Links 3/27/2020

Much as we love links from the commentariat 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. Thank you!

* * *

Can Trillion-Dollar Coins Cover the Coronavirus Relief Tab? It’s Not a Bad Idea. Barrons

Coronavirus turmoil delivers shock to the hedge fund industry FT. That’s a damn shame.


House Republicans flock to DC for stimulus vote, but will any object? Roll Call

If you liked TARP, you’ll love the new coronavirus bill NBC

Bonanza for Rich Real Estate Investors, Tucked Into Stimulus Package NYT

The Senate’s Stimulus Bill Is Full of Disappointments for Climate Advocates Bloomberg

U.S. corporate crisis bailouts may prove bonanza for insider trading, new study warns Reuters

Congress Sets Aside $1,200 In Trust For Each American Until They Prove They’re Responsible Enough To Handle It The Onion

* * *

Explainer: Hobbled IRS tax agency may need months to get cash to Americans Reuters. Maybe I should introduce a “Failed State” category…

California isn’t ready to increase unemployment benefits in coronavirus crisis, analyst warns Sacramento Bee


The science:

A Genomic Perspective on the Origin and Emergence of SARS-CoV-2 Cell

Genomic epidemiology of novel coronavirus NextStrain. The strains are also mapped, and you can filter by location, country, study author, etc. (I should credit the reader who sent me tjhis link, but I can’t. Raise your hand in comments!)

Springtime in the Plague Year (podcast) Open Source with Christopher Lydon. Some skeptics.

* * *

Materiel shortages:

Trump Rejects New York’s Plea For Ventilators: ‘I Don’t Believe You Need’ That Many HuffPo. If only ventilators printed money instead of merely supplying oxygen!

FDA authorizes CPAP machines and more as emergency ventilator alternatives Fierce Biotech

ICU Bed Capacity Varies Widely Nationwide NPR. I believe that Italy has transported patients out of hot spots, freeing capacity. Of course, private equity has gone into the ambulance business

Worker at NYC hospital where nurses wear trash bags as protection dies from coronavirus NY Post (MR).

* * *


Florida, home to millions of elderly residents, doesn’t have enough coronavirus tests. Could it be the next epicenter? USA Today

* * *


U.S. leads world in confirmed coronavirus cases for first time Axios. USA! USA! We’re #1! We’re #1! (To be fair, testing has improved, and so a jump in the numbers was predictable and predicted.)

Coronavirus: Ivey says ‘right now is not the time’ for Alabama-wide shelter-in-place order Montgomery Advisor

* * *


How coronavirus mutations can track its spread—and disprove conspiracies National Geographic

The Ibuprofen Debate Reveals the Danger of Covid-19 Rumors Wired

Doing science is harder than it might be. Thread:

* * *

Political response:

With Coronavirus Comes The Hobbesian Leviathan The American Conservative

The Cult of the Shining City Embraces the Plague The New Republic (Re Silc). Licking the shrine…

Coronavirus-hit countries are asking Cuba for medical help. Why is the US opposed? CNN. Maybe we could get some UN election monitors in here, while we’re at it.

Episode 139: Trial Balloon for a Climate Disaster (podcast) Trillbilly Worker’s Party

* * *

Corporate response:

Gilead Sciences Backs Off Coronavirus Drug Monopoly Claim The Intercept

‘There’s Never Been More Attention on the Ills of Profit-Motivated Pharmaceutical Production’ FAIR

In Coronavirus, Industry Sees Chance to Undo Plastic Bag Bans NYT

* * *

Remedies and ameliorations:

We’re not going back to normal Technology Review. “Social distancing is here to stay for much more than a few weeks. It will upend our way of life, in some ways forever.” So we’re about the optimize human interaction for rent extraction by digital middlemen? That’s nice.

Alcohol is ‘unhelpful coping strategy’ for coronavirus lockdown, WHO says Independent

That Discomfort You’re Feeling Is Grief Harvard Business Review

Sun Dayong designs wearable shield to protect against coronavirus outbreaks Dezeen (Re Silc).

Self-Isolation Is the Best Time to Experiment With Your Personal Style Teen Vogue. If this is what it takes to keep people indoors…

Now Might Be a Really Good Time to Invest in a Bidet Core77


France pulls out military forces in Iraq amid virus demands ABC

Private hospitals will be made public for duration of coronavirus pandemic The Journal. Ireland. Why keep it temporary?


Exclusive: U.S. prepares crackdown on Huawei’s global chip supply – sources Reuters

Donald Trump signs TAIPEI Act to support Taiwan’s international relations South China Morning Post

The Second Virus Shockwave Is Hitting China’s Factories Already Bloomberg

Coronavirus: China calls for ‘concrete steps’ from US to cooperate in fight South China Morning Post

Don’t Kick China’s Propagandists Off Twitter Foreign Policy

One belt, one road:

Vietnam will stockpile 190,000 tons of rice for food safety amid coronavirus outbreak Straits Times


Let’s use follower’s advantage: We could learn to fight Covid-19 from South Korea Indian Express


Turkey charges 20 Saudis over Khashoggi murder Channel News Asia

Gantz Voted in as Knesset Speaker, Paving Way for ‘Emergency’ Unity Government With Netanyahu Haaretz

Nicolás Maduro: US charges Venezuelan president with ‘narco-terrorism’ BBC

Trump Transition

“Steven Mnuchin Is Doing an Excellent Job”: Wall Street Thinks Mnuchin Has Transformed From Lightweight Trump Lapdog to Stimulus Hero Vanity Fair

EPA suspends enforcement of environmental laws amid coronavirus The Hill

CMS Could Do More In Light Of The Coronavirus Crisis Health Affairs

G-7 Drops Joint Statement Following Fight Over Language Der Spiegel


States Begin Prep for Mail-In Voting in Presidential Election Pew Research. In all the coverage of Vote By Mail, I have never seen the issue of who counts the ballots raised. See Yves’ coverage of CalPERS elections for some of the entertaining possibilities. But–

House panel warns coronavirus could destroy Postal Service by June Politico. More candidates for a “Failed State” category.

Health Care

Mass Job Cuts Across U.S. Threaten to Leave Millions Without Health Insurance Bloomberg. And every single one of them loved their insurance.

It’s an will wind…. Thread:

Our Famously Free Press

Co-Founder of News Website Seeks to Dissolve Company Behind It My News LA. The ugly situation at Truthdig.

Big Brother Is Watching You Watch

Zoom iOS App Sends Data to Facebook Even if You Don’t Have a Facebook Account Vice. Oh.

Imperial Collapse Watch

Pentagon orders halt to all overseas movement for US forces for up to 60 days over COVID-19 Task and Purpose

F-35 tests positive for Coronavirus Duffel Blog

Guillotine Watch

Chinese mask entrepreneur reaps $1.9bn coronavirus bonanza FT

Clintons send pizza to NY hospital staff treating coronavirus The Hill

Class Warfare

Wall Street flees coronavirus and glimpses its mortality FT. What about others’ mortality?

Wall Street is in lockdown. Like Mr Lemkau, many of its troops have taken flight from their natural habitat in Manhattan to ride out the pandemic in second homes and vacation properties in Southampton, Palm Beach, the Hudson River Valley and other fashionable locales.

Just wait two weeks… As I wrote.

‘They’re putting us all at risk’: What it’s like working in Amazon’s warehouses during the coronavirus outbreak CNBC. Maybe Jeff could set up a GoFundMe for hand sanitizer?

Pittsburgh AFL-CIO Opposes 1st Black Woman State Rep from Western PA for Re-Election Payday Report. She also opposes fracking, and supports the #GreenNewDeal.

What’s so new about New Municipalism? Progress in Human Geography

Antidote du Jour (via):

Bonus antidote:

Today seems to be Koala Day on the Intertubes:

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here

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About Lambert Strether

Readers, I have had a correspondent characterize my views as realistic cynical. Let me briefly explain them. I believe in universal programs that provide concrete material benefits, especially to the working class. Medicare for All is the prime example, but tuition-free college and a Post Office Bank also fall under this heading. So do a Jobs Guarantee and a Debt Jubilee. Clearly, neither liberal Democrats nor conservative Republicans can deliver on such programs, because the two are different flavors of neoliberalism (“Because markets”). I don’t much care about the “ism” that delivers the benefits, although whichever one does have to put common humanity first, as opposed to markets. Could be a second FDR saving capitalism, democratic socialism leashing and collaring it, or communism razing it. I don’t much care, as long as the benefits are delivered. To me, the key issue — and this is why Medicare for All is always first with me — is the tens of thousands of excess “deaths from despair,” as described by the Case-Deaton study, and other recent studies. That enormous body count makes Medicare for All, at the very least, a moral and strategic imperative. And that level of suffering and organic damage makes the concerns of identity politics — even the worthy fight to help the refugees Bush, Obama, and Clinton’s wars created — bright shiny objects by comparison. Hence my frustration with the news flow — currently in my view the swirling intersection of two, separate Shock Doctrine campaigns, one by the Administration, and the other by out-of-power liberals and their allies in the State and in the press — a news flow that constantly forces me to focus on matters that I regard as of secondary importance to the excess deaths. What kind of political economy is it that halts or even reverses the increases in life expectancy that civilized societies have achieved? I am also very hopeful that the continuing destruction of both party establishments will open the space for voices supporting programs similar to those I have listed; let’s call such voices “the left.” Volatility creates opportunity, especially if the Democrat establishment, which puts markets first and opposes all such programs, isn’t allowed to get back into the saddle. Eyes on the prize! I love the tactical level, and secretly love even the horse race, since I’ve been blogging about it daily for fourteen years, but everything I write has this perspective at the back of it.


    1. carl

      Propublica has done yeoman’s work in exposing some of the worst effects of years of diminished funding (which seems to be correlated with Rs ruling, but since the Ds are not an effective opposition, it is more bipartisan).

    2. Stephen V.

      Trying not to rant. One IRS example among many: In the good ol’ days prior to the 2019 shutdown, one could fax problem cases to the Taxpayer Advocate Svc and get a call back within 2 – 3 days. In the year since? Zero bupkus response at all. All those layoffs a few years back? TAS guy told me it’s 2 years to train new peeps. Are they even hiring? I dunno.
      And now this brilliant scam, er scheme to distribute $$. Told my colleagues yesterday we’ll have to change our form of biz to a call center.

    3. LaRuse

      My mom filed her taxes in the second week of January, via mail (she’s in her mid-60s and technology averse). Her refund has not appeared, nor can she get anyone on the phone to verify whether her taxes are marked as received or not.

  1. Richard H Caldwell

    “EPA suspends enforcement of environmental laws amid coronavirus”

    Never let a crisis go to waste — ’tis a great for dumping all those nasties in your corporate closet!

    1. MLTPB

      There is also the safety of the government workers, just like building code inspectors, those in many courts at various levels, and at other agencies, to consider.

      1. Skip Intro

        Yes, that was definitely the top concern, given that there is no way for those workers to protect themselves. Thanks for setting us straight!

  2. Louis Fyne

    Neil Ferguson downgrades his prior 500k UK dead prediction to 20k dead.

    He said that expected increases in National Health Service capacity and ongoing restrictions to people’s movements make him “reasonably confident” the health service can cope when the predicted peak of the epidemic arrives in two or three weeks. UK deaths from the disease are now unlikely to exceed 20,000, he said, and could be much lower. …..

    1. The Rev Kev

      Neil Ferguson should go visit Boris Johnson straight away and brief him personally on his findings.

      1. Andrew Thomas

        Boris “Herd Immunity” Johnson named Upper Class Twit of the Year” by acclamation as Coronavirus fears cancel annual competition for first time in 178 years.

        1. MLTPB

          If he stopped believing that before today, people can wonder about his motive for the change, and when that change and test occurred.

          On the other hand, if he still believes, perhaps he will recover and add to the herd immunity.

          1. Eustache de Saint Pierre

            Not so long ago there was some discussion as to the merits of being landed with the Brexit hot potato, which of course Boris did not mind – but once realising his ambition, he has been presented with an asteroid of a hot potato that now has him as his own epicenter.

        2. D. Fuller

          Since SARS-CoV-2 is a mutation or became deadly throuigh gene transfer? Herd immunity won’t be enough next time.

          Once this crisis is over, people in government and business will go back to pre-Covid-19 behavior.

          The response to this crisis by Administration officials reminds me of Julia Tymoshenko during the 2010-2011 flu crisis (IIRC the years) urging people to stock up on antibiotics. Useless for flu.

          Even the affects upon the military (including the emergency porting of a US aircraft carrier) are being ignored by the Administration. The death toll should exceed the Afghanistan and Iraq wars combined. The Administration’s lack of effective response in containment and mitigating the spread of the virus? Is developing world status.

    2. Polar Donkey

      Yesterday, I know of 2 people that died of Coronavirus. 1 in Memphis and 1 in Birmingham, AL. Neither show in official counts yet. I wonder how and lag time reporting is done.

      1. MLTPB

        In Los Angeles county, a few dars ago, a young person was reported by the county as a casualty of the thing.

        In the last couple of days, they have been saying maybe it’s not the case.

        In other cases, elsewhere, how to attribute the cause is not consistent with other places worldwide.

      2. Jack

        I think it is useless to ascribe any precision to the COVID19 medical data. It may come across as muted, even from Fauci and Birx but it’s clear to me that the lack of good data is a known unknown. We don’t have enough test equipment and if we did we (most likely) would not be able to put enough testers out there and if had enough testers we would wind up not testing the people who should be tested.

        The best case scenario is having smart epidemiologists making good inferential judgement calls on how to attack the issues we face.

        1. Jeremy Grimm

          I agree with your assessment of the best way forward. — But do we have “smart epidemiologists” in the U.S. placed and given the power to make “good inferential judgement calls” and what if there are disagreements among them?

        2. xkeyscored

          The best case scenario is having smart epidemiologists making good inferential judgement calls on how to attack the issues we face.

          Followed by Dr Don ‘The Don’ & Professor ‘Dense’ Pence overriding them?

        3. MLTPB

          Per SCMP, Spanish capital ditches unreliable Chinese coronavirus test kits.

          They are returning them.

          So, a lot of numbers worldwide need to be double checked.

    3. Jules

      I remember reading about the study in Wapo on the 17th.
      The article mentioned if the government in uk implemented half-ass measures the 500,000 potential fatalities would be reduced by half. If it took on aggressive measures the number would be as low as 20,000.

  3. xkeyscored

    Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson, Prime Minister of the UK, has tested positive for COVID-19.

      1. Biologist

        Perhaps we should prioritise testing for NHS staff rather than the likes of Johnson and prince Charles, eh?

        1. xkeyscored

          The Head of the Conservative Something-or-Other was on the telly an hour or so ago, saying front-line NHS staff will get tested if they have the virus. A bit of a Catch-22.

    1. paul

      who cares?
      They have blackface tony blair rishi sunak to step in.
      He can,after convalescence, return to his 250k columns for the dying influencer, the telegraph.
      And ‘they’ are the tufton street hookup joint.

      I cannot imagine this is what what the decrepit and desperate new tory voters had in mind.

      1. John A

        Rishi Sunak, ex-Goldman Sachs, has said that freelance journalists won’t be eligible for his self-employed bailout scehme as they earn about £200,000 a year. Star columnists often switch to freelance status for tax reasons, but I would say you could knock a zero off his figure and not be far wrong for most freelance journalists.
        Just shows how completely out of touch they are with common man and woman.

    2. The Rev Kev

      That’s what I like about you xkeyscored. You always try and cheer everybody up here. I wonder if he got it from Chuck?

    3. John A

      As Boris is allegedly fond of the stuff that supposedly Maduro supplies, the first reaction of many to the news ‘Boris tests positive’, was ‘to what?’

      1. xkeyscored

        Thank you. I hadn’t heard those rumours, though I had my suspicions. That stuff does seem to lead people into continuing with previously successful strategies that are now failing for longer than non-users, and maybe pursuing high risk strategies more than others, something I think is all too often brushed aside by many political and economic analysts and commentators.

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          Pigs carry that? Oh that was Cameron. Though it seems like BoJo would want in on that action.

    4. David

      There’s increasingly a slightly Biblical element to this saga : how are the mighty fallen !
      Think about the practical implications for a moment, just at the level of government. Johnson has been chairing meetings all day since he was infected. Some will have been in Downing Street, which will have to be completely disinfected and the staff all tested, as well as all the people who come and go in a typical day. But Johnson has also been chairing a daily meeting in the Cabinet Office – the famous Cabinet Office Briefing Room or COBR. That room or rooms will have to be disinfected or sealed up, all the high-priced attendees traced and tested, all their staff tested, the documents and the bags they were carrying, every door handle, keypad and compter keyboard disinfected …. or the government will quite quickly stop functioning. You can isolate a single person or a small group, but not an entire government. And with its usual sense of tragic irony, the illness has specifically targeted those involved with trying to defeat it.

        1. David

          It’s not the politicians really (though in a democracy someone has to take the decisions) it’s all the medical experts, planners, administrators, policemen, military etc. etc. I would be worried about.

          1. xkeyscored

            Me too. Much as I loathe ‘the system’, having it collapse in the lack of an alternative or successor wouldn’t be pretty. And I hope that’s wouldn’t, not won’t.

        2. The Rev Kev

          How could you tell? Because decisions would be made that actually made sense and recognized the reality on the ground? As an example, even though the UK is leaving the EU, the EU set up a scheme to get extra ventilators for the Coronavirus crisis and invited the UK to take part. So what happened? No. 10 said “Nah!” Yeah, they backtracked a few hours later but still-

          1. David

            If you’ve ever spent any time in a country where the state no longer functions believe me you’ll know the difference.

            1. The Rev Kev

              Don’t mean the entire State but just those at the very top. I am in no way myself keen to experience Dmitry Orlov’s Five Stages of Collapse. As an example of what I mean, having Trump as President has put the US way behind the eight-ball in trying to cope with this pandemic. They have lost perhaps two months of time which can never be gotten back again. If he had chocked to death on a MacDonald’s burger one night back in January, this may have led to the saving of tens of thousands of Americans to come.

              1. MLTPB

                This wasn’t the main topic in the debate before New Hampshire.

                That was around the beginning of Feb.

                I commented then that alternatives should be put forth, publicly, just for the record, to make any future criticism more forceful.

                It was not until the debate before S Carolina that more attention was paid to this. That was towards the end of Feb.

                From there, things accelerated.

                One can also said, for example, Hong Kong wasted months, as they recently discovered 3rd wave, realizing, according toreports, that they ‘relaxed too soon.’

                The wasting of time seems to be world wide, and non partisan.

    5. Samuel Conner

      From the department of “careful what you wish for”

      Boris’ contribution to the “herd immunity plan”

    6. MLTPB

      There are ideas.

      And people who believe in those ideas.

      If an idea is not shown to be working for a particular situation, there will always be believers.

  4. Henry Moon Pie

    It’s about time in this crisis for the American President to board Air Force One and stare out the window at his stricken country. But being the Man of the People and Master Politician that he is, I’m sure Trump remembers how the Lamestream Media covered Bush and his plane rides, so this Commander-in-Chief won’t be satisfied with that.

    What he should do is to assemble a really, really great team:

    1) the five Wall Street MoUs whom Trump consulted before his Fox Easter Parade announcement;

    2) some additional great wise men like New Yorker Lloyd Blankfein (Harvard ’75);

    3) respected media like Rick Santelli;

    4) Second Couple Jared and Ivanka.

    Then America’s finest should head for the Queens hospital we read about yesterday. They could start with the ER waiting room where there would be a great photo-op with the sick and the dead. Then they could proceed to the core ER operations where they could observe patients desperately grabbing at doctors and nurses as if they were drowning–because they are. Next would be a visit to where patients are on ventilators so they could see how easily treatable this “flu” is.

    It will be absolutely tremendous! Even CNN will be boffo at our Brave Leader and his companions, all of whom are great people and products of our fine meritocracy, as they descend for their personal preview of Dante’s Eight Circle, and all out of our Pres’s love for his people.

    Almost forgot: our entourage will need protection even though this virus isn’t that big a deal. Our intrepid visitors will be provided with garbage bags bought at a nearby Dollar Tree along with masks used this past week by the hospital’s doctors and nurses after being washed in the sink.

  5. Alan Masser

    I think a Failed State category is sadly overdue. But it might end-up dominating the Links page…

    1. Lost in OR

      Failed State is the header. Everything else is a sub-category.
      Unsustainable in so many ways.
      I embrace it.
      Now what?

  6. Biologist

    Re: Genomic epidemiology of novel coronavirus NextStrain. The strains are also mapped, and you can filter by location, country, study author, etc. (I should credit the reader who sent me this link, but I can’t. Raise your hand in comments!)

    Fantastic tool indeed. Also perhaps good to flag the caveat posted by the authors on NextStrain:

    Although the genetic relationships among sampled viruses are quite clear, there is considerable uncertainty surrounding estimates of transmission dates and in reconstruction of geographic spread. Please be aware that specific inferred transmission patterns are only a hypothesis.

    Also check their twitter thread: to get a flavour of the power of open data.

    1. PlutoniumKun

      Excellent website, I’ve already been sending links to that and the Nat Geog article above to those of my more intelligent friends prone to distributing unproven theories around. Plus the Cell article on the disease origins.

      1. Ignacio

        For anyone truly interested on the origin of the new epidemics this is a must read though not for those believing on maligne Fu Manchus or Johnsons or Pérez in hidden labs releasing lab monsters inadvertently, or worse, with an objective. We have an infinitesimal idea of the true diversity of Coronavirus infecting mammals and for what is known now this virus group has developed high capacity for jumping hosts and adapt to many mammal species. The people that say that a zoonotic jump is not possible must turn a blind eye to a wealth of known data. Since SARS CoV 1 epidemics an effort has been dedicated to the study of Coronavirus in mammals, mainly in bats, as their have been shown to host a vast diversity of these and can act as natural reservoirs. This study signals that not only our knowledge about Bat CoVs is far from representative of the overall diversity in bats but we have to expand to many other species that can act as intermediate hosts and reservoirs for new infecting humans CoVs. Traditional Chinese practices with wild animals have to be forbidden, or at least subjected to strict sanitary rules.

        Mother nature has an ability to generate CoV variants that could result in human epidemics which is many orders of magnitude above a bunch of world labs working with this viruses with little knowledge about their molecular and evolutionary biology.

        1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

          “When the facts change, I change my mind. What do you do sir?”.

          I’m now humbly removing my foil hat on the virus origins, thanks for the help Ignacio and Yves.

          I’ll have to leave my utter skepticism for all utterances by The State, forged in fire by JFK and Vietnam and 9/11 and WMD and MH-17 and RussiaRussiaRussia and Skripal, at the door on this one.

          What I’m pondering today is this: 50% of people test positive for the antibodies for H1N1. That was 10 years ago and health officials expected many hundreds of thousands of deaths which thankfully did not eventuate. When is it appropriate for people who have Covid-19 immunity, and are not shedding the virus, to return to normal activity?

          Asking for a friend: Our Way Of Life As We Know It. The longer that recedes from view the harder it will be to get back within striking distance. With a gigantic caveat: that Way needed lots of work. But surely we do not all want to plant potatoes, work on our insect recipes, and fight with our fellow men for the last cup of clean drinking water.

      2. xkeyscored

        How are your friends responding, PlutoniumKun? I feared they would just come back with some other bit of ‘science’ dragged in out of context or whatever. Hope I was wrong.

    2. Ignacio

      What I like about this is that at the end we will have a beautiful study on how a virus evolves in a new host from the very beginning of the epidemics. The rate at which mutations accumulates as it tries to fit in the diversity of humans and some day, when spreading is not the goal because most humans have been infected and many are resistant, which strains are able to keep on in the population. Probably those less virulent as it uses to occur. It is a pity that many countries are not reporting sequences or just very few (I am watching you Spain!). This is a wet dream for evolutionary biologists, if you can forgive them for their professional obsessions.

      1. Biologist

        Perhaps you know this, or someone else, it certainly is above my pay grade.

        There’s a plot with numbers of mutations plotted across the genome, and at one site (at position 11083), there are 11 mutations, while the second-highest sites have 6. Granted, this is probably still within (the tail end of) what one would expect by chance, and any statistical test for selection would probably not flag it.

        However, out of curiosity I looked up what kind of mutation it is, and in all cases it was a non-synonymous G->T mutation, changing a Leucine (L) to a Phenylalanine (F). This occurs at amino acid position 3606 of orf1ab polyprotein, which contains a small protein “nsp6” with a putative transmembrane domain for which I couldn’t find more info.

        It would be interesting to know whether and how this amino acid change affects the protein, and what any effects it might have on properties of the whole virus. There are now a few labs that are culturing the virus, presumably they could test effects of that mutation. Given that it’s arisen 11 times independently this might indicate that is has some selective advantage, but again with these low numbers it might as well just be neutral.

        Here’s the full genome sequence with a graphical interface:
        and here the polyprotein:

        1. Ignacio

          nsp6 has been shown to be involved in avian coronavirus in the restriction of “autophagosome” expansion, therefore not surprising it has transmembrane domains. These organelles are involved in protein degradation and can be part of a cellular response to virus infection which is then inhibited by nps6. So it looks like part of the virus “warfare” against the cell. Why is there a hot spot for mutation? I don’t know and it has to be tested whether this is significant during viral infection.

        2. Ignacio

          I am bored enough to run a protein blast.

          In bat SARS CoVs in the same position a Valine is found instead of Leucine (a conservative change). Phenylalanine, as you saw, observed only in some human SARS CoV 2 variants but not in bats. These are all hydrophobic aminoacids but F has an aromatic group. Adaptation to humans? Who knows.

          1. Susan the other

            The link above from Cell: Genomic Perspective on the Origin and Emergence of SARS-CoV-2. What a great read. Australian and Chinese virologists studying the evolution of CoV-2 mutations which made it remarkably successful against humans especially using the ACE-2 receptor. This was such an accessible explanation of mutations (whether natural or assisted) I almost understood it in depth. And it should put to rest the Indian research that purportedly found splices of HIV in the Corona Rna. At least these guys didn’t mention anything like that. And they confirm my suspicions about the onset of this epidemic coming on slowly from December 1st, maybe earlier. It was a banquet for thought. I’m saving my notes. Hope you are well Ignacio.

            1. Ignacio

              The commentary in Cell by Holmes et al. is the best read I have seen so far on SARS CoV2 origin and, as you say, is accessible language. Kudos to Mr. Strether!

  7. Phillip Allen

    A Failed State category is appropriate. Some overlap with Imperial Collapse Watch, but my bet is it becomes a strong category contender going forward.

    1. LawnDart

      Failed State with reader-submitted photos!

      A ten-thousand strong Linh Dinh-esq 5th column!!!

      Where and when can we submit entries?!?

    2. Samuel Conner

      That’s not a category within NC; that’s a whole other weblog!

      There’s way too much material to fit within NC by itself.

      1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        With a big disclaimer for the fact that the state is NOT failing at all for the .01%, quite the opposite.

        (Why, it’s almost as if it was all designed that way, with the model being King Leopold’s Congo. The breadstuffs of the world, theirs for the taking, and lop off a hand if the slave does not hit their daily quota).

  8. cnchal

    > ‘They’re putting us all at risk’: What it’s like working in Amazon’s warehouses during the coronavirus outbreak CNBC.

    Oreos don’t deliver themselves. Priorities, priorities.

    Twatter hashtags that Amazon employees can use to vent. You are welcome to add your own





  9. Steve H.

    A side zeitgeist: ESPN. Dependent on large-audience entertainment, “what would have been” the through-line, part history channel, some gaming, pro drivers competing on game platforms, in-depth coverage of contract negotiations, brackets for anything.

    Suppose they gave a championship and nobody came?

  10. John

    Since trillions are being slung about like frisbees, why was it not possible to sling a useful quantity at those who need it most? A currency issuer creates money; a currency issuer can destroy it. If there is too much floating around tax it out of existence. After all, the “undeserving poor” are the ones who do the work. “Bind not the mouths of the kine who tread the corn.”

    1. Louis Fyne

      Because like a magician, DC Dems are waving Orange Man Bad with the right hand as the misdirect while funneling $$$ to their base with the left hand

      1. richard

        Even among that disreputable sub category of magicians, dems are the worst of the lot. No showmanship, no fun of even the disreputable kind, no one amazed. Children in backyard birthday parties would demand refunds.

    2. notabanktoadie

      If there is too much floating around tax it out of existence. John

      Except, if taxation is used to curb price inflation, it MUST fall on the non-rich since the rich don’t consume enough to matter.

      Just another among several ethical flaws in current MMT proposals.

      1. Lee

        How about modern labor theory? At the moment there are probably no physical constraints to providing the basic necessities to the entire U.S. population. I don’t know the number but I’m pretty sure that considerably less than the entire work force is engaged in production of the essentials for survival. The rest can stay home, go fishing or whatever and the world might be a better place.

        As for inflation, in desperate times I’m partial to price controls and rationing.

      2. Grant

        MMT isn’t really a proposal, it is an explanation of how things work. MMT economists like Kelton have analyzed and discussed inflation, which is complex. We could see a huge spike in inflation because of a collapse in the production of the stuff we import from places like China, one of the wonders of offshoring production. Good luck planning an economy when production is in another country (that employs more comprehensive economic planning). One way to tackle that in the medium term would be to have a national industrial strategy. Might also help to ditch the WTO and horrible deals based on the NAFTA model.

        We could see deflation set in with lots of government money creation if private money creation collapses. We could also just decommodify stuff like housing and work to increasingly bypass markets all together, which we eventually have to do anyway. More of an economy in kind. Markets are, after all, one of the key reasons we have an environmental crisis and we cannot realistically monetize most environmental impacts.

        I, personally, want very high taxes on the rich. Most of their wealth isn’t earned (a lot of it is rent extraction), but I don’t want that so the state can spend money (at the federal level, not the case) and not because I want to curb inflation. I just want to do something about the insane wealth among the oligarchs, and I wouldn’t mind there being an actual class war, instead of a contituation of the one-sided and decades long class slaughter.

        1. notabanktoadie

          MMT isn’t really a proposal, … Grant

          Only partly true since you won’t pry away:
          1) a Job Gaurantee from Bill Mitchell
          2) increased welfare for the banks from Warren Mosler
          3) no tax increases on the rich from Stephanie Kelton

          except from their cold, dead fingers.

          It’s sad but apparently true that faux reformers arise with every major banking crisis and MMT advocates are, currently, no exception.

            1. notabanktoadie

              For Warren Mosler, Google “Proposals for the banking system Mosler”.

              For Bill Mitchell, visit his blog and look at his posts under “Job Guarantee”.

              For Stephanie Kelton, I just recall something about reassuring her rich friends that their taxes won’t go up and also her emphasis (true) that Federal deficit spending adds (to the penny!) to net private financial assets.

              We can and should do better than what these condescending elitists are advocating.

      3. pricklyone

        Who says iit has to be a consumption tax?

        Except, if taxation is used to curb price inflation, it MUST fall on the non-rich since the rich don’t consume enough to matter.

        Transaction tax comes to mind..

        1. notabanktoadie

          By suppressing financial transactions in favor of productive investment that would lower prices?

          Sounds plausible – if combined with anti-rentier measures such as land reform, which MMT advocates have never proposed afaik.

          But that raises another ethical flaw of MMT: the use of what would be even more so than now the PUBLIC’S credit but for private gain; e.g. automation to dis-employ the public with the public’s credit.

    3. paul

      I think you are missing the point, an ill wind blows no good if it does not favour the opportune.

    4. MLTPB

      Why not those who need it most?

      I believe it’s not about how many trillions can be issued, but about whatever amount under consideration is to be divided.

      That is, it’s not about ‘let’s print more,’ but ‘why do we use that existing money for that instead of this.’

      1. Grant

        Well, it is a bit of both. The Treasury can create money and can make investments while taking non-market (i.e., social and environmental) impacts into account. Something could be justified even if it didn’t generate profits if it resulted in large non-market benefits. A tree plantation program that could create or expand forest cover might not generate as much money as a polluting factory, but it would result in a large amount of non-market benefits. A government that controls its own money creation can invest in this way. Private financial capital cannot, and it will often invest in things that generate it profits through the externalization of non-market costs like environmental damage. As you were saying, where the money goes once it is created is important.

        1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

          A lot of this reminds me of modern organic gardeners who puff around like they invented something new. Look! I’m not adding any petro-chemicals! I’m composting! Practices subsistence farmers around the globe have used since forever.

          MMT! Debt forgiveness! State money! New ideas! Um, hello, Babylonia, Jubilee, The Bible, The Bank of Reconstruction, Germany in 1948 fer chrissakes. I don’t think positioning it all as newfangled is the way to go, rather a return to sensible practices that have worked in the past time and again.

  11. zagonstra

    >Sanders and the Cult of Personality

    I watched a live stream last night of Jimmy Dore’s interview with Matt Stoller and it made me rethink my attachment to Sanders. I now think it is absolutely necessary to separate support for the policies he proposes from him as the vehicle to get them enacted.

    The interview also suggested that his speech in the Senate threatening to stop the COVID bill from passing was grandstanding, something I would have never thought I would associate with Sanders. And, that it functioned as a necessary cover for the Dems.

    Stoller’s critique of what is taking place with this bail-out bill was very sobering and depressing. Not one Senator voting in opposition, not one Senator demanding that aid to Corporations and aid to the People be broken up into two bills and voted separately.

    I’ve viewed friends and family as being captured by the cult of Trump with MAGA etc…but maybe I need to own up to being captured by the Cult of Sanders…

    1. GlobalMisanthrope

      I watched it, too. Stoller was magnificent. So, what happened next?

      Went to send the link to my son this morning and it’s GONE. No trace of the interview anywhere that I can find. WTAF?

      1. richard

        It was a live stream. Jimmy’s going live almost every day now, glob bless him!
        He’ll break up parts of the interview (probably) and put on you tube for free, but to see the whole thing again I think you’d need to become a member of Jimmy Dore Comedy (little bit of $, plus the spanking initiation, just kidding)

      2. Noone from Nowheresville

        I can’t find the youtube link either but I found the podcast on Jimmy’s premium listing. At least right now it appears to be free access.

        I’m listening to it now. Dave Smith is first up. I scanned ahead, Stoller starts around min 26.

        Special Guests: Matt Stoller, populist economist
        Dave Smith, libertarian comedian!
        Florida poll workers infected with Coronavirus!

        1. Jeremy Grimm

          Got it! Thanks!

          However I should mention no matter what Stoller says to explain Sanders — I will vote for Sanders in the primary and in the final election. If Sanders could do nothing more than place a few decent appointments in a few executive agencies, and perhaps a few judges … that would be far more positive accomplishment than any Presidency I can recall. If a President Sanders would veto a few bills, that would also be a far more positive accomplishment than any Presidency I can recall.

          Sanders is a politician — not a Saint.

          1. edmondo

            You can have him. He’s all yours.I was pretty sure after 2016 I was being sheepherded. Now I am positive.

            1. Jeremy Grimm

              So you’ve identified the Judas goats have you? How to you plan to step off the ramp and where will you go?

            2. Jeremy Grimm

              I listened to all two and a half hours of the Jimmy Dore show including Matt Stoller’s indictment of Sanders. I fully agree with Stoller’s view that the vote on the so-called Bail-out Bill was pure Kabuki theater and Sanders played a despicable role in the drama. If I vote [I am not going to risk the corona virus] I will still vote for Sanders in the primary and final votes. But I am very willing to listen to alternatives.

              I could skip voting. I believe that would suggest my apathy. I could vote but leave a choice for President blank. I believe that would indicate I have no regard for any of the candidates on offer. I could vote for a third-party candidate — but I was disappointed by Jill Stein and I am not aware of any other third-party candidates I might vote for. I could vote for Sanders and write his name in for the final election — I am very disappointed by Sanders. I doubt he has any chance of winning the primary. Of late, Sanders has worked surprisingly hard to dampen the ardor of his supporters, me included, and has done everything short of bowing out and endorsing Bidden. But up to this point Sanders did represent a better vision for the future that I still believe in and still support — for the most part. I believe my votes for Sanders might indicate my support for the Sanders vision.

              I listened to Dore’s criticism of voters selecting candidates based on a cult of personality. My first vote for Obama reflected this failing in my impressions of Obama, impressions shown false in Obama’s first few months in the White House. I held my nose and voted for Obama a second time as a lesser Evil. After Hillery stole the 2016 nomination I voted for Jill Stein … a choice I later regretted. In 2020 I will vote for Sanders unless I learn of a better choice between now and the elections. I despair that we are running out of options and there are no choices, no changes will be allowed, and any attempts to demand change will be met with extreme violence. I grow fearful for our future.

          2. Anon

            Sanders needs to stay in Primary to keep Biden from gaining the nomination outright. Then at the convention he can throw his support/pressure on the candidate (not Biden) who the super delegates believe will have the best chance to defeat Trump.

            Gov. Cuomo and Gov. Newsom will be options, after their extended TV opportunities during the CV epidemic. The broader electorate doesn’t seem to cotton to Bernie during the Primary, but his followers will be important during the General election. The convention will be brokered and neither Bernie or Biden will be the selection.

    2. Noone from Nowheresville

      Wow. That was brutal. Stoller gave me lots and lots and lots of things to think about on many topics. Need to process for a while then re-listen to that.

      1. Jeremy Grimm

        I think Stoller underestimates the power of Neoliberal ideology and its part in building the world we live in. It will not be enough to dismantle the structures Neoliberalism has built into our economy and government if the ideology is not also dismantled along with its think tanks and its no-prisioners capture of economic theory. I agree Stoller was brutal and I have to agree with most of what he said … but in my opinion, how he said it undermined its effectiveness as argument and dulled the edge of the facts he possesses for employment in his arguments. His facts can cut deeper than his invective.

    3. Aumua

      I now think it is absolutely necessary to separate support for the policies he proposes from him as the vehicle to get them enacted.

      Just as Sanders himself as said many times in so many words.

      And as I have said before, it’s not Bernie Sanders who is letting you down, it’s your expectations that you have placed on him that are letting you down.

      1. Zagonostra

        You are probably right, bit it is natural to gravitate to leaders. It has been the natural psychological dynamics at play in the development of social groups. Just read history and you can see when a man would rise up know the historical stage and serve as the focal point of that which embodies the zeitgeist of an epoch.

  12. The Rev Kev

    Trump Rejects New York’s Plea For Ventilators: ‘I Don’t Believe You Need’ That Many” ”

    I would have thought that Trump would have shown some sympathy to his own home city but there was something that I did not take account off. I am betting that for Trump, New York is America. When New York is booming and thriving, then all is right with America on the basis of appearance. So if a few hundred thousand New Yorkers have to give their lives in order to show off New York as a city getting back to normal, then that is a price that Trump is prepared to pay. Then, like Madeleine Albright, he will be able to say afterwards – “The price is worth it.”

    1. Dita

      On the contrary, Rev. Trump has been sticking it to NYC for failing to vote for him, for protests, for fai!ing to round up illegals in sufficient numbers and on and on…

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        I think like Republicans he wouldn’t care unless forced to see the horror (not saying Trump would react in this case), but as long as he’s isolated, he won’t care. Reagan seemed to be upset after meeting with the wounded Marines, but civil war…who cares? He didn’t have to see it.

        These are just numbers to Trump. Schumer is skipping town when Cuomo is begging for money after trying to cut medicaid, so it’s bipartisan phenomenon.

    2. Synoia

      36,000 shortfall of delivery of ventilators for New York:

      It’s the same the whole world over
      It’s the rich what gets the venting
      It’s the poor what gets the death.

      One can see the viciousness of the Tories in the UK, and the Rich in the USA coming to the forefront.

    3. Lemmy Caution

      As I’m learning, Trump is a petty, vindictive p**ck who sometimes favors governors who flatter him and withholds or delays federal aid to those who criticize the administration’s response.
      Earlier in the week Trump said this of his relationships with governors:

      “We are doing very well with, I think, almost all of the governors, for the most part,” he said during a long-running interview Tuesday on Fox News. “But, you know, it’s a two-way street. They have to treat us well.”

      Michigan’s Governor Whitmer had the temerity to criticize the adminstration’s slow initial response, so now Trump is holding the power of life and death over delivery vital medical supplies and equipment to punish her just like he is doing to New York City. Trump said on Fox News Thursday:

      “We’ve had a big problem with the young, a woman governor from — you know who I’m talking about — from Michigan,” Trump told Hannity. “We can’t; we don’t like to see the complaints. Now she wants a declaration of emergency and, uh, you know, we’ll have to make a decision on that.”

      The depravity of Trump continues to astound. Like the Covid-19 pandemic, just when you think it can’t get worse, it does.

      1. FluffytheObeseCat

        This. Everyone now seems to be either inured to Trump’s behavior, or enjoying it.

        Think back to social norms c. 2013, and consider the plinian super-eruption of rage that would have vomited out of the right wing news media if Obama ever came close to a statement like this one. The stagey rightwing pearl clutching – their voluble indignation – would still be ongoing today. For Trump, a statement like this = just another Tuesday.

      2. John k

        Odd, considering Mi voted for him and he needs it again in nov…
        I can imagine a headline, trump to Mi. FY.
        Might even influence neighboring states.

      1. Tom Bradford

        I don’t understand this. If, as I understand from NC, hospitals in the US are purely commercial enterprises run for profit they’ll respond to the invisible hand of the market. How could the Governor of NY, then, have any influence on what the invisible hand determines is the correct number of beds from time to time?

    4. MLTPB

      In CA, we are warned 56% may or will (reported either way) it.

      NY mayor says (NY Post) 50% there will.

      In the fog of war against one tiny lifeless thing, you get numbers flying all over.

  13. roadrider

    Re: we’re not going back to normal

    Can’t agree at all with the dystopian conclusion that intrusive surveillance via Silly-Con Valley rent-extraction devices is the answer to this.

    1. lyman alpha blob

      That article struck me as more than a little hysterical. But then again MIT techies probably have a pretty good idea of what the elites would like to do to the rest of us…

    2. FreeMarketApologist

      Agreed. The author writes as if his scenario is a fait accompli, and goes on to be impressed by the comprehensiveness of Singapore’s surveillance state, and how the same situation might be implemented here:

      We’ll adapt to and accept such measures…”

      As usual, however, the true cost will be borne by the poorest and weakest.

      What I don’t see is a lot of thought about why his future is the right one, or why the outcome couldn’t be something else. Perhaps somebody at MIT with a stronger working knowledge of ethics would like to pen a rebuttal.

  14. Alex

    Regarding ibuprofen, I think the decision not to use it for the time being is rational. The worst thing that can happen is that it turns out to be false alarm and you were using paracetamol instead (provided you weren’t abusing alcohol or opioids at the same time having run out of books or netflix shows to watch).

    On the other hand the upside, if this is real, is huge.

    1. Carla

      On the topic of COVID-19 generally, and in this case, the fever issue specifically, I recommend an ongoing series of video explanations given by Dr. Roger Seheult in a format he calls MedCram, especially his “Coronavirus Pandemic Update 44: Loss of Smell & Conjunctivitis in COVID-19, Is Fever Helpful?”

      1. PlutoniumKun

        Thats an excellent link, Carla, thanks.

        I’ve heard several times over the years by medical practitioners I know that a fever is a natural response that should only be interfered with if its become unbearable to the patient. I also know doctors who have given me contradictory opinions when I asked (this is something I was interested in years ago when I was suffering from a chronic pain condition) about paracetamol vs ibuprofen. It seems to me that a lot of doctors are used to handing out whatever they were told by their own teachers, and have never really thought too much about it.

        So I agree with Alex – balancing costs and benefits – the cost being just a bit more discomfort – I think it makes sense to avoid all NSAIDs during this outbreak. Its worth pointing out though that liver problems caused by accidental overdoses of paracetamol are extremely common, so it should be used sparingly as well.

        I’ve been reading ‘official’ advisories on this and its amazing what a tangle they’ve got themselves into. In my opinion, many scientists and professionals show an element of contempt to the intelligence of ordinary people when handing out advice, and so tie themselves up in knots trying to overthink the consequences of any advice. Apparently the concern is that if people are told not to take ibuprofen, they will then take too much paracetamol/tylenol. Why not just say:

        ‘Fever is the bodies response to the virus and helps protect the body. When you have fever, take paracetamol only if absolutely necessary, and never exceed the maximum recommendation.’

        1. Cuibono

          Studies go back 50 years on thi subject. None are particularly well done except the animal models.
          They almost always show that all categories of antipyretics lead to worse outcomes.

    2. xkeyscored

      using paracetamol instead (provided you weren’t abusing alcohol or opioids at the same time

      I’m not sure there are any particular interactions to watch out for between paracetamol and opioids, if that’s what you meant.

      1. Aumua

        Considering all the hydro- and oxy-codone pills that come with acetaminophen, I doubt there’s any significant dangerous interaction.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      I’m sure Bloomberg will help out mayor Bowser. And Biden if he falls over the finish line will get to the poor people of DC as fast as Obama took care of the Flint problem.

    2. newcatty

      Well, if its good enough for Puerto Rico…Of course, PR doesn’t really exist for most Americans. DC exists as the “seat of power “, you know where the White House is and Congress. It was so amazing to go on those White House tours ( like going on a tour of a palace!). The Viet Nam memorial was sad and we found our neighbor’s name. He was the only son of a local firefighter. Lincoln looked so, huge, wise and tragic. The Washington monument was rather ominous. So, DC doesn’t need any of our hard earned money; the poor or lower classes who live in the district are all fine. Let them eat crumbs and drink tap water.

  15. The Rev Kev

    “ICU Bed Capacity Varies Widely Nationwide ”

    Silicon Valley really could cash in with an app here. So you punch in your postcode or any other postcode of a place that you want to bail out to and it will tell you how many ICU beds there are and the ratio of ICU beds to population. Such an app would have given pause to all those wealthy people that fled to Sun Valley or the Hamptons not knowing the paucity of ICU beds there.

  16. Lemmy Caution

    Sobering visualization tracking Florida Spring Breakers’ phones and where they went when they dispersed home.
    I’m sure if you did it with Mardi Gras partiers, or the elite fleeing NYC, it would be equally alarming.

    1. MLTPB

      Number wise, I guess there are more spring breakers, than Mardi Gras partiers. The billionaires are last.

  17. The Rev Kev

    “Wall Street flees coronavirus and glimpses its mortality”

    ‘Wall Street is in lockdown….many of its troops have taken flight from their natural habitat in Manhattan to ride out the pandemic in second homes and vacation properties in Southampton, Palm Beach or the Hudson River Valley.’

    In other news, the CDC has today reported the sudden flaring of Coronavirus hot spots in Southampton, Palm Beach and the Hudson River Valley.

    1. jefemt

      And Sun Valley/ Hailey ID. Gallatin County, MT has a significantly higher case load- larger than the combined case-load of all other counties— literally doubled over 24 hours.
      Home to Montana State University, and its globe-trotting profs and students, Big Sky ski resort, and the Yellowstone Club, gated community second home mecca of Bill Gates, Timberlake/Biel, and countless others.

      Trickle down knows no bounds

      1. MLTPB

        I wonder if today’s globe trotters, being restricted and shamed, resent those of years past, for doing the same without facing the backlash

      2. Anon

        Yes. I have friends who live in Sun Valley, ID. One is a senior nurse at the local hospital. There are 14 (as of last week) healthcare employees there that are infected with the CV. Total cases over 70. The highest count in the whole state. Lock-down is in force.

        Hailey is where the municipal airport is located (it can service commercial airliners). The probable source of the CV spread is folks fleeing Seattle, WA to winter skiing second-homes (no effort of arrivals to self-isolate for 14 days). Eventual genomic analysis of the virus there will likely add to the genesis story.

        As Lambert suggests: on to the Hampton’s.

  18. Wukchumni

    ‘They’re putting us all at risk’: What it’s like working in Amazon’s warehouses during the coronavirus outbreak CNBC. Maybe Jeff could set up a GoFundMe for hand sanitizer?

    I’d mentioned previously how Amazon was our GUM, and it was stretching the truth as there were a good many other retailers vying for our business selling the same goods @ a brick & mortar near you.

    That was then and this is now, and in Jeff we trust.

    After reopening as a department store in 1953, the GUM became one of the few stores in the Soviet Union that did not have shortages of consumer goods, and the queues of shoppers were long, often extending entirely across Red Square.

    Back in the USSR by The Beatles (p.s. saw Yesterday, yesterday… 2 thumbs up!)

    1. Louis Fyne

      (imo) a rushed, too many false positives home test can make things worse.

      With covid, it seems there is no middle ground either you recover homebound or you get hit with a brick wall (lung function) and have no doubt that something serious is going on—even without a positive test

    2. xkeyscored

      We don’t know when they’ll be ready (“should be completed this week. The government later took a more cautious line, saying that the tests would not be available so quickly”), or whether they’ll work (CDC tests?), and they’ll only tell you you have had it, not much use in the initial stages.
      Probably not a game changer, but useful nonetheless.

      “The antibody test is not to establish whether somebody currently has Covid-19 but whether they have recovered from it. Antibodies to the virus in their blood will reveal whether they have been infected – and it is assumed that, if so, they will be immune. That will enable NHS staff to know that they can return to work without infecting patients.”

      1. Carolinian

        And not just hospital staff. Being able to show that you are no longer capable of being infectious would make you a highly employable commodity. Of course that’s assuming the test will show that. From what I read there are cases of Covid relapse but they are very rare.

        1. Kurt Sperry

          Once business people figure out that people with a post-infection immunity credential can potentially reanimate businesses currently locked into stasis, what might these people be able to command in the labor market?

      2. Phacops

        The first antibody to be secreted, usually by the time symptoms are present, is Immunoglobulin M, a antibody polymer. Then, there is seroconversion to Immunoglobulin G produced by a clone of cells that confer immunologic memory.

        So IgM is an early indicator of infection and has nothing to do with subsequent, specific immunity. IgM ELISA for SARS-CoV-2 would be a good early indicator of infection and a valuable adjunct in testing protocols at this time as we struggle to see the extent of infection.

      3. Kurt Sperry

        “The antibody test is not to establish whether somebody currently has Covid-19 but whether they have recovered from it. Antibodies to the virus in their blood will reveal whether they have been infected – and it is assumed that, if so, they will be immune. That will enable NHS staff to know that they can return to work without infecting patients.”

        This, a thousand times, this. Those with post-infection immunity can be a tremendous and often critical resource and it seems like no effort at all is being made to identify and utilize this growing demographic. These people are our new people with a superpower, one we very much need to take full advantage of. Plus, until someone gets their act together and does some large-scale random antibody testing, it seems like we are flying completely blind and cannot make any informed decisions.

      4. xkeyscored

        A bit more on this, from Nature’s continuously updated virus thing:

        … researchers caution that properly validating the accuracy of such tests and manufacturing them in large quantities presents a significant challenge.

        But thoroughly evaluating the efficacy of the tests and the rate of false positives is essential, says Robert Garry, a virologist at Tulane University School of Medicine in New Orleans, Louisiana, whose team is developing its own serological test.

        The blood test will need to distinguish between antibodies against the COVID-19 virus and those against other seasonal coronaviruses to which people are commonly exposed, he says. “I would expect the false-positive rate to be very high because of this prior exposure — unless they figured out how to make the serological test very specific,” he says. Garry says that for a validated test, he would expect a false-positive threshold of less than 5% — meaning fewer than 5 out of 100 people without the antibodies test positive — although he could see that being relaxed to 10%. Even with ready access to clinical samples, understanding false-positive levels on this timescale would require a massive effort, says Garry.

        But supply is likely to remain limited, says David Wraith, an immunologist at the University of Birmingham, UK. It will be challenging for companies to manufacture millions of tests and for any one government to secure so many during a global pandemic, meaning that health-care workers must be given priority access, he says.
        (“26 March 13:15 gmt — United Kingdom pledges to roll out extensive antibody testing” – currently third item down)

  19. The Rev Kev

    “Pentagon orders halt to all overseas movement for US forces for up to 60 days over COVID-19”

    It is way too late for that. Here are a few news snippets. The aircraft Carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt has over two dozen sailors sick with Coronavirus. As there are only 800 test kits aboard, there is no word on the other 5,000. The ship has been ordered to Guam for testing to that carrier is now out of action. In Spain a US sailor has also tested positive for the virus so they are locking down there.

    I read a day or two ago that there is no central guidelines for commanders in how to deal with Coronavirus or what to look for so they are on there own. If only the military had a medical branch that could give advice. The Army is reporting nearly 300 troops sick so you can guess that there are probably a few thousand by now sick. The Army has asked troops who had previously served in health care specialties to consider “re-joining the team” to address the current pandemic crisis.

    Also the U.S. military has decided it will stop providing some of the more granular data about Coronavirus infections within its ranks, citing concern that the information might be used by adversaries as the virus spreads. On the bright side, the US will probably find it impossible to launch any large scale attacks as this virus runs rampant-

    1. ambrit

      Sending American troops to any country now, for any reason, can be considered an “Act of War” and treated appropriately.

    2. Olga

      The one silver lining of this tragedy/farce is that the horrendously wasteful, useless, and needlessly threatening military Nato maneuvers in Europe had been cancelled. “Defender Europe 2020” – “the largest exercise over the past 25 years to ensure a surge in orders from the US military industry,” with 37,000 troops from 18 countries. Our tax money at work (or $$ conjured up out of thin air) at work. Kinda ironic – military defeated (or at least delayed) by a virus!

  20. Wukchumni

    Got my once every couple of years tick bite a couple days ago, and after having my wife remove the offending party from my upper arm, I had to go the health clinic in town and then to the pharmacy to start a 1 pill a day antibiotic 10 day regime to ward off Lyme disease possibilities-as i’ve always done in the past. Our pharmacy had 4 oz bottles of hand sanitizer-limit 2, which was remarkable, and then our grocery store had cush 2-ply in wrapped jumbo single rolls, like hundreds of em’ along with 1 pound blocks of butter of a brand i’d never seen before, and the owner is a really sharp Ukrainian-American woman, and she’d been calling up restaurants in Visalia to see what they had to sell, and the schwag she found came from one of them.

    These sources are all of course 1-shot deals…

    I’m not supposed to be out in the sun, so when I do i’ll be covered up, and I wonder how mixing Doxycycline with a Corona chaser will be like?

    1. Carolinian

      So they have Lyme disease where you live? It’s another disease that is a bit controversial. A friend worked for a doctor in AZ who basically decided every ailment that he couldn’t diagnose was Lyme disease. We allegedly now have it around here–in a very limited way–but I never hear much about it.

      And locally some restaurants are selling their unused ingredients curbside to the public.

      1. Wukchumni

        A friend has Lyme disease, and it’s hell on her having lived with it for about 20 years. She told me Lyme disease sufferers have the highest rate of suicide of just about any ailment that might give you cause to consider.

        1. Carolinian

          I wasn’t making light of it.

          It’s just, reportedly, that if not caught right away the diagnosis can be shaky. One of my aunts thought she had it but was never entirely certain. There are other conditions that mimic.

      2. JP

        There are a couple of varieties of ticks here in the California sierra foothills. The deer ticks are the most common here at 3200′ elevation. But there is a much smaller variety that possibly carries lyme disease. I get at least one tick per year but I work outside all the time. My wife does not work outside but is a magnet for ticks. I crawl around through the chaparral all day and don’t get a tick. She goes out the front door and has one on her. They are not quick to bite and usually land in your hair or on your clothes and have to find a good feeding spot. So the trick is to find them before they chow down. We or our neighbors have never contracted lyme disease. That doesn’t mean it isn’t a possibility but I think it is rare in the California sierra. We are much more worried about kissing bugs.

  21. CuriosityConcern

    I’ve come to think there is an opposite to TDS. It’s CDS, coronavirus derangement syndrome. The afflicted cannot accept pandemic response for one reason or another. I think the main reason is the aid the general needs challenges long held beliefs of self sufficiency.

  22. Jason Boxman

    I noticed Opera, if you have a ‘my Opera’ account (don’t ask why), sends your data to Facebook. I uninstalled it and deleted that account that same weekend. (Facebook has a third party data providers section in your ‘settings’, and there I found Opera very clearly as an active reporter.)

    1. cm

      IMO Opera is untrustworthy ever since they were purchased by the Chinese.

      In November 2016, the original Norwegian owner of Opera sold his stake in the business to a Chinese consortium under the name Golden Brick Capital Private Equity Fund I Limited Partnership for $600 million. An earlier deal was not approved by regulators.

      If you have a spare Raspberry Pi laying about, I highly suggest implementing Pi-Hole as a DNS which reduces activity like that.

      1. Late Introvert

        You can log in to your router and put a block on,,, etc.

  23. Lee

    In regard to this, I will make no mention of Darwin Awards because that would make me a bad person.

    Coronavirus: Ivey says ‘right now is not the time’ for Alabama-wide shelter-in-place order Montgomery Advisor

    That Discomfort You’re Feeling Is Grief Harvard Business Review

    It hit me yesterday. I’ve been running largely on adrenaline for weeks. Yesterday on my morning walk through empty streets I felt engulfed by a great wave of sadness. I think it’s hitting the young adults in my household as well. Assuming I have any, maybe I should try to lay some old man wisdom on them. Or maybe I should keep my mouth shut and let them work through things themselves. Hard to know what’s best.

  24. rusti

    Pandemic drones to monitor, detect those with COVID-19

    The sensing system uses existing and new camera networks, UAVs and remotely piloted aircraft systems for health monitoring and detection of infectious and respiratory conditions — including monitoring temperatures, heart rates and respiratory rates.

    Watch the video for the full effect! Of course you could mount the same sensors statically, but mounting them on a drone makes it infinitely more creepy. It doesn’t take much of an imagination to envision these employed in a dystopian future. “Welcome to City 17! It’s safer here.”

  25. smoker

    Welp, the new Costco Senior Hour (Tuesday’s and Thursdays 8-9AM) in Silicon Valley was fun. Wanted to hopefully replenish the currently discounted 12 pack of paper towel rolls we’ve always bought one bag (only) of when on sale, because we only had three rolls left. Clearly the people who got there first had to at least arrive by 7:00, if not earlier. Cold as shit and weary single elders leaning against the walls in a line that appeared to almost wrap around the building once. I just didn’t have the energy to deal with it, and left.

    I had tried on the 11th,, at a Silicon Valley Costco, to get the paper towels the day they went on sale and witnessed a poor young man on the ground having a mental wellness breakdown (it was not an epileptic seizure) in the parking lot; I pray the cops, who most surely came at some point, were better than way too many I’ve witnessed in Silicon Valley. The paper towels, two trucks full, were gone before a half an hour of opening, there are some extremely selfish people (doing far better than others) in Silicon Valley.

    I get that it wouldn’t be feasible to have the senior’s hour at any other time but opening hours, but they might perhaps have extended it to two hours, ending at 10:00 AM. If that can’t happen, at least lineup the carts in a more logical positions where people don’t have to lose ten minutes walking to the front the building and then back, to the end of the line, they may well do that after weaker elders end up collapsing in line. Silicon Valley has been hostile to humanity for over a decade now, as can be seen from Santa Clara County’s 7,000 plus unsheltered homeless; and California’s record – per population – coronavirus cases and deaths (542 cases, 19 deaths as of last night, and, 03/26/18 California coronavirus cases are doubling much faster than expected, surge likely on the way).

    Speaking of Silicon Valley, can’t help but wonder where Cook, Brin, Page, Zuckerberg, Dorsey, et al have escaped to on their private jets, some through MIneta Intl.? Oddly no commentary on that by local California Bay Area Newz.

    1. Wukchumni

      I wonder how those Silicon Valley types who opted to use their Kindle exclusively, and got rid of their libraries donkey’s years ago, must feel about the outgoing situation?

      1. smoker

        I’ve always read real books, had multiple Library cards, and never mingled with them, so I don’t know. In my neck of the District 17 Santa Clara County ‘Woods’ so much has been gutted for mega Tech Campuses , other Tech firms, and an explosion of towering, unaffordable housing at around $3,000 for a one bedroom it’s horrifying. To my knowledge no libraries have been gutted, though I do recollect some suggestions during Jerry Brown’s horrid reign to cut funding, and access to some better libraries was reduced unless a fee was paid, leaving the increasingly impoverished with substandard libraries . Stayed here because of loved ones (all of whom are/were older than I) who couldn’t possibly move, all of whom are now horrifyingly falling through the crevices, including myself now.

        At any rate, given what I just read moments ago, I suspect many kindlers have left town in their ugly Teslas, or through Mineta Intl, Airport: 03/26/20 Santa Clara County distances itself from grim death toll projection made by City of San Jose

        San Jose Deputy City Manager Kip Harkness alarmed many on Thursday when he stated that “even in a best-case scenario,” 2,000 people in Santa Clara County will die from coronavirus.

        Harkness shared the numbers at a City Council meeting, and stated that the Office of Emergency Management estimates there are 9,000 to 19,000 cases currently active in the county.

        “Our models suggest that it could be 25 times higher or more than the number of reported cases,” he said. “That means we have a false sense of security in terms of thinking, ‘Oh, everybody who’s tested, those are the only ones who are infected.’ There are a large number of us walking around who are infected.”

        The projections were startling, but the county itself did not comment publicly on the figures until Thursday night, when its public health department appeared to distance itself from the grim forecast with the following brief statement:

        “The model shared by the City of San Jose projecting deaths and future case counts of COVID-19 was not produced, reviewed, or vetted by the County of Santa Clara. The County of Santa Clara continues to actively assess the situation and take necessary actions to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus in our community and protect those most at risk for severe illness.”

      2. smoker

        Shorter version of my response in moderation:

        I’ve always read real books, had multiple Library cards, and never mingled with them, so I don’t know. In my neck of the District 17 Santa Clara County ‘Woods’ so much has been gutted for mega Tech Campuses , other Tech firms, and an explosion of towering, unaffordable housing at around $3,000 for a one bedroom it’s horrifying. To my knowledge no libraries have been gutted, though I do recollect some suggestions during Jerry Brown’s horrid reign to cut funding, and access to some better libraries was reduced unless a fee was paid, leaving the increasingly impoverished with substandard libraries . Stayed here because of loved ones (all of whom are/were older than I) who couldn’t possibly move, all of whom are now horrifyingly falling through the crevices, including myself now.

        At any rate, given what I just read moments ago, I suspect many kindlers have left town in their ugly Teslas, or through Mineta Intl, Airport: 03/26/20 Santa Clara County distances itself from grim death toll projection made by City of San Jose

  26. The Rev Kev

    “Alcohol is ‘unhelpful coping strategy’ for coronavirus lockdown, WHO says”

    I am a believer in that adage that a civilized man knows when to get drunk. And that there are time you do need a visit from Dr. Ink.

  27. The Rev Kev

    “Coronavirus-hit countries are asking Cuba for medical help. Why is the US opposed?”

    You can count on Pompeo’s State Department to keep up the ****-stirring. They won’t send their own medical teams but want those countries to go without those Cuban medical teams because reasons. And this sort of stuff is occurring right across the board. While the US military is locking down in Europe, the Russian military has sent a fleet of aircraft and hundreds of medical people along with specialized equipment to Italy to help out. Yet more sanctions have been put on Iran that has more than enough on their hands as the sanctions in place make it difficult to get medical equipment. Meanwhile a Navy ship has been sent off China’s coastline and live-fire missile tests launched into the Philippines Sea to send a message to China. The G7 broke up without making a statement as Pompeo demanded, unsuccessfully, that the other 6 label Coronavirus as Wuhan virus. It just goes on. When this whole pandemic is over, I suspect that internationally the US will be more isolated than ever before.

  28. WJ

    Wait I thought Guaido was the President of Venezuela?! If the US is seeking to prosecute the President of Venezuela and understands this person to be Maduro, then the IMF can deliver funds to Venezuela now! Lol

  29. xkeyscored

    Chloroquine and neoliberalism?

    “Chloroquine costs one euro for ten pills. And there’s the rub: Big Pharma – which, crucially, finances INSERM, and includes “national champion” Sanofi – would rather go for a way more profitable solution. Sanofi for the moment says it is “actively preparing” to produce chloroquine, but that may take “weeks,” and there’s no mention about pricing.
    The only French company that still manufactures chloroquine is under judicial intervention. That puts the chloroquine hoarding and theft into full perspective. It will take time for these stocks to be replenished, thus allowing Big Pharma the leeway to have what it wants: a costly solution.”

    But remember:

    “The key point has been stressed by Raoult: Use chloroquine in very special circumstances, for people tested very early, when the disease is not advanced yet, and only in these cases. He’s not advocating chloroquine for everyone. It’s exactly what the Chinese did, along with their use of Interferon.”

    Why France is hiding a cheap and tested virus cure – Pepe Escobar

    1. PlutoniumKun

      Interesting – but Escobar in my opinion is a little too fond of adding 2+2 and ending up with a grand overarching mathematical theme. Unless something has been going on and unreported, I don’t think we are anywhere near yet being able to conclude that chloroquine is a ‘cure’. The evidence to me just suggests that the French are hoarding all they can just in case for their own use, and to prevent it leaking onto the black market.

      1. xkeyscored

        Oh, agreed! Chloroquine is not a cure; it may help in treatment.
        But chloroquine is cheap and off-patent, and I and others have been wondering why so much about Gilead’s remdesivir (not without side effects), and so little about chloroquine, when neither is a proven treatment. Escobar may be adding 2&2 in his usual way, but it chimes with my suspicions generally, if not in the details relating to France, some of which do sound dodgy.

      2. David

        I was about to say the same. Pepe gets over-excited at times. After a number of scandals, the French state has become very careful about the use of non-prescription drugs. Paracetamol with codeine was withdrawn last year except on prescription, and basic paracetamol and ibuprofen can only be bought from pharmacies with a little lecture about being careful with them.

  30. rps

    The CDC site provides a Weekly U.S. Influenza Surveillance Report- FluView prepared by the Influenza Division. Good information including FluView Interactive. Users are able to view both influenza laboratory data and medically attended visits for influenza-like illness (ILI) side by side for the influenza season and geography (national, regional, or select states) of interest.

    1. rps

      US KY Rep Thomas Massey is holding up the pork gravy train, “This stimulus should go straight to the people rather than being funneled through banks and corporations like this bill is doing.” And “2 trillion divided by 150 million workers is about $13,333.00 per person. That’s much more than the $1,200 per person check authorized by this bill.”

      1. rps

        Massey Twitter recent post: It’s pretty clear now, with enough members here to pass the bill, that Pelosi and McCarthy are still working together to block a recorded vote just to insulate members of Congress from ACCOUNTABILITY.

        Biggest spending bill in the history of mankind, and no recorded vote? #SWAMP

    2. cnchal

      . . . Massie objected to approving the massive relief plan by unanimous consent. That forced his colleagues to journey back to Washington D.C. amid a still-spreading pandemic.

      There it is. All the politicians can take a ride on their “plague ship” back to Washington and ride out the disaster hugging each other in fear. (thanks Tegnost – forever in my mind that’s what they are)


      How about the Orwelian named “Save the workers” bill. If there were one iota of honesty from anyone in Washington it would be named the “No Billionaire Left Behind” bill. But there isn’t.

      Paraphrasing Bill Gates, the only billionaire that seems to get what is going on.


    3. Samuel Conner

      Lovely to see an R rep making worker-friendly arguments. I have heard that there are some such in the House. Maybe they could form a “caucus of convenience” with “the Squad”.

  31. NotTimothyGeithner

    If I were President, here’s what I would do right now:

    – Use all available authorities to turn the tide on this epidemic
    – Launch a task force to ensure money rapidly gets to people who need it
    – Bring leaders of Congress together to build the next deal
    -Biden’s twitter

    Wow! I imagine he is watching South Park and just saw the underpants gnome episode. This tweet has it all. A promise of a blue ribbon committee and reaching out to Mitch McConnell. I mean Trump might 65 or 70 states against Biden.

  32. .Tom

    What really disgusts me about the federal “stimulus” is how it indicates that those who control congress have done the calculation and decided they would rather take a big bailout now and ruin their future business prospects than stimulate the real economy, which would keep us and them both afloat.

    The size of the stimulus is big enough to do some real work. But it needs to be spent on real things to stimulate the real economy. Articles and comments here have already set out what that would be. But no, this won’t happen, the money will go straight to their corporations. And when the real economy is so depressed that people aren’t buying gasoline, iPhones or plane tickets, and when they en masse stop paying rent and mortgages and credit cards, these corporations will start to fail.

    These people aren’t stupid. They know this as well as anyone. But they have calculated that they are better off with the economy and their own corporations ruined and very many people dead, while they are their families will be secure in enormous wealth for as long as it matters.

  33. Gregorio

    “Now Might Be a Really Good Time to Invest in a Bidet”
    We have had the Tushy’s on every toilet in the house for a couple years, and can’t imagine living without them. The worst thing about traveling now is their absence in hotels. Besides great hygiene, they save toilet paper and are good for septic systems.

  34. lyman alpha blob

    RE: Clintons send pizza to NY hospital staff treating coronavirus

    The article mentions they sent 400 pizzas. At $25 each, that’s $10K. IIRC, Clinton was getting about $400K for an hour speech to her Wall Street buddies. So she donated the proceeds from about 1.5 minutes of her time.

    Who says noblesse doesn’t oblige?

      1. lyman alpha blob

        Compassion and philanthropy or cheap PR? Pretty sure nobody forced the Clintons to tweet out their “generosity” to the entire planet. An anonymous donation would have had the same effect on the recipients.

        And perhaps the pizzagate narrative leaves something to be desired, but there are plenty of people who would still like to know what Bubba was doing on Epstein’s plane.

        But her self serving donation and tweet will get a lot more mileage than Sanders proposal to give people $2K per month or the fact the his supporters raised at least $2 million to help out.

        That piece was filed very appropriately under Guillotine Watch. To the tumbrels with her.

        1. newcatty

          Clever…of all things to send to NY hospital staff…pizza. Oh, but pizza is a convenient hand -held source of nourishment. An army rides on its stomach. Look…pizza is now subconsciously linked to goodness and compassionate behavior. Hill and Bill care for the peeps. Let the real caring and sacrificing heroes on the front lines in hospitals…with no armour or defenses of PPE eat pizza. Oh, waiting for Chelsea to be coronated. She is, after all, a Clinton and a woman. It’s OK, queen is now ready to hand over the crown to the princess-in- waiting. She has been groomed for this high service to her people’s. She is considering Ivanka, a true and trusted friend, as VP. Bipartisanship at its most brilliance. Guess where Chelsea’s cabinet will come from. Now, uncle Obama’s wisdom and experience in forming one ( with a little help from his friends) will be invaluable. Uncle Joe can rest after a gruelling campaign to placehold for the family.

    1. MLTPB

      Not too surprising, that things change all the time (they are flexible, for those not deranged), going by what we have seen the last few years.

  35. Trick Shroadé

    I’ll donate some money if I can get a daily NC that is free of any coronavirus story. At this point I imagine a lot of people feel the same. Even the non-“COVID-19” section of the links is basically all COVID-19.

      1. Trick Shroadé

        That site lists Red Hot Chili Peppers as a boy band. I mean come on. I’m prepared to have an extended debate about it though if it means not talking about coronavirus for a few minutes!

        1. lyman alpha blob


          And can you still be a boy band if you have a member who died of a heroin overdose? Is there a rule on that?

          I liked the Chilis back in the day but for the last 20 years or so they keep writing the same song over and over again.

          One of my favorite rock star anecdotes – an interviewer pointed out to Angus Young of AC/DC fame that their critics would say that they had 10 albums that all sounded the same. Angus said, (paraphrasing), “I take offense at that – we have 11 albums that all sound the same!”. Anthony Kiedis take note and just admit it.

          Given the current zeitgeist – Highway to Hell

          Rock on NCers!

    1. Jeremy Grimm

      Just be patient. The COVID-19 pandemic will not last forever and there will be other pandemics to fuss over in the future. Study how COVID-19 is exploited as a tool for implementing various policies, how it reveals the fragility of globalization, the operations of the Neoliberal Market, the willing incompetence of our politicians and leaders, the decadence of our Medical Industrial Complex and Pharma Industrial Complex. Through COVID-19 we can glimpse shimmers of the future Collapse we face.

    2. newcatty

      For all moms everywhere, who care, thank you for your love and open hearts. Ther are many emotionally damaged women who abuse or neglect their children. There are many more who always put their children first in their lives. Like mother Koala…She is your back. I read once where a sage of some kind said:

      The world would have ended for human life long ago, if not for the unconditional love of mother’s. Of course, many father’s too. My daughter is my hero. She is now not only putting her daughters first, but is on another front line of helping to feed her community as a grocery worker.

  36. Peerke

    There fixed it: “ Alcohol is ‘unhelpful coping strategy’ for coronavirus lockdown, says who

    But joking aside the point is well taken

    1. polecat

      Well then, it’s time for moi to start another glorious batch of the nectar-of-the-gods – namely .. mead !

      Oh, and screw the WhO !

      I’m quite sure that all those clinicians, statisticians, researcher, factotums, and bloated admins. have at their disposal, any number of liquids in which to imbibe …

  37. Jeremy Grimm

    I doubt the lockdowns in the U.S. will end soon. There are families crammed together into small spaces that previously served as places to sleep between work hours. I doubt their situation will permit much time for contemplation. But there are also a lot of single people staying at home, some working from home, but many now unemployed and still working through a state of shock. Once they pass through their shock and the anger that will follow I believe many people who never before had the time, energy, or inclination to think about their lives and their situation will grow weary of video games, chats, blogs, and other diversions and begin contemplation of their existence and its meaning. I suspect that may be why our Government is so reluctant to ameliorate the financial worries of the Populace. They hope those financial worries might compete with and cloud contemplation.

    How many people will look at their life of work and sleep and constant worry during ‘normal’ times and compare it with their life of diversions and sleep and constant worry and begin wondering what meaning there is for them in their cramped lives. I hope these times of contemplation will yield some epiphanies of what and perhaps who is of True Value in their lives. We are not living the Good Life, but we could. I believe this possibility and its implications frightens our Government and Big Money Cartels.

  38. BoulderMike

    Does anyone know the vote count for the horrible stimulus bill in Congress today? Looks like AOC voted for it, but not sure. Also, not sure if my congresscritter, Joe Neguese voted for it. Probably. I am so tired of the Democrats saying, “it isn’t a perfect bill, but ….”.
    Doesn’t it seem more rational to plan how to combat a problem and have a goal in mind before allocating money? Of course, but that would be rational and our government is anything but rational.

    1. Noone from Nowheresville
      1:25:59 P.M. H.R. 748 On motion that the House agree to the Senate amendment Agreed to by voice vote.
      1:26:09 P.M. H.R. 748 OBJECTION TO VOTE – At the conclusion of debate on the motion to concur in the Senate amendment to H.R. 748, the Chair put the question on the motion and by voice vote, announced that the ayes had prevailed. Mr. Massie demanded a recorded vote, and the Chair determined that an insufficient number of Members having arisen, the demand for a recorded vote was refused. Mr. Massie made a point of order that a quorum was not present and the Chair counted for a quorum. Subsequently, the Chair announced that a quorum was present.
      1:27:06 P.M. H.R. 748 Motion to reconsider laid on the table Agreed to without objection.

  39. Generalfeldmarschall von Hindenburg

    Well, I am ruined for the second time in 20 years. I just climbed out of the the 2008 crater and now this. I’m seriously considering investing in lots of guns n ammo. Going full accelerationist. Let it burn! This whole hype is just that. These Coranaviruses appear in dangerous form occasionally and merit precautions. But pretending that the only way to deal with it is to shut down civilization for 3 months to …whatever is just proof of Naomi Klein’s thesis.
    What are the results shot term? Thousands of small businesses shut down. Mass unemployment already. Nancy and Don pretend as though an amount of money that equates to a half of a typical serf’s wages for a month will somehow bridge the gap. So building owners start missing payments and real estate continues to consolidate in fewer hands. And who will buy it all up? The usual suspects who will have been bailed out because they are ‘systemically important.’ Which is much like asserting a tick is systemically important to its host. Their instinct is to just set up th casino again, hand the public the bill and go on as they always have.

  40. jonhoops

    Much like the email shared earlier in the crisis by an Italian Doctor on the frontline I think this emotional video shared by a doctor from Madrid today portends the near term future of New York, New Orleans and Florida. Trump’s callous withholding of ventilators will be remembered.

  41. Jeremy Grimm

    RE: “House panel warns coronavirus could destroy Postal Service by June” — I pay my bills by sending checks in the mail! What is plan B? I have serious trust issues about the idea of paying via the web or direct taps into my credit cards or bank account.

    1. Late Introvert

      I think by June none of us are going to be paying any more bills. Paying my property tax and mortgage today, but I’m already thinking twice about it.

    2. drumlin woodchuckles

      I have paid my bills by land mail for decades. It was my part of keeping the Postal Service alive. The only reason the Postal Service would be destroyed by June is if the Government planned to exterminate it all along and decided to use this opportunity to say ” oops, look what corona did” . . .

      If they force us into electronic bill pay, I will set up some kind of account which I keep funded enough to keep paying recurrent bills out of. And I will keep it funded enough to carrying cash to whatever institution I have it in by hand to put it into the E-BillPay account. I will do my very best to keep such an account air-gapped from my major money-storage account.

  42. xkeyscored

    Genomic epidemiology of novel coronavirus NextStrain.

    I don’t think I emailed that link, but I’ve posted it two or three times in Comments, so maybe my hand should be half up. Glad you like it. Does it make the conspiracy theorists think twice? I feared they’d just say “Oh anyone can draw coloured tree diagrams and anyway what about …”

  43. notabanktoadie

    Love me some Koala Bears! They sure can remind humans how to be human! (Or at least this one.)

  44. Tim

    “Clintons send pizza to NY hospital staff treating coronavirus.’ I’m impressed. I thought they would’ve sent cake for sure if you asked me.

  45. Paul Jurczak

    “Maybe Jeff could set up a GoFundMe for hand sanitizer?”

    Most ironically, the sanitizer is already there. Plenty of it in each Amazon warehouse, at low wholesale cost…

  46. drumlin woodchuckles

    About creating a Failed State category: the term ” Failed State” is a catchall term not implying any specific reason for the Failure of the State(s) so designated.

    Since the US State has been subjected to several decades of carefully engineered sabotage of many kinds at many points of potential failure-genesis, and since the State-haters/ Governance-haters have done this very carefully on purpose, I would suggest a category name indicating the deliberately-engineered-on-purpose nature of the spreading failures of the Amercan State’s governance.

    I would suggest the phrase Failurised State or maybe Engineered-Failure State or maybe Set-Up-To-Fail State. Maybe others could come up with a better word for the concept of carefully manufactured-on-purpose function-failure of a State.

  47. drumlin woodchuckles

    About that First Black Woman State Rep from Western Pennsylvania . . . racism is easy to evoke and also easy to blame for opposition. One hopes that someone will focus on the realest reason for opposing her . . . that she threatens to break union rice bowls in the fracking industry and in the petroleum industry in general some day. So Big Frack and Big Oil will mobilize against her. Of course their brain-warriors from in the shadows will encourage anti-black racial mobilization to be the visible appearance of opposition.

    This is a chance for counter-frackers and oil-opponents nationwide to come up with more money FOR the State Rep than Big Frack and Big Oil can come up with against her. And if Big Union is also pro-oil and anti-environment, then Big Union will also choose to be an enemy of Survival and an enemy of the Future. At what point does Left Solidarity with the Working Class become a suicide pact?

    If we can exterminate Big Frack and Big Oil through a Federal Level Green New Deal, I would support
    a Just Transition for all the mass-jobicided Frack and Oil workers. If we have to exterminate Big Frack and Big Oil through a cultural civil war of the pro-life forces versus the pro-death forces, then I don’t care about a Just Transition for any workers who are working to exterminate all life on earth.

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