Links 3/19/2020

Fires Left These Wallabies Nothing to Eat. Help Arrived From Above. New York Times (David L)

When fish gave us the finger: this ancient four-limbed fish reveals the origins of the human hand The Conversation (Kevin W)


Japan schoolgirl uses own savings to handcraft 612 masks for people in need The Mainichi (martha r)

Here Are Some Incredible Virtual Tours To Help You Pass The Time Refinery29 (David L)

Two 20-somethings extend ‘invisible hands’ in virus outbreak Associated Press

The coronavirus is starting to spread on a US Navy warship, and the flattop’s crew is scrambling to stop it Business Insider. Kevin W: Key section:

The Boxer has reportedly had some problems with social distancing. The morning after the first sailor tested presumptive positive for the coronavirus, military leaders gathered dozens of crew members into a small space for a 30-minute meeting on social distancing, ProPublica reported Monday.

Grocery Shelves Won’t Always Be Empty NPR (David L)

Democracies’ Covid-19 cures could be worse than the disease Asia Times (resilc). Important.


Coronavirus patient on hellish ordeal: ‘I was screaming for mercy and praying to God’ New York Post. Note this guy was 50. And the hospital went all out to save him.

80% of US coronavirus deaths have been among people 65 and older, a new CDC report says — here’s what it reveals about the US cases Business Insider (Kevin W). What this headline obscures that younger people account for 55% of hospitalizations. Younger people who get seriously ill are more likely to be saved….with heavy-duty intervention. What happens if and when young and old can’t get care? Presumably we go to triage like Italy, with the elderly left to their own devices…except for the very rich and connected elderly.

Younger Adults Comprise Big Portion of Coronavirus Hospitalizations in U.S. New York Times (Kevin W). Story on the same report at the BI piece immediately above.

Children and Coronavirus: Research Finds Some Become Seriously Ill New York Times (Kevin W)

Relationship between the ABO Blood Group and the COVID-19 Susceptibility (PlutoniumKun)

Hospital Workers Make Masks From Office Supplies Amid US Shortage Bloomberg

I have changed my mind about masks. I didn’t like the idea of surgical masks for normal people because they don’t protect you against the coronavirus (no seal from outside air_ and you can wind up fiddling with the mask on your face, leading to touching your face. Plus normal people were cutting into supplies for MDs and nurses.

However, upon reflection, masks can reduce spreading the disease (if you are incubating it) to others, plus this type of home-made mask (in use in Venezuela thanks to our embargo, even MDs can’t get surgical mask) because it fully covers the face, preventing transmission via touching your face. But I can’t figure out what she is using as material. Baby wipes?

New York City Weighs Turning Hotels Into Hospitals Wall Street Journal. Honestly, I don’t get this: “for ‘those non-Covid patients who are really minor but need care.’” Um, that’s normally outpatient.

Coronavirus sleuth outlines his ‘Apollo program’ for bringing down the pandemic GeekWire. This “It’s really just logistics” is “Assume a can opener”.

Drug Companies Will Make a Killing From Coronavirus New York Times (David L)

Drug Cartels Switch To Producing Hand Sanitizer Babylon Bee (BC)

Aggressive testing helps Italian town cut new coronavirus cases to zero Financial Times

GM’s CEO Offers to Make Ventilators in WWII-Style Mobilization Bloomberg

THREAD: If the concern is that asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic younger Americans (millennials) are continuing to spread #Coronavirus because they don’t heed warnings, you could require anyone between certain ages to wear a procedure mask when they go out. 1/n ThreadReader (martha r)

Coronavirus response: Navy hospital ship won’t be ready to help NY for weeks CNBC (martha r)

Volunteers produce 3D-printed valves for life-saving coronavirus treatments The Verge

New Cold War

Russia deploying coronavirus disinformation to sow panic in West, EU document says Reuters (furzy)


Coronavirus: NHS trusts gave staff the wrong advice on self-isolation Independent (Kevin W)

French Amazon workers protest in coronavirus pushback Reuters (resilc)

Italy charges more than 40,000 people with violating lockdown Guardian (resilc)

Hello from Italy. Your future is grimmer than you think. Washington Post


Coronavirus updates: 2 members of U.S. Congress test positive, New York City cases double NBC. Note doubling may be in part a function of more testing.

The Risk to Fox News Viewers Barry Ritholtz

Don’t Let Trump Off the Hook for the Coronavirus Crisis New Republic

Political Responses

ECB announces €750 billion Pandemic Emergency Purchase Programme (PEPP) ECB. PlutoniumKun: “The ECB just brought out a bazooka.”

Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan: Support for Canadians and Businesses Canada (martha r)

Trump pushes Congress for new coronavirus spending as Senate mulls second emergency bill Reuters

From BC: “Another obstacle to sending checks, from the FDIC”:

Estimates from the 2017 survey indicate that 6.5 percent of households in the United States were unbanked in 2017. This proportion represents approximately 8.4 million households. An additional 18.7 percent of U.S. households (24.2 million) were underbanked, meaning that the household had a checking or savings account but also obtained financial products and services outside of the banking system.

Reserve Requirements Federal Reserve (Paul R). Now zero. Among other things, lets them pay out their vault cash. See American Banker: Branches brace for staff shortages, rush for cash Haven’t had time to think about this, though.

Bernanke and Yellen: the Federal Reserve must reduce long-term damage from coronavirus Financial Times (David L)

Green Jobs Are the Answer to the Coronavirus Recession New Republic (resilc)

We need tax breaks and direct grants to sectors hit by pandemic Adair Turner, Financial Times

How To Structure the Coronavirus Bailout Matt Stoller. Our bad. Getting to this only now. I like this but I can guarantee there is no appetite in either party to wipe out shareholders. AIG was an exception because among other things, Hank Greenberg hadn’t curried favor (he may have overpresumed on how useful he’d been via having AIG employment serve as cover for CIA assets overseas).


U.S. Stock Futures Falter Despite Central Banks’ Action. As readers noted, a lot of aggressive tape-painting to get the Dow to a mere 1300 points down (versus down 2300 at its low for the day). That seems not to be holding. The notable feature of yesterday’s action was the lack of any apparent safe haven, or perhaps as accurately, everyone dumping everything and anything to cover margin calls. Traders wanted cash. Even Treasuries sold off. Not that the Fed would be unhappy with higher yields per se, just not for this reason.

US set to be inundated with jobless claims Financial Times. As we warned yesterday.

The virus is an economic emergency tool Martin Wolf, Financial Times. As we’ve been saying….

States Can’t Keep Up with Surging Unemployment Claims from Coronavirus Vice (resilc)

Qantas to cease international flying, tells majority of workforce to take leave Reuters (furzy)

6,000 Nissan Workers Forced to Work During COVID-19 in Mississippi PayDay Report. Go Mike Elk! Followed by: IMPACT: Nissan to Suspend Production at Mississippi Plant

Buy gift cards to support restaurants OpenTable. Via e-mail:

We’re hearing from restaurants that buying gift cards is a great way to help them right now. This allows restaurants to maintain some cash flow to pay employees and bills — and gives you something to look forward to in the future!

In the OpenTable gift card marketplace, you can search by location, cuisine, or price point. During this time, we’ve waived our gift card fees to restaurants to better help our partners. Restaurants in other areas or not in the marketplace may offer gift cards through their websites; we encourage you to reach out to your favorites. We’re all in this together.

Oil prices could hit teens in coming weeks as markets crater over coronavirus and price war CNBC (furzy)

Imperial Collapse Watch

NASA’s SLS Moon Rocket Is 44 Percent Over Budget and 3 Years Behind Schedule, Report Says UPI

Trump Transition

Irish planners reject Trump golf resort’s plan to build wall Guardian (resilc)


What If Trump Tried to Cancel the November Election? New York Magazine

Harvey Weinstein moved to maximum security prison in upstate N.Y. Reuters (furzy)

CalPERS using factor-weighted equity portfolio to mitigate market decline Pensions & Investments (Kevin W)

Guillotine Watch

The tech execs who don’t agree with ‘soul-stealing’ coronavirus safety measures Guardian. Their perceived right to disrupt is more important than lives.

Antidote du jour. Arizona Slim:

Stuck at home with the kids, Sylvester shares his opinion of the Coronavirus.

Backstory: In dove culture, the guys take the day shift on the nest. Women do the overnights.

And a bonus (Chuck L):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. zagonostra

    >The Risk to Fox News Viewers

    Well couldn’t the same be said of the DNC and their encouragement to go to the polls Tuesday? Couldn’t the same be said of the 3+years lost on Russiagate lies? Couldn’t the same be said of MSNBC/CNN/NYT/WaPo and countless other outlets for participating in propping up the corrupt establishment? etc…

    When historians look back at this decades from now, some aspiring grad student will pull together a study with epidemiologists, statisticians medial analysts and social scientists, to figure out exactly what the impact was from a weeks and weeks of reckless, irresponsible propaganda was on the Fox audience — that skews older, less informed (misinformed) with a lower degree of education, than the country at large. Don’t be surprised if they determine that Fox News viewers have very different Covid-19 infection and mortality rates than non-viewers.

    1. Tvc15

      Agreed zagonostra. The DNC’s urging of people to get out and vote and then Perez’s threat of reducing states delegates if a state delays their primary is criminally negligent. The contempt these people have for us is palpable.

      1. Carla

        Well, could the Working Families Party, the Green Party and the Democratic Socialists of America join forces and do some g.d. cross-generational virtual organizing? Seems like this would be the time for it.

        1. Geo

          Yes please! It’s past time for these factionalized progressive groups to get over their minor differences and band together to take on the Goliath of the establishment that is crushing any hope for progress.

          1. drumlin woodchuckles

            It may be that the differences between the above-mentioned three are not minor. They could be major. If the differences are major, could they still work together as a 3-headed Third Uniparty for a while starting now?

            Maybe there is. If there are some shared things that they all support, they could form a Least Common Denominator Party or Group or whatever and run LCD candidates for various offices. If all the members of all three parties agree that no one has a duty to provide anyone the psychological validation of agreeing with any one person’s kicks and causes, then all the people of these three parties might be ready to find and work for and vote for a Least Common Denominator candidate who will advance a Now Right Now agenda of Least Common Denominator unanimously-agreed-to needs and wants. And leave that candidate free to support or oppose whatever he/she/they/it wants outside the agreed upon Least Common Denominator agenda.

    2. NotTimothyGeithner

      It sure seems like Biden has been spreading misinformation. Is he on Putin’s payroll?

    3. Robert Hahl

      Last week Rush Limbaugh was saying that the US loses 30k people to flu most years, so why worry about Covid-19, which has only kill a few thousand world-wide. He actually said if you happen to die from it, so what? Them’s the breaks.

      1. MillenialSocialist

        If you listen to Rush with the mindset that this is what the ruling class thinks of you, humble truck driver between 35 and 70, it makes a lot more sense

        1. CuriosityConcern

          Does this remind anyone of the socialized medicine death panels? How we were to end up with “death panel” committees? I wonder if there are any old tweets or statements that espouse “no death panels” but their author nowadays doesn’t mind 3% mortality

        2. WheresOurTeddy

          One is reminded of George C Scott as Buck Turgidson in Dr Stangelove talking about a nuclear exchange with the USSR:

          “I’m not saying we wouldn’t get our hair mussed!”

    4. TiPs

      Yes, the “liberal” MSM is also to blame for its hyper focus on anything and everything negative to take down trump. They lost all credibility with conservatives. I’m sure many here, like me, rely on alt news as their main sources of info. The virus exposes systemic failures on so many levels…

      1. neo-realist

        Sort of like the same hyper focus Bernie Sanders gets, but,unlike Trump, also gets it from his own party as a Presidential candidate.

    5. Roquentin

      Yeah, I think this gets to the heart of the problem. At worst, Fox News was just the a sign of things to come, the first news network which proudly wore its biases on its sleeve and functioned as a sort of party newspaper disseminating blatant propaganda. That in and of itself wasn’t necessarily novel, but doing so out in the open was, at least given standards in US journalism at the time. To bash Fox News and let MSNBC/CNN/WaPo/NYT off the hook is more than a little absurd. The problems and biases those networks have in presenting information may not be the same, but they are 100% there. It’s not like the author is wrong about Fox News, he’s just wrong in implying that the problem is only with them.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        This is an incorrect reading of history. FoxNews though very in your face went to air a full two seasons after The Simpsons episode “Sideshow Bob Roberts” aired which featured an out of control press including the bizarre debate question offered by famed CNN anchor Bernard Shaw. A Simpsons episode took two years in production from conception to finish with much of the writing done in the first year before its animated.

        Jump to 2:30

        ABC’s Nightline and Ted Koppel were gross infomercials for Reagan. FoxNews is a bit of a red herring for a much more insidious form of news which is gatekeeping.

      2. Carla

        “To bash Fox News and let MSNBC/CNN/WaPo/NYT off the hook is more than a little absurd.”

        Every. Single. Democrat. I. Know. Does. This.

      3. Dickeylee

        You know that if Bezos wanted to destroy Trump he could…that he hasn’t might clue us in to his mindset going forward.

    6. urblintz

      I had stopped watching all MSM cable news until the primaries. IMHO, Fox has been much better (which is not the same as good) on COVID, i.e. less politicized (emphasis on “less”) so the trick is to change the channel before they start talking about ANYTHING else…

      just don’t switch to CNN or MSDNC…

      BBC America is tolerable… just…

      1. Librarian Guy

        I stopped watching PBS’ New Hour semi-regularly when they had the “ambassador from Venezuala” on sometime last year, and he started into rabid denunciation of Maduro’s “corruption”, violence, etc. . . they didn’t even have the minimal journalistic integrity to tell their audience this was not an actual government representative, but the Guaido/CIA/ “international community” plant with no credibility, some sub-Pinochet wannabe . . .

        I resolved to stop reading the SF Chronicle, which I’d read for 31 years since moving to the Bay Area, mainly for the local culture beat, which was good, esp. when I was younger and went to lots of events and shows. I always knew they were shitty on politics, 100% Real Estate and later Big Tech shills, and also their “Social” section always included a lot of political bottom-feeders like George Schultz (or Iran-Contra) & his Demo “friends” grifting Willie Brown, Pelosi, young Newsom and his later FoxNews wife, Guilfoyle . . .

        I only actually bought the paper on Fridays and Sundays, skipped it last Sunday and will for the future. They’d always shown their hatred of Sanders and “socialism” openly, but last Friday’s Opinion section was topped with a giant “Bernie Must Drop Out Now”!! headline, then the first 3 letters were from reactionary Dems explaining why the party was theirs, not the hoi polloi’s. The first letter was from some moron who explicitly stated that Hillary lost the 2016 election due to Sanders!!

        Might as well read Pravda or Weekly World News (RIP) for accuracy and fairness. I’ll use the web like most from now on, no need to bother with print in the future.

        1. BlueMoose

          Print is good if you have a fireplace. My brother-in-law had papers saved from the 90’s just before Poland found itself out of the Warsaw pact. When we sold our property in Warsaw and moved out to the country, we took most of those newspapers with us. Makes interesting reading. Just the other day, before it was used to start the fire, we were reading an edition from 1992 that was 12 pages and cost 1000 PLN. Today they sell for about 2-3 PLN. Reading the advertisement section is a hoot.

        2. L

          I rather feel like this might be part of the decay cycle of CNN as well. I have noticed that at some point I just stopped caring what the talking heads said and when I check in they seem to have moved further away.

          As papers and TV channels lose younger and more working class viewers they feel pressure from advertisers to refocus on keeping the narrow base they have. As a consequence they become more and more tailored to the pundit class and ever less open to outsiders. At some point it feels like bigger newspapers like the Chronicle and the Times as well as institutional channels like CNN and MSNBC have taken on the feel of the Sunday morning yak show: a trade publication for the pundit class.

          At this point I suspect that the only people who watch meet the press are those that appear on it. And probably much the same for CNN. Yesterday I heard a clip of Chris Cuomo blowing kisses to his brother on his show and making no pretense of objectivity. They probably thought it was cute. I thought it was par for the course.

        3. Olga

          In retrospect, Pravda (and there are, or were, publications under that name in several countries) was much more accurate than we assumed at the time. It is with a bitter irony that one sees the all-too-frequent, bold-faced lies in the western MSM.

          1. chuck roast

            An old professor of Economic History I knew called it ” inverse symmetry.” We see them for exactly what they are, and they see us for exactly what we are.

            1. MLTPB

              Are you saying it’s true that we saw pravda for exactly what it was?

              I also think one difference is that Russians can tell us what what we are exactly, today, (here, for example) but what we saw exactly was not being able to be said, widely, to the Russian people then.

      2. John

        Best solution is to not turn on the television at all. Get your news from a variety of domestic and foreign sources across the political spectrum.

        1. Carla

          Truly, I get most of the news worth knowing from Naked Capitalism — thank you, Yves, Lambert & team!

        2. cwalsh

          I found my 18 yo TV makes a great display for a Raspberry Pi based Kodi media player to stream music videos. Used it more this year than for the last 12.

    7. Craig H.

      Does Ritholtz think CNN is any better? I notice he doesn’t allow commenting any more. It is a shame what has happened to this man. During the 2008 meltdown his presentations were stellar, easily one of the top 10 writers. And now this. It reminds me of Willie Mays playing for the Mets and being unable to finish an at-bat in the World Series without falling down. Or maybe one of those Johnny Unitas Charger games.

    1. Dr. John Carpenter

      I always hoped someone would bring out a viable electric car and challenge the Big Three, but why, oh why, did it have to be this guy?

      1. Carla

        Because you have to be a psychopath or a sociopath to operate in the American capitalistic system?

    2. JTMcPhee

      What did Musk actually say? I have no particular affection for him, I don’t do Twitter, but what I read is “Tesla will make ventilators if there’s a shortage.” Good to try to maintain one place that does what Daily Kos claims to — maintain a reality-based community. Plenty enough reasons to hate the squillionaires, of course, but credit where it appears to be due. I don’t see a lot of effective eleemosynary offers and behaviors from the rest of that quarter.

    3. ewmayer

      And each Tesla-made ventilator will feature OTA auto-software-updates and … wait for it, this is the best part … come wrapped in a brand-new Tesla Model Y! (Separate purchase required). See, that Fremont plant really *is* an “essential business” – forcing it to go into minimal-staffing/payroll-only mode would be putting the lives of millions of Californians at grave risk! No wonder TSLA shares bounced hugely today.

  2. PlutoniumKun

    80% of US coronavirus deaths have been among people 65 and older, a new CDC report says — here’s what it reveals about the US cases Business Insider (Kevin W). What this headline obscures that younger people account for 55% of hospitalizations. Younger people who get seriously ill are more likely to be saved….with heavy-duty intervention. What happens if and when young and old can’t get care? Presumably we go to triage like Italy, with the elderly left to their own devices…except for the very rich and connected elderly.

    One of the big unknowns here I think is whether the under 70’s who need hospitalisations are all with existing conditions, or are just plain obese and unhealthy, or if generally fit and healthy younger people sometimes need hospitalisation. This is I think a key consideration in deciding whether a policy of ‘fencing off’ older/vulnerable people makes any sense (personally I don’t think it does, but data may say otherwise).

    Just anecdotally, it does seem to me that some or all of the younger people experiencing extreme symptoms were either medical staff exposed to very high levels of virus, or people who have immune/respiratory issues. But this is one of many areas where we just don’t know enough to be able to come to any sort of conclusion.

    1. vlade

      I agree with your last para – but to get the data, we need mass testing. It has been speculated that say kids may be carriers of the virus w/o much symptoms past the “normal”, but if we just don’ test them, we don’t know.

      Yes, we can’t test everyone on daily basis. But I believe we can reasonably sample the population to get a good idea, and we’d do it ASAP.

      1. PlutoniumKun

        This is what drives me nuts – you refer to it elsewhere – the lack of random sampling in order to get a better statistical overview of how the disease is developing. Shut downs could be much better targeted if they had a better idea of how the virus is brewing away in different populations. If, for example, its not being spread much among children, then shutting down schools is a complete waste of time.

        1. Ignacio

          Oh this was one of my pet questions from the very beginning in China. Doing random sampling to have an idea of the real extent of the epidemics. I have been wondering for a while that this is in fact already being done using FluNet in some countries. It makes a lot of sense to distract the effort to Covid-19 particularly when the high season for flu has already passed. If so, data are not being shared publicly. In support for this we have to know that it was readily done in China according to WHO reports, though this was said in a casual way so nobody thinks much about it.

            1. MLTPB

              I recall reading anout shut in Wuhan residents pleading online to get tests, back in early Feb, or late Jan.

            2. PlutoniumKun

              Yes, the WHO did random sampling in one of the relatively ‘clean’ provinces, and it came up with quite useful information I believe – it did confirm that there wasn’t a lurking reservoir in parts of China as many had believed.

        2. vlade

          Shutting down schools is not necessarily bad even if kids don’t get it – if your teacher population has average age well north of 50.

          1. John Beech

            Exactly! Then again, we’ve pretty much proven teachers are roadkill in the grand scheme of things – because other than lip service about how great teachers are – when the rubber hits the road, just look at their paltry salaries for the real proof of how they’re actually valued by society.

            Talk is cheap!

        3. Noone from Nowheresville

          then shutting down schools is a complete waste of time.

          Not if you need to repurpose schools as hospital or infection zones. In rural America many of those buildings are larger consolidated school districts and the size of the buildings reflect that. Electricity, water, huge athletic fields for military styled tents. Schools could be a good location to set up triage should it become necessary. Before it’s required would be a good time to figure out potential logistics and requirements. Some schools have wind & solar power and might also have backup generators. Plus centralized authority at the state & local levels which could work together.

          Most importantly, closing schools pulls many adults out of community. Yes, I get the economic impact. It’s scary too and will most likely be just as devastating as the virus itself. But if the point is to attempt to flatten the curve to give the medical community a shot at managing sheer numbers for this first go round then it’s worthwhile. We’re already pretty screwed since the US didn’t ramp up testing and containment. Manufacturing. Yeah, there are noises but no proven production yet.

          I’d also add that it would be short-sighted to think that the virus wouldn’t mutate to include children. We have multiple strains in different parts of the country. The US also has obesity and diabetes as part of its child base. Plus we don’t know what else this virus does to the body long term. So at least in this moment, I say yes, absolutely to school closings. Necessary on multiple levels.

          1. coboarts

            I would think that schools should stay open, dividing the students into shifts: 8:30-10:00, 10:30 – 12:00, 12:30 – 2:00. 2:30 – 400. That would allow students to remember how to go to school, and they could also be monitored for health and asked about home – mommy and daddy ok? Do you have enough food? Schools should be an important cog in the wheels of society’s reaction. Then, in badly affected areas, they could be repurposed as quarantine and treatment centers.

          2. HotFlash

            Do you really think that there will be facilities, even temporary ones, for us when we get ill? And it won’t really matter what we have, or how old we are. There won’t be tests, and *anyone* with an elevated temperature (which is a symptom of a whole lot of very treatable diseases, including some that will just pass on their own) will just be camped in with other likely CV patients.

            As to us old folks being ‘left to our own devices’, gotta tell you, I don’t actually have a lot of devices. Anybody think my soldering gun and my Vitamix are gonna be a big help with this?

            The cover? If we’re dead, we wont be complaining, will we?

            Sorry to be so pessimistic. Will now go make some applesauce and feed some birds to affirm life.

            1. Tvc15

              Sending positive thoughts to you Hotflash! Don’t forget to build your immune system, exercise and de-stress if you can. My wife loves her vitamix btw.

        4. xkeyscored

          If, for example, its not being spread much among children

          From what I’ve been reading, it almost certainly is.

          1. xkeyscored

            Like here, from today’s links, about a study of more than 2,000 ill children across China:

            “The main conclusion,” Dr. Murthy continued, “is that children are infected at rates that may be comparable to adults, with severity that’s much less, but that even within the kids, there’s a spectrum of illness and there’s a handful that require more aggressive therapy.”

          2. ewmayer

            And crucially, even if kids tends to get milder symptoms, the school shutdowns are not so much to protect them from getting the bug but rather to REDUCE THE ODDS OF THEM PASSING IT ON TO THE OLDER AND AT-RISK COHORTS. I can’t make this point often enough, since a lot of people still don’t seem to get that “adorable little superspreaders” point. Same reason it’s important to gets kids vaccinated against e.g. flu.

            1. Late Introvert

              From my recent message to our local Superintendent of Schools in this very liberal college town, 2 days before the Republican Gov shut the schools down:

              You folks do realize that many of the wealthier and more clueless families are flying all over the nation/world next week? And that there is zero testing or any other protocols in place to track whether they are contagious once they return? And that we won’t know for a week or two if they are, and then only because people are already sick, including kids, and by that time it will be WAY TOO FRACKING LATE?

              He didn’t reply.

        5. Arizona Slim


          Last night, I was having this very conversation with a neighbor. During our phone call, she noted that her company was having some, but not all employees working from home. Her fiance works for an organization with the same policy.

          And, since this is a university town, I’m noticing something very interesting. Since the students have been told not to come back to campus, I’m seeing very few of them around the neighborhood.

          Matter of fact, the student rental house across from the Arizona Slim Ranch is looking like it has been abandoned. Complete with windows that have been left wide open for nearly two weeks.

          I’m also wondering what’s going to happen to that recently sold house up the street. New owners appear to be operating an AirBnB. They picked the wrong time to get into that business.

          1. newcatty

            AZ Slim,
            We lived in that university town for many years.

            It’s a real travesty that AZ has no restrictions ,of any import, on the AirBnB business. IIRC the Govenor said something like: We encourage “entrepreneurship” in our great state. Property owners have the right to use their property as they want.

            We live in a northern AZ town, now. Personal anecdote : We noticed many older houses in neighborhood being for sale. Almost all were owned by elderly owners. Many had estate sales, as owners had passed on. Some had owers who wanted to move to Sun city. The nextdoor, multistory , custom built home owner, was ready for “the desert warmth”. He could sell his 30 something year old home for below market and still do fine. A young couple with kids moved in soon after the house went for sale. We exchanged hellos. After that they pretty much stayed to themselves. No problem. We are very private, too.

            Then, a couple weeks went by and we noticed different people coming and going , as their long driveway is visible for our back deck. At first we just thought, oh, they have visitors alot or? One early morning Mr. Catty was returning from a walk. He came right up to a guy who looked alot like the new owner. He ignored him. Mr. Catty said hi and included new owner’s first name kind of by reflex. Guy said, oh, I am not blank. Oh. I am staying at the AirBnB. Oh, where is that? And guy pointed to the new neighbor’s house. That one. And, he drove off.

            The new neighbor’s never mentioned their ” business plan “. We went to AirBnB listings for our town. Uh, there they were. We don’t like having a generally unregulated “motel” next door. We agree with the point that the AirBnB businesses unfairly do not pay taxes like licensed motels, etc. Also, many homes, once available as rentals, have disappeared. We don’t like having strangers coming and going at a neighbor’s house. Now, with the health concerns of the current crisis of a pandemic virus among us; it is even more troublesome. We are able to mostly “self-isolate” at home. As the weather becomes warmer and the tourist season arrives, who knows who will show up next door? Speculate that people might not be so keen to travel to crowded motels in the town. But, a nice AirBnB? Many Arizonan feel like we do. But, now…it may all be a moot point.

        6. rd

          You don’t need to add the word “random” which is a preferred method for statistical evaluations.

          The big problem is simply “lack of sampling” period – they aren’t even testing likely cases due to lack of capacity. We are a long way off from “random sampling”.

      2. Lemmy Caution

        The Covid-19 task force yesterday confirmed that they are ramping up capabilities to be able to test 10,000’s of thousands of specimens daily. Expect a huge jump in confirmed cases as the backlog of collected specimens moves through the expanded testing capabilities.

        1. ajc

          IL is still only doing 500 or so a day. Forgive me if I don’t believe the WH’s hype about their testing rollout, since it has all been hype after it was revealed that CDC was criminally negligent in the initial rollout two months ago

          1. Lemmy Caution

            The CDC reports that last week (the most recent period for which complete data is available) the CDC and public health labs conducted thousands of test daily:

            3/9: 2,877
            3/10: 3,019
            3/11: 3,552
            3/12: 4,592
            3/13: 4,687

            Here’s what just a few of the private partners of the task force are doing this week:

            March 16: Roche makes first shipment of 400,000 Covid-19 test kits to laboratories across U.S.; will follow up with more weekly shipments of 400,000

            March 18: Abbott announces that 150,000 of the Abbott RealTime SARS-CoV-2 tests are being shipped within the United States. Tests have already been sent to facilities in 18 states including New York and Washington where the majority of US COVID-19 cases have been recorded.

            March 16: LabCorp Rapidly Expanding Its COVID-19 Testing Capacity, Expects Ability to Perform 10,000 Tests Per Day by the End of the Week and 20,000 Tests Per Day by the End of March

            There are 1,000’s of manufacturers and labs across the country that are gearing up to vastly increase testing ability.

            I’ve been watching the daily Covid-19 Task Force press briefings and say what you will, but Pence and the team are actually sounding like they are getting a handle on things after an admittedly bungled start.

            1. Tvc15

              “I’ve been watching the daily Covid-19 Task Force press briefings and say what you will, but Pence and the team are actually sounding like they are getting a handle on things after an admittedly bungled start.”

              Maybe this is true LC and I truly hope you’re correct, but their dismissive tone initially of the pending crisis and therefore lack of response is indefensible to me. I hope I’m wrong, but I’m not as optimistic that the task force in charge will handle this as well as needed.

              1. Lemmy Caution

                Agreed. Trump is a bumbling buffoon and bears a lot of responsibility for blowing this off initially. But Pence — and the other task force members particularly — seem to be extremely competent. They are getting it together in spite of Trump, not because of him.
                And what seems to be an increasingly coordinated mobilization of all the various public and private institutions and organizations in this country reminds me of just what we could achieve together in normal times if only there was a will.

                1. montanamaven

                  Trump listened to Tucker so Trump is not as big a buffoon as, say, oh, Schumer, Pelosi, Biden…. But none of them listen to the people who know how to fix things; like plumbers and mechanics.
                  I just want to say here how grateful I was that yesterday my garbage guy picked up my garbage. I was concerned he would take some time off. But he didn’t. Bless him. I am encouraged that the task force went right to the manufacturers of masks like 3M and got them to ramp up production. Of course that’s so they can sell them to the hospitals, but we can deal with that later, I guess. No evictions was another good thing. Jumping on the anti malaria treatment that Tucker talked about last night on TV is another good thing. So Trump is who we got. You gotta dance with the one who brought you. You gotta work with what you got. And may he, Pence and his team succeed and soon.

              2. John Beech

                Did their ‘dismissive’ words inhibit a panic? Do we know their words reflected what was going on behind the scenes? I suspect not. And if they prevented a panic by any length of time, wasn’t that worth something? Me? I take 100% of what MSM has to say about the President with NaCl.

            2. MLTPB

              Thank you, Lemmy Caution.

              Private corporations have plenty for people to criticize them.

              But if we can use their help, it should be acknowledged too

              As for the end of beginning, post Dunkirk, or post Tora Tora Tora, the same happened in Wubei, and Xi sent his top security guy to replaced sacked officials.

            3. Stillfeelinthebern

              I beg to disagree that there is a handle on this. My county has the highest per cap positives in the state of Wisconsin. County population is just over 100,000 with one major city of about 45,000. We are just unfortunate enough that a large group of infected people went on a foreign trip and came back infected.

              That group came back from an Egyptian river cruise on Mar 2. Some of them had symptoms pretty soon, as I understand it, and they sought testing but were turned away because first the state heath dept and then the CDC said they did not fit testing criteria because Egypt wasn’t on the country list. I will spare you this long sad story (including one of the people stating on Facebook that they couldn’t get tested and then got on a plane and went to Arizona!?!?!!?!?)

              There is one confirmed case of transmission from a cruiser to another person. It is know the cruisers were out in the community. The CDC has 4 people on the ground here, they came in on Monday.

              Here is the situation as far as testing today. Below is video of the county public health officer explaining the testing tier system.

              Go to the 13 minute mark to hear that only people hospitalized will get tests with results in 48 hrs. All the rest…6-7 days. The state can only do 400 tests a day, requests are at1000. So only tier 1 are going to the state. Tier 2, 3 and 4 are going to a private lab. I don’t think this is an indication of anything being under control.

              You can go and read about this Egyptian cruise boat spread. It originates with a Taiwanese traveler. It’s not like this is coming up from out of the blue. There is a link to an article in the Wash Post on 7 March about positive tests in MD. These people were on the same boat. My point is, there is a long transmission line here and it is traceable and we are a relatively isolated community. I would certainly wish that we could get better testing so the known positives would be isolated quicker. But that is not what is happening.


              1. MLTPB

                sorry to hear that.

                If Roche shipped 400,000 on March 16, dividing by 50, that’s roughly 8,000 a state, or 1,100 per day per state.

                Maybe some states get more, some get less.

                That’s just one company.

              2. Lemmy Caution

                I said I think they’re getting a handle on things, not that it was under control. When you’re talking about shipping hundreds of thousands of test kits and being able to test 10,000s of thousands of samples per day, I think the task force is beginning to mobilize at the scale called for by the threat.
                Obviously this all should have happened much earlier, but at least there seems to be a will to make it happen now. Sorry to hear of the dire straights in your community.

          2. polar donkey

            City of Memphis wants to start drive through testing. Have 1 problem. Don’t have tests.

          3. thoughtful person

            We still have testing triage, no one with mild symptoms or just possible contact is being tested

            To get this under control we will eventually have to use epidemiology like S Korea.

    2. integer

      Looks to me like there’s a campaign underway aimed at increasing fear in younger generations. And then there’s this, from the NYT article:

      But experts said that even if younger people in the report were medical outliers, the fact that they were taking up hospital beds and space in intensive care units was significant.

      I don’t know what, exactly, that is supposed to mean (although I do know why it’s been included in the article), but the fact that old people are “taking up hospital beds and space in intensive care units” is just as significant. I mean the youth are the future, right? One thing has become very clear to me though: fear makes people selfish.

      1. Lemmy Caution

        According to the CDC, people ages 20-44 are the second largest group requiring hospitalization, comprising 20% of all those infected cases requiring hospitalization.The same CDC report also says that of all infected cases admitted to the ICU, 12% are those ages 20-44.

        The report does not include any iformation about underlaying conditions, but even so, young people are clearly at risk. They are not doing themselves — or anybody else — any favors by flouting the social distancing recommendations.

      2. MillenialSocialist

        “Young people taking up beds” let’s you know who this country is for and who just works here.

        1. Wyoming

          I would point out to you that when ICU bed over capacity is reached and triage comes into play it is those “Young People” who will be put in the beds and those boomers who are rolled into the back room to die. This is what has been going on in Italy where if you go critical and you are over 60 triage says you get no treatment. The same will be done here for you “Young People” when the time comes. Us boomers know the score and very few of us are going to take the position you espouse.

          1. WheresOurTeddy

            To paraphrase Joe Biden:
            I have no sympathy for Boomers. None. I mean,…a…break.

        2. Jason Boxman

          Indeed, and I think this is why the NYTimes editorial board seems to have discovered a conscience; it would be a shame if there aren’t any hospital beds for them and theirs.

        3. HotFlash


          I have given up my inheritance for my sister, I have forgiven many debts I can’t afford to, and I would give up my Intensive Care bed for you — probably. You have the rest of your life ahead of you, and I also have the rest of my life ahead of me, but my future is pro’ly not such a nice prospect as yours. But really, you’re going to have to be a little bit nicer to get us boomers to lay down our lives for yours. Willingly.

          Don’t expect all of us codgers to try to cut into line ahead of you, unless, perhaps, you would?

        4. drumlin woodchuckles

          ” Young people taking up beds” is a NYT propaganda trope designed to make you react the way you reacted. It is part of the upper classes divide and rule meant to prevent the targets from considering their possible shared interest in uniting together to achieve the physical roundup and extermination of the NYT class.

        1. pretzelattack

          but only 1 roll at a time! we get to experience the great depression plus ww2 rationing. and climate change. maybe i’m ready for the rapture.

    3. Kasia

      I have a nephew who is in medical school in northern Italy. He has heard that there are many people on ventilators who have been on them for two weeks and have no chance of surviving. The hospitals are pressuring the families to disconnect these people and to let them die so that the ventilators can be used for others. Apparently the demographic of these long term ventilated patients is younger than the average deaths so far.

      1. MLTPB

        Can Italy make ventilators?

        Has the Italian government ordered their makers to produce more?

    4. Ignacio

      I would add in your last para all people exposed to high virus loads, not just medical staff. This includes all quarantined with an infected person. This is epidemiologically important with most contagions occurring within homes during quarantines.

      1. HotFlash

        Advice to Gilgamesh from Sudari, aka Ku-Bau or KuBaba, (name literally means, “pure silver”), the inkeeper-ess: “Dandle your child on your lap, embrace your wife. Put on clean clothes. This is the true task of mankind.”

        Sorry, can’t give ref, my BFF’s translation + some from Da Net. Should be available anywhere Epic of Gilgamesh is sold…

        Me, I’m catching up my laundry as I type.

    5. Brian (another one they call)

      Also; MASKS: An important aspect of infection is the viral load that one is exposed to. The amount of younger med workers being infected is potentially caused by the amount of virus in their environment. When wearing a mask (and goggles to project the conjunctiva) you can protect from a massive exposure, ie; an infected patient sneezing or coughing in your face. The body can function trying to attack a few thousand virus where as it may be overwhelmed by billions.
      this was from a Chris Martenson video within the last week

    6. vlade

      The first two CZ serious cases (both ventilated, one on external circulation) are taxi drivers, one 44, the other 54.

      That said, as taxi drivers, they would stay in the same environment long times, so high viral loads IMO.

  3. Superduperdave

    This isn’t one crisis, it’s many. Therefore we need a single name to lump them all together. I propose: Covfefe-crisis.

      1. xkeyscored

        I’m surprised Dr Don didn’t just point out how amazingly prescient he’d been with covfefe.

    1. drumlin woodchuckles

      I have in the past suggested the phrase ” crisis crisis”. A crisis of too many crises all at once to be able to keep up with them all. Each one of them making several other ones worse. And one of those “other ones” sneakily doubling back to make the first ” each one of them” worse itself.

      Coronavirus had better be addressed if we want a society coherent enough at the end of the disease cycle to address anything else.

  4. Louis Fyne

    Trump ain’t going to cancel the elections—-he’s winning on all fronts.

    Trump (and Mitt Romney of all people—via Milton Friedman) out-MMT’ed Nancy Pelosi, Obama and Joe Biden

    As the great Vulcan proverb goes, “only Nixon could go to China”

    1. The Rev Kev

      Why should Trump cancel the elections? He knows that the fix is in for the DNC to push Biden down America’s throat whatever the consequences. In fact, Biden could fall off his perch and the DNC would keep it quiet and cart him around on the campaign trail like something out of “Weekend at Bernies.” They would announce that due to Coronavirus, he cannot meet many people and would keep him in a freezer inbetween-

      1. christofay

        I’m partial to the conspiracy theory the super-insiders at the DNC convention will toss the ring to Hillary. Then we get Trump vs. Clinton 2.

        1. John Beech

          Nah, she’s the woman Biden has in mind.

          In one fell swoop that gets her all those who insist the candidate have a vagina – as if that matters one bit. I’d vote for a candidate with a vagina for President, no problem – but – said candidate ‘has’ to be capable of doing the job. Seriously, I don’t care if this candidate is white, black, yellow, red, male, female, male, or it . . . I just don’t care about anything but competency. And trust.

          Trust is bigger than anything. I didn’t trust Mrs. Clinton to be out for anything but herself. Witness going from wife of the governor of one of the poorest states in the nation to wealth measured in the hundreds of millions. How do you do that without being on the take? Riddle me that! Note, I’m a businessman who pays taxes each month so I know a thing or two about making money by working. Scandal has followed in her footsteps from the very beginning, e.g. her ‘work’ at the Rose Law Firm. Just saying.

          1. drumlin woodchuckles

            Well . . . . a Biden/ Clinton ticket would win in New York State and California. And maybe in some of the tiny bedroom states of the Greater New York Metropolitan Area.

            But nowhere else.

    2. Brindle

      Pelosi and centrist Dems are doing their best to stop simple direct cash payments to Americans. They want to “means test” any payments—jumping through hoops at Pelosi’s bidding. The Dems are handing Trump the election.

      1. Henry Moon Pie

        There seem to be three positions out there:

        1) Pelosi/Schumer Dems–

        “Don’t worry. Dems are here to help. Just fill out Forms 823e, 576b and 666t and we’ll let you know when your hearing is scheduled.”

        2) The Business Boys–

        “Now all these folks have been looking to us for their livelihood. We keep ’em in line, make ’em show up, do their time. Take us away and connect them directly to the government, and you’ve got trouble. It’ll be Stalinism or Marxism or one of those.”

        3) Practical Folks–

        “People need help yesterday. If they have to “qualify” for something, also known as “targeted,” then we’re putting weeks between them and help rather than days.”

        1. Brindle

          Let’s cut to the chase on Dem leadership against direct cash payments….

          Susan of Texas

          “They know this will look very bad to us but we are not the audience for this statement. The D elite are trying to lure the donor class away from Republicans by showing the very rich that they are willing to kill their constituents to please them.”

          1. Synoia

            Pity that their constituents are the ones keeping the wealthy wealthy.

            Something about shooting oneself in the foot comes to mind.

        2. NotTimothyGeithner

          4) Faux practical folks

          Anyone who is wasting their time with Pelosi is not really practical as she has her whole career. Clyburn could be arguing until the cows come home, but he’s never going to get anywhere. He didn’t build much beyond his local big man status in a state Team Blue isn’t going to win anything in.

      2. Hopelb

        Postal workers could deliver debit cards loaded with the funds to every household!
        Being unbanked would not be a problem.

            1. Late Introvert

              Hopelb, that is brilliant. Why isn’t this getting more attention? Bump for Yves, Lambert, and Jules. Shout out to the postal workers.

        1. Tim

          That is the best answer.

          Even if they do provide checks, couldn’t the banks be obligated by the government to honor them with cash? If only a small percentage with no banking did that it would be okay.

        2. Old Jake

          If I was a postal delivery person I would think twice about starting a route loaded down with hundreds of debit cards each loaded with thousands and usable by anyone who possesses them. The bandits would be behind the first billboard, and every one after.

          1. John Anthony La Pietra

            A good point. Maybe a variation on the “two-factor authentication” idea could work? A phone call to provide an activation code or something?

            1. Late Introvert

              I posted above lauding this and now Old Jake has shaken my confidence. It has to be easy, no smart phone or internet at all. But homeless people don’t have home phones on record, and young people move all the time.

              What about Social Security ID? It would have to be rather privacy invading at that point. Credit records along with SSID. I think they already have all that, so why not put it to good use for once? Force Experian to do it for free.

    3. Ignim Brites

      “What If Trump Tried to Cancel the November Election?” What if the DNC/LM fearing a Trump landslide tries to cancel the election? Or what if Biden dies in October and the DNC/LM tries to cancel the election. Or what if the citizenry, tired of all the partisans rallies to the cry “No more elections!”.

        1. ambrit

          You would get a re-run of said 2016 election. Which is my favourite PoliCT meme right now.
          “America Needs Two Mommies: 2020!”

        2. Katniss Everdeen

          Really. You could make the case that he never got three of the four years he earned legitimately in 2016, so it’s only “fair” to put the next election off until he does. /ss*

          *slightly sarcastic. In this case, very slightly.

      1. Mel

        I was going to respond that cancelling the election would obviously be the worst decision for the Dems, but then I thought …

        A thousand thanks to Amfortas for recommending The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte. I didn’t think I’d see another political process as stupid as what we’ve been seeing lately. The Brumaire reads like a blog comment of a particular type: it has brilliant Attitude, however if you want the details you had better study up someplace else. Anyway..
        There was a parade of parties voting away their own parliamentary power, in response to calls for “order”. Astonishing. Familiar.
        Marx also explains the electoral appeal of an outsider (not an outsider like Tulsi or Bernie, who are being shoved out by insiders, but an outsider who comes from somewhere totally else)

        At a period when the bourgeoisie itself is playing the sheerest comedy, but in the most solemn manner in the world, without doing violence to any of the pedantic requirements of French dramatic etiquette, and is itself partly deceived by, partly convinced of, the solemnity of its own public acts, the adventurer, who took the comedy for simple comedy, was bound to win.

        1. ambrit

          That bloody Marx. First he predicts Trump, and next he predicts, in the same work, the rise of Kahn Noonien Singh.

        2. BillS

          Hi Mel, there is a typo in your link. This one may work better.

          I leave you with a quote from Antonio Gramsci’s Prison Notebooks.

          “The crisis consists precisely in the fact that the old is dying and the new cannot be born; in this interregnum a great variety of morbid symptoms appear.”

          1. Oregoncharles

            that one always gives me shivers. sort of like Yeats’ “The Second Coming:”
            “Things fall apart, the center cannot hold…”

        1. Late Introvert

          Bolsanaro too, and many other glad handers. When they are afraid we will see real change. Not necessarily for the better.


    Americans formerly spent half their food dollars outside the home. It takes more from the grocery store to replace that food.

    1. Joseph

      Any guess when the first wave of panic buying slows down? I am in south Texas and local H-E-B’s are barren of rice, beans, eggs, meat, and milk. I just want to do my regular shopping without having to make expensive substitutions.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        I think the problem isn’t pandemic buying (paper and vitamins), but that people are swinging their food intake from 55/45 grocery/restaurant split to a 90/10 split. All those kids not getting lunch at the school cafeteria are at home, even with delivery of meals. Unlike storms where access varies and many restaurants simply stay open or even operate at higher capacity depending on the situation.

        The food stuff isn’t shipped to the restaurants in a manner fit for sale to individual consumers. This of course assumes its so easy to simply move food from Point A to B now to C.

        1. Wyoming

          My 85 year old mother-in-law was in the grocery store (I know, but she lives more than 100 miles from any relatives and she refuses to stay inside and wait for her son the priest to come to town) and she said a lady was in line with her who had an entire cart full of frozen dinners because she did not know how to cook. Then she ran into a young woman in the aisle where the wet wipes were supposed to be who was crying because they were all gone. So she explained to the girl that she just needed to go buy soap and wash her hands thoroughly or soap up a rag and use that. It would be kind of funny if it were not so serious.

          The Costco near us had a line of 100 people an hour before opening time this morning.

          1. adrena

            Here in The Netherlands people are not in the habit of going grocery shopping in the evening. My brother went 1 hour before closing time (@8pm) – he was the only shopper in the store. There was plenty of food as shelves were getting restocked. He was even offered a coffee.

        2. CanCyn

          This is most likely true. I lived in a one industry (mining) town as a kid and the grocery stores were way busier during a prolonged strike … all the workers were at home, eating more at home.
          Here in Ontario, I am assuming another wave of stocking up next week when the March breakers who actually went away come home and have to do their own stocking up.

      2. Amfortas the hippie

        i’m in very rural northern texas hill country.
        got wind that the one grocery store had a truck this am, and me and youngest son raced to town.
        store manager was out front talking excitedly with newspaper editor/head reporter/sometimes muckraker.
        manager said it’s chaos on his end, with various suppliers saying one thing and doing another…and him getting half what he orders one day, and twice what he ordered the next.
        he was one of three people(store managers all) that i “jokingly” mentioned to that i was considering, 1. planting wheat in mom’s front yard, and 2. turning the bamboo into toilet paper.
        all 3 of them took it seriously. “yeah…do that…”
        politico assures me that there’s plenty of food and TP in the chain, and that the shortages are mere logistical hiccups due to panic buying.
        but the seriousness of these 3 to my testing “joke” gives me pause.

        beer trucks are running as usual…beer guy said he’d never had so many people showering him with love,lol.

        from another source: stepdad’s nurse this am…the smart, sensible, non-righty one.
        she’s very worried that people…especially younger people…aren’t taking the disease seriously, as well as about supply issues.
        says this near-lockdown will be for 18 months after all’s said and done…but that “they” are trying to ease the population into the idea.
        i got that same story from a school board member…ie: schools won’t reopen this year, but they’re not wanting further panic by just coming out and saying that we’ll all be hunkered down for a year and a half.

        crazy times.
        youngest son is sufficiently freaked that he’s accepting the isolation(and farm work) without complaint.
        eldest has taken a bit of work and time, but it’s sinking in with him, too.
        I’m working them pretty hard, so they don’t get bored,have less opportunity to ruminate, and so they’re tired at the end of the day, and less likely to be bouncing off walls.
        both have grudgingly thanked me for being a doomer for all their lives, and thus preparing them.
        they’ve also both remarked that my weariness with their young selves bringing every communicable disease home from kindergarten instilled in them hygiene, etc…so that all these precautions are second nature.
        (especially since momma got cancer)

        1. lordkoos

          Here in my county (pop 40,000) the four grocery stores we have in town (the county seat, pop 18,000) seem to be keeping up pretty well, some occasional bare shelves but mostly OK. However in the northern part of the county, where there are three small towns and many rural dwellings with only one supermarket to serve them, they are getting wiped out.

          We have always enjoyed cooking for ourselves and ate out only once or twice a month so for us it’s pretty much business as usual. We also started stocking up early as I had an idea of what might be coming… I have somewhat of a prepper mentality, although not as extreme as some people I know, who have 6 months worth of food stockpiled.

      3. Barbara

        I live in New Jersey. The local Stop & Shops decided to reschedule their hours so that people over 60 could have exclusive access to the store from 6am to 7:30am. They said they were doing this so that there would be fewer customers and so more distance between thereof plus the implication that the old would get first chance at restocked shelves.

        I, an aging seer, foretold a coming out of all old codgers so that instead of distancing, the place would be like Grand Central Station.

        A little late* getting started, my husband and I entered a jammed full parking lot. The truth was a variation on my prophesy. All the old codgers came out with their middle aged children who got in by telling the door minders that their parents couldn’t really shop for themselves. A result, the shelves were almost bare when we finally got inside.

        * – the reason why we were late is that, unlike the stereotype of the older population as rising early, my husband and I are midnight oil berners.

          1. newcatty

            Just a thought…We have a very close relative who is working in a popular high end grocery store in So Cal. She is a manager of a department. She is one of the brightest and, most importantly, kindest women that I know. She is directly responsible for a team of workers who are providing groceries to freaked out customers. Many of whom are elderly and ordered groceries to be delivered to their homes. Last I talked with her a couple days ago…Now “everybody” wants delivery service. You can guess why. She has worked long days. And, without days off for a long period of time. As you, or friends and family, shop for such a basic necessity as food, keep in mind that most grocercy workers deserve and appreciate courteous and respectful behavior from us, the customer.

    2. Katniss Everdeen

      A couple of non-grocery anecdotes from central Florida. As of yesterday, Brevard county has 1 confirmed case. No deaths.

      My canine son had abdominal surgery to remove a tumor early last week at a local animal surgical center. (He is making a remarkable recovery in case anyone wondered.) His sutures needed to be removed in 10-14 days. 10 days was today. I called to make an appointment and was told that they are under “strict CDC protocols” as of this past Tuesday. We were told that when we arrived for the appointment, we should call them from the parking lot and they would come out and get Max. We were not allowed inside the building–the doors were locked. They took him in and took out the sutures and the doctor came out to talk to us in the parking lot. The receptionist’s exact words were, “It’s been chaos around here” since they were advised of the CDC guidelines, whatever they are. They don’t have any idea if they will be forced to close their doors, and she advised us not to wait the 14 days since they don’t know what will happen.

      My dentist called to cancel my appointment for next week. They are closing the office indefinitely for the “good of their patients and staff.” They will call to reschedule at some point in the future. At my last appointment a couple of weeks ago, the hygienist said they would be staying open until they exhausted their supply of masks, gloves and other infection control supplies.

      Meanwhile, on the beaches of Florida, the party continues.

      1. Another Rev

        Since the governor has no backbone, local governments are acting. Clearwater, St Pete, and Tampa beaches have been closed and a short while ago Manatee County (Anna Maria Island) and Sarasota County announced their beaches would be closing.

  6. BillK

    Re: Buy gift cards to support restaurants –

    There have already been cases of companies going bankrupt and closing down and this event makes their gift cards worthless. So you should choose businesses that appear likely to have the resources to survive this crisis. There will be a slump in trade, possibly for over a year, and many entertainment, travel and catering businesses will not survive.

    1. jcmcdonal

      Businesses likely to survive don’t need you to buy gift cards though! Individuals have little control in all of this. Hope you live somewhere with decent government…

    2. MLTPB

      Small eateries – does that eviction freeze apply to commercial or industrial tenants?

      Of course, those small business restaurant owners will need more help than that, even then.

      1. Late Introvert

        A co-worker’s partner owns the best pizza place in town. I offered tonight to buy regular gift cards, but they will need both a rent and eviction freeze for the duration. Am I right?

  7. Krystyn Walentka

    RE: New York City Weighs Turning Hotels Into Hospitals Wall Street Journal. Honestly, I don’t get this: “for ‘those non-Covid patients who are really minor but need care.’” Um, that’s normally outpatient.

    They will do ANYTHING not to give the homeless a place to stay. Because you know, mental illness and neoliberalism is all their fault but COVID19 was no ones fault.

    1. upstater

      Not hotels, college dorms…

      I was finishing a run on Sunday and saw a neighbor. She is a senior administrator at a major teaching hospital hospital. They have been in major response planning meetings on COVID since January. Their recommendations were falling on deaf ears until recently.

      They have plans to take over the college dorms for conversion to hospital rooms.

      An interesting topic was the testing — they have mechanized equipment that can run 100 samples very quickly, but the only test certified is manually run with 2 samples and takes 42 minutes. Only 1 mechanized testing device has been approved, and not the one they use (supposedly approval is immanent now).

      The other issue was certifications of technicians for testing equipment operation or maintenance — they need waivers because there simply isn’t the qualified staff available. The US has a third world response!

      1. Katniss Everdeen

        What a joke.

        You’d get a lot more bang for your virus buck if you ordered those snotty, spring-breaking, entitled brats off the beaches and back to campus and then locked them into those dorm rooms where they could “connect” with their “friends” on their phones like they always do.

        In my creaky ok boomer voice, “Where the hell are their parents?” not to mention the “adults” in the local government rooms. I guess they’re too preoccupied with the not-enough-testing-and-ventilators hysteria to see what should be as plain as the noses on their faces.

        1. newcatty

          Katniss…lol. I will add my seasoned voice to the joke. Re the parents. They are probably either hunkering down at home or have escaped to whatever hide aways they have. Just talked to a guy at a local store who is in the know about our “second home” residents. Not all monied people are at the level of having bolt holes in NZ. So, the refugees from the city are flocking to their “summer homes” early. Most, who have college aged kids either think its cute and a sacred right of passage for college to “experience ” Spring Break. And/or think the kid is over 18, in most cases, and are happy for the kid to have flown the nest. Sure lots of the nestlings are returning like Swallows at Capistrono.

          I do feel badly. The higher education interruptions for many of the students is just a bummer. We have a high school kid in our family. She is a good academic student. Worked hard as an athlete to compete and play at the college level. Now, her high school is not open for classes or sports for rest of school year. It’s the end of the world as we know it. We tell her …it will all work out. Keep the faith.

      2. Left in Wisconsin

        Yes, interesting double standard not noted in today’s paper: 7000 empty dorm rooms at my Big 10 U. U hospital eyeing such for overload. Meanwhile, desperate homeless shelters looking at renting motels or motel rooms for infected homeless who typically congregate 6 blocks away.

    2. cm

      Big box stores like grocery stores set up lease arrangements such that when they leave, the building has to remain empty to competitors for something like 5 years.

      In Clark County WA, I’m aware of at least 3 HUGE empty buildings that used to be Albertsons, Fred Meyer, etc.

      No one is talking about appropriating them for Covid / homeless use. They have power, AC, water, etc.

    3. Old Jake

      Clallam County out here on the North Olympic Peninsula is taking over empty warehouse space at Port Angeles and setting it up to house those homeless who will allow themselves to be so housed. Spacing will of course be part of the planning. I don’t know when it is to be open, but I’ll give the county commissioners some credit for trying to get ahead of things.

  8. Ignacio

    RE: Democracies’ Covid-19 cures could be worse than the disease Asia Times (resilc). Important.

    IMO, the failure in most Western democracies has been to see the epidemic from a clinical point of view instead of epidemiological POV. Goverments have decided according to the council of HC authorities instead of epidemic experts. For this reason the tests developed were seen just as clinical diagnostic tools instead of tools for epidemic management. This, as demonstrated by SK, was not only possible but very useful. Since we are going to live with this for a long time it is never too late to realise this and apply the tests accordingly as epidemic management tools to manage the re-opening of the economies. This means massive testing. Now, there can be the advantage of developing serological tests, that though less reliable are much easier to deploy and give faster results. But please Mrs and Mr. Leader: ASAP, massive testing capacity, now!!!

    1. vlade

      In addition to that, there’s also an international-cooperation problem.

      Say, the Czech Republic took a lot of social-distancing measures quickly (now you can’t even go out w/o a mask. Shops that are open have specially allocated hours when they can sell to only >65, etc. etc.)

      But it’s a small country in a middle of many countries. If Germans ignore it, the cases will continue.

    2. PlutoniumKun

      As you say, there seems to be an over reliance on clinical evidence rather than epidemiological – and when the latter has been applied, the models seem to me to have been very crude and led to bad policy making (e.g. the UK). I simply don’t understand why they didn’t from the very beginning start random population testing (or at least, random testing in known hotspots) to guide policy.

      1. Monty

        I saw an interesting video about estimating local cases. Assumptions (average of published studies) 1% death rate, 5 day incubation, 20 day from infection to death, 5 day doubling.

        Find date if first death. 20 days prior, you probably had 100 cases. Double every 5 days =1600 in the area by the time someone dies.

        1. MLTPB

          Simple and interesting math, with those assumptions.

          I am curious about the 20 day infection to fatality time. Is that the case average wise? Does it vary widely?

          1. Monty

            Yeah, I thought so. 20 was the approximate mean of studies that looked at the cases where people died.

        2. Anonymous 2

          Here in the UK I calculate it is quadrupling every five days. 33% growth rate per day

      2. MLTPB

        Was it due to not wanting to appear to be panicking?

        Thus thing may appear dormant, and then it takes off, doubling every 5 days or so. That can make most government look slow in the initial phase. In that case, it is critical to catch up. We should or can look at how fast we are ramping up, at the present moment, in all phases of the war.

    3. David

      I’d go further and say that it’s also a social control (or management if you prefer) problem of a type and extent that we have never before had to deal with. Almost certainly, when this is finally over we will discover that the really major problems (and perhaps the most damage and loss of life) are in areas that for the moment we can’t even identify. Imagine any of the following scenarios in a major city:
      Gas leak followed by explosion and fire.
      Sewage system blocked but nobody to repair it because they are ill.
      Major traffic accident as people with the right papers drive to work.
      Domestic violence incident on the 12th floor of a tower block with no working lift.
      The only supermarket in the area shuts down because a cashier has tested positive.
      Outbreak of highly infectious disease in a refugee encampment.
      And so on. Now many of these are routine occurrences to which the authorities respond as they can. Now perhaps they won’t be able to respond at all.
      We’re going to need psychologists, social workers, trauma specialists and so on, and in large numbers. Let’s hope they don’t get ill.

      1. vlade

        One thing I dreaded now was a major natural catastrophe. Think what would happen if this struck when Oz was burning, or during Katrina, Fukushima, the 2004 tsunami – or if California was hit by the Big One.

          1. Massinissa

            Half expecting Modi to wage a ‘short victorious war’, that won’t be particularly short or victorious, against Pakistan if the situation in India gets bad enough.

  9. allan

    While many health care workers exhibiting symptoms still can’t get tested,

    Celebrities get virus tests, raising concerns of inequality [AP]

    Celebrities, politicians and professional athletes faced a backlash this week as many revealed that they had been tested for the coronavirus, even when they didn’t have a fever or other tell-tale symptoms.

    That’s fueling a perception that the wealthy and famous have been able to jump to the head of the line to get tested while others have been turned away or met with long delays. …

    For some definition of `perception’.

    1. Carla

      I’m sure the elites will be re-tested regularly, too, while it’s impossible to create enough tests for symptomatic elderly and otherwise medically frail people…

      Somehow, it always works this way…

      1. ambrit

        As with most “natural disasters” and national election cycles, there is a run on firearms and ammunition going on right now. Most of the “usual suspects” are out of ‘popular’ calibres. Hand gonnes at big retailers are running low and running out. Most of the sales in the “surge” seem to be to first time gonne owners. Such has been the case in the past. The problem with this is that most people seem to view the gonne as talismatic. Supposedly, the mere possession of the talisman confers some magical immunity from harm. Few take the time to learn how to properly use and care for the item.
        Interesting times.

        1. Tom Stone

          Ambrit, first time gun owners concern me, your remark that many of them consider a gun a talisman is unfortunately true.
          I write as someone who has owned firearms for 56 years and who has had extensive training in the use of force.
          I dread a time when it becomes prudent to carry a gun, when guns come out all of the good choices have left the room.

          1. ambrit

            Agreed. That and “barroom distance.”
            I think back to the evidently common rule in the Wild West that anybody carrying a firearm could be legally shot in the back.
            People who wish to be modern “rugged individualists” in the American Wild West mould had better do some reading about the actual rules in place back there and then.

            1. newcatty

              Ambrit, from what IRC, in the mythology of the Wild West, only despicable bad outlaws were shot in the back ( poetic justice or karma or to save the town and good folk). Or, if a good guy was shot in the back…it was usually a tender foot who should have stayed “back East” or was the sacrificial lamb for the good guys. You can’t have it both ways. I will not justify owning any gun.

    2. polar donkey

      The nba has been testing all their players for over a week. Professional sports only care if you watch on tv or you buy season tickets. Otherwise you are a logistical nuisance coming to games via individual ticket sales.
      I work (worked) at an nba arena. The front office guys (general manager and support staff) looked like they disappeared 2 weeks ago. Working from home? That was 5 or 6 days before nba pulled plug on season.

    3. MLTPB

      Someone elsewhere wrote ‘connected,’ as well. Here, you dont have to be wealthy or famous necessarily.

      Guanxi, it is known in China, whether dynastic, republic, or socialist.

      ‘My contact in …’

  10. lyman alpha blob

    RE: Russia deploying coronavirus disinformation to sow panic in West, EU document says

    I just knew it was the Russkies forcing Biden to tell people to go to the polls right after the CDC warned against it.

    Way to go, CoronaJoe.

    1. DJG

      lyman alpha blob: Wow, the article is a series of innuendos, none of them proven. Does Reuters think that the Russians are suicidal? Has Reuters not noticed the instability around Russian borders with Moldova and Ukraine? If there are cases in Lithuania, does Reuters think that coronavirus is going to avoid crossing the border into Russia?

      These articles likely will turn up again and again, as our thoroughly corrupt elites attempt to defend looting the public fisc, neglecting public goods like public health and infrastructure, and ignoring science when it suits them (the Democrats and liberals are operating as soft climate change deniers in tandem with Republican right-winger hard climate change denial).

      1. lyman alpha blob

        The MSM is determined to plumb the depths of witlessness. As you mentioned, how does spreading disinfo help Russia – do they have a giant, impermeable, invisible bubble protecting the entire nation from Covid-19?

        With Joe Biden, Trump and the other sclerotic geriatrics leading the charge, the US does a heckuva job spreading false information with no outside assistance needed, thank you very much.

        1. John A

          The CIA sent this story to all the MSM, the stenographers there simply copied and pasted it. It’s exactly the same in the european press.

          1. Librarian Guy

            Agreed!! See my post above on the my local paper, SF Chronicle, and the PBS “News Hour”–

            I’m a teacher, off work since Monday afternoon (but getting paid), currently binge-watching Netflix’s Dirty Money, which I likely saw recommended on this site or maybe Down With Tyranny . . . (Spoiler alert season 1)

            Episode 1 of the 1st season covered the VW dirty diesel scandal, and how long it took California’s CARB bureau to see thru all the lies and finally pin them down, when all the VWs used an air test “blocker” to look like they met limits, when actually spewing 400-600% of the legal limits. Only 2 VW Execs even went to jail, and the CEO, Wintercorn, remains in power, not even touched.

            The REAL kicker though was in the last 15 minutes, when they covered air testing in Europe. I’d always thought the Europeans were far better than US, but . . . their air standards are HIGHER, & it emerges that the fraud in Europe is GREATER, and no one has ever been arrested or stopped, despite crowded city centers where cars are spewing Nitrogen Oxide at 600-900% of legal limits (that, again, are higher than the US’s to begin with.) The reason– EU states are heavily invested in their national car corps. (20% of VW is owned by the state of Lower Saxony) so they all let one another poison each other’s citizens without testing.

            1 expert shared that Germany’s toxic air deaths are estimated at 10K annually, more than auto accidents there. Gotta love the economy!!

              1. chuck roast

                Old man Clinton showered Detroit with $1,500,000,000 (ya’ gotta love the zeroes) to develop clean diesel technology. ka-ching!

                And then of course there is the next-great-thing “carbon sequestration”. Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha…

      2. Olga

        Well, it’s just the usual “blame Russia,” when all else fails. By now, this is such a laughable strategy that not sure it makes much sense to repost the link. On the other hand, good to know that certain services are “on the job,” even when the world faces a pandemic. RT’s response:
        “This isn’t the first attempt to blame Russia for “disinformation” about the pandemic. The US State Department bandied about one such conspiracy theory just last month. It seems to be the go-to tactic of Western propagandists to deflect criticism from their own governments, whether it’s Theresa May using the “highly likely” Skripal affair to distract from Brexit woes or the US establishment trying to leverage it against President Donald Trump via “Russiagate.” It doesn’t appear to matter that both ultimately failed to achieve their objectives; propaganda always doubles down.”

        1. John

          Let’s simply designate some one as Dr. Evil, the go-to scapegoat for all occasions, or invent a mythical evil kingdom to blame for everything we do not like or that discommodes us in any way and simply stop with the blame Russia. nonsense.

          In equal measure seeing headlines about a fracture in US-China relations because a virus apparently appeared first in China and has spread is puerile. The 1918 Flu started in the USA so why is it called the Spanish Flu.

          China and Russia have their interests and are allowed to pursue them just as we have ours and are allowed to pursue them, but I see and hear the US government threatening, imposing sanctions, verbally bullying anyone who appears to threaten our image of ourselves as #1 in everything. Any thinking person knows that is not true. Any sentient person person knows that our infrastructure is shambolic and getting worse. That for profit medicine says implicitly to many, “Go die.” The public schools are in dire need many places. Private schools are generally too expensive. State legislatures starve public universities. Private colleges are priced to exclude. We shipped our manufacturing to China and now are alarmed that the vaunted just in time supply chain is vulnerable to the least disturbance. And so on and so forth.

          The USA as a nation has become all hat and no cattle. Time to get to work and not worry about who gets the credit.

          1. MLTPB

            Interesting Spain doesn’t constantly complain it’s being called the Spanish Flu.

            Like many descriptions in life, what is commonly a accepted is used, until a correction makes a difference.

            Before the name China virus, I think I have read various names, Flu Manchu, Wuhan flu, etc.

            Wuhan is in China. And I dont recall it being contriversial. Maybe I dont remember correctly.

            As for getting credit or otherwise, I agree that we should not be sidetracked from focusing on what to do now.

    2. Katniss Everdeen

      So lemme guess.

      A friend of a friend in Russia told joseph mifsud who told alexander downer who told stephan halper who told christopher steele who wrote a report and submitted it to the EU who pretended that christopher steele is honest and published it with “high confidence” just after bruce and nellie ohr told seventeen american intellignce agencies who leaked it to the nyt and wapo who checked it with politifact where it got zero pinocchioes. sally yates consulted with adam schiff vis a vis the report’s veracity and were satisfied.

      Sounds legit.

  11. The Rev Kev

    “Here Are Some Incredible Virtual Tours To Help You Pass The Time”

    May have need of them. Australian cases are just starting to boom here in Oz so after a few necessary tasks, we start lockdown at our home tomorrow leaving plenty of time on our hands. After much thought as to how to spend my time, I have decided on the following-

    Learn Finnish
    Paint my house
    Digitize my CDs
    Re-grout all the tiles on my floor
    Format my computer and duel boot it in Linux & Win 7 and
    Learn self-surgery using only a rock and the top of a tin can

    Not sure what I will be doing next week so will have to think up more things to do. If this does not work, then I am going with Plan B – Go to the Winchester, have a pint, and wait for this to blow over.

    1. Wukchumni

      I’m going to get the ground ready for seed potatoes to go in within a fortnight or so (that’s how long it takes for the potatoes to be ready to plant-you leave them by a window in the sun for a spell before cutting them into pieces) and the issue is gophers, so i’ll be digging down and laying chicken wire on the bottom to thwart them, and once planted, i’ll have a jury rigged chicken wire greenhouse of sorts with 2×4 posts on the corner. We’ll also plant carrots, tomatoes (not near the potatoes) beans and a few other veggies.

      I’m allergic to fish, but others aren’t and we bought 3x poles, bait etc to take advantage of a food source, and i’m reading up on acorns and how best to emulate the Wukchumni & other Yokut tribes, who lived off of them for a few thousand years, and we will need to, come the fall.

      No human being has harvested acorns here since the 19th century i’d guess, and the acorns just sit there on the ground for the most part, some animals eat them, but not that much.

      1. AndrewJ

        In a book I picked up in the history of the California Indian, I learned that the acorn crop was kept in wicker/braided wood silos, a few feet off the ground, and generally treated as the food to get the group through lean times, a big pile of security. Yes, I’ll be putting one of those together in the fall… lots of oak trees around Portland, I’m sure I can find the tasty species.

      2. JP

        Here on the north fork in the next watershed south we have acorn bread occasionally and the Apple Fest used to have a vendor that sold acorn bread. I very much doubt that the acorn harvest this fall will be anything but sparse. The 2019 crop was phenomenal.

      3. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        Hi Rev I’m also in OZ so I’ll list my lockdown tasks:

        Learn the Japanese art of gyotaku for the fish I catch
        Carve myself a wooden hanko stamp for the above
        Find where those clams I keep seeing (big fat shells) live and figure out how to harvest them
        Train myself on coastal foraging for succulents and seaweed
        Find some new spots and techniques for squid fishing
        First steps to convert my boat engine to bio-diesel
        Janakurpara position practice
        Finally dig into Proust’s A La Recherche Du Temps Perdu (seems appropriate)

      4. c_heale

        Acorns are regularly harvested here in Korea. Dried in the sun and ground, they are used to make a jelly. It’s a long process.

    2. Toshiro_Mifune

      Digitize my CDs
      I ripped all of mine a while ago when the first Intel MacMini’s came out.I bought a Mini and hooked it up the the TV only intending to only use it as a audio server. Results of that were; 1) I started listening to a lot more music because I wasn’t fumbling around with about 800-900 CDs to find what I wanted to listen to (also started to buy more music as well) 2) With the Mac hooked to the TV I gradually started to just stream things (and TPB) until about a year later I realized I hadn’t watched anything on cable in weeks and cancelled it except for internet access. The latter was more than 10+ years ago

    3. Olga

      Not necessarily in that order, RK?
      If you start with Finnish (no pun intended), you likely won’t need the other five… just wonderin’

    1. Darius

      I commented below about how masks work for society if everyone wears them. Japan, where most everyone wears a mask, has a manageable rate of coronavirus spread. My brother is hospitalized in Tokyo for an autoimmune disorder. He says nobody is panicking.

    2. FluffytheObeseCat

      I ordered homemade cloth masks off Etsy 2 days ago. They shipped today. We’ll see.

    3. Susan the other

      the venezuelan demo above is so simple – a piece of cloth probably a close-weave nylon because it stretches; two ear holes and the mask is measured to cover beyond your chin – I’m thinking it could be cut even longer and tucked into a shirt.

    4. Jeremy Grimm

      I found instructions for making a Corona mask appropriate to the U.S. handling of this most recent flu: []. A tyvek hazard suit would make a nice modern update to this classic design.

  12. vlade

    “Hello from Italy. Your future is grimmer than you think.”

    I see the same in the CZ. People are scared, and a lot of them are now becoming nervous and very unpleasant. It’s not just the CV, it’s about what’s going to happen to your job, kids at home who often are bored and don’t entirely get the whole thing etc. etc.

    The mental toll is going to be hard.

    1. The Rev Kev

      Was just watching a video from a hospital intensive care unit in Italy and it is grim. I would not be surprised if in a few months time we hear of doctors and nurses committing suicide because of the strain. They are going to need a ton of support and help-

      This is our future. Coming to a hospital – or a car park – near us.

      1. Dan

        This video is from 3 days ago and the narrator said at the end that “the upward trend of the epidemic was slowing.”

      2. Bill Carson

        I think we are going to see a spike in suicides across the board, especially if people don’t get economic relief and the stores can’t keep the shelves stocked.

        And then out of immediate despair, if you come down with COVID and you KNOW that there is no room at the hospital for you….

      3. MLTPB

        How does that compare with any, if available, from Wuhan?

        If they can get to where they are today, that should encourage us. If they had to suffer through lot of pain, their lives are not cheaper than anyone’s. Did people say in Feb, stop, stop, stop, it’s too painful in Wuhan?

    2. The Historian

      I’m one of the lucky ones. I don’t have to work and I can live on my SS if I have to. I also have a pension and money in the bank. I can self-isolate for months and be OK.

      But of my 7 children, four families are working from home – including my daughter-in-law with autoimmune issues – and I’m hoping they will be OK – they are all still getting paychecks.

      But one of my children has built up her own business from scratch and within a month, all of her revenues have dried up. She’s very worried about how long she can hang on before she has to declare bankruptcy.

      The other two are in law enforcement – there is no way they can self-isolate – and I worry about them every day.

      So mental toll? – yea – it’s bad for me already! And I am one of the lucky ones. So many have it so much worse out there!

      1. MLTPB

        Glad to hear that, though we all still have to got out sometimes, meeting or being near to other humans.

  13. Lemmy Caution

    Tales from the front.
    Just back from a morning run to the grocery store here in Michigan.

    The produce section was nearly fully stocked, with no shortages except for potatoes.

    Otherwise, severe shortages were everywhere. The bread aisle was mostly bare shelves, although it was being restocked while I was there. The meat section was bare shelves through all categories including chicken, beef and pork.

    Likewise, the frozen food section was throughly picked through. This store has a open freezer bin that runs the entire length of the store from the front registers to the back of the store — I would say it was 90% empty or more, with the bottom of the freezer visible for almost the entire 70-80 feet of space.

    The toilet paper shelves were also empty, although there were two pallets of TP on the floor at the end of the aisle. Almost every shopper I saw had loaded up their cart from the pallets — one woman had probably 6 or 8 of the 18-count packages.

    All in all, it wasn’t too bad — I’m wondering if things will settle down once everyone has their pantries filled and their freezers packed to the absolute limit.

    The adminstration is urging shoppers to settle down and not to hoard food and goods. Trump also waived the limits on how many hours truckers can drive each week to bolster emergency deliveries of food supplies.

    I wonder how people are adapting to the new (hopefully temporary) normal elsewhere in the country?

    1. jefemt

      The veggies are the more important nutritious foodstuff, albeit perishable. Render into quiche and freeze.

    2. anonymous

      I went to the supermarket in Iowa early yesterday morning, the first time in a while that the store wasn’t crowded. As did Lemmy Caution, I saw the TP shelves empty and the fresh meat section depleted, although my store had full trays of sliced meats in the deli and no shortage of prepackaged sliced meat. The bread and frozen food aisles were always crowded, so I would not go through them. Eggs, all dairy products, most types of beans, rice, and bottled water were plentiful. The fresh produce was abundant. The store workers told me that the trucks were arriving half full, so they did not know when they would have chicken, and the inventory as listed on the store website was too inaccurate to use. I live in a suburbia, where people have room for storage. I think that people are filling their spare bedrooms with TP, and their freezers with food that doesn’t require preparation in order to be frozen, and that, once they have maximized their storage capacity, the stock will return to normal, as long as delivery is not compromised.

      What did bother me was that nobody was maintaining social distancing, even though it would have been easy with the number of shoppers in the store at that hour. Someone got so close to me at the checkout that she was blocking the credit card reader I needed to use. The supermarket even had staff disinfecting the cart handles and then cheerfully coming up to entering shoppers to hand them a basket. This was all after all restaurants (except for takeout), bars, schools and other public places were closed; the hospitals had announced that they were suspending elective procedures; and most of the IA cases were in a contiguous county, with one of the latest cases being a DJ who did 2 recent events in our city a few minutes from that store. People are panicking too much about supplies, but not enough about aerosol transmission (but all the hand sanitizer and alcohol is sold out). 

  14. Romulus

    RE: turning hotels into hospitals.

    There are thousands of outpatient ‘non-emergent’ but essential treatments and surgeries performed daily that are being delayed indefinitely. For example, the only hospital in town has disallowed any outpatient to even enter the building who is over 65 or has any significant comorbidity. This includes cancer patients needing treatment, minor surgeries for any number of things, infusions, or routine health maintenance follow-ups. Many hospitals have outpatient offices/surgery suites integrated in the same buildings as inpatient so this is a wise precaution and the NY solution seems on surface a good way to use the now vacant hotels. Allowing the incredible number of patients with chronic disease or nonemergency treatable conditions to go untreated for months is not only unethical but would cause such a disruption on the back end in pent up demand and increased morbidity due to untreated conditions.

  15. Carolinian

    Re auto production–our local BMW plant–their largest I believe–is staying open for now. No word on workers being “forced” to work. Office type workers are allowed to work at home.

  16. zagonostra

    >Dylan always has a verse or two to capture the times…

    Seen the arrow on the doorpost
    Saying, “This land is condemned
    All the way from New Orleans
    To Jerusalem.”
    I traveled through East Texas
    Where many martyrs fell
    And I know no one can sing the blues
    Like Blind Willie McTell

    Well, God is in heaven
    And we all want what’s his
    But power and greed and corruptible seed
    Seem to be all that there is
    I’m gazing out the window
    Of the St. James Hotel
    And I know no one can sing the blues
    Like Blind Willie McTell

    1. Wukchumni

      Even better more recent Dylan that zeroes in on our dilemma…

      A worried man with a worried mind
      No one in front of me and nothing behind
      There’s a woman on my lap and she’s drinking champagne
      Got white skin, got assassin’s eyes
      I’m looking up into the sapphire tinted skies
      I’m well dressed, waiting on the last train

      Standing on the gallows with my head in a noose
      Any minute now I’m expecting all hell to break loose
      People are crazy and times are strange
      I’m locked in tight, I’m out of range
      I used to care, but things have changed

      Things Have Changed by Bob Dylan

      1. lyman alpha blob

        One from the Dylan-adjacent T Bone Burnett – Fear Country

        And old friends Warren Zevon and Hunter S – You’re a Whole Different Person When You’re Scared

        And grabbing those links led me to a new T Bone Burnett album that might be of interest to NC readers – The Invisible Light

        The album is an experimental departure from the roots rock that Burnett typically performs. The electronic backing tracks include spoken word pieces on top, inspired by Beat poetry. The album is the first in a planned trilogy about technology and its impact on humanity. The recordings accompany a 5,000-line poem that Burnett has been writing for years on the theme of humanity’s ability to become deluded due to technology.

        1. Geo

          Blind Willie McTell is the best in my opinion. The Alan Lomax recording of “Just Well To Get Ready, You’ve Got To Die” (from that same session) is one of the most haunting and beautiful songs I’ve ever heard. And his rendition of St. Louis Blues is just phenomenal

          He truly is a one-of-a-kind artist. No one else like him.

      2. Tvc15

        Thanks Wukchumni. Listened to Things have Changed of few times today. Great lyrics of course.

  17. QuarterBack

    Another complication to the plan to send up to $1,000 to “Americans affected by the crisis” is the logistical challenge of how to determine who they are, and where they are. An obvious approach would be to send checks (or better ACH) transfers to the addresses and bank accounts other their 2018 payment or refund.

    A big problem with this assumption is that according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, about 9.5 million of people who spent at least 27 weeks in the labor force were poor, which would mean that they would not have had to even file a tax return because their income was below the threshold. Presumably, these would be the people that would be most impacted financially by the quarantine. This group is also much more transient in terms of home address, and many would be “off the grid” for IRS and many other government databases because they often live in multi-family units or relative’s homes, and therefore would not be on any lease.

    Another gap in using tax deduction approaches is that people who don’t make enough to pay taxes (again, among the most impacted) would receive no benefit from a tax deduction.

    A theoretical silver lining for the working poor is that many of them work in food services and related farming and retail (like grocery stores), which are in the list of businesses that must be allowed to remain open come hell or high water. A potential solution approach could be to enable these workers’s employers to give immediate temporary wage increases reimbursed by the government – consider it “hazardous duty pay”.

    If substantial quarantine shutdowns remain in place for months, the true heroes of the crisis will be our emergency healthcare workers and many of our poorest laborers that braved the risk of infection to ensure that our food and critical medical supply lines remained functioning.

    1. Tom Doak

      The suggestion above to use the postal service to deliver gift cards makes the most sense. Postal delivery people have a good idea which homes are inhabited or not.

    1. urblintz

      yes, but lacking the testing – which was clear as a bell and could not be wished away – isolation was the ONLY directive that would have made a difference and now that it’s too late to slow the spread significantly, testing is very important. It’s one thing to know how testing could have been a game changer. It’s another to acknowledge it was not because it did not exist.

      It was beyond irresponsible for the MSM to be creating in the minds of its viewers the idea that testing, (which didn’t even exist) and waiting for one’s own personal test (which is never going to happen) would save them. Sure, scream at the govt for not having the tests but do not tell the people that testing was the problem. The problem is a virus and they still don’t know how it works.

      1. xkeyscored

        “Data from other cities also show the benefits of speed. Cities that suspended public transport, closed entertainment venues and banned public gatherings before their first COVID-19 case had 37% fewer cases than cities that didn’t implement such measures, according to a preprint by Dye on the containment measures used in 296 Chinese cities.”

        What China’s coronavirus response can teach the rest of the world
        (17 March, not too long or technical)

      2. vlade

        Lacking the test 2 months post China outbreak is IMO criminal incompetence. The tests, as I understand if (I’ve not formal grounding in molecular biology, just an interested bystander) are actually fairly vanilla stuff. “We have the technology” (RT-PCR).

        All you need to do is get the right reagents (here’s looking at you CDC) and you can easily do a test that anyone can apply – although with “anyone” the sample contamination can be a (big) problem, but there are ways around it, especially if your sample is non-invasive (i.e. not blood or smear, but say saliva).

    2. Geo

      Can someone explain to Nancy Pelosi and the Dems that all these calls for extensive testing is not referring to Means Testing?

  18. Darius

    Per Matt Stoller:

    WH still not managing crisis. Army corps of engineers not building hospital capacity. Ventilator production not ramping up. WH is cutting out states/cities on drive through testing in favor of big biz. Only drive thru testing planned in MA is “federal pilot with CVS.” Come on!

    Obama championed public/private partnerships, teeing up the ball for Trump and his crooks. This approach will fail. The US is crumbling before our eyes. China is picking up the pieces.

    via Twitter.

  19. Krystyn Walentka

    RE: “Relationship between the ABO Blood Group and the COVID-19 Susceptibility ”

    Interesting. ABO is an enzyme in the body and our blood group is determined by polymorphisms in this gene. The ABO enzyme uses Manganese as a cofactor. so more manganese in the diet means a faster ABO enzyme.

    But if you look at the normal population distribution and the infected I would not say it matters that much but is still interesting

    32.16%…24.90%…..9.10%…33.84% <–normal population
    37.75%…26.42%…10.03%…25.80% <–infected population

    i mean would you feel that much more confident being type O with your risk only going down 8 pts?

    I would rather have seen them look at the blood group antigen (+ or -) since that really determines the rarity of a blood type. So I wonder if type O- is less likely to be sick than the more common O+.

    1. PlutoniumKun

      Yes, I was curious as to why they didn’t go further and look at the antigen – its not my area, so maybe there is a reason. Still, as an O- person, that looked like moderately good news to me. I’ll take anything I can get now. Ireland will be a test as to whether this is significant as the Atlantic margins have the greatest concentration of type O’s. Something to do with residual European populations pushed west, if I recall from long ago lectures.

    2. Tom Doak

      Is the third number type AB?

      If blood type was really a factor you’d think the cases would spike a lot for AB-type people, but it only goes from 9% of normal population to 10% of infected.

  20. Wukchumni

    A friend went to get ‘screened’ for Covid-19 @ the Fresno VA, and basically they took her temp & vitals and a bit more.

    She told me something interesting though, her last visit there was some months ago, and now there’s 6 or 7 tents each the size of a 2,500 sq ft house that sprouted all of the sudden, in prep for something wicked this way comes.

  21. ChiGal in Carolina

    the money quote from the guillotine watch piece—blew my mind:

    “In the absolutely worse case, the overall life expectancy worldwide would click down by a few weeks,” he added. “Instead of 79.60 years to live we would have 79.45 years to live. 1 out of 500 people will pass on a bit sooner, or not, or die from a celebrated disease instead of just old age,” he added. “We should continue to do our work, serve our customers, educate our children, cultivate our health, pursue our hobbies, worship our gods, enjoy our sports, cherish our friends, listen to our music, eat, drink, & be merry.”

  22. Darius

    Per the Financial Times, Japan has a coronavirus growth rate about one-fourth of the US. Their current administration is almost as ineffectual and ill-intentioned as the US. The big difference is most everyone in Japan wears masks. It keeps the infected from infecting everyone else. I guess its a social enforcement thing. I like to think it’s also about solidarity.

    Japan shows masks work. Not for the wearer, but for everyone else. Americans seem almost congenitally incapable of comprehending this. They respond, “a mask won’t protect me.” But, masks work for everyone if everyone wears them.


    1. PlutoniumKun

      Masks may help, but as my Japanese friends repeatedly point out to me, the Japanese are not ‘touchy feely’ and are very happy to keep a wide social distance between people (except in bars after 1am). Public place are always scrubbed clean too, even in normal times. This should help a lot.

      1. nippersdad

        Re: “…very happy to keep a wide social distance between people….”

        That is interesting. One of my most vivid memories of our trip to Europe was the tight phalanx of Japanese moving through the Louvre, the National Gallery in London, St. Peters in Rome, salt mines-turned-churches in Yugoslavia and other tourist hot spots. I don’t have a very good memory of Rembrandt’s Nightwatch, but I sure do remember why. They almost operated like a snowplow, shoveling everyone out of their path.

        They must have been cultural outliers.

      2. Darius

        Handshaking gradually became common in Japan in recent decades, but no one is doing that now.

        Incidentally, my brother said that at his hospital, a patient was discharged recently, and the nurses on his floor gathered and bowed to him with emotional expressions of gratitude at his recovery. So, it’s not like they’re emotionally distant.

      3. David

        Japan is a very crowded island and the “distance” is more conceptual than actual, as you know if you’ve eaten in a ramen shop or travelled on the Tokyo underground at rush hour. (It’s different outside the big cities, but only in degree: just 5% of the surface area is inhabited, and houses tend to be small). It’s really about preserving and respecting the little personal space that is available. In certain social situations the Japanese effectively pretend that other people are invisible. The touchy-feely point is true though, and I suspect it’s the lack of actual physical contact that is the issue here, rather than distance. Likewise the hygiene – everything is spotless.

        1. MLTPB

          Bowing is an alternative to namaste, the roman salute, or shaking hands.

          Also, take off shoes by the entrance.

          Perhaps no or not a lot of facial hair?

          1. Carey

            One of the nice things about getting older is finally being able to bow
            with sincerity. Life’s a funny thing.

      4. Harold

        I think this is right. My son is in Japan right now. In the 5 years he has been over there he has become clean crazy. Everything is set up to help people keep everything spotless.

  23. Nikki

    Re masks, with the notion that if everyone were to wear one the the transmission rate
    would drop, I started wearing:

    It is washable polyurethane, comes in three sizes. The model I found in a Japanese grocery in New York is not the PM2.5 but their regular pollen blocker.

  24. The Rev Kev

    “Qantas to cease international flying, tells majority of workforce to take leave”

    We have now become Fortress Australia. No foreigners can fly into the country anymore and the government is recommending that all Aussies make their way home. The air fleets are being grounded and Brisbane Airport will host 100 of these grounded airliners – for free. Even the island State of Tasmania is cutting communications with the mainland to protect themselves. On the bright side, that may mean that we get to keep Tom Hanks & his missus here. We have already taught him the right amount of Vegemite to spread on toast.

    1. Wukchumni

      In 1920, the average speed on the road in cars would’ve been around 40, airplanes could muster maybe 200 mph?

      We got up to 25,000 mph on the Apollo moon missions, and all routinely flew @ around 600 mph all of our lives pretty much.

      Nobody is flying anymore, so in theory with usual congested big city highways you could only do around 40 mph in the usual stop and go that comes with the errortory, about the same as a century ago, and now the one chance to really let a car out on its paces presents itself, but hardly anybody is on the road, any speed racers spotted?

  25. WillyBgood

    I have many coworkers who are affected by the shelter in place orders in CA. They all have assets and equity but little access to cash, and can’t afford to take more loans. Couldn’t the federal government eliminate all fees and taxes on 401k withdrawals? This would allow many to keep their houses till retirement and temper the current loses being suffered in the market. Or would this hurt Wall Street /s/

    1. Oh

      But that would not be good for the finance sector, would it? They control who gets elected and control those that get elected.

      1. Trent

        Its funny how 401ks never had any pushback. The only plus is if the market goes up endlessly, other then that its not “your” money. I’d rather get paid nothing and have money in a savings account at a local bank which has FDIC backing and not locked in the market until I’m allowed to collect it.

        1. Trent

          which brings us back to “but everyone was doing it and our betters told us it couldn’t fail”. Does no one think for themselves anymore? All i know is that after 2008 i take everything experts say or have said with a grain of salt.

  26. The Rev Kev

    “Irish planners reject Trump golf resort’s plan to build wall”

    That Irish planning agency should have told him that they were using the technical advice of an acknowledged expert on the impact of global sea rising and its effect in their decision making – that of a Mr. D. Trump of New York City-

    They should, however, offer to buy his his Doonbeg golf resort a mop and bucket for emergencies.

    1. xkeyscored

      Better yet, just requisition it. Dr Don can use the mop and bucket as an indoor golf course.

  27. rusti

    Tulsi ends her candidacy.

    Although I may not agree with the Vice President on every issue, I know that he has a good heart and is motivated by his love for our country and the American people. I’m confident that he will lead our country guided by the spirit of aloha — respect and compassion — and thus help heal the divisiveness that has been tearing our country apart.

    I suspect that she genuinely believes that this is the right thing to do, but I have roll my eyes at this er, charitable, assessment of Biden.

    1. anon in so cal

      Tulsi Gabbard has always been horribly wrong on Russia and Ukraine. So, aligning with Biden is not too surprising.

      1. Tvc15

        Biden is a well documented corrupt pathological lying psychopath. I wish she and the looming Sanders endorsement would instead be indictments on him and the system.

          1. anon in so cal

            Me, too. So much for the thought she would have eviscerated Biden if she’s been allowed in the debate.

            1. montanamaven

              Me too. I gave 3 times to her campaign. I had hope that once she did drop out that the Trump administration would ask Major Gabbard to join the team to fight the war on this virus. I don’t see the upside of supporting Biden. Sigh.

              1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

                Maybe Sloppy Joe realized how exposed he is on foreign policy and reached out to her. She’s unemployed after her Congress term runs out. Sad. But she never kissed the ring so did not get wealthy like Nancy and DiFi and Hilary, all of us know our choices are limited when that’s the case. Talented, young, principled, smart, and authentic…all in very short supply in the party.

          2. 3.14e-9

            Same here. My reply this morning to her email announcement:

            “Coming together as a community of progressives to make change in this world” –
            BY ENDORSING JOE BIDEN? By replacing one Liar-in-Chief with another? I hereby request a refund of my campaign contributions totaling $18 (details below).

            This goes against everything Tulsi stands for – or, more precisely, against what she has SAID she stands for. Now we do indeed have the truth: that it was all an act, and Tulsi is no different than other politicians who talk the talk, but don’t walk the walk.

            Joe Biden may be Bernie’s friend, but he is NO FRIEND OF OURS. He was involved in and at times the architect of bills and policies that have worsened the gross income inequality in this country; policies that have led to millions of deaths of despair. Moreover, as we saw in the most-recent debate, Biden lies aggressively and with the shamelessness of a sociopath. He clearly will lie to get our support, and then he and the Democrat party not only will work with Republicans on more of the policies that literally are killing working-class Americans and seniors like me, but they will do whatever they can to crush what’s left of the progressive movement.

            I have been a staunch supporter of Tulsi, not only by sacrificing grocery money over the past year, but in defending her against online attacks by people who said she was a hypocrite who would sell out. They were right. I would not ask for a refund if Tulsi had simply announced that she was ending her campaign – or if, heaven forbid, she had ASKED her supporters first. I am grateful at least that Tulsi has shown her true colors, so that I will never again make the mistake of sending her money.

            To be betrayed by someone who showed so much promise, in whom I put so much faith, brings me to tears, and I’m sure I’m not alone. That is emphatically NOT what we needed when we’re all in Covid-19 shock. Shame, shame, shame on you, Tulsi.

    2. Dita

      While Gabbard earned my respect, I’m still not going to vote for Biden. He’s not shoot from the hip, tell-it-like-it-is guy, there’s something very wrong. And Trump will make short work of him probably.

  28. pretzelattack

    walmart now restricting shoppers to 1 package of toilet paper and one package of paper towels. that’s in theory, the truck was a couple of hours overdue so the shelves were bare.
    also reducing hours; the latest was 8:30 to 8:30 but that is subject to change.

  29. John Beech

    I don’t expect anybody to take notice, but I cannot help but wonder about Brexit. Will it turn out to be prescient for the UK to ditch the Europeans? I know Pound Sterling was always their currency – but – they were on the hook for whatever the Europeans dreamed up to save the project. Now they’re off said hook.

    Moreover, while I know the Fed is owned by the banks, which means it’s loath to go NIRB, while they (ECB) don’t have any compunctions about damaging bank shareholders (as long as the banks themselves don’t go under), but seriously, how does monetizing everything in sight not damage the banks?

  30. David Carl Grimes

    Tulsi drops out and endorses Biden! WTF! Why Biden? After all this time? She’s another con artist like Yang.

    1. The Rev Kev

      Well it is not like Bernie has ever gone to bat for her, like ever. Even though she went to bat for him repeatedly. Bernie may not be who we thought he was. When Tom Perez and Joe Biden urged voters to turn out and go voting, Bernie went along with it too. Check this Jimmy Dore 19:18 video (some swearing) out-

      1. David Carl Grimes

        But Biden represents everything she stood against. Did Biden promise her a Cabinet position?

        1. ChrisAtRU

          Plus Biden didn’t exactly go to bat for her either. As I’ve said elsewhere, we are literally watching a quasi-establishment Voltron being assembled before our eyes. They’ve chosen their fighter, and it runs on cognitive dissonance, manufactured consent and the notion that voters can’t see beyond a veil that Trump presidency has pretty much fully lifted.

          #GLWT in November.

          1. NotTimothyGeithner

            She’s also arrogant enough to have run for President. Its reasonable she also thinks Biden won’t run for reelection and will have tarnished a running mate sufficiently or expects him to lose in November.

            1. Darius

              Seems fantastical, but Tulsi is a Biden supporter’s idea of a running mate that would bring in the Bernie sibs.

      2. Otis B Driftwood

        Jimmy Dore looks like a complete fool here.

        As does anyone else who rationalizes Gabbard endorsing Biden.

        1. Monty

          I think she read the room. If you want the best for this country, now is not the time for internecine squabbling.

          1. Otis B Driftwood

            It absolutely is time.

            I will NEVER, under any circumstances, vote for bankruptcy bill, crime bill, iraq promoting war monger Joe Biden.

          2. bob

            “If you want the best for this country, now is not the time for internecine squabbling.”

            Re: iraq circa 2003

        1. edmondo

          What better way to add a little cognitive dissonance to the equation that to have “Russian asset” Tulsi endorse Joe Biden? Does that make Hillary a liar or Joe a fellow Russian asset? Pick one.

    2. Otis B Driftwood

      Her uncritical support of Modi was the tell.

      She’s a phony like everyone else.

      This has been a particularly embittering electoral season.

    3. Mel

      I dunno. Maye it’s the price of having a future in congress.
      Really. I don’t know. I’ve never had to make that kind of calculation myself.
      And what this all means to us is something we can decide. I don’t believe that candidates somehow own their supporters. If there are policies we want, we can continue to insist on those policies. Vive l’#Insistence .

        1. Mel

          Sic Semper Tyrannis just posted her announcement: “[…]the best way that I can be of service at this time is to continue to work for the health and wellbeing of the people of Hawaii and our country in Congress […]”.
          Is it her resignation from the DNC you were thinking of? Or perhaps she’s planning to re-primary and re-qualify later?

    4. urblintz

      apparently so… i wrote back that she may believe the “voters have selected Joe Biden” but that I believe massive electoral fraud and the destruction of the democratic process surely played its part.

      1. Bill Carson

        The virus hasn’t been in Germany in large numbers as long as it was in Italy, France, or Spain. Germany’s reckoning is coming, mark my words.

      2. curious euro

        Not sure.
        According to a public TV channel story from last week, Germany has a capacity of 20.000-30.000 tests per day and has done 100.000 tests outside of hospitals that week.
        So 140k-210k tests for a population of 80 million.

        Is this similar to South Korea or less?

        Other things I read said that dead people would not tested for the virus, so there might be many more dead from it than reported.

        1. Ignacio

          One commenter living in Germany (not you? I can’t recall now) said Germany had deployed teams out of hospitals for testing. This is probably less than SK did but, to my knowledge, this hasn’t been done in Italy, Spain or France. That is why I said “SK style”, this doesn’t mean they are replicating SK exactly. Kind of intermediate response in this grey world.

        2. Johan Telstad

          I think SK might have had a bit of luck, as well. Their big outbreak was centered around a religious sect, which had two advantages:
          1. No need for elaborate contact tracing, just test all sect members.
          2. This sect recruits foremost among young adults. I haven’t seen a breakdown of the age distribution in SK, but it would not surprise me if it skewed younger.

          1. MLTPB

            Taiwan lucked out, as well, and ironically, for Italy lumped Taiwan with China, despite the former protesting, when imposing their travel restrictions on Feb 1, or2.

        3. MLTPB

          100k a week

          80 miilion

          That will take 800 weeks to get to them all.

          I think it’s about the size of an outbreak, how many potential contacts, where is the curve that is being flattened, etc.

          It’s not just one number, regardless of where or when.

    1. Susan the other

      German pharmacies sell government standardized herbal remedies. A good one for colds, for instance, is gelomyrtyl. don’t know the spelling. It kinda smells like eucalyptus. But the name makes me assume there is myrtle in it. Never knew it was a medicinal herb. Our selections are much smaller and there is still no standardization or guarantee of purity. For winter sore throats, here, I soak a swab in tea tree oil and run it down both ear holes – seems to work every time. Bill can’t do it; he gets blisters.

  31. Otis B Driftwood

    The hypocrite pile on against Sanders continues unabated.

    Tulsi Gabbard drops out and endorses Biden.

    et tu, Brute?

      1. pretzelattack

        On October 25, 2019, Gabbard announced that she would not seek reelection to the House in 2020,

        from wiki, i don’t know if she is committed to this or not.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      Except for nominally opposing bad wars, her politics are largely terrible. Biden isn’t much of a stretch all things considered for her.

      She might be banking on a position. The youth divide and Biden’s terrible funding numbers (remember HRC’s $2 billion) means even Biden knows he needs to do something. At some point more than words will be necessary to even Team Blue elites, not Pelosi and Schumer types. She might make sense if its perceived she’s widely popular among Sanders supporters. Assuming Warren is perceived as a snake, what do the other women candidates offer? Harris? She had no support in her own state and ended an investigation into pedophilia in the Catholic church. Klobuchar? Who? Gabbard? Yeah, she disappeared now the memory hole. She might help Biden on his MeToo problems, but then again, Biden and other dirty old men in Team Blue probably don’t like her for that reason.

    2. pretzelattack

      clarifying. i also got sick of bernie going along with russiagate, but kept repeating “domestic policy, domestic policy” to myself. krystal ball thinks he could make a great difference, still, per today’s rising. everything’s changing so fast, though, it’s impossible to stay abreast.

  32. rps

    Chicago CBS: As the United States desperately scrambles to find enough tests for COVID-19, a hospital in Evanston has developed one that can provide results in just a few hours.

    The lab has conducted 400 tests to day, with 10 percent testing positive for COVID 19.

    Crain’s Business: NorthShore has had a molecular diagnostic laboratory since 1992, Dr. Karen Kaul, chair of NorthShore’s department of pathology and laboratory medicine, said they conducted their own DNA-based tests for infectious diseases such as for Swine flu a decade ago.

    “For us it seems like 2009 all over again,” she said. “We were running 100s of tests back then. And we started watching and thinking about how to develop (a coronavirus) test back in January.”

    NorthShore is also sharing “positive material” with labs around the country to help them validate their own testing. Kaul said that non-infected RNA is sent among labs to help them find results in their testing that are identical to the already-validated NorthShore test.

  33. Bill Carson

    Watching the POTUS COVID press conference, and seeing the Dow drop as the market realizes that they don’t have anything new to say. The Dow was up 2%, now it’s up 0.6% and falling.

  34. Ignacio

    RE: What If Trump Tried to Cancel the November Election? New York Magazine

    So according to experts he can’t. But we are in uncharted territory and I wonder if Trump could find some strategy that allows him to stay. Something on the line of emergency or war-time or security-based measures. During WWII continental US was not the scenery of combats but this epidemic is different. What if he decides that, for instance, food and power supply are under menace? Trump legal advisors should be under intense scrutiny.

    1. edmondo

      You have been listening to the Democrats too much. Apparently TDS is even more widespread than Coronavirus. It was the “Democrat” Bloomberg who liked changing the rules after the fact.

      No,Trump’s not cancelling the election. No, he’s not building a bunker in the White House to take command of America after/if he loses the election. I have no idea why he’s running for relection since he probably really, really hates the job but ego plays the largest part in any Trump decisions so I’d go with that as my first choice, 90% of the time.

      1. Oh

        Like Obama he’s probably got deals to send a large flow of Benjamins his way whenever he leaves office. He wants to maximize the amount by getting a second term.

        1. MLTPB

          Some crave power.

          Some money.

          Others, fame.

          The second group is not necessarily the nerve wrecking.

  35. Larster

    The public/private partnership in testing can better be described as Kussner’s grift. He is hunkered down in gov offices with industry reps parceling out the business. This will be a disaster for all, as even as the testing ramps up, we will have no ability to accumulate or work the data. We need to get our hands around how this spreads STAT.

  36. Bill Carson

    I am outraged that Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer are opposing across the board payments to all Americans. I guess they want it to be means tested?? Again, it is the middle class who will be hurt by this—those who made too much in the past to merit a payment, but who don’t have large amounts of cash reserves to tide them over.

    WTF is wrong with these people? I guess they are just completely out of touch.

    Also, I don’t know how the American public is supposed to survive on one payment of $1,000 each. Then what? No, if the economy is shut down, we’re going to have to send regular payments.

    1. David Carl Grimes

      David Sirota said give everyone a check then take it back from the rich with taxes. Simple.

      1. Tom Doak

        There was a suggestion yesterday to encourage anyone who could afford it to pass on their check to someone in need. IMO that would work pretty well, especially if backed up by a public service announcement explaining the karma in not doing so.

        1. Massinissa

          Yeah, except the chance of the top 5-10 percent doing that is exactly zilch. Charity doesn’t fix anything, but government programs can. If said program need some middle class people to redistribute the entirely of the check to a worse off family, then said program is not working.

        2. cripes

          Tom Doak

          Is this a f*ckin’ joke?
          Because it makes no damn sense.
          This isn’t a TeeVee commercial for shelter cats or first responder vests or pink hat b*llshit.

          Like GoFundMe, people who fraternize with the well-off will get the most funds and the poors who don’t travel in affluent circles will get none. Or they’ll just help family like always, keeping money in a tight circle of those who already hoard it.
          That’s your solution???

          You think its too hard for the government to distribute emergency funds? It ain’t. What the f*ck have I been paying taxes all these years for if not this?

          Charity is what’s left when government isn’t doing its job.

  37. oliverks

    Regarding Calpers

    I tried to look up what factor-weighted equity portfolio means, but I didn’t see a very useful definition.

    Can anyone point me towards a definition?

    1. Alfred

      Try googling: “factor weighting” equity

      That may yield some clues. I get the impression from some of the returns I got that an alternative “capitalization weighting” is implied???

      Googling “weighted factors” and “equity factor investing” may yield other clues.

      (Interpreting my results lies far beyond my abilities. I don’t do investing, but I used to do information retrieval for a living. So your question intrigued me as a challenge. I look forward to what the experts have to say about it later today.)

  38. Chris

    The loyal slave learns to love the lash…

    I guess I should have expected Tulsi to drop out now. But I certainly didn’t expect her to endorse Biden. I guess we’ll hear something similar from Bernie soon too.

    I look forward to enduring the cries of “Trump apologist!” from all my friends as I refuse to vote for Blue No Matter Who. Time to focus on local government I guess. The feds are a lost cause.

    1. edmondo

      Why would she endorse Sanders? He basically said it’s all over but the negotiating and based on his last 12 primary showings, he doesn’t have a huge advantage going in to cut a deal.

      PS – I doubt more than 10% of America even knew she was still in the race. The Dems would rather get Max Boot and Bill Kristol’s endorsement than Tulsi’s

    2. Samuel Conner

      I’d like to think that Sanders wants a platform fight at the Convention and will stay in for that reason.

      JB has been (I would call it) feinting left for a while. It would be nice to see “common interest” policies actually embraced in the platform.

      1. Tom Doak

        I don’t understand why people care about “the platform”. The platform is meaningless when it comes time to make the sausage.

      2. MLTPB

        Watching DC turning left, a few degrees, in recent days, and likely more to come as the cases mount, a platform fight that matters for this current crisis may not be necessary.

  39. Cuibono

    The persistent lack of mass testing : mere incompetence or something else???


    You mean to say we could fly 20000 tests a day to say Korea??

  40. marym

    Sanders campaign email today listing his emergency proposals. Links to sign a petition to support the plan, contribute to “support groups who are providing support to economically disadvantaged people, to workers, and to others in need during this crisis.., and email address to share ideas and experiences.

    Here are the proposals:

    House Financial Services Committee has a plan too:

  41. periol

    The morning after the first sailor tested presumptive positive for the coronavirus, military leaders gathered dozens of crew members into a small space for a 30-minute meeting on social distancing

    This is absolutely hilarious, though I feel bad for those poor sailors in that meeting fuming at their incompetent “military leaders”. Nothing better than going to a meeting discussing why you shouldn’t even be having the meeting you are having. Classic “Do as we say, not as we do” leadership there.

    At least now we know why everyone is calling for the military to take over. They’ve been planning and preparing for this for a while now, haven’t you heard?

    1. MLTPB

      Its like watching the film, 1941.

      Somewhat, in real life the country came through.

      The safest places these days may be astronauts in space if any, and those in long range submarines that left a while ago.

  42. xkeyscored

    Drug Cartels Switch To Producing Hand Sanitizer Babylon Bee

    On a more serious note, how is this affecting the illegal drugs industry? In the USA, it’s a huge business, and many of the manufacturers and distributors are armed, while many of the customers, especially for opioids, will become desperate without supplies.
    Any info, anyone?

  43. rd

    In case anyone was wondering, the universal solution to every crisis is to give the banks oodles of money from the government because they know what to do with it better than anyone else and have everybody’s best interest at heart. It is true because Jamie Dimon and Company say so:

  44. xkeyscored

    From Debka:
    US closes small military bases in Iraq, opens Iran’s door into Syria
    Mar 19, 2020 @ 10:17

    US forces evacuated the Al Qaim base on the Iraqi-Syrian border on Tuesday, bringing to an end their joint operation with Israel for blocking the main crossing point into Syria against the transit of Iranian forces and their proxy militias. Following the base’s handover to the Iraqi army, their incursion can only be interrupted henceforth by air strikes. DEBKAfile: The evacuation of Al Qaim is an element of the current US redeployment in Iraq, which also entails abandoning Qayyarah Airfield West near Mosul and K-1 near Kirkuk

  45. nothing but the truth

    “Younger people who get seriously ill are more likely to be saved”

    and dread the bill in the mail.

  46. Adam1

    “What If Trump Tried to Cancel the November Election?”

    Omm… the author starts off quoting all sorts of legal and constitutional citations and then all of a sudden stops when it comes to the details.

    If nothing happens on election day in November, then the order of succession does not necessarily kick in. My personal biggest quibble with 2000 Gore vs. Bush decision was that there was any decision. The US Supreme Court should have said this is a state matter.

    Article 2, Section 2:
    Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors, equal to the whole Number of Senators and Representatives to which the State may be entitled in the Congress: but no Senator or Representative, or Person holding an Office of Trust or Profit under the United States, shall be appointed an Elector.

    Nothing there says an election needs to take place to select electors (this being the electors to the Electoral College). The electors just need to in Washington on the day that their ballots need to be cast. How we get there if no election happens in November is TBD, but that is a state matter. The 25th Amendment which pertains to presidential succession says nothing about the states not being able to select electors for a presidential selection should the electoral college not arrive in Washington for its duties which hence again is the responsibilities of the states.

    Oh his could be interesting, assuming I can survive the heart burn.

  47. Parker Dooley

    Reading the wiki on RT-PCR leads me to conclude that this is not in any way a “plain vanilla” process. Accurate results depend on recovery of “intact, high quality RNA”, highly purified reagents and water supply and highly accurate temperature controls, as well as analyzers which may cast in the 6 figures. Info on the machines indicate multiple manufacturers using widely variable reagents and techniques. In addition, some of the reagents include synthetic DNA primers and polymerase enzymes — not exactly the reagents you find in an average chem lab.

    The collection and transport procedures for specimens are also rather demanding and errors in following the protocols may result in false negative results. (I attempted to link to the State of Washington’s protocol, but it links to a PDF — it requires specific swab types and cold transport of specimens).

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