COVID-19 Update 2-17-2020

As of this morning’s time hack, world wide there are now 1,770 dead and 71,223 infected by COVID-19. Community spread is underway in Singapore (see chart), Taiwan and Japan. The USA thinks it might be on-going in the USA. Both Japan and the USA refuse to state this, but actions being taken argue otherwise.  Two horrid COVID-19 infection reports from Chinese news sources — the Taiwan News is reporting re-infection with COVID-19 is causing heart failure and South China Morning Post is reporting 34 and 94 day from exposure to infection super spreaders.  Recovered from COVID-19 infection Ontario couple are still testing positive for coronavirus. Finally,  COVID-19 fomit** contamination of Chinese money and survival of corona-virus in high heat & humidity are also in the update.

31 Dec 2019 to 16 Feb 2020 COVID-19 Bar chart
31 Dec 2019 to 16 Feb 2020 COVID-19 Infection Level Bar Chart

Number of COVID-19 Infections outside China as of Feb 16, 2020

Number of COVID-19 Infections outside China as of Feb 16, 2020

Singapore COVID-19 Infection Status 15 Feb 2020
Singapore COVID-19 Infection Status 15 Feb 2020

First — As of Feb 17, there are seven cases in Singapore which appear to have no links to previous cases. This is likely strong evidence of communal spread, but contact tracing is underway.  See:

Second — Taiwan reports 1st death from coronavirus 61 year old ride share service taxi driver in Taiwan dies (he had been to China). The 61-year-old man was living with diabetes and hepatitis B as “co-morbidities” when he died of the virus, according to Taiwan Health Minister Chen Shih-Chun. First got sick Jan 27, hard time to breathe on Feb 3, and then dies on Feb 15…nearly 3 weeks later. Two of his brothers, both ride share service taxi drivers, are now showing symptoms. See:

Third — Japan’s Health Ministry had put out statements over the week end that community spread was not happening in Japan, which reality did not treat kindly, requiring corrections Sunday night.  See:

During a news conference held Sunday evening, officials at the Tokyo Metropolitan Government said that two of the five were male acquaintances of a Tokyo taxi driver who tested positive Thursday after attending a party held Jan. 18 aboard a traditional yakatabune (traditional roofed party boat).

See also:

Avoid crowds over virus, Japan health minister warns
February 16, 2020

Japan’s health minister on Sunday urged the public to avoid crowds and “non-essential gatherings”, including notoriously packed commuter trains, to prevent the new coronavirus from spreading in the country.

Katsunobu Kato warned the nation was “entering a new phase” in the outbreak of the virus, which has infected nearly 60 people in Japan so far.

“We want to ask the public to avoid non-urgent, non-essential gatherings. We want elderly and those with pre-existing conditions to avoid crowded places,” Kato said after a meeting of a panel of experts.


Fourth — SAN FRANCISCO  — “Calling it an ‘early warning system,’ Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar announced Friday that flu patients in San Francisco, Seattle, New York, Los Angeles and Chicago would also undergo testing for the coronavirus.”

The need and use of such an early warning system is an admission that the CDC has not kept SARS-CoV2 (the virus name) out of the USA and COVID-19 infections are very likely spreading inside the USA.


Fifth — Chinese doctors say Wuhan coronavirus reinfection even deadlier. Instead of creating immunity the virus can reportedly reinfect an individual and hasten fatal heart attack.  [Note: Take with a Box of Morton Salt Warning Here.]


Sixth — The Hong Kong based South China Morning Post (SCMP) is warning documented cases of  34 to 94 days from infection to diagnosis COVID-19 super spreaders?!!?. [Note: Take with a Morton Salt Mine Worth of Salt Warning Here.]  See link and text passage below:

Longer incubation periods?
Henan province in central China has reported two coronavirus cases that took much longer to confirm than the previously estimated incubation period of up to 14 days. Incubation is the time between exposure to the virus and beginning to show symptoms.


The government of Xinxian county, in the city of Xinyang, on Sunday reported that one of its new cases had been confirmed 34 days after the patient returned from a mid-January visit to Wuhan. He had been sent to hospital with suspected symptoms on January 28, but twice tested negative before testing positive on February 16. A further two people who attended family gatherings with the man in Xinxian were reported as infected, while three were suspected cases or under hospital quarantine.


The county government announced it would extend the home quarantine period from 14 to 21 days for residents who had been to Hubei or had contact with people who had been there.


It also reported a case that was confirmed 94 days after the patient’s contact with a relative from Hubei. The patient had taken care of his father-in-law, who arrived from Wuhan on November 13 and died days later. The son-in-law continued to stay in the father-in-law’s house until January 31. However, the government statement said the origin of the son-in-law’s infection had yet to be identified

The implication of a longer than 14 day incubation period for SARS-CoV2/COVID-19 super spreaders mean that the CDC has botched the quarantine of American China Travelers and the Cruise Ship evacuees.  And that the CDC actually infected America with it’s 14-day infection policy guidelines.

Given that local Chinese governments are now at 21 days.  Expect much finger pointing very soon as post-quarantine  American China Travelers and the Cruise Ship evacuees start community infections across the USA.

Seventh –Ontario’s first two cases of the new coronavirus — a husband and wife — have recovered but remain in isolation at their home because tests still show them carrying the bug, authorities say. Nose and throat swabs taken since the man was released from Sunnybrook hospital two weeks ago continue to show traces of coronavirus in both him and his wife, who was never hospitalized.


The above is extremely bad news as far as the ability to reopen schools and factories with COVID-19 recovered and the COVID-19 un-infected.

Seventh — There are contradicting reports over whether the Chinese are cleaning or destroying bank note contaminated with human fomites (mucus, tears, sweat, spit, urine or feces) carrying the SARS-CoV2 virus, which remain infectious for up to nine days.  See the following:

China is literally cleaning its money to stop the spread of coronavirus
February 15, 2020

Chinese bank to destroy cash in areas hit by coronavirus
February 16, 2020

The implications of COVID-19 spread by money is mind-boggling for the USA’s Urban illicit drug culture and as a mode of COVID-19 transmission into the 3rd World.

For some years the Federal Reserve has been utterly vexed that of all the cash it prints,  only a small percentage ever comes back for proper destruction.  The implication that most American cash printed for the US economy winds up as local and over seas’ stores of value against police or other government actions means that when the COVID-19 infection reaches the USA.  Those contaminated bills leaving the USA will infect the whole illicit drug chain as people get infected by the bills will keep renewing the infectivity of the bills as the circulate.

Eighth  — The meme that seems to have come from the CDC that summer heat will slow/stop the spread of the SARS-CoV2 virus and subsequent COVID-19 infections appears to be horridly wrong.  See this non-peer reviewed paper [Grain of Salt Warning applies] —

The Role of Absolute Humidity on Transmission Rates of the COVID-19 Outbreak


Sustained transmission and rapid (exponential) growth of cases are possible over a range of humidity conditions ranging from cold and dry provinces in China, such as Jilin and Heilongjiang, to tropical locations, such as Guangxi and Singapore. Our results suggest that changes in weather alone (i.e., increase of temperature and humidity as spring and summer months arrive in the North Hemisphere) will not necessarily lead to declines in case counts without the implementation of extensive public health interventions. Further studies on the effects of absolute humidity and temperature on COVID-19 transmission are needed.”




My Daily Tracking Notes:

Good Daily COVID-19 Case Tracking links —

Videos that you can use:

You Can Catch The Coronavirus More Than Once, And The 2nd Time May Be Deadlier
Premiered Feb 14, 2020

New Blood Plasma Treatment Offers Hope For Those Infected With The Coronavirus
Premiered Feb 15, 2020

How Coronavirus Kills: Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS) & Treatment
Jan 28, 2020 How Coronavirus causes fatalities from acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) by pulmonologist Dr. Seheult of

Coronavirus Epidemic Update 17: Spike in Confirmed Cases, Fighting Infections with Sleep (COVID-19) Feb 13, 2020

Coronavirus Epidemic Update 18: Cellphone Tracking, Increase in Hospitalizations, More Sleep Tips
Feb 14, 2020
Coronavirus epidemic update 18 by pulmonologist & sleep specialist Dr. Seheult of

Coronavirus Epidemic Update 19: Treatment and Medication Clinical Trials
Feb 17, 2020

23 thoughts on “COVID-19 Update 2-17-2020”

  1. Here’s the tail end of the thread from the guy who is either clairvoyant, or figured out the simple quadratic model the the CCP is using the calculate the official disease statistics:

    You also forgot to mention that the Tokyo Marathon was cancelled.

    I don’t know what the point of Japan telling people to “avoid crowds” is. Haha. Come on. Either start emergency mandatory quarantines for the entire county, or concede you can’t do that, and put every possible resource you have into hardening up the medical system, and the communications system needed to keep people from panicking.

  2. What I want to know is what OTC meds should I get to handle the symptoms?

    I have Imodium, what else do I need?

  3. “there are now 1,770 dead”

    There is room for doubt about when the virus got going, but let’s conservatively assume it has been significant only over the last 30 days. Since more than 150,000 human beings die every day, that gives total global deaths in the last month at 4,500,000. Coronavirus deaths amount to 0.04% of human deaths over the period, or a level of about 400 deaths per million deaths.

    Coincidentally, that is comparable to the number of parts per million of CO2 in the atmosphere, which the Usual Suspects say is much more dangerous than any virus.

    Just for comparison, over 3,000 human beings die each day in traffic accidents worldwide, which would mean about 90,000 people died in traffic accidents in the last month. Yet we do not shut down all road traffic.

    The reaction to the virus seems disproportionate. Maybe humans are driven by the fear of what we cannot see, whether it is a virus or nuclear radiation? Or (putting on the tinfoil hat) maybe unscrupulous people play on that fear?

  4. Gavin: No one believes there are only 1770 dead. All the points about why this is basically nothing to overreact about are completely convincing. So why has China been absolutely freaking out since day one?

  5. Brian: “So why has China been absolutely freaking out since day one?”

    Excellent question! Only time will give us an answer. My speculations, in descending order of plausibility:

    1. China’s rulers were stung by international criticism that they responded too slowly to the prior SARS outbreak, and so this time got themselves stuck in over-reaction mode.

    2. In good Leftist “Never let a crisis go to waste mode”, China’s rulers are using this genuine but mild threat to eliminate potential dissidents under the guise of premature virus deaths.

    3. It is a well-planned disguised act of economic warfare, intended to bring down President Trump and make the Europeans fall into line (Never a difficult task!) by demonstrating how dependent the rest of the world is on China for manufactured goods and triggering a Western financial cataclysm. Of course, any form of warfare is expensive in lives and treasure. But shutting down production is a whole lot cheaper and less risky for China than, say, invading Taiwan.

    4. The virus genuinely is dangerous, capable of causing a global pandemic and massive numbers of premature deaths.

  6. I find #4 the only plausible candidate, and it has to include their having good reason to think so after only (officially) a couple dozen deaths, as in my model from the other thread.

  7. Time will tell! If #4 is the explanation, would it not be reasonable for China’s rulers to be fully reporting, or even exaggerating, the number of deaths?

    Remember the importance of “face” in Chinese culture. China’s rulers certainly don’t want whining Europeans or EU officials to be complaining at international meetings that they did not act fast enough, just like the last time with SARS. Hence, my guess at probabilities (Bayesian prior probabilities, as the nerds would say) is:
    #1 – 60%
    #2 – 20%
    #3 – 15%
    #4 – 5%

  8. #4 is correct, the question is the magnitude of the danger of it becoming global and persistent. It seems to tick all the boxes that indicate it could turn into something very nasty. I haven’t heard anything much about why SARS and MERS just seemed to peter out besides originating in very crowded conditions. This doesn’t preclude any of the other three being true as well.

    The question that the politicians should be asking but won’t is: What needed to be done to actually be able to produce vaccines in real time instead of the ridiculously slow and cumbersome method used now? I remember an episode of Dobie Gillis from the 50’s that revolved around the use of chicken embryos to produce vaccine. There are continual stories about new faster methods but that’s all.

  9. Theories 1 through 3 each require some hidden motivation, some conspiracy. Theory 4 says the ChiComs were acting scared and desperate because they WERE scared and desperate. Period.
    To get conspiratorial now, I’m not convinced that the leaders of the global system would reveal the truth if this was a man-made virus. It would cause world wide revolution and completely destroy the international order.

  10. Another point:
    I’ve read other reports that there aren’t enough people at the ports to service the ships or enough truck drivers to haul the goods, either coming or going.

    What’s happening to China is so incredibly damaging, I can’t believe that it is some Chinese plot against the West. It’s hard to imagine anything we could do short of a nuclear attack that would be worse.

    There are others that look on the prospects of mass death in the developed world with relish. Whether any are capable of this or not, they certainly wouldn’t be deterred by moral qualms. I still think the most likely cause is incompetence.

    The CCP seems to be fighting the epidemic with lawyers and play acting.

  11. The Diamond Princess story is so weird. It was an absolutely crazy idea not to separate the sick from the healthy, and get them all off that ship, into more controllable environments. Now they say 15% have the disease (and not everyone has been tested, so it’s presumably higher?), but I have not seen anything to break down what that means as far as the severity of their cases. I don’t think it’s at all likely that this was some experiment, but you wouldn’t have done anything different if you were running one.
    Last week people were saying things like maybe 60% of people will get the virus, but only 20% will get the disease, etc. The cruise ship stats show that that combination isn’t right–either more people will get infected, and/or more will get the disease. Which is bad news for the world, since with the above inputs the current death numbers (which it would be insanity to believe, but we still have to desperately hope are much lower for non-Chinese people) predict ~13 million dead. So we really need to knock it off with the “this is not as bad as the flu” nonsense.

  12. I don’t put a lot of significance in the statistics that don’t show any children. I don’t think many foriegn children make it to Wuhan. I have no doubt that the fact that they are absent from the government figures is bad news.

    The Diamond Princess was at least at a developed country with decent hospitals for those that were taken ashore. Maybe they will rename it the Petri Dish. The Japanese government’s handling was perfectly aligned with the other Asian governments, craven cowardice. The Westerdam had been turned away from five other ports including Guam before Cambodia agreed to let them land and scatter to the four winds. Not that Cambodia likely had hospital facilities up to the task.

  13. Re the Diamond Princess — a recurring problem in statistics is getting a representative sample. Generally, the people who choose to go on cruise ships tend to be older and to be more likely to have pre-existing medical conditions than the general population, i.e. these are people who are more susceptible to catching a disease.

    The interesting data point would be to compare the infection & mortality rates among the passengers with those of the crew (presumably younger & healthier). If anyone has seen that kind of information, please share.

  14. Brian: “To get conspiratorial now, I’m not convinced that the leaders of the global system would reveal the truth if this was a man-made virus. It would cause world wide revolution and completely destroy the international order.”

    At this point, anything is possible. However, it is hard to imagine the folks in my County getting revolutionary because of lies about a man-made virus on the other side of the world; after all, they (we) meekly lay down and took it when local politicians really got in our faces by banning plastic bags in grocery stores.

    Putting on my own conspiratorial hat, a more likely scenario is that the small number of activists amongst us could seize on the virus as a good reason for pushing “localization” to the top of the agenda. After all, the “Climate Change” scam is getting long in the tooth and the widening gap between AlGore’s predictions and reality is becoming harder to ignore. The activists need a newer, more credible reason to keep us all in a subjugated state of fear. From an activist’s point of view, the fear of a viral explosion would be a great excuse for cutting much air travel, fighting WalMart, and sending everyone to the local farmers’ market.

  15. There is speculation now that the virus was being studied at the biowaepons center to study how bats avoid illness with these viruses and it got away from the lab.

    Bats have long lifespans and host numerous viruses, such as the Ebola virus and the severe respiratory syndrome (SARS) coronavirus, that are extremely harmful when they infect humans and other animals. How bats themselves appear relatively unaffected by their virus burden has been a mystery. In the present study, researchers at Duke-National University of Singapore (NUS) Medical School and colleagues found that bats can harbor infections without suffering pathological effects due to their ability to limit inflammation. In humans, while the inflammatory response helps fight infection when properly controlled, it has also been shown to contribute to the damage caused by infectious diseases. In contrast, bats do not react to infection with the typical inflammatory response that often leads to pathological damage. This is because NLRP3—the inflammation sensor that normally triggers the body’s response to fight off stress and infection—barely reacts in bats compared to humans and mice, even in the presence of high viral loads. Read more from Asian Scientist Magazine at:

    These labs are supposed to be high security but Chinese tend to be messy. Much coughing and spitting in public, etc.

    It was embarrassing, something the Chinese don’t do well at. It was embarrassing because it meant that the Chines couldn’t run a safe BSL-4 facility (we have 15 of them, and don’t have this problem), and possibly that they were experimenting in bioengineering viruses for military use (it appears that the PLA has taken over the lab – but that may be just to clean up the mess).

  16. well there are at least two understandable reasons that they downgraded the Wuhan contagion, it was a major industrial hub, and a rail hub, also the seventh most populous city in china, then you have this research institute, if there had been an outbreak near ft. dietrich or plum island would we be so credulous,

  17. “we have 15 of them, and don’t have this problem” should read: We have 15 of them, and haven’t had this problem yet. At least that we know of. Several close calls, shipments misplaced/misdirected, improper shipments, lost/mislabeled material, I could go on and on. The government and universities that run them have such a good record, none us of need to give it a second thought.

    Whoever sent the anthrax after 9/11 is probably still around and looking on avidly.

  18. Whoever sent the anthrax after 9/11 is probably still around and looking on avidly.

    I think those were the people behind 9/11. Maybe not the guys who flew the planes but the same organization. The FBI, of course, completely wrecked the investigation.

  19. An interesting summary of a review of 72,000 coronavirus cases — Chinese study, of course.

    There are the necessary provisos that no-one trusts Chinese numbers, and also there probably are a lot of additional mild cases which were never identified as virus-related. Nevertheless, the review found that 4 out of 5 identified cases were mild. Only 1 case in 20 is critical. Unsurprisingly, death rate is highest for those with pre-existing health conditions or over 80 – 14.8%. Among people under 50 years old, only 1 in 200 of those infected died. Curiously, no children under the age of 9 have died. If this virus was deliberately created as a military weapon, it would have to be judged a failure.

    It will be informative to see how China’s rulers react to the study. If the results are accepted, then the logical course of action would be to lift most restrictions and get people back to work with only mild preventive measures, such as wearing masks in busy places. Encourage people over 80 to take additional precautions to avoid infection, but that should be easier since most of them are less active and less likely to be exposed. If the rulers’ reactions are different, that might tell us something.

  20. Looks like an analysis of basically the complete set of official victims in China. So, yes, it’s worthless because it has no bearing on reality.

    Someone tell Russia, who just today banned all Chinese from entering Russia, that it’s no big deal and they can go about their business…The odd thing is that they say they have only 2 coronavirus victims in the country, both Chinese, who have completely recovered. Does that make any sense, that given that situation they are tightening up their restrictions on Chinese entry? Hmm…

  21. One consideration in evaluating Chinese outcomes is the fact that they have gone to using CT scans of the chest for diagnosis so all cases of pneumonia, not just the corona virus cases, are being included.

  22. I’m trying to get the paper in the “Mirror” link, it’s very slow and tends to garble the figures:

    From what I can read, there are about 44,000 cases confirmed by detecting the nucleic acid of the virus from throat swabs. This includes the cases that they label as asymptomatic which seem to be a fairly small number. (part of the paper I can’t get to download) They show the first confirmed case on Dec. 8. The statistics on mortality seem to be based on the confirmed cases with about 80% of deaths from ages 60+, not the best news I heard today.

    I can’t vouch for the numbers but they claim to be direct from the individual official records with identifiers removed rather than summaries or aggregates. At least it beats being filtered through a reporter that likely can’t count above ten with his shoes on. The authors are all named, so they have their credibility on the line.

    At some point a test for the antibodies will be developed that can be used to test a wide sample of the population to see how many were really exposed that may have never known it.

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