Monday, September 7, 2020

I Toldja So, Pt. 2,487

Color me shocked: U. of Iowa re-opened, as did universities in many states, including in North and South Dakota. 

No points for guessing where the three highest per-capita Kung Flu infection rates in the U.S. are, as of right this minute. 

In Week One, U. of I. had a student body infection rate of 13+%. (That's worse than the documented infection rate for the entire state of CA after 9 months of this crap, FTR. FWIW, we're seeing a COVID case every 2 weeks or so, rather than 10-a-night, currently, here in my part of SoCal. L.A. is another story.) This week, Week Two, it's now north of 28% at U. of I. Well-played. I can hardly wait to see how long before they get to full goose bozo 100% infected. 

The really fun part is that somewhere around 50% will be totally asymptomatic. When those unharmed students start passing it on to their parents, professors, and ancillary staff, and so on, it won't be so bitchin' for the previous low infection rates in those three states. Or their hospitals. 

How fun is that? Flash back to food production earlier this year when national epicenters of beef, chicken, and pork production had sudden clusters of 10, 20, or 50 packing workers taken out with Kung Flu, and guess the price of bacon and chicken going forward a few weeks after that happens again. Remember: if you like your pandemic, you can keep your pandemic, and this is how you do that: trust the biggest jackasses to be responsible participants in society. In this case, that group being university students. And their moron administrators. Go, Team Gilligan! 

The only small silver lining in that clouded hurricane sky is the prospect that they might ass-idently wipe out an entire generation of aging hippie leftoid fruitcakes in academia, which will be an unexpected own-goal for the ChiComs who bungled containment, and the Leftards and NeverTrumpers cheering on the pandemic. If they can repeat the success from Iowa at places like Harvard, Berzerkely, et al, color me properly amused. 

But as expected, and right on track, the next COVID-wave spike now looks to be late September-October-ish, due to school re-openings from K-PhD. Followed by the inevitable one after that, likely from Thanksgiving to New Years', inclusive, secondary to large family holiday gatherings. Almost like Pasteur's Germ Theory and 150 years of epidemiology research was true or something. 

But for those not addicted to low double-digit IQs, and utilizing face masks, handwashing, 6' social distancing, and copious use of hand santizers, events tease the prospect of the smallest annual flu numbers in decades hereabouts. 

Whether society can survive the low-IQ pandemic, and the election held amidst it, is the open question of the year. So much for imaginary pandemics, and "It's Just The Flu, Bro." Hopeium is now trading in Zimbabwean Trillion-dollar treasury note ranges. 

Keep up the PT, and stocking your deep larders. 

You're only in the middle innings of this.


OC said...

Concerning the 6 foot deal. Who came up with that arbitrary distance? I'm thinking that velocity is the defining distance. We all know people who can cough/sneeze and you hardly notice it, while others do it at hurricane levels. Did the "government" just pick a number and stick with it?

CJG said...


So glad to have you back, brother. In my small (7-bed) ER, we have closed down our triage tent in the parking lot, but from your heartwarming description of the predominant lack of thought hereabouts in Los Angeles County, I'm guessing it won't stay shut down for long. The 53' locked cooler next to it is home to dozens of the unlucky, and that is the only AC unit truly working in our hospital. Mmm,boy. Spicy times ahead.

Your page is a breath of fresh air. Thanks for the good advice over the years. May your new computer be free from too many hiccups. Can't wait to see pics of your rifle when the work is done, you lucky dog.

Be safe,

Chris G, RN

jen said...

Missed you.

McChuck said...

Infections =/= illnesses.
Illnesses =/= deaths.
Viruses are forever. How long do you plan on bowing before tyrants because of a cold that only kills old, sick people?

Nick Flandrey said...

Glad to hear your covid cases are decreasing.

We JUST started in person learning for our K-12 district, having been 'virtual' for the last two weeks. Our soft start has half the in-person class reporting today, then switching with the other half later in the week. I believe the following week it will be both halves of the in-person kids at the same time. MY kids will be continuing with distance learning while the others figure out how to do this, or if it's even possible (my feeling is 'not'.) Our schools are seeing very different uptake rates for in-person, and it's somewhat correlated with poverty level. Some schools are 30/70 remote, some 30/70 in person. Plenty of variations to run the experiment.

Longer term, we're shifting our cash savings into stuff that will hopefully protect from massive inflation. We're shifting our future vacation plans from 'lots of travel' and 'going to see and do things' to 'lake house'. I'm on board with someplace farther from the city, well off the freeways, to spend most of our 'free' time working on. Different memories with the kids, but still should be good memories.

LOTS of big changes coming even if the economy and republic don't collapse. Lots of people changing their future vacation plans like we're doing. Lots of people changing their housing situation - remember when there was wailing that the boomers wouldn't be able to sell their giant empty houses because millenials didn't want McMansions? Everyone wants home offices, bedrooms for each kid, modern 'rec' rooms, and space to isolate at home now. Will it last? Who knows but people are making those decisions.

Chicago and the east coast shitholes are hemorrhaging taxpayers and homeowners like never before. Who wants to live in a plague pesthole, without the things that made it tolerable? Some people are smart enough to (finally) recognize that they are the cattle for the ticks to get fat on, and they're running away from the farms. White flight is real, and the financial consequences for the cities will be dramatic.

Spend however long we have left getting your financial house in order, your physical living conditions in order, and stack the necessities as high as you can. Even if we were to somehow pull back from the brink of economic collapse and civil war (or genocide) it won't be long until the next crisis.

The roman empire didn't die in a day, and Rome is still there. But the people who call themselves Romans changed, and the Roman's themselves are no longer there. So has it been, so shall it be...


Toirdhealbheach Beucail said...

Aesop, to be completely honest with you, I have about given up hope. There is nothing but a long, downward trend to doom here.

Really. Not trying to be melodramatic. If there is some good news here, I am not seeing it.

Ominous Cowherd said...

Infection rate? Is anyone dead? Is anyone even sick? I can keep my pandemic? Dude, I never even got my pandemic. The virus is real, but the crisis lies entirely in the imagination and the response.

Yeah, I know people died. They always do. The excess deaths amount to nothing, and many of them were caused by the official response. I told you more would die from the response than ever died from the virus, and I have certainly been proven right.

JimR said...

Actual numbers, instead of wild eyed ranting.

The Overgrown Hobbit said...

An olive branch to make you smile:

Aesop said...

1) No effing idea, and the infection rate is a made-up number, unless you test 100% of the population to get actual data. I couldn't care less, as it makes no difference in the grand scheme.
2) Haven't followed up, but I have no doubt that 3 weeks after infections begin to spike, you'll begin seeing the deaths follow suit at the same mortality rate as experienced everywhere else.
3) Ditto the above: people most at risk is a subset of infections.
4) Everybody got a pandemic. Hence the name. In NYFC, it may have reached 15% of the population. In CA, it's running about 10% of everybody. In BFE, I suspect that rate runs from 1.0% to 0.1%. If things aren't bad for you, happy days. That just leaves a proportionally huge population totally susceptible when it spreads there, because no immunity, no exposure, and no culling of the low-hanging fruit, unlike places where idiot governors put known COVID+ cases into vulnerable nursing home populations with 87 pre-existing co-morbidities.
Let me know how you expect that's going to go for all concerned when Junior at Moo U. gets COVID asymptomatically, then brings it home to mom and pop and grandparents in Hooterville over Thanksgiving Break, and they take it to their senior bridge club and church group. And Mom and Pop take it to work, give it to their co-workers, who give it to their kids, who give it to other kids, who give it to their families, and so on ad infinitum. I'll await those reports until the day. Again, that's how pandemics work. And that's why you can keep it, and keep it going.

The excess deaths amount to a worst case year's annual flu death toll, except telescoped down into only 2-3 months' time, based on real-world numbers. The initial spike was yuuuuuuge, not illusory. Just because the alligator didn't bite everyone in the ass the same week doesn't mean it's toothless. The folks on the Promenade Deck of the Titanic thought it was just a midnight lifeboat drill until the seawater was lapping at their slippers too. HUTA is not a response to emulate.

The response didn't kill people like COVID did, but the lack of a coherent one sure didn't help.

There's been no wild-eyed ranting here either, unless English isn't your primary language. And absent more time, you have no idea how this is going until 3-6 weeks afterwards. It's a virus, not nerve gas, and the casualties of sick and dead, rather than initial infection, take weeks to start piling up. But infections aren't benign, and those numbers will be forthcoming.

1) Correct
2) Correct
3) Handwashing and mask-wearing are hardly examples of succumbing to tyranny.
4) I personally bagged and tagged multiple COVID death victims in their 20, 30s, and 40s. You might want to adjust your definition of "old".
A virus that kills people 24 years old isn't "just the flu, bro".
Then, or now.

Call me in 10 years, or after we get a proven safe and effective vaccine (big "IF" there, but it's within the realm of possibility).
Until then, this is nothing to play with.
Also, a lot of so-called Kung Flu "survivors" that were hospitalized have permanent scarring of the lungs due to long-term pneumonia, and they're going to die early in the near future of complications of that, as sure as the change of the ocean tides.

Aesop said...

I suspect the 6' number is based on cough and sneeze particles travelling lest robustly when one is wearing a mask.

Without a mask, the safe distance would be about 30'.

Bram said...

It's not even the flu. My son is back at college. Everyone got sick the first week. Two of his roommates tested positive, the rest didn't bother with the hassle of getting tested. A few days later they were all better.


Would you care to comment on how the Swedes handled this "Pandemic"?

Phelps said...

Haven't followed up, but I have no doubt that 3 weeks after infections begin to spike, you'll begin seeing the deaths follow suit at the same mortality rate as experienced everywhere else.

Will you agree that if, in four weeks, there has been no spike in deaths, that your hypothesis is falsified?

Steady Steve said...

Had Covid19. Symptoms started Sat. the 22nd in the evening. Had a nasal swab and blood test on Mon. with positive results on Tue.
The doc put me on HCQ/zinc starting Wed. morning. Knocked that bug down in 3-4 days, no breathing issues ( I have a pulse/ox at home).
The low grade fever and general feeling of weakness hung on for another 10 days. Tested negative again on the following Wed. and went back to work the following Mon. It's taken me a week to get back to feeling "normal" and get my energy level up. From the way I felt the first week, I'd say the boys who analyzed the disease using the Oak Ridge super computer are spot on as to how Sars-Cov2 attacks the body.
I was feeling soreness in my kidney area, elevated heart rate, and intestinal upset. I think taking HCQ early saved me from having lung/breathing issues. I've had pneumonia before and would not like to repeat the experience. I and 3 other crew members on my yacht got this from a guest despite masks, hand washing/sanitizing, and social distancing as much as possible. This disease is going to run it's course through the population no matter what, so just open everything up and get it over with taking as many common sense precautions as possible. Isolate the most vulnerable, and quit letting politicians and bureaucrats make health decisions.

Mike Smith said...

I believe the 6' distance was derived from a study of a passenger airplane flight with people who traced their runa back to that flight. People within 6 ft caught the kung flu and people further than 6' did not.

Totally scientific study. The science is settled!!

Also, 18-25 year olds SHOULD get the rona, thats how we get closer to herd immunity. And those asymptomatic carriers? Have a cold, not the rona. The "test" cant differentiate and any PCR over 28x is a joke.

Night driver said...

Also, consider that there were a LOT of folks who were NOT hospitalized who are like my Bro-Out-Law who was never in need of hospitalization (his bride is an invasive cardiology specialist RN for Duke and she would have DRAGGED him in by some sensitive appendage if he had needed it.

3 months later he's functioning (the term used LOOSELY) with an ejection fraction WELL below 50%. And a known lower extremity clot they are unlikely to treat. He's getting "Friend of the House" treatment at Duke...
He USED to be a World-class Judo-Jiujitsu coach, instructor, and judge. NOW the hike across the mats kicks his ass...
Since the bride and I are sliding slowly into the target age zone, we're working the supplement/vitamins/etc line, just trying to NOT become numbers. Working SO FAR...

Keep the Faith, bro.

Night Driver...

Hari Seldon said...

I am quite satisfied with my pandemic. 200,000 *reported* deaths makes this outbreak slightly more deadly on a per capita basis than the 1968 Hong Kong flu, which was so devastating to the U.S. that nobody even remembers it.

In my state, we have had fewer than 5,000 reported corona deaths, most of them aged 80 and older. There are currently less than 100 people in the hospital with COVID-related illnesses. In the whole state. Schools have been open for almost a month.

For medical workers (much respect) and the elderly, this virus is or was a serious concern. For everyone else, statistically speaking, it's a bad joke.

Perhaps if we had suspended the Constitution and subjected all 328 million U.S. residents to total house arrest for 3 weeks back in February or March, the virus would have died out. Perhaps not; there is no recorded instance of Stalinesque social engineering being effective against a coronavirus.

There is also no scientific consensus about the efficacy of masks during a pandemic. But universal mask wearing certainly helps keep the ambient levels of fear alive, the better to justify our governor's recent five-month extension of emergency powers.

Michael said...

Aesop have you found your plasma gun in the 40 watt range yet :-) How is that 30-40 Kraig doing?

Seems the media coverage of COVID19 has faded to a dull roar compared to the political horseshit. Not as important as trashing Trump so the Sock Puppet and the REAL Next President Kamila can "Win" the prize of our battered Republic.

When do you think they will they start up the COVID19 "Dark Winter" scenario again in your opinion?

Question: "What did Socialists use BEFORE Candles?"

Answer "Electricity".

Have missed your wit lately. I hope you've been busy as a hungry squirrel putting things away for the next emergency.

. said...

If the Beer Flu winds up taking out a bunch of the Neo-Marxist professors at your favorite institute of not-so-higher learning, that's Kool.

Maybe we can replaced said professors with Larry Corriea, Bill Whittle, Ben Shapiro, etc.....

Hey, I can dream, right?


Aesop said...

Tell Gilligan Jr. Congrats.
Let me know how the 42 people he and everyone else asymptomatic and minimally symptomatic pass this on to do with it, esp. the ones in the more age range more susceptible to serious symptoms. And get a refund on your grade school science and health class.

A small (fewer people than just North Carolina), largely homogenous population in the backwaters of the industrial world, that already lives like good little socialists 24/7, and probably never had much penetration by the virus, did relatively well.
Your turn: tell me how China, Italy, and the U.S., handled it.

Call me when no one dies. Until then, all it might signify is that the virulence of the virus is attenuating with age, pretty much like every virus ever seen. You could look it up.

@Ryan G.,
Under normal circumstances, what they're calling Kung Flu "tests" wouldn't qualify under any scientific definition of the word. A false positive and negative rate of 33% is little better than having chimpanzees toss a coin. When they get a test with 90%+ accuracy, it might be another story, but by then, it's unlikely anyone will be paying attention.

Aesop said...

Penalty Flag: Apples and Oranges Fallacy, 15 yards and loss of possession.
If the Hong Kong Flu had only lasted 12 weeks, you'd have had a point.
We got to 100,000 dead from Kung Flu in a mere couple of months, and that was only after draconian measures in 40+ states. In '68, we did...absolutely nothing. Shame about your narrative, but we have some lovely parting gifts for you.

Last week we bagged and tagged a dead 49-year old, and admitted a 45 y.o. ICU nurse, both with Kung Flu, and no co-morbidities. Their X-rays weren't imaginary, and ordinary pneumonia doesn't look like a sheet of white paper.

I'm sincerely glad for you and your neighbors' sakes that your state is one that had little penetration by the virus, but that whole airline flight ban and the closing of half the economy for months on end may have had some wee impact on how much nothingburger you got in Wherever You Are.

I'm pretty sure you didn't suffer much from the Northridge Earthquake or the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius either, but that similarly does nothing to demonstrate the benign nature of earthquakes or volcanoes per se.

There's been no Stalinist social engineering in the U.S. in this coronavirus outbreak either, so your unstated theory is yet unproven anywhere in recorded American history. China's success by welding people into their apartments and cremating the dead under an internet blackout seems to have worked for them, but that's history, not advocacy of the approach.

As far as scientific consensus, I commend for your perusal Michael Crichton's essay, oft-cited on this blog, Aliens Cause Global Warming, but if you're the TL;DR type I'll summarize it with one quote from the maestro: "If it's science, it isn't consensus. If it's consensus, it isn't science." Telling me about scientific consensus is thus like extolling military intelligence, jumbo shrimp, and government help: just another oxymoron in service of a failed theory.

As to your (or any) governor's extension of emergency powers, one would hope (but not necessarily expect) your legislature would grow a set of balls, and reign that sort of happy horsesh*t in, as the extra-legal usurpation of the separation of powers it is, 9 months into this thing. Short-term, I'm game for true emergency responses to anything within reason. In perpetuity, it's simple tyranny, hiding under a surgical mask. We don't elect kings, we elect constitutional executives. Big difference.

If the people, and their designated representatives, refuse to carry out their mandated duties in halting such nonsense, torches, pitchforks, tar and feathers, and a ride out of town on a rail for all culprits are not only in-bounds, but commendable, pour encourager les autres.

If that fails, the traditional formula is rope + lamp post + politician; some assembly required.

That said, Kung Flu is real, it's still killing people, and there is a level of response beyond doing nothing that falls well within the bounds of common sense, and reasonable people away from the lunatic fringes at both ends of the political spectrum should be working on that, instead of trying to advance their pet nonsense. Unfortunately, it's hard for 20% of the population to outweigh the roughly 80% moron constituency evidently more interested in running full tilt for the cliffs at either end of the balance beam. If there was ever an argument for an IQ test and minimum passing score before getting a ballot, this year has proven the necessity.

Hari Seldon said...

Hi Aesop,

There's no fallacy here. Covid has killed a reported 200K people in the US since the first deaths in early February, so a period of nearly 8 months. (I think the reported figures are juiced, but that's another discussion.) Hong Kong flu killed an estimated 100K Americans, primarily during the winter seasons of 1968-69 and 69-70 (the first being the most severe, accelerating in October and peaking 2-3 months later).

Adjusting for population (200 million in 1968) as well as age structure (median age was a decade younger than today), covid is on track to be a perfectly normal pandemic in the same ballpark as the Hong Kong flu.

You mention the draconian measures taken in 40+ states, but there is no evidence whatsoever that these saved a single life. Again, probably another discussion for another day. I would raise the following question though: if these lockdown/social distancing measures are so obviously effective and time-tested, why were they not even considered during the Asian flu, Hong Kong flu and Swine flu pandemics, which collectively killed hundreds of thousands of Americans? Why were they never recommended in the pandemic preparedness guidelines issued by the CDC and the WHO prior to March 2020? Did the science suddenly change?

Your point is *very* well taken re: torches and pitchforks, and I have nothing to add to that. As for masks, let me clarify: consensus aside, I do not think there is any hard evidence that masks are effective at suppressing an epidemic. They might even be harmful. We don't know. I have no objection to people wearing them - even, ridiculously, outside - but nobody should be forced to wear them, ever, except in specialized healthcare settings. If the government can mandate masks during covid, there is nothing in principle to stop them from mandating masks during every flu season, during which thousands or tens of thousands routinely die. The argument will be that covering one's face is a small sacrifice to save even a single life! The dangers of this logic are becoming evident around the Anglosphere as businesses are arbitrarily destroyed, liberties suspended and lives wrecked in this mad campaign to keep everyone "safe." It needs to be opposed - all of it.

Night driver said...

It would be especially nice if you would lay aside the Krag and helped us translate Mono-syllabic Medical Answers to dumb and ill-advised reporter questions about POTUS status with the KungFlu.

Your acolytes await your return to The Lysts.

Bight Driver, Third cousin 4 times removed to Simon Legree, Slave Driver to the World

Aesop said...

1) We hit 100K+ in less than 3 months, even with draconian restrictions.
It's rather obvious we would have gone with more deaths even faster with the Hong Kong flu "nothing" response. Even with restrictions, we got the next 100K in 5 additional months. This ain't "just the flu". Never was. So this isn't "just a normal pandemic", because different diseases have different lethalities. This one is absolutely running far higher than any annual flu.
Don't believe me; go back and find me the reports of bodies piling up in reefer trucks in NYFC during the Hong Kong Flu in '68-'70 to make your point with apples-to-apples data. I'll wait while you don't find them, because that didn't happen.

2) The measures taken weren't taken to save lives per se; they were taken to flatten the tsunami of new cases, which would have crushed all health care anywhere this got to NYFC levels of infection (probably around 15-20%, max, btw) or worse.
That saves lives in that we aren't so overwhelmed we can't deal with anything else.
It worked (barely) in NYFC, and other places hard hit. We were running a little better in CA, but not by much at times.
It didn't matter so much in BFEgypt, because their levels of virus penetration were between 1% and 0.1%, not 10-20% or more.
Precisely because of the measures you describe as "draconian".
You're welcome.

Did it also Eff up the economy, and disrupt millions of lives?
You betcha. Damned shame.
You can always make more money, but not so much If you're dead, and you've overwhelmed all health care systems indefinitely.
You pays your nickel, and you takes your chances.

2) You mention pandemic preparedness guidelines.
I have seen no evidence of the existence of any such thing, as such, from 1980-present, inclusive.
The fedgov pulls things out of their ass as a national policy since forever, and they rarely get anything right, even the first 20 times.
The last pandemic of this type was the Spanish Flu, and I'm pretty sure the guidelines from 1918-1919, if they ever existed in written form, are in a file box in the same GSA warehouse they put the Ark of the Covenant in 1937. Any institutional memory of those times died in the 1990s, when the people in charge back then had all died of old age.

Do yourself a favor, and look up how we handled quarantines for polio, diptheria, whooping cough, and TB, among others, anytime before the 1950s.
I'll wait.
If it's TL;DR for you, we used to lock those people known to be infected in their houses for the duration, on pain of prison. (Google Typhoid Mary.)

Aesop said...

The difference is, those other diseases were all mostly symptomatic carriers, so isolating them, instead of everyone, was far easier.

With Kung Flu, everyone is Typhoid Mary, because most people don't know they've got it, and don't know they're scattering virus like Johnny Appleseed on crack.
Asymptomatic carriers killed 40 people in the PNW nursing home cluster before we even knew Kung Flu was here. The only way to nip that in the bud is widescale lockdowns. It only became a Kung Flu cluster when a local epidemiologist working in the Seattle Flu project grant study - against express government orders - tested people there for flu and COVID, and discovered the 800 lb. gorilla in the room.
You could look it up.

The sledgehammer lockdown response once the obvious became known is probably why most of the country had less than 5% infection rates, and some less than 1%, even to now.
But unlike people with common sense in the 1920s and 1930s, the science didn't change; the general lack of basic common sense and intelligence above that of fungus, the dearth of the personal ability to STFU and suck it up, and the overweening sense of entitlement from coast to coast became the co-morbidity that spread this disease the most. I abbreviate that as Gilliganism, because it is.

3) I disagree on your response to masks in principle FOR A LIMITED DURATION EMERGENCY EVENT.
Which event, IMHO, is anything up to or under 6 months' time, AND novel. Annual flu, by definition, is neither. A by-definition virus, in all likelihood a bio-engineered Frankenbug from a bio-weapons lab, never released into the public before, is both. We don't know Jack nor Sh*t about what this bug will do next year, or when it mutates, or what the sequellae are or will be for the people who had it already. I suspect a number of ICU "survivors" will end up being early die-ers, because of long-term problems from weeks of pneumonia. We won't find out if there are long-term problems (nota bene that chicken pox early in life gets you shingles in your older years, for example) for all those who caught it asymptomatically until long after I'm dead and gone.

And that's just for openers. We simply don't know what we don't know.

But beyond a limited-duration emergency response, anything further must be passed by either direct vote or normal legislation, with all the normal due processes, checks and balances, and judicial review for basic constitutionality, etc.

This current rule-by-fiat nonsense we put up with (in good faith thus far) is simply medically expedient tyranny beyond a certain freshness date, and we've hit that mark at this point.
That's not inconsistent, it's simply basic common sense, and common law, going back to Roman law under the Caesars, which forms the foundation of US common law since we were a British colony. As numerous SCOTUS opinions affirm and confirm, all US law is not encoded solely in our Constitution.

Aesop said...

@ Night Driver,

I'll take it under advisement.

That has me almost as pissed off as dumbass generally intelligent conservative pundits on radio/TV who can't find their ass on the whole topic, because their head is up it, and they're in water way over their head.

Some genius whose name rhymes with Duck Rectum gets my goat on a nearly daily basis, because on the whole topic, he's the most ignorant fuckwit on 57 channels, surpassing the idiocy of AOC, Mad Maxine Waters, and Nancy Pelosi - combined - which is saying something.