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May 19, 2020

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As far as experiments in the transmissibility of the novel coronavirus go, there are crowded venues all over the country as reported in numerous articles. We’ll see where this leaves us in the coming months.

Nothing we do is going to make an appreciable difference as long as these numbers hold true.

Seconded.

The rich would rather speculate billions in money losing ventures (uber, lyft, et al) rather than pay a few extra pennies to their employees.

The fed's money cannon is pointed in the wrong direction.

more here.

The rich would rather speculate billions in money losing ventures (uber, lyft, et al) rather than pay a few extra pennies to their employees.

In the long run, which benefits employees more? Even money-losing ventures, while they last, pay employees, give them useful experience, and provide useful products and services people are willing to pay for. The airline industry, taken as a whole, has never made, or very little of, a profit.

which benefits employees more?

Getting paid well enough to be basically financially secure. That is what benefits employees more.

WRS -- What would benefit employees more in the long run would be for the billionaires to make peace with losing money they have no need of so that those employees were paid more money that was actually having a meaningful effect on their lives.

Those employees can make the same products that they were making all along and charge the same prices for them and sell them to the same people that had been buying them all along. The only net effect would be that one person's fortune would shrink in ways that made no appreciable difference to their way of life and the employees would be able to improve their own quality of life in transformative ways.

Getting paid well enough to be basically financially secure.

A vague and moving goalpost that varies with time, place and the individual employee.

A vague and moving goalpost that varies with time, place and the individual employee.

And yet so obvious to see when not attained.

A vague and moving goalpost that varies with time, place and the individual employee.

Asserted by somebody who had the gall to open a previous statement of his with the words, "In the long run..."

The maldistribution of wealth and income is the underlying source of the earlier disagreement on this thread, so it's all of a piece.


Something for cleek, h/t Anne Laurie at BJ. How sad would you be? ;-)

On @foxandfriends, VP Pence warns that if NC doesn't accelerate reopening of its economy, the GOP might move its national convention in August to a state "that is farther along on reopening and can say with confidence that, that we can gather there."

Mark Knoller (@markknoller) May 25, 2020

A state "that is farther along on reopening " seems likely to translate to "a state which is charging forward with minimal if any safeguards." In other words, a state where the chances of picking up covid-19 from the locals (as opposed to just from fellow believers in the "hoax" nonsense) is significantly higher. Wonder how much damage to the GOP infrastructure that translates to going forward.

good.

the prospect of that piece of crap slithering around my fair state never sat well with me.

he's all yours, Oklabama.

everybody has some crazy in their neighborhood

One in five English people believe that Jews created COVID-19 to collapse the economy for financial gain, a newly-released study by a team of researchers at the University of Oxford has revealed.

...

Similar figures were recorded for conspiracy theories involving other groups: while 80.1% of respondents did not agree with the statement “Muslims are spreading the virus as an attack on Western values,” 19.9% did to some extent, including 2.4% who agreed completely.
More than a quarter of respondents thought that “celebrities are being paid to say that they have coronavirus,” and that politicians, for example the British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, “have faked having coronavirus.” Nearly half (45.4%) believed to some extent that “coronavirus is a bio-weapon developed by China to destroy the West.”

The ongoing miracle is that, after centuries of these various groups conspiring to destroy the economy and Western (or at leadt the local national) culture, etc., they have so singly failed to do so. So brilliant at conspiring, in so many different fields, and at keeping evidence of doing so hidden. Yet so inept at achieving their objectives.

/sarcasm

Rhetoric quibble: One in five do not "believe" that Jews created COVID-19; one in five "claim to believe."

We have no idea how many of those people actually believe that, any more than we know how many people actually believe that, but would never admit it out loud.

I'd be more willing to trust the numbers if they were based on analysis of actual social media content and not on a poll.

So, how much are pollsters spreading conspiracy theories by making up conspiracy theories to ask people about?

if i ask you if you believe X and you said you do, it's not my fault if i then tell other people you believe X.

cleek - good to know that we have a few hundred Dragonkin living in the US. ;)

It is known.

ok. i guess we could mind-read and assume they're lying for giggles.

So, how much are pollsters spreading conspiracy theories by making up conspiracy theories to ask people about?

A "made-up" conspiracy theory would be something like "the coronavirus is a mass hypnotic illusion propagated by lizard people who emerge from the hot molten core of the earth during volcanic explosions".

"The Jews did it" is a popular old chestnut, right at the top of the racist paranoia hit parade. No need for undue creativity on the part of pollsters.

"Muslims did it" is relatively new, but it's giving the old favorites a run for their money.

"What would benefit employees more in the long run would be for the billionaires to make peace with losing money they have no need of so that those employees were paid more money that was actually having a meaningful effect on their lives.

Those employees can make the same products that they were making all along and charge the same prices for them and sell them to the same people that had been buying them all along. The only net effect would be that one person's fortune would shrink in ways that made no appreciable difference to their way of life and the employees would be able to improve their own quality of life in transformative ways."

It's really more complex than this. I suspect most people here know that, but felt obliged to have at least one person point out this isnt true.

Everything is more complex than what can be squeezed into a blog comment.

That said, what would benefit employees and probably about 99.5% of the population in general would be if more of the wealth created by the American economy went to people who derive their income by working, rather than from investment.

In regularly checking the U.S. numbers on the Worldometer site, something I've noticed that makes me wonder what relationship the numbers have to reality is the wide divergence in the percentage of "recovered" cases among the states.

Since I live here, I've been tracking how relatively few "recovered" cases in Georgia are implied by the statistics. Out of 43,730 total cases, only 697 are neither active nor deaths. After a quick scan of other states, it looks like Arizona is the only state with a lower recovered/total cases ratio, 70 recovered out of 16,783. Then you've got Pennsylvania where over half of 72,900 total cases are recovered.

Another example of why to stick with the death count, as imperfect as it may be.

none could have guessed that Trump's latest twitter tantrum over the location of the RNC convention is threatening to blow up negotiations over that issue which were already in progress.

cleek, note also that those are reasonably congenial, certainly non-confrontational, negotiations. Or were, until the 2-year-old-in-chief weighed in.

The ongoing miracle is that, after centuries of these various groups conspiring to destroy the economy and Western (or at leadt the local national) culture, etc., they have so singly failed to do so. So brilliant at conspiring, in so many different fields, and at keeping evidence of doing so hidden. Yet so inept at achieving their objectives.

wj, speaking as a representative of one of these groups, I am only sad that you thought it necessary to specify that this masterly comment was sarcasm.

@Priest -- I've been thinking of trying to do some graphs of excess deaths, but I don't know if I want to put the time into it. The NYT has a lot of US info on that subject in an article published on 5/5 and updated on 5/21.

From that article:

A New York Times analysis of state data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows just how many lives are being lost in the pandemic in each place — as the virus kills some people directly, and other lives are lost to an overwhelmed health care system and fears about using it.

Nationwide, nearly 64,000 more people have died than usual between March 15 and April 25. That number is more than 16,000 higher than the official count of coronavirus deaths for that period.

Many layers of unknowns embedded in those numbers.

The US passed 100,000 deaths today, acc' to Worldometer.

GftNC, it occasionally occurs to me that stuff posted on the Internet like this is subject to being tead, out of context, decades from now. By people with no clue about any of us. Alas.

I suppose you're right. I can't even imagine how it could be misunderstood, which is no doubt a failure of my imagination. Alas indeed.

Well there are those who would argue that it is literally a miracle. Although they generally get a little vague when asked why, if God has been miraculously thwarting such conspiracies for centuries, today we suddenly need "2nd Amendment solutions". Perhaps their faith is weak; at least, weaker than previous generations. ;-)

As noted elsewhere, today it is really, really difficult to come up with a parody which won't turn up as reality before the bread finishes rising.

"GOP policies:
Tomorrow's Onion headlines, TODAY!"

Mixed in with Weekly World News headlines, also, too.


Truthiness is stranger than fiction.

Graphs updated to today, 7-day rolling averages, no dailies. New graphs at the top, old ones below the fold now.

Strange times. Factoids rolling around in my brain:

1. The UK passed Italy in deaths per million population, with no notice as far as I can tell. Italy's tragedy was treated as just that a couple of months ago. Now? Meh.

2. The UK's graph is falling more steeply than the US's. I'm afraid the US is going to have a big relapse in a few weeks, if Memorial Day is any indication. Maybe we'll be saved by the fact that the virus doesn't spread very easily outdoors. (Is that why the 1918 flu IIRC had a big second way in the fall...?)

3. Now we have another reason to say to everyone: stay safe.

And the UK will surpass Spain on the same measure within a week, as Sweden will surpass France. The odd thing about Sweden is that the percentage of outcomes resulting in death, after the initial zig-sagging, is slowly but steadily rising. I’ve seen the opposite most everywhere else.

went out last night to pick up a pizza. town was hopping. and i was the only person anywhere wearing a mask.

friends are out and about. people are posting pics on FB of them hanging out in bars.

wtf

And the UK will surpass Spain on the same measure within a week

Brazil just passed Spain.

It looks like we might have a big uptick in cases soon, too. Anecdata: crowds drinking beer outside pubs, crowds on beaches etc. Some tying it to Dominic Cummings and the failure of "do as I say and not as I do".

Meanwhile, I thought this a good piece from the NYT on the arrest of the CNN crew in Minneapolis:

friends are out and about. people are posting pics on FB of them hanging out in bars.

wtf

What cleek said.

I'm seeing this around here, including among people I thought had a functioning brain cell or two. Some transition happened to where a lot of people have decided...something.

It's over?

It's not over but it doesn't matter?

It won't happen to them and it doesn't matter if it happens to someone else?

I mean, that person was going to die of complications of diabetes in another oh, twenty or thirty years anyhow, and other people are expendable for other reasons.

Or: for a lot of people, the dead are still nameless and invisible.

I dunno. I'm staying home.

[And I don't want to hear any more in this thread about the poor starving evicted hairdressers. We're talking about people at bars and clubs, and on boardwalks and beaches. And let's not forget the Dairy Queen. This happened all over the US over the holiday weekend.]

Here in my area north of Dallas, more people are out and about. But a higher percentage of them are wearing masks.

I went to my ususal hairdresser about a week after they reopened here. It had a distinct vibe of operating room. Gloves, masks for both personnel and customers (only two at any time allowed inside), single use covers, repeated disinfection of all intruments (any time one was put down it got a dose of disinfectant before getting used again) etc. And everyone entering or leaving had to do hand disinfection. No haircut without thorougly washing it before (not just at home before going there as usual). Also no superfluous talking. The only thing missing was the personnel wearing MOPP IV suits and a disinfectant shower. I have yet to see another place taking the stuff more seriously.

Brazil just passed Spain.

Not in total deaths per capita.

I'm seeing this around here, including among people I thought had a functioning brain cell or two. Some transition happened to where a lot of people have decided...something.

I wonder if what we're seeing is a reflection of how long (short) people's attention spans have become. They simply have trouble wrapping their heads around something lasting so long. At least, not without constant reinforcement. (And they're getting the opposite.)

[Insert rant about the difference it makes if your reading consists primarily of text messages vs novels.]

For a lot of people, lockdown fatigue is setting in and they're trying to find a balance between staying at home forever and living a normal life.

For a lot of people, lockdown fatigue is setting in and they're trying to find a balance between staying at home forever and living a normal life.

Sure, people are fatigued. Including me.

But sorry, wearing a mask in public or in workplaces or stores, which many people are flatly refusing to do, is not a hardship even remotely on the order of "staying at home forever." A lot of people just don't give a shit.

A lot of people are mayors of Amity Island in the first act of Jaws.

I try to imagine what would happen if some major event required the implementation of WWII-style rationing. I don't see it going well, whichever party controlled the government would have its' motives held as suspect by 45%+ of the population. "Shared sacrifice" after 9/11 - Bush telling the country to buy more. During temporary gas shortage Obama getting mocked for suggesting common-sense efficiency measures. Who still has their Sarah Palin tire pressure gauge? In the 70s people resented being told to turn down their thermostats during colder months.

Not being very coherent, just not very hopeful.

Meanwhile, liberals are the snowflakes.

and they're trying to find a balance between staying at home forever and living a normal life

know what won't be living a normal life?

spitting out pieces of one's broken lungs.

Normal if you're Aqualung.

Perhaps of interest.

I have no idea why people find it difficult to wear a mask when they're out in public. I understand that it might be awkward, but it doesn't seem like a very big ask.

We're probably gonna be losing 1,000+ people a day to this for a while. Maybe until there's a vaccine. Maybe until whoever is likely to die from it, dies from it. I have no idea.

I wear a mask, minimize close contact with anyone other than my wife, wash stuff before we bring it in the house, etc. It's a PITA, but we're old enough to be at risk, so we do it.

Other folks are gonna do what they do. I have no illusions about persuading anyone about any of this.

Most likely, by which I mean almost certainly, more people are going to get sick than would otherwise get sick. Apparently a lot of folks see that as a fair trade.

I've kind of given up on making sense of it. I just stay away from them.

Tuesday I finally got a shipment of masks of the "wear a few times and toss" type. They're stamped out of thin, stretchy foam. I don't know whether they're very effective or not. But, now, I can be one of the cool kids.

Tuesday I finally got a shipment of masks of the "wear a few times and toss" type. They're stamped out of thin, stretchy foam. I don't know whether they're very effective or not. But, now, I can be one of the cool kids.

Hmmm...a "two for one" click...

One of my nieces is a nurse. She's in Gilbert AZ, right near Phoenix.

She's in contact with COVID patients more or less daily. She gets one surgical mask a day and one N95 mask a week.

She regularly posts about COVID-related things. Most disturbing thing so far - if your oxygen levels are too low, they may not be able to sedate you for intubation. So, they'll just paralyze you, chemically. And then intubate you.

Neighbor across the street works in a local elder care facility. She not only comes in contact with COVID patients, people have died of COVID in her facility. She gets one N95 mask a week.

If it seems like the people in the US who are responsible for public health are not taking this particularly seriously, I'd say that was accurate. Other folks may just be taking their cue from that.

Worldometer says 1,212 people in the US died of COVID yesterday. We're up to 811 so far for today, and it's not quite 5:00 PM EST.

So it goes, as the great late Kurt Vonnegut would say. Po-tee-weet.

I wear a mask and stay away from folks who don't.

i just made a custom washable mask with the Beatles from the Help! cover printed on it.

i tried to make it work with the Beasties from Check Your Head, but couldn't get things to line up right.

But, now, I can be one of the cool kids.

No, if you want to be one of the cool kids, you need an ethically sourced artisanal mask made from upcycled linen. These guys make beautiful shoes, too, but I digress.

If you're a MAGAt, wear a MAGA mask.
If you pine for the confederacy, wear a stars and bars mask.
If you're an antifa anarchist kiddo, just keep wearing that black mask you already have on.
If you're a coastal elitist fashion victim, double up one of your Hermes scarfs and wrap that around your face.
If you're a regular Joe Six-pack kind of guy, where one of your wood shop dust masks.

Whatever floats your boat. Just use your head and stay safe.

I dig the "Help" mask, cleek!

That's cool, cleek!

My son has been making masks and mine are made of Star Wars fabric. For others, he has used fabric with superheroes.

I'm not going off the property much, so I don't have a lot of need for them, but I'm prepared!

*****

russell -- thanks for that link, though it's terrifying. The article makes me wonder: if this theory (that the virus attacks blood vessels) turns out to be true, is COVID-19 a respiratory disease at all? I suppose the nomenclature doesn't matter much. but wow. (I have high cholesterol...yech.)

Are we to assume that the many many people who have few or symptoms just fight the virus off before it starts doing damage, or what? (I suppose this is an important question regardless of how the virus actually works.) I've been wondering, in my more pessimistic moods, whether people who have had mild cases will find out later that there's some kind of lasting damage. I hope not.

If it seems like the people in the US who are responsible for public health are not taking this particularly seriously, I'd say that was accurate. Other folks may just be taking their cue from that.

Yes. But even where the people who are responsible for public health at the state level are taking this very seriously (e.g. in my state), there's a partisanship problem and maybe a messaging problem. Although I don't know what kind of messaging operation could counteract the lunacies that people swallow whole these days.

Perhaps of interest.

holy crap.

oddly enough, I found the Medium piece encouraging. if we're getting a better understanding of how this sneaky little bastard works, that may help us figure out how to treat and prevent it.

from the article, it sounded like the vascular aspects of the virus' behavior were treatable, at least to some degree, by well-known things like statins.

the more we know about it, the better we'll be able to deal with it.

in the meantime, I will wear my mask, and stay away from folks who don't.

My reaction was more like russell's @06.54. Also, I was pleased to be on statins for a change.

Most likely, by which I mean almost certainly, more people are going to get sick than would otherwise get sick. Apparently a lot of folks see that as a fair trade.

Consider how many people contract STDs because they can't be bothered to use a condom when having sex with a prostitute. Some people just think they're invulnerable to anything and everything. Right up until they get burned . . . and then bitch because nobody stopped them from being self-destructive.

Also, I was pleased to be on statins for a change.

What does this mean? I'm not following the logic.

I agree with both of you (GftNC and russell) that in general every step toward understanding this virus is a good thing. But the theory that it attacks blood vessels adds to the scariness for me personally. Long story.

It means that I'm on statins for moderately raised cholesterol, and used to being told from time to time that according to studies that actually may not be such a good thing. And my quick read of russell's link seemed to me to suggest that people on statins may have some protection from the worst effects of Covid-19,if they are unlucky enough to catch it.

7-day avg graphs updated.

*****

GftNC: thanks, I see now. I have refused to take statins (relying on other good numbers and a pristine family history). But I do worry about it, and wonder if I'm making the right decision. If the theory in that essay turns out to have merit, yet still, now isn't exactly the best time to go on a medical question (tests etc.). Ah well.

I wonder, if one of these would be effective.
https://www.sciencesource.com/archive/Hincherton-Hayfever-Helmet-SS2446473.html

Also, I was pleased to be on statins for a change.

What does this mean? I'm not following the logic.

There is all sorts of evidence that statins have a broad anti-inflammatory effect (for which we don’t completely understand the mechanism ).

It also appears that there is a strong correlation between chronic inflammation and worse Covid outcomes (alongside the correlation between statin use and better outcomes).

So we have reasonable evidence to think that statins have a protective effect, but were not really sure exactly how that might work.

(There is also, I think, an association between inflammation and clotting, and Covid seems to be a disease if the blood as much as the lungs, causing hypercoagulation in serious cases.)

Having posted that, I then found russell’s link (!) which explains it in rather more detail.

Btw, in case it hasn’t been mentioned, if you’re making masks, layering two different kinds of fabric can make them considerably more effective at filtering fine aerosols.
(Apparently through electrostatic effects.)
https://pubs.acs.org/doi/10.1021/acsnano.0c03252#

Kavanaugh really is a shockingly bad jurist.
https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2020/05/supreme-court-coronavirus-california-churches.html

I assume that was a prerequisite. Competence is good in hackers, not in designated hacks.

Kavanaugh is not a jurist. He's a partisan hatchet man who has been rewarded with judicial appointments for which he has neither the temperament or the skills.

I recall someone (CharlesWT, maybe?) posting a link a couple weeks ago to a piece discussing apparent benefits of rosuvastatin to COVID-19 patients already taking it for other reasons.

So on a statin, as well as rat poison for life (aka warfarin), as a result of 2 unexplained (no know risk factors) pulmonary embolisms in less than 3 1/2 years. So high risk conditions/maintenance medications=???

Sweden has surpassed France in per capita COVID-19 deaths. Anti-lock-down factions don't seem to be talking about Sweden so much these days.

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