Links 3/24/2020

Much as we love links at NC, given the volume of material we are now getting, it would be really really helpful to the moderators, and would also improve comment quality, if well-intentioned readers didn’t simply dump links, but explained the qualifications of the source, and ideally gave a quote. This goes double for YouTubes and videos generally. Think of it as informational hygiene.

Tomorrow is Another Day Craig Murray

PG&E pleads guilty to 84 counts of involuntary manslaughter over Camp fire LA Times


F-35 tests positive for Coronavirus Duffelblog

DOJ moves against ‘despicable scammers’ operating fake Covid-19 vaccine website FCPA Blog

Fla. AG Probes Norwegian Cruise’s COVID-19 ‘One-Liners’ Law 360

‘I know, but what do you want me to do?’: Fauci’s strikingly honest review of Trump’s coronavirus response WaPo


How the World Will Look After the Coronavirus Pandemic Foreign Policy

The EU Struggles for Relevance in the Fight against Coronavirus Der Spiegel

COVID-19: Prepared for the Wrong War Consortium News

COVID-19: protecting health-care workers The Lancet

How Effective Are Public Health Measures in Stopping Covid-19? Cliodynamica

Coronavirus updates: China to ease Hubei curbs, UK in lockdown Al Jazeera

A Plan to Get America Back to Work NYT. Even Tom Friedman can occasionally talk some sense.

Loosening Restrictions Now Would Be Disastrous American Conservative

Loss of smell, taste, might signal pandemic virus infection AP

Quarantine Meditations: Notes From The Edge Of The Narrative Matrix Caitlin Johnstone

Boris Johnson orders UK lockdown to be enforced by police Guardian

In the Fight Against the Novel Coronavirus, a Lockdown Can Only Be a Strategic Pause The Wire

World’s back office scrambles to stay online as India locks down Economic Times

In Kolkata, bureaucrat, doctor and teenage son become poster family for irresponsibility in time of coronavirus outbreak Firstpost

A doctor explains why malaria drugs can’t protect you from Covid-19 Scroll

Nigeria Reports Chloroquine Overdoses After Trump—Without Evidence—Touted Drug as Possible Coronavirus Treatment Common Dreams

As coronavirus spreads, thousands of foreign doctors could be blocked from U.S. entry, group warns Stat

U.S. Domestic Passenger Flights Could Virtually Shut Down, Voluntarily or by Government Order WSJ

Commentary: COVID-19 self-isolation is punishing the poor in Indonesia Chanel News Asia

Hawaii: In a Pandemic, No State Is an Island Capital & Main

Hawaiian Airlines suspends nearly all mainland-Hawaii flights SFGate

Rental and Resale Were Supposed to Be the Future. Could Coronavirus Change That? Business of Fashion

“I Want to See my Child.” Juvenile Lockups Cut Visits Over COVID-19 Fears Marshall Project

Fear of Disease and Workers’ Rights: What We Can Learn from American History  Teen Vogue. Good article, but sad it has to appear after an id pol disclaimer (e.g, first line under the headline).

WHO chief calls for aggressive tactics as coronavirus cases soar across the world SCMP

Florida college students test positive for coronavirus after going on spring break CBS News

How a Digital Shanghai Fashion Week Will Affect Offline Showrooms Jing Daily

Laundry in a time of COVID-19 TreeHugger

UPDATE: China’s Luxury Industry Is Bouncing Back From COVID-19 Jing Daily

20-Cv-1666 — Unicorn Order — Art Ask Agency 3-18-20 Scribd

Senate negotiators cite progress on coronavirus bill after day of drama and rancor WaPo


‘Great liquidity crisis’ grips system as banks step back FT

US subprime mortgage specialist seeks buyers for $1bn of assets FT (HS)

All your questions about the Trillion Dollar Platinum Coin, Answered Nathan Tankus

Oil industry faces biggest crisis in 100 years FT

Western supply chains buckle as coronavirus lockdowns spread Reuters

Fears mount of a coronavirus-induced depression Politico

Stock Markets Surge on Hopes of U.S. Deal: Live Updates NYT

Class Warfare

Amazon Is Looking To Purchase 4 Fairway Stores Grub Street. The Red Hook location is my local Fairway. It’s great supermarket, and I want it to stay in business. I just wish it could do so without Amazon.


Biden: Trump’s ‘failure of planning and preparation’ worsened coronavirus crisis The Hill

Mike Bloomberg Spent $1B Running For President And All He Got Was This Lousy Class-Action Suit Above the Law

Antidote du Jour (via):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. Henry Moon Pie

    Our elites are having quite the breakdown. Looks like we’re going to be “waist deep in the Big Muddy” and these big-shot fools say move on.

    Obama functionary and convicted fraudster Steve Rattner reported from the Hamptoms today that we just can’t have this kind of drop in GDP and rise in unemployment. Our “economy” will be vaporized, he says.

    The new definition of “economy” needs to be delivering the goods and services to all the people who need them, not some mystical conglomeration of GDP and the S&P 500. Nationalize the food chain and begin hiring people ASAP to safely raise the food we’re importing now. Nationalize the utilities. Nationalize the hospitals and the medical supply companies. Give state and local governments Fed accounts to keep local services going.

    At least in Hollywood’s conception of the American spirit, the traditional reaction to a threat like this is “How many can we save?,” not “Let’s figure out the trade-off between the DJIA and the numbers of casualties.”

    1. MLTPB

      I read in Wuhan, food delivery was centralized, but not other provinces, apparently.

      Nor in S Korea.

      A lot of what we have seen, will see, could turn out to be one time deals, like border closings, travel restrictions, mask stock and production requisition, etc.

    2. a different chris

      Great post but you misplaced the quotes:

      >Our “economy” will be vaporized, he says.

      No, it’s “Our” economy will be vaporized. :) By “ours” of course he means his and the people he knows. I can still engineer actual things, grow stuff and even cook boring but edible food.

      1. Jeremy Grimm

        Gather up some herbs and spices when things get back to normal. You can cook tasty and edible food with the same effort as boring but edible food.

      2. periol

        I can do my part by repairing older machines when they break down.

        Of course that adds nothing to the GDP, so sad.

    3. Paul

      Thank you. I have found the abstraction/reification of “the economy” completely bizarre in these discussions, because it fails to discriminate between various industries and operations. I simply don’t understand why it’s necessary to have tech stocks and the like go up, or even why it’s necessary to do new home construction, in order to deliver the necessary goods to keep us afloat for the next six months. I mean we mostly need utilities, food, and shelter (I appreciate there is not in a sense at least enough of the last of these). Why does it have to be all or nothing? Can’t we grow and harvest wheat, corn, and beans without making a bunch of plastic trash or selling car insurance? I just don’t get it. It’s just mashing together the stock market “indicators,” which clearly haven’t been indicating broad prosperity for some time, and then real productive activities. Couldn’t we get everybody to subsist on a fraction of current GDP?

      I understand that small businesses and so on will be very significantly hurt by this because they are often not subsistence operations of this kind. But surely there are ways of keeping them on hold but formally alive so they can be brought back online later.

        1. D. Fuller

          GOP – and Congressional Democrats – have no credibility when it comes to controlling the debt.

          I always chuckle when a DNC or Republican supporter talks about how “fiscally responsible” their respective parties are. However, Republicans are the worse of the two.

          The debt is something both agree on when it comes to certain items: defense, slush funds, etc. Both parties’ leadership are in agreement on the need to end Social Security and Medicare. The stumbling block for them is how to do it while wooing voters. The Democratic and Republican parties are playing chicken with each other in who will go first.

          As for the differences? While fundamental, The DNC uses social programs to beat up Republicans. Also how the DNC woos voters: vote us or your food aid is cut. SNAP is no longer a program that aids those in need – though it fulfills that purpose; it is primarily a political tool of The DNC. As are other programs. Even as Democrats such as Biden support cutting Social Security and other vital programs (never mentioned of course).

          As for Pelosi and Schumer objecting to the $2 trillion proposed bailout? The Democratic leadership always goes Left when not in power. Only to Right their course when in power.

          For Democrats and Republican leaderships is? How do we go about screwing the public? The Democrat leadership prefers the “slow” way – “Let them eat cake?”. The Republican leadership want to one-shot it and get it over with.

          The results are the same in the end. This is where all “differences” between the two parties cancel out. There is no “lesser evil” in the end.

        2. John k

          Why do you have to borrow something you can create without limit?
          Or, from a tech point, you give a coin for something you permit the fed to create without limit, and which maintains the feds books in balance as they give you the digit money. So long as the books are happily balanced no need to ever pay it back.
          As an aside, I assume trump grasps this concept pretty well.

          1. Samuel Conner

            The first Republican President, A. Lincoln, authorized the Treasury to create sovereign fiat money — “greenback dollars” — to help fund the war effort of his time

            Lincoln, of course, is claimed by both parties these days. It will be interesting to see who lands on what side of this argument if such policies are revived (as I hope they are).

          2. LifelongLib

            In my admittedly limited experience, the greatest obstacle to people understanding MMT is the idea that a government which controls its own currency can create as much money in that currency as it wants to, without taxing or borrowing. We’re so used to money always coming from someplace else that the notion of an entity that can simply create money out of thin air seems bizarre, as does the idea that this does not create a debt that has to be repayed to someone else.

            1. D. Fuller

              Thanks to Nakedcapitalism and a post awhile back that explained the 5 pillars of MMT.

              That since, under MMT, the government can create the money to fund itself and needs? How to control inflation.

              Which is where taxes come in, that remove excess currency from the system.

              My understanding is, the greater the money creation with MMT, the higher the taxes resulting to prevent hyper-inflation. Interestingly enough, could such result in lower taxes when money creation is not that great in a given year? Or if money creation did occur and no significant inflation arose… that taxes would remain the same or even decline somewhat depending on government funding needs.

              What most people think of as MMT (from what I read in comments on other websites), they think of Reaganomics and creating debt even when the economy is doing well. Which would not be Keynesian at all, except that people confuse Reaganomics with Keynes.

              That is my opinion, is one of the greatest stumbling blocks to explaining MMT to those so inclined to consider the merits. The other issue is: the taxes of course.

              1. If one pays 30% one year on income above $X amount.
              2. If MMT is used to increase the money supply the following year.
              3. If one’s wages or compensation increase that same year as mentioned in 2.
              4. If taxes go up at the end of the year to compensate for increased money supply (inflation). Say, to 32% above $X amount.

              As long as the person mentioined in 1. increases their income sufficiently so that they earn more after taxes the following year… they are winners.

              Most people will want to keep the excess the following year, even if their income increased greatly, that income being subject to a 2% increase – and not pay the 2% increase in taxes meant to moderate inflation and produce a stable currency. People don’t like the 2% tax increase even as they earn more. I don’t think that they even realize that yes, in that situation they are earning more than the prior year, yet paying slightly higher taxes.

              For the person who does not earn more the following year, and yet is subject to a higher tax? They would lose. I don’t know if taxation under MMT actually accounts for this.

              Perhaps in that last situation, if a person’s income does not increase after the money supply increases, then one’s taxes would be capped at the prior year’s rate. If your income falls, then your taxes should fall.

              Income meaning – from all sources, passive and active, investment or work respectively. I apologize for the use of “you” or “your”. I mean that in an impersonal way.

      1. lyman alpha blob

        Can’t we grow and harvest wheat, corn, and beans without making a bunch of plastic trash or selling car insurance?

        Of course we can’t can’t do that. If that went on for any length of time it would severely reduce the number of billionaires and then who would we USians have to worship?

        Manna isn’t enough – we must have Mammon too. /s

      2. Amfortas the hippie

        i was at tractor supply when they opened this am, and obtained 18 baby chickens, the box to put them in, and the crap you put in their water.
        then planted another few packets of seeds, walked around the distributed gardens(“the best fertiliser is the farmer’s footsteps”), looking at things and pulling random grass and weeds….which were then gathered by my youngest and put into the 5th large compost pile we’ve built this week.
        cousin and his kid are putting another, maybe 14′ x 25′ bed in today.
        (along with some long needed cleaning and clearing in order to facilitate that)
        tomorrow, i’ve decreed that all efforts go towards the goat shed and wood shed…so we can be done…and ready whenever i can find goats and barbadoes.(got numerous feelers out…i’m worried that we’re too late—and mom is still wanting to be picky about variety)
        thursday when wife and i are gone to chemo(ugh!), they’ll be organising the shop—sign on side of it says “all i want for christmas is the Means of Production”….which is how this ramble is relevant.
        I’m focused on being able to do things and make things for ourselves…because i have zero faith in the talking heads that say that the supplies are forthcoming and we’ll soon be back to “normal”.
        “normal” sucked…I’d rather use this opportunity to do better.
        There IS an alternative to the neoliberal globalised coddling of the rich and their immortal(not so much, lol) vehicles of rapine and plunder and labor arbitrage.
        we’re in this mess because people in the boss class flew in and out of china…where they had sent our Physical Plant, so they wouldn’t have to share with “ordinary people”.
        and as for them…the Bosses….let them eat covid.
        they should be afraid, after this.
        as far as i’m concerned, they are utterly useless, and are fit only for a hole in the ground….which i will happily provide, as a public service.

        1. norm de plume

          Love reading your reports ATH.

          Sounds to me like you were a fair way down the road to readiness anyway but this consolidation helps set you up nicely. Watch out for the goats though, someone sent me a goat video recently, they are ornery boogers.

          Of course, so many of us now would be unable to do your thing because (a) we live in tower blocks, and (b) most of us have spent our lives in classrooms and offices and have no relevant skills for apocalypse, or even just a ‘time of troubles’. My 80 year old dad would go better than me – he grew up on a farm and knows the basics of husbandry and growing things, then he was an electrician and carpet layer, but built his own house too so knows basic carpentry, plumbing, etc. Handy with a cryptic crossword too…

          I’m put in mind of Dmitry Orlov’s comparison of how Russia coped with collapse after communism with how he imagined the US would. He noted for a start that in Russia everyone owned their own digs and had little or no debt. But the main thing was that, owing to decades of being unable to rely on the govt to provide what they needed everyone had kept the traditional necessity of growing your own food going – vegies, fruit, herbs, chickens etc, and were expert at preserving. Mechanical skills too were general; most of them could fix their Ladas and washing machines etc themselves.

          The comparison with the US was stark. Russians were only a step removed from peasantry and the survival skills that state entailed, whereas most Americans, several steps away from their rural antecedents, have no such fallback, and of course are suffocating under mountains of debt.

          Re your wish for the overclass, you might like a podcast I listened to last night. In a episode of Ancient Greek Declassified host Lantern Jack interviews Austrian historian Walter Scheidel about the history of inequality. It is a panorama of recorded history thru the lens of inequality and while it is clear that in times such as these the rich are insulated from the worst affecting the rest of us, they also have much more to lose, and out the other side inequality is ALWAYS lower, often much lower.

          That’s my silver lining for the day.

          1. Amfortas the hippie

            thanks, Norm.

            most people have a funny bone.
            I have a Doomer Bone, and it itches, sometimes.
            i grew up with vivid tales of the Depression from my grandparents, and it stuck.
            then, after 911 and the second iraq invasion, i said “now why are they doing that?”…and thereby discovered Peak Oil…then Peak Everything…IE: that the way we do things is bound to fail utterly…including the FIRE Economy that’s managed to eat everything formerly productive.
            it’s a lack of trust, basically…i don’t trust banks, having been screwed…and then learning enough about them to have that distrust confirmed in no uncertain terms.
            I’m also “poor”*…which means i’ve had to use my brain to make life better…or at least manageable….using whatever is to hand.
            I try to lessen dependencies and Imperial Entanglements…and i’m not in the Club, any way.
            I treat our 20 acres like a country…with a balance of trade problem: we import more than we export…and I set about trying to domesticate the production of as much of what we need(rather than want) as possible.
            It’s a PITA, sometimes.
            but “cometh the hour…”
            even my boys have admitted that now they understand all my idiosyncrasies…from saving seed, insisting on low off-farm inputs and triple redundancy to habitually saving jars and collecting scrap-wood that people are trying to send to the landfill…or metal that they already have sent there.
            so now, with cousin and his kid(17) added to the Village, we’ve planted more than an acre of garden, been experimenting with bamboo toilet paper, built a goat barn and a woodshed, cut 2 cords of mesquite, done myriad assorted and sundry tasks around here that my arthritis left undone, and hatched a plot to feed us all for an indefinite period while all this insanity sorts out.
            even begun fixing the broken down trailer that has served as my Library.
            and a bunch of other things that i’m forgetting(I’m frelling exhausted!)
            even given away assorted greens to widows and extended familia with little kids.
            and I’ll give away the bamboo TP technique when i perfect it…anybody who wants to know, can.
            because that’s closer to the world i want than any of the Normal that came before.
            we’re armed to the teeth, too…because 50 years of neoliberal “there is no such thing as society” has done it’s work,lol
            except for a potential lack of chemo meds for wife, and the general suffering i’m beginning to see around me, i was pretty much made for this kind of thing.

            1. norm de plume

              ‘I have a Doomer Bone’

              Me too. I am one of five boys and the rest call me the ‘glass half empty brother’. Like you it got worse from 911 and Iraq on. Before long I was reading Nicole Foss/Raul Meijer (Ilargi) at Automatic Earth, Jim Kunstler, JM Greer and John Robb. I arrived here not too long after the start and this has been my only daily besides local news ever since.

              It must feel good to have your boys acknowledge your foresight, which is really just common sense, isn’t it. Amazing how uncommon that commodity is, especially the higher up you go.

              My son is 14 and at home with us doing school as we work from home. He watched Contagion with me last year and I can tell he is appropriately concerned, no complaints about being grounded. It’s different at work.

              I am in admin at a major medical college and raised the virus alarm in mid-Feb, escalating to the CEO by late Feb. I said we can all work from home, why aren’t we?
              The response was instructive and very disappointing. ‘It’s not much worse than the normal flu’, ‘we have one of the best health systems in the world’, ‘you are most unlikely to catch it’ Almost everyone can work from home but the edict to do so only went out yesterday. I have been home two weeks after a bit of a battle with them to let me. I emphasised the exponentials. I wasn’t popular for pushing this, I was lumped in with the panic loo roll purchasers, good for a chuckle. They all soldiered on and I got a distinct whiff of ‘we are the ones showing the Dunkirk spirit, we won’t run away’ in the correspondence. I don’t get that impression now. Schadenfruede beckons, but I really wish I’d been wrong.

              It’s the trust thing you talk about – banks, governments, experts. Listen to them, sure. Then make up your own mind, and if necessary, make your own arrangements.

              I would love to visit Amfortia one day. I would probably become a citizen.

              I hope you wife’s meds don’t rely on Chinese components…

              All the best

    4. Daryl

      It’s been this way for a long time, but this country really does treat the economy like a wrathful and capricious god that demands the most in times of need, rather than just a component of society that can be altered as needed.

  2. Louis Fyne

    —Chloroquine —-

    That “Scroll” headline is a bit misleading and not as nuanced as the actual article

    Can anyone reconcile the resistance among many in the US media/medial establishment against the chloroquine versus the experience in other countries?

    I don’t get the resistance to consider the experience other countries front-line experiences w/the treatment.

    because Orange Man Bad says something doesn’t make it automatically wrong. Just saying.

    The groups advised discretion among medical professionals, while recommending the administration of Kaletra, an anti-HIV medication that includes the drugs lopinavir and ritonavir. …

    South Korean experts are also recommending the use of hydroxychloroquine in combination with the anti-HIV medication. HCQ is sold under the brand name Plaquenil, among others, and is used for the prevention and treatment of malaria…..

    The South Korean groups warned that there is “currently no standard treatment for COVID-19,” and urged medical staff to use their best judgment when treating patients. COVID-19 patients showing severe pneumonia-like symptoms, high-risk groups including the elderly and the chronically ill, are target groups for a more “active” administration of the drugs, South Korean experts said.

    1. PlutoniumKun

      I suspect that in this case the legitimate fear is that (as in India) people self dosing may end up doing more harm than good.

      I also wouldn’t rule out a certain amount of gatekeeping by professionals – both subsets within the medical establishments and also between countries – I’ve frequently heard disparaging comments by doctors about ‘doctors from X country do this wrong…’. I even heard that expressed while an operation was being carried out on me.

      Its one of my personal bugbears that the medical establishment in the broadest sense has never developed a consistent set of standards for what constitutes ‘proof’ or ‘evidence’ for those treatments which are somewhat fringe. For example, there is copious evidence so far as i am aware that taking certain vitamins and minerals will provide improved immune systems, at least in a percentage of the population. I know plenty of doctors who take this advice in their personal lives and have stocked up on their D, C, B complex and zinc. And yet there is an almost complete refusal to address this in any official advice.

      1. Generalfeldmarschall von Hindenburg

        Most of the ‘testing’ done by pharma is illusory, sloppy or outright fraudulent. The reason there is no consistent testing regime or standards is the intellectual property mentality in our culture. We’re told the only reason anyone invents anything is so they can lock it in patent law for all eternity so that it may be a cash cow for them and their descendants for the next millennium.

        “Experts Experts Choking Smokers…”

      2. Vastydeep

        Chloroquine dosage is tricky, but it’s been around forever and many of us (Vietnam-era military, oil workers in Venezuela, …) have some experience with it. Three worries: a) bad dosing with proper drugs, b) any dosing with counterfeits, and c) starting a consumer-run on HC and C-phosphate.

        All the same, here in flyover country, many can’t afford *any* hospitalization, much less ICU. Thus chloroquine doesn’t have to be a cure-all — it just has to work well enough to cut the hospitalization rate.

        Why weren’t clinical trials started in January? The need should have been *obvious*.

        1. vlade

          I believe China run some chloroquine tests – there was a link to paper on them (and a bunch of antivirals). When I asked whey cq wasn’t more widely tested, the answer I got was the one I suspected – cq is off-patent, anyone who has the technology can make it. No serious money in it..

            1. xkeyscored

              Also here, you can run it through Google Translate to get an idea.

              The first one I can see, though I haven’t searched in detail:

              Evaluation of the clinical efficacy of chloroquine on new coronavirus pneumonia (COVID-19)

              Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hospital, Sun Yat-sen University

              Interventional research 2020/02/03 [I think that’s 3 February]

        2. xkeyscored

          Why weren’t clinical trials started in January?

          I doubt anyone had a clue that chloroquine might be of use, at any rate at the start of January.

          1. Vastydeep

            Chloroquine was a logical candidate as it was shown to be an effective inhibitor of SARS back in 2005 (easy Google find). Dr. Fauci is right to want clinical trials — so why didn’t he expedite any, and why did we need Trevor Bedford’s godsend-of-a-tweet-string to ring the alarm bell for everybody else?

            1. xkeyscored

              I should have said few people had a clue at the start of January. Most were blissfully unaware of the entire thing, most of us caught up in the assassinations of Suleimani and Muhandis, and nobody, to my knowledge, knew this was basically a new version of SARS-CoV-1. Even Dr Li Wenliang said it was SARS-like, I think.

      3. Oh

        The fear is spread by doctors who like to play God. They’re the ones that push legal drugs for the Pharmas and they hate it if natural cures are found.

    2. MLTPB

      Not just this disease, but more and more, we seek alternative healthcare solutions.

      Maybe we get zinc, for this or that, though not officially sanctioned by the medical/healthcare complex.

      Maybe we use Vitamin D, or Vitamin A, for another problem. Again, not the official recommendations.

      In any case, I have learned of much alternative and helpful stuff here…turmeric, apple cider vinegar, etc.

    3. Otis B Driftwood

      This should not be a political issue. Doctors everywhere should have ready access to clinical data from around the world, particularly with regard to global diseases. The various CDC’s around the world do share information, but I’m not sure how specific, timely and/or comprehensive it is.

      1. xkeyscored

        In the case of this virus, doctors, researchers and so on have taken extraordinary and unprecedented steps to share information rapidly and without restrictions such as paywalls. This has, however, created a deluge of studies and reports, most of which have not been peer reviewed prior to publication as would normally be the case, and everyone’s left trying to sort the wheat from the chaff to some extent.

    4. xkeyscored

      Yes, I was just about to say the same thing – another misleading headline.

      True, mass buying and hoarding of CQ and HCQ can be dangerous in that those who really need these drugs might find themselves without, and guzzling either of them can have dire consequences, including death. And there’s still no hard, firm, incontrovertible evidence that they even work, though the signs are that they probably do. More research needs to be done, and is being done.

      But as the article points out, they are both relatively cheap and easily produced drugs, unlike some of the fancier ones such as remdesivir, and thus could be used in third world settings like India and the USA.

      From the article:
      “There is no denying that chloroquine and HCQ will be a game-changer in the management of Covid-19 in India, if large scale trials confirm their effectiveness. The major advantages are the availability and price of the drugs. The other potential drugs used are either too costly or not readily available in India. Toxicity is a pressing concern – the drug use requires monitoring and self medication is dangerous.”

      1. MLTPB

        Mass buying and hoarding…

        I looked for zinc locally, and not via the internet colossus, last weekend, but could not find any. Will try again.

        1. Krystyn Walentka

          Yes, same here for most types of zinc. But I did find a brand was still pretty stocked, a lozenge type that I guess people do not prefer. Which sucks for me because I need it regardless of any virus.

          But if you want another hidden source of zinc get some oysters. One can will set you up for a week. (Shhhhhh…)

      2. Olga

        Speaking of misleading headlines – Loss of smell, taste, might signal pandemic virus infection AP
        The second paragraph states that this is common with upper respiratory infections (I know that with any cold, flu, or sinus infection, I lose taste and smell). The article never explains how exactly (or exclusively) it relates to c-virus. This will just confuse people.

        1. Krystyn Walentka

          I might have some insight here. The important clue is that it is happening in people with no symptoms.

          My thoughts are that when the ACE2 enzyme is taken into the cell by SAR-CoV, the zinc within the ACE2 protein (Zinc Finger Protein)is carried into the cell as well. This does two things; it inhibits RNA replication in the cell and it also causes neuronal apoptosis (possibly by how zinc affects the NMDA (glutamate) receptors).

          The evidence for this is how people who used Zicam also reported a loss of smell.

          1. rtah100

            SARS2 is documented as being neuroinvasive, as was Classic SARS (TM). Some of the worst respiratory failure cases have lost their autonomic breathing reflex because the virus has hit the respiratory centre of the brain, and they need ventilation until it comes back. Perhaps the anosmia is a first step in this process but in healthy patients, the immune system halts it at the olfactory bulb so it does not progress,

            Here is a Master of WIne’s account of his tangle with SARS2 and anosmia.

            And here is a US account of the severity of ordinary COVID-19 pneumonia in US patients (and their youth), without even considering neuro-invasion cases

            1. Krystyn Walentka

              Yes, it is neuroinvasive, but there is no clear evidence that it being in the brain affects the function of the lungs.

              If you really want to go down my rabbit hole, look up the interaction between serotonin, SARS, and pneumonia…and how serotonin affects the sense of smell.


          2. Cuibono

            this is a fascinating idea/
            I have to say ZICAM worked well for me. Was it working for corona Virus colds?

        2. xkeyscored

          Paragraph 2, in full:
          “It might even serve as a useful screening tool, they say.”

          and from the same article:
          “not only loss of smell but also a diminished sense of taste. So the appearance of those symptoms in people without another explanation should alert doctors to the possibility of a COVID-19 infection, the group said.”

          How, and who, is that misleading?

          1. Olga

            This is what the second para says, for those who missed it:
            “The idea of a virus infection reducing sense of smell is not new. Respiratory viral infection is a common cause of loss of smell, because inflammation can interfere with airflow and the ability to detect odors. The sense of smell usually returns when the infection resolves, but in a small percentage of cases, smell loss can persist after other symptoms disappear. In some cases, it is permanent.”

            Unless I cannot read, I did not see anything there that tied the condition exclusively to the c-virus. And that makes it misleading. A person may have an ordinary cold, yet panic because of articles, such as this one.

            1. Krystyn Walentka

              “Respiratory viral infection is a common cause of loss of smell, because inflammation can interfere with airflow and the ability to detect odors. ”

              Ha! No, not true at all. I hate when they over simplify like that. Because if this was true why don’t people who have these issues all the time loose their sens of smell? Also, the people who loose smell have been totally asymptomatic.

              More to the point is this:

              The symptoms, Mannan adds, also suggest that the virus has the ability to invade the central nervous system, which could cause neurological damage and possibly play a role in patients dying from COVID-19.

              Like I said, it is more likely apoptosis from excess intracellular zinc.

            2. xkeyscored

              The title is “Loss of smell, taste, might signal pandemic virus infection.” That doesn’t look misleading to me.
              And the third paragraph explicitly, if somewhat unclearly, states the condition is not exclusive to COVID-19.
              Sudden loss of smell may be an indicator. Isn’t that worth knowing?

              1. xkeyscored

                And from paragraph six, “So the appearance of those symptoms in people without another explanation should alert doctors to the possibility of a COVID-19 infection, the group said.”

    5. Chris

      They’ve talked about this on TWIV a decent bit. My understanding of the situation from those doctors is there is some evidence that chloroquine taken with azithromycin has some beneficial anti viral effects and that it has been shown to reduce the amount of virus in some samples according to some metrics. But it’s a harsh treatment and it remains to be seen whether it actually helps patients. We also don’t have that much of it. So they’re running studies to see if it’s worth it to scale up production. It’s OK to be hopeful about it but we just don’t know if it will do much right now.

    6. jackiebass

      My wife took this as a treatment for Lupus. She had to quit taking it because it was effecting her vision. That is one of its side effects. Also it can be very toxic.Twice the normal dose can kill you. That mean if you take 2 pills instead of one it could be fatal. This is a drug that has its uses but it must be closely monitored. To just prescribe it to the public can be dangerous. You have people that think if 1 pill is good 2 would be twice as good. Also you would probably create a shortage problem. This could hurt those presently taking the medication. With our major chemical supplier, China, and their problems, it seems unlikely we could quickly ramp up production. The worst thing government can do is promote a false hope for a magic cure. Trumps statement did exactly this. Government needs to be honest and not promote fanatics.
      I read a piece that many of those hospitalized are young. A possible reason could be that older people know they are at a bigger risk so they decided to take precautions early on. Also old people often self isolate and don’t gather in large crowds as much as young people. To lift precautions too soon could end up as a disaster. In effect it would negate what was previously done. The big moral question we have to consider is. , What is more important? Peoples lives or health or money.

      1. Dalepues

        Right about the vision thing. I was on the Amazon river a month ago and a local pharmacist in Leticia gave me chloroquine as protection from malaria. Although I didn’t need a prescription, the pharmacist was very adamant that I not take more than two tablets a day and that they be taken precisely twelve hours apart. I could not focus my vision for several days; this continued for several more days after I stopped taking the medication. Also, just a note, yellow fever shots are required to enter the cities of Leticia and Tabatinga on the Amazon, but if you are older than sixty the clinics where the injection is administered will not give it.

    7. marcel

      Please note that chloroquine (if it doesn’t kill you) will be effective in about 98% of all test cases – but so will be a glass of water.
      It is the remaining 2%, that mostly die, that are worrying, and there is no solid indication chloroquine will do any good.

      1. cuibono

        well said. no solid indication YET you might have added.
        i remain skeptical iike you. But we all need to hold on to hope i guess.

    8. lordkoos

      There are already shortages of chloroquine being reported, to the point where people with Lupus who really need it are having trouble getting it.

    9. Kiers

      Try and understand: The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation are *all over* virus research. They’re linked in with John Hopkins University, and many assorted quasi-top-brass who attended their virus simulation meeting in Baltimore in OCtober 2019. The thing about Bill Gates’ “charity” work is that he often *co-invests* (buys shares) in the “charities” he “grants” to. Capiche?

  3. Samuel Conner

    I was a bit un-nerved yesterday by headlines in online pieces that seemed to imply that the WH is contemplating “letting the epidemic roll” in the hope of getting the economy “back to normal” sooner.

    I hope that was kabuki theater to shake the Congressional logjam loose. Not looking forward to a nationwide situation reminiscent of Wuhan.

      1. Samuel Conner

        Agreed, and that thought has given me some comfort — Federal govt may not be much help, but perhaps can’t hinder too much.

        But there is the bully pulpit.

        And at least one governor seems to be taking a lead from the Pres:

        I hope that Fauci is more dangerous to the Admin outside than inside; would not like to see him pushed out.

        1. MLTPB

          I think in China, when they tried to restart their factories, and this was in Feb, I recall, they couldn’t find enough workers.

          Maybe due to people there not wanting to risk anything.

          1. PlutoniumKun

            The shortage of workers was mostly due to people being stuck in the wrong place due to New Year. Many workers went home, especially to rural areas, and were reluctant to leave their families alone – others simply found they couldn’t afford to get back to their jobs.

            1. MLTPB

              Didn’t the managers also say they would house those who showed up in dorms?

              That’s got to be discouraging to those workers present, wishing for social distancing.

        2. The Rev Kev

          If that Texas Governor is so convinced about willing to sacrifice his life for the good of the economy, perhaps that 69-year old could deliberately get himself infected first before risking the health of some 29 million Texans.

          Reminds me of the shock-jock radio DJ years ago who said that water-boarding was not a big deal and was no biggie. So he volunteered to be water-boarded in public to prove his point. I think that you can guess what happened then.

          1. Astrid

            Yeah, everyone says it’s just flu and herd immunity yadda yadda yadda can go volunteer at a COVID19 ward without PPE until they test positive. And then get treated at a public hospital under an assumed name, to ensure that they get a fair treatment.

            1. CoryP

              It’s really striking how little time Muller and Hitchens last. This is fascinating and horrific.

          2. John

            Are you talking about Sean Hannity from FOX News saying he would get waterboarded to prove it’s not torture?

            Still waiting.

        3. The Other Jean

          FYI – this is the Texas lieutenant governor and not the governor (Abbott). Patrick was a sports caster and a radio talk show host before he was elected. However, the lieutenant governor position in Texas is more powerful than in most states.

          Here’s Governor Abbott’s stance as of 2 days ago (not big into shelter in place, but wants to expand hospital facilities):

          From the article – “In the meantime, he welcomed local officials to take more restrictive action than he has statewide. Within two hours, Dallas County was the first local jurisdiction to do so by ordering all residents to stay at home if they were not doing certain essential activities.”

          1. BluMtn

            Please do not confuse the awful Texas LG named Dan Patrick with the terrific syndicated host of The Dan Patrick Show. The latter was an original cohost of ESPN’s Sports Center alongside Keith Olbermann.

            1. Bill Carson

              But it is true that Tx Lt Gov Patrick was also a sports caster and radio talk show host.

              Lt. Gov. Patrick is originally from Maryland, and his given name was “Dannie Scott Goeb” until he legally changed to Dan Patrick. (Damn carpetbaggers.)

        4. Cuibono

          i think we should take that Gov up on the offer: make him work as an orderly in an ICU with no PPE.

    1. Bill Carson

      Make no mistake about it—-the Trump base is restless. They DO NOT LIKE the lock downs and restrictions. They look at the death toll and they still see it as minuscule compared to the seasonal flu. They see that those who are dying are old, useless people in nursing homes.

      My friends, there is about to be a huge backlash; a pushback on the officials that make the emergency declarations. When Trump hints that he might let up on the restrictions, he is, once again, projecting the fears and emotions of his base.

      1. marym

        Trump’s followers, like most people, weren’t born and raised with these ideas. Trump, right wing media, and proponents and profiteers of predatory capitalism are actively encouraging this “restlessness.” Ask yourself what interests any of them serve in any other circumstances. There’s no scientific or economic reason to think an unchecked epidemic, overloaded healthcare systems, death panels, and death will be good for “the economy.” Most other countries and their leaders get this. Even Liz Cheney gets it.

        Trudeau today:

  4. Otis B Driftwood

    If you want to track the progress of COVID-19, I recommend the Johns Hopkins interactive map.


    Another good one is TrackCorona:

    The JH map will show you the daily increase of reported cases by country. In the US, cases continue to increase at an accelerating rate. The NYC area is now the hardest hit by a large margin. In a recent podcast from his apartment in NY, Michael Moore said he was advised to relocate to his home in Michigan.

    I happen to be in the Bay Area of CA, where we have been under a shelter-in-place order for the past week (to continue thru April 7th). Cases reported are relatively low, so you could conclude this is helping reduce the spread of the disease.

    Europe is also in the eye of the storm right now. As bad as it is in Italy, however, the rate of increase seems to have stabilized.

    Compare this to other countries and regions where the rate of increase has diminished significantly (like China and South Korea) and the death rate is low (again, China and SK).

    1. PlutoniumKun

      Just on the point about China – even the official Chinese media have been critical of the Chinese figures – the government only counts symptomatic cases in their official figures – in reality hundreds are testing positive without symptoms of Covid-19 every day in Wuhan and elsewhere. If measured on the same basis, the South Korean figures look far better than the Chinese ones.

      1. Otis B Driftwood

        Good point. Again, whenever politicians get involved, things go south. This is not down to the doctors in China, who by all accounts have been heroic in their response to this crisis.

        And if the Chinese are in fact not reporting asymptomatic cases, then this would make their mortality rate even lower than what is showing up in the numbers.

        Italy is remarkable in that its death rate is nearly double that of the rest of the world.

        Is this a case of reporting anomalies, variances in comorbidity or treatment? Or all of the above? Too soon to tell, I suppose.

        1. Anonymous 2

          Countries seem to report deaths in different ways, it seems. So if a patient with a heart condition contracts CV and dies, one country may report it as heart failure and another as CV. I believe the Italians are more likely to name CV than some other countries.

          And of course that is before the politicians get involved and start trying to massage the numbers.

          1. vlade

            Italy now carries CV test on each dead (well, I’d say “medical” death, I don’t believe it carries it for say car-crash victims etc.). I know the UK doesn’t, and heard that say Germany doesn’t either.

            An example – the two CV deaths in the Czech Repulic (so small and well described sample that shows the counting policy) were a 95 years old male admitted to hospital with serious heart troubles, and a 45 year old male who was diagnosed with CV but during the ICU treatment it was discovered he had very advanced stage 4 terminal cancer.

            Both are now counted as CV deaths, but most likely both would be dead in months if not days/weeks even w/o it.

            1. Kurt Sperry

              ISTAT, the state statistical body in Italy, are very rigorous in terms of reporting cause of death in their medical death report as opposed to the administrative ones which are done at both the provincial and comune levels.

    2. MLTPB

      Still no cure.

      Only social distancing, and time (patience).

      We are a democracy, relatively speaking, if not entirely across the board or spectrum, and people are free to speak, or panic, so we will read and hear all the possibilities.

      Is it stereotyping to say Buddhists, Taoists, etc are more patient, and atheists or westerners are not? I hope not.

      So, we are back to what we learned here in the start, social distancing and patience.

    3. Samuel Conner

      I noticed that they added US County-level detail (for the latest stats; histories at county spatial resolution not available) back in to the map yesterday. For some days they were showing only State-level aggregates.

      The new “by country” aggregate and daily plot is most welcome. I imagine that they have the data stored that would permit display of this kind of information for sub-national regions as well; perhaps will provide that in future. US does not have a coherent response due to the quasi-autonomy of the States; there may be radically different outcomes in different States.

      1. rd

        County data is really important. In NYS, this is largely a NYC thing. Most of the upstate cities closed down immediately after they had their first reported case, so there is a good chance upstate has largely halted community transmission growth. NYC appears to be out of control. The good news is that NYS dwellers don’t know that upstate NY exists and wouldn’t know how to get here, so they go to Florida or the Hamptons/Montauk instead.

        1. MLTPB

          Here in LA, the county department of public health releases case numbers in various communities, and the latest, releases March 23, showed a jump of 128 new cases, to a total of 536, in a county of 10 million.

          Compared to Santa Clara, San Francisco or San Mateo counties, the per million number here is still low, though that 128 new cases number represents an acceleration (either actual situation or more tests being done, or both).

          Even within the county, some communities stand out…Brentwood West Hollywwod, Santa Monica, Hollywood, Beverly Hills, Long Beach and Pacific Palisades, Encino and Glendale.

          Mostly well to do places.

          Not as well to do communities see maybe zero or one case.

            1. MLTPB

              Diamond Bar, (2 cases), San Marino (0), Arcadia (3), heavily populated with Asians, all have higher median household income than West Hollywood, Glendale, etc.

              I think it’s less to do with the well to do more likely to get tested, but the source of the second wave, Italy., and people returning from there.

            2. wilroncanada

              You’re right, in the US of “equal opportunity.” But it is also true that they travel more, especially out of state/country/universe.

            3. lordkoos

              A guy on twitter was saying, maybe the only way to to get tested if you’re not wealthy or a celebrity, is to cough in a rich person’s face and then wait for their results…

          1. The Rev Kev

            Irony alert. Last year wealthier areas were afraid that those living rough would infect them with typhus and god knows what else. They decried all those homeless people and wished them to all go away without doing something to actually help get them off the streets. Now in 2020 it turns out that it will be the wealthier areas and the people that live there that will be probably infecting the homeless.

          2. smoker

            For you, and anyone else in California, I’ve found this Los Angeles Times California update page to be the best, and most timely. For those with access issues, like myself, scripting isn’t required (though it will provide more detail), neither are cookies or other tracking.

            They just added state wide detail on the deaths to date by date, county, age and gender. Also, Unlike horrid Santa Clara County (with 321 cases and 13 deaths currently, including the first reported death of a homeless person in the country – no thanks for never demanding Mineta International screening), and the other Bay Area Counties, Los Angeles County cases (though not the deaths) are noted by city on the site.

            1. MLTPB

              Thsnks, I’ll try to check it out. The thing is with that site, I’m out of their free number of viewing.

              1. smoker

                You’re welcome. I don’t have a subscription and I’ve been checking that page and reading quite a few of their articles. I have a Mozilla Browser, don’t allow cookies or tracking and repeatedly erase temp files. I also turn off scripting unless I want to nest a comment, though I notice my browser can handle allowing scripting on that update page. Hope that helps.

                (Note: I lkely won’t be able to repond much, if at all after this comment, it’s taken about 10 minutes just to be able open the page with scripting on and press the reply icon.)

              2. Susan Mulloy

                If you can afford $15 a month, do subscribe to the LA Times digital paper. You may also get it for $7.50 a month if you plead low income. Investing in good newspapers is wise IMO.

        2. FreeMarketApologist

          I’d have to disagree a bit on the upstate county shutdown — I’m upstate (Delaware Co), and it was a bit slow — restaurants and bars followed the governors orders quickly, but the SUNY colleges (one in every county!) took some time to sort things out, and churches were also slow to cancel services. There’s still grocery shopping, but people are keeping distance in the stores (and there aren’t many anyway), and the smaller ones are limiting people in stores or doing only curbside delivery. Street traffic is way down, so it seems that people are following orders.

          1. Michael Fiorillo

            And, while the East End of Long Island gets the media attention, many New Yorkers have places upstate they’ve fled to, especially in the Hudson Valley.

        3. Kurt Sperry

          Anecdotal report from a concerned Nantucket townie that rich people from NYC fleeing the plague are showing up. The medical facilities on the island are not prepared.

          1. jonboinAR

            Aren’t plagues traditionally spread by people fleeing The Plague? I fear that in the case of the US, anyhow, we may be doomed. I don’t know. I know that Trump irresponsibly verbalizes whatever happens to be going through his mind at the moment, but I for one have also been mulling over the “might as well let it burn through” idea. We don’t seem to have either the social discipline or leadership necessary to actually stop it dead.

    4. Ignacio

      Because in Italy the general quarantine started on March 9th, given that in this moment R0 falls sharply, and given that median incubation period is 5 days and median hospitalization time is about 11 days after symptom onset (total of 16 days), the number of hospitalizations would be expected to start stabilising and reducing by 25th of March… today! and daily casualties start dropping by the 1st-2nd of April. The same exercise applies to Spain with 5 days delay or France with 8 days delay.

      1. Ignacio

        Besides, the daily casualties may keep around the current range in Italy (about 650-750 per day) until April. This by itself (and the possible reduction of hospitalizations) would be an indication of quarantines doing their job. How fast casualties fall later in April will be a good indicator on the performance of quarantines in epidemics control.

        Forza Italia!!! The worst is almost over!

        1. CuriosityConcern

          Ignacio, thank you for the excellent write up yesterday. Any thoughts on the cliodynamics article? I’ve enjoyed that blog for awhile and his discussion of case estimation reminded me of your decision to use casualty rate.
          One more question if I may, the discussion of reducing quarantine in the US for the sake of the economy has me quite worried, because as far as I understand, increased exposure to COVID19 could lead to worse disease progression, am I right in thinking that has not yet been proven or disproven?

    5. Otis B Driftwood

      Another thing that the JH report shows is a breakdown of cases by state. Michigan, Illinois and Florida are 5, 6 and 7 in the list, respectively. These are States where voting recently occurred.

      Ohio, by contrast, has far fewer cases and is way down the list. You will recall that the Governor successfully halted voting there last Tuesday in response to CDC guidance.

      Arizona, which also voted last week, has not seen a spike.

      With that one exception, this is exactly what everyone feared would happen – higher reported cases in States that went ahead with polling, lower in the State that didn’t – and it is directly the responsibility of the Dem establishment in NOT holding off in-person voting over the past two weeks.

      1. MLTPB

        Are those based on total number of cases, or total cases per million?

        The 3 states are populous.

      2. josh

        Despite its reputation, Detroit is very much an international city. It has a huge immigrant population as well as industry with a global supply chain. There is a constant flow of engineers in and out of DTW. There’s your source of infection. Southeast Michigan also has major research and teaching hospitals, some of the best in the country. There’s your detection.

        1. Otis B Driftwood

          The numbers reported I referenced are total, not per 1 million.

          Ohio is the 7th largest state in the US. (more populous than Michigan, and one down the list from Illinois at 6th place). Florida is the 3rd largest state. Arizona is way down the list.

          Unless reporting is way out of whack, my point stands with regard to Ohio and other large states where they went forward with voting when they should have postponed.

      3. Wyoming

        Regarding AZ I guess it depends on how you define a spike.

        AZ cases have tripled to 326 in the last 2 days and deaths are at 5. This might be considered a spike or it might just be the natural ramp up that everyone is going to see eventually.

        Btw the voting trigger you mention might not apply here due to a large number of ballots being mailed in and the polling places mostly not being jammed with voters.

        1. newcatty

          Wyoming, What are your thoughts about the fact that in AZ that there is reported that the big city dwellers (especially from the obvious suspect, Phoenix metro area) are escaping to their “summer homes” early. Also, the ABnB and short-term rental owners are being refugees to their properties. A grocery worker here in Prescott quietly told me last time I ventured out to a grocery store that the shelves were being emptied out by the tourists, and mostly, the “Phoenix people.” Of course this is America and any property owner has the right to live in their own property. I watched two older women reach for the last two rolls of TP. They looked scared and confused. The worker looked harried and sympathetic, as he told them: That is all there is. Most CV cases are in Maricopa County. As the refugees escape to N AZ, how will our healthcare workers and hospitals deal with cases that come? Also, we already have , as is well known, a lot of older residents. Like me and husband. Will these changing circumstances be factored into the models? Stay well.

    6. D. Fuller

      You are probably right.

      All the focus by the Administration has been on the economic impact and minimizing economic losses.

      My niece works at a nursing home. The business officially confirmed the first Covid-19 case just the other day with testing. Four days after the nursing home resident was taken to the hospital for testing.

      And by “officially”, I mean “it slipped out”.

      My niece found out about the confirmed case by accident. Apparently, she and others working on the floors were not supposed to know. Though the business is legally required to notify their health care workers. The chief nurse was quite upset that my niece inquired about the confirmed case.

      The business is more afraid of damage to their reputation and business than they are about their nurses aides (easily replaceable, normally) and families.

      The “quarantine” for the nursing home resident amounts to a closed door, staff wearing gloves and masks. The nursing home now has three additional suspected cases.

      That is it. Sentence on their lives has been passed. If the patient(s) recover? Consider them lucky. I doubt that the nursing home is going to spend top dollar on the Covid-19 case(s).

      When you look at the Administration, business people occupy the levers of power. Congress has been catering to Big Business for decades. Democratic leadership almost always veers Left when they are in the Congressional minority, goes Right when in power. The careers of Administration officials and most in Congress has been business or catering to.

      They do what the know. It is practically all they know through their collective life experiences. Hence the response by the US Government has been tilted towards the economy. Incompetence is built into the system by virtue of The Dunning-Kreuger Effect.

      An incompetent person can not recognize their own incompetence. Nor are they capable of recognizing incompetence in others.

      Add to that, Disaster Capitalism whereby business leaders – the stock buyback CEO and C-Suite crowd with their hands out for taxpayer cash assistance – are plotting ways to enrich themselves in times of crises. One can not help but notice that even private jet makers have now joined the list of “Capitalists” from Boeing and others in demanding their Capitalist Exceptionalism cash assistance from the taxpayer.

      It is not that the government planned to let the virus run its course. To high Administration officials and members of Congress, they are doing all they can. To themselves, they will not realize that their actions are dishonest, inadequate, or ineffective. They may not even realize why their actions are ineffective. To the point of frustration and hostility to those who point out the shortcomings. Their maybe a handful of officials, advisers, or unofficial advisers (many CEOs have been at or consulting with, The White House and Congress) who desire such an outcome;.they would be in the minority.

      Before the virus, workers to the modern American CEO are an expense. Most are easily replaceable. With the number of under-employed or unemployed (measured by U-6 u/e rate) in America, the average American worker is disposable. This thinking has not changed much.

    7. D. Fuller

      I presume that the map only tracks “presumptive positive” cases and not tracking prior cases?

      If “active” cases? I know they are missing at least one case that has occured in the last five days. And if the map tracks prior cases? There are at least four cases missing from that map that have occured in the prior three weeks. Most likely that testing may have ruled out those four cases. However, the active case I am aware of – confirmed through testing – is not present on the map. Maybe not so “real-time” and the case will appear later.

      Of course, data collection and collation are not perfect and the maps are a good tool to keep the public informed.

    8. Cynthia

      What I find particularly frustrating is that the US only reports the number of coronavirus case, as well as the number of deaths by the virus. What the US is NOT reporting is the number of cases requiring hospitalization vs the ones that only require being quarantined at home. What I am particularly interested in knowing is the number of cases requiring ICU care, meaning the ones having to be put on high-flow O2 or mechanical ventilation in order to breathe. Not until we get more detailed statistical information about all the coronavirus cases in the US as to whether they are in the hospital or not, or in the ICU or not, can we get a reasonably good understanding of how deadly this virus is here in the States.

      My thoughts on this is that as long as very few coronavirus cases percentage-wise end up in the ICU hooked up to a ventilator or being put on high-flow O2, the virus is fairly mild. OTOH, if a fairly large number or a fairly high percentage of the cases end up in the ICU hooked up to a ventilator or being put on high-flow O2, then the virus can’t be all that mild. After all, anyone with an acute respiratory infection, whether it’s due to the coronavirus or not, requiring high-flow O2 to breathe, especially high-pressure ventilation to breathe, has very likely developed acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), which often leads to irreversible pulmonary fibrosis. Not good. However, I nor anyone else can’t begin to make an educated guess about how deadly or debilitating this virus really is until it is made known to us about the exact whereabouts and specific medical conditions of all reported coronavirus cases. And this can be done without violating patient privacy, something that some will argue to the contrary, though, which is wrong, BTW.

      1. Mike

        While we don’t know bow many have it because of limited testing. The hospitals and ICU beds are full in the NY metro area. That is known

        1. Cynthia

          The problem in my community is the ICU beds are always full. Even before the Covid-19 outbreak, many days, especially during the weekend, the recovery room for the OR holds many ICU overflow patients. Sorry, having full ICUs is nothing out of the norm, that something that few in the public are aware of.

          1. newcatty

            Cynthia, thank you for your reporting from the real front lines. And, I say this with no reservations and with sincerity and genuineness: Thank you for your service.

    9. Daryl

      I’m unsure what the rate of acceleration is in other states in the US as I haven’t been tracking closely, however, in TX, not only are cases accelerating but the true spread is nowhere close to known because of lack of testing. Initially, they refused to even test anyone who hadn’t travelled to a high risk country, leading to community spread. We are now finally testing ~thousands per week, not enough, and enacting piecemeal shelter in place.

      We will see what a truly unmanaged peak of this stuff looks like in one to two months here.

      1. Fabian

        I’m not sure it will take that long by the look of those graphs – rate of growth looks exponential to me.

    10. John Coffey

      Isn’t it well past time to quarantine New York State? People like Michael Moore wanting to carry the virus to Michigan are as disgusting as the Spring breakers.

  5. PlutoniumKun

    Tomorrow is Another Day Craig Murray

    Its nice in these times to have a nice juicy political scandal to take our minds off more important things. It looks like the mother of all scandals will break out in Scotland over this if all the hints Murray is dropping here is true.

    But I want to make one thing quite clear. This is not a case where the major accusations failed because of the difficulty of proving what happened with two people alone in a room. In such cases it is often right to feel real and profound sorrow for the accuser with no means of proof. This was a case where there was very real evidence, from third party after third party, of certain accusers telling definite and deliberate lies. A case where eye witnesses stated categorically that claimed events did not happen. A case where eye witnesses testified people were not physically present when claimed. A case where witnesses testified that reports had not been made, and policies not instituted, as claimed by the prosecution.

    1. Jerri-Lynn Scofield Post author

      I thought Craig Murray’s post was amazing and I agree with you about the mother of all scandals breaking out in Scotland if what he hints at is true. I deliberately placed the link at the top of the page, so that it wouldn’t get lost in all the COVID-19 stuff.

      1. PlutoniumKun

        Thanks for that, its good to have distractions from the C word.

        Others who know more about it can chime in, but I’ve heard it suggested that Scottish internal politics can be a particular bed of vipers, possibly precisely because they have so little real power and responsibility, along with the additional poison of sectarianism.

        I briefly read the Guardians summation, and of course it was heavily biased as you’d expect with lots of little sleazy barbs aimed at Salmon, but it also hinted at deep familial splits in the SNP. What i think will be interesting is if, as Murray has hinted before, it turns out that there is British (or should I say English) Intelligence Services fingers at work, stirring this up.

        1. skk

          Yup, I”m followed Craig Murray’s blog on that case against Salmond, now acquited. I wasn’t quite “getting it” and wondered if the saintly Nicola was in on it too – as a intra-party putsch and so on. His post yesterday that its an non-independence clique was news to me. imo, its not a leap from there to wonder about the security services hand in this.
          What’s Private Eye been saying ? After 25 years, I stopped subscribing two decades ago when, having been out of the country for a decade, I stopped “getting” the inside jokes.

          I always thought the saintly Nicola was staunchly pro-Independence so from that angle she’s not part of the claque then ?

          1. PlutoniumKun

            My understanding – and I’m not an expert on Scottish politics so I can stand corrected here – is that there is a split within the SNP between those who see Independence as the sole and core aim of the party, with all other things being ‘yes, that would be nice too’, and those who would describe themselves as gradualists, seeing independence as a slower process, one to be embraced when the time is right.

            The allegation from the former is that the professional SNP class in Holyrood has become far too cosy with the existing set up, and so are simply paying lip service to Independence, when in reality just using it as a convenient tool to shore up their political base and to occasionally threaten the English with when it suits them.

            As the SNP has become so successful it has also seemingly attracted a wave of people, from grassroots supporters (often ex Labour and LibDem to establishment power players, who see it as a useful means to their personal ends, whether it be IdPol or ingratiating themselves with the rich and powerful.

            All this is very familiar to Irish people who read history – for at least a century and a half nationalist movements were, as soon as they began to look successful, co-opted by establishment groups for their own ends.

            1. paul

              I would say that’s a fair summation.

              There is also a fatal insecurity about the current leadership, they have no real friends in the media and they have no money compared to the minority unionist parties.

              Their disdain for the grassroots, the messed up, hermetic, structure at the top (Nicola is leader of the SNP, first minster and her husband the chief exec of the party) and the desperation to be seen as a grown up party creates a terrible stagnation.

              The sorrow is that she is a good administrator, communicator and they have done well in many ways, but she is not leader we thought. The ghastly circumstances her inner circle have created shows that.

              Good governance should be a given, not a replacement, for the aims of her party’s supporters.

              Which is independence.

              1. paul

                … terrible stagnation.

                And outright hatred of the imagination of release from the UK yoke.

      2. John A

        Plus Murray’s post last week explaining why Salmond was targetted;
        Salmond questioned NATO bombing of Serbia
        He questioned that Russia was behind the Skripal ‘poisoning’
        He suggested Blair could be tried for war crimes in a Scottish court
        He said US attacks on Syria were no solution
        He was sceptical about the security threat attacks on Huawei
        He also appears on ‘Kremlin-funded’ RT channel.
        Unlike Salmond, his successor as leader of the Scottish Nationalist Party is far more London establishment friendly and soft on independence, preferring instead to focus on equality and LGBTQ etc., issues.
        In short, Salmond was a threat to establishment monovoice messaging and had to be nobbled by a coordinated stitch up. The main media reporting on the trial was heavily biased agaisnt Salmond and at first Murray was barred from the court on the grounds he was not a ‘proper journalist’ and then when he got accreditation and reported daily on the trial clearly showing how absurd the allegations were, including facts such as one witness was proven not to be at an event where he is alleged to have groped her, other so-called gropings were at large audience events where nobody else had seen such incidents and so on and so. Plus it was widely reported as fact that there was a rule that he was not to be left alone with women that was shown to be a lie. For bringing such details to the attention of the public, Murray was then barred from attending the court. I have not posted links to save your moderators’ time, but if anyone needs to read more, go to craig murray’s blog.

        1. Olga

          From CM:
          “That a party which has such a wonderful and committed membership – a membership who make me proud to be a member alongside them – should play host to a parasitic and highly paid professional elite with no discernible interest in Independence is a truly remarkable phenomenon.”
          For a moment I thought he was talking US dems (just substitute “governing” for ‘independence” or plain concern for people).
          Also, all similar to Flynn’s case… never forgiven for a Putin photo-op and/or spilling beans about Isis back in 2012.
          Beautiful hum-bird!

        2. mpalomar

          “Salmond questioned NATO bombing of Serbia
          He questioned that Russia was behind the Skripal ‘poisoning’
          He suggested Blair could be tried for war crimes in a Scottish court
          He said US attacks on Syria were no solution
          He was sceptical about the security threat attacks on Huawei
          He also appears on ‘Kremlin-funded’ RT channel.”

          Ah, well now it’s beginning to make some sense.

        3. Donald

          I don’t know anything about Salmond but given what I am reading here I expect the scandal will vanish. Real scandals tend to do that. The OPCW scandal didn’t even get very far in the alternative press. And with the pandemic it will be even easier to shove things down the memory hole without anyone noticing.

          1. John A

            The mainstream media are running with ‘Salmond was acquitted by majority verdict on 13 of charges and one was ‘not proven’ a specific kind of Scottish acquittal. With very heavy hint, hint, not unanimous and that how difficult it is for abused women to win in court. Incidentally 9 of the 13 jurors were women.

            The fact of the matter was, according to the court report from Craig Murray, which I have no reason to doubt, particularly as he was fully aware of running the risk of being found in contempt of court in such a politically charged trial, it was very definitely not a case of she said/he said and then having to believe one over the other, as is often what happens, but the evidence clearly showed that the accusations were not only ludicruous in many cases, for reasons I suggest you read at Murray’s blog, but also proven to be false or even impossible, and that the various accusing women had created a what’s app group to discuss the case and how to proceed. Incidentally, the what’s app evidence was not allowed to be used in court.

          2. larry

            It will disappear for a while. Salmond is waiting until the covid-19 crisis is over before doing anything, which is eminently sensible. It will be interesting to see what happens. It may vanish but I wouldn’t count on it. He has powerful friends.

    2. paul

      You might have to wait a little before the demolition begins.

      Alex Salmond is 65, asthmatic and has had two bouts of viral pneumonia, so he would be wise to isolate for a while.

      The anger and frustration at the result within the media here was something to behold. They had all their all their ‘Downfall of Eck’ stories ready to run and those meddling jurors messed it all up.

      The times is reporting that Police Scotland has now passed 4 allegations to the met for consideration.
      Presumably they didn’t make the cut from the 400 women interviewed over 2 years by 22 police officers.

      As the head of the civil service said after her first farcical court failure against Salmond “We may have lost a battle, but not the war”

      1. PlutoniumKun

        Here in Ireland the bookies shops are closed. A friend was joking to me the other day that he was surprised they haven’t opened a Coronavirus book on things like ‘first senior politician to die from it’. From what you are saying, it could be that Salmond would be an odds-on bet.

        I can think of a few other inconvenient people too around the world who should be taking particularly strict precautions.

        1. John A

          In the 1990s stage play ‘Jeffrey Barnard is unwell’ starring Peter O’toole, there is a brilliant section about a time when extreme weather caused horse racing to be cancelled for an extended period. Barnard, a real character and compulsive gambler amongst other vices, has to find other outlets for his gambling mania. It was a very funny play and maybe time for a revival. If so can heartily recommend.
          It will be interesting to see what the gambling fraternity turns to to sate their habit this time round when most sports etc., and other gambling opportunities are on hold for possibly months.

        2. paul

          I’d include Craig in that category, his health has been on a shoogly nail ever since he embarassed some people.

  6. Ramon

    F-35 tests positive for Corona virus. On a lighter note, very funny, we need some relief. Plus we might start addressing this issue seriously when we get through this.
    On a equally light note, those who are sartorially challenged will get some relief with the closure of hair stylists and dry cleaners.

    1. PlutoniumKun

      The one longer term outcome I predict from this is that long hair (for men anyway) is going to come back into fashion. with people fixing clothes at home and not being able to get their hair done, I think beach photos from the late summer of 2020 will look remarkably like beach photos from 1970.

      1. The Rev Kev

        I remember that era well. Perhaps we will once more see young girls on the beach eventually but without tattoos but only suntans. Beards may be out though as they make it difficult to get a good seal on a face mask.

      2. MLTPB

        Thinking about a photo yesterday here, about someone’s day 4 of homeschooling, with the kids shouting, toilet on fire, I imagine, day by day, people will come to realize that there is really no need for fashion shows, sports games, dining out, concerts, etc.

        1. xkeyscored

          Speaking of sports, I notice that BBC World Service radio’s usual sports slots are taken up with dismal news about worldwide sports cancellations.
          I am not well up on these matters, being totally uninterested, but aren’t there football games, boxing matches and so on that are kept for subscribing viewers? If so, couldn’t some of these be made available for free, to give sports fans something to feel normal and cheer about?

          1. MLTPB

            I think in football (American football, not soccer), people mostly talk mock drafts now.

            No games, live or rerun.

            1. xkeyscored

              No demands, on social media and so on, for some of those epoch-making world-shattering sporting events to be shown free on TV and the internet?

              1. MLTPB

                I wonder what dating singles do now.

                Are those websites suffering, as matches can’t meet in person closer than 6 ft?

                  1. Generalfeldmarschall von Hindenburg

                    You can be a dinosaur discussing Proust! It’s a psychedelic good time.

          2. The Rev Kev

            Not particularly interested in sport myself but find it interesting that all the professional sports and events are being extinguished up to and including the Olympics itself.

            The year 1816 is known as the “Year Without a Summer” because of severe climate abnormalities caused by a volcanic winter. Perhaps in years to come 2020 will become the “Year Without Sports” due to Coronavirus.

            1. MLTPB

              With shelter in place, and min 6 ft distancing, I don’t see how new movies could be made, except animation or soliloquies perhaps.

              The year without interesting movies.

              Ok, a good writer could make something out of two people writing love letters long distance, I suppose…or a bunch arguing over the net.

              1. The Rev Kev

                I was thinking about this subject recently after reading how porn stars were getting an uptick in income. The reason was that as the porn studios were shut down, these people were working from home and were able to keep more money for themselves-


                But then I went on to think that perhaps the same might happen with for example the music industry. Musicians could release their work online and bypass the big studios altogether. Word of mout would lead to popularity.

                Authors may be able to release part of their work online and bypass the publishing companies. Maybe plays could be put online using only two or three people and something similar could be done with indie films. The old film “Twelve Angry Men” had only a small cast but was very powerful remember.

                So you may see very small local productions concentrating on quality and being distributed over the net while cutting out the death grip of the distribution corporations. One can hope.

                1. NotTimothyGeithner

                  When myspace was still a thing, I believe smaller bands, not ones you bought a cd at a Wal mart but the ones you had to buy at the venue, did fairly well by normal standards.

                  1. Generalfeldmarschall von Hindenburg

                    Being in a band at that time, it certainly was easier to sell CDs online.

          3. Andrew

            Sky Sports in the UK were reduced to airing a virtual Formula 1 GP with celebrity and ex-F1 drivers, competing on the 2019 F1 game. That’s how desperate they’re getting. Bet them & BT have had tons of subscription cancellations. 2020 – the year everything got cancelled.

            1. Toshiro_Mifune

              I was looking forward to the new F1 season. I am completely ok with the shutdown though.
              IDK if Sky Sports has rights to the old BTCC stuff from the mid/late 90s, but they could rebroadcast those. As an American I only got to see parts of those seasons and they were awesome

        2. Oregoncharles

          We just discovered that our favorite pizza joint still delivers (as do the others, I imagine), despite the shutdown order. Just no eating out. We were thrilled – we’ve been cooking a lot.

      3. New Wafer Army

        I disagree. Being able to afford a private hairdresser is a status symbol. Therefore, those who can maintain a well groomed appearance will be aped by the lower orders. Like taxes, CV restrictions are only for the little people.

        1. Rod

          on the Hairdresser issue: my wife’s best-ie told her we’re about three weeks away from everybody’s true hair color. Her laughter at that just shed days of pent up stress.

          1. newcatty

            I laugh at those people who scoffed at me for letting my hair “go grey”. An aquaintance, during a phone conversation a couple years ago, asked with a passive aggressive tone if my hair was turning (OMG!) Salt and pepper or more over-all grey(OMG!). I replyed serenely that it was turning a lovely silver. I enjoy covering it, once in a while, with a silver aluminum foil beret. I match with my silver colored cardigan, and outfit. I even have grey sneakers. Grey is the new blonde. Free to be real and natural. Sorry, hairdressers…When I can leave the house again; a good hair cut will be my limit.

          2. wilroncanada

            Reminds me of the old folk song (the song is old, but likely the listeners too) “Black is the colour of my love’s true hair.”

        1. wilroncanada

          Again? It’s de rigueur in teen fashion now. Of course the patches, like the jeans, come ready patched from the clothing store, at a premium.

    1. Grant

      Well, they are now. Pelosi, remember, pushed for and implemented pay go, and the right will pretend any deficits created during the crisis will require cuts after the crisis. I keep on hearing people bring up the insane hyperinflation thing. Of course inflation is complex, right? It has to do with credit creation, how much money actually circulates, how much stuff is produced. Since we have offshored production and rely on imports for things we used to and could produce here, inflation increasing could result not from private or public money creation, but the impacts to production elsewhere, like in China.

      This crisis has revealed a lot about this broken system, and it has shown what a lie it is to say that things can’t change quickly in response to a crisis. Our healthcare system was already killing up to 70,000 a year, resulted in 500,000 bankruptcies a year, locked people into their jobs and costs far more than single payer would. It was already in crisis, those in power just didn’t care. We have an economy that is inequitable, reliant on private debt creation and war. We have crumbling infrastructure, a massive infrastructure gap. We also have an actual environmental crisis. There was never any logical justification to not radically change things quickly, because this is a crisis now on top of many crises. If it forces those in power to acknowledge things that are obvious to many posters here, great. Ultimately, this is a crisis that they are responding to only because it impacts them and it could lead to actual pitchforks. Let’s not put the pitchforks down after this crisis, cause there are other crises we have to address too, and these worthless politicians weren’t doing anything about any of them. They cling to a broken system that can’t realistically deal with the environmental crisis.

  7. zagonostra

    >From: Stock Markets Surge on Hopes of U.S. Deal: Live Updates

    This puzzles me since the phone is so much more in China than it is here. Wouldn’t the Chinese gov’t subsidize monthly cellular payment if subscribers were economically unable to pay just to keep monitoring it’s citizens? I’ve seen this news story referenced in “disreputable” Web Sites as a nefarious sign that many more people died in China than was reported. I don’t know, but something does seem odd.

    China Mobile, one of the world’s largest cellular providers, lost more than 8 million users throughout January and February, the company reported. China Unicom lost 7.8 million subscribers over the same period, while China Telecom lost 5.6 million subscribers in February, the companies reported.

    1. Dirk77

      In a related thought, I looked up the S&P around the date when TARP was signed in 2008. Interestingly, there was little change in the slide of the index then. It was just part of a steady slide that took many months. Yet now we see these wild daily swings. What has changed? Anyone?

      1. Oregoncharles

        I’d guess it’s that this is an unprecedented situation, so nobody knows what’s going to happen. Recessions have happened before, even very bad ones, so there was considerably more confidence.

        IOW, they’re panicking. I just decided to do that, too.

          1. NotTimothyGeithner

            They are both bad. The crisis hitting during one bad actor should not be an opportunity to bring old bad actors. Trump didn’t undo as much stay the course. Would Obama have closed the country down? Judging from previous behavior, only when thoroughly embarrassed.

            1. John

              Again, I will say I saw through Obama and didn’t vote for him.

              And I was proven right soon after Obama was elected when he chose Rahm Emanuel for Chief of Staff and used a list of suggestions for his cabinet from Michael Froman, then an executive at Citigroup.

              So assuming I was an Obama supporter is more What-about-ism that is getting old.

    1. anon in so cal

      Same sort of true re: ventilators. What was O doing? The NYT reported:

      2005 US predicted flu pandemic wld require 740,000 ventilators

      2010 only 62,000 ventilators in US hospitals

      2020: not nearly enough ventilators & @CDC #COVID test kit is flawed

      Separately: Covid-19 and the TB vaccine:

      “Eager to see if BCG, the TB vaccine, may offer some short-term protection against #Covid19.”

      1. Peter from Georgia

        Actually – in a study of 89 Covid sufferers with latent TB, 2 “jump started” the TB in to an active disease. There are over 13 million latent TB carriers in the US alone. TB has an over 40% fatality rate with adequate healthcare.

        This sucker could bring on other problems, too.

        1. PlutoniumKun

          Can you provide a link to that study? Its very worrying if its the case.

          Its ironic that here in Ireland its the old TB laws that are being resurrected to give police power to compel people to stay in their homes. In damp countries like Ireland, TB was a terrible killer, of young people in particular.

    2. Katniss Everdeen

      Per barack’s bff from his newly constructed home video studio:

      The president said no one saw this coming. That’s just not accurate. Our intelligence officials were warning about the coronavirus threat in January. Just based on public information I had, I warned the threat was getting worse way back on January 27.”

      Too bad for everyone he “did not recall” his administration’s failure to replenish emergency supply stockpiles and “warn” somebody about that. Somebody should try to coax uncle joe down off that Orange Man Bad bandwagon–he could fall and break a hip.

      1. Jules

        The world and the the scientific community had the full mapped genome of the virus in mid January from the Chinese. Was that not enough? Is censorship so effective and thorough in our society that the medical and scientific community was unable to inform the the public in an effective manner?
        Am i just misunderstanding something?

        Many thanks to Naked capitalism for providing coverage in the Links section when most others were doing their best to ignore it.

        1. Katniss Everdeen

          I think that what you are “misunderstanding” is that Trump had the right to expect that the beatification of the apostle barack had at least a minimal basis in fact when he took over.

          Should Trump have rectified deficiencies? Absolutely yes, and, if memory serves, he tried with respect to immigration, industrial policy and forever wars, and was branded a Russian agent, a traitor and even impeached for his trouble.

          I have no idea how maddow and her minions would have reacted had Trump announced that he was making it a priority to replenish the national stockpile of respirators and ventilators that obama and co. had allowed to languish, but somehow I can’t imagine he would have received wildly enthusiastic accolades from a grateful dem nation. I suspect “pay-go” would have been mentioned more than once.

          Both political parties are complicit in the abject deterioration of “healthcare” in this country, of which this current crisis is just one manifestation. If it makes you feel better to hang responsibility for this mess around Trump’s neck because it’s happened on his watch, have at it. But know this–it was joe biden who responded in the last debate to Bernie’s call for M4A that they had it in Italy and it hadn’t “helped.” Giving “healthcare” to everyone wouldn’t “help,” and besides, it’s too expensive.

      2. Samuel Conner

        I hope this gets wide attention; it illustrates how the senior leadership of neither party gives a d*mn about the majority of the citizenry. We are simply resources to them.

        Maybe this recognition could lead to a successful 3rd party.

      3. Jeff W

        “I warned the threat was getting worse way back on January 27.”

        From this [March 19] Reuters piece “How South Korea trounced the U.S. in race to test for coronavirus”:

        In late January [27 January], South Korean health officials summoned representatives from more than 20 medical companies from their Lunar New Year celebrations to a conference room tucked inside Seoul’s busy train station.

        “…We believed that it could develop into a pandemic,” one attendee, Lee Sang-won, an infectious diseases expert at the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, told Reuters.

        “We acted like an army,” he said.

        Seven weeks after the train station meeting, the Koreans have tested well over 290,000 people and identified over 8,000 infections. New cases are falling off: Ninety-three were reported Wednesday [19 March], down from a daily peak of 909 two weeks earlier.

    3. Cuibono

      2004 NAS report on inadequate supplies

      suspect this has been known for a very long time

      Did people not want to bleieve pandemic was a real thing?

  8. timbers

    Trying to find good news…

    I’m going by worldometer, using the Yesterday tab to see a full days figures, and looking at the graph showing new cases.

    It looks like acceleration has been broken in:

    China, Italy, Iran, Netherlands, Belgium, Norway, Sweden, Denmark.

    Looking at today numbers (entitled Now located just before the Yesterday tab) one might think acceleration has been broken in U.S. but sadly the day is not over.

    1. xkeyscored

      But perhaps we’ll finally stop looking up to them as ultimately deserving, wise and responsible folk with our best interests at heart. Some of them are clearly none of these.

      “Some are seeing this as a classic case of the well-heeled thinking they are invincible, stupidly confident that their power and wealth renders them immune to all the plagues of the world. But in reality, this is the well-heeled thinking their power and wealth renders them immune to the laws and regulations that lesser mortals have to follow.

      The boy’s mother can be part of meetings that chalk out government responses to the novel coronavirus but also moves heaven and earth to save her own son from having to be admitted into, God forbid, a government hospital.

      It shows bluntly that the greatest threat in a time like this comes not from just the virus but the sense that too many of us have that laws and precautions do not apply to us, that if we have enough money or connections, everything can be managed in our favour. Forget sacrifice, we cannot deal with even garden-variety inconvenience.”

  9. PlutoniumKun

    Fear of Disease and Workers’ Rights: What We Can Learn from American History Teen Vogue. Good article, but sad it has to appear after an id pol disclaimer

    A very good article, but kind of ironic given the disclaimer that virtually every source quoted or referred to by the writer is (or was) in fact a white cis male.

    1. Billy

      It has to be sarcasm, or parody.

      If “they” are serious, perhaps Teen Vogue could run some historical articles about lesbian collectives of color and the civilizations that they built?
      We’re waiting with baited breath.

      Do you smell a business opportunity in the wings? Affirmative Action Airlines; All pilots, staff and mechanics are GLBQTPOCs. The planes could burn some kind of alternate green fuel? Wokie politicians could use this airline exclusively to fly back and forth from D.C.

      1. drumlin woodchuckles

        I suspect not. It is probably the expression of shame and guilt they have long been psychologically conditioned to feel by all the Militant Woketards among us.

  10. Angela Welsh

    About 10 days ago, there was a link to an article that described the value of librarians as the last defense against the crapification of knowledge. Can anyone identify that link for me? I have a friend whose librarian mother just died, and I believe, would find comfort in that article. I have tried search to no avail.

      1. Angela Welsh

        No, this is not that article I was referencing. But many thanks. I will pass this one on to my friend.

        1. andrewf

          “More Libraries Are Doing Away With Overdue Fines” [New York Times]. “‘I think it’s an exciting thing,’ [said Eric Klinenberg, a professor of social science at New York University and the author of the 2018 book ‘Palaces for the People.’] of the new policies. ‘There are a lot of people who need a safe, warm place where they are treated with dignity and respect. We are short on that these days.’” • Libraries seem to be one of the few institutions to have avoided crapification. I wonder why?

          This the one? 2/24/2020 Water Cooler

  11. xkeyscored

    Amazon Is Looking To Purchase 4 Fairway Stores – Grub Street

    A taste of the consolidations to come?

    1. zagonostra

      Great, that’s what the U.S. need more Amazon jobs…

      Amazon workers are poor. Really poor. In Arizona, for example, the company’s own data suggests that one in three employees depend upon food stamps to put food on the table. It is the twenty-eighth largest employer in the state. However, it ranked fifth on the list for most employees enrolled in the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP). Across the United States, it is a similar story. In Pennsylvania, for instance, Amazon is the nineteenth largest employer but is in fifth place on the SNAP employees list of corporations. And amidst the deadly COVID-19 pandemic sweeping the globe, the job is one of the more dangerous around, as workers are constantly on the move, handling a great number of packages and in close proximity to others. Despite its poor pay, the job is considered essential to the upkeep of society.

      A man worth over $100 billion, who makes, on average, $230,000 per minute calling on the public to help his own impoverished employees was not met well by many.

    2. MLTPB

      Social distancing orders drive purchasing online.

      Does that mean DT is helping out JB?

      Reversing social distancing is for sure to help struggling hotel/resort corporations.

  12. WobblyTelomeres

    Do modern MBA programs include coursework on resilient control systems or organizational resiliency?

    My experience is in the operations research side of things along with telecommunications (the internet grew out of DARPA research into resilient communications systems meant to survive a nuclear attack). But, if MBA programs don’t address this, the Operations and Systems Modeling consultants are going to be in high demand soon.

    1. MLTPB

      Our states are like some countries (population wise, land wise, in many ways politically) and I have long, well for a couple of weeks, thought about whether this would happen.

      NY is one choice, and maybe WA.

  13. The Rev Kev

    “COVID-19: protecting health-care workers”

    On the National Mall in Washington DC, and as part of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, is a statue know as The Three Soldiers which represent three typical Vietnam soldiers from that era. Here is a page that shows images of that statue-

    Perhaps when the Caronavirus Pandemic finally burns its way out, that a position of pride and place can be found on the National Mall not for yet another military memorial, but for a bronze statue of a doctor, a nurse & a healthcare worker in their daily PPE to honour all those that fought and gave their lives fighting to save lives during this pandemic. They deserve nothing less.

      1. newcatty

        Good to know. Although not in the same category of the selfless and dedicated healthcare workers sacrificing their lives to save others; there are grocery store workers, who from the beginning of the announced crisis, have worked many long hours and days in the stores to provide food and household items to their communities. These workers, from managers to cashiers to stockers are in the front lines of the actual logistical and physical efforts to provide an essential service to people. A relative in So Cal has had a day off after 10 days of managing in her store. She deals with not just the demand for items, but also employees who just can’t handle the stress and disappear. Her store has organized the initial shock and surprise. I teared up when she told me: We are limiting how many items a customer can buy at a time. We are trying to ensure that everybody can get something. They also have the limit of how many people can shop at a time. As expected the demand for home delivery or pick-up is out of sight. She feels bad because the main cohort to buy this way was elderly or disabled. Now…

  14. rd

    Apparently, there was still Covid-19 virus on surfaces in Diamond Princess cabins at 17 days after disembarkation:

    Take interior disinfection very seriously, especially hard surfaces like plastics, metals, and finished woods. Porous organic materials (paper, cardboard, unfinished wood, cotton) are more likely to interact with the virus components and break them down sooner, but tests indicated it could still be present on cardboard up to 24 hrs. UV radiation exposure outside is a pretty good disinfectant.

    1. JTMcPhee

      Handy tip for those whose living situation allows: Suggest we presume deliveries of stuff carry virus on their surfaces. Open your Amazon boxes on the porch or front step, using gloves or a plastic shopping bag, take out the contents presuming them to be contaminated, leave the boxes outside in the sunshine and have a pot of disinfectant on the porch to wipe down the contents and whatever implement you used to cut open the boxes. Trash bin for the paper towels used, and the gloves, take your stuff inside and wash your hands.

      Probably even better ways in detail to do all this — but can’t be too careful, given what is being learned about viral spread and persistence.

    2. MLTPB

      Been raining here on and off, but the weather is looking up.

      How to handle mail is still a thorny problem. Singke use mask and gloves each time? What to do after shredding the envelopes? The bits and pieces inside, when you open it, do you put on a mask etc again?

      And do you use unprotectechand to get the letters inside, assuming they have been there for enough time? If the letters inside are suspect also, then, gloves are necessary. But if you need to file and retain them, what do you do? Make a copy and deep clean the copier? What if you have checks? Use gloves and make our a deposit slip, then put the whole thing in another single use plastic bag, and let the bank teller deal with it?

      1. anon in so cal

        We leave the mail outdoors, along with everything else that might be contaminated. We do almost everything electronically. Now that the CDC says the virus can survive 17 days on surfaces, we’ve extended the time to 17 days. Since the corona virus may be a “veterinary” corona virus, potentially it can survive on surfaces for 28 days. Back when I was still having to schlep to work, when I got home and before I entered the house, I left everything outside the door. My husband is in a high risk category.

        1. MLTPB


          I change my clothes inside, once I’m home.

          I might have to take them off and leave them outside…indecent?

      2. Billy

        Presume everything from outside your home is contaminated. Especially
        mail and cash. We microwave those until steamy.
        Can the virus possibly survive that?
        Same thing with hand and body towels, caps, shirts that might have brushed against mail, cartons or contaminated items. NO METAL staples, or zippers though.

        The few times we’ve been to the drugstore, I’ve seen people leaving up to a dollar’s worth of presumably contaminated coins on the counter. Never thought I’d see that.

        Carry your own disinfected pen. The most dangerous item in the world right now is probably the magnetic pen that everyone who uses a credit card has to use to punch “debit” or “credit” or sign their name with. Don’t forget to disinfect credit cards after inserting in the reader.
        Keep calm, this too shall pass.

        1. MLTPB

          Appreciate it.

          Looking around the net, regarding using microwave, opinions vary. Some say yes. No, on Quora.

      3. rtah100

        I bake the post in the bottom oven of the Aga (range cooker). SARS2 is inactivated by 30m at 60degC. I leave a roasting tin out for the postman and it goes straight in the oven.

        After heat treatment, I leave the post around for a few days. When I eventually open it, it will probably be with gloves on and my letter opener, opened upside down into a bowl and throw the envelopes away immediately.

        We take the shopping out of the bags and disinfect it with a 1 in 40 solution of Dettol, we spray *everything* and then rinse it after at least 10m. Luckily most stuff comes wrapped in plastic – I think the movement to reduce packaging may have just peaked!

    3. ewmayer

      “UV radiation exposure outside is a pretty good disinfectant” — but leaving stuff in sun for 2 days not exactly a good option for most things. I’m thinking maybe a quick blast of hot air from a heat gun, hot enough to get surface temp above ~200F but not long enough to damage the items. Even plastic and electronics (turn off first just to be safe) should be OK with a quick superficial heating.

  15. Tom Stone

    Pelosi and the Dem elites are either playing eleventeen dimensional chess or they are telling the 99.9% to die quietly where they won’t stink the place up while they loot the corpses.

    1. Youngblood

      Sadly, some folks (not readers here) will still believe that the former is a possibility…

      1. Generalfeldmarschall von Hindenburg

        This eleven dimensional chess trope is the modern equivalent of “Surely if the King knew!” – giving the bosses you love a pass, assuming that they are somehow playing a long game.

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          The worst part is Axelrod clearly mixed metaphors when he sputtered out 11th dimensional chess.

    2. Massinissa

      it seems to me they’re telling the 100% to die quietly. To me the options are either grossly incompetent or downright suicidal. Wondering if our elites would rather kill themselves than lose billions of dollars, like those likely apocryphal wall street chaps who jumped out windows in response to the stock market crash of 1929.

  16. JTMcPhee

    A note on the special relationship/parallel practices in the US and UK was the next oldest item in Craig Murray’s blog. Looks like the Bigs over there are talking to the Bigs over here about how to loot their way through this crisis situation by getting large checks drawn on the public purse drawn for them, “helicopter money” in the multi-billion-dollar spectrum. “It’s Not Socialism. It’s Another Mega Wealth Transfer.”

    And Pelosi still keeps asking me to send her money to “Protect HER Majority” in the House, at least a couple of emails a day. What kind of Beast will the imperial legislature gestate, and should it be called a “bailout,” a “bail-in,” a “bail-over,” or a “stimulus,” or something else, a “Shock Doctrine Rip-off”?

    Aux barricades?!?

    1. Oregoncharles

      Much too close quarters, manning those barricades. We’ll have to wait until the pandemic is over.

  17. Bill Smith

    “Biden: Trump’s ‘failure of planning and preparation’ worsened coronavirus crisis”

    Maybe the impeachment was really bad timing? January into February?

    1. Bill Carson

      I keep mentioning this to my Dem friends, and they keep acting annoyed as they deny it is anyone’s fault but Donny’s.

    2. Michael Fiorillo

      If I was a MAGA man, I’d be just so happy that the # McResistance TM squandered over three years making hysterical accusations – Putin hacked sex toys! Putin hacked Pokeman Go! Putin will turn off the gas in Fargo during the Polar Vortex! – based on a preposterous conspiracy theory riven with internal contradictions and falsehoods, which, for some, literally “inoculated” Trump against bona fide charges of malfeasance.

    3. Yoghurt

      Also recall, the impeachment started back in late summer/early fall when (I think because!) news media was beginning to actually talk about what M4A would be. This was a 2-pronged attack on Bernie. Kill discussion of M4A during fall. Remove Bernie from campaign trail in February. That it helped prevent coronavirus preparations is just an unforeseen bonus.

  18. Carolinian


    Dr. John P.A. Ioannidis, an epidemiologist and co-director of Stanford’s Meta-Research Innovation Center, pointed out in a March 17 essay on, that we still do not have a firm grasp of the population-wide fatality rate of coronavirus. A look at some of the best available evidence today, though, indicates it may be 1 percent and could even be lower.

    “If that is the true rate,’’ Ioannidis wrote, “locking down the world with potentially tremendous social and financial consequences may be totally irrational. It’s like an elephant being attacked by a house cat. Frustrated and trying to avoid the cat, the elephant accidentally jumps off a cliff and dies.’’[…]

    A surgical-vertical approach would focus on protecting and sequestering those among us most likely to be killed or suffer long-term damage by exposure to coronavirus infection — that is, the elderly, people with chronic diseases and the immunologically compromised — while basically treating the rest of society the way we have always dealt with familiar threats like the flu. That means we would tell them to be respectful of others when coughing or sneezing, wash their hands regularly and if they feel sick to stay home and get over it — or to seek medical attention if they are not recuperating as expected.

    Given left frustrations with a society that is overwhelmingly controlled by neolibs and righties and Wall Street grifters it may be tempting to see this as time for a nice social revolution but here’s suggesting we think carefully before opening that Pandora’s Box. If it is politicized right away then it’s much more likely that the authoritarians and those grifters are the ones who are going to come out on top.

    1. OIFVet

      Keep the powder dry? This has already affected millions financially, and it will impoverish millions more before it’s over. The vultures are already circling to gorge. If not now, when do we politicize the fact that neoliberalism has rendered precariousness as the highest virtue of the land?

      1. Bill Carson

        Right wing friends of mine have been citing a Hoover Institute report by Richard Epstein, published March 16. It is laughable. Predicts that worldwide deaths will not exceed 50,000. They don’t see the irony in relying on a report from a think tank named after the president who presided over the Great Depression. It should be noted that the Hoover Institute is associated with Stanford University.

        Coronavirus Perspective by Richard A. Epstein

        “From this available data, it seems more probable than not that the total number of cases world-wide will peak out at well under 1 million, with the total number of deaths at under 50,000 (up about eightfold). In the United States, if the total death toll increases at about the same rate, the current 67 deaths should translate into about 500 deaths at the end.”

        1. Jim Thomson

          USA deaths are now(3/24/20) at 667, up 114 from the day before.

          So much for this Epstein.

          1. newcatty

            Bill,i irony appreciation is dependent on having not just a sense of humor, but on a sense of humility. Those people don’t have any humor unless it is to bully, mock or criticize others who contradict their confirmation bias and self-defense. Most are subconsciously threatened by anyone who is compassionate.

      2. Carolinian

        I’m saying stop assuming everything Trump says is stupid or evil just because it’s Trump. His statement that “this isn’t going to last months” simply reflects–I think–what will soon be the public attitude for better or worse. And virus wise we are all in this same boat together so we’d better have a plan B. Friedman, for once, does make sense.

        As for all the financial aspects and bailouts…way above my pay grade.

        On the good news front I did go to Walmart this morning and found a loaf of bread. In fact they had plenty of bread. The impression was of lots of food available but not in the usual abundance and variety.

        1. OIFVet

          I don’t like Trump, but it isn’t him that I view as the biggest enemy. It’s both establishments, and right now they are busy giving away trillions to their donors while throwing a few crumbs our way. These crumbs will do nothing to prevent the financial ruin of tens of millions of families, while the trillions will make the existing system even harder to displace. So my point stands, if we don’t act now, we are family blogged.

    2. Katniss Everdeen

      There really is no place for cooler heads and common sense in an economy so dysfunctional and predatory that periodic episodes of hysteria and panic are required to maintain it for the benefit of the privileged few.

    3. ewmayer

      “If that is the true rate,” Ioannidis wrote, “locking down the world with potentially tremendous social and financial consequences may be totally irrational.” — As Lambert might say, ‘if’ is doing a lot of work in that sentence.

      And even ‘if’ we use the 1% number just for gaming things out – what if 60-70% of US population catch the bug? 1% of that means millions of deaths.

      1. Massinissa

        I did the math, I took current global population, made that down to 70% of that total, and caclulate 1% of that new number, and it comes down to… Around 54.6 million people globally. compare that to the Spanish Flu that killed around 17-100 mill people (estimates vary widely).

        To put that 54.6 million number in comparison, only 24 countries or so out of the worlds 195 countries has a population that large.

        So yeah, the people going ‘It’s no big deal, only 1% of people will die’ don’t seem to understand math. It’s like saying, ‘Oh, only the entire nation of Spain is dying. Nobody will miss those people.’

  19. Tomonthebeach

    Now is the time to tighten restrictions on contacts that could transmit the virus, not loosen them. This statement hinges on value systems and contemplating that the fallout of economic shutdowns may well kill more people than going back to work knowing people will die.

    Having a sense of Trump’s values, it seems clear to me that the lockdown was staged merely to justify not having a national quarantine. Trump and Mnuchin and their Let-em-eat-cake minions can say; “See, we tried lockdown and look at the market, look at the supermarket, look at unemployment and debt defaults. People get sick. People die. That’s life.” That is also a rather ruthless view of the world even for a bonafide coward. But most bullies are cowards, and most cowards only cry when bad things happen to them.

    One gnawing unanswerable is that the pandemic might last a year or more before we get a cure. We cannot survive that long without producing stuff, harvesting stuff, and getting it to market. The fallout might dwarf the Great Depression.

  20. J

    I want to know more about the Airbnb host disaster. When will we start getting good data and analysis on the impact it might have on real estate in popular tourist cities?

    1. PlutoniumKun

      Its too early for data, but here in Dublin the online rental agencies have reported a huge surge in new rentals, almost all ex AirBnB rentals now put on the long term market. One website I think reported a 64% increase in rentals, but its too early to say the impact on rents, but it seems logical to think it will drive them downwards.

  21. The Rev Kev

    “The EU Struggles for Relevance in the Fight against Coronavirus”

    They had their chance and they blew it. Italy for example will remember that none of the EU countries came to their aid but China, Russia and Cuba all sent medical teams and equipment. Serbia will also remember the help that China gave. EU unity in the end proved to be worth bupkis and the economic effect of Coronavirus will put paid to the economic strictures that the northern EU countries put on the southern and eastern EU countries. The EU Parliament may have been glad to see the back of the British parliamentarians as they were so fractious but because of what has been happening, they have seen nothing yet. Just wait till after the next EU Parliament elections.

  22. anonymous

    Re: Laundry in a Time of Covid-19
    “no detergents, synthetic chemical-laden or otherwise, seem to affect the virus”

    Could anyone here explain why laundry detergents would not, unlike hand soaps, break up the virus?
    Here’s the MarketWatch article previously posted on NC explaining how hand soap works: 
    A similar Vox article: , which specifically mentions sodium laureth sulfate, one of the ingredients in the laundry detergent below.
    Here are the ingredients in Tide laundry detergent: (I also see lipase and fatty acids in the list.)
    The ingredients in liquid Softsoap hand soap: 
    I provided links to make it easier for those who might answer my question. The brands are widely sold near me, and the hand soap is not antibacterial. What am I missing? Thanks.

    1. Samuel Conner

      > hand soap is not antibacterial.

      I think that “antibacterial” as a product description is generally reserved for products that are “fortified” with specific compounds that are known to kill microbes. The famous “orange” dish soaps, that contained additional antibacterial molecules beyond their base fat-dissolving composition and that were labeled “anti-bacterial”, are examples of this.

      Hand soap presumably is “anti-bacterial” in the generic sense of containing membrane-lytic components that can damage or kill bacteria, even if it is not branded “anti-bacterial” in the specific sense of containing bacteridical concentrations of specific compounds or drugs that are known to kill bacteria.

      Don’t know about the laundry detergent issue, but I will observe that the concentration of detergent and/or surfactant in a good thick lather of hand-soap might be significantly higher, and therefore more bactericidal, than what is standard for dirt removal in machine laundry. For hand-lather, there is a small amount of water and a relatively large amount of soap (whether bar soap or pump-dispensed soft soap); in laundry use, there is a relatively large amount of water and a relatively small amount of detergent. Perhaps this simple difference in concentration is enough to account, or partially account, for the difference.

      1. anonymous

        Thanks. Maybe you’re right that the issue is the amount of cleanser.
        I had avoided using an antibacterial hand soap for comparison to laundry detergent just to make sure I wasn’t adding a confounding factor.

        1. expr

          a note:
          the antibacterial in hand soap kills bacteria it does not kill viruses
          it is however somewhat effective at creating bacteria resistant to
          the antibacterial compound

          1. anonymous

            I know that. I was just trying to keep the comparison as “clean” as possible. (The Z-pack being used with hydroxychoroquine in trials is an antibiotic.)

      2. Billy

        That would favor turning up the temperature of your water heater, not to the point of scalding your hands though, and using a longer agitation period and even a secondary soak whereby stuff sits still in hot soapy water and then gets rinsed, depending on how your machine is configured.

        Have you noticed that water heaters have curves in their recovery rate?, that is, say everyone takes a shower and the water is hot, then it gets cooler as cold water replaces the hot, but then after the heater cycles, the water is hottest. That would be the time to then run the washing machine.

    2. Jim Thomson

      I think they are just wrong. I read this and wondered if it is a typo, or mistake.

      Soaps and detergents dissolve fats and oils in water.
      More time, higher temperatures and higher concentrations of soap or detergent all increase the effectiveness.
      Thus they will both disrupt the fatty membrane surrounding the virus.
      This is also how alcohols work, both ethyl and isopropyl.

      Anti-bacterial agents, such as benzalkonium chloride, which is in most Lysol, may kill bacteria but will not kill virus.

      Viruses which do not have the fatty membrane, such as norovirus, are much tougher to kill than the ones with the fatty membrane.

    3. ewmayer

      As with hand-washing, the main antiviral property of any kind of laundry sopa likely lies in it lifting contaminants off the item being washed and allowing them to be washed away. But of course fabrics have a huge amount of surface area, nooks and crannies on those fibers. So “heat is your friend”, and the dryer has both that and, uh, dryness – from the Treehugger article:

      “When using a communal washer and dryer, wash at the warmest water setting that your clothes can handle and dry for at least 45 minutes.”

      IOW, damp-drying is out for now.

      1. rtah100

        The recommendation for laundry disinfection is the same for SARS2 as for standard nursing home laundry: at 90degC with the addition of some bleach (you’d need to look up the amount).

        Apparently 30 minutes at 60degC is enough to inactivate SARS2 in solution or dried on a surface, even in the presence of protein, which helps to stabilise the virus, so the 90degC might be overkill (compared to other nasties which need it) but I would still add the bleach if the clothes will take it. I would not drop the temperature any lower.

        Not sure how the Japanese are surviving, they only have washing machines that use cold water!

    4. Procopius

      “Anti-bacterial” is a marketing term. It does not actually designate a product that kills bacteria. It is what the Supreme Court called “commercial puffery” when they absolved a firm from accusations of fraud. I recall being a bit surprised at a report on the internet back in the ’90s that “anti-bacterial” soap was actually less effective against bacteria than regular soap.

  23. OIFVet

    I like this blog post on the connection between neoliberalism and “herd immunity:” “Herd Immunity” is Epidemiological Neoliberalism.
    “Herd immunity is not just bad science or bad policy. It is biological warfare. Many people will die because of it, and governments won’t take responsibility for it. But this strategy did not appear from nowhere. It is a logical continuation of the political rationale that has governed the world for the past decades, taken to an extreme as a laissez-faire social darwinism. Because people who trust in an unregulated market will also trust in an unregulated epidemic – even if it kills.”

    1. a different chris

      Here’s the weird thing I simply don’t get: If Country A develops “herd immunity” then:

      1) Non citizens won’t visit Country A because they might catch the disease. Remember immunity doesn’t necessarily mean “our great immune systems wiped out all those nasty viruses” it could just be “our genetic morphology now doesn’t respond overmuch to said virus”. And would you trust their Tourist Bureau?

      2) Countries B->Z are gonna just keep those people out.

      Hurts the globe-trotters so there’s that.

      1. Bill Carson

        That’s exactly what happened to the Native Americans. The early European settlers brought diseases that didn’t affect them very severely because they had herd immunity, but it nearly wiped out the Native Americans.

  24. Culp Creek Curmudgeon

    It’s funny, but I think Trump is in his element. No, not managing the response to the coronavirus, but having CEOs and other extremely wealthy sociopaths coming to him and asking — begging — for help. I pushes all his narcissistic buttons: the flattery, the obsequiousness, the palpable need for Trump to be the hero and “Do something!” Sure, he’s going to kill us all, but he feels so good about himself right now.

    1. Bill Carson

      “But now you come to me and you say, ‘Don Corleone give me justice.’ But you don’t ask with respect. You don’t offer friendship. You don’t even think to call me ‘Godfather.'”

  25. Grant

    The working class is literally keeping the country going, while the rich largely retreat. The working class has not had this kind of leverage in a long time. If those in power continue to sell the store to corporate interests, or force them to work in conditions that will get lots of people killed, there should be moves towards a general strike. Let these capitalists and their system loot everyone when the economy is entirely brought to its knees. I am done with begging those in power. This system wasn’t working for most before the crisis, simply cannot deal with this crisis and is ill suited to deal with the environmental crisis too. So, sacrificing people for a broken, inequitable, corrupt and undemocratic economic system is indefensible. We need to start moving in the direction of another economic system, and this crisis is showing us some of the structural changes that need to happen, like far more comprehensive economic planning. I think this crisis is also going to show how planning itself needs to be far more democratic than it will be during the crisis, and democracy should extend to the workplace.

    1. Shonde

      All Sara Nelson, the President of the International Association of Flight Attendants, had to do to stop the 2018/2019 government shutdown was threaten a general strike.

      Perhaps it is time for the nurses union to threaten the same before hospitals across the nation become like those in Italy? Our government expects the nurses to put their lives on the line caring for others without proper equipment or protection. Or what about just walking out of any room with a patient from the .01% or holding a high political position?

      Nurses now have power to tell the US government to take the looting/bailout allocations out of the congressional bills and pin point the trillion $$ to hospitals, equipment and protection plus providing for all “we the people” over the upcoming months. Maybe that is the only way to stop the Dems and Reps from only caring for their donors.

      1. a different chris

        >Nurses now have power to tell the US government to take the looting/bailout

        Wow. That is a great idea. I’m sure nurses are

        a) worried about doing their job in this most important time
        b) how “hey we have you by the short and curlies” sounds at this, again most important time

        But they need to get over it. They have the power, (family blog)ing take it. For all our sakes.

      2. Grant

        My sister is a nurse, and I love her to the moon. She was sick last week and we thought it might be COVID 19. She tested negative, it was a severe cold and an upper respiratory infection. I asked her about equipment, and she told me that doctors and nurses where she works don’t have masks. They are on back order, but since we have offshored our production and they don’t know when they will get masks and from where, some are resorting to sewing masks at home. I cannot be angrier at this entire system, the politicians and the media that prop it up and the voters that support zombies like Biden. We desperately need structural changes. I realize that voters are scared and that those in power play on their fears, but at this point, what is scarier than the present system having to confront the environmental crisis? This healthcare system was already in crisis, so what is scarier than this healthcare system continuing on as is, possibly harmed by this crisis in ways it won’t recover from any time soon?

        I agree with you entirely. Any time nurses and doctors are taking action, we should do everything we can to support them. This system is not sustainable.

        1. Monty

          On the Med Cram youtube channel, the doctor explained that the current test is only 70% accurate, it can only prove if the virus is there in the sample. A negative test doesn’t mean you haven’t got it with any certainty.

          Its a good channel, and this was the video ->

          1. Massinissa

            I heard a story of a guy who was tested negative, then tested positive, then tested negative… Again.

            I think it was in that order, though it would have made more sense the other way round.

        2. Observer

          They are not listening to nurses and doctors. They need to hear from you. We still have no personal protective equipment. People still are not getting tested. If we get sick, we cannot help anyone else who is sick. Write your Congresscritters. Tell them that EVERYONE with symptoms should have access to proper testing. Tell them the lack of adequate personal protective equipment for medical workers is unacceptable. Sew some masks at home and donate them. C’mon, people – step up and help a sister out.

  26. Stephanie

    A quote from the letter:

    I just got off of a conference call with corporate in which they told us that if the U.S. government sends us the proposed stimulus checks due to Covid 19, they plan to absorb the money we receive by cutting our hours to reflect that amount. In other words, if each person receives a check for $1,200, $1,200 will effectively go back to the company. Is this legal?

    In the link is contact info for a Bloomberg reporter who is gathering I do on a story for corporations doing this sort of thing during the pandemic.

  27. marym

    “The New York Times @nytimes
    Denmark has promised to cover 75% – 90% of salaries for businesses that don’t lay off their employees. And in the Netherlands, the government will pay up to 90% of wages for companies hit hard by the pandemic, with additional help for restaurants.”

    (NYT seems to have articles about the current situation available without subscription, but beyond the first read or so may require an email address or setting up an account (email address + a password). I’ve had various results.)

    A twitter thread with some detail about Denmark:

  28. John

    Workers get onto a track and many can’t get off of it no matter what. They can’t imagine doing anything else but the job they are used to doing.

    No, we don’t know yet how this will unfold.
    But why can’t we have some big initiatives to hire out-of-work people?

    Wasting time and capitol is what Washington does best.
    So infuriating.

  29. deplorado

    Haven’t checked if this has been brought up in the last days, nor have I had time to watch the video,
    but a certain conspiracy angle would not seem completely unjustified when you see things like this:

    Oct 18 2019 pandemic exercise:
    And their statement:

    Statement about nCoV and our pandemic exercise
    In October 2019, the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security hosted a pandemic tabletop exercise called Event 201 with partners, the World Economic Forum and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Recently, the Center for Health Security has received questions about whether that pandemic exercise predicted the current novel coronavirus outbreak in China. To be clear, the Center for Health Security and partners did not make a prediction during our tabletop exercise. For the scenario, we modeled a fictional coronavirus pandemic, but we explicitly stated that it was not a prediction. Instead, the exercise served to highlight preparedness and response challenges that would likely arise in a very severe pandemic. We are not now predicting that the nCoV-2019 outbreak will kill 65 million people. Although our tabletop exercise included a mock novel coronavirus, the inputs we used for modeling the potential impact of that fictional virus are not similar to nCoV-2019.

  30. Jen

    #notdying4wallstreet trending on twitter. quite a collection of invective.

    Here’s a goody: “They day the president tells us to sacrifice our lives to save the economy is the day we decide to overthow the government.”

    I think this hits on something real. We have an oligarchic form of government, an elite professional managerial class that regards workers as disposable, and a contagion that has been brought to our shores and propagated by the elite and elite adjacent. Their collective contempt for the vast majority of the people of this country could not be more clear.

    I suspect it will occur to some, that if the ruling class is determined to sacrifice their lives to preserve their 401Ks and get back to brunch, taking them out by any means necessary becomes a matter of self preservation.

    To borrow a line from Chris Rock, I’m not saying it’s right, I’m just saying I understand.

    1. drumlin woodchuckles

      And that’s why the Gun Control Liberals have been working so hard to control all the guns.

  31. Billy

    Ran out of time to edit. Please note, the Venezuela thing above has not been verified.
    The Craig Murray article elsewhere, while about the U.K. states in a very coherent manner what’s happening re bailouts. Change a few words and it applies to the U.S.

  32. Pelham

    What if the federal government actually steps up during the crisis and delivers adequate funds to all Americans to keep us all consuming at fairly normal levels while essential workers continue to work and the economy basically just keeps chugging along? Would those of us who had previously been doing non-essential jobs (myself included) still have to return to our pointless occupations eventually?

    We could end up in a situation like that in the extravagantly un-PC 1959 movie musical “Li’l Abner,” in which Dogpatch is found to be the most non-essential town in the country, suitable to be abandoned for atom bomb testing. (Of course, Dogpatch was saved by the discovery of the invaluable Yokumberry tree, but I don’t have one of those.)

  33. Carey

    I don’t know the quality of this source, but it does present some interesting info:

    “..According to the latest data of the Italian National Health Institute ISS, the average age of the positively-tested deceased in Italy is currently about 81 years. 10% of the deceased are over 90 years old. 90% of the deceased are over 70 years old.

    80% of the deceased had suffered from two or more chronic diseases. 50% of the deceased had suffered from three or more chronic diseases. The chronic diseases include in particular cardiovascular problems, diabetes, respiratory problems and cancer..”

  34. Bill Carson

    Fox News is hosting a LIVE “town hall” with Pres. Trump at the WH right now. Trump says he wants the country back open by Easter (April 12).

    Important Note: Dr. Fauci is NOT present.

  35. Mildred Montana

    Loss of sense of taste in Corona virus infection:

    After reading much and listening to the stories of infected people, I am coming to believe that the severe flu that hit me in February was actually CV. The fact that loss of sense of taste has been found to be a symptom makes me believe it even more. Here’s my CV(?) story:

    I should first of all mention that I take a medication that suppresses my immune system, albeit mildly. That aside, it was exactly five weeks ago. I was feeling fine. I’d just had supper. Then, a half-hour later, the virus smashed into me without warning and I was instantly in bed with a vicious headache (which lasted three days and was resistant to all analgesics) and turn-up-the-heat, pile-on-the-blankets chills (a man on TV who tested positive for CV had a similar story). No sore throat, nasal congestion, or muscle aches. The sudden onset and symptoms were unlike any flu I’ve ever had.

    The acute phase lasted three days and I was in bed the whole time. And yes, I noticed that my sense of taste was off. Food tasted strange (not that I had much appetite anyway) so I lived solely on V8 and grapefruit juice. When I brushed my teeth at night even the toothpaste tasted weird. After the acute phase, with my appetite back somewhat, I only wanted fatty, salty fast-food, nothing else, and I’m not normally a fast-food eater.

    An uncommon symptom of CV which I had (and have never had with normal flu) was conjunctival congestion. Every morning my eyelids were inflamed and encrusted with large quantities of (for lack of a better word) gunk. The “gunk” even ruined my pillowslip.

    It took five weeks for my infection to clear completely. The chills finally left me after four and the slight cough I had (I never had much in the way of respiratory symptoms) was the last thing to go.

    I’m completely well now and if my “flu” was indeed CV as I’m beginning to think, then perhaps I have developed immunity. But I’m not about to test that theory. I’ll continue to isolate, as hard as it has been and will continue to be, until the coast is clear.

    Be safe everybody, be responsible, and hopefully this virus will fizzle out soon.

  36. xkeyscored

    Further to the US military flying test swabs out of Italy, there’s this:

    Analysis The ‘Butcher’ Who Fled Lebanon in a U.S. Helicopter

    Who released a former bigwig in an Israel-backed Lebanese militia and allowed the man, accused of torture, to flee to America as the coronavirus sweeps across Lebanon?
    By Zvi Bar’el Mar 24, 2020

    “Fakhoury was a senior officer in the Israeli-backed South Lebanese Army under the command of Gen. Antoine Lahad, and was in charge of the notorious Khiam Prison, in which thousands of Lebanese citizens were detained, interrogated and tortured during the first Lebanon war in 1982. Horrifying testimony has been published about what was happening in Khiam Prison during the years of harsh abuse perpetrated by Fakhoury, who was dubbed “the Butcher of Khaim.” He was accused of personally torturing and causing the death of detainees, at a time when the prison was under Israeli control.

    Lebanon – which is dependent on the United States to back its request to the International Monetary Fund for a loan to extricate itself from the economic crisis – could not afford a conflict with the Trump administration. Last week the Lebanese military court overturned the charges against Fakhoury and released him from prison.”

    1. The Rev Kev

      I read about that. He was flown direct out of the US Embassy where he was being protected in a US Marine V-22 Osprey helicopter to safety aboard a ship offshore. You can put that down with all those reports of unmarked helicopters transporting all those ISIS leaders & their families to safety whenever the Syrians or Iraqis were about to close out their accounts-

  37. drumlin woodchuckles

    One of the twitterers in the Stoller tweet thread referred to ” zombified Biden”. Which led me to think: a new nickname for Biden? To go with Sloppy Joe? And Dead Cabbage Walking? Something like ” Zombiden”?

    Senator Zombiden. Sloppy Joe Zombiden. etc.

    If anyone likes it, feel free to take it.

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