Saturday, March 28, 2020

COVID19 Roundup--Mostly Good News

Today we'll try to stay focused beyond the numbers and provide links to articles and blogs that discuss developments and trends that will play out increasingly in the coming weeks.

Obviously, the questions of more widespread testing and potential specific treatments for COVID19 lead the way.

Naturally politics is involved at every step of the way. Don Surber has done the hard work--slogging through liberal propaganda--to arrive at the truth:

Democrats fear a cure

The biggest fear for Democrats today are chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine. Democrat governors in Michigan and Nevada have banned their use to fight COVID-19, not because the drugs may harm people but because the drugs may work.
The party's flying monkeys in the press are casting shade on this possible cure.

Surprised? Me neither. Trading on the deaths of innocent people is par for the course for The Despicable Party. The liberal flying monkeys are doing their best to paint Trump as anti-science and worse but, as we've discussed for weeks now, the knowledge of chloroquine's (and its derivatives) potent antiviral action has been known for well over a decade. The drug itself and its potential side effects have been known for many decades as well. Who should get chloroquine+ treatment and when is a question that can be easily sorted out:

... "German drugmaker Bayer, which holds the original chloroquine patent, was the first to get involved when Chinese officials approached the company as that nation’s outbreak raged in early February. The experience provided lessons for how to use the drug, said Matthias Berninger, a Bayer public affairs executive, like that it works best when given to people soon after infection, rather than waiting until they’re hospitalized in an intensive care unit and forced to use a respirator. 
"Now New York, with 60% of new U.S. corona virus infections, is the emerging front line of the pandemic. Bayer has donated three million pills to the federal government, confident from its experience in China that the drug could push down the number of people who need to go to the hospital — so long as it goes to the right patients." 
Thus it isn't crazy old Orange Man with a hare-brained idea. 
This is science.

Note that the benefits of chloroquine+ treatment is enhanced by or works in tandem with two other factors/issues that have been very much in the news lately.

Very widespread testing of any sort--whether traditional nose/throat swabs or serological tests--can help identify carriers of the virus even while they may still be asymptomatic. That will insure that the treatment is directed to the people for whom it will do the most good. There's good news on that front: Abbott Labs Unveils COVID-19 "Gamechanger": Portable Test Can Detect Virus In Under 5 Minutes. Widespread testing and faster testing--just what the doctor ordered!

At the same time we can see that chloroquine+ treatment, by keeping more people out of hospitals, can take pressure of our healthcare system and insure that ventilators will be available when needed. Thus preventing hospitals and medical personnel from being overwhelmed.

It will take time, but from these developments I think we can begin to see an overall strategy for dealing with the SARS2 pandemic taking shape: Rapid identification of infected persons and treatment with chloroquine+ therapy, reservation of ICU beds for those who can't be helped with that treatment. This could lead to a loosening or--better--a more targeted application of social distancing guidelines that would get more and more people back to a relatively normal life. Could this happen in a matter of weeks? Much will depend on how much we learn about the situation in the US during the next 2-3 weeks and how quickly testing and treatment can be widely deployed.

Following up on my late post yesterday re 'herd' immunity, Steve Sailer (What Went Wrong with the British Plan) quotes Scott Alexander (The British Reversal). Alexander's explanation mirrors the reservations expressed by the UK experts whom I cited. Note too that Boris Johnson called Trump and asked for ... more ventilators:

A UK critical care doctor on Reddit wrote a great explanation of their recent about-face on coronavirus strategy. 
They say that over the past few years, Britain developed a cutting-edge new strategy for dealing with pandemics by building herd immunity. It was actually really novel and exciting and they were anxious to try it out. When the coronavirus came along, the government plugged its spread rate, death rate, etc into the strategy and got the plan Johnson originally announced. This is why he kept talking about how evidence-based it was and how top scientists said this was the best way to do things. 
But other pandemics don’t require ventilators nearly as often as coronavirus does. So the model, which was originally built around flu, didn’t include a term for ventilator shortages. Once someone added that in, the herd immunity strategy went from clever idea to total disaster, and the UK had to perform a disastrous about-face.

And finally, two links to articles showing liberals slipping into the realm of the politically incorrect--I mean, New Yorkers fleeing the virus are like illegals, too, right?

Fauci: Italy "Hit Very Badly" By COVID-19 Due To Prevalence Of Chinese Tourists 
“Italy got hit very badly because they had a large number of importations from China by Chinese tourists,” Fauci said. 
“Before they even knew what was going on, there was enough baseline people spreading that it essentially got out of hand, and it became difficult for them, as good as they are, and they’re very good, to be able to contain it in a way that is contact-tracing. It was more mitigation,” the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases continued.

Scrap One Belt One Road for ... The Great Wall?

Rhode Island National Guard to Conduct House-to-House Searches For People Who Came From New York

Dems turning on Dems. Gotta luv it.


  1. Apparently Trump is considering a quarantine for New York City, I would think all five boroughs, as well as parts of New Jersey and CT. If we could just put a giant glass jar over that area of the country (pace, S. King), with a limited supply of air, all would be well.

    Thoughts that run through an idle mind.

    1. I see that Florida doesn't want anyone from La. Those are targeted quarantines that make sense. What's needed is effective action within the quarantine zones.

    2. I think NYC is the perfect place right now to find out if COVID-19 is vulnerable to nukes. I'm reasonably certain that all those self-sacrificing limousine liberals and socialists would be okay with this.

  2. FEMA trailers dispensing Chloroquine-based medication in New Orleans & NYC would be a serious attempt at suppressing COVID-19 rather than just slogging through for months...

    If some legitimate-looking person offered me Cloroquine medication, I'd grab it no questions asked.

    1. I believe you need to take it with a z-pack

  3. What if DJT's next wall is built, to quarantine the bulk of the urban Northeast from the rest of the U.S.
    Running, say, from the Potomac, to its SW bend, then west to along the Blue Ridge range, then up (W. of the Baltimore area) toward the Susquehanna, then along it to the southern edge of the Catskills, then E. to the Hudson, then N. along it to Lake Champlain.
    (Then, if needed, along Quebec's southern border, or N. to the St. Lawrence, and E. to the Atlantic.)

    Let 'em build that area into a suitably "diverse" Peoples Republic, but not on our dimes.

    1. If that slew of blue states would secede, the rest of the U.S. would be *much* more governable.
      Throw in walls quarantining the Left Coast (and NOLA?), and the remaining U.S. would quite boost its chances, of thriving in this 21st century environment.


    I recall some anecdotal stories back around the first part of February saying the same thing (I think out of S.K.), i.e. ibprophen appeared to increase severity.
    Rumsfeld's, "We can't know what we don't know," meets, "No plan survives first contact." One lesson to take away is a healthy skepticism of scientific 'modeling'. A pandemic is kindergarten (because humanity has had actual experience with them) compared to the complexity and unknowns of climate modeling.
    Tom S.

    1. For some reason anti-inflammatories aggravate COVID19. People have been warned that if they're infected not to take them.

    2. As of March 20:

      The World Health Organization (WHO) has changed its stance on taking ibuprofen if you have COVID-19, but people are still scratching their heads over what they should take if or when they contract the virus.

      After previously announcing that people with the virus shouldn’t take ibuprofen to treat pain and fever, the WHO now says they don’t advise against it.

      The flip-flopping has a lot of people confused — especially those stocking up on medication in anticipation of getting the virus.

      Dr. Otto O. Yang, a professor of medicine in the infectious diseases division at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, told Healthline there’s no evidence that ibuprofen causes worsening of COVID-19, “although there is circulating misinformation to that effect.”

  5. I posted a bit on how. as of March 20, the WHO reversed its negative opinion re COVID-19 and ibuprofen. There is no proof that it is a problem. My Comment may have gone missing - it included a citation - or maybe you are taking much needed time off...

  6. Here is where the anti-ibuprofens seem to have been coming from. This does make sense and would apply to anything employed to reduce fever, not just ibuprofen. However, in an adult especially, too much fever for too long is not a good thing.

    Running a fever when you're sick doesn't weaken your immune system.

    A fever can help your immune system fight infections in two ways. A higher temperature in the body speeds up the functioning of cells, including the ones that fight illness. They can respond to invading germs faster. Also, higher body temperatures make it harder for bacteria and viruses to thrive in the body.

    1. That's how I used to fight the flu--pile on the blankets and literally sweat it out.

  7. Other decent news, from the opening of Watters World tonite:
    a doctor from a big NY hospital said tonite, that he now is sure, that *99%* of virus cases come from folks touching infected surfaces, and only 1% come from airborne paths.
    And, that such airborne paths only spread the virus, if folks are in an enclosed room for *at least* 15 minutes.

  8. Browsing the test data good news is the number of tests is increasing. It’s now at 105,000 a day, and still increasing.

    Ca, where I live, is testing about 1,000 a day, which is about 1% of all tests, and has 12% of the US population. I’m worried.

    A good way to spot states that have issues is look at their positive %. NY is in really bad shape. Other states are just not doing enough testing.

    1. Thanks for the link. Transparency is a real problem for the US--i'm always looking for sites with real world info.

  9. Mark, since you've done whole posts on Osterholm's fears of this virus' power, his (and other experts') thoughts on policy (from a week+ ago) may be worth a close look, from :

    "[T]he best alternative will probably entail, letting those at low risk for serious disease continue to work, keep *business and manufacturing* operating, and “run” society, while at the same time advising *higher-risk individuals*, to protect themselves through physical distancing, and ramping up our health-care capacity as aggressively as possible.
    With this battle plan, we could gradually *build up immunity*, without destroying the financial structure on which our lives are based."

    1. In fact I did see that post but never got down far enough to read Osterholm's comments--the early comments struck me as not worth paying too much attention to.

      As for Osterholm, I quote him for his views on epidemiology--not policy.

      "letting those at low risk ... 'run' society,"

      OK, we should let those 19 and under "run society"?

      "ramping up our health-care capacity as aggressively as possible."

      Thanks for the specifics.

      "gradually build up immunity"

      Covid19--a deadly disease--isn't building up gradually in the US, so a strategy based on "gradualism" seems inadequate at best.

      I've already pointed out the problems with trying to build up herd immunity as a strategy to responding to a pandemic.

      Anyway, he's speaking in terms of "probably". Policy makers don't get to do that.