The horizon is not so far as we can see, but as far as we can imagine

How Covid Will Play Out in America

Almost every day this blog publishes the John Hopkins Covid-19 numbers. They are undercounts of both deaths and cases, but they give the trendline. Recently the trendline has very slowly started to move down.

Meanwhile, Trump and many governors have started to move to ease isolation requirements. This map shows that only five out of 50 states (and Puerto Rico) aren’t easing.

There are three problems here.

First, the curve hasn’t been crushed. In fact, in some states, it’s still increasing.

Second, even once a curve has been crushed, to keep it under control without a vaccine, you need to test and trace. The US would need to hire hundreds of thousands of tracers to do this, and would need many more tests than are currently available. If you don’t test and trace, one person can infect many other people, and then all those people infect many other people.

Third, Covid-19 takes about two weeks from infection before people show symptoms, and two weeks more before they start dying. During that asymptomatic period, carriers are contagious.

What this means is you can have a significant outbreak going on and not know it is happening. That’s why countries that got Covid-19 under control crushed it into the dirt, then put everyone coming in from outside the country into quarantine, and they test like mad.

Humans are really bad at making decisions where the consequences are delayed. (See Change, Climate). Even a two week- to month-long delay is more than the decision makers in many countries, including the US, can handle.

So, the numbers seem to be in decline, and there will be removal of restrictions, and then the numbers will start increasing again in two to six weeks. Because infection rates will be moving off a larger base, they will create a second wave where people start dropping like flies–much larger than the first wave.

This is acceptable to the people who run the US because they have jobs where they can work from home, and if they don’t, like in the White House, they can test every day. It is the lower class who will be forced to go back to work and to die.

That’s not a problem for American elites; killing unimportant people for money is pretty much what they do for a living.

It’s possible this narrative can be cut off if those states which are handling Covid properly close their borders to non-isolating states, presumably by calling up the national guard. There is also some hope because Americans are generally not flocking back to venues like restaurants–even in States which have re-opened.

But overall, this looks like the first wave passed its peak, is slowly declining, before the second wave comes in and culls the poor for the rich. Numbers of deaths will be in the hundreds of thousands at a minimum. If this is bungled completely, it could be that 80 percent of the population will have to get Covid-19 to create herd immunity, and that a little under one percent will die. The rich will isolate and test throughout all this, of course.

This is a worst case scenario, and many mocked the possibility even two months ago. Surely, they said, American elites couldn’t fuck this up that much?

They can, and they are. But it isn’t fucking up. They’re now isolated and in little danger. They’ve bailed themselves out, given themselves even more control over the economy than before. If ordinary Americans get sick, die, or can’t pay rent and go hungry, well, why should American elites care? It doesn’t effect them.

That’s their bet.

As for you, do what you can to prepare. We may get lucky and get a vaccine earlier than expected, but if not, the US has made the choice to let Covid-19 continue to wend its way through the population.

And remember, Americans, if you decide you’d rather not die so the top one percent can own more of the US, they have names and addresses.

Never riot in your own neighbourhood.

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May 11th US Covid Data


May 12th Covid Numbers


  1. Tom

    The virus has an HIV insert. There won’t be a vaccine due to its CD-147 receptor enabling it to attack T-cells. Its also beginning to go after children in a big way having mutated to specifically attack children in NYC. 3 have already died.

    Herd Immunity is also out as the Humoral Immune System is what ultimately stops it and the antibodies it forms are only good once and often don’t form at all.

    Get Zinc in your diet and a zinc channel opener. Its the only thing you can do right now alongside wearing a mask.

  2. Daniel Lynch

    A dark prediction, but it is conceivable. Agree that if a 2nd wave happens, it will be deliberate. The first wave may be attributed to incompetence, but by now the elites understand what the virus is capable of and what is required to control it. They see that cases are on the rise in some states yet are fine with re-opening, so this is a deliberate choice.

    We live in interesting times. This is like having a front row seat at Gettysburg.

  3. krake

    ‘Herd immunity’ is unlikely, and perhaps applies very poorly to coronaviruses, in general.

    More likely: the US as viral reservoir, and consistent source of global outbreaks.

  4. krake

    “They see that cases are on the rise in some states yet are fine with re-opening, so this is a deliberate choice.”

    Given demographic trends, that would mean an official policy of genocide.

  5. gnokgnoh

    30 million+ out of work now, many losing their employer-provided health insurance. The consequences of that will play out in different ways depending on how long the administration continues to fund unemployment insurance. It was perhaps one of the few effective things Obama did after the financial crash, continuing UI for 99 weeks (1 year 47 weeks). Jobs, what jobs, except in the service sector?

  6. SYnoia

    Bending the curve is about hospital bed supply management. It is a tactic they balances hospital bed count against the duration of the Plague.

    The same is true for testing and tracing.

    It lengthens the infection period, and delays Herd Immunity, if Herd Immunity is possible.

    Opening up by steps as the curve is flattening is prudent. If the infection rate spikes, close up again.

    The objective is Herd Immunity, or a Vaccine. Anything else is a resource management tactic, not a cure, and not an endpoint.

    If a vaccine is not possible, them the plague will continue, either quickly or more slowly.

    If neither a Vaccine or Herd Immunity is not possible, then survival of the fittest is the remaining option.

    I’m not inclined to believe any of the trialed cures, as there appears to be only anecdotal evidence on their efficacy.

    Especially a cure based on a anti-malarial drug when my parent were the unhappy recipients of an anti malarial trial.

    In addition many of the statistics on death are click-bait. The deaths per Country need normalizing as a percentage of population before comparison, because comparing the US, 300 Million population, with Italy or Spain, 60 or 70 million population each, with raw number is guaranteed to be meaningless.

    The place to watch is Sweden – They are not managing bed count and not extending the duration of the plague.

  7. Jeff in Texas

    We’re going full YOLO here in Texas. We are opening in phases theoretically, but the gaps between phases isn’t long enough to see the effects of the prior phases– by the time increased cases and deaths from the initial re-opening are apparent, we will be fully open. Given how this is going and the general mood of a large minority of Texans (a minority listened to by our Republican government), I see no political will for a re-closing unless and until the hospitals are completely overwhelmed and Dallas or Houston start looking like New York. Even then, all the large urban areas other than Fort Worth are run by Democrats, so I am not sure the Republican state government will give a shit.

    It is a hell of thing to be shown clearly and in no uncertain terms that your government doesn’t give a shit if you live or die, that they would rather 10,000 strangers die than have $10,000 taken out of their checking account. I guess this is how black people have felt forever, but now it applies to a majority of the country.

  8. jessica

    The things is states may think they have little choice, state and local tax revenue is crashing, and there is no bailout on the horizon for state and local government. No more and maybe less than there is for ordinary people. Nor did they get help from the Feds with test and trace etc..

    So almost all states are moving toward opening, red or blue. Now they may not all be EQUALLY reckless in what they choose to open, I say that tentatively since they seem to open stuff up as fast as they closed it and with as little warning, but not everyone is open to concerts for instance, which is of course is the height of insanity. But they are almost all moving toward opening. This is a federal system with a broken federal government. It can’t handle the pandemic. The federal government is useless and even federalism doesn’t help when there is no financial help for the states but only for Wall Street. State succession and a full attempt to go it alone might be different.

  9. jessica

    So why are even blue states opening? Well I don’t want to deny them all agency, but perhaps ultimately: Mitch McConnell.

  10. NR

    Right-wingers in America have fully embraced the philosophy of “I want to be able to do whatever I want and I don’t care if it literally kills other people.”

  11. anon

    Pretty much everyone who doesn’t have the ability to work from home for the next two years is going to be forced to play Russian roulette with their lives. The working class who largely works in the service industry will pay dearly. I’m predicting lots of teacher deaths once they are forced to return to the classroom. Children in small confined spaces are vectors for germs and diseases.

    The only way to protect ourselves is with PPE. Ideally wear masks, gloves, and some form of eye protection like goggles or glasses when going outside. Carry hand sanitizer and wash hands when possible. Try not to use public restrooms.

    I’m going to try to lose a few pounds because it looks like weight plays a role in morbidity among COVID-19 patients. All anyone can do is to stay as healthy as possible so there is a fighting chance to fight the virus if you get it.

  12. someofparts

    Well, if we do strike/riot in the right neighborhoods the old folks may not even know about it. Since retirement, I’ve noticed that half of my friends who are also old are just not concerned with being online at home. I can reach them on their phones but can’t send them any links they would need a laptop to view clearly.

    That’s a problem because I found out on Mayday that a big strike that happened at Target in the heart of our town was not covered in the local press at all – not in the city paper and not on any of the legacy networks on television. I only knew about it because I found the twitter thread the organizers were using in real-time to coordinate activities. I got the link to it from another twitter account I follow which tracks strike actions nationwide.

    Also, although I did not stay on the thread long enough to see it myself, I heard that twitter was pulling down posts to that site even as organizers were actively posting updates to it.

    Whatever it will take to push back against our reptile overlords will require enough technical sophistication to use the media to our own ends and protect ourselves from having it used against us. I hope that is even possible.

  13. someofparts

    Actually anon, I’ve heard that even intermittent fasting has astonishing health benefits, especially for anyone old or old-ish.

  14. Guest

    “This is a worst case scenario, and many mocked the possibility even two months ago. Surely, the said, American elites couldn’t fuck this up that much?”

    Gimme a break. Out most powerful leader on the left has spent a fortune cultivating her deer-in-headlights looks and leadership strategy. The so called worst case scenario has been my baseline prediction from the point it became clear China could not contain it. We’re heading for a couple million dead.

    Also, herd immunity is about vaccination. The current nonstrategy is just about letting it burn, and burn hot. Meaningful action is not going to happen here in the US.

    I resigned myself to the potential health or death consequences over 3 months ago. The part that terrifies me is the economic and political side. Full on disaster capitalism with zero resistance from populace or politicians. Our future is looking so dystopian, I won’t say it’s preferable death, so far, but it’ll be a close second. Death by covid19 does not scare me. Surviving with organ damage and or no pension or soc sec or job is the result I dread.

    As for Sweden, I’m reserving judgement until this plays out. We’ve done the lock down, yet wasted it not using the time to prepare for test and trace. Just delayed the inevitable by 3 or 4 weeks. In for a penny, in for a pound. At least Sweden aren’t ruining their economy and handing it and the govt over to the monopolists like we are – although their economy was probably much more resilient to start with.

    The US has been a house of cards waiting for a sneeze to knock it down for decades. This is the kind of stuff I expected when Bush stole the election. I’m sort of amazed we made it this long.

  15. Jerry Brown

    Seems like a reasonable estimate of what we are going to experience Ian. Have to hope that the virus doesn’t mutate in a bad way. And that there is considerable immunity once you got it and survived it. Sucks relying on ‘hope’ as a plan.

    What I can glean from the stats is something like an infection case fatality rate between .4% and .8% for the overall population. With that rate varying wildly depending on individual’s age and previous health conditions. Which is pretty horrible if you figure 60% of 330 million people get it in a year or two.

  16. Normalized death counts don’t make sense. They imply that the government of Luxembourg would be worse than the government of China if both of them had an outbreak with the same number of dead people. That makes no sense, the virus doesn’t care if you have a small population or a big one.

  17. bruce wilder

    I suspect the virus rather likes population density and high degrees of sustained interaction indoors.

  18. highrpm

    fictional apocalyptic. the solution? owning one’s health is lots better than trusting it to others. it’s as important as free choice. educate oneself. experiment. the scientific method. whole foods (food is medicine.) intermittent fasting. for starters. (besides, many of us are left with no other choice, as affordable care ain’t affordable.)

  19. krake

    Whole foods and intermittent fasting don’t prevent viral transmission. They might confer a small advantage for running and high altitude sports, and longevity for people with disposable income and luxurious free time.

    Health is not bootstrapped. Nor can it be possessed. It is ineluctably social.

  20. Hugh

    Aristotle knew 23 centuries ago that we are social animals. In his sense, that meant we existed within a society. There is no individual that is separate from a society. So it is all about how we live and act within our society, or our ethics. Economic activities are something we do within a society. As such they are moral in nature. It is something completely backwards to think that we are here to serve the economy. The economy exists to serve us.We are not there to die for it.

    I have been fascinated by the level of medieval, magical thinking in reaction to the pandemic, led of course by our idiot in chief. Medicine and science tell us do this, this, and this or a huge number of people are going to die. And a significant number of people look at that and say this reality is too hard, too inconvenient. So they are just going to ignore it and invoke their inalienable right to be selfish.

  21. bruce wilder

    I have been continually impressed with how incompetent the so-called professionals have been right along. Granted there is a lot we simply do not know. Still this isn’t the first coronavirus, and influenza is also precedent. Apparently, leading the way in what is not known are the basics of retarding rates of transmission and reproduction. Surely, someone should be expert enough at controlling contagion that they could come up with clear guidelines without exciting popular superstition that a walk outdoors is some huge risk (while being confined indoors is recommended?) But, no, discovering that masks work requires 21st century genius! S Brennan has pointed out how the “experts” cannot seem to grasp the priority developing effective early treatments ought to have, for a disease that might not kill you, but only cripple you. Ventilators were going to be needed in the tens of thousands and then some one thought, maybe ventilators are not a good treatment bet.

  22. bruce wilder

    It is all very convenient to our narrative driven political polarization to imagine that “those” people over there are antiscience vice-signalling idiots, while all the right-thinking decent folks like “us” simply agree on exactly what is to be done.

    We do not necessarily “know” enough — that is the real science here: acknowledged ignorance and determination to find out.

    That the U.S., having botched early testing, has apparently abandoned any plans to ramp up the scale of population testing, ought to be appalling. And, in the absence of an all-out effort to identify, trace and isolate the infected, all we can do is a palsied enactment of rituals of social distance.

  23. Mark Pontin

    Brice W. writes: “I have been continually impressed with how incompetent the so-called professionals have been right along.”

    Could it be that the so-called professionals you’re paying attention to are the ones who are in the media and who are subjected to political pressures even if they are at all competent?

    Ian is being naive and overly optimistic in a way. The scenario he presents is far from the worst case. A virologist who spent two decades at USAMRIID, Lawrence Livermore, and NIAID pegs COV19’s R0 at 9.2 over the long term and expects 1 percent of the _global_ population to die. Full stop.

    To put that in perspective, the ‘Spanish Flu’ of 1918-19 killed something like 2.3 to 5 percent of the U.S. population. Furthermore, while there’ll be winners and losers, it’s not necessarily the case that most of that segment of the U.S. elite who now assume they’ll be winners will actually be that.

    Ian wrote: “Surely …. American elites couldn’t fuck this up that much? They … are(!) … They’re now isolated and in little danger. They’ve bailed themselves out, giving them even more control over the economy than before. If ordinary Americans get sick, die, can’t pay rent and go hungry, well, why should American elites care? It doesn’t effect them. That’s their bet … America has made the choice to let Covid continue to wend its way thru the population.”

    In fact, some of them are going to lose that bet.

    As Ian himself pointed out in an earlier post, these elites couldn’t even manage testing for a hundred U.S. senate members. Likewise, you’ve all read the news articles about New York financial elites disappearing off to the Hamptons and expecting there magically to be adequate medical year-round facilities to support them if they do get sick — or else for those facilities to be magically helicoptered in — when those facilities simply don’t exist and can’t be helicoptered in no matter how much money is involved. (And hereabouts cue Mark Blyth line that ‘the Hamptons are not a defensible position.)

    In fact, COV19 has caught large segments of U.S. elites unprepared and unable to get their minds around the reality.

    Not a surprise. These elites are by and large in the predatory FIRE sector and not very competent at anything except financial looting. Many of them are going to go to the wall too, because there’s going to be less to loot as the U.S. dollar ceases to the global reserve currency over the next decade or so and much of what remains of U.S. industry and the real economy moves out of their control.

    Because there are elite factions prepared for the situation. See —

  24. bruce: population density matters, but not absolute population, in case you were responding to me. It doesn’t make population-adjusted mortality make sense as a statistic to compare policy. Some form of population-desnsity adjustment make make sense, then you can compare whether different countries are competent enough to adjust to their own density conditions, I suppose.

  25. “might make sense”

  26. anon

    One percent of 80% of the US population means we can expect to have two million die before a vaccine a developed. Trump should have zero change of wining reelection, but the Dems had to mess it up again by backing Uncle Joe for the Democratic nomination. He and even his surrogates have largely been MIA during this crisis except to come out and vilify Tara Reade. America is in deep trouble and there is no one in charge who can save us.

  27. Arthur

    A good chunk of America seems to have a death wish. Or at the very least just not give a damn. And this goes for the ‘elites’ too. Years ago I used to hang with a guy who said the reason we never hear anyone talk about posterity is because we know deep down that there isn’t going to be one. At least not one as we always thought about the term. I agreed with him then and I agree with him now. . .wherever he is.

  28. bruce wilder

    “the ‘Spanish Flu’ of 1918-19 killed something like 2.3 to 5 percent of the U.S. population”

    There is so much hyperbole associated with the Spanish Flu that there is a tendency to jumble up the off-quoted statistics, which are less counts than educated guesses anyway. But, credible estimates say it killed roughly 1% of the total population in the U.S. With a guesstimated one-third of the population contracting the flu, that accounts for estimates of a fatality rate among the infected of 2.3% to 5%. I understand more than a quarter of fatalities may have been concentrated in the single month of October 1918, which intensified the national trauma. That would have been around 200,000 dead in less than six weeks in a population less than a third of what it is today.

  29. S Brennan

    Bruce; we have often been at odds but, I appreciate the hat tip as well as your recognition of the reality of the situation. The effing horse has left the barn, arguing over who left the door open ain’t gonna bring that stallion back.


  30. Jessica

    The average time from infection to symptoms is 5 days. 90+ percent are symptomatic by 11 days (if they ever will be). 14 days is the duration set for quarantines to be absolutely sure (margin of safety).
    The average time from becoming symptomatic until becoming ill enough to go to a hospital is 5-7 days.
    So a renewed wave would show up in homes in 5 days and in hospitals in about 10 days.

    There are more and more studies showing much larger percentages of populations that have antibodies for Covid-19 than confirmed test numbers would suggest. _If_ those studies are correct, then the fatality rate for those who get the virus is equivalently lower, more in the 0.1% to 0.3% range. They also mean that the virus is equivalently more infectious.
    If we do wind up in a scenario in which the virus pretty gets to have its way with the entire population, the death toll will be much lower than if the fatality rate were higher. Although 0.1% to 0.3% of the US population would be 330,000 to 990,000.

  31. Ian Welsh

    Yes, I took the worst case symptomatic numbers.

    “Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. People with these symptoms may have COVID-19:”

  32. Eric Anderson

    To me, this whole mess is demonstrating the how absolutely ineffectual what passes for “the left” is in this country. We talk about taking it to the the streets. But will it happen in any significant way? No. Truth is the left is scared of it’s own shadow. The ammosexuals are winning. Wtf ever happened to leftists who were willing to crack some skulls to get what they want? Cross this line and you’re getting a beating? Seriously … it’s all “I’m shocked and outraged” followed by words words words blah blah blah while the right marches around locked and loaded.

    It’s the left that has a death wish. Screw the virus. Sleeping sickness is going to take the left out.

  33. Jerry Brown

    Jessica, how do you come up with .1%- .3% ? All I can go off of is the New York State antibody survey of some of the population and their reports of dead people. I would very much prefer your numbers to the amateur stats I came up with. Honest question. Hugh difference in .1 and .8%

  34. TimmyB

    Covid has so far, according to CNN’s Covid tracker which claims to use Johns Hopkins data, killed 0.139% of the State of New York’s population and 0.1% of New Jersey’s in three months. What will look like in two years, I hate to imagine. But 0.1% of the total US population dead is looking very optimistic.

  35. Jerry Brown

    Anyone else wondering why we don’t seem to have many results about how many already may have got this thing and possibly cleared it? We have quite a few dead people which is one necessary statistic to determine how deadly the thing is. But the part about how many have already gotten it is very much lacking. Worries me.

  36. Mark Pontin

    Jerry Brown wrote: “Anyone else wondering why we don’t seem to have many results about how many already may have got this thing and possibly cleared it?”

    Here —

    Scroll down for ‘Reported Cases and Deaths by Country, Territory, or Conveyance’.

    Also includes ‘Total Recovered’ by country.

  37. Hugh

    The knowledge was there. There needed to be a national, not by state, response. Early shutdown of international travel. This should have been done in early January, not late March. Aggressive testing and contact tracing for any symptomatic patient with any contact to China or anyone they were in contact with who had such contact. Early treatment of symptomatic patients and quarantine of their asymptomatic contacts.

    Once the first free range case of Covid-19 showed up, there should have been a massive ramp up in testing. Anyone with suspicious symptoms should have been presumptively treated as Covid-19 unless and until this was ruled out. PPE should have been mandatory and provided to all healthcare workers. Covid only centers or split ERs should have been set up. Likely foci of the virus, any large congregation of people, especially those at risk should have been targeted early: nursing homes, prisons, meat packing plants, airplanes, cruise ships, amusement parks, sports events, etc. Social distancing and masks should have been universal.

    We all know how the response was blown across the board. It was piecemeal and way too slow. There was no national leadership. Testing was completely botched. Treatment was unconscionably delayed. Resources and production weren’t made available or effectively allocated. Testing and contact tracing remain far below what is needed. Reopening is just as incoherent and not thought through as the initial response.

    It’s not that people don’t know what to do, those in positions of responsibility and authority simply didn’t do it and aren’t doing it.

    As for disease/death per 100,000 by country comparisons, these are valid. Luxemburg vs China is a ridiculous at the extreme case. The US vs Germany, the UK, France, Spain, or Italy isn’t. Nor would a US vs EU comparison. Under reporting and under counting are an issue, but often you have to go with the data you have, not the data you would like. That’s pretty standard in dynamic situations.

  38. Stirling S Newberry

    I will write something later, the WH stats are low, but the thinking from here is not correct in its orientation – there are a few details overlook. Whether it is better, is another story.

  39. krake

    A tenth of a percent of all Americans, accounting for undocumented, is what, 3.5 million people?

    Laurie Garrett’s warning of 3 yrs of rolling outbreaks seems to track with that.

    Truly, we will be the virus’ enduring reservoir. Castra de virus.

  40. krake

    Hate that this links to CNN, but it does approach perfection:

    “How we ‘Leeeeroy Jenkins’-ed the coronavirus reopening”

  41. Jerry Brown

    Mark Pontin- yes that is a good site that I look at regularly. But it just doesn’t have data on how many people actually have had this virus possibly without symptoms. Supposedly about 25% of NYC residents have had it or presently do. Vast majority without major symptoms luckily. Based on some antibody survey that the State of New York announced. There have just been few of that kind of survey done or announced. Which is my problem.

  42. Ché Pasa

    Well, no matter what the ultimate casualty and death toll from this thing is, it won’t be enough for our rulers. They have seen that 80% of the (real) economy can shut down for months, and it won’t make any difference to their bottom lines; in fact, many of them will get richer. They lose nothing when the rabble must self isolate or die. Those who are invested into oil, nursing homes and prisons and such may have to shuffle their portfolios a bit, but that’s easy enough. They can have their FAs do it on Tuesday.

    Governments in the US are by and large weak and useless. As we see in California with the Tesla business, it doesn’t matter what government says to the High and Mighty. When the H&M push back, they get their way every single time, and H&M care nothing for anyone but themselves and their desires. Same with the cosplay patriots and militias that show up at various capitols and beaches demanding the liberty to get their hair done and nails varnished.

    And wonder of wonders, the virus can be turned on and off like a switch. Its raging can be largely confined to certain useless, undesirable, ugly and vulnerable populations, too. And there’s nothing the victim classes can do about it, either. They work or starve, they work and die. Ultimately, they aren’t needed. They are a burden on the planet anyway, aren’t they? Them and their dirty, filthy, disgusting animals and sewage and whatnot. Their demands for “water”! Feh.

    Managing and profiting from The Decline is the operating overclass paradigm.

  43. Rangoon78

    ‪In an email sent to workers Monday titled, ‘Furlough Has Ended And We Are Back To Work in Production!’ Any worker that refuses to return faces the prospect of being fired and cut off from accessing unemployment benefits.‬

  44. rangoon78

    Musk dictates end to lockdown; Fascism is when the corporations run the government. IG Farben kept the production lines open too: slave labour from concentration camps, including 30,000 from Auschwitz.

  45. GlassHammer

    If the consensus here is the U.S. is walking down the worst path with no foreseeable change to a more optimal path then perhaps it would be more productive to change this conversation to one of preparation and adaptation.

    Frankly I am uninterested in more discussions on “here is how we are really screwed” because it always ends with “yeah we are and what are we going to do”. In fact the only thing less helpful than that repeat discussion is the “now is the time for political action and rising up” discussion. We are not rising up, full stop, let that fantasy go and move on before that fantasy kills you.

    So let’s start talking about practical individual steps.

  46. GlassHammer

    So here is one thing you can do regardless of income/location that will help your health, wealth, and sanity.

    Start a Garden.

    I have done this with machinery and without, with some land and without, in hospitable environments and without, with store bought products and without, with help from others and without, with raw materials on my land and without, and with good health and without.

    Sometimes it works so well I stock half my food for the year off it and other times it’s just a little extra keeping me from going to town to buy food every week.

  47. @Eric Anderson “To me, this whole mess is demonstrating the how absolutely ineffectual what passes for “the left” is in this country.”


    I’m not inclined to trust that there are ANY good actors in this drama, whose allegiance is primarily to the left, the right, the Democrats, or the Republicans.

    The existence of, effectively, a medical mafia in the US (and beyond) is old news. E.g., on this blog I posted about a highly accurate calcium screening test, used by NASA, that costs a few hundred dollars. Widespread use of this test could trigger lifestyle changes that would save a lot of us from strokes and heart attacks.

    Insurance won’t cover this, but they will cover $30,000 stent operations. Which you’re likely not to get before a first cardiac event, which may leave you dead or paralyzed.

    Cannot a typical 10 year old child immediately understand that something is very wrong, here?

    One of the BIG LIES, courtesy of the Republicans, is that we had the best medical system in the world (so why mess with it). Not inspiring, but also not inspiring are some Democrats, and people on the left, telling us that, gee whiz, socialized medicine will cure our sick medical system. What could possibly go wrong with this?

    Noam Chomsky addressed the sudden movement towards a national health plan, when Obama appeared, that the American public had wanted since the 50’s. Even during the vitriolic Obamacare debates, a slim majority of Republicans polled said that they would favor it, if it included a public option. Chomsky explained that what was driving the move for Obamacare was that so many Americans were no longer buying high priced, often useless, “health insurance”. They basically couldn’t afford it. I.e., Obamacare was a corporate driven agenda.

    I’d be more impressed with the left, right, Democrats, or Republicans if they EVEN just forced the ginormous defects of the current health care system into the public consciousness, and everybody admitted that fundamental reforms are needed, and have been needed. How much good can come from “medicare for all”, even if that drives down per capita health care costs, when it’ll still be overpriced and grossly sub-optimal? If “medicare for all” drives down the cost of stents to $15,000 (billable to the public), but still won’t pay for calcium screening tests, it’ll still be an evil system.

    I propose a simple litmus test: any “health care reforms” that will continue to allow an FDA to suppress cheap, alternative therapies, is an insult to the public good, and it’s proponents are naive. Even if a therapeutic agent is out of patent, or not patentable to begin with; and thus will never get a private corporation to pay a half billion $$ or so to get it approved, then the government should pay for such testing.

    And if that means that Big Pharma contracts by 90%, so be it.

  48. Olivier

    @krake Very good! The fact that the whole episode was allegedly fake yet became a very real meme is the icing on the cake.

  49. Will

    Usually I come in and give a hat tip to the comments…. today I’m going to have to call it a mixed bag. Some good, some bad, some delusional. At least in my opinion, which doesn’t make it fact. :p

    Genocide? Death wish? Medieval? And the list goes on.

    A handful of hoopies parading around with semi-automatic rifles does not a movement make. These actions and reactions of our nation and its elite to this virus are exposing real weaknesses not merely succumbing to the pressures of a few lunatics who see the Mark of the Beast in bar codes.

    You want to send people home and have them stay for 6 months? You’re going to have to do better than a $1200 check and an unemployment insurance extension. Most people can’t make ends meet on UI, and even if they could they lose health insurance unless they can muster the prohibitive costs of COBRA. Hell, even the $1200 check has been fouled back of the plate due to its incredibly Byzantine legislation and implementation. (Hint: When you really want to get something done, as opposed to providing job security to an Everest sized bureaucracy, it takes a handful of paragraphs and is legible to the average working Joe.)

    “History brought forth a great moment but the moment encountered mediocre people.” Friedrich Schiller writing of the French Revolution

    How sad that this quote so often has described my own nation these last couple decades.


  50. S Brennan


    Following your suggestion for this board to offer things we could do for each other, I am swiping, with attribution, some comments from MOA that may prove helpful. [comments 41-65] “The Novel Coronavirus Went Global In November – Or Maybe Even Much Earlier”
    Raoult’s (France) contribution. He standardized the treatment regimen with a much smaller dosage than used in China. His treatment regimen is as follows:

    PLAQUENIL (hydroxychloroquine) – 200mg tablet

    ZITHROMAX (azithromycin) – 500mg NS 250 mL

    VITAMIN-C (ascorbic acid) 1,000mg D5W 100mL IV

    ZINCATE (zinc sulfate) 220mg capsule

    Importantly, Raoult added Zinc because it is required to prevent viral replication.
    Jackrabbit | May 12 2020 0:04 utc | 47
    HCQ is just a mediator – it does not do anything by itself against the virus. ZINC is the active ingredient that retards viral replication inside the cell. The only action of HCQ is that it is an ionophere for zinc – in layman’s terms, HCQ provides an entry mechanism for zinc ions to get inside a cell, which they otherwise cannot do by themselves. Once inside a cell, zinc is the active medicine that inhibits the RNA replication mechanism.

    Posted by: Don Wills | May 12 2020 1:13 utc | 60
    In Italy, a study of 65,000 chronic patients (lupus & RA) who systematically take hydroxychloroquine, only 20 patients tested positive for the virus. No one died, no one is in intensive care.”

    Posted by: mpn | May 12 2020 1:22 utc | 61
    Hydroxychloroquine, Zinc and a Z-Pak is being used by Doctors all over the Country BECAUSE IT DOES WORK. You are not a Doctor and cannot give any opinion on what therapy works or doesn’t work. HCQ, Zn++ and the Z-Pak must be started immediately for a + test in a person who is ill.

    Posted by: William H Warrick MD | May 12 2020 1:58 utc | 63
    Sadly, Trump mentioned Hydroxychloroquine, sadder still, people with TDS have cowed people into believing that EVERYTHING Trump says MUST, not only be wrong but, the most evil thing ever uttered.

    [Note: host b of MOA is against early treatment and believes that the Chinese are completely blameless, his POV is that Covid-19 has been around for quite a while and did not come from China. So the above comments are not in congruence with his editorial content.]

  51. Ivory Bill Woodpecker

    Satire from a young doctor:


    Typical day in the COVID unit

    A lot of people have been asking me what it’s like being on the COVID wards in the hospital, so I figured I’d share what a typical day looks like for me:

    6am – Wake up. Roll off of my pile of money that Big Pharma gave me. Softly weep as it doesn’t put a dent in my medical school loans

    6:30am – Make breakfast, using only foods from the diet that gives me everlasting life by avoiding all fats, sugars, carbs, and proteins. For details buy my book and check out my shop.

    7am – Get to work, load up my syringes with coronavirus before rounds.

    8am – See my patients for the day. Administer the medications that the government tells me to. Covertly rub essential oils on the ones I want to get better.

    9:30am – Call Bill Gates to check how 5G tower construction is going, hoping for more coronavirus soon. He tells me they’re delayed due to repairs on the towers used to spread the Black Plague. Curse the fact that this is the most efficient way to spread infectious diseases.

    10am – One patient tells me he knows “the truth” about coronavirus. I give him a Tdap booster. He becomes autistic in front of my eyes. He’ll never conspire against me again.

    11am – Tend to the secret hospital garden of St. John’s wort and ginkgo leaves that we save for rich patients and donors.

    12:30pm – Pick up my briefcase of money from payroll, my gift from Pfizer for the incomprehensible profits we make off of the free influenza vaccine given every year.

    1pm – Conference call with Dr. Fauci and the lab in Wuhan responsible for manufacturing viruses. Tell them my idea about how an apocalypse-style zombie virus would be a cool one to try for the next batch.

    2pm – A patient starts asking me about getting rid of toxins. I ask her if she has a liver and kidneys. She tells me she knows “the truth” about Big Anatomy and that the only way to detoxify herself is to eat nothing but lemon wedges and mayonnaise for weeks. I give her a Tdap booster.

    2:45pm – Help the FBI, CIA, and CDC silence the masses. Lament the fact that I can only infringe on one or two of their rights. Oh well, there’s always tomorrow.

    4pm – One of my rich patients begins to crash. Laugh as I realize I’ve mismatched her spirit animal and zodiac moon sign. I switch out the Purple Amethyst above her bed for a Tiger’s Eye geode. She stabilizes. I throw some ginkgo leaves on her for good measure

    6pm – Go onto YouTube and see coronavirus conspiracy videos everywhere. Curse my all powerful government for how inept they are at keeping people from spreading “the truth”

    6:10pm – Go onto Amazon and see that a book about “the truth” is the #1 seller this week. Question the power of my all powerful government. Make a reminder to myself to get more Tdap boosters from the Surgeon General next time we talk.

    7pm – Time to go home. Before I leave, sacrifice a goat to Dr. Fauci and say three Hippocratic Oaths.

    9pm – Take a contented sigh as I snuggle under the covers made of the tinfoil hats of my enemies, realizing that my 4 years of medical school and 3 years of residency training have been put to good use today.


    Dr. Satire forgot to mention the part where he secretly gave bleach Miracle Mineral Solution, hydroxychloroquine, AZT, zinc, and Vitamin D megadoses to the patients he actually wanted to get better. 😈

  52. GlassHammer

    “A handful of hoopies parading around with semi-automatic rifles does not a movement make.” -Will

    Yeah I only take hoopies parading around with lever action seriously.

  53. DMC

    Poe’s “Masque of the Red Death” is a pretty good representation of the attitude of our own “Aristos” in the current situation. How long before the hoopies start showing up and USING those guns? If I were a state governor, I’d be mobilizing enough of state’s National Guard to keep the rabble out of the Capitol building and surrounded by a couple of hundred NG’s. The only way to prevent actually armed insurrection is to call their bluff. “First one across that line is a dead man”. The optics are not great, but a hell of a lot better than state police watching in helpless terror while an armed mob busts into the state legislature chambers.

  54. S Brennan

    Again, a useful MOA comment with helpful info:

    A small study in Phase 2 trial (86 patients) – Antiviral Combo therapy-
    The Lancet

    Extract Summary:

    A triple-antiviral therapy regimen of interferon-beta1, lopinavir/ritonavir, and ribavirin shortened median time to COVID-19 viral negativity by 5 days in a small trial from Hong Kong.

    In an open-label, randomized phase 2 trial in patients with mild or moderate COVID-19 infections, the median time to viral negativity by nasopharyngeal swab was 7 days for 86 patients assigned to receive a 14-day course of lopinavir 400 mg and ritonavir 100 mg every 12 hours, ribavirin 400 mg every 12 hours, and three doses of 8 million international units of interferon beta-1b on alternate days, compared with a median time to negativity of 12 days for patients treated with lopinavir/ritonavir alone (P = .0010), wrote Ivan Fan-Ngai Hung, MD, from Gleaneagles Hospital in Hong Kong, and colleagues.

    “Triple-antiviral therapy with interferon beta-1b, lopinavir/ritonavir, and ribavirin were safe and superior to lopinavir/ritonavir alone in shortening virus shedding, alleviating symptoms, and facilitating discharge of patients with mild to moderate COVID-19,”[.]

    In most patients treated with the combination, SARS-CoV-2 viral load was effectively suppressed in all clinical specimens, including nasopharyngeal swabs, throat and posterior oropharyngeal saliva, and stool.[.]

    “Our trial demonstrates that early treatment of mild to moderate COVID-19 with a triple combination of antiviral drugs may rapidly suppress the amount of virus in a patient’s body, relieve symptoms, and reduce the risk to health care workers by reducing the duration and quantity of viral shedding (when the virus is detectable and potentially transmissible). Furthermore, the treatment combination appeared safe and well tolerated by patients,” [.]

    Posted by: Likklemore | May 12 2020 15:06 utc | 123
    Thank God Trump didn’t mention these drugs so it’s okay to treat people with them.

    [Note: host b of MOA is against early treatment and believes that the Chinese are completely blameless, his POV is that Covid-19 has been around for quite a while and did not come from China. So the above comments are not in congruence with his editorial content.]

  55. Hugh

    Someone was telling me yesterday that Elon Musk was a genius. For me, he’s just another pirate with a gift for self-promotion, a lot like Trump actually except a techie and not so blatantly stupid. You treat your workforce like garbage, which Musk does, you are not a genius. Tesla has been beset by problems because Musk was too stupid to hire managers who knew how to set up supply chains and run an assembly line. It only endured because of large subsidies and hype which gave it an outsized stock valuation.

    He’s in the Steve Jobs line. Jobs hated American labor and the country generally. He sent as much of his production abroad as he could to cheap wage countries, then turned around and lobbied Presidents to allow in more cheap H-1b visa programmers from India so he could underpay and abuse them. And finally set Apple up in Ireland to dodge US taxes.

    Even Henry Ford who hated unions figured he needed to pay his workers enough to buy his product. In today’s tech world, such a view of labor is seen as hopelessly retro and naïve.

  56. Mark Pontin

    @ Hugh —

    Indeed. Musk — like Thiel, his partner in the Paypal Mafia — is not a techie and has no more actual science/technology chops than Steve Jobs. i.e. they’re all hustlers.

    Musk in particular comes out with some extraordinarily scientifically ignorant statements, almost on the Trump-level of ignorance. I won’t bore you with the details and it may be — I can’t tell — that Musk knows better but is playing to the mass media. Anyway ….

    Musk’s CV: a bachelor’s degree in economics from the Wharton School and a bachelor’s degree in physics from the College of Arts and Sciences. He began a Ph.D. in applied physics and material sciences at Stanford University in 1995 but dropped out after two days to pursue a business career.

    Thiel’s CV — studied philosophy at Stanford University, graduating with a B.A. in 1989. …went to the Stanford Law School … After graduation …a judicial law clerk for Judge James Larry Edmondson of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, a securities lawyer for Sullivan & Cromwell, a speechwriter for former-U.S. Secretary of Education William Bennett and as a derivatives trader at Credit Suisse prior to founding Thiel Capital in 1996. He co-founded PayPal in 1999, serving as chief executive officer until its sale to eBay in 2002 for $1.5 billion’

    Not techies. Hustlers.

  57. Eric Anderson

    “A handful of hoopies parading around with semi-automatic rifles does not a movement make”

    Not my point. My point is that the handful, and the media attention they get, are more than enough render “what passes for the left” frozen like a herd of deer in the headlights.

    Outside of the AF I see nobody willing to push back. Ironically, if the left were to suddenly lose their fear of GUNZ, we would probably see legislation banning them overnight.

  58. Will

    Sorry Eric, I wasn’t trying to take a shot at you. I was referring to those instances where we’ve got a handful of loud guys carrying firearms that is presented on TV as a much bigger thing than is justified by the numbers. (Think Hillary’s campaign rally coverage in reverse :o) It fits the narrative that most news media elite support and so it gets on air. But it’s misleading.

    To your point about its effect on the left. That is definitely interesting. I’m not among the young bucks where this would be discussed or seen. Hell, I’m old enough to remember when Motley Crue was cool and Dale Earnhardt was king.

    My opinion? I’m not sure the US needs the “left” or “right” any more. Watching these media mouths try to fit square “modern issue” pegs into round “right-left” holes is amusing but it doesn’t get much done except freeze the polity…. and allow the identity politics that is prevalent now to survive. Tell me what economic interest is served by trying to get populists to support the modern health care system (and yet that is exactly what they have tried to do when polls showed how many Trump supporters were behind “socialized medicine”). Tell me what economic interest is served when we have MASS immigration (and yet we have been force fed this status quo for all of my lifetime with little support for the jobs competition it manufactures).

    No we don’t need more violence. We need brass knuckled, hard nosed policy based elections where the issues that hurt average people are explored. And the managerial elite, post-nationalist sophisticates, and run of the mill race hustlers get put in the back of the room where their numbers dictate they should have always been. The nation they have brought into being is weak, spineless, and divided. It’s time to move on.

    Which is what Bernie and Trump were all about: bringing issues that people cared about but weren’t allowed to discuss into our national politics.


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