Some Quick Thoughts On Iran

Looking around the world, there are some potentially interesting ebbs and flows in data in various regions. Interestingly enough, all of them have ties to China. I’m leaving out The Hermit Kingdom, as the black hole that is still semi-operational has a lot to do with internal, and there seems to be some confirmation that it may have indeed been an effort to see who was disloyal and/or who the rest of the world sees as replacing him. In the past, those speculated upon usually met grim fates, remains to be seen what happens this time.

I’m going to start looking at some of these interesting places with odd data by focusing a bit on Iran. The mullahs are hanging on, though it may well be by the fingernails. The economy is shattered, COVID has run rampant, and they have so far not been successful in their effort to force the return of the Hidden Imam.

Many in the West, particularly politicians, fail to grasp how important that last fact is to the mullahs. It is both a case of mores, the cultural blinders we all wear though some seem to never take them off, and of a mindset that equates religion with superstition. For progressive and related belief systems, religion is foolish and something to which only lip service should be paid because it is important to the stupid proles. For them, their mores don’t allow them to consider that the mullahs, and many others, take it very seriously and aren’t simply using religion to gain temporary power.

The fact is, the mullahs and those who support them see the power they now have as temporary. The solution lies in past prophecies that state when the Hidden Imam/13th Imam returns, their power will not only be greater, but permanent as his return will usher in a golden age of a world-wide caliphate. Yes, that’s a simplistic statement of the view, but it is accurate for this discussion.

The Iranian Revolution was not just about Islamism, it was an effort to gain the power needed for a particular sect of Shia to bring about the conditions for the return of the Hidden Imam. It has been a driving force behind all efforts, as the right set of conditions has to be in place for that to happen.

What conditions? There are several, but the key one is, there has to be their version of Armageddon. There has to be a major war that sets the mullahs against all other religions. There is a reason the mullahs refer to the United States as The Great Satan.

They need the war, but also don’t want to lose. If they can be attacked, hold their own or not get wiped off the map immediately, then those conditions will bring the return, and the Imam will lead them to victory despite the odds. Again, I’m simplifying things, but it is accurate for these purposes.

Now, nevermind if they provoke the attack, for any response to anything they do counts as an unprovoked attack. Don’t ask me to explain that, it is twisted but it is how they think. I really wish I had been able to get back from Iraq with some of the artwork related to this that we captured on a raid. It would convey a lot if I still had it.

Thus, we have everything from the Embassy Takeover to the efforts to develop nuclear weapons. It is also the reason for the provocations in the Straights; and, it is the reason for the extensive clandestine network and operations that now span the Middle East, parts of Africa, and even into Asia. $130 billion buys you a lot of clandestine activity…

Ironically enough, there is reason for me to believe that COVID came into Iran not by an innocent merchant, but through that clandestine network. Without going into some details, consider a hypothetical.

You are working on nuclear and other weapons, but have been having a rough go of it. Your rockets don’t work reliably and don’t perform as advertised. Your nuclear program has been thwarted, or seriously delayed, by actions from Israel and the United States. Your population is restless, and quite a few of your non-covert operations have ended badly. You need help, and help from an almost neighbor on the nuclear part has, to some extent, dried up. What do you do? Where can you go for help on all the technical and production issues?

Where indeed. Wouldn’t it be very ironic if you had people in for meetings and more in a country where a major epidemic has broken out? And wouldn’t it be even more ironic if your (semi) clandestine air flights brought back more than your people and items?

Is there reason to believe that this could have happened? Yes. Amazing how much info on flights there is out there in the open through sites that track pretty much all flights that leave the ground; and, there is other open-source intelligence as well. Good enough to take to court? No, but interesting none-the-less. Keep in mind that we are limited on humint from China, indeed we have effectively none right now, because the Chinese hacked the allegedly secure server that they were using to communicate with the CIA. They were rolled up and pretty much all are presumed dead at this point.

Now, for fun, look at the spread of COVID-19 from Iran via that same semi-clandestine airline and from covert meetings. As I noted a while back, a good counter-intel type could have a field day with that.

Now, not for fun, look at some sudden improvements to missile and other technology that has come out recently. The largest being that the Iranians just put a satellite into orbit. Why is that important?

First, any rocket that can put a satellite into orbit is by definition an ICBM that can hit almost anywhere in the world. If you start producing large numbers of them, you have a way to deliver nuclear weapons to any target almost anywhere in the world. You are no longer limited the near neighborhood.

Second, you also now have the means to deliver a FOBS strike. The nightmare for most of the Cold War was having a nuclear weapon disguised as a satellite launch exploding over the middle of the United States at high altitude. The resulting EMP burst would disrupt or destroy the electrical grid, most civilian electronics, more military electronics than anyone still wants to admit, wipe computer records even as it destroys the computers. With communications, command, and control severely damaged or destroyed, a first strike would be devastating.

Now, think about how much damage such a strike could do in the 60’s, 70’s, and 80’s. Now, spend a moment thinking about how much more our world depends on advanced electronics, communications, and computing power for everything from our phones and cars to financial markets. Computers run a good bit of our manufacturing, logistics, and even farm operations. Not sure there is a good word other than devastating, but also feel it needs to be taken up a few orders of magnitude.

You want to kick off Armageddon and cripple your enemy with the first blow? FOBS will do it. Provoke an incident in the Straights (or elsewhere), get hit, and retaliate for the unprovoked attack by the Great Satan in a way that could put us back several hundred years in one blow. And, in the process, set the conditions for the return of the Hidden Imam.

What could China gain from helping Iran? Keep in mind, they declared a People’s War against us more than a year ago. If you clandestinely help an enemy of your enemy, surely you can’t be directly blamed for what they do with suddenly improved tech in several sectors.

How likely are the two paragraphs above? They are not improbable. In fact, on some levels they make almost too much sense. Is this what is going on? That remains to be seen. Right now, there is just some strange ebbs and flows in locations on the moving picture of the world. It remains to be seen what happens, but it needs to be watched.

COVID-19 15Mar20 It’s The Rate Of Spread Stupid

The Game Of Loads And Vectors is a game of numbers. Sadly, far to many in the media and online are playing a very dangerous game with the numbers. One group uses each new case, each famous person (or even people related to or vaguely related to a famous person) to stoke fear and panic and/or for personal gain. The other group of idiots is using numbers to claim this isn’t a real threat.

As I’ve noted before, it is not the total number of cases or the number of deaths that truly matters right now. The outcome for people with COVID-19 is going to be vastly different from the outcomes in China, Iran, or elsewhere. Here, the most at-risk population is going to be 70+ with underlying health conditions, and/or those who smoke cigarettes heavily now or previously. A good bit of that has to do with the ACE2 binding previously discussed. For most in the U.S., it will likely be much like having a regular flu.

The real threat we face is in controlling the rate of spread. Why did China, Iran, and Italy have the outcomes they have/are having? It spread rapidly, and overwhelmed the health systems. They simply did not have the beds, the ICU beds, or the supplies to handle the huge number of cases that hit.

Right now, according to the American Hospital Association, there are 924,107 staffed hospital beds in all types of hospitals including psychiatric and other specialty hospitals. There are 792,417 staffed beds in community hospitals. Where there are 97,776 staffed ICU beds in the U.S., only 46,825 of them are medical/surgical intensive care.

While many will have very mild symptoms, there is a percentage of patients that require time in the ICU. This paper looks at data from China (and acknowledges that the official data is problematic) to try to estimate how many that will be, and comes to a max of 2.6 – 4.9 per 10,000 adults. This report looks at Italy and reports a rate of 11 percent needing ICU. This report lays out why COVID-19 is worse than the flu, and looks at the impact on the healthcare system — and on the rate of spread and how it could spread exponentially as in Italy and elsewhere.

So, using the 11 percent figure, there being curretly 2,952 cases in the U.S., that means approximately 325 patients will need long-term (days to weeks) of ICU care. With 46,825 staffed beds, we’re good, right? Yes, we are — today. Will that hold true tomorrow or even next week? The magic ball says maybe. Let’s look at the following two graphs.

This is from the Johns Hopkins interactive graphic that I’ve linked to in almost every post. Note the significant rise associated with the spread of COVID-19 in almost every location. Where spread has not been controlled, there is effectively exponential growth. Now, let’s look at the U.S.

This comes from the CDC, and while not interactive it does have a lot more data than I can show. I would urge you to scroll through the number of cases and watch how it jumps.

Again (and again), there was never any chance to prevent it from getting here, as the Chinese government has lied from the start and used it’s considerable power to prevent other nations from responding by stopping travel. There is no doubt that if President Trump had not — despite howls of outrage from China and the leaders of the Democratic party — put in place a travel ban things would be much worse.

All we can do now is slow the rate of spread. We have to do this to:

• Prevent the spread from overwhelming ICU beds, ventilators, and other medical treatment. Keep in mind that right now Italy has ordered hospitals to stop treating the elderly.

• To buy time to overcome bureaucratic and other roadblocks to testing. Effective, efficient, and fast testing is essential to being sure those who have COVID-19 get treatment and are prevented from helping spread the disease.

• To push the spread out into warmer weather, a time when colds and the flu normally drop off.

• To buy time to develop effective vaccines and treatments and get them made here since the Chinese are now threatening to cut off drug exports to the U.S. (even as they try to blame COVID-19 on us).

What is going on now is not an overreaction to “the flu” as many idiots are claiming. It is a needed, indeed almost a desperate, attempt to prevent our healthcare system from being overwhelmed like far too many others. The number to watch in the days ahead is NOT the number of cases (or who has gotten it), and it is not the number of deaths. It is the rate of spread. If the rate of spread drops, and the total number of cases stays low, we will be in very good shape from a healthcare perspective — and that will drive financial and other perspectives.

Right now, we are in good shape. Let’s all be smart and work together to help keep it that way.

If my posts are enjoyable, helpful, or otherwise a benefit, please consider hitting the tip jar. With the levels of stupid out there, really do need to up the strategic alcohol and tobacco reserves…


•My Amazon Wishlist

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 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

The Trump Doctrine In Action

Two of the three principles of the Trump Doctrine I discussed here are that if you harm/kill an American the you will die; and, if you use a proxy, both you and the proxy will die. Simple, straightforward, and a good and much needed thing.

While the media highlighted the attack (and some ongoing), they seem to be downplaying the fact that we did retaliate. What’s more, according to Gateway Pundit and other sources, guess what, we did it again.

It seems that our strike took out General Siamand Mashhadani, one of the top leaders of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard who just happened to be in Iraq. Pity about that. Seems some people just can’t get their head around the fact that there has been a change in leadership, and that he means what he says.

Reminds me, I need to go back and do a more detailed post about the Trump Doctrine, as it is in action on everything from the defense front to the coronavirus fight. I truly do believe it is one of the most profound doctrines to come out of the White House since the original Monroe Doctrine.

COVID-19 4Mar20

Short and sweet today. Given all the hysteria and panic: just stop it. Yes, worse than the flu. No, not Capt. Tripps. No, it’s not the ‘ohmygodwereallgoingtodie(becauseoftrump)’ you hear in the media. Go to flu protocols, and wash your hands. Frequently.

One of the more interesting things to come out of this is the exposure of a number of clandestine networks. If there are indeed any competent intel/counterintel types out there, you should be having a field day. Beyond the exposure of Chinese networks, there is significant exposure of various Iranian networks. That it has hit so many in their government is telling, and it will be very interesting who the Iranians infect at home and abroad.

Check this out from Instapundit to start putting some of the pieces together.

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 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 27Feb20

I did not get to watch the press conference last night, but hope to do so today. What I’ve been able to skim and from various reports I’ve read, it sounds like we have a good start. Putting Pence in charge makes sense, as a President has a wide range of responsibilities that require attention, and would detract from his ability to focus over a long period of time. Having the vice president take command ensures focus and oversight. Yes, there are political overtones to it, but that happens with anything delegated.

So that we can all hear what was said (versus what is reported to be said, which is — far too often — the case), here’s what should be a fairly full-length video.

Yes, we do have our first case on non-travel-related COVID-19. To be honest, I just lost a side bet I had with myself, as I figured it would pop up in a town with a university or large college. So far, it sounds like everyone is doing what they should. Maybe the lessons of Japan and elsewhere are having an impact at all levels here. We can but hope…

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 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

COVID19 25Feb20

The situation remains as it was: more than slightly FUBAR and still growing outside of China. That said, some signs of sanity seem to be breaking out in terms of proper and effective efforts at containment by a number of countries.

Sadly, the political class in the U.S. seems to determined to play politics with the lives of the Citizens they are sworn to serve. I’m not sure if it’s because they see a larger personal threat to them in the various investigations and such underway; or, they are so deranged as to no longer care. Either way, they need to be yanked up fast and hard. So too do certain bureaucrats, and I’m looking directly at Foggy Bottom and the lace panty brigade that overrode the CDC to bring known infected not only back to the U.S. but to do so in a plane full of others who were — and I do say were — in the clear. I believe the reports that Trump is furious about this.

The question that keeps coming up is when. When will we start seeing more cases here? When will it be deemed a pandemic? When will it become an epidemic here? When?

The fact is that there is no answer to any of those at this time. There just is not enough data to begin to make realistic determinations at this time.

That said, based on what is being seen right now and based on the proper response by the CDC and others, we could/should start seeing an increase of cases here in the U.S. in about two weeks as those exposed by people previously released too early or not caught in time begin to show symptoms. Keep in mind that it is now believed that it has an incubation period of 27 days. This is effectively a month’s period of time when people can pass it on without showing any symptoms themselves.

If all the efforts of the CDC and related agencies work/have worked, it will be a slow build with hopefully limited cases. If those efforts have not worked, there could be a massive number of cases.

Again, if all works we might not see a significant increase in cases for two to three months, perhaps a bit longer. Again, there simply is not enough real data to make a good prediction.

Right now, other than preparing (see yesterday for my revised suggestions), there is not much we can do but hang on. If you are religious, pray. If you believe in Karma or just good thoughts, think away. Meantime, no matter your choice in spirituality, stay informed and be prepared.

As always:

Use the interactive graphic to keep track of things. Is COVID19 an epidemic? Yes. Is it a Pandemic? Not Yet, but likely will be in the next 1-5 days. 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:

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

COVID19 24Feb20 Raising DEFCON

Since last Friday, much has changed. I mentioned last week that I was considering moving up my personal DEFCON list — and I am doing so. I have moved from Sit Up to Really?!?

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. As part of raising my personal DEFCON, I’m going to be making some changes to my preparation list. Why raise and change?

First, while the origins are important, what truly matters now is that it appears to be spread when carriers are asymptomatic; it spreads by multiple vectors, not all of which are understood at this time; and, while the evidence is anecdotal at this time, there appear to be far more “super infectors” than normal.

There have always been super infectors in every epidemic. Just look up Typhoid Mary. The number associated with COVID19 just appears to keep growing.

Add in that the infection is not the normal bell curve, as the infection rate in children is so low (based on known data) as to be statistically zero, and we have something truly interesting. That said, let me say again that this is NOT a Capt. Tripps or even close based on what we are seeing. Again, there is cause to be concerned, but not for panic.

Second, it has now spread well beyond China. I’m not going to get into the Chinese government lying about it, or using a variety of means to delay travel restrictions that would have benefited the rest of the world, other than to note that they did and it screwed the rest of the world.

For me, what tipped me over to raising the DEFCON was Iran and Italy. I am not happy about South Korea, or that Japan’s bureaucracy may have screwed them over on a massive level. To the point I think Abe out to just buy tantos bulk and hand them out top to bottom in the appropriate ministries.

To be frank, I think a lot of us were hoping that South Korea, Japan, and Australia would be a buffer, and while that may happen it isn’t looking good right now save for Australia.

Late last week, word began to go out that Iran, which has no known exposure through travel and such, had cases. It has now been reported (though not in the U.S. that I have found) that officials in the Iranian government are admitting that it is in every major city no matter the official pronouncements. Take the latter with the same tun of salt that one uses with the official word out of China. To top it off, at least one case in Lebanon has been linked back to the outbreak in Iran.

Given that it is a totalitarian state, and given what I can find out about public health and related systems, Iran could well go the way of China. In any event, I’m willing to bet that more than one infected person has left since the outbreak, and to places other than Lebanon. To those countries or places that are hosting QUDS and other clandestine Iranian visits: Welcome to the wonderful world of COVID19!

Now, add in the outbreak(s) in Italy, and you have something spreading far faster than anyone wanted or hoped.

This morning, it is being reported that Britain expects to be hit before the end of the week. My faith in Europe holding as such is not high. I see a couple of countries that I think may be able to pull it off, but am not sure about most of the others including a couple of the “big” countries.

In short, the effort to contain the worst of it to SE Asia has failed. Given what I mentioned above, there never was any chance of stopping it from spreading. Accordingly, the CDC’s approach has been on slowing down the rate of infection to give time to develop treatments, vaccines, and to get the resources in place to deal with it. Given that such could fail, they have also been making preparations to quarantine small to major areas via shutting down schools, businesses, and curtailing travel. Prudent, and a good step to take.

I’m revising my previous preparation list a bit. So, here’s what I recommend now.

First, get with your doctor or pharmacist and get 90-day supplies (or more) of your medicines, as well as any OTCs and supplements. The FDA reportedly has a list of 150 drugs that they expect to see in short supply (soon, also ignore the blatant politics in the story) as a result of the loss of Chinese production. While I don’t have that list, here is the current FDA info on drug shortages. Given that China also provides raw materials and precursor materials for an even wider array of drugs and supplements… There will be shortages soon, so do this first.

Second, the primary impact will be economic. Drugs, steel, electronics — the list goes on. Thanks to the Trump economy and a number of new treaties, the U.S. economy is in the best shape it has been in decades. Is it going to hurt us? Yes. Could that downturn lead to an even greater economy? Yes.

People are waking up to the mistake that has been our previous China policy. There was already decoupling underway, and it is now accelerating. There are efforts already underway to return medical and other manufacturing to the U.S., as well as efforts to develop new resources in and outside of SE Asia. Thanks to the economy and economic incentives, as well as a still-improving regulatory environment, businesses have the liquidity and incentive to partake and accelerate. More on this later.

That said, retooling or setting up new production facilities — even under an emergency basis — will take at least a year. Some may get into production sooner, as you can bet the government/administration will be doing all it can to make that possible. But, the majority will not.

This re-investment in America and American production, along with helping others get going, can lead to an even greater economy. Keep in mind, the Trump Doctrine enshrines America First, but nowhere does it say America Only. More on this later.

So, what to do? As before, get with a financial advisor, CPA/tax preparer/other if you have them to plan what to do for short- and longer-term downturns. While professionals recommend having three months worth of normal bills in savings, few of us do. So, as quickly as you can, try to set aside 2-weeks to a month’s worth of bills both in savings and in cash. Why cash? It comes in handy in emergencies and gives you a buffer that you can hold on to or put back in your accounts later. Think on it a bit.

Third, look at what other supplies you get that may be dependent in whole or in part on China. Me, I keep a few months supply of razor blades on hand (esp. after dumping Gillette and the other expense brands), but I plan to up that to a full year. I have a several month stock of toilet tissue, but even though it’s not linked to China (as far as I know) I plan to add more (see the story on the great toilet paper robbery in Hong Kong). Thinking about a new phone? Might want to do it now. Oh, and as with toilet tissue, boost your stock of feminine hygiene products. Make sure you have plenty of normal hygiene items such as soap, shampoo, dish detergent, and especially laundry soap. If it gets bad, you are going to be wanting to wash clothes often as a precaution. Stock up on hand sanitizer while you can. Anything that can be used to clean and sterilize is probably a good thing to be sure you have on hand.

Fourth, I am increasing my normal food stocks. As much as freezer space and such allow, I’m cooking ahead as much as I can so that I have a variety of frozen meals ready to go. I’m building up canned and similar items, especially as I’m ketogenic and would like to stay that way even in a quarantine. Also, I believe in surviving with style, so am making sure I have as much good food put away as possible.

The strategic coffee reserve is in good shape, but I am going to expand it as I see that and the strategic tobacco reserve as investments on preserving the peace and the safety of others. Probably should lay in a bit more alcohol, but that’s low priority compared to coffee and basic food stuffs. While I don’t anticipate the loss of utilities, I am laying in a good stock of water just in case. Again, since we don’t understand all the vectors, contamination is a (remote at this time) possibility. The strategic hot sauce reserve is in good shape as well — amazing what you can eat with enough hot sauce on it.

No, not stocking in MREs and such, at least no more than I already have on hand. I’m working towards a months worth of meals, mostly frozen as I do expect there to be no major disruptions of power. That said, the quarantine may be 30 days based on what is being learned. I may add in some freeze-dried eggs or such, just because my normal supply of eggs might not last a month.

The last thing right now is getting a mask. Remember, the surgical masks don’t work. You need an N95 or equivalent. I’ve got some already on hand because they are useful for yard work, home projects, and during pollen season. If and as I can, I may lay in a few more but I think the other things above are far more important right now.

Use the interactive graphic to keep track of things. Is COVID19 an epidemic? Yes. Is it a Pandemic? Not Yet, but likely will be in the next 1-5 days. 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.

More soon. Lots more I hope, as there are many things I could not get to this morning. For one thing, I want to get back to this article on China by Rod Dreher. The locusts are weird but interesting; but, what really has me taking notice is what is happening within Chinese social media and who is involved. As I said yesterday, even last week I would have said such was impossible.

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

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

COVID19 23FEB20

Working on a longer post, as there is a lot happening. In fact, some things just got very weird on top of unprecedented. The public reaction in China is something I would have considered impossible last week. More on that soon.

REPEATING: If you have not implemented the steps I discussed in this post, I strongly urge you to do so now. 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.

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. In other words, standard flu protocols and fairly standard basic personal hygiene.

More soon.

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

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

COVID19 22Feb20

Not going to get into too much detail this morning, but do recommend keeping an eye on the region pictured.

REPEATING: If you have not implemented the steps I discussed in this post, I strongly urge you to do so now. 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. Depending on how a couple of parameters go in the next few days, I am considering raising my personal DEFCON from Sit Up to Really?!? Much depends on what we see outside of China in that time. At this time, I still see the major impacts as economic.

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. In other words, standard flu protocols and fairly standard basic personal hygiene.

More soon.

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

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

Food For Thought Tuesday

There is more to write about the Trump Doctrine, but it could literally become several doctoral theses in the years to come. Meantime, there is a lot of good food for thought out there, and I’m going to share some of it here.

Older, but still worth the read is why there won’t be a draft or WWIII.

How Dare You Not Include Us??? The real reason behind some of the strong reaction.

The media misses not one, but many huge stories. This is but one of them.

Is Donald Trump writing a farewell letter to the Middle East? An interesting possibility.

If anyone thinks that Journolist is dead, take a look around. One good example

I agree that the leadership of the Democratic party hates Trump with a passion that leaves them no way, no room, to love anything else. To that end, they have embraced the enemies of the United States as a mean to defeat Trump. Just one part of the mask slipping. For them, it doesn’t matter if Americans are killed or the interests of the United States and its Citizens are compromised — all that matters is winning and defeating Trump.

A companion piece to the excellent story linked yesterday in the discussion of the Trump Doctrine. Read it, and try not to weep.

A Never-Trumper has an epiphany. Now if we could only get Rod Dreher, who’s writing on faith and issues in various churches I read somewhat religiously, to quit clutching his pearls, pissing his panties, declaring FlounceCon1, and flouncing to his fainting couch every time Trump inhales…

The media is in the tank for the DNC, and would be willing to die (literally, I suspect) to protect the illusion and reputation (such as it is) of Obama. But one example is this cringe-worthy effort out of the rapidly tanking CNN.

More questions than answers. Have to agree, the news reporting today does bring that out.

The world is indeed watching, and not just the Iranian leadership. U.S. leadership, and the leadership of the so-called free world, is being watched as well. The masks are slipping, will they come completely off in the days to come?