Three Things: Even More Family Fun with COVID-19

[Check the byline, thanks!/~Rayne]

I figured it would be the oldsters in the family who would be my first worry. The grandparents still go to church, play bridge and golf, volunteer; they’re living typical retirees’ lives. They haven’t stopped mingling socially until this week.

But no. Last week I had to worry about my younger kid at college first. Fortunately they only had strep.

Last night the older adult child called, complaining of a migraine, dry cough, wheezing, and a tight chest. They’d already called the doctor about their symptoms; the doctor wouldn’t order a test because older adult child didn’t have a temperature.

All the other symptoms of COVID-19 except for a temperature. With so few tests available in Michigan, unless my kid checked ALL the boxes, there’s no way they’d be tested.

We’re pretty sure it’s not flu because the symptoms were slow onset rather than fast and adult child had a flu shot this year.

The kicker is that someone at work tested positive for COVID-19. It just hadn’t been announced across the business, likely because the business still needed to finish its plan for handling this situation.

Because my adult child couldn’t get a test, their spouse can’t say they’ve been exposed to COVID-19 and is likely now at work, probably spreading this around if indeed my adult child has COVID-19.

I won’t see my older kid or their spouse for a least a month now since we don’t yet know for certain if they have COVID-19 let alone how long exposed persons may be contagious. I dare not take the chance to see them because of my autoimmune disorder — not just because I might come down with COVID-19, but because hospitals may not be able to offer me an adequate level of care if there are no hospital beds or ventilators if one was needed.

When I saw this bullshit tweet this morning I almost levitated.

All the stress of our not knowing individual infection status and potentially exposing even more Michiganders is due to Trump, who instead directs his animosity toward an effective governor who isn’t getting the support she needs from the federal government.

My family and many others in Michigan and across the country are going through this Kafkaesque circus of uncertainty because the grossly-incompetent-when-not-corrupt Trump administration chose not to do the right thing and roll out testing back in January-February so that community acquired infections could be pinpointed earlier.

The one piece missing in this equation: why is it some people can get tested and others can’t? What arbitrary ju-ju allows Oklahoma to offer up a sizable percentage of its available tests for the Utah Jazz basketball players? Why are some political figures able to summon a test when others can’t?

Is this an additional layer of fuckery, not only the limitations on the number of tests available but an invisible prioritization of who can be tested? Does one’s political party affiliation make a difference, or the color of their state when it comes to getting a test for COVID-19 on a timely basis?

~ 3 ~

The UK did an about-face in its approach toward COVID-19. Boris Johnson backed off the idiocy of allowing the virus to simply run amok through the population to kill its most vulnerable citizens as well as those with the misfortune of being severly to critically ill while UK hospitals are overwhelmed by COVID-19 case load.

However, in spite of the noise made over the Imperial College’s latest assessment of COVID-19’s impact on the UK, nothing is being done. Leadership may have made some noises of surprise over the published mortality numbers but there have been no orders to lock down the country the way France has this past week, or Italy before that.

Instead, Johnson urged Britons to avoid pubs, restaurants and theaters.

He asked that the public only use the NHS “where we really need to.”

Britons were asked to avoid non-essential travel.

In short, a guidance was issued which appears wholly optional. It has no teeth.

Most importantly, Johnson did not order the country’s schools shut down, though young people are believed to be vectors for the virus. Murdoch’s tabloid-y outlet The Sun reports Johnson “hints” at shutting down schools in a few days, though a petition gathered more than 650,000 signatures asking for Johnson to do so immediately.

These numbers were pointedly ignored, though there was moaning at the number of deaths projected by Imperial College’s report — an estimated 250,000 souls. Johnson’s actions to date do little to mitigate let alone suppress COVID-19’S contagion, choices Imperial College explained as approaches to minimizing deaths.

The number of deaths even if Johnson implemented a more aggressive suppression regime in Great Britain* is staggering…

(*Great Britain versus United Kingdom may explain why the numbers shown are lower than a thumbnail analysis based on 67M UK residents x 40% infection rate x 2% case fatality rate.)

\Johnson’s action to date fails to respond adequately to the swamping of UK’s health care system, particularly its intensive care systems.

This past weekend the country continued to go to pubs and concerts, looking much like the revelers partying at the Masque while the Red Death roamed outside the walls of the palace.

Being on an island will not protect them, nor will having expressed a desire to leave the EU.

We won’t be able to help them, either; Trump has done little more than Johnson has for the U.S., relying instead on the states to do the heavy lifting of saving American lives.

If we survive this next year, those of us who are most at risk will owe our lives to the efforts of governors like Gretchen Whitmer, who must not only make the impossible happen with limited resources, but with an ignorant, mean asshat president whining about them at the same time.

~ 2 ~

One of our community members Surfer2099 has been digging away at pharma company Gilead Sciences; the company makes an antiviral drug, remdesivir, which has been used off-label to treat COVID-19 patients. As noted before in previous posts, the medication was shipped to China for tests without normal approval of the FDA.

Bloomberg reported yesterday that China wants to patent remdesivir (link to story at Reddit). It looks like China wants the patent in exchange for having allowed Gilead to test its drug on COVID-19 patients, bypassing the FDA’s test protocols in the U.S.

Surfer2099 noted that Gilead coincidentally launched a merger and acquisition the first week of March. How does such a move fit into the negotiations with China?

Don’t look away from this as remdesivir appears to have widening support in the treatment of COVID-19. If it’s the only drug approved by drug agencies including the FDA, there’s considerable money to be made with tens of millions of COVID-19 patients anticipated over the next 1-2 years.

~ 1 ~

Fortunately there was a little good news yesterday. A COVID-19 vaccine was injected into the first human volunteer in a Phase 1 trial. If successful, the vaccine will not be available for the public for at least a year and likely longer.

NIH Clinical Trial of Investigational Vaccine for COVID-19 Begins

The realistic time frame from this first injection to a public vaccine is at least 12 to 20 months under the best conditions, i.e., no reactions, no other hiccups like supply problems, no interference from outside entities like the Trump administration.

That’s how long we need to practice social distancing — at least 12 to 20 months. Settle in and develop a routine for the long haul.

~ 0 ~

This is an open thread. How are your friends and family doing with the changes we’ve had to make to our lifestyles?

335 replies
  1. P J Evans says:

    I was reading a post on Tumblr from a woman in North Wales who says people with “second homes” there, mostly elderly, are showing up for their spring vacation, and the local governments are worried about the non-residents overwhelming the hospitals, which are barely adequate in normal years.

    • Rayne says:

      And Johnson wants to privatize the NHS. Hah. The UK already has fewer beds per 1000 persons (2.7) than the U.S. (2.77) which in turn has fewer than Italy (3.2).

      The spring vacationers in Wales is why the guidance is a joke. Vacation is non-essential travel but they likely won’t see it that way.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      The wealthy often retreat from their urban to their country estates or second home during plagues.

      • Vicks says:

        Yes, and the wealthy vermin mix and mingle with their kind and then spread this plague around the world as they travel in flying machines to warm places, and ski towns and luxury ships (and conventions where everyone is stupid and mean and wearing red baseball hats)
        “Some people call it an invasion.
        It’s like an invasion”

    • e.a.f. says:

      In Norway the government told people to leave their summer/vacation homes and return to their principle residence. Rationale, rural health care systems could not deal with the seasonal influx. If they don’t leave their cottages, the military will be sent to fetch them home. End of story. Sounds like Norway has things well in hand.

  2. dude says:

    I am 4 degrees of separation from someone who tested positive for Covid 19. Found out yesterday evening after I had spent the day at work. I informed my supervisor that evening and called the doctor this morning. (Getting past the phone screeners to the actual doctor was quite difficult. I imagine they are getting lots of calls right about now.) Doc said stay home for at least seven days to see if any symptoms emerge. If they do, call ahead for a test at which time I drive up to the building and stay in my car while a nurse is dispatched to swab me. I don’t think they roller-skate to the car, but it’s a funny image—hazmat suit, roller skates. Anyway, it would be 4 days for the lab work-up to come back. I am approaching 69, but the doc says he thinks I could withstand the disease if it should rear its ugly head. My supervisor called today and said consensus at the office was to stay gone at least ten days. So, my wife and I are working from home. We’re consuming a lot of alcohol….cleaning knobs and switches.

    • BroD says:

      “I am 4 degrees of separation from someone who tested positive for Covid 19”

      You’re a hermit? Srsly, best wishes to you and all of us.

      • dude says:

        Man has a meet-up with a friend. Man has a college-age son visiting his family at home on spring break. Son then spends weekend with friends at an apartment. One of those friends is my college-age son, who comes home after spending the weekend with his friend. And then, the first man informs his son (and my son) the meet-up buddy just tested positive for Covid-19. Maybe it’s four degrees separation. I lose count.

  3. Pajaro says:

    Sorry to hear about your older child, symptoms sound much like my son. Bad diarrhea showed up about 4 days in, he says the headache is so bad he can’t think straight. He says temperature was up in the start. Luckily, I think, he did a lot of work from home, but I’m sure he went by his office after his Portland trip a month preceding onset.

      • Pajaro says:

        Rayne, maybe absence of fever is a hopeful sign, cross fingers.

        Before this is over we are all going to know, be related, or be someone who caught it. Seems on track to be severe and any steps now are late and under done. When it is done we (survivors?) should run the culprits, politicians who failed our citizens, out of the country or onto a cruise ship. The Imperial College report is good, I only looked at the graphics and read the abstract but clear to see where we could be.

      • Pajaro says:

        Doctor my son visited directed him to enter via back door, which he did. Good practice really, why risk the waiting room. Insane times are upon us, I fear….

        • Rayne says:

          It’s a good practice only if your son and the health care folks who met him were masked, and that may not be enough. Really needed negative pressure room because this virus when aerosolized by patient’s exhalation has an hours-long hang time.

        • Pajaro says:

          I assume Doctor’s office would take precautions. Too much to ask my son about. He says cough and sore throat still with him, headache is gone for now. About 8 days in from symptoms.

        • Rayne says:

          Remind your son infection control is critically important right now since we still don’t have a clear idea when patients are no longer contagious. It may be as long as three weeks after last symptoms, showing up in fecal matter after throat swab tests are clear. Important to note this study showing even the toilet bowl of infected patients had virus in it.

          All frequently touched surfaces should be disinfected daily, along with toilet bowl. Virus can be aerosolized and spread to surfaces and into the air when toilet is flushed.

          Disgusting but there it is. Aerosolized virus from toilets was the source of a 2003 SARS outbreak in Hong Kong’s Amoy Gardens apartment complex, and COVID-19 has been found outside patients’ toilets in China.

  4. Tom says:

    Went out to do some grocery shopping this afternoon and had to go to three stores before I found some garlic and ginger root. The meat counters were half or more empty as were the shelves of canned goods in some aisles. It reminded me of those old documentaries about life in the Soviet Union. However, I heard the stockroom fellows say that trucks had just arrived and that it was just a matter of unloading them and getting the foodstuff back on the shelves. Went to the liquor store, too, which was very busy and reeked of hand sanitizer. By the time I left, I had a bit of a buzz on from the smell of it. But folks are taking it all in stride and I noticed cashiers were being more than usually considerate and were asking people how they’re coping “with this craziness”. Also odd to see popular restaurants with darkened windows and cinema complexes with vacant parking lots during March Break. Reminded me of the final scenes of “On the Beach”. And I can’t remember the last time gas was so cheap–78.6 cents a litre when it was $1.10 the last time I filled up, though even the higher price is still cheaper than bottled water.

    • Pajaro says:

      Major supermarket chain here, where I shop, is going to open early on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays only to seniors. To allow shopping without the throngs of younger folks. Early-bird special takes on a new meaning!

      • P J Evans says:

        Mine is restricting hours and limiting the number of customers at one time.
        But it does mean the employees aren’t out of work. (It’s a Kroger store.)

        • Tom says:

          I’m fortunate to live near a city with a drugstore open 24/7 and several large grocery stores that likewise never close. It’s easy to maintain social distance when you’re shopping at 2:00 am. No long lineups at the checkout either.

        • Theodora says:

          My local grocery stories were open 24 hours but are now closing at night for thorough cleaning. I know some people who work at one of them and they are actually doing thorough cleaning at night. They also have special early hours for seniors.
          I found out that my son’s boss had come to work sick and later tested positive. That was eleven days ago and so far my son is OK.

      • Vicks says:

        I love that!
        I think things are settling down.
        I was craving a corned beef sandwich so I went out to buy the fixings for my (partial) staff at work
        (Only 4 of us, separate offices or cubicles or warehouse, all spaced more than appropriately apart, wiping down shared spaces after each touch…
        The grocery store was crowded, but most everyone just had a handful of stuff and ALL seemed chatty as hell, and not just to the clerks (poor things) but to each other.
        I think that grocery stores are going to be the not so secret social hub for people that want to get out of their houses and are craving interaction.
        FYI I got the corned beef and baby swiss but had to settle for sourdough bread. It was delicious!

        • MB says:

          Yes, food shopping is now much more social. This morning, a guy was asking a store clerk (pointing to a loaf of in-store baked bread in the bakery section) if this is all the bread they had. The clerk, not knowing the condition of the commercially-baked bread shelf (decimated), directed him to go to the other side of the store where the commercial bread shelves were located. Having just come from there, I informed him that there were 2 loaves of Russian Rye bread left over there, and that was it. It provoked a smile and saved him a trip to the other side of the store…

        • Brod says:

          Yep, there’s a ‘snow day’ feel in the air. I even had a a break-through moment with the persistently hostile woman who oversees the self-check-out station at the Safeway..

        • Vicks says:

          Me too!
          Well break-through for me at least.
          I asked how she was holding up, and her response was to suggest that people should be spend more time reading the bible instead of listening to the media.
          I didn’t bite, instead I told her she may have a point, too much of anything can be unhealthy.
          I don’t really even know what that means, but hey, I’m trying, and it’s a start.

        • Theodora says:

          You mustn’t live in the South. Clerks are normally chatty. My daughter-in-law is Czech and said it really freaked her out when she first moved here. Now when she goes home she gets annoyed that clerks, waiters, etc. are usually not friendly.

      • Pajaro says:

        The main, statewide, electric utility here announced they would not cut your service if you can’t pay the bill. Yet to research caveats and conditions. Before too long air condition season will be here and this will be important. Smart move for a sometimes under-fire utility.

    • Ed Walker says:

      We are able to order online for delivery to our apartment building. Good selection, no obvious price-gouging.

  5. Valley girl says:

    I spoke with my sister in CA last night. SD county is on some kind of lock down. Sister said that head of county health had said in press conference yesterday that virus is only transmitted when the carrier has symptoms. Jeez! I told my sister about the Idris Alba case- quickest way to sum things up.

    • P J Evans says:

      Tell her the real information is available online. Science News has stories.

      And in other virus news, in L.A., Phillipe’s has shut down, for the first time in more than a century. (French dip sandwiches! Sawdust on the floor! Bench seating everywhere!)

      • Pajaro says:

        Live in LA when I was in 5th grade, wish dad had known about Phillipe’s! Maybe he did and kept it from us!

        • bmaz says:

          You have not French dipped until you have done it at Philippe’s.

          There are others as good, but you get the full experience. It is almost like In and Out. Greatest burger, no. But it is a thing you should do if in LA.

        • P J Evans says:

          Chili-burgers at Tommy’s – the original location at Beverly and Rampart – that’s another. And pastrami on rye at Langer’s.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      The wags have been saying for days that too many present-day mayors grew up in the 1970s, only to pattern themselves after Amity Island’s Larry Vaughn. Perhaps they should add Amity’s town councilman and ME, who was ashamed to have Matt Hooper point out to him that, “This was no boating accident….” Like Amity Island, San Diego’s economy is keenly dependent on the tourist trade.

      The studies I’ve seen assume that patients who have been exposed to Covid-19 but who are asymptomatic are still 55% as contagious as those who develop symptoms. If the county’s public health director has been saying that only patients who show symptoms are contagious, I would regard it as criminally reckless.

  6. Tom says:

    I think that at some level most Presidents secretly relish the idea of facing a major crisis and seeing it through successfully in order to demonstrate their ability to inspire their fellow citizens and lead the country onward to greater things. The clumsy and doddering way in which Donald Trump has bungled the U.S. response to the COVID-19 pandemic seems to me to be yet further evidence that he never really wanted or expected to become President in the first place.

  7. DrFunguy says:

    A note from western Canada.
    Store shelves pretty bare, especially cleaning products and tp.
    Working from home since the office for my (temporary) desk job is shared with Service BC Front counter (read: drivers licenses, and all other provincial services; hundreds of people daily) and I’m trying to protect my 84 year old father-in-law who lives with us though is currently in hospital recovering from a fall.
    I know, I should have isolated sooner but there was no support from the provincial government until Monday.
    My partner has had a ‘bad cold’ (sore throat, cough) for about a week.
    The weekend before that, the grandkids (the two that don’t live on this property) were visiting from Nanaimo.
    We have come to learn that one of them goes to daycare with a child who was in close contact with someone who tested positive for covid-19. Because of the three degrees of separation, some symptoms and being a caregiver for a high risk person, Partner, by insisting, got a test this morning (nurse in gown and mask came out to the car) and we are self-isolating awaiting test results.
    Father in law was due back tomorrow. That is on hold but they are trying to free up beds for the anticipated need from the pandemic. I seriously doubt partner has covid-19 but we’ll soon have some data.
    Recommended reading:

      • DrFunguy says:

        Thank you for your kind words.
        We have it good compared to many, that vacation to Iran is right out, and are fairly well-prepared (except for the tp ;-) )

    • cat herder says:

      My DL recently expired. State’s DMV offices are all closed. My license can’t be renewed online this time as I’m due to be re-photographed. Good thing there’s nowhere to go, this being Mississippi I am not expecting basic common sense goodwill and understanding if I’m pulled over.

    • John Paul Jones says:

      As for Canada and BC in particular, neither the provincial government nor the feds have seen fit to embrace WHO’s recommendations as of yesterday, which is, test, test, test. Based on this evening’s news reports, it looks like Canada is about one third the way up the first major spike in cases. Elective surgeries all cancelled, retired doctors called in, extra nurses from elsewhere in the bureaucracy being pressed back into service, which all suggests that the health authorities are expecting a surge in the next week or so. And still they won’t test unless you have all the symptoms. Watched the noon announcements from the premier, listened to some of the media questions, and the majority were focussed not on the issues as such, but on what the premier had just said, so we got 10 mins of questions on school closures. No tough questions at all.

    • e.a.f. says:

      some of the big box stores have empty shelves but the regular grocery stores in South Nanaimo have everything on the shelves, except hand sanitizer and Lysol wipes, but they had those at Shopper’s Drugs in Harewood, Nanaimo

      On Monday things changed because there were more confirmed cases of CO VID 19. Today, Tuesday, Dr. Bonnie Henry, B.C.’s chief medical officer declared a medical emergency. She based this decision on 83 new cases. There are now 186 confirmed cases in B.C. and 8 deaths, all in North Vancouver, a suburb of Vancouver, except one, in the Fraser Valley. All were seniors.

      As of today school are closed in B.C. along with all sorts of other things The kids started their spring break Monday and my take on it is they won’t be going back to school this year. the Provincial Minister of Education was at the presser and announced kids would get their grades, kids who were going to graduate will be graduated, with out proms, etc. it will enable those kids to apply to university based on their grades to date. Of course the universities are closed also.
      Bars are closed, casinos are closed. Gyms are closed, etc.

      In my opinion the provincial government has things well in hand and so does the federal government. Now that the Chief Medical officer has declared an emergency, the Minister of health is legally permitted to make all sorts of decisions without having to go to the legislature.

      Dr. fun guy, given you work for the provincial government, doesn’t your collective agreement give leave paid or unpaid for these things. I know these things are covered in the federal government employees collective agreements. Might want to check with your union–BCGEU.

      I’m optimistic our province will get through this. they’ve asked recently retired doctors and nurses to come back to work and they’ve had a good response. there are enough public buildings to house the ill.

      • DrFunguy says:

        I’m a temporary (‘auxiliary ‘) employee .
        No leave, except unpaid. Since My appointment only goes five more weeks I am loath to take leave without pay.
        At least I can work remotely.

  8. timbo says:

    Rayne, thank you for being a voice out there for some of us to hang on to. I hope you can survive this unscathed. It is very disheartening to know that some of our leaders are just not up to the task of handling this.

  9. Ruthie says:

    I’m in my early fifties and very healthy – as far as I know. However, my eldest son (23) is on Remicade, a biologic which suppresses the immune response, for an autoimmune disease. He also had asthma and bronchitis as a child.

    My mother is almost 88 and was just diagnosed with congestive heart failure. She, at least, has lived a long life.

    My fear and rage on behalf of my son is tamped down for now, but remains just below the surface. To make matters worse, he lives abroad, alone. I don’t know if we could even reach him if he was really sick.

    I feel so powerless.

    • e.a.f. says:

      Ruthie, please take care of yourself. I don’t know where your son is, but a lot of countries have decent medial systems and a lot of countries have people who help each other out. This evening’s news in B.C. interviewed a couple who were on vacation in Peru, rushed back off the mountains, only to find Peru is locked down and the military is patrolling the streets, but they are doing fine in a B & B. Again, take care of yourself.

  10. Rapier says:

    America came out stumbling, bumbling and fumbling at the kickoff. What else is new? Everyone knows now that when you take care of yourself you take care of others. Concentrate on doing that now. Most people want to help, should be encouraged to do so and most of all should be rewarded for it. With respect.

  11. foggycoast says:

    Hope you all are being careful. I’m in the Bay Area and can literally see the Grand Princess Cruise ship out my window docked in San Francisco Bay. People are out and about, hiking, walking dogs, surfing, shopping for food. Playing guitar and surfing are my diversions. The light traffic on the highway feels like 40 years ago here. The grocery stores were tapped out yesterday but things seem a bit calmer today. Didn’t even have to wait to get gas. Daughter was given home school assignments so she is working away. I can work from home so mostly keeping out of trouble. There’s some anxiety in the house but that seems to be subsiding. Drinking lots of wine and watching streaming stuff. onward….

    • MB says:

      What? I heard 7 Bay Area counties are now under a “shelter in place” order, i.e. no going outside your house except for food/meds shopping, strictest in the country. I guess following that protocol is voluntary despite that order. My brother lives in El Cerrito and he’s mostly staying home.

        • MB says:

          Thx for the official shelter-in-place info. I’m amused to read that “recreational cannabis businesses are essential services, like pharmacies”. Gives new meaning to the general consensus of the definition of “essential” in the Bay Area. Does that mean all liquor stores are open too? A friend of mine joked the other day that he needed to stock up in case the shelves got emptied by panic buying as it has with toilet paper.

        • P J Evans says:

          Medical grade is generally controlled and tested so it’s more consistent within a type. It’s also much more expensive.

        • vvv says:

          That’s interesting. I’m told that it’s cheaper in IL, probably because of taxes. For example:
          “But recreational users will be taxed based on the strength of the product — anywhere from 10 to 25%. They also have to pay 6.25% sales tax and any sales taxes imposed by their municipality. The Marijuana Policy Project breaks down that tax structure in detail here.
          So say you spend $1,000 on cannabis annually: your total as a medical user is around $1,110. Under the recreational market, a consumer would pay anywhere from $1,150 to at least $1,300 per year for the same products, depending on local taxes.
          For medical users who don’t spend much money on cannabis, it’s worth doing the math to see whether it’d be cost effective to switch to the recreational market.”
          ht tps://

        • Ollie says:

          Well I’m a medical card holder in Oregon and we always get the cheaper prices. We can buy ie: gummies w/a total of thc/100. Cheaper than rec and lower thc.
          Bulk flower? $60 / 50……..we pay the lesser. ALL flower is tested.
          In Oregon the rec users pay a higher price because they pay the very high taxes. Nothing to do w/grade of weed. fyi

        • Molly Pitcher says:

          Oh the liquor stores are definitely open. Alcohol is medicinal !!

          We should know, made a MAJOR dent in a new bottle of Jameson’s Cold Brew last night. It’s a limited edition that combines cold brewed coffee with Jamesons Whisky.

          We added whipped cream and served it in Irish Coffee glasses that fell into my purse at the Buena Vista Cafe over the years 8-D.

      • foggycoast says:

        we’re still allowed to hike, bike, walk dogs and, i guess, surf because i and a whole lot of other people are doing it. we’re just keeping a safe distance from each other. today was one of the most crowded days i’ve seen in the surf at Ocean Beach in San Francisco for quite a while.

        • MB says:

          Down here in L.A., I hear the county is requisitioning the parking lot used for RV tourists at Dockweiler Beach to be converted into a quarantine center for homeless people who test positive or are awaiting test results. I haven’t been the beach since things got serious last week – tomorrow I’ll go to El Porto Beach in Manhattan Beach, which is usually a hotspot for surfers, to see whether the water is more crowded than usual, like you say Ocean Beach is…

  12. earlofhuntingdon says:

    A quick note to an earlier post about Moscow Mitch’s push to get older Republican federal judges to retire, so that McConnell can replace them with bright young things fresh from their FedSoc training. (McConnell has also promised that if an opening at the Supremes should miraculous appear, he will fill it before breakfast – despite his endlessly repeated claim that no such opening should be filled in a presidential election year.)

    As everyone knows, the president’s staff combs through nominees for each level of the federal judiciary, and comes up with a short list. (Republican presidents rely on the FedSoc to do it.) Final nominations are sent to the Senate for its advice and consent. The Judiciary Committee usually does its own homework, holds hearings, and sends recommendations to the full Senate.

    Typically, only nominations to the Supremes are handled individually. District and appellate court appointments are often approved in groups, sometimes large ones. Which means that during a lame duck session, after a resounding Trump loss, McConnell’s Senate could approve scores of new judgeships in an afternoon.

    • Justlp says:

      Ugh! As if we don’t have enough to worry about with this hellishly pathetic response to a global pandemic, Moscow Mitch is focused on confirming MORE young judges by hook or by crook?? He spent the 3 day weekend (that he authorized the Senate to take off) attending a new judge’s swearing in with his buddy Brett Kavanaugh while the number of cases (tested with results) more than doubled over those same three days – from 2247 to 4663. Disgusting!

    • Rayne says:

      What a stupid douchebag Theissen is. We’re going to need every bit of help we can get from China and he can’t see that let alone the invaluable information we’ve already received from them.

      • Vicks says:

        China did suppress information.
        The whole thing is like trying to hold back a tsunami and there is a shit ton of blame to be put on leaders with more power than they deserve or should ever be trusted with.
        It’s going to take more grace than I currently possess to stop raging at the damage they have done, but intellectually I know you are right, we need the help, and the only way to get it from China or the Trump organization is to play the game.

        • e.a.f. says:

          Given China has sent ventilators and such to Italy, I think they will focus on Europe, Africa and South America. Trump has been very rude to Xi and China and its doubtful they’ll care much about the U.S.A. unless there is a change in government.

        • Vicks says:

          Everything will be transactional including acts of generosity.
          Once again Americans need to be reminded that many of them voted for Trump because they wanted him to run our country the way he runs his businesses,
          There is no time where it is more critical that it is crystal clear who benefits from every transaction.

        • Katherine M Williams says:

          Most of the WaPo columnists and opinionators are truly stupid and inadequate. Even the so-called democrats. It’s shocking how low the intellectual level is, how little factual information they have, and how smugly certain of their opinions they are.

        • Areader2019 says:

          Well, give Sargent and Waldeman some credit…, they often are smart enough to to link to

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Blaming China for Trump’s incompetence helps only Trump. As Rayne points out, the US needs China. For one thing, it published its genome sequencing of the virus, which has sped up international research. There’s still much to learn from them.

      American companies, on the other hand, have been buying as much as they could from China for decades, after throwing at it every technology and factory they could find, leaving them no alternative but to source from China. America’s dependence on China is very much a circumstance of its own devising.

      For his part, Trump refuses to suppress any information about his government’s response to the Coronavirus pandemic. Except that he’s classified the meetings of his top advisers, and imposed draconian rules on the ability of anyone in his government to comment without receiving approval from on high.

      After the administration’s virtual war on science – and the intentional dismemberment of its NSC’s pandemic response team – anyone who needs their job won’t say boo without Mike Pence’s OK. And Pence won’t give it without first checking with Trump. So Theissen is a pot calling the kettle black.

      • Pajaro says:

        There a lot of recent papers in the scientific literature, some published, others in review, authored by Chinese Scientists. Their professionals took much time to publish and distribute their observations, likely in spite of a crushing workload.

  13. Peterr says:

    Kansas Governor Laura Kelly (D) ordered all K-12 schools closed in the state of Kansas for the rest of the school year.

    “The reality of this pandemic is that it cannot be controlled statewide if school buildings return to normal operations or if they respond inconsistently within our local communities,” Kelly said at a late afternoon news conference. “Unprecedented circumstances threaten the safety of our students and the professionals who work with them every day.”

    Lots of implementation issues to work out at the local level, including not just how to deal with the education stuff but also things like food for those on subsidized meal plans and others students with other special needs, but she’s going after this head on.

    • Pajaro says:

      What took her so long, our schools have been closed for almost 2 weeks…? And, school lunches are still being provided at drive thru locations. This is a very poor state, however democrat majority.

  14. Peterr says:

    I spent the better part of today working out the logistics of shutting down all face-to-face gatherings of my congregation (including worship), and figuring out alternative arrangements and work-arounds. This is not a small task. Folks in the parish were all supportive, even those who are generally not happy when anything changes. We’re also brainstorming about how to help out those who might otherwise fall between cracks, like working parents who need a responsible adult to watch their kids who are now not going to be going to school, folks like Rayne with compromised immune systems or other conditions who need someone to go to the grocery store or pharmacy for them, or anyone who is self-quarantining who needs non-physical contact with the outside world to keep from going stir-crazy.

    It’s very odd to be telling people that the best way to love your neighbor right now is to stay away from them as much as possible. But that’s where we’re at.

    • Vicks says:

      How we react to this “pause” will define who we are as a country, and I think that could use a bit of deliberate shaping in a timely manner.
      I put up some prayer flags yesterday, and it felt really powerful when they started flapping in the breeze.
      I’d like to see some sort of symbol that everyone can display on their homes or in their windows. Something that reminds us not just of our own better selves but that our neighbors have better selves too.
      I keep coming back to a flag or window decal but someone mentioned Christmas lights which would be beautiful.
      Of course I would want them all to be purple (healing) or some other symbolic color but I will put the country before myself and let go of my control issues.
      Some delightful and clever artist may have already come up with just the thing that will make everyone feel included.
      This is NOT the time for maga marketing to try to manipulate the masses

  15. harpie says:

    We can crowd source resources….maybe even have them in categories…
    This is something Ollie posted on a previous thread:
    Maybe under “The ARTS-music”

    1] The Met
    7:28 PM · Mar 13, 2020

    General Manager Peter Gelb announced today that in response to the coronavirus pandemic and the cancellation of performances, the Met will offer a nightly series of free web streams that will bring opera to audiences while the house is dark—beginning March 16 at 7:30PM ET.

    2] YoYo Ma
    5:08 PM · Mar 13, 2020

    In these days of anxiety, I wanted to find a way to continue to share some of the music that gives me comfort. The first of my #SongsOfComfort: Dvořák – “Going Home” Stay safe. [VIDEO]

  16. Duke says:

    Thank you to all of you.

    Is there not one adult on the Eastern seaboard of this nation with the courage to take the loaded weapon from the two year old who is more proud of it’s new toy than embarrassed by the overflowing diaper being drug around at the ankle?

    Bad things happen to everyone. Proven.

    The measure of a person is in what they do in the difficult times.
    Keep your eyes peeled.

    When lemmings keep going in the same direction without looking down they never know the floor is no longer afoot.

    At least Michigan has a Governor who is a leader and is trying to stop the low lemming pile before Michigan becomes wall to wall lemming shag.

    Gretchen for Vice President!

    Fix the Damn Government means WE ALL need to fix US. Whatever there is tomorrow we get say in the new normal. Be the good you want in the world. Accept the good from others.

    • P J Evans says:

      I’m sure the hospital has my blood type in their records, after having had surgery there year before last. I don’t know what it is, though. (My father was O; I don’t know what my mother was.)

    • FunnyDiva says:

      Here’s a link to the pre-print of the NEJM paper.
      From my “source”
      “take-aways are

      1. It can survive up to three hours in an aerosol or mist (not just droplets).
      2. It can survive on copper for three hours.
      3. It can survive for 24 hours on paper.
      4. It can survive for up to three days on plastic.”

      You might have to download the .pdf to get the nicely formatted article. Looks like supplemental info (methods) are linked as well.

      I don’t think the ? above is for tracking…I think the URL is just that long!

      I asked an infectious disease doc if they’d seen it and they said they had and weren’t surprised.
      I still think it’s good someone did the experiment and compared SARS-Cov2 to its nearest relative SARS-CoV1

      [FYI, replaced link with version of the same study published in New England Journal of Medicine. The other did have tracking. /~Rayne]

      • Tom says:

        I was at a grocery store yesterday where store staff were all wearing gloves and reminding customers that packages of meat, canned goods, produce, and anything else we were buying had all been handled by any number of people before we handled them, too, and purchased them to take home.

  17. Bellringer says:

    My perspective as a retired microbiologist on the UK response to the pandemic is that it is being led by a government that is listening to, and acting upon, the advice of medical, epidemiological, and scientific professionals. I believe that those professionals are speaking “truth to power” and that Boris Johnson, and the government as a whole, is both listening to the professionals and acting upon the infornation in good faith. I believe the epidemic is being managed with both honesty and integrity. I am not politically aligned to the ruling conservative (Tory) government, but in fact I am ideologically distant from it in many ways. In this instance , however, I have confidence in the systems and processes that we have in the UK. Whilst working, I was intimately involved in “local” community outbreaks of infection, as well as being responsible for managing hospital acquired infection. I have insight into the epidemiological processes that are being used. Of course, with my past experience, I do sometimes wonder how some decisions are being reached, but I neither have access to the data, nor frankly the expertise, to critically evaluate the input of the government’s advisers. I do, however, have faith in their expertise. Perhaps their advice will not result in the “best of all possible worlds”. However, I am satisfied that the epidemic in the UK is being treated with openness, honesty, depth, and seriousness.I believe therefore that the response merits my support.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      “We-he-ell, uh, I’d like to hold off judgment on a thing like that, sir, until all the facts are in.”

      You are likely to be the first person ever to describe Boris Johnson as treating anything with “openness, honesty, depth, and seriousness.” But at least you use the Oxford comma to do it.

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          Boris Johnson is Trump’s Mini-Me. Like Trump, he has failed upwards his entire life and believes in nothing beyond continuing to get away with it.

    • Katherine M Williams says:

      In a conference with UK manufacturers of ventilators Boris said jokingly that he effort to mass produce the items should be called “Operation Last Gasp”.
      Such a wit there never was nor ever will be again.

    • John Paul Jones says:

      Reports I’ve seen (can’t find them right this second, mostly the Guardian as I recall) suggested that the government’s scientific advisers, for some inexplicable reason, decided to focus on what they were pleased to call the longer-term (what will we need to do in August and September to get things going again) rather than on the shorter-term (keeping people alive), and that that is the reason why they are not advocating strong, immediate measures. I suppose there can be valid differences among doctors and scientists about what to do, but that focus isn’t really a scientific judgement but a policy one. And that’s not the scientists’ job; their job is to provide the facts, and the politicians’ job to decide what to do about the facts. To me it seems as if their chief scientific advisers have misunderstood their job, and that Johnson is too stupid and supine to say them nay.

      • Bellringer says:

        Those above who have replied to my post obviously believe that I am naive; I can assure you that I am not. I have a sceptical view of politicians of all persuasions; how could any thinking person in the UK not be sceptical! Perhaps the rather jaundiced views on another government’s response are being influenced by matters closer to home.
        The UK response is a government one that is being scientifically driven. Whether it will turn out to be the best one we will have to wait and see. The important point to note is that we are not seeing Johnson’s personal response; he is leading the government’s. A UK prime minister does not wield the same personal power as a US president, and hopefully never will.
        I restate that I believe that from the outset the government has listened to, and acted upon, advice from those with real expertise. Again, perhaps that is difficult for some in the US to accept.
        The response to an epidemic of this nature requires consideration of both the short-term and the long-term. In fact the very essence of the epidemiological method is to use the former to inform the latter. The consideration of the long-term saves lives too, arguably more.
        Finally, to address earlofhuntingdon’s comment on my english usage; for myself, the use of the oxford comma is a matter of taste (and one that I have habitually employed throughout my life). Its use (or non-use) in my view merits neither approval nor disapproval. You will see that I am also fond of commas and semicolons. Above all, I attempt clarity of expression. I can only hope that I have succeeded, even if my views are not accepted!

        • Bellringer says:

          Reality check: My wife just read the above. “Reasonably well-written, but surely no-one will be interested in what YOU have to say” – her emphasis.
          Ah well, back to looking after the garden.

        • BobCon says:

          No. Just no.

          The UK was on a path that flew in the face of the scientific consensus.

          It was a response driven by politicians, especially Johnson, and not some vague collection of technocrats.

          There has been a sudden about face in policy direction, but it is critical to note that it was not because of new ideas in the scientific and medical community. It was because Johnson and his government finally admitted to reality.

          This is gaslighting and I suspect if you respond it will quickly devolve into a shameful episode of agument over tenses, parsing of meanings hinging on narrow readings of dictionary definitions, and all of the cynical solipsistic tricks of bad faith arguers. This isn’t Reddit circa 2014 arguing up Wakefield. Don’t go there.

      • Rayne says:

        Johnson isn’t too stupid to handle this relatively simple math. He has a particular ideological bent and doing as little as possible suits his aims.

        It’s not rocket science to calculate 40% of Great Britain’s 61,000,000 population to arrive at the anticipated near-term infections.
        It’s not rocket science to calculate the affect a 2% mortality rate has on an infected population — and that rate is highly optimistic.

        Johnson simply chooses to allow +1.2 million Britons to die in a slightly longer time frame under toothless guidance than a shorter time frame with none at all.

        It’s not a scientifically-driven choice. It’s a political choice: “If they would rather die…they had better do it, and decrease the surplus population.”

    • Rayne says:

      I have purposely taken some time to cool off before replying to your comment.

      Johnson and his leadership team had been using the decade-old “pandemic flu” response plan. This is NOT the flu, and as a retired microbiologist you should grasp the magnitude of failure Johnson and his team embraced by treating COVID-19 as just another influenza pandemic, even if that “pandemic flu” response plan had been developed with the aid of public health professionals, physicians, and scientists. This failure has been exacerbated by inaction up to March 3 when it finally published a new action plan for COVID-19, already too late to launch the containment phase.

      Johnson and his leadership team also failed to grasp the previous Imperial College reports 1-8 — particularly those spelling out the CFR and transmissibility of COVID-19 — and what it meant to the UK population. Or they chose to ignore these reports into March even while countries like Italy and Iran were struggling before their eyes.

      I suspect you are suffering from cognitive dissonance, still clinging to the belief that the government systems in which you grew up and became invested still work. We have a similar problem here; the Democratic Party suffered from the same cognitive dissonance, believing that the rule of law would restrain a lifelong scofflaw and the transnational crime syndicate behind him, one which masquerades as a conservative political party.

      Now here we are, on the verge of a slow-moving human cull while the scofflaw-in-chief has only faffed about because his minions are ineffectual at anything but white-collar theft. Ditto Johnson et al in the UK (the landed and peerage classes didn’t become wealthy because they actually did anything constructive with their own sweaty labor).

      I can’t help but think of Brian May struggling to stop the badger cull while bovine TB swept through England’s cattle, about which the UK government did little effectual to deal with the TB itself. Perhaps you’ll grok that model being a retired microbiologist.

      In the case of COVID-19, you’re the badger. Best of luck to you and yours.

    • Beth from Santa Monica says:

      I listened in on Congressman Ted Lieu’s telephonic town hall tonight. He had two public health experts on to help answer questions, Dr. King of LA County Public Health and Dr. Eisenman of UCLA’s school of public health. Both cautioned against misinformation on the web and in social media.
      This article from the NY Times illustrates just how hard it is to know what you can believe. A caller asked specifically about airborne transmission of Covid-19 and Dr. Eisenman mentioned the unverified and non peer-reviewed claim being circulated that droplets containing Covid-19 aerosol and thereby become more wide-spread and persistent in the environment. He specifically indicated that the information about aerosol droplets containing the Covid-19 virus is not to be trusted.
      How in the blue blazes is anyone reading the press supposed to be able to tell what is accurate and what is not?!? That’s part of what is so scary about this pandemic — it’s hard to distinguish accurate information from bunk.
      Stay safe everyone.

    • Eureka says:

      Yeah, none of this is good. First, they are directed to use simple masks now (whereas everyone had been on airborne precautions since January). Then today as to N95s, Pence at presser said they were diverting supply from industry. Great, all but for part that industrial grade N95s are not rated for liquids (body fluids; patient care…). Some, like spouse, have PAPRs (imagine a helmet-like hood with bubble that covers face, provides air), but instead of full hoods, they leave ears+ exposed (so stethoscopes cane be used without getting into a hood). But if PAPR breaks and none are left, or exposes too much skin in area where treatment-based aerosols are likely to be generated, …

  18. orionATL says:

    a historian of the 1918 flu pandemic (in the slang of our times, truely a “killer” epidemic) writes in the nytimes:

    the key concepts here are “containment”, which he says we have failed to do; “suppression”, in which we are presently engaged; and “compliance”, which can be a problem.

    telling the truth is important to public confidence (and presumably compliance).

    so is testing:

    “… Right now virtually every state in America is in suppression mode, but suppression has no chance of succeeding unless cases are identified. With the United States having tested only about 40,000 of its nearly 330 million people — the worst record in the developed world — we are struggling to catch up, which will take weeks, all while the virus spreads, possibly so widely that it becomes entrenched and impossible to suppress…”

    today in the local newspaper, the atlanta journal-constitution, an article quoting the georgia director of public health said that georgia was processing 100 tests per day and expected to be up to 200 per day by the end of this week.

    o.k. let’s do some arithmatic (arithmatic is not math, ever):

    200 tests/day x 5 work days per week = 1000/week. 1000/week x 52 weeks/year = 52000 tests/year. amirite?

    o. k.

    now the population of georgia in 2020 is ~10,500,000. pop ÷ tests/year = 10,500,000 ÷ 52,000/yr = 201.923 years.

    what did i miss? getting tested? don’t be a smart ass 😉.

    when are our leaders going to quit doing republican p.r., and get serious about rapid mass testing?

    what we are doing with 4-hour plymerase chain reaction testing seems incapable of meeting the exceptionally urgent need we have.

    • FunnyDiva says:

      I wanted to PUNCH the “expert” Doctor last night on MSNBC who was all “oh, well…testing isn’t a panacaea”.

      Rachel Maddow wasn’t having it either.

      DUDE…when we have ENOUGH TESTING to do everyone who reasonably needs it, INCLUDING known contacts of confirmed cases AND the “worried well” are still demanding more, THEN you get to pooh pooh the idea.
      NOT before then. NOT now.

  19. harpie says:

    A Progressive Challenger Has Beaten One Of The Last Anti-Abortion Democrats In Congress
    Marie Newman, who lost to Rep. Dan Lipinski by just two points in 2018, just beat the incumbent. [IL-03]
    Posted on March 17, 2020, at 10:18 p.m. ET
    9:57 PM · Mar 17, 2020

    Elizabeth Warren’s campaign workers went over to help Newman in the stretch drive. #persist

    • orionATL says:

      good. lipinski needed to go. he was a dinosaur fossil which hadn’t quite managed to die yet. now he’s can be prepared for a museum exhibit.

      • vvv says:

        Very glad he is out, (and my contrib to Newsome helped). I actually saw and heard him talk at my suburban train station when he was campaigning last election, ne’er a smile did he crack. But I, I am smiling now.

    • BobCon says:

      There are examples of antiabortion Democrats who were nonetheless fighters for important causes.

      Lipinski was just a jerk.

  20. Philip Rhodes says:

    I have some questions about Mike Pence’s millions of test kits that were supposed to have been ‘shipped’ more than a week ago:

    1) Where are they now?
    2) Who made them?
    3) What was the cost per kit?
    4) Why order ‘millions’ since it is now obvious that it would taken until maybe 2025 before the
    current U.S. testing reigmen would made much of dent in these millions of kits?
    5) Was it all just of bunch of baloney? If so – who told Mike Pence to give us baloney? And did he know?

      • Frank Probst says:

        “By Friday” is the new “Friedman Unit”, but I’m not sure who it should be named after.

        • Rugger9 says:

          The way this WH operates, the earlier Friedman Unit (h/t Charlie Pierce) would still be correct at six months.

        • P J Evans says:

          it’s about half a Scaramucci from Monday, so…

          (It reminds me of the mother of a friend who was the general contractor for her retirement home – she’d been admin secretary at a small utility – and was told that her garage door would ship on Thursday. Didn’t arrive as expected, got delayed. The running joke was that they didn’t say *which* Thursday.)

    • cat herder says:

      Why does this remind me of the ghost fleet of trucks hauling bottled water, after Katrina, that mysteriously got sent from place to place to place to place – for, how long was it, weeks? – basically sent everywhere except the Gulf Coast. Endless responses about how logistics are very difficult, we’re working on it, they are coming don’t worry, any day now…

      • e.a.f. says:

        Do remember that water thing. What was interesting, was that a group in Seattle put together a couple of large trucks full of bottled water and drove it straight through to New Orleans. (Greater Vancouver and Victoria have most of the seattle t.v. stations)

    • Geoguy says:

      TomVet had an interesting comment yesterday at 8:35pm for the Ronna McDaniel post which might explain at least some of the delay in getting and distributing test kits. Trump is waiting until he gets a piece of the action?

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        Trump uses that language to describe his hands and his daily lunch from McDonald’s, so it’s not indicative of reality. But as Rayne notes, this claim we can check against published federal purchasing data.

      • e.a.f. says:

        just read all the twitter responses. no one is going to believe him given what he kept saying about the virus test kits. If there are any ventilators they will be kept by the hoarder in chief, to ensure profits

        People don’t believe him and that is never a good thing for a politicians especially at times like this. Its like saying the cheque is in the mail. .

  21. harpie says:

    As Chris Hayes says, 10:51 PM · Mar 17, 2020 Just about every single paragraph is maddening and and includes what should be career-ending malpratice for the people running this response. [link]
    Links to:
    Trump Slowly Enlisting More Agencies in ‘Whole of Government’ Response to Virus
    Hospital ships stayed in port, veterans hospitals awaited orders and requests for help went unanswered, as much of the government remained on the sidelines. March 17, 2020

    […] After so many pleas, President Trump moved on Tuesday [3/17] to begin enlisting much of his government in what the White House had called for weeks a “whole of government” approach to the rampaging coronavirus.

    We are starting the process,” Mr. Trump said during a news conference Tuesday afternoon, referring to New York’s request to enlist the Army Corps of Engineers. “The state is working on it very hard themselves, but we’ll probably supplement what they’re doing.”

    The shift came four days after an internal report from the Department of Health and Human Services — not yet shared with the public [?? NYT links to pdf] — concluded that the “pandemic will last 18 months or longer and could include multiple waves of illness.” […]

    PanCAP Adapted; U . S. Government COVID – 19 Response Plan; March 13, 2020

    • harpie says:

      Via Helen Kennedy, here is Elizabeth Harrington, @GOP National Spokesperson, praising Dr. Birx for praising the Trump administration response on March 10, 2020:
      [Elizabeth Harrington @GOP National Spokesperson]
      6:42 PM · Mar 10, 2020

      Dr. Deborah Birx has spent a lifetime in govt service & says she’s never seen such an efficient response #COVID2019

      “This has been unique for me..this unbelievable dialogue between what states need, what local govts need & federal govt being responsive w/changing those regs.” [VIDEO]

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        Reminder that Col. Birx’s experience involved working at Walter Reed and for the VA, so her dataset would be skewed. It also suggests that in order to become a full bird, she chose to smile up and frown down better than any other Lt. Col.

        Her expressed priorities do not suggest a tendency to favor facts over favor or talking truth to power. I would not be surprised if Trump chose her to replace Mike Pence on the ticket.

      • P J Evans says:

        I’d like the reporters to ask him, frequently, why he can’t pronounce “coronavirus” or “COVID-19”.

  22. harpie says:

    These two tweets were posted yesterday evening, one minute apart! But, the photo in #2 was taken in the morning of 3/17. [heh, were there any leprechauns?]

    This pandemic may usher in great changes in how we live.
    We need to make these changes huge and positive.

    I want US to work on that.

    1] 9:02 PM · Mar 17, 2020 [via Marcy]
    9:02 PM · Mar 17, 2020

    I know we’re all contemplating the pandemic, but check this out. Air quality in SoCal right now isn’t good. It’s incredible. Like numbers from another era. It’s not just the rain. Having less traffic is making our city more livable. Think about it.

    2] 9:03 PM · Mar 17, 2020
    [Canon Explorer of Light, Pulitzer Prize winner, former chief White House photographer]
    9:03 PM · Mar 17, 2020

    Beauty in the time of pandemic. A #rainbow this morning in #LosAngeles
    [harpie: gorgeous photo; look at the birds]

  23. daisyb says:

    The Allen Institute for AI has partnered with Semantic Scholar to prepare and distribute the COVID-19 Open Research Dataset (CORD-19), a free resource of over 29,000 scholarly articles, including over 13,000 with full text, about COVID-19 and the coronavirus family of viruses for use by the global research community.

  24. Frank Probst says:

    Suggestion for all of the people who are getting tested and receiving a positive test result: Ask for a paper copy of the test report. Ideally, you want a copy of whatever got sent to the doctor’s office, as opposed to a print out of your electronic medical record, but some places enter the results into the computer and throw away the paper copy that they receive. If that’s the case, ask if they have contact information for the lab that they send the tests to, and then try to get a paper copy from them.

    The reason for this is that we’re going to start having a significant number of people who have had the virus and recovered from it. These people may or may not be immune to reinfection. If they are immune, you’re going to want to be able to prove that you’ve already had an infection and cleared it. The reason for the paper copy is that everything could go to hell with your doctor’s office’s medical records (especially if they’re computerized), and/or the testing facility may go bankrupt.

    The “immunes” are going to end up getting treated differently from a social perspective as this wears on.

  25. Frank Probst says:

    Nit-picking: “Off label” generally means that you’re using an FDA-approved drug for a purpose that it wasn’t approved for, so you’re doing something that’s “off the label” that’s on the drugs. Doctors do this all the time, and it’s generally not a big deal unless do something ridiculous.

    Remdesivir isn’t an FDA-approved drug. You can ask the FDA for a “compassionate use” exemption to use a drug that isn’t FDA-approved, but I think these are handled on a case-by-case basis. In order to qualify for “compassionate use”, you pretty much have to be near death or at least near permanent disability if the normal course of treatment is being used. (In other words, it’s relatively hard to get this.) If it looks like this is a “miracle drug” for the COVID-19 virus, I can imagine a scenario where the FDA would rubber stamp “compassionate use” exemptions for every really sick coronavirus patient, but it’s not going to be something like Tamiflu, where you give it to people who are just starting to starting ill but are fairly likely to recover completely if you don’t intervene.

  26. vvv says:

    I’m a big believer that bad things can result in the making of good art. I’m really liking this Bono song, (and even its rough performance) apparently written in an hour or so:
    ht tps://

  27. bokeh9 says:

    Just a quick thank you. I’m sure you guys don’t need it, but from a very long-time lurker (and, except for extremely rare voluntary bmaz-piñata-ing comments), THANK YOU Rayne, harpie, and everyone — from way upriver in the dark heart of Trumpistan. So much help from such an unexpected source!

  28. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Professor Ferguson, the head of Imperial College, London’s Covid-19 response team – which prepared the recent study both UK and US governments found persuasive – has tested positive for Covid-19.

    Hospitals are running out of masks. Local GPs in Manchester are sharing what masks they have, some of which are out-of-date. One nurse was sent out to find more at a local builder’s yard.

    The British Medical Association questions the government’s claim that it is “prioritising” Covid-19 testing for NHS staff, which is not their experience.

    The editor-in-chief of the international medical journal, The Lancet, is appalled at the government’s response, and wants the government to share, “the scientific evidence, data & models” the government claims to be useing in its decision making.

    It seems possible that Boris Johnson’s government’s response has not had the, “openness, honesty, depth, and seriousness” that bellringer seems to think.

  29. vvv says:

    SW suburb of Chicago here; a small clinic just advised they rec’d 30 tests and after a phone screening and “video visit” will do curbside swabs. They have done 6 tests since yesterday.
    My daughter works at a famous coffee shop, says two co-employees have doc orders to get tested; the coffee shop is drive-through, only as of the past weekend.

  30. gmoke says:

    Mutual aid networks are springing up all around us. There’s probably one in your area if you contact the local government and community resources.

    Mutual Aid Networks

    Intellihelp group from Facebook – only ask and give posts

    Mutual Aid & Social Capital: The Power of Communities, Networks from Howard Rheingold, based upon the syllabus of a course he used to teach at Stanford on social media and including recent links to mutual aid networks forming to deal with Covid19 (which he will update)

    More national links

    The sooner we organize to help each other the better off we all will be.

    “You could say that civil society is what unimpaired mutual aid creates; or that civil society is the condition and mutual aid the activity that produces it.” – Rebecca Solnit, from A Paradise Built in Hell

    Once we start exercising our freedom to build mutual aid networks that support and empower each of us individually and collectively we will have reclaimed some of our own liberty and power. Mutual aid networks are what Gandhi called swadeshi, local production, the heart of satyagraha, nonviolence, and a daily practice.

  31. P J Evans says:

    Via Kos:
    The Senate has finally passed the House coronavirus bill, 90-8. The “no” votes were all from Republicans, Sens. Marsha Blackburn, Jim Inhofe, James Lankford, Mike Lee, Rand Paul, Ben Sasse, Tim Scott, and Ron Johnson.

    Remember those eight. And Johnson was one of the Moscow Seven.

    • Rayne says:

      Looks like the class of 2022 has a problem.

      Jim Inhofe (OK) 2020
      James Lankford (OK) 2022
      Mike Lee (UT) 2022
      Rand Paul (KY) 2022
      Ben Sasse (NE) 2020
      Tim Scott (SC) 2022
      Ron Johnson (WI) 2022
      Marsha Blackburn (TN) 2024

  32. orionATL says:

    bmaz @5:47pm

    why rightwing republlican senators make bad neighbors:

    “…The memorandum describes a simmering anger that started in the summer of 2017 and that, as has been previously reported, dealt with a minor lawn dispute over the pruning of some trees. In the fall, that-low simmering anger grew hotter.

    In September, Paul piled limbs and trimmings from shrubs in a 5-foot-high and 10-foot-long pile near the property line between them. Boucher, who called the pile “unsightly,” after several weeks moved the debris into portable dumpsters and had them taken away.

    In October, Paul reconstructed the pile. A few days later, Boucher again had them hauled away. Less than 10 days later, Paul again made another pile of limbs and leaves, again in the same spot. Boucher took his beef to the Rivergreen Homeowner’s Association, but it did not help.

    On Nov. 2, Boucher hit some kind of limit with his patience. He poured gasoline on the pile of debris and set it on fire. The resulting fireball gave him second-degree burns on his arms, neck, and face.

    The next day, Paul, possibly underestimating the depths of his neighbor’s rage, used his lawnmower to blow leaves from his property onto Boucher’s. Then he piled on the insults: “During this process, Rand Paul stepped away from his lawnmower, gathered several branches from an adjacent pile of trash, and placed them in the exact location where the last pile had been burned just one day prior.”

    Boucher tackled Paul. Boucher, according to his account, told Paul afterward that “he wanted this to stop.” Paul replied that Boucher would be getting a visit from the police….”

    it doesn’t help that after acting like a sorry-assed neighbor they may abuse their great influence with federal prosecutors to wreak vengence.

  33. cat herder says:

    I keep seeing this same bit of text CTRL+C/CTRL+V’d into every article in my local paper, whether it’s AP syndicated or local reporters or a combo of the two, and it’s dangerously misleading:

    “The vast majority of people recover from the new virus. People with mild illness recover in about two weeks, while those with more severe illness may take three to six weeks to recover, according to the World Health Organization.”

    Yes, technically true, but without numbers to define what ‘vast majority’ and ‘those with more severe illness’ means, the ‘vast majority’ of readers won’t get any understanding of what will happen when it hits the local hospitals. Li’l ol’ Lauderdale County, MS does not have 2500 ICU beds. And we won’t be able to ship the serious cases off to Jackson like we usually do.

  34. pdaly says:

    Sharing ventilators.

    On an earlier thread we were discussing the fact that in an emergency two patients in respiratory failure could share one mechanical ventilator.

    This website’s article goes into specifics for doing just that. I’m hearing some anesthesiologists are working on 3D printed splitters to share with hospital anesthesiologists world wide. Some are saying we can connect 4 people to a ventilator.

    • Eureka says:

      Thanks, pdaly, for following up here — I had seen some smatterings on twitter.

      The Farkas post acknowledges and addresses (or tries to anticipate) many of the concerns I had, though some ethical ones linger*, and I recall the RT’s comment as important re addl. troubleshooting. Immediately salient: it will entail some more tail-chasing in critically ill pts vs the 1:1 equipment standard; what will ‘surge capacity’ come to mean (~chronicity) with what’s coming, especially where new patients outstrip new vents.

      I am thankful for those working all angles, and wish all clinicians Godspeed with the learning and dissemination. I hope these arrangements work for the best of all involved. I also pray we get more vents.

      *Simple e.g.s: who gets the standard 1:1 vent care; how transparent would this be to family decision makers; what if family refuses to cooperate** (becomes ~effective death sentence, does the pt deserve that, or does that pt end up with 1:1); when does someone on pre-existing 1:1 vent care get forced to share (which would be a different type of reduced standard of care — withdrawal of a sort, if you will — as opposed to the pre-vent dying agreeing to share equipment), under what circumstances. Etc.

      **I imagine many scenarios along the spectra of altruism, mutualism, selfishness, and spite.

  35. pdaly says:

    Here’s the post on FB discussing 4 patients on one ventilator

    “Sidney Merritt MD
    Associate Professor of Anesthesiology, UCSD


    Here’s what we’re working on currently at the University of California San Diego:
    I had a community member 3D print a splitter to allow us to use one vent to ventilate 4 people. It seems like it will work; I am tweaking it to add flow valves so we can reduce flow in the patients who have more lung compliance. You need two splitters: one for inspiratory and one for expiratory.

    We have 120 Go2Vents from Vortran. They are easy to use and tiny. We are dissembling some now to see if we can make them ourselves. The issue with them (besides how primitive they are,) is that they require 10L/min of flow to work. If we don’t have enough wall supply, they’re not that helpful.

    We have our engineering school trying to rapidly develop a super simple vent that could ideally work without wall supply or high flow requirements. It would be great if it could have 3D printed components so we could share the files widely and anyone could make one.”

    • orionATL says:

      pdaly –

      it’s impressive and encouraging when individuals like this doctor seize the initiative and put their imagination and experience to work. i expect this information will be valuable to hospital staff desperate for additional equipment to meet extraordinary demand.

      for whatever it is worth, there is a tiny machine available to individuals for use in their homes that can serve a purpose similar to the hospital machine. i think it is called a “nebulizer”. as i understand it, this device works on electricity and dispenses a medical vapor much like the original hospital device. the medicine likely requires a presctiption; the machine may too.

      how useful this might be with this disease is not something i can address.

      here is one source of info about the device:

      • pdaly says:

        Yes, to the individual with asthma flares, the nebulizer will help with breathing.
        The CPAP or BiPAP machines for people with obstructive sleep apnea may be more helpful for someone with breathing difficulty from pneumonia.

        However, in the outpatient medical clinics and in the emergency rooms, those machines are more likely to aerosolize the virus, so they are being avoided for the safety of caregivers unless the treatment is performed in a special negative air pressure room that will help to contain and filter the virus out of the ambient air.

  36. harpie says:

    Approximately “3 weeks ago” >>>
    FEBRUARY 28, 2020

    Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr [to a PRIVATE AUDIENCE]:

    [0:15] There’s one thing I can tell you about this: it is much more aggressive in it’s transmission than anything we have seen in recent history. It’s probably more akin to the 1918 pandemic.

    • harpie says:

      2/25/20 Total cases > 0
      TRUMP: Within a couple of days, is going to be down to zero.

      2/28/20 [Approx] Total cases > 0
      BURR: [to a private audience]: There’s one thing I can tell you about this: it is much more aggressive in it’s transmission than anything we have seen in recent history. It’s probably more akin to the 1918 pandemic.

      3/1/20: Total cases > 0
      TRUMP: Everything is really under control.

      Early March TRUMP tries to buy German scientists/work

      3/7/20 Total cases > 0 < 500
      TRUMP: I’m not concerned

      3/10/20 Total cases > 1,000
      TRUMP: It will go away

      3/13/20 Total cases > 2,000
      TRUMP: I take no responsibility.

      3/16/20 Total cases > 4,500
      TRUMP: Relax, we’re doing great.

      3/18/20 Total cases > 9,000
      TRUMP: I always treated the Chinese Virus very seriously, and have done a very good job from the beginning […] Many lives were saved. The Fake News new narrative is disgraceful & false!
      7:46 AM · Mar 18, 2020


      • harpie says:

        Edit of 2/28/20 above:

        2/27/20 Total cases > 0
        BURR: [to a private audience]: There’s one thing I can tell you about this: it is much more aggressive in it’s transmission than anything we have seen in recent history. It’s probably more akin to the 1918 pandemic.

        TRUMP: It’s going to disappear, one day, it’s like a miracle it will disappear, and from our shores, you know, it could get worse before it gets better, it could maybe go away. We’ll see what happens.

    • harpie says:

      So, on the NPR show, Tim Mak says BURR’s meeting was on the same day TRUMP said:

      It’s going to disappear, one day, it’s like a miracle it will disappear, and from our shores, you know, it could get worse before it gets better, it could maybe go away. We’ll see what happens.

      That day was 2/27/20

      Trump’s Statements About the Coronavirus Posted on March 18, 2020 | Updated on March 19, 2020

      Feb. 27:
      “It’s going to disappear. One day — it’s like a miracle — it will disappear.” — Trump at a White House meeting with African American leaders.

      • harpie says:

        2/13/20 Total cases ??
        BURR: Burr and his wife Brooke sold between $581,000 and $1.5 million in publicly traded stocks on Feb. 13 and didn’t buy any new positions, according to a recent financial disclosure filed with the Senate. [open secrets link below]

      • harpie says:

        Oh, another possibility:
        2/7/20 Total cases ??
        BURR: In a Feb. 7 opinion piece for Fox News, Burr and Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) wrote that the U.S. is
        “is better prepared than ever before” to deal with a health crisis like the coronavirus [Open Secrets link]

      • harpie says:

        2/5/20 Total cases ??
        Trump Administration’s first congressional briefing on Coronavirus

        Sen Chris Murphy, today:
        5:16 PM · Mar 19, 2020

        Trump just ordered 500 million masks. It will take 18 months for them to be delivered. Which made me recall how shocked I was leaving the Administration’s first congressional briefing on Coronavirus on Feb. 5. I tweeted this as I walked out.

        links to:
        10:09 AM · Feb 5, 2020

        Just left the Administration briefing on Coronavirus. Bottom line: they aren’t taking this seriously enough.

        Notably, no request for ANY emergency funding, which is a big mistake. Local health systems need supplies, training, screening staff etc. And they need it now.

    • harpie says:

      Now the article is up and this is what it has to say about that luncheon:

      […] The luncheon had been organized by the Tar Heel Circle, a nonpartisan group whose membership consists of businesses and organizations in North Carolina, the state Burr represents. Membership to join the Tar Heel Circle costs between $500 and $10,000, and promises that members “enjoy interaction with top leaders and staff from Congress, the administration, and the private sector,” according to the group’s website.

      In attendance, according to a copy of the RSVP list obtained by NPR, were dozens of invited guests representing companies and organizations from North Carolina. And according to federal records, those companies or their political committees donated more than $100,000 to Burr’s election campaign in 2015 and 2016. (Burr announced previously he was not planning to run for reelection in 2022). […]

    • harpie says:


      Aaron Rupar Retweeted
      5:08 PM · Mar 19, 2020

      SCOOP: NC’s GOP Senator Richard Burr told the public he was confident the govt can fight off COVID-19 the same time he & his wife sold up to ~$1.5 million stock in major corporations that ended up losing most of their value during the coronavirus pandemic

      Links to Open Secrets:
      Senate Intel chair unloaded stocks in mid-February before coronavirus rocked markets
      Karl Evers-Hillstrom
      March 19, 2020

  37. P J Evans says:

    In the department of other stuff still going on: Tulsi has suspended her campaign *and* endorsed Biden.

  38. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Meanwhile, Trump’s daily Cvd-19 presser is long on promises and the mahvelus wonders of America’s private sector, but short on the availability of testing, masks, and ventilators. Naturally, each speaker begins and ends their spiel by giving laurel leaves to Donald Trump, who stands within eighteen inches of the podium, especially while the US Surgeon General lauds people for practicing social distancing.

    The building industry is “donating” its supplies of suitable masks to local medical services. No word on whether that’s more than a drop in the bucket of need or what respiratory protections their workers will have as they continue to do their jobs, where possible. (The UK had days ago sent out nurses to building yards to find masks still for sale.)

    No mention of forcing suppliers to give the government compulsory licenses for some of its technology. That would speed delivery and tremendously lower costs of vital components that can be made with a 3-D printer, suitable materials, and protected designs. Valves for ventilators, for example.

    The “lead” in responding to the Coronavirus will be taken by FEMA. Whatever that means. I now have to find my VHS tapes of those old X-Files movies.

    Lastly, the feds and each state should add grocery store stockers and clerks to the list of “essential personnel.” Even Portland, OR, can’t rely on the odd pizza parlor giving out a free roll of TP with each pizza.

  39. Eureka says:

    Prince Albert just turned up positive. Let’s hope no virus cladograms are needed for CSI… creep.

    • harpie says:

      […] Dr. James Matera, chief medical officer of CentraState Medical Center, said he had discussed the uniqueness of treating so many members of the same family with the state’s health commissioner and officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

      He said officials are in the process of evaluating the patients’ medical histories to look for clues about why the disease might have progressed so rapidly, and been so potent.

      “I don’t know if it’s a strain thing,” Dr. Matera said. “I would consider these particular people to be unusual.” […]

      • Eureka says:

        Yeah, the impression does seem to be something about the family. But then the linkage is curious — to the first NJ death (also, IIRC, with connections to the horse racing world), but via another person who was in the company the first man who died, then later at the family dinner (but the linker has not been identified as ill, or not, as far as I saw).

        IOW : because the first (and apparently unrelated) man also died, it ~may be~ more complicated than merely something about the family or coincidence. Perhaps an interaction effect, or some trait they share. Puzzling sans more info.

  40. Eureka says:

    Regrets I don’t have the timestamp to check this, but I swear Trump just said that people like (or actually) Lindsey Graham who were in quarantine tested negative for COVID-19 and left quarantine due to a negative test.

    Uh, that is not how the 14 day quarantine works. You don’t get to leave it part way through on a negative test.

    Perhaps he misspoke or my ears poorly translated his untranslatable mangle (his speech circled back to where he thought he should go, per usual). Anyone else hear this part? [I believe it was just before 1230p ish]

  41. skua says:

    They tested one whole town in Italy.
    If the results are accurate and if they are valid for the rest of the globe then working to avoid infection needs to be done even when everyone appears to be healthy.
    50%-75% of the infected people were asymptomatic.

    • Pajaro says:

      And at Trumps presser today, I think it was the FDA Commissioner (looking for transcript) who said you will only be tested if you have symptoms, if you don’t have symptoms don’t expect a test (words to that effect). This will go down as one of histories dumbest government responses to a major crisis. For the sake of the nation, resign immediately!

      • P J Evans says:

        I think they’re having trouble wrapping their minds around the idea of a disease that’s communicable and contagious with no symptoms every appearing – and I think that’s especially true of younger people.

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          I would say it is especially true of Trump. Barring his feral instincts to survive and cheat, his thinking is immature and two-dimensional. Like a two-year old, if he can’t see something, it must not exist. Therefore, if someone has no symptoms, they cannot have a disease or be able to transmit it.

          Imagine if Trump were NY’s governor when Typhoid Mary was about. Manhattan would have soon had more sheep than people.

      • Tom says:

        I think it was Mike Pence who answered a reporter’s question about why can’t everyone who wants a test get one by saying that, if you don’t have symptoms you don’t need to be tested. I’m sure by this point there are elementary school students who know better. The FDA Commissioner may have said something similar, but I didn’t watch the whole thing as I can only take so much of that “Thanks to the President’s leadership” and “under President Trump’s bold direction” bumf.

      • Pajaro says:

        Sorry, It was Pence today, he said “…if you don’t have symptoms you don’t need a test.” So, under government leadership they are not going to try to get ahead of the spread by community testing, or survey of populations. Nor are they interested in knowing the extent of asymptomatic infections in the population.

  42. orionATL says:

    thanks, skua.

    this could be very valuable info for researchers since it tests an entire small population exposed to each other. most individual info is collected from persons scattered all over, e. g., a large metropolitan area like l.a., let alone california.

    could you give a citation?

  43. harpie says:

    This is how a Trump briefing THE TRUMPTEASE works:

    1] 7:12 AM · Mar 18, 2020
    [TRUMP twitter link in next comment]
    7:12 AM · Mar 18, 2020

    I will be having a news conference today to discuss very important news from the FDA concerning the Chinese Virus!

    2] 11:50 AM · Mar 19, 2020
    11:50 AM · Mar 19, 2020

    Trump says the FDA has approved the drug Chloroquine for use in Covid-19

    3] 12:15 PM · Mar 19, 2020
    12:15 PM · Mar 19, 2020

    The FDA says it has not approved Chloroquine for Covid-19 use, contradicting the president’s statement

    4] 12:36 PM · Mar 19, 2020
    [SEAN HANNITY twitter link in next comment]
    12:36 PM · Mar 19, 2020

    BREAKING NEWS: Trump Confirms FDA Approves ‘Chloroquine’ to be Prescribed to Help Treat Coronavirus

      • P J Evans says:

        The racism is *maybe* secondary to his desire to get the better of the Chinese government. But it’s always there.

        • Tom says:

          I think his main purpose is to have Americans blame the Chinese for the pandemic so they won’t blame him for his own bungled response to it. Just another distraction. Maybe Trump will try claiming it’s all a fiendish plot of the insidious Fu Manchu.

    • Frank Probst says:

      So let me see if I can fill in a little background here. The way FDA approval works is that you generally have to have several phases of clinical trials to get your medication on the market as an FDA-approved medication for Use #1. Once that happens, if Company A wants to market the drug for Use #1, it can run as many of those annoying TV ads as it wants to in order to get you to ask your doctor about the drug. But what Company A CAN’T do is say that the drug is FDA-approved for Use #2. It isn’t, and Company A can’t advertise the drug for Use #2. But it’s STILL an FDA-approved drug, and (within reason) your doctor can prescribe the drug to you for any use that they want to. They’ll usually be willing to do this if there’s good scientific data suggesting that the medication helps with, say, Use #2. However, that data may not be up to the FDA’s standards for approving the drug for Use #2. If the drug is off-patent (like chloroquine), the drug might NEVER be approved for Use #2, because while it’s easier to get an already-FDA-approved drug approved for a new usage than it is to get an unapproved drug through the pipeline, it’s STILL a pretty big pain in the ass. A drug company may decide it’s not cost-effective to bother. Government-funded scientists might end up doing all of the necessary experiments, because it may not be obvious whether or not the drug does anything at all for Use #2.

      So bottom line: Chloroquine isn’t FDA-approved for COVID-19, but if you’re really sick with COVID-19, and it’s not looking good, nobody is going to care if your doctors give you chloroquine.

      • Molly Pitcher says:

        My understanding is that chloroquine was sent to China for ‘compassionate’ [experimental] use to see what would happen and it worked well, essentially over night it allowed the patients to breath.

        My personal experience with it is that it worked that fast for me as well ,for a different condition. I apologize for not being able to recall where I read about the drug being sent to China. The cocktail hour has arrived and we are toasting Spring and the fact that we are all well, so far. Small pleasures.

        • Frank Probst says:

          The term “compassionate use” has a specific meaning with the FDA. It’s more or less for cases where it looks like the patient is going to die, so the risk of a non-FDA-approved drug is obviously minimal. I’ve seen reports of remdesivir (which is NOT FDA-approved) being used for “compassionate use” in Washington state. It also seems like the company that makes it shipped a bunch to China, apparently before getting final approval to do so.

          Here’s a good run-down of the therapies that are being tried right now. I’d need to do a deep-dive to see what’s FDA-approved, what’s approved outside the US, and what’s “experimental”. Chloroquine is definitely FDA-approved. I think Kaletra is, but I’m not 100% sure. Interferon is, but I’m not certain if “beta interferon” is the same drug as what I know as just “interferon”.

  44. harpie says:

    Cheryl Rofer says this is an “Important thread on testing for immunity to COVID19”:
    1:21 PM · Mar 19, 2020

    Let’s talk about what happens if you get COVID19 and recover. Are you immune to the disease? How long does the immunity last? And what does that mean for your life and for the public health and economy of our society? 1/ […]

    • harpie says:

      Rofer also reccomends this:
      12:03 PM · Mar 18, 2020

      There is a lot of talk about #herdimmunity. Vaccination is the only safe way to achieve it. In the absence of vaccine, we need to practice #SocialDistancing. @BioRender made this amazing infographic to explain how a hypothetical virus spreads through the population. (1/n) Herd immunity describes indirect protection from infectious disease when a large % of people in a population is immune to the pathogen. The % threshold of immune individuals required for #herdImmunity depends on how contagious (R0) the pathogen is. (2/n) […]

      • orionATL says:

        damn, harpie this stream by prof. iwasaki of yale med is a gem.

        rayne tackled this important issue elsewhere, but there is so much stuff here now i can’t remember even where i tucked a comment.

        we are left now with social distancing, but prior funding of continuous viral research for, e.g., covid-19’s deadly cousin sars, would have given us a strong leg up.


        • harpie says:

          I’m so appreciative that there a people here who, like you with this, take the time to follow up on the various trajectories of the FIRE HOSE of INFORMATION that assaults us everyday!

          We can each share our different capacities and strengths to support US all.

          THANKS, EVERYONE! :-)

  45. orionATL says:

    if it’s march of a presidential election year, you are president donald trump, and you campaign brain trust tells you it might be more diffficult for you to be reelected than you all thought likely 6 months ago, what do you do?

    – first, take advantage of any opportunity to demonstrate you really are not the scrooge your fellow citizens may have thought by unleashing gifts of cash money on all potential voters, thus providing media camouflage for your second corporate tax cut, the last one havng been frittered away by corporations.

    – second, be sure you have subtly cleared the way for your pals-in-collusion in the russian federation to ply their election manipulating trade in the u.s. once again.

    – by firing the director of national security, joseph mcguire, following a briefing of the house intelligence committee by one of mcguire’s senior staff:

    “…  Maguire’s aide, Shelby Pierson, who heads the DNI’s election security unit, told the House Intelligence Committee last week that it was the consensus assessment of the CIA, National Security Agency, and FBI that Russian hackers aren’t just meddling in this year’s U.S. elections, they’re trying to help Trump win re-election, two officials familiar with the testimony tell TIME…”

    – then by firing the highly experienced head of the national counterterrorism center:

    “… The acting director of the National Counterterrorism Center was removed Wednesday in what insiders fear is a purge by the Trump administration of career professionals at an organization set up after 9/11 to protect the nation from further attacks, according to two former U.S. officials.

    Russell E. Travers, a highly regarded intelligence professional with more than 40 years of government service, told colleagues he was fired by acting director of national intelligence Richard Grenell, said the former officials…”

    Also removed at the NCTC was Travers’s acting deputy, Peter W. Hall, who is returning to the National Security Agency, the former officials said…”

    like fbi director james comey, mcguire, pierson, travers, and hall, all high-level national security officials, failed the “comey loyalty test” routinely administered by our president.

    the bottom line on these two presidential transactions is that trump has cleaned the firehouse of those who would have continued to ring the firebell on russian interference in the nov 2020 election.

    trump, mcconnell,, are operating on a sound maxim of politics: “You never want a serious crisis to go to waste. And what I mean by that is an opportunity to do things that you think you could not do before.” ―  Rahm Emanuel

      • orionATL says:

        here is a flagrant lie by a white house spokesman. we all expect small political lies as part of the job, but this lie is all-encompassing camaflouge for a continuation of a malign attack on the social net this nation has been building for the last 85 years:

        “… “The White House said the only factor in its response was protecting the public health. Judd Deere, a White House spokesman, said that “whether it be providing food to children impacted by school closures, closing our border to certain countries and regions where the virus is spreading, or pausing all interest on student loans, this president wants us to put politics aside and come together.”

        While there were 118 confirmed cases of the virus in Mexico as of Thursday evening compared with more than 13,000 in the United States and more than 800 in Canada, Mr. Trump said his administration was committed to using powers granted to top health officials to turn away those crossing the border illegally…”

  46. harpie says:

    2/5/20 Total cases ??
    Trump Administration’s first congressional briefing on Coronavirus. Sen Chris Murphy not impressed.

    2/7/20 Total cases ??
    BURR: In a Feb. 7 opinion piece for Fox News, Burr and Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) wrote that the U.S. is
    “is better prepared than ever before” to deal with a health crisis like the coronavirus

    2/13/20 Total cases ??
    BURR: Burr and his wife Brooke sold between $581,000 and $1.5 million in publicly traded stocks on Feb. 13 and didn’t buy any new positions, according to a recent financial disclosure filed with the Senate.

    2/25/20 Total cases > 0
    TRUMP: Within a couple of days, is going to be down to zero.

    2/27/20 Total cases > 0
    BURR: [to a private audience]: There’s one thing I can tell you about this: it is much more aggressive in it’s transmission than anything we have seen in recent history. It’s probably more akin to the 1918 pandemic.

    TRUMP: It’s going to disappear, one day, it’s like a miracle it will disappear, and from our shores, you know, it could get worse before it gets better, it could maybe go away. We’ll see what happens.

    3/1/20: Total cases > 0
    TRUMP: Everything is really under control.

    Early March TRUMP tries to buy German scientists/work

    3/7/20 Total cases > 0 < 500
    TRUMP: I’m not concerned

    3/10/20 Total cases > 1,000
    TRUMP: It will go away

    3/11/2 Total cases >1,000
    TRUMP bans travel to Europe

    3/12/20 Total cases <2,000
    BURR’s North Carolina closes schools

    3/13/20 Total cases > 2,000
    TRUMP: I take no responsibility.

    3/14/20 Total cases 3,000
    TRUMP bans travel from Europe

    3/16/20 Total cases > 4,500
    TRUMP: Relax, we’re doing great.

    3/18/20 Total cases > 9,000
    TRUMP: I always treated the Chinese Virus very seriously, and have done a very good job from the beginning […] Many lives were saved. The Fake News new narrative is disgraceful & false!

    • harpie says:

      1/24/20 Total cases ??
      The Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions hosted a private, all-senators briefing from administration officials […] on the coronavirus.

      Sen. Kelly Loeffler Dumped Millions in Stock After Coronavirus Briefing
      The Georgia Republican is the second senator who has gotten rid of their holdings right as the stock market went bad. Updated
      Mar. 19, 2020 9:38PM ET / Published Mar. 19, 2020 8:49PM ET

      • harpie says:

        Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R-GA) reported the first sale of stock jointly owned by her and her husband on Jan. 24, the very day that her committee, the Senate Health Committee, hosted a private, all-senators briefing from administration officials […]
        The Senate’s newest member sold off seven figures worth of stock holdings in the days and weeks after a private, all-senators meeting on the novel coronavirus that subsequently hammered U.S. equities. […]
        It was the first of 29 stock transactions that Loeffler and her husband made through mid-February, all but two of which were sales. […]

      • harpie says:

        Well, I didn’t know this:

        When Loeffler assumed office she immediately became the wealthiest member of Congress. The Atlanta businesswoman, whose husband is the chairman and CEO of the New York Stock Exchange, is worth an estimated $500 million.

    • harpie says:

      The first date on this TL [so far] is 2/5/20, Senator Murphy said it was the first Congressional briefing on the virus.

      Something else that happened on that day:

      2/5/20 Total cases >5 [<<< new number for TL]
      SENATE: 52 Senators voted to ACQUIT Trump of IMPEACHMENT charges

        • harpie says:

          DeBlasio today:

          8:22 AM · Mar 20, 2020

          “A lot of people are going to die who don’t have to die,” @NYCMayor says about Trump’s failure to act on #coronavirus.

          “If POTUS doesn’t act in a matter of days to maximize use of defense production act…not only will hundreds die who didn’t need to; thousands will.”

        • Rayne says:

          I just can’t with de Blasio. It’s not just his crappy late-to-the-party leadership, it permeates his team. Look at this exchange on March 13:

          That’s de Blasio’s press secretary, making wholly uninformed assumptions including the percentage of ventilators open and not already in use. I am so worried for New Yorkers.

        • harpie says:

          From last night:

          1:13 AM · Mar 20, 2020

          De Blasio: “Why won’t the president give the order to mobilize our military to guarantee that these products are being produced through the Defense Production Act and get them to the American front in this war?”

          again I ask, why is POTUS purposefully not protecting population?

          how do we as Americans even wrap our minds around that?

          NYC is set to run out of medical supplies in 2-3 weeks. does *anyone* think Trump will act to avoid that disaster?

          we’re the only county battling this pandemic whose leader isn’t trying to protect its population

          SORRY FOR YELLING!!!

        • harpie says:

          […] Neither the tide of pestilence sweeping the nation nor the economic calamity that will follow was inevitable. They are the predictable outcomes of the president’s authoritarian instincts, his obvious incompetence, and the propaganda apparatus that has shielded him from accountability by ensuring that the public is blinded to his role in the scale of this disaster. […]

    • harpie says:

      #??? 4? 5? [via John Weaver] 1
      1:36 PM · Mar 19, 2020

      On February 28, Sen. David Perdue told his constituents he’s regularly attended meetings of the Coronavirus Task Force, reassuring them that “we’re fortunate to have the best and brightest at the CDC working to prepare the country.”

      That same day, he sold Caesars [casino] stock. [screenshot]

      Since 2/28, Caesars stock has dropped over 60% in value.

      It recently began laying off workers “amid reduced travel demand from the coronavirus pandemic ‘due to unforeseeable, unexpected and sudden reduced business levels as a result of COVID-19.'” [link]

      added: CASINOS were recently BEGGING for a BAILOUT.
      All I can say is GO F#CK YOURSELVES

      • Eureka says:

        Thanks for yelling *for us all*, so many infuriating — infuriating — moments each time more comes out on how they _actually_ chose to heed warnings / that they _had_ ample warnings (as we all knew they did), etc.

  47. pdaly says:

    Here’s a link to an English language COVID-19 handbook by Chinese doctors.

    I would caution you that if you click on it, it immediately loads, so maybe one of the moderators here can edit the link to eliminate tracking, if possible. It comes from a FB friend.

    One note: the chloroquine treatment in China was not the ‘miracle drug’ that Trump championed during his Thursday press conference today. Instead it was used as a second line if patients didn’t first respond to the anti HIV meds in the first 12 to 14 days.
    The Chinese doctor counsel to use the chloroquine for only 7 days.

    https:// l.facebook .com/l .php?

    [Link ‘broken’ with blank spaces to prevent unintentional clickthrough. Thanks! /~Rayne]

    • orionATL says:

      in dangerous circumstances one takes risks, but not unnecessary risks.

      when i first saw “chloroquinalone” i thought, uhoh. because? because i wondered if they were related to fluoroquinolones. apparently they are. flouroquinolones are some of the most potent antibiotics we have, think cipro and levofloxasin. i think the experience with these drugs, valuable as they may be in some short term uses, must not be encouraged for covid-19 usage except under “nothing else had worked” rules (termed “salvage” in medical lingo)

      as i recall, some of these drugs are can cause, among a list of problems, heart problems in older adults and c. difficile (thrives where gut bacteria are killed off) in patients who experience long term use.

      • pdaly says:

        orionATL, I may have missed a link, but I think most of the discussion has been about chloroquine and HYDROXYcholorquine. I haven’t seen anything about “chloroquinolone”.

        Agree about the risk of secondary infection from C. difficile diarrhea after someone is on antibiotics for a different reason.

        • orionATL says:

          pdaly –

          thanks. this is important. we do not need any more disinformation of this problem from laymen like myself. you may have missed a link or so, but apparently not as many as i have 🙃.

          i took the term “chloroqine” from your comment and searched. “quinolones”. that may not have been the wisest choice. using “chloroquine and quiniolone” this a.m. i found a bit more. the question i have now is not whether or not they are related, but if their medical effects are related. a key question now involves a distinction between quinolines vs quinolones.

          what i read today:

 “… Practice Essentials

          Chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine belong to the quinolone family. Although their therapeutic and toxic doses differ, they are related drugs with similar clinical indications…”

          and another:

          “…The pharmacore of the fluoroquinolones and chloroquine are similar (Figure 1). In fact the origins of the quinolone class are from the use of chloroquine as an antimalarial [18]. A compound isolated from the commercial preparation of chloroquine was modified to produce the first marketed quinolone, nalidixic acid [18], [19]. Fluorine was subsequently added to produce the fluoroquinolones, resulting in both an increase in potency and spectrum. We hypothesized that the extensive use of chloroquine in tropical countries could select for fluoroquinolone resistance among E. coli despite the absence of fluoroquinolone use…”

          in short, chloroquinalone uasage may cause fluoroquinalone resistance. anti-malarial drugs like chloroquine way may interer with other drugs, e.g., in preparing for trips to malarial areas of the world. you get to chose your poison 😉.

          more research seeems needed, but now we may be facing mass death. even in this circumstance though, i don’t think we are well-served by a profoundly ignorant and incurious president touting a drug for the desperately self-serving purpose of immediately driving down “bad numbers” and getting himself re-elected a little over 7 months from now.

          for decades i’ve been reading highly technical stuff way beyond any training i have out of curiosity or need-to-know. i’m not about to insist that i can accuartely intetpret what i read, though i can raise occassionally useful questions which elicit very useful comments like yours.

        • orionATL says:

          “I haven’t seen anything about “chloroquinalone”.

          neither had i. i don’t know how i came up with that name yesterday. i probably mixed up “chloroquine” and “quinalones” in my head. today i searched for it. there is almost nothing available. yes, there apparently is, or was, such a drug but it wasn’t a fluorine-based quinalone and has little or no use today. i can’tt find it in any ordinary list of quinalones:

          thanks again for your initiating comment. this backs it up nicely:

          ” John Paul Jones says:

          March 20, 2020 at 12:14 pm

          A study of a related drug, hydroxycloroquine sounds promising.


        • orionATL says:

          the supporting story, once more with accuracy from today’s column “Three Things: Racists Redirects …”

          “John Paul Jones says:

          March 20, 2020 at 12:14 pm

          A study of a related drug, hydroxycloroquine sounds promising.

          [FYI, link edited to remove tracking. Let’s also use the full citation as requested in the study:

          Gautret et al. (2020) Hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin as a treatment of
          COVID‐19: results of an open‐label non‐randomized clinical trial. International Journal of Antimicrobial Agents – In Press 17 March 2020 – DOI : 10.1016/j.ijantimicag.2020.105949

          thanks! /~Rayne] “

  48. Eureka says:

    Attn: MacGuyver Jim White, some new info post-convo ~ weeks ago (but beware comorbidities):

    PulmCrit Wee- Could the best mode of noninvasive support for COVID-19 be… CPAP ??
    The bleeding edge series examines the most controversial concepts – Caveat Emptor!
    March 17, 2020

    See also Noninvasive/Invasive/Disaster Ventilation subsections here:

    COVID-19 – EMCrit Project

    • Rayne says:

      Thanks, harpie! Was tied up most of the day yesterday, wading through the comments I missed after putting up a fresh post. Thanks for all the goodies you’ve left in comments!

  49. harpie says:

    Via Kate Starbird
    2:00 PM · Mar 19, 2020

    The work folks are doing to crowdsource and coordinate resources and information on the ongoing pandemic here is inspiring! [link]

    Links to:
    Coronavirus Tech Handbook

    The Coronavirus Tech Handbook provides a space for technologists, civic organisations, public & private institutions, researchers and specialists of all kinds to collaborate on a rapid and sophisticated response to the coronavirus outbreak and subsequent impacts. It is a quickly evolving resource with thousands of active expert contributors.

  50. orionATL says:

    just because we can’t easily physically see or hear the little electrons streaming along thru the cables, doesn’t mean the internet is not a physical thing with physical limits (o.k., voltmeters do allow a secondary sort of seeing).

    so when does the internet, that world-spanning web of cables and routers, began to bend or break (slow down or pause frequently) under its suddenly heavier load?

    is the new load manageable with the volunteer corporate cpu-and-disc farm situation we have, at least here in the u. s. of a., given corporate lack of individual humans’ altruism?

  51. harpie says:

    A prescription from DOCTOR DONALD:
    10:13 AM · Mar 21, 2020

    HYDROXYCHLOROQUINE & AZITHROMYCIN, taken together, have a real chance to be one of the biggest game changers in the history of medicine. The FDA has moved mountains – Thank You! Hopefully they will BOTH (H works better with A, International Journal of Antimicrobial Agents)….. / ….be put in use IMMEDIATELY. PEOPLE ARE DYING, MOVE FAST, and GOD BLESS EVERYONE!

    • harpie says:

      Two minutes later, a response a from @realMD:
      10:15 AM · Mar 21, 2020

      Replying to @realDonaldTrump
      The combination of hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin to treat the coronavirus has not been proven safe and effective through large scale clinical trials. […] Because at the end of the day, no matter how desperate we may be, we must never ever forget that human beings are not guinea pigs. […]

Comments are closed.