Why ‘panic’ is good policy to fight the coronavirus

By Joe America

The coronavirus is a nasty little bug. I think all the calls for “calm” circulating in social media are wrong.

‘Panic’ is a better policy. But I’ll twist the definition a little:

Panic, noun, a highly emotionalized energy state in which the mind calculates all the ways one can get a nasty little bug

The coronavirus can’t be compared to the flu or tuberculosis or any other disease. It is different. It pays to understand the difference. The bug resides in people with the disease . . . carriers . . . for 5 to 14 days before symptoms appear. During this period, a carrier can infect others. The carrier is contagious.

You may have the bug now, but not know it. You may be infecting others. The guy next to you on the train may be a carrier. He doesn’t know. He’s innocent. But he’s putting you at risk.

The statistical approach to fighting the disease is simple. Reduce the number of persons infected by a carrier. The contagion rate. The last number I saw on the disease is that a carrier infects about 4 people during the hidden period. It’s a guess because people still don’t understand the disease. It’s too new. Do the math on that contagion rate for a few weeks, each person infecting 4, and the number of infected people reaches the hundreds of thousands.

The mortality rate . . . people dying . . . is low. Yes, so compared to the flu, no big deal. Except if there are hundreds of thousands of people which you multiply by an estimated mortality rate of 2.3 percent. Thousands of Filipinos could die. Real people.


How do we get the contagion rate down? We ‘panic’ and hope others are doing the same.


  • We put distance between us and the next person. And we accept that . . . if they are properly concerned . . . they don’t want to be next to us, either. No offense taken. Indeed, we like it.
  • We walk a kilometer rather than ride in a tin can filled with carriers, otherwise known as a jeepney.
  • We learn to keep our hands off our faces.
  • We avoid busy public restrooms like the plague.
  • We stop going to the mall for anything but essentials. We watch movies at home, not the cinema.
  • We stop riding in taxicabs without a hazmat suit on. Who knows when someone last coughed on the driver or door handle.
  • We use tissue when punching the horribly dirty ATM buttons.
  • We wrack our brains for other ways to stay safe. We obsess about it.
  • We accept that there will be inconvenience and maybe financial pain, but it is worth it.


The faster the contagion rate drops, the better. Make each individual Filipino a self-cocooned, quarantined soul, and we’ll save a lot of lives. We’ll be heroes, actually.

I think the cries for calm are meant well by most. But from Filipino leaders like Andanar and Panelo, the call for calm means “stop criticizing us!”

No no no. Criticize them until they are working harder to get testing gear available and distributed across the nation. Criticism finally got flights from China banned. It works.


Criticize where warranted.

Get government to start focusing on that contagion rate, and ways to get it down. Not on propaganda trolls calling us racists.

That is the single most important metric. The contagion rate.

To get there, used your emotionalized mind to figure out ways to seal yourself in a safety zone.

Build yourself a cocoon. State safe within it. Get others to do the same.

Get government to help in a major way.


190 Responses to “Why ‘panic’ is good policy to fight the coronavirus”
  1. arlene says:

    Gonna share this on my wall at FB Joeam. Thank you so much.

  2. karlgarcia says:

    Our policy makers are telling us what we do not know will not hurt and a little knowledge is dangerous.

    What they don’t know will hurt us and their little knowledge is so dangerous.

    • Yep. I visit the DOH site for the daily report. The banner at the top instructs us authoritatively to only use official DOH statistics, but there is no link to the statistics. So I have to dig up my book mark and go there. Then I find there is no report for the 31st? Why is that?

      Because a dude died and they didn’t know if they should report it or not until Duterte knew. Then late on the 31st, Duterte/Go consulted with China to figure out what to do. Which is why Go announced the decision the next day, not Panelo, and China press reported the death before Philippine media knew.

  3. I agree. The level of misinformation out there is super high.

    I guess the default should be to err on the safe side.

    I guess the only downside to that is that discontinuities abound in a world filled with just in time logistics systems. Stocking inventories of emergency, food, safety, and health stuffs should really be the job of the LGUs with ample support from the NGAs.

    Disaster Preparedness plans should be revisited, and spending of the preparation/mitigation part of the calamity fund ( I believe 15% of the calamity fund) should go beyond the seminar heavy and rescue equipment heavy spending.

    • The logistics for the disease are tough because PH hospitals are not equipped with proper quarantine and isolation rooms, and the number of patients is likely to overwhelm hospital capacities quickly. They could create emergency quarantine centers in warehouses and gyms, but I don’t think anyone is looking forward that way.

      Critically important is getting testing kits out in large numbers and widely to be able to test those who, say, were on Cebu Pacific flight with the first case. Or other high-potential carriers. Test frequently, free, and id the carriers fast. Get them out of circulation.

      But govt is not thinking this way, I think.

    • karlgarcia says:

      Good suggestions all.

      in addition

      From now on Manufactiring should be Just in case.
      The Toyota way should have been reviewed ever since the trade war.

      There will be supply chain disruptions on tech, etc because Much of the factories are in Wuhan and nearby,

      For countries like us who are import reliant and still to be revived manufacturing sector, we are doomed.

  4. NHerrera says:


    Regarding contagion or infection from the nCoV virus, John Hopkins University’s Center for Science and Engineering in Baltimore have been compiling “official” confirmed cases from China and other locations.

    [I realize of course, as does our Editor and other analysts worldwide that the real score is probably much larger than the official reports, but in this comment I am using John Hopkins compiled data.]

    For the purpose of this comment, these are the confirmed cases.

    * Mainland China:
    – 2020-01-20 — 278;
    – 2020-02-02 — 17,200.

    * Other locations:
    – 2020-01-20 — 4;
    – 2020-02-02 — 183.

    Note: JHU has data starting from Jan 20, and in between those two dates which data I am not posting here.

    Now, for my purpose. If one calculates the average contagion rate per day between those two dates [US EST] one gets:

    * For Mainland China, 37% [ = (17,200/278)^(1/13) – 1, converted to %]
    * For Other locations, 34% [ = (183/4)^(1/13) – 1, converted to %]

    Granting the official numbers are accurate, I find interesting that the contagion rate are close to each other [granting too that the statistics for the other location is much weaker because of the small numbers, compared to those from Mainland China]. Interesting because, among others, the bigger cases outside of China are from Japan, HK, Singapore, Australia, etc. — countries “nominally” better prepared than, say, PH, to handle the contagion.

    • So if I converted this to a 10-day rate, mainland china, one carrier would infect 3.7 people over the course of 10 days (a guess at the average period the virus is hidden)?

      The goal would be to drive that number down through testing, education, quarantine, and other means.

      • NHerrera says:

        Yes on the two points:

        – The 3.7 average number of people infected by the carrier over a span of 10 days, with an assumption of some average transmittal days from the carrier to the infected.

        – Definitely on the second point: The goal would be to drive that number down through testing, education, quarantine, and other means.

        • NHerrera says:

          I find interesting the panic-concept you described in the blog. In a way, though not using the “p” word or equivalent in the languages of the countries with infected cases, these countries are embracing through the measures they have individually taken, that very concept. Especially as prodded on by the panicky citizenry. The Authoritarian China played down the panic of the medical practitioners in Wuhan in the early stages — from about December 8 to early January; and thus reaped the big problem China now has, according to reports that somehow will come out in such circumstances. Gee whiz — 8 public medical practitioners in Wuhan were held by the police for rumor-mongering!

    • NHerrera says:

      Which brings me to the PH. Accept that we have only 2 confirmed cases presently. And grant that the contagion rate is approximately what we obtained above; take the average of this — 35.5%. Then, in 2 weeks or 14 days, the infected case may rise to 141 [ = 2*(1.355)^14].

      • Pablo says:

        That is the theoretical rate for the progress, but it does not include the thousands of “tourists” (or may I call them medical refugees?) from China who entered Philippines until a few days ago? Guess there is a percentage of infected people amongst those. And as the contagion quantities are exponential, we might be in for an unpleasant surprise and those following Joe’s advice (before the real panic sets in) might prove right.

        • NHerrera says:


          I agree: before the ban placed by the Administration recently, travelers from China — Chinese or non-Chinese — entered the Philippines. And some of those may be virus carriers. There are many variables of a qualitative nature difficult to quantify to make a contagion projection with confidence.

          I have just shared here what I have found after reading an item from John Hopkins University concerning the coronavirus; did some arithmetic; and used that in the case of the Philippines. In no way is it an estimate of the infected case in 2 weeks, the period I used as an example.

          I am glad of your comment. I hope this response note will be an answer to similar questions other readers may have. This is a word of caution then: to use my analysis with no more than a very rough idea — one of many projections that may be made. With reference to your note which I share, my rough number may thus be an underestimate.

          • NHerrera says:

            Just a supplementary note. My very rough model shows that if one goes to 30 days from today, the model yields the number of infections to be very roughly at a level of 18,000.

            The point here — which aligns with the spirit of the current blog article — is that if both personal care and Administration’s actions are not taken with the seriousness that the virus problem deserves [note, here for example, the bullet items Joeam enumerated on a personal basis to help diminish the contagion], then such a number of 18,000 may happen. We don’t want that. So by a combination of personal action and Administration moves, we may reach a peak number much less than that.

            • karlgarcia says:

              Dang! What about those who artived earlier than two weeks incubation who might be positive but asymptomatic

              • kasambahay says:

                I’m not worried too much about those positive but asymptomatic and not been through the system. news abound about coronavirus and how fast it spread, and they know what to do. some are curious at may kutob sa sarili and have themselves tested for the sake of families and loved ones. and if people around them start getting sick, they know where to go and to seek help.

                chinese embassy should really be aggressively urging the chinese to cooperate with our authority and submit themselves to contact tracing, and not dodge their way or bully their way out of it. that their names were not pulled out of a hat, just their rotten bad luck of being in close proximity of a case positive person.

              • karlgarcia says:


    • Chemrock says:

      The virulent 3.8 magic.

      Every year about 35,000 Anericans dies from complications from the flu bug. We don’t see border closures nor masks running out of stocks. We don’t see comments on western exotic cuisines.

      • I would note that you are still in the moderation bucket, and I have made note of your change in e-mail. Comments will be reviewed and allowed or not allowed based on the editor’s assessment of their contribution to factual, earnest discussion. Political advocacy is discouraged in favor of discussion of issues. Your comment here raises a relevant point, and readers may respond as they see fit.

      • karlgarcia says:

        Familiarity is the reason why people do not panic with the knowledge of the number of deaths from the flu. There are many Otc meds that claim to stop the symptoms and if symptoms persist they can insult their doctor.
        And their is a vaccine for almost all known strains.

        This is a new thing, what you don’t know will hurt.

  5. Thanks Joe for the reminder that sometimes the ‘SpongeBob-unsophisticated’ answer can be closer to the right answer that the cool, calm and collected one… That there are times to press the panic button. Your cautionary words are prodding me to exit my comfort zone of wishful thinking. Ouch!

  6. Micha says:

    Major US airlines have cancelled flights to and from China. There will be slowdown in global trade as container ships also took quarantine measures. Wall Street and other major bourses plunge.This pandemic could very well trigger a global recession.

    The formulation of the gathering catastrophe is simple. Coronavirus is loose in China. The Chinese Communist Party has declared war upon it and must win lest it jeopardise itself. As the virus explodes, the base case for that is now to progessively shut the country down for six-to-nine months. There is still an upside risk case that the CCP succeeds in choking the virus sooner, or a miracle drug appears, but with each passing day material economic harm well beyond SARS is being done to China. And there is an even higher probability risk case that the CCP fails and the world succumbs to a pandemic unseen since the Spanish Flu of 1918.


    • NHerrera says:

      WOW! A doomsday scenario. I hope it does not come to that. Thanks for sharing the link.

      • Micha says:

        Well, we are already slow-walking towards doomsday with the uncontained global warming and climate change anyway so what’s another pandemic on the side? Nature says it migth as well be good to accelerate the extinction of humanity.

        • madlanglupa says:

          The meek, *humble and the wise* shall inherit the earth.

        • kasambahay says:

          ah, micha, I’ll welcome the end with a glass of suntory in hand. here’s to you kid, long time in the making. no hard feelings para sa akin. humans are greatest threat to human life on earth. I’ll probly shed a tear or two and leave a full bottle of suntory for whoever comes after. skol.

    • madlanglupa says:

      In addition, more than 3 decades worth of economic trade with China has created a dependency between her and the rest of the world, especially with manufacturing and exportation of cheap goods allowing her to be a global economic power.

      An endemic disaster would create an economic crisis, such as outsourced manufacturing may force corporations to move operations elsewhere.

  7. Joe,

    Two works come to mind.

    1. Pandemic by Z-Man Games (boardgame), learning to work together to contain said virus/epidemic. Jr. will like this game.

    2. World War Z by Max Brooks (the book , not the movie!) he’s the son of the great Mel Brooks (comedian). again working together, but in the end knowing not everyone will make it. Prepare for that.

    I’ve always been a fan of worst case scenarios— if it happens you’re ready; if it doesn’t (this time) you’ve trained for the next event.

    Whether this novel coronavirus is it, the end of humanity OR not, everything you’ve written above is still good training. For life. Lifestyle. Less is more. More is fun.

    • The Philippine Navy there used to caravan, included Philippine Navy and civilian vessels, carrying Filipino Haj pilgrims all the way to Mecca. I dunno when they stopped this.

      Maybe get the Philippine Navy thinking in terms of that again. As worst case scenarios go, that’s one aspect worth gaming, where to go, who knows, maybe Mexico will be the world’s safe zone.

      But keep moving.

      Badjaos, Romas, Bushmen, Am-Indians, etc. early man, all had the right strategy. These pan-demics are simply the result of our sedentary lifestyles. Skip airports, go land naving better yet navigate the oceans.

      “Movement is Life”.

      • karlgarcia says:

        Build Build Build

        • kasambahay says:

          had people been sedentary, eat and sleep and stay home and watch t.v. , there will be less spread of disease, containment easier.

          these days, visa is needed to go almost anywhere, as well as plane tickets, money to spend, etc. navigating the seas and there is the chinese navy blocking your way, up in the sky and it’s chinese airforce telling you to get the hell out!

          me? I’m trying to grow pygmy mango in a pot. bonzai mango, fruits small like tambis I can pick easily without ladder. other times, I annoy politicians, kapolisan and the military and have a suitcase ready in case I need to bolt again, haha.

    • karl,

      I’m thinking worst case scenario here. So if by land or sea, the assumption is as kasambahay notes: “microbes dont like airy and well ventilated places.”

      Airplanes may have circulated filtered air, but in the end better to have fresh air.

      it goes back to the Walking Dead’s great debate, whether moving or sheltering in place is best. Moving is my bet.

      If moving with crowds is the issue, then move without crowds, get your own car; boat; make your own way. But moving is best, for worst case scenarios.

      Not advisable now. Seems to have plateaued. but still an escape route is worth considering.

      • karlgarcia says:

        I’m at that stage of my life where I keep myself out of arguments even if you tell me 1+1=5 you’ re absolutely correct, enjoy.

        Just kidding.
        But do enjoy.

      • karlgarcia says:

        • karlgarcia says:

          They should jut buy their own boat and enjoy the sea breeze per LCX.

          • In a worst case scenario, people won’t just all rush into a cruise ship like above. The caravan plan ala Philippine Navy to Mecca is supposed to be planned out, which means precautions taken, every passengers vetted, even chosen.

            OR you could go as a family or clan, or hell even TSOH commentators meeting up in Manila after having planned out things in advance, maybe thru a blog or in the comments section, ie. lets all meet up at Wil’s, and move to Berts’ island, then down to Biliran.

            Stay or go, every place you stop at, that should be the question, are we safer here??? IF not then keep on moving. Hell, MRP’s probably in the safest place right now, Ireland of Philippines. I personally would move towards where US military personnel are.

            OR you can make your group smaller to just your nuclear family , or even just you alone.

            But always weigh out whether to proceed or to stay. Until you’ve found a perfectly safe, or safer than before, place to be, karl. It’s not exclusive, but moving, movement, is better in the long run, than just staying. But staying is also an option.

            • karl,

              Add also the possibility that Manila like Wuhan will be locked down. Which means instead of just Movement to consider, you’re now having to face also Escape and Evade scenarios. For sure, I’m not getting trapped. I’d have left before lock down.

              BUT for those who’ve decided to shelter in place or opted the sedentary route. What now? Lots of things to consider, all possibilities and probabilities has to be played out well in advance for better decision making.

              If you and yours are healthy, you don’t wanna be locked down.

              • karlgarcia says:

                Everybody go to Infonesia and be quarantined for 14 days.

              • karl,

                Quarantine procedures for arriving travelers and wholesale city lock down are two very different things.

                There are usually beds and rooms ready for you in these travel quarantine set-ups, theres a process and preparation , its more formal, example everyone over here coming from China are now having to go thru military bases with quarantine set-ups.

                Now that cruise ship stuck in Japan is the closes to whole city quarantine. I feel sorry for those who opted for cabins in the middle of the ship with no windows. Gives a totally new meaning to cabin fever, karl. No thanks!

              • karlgarcia says:

                Or as Joe’s bookie suggest, Iceland.

              • karlgarcia says:

                LCX, opinion please.

                The author says travel bans don’t work.


              • karlgarcia says:

                If you may please share your thoughts.

              • karl,

                I totally agree that all this is political theatre. You have essentially a 3rd world country, that’s now experiencing 1st world amenities , and there’s 1.4 billion of them.

                This is all show. BUT,

                There’s two things I need to hit here, and I hope Joe publishes it— which also addresses below NH‘s “I believe Romney had that moment.”

                And i’m speaking as a libertarian here , at heart, no politics. And as one who’s always thinking about living simply and thriving with less. Essentially survivalist.

                1. be Cynical & Skeptical

                2. be a Happy Warrior

                Remember that Sen. Romney now was anti-Trump before, he was anti-Trump during the impeachment, he’s anti-Trump now. I believe he means well, like everyone. But at heart he’s still a politician. Which means always weighing things out , ie. public good vs. individual good.

                He became a Senator with the intent of countering Trump.

                I’m using Romney here as example that your gov’t whether democratic or authoritarian is made up of these politicians. Sure, some like Romney are really pious. But realize that in their minds will always be public good vs. individual good— means to an end, ends to a means.

                They’ll veneer it with Human Rights and Rule of Law, but in the end public good will win. Especially from a distance.

                So as a whole, your gov’t, my gov’t, China’s gov’t, etc. should always be considered suspect.

                Thus, that covers 1. be Cynical and Skeptical. it’s all theater.

                Being a Happy Warrior just means you’ve already become at peace with death and dying. Your ideal pain and pleasure scenarios should be well thought out well in advance. For example, I will never die inside a cruise ship– much less go on a cruise.

                That to me is more painful than pleasurable.

                Understand, that like a single virus your intentions in life, what you’re put here to do, is to live.

                As such , no amount of Human Rights and Rule of Law fluff can dictate how you live. You’ll have to weigh personally benefit/rewards, crime/punishment, but when it comes to worst case scenarios you will to this yourself, don’t let gov’t do this for you.

                So like that example of Wuhan residents fleeing Wuhan only to get killed by residents in the other town. That will be the norm in worst case scenarios. Remember Human Rights and Rule of Law are luxuries, when everyone’s happy, but all out the window when


                You should strive to be happy in chaos and disaster. Not happy per se the way you’re taught to envision happiness but more like acceptance that this is the normal state.

                Understand that that virus is doing exactly what we as a species is doing to this Earth, or what feral cats are doing to native fauna in Australia.

                2. be a Happy Warrior , sure kinda like Wordsworth intended but grittier like “the Book of Eli”.

                In conclusion, don’t trust your gov’t, trust your instinct, which represent billions of years of trial and error. Don’t let your gov’t or anyone convince you that public good trumps your individual personal good.

                You live.

                p.s. ___ In college campuses over here, people are already targeting Chinese foreign exchange students (as well as other East Asian looking students) forcing them to wear masks, etc.

                Imagine worst.

      • kasambahay says:

        seeing those empty streets devoid of people make me itch! I so wanted to rollerblade and carrying my pot plant, a cactus. anyone seeing a demented lady carrying a cactus and freely rollerblading on empty streets, pls dont throw rocks at her!

  8. karlgarcia says:


    OMG! Jetski all over again.
    At least he was on script per many observers

    • kasambahay says:

      of course! of course! of course! I’m happy talaga, what’s to fear?

      we should not be afraid, lalo na ngayong two new hospitals built in just 10days are going to be operational in wuhan. made in china, fast and quick talaga yang dalawang hospitals, modern and better equipped than our meager 3rd world class hospitals. bigger, spacier yang dalawang chinese hospitals managed by better educated and more knowledgeable chinese doctors. who better to care after their own people than the chinese themselves?

      maybe now, we can send back to china all its infected citizens kept in our country. they’ll be happier there, speaking the same language sila, their supportive families can easily visit them too, and they wont be surrounded by strangers that dont speak their language.

      • karlgarcia says:

        Read some guidelines from the CDC.

        Can we do these? (From CDC guidelines for Ebola patients)

        Transport must be coordinated with public health and civil aviation authorities at origin and destination.
        Infection control policies and procedures should be established before and implemented during all phases of patient transport.
        A portable isolation unit is recommended to contain infected materials and minimize contamination of the aircraft.
        Personnel providing care during transport should be trained in clinical management, infection control, and correct use of personal protective equipment (PPE).
        PPE should be used by all those in the patient care area or who may have contact with patients or their body fluids; infection control guidelines should be followed, and procedures that could increase the risk of exposure to the patient’s body fluids should be avoided.

        Yung self quarantine guidelines natin parang impossible na

        No sharing of toilet.

        • kasambahay says:

          transport of the infectious sick has been done successfully before and can be done again. medivac, air ambulances and flight medical personnel know what to do. so long as the sick are stable, they can be transported the sooner the better.

          about toilets, put down the lid when flushing to prevent microbes from being flung in the air and to people’s faces. or use gloves when using toilets, discard gloves after use. or use disinfectant wipes and wipe toilet seat. as well, toilets should be airy and well ventilated, not stuffy and crowded with dirt everywhere.

          microbes dont like airy and well ventilated places.

          • kasambahay says:

            about time for china to up veterinary hospitals too and update their veterinary knowledge and practices. may bird flu na naman uli sila. coronavirus and then bird flu, in the year of the rat, china is being awfully ratted. the monkey king must be jumping in gleeeeee!

            • karlgarcia says:

              Even the latest strain of the swine flu was from China .
              Then we have the pneumonic plague.
              Many cases for anti vaxxers and conspiracy theorists to blame big pharma.

              What I fear are new super bugs
              as a result of antibiotics abuse.

          • karlgarcia says:

            Thanks KB!

  9. NHerrera says:

    2020-02-04 UPDATE ON nCoV

    John Hopkins compiled data indicate that Mainland China’s official confirmed cases is 20,386 and Other Locations as 188 or a total of 20,574. In short the world has reached the 20,000 level mark on the official virus confirmed cases.

    • NHerrera says:

      There is a good news along with the above note [my analysis]. From Jan 31, I made a 3-day exponential running average of the daily infection rate from John Hopkins data. Here are the running averages:

      – Jan 31: 29%
      – Feb 01: 25%
      – Feb 02: 23%
      – Feb 03: 22%
      – Feb 04: 20%

      In short, a deceleration in the speed of infection — thanks to the efforts of China and the other countries. It seems that worldwide fear and panic do help, Joe.

      • Great. Good to see that trend.

      • “ Update: We are still in the expansion period. Crude CFR is dropping because case counts are growing faster than outcomes are recorded. We hope and anticipate that the true CFR is low, but we cannot estimate that by simply dividing deaths/cases.”

        Caitlin Rivers, John Hopkins

      • NHerrera says:

        For our record at TSH, here is the chart of the data I referred to above from JHU. The orange chart is the confirmed nCoV cases from Mainland China and the yellow chart is the confirmed cases from all Other Locations. Because of the scale of the chart, the Other Locations line (yellow) is practically on the x-axis [on February 4, for example, China cases is 20,500 and Other Locations is 209].

        What my note above about the deceleration of the speed of infection is reflected in the China chart — while the earlier part is concave upwards, the last few days indicate a concave downward nature: passing through some inflection point.

        But it is early days yet — of the nature of “one swallow does not a summer make.

      • NHerrera says:

        Now, although there may be some glimmer of a deceleration of infection speed in Mainland China, as I noted above, the problem is in our country. We have for example these two concerning headline reports with corresponding links below the headlines:

        * Coronavirus now in Tarlac

        * Duque blames PAL, Cebu Pacific for slow contact tracing of nCoV cases’ co-passengers



        • kasambahay says:

          contact tracing, what they failed to tell us is that the passengers are angry at nagwala, threatened to sue airlines and take them to court for seating them close to the case person and exposing them to danger. senate should pass interim law, make it mandatory for those contacted to submit to contact tracing and eventually go through contact screening where they will have to forego privacy and give all their personal details, like maybe traveling with mistresses when they should be traveling with their wives!

          those who have sat sa contact tracing know how invasive the questions asked, how prodding, degrading even and callous at times, they become a number and not a person. does not matter whether they’re heads of corporations, the questions are the same for everyone.

          pass law for contact tracing, protect our doctors and airlines from being sued and taken to court.

  10. karlgarcia says:

    Duque just admitted that there is no way to contact the passengers and asked to be cut some slack because we are not prepared .

    I do not think that legislation is a solution here , there are defense and security bills enumerating what to in case of this and that maybe they should include outbreaks there.

    Even if there is a law we will go back to implementation.
    Then we hear there is no budget or budget was realigned.

    And all we can hear from the president is there is nothing to fear and a sidekick exclaiming that fear monger ears should be quarantined.

    • kasambahay says:

      those contacted po knew they what they’re up against, they’ve been sent text messages and emails, and knew their obligations too, but choose to ignore them. non-compliant sila. hard to locate dahil they change flights so often, here, there and everywhere sila on vacation. and some are on short stay lang po and dont want to miss connecting flights.

      at saka airlines are cautious, who would want to seat at the same seat the case person once sat? they would lose booking and have fewer passengers.

      would be passengers may even try to avoid the airlines that carried the case person. doubtful na baka in the aftermath airlines are not properly cleaned and disinfected, the virus lingering pa rin and ready to pounce.

      • karlgarcia says:

        Thanks so much.

        I am watching news and Noli is interviewing quarantine guys and privacy guys and he is discussing what has not been discussed in the hearing.

        Too much protocols too many cooks and too many chefs.

        • kasambahay says:

          you know, I want those guys contacted for tracing be put on straight jackets. they’re pugnacious, kicking chairs and pounding at table, so intimidating. mouth frothing with expletives galore, eyes shooting daggers! I can understand po why doctors sometimes back down. if noli is lucky, he might want to sit and observe proceeding and be ready to duck just in case. though, sekyu should be in attendance too in case things get ugly. I dont want kapolisan there, baka sabihing nanlaban . . .

  11. madlanglupa says:

    Wonderful, now he’s nuts.

    • karlgarcia says:

      Bong Go should quarantine Sotto.

        • karlgarcia says:

          I am not convinced that bio weapons are made for isolated targets and not meant to be pandemics. Cop out!

          • karlgarcia says:

            I want your input.

            Elsa Kania, a fellow at the Center for a New American Security, said that while Chinese officials had expressed public interest in the potential weaponization of biotechnology, a coronavirus would not be a useful weapon.

            “Hypothetically, a bioweapon would be designed to be highly targeted in its effects, whereas since its outbreak the coronavirus is already on track to become widespread in China and worldwide,” she said.

            Vipin Narang, a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, wrote in a message on Twitter that a good bioweapon “in theory has high lethality but low, not [high], communicability” and that spreading such ideas would be “incredibly irresponsible.”

            • kasambahay says:

              I’ll pass po. humankind is already on the way to extinction, I dont want any part in accelerating its demise. I’m for preservation of life on earth and of the planet.

              I’m aware though that in the future, virus more virulent than coronavirus will be fired from a long range rifle. the target: the homeless, the stateless and the unwanted; the ghetto rid of lowlives, the camp of its refugees. cheaper that way, no need to file flight logs and drop canisters from the sky. a single bullet loaded with virus calculated to eradicate a whole population.

              there is antidote though, all being studied and still experimental stage and sooner rather than later, they’ll hit pay dirt.

    • IF it was biowarfare, which the West is not very fond of (prefers chemical warfare if it had to choose between the two, considerations on delivery, blowback, unintended consequences, etc. etc. there’s no biowarfare that’s self limiting once its used ),

      THEN they would’ve closed off connections to China.

      As far as conspiracy theories go , not the tightest.

      BUT i’ll do you one better re China. When you’re calling the Philippines from North America (i think even Europe too), not sure about Australia.

      Whether by mobile to mobile, landline to mobile, vice versa, the first , second or even third tries, your call takes you to China (where exactly i dunno, whether its landline or mobile, i dunno).

      So North American calls are being weirdly diverted to China. Eventually you get a hold of the Philippine number you’re trying to reach— but it take a few tries.

      I know that most Filipinos outside the Philippines call via Viber or fb now, internet to internet. BUT for those folks still using their cell phones and land line, how many of you are experiencing this phenomena.

      China is doing something funny with the phone lines. This is for sure worthy of a blog. Can the DU30 administration explain this???

  12. NHerrera says:

    Thanks for the cautionary note from JHU: to be cautious about making inferences from recorded numbers — which I do, not knowing the qualitatives associated with the recorded numbers.

    In a way, although the stock market may sometimes be viewed by some as a gambling activity, the qualitatives, along with the quantitatives, are used by the “players” in voting with their money. So we have to use what the average trend of the Chinese stock market indices are as some measure. As well as related business activities to get a good feel for these qualitatives.

    What is troubling in the PH situation is the “admission [confession, to my way of thinking] of DOH’s Duque that there is no way to contact the passengers … because we are not prepared,” as reported by karl below. Meaning, in my opinion, that we have to put a relatively low trust in the reported numbers from the DOH — more than what the JHU speaks of.

    • NHerrera says:

      Oops. The note above is meant as a rejoinder to TSH’s note in

      The Society of Honor says:
      February 4, 2020 at 3:36 pm

    • karlgarcia says:

      The airline carriers pun incidental said they assisted in contacting the passengers, and manifests were already submitted, but there a incidents of false contact information. etc.

      • NHerrera says:


        I watched the initial abs-cbn news report an hour ago.

        Duterte: Huwag mabahala sa coronavirus …

        Abs-cbn: Handa na ang mga hospital sa mag kokunsulta tungkol sa coronavirus.

        On the first one — hmm.

        On the second one. Duque not very active on investigation of passenger contacts because “not ready, etc.” But the hospitals are ready. Is this some sort of game children play? Compare that with the pictures we see outside of China with people in hazmat suits and all. Here, what do we have?

    • NHerrera says:

      In Hong Kong with one death today from nCoV following the one death from PH, here is a snippet of a report:

      Two additional cases of the novel coronavirus were confirmed in Hong Kong on Tuesday, bringing the total to 17 cases and one death in the semi-autonomous Chinese city.

      In a press conference on Tuesday with the Department of Health and the Hospital Authority, officials confirmed there are now a total of four local transmission cases in Hong Kong. The two new cases announced on Tuesday have no travel history to mainland China and neither do their family members.

      Dr Chuang Shuk-kwan from the Department of Health warned that though the number of confirmed cases in Hong Kong seems low, the Hospital Authority does not rule out the potential for large scale spreading in the future due to the local transmission cases. [Bolding mine.}

  13. karlgarcia says:

    That rehab center white elephant in N Ecija is not being used and Duterte was even proud of that during the start of his term now he wants it to be a quarantine area, but the Gov does not want to,
    Then he goes back to threatening(expropriation)after “assuring”us that there is no need yo be afraid of NCov

  14. karlgarcia says:

    NBI to trace origin of fake news.

    If successful, they should give tips to the interagency patssenger contract tracers.

  15. karlgarcia says:

    Forget airports,your suggestion of herding and shipping still invilolves crowds and seaports.

    Better to stay home and be sedentary.

  16. karlgarcia says:

    Out of topic

    Hope there is no moro moro among mistahs.
    Lacson to investigate Honasan.


  17. Micha says:

    Some virologists say the outbreak may just turn out to be a seasonal winter disease and could taper off in the spring and summer as the virus couldn’t thrive in a warm and humid environment which is good for a tropical non-paradise like the Philippines.

    Turn off the air conditioners. Sweat them out. Avoid the malls.

    • kasambahay says:

      I’ve sat at symposia, all these experts having a yakka, talking in jargons only themselves know. I can follow some of them jargons though, I’ve seen these experts often enough they felt like family.

      anyhow, ncov has life expectancy of around 4hrs outside the human body kuno. unless grown in petrie dish in the lab, ncov cannot survive without human host, needs the nutrition the human body can provide. inside the human body is best environ for them, warm, safe and moist.

      once in the body, ncov incubates and undergoes mitosis (cell division, to create more virus) until viruses become overwhelmingly exponential and after incubation period of 5-14 days is over, mount an attack. a battle royale ensue with the human body sending soldiers, white blood cells as antibodies commonly known as phagocytes.

      human phagocytes literally eat up ncov and slow down ncov’s advances and in the process, a fever manifest, hurray! I love fever, to me it means the body is fighting back. fever can last for days.

      like any fight, there can only be one winner, virus vs phagocytes. if virus won, the body is overwhelmed and death occurs. if phagocytes won, the body survives and recover.

      • Micha says:

        The key to viral transmission, it seems, is drier atmospheric air which occur, counter-intuitively, during the cold winter months.

        Thanks to the laws of thermodynamics, cold winter air can carry less water vapour before it reaches the “dew point” and falls as rain. So while the weather outside may seem wetter, the air itself is drier as it loses the moisture. And a steady stream of research over the past few years has shown that these dry conditions seem to offer the perfect environment for the flu virus to flourish.

        Flu epidemics almost always followed a drop in air humidity.

        • Thanks, Micha!!!

          I had to do some extra Googling on this, but you’re absolutely right:


          “The researchers found that low humidity hindered the immune response of the animals in three ways. It prevented cilia, which are hair-like structures in airways cells, from removing viral particles and mucus. It also reduced the ability of airway cells to repair damage caused by the virus in the lungs. The third mechanism involved interferons, or signaling proteins released by virus-infected cells to alert neighboring cells to the viral threat. In the low-humidity environment, this innate immune defense system failed.

          The study offers insight into why the flu is more prevalent when the air is dry. “It’s well known that where humidity drops, a spike in flu incidence and mortality occurs. If our findings in mice hold up in humans, our study provides a possible mechanism underlying this seasonal nature of flu disease,” said Iwasaki.

          While the researchers emphasized that humidity is not the only factor in flu outbreaks, it is an important one that should be considered during the winter season. Increasing water vapor in the air with humidifiers at home, school, work, and even hospital environments is a potential strategy to reduce flu symptoms and speed recovery, they said.

          The study was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).”


          I’ve always wondered why too, but never bothered to Google the question. Though I’ve read, we here base our Flu vaccines on which flu strains were prevalent in Australia for summer (winter for them). Which begs the question where do Australians base which specific flu vaccine to use. Lol! I never really understood that.

          Very interesting. I always figured more sun = more Vitamin D = better immune system during warmer months. But this makes for sense.

          • kasambahay says:

            lance corporal, next time po you visit aussie gp for flu vax, ask flu questions. doctors in aussieland are quite informative. lots of informative brochures are also found in reception.

            australia is undeniably melanoma capital of the world. more sun exposure causes skin cancer. and having more vit d is of no use. vit d like vit c and other b vitamins have to be replenished daily. the body dont store them for further use. only a set amount a day is needed, the rest are discarded via sweat or urine. having too much vit d may well give the opposite of what vit d is supposed to do and one might end up with diarrhea.

          • karlgarcia says:

            Just to satisfy my curiosity as well.

            Featured snippet from the web
            Flu shots protect against three or four strains of flu virus. Trivalent flu vaccines protect against two influenza A strains — H1N1 and H3N2 — and one influenza B strain. … In addition to the standard-dose flu vaccine given through a needle, flu shots are available in several different forms.Sep 16, 2019

        • kasambahay says:

          salamat po, micha. I dont look forward to the next cold winter months. god knows what ails come next. super, super bugs and we humans can only play catch up. and we do catch up, always. if virus thinks it can mutate and overwhelm the whole human race, it has not seen the last of us. we are made of hardier stuff and have lots of cheat! we learned and improved on what work before and keep on updating our knowledge and database.

          I no longer go to malls, shop online na lang ako until things get better.

    • NHerrera says:

      Thanks, Micha and Kasambahay, for some technicals on the virus.

      • NHerrera says:

        And while at this, I wish to update on the continuing surge of the nCoV infections. I may have spoken too early on a probable inflection point of the infection rate towards a deceleration in speed. It seems it is back to its speedy surge. We may have to wait for more data to make a more definitive statement. Also, I may mention that following John Hopkins University data, updated as numbers come in during the day, the numbers in the early morning [Manila time] are quite different from the numbers late in the day.

        However, this much I can say with confidence from the prevailing [official] data. In 10 days — that is, by February 16 — the worldwide confirmed cases will be more than 50,000. On this I can bet a bottle of SanMig.

        • kasambahay says:

          drink up, nherrera! alcohol may keep you pickled no coronavirus want to invade you, your blood ph level a hostile environment for any virus to thrive, haha. keep safe though and dont share an open bottle of sanmig with anyone. and dont even think of wiping it clean. you toucha me bottle, I breaka your face!

          john hopkins, there are many chinese students there, right? all for the motherland. they speak perfect english but their hearts belong to san franchina. apparently, coronavirus is racist and killed mostly chinese, hic.

          I’ll worry about data in about june 2020.

          • NHerrera says:


            • NHerrera says:

              This may sound like an excuse from Toy Price, Democratic Party Chairman, but here is a statement from him, among others, about the mess up,

              The backup phone lines crashed because internet trolls got the number and flooded the lines Monday night.

              Trolls ride again!

              One technical question I may ask. That faulty “app” that contributed to the problem. Why was there not enough testing done? Toy Price and his staff in my opinion have something here to answer for.

              • NHerrera says:

                Sorry about the placement of this comment. It is supposed to come after the comment posted in,

                NHerrera says:
                February 6, 2020 at 3:44 pm

                My tablet is acting up. [I am too cheap to buy another one. 🙂 ]

        • NHerrera says:


          If I may be allowed this diversion, here is a virus of a different kind.

          As expected by almost anyone interested, the US President was acquitted [the 67-43 vote for conviction being a huge hurdle to overcome] in the Impeachment Senate Trial. The least one can say about the result of the Senators vote is that it is bipartisan on one of the Articles of Impeachment — abuse of power — lodged by the House, by a vote of 52-48, with the Republican Senator Romney joining all the 46 Democratic Senators and 1 Independent Senator.

          But to me, the un-graciousness of the Republicans, the Whitehouse staff, and the President’s son on Senator Romney is unnecessary. Wouldn’t acquittal be enough? But we have here a coronavirus of a human kind.

          • NHerrera says:

            But the Americans do not have to panic about that virus, unlike what may panic some about the 2019-nCoV. Or should they? There is of course the antidote for those who worry about that virus — come November 2020.

            • Micha says:

              Not so fast. With the rigging of Iowa primary elections, Establishment Democrats have just shown they are just as corrupt and dishonest as their Republican counterparts.

              It’s been over 24 hours now since the primary and still no final official results as the Clinton and Wall Street wing of the party maneuvers to deprive Sanders of a victory in favor of Buttigieg.

              These neoliberal Clinton Democrats would rather lose to Trump than win with Bernie in the general elections.

              • NHerrera says:

                The virus of the human-kind infects all it seems. 🙂

              • Micha says:

                I thought election shenanigans only happen in the Philippines or Myanmar and Bolivia – not in the supposed “stronghold” of western democracy.

                In many ways, America has now also become a Banana Republic.

              • Agree. But on the basis of the impeachment, not Iowa.

              • Can you provide a source on the “rigging” charge? I know the primary was messed up, but I’ve not read of rigging. Thanks.

              • NHerrera says:

                Me too. I did some googling on this. It seems the mobile app that the “voters” were supposed to use had a big technical problem — for which the app developer hired by the DNC appoligized.

              • karlgarcia says:

                Glitches like that produces the Bong Gos of the world

              • NHerrera says:

                I may be belaboring the subject here. But Senator Romney’s statement explaining his vote in the Senate Trial is impressive. I could not have written a better statement.


              • He’s an old school patriot, which is easier to be if your re-election is a certainty.

              • NHerrera says:

                Yes, there is that too — the balancing of interests. On that matter, I cannot help comparing a Lindsey Graham and a Mitt Romney, all things considered.

              • Micha says:


                Operatives of the Clinton/Obama/Wall Street wing of the party made a test run in Iowa to rig the primary and deprive Sanders of the nomination by employing the services of a startup company called, appropriately enough, Shadow, Inc.

                Shadow Inc. has a mother company called Acronym run by Tara McGowan who is married to Buttigieg’s campaign manager. Buttigieg himself is a donor to Acronym funds.

                Buttigieg made a premature announcement of victory with 0% of caucus results tallied.

                The rigging attempt was clumsily done, paired with the incompetence of the app developer that was suppose to count caucus results but did not deliver.

                As the IDP resorted to hand counting, several incidence of vote and delegate switching were reported by precinct chairmen.

                As of this writing, only results from satellite counties need to be tabulated and those are the strongholds of Bernie.



              • Thanks for the background. Still speculative, it seems to me. So I’ll put it in the bucket of ‘needs more data before I’ll buy it and spread it’. It does seem a mess though, with Trump trolls having a part in it. Elections no longer are wholesome events where we’d go to make ourselves proud by joining in the best part of democracy. Now it’s just another bitter, angry field in which to toil.

              • Micha says:

                “A precinct chair in Iowa said the app got stuck on the last step when reporting results,” CNN reports. “It was uploading a picture of the precinct’s results. The chair said they were finally able to upload, so they took a screenshot. The app then showed different numbers than what they had submitted as captured in their screenshot.”


              • Micha says:

                One more source for the “rigging” charge :

                Democrats Mistakenly Award Iowa Delegates for Bernie Sanders to Deval Patrick


              • NHerrera says:

                I read the links. Here is my comment.

                It is a matter or weight one puts: whether “rigging” was done or it is mainly due to the untested app applied in a hurry that failed. [Caitlin Johnstone blog article started with a statement of rigging by H Clinton and the Dem establishment and ended with a rant on oligarchs in contrast.]

                I put more weight into the NYT link that one of micha’s link referred to and an Editorial from Washington:


                New York Times:

                Matt Blaze, a professor of computer science and law at Georgetown, said that introducing apps in the midst of an election posed many problems. Any type of app or program that relies on using a cellphone network to deliver results is vulnerable to problems both on the app and on the phones being used to run it, he said.

                “The consensus of all experts who have been thinking about this is unequivocal,” Mr. Blaze added. “Internet and mobile voting should not be used at this time in civil elections.”

                Any technology, he said, should be tested and retested by the broader cybersecurity community before being publicly introduced, to test for anything ranging from a small bug to a major vulnerability.

                “I think the most important rule of thumb in introducing technology into voting is be extremely conservative,” he said.

                Christopher C. Krebs, the director of the Homeland Security Department’s cybersecurity agency, said late Monday evening that the mobile app had not been vetted or evaluated by the agency.

                Washington Post Editorial:

                It’s 2020. Should Americans really still be voting with pen and paper? The answer, amplified by this week’s meltdown in Iowa, is a resounding “yes.”

                The inaugural Democratic primary caucuses were thrown into disarray after the state’s vote-recording app imploded. Volunteers struggled to download the largely untested product, or to upload their counts onto it once they’d managed to get in. On top of that, what state party officials called a “coding issue” caused the program to spit out incorrect numbers even when results were successfully input.

                The one bit of good news amid all the bad: There’s a paper trail. Because precinct captains kept handwritten tallies of the outcome, voters can expect a reliable analog answer in the end — no matter how dysfunctional the digital system that delayed it.

  18. NHerrera says:


    Below is the map of the spread of the 2019-nCoV virus worldwide. I would like to caution though that the confirmed cases are widely different: in Mainland China where the virus originated it is now over 28,000 while in the other countries the total is only over 200.

    Thankfully, no official confirmed cases are reported in Mexico, the Balkans, and South America and Africa. Thankfully, because considering the populations of these countries, their facilities of handling the virus is not as good as, say, Japan, Singapore, Russia.

  19. NHerrera says:


    I may be occupying a lot of comment space here. Thus, I do not mind at all if the Editor sees fit to delete this.

    But I am rather pissed at the the hostile kind of diplomacy by some Chinese officials by statements such as this:

    China’s ambassador to the UK has called the global reaction to the coronavirus epidemic an “overreaction” and criticized the media for a “bias” against China. 

    A Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman said this:

    “I must stress that certain countries’ ill-advised decisions to suspend flights to and from China are neither cool-headed nor rational.

    “China is strongly concerned and dissatisfied. We hope relevant countries will bear in mind overall relations and people’s interests and resume normal operation of flights to guarantee normal people-to-people exchange and cooperation.”

    I believe these officials are used to the belligerence that they have displayed since their new-found economic and military power. If not, they can massage their statements to deliver the same message in a less hostile way.

    I remember the attitude displayed by China in its relation with the Philippines, not helped at all by the subservient attitudes of Senators Go and Sotto. One instance: The ramming of the Filipino boats by Chinese Fishermen?

    Can the countries really be blamed?

    These statements display, in a way, the panicky response of these officials. They are deathly afraid of the economic impact of this virus outbreak. Certainly the advanced countries too have weighed the economic impact of their actions with a slowdown of China’s economic growth, but decided to take their corresponding actions, nevertheless, to protect their citizens.

    • kasambahay says:

      what china bigger wigs must realize is that the dead dont make good customers. gotta be alive and kicking.

      harping about lost protein, ah well. by now, china must have stash and reserves humongous and higher than the sacred heaven, can withstand economic tsunamis and has plenty to fall back on. all that gazillions to tide them over!

      right again, nherrera. china must protect its citizens like what most countries are doing now. dead citizens dont make good business. keep citizens alive and longer! cooperate for once and keep communication line open. not closed up. if china is losing face, it can find its pretty face again, people the world over have shorter memories.

      the sooner the problem is over, the sooner we can all get back to our economic feet, buying and selling and trading once more.

      the onset of the year of the rat is not kind to china, year of the rat, year of the plaque. but what’s one year? win some, lose some. china should know that.

      chinese ambassador and spokesperson of chinese foreign ministry both have to come to terms that it’s bad luck to put bad penny in ampaw. dont desecrate their dead, honor them instead and acknowledge what they went through. mourn them, bear and grin and court the chinese goddess of mercy. bad feng shui can still be turn around but if china plays victim, it will have to be buried.

  20. karlgarcia says:

    If Duterte is dead wrong that like was this will die a natural death( eventually)Soon no one will accept Asian passengers in taxis and ride sharing, it is already happening across the globe.
    Videos saying that a Wuhan native who went to another town nearby got beaten up because he is positive and is coughing.

    Still a guessing game by the experts, they say the virus will die in humid, tropical climates, people develop immunity from these.( What won’t kill you will make you stronger)

    500 plus and counting brecorded deaths is still not a rosy picture.
    The hate and the phobia will not stop soon enough, I hope it will be over soon.

    When the smoke clears, I hope everyone has all bases covered in situations like these.

    • kasambahay says:

      I doubt po if weather makes one immune. for a person to be immune, antibodies must be in the system via vaccination or acquired as in previous exposure. weather changes region to region, day by day and night by night, and cannot be trusted.

      in our warm country, there has been death, in cold hongkong may death din po. it’s not the weather but people that gets infected. weather is maybe just a contributing factor.

    • kasambahay says:

      karlg, what is of concern to me is the refusal of the funeral place to cremate the 1st man to die of coronavirus in our country. maybe the funeral place wants 3x the amount of money previously agreed, I dont know. both duterte and bong go should step in now and stop this refusal before it becomes norm.

      one refusal can easily lead to many refusals. HIV positive dead have been cremated before and not been refused, those with multi-resistant drug TB been cremated too and not refused. as well, the cremation of the dead due to coronavirus should not make any difference, fire is fire.

      if cremation is refused, maybe duterte and bong go ought to have chat with funeral parlor and support duque. not left duque floundering on his own with no backup.

      • karlgarcia says:

        I share your concern, but don’t worry I won’t share it without permit.

        • kasambahay says:

          lots of people po come up with the same ideas, express in different ways. if you find my ideas useful, clip it, kill it, dunk, it, burn it, share it, throw it, strangle it, okay with me. no skin off me pug nose and no permit needed, absolutely. I got plenty more ideas where they come from. para sa akin, ideas are best shared and shouted at tree tops.

          what I dont like are ideas that come back and put me in prison. then I swear to god, they’re not my ideas. not my ideas at all. cheers.

    • The unknowns on the disease outweigh the knowns. No way I’d get into a cab these days, or on a shared cycle. I’m in statistical mode, hammering down the odds. My bookie fled to Iceland. Says odds are good there.

      • karlgarcia says:

        Duterte was hating on Iceland a few months back, because it went against him. Good choice.

        • kasambahay says:

          guys, go to iceland and prepare to be celibate! haha, there is lack of eligible females kuno. loneliness is pastime aside from long walks on frozen tundra. there are bubbling hot springs that cures ailments and arthritic pains kuno, also plenty vodka and herrings by the barrels, plus the aurora lights on night skies are showy.

  21. NHerrera says:


    Panic as an aid to fighting a crisis of unknown nature or character. Fighting a crisis with personal value change. For some, a dramatic moment of change — a road to Damascus moment.

    Here is a CNN writer’s comment on Senator Romney who was the lone voter against his party to vote for the conviction of Trump [in fact, as reported, the only one in US history who in a President’s Impeachment Trial voted against his party’s vote]. I believe Romney had that moment.


    In my case, I haven’t had that dramatic moment. Mine is more an evolution, a rather slow change over the years.

    • Pablo says:

      Roman Emperor Nero had St Paul beheaded. The new Emperor, sTrumpelstiltskin, might well try a similar show on Romney. The way things are going, he has 4 years to accomplish this, where Nero had 30 years. Remember how Rome was burning when St.Paul met his fate ?? Nostradamus meets Nero? Need to learn to play the violin.

  22. madlanglupa says:

    I apologize for this being off-topic, but so very relevant to the MRT3 controversy aka “On a Clear Day” investigative article: Vitangcol and Soriano have been convicted; no word on Abaya.

  23. karlgarcia says:


    Thanks for your inputs in our long thread below or above.

    Btw chemrock asked me your email address and because I do not know, i pointed him to your inactive twitter account.

    • karlgarcia says:

      @Lcx, do you answer DMs?

      Btw you can DM me in twitter anytime if or when the need arises.

      Sonny gets in touch with me through yahoo mail
      Chemrock through fb messenger
      Some here through fb and twiiter

      • Yeah, sure, karl, chemp can DM me anytime on twitter. usually i just use Twitter to log on to comment here, but i’ll check it regularly now for DMs from you guys.

        But i’m sure chemp can comment here again, Joe’s okay with me doing, and he likes chemp more than me. 😉 it ‘s like St. Origen said no ones really banished forever, over time all is forgiven.

        p.s.– I think we’re really lucky with this Princess cruise ship in Japan scenario, it’s like a petri dish for first hand studying of the virus. All eyes should be on that ship. Though it would really suck if virus becomes air borne and those in the inner sanctum cabins of said ship become infected.

        I’d have jumped ship before they could even say quarantine, at qua… i’d already be doggy paddling ashore.

        • I moderate when I am unsure the postings will elevate the level of discussion. I’d rather not moderate, but if contributors, on their own, can’t grasp how their commentary fits against a goal of open, earnest discussion, then I’ll step in. You tend to dominate the discussion and give strange responses that squirm all over the place. chemrock, at last sighting, was promoting a political agenda using conspiracy theory source material. That’s like someone trying to sell hair shampoo here. I don’t have the patience I used to have. It was a great relief to send you both packing. But time does blur the memory.

  24. karlgarcia says:

    Our leaders gave false sense of security by assuring us that everything is under control.
    Now we have a presidential pretender saying that he was not told that there would be an outbreak.
    Say, what? The whistle blower is dead now, does it have to be Xi that warns him.

    If Bong Go becomes president because people would not want BBM to become one, then history would repeat it self.
    Binsy did not become our president, but out of the frying pan into the fire.

    • kasambahay says:

      I’m sick of the presidential pretender. excuse me! he was not told there would be outbreak, what is he, a kid to be told, a tyke to be spoonfed? it’s his job to be on top of things, to find out anything and everything that adversely affect him. had he been living under a rock, I would have understood dahil walang signal duon.

      he’s just being a jerk, haha. we have more drug deaths than coronavirus deaths, our people more resilient. and we dont really have much day to day contact with mainlanders dahil, esnabero and talk among themselves sila, they keep us at a distance, thank the lord!

  25. NHerrera says:


    I made some googling after reading Chemrock’s note on the death toll from influenza in the US, considering that the death toll so far from the 2019-nCoV is relatively small — 725 as of today. I found that there are great variations in the deaths from the different seasons, even if one examines only the the flu seasons from 2011-2012 up to 2018-2019 — a flu season usually covers the autumn season of one year to winter, early spring seasons of the next year; thus 2011-2012, etc.

    1. First, those with flu-like illnesses can vary from 10m to 45m [m = million]. Even US CDC can only estimate this using a model with some parameters. It has a comparatively better number for the hospitalizations from those illnesses, for obvious reasons: there are reports on this, etc.

    2. Here are some numbers:

    * 2011-2012 season, considered a “mild” season for flue:
    some 10,000 deaths.

    * 2014-2015 season:
    Estimated illness — 34m
    Hospitalization — 710,000
    Deaths — 58,000

    * 2017-2018 season, a very bad season for flu:
    Estimated illness — 45m?
    Hospitalization — 965,000
    Deaths — 80,000

    * 2019-2020 season, not yet over for the flu season; it is only winter and CDC seems to view the season as on track to follow the scale of the 2017-2018 flu season

    [Not to forget: the US population during those years is 325m more or less]

    3. The question then is why the 2019-nCoV infection scare compared with garden-variety flu with its various strains?

    I will leave the comments on the why to our other contributors here, if they wish. [Division of labor, hahaha.]

    • Micha says:

      “The question then is why the 2019-nCoV infection scare compared with garden-variety flu with its various strains?”

      It’s a scare in the same way that SARS became an outbreak scare also from southern China which was traced from civets to cave-dwelling horseshoe bats in Yunnan province. Like SARS, scientists are also finding clues that nCoV might have also been transmitted to humans from bats.


      Chempo’s insinuation of biased over-reaction from the rest of the world is belied by the action of the Chinese government itself which, as of the latest, has locked down the whole province of Hubei (pop. 60 million).


    • karlgarcia says:

      I stand by my answer to Chemrock. Micha’s point is spot-on.
      I wish they had better exit disinfection and screening in the airports.
      1death(?) outside China is still one too many,

        • I believe China does something similar with our gun violence epidemic over here, Warning its citizens, characterizing the US as lawless, travel alerts, etc.

          But the question isn’t about fairness of coverage (on both sides), the question is can China absorb this, if it stops exporting, if its population is not welcome anywhere, if no one wants to visit China now, etc.

          The US i’m confident can absorb it with the supply chain disrupted, if no tourists come, if we can’t leave the US to go abroad.

          Who’s more dependent is the question.

          China shouldn’t be blaming anyone if they are so fragile. Just be more robust. I’m sure Trump’s administration is celebrating, gives them more leverage against China. it’s cracking like porcelain.

          Handling the virus like Uighurs.

          If i were President for Life Xi, i’d turn this into a PR upside, get my propaganda machine to prove that 5G signal kills all sorts of coronavirus, plus great for weight control and sex drive, and voila!

          Coronavirus pandemic scare is over. Trump’s defeated. Xi wins another lifetime appointment. 5G for all.

          • karlgarcia says:

            I know I also shift from serious to non serious often times corny but we (not just you and me)have been told not to”dominate the discussion and give strange responses that squirm all over the place.

            • Not so strange really, karl.

              chemp was pointing out unfair biased response from the West.

              Micha retorted unfair? look at what China’s doing to the problem themselves!

              I’m simply saying China’s fragile, while the US is robust, when it comes to any form of epidemic, why I have no real answer.

              just pointing out that this is on China’s inability to absorb the problem.

              I will posit though that it’s partly because Americans being Americans will not take too kindly to being locked down.

              This subject isn’t about the virus anymore per se, but more on culture and societal differences. And the perspective that maybe it’s the panic (overreaction) that’s contributing to these eventual deaths, not so much the virus.

              The latter i think was also chemp’s point via the article he posted, which I agree.


              re the virus, we’ll need to watch closely what happens aboard the Diamond Princess, if everyone starts eating each others’ brains on that ship, we’re doomed.

              • karlgarcia says:


                Btw chemp already responded to me by saying thanks.(re: DM)
                Not sure if he is in twitter as of yet, though.

              • pablo says:

                The comment that the US can easily absorb an epidemic while China gets into troubles is unsubstantiated. Various reports have stated that the West has not learned enough from SARS & MERS. Our just-in-time manufacturing chain is very sensitive and even after the relatively small Fukushima incident, many companies already got in trouble. Most sensitive might be the pharmaceutical chain where many people will feel the crunch once a shutdown occurs in the heavily concentrated manufacturing process. When an epidemic the size of 1918 occurs, we will see that the countries with a basically rural economy will be able to survive the hit better than the industrial ones. Apart from their Megacities, China, India and Russia are still very rural and it is not such a clear case which countries will still be standing once the dust settles down. From the stories from my parents about the last days of the 3rd Reich in occupied Europe, I am not so sure that the Western countries can manage a serious pandemic. Corona with it’s relatively low fatality rate might prove another ‘panic’ enabling us to prepare for ‘the big one’, but I am afraid we will not use this as a learning once it is over, just like we missed the SARS & MERS opportunities.

              • “The comment that the US can easily absorb an epidemic while China gets into troubles is unsubstantiated.”


                My examples would be more recent events, and yes less serious considering.

                I’m not talking economic here though, but more on people and resilience. Part of that resilience is in the mobility of folks. ie., Katrina hits, move to Texas. Puerto Rico goes under move to NY, etc. etc. then rebuild while gone, then return.

                Alot of it also has to do with the US having 2 coasts, 3 if you count the Gulf.

                Do a thought experiment, based on your knowledge of the US (not sure you’d have equal knowledge too on China) and transpose said Corona incident unto the US, say New Jersey state, or St. Louis metropolitan area (for a geographic close equivalent),

                now do you think the US , its gov’t and people , would respond similarly??? Gov’t may, but I bet the people would respond differently, more churches and other groups would step in to add a more humanitarian aspect, to the gov’t’s more obvious statistically based approach for sure.

                IF it keeps getting worser and worster , sure, like all disasters , they’d all look similar in the end, but just transpose the now aspect of the incident at hand. As thought experiment.

                There would be a difference no???

  26. karlgarcia says:

    From Randy David.

    The other side of panic is indifference or naive reassurance in the face of what appears to be a serious threat or grave danger. This may often be the result of a lack of appreciation of the risk involved, or of a wish not to cause public alarm, or of something more selfish — like a desire to avoid the possible costs of acknowledging one’s responsibility.

    Read more: https://opinion.inquirer.net/127257/the-other-side-of-panic#ixzz6DQpsnad4
    Follow us: @inquirerdotnet on Twitter | inquirerdotnet on Facebook

  27. NHerrera says:

    As of this writing, I noticed something.

    Of the 356 confirmed 2019-nCoV cases outside of Mainland China, the following double-digit cases are noteworthy:

    Diamond Princess tour ship 64
    Singapore 40
    Thailand 32
    Hong Kong 26
    Japan 26
    South Korea 25
    Taiwan 17
    Malaysia 16
    Australia 15
    Germany 14
    Vietnam 13
    US 12
    France 11
    Macau 10

    More noteworthy to me is the rise of cases in Singapore and Thailand. I recall that earlier the number of cases over there were comparable to or less than that of Japan. Something going on in Singapore — that State with a small population and land area.

    • NHerrera says:

      The good thing about Singapore is the medical facilities are among the best, I presume.

      Oops, the confirmed cases in The Diamond Princess is now 70. With some 4,000 guests and ship crew/ staff, that is about 2% of the ship’s population.

      The hope of the cases peaking shortly in Wuhan is dashed by some experts because the usual season for respiratory diseases is in the winter season up to early spring. One expert even projects that before this is over, some 5% of Wuhan will be infected. With a population of 11 million that comes to about 500,000. If the mortality rate continues at about 2%, that will result in about 10,000 deaths in Wuhan.

      I would put that in the more qualitative scientific speak: confirmed cases of the virus in Wuhan will peak to about a few hundreds of thousands (100,000s) and deaths of 10,000 more or less. Which is really not such a large number, and by that time, hopefully we know more about the 2019-nCoV and very hopefully a vaccine may have been developed.

      Good news. The other cruise ship The World Dream had been under quarantine for days in Hong Kong. HK health officials announced that here have been no confirmed cases of the virus found on board and the passengers are free to go.

      • karlgarcia says:

        Re: Vaccine last I read was 2.5 months
        Since many biotech and Pharma firms are willing to help, maybe it will be faster.

        The SARS death toll has already been surpassed,hopefully in three months time it won’t reach your forecasted numbers.

        • NHerrera says:

          Yes, I very much hope so. But my statistical sense tells me the confirmed cases will breach 100,000. That is another SanMig bet.

          • karlgarcia says:

            Russhing it might repeat the mistakes of dengvaxia so am afraid you are correct and those would zero cases will not let their guard down especially the poor African countries and the new mega cities.

        • NHerrera says:


          Here is some more statistics. As of today, Feb 9, we have

          Mainland China confirmed cases: 37,200. Of which, Hubei Province where Wuhan is located had about the reported two-third of the cases or about 25,000; rest of Mainland China, thus, about 12,200.

          Hubei deaths from the virus to date is 780, rest of Mainland China, 32.

          Thus, the disparity in mortality rates:
          – Hubei = 3.1% (= 780/25,000 converted to %)
          – Rest of Mainland China = 0.3% (= 32/12,200 converted to %)

          The mortality rate in Hubei is far greater compared to the rest of Mainland China because of an obvious reason: among others, the stringent lockdown rules and the reported Wuhan journalists and other first-hand accounts of the poor situation in Wuhan — such account since suppressed by the Chinese censors — and I would imagine a relatively better facilities and situation in the other locations of China.

          Added note. So far there have been only 2 deaths outside of Mainland China — 1 in the Philippines and 1 in Hong Kong. This from about 350 confirmed cases outside of MC. Now these numbers are low with which to make statistics. Here goes anyway. The mortality rate from outside MC for the virus is 0.6% (= 2/350 converted to %) — comparable to the 0.3% mortality rate for the rest of China, outside of Hubei.

  28. karlgarcia says:

    Just a few months ago the fear of superbugs resurfaced during the ASF scare, it is due to overly feeding livestock with antibiotics and because we eat them we are also feeding on antibiotics.

    A few years ago some cases of drug resistant bugs made rifampicin useless in some PTB cases, I hope big Pharma has a solution for that.

    News of the bubonic and pneumatic plague as recent as November or December died down or was overtaken by events.

    • pablo says:

      Not only cattle get fed antibiotics. As a European, I am very surprised with the behaviour of Filipino doctors who prescribe antibiotics for almost every patient who visits. Completely irresponsible!

  29. caliphman says:

    So I see my old friend Chemmie has escaped his muzzle briefly to share a gem of truth about how a panicked world is reacting rightly or wrongly to a potential new global pandemic. How I miss his presence here and my other dear and departed friend, Edgar, who contributed so much truth and wisdom to this blog. Last I posted here, and that was more than year ago, it was just to point out that right or wrong, Trump would prevail in any attempt to prematurely oust him from his post. America, the Philippines, the world and this blog is changed and sadly so much for the worse. I think more than anything else it’s obviously because our species and societies have reverted to become so much more polarized and tribal as our established values, traditions and institutions and laws are trampled and cast aside. It’s become more of a Hobbesian world, where life is “poor, nasty, brutish, and short”.

    The solution, Hobbes argued, was to put some powerful individual or parliament in charge.Ecce Trump and Duterte.

  30. karlgarcia says:

    If there is a strain for rats then what can a quarantine or a lockdown do?


    IMPORTANCE While bats and birds are hosts for ancestors of most coronaviruses (CoVs), lineage A βCoVs have never been found in these animals and the origin of Betacoronavirus lineage A remains obscure. We discovered a novel lineage A βCoV, China Rattus coronavirus HKU24 (ChRCoV HKU24), from Norway rats in China with a high seroprevalence. The unique genome features and phylogenetic analysis supported the suggestion that ChRCoV HKU24 represents a novel CoV species, occupying a deep branch at the root of members of Betacoronavirus 1 and being distinct from murine coronavirus. Nevertheless, ChRCoV HKU24 possessed genome characteristics that resemble those of both Betacoronavirus 1 and murine coronavirus. Our data suggest that ChRCoV HKU24 represents the murine origin of Betacoronavirus 1, with interspecies transmission from rodents to other mammals having occurred centuries ago, before the emergence of human coronavirus (HCoV) OC43 in the late 1800s. Rodents are likely an important reservoir for ancestors of lineage A βCoVs.

  31. Garlic – grave diggers ate raw garlic and also drank wine with crushed garlic for protection from the black death. Search garlic plague there is no shortage of information on the wonders of this great herb.

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