Monday, March 23, 2020

The Unexpected Way In Which It Increasingly Appears Many, Many Lives Are Being Saved

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Posted by Our Main Posters on 03/23/20 at 11:51 AM in

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This is being much remarked upon in Italy.

Areas of high rates of infection and deaths from this lung disease are correlating with areas of high air-pollution, from power stations, diesel trucks, and factories.

Think Milan, as of a few weeks ago.

It is mostly very different further south. Umbria is in hilly country (the Apennines) and to escape malaria Perugia was built on the top of a hill.

If you drive through Italy’s central mountains, you may be startled at just how many similar hilltops towns there are. Some are just a few minutes from Rome.

And air pollution there is low. Perugia has great air. Lungs are in great shape.

So, unsurprisingly, there’s a good-news report from Perugia today.

Very few are affected in all of Umbria, less than 100, and only three deaths.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 03/23/20 at 12:14 PM | #

One week’s time… The US will have the largest infected population in the world. The virus arrived in various places in the country at different times, so Seattle cases might be fading while Miami and New Orleans cases are exploding.

One week’s time… Around the end of March infection tests should be universally available in the US, and epidemiological mapping will be far advanced to show all the hotspots and the trajectories.

One week’s time… Major results of the testing of mass social distancing and isolating in Europe and the US should become available. [Added: first indications look good, see below.]

One week’s time… Maybe chloroquine will have been proved useful in controlled circumstances. Over 20 other drugs with potential are being looked at.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 03/23/20 at 08:22 PM | #

This is a remarkable, must-read New York Times report building from everything that was done right in China, Italy, and previous epidemics.

“The Virus Can Be Stopped, But Only With Harsh Steps, Experts Say”

There is a chance to stop the coronavirus. This contagion has a weakness.

Although there are incidents of rampant spread, as happened on the cruise ship Diamond Princess, the coronavirus more often infects clusters of family members, friends and work colleagues, said Dr. David L. Heymann, who chairs an expert panel advising the World Health Organization on emergencies.

No one is certain why the virus travels in this way, but experts see an opening nonetheless. “You can contain clusters,” Dr. Heymann said. “You need to identify and stop discrete outbreaks, and then do rigorous contact tracing.”

In Ebola areas and even in war zones, WHO was doing 20,000 contact traces daily.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 03/24/20 at 06:59 AM | #

“The COVID-19 virus can persist in the air and on surfaces for hours, if not days, according to a new study performed by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), CDC, UCLA and Princeton University.”


Posted by Peter Quennell on 03/24/20 at 10:22 AM | #

More on chloroquine. The US Federal government has spread some around hospitals for tightly controlled testing.

Meanwhile a man has rapidly died and his wife is in bad shape in Arizona after taking it. The chloroquine was seemingly the aquarium version as sold on eBay, and seemingly without a prescription.

For why not to take chloroquine on your own: heart palpitation and macular degeneration risks.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 03/24/20 at 10:43 AM | #

The daily one-hour New York State briefings are being much praised and emulated at state and city levels.

Yesterday several news channels cut away from the two-hour worse-than-useless cloud-cuckooland White House “briefings”. There just isnt the viewership for them.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 03/24/20 at 10:45 AM | #

Minimizing coronavirus by equating it with flu could in itself be causing non-compliance and deaths. National Public Radio science reporter Pien Huang listed these 8 ways in which they differ.

1. COVID-19 is novel, or new. That means there’s no vaccine, and it’s unclear how it will manifest;

2. This strain of coronavirus appears to infect two to 2.5 people versus 1.3 with the flu, so coronavirus seems to be about twice as contagious as the flu;

3. Some 20% of coronavirus patients are in serious enough condition to go to the hospital, 10 times the number who wind up in the hospital because of the flu;

4. Hospital stays for the coronavirus are twice as as long as for the flu;

5. About 8% of people get the flu every year. Some estimates are 25% to 50%, possibly up to 80%, could get the coronavirus without drastic actions being taken by individuals, states and municipalities and the federal government;

6. The coronavirus could be 10 times deadlier than the flu — about 0.1% who get flu die. It’s estimated that about 1% of those who have gotten coronavirus have died from it;

7. There are treatments for the flu. There are no approved treatments for the coronavirus, despite the president’s optimism for certain drugs, which are untested for coronavirus to this point; and

8. The flu tends to wane in warm weather, but it’s too soon to count on that for coronavirus, which is thriving in warm, tropical places.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 03/24/20 at 08:03 PM | #

Nail-biter alert.

In the US the Senate negotiations over an economic package may conclude with a vote tonight.

Then it is up to the House.

The House is not in session, so there cannot be a full vote on either the Senate or House bills unless all members come back.

Nancy Pelosi CAN get the Senate bill passed in the House IF there is “unanimous consent” which requires only 2 members on the floor.

There may not be unanimous consent though.

Weak environmental measures (ironically, subject of the top post) would bother some members there. They have not yet seen the draft Senate bill.


Late at night the US Senate finally passes its bill.

The House members may or may not all okay that bill; as said above, that would require zero dissent

Here are the House members’ differences with what they knew of the Senate bill spelled out.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 03/24/20 at 11:58 PM | #

Wednesday. Strong first signs that social distancing is effective at slowing the spread.

“From New York City to St. Augustine, fever charting shows social distancing is ‘breaking the chain’ of coronavirus infections”

Data from health technology company Kinsa, which did the analysis using its digital thermometers, show the number of people with flu-like illness — atypical fever and symptoms — began dropping almost immediately after mandatory social distancing measures were implemented in some areas…

Flu-related illness in California’s Santa Clara County, for example, have dropped by more than 60% since a March 17 shelter-in-place order. At the same time, Miami-Dade County’s level of flu-like illness has been going up. State and local governments in Northern California took earlier and more aggressive action than in South Florida.


Posted by Peter Quennell on 03/25/20 at 08:06 AM | #

Lockdown is POPULAR surprise surprise.

Opinion polls in the UK and other countries in Europe, and in the the US, Brazil, etc, are now consistently showing this.

In fact there seem more wanting harsher measures than wanting the measures to be eased up. From Vox:

New polling also suggests that Trump’s desire to end this period of quarantines and sheltering in place is out of step with the public’s wishes. In a poll by Morning Consult taken March 20 to 22, a plurality of Americans said they strongly support a “national quarantine,” and nearly three-quarters of Americans express at least some support for the idea.

Only in Brazil is President Bolsinaro taking a Trump-like line, and his popularity is slipping fast.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 03/25/20 at 09:34 AM | #

In the American state of Mississippi the mayors moved strongly toward city-wide isolations.

Then the governor stopped in and issued state-wide instructions over-ruling them on dopey Trump lines to shrug it off and keep working.

Almost in the blink of an eye, five people have died there.

Mississipians (and Louisianans - New Orleans has a very serious outbreak) are reported packing up and fleeing to other states.

They are finding themselves not especially welcome there.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 03/26/20 at 09:07 AM | #

Bloomberg News is emailing updates on the US situation daily. This is the one for today Thursday.

The U.S. is about to enter a new phase of its Covid-19 outbreak. Patients who have been diagnosed and hospitalized in recent days and weeks will start dying in greater numbers, and it’s going to look very bad.

But the tragic news that’s to come—news that will generate scary headlines and influence debate over whether to get back to business in New York, California and elsewhere in the U.S.—was set in motion days and weeks ago.

It takes an average of five days from when a person was exposed to the virus for it to incubate and grow into a symptomatic illness. For patients who are sick enough to be hospitalized, it can take two weeks for them to recover or, in some cases, die, according to a study of patients in China.

In the last seven days, New York City has diagnosed 18,000 patients. On Wednesday alone, it found 4,400 more. Almost 4,000 people have been hospitalized, including 1,000 on Wednesday, according to the city health department’s running tallies. The city reported the most 911 calls since Sept. 11.

The large majority of these new patients were likely infected before the state closed non-essential businesses and told people to stay home on March 20.

New infections are likely to continue to rise for days in New York and elsewhere around the county. We haven’t seen the consequences of these illnesses yet. The cycle that’s about to happen in the U.S. has already happened in China, Italy and Spain: Early patients were identified, testing eventually grew more widespread, thousands of new cases were found, and then deaths began to accumulate. Italy, which has roughly as many cases as the U.S., has 6,800 deaths. Its outbreak is just a few weeks further ahead.

The good news is that lockdowns of movement and business have helped curtail new cases in those places. And fewer new cases means fewer people dying weeks later.

But signs of improvement will takes time. Death is, morbidly, a lagging indicator.—Drew Armstrong

Posted by Peter Quennell on 03/26/20 at 09:10 AM | #

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