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Member since: Sat Feb 22, 2020, 12:55 PM
Number of posts: 4,884

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Whaaaaa? A Federal CV-19 testing and contact tracing system??

Why in the world wouldn't a patchwork of state systems suffice?


CV-19 peaks don't work the way many people think they do

What's being portrayed by the WH and even the MSM is that the peak varies from state to state, and all we have to do is hunker down like it's Passover and weather it in isolation. After that, Americans get their much-deserved attaboys from Mike Pence and then we get this bitch back open for business again.

In reality, it works like this:

Bucket A) R-naught < 1 : This is apparently where the US is right now. There is a latency between infection and symptoms where the virus is eventually detected. So what we are doing is waiting out this false peak which is the delayed result of a previously higher R-naught value exponential climb. This should take a few weeks, which matches reality. After that, an exponential reduction in active cases will occur, but never effectively reaches zero.

Bucket B) R-naught > 1 : Peaks work very differently here. These are real peaks that are limited by herd immunity. Here you are resuming the logarithmic rise that was seen pre-lockdown. The peak is determined by the R-naught value and varies somewhat, but in all cases results in 100's of millions of infections in the US.

So if you are in Bucket A, remaining there doesn't really "accomplish" much of anything strictly in terms of total infections if you eventually move to Bucket B. You are just delaying the inescapable mathematical certainty that follows.

Bucket C) R-naught near 0 : This is the vaccine scenario.

South Korea was able to remain in Bucket A after easing their lockdown due largely to widespread voluntary use of tracking apps. It is entirely unclear if this remarkable success can be reproduced in a Western country.

I don't recall seeing South Koreans protesting any restrictions...

Are we being slow-rolled towards herd immunity?

Let's assume Trump's Three Phase Plan moves forward in all 50 states and there is significant testing and contact tracing. I think a R-Naught value of 1.5 is possible and may even be optimistically low. This would have us at 200 million cases in 200 days according to the SIR model.

Assuming another optimistic mortality rate of 1%, this gets us right back to the 2 million deaths. The number of hospitalizations might be 40 million. That's a big big number but over 200 days and across 50 states might be weatherable. The amount of suffering would be uncalculatable.

So I think what they are not saying is that Plan A is to gamble on there being therapeutics and pharmaceuticals and vaccines by then to chip away at these numbers. Keeping the shutdown in place is of course gambling with the economy as well.

Plan B is for herd immunity to eventually kick in if Plan A fails. The public isn't going to go for this, so Trump needs to come out and make anti-herd statements, which he has done. So we'd have to be slow-rolled towards it. In fairness, all parties want Plan A to work. So these two gambles can be spun as being equivalent. Are they?

From a purely military perspective, both Plan A and Plan B are better long term than China's Plan C, which is to maintain a high degree of population susceptibility through draconian controls. Just think of how disadvantaged they will be trading with bordering countries having herd immunity if the vaccine is delayed or a total bust.

Great Rotation of Wealth : Democrats to Republicans

I'm a news junkie and flip between the FXN, the MSM, and various political forums. One trend that I see is that the conservatives are trying to figure out how to invest in this climate with an inherent optimism around the American economy. Here in the DU on the other hand, we seem to be far more concerned with panic porn and making out wills and getting our final affairs in order.

Now I do not presently share their optimism in the short to medium term. I think there is a lot of hand-waving going on between Fauci, Birx, and Trump around how the reopening of the economy is going to work. I see countries like Spain taking baby steps and appearing to have the expected new outbreaks. I look at the social experiment in Sweden, and it doesn't look as rosy as a week or two ago. I've run SIR simulations myself and see little to be encouraged about.

All that said, the Republicans seem to be in a better position to benefit from any significant advances in the war against COVID-19. The market move on Friday due to the rumors around Remdesivir show a glimmer of what's possible. And one possibility is a huge transfer of wealth from liberals who sold off equities to conservatives who snapped them up at fire sale prices. Betting against that is to bet against American ingenuity, not to mention the brilliant minds working on the problem abroad. Money is power. Money wins elections.

Of course another significant market crash could flip the script the other way. So how do we choose the winning side of the coin?

Putin's Bleak Covid-19 Admission: 'We Don't Have Much to Brag About'

Putin is humble and brutally honest here. I can't recall a time when Obama and Putin were faced with a similar situation and I thought to myself: "You know, I wish our American leader was being as honest as the Russian leader about this."


The Orange Council of 35

Cinnuman is assembling an Orange Council of 35 to decide the fate of Left and Right Earth. The Council will be comprised mostly of esteemed Elves and Wizards from government, industry, and academia. A few Gnomes from finance and mining will also be appointed. Rounding out the table are three relatives and Driuliani the Nazgūl. The Council will deliberate over the existential threat from the enemy Coronavirus from the East for an entire day and make an announcement as soon as tomorrow.

Dr. Birx on CV-19 R-Naught values

Dr. Birx discussed the virus models and R-Naught (R0) values at the 59:00 mark in Thursday's presser.

R-Naught without mitigation : 6 (up significantly from earlier estimates of 3)
R-Naught with social distancing mitigation : 1.3 to 1.5

This is being presented as a major victory for the American people. To a degree that is true, but this is also a bit of a bombshell to me. It suggests that the incidences of new cases are not going to go down with social distancing, but rather plateau or rise slightly for an extended time. As soon as the lock-down is removed, it will take off again. It does not appear you can bring the R-Naught value below the magic value of 1 without draconian measures similar to what China did. Any experts here? Am I missing something?

Post your survival renditions of breakfast and dinner dishes from The Before Time

I'll start. So I had some Spam and Eggs. This is actually a bit like ham and eggs. Spam is a pantry staple during hard times with a shelf life of a few years. Cut a few lengths approximately 1/4" thick. Brown those up in a little oil and serve with fried eggs. Fast, easy, and surprisingly good. This certainly beats making a sortie to the supermarket just for breakfast meat.

Spam is high in calories, fat, and sodium but also contains some protein, zinc, potassium, iron and copper.

Orange Kool Aid

I needed a distraction and some levity so I whipped this up.

Yard work and gardening are not essential activities!

Well I scoped out our local Lowes yesterday for pool supplies. I was shocked at the number of people there, there were cars circling around that huge parking lot looking for spots. Many customers seemed to be buying plants and shrubs. It occurred to me what was happening. With the nice spring weather and non-essential businesses closed in SC, everybody has the same idea : yard work and gardening.

I get it, I need to get caught up myself. However this seems to be illuminating an unintended consequence of the shutdown. With fewer activities possible, everybody is zeroing in on the remaining options. This crowd was larger than any restaurant crowd, larger than any church crowd, as large as a small concert audience.

This is a problem. Perhaps the parks need to be reopened?

In any event, I did not go inside. It's not worth it people.
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