Friday, April 24, 2020

So You Want Out Of Lockdown?

First, a few points:

Ending lockdowns isn't going to jumpstart the economy, nor end massive unemployment.

1) Airline and cruise travel, tourism, pro sports, amusement parks, hotels, etc. - oh, and the entire oil industry - are all going to be in the sh*tter for the rest of this year, and well beyond.

2) I seem to recall this wee $11.5T stock market massive flaming nosedive ending in a smoking hole, that may have just a tad to do with how the economy performs going forward, even if your Fairy Godmother whisked this pandemic away with a flick of her wand, right now.

3) I'm not impressed by the whinging and hyperventilating about the horrors of a seven-week shutdown. There are no bloat-bellied orange-haired children with flies in their eyes walking the streets of anyone's city, town, suburb, or dirt road, neither in Big City, nor Hootenholler. So quit with the panic attacks.

4) Let's also recall the situation in the Great Depression, where it was far worse, and everyone ate their babies, committed suicide, and the whole country starved to death because...oh, wait, never mind, none of that happened because of the Great Depression. So let's tone down the "OMG! Economic Catastrophe" what-ifs for a minute.

The economy is currently shit. The lockdown being lifted isn't going to turn that into ice cream, and certainly not overnight. But stupidly lifting it unilaterally has a damned good chance of showing you what 49 more NYFCs look like, where you live.

So let's not do that, shall we?

We've flattened the curve. In some places, flatter than whale turds at the bottom of the Marianas Trench. Everyplace else, much flatter than NYFC.

They are now the poster child for how not to deal with this pandemic.

How about doing and trying everything other than stay-at-home/shelter-in-place?

1) Latest word from WH briefings and the CDC (caveat emptor) is that summer sunlight and temperatures kill this thing on surfaces and in air in less time than a commercial. So a priority ought to be lifting the jackassical lockdowns on outdoor recreation areas and beaches. The bathrooms there, and any indoor air-conditioned venues, not so much.

2) Ordinary isopropyl alcohol apparently kills this bitch deader than canned tuna in half a minute too. So how's about we all agree to decon the f**k out of everything not moving, especially in public, over and over again, with every anti-viral cleansing agent known to man?

3) There will always be the 10% Gilligans in any population (Stout cudgel. Cranium. Assembly required.) , but people should be required to wear and use properly appropriate PPE, like masks and gloves, and given the opportunity to take responsibility for their own protection, and get out and about. I've taken care of 1-2 dozen Kung Flu patients already, at close range, using nothing more complicated than that. It works, and if I can do it, you darned sure can, if you have access to enough of the PPE to do it. Let's require its use in public, universally, and crank that stuff out by the metric f**kton.

4) We're going to have to test, and universally. First to find out who doesn't have it, and who does. So we need gajillions of rapid tests, that are accurate, and specific to SARS-CoV-2, not just any coronavirus including ones that cause a cold. We should start by testing the populations of lesser inhabited states first, and turning them loose, both because they'll be easier to clear faster, and if mistakes are made, they endanger fewer people. Besides, it's time North Dakota and Wyoming were at the head of the line for something. IL, FL, NY, TX, and CA should be dead last. Suck it up, buttercups. By the time we get to them, we should have a lot more tests, equipment, etc., so we'll be better prepared to open them as well, and fast enough to get it done.

5) And BTW, start by testing the actual essential workers, to clear them. Transportation/drivers, freight handlers, farmers, grocery clerks, water/gas/power engineers and workers, garbage collectors, cops, firefighters, EMS, and medical personnel. Then, everybody else, household by household.

6) Actual no-shit quarantines of infected/contagious people, with full lockdown "stay your @$$ at home" quarantine rules, posted signs, public health monitoring, and draconian enforcement for any violations, until they're cleared. Instead of locking up the healthy people.

None of that requires waiting on treatments nor vaccines made of vaporware. It isn't stupid, and it's all doable starting tomorrow. And none of it, done right, is liable to contribute a single new infection or death. It simply takes hospital and public health common sense from a century ago, and demands that we use it now.

Let's do this by hemming this bitch virus in, instead of stupidly doing unilateral lifting of lockdowns, which will just spread it around, and guarantee that we spread this to everyone,  create 49 or 100 more NYFCs, and kill people off by the bushel for the rest of the year.

That, I can get behind unreservedly, and other than the contagious infected, requires just about Jack and Squat Big Brother nannyism, or any more jackassical overreach by local petty tyrants and our would-be clipboard commando overlords. It also requires not one single bit of dubious surveys, magical models, calculating unknowable percentages of exposed, sick, hospitalized, dead, nor any other wild thing.

That doesn't mean they, and sheltering in place, never served any useful purpose, but their utility is largely over (unless TPTB/Idiots In Charge cock this up by the numbers, and get us back to Square One).We know what we need to know about things, and pushing decimal points back and forth solves nothing.

It will require hordes of testing materials, and PPE and decon supplies in small and large mountains. Okay, so let's get on that.

Wash your damned hands, wear your mask, and gloves - and change them! -  decon the hell out of everything not moving, and lock up the infected people, and we can get through this without killing off worst case estimates.

Or, slow-roll an idiotic unilateral lockdown lift, and spend the whole year killing great gobs more people slowly, with a dull rusty saw.

You pays your nickel, and you takes your chances.


Aesop said...

The chalkboard is open, kids.
Behave yourselves.

Night driver said...

Sounds like a plan.
Have you seen They actually have a decent methodology, just need to get to a lot of states/counties and that takes people, brainpower, and computing power, take a look.

Thanks for reopening. Let's hope it takes this time.

JNorth said...

Gov. Denleavy in Alaska has opened back up most things (bars and gyms still closed) with some extra precautions (much more spacing between tables in restaurants, PPE, etc.). Alaska has one of the lowest rates however and has more isolated communities then the rest of the country combined and the restriction of unnecessary travel between communities is still in place. It's easier to keep things clean when you have to fly or take a ferry to get there.

Bear Claw Chris Lapp said...

I am glad you locked it down in time for my rant to not get posted. Thanks again for the information, I still pray for mankind and all medical workers every day. My daughter started nursing school last fall got sidetracked with a serious issue but is now better and going back in the fall. Tough as she is heard my wife telling her a short while ago lots of dropouts in our friends local nursing school. Hang in there chief, still don't like the opening but I get it. I will still stay home. To those who would wish me dead, if you were not prepared for this who's fault is that. Don't screw it up a second time.

FredLewers said...

[Snickering] I'll be good. Promise!
All well and good. But what does that do for herd immunity or does herd immunity wait for the vaccine? Or are you thinking enough cases slip through the cracks to slowly develop herd immunity over time?

Bill Quick said...

Is there anybody you trust enough to let them moderate your comments and boot the chapped-diaper trolls so you don't have to do the Augean Stables bit every so often? Might obviate the need for periodic lockdowns to bend the curve of abject idiocy...

Mark said...

Thanks for turning comments back on, I've wanted to ask you about something for a while now.

There's one thing that really doesn't make sense to me about the stats coming out re Kung Flu.

Before I go on, I am not a medical professional, have never worked in health care (although did work for a health insurance company). I have been a computer programmer for 35 years, so I do understand data analysis, and this thing about the stats makes me go "hmmmm". Maybe you can clarify.

Last I looked a couple days ago, it seemed that about 10-15% of people tested, tested positive for Covid-19, which (takes shoes off) means 85%-90% of them didn't. Up until recently, the only people tested were those with symptoms or those who had contact with people who tested positive. So either those other people had something, like the seasonal flu, that make them sick enough that they were tested, or the test is throwing false-negatives in multiples of the actual true-positives. Let's not go THERE, let's assume that the test is actually statistically valid, and if it says you have it you do, and if it says you don't have it you don't, to a fairly certain percentage (90% do you?).

Now a certain number of sick, but Covid-19-negative, people will die from whatever they have, just like every year with the "normal" flu. Are they counted among the Covid-19 deaths? If so, they really ought to be counted among the Covid-19 CASES as well, or you're skewing the numbers (outright lying). (I've no real problem with them being counted in both, but if you're going to play with the numerator you need to play with the denominator too).

But that aside, SOMETHING is making these people sick enough to seek medical attention, and their symptoms are bad enough that the doc decided to test for Chinkflu. And they're finding that they don't have it over four times out of five. So do they just have the normal garden-variety flu?

Mark D

Knightsofnee said...

Is there a sufficient antibody response?

Everybody, mostly, seem to be pinning their hopes on sufficient herd immunity.

What about the slices of HIV RNA? If you are living HIV positive, does kung flu tickle you to death? Some young, seemingly healthy folks shaved died leaving their "partner" behind. MSM won't say, have to be PC.

30mil are obese and have type 2 diabetes and other related issues, so there is that. We as a people are generally unhealthy.

I guess we will get some answers with the re-opening.

The economy was on life support anyways, so kung flu caused cardio-pulmonary failure there. The FED is trying to stab the sternum one more time.

Unknown said...

Unfortunately, Gilligans are massively overrepresented in government.

Prediction: it won't be a week before federal judges who were perfectly fine with locking down there whole population, have kittens about locking down individuals "for the crime of being such".

Jester said...

Well, being a Wyoming resident I can add another ripple to this (two actually) One overall thing should be that truckers or folks in transportation should be the first getting tested. Does no good to clear a city say like Laramie or god for bid Cheyenne (Which has both I80 and I25 intersecting there) and keep importing plague carriers. Also If those fucks down in Colorado and the Denver area can stop coming up here because we are -slightly- more open than they are that would be great too. That's the rub of the issue with what your stating for priorities of states. At I would be bothered less about that shit if the folks that are moving around like that did pratice social distancing and ya know washing their fucking hands and stuff like that.

ADS said...

testing to see if banned, so short comment

lots to agree with in this post.
RE: ending the lockdown and the economy. It won't "jump-start" it but is a necessary condition to improvement. We've become a service industry based economy and that cannot recover without ending lockdowns. Hopefully this was enough of a shock that manufacturers pull supply chains back stateside and help revitalize the US mfg industry, but I'm not holding my breath.
The stock market continues to be a fantasyland disconnected from reality that has the potential to instantly "destroy" most of the country's "wealth", lockdown or no, pandemic or no.
Also praying that there's not a second, deadlier wave of this disease in late summer/fall a la 1918 spanish flu pandemic. Actions going forward should anticipate and hedge against the appearance of new and deadlier strains.

Great Scott said...

My one concern would be testing. How long would it be to actually get the testing completed?
I'm still working do to the type of business I'm in.

Great Scott said...

I'm concerned about the economy so I believe some areas can be opened unlike New York and Miami.

Bee Ess said...

There needs to be a hell of a lot of more nuance if we're being dumped into this "olly olly oxen free" method. Smaller stores and shops need to limit the number of people inside, etc, etc.
I'm in Georgia and NOT happy with the way our governor has started stepping this along. First wave was barbershops, bowling alleys, and massage therapists? WT-actual-F? How about essentials first? Places that are naturally or easily distanced? Nahhhh, go get a rub down w/ someone in PPE. That'll do, pig. That'll do.

ASM826 said...

Thank you, Semper Fi.

The first thing I would do is establish a tier 2 series of essential businesses. The things we need to continue to function 3 to 6 months. Crop planting and harvesting, manufacturing of durable goods, clothing, etc. It may require a WWII style planning board. Both extremes are easy to identify. We don't need cruise ships, we do need milk and baby food. It's all the grey areas where someone has to make the decisions. We are going to put people in harm's way to have these things, so let's decide they are essential. As restrictions lift, there will be an uptick in cases. Monitoring that so that it doesn't spike to levels that hospitals can manage will be ongoing.

If no effective treatment is found and no vaccine developed, there will be a slow burn of ongoing cases and deaths for the foreseeable future. Past about January 1st, 2020 that was unpreventable. All the lockdown was ever meant to do was "flatten the curve". We are going to accept this because we have to accept it. Just like we accept every other cause of death.

Saying that the lockdown hasn't caused deaths is shortsighted. Granting that the lockdown hasn't caused deaths yet doesn't mean we can continue this level of lockdown indefinitely. At some point, food and goods run out, the government goes broke, the supply chain is broken and the boogaloo is on.

More and accurate data is critical to making rational decisions. That should be a high priority. Otherwise, any decisions made are just guesses.

Unknown said...

Hi, from New Zealand, just wanted to quickly say thanks for all your informative and entertaining posts. Didn't know that I'd get the chance before the flock of opinionated pigeons comes back and shits all over your picnic table, again.
Here in nz we're at the tail end of our level 4 lockdown, which is basically house arrest for everyone but you can go and get groceries or get some exercise. And it's clubbed our Rona curve like a baby seal, which I believe was the point. So it would seem that in a month or so life here will be mostly back to normal. The economy will have taken a big donkey punch and we'll all be poorer for a few years but at least we won't have to worry about killing our more vulnerable members of our community. And I for one can live with that.


Reltney McFee said...

I can only PRAY! that Michigan's governor reads this, discusses it with her advisors (ideally, medically/nursing trained, and experienced), and thoughtfully, stepwise, rolls the lockdown back.

Kinda like what you have espoused.

Almost as if you had deliberated on this, had paid attention in nursing school, as well as in your classes at The Graduate School of Hard Knocks.

Historian said...


I'd be interested in your view on my take on this at Borepatch's site, regarding what is known, and what is not. I'm especially interested in your take on the use of hydroxychloroquin/Zpax/zinc early, and on the idea of using RBC transfusions to improve O2 sat and any other therapies known to deal with the excess ferritin (Fe2+ and Fe3+) which reportedly is responsible for the lung and other organ damage seen in severe cases.

Stay safe, sir.

With regard to you, and all others who seek the Light,

EasyCompany said...

It's going to happen no matter what.

The "Muh freedom" and the flubros are screaming bloody murder.

99% of those preppers and freedom fighters can't go without their jobs.

That mortgage, couple cars & truck loans, vacations, and new toys aren't going to buy themselves.

Or their need for sports.

Or whatever bread and circus they NEED.

No matter who's pockets their lining.

Their like junkies, them first and second.


I laugh now at those who think their going to boogloo or survival an EMP.

They are like babies screaming and throwing crap, because they want it back the way it was.

Bill Quick said...

I'm not sure I'd take that bent curve to the bank just yet. As of right now, (6:10 PM CDST) Worldometer is showing nearly 37,000 new cases, a new all time high for that number. Could be one of those glitches that occur every once in a while. If not, then that's a problem.

Dov Sar said...

We don't wear protective gear normally because we live on a farm in a remote area with no other human contact; our customers pull up and stay in the car; we drop milk/produce in their trunk and pick up the money they left, wipe it down with bleach, leave it in the sun for a while, then stash it, wash hands, etc.

We grow our own food so we don't go out much, but when we do, it's new level 3 mask (better than level 1 N95), gloves, and dorky farm hand covering from head to toe and glasses; come home, strip off clothes into washer, complete shower with hair wash. When we get out of the store we use hand sanitizer on our gloves before we start touching things in the car. In our county (Aroostook, northern Maine) there are only two cases (in same household) tested, but I am sure there are many more. No one in their right mind goes to the hospital in this rural area if they are sick. We appreciate blogs like this that help us learn about how to deal with unpleasant bioweapons, and we were prepared long before it hit.

My brother in law is a medical doctor, and when I told him about this virus at the end of January he blew me off and would not stock up on stuff like masks. My sister told me yesterday they only had one old N95 mask to share between the two of them so they could not go out together (they live in Michigan). I had to send them N98 masks in the mail; go figure. The farmer has to help the doctor with this stuff.

Aesop said...

There's still tons we don't know.
That knowledge will be useful, but won't affect what I've laid out.

If we couldn't do that, we couldn't keep hospitals open.
But obviously, we're doing that, so something less than "stay home" is practical and doable.

It's time to transition to that across the board.

But we have to test everyone who gets let out (or find those who must be actual quarantined) if we're going to transition to this.
Otherwise, we're just ringing the dinner bell for Kung Flu Wave Two.
And helpfully, this time, POTUS has indicated the willingness to turn the immigration tap that's run wide open non-stop since the 1960s straight to "off".

Night driver said...

My biggest bitch over the last 8 weeks is we really haven't taken this bug seriously. YES, there have been "issues with testing" but now that we have a viable, FAST test we're going to need to go into QUARANTINE mode with the whole YOU MUST STAY IN YOUR HOUSE UNTIL THE County Heath Nurse OK's you. And THAT means REAL Quarantine, REAL house arrest, no going out for a drive-through burger or ANYTHING. I hope you got friends who will deliver foodstuffs for you. And no you will get INGREDIENTS not MEALS.

ANd the Judges best be aware of the LAWS on Public Health Quarantine...

Night Driver

T said...

NYFC is a prime example of what NOT to do. I highly suspect that their subway system was the #1 cause of the rapid rise in cases there.

Contrast that to California's numbers, the state that started the "car culture" back in the '50s.

How that "mass transit Green Deal" looking now, AOC???

And Louisiana's numbers? Orleans and Jefferson parishes(counties) are the hot spots. Because Mardi Gras. And the most urban area of Louisiana.

My $.02 worth:

The nursing homes and hospitals should have been locked down much earlier. Those are the most medically vulnerable. And the healthcare workers screened/tested.

I've talked with several of MDs who have worked with COVID-19 patients, and they have said: "You don't want it, but if you aren't elderly, obese, diabetic, have rampant high blood pressure, or severe asthmatic, you'll make it with some discomfort. It ain't Captain Tripps".

Something else: there is some anecdotal indications that vaccinations for other viral diseases may help slightly with this one.
So: "Shove it up your ass, Jenny McCarthy. If I want to know how to look good naked, I'll give you a call. Otherwise, STFU about things you know nothing about".


ts said...

Do the cloth or self made masks I see people out and about with make a difference? Or is it safety theater? I can’t buy a good medical mask right now, no one has them, and I don’t trust the ads I suddenly see touting all these masks that no doubt are Chinese - if they can’t get us proper ones for medical personnel, how can they advertise “same” to the average joe?

chewbacca said...

Aesop, I like what you've said here. Seems many where I work at dont understand that a phased reopening like you've described here is possible. But testing is key. Why cant we have faster testing though, 2-3 days for results is just not adequate in a pandemic with a virulent disease.

Flight Doc said...

Regarding summer helping to decrease spread of the Chinese virus, likely not. Look to Guayaquil Ecuador where its s summer always and many thousands have died and the situation has not improved yet.

Unknown said...

Lockdowns don’t work,look at Sweden.

This is not the plague, look at USC study in SOCAL, and Stanford study in NORCAL, many more people have been exposed than have been thought, making the CFR Of normal flu.

Ray - SoCal said...

Cloth masks help if everyone wears them. They are more about helping your neighbor, than you.

Czech Republic is having success with using homemade masks.

Aesop said...

@Flight Doc,

I've pointed out frequently the outbreak's spread in Guayaquil, Singapore, and Australia in summer. This isn't the point.
Not looking for summer to decrease the spread (which has to do with person-person transmission), I'm looking at sunlight killing it within a minute or two (which has to do with removing lockdowns from bright sunny places).
Big difference.
PPE and social distancing will still be important.
But there's no reason to keep parks and beaches closed any longer. In fact, rather the opposite.


Both the USC/LA County study, and the Stanford study are statistical horseshit.
And "exposure to" does not equal "infection with".
Plenty of people (I work with them) have been exposed to TB, enough to develop antibodies, but they haven't had TB. I suspect the same is true for Kung Flu. Exposure to small amounts, from people who are infected, may provide your immune system with enough to make antibodies, and keep you from coming down with a full-blown raging case of it.

Aesop said...


Surgical masks are for keeping everyone else from getting your germs. Not the other way around.

OvergrownHobbit said...

All the biopsies not done, the cardio checks not made, the physio not happening; all the local clinics going bankrupt and shutting down ...

And as long as the infected-person quarantines go unenforced (but park-usage gets you manhandled into a cop car), subways are running,and the airplanes flying, and the border wide open, and personal hygiene optional for vast swathes of the population, because -ISM!! (Pick one) and the homeless free-ranging, and the cops not wearing simple masks, and stigma more important than disease vectors.. This was and is one great big Kabuki Quarantine.

Not that you don't have a great plan for Orange County, Mr. Aesop but it won't work for most of the places that need it because they aren't the kind of people who can or will do it. Not the top, not the bottom. And the middle will flee into the areas that ran Plan Aesop and swamp them.

So end the lock down, let the Wuhan Gurgling Death loose, and roll the dice before there's nothing left to save. I'll probably die, but there's worse things.

Orvan Taurus said...

I plan to go have supper at a *restaurant* where I can come in and be served. This means I must travel 2+ hours from $LOCKEDDOWNSHELLHOLE to $SANESTATE. It'll be worth it. And $SANESTATE is NOT utterly locked down - a few measures are taken, sure, but NOT "house arrest everyone" which makes NO DAMNED SENSE. Not everywhere is some silly rabbit-warren stack-a-prole hellhole of disease ideal.

And in a case of utter sillyness, $WORKPLACE has decided masks will be mandatory.. starting THIS COMING WEEK. Bit late. Horsie left the barn over a month ago.

Considering all the stories of coworkers family members with Mystery Respiratory Illness some time back, I figure I've (we've!) been exposed to hell and back by now. I'd ***LOVE*** to take a right, proper antibody/serological test. I suspect either I've NEVER had it and DO NOT have it, or I had so long ago that I cannot pass it on. Treating rural FlyOverlandia like NYC with it's disease-encouraging crowding and transit systems is INSANE. And I know damn well that I am in at *least* one 'risk group'. It's NOT 1918. I am unconvinced it even RHYMES with 1957. And they don't DARE compare it to 1957 as there are living people with memories of that year that could tell the panic-mongers to... [CENSORED].

Knightsofnee said...

You could have purchased what you needed in mid Jan. I did, thank you Grasshopper. Garry Owen!

Knightsofnee said...

I have had to the same with Gilligans in my own family, the pricks did not.

Toirdhealbheach Beucail said...

Aesop, the unfortunate flaw in your plan is item 4, universal testing. Universal testing requires a validated universal test which has undergone clinical verification and ruled out things like false positives, false negatives, is reliable, robust, and vetted. And (for most kits) approved by the FDA. The risk remains of using kits that have not undergone rigorous design and testing. Frankly, this can take years (I work in the industry, so I know of what I speak). Currently part of the issue was the at NIH held kit development in house instead of engaging industry immediately (unlike South Korea).

Items 1, 2, 3, and 6? Sure. But that requires the sort of government that can make these distinctions and manage things accordingly. The current model is generally either note taking it seriously enough or dictators in love with their sense of being able to control people's lives.

Aesop said...

That's not a flaw in the plan so much as a flaw in the outcome.

Ultimate point being that not doing something is therefore probably going to get you the worst-case scenario, with worst-case casualties to match, every single time.

Make your individual plans accordingly, therefore.

Michael said...

Orvin Taurtus I was about to post how idiots from COVID19 Friendly (from there ever INCREASING deaths and hospitalizations with positive COVID19) Masshole decided the reports that my fine state was almost COVID19 free SO decided to spend their 1200 dollar bonuses in NH's lake region.

My local Wal-Mart was SWAMPED by college age kids buying beer and party supplies when I was getting some meds. No mask on any of them, buying in packs crowding everybody. I was about to complain about that also pal.

But your missive took the steam out of it as YOUR a prime case of ME FIRST and ONLY wanting, nay Demanding your RIGHTS to escape your COVID19 lockdown for a "Sit down Meal".....

I for one am NOT looking forward to seeing where NH's pretty low COVID19 stats (mostly in big city Manchester) will be looking like in about 2-3 weeks with all these potential plague rats running around with a beer in their hands.

Well, pretty soon the BIG Question if it's "Just a Flu" will be well known even to Gilligan's, who no doubt WILL BLAME everybody except their own behavior for the massive increase of COVID19.

Jonah Kyle said...

This is not a pandemic. This is the Democrat Party's / Deep State's biggest psy-ops attack in the history of the planet.

Aesop said...

After 200,000+ deaths, and cases in literally every country on the planet, this is a pandemic. Either you don't understand what words mean, or you just refuse to believe your own lying eyes.
Neither option is one about which to brag.

Dean M Drews said...

I am 68. I had it it in February. My daughter and my two grandsons had it in February. My next door neighbor had it in January. The hospitals were full. Her bed was in the hall. Sure it's real. Sure it's a pandemic. I have lived through many pandemics. I will not live in fear.

Aesop said...

Nor did anyone suggest you ought to.
Living in common sense, OTOH, wouldn't be a bad idea.
The idea that you've lived through "many" pandemics, however, is risible.
There haven't been "many" pandemics since 1952.
Epidemics, yes.
Pandemics, no.

Unknown said...

"After 200,000+ deaths..."

*From* COVID or *with* COVID? Data quality is low low low.

Aesop said...

Bullshit quantity is high from people that think co-morbidity = another magical cause of death.
We've covered that material already.