The Doctrine Of Persuasibility

Rational discourse and the Marketplace of Ideas is a philosophical cornerstone of our Republic. It is also under attack like never before as Progressives/Socialists (no real difference) can’t stand the concept of competing ideas. I want to pull some key points from pervious posts here that were mirrored at Blackfive.

Yet it was still a core part of my beliefs, but recently there was some discussion by author John Ringo that caught my attention. He recounted and amplified on the concept of persuasibility as presented by former professor and current author John Barnes. Dr. Barnes states categorically that much of his presentation is nothing more than classical rhetoric, but if so it is an excellent summation of same.

It also is a very clear example of what I feel rational discourse to be about. Rather than try to distill it down, I am with his permission going to quote the key points as he presented them to me.

“Where it is: The obligation of persuasibility is a moral and ethical obligation that flows from the enthymeme of reciprocity, which in turn is one of the quasi-logical structures of informal logic. It is therefore itself enthymemic, so it’s more firmly rooted than a mere preference or value (like the rules of baseball, driving on the right, “the Backstreet Boys suck”, “patriotism is good”, “all you need is love”) but less so than an empirical law or a mathematical theorem.

What it is: the obligation of persuasibility is the requirement that if you enter into a dialogue with another person or persons, your purpose will be not only to refute their arguments or to convert the arguer, but to consider their arguments as candidates for your own belief. That is, you will not reject the possibility that it may be your mind, rather than theirs, that needs changing; or in utilitarian terms, the greater good may be for you to be persuaded, rather than them.

What it ain’t: Although, obviously, if someone converts, they were persuasible, the other side’s not being persuaded does not prove that they violated the obligation of persuasibility — it may be, for example, that you made a poor case. It is perfectly possible for people to disagree throughout their entire lives while still upholding the obligation of persuasibility. (Indeed, it is likely).

Why it matters: because ethically, two people who have placed themselves under mutual obligation of persuasibility can co-participate in a political and social order peacefully and of their own free will. The obligation of persuasibility is thus a possibility condition for liberal democracy. The areas in which the obligation of persuasibility holds, within a given society, are the ones where society can be both individually free and socially ordered. Or, as I used to put it to my class, tell me how much of the obligation of persuasibility your society is willing to undertake, and I will tell you how much peace and freedom you’re going to get.”

To me, this is the heart of rational discourse as practiced in the colonies. It may or may not have been the correct interpretation of the continental philosophers of the day, but is built on the foundations laid by Aristotle and still taught at that time. The sad state of education today is a topic for another day.

That said, there are some things that will invalidate rational discourse/persuasibility. Again quoting Dr. Barnes, the things that do this are:

“1. communications aimed entirely at conversion; that character on your doorstep in the cheap suit, who is not there to find out what you might think about God or God’s nonexistence, but to deliver a single-sided message and try to knock down your objections. 2. communications aimed entirely at expression (or maybe “venting” is a better word, since the legal term ‘freedom of expression” covers much that is intended to be persuasive), e.g. shouting “N-word” into a bullhorn on a crowded city street, 3. communications whose purpose is to dismiss any need to listen to the other side (e.g. ad hominem, sponsor boycotts, a habit of characterizing the other side as morons or dupes), 4. therapizing speech (treating the other person’s opinion as a symptom of disease or vice), 5. listening solely to refute, 6. some kinds of extreme relativism (“that might be right for you but it’s not right for me”), 7. apathism (the position that the other sides’ distinctions are without differences).”

John Ringo also brought up a concept that deserves mention, because it is an area in which rational discourse/persuasibility has no bearing. This is the concept of a “religious” belief, i.e. one that is held on a matter of faith such that no amount of evidence, data, or other will change it. These are beliefs that can be core to a person, or are simply such that they will not be discussed or modified. A former co-worker and I discussed this point at some length in some rather fun discussions, and the term we had settled on to describe such was “prejudice.” For such beliefs are just that, they are subjects on which a preconceived opinion exists that is not subject to rational discussion or debate.

Note the seven types of invalidation. Then, look at current media reports and what is coming out of various political leaders at all levels. It really does say it all about the goals of current efforts. The freedoms we take for granted are under attack, and if either the first or second amendment falls, all fall. Keep this in mind over the next several months as efforts to eliminate free speech grow rapidly and potentially exponentially.

This effort to overthrow the American Revolution and the Constitution must be fought in the Marketplace of Ideas, in Congress, in legislatures, and even in council meetings. Heck, even in HOA and other organizational meetings. It must be fought in the courts. It, most of all, needs to be fought at the ballot box and efforts to ensure a free and fair election without fraud must be overwhelming. For if it fails at any of these levels, what happens will be a choice between slavery or watering the Tree of Liberty.

Choose wisely.

Politics And Big Business

John Hinderaker has the first part in a series of articles looking at the differences between small- and mid-sized businesses and big business in terms of politics. This is a good start, and starts laying out the case between capitalism, crony-capitalism, and what lies beyond including the boycott of Facebook by big business because it is backing free/free-er speech versus other platforms. Well worth the read, and I’m looking forward to the next in the series.

A Modest (?) Proposal

I am a defense/fiscal conservative, and while I am grateful to get a small bit of my money back via the stimulus bill, I am also outraged at both the pork and how it was done. Now, the President is proposing yet another multi-trillion stimulus bill aimed at infrastructure. For all that we need to put some serious money into infrastructure, this is not the time or the best way to do it in my opinion.

Over on Twitter, I put forth a recommendation on what should pass to get us going again. It would not add to the deficit per se, and would give us a great shot at a even better economy. I invited others to join in, and got some good ideas. I want to explore those a bit now, as I would like to have something to present that would form the basis of several good pieces of legislation. Why several? It would allow a better chance of keeping pork out, and let’s face it, Pelosi, Schumer, et al are going to do all they can to prevent an effective response and to add in everything they can think of to any legislation. This must be prevented at all costs.

We need to decouple from China hard and fast. For me, that means not buying anything from China unless it is a true emergency or there is no other current source. Note the current, as I expect to see many companies move out on their own. But, we need to push that hard, and grease the skids as much as we can. How?

First, we need to recognize Taiwan. Let’s cut the bull and do it. They are sending us masks and more right now, and have been a reliable ally and partner on multiple levels for decades. They deserve better than they have gotten. So, first bill is a simple and straightforward recognition of them — screw One China. Also, as a part of this, per Commander Salamander, we need to place limits on the number of PRC students and investigators in the U.S. Again, multiple stories and links to some of those professors and students both stealing samples and intel to take back to China, and to bring dangerous agents into the U.S. They are a disproportionate number of our STEM graduate programs. Also, such a law should ban efforts to by influence and places within academia either directly or through friendship centers and other means of indirect funding.

Second, we need to take a hard look at all the rules, regulations, laws, and bureaucrats who have hampered our response. If you’ve read my daily updates, there are link after link to stories showing how the CDC, FDA, and others have hampered — and still are hampering — a fast, effective response after creating the need for that response. Then, create a bill that returns these agencies to a focus on their prime mission rather than all the mission creep they have added on, and puts limits on future expansion as well as putting into law ways to step aside normal function when in an emergency. Some form of sanctions for those individuals or agencies who do so is needed. It will also need to explicitly render existing laws that hampered response null and void. In addition, the President needs to issue orders to eliminate as many of the excess regulations as possible.

Third, while it could go in the first bill, some form of meaningful tort reform and immunity from frivolous lawsuits and other attempts to place ridiculous indemnities on companies and individuals that step up in the face of an emergency. Again, if you go through my updates here, and on Twitter, you will find links to stories where companies could not step up as they would have faced company-ending lawsuits if things were not perfect. While there are some rules in place for situations like this, again, the bureaucracy sat on things until forced to extend those protections. How many will have suffered or died as a result? End it, now.

Fourth, introduce legislation that will provide tax incentives to companies to encourage making in America as much as possible, and to reward moving anything that can’t be done here from China to other, more friendly and free countries. There are a number of such out there, and if we go for a global distribution of such, we cut down on dependence on any one geographic area outside of the U.S. Anything done overseas must be predicated on free and fair trade, to the benefit of all parties. If no free and fair trade, no deal.

Note, not funding, but tax and other incentives that will encourage businesses to return as many functions as possible to the U.S. It will also need to encompass the other industries needed to support such efforts, from logistics to those that supply components/ingredients/etc. to those businesses. Just removing the regulatory overburden will help, but if we encourage without directly funding, we can get a booming economy quickly, without adding to the deficit.

Fifth, this pandemic having unleashed American ingenuity, provide tax incentives to companies and individuals to continue to modernize and manufacture the better/cheaper medical and other devices being designed right now. The Obama-era war on the medical/biomedical industries needs to end now. This is the right time to do so, and to encourage innovation in all fields. Remove the regulatory burden and make it possible to make a profit, and watch out.

Sixth, the degree that attempts by state and local governments to restrict the growth and improvement of hospitals has been shown to be a clear and present danger to the Republic and it’s Citizens. These laws need to be struck down on a state and local level, but we may also need a Federal bill to open the healthcare system up to the free market. This also needs to extend to the medical insurance industry, which needs reform and the removal of burdensome regulations that have made it bloated and expensive. Any such bill should formally end the restrictions on telemedicine, which have been waived for now. Telemedicine can and will help expand medicine into both poorer areas and areas with lower population density; and, telemedicine offers opportunities to deal with future pandemics while minimizing the risk to medical professionals and other responders.

Seventh, provide tax incentives to companies and individuals to develop better monitoring and modeling systems so that we can better identify and respond to pandemics and other emergencies. Even in the face of lying by any government anywhere. Better open-source intelligence could have prevented much of the disaster we face, as well as botched responses by any number of governments. Global companies have security sections that are, in many cases, supposed to look for such signs. Let’s see if there is a way to expand their ability to do so, as well as companies custom-built to provide that service. They are going to be far more agile and responsive to changes in technology and systems for response than any government agency (where this is the way we’ve always done it and Not Invented Here rule).

So, there you go. A modest set of proposals for consideration and rational discourse. If we trim the government, especially the regulatory environment, provide legal protections needed (along with tort reform), watch America take off. This will provide prosperity and an economy better than before without the corrosive effects and financial insolvency of WPA/ShovelingIt II.

Discuss.

UPDATE 1: Legislation to defund WHO based on COVID-19 and covering for China. Sound idea in my mind.

The Odd Things

That cross your mind sometimes. Looking at the current political divide makes me nostalgic for the days when even if you disagreed with someone on matters politic, you could still talk with them — cheerfully even — on a range of other subjects.

Brought to mind my interactions with Senator Herman Talmadge of Georgia. Parts of my family were quite active politically, with one uncle being a force within the Republican party not just on the state and local level, but national. You don’t get to be National Commander of the American Legion without some clout.

I never had the heart to tell Herman that I was the one who helped scuttle his efforts to stay in office, rather than my Dad. Dad avoided politics, and was not interested in having or exercising any of the power the family had. One afternoon, when I was home alone as a teenager, the phone rang. It was a senior member of Herman’s team, asking for the family’s support.

I knew from the moment he called that he did not know my Dad, as he asked for Clifford. Also being Clifford, I said that yes I was Clifford. I let him make his pitch, and then let him know that I/the family would not back Herman in his bid, and may have even hinted we would oppose, forcefully. Herman was in trouble over corruption charges at the time, and I was not impressed. I still say that if he had done as his father had, and said he took the money for the people of the state of Georgia that I might would have backed him, as the voters backed his father.

The funny thing was, I met Herman later when I had graduated college and was working my first job after graduation. He was a bit stiff when he heard my name, and established my family. However, we did share some common interests and found we could agree on those. Never did have the heart (courage?) to tell him that I was the one who helped scupper him rather than my Dad. We avoided that subject.

There have been others through the years, that while we disagreed — strongly — on matters of policy and action, that we could agree to disagree. That seems to be mostly gone now, and that is truly a sad, sad thing.

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

COVID-19 14Mar20

If you want to see innovative and effective leadership, you need look no further than to Donald Trump and the Task Force on COVID-19. Rather than seize a crisis to increase the size and scope of the stagnant and ineffective government, he instead showcased the best of American Exceptionalism to partner with industry on innovation that is already having dramatic results. I’m not surprised given some of the partnerships and investments in private enterprise solutions to find cures and speed development of vaccines, but yesterday was unprecedented. The declaration of emergency is clearing out the logjam of regulation so that real and effective steps can be taken and a host of problems solved.

Apparently others noticed this as well. The stock market didn’t just stage a rally, it had what is being reported as a record rise after the President announced his declaration and outlined the various steps being taken and had the leaders of the companies involved say a few words. Then, he had real experts on pandemics and related issues talk — as usual. He pointed out, correctly, that this is something that affects us all and requires government, industry, and even private citizens to work together to address. Contrast this with Pelosi et al and the despicable efforts to load the spending bill with pork and efforts to expand the bureaucracy. For me, I’m noting those who would play politics with the lives and safety of our Citizens and the Republic, and urge you to do so as well.

Also, contrast this with a media that has repeatedly lied, deliberately provoked panic, and now is openly promoting Chinese assets spewing propaganda. And the talking heads wonder why public trust in, and viewership/readership, has taken a nose dive.

More to say, but for now it will have to wait. I simply note that if not for the Trump economy, we would be in real and severe financial trouble. If not for the quick response of the President, responses taken despite efforts by political opposition and the deep state, the infection rate would be far larger and the spread far faster. I am more than impressed with his leadership in this crisis, and anyone who can look at the facts should be as well.

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 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

COVID-19 6Mar20

Short and sweet this morning, as am having to go in to work waaaay early. Way to early IMO, but…

Stop with the panic. There is no need to panic here in the U.S. Yes, there are cases and it is here. Are we ‘wereallgoingtodiebecauseorangemanbad’ as the media and far too many politicians are saying? NO. Is our economy going to tank because of this? No. In fact, if anything, we have quite the opportunity to come out stronger and better. It will get interesting, and some sectors are going to be hit harder than others (travel/tourism for example). But, again, thanks to the economy and incentives, and with some judicious additional incentives, we could see a boom that could put all past booms to shame.

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 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