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

Summer Covid Prediction +May 30th US Covid Cases

Our benefactor writes:

My prediction is that we will have three million cases and 200 thousand deaths by late July or early August, with occasional spikes and local hot spots. It will become the new normal and will continue through the fall. There may be a spike, but not because of most of the big cities. NOLA has opened restaurants at 25 percent capacity, but that is a really tough arrangement. Most conventions and conferences will be and have already been cancelled through the end of the year. Las Vegas will remain at 25 percent capacity into 2021. This is the new 25 percent economy and a recipe for more unrest.

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Protect Yourself from Retaliation After the Riots


Week-end Wrap – Political Economy – May 31, 2020


  1. Daniel Lynch

    “200 thousand deaths by late July or early August”

    I’m more conservative and am calling for 200,000 deaths by September, but yeah, that’s the direction we’re headed.

    There are currently 1,176,000 active cases in the U.S. (per worldometers, John Hopkins will be slightly different). Multiply that by your favorite fatality rate, which I believe is going to be higher than 5.9% because you have to consider the rate for closed cases, currently 12% globally and 16% in the U.S..

    Conservatively estimate 1000 deaths per day through the summer and that gets us to 200,000 by September. Big local eruptions, which will probably happen, could boost that number.

    There’s no leadership. No national politician is calling for a national, enforceable, mandatory mask law, which if passed would probably bring the epidemic under control in a few weeks (leaving important policies up to states has never, ever worked). No national politician is calling for a mandatory (or even a free voluntary) BCG vaccination program, which would eventually (it takes a month after the vaccination to build immunity) reduce the fatality rate to about 1% similar to Russia. Neither party has a good economic program to deal with the unemployment issues.

    Unfortunately, the resulting unrest could easily play into the hands of law-and-order conservatives. Many Americans sympathize with the George Floyd issue but don’t sympathize with rioting and looting, and eventually they’re going to get tired of it and support a crackdown. It’s hard to see anything good coming out of our situation but I would like to be proven wrong.

  2. S Brennan

    Well Ian;

    If we continue to use the early detection of testing as means of isolation and NOT TREATMENT, those dire predictions could become true. Imagine if you will, a Doctor saying to a patient;

    “Well Karen, we were lucky we caught your breast cancer so early! Now I want you to go home and wait. Wait until something medically dramatic happens to you, you know, until you really need hospitalization, then we will begin treatment. It’ll probably be too late by then but, what the hell, at that point we’ll try everything and write it up in a study that shows nothing could’ve worked…except a vaccine..someday…in the distant future. Good luck Karen.”

    No. You can’t imagine a Doctor being that big of an idiot? But wait a minute you think, you are not qualified to challenge a medical opinion are you? So you, as Karen’s spouse, you’d silently accept Karen’s treatment options…yes?

    Sadly, most readers do, with one exception on this board, you accept the CDC, thru Fauci, talking this very same nonsense? When oh when did this country of movers and shakers become such a passive group of sheepish knaves?

  3. anon

    The protests have taken over COVID-19 in the headlines. Hardly anyone is taking social distancing seriously. We’re starting to see cases from the packed pools of Memorial Day weekend where thousands were likely infected with the virus. Thousands more will be infected from the protests. Some people still aren’t wearing masks.

    At this point people have nothing to lose because they’ve lost everything. No school, no jobs, no savings, no social safety net, no future. Protecting oneself from the virus isn’t at the top of everyone’s priority list. I support the protests but they are all vectors for further spreading the virus in impoverished communities. This is all a recipe for disaster. I also predict 200,000 deaths by the end of the summer.

  4. Ivory Bill Woodpecker

    “When oh when did this country of movers and shakers become such a passive group of sheepish knaves?”

    When we realized that taking snake oil was even worse than doing nothing?

    But go ahead, populists, drink your bleach and stick your UV lights up your arses, because of course The Manly Amateurs Always Know More Than The Effete Elite Experts With Their So-Called “Science” Which Teaches Our Kids They Came From Apes.

  5. Lex

    S. Brennan, because a large number of cases pass after what is horrible sickness but not requiring significant medical intervention. A friend had it and that’s what happened to him. The medical establishment is still trying to figure out a treatment option, but all the evidence points to there not being a single treatment based on the illness’s behavior. So going home and following general being sick guidelines (and mostly making sure not to infect others) is the best option followed closely by monitoring yourself closely to get timely medical intervention if warranted. You could put everyone in the hospital with an IV of saline and other basic options but now you have lots of potentially contagious people in a tight group with all sorts of negative possibilities for infection control. If there was a better option, it would be in use.

  6. js

    I don’t believe this opening at 25% capacity stuff, not when local authorities say restaurants should follow social distancing guidelines but there will be NO enforcement to open (or ever?) it’s all “the honor system”. They didn’t even mention random spot inspections, just “the honor system”. It’s not going to be 25% capacity if noone is enforcing anything and business is allowed to do anything they want. Of course customers may stay away out of fear so maybe only 25% or even 50% ever return out of self-protection.

    Stuff if flung wide open at this point except for conventions and the like, blue states and cities as well, some at the last minute almost as if to prevent the protesting and rioting we have seen. I’m not saying it makes sense as people are protesting out of conviction or looting out of economic desperation or opportunism, but neither did the last minute opening, without even giving restaurants time to prepare to open, make sense from a health perspective, with cases still growing. It’s seemed a desperate hail mary pass.

    Protests will spread the virus, maybe more too poor communities which are already devastated by it, though I wouldn’t entirely assume that’s the demographic, going to malls and restaurants will spread the virus among those who obviously have money to spend.

  7. S Brennan

    Lex, Japan believes otherwise, they treat immediately and have a death rate under 1%…with one of the oldest populations in the world. Having gone through sepsis and the five months of recovery I find posts advocating apathy worse than useless.

  8. False Solace

    For the BCG vaccine to be effective vs respiratory illness you have to receive it before the age of 9 months. So you’re talking about an intervention that needed to happen 20-50 years ago. If it’s protective at all. There are many varieties of the BCG vaccine and some would likely be less effective than others for covid. The evidence is pretty weak and might just represent nations that have serious outbreaks of both TB and Covid. These also happen to be countries that wear masks, follow social distancing, and actually bother with TTI.

    Regarding the riots, let’s be clear: the police serve the ruling class. Their bootlickers and partners in crime, the “law and order” voters, were never going to support any restrictions on the police. They might feel a twinge of sympathy immediately after viewing graphic footage but these people are incapable of actual empathy. They lack the ability to imagine a situation where the police would target them for anything. They ultimately always side with the police and existing hierarchy. They are authoritarians and they are a significant chunk of our population. And that’s why people have been protesting police violence for 50 years to no effect. Even in the age of cellphone video with hot and cold running footage of police atrocity nothing has happened. The people with actual power, the wealthy, support the police. Enough of the population agrees with them that nothing ever changes. So there are going to be riots every few years but it’s the cost of doing business.

    The economic situation has worsened, but the elites have been planning for this. They figure they’ve given the police enough military toys and nausea lasers to handle the situation. They really don’t care. The police act with impunity and without regard for the law because they are the enforcers of the ruling class. Burning a few minority owned businesses will change nothing and never has.

  9. GM

    “Even in the age of cellphone video with hot and cold running footage of police atrocity nothing has happened.”

    Ice Cube did the Who Got The Camera? track back in 1992. As part of a whole album pretty much entirely about the LA riots.

    Then what happened? We got cameras, Ice Cube went Hollywood, things kept going downhill for African Americans and for hte the average person in general.

    What I am puzzled by (and also afraid of for the future) is why things have not yet gotten to the point where police becomes a target for lethal retaliation, i.e. random people shooting at the cops with an intent to kill. At a certain level of accumulation of anger one would expect for that particular boiling point to be reached.

    It is not as if there are no real-world examples of such situations around the world, this is exactly the reason why when the government tries to enter the favelas in Rio it is a military-style operation with helicopters, special units, etc., why legend has it that there are certain areas in France where police will be shot at if they try to enter so they mostly don’t (though this particular situation I admit to not having reliable observations on), etc.

    Part of it is geography — the favelas are up in the hills so the police has to come from below, through narrow winding streets, and is thus sitting ducks for a long time. Similar situation with the French banlieues — it’s high rise buildings everywhere, which means that the police is on the ground and it is an easy target for Molotov cocktails and bullet from above, plus one can much more easily hide in the context a high rise building, behind windows, columns, etc., even in the age of mass surveillance. There is a reason why fortifications have traditionally been built high.

    In a flat single-family detached-housing US suburb one person attacking the police is on a suicide mission.

    But still, the fundamentals of the situation point towards something like that being a very real possibility — guns are in widespread circulation in the US, and not just any guns but some serious weaponry too, the number of increasingly desperate people with nothing to lose is much lager than that of the police officers, and the police is behaving more and more like a hostile occupying force. So what happens when/if some people indeed start to fight back seriously? This is not a recipe for anything good…

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