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

COVID-19 3Mar20

Yes, it is still spreading. Yes, the President is considering further travel restrictions. No, there is still no reason to panic. Lots of reasons to pay attention and make rational and reasonable preparations, but no need to panic.

First, read this article in the NEJM about our response to the outbreak. A good bit of solid info, from one of the prime leaders in the fight, though one might wish for just a bit more meat on the response part. Then read this post and this post from some people who’s opinion is shaped by their expertise, and keep that in mind when listening to/reading politicians in government and the media (yes, I agree with Instapundit that the vast majority of “journalists”/media are Democratic operatives with bylines/chyrons). Alas, Dr. Carson hits it on the head. Politics and political gain (and personal) are far more important than the health and safety of the Citizens of the Republic, or the Republic itself.

The CDC continues to cover itself in glory. One reason things got so bad so fast in China (and Iran, and similar countries) is that bureaucracies in highly socialist countries are not adaptive. For that matter, bureaucracies anywhere have a track record on adaptability that make the wooly mammoth and the dodo seem like jet racers.

In America, the problem is not going to be the number of deaths. Here’s where the real crunch lies for all. And, here’s a post that makes good points (already pointed out in several previous posts) on why things are likely to be different here in terms of severity, mortality, etc. Never mind cleaner air, differences in smoking rates, etc.

Also, two interesting things to be thinking about. First, has Sen. Chris Murphy carried COVID-19 into the Senate (and all those closed sessions with members of his party)? A bit alarmist, but an interesting question. Sadly, this next has been building for a few weeks now — China has been testing the idea of blaming the U.S. for the virus. PJ Media and Claudia Rosett are on top of it. I will note that if Xi and others think this will fly internally or externally (except with idiots and those paid to promote it), they really have underestimated how much their control has slipped.

More to come, I’m sure.

As always:

Use the interactive graphic to keep track of things. Is COVID19 an epidemic? Yes. Is it a Pandemic? Not according to WHO, but most everyone else is saying yes, it is. Is there need for panic? No. Should you be paying attention? Yes. Hell yes. Should you be preparing? Yes, better late than never.

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 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 2Mar20

Not a lot of time this morning, will see what I can do this afternoon or for tomorrow. Yes, more cases and one more death here. As before, if this is not contained it will be because of the bureaucracy, case in point is this lab at the CDC. Also, the CDC still won’t allow the use of a proven and more efficient test because that system has not been through the full FDA approval process, which can take years. Both the CDC and the FDA have needed serious overhaul for a couple of decades now, mayhaps that will happen now.

If you are a first responder, particularly one on the West Coast but anywhere, go to as high a level of protocols as your department will allow. Why? Here’s why (and one wonders about the Washington State public health organization’s competence).

For the rest of us, the best defense is to wash your hands and go to strict flu protocol.

As always:

Use the interactive graphic to keep track of things. Is COVID19 an epidemic? Yes. Is it a Pandemic? Not according to WHO, but most everyone else is saying yes, it is. Is there need for panic? No. Should you be paying attention? Yes. Hell yes. Should you be preparing? Yes, better late than never.

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 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 1Mar20

We’ve had our first death from COVID-19. We will have more. Will we have anything like the deaths in China, Iran, and elsewhere? Not unless the bureaucracy fucks up by the numbers. There is also the possibility of an outbreak at a facility that cares for the elderly and/or vulnerable patients. Note: possibility, not confirmed.

While I don’t trust any data from China at all, here is some interesting data on deaths by age and deaths by those with pre-existing conditions. Hat tip to Instapundit for some of these links. Also, Business Insider has a good listing of all articles about coronavirus/COVID-19.

Right now, we just don’t have enough good, solid, transparent data. By six weeks from now, we will. Until then, don’t panic, stay alert, and be prepared.

Meantime, some interesting speculations from the Blueberry Town about what is going to happen. I agree with 2, 5, 9, 10, 11, 13, 14, and 15. You may note that some of those echo what I’ve said before. 1 and 16 are indeed possibilities.

In another hat tip to Insty, the Wall Street Journal (subscription required) has a strong editorial up about those playing politics with the virus. Remember, they do want you dead, especially if it helps them keep/regain power.

Keep in mind that the media is not to be trusted to give you real news about what is going on. Don’t even bother to trust, just verify.

For now, I maintain that your first priority should be to be as financially prepared as you can be. Second is to have food, medicines, OTCs, supplements, etc. to ride out 14-30 days of quarantine. Getting masks shouldn’t be where you spend money for now. Or paper suits, exposure suits, moon suits, MOPP gear, etc.

As always:

Use the interactive graphic to keep track of things. Is COVID19 an epidemic? Yes. Is it a Pandemic? Not according to WHO, but most everyone else is saying yes, it is. Is there need for panic? No. Should you be paying attention? Yes. Hell yes. Should you be preparing? Yes, better late than never.

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 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 28Feb20 Reasons To Hope, Reasons To Fear

Yesterday, I wrote that I was fairly happy with what I had heard of the press conference and the steps that have been taken by President Trump. I stand by that, and in fact will double down on it. I think that if we get through this in good shape, that it will be because of the steps taken by him, by Vice President Pence, by Alex Azar, and others in that team. They, along with a robust public hygiene system and fairly decent personal hygiene, are my hope. My fear is the bureaucracy, as it has already botched things in other countries. In this case, my fears are compounded by the incest and corruption in our own bureaucracy.

Since some seem determined to spread fear and panic, let’s start there. In fact, let’s start with the CDC refusing initially to test the positive case in California because it didn’t meet bureaucratic criteria that was already set in stone. This led, in turn, to a press conference by Nancy Messonnier at the CDC which led to a lot of fear and even panic. There was, at the time, also a strong media push to note that she was not part of the White House response.

Well, there might be a reason for that. One of which is that she is Rod Rosenstein’s sister. If you don’t know who he is, shame on you. Look it up and write his name 50 times on the blackboard. When I say the swamp that is our bureaucracy is incestuous, this is what I mean. I also agree very much with Trent Telenko’s take:

In hind sight the gloom and doom CDC newsconference  Tuesday by Doctor Nancy Messonnier, the Director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Disease in the CDC seems to be an attempt to distract the public from the CDC’s role in delaying this identification of community spread in California with the uber-flawed CDC testing program and guidelines.

I would also commend his article as he also notes the CDC is not allowing better testing being used elsewhere because those tests have not been through the full FDA approval. Again, the bureaucracy is our greatest enemy, not coronavirus. Bureaucratium and Administratium are two of the densest materials in the known universe, and if our efforts fail, it will fail because of them.

For all that St. Rod has lit the virtue signal and flounced to the holy fainting couch (his symbol) over Trump (won’t someone note my piety!), he notes that there may be another case almost identical to the refusal to test the patient in California. If so, this needs to be gotten to the White House asap. If you have a patient you think is infected and you get stonewalled, go public and go large. Call the White House (switchboard number is readily available) and leave a message; tweet at Trump, Pence, Azar, etc.; call the media, and they are going to be appreciative as it gives them a chance to go after Trump and create a panic. Just make sure to get the names of the people at the CDC and give them out too. Name and shame, and hold them accountable. Not joking. If this complaint is true, hope someone does here too.

As I’ve noted a time or two before, the CDC is first and foremost a political agency, not a medical. The abandoned that role a few decades ago as they sought to increase their budget and their reach, as such is the way one moves up in the entrenched DC elite. Glenn Reynolds took them to task in 2014, and it is even more relevant today.

So, my greatest fear in the fight is our bureaucracy. So what’s my greatest hope? That comes in two parts.

The first part is that we have a robust and modern public hygiene system. This includes modern and effective (for the most part) sewage transport and treatment. We also have a different cultural “look” at personal hygiene. Both of these are important, as they limit the spread of not just COVID-19, but a number of other diseases. Not eliminate, but limit — often to very small amounts not seen before in human history.

The second part is that the team announced by Trump is solid, and rather pointedly excludes swamp dwellers. Don’t take my word for it, take a look at what a biochemist has to say about that team.

More to come, but that’s some good food for thought to start your day. Meantime, note those who are politicizing this event, from pundits to politicians. They deserve your contempt, your opprobrium, and to be shunned in all things by all good people.

As always:

Use the interactive graphic to keep track of things. Is COVID19 an epidemic? Yes. Is it a Pandemic? Not Yet Is there need for panic? No. Should you be paying attention? Yes. Hell yes. Should you be preparing? Yes, better late than never.

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. 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 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