Double whammy: corona virus and loss of moral bearings

People waiting to receive medical tests, Kuwait, March 12, 2020. (Photo by Asad/Xinhua via Newscom]

OPINION

By Joe America

We can read a lot of speculation about how the coronavirus will reshape our social interactions. More distancing. More cleanliness. Fewer hugs. More people working at home.

Without question, today we are living a strange existence, keeping away from people and polishing everything with soap and water, or disinfectant. My guess is the quarantined poor are busy making love while the entitled are busy not kissing. But I don’t know. The new normal is “wary”.

We also see the rise of the populists, generally founded on discrimination or the leveraging of anger against immigrants or people different from us. China sneers at other lands and steals their goods. The US has a white-supremacist President who sneers at anyone of color, and his counterpart in the UK is pretty much the same. Whereas my youth was spent protesting for equality and human rights, today’s youth seem to like the heavy hand of someone who makes their lives responsibility-free. So they can watch or make You Tube videos, and maybe make millions playing games.

We used to see constitutions as precious documents for the values and high ideals they expressed. But we’ve given way to bending the rules, warrantless arrests, courts taking years, offensive social media language as mainstream, and letting Bong Go campaign for years with, what, Chinese money? Taxpayer money? His own money?

He’s likely to be the first purchased president, as he was a purchased senator. It’s like what Bloomberg tried in the US, buying his way to power. But US citizens weren’t so easily taken in by such an obvious ploy. Filipinos seem to love what Bong Go is doing, even though it violates any reasonable sense of fair play. And assures the nation will be in Chinese hands for the foreseeable future.

When the corona virus dies down, we will likely have more authoritarian leaders than before, an outgrowth of people liking angry old men who sneer at folks of color, or . . . in the Philippines . . . poor people. All they need is an easy enemy, even if it is their own citizens.

Basically, we can expect to see this constitution or that trashed in favor of trolls running the land.

Those old values . . . equality, compassion, fairness, due process, ethics in office, freedom to speak . . . will be replaced by a lazy acceptance of obedience and loyalty, and maybe the opportunity to stomp on someone lesser, for whatever that must feel like. I personally can’t relate to it, but half of America seems to have it in their psyche.

Based on the way the police operate in the Philippines when given a bit of authority . . . they turn into ugly goons who love bashing someone helpless . . .  Filipinos do thuggish anger very well.

So no doubt about it, our happy days are done.

I don’t even need to mention global warming.

Three strikes and you’re out, I suppose.

Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall,
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall;
All the king’s horses and all the king’s men
Couldn’t put Humpty together again.

Welcome to the egg world.

We now know the chickens came first.

 

Comments
117 Responses to “Double whammy: corona virus and loss of moral bearings”
  1. karlgarcia says:

    Bong Go away don’t come again another day.
    Same with Corona Virus.

  2. josephivo says:

    Correct, but is only one side of the coin.

    The other side is that many people are social distancing, not for themselves, not because they have to, but to help each other. The other side is that many now see the difference between real and artificial problems, the need to fight a virus or the need to invent 16 different names to great the different combinations of physical or reconstructed sex and gender. The other side is that we will take obesity more seriously, that unhealthy food will be seen as a health risk, well know by the experts and big business just as tabaco 50 years ago. The other side more will see how income inequality leads to skewed health care, skewed education, extremely skewed political power. The other side is that millennials will realize that septuagenarian, soon to be octogenarian politicians should rule nursing homes, not the countries.

    The new normal might be very different from the old one. Let’s see how the coin will fall down.

    • Yup, and I hope the nursing homes and old people facilities are kept closed come November, josephivo! Once you’re 60 yrs old, you shouldn’t even be allowed to vote. Take away their driver’s license too. If nothing else, I hope COVID19 produces that.

      • karlgarcia says:

        A portion of the youth all over the world are not that interested, it is the senior citizens who votes.
        This may also reference to your earlier comment on non-participation.
        Even in places of direct democracy, power to the people isn’t enough incentive for people to participate.

    • Thanks for flipping the coin over.

  3. karlgarcia says:

    Florida beaches are back in business, protesters still see the quarantine measures as a form of imprisonment, protesters still disagree with the importance of the face mask.

    Here a selective quarantine is proposed whatever that is supposed to redefine.
    It has been selective ever since.

  4. NHerrera says:

    Breaking the flow of the comments from the new blog topic:

    I will play you $30 a barrel to get rid of my crude oil, PLEASE.

    I hope that, after the covid19 pandemic, in developed countries contributing a lot to CO2 emissions , the car users, after the-stay-at-home regime:

    – discover the joy and health benefits of walking and exercise;
    – discover that the nearer places of their country offer wonders they seek from foreign travel via fuel guzzling airplanes;
    – eat healthier and less of the obesity-inducing food.

    Also, for all countries: treat the poorer sectors with more humanity and considerations, since aside from the moral thing to do, it is practical: for we cannot wall them off or eradicate them; we need their services too — especially if one notes that the spread of this virus and the inevitable future ones comes mostly from them [reference India, PH].

  5. NHerrera says:

    AN N-TUPLE WHAMMY

    I agree we have a double whammy, perhaps a triple whammy. In some countries, they have their own versions of double whammies or to generalize, an N-Tuple Whammy. I may even speculate that the US has an n-tuple whammy.

    In relative terms, I don’t know if our not being a heavily industrialized country or a financial hub will hurt the more if the worse is not over on covid19 and its speculated-on after effects remain for, say, a year or two. Of course, if our long-term addictive Lifesaver, the OFWs, go home in droves, I believe we will have great problems.

    [This is a knee jerk comment.]

    • NHerrera says:

      Having glibly said the US n-tuple whammy above, I am glad about the news I heard about the passing of another $450B Stimulus Package from a statement made by Senate Minority Leader Sen. Schumer. This package contains a National covid19 Testing Strategy, a Hospital aid component and small business aid component. Unfortunately this good news is being countered negatively by moves of not-yet-ready-to-reopen State of Georgia, among others. [US rural infected cases are on the rise.]

  6. karlgarcia says:

    http://covidcalltohumanity.org/an-open-letter-to-rodrigo-r-duterte-president-republic-of-the-philippines/

    Things I disagree with.
    Calling for herd immunity.
    Calling for teenagers to live their normal lives as long as there is social distancing.
    Precise quarantine.????

    Though it calls for a balance between saving lives and the economy or have the best of both worlds.

    • NHerrera says:

      karl,

      Like you and the rest of us here in TSH, many are preoccupied with the matter of balancing health and economy, not only for our individual sake, but for the sake of the larger mainly poor population of the country. There is no question that to frame the problem as one of reducing the probability of death from covid19 to zero before reviving the economy is wrong. On the other hand rushing to revive the economy is wrong too.

      I am not sure the prescription offered by the link is the only way.

      Which brings in the Six Honest Serving Men of Rudyard Kipling: Why, Who, What, How, When, and Where.

      “Why” is something obvious and need no further consideration. But the others are important too:

      – “Who” are those we trust and have the planning skills and the ability to do “What” has to be done, “How” to do it, including the important item of officials and workers “Who” will do the requisite on-the-ground implementation of the detailed plan;

      – “When” and “Where” refers to the phasing of opening the economic activities other than the essential ones like food and medicine.

      In this regard, the economist Cielito Habito has a relevant piece in the Inquirer, looking at the economic sectors of importance. He concludes with:

      All told, my rough and conservative calculations point to GDP contraction that could range from -6 to -14 percent, depending on how many quarters inactivity persists. By the looks of it, we could be in for a recession we haven’t seen since the politically turbulent years following the Aquino assassination in the early 1980s.

      https://opinion.inquirer.net/129080/ecq-vs-economy#ixzz6KJi41fA1

      Habito is not usually pessimistic but in this piece he ends with:

      God help us.

  7. karlgarcia says:

    Before I question the exaggeration of Political correctness.
    Moderation is still the key, but political correctness advocates put the brakes on potential abuse.

  8. karlgarcia says:

    Who needs to adjust, the country or the president?

    https://opinion.inquirer.net/129098/so-who-adjusts-country-or-president

    • kasambahay says:

      who should adjust . . . ? I think our bayan has already adjusted and given duterte extra power, emergency power. only for him to indulge in rambling presscon at night! panelo was emergency casualty and in comes roque rambling like duterte, two sardines in a podcast.

      duque has already long adjusted and rambling much like his boss duterte. the chinese health team has come and gone and our country is not much better given their advice. how much did thier two weeks visit cost doh? and dennis uy’s help of quarantine ships would have cost duterte 35million. so dennis uy waived the fee, shamed of being outed? we should have outed the chinese health team too, we could have saved some money, haha.

  9. karlgarcia says:

    Joe mentioned Dennis Uy recently.
    The government is petuntse him for use of his ships as quarantine facilities.

    https://www.gmanetwork.com/news/news/nation/735108/dotr-pays-dennis-uy-s-2go-for-using-passenger-vessels-as-floating-quarantine-facilities-tugade/story/?amp

  10. chemrock says:

    Breaking News.
    Israel has found a possible 100% cure for Coronavirus.
    ————————————————–
    The Israeli coronavirus drug reportedly with a 100% success rate even among severely ill patients is being tested in the United States for the first time.
    Pluristem Therapeutics Inc., a biotech company based in Haifa/Israel, reported that seven patients who were at a high risk of death due to respiratory failure, multi-system organ failure, including heart and kidney failure survived after receiving this medication.
    The seven patients were treated with Pluristem’s allogeneic placental expanded (PLX) cells. Essentially, these cells can potentially suppress or reverse the dangerous over-activation of the immune system that causes death in many coronavirus patients.
    Now, a critical COVID-19 patient in the US has been treated with PLX cell therapy at Holy Name Medical Center in New Jersey. The results of the treatment have yet to be released.
    Pluristem Therapeutics uses placentas to grow smart cells and programs them to secrete therapeutic proteins in the bodies of sick people.
    company CEO and president Yaky Yanay said Thursday that a trial will come soon and, once conducted, he hopes that “approval can be very fast.” Upon receiving the green light from regulators, he said, massive quantities of treatment can be prepared. “We can manufacture cells to treat thousands very quickly,” he said.
    Treatment consists of 15-milliliter doses of cells — known as PLacental eXpanded cells — administered in simple inter-muscular injections. Once in the body, Yanay said that the cells become like “a small factory that generates therapeutic proteins.”

    He explained: “Most drugs we know are administered in the quantity we need, but this is a ‘drug’ that can sense the human body’s environment, and based on the signals that the cells receive from the body, they secrete therapeutic proteins that push the body toward regeneration.”

    The cells secrete two types of proteins. One reduces inflammation; the other is to regulate the immune system. Yanay hopes these so-called immunomodulation proteins can slam the brakes on the immune system to stop it turning on itself, as commonly happens with critical coronavirus patients.

    “They stop the body from attacking its own organs by having the placenta cells secrete immunomodulatory factors, basically relaxing the immune system, as the other proteins reduce inflammation,” said Yanay.

    He elaborated: “Patients who are in severe condition and dying are actually dying from a severe respiratory condition. What is actually happening is there is a very high level of inflammation and at a certain point the immune system of the patient will attack [the patient], mostly in the lungs.”

    Until now, Pluristem’s technology has been largely used to treat people suffering from poor blood flow to the legs, but the company’s scientists were able to quickly repurpose the cells to treat coronavirus patients.

    “We take cells from the placenta after full-term delivery and we have developed technology to expand the cells to very large numbers, in an environment that mimics the human body,” Yanay said. “The technology allows us to treat more than 20,000 people from a single placenta.”

    His team “programs” the cells, which then have a wide range of proteins they can secrete. The cells don’t just deliver the proteins but also “adjust the level of secretion based on signals they receive from the body,” he said.

    Yanay stated that Pluristem, which is based in Haifa, will carry on treating people using patient-by-patient approvals while working as quickly as possible for full approval by regulators.

    “We are receiving many inquiries and requests for treatment from health care providers and families worldwide,” he said. “In parallel with our planned clinical trial, we expect to continue treating patients under compassionate use through the appropriate regulatory clearances in the United States and Israel, as well as expanding treatment under compassionate use in other countries.

    “Our main focus remains, however, the initiation of a multinational clinical study,” he said, adding that he was hopeful “cell therapy is a very good candidate to tackle a complex disease that is attacking several organs.”

    • karlgarcia says:

      Singapore overtook the Philippines in the number of cases. We will catch up with more testing, but this is not a contest.

      • chemrock says:

        Karl
        Singapore is a bit of an enigma. As of now, positives are 12,963 but our death numbered only 12. In fact it’s 1 if we disregard the Indonesian who was already positive and he sneaked into Singapore for treatment. So our death rate is nowhere near NH’s data.

        I don’t know how we can interpret this low death rate. Perhaps it’s due to our good healthcare system.

        Our sudden increase of positives in the last 10 days is attributed to the population of foreign workers in dormitories.There is a lesson here for PH. Some poor areas of your barangays and prisons have populations that are more dense than our dormitories. Once infection takes place, you need to pray, it spreads like wild fire. I read Bilibid already has inmates testing positive, and a sitio in Cebu is considered contaminated.

        Our foreign workers dormitories are tragedies waiting for its time to explode. The government was warned by a private social outreach group that provides assistance to foreign workers, and some people on the internet. Sardine packed with bunk beds and lacking personal space, it’s a matter of time for the virus to hit hard. The Manpower Minister is taking a lot of flak for not paying heed to earlier warnings. We have a problem of a government grown cocky, over confident, and increasingly seen to be not accountable. This dormitory issue is now a hot political potato because under intense scrutiny it has surfaced that several of these are owned by grassroots leaders affiliated to ruling party, legislated standards have never been policed, and many are poorly managed with over-crowding and poor hygiene. Some see the dormitory narrative as symptomatic of a Singapore government pursuing economic numbers on the backs of foreign sourced cheap labour, and neglecting the welfare of workers.

        There are about 300,000 foreign workers in dorms. We had to spread them out over several quickly retrofitted quarters. It’s been about 10 days since and we expected daily positives to hit over 1,000, and it has for 3 days running. But I think and figures are now coming down.

        The govt looks after them. Those quarantined gets $1,500 for the 14 days. A small windfall for them There are stories of some who want to get positive for the $1,500.

        There is a Bangladeshi guy who barely started work. He was positive and in ICU for 2 months. He went into very critical condition, but it was known that he already had some undetected serious health issues before covid19. Just imagine 2 months ICU would have costed at least $100,000, but he got free treatment and is now out of hospital.

        • karlgarcia says:

          Breakdown of active COVID-19 cases Singapore 2020
          Published by J. Müller, Apr 24, 2020
          As of April 22, 2020, there were about 1.37 thousand active cases of COVID-19 in Singapore. Out of these, 1,342 people were hospitalized but in stable condition, while 26 were in critical condition. Singapore recorded its 12th death from COVID-19 on April 22, 2020.
          —–
          I hope the 26 critical will recover together with those not so critical.

    • NHerrera says:

      It can’t come soon enough.

      Here is a report on vaccine trial, this one from UK:

      https://www.bbc.com/news/health-52394485

  11. NHerrera says:

    The theme of the period but not a good one.

    Going back to economic activity beyond the essentials associated with food, medicine has to be done sometime soon. But the lack of wide testing regime — which even the US of A is worried — is very unsettling. For one, considering the size of the population, the number of cumulative tests done already is pitiful. There are many positives out there.

    Now take the simple case of a Janitor in one of the Malls. Before covid19, he at least has some work to feed a family though at a minimal level. Now picture him going back to work again: he lives most probably in a congested slum area; he does not have a car so he has to take a crowded jeep or bus; he eats in a crowded place with his fellow workers; then after work he goes back in a similar congested jeep to his congested home with his family of five or more, with a father or mother in that house too.

    Pre-vaccine, it is difficult to solve this puzzle effectively for PH like the one confronting India other than the thought of some “miraculous” development of herd immunity. The glib concept of social distancing, wearing mask (a new or washed mask every day?) and frequent washing — beside being impractical in themselves to our Janitor — just won’t solve it.

    The lack of massive testing to segregate the covid19 carriers is akin to going through the day with an assassin ready to knife him at several points of the day.

    • NHerrera says:

      And from across the seas, the picture of the times

      Rather than the 600 or so excitable MPs sitting in the green benches, we have this:

    • NHerrera says:

      LET THE CHIPS FALL WHERE THEY MAY

      And in the spirit of gambling, Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman has this idea:

      she wants to open up the casinos, assuming 100 percent of the population are carriers of the novel coronavirus; let them, and visitors, gather and gamble, smoke in confined spaces, touch slot machines all day — and let the chips — and apparently the infections — fall where they may.

      Yep. Seems like a gem of an idea.

      • NH,

        Anderson Cooper asked her if she was gonna be in the casinos. And she answered, I don’t gamble. and also that she was busy. LOL!

        I gotta feeling all this get back to work, open up America stuff, is a Russian effort. Feels similar to #BlackLivesMatter movement in 2015 , in that much of it is online generated.

        So for all those politicians, pundits on TV calling for opening up America, have them actually be in crowd. Idiots of all kind are in the crowd, but lets really have the leaders there with them. Right?

        To be coughed and sneezed on. Then when they do get COVID19, take ’em to county hospitals with less or inoperable ventilators.

  12. Micha says:

    Best comedy ever.

    TRUMP CELEBRATES EARTH DAY WHILE ROLLING BACK EPA STANDARDS: Pres. Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump participate in a tree planting ceremony to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Earth Day.

    While in office, Trump has rolled back over 90 different environmental protection regulations to help boost the fossil fuel industry. Some of his rollbacks include significantly weakening methane regulations, repealing clean water regulation, weakening the Endangered Species Act, implementing rules to keep coal plants open, and rolling back land protections from drilling.

  13. NHerrera says:

    PH’s COVID19: GOOD NEWS, BAD NEWS

    The official data of the infections and deaths yield the following 5-day average of the Doubling Times in days:

    Date Case DT Death DT
    Apr 21 20.5 17.0
    Apr 22 22.6 18.4
    Apr 21 26.2 24.4

    Those are good numbers development for the Philippine Case. Unfortunately — and here I am being uncharitable — the numbers come from a very limited number of tests made compared to other countries, especially if one considers our population.

  14. josephivo says:

    Who’s dying in Belgium due to Corona? 50% over 85 years old, 30% in 75/85 range, 13% in 65/75, 6% in 45/65, 0.4% in 25/45 and 0.02% in 0/25. 65+ carrying the burden, retirees who have doing nothing as profession and who are living from the wealth creation of others, people with little future.
    (And still the media like to tell sad stories of these few outliers younger then 45 – fake news!)

    Who are forced to carry the burden? 0/25 no school, 24/45 no work thus no income to pay rent, mortgages and all other bills, people with an extra burdened future ahead of them.

    Is this fair? Healthy people of the world unite! (and at least elect people of your age)

  15. caliphman says:

    There have been talks here and in the media about sugns of flattening curves here but now there are some really sobering and disturbing news to consider. Governor Cuomo released today the results of a New York State survey of residents who tested positive as having been infected with the Covid-19 virus at one point or another. Testing utilized the presence of virus antibodies in their blood sample. The finds were that about 13 percent of state residents were infected. In New York City, which has the densest metropolitan population in the US at 10,000 people per square kilometer, had a 21% infection rate.

    Population density is one of the most significant factors affecting the rate and rapidity of infection, which is what this survey of contagion prevalence in New York confirms. Why is this significant for the Philippines. Metropolitan Manila has the distinction of the most densely populated city in the world at over 40,000 people per square kilometer! One would expect therefore that before the apex is reached, at least 20% to possibly as much as 50% of Manila’s resident could be infected. This would far exceed its hospital and testing capacity. Since the latter is so small that confirmed cases is absolutely meaningless as an infection spread or flattening indicator, it is likely that the healthcare system will be swamped first before any sign of the apex being approached is seen.

    It is not surprising that New York City’s frontline healthcare workers and system was almost brought brought to its knees despite its early and massive lockdown and inspite of the Federal and State help it received.

    • NHerrera says:

      Caliphman,

      There are three things going toward a much higher infected cases in the Philippines:

      – Chinese visitors, I assume some were either from Wuhan or infected by those from Wuhan, were still allowed entry to the country until later restrictions; and of course there is the case of our big economic contributor, the OFWs;

      – The level of testing (about 50,000 total to date) is just too woefully low for our country of 109 population [note in this regard even the rural population may have been infected early through the returning or visiting OFWs];

      – And now the situation you described which plausibly apply too in the case of the PH.

      Let me take some numbers.

      Let me assume that the sources of additional infection compared to the official figures come only through the mechanism you described — not through the first two. Let’s assume the lower of the two percentages cited, 13%. Let us assume that the concept described applies only to Metro Manila with an estimated resident population of 13 million [taking aside the boost of another 1-2 million coming to work in MM during the day from neighboring Luzon areas]. Then we have the additional infected cases:

      1.7 million (= 0.13*13 million)

      In sum, without being overly obsessed with the actual number, in my opinion, the infected cases in the Philippines must be much higher than the 6981 cases currently!

      • NHerrera says:

        In India, here is a bit of related statistics.

        An average Indian family has five members and 40% of all homes – that is, 100 million homes [with 500 million souls at five per home] – have only one room.

        Social distancing is indeed an oxymoron in such places.

  16. NHerrera says:

    Alicia Keys sings a new song for the unsung heroes of the pandemic: health-related workers. Nice

  17. caliphman says:

    It is New York State had a 13% infection rate. It’s New York City with it’s much greater popular density and with a 21% infection rate that should be compared to Manila’s much higher density. Your arithmetic is fine but your results are GIGO. Garbage In=Garbage Out.

    • NHerrera says:

      I understand completely, thanks. What I did — which I hope I made in my concluding paragraphs above — was to use the lower rate and other lower set of assumptions, but even with those, the implied result is much greater than the official case. Thereby showing that the official case is a gross underestimate of the true situation.

  18. NHerrera says:

    UPDATE ON SOME NUMBERS: DOUBLING TIMES

    Without explaining why those numbers may not reflect the real situation, but using only official data of the countries with which to calculate the numbers, here are the results:

    Philippines

    Date Case DT Death DT
    Apr 21 20.5 17.0
    Apr 22 22.6 18.4
    Apr 23 26.2 24.4
    Apr 24 25.3 22.9
    Apr 25 24.9 22.5

    United States

    Date Case DT Death DT
    Apr 21 17.2 12.8
    Apr 22 18.3 12.9
    Apr 23 19.7 14.1
    Apr 24 19.8 14.2
    Apr 25 19.0 14.3

  19. NHerrera says:

    COVID19 DEATHS BY ABSOLUTE NUMBER AND PER 100K POPULATION

    • NHerrera says:

      The PH covid19 death number is 477 and on per 100k population basis, 0.4.

    • josephivo says:

      More precise are the “excess mortality” statistics, comparing this year’s mortality with the average of the past years. (only have the graphs in Dutch) Belgium scores less than Italy, Spain and the Netherlands in these graphs

      Belgium reports to John Hopkins all cases, inside and outside hospitals, confirmed and suspected cases (half are in nursing homes, independent assisted living, day-care centers and the like and 50% of the total are over 85y old, 80% over 75y), other countries only report confirmed cases in hospitals.

      • NHerrera says:

        Right. Considering the many variables and uncertainties, we have to view these reported numbers with a good dose of salt. At the very least, we should consider these as rough measures or scale or as orders of magnitude, in physics or science speak. Thanks for the note, josephivo.

  20. NHerrera says:

    I have extra bottles of Lysol in the house. I will gladly donate one when Trump gets infected with the coronavirus and struggles for dear life.

    Lance, what is happening to your Dear Leader?

    • LOL! He was just riffing, NH. The guy’s got lots of ideas. I’m kinda disappointed that that health officer he was addressing, didnt just run with it and say something like, I’ll get right on it , Sir!!! A fine idea!!! Thank you Mr. President! LOL!

    • NHerrera says:

      I wonder what the likes of Senator Lindsey Graham say about Trump’s recommendation of injecting covid19 patients with disinfectants. Sunning oneself for UV seems ok to me, if one’s skin is not sensitive enough to get skin cancer, but injecting disinfectant into the body. Just the thought. Oh, boy.

    • Micha says:

      NH,

      Our dear leader is a self-absorbed psychopath whose center of gravity is in his anus.

      A money-obsessed thug who fired the inspector general overseeing the $6 trillion rescue package because he wants to throw all pretense of delicadeza and moral bearings aside by having his hotels and resorts avail of the bailout money too.

      • NHerrera says:

        I don’t know about his center of gravity. But he certainly is cuckoo in my book, and that is being charitable.

        • NHerrera says:

          @Lance,

          Equally realistically and seriously, the US Military — of which group you are affiliated with — in my opinion demonstrates that it acts more rationally than its temporary (resigned) civilian superior or even the equally temporary C-in-Chief.

    • NHerrera says:

      Hahaha. Yes, if the health official is equally crazy with ideas. Re-bubble above Dr. Birx — she may actually thought of that. 🙂

      But seriously, what happens if aside from hamburgers you feed yourself day and night TV watching, especially from FOX with the likes of equally unhinged guys like Limbaugh and Hannity?

      I actually read about a healthy fellow who fed himself with large size beef hamburgers and fries and large size coke three times a day for a month. Boy, did he require medical treatment after that. I would assume he needed to see a mental doctor as well.

  21. NHerrera says:

    Off topic but on topic relative to covid19

    Lance:

    Washington (CNN) The Navy recommended to Defense Secretary Mark Esper that Capt. Brett Crozier be restored to command of the USS Theodore Roosevelt aircraft carrier on Friday, according to an administration official.

    If Sec Esper endorses will Trump approve? Or the better, more realistic question: if Trump approves will Esper go along? Hehe.

    In any case, what say you?

    • I remember reading that Crozier would take over for Modly. That would be poetic.

      But Modly is civilian, and this was a military (read chain of command) issue. He had no business from the git go.

      Realistically, Crozier would be better off promoted and be put in charge of naval operations against COVID19. Like World War Z.

  22. karlgarcia says:

    In the near future, let us make the PH conducive to nurses,doctors and health professionals so they would not have to go abroad and that goes for all occupations and professions.

    We need more hospitals.
    We must prepare for an AI and automated future.
    We must make work from home preparations including infra.

    Decongest Highly populated urban areas.
    Food and human security.
    Etc.

    • NHerrera says:

      Conducive, yes: appreciation of the work of nurses and doctors and reasonably good salary. The attraction to go abroad is not so much appreciation for their work, but good salary compared to what they get in the PH.

  23. karlgarcia says:

    May 15 may be too soon with only 60k tests done we need to improve 2 thousand folds.

    But we need to define what the new oral is so we would know how to proceed with our lives.

  24. NHerrera says:

    A SAFE BET

    John Hopkins University Covid19 Dashboard gives a current US covid19 deaths of 51,000. Dr Birx projected days ago a revised death estimate of 60,000. I calculate and it is to me a safe bet that the 60k number will be easily exceeded by the first week of May.

    I checked the daily new US cases and found that from about April 2 to April 23 [US ET Dates], the daily cases are “on a band” of about 25k – 30k, relatively flat, although with a slight tilt downward. Unlike China, this trend will not, all of a sudden, plummet downwards like a steep cliff. The more rural States, late in the game, are showing robust infection growths, notwithstanding slowing down of growths in places like New York. And the moves of such States as Georgia will not help to moderate the infections. [The death growth correlates with the cases growth though lagging.]

    Re-Georgia reopening businesses such as nail and hair saloons, tatoo shops, massage parlors: how would the readers of TSH like to be massaged by a masseure/ masseuse massaging, kneading your back, less than a meter away from the masseure’s face although wearing a face mask. From me: thanks but no thanks.

  25. josephivo says:

    “Lifestyle as a medicine.”

    Lock-outs are one thing, but how long and for who? Flattening the curve to buy time to do what? There are the obvious things as producing protective equipment, keep the health systems running, develop a vaccine and treatments… But the most obvious medicine is not promoted enough, lifestyle.

    Why some people are infected without any harm, others with only light symptoms and some die. Infections exist since ever and healthy bodies have healthy immune systems. How strong is the correlation between Covid-19 deaths and healthy lifestyles? Seems very high when you see that most victims are elderly people, especially with underlying conditions. Many elderly carry the weight of years of unhealthy food, unhealthy habits as smoking, stress, lack of exercise…

    To minimize the total harm of the corona crisis, the harm of the virus and the harm of the lock-down, I see two actions: One, promote a healthy lifestyle with all legal and marketing means we have. Two protect the vulnerable (elderly, obese and diabetics…) by quarantining them to the max. In the meantime, let the healthy people build-up gradually a herd-immunity. (This under the assumptions that there is indeed a strong correlation between lifestyle and the gravity of the infection, that immunity is lasting long enough and that developing an affordable, effective vaccine will take time.)

    • NHerrera says:

      Ah, yes indeed. But may I kindly be allowed, PLEASE, to do some walking exercise in a green leafy Park about 100 meters from our Village while wearing a face mask — making sure to go there at a time when all the other healthy ones are doing their economy-boosting activities. Pretty, please. [Being 81, I suppose I count in the elderly group.] 🙂

      • NH,

        if you can’t leave the house for fear of getting shot (not EJK, but COVID19 quarantine of elderly).

        You can use visualization, walk or jog in place, and just visualize your leafy green park.

        California prisons are on lock-down due to COVID19, also to prevent riots, and inmates at least the veterans know how not to go crazy when stuck inside a cell. That’s visualization.

        if you have stairs even better! Just don’t drink or inject any Lysol or Clorox! LOL!

        But you and I know (as octogenerians) that sex is the best exercise, and you don’t need no park for that!

      • josephivo says:

        There are two reasons not to go out, one not to infect others, two not to get infected yourself. While outside are only healthy people that will suffer little from infection – and the majority will have to be infected anyhow to get the herd-immunity. So for the first reason you could get out. For the second reason… it’s your own decision, if you don’t mind to see the Creator a little earlier, just go, unless the load on the healthcare system is too high. (Other elderly people you might encounter took the same decision accepting the risk of getting infected)

        For a good understanding, flattening the curve does not mean reduce the fatalities, it only means have the fatalities later, the virus has plenty of locations on the globe to hide and the natural immunity will still be absent for most.

        P.S. some legal means to get a healthier population to implement tomorrow, prerequisite for herd-immunities:
        – Increase dramatically the sin tax on tabacco and alcohol, add to the list sugar, sweet soda’s and junk food.
        – Subsidize cycling, sport clubs, gyms, exercising equipment etc.
        – Health as mandatory subject in any curriculum
        – Free yearly check-ups, AAA and the like memberships
        – Mandatory switch off of any connection between employer and employee from 5pm to 8am.
        – provide community meeting places, subsidize neighborhood parties
        …list is endless

      • josephivo says:

        81… as my youngest sister. My parents where careful during the war, but they celebrated over-enthusiastically the American victory at the battle of the bulge in the Ardennes, believing it was the beginning of the end, hence me.

  26. NHerrera says:

    THE BIG X FACTOR: ASSESSING THE RISK

    Ultimately the urgings of the leaders and local officials — to go back to work or people to go about their normal activities — will matters less than “a bucketful of sp..” as the saying goes if the employees and customers will not, or are not confident to, do so.

    In the USA the Test-Trace-Isolate campaign by rational officials and health experts have already been drummed and understood by the populace amidst the infections and deaths. The confidence to go back to doing their normal activities will then come from the trust they have on who do the urgings. This must be true in developed countries. But probably true to a lot less extent in India and in the PH where a majority survive mainly by the saying, “isang kahig, isang tuka” — considering that the aid from the government is not sufficient and will not be there for long.

    This matter of confidence to brave the risk recalls the anecdotal story after the 911 incident where an adviser to President Bush is supposed to have said: Sir, the good news is that the planes are flying again. To which the President asked: and the bad news? Adviser: the planes are empty.

    • In Germany stores are reopening but people only go buy stuff if needed. People stay cautious as always in this risk-averse country where people usually are over-insured.

      Restaurants and hotels stay closed for now, it is estimated that 1/3 will go broke.

      The Bavarian initiative to open small stores first is still a good things so they can recover before the big stores reopen two weeks after. Lots of families livelihoods at stake.

  27. karlgarcia says:

    https://www.scmp.com/news/china/society/article/3052957/first-coronavirus-autopsy-highlights-how-illness-targets-lungs

    https://www.spiegel.de/international/learning-from-the-dead-what-autopsies-can-reveal-about-covid-19-a-6d9db1d4-1a47-4603-843a-94c949a29161

    —-
    What we learned from the autopsies is there is still much to learn.
    Some say ventilators are necessary, some say they could live without.
    Some say anticoagulants can treat COVID and should take 500 g if Aspirin.
    Some say anti-inflammatory drugs like Ibuprofen must be avoided.

    As expected the deaths have people dying directly due to COVID and some only with COVID, meaning they have died if other causes but tested positive if COVID.

  28. In Europe:

    – factories are restarting
    – shops are reopening
    – schools are reopening

    though it is all step by step and with stuff like mandatory masks (I have two FFP2 w/o filter) social distancing, antibody studies and tests, ramped up testing, reserve ICU capacity for 2nd wave..

    The mobile app for contact tracing may be up soon, health offices are staffed up and Germany has containment teams that can be dispatched to new hotspots or outbreaks. And:

    – most borders stay closed
    – restaurants stay closed
    – tourism still discouraged
    – no large events
    – no Oktoberfest

    • NHerrera says:

      Irineo, is there some solidarity or marching to some common purpose, particularly in Germany with its typical German intelligence, logic, planning and execution even under or specially under crisis? I find this noteworthy in your first comment above: The Bavarian initiative to open small stores first … so they can recover before the big stores reopen two weeks after. Lots of families livelihoods at stake. A contrast to Trump and his Republican cohorts to favor the big guys over the small ones.

      Also, it seems to me that Germany is lucky to still have Merkel around to share her thoughts and exert her influence.

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