about the when, dispensationalism is quite legitimate.

Bee Ess said...

Charles:
Was that first post a copy/paste error for some other blog? You know, one that doesn't know that? :) Preachin' to the choir around here!

lmao, on a side note: my boy is watching scooby doo. Fred's parents just said "Keep your tripwire taut, and your tensile line strong."

no.ones.ghost21 said...

Irony of ironies - The Q1 commemorative quarter has a BAT on the obverse side.

https://www.usmint.gov/coins/coin-medal-programs/america-the-beautiful-quarters/national-park-of-american-samoa

S h said...

A small field trial was done in China on 4 patients using tamiflu.

Published in ama journal

https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/2762452

This caused me to go on tamiflu prophylaxis. Already on day 21.

Tldr of article, 4 mild covid positives treated successfully with tamiflu.

A few minor details I would like to email you but can't find a contact form on blog. Hopefully you can see my email from your admin console.

ThatWouldBeTelling said...

You ignore two years of crop failures in the US

There's no particular reason you should remember this, but I live in flyover country, in a very serious farming region, and as a child of farmers, and a "prepper", I follow this. The last couple of years haven't been great for some foodstuffs, but they haven't been terrible. Below figures in metric tons:

Corn (maize) (the same site for the rest):

2017 371,096
2018 364,262
2019 347,782

We had much bigger drops 2011 to 2012, 1994 to 1995, 1992 to 1993, that was 1/3rd.

Wheat has been going up; if you followed weather for the middle of the country not to mention what tends to be planted where, you'd understand why. But you don't, just like I don't for Virginia:

2017 47,380
2018 51,306
2019 52,258

Soybeans took a massive hit 20% hit last year, there was certainly some truth to #NoPlant2019 (curse you, jetstream!), but had an increase the year before:

2017 120,065
2018 120,515
2019 96,841

Sorghum to feed animals is doing OK:

2017 9,192
2018 9,271
2019 8,673

herd losses globally

Could be, I only follow the US, plus of course the CCP's totally failing to stop "pig Ebola" from wiping out more than half their herd, the world's largest at 360 million before it moved there. We now see a harbinger for their herd of people (which I imagine is not too far from what they really think of them):

But in the US, swine meat production is going up:

2018 11,943
2019 12,543
2020 12,999

So is beef and veal:

2018 12,256
2019 12,381
2020 12,514

And while new sandwiches are causing a run on a certain size of chicken not to mention violence at one chain, and a bunch of people have to figure out what to do with a mess of chicken wings, chicken meat is also up:

2018 19361
2019 19906
2020 20615

As I said, we're a food superpower.

ThatWouldBeTelling said...

It might interest you to know that your scoffing at prophesy is itself a fulfillment of prophesy!

I don't recognize you as a legitimate prophet for the when of the Book of Revelation. And while Kafkatraps are pathetic, your accusations against me are beyond the pale. You don't know me, and I'm honestly glad for that.

Ned2 said...

Still waiting on:

-where's the 5 minute test, and why isn't it being widely distributed?
-where's the go ahead for Invectin and Hyroxychloroquine usage?

-who the fuck's in charge?

-why doesn't anyone know what this really is yet?

Unless these questions are answered soon, we're looking at social chaos.

Ned2 said...

And one more thing:

People should just STOP commenting unless they have something concrete to add. If you don't know what you're talking about shut the fuck up. No more tin foil, thank you.

ThatWouldBeTelling said...

Still waiting on:

-where's the 5 minute test, and why isn't it being widely distributed?
-where's the go ahead for Invectin and Hyroxychloroquine usage?


A 5 minute test for "Do you have COVID-19 now?" or "Have you developed antibodies to COVID-19?"

I seem to recall, I think it was our favorite nerd Dr. Birx, saying it normally takes about 8 months to develop those sorts of point of care antigen tests. Going further, I observe you have to develop and manufacture shelf-stable antibodies to what you're interested in detecting. Presumably there are companies working on them, I could start looking for mention of this if you want.

As for go-aheads on various drugs, we hear the proper large N number of patients, deal with the placebo effect tests are in progress. New York is running one for chloroquine and/or hyroxychloroquine, otherwise at last count doctors are forbidden to prescribe those drugs in the state for COVID-19.

Invectin, do you mean ivermectin? Based on a search just now, it looks like a brand new study out of Australia has found it works in vitro, but so does a handgun. Real tests in humans are presumably being arranged now.

-who the fuck's in charge?

In the US, this has just become another facet of our cold civil war, with a very few exceptions on Team Left. Plus Trump respects federalism, and that's probably a good thing. I can tell you who's in charge in my state, county and city....

-why doesn't anyone know what this really is yet?

Novel pathogen is novel. We've learned a fantastic amount about it in not quite three months, the real date starts when we were able to test for it, and then culture viruses from patients in open societies. From all signs the CCP wouldn't have released genomes to allow the former, a lab that got shut down for "rectification" the next day saved a lot of lives by being the first on January 11th.

The latter, they of course didn't share cultures, at least in the early days. There's also issues like we have to find animal models, hopefully cheaper ones than primates, we have to learn how to grow it correctly in cell cultures, one initial line of cells prompts it to adapt to them, not normal human cells ... it's complicated.

Unless these questions are answered soon, we're looking at social chaos.

Maybe. We can see here plenty of people are wigging out under the strain. No one in my circle who isn't young or fairly old isn't showing significant signs of strain.

The real problem for the US that I see, beside you know the whole civil war thing, is that our authorities have blatantly lied to us, for example about masking, and that's very consequential, and the CDC and the FDA sandbagged the rest of the nation on testing for more than a month. Time we'll never get back, and it allowed the virus to get so far ahead we're not even close to catching up in testing, as our host can attest to from the front lines.

And the general unwillingness to say what's ahead as main messages. Trump for example said his experts were saying at least to June-August, but as far as I know, it hasn't been clearly stated what we'll do if/when we manage to flatten the curve, and maybe lower it. In part because we have to get to that point, in part because there's a battle royal over "if it saves just one life!" and "kill the economy, kill people" positions. Thank goodness Trump isn't totally on the former side like Cuomo is (well, as long as you aren't an update New Yorker).

ThatWouldBeTelling said...

I couldn't help but notice that you cited NO SOURCES for your numbers.

Were you blind to the link I provided?!?!?!!!??? Go to the bottom of any of those pages, and you'll see it's the United States Department of Agriculture, of course.

ThatWouldBeTelling said...

My apologies. you did indeed quote a citation.

I think a great deal more is called for. You are massively lowering the level of discourse in these comments because you can't be bothered to read what other people are writing, you just see disagreement and respond with bile. You didn't follow up on the above, not willing I guess to say that the USDA is lying (when from local reports, and watching weather patterns I'm pretty sure they aren't), merely pivoted to another line of attack because you're so fixed on your personal prophecy of the end times.

And it is you who are claiming to be a prophet, while accusing me of the most vile things, for only saying I don't accept your claims this is the Book of Revelation end times. For example:

Got a problem with that? Talk to Peter. Talk to Isaiah. Talk to JESUS!

Well, I don't "talk" to them as such, but this is not about what they said, it whether these are the times they were referring to. I remain open on that question, you ... you would do well to take a big step back and gain a little humility.

ThatWouldBeTelling said...

I'm not here for a flame war.

Well, then, for the good of us all, stop flaming!!!

You can believe the Pollyanna's or you can prepare.

Who here is doing the former, or has not prepared?

It's not that binary.

RSR said...

Charles in VA -- you're being a troll and just wasted a half hour or so of my time scrolling through your drivel. STFU.

ThatWouldBeTelling -- Thank you.

Aesop -- CNN mentioned assumptions of studies in an article from today (drudge linked): https://www.cnn.com/2020/04/07/health/ihme-updated-covid19-model/index.html

"But the newest version of the model underscores just how important social distancing continues to be: It assumes that those measures -- such as closing schools and businesses -- will continue until August, and it still predicts tens of thousands of deaths."

August is SIX GD Months of economic shutdown! Much more at the link.

R said...

Guys, please play nice. I read here daily, and treasure the ability to comment, though I do so rarely.

The only things I am interested in at this point (aside from what our host brings up for consideration, and salient comments by other readers) are:

Does having had it confer immunity against the two major strains I have read.
If having had the strain that inflicts mild to moderate symptoms is one still a carrier? This would mean a world of difference in the quality of care for those who are looking out for the vulnerable.
And whipping out that crystal ball to say when an antibody test would be great.

Thanks.
-RJ

R said...

Sorry. That should read "..two major strains I have read to exist.
-RJ

Robin Datta said...

At least one study out of China linked to by a commenter on this post showed that four patients with COVID-19 by PCR who improved in hospital and whose positive PCR tests for the virus became negative done twice more than a day apart were discharged. A week or so later the test was repeated and all were positive for the virus. They were advised quarantine at home but one got worse and had to be readmitted. So don't hold your breath.

RSR said...

UT Austin released a study that basically says that IMHE #s are bogus: https://apps.texastribune.org/features/2020/coronavirus-texas-cities-social-distancing-flatten-curve/

Flattening the curve means this peaks in the fall to winter -- it doesn't just go away like IHME is projecting.

Aesop said...

I don't have prescriptive powers in real life, but if I did, I'd say RLGore, and Charles, could benefit from 0.5mg of Ativan PRN, and a healthy dose of STFU and wait a couple of weeks before running around like headless chickens.

But I can turn the level of dumbass here down with a couple of mouseclicks, if necessary. Someone should take the second hint to heart. For the second time.

Aesop said...

@RSR,

Thanks.
I had to do another 8-hour recert today after my third 12-hour shift, so was too pooped to do much when I got home this afternoon after a long day.

I appreciate the summary of IMHE's assumptions, something no one with a megaphone on the Internet is talking about, even as they plan to get the beaches in Amity re-opened just in time for the 4th of July. It sux that they can't figure it out, while even CNN couched their report in that reality. When CNN scoops you, it's time for some loudmouths to sit down.

There's nothing wrong with IMHE's inherent predictive casualty analysis on that basis, but as usual, the Short-Bus Short-Attention-Span Jackholes don't pay attention to such niggling details, they just think they can cut straight to the conclusion page, and sound like Harvard MD post-doctoral fellows.

I still think they're smoking pure, straight hopeium in opining that this magically fades away in a couple of weeks, though.

There's still no empirical basis for suspecting that out loud, other than blind hope. That's throwing darts at the prediction board, not science.

But it's entirely possible that, like crime, this is driven by the actions of the dumbest dumbass Gilligans in society, and once you cull the stupidest few thousand, like in NYFC, that - exactly like the Three Strikes laws - once those assholes are winnowed out of the general population, the trend spikes downward like a crashing Space Shuttle, largely for the same reasons: stupidity and arrogance meet reality and end up in the same smoking hole of hubris.

ThatWouldBeTelling said...

Aesop: thanks for that insight, the population of Gilligans is finite, that gives some hope.

Although there are quite enough of them to give other people COVID-19, so you we to think about you might call second level Gilligans. Those who totally negate social distancing by connecting their otherwise isolated group, say family or roommates, to other groups by letting first level Gilligans travel between them. But they too will soon enough reduce the pool of who can get infected, although with the limited penetration of COVID-19 in many states like mine ... well, we'll see.

Does having had it confer immunity against the two major strains I have read to exist.

That report appears to be cargo cult "science" from the PRC, where that's common and possibly the norm. In one paper, the authors looked at all the existent strains and pretty arbitrarily divided them into two clades, postulating they were significantly different. Even if this was accurate, it doesn't automatically mean the strains are "major" in that antibodies against one won't work against the other.

For example, we have plenty of vaccines against RNA viruses that mutate at much higher rates than coronavirus, which are unique among all RNA viruses in having a proofreading mechanism. It all depends on what antigens the immune system develops antibodies against, or that we can trick it into developing with a engineered vaccine. If against "conserved" parts of the virus, the parts that can't change or "the virus can't virus", we'll be fine.

At least one study out of China linked to by a commenter on this post showed that four patients with COVID-19 by PCR who improved in hospital and whose positive PCR tests for the virus became negative done twice more than a day apart were discharged. A week or so later the test was repeated and all were positive for the virus. They were advised quarantine at home but one got worse and had to be readmitted. So don't hold your breath.

Rule number one: don't trust anything coming out of the PRC, between the cargo culting, and the systematic lying by the CCP. Even the above case could have "gotten worse" from something other than COVID-19, like a bacterial infection, the flu, whatever. Negative tests, especially in the PRC where quality is not exactly a highly valued thing, can be false negatives. Or the patients could have had an atypical pattern in clearing the virus, with one failing. Also note RT-PCR tests for a few small bits of viruses, it can't discern between full, viable viruses and viral debris which a patient can take a long time to finish mopping up.

One interesting case from the PRC, of the sort I'm more inclined to believe, had a partly broken immune system, he fought SARS-CoV-2 to a draw, but appeared to continue shedding viable viruses. They gave him serum from recovered patients and that allowed his immune system to finish it off. There's going to be all sorts of weird cases like him if you allow the virus to attack huge populations. They may or not be medically or epidemiologically significant.

Note that we believe in normal cases that SARS-CoV-2 produces a strong immune system reaction, including producing antibodies pretty quickly, 6-12 days.

Monsoon Matriarch said...

Apologies if someone else said this and I missed it. Based on many of the comments above, I anticipate: Once the shitstorm has quieted on the east and west coasts, they.gov will declare victory and leave those of us in Fly-over Country to our own devices. The rest of the story is well covered here.

ThatWouldBeTelling said...

Monsoon Matriarch: You think our ruling class is stupid enough to do it to their major supply of food and fuel?

OK, don't answer that. But that's what that strategy amounts to.

But prior to a vaccine they can't do that, the ruling class by and large lives in the big cities of the west and east coasts, and would no doubt notice them becoming Wuhans like NYC is well on its way to becoming, and ... object to an empty victory declaration. And after a vaccine, the problem is solved for all.

R said...

@ TWBT 4:39 AM
Thanks. I do not know more than the general layman (well, at least the laymen educated in the 60s by nuns coupled with experience, which seems to make me a freaking genius to people who don't know better) about biotech, and have spent most of my time dealing with second, third, fourth (and beyond) order of effects. That much, I have a grip on.
Gleaning wheat from the comparative mountain of chaff concerning this is not in my wheelhouse. Common sense has kept me and mom on the right side of the ground, so far.

ThatWouldBeTelling said...

You're welcome; I had advantages of informal learning about medicine from people in my life when I was growing up, and a world class biology education before $$$ forced me off the science path. Now I can pay some of that forward.

And I just noticed I didn't answer this question:

And whipping out that crystal ball to say when an antibody test would be great.

We've got some now, one even has a FDA Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) to be a sole diagnostic for COVID-19. The CDC is starting to use them in three studies; of course, testing capacity is lacking for now.

Unknown said...

"Those positive are still in it, and get re-tested every 30 days."
This 69 year old vet is an USA I don't want to live in.