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The CCP Coronavirus

This is a discussion topic for posting info and questions about the CCP Coronavirus. Check back regularly for updates and share important info. This is a serious pandemic and we all need to educate ourselves and stay home. Don't go out for non-essential reasons. A lot of people are going to die, and our behavior today (March 15, 2020) will still dramatically affect how many die.

March 23 update: Although diseases are commonly named after locations, I edited the post title from The Wuhan Coronavirus to The CCP Coronavirus to reflect the fact that the fault lies with the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), not the city of Wuhan.

Below is the original post.

I'm not a medical expert and I haven't given my full attention to the Wuhan Coronavirus. But I've looked into it some and I have a few guesses, below. Summary: It's a real danger, which might kill millions, and China is lying about containment.

  • Coronavirus is spreading in mainland China outside of Hubei province.
  • The Chinese government is lying heavily.
  • China reports fake coronavirus data.
  • Experts could and should have known the above points a month ago.
  • There's a significant chance, let's say >= 20%, that coronavirus kills a lot of people, let's say over a million.
  • If the virus infects 25% of the world and has a 1% mortality rate, that's 19 million dead. The 25% and 1% figures are both plausible. Worse is not unreasonable.
  • Things might not turn out all that bad, but people ought to be concerned and take it seriously.
  • The virus is a bigger threat than the government measures to contain the virus.
  • Many measures to stop or slow the virus' spread are being done too late to have a large benefit.
  • Many people with coronavirus show no symptoms, but can still be contagious.
  • Individual quarantine measures are frequently inadequate. Self-quarantined persons are told e.g. to keep their distance from their spouse ... who can still live with them and go to the grocery store.
  • A 14 day quarantine is inadequate for a person who is around healthy family members or roommates. E.g. they could infect a family member on day 6. Then the quarantine ends too soon (8 days, not 14) after that person got sick.
  • Although we may still slow the spread down, we can't realistically expect to stop the virus from spreading to most of the world. It may not spread that much, but if it doesn't, that will be luck more than skill. We don't know all the details of the virus and how good it is at spreading. Also, the potential exception would be if someone comes up with a major medical breakthrough to protect us.
  • Politicians and others still going around shaking the hands of dozens of people are fools or bastards.
  • The people mocking those who do "social distancing" like not touching other people (e.g. no handshakes) are second-handers disconnected from reality, and they will be responsible for many deaths.
  • Literal life and death threats are inadequate for most social-reality-oriented persons to start focusing on facts, science, details and logic. They can't snap out of it and will continue to be dangerously careless, and to make decisions based on e.g. not wanting to show weakness. People deal with situations by social dynamics like acting tough instead of fearful, and not wanting to be reactive or high effort, and it doesn't matter if coronavirus has no social behavior and cannot act on social interpretations. People will e.g. stock up on supplies if and when other people stock up, and do whatever they think others are doing; they don't want to be different and that matters more to them than their lives.

Elliot Temple on March 9, 2020

Messages (376)


> Santa Clara County Bans All Gatherings of 1000+ People After Coronavirus Death

Waiting for a death is too late to have a good chance to make a big impact. It's already spreading there. Banning gatherings two weeks ago would have done way more. Or even just telling people not to, and giving strong advice/warnings/recommendations, without making an actual rule or law.

People deal with some other things similarly. E.g. they fairly often know an intersection is unsafe – lots of people in the area know it's a problem and complain – but they wait for a death or major accident before making a safety change (like changing 2-way stop signs to 4-way stop signs or adding a light).

curi at 11:33 PM on March 9, 2020 | #15828 | reply | quote

The way people are acting about coronavirus reminds me of something people do with parenting.

When parents are dealing with young children (infants, toddlers and preschoolers), and there is something really really important to the child that interferes with what the parent thinks needs to happen, they just thwart the child and continue with their plan. Sometimes it would be hard to cancel or change their plan, e.g., they can't just skip work and expect to keep their job. But often their plan is something that is easily changeable and not necessary, like running errands, going on a family outing, going for a playdate. Even in those situations, they think it is completely unrealistic to just stop & change plans because their child is really upset or really wants something. A lot of them (most of them?) even think it would be *bad* to "give in" to their child in those situations.

This reminds me of how people are doing with the threat of coronavirus. I understand they don't want to just quit their jobs. But they could easily quit going to the movies, concerts, restaurants, museums, etc. They could stop shaking hands with people. They could stop going to large, unnecessary gatherings. There is literally a threat of millions of people dying, hospitals being overwhelmed, and country-wide quarantines in democratic, developed countries. But still people think it would be unrealistic or bad in some way to stop their normal activities.

Anonymous at 1:24 AM on March 10, 2020 | #15829 | reply | quote


> But they could easily quit going to the movies, concerts, restaurants, museums, etc.

My friend works in food service. She said that if you don't want to catch Coronavirus, you should stop eating out. The food-handling practices of the people in her restaurant are bad enough that if one of them got sick, they would likely infect many other people.

They aren't really bad - they don't do any of the things that people are afraid of (e.g., purposely spitting into food, using stuff that dropped on the floor, etc.) They mostly follow basic food-safe practices that they were trained to follow, at least in easily visible ways. But they don't seem to understand how cross-contamination works, and regularly (like multiple times per day) do small things that could lead to cross contamination.

She works at a decent restaurant that pays a decent wage. She assumes things are even worse at restaurants where people are very low paid.

Anonymous at 1:30 AM on March 10, 2020 | #15830 | reply | quote

The same thing applies to supermarket food that is packaged by hand, either at the supermarket or at a place that supplies the supermarket. For instance, people wear disposable gloves to handle food, but then they touch something else in the room and go back to handling food without first putting on new gloves.

Anne B at 3:54 AM on March 10, 2020 | #15831 | reply | quote

My workplace instituted a no handshake policy and stopped all non-critical travel.

People wouldn't just decide on their own to stop doing handshakes and travel that wasn't critical. They wouldn't respond to suggestions or arguments for same. But if the word comes down from authority, they will (mostly) follow.

This is why people seek positions of authority. Authorities get to determine some of the parameters of social reality that most everyone else will follow.

In this case I agree with what the authorities said & think it should go further - like work from home should become default, only go to the office if there's a specific compelling reason to. But its bad people couldn't / wouldn't figure this stuff out on their own.

Andy Dufresne at 5:28 AM on March 10, 2020 | #15832 | reply | quote

I think about Coronavirus in multiple ways. Below are some of my thoughts:

In terms of human deaths I agree Coronavirus could be very bad (total >1m deaths).

What's the chance the death rate from Coronavirus will exceed death rate from the flu in 2020? 2021? Hard to say, but worth thinking about (flu kills lots of people every single year). Stopping handshakes and unnecessary travel makes sense cuz of flu alone.

Is coronavirus natural or engineered? People say it shows signs of being engineered and there's a big virology lab in Wuhan it could have come from. But other people say that's a conspiracy theory and it came from animals. I don't know enough to have an opinion but the possibility is concerning.

I've heard the death profile is highly skewed towards older people. That itself isn't unusual but it seems to almost completely spare the very young which is kinda unusual for a virus. China in particular believes it has a demographic problem with older people because of their past strict 1 child policy. Is China moral enough not to engineer a virus to kill old people? I don't know.

Engineered or not, the fact the death rate is so highly skewed towards older people highlights how aging is related even to deaths that aren't technically aging. I think of lots of the coronavirus deaths as aging deaths. I think most people who died of coronavirus only died of it cuz they were old - their younger selves would have survived. I think lots of communicable diseases are this way.

The state of the economy matters a lot to elections with presidential incumbents and this is such an election year. The fact that Trump's policies like deregulation have improved the economy has been a big help to Trump's re-election campaign. I don't know how to tell if people are motivated to cancel events & sell stocks etc. to hurt the economy (and hence Trump) using Coronavirus as an excuse, vs. being legitimately concerned about Coronavirus itself. It seems highly convenient timing for the left at the very least.

Andy Dufresne at 5:58 AM on March 10, 2020 | #15833 | reply | quote


> The same thing applies to supermarket food that is packaged by hand, either at the supermarket or at a place that supplies the supermarket

Yes, but anything you cook yourself is safe - cooking will kill viruses & bacteria. Uncooked food prepared in supermarkets (e.g. chopped fruit) is actually a common cause of food poisoning because of contamination during preparation.

Anonymous at 9:16 AM on March 10, 2020 | #15834 | reply | quote


> [Expert] Opinions on the coronavirus outbreak

A bunch of quotes, from weeks ago, say it was looking like a pandemic, looking like containment wasn't going to work. And a pandemic could infect 40% to 70% of world population.


> ‘If We Sanitize, It Will Be Fine’: Cruise Fans Ignore U.S. Alert


curi at 11:14 AM on March 10, 2020 | #15835 | reply | quote

> This is why people seek positions of authority. Authorities get to determine some of the parameters of social reality that most everyone else will follow.

Like Gail Wynand. But he found out there were a lot of limits on what he could set parameters to. He couldn't just tell people whatever he wanted and have them follow. It has to be within a fairly narrow conventionally-acceptable range.

curi at 11:15 AM on March 10, 2020 | #15836 | reply | quote

> What's the chance the death rate from Coronavirus will exceed death rate from the flu in 2020? 2021? Hard to say, but worth thinking about (flu kills lots of people every single year).

Flu death rate is around 0.1% and, in current data, coronavirus is at multiple percent in various countries.

But there's a major bias in the data because people are more likely to get tested the more symptoms they have. This will drop the real death rate significantly.

But how significantly? Should we divide corona's mortality rate by 2? 3? 5? 10? 100? I don't know a good estimate. And it varies by country, e.g. currently we should make a smaller downward correction for South Korea than Italy because South Korea has done a better job of testing more people with lite or no symptoms.

Also the death rate depends a lot on how many people flood into hospitals at the same time and overcrowd them and exhaust the medical workers, run the hospitals out of various resources and supplies, etc. Further, that strain on the medical system kills some people who don't have coronavirus. (This is a major reason why slowing down the spread is valuable even if it doesn't change the total number of people infected. Slowing it also gives scientists more time to develop new medicines and gives time to build new hospital equipment like masks for doctors and breathing-aids for patients.)

curi at 11:26 AM on March 10, 2020 | #15837 | reply | quote

curi at 12:16 PM on March 10, 2020 | #15838 | reply | quote

There are hundreds of tweets accusing China of faking data from @evdefender on Twitter. He makes graphs, uses statistics formulas, and has repeatedly predicted data points in advance. Example that you can scroll up and down from:


If anyone has criticism of his arguments, please share.

curi at 12:18 PM on March 10, 2020 | #15839 | reply | quote

Anonymous at 2:31 PM on March 10, 2020 | #15841 | reply | quote


> By Feb. 25, Dr. Chu and her colleagues could not bear to wait any longer. They began performing coronavirus tests, without government approval.

> ...

> Federal and state officials said the flu study could not be repurposed because it did not have explicit permission from research subjects; the labs were also not certified for clinical work. While acknowledging the ethical questions, Dr. Chu and others argued there should be more flexibility in an emergency during which so many lives could be lost. On Monday night, state regulators told them to stop testing altogether.

Anonymous at 2:27 AM on March 11, 2020 | #15846 | reply | quote


> Since I’m (slowing) feeling better, They aren’t concerned that I have the virus and aren’t concerned that I went out in public over the last few days.

I can't even

Anonymous at 2:57 AM on March 11, 2020 | #15847 | reply | quote


> What does the coronavirus mean for the U.S. health care system? Some simple math offers alarming answers

Anonymous at 9:44 AM on March 11, 2020 | #15849 | reply | quote

Michelle Malkin attacks the CDC:


Some of her points seemed reasonable but then I was skeptical of this one:

> —For the past few years, the agency has employed a fear campaign to induce Americans to get regular flu shots (formulated based on guesswork) using flawed statistics and despite international scientific conclusions that there is "no evidence" to support the CDC's assumptions that the vaccine reduces transmission of the virus or the risk of potentially deadly complications.

And the next one was worse:

> —Just this week, the Informed Consent Action Network reported astonishing results from its lawsuit against the CDC to obtain scientific documentation for the agency's claim that "vaccines do not cause autism" — specifically for the first seven vaccines given to your child in their first six months of life. CDC had stonewalled, and then finally produced 20 studies — 18 of which were irrelevant to ICAN's public records request and two of which suggest that vaccines may indeed cause autism. In other words: The CDC is lying while continuing to smear vaccine critics as "conspiracy theorists" and public health threats.

Flu shots don't do much? Could be; I've never researched that; though Malkin gives no actual arguments.

Vaccines cause autism? I know that's bullshit since I know autism is a matter of social behavior and ideas.

curi at 9:57 AM on March 11, 2020 | #15850 | reply | quote


The parade in Philly got a lot of people sick. It increased the death toll significantly. Anyone making decisions about these issues should be familiar with it.

Mayor says NYC has no plans to cancel St. Patrick’s Day Parade as Ireland cancels Dublin’s parade amid coronavirus fears

wtf :(

> The mayor emphasized Monday that the coronavirus is not a disease people can contract simply by being in a large open space.

> He said the virus does not hang in the air and instead requires “fluids” to directly come in contact with another person’s eyes, nose or mouths for someone to contract it.

> “The argument for canceling larger gatherings is a lot of people and in principal, you might have that many more people exposed to the disease in the presence of that many more people who have not been,” he said.

> “But when you think about the transmissibility, one of the things that’s holding us back from wanting [to cancel the parade] is that it doesn’t really fit with what we’re understanding about transmission,” he continued.

jfc :(

curi at 11:33 AM on March 11, 2020 | #15852 | reply | quote

#15852 Oh and you may not realize how bad this is. The scale is massive. The NYC parade

> draws about 2.1 million people annually.

curi at 11:48 AM on March 11, 2020 | #15853 | reply | quote

If you look into who runs the CDC, I think you'll be sad. E.g. apparently Chicago political social climbers (people with the right friends who give and receive favors). https://twitter.com/QuasLacrimas/status/1237673996163993601

Why does South Korea do better?


> “Whatever the hell they’re doing [in South Korea]” prominently includes choosing government officials with a competitive exam with passing rates of around 3%.


> And South Korea has half the public-sector workers as a portion of total employment as we do! If we didn’t have bad antidiscrimination laws that banned hiring for white-collar jobs based on any measure that predicts job performance well, we could do this ourselves.

curi at 1:50 PM on March 11, 2020 | #15856 | reply | quote


> Taiwan has millions of visitors from China and only 45 coronavirus cases. Here’s how.

> Aggressive measures starting in December saved Taiwan. Can we learn from them?

> ...

> Kelsey Piper

> Do you want to walk me through the earliest stages of Taiwan’s response? How did Taiwan respond when they first started seeing cases from China?

> Jason Wang

> I think the response started in 2004, after the last SARS epidemic.

> The most important thing about crisis management is to prepare for the next crisis. And so they started to do that. They set up a command center, the National Health Command Center, and integrated different agencies.

The article has info about what Taiwan did, including jumping on the problem early. It also links to a document with 124 things Taiwan did.

curi at 2:03 PM on March 11, 2020 | #15857 | reply | quote

two strains


> Researchers at Peking University’s School of Life Sciences and the Institute Pasteur of Shanghai say the COVID-19 virus, which has since been renamed SARS-CoV2, has evolved into two major lineages, known as “L” and “S” types.

> The newer and more aggressive L type strain accounted for about 70 per cent of the analysed cases, the researchers said, while the rest were linked to the older S type version.

curi at 2:24 PM on March 11, 2020 | #15858 | reply | quote


patio11 changed his mind. he now considers the coronavirus threat substantially more serious than he did before. (i don't know details of his previous opinion.) his reason for changing his mind makes sense.

FWIW my initial (non-strong) opinion was i thought maybe people were overreacting. that was when i just saw a few tweets (which were mostly advocating that opinion). i changed my mind when i started actually reading about it.

curi at 7:34 PM on March 11, 2020 | #15862 | reply | quote

Coronavirus: Why You Must Act Now

Lots of standard info plus, presented well, some info about what happens when the medical system gets overwhelmed (death rate goes to more like 4% instead of under 1%).

Anonymous at 7:57 PM on March 11, 2020 | #15863 | reply | quote

People are dumb. Twitter trend:

curi at 8:17 PM on March 11, 2020 | #15864 | reply | quote


says 2 days after 59 known cases, they had a 100k person communal banquet (with food sharing) in wuhan, 7 miles from where the coronavirus started, b/c of how much the chinese govt won't face reality.

Anonymous at 11:16 PM on March 11, 2020 | #15866 | reply | quote


> Chinese Wet Market Tour and Important Warning


Anonymous at 11:33 PM on March 11, 2020 | #15868 | reply | quote


Talks about Chinese government (CCP) propaganda and says coronavirus only spread to your country because of the evil policies of the CCP.

Says at first when it was just in China, a lot of people were skeptical of CCP claims. But now that it's in other countries people are more focused on their own problems and accepting what the CCP says more.

Anonymous at 11:37 PM on March 11, 2020 | #15869 | reply | quote


> Coronavirus - The Lies and the Truths

China dealt with the virus slowly and badly.

Anonymous at 1:11 AM on March 12, 2020 | #15870 | reply | quote

Anonymous at 1:13 AM on March 12, 2020 | #15871 | reply | quote

https://twitter.com/zeynep/status/1238120058255282177?s=20 :

> once the hospitals are overrun, fatality rates for everyone else will go up, too.

https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=22556525 :

> The whole point of not overloading the medical system - and definitely not getting it at 100% capacity, is that once you're at capacity, it's not just COVID-19 treatment which stops (which means, all those people who would otherwise survive die) - it's all treatment.

> Get appendicitis? Routine surgery, can be done in a few hours. And will definitely kill you without treatment. Break a bone? Car crash? Treating you in emergency now might involve kicking someone else off respiratory support.

Alisa at 8:59 AM on March 12, 2020 | #15872 | reply | quote

US may run out of hospital beds in May 2020

#15849, #15872

https://www.statnews.com/2020/03/10/simple-math-alarming-answers-covid-19/ :

> The U.S. has about 2.8 hospital beds per 1,000 people.... With a population of 330 million, this is about 1 million hospital beds. At any given time, about 68% of them are occupied. That leaves about 300,000 beds available nationwide...

> At a 10% hospitalization rate, all hospital beds in the U.S. will be filled by about May 10. And with many patients requiring weeks of care, turnover will slow to a crawl as beds fill with Covid-19 patients.

> If I’m wrong by a factor of two regarding the fraction of severe cases, that only changes the timeline of bed saturation by six days (one doubling time) in either direction. If 20% of cases require hospitalization, we run out of beds by about May 4. If only 5% of cases require it, we can make it until about May 16, and a 2.5% rate gets us to May 22.

Alisa at 9:18 AM on March 12, 2020 | #15873 | reply | quote

Why soap works on most viruses

https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=22558257 :

> ... soap destroys proteins, which is what viruses are made out of.

Alisa at 9:40 AM on March 12, 2020 | #15874 | reply | quote

Is listerine an anti-coronavirus measure?

Saw some tweets suggesting that gargling with Listerine could be an anti-cornavirus measure, e.g.:

> Mouth wash with listerine has been shown to reduce oral HSV viral load. Gargling the mouth 2x daily with listerine (do not swallow) may decrease COVID-19 in the mouth, risk of transmitting it to the others, lung and GI disease. [...]

Alisa at 11:18 AM on March 12, 2020 | #15876 | reply | quote

Agenda-free TV

Agenda-free TV on YouTube seems to be doing a decent job providing real-time coronavirus updates. It's just a guy with an internet connection and a chat.


Alisa at 1:15 PM on March 12, 2020 | #15878 | reply | quote

I retweet stuff about Coronavirus. Follow me at https://twitter.com/curi42 and look through my tweets from the last week.

curi at 2:48 PM on March 12, 2020 | #15880 | reply | quote


> This is huge: Ohio Health Dept. Director Amy Acton is saying that evidence of community spread indicates that 1% of Ohioans are currently carrying coronavirus. That's *117,000* people.

> Only 5 in Ohio have actually tested positive to this point.

Anonymous at 2:52 PM on March 12, 2020 | #15881 | reply | quote

Instacart rolling out new contactless delivery feature, which can be really helpful for people under a coronavirus quarantine


Walgreens moving to free shipping with no minimum starting 3/13 cuz of Coronavirus


Justin Mallone at 4:50 PM on March 12, 2020 | #15883 | reply | quote


Joe Rogan interviews an expert. I'm 6min in and the guy seems reasonable and is sharing scary info.

curi at 5:07 PM on March 12, 2020 | #15884 | reply | quote

Tucker Carlson discusses claim virus cane from Chinese lab and makes other comments


Justin Mallone at 6:15 PM on March 12, 2020 | #15886 | reply | quote

notes on the Rogan interview with a virus expert

#15884 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E3URhJx0NSw

expert says serious, just starting, will spread again in china when they go back to work, and estimates are 10-15x flu mortality rate and 500k deaths in next few months – doesn’t say if that’s US or worldwide, i think worldwide. **later he says that death total is only for USA!!!!**

he says in italy (where everything seemed fine 3 weeks ago) they 1) are deciding who to let die (i knew that already) 2) stopped screening doctors except in small areas of hospital for non-covid patients. but most of hospitals are just covid so not trying to avoid spreading it cuz everyone there has it...

fuck he said a lot of bad cases for ppl in 40s :(((((

says smoking and obesity are major risk factors besides being old

says incubation period and doubling period is 4 days. i'd heard more like 5-7 previously

he warned the public jan 20 and again at start of feb. said it’d spread worldwide.

says people are a lot more contagious than SARS and are contagious before symptoms.

the expert says the data is poor that this gets transmitted by getting it on your hands and touching your face. do wash your hands and use sanitizer. but he says a lot of transmission is just from breathing, and you can’t really stop it very well. he says the people advocating hand washing and hand sanitizers are exaggerating it and the data says breathing is the main factor.

surgical masks won’t protect you. they will somewhat protect other people from you coughing on them. N95 masks will protect people but we don’t have nearly enough of them. and we don’t have stockpiles. hospitals were used to just ordering them from Asia.

he says we should have stockpiled N95 masks and various medicines, and had our own capacity to produce them in USA, well in advance. and this is fairly cheap to some stuff the army buys like bomber planes. and it could make a big difference and it matters *to the military*, it’s a defense issue too.

disease expert thinks the stock market was ignoring the coronavirus problem until 10 days ago. video was posted to YouTube on march 10. not sure how much of a delay there is. he says on friday (either feb 28 or maybe feb 21, idk) he talked to 400 major financial investors around the world, and the questions they asked him were like 6 yos scared of dark hallways – they were totally clueless. he says afterwards he told friends and colleagues that monday’s market would be bad b/c he could see the fear in them. this is around 52:00 in the video.

Joe Rogan apparently knew about the issue coronavirus issue before the finance people. the interview was set up several weeks in advance.

Vaccine situation looks bad. Hard to make them work well. Don’t expect one anytime soon.

curi at 8:31 PM on March 12, 2020 | #15887 | reply | quote


Interesting details about molecules and chemistry of viruses.

curi at 8:43 PM on March 12, 2020 | #15888 | reply | quote

Some background info on spanish flu and other outbreaks, and some comparison to wuhan coronavirus at the end: https://ourworldindata.org/spanish-flu-largest-influenza-pandemic-in-history



> Patients who have recovered appear to be capable of shedding the virus for several days afterwards. [...] Whether or not the virus will exhibit a seasonality is unclear at this time, as MERS does not, for example. Estimates suggest that within a year we may see as many as 40–70% of people infected with the disease.

curi at 9:25 PM on March 12, 2020 | #15889 | reply | quote

I streamed for 3 hours about coronavirus.


curi at 10:33 PM on March 12, 2020 | #15890 | reply | quote


> Notes from UCSF Expert panel - March 10

Claims China's scientists are publishing openly. China not lying.

But if the expert from the Joe Rogan podcast is right, trying to contain this is like trying to stop the wind. So how did China contain it other than by lying!? Plus I understand that China's citizens break quarantines, disobey the government, and do unsanitary things. It's not a basically orderly, lawful society like I hear Taiwan or South Korea is.

curi at 10:41 PM on March 12, 2020 | #15891 | reply | quote

Coronavirus risk of reinvention


> On Wednesday, Japanese authorities reported the first confirmed case of reinfection. A tour guide in Osaka first tested positive for the coronavirus in late January, then was discharged from the hospital three weeks ago after showing signs of recovery. But she returned to the hospital after developing a sore throat and chest pain and tested positive for the coronavirus once again.

GISTE at 10:55 PM on March 12, 2020 | #15893 | reply | quote

Read these screenshots from Italy doc


> Devastating news

> Conversation between my friend and Italian doctor

> It’s war. Can’t even try to save them all. No one over 60 even gets full care

> Every doctor likely sick, everyone coughs. No time to test them

> No other critical care. Only this. So many dead

> 30% are ages 30-60

Click on a screenshot to expand it. Use your browser back button afterwards.

curi at 12:33 AM on March 13, 2020 | #15894 | reply | quote

#15894 Scary: roughly half the replies to the tweet are calling this fake. Reasons it's fake include that the Italian doctor's English is too good, that his English is too poor, and that the conversation is in English instead of Italian. Most of the accusations that it's fake don't give reasons or just generically seem to distrust news that violates their common sense. They think the way to detect fake news is by looking for unconventional or extreme news.

curi at 12:46 AM on March 13, 2020 | #15895 | reply | quote

#15895 The 30% of cases are age 30-60 claim doesn't appear to be fake according to these statistics:


Anonymous at 12:48 AM on March 13, 2020 | #15896 | reply | quote


> I'm a doctor and an Infectious Diseases Specialist. I've been at this for more than 20 years seeing sick patients on a daily basis.

> I am not scared of Covid-19.

> What I am scared about is the loss of reason and wave of fear

He's scared of stockpiling, prepping, travel restrictions, and cancelled events like weddings, graduations and the olympics.

> The fact is the virus itself will not likely do much harm when it arrives.

DIAP (die in a pandemic)

What the fuck is wrong with these people.

curi at 12:53 AM on March 13, 2020 | #15897 | reply | quote

Do masks help? and how much?


Scientists found that surgical masks capture ~60% of particles roughly the size of coronavirus (and 10 times smaller particles). 3M masks (which I think are a type of N95 mask) capture much more. The best one (3M 9332) captures 99.7%.

GISTE at 7:32 AM on March 13, 2020 | #15898 | reply | quote


> Canada has moved to reduce the number of airports accepting overseas travelers, increased screenings of travelers, advised against non-essential foreign travel and suspended cruises until July in response to the coronavirus outbreak.

> The country's House of Commons will also be suspended.

Anonymous at 11:53 AM on March 13, 2020 | #15899 | reply | quote

#15899 5 weeks ago:


> Research supports Canada’s decision to reject a coronavirus travel ban

> When the World Health Organization declared a public-health emergency over the outbreak of a novel coronavirus, the agency’s director-general entreated the world: Don’t impose travel restrictions on people from China.

> The next day, the United States announced it would close its borders to foreign nationals who had travelled to China within the past 14 days. Other countries – Australia, New Zealand, Japan and Singapore, among them – quickly imposed travel bans of their own.

> But not Canada. The federal government, in a move that drew praise from Chinese officials, has decided to follow the WHO’s advice because “there isn’t evidence” that travel bans effectively contain viral outbreaks, according to Health Minister Patty Hajdu.

> Research from past outbreaks has found that travel restrictions can delay, but not stop, the arrival and spread of a new pathogen.

Delays in the spread *save lives*.

Anonymous at 11:58 AM on March 13, 2020 | #15900 | reply | quote



> *We have 160,000 ventilators in the country. 1,000,000 coronavirus victims will need ventilators. Half of the people on ventilators die in the first week, survivors stay on the vent for about 4 weeks. We don’t have enough ventilators.*

> We are in phase 5 in the United States and about to enter phase 6. I just received a heart-sinking memo from Seattle. **They are running out of ventilators.**

> The big question: Is this seasonal? Fingers crossed.

> The days of just no handshaking are over. Get inside your home and stay there with your family. Know who comes in and out.

> Stay far away from people over 60. Sorry boomers, you’re going to be feeling isolated like never before, but it’s for your own protection. I’m recommending that people over 60 do not get near anyone younger than them for at least 20 days and it may be longer.

> It appears one can be infectious before being symptomatic. We don’t know how infectious one is before symptomatic, but we do know that the highest level of virus prevalence coincides with symptoms. We currently think folks are infectious 2 days before through 14 days after onset of symptoms (T-2 to T+14 onset).

> How long does the virus last?

> On surfaces, best guess is 4–20 hours depending on surface type (maybe a few days) but there is still no consensus on this.

> The virus is very susceptible to common antibacterial cleaning agents: bleach, hydrogen peroxide, alcohol-based.

> Take your temperature — It might be useful to understand everyone’s baseline body temperature. Wash it thoroughly after use unless you have disposable tips.

> Have enough of your prescription medicine. I’ve said this before, get a 90 day supply.

> Turn off your alarm clock. Wake up naturally. It’s quite amazing that humans are the only living species that interrupts a critical biological process that helps our immune system.

> **Seattle is very close to looking like Italy.**

> We are projected to have 40–70% of the entire US population get this. It’s more a matter of when, than if.

> **Experts believe that between 200,000-1,500,000 Americans could die if we don’t find a treatment — this compares to 50,000 in a normal flu season.**

curi at 12:25 PM on March 13, 2020 | #15901 | reply | quote

Some more technical info meant for doctors:


Clinical Notes from an Infectious Disease Gathering in California - March 7th, 2020:


> 3. So far, there have been very few concurrent or subsequent bacterial infections, unlike Influenza where secondary bacterial infections are common and a large source of additional morbidity and mortality.

> 7. At facilities that had significant numbers of exposed healthcare workers they did allow those with low and moderate risk exposures to return to work well before 14 days. Only HCW with highest risk exposures were excluded for almost the full 14 days (I think 9 days). After return to work, all wore surgical masks while at work until the 14 days period expired. All had temperature check and interview with employee health prior to start of work, also only until the end of the 14 days. Obviously, only asymptomatic individuals were allowed back.

> 8. Symptom onset is between 2-9 days post-exposure with median of 5 days. This is from a very large Chinese cohort.

That implies contagious 3 days after catching it (median), given being contagious 2 days before symptom onset (and for 14 days after) from another source.

> 12. Health Departments (CDPH and OCHD) state the Airborne Infection Isolation Room (AIIR) is the least important of all the suggested measures to reduce exposure. Contact and droplet isolation in a regular room is likely to be just as effective. One heavily affected hospital in San Jose area is placing all “undifferentiated pneumonia” patients not meeting criteria for COVID testing in contact+droplet isolation for 2-3 days while seeing how they respond to empiric treatment and awaiting additional results.

This says it's NOT spread primarily just by breathing, as the Joe Rogan expert claimed. Makes hand washing sound important.

curi at 12:48 PM on March 13, 2020 | #15902 | reply | quote

PSA: **Do not get your Coronavirus news from Facebook.**

curi at 1:05 PM on March 13, 2020 | #15903 | reply | quote

PSA: *Check dates on articles* you read and on videos. The situation is changing fast. Even a week old article can be out of date. Ignore anything old + downplaying the problem.

curi at 1:06 PM on March 13, 2020 | #15904 | reply | quote

Warning: Package shipping might stop working soon in e.g. USA


> The U.S. Postal service, FedEx, and UPS all advise shippers that local operations in the Lombardy and Veneto regions of Italy have either been severely restricted or are temporarily suspended.

That's from 10 days ago!

And the Italian post office starting suspending deliveries to some regions on Feb 26:


So if you planned to stay home and order dry/boxed/canned food deliveries from walmart/amazon/target/walgreens ... you may need more food supplies than you thought. (If you expected instacart and others to keep doing local delivery of fresh food ... well I would definitely not count on that. I figured stuff being loaded onto trucks in warehouses was more realistic but it still may be a problem. Similarly don't be too surprised if meal delivery services like Blue Apron stop working.)

curi at 1:19 PM on March 13, 2020 | #15905 | reply | quote

#15905 Correction: The italy post office suspending some deliveries article was from feb 26 but it says effective feb 24. so actually even earlier.

curi at 1:26 PM on March 13, 2020 | #15906 | reply | quote


> This virus is more likely to be transmitted by contact than via airborne spread.

Most experts seem to be saying this, but the one on Joe Rogan said mostly airborne. So there's some uncertainty here.

Contact doesn't just mean direct contact. It means it's in tiny droplets of water that are sent all over the place from sneezing or coughing and can stay on surfaces for at least a few hours.

curi at 1:55 PM on March 13, 2020 | #15907 | reply | quote

#15907 That article also has a symptoms chart:

curi at 1:56 PM on March 13, 2020 | #15908 | reply | quote


Trump shaking hands with people while announcing a national emergency to combat coronavirus.


> 7 Trump Handshakes And Touches At The Coronavirus Press Conference


And, making it even worse, Trump has already been exposed to people who have tested positive and he hasn't been tested yet: https://www.foxbusiness.com/lifestyle/potentially-coronavirus-positive-brazilian-president-met-with-trump-heres-the-timeline

curi at 2:17 PM on March 13, 2020 | #15909 | reply | quote

Story of women who potentially has COVID-19


> I want to share with everyone my story of potentially having COVID-19 and how our health care system is completely broken in dealing with this. If you think people are getting tested and being isolated from the rest of the public, think again. Think there are no cases in your community? Think again. If my story is any indication, this thing is way out of control already -- we just aren’t testing people so we don’t know about it.

GISTE at 3:06 PM on March 13, 2020 | #15910 | reply | quote


Quotes from the thread:

> These criteria apply to all patients in intensive care, not just those infected with CoVid-19.

> The foreseeable increase in mortality for clinical conditions not linked to the current epidemic due to the reduction of chirurgical activity and the scarcity of resources needs to be taken into consideration.

> It may become necessary to establish an age limit for access to intensive care.

> "In addition to age, the presence of comorbidities needs to be carefully evaluated. It is conceivable that what might be a relatively short treatment course in healthier people could be longer and more resource-consuming in the case of older or more fragile patients."

They have to worry about tube/respirator duration too, not just whether it works or who they save, but how fast it can make someone OK so that the next person can start using it ASAP.

> "For patients for whom access to intensive care is judged inappropriate, the decision to posit a ceiling of care nevertheless needs to be explained, communicated, and documented."

> Doctors in America will likely be faced with similarly heartbreaking dilemmas very soon.

> But we can avoid that if we:.

> * Start engaging in extreme forms of social distancing

> * Radically expand ICU capacities

> The moral choices involved in figuring out who gets care when hospitals do not have the resources to treat all critical patients are heart-breaking.

> But the moral choices involved in doing what we can today to avert that situation are straightforward.

> Cancel everything now.

Consider: if you're young and fearless and catch it and get a tube and respirator, that means you took that tube away from someone else. Besides your possibility of spreading the disease.

curi at 3:10 PM on March 13, 2020 | #15911 | reply | quote

#15911 Forgot to quote context. That's Italy.

> The Italian College of Anesthesia, Analgesia, Resuscitation and Intensive Care just published the most extraordinary medical document I’ve ever seen.

curi at 3:10 PM on March 13, 2020 | #15912 | reply | quote

#15910 More from that article:

After traveling to multiple countries including South Korea, and getting sick, and a colleague getting sick (but not tested), she couldn't get tested. Even after being negative for everything else, and the doctor wanted a test, still the US government refused to test:

> I saw a doctor and they said they were going to do a viral screen to rule out everything. It’s an ER, it took a long time, but I was in isolation thinking someone was taking me seriously and I was feeling good about that. After a few hours the doctor poked her head in to say I had tested positive for Flu B and they would be discharging me soon and get rest and liquids. About a half hour later, she came back in to apologize that she had mixed up my room with the room next door (I believe there were 3 other people there also being assessed for Covid-19 at the time), and that my flu test was actually negative as were the other things they test for and so now they would do a test for Covid-19. Time passed and I didn’t hear anything. After several hours the doctor came back in and told me that she was very sorry but the department of health was refusing to run the test. They said I wasn’t in South Korea long enough. She was furious. She said she was still trying to get them to change their mind. She got the chief of staff involved. She kept trying. Nothing. The doctor told me she thought there was a high likelihood that I have it based on my travel history, symptoms, the colleague that is sick, and all other tests coming back negative. But, without the test she couldn’t tell me for sure, and her hands were tied. She asked me to please keep self-quarantining and to come back if my symptoms worsened so that they could at least treat the symptoms. At 11:45, I was discharged and went home.

curi at 3:20 PM on March 13, 2020 | #15913 | reply | quote


> Ohio Department of Health believes 100,000 Ohioans are carrying coronavirus

> Cases expected to double every 6 days

curi at 3:28 PM on March 13, 2020 | #15914 | reply | quote

Anonymous at 3:43 PM on March 13, 2020 | #15915 | reply | quote

Johns Hopkins COVID-19 situation reports:


You can read them on the webpage and I signed up for the email newsletter of them.

curi at 6:02 PM on March 13, 2020 | #15918 | reply | quote

Lots of corona virus stats, updated constantly:


Anonymous at 6:02 PM on March 13, 2020 | #15919 | reply | quote

#15918 March 13 newsletter:


> There have been 6,729 new cases in the past 24 hours. French Polynesia, Turkey, Honduras, and Cote d’Ivoire have all reported their first COVID-19 cases in the last day.

> The South Korean CDC reported a total of 7,979 confirmed COVID-19 cases, including 67 deaths. Epidemiological links have been identified for 79.8% of cases.

So even in South Korea, with the most testing, they don't know how 20% of the patients got it.

> [in South Korea] Females represent 61.9% of cases but only 41.8% of deaths. The unadjusted case fatality ratio for individuals aged 80 years and older is 8.30% (21 deaths out of 253 cases), and it is 4.74% for those 70-79 years old and 1.42% for those 60-69 years old.

> The New York Times reported that Italy’s health system has become rapidly overwhelmed in just 3 weeks, leading to severely limited availability for ventilators and necessitating difficult decisions regarding how ration medical care among patients. The rapid spread and increase in the number of severe cases prompted Italy to enforce radical social distancing measures and to strongly encourage other countries to rapidly implement these measures as well.

curi at 6:08 PM on March 13, 2020 | #15920 | reply | quote


> ROME — The mayor of one town complained that doctors were forced to decide not to treat the very old, leaving them to die. In another town, patients with coronavirus-caused pneumonia were being sent home. Elsewhere, a nurse collapsed with her mask on, her photograph becoming a symbol of overwhelmed medical staff.

> He said that since about 50 percent of the people who tested positive for the virus required some form of hospitalization, there was an obvious stress on the system. But the 10 percent needing intensive care, which requires between two and three weeks in the hospital, “can saturate the capacity of response.”

NYT now reporting on nightmare in Italy.

curi at 6:13 PM on March 13, 2020 | #15921 | reply | quote

#15921 One more quote from the NYT article:

> Many experts have warned that Italy is about 10 days ahead of other European countries in the development of its outbreak.

curi at 6:13 PM on March 13, 2020 | #15922 | reply | quote

2020-03-13 Coronavirus recommendations & updates

# Coronavirus recommendations

https://www.linkedin.com/content-guest/article/dispatch-3-dr-shlain-reporting-from-front-lines-shlain-m-d- (emphasis mine):

> The days of just no handshaking are over. **Get inside your home and stay there with your family.** Know who comes in and out.

> Stay far away from people over 60. Sorry boomers, you’re going to be feeling isolated like never before, but it’s for your own protection. **I’m recommending that people over 60 do not get near anyone younger than them for at least 20 days and it may be longer.**

> **Have enough of your prescription medicine. I’ve said this before, get a 90 day supply.**


Elliot Temple writes (emphasis mine):

> **Package shipping might stop working soon in the USA**.

> https://esellercafe.com/coronavirus-suspends-mail-and-package-operations-in-northern-italy/ :

>> The U.S. Postal service, FedEx, and UPS all advise shippers that local operations in the Lombardy and Veneto regions of Italy have either been severely restricted or are temporarily suspended.

> That's from 10 days ago!

> And the Italian post office starting suspending deliveries to some regions on [Feb 24]:

> https://blog.stamps.com/2020/02/26/poste-italiane-suspends-mail-service-to-areas-affected-by-coronavirus/

> So if you planned to stay home and order dry/boxed/canned food deliveries from walmart/amazon/target/walgreens ... **you may need more food supplies than you thought**. (If you expected instacart and others to keep doing local delivery of fresh food ... well I would definitely not count on that. I figured stuff being loaded onto trucks in warehouses was more realistic but it still may be a problem...)

Alisa at 9:38 PM on March 13, 2020 | #15924 | reply | quote

Coronavirus in Italy & the U.S.

According to some estimates, the degree of coronavirus infection in Italy is roughly 2 weeks ahead of where it is in the U.S. We can look to Italy to get an idea of what the situation in the U.S. may be like in about 2 weeks.

Alisa at 9:39 PM on March 13, 2020 | #15925 | reply | quote

COVID-19 death rate


> If COVID-19 ends up being similar to seasonal influenza, then the case-fatality rates for COVID-19 are inflated by a factor of 20 to 100. Dr. Anthony Fauci, head of the U.S. NIAID, co-authored an editorial for the New England Journal of Medicine in which he wrote:

> “If one assumes that the number of asymptomatic or minimally symptomatic cases is several times as high as the number of reported cases, the case fatality rate may be considerably less than 1%. This suggests that the overall clinical consequences of Covid-19 may ultimately be more akin to those of a severe seasonal influenza (which has a case fatality rate of approximately 0.1%) or a pandemic influenza (similar to those in 1957 and 1968) rather than a disease similar to SARS or MERS, which have had case fatality rates of 9 to 10% and 36%, respectively." [Emphasis added]

> We have reason to believe this view is closest to reality. In South Korea, public health officials screened about 100,000 people and detected over 7,300 cases. So far, the death toll is 50, which translates to a case-fatality rate of 0.7 percent. That’s still seven times worse than seasonal flu, but it’s far lower than the initial reports from China.

I want to know the outcome of the rest of the 7,300 cases. I've searched a little bit but didn't find anything.

GISTE at 7:53 AM on March 14, 2020 | #15928 | reply | quote

Even healthy people are at risk


> The virus can be lethal in a variety of ways. Viral infections in the lungs can trigger an immune response so strong that it fatally damages the lungs. In others, a systemic immune response, called a “cytokine storm,” can cause multiple organ failure. This could explain why some young, healthy people are killed by the virus, such as Dr. Li Wenliang, the 34-year-old doctor who died shortly after alerting the world to this new strain of coronavirus. An older person’s immune system may not be able to fight a respiratory virus. Underlying conditions such as high blood pressure or diabetes can worsen outcomes.

I wonder if allergy medicines could help reduce symptoms of COVID-19.

GISTE at 7:54 AM on March 14, 2020 | #15929 | reply | quote

COVID-19 death rate continued...

I wanted to know more about the rest of the 7,300 cases. I found this:


only 510 patients have recovered and have been discharged. so there's over 6,000 still sick. and 67 dead.

so how many of the over 6,000 will die? what percentage are mild vs critical? I saw numbers like 80% mild but I don't know how those numbers were calculated and this article doesn't talk about it at all.

GISTE at 8:42 AM on March 14, 2020 | #15930 | reply | quote

Existing drugs may work well against COVID-19 symptoms

From March 6th (8 days old)


> Japan is looking into using HIV drugs to treat Covid-19. These include antivirals like lopinavir and ritonavir. Doctors in Thailand reported success in treating patients using a combination of HIV drugs alongside oseltamivir, a drug sold under the brand name Tamiflu to treat influenza.

> Like coronaviruses, HIV uses RNA as its genetic material, so these different viruses may be using similar enzymes to function and reproduce. It’s possible the drugs that inhibit HIV could do similar things to SARS-CoV-2 — but it’s not certain, which is why scientists are testing to see if they work on the new virus.

1 day old info:


> Doctors in China, Thailand and Japan say they’ve used HIV drugs lopinavir and ritonavir — sometimes in combination with other medicines — in a handful of coronavirus cases, where patients have managed to recover.

> The meds belong to a class of drugs known as protease inhibitors, which block a key enzyme that helps viruses replicate. Previous studies had found that the mixture was helpful in preventing SARS, also a coronavirus, from maturing and replicating.

GISTE at 10:39 AM on March 14, 2020 | #15931 | reply | quote

CORRECTION for #15931

the title should have read like this:

Existing drugs may work well against COVID-19

GISTE at 10:41 AM on March 14, 2020 | #15932 | reply | quote

The Future of COVID-19


> Stat News describes two possible scenarios that epidemiologists envision for the future of COVID-19. In the first, COVID-19 becomes just another cold virus, and possibly evolves to become less lethal as well. What we call the “common cold” is actually caused by roughly 200 different viruses. Each year, about 25 percent of common colds are due to four coronaviruses, and some scientists think COVID-19 could eventually join this group as its fifth member. In the second scenario, COVID-19 behaves more like a severe seasonal flu, vanishing in the summer and returning to hit us hard in the winter.

> In neither scenario does COVID-19 resemble the Spanish flu of 1918, which disproportionately killed young people. In neither scenario does the virus mutate to become more lethal. Most likely, the opposite will be true. There is an inverse relationship between lethality and contagiousness; that is, the most contagious viruses tend to be less lethal. Evolutionary pressures – namely, the biological imperative to reproduce as far and wide as possible (which means not killing people) – may push COVID-19 down this path.

> For now, influenza remains the far bigger global public health threat. Each year, about 1 billion people become infected with seasonal flu, killing some 300,000 to 500,000. This season alone (2019-20), about 20,000 Americans have died from flu, including 136 children. Yet, very few people fear the flu. Society has accepted it as part of reality, and people carry about their daily lives without excessive concern over influenza. This is the likely future for COVID-19.

> Until then, perhaps the last word should be given to virologist Dr. Lisa Gralinski, who told The Scientist, “If you’re over fifty or sixty and you have some other health issues and if you’re unlucky enough to be exposed to this virus, it could be very bad.” While everyone else should remain vigilant and take proper precautions (e.g., washing hands and avoiding crowds) until more data comes in, from a scientific perspective the public alarm is disproportionate to the risk.

GISTE at 10:54 AM on March 14, 2020 | #15933 | reply | quote


> I want to know the outcome of the rest of the 7,300 cases. I've searched a little bit but didn't find anything.

In South Korea right now, there are 7,300 current cases, of which 59 are currently serious or critical. You can find that info here:

https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/south-korea/. If you assume all the critical people will die, that would make the death rate 1.6%.

The critical people will probably NOT all die, BUT some of the current cases could become critical in the future. A lot of people don't become critical until later into the illness.

Anonymous at 11:07 AM on March 14, 2020 | #15934 | reply | quote


>> For now, influenza remains the far bigger global public health threat. Each year, about 1 billion people become infected with seasonal flu, killing some 300,000 to 500,000. This season alone (2019-20), about 20,000 Americans have died from flu, including 136 children. Yet, very few people fear the flu. Society has accepted it as part of reality, and people carry about their daily lives without excessive concern over influenza. This is the likely future for COVID-19.

No, the flu is NOT currently the bigger health threat. Coronavirus is *already* overloading the medical system in Italy to the point that they are making wartime triage decisions about who can receive medical care because there are just not enough ICU beds and ventilators to go around. The United States is getting close to this in some cities now too.

If we were to just continue on as normal, keep everything open, and treat this like the flu, then we will definitely be in Italy's position in a few weeks. Even if the fatality rate is on the lower side (0.7% like South Korea), we still do NOT have enough resources to deal with those deaths. Hospitals already run close to capacity. And coronavirus patients take 2-4 weeks on ventilators. We don't have the capacity to treat everyone who needs it. We NEED to treat this differently than the flu.

Anonymous at 11:12 AM on March 14, 2020 | #15935 | reply | quote


I disagree with GISTE's posts. I think he's spreading horrible misinformation. GISTE, please stop posting articles downplaying the threat without even trying to discuss them.

curi at 11:18 AM on March 14, 2020 | #15936 | reply | quote

The Future of COVID-19 continued...


The Stat News claims come from February 4th. Deaths have increased like 10 times since then. And the outbreak has spread to many countries.

COVID-19 could have a death rate as bad as Spanish Flu (2.5%), and it has the potential to spread a lot like the Spanish Flu did (33% of the population). 33% infected with 2.5% death rate means 60 million deaths worldwide. Even if the death rate was much lower, like 0.7% as described in #15928, and it infected 33% of the pop, that's 16,000,000. This is much worse than flu, contrary to the claims in the article.

The claim from Dr. Lisa Gralinski is also pretty dated, February 24th. She's also not factoring in that if COVID-19 patients flood the healthcare system, that causes more deaths in general for all patients (not just COVID-19 patients).

GISTE at 12:15 PM on March 14, 2020 | #15937 | reply | quote

#15937 Please stop spreading unsourced stats and numbers. Your Spanish flu numbers are wrong according to a bunch of sources I've seen.

curi at 12:17 PM on March 14, 2020 | #15938 | reply | quote

curi at 12:22 PM on March 14, 2020 | #15939 | reply | quote


> 1918 Spanish Flu historical documentary | Swine Flu Pandemic | Deadly plague of 1918

40min video (haven't watched yet)

curi at 12:47 PM on March 14, 2020 | #15940 | reply | quote

1918 Spanish Flu historical documentary 30min in:

> People couldn't get food because no trucks were delivering food to the city.

You can find more videos on YouTube if you look around, e.g. Spanish Flu: a warning from history (11min, haven't watched yet)

curi at 1:06 PM on March 14, 2020 | #15941 | reply | quote

Twitter thread with some info, including about not enough tests, masks, gowns and gloves being available.


> So the hospital is saving their test requests for only those who are severely ill - such as those with ARDS (Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome) who have tested negative for other conditions (like influenza). In other words, they are having to ration tests. (3/x)

> Because our visibility into the spread of COVID19 in the U.S. is so compromised due to lack of testing, it makes it even more urgent that we be aggressive about mitigation efforts like physical distancing so we can reduce the likelihood of further spread. (9/x)

What is the goal of testing? I don't think they considered this well. It sounds like they're blindly trying to gather positive test results.

If your goal is to get visibility into spread, don't use all your tests on the most severely ill people. Test a variety of people to get a better sample of what's going on.

If you treat people differently based on test results, you should consider how big the treatment difference is: which way costs more and how much more, how it changes results and risks for patients, etc. And consider the chance of the test changing from one treatment plan to the other. If you're 95% sure someone has it without testing, then the test only offers a 5% chance to switch treatment plans. Testing someone you're 50% sure might have it can provide more info and be more likely to actually make a difference to treatments provided.

> So if you are reading the news about games being cancelled, schools being suspended, and people avoiding group events due to #COVID19 - and if you're wondering if it's an overreaction, the answer is no. The earlier we act, the more lives we save. Period. (10/x END)

Good conclusion.

curi at 2:34 PM on March 14, 2020 | #15942 | reply | quote


> Stay home, save lives: How Canada could avoid the worst of COVID-19

Good article. The embedded tweet in the middle is worth reading (click through to actually read the images of the letter).

curi at 2:48 PM on March 14, 2020 | #15943 | reply | quote


Good Twitter thread on why slowing down the spread matters a ton.

curi at 3:04 PM on March 14, 2020 | #15945 | reply | quote

Pay attention to hand washing. Look up some videos on YouTube including the WHO technique. Do it better. E.g. interleave your fingers.

curi at 3:07 PM on March 14, 2020 | #15946 | reply | quote

curi at 3:09 PM on March 14, 2020 | #15947 | reply | quote

From Facebook:

> And finally for those who say that this is just something that happens to old people, starting yesterday the hospitals are reporting that younger and younger patients – 40, 45, 18, are coming in for treatment.

I think part of the reason people think it mostly only kills old people is the old people get very sick and die *faster*. If a 40 year old is going to die, it's probably going to take an extra week or two from when he first got infected.

curi at 3:22 PM on March 14, 2020 | #15948 | reply | quote

I think Wuhan Coronavirus might be *worse than* Spanish Flu. What would the fatality rate be if we didn't have a modern understanding of viruses (how they transmit, what kills them, etc?) and other medicine? What if we didn't have ICUs and respirators or even N95 masks? I don't know exactly what they had in 1918 but it was a lot less. How much worse would things be without worldwide communication and with a world war going on and the press being largely censored in all the countries in the war?

Or put a different way, if we had Spanish Flu today (and it was new, but otherwise the same thing), maybe it'd be doing less damage than Coronavirus is currently doing.

curi at 3:41 PM on March 14, 2020 | #15949 | reply | quote

Stay Home!

The time to start social distancing is NOW, not when things get worse. By the time they get bad enough to notice, it is already too late – too many people will already have it, it will have already spread too far.

This is not just like the flu. Italy has proved that. What they are experiencing is closer to wartime than to a bad flu season. They don't have the resources to treat everyone who needs it, so they have to decide who is most likely to benefit from care.

Hospitals already run close to capacity as it is. We do not have the healthcare resources to deal with the number of coronavirus patients we will have, even if the death rate is "only" 1%. We do not have enough hospital beds, let alone ICU beds. We do not have enough ventilators.

It is true that most illnesses are mild. Many people are even asymptomatic. But that is part of the problem: it spreads silently through the community, causing mild illnesses, before anyone gets sick enough to go to the ICU. Most people don't get sick enough to go to the hospital, and the people who do need to go to the hospital don't need the ICU until about 2 weeks *after* infection. So if you wait until your area has people in the ICU, it is already too late. It has already spread too far.

Stay home. Stop all non-essentials.


ingracke at 3:44 PM on March 14, 2020 | #15950 | reply | quote

Not like flu

I have seen this from multiple sources: The situation in Italy is much worse than people realize. Doctors are making wartime-type triage decisions, deciding which patients they can treat. There are not enough ventilators for everyone, there are not enough hospital beds. They have published guidelines about how to make these heartbreaking decisions, including taking into account how likely someone is to survive and how many years they have left to live.

This WILL happen here if people don't start *staying home*. (And it might already be too late - Asymptomatic people can spread it, and we really have no idea how many people already have it.) Cancel everything that is unnecessary. Stop going out as much as possible. Wash your hands, use hand sanitizer or rubbing alcohol if you can find it. This is nothing like the seasonal flu.


ingracke at 3:52 PM on March 14, 2020 | #15951 | reply | quote

How to wash your hands


Here's how to wash your hands, as shown in the *Proper Hand Washing For Nurses* video:


- Turn on water.

- Wet your hands thoroughly.

- Turn off water.

- Apply enough soap to cover your hands. Spread it around.

Wash (with water still off, 20 seconds starts now):

1. Palm to palm.

2. Right palm over left back & vice versa.

3. Palm to palm with fingers interlaced.

4. Back of fingers to opposing palms, fingers interlocked.

5. Rotational rubbing of thumbs.

6. Rotational rubbing backward and forward with clasped fingers.

7. Rubbing forearms.


- Turn on water.

- Rinse hands.

- Grab paper towel.

- Dry hands *thoroughly* (germs thrive in moisture).

- Turn off water *with paper towel* (if you touch the handle with your hands, germs will get right back on them).

Someone created a song, sung to the tune of “Frère Jacques”, that could help you remember steps 1-6 above. Here are the lyrics, transcribed from the video at https://www.bmj.com/content/367/bmj.l6050 :

> Scrub your palms [1]

> between the fingers [3]

> wash the back, wash the back [2]

> twirl the tips around [6]

> scrub them upside down [4]

> thumb attack, thumb attack [5]

Alisa at 8:08 PM on March 14, 2020 | #15952 | reply | quote

How to practice social distancing during the coronavirus pandemic

This article has some actual good advice on how to deal with the outside world while trying to protect yourself from coronavirus. It has advice for going out (e.g. what to do if you need to take transit, what to do when you get home) and also advice for people who are staying in (e.g., how to deal with receiving packages):


ingracke at 9:13 PM on March 14, 2020 | #15953 | reply | quote

Apple watch & hand washing

#15952 I should take my Apple Watch off when I wash my hands, but I don't -- it seems to me that my watch would be just as germy as ever when I put it back on. Is that true? Anyone have suggestions? It would probably be simpler not to wear it at all.

Alisa at 10:09 PM on March 14, 2020 | #15954 | reply | quote

Coronavirus: How the deadly epidemic sparked a global emergency | Four Corners from ABC, a national public television network in Australia.

46 minutes. various footage of brutality in china. good vid.

curi at 10:30 PM on March 14, 2020 | #15955 | reply | quote

http://www.warriortalk.com/showthread.php?142255-THE-INCOMPREHENSIBLE-IDIOCY-OF-MODERN-MAN&p=1954256#post1954256 :

> Having a wife with COVID-19 patients where their lungs appear as a large white mass on x-rays and they die an unpleasant drowning death gives me some perspective.

> If the virus does not make it down you are good. If it does you are in for a ride. Even if you make it through the lung damage is significant. At the moment it appears having a strong immune system is the deciding factor.

Alisa at 10:44 PM on March 14, 2020 | #15956 | reply | quote

Ann Coulter is really bad on coronavirus

The article Coulter tweeted is really bad. E.g. it scare quotes "exponential" and "pandemic".

By contrast, Eliezer Yudkowsky tweeted:

> 9/11 happens, and nobody puts that number into the context of car crash deaths before turning the US into a security state and invading Iraq. Nobody contextualizes school shootings. But the ONE goddamn time the disaster is a straight line on a log chart, THAT'S when...

Which is response to Trump saying:

>> So last year 37,000 Americans died from the common Flu. It averages between 27,000 and 70,000 per year. Nothing is shut down, life & the economy go on. At this moment there are 546 confirmed cases of CoronaVirus, with 22 deaths. Think about that!

And it also makes a good response to the article Coulter tweeted.

curi at 10:47 PM on March 14, 2020 | #15957 | reply | quote

Good pro-Trump video from Hannity (Fox News) re coronavirus:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DLJwn3CXWa4 (16min)

curi at 12:24 AM on March 15, 2020 | #15958 | reply | quote


> #StayTheFuckHome

curi at 12:00 PM on March 15, 2020 | #15960 | reply | quote

Big public indoor events are generally being cancelled in my area (a medium sized city). People have generally stopped shaking hands and hugging non-family members. There's lots of hand sanitizer around & people seem to be using it.

But people are mostly still being really fucking stupid. Some things I've heard about people *still* (March 15) doing in my area that they clearly shouldn't be:

- Going to church. This is a big important one to lots of people. They post memes on Facebook with Bible verses about God not giving us a spirit of fear but of power, then (presumably - I don't know actual attendance numbers) pack in the pews to demonstrate their faith.

The local atheist group cancelled their meetings though.

- Going to bars & nightclubs. Not a lot of overlap with the church crowd on this, but of the people that don't go to church I think it is fairly common. I don't have any data on how many are still doing this but the bars & clubs are all staying open & wouldn't do that if they didn't have some customers.

- Eating out in restaurants. This demographic overlaps some with both of the ones above but also has some unique members. I know of some people over 70 who don't go to bars or to church, but will not stop eating out in restaurants 3-5 times per week.

My guess is more than half of the population in my area is still doing at least one of the activities above. No hard data though.

Some things I know of with smaller demographics but similarly stupid are:

- Attending in-person investment group meetings (I know one group in my state typically has hundreds of attendees and had their normal meeting last week) and classes.

- Having St. Patrick's Day block parties, big enough to be advertised on the radio.

- Seeing movies in theaters and live melodrama stage productions.

- Sending their kids to group classes in gymnastics and parkour.

Again I don't have any hard data on how many people are going to these things. But they're still holding them because at least some people are still going.

I'm sure there's more going on that I'm not directly aware of. This above is just the stuff I've personally heard about without actively trying to find out what is still going on (cuz I'm not doing any of it, open or not).

Andy Dufresne at 12:15 PM on March 15, 2020 | #15961 | reply | quote

#15961 Sad. The virus will stop spreading exponentially when we stop spreading it by mingling. If people would just stay home, a lot of them would find out they alreachy have it, and spread it to their families ... but most families wouldn't get it, and we wouldn't reach a Wuhan or Italy situation.

It's not too late. At any point in time people can stay home and stop most of the spread.

It's only too late *given the premise that people are idiots who will keep spreading it*. It's too late to stop it at the border of the country and make it easy for people to go about their regular lives safely.

curi at 12:20 PM on March 15, 2020 | #15962 | reply | quote

How risky are solitary outdoor exercise activities like walking and biking *outside of dense urban areas*?

My guess is they're pretty low risk. Not zero, but lower than just about anything else people do outside the home. Reasons:

In my area it's rare to come within 6 feet of someone else when walking or biking. And when you do it's only for a couple of seconds to pass. And you don't normally touch any surfaces that other people touch. Amd you only eat or drink stuff you brought with you from your house. And there's lots of UV around at least during the day, which kills most kinds of germs (I live in a high UV area).

Andy Dufresne at 1:20 PM on March 15, 2020 | #15963 | reply | quote

learn how to quarantine

Watch videos of germophobes and read their blog posts. Do you find those procedures totally reasonable and intuitive? Or weird, awkward, extreme, etc?

And check out stuff from actual medical labs that deal with quarantines because they e.g. do research on viruses.

Then see how that kinda stuff compares to how you deal with incoming packages to your home and other issues.

Watch and read about cross-contamination in kitchens and compare to what you do.

You can learn about some of the details you're probably getting wrong.

curi at 2:10 PM on March 15, 2020 | #15964 | reply | quote

## "In 18 years of medical practice I've never seen anything like this"

On 14 Mar 2020, an MD at NJ's Hackensack Meridian Health wrote (source: 1 2 3, emphasis mine):

> I was wrong. This is **not influenza**. And yes, stay home. It's a **severe viral pneumonia**. So far I've treated 5 confirmed COVID-19 patients reqiring hospitalization, and currently have 14 suspected cases... and I can tell you that **in 18 years of medical practice I've never seen anything like this**.

COVID-19 can suffocate you by covering the inside of your lungs. An Italian doctor said the death process was like drowning, only much slower:

> In the northern Italian town of Bergamo, **officials have been forced to turn the chapel of a cemetery into a mortuary chamber** as they **cannot cope with the number of people killed by coronavirus**.

> An average of **40 coffins a day** are kept there ahead of burial or cremation.


> The adjacent cemetery has been **closed to the public** for **the first time since the Second World War**.


> The crematorium works 24 hours a day, but even so **cannot cope with the high mortality rate**, and families of the victims must often wait several days before their loved ones can be cremated...


> **The whole of Italy is in lockdown**. All gatherings and ceremonies, including masses and funerals, are banned - meaning victims' families cannot even bid farewell to their loved ones.

> A doctor ... told [an] Italian newspaper ... that the majority of patients [that] arrive ... are often in **such bad condition they need to be intubated or attached to a ventilator right away**.

Photo of coronavirus patients on ventilators lying face-down in Italian hospital:

Here's a video comparing the obituaries in an Italian daily newspaper from a month ago vs yesterday. Infection curves in some US metropolitan areas are about **10 days behind Italy**. According to NY Times columnist Nicholas Kristof:

> A hospital in Seattle area has sent out a note to staff ... suspending elective surgery and warning that "our local COVID-19 trajectory is **likely to be similar to that of Northern Italy**."

## Even teenagers are at risk

- **4 of the 30** new Colorado cases reported on Mar 15 are **teenagers**. (source)

## Around the world

- **Spain is on lockdown**: "Basically no one can move except to go to work - as long as it is essential and unable to telework - go home or search for food and medicine." (source).

- The UK **army will guard hospitals and supermarkets**. (source)

- US Defense Dept. officials have **raised the alert level at the Pentagon to Bravo**. There will now be "minimal staffing" at the Pentagon due to coronavirus. (source)

- **France has closed all non-essential public places**, including bars, cafes, restaurants, cinemas, and nightclubs. (source)

- All Apple stores across the world are closed. (source)

- UCSF’s Parnassus campus has erected “triage tents” in a parking lot. They have converted a ward to “negative pressure” which is needed to contain the virus. They are considering re-opening the shuttered Mt Zion facility. (source)

## Recommendations

According to the University of Minnesota's Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy:

> COVID-19 is spread **simply through breathing**, even without coughing.

Dr. Jordan Shlain, M.D. says:

> **The days of just no handshaking are over. Get inside your home and stay there with your family. Know who comes in and out.**

If you must go outside, **stay at least 2 meters** away from other people.

Here are the kinds of precautions to take if you have to go outside and you live with someone for whom coronavirus is especially dangerous (or if you just want to be safe):

> My WHOLE family has already been isolated at home a week tomorrow. My 8 year old son has Cystic Fibrosis, a chronic fatal lung disease. His specialist isolated us for his safety last Friday as #coronavirus

>I just had to venture out to get groceries for my family. To do so I had to **wear a mask and gloves**. I can not risk bringing this virus home to my son or I will be burying him.

> As I walked down the aisles, careful to **keep a 6ft distance**, listening for the slightest sound of a cough to avoid, people were rolling their eyes, some outright laughed at me, a woman was telling her friend that “people like her are why this is disrupting my life”.

> Another man muttered as I walked by, “why are people overreacting.”

> I haven’t seen other people in 7 days and this was the way I was treated for **following doctors orders to protect my son**. We are farther into this thing than our neighbors because of our unique situation.

> When I get home I’ll **sanitize the groceries on the front step**, then **strip in my garage**, my **clothes will go into a plastic bag to be washed**, I’ll **sanitize my hands** and I will **immediately shower**. While I shower **my husband will bring the groceries in**.

jordancurve at 2:21 PM on March 15, 2020 | #15965 | reply | quote

#15963 First of all, we don't know everything about the disease.

Second, people are bad enough at sanitizing incoming packages, let alone bodies. Even if they shower when they get home, how careful will they be with what they touch on the way to the shower, what their clothes touch, what the touched things touch, etc, etc? People suck at dealing with cross contamination in kitchens or at correctly acting like the germophobes they scorn. Even most people working at restaurants with training make tons of mistakes; that's not just home cooks.

Third, would you do those walks in Italy or Hubei today? I assume not. Why try to get away with it for the next couple(?) weeks before your region gets really bad? Better to chill out and see how bad things are a few weeks from now and see if you still think going out is a good idea at that point. *Don't be the guy who is going swimming 24 hours before a tsunami hits.* Don't try to precisely time when to be more careful; it's not worth the risk.

Better to overreact (in low downside, temporary ways) than underreact. You don't know much about quarantines, contamination, viruses, etc. Err way on the side of caution.

You’ve never filmed yourself on a walk and then reviewed the footage to see how many things you touched and how many times you touched your face. You don’t know what your walk behavior is. Can you implement new behavior on the fly? Do you want to bet your health on your ability to abruptly change habits in a thorough way without any errors?

curi at 2:37 PM on March 15, 2020 | #15966 | reply | quote


> The findings confirm that COVID-19 is spread simply through breathing, even without coughing, he said. They also challenge the idea that contact with contaminated surfaces is a primary means of spread, Osterholm said.

This is like what the guy on Joe Rogan was saying but a lot of others have disagreed with. A current point of controversy. We don't know enough yet. Err on the side of caution!

curi at 2:48 PM on March 15, 2020 | #15967 | reply | quote


DISCLAIMER: I'm gonna be *very* argumentative and debatey for a while as a technique to try to get my objections/doubts expressed more easily. They seem to "come out" more easily when I adopt such a posture. Please understand that this is a deliberate decision/technique (though once I "get going" I don't necessarily have full direct conscious control of all the output).

> Better to overreact (in low downside, temporary ways) than underreact. You don't know much about quarantines, contamination, viruses, etc. Err way on the side of caution.

I take the reply here in the spirit of "Stay the Fuck Home." If solitary walking outside in a non-urban/rural area is dangerous enough to avoid, you basically shouldn't be going outside at all unless you need to go get food to avoid starvation or your house is on fire.

I don't think being under what amounts to a self-imposed 24 hour house arrest is "low downside". Seems like a pretty huge downside. "Not going outside" seems different to me than "not going to a parade." And I'm not even clear how "temporary" it's going to be. Maybe months? A year? We won't have a vaccine for a long time from what I understand. When are we gonna need to stop "flattening the curve"? I don't think it'll be e.g. the end of March.

Andy's question re: biking is somewhat relevant to me (though he sounds way more focused on rural, and I am urban). In my case, as of right now, I still need to/am planning to physically commute to work, so I need some mechanism to actually get there. Biking seems better than e.g. riding mass transit.

Also, I thought the general consensus was that if you're e.g. a healthy person in your 30s, the risk is much lower anyways. If I was in my 60s and had immune system issues, my attitude based on my current understanding of the facts would be very different. In that case staying the fuck home, avoiding even apparently low risk behaviors like walking outside in a rural area etc, would seem way more reasonable.

A Mysterious Argumentative Person at 3:23 PM on March 15, 2020 | #15968 | reply | quote

> I don't think being under what amounts to a self-imposed 24 hour house arrest is "low downside". Seems like a pretty huge downside.

The issue in question was the downside of *not going for walks* vs *going for walks*. You're making a different comparison: to *staying home* vs. *normal life* with restaurants, movie theaters, bars, libraries, etc.

Self-quarantining has larger downsides. Skipping a few walks, while already self-quarantining, has low downside.

And the lost walks in question was only for like the next maybe 1-3 weeks (depends on location) before the situation changes: gets a lot worse (so don't want to walk) or somehow gets better.

Are you trying to change the topic or discuss the post you're replying to? It's confusing and the replies re why to self-quarantine at all, vs. why to skip walks if quarantining in all other ways, are rather different.

At least how I took Andy's question. If you're keeping much riskier activities, like going to work, then I don't think walking or biking, while keeping distance from people, is going to add a lot of risk – it doesn't make sense to be really careful about that specific detail (one of the less risky ways of going outside) if you aren't going to stay home or be careful about a bunch of other more major stuff.

> Also, I thought the general consensus was that if you're e.g. a healthy person in your 30s, the risk is much lower anyways.

It's a really bad time to get sick even if you don't die. You should be trying to avoid all risks way more than normal. You don't want to get in a bike accident right now, or get a cold, or get a regular flu, or anything.

It's possible it does long term lung damage. There are some reports along those line, e.g. 25% reduced lung capacity. It's unknown.

You may kill other people if you spread it.

Most people live with others or have contact with older people or something. Getting it is less bad if you live alone and you're young and healthy. But still rather bad. And it looks like you can spread it for 2 days before symptoms if you get symptoms. And you might not recognize mild symptoms right away if you get those. And you can be asymptomatic and spread it. And the chances of needing medical care (which you do NOT want to do right now both for personal risk being in that situation with stressed hospitals making extra mistakes, and to avoid taking it away care from others) are like 20% – no doubt less for young healthy demographic but still much higher than the deathrate percentages which maybe you were viewing as the threat, but they are only part of the threat.

curi at 3:50 PM on March 15, 2020 | #15969 | reply | quote

*If* you're going to try to self-quarantine and take this seriously, *then* I think you should do your best to be thorough and serious, instead of resisting it and trying to make exceptions like walking around outside in public (in areas and at times when you don't see other people around).

It's hard to do a good job and do it half way. Half measures are better than nothing. I don't want to discourage them. But if your goal is to take it really seriously, then you should be using your creativity to find ways to do more, not less. Look for new and better ways to be careful rather than trying to figure out what you can get away with.

curi at 4:16 PM on March 15, 2020 | #15970 | reply | quote

>> I don't think being under what amounts to a self-imposed 24 hour house arrest is "low downside". Seems like a pretty huge downside.

> The issue in question was the downside of *not going for walks* vs *going for walks*. You're making a different comparison: to *staying home* vs. *normal life* with restaurants, movie theaters, bars, libraries, etc.

Ah, okay. Yeah I guess I was confused. My bad.

> Self-quarantining has larger downsides. Skipping a few walks, while already self-quarantining, has low downside.

OK I agree with that.

> And the lost walks in question was only for like the next maybe 1-3 weeks (depends on location) before the situation changes: gets a lot worse (so don't want to walk) or somehow gets better.

OK that explanation helps me understand better why you are thinking in terms of weeks (cuz you think the situation will either improve or get clearly worse and preferences will change as a result).

> Are you trying to change the topic or discuss the post you're replying to? It's confusing and the replies re why to self-quarantine at all, vs. why to skip walks if quarantining in all other ways, are rather different.

Yeah I guess I'm really interested in the self-quarantine issue, so I was effectively trying to change the topic.

> At least how I took Andy's question. If you're keeping much riskier activities, like going to work, then I don't think walking or biking, while keeping distance from people, is going to add a lot of risk – it doesn't make sense to be really careful about that specific detail (one of the less risky ways of going outside) if you aren't going to stay home or be careful about a bunch of other more major stuff.

I agree. This is clarifying.

>> Also, I thought the general consensus was that if you're e.g. a healthy person in your 30s, the risk is much lower anyways.

> It's a really bad time to get sick even if you don't die. You should be trying to avoid all risks way more than normal. You don't want to get in a bike accident right now, or get a cold, or get a regular flu, or anything.

That all makes sense. Presuming that I'm going to work, I'm trying to figure out the best way given that context. Mass transit seems especially risky. Even the early buses here can be pretty packed on a work day, and they are more likely to be so with fewer buses being run. A bike accident, being something I have some past experience with, is something I'm pretty confident I can avoid given extreme caution and certain policies re how to handle turns and the like.

> It's possible it does long term lung damage. There are some reports along those line, e.g. 25% reduced lung capacity. It's unknown.

Yes that's a concern.

> You may kill other people if you spread it.

One thing is I live alone so I don't have to worry about spreading it to a housemate.

> Most people live with others or have contact with older people or something. Getting it is less bad if you live alone and you're young and healthy. But still rather bad. And it looks like you can spread it for 2 days before symptoms if you get symptoms. And you might not recognize mild symptoms right away if you get those. And you can be asymptomatic and spread it. And the chances of needing medical care (which you do NOT want to do right now both for personal risk being in that situation with stressed hospitals making extra mistakes, and to avoid taking it away care from others) are like 20% – no doubt less for young healthy demographic but still much higher than the deathrate percentages which maybe you were viewing as the threat, but they are only part of the threat.

The chance-of-needing-medical-care percentage being a relevant number to consider is a good point. I do think I was overly focused on the death rate.

A Mysterious Argumentative Person at 4:26 PM on March 15, 2020 | #15971 | reply | quote

At this point I'm trying to test my ideas about the risks of various activities. I don't have a thorough plan yet and this is input into what such a plan would be.

So my purpose in asking about walking and biking was to understand if my idea (that it's low, but not zero, risk) was sound.

Another question: What's the risk of swimming in a private swimming pool that's outside my house but in my yard behind a locked sturdy gate & 6 ft wall, and only used by people I'm already living with / not quarantining from? My guess on that is near zero risk. The only risk I can think of is if somebody infected walks behind my house while I'm swimming and airborne transmission is possible further than ~10 ft. and over a 6 ft wall.

If water supplies in the area were interrupted I'd stop swimming then, both because it's one of my own backup water sources (we have filters capable of processing it properly) and because then it'd be possible people climb my wall to steal a bucket of water or something.

Andy Dufresne at 4:36 PM on March 15, 2020 | #15972 | reply | quote

re stocking up on foods: One way to do it is to seperate into grains, fruit/veg, proteins, and dairy (if you want - that's not necessary), and try to make sure you have some foods in each category. Also try to make sure you have canned, ready to eat foods that require no water, cooking, or refrigeration, not just dried goods or frozen/fridge food. Some ideas by category of foods that keep longer:

Grains: flour, pasta, oats, rice, quinoa, barley, couscous. You can get a lot of dried foods, which will last longer, but also some of that stuff canned/ready made, or freezer meals.

Protein: beans (canned and dried), frozen meats, shelf-stable meats (e.g. jerky, pepperoni), sandwhich meat (can freeze), eggs (those often have sell by dates over a month away), nuts

Fruit/Veg: frozen fruit, frozen veggies, canned fruit, applesauce, canned tomato, canned veggies, dried fruit. Fresh carrots, apples, onions, potatoes (keep in a box or cardboard, not the plastic bag)

Dairy: shelf stable milks (tetra paks of UHT milk or non-dairy milks), canned evaporated or condensed milk, skim milk powder. You can also buy some fresh milk and yogurt now, which can last a while unopened. Cheese (it often lasts months unopened, as long as you refrigerate. The sell-by dates are often months away. You can also freeze it to last longer, though that does change it to a more crumbly texture.)

Seasonings, cooking stuff: salt, pepper, spices or spice mixes you like, packet gravy, taco seasoning, garlic (you can get jarred garlic), oil, butter (you can freeze this)

Baking stuff: baking powder, baking soda, yeast, raisins, chocolate chips, sugar

You can also buy dried, canned, or frozen meals and side dishes (and you probably should buy some of those too, for variety, etc), but the kind of stuff above can last longer with less space, cost less, and give you more options to make your own meals.

Anonymous at 4:36 PM on March 15, 2020 | #15973 | reply | quote

#15972 Home pool behind wall sounds fine. Yeah sure outdoor walks sounds *low* risk if you hardly see anyone and stay at least 2 meters away from anyone you do see, preferably considerably more.

In most circumstances, particularly with no machines involved, it's unlikely that it can travel very far in the air before falling. This isn't known for certain but is generally what experts seem to think.

curi at 4:45 PM on March 15, 2020 | #15974 | reply | quote

I'm in Coronavirus quarantine! from thunderf00t. He goes over some basic reasons this is serious and people should act now.

curi at 7:31 PM on March 15, 2020 | #15975 | reply | quote


> CLAIM: The new coronavirus can cause 50 percent fibrosis of the lungs.

> THE FACTS: False. Experts say there is no evidence that the new virus causes fibrosis. Dr. Robert Legare Atmar, an infectious disease specialist at Baylor College of Medicine, said patients have not been shown to have fibrosis, which occurs when lung tissue begins scarring. The virus has been known in more serious cases to cause pneumonia, severe respiratory syndrome or kidney failure, but not fibrosis. People who have suffered coronavirus may see symptoms for two to 14 days, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Dr. William Schaffner, an infectious-diseases expert at Vanderbilt University, said he has not seen studies indicated that after patients recover from the coronavirus, they suffer serious lung damage. “The vast majority of people get better,” he said.

Anonymous at 7:38 PM on March 15, 2020 | #15976 | reply | quote


> An Expert COVID-19 Panel from UCSF

> I have been implored by many to take it down, and I have twice. (Shame on me). For the good of humanity I am taking upon myself to share this out and let people do with it what they want. If you don’t like me, I’m sorry. For all the egos who are upset, I apologize to you in advance. For those who think this information should only be kept in the confines of the people in this room, sorry. People are dying and other people are dying for good, credible information.

I had seen both the linkedin posts he took down and saved a copy. Confused about why exactly people wanted this info taken offline.

curi at 8:35 PM on March 15, 2020 | #15977 | reply | quote

A medical student took technical info from Seattle area and rewrote it for lay people to understand:


curi at 8:52 PM on March 15, 2020 | #15978 | reply | quote


> The temperature of the water does not appear to affect microbe removal

CDC says water temperature doesn't matter for hand washing.

curi at 9:20 PM on March 15, 2020 | #15979 | reply | quote

Great simulations on this page. Look at the curves after they run.


curi at 9:30 PM on March 15, 2020 | #15980 | reply | quote

Take your temperature at least daily and write it down with the date and time. Then you'll know if it increases from what's normal for you. Not everyone's baseline is 98.6 (which is actually old data and the average may be lower now, and anyway it was just an average).

curi at 10:20 PM on March 15, 2020 | #15982 | reply | quote

Good 5min news clip with an expert warning us to do serious social distancing immediately. We must act BEFORE the crisis – proactive, not reactive.


He says basically that if society *halves contact numbers* (number of times two people have contact per day) it'll de-exponential the virus growth. So social distancing doesn't have to be anywhere near perfect and can still save us. But don't do it and we're absolutely fucked.

curi at 12:23 AM on March 16, 2020 | #15983 | reply | quote

40-70% of Americans or something will get infected *if we don't do anything*.

But we **can** stop it. This isn't hopeless re stopping it. We don't have to give up and just flatten the curve (which would be a *huge* improvement over doing nothing).

If everyone stopped spreading it, the virus would be almost all gone in around 3 weeks.

We won't do that well, but we can do pretty well if we try. We can make the number of contagious people go down instead of up over the next 3 weeks. We can then make the number go down again over the 3 weeks after that.

If the number of infected people gets low enough (and meanwhile our ability to test for covid improves), we can get this under control so when the occasional case pops up the person gets immediately tested, isolated, their recent contacts tracked down and tested, etc. We can and do manage various infection diseases, like MERS, on an ongoing basis and keep them rare.

To make the number of infected people go down significantly instead of up, the average person needs to have contact with maybe a third as many people as they used to. This is compatible with most people still going to work and going to the grocery store. It's compatible with some people still having a lot of contact (because e.g. they're a doctor), but others (in a better position to isolate) cutting down contact more to help reduce the average amount of contact. Not sure about the exact numbers but a third seems plausible. It's based on #15983 saying to halve contacts, which sounded maybe like the amount to keep number of infections constant.

curi at 1:04 AM on March 16, 2020 | #15985 | reply | quote


> The findings contrasted starkly with those from the 2003 outbreak of SARS in terms of viral load. "In SARS, it took 7 to 10 days after onset until peak RNA concentrations (of up to 5x105 copies per swab) were reached," the researchers wrote. "In the present study, peak concentrations were reached before day 5, and were more than 1,000 times higher."

It's a serious threat.

> The researchers estimated the median incubation period at 5.1 days (95% confidence interval [CI], 4.5 to 5.8 days). They found that 97.5% of patients who have symptoms do so within 11.5 days of infection (CI, 8.2 to 15.6 days).

> The researchers noted that publicly reported cases may overrepresent severe cases, which may have a different incubation period than that of mild cases.

so they think 2.5% of the time, *for severe cases*, symptoms take over 11.5 days to show up. they could take longer for mild cases. and people can be contagious without, before, or after symptoms. and we're doing 14 day quarantines. *that is not enough*.

curi at 1:35 AM on March 16, 2020 | #15986 | reply | quote

What do you think of the approach that the UK is looking at: herd immunology? (Not sure how they intend to implement this - looks like the approach is to just not take too many precautions to stop the spread.)

DD tweeted this some time ago:


I see some problems with this approach of which the main one is that people seem to be able to get infected multiple times in which case herd immunology won't work as intended


other problems are we do not know the lasting side effects of getting the virus; the ICU scarcity as we can't really know how many will need medical help to survive if infected; raising havoc on other ill ppl in need of ICU.

The herd immunology approach runs the risk of making the situation much worst.

N at 5:18 AM on March 16, 2020 | #15987 | reply | quote

> Take your temperature at least daily and write it down with the date and time. Then you'll know if it increases from what's normal for you. Not everyone's baseline is 98.6 (which is actually old data and the average may be lower now, and anyway it was just an average).

For more accurate results, keep the thermometer in until it stops going up for 30 seconds. With digital ones that time themselves, leave it in your mouth and restart it until it does a whole timing without going up even by 0.1 F. Don't just stop the first time it beeps or you'll probably get an inaccurately low temperature.

Anonymous at 11:54 AM on March 16, 2020 | #15988 | reply | quote

> What do you think of the approach that the UK is looking at: herd immunology? (Not sure how they intend to implement this - looks like the approach is to just not take too many precautions to stop the spread.)

Deadly stupid. They're encouraging people to spread it exponentially. Social distancing will save many lives even if most people end up getting it eventually.

curi at 11:59 AM on March 16, 2020 | #15989 | reply | quote

Anonymous at 1:16 PM on March 16, 2020 | #15990 | reply | quote

Reading Books

**Charting the Next Pandemic Modeling Infectious Disease Spreading in the Data Science Age by Ana Pastore y Piontti, Nicola Perra, Luca Rossi, Nicole Samay, Alessandro Vespignani**

> In the case of coronaviruses, we selected scenarios referring to a case with a trans- mission rate and natural history of the disease similar to the SARS virus. Thus we assume that the infectiousness of individuals starts only after the onset of clinical symptoms, and we consider the absence of asymptomatic infections.

Doh, not very relevant.

The book talks about computer modeling and runs a bunch of different models for different scenarios.

curi at 1:27 PM on March 16, 2020 | #15991 | reply | quote

Faster way of making vaccines being applied to Wuhan Coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2)


> ... For their SARS-CoV-2 vaccine, Inovio scientists convert the virus’s RNA into DNA and select pieces of the virus that computer simulations have suggested will prod the immune system into making antibodies. Those selected bits of DNA are then inserted into bacteria, which produce large quantities of protein snippets to be used in the vaccine. This approach drastically shortens the time it takes to make a vaccine. A traditional vaccine takes two to three years to develop. For Inovio’s product, it took three hours to design and about a month to manufacture, Broderick says.

GISTE at 2:34 PM on March 16, 2020 | #15992 | reply | quote

Presentation with some fairly technical data - don't know how accurate: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1DqfSnlaW6N3GBc5YKyBOCGPfdqOsqk1G/view

Andy Dufresne at 2:38 PM on March 16, 2020 | #15993 | reply | quote

Comparing Wuhan to Guangzhou in their response to SARS-CoV-2 - a lesson for the other cities


> China’s outbreak offers some evidence of the benefits of early social distancing. In the provincial capital of Wuhan, where the virus was first detected in December, authorities waited six weeks after community spread had begun to forcibly quarantine the entire city of 8 million (SN:1/23/20). Still, nearly 20,000 needed hospitalization simultaneously in the city, including about 2,000 in need of critical care, each day during the local peak of the epidemic in February.

> But in the Chinese port city of Guangzhou, officials closed schools, banned large gatherings and isolated people confirmed to have the virus within just a week of detecting the first case in that city. That rapid action meant Guangzhou has never had to hospitalize more than 300 people at a time so far during the outbreak. And the case fatality rate in Guangzhou has been 0.8 percent, compared with Wuhan’s 4.5 percent, according to a new study by Rivers and her colleagues that was posted online March 10 on Harvard University’s DASH research repository and has yet to be peer reviewed.

GISTE at 3:07 PM on March 16, 2020 | #15994 | reply | quote


# How to fight the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 and its disease, CoVID-19


> Michael Lin, PhD-MD

> Lin Lab Briefing 2020-03-13

> [2019-nCOV name] gives the misimpression that the virus is especially novel. It’s not. In fact it’s the least novel of the respiratory disease-causing viruses isolated in the molecular age. It’s defining feature is it’s NON-novelty...

> SARS-CoV-2 is the Genbank name for the virus, because it is 96% identical in nucleotide sequence to SARS-CoV, the cause of SARS in 2003.

## Info on Coronaviruses (CoVs) in general

> Positive-strand RNA viruses with large genomes (≥27,000 bases).

> already known to cause the common cold, account for 10- 30% of cases

> Very stable – CoV OC43 isolates from 1960s and 2001 had only 2 amino acid differences

> Easily hops between species

## Any Topic Again

> How do you kill SARS-CoV-2?


> - It’s an enveloped virus (with a plasma membrane) so it’s killed by soap/detergents, ethanol, Windex (which contains detergents), bleach.

> - Survival of SARS-CoV-2 depends on the surface

> - On steel and plastic, 10-fold drop in ~12 hours

> - On cardboard, 1 hour

> - SARS-CoV-1 is sensitive to temperature, so SARS-CoV-2 is likely to be, too

> Most transmission correlates with coughing symptoms, according to WHO (www.who.int/news- room/q-a-detail/q-a-coronaviruses). Anecdotally, people can spread 1-2 days before having symptoms (e.g. first Germany cases). This makes biological sense; the first replication cycles won’t create enough tissue damage to be noticed.

> Compare to Spanish flu of 1917-1918: Cumulative infection rate 27%, IFR 2%. Spanish flu might have higher IFR than COVID-19, but medical care was much worse then (no ventilators, no drugs). In reality COVID-19 is likely the more severe disease. In any case, Spanish flu was devastating.

I had that idea too! I said COVID-19 probably worse than Spanish flu, everything else (like medical care) being equal. http://curi.us/2304-the-wuhan-coronavirus#15949

> Estimated 5% of total infected (not diagnosed cases) require hospitalization and 2.5% require ICU. Average hospital stay is 3 weeks, and starts 2 weeks after infection (1 week after diagnosis)

> Biggest surge in infections occurs in the weeks of 5/29 and 6/5, when 25% of population = 80,000,000 gets infected each week. This will result in 4,000,000 needing hospitalization starting 6/12 and another 4,000,000 starting 6/19.

> - Only 1,000,000 hospital beds in US https://www.statnews.com/2020/03/10/simple-math-alarming-answers-covid-19/

> - So we must slow down doubling time from 1 week to >8 weeks, so at peak it is <500,000 hospitalizations in a week

> • Social distancing: Could have wide range of effects.

> – Current R0 rate ~ 3 (one person infects 3 other people. If they do this in ~10 days, it would account for doubling

> time 1 week).

> – Drop R0 to 1.5: Doubling time would increase ~4-fold.

> – Drop R0 to 1.25: Doubling time would increase ~8-fold.

> – Drop R0 to 1.0: Doubling time would become infinite (constant rate of new cases).

10F temperature increase (from summer) might halve doubling time.

> The next month is critical: March 16 to April 16. It’s not so dangerous in terms of getting infected personally, but important in terms of demonstrating we can reduce R0 or increase doubling time.


> If we are still doubling each week on April 16, we have only another month to get a second chance.


> If that doesn’t work by May 16, there would be no third chance. We would have to immediately clamp down to avoid hospital overflow. This would require Wuhan-like measures such as central quarantine for sick and enforced home-isolation for everyone else.

If we take social distancing seriously, I bet we can reduce the average number of people an infected person infects from 3 to 1.25 or fewer. That’s what we need to avoid a huge disaster.

That means the average person needs to have contact with about a third as many people, over the next few months, and things get *way, way* better for us.

> It’s not easy, but social distancing, fast testing, and immediate quarantining can be enough!

## How CDC and FDA failed

3 pages on this plus 1 more on *How POTUS and VPOTUS fail*.

CDC was inflexible on testing guidelines. CDC made a test using 30 year old technology, made a major error so it didn’t work, and didn’t notice the problem for a month.

> I would expect most graduate students to do better.

Initially, FDA only allowed CDC test to be used. FDA refused tests from other countries and WHO. FDA required CDC to retest results from other labs.

CDC and FDA are too restrained about saying we have drugs that can do anything. (There were multiple slides earlier about our existing anti-viral drugs that I mostly skipped.)

CDC gave bad info, e.g. about how COVID-19 affects children.

POTUS and VPOTUS failed to learn facts, make useful decisions, give orders to CDC or FDA to do better, or communicate good info with public.

curi at 3:28 PM on March 16, 2020 | #15995 | reply | quote

Virus Textbook Notes ch 1-3

# Essential Human Virology by Jennifer Louten

## Chapter 1: The World of Viruses

Virion = virus particle outside of a cell.

> There are around 3000 documented species of viruses that infect a range of living organisms, although there are thousands of different strains and isolates within these species, and thousands more viruses that remain to be discovered.

> There are an estimated 10^18 grains of sand on Earth and 10^23 stars in the Universe, yet neither of these numbers compare to the number of virions found on Earth. If you multiplied the number of stars in the Universe 100 million times, you would have the number of infectious virus particles in the world. With an estimated 10^31 total virions, viruses are the most abundant biological entities on our planet. We know that bacteria are abundant and everywhere, but there are 10 times more virions on Earth than bacteria!

Viruses aren’t alive. They can’t reproduce on their own and don’t have metabolism or homeostasis. They just infect cells (including some target bacteria) and turn them into virus-producing factories.

> In essence, [viruses] are inert particles that do not have the ability to generate their own energy. They use the cell’s energy and machinery to synthesize new virus particles.

> Living organisms have mechanisms to regulate internal highs and lows to maintain homeostasis, but viruses do not. As inert particles, they are unable to compensate for changes in their external environment.

> It is interesting to note that viruses are thought to have been around since the beginning of life itself. In fact, one current hypothesis states that viruses were some of the precursors to life on Earth as we know it.

> Based upon the evidence that we currently have, there are three viable hypotheses on how viruses originated:

> 1. The precellular hypothesis (or “virus-first” hypothesis)

> 2. The escape hypothesis

> 3. The regressive hypothesis

> Critics of the precellular hypothesis point out that all viruses are parasitic and require a cellular host. Therefore, it is unlikely that viruses could have existed before cells because they would not have had a reliable source of the materials they need to replicate. In addition, the majority of viral genes are not found in cells, and one should expect to see more similarities between cells and viruses if a DNA virus was the origin of a cell’s genetic material.

> This [escape] hypothesis proposes that viruses are pieces of cells that broke away at one point in time (hence they “escaped” from the cell) and gained the ability to travel from cell to cell. By extension, the viruses of Bacteria, Archaea, and Eukarya may have arisen from distinct escape events within those three domains (Fig. 1.8).

> The third current hypothesis to explain the origin of viruses is the **Regressive Hypothesis**, which suggests that viruses were once independent intracellular organisms that *regressed *back to a less-advanced state where they were unable to replicate independently. Two organelles currently found within cells, namely the mitochondrion and the chloroplast, are thought to have originated in this manner. Precedent for this idea also comes from the world of bacteria, where certain bacteria such as *Chlamydia *and *Rickettsia *require the intracellular environment of the cell to replicate. Similarly, perhaps viruses were once living intracellular organisms that dissolved their membranes to facilitate easier access to cellular equipment and materials.

This flask is what it takes to let in air without particles:


Refuted spontaneous generation by figuring out what it takes to keep microbes out. Helped lead to germ theory of disease.

Around 1890, we started identifying and understanding some bacteria before viruses.

> In addition, they determined that the agent was not filterable through a Kitasato filter, which has pores much smaller than the Chamberland filter [that the virus did fit through, but which bacteria don’t fit through], and so they were also able to conclude the virus was not a liquid, as described by Beijerinck’s “contagious living fluid” explanation, but was actually a very small, solid particle.

> So, by 1898, two separate groups had discovered a new infectious agent that multiplies in living cells and was capable of causing disease. These viruses were filterable through the bacteria-proof Chamberland filter and were too small to be seen with light microscopes.

> When American virologist Thomas M. Rivers published the first Virology textbook in 1928, bacteriophages had been discovered, as had the viruses that cause many human diseases, including measles, mumps, rubella, influenza, smallpox, herpes, rabies, and polio. And yet, no one had been able to visualize these pathogens. The electron microscope, invented in 1933, finally allowed the world to see what a virus looks like.

## Chapter 2: Virus Structure and Classification

> Viruses are [very small] obligate intracellular parasites, meaning that they are completely dependent upon the internal environment of the cell to create new infectious virus particles, or virions.


> All viruses make contact with and bind the surface of a cell to gain entry into the cell. The virus disassembles and its genetic material (made of nucleic acid) encodes the instructions for the proteins that will spontaneously assemble into the new virions. This is known as de novo replication, from the Latin for “from new.” In contrast to cells, which grow in size and divide equally in two to replicate, viruses use the cell’s energy and machinery to create and assemble new virions piece by piece, completely from scratch.

> All living cells, whether human, animal, plant, or bacterial, have double-stranded DNA (dsDNA) as their genetic material. Viruses, on the other hand, have genomes, or genetic material, that can be composed of DNA or RNA (but not both).

> A typical virus genome falls in the range of 7000–20,000 base pairs […] the very large pandoraviruses mentioned previously have the largest genomes: up to 2.5million bases, rivaling the genome size of many bacteria! In comparison, eukaryotic cells have much larger genomes: a red alga has the smallest known eukaryotic genome, at 8 million base pairs; a human cell contains over 3 billion nucleotides in its hereditary material; the largest genome yet sequenced, at over 22billion base pairs, is that of the loblolly pine tree.

A virus has RNA or DNA surrounded by proteins to protect it. The protein shell, called a **capsid**, generally repeats a few proteins over and over again because the virus doesn’t have enough base pairs to specify a more complex shield. The proteins also need to be able to self-assemble.

> In the same way that a roll of magnets will spontaneously assemble together, capsid proteins also exhibit self-assembly. The first to show this were H. Fraenkel-Conrat and Robley Williams in 1955. They separated the RNA genome from the protein subunits of tobacco mosaic virus, and when they put them back together in a test tube, infectious virions formed automatically. This indicated that no additional information is necessary to assemble a virus: the physical components will assemble spontaneously, primarily held together by electrostatic and hydrophobic forces.

> Most viruses also have an envelope surrounding the capsid. The envelope is a lipid membrane

> Each virus also possesses a virus attachment protein embedded in its outermost layer. This will be found in the capsid, in the case of a naked virus, or the envelope, in the case of an enveloped virus. The virus attachment protein is the viral protein that facilitates the docking of the virus to the plasma membrane of the host cell, the first step in gaining entry into a cell.

> Of the two major capsid structures, the icosahedron is by far more prevalent than the helical architecture. In comparison to a helical virus where the capsid proteins wind around the nucleic acid, the genomes of icosahedral viruses are packaged completely within an icosahedral capsid that acts as a protein shell. Initially these viruses were thought to be spherical, but advances in electron microscopy and X-ray crystallography revealed these were actually icosahedral in structure.

## Chapter 3: Features of Host Cells: Cellular and Molecular Biology Review

> There are three domains of life—*Bacteria*, *Archaea*, and *Eukarya*. The organisms within these groups are divided depending on the presence or absence of a **nucleus **within the cell(s) of the organism. **Prokaryotes **are organisms without a nucleus to wall off their genetic material from the rest of the cell, while **eukaryotes **are organisms that contain a nucleus within their cells. All organisms within *Bacteria *and *Archaea *are prokaryotes, whereas *Eukarya*—as the name suggests— contains eukaryotes. Viruses exist that infect cells of all three domains. Most of the viruses that are discussed in this book infect humans and other animals, which are eukaryotes.

> DNA replication, which occurs during S phase of the cell cycle, is the first tenet of the **Central Dogma of Molecular Biology**: DNA is *replicated *in the nucleus to create a copy of the DNA, DNA is *transcribed *into messenger RNA in the nucleus, and messenger RNA is *translated *by ribosomes in the cytosol to create a protein (Fig. 3.11). DNA contains the hereditary information, and RNA is a temporary copy of a DNA gene. Ribosomes create a protein out of amino acids based upon the sequence of nucleotides within the RNA.

> DNA polymerases have **high fidelity**, meaning that they do not often place an incorrect base in the growing strand of replicating DNA. They also have proofreading ability: in the same way you may type an incorrect letter on a keyboard and hit the “Backspace” key to replace it with the correct letter, DNA polymerase can reverse and replace an incorrectly placed nucleotide. DNA polymerase and repair enzymes can also cut out a section around an incorrect nucleotide and replace the section of DNA with the correct nucleotides. Taken together, DNA polymerase makes one mistake for every 1 million nucleotides copied, on average.

> Sections of DNA called **genes **encode the information needed to create proteins. There are over 20,000 protein-encoding genes within the 46 chromosomes that constitute the human genome. There are three steps in the process of generating a protein from the information stored within DNA: transcription, RNA processing, and translation.

> RNA polymerases do not have as high fidelity as DNA polymerases and place an incorrect base on average once per 100,000 nucleotides transcribed, 10 times more often than DNA polymerase. These RNA polymerases are *DNA-dependent RNA polymerases.* Eukaryotic cells do not contain *RNA-dependent* RNA polymerases for the creation of mRNA, and so several types of RNA viruses encode their own RNA polymerases, with error rates of 1 in 100 to 1 in 100,000 nucleotides. A high mutation rate is the result of the low fidelity of several RNA viruses that encode their own RNA polymerase.

> Now processed, the mature mRNA transcript leaves the nucleus and is delivered to the ribosome, which is located in the cytosol. The ribosome acts as a protein factory, and the mature mRNA functions as the instructions for manufacturing. Proteins are made of amino acids, and most human proteins are 50–1000 amino acids in size. There are 20 different amino acids, and the sequence of mRNA determines the order in which the ribosome will assemble the amino acids into a protein.

This stuff reminds me of Turing Machines. DNA and RNA are clearly software. Cells do computation. This is well known in some sense – it’s called “genetic code” – but I think many people don’t really view it as computation. This textbook calls genetic code an “analogy” but it’s literal. Here’s a chart showing essentially some of the assembly language rules:


> Viruses have evolved several mechanisms to ensure the successful transcription and translation of their gene products, necessary to create more infectious virions. Some viruses take advantage of the host splicing machinery to produce several mRNA transcripts from one precursor mRNA. HIV-1, for instance, produces most of its mRNAs from alternative splicing. Some viruses, like influenza, can snatch the 5′-caps from host mRNAs to gain the necessary cap for the viral mRNA, leaving the host mRNA untranslatable without a 5′-cap. Some viruses also create mRNAs that are translated into one long **polyprotein **that is then cleaved into several viral proteins after translation.


> Other viruses have evolved tactics for protein translation that are not customarily used by the host. [Various technical examples follow.]

> In addition to evolving mechanisms to ensure their mRNA is processed and recognized by host ribosomes, viruses have also evolved ways to interfere with the transcription and translation of host proteins: [5 examples follow]

curi at 3:30 PM on March 16, 2020 | #15996 | reply | quote


> 10F temperature increase (from summer) might halve doubling time.

I meant double doubling time. Halve our problem. Make things 2x better.

curi at 3:33 PM on March 16, 2020 | #15997 | reply | quote

Expert Claim: alcohol is way better than soap


> This @DaringFireball post caught my eye yesterday: https://daringfireball.net/linked/2020/03/13/soap, and I've got some comments that I will be sharing in this tweet thread. TL;DR soap is *not* significantly more effective than alcohol-based hand sanitizers for coronavirus. (1/15)

About alcohol:

> This article on the efficacy of disinfectants against SARS coronavirus https://www.journalofhospitalinfection.com/article/S0195-6701(05)00044-7/fulltext?mobileUi=0 found that all four alcohol-based hand rubs led to inactivation of SARS-CoV to below the limit of detection. (7/15)

> A microbiologist like me would express this as >4 or >5 log reduction. Layman's terms this means reducing 100,000 infectious virus particles to only 10 or 1, i.e. 99.99% or 99.999%. (8/15)

About soap:

> Note that the PLOSone article looks at human and avian influenza viruses. They are not coronaviruses, but *are* enveloped virus. (11/15)

> The authors investigated the effect of surfactants which are the main components of hand soaps. They looked at three different surfactants against two strains of influenza. (12/15)

> Only one of the surfactants was able to reduce infectivity by > 4 log. The other two had a reduction of one log or less. Note that even 1 log is something (90%). (13/15)

curi at 7:49 PM on March 16, 2020 | #15998 | reply | quote

Legendary NYC fire marshal dies of complications from coronavirus

NY Daily News, Legendary NYC fire marshal dies of complications from coronavirus (2020-03-16):

> The legendary fire marshal John Knox, who investigated hundreds of fires, passed away Monday in a Long Island hospital from complications from COVID-19 [at the age of 84].

> The exhuberant Rockaway resident, who enjoyed cross-country road trips, was still investigating cases as a private consultant well into his eighties right up until he went into the hospital, said his friend Peter Gleason.


> Knox was already stricken with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and reduced lung function from working at Ground Zero following the 9/11 terrorist attacks.


> On Saturday, as Knox lay in isolation, his family lobbied the hospital to give him Remdesvir [sic], an experimental anti-virus medication developed to fight the Ebola virus. But because Knox had kidney failure, doctors told relatives he could not receive the drug.

The article doesn't explain the relevance of Knox's kidney failure. I did cursory Google searches for [Remdesivir renal] and [Remdesivir kidney], but nothing jumped out at me.

> “The patient – who had not traveled to any high-risk countries or been exposed to someone with symptoms of COVID-19 – was admitted to the hospital on Feb. 26th and did not meet the CDC criteria in place at the time for COVID-19 testing,”

Fuck. Maybe they could have helped him more if they knew he had COVID-19 sooner.

Alisa at 9:58 PM on March 16, 2020 | #15999 | reply | quote

> The article doesn't explain the relevance of Knox's kidney failure. I did cursory Google searches for [Remdesivir renal] and [Remdesivir kidney], but nothing jumped out at me.

I think Remdesivir supplies are quite limited, so they want to give it only to people most likely to be saved.

curi at 10:03 PM on March 16, 2020 | #16000 | reply | quote

Virus Textbook Notes ch 4-5

# Essential Human Virology by Jennifer Louten

## Chapter 4: Virus Replication

> A virus must undergo the process of **replication **to create new, infectious virions that are able to infect other cells of the body or subsequent hosts. After gaining entry into the body, a virus makes physical contact with and crosses the plasma membrane of a target cell. Inside, it releases and replicates its genome while facilitating the manufacture of its proteins by host ribosomes. Virus particles are assembled from these newly synthesized biological molecules and become infectious virions. Finally, the virions are released from the cell to continue the process of infection.


> The seven stages of virus replication are categorized as follows:

> 1. Attachment

> 2. Penetration

> 3. Uncoating

> 4. Replication

> 5. Assembly

> 6. Maturation

> 7. Release

> All viruses must perform the seven stages in order to create new virions. Some stages may take place simultaneously with other stages, or some stages may take place out of order, depending upon the virus.

> Spontaneous assembly of the capsid, termed “self-assembly,” occurs with the capsid proteins of simple icosahedral viruses, such as the picornaviruses and parvoviruses. The assembly of viruses with more complex architecture is orchestrated by a variety of viral chaperone proteins called scaffolding proteins.

Scientists put bacteria-infecting viruses in test tubes with bacteria. They put extra viruses, e.g. 10 per cell, to try to ensure every bacteria is infected. They dilute it or centrifuge it or something after a minute to remove extra viruses so they can better control what happens and better see controlled results.

> A typical bacteriophage infection releases 50–200 virions per infected cell, and the latent period is typically 20–30 min.

> Because the virions assemble from newly synthesized proteins, scientists can also artificially lyse the bacterial cells at various timepoints to see when the virions are assembled internally and infectious, but not yet released.

> One-step growth curves have also been performed with viruses that infect eukaryotes. These viruses take significantly longer to replicate because eukaryotic cells do not replicate as quickly as bacteria; as a result, the enzymes required by some viruses are not necessarily immediately available. Eukaryotic cells are also more complex and involve processes and organelles, such as the rER or Golgi complex, that are not found in bacteria. Consequently, the viral replication cycle takes longer in eukaryotic cells, and the latent period of viruses that infect eukaryotes is significantly longer, about 18–24 h.

Eukaryotic cells are cells with a nucleus. Bacteria are single-celled organisms with no nucleus or internal organelles. Viruses are simpler and smaller than that.

## Chapter 5: Virus Transmission and Epidemiology

> The viruses that exist today have evolutionarily been selected for their traits that allow them to circumvent host factors and initiate infection, although the most successful viruses are not the most virulent: an extremely pathogenic virus will kill its host, thereby eliminating its reservoir and interrupting the chain of infection to another susceptible host.

> The **respiratory tract **is the most common portal of entry for viruses into the human body. It is a system of tubes that allows for gas exchange between the body and the external environment. The mucosal surfaces of the respiratory tract translate to a very large surface area with which viruses can interact. A resting human inhales around 2 gallons of air every minute, and within each breath are aerosolized droplets and particles that could contain viruses, such as from a cough or sneeze of an infected individual.

> Within the lungs, the two bronchi branch into smaller-diameter bronchioles that lead to an estimated 300 million alveoli (singular: alveolus), where gas exchange occurs

> Viruses contained in larger droplets are deposited in the upper respiratory tract, while smaller aerosolized particles or liquids are able to travel into the lower respiratory tract.

> The epidermis consists of five layers, or strata, of keratin-producing cells (Fig. 5.4C). The innermost layer, the stratum basale, consists of living cells that undergo mitosis. The cells become filled with thick keratin filaments and die as they continue their differentiation through the layers, finally becoming the outermost layer of the skin, the stratum corneum. The cells continuously slough off from the outermost stratum and are reconstituted from the cells progressing through the lower strata.


> The epidermis has barrier mechanisms to prevent infection. The flow of fluid or perspiration over the skin makes viral attachment difficult, and the sebum (oil) produced by sebaceous glands creates an acidic environment. In addition, the cells in the outermost strata of skin are not alive and thus cannot support viral replication. Viruses that replicate in the epidermis, such as HPV, gain access through small cuts or abrasions in the skin that allow access to the lower, dividing layers of skin where viral replication can occur.

Some viruses infect one area of the body, but others can spread:

> Virions spread to other organs through one of two ways. In **hematogenous spread**, viruses spread to target organs using the bloodstream.

> In **neurotropic spread**, viruses spread through the body using neurons. Viruses rarely infect neurons directly because it is difficult for viruses to directly access these cells. Most often, viruses replicate in cells at the local site of infection and then infect neurons located nearby.

> In order to persist within a population, a virus must spread from an infected host to a susceptible host. The **shedding **of virus refers to the release of infectious virions from the host. During localized infections, the virus is shed from the primary site of infection.

> Viruses are inactivated within minutes or hours at high temperatures (above 121°F or 50°C), but certain viruses, particularly those that are nonenveloped, can remain infectious for days or months at ambient temperatures.

> Airborne viruses can be transmitted within liquid droplets or aerosolized particles that are released when a person sneezes, coughs, speaks, or breathes. Droplets are larger in size, about 20 μm, and therefore tend to only be spread short distances before they succumb to gravity and fall out of the air (Fig. 5.9). At 5 μm or less, aerosolized particles remain airborne for much longer periods of time, and the evaporation of liquid from aerosols creates smaller particles that can persist in the air for an extended period of time. Some viruses are better protected from inactivation within droplets. Aerosols, being smaller, generally have greater success in reaching the lower respiratory tract.

I was glad to find this info. What I’d read online about droplets and aerosols had been somewhat confusing. This is clearer about the meanings, like the size cutoff. Droplets, though bigger, are very, very tiny.

20 micrometers is 20/1000 millimeters, which is 2% of a millimeter. Millimeters are 10ths of centimeters (1000ths of meters) and are seen on some rulers. There are 25.4 millimeters in an inch. So a droplet is 2% of 4% of an inch, or around 0.0007874 inches. And that’s big enough to fall to the ground quickly, but aerosols are a quarter that size or less and are far more able to float around in the air.

> For airborne viruses, humidity and temperature often play a role in the persistence of the virion in the environment. It has been shown for several enveloped respiratory viruses, including influenza A virus, measles virus, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV), and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS)-CoV, that lower temperature and humidity are more conducive to maintaining airborne virions. Virions are inactivated faster at higher temperatures and humidity, and droplets tend to fall out of the air more readily with higher humidity. On the other hand, nonenveloped viruses like rhinovirus and adenovirus remain infectious longer in higher-humidity environments.

> The replication and persistence of a virus within a host generally follow one of two different patterns of disease. In an **acute infection**, the virus replicates rapidly within the host and is spread to other individuals, but the immune system clears the virus, generally within 7–10 days. Epidemics are most often caused by viruses that cause acute infection. Some acute infections are **inapparent **or **subclinical**, meaning that they produce no symptoms of disease, although the virus still replicates and activates the immune system. Spread to other hosts can still occur with inapparent acute infections.

> On the other hand, **persistent infections **occur when the host immune system is unable to effectively clear the virus, but the virus does not replicate to levels that kill the host. Persistent infections often last for the lifetime of an individual

How can a virus cause a persistent infection? One way is to exert some control or manipulation over the immune system. Another is to create “defective interfering (DI) particles” which are like flak to stop torpedos or missiles. They are partial viruses that the immune system attacks but they were made cheaply and didn’t work anyway. Also some parts of the body, like the brain, have safeguards to protect cells, so it’s harder to get rid of viruses there. Also some viruses go *dormant* to hide from the immune system and then come back later.

> An unusual variation of persistent infection occurs with **slow infections**. As the name suggests, these viruses can take years to reach a symptomatic phase (if one ever occurs). HIV establishes a slow infection: without antiretroviral drugs, it takes around 8–10 years for an individual to progress to a stage of disease where symptoms are apparent.

curi at 10:30 PM on March 16, 2020 | #16001 | reply | quote


Anonymous at 10:43 PM on March 16, 2020 | #16002 | reply | quote

#16002 488 replies to 648 RTs is a bad ratio. Replies are the only way to respond negatively. Expecting high negativity, I found the first 6 replies were flaming Elon Musk. 7th one finally agreed.

The guy agreeing with Musk is an idiot. We're not shutting things down based on the current amount of harm. It's based on potential harm in the near future. We've already seen disaster in Italy. We know it can happen here. That's the threat, not the current body count.

Another reply:

> Big fan, Elon, but I'd suggest you visit New York. Infected New Yorkers are being turned away from taking the tests because they're not bedridden enough. The numbers don't match the reality.

I guess he means that infection numbers are wrong because we aren't testing nearly enough people.

curi at 10:49 PM on March 16, 2020 | #16003 | reply | quote

Anonymous at 10:55 PM on March 16, 2020 | #16004 | reply | quote


Good video with some footage from Italy and some Italian doctors talking.

One thing missing is footage of dead bodies. I think those should be broadcast. Let people see piles of corpses so they take social distancing more seriously. Stop hiding an important part of reality from sight. That's misleading.

curi at 11:28 PM on March 16, 2020 | #16005 | reply | quote

#16005 What Canada can learn from Italy’s situation with COVID-19 @4:40 Professor Yascha Mounk, Johns Hopkins University:

> I think the question of "Why Italy?" is [a] most important question, and it has a simple answer: no reason at all. The only thing that makes Italy different is that the first couple of cases arrived in Italy about 10 days before they arrived in Germany or the U.S. or Canada.

Alisa at 8:24 AM on March 17, 2020 | #16007 | reply | quote


The key to is testing. We need to slow the pandemic down, not to wait for a vaccine, but to ramp up testing capacity. Once we test a lot more people, including many people with mild or no symptoms, we'll be able to figure out who to quarantine.

Article explains that testing everyone in a small Italian town was enough to beat the disease.


> Israel tells people not to leave home except for "vital needs and services"


Holy shit that's a long line for costco. Way, way longer than the other pics or videos I've seen.


Interesting tweets on communication difficulties with the public about masks.

curi at 12:10 PM on March 17, 2020 | #16011 | reply | quote

I posted Slow the coronavirus spread so we can test way more. I made it a blog post because I think it's a key point for more people to know.

curi at 12:26 PM on March 17, 2020 | #16012 | reply | quote

Anonymous at 1:46 PM on March 17, 2020 | #16014 | reply | quote

Essential Human Virology – ch. 6 notes

# Essential Human Virology by Jennifer Louten


Chapter 1-3 notes:


Chapter 4-5 notes:


## Chapter 6: The Immune Response to Viruses

> The immune system is a coordinated system of white blood cells, proteins, and receptors that sense the presence of the virus, control infection, and provide long-term **immunity**, or resistance, against the virus. There are two arms of the immune system, the **innate immune system **and **adaptive immune system **

The innate immune response uses generic defense mechanisms and begins immediately. It’s frequently inadequate to stop an infection, but can slow it down and limit the problem.

The adaptive system customizes a response to a specific virus; this works better but takes time (days or weeks). This sounds like a machine learning algorithm to me. We run (literal) computation to analyze data about the threat and optimize our immune response (within a certain pre-determined, limited design space of responses). Note: This is different than human learning and doesn’t involve general intelligence.

The book doesn’t say it here, but I think we save our custom immune responses for reuse in the future, which is why we generally don’t get infected by the same infection twice (unless it mutates to a new strain). If the same bacteria or virus comes back, our adaptive immune response will crush it immediately before it replicates much, rather than needing days or weeks to adapt again.

> Immune cells within host tissues have a variety of protein receptors known as **pattern recognition receptors **(PRRs) that recognize **pathogen-associated molecular patterns **(PAMPs) from a variety of pathogens, including viruses.

Pattern recognition relates to machine learning and computer systems.

> Although there are several PRRs that recognize bacterial components, there are two main classes of PRRs that recognize viral PAMPs: the Toll-like receptors (TLRs) and RIG-I-like receptors (RLRs).

There are 10 types of TLR, 6 of which detect viruses. RLRs only detect viruses, not bacteria.

> TLRs and RLRs induce the production of **cytokines**, small proteins that are secreted by cells and cause effects within target cells through a **cytokine receptor **

I think cytokines are basically messengers that get other cells to activate and do stuff. Cytokines can “activate proteins within the cell that turn on hundreds of genes” which means turning on hundreds of computer code functions. Some cytokines warn regular cells (not part of the immune system) so that they enable heightened security.

Macrophages are big cells that ingest and digest large particles.

Dendritic cells pick up and process antigens. Antigens are antibody generators – anything that causes an immune response. Antigens are usually proteins.

> **Natural killer cells **(NK cells) are an important innate cell type in the defense against viruses. They possess lytic granules that induce **apoptosis **of virally infected target cells. Apoptosis, also known as programmed cell death, is carried out as an orderly process within cells. The proteins that are delivered to the target cell by NK cells set off a cascade of events that activates enzymes called caspases to fragment DNA within the nucleus of the cell.

Our cells have *orderly* self-destruct mechanisms. It’s not like blowing up a bomb. It’s more like shutting down a factory with a month of notice and getting all the machines (and building itself) disassembled and hauled away.

> The adaptive immune system is composed of white blood cells known as T lymphocytes and B lymphocytes, more often referred to as T cells and B cells. T cells and B cells are located within the lymph nodes or spleen of the body.

There are two types of T cells, killers (“Cytotoxic T Lymphocytes”) and helpers which can activate dendritic cells, macrophages and B cells.

> several viruses have evolved mechanisms to interfere with the presentation of antigen

Natural Killer (NK) cells recognize when certain molecules are missing. So when viruses interfere with antigen presentation, the NK cells can fight that.

> The primary function of B cells is to produce **antibody**, also called **immunoglobulin**.

> The antibodies made by a single B cell are specific to a particular viral antigen. Antibodies circulate in the blood for months following infection. This means that subsequent viral infections during this time will be unsuccessful because the virus will be neutralized by the virus-specific antibodies in circulation within the body. This is why a person doesn’t get the same cold twice in a season.

> Some of these T and B cells form long-lived **memory cells**, however, that remain within the body.

Antibody production stops after a few months but memory cells protect us from repeat infections (of the same type) in the long term. The memory cells are so good at fighting off infections fast that we often don’t get any symptoms or notice anything happened.

Vaccines work by stimulating the body to create memory cells.

> Nearly every facet of the immune system is thwarted by some virus. RNA viruses, with error-prone RNA polymerases, mutate quickly and can escape immunological memory in this fashion, whereas large DNA viruses, such as herpesviruses and poxviruses, have large genomes that encode immune evasion proteins.

> there are over 100 different strains of rhinovirus, so the immune response against the cold you catch one year will not provide immunological memory against a different strain of rhinovirus the following year.

> Some viruses, however, enter a state, known as **latency**, where they no longer replicate within the cell but remain dormant until the immune system is weakened. Viral replication does not occur during latency, and so there are no viral proteins produced to act as antigen and alert the immune system of the infected cell.

> Viruses encode the genes necessary for their replication, but some viruses also encode genes whose protein products interfere with the host immune response

curi at 2:13 PM on March 17, 2020 | #16016 | reply | quote


> FDA moves to boost coronavirus testing capacity by giving states more power


> Maybe Doctors Shouldn't Need the Government's Permission To Fight Coronavirus

Anonymous at 2:21 PM on March 17, 2020 | #16017 | reply | quote


> The most predictable disaster in the history of the human race

> This is what Bill Gates is afraid of.

> In a 1990 paper on "The Anthropology of Infectious Disease," Marcia Inhorn and Peter Brown estimated that infectious diseases "have likely claimed more lives than all wars, noninfectious diseases, and natural disasters put together." Infectious diseases are our oldest, deadliest foe.

curi at 2:27 PM on March 17, 2020 | #16018 | reply | quote

Arguments that SARS-CoV-2 is natural, not from a lab:


Arguments that over half of asymptotic infected persons are not infected; actually, the test gave a false positive:


> 75% probability for the false-positive rate of positive results over 47%

curi at 4:11 PM on March 17, 2020 | #16021 | reply | quote

More Info

I continue tweeting info. Follow me at https://twitter.com/curi42 or just read my tweets directly at that webpage. *Lots of twitter info is not copied anywhere else.*

I blogged:

What To Do About Coronavirus

Slow the coronavirus spread so we can test way more

There's a coronavirus channel on the FI Discord

curi at 4:22 PM on March 17, 2020 | #16022 | reply | quote

Coronavirus Politics


> The CDC was Fighting Racism and Obesity Instead of Stopping Epidemics

> The CDC should be driven by science, not social justice.


> Coronavirus Will Give President Trump His Biggest Win

> MAGA can use the coronavirus to crush globalism.

curi at 6:20 PM on March 17, 2020 | #16023 | reply | quote


> Coronavirus: Amazon suspends all warehouse shipments except medical supplies and ‘high-demand’ products

> “We are temporarily prioritising household staples, medical supplies and other high-demand products coming into our fulfilment centres so we can more quickly receive, restock, and ship these products to customers,” an Amazon spokesperson told the Independent.


curi at 8:02 PM on March 17, 2020 | #16025 | reply | quote


> The New Coronavirus Is More Likely To Be Spread By Pre-Symptomatic People Than Experts Originally Thought

> New research is showing that individuals may not have to be displaying symptoms of COVID-19 to be contagious.

> Of the COVID-19 cases in Singapore that were studied, it is thought that 48 percent of the cases were transmitted by someone who was pre-symptomatic. In Tianjin, China, that number was 62 percent.

Anonymous at 8:10 PM on March 17, 2020 | #16026 | reply | quote


> But emergency rooms waiting for an influx of gear from the national stockpile may be disappointed. Alex Azar, secretary of HHS, told Congress last month that the stockpile contains 30 million surgical masks and 12 million of the more protective N95 masks. He said there were an additional 5 million N95 masks that may have passed their expiration date.

> That number pales in comparison to what could be needed in a serious outbreak. Government scientists in 2015 estimated that a severe flu outbreak infecting 20 to 30 percent of the population would require at least 1.7 billion of the N95 respirators.

> The national stockpile used to be somewhat more robust. In 2006, Congress provided supplemental funds to add 104 million N95 masks and 52 million surgical masks in an effort to prepare for a flu pandemic. But after the H1N1 influenza outbreak in 2009, which triggered a nationwide shortage of masks and caused a 2- to 3-year backlog orders for the N95 variety, the stockpile distributed about three-quarters of its inventory and didn’t build back the supply.

So they had a stockpile, it worked great during a flu outbreak ... and then they just didn't buy more of the thing that was so useful.

Maybe congress forgot to give them money?

> The stockpile has only received about $600 million per year in appropriations from Congress and that money has to be stretched to cover medicine and supplies for everything from potential anthrax attacks to influenza outbreaks to responses to natural disasters like earthquakes and floods.

N95 masks are under a dollar at normal times. Our government is so bad at spending money! Good at excuses like saying "only" before 6 billion dollars over the last decade, though. From which they managed to have 12 million N95 masks around, not even replenish what they used before, let alone try to build towards what their own scientists estimated was needed.

curi at 11:34 PM on March 17, 2020 | #16027 | reply | quote

People need to say more about nose picking and the dangers of that.

Anonymous at 12:05 AM on March 18, 2020 | #16028 | reply | quote

Notes on Essential Human Virology

# Essential Human Virology by Jennifer Louten


Chapter 1-3 notes:


Chapter 4-5 notes:


Chapter 6 notes:


## Chapter 7: Detection and Diagnosis of Viral Infections

Lots of specifics. A general concept is tissue/cell cultures where they get things to grow in controlled circumstances (test tube). Lots of stuff is clear (no color) so they stain it with a color before looking at it with a microscope.

> NAT [Nucleic acid testing] assays rely upon the principle of **polymerase chain reaction (PCR)**, which recapitulates the process of DNA replication in the laboratory by providing the molecules necessary to copy DNA

By putting the right ingredients together and controlling the temperature in a sequence of steps. The sequence is repeated 30-35 times to get the virus to create billions of copies of its DNA. There is a similar procedure for RNA viruses. Then here’s the standard way to detect whether the virus was present:

> The amplified DNA fragment, known as an **amplicon, **can be detected in several different ways, but agarose gel electrophoresis remains the simplest and cheapest method. Agarose gel electrophoresis uses electricity to separate DNA fragments in an agarose gel. The distance traveled by the DNA is based upon the fragment size, with smaller fragments traveling farther in the gel than larger fragments. After separation is complete, the gel is stained with a chemical known as ethidium bromide that intercalates in between the base pairs of the DNA and fluoresces when exposed to UV light. A fluorescent band, therefore, indicates that DNA is present and was amplified by the PCR reaction. Because smaller fragments travel farther through the gel, the relative location of the band can verify the band that was produced is the anticipated size when compared to a known DNA ladder.

They can do this to test for multiple viruses at the same time. You add the ingredients for multiple viruses to replicate to the test tube. And then you see which fluorescent bands show up at the end.

PCR was invented in 1983. There’s a version where they can watch the progress in real time instead of only looking at the results in a separate step after all the replication is done.

There are many other tests besides PCR.

## Chapter 8: Vaccines, Antivirals, and the Beneficial Uses of Viruses

> experts have proposed that viruses are responsible for the deaths of more people over time than all other infectious diseases combined

> the molecular biology revolution that we are currently experiencing has revealed the great potential for viruses to be used for advantageous purposes. The very attributes that make them difficult to overcome may be the properties that allow us to cure genetic diseases or cancer in the not-so-distant future.

Vaccines are a harmless form of a pathogen which stimulates the immune system to make memory T and B cells for that antigen.

> Vaccination is the only way to prevent viral infection upon exposure to a virus. It goes without saying that it is important to avoid malnutrition and extreme stress—factors that affect the proper functioning of the immune system—but studies have shown that vitamins or supplements are not sufficient to consistently prevent infection. Websites that claim otherwise should be carefully scrutinized, because they often misquote scientific data—if they reference it at all—and may have an objective of selling the products they are supporting.

I’m glad they said that but it’s kinda sad that they needed to.

> Smallpox claimed the lives of around 30% of those it infected—a total of over 500 million people in the 20th century alone.

> Attempts to thwart infection trace back to ancient China, where pulverized dried smallpox scabs were inhaled or injected into uninfected persons in a process known as **variolation** (Fig. 8.1A). This led to a milder form of the disease, but the resulting infection still resulted in a 2–3% case fatality rate.

Later people figured out cowpox is safer than smallpox but apparently shares some antigen, so they gave people weakened cowpox material. Then they made a rabies vaccine from the dried spinal cords of rabbits injected with rabies.

Next people learned to grow viruses in chicken eggs instead of using live animals. Now we grow viruses for vaccines in test tubes, except for flu vaccine which we still use eggs for.

> Currently, 14 immunizations are recommended for children under 18; of these, 8 are for viral infections

Vaccines sorta give our immune system practice fighting diseases. They’re like a trial run that prepares our body.

There are three ways we do vaccines. The most common is ** live attenuated virus** which uses a weakened version of the virus where we’ve modified it so that it can’t replicate effectively enough to be a threat. One way to create this kind of vaccine is growing the virus in non-human cells repeatedly until it evolutionarily adapts to them and is no longer good at infecting humans. These vaccines generally require refrigeration.

The second type are ** inactivated virus vaccines**. We kill the virus with high heat or low amounts of formaldehyde. This vaccine generates a weaker immune response so it can be less effective. These vaccines generally do *not* require refrigeration and can be freeze-dried for transportation.

> a major limitation of both vaccine types is that the virus must be able to replicate in our current systems, and there are several clinically important viruses that we are still unable to propagate well in the laboratory

The third type of vaccine is ** recombinant subunit vaccine**. It’s newer and less common.

> it is composed of only certain viral proteins—not the entire virus, as with live attenuated or inactivated vaccines—and it is created using recombinant DNA technology. The challenge is determining which and how many viral proteins should be included in the vaccine formulation to ensure adequate immunity against the virus

> Subunit vaccines do not exclusively have to be created through recombinant protein expression. If the virus is able to be propagated in tissues or cell culture, then chemicals can be used to inactivate the virus, and only certain immunogenic [immune system response causing] viral antigens are isolated and injected as the vaccine. The most common version of the yearly flu vaccine propagates the virus in embryonated eggs, inactivates the virus, and purifies the hemagglutinin (HA) proteins. The yearly flu vaccine contains the HA proteins from at least three different influenza strains, the identity of which are selected each year based upon the viruses that are anticipated to circulate.

New types of vaccines, like DNA vaccines, are being researched and developed.

We’ve talked about vaccines to create *active immunity* – that means if you get infected, your immune system is ready to actively attack the invader. There’s also *passive immunity* where people are injected with antibodies that help protect them, but break down eventually. This is particularly useful for people with problems with their immune system.

**Antivirals** are medicines which interfere with at least one of the seven steps of the viral life cycle. The science and development of antivirals isn’t very far along yet, partly because each antiviral generally targets only one virus or a small number of viruses. An alternative type of medicine tries to boost the immune system instead of fighting the virus directly, but we’re not very good at that yet either. We’re doing better with antibiotics – medicines to fight bacteria.

Viruses have beneficial uses in gene therapy and for some attempts to fight cancer.

## Chapters 9-15

These chapters cover specific topics (cancer and 6 types of viruses). I skipped them. The viruses covered are flu, HIV, hepatitis, herpes, polio and pox.

## Chapter 16: Emerging and Reemerging Viral Diseases

Dense cities and increased travel, especially over long distances, can be disease risks. A disease in one country can now quickly spread to dozens of others due to airplanes. Hygiene and sanitation matter.

Markets with wild animals are much riskier, in terms of disease, than eating farmed meat. Some viruses live in animal populations and occasionally manage to infect humans. Judging by the chart, the most common animal virus reservoirs are rodents, bats and birds. Mosquitos and ticks are also problematic.

*End of book.*

curi at 11:28 AM on March 18, 2020 | #16030 | reply | quote


> Well, one issue is settled: China can indeed innovate! Now everyone else is looking at their tactics. Here's what they did.

The tweet links to four webpages with info.


> Truckers Are Keeping American Supply Chains — and Americans — Alive

curi at 8:45 PM on March 18, 2020 | #16032 | reply | quote

Young People Are At Risk


> It seems intuitively obvious that we're seeing exceptionally skewed data re: disproportionate impact of #covid19 on the elderly/ill with regard to both mortality and severity. I think this is likely where a lot of the ill-informed complacency is coming from. [short thread: 1/4]

> Wouldn't the most compromised patients be first to die and first to require hospitalization (faster disease progression)? While younger and healthier folks will tough it out for much longer (either at home or in hospital) before progressing to more advanced stages of disease? 2/4

> It seems far too premature to say that most young folks will fare fine when >97% of all US cases are still active (i.e. have not yet resolved as either deaths or recoveries). [See this site for active cases vs. deaths vs. recovered cases by country: https://covid2019app.live/home] 3/4

> Am I missing something? Why are so many folks basing risk assessments on data that's 97% incomplete when there seems to be an obvious systematic bias that results from this early snapshot? The fastest-resolved 3% of cases are highly unlikely to mirror the subsequent 97%. 4/4

I said something similar earlier. There are followup tweets with more info and arguments.

curi at 9:01 PM on March 18, 2020 | #16034 | reply | quote

CDC analysis shows coronavirus poses serious risk for younger people


> A new CDC analysis of more than 2,400 cases of COVID-19 that have occurred in the United States in the last month shows that between 1 in 7 and 1 in 5 people between the ages of 20 and 44 in the sample of those who are confirmed cases require hospitalization, a level significantly higher than the hospitalization rates for influenza.

curi at 9:04 PM on March 18, 2020 | #16035 | reply | quote

Younger Adults Comprise Big Portion of Coronavirus Hospitalizations in U.S.


> of the 508 patients known to have been hospitalized, 38 percent were notably younger — between 20 and 54. And nearly half of the 121 patients who were admitted to intensive care units were adults under 65, the C.D.C. reported.

> In the C.D.C. report, 20 percent of the hospitalized patients and 12 percent of the intensive care patients were between the ages of 20 and 44, basically spanning the millennial generation.

curi at 9:07 PM on March 18, 2020 | #16036 | reply | quote

China's guidelines for dealing with coronavirus:


Some good info and some technical info.

curi at 9:49 PM on March 18, 2020 | #16038 | reply | quote


> For pregnant severe and critical cases, pregnancy should be terminated preferably with c- section.

> 2.2. After discharge, it is recommended for patients to monitor their own health status in isolation for 14 days, wear a mask, live in well-ventilated single room if possible, reduce close contact with family members, separate dinning, practice hand hygiene and avoid going out.

That’s *after* 2 negative tests, which are part of the discharge criteria.

curi at 9:51 PM on March 18, 2020 | #16039 | reply | quote

Coronavirus Contained: How Taiwan Beat China


Good info. Video info matches the detailed 124 info points I read previously at http://curi.us/2304-the-wuhan-coronavirus#15857

curi at 10:00 PM on March 18, 2020 | #16040 | reply | quote

Notes for *Molecular Biology of the SARS-Coronavirus*

# Molecular Biology of the SARS-Coronavirus

Book appears to be a collection of technical papers. I looked at four.

## Cellular Entry of the SARS Coronavirus: Implications for Transmission, Pathogenicity and Antiviral Strategies

> **Abstract** A novel coronavirus was identified as the causative agent of the lung disease severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS). The outbreak of SARS in 2002/ 2003 was associated with high morbidity and mortality and sparked international research efforts to develop antiviral strategies.

> *The [SARS] outbreak, which was halted solely by the quarantine of exposed individuals and the use of conventional prevention measures such as surgical masks* [emphasis added]

The paper has tons of technical details. I didn’t read much.

## SARS Coronavirus and Lung Fibrosis

> **Abstract** Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) is an acute infectious disease with significant mortality. A novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV) has been shown to be the causative agent of SARS. The typical clinical feature associated with SARS is diffuse alveolar damage in lung, and lung fibrosis is evident in patients who died from this disease. The mechanisms by which SARS-CoV infection causes lung fibrosis are not fully understood,

> SARS-CoV belongs to a family of large, positive, single-stranded RNA viruses. The SARS-CoV genome is 29.7 kb in length, and encodes 14 putative open reading frames generating 28 potential proteins, the functions of many of which are not known

> Coronaviruses are known to cause up to 30% of common colds in humans but their infection leads only to lower respiratory tract diseases in livestock and poultry. However, SARS-CoV infection results in severe and even fatal lung disease in humans.

> **Conclusion** Fibrosis usually brings irreversible damage to the lung. Lung fibrosis is widely observed in patients who died from SARS. However, the mechanisms by which SARS-CoV infection leads to lung fibrosis remain poorly understood.

As of 2010, 8 years after SARS, we still didn’t know what all its 28 proteins do or how it causes lung fibrosis. The article details some information about SARS lung fibrosis but says overall it’s poorly understood.

Today, SARS-CoV-2 (Wuhan Coronavirus) is more of an unknown and should be viewed as a serious threat, not a safe or understood thing.

## Host Immune Responses to SARS Coronavirus in Humans

> The risk of SARS reemergence in humans remains high due to the large animal reservoirs of SARS-CoV-like coronavirus and the *genome instability of RNA coronaviruses*. [emphasis added]

If half the world gets SARS-CoV-2, it’ll mutate! That could mean a new strain so the same people can get infected again. (There are already two strains, btw.) It could mean a mutation that increases mortality or infectiousness significantly. Letting it replicate in billions of people is very dangerous due to the potential for the virus to become more harmful. E.g. if SARS-CoV-2 mutated to be as fatal as SARS-CoV, it’d be a huge disaster.

> So far, there has been no consensus regarding whether any treatment, especially the use of steroids and convalescent plasma therapy, could benefit SARS patients

This is in 2010, 8 years after SARS.

> SARS-CoV virus has evolved a way to evade innate antiviral type I interferon responses of host cells in order to prolong viral replication and survival

> Despite the wealth of active scientific research and information, the mechanisms of viral clearance, immune correlates of protection, and the immunopathogenesis of SARS infection remain unclear.

## The Use of Retroviral Pseudotypes for the Measurement of Antibody Responses to SARS Coronavirus

> The coronavirus that causes severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS-CoV) is a relatively new human pathogen for which a vaccine will be urgently required should this virus reemerge and new outbreaks occur.

We got so lucky with SARS 1, eighteen years ago. It gave us a major warning while killing under a thousand people. Some countries, like Taiwan, took it seriously and prepared. The US did not. Now, facing SARS 2, thousands are already dying preventable deaths, and it may end up being millions.

curi at 1:10 PM on March 19, 2020 | #16044 | reply | quote


Fox spreading the false claim that a study showed coronavirus can live on plastic or steel *up to* 3 days. What the study actually found is *at least* 3 days. Very different!

And spreading the ridiculous, widespread misinformation that you shouldn't wear masks. Masks are beneficial, including makeshift masks from pillowcases and t-shirts, let alone surgical masks, not just N95 masks.

curi at 4:18 PM on March 19, 2020 | #16045 | reply | quote


5min news video from italy. see what the hospitals are like. worth watching.

stop debating the mortality rate, guys. the percentage isn't the key fact. the key fact is it overwhelms hospitals well before the peak of the curve. that's really, really bad news.

curi at 10:46 PM on March 19, 2020 | #16050 | reply | quote


> Loeffler, who took office in January, attended a January 24, Senate Health Committee briefing "regarding the novel coronavirus outbreak." The Daily Beast reports that he began selling off stock later that day.

If politicians knew enough in January to sell stock, why didn't they protect the country!?

Anonymous at 10:56 AM on March 20, 2020 | #16057 | reply | quote

Quotes from *SARS: A Case Study in Emerging Infections*

> Over the past decade, there has been renewed public and official concern about infectious disease as a resurgent public health threat. That concern has been coupled, though, with some surprise. After all, we modern citizens are protected by a plethora of vaccinations and antibiotics. We live in hygienic homes with sweet-smelling toilet bowls, and we eat pressure-packed sterilized foods. Surely germ-free Nirvana is near. Yet, in the past quarter century we have encountered the emergence of many new or newly identified infectious diseases, including Legionnaire’s disease, Lyme disease, HIV/AIDS, hepatitis C, Ebola virus, human ‘mad cow disease’ (variant CJD), the Nipah virus, West Nile fever, and severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS)—as well as resurgent infectious diseases such as tuberculosis, cholera, dengue fever, and malaria.

Disease is not a solved problem. People thinking it is are naive and ignorant.

> If rodents are the natural hosts of SARS-coronaviruses, widescale extermination of their natural small carnivore predators, could exacerbate rather than remove the problem.

Context: Some civet cats at meat markets tested positive for SARS. China starting killing lots of civet cats to try to prevent SARS. But scientists were unable to find SARS in wild civet cats, so they think the civet cats were infected by something else which is the real source of SARS. The civet cats apparently get infected as part of the meat trade, after capture. A good candidate for the real source of SARS is some sort of rodent. Civet cats kill and eat rodents. Attacking civet cats therefore increases rodent populations, so it may be counter-productive.

curi at 1:42 PM on March 20, 2020 | #16058 | reply | quote


> From a friend who's a surgeon at a top hospital in Northeast US:

curi at 3:31 PM on March 20, 2020 | #16060 | reply | quote

A point missing from Coronavirus: The Hammer and the Dance is that the mutations don't just change virus strain (so you can catch it again). Mutations can also make it have a higher fatality rate or something else bad.

curi at 4:11 PM on March 20, 2020 | #16061 | reply | quote


According to Wikipedia's "List of current members of the United States Congress by wealth" (retrieved 2020-03-20):

> Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R-Georgia), with a net worth of $500 million, is the wealthiest member of Congress.

According to the AJC article "Loeffler among senators whose stock trading during coronavirus raises questions" (2020-03-20):

> In the days and weeks after, financial disclosures show that either [Loeffler] or her spouse sold up to $3.1 million in stocks.

Suppose Loeffler believed the stock market was likely to crash soon and made investment-related decisions consistent with that belief. The $3.1 million of stocks she sold is about 0.6% of her $500 million net worth. 0.6% of one's net worth is tiny compared to the kind of move someone would make under those circumstances (unless that 0.6% represented a significant fraction of her stocks at the time, which is implausible). As an aside, there are more profitable (albeit more risky) alternatives to simply selling, such as using margin to sell short.

On 2020-03-20, Loeffler defended herself on Twitter:

> [...] I do not make investment decisions for my portfolio. Investment decisions are made by multiple third-party advisors without my or my husband's knowledge or involvement.

> As confirmed in the periodic transaction report to Senate Ethics, I was informed of these purchases and sales on February 16, 2020 — three weeks after they were made.

If that's true, then Loeffler is innocent.

Alisa at 9:34 PM on March 20, 2020 | #16063 | reply | quote

#16063 Ah, having $500 million is really important contextual info. So are the investments being managed by others (which makes a lot of sense for someone with 500mil). Thanks.

Anonymous at 9:45 PM on March 20, 2020 | #16064 | reply | quote

whether virus mutation is good or bad for us, apart from the possibility of re-infection, depends on what is typical for similar coronaviruses. on average, we should expect some reversion to the mean. this happened during the 1918 pandemic: it was less deadly later in the pandemic. is SARS-CoV-2 a particularly deadly version which is more likely to mutate to be less deadly than more deadly? will revision to the mean help us? i'm not sure but i know that the original SARS was *more* deadly, so that data point indicates the current one might be on the less deadly end of the spectrum, increasing the chance that mutations make it more deadly rather than less deadly.

also, regardless of the average, and setting aside the *huge* problem of the same person getting sick multiple times ... virus mutation is risky. even if it was more likely to mutate to be less deadly (which i'm not claiming at all), it still might mutate to be more deadly. even a small chance it gets more deadly is a big risk that could kill millions. and it doesn't have to get more deadly generically. it could e.g. get better at killing young people or get better at suppressing your immune system so it lasts longer.

the more people get it, the more chance of mutation. we don't understand it enough now *and it can change*.

curi at 10:31 PM on March 20, 2020 | #16067 | reply | quote


> Nick Mark’s one page guides to a range of critical care topics, including an expanded and frequently updated section on COVID-19.

Helps people learn ICU and medical treatments and topics fast, and provides info sheets people can print out and refer to.

curi at 10:45 PM on March 20, 2020 | #16068 | reply | quote

Coronavirus Fake News

Many news outlets are saying not to wear masks. This is fake news. Masks aren’t perfect but they are beneficial, including homemade masks from pillowcases or t-shirts. That’s why they’re being widely worn in the Asian countries that are dealing with the pandemic the best.

There’s a myth that coronavirus can live on hard surfaces, like plastic, ceramic or steel, for up to three days max. The study this comes from actually said it can live on those surfaces for *at least* three days, not three days max. Many reporters apparently can’t or don’t read the information they report on.

Figuring out when it’s safe to touch things based on the half-life of the virus on that material is non-obvious, and it varies by temperature (you should probably sanitize everything that’s going into your fridge or freezer because colder temperatures let most viruses live longer). Instead of providing useful information and guidance, many journalists are doing us a dangerous disservice by irresponsibly spreading fake news.

curi at 11:16 PM on March 20, 2020 | #16070 | reply | quote

Coronavirus Fake News

Many news outlets are saying not to wear **masks**. This is fake news. Masks aren’t perfect but they are beneficial, including homemade masks from pillowcases, towels or t-shirts. That’s why masks are being widely worn in the Asian countries that are dealing with the pandemic the best.

There’s a myth that coronavirus can live on hard surfaces, like plastic, ceramic or steel, for up to three days, live on cardboard for up to one day, and live in the air for up to three hours. These claims all blatantly contradict the scientific studies they’re reporting on. The actual studies (more studies: one, two) say viruses were still present at those times. The times should all be labelled with “at least” instead of “at most”. E.g. the virus can live in the air for *at least* three hours; that’s a minimum, not a maximum. The reason for that three hour number is that they stopped the experiment at that point even though the air still contained lots of virus.

Figuring out when it’s safe to touch things, based on the half-life of the virus on that material and infectious quantity, is tricky and temperature-dependent. (Viruses live longer in the cold, so you should probably sanitize anything going into a fridge or freezer). I don’t have all the right answers. Most journalists know less than I do, don’t read the studies they report on (or don’t understand what they read), and spread fake news, so watch out and err on the side of caution.

curi at 11:40 PM on March 20, 2020 | #16071 | reply | quote

A Medical Worker Describes Terrifying Lung Failure From COVID-19 — Even in His Young Patients

A Medical Worker Describes Terrifying Lung Failure From COVID-19 — Even in His Young Patients”, *ProPublica* (2020-03-21)

This is the best article I’ve read on “why you don’t want to get coronavirus”. A few excerpts (emphasis mine):

> It’s called acute respiratory distress syndrome, ARDS. That means the lungs are filled with fluid. And it’s notable for the way the X-ray looks: **The entire lung is basically whited out from fluid**. Patients with ARDS are extremely difficult to oxygenate. **It has a really high mortality rate, about 40%.** The way to manage it is to put a patient on a ventilator.

> “In my experience, this severity of ARDS is usually more typical of someone who has a **near drowning experience** — they have a bunch of dirty water in their lungs — or people who **inhale caustic gas**. Especially for it to have such an acute onset like that. **I’ve never seen a microorganism or an infectious process cause such acute damage to the lungs so rapidly.** That was what really shocked me.”

> “It first struck me how different it was when I saw my first coronavirus patient go bad. I was like, Holy shit, this is not the flu. **Watching this relatively young guy, gasping for air, pink frothy secretions coming out of his tube and out of his mouth.** The ventilator should have been doing the work of breathing but he was still **gasping for air, moving his mouth, moving his body, struggling. We had to restrain him. With all the coronavirus patients, we’ve had to restrain them. They really hyperventilate, really struggle to breathe.** When you’re in that mindstate of struggling to breathe and delirious with fever, you don’t know when someone is trying to help you, so **you’ll try to rip the breathing tube out because you feel it is choking you, but you are drowning.**

> “When someone has an infection, I’m used to seeing the normal colors you’d associate with it: greens and yellows. The coronavirus patients with ARDS have been having a lot of secretions that are actually pink because they’re filled with blood cells that are leaking into their airways. **They are essentially drowning in their own blood and fluids because their lungs are so full. So we’re constantly having to suction out the secretions every time we go into their rooms.**

> Your risk of mortality increases every day that you spend on a ventilator. The high pressures from high vent settings is pushing air into the lung and can overinflate those little balloons. They can pop. It can destroy the alveoli. **Even if you survive ARDS, although some damage can heal, it can also do long-lasting damage to the lungs.** They can get filled up with scar tissue. ARDS can lead to **cognitive decline**...

jordancurve at 7:00 AM on March 21, 2020 | #16075 | reply | quote

Timeline: The Regulations—and Regulators—That Delayed Coronavirus Testing

> There have been three major regulatory barriers so far.

I suggest someone post some article excerpts.

curi at 1:14 PM on March 21, 2020 | #16080 | reply | quote


> 25,000 people now skiing in Sweden, organizers putting together after-ski parties for 499 people, getting around national ban on gatherings of 500+. Locals putting signs up at train station saying, “Think of those of us who live here, you egomaniacs.” (in Swedish)

Anonymous at 5:26 PM on March 21, 2020 | #16082 | reply | quote


> Coronavirus: What if we did NOTHING?

Anonymous at 5:26 PM on March 21, 2020 | #16083 | reply | quote

#16082 From comments


> I'm Turkish and we have them beat. We were doing fine, but then 25 thousand people returned from Umre, which is NON-MANDATORY pilgrimage to Mecca, and the government tried to quarantine them but I guess they could only stop 15 thousand of them at the airport and then those motherfuckers tried to escape from police enforced quarantine to travel around and meet their extended families because they apparently do that after coming back from Umre. So those guys took our confirmed case number from 3 to 947 in a week, the actual number is probably much more.

> Young and informed people are doing great with the quarantine thing. Everyone I know has only gone out to get supplies from the supermarket. But when I go to the market all I see are 70 and 80 year olds everywhere. On public transport, it's just old people. A municipality in Istanbul had to remove benches from public areas because old people would just come and sit there all day. Some cities revoked their free public transport cards temporarily because there are elderly people who don't have anything to do so they ride the bus round and round all day. Finally the government issued a ban to go outside for people over 65, but I went out again headed for the market and saw 3 elderly people after that was issued. So yeah, our elderly population is trying, despite our best efforts, to get sick and die.

> This turned out way longer than I thought it would, sorry.

Anonymous at 5:29 PM on March 21, 2020 | #16084 | reply | quote


> Gamestop is Endangering Employees and Customers

Includes leaked conference call audio from gamestop execs.

curi at 5:37 PM on March 21, 2020 | #16085 | reply | quote

#16085 Forgot to say key point: Gamestop is pretending they're an essential business, staying open, and resisting shutdown orders. Their lawyers drafted a letter for stores to present to authorities/cops/etc when they refuse to cooperate and shut down.

Selling video games (which are entertainment and can be digitally downloaded anyway) is not an essential business, you absolute scumbags.

curi at 5:41 PM on March 21, 2020 | #16086 | reply | quote

#16086 Also Gamestop draws big crowds on days a major new game releases, so they're creating large gatherings to spread the pandemic. It's even worse than most random retail stores staying open.

curi at 5:42 PM on March 21, 2020 | #16087 | reply | quote

Awful Coronavirus Claims

Ann Coulter

> West Virginians who have no contact with anyone visiting from China can rest easy!

> It’s no worse than the 2017-18 flu season for those in their 60s.

> We ought to surround old folks homes with the National Guard and call it a day. It would probably save more lives and wouldn’t destroy the economy.

Never forget.

Alex Jones (the InfoWars guys)

> Conspiracy theorist Alex Jones is hawking a silver-infused toothpaste he falsely claims has the power to kill the new coronavirus.

Alex Jones 2

> A spokesperson for Jones sent HuffPost a letter on Thursday that was attributed to Jones’ lawyer and stated that “InfoWars” stands by the product.

Never forgive.

curi at 9:01 PM on March 21, 2020 | #16089 | reply | quote

curi at 11:31 AM on March 22, 2020 | #16093 | reply | quote


> Testimony of a surgeon working in Bergamo, in the heart of Italy's coronavirus outbreak

curi at 11:41 AM on March 22, 2020 | #16094 | reply | quote

Criticism of the Imperial College paper/model and lots of other info:


Anonymous at 4:35 PM on March 22, 2020 | #16096 | reply | quote

Coronavirus Errors

I think RTing this thread was an error by @_khaaan


It's typical half-measures contrary to hammer and dance.


And I think this tweet from George Reisman was an error:


It's positive about this article which people may want to criticize:


It says e.g.

> We are told that we must emulate Italy or China, but there is no evidence that the flailing, despotic measures taken in these countries reduced the incidence of coronavirus. The most basic error in science is to assume that because B happens after A, that B was caused by A.

curi at 7:34 PM on March 22, 2020 | #16099 | reply | quote


From Feb 4-9, Canada sent 16 tons of PPE to China. PPE is:

> personal protective equipment, such as clothing, face shields, masks, goggles and gloves

Canadians will die from this altruism.

curi at 7:39 PM on March 22, 2020 | #16100 | reply | quote


> !!!! In New York state, where there are now more confirmed coronavirus cases than in France or South Korea, nearly 54% of hospitalized coronavirus patients are between 18 and 49, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said on Saturday.

Links to https://www.marketwatch.com/story/theres-a-big-difference-between-europe-and-china-says-us-infectious-disease-expert-fauci-2020-03-22?mod=bnbh

> Younger patients are being hospitalized more in the U.S. and Europe than in China, and that has contributed to massive supply shortages

curi at 9:07 PM on March 22, 2020 | #16102 | reply | quote


> I think RTing this thread was an error by @_khaaan

> https://twitter.com/zeynep/status/1241903325466984449

>> Please don't stay indoors because of all the unscientific scolding going around. Sunshine and fresh air are good for you. Just don't get close to other people, avoid the crowds and crowded places. (Wear sunscreen, I guess, if it's really sunny).

> It's typical half-measures contrary to hammer and dance.

I see what you mean. I undid the RT.

_khaaan at 11:48 AM on March 23, 2020 | #16104 | reply | quote

Reddit Virus Info Megapost


I wrote a reply:

>> [AWAITING PEER REVIEW] A new study indicates COVID-19 can survive in the air for up to 3 hours, and several days on surfaces, depending on the surface (up to 3 days on plastic, up to 2 days on metal, up to 1 day on cardboard). (Article | Study). Here's a shadowgraph imaging of people breathing (source). Unfortunately it is a bit misleading as it does not show drop dispersion, but gets the point across.

> This is confusing at most vs. at least. E.g. they tested after 3 hours and the virus was still in the air. Then they stopped the experiment. So it's not living "up to" 3 hours, it's "at least" 3 hours.

> Tons of news articles, as well as the abstracts of some of the studies, have been spreading misinformation about this. Basically all the claims floating around about how long the virus lasts are "at least" not "up to"/"at most".

> Also we're dealing with half-lives here so giving a specific amount of time is a rough approximation about when it's safe to touch. But I haven't read anything actually saying what amount of virus is safe to touch. Instead, people seem to basically assume, for convenience, that the smallest amount of virus we can detect/measure is dangerous but anything less than that is safe.

curi at 1:04 PM on March 23, 2020 | #16106 | reply | quote

#16106 From the infothread:

> The virus is of zoonotic origin. March 17th update: The proximal origin of SARS-CoV-2: "Our analyses clearly show that SARS-CoV-2 is not a laboratory construct or a purposefully manipulated virus." (Source study). A genome analysis published March 20th suggests two viruses may have combined (source).

Zoonotic origin = comes from animals.

that study is total bullshit FYI

i think it's likely SARS-CoV-2 comes from animals, due to circumstantial evidence, but that study can't disprove lab, offers no real insight, and should be assumed to be Chinese propaganda.

curi at 1:09 PM on March 23, 2020 | #16107 | reply | quote

If you appreciate my coronavirus coverage, please donate. I'm not going to charge money for any of it.

One time donation on paypal: https://www.paypal.me/ElliotTemple

Or monthly subscribtion: https://www.subscribestar.com/fallible-ideas (it's like patreon with reward tiers)

curi at 1:46 PM on March 23, 2020 | #16108 | reply | quote


> Mathematical model of Coronavirus spread in USA.

curi at 4:53 PM on March 23, 2020 | #16109 | reply | quote

re: how long coronavirus lasts on surfaces, CDC now says up to 17 days


i looked up actual paper


> SARS-CoV-2 RNA was identified on a variety of surfaces in cabins of both symptomatic and asymptomatic infected passengers up to 17 days after cabins were vacated on the Diamond Princess but before disinfection procedures had been conducted (Takuya Yamagishi, National Institute of Infectious Diseases, personal communication, 2020).

that doesn't really give any details, so I wonder if they just stopped testing after 17 days and it could last even longer...

Anonymous at 5:07 PM on March 23, 2020 | #16110 | reply | quote


> Italy: Crematorium running out of space may be forced to stop accepting coffins

Video is in Italian but more English info in video description. Shows a bunch of coffins. The crematorium can't burn the bodies fast enough so they're piling up.

curi at 9:21 PM on March 23, 2020 | #16111 | reply | quote

Lots of interesting stuff in Tucker interview re CCP Coronavirus


I talked about it on stream https://youtu.be/nAICLFR-Pg0

curi at 12:13 PM on March 24, 2020 | #16114 | reply | quote

curi at 5:25 PM on March 24, 2020 | #16116 | reply | quote

Massive Fatality Undercounting?


> Why have so many coronavirus patients died in Italy?

> The country's high death toll is due to an ageing population, overstretched health system and the way fatalities are reported

> “The way in which we code deaths in our country is very generous in the sense that all the people who die in hospitals with the coronavirus are deemed to be dying of the coronavirus.

> “On re-evaluation by the National Institute of Health, only 12 per cent of death certificates have shown a direct causality from coronavirus, while 88 per cent of patients who have died have at least one pre-morbidity - many had two or three,” he says.

> This does not mean that Covid-19 did not contribute to a patient's death

The article spins this as Italy overcounting deaths by a factor of 8.33 but I read as mostly meaning that some other countries are majorly undercounting.

curi at 6:49 PM on March 24, 2020 | #16117 | reply | quote


> Kentucky Republican Senator Rand Paul's father, former Texas Congressman Ron Paul, penned an article titled "The Coronavirus Hoax," just six days before his son became the first U.S. senator to test positive for COVID-19

Despite my free market views, I never liked Ron Paul (I'm pretty skeptical of Rand Paul too but he doesn't seem as bad but I haven't researched it). Here's me in 2015 to FI list:

> This should be a satire, but it’s a real libertarian – Ron Paul – who is much worse than the shitlib interviewing him.

> Wait until after the nukes land on Tel Aviv and New York City before doing anything, or else we’re the bad guys! sigh

Ron Paul said that all preemptive attacks are initiation of force. The interviewer was also unimpressed btw, e.g.:


> MORGAN: You're not seriously defending Ahmadinejad, are you?

Ron Paul is also an anti-semite. There are some other FI and RP threads criticizing Ron Paul.

curi at 6:58 PM on March 24, 2020 | #16118 | reply | quote

Ann Coulter Sucks

Ann Coulter spreading idiotic misinformation about the coronavirus and getting flamed so much that she's trending. And she's getting ratioed[1] super hard.


I replied:

> wtf? read your own charts. Plus this comparison ignores problems like the hospitals getting full (raises mortality rate dramatically), non-fatal permanent harm, and that the coronavirus data is not accurate yet (actually even the flu data is bad afaik).

Here's one of the better replies that isn't just flaming her without explanation:

[1] Ratioed means high replies to RTs or likes. It indicates ppl hate the tweet because replies are where you say negative things b/c there is no downvote button. For tweets ppl like, a lot more ppl will like it than reply, but for tweets they hate you get a ton of replies.




curi at 7:29 PM on March 24, 2020 | #16119 | reply | quote

FYI TikTok does (relatively subtle) CCP propaganda and censorship. Very bad place to get CCP Coronavirus related info. Much worse than e.g. NYT, CNN, Facebook, Instagram or Snapchat (which I don't recommend).

curi at 7:55 PM on March 24, 2020 | #16120 | reply | quote


Good news channel. I subscribed recently.

This episode reports about people in Wuhan jumping off buildings to kill themselves. Says many people in Wuhan have relapsed and tested positive again after getting back from hospitals.

curi at 8:07 PM on March 24, 2020 | #16121 | reply | quote

Chase Amante: Can You Still Meet People During Coronavirus?

The initial part of "Can You Still Meet People During Coronavirus?" by Chase Amante is one of the most interesting things I've read on SARS-CoV-2 in a while. It says there are two different strains of the virus, one of which is more virulent than the other. It also talks about what China did to get the virus under control, including:

- Marshaling 10% of the entire country's healthcare workers to one city: Wuhan.

- No one can enter an apartment complex who doesn't live there.

- Mandatory temperature checks upon entering or exiting any apartment complex.

- Mandatory mask wearing outside. Deliberately getting your unmasked face close to another in public is an arrest-able offense.

- Everyone who works outside the home must work in rotating shifts: one day on, two days off.

- Universal (?) curfews from 10 PM to 6 PM.

It then briefly compares what China did to what France, Italy, and U.K. did/are doing.

So far, the article seems roughly believable, though the CCP was probably even more brutal than it describes, and it omits any discussion of the CCP's lies and suppression of whistle-blowers.

I'm less convinced about the stuff it goes on to say (described below).

It says only people over 60 need to worry about SARS-CoV-2:

> [I]f you are under 60 and don't have [health] problems... it is... not a threat to you... pretty much at all.

As far as masks are concerned, it says only N95 masks offer any protection to the wearer.

> There are some reports saying it causes lasting damage to the lungs, liver, kidneys, and testes.

It goes on to argue that healthy people under 60 don't need to worry about long-lasting liver, kidney, and testes damage, but it doesn't say anything more about the lasting lung damage.

The rest of the article is about meeting people.

Alisa at 8:15 PM on March 24, 2020 | #16122 | reply | quote


> [China] marshaled 10% *of the entire healthcare staff of the entire country of 1.4 billion people* to Wuhan (doctors, nurses, everyone)

Article is interesting in various other ways, but also has flaws. I think he overestimates the virus fizzling out in the summer and he doesn't distinguish between how many people are *actually* infected and the posted stats about how many have shown up as infected in a test (which can be limited by testing more than virus spread). Also CCP virus is significantly more infectious than flu according to the stats I've seen. Also his technical info on masks isn't very good.

**Better info on masks**: https://smartairfilters.com/en/blog/what-is-pm0-3-why-important/

I've read before about the two strains, S and L, but I don't know much detail. e.g. https://curi.us/2304-the-ccp-coronavirus#15858

Here's a reddit thread on strains that I haven't read yet (note the first comment says the paper is terrible): https://www.reddit.com/r/COVID19/comments/fdsltf/about_the_l_and_s_strains/

article has info on current quarantine measures in Wuhan.

> In Italy, during the early days of the outbreak, Italians in a town hall meeting mocked an official who was wearing a mask. He threw the mask off in anger, and declared that he had visited three coronavirus hotspots and was wearing the mask for *their* protection, not his. But that if they wanted his mask off, then he'd take it off, and Godspeed to them.

The info about almost everyone dying being age 60+ with other health conditions is misleading. The rate of younger people being hospitalized is a lot higher than that. They die slower. We won't know how dangerous it is to healthy younger people until a lot more of them have recovered and gotten out of the hospital. Quoting from earlier on this webpage:

> In New York state, where there are now more confirmed coronavirus cases than in France or South Korea, nearly 54% of hospitalized coronavirus patients are between 18 and 49, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said on Saturday.

Chase Amante also linked this video which had some interesting clips from Wuhan:


(As always, bear in mind the info coming out of Wuhan is biased and selectively censored by the CCP.)

curi at 8:31 PM on March 24, 2020 | #16124 | reply | quote



> Sometimes you’ll see “PM” followed by a number, like PM2.5. That refers to particles of diameter 2.5 microns, or micrometers, or less. Microns are small – 1 millionth of a meter. Pollen particles are often 10 microns or bigger. Bacteria are often about 1 micron.

> In fact, smaller particles, like 0.01-micron particles are even easier to capture than those 0.3-micron particles!

Really small stuff does not follow your intuitions. Check out the article for an explanation.


> What Are The Best Materials for Making DIY Masks?


> Can DIY Masks Protect Us from Coronavirus?

curi at 8:33 PM on March 24, 2020 | #16125 | reply | quote

2 Strains?

#16124 That reddit post says:

> Look at the phylogenetic tree with 164 genomes (and counting) and explain to me where it makes sense to split it into exactly two pieces. It doesn't matter how they decided to make this distinction, in the end that's what they're basically doing. Am I misunderstanding something here?

Question seems reasonable. The answer he got on reddit is "it appears to just be a terrible paper that should never have been published." With info:


> Why I think the Tang et al. paper should be retracted and the media should avoid spreading the idea of "two types of Covid-19"

More details at:


Conclusion is basically that the two strains idea is dangerous fake news.

curi at 8:53 PM on March 24, 2020 | #16127 | reply | quote

I've been unimpressed with the CCP virus tweets from a lot of politics and economics people who I often agree with. So I wanted to give some credit to David Howoritz for responding to me:


George Reisman didn't reply when I told him I disagreed with him about coronavirus.

curi at 9:03 PM on March 24, 2020 | #16128 | reply | quote

March 6 vs March 24

March 6:

March 24:

curi at 9:05 PM on March 24, 2020 | #16129 | reply | quote

curi at 9:17 PM on March 24, 2020 | #16130 | reply | quote

#16130 Different version of March 24:


curi at 9:18 PM on March 24, 2020 | #16131 | reply | quote


> India sets 21-day 'complete lockdown' to stop coronavirus spread

Sounds like the hammer. Good news.


> Washington governor issues two-week stay-at-home order

Also sounds like the hammer.


> New York mayor calls for nationwide US lockdown

Yes please.

curi at 11:12 AM on March 25, 2020 | #16133 | reply | quote


> Tucker: America won't be the same after the pandemic

Good 7min vid

curi at 11:17 AM on March 25, 2020 | #16134 | reply | quote

The Government Is Killing Us


> Meanwhile, we’re being required to denature the alcohol to make it not drinkable...so that it doesn’t get TAXED AS AN ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGE, just in case you wanted to drink a 160-proof ethanol/glycerin/hydrogen peroxide cocktail. But denaturing agents are nearly impossible to find.

Twitter thread says how the government is limiting hand sanitizer production.


> Wondered why it's been so hard to ramp up production of surgical masks and respirators? Why haven't private companies flooded into the market to meet peak demand?

> Because they are regulated medical devices & new versions require FDA approval which can take months to obtain. 1/

The thread says some of the regulatory hurdles:

> - do a compositional side-by-side analysis of your mask vs all other masks currently sold. Hire a few materials scientists, okay.

> - measure "tensile strength" & "impact resistance." Hire the Mythbusters and have them whack it with a hammer.

> - perform detailed "risk analysis," for fluid/bacteria resistance and "flammability." Hmmm, better open a branch office for all those extra materials scientists and medical researchers. This is multiple major studies (though a Boring Company flamethrower might work in a pinch.)

> - but wait, don't forget that masks touch skin! What if it gives you a rash!!! Okay, fine, we'll fill out the "standard ISO-10993," yeah, you know, the one for “Biological Evaluation of Medical Devices Part 1: Evaluation and Testing." Sprinkle in a couple more clinicians.

More at https://www.fda.gov/regulatory-information/search-fda-guidance-documents/surgical-masks-premarket-notification-510k-submissions

curi at 11:34 AM on March 25, 2020 | #16135 | reply | quote


> The Censored (by Google) Hydroxychloroquinine paper

Haven't read it, don't know if it's good, but don't think it should be censored/deplatformed. It's about a CCP virus medicine.

curi at 12:16 PM on March 25, 2020 | #16137 | reply | quote


> While the world is dealing with the Corona Pandemic... some see it as an opportunity to attack Israel with lies and anti-Semitic slurs.

2min video. Canary Mission is a good group to follow.


story about a wife taking care of her husband who has CCP virus. focuses on emotion and storytelling.

curi at 2:33 PM on March 25, 2020 | #16138 | reply | quote


> Film Crew Documents Life in Wuhan Amid COVID-19 Epidemic

Lots of shots of mostly empty public places + sad music.

curi at 2:36 PM on March 25, 2020 | #16139 | reply | quote


> Coronavirus - 21 Million Cellphones Disappeared in China

Video has various bits of info about china.

curi at 4:49 PM on March 25, 2020 | #16141 | reply | quote

New York Hospital Vid


Watch this NYT video. It's from a medical worker at an NY hospital. *It's bad.*

curi at 8:42 PM on March 25, 2020 | #16143 | reply | quote


> Doctor recalls witnessing patient killed inside ICU; G7 discuss combating CCP virus | China in Focus

One of the news stories: China lies they donated 150k tests to Czech Republic. Czech Republic says they paid for them and the tests are faulty with an 80% error rate.

Another story: man in China reports watching doctor murder an old man because he didn't have money and no one wanted to pay for his medical bills so they just wanted to get rid of him. Man says this is common. When the man noticed the murder in progress and asked questions, he was coerced to participate in it with his own hands. Apparently in China, if patients don't pay, doctors and nurses get forced to pay for them.

curi at 8:56 PM on March 25, 2020 | #16144 | reply | quote


> NYC politicians and health officials urged New Yorkers to go to movies and participate in parades, characterizing concerns about coranvirus as “misinformation”

has 4 screenshots of examples, then other info e.g.:

> In reply to petition signed by 108,000 demanding closure of schools NYC schools chancellor Richard Carranza said schools would remain open until “108,000 epidemiologists” did the same.


> DeBlasio reversed course on his policy of keeping schools and businesses open and encouraging New Yorkers to go about their lives only after some top health officials threatened to resign

curi at 9:48 PM on March 25, 2020 | #16147 | reply | quote

oh my god it's turpentine at 6:01 AM on March 26, 2020 | #16148 | reply | quote

A description of coronavirus models


oh my god it's turpentine at 6:52 AM on March 26, 2020 | #16149 | reply | quote


> Virus cases feared "rampant" in Japan, emergency task force launched

patio11 gave 2 previous twitter hints that CCP virus is bad in Japan. Now he's tweeted this article.

curi at 10:42 AM on March 26, 2020 | #16150 | reply | quote


> NY Coronavirus Peak Worse And Coming Sooner Than Expected: Cuomo

> "We haven't flattened the curve. The curve is actually increasing," he said. "In many ways we have exhausted every option available to us."


> A 21-year-old woman with no underlying conditions has died after contracting coronavirus, according to her family.

curi at 3:02 PM on March 26, 2020 | #16154 | reply | quote


> Physical and Mental Health tips for COVID 19 | Nell Watson, COVID 19 Task Force

Vid has lots of detail, e.g. copper tape and short fingernails. Information dense.

Anonymous at 5:46 PM on March 26, 2020 | #16158 | reply | quote


> I had no immune system for months after my bone marrow transplant. Here’s how I avoided viral illness, and how you can, too. It’s easier than you think.

Wash your hands more! Great article. Seriously read it.

curi at 10:09 PM on March 26, 2020 | #16159 | reply | quote

> https://medium.com/@amcarter/i-had-no-immune-system-for-months-after-my-bone-marrow-transplant-1b097f16040c

>> I had no immune system for months after my bone marrow transplant. Here’s how I avoided viral illness, and how you can, too. It’s easier than you think.

> Wash your hands more! Great article. Seriously read it.

from the article:

> After my transplant, I washed my hands constantly, and I washed them thoroughly. I washed the palms, the backs, my wrists, each finger individually (concentrating on the finger tips), and then I scrubbed my fingernails in my palms. The whole “wash your hands for 20 seconds” thing made me laugh when I first heard it. If you truly wash your hands thoroughly, with the goal of removing any trace of pathogen you may have touched, it always takes at least 20 seconds, if not more.

> I washed my hands like this after every time I used the bathroom, before I ate, after touching anything in a public place, immediately after returning home from being out anywhere, after working out, after driving my car, after working on my computer, after feeding my pets, after cleaning my house.

> If I wanted to scratch my nose, or I needed to put in my contact lenses, I washed my hands first, before ever touching my face.

> If my hands didn’t physically feel freshly washed, I washed them.

> If I couldn’t remember the last time I washed them, I washed them.

> I only used hand sanitizer when I didn’t have access to hot water and soap.

> If this sounds extreme, consider how much simpler and easier this is than being sick.

the "extremeness" here reminds me of the rigor with which I approached my calorie counting, which people often think is extreme (result: lost tons of weight). It's not that it is extreme: it's just what it takes to do the thing effectively. good article.

I was also thinking recently about how people focus a lot on ideas like herd immunity but less on what you might call herd sanitariness. What I mean by herd sanitariness is: if tons of people start washing rigorously, wearing masks and using gloves whenever practical, then that makes it much harder for virus to spread, even if there are a few careless sick people still out there. Cuz the careless sick people will be encountering a constant wall of mask-wearing, glove-wearing, hand-washing, disinfectant-wipe-using, socially-distanced people. And that's a benefit we can get without the herd immunity downsides of a bunch of people getting sick and some dying.

Anonymous at 9:17 AM on March 27, 2020 | #16161 | reply | quote

#16159 It was a good article but I was disappointed she left out masks.

I get that 2017 culture would have made mask-wearing difficult for her. And I'd guess she also got lucky not wearing a mask when she did go out.

But we need to change the culture now to where masks are acceptable instead of weird. I'm afraid people will read this article, not actually do what it says very well, and then also conclude masks aren't necessary so don't wear them cuz it looks weird.

For example, 6-foot rule I am hearing from people who do go out that most people have no idea how far 6 feet is and/or no desire to follow it. Most store aisles it is impossible to pass someone without violating the 6-foot rule. People aren't going around through a different aisle rather than pass you, or even squeezing to the opposite side as much as they can. If you stay 6 feet away from the person ahead of you in line people try to cut, thinking you're not in line. People bunch up in front of doors before stores open. Etc. Given that reality it seems to me that mask-wearing is necessary if you're going to the store for essentials or an essential IRL job. Cuz other people simply will not stay 6 feet away.

Andy Dufresne at 9:19 AM on March 27, 2020 | #16162 | reply | quote


Mythbusters vid (6min) on germ contamination/spread. Practical demonstration where they show the (simulated) germs with UV light at the end.

curi at 11:19 AM on March 27, 2020 | #16163 | reply | quote


> When New York Needed Him Most, Bill de Blasio Had His Worst Week As Mayor

> Shortly thereafter, he declined to cancel St. Patrick’s Day parade and then did. He resisted calls to cancel regular street sweeping and then did. He had a photo op at a 311 call center, where he told a caller who had just returned from Italy that she did not need to self-quarantine, advice that forced 311 to actually call the woman back and tell her to stay inside for 14 days. The mayor touted the city’s new, wide-scale testing capacity, only to have his Health Department announce that only hospitalized patients should be tested. He tweeted at Elon Musk to supply the city with ventilators. When a New York Times reporter wrote of his own gut-wrenching story about contracting COVID-19 and being unable to get help, a top mayoral aide chastised him online for seeking help at all rather than just getting better at home. And the mayor himself told a radio host that people who don’t display symptoms can’t transmit the disease, an assertion that contradicts information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

> “If you love your neighborhood bar, go there now,” de Blasio advised New Yorkers before his meeting — advice that seemed focused on imminent closings as the main problem, not the health threat from keeping them open.

Extra visits to bars right before they closed helped spread coronavirus.

curi at 2:40 PM on March 27, 2020 | #16165 | reply | quote


> China is re-closing all its movie theaters.

Why, unless they're lying about how contained the virus is?


> PSA: If you live in Tokyo or are responsible for people who are, you should act consistently with the belief that Tokyo will almost certainly have a scenario similar to New York.

> You can see last few tweets for news organizations sourcing on the record government projections.

curi at 7:56 PM on March 27, 2020 | #16169 | reply | quote


A few highlights from the thread of someone who got infected:

> I'm 38 and have no underlying health conditions.

> Anything over 180/120 [blood pressure] is classified as 'hypertensive crisis' (basically, heart attack/stroke territory). Without revealing what mine was, lets just say I was well, well in excess of this (again, I don't have an underlying issue). This was easily the most terrifying moment.

> I called my doctor friends and told them. "Time to call 999" they said - so I did. It took more than 15 minutes to speak with a representative; that's how overwhelmed the emergency services are. I told them my BP and that I have coronavirus.

> Ultimately they decided they couldn't respond to my call.

38, no underlying health conditions, mortal danger, and left at home with no ambulance and no help.

The poster has personal relationships with multiple doctors and had to self-treat at home using advice they gave him to lower his blood pressure.

Since he hasn't been hospitalized, this is a "mild" case in the stats. Or maybe not a case at all since he didn't actually get tested for coronavirus.

curi at 9:12 PM on March 27, 2020 | #16172 | reply | quote

Chloe Middleton, a 21 year old who was reported as dying of covid 19 didn't die of the virus


oh my god it's turpentine at 2:13 AM on March 28, 2020 | #16173 | reply | quote

> Chloe Middleton, a 21 year old who was reported as dying of covid 19 didn't die of the virus

> https://www.spiked-online.com/2020/03/27/chloe-middleton-the-coronavirus-death-that-wasnt/

The article doesn't say that. It says:

> But the *Guardiam* [sic] reports this afternoon that her death has not actually been recorded as a Covid-19 death:

They don't seem to know anything about what she died of. It may have been CCP Virus.

curi at 6:53 AM on March 28, 2020 | #16175 | reply | quote

What does WHO being controlled and pressured by CCP mean? Watch for one little example (1 min):


I think it's really worth seeing.

curi at 7:10 AM on March 28, 2020 | #16176 | reply | quote


> Urns in Wuhan far exceed official CCP virus death toll; riot breaks out in virus-hit Hubei

curi at 2:53 PM on March 28, 2020 | #16177 | reply | quote


> They were ready to roll whenever disaster struck California: three 200-bed mobile hospitals that could be deployed to the scene of a crisis on flatbed trucks and provide advanced medical care to the injured and sick within 72 hours.

> Each hospital would be the size of a football field, with a surgery ward, intensive care unit and X-ray equipment. Medical response teams would also have access to a massive stockpile of emergency supplies: 50 million N95 respirators, 2,400 portable ventilators and kits to set up 21,000 additional patient beds wherever they were needed.

> In 2006, citing the threat of avian flu, then-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger announced the state would invest hundreds of millions of dollars in a powerful set of medical weapons to deploy in the case of large-scale emergencies and natural disasters such as earthquakes, fires and pandemics.

Over $200 million was spent by a Republican who wanted to protect us. Then, to save money, it was defunded and dismantled, by a Democrat, in 2011, before being used.

> The annual savings for eliminating both programs? No more than $5.8 million per year

That's around 0.0045% of California's budget.

> “It’s the nearsightedness of political decision-making,” said Backer, who retired last year. “If you talked to the experts, we knew that pandemics were going to come around.”

curi at 5:42 PM on March 28, 2020 | #16180 | reply | quote

Second-handedness distorts coronavirus journalism and cost lives. I posted some examples:


curi at 10:32 AM on March 29, 2020 | #16185 | reply | quote


The age distribution of who has CCP Virus is a lot lower than the stats in many countries are showing.

curi at 11:00 AM on March 29, 2020 | #16186 | reply | quote

Guy used UK and Italy data to estimate how much longer the dead people would have lived with how CCP Virus. Gets an upper bound of 11 years, contradicting people saying they would have only lived another year or two anyway so therefore their deaths aren't a big deal.


curi at 11:02 AM on March 29, 2020 | #16187 | reply | quote


> Coronavirus: Italy becoming impatient with lockdown - and social unrest is brewing

Hard to tell how much is related to actual missed meals and hunger, and how much isn't.

curi at 11:06 AM on March 29, 2020 | #16188 | reply | quote

Nurse fired for wearing a mask at work because it could spread fear and panic. Kicker: tons of Americans get health insurance via their work, so he got his health insurance terminated too.


curi at 11:21 AM on March 29, 2020 | #16189 | reply | quote

Politics: Coronavirus and Trump


David Horowitz continues earning my respect. He's being reasonable (unlike, say, Ann Coulter, Twitter's censors or the Democrats).

The article is mostly politics, not coronavirus info.

curi at 6:41 PM on March 29, 2020 | #16190 | reply | quote

way to graph COVID-19 coronavirus cases using a logarithmic scale in "phase space"


> This video is a collaboration with Aatish Bhatia [*and MinutePhysics*] about how to see the COVID-19 tipping point - we present a better way to graph COVID-19 coronavirus cases using a logarithmic scale in "phase space" - plotting the growth rate against the cumulative cases, rather than either of these against time.

Graph from the video available here:


N at 6:58 AM on March 30, 2020 | #16196 | reply | quote


> Tampa megachurch crowded with worshipers, despite social distancing orders

They say they're essential and they don't want to turn people away in a time of need. But they also say this:

> "We brought in 13 machines that basically kill every virus in the place," Howard-Browne said. "If they sneeze it shoots it down like at 100 miles per hour and it will neutralize it in a split second."

curi at 12:21 PM on March 30, 2020 | #16198 | reply | quote


> Don't head to your cottage to wait out COVID-19 pandemic, Canadians warned

For city folk, just going somewhere rural to avoid disasters ain't so easy. Even if you already own property there, you may not be welcome (and with a variety of good reasons).

curi at 1:41 PM on March 30, 2020 | #16201 | reply | quote


Choir meets March 10 in Washington state. 60 people. 45 now diagnosed with CCP Virus. 2 dead already.

they used hand sanitizer and avoided hugging and handshakes and stuff (mostly but not perfectly, i assume)

> The outbreak has stunned county health officials, who have concluded that the virus was almost certainly transmitted through the air from one or more people without symptoms.

but the authorities kept saying don't wear masks and if you don't have symptoms don't worry.... ><


> It's Time to Face Facts, America: Masks Work

curi at 6:15 PM on March 30, 2020 | #16206 | reply | quote


> Heard from a friend in China that manufacturers are selling masks to Europeans who are outbidding American importers.

> American importers are terrified of being attacked for price gouging so won’t pay market rates for emergency production of PPE.

curi at 10:38 AM on March 31, 2020 | #16208 | reply | quote


Another nurse quit after being told she wasn't allowed to wear her own N95 mask (and the hospital would not provide any masks):


Anonymous at 3:21 AM on April 1, 2020 | #16209 | reply | quote

Good news segment talks about China covering up the virus, lying, and letting it spread early. It's their fault. This pandemic was avoidable.

From 60 Minutes Australia (but only 13min)


curi at 2:46 PM on April 1, 2020 | #16215 | reply | quote


Veritas gets a CCP Virus test. Some workers at the drive through testing place say the pandemic is not that bad and the media is overblowing it.

curi at 2:52 PM on April 1, 2020 | #16216 | reply | quote


Article talking about a proposal that some volunteers get infected with very small amounts of CCP Virus then isolate until they recover.

I mentioned a similar idea earlier. I said if you're going for herd immunity (or just give up on preventing 30%+ of the population from being infected), then instead of letting the virus spread on its own, you should give a lot of people tiny amounts which reduces the severity of the disease.

curi at 3:23 PM on April 1, 2020 | #16217 | reply | quote


Don't see the map in the article but screenshotted a preview of it.

curi at 4:09 PM on April 1, 2020 | #16218 | reply | quote


Info about the Chinese lab in Wuhan that may have accidentally contaminated researchers with the virus.

curi at 4:54 PM on April 1, 2020 | #16219 | reply | quote


Another China in Focus from NTD news. And I wanted to share this pic from Spain:

curi at 5:02 PM on April 1, 2020 | #16220 | reply | quote


> I've been working with a generous donor to get a million PPEs (masks) to the myriad healthcare workers in NYC who constantly tell us they're facing shortages.

> Yet, hurdle after hurdle of dysfunction is severely inhibiting us from getting donated masks to those in need.

The twitter thread has a bunch more info about the problems.

curi at 7:18 PM on April 1, 2020 | #16221 | reply | quote


Ingraham saying Americans need some kinda objective metrics to know if we're winning the covid19 war and asking why congress not in session

Anonymous at 7:45 PM on April 1, 2020 | #16222 | reply | quote

oh my god it's turpentine at 3:24 AM on April 2, 2020 | #16223 | reply | quote

oh my god it's turpentine at 3:26 AM on April 2, 2020 | #16224 | reply | quote


Article explains a good reason for the toilet paper shortage that isn't hoarding or panic buying.

> In short, the toilet paper industry is split into two, largely separate markets: commercial and consumer. The pandemic has shifted the lion’s share of demand to the latter. People actually do need to buy significantly more toilet paper during the pandemic — not because they’re making more trips to the bathroom, but because they’re making more of them at home. With some 75% of the U.S. population under stay-at-home orders, Americans are no longer using the restrooms at their workplace, in schools, at restaurants, at hotels, or in airports.

> Georgia-Pacific, a leading toilet paper manufacturer based in Atlanta, estimates that the average household will use 40% more toilet paper than usual if all of its members are staying home around the clock. That’s a huge leap in demand for a product whose supply chain is predicated on the assumption that demand is essentially constant.

Very good point about people using more TP at home and it's non-trivial to get TP for businesses onto retail store shelves and into the hands of consumers. I hadn't thought of that.

curi at 11:13 AM on April 2, 2020 | #16231 | reply | quote

#16231 More explanation:

> Talk to anyone in the industry, and they’ll tell you the toilet paper made for the commercial market is a fundamentally different product from the toilet paper you buy in the store. It comes in huge rolls, too big to fit on most home dispensers. The paper itself is thinner and more utilitarian. It comes individually wrapped and is shipped on huge pallets, rather than in brightly branded packs of six or 12.

Consumer and commercial TP sometimes doesn't even come from the same mills. It's a much bigger issue than just getting it delivered to different places.

curi at 11:16 AM on April 2, 2020 | #16232 | reply | quote

Regarding stores running out of stuff, I'm not sure how much that would happen just from demand going up a bit from people stocking up a bit extra and trying to do fewer trips to the store. This applies e.g. to food.

Suppose people are currently buying 10% more food on average. That seems pretty reasonable.

Maybe that alone is enuf to empty grocery store shelves! I'm not sure. idk how much extra stuff stores have compared to purchase flow.

like if ppl buy 100k (avg) of stuff per day from a particular grocery store normally, and now they are buying 110k/day (avg), and the store has 200k of stuff btwn the floor and backroom and is getting 100k/day of resupply on avg ... then it's empty after 20 days. I don't know what numbers are realistic.

curi at 11:22 AM on April 2, 2020 | #16233 | reply | quote

#16231 A similar issue to the TP article:


> Milk purchases are being rationed at supermarkets right now, and at the same time dairy companies are hurting because schools aren't buying.

curi at 11:26 AM on April 2, 2020 | #16234 | reply | quote


> In early March, as the number of infected was doubling every few days, authorities [in Italy] allowed overwhelmed hospitals to transfer those who tested positive but weren't gravely ill into assisted-living facilities for the elderly.

wtf. sending infected ppl to where a bunch of high-risk elderly ppl are? on purpose?

curi at 12:20 PM on April 2, 2020 | #16236 | reply | quote


> How much coronavirus is needed to infect everyone on Earth?

*Great video*. Demonstrates how easily graphite sticks to your hands and how hard to wash off it is (as a comparison to viruses). Uses a microscope to show it on fingers.

At the end, he points out *not touching stuff* is more important than hand washing.

curi at 3:26 PM on April 2, 2020 | #16240 | reply | quote


> In case anyone thinks Vox was merely being stupid, apparently Yglesias knew Coronachan was coming and prepped all the while mocking the others who were prepping.

As you can see at the link, he ordered masks in February.

curi at 7:13 PM on April 2, 2020 | #16241 | reply | quote


> 6 feet enough for social distancing? MIT researcher says droplets carrying coronavirus can travel up to 27 feet

I did not investigate the quality of the research.

curi at 9:59 PM on April 2, 2020 | #16242 | reply | quote

Have been retweeting more CCP Virus stuff on Twitter today, as usual.


curi at 10:28 PM on April 2, 2020 | #16243 | reply | quote

Great Tucker commentary on Chinese propaganda, WHO lies, biased journalists https://www.foxnews.com/opinion/tucker-carlson-propaganda-war-china-coronavirus

Anonymous at 5:57 AM on April 3, 2020 | #16246 | reply | quote


Gulag-tested tips from Sharansky for getting through quarantine/isolation.

I liked tip 2.

curi at 7:09 PM on April 3, 2020 | #16253 | reply | quote


Very good that Scott Aaronson not only changed his mind on coronavius and started taking it seriously, but is self-aware enough to be reflecting on why he was wrong and why he's been too trusting of the authorities in general. He's considering how he should change as a person/thinker.

This is something of an intellectual post-mortem – those are very important – and it also contains some good comments on the pandemic.

curi at 1:15 AM on April 5, 2020 | #16264 | reply | quote

#16264 A reply to SA's post:

> I think a substantial part of this is that many of us have a somewhat rational fear of overreacting and being judged for it. For example I was at a faculty lunch in mid February, and I said that I’d heard some discussion of the APS March meeting being cancelled and I thought this was a good idea. Several people laughed, and the department chair said in front of the whole department that I was “fear-mongering”.

curi at 1:18 AM on April 5, 2020 | #16266 | reply | quote


> China Hiding MASSIVE Death Toll from Coronavirus

Good vid. I found and subscribed to this channel a couple weeks ago. But I forgot to switch from the default "personalized" notifications to "all" so I got notified of ZERO of their new videos :( Saw this one linked in SA's comments. Hopefully SA notices it and stops being egregiously wrong about China.

Like really, really wrong. SA wrote this in comments:


> marxbro #19: I’m prepared to make one of the largest concessions that I’ve ever made to Marxism about anything. I think that right now, a command-and-control system like China’s would be preferable to what we have in the US.

The video was specifically linked to counter this. So was another video and there was explanatory text. SA responded to 3 other comments from the same guy, both before and after, but didn't respond regarding this china stuff.

curi at 1:55 AM on April 5, 2020 | #16271 | reply | quote


> 'All our ICU patients are in their 50s or younger' - frontline Welsh doctor recovered from virus

curi at 2:06 AM on April 5, 2020 | #16272 | reply | quote

Just retweeted lots more stuff:


Tweets continue to be largely related to CCP Virus.

curi at 9:51 AM on April 5, 2020 | #16274 | reply | quote


Another quarantined subreddit. jfc.

curi at 9:25 PM on April 5, 2020 | #16280 | reply | quote


> They use simple commercial ovens, like those available in food processing facilities around the country. The heating just requires a bit of fine tuning, Dwyer said.

> Beauchamp warned that the decontamination process should not be tried at home.

“The process we’re using, we’re not going to sterilize masks and then go back to cooking food,” he said. “You want to keep those processes separate. The risk is you contaminate the oven.”

nikluk at 12:02 AM on April 6, 2020 | #16283 | reply | quote

Correcting dropped quote. This should have been a quote as well in #16283:

> “The process we’re using, we’re not going to sterilize masks and then go back to cooking food,” he said. “You want to keep those processes separate. The risk is you contaminate the oven.”

nikluk at 12:03 AM on April 6, 2020 | #16284 | reply | quote

curi at 7:58 AM on April 6, 2020 | #16285 | reply | quote

I was told by someone that works as a nurse in SWE. Today they were sent on ICU training. They filled a big gathering room with healthcare ppl - like to the brim. No masks. Filled elevators with as many as would fit. No masks.

This was exclusively trained hospital personell. No one gives a fuk here it seems … This was at one of the biggest hospital in SWE.

Masks don’t work (unless you’re a dr apparently). covid spreading in elderly homes and on the question if masks and safety equipment should be given to those working with the elderly gov said “no. masks do not help. If you think that helps you’re way off. It’s too complex.”

It’s somewhat of a bizzaro world here.

Anonymous at 1:45 PM on April 6, 2020 | #16289 | reply | quote


Vid about Chinese propaganda in Europe, pretending to be a friend and savior while the EU doesn't help. Lies. The EU is helping European countries, China is just getting more publicity while doing a worse job (e.g. defective tests and "gifts" you have to pay for).

curi at 2:15 PM on April 6, 2020 | #16290 | reply | quote

Proper glove technique vid. So important! https://twitter.com/gatienmc/status/1247203514838810628?s=21

Justin Mallone at 5:11 PM on April 6, 2020 | #16294 | reply | quote


> Full movie: ‘Claws of the Red Dragon’ exposes connection between Huawei and CCP | China in Focus

Steve Bannon was an executive producer. I enjoyed it.

curi at 8:14 PM on April 6, 2020 | #16295 | reply | quote

https://www.fda.gov/food/food-safety-during-emergencies/food-safety-and-coronavirus-disease-2019-covid-19 :

> Currently there is no evidence of food or food packaging being associated with transmission of COVID-19.

This is stupid. They are basically discouraging people from sanitizing their groceries because we don't yet have any reports of people getting it from food packaging? But we don't KNOW where people are

getting it. We have no idea. We don't even know who all has it. There were lots of cases where they didn't know where someone got it, and then they stopped even trying to figure out where people got it

They have already SAID that you can touch infected surfaces then touch your face and that could be a problem

they say to wash your hands, not touch your face

Grocery stores are full of other people, who touch food, talk on it, cough or sneeze near it - even if they are trying not to

People touch their faces then touch packages on grocery store shelves and they don't take all the packages they touch

it is fucking absurd to reassure people that food packaging is safe

Touching something that was sitting on a grocery store shelf is the same as touching any other surface in the grocery store

you need to be cautious and not touch your face after you've touched public surfaces and make sure to wash your hands

bringing packages into your house is basically bringing public surfaces into your house

you should be cautious with them and decontaminate them in some way

Maybe that isn't necessary - maybe we will learn that it somehow doesn't end up on public surfaces or doesn't live as long as we thought

But just not knowing of any cases of it happening is just... it's fucking negligently reckless and endangering people's lives to tell them that they don't have to worry about it just because we don't have any cases of it having happened

And it's so confusing to people

they say we have "no evidence" of it happening

well, have the looked?

did they do experiments?

have they TRIED to make it happen and see if it could happen?


They literally haven't even tried to get any evidence about whether or not this is a possible transmission route

the evidence we DO have is that it DOES live on surfaces

and that there are amounts that can still be detected on cardboard until about 24 hours later, and on plastics at least 3 days later

and that is what food packaging is made of

The WHO, the FDA, the CDC, and the Canadian health authorities (and many other countries health authorities that I just don't have knowledge of) have all been just grossly negligent and reckless and are responsible for at least thousands of deaths. I don't know how many deaths they will end up being responsible for, or how many people would have died if they had acted better from the beginning

Of course the CCP is responsible for a lot of this

But I didn't expect that much from them. I expected more from US & Canadian health authorities. And it's not like my opinion of them was even very high in the first place

I just didn't expect them to contribute this much to the deaths of their citizens & the overwhelm of their health care systems

(Source: https://discordapp.com/channels/304082867384745994/687801558083436575/697023720841019412)

Ingracke on discord at 11:01 AM on April 7, 2020 | #16299 | reply | quote


> But I didn't expect that much from them. I expected more from US & Canadian health authorities. And it's not like my opinion of them was even very high in the first place

they don't have a "serious" mode where they suddenly act competent, organize, smart, logical, fact-based, etc. that doesn't exist. they never flip a switch and treat ANYTHING WHATSOEVER like your or my vision of real life and actually trying when it actually matters. the way they act normally is how they do ALL OF LIFE.

the left has spent decades purging all the competent ppl out of government

so when you see the government full of incompetence for non-pandemic stuff ... that is in fact representative.

when the CDC cares more diversity, they don't ALSO have a team of smart ppl doing pandemic stuff right. the diversity stuff is representative.

i don't know how much competence is left in the military. there have been major efforts to destroy it too but most of the news stories about those are relatively superficial issues that do limited damage instead of destroying the core.

though some of them involving fucking with training and education. the more ppl go thru a PC west point ... they could ruin everything in a few decades.

the rest of the govt is broadly much less resilient than the military. changes faster. more open to political appointees. SCOTUS and some courts stuff is slow to break but has been going on a long time.

[Source: https://discordapp.com/channels/304082867384745994/687801558083436575/697104239268462636]

curi on discord at 11:03 AM on April 7, 2020 | #16300 | reply | quote


>> Currently there is no evidence of food or food packaging being associated with transmission of COVID-19.

> This is stupid. They are basically discouraging people from sanitizing their groceries because we don't yet have any reports of people getting it from food packaging? But we don't KNOW where people are getting it. We have no idea. We don't even know who all has it. There were lots of cases where they didn't know where someone got it, and then they stopped even trying to figure out where people got it

we know a good explanation of how viruses work that explains how they can stick to surfaces, including food packages, stay there for days, then get on your hands, etc. they can travel via sticking to things as well as via air.

so whenever you name a new surface, the default is: of course is can get on there and be a threat.

just like all the other surfaces

food packaging is literally made out of a lot of the same types of molecules that we actually have tested, too. like plastic or paper.

you saw thunderf00t video with graphite. virus sticks to your hands better than that and is harder to wash off...

imagine if you dusted a grocery store shelf with graphite

or if u dusted some ppl's hands with graphites then they went around grocery store touching stuff

will u end up with graphite on ur hands when u shop?

it's not that hard to imagine the answer, right?

and assume the graphite is invisible so ppl don't realize they're doing it. or imagine blind ppl


there is a mythbusters vid

with some kinda invisible ink thing running out the guy's nose during a dinner party

and then they show it with UV light after

[Source: https://discordapp.com/channels/304082867384745994/687801558083436575/697116956930867232]

curi on discord at 11:06 AM on April 7, 2020 | #16301 | reply | quote


> 1st documentary movie on the origin of CCP virus, Tracking Down the Origin of the Wuhan Coronavirus

curi at 10:00 PM on April 7, 2020 | #16302 | reply | quote


Sweden's national immunologist, Anders Tegnell, and the one that decides the corona strategy of Sweden, is not interested in criticism of the chosen strategy. Hangs up the phone when a professor tries to have critical discussion.

Then the professor goes on with "we don't want to criticise" which in turn shows some of the awful culture in the scientific community.

nikluk at 2:14 AM on April 9, 2020 | #16322 | reply | quote

Sweden's approach to coronavirus


> Anders Tegnell, Sweden’s chief epidemiologist overseeing the government’s response to COVID-19 has said the government should allow the virus to spread slowly through the population, an approach initially employed by the United Kingdom and the Netherlands before both countries rapidly changed strategy amid mounting evidence that this approach would still overburden health care systems.

> At the end of March, 2,300 doctors, scientists and academics signed an open letter to the government calling for stricter measures.

> “We think there is no scientific evidence for their strategy,” says Cecilia Söderberg-Nauclér, an expert in microbial pathogenesis who signed the letter. She says the government has been reluctant to share its data with scientists, leading her to believe that the government’s strategy is “not based on evidence.”

Anonymous at 11:52 PM on April 9, 2020 | #16334 | reply | quote


Sweden currently has 793 deaths. Italy had just over 800 deaths when it did a full lockdown of the country.

Italy's deaths were growing faster than Sweden's at that point though - they were going up by about 30% per day, whereas Sweden's are going up at about 15% per day. (30% increase per day is ~3 days doubling time, whereas 15% increase per day is ~5 days doubling time.)

If Sweden's deaths keep increasing at the same rate, they will have a total of 2109 deaths in a week from now, or 275 deaths per day, and 5611 total deaths in two weeks, or 731 deaths per day.

Anonymous at 11:59 PM on April 9, 2020 | #16335 | reply | quote


Oh, also, Sweden's population is only about 10 million.

So if they have 2109 deaths, that will be 211 deaths per million people. 5611 deaths will be 561 per million.

Italy's current deaths are at 302 per million, and Spain's are at 330 per million.

(The US is only at 50 deaths per million people. So Sweden is already doing worse than the US on that measure, as they have 79 deaths per million people currently.)

Anonymous at 12:03 AM on April 10, 2020 | #16336 | reply | quote


Another quote from that article (https://time.com/5817412/sweden-coronavirus/):

> A head doctor at a major hospital in Sweden says the current approach will “probably end in a historical massacre.” He says healthcare workers at his hospital who have tested positive for the virus but are asymptomatic have been advised to continue working.

Anonymous at 12:05 AM on April 10, 2020 | #16337 | reply | quote


> The Chinese Government has FOOLED you!

curi at 11:40 AM on April 10, 2020 | #16344 | reply | quote


> WHO Official: We Need To “Remove & Isolate” Your Sick Family | Tedros Calls Taiwan Racist

curi at 12:16 PM on April 10, 2020 | #16345 | reply | quote

I get way less junk mail during the pandemic (paper junk mail in my actual mailbox). Are other people seeing the same thing?

curi at 8:56 AM on April 13, 2020 | #16355 | reply | quote


The government is like the people who make 50k/yr (or any other amount) and think if only they had 20% more money it'd be plenty.

Except the government can do it with over 500 million a year. I think rich people making a few million a year stop thinking the solution to their problems is 20% more income. I'm not sure where the cutoff is but the government doesn't have one.

Public schools blame their incompetence on lack of money. All sorts of parts of the government do. But then they get bigger budgets and remain incompetent and wasteful. Over and over.

The national stockpile could have fit masks into their budget of over half a billion dollars a year even though FDA regulations were making their job more expensive.

curi at 9:16 AM on April 13, 2020 | #16356 | reply | quote

> Evidence SARS-CoV-2 Emerged From a Biological Laboratory in Wuhan, China


curi at 4:58 PM on April 16, 2020 | #16374 | reply | quote


404, link is not working.

nikluk at 9:50 PM on April 16, 2020 | #16376 | reply | quote

curi at 9:59 PM on April 16, 2020 | #16377 | reply | quote


Teenager in Wisconsin thought she got covid, didn’t get a test initially, later got a negative test & was told it could still be covid - she could have missed window for testing.

She posted about it on instagram, tried to warn other ppl at her school.

She literally got threatened with charges for disorderly conduct & arrest if she didn’t take it down.

Police say there were no confirmed cases of covid in the county. Therefore she was lying & causing panic, and it was basically same as yelling fire in a crowded theater

Anonymous at 12:42 AM on April 18, 2020 | #16380 | reply | quote

An article explaining the ways in which antibody tests can be used


oh my god it's turpentine at 12:53 AM on April 18, 2020 | #16381 | reply | quote

Risk of virus vs bacteria from tap or bottled water

... dose makes a difference

So like, if a little bit of coronavirus gets into a large amount of water, then it is going to dissipate

Also, viruses are different than bacteria. Bacteria can multiply on their own, but for viruses to multiply they actually need other organisms cells. That is possible to find in water pipes, but it is an extra step that makes it less likely

like, people have to be careful with their water bottles because bacteria can grow & multiply on them if you don't wash them enough

You don't have that same issue with viruses, since viruses can't just multiply on their own


Ingracke on discord at 10:36 AM on April 18, 2020 | #16383 | reply | quote

Trump pauses WHO funding while they investigate WHO's role in virus coverup etc


This is what he should have done with a bunch of immigration. Pause until we can finish investigating and come up with a good plan going forward.

curi at 12:17 PM on April 18, 2020 | #16385 | reply | quote


> The immediate solution is to go back to work and end the seeming need for trillions of additional paper dollars, the consequences of which will be worse than any the Coronavirus could produce.

This doesn't actually technically say that going back to work is better than reasonable, substantial social distancing (*not* just going back to work and back to life as normal) *without* a massive government "stimulus", but it hints at it. That's deadly wrong.

I wrote this before reading the next paragraph which is clearer:

> The lockdowns are in violation of The First Amendment’s prohibition of laws violating the freedoms of religion and of assembly. They are also in violation of the Ninth Amendment’s implicit recognition of the right to work.

Ugh, sad to see Reisman being so wrong.

> Organizing should be started on a million-man march on Washington to demand the end of lockdowns and the government’s ability to create limitless quantities of paper money.

And he wants a million people to have a fucking march and spread the virus!?

> Let all who are at risk from the Coronavirus take precautions.

So, everyone?

curi at 12:29 PM on April 18, 2020 | #16386 | reply | quote



patio11 was the lead author of an initially-anonymous white paper with the novel, useful result that there was *already* a coronavirus disaster in japan, before the authorities had realized and acted on this. his info was covered at https://marginalrevolution.com/marginalrevolution/2020/03/the-coronavirus-situation-in-japan-is-probably-much-worse-than-you-think.html

he's now come forward as the lead author and told the story and shared the full white paper publicly. its main argument is that Japanese testing found too few asymptomatic people compared to other datasets, showing that a lot of asymptomatic cases were being missed by testing.

curi at 9:16 AM on April 21, 2020 | #16410 | reply | quote

Learning How to Dance

From Thomas Pueyo, the guy who wrote Hammer and Dance:

Coronavirus: Learning How to Dance

> Part 1: A Dancing Masterclass, or What We Can Learn from Countries Around the World

Coronavirus: The Basic Dance Steps Everybody Can Follow

> Part 2 of Coronavirus: Learning How to Dance

curi at 11:45 AM on April 23, 2020 | #16424 | reply | quote


> mortality for those requiring mechanical ventilation in New York was 88.1%. The median length of stay for those who died was 4.8 days.

> However, we need to be careful interpreting the data from the patients in the New York series since the denominator is still not settled -- the rates can change perhaps significantly depending on what happens with the large number of patients still being treated.

curi at 1:34 PM on April 23, 2020 | #16425 | reply | quote



> > Part 1: A Dancing Masterclass, or What We Can Learn from Countries Around the World

> Most did the right thing: The Hammer was the right decision.

I don't think the US has actually done the hammer.

Rules vary by state. Flaunting what rules there are is a badge of honor among certain segments of the population, and nowhere is enforcement really effective.

Estimates of Rt for most states are still at or above 1. (https://rt.live/).

Total active case counts per population remain high and increasing. (http://91-divoc.com/pages/covid-visualization/, 3rd graph, select Total Active Cases in Data drop down. Then compare the US curve to someplace that actually did the hammer, like New Zealand)

When I think about whether my risk of infection is less, about the same, or more than it was on April 1 the most optimistic answer I can convince myself of is "about the same". Mask wearing and keeping distance are better, but more sources of infection (infected people) exist. Knowledge of who is infected and who has been exposed is not appreciably better now than it was 3 weeks ago. At best, I think we've hit pause for 3 weeks.

Yet no one is talking about stronger measures, only how quickly and how much to relax. States with current Rt estimates at or above 1 are relaxing now or in the next few days (https://theresurgent.com/2020/04/21/colorado-michigan-to-open-up-but-media-outrage-focuses-on-georgia-bowling-alleys/).

Many more states are going to relax in a week (May 1) regardless of what the data shows. My read on political will to extend / strengthen measures is that it is absent in almost all states.

This seems to me more like mitigation + a bet that the virus is seasonal rather than the hammer.

Anonymous at 11:33 AM on April 24, 2020 | #16432 | reply | quote

#16432 I stopped following the news closely but i thought maybe the US hammer was good enough despite many flaws. you're saying it's not. dang. what i was more worried about is the dance part. i don't think we're very organized to test and contact trace properly for dance. seems really bad.

curi at 10:24 AM on April 25, 2020 | #16437 | reply | quote

#16437 I forgot to identify myself in the original post. Ya I'm saying from what I can tell the US hammer isn't good enough. But I am hoping either my understanding of The Hammer and/or the data I've been following is wrong in some way.

My understanding of The Hammer: Drive replication significantly below 1, keep it there for long enough to get active cases significantly down - to a level where testing and tracing can be effective. The Hammer is specifically in contrast to the idea of "flattening the curve", where the goal would be just to keep the hospitals from being overloaded (which, except for a few places, we've mostly done).

If we did The Hammer, then ya I'd be worried that we don't actually have the infrastructure and organization in place to test and contract trace. But we don't even have replication below 1, let alone low enough for long enough to get the active case load down.

My other concern is if you thought the US hammer was good enough I'd guess tons of others who liked the Hammer & Dance approach do too. Then if cases explode 2-4 weeks after we open up, people will figure The Hammer failed & we have no choice but for enough people to get it to reach herd immunity.

Andy Dufresne at 7:25 PM on April 25, 2020 | #16442 | reply | quote

has anyone actually done the math on flattening the curve? that is, how long do the infections have to be spread over to avoid hospital overload while waiting herd immunity, vaccine or cure? i read it's over a year... haven't looked into it further though. that's the only actual number i saw (i forget what the actual number was but there was one and the person indicated that they'd actually done some basic math).

> if you thought the US hammer was good enough

maybe good enough but knew i wasn't paying much attention. basically just a vague impression of what mainstream opinion seems to be about how well it's going atm.

curi at 7:54 PM on April 25, 2020 | #16443 | reply | quote

and i think we're better at hammer than at dance. dance looks like just clearly definitely not gonna work well afaik.

curi at 7:56 PM on April 25, 2020 | #16444 | reply | quote

#16443 In order to do the math on flattening the curve we have to use an estimate of the rate of hospitalizations (and ICU use and ventilator use) divided by infections.

Without widespread random antibody tests it's hard to estimate the rate of infections ("infection rate"), hence hard to estimate the rate of hospitalizations per infection. What we have instead is the rate of confirmed or presumed cases ("case rate").

The case rate almost certainly an underestimates the infection rate. The only way it could be an over estimate is if our tests or presumption criteria give a large number of false positives, a low number of false negatives, and also the number of asymptomatic or other unreported infections is pretty low. While there are people arguing that our current testing and presumption criteria give a large number of false positives, approximately no one is arguing that *and* the asymptomatic or other unreported infections is low.

Most of the argument I hear is over how much bigger the asymptomatic or unreported infection rate is than the case rate. One approximate side claims it is on the order of 2X the case rate. The other approximate side claims it is on the order of 50X the case rate. I haven't seen convincing arguments for either side so I'm currently neutral about which side is right. I think we need a lot more antibody testing before reaching a conclusion. But I think I understand the high level implications if either is right.

If the 2X side is right, it means the flattening curve approach will take years and IMO won't work. People will give up, let the hospitals get overloaded for a while and whoever dies, dies. Here's how I think the math works:

Assume 70% of people need to be infected before herd immunity alone prevents hospital overload. That's at the high end, because it means the hospitalization rate is at the high end of current estimates as well.

So that's .7*330m = 231m people infected before we're in the clear to go back to normal.

We currently have a case count of about 1m, which implies a current infection count of 3m (1m known, 2m asymptomatic/unreported), most of which occurred in the last month. And the hospitals are under strain, but mostly not overloaded. Even if you assume we can keep up an infection rate a little higher than that without overload, say 4m per month, then 231m / 4m -> 58 months, or *almost 5 years*, of which we've just completed month #1. No way people will wait that long to go back to normal. Best hope in this case is we can hold it until a rushed vaccine or other treatment becomes available (but even that I judge to be low likelihood).

If the ~50X side is right, it means we're already a good way through flattening the curve, the hospitalization (and death) rate is much lower than current estimates, and the virus will soon burn itself out no matter what we do. Here's how I think the math works:

Assume 50% of people need to be infected before herd immunity alone prevents hospital overload. That's at the low end, because it means the hospitalization rate is at the low end of estimates as well.

So that's .5*330m = 165m people infected before we're in the clear to go back to normal.

We currently have a case count of about 1m, which implies an infection count of ~51m (1m known, 50m asymptomatic/unreported), most of which occurred in the last month. And the hospitals are under strain, but mostly not overloaded. If you assume we just keep up that infection rate, not even any higher, then 165m / 51m -> 3.2 months, of which 1 month is already done. This will be over by July.

An asymptomatic/unreported rate in between the two extremes (2X and 50X) implies a curve flattening duration somewhere between the extremes as well.

Both estimates assume immunity for the surviving infected. If that turns out not to be the case because of mutations or whatever...all bets are off.

Andy Dufresne at 12:17 PM on April 26, 2020 | #16452 | reply | quote

How did people come up with 50x? I don't think i've seen that claim much. Sounds high as a first impression.

curi at 12:21 PM on April 26, 2020 | #16453 | reply | quote

#16453 A couple of studies.

Here's the main one:


> These prevalence estimates represent a range between 48,000 and 81,000 people infected in Santa Clara County by early April, 50-85-fold more than the number of confirmed cases. Conclusions The population prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies in Santa Clara County implies that the infection is much more widespread than indicated by the number of confirmed cases.

Here's an overview of the studies and criticisms: https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/stephaniemlee/coronavirus-antibody-test-santa-clara-los-angeles-stanford

Andy Dufresne at 12:53 PM on April 26, 2020 | #16454 | reply | quote

oh my god it's turpentine at 3:20 PM on April 26, 2020 | #16455 | reply | quote

#16455 I think that prison finding is approximately consistent with the side that claims ~50X reported cases are asymptomatic or unreported.

With 4% symptomatic, you'd only need half of the symptomatic population to not report their case for the reported case count to be 2% of the total infections (1/50th). I think that's reasonable.

Someone with a mild fever & cough - which is lots of the symptomatic cases - might reasonably choose to just stay home until they feel better rather than go out and get tested. Or they may not want the stigma/restrictions of being a "confirmed case" when it's not going to change their (current) treatment.

I think there's pretty good agreement about that, and even people who don't think there's not a lot of asymptomatic cases think the infection rate is 2X-3X the confirmed case count.

But I am still not convinced the ~50X side is right. Reasons:

- Small samples

- Adverse selection criteria

For the prison testing, prisoners are younger than average, are often calorie constrained, and probably have other medical criteria that make them different from the general population

- Contra-cases, like cruise ships and health care workers, which seem to show symptoms at a higher rate (Though admittedly with their own adverse selection criteria)

So for now I'm hopeful but still neutral.

Andy Dufresne at 6:46 PM on April 26, 2020 | #16456 | reply | quote

Comparing Countries

New Zealand is "opening up" today (it's already Tuesday there) so I decided to look a little more at NZ and some other countries.

Source for NZ opening:


Some of New Zealand's "opening up" sounds like a lot of US states' "lockdown":

> Food retailers offering contactless takeaways and delivery can reopen, with fast-food businesses like KFC, McDonald's and pizza chains expected to do a roaring trade.

> Click-and-collect operations would also be able to restart on Tuesday, provided retailers did not physically interact with customers.

New Zealand also made statements about being prepared to dance effectively:

> "At the moment, they can themselves trace 185 cases a day, and are looking to scale that up to 300 and being able to link electronically with our national contact tracing centre ... will allow us to scale up to our target of a thousand a day."

They are currently experiencing an average of 5 new cases per day, and at the height of their epidemic it was 75 new cases per day. So even their current capability of 185 cases a day seems fine.

Source: http://91-divoc.com/pages/covid-visualization/

First graph, select "New Zealand" in the Highlight drop down then "New Cases, 1 Wk. Avg." in the data dropdown.

New Zealand's active case count is also 54 per million people and falling. I look at the active case count as indicating the infection risk. As discussed previously it understates the actual infection count by some unknown amount, but it's still a pretty good relative indicator on which to compare countries.

NZ seems to fit the "Hammer and Dance" strategy pretty closely.

Australia's new daily case curve and case count per million people is similar to New Zealand's. South Korea's active case count per million people is lower, at 33 and Thailand's is even lower, at 4.2 per million people. But all the curves are going in the right direction, approximating what Pueyo advocated in hammer & dance.

I think it's notable that Australia and New Zealand were able to approximate the right hammer curve shape and get to reasonably low active case counts per population. They are western culture countries with similar traditions and population attitudes to the US and Western Europe.

Meanwhile USA's active case count is 2439 per million people and rising.

Source: http://91-divoc.com/pages/covid-visualization/

3rd graph down, select "Total Active Cases" from the data drop down.

The "opening up" US states are doing today or later this week will allow dine-in restaurants, movie theaters, bowling alleys, and gyms to reopen.

Individual US States vary widely in terms of population adjusted case load. (4th graph down at the same site linked above, select "Total Active Cases"). On the low end there is Montana at 406 per million people, and on the high end New York at 13662 per million people. There isn't a single US state with an active cases curve that looks like a pacific region Hammer country (substantially falling on a population adjusted basis).

Because the new cases per day is flat overall and falling in several states, current measures might eventually get us to a Hammer-like curve if we maintained them. But we're not going to maintain the current measures in lots of states, and at least so far states aren't meaningfully closing their borders. I think that means states that maintain restrictions are going to have residents taking vacations in less restrictive states and bringing back new cases.

That leaves the US with virus seasonality as our main near-term hope for further reductions.

US new case per day rate is currently around 29,500. That's down a bit from the high of over 31,000, but not by much. I haven't seen any estimate of the US's contact tracing ability but I'm pretty sure our new case rate currently exceeds it. So the US won't be dancing either.

Most of Europe's curves, including Italy and Spain who have been "locked down" for much longer than the US, continue to look more like the US than the hammer countries in the Pacific region. I don't think they qualify as having finished the hammer or even being on track to finish it soon. I don't think their daily new case curves yet look like where Pueyo places them on chart 4 of:


Unlike the US I don't know much about whether Europe will sustain their measures much longer. Maybe they will and if so my opinion of Europe might change.

Finally I looked at Sweden, which didn't make much of a pretense of locking down.

Sweden's active case count is 1494 per million people and rising just a little faster than the US. Its new daily case rate is also rising slightly where the US overall is approximately flat. But the curves are pretty shockingly similar given how much of a big deal the US and Europe media have made about locking down versus Sweden's failure to do the same.

It's still too early to say, but it seems possible that Sweden's approach may have been overall better than the US and the rest of western Europe. Not much higher cases & deaths, but a lot less economic damage.

With an average of over 600 new cases a day, it's conceivable Sweden could try to dance. I don't know what their testing and tracing capability is. But given they didn't even make a pretense at the hammer I doubt they'll make a pretense at the dance either.

Basically I disagree with Pueyo's statement:

> Most did the right thing

At best his statement is premature, and I fear it's going to turn out not to be true. He's doing his own strategy a disservice by claiming it now. A few countries in the pacific region did what Pueyo advocated. Most of the world instead undertook fairly strong and visible mitigation measures but didn't actually do the hammer. And they won't sustain what they did do for long enough to get similar results (substantially falling population adjusted active case counts & manageable new daily case rates).

Whether good or ill, I think the hammer and dance should be judged based on what happens in Taiwan, South Korea, Australia, and New Zealand going forward. At least currently, it should not be judged by what happens in western Europe and the US.

Andy Dufresne at 11:28 AM on April 27, 2020 | #16457 | reply | quote

The Governor of my state unexpectedly (to me at least) extended the stay at home order from April 30 to May 15 with some loosening.

A few people openly violated the current order. More were publicly vowing to do so if it was extended. That's part of why I didn't think the order would be extended. Talk radio hosts have been encouraging the violations and saying it should have opened already.

We'll see what happens now. My guess is fairly widespread violations and/or protests.

Andy Dufresne at 8:17 PM on April 29, 2020 | #16468 | reply | quote


The author analyzes Covid-19 superspreading events and concludes that the virus is more likely to be transmitted by large droplets than by aerosol droplets or contaminated surfaces.

Anne B at 3:24 PM on May 1, 2020 | #16474 | reply | quote

Anonymous at 7:19 PM on May 7, 2020 | #16492 | reply | quote

#16452 New study from Spain claims the total case rate is 9-10X the confirmed case rate:


This would be a middle rate between the 2X and 50X sides I referred to earlier.

If 10X is the rate in the USA, it means we currently have about 15 Million people who have been infected. Most of those were infected over April and half of May, so a rate of around 10 million per month.

With a middle rate of unconfirmed infection, suppose we assume something like 60% would be enough herd immunity to keep hospitals from being overloaded with no other social distancing measures. That implies we need to get to 330 * .6 = 198 million post infection. At 10 million per month that means we need to flatten the curve for ~20 months, of which we've now completed 1.5 months. We could expect to reach herd immunity around the end of 2021.

If a combination of less intrusive measures like:

- Widespread mask wearing

- Plenty of people being cautious and staying away from bars, restaurants, etc. even though they're open, continuing online/delivery instead of in person shopping, etc.

- Cancellation of large events & conferences

- Extremely limited domestic and international air travel

- Increased hygiene & awareness

...can keep us from hospital overload on its own, then I think it's reasonably likely we'll do it. People could reasonably be expected to put up with the stuff on that list for another year and a half or so. Not guaranteed though - there's now a growing anti-mask movement trying to associate mask wearing with paranoia, stupidity, and/or leftism. If it succeeds a lot fewer people will wear masks.

If the above + summer season & school closure is what it takes to avoid overload, then we probably hold through the summer but then have to lock down again or overload in the fall. I predict overload - maybe or maybe not followed by lockdowns. Political opposition to lockdowns is way more vocal and organized now than it was in March.

If the list + summer season & school closure still isn't enough, then we see overload in a few more weeks in places that have opened up as cases there take off.

I don't think testing & contract tracing is even a factor in USA. We're not doing it and can't reasonably be expected to at current infection levels.

Andy Dufresne at 3:40 PM on May 18, 2020 | #16551 | reply | quote

laowhy86 got tested for CCP virus.


video has info about what going to the hospital was like and reminders that coronavirus is still around, important, etc.

curi at 2:29 PM on June 10, 2020 | #16660 | reply | quote


> Study: Coronavirus May Have Begun in August

and other China news

curi at 8:02 PM on June 12, 2020 | #16685 | reply | quote


> the left has spent decades purging all the competent ppl out of government

> i don't know how much competence is left in the military. there have been major efforts to destroy it too but most of the news stories about those are relatively superficial issues that do limited damage instead of destroying the core.

> though some of them involving fucking with training and education. the more ppl go thru a PC west point ... they could ruin everything in a few decades.

Here's part of an opinion piece on that topic from someone who claims to be ex-military.

Oh, you thought they were on your side? (American Partisan | Aug 20, 2020):

> The military is not ‘on your side’ and are not to be trusted in their official capacity. It is not the conservative bastion it once was, and certainly not the one its public perception is believed to be. Only through an unlikely purge of the ranks could such a return to American values be made, not without a massive level of internal disruption. Those of us who knew the deal got out, taking our experience with us.

Anonymous at 11:12 AM on August 22, 2020 | #17563 | reply | quote

FaZe clan abuses the PPP loan program

The PPP loan program was put in place by the U.S. government in 2020 to to help small businesses hurt by coronavirus pay their employees and make other essential business payments such as rent and utilities.

In September 2020, Upper Echelon Gamers (UEG) released a video called FaZe Clan - Financial Parasites. The video criticizes FaZe, an esports organization, for applying for a $1-2 million PPP loan. According to UEG, FaZe technically meets the standards for PPP loan approval. However, UEG argues that FaZe's loan application violates the spirit of the PPP loan program and that any money FaZe received should have gone to small businesses that actually needed it. Specifically, UEG notes that:

- FaZe's YouTube channel makes, conservatively, $1.2 million per year

- FaZe closed a $40 million round of funding in April 2020

- Esport revenues have been growing strongly since the COVID-19 pandemic started

- FaZe is a financially irresponsible organization that provides a $30 million California mansion (with $80,000 monthly payments) for its players, who in turn release videos in which they smash computer monitors

- More than 100,000 small businesses have permanently shut their doors due to COVID-19

- The first round of PPP funding quickly ran out

- 1.7 small businesses were waiting for PPP funding as the second round was about to run out

- The money FaZe took could have saved dozens to hundreds of legitimate small businesses

- The owner of FaZe made over $200,000/day running a "gambling platform for CS:GO" skins out of Antigua (such a site is legal there, in contrast to the U.S.)

- FaZe likely has significant performance and integrity issues; for example, in a lawsuit, FaZe claimed they did were barely based out of California, even though they had the mansion there

PPP loan abuse extends far beyond FaZe. According to the NY Post, lots of large businesses took advantage of PPP loans that were meant for small businesses:

> The [PPP loan] program has also come under a torrent of criticism for paying banks big bucks to steer hundreds of millions of dollars of taxpayer money to their large, publicly traded clients, like Ruth’s Chris Steak House, Potbelly Sandwich Shop and Wilhelmina International, a talent agency that represents big stars like Nicki Minaj and Nick Jonas.

MSN claims that the finance industry received $12.2 billion in PPP loans, despite not generally being negatively affected by COVID-19:

> The finance and insurance industry received $12.2 billion in loans from the small business program, according to the U.S. Small Business Administration. While many of those firms are technically small businesses -- employing 500 people or fewer -- they weren’t forced to shut by stay-at-home orders, unlike barber shops, florists and mom-and-pop retailers whose revenues evaporated. Financial markets have remained open during the lockdowns, allowing Wall street firms to keep earning fees from clients.

According to Business Insider, the government has started noticing the PPP loan abuse:

> Members of the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis wrote a memo sounding the alarm bells, explaining that tens of thousands of PPP loans "could be subject to fraud, waste, or abuse."

> Among the memo's chief points of concern: Some companies received multiple loans, when the original program was intended to grant recipients just one loan. As much as $1 billion in PPP funding was carved up by firms that received more than a single loan.

> What's more, as much as $96 million in PPP loans was pocketed by companies which are excluded from doing business with the federal government. And, government contractors with "significant performance and integrity issues" received another $195 million in funds, the memo said.

Forbes reports that the government has begun prosecuting cases of PPP loan fraud. However, the cases Forbes covers are blatant, such as lying about how many employees you have, getting loans for businesses that don't exist, and spending the loan money in unauthorized ways. Forbes doesn't cover any cases in which a business was prosecuted for applying for a loan for which they technically qualified and spending the loan money in technically authorized ways.

Gamer at 7:05 PM on September 21, 2020 | #18105 | reply | quote

#18105 Here is my initial position on FaZe's PPP loan abuse and the exploitation of government financial loopholes in general.

My opinion on all this is that I don't think businesses have any obligation not to exploit loopholes in government financial programs, whether those are forgivable loans or tax breaks.

I think the government is to blame for allowing those loopholes in the first place. Upper Echelon Gamers says the government had to act quickly with the PPP loan program and made some mistakes. That may be, but it seems to me that the government more or less has lots of financial loopholes available at any given time to entities that know how to take advantage of them. In terms of government financial loopholes, I'd be surprised if the PPP loan abuse was anywhere near the worst of it in total dollar terms.

Regarding taxes, Judge Learned Hand wrote in Helvering v. Gregory, later affirmed by the Supreme Court:

> Anyone may arrange his affairs so that his taxes shall be as low as possible; he is not bound to choose that pattern which best pays the treasury. There is not even a patriotic duty to increase one’s taxes.

In the same vein, Judge Learned Hand wrote in Com’r v. Newman:

> Over and over again courts have said that there is nothing sinister in so arranging one's affairs as to keep taxes as low as possible. Everybody does so, rich or poor; and all do right, for nobody owes any public duty to pay more than the law demands: taxes are enforced exactions, not voluntary contributions. To demand more in the name of morals is mere cant.

I agree with Judge Learned Hand. Maybe in a better world, businesses would follow the spirit of the law as well as the letter. I don't think we live in that world, and I don't blame businesses for not acting as if we do.

Gamer at 6:22 PM on September 22, 2020 | #18108 | reply | quote


> An Iowa airport has a plan to screen passengers for the coronavirus. It’s being held up by the FAA.

months of delays with no end in sight

you're broadly not allowed to do/change much stuff without the government paying bureaucrats (with your taxes) to eventually get around to consider it, then telling you whether you can or not. you mostly can't do big stuff (or even most small businesses) without permission.

a big reason tech has been impactful in society is you can actually do something (web or app) without a bunch of government approval. having little physical presence or products drastically reduces how much government regulation you to have to deal with.

i'm sure the govt will get better at taking control over software, the internet, etc. but for now the govt is much better at controlling physical objects and interactions between people in person.

curi at 1:55 PM on November 9, 2020 | #18594 | reply | quote

#18594 they basically just wanted to use thermometers to screen for people with a fever. but they aren't allowed to.

freedom and capitalism (which includes businesses deciding what to do and how to do it) are not the default.

curi at 1:58 PM on November 9, 2020 | #18595 | reply | quote


Twitter thread by logistics professional about how coronavirus testing in the U.S. is a mess. A few points among many that it makes:

- coronavirus PCR tests convert the sample specimen from RNA to DNA, which is hard or expensive to do without contamination

- then they sort of “grow” the sample for one or more iterations until either they detect coronavirus or they reach about 50 iterations without seeing any coronavirus (at which point they report a negative result), but they don’t generally report the number of iterations, so you don’t know how much Covid was present in the original sample (apparently lots of Covid in the sample results in fewer iterations being needed)

- test kits need to be shipped at low temperatures or else they spoil

- DHL/UPS/FedEx don’t do a good job at temperature controlled shipping

- Something I didn’t quite understand about how there’s no good way to report to the government about issues on items imported under an FDA EUA (emergency use authorization)

- lots of labs are new organizations without much experience

- there’s financial pressure for labs to just accept spoiled test kits (without checking to see if they’re spoiled), use them, and report results

Anonymous at 4:00 PM on December 7, 2020 | #19044 | reply | quote


Twitter thread talking about how the CDC recommendations regarding who to administer the coronavirus vaccines to first are racially biased in anti-white ways


see also this NYTimes article:


Anonymous at 5:37 AM on December 19, 2020 | #19200 | reply | quote


As a COVID policy, the UK government is giving a 50% discount on restaurant meals if and only if you dine in at the restaurant.

What the actual fuck.


The UK government is discouraging mask usage at schools.

> [Mask usage at schools is] not *illegal* but gov. guidance is "masks should not be worn in the classroom because they interfere with teaching". I'm wearing one but am the only staff member doing so other than my wife, about 5% of kids are.

What the actual fuck.

curi at 12:27 PM on December 29, 2020 | #19302 | reply | quote

#19302 Note: The UK's 50% dine-in restaurant discounts were August 3-31, 3 days a week. 10£ limit per person per restaurant visit. Excluded alcohol. Could be combined with any other discounts, e.g. coupons.

curi at 1:48 PM on December 29, 2020 | #19303 | reply | quote

Twitter thread claims CCP was promoting its lockdown policies using social media https://twitter.com/michaelpsenger/status/1270925788389486593?s=21

Anonymous at 6:10 AM on January 5, 2021 | #19370 | reply | quote


> NY Gov Cuomo denied NYC’s request to vaccinate people who are 75 and older, despite the fact the City has only used 25% of its Covid vaccine supply

curi at 10:55 AM on January 5, 2021 | #19373 | reply | quote


> 66% of New York City’s Vaccine Doses Sit Unused as Virus Numbers Soar

> Small numbers of doses have even been thrown out as the city’s mass inoculation campaign gets off to a dispiriting start.

(Warning: NYT is an unreliable source.)

curi at 11:54 AM on January 8, 2021 | #19414 | reply | quote

#19838 https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/01/world/moderna-vaccine-vials.html

> Moderna is hoping to raise the number of doses in its vials to as many as 15 from the current 10 doses. The proposal reflects the fact that the company has been ramping up production of its vaccine to the point where the final manufacturing stage, when it is bottled, capped and labeled, has emerged as a roadblock to expanding its distribution.

curi at 7:29 PM on February 2, 2021 | #19839 | reply | quote


If the FDA has to be asked at all, for something they haven't been asked before then we shouldn't expect a fast turnaround.

Could filling the bottles higher cause them to break the sterile seal easier in response to shipping motion?

Could filling the bottles higher cause them to physically break in other ways due to changes in temperature?

Could drawing 15 doses instead of 10 meaningfully increase the risk of giving contaminated vaccines?

Why was 10 doses per bottle established in the first place? What assumptions were made there that might not be true at 15?


These are what I'll call technical questions. Presumably Moderna already considered and answered these technical questions. But the FDAs role is at least to research and verify the answers. Which in and of itself will take substantial time.

But the real slow down is that the people capable of answering these technical questions correctly are almost certainly not the people with the power to give the official answer.

That's because seeking and successfully obtaining the power to give the official answer is, to a large practical extent, incompatible with having the knowledge to answer technical questions correctly.

Which means (best case) the person(s) who can actually answer correctly not only have to figure out the right answer, but then also convince the people with the power to answer what the answer should be. And that in turn brings in political questions - questions the power-holders will have about whether their answer will now or subsequently bite people with power in the ass for having given it.

For example, if the bottles are manufactured in a key congressional district, and allowing 15 doses this time will cause a long term shift to 15 doses per bottle of other vaccines, causing demand for the bottles to fall in the long term and resulting in layoffs at the bottle factory, the person with power could get in trouble for answering yes even if that's the right technical answer in the context of COVID vaccines and vaccines in general.

The people with the power to give the answer are in power precisely because they think about political questions like that and include them in consideration for what to answer.

The only solution to this I know of is for the vaccine manufacturer not to have to ask the FDA.

Andy Dufresne at 6:27 AM on February 3, 2021 | #19844 | reply | quote


> seeking and successfully obtaining the power to give the official answer is, to a large practical extent, incompatible with having the knowledge to answer technical questions correctly.

Well put.

Anonymous at 6:55 AM on February 3, 2021 | #19845 | reply | quote

#19844 The article says this issue has been known for years:

> Although that nuts-and-bolts stage [like "fill and finish", like bottling] receives less attention than vaccine development, it has been identified for years as a constraint on vaccine production.

They could have dealt with this years ago. Or while preparing the COVID vaccine before it was done. Why didn't they? My first guess is to blame the FDA not the drug companies. And the FDA could have developed a policy on this regardless of what the drug companies did.

Also, I think the FDA response is going to be very risk averse regarding the risk that the change leads to anything bad, while basically ignoring the risks of more people dying due to *not* making the change and less vaccine being distributed less quickly.

curi at 12:54 PM on February 3, 2021 | #19846 | reply | quote

The origin of COVID: Did people or nature open Pandora’s box at Wuhan? (2021-05-05):

> It later turned out that the Lancet letter had been organized and drafted by Peter Daszak, president of the EcoHealth Alliance of New York. Daszak’s organization funded coronavirus research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology. If the SARS2 virus had indeed escaped from research he funded, Daszak would be potentially culpable. This acute conflict of interest was not declared to the Lancet’s readers. To the contrary, the letter concluded, “We declare no competing interests.”

> The Daszak and Andersen letters [stating that SARS2 didn't come from a lab] were really political, not scientific, statements...

>China’s central authorities ... did their utmost to conceal the nature of the tragedy and China’s responsibility for it. They suppressed all records at the Wuhan Institute of Virology and closed down its virus databases. They released a trickle of information, much of which may have been outright false or designed to misdirect and mislead. They did their best to manipulate the WHO’s inquiry into the virus’s origins, and led the commission’s members on a fruitless run-around.

> the National Institutes of Health was supporting gain-of-function [enhancements of viral capabilities] research, of a kind that could have generated the SARS2 virus, in an unsupervised foreign lab that was doing work in BSL2 biosafety conditions.

Anonymous at 9:39 AM on May 7, 2021 | #20533 | reply | quote

#20533 In Feb 2021, the NYT used the lab-origin theory of SARS2 as an example of a conspiracy theory (emphasis added)

> Hoaxes, lies and collective delusions aren’t new, but the extent to which millions of Americans have embraced them may be. Thirty percent of Republicans have a favorable view of QAnon, according to a recent YouGov poll. According to other polls, more than 70 percent of Republicans believe Mr. Trump legitimately won the election, and 40 percent of Americans — including plenty of Democrats — believe *the baseless theory that Covid-19 was manufactured in a Chinese lab*.

Anonymous at 9:44 AM on May 7, 2021 | #20534 | reply | quote

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