COVID-19 19Mar20

Not sure how to title this morning’s brief, as it will cover conspiracy theories, odd and interesting, and start new sections on sources of information and local businesses that can use some help.

First, let’s start with some facts. First, it is not racist to call it the Wuhan, China, or Chinese coronavirus/flu/etc. That is absolute bullshit being peddled by bought and paid for whores. No, strike that: that is an insult to hard working professionals who actually give value for the money unlike most media and far too many academics. Yes, echoing Heinlein a bit there. Anyone pushing that tripe needs to be told hard and fast to sod off.

One of the reasons we are where we are is China. China lied, obfuscated, and much more. As a result, they guaranteed the spread to other countries, and it must be noted that if not for the travel ban by President Trump (to the tune of screams, tantrums, shouts of racism, and trips to the fainting couch by the unserious) we would be in far worse shape.

One the largest problems, outside of the spread, to come from the willful and deliberate actions of the Chinese government under Xi, is the fact that we can trust no data out of China. Period. We can, and should, note it and where it checks out in comparison to data gathered in open countries and cultures, make use of it. Net result is that we truly won’t have good, solid, useful data for another six months or so. We are gathering data fast about the virus itself, as scientists are starting to literally study it atom by atom; but, that takes a while to process and we are just starting to truly learn it’s vectors, load data, and other essential information for the Game Of Loads And Vectors. We are learning, and learning fast, but it also means we are making decisions on very incomplete information.

So, what do you do in that case? Do you make decisions based on best-case or worst-case scenarios? Go for a middle approach? Truly smart people base off the worst, hope for the best, and take what comes. Does this mean we may overreact to the virus? Yes. In fact, I will go so far as to say it’s guaranteed to some extent. Does this mean the end of the Republic and all it stands for? Only if we let it, either by letting bad bills go through that enact bad laws (which go unchallenged) or by reacting with words and actions on par with Antifa.

The latter is why I’ve lost patience with the chest thumpers. I’ve backed away from some people I formerly respected, and am fast losing respect for far too many others. I’m torn between amusement and disgust at a number of them for the conspiracy theories being put forth. Are the Democrats/Deep State/Republicans/Etc taking advantage of this crisis for their own purposes? Yes. Next question. Is the media deliberately stoking a crisis for fun and profit? Yes. Next question.

Where I have a problem with those taking advantage of the situation boils down to: is what they are doing putting an agenda/politics/their own gain ahead of the Republic and the life and health of its Citizens? If so, I am making notes as that group does not care one iota for anyone but themselves, and would be just as happy if I or my loved ones die so long as it advances them and their cause. Such people are a cancer in the civic body, and need to be excised as fast as possible. In some cases, I advocate immediately (Champaign, IL mayor and council) via recall or other valid means. In others, vote them out and if you can’t vote directly, you can support any opponents they may have running against them that fit your perspectives. Make notes, make informed decisions, then vote. Oh, and I fully agree with Glenn Reynolds at Instapundit: “Concede nothing to the left. They bring nothing to the table.” I would add they bring nothing, but will steal anything and everything not nailed down to the table.

What we don’t need is panic, and there is far too much of it. Yes, the media has encouraged this even before it left China. ‘If it bleeds, it leads’ is an almost ancient mantra within the media. Mysterious disease, mass deaths, huge infection rate, lies and omissions by the Chinese government: it’s like crack for an addict when it comes to the mass media. In an era of declining viewership/readership and revenues, hell yes they jumped in and spun it up. The fact that the arrival of COVID-19/China Virus offered up partisan political advantages (tanking the economy before the election, multiple means to attack the bad orange man, advantages for the DNC primaries, etc.) was just icing on the cake. It is why you should not listen/read/watch them, and take nothing they say as anything but a lie. Lot’s of lies to choose from, may list them all another day. Well, wait, someone else has already done so.

Now, far too many are panicking in the other direction. The it’s not legal/this is stupid/it’s just the flu crowd are indeed panicking and are as bad in their own way as the media. That’s how you get things like this focusing on a novel written a decade or three ago and other coincidences; or, how you get this speculating on the Diamond Princess as if it weren’t a total fiasco. Just as our CDC royally fucked up the initial response here in the U.S. (see previous posts for links and discussion), the Japanese bureaucracy kicked off the epidemiologist there because he warned them they were doing all the wrong things. He was right. What should have been a textbook laboratory experiment and exercise in how to do it right turned into a blinding beacon of how to do it wrong. Which also means numbers from the Diamond Princess can’t be taken at face value. They are skewed because of the fuck-up. Doesn’t mean we can’t learn from them, but they can’t be used as a straight data set. That said, there is a somewhat more reasoned and interesting take on the data (as well as S. Korean data) here. Thanks to Sarah Hoyt at Instapundit for the link.

Well, I’m out of time and nowhere near getting everything in or done I wanted to do this morning. So, let me say the following:

STOP THE FUCKING PANIC! ALL OF YOU!! YES, YOU!!!

Don’t be sheep for the media or anyone else. If it is from the mainstream media, discount. If it is from someone saying this is just the flu, or not as bad as the flu, discount. Strike those two ends off and you have a far better chance of getting good and accurate data and/or analysis. Yes, you may lose an outlier, but it balances. Go for the data and do your own analysis is (always) the best option.

And, yes, I do recommend preparing for further lockdown. The legalities of such I will deal with another day, and yes I do think some politicians are making full use of the crisis and will need to be dealt with. The reality is that regardless of legality/liberty/etc. it is quite likely to happen. Food, drink, OTC’s, etc. get in stock and keep in stock. If it doesn’t happen, you’ve got them and can still use them.

Hope to have more to say later, including on this interesting study from ammo.com. Hoping to get a chance to review it fully later today.

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As always:

If you suspect you have COVID-19 or have been exposed: call your state health department and work with them so that you can be dealt with in a way that minimizes the chance of spreading the virus to those helping you and to the general public. Can’t get them? Call your local department or see if your health service has online/telemedicine screening set up; or see if one who has will let you use it even if you are not in their network. Do not go out in public, and don’t go to an ER or other facility without calling ahead. Be smart.

Use the interactive graphic to keep track of things. Is COVID19 an epidemic? Yes. Is it a Pandemic? Yes. Is there need for panic? NOHELL NO. Should you be paying attention? Yes. Hell yes. Should you be preparing? Yes, better late than never. And good luck finding/getting stuff.

Want to avoid catching COVID19 here in the U.S.? Wash your flippin hands frequently, wash them thoroughly every time you use the bathroom, then follow with hand sanitizer after every washing, use hand sanitizer liberally when you can’t wash on a regular basis. Cover your mouth and nose when you sneeze, and stay away from those who don’t. Also, keep your bugger hooks out of/away from your eyes, nose, and mouth. Do NOT shake hands with anyone, and avoid touching or being touched by strangers. Or your strange friends.

Avoid travel if at all possible. Right now, there is no way I’m going to a trade show, major convention, etc. If you can telecommute, get that set up now. If you have to travel, use lots of hand sanitizer and go to full flu protocols. If you have to use a public restroom, take full precautions including using paper towels and such to handle faucets, doors,etc.  Believe it or not, this was highly recommended before now, and major grocery chains have long told employees to use those practices to avoid getting or spreading colds, flu, etc.  Not many actually do it, but…  

If you own a business, make sure your employees know the above protocols. Have someone who refuses to wash their hands or otherwise follow the protocols? Talk to them, write them up, and if necessary fire them as they now pose a risk of infection to you and your customers. Extreme? Yes, but while the CDC and others are working to slow it down, odds are it is already here and could hit hard and fast. Prepare for the worst and hope for the best.

I want to reiterate that there is no need for panic, but there is a strong need to be alert, be informed, and be prepared.

Other COVID19/COVID-19/2019-nCoV articles:

COVID-19 18Mar20

COVID-19 17Mar20

COVID-19 16Mar20

COVID-19 15Mar20

COVID-19 14Mar20

COVID-19 13Mar20 The Game Of Loads And Vectors Gets Real For America

COVID-19 12Mar20

COVID-19 11Mar20

COVID-19 10Mar20

COVID-19 9Mar20 The Game Of Loads And Vectors

COVID-19 8Mar20

Heh

COVID-19 7Mar20 How To Do It Right If You Have/Have Been Exposed To COVID-19

COVID-19 6Mar20

COVID-19 5Mar20

COVID-19 4Mar20

COVID-19 3Mar20

COVID-19 What Am I Doing?

COVID-19 2Mar20

COVID-19 1Mar20

COVID-19 29Feb20

Quick Additional Thoughts On The Bureaucracy

Panic Is Off And Running

COVID-19 28Feb20 Reasons To Hope, Reasons To Fear

COVID-19 A Plea To The Politicians (And Media)

COVID-19 27Feb20

COVID-19 Breaking A Chain?

COVID-19 26Feb20

COVID19 The Situation In China Gets Even Weirder

COVID19 25Feb20

COVID19 24Feb20 Raising DEFCON

COVID19 23Feb20

COVID19 22Feb20

COVID19 21Feb20: Just Look At The Blooms Dear

COVID19 Update 20Feb20

COVID19 Update

Update & Quick Thoughts On Preparedness

Expansion On A Theme

Well Maybe I Was Wrong

Some Quick Thoughts On Coronavirus 2019-nCoV

Why Should You Be Prepared?

Keeping Alert

Coronavirus And Practical Preparedness

COVID-19 12Mar20

The last week has had me really wanting to just bang my head on the desk, the wall, or any other hard surface. Or, to hit the already way-to-slim strategic alcohol reserve. Those seem to be the two best responses to the needless panic and media-fueled hysteria over COVID-19.

Yes, it is serious though as we are getting good data (finally!) we are seeing less impact here than is being seen elsewhere. As noted in previous updates, that is because of better health, better health systems, better public and private sanitation, better air quality, and a few other factors. The key for us remains to keep it from overwhelming the health system which it can and will do unless the rate of spread is slowed. Here, unless you are older (70+) and/or have an underlying health condition(s), the odds are it will be more like a cold or flu. If you are in the demographic mentioned, then you have a far greater chance of serious illness or death. Again, so long as we can keep on top of it, and not let things get out of hand, this should remain the case.

That is why I am glad for the travel ban, and I personally would have expanded it a bit. It is why I am glad to see schools, sports, and others cancelling events or going to virtual attendance and participation. It breaks vector chains, which along with good hygiene to lower personal viral loads, should slow down or effectively stop the spread for now. I also fully expect a partisan reaction to it, given that the opposition also fully and strongly opposed the China travel ban, which has been proven to have been effective.

As for the media/political complex, please go read this and then go read this. The media has worked hard to lose the public trust for quite some time, and they can’t understand why people don’t trust them — even as they openly lie about events for partisan purposes.

For those who still claim the CDC and more government are the be-all and end-all, and just what we need to deal with things like this, go read this from the New York Times. (Hat Tip Instapundit) When you’ve lost the Times… Keep in mind that the CDC, WHO, FDA, etc. are first and foremost political agencies and not medical/health agencies. You don’t build power and budgets by sticking to your tasks after all. Don’t think WHO is mostly political (despite some good people working for it)? Then why was it only yesterday that they declared this a pandemic? (Hint, China).

Speaking of China, this bullshit about calling the Wuhan virus the Wuhan virus, the Wuhan coronavirus, etc. being racist is beyond ridiculous. Telephone call for those pushing that: West Nile, Lyme Disease, and the Spanish Flu would like a word with you… Also, counter-intel types: pay attention to who starts this, as you likely will find Chinese money and influence at work, sometimes in the highest levels of government.

Do me a favor: anyone who wants to help me build up the strategic alcohol and tobacco reserves so I can keep wading through the raging torrents of stupid out there, please feel free to do so.

Again, there is no need to panic. In some ways, it is worse than the flu, and in others (for others) it is not. What is needed is rational thought, rational preparedness and response, and just general rationality. To get the latter (or most any of the rest) turn off the media. Then, try turning on your brain. Read, study, listen, learn.

But, hey, don’t listen to me. I’ve only been a science writer (former journalist) for more than 30 years covering medical/biomedical research during that time; been involved with medical/biomedical research to varying degrees for more than 10 years; and earned my basic Military Emergency Management Systems certification/badge. Obviously, by the standards of the politico/media elite, I have no clue what I’m talking about.

As always:

Use the interactive graphic to keep track of things. Is COVID19 an epidemic? Yes. Is it a Pandemic? Yes. Is there need for panic? NO. Should you be paying attention? Yes. Hell yes. Should you be preparing? Yes, better late than never. And good luck finding/getting stuff.

Want to avoid catching COVID19 here in the U.S.? Wash your flippin hands frequently, wash them thoroughly every time you use the bathroom, then follow with hand sanitizer after every washing, use hand sanitizer liberally when you can’t wash on a regular basis. Cover your mouth and nose when you sneeze, and stay away from those who don’t. Also, keep your bugger hooks out of/away from your eyes, nose, and mouth. Do NOT shake hands with anyone, and avoid touching or being touched by strangers. Or your strange friends.

Avoid travel if at all possible. Right now, there is no way I’m going to a trade show, major convention, etc. If you can telecommute, get that set up now. If you have to travel, use lots of hand sanitizer and go to full flu protocols. If you have to use a public restroom, take full precautions including using paper towels and such to handle faucets, doors,etc.  Believe it or not, this was highly recommended before now, and major grocery chains have long told employees to use those practices to avoid getting or spreading colds, flu, etc.  Not many actually do it, but…  

If you own a business, make sure your employees know the above protocols. Have someone who refuses to wash their hands or otherwise follow the protocols? Talk to them, write them up, and if necessary fire them as they now pose a risk of infection to you and your customers. Extreme? Yes, but while the CDC and others are working to slow it down, odds are it is already here and could hit hard and fast. Prepare for the worst and hope for the best.

I want to reiterate that there is no need for panic, but there is a strong need to be alert, be informed, and be prepared.

Other COVID19/COVID-19/2019-nCoV articles:

COVID-19 11Mar20

COVID-19 10Mar20

COVID-19 9Mar20 The Game Of Loads And Vectors

COVID-19 8Mar20

Heh

COVID-19 7Mar20 How To Do It Right If You Have/Have Been Exposed To COVID-19

COVID-19 6Mar20

COVID-19 5Mar20

COVID-19 4Mar20

COVID-19 3Mar20

COVID-19 What Am I Doing?

COVID-19 2Mar20

COVID-19 1Mar20

COVID-19 29Feb20

Quick Additional Thoughts On The Bureaucracy

Panic Is Off And Running

COVID-19 28Feb20 Reasons To Hope, Reasons To Fear

COVID-19 A Plea To The Politicians (And Media)

COVID-19 27Feb20

COVID-19 Breaking A Chain?

COVID-19 26Feb20

COVID19 The Situation In China Gets Even Weirder

COVID19 25Feb20

COVID19 24Feb20 Raising DEFCON

COVID19 23Feb20

COVID19 22Feb20

COVID19 21Feb20: Just Look At The Blooms Dear

COVID19 Update 20Feb20

COVID19 Update

Update & Quick Thoughts On Preparedness

Expansion On A Theme

Well Maybe I Was Wrong

Some Quick Thoughts On Coronavirus 2019-nCoV

Why Should You Be Prepared?

Keeping Alert

Coronavirus And Practical Preparedness

Panic Is Off And Running

As I noted on MeWe yesterday, the panic is off and running. I stopped by my local Lowe’s yesterday, and was unsurprised on many levels to find out that a small number of people had come in and stripped them of very N95 and R95 mask in stock. I was a bit surprised that they still had respirators left.

Yes, I have a mask or two. But, as I’ve noted before, more masks are the lowest item on my preparations list. For most of us, they don’t make much sense at this time.

If you want to minimize your risk of getting COVID-19, use strong flu protocols. The biggest thing is to wash your hands frequently, follow with sanitizer; and, sanitize your hands on a regular basis between washings. If you use the bathroom, WASH YOUR FLIPPIN HANDS! Good hygiene and strong flu protocols are, for now, the best bet.