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March 24, 2020

Comments

So Republicans are happy to see 2.2 million dead and a few million more permanently disabled, and the entire medical system overwhelmed... as long as their 401Ks are doing well.

How is this a surprise, exactly? I mean, have we seen anything from Republicans for the past 30 years to indicate they value anything more than their personal wealth?

(Fetuses don't count; they don't "value" fetuses, just use them as political weapons.)

the US mortality rate is about 8.8 deaths per 1,000 people, per year. A mortality rate of 1% from COVID-19 is basically everybody who would die in a year, plus some.

A rate of 2% is twice that.

Plus, everybody would normally die from some cause in a given year, still does.

I don't know if it has occurred to anyone what 2 or 3 times as many people dying in a single year would actually look like on the ground, but it would be pretty fucking shocking.

1% of the US population is about 3.3 million people, 2% is 6.6 million. Dying in a year. From one specific cause.

If these people think they and people they care for are going to somehow be immune to all of that, they have a rude awakening in store.

This is yet another example of knowing what the right thing to do is, and being utterly unable to get our shit together to do it.

Test aggressively and provide isolation and medical care for folks who are ill or infected. Trace points of contact from those folks rigorously and isolate folks they were in contact with for two weeks, so we can see if those folks get sick. Maintain that until we get the R0 below 1.

Amazingly, you can do all of that and not bring the entire economy of the US to a screeching halt. It'll make a dent, for sure, but it's not financial Armageddon.

"Fuck it, let granny die" is not a very attractive alternative.

What I find most disturbing about the conservative sensibility is the kind of human being you have to become in order to embrace it.

If shit like this works for you, please go find someplace to live far, far, far away from me and mine.

I was going to post that link myself, but I'm taking one breath at a time, which is not a bad thing.

That I have breath, thus far, when so many don't and won't:

https://talkingpointsmemo.com/news/new-york-covid-19-andrew-cuomo-ventilators-hospital-beds

https://talkingpointsmemo.com/news/louisiana-john-bel-edwards-coronavirus-trump

Understand who is murdering us.

The most startling thing, at least to me, is the politicians who are saying it. Politicians who have to know that those grannies they are writing off are their core supporters. Do they want to become electoral no-hopers???

Well, maybe their contempt/hatred for knowledge and learning has made them unable to see the obvious reality. Darwinism in action, in the political sense.

Try this on for size.

The Latter Day GOP is a cult.

It is also a virus that eats brains as well as hearts. It is a pre-existing condition, and it is terminal. Not likely that Big Pharma is working on a cure, either.

Shame, contempt, ridicule -- the traditional antibodies a society develops against pernicious mental viruses -- do not seem to have kicked in yet, partly because they keep getting diluted by pablums like "civility".

Oh well, societies are not immortal. The American one has had a good run. When it succumbs, that will be good for the Dow, right?

--TP

Test aggressively and provide isolation and medical care for folks who are ill or infected. Trace points of contact from those folks rigorously and isolate folks they were in contact with for two weeks, so we can see if those folks get sick. Maintain that until we get the R0 below 1.

russell -- Aren't we way way way too late to do that for this round? We started weeks too late for contact testing to be relevant or manageable, is my understanding.

Maybe if we get things more or less under control, that's the way we address the second round, so that we can nip it in the bud instead of what's happened this time.

I've fallen behind on my reading of Anne Laurie's posts. Maybe I should get back to it.

"Fuck it, let granny die" is not a very attractive alternative.

What I find most disturbing about the conservative sensibility is the kind of human being you have to become in order to embrace it

So, if I have this right, some guy with the initials "DB" writes TPM's exec. editor about "these people" and what they say and everybody indicts conservatives generally for what "these people" say, which then makes the rounds of comment rolls and gets regurgitated and--dare I say--multiplies exponentially as some form of truth. Please.

Since we are going with anecdotal and anonymous evidence, my experience is that everyone I know of the right of center persuasion doesn't have a problem with the SIP precautions as an initial and fairly swift (albeit at least a week too late IMHO) reaction. The ongoing debate is what to do next. That's hard with imperfect data due to lack of testing. It seems we are somewhat shooting in the dark without more testing.

It is unhelpful and even harmful to not consider the effects of an extended shutdown of the economy if it is unnecessarily broad or lengthy. That has real health consequences too. It is easier to come back from being overprotective, however, than the reverse.

And that, my friends, is what I see in terms of opinions from conservatives in my neck of the woods. Nobody here wants to watch 2% die. Nobody wants the elderly to die. In fact, most would favor widespread testing of the most vulnerable and proactive treatment for them. All are grateful that the virus appears to spare the very young. But, alas, my friends are not friends of DB and thus must not be true conservatives.

My mom and dad are 80 and 77. They are thankfully healthy enough to self-isolate and my sister lives close. They have enough food to last for two years (at least!). I think of them every day and I can't help but project my concern onto every elder I see.

I call BS. Stop giving too much credit to the talking heads on both sides. The vast majority of Americans are good people regardless of political stripe.

In fact, most would favor widespread testing of the most vulnerable and proactive treatment for them.

Most people would favor unicorns, rainbows, and a box of chocolate on their birthday. If what 'most would favor' isn't manifested as policy, it's just talk.

'Thoughts and prayers'. Right?

'Favor widespread testing' is a nice thought.
When they give back their tax cut to pay for it, I'll believe them.

The vast majority of Americans are good people regardless of political stripe.

Approximately 40% of Americans think Trump is a good-to-great president. Probably a quarter of Americans think he's some kind of nativist Messiah.

So I am unconvinced.

The vast majority of Americans love their families, are nice to their neighbors, and generally wish most people well.

More than that is called for at the moment.

Conservatives need to stop promoting harmful policies, and stop putting toxic pathological weirdos in positions of responsibility. That will require them to recognize that their policies are harmful, and that their leaders are toxic pathological weirdos.

Which is likely to require something of a metanoia on their part. A change of mind, heart, and soul. They may need to become a different kind of person.

I can't make any of you do that, it's up to you.

But I am sick of pretending that harm - real harm, to real people - isn't being done.

And FWIW, "these people" who talk about letting granny die include the Lt Governor of TX and the UK prime minister.

Conservatives put those people in office.

It's no longer anecdota once it's in the public record. Nobody's making this stuff up.

Conservatives, check your heads.

russell, FWIW I think Janie two comments up is correct for where we are now, it has to be more or less actual lockdown for everyone at this stage, as it now is in the UK (details still being refined). Once curve is flattened sufficiently by this kind of brute force (nobody seeing anybody to spread it) I believe we go back to your prescription (which is what should have been done two months ago). Other than that, I completely agree with you on financial mitigation for people (not corps at this stage) in need of it.

The guillotine was referred to in France as the "Barber" and the "National Razor".

Marie Antoinette and Robespierre, both conservatives of a kind to my mind, requested, by their actions and their words, a little more off around the ears.

One wonders if Strelnikov's bitterness, from Pasternak's Doctor Zhivago, and his actions were wholly in reaction to his growing fed up with how the poor and the peasant classes were nothing but expendable meat to the Czar and the Russian landed aristocracy, or was it secretly and partially because he lost Lara (Julie Christie) to Victor Komarovsky, who reminds me so much of those in whose ruthless clutches we are now today nothing but prey in this purposefully benighted country.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l7eEDlgKcn4

bc is correct that there are good people on both sides, but if you voted for the current leadership or threw away your vote on pointless third parties there will be personal responsibility.

I own Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, and Barack Obama.

bc doesn't know these people:

‘I would rather die than kill the country’: The conservative chorus pushing Trump to end social distancing At the start of his Tuesday show, conservative radio host Glenn Beck spoke in an upbeat cadence over a jaunty music track, even as he discussed possibly sacrificing lives during the coronavirus outbreak to save the United States and its economy.

“I would rather have my children stay home and have all of us who are over 50 go in and keep this economy going and working,” Beck said. “Even if we all get sick, I’d rather die than kill the country. Because it’s not the economy that’s dying, it’s the country.”

...

Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick (R) suggested to Fox News host Tucker Carlson on Monday that grandparents, including himself, would gladly sacrifice their lives to preserve the financial well-being of their children and grandchildren. Fox News’s Brit Hume defended Patrick’s position Tuesday, saying it was a “reasonable viewpoint,” adding “the utter collapse of the country’s economy, which many think will happen if this goes on much longer, is an intolerable result.”

William J. Bennett, the former Reagan administration education secretary, and Claremont Institute fellow Seth Leibsohn together called the losses attributable to aggressive social distancing policies in place “disproportionate” to the lives that will be lost to coronavirus if Americans don’t shelter in place. Fox News’s Laura Ingraham joined in this week, claiming the potential recession could be worse than the Great Depression.

When Jerry Falwell, Jr., welcomed students back to Liberty College in Lynchburg, Va., on Tuesday, he said the benefits of returning to classes surpassed the risks for the youthful student body.

So, if I have this right, some guy with the initials "DB" writes TPM's exec. editor about "these people" and what they say and everybody indicts conservatives generally for what "these people" say, which then makes the rounds of comment rolls and gets regurgitated and--dare I say--multiplies exponentially as some form of truth. Please.

I feel your pain. I hate having to denouce Stalin, Mao, Lenin, Pol Pot, Castro because someone posts something that some commie pinko liberal pundit has posted. Cause I am a liberal (says right in the handle) so I can't simply say 'gee, that's not me'. So, who are _you_ denouncing? I won't repeat cleek's list, but those seem like good candidates

Another thought: This isn't about you.

I'd would give my life in place of my son, if it comes down ti that.

But if my son dies from this disease, FATE forbid, I know who the ilk are whose lives I will take.

I think Janie two comments up is correct for where we are now, it has to be more or less actual lockdown for everyone at this stage

That may be so. The thing is, we don't have the information to know if that is so, or not.

In the US, we have at this point tested about 100k people. That's a lot of of people in absolute numbers, but it's one third of one percent of the population. So it's not anywhere near enough information to provide a basis for questions like this.

What I think is most likely is that a lot of people are going to get sick, unnecessarily, *and* the economy is going to continue to stall.

Because, through negligence and incompetence, we've left ourselves without the tools to understand and manage the situation in an intelligent way.

Read 'em and weep.

Do your best to stay healthy, everyone.

And FWIW, "these people" who talk about letting granny die include the Lt Governor of TX and the UK prime minister.

Is it really accurate to speak of the PM in the same breath as the Lt. Gov. of Texas? Johnson, as I understand it, is taking massive economic measures to support people financially, and not spouting nonsense about just letting people die. I have no brief for the man on a wide variety of issues. But on this, he is nowhere near people Like Trump or McConnell.

from the Imperial College study of coronavirus spread:

debunk it. show your work.

well, hey. preview was not my friend.

https://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2020/03/strict-control-measures-are-best-for-keeping-people-alive-and-protecting-the-economy/

https://digbysblog.net/2020/03/to-serve-the-precious/

This:

"The acting president suggested Tuesday that people might come out of their COVID-19 shelters, quit social distancing, and get back to work by Easter. Presumably, so the Market can rise on the third day."

Notice how Glenn Beck is exhorting human beings to leave all the hoarded survival shit he has sold them over the years at predatory cutthroat prices and return to their workplaces, FROM the relative safety of his fucking den.

He no doubt used a hoarded sanitary wipe on his microphone before the broadcast for fear he might give himself something, as the old punchline goes about the guy who quit masturbating.

Next up: Rush Limbaugh broadcasting from inside an oxygen tent in a private hospital clean room to protect his compromised immune system and telling his dittoheads to breath on the liberals at their workplaces.

OK I'm done today.

I'm going to stop posting in my own voice and will begin posting tomorrow only quotes using other peoples' voices from parlous times in the historical past.

One more:

https://talkingpointsmemo.com/news/trump-romney-coronavirus-negative-test-sarcastic

Health professionals have told us to stay home. That's because almost all of us touch people or things with our hands and then touch our face, or get within sneezing distance of other people. This is almost impossible not to do. We don't need testing to know that the virus is extremely contagious and is in every community.

Stay home. Go for a walk outside with a member of your household if you can stay away from people while doing so, but otherwise stay home. If you need to go shopping, put on a mask and maybe gloves (if you can't purell yourself after you touch anything). But mostly just stay home.

It's never been easier to be patriotic, and to fight a war. Stay home and communicate on the Internet.

Another thought: This isn't about you.

To be fair to bc, he was responding to my comment, which more or less was about him. Not bc specifically, but conservatives.

Plainly and candidly, I think that American conservatism has become a toxic and harmful ideology. I'm sure that many or even most of the people who embrace it mean well, but in fact they are doing a lot of harm.

I'm basically calling on any conservatives reading this to think about the things you believe, look at how those beliefs have actually manifested themselves in public life, and see if they are not in fact harmful.

And then do what your conscience tells you to do.

It wouldn't be the first time, nor will it be the last time, that sincerely held beliefs, even if held with good intent, prove to be harmful.

You guys are hurting people. Consider if that's what you want.

I'm basically calling on any conservatives reading this to think about the things you believe, look at how those beliefs have actually manifested themselves in public life, and see if they are not in fact harmful.

OK, here goes.
1) I don't think that the things I believe are harmful. To the extent that they have been manifested in public life, or even if they were to be.
2) While *I* think I'm a conservative, what I believe diverges on numerous fronts from what is (incorrectly, on any rational basis) labeled "conservative" in current political discourse. Which I find extremely irritating, but that's how the world is.

i just got an email from my primary physician. it starts off with:

People with Covid-19, or suspected Covid-19 SHOULD NOT BE TESTED to confirm the infection. The concern is that sick people getting tested may get other people sick—and that people who don’t really have Covid-19 might become infected while getting tested. We know that this is a confusing situation. We want anyone who has respiratory symptoms of new onset, or who has been exposed, to call us for a video visit with his or her provider. We will help you establish a game plan to deal with your illness.

[their emphasis]

don't get tested because coming in to get tested will either make you sick or make other people sick. just stay away.

our health care system is a flaming disaster.

here's my number / so call me maybe

10% of the medical staff in Spain are infected.

My insurer is Kaiser Permenante.

Their nurses and hospital workers in several cities in California are protesting en masse that Kaiser is threatening to fire them if they wear masks and other protective equipment on the job.

This, while these front line heroes see video of healthcare workers in other countries covered from head to toe.

An Italian nurse killed herself because eh was so guilt-ridden that she might have infected her patients after she tested positive for the virus.

There will need to be a real conversation about when to end social distancing and other measures needed to stem the outbreak, but it has been just two weeks since WHO declared a pandemic. Restrictions are especially important now, experts say, as the U.S. is nowhere near the peak of the epidemic curve that projects how the outbreak will progress.

“If we lift these restrictions tomorrow or next week or in the next couple weeks, we’re going to lose all this time as the epidemic flourishes around the country,” said Gregg Gonsalves, an epidemiologist and assistant professor at Yale School of Public Health. “It’s going to be that much harder to get back to where we are even today.”

From an article on today's Huffington Post headlined Pro-Trump Media’s New Chorus On Coronavirus: Let People Die: Right-wing pundits are helping the president build his argument that restarting the economy is the only thing that matters right now.

Well, I don't think these guys are speaking to or on behalf of liberals.

https://www.yahoo.com/news/trump-allies-trade-lives-for-stock-market-patrick-hume-beck-155442063.html

something something "serve both God and money".

dear "conservatives", please tell us again how we have to honor your religion in all things.

Prince Charles.

Remember during 9/11, while the first building was burning uncontrollably and humans beings were leaping to their deaths, the human beings in the second building were instructed to stay put?

Is it against the law somehow in asshole America to yell fire in a burning theater, but stop for popcorn in the lobby on the way put?

There is something very wrong with us.

out

Americans are fucking dirt:

https://talkingpointsmemo.com/news/are-gun-shops-essential-pa-gov-reverses-amid-nationwide-push-for-weapons-access

Interesting take by (the minority of) the Pennsylvania justices. And here I thought what the Constitution guaranteed was the "right to keep and bear arms" -- nothing in there about a right to purchase said arms. If you want another gun, go out in your shop and build your own!

(OK, that has other issues. But the temptation to force the gun nuts to build their own toys is strong. And would the rise in the number of guns without serial numbers outweigh the reduction in high-tech semi-automatic weapons?)

https://finance.yahoo.com/video/republican-ags-push-forward-dismantling-185935037.html

The murderous Death Cult waves around their Death Pact piece of paper: The Constitution

C'mon. Do it. Please.

Hide your children first, you Subhuman Death Cult.

I'd close those gun stores if I were you.

You never know.

C'mon, Company K of the murderous 7th republican Calvary at Wounded Knee.

C'mon, Soviet republican NVKD in Katyn Forest.

C'mon, Waffen SS under republican Jurgen Stroop, liquidate that Warsaw Ghetto.

Bring it!

Iirc SCOTUS has decided that government cannot even restrict* the sale of ammo because that would violate the 2nd amendment.

*or make it too expensive by way of taxation etc.

https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2020/3/25/1931207/-Coronavirus-bill-held-up-by-GOP-to-punish-minimum-wage-workers-McConnell-plans-month-long-recess

They will never be stopped until.

This is an unflattering description of the coronavirus bill:

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/senate-democrats-donald-trump-coronavirus-bill_n_5e7b77a6c5b62a1870d62d83

Just one aspect of the criticism:

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) boasted that the package is “a wartime level of investment into our nation.” But nothing about the legislation resembles the way a nation prepares for an ambitious military operation. The legislation provides nothing of substance to address the coronavirus pandemic itself. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) has already said the package will do next to nothing to assuage the disaster unfolding in his state. It mobilizes no new resources, organizes no production, improves no medical supply delivery and trains no new nurses. Instead, it moves an enormous amount of money around and puts the Trump administration in charge of its movement.

russell: I don't have any problem with the metenoia part. BTW, that was the name of my intramural b-ball team in college. Nobody knew what it meant. But mote and beam seems lost on many too.

lj, cleek: This wasn't some pundit or politician saying something stupid in their own right. This was a pundit saying anonymous people are saying something that then is attributed to all conservatives and then everyone saying "hell yeah!" The logical fallacies involved from point A to point B are mind boggling.

Without dissecting each and every statement, only in an alternate universe can you take these and say "they want to kill people" any more than advocating drinking beer, driving cars, not going into SIP for the flu, etc. means you want people to die. And no, I don't accept the argument in that HuffPo piece that says that is a "false equivalent" to compare Corona to activities with inherent risk simply because Corona has the potential for exponential growth. You have to take that into account and it is a distinction, yes.

There is risk in the real world and that doesn't mean anyone wants people to die. We can differ on what is acceptable and we can differ on what the risk is. Nobody is saying 2% is acceptable risk. The problem is we just don't know the risk (yet) and some are saying it is far, far south of 2% and some are saying it could be much more.

I for one, lean towards Bernanke's "bad winter storm" analogy for the economy (only I'd say "epic" and not "bad") and would hunker down longer simply because I don't know the risk yet. The risk to the economy doesn't balance out to the unknown risk of Corona.

You can argue that those calling to restart the economy are misinformed, stupid even. But the arguments as I read them are based on an assessment of risk that differs from the prevailing view here. That does not equate to "let them die."

And that is fundamentally different from the alleged statements of the yahoos who "know" it is 2% and think that is fine.

And, IMHO, reading articles breathlessly titled "Pro-Trump Media’s New Chorus On Coronavirus: Let People Die . . ." is probably not the best source of information. And before you say it, the only Fox News I get is from here (when I follow links).

russell's targeted testing response is what should be done. That has been shown to work and would lead to the fastest, safest restart. Just my two cents.

Hartmut - California state law restricts ammo purchases in a number of ways. You have to be old enough (18, or 21 for handgun) and you have to be without felony restrictions and have at least one firearm registered with the state to be on the list of eligible buyers. It must be done in-person at a federally licensed firearms dealer and the purchaser must present ID.

All horrible hardships, I assure you. ;)

russell's targeted testing response is what should be done. That has been shown to work and would lead to the fastest, safest restart.

We don't have tests, so that's a nice thought.

Trump fired the Pandemic Response Team, etc. It might be nice for those life-loving conservatives to consider that stuff needs planning and costs money.

That has been shown to work and would lead to the fastest, safest restart.

nobody has restarted anything. all of Wuhan is still in lockdown. 750 people in Italy died of it yesterday.

conservative's mindless devotion to money is going to kill a lot of people. and they for sure will deny responsibility.

Trump Twoth:

The LameStream Media is the dominant force in trying to get me to keep our Country closed as long as possible in the hope that it will be detrimental to my election success. The real people want to get back to work ASAP. We will be stronger than ever before!

read that carefully and you can see what really has Trump worried.

that the GOP has agreed to play along is yet another example of how absolutely nihilistic their personality cult really is.

You can argue that those calling to restart the economy are misinformed, stupid even. But the arguments as I read them are based on an assessment of risk that differs from the prevailing view here. That does not equate to "let them die."

It's not just that they are misinformed. It's that they refuse to accept anything resembling an expert opinion if it diverges from their preferred view of how the universe ought to work. They have been told, by people who actually have the expertise to know, that their actions will result in people dying. If they refuse change, yeah that really is saying "let them die."

It's one thing to have differing opinions on something, if you both have access to the data and the expertise to interpret it. Happens all the time. But it's quite another to simply be willfully blind.

bc, thanks for your reply above. much appreciated.

We don't have tests, so that's a nice thought.

Tests exist, and can be obtained. Not by COB today, probably not by the end of the week. ASAP is better than 'whenever'. So, ASAP.

Whether we all self-isolate or not, we need to know who is ill, who has the potential to infect other people, and who has been in touch with either of the above.

Sooner is better than later.

restart

The "economy" doesn't need to be "re-started". This isn't the great depression, it isn't the great recession. We are not faced with significant inherent economic or financial hazard. A month ago, two weeks ago for that matter, the economy was just fine. The economy will take care of itself.

We need to focus on managing the virus, and we need to focus on taking care of people who are affected by the virus.

If we don't do that, the economy is not going to return to a robust state, because people won't understand what their level of risk is. Not freaking financial market risk, but will I get sick and make my family sick and possibly die risk.

If people can't return to the status quo ante with confidence, they will not return to the status quo ante.

We need to focus on managing the virus, and on taking care of people affected by the virus, through whatever means are available, given the state of the progression of the epidemic.

Trump is looking for easy wins. Because that is who he is, he is an "easy wins" kind of guy.

There are no easy wins here. He should be ignored.

We need to focus on managing the virus, and on taking care of the people affected by the virus. No place else.

I agree with almost all of what you say, russell, and don't object to testing once we have tests. I think, though, that testing is not going to significantly stop the spread of the pandemic since we aren't going to be testing everyone, and most people are already spreading the virus by the time they're symptomatic. Already, a lot of people in most communities have the virus and are spreading it now.

How do you think that testing will work at this point to stop the spread? Maybe in rural areas that haven't had many cases yet, but by the time tests become available there (wherever, and where are these places? we don't know) it will be too late.

https://vimeo.com/399733860 Please take a look at this. I'm not sure where I got it. If I got it here, my apologies to whoever posted it that I didn't credit you. It's a very important thing to watch about how to protect oneself and one's family now by a physician at Weill Cornell Medical Center in NY.

If I'm wrong about testing, russell, please explain how testing now will work to stop the spread. Again, I'm completely in favor of testing widely - that would give people a lot of information about the extent of the problem. I just happen to believe that it's too late for that to stop what's occurring now. If you have some links discussing how it would help the situation as it exists, or if you can explain further, please let me know - I'm not trying to be belligerent or anti-science.

bc, fair point. But, and I don't mean to pile on, but when all the voices of the conservative movement are saying one thing, it is difficult to imagine that the foot soldiers are thinking something different. In the build up to all this, we saw tons of talking heads saying the most outrageous things
https://www.salon.com/2020/03/19/fox-news-dangerous-hypocrisy-on-the-coronavirus-exposed_partner/

Yes, that's Fox, a station that you have only heard about it faint conversations. But acknowledge that they set the tenor and the tempo. Get back to me when you shut them down.

And to be honest, we liberals thought (or at least I did, don't want to speak for Thullen) that this was another one of those cases where we treat them like the racist uncle at Thanksgiving. So in response to your pain about a single instance, I say get used to it. Conservatives may, deep down in their heart of hearts, be just like normal people. But after this, I think we are more than justified to respond 'Really? prove it'

Apropos of nothing, the bbc's take on America.
https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-52012049?SThisFB&fbclid=IwAR1-1fG9TckcbzMrQsRyr3kL9e-bPiASy6d8IPJZOSD_OK1qqTpgsb__kBY

Sapient, I think testing would act to control the spread by reducing uncertainty. If you find out that # relatives in your extended family have the virus, or co-workers or people in your knitting circle, that's quite a different proposition to thinking you don't know who has it and it will lead to wildly different responses, from never going out to YOLO. While we can laugh/ridicule the outliers, we have a harder time assembling a true center of opinion if that opinion is totally uninformed, as the US populace is right now. It is hard to have people consider the common good when they are basically in the dark about the consequences.

And, IMHO, reading articles breathlessly titled "Pro-Trump Media’s New Chorus On Coronavirus: Let People Die . . ." is probably not the best source of information.

And yet, if I recall correctly (never certain), several individuals of that chorus were actually quoted.

And what wj said:

t's not just that they are misinformed. It's that they refuse to accept anything resembling an expert opinion if it diverges from their preferred view of how the universe ought to work. They have been told, by people who actually have the expertise to know, that their actions will result in people dying. If they refuse change, yeah that really is saying "let them die."

GftNC comes in to break up my Thullen-esque reveries, but this Atlantic article is good and explains why the testing problem isn't simply a problem with tests, it is a problem with the whole supply chain.

https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2020/03/how-will-coronavirus-end/608719/

On March 6, Trump said that “anyone who wants a test can get a test.” That was (and still is) untrue, and his own officials were quick to correct him. Regardless, anxious people still flooded into hospitals, seeking tests that did not exist. “People wanted to be tested even if they weren’t symptomatic, or if they sat next to someone with a cough,” says Saskia Popescu of George Mason University, who works to prepare hospitals for pandemics. Others just had colds, but doctors still had to use masks to examine them, burning through their already dwindling supplies. “It really stressed the health-care system,” Popescu says. Even now, as capacity expands, tests must be used carefully. The first priority, says Marc Lipsitch of Harvard, is to test health-care workers and hospitalized patients, allowing hospitals to quell any ongoing fires. Only later, once the immediate crisis is slowing, should tests be deployed in a more widespread way. “This isn’t just going to be: Let’s get the tests out there!” Inglesby says.

so sapient is correct that testing is not a panacea, but ramping up testing is going to be essential to any response.

If you find out that # relatives in your extended family have the virus, or co-workers or people in your knitting circle, that's quite a different proposition to thinking you don't know who has it and it will lead to wildly different responses, from never going out to YOLO.

I think that's true early on. Certainly South Korea's example was a good one. At this point we'd have to test everybody. That's not going to happen. I know a number of people who have spring hayfever. I have it lightly. Some mild congestion. Hay fever or a mild case of coronavirus? Yes, if we suddenly obtain a gazillion tests (accurate ones), everyone can take one. Maybe that will happen, and I'm certainly not opposed.

I strongly suggest watching that video I posted. You'll not regret it. Most of it is what we all know, but the doctor who has been treating people is just worth listening to, period. It's everywhere by now. We can't test everyone. We have to respond with common sense, compassion, and incredibly good hygiene.

But sure, when and if we can ascertain who exactly is infected, and we can get enough tests to do that, that would be good. No argument there.

We cross-posted, lj, and I agree.

The first priority, says Marc Lipsitch of Harvard, is to test health-care workers and hospitalized patients, allowing hospitals to quell any ongoing fires. Only later, once the immediate crisis is slowing, should tests be deployed in a more widespread way.

Yes, this seems to be the thinking here, and the scandal at the moment is that the healthcare workers are not being tested because there aren't yet enough tests. But the social-isolating/lockdown is currently expected (even by the scientists at Imperial, one of whom was on C4 news) to be doing the heavy lifting. The Imperial guy said their estimation now is that if (a big if) people obey instructions to stay home and isolate, the curve will flatten enough so that the peak (which they expect to be in three weeks) is just about manageable by the NHS.

A preventable death, not the only one I'm sure.

https://decaturish.com/2020/03/report-employee-in-superior-court-clerks-office-passes-away-due-to-covid-19/?fbclid=IwAR2UEwI4jpeeDaTCT9iVHFeR3oGodSdYGuT3_TQY3oXVLx2vjmxfq_CfqH8

"She was sent home from the hospital late last week after being told she was okay. She died shortly after."

Discussions about "restarting The Economy" remind me of General Buck Turgidson urging President Merkin Muffley to consider "two admittedly regrettable but nevertheless distinguishable post-war scenarios", for some reason.

That said, The Economy (as opposed to Wall Street) is what provides goodsandservices to people who can't grow their own coffee, manufacture their own toilet paper, generate their own electricity, and so on. People can't eat money; the work of producing and distributing necessary goodsandservices for people to buy with money can't stop. Cows still need milking, hens can't stop laying eggs, crops can't be abandoned; and all that stuff needs to be distributed if it is not to just pile up and rot.

We all believe that the Free Market, guided by the Invisible Hand, is a fine way to run (most of) The Economy; some of us believe that a Social Safety Net (to help people lacking "money") is a moral imperative; there are even weirdos like me who believe that giving poor people money (so they can be customers) is necessary for The Economy. In normal times.

When besieged by a highly evolved mutant enemy (meaning the virus, not the GOP/Fox/MAGA complex, here) we are not in "normal times". Some supply chains need to keep running, even at the cost of disrupting other supply chains. Ventilators, gloves and masks, even disposable diapers for the very old as well as the very young -- all sorts of things need to keep getting made and distributed, and not necessarily on the basis of who has "money" to buy them, for even more critical supply chains to keep going.

But fucking guns?!? Sorry, sorry, I digress.

Anyway, my half-assed point is that in times like these The Economy (the real one) has to be made to operate for the benefit of Society, and not the other way around. A visible hand needs to guide it for a while. Idiots and psychopaths being in charge of The Government makes that either impossible or guaranteed to be a clusterfuck.

The Economy is made of people. Tell your friends.

--TP

We don't have tests, so that's a nice thought.
Trump fired the Pandemic Response Team . .

We do have testing now, right? I mean, we are at over 50k/day now. But what a debacle, first the CDC and then the FDA approval time. Korea took a chance and did well. We went the "safe" route.

I have serious concerns about the "realignment" of the Pandemic Response Team too. Bolton still defends it. So does Tim Morrison, former senior director for counterproliferation and biodefense on the National Security Council: www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2020/03/16/no-white-house-didnt-dissolve-its-pandemic-response-office/

Hmm.

nobody has restarted anything

Uh, didn't say they did. But wait, Korea was never really shut down . . .

conservative's mindless devotion to money is going to kill a lot of people.

I just don't get this. Restarting isn't "just about the money." Mindful vs. Mindless, yes. When safe. Targeted. But without ignoring the negative impacts of staying in shutdown longer than necessary. In stages. Whatever. But to not be actively considering how to get the economy moving again is a mistake. It WILL affect health in and of itself.

I'm good with what russell said at 6:17. This is not an "economic" thing, per se, because the cause is not economic (other than NOBODY FREAKING SAVES A DIME ANYMORE).

And yet, if I recall correctly (never certain), several individuals of that chorus were actually quoted.

They were, and not one of them said "I am ok with 2% dying and screw old people." We are reading headlines, people, and thinking they are The Truth (tm). I expect more of ObWi!

So in response to your pain about a single instance, I say get used to it.

No pain, lj. Just enough bs to make me delurk for a minute.

As to your Fox News analysis, I would simply respond that the info about the virus' impact is, right now, like the weather. It changes every day. I feel pulled one way looking at some data (frex the Diamond Princess data and the breakdown of deaths in Italy) and think it isn't going to be so bad and look at other data and think otherwise. And when my brother (who works for one of those money-grubbing, big pharma companies in the Bay Area) says the hospitals are full and this is for realz, I think "oh crap."

And then there is treating us like children to avoid panic. Probably the right call given the toilet paper fiasco, btw. But don't tell me "masks don't work but we need them for our health care workers" ('cause they look cute????). Tell me the truth: "If you have half a brain and a modicum of impulse control, they work. Otherwise, no. And most of you have neither. And washing your hands and not touching your face and staying away from those that cough is far more effective anyway. Plus, you aren't near sick people 24/7 and we need them for those that are."

Love your Korea posts, btw lj. And the music posts by russell and others.

https://www.npr.org/sections/coronavirus-live-updates/2020/03/25/821534581/chef-floyd-cardoz-who-elevated-indian-cuisine-has-died-of-coronavirus


https://www.msn.com/en-us/money/companies/congress-to-bail-out-firms-that-avoided-taxes-safety-regulations-and-spent-billions-boosting-their-stock/ar-BB11HEVw

bc:

"But to not be actively considering how to get the economy moving again is a mistake."

There is NOT one person in the world who is NOT actively considering that, unless you have a name.

I have one.

The dead Indian chef cited above.

"They were, and not one of them said "I am ok with 2% dying and screw old people."'

True, they didn't say precisely that, just like I'm not going to say "f*ck you", because you have the guts to wade in here at OBWI and mix it up.

Carry on.

"And then there is treating us like children to avoid panic."

Rand Paul is nine. Trump is an immature 11.

Leave the actual infected children the fuck out of it.

But don't tell me "masks don't work but we need them for our health care workers" ('cause they look cute????).

Don't want to make you look at something you don't care to spend time on, but that nice doctor on the video link I posted (here it is again: https://vimeo.com/399733860) talks about masks, which ones work for what and why.

Health care workers wear N95 masks when they're treating patients that are spewing bodily fluids. Otherwise, they wear regular hospital masks. For normal people, hospital masks, or homemade masks, are fine because their main purpose is that they help you not touch your face with your hands. It's recommended that you wear these kind of masks when you go out, but you don't need heavy duty masks unless you're hanging around in with someone who is sneezing at you, or you're intubating them or playing with their flying spit.

But wearing something that covers your nose and mouth is good so that you're not putting your dirty hand on them.

My late husband and I ate at Tabla once. That chef was truly remarkable.

The nurse who attends Lindsay Graham on his deathbed should place the rancid republican contents of his bedpan into an IV trip for his trip outta here:

https://digbysblog.net/2020/03/graham-adds-insult-to-injury/

Here's the 11-year-old, flunking sixth grade:

https://digbysblog.net/2020/03/the-need-for-social-distancing-is-fake-news/

Who voted for him?

Show your fucking cards now.

I have serious concerns about the "realignment" of the Pandemic Response Team too. Bolton still defends it.

In this, as in so many things, Bolton is basically a chickenhawk. He's sure he won't suffer from the problem caused by his actions, so he doesn't feel the need to step back from his ideological blinders to look at the real world. It will be serious karma if he comes down with covid-19 . . . and is among the 2%.

Rand Paul is nine. Trump is an immature 11.

That's a serious slur on 11 year olds. Now if you said 3 year old, you'd have a case. A below average 3 year old, but at least someone in that range.

About masks, I hate them, I have glasses and they fog up with a mask. But as I've told people (maybe here but certainly in other places) regardless what a mask does, it acts as a signifier: I am worried enough about this to show you that I care. I've mentioned that here in Japan, things haven't gotten bad and there is a lot of discussion why that is

https://asiatimes.com/2020/03/japans-winning-its-quiet-fight-against-covid-19/

https://thediplomat.com/2020/03/japans-limited-response-to-the-covid-19-pandemic/

https://thediplomat.com/2020/03/japans-limited-response-to-the-covid-19-pandemic/

Masks in Japan actually date from the 1919 Spanish flu. Here is a page about that
https://www.nippon.com/en/features/jg00084/mask-culture-in-japan.html

And people have cited that as a possible reason, though the transmissibility of the virus makes this unlikely.

I, playing the role of Cassandra, feel that there is a lot of denial involved, though some have suggested that the BCG vaccine which is normally adminstered to Japanese children, may grant some protection to the virus

https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2020/03/can-century-old-tb-vaccine-steel-immune-system-against-new-coronavirus

When I pointed out that other countries used the BCG so that seems off, I was told that there are different types of BCG formulations, so that might make a difference. I hope so, but I'm not optimistic. The Tokyo governor, who I feel was waiting until the Olympics were cancelled so as not to upset any applecarts (she's in the same party as Abe) came on last night to ask for more in terms of social distancing etc. Osaka as well, has been putting out advisories asking for more distancing.

We shall see...

That mask culture link wasn't the right one. Here's a more technical one that gives lots of details about the history of medical mask usage in Japan

https://www.japanesestudies.org.uk/ejcjs/vol14/iss2/horii.html

nobody has restarted anything

Uh, didn't say they did.

you wrote:

That has been shown to work and would lead to the fastest, safest restart.

you have no idea what works and what is going to lead to a restart because nobody has restarted yet. our trajectory looks like Italy's, not SK's. and Italy is nowhere near clear.

SK is not back to normal, and our response looks nothing like their's.

but, go on, get out there and start shaking hands. infect your dumbass selves. none of that pink foamy crying, when you need an ICU, though.

If you have some links discussing how it would help the situation as it exists

What sent me down that line of thought was this and this.

It may in fact be too late to approach all of this by way of aggressive testing and selective isolation. There may be too many people infected at this point, and/or we may have waited too long to scale up the infrastructure for testing.

In which case, everybody stay home until we get it sorted.

The economy will recover, because economies do. What makes economies recover is people believing that it's safe for them to engage in productive activity, both as producers and consumers.

Absent that, the economy will not recover.

The focus should be on managing the virus, with whatever tools are available to us given the state of the epidemic, and taking care of the folks who are affected by the virus.

TP - a righteous rant. Nice to see you.

But without ignoring the negative impacts of staying in shutdown longer than necessary.

gonna need a citation for all those people demanding we "shutdown longer than necessary". you should define "necessary", too.

because "conservatives" are making it sound like there's a big conspiracy to ... stay home and not have any fun and then ... blame Trump for it?

Just a couple of factual points:

I mean, we are at over 50k/day now.

I guess this is possible, but the total number of people tested in the US so far (like, as of yesterday) is just over 100K. So 50k/day seems unlikely.

But don't tell me "masks don't work but we need them for our health care workers"

I think when people say that folks should leave masks for health care workers they are referring to respirators rated at N95 or above. The N95 rating means they filter out at least 95% of particulate matter.

When people say "masks don't work" they are referring to surgical masks and/or fabric masks that are useful for general household purposes but are not sufficient to screen out COVID-95 virus.

The Economy is made of people. Tell your friends.

And thus, Tony P wins the thread.

GftNC:

By dreadful coincidence, this evening I was watching a NETFLIX cooking series hosted by Chef David Chang of MOMO and many other restaurants around the country, filmed within the last year and they showed a very brief interview with Chef Floyd Cardoz.

He was talking about his sons.

He was 59 and looked hale and hearty.

The individuals bc referenced believed him expendable.

This is what happened to competent government because idiot libertarians can do public health as a DIY project. I have nothing but contempt for them.

We lost two months.

Trump and the Republican Party and all who have put them in authority over us over the past 35 years, at any level of government, are cold-blooded murderers.

They spend every fucking tax dollar I can't afford on the corrupt vermin payola slush fund called the Defense Department but never one iota of thought into DEFENDING the American people.

9/11.

Now.

We're fucking done.

https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2020/03/presidents-character-unequal-task/608743/

It must be fast and deadly.

Yeah, I'll start those comments tomorrow in voices other than my bitter fucking utterly accurate own.

All three of these murderers do NO work and earn more than 99% of real human beings in the entire world, and I pay for their fucking goddamned health insurance and their coronavirus testing.

https://www.lawyersgunsmoneyblog.com/2020/03/republican-senators-threaten-to-renege-on-stimulus-deal

They are going to have the next month off to infect their constituents with the deadly, murderous conservative republican virus.

We lost two months.

If only, if only. As far as I can see, we're still losing time. At least we've started moving. But at best we're up to half speed -- and quarter speed might be closer, what with the fits and starts and diversions at the top. If, even today, they hauled out that NSC playbook and started to implement it, we'd speed up dramatically.

Someday, we'll see histories going into why. Did they simply distrust expertise of any kind? Or did they just reject anything that Obama's administration had ever touched? Or were they just massively incompetent across the board? Or some combination, of course. But for now, it's more important to figure out how to get them to move.

wj, what exactly do you think someone should be doing that isnt being worked on?

Love your Korea posts, btw lj.

Ouch. Way to make me feel guilty. But thanks.

But never wanted to let a soapbox be unstood upon, the federal government's reaction under Donald Trump and the Republican party is exactly what liberals have been saying was going to happen, the lack of empathy, the venality, the pettiness. And it is still going on. Imagine what it must feel like for people who have pointed this out constantly. Some claim it is 20/20 hindsight, but it sure seems to me like we(ve been saying this for some time now...

wj, what exactly do you think someone should be doing that isnt being worked on?

I would say work on a way to stop Trump from talking, but that might have the Secret Service knocking on my door.

The GOP response to this is perfectly in line with what we have come to expect from its responses to New Orleans and Puerto Rico. They are more concerned that some poor person somewhere might get a couple too many tax dollars than they are about lives lost and human suffering.

https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/tanyachen/kaiser-permanente-lupus-chloroquine

Just to be clear, I am not Kaiser Permanente.

Italy sees a decrease in new cases. but they're still under lockdown.

we're not going to shop our way out of this.

They are more concerned that some poor person somewhere might get a couple too many tax dollars than they are about lives lost and human suffering.

This. A gazillion times.

From an email string a friend of mine is involved in, for those who are so worried about "the economy":

There seems to be an implicit assumption in several of the arguments that the counterfactual for “sheltering in place” is that some large number of people are allowed to die and the economy continues to function as if there were no pandemic. This is not a realistic counterfactual. The appropriate comparison is the economic disruption that happens in communities when tens of thousands of people are dying, hospitals are overrun (so that people with other serious health problems can’t get care either) and there is widespread panic. If you think that under those circumstances that the community will continue working and spending as if the pandemic wasn’t there — then you haven’t learned the appropriate lessons from the experience in Lombardy. There isn’t a city in this country that won’t lock down once their hospitals are overfilled and people are dying because they can’t get in — and the economic impact will be greater because it will take even longer to bring the epidemic back under control. Or, worse, such hard-hit communities will be deserted by their inhabitants — who will be running to other places with capacity, taking the virus with them. The appropriate comparison is hard measures now compared to harder (less effective) measures later. It is an easy choice.

(The email thread this came from is seen by hundreds of people, but there's no clear guidance about attribution, so I'm not going to name a name. The logic speaks for itself.)

The logic speaks for itself.

And it does so no longer than necessary.

I would say work on a way to stop Trump from talking

TV and radio stations should stop broadcasting the daily blab-a-thon in real time. Trump is actively spreading dangerously false information, whether he is aware of that or not.

Report the content of the briefing after the stream of word salad has been vetted and boiled down to something coherent.

You can't make the man shut up, but we don't have to give him a megaphone.

Call your local TV and radio stations.


russell: .
432,000 as of today.

When people say "masks don't work" they are referring to surgical mask

It's not just surgical masks. I've heard this of the n95 too (it has to "fit" right to work). And the video sapient posted was helpful and interesting and has a different angle on masks. Thanks for that. I made my daughter with asthma (and other immune issues) wear an N95 coming home on the plane just in case the person next to her coughed on her. She had to watch the video about how to wear it properly (and then security made her remove it at the airport!).

That has been shown to work and would lead to the fastest, safest restart.
. . .
you have no idea what works . . . and our response looks nothing like their's.

Sorry, TP, I see my comment conflated testing with restart. I meant that (1) SK showed how aggressive testing worked (IMHO) and (2) kept the economy going (albeit much lower). I, undoubtedly, have no idea what works. But I do know that not knowing how many are infected and where doesn't work and doesn't lead to a restart.

But russell is likely right. Probably too late for us, but I say try.

But to be clear, I'm with Cotton and Lynne Cheney and YOU TP (sorry to put you in a sentence with those two):

This is the stark truth: we have to arrest the spread of the China virus to get the economy back on its feet & get life back to something like normal. (Cotton)

There will be no normally functioning economy if our hospitals are overwhelmed and thousands of Americans of all ages, including our doctors and nurses, lay dying because we have failed to do what’s necessary to stop the virus. (Cheney)

The Economy is made of people. Tell your friends. (TP)

If I wasn't clear, I'm in favor of SIP given the situation and the lack of a clear picture. My kids are making homemade sanitizer today during homeschool. And, BTW, one of my girls when they were young shortened it to "handzitizer." So much easier and Purell doesn't get all the credit.

from bc's link:


7:07 p.m.: White House says 432,000 tests conducted

My earlier understanding came from, among other places, the CDC website. Which has, for whatever reason, stopped providing numbers on the number of people tested.

If we've gone from 100K to over 400K tested in the last couple of days, good for us. But I hope you'll forgive me if I take what the "White House says" with several grains of salt.

wrs, of course.

here you go.

Restarting our economy will require one thing above all else – testing. Testing to show who's currently infected. Testing to show who's had the virus and is immune. Social distancing won't end because it's Easter. It'll end when we have sufficient testing. Here’s how we do it.

-- Elizabeth Warren

and then security made her remove it at the airport!

In about a dozen states it's illegal to wear a mask in public.

The Senate's COVID-19 relief bill is a hodgepodge of cronyism. If the other party was in charge, it would just be a different mix of overlapping cronyism.

The FDA, CDC and other parts of the federal government have screwed up badly in multiple ways. Just as they would have if someone else was president. It's baked into how huge bureaucracies and endless regulations work or don't. Trump has just made things worse than they might otherwise be.

Just as they would have if someone else was president.

...

Trump has just made things worse than they might otherwise be.

Well, which is it?

Oh for Elizabeth Warren at this hour....

cool, thank you bc.

Just as they would have if someone else was president.

Might be instructive to compare responses

https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2015/02/obamas-ebola-victory-lap/442554/

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