Links 4/10/2020

Elaborately decorated eggs predate Easter by thousands of years Science

Some churches confront virus restrictions on Easter services AP. “We can’t do what God called us to do on livestream.” Not clear to me why God wants his chosen people to spread a lethal respiratory virus, but you do you.

Liberty University police issue arrest warrants for NYT, ProPublica reporters The Hill

Exclusive: U.S. banks prepare to seize energy assets as shale boom goes bust Reuters

Strays feel the bite as pandemic spreads Agence France Presse

How are some drivers trying to get into the Keys? With counterfeit stickers, sheriff says Florida Keys News (Re Silc).


The science:

How does COVID-19 kill? Uncertainty is hampering doctors’ ability to choose treatments Nature

Science is popping:

(Sourced from NIH.)

The COVID-19 vaccine development landscape Nature

* * *


Correlation between universal BCG vaccination policy and reduced morbidity and mortality for COVID-19: an epidemiological study (PDF) Aaron Miller, Mac Josh Reandelar, Kimberly Fasciglione, Violeta Roumenova, Yan Li, and Gonzalo H. Otazu, medrXiv

Will the BCG Vaccination Help the World Combat COVID-19? The Wire

Lice drug a head-scratching Covid-19 home remedy Asia Times (Re Silc).

* * *


Thousands of coronavirus tests are going unused in US labs Nature

‘False negatives’ queering the pitch in Covid fight Times of India

* * *


Mystery surrounds ‘cured’ patients who tested positive FT and Fifty-one recovered coronavirus patients test positive AGAIN in South Korea amid fears virus can hide in human cells and reactivate Daily Mail

Susceptibility of ferrets, cats, dogs, and other domesticated animals to SARS–coronavirus 2 Science

Researchers modelling the spread of the coronavirus emphasise the importance of avoiding busy indoor spaces (press release) Alto University. Makes sense, given results on bus travel in China (another enclosed space).

Jennifer Nuzzo: “We’re Definitely Not Overreacting” to COVID-19 JSTOR Daily. Respiratory pathogen expert.

* * *

Economic effects:

Believe it or not, people are still booking cruises for next year Los Angeles Times. More petri dishes.

* * *

Finance response:

Explainer: What the Federal Reserve has done in the coronavirus crisis Reuters

The Fed’s radical policies are uncharted territory FT

Fed to buy municipal debt for first time, underscoring peril facing cities Politico

The Fed finds another kitchen sink to throw at us The Reformed Broker

Kudlow Says U.S. Should Allow Firms ‘100% Immediate Expensing’ Bloomberg. “[Larry Kudlow] said the U.S. should allow companies to deduct the entire cost of capital spending, including relocating from China.” Japan as well. Maybe claw back some of the profits from offshoring?

* * *

Political response:

Guest Editorial: “Even If Offered a Loan from the Paycheck Protection Program, I Probably Won’t Take It” Portland Mercury (notabanker).

Banks brace for new wave of small businesses at troubled loan program Politico

A GOP senator just proposed a Denmark-style recovery plan where the government helps pay workers’ wages during the coronavirus pandemic Business Insider

Roll Call for Congress’s Coronavirus Bailout The Intercept. “The Intercept’s roll call is in progress below. If you have information about the position taken by your congressperson or any congressperson on this list, fill out our survey here.”

Are We Entering A New Era Of State Nullification? The American Conservative

* * *

Exit strategy:

Stop covid or save the economy? We can do both MIT Technology Review

Asia struggles to find coronavirus exit strategies FT

* * *

Remedies and ameliorations:

Trashy Fashion: Dressing Up To Take The Bins Out In Virus Lockdown Agence France Presse

Medical Student COVID-19 Curriculum COVID-19 Student Response (JT McPhee).

Trump faulted the WHO’s coronavirus response. But it’s guided by rules the U.S. helped write STAT


China is reopening wet markets, as international pressure mounts against them ZME Times (KS) but China Is Reopening Its Wet Markets. That’s Good Bloomberg

Supply change: Japan to fund firms to shift China production Al Jazeera


Covid-19 in India: Food prices surge 3 times as supply chain takes a hit Hindustan Times

India: Doctors concerned over drug to treat coronavirus AA (J-LS).

South Korea

An ICU nurse sketches the heroes and fighters inside a coronavirus isolation ward Los Angeles Times

Coronavirus: Most try to toe the line, but crowds still seen in supermarkets, at parks and beaches in Singapore Straits Times

Doctors See High Mortality in Virus Fight in Philippines, Indonesia Bloomberg


Bank of England to finance UK government Covid-19 crisis spending Guardian

U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson Leaves ICU Amid Treatment For COVID-19 NPR

How German scientists hope to find coronavirus answers in country’s worst-hit spot The Local

How the Coronavirus Is Testing Putin’s Leadership—and the System He Created Stephen F. Cohen, The Nation

COVID-19 Siberia Update: Life in the Village Sarah Lindemann-Komarova, Medium

New Cold War

Nuclear Arms Nightmare: Don’t Let New START Die The National Interest

Exposing the Disinformation Industry Irrussianality

Guayaquil – The Epicentre of Latin America’s Coronavirus Crisis LatAm Investor (Dom).


What If Trump Wins? Washington Monthly (Re Silc). An aggregation of expert opinion on policy consequences.

Former Clinton Staffers Invited To “Bye, Bye Bernard” Zoom Call (It’s Now Canceled) Buzzfeed. I wonder what platform they moved it to, and how long it will take for clips to leak.

Biden releases plans to expand Medicare, forgive student debt The Hill. I’ll have to look at the fine print, but tacking left in the primary, and then right in the general, is the oldest trick in the book.

Sanders to keep staffers on health care plan through November NBC. In great contrast to the world’s ninth richest man.

The Sanders campaign or movement or whatever it is should be centering all these:

Our Famously Free Press

Knight First Amendment Institute Sues The CDC For Failing To Provide Details Of Its Media Gag Order Tech Dirt

Imperial Collapse Watch

Unleash the Privateers! U.S. Naval Institute. “The United States should issue letters of marque to fight Chinese aggression at sea.”

Class Warfare

Fearful of COVID-19, Amazon workers ask for state probe of working conditions Los Angeles Times

Applying for Unemployment Is My New Full-Time Job I’ve called hundreds of times this week. I haven’t spoken to a human yet. New York Magazine

Virus Sparks Prison Riot, Hits More WA Long-Term Care Homes US News. Petri dishes everywhere…

More transparency about Mississippi prison practices during COVID-19 pandemic needed, local, national groups warn Mississippi

Large scale releases and public safety Prison Policy Initiative

Land-grab universities High Country News

More Than 30 Million Years Ago, Monkeys Rafted Across the Atlantic to South America Smithsonian

The 50th Anniversary of Apollo 13 The Atlantic


Bonus antidote:

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. zagonostra

    >Intercept: CARES Act voice vote

    This contradicts what some critics have been attacking AOC for, including myself. The voice vote, as the article points out is usually reserved for the naming of a post office or other non-critical votes.

    So far, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., one of the few critics of the bill, is the only known House Democrat to oppose it. The freshman lawmaker decried the CARES Act as one of “the largest corporate bailouts” in “American history” that only provided only “crumbs for our families.

    Knowing how every member of Congress would have voted on the CARES Act is a crucial measure of basic democratic accountability. The public deserves to know where lawmakers stand on the most important legislative decisions impacting the nation. The “voice vote” gambit only obfuscates the policymaking process and eliminates transparency.”

    1. PlutoniumKun

      AOC has said on twitter than many of the stories circulating about her recently are part of a concerted attempt (she doesn’t say by who, but you can guess) to split the left. I could well believe it.

      1. The Rev Kev

        I think that what AOC was trying to imply was that if you criticized her, that you are attacking the left and therefore the same as a Trump supporter.

      2. Peter VE

        Had she wanted, AOC could have insisted on a recorded vote (“unanimous consent” requires unanimous consent). Her lack of that call means she consented to the bill, regardless of all the blather afterwards.

        1. JBird4049

          IIRC, on the previous CORVID19 stimulus vote, a Republican Representative demanded a roll count to verify that there was enough people there for a quorum. He was told no. When a camera covering a different angle and pretty much the entire chamber there did not appear to be the required 218 members there.

          I am guessing that these requirements for House of Representatives, much like those for the primaries are being bent, broken, or just ignored. If they are willing to violate black-and-white constitutional law, I would believe that any complaints, requests, or demands from a first term Representative like AOC would be ignored.

          Restated and expanded; the lawlessness of our society has crept up from the standard procedure of the street cop and the courts to routinely violate not only the rights of (poor) Americans, but human decency as well up to the highest levels of American government, tmilitary, business, religions, and even nonprofits and charities.

          1. Dirk77

            The benefit of the doubt applies only if the doubt was not created by the alleged perp in the first place. Given the information asymmetry, the proper assumption must be guilty unless the the alleged perp has evidence otherwise. So all my reps are guilty of voting for it unless they can prove otherwise.

          2. Dirk77

            Btw, since there was no quorum, then according to the Constitution, the bailout bill was never passed? If so, does that mean the Executive body is acting unlawfully by implementing it? If so, where does the penalty lie? Also, isn’t a written record, or at least a written record of who was present in the quorum, necessary for a bill to become law?

            1. JBird4049

              IANAL, but yes to all those questions, but just who is going to (successfully) challenge it? If there was only a voice count, nor even a count to verify a quorum in ¾ empty chamber, or an actual listing of who was supposedly there just how does anyone do so?

              If we had a functioning legislature consisting of people who wanted to actually govern, this either never would have happened or a mob of Representatives would have run from that room screaming their outrage. The first is not true which means that the second is not likely.

              Honestly, I do not know what is worse; either having an absolutely unconstitutional act done or that it is very plausible that it happened?

              1. Dirk77

                Ok, I looked up voting in the House. A quorum for a vote is assumed by default unless one House member questions it. If questioned, a count of present must be made. As for voting, a record of yays and nays is made if any House member asks for it. The Speaker must always be present. There must be other, at least informal, rules that prevent a vote when just the Speaker and a few other reps are there, but I haven’t read enough for that. As we know, no one asked for a count of present and no one asked for the bill vote to be recorded. So might it have been weaselly yet constitutional?

                1. JBird4049

                  A quorum count was definitely requested as I saw the Republican Representative request it and he was denied.

                    1. Dirk77

                      So the order was: 1. Speaker sub (who was he?) asks for a voice vote. Yeas and Nays. Claims yeas have it. 2. Massie calls for a recorded vote. Speaker subs asks for a vote on that. Claims lack of yeas, so notion is denied. 3. Massie calls for a count that a quorum is present. Speaker sub claims to do a count and says there is. From the video there clearly was not a quorum. So that was a lie.

                      Anyways, anyone with enough expertise in filtering can use the video to figure out who was present, and from the audio figure out who voted.

                      So my initial comment stands: every member of the House voted for it unless they can provide evidence otherwise.

                      Thanks both of you. Looking back, I guess this caused tops to blow on NC two weeks ago, which explains Yves’s stern warning to commentators after that?

    2. Geo

      While cynicism of our elected reps is merited since there’s a long track record of disappointment, it has gotten to the point of self-sabotage. Too many expect to be disappointed and seem willing to trash people like AOC from the start just to be able to say “I told you so” instead of being able to accept that no one person is infallible or that they are but one person trying to navigate a terribly corrupt and hostile political system.

      It is heartening to see that she stood up against this bill, but even if AOC had voted for it, would that make her an instant enemy? If we disavow her for a bad vote or bad statement, disavow Sanders because he didn’t attack Biden enough, etc, then who do we have left?

      I’m a lifelong and proud cynic that distrusts authority of all kinds so I understand the temptation. It’s one thing to hold leadership to account and hold any hope for leaders with suspicion but it’s depressing to see so many willing to call our few decent elected leaders “sell outs” with every new news cycle when more often then not they’re the only ones trying to do the right thing.

      1. Brooklin Bridge

        You are lumping things a bit here even if your broad claim has some merit. This is about AOC specifically.

        If this were a comparison of both, some might argue that AOC has acquitted herself quite well here, whereas Sanders has more to answer for even if that should be weighed against great service to country in what he accomplished in this presidential campaign. Still, if you are going to fight for the people and take their contributions and their trust, it is reasonable to be criticized if you suddenly end your campaign with the message that the establishment (Joe), the sham duopoly Democrats vs. Republicans – everything you supposedly fought against – is now the way forward and we the people should get back in line behind Joe, a fine fellow who loves wandering in circles, vs. that monstrous cardboard cut out, Trump.

        1. Geo

          We differ on our view of Bernie it seems. As much as he talks about “radical” change his approach was more of the MLK type of “peaceful protest”. It’s debatable how effective that is since it’s often said that MLK’s movement succeeded because Malcolm X was a greater fear for moderates. The Left has no “Malcolm X” to put fear into moderates so Sanders gets branded as the radical. Is that Bernie’s fault that his movement had no teeth? If he had been more aggressive against Biden/Media/Dems do you think that would win over more people in a Dem primary where most voters trust the media, like Joe, and are themselves registered Democrats? Again, we’re talking about the Democratic Primary, not a general election. He needed to win Democrats. Trashing them is what won the younger generation and disenfranchised that hate them but lost the older ones that still think of them as the JFK Party.

          In my view Bernie is who he is. He’s a caring person who has very little social skills but whose passion and determination show his truly genuine character. Great at inspiring people and preaching about problems and solutions. But, he’s not a brawler. He’s not a predator. He actually cares about humans on a deep level. That is his gift and his weakness. The Dems used his niceness against him.

          If the Left wants to win we better get our own version of the Black Panther Party (the Right did that with the Tea Party) and put the fear of god into the Dems. Until we make them see that Sanders and AOC are our moderates (and not radicals) then Sanders/AOC are our best hope.

          1. Brooklin Bridge

            We don’t disagree that much. Your penultimate paragraph is spot on and well said (in my 2 cent opinion).

            As to your first para…, perhaps you’re right after all, we don’t agree. :-)

            I think Bernie put a lot of energy into his campaign as the crowds made clear. He didn’t apologize ever for his thesis. He stuck to message again and again. He remained civilized but uncompromising when Warren slammed the shiv in his back. But he fizzled out badly at and after SC, and he could have stuck in there to exert influence later and he could have cooled it a bit about what a great guy Joe is and how important it is for the country to replace Tweedlemeemeemee with Tweedlewhereami.

            1. Brooklin Bridge

              Adding, there was something fake about his obsequiousness. He knows Biden isn’t well. He can’t not know. He owes his followers (a loyal group if ever) the respect of not suddenly being just craven to the establishment.

      2. JP

        Life long cynic. I like life long much better then newly converted. If one learns from one’s mistakes, life long tempers one’s judgment. View points need not be intractable convictions. Everyone’s perceptions are an attempt to model reality. It’s important to remember it’s a mental construct not the real thing.

        1. witters

          Do we have access to the real, or just ‘the model’? Surely the second is no good without the friction of the first.

      3. Oh

        Most of our progressives do not know the parliamentary procedure, e.g. to know how to attach a bill favoring the people to a piece of legislation and therefore get caught between a rock and hard place and are forced to vote in favor of a bill with poisonous provisions but one that includes some good ones. Bernie being one who has been in Congress should know the tricks but he, for some unknown reason fails in this regard. For example, he could’ve added a bill that provides a monthy income for all during this crisis and attached it to the CARES bill.

  2. Lee

    Believe it or not, people are still booking cruises for next year Los Angeles Times. More petri dishes.

    Or ice floes.

    1. JBird4049

      Well, Inuit elders taking a long walk into a blizzard, or on a ice floe, was generally an aware, deliberate and voluntary decision.

      I do not think that anybody booking a trip on a cruise ship is what one would even call “aware.”

  3. zagonostra

    Biden releases plans to expand Medicare, forgive student debt The Hill. I’ll have to look at the fine print, but tacking left in the primary, and then right in the general, is the oldest trick in the book.

    Isn’t this the exact opposite? Didn’t Biden, tack to the right in the primary and now is tacking left getting ready for the general? This is probably because Trump has been out-lefting the Democrats like delaying student loan repayments and paying for corona virus related medical expenses.

    1. mpalomar

      Biden’s policy compass is free wheeling pointing to whatever self serving position suits. Though in the general I’d think he might need to tack to port in an attempt to accomodate disaffected Sanders voters.

    2. The Historian

      “This is probably because Trump has been out-lefting the Democrats like delaying student loan repayments and paying for corona virus related medical expenses.”

      Let’s be very clear about what Trump has done. Trump is only paying for the corona virus expenses of the uninsured. If you have insurance, they make the decision whether or not to cover testing and wave deductibles. My insurance company has decided not to. Also, corona virus isn’t the only medical expense the uninsured have and Trump has done nothing about that – in fact he is denying any uninsured person that can afford it right now the ability to sign up for ACA. This is after he dropped the penalty for having no insurance.

      And as for student loans, Trump is waving interest payments and delaying federal student loan payments for 60 days. Do you think this will be over in 60 days?

      I don’t see Trump “out-lefting” anyone.

      1. zagonostra

        Wasn’t it Pelosi who insisted on means testing the $1200 as opposed to Trump/Mnuchin who did not want to means test. Did the Dems suggest to do anything on student loans (I realize the Trump proposal is pathetic), did Dems suggest paying for any corona virus related medical bills? The only thing I heard out of Pelosi is that the vaccine, when it comes, should be affordable?

        Perhaps, I’m taking in too much Jimmy Dore, he makes this argument constantly, that Trump is “out-lefting” the Dems…

        Anyway the post had to do with the faking “left” during the Primary and going “right” in the General which I believe is the historical precedent instead of the other way around.

        1. The Historian

          What does it mean to “out-left” Pelosi? I think Ronald Reagan was farther to the left than Pelosi. But that didn’t make him a friend to the Left, did it?

          1. Monty

            No, but what does it make Pelosi and the modern Democrats? Why would anyone on the left, vote for a party that is to the right on Reagan?
            Reject it. Leave them to it. Take up a hobby, or help out in your community instead.

          2. Grant

            I don’t like the notion of any of these people out lefting anyone. You can support single payer for non ideological reasons. What they sometimes do is not let their stupid right wing or neoliberal ideologies get in the way (sometimes) of obvious policies. Biden is being “out lefted” by Trump in some instances because Biden has spent decades supporting horrible right wing policies and was explicitly chosen because he was the only real option to take down Bernie before super Tuesday. Trump isn’t out lefting anyone, for complex reasons he is willing to put aside objections to policies we obviously need here or there. Biden and him are horrible candidates. The debate is over who is worse. Heads, the public loses, tails the public loses. In the long run, we are toast with either. This was the election to get serious about the environmental crisis, we cannot wait. Well, that’s out the window.
            But, neither of these idiots are on the left, and if they sometimes support policies supported by the left it is because they are willing to sometimes put aside their stupid and outdated worldviews for obvious policy needs. Sometimes, often not though, and class is king.

          3. zagonostra

            Here is what it means to “out-left” Pelosi see Republican Hawley’s proposal below. This was also covered in today’s The Rising with Krystal and Saagar.

            Josh Hawley argues this should include a different approach to encouraging businesses to keep workers employed. In his plan, the government would essentially take over most of the financial responsibility of paying affected workers…

            As his office summarized it in a press release, he’d create:

            -A refundable payroll tax rebate covering 80 percent of employer payroll costs applicable up to median wages, including support for rehired workers, with a rehiring bonus.
            -A real-time advance system for providing payroll support immediately to firms.
            -A back to work reinvestment credit for firms to cover costs of any investment necessary to get back off the ground even stronger once this crisis subsid


          4. John k

            Those on the left in 1968 didn’t think Nixon was their friend… wage and price controls, opening up China, clean air act, clean water act, and other policies all passed and signed by him.
            Today’s dnc is, as far as I can see, opposed to gnd, today’s equivalent. And far to the right of Nixon and Reagan. If we can’t take them over they should be opposed just as fiercely as reps.
            If a miracle doesn’t show up for Bernie then the best option is to take over the greens. Bernie won’t, and after this election he’s too old. How about AOC?

            1. Oh

              We didn’t think Nixon was our friend because he was a crook. The clean air act, clean water act were passed during his administration only because we pressured him to do it and we had a Congress that was not bought and paid for by the corporations. The trade with China was the single worst thing he did after the carpet bombing of Viet Nam, Laos and Cambodia. The China policy was a give away to the big international corporations and started the downward spiral of the employment situation in the US.

      2. Painted Shut

        He’s out-lefted Obama, who didn’t do any of those things during the previous crisis.

        Also out-lefted Hillary on TPP.

        Trump isn’t beholden to the right, except maybe on judicial appointments. I’d expect to see a few more toss sweep lefts in the playbook between now and November…

        1. The Historian

          Obama’s crisis was not a pandemic. And as far as I can see, Trump has used Obama’s playbook when it comes to stimulus for corporations.

          TPP was opposed by many people, not just the “left wing”. In fact the only people who seemed to be for it were corporations. Instead Trump tried to institute a trade war with China. Do you really think that was “left wing”?

          Trump isn’t beholden to anyone but his own special interests. That does not make him “left wing” in any way.

          1. Monty

            Yes, trying to bring industry back from China, to create jobs at home, should be a goal of the left wing.

            1. The Historian

              Did it work? So far, all I can see that happened was that it hurt our farmers, who Trump then had to bail out.

              1. MLTPB

                If that is the goal, don’t give up.

                Sometimes, you do the same thing that might require time. Sometimes you change or modify.

              2. John k

                I will say what trump will say as we approach the election:
                ‘We’ve started the long road to bring back industry and jobs to our great country. It took 40 years to move our factories to China and Mexico; I couldn’t get the job done in four years, I’m sure you noticed the dems have fought me every day. But I’ve made a start… re elect me so I can complete this important task and make America great again!’

            2. John

              If you read the policies that Trump admin were proposing … It was more about opening up China’s market more for American goods and services and eliminating China’s SOE while getting rid of technology transfer rules to manufacture in China. The policies were still about manufacting cheapy to China and elsewhere.

        2. neo-realist

          Obama to his credit, during the 2008 recession, did provide subsidized COBRA, which is was a huge help to a lot of people including myself. Try getting that from Trump.

          And I don’t worship Obama, but Trump sets a very low bar.

          1. JTMcPhee

            Would have been nice if he did not let what, 10 million people, get foreclosed, most fraudulently, losing their houses to Banksters and PE vultures. Or let the looters write the legislation, you know, the ones “we have to pass before we know what’s in it,” passing some $29 trillion to the oligarchy,, and the one that omitted even the “public option” and nailed down for the next decade the predatory shitpile that is the US medial UNsurance lootery.

            Did Obama “provide subsidized COBRA“ out of goodness? COBRA coverage is private medical insurance, complete with deductibles, copays and the rest. “Access” to medical care is not “health care.” I’m not sure that it is even better than a poke in the eye with the proverbial sharp stick, for the vast majority of us.

      3. Geo

        In just those few measly gestures of mild concern for the needs of those struggling he’s already “out-lefting” Dem leadership like Pelosi and Schumer. Already doing more than Obama/Pelosi/Schumer did for people in the immediate aftermath of the housing crisis.

        Add to that what Hawley is proposing and the GOP is currently winning the narrative on who is willing to “go big” on this crisis.

        One way or another Socialism in some form is happening (unless we decide systemic collapse is preferable). Democrats have clearly disavowed themselves of Democratic Socialism. The right is starting to embrace what they call “National Populism” (I guess National Socialism didnt poll well) and that will be a win for them.

        You see it with right media like Tucker Carlson, and Rising’s Saagar. Trump speaks that way at his rallies even if he hasn’t followed through much in office. And now reps in the GOP are beginning to offer policies.

        It is happening and the Dems risk loosing much of the hope the Sanders movement had to a Nationalist populism that is wisely capitalizing on the crisis.

        Not to belabor the point but in times of crisis people turn to anyone willing to help. Iraqi refugees from moderate middle class backgrounds turned to the Mahdi Army because no one else was there for them when their savings ran out. Interviews with ISIS fighters often made clear that many joined because it paid well which was hard to find in their ravaged countries.

        If Trump and the GOP actually offer tangible benefits do you think anyone will really care how badly they bungled the initial stages, or about Supreme Court picks, or about who is “more left”?

        Unless Dem leadership starts embracing Democratic Socialism in their offerings (even if not in name) we are *family blogged*.

          1. Synoia

            Nancy, Mary Antoinette, Pelosi: Let them eat Cake.

            Means testing: Brilliant, how long does one want to delay any financial support, and how are appeals managed in a timely fashion?

            I assert Trump cares little for the people, but I’m willing to bet that Trump Inc (Hotels and Golf Courses), is not having a bumper year, and sees no surge in its 2020 spring and summer bookings.

            Maybe the Democrats should use the list of current living survivors of in the 1919 Flu epidemic as the list for their version of financial support. /s

            Starving, impoverished, desperate people have nothing to loose.

        1. Brooklin Bridge

          You’re comparison of Trump vs. dems is accurate, but it doesn’t negate Historian’s spot on and usefully enumerated (for all to remember) point: Trump is in it for himself and as you yourself say, his efforts for “the people,” are, few [and] measly gestures .

          We need to wait and see if there is any substance to the so called movement of some members of the right to populist efforts.

          1. Geo

            When has substance been a decider in our politics? Did Americans suddenly ditch their msm bubbles and partisan blinders to start seeking truth?

            GWB won votes as a “compassionate conservative” and promised to give us back the Clinton surplus and the end result was a one time check for a couple hundred bucks. He also ran as a non-interventionist against Clinton/Gore’s record of intervention (and his daddy’s war). He won two terms.

            Obama promised hope and change. He won two terms.

            Bernie has dedicated his life to principles and only 30% of Dems give a damn. They think Joe is gonna restore integrity and bring back normalcy (and mimosa brunches).

            It’s all narrative. It doesn’t matter if the GOP actually makes things better, it matters if they convince people they did.

            1. Brooklin Bridge

              When has substance been a decider in our politics?

              Possibly since SARS-CoV-2. It is novel. We’ll have to wait and see.

        2. JTMcPhee

          ISIS and a couple of other terror groups that the US ginned up also provided public services and governance (albeit violent and arbitrary) in some of the areas they occupied. Like this:

          “ISIS has a consumer protection office,”

          Sounds more effective than Warren’s CFPB: “ Ex-CFPB director urges agency to ‘act immediately’ to help consumers during pandemic ” Obama appointee Richard Corday knocking the agency he helped build,

      4. Mike

        I concur heartily- the myth of “left” vs. “right” here is astounding. In any given system of political economy, one must first diagnose WHO among leading movers is doing the acting and WHAT benefits will accrue to the different strata of the economic classes. If Trump is doing anything, it is comparable to what Democrats have done historically, which is to opportunistically take a space left open by the “opposition” to disadvantage them.

        In an unofficially authoritarian nation, there is no “left position” to be instituted by regulation or law. Benefit to poorer classes will accrue in fascist nations, as it did in Germany during the 1930s. Any segment of the established commanding class can prop up supporting numbers of the working class for advantage.

        To be honest, this “disadvantaging” does not include destruction of the opposition. Like two sides of a coin, they are forever joined (apologies to Mamas & Papas), and must work, dare I say, as a Hegelian unity of opposites. (Forgive the Marxist terminology, but what I gave up years ago seems more apt today).

        1. Noone from Nowheresville

          To be honest, this “disadvantaging” does not include destruction of the opposition.

          But who or what is really the opposition?

          I’m sticking with the Dems and Reps are minions. I’m adding that they are minions of capital. One side of capital is about establishing their version of order for their own stability and growth. While the other side is about implementing chaos to further their own stability and growth. Currently with a lot of overlap and similar goals.

          The only possible opposition in this scenario would be those who oppose capital. As far as I can tell there’s no cohesive group with power opposing capital. Plus no actual minions. That’s not to say there aren’t individuals who oppose capital.

          That said, when history is in flux like it is now, the seemingly impossible can become possible.

      5. Goyo Marquez

        If Trump says let’s just keep the student loan interest rate at zero since that interest is paid to the federal government anyway, he’ll get my vote.

    3. marym

      Re Trump “paying for”

      Kaiser Family Foundation 4/7/2020
      “While Congress did not allocate any money specifically for COVID-19 treatment or coverage for the uninsured, President Trump has stated his intention to reimburse hospitals for treating the uninsured by tapping a new $100 billion in funding for hospitals and other health care entities included in the third stimulus

      … we estimate total payments to hospitals for treating uninsured patients under the Trump administration policy would range from $13.9 billion to $41.8 billion. At the top end of the range, payments on behalf of the uninsured would consume more than 40% of the $100 billion fund Congress created to help hospitals and others respond to the COVID-19 epidemic… it is unclear whether the new fund will be able to cover the costs of the uninsured in addition to other needs, such as the purchase of medical supplies and the construction of temporary facilities.”

      CNBC 4/10/2020 (emphasis added)
      “Although details are still being worked out, the Trump administration said last week that it will use funding under recently passed legislation to help cover the cost of treating uninsured coronavirus patients — as long as the hospital accepting the government’s reimbursement rate does not bill the uninsured patient for any remaining balance (i.e., “balance billing”).

      However, it’s unclear whether the government’s offer of reimbursement extends only to hospitals or to other providers as well, [KFF senior fellow Karyn] Schwartz said. That includes physicians who treat a coronavirus patient in the hospital and may not be directly employed by the facility.”

      Links below. The CNBC post includes a summary of the patchwork of ways our multiple systems may or may not pay for care.

      1. John k

        Weak tea is better than no tea. What better offer is on the table from dnc?
        Someone said trump is a low bar… if he offered the left more he’d be bidding against himself.

  4. Wukchumni

    Liberty University police issue arrest warrants for NYT, ProPublica reporters The Hill
    “We’re the Christian Citizens Campus Police, and you have the right to remain silent about shaming us, as far as we’re concerned.”

    1. Brian (another one they call)

      Shirley this meant that Jerry Dropgood called the sheriff or local constabulatory to ask that they arrest reporters trespassing on his “university”. (we’ll come back to that claim) I didn’t know a college dean wormer could actually order the arrest of anyone without it being a citizens arrest. Considering trespass for the purpose of 1st amendment activity has been poo pooed by the supreme court so many times it is almost law. I must admit my first thought was he is off his meds and needs adult supervision, but I passed on that one when considering the idea of adulthood and the hoary thundererer theory of monetary enlightenment.
      So, at last, after 50 years I can finally add an editorial comment concerning forced brain melt that truly applies;
      “no one expects the Spanish inquisition”

      1. Alex morfesis

        College police and railroad police are not mall tending rent a cops…they have a bit more power than most realize and have been known to cross state lines while claiming to “investigate” someone…

  5. Steve H.

    Are We Entering A New Era Of State Nullification?

    > We’re going to have absolute chaos if we start having war between the federal government and the state government,” Nunn observed.

    > This is a civil war kind of discussion

    > Of course, the pandemic of 2020 is not the American Civil War.

    About that last point, Turchin might disagree. As this situation has spun out on epidemiology, then economy, then politically, the question becomes, are we talking between-group or within-group conflict, and who gets to decide?

    > waging fifty different wars against a virus that knows no borders.

    Two points on this. One is, a nation that can’t control it’s borders isn’t a nation. Mountains and deserts help. This is cultural, martial, and epidemiological. City-states had walls for a reason.

    The second is obliquely relevant to Krystyn Walentka above. Fifty different strategic choices to select from as the results come in. Robb and Dilbert are big on bottom-up adaptive response. I’m concerned about big eats small.

    1. Bsoder

      “City-states had walls for a reason” – yes and if look at the Greek war between Athens and it’s allies vs, Sparta and theirs, one finds the walls didn’t work very well. Athens initially and eventual was destroyed by the plague. yes a great man other things happened as well, but regarding walls being put to the test, they didn’t stop diseases very well. Initially there really wasn’t any great siege technology as we’ve come to think of it, (city-states are key here, not Rome, or the early-middle Middle-ages). But people would starve and give up. A besieged city usually had traitors that would let the outside forces in. And then, we’ll it all started with Sparta, they would ask the people no longer besieged if they were going to behave, and then they’d kill all the men, everyone else into slavery. Just to make sure. Of course went around came around.

      1. Bazarov

        Athens was not “destroyed” by the plague–it certainly hurt them, but they went on to do very well in the Archidamian War (though I don’t think they could be said to have ‘won’ it; more like a tie). After the first few years of the war, Athens recovered from the plague.

        After defeating Sparta and taking Spartiate prisoners at Sphacteria, establishing the fort at Pylos, Athens was able to negotiate The Peace of Nicias, which allowed them enough breathing room to restore their finances to solvency (a problem much worse than the plague when it came to Athens’ ability to continue the war).

        Athens’ walls in fact were very, very effective. In the first few years of the war, Sparta invaded Attica and ravaged it each harvest season. The whole Spartan strategy, at the start of the war, was that Athens would say “Uncle!,” unwilling to see its country destroyed. However, this proved incorrect, and because Sparta’s hoplite army was useless against a walled city with access to the sea, the army went home after each invasion disappointed. Far from having terrified the Athenians into submission, the Spartan invasion emboldened them, reminding the Athenians just how safe they were behind their walls.

        If anything, it was that very feeling of safety and mastery that ultimately cost Athens the war, as it was Athens’ total defeat in the bold, risky Sicilian Expedition (against Syracuse, a walled city!) that marked the turning point in the war (not the plague).

        Finally, the effectiveness of the walls can be seen plainly by Sparta’s reaction to them. After the Persian Wars, the tension between Sparta and Athens was intensified when Athens put up long walls. Sparta requested that Athens tear them down (and, at the end of the Peloponnesian War, forced Athens to do so). If the walls were not effective, Sparta would not have cared.

  6. Democrita

    I love that the Siberians have a sculpture dedicated to all the mice that have died for science (photo at the top of the Medium piece).

    A weird bit of info that made me a little happy in an otherwise very bad week.

    1. Phacops

      It is good to remember the animals we use to understand our biology.

      Research I was once involved in had me using hundreds of rats. I realized that just like our pets, individuals had behaviors that reflected some personality. While the research uncovered mechanisms by which mammary gland cell differentiation allows DNA repair mechanisms to catch up with replication to prevent fixation of mutations in daughter cells, I disliked how it was necessary to treat those animals. For me it was nearly a soul-bruising experience only balanced by the little knowledge about pregnancy and breast cancer that was gained.

  7. Shonde

    What the Asia Times story called a “lice drug”, is an ingredient in some popular heart worm medicines for dogs. In addition to heart worm, the same monthly pill containing ivermectin also controls many worms, fleas, and ticks.

    1. petal

      I first knew it as horse dewormer back in the day. Had a horrible thought the other day when this first came out that people might run out to their local feed store and start buying it for their own use, like the couple did with the fish tank cleaner.

    2. Amfortas the hippie

      six months ago(in a different world) wife came across a story(via faceborg) about a guy with untreatable colon cancer who…for whatever reason…decided to heck with all the medical science, Ima gonna take this here veterinary dewormer.
      said it cured him.
      so, of course, wife asks our oncologist,lol…who had a conniption fit.
      there’s some science behind it…i don’t remember the details…but it ain’t something i would try outside of a desert island situation, where it was that or die.

      when we ran goats and sheep before, we kept it on hand…along with the thing you squirt it down their throat with.
      diatomaceous earth in their “come home corn” works, too(for gut worms)…as does preventing overgrazing(for the”Bot-worms” that infest their nose from grazing too close when it’s really dry)

      1. Jonhoops

        Fenbendazol (panacur) is what you are thinking of.

        Search for the Joe Tippens protocol. Thousands are trying it apparently.

  8. Wukchumni

    Hardly mentioned is that this isn’t much of a good Friday for those looking down the barrel of property taxes being due today, perhaps contributing to the delinquency of a manor.

  9. fresno dan

    Are We Entering A New Era Of State Nullification? The American Conservative

    First among them was Alabama, where, on March 26, Governor Kay Ivey dismissed the idea of a statewide stay-at-home order, emphasizing Alabama’s uniqueness, while channeling Lost Cause notions that the Enlightenment was hatched somewhere near Montgomery. “Y’all,” Ivey pronounced, in an unmistakable drawl, “we are not Louisiana, we are not New York state, we are not California.”

    Ivey could not have been more right: compared to Louisiana, New York and California, Alabama’s educational system is a shambles (dead last on the U.S. News and World Report education rankings), its healthcare infrastructure among the worst in the nation (42nd according to one authoritative survey), and in the lower tier (45th of 50) in economic opportunity–with over 17 percent of its citizens living at or below the poverty line. Compared to Alabama, New York is Xanadu.
    Robert Green Ingersoll
    In nature there are neither rewards not punishments; there are consequences

    1. Phacops

      Looking at numbers from Mobile, Huntsville and Alabama in general, I cannot reconcile the data between testing, deaths and unregulated movement of people. Something is fishy there.

    2. lyman alpha blob

      The Alabama response gives some new meaning to the song Angel from Montgomery

      Make me an angel
      That flies from Montgomery
      Make me a poster
      Of an old rodeo

      Just give me one thing
      That I can hold on to
      To believe in this livin’
      Is just a hard way to go

      I know we mentioned it earlier, but RIP John Prine. And nothing makes hard times better like a smile from one’s fellow human beings, even, or perhaps especially if, it’s an illegal one :)

  10. Lemmy Caution

    Re: Guest Editorial: “Even If Offered a Loan from the Paycheck Protection Program, I Probably Won’t Take It” Portland Mercury

    I would think many small businesses would be doing employees a favor by laying them off instead of using a PPP loan to keep them on payroll.

    The Feds kick in an extra $600 a week on top of the standard weekly state unemployment benefit, so many workers would be better off going that route.

    For some businesses that do take the PPP loan and bring employees back in to work (as opposed to having them work at home), they would be increasing the health risks to the workers while substantially reducing the money they receive. Sure, the business would be allowed to use 25% of the loan to cover utilities and such, but it comes at a high price to workers.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      The UI offices are slammed
      Part time labor
      They don’t actually have to work.

      I’m not sure how this works from the self employment end, and the tip side of things doesn’t work at all. Im moderately suspicious the author can’t figure out how to rig it for himself and can’t abide people not working as if the owners are entitled to the money without labor in exchange. I’ve run into this attitude in my real life.

      Not that it’s perfect, but there will be too many people on it to not Wild West this. As long as you are playing by the basic rules, there shouldn’t be problems. This guy has already gone to take out. What does his current employee set up look like?

      1. periol

        You nailed it. Not once did the guy entertain keeping his bar closed and paying his people to stay home.

        He’s “concerned” about the terms of the loan/grant, because he doesn’t *want* to use 75% to cover payroll expenses for people staying home. No, he wants to use it to fund running a take-out food operation. But he has to use it for payroll to get it forgiven.

        I bet this whole thing hurts his wallet the same way mine hurts when I get a speeding ticket.

        I was reading that the more money people have, the more the are stressed by all this. The poor have been dealt a crap hand forever. Meanwhile this guy is doing mental gymnastics trying to figure out why the government won’t help him screw his employees over more.

        1. Jeremy Grimm

          “Meanwhile this guy is doing mental gymnastics trying to figure out why the government won’t help him screw his employees over more.”
          Actually I suspect this guy is trying to reconcile himself with the collapse of a dream, and the prospects of bankruptcy in a very uncertain present and future economy. He’s in a boat not dissimilar from that of his employees although I suspect he’s older, has already committed to a family and a wide range of responsibilities which will collapse with his business.

          Caring for the financial welfare of his employees had been a responsibility the State adopted. The same State gave blessings to the dictates of the Market to guide this employer’s dealings with his staff. Anything he did to help and treat his staff fairly according to his own sense of right and wrong was entirely on his head. There will be pie in the sky for him when he’s dead. If you can so harshly judge the owner of a small business, I can only suppose you have never been employed by a large Corporate Cartel.

          1. periol

            He’s refusing to take a loan because it will only be forgiven if he uses 75% of it for payroll.

            What actual expenses besides rent and payroll does a closed bar have? Just don’t pay insurance and sign up with a new provider after.

            1. Still Above Water

              periol – I find it best not to speculate on matters I know nothing about. But this is a subject I DO know. I own a bar in Portland. I pay almost $50k a year for insurance, with liquor liability being a major chunk of it. Of course it was one of the first expenses I considered dropping. But, I called up the state liquor commission, who confirmed that without insurance, my liquor license would be suspended, and I’d have to go through a lengthy and costly process to reinstate it. I’m betting that it’s not worth losing 3-6 months of income waiting for a license renewal just to avoid paying for a few months of insurance. Since the insurance cost is based on alcohol sales, determined with an end-of-year audit, I wouldn’t save any money, I’d just be deferring the amount I have to pay now when I have no income.

              It’s a similar story with workman’s comp – it’s based on payroll costs, so I’ll get the $ back next year.

              As for property insurance, I’m contractually obligated to have it by my lease.

              I almost forgot – I’m also paying for employee health insurance (which I group under payroll costs) for as long as I can afford to, even though I’m not required to. That’s another $50k/year.

              So, between rent and utilities and insurance, I’ve got a burn rate of close to $30k/ month. The bank account will be empty before all of May’s expenses are paid. After that it’s eating into retirement savings. :(

              You can bet your sweet a$$ I’ve applied for a PPP loan.

        2. Still Above Water

          “ I bet this whole thing hurts his wallet the same way mine hurts when I get a speeding ticket..”

          I am reminded of the Nokia executive that paid a 116,000€ speeding ticket.

    2. Katniss Everdeen

      Debt under duress is probably the oldest scam in the book, and what’s left of the middle class has had A LOT of experience with it over the last 20 years. It’s what’s kept “the economy” humming long enough to keep the looters prosperous.

      From student loans to educational for-profits like corinthian college to negative amortization mortgages to buy here / pay here car loans–fool me once…..don’t get fooled again. Just. Say. No.

      Josh Hawley has a plan–let the government pay the salaries directly. No lending. GIVING. There’s plenty of money at the fed–powell has made it clear that they have all the money they need. Time for them to understand what the full employment part of their “dual mandate” really means.

      1. notabanker

        This is exactly right. The UK has chosen to to do this, the US has chosen not to. This is debt disguised as a grant. The technocracy has been busy at work since the legislation was passed to ensure all of the risk is on the borrowers. All of it, 100%. The banks are assuming zero risk and collecting interest and fees. Free money, pure extraction.

        1. periol

          I don’t hate the terms. To my mind they are deliberately set to keep small-business owners from being greedy with the money, like this Portland bar owner.

          It’s a grant if you use 75% on payroll expenses. Not that hard to do. If you don’t want to pay your people to stay home, then you should be assuming the risk of taking on this loan.

          Also, the other benefit of this over doing a government direct payroll program is that the small businesses still get to use some of the money to cover overhead. Probably not enough for many, but for many others it will keep them in business.

          1. ShamanicFallout

            I agree, periol. The question I have is that of a business who is still running (perhaps just getting by) and keeps a payroll, will also have other payables (inventory, etc), receivables, and so presumably some cash flow. Maybe the business might even have cash in the bank still. So in theory the business could maybe even get by (of course no one really knows where this is economy is headed)
            So the ‘loan’ helps the business keep people employed, but funds are mingled together with all other costs and incomes from regular operations. Is the loan ‘grant’/’forgiveness’ solely based on using the PPP money for payroll and a percentage of utilities/rent, or does a business need to demonstrate dire need after the fact? That is, could the SBA come back and say, well you actually didn’t need the payroll help, so you now own the debt. The language, to me, vague enough to worry about the dreaded bait and switch

            1. periol

              From my reading of the terms, in order for the loan to be forgiven, there will need to be documentation 75% went to payroll and payroll expenses. For my mother’s non-profit, this is thankfully easy as her payroll is run through the same bank where the loan will originate.

              If you can’t provide documentation showing 75% of the amount of the loan went to payroll expenses during the 8 weeks it covers, the loan will not be forgiven.

          2. Vic

            As a small business owner myself, I’ve been through the terms of PPP very carefully. I also see where the bar owner is coming from. I don’t think the issue is greed: he’s puzzling over the very real issue of whether or not PPP is valuable given that his business is closed for the indefinite future, and likely much longer than 2.5 months. If you still have some revenue coming in, PPP can be very helpful. If the bar owner tries to generate revenue through take-out, he rightly notes he could end up screwing his employees over and perhaps even violate some labor laws along the way. BTW, the conditions of loan forgiveness are that if you can prove via that 75% or more of the loan was spent on payroll, it is automatically forgiven. It strikes me as a well-intentioned program, but it doesn’t work for every business situation.

            1. periol

              We’ll just have to agree to disagree.

              The bar owner could take the loan, pay 75% of it for payroll, use the rest for rent, and then keep worrying about the rest of his issues, which would be a little lighter. The odds are probably high that there will be a rinse and repeat of this loan/grant if the 8 weeks this covers isn’t enough.

              Taking the loan and using it for payroll, so it becomes a grant, means that there is money to make sure his employees are OK right now. If he thinks the bar doesn’t survive either way, take the money, give it to your employees and run? If he think the bar will survive, take the money, pay your employees to lay low, and the good ones will reward your loyalty and come back after this.

              Now, though, he has laid off all his employees, isn’t using the other 25% of the grant for the business, and he’s still closed? This seems to me to be the action of a man who was already tired of owning a bar, and is using this is a handy excuse to shut down. And that’s fine, but just say that instead of trashing the help the government is offering and at least passing it along to your employees.

              It seems very clear that he wants a bailout of the bar, which again, he owns. I am speculating he is upset that this particular grant helps the employees more than the business. If he’s a bar owner in financial difficulty outside of the coronavirus, the odds are high that he is mismanaging either his personal or business finances.

              I’m going to guess his bar is on the market not long after things start to reopen.

              1. UserFriendly

                His employees make most of their money on tips. Unemployment covers tips, if he hired them back they would make less.

      2. Billy

        HAWLEY-PAUL 2024

        The Democratic Party is dead.
        Long live the Democratic Party.
        We come to bury it.

        1. Katniss Everdeen

          My prediction–at some point in the not too distant future, Josh Hawley will be being addressed as Mr. President, and all the other desperate posers and strivers will be shaking their heads at just how straightforward the process actually turned out to be.

          1. wilroncanada

            Katniss Everdeen
            I wouldn’t bet on it. The US does not spend it’s magic money directly on citizens, unless they have at least 7 figure investments. Josh Hawley will be a majority of one until some think tank can come up with a way that most of the funds would be directed to banks and major corporations, maybe in terms of gift cards to the company store, letting the stores bid on what percentage each will get. The businesses can then charge a premium on each portion of the credit card the person wants to spend in that store.
            Sort of like Jared Kushner is doing with medical supplies.
            Britain and Canada are doing the giveaways that Hawley is (for the moment) touting. But then, they’re Socialist losers. Look at their health care systems.

      3. Oh

        Agree. WHy do the banksters have to be in the loop when the Fed can send the money directly to the people and to businesses in trouble. Another corporate welfare scheme.

    3. periol

      The unemployment route brings better money long-term, but short-term they are going to be waiting for a bit. The states don’t even have guidelines for how the Feds are going to deal with that $600 boost yet.

      What I found interesting about that article is that the bar owner did not once consider the idea of taking the loan/grant, and paying all his people to stay home. Why not? He will only take the money if he can open, somehow, someway?

      My mother’s non-profit applied for the loan, and if it is approved intends to use it to pay her staff to stay home for the duration, instead of laying them off. I thought that was the basic idea, not get approved and then figure out a way to open…

    4. Jeremy Grimm

      The CARES Act help for small business is too little, too vague, too complex, too slow. I believe the author of this guest editorial is looking at chapter 7 bankruptcy along with countless other small business owners. The employees of these many small business ventures will need to find another way to support themselves in the economy After Corona, and they will be competing against millions of others faced with the same harsh prospect.

      I cannot even guess what their former employers will do After Corona. I doubt that many will go about starting another business like the one that failed. I cannot guess how many will try starting a new business. If they do, I am not sure where they would get the loans they would need to make the attempt.

      The CARES Act suddenly appeared neatly wrapped with bow a mere three months after the first undeniable indications that the Corona flu had arrived in the U.S. Any claim that a pandemic came as an unexpected event is put to lie by the A-Team efforts the CARES Act makes on behalf of Big Money. I can’t imagine what bush league third-string players worked on the rest of the act.

      1. Billy

        We are hearing rumblings of that too from small business owner neighbors:
        Paraphrasing multiple conversations:

        “We’re looking forward to hiring the best employees and abandoning the troublemakers, illustrated women, glam rock seniors and wanna be cowboys with facial piercings that we had to accept when the market was tight.”
        Then there’s the Me Too Movement. Men may have an advantage in hiring.

      2. Carey

        >The CARES Act suddenly appeared neatly wrapped with bow a mere three months after the first undeniable indications that the Corona flu had arrived in the U.S. Any claim that a pandemic came as an unexpected event is put to lie by the A-Team efforts the CARES Act makes on behalf of Big Money.

        Thank you.

    5. hunkerdown

      Can’t he just sell beer to go like some of the bar’n’grills out here in Michigan?

  11. Kevin C. Smith

    Ivermectin requires blood concentrations ~10,000 – 30,000 times the levels needed to treat helminths and insects, so it is not safe or practical as a systemic treatment for COVID-19.

    GOOD podcast about mechanism of action of ivermectin in SARS-CoV-19, and the practical reasons why systemic treatment with ivermectin would be difficult or impossible. The interviewee is a scientist who has worked intimately with ivermectin in academia and industry for many years.

    Here’s a note I sent in to the podcast last night:

    Ivermectin is used topically in dermatology for Demodex-related rosacea, which may be occurring in the hot moist environment under the PPE which medical personnel wear taking care of COVID patients.

    It occurs to me that after application of ivermectin cream 1% you might get a very high concentration of ivermectin on the skin, in a range which might also be effective against any SARS-CoV-2 which might be contaminating the facial skin of those medical workers. This would be an added benefit of treatment with ivermectin cream [Rosiver] for Demodex-related facial dermatoses in medical workers.”

    1. xkeyscored

      I think they said in that podcast they weren’t aware of this virus doing anything nuclear.
      Non-structural protein 9 (NSP9) appears to head for the nucleus, though I don’t think anyone knows what it does there. Could be a fruitful line of research, even if ivermectin isn’t a useful treatment.

      ” At the Heart of the Cell · NSP9

      This protein infiltrates tiny channels in the infected cell’s nucleus, which holds our own genome. It may be able to influence the movement of molecules in and out of the nucleus — but for what purpose, no one knows. ”

  12. zagonostra

    Nice to see that our “democracy” has its priorities straight.

    Since March 11, the Fed created $1.77 trillion and handed it to Wall Street either as loans or to purchase financial instruments. The sole purpose of this was to inflate asset prices and bail out asset holders. It’s apparently against the law in the US for the Fed to allow the wealthy to lose their shirts, or something. The crumbs offered to small businesses or the real economy have not materialized yet. Those are future projects, if they ever materialize.

    If the Fed had sent that $1.77 Trillion to the 130 million households in the US, each household would have received $13,600. But no, this was helicopter money exclusively for Wall Street and for asset holders.

    If Wall Street is bailed out once again at the expense of the “real” economy of production and consumption, America will have turned decisively away from democracy into a financial oligarchy.

    1. fresno dan

      April 10, 2020 at 8:28 am

      The crumbs offered to small businesses or the real economy have not materialized yet. Those are future projects, if they ever materialize.
      Sign on the wall at the Fed bar: free crumbs Tomorrow

  13. Krystyn Podgajski

    RE: Correlation between universal BCG vaccination policy and reduced morbidity and mortality for COVID-19: an epidemiological study

    BCG vaccination significantly increases the secretion of pro-inflammatory cytokines, specifically IL-1B, which has been shown to play a vital role in antiviral immunity

    That is depressing. No really, it is. Increasing levels of IL-1B are linked to higher rates of depression. So saved from the virus but dies by suicide?

  14. The Rev Kev

    “How does COVID-19 kill? Uncertainty is hampering doctors’ ability to choose treatments”

    You would think that after a minimum of 100,000 dead that we would have a better handle on this thing but it still feels like early days yet. Peak Prosperity threw out an interesting theory here on what may be happening. I am going on memory here, but their possible theory was that Coronavirus is replacing the iron in hemoglobin which is pushing the Fe2+ and Fe2+ out into the blood where it is causing damage to the body. In addition, as the iron is no longer in the hemoglobin, oxygen can no longer be bonded there which accounts for how victims cannot get oxygen into their systems. I may have butchered their reasoning here but this is the essentials of their theory which may mean that Coronavirus is actually a blood disease. Interesting if true.

    1. Krystyn Podgajski

      Chris’s “theory” is based on a computer model. It was not even tested or seen in any biological context. Plus it is just stupid. I used to like Chris but now he is an expert in everything. I will listen to him talk about economics but he should stay in his lane. There is nothing showing that this is a “blood disease”.

      Plus, they finding that even though some people have O2 levels as low as 70% they are not gasping for air. This is confusing the doctors.

      Let me share a hypothesis; Low O2 means low O2- which means low H2O2 which means a lower immune response which means higher survival. Could it be possible that the very high death rate on ventilators is because they are increasing oxygen in a system that is trying to lower oxygen to reduce the immune response?

      Haven’t we learned yet from the fever response? Something we once tried to force lower but now we see is actually part of the cure?

      1. The Rev Kev

        I did say that it was one theory, not the theory. There are just too may things that we do not know about this virus and decisions are having to be made without really knowing what precisely this virus does. I did not think that in April we would still not have this virus figured out.

        That Dr. Chris Martenson did bring up one interesting point recently. People are running around and saying that we should go for herd immunity because markets. So you look at Spain for example and see that they have had about 160,000 recognized cases and that about 16,000 Spaniards have been killed by this virus. OK, about a 10% death rate.

        Considering that 47 million people live in Spain, that means that about one-third of one percent of the population has been officially infected. What was herd immunity again? Something like 60% to 80%? Long way to go then for just Spain.

        1. Synoia

          Yes, you are correct. Without a vaccine, Getting to 80% survivors is difficult and lengthy. At some point in that process starvation starts to have a secondary, and large impact.

          Black Death levels of difficulty.

          “Bring out the dead, Bring out the dead”

        2. MLTPB

          Denmark was among the first nations to lock down.

          It is planning to relax.

          Also reported is 400,000 out 5.6 millios Danes could have been infected. Even if in fact so, that’s only less than 10%.

    2. Krystyn Podgajski

      Supporting evidence:

      Oxygen is also central in the generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS), which can participate as benevolent molecules in cell signaling processes or can induce irreversible cellular damage and death. Oxygen is thus both vital and deleterious.


      Multiple lung pathogens such as chemical agents, H5N1 avian flu, or SARS cause high lethality due to acute respiratory distress syndrome. Here we report that Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) mutant mice display natural resistance to acid-induced acute lung injury (ALI). We show that TLR4-TRIF-TRAF6 signaling is a key disease pathway that controls the severity of ALI. The oxidized phospholipid (OxPL) OxPAPC was identified to induce lung injury and cytokine production by lung macrophages via TLR4-TRIF. We observed OxPL production in the lungs of humans and animals infected with SARS, Anthrax, or H5N1. Pulmonary challenge with an inactivated H5N1 avian influenza virus rapidly induces ALI and OxPL formation in mice. Loss of TLR4 or TRIF expression protects mice from H5N1-induced ALI. Moreover, deletion of ncf1, which controls ROS production, improves the severity of H5N1-mediated ALI. Our data identify oxidative stress and innate immunity as key lung injury pathways that control the severity of ALI.

      1. Bsoder

        Yes and Conclusions:
        Oxygen, beyond its indispensable role in cardiac energy metabolism, plays a central role in other biological processes that can be determinants of cardiac function, including the generation of ROS and the determination of cardiac gene expression patterns. Although their role in the pathogenesis of clinical heart failure remains unclear.

      2. The Rev Kev

        Not spruiking this theory but thought in all fairness to mention it. Went digging for the original video and found it at and it is about 21:10 in. Is it viable as a theory? I have no idea and leave that to those more qualified to speak about it but did find it interesting. But if someone said a couple days ago that Coronavirus had a R0 factor of 5.7, what would the reaction have been then? That is why I mentioned this odd theory.

        1. Krystyn Podgajski

          There is no evidence that cloroquine alone cures COVID19.
          That study was a computer simulation.

          Speculation X Simulation = ?

          When he posts stuff like this it just makes more people want an unrpoven and possibly dangerous drug.

          Chris has an undiagnosed anxiety disorder IMHO

      3. MLTPB

        I’ve always thought (many) things are not good or bad, period.

        Water, for example, is essential. Too much, it drowns you.

        It seems, the context, not just the quantity, also makes a difference, as seen here, apparently. It is not that oxygen is always good, anytime, anywhere, in any amount.

        I wonder if we can the same about kindness, or other things or ideals.

    3. Bsoder

      No, not a bad summary, let add from a couple of scientists that studied this back in 2005, their conclusion “Oxygen, beyond its indispensable role in cardiac energy metabolism, plays a central role in other biological processes that can be determinants of cardiac function, including the generation of ROS and the determination of cardiac gene expression patterns. Although their role in the pathogenesis of clinical heart failure remains unclear”. The interesting part is turning on genes, which since this paper the understanding of has increased immensely. As of late I’ve worked both in ICU and as a pathologist and in some patients, that appear prior to Covid-19 infection of having no heart problems and (a big and) not taking any meds to try and treat the infection, do now have damaged hearts. How widespread this is not yet known. Without documented tests prior to an infection the data is not what one would normally use in a study, so it is anecdotal. There ‘s no point guessing because it isn’t what I do. Best go where the data leads. It is a fact patients are being discharged with heart, lung and liver damage.

  15. Wukchumni

    A friend went on a shopping run to a town of about ten thousand, and asked if I wanted anything, and I joked, yeah, how about a 20 pound bag of rice, and many hours later it was laid 6 feet from my toes, and he told me I owed him $16.

    I got curious what a similar 20 pound bag would run on Amazon, and it’s around $50 to 60 there.

    Quite the disparity in prices, no?

    1. MLTPB

      Instead of gas rationing, average gas price here in LA county drops for the 40th consecutive day.

      It’s also not something you would order online.

      Maybe one we could, and get it shipped from across the Pacific, in a container. But not yet.

    2. Jeremy Grimm

      Hard to judge the going price of rice without knowing what kind of rice it is and what quality. Before Corona you could get a 25-pound bag of new crop polished Thai Jasmine rice for around $16. You could get a 20-pound bag of parboiled rice for around $7. At least those are the prices I remember. A high quality Korean rice will cost more as will many kinds of unpolished rice.

      Next time, you might want to ask for several pound of barley to mix in with the rice when you make soup. Rice too hard to eat (2nd or 3rd day in the rice cooker) can be used to make a soup but I prefer the added texture and taste some barley adds.

  16. Tom Stone

    I was considering who would be Joe’s most appropriate choice as VP, keeping in mind his remarks about reaching across the aisle, and his kinda sorta commitment to choosing a woman.
    Is Sarah Palin available?

    1. rob

      I’m guessing he would love to get his hands on sarah palin…
      I mean have her on the podium… I mean have her as a running mate…

      1. Synoia

        No, no no, He, Biden, is grouping for a solution….

        Solution to what, you may ask, and speculate.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        I’m reminded of the reputed discussions about the selection of Palin. The sentiment in much of the McCain circle was to go with Pawlenty. Then McCain and that one guy who wrote a book were all in on Palin. I suspect Klobuchar, but who knows what Biden would do on his own?

        1. Charger01

          The Klob would ice that old man in a heartbeat. Stone cold, that one. Keep your binders locked up!

          1. ObjectiveFunction

            Klebb will be required to check her shoes at the door of the Oval office.

            Keel Bond now!

        2. John Beech

          I believe Governor Palin cost Senator McCain the nomination. Moreover, had he been man enough to ask Governor Romney we’d have never had Senators Obama and Biden. History turns on personalities. I believe VP Biden made a fundamental error in announcing a woman would be his choice because in one fell swoop he boxed himself in to selecting from a very small pool of candidates. It’s all fine and good to say women are 50%, and I’m absolutely certain women are just as qualified as men, but as we’re seeing with President Trump, ‘qualified’ is an important word and does anybody really think Klobuchar has enough experience governing to be qualified? Seems to me it would be smarter to seek amongst the field of governors, e.g. people who have really been tasked with the job vs. someone whose chief qualification is getting elected senator and keeping a small staff whilst they fund raise. In any case, I cannot possibly bring myself to vote for the former VP and will thereby cast my vote for Donald Trump once again since Senator Sanders gave up the fight (for whom I expressly changed voter registration to Democrat in order to support when the circus rolled into town a few weeks back).

      2. petal

        I love you guys. Thank dog I wasn’t in the process of drinking something when I read that.

        1. jefemt

          +1. In all seriousness, Pramila Jayapal?

          Oh, and Mr Bill O’Reilly has flipped the Sarah Palin Death Panels condemnation on its side, if not ear….

    2. NotTimothyGeithner

      Klob fits the thought processes of “centrists” with “West Wing” mind rot. She won’t outshine Biden. She can walk and talk. And she appeals to people who believe votes can be swung by simply picking a person from the region. Harris and Gillenbrand fail on 1 and 3.

      Tim Kaine, Al Gore, Joe Biden, Lieberman are the preferred types of Team blue running mates (republicans too for that matter). They largely exist to make the base go, “oh, it could be worse.”

      1. Katniss Everdeen

        I’d gladly give up a month of my social security to watch the klob clock biden the first time he buries his diseased face in her hair.

        I’d say she’d pack enough of a punch to knock him senseless but how could you tell?

      2. a different chris

        I hate all of them so I feel I can think about it disinterestedly, and I basically agree with you.

        My belief is, in order to grab every Midwestern vote he will need, Biden’s campaign if it has a lick of sense, will pick Klobuchar. Why she is so popular in her home state eludes me but she is and thus she brings something to the table.

        My expectation is that they can’t let go of their dusty old IdPol playbook, so it’s Harris in a walk. My only disagreement with you (and this is not why he would pick Harris, that’s pure IdPol maxed-out) is that I don’t think Biden is aware that he could be “outshined” and the people who will tell him who to pick don’t care what he thinks anyway.

        So Harris gets Biden even more votes in states he’s going to walk away with anyway and does zip for the 7 he needs. Yup, putting it that way makes me positive they will pick her. Takes true genius to lose 1000 seats and it will be demonstrated again.

        1. Charger01

          I would not be surprised if Hillary rose from the shadows as the VP pick. It would be too easy for Trump, but complete Dem catnip.

        2. NotTimothyGeithner

          Harris trounced Biden too easily. The ID Pol book runs into the serious Political Junkie types (the kinds who say things like the country never elects Senators as if 4 data points is useful). Harris would only serve as bad as she is to remind people of what Joe Biden is, a troll.

          I don’t believe Klob can simply deliver the Midwest or do well. She had her start because her dad was well liked. I’m not sure Klob has enough potential personality to expose Biden.

          Her whole I’m dull and uninteresting because i’m from the Midwest routine is stupid.

        3. John k

          It’ll be Klob.
          First, Biden desperately needs an attack dog, they’ll say it’s so he can take the high road but really those that can’t string a sentence together can’t attack anything.
          Second, she some of the primaries.
          Third, if close the race will be won or lost in the Midwest.
          Fourth, she was a critical endorsement when the knives came out.
          Fifth, Corp donors are ok with her.
          Sixth, my wife, who is a Bernie supporter, thinks she’s ok… meaning a lot of dems will be fine with her.

      3. Ignim Brites

        Klobuchar might be able to deliver Michigan, Wisconsin, iowa and, of course, Minnesota.

        No other potential candidate offers much in the way of electoral strength. Plus, as a presidential candidate, she has some plausibility as a President.

      1. Monty

        Seeing that smug look wiped off her face if they lost would be the biggest highlight of 2020.

    3. tulu

      Trial balloons have been going out this week for Michigan’s governor to gauge reaction to a possible pick of her for VP. I expect Biden to pick her for his VP running mate.

      1. neplusultra

        How fitting would that be? The daughter of a health insurance executive. Talk about a massive middle finger to the Bernie supporters. and since we live in a dystopia, it’s probably likely to happen

    4. Jeremy Grimm

      I suspect the party has some dark-horse in the wings specially selected — sorta like a Harry Truman — someone to usher in the new deal Big Money has in the works for after Corona. Hillery like Biden is too old and too fragile for that role. Is there a Hillery understudy? If Biden somehow beats Trump — I will be very curious how the Democratic party manages to continue their efforts to further Globalization after Corona. I believe Neoliberalism and its campaign to solidify the power of International Big Money might bide its time for the near future but it is still alive and planning for the new deal After Corona. Think tank employees can work from home online.

    5. sd

      Nevada Senator Catherine Marie Cortez Masto
      California Senator Kamala Harris
      Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar
      Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer
      Florida Rep. Val Demings


      Biden reportedly told former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid that Senator Catherine Cortez Masto is in his “top three” picks for the role of his running mate, and according to Mediaite, Reid has expressed his support for her as the former vice president’s vice presidential nominee.

  17. rd

    Hmmmm….living in close quarters with a pet duck.

    Seems like a splendid opportunity to create a new strain of avian flu. I am surprised he hasn’t added a pot-bellied pig to make the circle easier to complete.

  18. timbers

    Liberty University police issue arrest warrants for NYT, ProPublica reporters The Hill

    Article says these arrest warrants were issued for “misdemeanor trespassing.”

    I have to say based on my experience with trespassing, this is a complete joke and an example of selective application of law.

    I once had a belligerent neighbor who’s brother and friends were on the Quincy Police force. He openly called himself “King of the Street” and antagonized many who unwittingly move into the neighborhood. Over the years I watched many of them move – both renters and owners. He would frequently trespass on my property and eventually had a major confrontation on an unrelated issue. One of his actions was to come onto my property with his large Rottweiler and pound on my windows. I eventually resolved the situation by hiring a lawyer and filing a law suit against him. The club I had against him, is he spurred anti gay remarks openly. Lawyer said this is a hate crime and could get the Fed involved and turn his life up-side-down. The city clerk or whatever he was, insisted we give this time and he would no decision just yet, asked me and my lawyer to leave so he could speak to my neighbor. It’s clear he gave him a lashing and told to cut it out unless he wanted his life ruined.

    But the police and lawyer were indifferent to things like trespassing. They both said it would go nowhere in court and was minor, a total loser to pursue.

    Trespassing? It’s my experience this is a joke. Cops laugh at it. So do lawyers.

    1. JTMcPhee

      There’s a difference between the defensive and the offensive use of trespass law. Big businesses, the various governments, and arrogant principalities like Falwell’s “Liberty” University use it offensively, to suppress rights. Like you learned, trying to get relief against an obnoxious neighbor (oxymoron?) via defending your right to quiet enjoyment of your property is a lot harder.

      I was dumb enough to buy a house next to that kind of person in Seattle. Long litany of offensive trespass, like one day she banged on my back door and announced she was here to cut down the apple tree in my back yard with her newly sharpened chain saw, because she did not like the way it looked. She ripped out a blossoming camellia hedge between my house and the inoffensive older woman on the other side. She was so obnoxious, vicious and predatory that she had cowed the police and even the judges in lawsuits that a few people had tried to prosecute against her. Oh, and she sent over her older female partner, who was 74 at the time and who she forced to continue working as a nurse, with a couple of cans of paint and instructions to tell me that I was to paint my house with it and pay her for it — seems she did not like yellow. She regularly beat the crap out of the older woman, who happened to be the widow of a very prominent developer in Seattle. “She just fell off a ladder, walked into a door, tripped on a rug…”

      I believe it was down in Texas where a town bully had made life hell for the citizens for many years. He was a deputy sheriff as I recall, and he had killed several people but always got a pass on various specious grounds. One day he drove into town and a dozen or so men surrounded his pickup and shot it and him fill of holes. I recall there saw a federal investigation for some reason, but the townsfolk had solved the Prisoner’s Dilemma and all “didn’t see nothing or hear nothing, neither.”

      “Civil society.” Right.

      1. Amfortas the hippie

        In Texas, we take the “Castle Doctrine” pretty seriously…at least out here in the sticks.
        my neighbor(died in the nuthouse) was a vietnam vet, a tunnel rat, and army intelligence…little guy…napoleon syndrome walking around in tiny boots.
        he used to come around our place at night…torturing cats, poisoning goats, and just screwing with us(bugged my house using our own baby monitor, and played back recordings of us on the phone(!))
        this went on for 7 years until he was finally committed(very difficult in texas).
        sheriff deputy friend and the local dps trooper both told me “you have a Right to defend your property”…which 2 lawyers confirmed means that I had every right to shoot him dead if i caught him on my place and subjectively feared for my life or my property.
        i would, of course, be arrested, and have to go through court and all…but given the circumstances, there was a good chance that i would get off.
        but i was well into my decrepitude with my legs, then…and he was spry…never could catch him when i had a gun on me.
        i did shoot at him with an arrow once…and i learned after the fact, in daylight, that i had unloaded the riot gun all around his hidey hole the night before(the stones on that guy!)
        missed him by chance.
        his widow and i have reconciled(she was terrified during all that), and this is one of the big reasons i make certain to be sweet to my neighbors(widow is closest, a mere half mile away)
        turns out this nutter was cooking meth for the sheriff at the time,lol…which goes a long way in explaining why that sheriff wasn’t interested in our video surveillance footage and numerous tiny footprints and cig butts(he smoked virginia slims, so it was pretty obvious)

    2. Wyoming

      Sort of half on topic to the post but related.

      I work as a volunteer officer with my towns police. Several times a year we help with training scenarios for the new officers who are in the academy. One of the ones I have done is where I am a possible bad guy. It is night time (for real we do this in the dark) and the officer receives a report that someone is on the grounds of one of the local private schools looking in the window (this is me and that is exactly what I am doing). Now the officers have all their weapons (but are doubly checked that the they have no ammunition on them and I have a knife on me with about an 8 inch blade (rubber) which is concealed in the top of my boot. So the officer has to figure out what he/she is legally allowed to do when I am found looking in the window of the school. Almost 90% of them fail this the first time through. I am certainly trespassing but to arrest me for it the school itself has to complain and normally they would arrest only for the 2nd violation. They ”should’ detain me and search me (about half get that right and about half of those do not find the knife – a failure of course). They do not have the right to arrest me (so that is another failure point if they do). Being AZ those that find the knife ‘still’ do not have the right to arrest me nor can they take the knife away permanently – but you fail if you don’t take it away while the police/citizen interaction is going on – stupidly dangerous not to take it away. They have to give it back as well, and the way you give it back has to be safe as well – you put it on the ground and back away to a safe distance. They are supposed to learn everything they can about me and record it, check for warrants, etc. Then send me on the way with a warning. Getting all this right in the dark, being new, with a weapon present, and with someone who is clearly up to no good and is not very cooperative is not that easy. Trespassing is really no big deal but it can seem like it is – I am at an elementary school after all. I have easily convinced officers in this scenario to just let me walk away. I have shown many of them that when they are cuffing me for detainment (they must detain me to pass) that they must be much more physical and authoritative/determined or they are going to get hurt. Almost 50% of people who are getting cuffed will decide it is time to fight. This is a very high risk point for the officer as a subject who starts to fight at that point is inside your defensive perimeter and the fight is starting out pretty equal, they have access to your weapons, and if they get loose with a cuff on just one wrist they have essentially a nun-chuck in their hand. Here is where a big problem arises which ends up in the news all the time. Even though I am old and not a huge man I am more than capable of physically beating some of the smaller officers (I won’t make this gender specific as many of the women officers on the force could easily beat my ass up). If the officer does not push me into a position where the officer has mechanical advantage, have a very strong/painful grip on my wrist, and is not twisting my wrist to the point of a fair amount of pain it is easy for me to get away. But if the officer does that the subject and often the observing public thinks the officer is being too physical. But if the officer does not do the above and I get away it is easy for me to escalate the situation to a point that the officer decides I need to be shot. Now put yourself in this situation in real life. Policing is a hard business and pays mostly like working as a construction worker.

        1. Brooklin Bridge

          Naa, just remove the periods and caps.

          Fun aside, that was a really interesting story. Well told. Police physicality is indeed a remarkable balance.

          I wonder how the English police got away for so long without even wearing guns.

      1. The Rev Kev

        Thanks for that insight. You normally don’t see stuff like this and I see how you really need not only intelligent people for cops but also smart ones as well. The State I used to live in Oz eventually extended police academy training to six months and I can see why better now.

  19. Katiebird

    They are starting random testing in my county … I filled out the survey they mention in the article, Maybe they’ll pick me!!

    Johnson County Kansas set to begin randomized COVID-19 testing

    “We really need to have an understanding of what this looks like in Johnson County in order to make really informed decisions about lifting our stay at home orders,” Holzschuh said.

    People are chosen for the testing through an online survey. The first group of 500 will include people with and without symptoms.

    “We know that people can either be asymptomatic, so without symptoms, or be pre-symptomatic, so before those symptoms begin, and can be positive for coronavirus and could potentially be spreading it,” Holzschuh said

    The drive through testing will be done at the College Boulevard Activity Center. It is only for those who were chosen and notified by email. The samples will be tested by private labs.

    “We should be getting those results next week and start following up,” Holzschuh said.

  20. The Rev Kev

    “Roll Call for Congress’s Coronavirus Bailout”

    They say that like that wasn’t the whole point of the unorthodox way that they did this vote. Now I am not that up on American politics but I decided to look up the Progressives that I knew about in the House – the Squad – to see how they voted as they would be on the forefront of fighting injustice, right? So let’s take a look-

    Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minnesota – YES
    Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Michigan – YES
    Rep. Ayanna Pressley, D-Massachutes – No information
    Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-New York – NO

    I am betting that Pressley would also have voted YES. And Ocasio-Cortez? Do we know that that was how she voted? Her office confirmed that she would have voted NO. Hmphh! And people reckon that French is the subtle language. Do I sound cynical? Consider this then. If the Senate had also done the same with a “voice vote”, would we have ever discovered that Bernie voted YES or would that have been covered up. So look at the roll call for the Squad and see how those Progressives vote. Hint – its not for you.

  21. fresno dan

    Generally speaking, 40% to 50% of patients with severe respiratory distress die while on ventilators, experts say. But 80% or more of coronavirus patients placed on the machines in New York City have died, state and city officials say.
    The reason is not clear. It may have to do with what kind of shape the patients were in before they were infected. Or it could be related to how sick they had become by the time they were put on the machines, some experts said.

    But some health professionals have wondered whether ventilators might actually make matters worse in certain patients, perhaps by igniting or worsening a harmful immune system reaction.

    That’s speculation. But experts do say ventilators can be damaging to a patient over time, as high-pressure oxygen is forced into the tiny air sacs in a patient’s lungs.

    1. Noone from Nowheresville

      Saw this article a couple of days ago at Stat.

      With ventilators running out, doctors say the machines are overused for Covid-19
      By Sharon Begley @sxbegle
      April 8, 2020

      If the iconoclasts are right, putting coronavirus patients on ventilators could be of little benefit to many and even harmful to some.

      What’s driving this reassessment is a baffling observation about Covid-19: Many patients have blood oxygen levels so low they should be dead. But they’re not gasping for air, their hearts aren’t racing, and their brains show no signs of blinking off from lack of oxygen.

      1. Michael Fiorillo

        Rikers inmates customarily dig the graves at Hart’s Island, but the Times reported today that it was being done by contract workers.

        1. What?No!

          Can someone explain why a single individual isn’t just renting a backhoe from Home Depot and doing this?

          Why all the ridiculous drama of prisoners? Someone in the system needs to save (or make?) a few hundred dollars somewhere?

      2. Louis Fyne

        for the full context, those are (temp) mass graves for unclaimed bodies.

        unlike what some headlines imply, mass burials are not supplanting private burials.

        it’s awful and not to minimize the situation. quite the opposite . just saying

    2. JTMcPhee

      But of course ventilators are a countable item, numbers can be collected and reported to show either failure or success of “government” to us mopes. Vent and ICU activities also billable at high rates, and we all just know from TV dramas that they are life-saving magic. Turns out that is not the case and as noted, use of vents may be actually killing people or making them sicker. Human physiology includes a lot of terra incognita. There’s what we know, and what we think we know, and what we don’t know, and what we know wrong…

    3. Bsoder

      Well, Covid-19 or not one can get ventilator-disease, but from what I’ve done if someone’s blood oxygen is getting way low – what to do? After a certain point, all there is a ventilator. So many die because the disease at this point is extremely acute. For the same reason unproven drugs are being used one orders a ventilator and hopes it might do some good. There’s no evidence based meta studies here, just the med team and patient’s condition. Each decision is unique it’s not a “standard procedure”, though it may seem like it.

  22. lyman alpha blob

    RE: Trump’s chances in 2020

    My buddy with the case of TDS would have liked to see Sanders on the ballot, but is now convinced that Trump has botched the coronavirus response so badly that Biden will win handily, which he views as a huge improvement over Trump. I countered that the Democrat party banking on mass pandemic deaths in order to win wasn’t really the best campaign strategy, because Trump will wind up looking pretty good if those deaths do not occur.

    He sent me this link showing Biden up by about 11 points in recent polling, 53-42% –

    Curious as to how things looked 4 years ago at this time, I did a search and found this handy graph interactive which you can toggle to find out the poll spread between Clinton and Trump on any date in 2016 –

    According to this, on April 10, 2016 Clinton led Trump 49.4% to 40.1%, almost the same margin that Biden leads him by today.

    And we all know how that turned out. As long as the Democrat strategy is to go long on the deaths of their constituents, I don’t see things changing much in 2020.

    1. zagonostra

      A Noam Chomsky clip on the Rational Nationa/David Doel seems to be on the same wavelength as your TDS buddy.

      As far as I’m concerned, it just goes to show you how the smartest man in the room can also get it wrong sometimes.

    2. hamstak

      The way I look at it, it is not that Biden is polling over Trump, but that Not-Trump is polling over Trump.

      Additionally, such polls have the same relevance as the fact that Hillary won the popular vote in 2016 — a nice statistic, but operationally irrelevant as the presidential election is not structured around the national popular vote.

  23. Phacops

    Good review from Nature on vaccine development status.

    I remain concerned about the push into phase 1 IND (safety), not seeing the animal studies that should be first accomplishes, including re-infection challenge.

    In MERS, antibody-dependent enhancement of infection has been demonstrated and the mechanism of spike protein activation is understood.

    Previous vaccines to SARS-1 elicit lung damage after re-infection

    Alas, I lost my reference to SARS primate trials which demonstrated that while a strong antibody response was elicited, no immunity was conferred (antibody-dependent enhancement?).

    My fear is that premature use of vaccines that are not safe or effective upon viral challenge can damage the reputation of public health efforts and the profound success that vaccines have been responsible for.

  24. anonymous

    Good Covid-19 links today.

    I can also recommend MGH medical grand rounds on Covid-19, having watched the March 26 rounds on respiratory failure and the April 9 rounds on therapies.  
    Scott Gottlieb, after the first hour of the April 9 conference, is sobering about our readiness for the fall. Much of Gottlieb’s career has been as a business insider and investor in pharmaceuticals and health care, so he is familiar with supply and manufacturing issues, factors that I don’t often hear discussed when we are reassured that promising new treatments are on the horizon. 
    The uncertainty about treating the immune response (as discussed in the Nature article in links) is considered in the grand rounds. Some of the thinking is that treatment could be targeted to the stage of disease, with antivirals being used early, and immunosuppressives reserved for later in the course of the disease. 

    In related presentations, two MGH infectious disease fellows, Eric Meyerowitz and Aaron Richterman, have been doing weekly literature updates:  
    The slides are posted each time on Aaron Richterman’s Twitter account.
    There have also been some good interviews considering different aspects of Covid-19 (hyroxycholorquine, critical care management, interview with Fauci, etc.) on the YouTube JAMA Network channel: 

  25. boydownthelane

    “A Massachusetts city is enacting mandatory use of masks to help curb the spread of coronavirus.
    The desolate sidewalks and empty dining seats of Salem aren’t what Mayor Kim Driscoll wants, but what her community needs….”

    Catherine Austin Fitts
    on the Federal Reserve, US Treasury, & Black Rock [28:28]

    1. GF

      From the World Wide Web Foundation on Corona virus misinformation:
      “With US agencies issuing warnings against drinking bleach, the Kenyan health minister debunking a rumour that black skin is resistant to the virus, and some governments allegedly fueling disinformation, the world is fighting not only a pandemic, but also a virus of misinformation. At best, this gets in the way of important advice and support. At worst, it costs lives.”

  26. The Rev Kev

    “Fifty-one recovered coronavirus patients test positive AGAIN in South Korea amid fears virus can hide in human cells and reactivate”

    I think that it must be the effect of re-reading “World War Z”. For a few seconds I read that last part of the article title as “amid fears virus can hide in human cells and reanimate” and briefly wondered if that was why the Chinese took care to cremate all their dead.

    To be serious, this is not good this. I heard one medical professor on TV tonight talking about it but saying the data is not really in yet so we will see. I would have thought that a more logical approach would be to use the precautionary principle. Mind you, this professor of medicine was more interested in talking about the economy rather than other topics. Say, medicine for example-

    1. MLTPB

      Cremation had been the tradition in many places, including those in Asia.

      I don’t know if it’s still the way in China, with Buddism (the Buddha was cremated) coming back and scarcity of arable land.

    2. Monty

      I heard about a test in monkeys, looking at reinfection by covid19. They infected a bunch of monkeys. Then they ‘sacrificed’ one whilst it was ill. They looked through the organs to see where the virus could be found, and it was all over: Spinal cord, brain, heart, lungs, trachea, anus, liver, kidneys. A test from a swab isn’t going to check all the places the virus might be hiding. That’s why you can only test positive with current tests, not negative.
      On the bright side, the other monkeys did recover, and it seemed as though they could not be reinfected subsequently. I felt sad for the poor old monkeys though, what a life :-(

  27. Geo

    Churches: “We can’t do what God called us to do on livestream.”

    Jesus: “When you pray, you shall not be as the hypocrites, for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and in the
    corners of the streets, that they may be seen by men.”

    Which one do Christians believe? Tough choice.

    1. Katniss Everdeen

      I remember just enough from my catholic grade school religion class to answer the random trivia question, but I have never forgotten Sister Mary Judine saying this: “god gave you a brain and he expects you to use it.”

    2. JTMcPhee

      I mean, it’s not like you can’t use PayPal or ApplePay to collect the “offering.”

      Our church went all modern over the last several years, with services being webcast and an archive of past sermons for those who don’t get enough platitudes and guilt and retelling of Old Testament mythologies on Sunday. There is even a specific app for the church, lots of tech-savvy laity and clergy there. And you can click the “donate” button at any time. This is a pretty good church, though, does a lot of good work in the poor community that surrounds it.

      Services have been suspended for the duration. My wife is in the choir, and they are using Zoom to hold virtual choir practices and get-together. There’s some discussion of having each choir member sing into a file that the director can compile into a performance.

      1. CuriosityConcern

        Have you seen this talk by someone who put together a huge virtual choir, I loved the music, thanks for your comment that brought it to mind:
        virtual choir

    3. skk

      Seattle Mayor Ole Hanson in 1918 re: closing churches temporarily due to Spanish flu: “Religion which won’t keep for two weeks is not worth having.

      1. John k

        Didn’t know that.
        He made a more permanent mark by founding a laid back Spanish colonial revival town, san Clemente, Ca, at the south end of Orange County.

    4. Phacops

      I think the fear of those mealy-mouthed god worriers is that people will recognize a private relationship with their god and not require fatuous middle-men.

      But then I also think that many are not at the level of operational thought and are unable to understand the allegory within religious fairy tales and need some huckster to tell them what to think.

  28. antidlc

    Biden releases plans to expand Medicare, forgive student debt The Hill. I’ll have to look at the fine print, but tacking left in the primary, and then right in the general, is the oldest trick in the book.
    David Sirota
    For reference, lowering Medicare to age 60 is actually a retreat from Senate Dems’ own push 10 years ago to lower it to age 55:

    (that push was thwarted by Joe Lieberman)

    1. edmondo

      Does anyone REALLY believe that Joe Biden is going to enact either of these proposals that he absolutely, positively supposedly supports?

        1. Monty

          He will, because it’s a gift to the insurance industry, removing more expensive ‘takers’ for their risk pools, whilst leaving the younger, healthier victims for further fleecing.

    2. John k

      The time has come for an expansion. The question is (as somebody pointed out) at what age do people become unprofitable for the biggest ins corps? That precise age is the hill the dnc is ready to defend. No, not to die on, that’s a bridge too far.

      1. Procopius

        In Thailand Thais are (normally) cremated and Chinese are (normally) interred. The point is the Chinese have an annual ritual where they are supposed to send sacrifices (paper money, paper gold ingots, paper cars, paper cell phones, paper jewelry, etc., and food [which is eaten after the ceremony is over]) to their parents, so they need to be able to go to where their ancestors are buried. I may have that wrong, and it’s only Chinese Christians who bury their dead. Thais have a similar thing, but use the ashes instead of the grave. The Chinese Buddhists have another annual ceremony called Feeding the Hungry Ghosts, where they perform a similar ceremony for all the spirits of the dead who have no descendants to care for them. It may be a Mahayana thing, because I don’t recall participating in that one among Thais, who are Hinayana.
        ETS: Whoops! Sorry, this was supposed to have gone with the comment above about the Chinese cremating their dead because of fear of remaining virus.

    1. zagonostra

      Thanks for Link.

      Neil is great, I don’t think he ever “sold out,” unlike Dylan who is even greater but did kind of sell out with the Super Bowl commercial of “Blowing in the Wind” and before that with the Chrysler ad – an endless debate topic I scuffle with friends on and with which we can never seem to agree on.

      From video clip:

      Have to shut the whole system down
      That’s the only way we can all be free
      Have to shut the whole system down
      Start again and build it for eternity

      Have to shut the whole system down
      When I look at the future
      I see hope for you and me
      Have to shut the whole system down
      Working, working for eternity…

      1. ObjectiveFunction

        Sorry to disillusion you, but Neil went full TDS and sold out to the Hilbots in 2016.

        To purge yourself, see how long you can listen to his plaintive bleating of Yer Already Great before throwing up more than a little in your mouth. The video is pure Morning In America bomfog.

  29. Martin Davis

    The “Asia struggles to find coronavirus exit strategies” is a bit ominous for international tourism, and maybe for certain kinds and aspects of international trade. If Asian countries which are having some success with controlling the infection are being challenged by international visitors (and nationals going abroad), this will be still a still greater challenge for other countries which do not yet have it under control. Border controls will become ubiquitous and in some cases long lasting. It is likely, if applied rigorously, to adhere to nationality, not country of origin. In some developing nations this could be a long-lasting issue, due to the difficulties of establishing a virus-free status, compounding and exacerbating controversies over immigration.

    1. PlutoniumKun

      The international tourism industry is screwed for at least 2 years. The uncertainty and more onerous requirements on health cards will mean only those who can travel (or those seeking to take advantage of very cheap deals) will risk longer distance travel. Similarly with the conference industry.

      1. David

        At least two years. You will have to have the airline and hotel industries in good shape, and some guarantee that you won’t catch the virus from someone in the airport or in the plane, from the taxi driver, the hotel staff or another tourist you meet in the street. At a minimum, for example, all airline staff will have to be frequently tested, and everyone who works at an airport, including duty-free and cleaners. You won’t be allowed on a plane without a test, or into any country. And all that assumes that such regimes are even possible, technically and financially. I honestly think mass tourism has had it.

        1. JTMcPhee

          I honestly HOPE mass tourism has had it. That’s a kind of “freedom” that dumps all kinds of externalities on the planet.

          I hear people say “I travel because I enjoy it and because I can AFFORD it.” That’s because they don’t have to internalize the costs they dump on the rest of us, from jet exhaust to sewage to “fast fashion,” the illegal trade in wild animals, got to love the Brave White Hunters that go kill lions and elephants to fill out their Big Trophy Species dance cards, now the acceleration of the spread of disease es, and lots more.

          There’s a lot of how we all used to conduct ourselves that has to change if this species is going to survive much longer, and this enforced pause at least offers the opportunity to step back and focus on what’s important socially.

          Not that I have any faith, given our priors, that anything good will come of this breather…

          1. The Rev Kev

            I heard that 97% of air travel has been shut down so clear skies for quite a while. And in 2018 over 27 million people took cruise ships but that is a dead industry now as well. Last year we talked about the effect of international travel and now we are seeing what it is like to live in a world where there is none.

            1. JTMcPhee

              The airlines are trying to make up the decline in passenger travel by using their aircraft for freight.

              Still, a lot less CO2 and particulates and water vapor being “externalized” into the Commons from THAT source. Shipping is also a nasty greenhouse gas generator, and it looks like a lot of ships are being idled.

  30. bayoustjohndavid

    Does the Politico article about the Fed buying municipal debt mean what I think it means? That Houston and other large cities will get help maintaining municipal services but New Orleans, Birmingham, and other medium sized cities won’t:
    “Regulators sounded a different note today, saying the emergency lending would be accessible to states and the District of Columbia, as well as cities with populations over 1 million residents and counties with populations over 2 million residents.”

    Sincere question, not to spread alarmist rumors.

  31. Monty

    I saw that the UK reported death toll from the virus has multiplied 100 times over (70 to 7000) in just 22 days.
    That is really staggering. My heart goes out to those who are losing loved ones or are at risk themselves.

    Officially almost 1000 a day are dying now vs. 70 a day for flu and pneumonia in normal years. I don’t see how this many could possible be absorbed into a ‘would have died anyway’ figure.

    Dr John Campbell noted these numbers only include the patients that died in hospital, post diagnosis. True death toll is higher.

    1. PlutoniumKun

      It doesn’t even count nursing homes – in the Guardian today it says that they estimate at least 1000 uncounted deaths in private nursing facilities.

  32. Wyoming

    In looking out to the future structure of how we will be living in the US and how different if might be from say last December I was thinking about sporting events.

    What if it takes a year or two or 5 or 10 years, as some vaccine experts say it might, before we have a good vaccine. Or maybe we end up in a situation where they have to recreate a vaccine on a periodic basis (like we do for the flu or even more often than that). When you couple that situation with all of this data coming out now about how far droplets will fly from peoples talking, shouting, screaming, singing, sneezing that indicates distances of 20 feet or more and hang time in the air of many minutes, how do you ever have crowd attended sporting events? Or music concerts, or plays, opera, etc, etc. Or restaurants.

    I am including everything from little league, pewee football, youth soccer all the way up to all of the professional leagues. There is no possible crowd structure which could keep people at safe distances and still allow significant attendance at these games. For the professional leagues this spells financial doom. For any venue or business which requires high percentage of seats filled to be financially viable is this future not dark? How do we structure such activities if we lack real personal security?

    As an example my wife has told me that we are not going out to any restaurant in the future unless we have received a working vaccine – for ever, fortunately for me she is a really good cook. How could one ever attend an NBA game as you know now that you are inhaling the spit from everyone within 20-30 feet of you over the course of a game – this is kind of yukky even discounting coronavirus – though I guess I have kissed far more pretty girls than I could have even dreamed about.

    1. Synoia

      Everything on the TV. 3d TV would be a great technical challenge.

      Tele-Touch would be difficult. It would need an anti-grope filter and auto arrest. /s

      1. Wyoming

        Well perhaps, but that would never pay for the billion dollar stadiums and naturally all the thousands of businesses associated with all of the venues would perish as well. Nor would it pay for the gigantic salaries many of the pro athletes are contracted for.

        Then there would be a big effect on viewership as a lot of people would find TV viewing much less interesting. And perhaps long term interest would decline.

        1. Procopius

          Gee, do you suppose Newton Minow’s vast wasteland might be populated by interesting stories and well researched documentaries? Accurate news would be far too much to hopw for.

    2. lyman alpha blob

      Well, say they discover an absolute 100% effective cure for this virus tomorrow. Will that make people feel safe enough to go out? Or do we never gather again because a new virus might pop up out of the blue even after this one is cured? Because this virus isn’t the first one that has hit humanity and it won’t be the last.

      Every day we are alive, we carry the risk of dying. But do we want to huddle in fear because of that, never cross the street again because we might get hit by a car? Or do we take the risks we’ve always taken and live our lives?

      I vote for the latter once the current situation has been brought down to a dull roar.

      1. Wyoming

        With a 100% effective vaccine one could certainly expect more public participation. But still there would be long term knock on effects with many who were impacted adversely by the epidemic.

        But that 100% effective vaccine is not likely in the cards according to many of the vaccine experts and even if something pretty good comes along it is reasonable to expect that it will take many years to arrive. So what happens in the meantime. Do you recommend that people just ignore that it exists? Go right ahead but be certain that a significant percentage of the population will choose not to be a contestant for the game of getting the Darwin Award along with you. And if they don’t play along with you then the economics of these types of events we are talking about will certainly not be profitable in their current form. The world is going to change whether we like it or not.

        Yes everyday we carry the risk of death. I have survived a dozen events which I should not have. Death often passes us by so closely that we feel the wind on our face. Those of us who have been there almost never become more reckless. Rather we become more cautious as that is what experience provides if one is paying attention. When I was young I was actually hit by a car – I woke up in the ditch alongside the road all by myself as the driver left the scene and no one else had seen it happen. I assure you I have never looked at crossing the road the same way again. One of my grandfathers died in the 1918 flu epidemic and that had an effect on my family for decades. Both of my parents graduated from HS in 1934 in the Great Depression and even though I was not there with them it has had a big effect on my life. We all go on, but we should take the time to learn from what has happened as well.

        I say again: the world is changing and we have to deal with reality or it will deal with us.

        1. lyman alpha blob

          I think we’re talking past each other a bit here. I definitely do not recommend ignoring the current problem. Just saying that if it weren’t this, it would be something else, and we can’t all just shelter in place all the time because of some unknown that might happen. Currently we’re in the middle of a known problem so a lot of precaution is warranted. But unless this really is a brand new type of disease, at some point nature will take its course and the immediate danger will be over.

          I did like your anecdote and I have been hit by cars twice myself. One was while I was driving a Subaru and long story short, I got T-boned by a semi and pushed several hundred yards down the interstate. To this day I still don’t how that truck didn’t go over the top of my car and crush it – there was some physics going on that evening that was seriously favorable to me because by all rights I should have been dead. The other time I was a pedestrian and got hit by an SUV while in a crosswalk. Luckily I was able to jump out of the way at the last second and only my foot got run over, but had I been a little older and less agile, I would have been under that vehicle.

          As you said, these types of things do tend to make one more cautious. I also take more time to literally stop and smell the flowers than I did back in the salad days.

          Life is precious and to quote another of my favorites, Warren Zevon, “Enjoy every sandwich” !

          1. Wyoming

            Ahh ok, my bad.

            But are we sure this is a “known” problem or is it a known unknown (I kind of liked the way Rumsfeld talked). The more I read about this virus the more I think things are going to be more difficult to put Humpty Dumpty back together. Or really that I have concluded we have lost a couple of his parts and he is going to be forever changed.

            We go into a crisis with the govt and economy we have. Not with the ones we used to have nor, likely, the ones we should have had. Is Rumsfeld still around? We need some quotes from him on this situation haha.

            1. lyman alpha blob

              Ha! While I really hate Rumsfeld, I always did kind of like that ‘known unknown’ spiel too. What he said there was not wrong from a logical standpoint, even if he was saying it to be an ass.

              But I think he’s already ‘helped’ the US enough. He can stay in his undisclosed location this time around.

        2. Cuibono

          100% effective vaccine should make anyone move on to the next article.
          Nothing is 100%. not even close. we dont even have one successful corona virus vaccine in humans. one feline i think,

      2. Monty

        I know what you mean, and from my own perspective I agree. I am not that scared for my own health, based on what I have read. However, it’s not all about me, and my needs. These precautions are because we value the lives of everyone else (even if they are old, or suffer some co-morbid conditions), not because we are cowards.

    3. JTMcPhee

      My guess is that there will not be a safe and effective vaccine. Just reading what’s been posted here and my own bits of research, it looks very like all the avenues of approach to finding that “magic bullet” lead to blind ends with knock-on effects as bad or worse than the attempt to surround or disable or digest the virus.

      Would be nice to be wrong, but there’s no vaccine for HIV after a huge expenditure Backed by a lot of political pressure. And even people denominated as “cured” are carriers of a lot of different infections.

    4. Wyoming

      The below stuff on fears and reactions is interesting and a worthwhile discussion, but not what I was driving at.

      My interest here is the structure of the economy we are going to have when the dust settles. It is imho going to be significantly different. Some whole areas of the economy are going to dramatically change – like sports viewing, restaurant attendance (perhaps), etc. Anything which requires large numbers of people to be in close proximity to each other will be heavily effected and thus they will change – a lot I think. This realizing we are trading spit with everyone within 20-30 feet is going to be a ‘distraction’ for many – just saying.

      Another area where I expect to see big changes is in the loss of tens to hundreds of thousands of small businesses. A very large number of them will not be restarted I expect. The large online retail enterprises like Amazon, Wallmart, etc have advanced their penetration into retail by leaps and bounds during this emergency. They will certainly not be willing give it up and they are tough competitors. They cannot compete with small businesses which provide personal services like hair dressing and such, but places like Wallmart could make attempts to pick up a lot of this kind of business. There are, of course, innumerable different kinds of small businesses. In the area I live there are huge numbers of them all shut down right now. I was talking to a buddy (from 10 ft away the other day – which I now realize was not far enough) who is a developer and tight with the local business community. I mentioned that I expected many of these little businesses not to restart and he could already name 6 that he knew the owners of who had told him they were shutting permanently. I aksed him if he figured that the numbers would be sufficient to create enough vacancies to bankrupt the owners of many of the little strip malls those businesses tend to reside in. He assured me that was certain to be the case. A big move into online retail and the death of large numbers of small businesses will result in a lot of empty buildings which have lost a lot of their value.

      Another tidal wave is coming relating to municipal, city, county and state budgets. A very large part of their budgets are paid for by restaurant and hotel taxes (the reason why all cities hate Airbnb) in addition to real estate taxes (which home owners are soon going to be challenging due to dropping property values). Those budgets have to be balanced as they are not allowed to print money. Just this week the town I live in and the state of AZ (which is down a cool billion in revenue already) announced that they are in the process of figuring out which parts of their budget could be cut to eliminate the deficit this epidemic/shutdown has caused. So this means a lot less spending, salary cuts, and layoffs are coming just like they did in 2009. This will also have a large effect on restarting business and retail spending.

      1. lyman alpha blob

        Thanks for clarifying – I did misunderstand what you were getting at at first.

        I hope that what you mention about Amazon,etc. v small business does not happen, but I fear that it will because people just can’t help themselves unfortunately. Buddy of mine hates them but that doesn’t stop his wife from ordering from them all the time, even things she could easily get from a local store.

        Amazon as a website looks nothing like it did 20+ years ago. Back then you could order something and pretty much what you’re getting. Now you often can’t really tell who the seller or the manufacturer of a product is. Even with books, they will list many versions of the same book and some are definitely not coming from reputable publishers.

        They’ve manged to produce some incredible logistics while at the same time crapifying everything else about the platform. Personally I have no idea why anyone would order from them anymore to begin with but clearly I’m in the minority on that.

        We’ll see how much socialism, even under a different name like ‘national populism’, comes into play in the coming years. To me, Amazon;s logistics operation is something that is ripe for nationalization. A little payback for them getting huge by some rather dodgy sales tax arbitrage for many many years.

  33. Noone from Nowheresville

    More on COVID, workers & meat processing plants.

    Hazleton meat-packaging plant closes with 130 workers testing positive for COVID-19. Union leader at Souderton plant died last Friday.
    by Bob Fernandez, Updated: April 9, 2020- 5:07 PM

    Meat-processing plants across several states — Colorado, Iowa, and Nebraska along with Pennsylvania — are reporting COVID-19 outbreaks. A federal food inspector in New York died from the disease last month. And at least four meat plants in Pennsylvania have recently closed due to concerns related to the pandemic, said Wendell Young IV, president of the 35,000-member United Food and Commercial Workers Local 1776, which represents workers at all four plants.

    1. Monty

      That’s why I think the best way to track this virus is to look at the weekly data for deaths of all causes, and compare to averages of previous years. Let’s see how many of these deaths are getting absorbed or not.

      The number of confirmed cases and deaths are not reliable, and I think they can give false impressions of what’s going on.

      As far as I can gather, the US doesn’t really track this data in an accurate and timely manner. Many of the CDC figures are simply modeled estimates, based on things like weather.

      I think the UK probably has a much better handle on how many people died there, than the Federal CDC. It’s one bureaucracy, vs 51+. The UK does publish this data, with a small lag, at

      1. Carey

        >That’s why I think the best way to track this virus is to look at the weekly data for deaths of all causes, and compare to averages of previous years. Let’s see how many of these deaths are getting absorbed or not. The number of confirmed cases and deaths are not reliable, and I think they can give false impressions of what’s going on.

        Agreed on all that. ‘Excess’ mortality is the under-reported issue, AFAICS.

  34. anon in so cal

    Spain is apparently ending its “safe at home” policy?

    “SPAIN’S government has asked everybody to wear masks at their workplace from next week.

    The call comes after non-essential workers will be allowed to return to their duties, after a fortnight-long suspension which saw many people forced to remain at home.”

    Mark Ames:

    “Spain already sending people back to work, even as their hospital system is collapsing.
    Ruling class failure cutting across cultural & party lines.”

  35. Brooklin Bridge

    Jennifer Nuzzo: “We’re Definitely Not Overreacting” to COVID-19 JSTOR Daily. Respiratory pathogen expert.

    Nuzzo’s Exit Strategy (not a vaccine since: “it will take years to get the quantities that we need.”):

    “And then [after getting covd-19 under control] we’ll have to think about relaxing the social distancing measures very slowly. But in order to be able to do that, so that we don’t wind up back where we started, we’re going to have to do what Singapore and South Korea did. We have to test widely in order to very rapidly identify cases, and then we will have to isolate those cases as soon as we find them, so they can’t transmit their disease to others. We have to identify their contacts, so that we can figure out if those people too have been infected. And we will have to monitor cases of transmission for a period of time—test and isolate so they don’t transmit.

    We’re just going to have to keep doing that and doing that and doing that, until either the pandemic has peaked—and hopefully we’ve spared the health system from crashing—or until we have other tools, like maybe therapeutics that could treat people who become infected, so that they don’t require intensive care or ventilators.”

    I find it interesting that based on S. Korea, testing doesn’t seem to have to be all that high to be effectively used. The following is a comparison copied (as best I could – use the source and not my copy except for speculation)

    10 April 2020 Testing No. of tests per 1000 population : Total Tests
    As explained by Dr. John Campbell :
    taken from (source): Testing Data (Oxford University)

    S. Korea 9.06 : 466,804

    Bahrain 31.1 : 52,804

    Canada 9.55 : 359,269

    US 6.61 : 2,189,766

    Ecuador 0.9 : 15,526

    Australia 12.57 : 319,368

    Belgium 7.25 84,248

    Austria 13.75 120,755

    Czech 9.28 : 98, 681

    France 3.41 : 224,254

    Germany 15.97 : 1,317,887

    Greece 2.57 : 28,584

    Iceland 90.16 : 30,947

    Norway 20.42 : 111,299

    Ireland 6.18 : 30,213

    Sweeden 3.65 : 36,900

    Switzerland 19.83 : 171,938

    Turkey 2.96 : 247,768

    India 0.02 : 26,798

    Pakistan 0.17 : 35,875

    Japan 0.37 : 46,172

    Malaysia: 1.77 : 58,240

    Philippines 0.04 : 4,367

    Thailand 0.35 : 24,474

    Vietnam 1.12 : 110,088

    Senegal 0.12 : 2,072

    South Africa 0.97 : 56,873

    Tunisia 0.62 : 7,351

    1. MLTPB

      Thank, BB.

      Interesting that we are at 6.61 per 100k, vs S Korea’s 9.06. Seems fairly close, and perhaps we are catching up. In contrast, Sweden is at 3.65 and Iceland is 90.16.

      Sweden with 10 million population, and 9,600 cases…roughly 960 per mil.

      Iceland at 364,000 people, and 1,650 cases…roughly 4,800 per mil.

      The difference in cases per million, btw them seems counter to intuition, in light of their tests per 1,000 numbers. On the other hand, the more you test, the more you catch. Maybe, Sweden is about to come face to to face with those not tested yet. I hope not. Only time will tell.

      1. Brooklin Bridge

        I think April 8th we were at 6.61 individual tests per 1k, not 100k. Am I missing something?

        And, as usual, I screwed up a bit. I should have made the heading April 8, 2020 and not April 10. But going to the Oxford site, what it shows is that the US is still increasing it’s testing numbers. Also, the US is quite difficult to normalize. Too many different systems, private and public.

        All these numbers seem to be indicative at best without really delving into them.

    1. Tom Bradford

      If I may add my own contribution:

      Langsam im Tempo und keck im Ausdruck – With increasing slowness until auditorium half-empty.
      Sehr langsam. Misterioso – As if losing your virginity.
      Bedeutend langsamer. Ohne Haste – Go directly to bar 147. Do not pass Go.
      Kraftig entschieden – As if timpani had turned over two pages by mistake.
      Um Mitternacht – With cheerful sadness.
      Sturmisch bewegt – Take two aspirin.
      Urlich. Sehr Feierlich, aber schlicht – Urlich is bonking your wife.

      1. MarkT

        lol @ Etwas bewegter, aber immer noch sehr ruhig – Somewhat louder, though still inaudible as before

        Sounds like most of the last movement of The Resurrection.

        Had the privilege of singing it once. An interesting experience :-)

    1. Carey

      I’m having a little trouble understanding what good keystroke-‘money’ is, if there are
      no resources (goods and services) backing it. I guess we’ll see now, with the shutdown of
      the economy..

      “I know- we’ll eat the data-bits!”

  36. MarkT

    Re: “Science is popping”

    I see no mention of BCG trials. Or does that fall under the category “Vaccines(7)”?

    South Africa has just extended its nationwide quarantine by another two weeks (no outside exercise allowed, and the police have already shot people dead).

    Meanwhile, doctors in hospitals are mystified why their wards aren’t filling with coronavirus patients.

    “We’ve been calling it the calm before the storm for about three weeks. We’re getting everything set up here. And it just hasn’t arrived. It’s weird.”

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