Who is running the Philippines?

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte holds a meeting with the officials of the IATF on March 19.  Photo by Ace Morandante, Presidential Photos, via Rappler

By Joe America

The President’s latest speech, on tape and edited, did a complete turnabout from a speech a few days before.

The first turned the LGUs (Cities) loose, gave them the reins, instructed them to do what they had to do to shut down the virus and keep their cities functioning. The second chastised the LGU’s for acting on their own and demanded that they obey the IATF or Inter-Agency Task Force on emerging diseases.

Most saw the change as political, President Duterte slapping at upstart Pasig City Major Vico Sotto who operated a tricycle transportation program for critical needs, against National’s policy. But I wonder if the reason may be different. I wonder if it may be that direction is now coming from China rather than the President or his sidekick Bong Go.

In the first speech, the President was more sober and sincere than I’ve seen him in a long time. He was speaking in a concerned way, giving his underlings the reins, as he typically does. After all, his agency heads are empowered to act in that way, using their own discretion. But the second speech was different. Edited. How we don’t know. Reversing course so abruptly we can’t help but sit up and take notice.

But more than anything, the new policy is tone deaf to democracy. It is heavy handed, as China was in Wuhan. It tries to write into the nation’s affairs absolute obedience to National . . . while not knowing or caring that all the eyes of the nation are on President Duterte’s actions.

Well, I confess, this is total speculation.

But if China IS writing the President’s scripts, and if his words are being edited to cut out his own free-lance thinking, who really is talking to us? A meme? A fiction? A programmed bot?

And what can we say about Philippine sovereignty?

I say: “Let him speak.”

That’s what I say to his handlers.

Give him to us at a decent hour, no later than 10:00 pm, and give us the real President, not some edited, canned version we cannot trust.

And for sure, give us a democratic President, not a dictator or pawn.


273 Responses to “Who is running the Philippines?”
  1. NHerrera says:

    Absent some details, the probable scenario is still scary at the best of times. Triple-scary at this time.

    The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ,
    Moves on: nor all thy Piety nor Wit
    Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line,
    Nor all thy Tears wash out a Word of it.

    He wrote it in 2016 with assist from Go and he is a captive now. … having writ, Moves on: nor all thy Piety nor Wit Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line, Nor all thy Tears wash out a Word of it.

  2. Andres 2018. says:

    Id rather handle this Covid19 crisis like China for obvious reason. Lets see how the democratic EU defeat this virus.

    • karlgarcia says:

      I do not like to ride on the Belt and Road initiative caused Italy and even Iran to have the most two cases, but China is not zero fault in spreading this.
      China and the US are both accusing each other of bioterrorism, that Army game post below is just short of sharing a video of an alleged white man who wiped his saliva on the train railings.

      I am also jot against China sending a team of experts to Itsly in an attempt Io contain COVID.

    • Leonardo Esmero says:

      Like China? Then you mean the government hides the truth from the people, fumble and hide the truth some more, and when the infection spread and things went awry, impose heavy-handed policies.
      As for the EU, Duterte adopted their initial policy of maintaining open borders, allowing COVID-19 a foothold, albeit for different reasons. The EU did so out of a bleeding-heart liberal outlook, while Duterte dis so as to not offend China.

  3. Andres 2018. says:

    On analysis, handling the lockdown should be on the top>down basis to begin with as the provinces are all connected, one Philippines. The announcement last March 16 that LGUs will handle the situation was already a mistake to begin with. Might because the National Government have not yet prepared the guidelines when it declared the lockdown, so empowering the LGUs was an easy get away.

    • karlgarcia says:

      My first reaction was what would happen if we are federalist like he wanted us to be, he could not just say, I changed my mind on federalism let us go back to the way it was before the plebiscite.

  4. Jose Arber says:

    I am a senior citizen. Traveled a lot specifically in Visayas and Mindanao and in those days the SMELL of DUTERTE STINKS ALREADY. It is really sad that because of corruption many Pinoys became very poor even to date. so they voted the wrong leaders for a few bucks. SAD.

  5. josephivo says:

    I’m lost. My mind can’t get any grip. Scary images flash through it. No more construction workers allowed in our subdivision for some days. How can they survive? They live from paycheck to paycheck. Neighbor OFW’s can’t travel, has to pay mortgage, car instalments, utang from the tuition fees… How will the majority survive in a lock down with no income or savings?

    Dammed if you do, dammed if you don’t fight the virus. Authorities here have no chance to win this. Can’t discipline their citizens, build hospitals in 2 weeks, send in thousands on military medical staff, tap enormous financial reserves, control all information…

    Getting all hurt in riots or/and by an invisible virus, are this the only two options? Hiding behind “higher” authorities, WHO, China…? Is politics as usual still relevant? Is yesterday’s political weaponry any relevant the today’s health war?

    Isn’t it possible that Duterte/Go just lost it too?

  6. Bill In Oz says:

    WHO says “Test, Test, Test”.. Can the Philippines do this ? I doubt it..Too costly !
    So how can the Philippines get a grip on what is actually happening with COVID 10 disease ?

    PS : Here’s an excellent link on COVID 19 : https://www.thailandmedical.news/news/shortage-of-covid-19-test-kits-and-low-test-rates-will-lead-to-virus-spreading-rampantly-around-the-world

    • Bill, i clicked on your link and found some practical study on the side link, thanks!!!

      there’s lots of bananas over there, there’s lots of potatoes (and bananas) here!!!

      • Bill In Oz says:

        Tucked way on the ABC online this morning is a major story about how to STOP this COVID 19 disease. It is about a small village named Vo in Lombardy where they tested every one of the 3000 people !
        “…One small town in the country’s north says it is doing surprisingly well. Vo, in the region of Veneto, is right in the middle of what Italy is calling its coronavirus red zone. But local officials say there hasn’t been a new case of COVID-19 there since March 13.

        The town had the first confirmed COVID-19-related death in Italy — a 78-year-old man on February 23. It was one of 11 villages in the country’s north which were shut down as the country’s outbreak began.

        The town swung into action — and its measures are working.

        What did Vo do?
        Researchers from the University of Padua, along with Veneto regional officials and the Red Cross, decided to test all residents for COVID-19.Around 3,300 people were tested, even if they had no symptoms. We tested everybody,” Andrea Crisanti, professor of microbiology at the University of Padua… We found that an alarming portion of people were already positive for the virus.. Nearly 3 per cent — or 89 Vo residents — were infected with COVID-19.

        Even more alarming for Professor Crisanti and his colleagues was that many of the patients had no symptoms. Professor Crisanti said Italian health authorities did not seem concerned by Vo’s infection rate.So the town took charge.

        Vo put all COVID-19 patients in lockdown Every Vo resident who tested positive for the virus was put in quarantine in their homes.
        They were asked not to go out, and not to have contact with any other people,” Professor Crisanti said.The researchers decided against sending patients to hospital to prevent them spreading the disease there. In principle many people in the hospital were infected. Many doctors, many nurses, many patients. This could be a major source of infection,” he said.

        After two weeks of quarantine, the researchers carried out another round of mass testing in Vo. The rate of COVID-19 infection had dropped from nearly 3 per cent to 0.41 per cent ”

        That’s the guts of the story. But good luck trying to read it all. The ABC has inserted about 20 odd disruptive links to other stories…
        And the ABC has NOT given it any prominence in it’s news feed. But the journalist in Italy deserves a gold elephant stamp !


        • I just watched on ABC News (American Broadcasting Company), of a Chinese team of doctors and nurses who went to Italy to help out.

          And the head doctor was shocked. He was all like, these folks are still walking around and partying over here. Unbeknownst to him (a Chinese) Westerners don’t care for being locked down, no matter the euphemism used.

          So it’ll spread here, by a lot. Small towns in the Rockies may enjoy Vo , Italy results, i can’t imagine anywhere else, maybe the Olympic Penninsula and islands in Puget Sound.

        • NHerrera says:

          Bill, thanks for the link.

          Some people have not only more brains but practical. As I have read repeatedly lately, it is something as simple as:

          You will not know how to deal with this coronavirus enemy if you do not know where he is. So test.

          This is wishful thinking now, but what would have happened if starting early January when the US — as is now known to have the intelligence on the coronavirus — started to prepare a massive amount of test kit production and prepare and execute an equally massive testing at first sign. But that is water down the bridge.

          The link below authored by Dr. Tom Frieden — former director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and former commissioner of the New York City Health Department — is a supplementary reading, describing the scope and phases of the strategy against the coronavirus for a populous country.


          • Bill In Oz says:

            N’Herrera, it is very practical information for the Philippines in all the small villages.
            Test Test Test !
            And quarantine all the people who are carrying the virus.
            Stop the spread !

            • karlgarcia says:

              I can’t deny that I am thankful for the arrival of 125 k test kits from China and Korea, because it will definitely help in diminishing the unknown variables.
              The available kits are just more or less 100.
              This must not turn into a class war because the virus does mot check your bank account, but some pols got tested first. This led to jokes that in order for you to test without the kits is to cough on a politician, not a good joke, but it is out there.

              • I don’t know if it is confirmed or not, but there is a report on Twitter that Korea has developed a 10-minute coronavirus test kit and will be manufacturing and exporting 300,000 per week. Think of how that would help the triage effort, and clear beds of ‘negatives’. I so hope it is true.

              • karlgarcia says:

                I hope so too.

  7. Micha says:

    I say: “Let him speak.
    And for sure, give us a democratic President, not a dictator or pawn.

    I’d say, don’t expect too much when we actually have a fumbling idiot and dictator for a President.

    For example, he unilaterally cancelled VFA but now they’re saying his gov’t is open to crafting a new defense treaty with the US? What idiocy is that?

  8. popoy says:



    It’s really quick; it’ superfast, there’s billions pesos (P27.1 billion eh) on March 16 made available (kuno, Daw) to help citizens against the corona virus. 27.1 billion pesos is actually some 531,372,550.00 US dollars. Bilyon-bilyon (27 thousand milyon pesos) naging nauwi lang sa 532 milyon dolyar na puedeng pambili ng gamut at kagamitan, pandadagdag bayad sa mga doctor at mga empleyado laan sa virus. Kung hindi palpak ang plano.

    Sa 27.1 bilyon pesos baka yun lang P3.1 galing sa PAGCOR ang palusuting gastos ng mga auditor kung nasasakop ng batas. Yung P2.0 bilyon from DOLE approbado yan ng batas para mga manggagawa hindi para problema ng virus. SAAN ba kukunin yan P27.1 na yan? Yun P5.1Bn galing sa PAGCOR at DOLE. Yung P22Bn galing (from) existing funding ng SSS (P1.2Bn), TESDA (P3Bn), DOT (P14Bn), D Agri (P2.8Bn) and DTI (p1Bn). Sa P27Bn, maliit lang P5.1Bn (US$100 milyon) ang baka maaring gastusin laban sa corona virus KUNG a-aproven ng COA auditors.

    NO problem, NO PROBLEM during declared State of National Emergency or Calamity the President MAY and CAN and SHALL AUTHORIZE EXPENDITURE OF PUBLIC FUNDS (peoples’ money really) without approval of Congress as provided by the Constitution. What PARTICULAR article and section of the Philippine Constitution refers to FINANCIAL emergency powers of President. Should such provision be cited in the issued proclamation of national emergency or calamity.


    sa Saligang Batas Meron ba o walang diretsong probisyon? Never mind na lang eh. Magkano na ba ang nagastos, nabawas na (sa P27.1 bilyon) laban sa corona virus mula noong March 12, limang araw na nakalipas sa emergency eh?


    • popoy says:

      RAMPING UP EVERYTHING against COVID-19 to save Filipino Lives and write finish to the deadly virus in six months (February 1, to July 31, 2020) time. There is an approved GAA 4.1 trillion pesos, that to the layman is actually 4.1 billion million pesos (4,100,000,000,000.00. That the half or a semester of the total General Annual Appropriations Act or rounded down to only 2 trillion pesos which is 2 billion million pesos can be made AVAILABLE. By an act of the President with approval of Congress if prescribed (required) by the Philippine Constitution.

      Imagine if the Philippine Government’s regular, routine, developmental and eche bucheche activities will be in suspended animation ONLY to be IN all and total MOTION AGAINST COVID-19 ? All National Departments, their bureaus, regional offices and attached agencies and ALL local governments shall be authorized by Presidential Fiat to think and move their butts against COVID-19 using HALF of their 2020 budgets as appropriate and effective against the Corona virus.

      COVID-19 is the never in a thousand budget year CHANCE of the poor and neglected millions of Filipinos to be cared for by the government.

      FOR SIX MONTHS THERE WILL BE FUNDS, MONEY for workers losing their jobs, entrepreneurs losing their business, medical and military logistics, for the homeless, the sick, disabled, and the elderly. Stay at home public servants can still do their jobs. PEOPLE’S MONEY WILL REALLY BE SPENT ON THEM.

      You ask WHO REALLY RULE AND GOVERN THE FILIPINOS? It’s the EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT BUREAUCRATS who know what and how to it, REALLY. If the President do not know Who They Are, THE PUBLIC SERVANTS then COVID-VIRUS 19 WILL BE LAUGHING WITH THE DEAD ON THE WAY to kingdom come.

      • popoy says:

        This six-months fix (above) against a rampaging deadly virus ALSO intends to ricochet to obliterate AN EXCUSE against many decades of long hard-on desire to rule by martial law.

        For a deeper analogy, never so few in noodle country (no longer banana republic) sees that cheek-to-cheek dancing is the vertical expression of a horizontal desire no cultural rehab (like the Tango) can cure. One need not had read de Sade and Freud to see the titillating effect of enclave power politics.

        Masochism can’t never be viral in democracy. Did not Rizal said in a way: There will be no slavery if there are no willing slaves?

  9. kasambahay says:

    methink, there is something terribly wrong with the pic posted, why only duterte when he is always with his close cabal of lorenzana, anyo, bong go, medialdea, etc, all within arm’s length of him? shamed to be seen with him at such ungodly hour and asked to be cropped out of the pic?

    presscon ng presidente at around 1.30 madaling araw dito sa atin, pero office hours yan sa china. if the chinese are up and about, our president should also be up and about, his close cabal as well and doing as bid by the chinese. all jumping any kind of hoops to please the chinese, haha.

    so who is running our country? duterte is doing all the running to and for china and dragging our country along, lorenzana, anyo, medialdea, et al happy to tag along at any time of the day and night. they would need good running shoes! pwe!

  10. karlgarcia says:

    Questions to my wise and seen it all blogmates, was there a former aide of a president who became senator, but not the senate president still present in all the press conferences of the president?

    Is Bong Go a unique and unprecedented specie?

  11. karlgarcia says:

    Every great president has a great adviser.
    But this president is being handled by a handler because left at his own devices he will be lost at this stage, unfortunately his handlers does not guide him and they need to be guided themselves.

    Result, ever changing guidelines which come in droplets.

  12. So far I have blocked 18 Chinese trolling accounts pushing their messages out. They use multiple names, sometimes the same computers, sometimes different. Always aiming to idealize China and suggest the WuhanVirus was an American plot. They are all new to the blog and have no interest in discussing the Philippines. The relentlessness is awesome to behold.

    • NHerrera says:

      It seems to me you are, or becoming to be, one of their favorites. I hope they don’t do anything more malicious than infect your blog — so far unsuccessful.

      • It’s probably one guy sitting in a cubicle going from one blog to another copy pasting his script, rather like a donkey going around in circles grinding grain.

        • NHerrera says:

          Ah, yes donkey.

          donkey = although slower than horses, donkeys are surefooted and can carry heavy loads over rough terrain… In some parts of the world where horses cannot easily survive or where extreme poverty prevents locals from owning horses, donkeys are the main beasts of burden and source of transportation.

          – – – a main beast of burden: to do the heavies for a pittance.

          I wonder who the local donkeys are.

      • Pat says:

        Yes, I agree, JoeAm. Trolls are despicable twerps whose main job is to be mean and dumb.

    • josephivo says:

      By the way, the Spanish Flu originated in Kansas. Called Spanish while the Spanish press was the first to report the epidemy. In neutral Spain there was more press freedom just after the war. Calling it the Kansas or American flu was impossible in the rest of war-torn Europe or America. In Portugal it was the Naples flu, as Naples was believed to be the source of many contagious diseases throughout history.

      Giving diseases geographical names is not done anymore, except by Trump.

      P.S. I’m not a troll

    • karlgarcia says:

      I have entertained an Albert who probably used more than one email address because of different avatars, I tried to be civil and reasonable though my peeveness showed a bit.
      And it took three ot four threads before his exit it is hard to ignore them if they are calling you out.

  13. karlgarcia says:

    So long as we are not run by a double like what was about to happen in the TV show Probinsyano before the show finally got a break after four years.
    On second thought, would an impersonator do better?

  14. karlgarcia says:

    Sorry for being a broken record we still have TB to worry about with a number of drug resistant cases rising.


  15. NHerrera says:

    Again, a note on coronavirus.

    This CNN ticker caught my attention for the morning aside from the note that the US today had another surge (about 30%) in new confirmed cases:

    US FDA authorizes rapid coronavirus test with results in 45 minutes

    I want to relate this to a reading I had several days ago. I do not now remember the context, neither the source for an appropriate attribution. But it went something like this:

    The US reacts slowly in a crisis because of the process and bureaucracy inherent in its democratic process but when it does put things together, it act with amazing energy and conviction.

    I am writing this note because the world’s economy is very interconnected and, it is a truism to say, the US being numero uno will lead in that recovery the sooner it gets on its feet. Thereby helping the Philippines to benefit in the recovery.

    • NHerrera says:

      JHU-CSSE Dashboard just showed the world total covid19 confirmed cases as 304,529, with the following countries at the top:

      Mainland China, 81,306
      Italy, 53,578
      US, 25,493

      The US has dislodged the other countries who were ahead of it in the numbers a few days ago: Spain, Germany, Iran, France.

    • I think Korea is leading in this effort, and the Philippines should latch onto her expertise ASAP.

  16. Re Pres Duterte’s speech/covid19 directives —I really took note of the first directive that Pres Duterte gave to the mayors — giving them the free hand to do their thing in combating and/or protecting their respective cities/municipalities from the covid19 “invasion”. I even posted on my fb timeline that specific portion of his speech which gives the mayors a pro-active approach in dealing with the massive problem at hand. But as to the President’s changing his earlier direction…well…it can really happen…In emergency situations, especially when the gravity of circumstances aggravates even more, of course, the captain of the ship can change course, according to what he sees as a better discretion and position. And addressing the nation about such change can be done, any time, even at the wee hours of the morning. That is why the matter is of emergency nature — it does not call for “organized” “time schedule” such as when an ordinary press briefing or any other conference is normally scheduled in an organized manner.

    We can do all our non-stop analysis and conspiracy theorizing — but these things — conspiracy theorizing, if i may say, does’t much help either in creating and/or coming up with practical solutions to the problem, or in calming the fears of the community. The best that we can do, as a community called to follow, we must abide by the directions of those people mandated to lead us. We do it — for the good and for the sake of our respective communities and our nation….. This is not the time to push for the brilliance of our own respective minds, but to let those mandated by law to lead — to do their job. I suppose, by the dictates of destiny, they are there, because, maybe, they know better.

    • Agree to some extent, but when those mandated by law to lead test politicians but not doctors, and argue that mass testing is not needed because they botched acquiring test kits, and when troops are used to bop heads rather than carry in food and water to people confined . . . The public has an obligation to demand better sense, service, and leadership.

      • kasambahay says:

        politicians are moneyed lot, they can surely go private and have themselves tested privately at private hospitals. it will probly cost them around 10K -15k, money well spent yan. knowing their coronavirus status would give them peace of mind.

        politicians dont need to compete with the general public for test kits destined for use of the general public.

        • Yes, there is a class distinction for the moneyed, but the practice is raising a lot of hostility on social media because there are no tests for doctors, nurses and sick people at home (PUMs). When those groups are tested, the issue will go away.

          • kasambahay says:

            front liners in the public sector (doctors, nurses and other public hospital staff) ought to be tested for free, part of the perks of public servant under doh at lalo na in times of emergency. if negative and not showing symptoms, front liner public heath staff would need to re-tested maybe regularly (3monthly?) for as long as active in duty sila.

            the poor and the sick at home in their communities fall under the scope of lgus. duterte has already given (albeit binawi) kilusan to lgus for them to take proper course of action.

            and if duterte is given emergency power, there’s no guarantee he wont delegate said power to bong go et al.

            I also would like to think that once ‘these groups’ are tested the issue will go away, but.

            • kasambahay says:

              anyhow, I agree with you, joeam. if it was indeed emergency as fobbed off by some, duterte could have given press con earlier at 10pm, not technically a day later, at 1.30am. he lost precious time tuloy and gained himself more than raised eyebrows, haha.

              • karlgarcia says:

                I’ll drop this message .
                To hopefully convey the two types of testing for COVID,
                KB you seem knowledgesble about this stuff.

                Bear with me please- the least I can do is pass on info that may reach those who may have better resources to directly help where it’s most needed-
                The TEST KITS will not only be able to protect frontliners but also allow those of us who are not infected to go back to the workplace And run the economy


                From Dr Cecile Lim: UNDERSTANDING COVID TESTING:

                The news these past few days are studded with reports of well-meaning people donating money and kits to the Department of Health in support of our nation’s fight against COVID-19 – actions of which we approve and applaud. However, there is something the public especially the decision makers should know about testing for COVID-19. This article may serve as a simplified primer to guide the layperson on the tests for COVID-19.

                What are the tests currently available for diagnosing COVID-19 infection?
                There are a number of tests available around the world and these are classified into two groups based on the technique used:
                The PCR-based method; and
                The immunologic method (more commonly referred to as the “rapid kit”).

                Which is the better method?
                The PCR method is the gold standard for diagnosing COVID-19 infections. This method detects the presence of the COVID-19 virus in the body so the test becomes positive earlier or even before the symptoms begin. The rapid test kit, on the other hand, detects the antibodies the body develops after the virus enters the body. It is detected later, usually around the time the symptoms are present and even after.

                Why can we not use the rapid kits?
                We actually can BUT IT DEPENDS ON WHAT YOU WANT TO DETECT. The rapid kits detect the presence of antibodies in your body against the COVID-19 and in certain instances may be useful. HOWEVER, you do not make antibodies until a few days after you have been exposed to the virus.

                Can we use the rapid kits for screening the public like the drive-through style we see in the foreign news?
                No. Because the current test kits are usually negative in people without symptoms of the COVID-19 infection. The tests usually become positive in people with symptoms.

                Can we use the PCR method-based tests for screening the public?
                This would be a better test HOWEVER there are numerous limitations including financial. The most important limitation is that these methods need expensive equipment and a very special setup which is only available in selected hospitals like RITM and St. Luke’s Medical Center.

                If I test negative, does this mean I do not have COVID-19 infection?
                Both PCR and immunologic tests are not perfect. PCR-based tests will be more sensitive in detecting the infection but there are false negatives (patients who have the infection but the test result is negative). This may happen in, for example, the early stage of the infection when the number of virus in the body is still too low for the test to detect. False negatives are higher when using the rapid kits. Believe the saying among doctors – “if the test is negative, it does not mean you do not have the disease”.

                How fast can the tests be performed?
                A rapid kit is so-called because it can give you a result in about 15 minutes, even less. The PCR test usually takes about 6 hours. An automated PCR machine such as the Roche 6800 which was recently given US FDA Emergency Use Authorization is advertised to give up to 96 results in 3 hours. Unfortunately, we know of no hospital in the Philippines with this machine.

                Can any hospital laboratory set up the PCR testing easily?
                That’s a definite NO. The current supply of PCR test kits approved by our FDA can be used by a variety of machines but not ONE machine. A molecular pathology laboratory is a specially setup laboratory in the hospital with at least three separate rooms for processing the specimens to prevent contamination. Laboratories who wish to run the COVID-19 PCR tests must also have a special airflow system in place or else the personnel running the tests run the risk of getting the virus themselves. There is a long list of requirements for setting up this laboratory and will take about 2 months to set up. The personnel also will have to be trained for a few weeks. If someone is selling you a single machine to run the PCR tests for COVID-19, think twice.

                In the near future, we expect better and faster PCR test kits to roll out. There will be test kits that will be run on a single machine in platforms more available throughout the nation and require less stringent room requirements. Better, more accurate rapid test kits will also roll out hopefully within 6 months. Sooner if we pray more fervently.

                The target is to discover a rapid kit that can be used for screening everyone with positive test results being sent for a confirmatory test using PCR-based technique. This is how testing of HIV and drug tests are being done in the Philippines.

                But DOH already has thousands of donated rapid test kits. Can we use them?

              • kasambahay says:

                thanks, karlg. as regard test kits, we have to make do with what we have.

                now, aside from politicos, doctors at the top end are already playing god and deciding who get tested. biro mo, there are top end doctors who are insisting their spouses and children and their children’s close friends be tested as well. rason nila, baka daw they’ve come home with the virus and their families and immediate friends could well have the virus too. best to test them kuno, they would work better if their families and close friend are not infected.

                and those that really need to be tested would just have to take a backseat.

                I have not mention entrepreneurial doctors who are selling donated test kits to make extra bucks.

                those on the forefront of running the economy, those working in supermarkets, banks, boticas, etc, they would have to be test too, their bosses ought to obtain test kits for them, instead of letting workers manage on their own.

              • karlgarcia says:

                Thanks for your insights.

              • karlgarcia says:

                DOH is discourshing the rapid tests because this must not be taken by those with no symptoms or test only those who had symptoms for about two weeks because it only tests for antibodies.
                It will just show false positives because even when you just have a common cold you might be mistaken for positive for CV.

              • karlgarcia says:

                I feel for your sentiments for the plight of the ordinary citizen, but I was and am surprised about your reaction about the frontliners.

    • karlgarcia says:

      Good points, but to have continuous improvement some one has to say that something is wrong so you can re-assess then readjust.

      Even in call centers the QAs pester you with need to improve stuff.
      As for the Captain- So that the Captain need not sink with his ship and ask everyone else to abandon ship, the Captain also heeds the guidance of his crew in sinking ship situations.

      And in dire situations, the passengers can give their two cents, if they know what they are talking about.

      • kasambahay says:

        have you been in a navy ship recently? the captain’s seat is full of hightech gizmos, big and small radars both overwater and underwater, blinking and bleeping, sat nav giving continuous data feed, weather reports continuously being updated as well. there is always babel of communication, logs being studied and whatnots. it’s busy. and if the captain is indisposed, the 2nd in command takes over. and sometimes, the ship is on autopilot.

        these days ships are almost unsinkable, the captain having spend years of navigational studies, taking refresher seaman’s courses regularly, his seamanship on par and on the boil, always. ships can only sink if the captain’s mind is elsewhere, or he’s awol on the bridge and busy entertaining a blond, like what the captain of the italian cruise ship, la concordia, had supposedly done. but if the 2nd in command was at the helm, I doubt if the ship would sink. pirates would not sink ships too, they want ships ransomed. even the ship mary celeste was not sunk, it was eerily abandoned, intact.

        so, I’ll pass po, and not going to indulge further the comment about sinking ships. I dont want to insult the captains of the ships I had tried so hard to read their raised flags. one particular flag to mean contagion or sickness on board, another flag to mean the captain is off duty, still another flag to signify customs on board and inspecting, welcome. (there is mad rush of tripolante hiding contrabandos).

        and if duterte’s ship is indeed sinking, it could well mean bong go is getting ready the proverbial jetski, haha.

        • karlgarcia says:

          Recently, no.
          I wanted to see the new frigate, but had no chance.
          I got your point.
          So.much for Captains, in tagalog we call them kapitan, someone you can hold on to.

  17. Yes, if we look back at past calamities our beloved country had passed through and survived — we would notice that, there was always some “glitches” that inevitably arose. Somewhere, some ways, a politician or two messed up…and messed up in such an extreme degree of idiocy.

    In the present pandemic, like when travelers are in a sinking ship, most if not all passengers’ instinct is to save themselves. Self preservation is a quick instinct of any person. Politicians are no exceptions, especially when they, too, think their lives must be preserved because they lead the country.

    Now, as to the delivery of “essentials” to the community and to everyone at risk — the lower-tier leaderships have bigger responsibilities for this. There were few exceptional mayors who did their job so amazingly like Mayor Vico Sotto, Mayor Isko Moreno, Mayor Kit Nieto, and maybe a few more — who delivered beyond expectations, on such extremely trying times such as this. If the city or town chief executive is good, the community can be well taken-cared-of.

    As with the DOH, if this department has its own covid19 rules/protocols, the DOH officials should have stood by such protocols, without exceptions. If their people (the front-liners) gave in to the “pressures” of politicians so as there were protocols bent or broken, then DOH and doctors must take responsibility for that. I know of a lady doctor who kept on airing her grievances on her fb, for such break of protocol…but the doctor wouldn’t even post her gripes in public!…. Why keep her expressions to her fb friends, when she should have publicized it so that concerned authorities be alerted of it (the breaking of such protocols)?

    We cannot always blame the captain of the ship, for he has down-lines to execute the specific tasks. Somewhere along the line, some things get messed up. Remember the game, “pass the word” …from the first person, the given “word” is correct and perfect. But when it reaches the last player, the “given” word is already altered or completely different.

    In times of massive calamities, even as we are called to be alert, but patience and well-rounded, if not God-like, understanding for everyone concerned, can greatly help us get through all this, without much rancor and pain.

    • I agree down to the line that “We cannot always blame the captain of the ship . . .” The Captain organizes the response effort and chose to do it by committee with DOH as lead agency. But DOH has played politics from the beginning, delaying announcement of the first death until after consulting with the President, and gaslighting the public by saying mass tests are not needed when WHO and every other expert is shouting “test test test!”. And DOH can’t lead the AFP troops so that they are carrying in food and water to those locked at home rather than wasting time at checkpoints.

      No, no. The buck absolutely stops at the top, as it did when the Duterte Admin tried to hold Aquino personally (and criminally) accountable for the SAF 44, dengvaxia, and Yolanda.

      • kasambahay says:

        tama po kayo, joeam. the buck stops at the top:duterte. health sec doque and doh answers to duterte, chain of command lang po, duterte being duque’s chief executive is given topmost courtesy deserving or not.

        duque can argue his point but duterte will have the final say. and hopefully, both duque and duterte are on the same bandwidth.

  18. josephivo says:

    I wonder what the variables of this crisis (=opportunity too) are. There is the obvious virus with the number of new cases, mortality, recuperation… Related all the medical aspects as testing methods-capacity-procedures, vaccination what-when-how, medication what-when-how… The epidemic-pandemic aspects as quarantine who-when-how, curve shape, stress on medical services, herd immunity, vectors… The supply chain issues for the medical services, beds, sanitary, medical… coffins. Economics, what is essential, what can be stopped, cash flow of individuals, companies, the state. Social issues as informing and convincing everyone, prevent looting, schooling, entertaining… Ethical questions, who to go first, who to decide… Mental health on average and in extreme cases or for the extremely vulnerable… Political and hidden agendas as “my country first”, reelections, strengthen my associates and weaken the others… This is certainly not an exhaustive list, just what pops up in my mind right now.

    What “confident” information does the president have on all those issues, too sensitive to communicate? What access to national and international expertise does he have? What are the legal limitations of what he can do?

    Happy that all this is not my business, that I just can observe and keep the required physical distances.

    • NHerrera says:

      If I may. A note on just a facet of the problem.

      Problem of balancing country’s health and wealth (economy). In general, a multi-variable, multi-constraint problem of optimization over time.

      Viewing the problem as a simple mechanical problem:

      In a democratic country such as the US, UK, France: multi-variable, multi-constraint. In an autocratic country such as China: multi-variable, less constraint. Do we wonder why China, in spite of missteps, was able to see through the problem in a quicker way?

      But then there is the example of Singapore, South Korea. Leadership and clear thinking, and the populace trust in their leaders, important variables too.

      • Bjorg says:


        They weren’t forced and love their country as much you do (?) however….

        Over 42,000 medical workers from around China have left Hubei after the epidemic was basically brought under control in the province. They are the real hero’s !

        Blaming any approach is easy while sitting comfortable at home.

        • NHerrera says:


          Thanks for your comment.

          I was stating a methodology in mathematical optimization. A function to be optimized uses the relevant multi-variables to seek the optimum course of action. But this choice is subject to constraints, usually multi-constraints.

          Yes, I am sitting comfortably at home. But I am not blaming, if you care to re-read my comment. In fact, in the case of Mainland China, I am hinting at an admiration for taking the draconian measures it has taken. In the case of Singapore, South Korea they have taken different approaches, which I equally admire. The actions of these countries are subject to the constraints of their government systems and values.

    • He’s a mayor, not a mathematician. They are in reactive mode, not shaping curves. And there are no ethics here, and even laws are being abandoned. A DOH undersecretary declared that seniors and kids could not leave their homes, as an order. It is now being pointed out that he does not have that kind of authority.

      And also, human rights are protected during calamity. They are not sacrificed.

      Former SC spokesman Te pointed these two points out. The illegality of the order, and the protection of human rights.

  19. NHerrera says:

    Quick one. Salute, Joe. You got those two donkeys. Probably the same one in a different guise. [Delete after reading.]

    • That makes 23 I’ve deleted. It’s probably one guy making up e-mails by the thousands. Like, that’s how he builds meaning into his life. Being a vermin on social media.

      No I won’t delete your commendation. I rather appreciate it.

  20. NHerrera says:

    While on the subject of “Who is running the show,” in the PH, here is a view from across the Pacific.


    A Republican, Stuart Stevens, wrote an article in Washington Post, titled,

    Republicans like me built this moment. Then we looked the other way.


    Don’t just blame President Trump. Blame me — and all the other Republicans who aided and abetted and, yes, benefited from protecting a political party that has become dangerous to America. Some of us knew better.

    But we built this moment. And then we looked the other way.

    Many of us heard a warning sound we chose to ignore, like that rattle in your car you hear but figure will go away. Now we’re broken down, with plenty of time to think about what should have been done.

    The failures of the government’s response to the coronavirus crisis can be traced directly to some of the toxic fantasies now dear to the Republican Party. Here are a few: Government is bad. Establishment experts are overrated or just plain wrong. Science is suspect. And we can go it alone, the world be damned.

    All of these are wrong, of course. But we didn’t get here overnight. It took practice.

    What is happening now is the inevitable result of a party that embraced fear, weaponized xenophobia and regarded facts as dangerous, left-wing landmines that must be avoided.

    It’s something to think about when sitting at home not watching sports and wondering how long it will be until you can find out if that nasty cold you have is something more.

    Those of us in the Republican Party built this moment. Now the nation must live with those consequences.

    • NHerrera says:

      While still on the generic “Who is running the show:”


      Last week, the [US] President told reporters, “I don’t take responsibility at all,” when confronted with his administration’s failure to provide widespread testing.

      But on Friday, [New York Governor] Cuomo fully acknowledged the disruption and economic ramifications of a lockdown in New York. He said, “I accept full responsibility. If someone is unhappy, if somebody wants to blame someone, or complain about someone, blame me. There is no one else who is responsible for this decision.”

      When this is all over, historians will doubtless have quotes like these as reference on Leadership and Character under Extreme Crisis.

      • NH,

        Once Micha’s MMT’s UBI checks said to be around $1,000 bucks start churning out, i think people will forgive and forget. Unless the Dems (Biden now) also adopt more of Micha’s MMT, no contest.

        These times are a changing, and Micha’s MMT is now front and center. All bets are off. Recalibration necessary, bcuz MMT is a game change.

        • I’m sure Micha’s not happy with who’s now championing MMT, but hey at least now its in effect— soon. 😉

        • Micha says:

          Well, establishment conservatives in both parties (Pelosi, Schumer, Graham, Moscow Mitch and others) are still deliberating on how much they’re going to give to the peasants because their constituency, the corporate welfare queens from Wall Street, are angling to grab most of that newly minted dough from Uncle Sam.

          Boeing for example, which was already in dire financial stress long before the pandemic struck, sent a horde of lobbyists in Capitol Hill so that it could also avail of this corona emergency fund.

          So, if you want that $1000 check not be fleeced by corporate welfare mamas, better call the congress-critter in your district and tell him to resist the lobbyists’ bribe or he will be up next in the guillotine line.

          • Thanks, Micha, I will.

            I have penned a letter before to Kamala Harris. I like her team. I wrote letters to Katie Hill too but she’s not around anymore. Christy Smith should be good, i’ve not written anything to her yet.

            • Micha, I’m watching CSPAN and the Dems just shot down MMT! Why?

              They’re gonna vote again tomorrow, but what’s the hold up you think? Scared of Trump getting credit for MMT?

              • karlgarcia says:

                Once it is baptized as Micha Monetary Totality
                The Dems must comply.

              • Micha says:

                Short answer : they don’t want to lost to DJT in November.

                A people’s QE will be so popular Trump’s approval rating will soar even if his corona response is like Dubya’s Katrina.

                But the longer the Dems dither on this emergency stimulus the more likely we’ll be seeing a repeat of 2008 crisis. They are stuck between the devil and the deep blue sea.

              • LOL! I hope they know how to swim.

              • Micha says:

                Because the legislative sausage-making is still underway, it might seem premature to declare the bailout bill underway a massive exercise in corporate welfare, but it sure has all the hallmarks.

                Senate Republicans just announced their long-awaited plan to help people and businesses weather the impending economic storm.

                Their scheme — burped up by Mitch McConnell in league with Donald Trump’s sycophantic Treasury Secretary, Steve Mnuchin — would be a dream come true for Big Business but a nightmare for everyday Americans.

                Here’s just some of what’s in the Republicans’ disastrous proposal:

                • Mnuchin gets to dole out hundreds of billions to Corporate America — without revealing which companies got bailed out for half a year.

                • Businesses are not required to keep workers on their payrolls
                • There are NO meaningful oversight mechanisms to prevent fraud and waste by the companies that get bailed out.

              • I hope they triage each company, Micha.

                American Airlines for example sucks ass worst airline ever, Southwest is better customer service. So save Southwest. All cruise lines should perish. They should survey Americans to see which companies stay or go, make it into a TV show.

                Have CEOs grovel.

                With little pedestrians around, they should also encourage driverless cars on the road. Pods as public transport is perfect for this new virus age, anthropocene is done. man, that was a pretty short epoch. good job everyone!

                I’m thinking also let’s give more money to companies like Beyond Meat (plant based protein). I think i would prefer my meat created in cleanrooms now, ala electronics, pharma and science research.

                if we’re gonna do MMT, let’s overhaul the rest of our economy w/ it. Good idea, Micha?

    • Dippindotz says:

      There’s a lot of interesting articles coming out of WP these days.

      Also, apparently, US’s long time adversary had a hand influencing the outcome of their elections. I wonder if our neighbor would dip it’s hand in ours come 2022 to protect their interest/s. But then again, probably not a matter of “if.”

  21. “Researchers at the University College Dublin have also shown that bat macrophages can rapidly mount a robust antiviral response whenever a pathogen is detected, but compared to the immune response of a mouse, the bat immune system can quickly reverse their response by releasing anti-inflammatory cytokines.”

    Where i live, here in Socal, bats are responsible for infecting wild and domesticated animals with rabies (also a virus). When and if humans are infected there’s a pretty well trodden effective rabies regimen, so no biggy– just sucks to get bit.

    But reading this stuff about bats (thanks to josephivo’s Peter Piot link above, this is the first i’ve heard of this dude, thanks!) , i wonder if we can also use CRISPR to simply copy bats’ method of suppressing these virus. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CRISPR#Applications

    As for that 104 degrees flying temperature, i was totally blown away. Fever justifying going to the ER is around 104 degrees. And bats are flying around at this temperature.

    Then i remembered, sauna! i’ve never been inside one but have read of its health benefits and that inside was around 195 degrees, so can this high temperature effectively reduce the multiplying power of a virus— flu virus for example cannot survive about 170 degrees.

    Worthy of a looksy,

    1). CRISPR
    2). Sauna

    • sonny says:

      “Worthy of a looksy …”

      LC, it’s a jungle out there. So goes the old reminder. More so now, there’s a whole universe of VIRUS out there. Literally. Viruses have been with us since the time of the dinosaurs. They survived the extinction of them biggies.

      Factoid closer to home.

      “… Scientists aren’t certain where the virus originated, though they know that coronaviruses (which also include SARS and MERS) are passed between animals and humans. Research comparing the genetic sequence of SARS-CoV-2 with a viral database suggests it originated in bats. Since no bats were sold at the seafood market in Wuhan at the disease’s epicenter, researchers suggest an intermediate animal, possibly the pangolin (an endangered mammal) is responsible for the transmission to humans. There are currently no treatments for the disease, but labs are working on various types of treatments, including a vaccine. …”


    • chemrock says:

      In sauna, the temperature on your skin shoots up. Your internal parts only shoot up a very minor % after several minutes. If your internal body temperature shoots up to the external stimulus of 195degrees, you will be cooked. Saunas would not be around today I would guess.

      • chemp,

        I get that. I mean I have a kettle with a thermometer attached, and I pour my water to coffee at 200 degrees, for tea at 160 degrees. i get that it’s ambient temperature. but i’m counting on it driving core body temperature up as well, how much don’t know,

        but can inducing your body to fever temperature more than 104 degrees, while not sick, be helpful in averting infections??? i’m Googling and nada. maybe i’ll email Dr. Ho about this.

        • sonny says:

          Haven’t been to a sauna either, LC.

          But knowing physical property of water, steam is at 212 deg F and can be super-heated above that. As I understand saunas, stones are superheated beyond normal 212 degs. Steam is created by pouring water over the stones. Beyond this I don’t know how they regulate the sauna heat.

      • karlgarcia says:

        UV lamps? Do they disinfect?

        • sonny says:

          Neph, short answer = yes.

          “Ultraviolet (UV) light destroys the molecular bonds that hold together the DNA of viruses and bacteria. …
          UV light is a particularly good option for sanitation because it kills bacteria regardless of drug resistance and without toxic chemicals.
          At-home methods of UV sanitation have been proven highly effective against pathogens and come in a variety of forms — including portable wands, phone sanitizers, and toothbrush cleaner …”


          • sonny says:

            PS. The article also mentions the safety conditions for using UV.

          • karlgarcia says:

            Many thanks , since I don’t need to be tanned only got infra red that won’t do.

            • karlgarcia says:

              Quick search says: IR can disinfect.
              Amazing, how light can do lots of things.

              • sonny says:

                🙂 🙂
                Neph, your mention of IR (infrared) technology triggered a small trip down memory lane. One reason why I need to get my TSH fix, the element of serendipity & nostalgia. Thanks.

              • karlgarcia says:

                Your memory highway has lots of lanes .
                Popoy and NH too.
                Popoy’s well documented

  22. popoy says:

    In forced in shelter, self isolation, stay home quarantine, the medal of honor can be shared by audie murphy.

  23. popoy says:

    the guy who failed in some of his subjects in college, the auto mechanic who became defense sec and the Philippines only HON-HON President. HON-HON by the way means honest and honorable. After this HON-HON non-politician, only and only a mother and son approximate and approach half of his integrity and love of country.

    • popoy says:

      popoy believes that this sermon delivered by an auto-mechanic at the banks of still unpolluted Pasig River should (Thanks Jesus, it’s not yet too late) should also be embraced and should guide the day to day decisions made by the intellectuals and mediocres of both the legislative and judicial branches who were sobre saliente accessories and accomplices of the executive branch in bringing the Philippines to where it is now.

  24. popoy says:

    If the son of a Nazareth carpenter had a Sermon at the Mount, there’s also a Sermon of Governance at Malacanang by a mere auto-mechanic:


  25. chemrock says:

    Everyday I get lots of shares of somebody talking on covid-19. I hv stopped reading them. It’s getting very tiring and boring.

    But this is the best I’ve read so far. No fear mongering, no politics, no hate, no conspiracy. A technical guy on the ground, with actual experience on fighting this kind of enemy.

    One gets a very clear sense of what it’s all about and take comfort in his confidence on the eventual outcome. If you want to get rid of the doom and gloom pervading in the community, it’s worth a read.


    • chemp, this was the best informative link i’ve read so far too.

      i get that he’s a virologist and his confidence is based on past wins. but 2 years is a long time, chemp. Micha’s MMT should help the economy some, but 2 years with NH’s prognostications, that’s gonna be a small victory party at the end, chemp.

      I hope I get that $1,000 check soon. thanks for sharing this, chemp.

      • NHerrera says:


        Caliphman and I had a conversation in the previous blog about the scale of US infections from covid19. To go by that conversation and using the concept of the “tip of the iceberg,” it will be quite a relief indeed if we literally go by that concept.

        Today’s “official” infection cases in the US is 34,000 plus. If we go by the fact that an iceberg’s tip represents only 10% of the total ice’s volume, the whole caboodle will then be only 340,000 infections.

        That would be quite a relief if it goes that far only!!!

    • isk says:

      Thanks chemrock

    • sonny says:

      Sobering thoughts, chempo. Thanks for sharing.

  26. Sonny, Pangasinan is now under quarantine.

    • sonny says:

      Thanks for sharing this news, PiE.

      The likelihood for infection on either northerly or southerly directions has just increased in my consciousness: MacArthur Highway is a well traveled road from Manila to Aparri. So I would just assume that CV is at this moment being passed to points in-between. I think the powers-that-be should be thinking quarantine plans for as many as detected at the barangay level. Am particularly concerned of the active radial propagation from Region I population centers like Baguio (CAR), Urdaneta, San Fernando, Vigan, Candon, Laoag.

  27. popoy says:

    If popoy can be half misunderstood and so only be half apologetic, he sees in this blog’s closing wisdom more eches than bucheches. In college he learned (from frat brods not from a sorority sis) that a panty is the worst enemy of man because it blocks his destination; that a bra is much powerful than a bulldozer because it can make two mountains out of two molehills; it’s also useful for pendulus grapefruit (suha) and utterly useless for jackfruit (lanka).

    As an enticer invention a bra is designed more for the bulbous shape than for a funnel shape asset of women. A bra can also numb the fingers from delivering exciting impulses to the brain. For outside the craniaum thinking : ECHES are epidermal while BUCHECHES are subcutaneous.

    • “a panty is the worst enemy of man because it blocks his destination; that a bra is much powerful than a bulldozer because it can make two mountains out of two molehills;”


      Your imagery is superb. Are you familiar with these new period panties, https://www.shethinx.com/

      I think since we’re using MMT now, we should get to pick and chose which companies go, which companies stay.

      For example, the female napkin and tampon industry cause quite a lot of waste, so we bail out period panties instead, re-washable, and toss the wasteful industry.

      Every company should go on TV and convince us how they are balance positive and a value added. the pampers industry, they’re doing flushable wipes now too, should go too.

      I’m thinking have Billie Eilish , her brother and Taylor Swift judge the show, like in America’s Got Talent or the Voice.

      I’m sure President Trump would be open to such a show. Give everyone their $1,200 bucks already, but have every CEO grovel in front of live TV.

  28. popoy says:

    It is just a wish that eventually from all my postings here in TSoH, about 60% will be bucheches and only 40% eches. The bucheches aspire to be solutions, while the eches are intellectual or dumb whatever.

    All provinces have congressional districts, a few have one or two while others have more than two or three tongressmen (including women). The country have more than ten senatongs voted at large, if I may use the popular nomenclature for lawmakers used by fed up critics from the citizenry.

    This hopefully is a bucheche:

    Basketball Courts constructed indoor or outdoor in cities or remote poblaciónes somehow get a share from millions of pesos of the Congressional pork barrels. Basketball courts occupy large or open spaces that can be used to SERVE and PROTECT the population against any demic: epi or pan.

    The spatial planning dimension of COVID-19 suspicion to final resolution could be from (1) offices, malls, air, sea and land vehicles, to (2) mansions, condos, apartments, nursing homes, schools, squatter shacks, to (3) selected quarantine areas like hotels, empty buildings, open sports fields like basketball, football, tennis, supreme (not used in session) court, municipal and city clinics with spare rooms, (4) government and private hospitals and, (5) funeral parlors.

    The (1) to (5) spatial dimensions cover the alpha and omega from points of exposure to suspicion to infection to treatment to death of the patient afflicted with COVID-19.

    The PORK BARREL of tongressmen (and women) este the pork of lawmakers may be 50-50 or 100% be re-allocated to save lives of constituents in the districts. Lawmakers HAD DONE IT BEFORE: If they have made bad laws before, they can now unmake them to lessen population attrition.

    Facing, confronting COVID-19 is no longer retrospective or prospective in nature. It is now ONGOING. It seems like an MD, like singly it was Audie Murphy using the Browning M30 with bipod and tank machine gun to drop dead the advancing enemy. But countries battling the virus should be better of with TEAMS and teams of medical men and women and need only the support of empowered government officials.

    • sonny says:

      Popoy, the military analogy is most appropriate: arm everybody especially the soldiers at the frontlines.

      • popoy says:

        Snoozers may have failed to wonder why there seems to demonstrate more than preference, may be more like a penchant bordering fetish for military ranks as public servant titles. Those with ranks from foot soldier private to corporal to sergeant to lieutenants to captains to majors to light and full colonels to one star brigadier, two star major general, three star lieutenant general to four staff COS.

        No matter how high or low the rank every soldier no exception has been trained TO KILL and vanquish identified enemies. While the police of more civilized and peace seeking nations TO VOID duplication of ROLE train them NOT TO KILL but to SERVE AND PROTECT civilian citizens. Policemen had been called pigs when the people sees them crossing the line.

        Higher civilian public servants have crossed the line when the police has been restored their military ranks that were rectified before. Ignorance of military and police doctrines can cause and result into unnecessary loss of lives among the military, the police, and civilians.

        How does it look if a country fights a virus disease with fully armed soldiers and police; when not even China and Russia don’t do it as per military science doctrines.

        • sonny says:

          Popoy, the soldiers I’m referring to are the medical teams of nurses and doctors and all those caring for stricken patients and how they should be given supplies of masks, gowns, PPEs (protective personal equipment) and facilities so they can fight the disease Covid-19 day in and day out. Equally important are the analogs of intel gatherers and organizers namely the medical researchers behind the lines, evaluating and building knowledge of the enemy, CV, and formulate the vaccines that will eventually neutralize the virus and its capacity to destroy human cells.

          • “How does it look if a country fights a virus disease with fully armed soldiers and police; when not even China and Russia don’t do it as per military science doctrines.”


            the indirect results of a pandemic are social unrest and lawlessness. soldiers and cops have banded together during riots (here in Socal there have been twice of these). National guards now will be tasked with supply lines protection, that can easily morph into crowd control– which is also the purview of police.

            But this is more results of economic collapse, popoy, so long as economy is handled soldiers and police don’t have to kill or maim anyone. I don’t think sick people are fans of riots anyways. But keep in mind soldiers and police do both share when it comes to crowd control– virus or no virus.

            That we might see. let’s hope not.

            • popoy says:

              Sonny and LCpl: I put my palms together in front of my chest and say: Namaste. I thought of saying Gomennasai but this (the 3rd paragraph) is the bucheche of the piece, a bridge (from COVID-19) too far doctrinal aspects of Mamasapano and the destruction of Marawi.

              “Higher civilian public servants have crossed the line when the police had been restored their military ranks that were rectified before. Ignorance of military and police doctrines can cause and result into unnecessary loss of lives among the military, the police, and civilians. “

              Sonny, If I may add an inappropriate and far fetched retort about TEAMS, I must admit not having thought of teams of military doctors and nurses in Aparri and Jolo battle ready to provide safety and medical care against any epidemic. During WWII in any battlefield in Europe and Asia, the doctrinal team is an unarmed red cross helmeted MEDIC.

              I consider this doctrinal: “Winston Churchill said in WW2 that the Filipino soldier is the greatest warriors in the world. For it was they who resisted the Japanese invasion for more than 50 days with no hope of victory. These men only surrendered because they were ordered to. Filipinos has a long history of resisting invaders but with little success. They deserve the title for they fought all occupiers the only reason why they failed was lack of unity. The Philippine Army can beet any army if they only manage to have the same weapons and training that of more advanced nations.”

              Sorry I can’t find doctrinal quotes fitting Pinoy soldiers against Red China’s military.

              IF LCpl hasn’t read it yet, under voluntary isolation the link below is an eche read.


              In Metro Manila I thought it sickly and not doctrinal to have MENANCINGLY ARMORED special weapons attack teams (SWAT) (like firemen any moment) ready against undernourished criminals.

              • popoy,

                Crowd control implies, all sorts of bodies, nourished or not. Solders and police in any society must control crowds when it becomes violent and/or unruly. it’s a public safety issue, not a medical one. See my post to NH below.

  29. caliphman says:

    Here is a youtube link on what happened in Wuhan. It depicts the stages of the virus spread and how it overwhelmed their local healthcare system, the lockdown they imposed to blunt the exponential growth of the contagion, what needed to be done to contain the growth, the massi vcd e government response to support Wuhan and prevent the virus from replicating the Hobei situation in other provinces. It’s a bird’s eye view of what’s happening in Italy and is about to happen in the US and throughout Europe. It is just beginning to happen in the Philippined. Watch it and come to your own conclusions. Please share the link if it’s not already gone viral.

    • NHerrera says:

      Caliphman, what is very remarkable to me are the efforts and risks the front line medical workers are taking not only on themselves but on their families who are depending on them. With variations I believe these are being repeated in all parts of the world. Great works are also being done by the volunteers. Surely, they are heroes of the times.

      • NHerrera says:

        Equally remarkable to my mind are the un-helpful statements from Trump as the coronavirus rampages in the United States — I believe, in an effort (in his view) to be front and center of the daily news using the Presidential pulpit.

        • caliphman says:

          Manong it is what it is…we in the US have two immediate crisis…CV and Trump!

          • Like i said a couple of blogs back, eventually we’re gonna have to absorb the deaths.

            “Our country wasn’t built to be shut down,” Mr. Trump said during a briefing at the White House. “America will, again, and soon, be open for business. Very soon. A lot sooner than three or four months that somebody was suggesting. Lot sooner. We cannot let the cure be worse than the problem itself.”

            If we go with the compassionate route, then we have to go with MMT; if we go with the less compassionate route, then we’ll have to get the economy up and running again, and understand that means more deaths, cut our losses.

            Sure less people would die from COVID-19 if we go the compassionate route, but if the economy dies with it how much more deaths (not from COVID-19) does that mean in comparison???

            We’re talking about riots, people shooting each other, great depression, cancer treatments foregone, etc. etc. who’s doing the exponential modeling on these potential non-COVID-19 deaths??? hmmmmmm… 😉

            Like i said a few blogs back we’re gonna have to seriously consider letting the old and folks with pre-existing conditions go, if the economy is to continue to prosper. that’s if we prioritize the economy over these COVID-19 deaths.

            Then again I also wanna see Micha’s MMT continue and see where that leads us.

            I see what the President is hinting at here, hard decision, but I also want Micha’s MMT to work out. We’ll see how this all unfolds.

            Remember, the Governors can also run their states without Trump, especially California and NY. Interesting times indeed.

            • NHerrera says:


              I believe, however painful to contemplate the implication, Trump is raising a relevant question. The country’s Wealth (Economy) or Death. I am not one to frame that as a question of choosing Trump’s Art of the Deal or Dr. Fauci’s Hippocratic Oath.

              But to leave US’ Dear Leader alone to plot the main path is the question. As it stands, several Governors of big states are saying and doing things not to DL’s liking.

              Here is a scenario. But first, the demographics of US’s about 330 million population:

              0–14 years: 18.62%
              15–24 years: 13.12%
              25–54 years: 39.29%
              55–64 years: 12.94%
              65 years and over: 16.03%

              If a credible group of psychologists can persuade the 65 years and over to forego their life for the sake of their relatives or the younger ones to bid adieu and go to paradise earlier — through the best, kindest, least painful of euthanasia methods, then you will have eliminated a big burden of the country. That counts for about 53 million of the 330 population — also less productive than the middle part of the demographics. The rest, by a combination of known, only partly effective remedies, can go on to work and do as they have done before the pandemic. Those becoming sick will be taken cared of nicely from the freed-up facilities used to take care of the elderly.

              So the US can again do its wealth-making machinery as before, probably more enhanced.

              But wait, the younger part of the elderly group in my scenario above includes Trump and most/ many of the government officials. So, the cut off will be 80 and above. I do not know the percentage, but if it is half 16%, or 8%, that results in about 26 million burden out of the equation still sizeable to free up medical facilities, for the sake of the working younger ones who may get sick — until an effective vaccine is developed.

              Let’s pursue the scenario. Trump continues on with the Presidency and 2 years into his term with the economy booming again, another pandemic occurs again. However, this time the new pandemic is affecting worst the 25-to-55 age group. What happens now, especially since Ivanka, Kushner and Donald Jr. is in that age group. I can’t analyze this case.

              End of the scenario.

              • NHerrera says:


                Trump may not have the power he thinks

                Apart from questions about Trump’s motivation, there are deep practical questions about his desire for a swift reopening of the economy. First up, he doesn’t have the power to do it.

                Many of the shutdowns imposed on US cities and states have been ordered by governors fearful that their hospitals could be overrun.

                An order from Trump would not simply cause them to reopen shops and restaurants and stalled public transport systems.

                There are also warnings from abroad about the danger of easing restrictions too soon. Hong Kong for instance, with a comprehensive social distancing program, kept its infection rate from coronavirus fairly low. But it clamped new restrictions on public gatherings amid anxiety about a resurgence.

                Singapore and China, after getting their outbreaks under control, have imposed new entry restrictions after travelers from abroad threatened to trigger secondary outbreaks.

                Trump spoke in his briefing about the possibility that regions of the country with few cases could simply open their economies. But even if such places did not develop their own pandemics, they would face infections from outsiders once travel resumes.

                Some experts have questioned whether younger people less at risk from infection could return to work, along with those who have recovered from the illness.

                But such a solution would require the kind of blanket testing regime to isolate virus carriers and to protect the most vulnerable populations that the Trump administration, with its sluggish initial response to the crisis, has never approached.

                And a decision to return to anything like normal life could spike infections and worsen an already disastrous situation for hospitals, where doctors and nurses are warning of a chronic shortage of ventilators that keep sick patients alive, and fear they will soon run out of personal protective equipment.

              • NH,

                This is the scenario i’ve been wondering about and have been kicked out several times pursuing the logical end, the Culling. i’ve tried to justify EJK with it, not successful precisely because its not democratic, the rich get to enjoy (that’s not fair!).

                Thanos, when Avengers Infinity War/Endgame both came out, with just a snap of the fingers, 50% gone— too democratic.

                COVID-19 is precisely this Culling , make no mistake there are worst pandemics up coming, more like Thanos in scope. BUT at least COVID-19 allows us to play out the drama of what actual triage looks like, when we are forced to choose.

                Leaving aside now President Trump and VP Pence, i personally think they are wrong; but i have faith in the Governors, they’ll shut down their borders, people will not listen to Trump (mostly). But at the same time the authorities will not have the guts to beat citizens into sheltering in place (which is actually what’s needed, related to popoy‘s point above).

                I like the fact that Nancy Pelosi is very careful not to mingle right now, after Trump and Pence, she’s next as President. She has to stay alive long enough to pick a healthy young VP. Why not AOC, i’m sure she can kick COVID-19 easily. She’s young.

                but enough about politics, now…

                Now, i think the oldies that’s 60 and up should make a decision, much like a DNR (do not resuscitate ) where they make the decision before hand not to go to the hospital.

                It’s county gov’t here for us, but they need to inform officials of that decision, with their families so county offices can facilitate this decison.

                that once failure to breathe happens sever COVID-19, to simply take it and die, and forego going to the hospital. if indeed it is akin to drowning, and without pain then no need for pain meds (this will vary, some may chose to go quicker than waiting 4 lung failure).

                They need to give this option (nay encourage this option) in essence to give that ventilator to a younger person who ll have a better chance at kicking this virus to the curb. This goes for others in the population who feel they may succumb to COVID-19, not just the oldies.

                This is a better triage scenario, self-triage, don’t stress the medical system by forcing medical ethics on them, they are already stressed enough, ethics is the last thing they need (who lives;who dies). That stay home order should be stay home, and if one fits the criteria, to die at home.

                back to the President and VP, i still don’t understand why they are always in the same room together. oh well, my girl Nancy’s ready. Nancy Pelosi just needs to be healthy enough to choose a young and healthy VP, that goes too for a young and healthy cabinet.

                NH, before you get sad consider 8 billion, lower that number and dolphins start swimming in Venice canals, fossil fuel burning slows, etc. etc. Take solace that Trump will not be listened to, that the Governors will be more responsible. but hospitals still need to be de-stressed if they

                are to save more lives. Thus subtract from the 55 and above column, is what i’m saying; sure my column will also take a hit, but we’ll have a fighting chance. And when i join your current column in a couple of decades, I may have to also make this triage me die or they die choice.

                Me personally I’ll probably choose to forego that ventilator (give it to someone younger) , but i’ll walk into the mountains and take my chances there (i’m not gonna die at home, but i’m forego that ventilator for another). But my point is to de-stress the medical system.

                I hope that clarifies my position, NH.

              • NHerrera says:

                We can agree that de-stressing the strained to the limit medical system should be done — whether through Gov. Cuomo way, your way, my way or other ways. Thanks for clarifying your point, Lance. Be careful that you don’t hurt your ankle in the mountains.

              • Now that requires no ventilator, NH! 😉

          • caliphman says:

            Lance, I am just curious. Are any of your grandpo parents still alve?

            • Never really knew my grandparents, caliphman… but my parents are in their early 60s.

              There’s policy talk and there’s personal talk. But i get where you’re going at here. I have talked to them about death and dying. Though last i saw them was over Christmas, i know they’ll not want to go to the hospital to die. They’re in Norcal, outside city centers, with a community of like minded folks, ie. people that don’t trust authorities including hospitals, so they’ll have pre-thought their home dying plans even way before this virus stuff.

  30. karlgarcia says:

    No government can be prepared for this.
    But we are known to be a country of unimplemplented laws, because of no continuiy, no budget because it was allocated to intelligence or some pet project or whatnot.
    Because of this favor trading budget system we resort to emergency powers to ask another favor.
    Where is the service if everykne owes everyone a favor?

    • karlgarcia says:

      Will emergency powers of owning utilities hive 24/7 ekectricity annd water with the very dry season ahead?
      will emerfency procurement magically make the supllies appear? NO.

      will taking over a hospital, reduce its full capacity? NO.

      • karlgarcia says:

        No matter how I feel about the situation, I hope this will be over soon.
        A Nobel Laureate gave an optimistic prediction that it will be over soon.
        Uk pegged it at Spring 2021
        I just hope there will be no new waves to come.

      • karlgarcia says:

        At least more institutions are accredited to test for COVID, thanks to the infusion by China and SOKor, one good use of the emergency powers is the immediate procurement of machines and equipment for the testing kits and possible more institutions to be accredited for testing.

        • karlgarcia says:

          I saw a video where a Chinese health official was chiding the lax lockdown in Italy. It was as if, there was no lockdown per the sub titles.

          Then it would be worse n the UK, they just started and that is why they now say that this will last for another year.

          I hear Pinoy Australians saying that it is also lax there, is that rignt Bill?

  31. karlgarcia says:

    South Africa is worried for the whole Continent.
    Though no COVID deaths reported as of yet.
    Since the health system is already burdened with the highest number of TB and HIV cases in the world and their mass transport are always jampacked, many informal settlers, and other recipes for disaster.


  32. josephivo says:

    For those who like to take a step back and reflect: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jAYTogd38m4

    A lecture on the Corona virus by Lex Fridman (a Russian American AI expert with plenty of amazing interviews on YouTube). As a Russian he structures his thoughts very well with a little “romantic” sauce.

  33. popoy says:

    Karl if you are one of my students, as a demonstration of academic freedom in the Diliman Republic, because of the staccato of your necklaced postings, if you accept a grade of 1.25 you are dismissed for the rest of the semester. See you for the next higher course next semester. And if you are Karl a co-faculty, I might suggest co-teaching on a course of your choice. Eche yabang lang ito Karl.

    • karlgarcia says:

      I will be more than happy and glad that it is not from a DLSU, otherwise that grade is low.

    • karlgarcia says:

      We have been learning and teaching here for more than half a decade, poy.

      • popoy says:

        What’s in college grades Karl?

        In a masteral admisions committee I was asked how do I explain my grades referring to an Inc. a 4 or a 5. With a straight face I said, I was enjoying my life in college, learning more, things not in the syllabus (like Das Kapital, Shakespeare, Advanced ROTC); I said I don’t believe in grades.

        So? So what happened? The Admissions Committee rejected my application. So, after some years what really happened? Yabang na ito Karl. I became College Secretary and a member of that Committee that turned down my application.

        Yabang pa Karl? Tama na muna. I need time to finish my oil medium supplies so I can re-try watercolor or pastel media. That’s what I do when not pestering people here in TSoH.

        Oh Yes, Habol, How can I describe the possible demise of COVID-19 by way of its temporal dimension? Iisipin ko pa.

  34. karlgarcia says:

    I do not see any part of the comnent that would merit your reaction.

  35. NHerrera says:

    Here is Londoners for you: “social closeness.”

    London mayor says tube services running at a maximum despite government criticism

    • popoy says:

      Ah London, city too of Cockneys

      I still wonder why distant happy memories linger and why now I have no idea where I placed my eyeglasses that I am already wearing.

      In late sixties I spent mostly my week ends lodging in Nottinghill Gate (saw Hugh Grant and Julia Roberts movie trysting in Holland Park decades later); also was prowling tube stations as I window shop in Selfridges in Oxford circus, gawking at displays in Piccadilly and spend a few nights looking up the stage of dancing working girls as I was determined then to make my travels educational.

      At that psychedelic time when flower people was blooming, I grew a luxurious beard and not very long hippy hair and was told I could look like a Pakistani. On a Sunday when Tube stations are almost deserted, I saw a group of six young Pinays noisily chatting in Tagalog and happily coming to take the train. They eyed me but I pretended not to notice, stayed closed and listened to their conversation.

      I got down with them on their destination station, stayed close and blurted: Mga nurses pala kayo, ang gaganda nyo. Ang dami kong nadinig sa usapan ninyo. Taga Makati ako.
      Hearing those Tagalog words, how they reacted, just them looking at me was indescribable poetry not to be written for public consumption. Suffice to remember and say: I just stood there thinking, God, what have I done? Well, I really looked like a Pakistani.

      Oh yes, tube stations may be so deep It’s scary going down by escalators; in one or two a commuter can take the elevators large enough for four cars. No wonder, it’s awesomeness that in twenty minutes after business and office hours in the afternoon, with the tube trains and the double-decker red buses, London streets were almost deserted.

      Oh yes again, tube trains crosses twenty-eight meters(?) below the river Thames while Manila’s LRT passes may be 25 feet (?) above Pasig River beside FEATI and McArthur (Sta.Cruz?) bridge.

    • NHerrera says:

      Ah, happy memories of yore.

  36. NHerrera says:

    Two vital items under siege: medical facilities to fight covid19 and the economy.

    George Friedman, the founder of GPF (Geopolitical Futures) writes on the great conflict between the medical and the economic views of the coronavirus. Giving in to the pure medical requirements to combat the coronavirus can risk the destruction of the economy in the long-term.


    Still, there is a mismatch in the time frame of systems. It will take time for the medical system to develop a vaccine. The economic system cannot withstand social distancing for that long without consequence. The social system cannot withstand the stress of isolation coupled with fear of poverty. The stresses snowball. And no one is to blame as it appears that there is no solution.

    To the extent that there is a solution, it is in releasing people from isolation without risking their lives. The medical system is the only one that can do that. It is a system built on the avoidance of all risk possible in the introduction of medicines and vaccines. This is not only a practical consideration but a deep ethical principle of medicine. But given both the damage wrought by the disease and the damage caused in combatting the disease, including the very real risk of economic and social havoc, I wonder whether the medical ethic of first doing no harm can be extended to the economic and social reality. A principle of calculated risk, with the federal government passing laws to protect error, might shift the medical timeline sufficiently to short circuit non-medical risks. I know nothing about the creation of medical solutions and am not speaking with any knowledge of that, but in looking at the problem, the rapid introduction of medicines, even those with some potentially disastrous side effects, might align the timelines to give us a softer landing. Otherwise, we cannot withstand months of isolation and social distancing.

    I have left the geopolitical for last because it is the longest track of all. For now, normal geopolitical processes have been suspended. The U.S. did not respond to Iraqi-Iranian missiles. The confrontation between Turkey and Russia has disappeared for now. And China and the United States are trading insults but speaking little of trade wars. At the same time, borders are closing as foreigners are seen as potential carriers. Air travel is grinding to a halt. As divisions reemerge, we should remember that economic destruction due to war gave rise to Hitler and Lenin. Economic destruction in any form is destabilizing. But that is for later.

    For now, the crisis is not only the virus but the inability to combat it without massive economic cost, and ultimately social unrest. During Europe’s great Black Death, citizens marched with torches and burned those they felt were ill and those they felt were responsible for the illness. It was not only the plague that created a time of horror but the legitimate fear it generated in people and the inability of the state to protect them, in a world where kings were as likely to die as peasants. The virus is dangerous. The follow-on effect can be far more dangerous.


    P.S. I may note that Friedman partly aligns with Trump’s strategy on relaxing the social-distancing policy to restart the economic machine. But, I may forgiven to say that in Trump his political future come November is uppermost in his mind. Economic recovery in 2021 is too late for him.

    • Marco says:

      I was thinking as much as 50% overall for the coming recession BEFORE coronavirus hit. The so-called economic recovery has not been based on productivity increases.

      We are seeing exactly how strong our economy really was revealed right now when almost nobody and almost no company has the reserves to weather 6 months of down time.

      It is a rapidly constructed house of cards that will suffer a similar end.

      • NH,

        I totally agree, Trump’s not totally sold on MMT and i bet most of his advisers are Jekyll Island believers, where MMT needs its own disciples to push their idea on to the President.

        Two economic systems are at play. More of the same OR Micha’s MMT.

        We need to send Micha to the WH so Micha can inform the President, so Trump can choose to save lives as well as save the economy.

        2 economic systems,

        1 virus,

        only 1 can do both save lives and push the economy forward.

        Boeing is the best canary here, if the President lets Boeing go then we know things are making sense, if Boeing is bailed out, then the old guards have won. Same old same old.

        Let’s send Micha to the White House!!!

        • Micha says:


          Steve Mnuchin, Goldman Sachs alumni and now Trump’s treasury secretary will have, in his discretion to disburse, at least $4 trillion (not a misspelling) if the bailout bill, cooked up in Republican senate, gets approved in Miss Nancy’s lower house.

          These people have been doing MMT for years – they just don’t want to admit it.

          Remember how Republicans went berserk over ballooning debt and deficits when Obama rolled out his Affordable Healthcare Act? Their fiscal purity test was all a charade.

          Today, with multi trillion dollars rescue package, there’s nary a peep from the usual suspects about how are we gonna pay for it.

          There’s no cry of socialism when the bailout recipients are the bankers and corporations. Not so with Bernie’s Medicare For All.

          Mnuchin knows the power of Uncle Sam’s money..

          And he loves the smell of it too.

  37. I’m sorry the discussion got away from me today. I’ve deleted a lot of irrelevant commentary and placed popoy into moderation. I have no idea what he’s after. We are also persistently badgered by the Chinese trolls and I will keep deleting them, too. World’s going nuts.

  38. NHerrera says:

    A CNN article today (March 25) has this as its title,

    Coronavirus deaths in the US could reach peak in three weeks, epidemiologist says

    I presume that this corresponds to the peaking of the daily deaths in three weeks and a general decrease from thereon. Although two other epidemiologists agree in general, they vary in their assessment of time period. Still other epidemiologists are not in agreement.

    I do not know how this will play out. A short-term economic recession may still be in the cards but may not be as dire as some projected several days ago. I hope this is the case. I believe it is not good from a geopolitical standpoint for China to have a big headstart and recover fast economically while the US and Europe are still in the depths of the coranavirus problem.


    • I gotta feeling China’s gonna have its 2nd cycle soon , won’t have to wait 10 months. In the mean time, manufacturing will ramp up over here, NH. Regardless of deaths, manufacturing is now back here. that in itself will keep China 2 steps back.

  39. NH,

    This might give you some context as to COVID19 peak.

    We absorb that much every year, and life goes on normal, add COVID19, i’m sure we’ll be able to absorb it as well. 8 billion that keeps on growing, is a hard number to shave off from apparently.

  40. karlgarcia says:

    Globalization may not die but regionalization will rise.


    • karlgarcia says:

      But the infected numbers are rising in our Southeast Asia.
      This will get worse before it gets better.

  41. caliphman says:

    I do not know why clever people fail to understand the crux of the problem facing central governments in dealing with the CV pandemic in their states and provinces. The real threat is the collapse of their health care system. The exponential growth of the virus infections means that the need for hospitalization, ventilators, ICUs, doctors, nurses, etc. will overwhelm and collapse healthcare systems. It happened in Wuhan, Lombardy, Madrid and probably NY, then California and after that maybe the whole US. Imagine no place for pregnant mothers, gravely sick to go to as medical facilities and staff are swamped with CV cases. One would need Lance types to triage who is to die and who to live.

    • karlgarcia says:

      One hospital namely Medical City reported full capacity, I am sure many will follow.

      The military is asking for makeshift hospital designs and available materials so they could set it up in the Military camps

    • NHerrera says:


      For Sheridan-Gonzalez, the risk of becoming infected amid a shortage of masks and gowns is all too real.

      “We feel an obligation to take care of our patients. Everybody does. But we don’t want to become sick and we also don’t want to become carriers,” she said. “In my own hospital — and I don’t think it’s unique — we have a nurse who is on a ventilator right now who contracted the virus.”

      If the virus takes out health care workers, “it’s game over. It’s lights out,” Dr. Peter Hotez, professor and dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine, previously told CNN.

      “If we have multiple frontline health care workers, ER physicians, nurses go down in this epidemic — a situation where you have colleagues taking care of colleagues in the intensive care unit — there’s nothing more destabilizing for the United States.”

      I may add the obvious: that same lament is being repeated worldwide.

    • “One would need Lance types to triage who is to die and who to live.”

      Though i like talking about this issue, i think i’ll be a bit shallow in who i’ll choose to live, caliphman, firstly i’ll pick all hot girls, then people with tattoos, then people with obvious accident scars.

      Hot girls is obvious; tattoos just means they like ink; scars from accident means they like risk.

      And for sure these girls, if they get COVID19, caliphman: https://talentrecap.com/new-oregon-food-delivery-service-sends-strippers-to-your-house-during-coronavirus-pandemic/

    • It is rather incredible that the top Filipino officials refuse to project forward, and manage day to day. I think the approach is coming from China and the idea is to lock down communities to diminish the pace of contagion while not trying to hospitalize any but the most clearly ill. No testing is done on the at home people. If they recover, they never enter the picture. They are hidden. If they die, maybe it is from a prior health condition or pneumonia. We can look for spikes in other diseases in a year or so to try to detect what the “excuse” is. But the result of this case management is bragging by Department of Health at how good they are. When they are just pushing the suffering onto a lot of souls, not trying to help them, and accepting whatever deaths roll through.

      Already hospitals are filling up and a search is on for other facilities. But they will probably not have “negative air pressure” rooms so health workers will be at risk, and other patients. The lack of ventilators and collapsing health workers will come next.

  42. caliphman says:

    That’s the real threat, Manong. The sequence is fairly simple. The exponential infection growth leads to enormous number of sick that leads to shortage of protection equipment which leads to ambulance crews, nurses and doctors getting infected and sick. Leads to infected caregivers contaminating patients, etc. etc.

  43. caliphman says:

    It’s the tsunami kne should worry about..and believe me it’s coming 😦

  44. caliphman says:

    Freaking Duterte better call and get help now to meet it!

  45. caliphman says:

    From his buddy, Chairman Xsi

    • karlgarcia says:

      Last pronouncement: Thank you! 100, 000 test kits is already enough.
      He should ask for 100 million test kits with 100 million vaccines.

      I only said rain instead of tsunami so I still could sing it to go away. 😔

        • karlgarcia says:

          The DOH must test the test kits, if a number of ghem is faulty then return all of them. Who knows, the same supplier who provided Europe with faulty kits manufactured the ones we got.

          • kasambahay says:

            apparently, priorly, spain tested the chinese made kits and found them to be faulty kuno. dito sa atin, doh has also tested the chinese kits and found them faulty and with only around 40% accuracy, so doh stored the kits. I hope no one gets hold of those kits and sell them on the black market.

            to save face, the chinese are saying, people dont know how to use the chinese kits, or people dont know how to collect specimen properly.

            anyway, pacquiao (contact ni pimentel) is quick to say he tested negative kuno using the rapid test (much like the pregnancy test yan) with the kit from south korea.

            pacquiao’s chinese friend, jack ma, has donated chinese test kits for us to use. jack ma must be feeling – bad? that pacquiao used the south korean kit and not the chinese kit, haha. feeling sarcastic na naman ako, hic

            • karlgarcia says:

              In China, some recovered patients are testing positive again.
              This maybe a second wave or a really faulty testing with lots of false negatives and false positives.
              And not knowing how to swab patients maybe a reason too.


              If we are to do mass testing using faulty kits, no thank you.
              There are lots of petitions for mass testing, but manufacturing honest to goodness accurate kits is really hard to come by.

              • kasambahay says:

                I saw on t.v. foreign sec teddy boy locsin getting angry the chinese health workers coming over to our country to help us fight coronavirus are being harang kuno by doh, I dont know how true this story is.

                I think doh only meant that on arrival, the chinese health workers ought to go on quarantine for 2weeks before they can meet with our health officials and see filipino patients, and not let loose kaagad into our vulnerable communities without ascertaining their status whether negative sila for the virus, or not.

                in italy, the chinese health workers who came to help italians fight the virus were critical of the italians and caused conflict with them.

                * * *
                p.s. apparently, netherland rejected the tens and thousands imported chinese face masks, defective kuno ang filter and the masks dont close over the face properly.

              • karlgarcia says:

                Yes if our policy is to quarantine we must be consistent. The question iis, do we have a policy to quarantine?I only heard of the quarantine from those from the Cruise ship.

              • I wouldn’t quarantine them, but would test them and get them into hospitals immediately on a negative reading.

              • karlgarcia says:

                The 19 tourists from SOKor were quarantined after the fact. We still do jot know if contact tracing was successful.

  46. NHerrera says:

    OK, we got the massive $2 trillion rescue bill. That is just not enough. We want another one.

    • Micha says:

      It still needs a vote in the lower house and it takes just one member of congress to have it derailed. Miss Nancy says she and her gang will vote for it tomorrow.

      As it stands, the bill is a soup dish meant to nourish corporations and throw some fig leaves to the peasants.

      $2 trillion to rescue the economy from a pandemic; surely we can have the same federal funding mechanism to rescue the Earth from a warming climate.

  47. Bill In Oz says:

    I see that hospitals in Manilla are overwhelmed with COVID 19 disease patients…I feel sad that this is happening there..So some medical info. It is not my info..I am just spreading it so it is known there in the Philippines:
    ““Essential Takeaways from China’s Response to COVID-19″

    “This memo has been written by three top-level Norwegian scientists with links to China and the pharmaceutical industry:

    •Yun Zhou PhD,Biomedical Researcher from Wuhan, living in Norway. Dr. Zhou reads and speaks Chinese (Mandarin) fluently and has been communicating with some physicians and family members in China and Wuhan about the COVID-19 epidemic, and read Chinese newspapers and searched Chinese web sites on a daily basis since the first cases were reported.
    •Niels Chr. Danbolt MD, PhD, Professor,Institute of Basic Medical Sciences, University of Oslo, has worked with Dr. Zhou to acquire insight about effective treatments and containment strategies for COVID-19.
    •Stefan KraussMD, PhD, Professor,Centre Director HTH Center of Excellence, University of Oslo, has a background in drug development.

    Key points:

    1.The morbidity and mortality rates are so high that the virus causes the healthcare systems to be overwhelmed. The virus must be contained, and that explains the massive Chinese response with extensive quarantine measures.

    2.While an approved drug for COVID-19 treatment does not exist, some drugs appear to be effective in treating the disease. One of these is the malaria drug chloroquine (both the phosphate version, and the hydroxy-variant). Chloroquine appears to be most effective if given early in the disease when symptoms are mild. This was reported in Chinese newspapers and other state-controlled media as early as early February. Chloroquine is the drug most often mentioned in Chinese newspapers. It simple and fast to producein large quantities and its side effects are well known and controllable.

    3.For patients not tolerating or responding to chloroquine, three other drugs have been tried: Remdesivir, Lopinavir/Ritonavir and Umifenovir(Arbidol). All of these have moderate to severe side-effects (https://www.nasdaq.com/arti… https://www.statnews.com/ph…, they are less studied, and they are more expensive to produce.

    4.Chinese authorities have, according to our open-source intelligence, placed large orders on chloroquine, and we have got the impression that they maybe using this drug on a vast scale (e.g. https://www.yicaiglobal.com… https://www.shine.cn/biz/ec…. Guangzhou Baiyunshan Guanghua Pharma has resumed full production capacity and has a daily capacity of 2 million tablets, suggesting that the Chinese authorities believe that chloroquine is effective.

    5. A key point is that Western publications have not caught up with the above information as it is only available in Chinese. The authors of this memo are concerned that Western authorities (e.g. CDC and WHO) are unaware of important information that can be used to effectively deal with the COVID-19 pandemic. Information on the potential benefits of chloroquine for treatment of COVID-19 mediated disease is beginning to appear in Western media

    6.To what extent chloroquine treatment has been a key factor in the apparent Chinese success in fighting COVID-19 is unknown, but the evidence for a key role of chloroquine in this epidemic is compelling and needs to be investigated.

    7.Our sources indicate that chloroquine administered at a sufficiently early stage maylower the number of patients that will require hospitalization. In fact, this is what the Chinese have tried to do. Early treatment of infected people in Wuhan City reduced the percentage of severe conditions from 38% to 18%. In contrast, when the disease has progressed into a serious condition requiring intensive care admission and artificial ventilation, the treatment is less effective and a significant number of patients will die.

    To summarize:
    a.There is an existing drug, well tested, well documented and with manageable side effects, which is neither exceptionally expensive nor difficult to produce and is fairly effective if administered at the correct time.

    b.In order to maximize the effectiveness of chloroquine it will be necessary to identify infected patients as early as possible through extensive testing with a rapid turn-around time.

    8.There are also rumors that chloroquine may prevent the development of the disease if given at smaller doses to asymptomatic individuals. If this is correct, then prophylactic treatment of people at risk (e.g. health personnel and individuals with underlying conditions) may be possible.

    9.A high percentage of infected people may be absent from work for months and the Chinese are becoming stricter with respect to declaring an infected patient disease-free. Effective March 6th, 2020, they only release infected patients from quarantine after they have developed COVID-19 neutralizing antibodies. Infected patients with no or minimal antibody response are kept in quarantine as there is increasing evidence that they continue to shed virus and therefore can infect others. We have also been told by friends in Wuhan (undocumented personal information)
    that China is considering 4 weeks of quarantine rather than the current recommendation of 2 weeks. 1

    10.There are speculations that some patients die from an uncontrolled immune response (a.k.a. “cytokine storm”) and the immune suppressing drug Tocilizumab is being tested to prevent or stop this serious complication.

    11.There are discussions whether ADE (antibody-dependent enhancement) may complicate vaccine development and pose a significant risk if reinfection occurs with a mutated virus.

    12.Because the disease originated in animals, it may be worthwhile to check whether domestic animals need protection.


    • Bill , can you please source the above post, all the links are ‘dead’, so there’s no actual link for one to be able to Google more of.

      Trump’s been pushing chloroquine here too, saying Hey what’s there to lose? But i’m more interested in the science of why it does work. And nothing, nada… crickets.

      So from my vantage, either the folks making chloroquine or folks who’ve just invested in it are pushing chloroquine hard on people, to make a buck, or there is some science to all this.


      On the other hand, i’m sure these malaria drugs are aplenty in the Philippines, thus i’d be interested to see if it actually works. I may have taken this before too, which was no picnic.

      I thought this is hands down the best info-cartoon in youtube on COVID-19,

  48. caliphman says:


    This is happening in Italy. I am praying Duterte and his administration get Chinesr ventilators and help now. After all they got his help with Scarborough.

  49. caliphman says:

    This heartrending plea from Madrid. For those in the administration and congress who are still complacent and thinking it wont happen in Manila. The time to act is NOW

  50. josephivo says:

    I was listening to Bill Gates in his recent TED interview (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xe8fIjxicoo) and in his interview with CNN this morning. Assuming he is not an idiot and he knows what he talks about because he is involved in fighting infectious diseases and pandemics for years. Some things I heard him saying loud and clear, not directly but by using very carefully chosen words and silences.

    – Trump is a dangerous idiot.

    – Peak in the US for end of May, curve coming down in June, later or even many peaks if a strict lockdown is not implemented nationwide for several weeks and the testing is not drastically improved. Easing too early will be very expensive and will hurt the economy immensely.

    – Expect a dramatic difference between haves and have-nots. Thousands of fatalities for the first, millions for the second. Poor countries will struggle with lockdowns as people live closer together often whole families in one room with neighbors at touching distance, no money to buy supplies at once for more than one day, no safety nets, utang or charity having limits … and these countries have a very minimal and fragile health systems. Only cheap treatments and/or vaccines will eventually stop the virus after a violent first wave. Curious/scared to see where the Philippines will end up on this scale.

    • We don’t know if the disease has entered poor communities yet, and I doubt reporters will go in to find out unless they don hazmat suits. We’ve heard no stories of catastrophe. Most cannot afford to go to the hospital so it is indeed probably that it will become a horror. We’ve already seen the two-tiered system with politicians getting tested and normal people, not. The disadvantaged will include the middle class soon, as beds and ventilators will run out and precious little seems to be getting done to anticipate that.

    • NHerrera says:

      Considering Bill Gates bona fides and experience and his and his wife’s philanthropic work, I put his credibility in the same class as US’ Dr. Fauci, head of US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

      • NHerrera says:

        In praise of TV News Media. In this instance, I am referring to CNN. This reference to CNN is because of simple reasons: parochial and economic — the option I subscribed with my Cable provider does not include BBC, etc.

        With that preamble, I am watching — as I write this — the series of interviews [a re-broadcast] of CNN’s Anderson Cooper and Sanjay Gupta’s with Richard Quest (business), Dr. Fauci (medical), and Bill Gates (Microsoft founder and philanthropist). The interview adds to my broad and detailed knowledge of the coronavirus and its consequence.

        I hope this series of interviews are shown several times and readers catch it.

  51. NHerrera says:


    – On the effectiveness of the US $2 trillion rescue aid: It will help. But to exaggerate, it is like burning money to keep warm.

    – The Virus is the boss.
    – The Virus sets the timeline.

    • Micha says:

      It’s a temporary relief to keep the financial payment system going. It will not restore lost goods and services due to shop and business closings.

      If this pandemic continues its rampage for several more months, all that money sloshing around will be chasing fewer and fewer goods and services causing, in all likelihood, a trip in inflation.

      It is imperative then that priority number 1 will be to get this viral rampage under control by deploying all necessary resources for testing, treatment, and spread prevention. Easier said than done in an administration that has so far shown criminal neglect and incompetence.

      • NHerrera says:

        Micha: the global bill to save the world economy so far stands at about $7 trillion, with the US part being $2 trillion.


        • Micha says:

          Providing the trillions is the easy part. The hard part is still how to get this killer under control so that real resources, supply chains, and economic production get back on track.

          Assuming that this could, under best case scenario, taper off by June, weather related natural disasters such as wildfires, drought, super typhoons in the tropics etc., could then possibly take over from the carnage which will result in food shortages in many countries.

          In other words, it increasingly become obvious that humanity is fucked and nature is a bitch.

          People in the Philippines are doubly fucked by having a fascist incompetent asshole for a President.

          If my French is unacceptable in this forum, Joe; by all means, delete.

  52. karlgarcia says:


    Speaking of the poor
    It is estimated that there arre 2.5 M tb cases and 4 percent are multi drug resistant.
    The drug resistance is mainly due to non compliance to the six months treatment maybe because no one can get the free medicines for them if they are told not to leave their homes, and what about now when there is a quarantine?
    Easy to say have 1month supply or else.
    Are the meds accessible?
    Are there enough?
    The poor can’t have them even if it is free, because every man for himself, those with cars can get easily

    • kasambahay says:

      the poor are supposed to receive free medicine for highly contagious diseases as TB, specially the multi drug resistant TB. libre ang gamot, sagot po ng gobyerno. ideally, community nurses or health workers check compliance of TB outpatients by visiting them at home, replenishing their TB meds and asking about thier welfare. on home isolation kasi sila and likely to be depressed.

      some of the dirt poor dont want to be visited at home dahil ikinahihiya ang living condition nila at wala silang handog na pangmeryenda. shamed of being judged.

      it takes around 6months – 2yrs for one to be cured of TB. palaging may chest X-Ray to check lung shadow of TB whether lumiit or lumaki. there is also regular sputum check, to see if TB germ is still present sa dura (phlegm). then there is urine test. those taking TB meds, the color of their urine is redbrown. those that stopped taking TB drugs, the color of their urine is normal, i.e, yellowish. marami ang nahuhuling nagsisinungaling, still taking TB meds kuno sila and yet, their urine is yellow when it should should have been redbrown.

      why do they stop taking TB meds? the drugs make them matamlay kuno and they’re prescribed extra dose of Vit B.

      still, there are TB outpatients that see death as release from suffering and stop taking TB meds altogether. inadvertently, putting those around them at risk of catching TB.

  53. NHerrera says:

    The following link is useful to me because it includes an interactive chart showing how the duration of social-distancing affects the covid19 infection curve and thus allows countries’ health facilities to not be very overwhelmed. I hope the readers here will find it useful too. Unfortunately, I do not know if the reader can view it without subscription to nytimes.

  54. NHerrera says:


    Now that the covid19 infections in the US has reached 85,000 (ref, JHU Dashboard), projecting the hundreds of thousands of infections in the coming few days is rather straight forward — knowing as we do now that the US is on the strong phase of the infections.

    In a day or two, the first 100,000 of confirmed cases would have been breached. Four days after that or on the 6th day, 200,000 would have been breached; and on the 10th day, 400,000. [I am using 4 days as a doubling period for the US, although in the worst case of NY, the doubling period is 3 days.]

    The the US is now on its first (strong) phase of the infection. I am showing below the chart from the link Caliphman gave. First, note that the chart is in logarithmic scale on the y-axis, the x-axis in days. A pure exponential function gets displayed as a straight line on such a chart. The steeper the line is, the stronger is the exponential growth.

    While the US chart is less steep in the beginning [kudos to President Trump for his initial policy of restrictions and quarantine for travellers coming from China, SK], it has now acquired a trajectory parallel to the steep part of the charts for China, Italy, Spain, UK — that is, the strong phase of infections.

    The reason for my current obsession of the infection cases in the US, is that this earlier apparent “stronghold” against the virus is a portend of what happens the rest of the world, after observing this in China, South Korea, Italy, Spain.

    • NHerrera says:

      Technical Note: The chart is in deaths. I was referring to infections. In effect, I am using Case Fatality Rate (CFR) as a proxy for infections in the shape of both infection chart and CFR chart.

      • caliphman says:

        Manong, the difficult in the US is its testing and lockdown policies as well as strategies do not differentiate between initial, community, uncontrolled, apex and suppression stages of the virus spread. Just as in other countries, the CV has reached one of these stages, the most tragic which is where the health care system has collapsed and the mortality rate is the highest where the elderly are literally being abandoned to die. This stage is what the US is focused on, using lockdowns to flatten the curve and buying the time to ramp up hospital and ventilator capacity to meet the surge when the delayed apex meets its peak. Lockdowns are very expensive when it is applied for a long time and indiscriminately in states and counties which are still in its initial stages where contact tracing, testing and quarantining can still be successful in suppressing the contagion. Trump is talking about relaxing the national lockdown to perhaps a state and county basis but it does not go far enough as it does not address differentiated testing policies depending if an area is in the initial or other stage of the contagion. That is what worked in China where Wuhan was in crisis stage and virus was suppressed in other provinces where the infection was still in its initial stages.

        As a result, it’s likely that the current course of the contagion in the US may approximate Italy and Spain growth rates where the lockdown is not maintained and flattened in states like NY and California where it is kept until after the apex is reached. Even in the latter states, the focus is still avoiding overwhelming the healthcare system and not suppressing the contagion through contact tracing and testing. The latter is completely neglected in discussing plans to deal with the contagion on a national, state, or city level.

        The most probable scenario is that state after state will replicate the experience in NY and CA with varying degrees of success.

        Why no one else is seeing this or talking about it online is a great mystery to me.

    • NHerrera says:


      The plight of the poor in the Philippines and elsewhere in the developing country is very sad indeed. They who before the coronavirus cannot even provide decent meals (medicine) to their family will, no doubt, be devastated. To continue to provide those inadequate meals — pre-coronavirus days — to the family is the best they can hope for at this time. Social distancing is impossible inside their homes and in their neighborhood. What they may hope for is develop the improbable immunity, herd immunity in their community, against the virus. And if a member of the family succumbs, some decent burial. But the latter may become impossible in a grim scenario. Crematorium services beside being expensive may be difficult in that grim scenario, even for the not-so-poor.

      [What they definitely don’t have is the luxury of escaping from quarantine from Makati Med like our Senator did.]

      • karlgarcia says:

        Many thanks.

      • caliphman says:

        Not only the poor but the even the rich will be cannon fodder eventually if and when the countrys healthcare system collapses. Even Duterte and his top lackeys who are vulnerable due to age or failing organs will not survive when infected. Justice delayed but justice none the less.

        • Micha says:

          Not so sure about that caliphman.

          Charles and Camilla are old; so is BoJo, and Mitt Romney and the two US congresscritter who all tested positive. They all will, in all likelihood, survive the viral invasion because they have access to top notch care and medical attention

          VIP Filipinos who will test positive can also always have a private suite at Makati Med or St. Luke’s or have a top notch doctor attend to them in their private resorts or vacation houses.

          The poor, on the other hand, will probably have to make do with an arbularyo.

  55. Bill In Oz says:

    @LCpl I have just tried to go to the links on that comment. And I cannot get there either. I keep getting his message ” This site cannot be reached ” It was the Thai Medical site. It has been running a series of excellent post for the past 2 months. But it may have fallen foul of the Thai government.

  56. karlgarcia says:

    More makeshift hospital ideas are to be implemented on many empty parking lots and empty stadiums.
    The Army reserves will be called to assist.

    Bayanihan still lives and thrives.

    • Micha says:

      What kind of assisting will the army reserves do?

      If they are there just to maintain order ala concentration camps then you are increasing their vulnerability to get infected and spread the virus after duty hours.

      Whose brilliant idea was it to militarize an infected zone?

      • They first approached it as China did, as a law and order problem, keeping the people in their homes. This quickly demolished grocery supply routes and blocked medical workers from getting to their jobs. They did not use the military as a force to solve problems. Now they are because there is nowhere else to turn. Plus, they know the US has deployed its army in this way, to build health capacity. The Philippines, though, does not have the engineers and capacity to convert hotels to hospitals, so they put up isolated tents in the parking lot.

        • Micha says:

          Haven’t heard yet of the army here making makeshift hospitals. Gov. Coumo in New York is floating the idea of converting hotels into hospitals which kind of makes sense because it does not involve much engineering works – just wheel in oxygen tanks and ventilators into hotel rooms and voila, you have a medical facility.

          But tents in a parking lot?

          Why couldn’t our fascist dictator invoke his presidential power and seize Manila Pen and convert it into a temporary hospital?

          • Here’s the idea, set forth by Lt. General Todd Semonite, courtesy of Rachel Maddow

            • Micha says:

              Yup, an existing standardized building to be converted into temporary medical facility. No time for building from scratch, bring in the backhoes and bulldozers and pipe laying and all the engineering/carpentry stuff.

      • karlgarcia says:

        Reserves are reserves even with the word military attached to it. They can be engineering graduates, nursing graduates ,etc they can supplement the medics and the engineering corps.

        • Micha says:

          If engineering and nursing graduates enlist as army reserves they get to have a commanding officer who get to bark orders on them.

          That’s different from being a nursing or engineering volunteer in those facilities.

          Why course those manpower through the army instead of a civic organization?

          • You ask the right questions, but, of course, none of us can speak the President’s mind. I do think Duque’s term as head of DOH must end soon, as he is clearly not getting done what needs to be done.

            • Micha says:

              The President’s mind is that of a fascist autocrat who thinks that every national emergencies can be solved by deploying the military and police forces.

              Drug problem? Call in the police assassins.

              Volcanic eruption? Bring in the army brigade.

              Sewage problem in Boracay? Mobilize heavily armed infantry.

              If this covid outbreak overwhelms his administration’s ability to provide medical relief, I wouldn’t be surprised if our pea-brained psychopathic dictator will actually be contemplating to just line up all the infected in front of a machine gun.

          • karlgarcia says:

            Ok ngos first. Yes they could volunteer for an NGO if there is none maybe they can form there own.

  57. caliphman says:

    South Korea’s top pandemic control expert on what was successful for them in controlling infection spread and mortality rate in their CV fight. There are many things here that are useful and not being practiced in the US and the Philippines.

    • A recent position paper by the German Federal Interior Ministry advised to go a similar way to South Korea. Articles over here have identified experience with SARS (2003) and MERS (2015) as major factors that shaped Sokor’s response to Covid.

      Germany wants to ramp up testing and also test for antibodies. Five military hospitals have been readied and medical reserve officers have reported for duty. Quarantine rules here are enforced via fines of at least €150-200 per violation, IMO better than going for intimidation.

      • caliphman says:

        Germany has one of the lowest death rates in the world. They are already following contact tracing, testing, and quarantine protocols for confirmed cases necessary to suppress the virus before it reaches community contagion stage. Which other practices used in South Korea are being advocated for employment in Deutschland? There is no reason it should not be adopted in the US or the Philippines.

        • Yes, Germany is quite aggressive when it comes to contact tracing, testing and quarantine. Not just recently but even before. I recall having been made to go to the municipal health office in Bonn after a neighbor who got TB named me as a contact. My neighbor was immediately quarantined after testing and it would have been the same thing for me if I had tested positive. That was in the 1980s, and the approach now was very similar.

          South Korea was able to do without a curfew and without shutting down public life like we have done over here in Germany because they did mass testing even on non-contacts to be able to isolate the infected quickly. Germany wants to ramp up to catch more hidden cases. After all, Germany has over 50K cases now while South Korea managed to stay at 8000 cases. True, Germany is also affected by being a country that travels a lot. Spain and Italy are major destinations, for example. One ski resort in Austria, Ischgl, was a hive of infection for Germany and a lot more countries in Europe.

          Germany also has a study planned to test for antibodies, meaning to find out who is already possibly immune to the virus. The goal of all measures is to get public life back up as soon as possible without risking a total epidemic that devastates the country.

          Of course lockdown would cause the virus to die down after a while but there is the question of how to go back up to normal. Get Volkswagen and the other big factories up and running again, and making sure they stay running. Restarting the economy.

          There is a bit of politics in the Interior Ministry paper as well, considering that the Bavarian sister party (which heads the Interior Ministry) and its Catholic male cliques are not really friends of the Protestant, Northern German female running the entire country. Interior Minister Seehofer was silenced as a critic of Merkel’s refugee politics by giving him the Interior Ministry – and therefore the job and responsibility for those politics. He might just be hitting back from the side, though he is too old to be the next Chancellor.

          The question of who is to be the next Chancellor is looming over the horizon as Merkel has already said she will not be the next candidate. That Bavaria’s Prime Minister Söder deciding to go for a curfew alone, followed by a few other states, is part of the picture. The other part of the picture is that Prime Minister Laschet of Northrhine-Westphalia followed a somewhat less rigid approach which is Merkel’s Federal-level recommendation, followed by most Federal states.BTW health in Germany is a state matter, not Federal jurisdiction.

          Söder was very annoyed when a journalist asked him whether a) he had any quarrel with Laschet over the phone, as rumored (his answer “No”) and later b) “hasn’t most of the Republic followed Mr. Laschet’s lead” (his reaction – very pissed off). Both are seen as possible candidates for the Chancellorship. Fortunately, no constructive work is stopped by politics, it is more like elbowing and “asaran”. Occassionally it is copying of best practices, days after NRW, Bavaria also instituted fines for violations of quarantine.

          I actually wish the harsher Bavarian approach was working but it is worrying that we have now overtaken Northrhine-Westphalia when it comes to cases. Munich and suburbs have a very high density of cases per million people as well. But then again, beer garden culture may have necessitated the curfew, and even now police are chasing people doing informal beer garden get-togethers in parks or along the river. Today the police chief of Munich clarified that exercise outside is OK, but not taking the car to the countryside to hike. Alpine villages had already warned of weekend tourists bringing possible disease etc. – meanwhile the Northern states of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern and Schleswig-Holstein have closed for day tourists from especially Berlin and Hamburg for similar reasons.

          • caliphman says:

            Seems to me Bavaria is becoming if it has not already in community contagion stage. That means eventually a lockdown of the state like Luhan.just as he is Trumpeting to do for NY.
            That means no transit between states. Feasible in China, North Korea, and Russia but Bavausns Ithink would resist it.

            • All transit to neighbors is no longer possible except for transport of goods.

              Hotels may not take in tourists. Teleworking has replaced most business travel.

              Travel in and out of EU is stopped, airports are practically dead.

              Curfew in Bavaria since Saturday means only groceries, doctor, walk and work allowed.

              Office workers almost all home office. This is almost like France, Italy, Spain.

              Wuhan style would be no more leaving home, no work, no walks, food brought.

              Quarantine passes like in many Manila barangays. Passierscheine is remiscent of WW2.

              Though two small towns in Bavaria already are fully locked down. Might become more.

  58. The French set up a tent hospital in the parking lot of a central hospital in Mulhouse, Southeastern France to expand its capacity. The area is so badly hit patients are being sent to Germany just across the Rhine river via copter, or even to Toulouse in the Southwest via airlift.

    • Micha says:

      Yeah, thanks to Macron’s neoliberal loving austerity measures, French public institutions have also been depleted of resources to deal with this pandemic.

  59. mel says:

    Kung ang mga tao ay di makapunta sa palengke, bakit di natin dalhin ang palengke sa mga tao…ang gist ng thought ni mayor vico sotto.
    Ngayon gusto ng mga mayor na magdala ng mga pagkain sa mga constituents nila pero puro delata, noodles, o lumang bigas. Samantala, maraming mga vegetable farmers na nalulugi dahil ang mga tao ay di makapunta sa kanila para bilihin ang mga produkto.
    Bakit di natin dalhin ang produkto sa mga tao at ito ay ipamahagi. Logistics…logistics…logistucs ang problema.
    Siguro naman hindi mahirap na ang mga truck ng mga municipio ay magsipunta sa mga vegetable baksakan facilities at ang purchasing officers ng municipio ang mamili ng mga vegetables at dalhin sa kanikanilang bayan para maipamahagi sa kanilang mamamayan.
    Problema di daw ayon ito sa coa procedures…dito ang special powers dapat mangibabao at bigyan ang municipal mayors ng autoridad na mamili without bidding…matutulungan ni mayors ang kanyang mamamayan at matutulungan din ang mga farmers para maibenta ang kanilang produkto sa maayos na halaga imbes na mabulok at ang mga farmers ay di malugi.

    • karlgarcia says:

      Maganda ang mga suggestion mo. Ang malaking retailer tulad ng SM at Robina ay may kanya kanyang mga suki ngunit problema noon pa man ay ang kakulangan ng farm to market roads na kung walang kabayo, kalabaw o baka ay maglalakad na lang ang mga farmer natin.
      Ngayun di pwede to kaya ano kaya ang pwedeng gawin para masolusyonan ito?

      Dapat sapat na dahil an na sa checkpoint ang may dala kang pagkain pero kung partner mo na naka toka sa packaging ay di pinapayagan sa checkpoint, sira na ang value chain.
      Dapat nagsumite ang dti sa kapulisan kung ano ang dapat makalusot.

      • kasambahay says:

        the army can use helicopters and fly produce to where they are most needed, army trucks and heavy machineries can do the same and cart produce as well, lalo na ngayong may npa ceasefire, joma has given his word.

        • kasambahay says:

          duterte already has emergency power granted to him. and he is being quiet and now he seems to me to be more concerned about his 75th birthday celebrated in isolation.

  60. mel says:

    kung noong yolanda ay may tent city bakit ngayon may corona, bakit di tayo magtayo din ng tent city para sa positive asymptomatic covid-19 people. mga positive asymptomatic medical staff din ang magsusupervise sa kanila during quarrantine. kung lalala ang kanilang condition then icelfon sa ospital na kunin si malala para lalong matutukan sa pagpapagaling.
    problema…test..test…test…at test pa more. saan tayo kukuha ng test kits.
    more deaths and corona sufferings are unreported because people do not know they have been infected.

  61. I meant EU/EEA neighbors. They have closed their borders too, or require people coming from here to self-quarantine for two weeks. Czechs and Poles do. Czechs did lift the requirement for medical staff working in Bavaria.

    BTW Switzerland might be in a lot of trouble as its cases per capita are higher than Italy. Seems Italian workers moved back and forth to Switzerland even during the lockdown.

    • caliphman says:

      That is partially what it takes and it’s sad this blog does not have a wider audience among Duterte and Trumps advisors. That’s how tight community contagion areas should be sealed. But even outside those two completely locked down villages in Bavaria, I hope they are pursuing contact tracing in Bavaria to suppress community contagion in other villages and prevent them from being lockeddown as well. Perhaps if that is successful, it will be a model for other countries as well.

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