Friday, February 7, 2020

Rampant Speculation, And Unavoidable Realities

Borepatch notes we will see how bad this virus outbreak is in about a month.

Au contraire.
Best Case:
Those 5 U. S. cases squeaked in, and that's it.

It's happened here before. It might happen again.
Middle Case:
It's simply ordinary corona virus, with a 3% death rate (on average), and it spreads apace, like they do. 
Actually, we'll know sooner than a month. Those 5 initial U.S. cases started cropping up here about 14 days ago, so we'll start seeing second-tier infections soon, if there are any. And if both our governmental overlords, and the ABCNNBCBS media, decides we should know about it. If we get 10-20 new cases shortly, we're probably screwed.

At that rate, absent any other mitigating factors, it's nationwide by around Christmas this year, and perhaps far sooner.
(2-14 day incubation, unknown transmissibility during latent phase, r0 of 2-4)
And even with simple corona virus, that's potentially up to 9M dead by then.
(3% of 300M or so)

Pretty grim, all in all. If you get the short straw.
Not so much if you're in the other 97%.
Sorry, but there it is.
Worst Case:It's some bio-engineered frankenvirus, with who-knows what lethality, r-naught, and incubation time.
OTOH, if it's some bioengineered frankenvirus, all bets are off, with who-knows-how-many casualties, nor what rate of transmission.

And what's coming out of China - every bit of it - is still unadulterated bullsh..., um, rose fertilizer.

You won't know if it's middle- or worst-case here until after it explodes here, and if it gets accurate media coverage. (Bear in mind that when Ebola coverage was freaking people here out in 2014, Obozo asked the MSM to stop talking about it, and they left skid marks and fell all over themselves to shut up until further notice. Learn a lesson there. Even if their regard and professional [sic] relationship is different with Orange Man, they didn't suddenly get an honestly transplant, nor a booster shot of competence.)

Anyone telling you different about this, at any of those plot points, is lying to you if their lips are moving, until further notice. The truth as yet is still BVR, out in the fog.

And other than hunkering down and self-quarantining in time, there's still nothing else you can do about it, except the basic infection control procedures previously covered.
{Nota bene, random fucktards, no one, least of all this site, is ringing the panic bell. You'll ignore this obvious truth, but that's why you're fucktards.}

The one certainty is that the kabuki-theatre temperature screening at the airport, of a virus that can incubate for 2-14 days, guarantees that more latent cases could arrive here every day, and if that happens, we won't know until after it's too late.

And Lest Ye Forget:
Second-Order Effects

For sheer grins, this weekend, I'm going to compile a list of items used every day in my E.R. that are sourced from China.


S18-1000 said...

I remembered (hopefully, correctly) one of your posts on Ebola that had something about "Pandemic Math". How 1 turns into 2 > 4 > 8 > 16 > 32 and so on. The official numbers for Corona I have seen start around 250-ish, and roughly doubled every two to three days for the past month. The last doubling took place over the last 5 days, from 15,000 - 16,000 odd, to the 31,000+ as of right now. It's a far, far ways away from GAME OVER; THANKS FOR PLAYING, but is there any point watching the doubling in this case? Ebola and Corona aren't the same beast, so does the Pandemic Math apply here or not?

Aesop said...

Pandemic Math always applies.
The question is the speed of transmission, the rate of transmission, and the lethality.

IOW, "How fast does this double, and how many die?"
My three cases applied the full range to those variables.
It could be anywhere in that spectrum, from Nothingburger, to Kiss Your Ass Goodbye.

Depends on what happens, and what it is.

Charles in VA said...

In this age of instant gratification, instant (dis)information, and instant knee jerk reactions, even such sound thoughts as yours are going to sound like "remain a virgin until after marriage and remain monogamous" and will likely be received just as well by society at large.

Here in VA I've already seen a handful of people wearing masks in the local Walmart.

The MSM is pounding that drum every day and it's beginning to have the desired effect even with the bogus numbers they're getting from China.

Honestly, I'm less concerned about the virus than I am about the herd stampeding because of the fear of it. There's way too many variables in this equation for my liking.

Anonymous said...

The cruise ship docked in Japan gives us an unintended test case that should reveal some basic numbers, irrespective of the Chinese official line.

Anonymous said...

Is there any information on the ethnicity of those infected outside of China? I’ve seen some conspiracy theories mention that if it is a frankenvirus that it was tested on Chinese, therefore possibly optimized for Asian DNA. Any reports of non-Asians being infected in the U.S., Europe or even in Asia?

Bee Ess said...

I've been watching the numbers coming from WHO and CDC from "official" reports *cough cough* and it seems that the average daily increase of new confirmed infections has averaged about 28% over the last 17 days. the first half of those numbers were about 46% day to day increase, where the last 9 days average about 20% increase. mortality rate, with no consideration given to other figures, remains at 2.3%. again, thats just working the raw numbers from "official" reports and not taking ANY other factors into consideration.

Anonymous said...

I agree with our host.

My belief has been if we do not see 20-25 person to person transmissions here in the United States by Valentines Day, then we stand a good chance of controlling the virus in the US. Anything more than that means it is already spreading beyond our means to control it. Panics in our Northern and Southern Neighbors could still swamp us and start an uncontrollable spread.


I bought a lot of small Christmas presents for elderly family members. Everyone of those gifts were from China, even the gift wrap, boxes and bags I used to wrap them. Need any clothes, small appliances, electronics, toys and the like in the next six months? Might be time to buy them early.

Instapundit is also sounding the alarm about medical supplies. Hopefully this will be a boon for domestic suppliers. Does the DOD require domestic produced medical supplies? But if it gets that far, the economy is going to be dragged down by the loss of Chinese produced raw materials, components, and finished products.

Supply Chains Matter. Just ask Kudlow, Ross, Mnuchin, and Trump.

The Gray Man said...

I wrote a piece (actually two) over at AP about nCoV and it’s not easy for precisely the reason you mentioned: All info we are getting from “official” sources is questionable on a good day, and pure cow dung on an average day.

kurt9 said...

My wife and I have planned to visit Spain (Andalusia) on holiday for two weeks in April. The flight tickets are refundable (first class). I think I will use your threshold, 20-25 US cases by Valenstine's Day, in deciding to cancel our trip or not.

Anonymous said...

Watching a hockey game on NBCSN last night (stuck in a hotel) the announcers lamented about the trainers scrambling to find hockey sticks, as the plants that manufacture them are affected by the coronavirus.

Methinks sporting equipment is the least to worry about in the just-in-time worldwide economic system.

MN Steel

JNorth said...

John Hopkins is showing 12 in the US right now on the their GIS map. The only non-Asian I've seen a report of is a British guy who claimed he got over it by drinking lots of hot toddies.

Anonymous said...

I think the sleeper is Canada. Almost anyone can come to the U.S. through Canada and there are a lot of Chinese in Canada and going back and forth between Canada and China. I suspect if the virus gets loose in the U.S. it will enter through our Northern border.

paladin3001 said...

As a Canadian, I agree with Anonymous at 3:42. Our government just flew in a bunch to Trenton, ON and plan on quarantining them for two weeks. First case popped up in Toronto from someone that was symptomatic on the flight back from China. Biggest worry for me is that this is happening in the middle of flu season here.

Other than that, we have better chances then they do in China. North Americans have far better hygiene, tend to be stand offish and self isolationists for the most part. Big cities may take a beating but not as bad as over there.

Having seen with the Mark I eyeball how things are done over there on a daily basis, the spread of the virus doesn't surprise me.

elysianfield said...

Quick question. The numbers suggest 93+ percent recovery. What does "recovery" mean? Is it defined as merely asymptomatic? Is it possible that the virus (to be referred to as "the sniffles" or maybe "kung flu", might remain active in the body? Has there been any studies of "survivors" regarding their prognoses for continued good health? Any follow-on damage as the result of the infection?

Inquiring minds NEED to know, and this might be a partial answer as to why governments are closing borders, quarantining, etc.

Anonymous said...

The meme at the end end of the article is LOL gallows humor.

I've been thinking about our host's comment on the "all things we buy in stores and online come from China" for a couple weeks now. What I've found very strange is why the stock market hasn't reacted to this situation in a sustained way yet. Maybe today's down turn is the start of reality, stock market and world economy wise (shrug).

According to latest reaports, ~50million Chinese are under quarantine now or ~3.5% of their total population. As quarantine protocols expand throughout China, their economy has to start taking a hit at some point. That will precipitate economic impacts through every economy on the planet and will probably result in a world wide recession perhaps even a depression, which might help stop the spread of the virus due to fewer transmission opportunities.

However, if you're unemployed and contract the virus, with no healthcare benefits, well I don't need to paint that picture any further. Although, hospitalization may not be a determining factor in survival. There's not enough reliable info out there to make a determination yet.

The other thing that is disconcerting here, is the possibility of mutation into an even more lethal form. or combining with some of the near epidemic viruses rampant in the Chinese livestock industries. That would really be game over except if you can avoid all contact with human or animal and have enough preps for 3-6 months of holing up until this thing can burn out. Not likely.


Aesop said...

1) I am soooo stealing "kung flu".

2) If it's ordinary corona virus, it comes, it goes, if you're in the lucky 97%you're that strain.

Night driver said...

One of the issues is that it SEEMS to use an Angiotensin/ACE receptor link up. Means those of us using ACE Inhibitor meds need to be just a TAD more careful.

SEVERAL of my folks on my board have been watching this since it first broke last year (and yes we are up to 3,000 responses and posts on it) so we have a kind of archive for later perusal (by the light of cave fires, on our diesel-powered Amish computers. (LOL TB2k HUMOR) Thread is 240 pages of 40 posts each. SUGGEST perusal of the last --- oh --- 5-15 pages. We are working on keeping the insanity down to a dull roar.

For non-members, pics may not render for ya.

JNorth said...

Anon 6:12, I was under the impression that ACE inhibitors prevented / reduced the production of Angiotensin-converting enzyme so if the corona virus is targeting that would that not reduce out susceptibility to it? I may be misunderstanding how it works, I'm an engineer, medicine isn't really my area.

Anonymous said...


I was introduced to your site by bayourennman (your article about not closing up wounds if you don't know what the heck you're doing, good article), and I figured I' just drop a "thank you" for your stuff so far.

Been poking around the 'nets looking for information on what may/may not be effective in killing this stuff off on surfaces/hands, and I was wondering if you had any generic comments about killing virus in general on surfaces and such. (I mean, besides the mandatory don't touch stuff, keep away from people, DO NOT TOUCH YOUR FACE & etc ... If I see one more stupid emotional support animal in a public place I will have a meltdown ... grrr...)

I've no idea if this link I'm about to post is good information, but it at least seems to be directing itself at the current strain. Thoughts? I'll probably be hitting up the stores for some extra supplies shortly in this area.

Either way, TYVM for your posts (and your otherwise excellent blog)

Anonymous said...

... stupid me, forgot to drop the link I mentioned! Here it is:

Differ said...

Plotting the WHO numbers (essentially Chinese data) gives a quadratic (x^2) growth rate rather than exponential. Tends to lend credence to claims of data manipulation.

Aesop said...

Which is why I wholly disregard them. They're not "data", they're pure propaganda.

Linda Fox said...

There are things I have no control over:
- how my governments (fed and local) respond
- how many in my local area have been exposed
- how overwhelmed the hospitals will be

What I CAN effect:
- Laying in sufficient supplies to keep my family healthy and alive
- Using good sanitation measures in my environment, and good home nursing of the affected
- Improving my overall health - exercising, eating right, staying away from crowds/strangers as much as I can
- Staying calm, not panicking

I've written about this at - just do a search on the site for coronavirus to see posts.

Why am I concerned at all, given the low percentage that have died?

Because China is terrified. They wouldn't quarantine 50 million people for a cold. They KNOW the potential for pandemic of epic proportions is there.

Which makes me think: bioweapon on the loose.

Aesop said...

Point of order:

What makes you think that a low percentage have died??

Anonymous said...

^Linda Fox.

Guangzhou, the capital of China's southwestern Guangdong Province and the country's fifth largest city with nearly 15 million residents, has just joined the ranks of cities imposing a mandatory lockdown on all citizens, effectively trapping residents inside their homes, with only limited permission to venture into the outside world to buy essential supplies.

The decision means 3 provinces, 60 cities and 400 million people are now facing China's most-strict level of lockdown as Beijing struggles to contain the coronavirus outbreak as the virus has already spread to more than 2 dozen countries.

Differ said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Aesop said...

The above link is based on more horsesh*t from Chinese "sources".
The plural of "horsesh*t" is not "data". Ever.
Do I really have to pound this point home with a sledgehammer?

lineman said...

Do I really have to pound this point home with a sledgehammer?
Did you even have to ask that question??? Most only learn through the sledgehammer...

The Freeholder said...

On the subject of availability of Chinese goods...

I've had a blog commenter note that he's had Amazon orders for good produced in China canceled. If you go to Amazon and search for "surgical masks", prices are sky high compared to a couple of months ago, but you can get them. This is opposed to a few days ago, when they weren't available without a business account and a medical license. Seriously.

I've seen things about the Internet noting various auto manufacturers are facing a parts pinch. Wuhan seems to be the center of the Chinese automotive industry from what I read.

The extended Lunar New Year holiday is supposed to be over on Sunday and Monday is back to work. Going to be watching that one.

I suggest ordering any Chinese stuff you need now. I just stocked up on parts for several projects a couple of days ago, even though the projects are off in the future a few weeks.

Differ said...


kurt9 said...

It would seem to me that as long as the power stays on in places like Wuhan, that this thing cannot be THAT bad.

Peter B said...

@Anon 6:12 and @JNorth, ACE inhibitors don't seem to inhibit the ACE2 receptor, which is a good thing since ACE2 action is a counter-regulator to ACE. Not my field, so check with your doctors but unless the ACE inhibitors affect the activity and/or the population of ACE2 sites, I don't think it should be an issue

ACE is mainly in the vascular endothelium, but IIUC correctly ACE2 is well represented in the lining of the airways; this is part of the explanation of the effect of coronaviruses on the lung. SARS also used ACE2 as invasion portals.

Anonymous said...

Good information, and advice...I have been relaying the "wash your hands, don't touch your face, keep distance from people with flu-like symptoms" to everyone I talk to.
The middle case seems to come to big fruition and clarity right around the 2020 elections...interesting.

Anonymous said...


Update (2240ET): And so the epidemic reaches China's capital Beijing. As gnews reports, as the coronavirus spreads from Wuhan, China has been implementing “closed management” by putting 80 cities under lockdown, and on Monday, Beijing authorities also issued a “Strict Closed Management of Residential Communities” in an epidemic prevention and control announcement (link here). It is an official declaration that Beijing, the country’s capital city of China, is now under lockdown.

According to the notice, Beijing will further enforce “community closed management” in a strict manner. Outside vehicles and personnel are not allowed to enter the city. People arriving in Beijing must also report their health status and complete the registration of personal information.

Those, who have left the epidemic area or have physical contact with persons in the epidemic area within 14 days of their arrival at Beijing, shall be inspected or quarantined at home in accordance with the regulations. They should take the initiative to report their health conditions, and cooperate with relevant management services. They shall not go out. Anyone who refuses to accept epidemic prevention measures such as medical observation and home quarantine constitutes a violation of public security management and shall be severely punished by the public security bureau according to the law.

In addition, all public places in the Beijing community that are not essential for people’s living are closed. All agencies and enterprises must strictly strengthen body temperature monitoring. Housing agencies and landlords in Beijing must provide local government with information on rental houses and tenants. This is a measure for epidemic prevention.

Adino said...

I am keeping a close eye on the quarantined cruise ships.

They are, while under quarantine, fixed ,closed, systems. And people on them are allowed to communicate with the outside world.

Data can be hard to come by or bogus when you are talking about compiling from a population and land mass the size of China.

The cruise ships? Not so easy to play mathematical slight of hand.

Tucanae Services said...


I fully expect the opposite media reaction from what Obama got. If more than a 100 primary and secondary cases crop up, the media will start screaming "pandemic!!!!"

Count on it.

JNorth said...

Peter B, thank you, I've been hearing different things back and forth on that, all I really know is I'm suppose to take my lisinopril every day. Loosing weight and hitting the gym seem to be helping those numbers as well so hopefully I can get off it.

Anonymous said...

I bought half mask respirators,spare filters,goggles that will fit over glasses, boxes of 8 mil nitrile gloves, medical grade bio hazard suits, and a disinfectant fogger last year as part of my preps. Looks like I may get a chance to use them. The media will probably hype this to make Orange Man look more bad. I get more accurate info from sites like this one than the media or .gov . US stats are not counting the cases from the cruise ship that docked in NJ recently. The other passengers went home so we may see an outbreak in the northeast US in 1-2 weeks.