March 18, 2020

"'When you walk, you’re utterly in touch with the drama of the city.... You’re constantly overhearing conversations, and catching all kinds of snatches of people in odd expressions and conditions...."

"'When you’re out on the street.... it’s a continuous stream of momentary connection, and that has its own life, its own particular vividness, and it’s irreplaceable.' The same can be said of cycling or jogging, although those activities tend to be more focused and goal-oriented. But whatever your preferred means of locomotion, local governments are attuned to the social and psychological benefits of head-clearing, heart-stimulating jaunts, even in the age of self-quarantines and social distancing."

From "Is It OK to Take a Walk?/Yes, experts say. Equal parts transit alternative and therapy, contemplative strolls are helping people’s mental and physical health. Just stay six feet apart" by Alex Williams. The internal quote is from a 1987 memoir by Vivian Gornick, who was writing specifically about NYC, with its high concentration of passersby to observe.

The density of the people walking around you was, to Gornick, a big plus, making walking in NYC uniquely great. But now, there's the distinct negative of making it difficult to keep 6 feet apart.

We've been taking long walks here in Madison. Yesterday, walking, we saw more other people walking than in the past. What were they doing before that kept them off the sidewalks? It must have been work, because the indoor amusements — television, video games, social media — are just as available now as before. But perhaps there's a newfound need to expand into the open air and to experience the vivid reality of the outdoors.

The people of Madison all kept their distance. We'd cross the street to avoid walking past other couples — and even singles — when there wasn't enough room to give them wide berth.

People were friendlier! Everyone smiled and nodded hello. There was no reason to convey to a stranger that no, I don't know you and I don't want to stop and talk. It was all already understood. We are holding our place in the world together, doing our part, sharing the same feeling of understanding a crisis and valuing this blessed life.
Even in brownstone-lined streets of Brooklyn... close-quarter encounters on the city sidewalks seem — for now, at least — inevitable. On an afternoon stroll to the market, you find yourself suddenly face to face with a stranger who suddenly turns the corner, quickening your pulse in a way little known since the mugging heyday of the 1970s and ’80s. Crossing a crosswalk, say, west, you find yourself triangulated on the corner by one person walking north and another walking east.
I remember, back in 1983, just before I moved to Madison from New York City, where I worked at the southmost tip of Manhattan. The sidewalks were so crowded and a good many of the pedestrians were so egocentric that they would stride briskly down what they seemed to imagine was their lane in the sidewalk, as if walking were a battle of nerves and I needed to get the message that I'd better jump out of their lane. It was the opposite of what people in cars do, which is to change lanes to pass. I tried, but not always fast enough for these important, busy men, who would go ahead and clip me on the shoulder if that's what it took to maintain their speed and to own their lane. It made me sad, especially when I was noticeably pregnant, to see and to feel people acting like that.

But it's 2020, and even — especially — the most egocentric people must modify — radically modify — the way they act in relation to other people. What will come of this exercise? A new love for each other? A new etiquette?

130 comments:

David Begley said...

A new love? I don’t think so. People have been scared to death even though about 100 dead.

KJE said...

I walked twice yesterday. Once with my 13 year old son. Once with my wife.

We live in a smaller town. Maybe 12,000 people. It was like being out on a Sunday night. Quiet. Not a lot of vehicle traffic.

I liked it.

I also liked that the “virtual schooling” plan for my son includes gym class. 60 minutes a day of activity.

He dutifully did his homework yesterday.

Laslo Spatula said...

"But it's 2020, and even — especially — the most egocentric people must modify — radically modify — the way they act in relation to other people. What will come of this exercise? A new love for each other? A new etiquette?"

I do not think that this is the much-delayed dawning of the Age of Aquarius.

Those who are nodding at each other as they pass by in their walks are pretty much in the same bubble of life: comfortably retired, comfortably well-off, or comfortably able to work from home.

The ones you don't see are at work in jobs turned upside-down with broken supply chains and missing customers. Or are scrambling to try to make ends meet when their jobs are gone. Or their businesses dying in front of their eyes.

I get the urge to try to do Woodstock Feeling right this time: unlike Vietnam, this time everyone is on the side of angels.

Except those grunts living paycheck to paycheck, slogging through the chaos. How dare they disrupt the good feeling.

There is something happening here. But what it is ain't exactly as clear as some people think, maybe.

This time people are willing to cut their hair. Why won't you cut your hair?

I am Laslo.

Fernandistein said...

Is It OK to Take a Walk?/Yes, experts say.

Man, that is a relief! Fortunately, people around here seem to be uninterested in melodrama.

Shouting Thomas said...

My threshold for a bicycle ride used to be 60º. I've lowered that to 50º.

It's my only way to get out of the house for a prolonged period. I wear three layers, heavy gloves and a balaclava.

That era in NYC, late 70s and early 80s, was one of outright war on the streets in Brooklyn and the Bronx. You projected a fierce visage and physical strength to ward off the muggers, the mentally ill and the racial revengers.

I live in a rural area, on top of a mountain now. But, for the first time, my daughter (a very liberal teacher) is entertaining the idea that we should be armed.

rehajm said...

Life for us hasn't changed all that much, cept it was warm enough for the bugs to be out and nasty. Had to cut the distance chatting on the lawn with the neighbors due to getting swarmed.

David Begley said...

Since I KNOW Althouse won’t delete my posts, I thought I’d post here. I post at investorvillage.com. The owner is Blue. He posted a series of rants at the top of the board. I posted two comments and they were immediately deleted.

1. I quoted Blue and his statement that we won’t have any financial markets soon. Deleted.

2. I wrote that China is responsible for this and it needs to pay a steep price. I was called stupid and xenophobic. Deleted.

Wilbur said...

For the last couple of months, I've been doing an early morning 500 calorie jog/trudge on a home treadmill 4-5 days a week. About 34 minutes on an uphill incline. Breathing hard, good sweat, limiting stress on my knees and hips by doing it uphill.

Then I go outside for a good part of the day. Yard work, backyard sunbathing - the glories of South Florida living. Even the golf courses are closed now, so no more walking that way.

We are very fortunate to have the internet, a great way to have interaction without risking infection. This would've more difficult 35 years ago. Now we have access to virtual libraries of an immensity unthinkable then.

stevew said...

People on the streets in Madison WI are much friendlier than they are where I live. Or maybe it's just me.

David Begley said...

It now looks like I have been kicked off the message board by the owner.

Retail Lawyer said...

People are walking much more here in Silicon Valley, too. For our annoyance, the parks are closed. Parks are always administered for the convenience of park employees, or the simply just the bullying power of the state, as was demonstrated by Obama's government shutdown of the parks during some "government shutdown". Regular citizens are ignoring the trespassing warnings.

I'm going to ride my bike today, see if I get arrested.

Temujin said...

My wife and I have both always taken time to walk- a lot. In our previous city and now here in Fla. We live in a smaller town now, but...people have always been friendly down here in the South- wherever we walk. And frankly, without my walks, looking at what's around me daily, I'd blow up. You can easily forget how beautiful the world is, almost everywhere, unless you take the time to look at it. Make the time to look at it. Coronavirus or not.

New York is spectacular to walk through and it is called a 'walking city'. Mainly because you have to walk to take it all in. But it is not an easy city to walk it. More of a fight.

narciso said...

the basis for the new strategies

Bushman of the Kohlrabi said...

In the past I've tried to walk consistently in the winter to maintain at least some level of physical activity. In the end, however, I always fail because I really don't like the cold.

Last fall I went out and purchased a Schwinn stationary recumbent bike. Mrs. Bushman and I have been using it all winter. It's a great, low impact workout. This will be the first time that I'm exiting winter in better physical condition than I started it.

David Begley said...

Not much love for me from Blue. See below.

“DDB: Did you kick me off the board?”

Blue: Apparently. You got a problem with that?

DDB: Yeah, I do.

You are in 2 businesses:

1. The stock market;

2. Free Speech.

You’ve attacked your customers and your 2 core businesses. Not smart.

David D. Begley

Sent from my iPad”

gspencer said...

14-day or 21-day periods of isolation aren't historical quarantines.

"It wasn't until the Black Death of the 14th century, however, that Venice established the first formal system of quarantine, requiring ships to lay at anchor for 40 days before landing. ('Quarantine' comes from the Latin for forty.)"

tim in vermont said...

The sidewalks were so crowded and a good many of the pedestrians were so egocentric that they would stride briskly down what they seemed to imagine was their lane in the sidewalk, as if walking were a battle of nerves and I needed to get the message that I'd better jump out of their lane.

This could have been a snippet from Notes From Underground, but he takes it to hilarious extremes. It reads like a novel.

Bushman of the Kohlrabi said...

I'm glad the NYT is doing their part to keep "experts" employed during these difficult times. What would NYT readers do without them?

David Begley said...

Thanks to Ann for her free speech forum.

rehajm said...

The ones you don't see are at work in jobs turned upside-down with broken supply chains and missing customers. Or are scrambling to try to make ends meet when their jobs are gone. Or their businesses dying in front of their eyes.

I see you Laslo and see my friends in the same position. While everyone is focused on the virus yesterday we had many calls and conversations about how long this sort of isolation can last- 'we' being our little group of economic literates. There was no consensus other than the harm that's hitting you and the people you're talking about will roll over to more and more of us very soon. Credit markets are already seizing up despite massive fed intervention. Our politicians being politicians- uneducated in basic economics- are addressing this like things they have seen before and from the perspective of a politician addressing their constituents who are proud of their loathing of basic economics. Just as with the squandering of resources because of choices they made before the crisis they are squandering resources because of the crisis...

While the doctors and the algorithms talk about isolating until August it will only be a matter of days before the breakdown of our institutions makes people decide the economic cost is too great compared to the risk of the virus.

My guess is two weeks- either we decide we've made enough headway or we discover the isolation isn't working and abandon it anyways.

BleachBit-and-Hammers said...

Fake News easily generated when dishonest journos take quotes out of context. Fill in with their own dishonest assumptions and biases.

How Fake News Spreads: Multiple NYT Journos Share Altered Trump Quote From Conference Call With Governors

J. Farmer said...

Just outside Camden, off the New Jersey Turnpike. About to head into Brooklyn this morning. I forgot how annoying it was getting gas in Jersey. Or wanting to buy a beer at Wawa. Country roads take me home!

Darrell said...

I was going to walk to vote.
Then I realized that was yesterday.
So, fuck it.

Paco Wové said...

"I post at investorvillage.com. The owner is Blue."

He seems to be having a bit of a meltdown.

Gusty Winds said...

I'm a manager at a manufacturing company in Hartland, WI. We are all at work, making parts. Shipping parts. So far...so good...

narciso said...

Why does he think cnbc is indicative of anything but a herd mind.

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

I didn’t go out yesterday but will today. I can’t imagine that everyone out there is literally staying six feet away from all others. Today will actually be a pretty busy day. My kids’ piano teacher is continuing to teach those who want to come and offering an online option to those who don’t; we do want to go. So we have two piano lessons today. My son has a therapy appt, and I have a mammogram, and our teenage babysitter is coming to watch the preschoolers for three hours so I can go to our office and get some work done. None of these things is possible with a 6 foot distance between humans.

The world has gone crazy. People are literally crossing the street to stay away from each other? Are you serious? Is this a contest to show how compliant certain classes of people are?

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

My friends husband stood in line at a Walmart yesterday for four hours to get toilet paper for their family. I doubt they were all six feet apart.

Owen said...

David Begley: nice riposte. Too bad this guy is too angry or compromised to understand his own responsibility; or exploit his opportunity.

Re: walking in NYC. Yes, a wonderful but challenging activity. Avoiding collision with other pedestrians —especially those long-striding, wide-swinging types of whom Prof. A speaks— is an art in itself. I found that one can subtly signal one’s intended path to oncomers with a hand motion, as if pointing the prow of a ship. Not a big gesture but it often seemed to register without formal acknowledgement and disaster was thereby averted. If that fails, just point your strong shoulder at them and keep charging...

tcrosse said...

Milwaukee's own Steve Sisolak, now Governor of Nevada, has ordered all casinos in the state to go dark for 30 days. Not only that, he has ordered the closing of all non-essential businesses. This looks like it includes liquor stores and pot dispensaries, so there's some panic buying going on. Luckily, liquor can be sold in supermarkets, which are considered essential under the order.

Angle-Dyne, Servant of Ugliness said...

Laslo: There is something happening here. But what it is ain't exactly as clear as some people think, maybe.

I think you'd be justified in leaving off that "maybe".

(My impulse here is to try to say something "supportive" - hate that word - but I won't, because people getting hammered like you are probably just really irritated right now by two-bit internet thoughts-and-prayers assholes like me.)

narciso said...

He seems to be obsessing like a certain mad prosecutor.

Fernandistein said...

the most egocentric people must modify

When are you going to modify your own egocentric panicky behavior, and stop encouraging others to egocentrically panic and contribute to the destruction of the economy because they're afraid of cooties?

The current cure is worse than the disease -

Keep Calm and Carry a Towel

Fritz said...

Bushman of the Kohlrabi said...
In the past I've tried to walk consistently in the winter to maintain at least some level of physical activity. In the end, however, I always fail because I really don't like the cold.


My Siberian refuses to acknowledge cold as an excuse not to take a long walk every day.

tim in vermont said...

I went to a restaurant last night in Jupiter, FL and there was one guy eating there. I went for a takeout order. The guy had cut his hours but during spring break his restaurant would be packed, normally. There was one other takeout order. We always liked this place, it’s always been popular. I have to wonder whether it will be here next year.

Lurker21 said...

It must have been work, because the indoor amusements — television, video games, social media — are just as available now as before.

Maybe. Probably. Depends on the time of day. But gyms are closed and walking may be the only way some people can get exercise. If you got your exercise walking to work and to the store, and those places are closed, you may be walking anyway, or you may just not see the point when there's nowhere to go.

But it's 2020, and even — especially — the most egocentric people must modify — radically modify — the way they act in relation to other people. What will come of this exercise? A new love for each other? A new etiquette?

Probably not. If this epidemic is a one-off that will soon be over, people will be back to usual. The prevailing conditions of society are still in place and will override any temporary changes. If we are in for an age of pandemics, then definitely not. People will worry about their own lives and become very aggressive in what they see as their own self-defense. What you're seeing is a holiday mood that won't last. Changes - the first day of peace, the first day of war, natural disasters - make people feel and behave differently, but it doesn't last.

tim in vermont said...

""But it's 2020, and even — especially — the most egocentric people must modify — radically modify — the way they act in relation to other people. What will come of this exercise? A new love for each other? A new etiquette?”

Now we have the foundation of a novel.

stlcdr said...

New York, to me, is a foreign country. I think it's place filled with enough nasty, self-centered, people to make it a horrible place and unrepresentative of the US. It seems like it is always one pavement crack away from disaster.

I ordinarily wouldn't care - people can live the way they want to live - except that they keep on wanting to tell others how we need to run our lives.

tim in vermont said...

Some Democrat came on CNBC and said that a thousand dollars a month was “laughable.” Democrats are completely out of touch with the people they purport to represent. If you can sneer at a thousand dollars a month, give your check to somebody else! That’s my plan, give it to my sister who is taking care of my dying mother. Of course Bernie says it should be “TWO THOUSAND Dollars”. Sorry, but did you ever notice that Bernie seems to speak in all caps?

Ignorance is Bliss said...

...catching all kinds of snatches of people...

When you're a star, they let you do it...

BleachBit-and-Hammers said...

State considered legal action after Australians sick with COVID-19 left isolation to ski for 3 hours last week


What's this "consider" BS? Same jerks who think it's a good idea to give sanctuary to illegal entrants who rape children?

Viruses can often survive freezing. A nice little surprise for those visiting Aspen in the Summer.

exhelodrvr1 said...

"People have been scared to death even though about 100 dead."

If everybody is doing it, then it's not overreacting, right?

BleachBit-and-Hammers said...

CO's Attorney General Weiser is a pussy.

Angle-Dyne, Servant of Ugliness said...

rehajm: There was no consensus other than the harm that's hitting you and the people you're talking about will roll over to more and more of us very soon. Credit markets are already seizing up despite massive fed intervention.

I've been wondering how many layers of wealth and/or protected-pension security it takes to remain confident that this isn't going to put any serious hurt on *you*. (Confident or oblivious.)

Just as with the squandering of resources because of choices they made before the crisis they are squandering resources because of the crisis...

It's what they do. They're not gonna change.

While the doctors and the algorithms talk about isolating until August it will only be a matter of days before the breakdown of our institutions makes people decide the economic cost is too great compared to the risk of the virus.

Americans are not a patient people. I doubt very seriously that people are going to dociley accept months of shutdown as their jobs disappear and their wealth evaporates. (Despite the fond fantasies of those of the progressive totalitarian bent, who are showing way too much smug satisfaction at what they think is an opportunity to coerce everyone into adopting their preferred habits.)

My guess is two weeks- either we decide we've made enough headway or we discover the isolation isn't working and abandon it anyways.

Well, it'll be an interesting epidemiological exercise, whatever happens.

Lurker21 said...

Steve Sisolak, now Governor of Nevada, has ordered all casinos in the state to go dark for 30 days.

Big boost for online gambling. At least somebody's going to make money off this. That's assuming people still want to gamble when they don't have money coming in.

daskol said...

I went out to fill up with gas yesterday, because I'm thinking a full tank is a good idea over next few weeks. I reckon chances better than even now that we'll want to take some time away from NYC over that time frame. Still yesterday things looked reassuringly normal in Brooklyn, with a fair number of people and vehicles about: typical quiet weekend levels, although it was Tuesday afternoon. With the mayor and governor jousting over escalating to shelter in place from social distancing, and the first police coming down ill, things are about to get interesting. City officials complaining of fewer ventilators than inventory suggested, and asking for the Nay ship Comfort to be stationed in NYC, says things are still trending in the wrong direction. People are still absolutely terrified of getting the virus, even though it still appears to be the case that for the vast majority of us it's not much more than a flu, and our strategy for managing the pandemic is in fact for lots and lots of people to get it.

Take a walk, be nice to others, but we have created an economic catastrophe which now proceeds on its own logic beyond our control. We have already cracked the thin veneer of civilization, something we may not have a choice about, but the people who shattered it haven't got a clue.

Ann Althouse said...

"People on the streets in Madison WI are much friendlier than they are where I live. Or maybe it's just me."

Yes, that is true. Even in normal times, if you're walking on an uncrowded street, where there isn't a flow of pedestrians, and you pass by somebody, you say "hello" or "good morning" or "beautiful day" or something. In NYC, when you pass by somebody, the norm is to act like they don't exist. I've done both, adapting to the style of both places. It may not say much about how friendly people really are. In NYC, if you ever actually need anything, ordinary people help you. Ask for directions, and they're immediately as friendly as the people in Madison. And in Madison, you may find that the outwardly friendly people really don't like you at all. I never assume, based on exterior expression, that some stranger or acquaintance either likes me or doesn't like me. Not enough info.

Angle-Dyne, Servant of Ugliness said...

Lurker21: What you're seeing is a holiday mood that won't last.

Precisely.

Fernandistein said...

I;m pretty sure this article "I’m a Doctor in Britain. We’re Heading Into the Abyss." is supposed to make the ignorant more ignorant and the crazy crazier, but...

"Though I experienced neither fever nor breathlessness, I was told to self-isolate for 14 days. That’s where I am now, in self-isolation. And I’m not the only one from my hospital. After just one patient with Covid-19, a quarter of our junior staff are off with coughs and sniffles we would normally work through."

They have the coughs 'n' sniffles that they would ordinarily work thru, i.e. so it's so not-terrible that they would have just ignored it - if they hadn't been told to be overreact.

A single case of the coronavirus has wreaked havoc in our hospital.

No it didn't. Their panicky response wreaked havoc.

Francisco D said...

Yesterday was a great day to be outside in Tucson. We had friends in from the Midwest who wanted to see the sights. It was sunny and mid-70's.

We took a three hour moderately difficult hike and a three hour walk and talked about everything but the coronavirus. What a great escape!

We ran across a fair number of people taking advantage of the great weather. My sense is that they were also escaping the 24/7 coverage of the pandemic.

daskol said...

It's going to be really interesting to see how this plays out in NYC. Probably a little too interesting for me, since I have some options for waiting this out elsewhere. I'm hoping for the best, but people live close to the line here, in large numbers and physical proximity. And they just banned plastic bags on March 1!

daskol said...

This seems important: if you're treating flu-like symptoms at home, and may have the COVID-19 bug, avoid Ibuprofen and favor Tylenol.

daskol said...

Our foremost theoretician of tail risk says panic is, more or less, necessary. At least, overreaction is called for under times like this of elevated risk and massive uncertainty. Taleb's paper on the ethics of overreaction is an interesting read.

Michael said...

Laslo

You are underestimating the devastation. The “leadership” Is crossing the street to keep from seeing. Whole industries are collapsing. Think of the baggage handlers and ticket takers and fuel truck drivers and housekeepers and waiters and cooks and doormen. Oh, and be sure and put off calling the plumber or electrician because you can’t cross the fucking street to avoid them.

The Cracker Emcee Refulgent said...


“”The sidewalks were so crowded and a good many of the pedestrians were so egocentric that they would stride briskly down what they seemed to imagine was their lane in the sidewalk, as if walking were a battle of nerves and I needed to get the message that I'd better jump out of their lane.”

Carry a stout wooden cane, especially if you obviously don’t need it. Wield it briskly as you walk. It will make them subconsciously nervous and they’ll get out of your way.

The Cracker Emcee Refulgent said...

“In NYC, if you ever actually need anything, ordinary people help you. Ask for directions, and they're immediately as friendly as the people in Madison.”

Ah, the guileless naïveté of attractive women.

Ken B said...

Proper conclusion: None of your regular commenters live in Madison.

Static Ping said...

Aha! A topic that I am most qualified! Walking is my primary form of exercise.

From the past week, I have seen more people on the sidewalks than usual. This may be partially because the curfew makes walking a dog after 8pm impossible and partially because kids are home and they need to do something. Social distancing is hit and miss. I'm practicing social distancing, but whether anyone coming from the opposite direction will do so is a guess. Many seem oblivious and make no offer, or even seem to intentionally block the sidewalk. I did have a woman with a stroller give me a wide berth as I did the same. Once at a safe distance, she did greet me.

During one of the walks, I basically decided my route based on whether anyone was coming in my direction and detoured appropriately. It was a most serpentine event.

I've been trying to stay off the main streets as much as possible, but it appears other people have the same idea so it has not been working as well as expected. Still it is easier to move into the street on a road with little traffic.

Sebastian said...

I mean the following impersonally, in the spirit of helping:

I am in favor of Althouse and Meade walking, provided that they stay far away from anyone else.

The high-risk groups need to self-isolate and get out of the way. We are taking on huge costs for their sake.

I would prefer strict quarantine of the vulnerable and more freedom for the rest, to minimize costs and alter the trade-offs.

Sebastian said...

I mean the following impersonally, in the spirit of helping:

I am in favor of Althouse and Meade walking, provided that they stay far away from anyone else.

The high-risk groups need to self-isolate and get out of the way. We are taking on huge costs for their sake.

I would prefer strict quarantine of the vulnerable and more freedom for the rest, to minimize costs and alter the trade-offs.

robother said...

Laslo's comment suggested the Vietnam "Best and Brightest" solution: In order to save the economy, it was necessary to destroy the economy. Just to take one example, given the downtown rents in booming cities like Austin and Denver, I just don't see how any restaurant can remain effectively closed for 6 weeks. A grand (or two) a month for these guys ain't gonna save them from bankruptcy.

And if next year's WuFlu is even worse (the 2d season of the Spanish Flu was the Big One) in part because we didn't have the political will to purchase herd immunity? Things will get... interesting.

stevew said...

Ah, yes, that's an important distinction, outwardly engaging versus friendly. I operate more like your NYC example - out for a walk, don't talk to or acknowledge people I don't know, partly because I'll likely never see them again and to leave them alone to their walk. Given the opportunity I'm a friendly guy, and more than willing to help someone in need.

tim in vermont said...

The number of con men and women in big cities that will use any opening to try to cadge folding money out of you has a lot to do with people’s behaviors. Walking my dog in Boston I was usually approached by a "nice doggie” type who quickly turned it into a pitch.

Sometimes on the subway, this rises to the leve of theater.

“Somebody stole my wallet, phone, and car keys and I can’t get home!” says a kind of attractive woman

Having seen this play before, the people in the car studiously look the other way.

Ken B said...

Dave Begley
In a similar response David Frum screamed on Twitter that Trump was worse than the Chinese communists because he shook hands with people at his press conference. Some people are entirely slaves to their resentments, peeves, and prejudices.

Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...

How is it that 80% of the people on the Diamond Princess cruise ship do not test positive for coronavirus?

Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...

Sebastian: “I would prefer strict quarantine of the vulnerable and more freedom for the rest, to minimize costs and alter the trade-offs.”

Ditto.

Laslo Spatula said...

"Laslo, You are underestimating the devastation."

I was trying too add a bit of sugar-coating to keep six feet away from the 'not helping' category.

"Laslo's comment suggested the Vietnam "Best and Brightest" solution: In order to save the economy, it was necessary to destroy the economy."

That was indeed the suggestion I was, er, suggesting.

The hippies now trust the government. Don't trust anyone under sixty etc etc.

I am Laslo.

Michael K said...

Interesting information on per capita death rates.

I think this information is relevant because there is almost no reporting that uses comparative analysis weighted for population. The data and analysis are real. The question is what conclusions you draw from them. I think the data provide some confirmation that the US’s early decision to ban travel from China and broad dissemination of hygiene and social distancing guidelines has had a positive effect. It may also reflect other factors independent of mitigation efforts, such as our lower population density, lower smoking rates, and lower proportion of multiple generations of families living together.

Low population density may turn out to be a significant factor.

We also have a supply of hydroxychloroquine. My wife is very high risk so I am the one who goes into stores, etc. I also walk the dog every day unless it is raining.

Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...

Looks like it’s open season for criminals in Philadelphia:
https://www.fox29.com/news/philadelphia-police-to-delay-arrests-for-certain-non-violent-crimes

No justice, no peace.

tim in vermont said...

"A grand (or two) a month for these guys ain't gonna save them from bankruptcy. “

The money is for those out of work right now. They are working on small business money, which is logistically harder to get into the economy than it is to give money to big business, because the players in both business and government already have each other on speed dial.

Loan forbearance by law is probably the only way to save these businesses. Landlords suffer just as much when the rents don’t come in. Nobody can pay their bills all the way up the chain, and you get a dumpster fire in the markets as everybody is in desperate search of cash.

Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...

The Second Amendment really is an 18th century anachronism.

Why would we ever need it? Our politicians, leaders, authorities and “experts” will protect us.

There are wolves, there are sheep, and there is the sheepdog,

tim in vermont said...

"“I would prefer strict quarantine of the vulnerable and more freedom for the rest, to minimize costs and alter the trade-offs.”

We are at a kind of war and we are going to take a lot of casualties, but the models, which contain a lot of assumptions, BTW, suggest that this will kill the fewest, still a lot of people, but the fewest.

All of us oldsters become Ann Frank.

This total lockdown is to have the tiger by the tail, but it’s still a live tiger. When the lockdown is eased, it’s loose again, barely diminished in strength. Doing nothing kills the most people, but gets it over with, I guess.

Dave Begley said...

Actual US numbers from the Wuhan virus.

7,301 cases; up 890 from day before.

116 deaths. Total.

Jamie said...

1. Wilbur in south Florida - why in God's name would they close GOLF COURSES? I can see making everyone walk the course, but...

2. The original essay quoted (1987) is obviously pre-earbuds. But even at the time, I warrant, the opportunities for momentary eavesdropping can't have been all that great in NYC, with everyone keeping her head up on the lookout for muggers. I suspect the essay was sort of in line with the one Lileks wrote about today - trying to calm the nerves of urbanites, make them feel that their situation is less awful than it is.

3. I kind of agree with rehajm that Main Street is going to rebel against long-term closures, and in pretty short order. Not sure what form that rebellion will take. But epidemiologists, stand by - there will be lots to learn from this!

Temujin said...

There will be a slew of small businesses not making it. Restaurants will be among the first to go. I was just suggesting to my wife that we order take out from a few of our favorite places in town, while we can. Before a mandatory curfew is offered up here. But I say this knowing that one, or five, or ten take out dinners in a night is not going to save any of these businesses who made it through our off-season times only to get to the season here and now and...nothing. There are many who will not survive a dead season.

Not to mention the industry I sell to: hospitality. I am doing a handful of projects for those companies who have the means and optimism to look ahead to this fall. But the hit being taken by all in this industry will spread to every employee of the properties, the suppliers, and the outside companies that service the properties- and their families. I'm OK. But for many, this is, or will be, crisis time.

tim in vermont said...

Look at the US numbers: Reported US coronavirus cases in March via
@CNN
:

3/1: 89
3/2: 105
3/3: 125
3/4: 159
3/5: 227
3/6: 331
3/7: 444
3/8: 564
3/9: 728
3/10: 1,000
3/11: 1,267
3/12: 1,645
3/13: 2,204
3/14: 2,826
3/15: 3,505
3/16: 4,466
Now: 5,839

reader said...

Rumor mill in San Diego is that we are going to be place on mandatory shelter in place - only allowed to leave for doctors, groceries, etc. when I discussed this with my husband my first question was, “Does going to the vet count as as going to the doctor?”. (I say yes husband says no). Next question was, “Am I allowed to walk the dog?”

My dog has allergies to eggs, wheat, and a lot of other things. She is on a prescription diet. Vet appointment Thursday. Per vets office they will come get my dog out of my car

exiledonmainstreet, green-eyed devil said...

My husband is a physician but works mainly with orthopedic cases. They are screening patients with elective surgeries scheduled to determine if they have been exposed to anybody with covid-19. Some, but not many, have cancelled or postponed their elective surgeries. If you are experiencing excruciating back pain, having surgery now is a risk you're willing to take. And, of course, people are still having accidents and breaking bones.

I also work in healthcare, but in non-patient care and am able to work from home.

I worry both about my older brother, who has had respiratory problems in the past, and my nephew who is a bartender who relies on tips. As a last resort, my nephew can always move back in with his parents or other relatives. Some young people don't have that option. I was reading about vets who are attending college and face homelessness if the dorms close.

tim in vermont said...

I have two close acquaintances who work in largely elective health care who are worried for their jobs right now. Two who work for hospitals, who have been working themselves ragged.

Bushman of the Kohlrabi said...

Dow already gave back yesterday's gain. Quick, shovel another trillion $ on the fire!

Michael said...

Aunty

Well the numbers are going to get double extra scary once big time testing is underway. Death rate will go down but panic factor will rise. According to plan?

Michael said...

Aunty

Well the numbers are going to get double extra scary once big time testing is underway. Death rate will go down but panic factor will rise. According to plan?

exhelodrvr1 said...

Does that mean that we will no longer be bitterly clinging to the side of the Deplorable Bucket?

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Michael K said...
Interesting information on per capita death rates.

That analysis is deeply flawed. A virus spreads exponentially through the population, so the rate of spread is proportional to the number of people who already have it. Thus, to compare how well two countries are doing, the starting point is not equal numbers of initial cases ( such as one initial case. ) The correct comparison is starting with the same proportion of the population having it in each country. Just comparing US and South Korea, we have about 6.5 times their population, so we should compare their per-capita death rate x number of days after their first case to our per-capita death rate x number of days after our 6.5th case. If you assume a doubling time of four days, then we go from our 1st case to our 6.5th case in about 10 days. For a doubling time of 6 days, we get to our 6.5th case in about two weeks. So we should be comparing our per-capita death rate now to South Korea's per-capita death rate 10-14 days ago.

Nichevo said...

limiting stress on my knees and hips by doing it uphill.


Really? Would have thought slope more painful.



...a good many of the pedestrians were so egocentric

No, they were so trying to make their train or their meeting that they did not amble along like satisfied cows trying to decide on one more mouthful of grass. You're the egotistical one for not getting with the program. Or, of course, if you were really trying and failing, you were simply unfit. You were making decent money, why not cab it?

...I tried, but not always fast enough for these important, busy men, who would go ahead and clip me on the shoulder if that's what it took to maintain their speed and to own their lane.

So what you're saying is, they were saying, Pay attention! Man, you are a creature of resentment. Is that what feminism is?

I'll assume you followed the golden rule: slow traffic keep right? If you face conflict with oncoming and can't deconflict: stop in your tracks. Then they have to choose whether to divert, or to ram you, which is pointless and they will not consciously do.

But people fit for the environment somehow manage, as subtly as fish schooling. My mother did, she had no problems though she was from coal country. You just did not belong. Go back to Wisconsin, where the people are slow.

CStanley said...

How is it that 80% of the people on the Diamond Princess cruise ship do not test positive for coronavirus?

Don’t know, but I hope that rate of infection (or less) holds true because the projections show that if 20% get infected over 18 months (probably best case scenario) we’ll only exceed Hospital capacity by a little bit.

Do people not understand that a small percentage of a really big number is still a big number?

tim in vermont said...

If you don’t understand what a logarithmic plot is, don’t comment on this link.

https://twitter.com/jessesingal/status/1240297617390743557/photo/1

Iman said...

Give me a head with hair
Long, beautiful hair!

tim in vermont said...

“hydroxychloroquine”

How does that relate to the quinine in my Campari I like to enjoy, I wonder? Or in a gin and tonic?

tim in vermont said...

People are selling everything to get to cash because they think there is no bottom. Not to mention, they think that having a hoard of cash is going to pay off bigly when this is over as they go around buying stuff from desperate people. Of course that cash could easily get inflated away right out of their mattresses too.

tim in vermont said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
tim in vermont said...

Deleted already.

Well here is a log plot of deaths. Remember that a log plot will straighten out an exponential curve.

https://twitter.com/KevinWGlass/status/1240298265326817280

tim in vermont said...

Speaking of New York, cases went from 1,000 to 2,400 in a *single* day today. Deblasio has requested the military.

Iman said...

Watching all the people
Like the waves along the shore
They hang around the whiskey
And every open store

I'm walking on Sunset
And I'll never reach the end
I'm walking on Sunset
Everything is like a friend

All the pretty women
Never seen a better crop
Music all around
The flashing lights will never stop

I'm walking on Sunset
And I'll never reach the end
I'm walking on Sunset
Everything is like a friend

reader said...

Do people not understand that a small percentage of a really big number is still a big number?

A lot of people don't seem to understand this when it comes to taxation.

Krumhorn said...

I was stranded in NYC for 4 days in the mid 80’s during an enormous blizzard. The city was transformed. People were skiing down the avenues since there were no vehicles moving anywhere. The silence was peaceful and fun. Children could run freely without worry. The sidewalks were piled waist high with drifts that completely covered the cars parked at the curb, and a single tamped down channel was all that was available for pedestrians to carefully navigate. The people were absolutely lovely and friendly. Strangers would let others pass by with a warm smile and a nod. It lasted those 4 days.

Laslo is right. Our hostess is, for some reason, hoping that the Age of Aquarius has finally come...after all these years. One wonders whether the smell of incense can be garnered in the nostrils while passing Meadehouse as well as hearing the strains from old Ravi Shankar sitar LPs.

People who have government -funded public employee pension benefits living comfortably while suckling on the taxpayer teat are not experiencing the reality of the harm of this thing while taking their strolls. And unless a vaccine or effective anti-viral shows up quick fast and in a hurry, next fall and winter are going to be orders of magnitude worse.

- Krumhorn

tim in vermont said...

If you had both plots, it would show that the US is on track with Italy but behind them by ten days for cases, but doing better than them on deaths for where we are in the trajectory compared to Italy’s deaths at this point. That is certainly very good news, but it might evaporate at some breaking point. We can’t know.

This is a time when the confident people who don’t understand math should probably shut up for a while.

tim in vermont said...

Dr K’s link comes to the same conclusion I did through different methods, that the US is doing better on deaths.

As far as the cost of keeping deaths low in terms of bringing the economy to a halt, well, in western democracies, citizens aren’t soldiers. They can’t be ordered into battle, the economy is going to stop due to individual choice. Is it really worth the risk to have a dinner out? Survey says! No!

No western government has the power to enforce a model, and little divergences have huge effects.

RigelDog said...

I do not see the logical reason to forbid people to walk outside. Is there any data to show that merely passing by someone within a few feet, out in the fresh air, transmits anything? What are the odds that you will pass someone contagious and they will cough or sneeze on you at the exact right moment? And that you will then become infected? Compared to the odds of people losing their minds and becoming even more panicked and despondent if they are not permitted to exit their houses to engage in an activity which is 99.999% safe?

tim in vermont said...

You know what I like about Bloomberg news? Breaking news means something. If it says “Breaking news” they flash a story like the Canadian border being closed, just once. You miss it, you miss it.

Bill Peschel said...

Watts Up With That discusses the Diamond Princess case, in which despite living in close quarters for weeks, 83% of the passengers and crew never caught the fever, and of the rest, half didn't know they had it. There were seven deaths, all of them over 70.

Note that this was a scientific study, not someone's projections.

https://wattsupwiththat.com/2020/03/16/diamond-princess-mysteries/

David Begley: Out of curiousity, I tried visiting Investor Village, and got a "page not found" response (although Blue's rant, as someone else pointed out, was there). Weird.

Bill Peschel said...

Even weirder, now I can get into the site from the link mentioned in my previous post. Sorry about that.

Big Mike said...

What will come of this exercise? A new love for each other? A new etiquette?

Lady, you have got to be putting me on!

tim in vermont said...

Trump sending a hospital shipt to NYC. THere will be another sent on the west coast, destination undecided.

tim in vermont said...

No mention of false positives at that link to WattsUpWithThat.

[Potential False-Positive Rate Among the 'Asymptomatic Infected Individuals' in Close Contacts of COVID-19 Patients]

Conclusions: In the close contacts of COVID-19 patients, nearly half or even more of the 'asymptomatic infected individuals' reported in the active nucleic acid test screening might be false positives.


https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32133832/

they may be doing a more accurate type of screening, but you would think that the analysis would deal with this issue.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Bill Peschel said...

Note that this was a scientific study, not someone's projections.

Note that that is not a scientific study. It is simply an analysis of a particular situation. The virus was allowed to spread on the ship, largely unchecked, for about 12 days, which is likely only two to three cycles of infection-to-contagious. What percentage would have it if this had gone on for another week? Another month?

So it is only relevant if you are advocating a complete lockdown of the entire US, right now. Otherwise it tells us little about what we are facing.

CStanley said...

@Aunty Trump-
I’m confounded by that one article which purports to have found extremely high false positive rate. I believe what they may actually be referring to is the positive predictive value of the tests, not the actual false positive rate. Maybe someone more well versed in stats and epidemiology than I am can explain.

There’s just no way I can believe that a PCR test could have had such low specificity.

tim in vermont said...

"I can believe that a PCR test could have had such low specificity.”

Was a PCR test used on the cruise ship? IDK. That was my question. But if a PCR test has 2% false positive and you apply it to 1,000 people you get 20. Suppose only 15 people actually have it? Then more than half are false positive.

If a PCR only has a 1% false positive, we are still at 10 people out of a thousand.

tim in vermont said...

I wish I knew the answer. But if they used the antigen test examined in the paper I linked, the WUWT article is pretty deceptive and maybe worse than useless.

Clark said...

Walking through Grand Central Station, as I did every day to get to my job in mid-town Manhattan circa 1991, I also noticed these people who would walk purposely forward in a crowd, seemingly oblivious to those who would have to jump out of the way. I figured it was an illustration of the doctrine of last clear chance. If the person charging through the crowd does not notice you, but you are aware of him, then it is your responsibility to get out of his way. So he pretends to not notice anyone (even though he actually does). I used to experiment with this idea. If I held steady, the charging walker would almost always deviate at the very last moment, which showed that they really were paying attention all the time. The cost to me of this experiment was always that little retaliatory clip on the shoulder.

Clark said...

@Aunty Trump: You get high false positives even with a good test if the prevalence of the disease in the population is extremely low (1 in a thousand is low enough to show this result). If prevalence is in the neighborhood of, say, 1 in five, then the problem won't arise. So it is not so important to mention it in connection with the cruise ship numbers.

Bruce Hayden said...

“The Second Amendment really is an 18th century anachronism.”

“Why would we ever need it? Our politicians, leaders, authorities and “experts” will protect us”

“There are wolves, there are sheep, and there is the sheepdog,”

It isn’t an anachronism, but rather was very prescient. And it all revolves around the fact that the politicians, leaders, and authorities are in their jobs, for at least a small part, but for many of them, for their own personal benefit. And if you or yours die as a result, that is just collateral damage, mostly too remote to interfere with their feelings of superiority. You see it everywhere in politics and government work, but probably nowhere more than at the top of today’s Democratic Party. Think of the money accumulated by the Clintons, AlGore, Biden, Sanders, Even St. Obama, Harry Reid, etc. Almost every major Dem candidate for President was solidly behind having no borders with Mexico, and giving free healthcare to illegal immigrants. Imagine the cost to this country if COVID-19 spreads through Mexico, and then down to Central and South America, and their policies had been in place. We are already short on our expected need for ventilators and hospital beds. Imagine having to share them with all the sick Mexicans because heir country’s healthcare system is so corrupt and woefully inadequate. Collateral damage for the Dems building a permanent ruling electoral majority.

It is often said that the 2nd Amdt is there to protect the 1st Amdt. And it isn’t the self defense protections there, but rather the militia clause that is critical to protecting the 1st Amdt. The Declaration of Independence justified our armed revolt from the British in the face of tyranny, and it was based on our inalienable rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. And these all three, in turn, require that the government not be able to disarm the public.

Why do so many Democrats hate AR-15 type firearms with such a passion? After all, they are hard to hide, and are rarely used for murder. The answer, I believe, is that they are the quintessential militia weapons. They have shared the manual of arms with our military’s main battle rifles for almost 60 years now. Almost every military service member of the last six decades knows how to shoot and maintain them. And for the infantry trained, how to use them effectively in combat.

So, any time a Democrat talks about seizing your “assault weapons”, ask them what are they going to seize or ban next, after the citizenry has been disarmed of their militia weapons? Their other guns? Their houses? Their vehicles? Their speech? Their Religion? Their purpose in banning militia weapons is to remove the citizenry’s ability to forcibly resist their planned tyranny. Nothing more.

BTW - I welcome progressives to the fold, in terms of them buying guns, and hopefully learning to use them. They won’t be using them to impose government tyranny over the rest of us. Just wouldn’t work. But it might save their lives by human predators. And if it ever did, they would likely start to question their faith in the capacity of government to protect them.

tim in vermont said...

" say, 1 in five, then the problem won't arise. So it is not so important to mention it in connection with the cruise ship numbers.”

It’s true that if the infection rate is high, it doesn't matter that much, but that doesn’t mean anything regarding the cruise ship. If the passengers never got it, because it was spread in the crew’s quarters, then all of the asymptomatic “carriers” are likely false positives.

The issue has to be dealt with in any serious examination of the case.

Anthony said...

I can't work out or swim laps for the next two weeks and I already feel like a fat blob of goo.

And it's only been one day!

Angle-Dyne, Servant of Ugliness said...

Clark: I used to experiment with this idea. If I held steady, the charging walker would almost always deviate at the very last moment, which showed that they really were paying attention all the time.

I think that would hold for charging New Yorkers. I have run this experiment, and discovered it not to be the case, in a certain university town full of transplanted Californians. (Local's assessment: not bright enough to secure a place at a U of C school, but with parents rich enough to foot the out-of-state tuition bill at Ski Bum U.) I got tired of having to step into the grass because groups of 2, 3, or more would refuse to re-arrange themselves and respect the sidewalk space of opposing foot traffic, no matter how far over one squeezed oneself to one's right. When I stood my ground, they just walked right into me.

Very occasionally, one of my experimental subjects would be put-out and get snippy, as if I were the one in the wrong, for refusing to get out of the way of His or Her (mostly the latter) Highness. But most of the time they just looked bewildered, and would wander around me with a confused look on their faces and ramble on, without so much as a mumbled "sorry" or "excuse me", as if the simplest rules for sharing public space were beyond their comprehension.

All said, I think I prefer the aggressive New Yorkers, who at least acknowledge the existence of the other human beings jockeying for space.

Achilles said...

BleachBit-and-Hammers said...
State considered legal action after Australians sick with COVID-19 left isolation to ski for 3 hours last week


What's this "consider" BS? Same jerks who think it's a good idea to give sanctuary to illegal entrants who rape children?

Viruses can often survive freezing. A nice little surprise for those visiting Aspen in the Summer.


I am trying to think of a place other than a snowy mountainside skiing in sub zero temperatures where you are less likely to transmit the disease.

If anyone wants to say staying home and taking walks you just deserve to be mocked.

Dave Begley said...

Very well put Bruce Hayden!

Achilles said...

Aunty Trump said...
No mention of false positives at that link to WattsUpWithThat.

[Potential False-Positive Rate Among the 'Asymptomatic Infected Individuals' in Close Contacts of COVID-19 Patients]

Conclusions: In the close contacts of COVID-19 patients, nearly half or even more of the 'asymptomatic infected individuals' reported in the active nucleic acid test screening might be false positives.

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32133832/

they may be doing a more accurate type of screening, but you would think that the analysis would deal with this issue.



You know you just linked to Chinese propaganda right?

We have no idea what the denominator is.

But just looking at the situation and the numbers it is clear that the Coronavirus is much more widespread than is being reported and it started much earlier than is being reported.

China was throwing doctors in jail in November.

Rosalyn C. said...

I have had similar experiences of friendliness in remote places. Traveling in Santorini, Greece, I spent two weeks there taking long walks. Passing another person was so rare that it was cause for celebration. Kalimera!! Many happy greetings of hello. (A long time ago and I was much more adventurous and fearless.)

I've also had experiences of generosity and helpfulness by New Yorkers, even without asking. Just having a lost look on my face was enough for some people to offer assistance. Just kindness.

I had the opposite experience in Denmark where I noticed that people noticed me a half a block away and avoided eye contact. Same sort of thing in Switzerland and Germany where people looked at my shoes to determine and judge my character. But the trains ran on time. (Again that was a long time ago, not a comment on current practices.)

Achilles said...

Aunty Trump said...
If you had both plots, it would show that the US is on track with Italy but behind them by ten days for cases, but doing better than them on deaths for where we are in the trajectory compared to Italy’s deaths at this point. That is certainly very good news, but it might evaporate at some breaking point. We can’t know.

This is a time when the confident people who don’t understand math should probably shut up for a while.



This is gold. Self awareness is in short supply right now.

These "curves" started in November in China. Italy is having the issues they are having because of travelers returning from the Chinese New Year.

This has been percolating for months. People need to start thinking about what a 14 day incubation period means. They also need to look at environmental weather patterns and compare that to the spread of this particular virus.

There is another virus that has similar patterns that is killing and causing illness in an order of magnitude more people right now.

Something mysterious happens to the flu season every year about this time also.

Rabel said...

The Diamond Princess case is interesting but it needs to be considered in light of the fact that once the virus was confirmed onboard all passengers were confined to their rooms and food was delivered by pre-tested crew.

This stopped new cases almost entirely.

Rabel said...

Also, all those viral particles emitted and contained in the mist of your coughs and sneezes and laughs eventually end up on the ground and then on the shoes of the walkers.

Wash your shoes! Or take them off when you enter the house - like they do is South Korea, for example.

tim in vermont said...

"This is gold. Self awareness is in short supply right now.”

That much of what you said is true.

tim in vermont said...

"You know you just linked to Chinese propaganda right?”

It might be put out by the Chinese, I have no idea if your claim is true, but the issue of testing asymptomatic populations is well understood by the people capable of understanding it.

tim in vermont said...

I trust or distrust basic counts based on who publishes them, for instance infection and death counts out of China I don’t trust at all. But I accept or reject math and logic based on whether or not it makes any sense and whether the argument covers all of the issues.

But I am not arguing with you anymore Achilles. You have made up your mind and are in the mode of driving off all contrary information with bluster and invective. If you explain to me why I am wrong with something other than your feelings or sense of the situation, I am happy to hear it. I just don’t expect to see it coming.

Marc said...

There were some people at Walmart this morning who seemed to be doing the six feet thing but plenty of others who weren't. When I was there last Thursday, there was a lot of rushing about, 'panic lite', I suppose; today the (fewer) people seemed sullen or glum or preocupied.

Big Mike said...

If I held steady, the charging walker would almost always deviate at the very last moment, which showed that they really were paying attention all the time. The cost to me of this experiment was always that little retaliatory clip on the shoulder.

@Clark, there’s a way to set your shoulder so you deal out more pain than you receive. Timing is crucial; to a decent first approximation you are smacking their upper arm a heartbeat before they hit you.

Marc said...

Now we have the foundation of a novel.

A middling telenovela or streaming series, I expect. Sentimentality is fine in small and brief episodes as part of a larger whole.

tim in vermont said...

Somebody once said that the bigger the idea, the worse the novel. I give you Atlas Shrugged.

Lurker21 said...

Online, I notice that people who usually agree with each other get awfully rude with each other when they disagree about the virus and what will happen with it. Does it work the other way? If people who disagree about everything else, even hate each other, find that they agree about the seriousness of the virus, do they recognize what they have in common and become friendly?