Sunday, March 15, 2020

Not Just Oldies

As I tried to explain in Great Explanation: Exponential Curve V. Logistic Curve, highly infectious diseases tend to grow exponentially until they meet a not entirely predictable "inflection point," when logistical problems slow the rate of growth. Before exponential increase sets in everything seems to be fine--until suddenly it's not. Much of Western Europe--and possibly the United States--appears to be in much the same situation that China was at the beginning of January and Italy was just a few weeks ago.

Poland closed its borders today. Other countries are locking down. Domestic travel controls are being contemplated here in the US.

For those wondering, Where did this stuff come from, really? Yesterday I read another long post at GreatGameIndia: COVID19 Files – Scientific Investigation On Mysterious Origin Of Coronavirus. The authors quote Chinese publications as well as articles in highly reputable scientific journals such as Nature and The Lancet. Western scientists, going back several years, have warned that the Chinese have been conducting very risky and unjustifiable experiments with viruses at Wuhan. This isn't to say that Covid-19 is a bioweapon as such, but there is definitely evidence that the origin of the virus is not so simply explained as being a product of the wildlife "wet" market at Wuhan.

And then there's this:

CX: FRANCE NOW PUSHING EPIDEMIC LEVEL. All restos, cafés, non-essential stores closed. MORE THAN 50% OF THE 300 CASES IN CRITICAL CONDITION IN FRANCE ARE UNDER 60; France has 4,500 cases, which doubled in the past 72 hours, said head of French health service. Replaces:

View image on Twitter

"Today there are between forty and fifty corona patients in critical condition on Dutch intensive care units. “More than half of those patients are under fifty years old. There are also young people." That says chairman of the Dutch Association for Intensive Care (NVIC) Diederik Gommers, in an interview with this site."

Covid-19 is NOT the flu. It is highly contagious. You are not immune.


  1. The reason for social distancing, and it is a legitimate reason, is almost entirely to slow the spread of the disease so that it doesn't overwhelm the health care system, which is what happened in Italy. Social distancing, ultimately, shouldn't have a major impact on the total number of cases, and deaths.

    Am I correct in thinking that? Is there more to social distancing than I believe?

    In effect, with social distancing, we can control or try to control the rate of contagion. So, yes, we should absolutely be doing it. We are, in a sense, managing the disease. However, this comes at a price.

    On my end, I'm trying to separate out signal from noise, mass hysteria (& it's out there), from an actually proper response. At some point, schools are going to have to reopen. When that happens, I expect more people will get infected. Phase two then begins.

    An observation: Mayor D in NYC keeping the public schools open provides us with a real time lab experiment, grim as that might sound. Sooner, rather than later, the schools will become a worst case scenario, correct?

    I'd like to know more about those under fifty intensive care cases in the Netherlands. Are they migrants? Drug addicts? Soccer players? Do you have any info?

    1. That's exactly the point.

      Keeping schools open at this point is almost certainly a political decision--many rely on the public schools not only for daycare but also to feed their children. The welfare state isn't set up for family care of children nor for pandemic prevention.

      Yes. Where I am we here about the number of new cases, but few if any details. This morning we heard about 2 new cases at a very major university nearby. That's concerning because universities, while not completely, are predominantly a younger population community, and because there are many Chinese students who may have recently returned. Some universities have closed down, no doubt because of the close contact of classrooms and dorms.

    2. For a minute, and then I change my mind, I'm thinking about evacuating NYC myself. The Queens borough president recommends parents keep their children home from school as one student in one school has been confirmed infected. Meanwhile, the city comptroller advocates shutting down all non-essential businesses and activities.

      It seems every politician with a Twitter account has to voice their untutored opinion. Kinda shameful. Certain to inflame more panic. If that's possible.

      Meanwhile, I have a head cold, so isolation is not really an issue.

  2. Mark,

    Thanks for the article from Great Game India. Interesting that Zerohedge is still banned from twitter for republishing a similar article on the origin of CoronaVirus.

    It seems like China is trying like crazy to hide the origin of the CoronaVirus. I think it came out of a lab, and probably had been tweaked a bit so it could be researched. Then some low level person sold lab animals that were supposed to be destroyed, to the wet market.


    1. "I think it came out of a lab, and probably had been tweaked a bit so it could be researched."

      My view as well. If the PRC could convincingly show that this came from a 'wetmarket' there'd be no reason to be putting out that the US Army did it. They're trying to hide their own irresponsibility.

    2. And interesting that President Xi said, I believe on Jan 14, that there needs to be tighter controls on lab work, and then the next day there were new guidelines for tighter protocols for labs.

    3. That's right! I'd forgotten about that!

  3. Just read a story about a 45 year old lawyer in New Orleans. His wife said he NEVER got sick, but he turned up with what they thought was a flu he couldn't shake. He's on a ventilator now. Not just oldies.