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

The Second Most Important Story In The World

If you pull way back and take the historical perspective, a lot of stories, aren’t.

I stand second to few in my abhorrence of the Israeli project to ethnic cleanse and genocide Palestine, but it’s been ongoing for a long time and involves about five million Palestinians plus various supporters of genocide and people trying to stop genocide. It’s moving towards the end-game, as Israel loses deterrence because of its military’s sheer incompetence and changing military technology, but it’s playing out more or less as expected: the tiny colonial enclave surrounded by hostile natives is in decline as its super power sponsor is in decline.

The Ukraine war is important because it’s another indicator of the end of the American century and Western hegemony and the first major war which shows how new battlefield tech works in practice. But, pull back a bit and well, it’s just a sign of something inevitable, which is the end of Western hegemony. And that was signed when the US decided to send its industry to China: the actual decision was made back in the 90s.

US internal political shenanigans, like Texas illegally defying the Federal government over immigration and attempts to keep Trump off the ballot and so on are important: but they’re just the logical consequence of American economic decline and of neo-liberal ideology. Don’t decide to become a plutocratic oligarchy by electing Reagan, and none of this happens. Again, the decision was made a long time ago, but also, whatever, the US was never going to be number 1 forever.

The rise of China is also a sort of semi-story. The place that was the technological and economic leader for most of the last 2,000 years is regaining is prominence after a period of decline caused by an unevenly spread technological renaissance. This isn’t a surprise, it’s almost an inevitability. though when and how it happens matters to those of us around when it does.

But Covid is a real story. It’s probably a black plague level story. A virus that badly damages immune systems and which leaves many people crippled but alive. That matters, because it’s changing the cycles. Empires rise and fall, tech breakthroughs happen, are clustered and give an advantage then disperse, and military tech changes in ways which change war, often for centuries, but major major plagues, well, they’re hardly unknown, but it’s been a while and Covid is a big one.

It’s not the deaths that matter so much. It’s the disabling. This lovely chart runs to the middle of 2023.

As for Covid, well, it’s a pandemic. That means it runs in waves.

Ain’t that something? Turns out declaring the pandemic over and the pandemic being over are two different things.

Increasing levels of people not being able to work and needing to be supported is a big, big deal, for reasons I assume are obvious.

We’ll talk more about this soon, real soon, because Covid was a test and we failed as a species, no one handled it properly even though doing so would have been fairly simple. And why we couldn’t handle Covid is why we can’t handle anything else, including the most important “story” or problem in the world.



The Weird Pro-Biden Messaging


Open Thread


  1. Bill R

    I was horrified to find the following report that various labs are still experimenting with making covid more leathal. My assumption is that someone is paying a lab to do this like Fauci did the first time round.
    Chinese lab crafts mutant COVID-19 strain with 100% kill rate in ‘humanized’ mice: ‘Surprisingly’ rapid death N E WS 1169
    By Katherine Donlevy Published Jan. 16, 2024 Updated Jan. 17, 2024, 7:26 a.m. E

  2. different clue

    I am going to guess that Global Warming and Climate D’Chaos Decay ( along with other ecosystem burndown) is the most important story in the world. I could certainly make the case that it is.

    I think that the Global Overclass Elite in fact consider their handling of Covid to be a total success in terms of steady population reduction, along with other diseases which will be deliberately supported and extended whenever they “opportunistically” arise.
    Part of the reason the Global Overclass Elite considers their handling of Covid to be such a total success in terms of advancing the real ( undeclared) population reduction agenda is because too few normal people are prepared to see that entrenching and spreading the pandemic was in fact done on purpose.

    In part, the Global Overclass Elite feels that their Long Cull plan is part of the answer to Global Warming reduction. The less people, the less warming. And the less of us normals survive, the less of us will be hanging around to spoil their Overclass view.

    So for us for now, staying healthy and living longer is the best revenge. If we are a piece of glass in their shoe, that is exactly where we should be and where we should stay.

  3. Hickory

    I’d be curious to see that chart from a few highly mrna vaxed countries and a few low-vaxed. 1-2 years ago I saw research showing much less disability or reinfection in low-vaxed countries.

  4. Oakchair

    Studies analyzing antibodies, and RNA in blood and waste sewage show that Covid was already a worldwide pandemic as early as the end of 2019 (2% of blood samples taken in Nov 2019 from CA, OR, and WA showed Covid antibodies).

    Out of the 8 waves the 4 largest occurred after Covid vaccination. 2 of the smallest waves occurred before mass vaccination. Covid infection rates have been higher in 2021, 2022, and 2023 when compared to 2020. Mass Covid vaccinations began in Dec 2020.

    Consider that data alongside:
    – The Cleveland Hospital clinic study which found that Covid vaccinations increased the chance of a Covid infection in a dose dependent manner (each additional vaccination caused increased chance of infection).
    – World wide increased covid infections followed Covid vaccination programs.
    – Countries that had few Covid infections experienced massive covid waves after vaccination campaigns. -South Korea experienced NO excess mortality in 2020. It was only until 2021 after mass Covid vaccination that the country experienced a large increase in mortality.

    Ask yourself what hypothesis does the evidence support?

  5. GlassHammer

    “But Covid is a real story. It’s probably a black plague level story.”

    Are real stories “told” in their time or do we have to look at “actions taken”?

    For me, COVID was told loud and clear through the numerous protective measures taken by Davos attendees.

  6. VietnamVet

    The decline and fall of the Western Empire began with the Reagan/Thatcher counter-revolt that reinstalled the plutocracy and ended the New Deal. Since then it has been “All about the Benjamins”. In an alternative world, if the US Public Health system still worked, industry had not moved to Asia, government was still run by and for the people, and a regime change campaign against Russia hadn’t commenced in 2014; it is very likely that the million Americans, two million Chinese, and millions more humans worldwide who died, a good proportion would still be alive.

    In addition, there are many millions more who are incapacitated with long COVID. There is a reason that 3.8 million people have entered the United States through its borders since President Joe Biden took office in 2021. They are alive, able to walk across the border, have children, and the adults can work.

    Effective public health systems with masking, quarantines and contact tracing in the first years of the COVID pandemic that worked against the Wuhan coronavirus were terminated including Australia, New Zealand and China to keep their economies churning and to aid in the injection of billions of dollars of gene therapies of questionable efficacy and safety so that pharmacy executives and stockholders became richer. The second highest wave of a variant of the 2019 COVID virus is spreading across the US this winter but is ignored by the government. The 2020 Trump – Biden Presidential Election appears to be repeated once again unless the really unexpected happens. World War 3 has started, also, with two regional wars in Ukraine and the Arabian Peninsula that are out of the USA’s control.

    All this is due to the current global political economic system that is the process of becoming multi-polar or ceasing to exist.

  7. Purple Library Guy

    Gotta say I think that first graph is really bad. Like, the level that seems to be zero turns out not to be zero, it’s the average for some baseline year. So, it’s a gee-whiz graph, but unless you look pretty close you can’t tell it’s a gee-whiz graph because the unit says zero, and even when you do you can’t tell HOW MUCH of a gee-whiz graph it is because you don’t even know what amount the “zero” represents.
    (Gee-whiz graph: A graph that makes its changes look really big by not showing all of a key axis)
    Using “the average level for a baseline year” as zero might not be so bad if the units it used were based on that, so you could say at this level we’re at twice that average, or whatever. But it doesn’t do that, it uses a relative figure (1* the baseline) for zero and then absolute figures for all the other amounts. It’s a REALLY bad graph. I do think what it’s showing probably means something pretty bad, but the graph actively hinders me from figuring out how bad.

  8. capelin

    “But Covid is a real story.”

    There’s a real story there, alright, but not the one being told.

    The Black Death killed ~50% of Europe in 6 years. No stats on long term illness. Covid ain’t that. Even the Injections ain’t that, yet.

    But people’s (and the collective) immune systems have been dealt some pretty hard hits, on top of existing and escalating stressors, so stay tuned I guess. Original Antigenic Sin to c19 via the lab-spike in the Injections (instead of the actual full novel virus via respiratory) has now incorrectly programed the immune response to further encounters.

    Every obituary I see with “heart issue” I wonder vax? opioids? Or just broken heart?

    Wait till they role out the next one, disease x, I believe is the working title/pet name. Something to do with the brain, with a bit more bite, a bit more Black-deathy than C19. Pairs nicely with the impending International Pandemic Treaty, the one that cedes national control to “the experts”.

    Now that’ll be a story!

  9. Curt Kastens

    I remember reading in mid 2020 that the covid virus was found in samples of sewage in Spain and Italy from the fall of 2019.
    My first thought at the time was, are samples of sewage from the pat acually saved anywhere. That seemed like a rather absurd thing to do. This report could be fake news. But if this report is true it certianly throws cold water on the Chinese Lab origin story. I also remember reading a report in March or April of 2020 that there was quite a large increase in mortality in the United States in January and February of 2020. But no explination was given for this increase. The unwritten implication being that this is just this increase was just a normal statistical variation. I had two immediate thoughts about that. Could it be that people were already dying in large numbers from Covid, or could it be that the reported data is getting corrupted. Later when I saw the international statitistics related to the covid pandemic I decided that the data is clearly being corrupted. Because there is no way in hell that the outcomes can vary so drastically from one country to another. This idea that cultural differences cause the variation is PURE PURE Bullshit. Therefore one scientifically based thing that one can say about the Covid pandemic is that is that it is impossible to have a scientific disscussion about the covid pandemic.
    Another thing that can be said about the pandemic is that it is a huge story. But only a very few people can say WHY it is huge. I mean by that it could be huge because it is part of an international plot to reduce the human population. (Very unlikely in my view) It could be huge because it is a naturally occuring deadly deabilitating desease that through natural causes began spreading through the human population that is rapidly spreading. (Very unlikely in my view). It could be huge because it is by far the largest PSYOP in human history. (Very likely that this is at least part of the story in my view)
    It is funny people get shown all the time how no matter who is elected to political positions of power in the United States policies do not change. Disfunctional policies continue from one Administation and Congress to the next. Yet people continue spending huge amount of time writting about whether Trump is worse than Biden or vice versa.
    I guess that I have to accept the fact that people just can not wrap their head around certian ideas, no matter how well supported these ideas are, because these ideas are not main stream ideas.

  10. Curt Kastens

    I wrote above that I read a report that the covid virus was found in sewage samples in Spain and Italy in the fall of 2019. But now I think that is slightly mistaken I actually think that these sewage samples were from the spring of 2019.
    In either case whether the samples were from the spring or fall of 2019 I have doubts about the authenticity of the report. But though I have doubts I think that these reports are not only plausible but probally true.

  11. I suppose it’s true that “things that can’t go on, don’t”.

    In Douglas Preston’s book 1996 Talking to the Ground a Navajo spiritual leader tells him: “the Earth has said ‘Have patience, there is no way you can stop this turn, this cycle. The world is already unbalanced. It’s already on its way, going full momentum. And in this manner, when the world ends, you will eventually go in a peaceful manner. In a respectful manner. Because you human beings, you may be gone, but the Earth is always here. It will revive itself’ . . .”

    Recently I became aware of

    When I was a child, my mother watched a soap opera “As the World Turns.” She was addicted to cigarette smoking and died of lung cancer four decades ago. Our current modern techno-industrial civilization is addicted to fossil fuels and this is having and will continue to have consequences. We have lived in a world of wonders and pain; the wonders will continue, in different forms, after we are gone.

  12. sbt1942

    “Philosophical” interlude:
    I’d read through Marcus Aurelius’ “Meditations” several times last year (technically, I read through it every month), and much of what Ian mentions here about “pulling back” and “zooming out” one’s view is discussed there, as well. It seems to me that, even a couple thousand years ago, there were folks talking about the cyclical nature of civilization, things repeating themselves, and how evil doesn’t change (or cease).

    “Four years or forty, it makes no difference.”

    I side with different clue’s comment about living healthy and well to put the screws back on the establishment. Only then can we both stay as the “glass in their shoe,” and serve and/or help those we care about.

  13. Carborundum

    I’m going to agree that Jukka’s chart is eccentric. It looks to take the numbers of long-term and short-term ill and divide them by the 2022 population of the UK aged 16 to 64. When I replicate, this produces a range from around 4.8% or so in 2014 to 6.1% or so in early 2023. What he then does is take the 2014 figure as a baseline and subtract it from the rest of the range, apparently in an attempt to highlight/isolate pandemic-related changes. Not the best way of doing this.

    The big challenge with interpreting these changes as onrushing societal doom, at least at this point, is that we have actually seen figures like this before. The percentage of the workforce inactive due to illness in mid-2023 is actually lower than during the late 90s and early 00s. What is materially different at present is that the percentage of the workforce that is inactive due to illness and does not want a job is higher (i.e., people are increasingly opting out of labour force participation and citing illness as the reason why, though the overall rate of illness-driven non-participation is actually lower than 20 years ago). This certainly isn’t going to help things, but at present it looks like less of a challenge than known anticipated labour force changes due to population aging (cynically, given the age profile of those opting out, I have a strong suspicion that a chunk of this is aging being given a more remunerative label).

    Population figures can be found by searching on “LFS: Population aged 16-64: All: Thousands: SA” and workforce inactivity figures can be found by searching on “INAC01 NSA: Economic inactivity by reason (not seasonally adjusted)”. All figures from the UK Office of National Statistics.

    From a more meta-perspective, the reason that we couldn’t handle COVID optimally actually has to do with the above. Discourse is increasingly dominated by those selling decontextualized hot-takes to the masses. Bureaucrats and policymakers are cowed by the strength and volatility of mass opinion and frankly not smart enough to know to good policy from bad or principled enough to choose hills to die on. They pay folks to look at the data and to come up with policy recommendations, but at the end of the day they ignore much of that product and are largely along for the ride with a populace that is pretty staggeringly ignorant. (The recent foofera about education visas would be a prime example – staffers told the decision makers what would happen, but they did it anyway. Faced with a foreseeable challenge, said decision makers are now flailing about doing whatever the polling of the day tells them might save them from having to update their resumés.) While I have a special distaste for decision makers who are crap at their job, much of the blame should actually be lain at the feet of those who feel compelled to sell hot takes on topics far, far outside their circle of competence.

    Old IntOp’s Law [_n of many]: There are two types of people in the world. Those who can extrapolate from incomplete data.

  14. GM

    Chinese lab crafts mutant COVID-19 strain with 100% kill rate in ‘humanized’ mice: ‘Surprisingly’ rapid death N E WS 1169
    By Katherine Donlevy Published Jan. 16, 2024 Updated Jan.

    That’s as misleading as any headline has ever been.

    First, it wasn’t SARS-CoV-2, but another sarbecovirus strain isolated from bats. So this isn’t COVID-19 at all, it would be SARS-3/4/5/etc. if it ever made the jump to humans.

    Second, they didn’t “craft” it, they passaged it until it adapted to hACE2 mice. Which it did by picking a few mutations on its own

    Third. it isn’t 100% lethal, it’s just that all of their mice died, but they didn’t test it on hundreds of mice (that’s very expensive) but on just a few. So you know, confidence intervals on small samples, and all.

    Fourth, there is nothing new about this. We have known for some 15 years that there are even more highly lethal strains than the 2003 SARS-1 one within the sarbecoviruses. What does this study change?

  15. Allison

    As capelin stated, the Black Plague killed many, many more people than covid has.

    Ian. what are your feelings on the jabs? Did you get any mRNA shots?

    Are you at all concerned about the safety of the mRNA concoctions versus traditional vaccines?

    Do you think it possible that covid isn’t of natural origin?

    Also, how do feel about an organization such as the WHO – or any national government, for that matter – having the power to declare wholesale lockdowns of society? Are you in favor of this?

  16. Curt Kastens brings up an important point. We cannot be sure what, and to what extent the data is inaccurate, or fabricated. We can still have a scientific discussion because science isn’t about being certain, that is the realm of faith.

    Re: Covid was widespread by 2019
    Some of the evidence includes:
    A French study funded by the French government and pharmaceutical corporations found Covid antibodies in people as early as Nov 2019.

    A study of America red cross blood donations done by the CDC found Covid antibodies in all 9 states tested. 2% of blood donors in the Pacific states had Covid antibodies by mid Dec 2019.

    Why would institutions fabricate studies that show they lied? Studies that suggest their actions increased mortality?

    RE: Why Covid is a huge story
    I’ll add the complete utter display of complete incompetence of the entire medical industry. And that is the very best one can describe how the medical industry acted.

  17. Ian Welsh

    Death isn’t the issue, disabling is. Every disabled person is someone else we have to carry. Not that hard, if we didn’t also have to carry rich people and various other actual parasites.

    Plus people never seem to be able to extrapolate trends.

    My issue with lockdowns and WHO and the CDC is competence. Proper tracking and the right style of shutdowns could easily have dealt with Covid.

    I took mRNA shot and two boosters. As I said at the time, had non mRNA vaccines been available in Canada I would have taken them instead. The vaccines clearly have some unfortunate side effects for some people but that’s true of all medicines. The question isn’t “does the vaccine ever do anything bad” but “on the balance of probabilities do the vaccines do more good than ill.” If they hurt 1/x and stop 1/x+10 getting hurt (or hurt as bad) it’s clearly the right decision to use them.

    I don’t know if Covid was manmade or not.

    I’m not particularly interested in litigating all this stuff anyway. It’s been hashed out many many times before and the questions are almost all wrong.

    To stop Covid we needed shutdowns that were timed correctly and travel bans. Now, if we want to, we need to clean our air: hepa and UV everwhere, basically.

    The big problem with WHO and CDC was that they always lockdowned too late thus requiring lockdowns to be longer than necessary and do a lot less good; that they didn’t do proper track and trace; and most importantly that they didn’t treat Covid as airborn.

    The problem with governments is they didn’t do economic support during Covid lockdowns properly.

    Covid is ongoing. Long Covid is a huge problem (probably chose the wrong chart, but whatever, all the charts of Long Covid show the same growth pattern.) Covid is airborne, and the way to defeat Covid is to clean the air (other methods would have worked early on.) Covid badly damages immune system response and “immunity debt” is absolute bullshit.

    Sending kids back to school and adults back to work without first putting in proper air cleaning was sheer insanity as well.

    Our society can’t survive both mass-disabling and environmental collapse at the same time. Crazy that this even has to be pointed out.

  18. Covid was a test and we failed as a species, no one handled it properly ???

    China handled it properly: 14% GDP growth vs our 3.4%, 80,000 deaths vs our 1.3 million, 7% of the population locked down, 80% popular support for Dynamic Covid Zero…

  19. Allison

    Proper tracking and the right style of shutdowns could easily have dealt with Covid.

    With all due respect, “proper tracking” and “the right style of shutdowns” is intentionally vague.

    You didn’t answer the question.

    How would you personally “style” shutdowns?

    The “deaths versus disabling” makes sense, but the deaths have actually increased with the shots, and the disabling hasn’t gotten any better. The shots aren’t preventative – though we were told they were – and the people who have gotten the shots continue to get covid regularly.

    Bernie Sanders recently tweeted that he had covid – again – and then went on to say that he was glad he was up-to-date with his “vaccines.” The many responses to his tweet were as straightforward and non-nonsense as can be: “So, you’re happy to be -up-to-date on a “vaccine” that doesn’t prevent you becoming sick?”

    Imagine getting a smallpox vaccine and then getting smallpox multiple times.

    Here is Peter Doshi of the bmj – one of the few institutions in the world not entirely wrecked by power and the profit motive – talking about the change in the definition of “vaccine” that took place during the initial stages of the covid war, and also talking about efficacy:

    The vaccines clearly have some unfortunate side effects for some people but that’s true of all medicines.

    This is bad Ian. “Some unfortunate side effects for some people” is vague as all hell, and then to end with “but that’s true of all medicines.” Come on man. Specifics are important here, and you know that.

    The question isn’t “does the vaccine ever do anything bad” but “on the balance of probabilities do the vaccines do more good than ill.”

    You set this up as a classic straw-man, and the question you raise about the shots doing more good than ill is what many people – from the hoi polloi to experts – are correctly concerned with.

    I’m not particularly interested in litigating all this stuff anyway. It’s been hashed out many many times before and the questions are almost all wrong.

    It’s an enormous issue, Ian. You can’t just pick and choose what you personally do and do not want to “litigate” after making bold pronouncements in the first place. I mean, you can…but it’s rather childlike and not particularly honest, and it’s seemingly not in keeping with the overall tenor of your blog.

    The questions are almost all wrong? I believe valid questions are being asked.

  20. Curt Kastens

    “Death is not the issue, disabiling is.”

    But if the data concerning the spread of the desease and the mortality of the desease can not be trusted can the data about the disabilities be trusted?

    Should we just ignore all the evidence that is out there that for political or economic reasons or both the entire medical industry has been weaponized?

    If the data about disabities due to covid can not be trusted then arguements that we need filtered air make no sense. If one makes the arguement that air filtration can not do any harm that would be without considering the good that could have come on from the money spent for airfiltration systems if it had been spent on other things.

  21. Thanks for the comment Ian, I’m tired of all these yammering people feeding destructive “Covid is a lie/not bad” and antivax crap into a system that already believes this garbage; so much so that my oncology specific hospital has not had any mask mandates since the gov stepped down hard on hospitals with mask mandates through the home sec literally sending letters to them

    It’s now just a helpful suggestion and even then for the wrong type of masks (cloth and surgical won’t help you with the new variants, and hasn’t since omicron)

    This shit literally kills and destroys and all people can do is bitch about muh freedoms while engorging themselves on immune destroying, latent disease enabling shit that affects every damn system the body has

    The fact that many are insulated (for now) from having the battering ram coming knocking at your door does not mean it’s gonna last forever

  22. Ian Welsh

    “Let me ask you questions which would require hours for you to answer in detail, but require only minutes for me to ask.”

    I have other things to do. If it’s important to you, feel free to read through the archives.

    I’m not going to be wrong about the consequences of Covid and Long Covid, it’s exactly the type of problem I get right routinely, but you’re free to not believe that and I don’t care enough if you believe me to jump thru hoops.

  23. different clue


    If we don’t want to think of Covid as a Black Death level event because it doesn’t seem dramatic and heaps-of-bodies-everywhere enough, perhaps we could think of it as a Long Gray Fade-To-Black level event given where it will end us up together with all the other population-attrition events being designed or opportunistically supported as they appear to advance the upper class’s Long Cull Agenda.

    Life for most of us here-on-out could be thought of as a Long Death March through the Valley of Selection . . . . passing through Darwin Filter after Darwin Filter till we get filtered out by one of the filters. Perhaps mutual knowledge-sharing and mutual co-assistance will help some of us help eachother pass through them all and come out alive at the other end of the Long Death March through the Valley of Selection.

  24. capelin

    “I’m not going to be wrong about the consequences of Covid and Long Covid, it’s exactly the type of problem I get right routinely, ”

    I agree with the latter part, but it’s not necessarily a solid predictor of future outcomes.

    Consideration of consequences attributed to Covid and Long Covid need to include dispassionate (and communicated) *consideration* of the role Injection and Long Injection *may have played*.

    Otherwise, it’s absence is of note.

  25. capelin

    “The persistent antigen is the same”.

    Excellent John Campbell interview regarding this very subject, in the context of why-some-people, Epstein-Barr, chronic fatique, the common mucousal system, etc. Australian; Buddy set up the Immunology dept at McMaster U among other things.

    “Professor Robert Clancy has found similarities between long covid and long post covid vaccination syndrome. Here he shares new findings on the theory and practical medical management of these two conditions.”

    40 minutes. Old-school at it’s best. “let’s do something about it!”

    @ DC

    We’re pretty close to agreement, actually. I just think “covid” (mostly) means “the ridiculous things we did as a society because we were mass-zombified”.

    “mutual knowledge-sharing and mutual co-assistance”

    ‘Nuthing else matters.

  26. Ian Welsh

    China did better than any other nation, but still screwed up.

    Godfree, you think that China is the best government in the world (or major gov anyway): maybe they are, but it’s given you rose colored glasses.

    No one is perfect. Do yourself a favor and write down a list of 10 things China has done wrong in the last ten years. If you can’t come up with ten things, that should tell your something. If you can, well, that should also tell you something.

  27. GM

    China handled it properly: 14% GDP growth vs our 3.4%, 80,000 deaths vs our 1.3 million, 7% of the population locked down, 80% popular support for Dynamic Covid Zero…

    China ended up with well over 2M, almost certainly over 3M COVID deaths in the end. Almost all of those since December 2022 when they let it rip. And stopped counting.

    And this is only the start, there will be waves and waves and waves of this, forever.

    Also, the US is not a 1.2M dead, but at over 1.5M. There was always 10-20% undercounting, but most states straight up abandoned even wanting to know internally after mid-2022. Hospitals no longer test and report, death certificates are written with a mix of conscious and subconscious political motivation in mid. What the real undercount is currently is anyone’s guess, but it sure isn’t the case that the official numbers are accurate. Officially COVID deaths in the US have been 100-150 a day in the last more than a year. In reality it is several times that, the question is how many times exactly.

    But China straight up stopped counting cases and deaths and went into complete denial mode once they let it rip.

    In fact, they stopped reporting deaths even while they were going for ZeroCOVID. They had accumulated around 30,000 cases during the strict ZeroCOVID days, but zero deaths officially. Completely impossible — even more so given that this was when the more severe variants were circulating. The case counts were accurate – they contained it every time – but clearly they stopped counting deaths

    Then there was the big Shanghai fiasco in early 2022, when they accumulated ~100,000 cases, and this time did report ~600 deaths. Both of these numbers might have been accurate.

    After that they went for the Turkmenistan/North Korea approach.

    It was in retrospect very ominous that they were not reporting deaths. That meant they were preparing to declare it “mild” and let it rip. And that is exactly what they did eventually.

  28. Curt Kastens

    I wrote a few hours ago that to understand what is true one has to consider what is not reported as well as what is reported.
    You are reporting that death counts in China and the USA were under reported. But how do you know that? Obviously someone had to report that. You could have not been present yourself at enough locations to know that there was widespread under reporting. I doubt if there is anyone that would even have the ability to second guess the pathologists who were recording causes of death to be able to do sample oversight. The bottom line is that we are at the mercy of people who may have a motive to lie about causes of death because they work in an institution that has been weaponized or has at least been under pressure to over or underreport the fatalities of a paticular cause of death. That means your whole comment is faith based reporting.
    But this problem of what to accept on faith goes even further. Oakchair reported on the other Covid thread that samples of donated blood showed that the corona virus was already wide spread throughout the world in 2019, if not 2018. But that information could also have easily been faked. But the report that Oakchair gave about donated blood happens to correspond to info about sewage samples from 2019. But the info on sewage samples could have been faked as well.
    Not only that people are reporting here about the terrible adverse effects of the immunizations. These reports may be true. But if can only accept or reject them based upon faith as we can not ourselves reproduce the results in our own private labs. There may be people who can. But then we would have to have faith to trust their competence and integrity. My faith in people’s competence and integrety is at a pretty low level right now. I do not know about how much faith you have right now in your fellow humans.
    What we end up with in all of the talk about Covid and its prevention and treatment is a lot of comparing invisible apples with invisible peers.

  29. GM

    your whole comment is faith based reporting.

    No, it isn’t.

    First, the initial US undercount we do know quite accurately based on excess mortality, and excess mortality also tells us what exactly happened in many other countries.

    More recently it becomes more difficult to estimate the excess mortality because the baseline shifts (especially after so many people died) and because the epidemic shifted from sharp very high peaks to a more constant plateau of cases and deaths. So the delta between baseline and observed is lower at any given moment. But it’s the area under the curve that matters.

    Second, one cannot assume any place is exceptional, which is what would would have to assume for China in order to believe they had no deaths once they let it rip.

    We don’t have excess mortality for China, but we have to for Hong Kong when they did let it rip, and if anything, we expect China do to worse because it has worse healthcare than Hong Kong, especially in rural areas. In fact, if China suffered exactly the same as Hong Kong, the deaths are over 4M now.

    We also know that there was a huge spike in deaths of prominent people when they let it rip. Which is a way to estimate the overall impact in the absence of any other data. That analysis was done on localized populations of prominent people (e.g. the members of the Chinese academy of sciences) and it estimated a wave in late 2022-early 2023 comparable to the early ones in Italy and Spain. Of course it didn’t stop there, and they have had other waves subsequently plus the high plateau of cases.

    All of these things, considered, it is inconceivable China had fewer than 2M dead, it is almost certain it was more than 3M, and quite likely more than 4M.

    the corona virus was already wide spread throughout the world in 2019, if not 2018.

    Yes, the four common cold coronaviruses were widely circulating at the time.

    But the claim that SARS-CoV-2 was widely circulating is complete bullshit.

    Where is the excess mortality, where are the collapsed hospitals, the mobile morgues, and everything else in 2018 and 2019?

    And why does the phylogenetic analysis point to introduction to humans some time in October 2019?

    You can verify that analysis yourself — the genome sequencing data is public, the mutation rates you can estimate from it very well, and you can extrapolate back. It’s not hard.

  30. Curt Kastens

    Yes the reports of excess mortality themselves are suspect. I have checked the data for India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and 25% of the world’s population for 2020 and 2021 and I also checked Chile and Argentina for 2020 and 2021 and it did not show excess mortality. The stats of those countries might be inaccurate but then the question becomes why should we assume that it is western socities that are accurately reporting than not non western societies. Furthermore poor countries have never been immunized why do we not hear of reports of massive death rates due to corona in poor coutries?
    Then in 2020 some advanced industrialized countries in Europe were reporting fataliity rates for those that got covid that were like 200% percent higher than in other western european countries. Are we supposed to figure that the doctors in some European countries are incompetent? I was pointing this out on the web site of of the Australian Economist John Quiggens over and over again at the time. Eventually I got anothe frequent commentator to admit that if you looked at international data things were not adding up. But that using international data was not a good methodology.
    One should use Australian data which could be trusted. OK I guess I am supposed to believe that the American Poodle Government on the Indian Ocean is more trustworthy that the US government. Maybe it is for him but not for me.
    As for the articles that I mentioned claim that the new corona virus was present in the environment in 2019 and 2018 not the those viruses that have been around. And then that is exactly the point, why were hospitals not collapsing in 2019? The reports of Corona Sars 2 as you call being present before Oct 2019 mioght be complete bullshit. But they might not be compete bullshit.
    As to your last point why does phylogenetic anaylisis point to a human introduction around Oct 2019. I have absolutely no background to refute or confirm that claim. I will say that in 2020 I believed that the pandemic started with a patient zero around Oct. 2019. It made a lot of geopolitcal sense to me at the time as I strongly believed until about June of 2020 that this pandemic was an act of Chinese Bio Warfare that I would have fully supported because it looked to me like if was a chess move that prevented the US and its attack allied attack dogs from going to war with Iran in the spring of 2020. 20 million dead from a pandemic is a small price to pay to prevent a nuclear war that might claim 2 billion.
    In the end even if the pandemic did start in October 2019 I have heard so many lies spread about by so many people in authority claiming to be experts that I no longer trust the experts at all. I do not even trust the gene sequencing data to be accurate.
    but even if it is accurate it does not tell us that the mortality rates and disability rates are accurately recorded. On the other hand, the lack of protective measures that the world’s rich and powerful are taking speaks volumns.
    Trust in the entire medical proffession should have gone the way of the dinasours with the Oxycon scandal.

  31. Jan Wiklund

    “The Ukraine war is important because it’s another indicator of the end of the American century and Western hegemony and the first major war which shows how new battlefield tech works in practice. But, pull back a bit and well, it’s just a sign of something inevitable, which is the end of Western hegemony. And that was signed when the US decided to send its industry to China: the actual decision was made back in the 90s.”

    Not only the US, one may add. The Europeans did also enthusiastically practiced “outsourcing” legitimated with “the market always knows best”.

    Like the British did in the late 19th century. And the Dutch in the 18th century. And, I suppose, the Italians in the 16th.

    It seems that after a few generations, capitalists always get lazy, preferring living off their wealth instead of organizing complicated chains of production.

  32. Curt Kastens

    “There was a huge spike in the deaths of prominate people” Wow what first rate science.
    The fame, power and prominace of people lies on a continuim. Who is to judge where the line on that continuim is which would divide the included from the excluded? More than that where anyone lies on that continuim is a completely subjective decision. In addition how could we say it was a spike when to know that we would have to have a popultion in the past to compare it to. But who is to say who should or should not belong in that past population pool?
    The entire argument is a subjective arguement.
    I am actually quite shocked that I need to be the one to point that out to you. Are there no other scientists in the audiance? Oh and one other thing. If there was a spike what made the spike go away?? What is your explination for the disapperance of the spike? If a spike was objectively provable the disappearence of the spike would have to be explained.

  33. Curt Kastens

    GM and your comment that I can check for myself the data that shows that the virus orginated in 2019 also sucks. Do I look like I can afford my labratory. Oops sorry that is an unfair question because obviously you can not see. But let me tell you I can not afford my own labratory. Nor can I afford to go back to school and get reeducated in in chemisty or molecular biology.
    But fortunaley for me I do not need to because I have a method that is working better right now than what passes for science in the 21st century. Though I can not say that the method is scientific. It is an art. And my arisitc system is needed to determine when the scientific system is broken. My artisiic system is called lie detecting. It does not use electronic machines. It looks for inconsistencies is story lines. A Flat out old fashioned CID method. Then once you determine that you are being lied to you can start making inroads in to what is it that the liar wants you to believe. There could be a question bigger than that to. If you have arrested someone or our quesstioning someone about a crime they obviously want you to believe that you did not committ the crime. But that is obviously not the only time people tell lies. So in other circumstance the motive for the liar lieing becomes a question. What my method has proven to me is that a person can not trust anyone with a 10 foot pole who has anything to do wiht providing information about the Pandemic.
    What that means is that I can not prove but I suspect that the entire line of propoganda about the make up and the evollution of the virus is a complete fabrication. These genetic profiles or molecure profiles could easily be creating not in a labratory but in art studio. So this line that I could check this data for myself is nothing more than a sophisticated form of science shameing.
    Why is it that I believe in global warming?? Because I can see the results for myself. But you know what there are some climate denialists who say yes the climate is warming but it is not caused by human industrialization. But every line of the story that it is actually caused by industrialization actually makes sense and fits in with obseravations that I can make with lab equipment. I only need to have eyes that can see and to look outside.
    But as an outright pandemic denier I had kind of an ephinany today. I realized that the world is not only divided in to those that have maipulated public opinion to create the impression of danger and those who fell for that manipulation, and those that didn’t. I also realized that there are no doubt people who know that the pandemic is fake but pretend otherwise to maintain peace within their social environment.
    And to do that makes a lot of sense. Because to make any effort to convince oeople that they have been and are continuing to be manipulated on this subject is like trying to rip poeple out of the teeth of a Tryanus Soreus Rex.

  34. Curt Kastens

    OOps, in the obove comments concering global worming I meant that i can make obserrvations about the environment without lab equipement. But anyone who understands context should have been able to figure that out.

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