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  • COVID-19/SARS-CoV2 Update 2-23-2020 — When the “New Versailles Class” Meets Reality Without Privilege

    Posted by Trent Telenko on February 23rd, 2020 (All posts by )

    The themes of this update will be on issues of COVID-19 spread, testing, public health institutional credibility, some e-mails evaluating the CDC and our elites, and my personal analysis of same after the top line infection numbers and headlines.

    The SARS-CoV2 virus and it’s COVID-19 virgin fields infection seems to have a top line R(0) of between three and 6.7 — that is one person infects near seven people on average — because there are repeated “super spreader” events where one person slimed an institution with a lot of close contact and then the fomite contamination of that institutional setting causes everyone present to get the disease. Examples thus far include the Diamond Princess Cruise ship, a pair of prisons in China, and multiple hospitals in China and now South Korea. The rate of growth of the COVID-19 pandemic is such that we will be fighting it on a very large scale in a few weeks (no more than 10) in every nation world wide with the public and private medical institutions, societal resources, and people we have right now, with all their flaws. And not what we wish they were, but will never have. There simply isn’t going to be time and energy for blame games when issues of daily survival break upon us all.

    Top line, there are currently 78,986 confirmed COVID-19 cases worldwide, including 2,468 fatalities as of 23 February 2020 at 11:52 a.m. ET on the BNO News corona virus traking site (https://bnonews.com/index.php/2020/02/the-latest-coronavirus-cases/) China, Taiwan Hong Kong, Japan, Thailand, Singapore, Italy, and Iran all appear to have local, or endemic, spread of the disease. See multiple charts attached and headline summary

    Bar Chart of World COVID-19 Infections as of 23 Feb 2020

    Bar Chart of World COVID-19 Infections as of 23 Feb 2020

    Bar Chart of World Qide COVID-19 Infections Without China and the Diamond Princess Cruise Liner

    Bar Chart of World Wide COVID-19 Infections Without China and the Diamond Princess Cruise Liner

    World Headline Summary:

    o Italy confirms 3rd death and cancels last 2 days of carnivale in Venice as cases soar above 100
    o 4 more cases confirmed in UK
    o 200 Israelis quarantined
    o Japan confirms more cases
    o Japanese Emperor expresses hope for Tokyo Games (fat chance)
    o ROK Gov’t total cases above 600
    o Trump says US has everything ‘under control’ as he asks Congress for more money (I call B.S. below)
    o EU’s Gentiloni says he has ‘full confidence’ In Italian health officials
    o Turkey, Pakistan close borders with Iran as confirmed cases soar
    o Global Times (Chinese Gov’t news source) says virus may not have originated at Hunan seafood market
    o Axios reports shortages of 150 essential drugs likely. (Most source in China)

    Inside China, the newly built or newly converted so-called hospitals in Wuhan and elsewhere appear to be more hospice-prisons to create a disease-resistant work force than a place of treatment. This is both bloody-minded and it fits the “There are always more Chinese where they came from” mind set of ruling Chinese dynasties going back thousands of years.

    The problem for executing this strategy is that China is big. Areas that local Chinese Communist Party cadre say are “burnt out” via the hospice-prisons are going to get re-infected by travelers from areas where that is not true, because the local party leaders lied on their hospice-prison metrics. Thus restarting the hospice-prison quarantine process with a resultant wide-spread absenteeism. We are looking at six to nine months of this at least based on the epidemic history of the 1918 Spanish Influenza and the 1.4 billion person Chinese population.

    Iran appears to have become a beachhead epidemic for the Middle East as travelers from there have turned up Canada, Lebanon and the UAE. “Rumor control” has it that the epidemic is much worse than the official reports. How bad will not be knowable for some time, if ever.

    Outside China, the most concerning epidemic growth appears to be South Korea AKA the Republic of Korea (ROK), as in three days they doubled from 50 cases, to 100 cases, to 200 cases to 400(+) cases and are now over 550(+). (See the chart) Two super spreader events with a christian mega-church and a psychiatric hospital have supercharged the spread of the disease there. More than 1,250 members of the sect, the Shincheonji Church of Jesus, have reported potential symptoms, and officials are still trying to locate 700 members so they can be screened.

    Additionally, local ROK media reports the Daenam Hospital in Cheongdo hospital’s mental health division hosted a funeral for the brother of the Shincheonji’s leader earlier this month and now almost all patients at its psychiatric ward the hospital are now testing positive for the corona-virus. Some report’s I’ve read say the two clusters account for almost 80% of the confirmed cases.

    Bar and Line chart of COVID-19 Infections in the Republic of Korea (ROK)

    Bar and Trend Line Chart of COVID-19 Infections in the Republic of Korea (ROK)

    To deal with this spread, the ROK government public health system is capable of 10,000 COVID-19 tests a day with a six-hour turn around. The price for this level of testing has been accepting a test with a high level of false negatives and having to retest again and again. This contrasts with the American CDC test which had done 414 such tests in a month.

    Why that is comes down to the issue of institutional and national culture. The current test kits being distributed by CDC use a technology (Real-Time Reverse Transcriptase (RT)-PCR) that exists in very few laboratories and almost no hospitals. It is designed for a specific piece of equipment, and the CDC won’t even send out kits to hospitals or labs that are not properly equipped.

    From the (CDC) horses mouth:

    “CDC’s test kit is intended for use by laboratories designated by CDC as qualified, and in the United States, certified under the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA) to perform high complexity tests. The test kits also will be shipped to qualified international laboratories, such as World Health Organization (WHO) Global Influenza Surveillance Response System (GISRS) laboratories. The test will not be available in U.S. hospitals or other primary care settings. The kits will be distributed through the International Reagent Resource external icon (IRR)” (See also https://www.internationalreagentresource.org/ and https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/testing.html)

    Why the CDC went that route rather than one more suited to our medical infrastructure reflects the CDC as an institution and the incentives our national policy makers have placed on it for going on 60 years. The first and foremost issue is the CDC’s intense desire to control the test results. Next, there are issues of medical liability that drive the US medical system to the best possible regardless of cost to demonstrate to a future legal trial that you can’t reasonably blame anyone involved with developing the test. Finally, there is the bureaucratic kudzu of Federal government procurement that means anything a Federal bureaucracy does involves sending work to preferred vendors even for fast breaking epidemics. The bottom line is SARS-CoV2 virus and it’s COVID-19 are moving faster than Federal bureaucracy can act.

    It appears that globally, everyone’s tests for corona-virus simply suck. The Chinese one is apparently 25% effective according to some sources. However, unlike the CDC; everyone else is simply accepting that as OK; because something is better than nothing.

    The CDC simple cannot do that for reason of institutional culture and American political-legal incentives.

    The CDC is all about information control to keep the economy going and not the health of the infected or of healthcare workers. Watching the 2014 Ebola outbreak at Texas Heath Presbyterian — across the street from my children’s pediatric medical practice — educated me to those facts. That is exactly what the open borders elites running the Federal government have demanded of it since the early 1960’s and that is what it does. Expecting a bureaucratic Federal government institution with those incentives over almost 60 years to be different in a crisis is irrational. You have to replace those open borders elites and have their replacements replace the CDC to get different results. I don’t expect to see it because of the money involved with open borders and cheap immigrant labor.

    I’ve raged about it in my various e-mail lists, but the fact is that rage is too…’value subtractive’…too waste any effort on.

    You are simply going to have to mark what happened for political action later, after we defeat the SARS-CoV2 virus/COVID-19 infection with a world wide vaccine program.

    I’m going to share three of the e-mails — minus the “serial numbers” — that have lead me there regards the CDC, what it is doing, and what needs to happen later.

    =============
    E-mail 1, 2nd week of Feb 2020

    At one of the Presidential Task Force pressers, they outright came out and admitted that yes, masks do help, but the rationale for saying “masks are ineffective” was to avoid a general run on masks by the general public, in order to protect the mask supply level so that they can be allocated to medical stockpiles for emergency personnel use.

    .

    This… is not a bright idea to do in 2020; with Youtube capability; I could probably find that moment in that Task Force Presser find it; and supercut it and spread it in moments.

    .

    People are gonna remember the CDC saying “masks are ineffective” in the lead up to when it finally breaks out here; and notice that the chocolate ration was increased to 80 grammes.

    .

    They’re not going to buy CDC’s soon to be lame explanation: “weeeell, the virus is x microns in size, while N95 masks only block 0.3 microns.” to be ‘technically correct’; particularly when within a few seconds of googling, I can find this via “flu virus size micron”

    .

    http://www.cidrap.umn.edu/news-perspective/2010/12/study-airborne-particles-coughs-can-carry-flu-viruses

    .

    I could tell CDC/Government this, but a lot of upper level people in government and industry are stuck in 1997-1998; pre-internet mindset where information could be somewhat controlled.

    .

    The same thing is playing out in China; albeit much more deadly and lethal with the CCP’s insistence of quarantine in giant open bay “hospitals” which will act as gigantic petri incubators for the Wuhan Flu, when we have Japanese studies recently released saying that 50% of Wuhan Flu cases are caused by hospital visits (or something like that).

    .

    The CCP is basically using their playbooks for mass disasters such as Earthquakes or fires, in a pandemic disease situation, and it’s going to backfire on them.

    =======

    E-mail 2, 3rd Week of February 2020

    I think they’re trying to do the playbook they tried back in 2003 with SARS and then later with Ebola in 2014.

    .

    Contain Information to avoid spooking the Normies.

    .

    To those who may not know, “normies” was a term that originated in internet subculture initially to refer to people outside their secret club.

    .

    But over time, it morphed to become “normie” as in the person who gets all his news from either FOX News or MSNBC news; he’s the guy who’s constantly clicking on chain emails, falling for Indian telecom scammers, etc.

    .

    Or the guy who wanders into a gun store the day after a democrat ban bill becomes effective and is all upset that he has to jump through hoops — you have to be fingerprinted, wait seven days, etc; since he thought the bill that just passed was only to ban those evil assault weapons (since that’s what the news said).

    .

    Basically, Florida Man — the guy who doesn’t prep if he lives in Florida, but the moment a hurricane comes within 200 miles, all the milk and bread disappear from store shelves.

    .

    The problem with trying not to spook the Normies, is that it’s 2020, not 1999 anymore.

    .

    People can easily access tonnes of news sources now from the comfort of their home and find out all sorts of interesting tidbits,
    like that 45% of the infected on the Plague Princess are asymptomatic.

    .

    By low-balling things, you end up irritating the Bookworms who notice things and put 2+2 together and notice that you’re saying 5 or 6, when it should be 4.

    .

    Additionally, you get a false sense of security that your security theater methods work, when they don’t. You basically don’t learn anything from AARs because you sandbagged everything.

    .

    If nothing happens during an outbreak, the powers that be pat themselves on the back for avoiding “mass panic”, not realizing
    that they’re corroding the trust that Bookworms have in the system.

    .

    This has dire consequences if things really do kick off for real — i.e. we get something similar to Stephen King’s Captain Trips or
    the Simian Flu from the Planet of the Apes reboots.
    ===========

    E-mail 3 — This week end (22-23 Feb 2020)

    Someone on ARFCOM nails it:

    .

    “The biggest single issue is that they’ve blown their credibility at the leadership level.

    .

    It’s been pointed out several times in this thread, but these are the sorts of people who told hospitals it was a good idea to treat Ebola patients wearing half-assed PPE, then cleared one of the nurses to fly commercial after she developed a fever. It’s not a new problem. Some – to be fair, not all or necessarily even most – of these people simply suck at their jobs.

    .

    If it gets to the point where they’re ordering people to do things they don’t want to do, do you think this makes it more or less likely that the public will comply? If people are told they need to be shipped off to some place, or that they’re going to be geographically restricted, how many people are going to trust them to not fuck that up?

    .

    This isn’t the PRC. They can’t just send some guys in raincoats and hospital masks and expect to get their way with a moderate amount of hickory shampoo.

    .

    I don’t think it’ll come to that – we’ll probably see school closures, some hospitals having a lousy time of it, cancelled events, and a relatively low number of people under quarantine or home observation, set to a backdrop of supply chain hindrances.

    .

    Whether or not they suck at pandemic prevention, the powers that be might at least be making the right call in reducing panic.”
    ==========

    So, the CDC is doing one thing right, delaying panic as long as it can so the “Normie Florida Man” does not go out and do a game of “Run, Hide, & Horde” and collapse the economy.

    But it has come at a huge cost.

    The thing about Black Swan events like this COVID-19/SARS-CoV2 pandemic is the medical science means little compared to the issue of government public health credibility. Being on the edges of Cold War FEMA’s large volunteer nuclear warfare civil defense community, and having a very deep look at Western and Asian societies under strategic bombardment in WW2, has educated me to the fact that government credibility is a weapon of immense price.

    The “New Versailles class” as one of my fellow bloggers [“Sgt. Mom” on the Chicagoboyz blog] calls current Western elites are that they are innumerate, arrogant and ignorant of anything outside their scope of narrow political intrigue of the various National/Trans-National Progressive “Court’s” (to include multi-national corporations) they inhabit.

    The F-35 fighter program is a very good example of the problem.

    Add in the fear, uncertainty and doubt of a virgin fields pandemic to their innumeracy, arrogance and ignorance and they are going to fail.

    The “New Versailles class” have already thrown away the institutional credibility of the WHO internationally and the CDC here in the States. See the January 2020 airline worker unions world wide strike threats versus the WHO and CDC regards flying to China.

    Understand that after dealing with the WHO, the CDC, and the various airline corporation management with SARS (2003) and MERS (2009) epidemics. The airline worker unions acted in January 2020 to protect the jobs of their members because they know the Dilbert style pointy haired corporate airline managers won’t pay for masks for every passenger and disposable vinyl seat covers on every airline seat and floor to prevent permanent contamination of the airliner’s seats and rugs from the mucus, vomit and fecal matter of those carrying COVID-19/SARS-CoV2. The airline unions knew if the general public believes all airliners are COVID-19/SARS-CoV2 infection tubes with them as test tube subjects. They will not fly.

    It is now too late to save those airline jobs for COVID-19/SARS-CoV2. An acquaintance of mine e-mailed this to me Saturday on that score —

    “I know people in international contractor management.
    Nobody is willing to travel in the Old World. Nobody.
    Americas okay for now. Not Eurasia Africa Africa etc.”

    That sort of analysis does not matter to the “New Versailles class.” None of them lost their jobs to SARS/MERS that the airline unions did. For the “New Versailles class,” it is always about them.

    Their problem with COVID-19/SARS-CoV2 is there is no “Lambs blood” the “New Versailles class” can place above their doors to get them spared epidemic that is coming. George Soros is absolutely equal in his chances of dying in an intensive care unit as an 80 year old Chinese Communist Party boss in Wuhan…that is a 67% chance of dying.

    [See: Clinical course and outcomes of critically ill patients withSARS-CoV-2 pneumonia in Wuhan, China: a single-centered,retrospective, observational study” Published online February 21, 2020, https://doi.org/10.1016/S2213-2600(20)30079-5]

    And when the pandemic hits -THEM-, they are all going to be chickens with their collective heads cut off.

    If all of that makes you mad — like it did me — BREATH.

    These people are who they are. You have too many other important things to plan, prepare and do for the pandemic.

    We are in the part of the roller-coaster ride where the click, click, click, stops and the silent pull of gravity acts on the cars to accelerate them down the tracks.

    It’s all about preparation now. Accept that and move on. Keep a little black book. Update it in the slow periods in self-quarantine later, but prepare, prepare, prepare right now.

     

    42 Responses to “COVID-19/SARS-CoV2 Update 2-23-2020 — When the “New Versailles Class” Meets Reality Without Privilege”

    1. Anonymous Says:

      I’d like a discussion of the effective preparation actions that we might individually take. With some sort of priority. Standard disaster prep, got it. Specific to this threat?

      Death6

    2. Brian Says:

      Death6:
      read this that I posted yesterday:
      https://virologydownunder.com/past-time-to-tell-the-public-it-will-probably-go-pandemic-and-we-should-all-prepare-now/

    3. Sgt. Mom Says:

      I think that the frightening thing is that it seems (from various reports) that people who are infected, yet show no symptoms for weeks – can pass it on without showing no signs of illness themselves. Talk about Typhoid Mary, multiplied a hundred times…
      And how deadly is this version of flu, actually? Is it no worse than the usual current crud? How threatening to kids, to mature workers, to people with underlying conditions which might make them especially vulnerable? I have a mother who is a quadriplegic, in home care with family in a community on the West Coast?
      All these unanswered questions at this point.
      But having a couple of weeks worth of groceries and no need to leave home for a while might be a very sensible thing to plan for.

    4. Tom Holsinger Says:

      Symptomless coronavirus infection confirmation:

      https://www.reuters.com/article/us-china-health-study-idUSKBN20G00J

      (Reuters) – A 20-year-old Chinese woman from Wuhan, the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak, traveled 400 miles(675 km) north to Anyang where she infected five relatives, without ever showing signs of infection, Chinese scientists reported on Friday, offering new evidence that the virus can be spread asymptomatically.

      The case study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, offered clues about how the coronavirus is spreading, and suggested why it may be difficult to stop.

      “Scientists have been asking if you can have this infection and not be ill? The answer is apparently, yes,” said Dr. William Schaffner, an infectious disease expert at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, who was not involved in the study.

      China has reported a total of 75,567 cases of the virus known as COVID-19 to the World Health Organization (WHO) including 2,239 deaths, and the virus has already spread to 26 countries and territories outside of mainland China.

      Researchers have reported sporadic accounts of individuals without any symptoms spreading the virus. What’s different in this study is that it offers a natural lab experiment of sorts, Schaffner said.

      “You had this patient from Wuhan where the virus is, traveling to where the virus wasn’t. She remained asymptomatic and infected a bunch of family members and you had a group of physicians who immediately seized on the moment and tested everyone.”

      According to the report by Dr. Meiyun Wang of the People’s Hospital of Zhengzhou University and colleagues, the woman traveled from Wuhan to Anyang on Jan. 10 and visited several relatives. When they started getting sick, doctors isolated the woman and tested her for coronavirus. Initially, the young woman tested negative for the virus, but a follow-up test was positive.

      All five of her relatives developed COVID-19 pneumonia, but as of Feb. 11, the young woman still had not developed any symptoms, her chest CT remained normal and she had no fever, stomach or respiratory symptoms, such as cough or sore throat.

      Scientists in the study said if the findings are replicated, “the prevention of COVID-19 infection could prove challenging.”

      Key questions now, Schaffner said, are how often does this kind of transmission occur and when during the asymptomatic period does a person test positive for the virus.”

    5. Tom Holsinger Says:

      Sgt. Mom:

      Here’s my tentative opinion on what is coming to the US, reposted from an Instapundit thread:

      “I agree with the estimate that CoVid-19 will be comparable to the 1918 “Spanish” Flu in scale and lethality. 1/3 of the US population contracted it then, and 2% of those died.

      That means @ 110 million Americans will contract CoVid-19. Statistics to date” [Chinese] “indicate 20% will require hospitalization” [i.e., 80% won’t]“, which is 22 million, though not all at once. Those will be spread out over however long the epidemic lasts. There will be pulses hitting various geographic areas, and pulses recurred in 1918. That’s where the US medical system will be overwhelmed.

      And statistics to dateshow 5% of those infected (25% of those needing hospitalization) will be critical cases requiring ventilation, oxygen, etc. That’s 5.5 MILLION people. The US medical system can’t possibly cope with that.

      This makes the 2% fatality rate to date entirely credible. 40% of the critical care victims will die.

      A last cheery thought. Our system of private medical insurance can’t possibly cope either. It’s just a means of equalizing risk. When everyone is at risk and 30% plus are victims, private medical insurance companies will go bankrupt.

      Only a federal single-payer system can work once this epidemic gets going, one which replaces all privately paid insurance, and we’ll be stuck with it afterwards.

      This is actually something Congress should be preparing now.”

    6. MCS Says:

      When/if this breaks out here, the strategy needs to change from control to mitigation. However many that are seriously affected, will need the 80% that aren’t to take care of them. Shutting down the whole country won’t be something we can afford. We’ll just have to take our chances and go on. If you can keep your head down, I expect it would have to be for more than a couple of weeks to do any good.

    7. Occasional Commenter Says:

      OK, I’ll start. I live in Alabama. Today, I went to a number of pharmacies to stock up on what I think might be the basic stock of medicines to get by:

      – Sudafed (the good stuff behind the pharmacy counter, that you have to sign for because of the meth heads. Limit: 1 box of 18 pills per month)
      – Some OTC version of Sudafed, just in case the good stuff runs out (better than nothing?)
      – Big bottles of Dayquil and Nyquil
      – Mucinex (It really works to clear chest congestion)
      – A big bottle of aspirin
      – Afrin nasal decongestant spray
      – Several boxes of Kleenex (I found some new version that claims to be “anti-viral”. Don’t know if it works, but what the heck)

      I already have a box of nitrile gloves.

      Nobody has face masks. I got the last box of surgical-type masks at my Wahlgreens. Not annotated as to whether N95; probably not. Made in China. The CVS manager seemed puzzled by his empty shelves.

      I asked my Primary Spousal Unit what she’d be willing to eat cold, out of a can. She said “maybe fruit cocktail” (she’s adverse to most meat). Me, I’d eat corned beef hash or Spam, but then I literally have no taste buds. So I bought a few samples of stuff; we need to have a serious discussion, as she doesn’t think it’ll get that bad. Me, I’m pessimistic; if things go bad, I’m not surprised. If things go well, then OK.

      I already have a bunch of ammo.

      One tricky question: what’s a “reasonable” time span to plan for food stocks? Three weeks? Three months?

    8. Tom Holsinger Says:

      MCS,

      That’s where the “pulses” of infections come in. Some “major metropolitan” areas can have only minor outbreaks while the next closest one has a major outbreak. A month later their situations are reversed. Plus pulses can recur, months later, in areas that already suffered one.

      That’s what Trent was talking about concerning the Chinese government – they want everyone out of their apartments in quarantined areas and into these tent “cities” aka “hospice-prisons”. The Chinese government wants to avoid these pulses by exposing everyone in quarantined areas to CoVid-19 at once, and get the disease over with in those areas so people stay at work once the first (and hopefully ONLY) quarantine in their area ends. And they’ll stage quarantines in one major area after another, in turns, until almost all Chinese urban residents are exposed to enough CoVid-19 to come down with it and survive, come down with and die, or never contract it at all. Tough for the 2% who die – that will be only 14 million Chinese if half their population contracts CoVid-19. “There are plenty more where those came from”.

      We can’t do that so hiding out at home for one month may not be effective.

      This pandemic won’t end until an effective vaccine for CoVid-19 is developed and most Americans are innoculated with it. That is not likely for at least 18 months, and more likely several years.

      BTW, the CDC, WHO and the media really don’t want to talk about CoVid-19 reinfecting people who already survived it. That is the most convincing evidence to date that it was developed as a proto-type bioweapon in a Chinese lab. See:

      https://www.taiwannews.com.tw/en/news/3876197

      https://www.upi.com/Top_News/World-News/2020/02/21/COVID-19-reinfection-cases-on-the-rise-in-China/4291582219521/

    9. MCS Says:

      Lost me again: A bio-weapon with no cure, no immunity isn’t a weapon, it’s suicide. As I’ve said, the world is infested with groups that wouldn’t care, the CCP isn’t one of them.

    10. Brian Says:

      “One tricky question: what’s a “reasonable” time span to plan for food stocks? Three weeks? Three months?”

      If you need food for three months then society has basically collapsed, and all your planning will be pointless.

      Wuhan has been in ever increasing lockdown for a month. It’s been unclear to me since the beginning how people are getting food, or when/if things will start to get back to anything like normal. I’d say you should have 2-4 weeks, that’s a reasonable amount and shouldn’t be a burden.

    11. Tom Holsinger Says:

      MCS, you apparently missed the caveat, “prototype“. Weapons development is a process, not an event. For the past century, each and every type of military weapon actually produced has gone through a prototype stage.

      Plus you do not understand how weird the Chinese Communist system is. It’s very similar to the 18th century French “Court of Versailles “. Watch the 1988 film, “Dangerous Liasons”. Local potentates compete with each other in every possible way, and that includes socially for prestige. Security is much less of an issue in that regard.

      Low-end staff in secret organizations (such as labs) are not vetted for security because they are deemed scum and beneath notice. This particularly goes for those who dispose of waste materials, and that goes even for hazardous waste.

      If CoVid-19 was bio-engineered in weapons lab, or just an ordinary research lab, it is almost certain that it was released when one or more personnel were ordered to dispose of an infected lab animal(s) and sold it to the local exotic animal meat market. It may even have been alive at the time and butchered in the market – Chinese like their meat as fresh as possible.

    12. Tom Holsinger Says:

      Brian, think in terms of multiple 4-5 week periods, due to periodic pulses of the epidemic rolling through your area, not a single long one.

      Plus the Chinese government delivers groceries and health/sanitation items to people quarantined in apartments, etc. I’ve seen video of that. Deliveries seem to be once or twice a week. People quarantined in the new “hospice-prisons” are almost certainly fed twice a day en masse in mess halls.

    13. Tom Holsinger Says:

      If CoVid-19 becomes a global pandemic, the pandemic will likely last for at least a year, and possibly years. Holing up to survive simply won’t be possible. Pulses in given areas will likely last for several months, not weeks, unless burned out rapidly by the Chinese-style creation of concentration camps to make certain everyone in a given area gets it fast.

      By all means do what you can, such as getting 90-day prescriptions for critical medications. Just realize that it will only work once. Diabetics should start crash weight-loss programs. Getting into shape ASAP is a good idea.

      But don’t pretend that survivalist-style preparations can save you and yours from this thing. Survival will be for groups. Any individual can die. Those under 40 should be fine. Those over 50 won’t be, and particularly those over 70 with health problems.

    14. Gavin Longmuir Says:

      I was honestly surprised to see the figures for this 2019/2020 flu season in the US — 29 Million infected, 280,000 hospitalized, 16,000 dead. And yet that has been almost below the radar — less newsworthy than the latest Meghan/Harry whatever. Let’s take that as a baseline, and keep a sense of proportion about this new virus.

      Elderly people and those with pre-existing conditions need to be very careful. For the rest of us, take some comfort in the knowledge that 4 out of 5 people exposed to the virus do not catch the disease, and 4 out of 5 of those who do catch the disease have no or only mild symptoms. We are not all going to die from this virus!

      Behave sensibly — avoid crowds, pay particular attention to hygiene, and don’t give way to unwarranted fears. The big problems are probably going to be related to supply chain interruptions rather than health impacts. The impacts of those interruptions are likely to pop up in surprising ways, so stay flexible and be prepared to make quick adjustments.

    15. Occasional Commenter Says:

      Gavin: “The big problems are probably going to be related to supply chain interruptions rather than health impacts.

      My major concern is restocking grocery stores. If that starts to falter, especially in urban areas, I think people will start to panic. And if they panic, they will strip the shelves. I just want to stock enough food to gloss over minor resupply hiccups. I’ll probably keep hitting the grocery store as usual, but I expect to see some bare spaces on some of the shelves. As someone pointed out on another site, a lot of the plastic containers for a wide variety of mundane items, including foodstuffs, are made in China.

      But just in case, I’m stocking up on cold/flu meds in case either of us come down with something. If either of us catches anything, that would be a bad time to encounter one of those resupply hiccups.

    16. Tom Holsinger Says:

      Gavin is entirely correct, save for what proportion of the population will actually contract CoVid-19. Right now we just don’t know. Chinese statistics on that can’t be trusted. Western epidemologist opinions vary, with the high range being 50-60%. The low range of under 10% can’t be trusted because all of those opinions I’ve seen have included “pollyannish” speculation. 20% would be manageable. I personally agree with estimates in the 30-35% range because that was what the US suffered with the 1918 “Spanish” Flu, which was a virgin field epidemic just like CoVid-19. Certainly that could vary elsewhere but roughly one in three for the US seems appropriate.

      The Chinese report CoVid-19’s lethality at 2% of those infected, which is exactly what the US rate was for the 1918 Flu, so it has more credibility right there than other Chinese statistics. Plus I don’t see any political reasons for the Chinese to lie about this, as opposed to how many Chinese have contracted this disease, while the Chinese government will be buying a whole lot of hurt from the West if they are caught lying about the lethality. The same goes for Chinese statements that 80% of victims don’t need hospitalization, that 20% do, and that 5% of victims are critical cases who need ventilation and oxygen, etc., to survive.

    17. Mr Black Says:

      Trent, this series of posts from you is one of the best “all-in-one” resources on the interwebs for keeping up to date on this without having to wade through mounds of data on the official sites. Your posts are my first stop every morning. Thank you for the effort.

    18. Brian Says:

      Now that the disease is on the loose in several countries, we should know in another few weeks how accurate the Chinese numbers are. It seems likeliest the answer will be “not at all”…

    19. Trent Telenko Says:

      Third Diamond Princess passenger dies of COVID-19; 57 more positive tests from cruise ship

      With the new cases, 691 people have been infected on the ship, or nearly one-fifth of the ship’s original population of 3,711.

      https://www.ctvnews.ca/health/third-diamond-princess-passenger-dies-of-covid-19-57-more-positive-tests-from-cruise-ship-1.4823937#_gus&_gucid=&_gup=twitter&_gsc=gMUBUwZ

    20. MCS Says:

      It looks like both candidates for President are in the very high risk category.

    21. Trent Telenko Says:

      It appears 47 of the 50 US states have not tested for COVID-19 and Hawaii is included on the list.

      And the CDC is not going to test for community spread per it’s guidelines.

    22. Trent Telenko Says:

      And yet, the CDC are not testing for community spread —

      https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/summary.html

      What May Happen

      More cases are likely to be identified in the coming days, including more cases in the United States. It’s also likely that person-to-person spread will continue to occur, including in the United States. Widespread transmission of COVID-19 in the United States would translate into large numbers of people needing medical care at the same time. Schools, childcare centers, workplaces, and other places for mass gatherings may experience more absenteeism. Public health and healthcare systems may become overloaded, with elevated rates of hospitalizations and deaths. Other critical infrastructure, such as law enforcement, emergency medical services, and transportation industry may also be affected. Health care providers and hospitals may be overwhelmed. At this time, there is no vaccine to protect against COVID-19 and no medications approved to treat it. Nonpharmaceutical interventions would be the most important response strategy”

    23. Trent Telenko Says:

      A China dispatch via Rod Dreher with this caviot:

      “Again: what you just read is a letter from a physician appearing on an opinion blog, not a news report. Read it with that in mind.”

      https://www.theamericanconservative.com/dreher/china-apocalypse-buddhist-prophecy-locusts/

      Now, to the Doctor’s latest dispatch:

      I am very sorry this took so long – I wanted to make it as thoughtful as I possibly could. Much has happened in the past few days. Here in the USA, we are in the grip of a 2nd wave of influenza – and I have been profoundly busy the past few days because of this. People who comment about epidemics and the fact that influenza is much worse here in the USA are not making that up – this is a particularly bad year – but what is happening in China is really just as bad if not worse – and I am beginning to really despair that we here in America are just having this whole thing really downplayed by our media and leaders.

      So here is the update on multiple fronts.

      First of all my wife’s family.

      Her father has still not been heard of — now approaching a month. No words can express my wife’s grieving. I am running out of ways to help her cope.

      Her brother and his family are still in their upper floor apartment in a major metro area — not Wuhan. The martial law and lockdown continue. They have not left their apartment in about 3 weeks. Food is delivered to them twice a week. There is no end in sight at this time. The family immediately across the hall was forcibly removed about 3 days ago because one of them was sick. My wife is concerned about their mental health – but so far they are staying healthy.

      Her mother remains under in home quarantine in her apartment in a small city on the Western frontier. She seems to be fully recovered. She is eating rice that she has had piled up in her apartment for just such a reason – and refuses to eat any food that is brought to her door. This city is in the middle of a vast agricultural area. Hogs, cows and chickens are a staple of their economy. My mother-in-law has told us that the “death stench” has permeated her city the past week or so and getting worse daily. She cannot even open her windows. Why? No one is going to work – and no one is taking care of the livestock. No shipments of grain are coming in for the animals — and throughout the land the animals are starving in the pastures. The bodies by the hundreds of thousands are just laying in the sun and rotting. All this while the industrialized part of China is beginning to have severe food shortages. Something in my doctor brain is telling me that having millions of people so close to rotting animals cannot be good. What could possibly go wrong?

      Three days ago, 20% of the workers in my brother-in-law’s city were ordered back to work. The photo I have attached is from American media, showing a transit train during rush hour on that day. Yep, that worked. The people of that big city are in open defiance of the Communist Party in a way that has never happened before. It has been my concern all along that the lies and fraudulent numbers coming out would reap the whirlwind for the Communist government not just from the West — but also from their own people. When exactly are the people going to feel safe going back to work? Who knows?

      Some of the comments I have read on some of my previous posts have been concerned that the tone was too macabre or apocalyptic. Well, snowflakes — that is because things are very macabre and very apocalyptic in China today. The true scope of this disaster is being grossly underplayed in the American media.

      My wife is a PhD graduate of Tshingua University in Beijing. It is an institution that would be similar if our Harvard, Yale, and MIT were all combined into one place. The graduates there are heavily recruited by the Communist Party – and most of them go on to work in the government, the universities, and the law. It is their version of the one-percent elite. My wife belongs to multiple social media groups of Tshingua alumni and current students. Imagine my surprise reading multiple comments repeatedly bashing the Communist government and officials and their handling of this incident. These are future and current Communists and this would have been unthinkable just a few days ago. But the real stunner came last night — another jpg of Chinese text was sent to all current students and alumnus of Tshinghua. I have enclosed the photo.

      [Not included here]

      The doctor continues:

      My wife tells me this is written by a Buddhist monk in the Forbidden City named Gentleman Zigong probably in the early part of the 20th Century. This is a printed duplicate in more modern Mandarin. This is part of a large cycle of Chinese literature known as the “Ancient Internal Bible”. This is difficult to translate into modern language because it is written in a very old dialect. I view it as being similar to us in the 2020s reading Chaucer’s Middle English. So my wife really struggled to translate some of it – but in general – this is what it says….

      “The year 2020 – The year all of China will weep. The omens will be so bad that the New Year will not be celebrated. Then the plague will come. It will come with a fury – the tigers and the wolves will hide in the mountains. The plague will encompass all the land – and will eventually spread to the whole world. Very soon – rice will become so expensive that no one can eat. Then the rivers will sink all the boats. People in that year will only be able to harvest rice in the very early spring. There will be no harvest of late season rice, beans, wheat, and oats because vast clouds of locusts will lay waste to the entire countryside. I, Gentleman Zigong, assure you Chinese in 2020 that the locusts will fall from the skies and the destruction will be complete. Smoke and fire will fill the fields – but nothing will be able to stop the swarms. Once the locusts have destroyed the land and the smoke is still coming from the ground, the rivers will flood the countryside. I, Gentleman Zigong, will tell you Chinese in 2020 how to survive. Remain very close to your families and your neighbors. The best is to have stored up plenty of gold and food to live and share freely with those you love. Tolerate no thieves among the people. Be uniters and not dividers. If you can do all these things, you will survive.”

      Make what you want of that — I am not sure how I feel — my wife certainly believes it. But the more fundamentally amazing thing is the fact that this has been shared and commented on by thousands of Chinese elite. In complete defiance of the Communist Party which has done everything it can to stamp out their ancient religion and all its signs and portents. The defiance is happening with their real names attached to the posts — and just unbelievable commentary about their government’s incompetence in this affair. One after the other all day they come over her social media. This includes many members of the People’s Liberation Army. My wife is feeling that the cracks in the Party are getting bigger and bigger and this is way way bigger than anything that has happened in her lifetime.

      And about the locusts. This is becoming an ever more important part of my wife’s Mandarin news feed every day. Vast clouds of locusts made it to Xinjiang (the furthest west Chinese province) last week. The videos are amazing. The Mandarin news is showing the government deployment of these gigantic fire throwers that lay waste to not only the locusts but all the land in the path of the fire. Huge bursts of fire blow out from them and they truly look like something that would be appropriate to accompany the Four Horsemen. Today we learned that the locusts have now arrived very close to the western border of Gansu province. Gansu is part of the ancient Chinese homeland and is a huge producer of wheat and rice. If this swarm gets started up, it will be a huge blow to China and their psyche. The CCP has now ordered that every live chicken in China is to be immediately dispatched to the western border, where they will be released to eat the locusts. To everyone who thinks this is not a huge problem — think about the decision being made. Take away eggs and meat for the people who are already angry — to stop the locusts. The CCP must have data that this locust swarm is going to become a disaster unless stopped immediately, no matter what the cost.

      Now: to what is going on in the USA. This week we finally have very well-trained American physicians on the ball in Ground Zero. I feel this is a good thing. We have had credible research published in journals that some HIV drugs in combination with an old anti-malaria drug called chloroquine IN VITRO has great activity against this virus. (The bad news – chloroquine is a very harsh drug fraught with problems – and you guessed it – is only made in China).

      Also, we learned that like other coronaviruses, this one engenders limited immunity in the host. A few days to a few weeks later, the host’s immune system has completely forgotten how to fight it. And it seems that the second time the host gets infected is much worse than the first time. And an interesting fact about this virus is the second infection will in some patients profoundly damage the interior of the arteries, and cause acute heart attacks and sudden cardiac death. Thus, all the videos of people dropping over dead. To my medical knowledge, this intimal arterial damage is unique in the viral world.

      And as a physician, the first instances of medication shortages are now happening in earnest. A memo from the hospital’s pharmacy committee arrived yesterday. It specifically named the following drugs – IV antibiotics such as gentamicin, tobramycin and streptomycin – IV drips from the ICU dobutamine, dopamine, and norepinephrine – and the following pill medications – diltiazem, verapamil, amlodipine, losartan, valsartan and irbesartan. Also mentioned were all of the usual narcotic opioids used for pain – morphine, dilaudid, hydrocodone and fentanyl among others. The memo stated that while there was stock in the hospital on all of these at this moment — the intermediate suppliers had sent warnings that supplies were quickly diminishing — and that further supplies from the manufacturer were not going to be reliable into the foreseeable future. Therefore, we were strongly urged to immediately begin making sure that every prescription was appropriate — and to replace it with something else if possible.

      Well, some of these things are not replaceable. Some of them are — but with much more dangerous alternatives. And just try doing surgery without morphine — I dare you. All I can say is you have been warned. This is here — this is now and this is real and very likely to get much worse. Shipping all your critical drug manufacturing to another very unreliable country is so dumb that only the elites could have thought of it. And all you snowflakes thinking that we can just magically build factories here immediately — well you are oh so wrong. First of all — manufacturing drugs on a large scale takes immense engineering, and will not be done on a whim. Secondly, when we exported all our manufacturing away, all the jobs went away as well. There is a human know-how that is critical to this kind of enterprise, and that went away when the factories went to China. And it takes years — maybe decades — to get that back. MY FELLOW AMERICANS — YOU HAVE BEEN FAILED AND BETRAYED BY THE ELITES IN BOTH PARTIES – PLEASE KEEP THAT IN MIND IN THE COMING MONTHS.

      Sometimes, events like this produce the most amazing out of left field events that one would never see coming. I have now had a patient show up this week in full blown opiate withdrawal. That is very rare in my practice. Why did this happen? His drug of choice — heroin — was not available at any price from his usual dealer. I have now confirmed with local law enforcement that the street price of opiates and meth have substantially increased in just the past week or two. I have spoken with many colleagues in cities across the country this week. In some places, nothing has changed — in others there has been a noticeable increase in opiate withdrawal. And everywhere I called, colleagues have noted a marked decrease in opiate overdoses. All this is anecdotal, but very consistent. If this holds up, it appears our illicit opiate and meth supply is being affected as well. NOT COCAINE. China for the past 10 years or so has been producing all the precursors of illicit opioids and meth. These are then shipped to Mexico where the bathtub chemistry is done on a huge scale – and the final product is then shipped to American cities. What is this China supply problem going to do to our addicts here in the USA? What will happen to Mexico if the drug cartels begin to have problems with cash flow? Are we ready for chaos on our border?

      Again – all anecdotal at this time — but this bears watching.

    24. Trent Telenko Says:

      It appears the Iranian COVID-19 epidemic has been going on for a while, of their health system seriously sucks, likely both to get 50 dead in a day so quickly.

      —————
      DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — A staggering 50 people have died in the Iranian city of Qom from the new coronavirus this month, Iran’s semiofficial ILNA news agency reported on Monday.

      The new death toll is significantly higher than the latest number of confirmed cases of infections that Iranian officials had reported just a few hours earlier by and which stood at just 12 deaths out of 47 cases, according to state TV.

      An official from Qom, Ahmad Amiriabadi Farahani, was quoted in ILNA saying that more than 250 people are in quarantined in the city, which is a popular place of religious study for Shiites from across Iran and other countries.

      https://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/iran-died-virus-total-death-toll-12-69170688

    25. Brian Says:

      One of the accounts I’ve been following since the early days in Wuhan just got suspended:
      https://twitter.com/ischinar
      It was very anti-CCP, so I suspect they must have found some way to get him shut down.

      Being non-alarmist at the moment, from here on out coronavirus is going to kill everyone who would have normally been killed by the flu, in areas where it gets established. Plus a lot more people. How much more is the open question.

    26. Gavin Longmuir Says:

      Trent: “With the new cases, 691 people have been infected on the ship, or nearly one-fifth of the ship’s original population of 3,711.”

      Let’s say it again — what happened on the cruise ship is one of the most reliable sources of data. It is also likely an outlier sample, both because the passengers were likely disproportionately older & more susceptible, and because the mishandled quarantine effectively made the ship into a virus breeding ground. In those unusually difficult circumstances, 4 out of 5 people exposed to the virus did not catch the disease!. Only 3 of that susceptible population have died — 1 in 1,000.

      In the meantime, we have had literally thousands of people in the US dying from the “normal” flu, and over a quarter of a million people hospitalized. And the news media has yawned about that.

      Let’s keep a sense of proportion!

      And let’s have some sympathy for the politicians in Nancy Pelosi’s San Francisco. There is research showing that the virus thrives in the human intestinal system and is expelled with faeces to find new hosts. But San Francisco politicians have worked hard to ensure that anyone can take a dump on the streets of that city. Are the politicians now going to move aggressively to limit the potential spread of the virus? Or are they going to pander to their base?

    27. Brian Says:

      Gavin:
      “what happened on the cruise ship is one of the most reliable sources of data…because the mishandled quarantine effectively made the ship into a virus breeding ground”
      I actually don’t agree with this. You can look it up, I said from the beginning the ship-based quarantine was a terrible idea, and I got criticized here fairly strongly for doing so. But I don’t know that we know all that well exactly what was happening on that ship. We do know that at least some passengers say they were mostly in their rooms 24 hours day (there are plenty of accounts on youtube, twitter, etc., from passengers), with brief periods allowed on deck, and they stayed away from other passengers. We don’t know specifically how those infected were distributed, what limitations were placed on their movement depending on their condition, etc. I’d say that the conditions on the cruise ship were not at all representative of the real world, in ways that go in both directions (good–limited interactions for most people; bad–lack of fresh air, etc.).
      I can spin it far differently than you:
      At least 20% of people in an environment where it was known there was virus present, and some attempts were made at isolation, caught the disease! (I still don’t know if “caught the disease” means “have the virus in their system” or means “came down with the illness”.)
      There are still people who are being “newly” diagnosed with the disease quite a while after being removed from the ship!
      There are still sick people from the ship being reported as falling critically ill!

    28. Stanley Says:

      Trump has stepped in to halt things ahead of the sluggish bureaucracy previously. Once with the 737 Max and once with the cannabis vaping problem. I’d hoped he’d do it again but those hopes vanished about the time he was wheels up to India.

      Trent has mentioned before that Trumps access to superior data (real crime rates, oil and gas economy stuff) was the source of his good calls. I can’t understand what the issue is here… Then again I don’t understand how one gets an MPH without believing in the primacy of quarantine and contact tracing, rather than ‘stigma.’

    29. Tom Holsinger Says:

      Gavin, the 1918 Flu’s infected @ 500 million of 1400 people in the world (35%) and slightly less in the US. 10% of the infected worldwide, and 2% in the US, died. All over a period of 15 months. With repeated outbreaks (pulses) in the same areas.

      You are cherry-picking your data by focusing on one area – the “Corona Princess” – over a period of less than a month.

    30. Gavin Longmuir Says:

      Brian: “There are still sick people from the ship being reported as falling critically ill!”

      Agreed there is room for different interpretations. But there have been enough reported observations about improper isolation procedures on the ship to suggest that many people were exposed to the virus.

      The major observation is that only 3 people from that ship have died — not 60, let alone hundreds or thousands. Yes, the virus is a disease which should be taken seriously. So is the flu, which is already rampant.

      Keep a sense of proportion. And keep a watch on the supply chain disruptions, which are likely to have much more serious & widespread ramifications.

    31. Gavin Longmuir Says:

      Tom H. “You are cherry-picking your data by focusing on one area – the “Corona Princess” – over a period of less than a month.”

      Tom, part of the issue here is that no-one knows what data to trust. Most of us suspect that data from governments, especially the Chinese government, is being gamed. The cruise ship is a useful sample because we have reasonably reliable Japanese data on a contained sample population. The only problem with the cruise ship data is that it does not support the alarmist position.

      If there are more appropriate cherries to pick, please share.

    32. Brian Says:

      “If there are more appropriate cherries to pick, please share.”
      https://finance.yahoo.com/news/virus-outbreak-drives-italians-panic-153519284.html
      “Most of Italy’s cases were initially linked to a 38-year-old man who sought treatment at a hospital in the Lombardy region on Feb. 18. While there, he infected dozens of patients and medical staff, who then spread it further afield.”
      That’s a pretty darn high R0. It shows that in the wild this thing is going to spread insanely far and fast, and even if the fatality numbers you are putting all your faith in are correct, this is going to decimate the global health system, and we’re not prepared for it, despite having what should have been a monthlong head start already.

    33. Tom Holsinger Says:

      Gavin, I did, and identified it repeatedly. Here’s another. All my estimates are based on the last “virgin field epidemic” to hit the US – the 1918 Spanish Flu.

      You can read the Wikipedia entry here:

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spanish_flu

      I also recommend this book:

      https://www.amazon.com/Great-Influenza-Deadliest-Pandemic-History/dp/0143036491/ref=sr_1_fkmr1_1?crid=39I97ECW9GEI0&keywords=1918+spanish+fly+book&qid=1582567190&sprefix=1918+spa%2Caps%2C213&sr=8-1-fkmr1

    34. Tom Holsinger Says:

      Useful:

      https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2020/02/covid-vaccine/607000/

    35. Gavin Longmuir Says:

      Tom H: “All my estimates are based on the last “virgin field epidemic” to hit the US – the 1918 Spanish Flu.”

      There is a lot to be said for looking at historical evidence. The Spanish Flu example indicates that lots of us are likely to get infected and the overwhelming majority of us will survive. But we should be cautious about asserting that a virus today will have similar impacts as a virus from a century ago. The past can be a useful guide, but World War Two was not the same as World War One. One of the big changes between 102 years ago and now is that more people lived close to the land a century ago; supply chains were much more local; in a physical sense, life was more basic and the trade disruptions associated with the Spanish Flu were more easily accommodated than they would be today.

      That is the big difference between now & 1918. We are all dependent on very complex supply chains for food, water, wastewater treatment, power, transportation, medicine — and we don’t have a good understanding of how robust those chains will be when things go pear-shaped on the other side of the world.

      Civilization survived the Spanish Flu. We know society can survive the loss of 1 person in 1,000 to this virus. We don’t know how much damage will be done by never-before tested disruptions of supply chains. If we let ourselves get too alarmist about the health effects of this virus, we are worrying about the wrong thing.

    36. Tom Holsinger Says:

      Gavin, I totally agree that, for most people in the US, the most extensive and expensive effects of the coming pandemic will be from collapsed supply chains, but this includes unemployment, staggering inflation, much higher taxes and reduced standards of living for years, all of which will be direct effects of the epidemic as well, i.e., good luck differentiating the two – they’re additive, not separate. Plus the great majority of fatalities will be among the retired, unemployed and immune-compromised, all of whom are tax eaters and savings consumers.

      But America is also the wealthiest, most productive and resilient country in the world. It was in 1918 too, and that is why we had the lowest fatality rate from the Spanish Flu.

    37. David Says:

      “Only a federal single-payer system can work once this epidemic gets going, one which replaces all privately paid insurance, and we’ll be stuck with it afterwards.”

      One of the dumber things that has been said. Guess who has a “single payer” communist health care system? Did you guess “China”? Have the communist methods and hospital-virus-incubation centers “worked” to contain the virus? Should all grocery stores also be communized once panic hits a community and the shelves temporarily go bare?

    38. MidwestRhino Says:

      idk what happens to health care if insurance companies were overwhelmed with pandemic coverage. But we bailed out very rich banks (and GM, briefly called Government Motors), why would we not bail out insurers rather than move to Full Government Care? We do massive hurricane relief and other various forms of bailouts (partly covering for private insurance) … I’d guess the same would happen if we had a national emergency like a pandemic that crushed the insurers.

      There could also be some form of price controls on medical costs, or temporary government facilities set up just for coronavirus care. Same with the markets … government may well step in and buy the market (they probably already do this) … emergency steps will be taken. Most countries will not fare as well as US, imo. Or maybe pandemic can be kept out, and we can direct energy to helping the third world devastation (assuming it gets out of control there, as seems likely).

    39. Gavin Longmuir Says:

      Tom H: “I totally agree that, for most people in the US, the most extensive and expensive effects of the coming pandemic will be from collapsed supply chains”

      The logical corollary of this view is that the way to minimize the damage & loss of life would be to avoid over-reacting. Recognize that the world now has a “New Flu” which will become endemic and will cause some people to fall sick but will cause only modest fatalities (just like the flu which has been endemic for ever). Avoid panic reactions and alarmism. Keep the factories & farms in production and the supply lines open. Advise everyone (especially the aged & infirm) to take reasonable personal precautions, particularly with respect to meticulous hygiene and avoiding crowds when possible.

      There is no perfect option in this situation. “Carry On” is the Least Bad option.

    40. Brian Says:

      Gavin: Let’s say you’re right. Let’s say that in a few months we all realize “it’s just the flu” and that supply line disruptions were by far the biggest problem. By the start of June, say. So the Chinese economy roars back to full strength after an awful quarter or two, and the world picks back up after the disruption. What will happen? Well, everyone will realize that Just-In-Time from China is completely untenable. Because if we ever get hit by something that’s NOT “just the flu”, then we’ll have seen that we’ll really be in a world of hurt, AND China will have now shown that they’re completely undependable and unreliable, and can’t be trusted to be a single point of failure for the world economy. After all, they’ll have basically shut down their economy and pulverized the world economy for no reason at all. So China won’t just suffer from one or two bad quarters, their entire long-term strategy will be completely in tatters. The political forces demanding that manufacturing be returned in-country, or at least nearby, will be irresistable. I think this is completely unavoidable already. It requires no real assumptions of what’s going to happen next.
      So, to me, this adds another fatal hole in any story that tries to explain why China is behaving the way they are other than because they really are sincerely scared and desperate. Committing economic suicide on both short and long term scales? For no reason?

    41. Tom Holsinger Says:

      REALLY? NOW THEY’RE EXPERIENCING LOCUSTS? The China Apocalypse.

      All I can say is, Advantage: InstaPundit. If I were the Chinese, I’d be laying in stocks of butter and garlic against the inevitable plague of frogs.

      UPDATE: And, right on cue, linked in the comments: Tens of thousands of frogs have appeared on suburban roads in Wuhan and Nanjing, prompting fears among residents that they could be signalling an imminent earthquake.

      Posted at 5:35 pm by Glenn Reynolds

      Wow

      https://pjmedia.com/instapundit/359383/

    42. Gavin Longmuir Says:

      “Because if we ever get hit by something that’s NOT “just the flu”, then we’ll have seen that we’ll really be in a world of hurt”

      We are already in a world of hurt. The US has an unsustainable Balance of Trade deficit. The industrial base has been hollowed out. Middle Class jobs have been decimated. And our politicians are talking about — transgendered bathrooms.

      “The political forces demanding that manufacturing be returned in-country, or at least nearby, will be irresistable.”

      President Trump has been trying to move industry back to the US, and we can all see how little support he has been getting in Congress from both Democrats and Republicans. Where is this political force going to come from?

      Getting the manufacture of (eg) ethical chemicals moved from China to, say, Mexico or Venezuela does not sound like a winning political approach. Moving it back the US would require dealing with some of the major reasons the industry offshored in the first place — excessive regulation, excessive litigation, twisted taxation policies, give-away trade deals. Even if politicians had the will to undo what they have spent the last half-century doing, we would be talking about something equivalent to rebuilding industry in bombed-out Germany after WWII — probably a 10 – 20 year process.

      The pessimistic interpretation is that the over-reaction to this virus will trigger a melt-down in stock markets (already beginning). That in turn will lead to a recession later this year, just in time to cost President Trump the election and install some bought-and-paid-for Democrat in the White House, returning US-China relations to the status quo pre-Trump. China’s rulers could very reasonably consider that a Win, well worth paying the price of a few quarters of sub-par growth.

      “Committing economic suicide on both short and long term scales?” You realize, that is us!. When the dust settles from this pandemic, China will still have the factories and the skilled labor force … and the US still won’t. Whether China’s rulers are engineering this event deliberately or merely making sure a crisis does not go to waste, only time will tell.