Making sense out of the nonsense that surrounds us

Presidents and their manhood symbols. [Photo source: Business Insider]

by Joe America

There is a lot of nonsense in the Philippines. From an ignorant Senate President weighing in on the science of seeding clouds above volcanic ash to thieves at sea being warmly welcomed by the Philippine Coast Guard, which is supposed to protect the nation from thieves at sea . . . there is nonsense. Angkas, a successful transportation program handcuffed. Nonsense. The President abandoning Marawi after destroying the city (it was not a natural disaster). Nonsense. De Lima in jail. Nonsense. Mocha Uson still having a job. Nonsense. Panelo dissing on the Robredo drug report. Nonsense. The President riding fancy motorcycles in the dead of night, as Filipinos suffer from a volcano. Nonsense. Killing small-time drug users as a solution to a national drug problem. Nonsense. Gifting marines with 50,000 pesos because it’s their birthday. Nonsense. Billions in pork to House reps. Nonsense. Multi-billion presidential intelligence budget. Nonsense.

There is more, too. Much, much, much more.

But it is fairly easy to sort out how, through a certain lens, it all makes sense.

The Constitution is a national document. It is built on the same values that anchor the American political system. Honesty, fairness, compassion, responsibilities, sovereignty.

Throw it out.

It is not the basis for acts of government today.

Today the President is a Mayor.

Mayoral authority is taken, not given. It is an entirely different value system than what the Constitution says. No one challenges the mayor. The mayor operates under a value system called “power and favor”. Support me and you’ll be rewarded. Go against me, and you will suffer.

That’s the Philippines today. The Mayor is so powerful that he has effectively cancelled out the Constitution.

He has cancelled out the idea that journalism is a ‘Fourth Estate” that reports objectively. Now, journalism in the Philippines is just another piece of the power and favor pie, doing kindness to the Mayor. Maria Ressa? Well, she got out of step.

As did Senator De Lima. And Vice President Robredo.

Senate President Sotto. House Speaker Cayetano. Ombudsman Martires. Supreme Court Chief Justice Peralta. The Catholic Church. The Oligarchs. The millions of Filipinos who are ‘satisfied’ with President Duterte. They are in step with the Mayor.

We might as well declare the Constitution dead. A revolutionary government is already installed. You can see it clearly. Every item on my ‘Nonsense” list makes sense in the scheme of power and favor.

Now which is better, long term, for Filipinos? Democracy as expressed in the Constitution or authority taken, as under the rules of power and favor?

That’s a moral question, I suppose. If you have a people who are largely comfortable finding their place on the power and favor hierarchy of importance, why would you force them to do something they are not capable of doing? Acting with knowledge of how government and democracy benefit people?

Why not simply let people find their place, and you find yours?

It’s as easy as driving the roads. You find your proper place, everyone moves forward.

In a sloppy, slapdash, dangerous, mean, and sometimes wholly ineffective way.

But that’s the Philippines, is it not?

If it were different, it would be Indiana or Kansas.

Not the Philippines.


192 Responses to “Making sense out of the nonsense that surrounds us”
  1. arlene says:

    Dead on target Joeam. And everyone of them is nonsense too. Maybe the reason why he amassed too big a presidential budget is because he is buying “intelligence” because he has none. He has to make those bribes so he wouldn’t be abandoned.

    • Yes, indeed. Everyone is dumb but rich, and therefore happy. The great intelligence scam.

      • Well, everybody in the ‘favored’ column.

        • kasambahay says:

          during election, kaming mga pulubi are favored column, wined and dined, serenaded and entertained to the max. then we’re made to feel shame and dirty for accepting bayad for votes.

          yet uniformed and armed personnel are never made to feel shame and dirty for accepting bayad and more bayad from duterte. they already got govt housing, some have more houses than others and renting them out, and still tanggap ng tanggap pa rin sila ng bayad forever. frontline daw kasi ang job nila, never mind kung nababaon na ang bayan sa katatanggap nila ng bayad.

          ni walang isa sa kanila said, na tama na po, sir. may sapat na pangkabuhayan na po kami at sapat na rin po ang mga benipisyo namin. share with others naman po tayo and give them teacher pay rises too. lessen tax burden sa taumbayan.

          entonces (term I stole from me folks) I’m transferring the feeling of shame and being dirty felt by the poor to armed and uniformed personnel.

          ang kapal ng body armor nila!

          • kasambahay says:

            another favored column itong mga kapolisan natin who will soon be going to china ( for indoctrination!) or to all and sundry: to study chinese culture, so kapolisan can understand better the culture of the chinese criminals running amok in our country.

            will understanding chinese culture makes chinese criminals more affable to kapolisan? love them instead of garrote-ing them?

            kapolisan had better not bring back coronavirus!

            • karlgarcia says:

              Being a military brat whom may or not be a spoiled brat, I want to be defensive when the kapolisan and kasundaluhan gets comments that are … know

              But the track record of kotong, police brutality,ejk, ninja moves etc is becoming the new normal if they do not watch it.
              What will stop this, I don’t think an authoritative leader is enough. Maybe someone you can trust and respect and not fear will be a good leader who will be followed.

              How can our police and military have such leaders when there is a revolving door with the frequency is so revolutionary because it spins a lot.

              Maybe having fixed terms will be enough to change things, but first someone trusted and respected must be placed there.

              • kasambahay says:

                discipline is often talked sa police academy. a leader who cannot discipline those that dont want to be disciplined, topic yan a leader must know and address.

                they have attended leadership courses here and overseas, gone on study leave to enhance policing capabilities, have access to the best minds, malawak ang network, may vast resources, statistics and data.

                it’s can be lonely at the top, sometimes a leader has to discipline and pull rank with friends and be unpopular at times, friendless and dont get invited to parties.

                I always harp on armed and uniformed personnel and not to be taken seriously.

                if offensive ang comments ko, pls delete. thanks.

              • karlgarcia says:

                Cheerio KB!

                Discipline, some say either you have it or not and you can not teach it.
                Same with values.

  2. NHerrera says:

    At least our TSH “nonsense” — as may be seen by the likes of Sotto and Panelo — is a better nonsense. Hahaha.

    [At my age, without the language facility of a Dickens or Twain, I find some way to make fun of what I read — to preserve the remaining sanity I still have.]

    • NHerrera says:

      The nonsense I wrote above is in line with the following. Chief Justice Rehnquist who presided over the Clinton Impeachment Senate Trial, knowing that any ruling he makes can be over-ridden by a Senate vote of at least 51-49, is reported to have said: I did nothng in particular. And I did it very well. 🙂

    • sonny says:

      Judgment by ha-ha we must hone at our age, NH. The sharper the better!! I sure envy the mental acuity of a Bertrand Russell, right about now.

      • NHerrera says:

        Thanks for the note. Yes, it is important we continue to do that at our age even with our aging or not so vigorous brain cells. We cannot be all like Bertrand Russell, but in our own ways, we try. But more important I hope that before we leave we don’t come to the point of asking the good wife, while holding a spoon, say, “Honey, what is this for?”

        • kasambahay says:

          um, the good wife probly has anticipated long before you starts asking what the spoon is for. she knew and noted the subtle changes and has prepared herself for eventualities. be kind to the wife now, let her know she’s valued, cherished. tomorrow she will be your rock, the rock you cling to.

  3. NHerrera says:

    Great choice of the picture and the associated caption for the current blog. Without photo-shopping, I can imagine Duterte on that motorcycle. 🙂

    • There is a photo of just about every American president with or on a motorcycle. A guy thing I suppose.

      • NHerrera says:

        I am a “guy” too, then. In my early 30s, I owned a 150 milliliter Honda — that is motor-byke though rather than a motorcycle? After just a year of use I sold it. I took the good wife’s advice about the risk.

        • kasambahay says:

          aba, duterte sits on a motorbike usually with bong go as wingman, in case mahulog na naman yan, there is always bong go to hear his last words, haha. sits on the motorbike na lang and not go into the sunset, cannot vroooom! vroooooom! anymore. may defecto sa mata yan, baka bumangga pa sa poste!

          quad bike ang nakasanayan nyan, four wheels steadier that two wheels, at paikot ikot sa dabaw. quad bikes are not really that steady and notorious for tripping over sa uneven terrain and pinning down its rider. walang stability factor.

          each I hear na he’s gone quadding, alert ako kaagad, maybe this time . . . .

  4. NHerrera says:

    When my 9-year old, basic flat, 26-inch TV gave way four months ago — with the screen showing a big patch of “snow” which becomes irritating when a dark or night-time scene is shown — I succumbed, over the happiness of the wife, and bought a Smart Samsung 32-inch HD TV at a price surprising low because of advances in still better features for a TV [notwithstanding this, the cheap me still asked if the store still carried a 26-inch one which was answered with a quick NO.]

    After being shown the features of the new TV — with built in app for NETFLIX, AMAZON PRIME, etc. I also got carried away and finally subscribed to Netflix.

    OK, you may ask; what does this got to do with the blog?

    Well, we are on the topic of nonsense. There are many non-sensical shows on Netflix, but they are still enjoyable. But my binge on these shows is about to be interrupted by a better non-sensical show come Tuesday US EST — the Senate Impeachment Trial. Just imagine the initial allotment of time: 24 hours for the Impeachment Managers to present their case; 24 hours for the Defense by President Trump’s Lawyers; and 16 hours for the Senators to ask questions to either the Impeachment Managers or the President’s Lawyers.

    I do not promise to stick to the Senate Trial Show. Before I know it, I may be back to Netflix.

    [Sorry for the trivia and the commentary on the Senate Trial — strictly an opinion.]

    • The oath-taking today was weird. Solemn but we can guess it will be a very political trial, and therefore an oath-breaking event. The dude looks guilty to me of both counts, abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.

  5. karlgarcia says:

    I am happy with my Samsung phone, a very good replacement to my damaged Hwawei which I jept on accidentally dropping.

    No use to make sense when there is no sense at all.
    Complain then you will get people complaining about your complaint.
    Just kidding, though I block trolls if they make sense even just a little bit, I read them.
    benigno is a very lost person, no sense in trying to make sense.

  6. Micha says:

    If the country and its mass of suffering people weren’t so broken, this criminal hoodlum couldn’t have possibly emerged in our midst. Post-EDSA is supposed to be the healing time from the trauma of dictatorship but no such thing transpired.

    What we got instead was the naivete’ and incompetence of Cory, the neoliberal shithole under Ramos, blatant corruption under Estrada and Arroyo, and more paragliding into neoliberal territory under Noynoy. Whatever gains made in the economy only accumulated into the top tier of socio-economic class.

    Rodrigo’s election was a protest vote, a way for the unrecovered mass to stick a middle finger at the elite establishment cabal. Replacing him with Leni isn’t going to make things any better.

    Leni might be a good person and with all the good intentions but she only mirrors Cory and Noynoy in many respects – mother and son who unwittingly contributed to the rise of Duterte.

    • madlanglupa says:

      And the alternative? The socialists and the Maoists still haven’t got anyone with the caliber of a strong Che Guevara from their ranks. That they still stick to their decades-old marketing plan based on Molotov-style propaganda, and the poor and defenseless they’re marketing to aren’t buying it easily.

      When you have masses hungry for wealth and security, there will be demagogues presenting themselves as messiahs.

      • Micha says:

        You don’t have to go Maoist in search for alternative. For a more equitable and just society, FDR’s policies have shown the way for success.

        In Philippine context, the lack of a forceful ideologue with executive genius such as FDR is an obvious challenge which only suggest a low level of wokefulness both among the population and their pool of potential leaders.

        In which case, the country is really fucked multiple times over.

        This early, you all might as well prepare for a President Bongbong or a Madam President Sarah come 2022.

  7. karlgarcia says:

    What is the proper politico economic system?
    What is the best?

    Priotectionsm made things worse.
    Protectionists still existed witth thes globalist a by asking for heavy subsidies and controlling all the supply chain.
    Communism was a failure, Socialists never ever want to be called communists.
    Rightists turn to fascsta

    All governments and nations have their own elites and one percenters.

    And those in the lay layan either remain victims, rebels or whatnot.

    Who amongst the past candidates even have a platform?

    Fix first the party system, the dynasties then proceed from there.

    • Micha says:

      And what kind of party system do you have in mind?

    • Karl, it is a bit of chicken and egg between equal politics and equal economics.

      People’s parties became strong in Germany from the point where the middle class had enough money and a collective sense of it’s interests, even if the first people’s party was the Social Democrats, born out of the non-Communist part of the trade union movement.

      Civilized democratic discourse became stronger here when extremists were banished, especially the kind that had armed groups, meaning Nazis and Communists.

      After all, town plaza meetings in Switzerland are explicitly among unarmed citizens.

      Philippine reality outside the urban middle class is that the rich and powerful also have the means to kill and coerce, not just bribe and plunder – in poor barangays or remote villages.

      So it is not just the poor and lower middle classes gaining awareness and a sense of being able (Spanish Podemos) but also risking their lives, like Spanish anarchists did in the 1930s. Kasambahay said they will not take that risk for the middle class anymore. I see why now.

      People’s parties also make it easier for someone with less resources to run for office. German candidates STILL have to shoulder around 10K€ estimated themselves, the cost of a Dacia car, tax-deductible. VP Leni had to pay huge fees, millions, even if BBM protested.

      Now VP Leni was able to borrow money, as they are upper middle class, not rich, not poor. Still the leverage enjoyed by rich and powerful in the Philippines is demonically huge. A majority will have to WANT that to end and implement it, but I guess wang wang is sweeter.

    • karlgarcia says:

      Written by Elfren Cruz about the clamor to end capitalism

  8. karlgarcia says:

    Strengthening the party system and anti dynasty legislation need no charter change, in fact all attempts of Cha Cha are useless without them.

    • Try translating the Preamble of the 1987 Constitution with the goal of making a tricycle driver or even an Angkas driver get what it is supposed to mean. Ask Crazy Jhenny to help.

      Most people there understand the daily struggle, not abstract concepts far from their reality. Not surprising then that the Constitution is barely lived over there in reality. “Just and humane! Anung just, gosto mo lang palayain si De Lima! Humane, adik ka siguro ano?”

  9. karlgarcia says:

    How to make sense of the ruler for life stuff if Duterte joins the party?

  10. karlgarcia says:

    Acemoglu opines that whonus in power matters most.

  11. popoy says:

    An Octogen macro (deductive) view of bi-lateral conflict of world peace significance:

    On a spectrum of a longitudinal continuum of two divergent ideology viz. theocracy and democracy nations practicing them may be arbitrarily described from being wimp to macho and/or weak to powerful. From the recent past to the present, heatedly involved are two countries exemplifying Theocracy namely Iran and the US of America for Democracy. The former is ruled by God through its Priests or Imams while the latter is ruled by politicians elected by the people. In a Theocracy, there is only ONE God, one religion. In a Democracy, deity could be None at all or many on multiple religions.

    Regardless of the variance among ideologies CULTURE defines what makes up life or human existence. Culture defines the HUMAN CHARACTER which is shaped and is softened (freethinkers) or HARDENED (fanatics) by religion. RELIGION is CULTURE and CULTURE is also RELIGION in numerous or whatever ways and meanings. May be, just may be because of eche bucheche, to an American religion is something, to an Iranian religion is everything.
    Both Theocs and Democs nations are peopled by the youth, middle-agers and the elderlies. Their acculturation process meaning conversion from Democs to Theocs and vice versa in many unstudied ways could partly illumine or shed light the search for appeasement between Iran and USA.

    Now and in the past between the two nations WHAT’s HAPPENING in the direction of immigration, in the direction and volume of student exchanges, in the pursuit of happiness and freedom, in the attainment of the GOOD LIFE while ALIVE on earth? Quo Vadis? Is it From Democs to Theocs or from Theocs to Democs.

    TSoH, once in a long while is like Academe where all researches are questions begging for answers, even for the truth in an epoch. Followed by comments of the informed and the wise.

    • popoy says:

      Those interested in an inductive piece, from bits and pieces into tentative conclusions, the book seemed to sum it up: In some countries, democracy has/had been in crisis “not because of politics but because of personalities.”

      Who they are/were had been authored by Bill Eddy “Why We Elect Narcissists and Sociopaths,” copyright 2019 US$24.95. I search the index, then read pages 85-88. Haven’t finished the book yet to find out whether narcissists and sociopaths help and finance each other to get elected.

      • popoy says:

        Apart from narcissism and sociopathology, elected officials (leaders) as differentiated from appointed bureaucrats (public officials), national leaders’ performance to emasculate a country may be placed in pigeon holes based on their education and experience.

        Shrewd (or astute businessman) as politician will try to cripple or eliminate competition (guess who?) while a lawyer prosecutor who’s a local God in his jurisdiction is likely to behave same same but in larger spatial context. Give them 20 to 30 years on the job experience before elevated to the highest position, only fools will think they can be alike in corruption and bad governance. No same same leadership style and destructive impact to the polity.

  12. NHerrera says:

    Because of world time difference, I had to stay only for 2 hours on the first two days of the Trump Senate Trial proceedings and picked it up late morning the next day. Relating to the blog, as expected, I heard a lot of “nonsense” in the talks. I heard too the use of the phrase “common sense.” [e.g. not to leave common sense out of the door when stepping into the Senate Room.]

    The speakers themselves use the word profusely, especially on the second day when Adam Schiff the lead manager of the House presented the case for the impeachment and removal of Trump. I have to hand it to Schiff for speaking continuously for at least 2 hours [when I went to bed] and presenting the case very well, such findings as the House have under the constraints. Nadler may have as good as Schiff in ideas and words, but Schiff delivers what the monotone of Nadler can’t in my opinion.

    • NHerrera says:

      CNN curated the pieces of several opinion-makers commenting on Adam Schiff’s performance on the second day of the Trial. Here’s a link:

      • NHerrera says:

        Here is an item from Paul Callan, a CNN legal analyst and a former New York former New York homicide prosecutor:

        Overall, Schiff’s presentation was focused, understandable and persuasive. Now all he needs is a jury—that is, the Senate– willing to render “impartial justice” as required by oath. Unfortunately for him, this case was probably lost in jury selection during the last senatorial election. [Bolding, mine.]

        • Where o where has good old American patriotism gone. It can’t seem to be found beyond the next election. I find it all disheartening, an affront to the lessons I learned throughout school.

          • NHerrera says:

            Gone to Trump, everyone!

            • karlgarcia says:

              NYT updates.

              • Isk says:

                This early the rebuttal seems very convincing on Pres. Trump’s favor.

              • karlgarcia says:

                I am for Trump’s impeachment unless convinced otherwise, what about you ISK?

              • Isk says:

                @ karl
                I am for Trump’s impeachment unless convinced otherwise, what about you ISK?
                Checking Wikipedia, since Trump elected into office, there are some groups who are already plotting of his impeachment. From his business conflict of interest, income tax return, Russian collusions and now this Ukraine scandal, it seems there’s this organized effort to oust him. With his unconventional governance and unstatesmanlike governance, he is despicable to others but to his followers he is a hero, fulfilling his promises to them. Consistent with America first mantra… scrutinizing foreign aid, a burden sharing among nations with common vested interest.

                I say, let him stay in office, in a few months there will be an election, let the citizen decides who will be their leader. Among the Dems bet, Andrew Yang, I think… he will be a good president, young and articulate.

              • karlgarcia says:

                Many thanks ISK!

              • Isk says:

                @ karl

                Will they let him go?

              • NHerrera says:


                Philip Bump wrote an article in Washington Post titled, “Analysis: Assessing the Trump team’s 6-point impeachment defense.”


                The six points are,

                1. “The transcript shows that the president did not condition either security assistance or a meeting on anything. The paused security assistance funds aren’t even mentioned on the call.”

                2. “President Zelensky and other Ukrainian officials have repeatedly said that there was no quid pro quo and no pressure on them to review anything.”

                3. “President Zelensky and high-ranking Ukrainian officials did not even know — did not even know the security assistance was paused until the end of August. Over a month after the July 25th call.”

                4. “Not a single witness testified that the president himself said that there was any connection between any investigations and security assistance, a presidential meeting or anything else.”

                5. The security assistance flowed on Sept. 11, and a presidential meeting took place on Sept. 25 without the Ukrainian government announcing any investigations.

                Ranged against the evidence (as far as the House can gather before it ran against obstruction) and the presentation of the House Impeachment Managers, I believe these six points are weak. I will not belabor the comments of the article writer, but will only write relative to Points 2 and 5: but of course. In chess there are moves labeled as forced moves.

              • karlgarcia says:

                Thanks, Nh!

    • Micha says:

      That the Orange Man is an egregious piece of work and needs to be removed from office is something I can whole-heartedly agree.

      However, by covering only two counts of impeachable offenses, Democrats have submitted a rather weak case to the GOP controlled senate. They did not include corruption charges which are far too many and easy to prove (emoluments, self-dealing, tax scams, etc.) as well as executive abuse on regulatory takedowns of important sectors like energy, environment, and education.

      Sooo, the whole proceeding becomes nothing more than an entertainment drama, a distraction while corporate robbery and plutocratic looting continues in the back corridors.

      Both parties have become complicit in coddling the billionaire donor class in systematic destruction of American democracy.

      Both parties have become the containment vessel for popular discontent.

      Wall Street loving Hillary Clinton, for example, just recently lashed out a vile and false accusation against Bernie Sanders.

      Thankfully enough, this corrupt and war-mongering Hillary will have been relegated to the inconsequential sidelines of American politics.

  13. popoy says:

    Is there sense in the on-going impeachment of POTUS? If there is, what then is common sense about it? Could maverick senility discern its uncommon sense ramifications and to postulate that if justice is rendered by history, then there is such a thing that justice delayed is NOT justice denied?

    Philippines in the last international reckoning (testing) was last among sample nations in reading and comprehension; it was second to the last in arithmetic and math. The statistics of impeachment as prescribed by the US Constitution is two-thirds vote in the Senate terminates the presidency of an incumbent. Presently, there are 100 senators, 47 of which are Democrats, the rest 53 are Republicans. 100 divided by three multiply by two equals (100/3= 33.33 * 2 = 66.66) 67 senators. Democrats will need 20 (or much less) Republicans to turn and somersault to make UNCOMMON the COMMON SENSE (wisdom) mandated by the US Constitution. But eche bucheche (not shit) happens. For varied answers see:

    Providential or whatever, American voters had been at it may be many times over already to have chosen (elected) their National and Local leaders in check and balance arithmetic viz. a Democrat’s HOR and a Republican Senate, or vice versa; an ultimate positive heraldry of the land of the free (and of the wise).

    Accidental but most unlikely providential, the US two-party political schema in predictable constancy that makes US stagnates as World’s number one political and military power is—for lack of a better term—the unique “changing of the guard” cycle. Given two terms (8 years) a Republican President does a RDGDB (repairs, do good, do bad) kind of governance. The Republican POTUS after eight years will be followed by a Democrat POTUS to do his own RDGDB; he will do repairs for the damages done by his predecessor, do his own good for the country and makes mistakes like his predecessor. Regardless, competence in governance is a world recognize attribute of US politicians and public servants.

    Oh Yes, what about (another question, Eh) the UNCOMMON SENSE of the current impeachment in its historical perspective? The Speaker of the US HOR said the POTUS has already been permanently impeached, but may be failed to think SO ALSO is somebody else as will be judged by history. President Trump may win the numbers in the Senate but lost permanently in the public shaming of his conduct unbecoming of political correctness. The other personality which started as the bone of contention, the cause of it all has been put—probably guilty—in the historic dock of public memory. He or member of his family has been in effect, denied due process to acquit themselves of suspected corruption. They are presumed innocent until PROVEN guilty but tainting and tarnishing their honor has been subtly but effectively done.

    The unschooled of yore has a saying: Whip and lash hard the back of a carabao until you find later the welts and wounds in a horse (hataw sa kalabaw pero sa kabayo ang latay).

  14. popoy says:

    Another NOT SAME SAME? :

    Two current events in world news. It’s the Taal Lockdown and the Wuhan Lockdown. As far as residents are concerned the former properly is Taal Lockout; people can’t go in or come back to their abodes because a huge eruption of Taal volcano could turn the people in later years into fertile dark volcanic soils like the present fertile Tagaytay loam soil.

    The Wuhan Lockdown could be properly reported as Wuhan Lock-in because residents are effectively NOT allowed to leave the City and adjunct places to control the spread of an infectious disease to other parts of the country and of the world. The objective is to cure the sick and safeguard the healthy residents. If health care and control fail, the healthy could also just contract the disease and die. A million residents because of lock-in could perish but hundreds of millions in other parts of the country could be saved.

    However, recent medical history says this kind of eche bucheche (not shit) cannot happen. Severe acute respiratory syndrome claimed more than 800 lives. But the lessons learned preclude a worst repeat.

    But, a big BUT could Taal and Wuhan Lockdowns be same same as force majeur? In the Philippines and in China only? Why?

    • kasambahay says:

      in wuhan, my understanding is no one is allowed out and no one is allowed in, but people can still communicate, send texts, have selfies, cook dinner, wash clothes, and maybe have supplies (food, medicines, etc) drop in too. wuhan is being quarantined (isolated) until more is known about the novel coronavirus, its histology, etiology, and eventual treatment. I think the chinese know but are being secretive and dont want to talk just yet. there are specialists in china specializing in virology, epidemiology, communicable diseases, etc. there are many things the chinese are not telling the world.

      sa taal naman, no one is allowed in dahil suicidal to do so, puputok ang bulcan. anyone who are in are urge to get out else risk death by volcanic eruption.

      force majeur? seems to me almost all calamidad these says ay force majeur, unprecedented heat, unprecedented cold, unprecedented flooding, then there is catastrophic bush fires, catastrophic mountain fires, etc. the world is rapidly changing, the weather as well.

      • popoy says:

        THE above info is deductive, the inductive info details as source for cautionary conclusions are in the link below:

        • NHerrera says:

          Thanks for the link, popoy. The measure is extreme — from the viewpoint of “human-rightists” — but may avoid mainland-China-wide and world-wide disaster. Arguable, but here is an aspect which gives an authoritarian regime an advantage. This reminds me of the extreme measure Stalin authorized to avoid defeat from the German juggernaut of Hitler in WWII.

          • popoy says:

            Sometimes arguable the mind spins into ludicrous nooks and corners which result, fortunately into a semblance of rationality. In countries of the free world recent history would hardly find epidemics of global potential (like shit) to happen. In these few countries of the free, hardly there is a need for an authoritarian dictum to control peoples’ mobility.

            In Canada, during the SARs rampage no city or borough had been locked down. Lock down although preventative, is a sad measure of deficient capability and capacity against force majeure.

            Some kind of iron hand is needed to protect the people against themselves as in Taal case where the country under transitory fake democracy and real transitory dictatorship shit happens. Thanks to the Almighty, nothing but only the word PERMANENT is permanent in the Philippines.

            • NHerrera says:

              Here is a bit of statistics on the Wuhan coronavirus versus SARS. With SARS, there were 774 deaths from 8098 confirmed cases, a death rate of 9.6%. The lower numbers so far — thank God — for the coronavirus make for a weak statistics but here are the current reported numbers: 25 deaths from some 800 cases, a death rate of about 3%, about a third of the SARS.

              If the death rate on the Wuhan coronavirus holds, the deaths from 8098 cases, if it reaches that number, is about 243. Sorry, for this statement, but this latter number is about the level of deaths coming from an airplane crash. But the world-wide scare coming from the coronavirus, especially in China, is at a bigger scale.

              • kasambahay says:

                novel coronavirus has less death maybe because the spread of disease is in tight control, tighter than that of sars and if the chinese have their way, there will be no more deaths. I’m presuming the chinese have learned from sars. after all sars started in china, novel coronavirus sa china rin po ang umpisa.

                mga kakilalang kong 1st responders duon sabi, sa chinese hospitals kuno sa the lockdown areas, ambient air sa luob is already being filtered. people still wear mask though. the virus is fast mutating and still has to peak.

                better be safe than sorry.

              • NHerrera says:

                2020-01-25 UPDATE

                1397 confirmed cases, 41 deaths globally.
                Death rate = 2.9%

              • kasambahay says:

                most of the dead are males.

              • kasambahay says:

                41 reported deaths in china, not one death reported outside of china sa ngayon.

              • NHerrera says:

                2020-01-26 UPDATE

                1975 confirmed cases, 56 deaths globally.
                Death rate = 2.8%.

                The 3 percent death-rate level seems to be holding. I may note further that the number of 1975 confirmed corona virus level is not too far from the total confirmed cases of 8000. The speed of infection is much faster than the SARS virus.

              • NHerrera says:

                It is sad but the lockdown of 15 Chinese cities involving 57 million people, especially Wuhan, the epicenter of the coronavirus, with its 11 million people, may contribute to the acceleration of infection and the consequent deaths. This is because the uninfected and infected are forced to live together in be quarantine while the hospitals, nurses and staff have great difficulty coping with the the infected cases.

              • kasambahay says:

                some chinese in quarantine zones are quite health and may only have a cold as their body’s immune system is able to fight off the virus. it’s those with already compromised immune system are hit hardest. even then, if they’re not in close contact with those that are sick with the virus, they have good chance of not being sick.

                sa contract tracing po, in the process of identifying the vector, the elderly males with already compromised immune system want to enjoy life and be able to meet the challenges of the new year, have their libido boosted or enhanced: for health, vitality and long life and took chinese medicine.

                kaso, some component of chinese medicine included body parts of certain animals. some of those animals are smuggled from the wild and not been vetted by customs, their potency may be assured but not safety.

                chinese medicine is trillion dollars business and dont want negative reviews, not saying anything sila. I just hope they have stopped prescribing suspected batch, people made aware of the danger. but china being china, they’ll keep things under wrap, not a word.

                anyhow, the chinese in quarantine zones have already been told what to do to keep themselves safe. and may I add, to be in the safer side still, I hope they’ll keep from using chinese medicine for the time being. but if they really must take chinese medicine, to take only those vetted safe by governing body.

                opinion ko lang po ang mga ito.

              • NHerrera says:

                CORONAVIRUS UPDATE

                China says virus can spread before symptoms show — calling into question US strategy to contain virus

                China’s health minister Dr. Ma Xiaowei had some very bad news Sunday about the Wuhan coronavirus: He said people can spread it before they have symptoms.

                A veteran adviser for a US health agency called the news a “game changer.”

                “When I heard this, I thought, ‘oh dear, this is worse than we anticipated.’ It means the infection is much more contagious than we originally thought,” said Dr. William Schaffner, a longtime adviser to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

                Schaffner added that this new piece of information called into question the current US practices for containing the virus so it doesn’t spread beyond the three cases that have already appeared in Washington state, California, and Illinois.

                “Assuming that Dr. Ma is correct, we’re going to have to re-evaluate our strategy, that’s for sure,” said Schaffner, an infectious disease expert at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

                If Ma is correct – and information about this virus is constantly evolving — for about two weeks, people who don’t even know they’re sick can spread the virus, which has killed more than 50 people in China and infected thousands.

                The disease has spread as far as France, Canada, and the US, which now has three cases in California, Washington state, and Illinois.

                In a press briefing Friday, Dr. Jennifer Layden, an epidemiologist with the Illinois Department of Health, said the woman with the Wuhan coronavirus in her state had not been sick while traveling from Wuhan to the US on January 13, and “based on what we know now about this virus our concern for transmission before symptoms develop is low so that is reassuring.”

                She explained that officials were following “close contacts” of the patient. She did not mention following other kinds of contacts, such as the other passengers on the woman’s January 13 flight.

              • kasambahay says:

                there is vital piece of info they’re not telling us. in both contact tracing and contact screening, suspected patient are not only required to give personal info as name, date of birth, address and ph number, but also allergies, previous illnesses, places they’ve been to, next of kin, whether they’re on medication and what sort of medication they’ve been taking and for how long. the clue is already there, if hospitals can aggregate info. if patient is not forthcoming, hospital can request previous medical records from china, and because of the urgency and the need to know, privacy and confidentiality is set aside. if china refuses to give medical records and share info, then well and truly f—-d sila.

                hospitals should start talking to other hospitals worldwide and compare aggregated info, common denominator is there. but if they rather mystify the whole thing, people will continue to die.

              • kasambahay says:

                furthermore, there is regimented schedule in foreign hospitals, suspect coronavirus patients are required to surrender any and all medications they may have, including diy medications bought off the counter. this is to ensure medications dont clash with other medication and with the medication hospitals prescribed. and no patient is adversely affected.

                that is probly why there is no 2019-coronavirus deaths outside china so far. patients have to follow foreign hospitals regimen and cannot just medicate themselves without treating doctors approval. all medications are locked in cupboards and only released during medication round, under watchful eyes of nurses.

              • NHerrera says:

                2020-01-27 CORONAVIRUS UPDATE

                2744 (China) + 55 (outside China) = 2799 confirmed cases, 80 deaths [all in China].
                Death rate = 2.9%.

                Compare the confirmed cases of coronavirus, this early, with the total SARS confirmed cases of 8000. It is likely the total coronavirus confirmed cases will exceed 8000 before it is contained. One analyst speculated it will run to as much as 100,000 (?) (which may result in about 3000 deaths if the current death rate level holds).

              • NHerrera says:

                I may sound like fear-mongering; I am not. I am just trying to make statistical sense of what I read. Already there are analyses of the economic impact of this on China — a large engine of economic growth — and the global economy.

              • kasambahay says:

                I’m reminded of the bubonic plaque of yestercenturies.

                I dont think you’re fearmongering, nherrera.

  15. karlgarcia says:

    To my Twitter friends- I will go on Twitter break because my account got locked due to over use.
    Too many likes, retweets…..

    Got too many send code sms requests too verify my phone number, that my phone also became problematic.

  16. Micha says:

    As the Senate debates Donald Trump’s future, chief executives, financiers and politicians have assembled in Davos, Switzerland, for their annual self-congratulatory defense of global capitalism.

    The events are not unrelated. Trump is charged with abusing his power. Capitalism’s global elite is under assault for abusing its power as well: fueling inequality, fostering corruption and doing squat about climate change.

    Chief executives of the largest global corporations are raking in more money and at a larger multiple of their workers’ pay than at any time in history. The world’s leading financiers are pocketing even more. The 26 richest people on Earth now own as much as the 3.8 billion who form the poorer half of the planet’s population.

    Concentrated wealth on this scale invites corruption. Across the world, big money is buying off politicians to procure favors that further enlarge the wealth of those at the top, while siphoning off resources from everyone else.

    • kasambahay says:

      if climate warrior greta tunberg has her way po, those in the bigger to biggest money wont have it easy. they’ll eventually owned a scorched earth. that is if they survive the onslaught of deadlier and fast mutating diseases, unprecedented weather that bring catastrophic flooding and extreme heat and cold, then there is always the threat of equally predatory people rich like themselves, gobbling up businesses.

      • Micha says:

        Global plutocrats at Davos should recognize that the end game for unreformed capitalism will be ugly. I, for one, wouldn’t mind if the hordes will bring out the pitch forks and guillotines.

        Rupert Murdoch and his Fox Network continues to spew the propaganda for AGW deniers while his native Australia burns.

        A coal mining executive laments that the wildfires in Australia pose a threat to his coal mining business.

        These people have gone way over bonkers.

  17. Micha says:

    Here is our beloved criminal President interviewed by RT.

    • kasambahay says:

      salamat kaayo, micha. many thanks. I hate his shirt, ill fitting e, and could not be closed at the neck.ops, I nearly forgot his buerger’s disease. that’s why, maybe, shirt could not be close at the throat dahil irriting sa lalamunan.

      he fits the profile pa naman of those that died of novel coronavirus being male, elderly and with pre-existing condition. sayang, sana nagpagamut siya kamakailan sa china, haha. sorry po, sometimes I can be really idiot.

      • Micha says:

        Well the real idiot sat with the RT interviewer and said that he’s still on to killing more drug addicts and he’s not still confronting China in the Spratleys because he’s afraid he’ll get a bloody nose.

        He’s pandering to both Russia and China, offering to prostitute the country’s resources and people in exchange for their token alliance.

        We have a fascist maniac who’s acting more like a pimp than a President.

  18. NHerrera says:


    Using the frequently used word quarantine these days, the purpose of the Trump’s Defense Team at the Senate Impeachment Trial is to quarantine. That is, to isolate or quarantine the GOP Senators — especially the more moderate ones — and the Trump supporters from being “infected” with the reasonable, normally tenable impeachment charges. [Please delete the comment if found to be inappropriate.]

  19. popoy says:


    Some few people live for the truth
    If there is TSoH it’s impossible
    To have a TSoT The Society of Truth
    People read, write, work for money
    For almost everything else but NOT
    I thought if I read and write about
    Corruption or love or anything else
    Like Presidents Trump and Duterte
    The truth is in the middle of
    Issues in serious combat.
    Like the long read needing patience
    Of the link below.

    • popoy says:

      with first of many corrections

      Some few people live for the truth
      If there is TSoH it’s untenable
      To have a TSoT, The Society of Truth.

      People read, write, work for money
      For almost everything else but NOT

      I thought if I read and write about
      Corruption or love or anything else
      The truth I believe HAS NO SELF INTEREST
      Like with Presidents Trump versus Democrats
      The truth is NOT behind but
      in the middle of Issues in serious combat.
      Like the long read needing patience
      To finish of the link below.

  20. popoy says:

    IN ’68 after visiting Sir Galahad’s surviving little Chapel in Wales, UK, I stayed for a week
    In Plymouth and saw the beach where New England in America began. Plymouth it is where
    the pilgrims left the kingdom where the sun never sets. Wales UK made contribution to the entertainment world with names like Richard Burton, Peter Sellers, E. Humperdick, Tom Jones, etc.
    The quest for elusive truth begins with elusive dreams.

    my elusive dream

    • NHerrera says:

      Oh, yes, popoy. I love Tom Jones sing — he of “Delilah”- singing fame. I love his rendition of “Green, green grass of home.” Nice to be in our age group to remember him and the songs at his prime. Oh, yes — I love his “My Elusive Dream.”

    • NHerrera says:

      With the armageddon threats from

      – Nuclear war
      – Climate change
      – cyber warfare
      – virus plague
      – humanity turning back on his better part

      it will be difficult to pursue an “elusive dream.” So let use listen to the songs of Tom Jones. 🙂

      • popoy says:

        Thanks NHerrera and Sonny, many of the undying truth of human emotions are found and unforgotten in the lyrics of a song “Run Samson Run” and a line in a poem like “She walks in beauty like the night.”

        • NHerrera says:

          I like this: “many of the undying truth of human emotions are found and unforgotten in the lyrics of a song.”

          • popoy says:

            Putting a spin on the song Run Samson Run suggests a deep subconscious of possible truth of a broken hearted composer or a misogynistic commercial artist.

          • sonny says:

            I like this golden nugget of an insight as well, Popoy. It goes directly to the heart of things, that special channel beyond the realm of words’ limitations. Heart-to-heart (“cor ad cor”) communication, e.g. love, time, betrayal, desolation. 🙂

  21. popoy says:

    On the other hand the truth about Popoy is a kid, Glee Club drop out at Grade Five and a bloke wannabe pintor kulapol and poet at 82.

  22. popoy says:

    IF I live to 88 I will paint this one . . .

    • popoy says:

      My eche bucheche is that in my time (fifties to sixties) the truth (bad or good, excuses, justifications) the songs shall be forever truthful like this one:

  23. popoy says:

    IT could be more sensible to submit the post below:

    TSoH can also by content of its blog a TSoT (The Seeker of Truth). In MassComm, politics is the art of the possible; while in the academe Politics is the “Authoritative allocation of values in the society” (David Easton).

    Current politics in the USA begs for the truth on the integrity of two names namely: Trump and Biden. The TRUTH SHALL SET THEM FREE. Regardless of the verdict of the US Senate and the forthcoming presidential election, the truth shall be with them beyond their graves.

    Okay, Suppose Trump won the numbers in the Senate and the coming election; If that is the truth, will truth have set him FREE? On the contrary if Biden wins the primary and the election without anyone in the future resurrecting allegations against him and his son, will that be the truth?

    What is the truth that will slap the faces of the Democrats and Republicans in this political soap opera? Truth never mind, pundits will write the news and opinions as part of politics defined as “who gets what, where, when and how” (Harold Lasswell).

    • popoy says:

      In the above post, I see inconsistency in my thoughts about blogging for truth. Go find it so I can stand trying to be corrected.

  24. NHerrera says:


    Playing with numbers — that is me. If I may be allowed, let me speculate on the probable confirmed coronavirus cases 10, 20, 30 days from now.

    But first my basis:

    – On 26 January the reported confirmed cases in China was 1795
    – On 27 January the reported confirmed cases in China was 2744

    Note that most of these cases and the associate deaths in China is in the Hubei province where Wuhan, the epicenter of the coronavirus originated.


    – I exclude the confirmed cases outside of China, firstly because of the smaller scale relative to China and different measures addressing the virus;

    – I am not sure, because of the uncertainty of the exact datelines of the report, how many days transpired between the first confirmed cases of 1975 and the confirmed cases of 2744; so I used 1, 2, 3 days to see what the corresponding growth of the confirmed cases are (not the associated dates, although my previous comments point to a level of death rate to be about 3% relative to the confirmed cases).

    Without going to the details of the algebra involved, here are the confirmed cases growth rate corresponding to my assumptions,

    1 day distance in happenings vs reports: 39%
    2 days distance in happenings vs reports: 18%
    3 days distance in happenings vs reports: 12%

    I will take the lowest number, 12%, and take 10, 20, 30 days hence for the projected number of cases:

    In 10 days, projected cases = 9,000
    In 20 days, projected cases = 27,000
    In 30 days, projected cases = 82,000

    But wait, let me take 5% instead of 12% — because of the effectivity of the anti-coronavirus measures taken. The corresponding numbers then will be:

    In 10 days, projected cases = 4,000
    In 20 days, projected cases = 7,000
    In 30 days, projected cases = 12,000

    My bet is that the the latter set of numbers, for the corresponding projected days, will be exceeded.

    • popoy says:

      NHerrera after 35 days the truth in your stats will have happened after all the reports are in. Regardless, China and the rest of the world deserve praise and admiration for the concerned and actioned response against possible decimation of its peoples. From Cholera to AIDS, to SARS, etc., statistical reports shall be the indicator of truth.

      • popoy says:

        Quantify the same for the number of deaths and see any disparity between quantitative science and life’s reality; how big is the middle number as to distort the truth.

        • NHerrera says:

          Based on the death rate level of about 3% from confirmed coronavirus infections, we have the following:

          In 10 days, estimated deaths = 120
          In 20 days, estimated deaths = 210
          In 30 days, estimated deaths = 360

          Sorry for use of the word “deaths” although used in the phrase “estimated deaths.” I have less discomfort in the use of the phrase “confirmed cases.”

      • NHerrera says:

        Thanks for the note. The first test — in 10 days — will be on February 6.We will see.

      • NHerrera says:


        Hong Kong’s Gabriel Leung (with bona fides: Professor and Chair of public health medicine at University of Hong Kong (HKU); founding director of the World Health Organization Collaborating Center for Infection Disease Epidemiology and Control in Hong Kong) said:

        The number of people infected by the Wuhan coronavirus could potentially double every six days in the absence of a major intervention by public health authorities.

        Using my bag of algebraic tricks, the bolded phrase corresponds to a calculated growth rate per day of the infected cases of 12.2%. Which — wow — corresponds to my first conservative estimate of 12% growth rate resulting in the first set of confirmed cases projections, before I lowered that estimated growth rate to 5% resulting in the latter/ bolded set of confirmed cases projections.

        [Sorry, sort of patting myself at the back here.]

        • Add my pats on the back. Keep us updated!

          • kasambahay says:

            ganoon din po ako, patting ako sa kanya. good stats ni nherrera, forecasting.

            and I’m putting on the high heels too, and dancing! our health sec duque is finally getting it! he has better grasp of 2019-ncov than the chinese health minister, haha.

            duque got it! I could give him a facial mudpack – libre! yes! duque got it, we are getting the tail end of the virus; the secondaries brought in by travelers, diluted na po ang virus and not as deadly as the primaries. the tertiaries are even more subdued. yes! eventually, the virus will die out.

            the primaries are in china, too sick to travel, bedbound, their bodies overwhelmed na. those healthier ones travel and harrying to other counties, and because they are healthier; ambulant, their bodies are better able to ward off the virus. if they get sick, it wont be severe, konting lagnat, ubo, sipon (parang gasgas lang po compared to the primaries). may immunity na sila, developed due to exposure.

            at last, chinese authorities are finally acknowledging the role live willd animals played; illegally obtained, their sale and consumption medyo prohibited na. until further notice.

          • NHerrera says:

            2020-01-28 UPDATE ON THE 2019-nCoV

            First, about labels:

            Wuhan coronavirus = 2019-nCoV [scientific designation, so far].

            Dr. Nancy Messonnier ( director of the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases), on being asked by reporters:

            … seemed to allay concerns that the virus could be transmitted via packages sent from China. Coronaviruses like SARS and MERS tend to have poor survivability, and there’s “very low, if any risk” that a product shipped at ambient temperatures over a period of days or weeks could spread such a virus.

            “We don’t know for sure if this virus will behave exactly the same way,” Messonnier said, but there’s no evidence to support transmission of the virus via imported goods.

            So, folks, you may still enjoy those small orange fruits — “kyat-kyat.”

            • kasambahay says:

              the question reporters should be asking is how did they dispose of the dead bodies? I think dead bodies should be cremated soonest. killing all those left over germs and remaining viruses at very high heat. giving back the dead to their families for wake, lamay and burial could mean the families taking unnecessary risk. people should keep away at a distance and not within close proximity of the dead, crying over and hugging the coffin and beating their breasts, etc.

              anyhow, those with knowledge of immunology sabi, kyat-kyat send from china can be made infectious by injecting the blood of the sick and dying into the kyat-kyat.

              if kyat-kyat have blemishes on the skin consisting of needle marks, throw them away and dont eat them.

              • karlgarcia says:

                Environmentalists hate incineration even of syringes ,needles and soon maybe cremation.

              • kasambahay says:

                there is now recyclable syringes, needles as well. we try to be kind to environment and hoped volcanoes dont erupt too often spewing poisoned gas high into the air, complete with blanketing dust and debris. forest fires happening not always kagagawan ng tao but lightning strike as well.

                soon, we’ll get rid of syringes altogether, patches will be used instead. but we’ll keep syringes for specialist IV treatment, drainage of serous fluids, internal feeding, etc.

              • karlgarcia says:

                Type 2 diabetics will soon have once a week dose patches.

  25. NHerrera says:


    * Alan Deshowitz: 180 degrees turn in his expert legal opinion [by the way, I read he is a professor emeritus in Harvard Law] — that a crime is not needed for an impeachment of the US President — to correspond to his change of hairstyle. [This latter point I picked up from watching a CNN talking head.]

    * John Bolton (Trump’s former national security adviser):

    — the “smoking gun” [my characterization];
    — the Walrus Man or the Big Boulder/ Big Elephant in the Senate Trial room.

  26. NHerrera says:

    2020-01-28 1019-nCoV UPDATE

    The latest numbers: 106 deaths from 4515 cases in China. There is a good news and bad news to be deduced from these numbers.

    The good news is that the death rate relative to confirmed cases in China is down from a previous level of about 3% to 2.3% (= 106/4515). The bad news is the increase in the rate of infection to 65% (= 4515/2744 – 1) from the reported number on 2020-01-27 (that is, 2744) to today’s 2020-01-28 (that is, 4515).

    • NHerrera says:

      I forgot to reference the previous infection rate from the numbers — 1975 cases on 2020-01-26; and 2744 cases on 2020-01-27 — which yield the rate of 39% (= 2744/1975 – 1) which rate has to be compared with the recent infection rate of 65%.

    • NHerrera says:


      In China, Coronavirus cases have been confirmed in every province and territory except for Tibet, which this week announced the indefinite closure of all tourist attractions and a mandatory two-week quarantine for all travelers entering the region.

    • The death rate seems most important to me. We all suffer colds from time to time, and this one may be a beaut, but get that mortality rate down!

      • kasambahay says:

        just be healthy, joeam. and double up on anti-oxidants to boost immunity: vit c for infection control, also vit e and vit a and dont forget minerals. healthy bodies can fight off diseases, you’ll still get sick but not severe. there are human deviants though (freaks of nature) that no matter how much they are exposed to diseases, they’ll never get sick. at hindi rin po sila tinatablan ng vaccination no matter how many times they’re vaccination, they wont seroconvert: vaccination dont show in their system.

        sunshine is nature’s best antiseptic, be out in the early morning sun, 10 minutes is sufficient and stay in the balcony, away from others. fresh air is not friend of viruses, susceptible they are to both sunshine and fresh air. leave virus outside in fresh air and it will shrivel. it needs human host. those in confined spaces like in the airplane where air is circulated is different story.

        have fresh fruits and vegies in daily diet, I hate fruits but love vegies, specially spinach (alogbate?) we poor people cannot afford ham (spam) kaya nagmantiner na lang kami and have alogbate and daing in our sandwiches.

        stay hydrated and drink water, that’s enough to make me cry! water instead of suntory! my heart is broken.

        • sonny says:

          ATTN: Epigenetics at work!!

          • kasambahay says:

            know what’s weird? seeing those chinese wearing face masks and yet dont wear gloves. in infection control, both masks and gloves go together. sterile face mask and sterile gloves, replaced often and not worn hanggang sa mapudpud.

            what’s the point of wearing face mask when the hands are not protected? the germs and viruses they’re trying to stop entering via the mouth and nose could very well enter via the hands through abrasions, cuts, scratches, nicks and tears.

            put bandage on those cuts and nicks! make sure the skin is intact. you cannot always be washing hands with soap and water, malayo sa gripo. walang tubig. and hand sanitizers are expensive.

    • NHerrera says:

      To quote the King of Siam — from a film starring Yul Brynner: It’s a puzzlement.

      • karlgarcia says:

        When I was a boy, world was better spot
        What was so was so, what was not was not
        Now, I am a man, world have changed a lot
        Some things nearly so, others nearly not

        There are times I almost think
        I am not sure of what I absolutely know
        Very often find confusion
        In conclusion, I concluded long ago

        In my head are many facts
        That, as a student, I have studied to procure
        In my head are many facts
        Of which I wish I was more certain, I was sure
        Is a puzzlement

        What to tell growing son?
        What for instance, shall I say to him of women?
        Shall I educate him on the ancient lines?
        Shall I tell the boy as far as he is able
        To respect his wives and love his concubines?

        Shall I tell him everyone is like the other
        And the better of the two is really neither?
        If I tell him this I think he won’t believe it
        And I nearly think that I don’t believe it either

        When my father was a king
        He was a king who knew exactly what he knew
        And his brain was not a thing
        Forever swinging to and fro and fro and to

        Shall I, then be like my father
        And be willfully unmovable and strong?
        Or is it better to be right?
        Or am I right when I believe I may be wrong?

        Shall I join with other nations in alliance?
        If allies are weak, am I not best alone?
        If allies are strong with power to protect me
        Might they not protect me out of all I own?

        Is a danger to be trusting one another
        One will seldom want to do what other wishes
        But unless someday somebody trust somebody
        There’ll be nothing left on earth excepting fishes

        There are times I almost think
        Nobody sure of what he absolutely know
        Everybody find confusion
        In conclusion, he concluded long ago

        And it puzzle me to learn
        That tho’ a man may be in doubt of what he know
        Very quickly he will fight
        He’ll fight to prove that what he does not know is so

        Oh, sometimes I think that people going mad
        Ah, sometimes I think that people not so bad
        But not matter what I think, I must go on living life
        As leader of my kingdom, I must go forth
        Be father to my children and husband to each wife
        Etcetera, etcetera and so forth

        If my Lord in Heaven Buddha, show the way
        Everyday I try to live another day
        If my Lord in Heaven Buddha, show the way
        Everyday I do my best for one more day

        • NHerrera says:


          Great balls of fire! I love that coming from Yul Brynner. The King of Siam makes more sense than present-day politicians.

          • NHerrera says:

            Among others, I love the lines:

            In conclusion, I concluded long ago

            Shall I tell the boy as far as he is able
            To respect his wives and love his concubines?

            But unless someday somebody trust somebody
            There’ll be nothing left on earth excepting fishes

  27. karlgarcia says:

    True or False, scary

    • karlgarcia says:

      4get it it was so alarmist with the 90 k cases.

      • My calculation is 300,000 cases in 10 weeks and 7,000 dead, but I don’t want to wake any one up. I use 3 infections per carrier during the period when the carrier shows no symptoms.

        • karlgarcia says:

          I hope DOH wakes up, they lack facilities they can test the new strain.

          • karlgarcia says:

            They are confirming 1 case

            • kasambahay says:

              lack of face masks, not enough face masks to go around? wuhan nurse lamented.

              if we are to take leaf from the black plaque of the yestercenturies, the yestercenturies thieves who ransacked the houses of the dead and dying managed to do so dahil they resorted to using herbal antiseptics: oil of cloves, etc. they cover their mouths and noses with clothe smeared with oil of cloves and other herbal unguents known to kill bacteria. the thieves even wrapped their own feet with cloths also smeared with same unguents and went on thieving spree! people died but rarely thieves.

              we have modern day herbalists now. and since there is lack of facemasks, they should be able to advise peope to make their own homemade mask and to spay of smear homemade mask with antiseptic herbals. better than nothing, haha.

        • NHerrera says:


          Here is an algebra item using your one-infecting-three concept starting with 1 person and ending in today’s global total of 7800 confirmed cases. But first some preliminaries:

          1. Time interval from the start of December 8 to today’s January 30 = 53 days.

          2. Average “period” or days interval between transmissions = 6.4971 days.

          We then have

          Today’s total = 1 x (3) raised to the power of (53/6.4971) or in calculator or spreadsheet “speak,” = 1 x (3)^(53/6.4971) = 7800. CHECK! [In science speak, fitting a scheme to known facts, to test for plausibility.]

          Now, using this same transmission period of 6.4971 days for 22 days (approximately 3 weeks) and the same concept of one-infecting-three concept, we have:

          Total Cases = 7800 x (3)^(22/6.4971) = 322,000. [That is close to your 300,000 cases, but using here only 22 days to get the approx 300,000 number in your note above.]

          This virus thing and your comment set my math-gears spinning. Hahaha. 🙂

          • NHerrera says:

            Last note on the item I posted above.

            In going for 10 weeks that you have [which aligns with the April month for the cases to plateau, according to Leung, a HK based expert on virus], the simple model I used above may not be maintained with the delta = 6.4971 days that fits the one-infecting-three concept and data: 1 starting person, 53 days total period from Dec 8, 2019 to the present Jan30, 2020.

            As you have indicated or hinted, Wuhan local authorities kept the thing under wraps for a time, afraid of the big bosses in Beijing and the weak attention given — resulting in the calculated delta of 6.4971 days. With China in full force now; world authorities and citizens in alert [attention: DOH Duque], this delta is probably higher now. Meaning the speed of transmission in the one-infecting-three concept is lesser as influenced by a higher delta number.

            I used delta = 13 days (double 6.49710), 10 weeks =70 days, and todays total of 7800 to simulate.

            Total in 10 weeks = 7800 x (3)^(70/13) = 2,900,000. [If I used delta = 6.4971, the number comes to 1.08B, which is very clearly out.]

            If the model moving forward is massaged further from one-infecting-three concept to the case of one-infecting-two, and still using a delta of 13 days, we get:

            Total in 10 weeks = 7800 x (2)^(70/13) = 330,000. A more plausible result.

            AN ASIDE

            Just as the Republicans in the Trump Impeachment Trial is seeking “political cover” if they accede to Mitch McConnell by adopting the crazy ideas of Alan Deshowitz, I am seeking “algebraic cover” in the above using the “on-the-one-hand this and the on-the-other-hand this” speak. Hahaha.

          • Ha! I can still do arithmetic!

        • NHerrera says:

          I hope I am not infected with some virus to set me hyperactive on this coronavirus thing in this blog.

  28. NHerrera says:

    I have not kept up. Missed a day. But I am updating today.

    Using China numbers only:

    2020-01-26: confirmed case, 1975; deaths, 55
    2020-01-27: confirmed case, 2744; deaths, 80
    2020-01-28: confirmed case, 4515; deaths, 106
    2020-01-29: confirmed case, 5974; deaths, 132
    2020-01-30: confirmed case, 7700; deaths, 170

    I calculated the corresponding infection rate and mortality rate:

    Date / Cases / Deaths/ Infection Rate/ Death Rate
    2020-01-26 1975 56 —- 2.8%
    2020-01-27 2744 80 39% 2.9%
    2020-01-28 4515 106 65% 2.3%
    2020-01-29 5974 132 32% 2.2%
    2020-01-30 7700 170 29% 2.2%

    Note that the latter numbers suggest an infection rate going forward of about 30% and a mortality rate of 2.2%.

    With experience from Ebola, SARS, MERS, etc, doubtless the experts may do some modelling of the trajectory of infection cases and mortality of the coronavirus (2019-nCoV). I have no such data and too lazy to do a full bore research.

    I may say though: that even if we accept the low mortality rate of 2.2% (although it is fair to say that it will more likely go down going forward), the critical item is the infection rate [currently at the level of 30%], especially in the lockdown areas of China with a population of 60 million. But we know without doing research that this too will likely go down from previous similar cases. The trajectory chart is usually a concave up or exponential curve at a faster rate in, say, Period 1; still concave up but lower rate in Period 2; and very low rate in Period 3, reaching a plateau with effectively no additional cases from the cumulative total.

    Thus, I imagine a period of, say, 45 days:

    – 10 days at an average 30% rate of infection
    – 15 days at an average 10% rate of infection
    – 20 days at an average 5% rate of infection

    Starting with the 2010-01-30 confirmed cases of 7700, algebra gives a staggering number of 1,012,118 cases on the 45th day from today. Using a mortality rate of 2.2%, the associated estimated deaths is 22,267.

    Changing the assumption to

    – 5 days at an average 30% rate of infection
    – 7 days at an average 10% rate of infection
    – 10 days at an average 5% rate of infection

    yields the corresponding number on the 22th day results of 102,645 cases and associated deaths of 2,258.

    These are just an old arm-chair academician’s imaginings.

    ONE THING IS CLEAR: TIME IS OF THE ESSENCE. I hope the draconian measures China are using and the worldwide efforts are successful.

    • Infection rate is key, as you say. If the disease is hidden for 5 to 14 days, no one knows anything. A person only infects at 30%? Hmmm. I’d fear it might be 300% in the big cities unless everyone gets locked down. That is, each carrier infects 3 people during the hidden period. On lock down it might get down to 30%. But until the catastrophe is known, infection rates are high. PH leaders are not critical thinkers. As one person put it, “We are doomed!”

      But I don’t want to scare anyone.

    • NHerrera says:


      Incorrect input in my algebra: instead of starting with 7700 cases, I inputted an incorrect number:

      Thus, instead of

      the 45th day going forward using my first set of assumptions yielding:
      – 1,012,118 cases
      – 22,267 deaths

      – 2,007,744 cases
      – 44,170 deaths

      And instead of

      the 22th day going forward using my second set of assumptions yielding:
      – 102,645 cases
      – 2,258 deaths

      – 221,622 cases
      – 4,876 deaths

      [Keeping myself honest here. Hahaha. 🙂 ]

    • popoy says:

      In my 76 years (from grade one) I have not known nor met a dishonest ‘rithmetic or math teacher; may be I did with economist or lawyer or accountant (carpenters of numbers in cash flow, income statement & balance sheet) but not anyone that deals with the exact sciences.

      Thanks NHerrera for doing what pundits cannot or are not likely to do. I will try to see what EXCEL spreadsheet can do jumping of from your five days (24 X 5 = 120 hours) calculation. In five days I calculated:

      Increase in number of cases . . . 1975/7700 X 100 = 25.6%
      Increase in number of deaths . . . 56/170 X 100 = 32.9%

      Assuming the above with low margin of error as reality and the truth by way of statistics, then how many number of cases and number of deaths (starting from January 31st, 2020) will occur after one month, after 5 months, and after 10 months. This is where the experienced expertise of NHerrera will be most valuable for straight thinking Coronavirus human specimens.

  29. NHerrera says:

    Some nonsense answered. I love some of the first day Q&A’s in the Senate Trial.

    Fact: quid pro quo is not unusual in foreign policy.

    House Impeachment Manager Schiff:

    There is a difference between the usual foreign policy quid pro quo and corrupt quid pro quo.

    Schiff then took a shot at Romney, who earlier run as a Presidential Candidate in a Primary, in response to the question about quid pro quo. Shiff painted this picture:

    “President Obama on an open mic says to Medvedev: ‘Hey, Medvedev, I know you don’t want me to send this military money to Ukraine because they’re fighting and killing your people. I want you to do me a favor, though. I want you to do an investigation of Mitt Romney, and I want you to announce you’ve found dirt on Mitt Romney. And if you’re willing to do that, quid pro quo, I won’t give Ukraine the money they need to fight you on the front line.’ ”

    “Do any of us have any question that Barack Obama would be impeached for that kind of misconduct? Are we really ready to say that would be okay if Barack Obama asked Medvedev to investigate his opponent and would withhold money from an ally that it needed to defend itself to get an investigation of Mitt Romney? That’s the parallel here.”

    • popoy says:

      A nonsense question could get a nonsense answer from non-straight thinker. A civilized diplomatic President will not talk that way to any other even inferior President. Preposterous it might be, Obama even in fallacious imagination should have talked to Putin not Medvedev and could have gotten results; even though that’s like making marbles out of frozen jelly. The post here in italics at best should be cartoonized editorial in MAD Comics with a Lion talking, offering help to a Tiger who’s seen fighting with a mouse cat.

  30. Anyone currently in the Philippines, please kick the Admin dogs for me.
    Sarap talaga sipain lahat ng tuta, Bobong Go, Duque, Sal Butiki etc.

    • kasambahay says:

      hindi ko muna sisipain si health sec duque. his leadership is needed sa current health scenario unraveling ngayon sa bansa. he talks to his colleagues in america and is trying to be on top of things. if I am to be sarcastic, pinas is no longer coronavirus virgin, haha. may 1st case of coronavirus reported na tayo.

      does not mean the reported woman patient will progress to full blown cov and dies. she may well be infected only and brought low for a while. next time she got in contact with said virus, may immunity na siya.

      now, with our 1st case of confirmed cov, all the preps and training our health workers have so arduously undergone can be put into practice, updated and made better. they now have 1st class opportunity to study the etiology of the disease at close range, and lessons will be learned. they will be comparing notes, conferencing and skyping, with american, australian, and other overseas colleagues (britain). it’s difficult to bring china into the picture, very defensive sila at ang data nila is sus. methink.

    • My kicks are tweets, but I’m working on it. Today:

      “Bong Go is harmful to Filipino health.”

  31. NHerrera says:

    popoy, joeam, karl, kasambahay, others at TSH

    In response to comments addressed specifically to me or TSH comments I wish to comment on relative to the 2019-nCoV virus or coronavirus for short, I wish to write the following:

    1. There is an Economist article on the subject which offers some perspective. Here is the link:

    2. The article cites some scenarios we ourselves have made on the progression of the virus. A simulation on the likely loss of lives, for example, was done by Johns Hopkins University in October [before the 2019-nCoV virus came into world knowledge], in which 65m people dies in the simulation. Of course, we may consider that as unbelievable at this stage. But it shows the scale of human lives that a virus can take.

    3. popoy asked me the probable infections of 2019-nCoV in a month, in 5 months and in a year. I can say that no expert can answer that question; and I am no expert, except that I know my arithmetic, mathematics. What is perhaps answerable very guardedly is the first item in the question — the probable infections in a months time.

    As joeam can share with me because he has done his arithmetic too, I may say — in the language of mathematicians, scientists, technical people, businessmen when one does not know the accurate number but can speak of “scale” — that in 30 days we may have infections:

    – in the order of 10,000
    – in the order of 100,000
    – in the order of a few 1,000,000

    What I mean by order of 10,000 is it can be 10,000, 20,000, 30,000, 40,000. If it turns out to be 60,000, in the “order of” language, that will already count as order of a low 100,000.

    I am more comfortable to say that the infections in a months time, worldwide, is that it is probably of the order of 100,000 up to a very low order of 1,000,000. Note that the cited simulation in October by John Hopkins University spoke of 65 million. In the “order of” language that will already be order of 10,000,000.

    4. It is interesting that statements vary. A Chinese “expert” says that in ten days the accumulated infections may already plateau. On the other hand Professor Leung at HK with good credentials spoke of April as a probable time for the plateau. That is a wide range indeed: from 10 days to 90 days.

    5. The article I cited makes another comment on the impact of the coronavirus on the economic growth in China as a possible 2% instead of the 6% previous estimate. That is a big big impact — I may guess that the actual number will probably be between 2% and 6%. Now for the world economic growth if China’s growth becomes indeed 2%. Since China’s economy is a fifth of the world’s, the world economy, instead of the estimated 3%, can go down by 0.8% [= (0.06 – 0.02)x(1/5), converted to %]. That is the world economy slows to a growth of 2.2% (=3% – 0.8%). That is a big world economic impact. Along with that will come big political, social impact.

    • Thanks. For me, the variables are:

      A. How many cases really exist on day 1. What is the starting point? Today, something like 56 cases are being investigated, double yesterday’s 23. I’d start with 100 because I think there are a lot of unidentified cases out there.
      B. What is the infection rate during the hidden days when a person is contagious but no one knows. Guess 3, tapering to less than one at some point.
      C. What is the taper rate on infections? If education is strong and masks are available, and Chinese stop being let in, it would taper off faster than where we are today. As you point out, the numbers coming from China are between 10 and 90 days. I’d guess the downturn would occur 60 to 90 days hence (contagion rate below 1).
      D. What is the mortality rate (infected people who die)? Now it seems to be just over 2%.

      I crunch the numbers and it’s ugly. So I stop crunching and have twice sent a tweet to DOH asking them to give projections. I don’t think they will do that.

      • I would add that my family has a cocoon approach to the disease. We have three safe zones. The house. The car. The kid’s school. We move from one to the other without being close to other people or touching anything. The biggest vulnerability is the kid’s school, where one case could infect many others. I think the school will close if it gets infections.

        The biggest challenge is shopping for groceries and dealing with normal transactions. ATM, handling money, and so forth. We will work on routines for that to minimize risk.

        Still, it is probably better than 50/50 that contagion will occur. So we will imagine that we have bad colds and deal with it. I doubt we will go to the doctor or hospital because it will be an infection zoo, crowded and poorly managed.

        • NHerrera says:

          I buy your first comment. And I find the second comment logical and practical — the cocoon approach, the handling of ATM machine and related such source of infection [noting particularly in this regard that some studies point to the average personal phone as a germ carrier]. Take care of the family, particularly Joe Jr. who will be exposed daily to more people than you and the wife.

          • NHerrera says:

            I have stopped number crunching too. Let the experts and academicians — with their historical data and findings[Ebola, SARS, MERS] and current research data [whatever well-grounded data they have so far on the nCoV virus], and their superior methodologies and computer crunching capabilities — do that.

            Interesting about DOH not responding to their query. You and I could have developed, if we were in their shoes, a statement which while not causing panic paints the big picture. And importantly how to conduct ourselves so as to diminish the spread of the virus — for I believe the infection will not stop at that one confirmed PH coronavirus case.

  32. popoy says:

    I appreciate, am grateful and thankful to NHerrera for his effort and useful contribution to the understanding of a world emergency (declared by WHO) named as coronavirus. Up until this health problem I was trying to think of a definition of the word WISDOM. I have it now using it first to Mr. NHerrera; wisdom is EXPERIENCED EXPERTISE.

    And thanks God for giving us a TSoH, a free world, free country, free cyberspace super channel of distinctive communications for the good of the GOOD and bad people everywhere. TSoH is a channel, a carrier vehicle of the quest for truth and only for the upright citizens. It is not for idiots and the corrupt who will have the concern and patience to read in full the boring statistical wisdom of NHerrera.

    • popoy says:


      “Statistics is a mathematical body of science that pertains to the collection, analysis, interpretation or explanation, and presentation of data, or as a branch of mathematics. Some consider statistics to be a distinct mathematical science rather than a branch of mathematics.”

      “Statistics is the science of learning from data, and of measuring, controlling, and communicating uncertainty; and it thereby provides the navigation essential for controlling the course of scientific and societal advances.” Wikipedia

      Is statistics the truth?

      “Statistical thinking asks, and answers, that question. … Statistics are estimators of truth. To ensure the statistics we derive from data are as close to the truth as possible, we have to ensure the data is of utmost quality. There are numerous ways errors or biases can be an inherent part of the data used in research.

      Are results of popularity surveys of public officials the truth?

      Hah, hah, hah, hah.

    • NHerrera says:

      Thanks, popoy. Now, without looking at the mirror, my face is red. I don’t take well mucho generous words. Now, if I were a Trump … that would be a different matter.

      • popoy says:

        When someone is almost 83 like popoy, one should be AWARE of exemptions to the prescribed limits of good manners like branding an intellectual a genius; like saying Leni will be Wonder Woman of Pinas.

        No big deal NHerrera if what you see in the mirror is a red face instead of a deathly gray face. Also cogitate if true when JoeAm suggests that popoy is the riddller, master of words.

  33. Jean Summers says:

    Thanks for the post

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