Friday, March 13, 2020

A contrarian view

Joseph here. In the preceding post, I questioned commonly-heard ideas about the coronavirus. That post seems to have pissed off nearly everyone.

Excellent! Still got it! Let us continue.

But before we do, allow me to quote a length a riposte from a medically-trained reader:
This at least twice as contagious as the Flu. For every person that gets the flu, they pass it on to another 1.1-0.9 people. The lowest number I have seen for cv is 2.1 and some estimates as high 3-5. The exponential growth of this is much higher than the seasonal flu.
Fatality rate is unknown, but almost certainly higher than the flu. The US doesn’t have enough beds or ICU beds compared to other nations. People compare us to nations like South Korea, Germany and Japan. They all have many more hospital beds 2-3 times more than US. We allegedly have more ICU beds, I seriously doubt it, I will expand later. All these numbers are based on hospital beds per 1,000 general population. I have studied Ebola, H1-N1, 1918 influenza outbreak. The number of cases of infection eventually peak, plateau, then end. The deaths from those infected are not know for days, weeks, months, years, and decades as our knowledge gets bettter. The mortality rate always goes up.

Here is an example. You have a small outbreak. The number shoots up to 20 infected cases, and keeps doubling every few days until it gets to 70. Then the growth slows and stops at 100 infected. 3 people are dead at this point. The news media reports a 3% mortality. However, there were still 12 people with in critical condition and 3 more die. The actual mortality rate was 6%. Now, imagine if those critical patients can get a bed, or ICU unit in time or at all. Then we have to triage. Only those with the best chance of survival get the needed care. That is why the mortality has spiked in Iran and Italy as the healthcare system is overwhelmed. The dreaded bugaboo of rationing creates actual death panels of frantic physicians and nurses make how to make the best of horrible situation.
Flu people have some immunization is built up over time. As well, we have vaccines that help slow the mortality and spread. Lastly, there is some herd immunity protection for vulnerable populations we don’t have for cv. Although, I have heard pneumonia vaccine does provide some protection in terms of helping people not get it while dealing with cv.
My response to this response: My reader has ignored the actual case fatality rates in countries other than China, Italy and Iran. The term "case fatality rate" is defined here. Basically, it's a simple equation -- so simple that even a math-phobe like yours truly can do it.

X = the number of people known to have a disease.

Y = the number of people who die from that disease.

First, divide Y by X. Then multiply by 100 -- that is, move the decimal a couple of places. Voila! That's your R.I.P. percentage. Your case fatality rate.

I'll show you how it works. Worldwide, at this writing, X = 137,674, while Y = 5080. So grab your calculator and divide 5080 by 137,674, then move the decimal point over two places. That gives us a 3.6 percent fatality rate.

Grim? Indeed it is.

But that figure is driven up by the rates in China, Italy and Iran, where -- for whatever reason -- the virus seems to have hit harder than it has elsewhere. In Germany, by contrast, there have been only six deaths and over three thousand verified cases, for a fatality rate of 0.19 percent, not that much worse than the death rate of the seasonal flu.

There's another point -- an important point that everyone seems to have missed.

All agree that testing has been poor. The tests are lengthy and expensive. Thus, only people who have presented serious symptoms have been tested. The actual number of people with the virus is certainly higher.

Here's the all-important thought that has yet to find a home in your cranium: If testing were more widespread, then the fatality rate would go way down.

Take another look at our equation. Figure Y is a hard number: Corpses are easy to count. Figure X is not a hard number, precisely because testing has been kind of a shambles. The people who have the disease are not easy to count.

Everyone agrees that if tests were cheap and more widely done, X would increase dramatically. A whole bunch of folks with relatively subtle symptoms -- or no symptoms -- would test positive for coronavirus.

Get it? Have you figured it out yet?

If X goes up, the fatality rate goes down.


Let us posit that we suddenly have a test that costs ten cents to administer and takes ten minutes to complete. So everyone everywhere gets tested. The number of corornavirus cases worldwide would surely go up, right? It is hardly unreasonable to suggest that the number would double. Consider the fact that the symptoms (fever, cough) are subtle -- easily mistaken for normal cold/flu symptoms. Consider the fact that someone can carry the virus while not presenting any symptoms at all.

If we double X, guess what happens? The worldwide fatality rate comes way down to 1.8 percent. And that's including the much higher figures in China, Iran and Italy. Fauci has predicted that the final fatality rate will be around one percent.

That was basically the fatality rate aboard the Diamond Princess. In that unique situation, both X and Y are hard numbers. Note that the ship had 3,711 passengers total, out of which 696 caught the coronavirus; seven died. Thus, only 0.18 percent of the total number died.

Not everyone on the ship caught the bug. As our reader noted, "the number of cases of infection eventually peak, plateau, then end." The teevee talking heads have convinced the nation that coronavirus is an unstoppable force destined to engulf the world, not unlike the zombie apocalypse. But trends don't continue indefinitely; nature usually finds a way to apply the brakes. If it rained two inches yesterday, that doesn't mean dry land will disappear within a month. 

"But what about the need for all those extra hospital beds! Our health care system isn't built to withstand such an onslaught!"

As noted earlier, Germany's fatality rate isn't that much worse than what we would expect from a normal wave of influenza. Out health care system has dealt with seasonal influenza for many, many, many years. Most people don't get the flu in any given season, and most people do not go to the hospital for the flu. We deal with the flu by self-quarantining -- that is, we stay home and stay away from others while the bug runs its course.

Even if the coronavirus has ten times the fatality rate of a seasonal flu (in other words, a one percent case fatality rate), and even if affected individuals must recuperate for substantially longer periods of time, I see no reason to flood the hospitals with patients. Those not in high risk groups will stay home and deal with the fever and the cough. Only those known to be at high risk -- the elderly, basically -- should take extraordinary precautions.

All of this talk of "triage situations" is hyperbolic and silly.

If one good thing comes of the coronavirus, it's this: The current scare may force Americans to break the habit of going to work sick. Or, more accurately, employers will have to stop pressuring workers to go back to work before recovery is complete.

Over the past two days, panic has set in. Nobody is thinking straight -- and frankly, I'm terrified. This absurd over-reaction will prove more dangerous than the disease.

Due to privacy concerns, I'm not going to discuss how this particular household makes egg-and-cheese money, but it's fair to say that our situation is parlous, as is the case in many other American households. If the economy craters, if everyone continues to avoid public spaces, your humble narrator could be selling his computer to buy a tent. A man and a woman and a cat and a dog could all become homeless very soon. Seriously: Fucking homeless.

I'm not scared of the virus. I'm scared of that.

I'm also scared of a backlash against the Democratic party. If, weeks from now, catastrophe has engulfed the economy while the coronavirus death rate remains in the double digits -- or even the triple digits -- or even the low quadruple digits -- the average American is going to get pluperfectly pissed off. And that fury will not be directed at Donald Trump.

Yes, I am aware of what people are saying about Trump's absurd speech to the nation. He sounded precisely the wrong note, swinging wildly from his initial slap-happy underestimation of the problem to a wild, barbaric, hyper-nationalistic over-reaction. Only the rubes bought into his racist attempt to portray the virus as a kind of "yellow peril." The travel ban is just stupid. (Scandinavians are banned....? Why? What statistics justify that decision?)

Worse, Trump's delivery was truly bizarre. Either he has the virus himself, or the guy has been hitting the Sudafed again.

Conclusion: No matter what happens during the next few weeks, Trump will not receive cudos for his initial handling of the problem.

At the same time, the public could easily turn against liberals -- against the talking heads on MSNBC who, in their zeal to lambaste this administration, have rationalized hysteria. Fear of the virus, not the virus itself, could inflict economic misery on millions. Closing down Disneyland isn't funny to those who get their paychecks from the Mouse.

I'm not the only one in danger of sleeping rough.
My feeling is that there are other factors at play in countries like China and Italy. They are far more densely populated countries than the U.S. China has something like four or five times as many people. Italy has something like 60 million people, but Italy is a small country geographically compared to the United States. Both countries also have a higher number of smokers, and smoking has been linked to this disease. I could be wrong, but I don't think this coronavirus is anywhere on the level of the Spanish Flu of 1918, where millions died but relatively few people in China died of it. This is why some experts have said they believe that disease originated in China; the people built an immunity to it when a more mild version first appeared.

At this point, it is good to be proactive, but I don't think paranoia and fear are warranted.
3/12/20-“Germany has had three deaths out of 1966 confirmed cases. That's 0.15 percent (presuming that I can still recall how to calculate percentages).”-Joseph

3/13/20-“In Germany, by contrast, there have been only six deaths and over three thousand verified cases, for a fatality rate of 0.19 percent, not that much worse than the death rate of the seasonal flu.”- Jospeh

3/13/20 Noon E.S.T-Germany 3,156 confirmed cases and 7 deaths.

Sir, I think this is the third time I have posted on you blog, every time you have bollixed a simple mathematical concept. You are innumerate.

The fatality rate has gone from 0.15 to 0.22 in roughly 24 hours. The total deaths have gone up 133%. The number of confirmed cases has risen 61.2%. In one day!! If you can do the math at this rate, they will be where Italy is now in total confirmed cases within a week. The total deaths will keep increasing, and the fatality rate will continue to creep up something along the lines of South Korea. At this rate they will have millions of cases in a few weeks.

I think many of these numbers are artificially low. Do you really believe the numbers in Russia and China? In addition, many of these countries have much younger populations than China, Iran, Italy and the U.S. Algeria and Pakistan have combined for only 46 confirmed cases and 1 death. The median ages in those countries is 28.4 and 23.7. That has a big impact on the ranges for this virus in terms of fatality rate.

For some one so cynical and conspiracy curious, I am surprised you are not more inquisitive into the context of these numbers. Again, you are reiterating RW talking points, and in my estimation come across as quite ignorant of the situation beyond this moment in time.

I followed the Amanda Knox case for awhile. Two weeks ago, I was looking at some Italian twitter feeds I used to follow and eventually found some conversations about the Italian outbreak. Many of the same points were made back then by many Italian chauvinists. “We have a great healthcare system!” “We are healthier than the Chinese!” Medical professionals and those that could do the math were warning those bromides would not protect them. They were right. I don’t think we have as robust a healthcare system as Italy, and we have Dolt 45 in charge. Not sure why you are so sanguine. Perhaps, you are right, but I see no reason to believe so at the moment.

I lost a great-great uncle to the 1918 influenza outbreak, and two great uncles to the Dust Bowl. People don’t understand how quickly things break down seemingly overnight.

-C’est moi

But it's a fact that Italy's hospitals are overwhelmed, and doctor's are doing triage, having to decide who receives treatment and who will be abandoned to die. This is because of the corona virus' extreme infectiousness. There are more sick people than the hospitals can treat. Without proper treatment the death rate goes up. The United States has a for profit hospital system, and empty hospital beds sitting in preparation for some future epidemic don't pay for themselves. But now a genuine epidemic is gathering momentum and our medical system will be overwhelmed by the shear numbers. This will get a lot worse before it gets better. The death toll will be staggering.


I cited different sources on different days, which accounts for the German numbers. Had I done otherwise, you would have chided me for not keeping up. The shift in percentage is not so consequential when you consider the fact that we are simply dealing with very few deaths. The fatality rate jumped because six deaths became seven. I'm sorry to sound cold, but that's not such a huge shift.

The Knox case was indeed an embarrassment to Italy. Being of half-Eye-talian heritage myself, I think it fair to say that my ancestors have always shown a talent for painting, cooking, wine, architecture, literature, religion, secret societies, surrealist movies, organized crime, and, of course, producing women who look like Claudia Cardinale. Jurisprudence? Epidemiology? Such things have rarely been associated with the Italian character.

That said, I don't think we have evidence that the Italian government is handing out false numbers.

Russia? I wouldn't believe anything the Russian government says about anything. Normally I would be equally cynical about China, but they've been pretty serious about this crisis, in my opinion.

"At this rate they will have millions of cases in a few weeks." I address that very line of thought in my post. Trends do not last forever because nature imposes limits. It's like saying "A foot of snow fell in three hours. At this rate, the city will be buried in one month." Or: "After viewing that picture of Claudia Cardinale in her prime, my penis grew six inches in twenty seconds. At this rate, it will be a mile long by the middle of next week."

We MAY have millions of cases, but maybe not. China has been dealing with this thing for a longer time and right now they've had less than 81,000 cases.

Tell ya something else about 1918: Patients were treated at home and in schools. People learn to make do in an emergency.

The 1968-69 flu, which I am old enough to recall, did not stop anyone from going to see "2001" -- or rock concerts, or football games, or anti-war rallies, or presidential campaign events, or the Carson show, or orgies at Roman Polanski's pad, or anything else. That flu killed...what? I think it was 35,000 Americans, although you should probably double check me on that because I'm going on memory The point is, the death toll was probably higher than they one we'll see from the coronavirus. Very sad, no doubt about it. But life went on. Nobody thought that destroying the economy in order to kill the flu would have been a good trade-off.

Nobody here is pro-Trump. But the idea of killing the economy in order to kill this presidency sounds good only to those who don't fear homelessness.
China is completely unreliable, don't believe any of their numbers,

Your X and Y numbers are wrong. Your X is the number of known cases. Y is the number of resulting deaths. But people don't die immediately, so the death rate would be Y deaths now, and the X should be infections approximately two weeks ago. Given the rapidly increasing number of cases, this would be a rather higher death rate.
“Second: I'm wondering if I caught the thing.

Even though I don't get sick very often, I recently recovered from a bout of the flu. Well...maybe it was the flu. Let's just say that, whatever it was, it's an illness that, on the severity scale, situated itself somewhere between the flu and a cold. For a couple of days, I mostly stayed in bed with a fever.


Some of you may now be desperate to inform me that I should quarantine myself. At this point, I must go into crazy-eyed Manson mode: "Man, I been in quarantine ALL MY LIFE! That's where your society has put me, man -- in QUARANTINE! ISOLATED! That's why I'm FREE!”"-Joseph

If you were already quarantined, how did you catch the flu or virus? You were not quarantined before, unless you had some sort of infection.

“Normally I would be equally cynical about China, but they have been pretty serious about this crisis, in my opinion.


China has been dealing with this thing for a longer time and right now they have had less than 81,000 cases.”-Joseph

So which is it Joseph? Deal with it like China and contract the economy 25-33% which are numbers that are used to compare November 2019 China’s economy to now. You can’t have it both ways. You either accept the spread of the virus uncontrollably or you shut down parts of the economy by travel and freedom of movement restrictions which unfortunately cause economic loss. You have to balance the cost of dead and treating the sick against the economic pain. Above our pay grades, I’m afraid.

“Tell ya something else about 1918: Patients were treat at home and in schools. People learn to make do in an emergency.”-Jopeph

People lost their homes and livelihoods as well. You just pretend life went on like normal, when there was huge economic pain as well. My family that lost a son, also lost their family farm. The same thing happened during the Dust Bowl. 3 of my 4 grandparents came from families that lost their farm during the Dust Bowl and had to move to eastern Ks, Missouri, and California to survive. There was economic pain the post WWII generations just don’t understand between the World Wars.

I never wrote anything about Italy falsifying numbers. I am concerned about the Russian and Chinese ones being seriously lowballed.

You keep comparing it to the the flu. Let’s compare the swine flu (H1N1) 2009 outbreak in the US.

“As of mid-March 2010, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimated that about 59 million Americans contracted the H1N1 virus, 265,000 were hospitalized as a result, and 12,000 died.”

First confirmed case in US-March 28, 2009
First death in US-April 27, 2009

Vaccine publicly available October 2009

Right now according to your worldwide link there are 143,768 confirmed cases and 5,394 deaths worldwide. So with only 1/410 (.0022 or .2%) as many cases, the death toll is 45% what the swine flu was. I realize this is not an apples to apples comparison, and there are many problems with this comparison. However, it is not basically the flu, no matter how much you want to pretend it is.

If you don’t understand how triage works, think about it in terms of economics. You have a mortgage of $1500 a month (heart attacks, cancer, and strokes), you have food and everything else is another $1000 (flu cases). Now you have another $1000-1500 for emergency medical costs (corona virus) you have to come up with for the foreseeable future (6-18 months). You didn’t have any extra income before. The whole thing falls apart for most of us. It is not a bs concept. I have seen it when there are a bunch of shootings, and a a bus crash at the same time. People die because, we run out of physicians, beds, and there is not enough time, because the next hospital is too far away.

-C’est moi

“COVID -19 is finally the monster at the door. Researchers are working night and day to characterize the outbreak but they are faced with three huge challenges. First the continuing shortage or unavailability of test kits has vanquished all hope of containment. Moreover it is preventing accurate estimates of key parameters such as reproduction rate, size of infected population and number of benign infections. The result is a chaos of numbers.

Like annual influenzas, this virus is mutating as it courses through populations with different age compositions and acquired immunities. The variety that Americans are most likely to get is already slightly different from that of the original outbreak in Wuhan. Further mutation could be trivial or could alter the current distribution of virulence which ascends with age, with babies and small children showing scant risk of serious infection while octogenarians face mortal danger from viral pneumonia.


A year from now we may look back in admiration at China’s success in containing the pandemic but in horror at the USA’s failure. (I’m making the heroic assumption that China’s declaration of rapidly declining transmission is more or less accurate.) The inability of our institutions to keep Pandora’s Box closed, of course, is hardly a surprise. Since 2000 we’ve repeatedly seen breakdowns in frontline healthcare.

The 2018 flu season, for instance, overwhelmed hospitals across the country, exposing the shocking shortage of hospital beds after twenty years of profit-driven cutbacks of in-patient capacity (the industry’s version of just-in-time inventory management). Private and charity hospital closures and nursing shortages, likewise enforced by market logic, have devastated health services in poorer communities and rural areas, transferring the burden to underfunded public hospitals and VA facilities. ER conditions in such institutions are already unable to cope with seasonal infections, so how will they cope with an imminent overload of critical cases?
We are in the early stages of a medical Katrina. Despite years of warnings about avian flu and other pandemics, inventories of basic emergency equipment such as respirators aren’t sufficient to deal with the expected flood of critical cases. Militant nurses unions in California and other states are making sure that we all understand the grave dangers created by inadequate stockpiles of essential protective supplies like N95 face masks. Even more vulnerable because invisible are the hundreds of thousands of low-wage and overworked homecare workers and nursing home staff. “

I recommend reading the whole thing.

C’est moi

Say Mwah: Right now, I can address but one of the concerns you bring up. I have only one human being in my life at the moment. Why she puts up with me, I'll never know, but I'm incredibly lucky to have her. She goes out into the world; I do not.

So that's how I got whatever it was that I got. She was sick for three days before I caught it.
Sorry Joseph. You are out of your area of expertise with your claimed mortality statistics. Leave such calculations to epidemiologists lest you promote a false sense of security with your snapshot ratios that ignore the time lag between diagnosis and resolution.
The whole point of my essay, stickler, is that X is unknown due the lack of tests. As X grows, as everyone agrees it will, the fatality ratio lessens. I can't find a counterargument anywhere. You have not mounted one.

One teenager’s website tracking the coronavirus has become one of the most vital resources for people seeking accurate and updated numbers on the pandemic. The URL is That’s Seventeen-year-old Avi Schiffmann started the site in late December when the coronavirus had not yet been detected outside China. Now the site’s been visited by tens of millions of people from all over the planet. The site tracks deaths, numbers of cases locally and globally, and it talks about the number of people who have recovered. It also provides an interactive map, information on the disease, and a Twitter feed. The resource, which updates every minute or so, pulls information from the World Health Organization, the Centers for Disease Control and elsewhere.

Are you under the impression that we test everyone for the flu? We probably only test about 20-25% of those infected. The total numbers are extrapolated from hospital admissions and deaths.

I explained in my example that the fatality rate always goes up after the number of infections end. There are no new cases, but there are still critically sick people that will eventually die days, weeks, and months later from that infection on or before day X when the outbreak of new cases ended.

Stephen Morgan addressed your confusion as well.

3/12/20-“In South Korea, where testing is better, the reported death rate is 0.77 percent.”-Joseph

3/13/20-Reported death rate is 0.89 as of today’s latest figures.

3/12/20-“Italy has a 6.7% fatality according to your link, 1,016 deaths out of 15,113 cases.”C’em

3/13-Italy’s reported death rate is 7.1% according to the latest figures.

What you refuse to address is that the total cases even if they are off by a factor of 2-3 or more are where the disease was a few days to a week ago, as opposed to the death rate is where we were 2-3 weeks ago. The critical cases can take 6-8 weeks and even longer to resolve while the moderate ones are roughly 2-3 weeks. There are only 31 case where the patient has recovered in the US at the moment, and there are 48 deaths. Let that sink in for a moment. I have never seen flu numbers like that. If you have some, please share with us.

You think the SK confirmed cases are 4-5 times bigger than they are reporting? Cv is still deadlier than the flu. Think the Italian numbers are 10% of the real numbers? Then it is still 7 times deadlier than the flu. Pick your poison. It is either spreading at a ridiculous pace and killing substantially more in comparison to the flu or it is spreading significantly faster and killing a 20-30 more people per 1,000 infections.

The numbers I used are from the link you used to cherry pick certain numbers. If you use whataboutism, moving goal posts, and circular logic, then of course your criteria will never be met.

-C’est moi

Turns out that patients aren't dying from suffocation due to pneumonia.

"COVID-19 apparently spawns a “cytokine storm” the same way the 1918 Spanish flu virus did. Health care professionals say COVID-19 kills via fulminating viral cardiomyopathy, (inflamed heart tissue), not hypoxia (suffocation due to lung failure)."

So maybe a simple drug treatment will reduce the mortality and help get a handle on this.

Let's take, for example, the data at the end of February 8, 2020: 813 deaths (cumulative total) and 37,552 cases (cumulative total) worldwide.

If we use the formula (deaths / cases) we get:

813 / 37,552 = 2.2% CFR (flawed formula).

With a conservative estimate of T = 7 days as the average period from case confirmation to death, we would correct the above formula by using February 1 cumulative cases, which were 14,381, in the denominator:

Feb. 8 deaths / Feb. 1 cases = 813 / 14,381 = 5.7% CFR (correct formula, and estimating T=7).
The problem, Anonymous, is that Y is a hard number -- cadavers are countable -- while X is a soft number, or really, a great unknown.

X is soft and amorphous because the tests, to a large degree, have not been done. And the symptoms could easily be mistaken for less worrisome illnesses. I had the same symptoms, yet I probably did not have the coronavirus.

We must presume that X is really much, much larger than reported. Honestly, I may be underestimating when I suggest that the actual number of cases could be twice the reported number. And bickering about WHEN the X number was arrived at is beside the point. The point is that X is always likely to be a drastic undercount.

And the higher X actually is, the smaller the fatality ratio becomes.

Nobody has offered a counter-argument to this reasoning.

(By the way, when did I ever say anything about flu tests?)

You also need to address the societal factors, in light of the upcoming election. This thing really could turn in Trump's favor. I know that such an outcome seems impossible to many Dems right now, but you have to see the matter through "red state" eyes.

If fear and frenzy over the coronavirus causes the economy to tank -- as seems likely -- working class people facing eviction and job loss may not blame Trump. Dems presume that that they will, but the rage may be directed at other targets. The blame may be directed at those who insisted that coronavirus required fear and frenzy.

As I said, I'm old enough to recall the Hong Kong flu. There really were 34,000 deaths in the U.S. in the winter of 1968-69. And y'know what? Nobody acted terribly worried about it.

I was in school then. Whenever the Hong Kong flu was brought up on the playground, kids would immediately do stereotyped Asian impersonations. The cooler kids imitated Bruce Lee as Kato. Adults JOKED About that flu. The jokes may have been in wretched tastet, but the whole thing was still a laughing matter. Literally. Paul McCartney joked about it; Laugh-In joked about it. Nobody took the flu seriously. I never saw an adult act worried. They discussed Vietnam and the presidential race endlessly, but that particular pandemic evinced a more philosophical reaction: "Whatcha gonna do?"

Again: 34,000 American deaths.

And the economy bubbled along very nicely. Things would have been a lot less bubbly if all public gatherings had been curtailed. Trust me: Nobody gave a single thought to closing Disneyland or the schools.

How many people will the coronavirus end up killing? My blue-sky conjecture at the moment is the the figure may be as high as 5000 Americans. I could be wrong. The figure could go much higher or could stay much lower. My point is this: If 5000 die while at the same time MILLIONS suffer from an economic downturn...all hell could break lose.

Don't presume that Trump will be on the receiving end of that hell. Dems could get the blame.

If that happens, you may regret NOT treating coronavirus the same way we treated the Hong Kong flu.
Added note: I was mistaken about the Hong Kong flu number. The CDC says that 100,000 people died in the US.

In one year. Compared to 50,000 deaths or thereabouts for all the years of Vietnam.

Yet the flu was treated with a shrug.

If there is an economic downtown thanks to coronavirus panic, the Alt Right will benefit. It won't help a centrist like Joe Biden. Extreme times aid extreme ideologies. History is VERY clear on that point.
If Mr. Cannon turns out to be right:

Madoka damn it, what has gotten into Lucifer?

It's been over 50 years since the GOP made that pact with him (the "Southern Strategy" and its successors), and he still hasn't double-crossed them! They are still enjoying their infuriating Gladstone Gander luck!
It seems to me that compare deaths to reported cases on the one hand and then say that it should be reported for all cases should be applicable not only to covid-19 but also to seasonal flu. In other words, there are probably carriers or other individuals who would test positive for seasonal flu but never had symptoms as much as those who would test positive for covid-19 but don't exhibit symptoms. Of course testing EVERYONE would give us much more data upon which to make decisions.
more info - hard to read but worthwhile.


Pall Thordarson | UNSW Chemistry
Biographical Details. B.Sc. Chemistry from the University of Iceland (1996), Researcher, Science Institute, the University of Iceland (1996-1997).
The worst site I think right now for anything about this disease is Democratic Underground. Paranoia is rampant there. This virus continues to have limited spread although the numbers are going up. This is not the Spanish flu or anything remotely as bad, and the biggest reason that disease was as bad as it was is because there was a world war going on then. I had to get the hell away from DU after seeing somebody posting an idiotic misinterpretation of a garbled CDC recommendation about school closures and this virus from the American Association of School Administrators (AASA). AASA seems to think the CDC thinks all schools in this country should be closed for two to five months because it thinks that has the most positive impact, thus canceling out the school year. But that isn't really what the garbled mess from CDC says. It just lays out the pros and the cons of each thing a school district could do depending on the virus's "community" spread. In truth, it is all speculation, and neither AASA nor the CDC really know what they are talking about. As far as I am concerned, the vast majority of school districts in the United States can stay open until the end of the school year. DU is completely toxic on this issue.
DU has always been fertile ground for over reaction, so no surprise there.
I got my posting privileges revoked just because I said this wasn't at all like the Spanish flu.

Apparently these idiots over there think to tell the truth is being a right-winger.

DU has always been a shithole. I am surprised the outfit still exists given all the competition from Reddit, Twitter, and other places.
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