Thursday, February 13, 2020

Quarantine Math (For Common Core Grads)

Okay, kids, some folks don't get this yet (no finger-pointing) so let's break it down.

If you have, e.g., 3711 people on a cruise ship, and you get 20 new cases of corona virus per day, because the ship is essentially one common cootie-pit of shared air- and water-handling (not to mention food service), within 90 days, half the ship is infected. Since the infection curve will be bell-curve shaped to that point, shortly after that, everyone on the ship has it. (Attention, Math Nerds and Purists: Relax. Don't quibble over a difference without a distinction, nor get stuck on stupid. We're doing napkin math here, not quadratic equations.) If the disease course lasts 10 days, and it incubates for up to 14 days, that's a nominal 114-day quarantine, to wait it out after the last person is infected, with 3711 infected, and 111+ dead. (In the case of the MV Death Princess, where most of the passengers are aged over 60, the death toll will probably run into the multiple hundreds if they let everyone get it).

Conversely, if you brilliantly take everyone off  the motherf**king ship, and house them separately in individual or couples' quarters at dockside, you get the initial cases, no additional ones, and you do a quarantine of more like 24 days, instead of 114. And you can pull the infected into secure treatment areas immediately, so they don't spread it any further, once they're identified. With a death toll in the single digits.

Other than tentage, and temporary facilities, the cost is exactly the same per day, so you save 80 days' quarantine costs. Oh, and you also save hundreds of lives. Which, at least in countries that have never used live women and children for bayonet practice, is generally considered the whole point of the exercise.

During which time you can also have hazmat crews laboriously and excruciatingly decon the whole damned ship, while the locus of actual virus is still relatively small.

The nominal cost for Option A is
3711 x $2M@ for dead, infected, pain and suffering, mental cruelty, plus the cost to scrap the MV Death Princess out at sea, and they went for about $400M when they were built twenty years ago.

Call it US$8Billion, round numbers.
That bankrupts Carnival Lines, and cripples Lloyd's of London and twenty lesser insurance carriers by June, and pretty much cancels ocean cruises worldwide until further notice.

Which is another $126B economic impact, including $41B in salaries and jobs worldwide.
Double that $8B to Japan's treasury, for the role of the Japanese government in fomenting the disaster in the first place. After they covered themselves in glory with Fukushima.

This is on a par with what happened to the air travel and hotel industries after 9/11.

Or, they could stop being fuckwits, forthwith.

The nominal cost for Option B is
$100M, give or take, all in, for the miniscule number of deaths, minimal suffering, and decon of the ship.

So, for the clever Clydes out there, if you're the head of Carnival Cruise Lines, and/or the Japanese Minister for Not Being A Death Camp Guard Fuck-up, which bill would you rather pay?

Nota bene: The International Court in the Hague is awaiting your decision, and the navies of China, India, and several NATO countries (none of them with fond memories of your earlier dealings with them) are soon to be steaming towards Yokohama, in case you need help pulling your head out of your ass.

Tick, tick, tick...


Eaton Rapids Joe said...

I suspect the Japanese figure the odds of people from the ship going Chicken-Run is too high to risk.

The ship has limited, well defined avenues of egress.

A parking lot, not so much.

What is a fair trade-off, saving time, money and the lives of many on the ship versus 1, 10 or sixty making a break for the weeds.

What number balances out the math?

The Japanese obviously decided that the only acceptable number of chicken-runners is zero.

Aesop said...

Because, apparently, no one in Japan knows how to use fences, concertina wire, and armed guards on a quarantine site?

This explains the prison breaks they experience in Japan...oh, wait, that never happens.

Tell us another one.

And note that nowhere did I assume you just let quarantined folks wander around freely, and hop a cab.

The ship "solution" ensures everyone gets the virus.
That's why it's asinine.

The quarantine camp (which is exactly what they do with Ebola in farking Africa) ensures that the infection stays with the infected, and goes no farther.

Also, with the ship plan, if you don't have it yet, it's in your interest to try to escape.
With the shoreside quarantine camp, if you're uninfected, it's in your best interest to stay right the f**k where you are.

And either way, you're either enforcing the quarantine out of the barrel of a gun, or it's a joke, so this isn't that big a deal.

This ain't rocket surgery.

Charles in VA said...

Being a Navy vet, I can tell you right now...if I WANT off a ship? I'll damned sure get off the ship.


Anonymous said...

The ship plan was a reasonable defensible solution to an unknown problem for about three to five days. They should have realized what was happening then, and changed course. It sounds like a lot of the crew are Indian, and hopefully their government will work for the crew. We should be working with the Japanese to follow your plan, or at least repatriate the American passengers back to our quarantine camps on US soil. Yes it will be expensive, so sue the cruise line and the passengers.

If we do get those cruise ship passengers, we will actually double, and probably triple or more the number of people in the US with COVID-2019? --- 20 plus whoever shows symptoms in the next 14 days .vs. 14 known US cases, with twelve of them evacuated from China.

Thankfully we have been able to control the person to person spread here in the US so far. It sounds like the CDC thinks that may break down soon?

Anonymous said...

All this apparent incompetence going around with this virus begs the question... incompetence or intent? Based upon my experience dealing with public and private bureaucracies my bet is on sheer incompetence. Being skilled at your job stopped being a pre-req for promotion some time ago in large organizations.

About the only thing I firmly believe is that no info is to be fully trusted (least of all 'official' information) but all must be kept in mind when trying to track this thing.

BTW.. you may want to start saving stuff you see online. I've already observed some non-official information disappear. Maybe it was bogs.. maybe not.. nice to have a reference.

Larry said...

Gaijin Chinese is an oxymoron. Gaijin generally means white foreigner. There are other terms for Chinese.

Aesop said...

I lived there for a year.
Gaijin is a foreigner. Any foreigner.
That they have other slurs for Chinese is irrelevant.

Roman Daoist said...

They're not being quarantined on the ship; they're being kept out of Japan. If the japs don't do multi-culti, (and they don't), especially from China, then they sure as figs aren't going to be treating foreigners with the sickness.

Oh konichi wa. Yoo sick? Shiiit... .. OK, bai bai.

Ominous Cowherd said...

Japs obviously aren't worried about Carnival's financial health, nor the fates of the uninvited furriners on the plague ship. Why should they be? The company and the tourists aren't Japs.

Aesop said...


You might think that's clever, but it isn't.
That's a distinction without a difference.

The polite term for that in the patois is double-talk.
In earthier terminology, it's a synonym for rose fertilizer.

The Japanese are insuring everyone on that ship gets the virus, and taking the inevitable death toll for that course of action up two orders of magnitude, at least.

That remains a crime against humanity, and I hope it bites them in the ass, hard.
I wasn't kidding earlier: they can't go toe to toe with China's PLAN, and if the ChiComs tell the Norks to lob a few test missiles over Hokkaido and into the Pacific to make a point, there's fuck-all Japan can do about it, and it all gets a wee bit more interesting in a hurry.

Borepatch said...

Gosh, why do people not trust governmental institutions anymore?

ADS said...

Historically, the Japanese don't particularly care about crimes against humanity. Their two national pastimes seem to be war crimes and bizzare pornography.
I also don't see anybody's naval forces steaming to the rescue of a boatful of cruisegoing boomers. As far as I'm concerned, if you cruise to asia in a ship crewed by asians you pays yer money and takes your chances. With the state of the US fleet it's a coin toss to see if a ship can actually make it across the pacific without running into a supertanker in broad daylight.

Aesop said...

It's not a boatload of "boomers".
It's a boatload of wealthy Chinese nationals, and a crew of mostly Indian nationals, neither of whose countries have any love lost for Japan, and both of whom are nuclear powers with growing navies and a desire for a larger role in world affairs. They're also both 5000 miles closer to things than the U.S., which, when last seen, was hard-pressed to miss container ships (some of the least agile nor fast ships afloat) with a modern man-o'-war.
This is how things go sideways in a hurry.
{cf. Russo-Japanese War}

Borepatch said...

Oh, come on Aesop. If it's a choice between DIVERSITY and not driving warships into, well, the only tiny dot in the middle of a vast, empty sea, well it's kid of like eggs and omelets. Amirite?

At least they haven't driven the aircraft carrier my son-in-law is deployed on into every rusty merchant scow in the Western Pacific. Yet.

Anonymous said...

Fill the ship with fuel and food. Send them on their way.

Gunjin said...

"It's a boatload of wealthy Chinese nationals, and a crew of mostly Indian nationals, ..."

Then literally, what do we care? Let them die. They would do the same to us without hesitation. Time to start returning favors.

Anonymous said...

And the difference between you, and Herr Mengele, is...what, exactly?
What about the Americans on board? Fuck them too?
I hope someone shows the same sensible attitude towards you when it hits your hometown. What the hell, you've got a 97% chance on your own, right?

TCK said...

The reason we here in America should care is twofold:

One: The fact that there are American citizens onboard. And for the callously pragmatic, we have:

Two: China and Japan are already coming close to military conflict due to China's bullshit 'fake island' strategy to steal both international ocean real-estate, and the territorial waters of its neighbors (a strategy which Japan has been especially targeted by). Adding some 'Unit 731 shenanigans' on top of that could be the push that makes China decide to go all-in.

Angantyr said...


Yeah, I was wondering if the Japs were bringing back Unit 731 for an encore presentation to the world...

nick flandrey said...

From my inbox today, out of the EMR-ISAC newsletter--

I haven't had a chance to review this yet, but for those interested...

"CDC releases interim coronavirus guidance for EMS and 911
This week the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published “Interim
Guidance for Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Systems and 911 Public Safety
Answering Points (PSAPs) for 2019-nCoV in the United States.”
The CDC recommends 911 and emergency medical dispatch screen callers for signs,
symptoms and risk factors of 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). Dispatch should
report potential COVID-19 cases to EMS before their arrival. EMS can evaluate
individuals and transport them as a Person Under Investigation if necessary.
The interim guidance suggests specifc modifcations to EMS practices for patient
assessment, PPE use and aerosol-generating procedures (e.g., intubation, CPR,
etc.). They discuss transporting patients, documentation of patient care, cleaning
transport vehicles and recommends using the “EMS Infectious Disease Playbook”
(PDF, 1.1 MB) as a good resource.
The CDC also touches on EMS employer responsibilities and describes the interim
guidance as a way for employers to assess current practices, procedures and
training to ensure they are all up-to-date. This sections talks about donning and
dofng PPE, task-specifc training and education, use of respiratory devices, and
ensuring you have adequate supplies and well-trained decontamination staff.
Both PSAP and EMS departments responding to patients at ports of entry or
airports that are CDC-designated quarantine stations should be in contact with
the local CDC quarantine station staff and let them know of potential cases. It is
a good idea to familiarize your staff with the CDC’s interim guidance and make
contact with the quarantine station before you need them.
The World Health Organization (WHO) produced an online course intended for public
health professionals, incident managers and personnel working on the COVID-19.
It is available through the WHO’s online open learning platform for emergencies.
Registration is required; see the short introductory video for an overview"



Aesop said...

Thanks, nick.

I can count the number of times I've seen EMS with anything more than gloves on, on my thumbs, in the past 20 years.

Times any 10 ambulance companies. Including municipal FDs.

It's simply not gonna happen.
They're gonna get corona virus, and they're gonna spread corona virus.
It's how they roll.

Virginia Granny said...

As a follow-on to Aesop's comments re medical supplies:

Small Quote (out of a very long article):

"If nothing else, the coronavirus offers business and government leaders another reason to continue the process of decoupling the U.S. economy from China. And it also offers a warning for those who seek to simply relocate production to another developing country in order to exploit cheap labor and lax regulations. All of these short-term money-saving decisions come with long-term risk.

“ 'If there’s a silver lining, it’s that this threat could inspire more diversification of supply chains,' Dayen writes."

And in the meantime … ?

nick flandrey said...

"And in the meantime … ?"

--pay the high prices on ebay for expired product that was surplussed so that people could spend their budgets.

Masks don't magically stop filtering particles, but the rubber straps can degrade, and foam nose strips can deteriorate. However, a simple inspection can determine if those things are true.

My own supplies are made of of mostly expired (on paper anyway) materiel that is still perfectly functional.

Just last week someone paid $110K USD for a trailer full of expired masks. Their intent was to sell them in Hong Kong. This is a trailer that sat for 5 years when no one wanted the masks at any price. Habitat for Humanity ReStore has had donated masks on the shelf in job lot quantities for a year or more and finally marked them down to 12c per mask JUST before the news broke.... NONE left now. I checked. Coincidentally, as I check out my stocks of masks, almost all the boxes have a Habitat price tag...


nick flandrey said...

"They're gonna get corona virus, and they're gonna spread corona virus"

-that is extremely unfortunate.

On a related note, people, y'all need to get your medical preps in order. NO ONE in china is getting regular everyday medical care. The same will be true here if this gets out into the population. And ER and Urgent Care are festering cess pools NOW, who wants to sit in one with WuFlu on the loose? I'll be skyping my Dr and hoping I have the supplies in hand for whatever he recommends if I have a problem.

If there is something you can't live without, make sure you have enough on hand. Your guns fell in a river, your monthly pill bottle can fall in your toilet... just saying, clumsy you... just pay for it yourself so you aren't committing some sort of fraud.

That's assuming you haven't been working diligently to build up your supply by renewing early....

Seriously, time is short if this gets out.


Bezzle said...

> Ike hated Germans, and had millions of surrendered
> soldiers exposed, starved and crowded to death.

That's garbage. (Someone's been reading the thoroughly debunked "Other Losses", or some neo-adolf site raiding it for bullshitoids.)

Aesop said...

Taken care of, mike.

Anonymous said...

About mass cremations that attempt to show how under reported the deaths truly are.