April 11, 2020

"Seizing on new estimates of a lower-than-projected death toll, the president signaled that he wanted to start resuming business on some basis..."

"... after his current stay-at-home guidelines expire on April 30, and he announced that he would name a task force next week to develop a plan. But he also promised to listen to public health officials cautioning against a premature move to relax limits. In actuality, the decision on when and how to reopen is not entirely Mr. Trump’s to make because he never ordered it closed. The stay-at-home edicts that have kept the vast bulk of Americans indoors were issued by governors state by state. But the president did issue nonbinding guidelines urging a pause in daily life through the end of the month. And if he were to issue new guidance saying it was safe to reopen or outlining a path toward reopening, many states would most likely follow or feel pressure from their businesses and constituents to ease up on restrictions....  Lobbying groups have become more vocal about the need for the administration to create a plan for the reopening of the economy... Some business leaders have been particularly frustrated that the government is not being realistic about the economic consequences of the fight against the coronavirus.... Many experts caution that growth will be slow when it returns because people will be wary of resuming normal activities before the country has far more extensive testing. Without widespread confidence in returning to work or other public activities, any economic recovery could be tepid....  If the government tells Americans to return to normal life and infections rise again, that could wipe out consumer optimism and lead to a longer, more damaging recession...."

From "Torn Over Reopening Economy, Trump Says He Faces ‘Biggest Decision I’ve Ever Had to Make’/The president suggested he wanted to move soon, but he also promised to listen to public health officials cautioning against relaxing restrictions prematurely" (NYT).

ADDED: Here's the sentence that strikes me as terribly thought out: "And if he were to issue new guidance saying it was safe to reopen or outlining a path toward reopening, many states would most likely follow or feel pressure from their businesses and constituents to ease up on restrictions." I don't think Trump is talking about saying the whole country is "safe" and ready to "reopen." The article just got done saying that the decisions on how closed things need to be have been done by governors.

I've seen some pressure on Trump to take more one-size-fits-all, top-down actions, and he has resisted because it's a big country and conditions are different in different places. Similarly, when Trump moves toward reopening, he is, I presume, going to continue with this approach, supporting opening the places where the conditions are most amenable to returning to work. We'll ease into it, watching as we go, and proceeding with caution.

The Times says "people will be wary of resuming normal activities before the country has far more extensive testing," meaning testing to see who has the virus (or the antibodies). But another kind of testing is experimenting with opening the country back up in a gradual way, where conditions are best, observing how well it works, and moving forward learning from experience. This is the experimentation characteristic of American federalism.

308 comments:

1 – 200 of 308   Newer›   Newest»
AllenS said...

A good time to start would be like right now.

JAORE said...

Ahh remember WAY back when the self isolation was NOT to reduce total impacts of the virus, but only to flatten the curve?

Seems like just a month or so ago, but it must have been decades.

Because NOW if we ease up a bit EVERY SINGLE DEATH will be a "See, Trump killed this person moment".

campy said...

JAORE is of course correct. And Nancy Pelosi has already signaled that Trump's virus-related high crimes will not go unpunished.

Browndog said...

Trump gained a lot of support to open back up from Michiganders in the last 24 hours.

As JAORE points out, a lot of people are starting to remember why we're doing what we're doing, and it wasn't "if it saves just one life".

rehajm said...

Go ahead and insist everyone stay in their homes until the expert bureaucracy double blinds a vaccine into phase III. Elderly still hardest hit.

Unknown said...

Remember that the people who tell us the Earth is dying and burning up are using models just like the people who have locked us in our homes.

rhhardin said...

Japan prefectures are shutting down now. Radio Japan daily news is always worth a listen, if only to get away from American groupthink.

Though in coverage of American news, they're on the far left, apparently from their sources.

http://www.nhk.or.jp/rj/podcast/rss/english.xml

Fernandinande said...

In actuality, the decision on when and how to reopen is not entirely Mr. Trump’s to make because he never ordered it closed.

Trump probably could, and probably should, charge some governors with violation of 18 U.S. Code § 242. Deprivation of rights under color of law

Lobbying groups have become more vocal about the need for the administration to create a plan for the reopening of the economy.

Planned economies usually turn out well, don't they? You know, run by experts and all that...?

"Plan" = give an advantage to the people who hired the lobbyists.

Kai Akker said...

Allen S, how many cases in your county now?

Here are the cases in and around Philadelphia; also as calculated per thousand of population (latest census estimates):

Philadelphia 5,521. 3.5/k
Montgomery. 1,889. 2.3
Bucks. 958. 1.5
Chester 485. 0.9

Our Gov. Wolf warns this coming week will see the largest spike of cases and deaths. But those numbers above are not huge numbers, esp if the active cases are quarantined.

AllenS said...

Sorry, but elderly people seem to die often. It kinda goes with the territory.

stevew said...

That is a pretty good straight news story that I don't read as an attack on Trump. Surprising.

Trump and the Federal government doesn't decide when to reopen, they provide advice. The governors decide. From conversations with friends, family, and co-workers there will be a lot of pressure on the governors to at least start reopening. Even here in true blue MA. In fact, many leftists will support re-opening in the hopes the infections and deaths will spike up again, which they will use to criticize and attack Trump.

The one thing the piece gets wrong is the bit about infections increasing after the re-opening. None of the smart, serious health professionals think infections might increase; they say it most assuredly will. And there will be a new spike in the Fall.

Kai Akker said...

By comparison, state of NJ is 6.2/k, state of NY is 8.8/k and obviously that would be a much bigger number for NYC alone.

AllenS said...

Kai, zero.

Kevin said...

Lobbying groups...

Some business leaders...

Many experts...

Well, there you have it.

thesixdayrace said...

Some questions for our media:
1. Why the constant drumbeat for Trump to "listen" (translation: totally defer) to the medical "experts"? They've been almost absurdly and universally wrong. From their "expert" advice about masks; their modeling; their viewpoints about "anecdotal" evidence for certain drug therapies; their mid-to-late February downplaying of the seriousness of the coronavirus vis-a-vis the seasonal flu (looking at you, Dr. Fauci) - (but, Trump, of course, gets hammered for listening to this and evidencing the fact that he was, indeed, listening to the "experts).
2. Have we entered into a new phase in America - where we expect our government to remove ALL theoretical risks from living our lives? Why this new-fangled fastidiousness? Is it all the new fashion rage - our on-fire-hair - so that we can "match" the coif of ORANGEMANBAD?

Bob Boyd said...

"Seizing"

Kai Akker said...

Still zero! I understand your frustration. PA has a couple counties with only 1, but none without any.

Browndog said...

We'll know more in two weeks.

Fernandinande said...

"Seizing"

I know, it's a red flag for the reader to watch out for more mind-reading, and propaganda.

Buckwheathikes said...

Democrat governors are simply NOT going to allow this crisis to go to waste.

Michigan's governor just ordered that people cannot travel between two homes they own.

https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2020/apr/10/gretchen-whitmer-michigan-governor-bans-travel-bet/

Michigan has 10 million residents; and only 1,400 or so deaths from COVID.

This virus has unleashed their inner Stalin and they're not giving that power up any time soon.

Kevin said...

"Seizing"

Trump pounces!

tim maguire said...

Another reason Trump is a great president. Who else in the world is prioritizing this vitally, desperately important step? Most of the time it seems only the average person on the street cares.

stevew said...

"Seizing" "I know, it's a red flag for the reader to watch out for more mind-reading, and propaganda." "Trump pounces!"

Agree, but this is mild, for a Trump attack, coming as it does in the NYT.

:-)

MayBee said...

Michigans='s governor has ordered stores that are open to cordon off home improvement and gardening items so people can not buy them. So if you go to Meijer or Target, you can buy chocolate, beer, soda, and Little Debbies. You cannot buy seeds, potted flowers, or paint for your kitchen. They are there but you can't buy them.

Because. How dare you ask why. There are people flooding the halls of the hospitals in the Detroit area.

EdwdLny said...

The hysteria level has been off the chart for weeks. The "models" have been wrong by an order of magnitude or two. And the behaviors of law enforcement are abhorrent. Time to stop all of the bovine scatology and get back to every day life.

MayBee said...

So what is the Democrat's incentive to open up the economy? What is Whitmer? She complains about Trump, acts like a Tyrant, and is going to be Biden's VP nominee.

boatbuilder said...

There is a well-credentialed epidemiologist who has been critical of Trump on PPE shortages and alleged lack of "leadership," Michael Osterholm. He's an Obama guy and has had an op ed piece in the NYT (I believe) and has been on CNN and MSNBC so he has liberal credibility. He has been all over the map but is currently saying that the shutdown needs to end and reasonable steps can get this done without ruining the economy.
Trump should ask the guy to join his team and then promote him over Fauci and Brix. He needs "expert" support to get this turned around.

Buckwheathikes said...

Michigan Attorney General:

"You don't need to go out and buy paint to paint your rooms or mulch for your garden ..."

Yeah, we don't want people growing their own food in a garden and becoming self-sufficient and unreliant on food stamps.

Bob Boyd said...

Trump's floundering. He's desperate to save himself. He's seized on a hunk of flotsam the NYT hopes won't prove buoyant enough to save the bastard. Look he's signaling!

Buckwheathikes said...

From the linked story:

"People close to Mr. Mnuchin have suggested that a more gradual timeline for reopening the economy could begin in May based on the availability of coronavirus testing ..."

Hate to break this to you folks, but the availability of caronavirus testing is meaningless.

All a caronavirus test would demostrate is that you either currently have the virus, or you do not currently have it.

It says absolutely NOTHING about whether you have it 15 minutes AFTER you take that test and walk out of the building you took it in.

The ONLY way forward safely is rapid deployment and widespread adoption of a COVID-19 vaccine.

Shouting Thomas said...

So we are not grateful to our experts and masters?

They’re just doing this for our own good!

Buckwheathikes said...

Here's some food for thought:

Suppose the economy is "re-opened" and your employer orders you back to work at your fancy modern workspace that has you seated 2 feet from everyone other sneezing idiot in your workspace(because office-less is the new black).

Then you get the virus from someone at work, end up on a ventilator and die.

Is your employer liable? I'm pretty sure the employer would be liable. The number of lawsuits coming is going to be STAGGERING.

Bob Boyd said...

It says absolutely NOTHING about whether you have it 15 minutes AFTER you take that test and walk out of the building you took it in.

True, but I read yesterday they are also testing for antibodies now. We'll have to see how that goes and if having been exposed provides immunity. So I wouldn't say the availability of Coronavirus testing is meaningless.

brylun said...

@rhhardin: A while ago, you recommended NHK World Radio Japan podcasts, and I listen to them just about every night. Excellent recommendation! Japan just engaged a State of Emergency in about 7 prefectures including Tokyo and Osaka, as there seems to be a comeback of COVID-19 community spread there. Last night they said they were contemplating which businesses would be shut and which would remain open. Perhaps there will be an announcement in tonight's podcast.

I'm wondering if you have any more podcast recommendations? I enjoy listening to unbiased world news.

MayBee said...

"You don't need to go out and buy paint to paint your rooms or mulch for your garden ..."

Right? How do they know what people need? Let's say you are someone who needs to stay busy to stay sober. Already your AA meetings are canceled. You can go to the store and buy alcohol or weed. But you can't buy anything to make your hands productive.

Sadly, I see some Facebook friends who think this is the greatest thing ever. Note well, politicians, how easy scared people are to control.

Lyle said...

My company is planning on furloughing some people for 2 months starting May 1st.

MayBee said...

The ONLY way forward safely is rapid deployment and widespread adoption of a COVID-19 vaccine.

That simply cannot be the only way forward.

About your other question: If you are sneezing, you don't go to work Actually, if you're coughing you don't go to work. You check your temperature every morning and once during the day. If it goes above normal at all, you stay home or go home.
Your employer can't "Order" you to work unless you are in the US Military.
Honestly,

Howard said...

On the main, there's no panic or hysteria. The American people outperformed the models resulting in a good outcome so far.

Great News.

Testing and PPE are necessary to reopen the economy. Looking forward to Trump's plan. When I say Trump's plan, I mean the elite expert plan created by the Deep State and Trump will be the Front Man..

Buckwheathikes said...

"True, but I read yesterday they are also testing for antibodies now."

Let's examine that:

All an antibody test demonstrates is that you either have been exposed to the virus and are producing antibodies, or you are not currently producing them.

If you have been exposed, and are producing antibodies, that means you HAVE the disease. You might be symptomless; but that doesn't mean you cannot SPREAD the disease. The fact that you are producing antibodies means you're a carrier.

So antibody tests aren't going to work as a means of authenticating a workforce.

Shouting Thomas said...

Our Biggus Dickus, Howard, is remarkably happy with surrendering to the authorities.

tim maguire said...

MayBee said...They are there but you can't buy them.

I’m ok with this. Apart from correcting the oddity that you can buy shoes from Walmart but not from the shoe store, it is more compatible with the necessity exception to the quarantine. We let people buy necessities because they are necessities. We undermine the point of our sacrifices if we let the stores fill up with people buying non-necessities. Those people should stay home and make social distancing easier for the people who need to shop.

(Note: this is not an argument for the quarantine, it is an argument for consistency if we’re going to have the quarantine.)

Buckwheathikes said...

"About your other question: If you are sneezing, you don't go to work."

The thing about sneezes is that they're not predictable. You can be "not sneezing," go to work, and then START sneezing. Many people who have COVID19 are symptom-less. They don't even KNOW they have this disease and are capable of spreading it.

Bob Boyd said...

You don't need to go out and buy paint to paint your rooms or mulch for your garden …

Can you buy paste?
Asking for a friend.

Shouting Thomas said...

We let people buy necessities...

A citizen of the United States of America wrote this...

Browndog said...

There it is again!

People complied with the models!

I welcome our new model overlords. Those old models that simply complied to human activity were milquetoast.

Now, if we can just force the Earth to comply with the global warming models we'll have that problem licked too.

tim maguire said...

Buckwheathikes said...It says absolutely NOTHING about whether you have it 15 minutes AFTER you take that test and walk out of the building you took it in.

My first reaction was that this reminds me of confession—if you get hit by a bus when you walk out the door of the church, it’s straight to heaven for you! But much more than that and you’re right back to where you started.

But more usefully, whether you test negative says a great deal about whether you have it 15 minutes later, and a great deal more about whether you are giving it to others 15 minutes later.

tim maguire said...

Shouting Thomas said...
We let people buy necessities...

A citizen of the United States of America wrote this...


The Bill of Rights is a not suicide pact. That’s not a novel concept. It is perfectly American to recognize special rules during emergencies. Your lying if you deny that you agree.

Browndog said...

We let people buy necessities...

In Michigan, pursuant to the wisdom of our great governor, we are only allowed to buy food and medicine. The people love it! No more worrying about what to buy, making life so much simpler and less hectic.

Correction: Yesterday she finally lifted the ban on on-line auto sales, so we got that going for us.

JAORE said...

Hey, no problemo regular unemployment PLUS $600 per week. Sweet gig. Call it $800-1000 per week. Hmmmm $40k+. Down here in Alabamastan that's pretty good money.

When I was working my way through college I was a construction laborer. In the midwest that meant shutting down in the winter. I came home to see my parents and my father asked what I was going to do. Apply for unemployment was my answer. His response was that he would call the unemployment office and tell them I'd refused job. Pretty independent old cuss my Dad (miss him every day).

We have a son laid off. Our youngest and seems to have a streak of my Dad in him. He was one of the few kept on part time until the business closed completely. He's waited a week to apply for unemployment because he said, I have a full refrigerator and enough to get me through a while. Then he laughs and says that there's nowhere to spend money anyway.

I told him to apply for benefits because his employer already paid for them and HE will pay for his benefits and everyone else's soon enough as the nation debt implodes.

It will be a nice raise for him. But I strongly suspect he will NOT be among those that say,"Why return to work?".

Shouting Thomas said...

Like several other commenters here, I wonder what will be the next emergency that our masters and experts invoke to imprison us.

They’ve discovered that they can call on a reliable army of cowards, nannies, control freaks and tattle tales to enforce their diktats.

New avenues for career advancement!

Shouting Thomas said...

The Bill of Rights is a not suicide pact.

Spoken like a true fuckhead coward and underhanded backstabber.

Give me liberty unless I get scared!

Jason said...

Ok. We give everybody who tests negative a work pass for fifteen minutes!

Buckwheathikes said...

"whether you test negative says a great deal about whether you have it 15 minutes later, and a great deal more about whether you are giving it to others 15 minutes later."

I think my larger point is about what usefulness caronavirus or antibody test have in producing a "certified" workforce.

Neither test does that.

The initial test only tests you at that moment in time. You can "pass" the test; then you can go to work afterwards and contract the disease and start spreading it. So pointless as to ensuring a safe work environment.

The antibody test just tests to see whether you have ever had or currently have COVID19 and are producing antibodies. That's all it can do. If you're producing antibodies, you are at least a potential carrier and spreader of the disease. "Passing" the antibody test doesn't mean you are safe or not spreading the disease.

Neither test can ensure a safe workforce. Only a vaccine can do that.

Jason said...

It is perfectly American to recognize special rules during emergencies.

Also, damn that Korematsu motherfucker. Amirite?

Browndog said...

I don't know about other states, but in Michigan it appears the new favorite pastime is seeing an open sign at a business, or two cars in a driveway, and calling the Attorney General's emergency hotline.

sykes.1 said...

Right now we are actually in the Second Great Depression: the stock market has collapsed 25%, and there is 30% (not 16%) unemployment. The farms and food processing plants are starting to shut down, portending food shortages in the fall. So, unless you want to see a decade of poverty, hunger, disease, and civil strife, we had better figure out how to end the lockdowns soon. Some jurisdictions, like Michigan and Philadelphia, are full-blown totalitarian police states, and lockdown conditions are being tightened in many places. Gross violations of Constitutional rights have been and are being committed.

The First Great Depression gave the world Naziism and world war. Those will happen again if the Second Great Depression continues into the fall.

Jersey Fled said...

Re: Buckwheathikes

Dr. Fauci disagrees with you.

"An antibody test could show whether a person was recently exposed to the coronavirus. Fauci says the test would say “that you were infected and if you’re feeling well you very likely recovered.”

MayBee said...

We have a better idea how deadly it is and for whom. Protect those people as we open back up. Give specific instructions for people who do get sick-- what should they do and when?

Mark said...

The IMHE model predicts that lower death toll with the assumption of continuing social distancing through the end of May.

Opening the economy May 1 would certainly fly in the face of it.

As most schools are out and many not expecting to return this year, May 1 will leave parents in a huge bind.

Howard said...

The panic and hysteria is all coming from you people.

You know how this will play out. Initially, the plan is to roll out more vital jobs with testing and PPE requirements. Sure some people will get sick but the most vulnerable population will remain isolated. This will ramp up progressively until 95% of jobs are restored.

If we're lucky in a year or so we'll have a vaccine and then we will be back to 100%.

In the meantime sit back relax and enjoy the flight. Don't worry, be Happy. Life is too short to be a frightened angry miserable cuss.

Browndog said...

I never thought I'd see the day when 1 American found it acceptable to only be able to work in government approved jobs, let alone seemingly half the country.

Facial recognition, surveillance drones, and travel papers will also be welcomed with open arms.

Safety first!

Temujin said...

We need to start planning this as a nation, from the ground up- starting with local municipalities to the state level. The Feds can give guidelines, but the states have to figure this out independently. Each area has a different set of data and different set of people who live there. New York and Michigan are not Florida and Texas.

But this has to happen. We cannot just lock down indefinitely. We have to let businesses start up slowly. Figure out who should go out and who should lay back a bit (my age group). Have a staggered plan to crank things back up. And stay vigilant while the medical field and scientists continue to test therapies and vaccines.

And start nationalized random testing already. See who has the antibodies. Who is carrying and who has not yet been exposed. That would be helpful.

But this has to happen. By the end of April, much of the country will be ready to get back to it. Into late May we'd better be getting full on moving again. If not, we'll have many many more problems than this virus which will end up having a kill total similar to last year's flu.

One last thing: our society is made up of people living check to check. In case you have not seen the lines of thousands waiting for food at food banks or food depots, this is who we've become. It's not just that Americans don't stock up on toilet paper during normal times. They don't stock up on anything, including money. The best thing that could come out of this is people realizing that they need to start saving more dollars and letting some of those shiny objects that they spend on, sit on the shelves.

Fritz said...

Shouting Thomas said...
Our Biggus Dickus, Howard, is remarkably happy with surrendering to the authorities.


As long as he thinks he and his fellow travelers will be the authorities.

Howard said...

Allen S: if Trump takes your advice, get ready for President Biden.

Shouting Thomas said...

Life is too damned short to surrender to being pushed around by petty tyrants.

You’d better learn how to fight back, boys and girls.

The authorities and experts have learned some important lessons here.

Don’t worry... The authorities and experts will allow you to buy the necessities.

narciso said...

oh

Howard said...

Speaking of biggus dickus. Notice the way Fritz is holding his fish out away from his body you make it look so much bigger than it really is. I thought that was just an LA thing

Ryan said...

In LA it's been cold and rainy for a while now, which naturally helps keep people indoors. Once the weather turns warm and nice, people going to the beach, and go surfing, and go hiking, and the authorities won't be able to do anything to stop them.

rcocean said...

trump has already stated he will reopen the country SECTION BY SECTION. He has zero intention of a "One size fits all" re-opening. Lets be honest, if Trump gives the all clear, R Governors in many states will cautiously reopen. The D Governors will likely refuse, and will have to be FORCED by their legislatures or popular demand. Too many liberal/left Pols have gone full-Stalinist with these restrictions. And these are the people who usually want "open borders" and have-wave away deaths due to crime/drugs.

Shouting Thomas said...

The young men with backbones in my area are hard at work in the black market.

They are the true patriots.

Hire them and pay cash.

Dave Begley said...

Nebraska will be open in one or two weeks. We’re number one.

Howard said...

You should hire them to babysit your grandkids Thomas

Fritz said...

Howard said...
Speaking of biggus dickus. Notice the way Fritz is holding his fish out away from his body you make it look so much bigger than it really is. I thought that was just an LA thing


Naw, we all do that.

Howard said...

The fish are so big in the Pacific Northwest no one can extend their arms when they're holding up the fish where am I

rcocean said...

Viewed from Afar the Michigan Governor seems like a total flake. Banning the anti-malarial drug, getting into spats with Trump, and imposing absurd restrictions. But with Detroit voting 9-1 for her, and enough yellow dog Democrats she'll probably get re-elected till she's term limited

Bob Boyd said...

Here's a question for you:

Assume the release of the virus was unintentional, does it become bio-warfare if China deliberately exploited the situation after the fact and/or exploits the situation going forward?

Left Bank of the Charles said...

The how is more important than the when.

Howard said...

The fish are so big in the Pacific Northwest no one can extend their arms when they're holding up the fish for a photo

Shouting Thomas said...

I babysit the grandkids so they can work, Howard.

You’ve got everything backwards.

Being a Marine seems to invoke the same mentality as working at the DMV.

Michael said...

The “scientists” have made every person a possible carrier. There will be no getting back to normal for Meadehouse and like minded households. They are in for the duration.

If you are not in NY or NJ your hospitals are not overrun, they are likely empty.

Trump will be vilified regardless of what he decides. And the governor’s will take the safe route. All will be pious. The distancing saved us. The shutdown saved us. Now let’s get to work and pull together to pass some new bullshit fascist laws that lets us keep our grip on your throats.

Browndog said...

And start nationalized random testing already. See who has the antibodies. Who is carrying and who has not yet been exposed. That would be helpful.

It's already underway. It's just not being publicized. I'm aware of two-one in Washington State and one in Chicago.

Participants were told 30% are testing positive. Anecdotal for sure, but remarkably consistent.

Shouting Thomas said...

My first job in San Francisco, which I tolerated for all of about 6 weeks was at the DMV.

The civil servants competed to see who could do the least work. Back before online registration, the lines on deadline day would stretch for blocks. The clerical staff got a big kick out of the poor bastards who waited for hours in the wrong line, only to be escorted kicking and screaming by security to the back of the right line.

The DMV clerks all told me to sit back and enjoy the ride, too, Howard.

Howard said...

LBotC: The how is very important but the when is also very important as well as the where. Vulnerable people are just going to have to wait for a vaccine.

this is going to be a tough game for Trump to play because no matter what there will be excess deaths but can they do the rollout and minimize it to acceptable levels so that the Democrats won't destroy his re-election chances.

Personally I'm betting on Trump to do the right thing that will get him re-elected.

Howard said...

Thomas' Lululemon yoga pants he wears must be too tight

Marcus said...

People who have not lost their income stream and are not facing eviction: JUST STAY HOME!

I have also seen the transition from isolating to flatten the curve (for its impact on hospitalization and ICUs) to thinking it needs to stay this way until NO deaths. Idiots.

THEOLDMAN

Developed a dry cough yesterday evening. No sign of it this morning. So far, so good. TY God.

Howard said...

What kind of weak pathetic scuzzball would get a job at the DMV?

Shouting Thomas said...

No, Howard, I never had any tolerance for kissing ass, taking orders and obeying authority.

You know, the stuff that makes you so manly.

Bob Boyd said...

The fish are so big in the Pacific Northwest no one can extend their arms when they're holding up the fish where am I.

Our arms are so big where I live no one can catch a fish we can't hold up

Ryan said...

I am waiting for a test for antibodies. I suspect I had the virus this week, with mild symptoms. I feel 100% better now.

The media keep focusing on young people who get sick, to make everyone else paranoid. Today in the LA times they feature a young man who is on a ventilator, who is mayor of a small town in the Mojave desert. He is obese, and a lifelong asthmatic.

Howard said...

Marcos how do you know God isn't trying to get you sick with Corona and Vishnu actually saved you

Shouting Thomas said...

I moved to SF in 1971 in the midst of the OPEC oil crisis, Howard.

I lasted for all of six weeks.

How long were you kissing ass and crawling on the group taking orders in the Marines?

Howard said...

That's the spirit, Bob

Shouting Thomas said...

You’ve been a government dependent for how long, Howard?

Howard said...

Thomas why don't you quit sharing your resume with teases in dribs and drabs. just right up the whole thing put it on your pathetic blog and then link to it so that we can all see why you are so proud of yourself.

Bob Boyd said...

I caught a really big fish.

How big was it?

If my arms were longer, I could describe it better.

Shouting Thomas said...

See, I trolled you Howard.

Ha ha ha

Getting under your skin, huh?

I told you I’m good at throwing people’s shit right back at them.

You people are so predictable.

Ryan said...

Here is your 39 year old on life support:

https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2020-04-10/coronavirus-testing-false-negatives-adelanto-mayor

Jersey Fled said...

Governors like Whitmer in Michigan and Murphy in NJ essentially want to put their residents under house arrest.

How long do you think people will put up with that?

Trump can call their bluff by proposing recommendations that lift restrictions geographically and over a realitively short period of time. For example, there are parts of Michigan, NY and NJ where the incidence of the virus very low.

We all get in our cars every day trusting that those around us do the right thing. Trust Americans to do the right thing. We don't need the heavy hand of overzealous jailer Governors.

Shouting Thomas said...

So, have you eve been anything but a government dependent, Howard?

stlcdr said...

No one ‘lets us’ buy the necessities.

There will shortly be a time where a huge swath of people who sell non-necessities are not able to buy the necessities. It is great fortune that we had a good economy prior to this outbreak. People were in a good position to support themselves.

People are apt to follow rules where prudent. Clamping down even further, because a few foolish people don’t follow basic pandemic hygiene requirements will cause people to question and then ignore those rules.

Meade said...

"Our arms are so big where I live no one can catch a fish we can't hold up"

Where I live even big-armed people can't catch the fish because the fish are too fast. On their fish bicycles.

Ryan said...

Why not develop a subset of the population who shouldn remain sheltered: the elderly, the obese, the asthmatic, the smokers, etc.

Those not in high risk categofies can cautionsly begin stepping out again. Then roll it out in phases. Treating everyone alike will not continue to work, because most people are not really at risk.

Kai Akker said...

One last thing: our society is made up of people living check to check. In case you have not seen the lines of thousands waiting for food at food banks or food depots, this is who we've become.

That has to change. And I suspect it will, but not before a lot of sorrow and sob stories come to pass. Our attempt to make life risk-free for everybody was not without appeal, but it fails against reality every time. People need to marry, save, do all those old-fashioned strategies we thought we'd surpassed and made obsolete.

As for the antibody test, there is some news on that and it doesn't seem good. We keep making assumptions about this virus, but some of them are going to prove overoptimistic. I personally still believe this was bioengineered and spilled out. Wuhan, military center, Chinese half-acknowledgement it came from a lab.... that adds up to 67% probability they made this thing the way it is, imo.

https://www.scmp.com/news/china/science/article/3078840/coronavirus-low-antibody-levels-raise-questions-about

CStanley said...

@ Buckwheathikes...

You’re right that the antibody test isn’t a foolproof way to determine if someone isn’t actively infected, but the relative levels of IgM and IgG provide some measure of assurance. If the test shows that a person has low level of IgM and relatively high IgG, they have most likely cleared an infection.

The bigger issue with this virus is that we don’t yet know whether seroconversion (presence of IgG) really makes a person immune or not.

MartyH said...

I saw (hopefully) the beginning of the end of the lockdown in Sacramento yesterday (653 COVID cases; 24 deaths in a county of 1.4 million.) Breweries are open for takeout only. My wife and I stopped by one on our bike ride. There were about six people inside roughly, social distancing. All had plastic cups with beer in it; there were several empty growlers visible. I'm sure some of those growlers went home empty.

There probably already is a black market of hair stylists, pet groomers, personal trainers, etc. This will only grow in the more urban areas. AS far as smaller towns go, who knows-maybe some sheriff in Shasta County is having breakfast with the locals in the back room of the town diner.

Howard said...

Touche, Thomas.

Sebastian said...

"proceeding with caution"

Ha. What caution? After shutting down the economy, idling one fourth of it, causing 16M jobs lost, untold business failures, trillions in federal spending, in utterly counterproductive ways, when any sensible person knew the projections were BS, when the need for hospitalization turned out to be vastly overestimated, when ventilators proved pointless for many, we are now going to "proceed with caution"? The very notion indicates that the panic has yet to subside.

Example: Knut Wittkowski, who is, like, an expert, makes the obvious point that young people are not at risk and need to build up immunity. K-12 should never have been closed entirely.

Of course, he and I also stress the need to isolate the actual risk groups, for real. That "caution" remains.

CStanley said...


Blogger Ryan said...
Why not develop a subset of the population who shouldn remain sheltered: the elderly, the obese, the asthmatic, the smokers, etc.

Those not in high risk categofies can cautionsly begin stepping out again. Then roll it out in phases. Treating everyone alike will not continue to work, because most people are not really at risk.


This is probably more or less what we’ll need to do, but I think people underestimate how difficult it will be to do it effectively. The subset of the population who have high risk often live with others who do not, so they are not going to be able to effectively isolate. And then there are the many elderly people living in group housing (nursing homes and assisted living) who rely on services of staff members, none of whom will be self isolating.

I’d like to see a lot more discussion and thought about how to protect these people. Once the rest of the country opens up, they are sitting ducks.

Sebastian said...

Ryan: "Why not develop a subset of the population who shouldn remain sheltered: the elderly, the obese, the asthmatic, the smokers, etc. "

Careful: people might call you an "idealist." Cuz, how. could you do that? Wouldn't be fair. What do you mean targeting old people? Etc.

Been pushing this for weeks. We'll get there: lockdowns are unsustainable and stupid as applied. What can't continue, won't.

CStanley said...

Of course, he and I also stress the need to isolate the actual risk groups, for real. That "caution" remains.

So have you figured out how to do that?

Jersey Fled said...

If you are not in NY or NJ your hospitals are not overrun, they are likely empty.

Neither are they overrun in NY or NJ.

The auxiliary hospitals at the Javits center and the USS Comfort are basically empty. And actual requirements for ICU beds and even regular hospital beds in NYC are running substantially below IHME predictions and we'll below capacity.

Bob Boyd said...

the fish are too fast. On their fish bicycles.

You gotta hide behind a bush and jam your rod into their spokes, then run out and whack 'em on the head with a fish bat. All the while maintaining proper social distancing, of course.
It's not easy, but's fun.

Temujin said...

Right now the Guv of Michigan is playing a political game with her population. She knows two things: (a) the stronger the stand she takes to keep people sheltered and stop the state from moving, the stronger she looks, and (b) the more she goes anti-Trump, the stronger she looks. To Dems.

But the endgame is that this virus will not last her entire term. And at some point she will have to actually be a Governor of her state and try to move it forward. Unless the Dems pluck her out to be Veep- one stroke from President.

From those there, I hear she is in over her head, but honestly, she's only been in office less than 2 years. She's done nothing. But she does carry a vagina so that makes her Veep material for Dems. In a weird way, this virus was the best thing to happen to her career, because it gave her a national stage to mock Trump and took away her responsibility for moving her state forward.

We'll see how it all plays out there. I don't have any issue with someone who has earned a slot. I do have a giant issue with people getting 'on the short list' because of a vagina or skin color. Or both. We get the leaders we deserve.

gilbar said...

someone confusingly said...your employer orders you back to work
i'm PRETTY SURE, the 13th amendment put a Stop to THAT!


someone else mentioned that you can't buy seeds or paint in Michigan...

Ah BUT!
You can STILL get them delivered to your door through (democrat supporting) Amazon, can't you?

WHO is the BIGGEST WINNER in this unconstitutional lockdown?
oh! that's right! The Richest man in the world; (democrat supporting)Jeff Bezos, and his Amazon

Follow the money!

CStanley said...

In case it’s not clear, I’m not opposed to moving toward opening economy while protecting the vulnerable. I just don’t understand how to do it and I think people are being too glib about it. I’m very much concerned about both the public health risk of the virus and the economic disaster were creating, and I think we have to start shifting from one type of concern to the other as soon as possible.

gilbar said...

Temujin said...
I don't have any issue with someone who has earned a slot.
I do have a giant issue with people getting 'on the short list' because they HAVE a slot

fify!

dreams said...

We'd better get the economy opened back up pretty soon, there are going to be consequences other than leveling the curve, bad consequences.

Meade said...

"then run out and whack 'em on the head with a fish bat"

Not here. Here, even fish bats are a protected species. And not just fish bats. All bats. All Bats Lives Matter.

Ryan said...

In America we are obsessed with treating everyone alike. Let's put that ideal aside for 15 minutes, until we conquer a microscopic enemy that ruthlessly discriminates. So let's mimic the virus by ruthlessly discriminating in a similar fashion.

Identify a category of people who are High Risk* or have regular cloae contact with someone High Risk. High Risk people have more restricted movement.

*Define High Risk using science.

Owen said...

Regarding tests, my understanding is:
(1) viral presence test (“Test 1”) tells your current status when sampled for the test. Negative = not infected and not spreading. It says nothing about your status tomorrow or next week.
(2) antibody presence test (“Test 2”) tells your history and guides your future course. Positive = been infected and no longer infectious.

Seems to me that you want both. Worst status is +/- : you are infected and have no antibodies yet. Gotta get cared for as symptoms evolve. Ideal status is -/+ : you have had the infection and are not infectious, presumptively immune and benign, good to go back into the world and do the urgent work, caring for the sick or at least not threatened by the disease. Presumably also you are contagious only the way any inert surface with random deposit of virus might be contagious. A good wash-down and you’re good.

Policy goal should be getting as many people as possible to -/+ status, quickly and safely. If asymptomatic infection has been working its way through the general population for months and months, we may find a bunch of such people. That would be a bonus and a comfort: evidence that the bug is often (almost) mild or at least not lethal. We can study what protects those mild responders and we can collect antibodies from donors. We can also use stuff like HCQ/AZ to help ease the course of the illness in +/- people and get them to the desired -/+ status with coughing their lungs out from cytokine storms.

IMHO.

Kai Akker said...

Assume the release of the virus was unintentional, does it become bio-warfare if China deliberately exploited the situation after the fact and/or exploits the situation going forward?

Yes, Bob Boyd, and when the governors let us come out of our little rooms, those Communists better watch out!

BillieBob Thorton said...

Jersey Fled said...

"Governors like Whitmer in Michigan and Murphy in NJ essentially want to put their residents under house arrest."

Murphy has his favored communities that are allowed to act however they please because they are big contributors to his campaign.

Owen said...

“With coughing their lungs out” —> “without coughing their lungs out”

Ryan said...

So far, High Risk is:

Fat
Asthmatic
Old
Smoker
Metabolic syndrome
Diabetic
Very high blood pressure
Compromised immune system
(...)
+you live with any of the above

And there you have it. The rest of you can step outside now.

Paco Wové said...

"Only a vaccine can do that."

And what if a vaccine doesn't come for years? Or never? How long are you going to hold your breath?

Bob Boyd said...

That's too bad, Meade.
After working up an appetite out there on the bike paths, there's nothing like a nice hot bowl of fish bat soup.

I'm Full of Soup said...

Latest Penna state stats are 416 dead and 19,979 cases which is about 35 deaths per million of population. And 1,665 cases per million.

Kai Akker said...

Positive = been infected and no longer infectious.. re antibody test

China Post article says they are finding people who were infected but have low to no antibody levels. Thus making them potentially vulnerable to reinfection. Don't know anything more than what that article describes, linked in my 8:08 post.

Ryan said...

Let's just say it: it's not worth closing the economy to save people in nursing homes.

And I say this with my own sweet dear 93 year old grandma being in a nursing home right now.

tcrosse said...

Not here. Here, even fish bats are a protected species. And not just fish bats. All bats. All Bats Lives Matter.

It's a Bat Mitzvah.

Browndog said...

Actually...the first thing we have to do is find out why the coronavirus is racist.

Luckily, the Michigan governor has appointed a commission to do just that. That commission, headed by the Lt. Governor, begins it's life-saving work next week.

Based on the comments from the Michigan attorney general, I believe they will uncover a straight line from slavery to white golfers that resulted in viral racism.

Bob Boyd said...

Funny how the new Coronavirus outbreak parallels the SARS virus of 2003 right down to the Lunar New Year timing of the event.
SARS was a bat virus traced to the wet markets. The Chinese government covered it up for weeks. It spread due to the extensive New Years travel going on.

Maybe the Chinese learned nothing from SARS or maybe they learned a lot.

RK said...

Are public health officials mostly physicians who aren't good enough to sustain a medical practice? I wouldn't be surprised.

Bay Area Guy said...

From the Daily Wire, Yesterday:

Los Angeles Just Extended Lockdown. But Do Californians Have Herd Immunity?

There's that phrase again - herd immunity

Califormia: 39 Million people
No. of Corona deaths: 600 deaths over 3 months.

New York: 19 Million people
No. of Corona deaths: 7,800 deaths over 3 months.

NY has 13x the deaths of Cal, yet half the amount of people.

Please explain and advise.

Phil 314 said...

“If you have been exposed, and are producing antibodies, that means you HAVE the disease. You might be symptomless; but that doesn't mean you cannot SPREAD the disease. The fact that you are producing antibodies means you're a carrier.

So antibody tests aren't going to work as a means of authenticating a workforce.”

CStanley beat me to it but the key is IgG vs IgM. IgM is the early immune response to infection. IgG is the later and longer last response.

So ideally, as we do with hepatitis B and other viral infections, a panel test looking for the virus (or a part of it, antigen) and the antibodies, IgG and IgM would be invaluable.

Kai Akker said...

@ CStanley. So have you figured out how to do that?

Yes, he has. Write it as if it's an established fact on someone else's blog and then announce one is a hero!

narciso said...

Isnt it curious.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Althouse said: I've seen some pressure on Trump to take more one-size-fits-all, top-down actions, and he has resisted because it's a big country and conditions are different in different places.

Very true. Trump is smart to not take a Dictatorial-one-size-fits-all-action...for several reasons.

First it just gives fodder to declare that he really IS Hitler. States rights !!! yada yada yada

Second, if anything goes wrong in some other city or isolated area of the country is will be TRUMP'S FAULT!!! OMG orange man bad. The media and the Democrats are salivating over this prospect. Hoping that there will be a disaster they can pin on Trump

Third as pointed out. Conditions are different in different places. Not everyplace is NYC and does not need the same "rules of engagement" or battle plans.

Just like in a war, the President is Commander in Chief but even as that, he is not able to micro manage every small engagement or inspect personally all the troops. He gives the Generals marching orders, but leaves it up to the boots on the ground to fulfill those plans.

Unfortunately, for us, the people of this country, the Generals/Governors are often incompetent or actually insubordinate and working FOR themselves not the troops. (us the people)...or worse are wanna be Tin Pot Dictators seizing control of everything they can.

However, opening up selected parts of the Country to get the economy going, to re-establish the supply chain and prevent total economic collapse and violence from all of the above.....is more important to the majority of the people than the sad deaths of a few who catch the flu.

The many or the few??? I choose the many, even IF I become one of the few.

Oso Negro said...

Blogger Buckwheathikes said...

The ONLY way forward safely is rapid deployment and widespread adoption of a COVID-19 vaccine


You may hide in the closet with the fish-hearted women. Men will go to work.

gilbar said...

MartyH (or somebody) said...
All had plastic cups with beer in it; there were several empty growlers visible. I'm sure some of those growlers went home empty.
There probably already is a black market of hair stylists, pet groomers, personal trainers, etc. This will only grow


Seriously,
how long before this prohibition is remembered with the same disgust that the last prohibition was?
ALL we are doing, is pushing MOST of our economy underground
HOW is that a good thing?

[oh, and now someone will say:
"There's NO COMPARISON! THIS prohibition is for a GOOD CAUSE!!
and then, I'll say: THAT is what they said about the last one $%$#!^%
and then, they'll say: BUT THIS CRISIS IS GOING TO KILL 60,000 people !
and then, I'll say: An estimated 88,0005 people die from alcohol-related causes annually]

Ken B said...


Blogger CStanley said...
In case it’s not clear, I’m not opposed to moving toward opening economy while protecting the vulnerable. I just don’t understand how to do it and I think people are being too glib about it. I’m very much concerned about both the public health risk of the virus and the economic disaster were creating, and I think we have to start shifting from one type of concern to the other as soon as possible.
——-

Meade had a metaphor. There are two pucks in play at once, and it’s important to play both well.

Testing is essential.

You also mentioned finding people to stay home. I suggested that on this blog a few weeks ago and got shouted down by some of those now agreeing with you! Thumbnail: We should pay people to stay home. Run an online auction where people bid. Monitor with cell phones, random checks.

Wince said...

Listen to Trump's enemies.

Their biggest frustration is that the "wannabe dictator" doesn't dictate.

narciso said...

curious

Thistlerose said...

I work in a grocery store and interact with hundreds of people a day. How is what I do safer then my sister-in-laws job where she works in an office of maybe 30 people of whom she may interact with 15 of in a day.. There are thousands of people who do what I do every day interacting with people and making sure the country is feed. We are not seeing a rash of grocery workers coming down with carona-19. We know what parts of the country and what people are at most risk. If you don't meet the demographics for high risk it's time for the rest of you to take proper safety precautions and get back to work. Staycation time is over.

Meade said...

We have a saying here, seen on bumper stickers on Priuses and Outbacks near and far: a radical feminist needs a man with fish bat like a cod piece on a bicycle flies out of Wuhan hell.

(Well maybe not far, just near.)

gilbar said...

So antibody tests aren't going to work as a means of authenticating a workforce

maybe we're just looking at this all backasswards (you think?)
Currently, we're are quarantining EVERYONE; because SOME people MIGHT have it

Maybe (just maybe) we need to CONTINUE TO quarantine ALL HEALTHY (unaffected) people,
AND let the sick inherit the earth!
Let those wimpy weak non-infected people continue to hide and cower in their bedrooms,
like the worthless LOSERS they are; crying and washing their shoes in bleach
as far as those people that have ALREADY GOT THE VIRUS
LET MY PEOPLE GO back to work

you don't test Positive for antibodies? You are NOT allowed out of your home (for your own good)
you DO test positive? Welcome! to The NEW World Order!!

Fritz said...

Is this better?

Big Red

gilbar said...

actually, they ALREADY made this movie, a couple of times:
it's called I AM LEGEND

narciso said...

28 days

Mark said...

Right now the Guv of Michigan is playing a political game with her population. She knows two things: (a) the stronger the stand she takes to keep people sheltered and stop the state from moving, the stronger she looks, and (b) the more she goes anti-Trump, the stronger she looks. To Dems.

Except that Michigan is leading the country in the death to tested positive ratio. As I posted yesterday --

Looking at the numbers (yesterday), with 1281 dead, Michigan is leading the country with a death rate of 5.6 percent of positive tests. The national rate is 3.7 percent. If they had New York's death rate, 250 people would have survived. If they had the national rate, 433 people would have survived.

Either Michigan is severely lagging in testing or they are severely lagging in treatment. Didn't help, I'm sure, that their governor (D) basically outlawed hydroxychloroquine-plus as a treatment option.

At some point, matters of real life and death will become more important to the people of Michigan than the governor's spiteful anti-Trumpism.

bagoh20 said...

All my biggest customers have been begging for product faster than we can make it for months now. Last week they started cancelling orders and are forecasting at least 50% drops in sales for the summer. I was planning on hiring about 20 - 30 people in the next few months, now I'm looking at long term layoffs instead. The pain is just getting started.

mikee said...

Here in Austin, Texas, I've driven 20 miles to my construction site and back again, on I35 daily since the shutdown of almost all business here. Traffic was nonexistant the first week of shutdown. this week was up to about 50% of normal preshutdown levels.

People aren't staying home any more, already, at least here.

Wince said...

narciso said...

@CNN
Kentucky will record license plates of those who show up to any mass gatherings, such as church services, and will provide that info to local health departments, who will in turn order those individuals to be quarantined for 14 days, Gov. Andy Beshear says https://cnn.it/3ebJ7xv

@AlexBerenson
What now? Go to church this weekend in Kentucky and the state will find you via license plate reader and order you into quarantine for 14 days. Kentucky - population 4.6 million - currently has 271 people hospitalized with #COVID.


Susceptible to charges of unconstitutional enforcement?

Wince said...

"Seizing on new estimates of a lower-than-projected death toll, the president signaled that he wanted to start resuming business on some basis..."

Republicans... always "seizing".

robother said...

The biggest enemy of federalism (as indeed most other aspects of our written Constitution) is Equality. The notion that every segment of the population and the country is entitled to equal outcomes. It's not fair that rural Wyoming businesses get to open while New York City businesses have to remain closed. Its not fair that urban areas in the same State stay closed while rural counties are open for business. We will see this in every State where Democrat governors (elected by disproportionately urban voters) will find it easier to saddle rural counties with lockdowns that are unnecessary based on medical risk. "Out of an abundance of caution."

Mark said...

Regarding job loss --

Some of it is temporary, to be sure, as most people will go back to their old/current jobs when we re-open. But some of those jobs will be lost forever if the employers' businesses do not survive.

Nevertheless, there are going to be new jobs. I think that there is going to be a BIG market for "made in America" items. That just means there needs to be enough capital for businesses to start-up or ramp-up U.S. production of goods. That also means little patience for unions to come in and demanding jacked up wages that make domestic industry economically unfeasible.

The economy will find a way.

Michael K said...

The ONLY way forward safely is rapid deployment and widespread adoption of a COVID-19 vaccine.

Nope. That will take a year. States will reopen their economies gradually. Red states first as they know more about economics. I suspect antibody testing will be part of it.

The IgM and IgG comments were good. That might be part of it if it can be automated.

Maybe temperature sensors in buildings. the infrared ones can be remote.

Blue states will probably be last as those governors think they can hurt Trump and like the power. They also tend to have the big cities with the clusters of cases.

Mark said...

The biggest enemy of federalism (as indeed most other aspects of our written Constitution) is Equality. The notion that every segment of the population and the country is entitled to equal outcomes.

That's not equality, that is uniformity, which is the antithesis of freedom. It is also the road to lowest common denominator mediocrity.

Real equality means the opportunity to be yourself, and to go elsewhere to try thing a better way if the place you are in is doing a bad job.

Michael said...

Bagoh20

I serve on the board of a company which has cut its workforce from 2500 to 700. Executive pay cut in half. Board paid in stock.

This shit show is not over by someone saying it is.

Tommy Duncan said...

Blogger Bay Area Guy said...

"NY has 13x the deaths of Cal, yet half the amount of people.

Please explain and advise.
"

Warmer weather?

Mark said...

At the Pentagon, a rather large office building, they have implemented a rule that everyone must wear a mask. The only time they can lower it is when they are alone in their own office maintaining a distance from others.

Bruce Hayden said...

All an antibody test demonstrates is that you either have been exposed to the virus and are producing antibodies, or you are not currently producing them.

If you have been exposed, and are producing antibodies, that means you HAVE the disease. You might be symptomless; but that doesn't mean you cannot SPREAD the disease. The fact that you are producing antibodies means you're a carrier.

So antibody tests aren't going to work as a means of authenticating a workforce.


Got it almost backwards. There are essentially two types of tests here. Virus tests test whether you currently have the virus in your system right now. And in normal situations, antibody tests test whether you had the virus (or a vaccine for it) in the past, because you have antibodies for the virus in your system. I likely have antibodies in my system for measles, mumps, chickenpox, polio, etc, from illnesses or vaccines I got over 60 years ago. They apparently weaken over time, which may be a function of mutations. The flu virus mutates fairly quickly, which is why those of us over 60 should get vaccinated every year - because the antibodies for the new strains are different from the ones from the previous strains.

Half, maybe 3/4 or more, of fighting a virus is figuring out the antibodies for that virus. For virulent ones like this one, your body either figures it out, or you die. Recovery essentially entails cranking up production of the antibody until all of the viruses are killed. So, it is very possible that you not be able to detect the antibody while you are sick from the virus.

At a minimum, you need antibody testing, before safely unlocking the population from quasi quarantine, because those with the SARS-CoV-2 antibodies are very unlikely to get sick from it again, and thence infect anyone, or everyone, around them. They are safe in public. And when the local population of those who are antibody positive gets large enough you get herd immunity. That is the ultimate goal. And that is the big unknown, since we don’t, yet, have cheap, effective, antibody testing. We do have fairly cheap, effective, and somewhat plentiful virus testing, and the experts are essentially trying to figure out the population who have the proper antibodies from the infected population (tested positive with the virus test), and known recovered population (who did test positive on the virus test in the past, but no longer show symptoms, implying that they would show antibodies instead, if tested). But these are just guesstimates, based on possibly flawed models, as well as very incomplete data.

We are starting to see antibody tests being tested. One big problem is that the federal agencies demand that these tests be shown to be relatively accurate (the CDC can offer inaccurate tests, as they did early on, but you can’t, just like the FBI can lie to you with impunity, but you can go to prison if you lie to them). Big government bureaucracies are there to protect you even if they bankrupt you, or even kill you, in the process.

Bob Boyd said...

Confucious say, Man who ride bicycle in cod piece soon have flopping fish.

Mark said...

The "viral load" of more than a few infected people going into hyper-dense New York City, versus the number of infecteds going into a huge geographical area, even one with some large cities, probably accounts for the huge NY numbers.

Same thing about the bigotry and racism of the virus. Housing patterns account for a lot of it.

Ray - SoCal said...

Many small businesses, and others, are about to go out of business. Landlords with tenants not paying rents are in bad shape.

The problem is nobody knows enough yet to answer basic questions on how to make the US safe enough to re-open. The US can't afford the current state. And we can't act like Taiwan, because we have COMMUNITY SPREADING and not enough tests to be like South Korea.

My guess within a week or two we will know enough to safely open some areas. The measures required to be unexpected, that's why I think it will take a week or two to get a plan together. There is going to be a lot of give and take. Some areas could re-open sooner. The good news is our understanding of Coronavirus is improving dramatically, treatments I think are improving, and the death rate seems to be leveling off a lot lower than the initial models.

What is Required to Re-Open:

1. Understand how the Corona-virus Spreads - Good data is coming out of Germany
2. Understand if masks helps - Czech Data should help
3. For NY, figure out how to make the subways safe (Taiwan and Japan may have this figured out)
4. Guidance on businesses on what they need to do, so they don't become disease spreaders
5. Restaurants - Guidance on what they need to do so they don't become disease spreaders.
6. Better models on what counties are at risk
7. Figuring out how to protect medical facilities, so they can re-open for non Corona-virus services. How many people are dying due to lack of surgeries, cancer testing, chemo, etc?
8. Why do some people, such as Mark's son's boss's friend, 40 years old, healthy, die. There seems to be degrees of Coronavirus. Perhaps, as was done with Smallpox during the revolutionary war, people can get slightly infected if they are the ones that won't get super sick, and become immune? Or is it impossible to become immune? Can people then get immunity cards? And high risk people are sheltered - depending on their location?
9. Is herd immunity a possibility?
10. Figure out how to protect people in rest homes, rehab, etc. places. My guess is Taiwan has some good processes.
11. Figure out how to re-open schools. I think Taiwan again has some good processes for this. Basically everyone wears a mask.
12. 5 Minute test should be in rapid use, and this may change the approach.
13. Is Stay at Home working? If not, why?
14. What is needed to allow travelers from abroad? So the US does not introduce new disease vectors? My guess is all entrants will get 5 minute tested.
15. Disseminate best practices for medical treatments

I doubt the US is going to keep shut down till there are no cases.

Bay Area Guy said...

@Mikee,

Here in Austin, Texas, I've driven 20 miles to my construction site and back again, on I35 daily since the shutdown of almost all business here. Traffic was nonexistant the first week of shutdown. this week was up to about 50% of normal preshutdown levels.

People aren't staying home any more, already, at least here.


I like it when personal observation and experience is consistent with the numbers!

Texas Population: 28 Million
No. of Corona deaths in Texas: 248 over 3 months.


Stay healthy, y'all!

jaydub said...

I keep going back to the Diamond Princess cruise ship. To review the numbers: 2600 passengers, mostly elderly; 1100 crew, almost entirely under 50; all packed together into a steel tube 900 feet long and 10 or so decks high for a month. Passengers only quarantined to their cabins for last two weeks, crew not quarantined unless tested positive. Around 679 positive Wuflu tests among the passengers (26% infected), 33 among the crew (3%), about half the cases asymptomatic. 11 total deaths (0.296%), all passengers who had other significant underlying conditions as well, none of whom were proven to have specifically died from Wuflu instead of primarily from other ailments that were only complicated by Wuflu, i.e., would they also have died of pneumonia or some other respiratory ailment if they contracted it instead of Wuflu? I think probably they would have, yet every death was specifically attributed to the Wuflu.

I wonder how much of the panic and economic devastation could have been avoided if someone had just analyzed this real world experiment in more detail, developed some targeted guidelines for dealing with different population groups observed in the ship demographic, and targeted the mitigation efforts to the groups who had been shown to be most vulnerable? We had some good data that might have been scaled up - under 25 were were essentially unaffected, 25 - 50 were mildly affected, 50 - 65 and over were somewhat affected, and 65 and older with certain existing conditions were extremely vulnerable. Yet, states have treated all those different groups with the same mitigation efforts. For example, why were schools closed? I kept hearing the argument that it was necessary to keep students from infecting grandma. But, what if grandma was already dead or living in a nursing home or in some other state? What if the student had no contact with the elderly or the elderly were already / could be isolated from the children? What specific purpose was served by closing the schools that could not have been accommodated by some other means focused instead on grandma? Has any other disease affecting the general population of the country caused the closure of all schools in every state? Of course not, and with good reason. If there was an outbreak of anthrax in California would every farm in the state, as well as every other state, have been shut down? Moreover, speaking of farms, has anyone thought in any detail about what we or the rest of the world are going to be eating next fall or winter since the primary planting season has been disrupted and the growing season shortened, plus with no food processing taking place for a third of the growing season? People in the US are probably not going to die of starvation or malnutrition because we locked down, but lots of people will in the rest of the world where the poorest countries depend on US food surpluses and exports to survive. The bottom line is that mitigation efforts were almost exclusively focused on "flattening the curve" when the Diamond Princess did not experience a large number of critical cases and only a handful of deaths. Why did the models focus solely on minimizing critical care capability while neglecting other far ranging national factors, particularly now that critical care shortfall concerns to have been somewhat exaggerated? When this partially self created national nightmare is over will the US be the destitute country with the most extensive ventilator stockpile in the world? Is that how we win the game?

jaydub said...

Continued from above:

Personally, I think blood will be found on some hands when reason returns and we reach the "Oh-My-God-What-Were-We-Thinking-Stage," but it's not going to on the hands of the people who did not react quick enough. It's going to be on the hands of the people who over reacted or acted in bad faith. And there were a lot of them. It's going to be on those in the media who fanned the flames of panic for the purpose of filling the news cycle and destroying the president they hate. It's going to be on political opportunists and regime haters who purposely tried to torpedo every proposal put forward by the federal government, regardless it's efficacy or potential. It's going to be on those influencers, pundits, elites and grand standers who did everything possible to subvert the actions of those responsible for dealing with the crisis. And, most emphatically, it's going to be on those who would gladly destroy the economy and endanger the well being of the whole country, particularly the most financially vulnerable, all for their personal aggrandizement and/or ruthless political advantage.

God help us because when sanity returns there is going to be a devil to pay. I hope the right people are the ones handed the bill.

MartyH said...

Despite CA having more Chinese visitors than any other state, the death rate in Ca is lower than 30 states. Why?

My pet theory is that CoVid parallels the Spanish flu. CA got the less deadly wave one in the fall. The rest of the country is getting the deadlier wave two now. CA had a spike of flu like symptoms in the fall that were not flu. There is anecdotal evidence also. A friend missed two weeks of work. Flu like symptoms plus trouble breathing (prescribed an inhaler.) His neighbors had similar but less severe symptoms. Around the same time my healthy 16 yo son spent an unexplainable day on the couch alternately feeling awful and sleeping. Lots of similar stories. Antibody rests are being run in CA to see if we did get it earlier than the current outbreaks.

Browndog said...

Either Michigan is severely lagging in testing or they are severely lagging in treatment. Didn't help, I'm sure, that their governor (D) basically outlawed hydroxychloroquine-plus as a treatment option.

At some point, matters of real life and death will become more important to the people of Michigan than the governor's spiteful anti-Trumpism.


Numerous reports that most of the deaths are from nursing homes. Even Huffpo reported 92% of all Detroit deaths are from nursing homes.

Though ranked 3rd in the nation in cases/deaths, Michigan is the only State that doesn't report any underlying data--hospitalizations, vents, nursing home, etc.

Owen said...

Kai Akker @ 8:39: yeah, I saw that report about people recovering from infection and not showing (many or sometimes any) antibodies. Between disquieting news like that, and the possible ambiguity of Ab testing that shows IgM but not IgG antibodies, we need us a lot more knowledge. But the perfect is the enemy of the good. We cannot afford to hide in the bunker hoping for perfect knowledge. We will starve and, no less importantly, we will not gain the knowledge *for which we are paying dearly every day* as this damned thing chews its way through the population.

In my earlier rant I stated only one policy goal, which pertained to getting people to a favorable immune state. I should have said that the other (competing) policy imperative is to restart the engine before this bird runs out of altitude and we go down, hard.

Tim said...

How many flu cases? Deaths? More than the Kung Fluy, ceretainly. This is supposed to be a "normal" flu season. Funny we never shut the country down for that.

Bay Area Guy said...

"Despite CA having more Chinese visitors than any other state, the death rate in Ca is lower than 30 states. Why?"

A great question to ask.

Confucius says - it rhymes with Bird Community, Grasshopper.

Bruce Hayden said...

@Dr K - the other aspect of this is that much of many Red States have much lower population densities. We are hopefully heading ack up to rural MT where the population density in the county is <1% that of Manhattan. Probably about .2% if I remember correctly. It’s easy to build herd immunity where population density is low. Much harder in places like NYC, where you might run into 100x as many strangers in a single day, esp if you utilize mass transit, or walk on the streets there. Which suggests to me that in highly populated areas, herd immunity is a long term aspirational goal, and that you need to be doing antibody testing to determine whether or not someone is safe to allow out in public.

Yes, it is very unfair and the Dems are going to fight this tooth and nail, because their constituents are the ones who live in densely populated areas, where herd immunity may be years away. They, no doubt, will claim that it is unfair to loose restrictions on less densely populated parts of this country, when they can’t be loosened on the more densely portions, where they tend to live. But I think that they have it backwards, that what was unfair was imposing the sorts of strictures required to fight a pandemic in a dense urban area, to the rest of the country that doesn’t exhibit the same pathologies.

And the Dems are going to fight it because it shows the lie that the best future for our country is living in their densely populated death traps, with their unsanitary conditions, high crime and violence, high population densities, etc, using mobile poetry dishes in the form of mass transit, to get around, instead of much safer private automobiles. In short this pandemic is a potential Green New Deal killer, and if the Dems don’t realize that yet (overall they rend to not be that smart) they will eventually. And opening up MT, for example, while NYC remains locked down while logical, is going to cause a lot of people to question why they should live in a dense urban center. Not something that the Dems want asked in an election year.

Owen said...

Jaydub @ 9:38: Great post. You (IMHO rightly) ask:

“I wonder how much of the panic and economic devastation could have been avoided if someone had just analyzed this real world experiment in more detail, developed some targeted guidelines for dealing with different population groups observed in the ship demographic, and targeted the mitigation efforts to the groups who had been shown to be most vulnerable?”

In fact Willis Eschenbach did such an analysis, maybe 10 days ago. Check out “Watts Up With That,” where he often guest-posts.

Of course WUWT is seen by some as the headquarters of the Gaia Deniers, so it’s no surprise that his analysis didn’t go mainstream.

Mark said...

Tell us again about how the hyper-density, public transit oriented, urban village is "smart growth."

Sebastian said...

"elderly people seem to die often"

This is of course at the heart of the matter.

When the CDC lists "causes of death," the real cause of death in most cases is old age. Flu, pneumonia: an old, sick body loses its ability to fight back, the end. Happens all the time. Flu plus "respiratory diseases" at 150K per year, thereabouts--much more than the "bad flu" numbers typically cited. Bad bugs sweeping through nursing homes: happens all the time. That's how people die. That's life. We live with it.

Sure, take reasonable precautions. Sure, try to reduce suffering. I favor stricter isolation. But keep perspective.

gilbar said...

let's have a retro Blast from the Blast!

remember reusable grocery bags?
remember high speed rail?
remember "no one is going to own personal cars, we'll all just share!" ?
remember uber?
heck! remember vaxers?

Bruce Hayden said...

Whoops. Spellcheck strikes again. This one was esp egregious:”poetry” switched for ”Petri”

“using mobile PETRI dishes in the form of mass transit,”

Sebastian said...

"targeted the mitigation efforts to the groups who had been shown to be most vulnerable"

What a concept. Pushed here by yours truly ad nauseam. But it was too hard, too unfair, too "ideal," (yeah, that's what one commenter here said), too -- whatever.

It is one mark of The Panic of 2020 that the rational alternative was not even seriously pursued.

As one further data point, check out Power Line's discussion of the Minnesota case: different mitigation scenarios apparently make no appreciable difference, even in the official models. Whodathunk? And checkout Knut Wittkowski again. He lays it all out, most of it.

Buckwheathikes said...

"The bigger issue with this virus is that we don’t yet know whether seroconversion (presence of IgG) really makes a person immune or not."

Agreed. I see comments in this thread which suggest to me that people believe this virus is like the measels, i.e., once you get it and recover you're home free.

There is zero evidence of that; and anectdotal evidence that highly suggests that you can reacquire this disease and become a spreader even if you've recovered once from it.

rcocean said...

Things are getting better. The local stores are full of TP. I saw hand cleanser on the shelves for the first time. No shortage of ground beef. MY wife even bought a can of Campbell's Tomato soup which has been sold out for 3 weeks.

I feel the tide turning and doubt people will stomach a lock-down Past early May.

Tim said...


Blogger Michael said...
Bagoh20

I serve on the board of a company which has cut its workforce from 2500 to 700. Executive pay cut in half. Board paid in stock.

This shit show is not over by someone saying it is.

4/11/20, 9:26

How many infected in the compnay? Great idea to ruin businesses, jobs, lives for the unknown that looks as deadly as the flu.No elected offical has missed a check.

CStanley said...


Blogger Mark said...
The "viral load" of more than a few infected people going into hyper-dense New York City, versus the number of infecteds going into a huge geographical area, even one with some large cities, probably accounts for the huge NY numbers.


The China travel ban came much earlier than the Europe ban, so NYC got seeded a lot more than the a west coast states did.

rcocean said...

Give everyone a mask, and lets get back to work!

Buckwheathikes said...

"You may hide in the closet with the fish-hearted women. Men will go to work."

So you say.

What if you're ORDERED not to? What if your EMPLOYER is ORDERED to close? Then you're not going to man up and go to work are yo?

And that will happen. It will happen because we have these pesky little things like politicians. And you can make a politician squirm. All you have to do is have lots of photos of people dropping dead all over the place.

Which is exactly what's going to happen shortly. And as soon as that does start happening, politicians are going to be under ENORMOUS pressure to shut the economy back down again until a vaccine is deployed.

And they'll do exactly that; because that is the path of least resistance.

rcocean said...

The NYC numbers are high because it has massive numbers of foreign tourists, illegals, and immigrants. I wonder how many people from Wuhan were circulating in NYC before Trump shut it down. De blasio was also slow to address the virus crisis, because that was raciss.

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

Buckwheathikes, what are we going to eat while waiting for a vaccine?

Charlie Currie said...

Funny how back when everyone with their hair on fire were screaming, Trump needs to take control and tell everyone what to do and how to do it...it's not each state's responsibility. Now, Trump doesn't have the authority to open up the entire country, it's up to each individual state and their governor.

Michael K said...

And the Dems are going to fight it because it shows the lie that the best future for our country is living in their densely populated death traps, with their unsanitary conditions, high crime and violence, high population densities, etc, using mobile poetry dishes in the form of mass transit, to get around, instead of much safer private automobiles.

Yup. The Green Nude Eel is also probably dead. The airlines are going to be a while coming back. Movie theaters, too.

The next question is why is diversity important for online education ?

Michael K said...

My pet theory is that CoVid parallels the Spanish flu. CA got the less deadly wave one in the fall. <

That is a good theory. Also, there may be many asymptomatic cases in CA that never were reported. Goes with that theory.

Tim said...

https://www.contagionlive.com/news/us-flu-cases-climb-to-15-million-with-54-pediatric-deaths-recorded-in-201920-season

Note this was Jan 29th, 2020

The Cracker Emcee Refulgent said...

“Is your employer liable? I'm pretty sure the employer would be liable. The number of lawsuits coming is going to be STAGGERING.”

LOL! Now prove you got it at work. It isn’t exactly stripping asbestos. The number of successful lawsuits is going to be tiny.

Tim said...

According to the United Nations World Population Prospects report, approximately 7,452 people die every day in the United States -
-
that is from 2018

https://www.indexmundi.com/blog/index.php/2018/03/05/how-many-people-die-a-day-in-the-us/

Tim said...

So far this season, the CDC estimates between 39 million and 55 million flu illnesses, at least 400,000 hospitalizations, and as many as 63,000 deaths from flu, of which 162 are pediatric.

April 6 flu numbers from Rochester Regional Health

Maybe next year we can close up because of the flu.

Buckwheathikes said...

"What are we going to eat while waiting for a vaccine?"

Cake.

You're going to eat cake.

Look, I'm sorry, but I understand how life works and this is how this is all going to go down:

1) Trump is going to announce a re-opening of the economy.
2) Other Republicans are going to be put on record supporting this action.
3) People are going to start dying.
4) Democrats and the media are going to blame Republicans. They're already doing it (see James Carville saying Republicans will kill Americans to keep power.)
5) Republicans will eventually see that it's not worth taking the blame. They'll take the path of least resistance.
6) The whole thing is going to be shut down again.

Nobody wants to be responsible for killing grandma and grandpa ... and that's precisely how Trump and the Republicans are going to be portrayed in the media when they re-open the economy if they do so in the absence of a widely deployed vaccine.

Michael K said...

Here is a pretty good trial of remdesivir in sever WuFlu cases.

68% improved. Half were on ventilators. Mostly older.

Bob Boyd said...

Cake.

You're going to eat cake.


Buckwheat cakes?

Night Owl said...

You can STILL get them delivered to your door through (democrat supporting) Amazon, can't you?

I'm not a business owner, and that bugs me. This virus is a boon to Amazon, while it screws the small business owner.

Business owners need to fight back and do what any true red-blooded American would do-- sue the govt. But seriously, civil disobedience might be called for if governors continue with punitive dictates in areas where it doesn't make sense.

Night Owl said...

The total shutdown makes sense in hotspots like NYC or New Orleans, but not everywhere. There are ways that stores could remain open in low-risk areas, such as limiting people in the store, having hand sanitizers available, and wiping down the registers, touchpads and conveyers after each customer. That's what the local Wegmans and Target are doing here in MD.* Other businesses could do the same things.

People who can work from home should continue to do so for a while longer. That would keep a lot of people apart. Those who can't work from home should be allowed to return to work in low-risk areas. If they are obese or have other health issues it should be their call whether they want to risk it or not. This is still a free country-- isn't it?-- and people are allowed to make judgements about their own risk. If they prefer to stay home they can apply for some form of assistance if their employers can't or won't pay them to stay home for a while. SSI already exists for people too sick to work.

Of course by re-opening the economy some people will catch the virus and die. But that happens every year due to the flu, other diseases and car accidents. Yet we don't shut everything down or keep a running tally every day of who dies of what. If we did the paranoids and hypochondriacs might never leave their homes again.

______________________________________
* I'd add to require masks, if they were available. But no one can buy any and I have doubts that some reusable rag over your face really makes a difference. They'd be like those reusable bags that are now forbidden because people don't wash them enough

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