Saturday, February 29, 2020

Happy Saturday

Everything, from the news to info at work, to everything else I've read, just confirms what I've already told you this week.

So if you missed something, go back and read at least the last 5 posts here.
Let reality wash over you and sink in.

And then, don't panic.
(There's always time to panic later. So never do it now.)

And do.

Do your shopping, and then relax, and have a happy Saturday.

It could always be worse: First U.S. Coronavirus death reported.

Friday, February 28, 2020

A Failure Of Imagination. And Of Common Sense.

h/t Blue Collar Prepping

Plague Doctor: Roll +10 Health Points during Contagion.

First, go read this post.
No, really, go. Read.
All of it.
Then come back.


All done?

I have no problem with the Dr.'s C.V. and bona fides.
She has quite the resume for dealing with some aspects of coronavirus, and related questions about the burgeoning Kung Flu pandemic. And some good, solid, useful information on several aspects.

But she's guilty of some rather important and significant misstatements.
I do not call them lies of omission, because I can't ascribe motivation and intent to what she wrote.

Much of it is correct, as far as it goes.
But some key points are rather woefully lacking in Reality.

¶ Nine:
"The government is currently screening people coming off of international flights from known risk zones, or coming across the border, and then diverting the people who need it to medical facilities that can handle it."
1) The fact that they're doing point-of-care one-time testing, on a disease that incubates for 2-14 days, and perhaps as many as 24 or 28, guarantees the spread of asymptomatic virus carriers into the country, to propagate it hither and yon widespread in a few days, to a couple of weeks. This is the bio-defense version of putting the entire defensive team on the line of scrimmage, and then looking shocked and dismayed when the other team passes over their heads for 3000 yards, and beats you 210-0. Your tax dollars at work.

Sorry Doc, I'm not feeling very de-stressed, fearless, or anxiety-free yet. Maybe you need to go back for some post-doc work on bedside manner and common sense. Just saying.

2) The natural consequence of #1, above is that in short order, there will be no more medical facilities that "can handle it". We've covered this here. The internet moves fast; try and keep up.

¶ Ten:
"Yes, you should go out and replace basic supplies you’re out of, plus a little extra - not because society is about to break down, but because you might be stuck in the house for a week feeling like absolute trash and too bombed on cold medication to drive or operate anything more complex than a can opener and a microwave."
3) Sorry, but after #2 becomes reality, "a week" of supplies isn't going to cut it. And once health care goes down in a pandemic, FFS, society is, in fact, in the process of breaking down.
And then people won't risk going to work, because they don't want to get sick. And/or the CDC closes things down, like they've already said they will. Public facilities, schools, businesses. But I'm sure the police, fire department, EMS, water, power, gas, telephone service, radio, TV, trash collection, and whatever else you imagine, will be magically unaffected by this, because no one could possibly decide that staying home, healthy, with their families was more important than keeping your fantasies about how society will behave alive amidst a crisis unprecedented in a century or more. Your crystal ball is a bit hazy, isn't it?

¶ Eleven
"In extreme situations, schools or workplaces may close under the guidance of local government or management - think snow days."
4) Um, no. Think snow months. Plural. If TPTB close schools and businesses, over a disease that can incubate for two weeks, perhaps a month, no one's going to call off a day or three. They're going to call it off until a month after the last recorded case. Like you do if you got your medical diploma from someplace other than online. Otherwise, you're just ringing the dinner bell for serial waves of pandemic, and guaranteeing re-infection by some, which at last report, has a wee tendency to cause sudden cardiac arrest and death.
Now I'm really not feeling fearless and anxiety-free at all. Are you sure you're a real doctor?

5) And snow months means that "a week" of extra supplies, once again, isn't going to cut it. So maybe start talking about two, three, or six months. Maybe all year. Which, as people watch their 401Ks melt down daily, may bring on even more anxiety among the really susceptible-to-this-virus retirees. Don'tcha think???

¶ Twelve
"Again, this is not Hollywood-style “civil unrest” with people running, screaming, and looting while armed officers break up any groups larger than three..."
6) Oh, really??
Ever been to Chicagostan? Baltimoronia? Detroitistan? District of Criminals? St. Louis? Philly? Newark? South Central L.A.? Oakland? Anywhere, really.
I mean, FFS, Chicago has more shooting casualties every year than the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan ever did, even at the heights of those conflicts (a truth which really pisses OIF/OEF vets off royally when I point that out), and the people there don't even have Interceptor vests, MRAPs, M-4 rifles, close air support, or any supporting fires, most days.

Now, doc, have you ever been there (for any value of there) when they're pissed off?
Like when the market's closed.
Not the stock market; I mean the supermarket. Or supermarkets, plural.

Or when their EBT cards haven't been reloaded, because non-essential employees (and a lot of more essential ones) aren't coming to work to do that?
Didja figure they'd quietly starve in silence?
Or do you think they might go "shopping", with bricks, torches, and machetes?

What about when the police are running things at 1/2 or 1/3 staff?
How do you see civil unrest under those conditions, doc? Have we gotten maybe just a wee bit out of your depth of expertise here? Just asking. Nothing personal.

I've been in two, count 'em, two, city-wide riots. And those were little ones, compared to what we'd see in a months-long pandemic with societal degradation. Both of them affected Hollywood directly, BTW. So maybe a bit less pooh-poohing, and a little more shut-up-and-give-your-eyes-and-ears-a-chance-when-you-don't-know-WTF-you're-talking-about, if you catch my drift.

This will never actually happen. It is unpossible in America.
I read it on the Internet, so it must be true.

¶ Thirteen
" Not surprisingly, mortality has been much higher at the epicenter of the outbreak, where things happened very fast and new patients were met with already-exhausted healthcare resources. Remember that proper medical management, even if there’s no cure, is a significant factor in reducing the death toll. Medical centers and public health workers here in the U.S. are doing quite a lot of work behind the scenes to make sure that our resources are ready to meet the challenge, which is an advantage that the first round of patients in Wuhan didn’t have."
7) Got it.
American health care is first rate.
We can handle a major crisis.
We've got this.
You'll perhaps understand if I mention we've been sold these same Magic Beans at least once before. {Hint: It didn't work out well for the city involved. Or the hospital. Or the employees there. Definitely not for Patient Zero. Or, really...anyone. Maybe they didn't cover this in your anxiety-reducing and fear-allaying curriculum. Kind of a big hole in the course work, i'n'it?}

Now, I'm a fair guy. Most of the basic information, on point, from the good Dr. regarding the actual virus is good stuff.
So you should, indeed, still RTWT.
Glean the nuggets of actual good information out of it. There are a number of them there.

But be aware that when most people get beyond their expertise, they run neck-deep into spurious bullshit, and trip over their Confirmation Bias that "Things have never gotten SHTF bad, so they won't this time, either." Good for your blood pressure, yes, but not so good when you might be re-arranging deck chairs on the Titanic, and listening to the orchestra entertain the passengers milling about in life preservers on the Boat Deck. Especially not when you should have been ripping doors off their hinges and building rafts.

Maybe everything will be magical unicorns pooping strawberry-scented welfare checks and rubies the size of charcoal briquettes.
Or maybe things are going to get a lot worse, and we've only begun the initial tipover on that rollercoaster, with the bottom of things quite a long scary way down.

You get one chance to prepare ahead for Bad Times.
That ends once they happen.

Now, you tell me, would you rather be over-prepared, or under-prepared?
This exam will be graded pass/fail.

Thursday, February 27, 2020

My End Of The Stick

1) Orange County declared a health emergency yesterday. I have no wild idea what that means, and I've worked health care here for 20 years, including about 2/3rds of the E.R.s in the county. Best guess, it simply means TPTB in the county have officially freaked the f**k out about the slow roll out of Kung Flu we've been covering here for over a month, and which we warned our own hospital management about, in detail, over two weeks ago was going to put a serious cramp in our ability to treat patients, indefinitely, even if we never had to treat a single case of Kung Flu in person.

2) Observe the picture above this post. That's at the hospital with the largest ED in the county, 50+ beds. It's the second busiest ED in CA, most years, at over 120K visits/yr.
I have some wee experience inside that ER. So what's wrong with that pic?
Look at the sign.
English. Spanish. Nifty.

OC has a yuuuuuuuuuuge Asian population.
Garbage Garden Grove and Westminster were selected to receive Vietnamese refugees and boat people in 1975. There are now miles-long sections of the main boulevards where you can drive for miles and not see a single English sign. There is also a huge Loatian and Cambodian sub-community there and in adjacent cities.
Anaheim has Chinese in small mountains, both Mandarin-speaking from Beijing and the hinterlands, and Cantonese-speaking from the teeming coastal cities like Shanghai and Hong Kong. (What? You didn't know "Chinese" isn't a language? That there are ten major dialect groups , and that they are mutually unintelligible to each other with a hundred miles of distance, all across China? You're as smart as most health administrators.)
Fullerton is literally teeming with Koreans, who have nearly displaced Hispanics as the #2-ranking minority population. This is in no small part because of the state college and university there.
Irvine's student body, like all the UCs, has a huge Asian sub-population, both students and faculty.
Orange has a large population of Gujarati-speaking Indians.
Then there are Filipinos everywhere, as well as Indonesians, Thais, and every other stray cat and dog from Noah's Ark. Many of whom (especially elderly ones) speak about zero English.

You tell me, but it you're trying to get the word out on a potential pandemic, coming from mainland China, you'd think you'd take a stab at the larger ethnic populations, particularly posting signage for Mandarin and Cantonese speakers. So much for Providence Health Care's common sense. And they now own that hospital, and three affiliated large hospitals in the county. For just one example.
Pooch: screwed.

3) As we noted on these pages a few days ago, unless you were in China, or had direct known contact with known lab-tested infectees, the CDCidiots names "no identifiable risk". Problem being, with a 2-14 (and perhaps as much as 24- or 28-) day incubation period, during some amount of which you're contagious but asymptomatic, you could easily be infected, and be third-, fourth-, fifth-, or Nth-level removed from the person who the CDCidiots think is the main hazard. This kind of rank official stupidity is a recipe to grow this to full-blown pandemic in a few weeks.

4) A poster noted in comments to the previous post that there are about 930K hospital beds in the US, and 93K ICU beds. I have no basis to dispute those numbers, so we'll stipulate for the record they're reasonably accurate. But low-end, this is going to create 1.5M deaths nationwide, if it distributes like flu, and maintains a 3% mortality. (That's 30X the annual flu numbers.) And at 3% mortality, it will create up to 15 million hospitalizations, and 30M hospital visits.
And hospitals, IMH experience, run from 80%-100% full most of the time now, from heart attacks, strokes, trauma, and the other rainbow of human frailty that feeds me and keeps a roof over my head, as it has for over 25 years.

So trying to shoehorn another 15M patients into 930K hospital beds, and 93K ICU beds (our ICU, e.g., is frequently full-up most days already) is going to totally collapse health care in this country as you know it. For everything. For everyone.

Suffice it to say we won't be installing bunk beds in the hospital patient rooms.

We'll be on society-wide China-style lockdowns long before then, and IDC if you pop up hospital wards in gymnasiums or sports stadiums, because you aren't going to squat and crap out 1-2M doctors and nurses overnight to treat the patients in those beds.
Not. Going. To. Happen. Ever.

As Rummy famously told you in 2002, "You go to war with the army you have, not with the one you wish you had."

Those people are going to go untreated, or poorly treated, just like in China, and the rest of the Turd World.

Wrap your heads around that reality.

"So what, Aesop?"

So what is, a number of those people are going to die.
Numbers you're not used to seeing, even if it's "only" 3% or so.
(Which is sheer heaven compared to Ebola's 66-90% rate).
In a busy trauma center, 1-2 deaths is a busy day.
Now double that.
For all of this coming year, potentially.

And the people shafted volun-told to care for them are going to fail, miserably, probably get infected themselves due to lack of training, lack of experience, lack of equipment, and simply being overwhelmed. Making the whole problem that much worse.

Ad hoc treatment centers, if this turns into pandemic, are going to look like the MV Death Princess, minus the swimming pool and cocktail lounges.

I repeat:

There will be no ICU care if this goes full pandemic.

None. Nada. Zip. Niente. Bupkus. Zilch. Zero.

We fight for 5 beds/night in a busy trauma center, now, every day.
We routinely hold 1-4 ICU admits and 5 or more telemetry admissions all night long in the ER (making ER care that much harder to get too, for those sitting outside trying to get in - and that includes ambulances - sh*t rolls downhill), hoping that some patients either improve (and get downgraded) or else simply move to the morgue, in order to open up beds after morning shift change.
Sometimes that happens, sometimes it doesn't.

When it's really bad, we go on diversion, dumping all ambulances onto the other hospitals in the area.
Until they choke and close too.
Once everybody closes, everybody's open again. But there's still no beds, so they sit on a gurney, in the hall, for as long as it takes. Hours, even.

Add on 10-20 WuFlu victims/day/all of 2020, at least 1/3 to 1/2 of them needing admission, possibly ICU beds, and ventilator support, times every ER you ever heard of, and you can cancel Christmas.

If you're not at least ICU sick (the only thing worse is Forest Lawn sick, btw) when you come in, you're probably never going to get a hospital bed.

The beds we have will be used to try and save those almost dead.
Anything less is going to get re-routed to some half-assed minimally-staffed mega-disaster-plex, someplace like Angel Stadium, the Pond, or some other huge parking lot location closed for the duration because of public infection risks. Staffed by who-knows-who. Retirees and kids, if they're lucky. Maybe military and the Notional Guard, if they're screwed into it. Possibly nobody.
And run with the same management care, expertise, and diligence that gets you the Post Office, the DMV, and the TSA, 24/7/365. Good times.

If this gets that ugly, go long on shroud and bulldozer stocks.
Short sports franchises, theme parks, airlines, and resort hotel chains.
Think the travel industry starting on 9/12/01.

5) Now, therefore, based on what you now know, think on what you might want to be putting aside for yourselves for, say, the rest of 2020. Maybe into Spring 2021.

If you take care of yourself now, before it's a problem, you won't be part of it down the road, and I won't see your happy @$$ in my hospital, nor will any one of my colleagues.

Don't be That Guy. No, REALLY. Just DON'T. M'kay?

And remember this little chat and explanation the next time some official spokeshole starts blowing happygas on you from out between his butt cheeks, and tells you "American health care is first-rate, and we can handle this." Like they told you about Ebola, right before it showed up in Dallas in 2014. And American health care totally blew that right out its @$$. 

And on that cheerful note, I bid you happy thoughts.
Now go shopping.

And if this turns into a nothingburger, with only a mild impact, remember that the stuff doesn't go bad on your shelves. It just means you can eat for next year at last year's prices.

Qwitcherbitchin and get busy.

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Questions. I Get Questions...

Here's a good one:
Okay Aesop, Here I sit, 76 Years of experience. With stock of N 95 & 99 masks, latex or poly gloves, a months worth of food and a reasonable supply of ammunition.
Things I NEED to know."
1, How long will the virus exist in open air, after some unfortunate has sneezed?
2, Will soap and water kill the little bastards? Showering after a trip to the drugstore? What if any soap or cleaning agent for normal people should be used?
3, Will local water supplies, (municipal, chlorinated etc) be reasonably free of the virus? If not, what will kill it? Boiling, salt, A few drops of Chlorox / gallon?
4, Any suggestions from someone that knows a hell of a lot more than me???

1) From seconds, up to 10 minutes. It's a parabolic curve.

2) Soap and water, per se, kills next to nothing, it removes things and washes them down the drain. Hot enough water may kill some, incidental to washing.
3) Normal washing suffices for cleaning clothes. You don't need to be surgically sterile. Most virucidal agents will sterilize things adequately, including weak bleach solutions, or commercial wipes, isopropyl alcohol, etc., for the few things (shoe soles, personal items) you might be worried about. Local water supplies, under normal operations, will be potable, and virus-free, as they're usually chlorinated and UV-exposed, etc.. Check with your muni supplier on their process if unsure.
4) At some point, stop leaving your house. You may not be given a choice about this by TPTB. That point will likely be long after the horse has left the barn.

Rule of Thumb: coughing among people is going to become the new Drunk In Public, with a side-order of Black Death, socially.
If someone is, expect them to be literally bum-rushed the hell out and away from people, possibly with some ardor and community violence. I mean that. Noses will get punched, and eyes will get blackened, until people catch on.

This will stop being funny when people start dying.
Then the torches and pitchforks come out.

5) Wash. Your. Hands.
Most epidemics happen because you touch an infected object (doorknob, shopping cart, etc.) and then touch your mouth, nose, eyes, etc., or shove food in your maw.
that's how you get the common cold. The flu. Gastroenteritis. Etc.
Stop doing that.
Wash. Your. Hands. Before you touch yourself or feed yourself.
Kids (under age 25, at which point common sense grows in) are the lion's share of this problem, which is how epidemics propagate from September until summer recess, and peak from Thanksgiving to Easter, and multiple generations gather inside cramped houses and share everything, including swapping spit, literally.

That eliminates about 97% of the problem.
The rest is being coughed/sneezed on by infected people.

If you're not out in that, you don't get it.

It isn't going to blow in your window and ass-rape you.

And being 76, you're evidently at higher risk of serious complications from this thing, based on all available information.
70 and up seems to be where this thing starts really going to town on people, and it can get iffier for those in their 60s, especially with other co-morbidity conditions, like hypertension, diabetes, smoking issues, etc.

What Next?

If you missed it, read yesterday's post of CDC warnings.

If there are mass quarantines in effect at some point, you're going to need some things.
Some of them you know, and some of them you probably haven't made provision for.

1) Water
One gal/person/day, minimum.
If you're planning on city water continuing to flow, of luck there.
Hope ain't a plan.
Three days without water, and your kidneys will begin to shut down.

2) Food
Figure out a menu for a month. Focus on variety, and calories, ideally of easy-to-prepare food.
Now get to where you have six to twelve months' worth on hand.
If you're planning on the .Gov handing out MREs, of luck there.
Hope ain't a plan.

3) Rx and OTC meds.
Your pharmacy probably won't be open, and you may need to care for yourself and/or family members.
For any conditions you already have, and possibly also Kung Flu.

4) Lights and Heat/AC
If water stops, what makes you think power, gas, etc. will still continue?

5) Banking and cash reserves
Your landlord or bank is still going to expect you to make rent/mortgage payments.
Ditto for property taxes. Trash or utility bills. Any other regular payments.
Whether banks are still operational is an open question. Options, and a cash reserve float, would be prudent. Doubly so if this becomes you not going to work for an extended period, non-voluntarily.

6) Your home version of 9-1-1.
Protection from stupid people, because you've got something they didn't plan to have.
I don't care if, for you, that's a big dog, a baseball bat, a loaded .45, or prayer beads.
People are stupid now, pre-panic.
Think hurricane, that lasts months, here.
Imagine your stupidest near-neighbor, two months into being hungry every day.

Hopefully, nothing gets this bad, or lasts for very long.
But it might. And stay-at-home quarantines are what CDC is talking about when they talk about "community mitigation measures" and "tele-schooling, and tele-working".
And yet again, hope ain't a plan.

Notice I said nothing about isolation gear.
That's because
a) you won't have enough, ever
b) playing outside in a pandemic is about as bright as playing on the highway
c) the results are likely to be rather similar
Stay inside means stay inside.
If you live on acreage, don't leave the property. No one else in or out.)
Going out and about is simply rolling the dice with catching something you didn't have, until you got stupid.
Don't do that.

Someone really smart would start doing an inventory, and see where they're short, then start backfilling those holes in their abilities. That way you're the solution, and not part of the problem, if/when this becomes a thing.

And if it never does, nothing on this list goes bad overnight, and solves 99% of your problems in every other disaster/problem you're likely to face.

It's also too late to shop when they announce things are shutting down now, like they will, with barricades and check points already up.

So decide whether you'd rather be a month early, or five minutes too late.
You only get one chance to make that choice, and it's now.

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

CDC: Now Hear This

h/t Borepatch

(ABCNNBCBS) "CDC warns Americans of 'significant disruption' from coronavirus. 
U.S. health officials issued a strong warning about novel coronavirus on Tuesday.
Until now, health officials said they'd hoped to prevent community spread in the U.S. But following community transmissions in Italy, Iran and South Korea, health officials believe the virus may not be able to be contained at the border and that Americans should prepare for a "significant disruption."

"Ultimately, we expect we will see community spread in this country," Dr. Nancy Messonnier, director of the CDC's National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, said Tuesday at a news conference.
Messonnier added that Americans should channel their concern about the virus into preparing for its arrival. 
Officials said that Americans should continue to practice protective measures -- hand-washing, staying home from work when sick -- while local officials should make sure systems are in place -- teleschooling, working remotely -- should face-to-face interactions need to be reduced. Health care facilities should be prepared to increase telehealth systems and delay elective surgeries should the need arise, they said.
Messonnier noted that every community's response will be different. What's appropriate for a community with local transmission may not be appropriate for a community in which no local transmissions has occurred. 
So far there has been no community spread in the United States. Forty-three people repatriated on charter flights from Wuhan, China, and from the Diamond Princess cruise ship have tested positive for COVID-19, and 15 cases have been detected in the U.S. via the country's health system. Among those 57 cases, only two involved human transmission in the United States, and those transmissions were among members of the same household. 
Health Secretary Alex Azar told reporters at a Tuesday afternoon press conference that U.S. would be undertaking "the most aggressive containment efforts in modern history"
"We are going to continue taking those measures but we are realistic that we will see more cases and as we see more cases we might have to take community mitigation efforts," he said.
If the White House's request for funds is improved, the $1.25 billion will be earmarked for accelerated vaccine development, the procurement of equipment and supplies and to support preparedness and response activities, according to the White House Office of Management and Budget."
 For those having any difficulty parsing officialese, let me be crystal clear:

1) Kung Flu is coming.
2) It's going to affect your everyday life for some weeks to months.
3) Including up to 3% of people who'll probably die. Hopefully less, but...
4) Quarantines, like closing schools, businesses, and public events and activities, are in the cards.
(That's what "community mitigation efforts" are. Capice?)
5) That means you won't be going to the game, the movies, the mall, or the supermarket. Possibly not even work and school.
6) The CDC just told you to get your collective sh*t in one bag, and start preparing to bunker in at home for an extended period of time. EXTENDED. Which means as long as "for 2020". Possibly ALL of it. It's now February. Let that sink in. Act intelligently now to avoid a panic.
7) Don't even think about going to the hospital for this. You'll be #463,197 when you get there, and we'll be serving #18. If you're lucky.

If you want the rest of the story from the rest of the world, condensed, and with the politics hacked out, the excerpt continues below.

We'll talk about this further later on.

Otherwise, that is all.
Carry on.

"At the same time, Bruce Aylward, an epidemiologist who led a team of international experts in China, said that the epidemic is slowing in China.
In addition to a falling rate of new infections, hospital beds are opening up and there's no wait for tests at fever clinics, Aylward explained. It's impossible to know if this trend of decreasing cases will continue, but for now, Aylward thinks China's response to the outbreak, which included rapidly building hospitals and imposing strict lockdown measures in cities hardest hit by the virus, is working.
"The implications are that you can actually effect the course of this disease, but it takes a very aggressive and tough program," Aylward said at a WHO news briefing in Geneva on Tuesday.
As of Tuesday, China's National Health Commission said it's received more than 80,000 reports of confirmed cases and 2,696 deaths on the Chinese mainland. More than 83% of the cases and all but one death were in Hubei province, which includes the city of Wuhan. Chinese authorities have since placed the city under lockdown.
An additional 121 confirmed infections have been reported in the special administrative regions of Hong Kong and Macao as well as Taiwan, with two deaths in Hong Kong and one in Taiwan, according to China's National Health Commission.
WHO experts in China are currently reporting a 2% to 4% fatality rate in Wuhan and a 0.7% fatality rate outside the city. For mild cases of the disease, there's a roughly two-week recovery rate, and for more severe cases, the recovery rate is between three and six weeks.
COVID-19 causes symptoms similar to pneumonia, ranging from the mild, such as a slight cough, to the more severe, including fever and difficulty breathing, according to the CDC. There is no vaccine yet for the virus.
The outbreak of the new coronavirus has continued to spread overseas, with at least 2,069 confirmed cases in at least 33 other countries, resulting in at least 33 fatalities, according to the latest data from the WHO, which has declared the epidemic a global health emergency.
Although the virus "absolutely" has the potential to become a pandemic, WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said it's still too soon to classify it that way.
"For the moment, we are not witnessing the uncontained global spread of this virus and we are not witnessing large-scale severe disease or deaths," he told reporters at a press conference in Geneva on Monday. "Does this virus have pandemic potential? Absolutely it has. Are we there yet from our assessment? Not yet."  
The heightened warning came on the same day that officials said a relative of a U.S. service member in South Korea had been diagnosed with the novel coronavirus. In a press release, U.S. Forces Korea announced that it had been informed by South Korea's Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that a military dependent living in Daegu had tested positive for COVID-19.
It's the first time a U.S. Forces Korea-related individual has been infected with the virus, according to the press release.
South Korean Defense Minister Jeong Kyeong-doo said as of Monday there were 13 South Korean military personnel infected.
Partly as a result, U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper said Monday that the United States and South Korea were considering scaling back an upcoming joint military command exercise.
Japan has the third-highest national total, when including the nearly 700 cases diagnosed aboard the Diamond Princess cruise ship.
The cruise ship has been quarantined at Yokohama port since Feb. 5 and 695 people on board have tested positive for COVID-19. Three passengers have died, all of whom were Japanese nationals and in their 80s, according to Japan's Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare.
All those who have been infected were brought ashore for treatment, while the rest were confined to their rooms until the quarantine period ends. Passengers who have tested negative for the virus have been disembarking the ship since last Wednesday.
Clusters of coronavirus cases in Italy and Iran have raised concerns of the global spread of the outbreak.
As of Tuesday, Italy's Ministry of Health had recorded 322 confirmed cases and 10 fatalities. The majority of those cases were in the northern Lombardy region, prompting some towns to suspend public gatherings, demonstrations and sporting events and to close schools, businesses and restaurants.
The initial cases in Italy were linked to Chinese tourists, according to the health ministry. Syracuse University alerted students Tuesday that it was closing its Florence campus for the semester and helping the 342 students who were studying there return home.
"We believe this is absolutely necessary to reduce the risk of our students being unable to leave Italy due to Italian containment efforts," the school said in a statement.
Switzerland and Austria, which border northern Italy, reported their first COVID-19 cases Tuesday.
At least 95 cases have been confirmed in Iran, along with 15 deaths, the country's state-run news agency reported.
Schools were closed across the country on Tuesday for a second day, and health workers have begun a daily sanitizing of public buses and the Tehran metro.
Among those infected is Iran's deputy health minister, Iraj Harirchi, who is head of the national headquarters tasked with containing the coronavirus outbreak. He had strongly opposed suggestions to quarantine the hard-hit city of Qom.
Meanwhile, a tourist hotel on the island of Tenerife in Spain's Canary Islands has been placed under quarantine after an Italian guest tested positive for COVID-19. The guest, a doctor from Italty's virus-hit Lombardy region, went to a local hospital on Monday and was placed in isolation along with his wife, who tested negative for the disease, public health officials for the Canary Islands told ABC News.
Around 1,000 guests staying at the Costa Adeje Palace hotel have been confined to their rooms while health workers test everyone for the virus on Tuesday. All samples will be sent to Madrid for testing, officials told ABC News.
So far, Spain has two confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus, according to the WHO. "

Raw Product

From CTH, here are a couple of YouTube videos regarding the effects, direct medical and secondary economic, of Kung Flu on the U.S., from interviews with US Trade Rep. Peter Navarro, and the four talking point items the U.S. is focusing on in response.

Watch and learn.

Hate Lines?

h/t In The Middle Of The Right

Gorilla, 800#, 1 each

h/t Silicon Graybeard

On SiG's blog last night, this excerpt and ensuing discussion, sourced to commenter and fellow-blogger LL:
"President Xi went on the record, essentially saying that it was an accidental release from their own bug factory yesterday. Some media outlets picked it up. If the White House suggests that it's an engineered product, I think that the DJI will tank and drag a lot of stocks with it."
RTWT. Including LL's original post on the topic.

That may be what happened, and what will, but I think ascribing this as any sort of admission by Xi - yet - goes a teeny bit beyond what can be sourced.

But there's a much bigger problem if the underlying assumption is true, and that China has let a bio-weapon slip past the goalie and hit the streets, worldwide.

Such would pretty much open the ball on economic and diplomatic sanctions and other retaliation against China amongst nuclear powers and expulsion from the UN Security Council, for openers. And then things get ugly.

But let's grant LL's premise, arguendo.

Nota bene the dearth of any authoritative scientific commentary from the CDC, HHS, ASAMRIID, Korea, Japan, Oz, Italy, or WHO, et al, about something that should be rapidly confirmable with nothing more complicated than microscopy and basic biolab analysis, and something that was or should have been known to them all nearly two months ago.

So there would be two possibilities:

A) TPTB are capable (and did) recognize an obvious bio-engineered virus escape into the world at large.
B) TPTB are not capable (and did not) recognize the escape of an obvious bio-engineered virus into the world at large.

Either way, the follow-on conversations should be breathtaking.

I'll grab some chips and a cold drink.
Talk amongst yourselves.

And we repeat for emphasis:
Regardless of the biological effects of this virus, and the potential for direct pandemic results, or not, the second- and third order effects are likely to be far, far more significant, far-reaching, and long-lasting.

If you aren't mentally playing 14D chess with this stuff in your heads, you're already behind the curve.

Monday, February 24, 2020

Stop Me If You've Heard This One...

Go to the linked pdf to see this readable. Warning: May induce nausea.

Oh, the whole COVID-19 Kung Flu thing keeps on getting better.
CDC COVID-19 Quarantine Algorithm

Per CDC, unless the person of interest is actually direct from Hubei, China, or a healthcare worker exposed to someone proven by laboratory test to have COVID-19, the risk is assumed to be moderate to nothing.

A person from here, and who was infected by someone else here, who could have full-blown Kung Flu any day now, is dictated by this asinine algorithm to present NO INDENTIFIABLE RISK(!!). "The Great and Powerful Oz Has Spoken!"

No, really.

This happy horseshit from the same @$$clowns who told you in 2014
"Ebola will never get here"
"If it gets here, we can handle it"
"Any hospital with isolation can do this".

When you keep asking retards the same questions, it's a mark of insanity to expect different results.
And when you're banging your head against the wall, it feels so good to stop.
As I told you in the Gilligan Effect comments, the solution to the castaways' ongoing problem is simply to kill Gilligan in S1E1.

The CDC is apparently populated entirely by Gilligans.

Kabuki Psuedosecurity Theater.
You have to admire the chutzpah of people doing spot checks for
fever for a disease that sometimes doesn't present with fever, and
has a 2-14 DAY latent incubation stage. Almost like they were
deliberately TRYING to spread the infection worldwide within
 a couple of months.

See how long before this inescapable problem bears permanent, ongoing fruit.

(80/20 CDC stands for "C**ks**kers Dumber than Clowns".)

The Empire Strikes Back

From Comments, the FedIdiots have responded to Costa Mesa's federal lawsuit and the resultant temporary summary federal injunction last week that kept FedGov baboons from dumping 50 coronavirus infected persons into a totally unsuitable and unprepared abandoned Camp Retard in the heart of Orange County CA today.

Allow me to summarize their case to the federal court:

I've gotta say, it's a pretty ballsy move to respond to the court by inferring that the judge who slapped you silly in the first place should lift the injunction, based on the contention that she was a clueless moron for issuing that injunction.
"Your Honor should lift this injunction, because the court was clearly deranged when it issued it. We therefore request that you ignore the pointed questions from the Boobs of Boobville in daring to question our supreme right to do whateverinhell we wish, without any public input or oversight whatsoever, because FedGov. Signed, Poindexter X. Busybody, Federal Bureau of Asininity"


I'm pretty sure that's a great way to get your case thrown out of federal court so hard and fast it doesn't even hit the courthouse steps before it lands in the gutter, and to ensure that the injunction will become a permanent stay.

I could be mistaken, though. Perhaps they've found a federal judge who enjoys being told that she was unequivocally stupid and clueless when she issued her previous ruling.

Go, Team Fucktard!

PSA: The Ten Essentials

For the seven people who read this blog, and the 8 billion who don't, who don't know what The Ten Essentials are, we provide the following list as a public service:

Ten Essentials: The Classic List

  1. Map
  2. Compass
  3. Sunglasses and sunscreen
  4. Extra clothing
  5. Headlamp or flashlight
  6. First-aid supplies
  7. Firestarter
  8. Matches
  9. Knife
  10. Extra food
We bring this up, because of stories like this one over at Zero's blog, better titled: "Darwinian Selection Thwarted Again", and a reminder that anyone who ventures off the paved road into the bushes so much as ten feet, who doesn't have these items or equivalent on their person as a matter of course is not "sort of a survivalist", but rather, exactly a jackhole moron, best used as a food supplement for apex predators. No, really.

It should be noted that of the above list, the Nitwit Couple in question possessed exactly zero items on it, per all accounts. And they live in the Bay Area. Now, see if you can guess why Nancy Pelosi keeps getting re-elected there.

We further share that we do not even venture to so much as Disneyland, from which we could walk home if necessity presented itself, without all ten items on our person (yes, even the knife; there are ways, gentle readers ;) ). Let alone travels farther afield than that.

{For the Moron Posse, this is just the Ten Essentials, not the Everything-You-Need Ultimate Survival Kit For Bugging Out Forever. If this is news to you, you're not tall enough for this post. We note again, this in in reference solely to the Nitwit couple above, who possessed not one single item of it, not for surviving the Zompocalypse after falling off your sled in the Iditarod. FFS, get a clue.}

And we further point out that you may rely on this testimony that while watching the video of search and rescue drones retrieving this pair of nitwits from the clutches of a NorCal dayhike that started out as a three-hour tour, our most fervent wish for the pair was not "how wonderful that they were found alive", but rather

"Put them back! Mother Nature isn't finished with them yet!"

Don't Be Those Guys.

We love it when perennial troll morons pathetically try to sharpshoot our wisdom, by posting their idea of a "better" picture, and predictably does another epic faceplant:

Word To Your Mother, Cub Scout:

Our picture was illustrated by an assemblage of gear from REI, a high-end outdoors chain that supplies things like expeditions to Mt. Everest and such, as well as millions of hardcore outdoors enthusiasts, and contains the exact Ten Essentials (and then some) proven over decades by The Mountaineers, who have promulgated the very concept of Ten Essentials since Ever.
Your gear was sourced from Wal-Mart, entirely from the cheap China-made schlock they retail.

The GPS in our picture is better (and pricier) than the entire contents of your "better" picture, and the SOL space blanket in our sourced pic will outlast the tarp and backpack in yours. And if you tried looking at our picture, you will note that it has, indeed, "multiple sources of combustion". I posted the picture because it is the exact Ten Essentials (plus a couple of extras) . (You could have looked it up yourself, if only you could follow links.)  Not because it's the Everything-You-Need Ultimate Survival Kit. This is Strawman Fallacy stuff for mid-level morons. So much for brilliant analysis from the Halfbright Scholar of the Great White North.

I make this blog look easy because I'm far beyond your 23 IQ points.
Go back to telling us that hobby drones will never be weaponized, because it's unpossible.
And stop making it so darned easy to point out your foolisheness. I hate always being the one to kick the retard. And it always takes twice as long to explain things to the Short-Bus Kid. I wish that didn't always turn out to be you, with a tedious predictability, but it is. Over and over again.

Meantime, don't quit your day job, Homer. And enjoy the extra blog-looks you'll get for free just for being Comedy Relief. Again.

Sunday, February 23, 2020

Semper Fi

75 years ago, today.

Semper Fi, devil dogs.

Top. Men.

If some of them seem familiar, you may have met them when they were the
2104 Ebola Response Planning Group. Why break up a winning team??

So, originally, the quarantine camps (and, presumably treatment centers) for those exposed to or positive for coronavirus were supposed to be Travis AFB in NorCal, and March ARB is So Cal.

Which, being both long-time military bases, and former SAC bases, have built in safety, security, and seclusion, plus obviously being airbases, making transport in and out stupid simple, and with the post Cold War drawdown, both bases having ample unused space to erect an ad hoc quarantine camp within the confines.

And then, 50-IQ (I'm being sporting) federal officials with CDC et al got some wild hare soopergenius idea to suddenly move 50 people known to be infected with full-blown coronavirus infection to the former Fairview Developmental Center in Costa Mesa, once a giant campus for short-bus kids, and abandoned for years recently. (Because who wouldn't want to dump a bunch of people suffering this year's probable global pandemic right in the center of Orange County a few miles from Disneyland, instead of on a dingy old military base with SAC-level fences and perimeter security, amirite?)

And then the city of Costa Mesa, in which it is located, got wind of the scheme, and they asked a few teensy questions.

Questions like:
1) The facility has been abandoned and idle for years, nigh onto a decade. The toilets don't flush, the water doesn't run, there's no power, and nothing's been in service for years. So how, exactly, do you propose to get water, power, sewage and waste disposal service, and a few million other things there up and running, in 24 hours or less? Were you going to magically pull all that out of your ass, Uncle Sugar,...or what?

2) What's your containment plan for this? The facility, in the middle of residential neighborhoods, is contiguous to high-density apartments and a public golf course, with two schools nearby. Just wondering?

3) So, if something - anything - happens there once you bring in the infected patients, and someone dials 9-1-1, how, exactly, did you contemplate we're going to respond to the scene of a known international pandemic biohazard site? And where would we take new victims, as opposed to just leaving them right there?

4) What local hospital(s) will be co-operating with and assisting with care there?

5) How were you planning on dealing with the metric f**ktons of biohazard waste?

6) How many people did you imagine you could put there, and for how long?

7) What's your master plan for decon when and if the site is closed down?

And a few hundred other basic and pertinent questions, to which, apparently, the answer from the Black Gaping Maw of Fedholia was, "Fuck all if we know!"

And then sanity made an appearance, and a federal judge stepped in at the request of the city in question, issuing an immediate restraining order on executing any such jackassical "plan", until such time as the feds have the slightest wild clue about WTH they're doing, and how they'll accomplish it, and can explain it all in open court in blistering detail.

The question I want answered is What effing jet-fuel genius thought they could just whistle up a derelict abandoned state facility, and turn it into a biohazard refugee camp and instant hospital, on an effing whim?!?!?
And WTH would anyone suddenly decide that two underutilized former SAC bases were "unsuitable" for people known to be infected with Kung Flu???
This smacks of bureaucratic retards finger-banging the pie because they could, and dollars to donuts, from 3000 miles away, in a windowless bastion of stupidity impenetrable to common sense.
Even using Alcatraz Federal Prison makes more bare sense than this, and it's been derelict for nearly as long, but if anyone is serious, the correct answer is either an under-used military base, exactly as originally planned, or a scratch-built purposefully-designed biohazard facility out in the desert, miles from anyone else, surrounded by layers of concertina containment and a moat.

No one's copping to burping out this asinine plan to dump them into vacant acreage amidst millions of people literally just yards away, which leads one to believe someone in Washington District of Criminals is spilling industrial quantities of blood out of the fresh cleat holes in his own junk right about now.

The inescapable answer is that one of the former residents of Camp Retard grew up, got a job with FEMA or the CDC, and thought moving 50-2000 infected patients into his old Camp Snoopy home would work like a charm. Because FedGov.

Apparently thinking about things like personnel, operations, logistics, and medical basics, not to mention site security, was never thought of. Not once. Not even as an afterthought.

And just to be scrupulously fair, there is probably no place whatsoever in Los Angeles or Orange Counties - none at all - where anyone with more than two functional brain cells (which automagically de-selects 99.98% of government workers out of the decision tree) could or should contemplate placing people with coronavirus, for any articulable reason on God's green earth, that would withstand five seconds' intelligent scrutiny. Unless you were a military biowar planner trying to optimize the spread of the virus in about 0.2 seconds.

Sleep tight, America.
Once again, we've put our biggest dumbasses and @$$clowns right in the lead on this outbreak.
What could possibly go wrong?

And when you start getting all black helicopter about how this started in China, try to remember that their government officials are even less sophisticated and intelligent than ours.


Dear FedGov: Word to your mother:
It's bad enough that you clearly are using baboons throwing darts to come up with your emergency plans, in about 99.99832% of documented actual events.
But it's probably far worse to find out, publicly like this, that both the baboons, and their keepers, are being fed a steady diet of crack cocaine, LSD, and Thunderbird.

Fed Response: The Empire Strikes Back

Sunday Music: Girl From Ipanema

One of the top jazz hits in history, covered more than anything but the Beatles "Yesterday", a number one in '63, and bossa nova-smooth, sexy, and timeless, crooned by non-professional and virtual novice Astrud Gilberto, the band leader's wife (because unlike his wife, he couldn't sing in English). The Getz/Gilberto album this came from became the first jazz album to win a Grammy as Album Of The Year, and still deserves it in any year.