Saturday, March 21, 2020

More Math

Some people think we can do better than China, Italy, or other countries, because of various (mostly stupid, some not, but all fanciful) reasons, or they point to how well South Korea and Japan handled/are handling this outbreak. There's a reason for that performance.

Nota bene*:
SK has 22 {but probably closer to 12; see Comments. -A.}hospital beds per 1000 people. 
Japan has 13.4 per 1000. 
Italy has 3.2 per 1000. 
The US has 2.8 per 1000.
The UK has 2.8 per 1000.  
Canada has 2.7 per 1000.
We're not going to do as well as countries that have 4 to 7 times as many available hospital beds as we have.
To pull off a South Korea, we'd need 6.3M hospital beds, instead of 900K.
And BTW, we couldn't staff those beds (with doctors, nurses, etc.) in 30 years of WWII full mobilization effort. You'd need another 5M doctors and 10M nurses, which is also 500% more of either than we have right now.

So that's not going to happen.

We're going to be, more or less, like Italy.
So will the UK, and Canada.
We will not do this as well as Japan and South Korea.
We simply don't have that capacity.
We should be able to outperform Mexico.

The sooner people stop hanging on to magical thinking and thin reeds of fanciful wishes, the sooner they can start wrapping their heads around why we're doing what we're doing, and what may happen to us despite those efforts.

The short answer remains: Stay home, and don't catch this, so you don't give it to 4 other people.

And whenever this is all over, it might be an excellent time to have a chat with your nominal federal government representative about things like EMTALA requiring hospitals to care for everyone without regard to ability to pay (and then FedGov - which means you and me - not paying for it either, until we get our insurance premiums), and about letting 40M blood-sucking leeches come here illegally and camp out for 50 years and crank out kids like dandelions dropping seeds, all on the taxpayer's teat. Which has a lot to how we got where we are.
Just saying.

One other worst-case stat:
Probably more than 96% of everybody is going to live through Kung Flu, no matter what. Maybe even more than 99%.
Focus on that, if it's what it takes to grind through the crappy times. You should take this seriously. You should not be hysterical.

*{Don't believe me. As Casey Stengel said, "You could look it up." It's not like you're going to work or anything, right? You can look up most of those numbers per country here or here. On the WHO site, look "by country" and pull the slider bar down to the last couple of lines. Note that they don't precisely agree. Round it off. The SK number was courtesy of CNN. Wikipedia puts them at 12.3, not 22. Caveat emptor.}


Unknown said...

I hope the cloroquinine stops it.
Because this article makes the outlook BAD:

Anonymous said...

Damn, I've been quoting the 22 number to folks thinking it was credible. I'll use the wiki number from now on.
Es macht es nichts. I didn't know Italy was nominally " ahead" of us in beds; another salient, if discouraging point.
Hoping the shipping/delivery folks can keep up. Our local Army post just put in plea for people to work at the Commissary and a local grocery chain is actively hiring too.
Our local shooting complex is still open as are the golf courses. I'm not a golfer and I have access to a better range, but thought it intetesting.
Boat Guy

Aesop said...

Wiki isn't necessarily credible either, and SK isn't listed on the WHO site.
If I can find anything else to nail it down more precisely, I will.

Anonymous said...

12.27 per 1K in 2017

Don't know if they've gone up since then, but it would appear likely.

Anonymous said...

Of course, there's a difference between critical care and regular hospital beds. Nothing I've searched seems to distinguish the two.

Unknown said...

Have you read this Aesop?
HIV symptoms!

Anonymous said...

Concur that wiki isn't necessarily credible, but I wouldn't believe a CNN account of the sun rising in the eastern quadrant without checking a compass.

Virginia Granny said...

As bad as all this is (and it IS bad), no one seems to be thinking about the probability that something else horrible/expensive/earth-shattering can happen to us while the KungFlu is wreaking havoc.

June starts hurricane season, tornadoes and earthquakes know no boundaries, major flooding seems to have become endemic. California and Australian fires. And plenty of other nasty plagues (Ebola, H5N1, TB, measles, etc.) aren't just holding their breaths while KungFlu burns out. And locusts. Gotta love the locusts. At least people and livestock can eat them.

Famine, violence and plagues - plenty to choose from.

Don't get complacent. And don't be stupid.

James M Dakin said...

At the rate grocery stores are being ( not ) replenished, perhaps we should focus on the majority of the population rioting over food. Then martial law w/idiot Smurf governors grabbing guns for instant Boogaloo. Once again, Beer Virus is at the bottom of the concern list. And the above just starts that list. Fracking Oil industry concerns, no supplies from China, hyper-inflation, etc.

Anonymous said...

Spring storms &tornado season starts like now..anytime late March-late May sometimes June. Been getting ready for weather, too as we do anyway here in central OK. Good luck to all, thank you to host of this blog.

Aesop said...

True enough.

But they won't riot, James, the government won't give them food.
This isn't the Soviet union or Venezuela.
They'll simply rob and loot.

The upside is that citizens with guns will cull the prison population in a permanent manner, and America gets the death penalty back in short order, ad hoc.

This also trims the rolls of Democrat felon voters (though that may be offset by the numbers of dead voters they can count on).

We'll lose some good people too, but overall, probably win-win.
Once the shooting starts, no telling which government shitweasels get redressed at the end of a wire noose.

Worse, better; if there's no choice, make the best of it.

Borepatch said...

Maybe we can get rid of "Certificate of Need" laws. Of course, that would reduce the scope of government control so that'll never happen.

ThatWouldBeTelling said...

We'll lose some good people too, but overall, probably win-win.

Just occurred to me that we might lose more people to police procedures. If they initially detain or arrest you for their investigation of a case of legitimate self-defense, there will be a steadily increasing risk you'll get COVID-19 during the process.

Marina said...

@ ThatWouldBeTelling, 4:18PM:
In some places cops are not making arrests at all, ya think they'll want to start investigations ?

carolinaTURTLE said...

Hey Aesop,
Meh...i was gonna ask How much “surge” medical personnel could be activated if all the *medical* military reserves were called, but my next thought was * Most of those people work in civilian medicine… *** and then I even recalled one navy reserve medical guy who did not work in civilian medicine… No sir, he is a deputy sheriff…

ThatWouldBeTelling said...

Marina: that's for "low level" crime. If they stop responding to homicides, people will ask why do we continue to tolerate their existence.

Anonymous said...

The American citizenry, by and large, will do nothing except continue to tolerate all and everything that they have for the last 100 years.

Of course, there will be a percentage of "refuseniks", but they are, numerically defined, a minority. They are insufficient in size and organization to effect any change. Examine states such as New Jersey and California, places where citizens are required to ask permission from their commissars to even purchase a firearm. Those same citizens allowed that dynamic to occur, and also tacitly and placidly tolerate it.

It does not follow that a continued pattern of behavior will suddenly change because of "reasons". A more usual pattern, one that has played out in other areas, is that of Balkanization. It is already occurring in micro aspects in the form of sanctuary this and that declarations; "These are the laws we will not respect", creating a patchwork quilt of de facto anarchy. Regarding NJ and CA, there is already an increasing exodus of "refugees". (What many of them do not comprehend is the visceral disdain that is a common reaction as soon as a license plate from those areas are seen.)

The U.S. is not going to rise up on its hind legs and declare virtue and principle; it discarded those attributes too long ago. The only recourse is the example of the king of Nineveh. It will get much worse before that is viewed as a serious option.

Charles in VA said...

Given the realistic probability that the VAST majority of us are going to survive the actual virus, and given that the economic fallout is likely to be far worse than the medical situation, I think it would behoove all of us to start thinking this forward 6 months to just how we might pick up the pieces when the REAL SHTF...while we've got the time on our hands to do it.

How many that were driven out of the work force will not be able to return?

What will the Baltic Dry Goods Index, the trucking industry, and other logistics concerns look like in 6 months? Our last domestic harvest was total shit. Crop losses out the wazoo all over the country. Other countries fared about the same, more or less.

I'm pretty confident it ain't gonna be pretty.

With over half the country living paycheck to paycheck BEFORE this happened, I don't see how it could just all turn out "fine". And I don't see the Gov bailing anyone out aside from the uber rich.

Anyone got any thoughts on that?

OvergrownHobbit said...

A doctor Bejamin Lau (in the comments section of Medscape) recommends "fomentaion". Which appears to be wet heat (wet towel, 3 min in microwave, wrap in dry towel) applied every 5 min to the back or chest for 15-20 min. every 5 hours.

Supposedly a good palliative (loosen mucus that would otherwise harden) and possibly treatment (heat on lungs acts like a highly localized fever)


Marina said...

@ ThatWouldBeTelling 5:08Pm
Oh, they'll respond to homicides all right, pick up the body, do a perfunctory so-called "investigation" but that'll pretty much stop there. It'll be filed quickly as self-defense or some other reason. Things are different because of the C-19 and cops don't want and will not want to catch it. If you were to kill people in daylight in front of others downtown one can suspect they would put more effort into this case vs one guy that gets killed because he got in your house in the middle of night trying to rob you. There's a subtle shift of temporary changes.(How long: ?)

Marina said...

@ HovergrownHobbit, 5:42PM
Would heat from an electric pad work just as well from what you read ?

ThatWouldBeTelling said...

Things are different because of the C-19 and cops don't want and will not want to catch it.

In addition to concern about the interval before we possibly see this change, cops are going to be catching it, taking a month or so time out until they stop shedding viruses, then be able to do their normal thing without worry of infection.

Marina said...

@ That WouldBe Telling 6:01Pm
Except it seems that you don't develop immunity. The info is not clear on that yet but leans towards at least for some people that there is no real immunity. The fact is that in some places already cops are now not making arrests. The future well, we don't know for sure right now. If your precinct has deaths from C-19, you might be less enthused about full-scale investigations especially for people that acted in self-defence. You might want to spend more time inside precincts and it's possible the authorities would be a bit lenient and understanding in general. Of course I'm not talking about riots or a big crime wave where cops are expected to do something, just that some cases like self-defence might be quietly closed. That also depends on what perpetrator's families will be clamoriong for. How bothersome media-wise will they be in those future times ? Will leftists journalist's headlines claiming fake victim was a good misunderstood citizen still be making front-page news ?

nick flandrey said...

Chicago cops haven't been effectively investigating homicide for years. Their closure rate is abysmal.

And still people live there. I've got family there and they just shrug, say they avoid the bad areas, and go on with their lives.


nick flandrey said...

And for everyone who points to Korea, as of today, NY alone had 1 1/2 times more cases than Korea. That will be doubling every 2-4 days. For a long time more.


ThatWouldBeTelling said...

Except it seems that you don't develop immunity.

If that was true, everyone who got it would die.

The info is not clear on that yet but leans towards at least for some people that there is no real immunity.

The data looks pretty clear to me, claims of immediate reinfection seem to be cases where the patient didn't actually finish clearing the virus from their system before release, especially if they were given antivirals during their hospital stay, but not after. What we're seeing in the large just doesn't jive with a Satan Bug that could keep reinfecting people till they died.

Marina said...

@ ThatWouldBeTelling
Except it seems that you don't develop immunity.

If that was true, everyone who got it would die.

Really ? You're serious there ? Everyone would die ?
I sure am glad you can speak with such authority when lots of people are dying and we don't really know tons about the C-19 yet. Yes I understand perfectly that more people are dying because hospitals are overrun and that many had co-morbidities but that certainly doesn't explain many cases. But you seem to know all there is about it, well good for you. So we went from replies about cop's investigations to affirmative definitive statements about the C-19. Interesting.

ThatWouldBeTelling said...

Marina: what do you think happens to someone who gets COVID-19 and can never get rid of the virus? Why do you think we're extra worried about people with compromised immune systems? This is fairly basic biology, not anything exotic about SARS-CoV-2.

Anonymous said...

Aesop, thank you for your continued work, at your actual place of work, and here. God bless you man.

I'm curious if your foresight says what mine does about our slightly higher proportion of ICU beds already in place, and how that will work as this very hard providence unfolds.

It's easy to see that they will take just a tiny bit longer to fill (not very, not with exponential multipliers in play), I'm guessing we'll also have a bit more throughput on people who get to ICU level, at least as long as we have staff who are fit to utilize ICU level tools and healthcare.

I honestly don't see any way out of this - we are simply going to have to go through it (not saying toss our hands up and just act the fool b/c we can't come out unharmed or without suffering). If you have to run through the briar patch to escape a forest fire, you don't lie down and blubber because you know you're going to be a bloody mess.


Oddly, in a way it's like this stupid disease is selecting for everything our left hates: the natural nuclear family as God created it (kids being home, government indoctrination centers closed) .... girls babysitting, and self-controlled people who know that individualism is only good so long as it is ... well, morally good. We have mistaken anarchy (everyone does what he wants and determines his own morals, does whatever of them he can get away with) for freedom (being unrestricted in doing what's morally right, morally right being determined by God).

Run around, do recreational drugs, think of yourself first and your right to be sexually un-restricted by any external standard, ignore public hygiene, and exercise only shreds of self control, and this disease will make you drown in your own fluids because your doing so shoves you into all kinds of risk categories. I am no fool who thinks there are humans who are all moral light and some who are all dark, but it's also stupid foolery to not recognize there are those who embrace what is wrong and those who, by no desert or power of their own, struggle against themselves.

Worshipping the filthy golden calf of government as god has simply exacerbated the effects of this disease - if we had freedom to do business (note, again, freedom =/= anarchy) instead of cronyism and swarms of bureaucrats, and a healthcare system that wasn't riddled with perverse incentives, we'd be able to be in better shape for these things.


Along the lines of practical: <--- Can't say I'd prefer it over any sort of decent mask, but this whole situation reminds me of a bit of racer's thinking: you don't try and shave huge gains off on the course - you add up tenths here and there, as many as you can. Take your tenths. Add 'em up. Make sure that taking a tenth here doesn't shave a tenth or two off somewhere else ("it's the system dummy"). <---- pass it around to your christian friends who are being knotheads. Luther, the wonderful mess, by no means perfect, was gifted the ability to penetrate very thick skulls.


Think I'd better stop rambling... You and everyone you work with are in my prayers aesop, to get you through this marathon.

Anonymous said...

Warning -- If you havent seen this thread Trump posted you may want to read it. This virus does way more damage than is being admitted to if these links are true. I ain't buying its natural. THis thread is referenced with supporting links. God I hope this is wrong...

sean said...

Aesop have you read this article? Curious to hear your thoughts. Godspeed brother.

Anonymous said...


Congratulations on your big raise! /sarc

Anonymous said...

As a former resident of one of the FUSSA's Northeastern gulags, I caution against blanket statements about people living in the area. The herd is not the individual. Took me 40 years to finally see the light. I left good friends (people) behind. "Trapped" is a good way to describe the feeling.
I happen to work in food distribution as well, and let me tell you... the rippling effects are 'Yuuuuuuuugggge'. 100+ acre Farms are shutting down (temporarily, permanently?) because we're shipping 1/8th the volume we used to... lettuce growing valleys (the whole valley!) In CA got plowed under, because, who the fuck is going out eating frissee lettuce? Waitresses were already endangered species because every restaurant bought tablets and kiosks... think 2nd, 3rd, and 4th order impacts people. The first step to avoid getting hit, is to get out of the way of the freight train.

McChuck said...

Shut down all travel. Shut down all businesses. Stay home for the next 3-6 months. Don't earn money. Burn through your savings. Lose the house (the bank has no conscience). Eat the pets. Starve.

If it saves just one life, it's worth it, right?

Destroying our entire economy for this reason makes just as much sense as how Venezuela did it. But their way took a decade of intensive work, not a few months or panic reactions.

carolinaTURTLE said...

You requested “thoughts” so here are some of mine!

It has been said “expect the unexpected” which for many years was baffling to can you be expecting something if you don’t know what to expect?? I’ve made my peace with that duality by resolving this to mean when something happens that you did not expect, take action! (if you are familiar with cartoonist Gary Larson, i tried to attend “midvale school for the gifted” but the door was locked!)

Our humble bloghost often has said (paraphrasing?) “don’t attribute to conspiracy what is more likely to be stupidity and/or incompetence”

So if not .gov conspiracy, i regard this as an act of God. I consider myself to be on the right side of God (ref: Psalm 91) if i die, i am going to a better place. (i also believe in reincarnation, but perhaps THIS is not the place to discuss that?)

I liked what BoatGuy said “ pray like it is all up to God, work like it is all up to you”

As the “medical apocalypse” runs its course, be ready for the urban locusts when the trucks stop running, and the shelves are empty. Often it’s been said “keep your powder dry”

If you haven’t already gotten to know you neighbors well, now would be a good time to do so: to form alliances, to conduct threat assessments, always keep OPSEC in mind.

Probably none of this is mind-blowing to the average prepper, but these were some of my thoughts...

KDKong said...

Local farmers in eastern PA are losing big time. Most of their business is wholesale, and with restaurant closures some have seen sales decrease 80%. Sure, we can reduce the spread of the virus, but how many starve because of ill advised policy?

Aesop said...


If letting the virus run wild kills 2M, but it also wipes out all healthcare, which kills 5M or 10M more people, from age 0-80, is money in your pocket and staying on the debt treadmill for life more important than all those lives?

If the entire economy is so fragile juiced up on fiatbux that a disruption this small can blow it up, it's probably time to get it over with, and burn the whole thing to the ground.

Most people have neither a month's food nor a month's savings set aside.
Whose fault is that?

You're saying, as I told you elsewhere, "Fuck those other people because I can't handle this, and made no provision for hard times. Being civilized is too hard. We should go back to the law of the jungle, and devil take the hindmost."

So after your burned all of civilization up to save the economy, what have you got left that's worth keeping? "Shame about Gramps and Uncle Milt, but at least I've still got a swimming pool, an SUV, and my student loan debt."

The Gods Of The Copybook Headings will have their due.
With interest.

Marina said...

@That WouldBeTelling
Make up your mind. On one post you say survivors have immunity and the next post you say that we're worried about people who can't never get rid of the virus. Right now there is no full-scale immunity as herd immunity will take what, a year to occur. In the meantime this will have all of us living thru untold economic devastation and every segment of society as we currently know will be severely impacted like for exemple cops and their duties which will be different (Fear of Covid, lack of money from cities) who knows for how long which brings us right back to the very start of this discussion about cops investigations vs self-defence.
Let's hope the Dr Didier Raoult is completely right about the Hydroxychloroquine and the rest of the full-scale coming economic devastation ends/slows down significantly.

Anonymous said...

What's been really disconcerting to me has been the inability of even large grocery chains to replenish stock on their shelves for the last 6 weeks, or so. Even frozen food (vegetables) are nonexistent. I'm expecting food riots in large cities to start in the next week or two. Moving to medium sized cities, like where I live, shortly after.

I went to the grocery store Friday, just looking to replenish what I used in the last week. Ain't none to be had. The only section that had an appreciable amount of stock was fresh fruit and vegetables. They've kindly JACKED prices up 50% on those items. Eggs and dairy were also plentiful, prices were elevated 20%.

Elsewhere, the store if limiting purchases to four of an item, IF THEY'VE GOT ANY.

No canned anything to be had, unless you like Ocra :-((. No dried beans, peas,barley, cracked wheat, etc. No spaghetti or spaghetti sauce. The spaghetti/sauce aisle is 80 feet of empty.

Tomorrow, I'm going to check out other grocery stores within 10 miles. There's half a dozen or so. I suspect they're the same, but I want to see for myself.


Anonymous said...


Where are you? I'm going to venture out to the grocery store (WM, maybe Kroger) tomorrow morning, first thing (6 am) here in semi-rural eastern MO. I'm curious to see how things are. I've got neighbors (family of 5) who seem to have been caught a bit flat-footed, although I don't know just how thin their food supply is. I think they're just waking up to how bad things are getting.

ThatWouldBeTelling said...

Make up your mind. On one post you say survivors have immunity and the next post you say that we're worried about people who can't never get rid of the virus.

I said, "what do you think happens to someone who gets COVID-19 and can never get rid of the virus? Why do you think we're extra worried about people with compromised immune systems?"

The point is, if their immune system is sufficiently compromised they either won't survive until they seroconvert (make antibodies), or don't do that, etc. they die. So, yeah, for some strange reason I worry about people who won't be survivors if they catch the virus.

Right now there is no full-scale immunity as herd immunity will take what, a year to occur.

Completely different type of "immunity", and it won't be "full-scale," it would just drop the incidence of the virus to "seasonal" levels. And how long it takes depends on how fast people get infected, it's talked about in terms of percentage of the population, not so much when that'll be reached since that's much more uncertain and not as subject to pure biology.

ThatWouldBeTelling said...

If the entire economy is so fragile juiced up on fiatbux that a disruption this small can blow it up, it's probably time to get it over with, and burn the whole thing to the ground.

While fiatbux, or more like our refusal to take our lumps after 2008 has made our economy more fragile, there's no modern economy that isn't going to take a terrific hit from such massive changes in consumer and business behavior. Travel, vacation, etc. industry? I read that's 10% of the US economy, and aside from hotel "quarantine specials" is going stone cold dead for the duration. I don't think it even makes sense to "bail it out," there's no future until one or more of the ensuing new normals prompts people to travel for casual reasons.

All entertainment venues that attract lots of people, dead for now, so Hollywood take a huge hit, as well as those who make their money from live concerts, popular to classical. Restaurants, the list goes on and on.

So, yes, Corona-chan is pricking a balloon already close to bursting, but there's no way this wouldn't have terrible economic consequences even if we were using Constitutional gold and silver coins. Which are still no bar to financial and economic crashes.

nick flandrey said...

Why do people frame this as either/or. Could it be because of media exposure and manipulation?

Step back a minute and think it through.

It's not "quarantine everyone and wreck the economy" or "let people make their own choices and DON"T wreck the economy".

The economy IS WRECKED. And it would have been wrecked ANYWAY. Because as dumb as people in general are, the pure toll of just the effects of the illness would have wrecked the economy in a month or so anyway. What does the shock of 100K dead in one month do to the economy?

Are YOU going to restaurants when your job is gone because no one is buying your product? NO. Or you can't get the parts from china to assemble your product? NO. Are you paying the lawn guy while you are sitting home on layoff anyway? NO.

Hard times come and the service economy collapses.

Besides, the genie is out of the bottle. Humpty Dumpty has fallen. Toothpaste on the countertop, not in the tube. SO not much point in playing what if.

The switch flipped for the world, and it's time to flip your own switch and deal with the now and the future, with the reality in front of you, not with what might have/should have/could have been done.


Bear Claw Chris Lapp said...

Nemo store hours have changed. Most of our groceries / sams(1 of each only) and so forth not opening till 9am. Read one comment claimed WM has stock in back room but only putting out a days supply.