Links 5/4/2020

Here’s how Italians ‘quaranteamed’ 700 years ago CNN (The Rev Kev). The word quarintine comes from the Italian, referring to the forty day period Venice required ships to wait before they could enter the port.


The Quarantine is Failing because Our Institutions Weren’t Built For It Benjamin Studebker (UserFriendly)

Elixirs for times of plague and bullion shortage Nature

April’s dumbest and most dangerous coronavirus declarations The Hill (re/silC))

How Cybercriminals are Weathering COVID-19 Krebs on Security. BC: “Fascinating info, especially the last paragraph that scammers are feeling ethical pangs (honor among thieves) against stealing from healthcare providers or using COVID19 as a part of a scam.”

In the future, touchscreens will be obsolete. This lab designs what’s next Digital Trends (The Rev Kev)

Trump warns Maine after business punished for reopening as more devastated owners defy lockdown RT (The Rev Kev)

Anti-Vaccination Activists Are Growing Force at Virus Protests NYT

Covid-19 has blown apart the myth of Silicon Valley innovation MIT Technology Review.  This conclusion will come as no surprise to our regular readers.

Phoning it in: Pandemic forces Supreme Court to hear cases in a new way Reuters

Trump Isn’t the First to Threaten WHO, but His Threat Is the Most Dangerous Inside Sources (micael)

Hundreds of cruise crew members have been stuck on ships for months, and they say there’s no end in sight Business Insider (The Rev Kev)

As lockdowns lift, new hazards lurk in the water Nature


The Ars COVID-19 vaccine primer: 100-plus in the works, 8 in clinical trials Ars Technica

The world may have to live with Covid for years to come: Imperial College London scientist warns vaccine may NEVER be created and outbreaks and lockdowns could become the norm Daily Mail

When will we get the Covid-19 vaccine? UnHerd (re/silC)

Suppression of COVID-19 outbreak in the municipality of Vo, Italy MedRxiv. This article is a preprint and has not been peer-reviewed.

Happy hypoxia’: unusual coronavirus effect baffles doctors Guardian

Younger adults are getting seriously sick and ending up in the hospital because of the coronavirus, and it’s alarming doctors Business Insider


How well can algorithms recognize your masked face? Ars Technica (.re/silC)

City’s proclamation requiring face masks in stores and restaurants is amended after threats of violence CNN (re/silC)

Wife Says Flint Dollar Store Security Guard Killed Over Face Mask Dispute Capacon

Low-Quality Masks Infiltrate U.S. Coronavirus Supply WSJ I’m shocked, simply shocked, to hear that cheap, rushed imports fail to meet basic quality standards.

Instead of bidding against each other, New York and six other states are pooling their purchasing power to buy ventilators, protective gear, and coronavirus tests 
Business Insider (The Rev Kev)

Class Warfare

Coronavirus patients could be cash cows for nursing homes LA Times J T McPhee: “Just when one thinks humans could not stoop any lower…”

The Hospital CEOs Keeping Seven-Figure Salaries as Frontline Workers Go Without Pay (furzy)

Gilead has yet to set a price for the coronavirus treatment remdesivir, but an influential drug pricing watchdog says it could be worth up to $4,500 per patient Business Insider (The Rev Kev)

Coronavirus: Why so many US nurses are out of work BBC (furzy)

Don’t Forget the Other Pandemic Killing Thousands of Americans Daily Beast (re/silC)

DeVos sued for seizing student loan borrowers’ wages during pandemic Politico (furzy)

Food Supply

Trump’s order to keep meat plants open mistakes meat shortage for a food shortage The Conversation

Serfs Revolt

Coronavirus energizes the labor movement. Can it last? LA Times


Judgment day for VW as pensioner’s Dieselgate fight goes to top court FT


Arrogance’ blinded big countries to virus risk, says Austria adviser FT


Russia adds record 10,000 coronavirus cases in dramatic turnaround as Putin’s problems stack up CNN (furzy)


Coronavirus health passports for UK ‘possible in months’Guardian


Coronavirus: le professeur Cohen affirme qu’il y avait un cas de Covid-19 en France dès le 27 décembre BFM TV (alex)


Coronavirus: New lows for deaths in France, Spain and Italy 
BBC (alex)


China is installing surveillance cameras outside people’s front doors … and sometimes inside their homes CNN

Why an American mother rushed her daughters back to Shanghai during the Covid-19 outbreak SCMP

Wuhan shows the world that the end of lockdown is just the beginning of the Covid-19 crisis CNN


COVID-19: Is a Long Lockdown Counterproductive? The Wire

As Covid-19 spreads, a TB survivor describes the trauma India’s health system puts patients through Scroll

To avoid ratings downgrade, India may cap virus relief at $60bn Al  Jazeera

Forty days that prompted India Inc to write-off a quarter Economic Times

India can learn from China’s resolve to clean its urban air and help lead the world to a brighter future SCMP


Ex-Green Beret led failed attempt to oust Venezuela’s Maduro AP (Bill)

Saudi Arabia

Coronavirus in Saudi Arabia: ‘Most’ of Mecca’s population may be infected Middle East Eye (BC)

Kill Me Now

Clinton-Obama in 2020? One former White House official says it’s possible MarketWatch. No, Obama Cannot Be Part of a Dream Clinton/Obama Ticket. Jonathan Turley. I agree with Turley here – constitutionally impossible. And I’m not surprised to see it was Mike Dorf who propounded such a dubious theory. For those keeping score, Dorf was a “co-author” of one of Harvard law professor Larry Tribe’s books.

Antidote du Jour (via):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. Bsoder

    I like Benjamin Studebker, he puts lotta effort into what he says and has had an interesting life for a guy so young. I subscribe to his blog and almost always agree with him. But not this time. Yes, when looks high and low it’s pretty clear this country America – the govt (and I suspect the people) can’t a thing done. But, why and how did it get that way? Not by accident but by design. -> Consider: COVID-19, even more than 9/11 and 2008, is the closing crisis of globalization, and particularly neoliberal globalization. Forms of economic nationalism (not ‘nationalistic’) are no longer optional—it is now once again demonstrated to be the only viable, practical, and safe agenda. We have arrived at a New Old World. “Global order” is untenable: it has been proven to literally make people sick. There can be, as others have already said, no “return to normal” when it is precisely the normal that was the problem. And that is just for starters, the “system” can’t handle Covid-19 because we made sure it couldn’t. We made this mess inch by inch and brick by brick. So let’s not going back to doing what we were rather let’s do something else. Something better, way better. And one thing that’s needed is the idea, when it comes down to it is caring about each other. Not everybody at once that’s not possible. Nor Nazis either. I’m not Jesus or Buddha.

    1. Jonathan Holland Becnel

      Globalization is at its best when people are traveling and visiting other people’s cultures, not destroying them in the name of the one true Neoliberal one. But we must not allow Companies to cross borders.


      1. Colonel Smithers

        Merci, M Becnel.

        Are you related to the Becnel family, also Becknel, of Vacherie, Louisiana.

        My family and I are Creoles from Mauritius and often visit friends at Laura in Vacherie and have come across your surname around there.

        Overlooking me typing this message is a map of the cane river / river road plantations. The owner of Laura and Columbia published it. His consigliere is a cousin of a cousin. One went west, a la Nouvelle-Orleans. Another went south and around the Cape, a l’Isle de France.

        You should visit us, home from home.

      2. MLTPB

        Drink deep or taste not the Pierian spring.

        Some have lived in, say, Sweden, for years and are still learning about the country.

        Maybe the American psyche is easier to see than the Russian soul. But travelling or visiting maybe not be a helpful substitute for immersing deeply, for some period of time, which, as mentioned above may still not take one to the spring.

    2. cnchal

      I gave another look at Benjamin’s essay, and remember why I never read him regularly after my first few tries. Clever words disguised as sagaciousness.

      The fact is, no one, other than a handful of people commenting on blogs, saw this coming and even when it was seen, it was ignored for weeks, by the “political eclownomists”. To claim, if only we were consulted, we being “political eclownomists”, the day would have been saved, is nonsense.

      The economy is wrecked, like a tractor trailer full of eggs getting smashed by a meteorite, and printed words will not put that mess back into eggs.

      > . . . We made this mess inch by inch and brick by brick . . .

      . . . add second by second to that missive and we are getting close. Time was of the essence and nobody I talked to, when I insisted that step one should be to stop all travel, agreed with me, as the economy would suffer too much, and now months later those same people insist the economy be opened and let the virus rip because the economy is suffering too much.

      Do you remember any MSM outlet calling for all travel to stop the day they were showing us a 60 million person lockdown in Wuhan and the region around that city?

      That simple cannot happen here. America is exceptional.

      1. MLTPB

        I remember your comment early on, in Feb, I recall that

        Still flying = fail.

        I think the Pentagon ordered that the same month for those in the military (just recalling).

        It’s not, though, just us Americans. Most countries, if not all, have not completely stopped flying, for any period of time…one week, one month, the whole duration up to now, etc.

      2. wilroncanada

        Studebaker–atrophied almost 60 years ago..
        Benjamin Studebaker–ideas atrophied almost 60 years ago.

    3. MLTPB

      Less global, and more local.

      And eat seasonally.

      I think it’s called, correct me if I’m wrong, please, the Okinawa Diet.

      Basically, no Russian vodka any season, ,and no fresh apples from the southern hemisphere here in the summer.

      1. Amfortas the hippie

        and it’s not like you can’t grow tomatoes and such in winter, given the right infrastructure(and it doesn’t necessarily have to be wasteful to do so: is a neat person/set of ideas. I grow cherry toms in an unheated greenhouse with nothing but 2 50 gallon black drums of solar heated water(central texas…not Maine,lol))
        but yes…we need to learn to like squash in winter.
        I remember my grandad’s almost reverence for the citrus he’s bring us for xmas from his friend in the Rio Grande Valley…he’d never even seen an orange until the Pacific War.
        I have nothing against “trade”, per se…but the way we’ve been doing it is foolish, wasteful and detrimental to farmers….and to would be farmers.
        my oft told tale: i drive past 10,000 sheep to the real grocery store, 50 miles away, to buy lambchops at high markup from Australia.
        Those 10,000 sheep from here pass the australian sheep somewhere around south africa.
        similarly, “locally grown” shouldn’t be taken at face value…ask questions, and shame them into meaning it.

        1. chuck roast

          Well, I’m a city guy who occasionally hits the farmer’s markets. So, basically I shop in the supermarket with a preference for organic…but who knows? Organic…from Mexico? Yeah, call me nimrod. But I prefer the EU fruits and veg. to the American ones. EU growing standards are higher. Hell, they are still fighting over glyphosate…a battle we lost years ago. So, when we put the kibosh on international trade, lets give the euro farmers a loophole.

          1. c_heale

            I think it would be better to sort out agriculture in the USA. You have an amazing country agriculture wise and can grow almost anything – if you want to…

        2. 1 Kings

          Dehydrate your tomatoes, peppers, zucs and whatever else you can think of. Use in winter. Good for soups, eggs etc.

  2. jackiebass

    We don’t have a food or meat shortage. Because what the food industry has become, we have a shortage of the ability to process and deliver the food. The system has become concentrated and dependent on a few sources. When one breaks down the whole system collapses.

      1. JTMcPhee

        Back to Dune, the Fremen clearly understood and lived by the law of minimum, Jessica got her introduction to the Fremen culture in a rather rough way for those who know the book.

        One of her lessons was the sanctity of moisture, the minimum that Keynes Pere et Fils planned to address by a massive water conservation and storage project in which the entire population was involved, complete with circumscribing rituals. These included vacuum-desiccating the bodies of the dead — each Fremen had the use of his or her body’s water while alive, but it ultimately belonged to the Tribe.

        And Jessica had another awakening when the water from a dead Fremen was poured into one of the underground lakes through a flow meter, which precisely tallied each liter and fraction, I guess to be added to the global tally. “Superb accuracy in water measurement.”

        Humanity is coming up against a bunch of minima, food waste being just one of them. Impoverishment of the soil out of which most food derives being another massive one. Speaking of the original import of Liebig’s Law…

        What’s the current crisis’ analog of the stillsuit, and Kynes’ linguistic symbology of ecological awareness and focus?

      2. Synoia

        Yes, but who is throwing away food? I know most families do not throw away 31% (a third) of the food they buy.

        This is another statistic which needs very clear analysis to pinpoint specific wastrels.

        1. wilroncanada

          Restaurants, by and large. Also retail “culling” of “imperfect” stock.
          In addition, we have two friends’ families, the male member of which will not eat leftovers. So my wife’s friend, who lives close to us, puts the remains of their turkey, bagged, into her freezer. It is usually minus wings, and a breast, and sometimes drumsticks. We bring it home whenever we go by. It may be a couple of weeks later. When she has time my wife will bring it out of the freezer, cut all the remaining meat from the bones, and put the bones into a crockpot to simmer for several hours, or overnight. From that “disposable turkey” we will normally get at least three or four meals of the leftover meat, plus 3 or 4 meals of soup, turkey vegetable or blended. Lots of wastrels, Synoia.

          1. Phacops

            Not liking leftovers? I’ve seen that among family members and it is always those who never cook. I look upon leftovers as a tasty gift of time not spent on prep.

            1. mpalomar

              it is always those who never cook
              Yup, and some dishes are extra flavorful the next day after marinating a little more.

              1. chuck roast

                Not cook? You aughta see my extended family. Not only will they not cook, they couldn’t be bothered picking up or washing a dirty dish.

                1. John Beech

                  Daughter and son-in-law visit and act like they’re in a freaking hotel. Source of friction.

                  Wife and I take turns cooking. I do probably 2/3-3/4 of it and almost always do the dishes. She does laundry. Our system for 40+ years.

        2. Copeland

          After “finishing” with their meals in restaurants, I’ve had friends/acquaintances literally make fun of me for taking my leftovers home rather than leaving them on the plate.

          Its like painting your house blue-gray with white trim: Are you in the club, or aren’t you? If you’re in the club you will conspicuously waste all resources. That’s the whole point: “I am so wealthy I can waste money and not even notice…or at least that’s what I want everyone to think, whether I can afford it or not…I’m in the club!!!”

        3. eg

          My wife buys fruits and vegetables that our teenagers don’t eat — it’s infuriating.

      3. Wyoming

        As a former owner/operator of a vegetable farm I might be able to add some insight.

        When you see that wastage number above it means both a lot more and a lot less than appears.

        If I grow 100 cabbage in my field there is waste at at least the following points. We’ll only count from harvest on.

        Harvest – some percentage of the cabbages don’t pass inspection and go in the compost pile.
        Shipping to Distribution Center – some percentage of the cabbages get damaged or go bad
        Distribution to Grocery Store – same as previous
        Display in Grocery Store – some of the cabbages don’t get purchased before they are unsalable
        Home storage – people don’t always get around to eating what they buy and it gets thrown out
        Left Overs – people make a dish and for any of a number of reasons don’t eat it all – trash

        Taking just the above into account gets to a pretty sizeable number. Food loss is unavoidable. Add in pests and storage losses of many products. The fact that consumers will not buy any vegetable which is not perfect – note that when I was a child the grocery stores would sell 2nds and canning quality fruits and veggies which you never see anymore. That alone brings down the wastage percentage. At farmers markets I built a clientele which wanted the canning quality (sold at a big discount) and I would bring them large orders straight from the farm.

        I would guess that we will never get the total percentage loss below about 25%. And if we compost it then it does not really matter as the nutrients end up in something else we eat. But that is a whole discussion in iteself……

    1. Rod

      Micro Localized Economies will work–how about each state having 2 or more processing facilities to cover their geographic areas?
      ie–Game Processors in my State have to be licensed and inspected and there are certainly more than just two…

    2. lyman alpha blob

      Redundancy may not be maximally efficient from a cost perspective, but it’s what makes systems robust. Ask any engineer. It’s why planes have four engines instead of one.

      Now we’re seeing why deliberately destroying small farms over the last few decades to maximize profits through efficiency wasn’t such a hot idea after all.

      1. eg

        Turns out “efficiency” isn’t efficient where critical systems are concerned.


  3. Krystyn Podgajski

    Re: ‘Happy hypoxia’: unusual coronavirus effect baffles doctors

    So I have been looking at this for the last few weeks with someone else who knows more about blood than me. So here is our hypothesis: Since there is no distress from the hypoxia we can say that the lungs are functioning fine and that the oxygen is having some issue in the hemoglobin.

    We know they are finding high levels of Angiotensin II (ANGII) in COVID19 patients. This can only be caused when the ACE2 enzyme which once rendered useless by the virus, cannot get rid of the ANGII.

    It is also knownm that high levels of ANGII leads to an upregluation of Heme Oxygenease which is am enzyme that metabolizes (destroys) heme. The destruction of heme would reduce the O2 capacity of hemoglobin causing the weird hypoxia they are seeing. Heme Oxygenase uses 3 O2 molecules in the reaction so that would quickly deplete blood oxygen. Heme Oxygenease would also increase bilirubin, which they also see in these patients.

    This is a disease that primarily affect the renin-angiotensin system.

    If there is anyone here who knows any researchers or know anything about this, I welcome any critique of this idea. I cannot un-convince myself that their might be a relatively simple solution to infection.

    1. Bsoder

      Krystyn, hello. I have read many/all (?) your posts and note your fierce intelligence and persistence. The only real way to answer you is in a long and nuisanced reply, which I do not want to do at here @NC. Your idea as such has merit and others that I work (NIH – Precision Medicine) with have taken a look at it. I’m trying to find a database we can publish some of the findings that specifically address your points. As you might image we have done a number of very through and exacting autopsies including blood chemistry and physical blood makeup. We have yet to see the sequence of events as you lay them out. I want to add that to date everyone we have examined that died of Covid-19 had significant lung damage, not caused by ventilators. There are many things (pathology) with Covid-19 that are unique to it and don’t fit any known patterns. Clotting being a big one. I liked your thinking yesterday about ACE2 And think it makes a great of sense. I’ll keep you informed with what we’re doing, just remember that we’re deep in the learning phase.

      1. Krystyn Podgajski

        Yes, thank you for looking and always learning!

        I am really over simplifying (or complicating?) things. Since at it’s real core I feel it is a problem with handling oxidative stress. So any defects in making or recycling glutathione will cause problems like the thrombosis. They have found people with polymorphism in Glutathione Perioxidase 3 have higher rates of thrombosis.

        So really to me this is an issue of the antioxidant pathways getting stuck somewhere, either leaving the patient with too much/little O2- or H2O2. This is an issue that can be solved nutritionally but will be different for each patient.

        From what I have read it seems that Heme Oxygenase inhibits H2O2 and increases eNOS as well so I think this is important to consider since less H-OX would mean more H2O2 and then more thrombosis if there is not enough glutathione.

        So while I fell that zinc will inhibit infection I do not think it is the total panacea once a patient is infected and in crisis but it is important to consider. I know that ANG1-7 has been shown to inhibit the inflammatory effects H2O2 so increasing ACE2 with zinc might help lower H2O2.

        I think autopsies would be difficult to examine the very living and dynamic process of ROS metabolism. is anyone measuring O2- and H2O2 in living patients?

        But patterns…there will be no patterns, maybe different sub-patterens, different expressions of infections based on genetic and the environment. That is what I see at least. People who do not get sick, people who get sick and recover, and people who get sick and die.

        You can contact me at my name at proton mail if you wish.

        1. larry

          H2O2 aka hydrogen peroxide is a poison. It should only be used to whiten your teeth. I do not understand how this could be getting into covid sufferers except as a by-product of the disease itself? I have possibly misunderstood what you have said.

          1. Krystyn Podgajski

            Hydrogen Perioxide is a natural by product on several metabolic processes in the body and is necessary at some levels for human health. Like everything else, it needs to be in balance. Too high or too low causes issues.


            So no, I am not saying we should be ingesting it.

            1. Aumua

              Fun fact: I have experimented in the past with drinking H2O2, ostensibly to raise oxygen levels in the blood. Results: tastes horrible, difficult to stomach. Did not kill me apparently, but I’m not sure that it helped me in any way either.

        2. SKM

          Krystyn, thanks so much for all this information/ideas. “They have found people with polymorphism in Glutathione Perioxidase 3 have higher rates of thrombosis”: this suggests there is work out there somewhere on polymorphisms affecting response to infestion with Sars-cov II – do you have any links re this? It seems really important to try and find out what (beyond known risk factors – metabolic syndrome etc, low vit D, poor innate immune response etc) – and I mean genetics mainly – might be the reason some apparently fit relatively young people have very poor outcomes and why the opposite occurs sometime viz fairly old, frail people having a very mild response.
          dr seheult is addressing oxidative stress on his coronavirus Medcram updates this week – if you had time I`d love your take on this and on the zinc ionophore story…..

          1. Krystyn Podgajski

            might be the reason some apparently fit relatively young people have very poor outcomes and why the opposite occurs sometime viz fairly old, frail people having a very mild response.

            Yes! Diet, environment, and genetics. This work has been moving slowly in Nutirgenomics but sadly funding there is hard to get because, well, there is no drug development there to be seen. Only diet changes.

            It is all very complicated, but simple as well. So many genes, but there are a few like GPX3 and CBS that depend on (selenium, riboflavin) and (B6), maybe some Vitamin D genes like CYP2R1. But then you have all the zinc transporters and Nitric Oxide Synthase…I could go on and on.

            Better, I feel they should just be looking at levels of oxidative stress. High H2O2, maybe IV Vitamin C will help? Low H2O2, maybe something else…

            @John K, I cannot recommend anything, sorry.

        3. Oregoncharles

          One of the features of Covid-19 is the extreme range in impact, from asymptomatic to sudden death. And odd symptoms, not usually associated with a respiratory illness.

          All of that suggests that patients’ genetic quirks and susceptibilities are a big factor, probably more than most diseases. So your approach from that point of view makes a lot of sense. Thanks for keeping us in the loop – not that I can follow all of it.

      2. Albert Donnay

        Please look at the carbon monoxide also released by HO-1 induced heme catabolism in equimolar concentrations with biliverdin and iron. The latter go to bilirubin and ferritin that all COVID-19 studies find elevated, so we can infer that CO is elevated as well. So where is this CO coming from, going to and what effects is it having?

        Every abnormal sign, symptom and complication of COVID-19 is in the literature on CO poisoning, although in this case the source is endogenous not exogenous.

        Want to learn more?

        Here is warning I posted April 9 that COVID-19 patients are dying of CO poisoning that pulse oximetry can’t distinguish and that both oxygen therapies and ventilators are making worse

        If you need more, here is 4500 word preprint on the role of CO in COVID-19 with 63 refs

    2. xkeyscored

      Since there is no distress from the hypoxia we can say that the lungs are functioning fine

      I’m not sure that’s necessarily true. CO2 appears to be expelled more or less OK, which may be why patients aren’t distressed. And pathology often shows gunk in the alveoli and so on.

      Also, do patients have low haemoglobin, or low blood oxygen saturation, having enough haemoglobin but it not getting oxygenated? The ‘Happy Hypoxia’ article says “But when a blood sample was taken, her blood was very dark and had oxygen levels equivalent to those seen in people acclimatised to high altitudes,” and wouldn’t dark red blood indicate plenty of haemoglobin, but unoxygenated?

      Anyone know about haemoglobin levels in COVID offhand?

      1. Krystyn Podgajski

        From my understanding, the gunk is not seen in these happy hypoxic patients(?)

        Dark blood (note that the blood was not dark red, just dark) could be from and increase billiverdin from the breakdown of heme.

        I will say you opened up another way why zinc might be important. The biliverdin created from the breakdown of heme is metabolized by another zinc(!) dependent enzyme called Biliverdin reductase which turns it into bilirubin.

        So low zinc would mean high biliverdin and low bilirubin.

        Biliverdin is green, blood is red, that makes brown. So this makes me think, is the blood oxygen low at this point or are the pulse oximeters reading things wrong because the color of the blood changes. Pulse Oximeters do not measure oxygen, they measure the color of the blood. HA! Yes, I just looked it up! Jaundice will cause pulse oximeters to fail! Now that is yellow blood, what about brown blood?

        And yes, they have been finding low hemoglobin in patients.

          1. Krystyn Podgajski

            This is in Wuhan, where they found it 50% lower in hospitalized patients.


            With the exception of the study of Liu et al. which only included children with mild COVID-19 infection, the most frequent abnormalities were lymphopenia (35–75% of cases), increased values of CRP (75–93% of cases), LDH (27–92% of cases), ESR (up to 85% of cases) and D-dimer (36–43% of cases), as well as low concentrations of serum albumin (50–98% of cases) and hemoglobin (41–50%). Many laboratory abnormalities were instead predictive of adverse outcome, as summarized in Table 2.

            There are some more but I had that one bookmarked.

              1. xkeyscored

                It does look like they found it lower in 50 patients (51% of 99 patients), and probably not that much lower, as the average is only just below the normal range, in this study which is one of the two Lippi and Plebani (de Gruyter) got their data from. (I can’t get beyond the abstract for the other paper, I think it’s only available in Chinese, and there’s no mention of haemoglobin there.)

                Epidemiological and clinical characteristics of 99 cases of
                2019 novel coronavirus pneumonia in Wuhan, China:
                a descriptive study [table p510]

        1. Phacops

          I keep on hearing people discuss zinc. While I am more familiar with murine coronaviruses than SARS, in that former group cell-cell fusion for viral entry is mediated by zinc metalloproteases. But then a paper I have yet to get to seems to indicate cell surface serine protease function is needed for in-vivo infection v the endosomal zinc metalloproteases.

          Your thoughts?

          1. Krystyn Podgajski

            ACE2 is a zinc metalloproteases and SARS2 uses Transmembrane protease serine 2 (TMPRSS2) with ACE2 to enter the cell. (The spike protein of SARS-CoV-2 is primed by TMPRSS2.) So there is your serine protease.

            If you are interested, check out the role of FURIN once SARS2 gets into the cell. Might be a role for calcium channel blockers(?) since FURIN depends on intracellular calcium.

        2. xkeyscored

          From my understanding, the gunk is not seen in these happy hypoxic patients(?)

          Nothing I see that suggests hypoxic patients don’t get the gunk.

        3. Oregoncharles

          Should “billiverdin” be “bilirubin”? Otherwise I’ve never heard of it.
          (I don’t fuss over typos unless they interfere with comprehension – we want to understand you.)

      2. Kevin C. Smith

        SARS-CoV-2 can also directly affect the brain and it has been suggested that it may in particular affect cells responsible for detecting hypoxia, further blunting the patient’s awareness of impending disaster.

    3. Carla

      Krystyn, are you familiar with Dr. Roger Seheult and his MedCram video series on Covid-19? He addresses some aspects of the so-called happy hypoxia that you have analyzed.

    4. TroyIA

      Italian scientist says she discovered main mechanism behind COVID-19

      COVID-19 damages the hemoglobin, impairing the ability of red blood cells to transport oxygen throughout the body, compromising the lungs and resulting in Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS), Italian pharmacology scholar Annalisa Chiusolo explained to The Jerusalem Post.

      If her thesis is correct, it would resolve many outstanding questions about the novel coronavirus, such as the greater vulnerability of men – specifically male diabetics – to become seriously ill from the virus, as well as the lower rate at which pregnant women and children contract COVID-19.

      . . .

      She told the Post that SARS-CoV-2, the formal name for the novel coronavirus, needs porphyrins for its survival – and probably for its replication – so it attacks hemoglobin, the protein that carries oxygen in the blood, which translates to less oxygen available for the body. The consequence of less oxygen is the accumulation of carbon dioxide.

      1. xkeyscored

        How does it get at the haemoglobin?
        And if it is somehow getting at it, how would that make damaged haemoglobin the main mechanism of COVID damage, given that haemoglobin levels in severe cases are almost normal?
        And how would it get the haemoglobin components it wants into the cells where it’s replicating?

        1. Krystyn Podgajski

          Yeah, I do not think that is right at all. They see some destruction of hemoglobin and automatically think the virus is attacking it?

          By the way, I found another study that showed when hemoglobin was lower patients were worse off. I do not think hemoglobim is the main vector, but just another subset of ill patients.

          Despite the heterogeneity observed among the available studies, the results of this meta-analysis show that hemoglobin values are essentially reduced in COVID-19 patients with severe disease, compared to those with milder forms, thus confirming previous evidence garnered from patients with other types of pneumonia.9 Some clinical considerations can hence be made. First, initial assessment and longitudinal monitoring of hemoglobin values seems advisable in patients with the SARS-CoV-2 infection, whereby a progressive decrease in the hemoglobin concentration may reflect a worse clinical progression. Subsequently, studies shall be urgently planned to assess whether transfusion support (e.g., with administration of blood or packed red blood cells) may be helpful in this clinical setting to prevent evolution into severe disease and death.

        2. SKM

          yes, I`ve been really puzzled re the haemoglobin idea, the way it`s presented as if the virus directly interfers with haemoglobin. How on earth does it do that? Also I`ve read virologists saying virus is not usually circulating in the blood…… the whole story, at least as discussed here and there makes no sense as presented…

      2. ewmayer

        This speculative hypothesis appears based on whimsy rather than actual patient data – article first mentions that it’s been “published in major Italian newspapers” as if that meant anything. One has to read far down to get to an obvious substantive objection:

        BUT DOCTOR Amiram Goldblum, head of the Molecular Modeling and Drug Design Institute for Drug Research and the Fraunhofer Project Center for Drug Discovery and Delivery at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, said that among the nearly 8,500 papers filed on the novel coronavirus in the last three months not one mentions porphyrin or protoporphyrin.

        “As far as I am aware of the reduction of oxygen pressure in severe cases of the SARS-CoV-2 attack, it is due to blocking lung cells in a somewhat similar manner as emphysema – transforming the cells to be more rigid, fibrous entities,” he told the Post after reviewing Chiusolo’s study.

        He said that the first FDA approved drug, Remdesivir by Gilead Pharmaceutical, is indicated only for those cases in which oxygen pressure was reduced to a more dangerous level.

        “If the virus ‘eats up’ the porphyrin of hemoglobin, the first effect should be anemia, which affects oxygen intake but also affects substantial weakness and is easily measured,” Goldblum said. “I have not heard of any problems with lower hemoglobin in COVID-19 patients.”

        I mean, it’s pretty simple – you say the virus destroys hemoglobin, so take a few blood samples from patients and controls and measure the damn hemoglobin levels, then get back to us. Sheesh.

        1. xkeyscored

          I think the story sprang from someone stirring up coronavirus proteins and haemoglobin in a test tube, no reference to clinical anything, no proposed mechanism for how those proteins might get at the haemoglobin in a patient.

          Yes, “The results showed that some viral structural and nonstructural proteins could bind to the porphyrin,” from COVID-19:Attacks the 1-Beta Chain of Hemoglobin and Captures the Porphyrin to Inhibit Human Heme Metabolism which Dean linked to above. Dodgy to say the least.

          1. xkeyscored

            It doesn’t even look like a test tube was involved! “In this study, conserved domain analysis, homology modeling, and molecular docking were used to compare the biological roles of specific proteins of the novel coronavirus.”

            The first two certainly sound like theoretical stuff or computer simulations, and molecular docking, rather than something involving molecules, turns out to be “a kind of bioinformatic modelling which involves the interaction of two or more molecules to give the stable adduct. Depending upon binding properties of ligand and target, it predicts the three-dimensional structure of any complex.

            No actual molecules, no test tubes, no patients, etc. – I’m inclined to rank this along with the snake stuff.

    5. ewmayer

      There may be a more mundane explanation – euphoria is a not-uncommon symptom of hypoxia:

      One of the subjects that is frequently emphasized in the materials that are published by the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) Aeromedical Education Division is hypoxia, which is more commonly referred to as “oxygen starvation.” The FAA points out that hypoxia is insidious in its onset. It sneaks up on you, and you lose the ability to sense that something is going wrong. Altitude-chamber tests have shown that as oxygen deprivation increases, some victims experience a sense of increasing well-being, even euphoria, while they’re losing the ability to function in a thoughtful, coordinated manner.

  4. Colonel Smithers

    Thank you, Jerri.

    Further to Covid-19, some related anecdotes from Buckinghamshire: Last Thursday, a young mother took her three children to the reception at High Wycombe town hall and said that as she was not working and had run out of money, she could no longer feed them. It’s not the first instance in Buckinghamshire. Within days of lock down beginning, there were similar in Wycombe and in nearby Chesham. In other cases, children have been returned by or evacuated from carers who are struggling.

    Some children are only being fed at schools. Unless they are the children of key workers, they can’t go to school and are not fed. Fortunately, some pupils, aware of the circumstances of their classmates, and their parents have raised the alarm. Some food banks, including the one at my parish church, have mobilised to assist. In order to maintain social distancing, the church hall and halls of nearby schools, two affiliated to the church, are open and able to assist. In addition to food, clothes, toys and books are provided.

    Needless to say the UK MSM prefers to fawn over and lionise Johnson, including the Boris Broadcasting Corporation’s highlighting of failings overseas as a diversion from Johnson’s, so these local tragedies go unreported and Johnson remains on course to win the next general election.

    The silence from Starmer and his new look “opposition” (sic) front bench is deafening.

    1. xkeyscored

      ‘Austerity’ and ‘a hostile environment’ have been mantras for a while.

    2. Redlife2017

      Starmer is concentrating on masks and “how are we going to open” and seems incapable of looking at what is going on now. He is not at all impressive in his role. He seems overwhelmed with thinking about things in anything other than linear way.

      As Spock would note: “He’s intellgent, but not experienced. His pattern indicates two dimentional thinking.”

      1. larry

        Redlife, what a quote. Excellent. Thanks.

        Col., on Starmer you have just written what I have begun to think. I am so disappointed. Thank you for the reinforcement, even though I wish this wasn’t so.Tell me it ain’t so.

        1. Colonel Smithers

          Thank you, Larry.

          What a pity, eh? So many open goals being avoided.

          His shadow chancellor, Anneliese Dodds, is no better. Last Thursday, she avoided a clear opportunity to nail the Tories, Osborne in particular, on austerity and cuts public services. The Tories would not have been so charitable.

          When working on a regulatory policy at the blue eagle from 2014 – 2016, I came across Dodds in Brussels. She was an MEP. She struck me as a typical “folletted” New Labour apparatchik. So far, she has not disappointed.

        2. shtove

          No surprise with Starmer – he strikes me as a Trudeau for the Brits. Expect party membership purge, possibly with use of data from the recent online leadership voting.

          1. Clive

            It’s all too horrid to watch. My local Constituency Labour Party has had to abandon its regular members’ meeting, what with COVID-19 and everything. As one fellow-sufferer said to me the other day, thank goodness for Coronavirus. Otherwise we’d have to drag ourselves to it and try to refrain from sticking pins in our arms to distract ourselves from the worse pain of having to sit through it all.

            Astonishingly, Sir Kier is just the sort of figure which the centrists (somewhat naively, you might feel) were saying is just what was needed here in the London commuter-belt heartlands because he was so much more “electable” than any of the other names in the frame.

            Electability, my arse. I wouldn’t even mind triangulation, if that’s what Starmer brought. But even though he sets up the triangulation, he then manages to blunt the pointy bits. So you just end up with a misshapen blob.

            1. xkeyscored

              Doesn’t electability mean the military haven’t muttered dark warnings about his acceptability as PM?

  5. KLG

    Benjamin Studebaker is always good, but where is this (previous) commitment to full employment he speaks of?

    1. JuneZ

      And what of his statement that “For most of the last century, the social pact in America has been pretty simple. If you’re willing to work, you get healthcare and housing.”

      This promise never included many low-income workers.

      1. JTMcPhee

        Suggested edit: “if you’re willing and able to work, you get access to health care and housing, if you can afford them on what you get paid.”

      2. tongorad

        My $4000 deductible says hello. Middle-income workers too.
        Is the Studebaker article satire/parody? So many bad takes.

      3. Jeff W

        I took Ben’s statement to mean that that was the espoused social pact, not the actual situation, with housing and health care. He certainly knows that wasn’t the case in actuality.

      4. eg

        When I was still in high school I took a trip south of the border to Illinois and Wisconsin. One of my friends looked around and remarked, “welcome to America — fend for yourself or die.”

        And we thought he was joking …

          1. Marcus

            I agree but would appreciate at least a little info — species, location, photo credit.

            1. DJG

              Marcus: Click on the “via” link that J-L S always provides. She used Sam the Birder today, who always provides excellent photos.

              It’s a glossy ibis, with much to say.

              1. xkeyscored

                I wanted to know where, but the ‘Via’ link doesn’t seem to say where this particular one was, just where they hang out generally, “breeding in scattered sites in warm regions of Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia, and the Atlantic and Caribbean regions of the Americas.” Or is it because I don’t understand Twitter?

        1. DJG

          J-L S: That ibis is exactly how I feel today: Kind-a showy, kind-a crabby. Thanks and thanks to Sam the Birder, always excellent.

        2. Rhondda

          Wow, Jerri-Lynn, this image of the ibis really struck me. It just so happens that earlier today I was reading about the ancient Egyptian Bennu bird, a sacred heron, the Ba of Ra. The Bennu bird and the Phoenix mythos are intertwined. Herons, of course, are typically grey-ish. However Herodotus describes the bennu/phoenix as resembling an eagle with plumage of red and gold.

  6. jackiebass

    I wouldn’t vote for a Clinton Obama ticket even if it were possible. I likely won’t vote for Biden or Trump. I refuse to vote for a worse choice because I don’t like the other choice. The only way I would vote for Biden is if Bernie was his running mate. Since he said he would choose a woman it won’t happen. If he chose Warren the chance I would vote for the ticket become 60/40. Biden can’t get my vote unless he has a true progressive on the ticket with him.

    1. jackiebass

      I would like to add that I didn’t vote for Obama either time. I watched him in the senate and that turned me off to Obama. I wouldn’t dare tell my two daughters that I didn’t vote for Hillary .The last presidential candidate I voted for that won was bill Clinton. I now regret that vote. The DNC has turned the Democratic Party into another version of the Republican Party. At my age I probably won’t see the day where the Democratic Party will get my vote. They are as corrupted by money as the republicans. In his first two years Obama had the chance to be a real democrat and push an agenda for the people. Remember the shallow words hope and change. Instead he spent that time pushing a republican insurance based version for health care. It was good because it did provide insurance for some that didn’t have insurance. It was bad because it accelerated the time where our health care became nothing but another huge money making business at the cost of quality care for people. The bad far outweighs the good. Where I live in upstate NY health care is controlled by 2 corporations. There isn’t a single independent provider in the area. All are employees of one of the corporations.

      1. Bill Carson

        I hear you. I got into a debate yesterday after I asserted that Nancy Pelosi has been completely ineffective in the fight for coronavirus aid. It won’t do any good for the Dems to flip the senate if Schumer becomes the majority leader: he and Pelosi are equally useless.

        1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

          One does not attain and retain the post of Speaker of the United States House of Representatives unless one is extraordinarily useful, and the 30,000 so-called “people” she represents will have been very pleased with her tenure. The system she supports and defends has enabled 75 of those so-called “people” just in the state of California to sequester personal fortunes exceeding one thousand million dollars apiece, and there are 480 similar individuals around the country. One of them has personally sequestered one-hundred fifty-five thousand million dollars by operating a company that relies on public taxpayer subsidies so its workers do not starve and pays no tax to the country it operates in. This country has 320 million inhabitants, infant mortality rates worse than Bulgaria’s, a declining standard of living, crumbling infrastructure, bankrupt public institutions, and declining life expectancy. Apparently this country also has an exceedingly gullible populace highly susceptible to the continuous propaganda which is required to keep a galactically unfair and unjust system like this operating without interruption.

    2. WhoaMolly

      I’m still predicting a Clinton-Harris ticket.

      If this ticket ever happens, I think Trump will win by 5%.

      1. ambrit

        I just had a heretical idea. Since many here work from the theory that both legacy American political parties are wholly owned subsidiaries of the ‘Oligarchic National Economy’ (ONE) then a Mixed Ticket is appropriate. (The One True Unity Candidacy.)
        I propose Clinton/Bush; Hillary Clinton and Jeb Bush. We could also go full Late Empire and establish a Co-Presidency. Each gets to appoint a half of the Cabinet. The Reforms of diocletian can be used as a handy guide.
        See, for the shape of things to come:

        1. flora

          Campaign themes: ‘Building a Bridge to the 20th Century.’ ‘Don’t Stop Thinking About Yesterday.’ /s

    3. ewmayer

      Maybe they meant a Hillary and *Michelle* Obama ticket – I bet a lot of the wokerati would support that. LOL, or even better, Michelle and Chelsea Clinton: youth, color, wokeness, girl power – what’s not to like?

    4. chuck roast

      We need a 360 change in voting. We should be able to vote “for” someone or “against” someone. Now if we were faced with a Herself/OBee ticket, I would be a the front of the voting line at 5AM to cast my “nay” vote. They could conceivably wind up with a negative vote tally. Or as the Russians would say, Nyet!

  7. zagonostra

    >Anti-Vaccination Activists Are Growing Force at Virus Protests

    Y-Tube has taken down David Icke’s channel. This joins Alex Jones and other channels not so highly subscribed. These two channels had millions upon millions of views. Both Icke and Jones had a very specific take on virus that, to say the least, does no conform to standard versions provided by “reputable” media outlets.

    I am unable to get behind the NYT paywall, but I do know that when my sister declares to me what a great philanthropist Bill Gates is and the wonderful work he is doing on helping develop a vaccine that it contrast starkly with the views that some friends who watched those two deleted Y-Tube hold on Bill Gates and what he is doing.

    We’re reaching a point where we live in two diverse information worlds. I don’t think that those who have only been exposed to “authoritative” sources and those who only view alternate online sources will come to an agreement on the efficacy or intent of a coronavirus vaccine.

    1. L

      Given that they do not agree on the effect or intent of any other vaccines there is little reason to suspect this will be different.

      IMHO we would have better agreement for this if we also had better management of this crisis but it is clear that Trump’s typical idiocy combined with an almost instinctive will to divide will only stoke that division. By doing nothing to carry small businesses through but dumping billions to the large ones the Feds are presenting a divided response that is clearly designed to help the rich and starve the poor. Rather than do it right he then turns and whips up the firestorm against states to deflect from himself. In the immediate term this may help his election but in the long term it will only enhance the divide in the information streams, and prolong the crisis itself.

      1. JTMcPhee

        Not even any agreement possible on which way the toilet paper ought to come off the roll. And How many bar fights get started over Ford vs Chevy vs Dodge vs Rice Burners?

        And how about the forever issue of the default position of the toilet seat, up or down?

        And Bill Gates is evil, far as I am concerned. Power without responsibility.

        1. Oregoncharles

          The toilet seat is easy: look before you sit. The assumptious wind up with a wet rear.

        2. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

          BillG needs to pick sides. Which side is he on? America’s? Or the WHO/CCP/Globalist side? He also needs to answer a few questions. Why did he ignore the advice of his counselors and experts that the best way to affect global health outcomes is by working to improve sanitation, provide clean drinking water, and improve food security (and not the techno-fix of for-profit vaccines)? Why is he a major funder of Mastercard’s “Better Than Cash Alliance”, which seeks to get every one of Nigeria’s 220 million people hooked on credit card debt?

  8. The Rev Kev

    “Why an American mother rushed her daughters back to Shanghai during the Covid-19 outbreak”

    Man, after reading this story, I found it to be a damning indictment of how we in the west have handled this pandemic. All those procedures by the Chinese were just not invented on the fly. There was proper planning and perhaps testing to make sure that the right procedures were in place ready to go when the next pandemic hit. Too often in the west I have seen stuff which showed that they were just making up procedures as they went along which means that they did not heed the lessons of the SARS outbreak. I think that this woman made the right call.

    1. xkeyscored

      Too right. China may not be big on the first amendment and all that, but they sure know how to get their act together when they need to. I’ve noticed in the past how when there’s a huge earthquake they’ve got thousands of soldiers and so on there in no time, repairing bridges and roads and rescuing survivors and wotnot. And when New Orleans gets whacked by a hurricane, survivors are still sitting on their rooves surrounded by corpses, crocodiles and chemicals a week later.

      1. The Rev Kev

        Something else that I noticed too referring to your comment. When the Chinese Army goes in to help out during a natural disaster, I see that they are equipped with a fleuro-vest and caps. When you see the US military deployed to deal with a natural disaster all too often you see them in helmets, body armour and carrying their rifles.

        And I remember how based on a rumour when they were helping out with flooding in New Orleans, that they stopped all rescue operations because they thought that someone had maybe, possibly taken a pot shot at a rescue chopper. And in Haiti, during the first few critical days that instead of dropping food and relief packets, they instead spent those days building up their logistics and security operations before venturing out.

      2. L

        I disagree with the sunny view. My read from people I know inside China is that they “got their act together” on controlling information, and in some other ways well after the crisis was out. But in managing the thing as a whole, not so much.

        As a case in point in the PRC they provided zero support for small businesses or individuals, zero. While SOEs were allowed to forego rents and other things they made no attempt to provide unemployment insurance or to bail out smaller groups. Yes we failed to provide the kind of support needed but in the PRC they just let the public live off savings, if they have it, and that is it. In the earthquake their deployment was good but not out of line with our mobilizing the national guard.

        The key talent that the PRC has is in managing information. In many ways their response is bad and their numbers somewhat questionable, but they are very good at hiding what is happening.

        1. PlutoniumKun

          Yes, I agree with this. I’m in contact with quite a few people in China and the view there is much less sunny. The response was chaotic and random and fell on the side frequently of very heavy handed. The racism against Africans in particular seems quite deliberate and has only been very belatedly addressed when they faced outrage from African countries.

          I know quite a few Chinese who returned to China in February/early March. Those who were wealthy (like the writer of that article) have done fine, but a lot of fairly poor students were also encouraged to come back and found themselves in a grim quarantine, for which they were then sometimes charged an exorbitant fee. The very loosely structured Chinese governmental system means that when its good, its very good (as local government organisations have huge manpower resources and some very good operatives), but when its bad its terrible, due to corruption, nepotism, and a strong concern with ‘face’ over actual results on the ground. The inept response to the Sichuan Earthquake in 2008 being an example.

          1. xkeyscored

            (Sichuan Earthquake in 2008)

            Well we do read the same thing differently. It alleges corruption and misspending, and that parents protesting the ‘tofu schools’ were being ignored at best, neither of which surprise me. It says many of the schools built before the earthquake were shoddy, which isn’t part of a response, and that officials have been reluctant to admit it, which is. And post-quake mental health issues don’t get dealt with well. So sure, the Chinese government isn’t perfect. I was comparing it to another, not to utopia.

            But in terms of their concrete, physical response the article seemed quite admiring to me. They increased and improved their emergency response capabilities, and rebuilt schools and villages, albeit not always with consultation as to how. They got “health and water facilities … operating at levels higher than before. “The entire section titled “RACE TO REBUILD” seems positively glowing to me, and that was what I was getting at. When I mentioned ‘first amendment and all that’, it’s a kind of shorthand for all the criticisms the article does make, which I go along with on the whole..

            1. MLTPB

              The view from Sichuan may be different.

              There is a choice – they can move to another country. People migrate for various reasons. Maybe for one particular important one, or based on the totality of all aspects.

              That is one way to evaluate Beijing’s performance, or any country’s, for that matter.

              1. Monty

                Didn’t you once say something like, “We will know China has won when US students want to go to university over there.”?

                Do you think that will ever happen?

            2. PlutoniumKun

              I picked that article as a fairly pro-China piece, you can search yourself for any number of others which are far less complementary, especially if you search with Ai Weiwei as a search term. Thousands of children died in the earthquake and the authorities response was largely to pretend it didn’t happen.

              A very belated investment in the region only occurred several years later after a long period of intense campaigning within China, and internal and external social media exposure which, it should be said, is impossible today due to the complete control the CCP has over internal social media.

          2. jrkrideau

            a few Chinese who returned to China in February/early March. Those who were wealthy (like the writer of that article)

            Duh, the writer is an American expat from Virginia working in Shanghai.

      3. Braden

        This is the image of response that China would like you to see. Is it accurate?

        1. The Rev Kev

          I think it likely. They call it the People’s Army remember with lots of pride.

          1. bob

            ask the 1 million minorities in concentration camps about the ability of the People’s Army to get it’s act together.

            1. The Rev Kev

              I’d ask the 2.3 million people in prison in the US about how the justice system is working for them first .

              1. MLTPB

                When they have 1 million, you say, there are 2.3 million in your country, And when they have 10 million, do you still say, look at your 2.3 million? How do you pick the numbers?

                If Bob can’t, can others, say Turkey, make the same comment?

                (On April 11, 2020, DW reported riot and fire at a Siberian prison. Does it lead to telling 1 million Uyghurs to ask about those rioting prisoners?)

                Does a Uyghur ask, what do Australians, Cambodians, Russians have anything to do with him or her?

                1. L

                  And to follow on this if we are comparing the Uyighurs to US citizens in jail then we would also have to add in the remainder of the PRC prison population (estimates from Wikipedia around 1.6mil) then we add in those under “Administrative Detention”, etc.

                  Then of course we have to ask why the different groups are in jail, and how fair that is and how they are treated etc.

                  Point being that the relative numbers are, I would argue, a dubious way of assessing moral right.

                  1. xkeyscored

                    They are a valid way of assessing moral righteousness, as when TV talking heads carry on about China’s prison population while conveniently forgetting to mention the US has a higher incarceration rate. Not saying you or Bob or MLTPB think that way, but the Western MSM sure do, if think is the right word for what goes on behind their eyes.

                    1. LifelongLib

                      Cops and docs get stuck with the end results of all the problems the rest of society creates and can’t or won’t solve. As an ex-cop said, law enforcement is swatting mosquitos. The swamp is poverty, bad schools, no jobs. Until we take care of the swamp the mosquitos won’t go away.

      4. Colonel Smithers

        Thank you.

        I visit Louisiana every couple of years and am puzzled how disorganised the place. As I know the francophone / Creole Caribbean and their brethren in the Indian Ocean, it seems odd that these “shit holes”, and Cuba, have their act together, but the US doesn’t. As we say in Creole, “Mo pas comprend qui pe arrive. Mo ti croire l’Amerique enn pays avance.”

      1. Katniss Everdeen

        So weird to read your ” kinda wish” today, the 50th anniversary of the Kent State–four dead in O-hi-o–shootings.

        I’d graduate high school a month later, with a class full of boys petrified that their birth date would get “picked” and they’d wind up in Vietnam despite desperately “wishing” to stay as far away as humanly possible.

        To this day, hearing that anyone “wishes” to go to or be in Vietnam makes me shiver. Old habits……

        1. Screwball

          I grew up and lived about 2 1/2 hours from Kent State. My number came out 8 the last year of the draft. I was one year too young to go. Your description of petrified boys is spot on.

          I ran with a bunch of older boys who were not as fortunate as I. Some didn’t come back the same way a they left, and of course, some didn’t come back at all. I have friends who went and still suffer today.

          Watching my buddies go off to war, then the Kent State thing… I was a young confused scared kid. I didn’t understand what was going on. I sure do now. Horrible times.

        2. carl

          I’ve been there twice in the last two years. It’s an amazingly vibrant country, but with quite a bit of pride at having repeatedly repelled foreign invaders.

          1. Katniss Everdeen

            “……an amazingly vibrant country…”

            No doubt.

            The fact that today’s Vietnam has become not only a “multinational” sweatshop for cheap consumer “must-haves” but an exotic travel destination makes what happened in the spring of 1970 even more surreal and bizarre.

            Osama bin Laden could only have hoped to engender the “terror” wrought in every american community by a disembodied voice on the radio from washington, d.c. assigning a number to birthday after birthday. No communist “dominoe” or middle eastern suicide bomber (or virus) since then has been able to so profoundly and viscerally scare the shit out of so many americans as did our very own government during that time.

            Or at least that’s the way I remember it.

            1. John Zelnicker

              @Katniss Everdeen
              May 4, 2020 at 12:10 pm

              Your memory is accurate.

              I was number 27 in the first draft lottery in 1969. It was only because of the declining need for more soldiers at the beginning of 1971, along with a bit of dancing with the local draft board to renounce my student deferment, that I was able to avoid the draft.

            2. John Zelnicker

              @Katniss Everdeen
              May 4, 2020 at 12:10 pm

              Your memory is accurate.

              My birth date was number 27 in the first draft lottery in 1969. It was devastating. No way I was going into the Army.

              I was already deeply involved in the anti-war and anti-draft movements helping to lead petition drives and demonstrations on campus. When I got a low number, I realized I might have to flee to Canada, which I was quite prepared to do.

              It was only because of the declining need for more soldiers at the beginning of 1971, along with a bit of dancing with the local draft board to renounce my student deferment, that I was able to avoid the draft.

            3. Tom Stone

              I was one of the young men who listened to that disembodied voice from DC, I wasn’t terrified, I was pissed off.
              I still am.
              Two neighbors died because we were once again lied into a war that made a lot of money for the right people.

              1. Oregoncharles

                I was a little older, already had a 1-Y. (The draft wasn’t really as obligatory as it pretended; there’s a whole literature on how to avoid it, including jokes I won’t repeat here.)
                Let’s remember that at the time, there were bombs going off, riots in the streets, and a quiet mutiny in Vietnam itself. Kent State was the beginning of the end for a lot of things, including Nixon’s presidency. Yes, he was re-elected, but impeached not too long after.

        3. John Zelnicker

          @Katniss Everdeen
          May 4, 2020 at 9:17 am

          Thank you for bringing up the 50th anniversary of the Kent State shootings.

          I am a bit disappointed that Jerri-Lynn didn’t include any Links about the anniversary. Like so much else, it’s been pushed into the background due to the coronavirus crisis sucking up all the news oxygen.

          I was in the newsroom of the student newspaper at the University of Pennsylvania when the news came over the UPI teletype with a ten-bell urgent breaking news warning (a very rare occurrence).

          Rushing over to the Penn basketball facility where an anti-war rally going on, I told the speaker and when she announced the news, there was a stunned silence. American soldiers (National Guard) had actually fired on a group of peacefully protesting students who posed no actual threat to them, killing and wounding some of them.

          No one had any frame of reference for processing such a horrible event. Once the news sunk in, the hollering, screaming, and the tears came in a huge wave of anger and sadness.

          Never forget.

          1. Jerri-Lynn Scofield Post author

            Sorry I failed to include any Links about the anniversary. You are right: the coronavirus crisis has sucked up all the news oxygen. I remember the day well, as my cousin Donna was a freshman at Kent State at the time. She returned home to NJ and never went back.

        4. TXMama

          “Four dead in O-Hi-O” song by Crosby, Stills, Nash, & Young. Neil Young said many years later that making songs to protest injustice did not help anything. He was saddened and frustrated as many of us are at attempts to change things for the better.

          1. Worm Wood

            “Making songs to protest injustice did not help anything.”

            Believing that electing a new President will help is also a delusion.

            It is time for a much more creative use of our anger and sadness at our present state of accelerating collapse.

            Otherwise, this time, the powers that be are going to take us all down.

            1. GettingTheBannedBack

              Yep, and to top it off, when you see the aspersions cast on the new saviour, the green movement, it makes you want to weep. But what to do? I have no answer.

            2. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

              I for one believe the songs were an immense help. They made it emotional to be against the war. They made it cool. They made it meaningful. They made you feel you were part of something much bigger. You couldn’t go a few hours listening to the radio without hearing an anti-war message from some of the leading celebrities of the day. And recall: we stopped the war.

              (We were told about “The Domino Theory”. About how the reds would surge down on the hapless people in the south and slaughter them. Fast forward to today: the reds (Vietnamese) are a vibrant U.S. trading partner rapidly improving the nation’s standard of living. Maybe some other things they told us also weren’t true?)

              1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

                For Kent State et alia, by Adrian Mitchell, 1964:

                I was run over by the truth one day.
                Ever since the accident I’ve walked this way
                So stick my legs in plaster
                Tell me lies about Vietnam.

                Heard the alarm clock screaming with pain,
                Couldn’t find myself so I went back to sleep again
                So fill my ears with silver
                Stick my legs in plaster
                Tell me lies about Vietnam.

                Every time I shut my eyes all I see is flames.
                Made a marble phone book and I carved all the names
                So coat my eyes with butter
                Fill my ears with silver
                Stick my legs in plaster
                Tell me lies about Vietnam.

                I smell something burning, hope it’s just my brains.
                They’re only dropping peppermints and daisy-chains
                So stuff my nose with garlic
                Coat my eyes with butter
                Fill my ears with silver
                Stick my legs in plaster
                Tell me lies about Vietnam.

                Where were you at the time of the crime?
                Down by the Cenotaph drinking slime
                So chain my tongue with whisky
                Stuff my nose with garlic
                Coat my eyes with butter
                Fill my ears with silver
                Stick my legs in plaster
                Tell me lies about Vietnam.

                You put your bombers in, you put your conscience out,
                You take the human being and you twist it all about
                So scrub my skin with women
                Chain my tongue with whisky
                Stuff my nose with garlic
                Coat my eyes with butter
                Fill my ears with silver
                Stick my legs in plaster
                Tell me lies about Vietnam.

        5. xkeyscored

          Here in Cambodia my students sometimes ask why US citizens did nothing to stop the illegal war on their country. When I tell them about Jackson and Kent and show a video, they realise there is some hope and humanity in the USA.

          (Doesn’t go for everyone here. Some are avid fans of the fatherland.)

    1. Bugs Bunny

      That article turned out to be a disappointment. Promo for Carnegie Mellon.

  9. PlutoniumKun

    As lockdowns lift, new hazards lurk in the water Nature

    The article focuses on water within buildings, but I wonder too if there will be a major issue with pollution of ground and surface waters from the vast number of septic tanks and mini-sewage systems associated with non-urban hotels, holiday camps, and a vast array of commercial buildings not connected to mains sewerage. These systems are almost always designed for continual throughputs of waste. When left unused the bacteria that are essential to their operation within the systems die. I wouldn’t be surprised if there will be a big spike in water pollution incidents as hotels, etc., re-open after a long shut down. Ground disposal systems can be particularly pernicious as you can’t always detect the pathogen contamination until its too late.

    1. divadab

      They can do what I do – put a packet of septic tank enzymes down with the first flush. Within a day the smell from the sewer vent is no longer acrid but mostly unnoticeable. Septic tank enzymes available at any hardware/general store in rural areas.

    2. Wukchumni

      A great point about systems going unused in month/s for the first time ever~

      We had our septic tank say no more about 6 months ago, and the one-man team who pumped it out was fun to talk to in regards to his line of work.

      One thing he told me, was California had gotten pretty draconian on ‘older’ vehicles such as his which cost $900k 5 years ago, and still worked like a Charmin, er charm. He was in his late 40’s and related it was a good business and he’d done fine, but did he really want to have to get rid of his rig and spend $1.25 million on a new one, or call it a day in doing his doody for humanity?

      1. fresno dan

        May 4, 2020 at 8:30 am

        The choices seem kind of confusing – so #1 is doing his doody…and #2 is not doing his doody? – seems off…

      2. QuarterBack

        Septic Systems are less a system than an environment where the living enzymes can go about doing what they do naturally, which is eating solid waste and breaking it down into more eco friendly substances. A good friend of mine in the irrigation business once told me that a well functioning septic system should never need to be drained.

        Septic system failures can be categorized into failures of the enzyme’s environment, problems with the living enzymes, or failure of one leading to the other. The environment will fail if the input or output flows are clogged with substances that the enzymes do not eat, or that block water flow into and out of the environment from clogged or broken pipes. The living enzymes can die from toxic levels of chemicals harmful to the enzymes especially bleaches and antibacterial chemicals and flushed drugs, or by lack of water flow. Once the enzymes die, sewage is no longer digested and it ends up clogging the enzyme’s environment that brings in the (sewage) nutrients and water needed to support enzyme life. Clogging can also happen if the environment is too small to handle the flow of inbound sewage. To make matters worse, as the waste is deprived of water, it hardens and the plumbing must be dug up and replaced. Draining a septic tank can help with when the environment is overloaded, or loaded with waste that is indigestible by the enzymes, but as I said, a healthy balanced septic system should not typically need to be drained. If the enzymes die from toxins or lack of water flow, they can be easily replaced, but remember that when they die, any inbound waste going into the septic will not be processed and will eventually destroy the environment needed for the replacement enzymes to live.

        1. davidgmillsatty

          Aquatic worms called tubifex worms are the new thing. They can digest lots of things that bacteria can not which means far less need for pumping.

  10. allan

    Yet another Culture of Life™ warrior lets the mask slip:

    The ‘Right Not to Work’ [Inside Higher Ed]

    Faculty members concerned about health and safety want a say in the conditions under which they’ll be working if they are expected to teach in person next fall.

    … Purdue University president Mitch Daniels recently wrote a memo to his campus saying that a college campus is arguably one of the most difficult places to reopen. But in other respects, he said, “a place like Purdue may be in better position to resume its mission.” For one, at least 80 percent of the population is under about 35, and “all data to date tell us that the COVID-19 virus, while it transmits rapidly in this age group, poses close to zero lethal threat to them.”

    Daniels’s letter mentioned a number of ways Purdue might seek to protect its population over 35 and those especially vulnerable to the virus due to underlying medical issues. But his comments were still criticized as hurtful and oblivious to the needs of the overwhelming majority of faculty members over 35. …

    Choose life*, but even more importantly, choose to collect tuition, room and board to finance
    educational innovation, international engagement and the transition to an all-administrative university.

    * [offer not valid during senior faculty herd culling operations]

    1. Bsoder

      Appropriate data to date for Indiana and surrounding states (state by state doesn’t vary much), infection rates w/ complications:
      18 – 24 years 8%
      25 – 39 years 20%

      So 28% is hardly zero, except at Prude./s

      1. Rod

        to highlight Marcyincny in something too oft left out:

        In the days between the shootings at Kent State and Jackson State, police in Augusta, Georgia, killed six unarmed black men, shot in the back, during riots triggered by the death of a teen-ager who had been tortured while in police custody. At a march, on May 19th, protesters decorated coffins with signs: 2 Killed in Jackson, 4 Killed in Kent, 6 Killed in Augusta.

    1. shinola

      Thanks, marcy. Good article about that horrible month of May, 1970. The last paragraph provides this timeless quote from Martin Luther King, Jr. (who was murdered in ’68):

      “If we do not act, we shall surely be dragged down the long, dark, and shameful corridors of time reserved for those who possess power without compassion, might without morality, and strength without sight.”

  11. timbers

    Clinton Obama ticket

    Why isn’t GWB included in the ticket? Major slip up perhaps. Didn’t Reagan float the idea of co-presidency with Ford being Defense Secretary or something? Gotta be a way to get all 3 of them especially since Obama was GWB’s 3rd and 4th terms. Nothing like continuity to remind us that despite Covid everything is going to be right and normal again…eventually.

    1. The Rev Kev

      I don’t think that the author of that article has thought it all the way through. So let us suppose that Trump blows himself up so bad that a Hillary-Obama combination wins office in November. After Inauguration Day, Hillary celebrates so hard at a party that night that she falls off her perch due to her bad health. The next in line of succession is Obama but he cannot do it as he has already served two terms previously. Remember the line of succession follows the order of Vice President, Speaker of the House of Representatives, President pro tempore of the Senate, etc.? What that means is that America had better get ready then for the 47th President of the United States – Madame President Nancy Pelosi.

      1. John k

        That’s Biden’s first choice, but I think she declined.
        On the plus side it would drive Hillary back into the woods.

        1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

          He needs to pick Pocahontas, they’ll lose, and we never ever have to hear about either of them ever again.

          (Very curious to see people hoping for truth from the man who had to suspend his previous two presidential runs because he lied. Maybe they just want really fluent and convincing liars, like his former boss).

  12. The Rev Kev

    “April’s dumbest and most dangerous coronavirus declarations”

    Ooh, ooh, I have one. In Oz, Scott Morrison aka Scotty from Marketing demanded that aged care facilities lift their restrictions on visitors to their premises and threatened that the government would step in if they did not open up claiming it was not fair to isolate old people. On the same day, it was announced that data from the EU stated that 50% of Coronavirus deaths happened in aged care homes. Just to put the boot in, a major outbreak has occurred in an aged care home in Sydney and the latest number of infections at the home is 63, with 37 residents and 26 staff infected by the virus and the 15th person from there has just died today.

    Second prize goes to the Australian Health Minister who attacked the Premier of Victoria and accused him of taking a “sledgehammer” to the state’s education sector by not opening up all the schools there. A few hours later Victoria announced that a school had to be closed when a child turned up with Coronavirus.

    1. a different chris

      I dunno if it’s “dumb”. Please have some feelings for the Scotty’s of the world, they have this conundrum you see.

      1) Old people are “useless eaters” and then some as their care levels are horribly expensive. A big economic drain. So if they would only just die then….
      2)… but oops, the Ruling Class generally sees plenty of wrinkles and age spots when they look in the mirror. If that stupid virus could just somehow be paid to directly avoid the upper classess…rather than all this extensive social distancing! How are they supposed to survive without maids? The mansion isn’t going to clean itself, and Ms. Morrison certainly doesn’t seem interested.
      3).. but the lower class oldsters are the main base of support for Scotty and the like! Kill them off and where are the votes gonna come from?

      Don’t you see what a horrible dilemma this is for the Masters Of The Universe?

  13. rob

    so the supreme court is going to “call in” arguments.
    The supreme court nixed the idea of having it’s “face time” broadcast ; like congress does on c-span…years ago.
    My bet is that they knew if people ever actually saw the idiocy displayed by the panel,people would wonder why “they” have the last word. People would “know” it is a kangaroo court. They would hear the pathetic analogies used , and say” what are these people idiots?”
    Then maybe people would fear for the republic. They would know that these people are completely devoid of honor. They would realize there is no backstop for the corporate takeover of the world, with our nation front and center. They would realize the fascists have won.
    Right now… the best thing in the world… for the world…. would be for the covid to get inside those walls, and kill all those old bastards. Their “lifetime” appointments need to be shortened. How would that be for ” term limits”? With the same sickness running thru congress and the white house… OH if only to dream…..

    1. Brian (another one they call)

      We once had courts of Law and of Equity. The court of law is long since gone. Only thing important is equity that can be stolen from the people, by the people for the government.

    1. Jeremy Grimm

      RE: “How well can algorithms recognize your masked face?” — The link didn’t resolve the question. But how well can humans recognize a masked face? Are the algorithms more accurate than humans at this task?

  14. The Rev Kev

    “Ex-Green Beret led failed attempt to oust Venezuela’s Maduro”

    When I read this I thought that they were talking about that latest raid the other day. ‘Venezuelan authorities say they have foiled a raid by “foreign mercenaries” trying to reach the Latin American nation by sea to launch terrorist attacks and assassinate government officials. ‘ One source stated that one of those captured is with the US Drug Enforcement Administration if you can believe that. The operation was launched from Colombia which I can believe and sounds like that it was a total stuff-up.

    1. Bugs Bunny

      There’s a wacky screenplay in all this bumbling – something of an update on “Bananas”, one of the early, funny movies by a cancelled filmmaker whose name shall not be spoken.

  15. The Rev Kev

    “Trump’s order to keep meat plants open mistakes meat shortage for a food shortage”

    Probably someone told Trump that there was going to be no more meat patties for his Big Macs and that he would have to settle for a veggie burger instead.

    1. a different chris

      “Trump’s order to (x) mistakes (y) for (z)”

      A template for the whole administration, as I really do think they are bone-stupid, not evil.

  16. zagonostra

    >Lessons learned using the term “Social Democracy”

    I’ve concluded from personal experience that using the label “social democracy” within U.S. political environment is a losing proposition. It needlessly invokes images and false understanding as to its referent. The result of a discussion with a religious friend a couple of months ago on why I was supporting Bernie and he could not resulted in receiving a book in the mail entitled ”Can a Catholic be a Socialist – the Answer is no-here’s why]”

    On having finished the book, I think that available energy is better spent on focusing on the criticism of Capitalism, where you can invoke Leo XIII’s Rerum Novarum and other church documents to support positions such as M4A or Min wage increases. To rebut fears such as your personal property is going to be taken away from you under socialism or to combat the historical record or geopolitical machinations that are going on in Venezuela take up too much time and probably would not penetrate the protective coating that devote Catholics wear.

    So the next “Our Revolution” – if the world doesn’t fall apart first – should re-tool and stay away from pregnant/protean words such as socialism and use some bland or neutral term. A vocabulary/language needs to be developed that that can withstand the massive attack that any threat to the establishment will surely receive.

    1. Massinissa

      I think Huey Long was smart to avoid the word ‘socialism’, even though his Share Our Wealth plan was basically ‘corn pone socialism’. Which American socialist writer was it that said that Americans like socialist policies as long as they aren’t called socialism?

      1. Massinissa

        I want to mention that I say this as a socialist. Though, on the other hand, there are definitely reasons I identify as a ‘socialist’ rather than a… ‘social democrat’. That just sounds absolutely awful, partly because it reminds me of the big D Democrats. I mean, if I say I’m a ‘social democrat’, people will either accuse me of being a Socialist or a Liberal anyway, and I would MUCH PREFER to be a ‘Socialist’ than a ‘Liberal’ at this point.

        Maybe ‘Socialism’ isn’t the best word, but ‘Social Democrat’ does not strike me as being any better, at least not over here.

        1. zagonostra

          “if I say I’m a ‘social democrat’, people will either accuse me of being a Socialist or a Liberal anyway..”

          That they are able to use the terms in an accusatory fashion is my point exactly. It seems to me that the only way you are going to be able to have a dialogue with someone with the aim of getting them to support someone like Bernie is to avoid words that have weaponized.

    2. Left in Wisconsin

      use some bland or neutral term. A vocabulary/language needs to be developed that that can withstand the massive attack that any threat to the establishment will surely receive.

      You are giving too much power to language and too little to politics. Depression was term originated by the PTB to replace panic, then recession was invented to replace the horrifying idea of depression. Retarded had negative connotations so we moved to handicapped, developmentally disabled, now differently abled. I am not defended any particular terms or historical usage, just noting how the effort to “bland-ify” is always overcome by the underlying conditions and politics.

      Honestly, social democracy is about as bland a term as one could come up with. I prefer socialism precisely because it indicates a break with present arrangements. Any politics that threatens existing power relations will be massively attacked regardless of the words we use to promote it. I say, better to stand for something than leave your (potential) supporters in doubt about what you stand for. Just look at how the term progressive is now used to signify everything and anything (i.e. Neera Tanden calls herself a progressive, as does HRC.)

      1. zagonostra

        When you dialogue with people that live in a world that conflates capitalism with freedom and socialism with the abolition of private property, have scant knowledge of history, and you don’t have the luxury of time to explain yourself, you are unnecessarily burdened using loaded words.

        If you read some of Plato’s dialogues, like the Gorgias (on rhetoric) , you see language and politics are the inextricably connected.

  17. Watt4Bob

    Now we learn that St. Cloud Minnesota has become a hot-spot.

    I’d remind you that St. Cloud is the largest city in Minnesota’s 6th congressional district, home to ex-congress critter, and conservative republican Michele Bachmann, and hot-bed of anti-government, pro-gun, anti-vaccination, and I’m sure home to many of the angry folks showing up in St. Paul to protest the shut-down, and show off their firearms collections.

    According to the NYT, and CBS Minnesota, St. Cloud has a daily growth rate of 51%, with cases doubling every 1.7 days.

    Mayor Dave Kleis says ‘Don’t Fixate On The Numbers’

    The NYT chart highlights St. Cloud as the most likely place to become home to a new outbreak. (it’s the only place in their chart high-lighted in red)

    Just sayin’.

    1. Geo

      “Don’t Fixate On The Numbers”

      OK. How about we fixate on the lives those numbers represent? Or is that too “pinko” for these people?

      1. ambrit

        A salutary lesson would be to look at the reception of and subsequent treatment of King Vidor’s 1934 film, “Our Daily Bread.”
        Fixating on the numbers is designed to distract the public gaze from the people those numbers represent. Thus, the actual patients are objectified. Objects supposedly lack agency and thus can be manipulated without conscience, even unto death.
        Vidor’s film has been vilified over the years as an example of “pinko” propaganda.

    2. km

      St. Cloud also has a burgeoning immigrant population, many of them Somali.

      The large and growing Somali population has led to the tensions with the anti-government, pro-gun types (a lot of Somali are themselves anti-vaxxers, thanks to half-understood internet conspiracy theories). This in turn has resulted in St. Cloud being described as “the worst place in America to be Somali.”

      FWIW, social distancing is not super high in the litany of traditional Somali virtues. I suspect without any hard evidence that many of the infected are from the Somali community.

      1. Watt4Bob

        There are also a couple of meat processing plants in the area.

        From the linked article;

        Most of St. Cloud is in Stearns County, which recently had outbreaks at meat processing plants in Cold Spring and Melrose.

        Melrose is home to a Jennie-O turkey facility, owned by Hormel Foods.

        Cold Spring is home to a chicken processing plant owned by Pilgrim’s Pride.

      2. marym

        I have no hard evidence either, nor do I know anything about Minnesota, but this only took a few minutes to find:
        “The Department of Health looked at data by mothers’ country of origin and found mothers born in Eastern Europe, Western Europe, Canada and Somalia were less likely to vaccinate their kids than U.S.-born moms. But mothers born in African countries other than Somalia, and those born in Central America, South America, the Caribbean and Mexico were more likely to vaccinate their kids than U.S.-born moms.”

        From the article:
        MMR vaccination rate 2017-2018
        St. Cloud 88.39%
        St. Cloud Math & Science Academy 87.50%
        “St. Cloud, Minn.April 22, 2020

        Ramadan, the holy month of prayer, fasting and celebration for Muslims worldwide, begins on Thursday. But mosques are closed and large gatherings are discouraged under Minnesota’s pandemic stay-at-home order.

        The pandemic has been hard on St. Cloud’s Somali-owned restaurants and stores. Many have had to close or lay off workers.”
        “Through the Islamic Center of St. Cloud, the task force has a phone bank to call Somali elders and families, said Jama Alimad, a Somali community leader and elder. They also send out texts. This is to inform, but also to combat misinformation.

        “The accessbility of the right information is crucial,” Islamic Center of St. Cloud president and task force member Mohayadin Mohamed said earlier this month.raThe Islamic Center suspended all services and prayers on March 17.”

        If people of Somali origin are working in meat-packing plants, contracting the disease would arguably not be attributable to Somali culture.

        1. Watt4Bob

          Spot on, the reason these plants are hot-beds of infection has more to do with the American ‘culture’ of disregard for workers health and welfare, which is obvious when you look at the miserable working conditions inside meat processing plants.

  18. Geo

    Last night I witnessed a small confrontation at a convenience store over the clerk requesting customers wear masks. He’s a kind older Indian man (wears a turban so I assume either Sikh or Hindu) and when he requested a woman who entered needed a mask she started yelling about “Mosque, what do you mean mosque!?” Just as she was going on her racist tirade two dudes came in without masks.

    The poor clerk just gave up and let them shop. We’re in this pandemic for a long time and it’s people like him that will pay the worst price.

    1. Trent

      Stress brings out the worst in people. Bad economy=stress, news hysterically reporting about a virus, with graphs everyday showing infected and dead= stress. The longer this goes on i think fear is the general goal.

    2. marym

      During a pandemic going to into stores without a mask is a threat of violence just as much as the guns and nazi and confederate paraphernalia of the anti-government right. Glorification of violence was always the message . “Freedom” to hurt everyone else.

      1. Trent

        So not wearing a mask is the equivalent of sending people to concentration camps and owning slaves? Wow, i’m sorry you feel that way. I wasn’t defending her behavior i was just explaining what may have caused it. I did read a comment higher up the thread where i believe Rev Kev pointed out that Chinese people were persecuting Africans in their country. That’s just people being people. No race or gender holds a monopoly on it.

        1. marym

          I appreciated your comment and didn’t intend my reply to be a criticism of you. I apologize for that not being clear.

          I don’t know the particulars of the people you saw, but in other recent protests the people demanding the unobstructed “freedom” to hurt other people were flourishing the insignia of “sending people to concentration camps and owning slaves.“

          1. Massinissa

            “were flourishing the insignia of“sending people to concentration camps and owning slaves.“”

            Read as: People were showing up with SS thunderbolt insignia and Confederate jack flags.

  19. Geo

    Years ago I was fortunate enough to do a film shoot in Greece and spent some time on Gyaros, a little island that had been a quarantine spot for the Roman Empire. When the Greeks told us it’s history I was deeply impacted by the thought of what life on this barren island would have been like for the quarantined. Being there and imagining it has stuck with me.

    Here’s a photo I have of it for any who are curious:

  20. Geo

    “Instead of bidding against each other, New York and six other states are pooling their purchasing power to buy ventilators, protective gear, and coronavirus tests”

    Makes one think that some sort of government body that oversees the needs of all our states in a unified way might be a sensible idea?

    (Sorry, I have nothing of value or substance to add today, just impotent snark to help cope with my duldrums).

    1. Trent

      Now if they’d only do this to get workers a better shake from global corporations who would like to locate in said states.

      1. Geo

        But how would they get Amazon to bring their all-important satellite headquarters to leech off the communities there? The Bezos must be appeased or He’ll smite them.

  21. IMOR

    “China installing surveillance cameras at people’s front doors and sometimes in their homes” Thank God it’s not like that here in the United States! AmIrite?
    For a long time I thought most of the criticism of (white mostly) consumerism and consumer fetishism, and even of tv and advertising, was a diversion from discussing and attacking root causes, but it’s how the ruling class and the military ended up levelling personal freedom and eliminating dissent. Ah well.

    1. a different chris

      Haha no in America we install them ourselves, thank you very much! That’s Freedum!

      And again I have to mention the idiocy of all the Freedum lovers being against wearing masks. You know, the things that keep the Big State from figuring out who you are….

  22. Trent

    I think we need to revisit this quote

    “In a famous exchange between a high official at the court of George W. Bush and journalist Ron Susskind, the official – later acknowledged to have been Karl Rove – takes the journalist to task for working in “the reality-based community.” He defined that as believing “that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality.” Rove then asserted that this was no longer the way in which the world worked.

    “We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you’re studying that reality – judiciously, as you will – we’ll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that’s how things will sort out. We’re history’s actors . . . and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.” (Ron Suskind, NYTimes Magazine, Oct. 17, 2004).”

  23. Stanley Dundee

    CJ Hopkins continues to track the evolution of the master narratives of the senescent American imperium. His latest, Virus of Mass Destruction, notes that we’ve had a major script change with the advent of the novel coronavirus. But I particularly wish to draw attention to his refinement and restatement of his long-running ideas on on the role of forcing people to believe what they know is false:

    It is the goal of every official narrative to generate this type of herd mentality, [in which “the consequences of not believing it are even more frightening than the cognitive dissonance of believing a narrative they know is a fiction”] not in order to deceive or dupe the public, but, rather, to confuse and terrorize them to the point where they revert to their primal instincts, and are being driven purely by existential fear, and facts and truth no longer matter. Once an official narrative reaches this point, it is unassailable by facts and reason. It no longer needs facts to justify it. It justifies itself with its own existence. Reason cannot penetrate it. Arguing with its adherents is pointless. They know it is irrational. They simply do not care.

  24. a different chris

    Well here’s a bit of culture shock and rather ties into the “Silicone Valley Sucks” thread:

    Note he’s a “long-time” engineer… how long? Since 2014. Five years. You know, if it was a real firm 5 years is barely enough time to even get a handle on the “gozintos/gozoutofs” of a manufacturing floor, but for shoveling Silly Valley crap that makes you an elder.

    This is not a criticism of the individual in particular, in fact his actions speak very well of him. But he’s not turning his back on 25 years of experience and the associated ladder climbing.

  25. allan

    Did the Paycheck Protection Program Hit the Target? [Granja, et al., @NBER]

    Abstract: This paper takes an early look at the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), a large and novel small business support program that was part of the initial policy response to the COVID-19 pandemic. We use new data on the distribution of PPP loans and high-frequency micro-level employment data to consider two dimensions of program targeting. First, we do not find evidence that funds flowed to areas more adversely affected by the economic effects of the pandemic, as measured by declines in hours worked or business shutdowns. If anything, funds flowed to areas less hard hit. Second, we find significant heterogeneity across banks in terms of disbursing PPP funds, which does not only reflect differences in underlying loan demand. The top-4 banks alone account for 36% of total pre-policy small business loans, but disbursed less than 3% of all PPP loans. Areas that were significantly more exposed to low-PPP banks received much lower loan allocations. …

    No problemo. Surely this will be fixed in CARES Act 7 or whatever number we’re up to.

    1. Monty

      I don’t get what all the fuss about covid-19 apps is at all. You already opted in to total surveillance by having a cellphone in the first place. Nobody needs to download any app.

      Big Government and Sillycon Valley have real time location data showing them everywhere you have been, and can use this data set to easily find which other phone users you have been near to.

      It’s how they decide which wedding to bomb in the middle east. They just need to edit the query in their all seeing “Terrorist finder algorithm”, and use it to discover who infected people were near. Send those folks a text message letting them know that they might be at risk, and should consider getting a test or self isolating.

      1. Duke of Prunes

        I think it’s about creating a cover story to use this information more publicly. Saves them the bother of parallel reconstruction.

      2. xkeyscored

        My thoughts exactly. I marvel when I hear USians talking about protecting their privacy and stuff, as if they’ve any left worth talking about. The NSA doesn’t even pretend not to spy on the rest of the world, that’s 95% of us. And I find it hard to believe them when they promise they no longer collect or store data on US citizens – after being caught at it yet again. That’s before we get to Facebook etc, who keep big files on non-users, never mind users, and who the NSA/NSO/Chinese and whoever probably use as sources for their files and programs. Or the rest of Five Eyes, under no Constitutional obligation not to spy on USians or pass the info on.
        I wonder how much good it does to go off grid or use stuff like Tails and Tor. Either might trigger extra alarms and make them pay even more attention if they realise that’s what you’re doing, I’d have thought.

      3. Yves Smith

        No, sorry, I have a dumphone and it is mainly discharged and is then mostly at home when charged. It’s not hard to opt out.

        1. xkeyscored

          You could be right, but I can’t help wondering if the NSA has noted your comment with a guffaw.

  26. DJG

    The article about Vo Euganeo as a case study in quarantine. The wrapup in English mirrors much of what the Italian media have been reporting. The wrapup in English is tighter about the math, although Italian sources were reporting similar numbers all along through the regional and national departments of health.

    Vo Euganeo had the first death in Italy, a 77-year-old man. The source of his infection still isn’t known. There are some Chinese immigrants in Vo Euganeo, which is in the area of the Veneto with much textile and garment work. Yet they hadn’t been out of town, and they didn’t test positive for the virus. And there were only some twelve Chinese-Italians, anyway.

    The town is widely reported in Italy as a case study. There was also a remarkable quarantine diary written by a local architect about the psychological side of being in a town of 3,500 people on the strictest of lockdowns. The result that surprised the Italians is the large amount of asymptomatic cases. This is still a matter of debate, obvious–just how much does this virus spread? Yet the good result is that strict quarantine does work. (And, contrariwise, the current slapdash U.S. response will only drag the epidemic here into next fall and winter, very likely unabated.)

    If you read Italian, you can find other articles about Vo Euganeo. I was following the town by means of articles in La Stampa and La Repubblica.

  27. Massinissa

    You know, a Clinton/Obama ticket IS a possibility… if by ‘Obama’ you mean ‘Michelle’.

    To quote a commenter from here (I don’t remember who), “America Needs Two Mommies!”

    What a miserable ticket that would be. I hope Michelle is smarter than to get wrapped up in such an albatross of a campaign.

    1. ambrit

      I have received a bit of pushback against the idea of Michelle Obama’s political ambitions being that high.
      I have recently been considering a new “Unity Candidacy.” Hillary Clinton and Jeb Bush. Unite both wings of what Gore Vidal called the “Property Party.”
      If the “Two Mommies” campaign is favoured by the focus groups, try perhaps Hillary Clinton and Sarah Palin.
      We are transitioning into a late Stage Empire. The Covid-19 is our Plague of Justinian. Bring on the Reforms of Diocletian!

  28. Tom Stone

    Oprah for VP, Then President.
    And for a bonus Dr Oz as Surgeon General.
    If Biden actually wants to win with a “Woman of Color” as his VP, Oprah would be his best choice.
    I wish I was joking.

    1. Massinissa

      I would dread Oprah as Vp or President less than I would dread Stacey Abrams or, worse, Kamala Harris.

      1. xkeyscored

        A Government of National Unity in these difficult times, reaching out across the political divide, uniting left and right, black and white, rich and poor, blah blah. Could get Biden elected, and we’d have a good idea who was running the place.

  29. youme

    I have this clipping on my computer, and don’t remember from whence it came, (possibly from NC), and not being a biologist I cannot evaluate how sound this argument is, but if true, wouldn’t this be an effective way to approach this whole epidemic? Hoping that some of the more medically trained/educated readers would have a response.

    “80% of the cruise ship population do not develop asymptomatic infections. 20% test positive, of these 60% are asymptomatic and 1-2% develop serious illness and only from there does it matter how old or debilitated the individual is. The obvious scientific explanation is that SARS-COV-2 attacks only one variety (polymorphic) of ACE-II receptor, which has a 10% distribution. Thus 80 out of 100 people lack the necessary susceptibility factor and are totally immune. 18 of 100 have a heterozygous form – one of two alleles is susceptible. These people develop positive tests and perhaps mild symptoms. Only 2% of the population is heterozygous, they have two copies of the susceptibility gene. These are the only people who are at risk and their disease is modified by age, health status, and general immuncompetence. There’s been a great deal of research on the ACE receptors because of their role in high blood pressure. All we need to do is look for the ACE-II receptor variant with a 10% distribution in the US population. After that, a simple genetic test will let anyone know if they can contract COVID-19 disease. “

    1. Cuibono

      it fits the data. If we were all susceptible we would see log growth till herd immunity, somethng we do not seem to see.

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