Links 4/6/2020

Now is the best time to plant a vegetable garden TreeHugger

Oil falls after Saudi Arabia, Russia delay meeting Reuters

Global stocks rally on hopes pandemic is stabilising FT

Dow futures rise 800 points as Trump administration signals that coronavirus outbreak may be stabilizing Marketwatch

Coronavirus: Bronx Zoo tiger tests positive for Covid-19 Guardian

#COVID-19

US Government’s Handling of Coronavirus Crisis Has Led to Severe Undercounting of Deaths, Public Health Officials Say Common Dreams

Health experts call for Roosevelt-style programs to kill virus, revive economy The Hill

Some Thoughts on How the World Will Fly After Coronavirus The Wire

Five countries with the most resilient economies BBC

How Will Public Transit Survive the COVID-19 Crisis? Capital & Main

Covid-19, cash, and the future of payments BIS

CRIME IN THE TIME OF CORONA: HOW GENRE FICTION LEADS US THROUGH THE DARKNESS Crime Reads

The Coronavirus Monsters On Main Street American Conservative

Does reporting on panic buying fuel panic buying? Columbia Journalism Review

Health Care

Why Private Equity Is Cutting Doctor Pay and Organizing Our Pandemic Response Matt Stoller

Coronavirus Crisis Puts Bankrupt Hospitals Back in Demand WSJ

How public health failed nursing homes Politico

Science and Therapies

Coronavirus can stay on face masks for up to a week, study finds SCMP. Wash your hands!

Doctor’s Note: Why are more men dying from coronavirus? Al Jazeera

Mysterious Heart Damage, Not Just Lung Troubles, Befalling COVID-19 Patients Kaiser Health News

Ignoring Expert Opinion, Trump Again Promotes Use of Hydroxychloroquine NYT

Thousands of NY COVID patients are being treated with anti-malarial drug NY Post

Giuliani, a familiar voice in Trump’s ear, promotes experimental coronavirus treatments WaPo

Coronavirus: why the Nordics are our best bet for comparing strategies The Conversation

Modeling the COVID-19 outbreaks and the effectiveness of the containment measures adopted across countries MedRxiv Note that as usual with this source, this article is a preprint and has not been certified peer reviewed.

The Quest for a Pandemic Pill New Yorker

Bill Gates to Spend Billions on Coronavirus Vaccine Development WSJ

Did Bill Gates Just Reveal the Reason Behind the Lock-Downs? OffGuardian (Micael) Evangelicals and the libertarian right would never consent to installing such a mark of the beast. And for those of us who travel frequently, what’s wrong with an international vaccination certificate – already mandatory, for example, if you’re traveling from a place where yellow fever is endemic. I carry one, but have never been asked to show it.

Bill Gates looks to the future The TED Interview

Supply Chains

“We hit 3M hard“—Trump orders 3M to keep US-made masks in the US Ars Technica

Virus sparks boom for local farmers in import-dependent Hong Kong Agence France- Presse

Class Warfare

$1,200 Only Goes So Far. It’s Time to Abolish Debt TruthOut

The Serfs Revolt

The US’s week of strikes New Statesman

Leaked Memo Reveals Amazon Execs Plotted to Paint Fired ‘Not Smart’ Worker as ‘Face of Entire Union/Organizing Movement’ Common Dreams

Retail

In Crisis, Don’t Ditch Sustainability Business of Fashion

Coronavirus will pummel already weak retailers long after it’s been contained Fortune

‘Why are people buying boob tubes’: fashion workers’ anger at owners and consumers Guardian

Prisons

Probation and Parole Officers Are Rethinking Their Rules As Coronavirus Spreads Marshall Project

Imperial Collapse Watch

China and America Are Failing the Pandemic Test Project Syndicate Joe Nye.

The UK

Johnson’s hospital admission suggests virus may have progressed Guardian

Coronavirus: Queen Elizabeth says UK ‘will succeed’ in its fight against Covid-19 but may have ‘more to endure’ Independent

Coronavirus: the wrong disease EUReferendum.com (Monty)

US, UK brace for soaring death tolls as pandemic bears down AP

EU

“A response to the corona crisis in Europe based on solidarity” Federal Foreign Office

EU clears 50 billion pound UK ‘umbrella’ scheme to support economy Reuters

China?

China’s wild and woolly medical equipment heist Asia Times

India

Tracking COVID-19 in India: The BCG Hypothesis The Wire

Arundhati Roy: ‘The pandemic is a portal’ FT

Japan

Coronavirus: Japan PM Shinzo Abe proposes state of emergency, US$1 trillion stimulus package SCMP

2020

‘Reckless’: Chaos Expected in Tuesday’s Elections After Wisconsin Republicans Refuse to Cancel In-Person Voting Common Dreams

Antidote du Jour (via)

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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245 comments

  1. PlutoniumKun

    Coronavirus: Bronx Zoo tiger tests positive for Covid-19 Guardian

    This certainly raises the question of who had the job of taking the swab sample….

    Reply
    1. The Rev Kev

      Now this is interesting. I read today that the WHO dismissed reports of cats catching Coronavirus off their owners. But then again, the WHO have been pretty useless since this all started. You think that the WHO will go check out those Bronx Zoo tigers personally?

      Reply
      1. Trent

        People can’t get tested without a doctors note, but tigers can. Maybe its due to the recent popularity of the tiger king. A petition went out or something

        Reply
        1. td

          The big cats haven’t actually been tested. They have some of the symptoms including a dry cough, but the rest is speculation. Also perhaps the desire to get some press coverage.

          Reply
        2. MLTPB

          Useless, the WHO?

          Incompetence, in other words?

          I was puzzled why it took a long time to declare this pandemic.

          Reply
          1. The Rev Kev

            When all the signs that were listed by them as being a pandemic were filled, the WHO removed the term ‘pandemic’ from their official terminology, I kid you not. But as this virus exploded in Italy and Spain, they had to back down, restore the use of that word and then declare that the world was actually in a pandemic. I have no idea if this move had anything to do with those pandemic bonds that some financial institutes issued that would come due if a pandemic was declared but there it is. Some of the info they have been declaring on their website has even been harmful over recent weeks.

            Reply
      2. xkeyscored

        I don’t know about the WHO, but other scientists seem to be saying that cats can catch this virus, but probably not pass it on to us. Dogs appear to be less susceptible.

        “Cats can be infected with the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, and can spread it to other cats, but dogs are not really susceptible to the infection, say researchers in China. The team, at Harbin Veterinary Research Institute, also concludes that chickens, pigs and ducks are not likely to catch the virus.

        … The other three infected cats were put in cages next to uninfected felines. The team later detected viral RNA in one of these exposed cats, which suggests that it contracted the virus from droplets breathed out by the infected cats.

        Dogs, however, were less susceptible to the virus. The researchers inoculated five young dogs with SARS-CoV-2 and found that two excreted viral RNA in their faeces, but none contained infectious virus.”

        Coronavirus can infect cats — dogs, not so much
        https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-020-00984-8

        Reply
        1. anonymous

          In that study, the autopsied cats had widespread infectious virus in their organs, the inoculated beagles had viral RNA in rectal swabs, but no infectious virus or evidence of virus in organs, and younger cats had massive lesions in their nasal and tracheal mucosa and lungs.
          https://www.scmp.com/news/china/science/article/3078153/cats-more-susceptible-covid-19-dogs-no-pet-lovers-have-cause    

          From another article, a  Belgian cat that contracted the virus from its owner had GI and respiratory symptoms and recovered. ” ‘The feline ACE2 protein resembles the human ACE2 homologue, which is most likely the cellular receptor which is being used by Sars-CoV-2 for cell entry,” Van Gucht said.”  
          https://www.livescience.com/cat-infected-covid-19-from-owner.html

          Also, US-based IDEXX tested 3500 cat, dog and horse specimens from South Korea and 50 US states with no positive tests. 
          https://www.today.com/pets/idexx-tested-thousands-pets-coronavirus-none-have-come-back-positive-t176587

          Reply
        1. anonymous

          I agree with “?” and didn’t mean to imply that anything was proven. It’s just an interesting association.

          Reply
      1. Ignacio

        Covid-19 genome is NAT detected in (human) poop. Please, show evidence infectious viral particles in significant amounts can be recovered there.

        Reply
          1. xkeyscored

            I’ve read somewhere that both SARS and MERS shed infectious particles in poop. If that’s true, it is another reason to suspect this one does too.

            Reply
    2. ewmayer

      Sad times indeed when even Teh kittehs aren’t safe! I’m trying to picture a tiger wearing one of those earloop face masks — “no, no, no, *you* put it on him – I’m just gonna stand way, way back here and watch…”

      Reply
  2. Wukchumni

    Well bread grains seek new home…

    This is the 4th time i’ve mentioned this bakery, which sells shelf-stable fully baked breads of all types-double sealed with oxygen removed, and a use-by date 6 months from now, and who knows what the future holds for us, and do you really want to go out shopping for food a month or 2 from now?, or the option of having your cake and eating it too, at your leisure.

    Prep is simple, just heat up the oven and 10-15 minutes later, you’re ready to eat piping hot bread that’s pretty delish, and please spread butter or ghee on it, along with boysenberry jam, or any jam you’re into.

    They sell by the case, and shipping is free.

    A good many of their bakery products are on backorder and won’t be shipped until April 27th, but there’s still a number of items available for immediate delivery.

    https://essentialbaking.com/shop/buy-online/

    Reply
    1. c_heale

      Isn’t this advertising? Anyway better to make your own bread. Which is why everyone around the world who can is…

      Reply
        1. Michael

          sourdough!! with your own local wild yeast.

          Been doing it 6 years. bake once a week.

          no knead Tartine style. wetter loaf. lasts longer.

          Bake in dutch oven at 500.

          Reply
          1. Arizona Slim

            A quick look around the Arizona Slim Ranch’s paper files shows that I already have …

            … a sourdough recipe.

            Thanks for the reminder, Michael!

            Reply
      1. Wukchumni

        Think of it more as ‘avert-ising’, you see the trick is, I don’t want any of you so famished 44 days from now, that all you’re capable of typing is one syllable words strung badly together.

        Reply
      1. BobW

        Amish farmers. They make great butter. I have put it on the table and not told anyone anything. Every single time they remark on how good the butter tastes.

        Reply
    2. Wyoming

      On a similar topic the wife and I made our monthly trip to the Fry’s for groceries at 0600 this morning. Masks and gloves and wet wipes armored.

      At the dairy we looked for signs of limits on milk and eggs and could find none. At the checkout they were limiting to 2 of each. That’s find but I mentioned that on the news this weekend they had items about the dairies around the country are pouring vast amounts of fresh milk into the manure ponds as there is a big oversupply. So why the limit. They said they knew that was going on but that they could not get shipments into the store fast enough. What a system. Shortages of eggs too.

      There were many empty shelf sections (though there was plenty of TP). No baking supplies at all, big empty sections in the canned goods, almost no meat at all, almost no tortillas at all (and this is AZ where the tortilla section is bigger than the bread section I think). Mountains of fresh vegetables.

      My wife’s freinds say that their weekend shopping ran into lots of empty shelves in the stores across our county as well as some down in the Valley (Phoenix area).

      Infections btw are just starting to ramp up at about 200 new ones a day.

      Reply
  3. zagonostra

    >Covid-19, cash, and the future of payments

    You don’t have to be a fan of David Icke or Alex Jones to see the privacy problems with mandating digital currencies at the exclusion of cash.

    If you go from “cash is king” to “cash is an outlaw” you will see a push back that will dwarf Modi’s attempts to limit cash. Maybe it will be an impetus for a barter economy, at the local level anyway, kind of like what Italy was attempting in order to get around EU restrictions.

    Looking ahead, developments could speed up the shift toward digital payments. This could open a divide
    in access to payments instruments, which could negatively impact unbanked and older consumers. The
    pandemic may amplify calls to defend the role of cash – but also calls for central bank digital currencies.

    Reply
    1. Craig H.

      How would the cocaine and opium markets function without cash? What % of the world economy is this?

      For this reason alone cash may be irreplaceable for a long while.

      My (legal) cannabis vendor is cash only.

      Reply
        1. polecat

          Just Wash your Hands!! .. before you toke.

          …. AND, considering ‘current events’ .. to not bogart that joint, is to do so at one’s peril !

          Reply
  4. Lee

    China Thought It Had Beaten Coronavirus, But New And Asymptomatic Cases Are Cropping Up Forbes

    If I am not mistaken, this development is an indication that the virus is becoming endemic. I wonder what percentage of the population has innate immunity, allowing them to go about their normal activities unknowingly infecting the vulnerable. And for the especially vulnerable, this means, absent a vaccine, social distancing and other special measures will have to continue indefinitely in order to survive.

    Reply
    1. Dean

      If an individual has true immunity their viral load should be minimal and unlikely to pass the virus to others. The asymptomatic or pre-symptomatic individuals who have not yet developed immunity are likely to have high viral loads transmissible to others.

      Reply
      1. Bsoder

        Up to 1% people tracked from Jan 2020, appear to continue to shred virus particles for as long as now, meaning as long as we’ve been measuring,

        Reply
        1. MLTPB

          That’s true, I believe.

          I read Sweden is doing something similar, though I also read they might change.

          Reply
          1. Carey

            Sweden is getting “International pressure” to go to “lockdown”
            mode (don’t you love the prison-language framing?), is my understanding.

            Alternative ways seem unwelcome- whether they work better, or not.

            cui bono

            Reply
    2. chuck roast

      That’s why testing is crucial. I got an e-mail from my local state rep. (D) today informing me that the state can now do 2,000 tests per day! You must register first with the local drug store oligopoly that will administer the tests. Then you must drive 25 miles to the testing facility which is located at a gambling casino.

      Sad but true. I can remember when everybody in the country got polio vaccine. Pulled off without a hitch. I was afraid of needles so I hid in the woods. I think I will again head for the woods on this one.

      Reply
      1. The Rev Kev

        Can you imagine if big pharma ad existed over half a century ago and they had been assigned the lucrative job of giving out the polio vaccine? We’d still have polio I bet.

        Reply
        1. Procopius

          Absolutely. The ideal medicine is one that alleviates the symptoms but does not actually cure the disease (from Big Pharma’s point of view). They will buy up and suppress any medicine that actually cures anything, just as the auto industry were accused of buying and suppressing the 100 miles per gallon carburetor.

          Reply
  5. fresno dan

    Bill Gates looks to the future The TED Interview

    A lot about Bill Gates today. The thing I find most annoying about Gates is that there is always this subtext of freedom and innovation. Bill Gates is rich because he simply formed a monopoly and did it through restraint of trade and dishonesty. The last thing Gates practices is transparency, fair competition, or success based on above board competition. He is the epitomy of someone who talks free enterprize but practices anything but.
    Gates is trying to emulate Carnegie through philanthropy to justify his (Gates) exploitation and rewrite Gates’ dirty dealings.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microsoft
    On July 27, 1994, the Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division filed a competitive impact statement which said: “Beginning in 1988, and continuing until July 15, 1994, Microsoft induced many OEMs to execute anti-competitive ‘per processor’ licenses. Under a per processor license, an OEM pays Microsoft a royalty for each computer it sells containing a particular microprocessor, whether the OEM sells the computer with a Microsoft operating system or a non-Microsoft operating system. In effect, the royalty payment to Microsoft when no Microsoft product is being used acts as a penalty, or tax, on the OEM’s use of a competing PC operating system. Since 1988, Microsoft’s use of per processor licenses has increased.

    AND I didn’t know about this, but I can’t resist gilding the lily /s
    Paul Allen resigned from Microsoft in 1983 after developing Hodgkin’s disease.[27] Allen claimed in Idea Man: A Memoir by the Co-founder of Microsoft that Gates wanted to dilute his share in the company when he was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s disease because he did not think that he was working hard enough.

    Reply
    1. Jane

      What I found most fascinating in that article was the link to a “call to action” that came from from an Event 201 Public-private cooperation for pandemic preparedness and response The recommendations are all focused on private companies that can handle global logistics, distribution and medical goods production. Not a word that I could see about doctors, nurses, health care workers, or anyone else with boots on the ground today. It’s all about managers, middle-men, global trade and how to keep it open.

      This event took place on

      Friday, October 18, 2019
      8:45 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
      The Pierre hotel
      New York, NY

      Very prescient of them.

      Reply
    2. Oh

      If the people like Bill Gates were truly philontropic they would donate without taking a deduction on their taxes. To start with, the formation of these foundations to dodge taxes should be outlawed. Then we’ll find out who the true philontropists are.

      Reply
    3. Craig H.

      He was pals with Epstein and we should presume he is pals with Epstein’s successors. In Gates’ case a presumption of guilt is appropriate.

      Reply
      1. Trent

        Should this line of thought be applied to all people above a certain level in the US? Yet we still lap up everything they say. If people at the top of our country are trafficking young women, why would they care in the least about protecting you from a virus?

        Reply
        1. fresno dan

          Trent
          April 6, 2020 at 10:43 am

          Should this line of thought be applied to all people above a certain level in the US?
          Yes.
          Behind every great fortune lies a great crime

          Reply
          1. Trent

            If true, then why do you still trust them? Have your tried to question anything going on right now? If so what was the response?

            Reply
            1. fresno dan

              Trent
              April 6, 2020 at 11:41 am
              If true, then why do you still trust them?
              I don’t trust than at all. I don’t understand what I said that would make you think that I do trust them.

              Have your tried to question anything going on right now?
              Yes
              If so what was the response?
              Yup. If you have ever written to congress, you generally get “yessed” which is a perfructatory thank you for you input, which is obviously ignored.

              Reply
              1. Trent

                Its not you personally, i’m just amazed at how everyone is accepting this straight out of the liars mouth. If i wanted to rob the country once again, but realize that partially telling the truth, like 2008, will not fly again…….. what would i do?

                “Privileged groups seldom give up their privileges voluntarily.”

                Reply
          2. philnc

            Fresno: if that is original, you’re a genius. If it isn’t, you’re still a genius for taking note of it and posting it at the exact right spot. The mike drop heard round the world, or at least here on nc.

            Reply
        2. John k

          They’re smart enough to realize the more people get it, the more chances they get it, too.
          But they’re not smart enough to work out that m4a and better health care protects them or we would see bill call for that.
          Imagine if somebody with his resources and clout pushed hard for it… course, even if he wanted to do that, it would push Bernie and other bits of Bernie’s agenda… maybe he’s confounded by the situation, poor guy.

          Reply
  6. Hank Linderman

    Re: Wire article about flying, which mentions there is no way to “decarbonize” airplanes, that by 2050 they will be responsible for 25% of the carbon budget:

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-01-30/germany-looks-for-flight-shame-cure-in-jet-fuel-made-from-water

    This appears to be a way to make flights at least technically carbon neutral, as the process to make kerosene pulls carbon from the air. Once it’s burned, the carbon returns to the atmosphere. The process requires LOTS of electricity, so the idea is to have huge solar farms powering the process.

    Best…H

    Reply
    1. JTMcPhee

      One wonders what the spreadsheet entries “establishing” that this approach is “carbon neutral” include. All the carbon costs associated with making the solar collectors and setting up and maintaining the solar “farm?”

      Interesting how “business class” and “leisure class” rationalize and justify their wants and preferences… not a hint of “democracy” in these kinds of choices, “transparency” either…

      Reply
        1. newcatty

          “Leave it in the ground.”
          ” Leave them on the ground.”
          ” Leave them out of the ground.”
          “Leave it grounded.”
          “Leave it groundless.”

          It is all “a racket”.

          Reply
    2. John k

      Ban private planes.
      Stiff carbon tax that accelerates over time, w proceeds used to subsidize renewables, build renewable infra, plant trees etc.
      Boost fuel standards.
      Stiff plastic tax. 0.10/item.
      End oil depletion allowance.
      Ban flaring gas from wells. Require up front deposit sufficient to fully cap wells at end of life. Hire workers to properly cap abandoned wells.
      Nothing hers is hard.

      Reply
  7. Hoppy

    Creative lawyering for good…

    https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/06/business/arbitration-overload.html

    I’d suggested in another comment that’s still in moderation that all these businesses and corporations now funded one way or another by the Federal government might find themselves open to new ‘public good’ requirements if bored or out of work attorneys are willing to push new/old boundaries. e.g. lobbying bans, employee free speech, etc.

    Reply
  8. Henry Moon Pie

    Roy does a nice job of framing the question being asked around here as well. Why would we ever want to “return to normal?”

    Whatever it is, coronavirus has made the mighty kneel and brought the world to a halt like nothing else could. Our minds are still racing back and forth, longing for a return to “normality”, trying to stitch our future to our past and refusing to acknowledge the rupture. But the rupture exists. And in the midst of this terrible despair, it offers us a chance to rethink the doomsday machine we have built for ourselves. Nothing could be worse than a return to normality.

    Historically, pandemics have forced humans to break with the past and imagine their world anew. This one is no different. It is a portal, a gateway between one world and the next.

    We can choose to walk through it, dragging the carcasses of our prejudice and hatred, our avarice, our data banks and dead ideas, our dead rivers and smoky skies behind us. Or we can walk through lightly, with little luggage, ready to imagine another world. And ready to fight for it.

    While the billionaires and their minions are bleating about their demand that everyone go back to work so their returns get back to their accustomed level, we need to be saying, “No!” “Normal” is just around the corner from an environmental catastrophe even greater than this disaster. “Normal” is an economy that collapses if the bars are closed for a week or two. “Normal” are hospitals so ruled by profit–whether they’re “non-profits” or not–that they have no excess capacity to deal with inevitable pandemics.

    Let’s cut the foolish talk about “back to normal” and focus on how we’re all going to get through next winter with enough warm shelter and enough food. This delay while our elites desperately try to preserve their power and money will only cost more lives.

    Reply
    1. xkeyscored

      Our minds are still racing back and forth, longing for a return to “normality”

      They can count me out, along with many of Naked Capitalism’s readers I suspect..

      Reply
      1. Arizona Slim

        Me too. Not looking forward to going back to “normal.” It’s time to create a new one that’s better for the people, not just the corporations and the wealthy elites.

        Reply
      2. pretzelattack

        i’m not looking for a return to the previous norm, but some predictability would be nice. and either jobs or ubi.

        Reply
        1. xkeyscored

          Universal basic income would be nice so long as it really is universal, not just for citizens of wealthy nations.

          Reply
    2. JTMcPhee

      Who holds the power now to decide what kind of political economy “we” are going to have, all 8 billion of us, “going forward?”

      Reply
        1. JTMcPhee

          I wish that were the case. As today’s article on the undead petropipeline projects indicates, people who can command economic resources in pursuit of personal profit still hold the reins of power. As one comment pointed out, the Fed is now buying up toxic assets and raising sunk costs from the dead, giving trillions to the looters. Who are already lining up to dominate even the responses to try to protect public health.

          Unless the virus mutates and kills off billions, I don;t see much chance of a “renascence” of a healthier and sustainable post-crisis political economy.

          Reply
          1. xkeyscored

            On the other hand, while those who command resources hold the reins of power, the power they control is us. The faults and frailties of our economies are becoming apparent to all, as is the real power in the hands of those who supply the real necessities. At least talk of a different economy is going pretty mainstream compared to just last year.

            Reply
        2. MLTPB

          And incompetence everywhere, in every system.

          If the response is to slow it down, via social distancing, quarantine, first used before Caesar, before Siddhartha, before Confucius, thousands of years ago, we haven’t bettered ourselves far from our ancestors, and we should have prepared for this by organizing our world differently.

          For example, all those people flying around the world. What was it – a million of us at any given moment? Not many passengers these days.

          It is also an example of what we don’t do normally, but are doing it now, and vice versa, in a crisis.

          Reply
  9. Tom Stone

    When a Government makes it clear that they have no use for a large segment of the populace, pretty soon that segment won’t have any use for the Government.

    “Die quietly and don’t stink the place up, we’re busy looting”
    Is the message being recieved by most Americans.

    Don’t worry, it’s contained…

    Reply
  10. PlutoniumKun

    Did Bill Gates Just Reveal the Reason Behind the Lock-Downs? OffGuardian

    I find it hard to take anything from OffGuardian seriously on Covid – they completely jumped the shark on conspiracy theories over the virus from the beginning and doubled down when challenged by many BTL commentators – ironic considering the origin of the site.

    I’ve no doubt of course that there are many companies and other interests who will take advantage of Covid to pursue their own interests – we have certainly taken a step to a far more surveillance heavy society (the much praised SK, Singapore and Taiwan models are of course based on intensive tracking of individuals, with or without their permission), but to start tying Bill Gates into it as if it some overarching conspiracy is the stuff of tin foil hats.

    Instead of indulging in this sort of stuff, the left would be much better off trying to take advantage of the opportunity – stopping sniping at Sanders and getting behind him would certainly be a start.

    Reply
    1. David

      Agreed. The authors clearly don’t get out very much or they would know that you are already denied entry into certain countries unless you can produce evidence of vaccination. I carry my yellow vaccination passport everywhere.

      Reply
      1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        So political freedom of movement based on the antibodies you happen to possess. I happen to think that widespread propagation of that idea has quite far-reaching implications.

        Reply
    2. MLTPB

      More surveillance.

      And more power consolidation.

      Yerstday, I wondered what we can learn from ancient Rome.

      I thought a Julius Caesar is possible, or an Augustus, who turned it to a city of marble, from one of brick, though he also lost some legions in a forest.

      That is, assuming the person is resilient, efficient, can make trains show up on time, etc.

      Reply
    3. thoughtful person

      The Offguardian article also has what seem to me to be inaccurate assumptions about covid19, which are then used to construct some sort of conspiracy. For example:

      1. “…that if you contract COVID-19 and you’re otherwise healthy you’ll very likely have few symptoms, if any, and recover quickly.”

      And

      2. “….It appears that rather than let the population be exposed to the virus and most develop antibodies that give them natural, long-lasting immunity to COVID-19, Gates and his colleagues far prefer to create a vast, hugely expensive, new system of manufacturing and selling billions of test kits, and in parallel very quickly developing and selling billions of antivirals and vaccines….”
      ‐‐—————-‐—————————-

      This seems to me to draw on the herd immunity do nothing approach to epidemics. Fine if your dealing with the common cold and we’ve accepted the consequences with the seasonal flu (though with flu it is carefully monitored, vaccines are given). With the hospitalization rates and fatality rates of covid19, which are many times seasonal flu, just letting it run loose in our populations would result in 2 to 4% dieing (and not *just* over 60s!). Thats millions of peoe loosing decades of lifetimes. In addition the hospitalization rate is high, ~20%, in healthy people too. Very unpleasant.

      I would prefer to see a state run or at least state administered medical care system providing test kits, PPE, and so forth for small fractions of what we in the US will end up paying. However the herd immunity strategy is a mistake with a high fatality disease, and advocating other chioces like prevention (testing tracking as in SK) or mitigation (social distancing to reduce cases after prevention has failed) does not necessarily mean you are trying to profit off the situation for no good reason other than profit alone!

      Reply
      1. Carey

        >With the hospitalization rates and fatality rates of covid19, which are many times seasonal flu

        What evidence do you have for this claim?

        Reply
  11. Krystyn Podgajski

    Re: “Mysterious Heart Damage, Not Just Lung Troubles, Befalling COVID-19 Patients”

    This is the last time I will bring up zinc because no one cares and everyone just wants a vaccine which does not help the underlying health issues that lead to poor outcomes when infected with SARS-CoV-2.

    I have been studying zinc since it started reversing the majority of my autoimmune issues. I had my serum zinc tested years ago when I had some GI test done and it turned out I was very deficient. (My doctor is convinced I have Neuropsychiatric Systemic Lupus Erythematosus but getting diagnosed with it on Medicare is pretty much impossible.)

    So to me, the heart damage caused by the virus is not mysterious. The heart damage is caused by oxidative stress from a zinc deficiency. A deficiency made worse by the increased need of zinc during SARS infection.

    Zinc supply affects cardiac health

    As the situation progressed, it was observed that the heart attempted to compensate: “After the first phase, during which a reduction in tissue zinc concentration was observed, the heart muscle intervened and increased the amount of zinc back to the basal (control) level. However, this increase took place at the expense of the zinc content of other organs — above all the liver, kidneys, and the pancreas.”

    Further yet unpublished liver data also indicates that this decline in tissue zinc is accompanied by events of subclinical inflammation. This seems to also apply to other organs, above all the primary immune tissues. Additional studies will be necessary in order to confirm these findings.

    If you are interested you can see all the science regarding zinc and the heart on PubMed. But that is the last I will bring it up. Now that I have nowhere to go I am going to attempt to put together all the science behind it so all the connections with zinc deficiency can be made.

    Reply
    1. PlutoniumKun

      Thanks, your contributions on this are very useful. I’ve been taking a zinc supplement since this started. Even if its unlikely to help everyone, zinc is cheap and safe and accessible – the same of course applies to Vitamins C and D.

      Reply
    2. xkeyscored

      It could be related to zinc, which is fairly cheap, safe and accessible as PlutoniumKun says.
      On the other hand, ACE-2 receptors are found in the heart, veins and arteries, and other mechanisms may be involved. From the Kaiser article:

      “Doctors have long known that any serious medical event, even something as straightforward as hip surgery, can create enough stress to damage the heart. Moreover, a condition like pneumonia can cause widespread inflammation in the body. That, in turn, can lead to plaque in arteries becoming unstable, causing heart attacks. Inflammation can also cause a condition known as myocarditis, which can lead to the weakening of the heart muscle and, ultimately, heart failure.

      But Bonow said the damage observed in COVID-19 patients could be from the virus directly infecting the heart muscle. Initial research suggests the coronavirus attaches to certain receptors in the lungs, and those same receptors are found in heart muscle as well.”

      Reply
      1. Krystyn Podgajski

        The part you quoted is just as frustrating because even things like hip surgery can lower or change the availability of zinc and cause the same problems. It is a lazy way for them to dismiss any connection.

        Yes, stress damages the heart. But why does it damage the heart? The why is the thread that connects all these issues together. It is broadly accepted that zinc is lowered even during psychological stress.

        And if SARS causes damage to the heart muscle and lungs directly (which I do not disagree with at all because SARS2 enters in both cases through ACE2) the question still remains as to what is the mechanism of that damage. I mean the virus does not have a hammer and just starts banging at the cells. The damage IMHO is from the oxidative stress from the inhibition of the antioxidant enzymes SOD1 (because it is in the cytoplasm and that is where the virus replicates) during a zinc deficiency. This idea is spoken of in this paper.

        The Influenza Virus H5N1 Infection Can Induce ROS Production for Viral Replication and Host Cell Death in A549 Cells Modulated by Human Cu/Zn Superoxide Dismutase (SOD1) Overexpression

        So looking at people with rare changes in SOD1 genetics might be more helpful than looking at ACE2 genetics.

        Reply
        1. chuck roast

          OK Krystyn. I need the zinc! I tried to score zinc tabs at the drug store and the health food store prior to the panic…prolly ’cause you keep pounding on it. You must have been in contact with the locals because the stores were all out. I take another look tomorrow.

          You may be interested to know that I have a number real zincs in my small craft. And they similarly prevent oxidation where differing metals join; brass/steel, aluminum/steel and like that. The zincs oxidize and the various metals stay whole…theoretically. I replace the zincs every year.

          Cheers!

          Reply
        2. Democrita

          I read your earlier posts on zinc, and it prompted me to start taking the zinc pills that I’ve had in my cupboard for at least a year. Your messages are not falling on entirely deaf ears!

          Reply
    3. Observer

      Krystyn, thanks for your research and references. I was not aware of this, and look forward to your studies.

      Reply
    4. temporal

      I have been taking zinc and vitamin C for a while, based in part on your information, and to some extent on the idea that doing a few new things that probably do no harm is better than doing nothing at all.

      As well I’m now a convert to wearing a cloth mask when I’m in social settings for the reasons outlined in masks4all. I don’t like the mask but I’m not wearing it for me.

      Reply
    5. HotFlash

      Krystyn, I read all your comments with interest and appreciate the wide and meticulous research that underlies them. Please, go on talking about Zn if you wish, I care about it, I have been taking it for over 4 decades on recommendation of my naturopath because soils in eastern NA are low in zinc (not much zinc in the underlying rock) => even fresh local produce including grass-fed meat and milk can be deficient.

      I have had a healthy (oops, unintentional) respect for zinc supplements for a long, long time, but I have learned so much more about how that element dances within living things from you.

      Pls carry on!

      Reply
    6. Eclair

      Krystyn, I hope you are doing well in your new digs. I would hesitate to ignore any research into the effects of minerals on body function, after my experience.

      In the spring of 2011, I suddenly began to experience episodes of irregular heart beats. They would occur multiple times a day, and were most annoying when trying to fall asleep at night. After six months, I talked about it to the internist I was seeing. She set met up at the cardiology clinic; I did the EKG, a stress test and wore a heart monitor for a month. Conclusion: Premature Ventricular Contraction (PVC … I felt like a pipe!), ‘benign,’ but untreatable. My heart’s electrical system was out of sync. Just avoid caffeine, chocolate, sugar, etc. Which did make a difference.

      After two years, and no real change, we were heading to Sweden for a month to visit relatives, and I dashed to the health food store to get my supply of fish oil capsules. When I got home, I realized I had picked up the brand’s fish oil plus multi-vitamin/mineral. No time to return them, so I just took them daily while we were away. After a while, I realized my irregular heart beats had disappeared. But, I looked forward to having them return when we arrived home (Denver, at 5,500 feet altitude) and I trudged up the steep hill from the light rail station to our house, pulling my rollie. Surprise. Nothing.

      This is anecdotal. There’s a mess of trace minerals in those capsules. Maybe my heart’s electrical system reset itself in Sweden. No idea. But I take this brand of fish oil/vitamin/mineral daily and have had only the very occasional episode of irregular heartbeat. I cough, and the rhythm reverts to normal.

      I do believe that my aging body began to need more of some trace mineral and that the lack of it interfered with the normal functioning of the heart’s electrical system. And ….. I can drink caffeine (in moderation) and eat chocolate … and sugar (also in moderation.)

      Reply
    7. drumlin woodchuckles

      The ” no one cares” people are the People In Authority who hope to make a lot of money selling billions of doses of vaccine. It may well be that numbers of ordinary citizens who will never make any money from a covid vaccine may well care about nutritional-metabolic zinc. Certainly some of the readers here care.

      So no harm is done by periodically mentioning zinc here in these threads. And some may be helped.

      Reply
  12. .Tom

    Sorry to ask here but I’m unsure how to deal with Boston’s new rule that “Face coverings should be worn anytime someone is outside the home, including on walks or other passive recreational activities.” They refer to CDC advice that we should use improvised face coverings.

    I regularly to walk my dog outdoors on the sidewalks and in the parks of Boston. At this time of year the air is usually cold and whatever I wear over my mouth and nose will soon be wet. I worry that I am at greater risk if I walk around with a wet cloth over my nose and mouth. Should I?

    Reply
    1. JohnnyGL

      I’m also a resident of the greater Boston area. I’ve been getting into the habit of wearing a surgical mask when I make short trips to the store, even though I instinctively hate the idea, it’s the right thing to do. But, wearing on random walks seems kind of ridiculous.

      I wonder if they’re saying that just to really hammer home the point about the importance of masks? I guess it’s easier to be clear when you say “when you go out, wear a mask” instead of something like “mask needed in these situations, but not in these ones”.

      Reply
      1. .Tom

        I don’t have any surgical masks. And Boston reiterates what CDC says: “The cloth face coverings recommended are not surgical masks or N-95 respirators. Those are critical supplies that must continue to be reserved for healthcare workers and other medical first responders.” So we are to use improvised DIY stuff. CDC suggests combining coffee filters, rubber bands and a bandana.

        I don’t mind wearing a face covering if it makes sense. For example, I think this makes sense: “CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies), especially in areas of significant community-based transmission.”

        What I’m concerned about is when I’m waking the dog I have enough distance to other people and objects other people might contact so that I do not present a risk to them or them to me. In such a situation, wearing a wet cloth (wet because cold air and seasonal allergy) on my nose and mouth seems unsanitary and increases risk to me.

        Reply
          1. Skip Intro

            A YouTube video showed how to make masks from (HEPA) vacuum cleaner bags, but one of the comments warned that, according to Hoover (the manufacturer) the bags used had fiberglass and were thus NOT recommended for breathing through. Not sure how to verify this, or determine if other bags may be fiberglass free. There should also be ways to mitigate fiberglass leakage.

            Reply
        1. grayslady

          Use a face mask that provides for removable filters. HK Mask suggests that 2 paper towels (or a folded paper towel to make two layers) filters out 70% of aerosols. Just take some extra paper towels with you (and a plastic bag to dispose of the used ones), and the minute you sense the mask is getting too damp for comfort, just pop in an additional folded paper towel–making sure that you are not standing near anyone else when you replace the towel.

          Reply
        2. CanCyn

          Seriously, I am not wearing a mask when I am out for a walk! It is easy enough to maintain proper social distance. I do however keep one in my pocket in case a problem of some kind arises and I need to wear it – e.g. accident of some kind that requires a trip to the hospital. If I am unconscious and unable to put on my mask, I likely have bigger problems than Covid.
          When I make a grocery run, I put my mask (homemade, cloth) on when I am still in the car and remove carefully when I am back in the car after I have thoroughly sanitized my hands. And then I sanitize again.
          The goal for me is to develop sustainable habits that I can maintain for the long run. My mantra has become ‘Distance, Distance, clean hands, clean hands’. The article about this virus becoming endemic means we are going to have to learn to cope for the long haul not some temporary few weeks or months.
          I need more masks and want to make some for neighbours. I have run out of elastic to make more, awaiting a delivery.

          Reply
            1. CanCyn

              Thanks! I’ll check them out! I started with elastic and tried a couple of different styles. Have a preferred style (rectangular, pleated ‘surgical’ – easier to make and not as fitted so fits more people. Got fixated on style and didn’t think about elastic alternatives!

              Reply
    2. Carolinian

      My past experience using simple masks for projects suggests that they will grow damp inside but not wet and certainly not cold and wet since it’s up against your very warm face and being constantly bathed by your very warm breath.

      As to whether necessary outside, that probably depends on how crowded it is. I do think the new CDC advice is meant to mostly apply to stores and enclosed spaces. There are other reasons for wearing masks outside though such as pollution where that’s an issue or pollen this time of year.

      Reply
      1. .Tom

        Right, the CDC advice seems reasonable. But City of Boston otoh says “Face coverings should be worn anytime someone is outside the home, including on walks or other passive recreational activities.”

        In cold air my eyes water and my nose runs. It’s always been that way. My GP called it vasomotor rhinitis. I also get a bit of seasonal allergy. So my experience with handkerchiefs to deal with these issues tells me that the face cloth will get wet.

        Reply
        1. The Rev Kev

          Being serious here – what about nose plugs? They may be uncomfortable but they might keep your mask dry enough to use. You may have to learn to be a mouth breather when taking your walk but plugs may also help with those allergies.

          Reply
          1. Wyoming

            As someone who has allergies like .Tom mentioned and also gets a very runny nose when it is cold and windy I had to laugh at the idea of nose plugs. The discomfort and problems this would cause would be horrendous.

            Reply
            1. Voltaire Jr.

              LOL, I bike all year long in Southern WI, US. Here it’s called ice biking. I have tears stream down my face on 40 mph downhill runs and then peddling uphill and get hotter than Hiealah.

              Reply
          2. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

            Yes by all means let’s submit to a State where Citizens possessing certain antibodies are allowed freedom of movement but only if they also have something large shoved up their noses. Some enterprising entrepreneur can make fake glasses and nosepiece with a sensor and wifi chip that checks and reports to Mother State. The Committee For Public Safety determines which antibody is required that day for a citizen to go outside their home, otherwise they must continue to self-incarcerate. Very handy that they did not even need to build prisons. Or employ a compliance force, since your fellow citizens have been recruited for that purpose:

            https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2020/04/03/world/worldwide-snitching-social-distancing/#.Xouyg4gzY2w

            In the end eliminating “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” turned out to be trivially easy.

            Reply
        2. polecat

          Just keep a mask in a ziplock bag, for quick deployment when in sight of any maskpolice are walking their beat. If hassled, tell them you didn’t want to foul your ‘shield’ by your sudden urge to vomit as you make faux-urping jest ures.
          I can assure you that they will make a rapid U-turn … forgetting all about enforcement as the ‘flight’ response kicks in ..

          Reply
        3. HotFlash

          Possibly a mask designed for cycling would give you enough air exchange to keep things from getting gooey? The Independent did some reviews back in January. My guess is we’ll be wearing masks well into the fall, but at least through spring and summer it shouldn’t be too cold and perhaps you nose can be at ease.

          BTW I love how medical types use Latin to make us think they know something we don’t. Vasomotor rhinitis translates to involuntary nose irritation. Which is exactly what you told him in English, I bet.

          Reply
      2. JTMcPhee

        My guess from all the conflicting information on what happens to viruses she’d in just breathing is that a fair number of infectious bits float around for quite a while in the air. The social distancing “6 foot is safe” makes some unwarranted assumptions about how aerosolized virus particles in microdroplets behave. I posted a link a month or more ago to a video capturing a sneeze and how that turbulent cloud of snot, mist and micro particles propagates, I recall 27 feet in that instance. Viral load is apparently important, and if multiple people are exhaling (normal exhalations from infected people even without symptoms carry some virus load) in an area because they don’t care to mask up, that poses a risk to others, even people who (choose to) mask, since your eyes are a “portal of entry” as well as mouth and nose.

        At some point one of the mechanisms that deactivate the exhaled virus in aerosol form will render it non-infective. But community spread is obviously a thing, and it seems established that there’s wisdom in that notion that “My mask protects you, your mask protects me,” in reducing significantly the concentration of infective virus particles in shared space. Ambient air ought to be thought of as part of the Commons (speaking particularly as a non-smoker who reacts to tobacco smoke). Obviously masks are not a panacea, but every bit helps.

        And a footnote, search on “woman arrested for coughIn gin officer” as a reminder of what kind of creatures we really are: here’s one example, https://www.msn.com/en-ca/news/canada/woman-charged-after-allegedly-coughing-on-police-claiming-to-have-covid-19/ar-BB12ccJg There’s lots more.

        Reply
        1. Carolinian

          I posted a link in Links yesterday that suggested the disease primarily takes hold in your nose and throat and has to grow there and that may be one reason why this “flu” takes several days to become potent enough to show symptoms whereas ordinary flu can infect via the lungs and symptoms come much quicker (think I got that right).

          Anyhow the gist was that small particles go to the lungs and large droplets tend to lodge in the nose and therefore large droplet protection may be a lot more protection than was thought at first. Which means that simple cloth or even paper masks may be a lot more protection than was thought and your simple mask may protect you and not just others.

          It’s just one article, there’s so much info, take with a grain of salt. But it seems to make sense. Countries where everybody wears masks are doing better.

          Reply
          1. Skip Intro

            For droplets, this salt treatment (originally from NC!) sounds like it can make a big difference, and be relatively simple to apply, even to sets of paper towel inserts.

            Universal and reusable virus deactivation system for respiratory protection

            Here, we report the development of a universal, reusable virus deactivation system by functionalization of the main fibrous filtration unit of surgical mask with sodium chloride salt. The salt coating on the fiber surface dissolves upon exposure to virus aerosols and recrystallizes during drying, destroying the pathogens. When tested with tightly sealed sides, salt-coated filters showed remarkably higher filtration efficiency than conventional mask filtration layer, and 100% survival rate was observed in mice infected with virus penetrated through salt-coated filters. Viruses captured on salt-coated filters exhibited rapid infectivity loss compared to gradual decrease on bare filters.

            Reply
    3. PlutoniumKun

      Having used face masks cycling in very cold climates, I am surprised it gets cold so quick, your breath should keep it warm – if anything, my problem has been that it gets too hot even in quite extreme high altitude cold. But its certainly the case that chilling your mucus membranes rapidly is known as a way cold viruses establish themselves (hence your mothers exhortations ‘not to catch a chill’.).

      I’d suggest simply taking two scarves/masks, if one gets sodden and cold, switch them around, and warm the other one in your pocket.

      Reply
    4. Amfortas the hippie

      if you avoid close contact, you’ll be fine.

      one thing i’ve started doing: i have a necklace of 12th century african beads that holds my wedding ring(swelling and deswelling issues with it on my finger). it’s been a sort of talisman, whenever any of us are off-site, for years.
      I’ve added to it a little spandex pouch with a clip that holds a little bottle of sanitizer.
      It’s come in very handy…like in the store, for instance, when my bandanna inevitably slips, i can clean my hands before messing with it.
      it was a freebie from some outreach thing the local child welfare/anti-abuse people did many years ago…and since i don’t throw anything away,lol, i found it and started using it in this manner.

      Reply
    5. JeffC

      Short video vimeo.com/402577241 showing both modeled and actual laser-illuminated aerosols expelled from mouths, how they spread, how far they go, how long they float, and how opening the windows clears them. When my son sent me the link, he commented “Will make you never want to inhale again.”

      Reply
    6. ewmayer

      Like many others, I’ve been wearing a 3-ply surgery-style earloop mask whenever I leave the house for last few days, but since the streets are nearly deserted of pedestrians these days, when I’m just by myself I have it on my chin, pull it up over mouth & nose whenever close contact with others is either likely or unavoidable (e.g. building hallways, elevators and inside grocery stores).

      Reply
  13. xkeyscored

    In Crisis, Don’t Ditch Sustainability Business of Fashion

    I find this article rather confusing. On the one hand, it seems to be calling for sustainability and an end to the environmental pollution and degradation associated with the fashion industry. On the other hand, it seems to hope that the industry will be able to recover when COVID-19 has gone away or died down.

    “Millions of marginalised garment workers at the bottom of the supply chain — mostly young women, mostly in the Global South — earn a pittance making clothes for major brands. Coronavirus and the economic impact of lockdowns threaten to render vast numbers of these workers destitute as business dries up. If that happens, where will fashion turn when the crisis abates, and the industry is ready to switch production back on?”

    It might be more appropriate to wonder what those millions of garment workers will do in future instead of making crap for western consumers to buy, wear once or twice if at all, and chuck in the bin to free up wardrobe space for the next season’s fashion. COVID-19 is teaching us which industries and sectors of our economies are useful, and focusing our attention on what needs to be done to provide food, health and so on to everyone. It’s also making clear that determining who gets fed or cared for by their ability to make profits for multinational corporations can make for a very nasty economy.

    Garment workers need to eat. But why should that mean they have to participate in such a destructive, wasteful and anti-social activity?

    Reply
    1. The Rev Kev

      In the meantime, those garment workers could still be put to work. I heard about one mob down in Sydney that was closing down when they had second thoughts. Though only a small group, they are working flat out producing hospital scrubs badly needed by the medical community at cost. They are still earning a wage, the hospitals get badly needed scrubs and the cost is not so expensive as it is at cost. Even if a lot of these places satisfy local demand eventually, they could still work to send gear to other countries perhaps.

      Reply
      1. xkeyscored

        And in Bangladesh.

        “A workers’ co-op in Bangladesh is showing that when workers come together they can improve their own lives and also work towards social good.

        Oporajeo is a worker-owned factory producing clothing, and it’s also No Sweat’s supplier. In response to the coronavirus, the factory furloughed its workers on full pay. It also set up a fund to ensure they are paid for the next three months.

        Meanwhile, the factory has switched its production from garments to medical masks and aprons. No Sweat told The Canary that production is being managed by a team of 12 staff. These staff are working on a voluntary basis and maintaining social distancing at the factory. According to No Sweat, as of April 2, 400 personal protective equipment suits had been produced. These have then been donated to the healthcare system.

        Alongside this shift in production, Oporajeo is taking other steps to support workers during the pandemic. It has set up a rationing facility for workers and the local community, so people can still access food in the event of shortages. And it’s running an emergency call centre for workers to access support and information during the crisis.”

        https://www.thecanary.co/global/world-analysis/2020/04/05/a-shocking-video-exposes-the-devastating-impact-of-the-coronavirus-crisis-in-bangladesh

        Reply
    2. a different chrisa

      >what those millions of garment workers will do in future instead of making crap for western consumers

      Or what they did in the past. It wasn’t that long ago.

      Reply
    3. PlutoniumKun

      Judging from the other link from the Guardian today – about ridiculous orders (boob tubes!) from fast fashion online retailers, people are not likely to change – its just that the online model will win over in the short term anyway.

      Reply
      1. MLTPB

        Where can they casually show off their latest fashionable clothes?

        Doing it intentionally over the net is not cool.

        Easier to show off, effortlessly, in a physical, social or otherwise, gathering.

        Reply
    4. Amfortas the hippie

      those poor folks at least have skills that can be applied to useful things(“Useful” will be one of the Words of the Year)

      is “Learn to Sew”…or “Learn to Garden”… the new “learn to code”?

      I can think of lots of useless things people specialise in, up til about 3 weeks ago, at least.
      and i remember driving past downtown Houston at night with my folks when i was a child, and mom remarking about the thousands of lights on in the buildings…”what do all those people do?”
      of course, it was cleaning staff at that moment, but the question has stuck with me to this day.
      “pushing pencils”…generating “reports”…and now a bunch of even more abstract hyperabstractions.
      There’s a lot of chaff out there in the System…and a lot of it needs to blow away.
      I’d like to see a global Marshal Plan, with a focus on what really matters on the ground…wherever that ground happens to be..
      John Gray(an excellent read, btw) says that hyperlocalism and autarky cannot possibly be the answer…but i disagree.
      there’s no reason that an area/region/watershed can’t at least try to figure out how to take care of their own needs as much as possible…and share/trade/barter with other areas/regions/watersheds their surpluses, etc.
      extending the Market God’s prescriptions and habits of mind down into every human relationship was a colossal mistake.
      competition is fine…so long as it doesn’t replace cooperation in important endeavors.
      “conspicuous consumption” should be shamed out of existence….as should being a “teat on a boar hog”, as my stepdad like to say about useless things and people.
      when Parsifal(the Holy Fool) finally returned to the Grail Castle, and asked Amfortas(the Maimed King) the Holy Question, the Wasteland bloomed.
      That Question?
      “Father, what ails thee?”
      Ie: “How can I help?”

      Reply
    5. Bill Carson

      It seems to me that when the crisis is over we survivors are going to need new clothes one or two sizes larger than our old clothes.

      We need to form a pact now—-I won’t mention how much weight you have gained if you won’t mention how much weight I have gained. ;-)

      Reply
      1. Amfortas the hippie

        lol.
        I’ve lost at least 10 pounds.
        farm work.
        I’ve been on the boys since the eldest began football…why go to the gym, when you could merely pick up a hoe and get something needful accomplished?
        I’ve got their coaches on board with this…especially the firewood chores. That’s a workout.
        as is all the digging and shoveling manure(and hauling it in wheelbarrows to where it needs to be)
        there’s been rumblings, here and there, of a conspiracy between me and the coaches,lol.
        “y’all are in league!”

        I’ve also got wife’s oncologist advocating her getting out and pulling weeds.
        i am an insidious and shameless manipulator in these things.

        Reply
  14. zagonostra

    >Getting to Medicare-for-All, Eventually – Dean Baker

    Starting with the simplest, lowering the Medicare age to 64 might sound trivial, but it is likely to be a big deal politically and mean a lot to millions of people.

    I’ve seen Dean Baker referenced on several occasions on NC. I don’t know too much about him, but my general impression after reading his recommendations on M4A, is that he is spineless, unimaginative, and part of the rot that is at the core of the intelligentsia of the “Left” – though his prose is spotless.

    You have to really stop and think about what he is saying here, that what is trivial too any thinking person, is a “big deal politically.”

    What in the effing does that mean? This tacit capitulation is nothing less than accepting the values of the oppressor, it is accommodating oneself with a slave mentality, a mentality shaped by the master class, the overlord.

    “That which is ready to fall, shall ye also push!” and the U.S. (un)healthcare system is certainly ready for one big shove…

    https://www.counterpunch.org/2020/04/06/getting-to-medicare-for-all-eventually/

    Reply
    1. Carla

      I agree, zagonastra. Incrementalism has not led to M4A for at least 90 years(a late friend debated the issue on her high school debate team in the 1930s). There’s no reason to think that will change.

      “the U.S. (un)heathcare system is certainly ready for one big shove.”

      Truer words were never said!

      Reply
    2. HotFlash

      So, in a pandemic — global, no less — Dean Baker, co-founder of the supposedly lefty think-tank Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR), thinks that maybe, just maybe, lowering the age by one year might be possible? Bold thinking, that! Once it’s over we can go back to normal, which is Dems pretending to ‘fight’ with the Reps about *raising* the eligibility age.

      Reply
    3. John k

      62 is a logical first step since you can still take early SS at that age. The 65 came from what was at one time when u could take full SS.
      Course, 60 would be better.

      Reply
    4. chuck roast

      Please give Dean a break. He was loud, angry and correct when the Overton Window was on his right. It has been moving swiftly to the left recently, and Dean has not caught the drift. But he is a good economic analyst and good hearted soul. It will help when he has finally chucked his obsession with interest rates. I mean when he realizes that low interest rates mean free money for the rich and gruel-bowl for the rest of us.

      Reply
  15. Wukchumni

    The Sierra snowpack for the state on April 1st was sitting at 53% of historical average in our winter of missed content, and fools day it was, as we are in the midst of an Alaskan-can-can dancing south leaving 2-3 feet and more in the higher climes in her curtsy.

    Reply
  16. jefemt

    It’d be fun to see what all Peter Navarro and the Trump Juggernaut(tm) have in terms of investments in the manufacture and distribution of “Quinines”.

    Reply
    1. Katniss Everdeen

      So I really don’t get this attitude.

      Reportedly some doctors, here and abroad, believe these drugs may be useful in treating covid-19 and have been using them with some success.

      Why the sarcasm and vitriol? I thought we were in the existential fight for our lives.

      Reply
      1. MLTPB

        It works or it doesn’t.

        The reward may not necessarily be returns on investments.

        It could be adoration (as a saviour), political power, or maybe recognition for being smarter, who knows?

        The bottom line is whether it works or not. We leave the messenger alone for now.

        Reply
    2. skk

      I looked up the French scientist and institution that had a peer-reviewed ( review done in 24 hours !) paper published ( in a journal edited by a coauthor of the paper and supervised in his dayjob by Didier RAOULT ! ) on a small study on the effects of “Hydroxychloroquine and Azithromycin as a treatment of COVID-19: preliminary results of an open-label non-randomized clinical trial” . The paper gets mentioned in the media either by the first author or the last author, namely: Philippe GAUTRET, or Didier RAOULT.

      The paper, the last author and the institution they’ve founded were critiqued by LEONID SCHNEIDER on the ForbetterScience website. I also read a second critique of the paper by eliesbik in scienceintegritydigest. All together, based on all that, for myself I’d take the combo if I have mild symptoms ( but then why do I need to bother ? ) but for serious ones, I’d be sceptical and likely not try it.

      Reply
  17. PlutoniumKun

    Mysterious Heart Damage, Not Just Lung Troubles, Befalling COVID-19 Patients Kaiser Health News

    Doctors have been speculating on this from the very beginning – one of the first indictors that something was very wrong in Wuhan was social media shots of people apparently dropping dead in the streets. There are also suggestions that there may be neurological damage from infection, even with low symptom cases (this may be why people are losing their sense of smell).

    Among other things, this is a key reason why the herd immunity approach (or its variations) should have been rejected immediately – until we are absolutely sure that the disease does not cause long term damage, then allowing it to rip through healthy populations is reckless – its the equivalent of dosing an entire population with a completely untested vaccine or medicine.

    Reply
      1. newcatty

        Do you think that the scientifically proper and proven methods of testing a vaccine will be done before a vaccine is unleashed on the fearful and vulnerable public?

        Reply
        1. JTMcPhee

          Where’s the profit? If the government is not directly producing and distributing the vaccine, and one looks at Big Pharma’s penchant for peddling drugs and devices they know to be harmful or deadly, and seeing what a demand and rush to market and opportunities to gouge a vaccine will provide, and Big Pharma’s long-proven ability to evade liability for harms done both by litigation and legislation, of course we the public will take it in the neck.

          Reply
  18. Redlife2017

    Re: Johnson’s hospital admission suggests virus may have progressed

    Even Downing Street is indirectly admitting that Johnson has been put on oxygen (according to a recent update by the Guardian on their live blog). Of course the Guardian (in the live blog) also noted that Russian sources (I’m sure others as well) are stating that he’s actually on a ventilator. Number 10 denied that and then lo and behold BoJo tweets about his good spirits. No video though.

    My tin foil hat is very firmly on. He’s been ill for over 10 days, which means that he deffo will be staying in the hospital at least until the end of the week. I’ve read well researched stuff about the progression of Covid-19 and he’s clearly have a very bad time of it. The next week is pretty key as to what the prognosis for Boris is.

    What annoys and worries me is that he is still not giving up the reins of power, even though he is clearly very ill. He’s been admitted to hospital and is on oxygen! How a person could make decent decisions with a 103 – 104F temperature (I’m presuming as per a standard case of Covid-19) and having to take oxygen to breathe I have no idea. It makes me long for the US and the fact that we at least have a constitutional way to deal with incapacitation, which doesn’t require the person incapacitated to actually admit they are incapacitated.

    Reply
    1. PlutoniumKun

      Yes, if he has to go to hospital after 10 days, he is certainly very ill. My niece, a doctor who is working in a Covid ward, said that these are the cases among younger people that really worry them (i.e. people who return to hospital with breathing difficulties 7 days or more after their initial treatment and diagnosis).

      My guess is that he is not handing over the reins because they don’t want to admit how bad he is. But since he’s hardly a details man, that shouldn’t really make much difference to how the country is run. Hancock seems to be growing into the role in health (an unusual example of an idiot who seems a little less like an idiot when a crisis hits).

      Reply
    2. The Rev Kev

      Thinking it all the way through, the possibility has to be planned for that he may not make it. And if that is so, he may make history as the first serving Prime Minister in history that will be buried without a real funeral or service. And I suspect that he may not be the last leader to have this happen to them as well.

      Reply
    3. David

      I see that Downing Street is no longer claiming that his illness is “mild.”
      This *!$** ! illness is more and more like a precise weapon aimed at western political and economic systems. Normally, the flexible British system handles this kind of situation simply enough: a group of senior Party officials and MPs call on the PM and say, it’s time to take a back seat, or even it’s time to go. This indeed is what happened to Thatcher in 1990. But that doesn’t work very well in a climate of social distancing, and the British system doesn’t actually have any other way of dealing with a PM who wants to stay in charge when he clearly isn’t fit to do so.

      All of which seems to be unbalancing the punditocracy. Here’s Simon Jenkins, who used to be very acute, on Johnson’s situation.
      “A prime minister … is a figurehead, but has a harder task. Johnson is the nation’s elected leader at a time of crisis, with millions reliant on his decisiveness, judgment and public demeanour.”

      Well, the PM is not a figurehead, he’s not directly elected, and he’s “responsible for” tens of millions of people, not millions. Three errors in two sentences is not bad. The Grauniad used to be famous for its misprints, but at least they employed sub-editors in those days.

      Reply
      1. ambrit

        If he dies, he will have pit paid to the “instant herd immunity” policy by publicly showing the ‘insanity’ of the idea in relation to this Dread Pathogen.

        Reply
    4. JTMcPhee

      I hear Pelosi is counting on Trump and Pence succumbing so she can achieve her apotheosis… Having failed (to my mind, intentionally) the Impeachment Test.

      Reply
    5. ewmayer

      “How a person could make decent decisions with a 103 – 104F temperature” — Well, he wasn’t exactly known for making good decisions when healthy, so perhaps UKers should enjoy the forced downtime for the deciderer-in-chief. It’s not like the rest of government and civil service grind to a halt because poor, poor BoJo is laid up. We can only wish bloody Maggie Thatcher had been incapacitated more often during her tenure.

      Reply
    6. xkeyscored

      Coronavirus: Boris Johnson taken into intensive care – live updates – The Guardian
      “The decision was made by his medical team after his condition worsened over the course of Monday. The prime minister is understood to be conscious and to have been moved as a precaution in case he needs ventilation.”
      https://www.theguardian.com/world/live/2020/apr/06/coronavirus-live-news-boris-johnson-admitted-to-hospital-as-trump-again-touts-hydroxychloroquine

      Reply
  19. The Rev Kev

    “Five countries with the most resilient economies”

    So here are top 10 most resilient countries, according to the 2019 Global Resilience Index-

    1. Norway
    2. Denmark
    3. Switzerland
    4. Germany
    5. Finland
    6. Sweden
    7. Luxembourg
    8. Austria
    9. US Central
    10. United Kingdom

    So here we are in 2020 and the rubber has hit the road. So what do we find? That it actually comes down to political will for each and every country. For a start, you can drop Sweden, US Central and the United Kingdom off that list. Switzerland too as they are getting slammed but hard and have more deaths per million than the US and the UK right now. Luxembourg lost it as well. The other countries I do not really know very well. But you can add South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong and maybe in the end China to that list as they are slowly getting on top of this virus and are showing the way forward.

    Reply
    1. Wukchumni

      Our brave new pecking order will take some getting used to…

      The NZ I first visited in 1981 was a very resilient country, they’d lived austere lives on account of heavy import duties on everything. Make do with what you have, and it also promoted local manufacturers (Fisher & Paykel) to make things in country.

      Ag & sheep thrills were what it was all about. I think they peaked @ 75 million in the 80’s, and I remember being stuck on the road for 15-20 minutes at times as a sheepede just kept coming.

      Tourism back then wasn’t hardly even on the radar, it was wild & wooly and I remember being in Queenstown thinking to myself, this is what Lake Tahoe must’ve looked like in 1938, so sleepy of a place in such a fortunate setting.

      Now, a good chunk of their economy is based on foreigners flying vast distances to get there, and the onslaught was such that the DOC (not our kind of DOC. Department of Conservation that is) doubled the hut fees for foreigners, in an attempt to slow the rush.

      Well, now not even New Zealanders can play tourist, so an entire industry, wiped out.

      Reply
      1. fresno dan

        Wukchumni
        April 6, 2020 at 10:17 am

        Ag & sheep thrills or cheap thrills….or do sheep give cheap thrills???
        wild & wooly – I imagine it would be wooly with all those sheep….but weren’t sheep domesticated?
        sheepishly submitted for your approval (imagine Rod Serling’s voice)

        Reply
        1. ambrit

          I don’t think a little dip in the tourism industry is in the carding.
          NZ will cut to the chase and wether the storm. I read that it is quite a eunuch place.

          Reply
      2. Jeotsu

        Based on what the local (NZ) tourism industry body has said, domestic tourism is about 60% of the total industry turnover. They’re already planning for ~18 months (or more!) of no international tourists, and will be making a big push for everyone to holiday locally once the level-4 bans are relaxed.

        Reply
        1. Tom Bradford

          Almost a native – only been here 30 years – and I must admit that an absence of foreign tourists – the herds of Chinese in particular – would tempt me to get out and visit parts of the country I’ve avoided ’til now.

          On the other hand the absence of buxom, hearty young ladies from Germany and points north wearing a 25kg rucksack like it wasn’t there and with their thumbs up at the side of the road will be missed.

          Reply
          1. Fabian

            Ok enough of the Kiwi jokes – I’d rather be here than in the US. And there’s lots of Aussies who would rather have “Jacinda the Kind” than “Scotty from Marketing.”

            Reply
    2. MLTPB

      Will people in China still want to move to Australia?

      “Chinese way. Abundant space and resources.’

      Maybe Siberia as well.

      Not sure if there was mass migration from China to Moscow before (political systems too similar?).

      Reply
    3. Bazarov

      Don’t forget Cuba. That little island is the epitome of resilience–under siege for decades! Castro died of old age in his bed! Sending excess doctors to other countries in need.

      Very impressive.

      Reply
    4. Petter

      Sweden would probably object to being taken off the list. They’re sticking with the program and saying only time will tell whose strategy will prove to be correct. That almost the whole world has taken a different approach is not deterring them. Some suspect them of an economic motive which they don’t sort of deny, sort of.
      A few days ago, or whenever it was, the Prime Minister, in a newspaper interview was quoted as saying “we’re going to be counting the deaths in the thousands so we might just as well prepare for it.”
      We’re in a war, or so the powers that be keep telling us. As a geriatric Norwegian it’s kind of hard for me to forget that Sweden was the only European county that actually made money out of WWII but never mind me.
      In war you want to win. Sweden wants to win an it’s willing to take casualties. They’re prepared – they’ve set up a field hospital in Stockholm.

      Reply
  20. a different chris

    If my forehead wasn’t bruised enough already:

    https://www.yahoo.com/news/trump-lost-months-killing-us-011244950.html

    Here is what I thought was the killer hit:

    The headline on a superb Boston Globe editorial—“Trump Has Blood on His Hands”—is”….”

    Is what, I think excitedly? “Plenty True” it says! Alright, here we go time to loosen those pants up for some big boy balls and… and…

    “but too blunt an instrument to win an election….I’m partial to a headline in the March 28 New York Times: “The Lost Month: How a Failure to Test Blinded the U.S. to Covid-19.””

    WTF? Yeah that’s punchy, dude. I’ll be whistling it all day…not. Man it even has the stupid CSI colon in it. Here I have one too: “Democrats: Too Stupid To Live”.

    What world do they live in? Ah, The West Wing a show I am proud to say I’ve never watched a single minute of.

    Reply
  21. Bill Carson

    Regarding today’s stock market rally, investors obviously aren’t getting it. We’re in for a long slog, and the Fed can only prop things up for so long.

    Reply
    1. Trent

      They got their bailout, what more should they get? Has the stock market reflected the generally economy the last 20 year at all? Why should it now?

      Reply
      1. farmboy

        bear market rally! gasoline consumption down 75%. “…gasoline demand down as much as 75% and that has fuel backing up aggessively in the supply chain…” demand destruction definition Hightower report subscription.

        Reply
    2. Wukchumni

      HFT terminal # 48: “Hey, did you catch that they set the market to go up 3,000 points today, but we could only come up with a thousand?”

      HFT terminal #137: “Not so loud buddy, they still have power over us.”

      Reply
    3. Monty

      What’s to stop them from propping it up? They have infinite ammo. They could even start buying equities, if they decided that would help.

      Reply
      1. fresno dan

        Monty
        April 6, 2020 at 10:47 am

        https://www.federalreserve.gov/boardDocs/speeches/2002/20021121/default.htm
        But the U.S. government has a technology, called a printing press (or, today, its electronic equivalent), that allows it to produce as many U.S. dollars as it wishes at essentially no cost.
        …..
        Of course, the U.S. government is not going to print money and distribute it willy-nilly – its going to have the money go to its rightful owners, the wonderful, meritorious squillionaires of America*

        * That is the intial draft (Many Bothans died to bring us this information) – in the final version, the italicized portion was deleted…

        Reply
        1. Monty

          Many Bothans… Priceless!

          I think they have an obligation to prop it up, after forcing many Americans to forgo pensions and use the 401k system to save for retirement. Otherwise woe betide them.

          Reply
            1. Monty

              Perhaps in the aftermath of losing a nuclear war, or some kind of domestic political upheaval (like a Sanders win), there will be a “lights out” moment where they don’t prop it up. Otherwise, once they have purchased the weak hand’s assets on the cheap, it’s in our owners interest to reflate, and force those people to buy it back from them at a higher price.

              Reply
    4. Samuel Conner

      I suspect that, in analogy to the demonstrated ability of the Fed to, when it really wants to, control the yield curve, and thus the prices of bonds at all maturities, the Fed could in principle set the level of equity asset prices it wants, should it choose to do that (and should current institutional constraints be relaxed to permit that). Direct Fed purchases of equities is, I think, way beyond the current bounds of “acceptable [or even legal] unconventional policy”. Perhaps the bounds will be stretched in coming months; I think that would require Congressional action, but both the Pres and the Senate majority would probably be pleased to see equity prices supported. Would the House Ds defend this hill to prevent it?

      After I became acquainted with MMT in the late ’00s and especially after the GFC, it seemed to me that in principle the Fed could (granting certain relaxations in the constraints imposed on it by Congress) pursue a quasi-independent fiscal policy by purchasing infrastructure bonds. In the present crisis, one might add to that general obligation bonds of states and municipalities. Congress could later, if it chose, “sanctify” these by authorizing them to be taken onto the Treasury’s balance sheet and perhaps even forgiven — sort of a delayed Congressional fiscal response.

      Fed acquisition of equity interests might be a path toward either outright nationalization or transition toward employee-owned cooperatives. At the very least, board governance could be changed to reflect a wider set of organizational imperatives than mere short-term share price appreciation.

      This is probably all fantasy. As Lambert has often observed, “we are ruled by Harkonnens”; one takes some consolation in the fact that sociopathy does not appear to confer immunity to the virus.

      But I like to “imagine.”

      Reply
  22. Noone from Nowheresville

    I suspect the author is correct. If someone like Sanders won’t pick up then gauntlet and wield it, then someone on the right will.

    That said, I find 2021 Blue to be ridiculous. I find 2021 Red plausible and as of this moment most probable.

    What I’d like from the author is to fill-in more details on 2021 Blue that goes after both parties and relabel it 2021 Black. Then write a new 2021 Blue to be more reality based on what the Dems have done so far and what they’ve been proposing next.

    The Democratic Party Must Harness the Legitimate Rage of Americans. Otherwise, the Right Will Use It With Horrifying Results.

    https://theintercept.com/2020/04/05/coronavirus-american-politics-democratic-party-biden-sanders/

    John Steinbeck’s 1939 novel “The Grapes of Wrath” describes a similar moment during the Great Depression, when people starved even as orchards of fruit were burned to make the food that remained more profitable: “Men with hoses squirt kerosene on the oranges, and they are angry at the crime, angry at the people who have come to take the fruit. … There is a crime here that goes beyond denunciation. There is a sorrow here that weeping cannot symbolize. There is a failure here that topples all our success. … In the souls of the people the grapes of wrath are filling and growing heavy, growing heavy for the vintage.”

    An aside: The orange thing: I’ve heard in Wisconsin that the dairy farmers are being told to dump their milk down the drain. Too much inventory now that restaurants and schools are closed. This during a time when dairy farmers are going under in record numbers which pre-dated COVID.

    Reply
    1. Deschain

      I don’t find either 2020 red or blue terribly plausible given the people in either side.

      It’s 2024 red that really worries me.

      Reply
    2. HotFlash

      The Democratic Party isn’t going to harness the rage of the American people anytime soon. The Democratic Party has been very busy making good and sure that ‘someone like Sanders won’t pick up the gauntlet’. In 2016 and beginning of 2020, it was he wasn’t ‘electible’ enough, despite polls to the contrary. A few primary victories (and some confusing losses) later it was Obama working the phones and night of the long knives.

      The Democratic Party now complains that Sanders isn’t ‘presidential’ enough. Well presidential is as presidential does. Sanders had an early and comprehensive plan of action (Medicare for all, Meals on Wheels, $2000/mo for everyone, vote by mail, etc, etc), many broadcasts including a virtual town hall with medical professionals, and turning over his voter outreach and fund-raising apparatus for CoViD relief while Joe Biden had a nap. Now Sanders is being excoriated for, lemme see, for not being a bully a la Trump? Is that their definition of presidential? Sometimes I swear I smell trolls.

      If you truly want ‘someone like Sanders’, then elect him. Oh, and paper ballots, hand-counted in public.

      Reply
  23. The Rev Kev

    “China’s wild and woolly medical equipment heist”

    These new laws got passed very recently and as justification they showed an aircraft with a box of medical gear taped to each and every seat on that plane. But when I dug into that story a bit more, I discovered that this was happening when Wuhan was an absolute pandemic furnace back in February. These people were sending medical gear where it was most needed at the time and there was hardly a known case in Australia of Coronavirus at the time.

    So OK, this law makes sense now but you want to know what my take away from this is? The government must have know about that 90 ton shipment of medical gear to China as it was hardly a secret. So why did they wait all this time to make this law but more to the point, why did they not seriously ramp up orders to these facilities on the grounds that sooner or later, that Oz would be hit by the same virus? Did they, like Trump, just fob off this rising threat? Inquiring minds want to know. And perhaps a future Royal Commission.

    This just strikes me as another of these China!China!China! stories and it is weird to see this becoming a serious thing There is a think tank in the UK that issued a report saying that China should be sued for $6.5 trillion for Coronavirus damages to the world, I kid you not-

    https://www.smh.com.au/world/europe/china-should-be-sued-for-6-5-trillion-for-coronavirus-damages-says-top-uk-think-tank-20200405-p54h5b.html

    Reply
    1. Monty

      The real “tell” on China stories is how often they reference the term CCP, instead of just saying China or Chinese government. Derangement increases proportionally.

      Reply
      1. MLTPB

        If I understand the CCP correctly, there is only one China.

        Maybe from time to time, the KMT or DDP can run things from Beijing, so people can’t confuse the CCP with China..

        Reply
        1. Jonathan Holland Becnel

          I remember studying all the different political actors in International Relations and the KMT got what was coming to them.

          Nasty, Villainous People.

          Reply
          1. MLTPB

            They can go with the party representing the people of Taiwan.

            Right now it’s a DDP president, I think. If it’s KMT, in that case, it’s the choice of the people there.

            Reply
  24. fresno dan

    https://www.realclearmarkets.com/articles/2020/04/06/a_movie_critic_reveals_the_tragedy_and_triumph_of_the_hideous_lockdowns_488343.html

    The lockdowns we’re enduring to varying degrees could never have happened in the 1960s simply because societal wealth wasn’t nearly as plentiful.
    ….
    Though few want to admit it, school has always been daycare of sorts. If kids were at school, and overseen by responsible teachers and administrators, parents could work.

    But over the last 50+ years, production and globalization of production by wildly creative individuals has massively shrunken the cost of living. Nowadays when people say they can’t afford things like health insurance, something most hadn’t even thought of in ‘60s, what they really mean is they can’t afford it in addition to smartphone bills, car payments, rent, dining out, entertainment, etc. In modern times, Starbucks baristas are lured into the trade with free health insurance and college education. Fifty years ago, coffee stores on every street (and sometimes two or three) were an unimaginable luxury.
    ===========================================
    So I read people I disagree with just to get out of any kind of a bubble, but Mr. Tamny just seems incapable at looking at what he writes and stepping back and asking himself, “are there facts that would condradict what I have written”???
    When I was growing up, my stepfather made minimum wage. My mother did not work – we were poor, but not in poverty. We were never homeless, and we never went hungry. I broke my arm (we had no health insurance) and had to go to the county hospital to get treatment. Because of the nature of the break, I had to be anesthetized and stay overnight in the hospital. I have no idea of how that got paid for. I imagine it was similar to how my mother paid for a gall bladder operation years later where she just paid 10 dollars a month for a few years to the hospital and than it was over – the bill was not onerous or impoverishing.
    We happened to live a few blocks from the Fresno Rescue Mission. There were people called hobos or tramps, and they would line up for food and to stay overnight. There were no homeless camps with women and children in them, or masses of people who had to live in their vehicles. Somehow, in the 60’s, everybody who wanted a residence could be in a residence…and everybody who needed HEALTH CARE got health CARE…
    I’m glad Mr. Tamny is prosperous, but I’m angry that he is so within the bubble of his ideology, that he equates being able to by a cup of coffee with health insurance, and if only people would give up their LUXURIOUS coffee, that could afford health insurance (as opposed to health CARE)
    Mish, a pundit, points out that globilization has made what you don’t NEED cheap, while what you need to LIVE dear…

    Reply
    1. Katniss Everdeen

      Not sure what there is to disagree with here, fresno. The economy has been shut down because those that “matter” are really not hurt by it or have enough clout to get bailed out without guardrails or reciprocal responsibility to the public doing the bailing.

      Questioning the devastation being wrought by this economic armageddon in response to the virus is beginning to surface. Here’s some more:

      If there had been no media hype about the coronavirus and if the governments had not resorted to drastic measures in foolish obeyance and submission to the commands by the World Health Organization, hardly anyone beyond some specialists probably would have noticed the coronavirus. Mutations of viruses happen all of the time and most of them do not do more harm than the influenza virus. The family of coronavirus is very large and its existence has been known since the 1960s.
      ——
      What’s going on? Not a deadly disease is the threat but the global hysteria. If the panic should continue, millions will die, not from COVID-19 but from the economic breakdown.

      The panic has no basis in the facts. There are emergencies, but they are locally concentrated such as in specific cities in a specific region of Italy. More than a quarter of the world has opted to lock in their populations and shutdown their economies, among them many European countries, the United States, Canada, and Australia. While this may slow down the spread of the contagion, it will bring down our capacity to deal with our other needs, including the provision of medicine.

      Lots more food for thought in this article, although I’d venture to say that the perspectivve will be less than welcome.

      https://medium.com/@antonymueller/fooled-9de24aa66227

      Reply
      1. Trent

        Ha, you do not question the official narrative comrade, unless they are “approved for questioning narratives”

        Reply
        1. Katniss Everdeen

          My personal favorite–a mask keeps the virus in but does not keep it out. Maybe masks would work if worn inside out.

          Reply
      2. Carey

        Thank you for that link, KE. Quite a few more questioning the official truth
        that it might seem, I think.

        Reply
    2. MLTPB

      This is for everyone, possibly: living in a nursing home, or some kind of assisted places.

      What percentages of fatalities are from such places?

      For those of us younger, when a similar crisis in the future when living there, this is a relevant question.

      More broadly regarding Mr Tamny, I think we have to ask, with trillions we spend, as individuals worldwide, and by governments and international agencies, institutes and organizations, on coffee, health care, moon landings, video games, on search for ET, etc, social distancing, which was first used before Socrates, is still the way to go, along with washing hands, which people also did back then.

      Reply
    3. xkeyscored

      “Globalization has made what you don’t NEED cheap, while what you need to LIVE dear.”

      Thanks! I’ll remember that.

      Reply
      1. Tim

        That’s also the definition of stagflation. Interesting that it has become structural and that it no longer is really named.

        Reply
  25. The Rev Kev

    “Probation and Parole Officers Are Rethinking Their Rules As Coronavirus Spreads”

    In the 18th century England filled their law books with a wide swathe of laws as the industrial revolution forced more people into cities. Of course the result was that the prisons filled up as it was easier to break any one of these laws which led to the UK transporting these excess prisoners to North America. After the American Revolution they were then redirected to the unknown land of Australia.

    in the 20th century America repeated this mistake to the extent that the average American may commit several felonies in the course of a normal day. Who profited from this? Why the prison industry and it got so that they could build a new prison in California without any contracts with the Californian government as they knew that it would be filled. In the end the US came to have the largest prison population in the world. The trouble is that paying to have a prisoner is expensive so some States had to run down their education budget to pay for all these prisons but hey, law and order, right?

    We have the same problem in Oz and somebody noted that it would be cheaper to house prisoners in the most expensive hotel in Oz rather than a prison. But getting back to the US, if you start to release all those prisoners that should never have been committed, cut out all that mickey mouse probation demands, stop locking up people who get into debt with a private company – which I believe is supposed to be illegal in the US – and stop locking up people while the courts take their own sweet time getting around to them, guess what? This may make America a more just country. And the kicker? The States may find that they are saving hundreds of millions or even billions on their present prison system. Yeah, a lot of judges, lawyers, guards, parole officers and the like may no longer be needed but hey, life is tough all around. Maybe they can learn to code or join the military.

    Reply
  26. Randy G

    In the article — ‘We hit 3M hard — Trump orders 3M to keep US made masks in the U.S.’ —

    Prime Minister Trudeau complains that this sort of national prioritizing is just so darn wrong:

    Trump’s move prompted a sharp response from Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who said it would be a “mistake” for the US to cut off shipments of medical supplies to America’s neighbor and closest ally. He pointed out that goods flow in both directions across the US-Canadian border.

    “It would be a mistake to create blockages or reduce the amount of back-and-forth trade of essential goods and services, including medical goods, across our border,” Trudeau said.

    Personally, I find Trudeau’s hand-wringing a little ironic. I have glaucoma and I normally buy a 3-month supply of the drug Latanoprost from a Canadian pharmacy because it’s far less expensive than buying it from the Big Pharma price gougers here in the U.S.

    However, last month, when I tried to order a 3-month supply, my Canadian pharmacy sadly explained that they were ordered by the Canadian government to limit sales to the U.S. to a single month supply. (Which, again ironically, costs almost exactly the same as my 3-month supply.) The pharmacy was very apologetic but explained that since this was a government order they were forced to comply.

    Reply
    1. a different chris

      But it gets weirder as Canada has pointed out that the pulp used to make N95 masks comes from… Canada.

      Ah, globalization!

      Reply
      1. wilroncanada

        Sorry, a different chris. K10S pulp from the Harmac mill in Nanaimo is not used to make the N95 masks. That was a mistake that too quickly became a “fact”. The pulp IS used to make surgical masks, gowns, and other medical wearables. Some of the pulp s exported to the US, probably to 3M,among other customers. Canada is finally smartening up and trying to make some of these products locally.

        Reply
    2. marieann

      “It would be a mistake to create blockages or reduce the amount of back-and-forth trade of essential goods and services, including medical goods, across our border,” Trudeau said.
      and he also pointed out a thousands of healthcare workers cross the border every day in Windsor, Ontario.

      Detroit hospitals would be in really bad shape if it came to a border closure.

      Randy G…I wondered why I didn’t get my 3 month supply of medication this morning….since I take 4 different medications I will need to get the pharmacy on speed dial

      Reply
    3. show_me

      There is nothing ironic about Trudeau’s response to the US hijacking medical supplies contracted for delivery to Canadians.

      What is ironic is your complaining about that response because you couldn’t also hijack as many drugs as you wanted that had been contracted for delivery to Canadians.

      Reply
    4. CoryP

      probably too late for anyone to see this, but in Canada pharmacies have been limiting everybody to monthly for at least a week now. I wouldn’t be surprised if some of the pharmacies dispensing cross-border started imposing that limit earlier, since the writing has been on the wall for a while.

      And yeah, as a weird artifact of our drug pricing system, there is a very small amount of markup (10% or less) on the actual drug cost, so a big portion of what you pay is the fixed/flat dispensing fee… therefore a one-month supply almost costs as much as three months, for cheap drugs anyway. (After all, the pharmacy does just as much work dispensing 30 tablets vs 90, so there is some logic to it).

      Hence most patients in Canada typically get their maintenance meds three months at a time.
      With this COVID situation, the national associations had to wrangle with the insurance companies to get them to reimburse for smaller quantities.

      This to ‘maintain the integrity of our drug supply’, which we are assured is not experiencing problems yet. Bullshit. Canada’s been having atrocious drug shortages since well before this. We can’t even get enough amoxicillin kids suspension ffs.

      Reply
  27. L

    So the last time Giuliani was recommending things it was because someone was paying him to.

    I wonder how much he’s making from Concordia Pharmeceuticals (maker of Plaquenil aka hydroxychloroquine) or some other manufacturer.

    How would we check?

    Reply
    1. xkeyscored

      This might be somewhere to start, though personally I think it’s just as likely Trump and Giuliani are plugging CQ/HCQ for other reasons:

      “Novartis has pledged a global donation of up to 130 million hydroxychloroquine tablets, pending regulatory approvals for COVID-19. Mylan is ramping up production at its West Virginia Facility with enough supplies to make 50 million tablets. Teva is donating 16 million tablets to hospitals around the U.S. On Friday afternoon, Amneal pledged to make 20 million tablets by mid-April.”
      and
      “The pledges follow Bayer’s Thursday donation of 3 million tablets. Together, the commitments represent nearly 220 million chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine tablets for the global COVID-19 response.
      Following preliminary reports of the drug’s efficacy, shares for Indian drugmakers Cadila, Torrent and Ipca each jumped, the Economic Times reports. Those companies can also produce the medicine.”
      [several links in the original]

      Novartis, Mylan and Teva to supply tens of millions of chloroquine tablets to fight COVID-19
      https://www.fiercepharma.com/pharma/new-commitments-mylan-and-teva-move-to-supply-tens-millions-hydroxychloroquine-tablets-to

      Also this, which appears to have much the same information about which companies are involved:
      Companies Plan to Boost Production of Controversial Malaria Drug as Demand Jumps
      https://www.barrons.com/articles/hydroxychloroquine-generic-drugmakers-demand-spikes-covid-19-french-study-lupus-51585056712

      Reply
      1. L

        Interesting point. I suppose the question is whether their promises predated his boosting of the drug, or followed it.

        Reply
    1. Wukchumni

      It’s sad comparing Jacinda to our hapless leadership, like night & day.

      You’re the real ‘Lucky Country’, not your big brother to the left.

      Reply
      1. The Rev Kev

        Australia is planning to attack New Zealand and, using the same ‘The Mouse that Roared’ plan, surrender to them when they fight back. That means that we then get Jacinda to run the country then and we can get rid of Scotty from Marketing. Sounds like a plan and it will just be like the Glorious Revolution-

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glorious_Revolution

        Reply
  28. Jonathan Holland Becnel

    Hopefully, I get about a Coronavirus Bonus/Hazard Pay next week. Been hearing rumors floating around since last week.

    Just glad to be working at this point.

    Time to Unite, Comrades, once this crisis subsides.
    Time to square our World up with Nature, so our descendants arent inheriting a Hellworld.

    Reply
    1. Carey

      Adding, regarding the one death in this region, for those who still (quaintly?) think that facts are important:

      “The first COVID-19 related death has been reported in San Luis Obispo County, according to local health officials. The San Luis Obispo County Public Health Department confirmed Saturday a person in their 80’s from North County died from coronavirus.
      The patient was in the hospital and had underlying health conditions.

      “We extend our sincere condolences to the patient’s loved ones,” said San Luis Obispo County Health Officer Dr. Penny Borenstein. “As the number of local cases grow, this death is a sad milestone for all of us. Most cases of COVID-19 exhibit mild or moderate symptoms, yet this tragic death underscores the urgent need for us to take steps to protect residents who are at higher risk of developing serious illness.”

      Older adults (65+) and individuals with health conditions (such as lung or heart disease, diabetes, and a compromised immune system) are at higher risk of developing serious illness from COVID19. People at higher risk should stay home as much as possible and consider ways of getting food and prescriptions delivered through family, social, or commercial networks.

      https://www.ksby.com/news/coronavirus/first-covid-19-related-death-reported-in-san-luis-obispo-county

      Reply
  29. Late Introvert

    So my legit question about Bio-weapons labs using ferrets to increase the danger of a given virus gets yanked, but there’s a huge thread where people stocking their pantry are labeled “hoarders”?

    OK. It’s your blog.

    Reply
    1. xkeyscored

      Who would want to use a virus as a weapon? Even with a vaccine, there’s no guarantee the virus wouldn’t mutate to defeat it. Some deranged dictator might like the idea, but they’d need teams of scientists to make it happen, all of whom would point out the lunacy of such a project. Many of our leaders are obviously homicidal; how many suicidal or omnicidal?

      Reply
      1. Late Introvert

        And have you noticed the kinds of people running our nation? You seem a little naive. It doesn’t have to be on purpose.

        Reply
        1. Trent

          i posted an article about colonists using blankets with smallpox on native americans, but Le moderator must not have liked it.

          Reply
  30. Late Introvert

    My point was that nobody knows, not that it was purposely leaked. You do know there are bio-weapons labs in every major nation right?

    Reply
    1. Trent

      Don’t take it personal dude, people just aren’t ready to think of alternatives to the main narrative at the moment. A lot about this smells fishy to me so you aren’t alone.

      Reply

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