[Mil.com] The commanding officer of an aircraft carrier sidelined in Guam says there are more than 100 positive cases of the illness caused by the coronavirus among its crew and is calling on Navy leadership to do more to protect the lives of his sailors.
Navy Capt. Brett Crozier, commanding officer of the aircraft carrier Theodore Roosevelt, wrote a four-page letter to his superiors, pleading with them to take action to help stem the spread of COVID-19 cases on his ship. The San Francisco Chronicle obtained a copy of Crozier's letter and broke the story of his stunningly candid request that Navy leaders fix what he says is an ineffective strategy that will only slow the spread on the carrier -- not stop it.
"We are not at war. Sailors do not need to die," the captain wrote. "If we do not act now, we are failing to properly take care of our most trusted asset -- our Sailors."
Between 150 and 200 crew members on the carrier have tested positive for COVID-19, the Chronicle reported. The ship is pierside in Guam, but much of the crew remains on the ship.
Related: 'We Are Putting Lives in Danger': Recruiters Urge Boot Camp Closures Amid Pandemic
The number of COVID-19 cases has spiked in just seven days since the Navy announced the first three positive cases aboard the warship.
Crozier described the spread of the disease as ongoing and accelerating. It's impossible to practice social distancing measures on the ship, he added.
The Navy must offload the entire crew so the sailors can be properly quarantined, which the captain acknowledges is an extraordinary measure. But the ship must be cleaned, he said.
VDH. Sorry, Abu Uluque, RJS, and I are too stubborn to die..
[Nat'l Review] By now, California should be, as predicted in so many models, ground zero of infection.
The bluest state's public officials have been warning for weeks that California will be overwhelmed, given federal-government unpreparedness and the purported inefficacy of the local, state, and federal governments.
California governor Gavin Newsom has assured his state that over half of the population ‐ or, in his words, 56 percent ‐ will soon be infected. That is, more than 25 million coronavirus cases are on the horizon, which, at the virus's current fatality rate of 1–2 percent (the ratio of deaths to known positive cases), would mean that the state should anticipate 250,000–500,000 dead Californians in the near future. Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti predicted that this week Los Angeles would be short of all sorts of medical supplies as the epidemic killed many hundreds, as is the case in New York City.
It's been well over two months since the first certified coronavirus case in the United States, so one might expect to see early symptoms of the apocalypse recently forecast by Governor Newsom. Yet a number of California's top doctors, epidemiologists, statisticians, and biophysicists ‐ including Stanford's John Ioannides, Michael Levitt, Eran Bendavid, and Jay Bhattacharya ‐ have expressed some skepticism about the bleak models predicting that we are on the verge of a statewide or even national lethal pandemic of biblical proportions.
The skeptics may be right. As of this moment, California's cumulative fatalities attributed to coronavirus are somewhere over 140 deaths, in a state of 40 million. That toll is a relatively confirmable numerator (though coronavirus is not always the sole cause of death), as opposed to the widely unreliable denominator of caseloads (currently about 6,300 in the state) that are judged to be only a fraction of the population that has been tested. The Iceland study, for example, suggests that half of those who are infected show no symptoms. Currently, even with fluctuating statistics, California is suffering roughly about one death to the virus for every 250,000–300,000 of its residents.
The rate certainly will go up each hour, and no doubt in geometric fashion, as the virus spreads. Yet we should remember that California loses about 270,000 lives to all causes every year ‐ meaning, on any given day, around 740 Californians die. So far there is no published clear evidence that in January, February, and March more Americans have died from pneumonia-related diseases than in an average year. Note too that not all deaths attributed to coronavirus are the work of COVID-19 alone; they are often accompanied by advanced age and serious chronic conditions that may have soon led to death without any accompanying viral infection.
It's the equivalent of martial law. Can't even meet with anyone who's not a member of immediate family; aside from a walk with your spouse - 6 feet apart - around the block, it is now forbidden to even go outside except for "essential services"; county DA has a hotline for anyone wishing to report his neighbor to the authorities.
The economy is being destroyed in front of our eyes. The state's most brilliant epidemiologists and Nobellists decry this absurd overreaction with logic and evidence but are ignored.
When the panic subsides, someone needs to be held accountable for this foolishness.
Studying this shi* everyday. Wish I knew more. The only bug people I am still in contact with (microbiologists who have been on it for years), one won't talk, the other insists it stops at the wet market. So I got nutten, dead end.
My theory of altered Histoplasmosis (Cave Disease) spores, going nowhere. If you look it up, 'non-contagion' symptoms are amazingly similar. Out of my league. I'll just keep reading.
Posted by: Deacon Blues ||
04/01/2020 9:13 Comments ||
BLUF: Of all the advanced world's regions, California should be the epicenter for deaths attributable to this virus. It's the opposite, with a death rate about as low as Germany's. We need to run some well-constructed tests using available resources and start making policy based on much more accurate data than has been used so far.
VDH notes that California is joined to the hip with China, including Wuhan itself.
During the months of October, November, January, and February alone — before the travel ban — perhapsnearly 1 million Chinese citizens arrived in California on direct and indirect flights originating in China.
VDH notes that California experienced about 10,000 Chinese arrivals every day - again, including flights from Wuhan itself - prior to the lockdown that began two weeks ago. These people - many tens of thousands, probably more than 100,000 unique individuals in total - have been circulating among the general population in LA, the Bay Area and the San Diego area, in universities and corporate offices, working and shopping and studying and going about life in close proximity to hundreds of thousands of Californians, for months.
It is therefore nearly certain that millions of Californians have been exposed to this virus during the last four months.
So it's also highly likely that the real morbidity rate observed in California - not the co-morbidity or the case fatality rate, but the actual risk of death from exposure to this virus, based on solid data, on the actual mass exposure that has taken place in coastal in California, is minuscule, on the order of less than 1 in 10,000. This is what Stanford's Eran Bendavid, and Jay Bhattacharya concluded:
“First, the test used to identify cases doesn’t catch people who were infected and recovered. Second, testing rates were woefully low for a long time and typically reserved for the severely ill. Together, these facts imply that the confirmed cases are likely orders of magnitude less than the true number of infections...
"...a total quarantine may not be worth the [costs to public health]... The data are consistent with an extraordinary range of estimates ... We desperately need a population-representative estimate of the seroprevalence of the disease so we can reduce that uncertainty and make better policy based on our improved knowledge. ... [such a test is currently] feasible to run immediately."
Wearing masks, not shaking hands, isolating and protecting the elderly, some curbs on mass gatherings in stadiums and clubs: fine, no problem. But imposing the equivalent of martial law on California counties that have already experienced mass exposure to this virus - and thereby destroying the livelihoods of millions - is unwise.
Please direct your objections to Victor Davis Hanson and the other Californians referenced: Stanford's top epidemiologist Dr. John Ioannidis and the Stanford public health experts Eran Bendavid and Jay Bhattacharya.
I had a crummy cold just after Christmas that lasted about two weeks. My previous understanding was that a cold should only last one week. No fever. The coughs were productive and icky. My nose ran and ran and ran. The really crummy part was the way the back of my nose felt. Probably it was just a cold but all this makes me wonder.
Posted by: Abu Uluque ||
04/01/2020 11:57 Comments ||
Me2, Abu. Back in February. Worst cough I can remember having. Mucinex helped with the...um...production -- gross, but effective. Helped keep crepe out of my lungs. The runs and vomiting also. The wife had what she called a weird cold back in November.
Most of us have probably already contracted the virus.
Certainly many millions of coastal Californians were exposed to it during the last five months.
I wish to God our leaders would start listening to experts like Dr. Ioannidis, Dr. John Lee, Profs. Bendavid and Bhattacharya et al. We really need to set up and run proper tests and start making policy based on solid data.
Me3. Took a trip to NY for bidness in late January. My wife felt really bad for about three weeks afterwards, and I did too for a couple of days. No real symptoms except a lot of body ache and loss of energy.
Wouldn't making policy based on solid data be racist or sexist or somethingist?
^Two viruses: A & B; BP. An immune memory for A prevents immune response for B.
Say, B carries non-functional epitopes of A inducing a secondary response to A instead of (completely different) to B. In principle possible, but you'll have to assure retention of non-functional epitopes - which means frameshift coding (same piece of DNA codes several proteins depending where you start reading), which we can't do today.
Why mess with all this? Just paste gp120 DNA sequence to influenza virus genome.
[Huffpoo] Former President Barack Obama on Tuesday called out President Donald Trump’s haphazard handling of the coronavirus pandemic, urging voters to "demand better of our government."
"We’ve seen all too terribly the consequences of those who denied warnings of a pandemic," Obama tweeted. "We can’t afford any more consequences of climate denial. All of us, especially young people, have to demand better of our government at every level and vote this fall," he added.
Obama, who has rarely attacked Trump since leaving office in 2016, did not mention the current U.S. leader by name in the tweet.
Trump has been fiercely criticized for downplaying the threat of the virus for weeks while his administration dithered. He has previously called climate change a "hoax" and his administration has pursued an anti-environment agenda.
Trump has also sought to blame Obama for his own government’s botched response to the public health crisis that has sickened more than 188,000 people in the U.S. and killed upwards of 4,000. The U.S. now has more confirmed coronavirus cases than any other country in the world.
Obama linked to a Los Angeles Times article documenting the Trump White House’s rollback of Obama-era fuel economy standards with his tweet.
[Politico] For many Democrats, it’s the election of a lifetime. Yet the question preoccupying the party for several days this month was whether their presumptive presidential nominee, Joe Biden, could get the webcast working in his rec room.
It was a telling obsession, one that revealed the extent of the party’s anxiety as it comes to a nail-biting conclusion: Despite all the arguments Democrats have crafted and all the evidence they have amassed against Donald Trump, his reelection is likely to rise or fall on his handling of the coronavirus crisis and its fallout alone.
"It’s the most dramatic example I can think of in my lifetime about how you cannot control the agenda," said Les Francis, a Democratic strategist and former deputy White House chief of staff in the Carter administration.
"If life were fair," he said, Trump would already be paying a price for his chaotic handling of the pandemic. Instead, the president’s approval rating has not taken a hit, and the dominant images are of him "at the podium in the White House, quote, in charge," Francis said. "If those stick and they’re not countered effectively, he could get reelected."
[AMERICANTHINKER] China? It is doing what lefty totalitarian dictatorships are good at: jailing its people and prompting its useful idiots abroad to broadcast its totalitarian propaganda.
Progressive activists? They got busy calling Trump a racist for stopping flights from China and then calling the American people racists for disdaining the elite-approved name for the disease coined by international babus bureaucrats.
Congerscritters? They got to work on a hand-out-the-loot stimulus bill, which only got held up for a week when the progressive activists got Nancy San Fran Nan Pelosi Congresswoman-for-Life from the San Francisco Bay Area, born into a family of professional politicians. On-again-off-again Speaker of the House. It's not her fault when they lose, but it's her accomplishment when they win. Noted for her heavily botoxed grimace and occasional senior... uhhh... moments... to try to divert some of the loot to vital progressive activism.
Federal Reserve? It got right to work printing money.
Nancy Pelosi? She went on the Sunday talk shows to propose an investigation.
Truckers? They marched towards the sound of the guns and insisted on keeping roadside facilities open.
Media? They worked on finding five ways from Sunday to blame the whole thing on Trump.
Trump? He is trying to stay two days ahead of conventional wisdom so he looks like a leader.
Young people? They are acting as though they were immortal.
Second-tier Democratic governors? They are making sure that nobody tries the Trump-boosted hydroxychloroquine treatment.
"Very Conservatives?" They report being "calm."
"Very Liberals?" They lead the nation in being "afraid" and "angry."
Wired via Instapundit
WHEN YOU LOOK at photos of Americans during the 1918 influenza pandemic, one feature stands out above all else: masks. Fabric, usually white gauze, covers nearly every face. Across the country, public health experts recommended universal mask wearing, and some cities ordered residents to wear them under penalty of fine or imprisonment. The Red Cross made thousands of cloth masks and distributed them for free. Newspapers published instructions for sewing masks at home. "Make any kind of a mask ... and use it immediately and at all times," the Boston commissioner of health pleaded. "Even a handkerchief held in place over the face is better than nothing."
...In the past few months, with medical supplies dangerously diminished, the CDC, US surgeon general Jerome Adams, and the World Health Organization have urged people not to buy masks, paradoxically claiming that masks are both essential for the safety of health care workers and incapable of protecting the public from Covid-19.
i have a real hard time wrapping my brain around the concept of a basic piece of cloth expiring.... i wrk with all sorts of materials that have a shelf life and to me this looks like an unintended consequence of some fat-assed desk jockey (jockette?) thinking ‘every thing needs an expiration date.’ and not thinking past that.
Lot of people out there who have never worn a for-real mask before, and it is showing.
Gloves too. I mean, look at the latest cover of The New Yorker. Their cover tends to cover current topics. Look at the main figure, hospital worker nearly overwhelmed while her family is at home. She has her mask on, gloves, as is everyone in the busy hallway.
Look again. She holding her fucking dirty ass phone, arguably the dirtiest object of the current age - its touchscreen is used during bathroom, it gets sneezed on, put in a holster which has never been cleaned, left on tables, handed to other people to share content. The composition is shit anyways, here we are in a dangerous environment on a good day, obviously people hustling about, and our main character is standing in the middle of traffic with her mind not there as she dinks around on her phone? Instead we have the artist suggesting that because she has on her hollywood magic PPE, now that people are discovering that term, that haz-mat protocols are not a thing. Worse, the dolts who subscribe to this form of entertainment will not see the artist just described all the hospital workers as incompetent, dangerous, as part of the problem.
I'm curious how people will turn masks into some kind of fashion. Colors are obvious but I'm sure funny mouths with smiles or fangs, or rabbit teeth. Possibly full face masks might be next. Certainly facial recognition cameras are gonna have to go infra red or something to keep up.
Guv Moonbeam (North) update: His address was NOT about saving the masks for theH/C workers; it was an admission that WA is NOT going to get all the PPE requested from the other Washington and he asked, almost pleaded for WA state manufacturers of almost all types to step up and begin making the gear; masks, gowns, face shields, test kit vials, swabs, among others.
He did say 16 companies are already doing so; didn't name them. I think I would have because if some company hears his competitor is dong this, might just prod him to act as well.
And he hinted at adding on to the stay in place order set to expire 10 April. "To be discussed in the coming days."
CJ via Instapundit
The biopharmaceutical industry will be able to make a Covid-19 vaccine‐ probably a few of them‐using various existing vaccine technologies. But many people worry that Covid-19 will mutate and evade our vaccines, as the flu virus does each season. Covid-19 is fundamentally different from flu viruses, though, in ways that will allow our first-generation vaccines to hold up well. To the extent that Covid does mutate, it’s likely to do so much more slowly than the flu virus does, buying us time to create new and improved vaccines.
Every virus has a genome composed of genetic material (either RNA or DNA) that encodes instructions for replicating the virus. When a virus infects a cell, it accesses machinery for making copies of its genomic instructions and follows those instructions to make viral proteins that assemble, with copies of the instructions, to form more viruses (which then pop out of the cell to infect new cells, either in the same host or in someone new).
There is a critical difference between coronaviruses and flu. The novel coronavirus genome is made of one long strand of genetic code. This makes it an "unsegmented" virus‐like a set of instructions that fit on a single page. The flu virus has eight genomic segments, so its code fits on eight "pages." That’s not common for viruses, and it gives the flu a special ability. Because the major parts of the flu virus are described on separate pages (segments) of its genome, when two different flu viruses infect the same cell, they can swap pages.
Imagine two people with eight-page reports fighting over a copy machine. In the tussle, some copies might turn out to have a mix of pages from two different reports. This page-swapping process, where viruses exchange parts of their genome, is called reassortment. The flu can change rapidly when multiple strains pass through the same host. But coronavirus, as a one-page report, tends to stay together, and while coronaviruses can swap sections‐in a process known as recombination‐it is difficult to achieve and thus rare. (Imagine two pages ripping in the same way and swapping pieces that get glued together again.)
Coronavirus does mutate. All viruses mutate, in a way that can be likened to typos introduced by the copying process. Instead of a copy machine, imagine that a page of text is read by a scanner that then attempts to transcribe the words into a text file. The scanner may transcribe a page of text imperfectly, introducing a "I" for a "l," and when that’s printed out and then scanned again, the scanner makes more transcription mistakes on top of the old ones. After many cycles, the accumulating mutations in the code cause features of the virus to change gradually, a process called "drift." When flu virus swaps entire pages with a different flu virus in a reassortment, we call that "shift." Drift through typos tends to cause small changes. Shift through reassortment causes bigger ones.
A vaccine is like a description of a wanted criminal: it tells your immune cells whom to look out for. So long as the suspect’s appearance doesn’t change too much, then the vaccine works. To the extent that the flu virus we see one year is only slightly different than the ones we’ve seen in recent years, our immune systems are at least partially prepared, and so we are partly protected. Even if we do get infected, it might be a milder illness because our immune system can react more quickly to fight it off.
Laboratories around the world are constantly surveilling today’s flu strains and giving flu-vaccine manufacturers a heads’-up as to what the viruses look like. So if we see a new strain of flu in Asia, it’s probably a good idea to start making a vaccine against it for the U.S. before that strain comes to our shores. Because large-scale manufacturing of current flu vaccines takes about six months from the time when we spot a new flu strain, the vaccines are six months out of date by the time we get them. Some years, the flu swaps out a genomic page with a less familiar strain‐maybe one we haven’t seen for a decade or so‐and we get the vaccine wrong. When that happens, we suffer through a bad flu season, since our immune systems are less ready to fight it off.
In the worst case, the flu can suddenly pick up a page from a bird- or pig-flu strain to which most humans have had zero exposure. This can be far more deadly, because the new virus can evade our herd immunity entirely, cutting through the population unopposed. That’s a flu pandemic.
Today’s novel coronavirus was brewing within bats for a long time, mutating into its current form through various typos and, to a lesser extent, rare recombination events among coronaviruses. Now that it’s here, it’s as new to us as a shifted flu strain that we’ve never seen before, and it’s causing a pandemic. But once we’ve developed a vaccine for this strain‐and once we’ve all taken it‐we’ll have herd immunity to it.
We shall see. I for one do not see placing so much trust in so many words. This is a virus. Yet it is not a flu virus. A virus does as a virus does. Now I foresee every flu season a new episode. I never run with the pack. My method has been tried and true. I watch as the train rolls by. People behave as if this is a Zombie apocalyptic event. Panic and anxiety attacks abound. Social order the next casualty. Social distancing is here to stay. People trapped in their little boxes. Tapping on the walls to make certain they are not the only last person standing.
IIRC I think it was a brief scene in the first "God Father " movie showing a mom pimping her daughter to a studio head. The girl looks pre-teen or very young teen and she's crying and her mother is bitching her out about not accepting it. Disney is rumored to still be full of kid molesters.
A multi-volume chronology and reference guide set detailing three years of the Mexican Drug War between 2010 and 2012.
Rantburg.com and borderlandbeat.com correspondent and author Chris Covert presents his first non-fiction work detailing
the drug and gang related violence in Mexico.
Chris gives us Mexican press dispatches of drug and gang war violence
over three years, presented in a multi volume set intended to chronicle the death, violence and mayhem which has
dominated Mexico for six years.